5 things I wish I knew before I started a blog

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became A Blogger

This post contains affiliate links and any purchases you make through these links will allow me to receive commission to help keep this blog running. I appreciate all of your support and thank you for any of the purchases you make through my links!

Has it really been over a year and a half since I posted my first blog post? I can’t believe that so much time has gone by since December 2015! I’m still thinking of myself as a relatively new blogger. My followers are going up, my income is rising, and the quality of my posts are improving. Yes, I’m advancing in the world of a blogger.

As I sit here today, I think about the many things I wish I would have known before I hit “Publish” on my first blog post. I’d like to share 5 of those things with you in hopes that it provides you with valuable advice, and helps you along your own blogging journey.

1. Creating a website takes forever

Ok, so there are these companies that claim you can throw a website up in a few minutes and be ready to start your blog. I assure you, a nicely designed and organized blog will take MUCH longer than a few minutes. For bloggers who are serious about monetizing and traffic growth, tossing up a free website is not a good route to take.

I like everything to be as close to perfect as possible.  I’ve spent tons of hours sifting through themes, trying out different layouts, and making different logos for the blog on Photoshop. If you’re telling yourself, “I just need to get online and make my first post,” think again. I look at my blog as does a retailer does for their products. I make sure everything I do puts a positive view on my blog, my content, and my reputation. Spend the extra time necessary in the very beginning to get it right. Don’t wait until your followers have abandoned you.

Like I said above, I look at my blog as a business, because it is! That means I’m the first, middle, and last set of eyes that looks at everything that goes on the blog. You really need to think about every aspect of the site.  Make it your own, make it presentable, and make it work for your readers.

2. Outline every blog post

Some bloggers say they just get online and write whatever comes to mind. I guess that’s one way to get going. But, as you begin to develop a following, and look for ways to help your readers, you need to show them you’ve put some thought and structure into your writing.  

In a post I wrote last January, “Why I Create An Outline For Every Blog Post,” I go through the steps I take to structure every blog post I write. If you are new to blogging, I highly suggest you read it and get familiar with what it takes to put a successful post together.

3. Don’t get discouraged if a post doesn’t go viral right away

In the beginning, I wrote what I thought were high-quality, sensational blog posts that were sure to draw in thousands of readers. You know what happened next? Nothing. Zilch. Zippo. Crickets.  I was heartbroken. All of the time, effort, and emotion I poured into my post went for nothing.

There are going to be times when you feel like no one wants to read your blog. Don’t give up. If you believe in what you are doing and write content that matters, people will soon join in and follow you too.  If you are posting just to post something, be prepared for the criticism. Check out my earlier post, “5 Reasons Why No One Cares About Your Blog.” If you are putting out crap, expect crap to follow it. You need to put real though into your posts and write posts that solve problems, provide advice, and give back to your readers.  Your posts should never always be about you. Write content that others can relate to and you’ll see a big difference.

WordPress Themes with a bang

4. Create a media kit right away

A lot of bloggers will tell you not to make a media kit at the beginning of your blogging career because you won’t have the brand relationships or traffic to really put forth an effort. I have always disagreed with this thinking. If you are setting yourself up as a serious blogger, making a media kit is a critical piece of marketing material you need to have right from the start. The great thing about media kits is that they can be updated as your followers and services grow.  It’s super easy to make one using Microsoft Word!

5. Don’t forget about old content

One thing I wish I knew when I started blogging was to never forget about old content.  Old content can still be relevant today.  Take these posts and update them if there is new information to add. Keep sharing your old content. If it drew in tons of views months ago, you can still make it work for you today. Revitalize your old content! Visitors want to see the old content just as much as the new, so continue to feed them the information that they want and need.

Another big reason you want to remember your old content is that social media accounts are moving so fast. Not sharing more than once will only hurt you. I recommend sharing your content several times per week.  Make it impossible for your followers to miss it. Be careful to draw a line between frequent sharing and oversharing. You have to find a good balance.

 

If you are a new or seasoned blogger, I would love to know of any additional tips and tricks that would help me or other bloggers like me. If you are getting ready to start your very own blog, I encourage you to ask questions in the comment section. I can’t wait to see what you have to say, and am looking forward to visiting your own blog.

 

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Getting Military Fit: How To Incorporate Soldier Fitness In Your Life

Getting Military Fit: How To Incorporate Soldier Fitness In Your Life

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Soldiers have an infamously difficult workout regime and need to uphold it throughout their entire military careers. Fortunately, you don’t have to enlist in order to gain benefit from their way of doing things. Bringing more discipline in your life will not only help you in all future challenges you face, but will leave a great example for your children to follow.

Using the US Marine fitness entry requirements as a template, what follows are suggestions to improve your overall fitness levels, and how you can maintain them. No matter how many gimmicks you bring along with you though, fitness has always and will always require hard work to maintain. But the upside? After you get over the initial drudgery it can be a lot of fun, and will likely become your favorite part of the day.

