gift ideas for the... kitchen connoisseur!

from top left:

I don't know about you, but I love me some quirky home accents and kitchen goodies. I kind of want to buy everything above for my own kitchen, but I'm restraining myself. These gifts would be perfect for the baker/chef, entertainer, or party host. Who doesn't need a little colourful cuteness in their lives!?


How to track link referral clicks + an ad sale!

I originally wrote this post for the Passionfruit Ads blog because they are currently undergoing a complete stats system rebuild from the ground up.  This post is not only for Passionfruit users who are looking for a way to track their clicks in the meantime, but also for website/blog owners who just want a simple method to check on referring sites!


If you advertise on other blogs, one question you always want to know is this: how many clicks has the site provided you with?  If you aren't familiar with Google Analytics, I'll show you a super easy way to track your clicks that requires very little setup.

We're going to use bit.ly. I'm sure you've seen bit.ly URLs in the past as they have been used to automatically shorten Twitter links and many others. But did you know that shortened links also provide you with valuable information? Here's how we can track incoming traffic from bit.ly:

First, you'll want to sign up for a bit.ly account. It's super simple to do if you have a Facebook or Twitter account (seriously, you just click a button!). Once in your dashboard, you'll see a text box that allows you to paste a URL to shorten:

If you want to track your own blog clicks, enter your blog URL in the "Paste a link here" box and hit Enter. You will be alerted that your link was saved and shortened. The copy/paste link is shown for you and this link is saved in your dashboard for future use.
To keep track of my shortened links, I like to customize the shortened URL. This will help you keep track of which blog you're using a particular shortened URL on. If you roll your mouse over the copy/paste link that has just been given to you, you will see a "Customize" link appear below. Click this. 

Here is where you can enter the name of the blog you're using this URL on, or a unique identifier that will easily tell you what that particular link, or "bitmark" is for.

Save this and it will update your shortened URL. Now, when you advertise your shop/blog on another blog or website, be sure to use this URL as your site URL. Create a different custom URL for each blog you advertise on. For example, if I were to advertise on a blog named "CANDY SHOPPE", I would enter CANDYSHOPPE as the custom short name shown above. Using Passionfruit's signup form, here is how it would look when I submit my ad:

Using these customized links is a great way to see exactly where your traffic is coming from. From the bit.ly dashboard, you can now visit your Stats page to view the number of clicks each link has generated.

That was easy, wasn't it!? You didn't have to install any special codes and you can clearly see your traffic accurately.

I hope this little tutorial helps some of you who have been concerned about stat tracking!

If you want to give it a try, I'm currently offering 30% off any size ad spot for a limited time only! Book a spot today, just in time for Christmas! Visit my Advertising page and enter promo code "WINTER" at the checkout.


gift ideas for the.... fashion lover

from top left, across:


the journey to becoming a millionaire...

A short while ago, I posted about my goal to become a millionaire before I turn thirty. This blog post is an update of sorts that I wanted to share with you. I think it's motivating to share my progress and hopefully it helps push me along this path as well. You can read my other posts here.

I recently mentioned that I made a video log as well, but was hesitant to post it. I decided that I'd suck up my insecurities and let my blog readers view it anyways, so here it is. It was from the beginning of November... and talks about what was happening with the app and why I wanted to do this whole thing in the first place.

So, where am I at right now? Well, not a whole lot has happened just yet, but there has been some good progress on my app idea.  This month has been pretty busy as it is, due to Christmas next month. Between fulfilling shop orders and working on new ideas, I've been trying to finish off all of my custom design work so that I can take a much needed break in December. During this break I plan on really hashing out my ideas and coming up with a solid plan of action for everything. This blog, my handmade/supply shops, and most of all my design shop.

I've decided that my next goal will be to really expand my design shop. As mentioned in the video, passive income is really the route I'm headed for and the more I can bulk up that shop and offer more downloadable goods, the better. During my Christmas break, I'm going to work on stocking that up... until then I still have almost everything at 40-50% off until tomorrow.

After that, I want to knock these eBooks off my list. I've been planning a couple new ones for a while now and just haven't had the time to work on them. My New Years resolution will be to make time for these things. I overload my own plate so much, so I am really going to have to think about what I can cut out so that I can dedicate more time to this whole thing. The idea isn't to add tons more projects to my ongoing list of things to do, but rather refine them, see what's working for me and what's not, and work on maxing out their potential.

I am hoping that the app will be out in the early New Year. It's halfway done right now and looks awesome! As soon as I have it in my hands as a final product I will share with you exactly what it is. You can also sign up to my brand new mailing list below if you want to get early access to the app when it's ready and stay updated on these projects and more:

I'm not sure what prompted me to make logs of this stuff. I guess just so that I have something to look back on and stay on track. I also want to help inspire any one of you to go out and do what you want to do. You don't have to live your life with the cards you were dealt, because there will always be another hand just waiting to be played.

Stay motivated!

(There is also a new Christmas in November giveaway up on my Facebook page. You can win my Mushroom Dreams photo artwork print, so be sure to check that out when you're done here!)


animalistic (hello, snow)

cat sweater: c/o romwe
arctic fox hood: c/o spirithoods

We got our first real winter snowfall this weekend. By "real" I mean that it actually stayed on the ground this time and dumped about 3 inches on us. I have a love/hate relationship with winter. I hate the cold, but I love cozy sweaters and outdoor wear. I hate having to actually prepare myself just to take Bear for a walk, but I love the look of snow covered land and sliding around on the ice. I hate that he gets all wet and dirty from a 5 minute trek outside, but I love watching him bounce around like a happy dog in the powdery mess.  Also, Christmas just wouldn't be the same without snow.

Do you like my hood? I've been obsessed with Spirithoods since they first launched and was pretty excited about this new "arctic fox" addition. I thought it would be perfect for the cold weather, since it's built for the snow! It even has fleece lining, pockets, and a goggle clip for snowboarding.

What do you love/hate most about winter?

p.s. Cyber Monday discounts have been updated here, and you can still shop the Shop Hop, featuring handmade/indie businesses! I've also started a "Gift Ideas" Pin board that you can check out here. I've been pinning cool things I've found while doing a little online xmas shopping!


Black Friday Shop Hop! Deals and Discounts!

It's here!!! Below is a huge collection of shops that are offering special discounts this weekend! Thank you to all of the vendors that participated. I am really happy with the turnout considering this is my first shop showcase/guide! I even included a couple of my own discounts for the Wonder Forest shop and my design shop, Envye. Have fun shopping this weekend. I am sure you'll find something for somebody via this showcase... and if you do, let us know in the comments!

Don't forget to visit the big ongoing list of online retailer discounts too! Click below:

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