New Design: The Great Canadian Housewife & Birthday Party

I am so busy with school and blogging, which I am trying to make into a part-time job while in school that I just don’t have the time to make a theme for The Great Canadian Housewife that I really like, so I did something I have not ever done before. I purchased a theme from Etsy. And honestly, I have to say I could not have bought a theme that fits the blog better! I probably could not have made one. And on top of that, I got Genesis Framework with it! Which is perfect because I want to learn more about creating child themes. I need to do a bit of research on it. Licensing and creating a child theme, among other things. I know the basics of creating a child theme but have never worked with Genesis for WordPress before and have to say I absolutely love it! I really want to learn more about it.

Other than that we had a pool party today for Eddie and I as well as my cousin Mackenzie as my birthday is tomorrow, Kenzie’s is the Wednesday and Eddie’s is Saturday. So we had 9 of us, we can only have 10 at once, so it worked out perfectly. We are allowed to visit for the time being. We just have to be careful. It was great. The only issue was the weather which has been really hot and humid for over 3 weeks now decided to cool off today and get foggy. So it was cool, but the pool water was 76F so it was really nice in the pool! We had a homemade ice cream cake after that mom and I made yesterday, ordered pizza, had punch (non-alcoholic as there were 2 kids and everyone was driving), and snacks.

Mom made Eddie and me a gift. I knew she was making it, I even arranged the names, which are the 5 of us and the 4 pets (including pumpkin who we lost 2 weeks ago, so it’s super special) and the shells. She had told me she was making it for herself, but it was actually for us. She actually also tried to get us a puppy as we want a golden retriever (or Goldendoodle or golden retriever/lab mix like Karli) but it fell through and ended up being a scam. There are so many of them! Scams that is. Golden Retrievers are hard to come by apparently.

This week I have to really concentrate on school and finish catching up. I am okay on two of three courses but I need to catch up in the third. I may also have to do some transcribing or captioning to make a few extra bucks. Spent a bit too much on Amazon over the last month or so. My own fault. I need to be more careful. I just find such neat things!

It’s mid-year already!

Okay so it was mid-year on the first of the month, but who’s counting? Especially this year! At this time last year Eddie and I took a short trip to the Islands (Briar Island & Long Island, NS) and I took this picture. I don’t remember the exact date but I am pretty sure it was near mid-June. What a difference from last year to this year. It’s a reminder though, that things will be okay. We just have to keep on movin’ on. I am hopeful though for the remainder of the year. I am always hopeful though, it’s sort of in my nature, at least when I am not suffering from depression or anxiety.

January was rough and really all I remember of it was the fires in Australia and the plane crash over Iran in which our dentist Dr. Shari was killed. I was still off work from everything that went on in November and December of 2019, you can read some of those posts if your new or interested in reading more by going to my 2019 archive which goes backward (not the right word but can’t for the life of me think of it right now). February was okay and I applied to Athabasca University and got accepted (not that it’s hard, you pretty much just have to be 19.

March, well we all know what March, April, and May were like for most, if not all of the world. Lockdowns, Coronavirus & COVID-19, and people dying by the hundreds. Not going to go into any of that because there isn’t likely one person on the whole planet who doesn’t know what went and is going on. April took another horrible turn on Saturday, April 18th, and Sunday, April 19th for the people of Nova Scotia. Again not going to write about it as I wrote all about it here other than to say a man dressed as an RCMP officer (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and drove a replica RCMP car across the top of the province and murdered 22 people.

The second half of April and all of May was mostly just being in lockdown still and trying to come to grips with the above situation as well as COVID-19. Thankfully the end of May and through till now in mid-June we have been seeing some restrictions relaxed and lifted around the province as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Our province lost 62 people, most of whom (50-something) were from one long-term care facility in Halifax. We’ve had 1,061 cases (we are a small province of about 940,600), 996 of those who are recovered, which if you do the math means we only have 3 active cases in the province at the moment. We have not had a new case in 5 days.

And that brings us up to today. All I have done today was we took a small drive on a loop through Annapolis Royal (Lequille actually – not that that probably means anything to anyone outside NS), Bear River, Smiths Cove, and back to Deep Brook. I am totally just guessing but I would say 20-30 km maybe if that. We got beef jerky, grabbed a steak from the store, and came home.

Eddie got the bathroom cleaned while I read a chapter and did an assignment in one of my courses and then worked on re-writing all the pages and fixing images on one post on The Great Canadian Housewife and finished tweaking the new theme I am using. Too lazy (and no time) to make one from scratch so just found one that I could easily make look how I wanted which was fairly easy since it is a beautiful and well-made theme by the very talented Tiffany from Beautiful Dawn Designs which I only changed a little bit to fit in with my color scheme and font scheme I want to try and use for a while.

And that’s it. That was the first half of 2020. Mom & Dad have both had their birthdays this month and last, my brothers birthday is on the 21st of June, he’ll be 29 (being 11 years older than him that makes me feel really old!), and myself and Eddie have birthdays on the 6th and 11th (respectively). We are having one party for the two of us at mom and dad’s, a pool party hopefully with an ice-cream cake.

