Friday Faves: I heart lots and lots of sleep

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Happy Saturday Loves. I am a day late this week, but I have a good reason – I am freaking exhausted. I had a really busy week – last night I crashed at 10 pm and I woke up at 11 am this morning.  I love getting a good night’s sleep, it’s makes a huge difference in my performance and energy level throughout the day. The good news is that today I feel rested and I’m ready to enjoy my weekend.

Before I share my favourite posts with you from the week I want to say thank you to everyone who applied for the part time position with My Diary Entry.  We had a number of very qualified candidates and I will start interviews next week. Stay tuned for more info and to meet the soon-to-be newest team member of My Diary Entry and Tahnya Krisitna Communications.

I also want to give a shout out to everyone at BlogHer’13 in Chicago this weekend, I wish I was there. Please let me know where it is next year – I hope it’s coming back to NYC.

Have a great weekend everyone. Enjoy my fave writings this week from some creative geniuses aka my friends.

- According to Athena – “High Maintenance”? No, I Call It Knowing What I Want & Who I Am

- Well Heeled Blog - Wedding Guests and the Wedding Spend

- My Thirty Spot - 53 Things Only Girls Growing Up in the ‘80s Will Understand

- NZ Muse – How to work for free AND have the time of your life doing it

- Careful Cents – 5 Life-Changing Ways to Invest in Yourself and See Big Returns (shout out to Carrie who referred a couple of great girls for the part time position here)

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Love Always,

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Friday Faves: Tips to help you blog better

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Happy Friday.  This week has been all about sharing the love on My Diary Entry and today is no different.  We started off the week with two amazing giveaways – in case you didn’t have a chance to check them out you can enter to win two books here and a gift box full of cosmetics here.

I recently celebrated my four year blogging anniversary and to say that I have learned a lot over the past four years would be an understatement.  Today I am sharing my knowledge with you, if you are a new blogger who is trying to get your blog noticed or if you are a seasoned blogger who wants to take their blog to the next level then look no further I am here to help.

Blog Better with these 3 tips:

1. Join a network. No one will promote your blog (no matter how great it is), so go online and promote yourself.  Joining a blog network in your niche is a great way to spread the word about your blog and meet experienced bloggers.

Some well known blogging networks include BlogHer, SheBlogs, Clever Member and Yakezie.  Make personal connections with other bloggers and try to find ways to work together.  Attending blog conferences is another great way to learn about blogging, meet other bloggers and promote your blog (and your services if you also freelance).

2. Get on Twitter.  Find a tweet chat about your blog’s topic and join the conversation.  Actually all social media is a good way to promote your blog.  If you don’t have one yet you should create a Facebook page for your blog and join Pinterest.

Any type of sharing social media is a great way for you to share and promote your blog.  There is a WordPress plugin that allows you to post blog comments directly to your Facebook page – another great sharing tool to promote your blog.

Add photos and videos.  Writing for the web takes a special talent – visual effects are the key to a successful blog. No one wants to read page after page of only words so make your blog pretty and appealing with photos, videos and subtitles.

Your blog should be easy to read regardless of the topic and intended purpose.  Speaking of which, your blog should have a purpose – ask yourself what are you writing about and why should people read it.

Happy Blogging.

PS – if you have questions about blogging please contact me anytime, I would be happy to check out your blog and give you some feedback.

Here are some other blogs with better blogging tips:

Katie Taylor – What I Learned About Blogging When I Quit Blogging

So Over This – This Isn’t a Real Blog Post

Careful Cents – If You Want Your Business to Grow, Do This One Thing

Photo by PinkAddiction

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My 2013 Goals: Freelance Writing, $20K & 120 lbs

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Good Morning Loves. Last week I published a post about the one thing that I am not going to do this year and it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t tell everyone about my personal goals and resolutions for 2013.

I have vowed not to wake up early and make the most out of my mornings in 2013 because I truly believe that there is nothing you can do at 8 am that you can’t do at 2 pm.

I received some emails and Twitter comments wondering why I am only setting personal goals of things that I don’t want to do in 2013 instead of listing all the things that I want to accomplish this year.

If you read My Diary Entry on a regular basis you know that I am a huge planner (some may even say OCD) and I am a big fan of lists.

So here it is…my list of things to do in 2013.

Money Goals:

1. Save $15,000: That’s $1250 per month and so far I am on track

2. Earn $20,000 from my freelance writing income: That’s $1667 per month but the problem is that freelance writing does not always provide a steady income. Just to give you an idea of my freelance writing income from past years I earned $7,800 in 2011 and $14,500 in 2012. More to come next week on how I am going to achieve my freelance writing income goal this year.

Career Goals:

1. Start a professional website for my freelance writing services: This is my current priority, I am deciding between tahnyakristina.com or Pen and Paper Communications –what do you think?

2. Become an active member of an online blogging network: A network will help promote and grow this blog to be the best that it can be. I am leaning towards BlogHer, Yakezie or Clever Member – are you a member of a blog network?

3. Find a publisher for my first book A Better You and get it in stores:  I want to travel and speak at schools, workshops and conferences to help people find their dream job, earn more income, become debt free and find personal happiness. I did it and I want to help people do it too.

Fitness Goals:

1. Reach my goal weight by July 31: This year I started exercising on a regular basis and I absolutely love it.  My entire outlook on life has changed and I am a happier person.