We are unsure yet if anyone else can or will come or not. We are officially allowed gatherings again up to 20 people as long as social distancing (2m/6ft rule) is practiced. At the moment pools are not allowed to open and even though it is a back-yard personal pool we are following the guidelines that if they don’t think it is safe to open pools then we are not having anyone else in the pool but us meaning that we can’t invite anyone, because obviously it would not be fair to invite people and not let them in and we really want to spend the day in the pool if the weather co-operates.

We may invite a friend and her family (hubby and 1 child) over for cake after outside away from the pool (they have their own anyways but I don’t want to have it near the pool as it is not fair to the child even if we are not going in and I am not sure about safety and if it’s safe for her to swim in a pool that we were in previously so no point even going there. So somewhere away from the pool. Luckily we have 3 acres to choose from (well about 1/2 unless we want to be in the woods).

I meant to end this post up there where I said and that’s it… so yep, that’s really it, 2020 so far.

Blogging & Monetization

I have been struggling a little bit with The Great Canadian Housewife. Not so much with content, well maybe a little, but more with just knowing where to start. I have exactly 20 posts since my first one in February this year. Most of those in April, May, and June I think, which is when I really started to get serious about it. As I said I am not really struggling so much with content, at least not yet, but I am sure that will come soon enough.

Right now my biggest struggles with it are driving traffic to it. Which I am doing somewhat okay at, but honestly I have nothing to compare it too as this one I never cared a whole lot or paid attention. It was more for me than for anyone else. Maybe that’s a bit selfish to say but it is a personal blog after all (this one).

I don’t care so much about SEO and that with this as I mostly just seek out other bloggers that I enjoy reading and comment on their blogs and probably 8 or 9 times out of ten they then come comment on mine. Which is sort of what I am doing with the other one, but I am not sure if that is the right way to go about it. It seems to be working okay but I am just not really sure.

I am struggling a lot with monetizing it and also with social media. Starting with social media I made a Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram account for the blog. Facebook was not too hard and I already have about 40 people following it but I am more active on Facebook than anywhere and most of those are my personal friends, a few bloggers, and some former work acquaintances. Not all of which are the right audience for the blog I don’t think,

I am unsure if I should narrow down my “niche” for it a bit more. It started as a place for me to share my “learn to be a housewife” kinda lifestyle I am sort of now living. But let’s face it, I suck as a housewife lol. I still love the name though and it still sort of fits so now I am trying to make it a product review (household products, beauty products, cleaning products, etc), book review, crafts, recipes, DIY, etc type of blog which I guess could fall more under “lifestyle” maybe?

I want to do some sponsored posts, mostly about makeup, haircare, skincare, bath & body, and those kinds of products as well as cleaning and household supplies, gardening, etc. So yeah, basically “housewife” type stuff. As well as some book reviews. I found a good site for that where I can get free books (popular newer ones at that) in exchange for reviews. I don’t get paid but I spend a lot on books so it seems a fair trade-off.  I am struggling though on how to start out with getting my first few sponsored posts. I joined some influence/sponsored post networks but they either have nothing, or it’s crap for lack of a better term, or I don’t qualify.

I did get one person email me and ask me to collaborate with her brand (hair wigs) in which she wants me to do 2 posts, shared to social media and a banner for 3 months on my page all for $12 US. I’m not a genius but even I know that’s too low. I am not afraid to reply back and say that but I am unsure even remotely on what to ask for for that. Not to mention I have never worn a wig in my life and will not lie so I am wondering what exactly the post entails. She has not mentioned trying a wig or anything like that and her wigs are expensive so I can understand.

I am okay with doing a post where I do some research maybe and write a post about it and link to her site but I won’t be saying I have tried one of the wigs when I haven’t. She’s not offering up a lot of info and I am not sure where to start to ask. I would love to collaborate but I am just unsure where myself and my blog would fit in in that scenario and don’t honestly really know how to ask.

I know my lack of knowledge and inexperience could become an issue when trying to get a sponsored post but you have to start somewhere right? And I am good at researching and have been trying to gather as much info about monetization and sponsored posts as I can. If anyone has any knowledge I would be more then thankful if anyone wants to share. I need a mentor lol.

I keep getting directed to these online courses that sound too good to be true in the groups and things I am in and I refuse to pay $300 for something that could literally be a flop or “scam”, not to mention I am broke as hell again and we are living off of Eddie’s part-time job and my student loan so I couldn’t afford it if I wanted too.

One last thing I am struggling with is affiliate links/banners. I did not want to go with Google Adsense for one because I want control over the ads I put on my site and only companies I either have dealt with or research and two because I can’t seem to get approved by them for some reason anyways even though I keep following all instructions. So I joined Rakuten Affiliates, CJ Affiliates, and Amazon Affiliates and figured out how to use it as far as banner ads on my site or pointing to specific things with their link codes but I am not getting any clicks, not one single click. Some impressions but no clicks. Not sure what I am doing wrong there either.

Sorry, this post got long, so I am going to end it here. Hopefully, I can figure this all out. And juggle school at as well. I so badly want to make this work in the long run for some additional income, not expecting miracles or anything but just a little extra every few months would be nice.