2. Join an online fitness community: The only way to keep fit and have fun is to have a support system. I am leaning towards Fit Fluential – any other suggestions?

What are your goals for 2013?

Love Always,

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Baking for a Cause with The American Cancer Society

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I am not going to lie, I have never really been a girl who likes to spend a lot of time cooking in the kitchen becuase it’s very time consuming and I am not a huge fan of washing dishes.  However my new life plan to get fit by making healthier food choices and exercising on a regular basis has encouraged me to spend more time in the kitchen; surprisingly enough I actually like it.  I find time in my daily routine to cook at least 4 dinners every week and on Sundays I try to bake something.

I actually love baking because it makes my apartment smell great and it’s a really relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  When the American Cancer Society asked me to share one of my favourite recipes for their A Healthier Holiday Table initiative I was more than happy to do so and I immediately knew which recipe I wanted to share…Hello Low Fat Banana Bread!

Eat Healthy with The American Cancer Society

I met the good folks of The American Cancer Society last summer when I attended BlogHer’12 in New York City; it is a good cause that is near and dear to my heart.  Over 4 years ago I lost my best friend Kevin to cancer and since then my life has never been the same.

Thanks to my new friends from The American Cancer Society I have learned a lot about how your diet can affect/reduce your risk of getting cancer. For instance studies have shown that eating large amounts of processed meat increases the risk of stomach cancers; all the more reason to join me on the vegetarian wagon. Eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and veggies every day can help prevent your risks of cancers, and drinking more than 1 alcoholic drink per day increases the risk of mouth, liver, breast and colon cancer.

5 Reasons Why I Love Banana Bread:

- There is a low fat option

- You can eat it with tea or coffee for breakfast

- You can eat it with fruit for a snack

- You can eat it as dessert after a meal

- You can eat it on the go

I used the Joy of Baking Low Fat Banana Bread Recipe and made a few minor changes.  The recipe is easy to bake and your home will be filled with the scents of bananas and brown sugar. YUM! If you decide to bake Banana Bread I would love to see your pics. Enjoy!

You Will Need:

1 cup (240 ml) mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large   bananas)1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 cup (120 ml) low-fat plain yogurt1/4 cup (60 ml) canola, vegetable, or corn oil3/4 cup (165 grams) light brown sugar

1 large egg or 2 large (60 grams) egg whites

1 teaspoon pure vanilla   extract

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (65 grams) whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Spray an 8 x 4 inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan with a non-stick vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the baking soda and yogurt. Allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the batter.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, egg or egg whites, and vanilla.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt.

Then combine the banana mixture with the oil mixture and then add to the flour mixture. Stir just until all the ingredients are moistened. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 45 – 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Love Always,

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The Blogger Book Giveaway

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Good Morning.  If you follow me on Twitter  and Facebook then you may know that my first book titled “A Better You” is going to be finished in a mere 62 days (check out the countdown on the right).  I am very excited about writing my first book and I would love it if you could spread the word to your family and friends.

My first book “A Better You” is all about making positive changes in our lives towards finding personal happiness.  It is what I like to call a blog book; “A Better You” is an inspiring book about love, life, career, family, health and money that is written as a compilation of blog posts.

The book “A Better You” features personal stories and victories about how I decided to stop complaining about everything that I hate in my life and start making changes towards loving my life.  No one likes a negative person and I want to be a person that other people want to be with.  I want to be the happy and friendly girl who everyone wants to talk to.

This is a book that I feel everyone can relate to because we all want to be happy. “A Better You” is about the personal journey towards loving life and learning to love our self. I hope that this book will inspire people to make changes in their lives by finding a personal goal and making a plan to achieve it. We don’t have to be the best, but we can be better.

In honour of my first book “A Better You” being finished (and hopefully published) very soon I am giving away 3 books that were written by my fellow bloggers, these ladies are truly an inspiration. All of these books were published by Zondervan, I met a representative from Zondervan at BlogHer in NYC and she truly inspired me to finish my book.

Click the link below to enter for your chance to win all 3 books:

The Guest Book: A NovelThe Guest Book by Marybeth Whalen is an emotional story about mending a broken heart and finding a new true love after many years of sadness from a broken family.  This is a story for hopeful romantics and for everyone who has made a wish or sent a prayer to find true love. You can read more about Marybeth Whalen on her personal blog at www.marybethwhalen.com.

Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to FootPerfectly Unique by Annie F. Downs is an uplifting story about finding your place in the world, believing in yourself and growing up believing in a higher power. If you have ever wondered why you look the way you do or why you have the body that you do then this book is for you. The answer is because that is how you are and you should love yourself no matter how you look. You can visit Annie F. Downs on her personal blog www.annieblogs.com.

Cold TangerinesCold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist is a motivating story that will make you want to wake up in the morning with a smile on your face.  If you don’t want your life to be a boring routine then break your regular habits and try something new.  Get out of your comfort zone and have a little bit of fun; just take a day off from being you.  You can learn more about Shauna Niequist on her personal blog at www.shaunaniequist.com.

This giveaway is open to all Canadian and U.S. residents.

Good Luck to everyone who enters, the winner will be announced on Monday November 19.

This giveaway is listed on Sweepstakes

 

Love Always,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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