US MARINE FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

Fitness Requirements for Each PFT Event (Males)
Age Pull-Ups Crunches 3-Mile Run
17-26 3 50 28:00
27-39 3 45 29:00
40-45 3 45 30:00
46 3 40 33:00

 

Fitness Requirements for Each PFT Event  (Females)
Age Flexed-Arm Hang Crunches 3-Mile Run
17-26 15 Seconds 50 31:00
27-39 15 Seconds 45 32:00
40-45 15 Seconds 45 33:00
46 15 Seconds 40 36:00

With a little bit of exercise, these aren’t so difficult to achieve.

Running

If you’re new to running, getting up to a 3-mile jog (the equivalent of a 5k,) seems like a daunting task. Fortunately, you’re able to achieve this quite easily with the right routine. A recommended app for people getting off the couch is ‘couch to 5k,’ a 12 weeks course that encourages you to run three times a week at varying running/walking intervals in order to maximally gain the best efficiency while you train. This can be done both outside or on a treadmill.

Before long you’ll complete the course, have a transformed mental approach to running, and be able to complete a 3 mile run in around 28 minutes or less, as you can see from the table above the most strict guideline for passing Marine Corps entry. As a civilian, you’ll be very proud to achieve this.

Just be sure to wear appropriate footwear.

Pullups

Pullups are more difficult, and it can be tricky to achieve one. In order to train to achieve your first one, incorporate chin-ups, push-ups or if you’re feeling more motivated, a free weights program like Starting Strength or Stronglifts in order to promote your functional strength. These programs are great because they incorporate compounds lifts like the overhead press and deadlift that help explode your shoulder and back strength.

Discipline

This is something that’s internal and will develop over time as you apply yourself to the above fitness regime. Keep in mind the idea that you’re applying for the role of a soldier even if you’re not, and you can be sure that the warrior mindset will develop over time. This will lead to a sense of calm, stability and pride that will carry over into every avenue of your life.

Best of luck with your training. You’ve got this, solider.

Making Sure Your Wedding Tux Is The Perfect Wedding Tux

Making Sure Your Wedding Tux Is The Perfect Wedding Tux

Making Sure Your Wedding Tux Is The Perfect Wedding Tux

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If you’re reading this then, yes, congratulations, man. You’ve found The One and been brave enough to either pop the question or say yes as an answer, and the road to eternal happiness has been paved with love.

What’s more, you’ve probably embarked on some of the planning, at least the bigger stuff like a venue and the caterers and all that sort of big game hunting that will make your big day a little unique. Chances are, your wife has probably been searching for the perfect dress too, maybe even found it. And that’s where this blog comes in because the suit or tux that you pull on the morning of your big day is just as important.

You are going to make up one-half of the aisle, the vows, and the photographs, and so you need to pick the perfect tux. And here is how:

Making Sure Your Wedding Tux Is The Perfect Wedding Tux

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Know The Setting

If you’ve been deciding on the big things – like the location – then you will no doubt now what sort of wedding you are having to dress for, and this is going to be crucial to understand. Oh yes, there are different types of wedding. You could be having a beach wedding, or going for a bit of country casual, or a black tie event, or even a ballroom twist, possibly even an outdoor do, one that takes place in a glade in a wood. Each of these is different, so make sure you keep the setting in mind when deciding on a suit and, if you are unsure, then tell the assistant your plans and let them help you.

Never Forget the Fit

It doesn’t matter whether you are wearing a suit or a tuxedo (or even a t-shirt), it has to fit you perfectly. This is the most important thing when deciding on the suit because an ill-fitting suit will haunt you for the rest of your life. You see, sloppy fitting clothes won’t just look dodgy, but they completely obscure what you look like. As such, always consult an expert. That doesn’t mean spending a fortune on a tailored tuxedo if you can’t afford one; it just means finding someone who knows what your size is, who knows about sizing and can deliver the right fit.

Making Sure Your Wedding Tux Is The Perfect Wedding Tux

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A Pinch of You

There is a decorum to uphold when it comes to wedding suits and tuxedos, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a pinch of you. It could be that you look for this little bit of you when looking at your looking at a selection of benchmark wedding bands, or what to get engraved on it. It could be that you go with a pocket watch to set your suit off, or a pair of bright socks, maybe even some converse. Whatever it is, don’t let it overrule your suit, just let it sprinkle a bit of you on it.

You Deserve To Splurge

Your wife to be isn’t going to compromise on the dress, and for great reason too, which is why you shouldn’t either. In years to come, you are going to forget a lot of the details about that day because the adrenaline, the emotion, and the booze will sort of distort your memory. What won’t be forgotten, however, is what you were wearing; there will be visual reminders all over the place. Like we said above, that doesn’t mean you have to blow your budget wide open. What it does mean is, if you find the suit, the one you want that is slightly out of your price range, well, bend the rules a bit and get it; after all, you deserve it.

Chococurb Classic Subscription Box Review and Coupon

This post may contain affiliate links.  I may be compensated for any purchases you make by clicking on the link.  I was sent a free Chococurb Classic Subscription Box in exchange for my honest review of this product.  All opinions are my own. I am not a food or nutrition expert. If you have certain allergies to food products, it is your responsibility to review all nutritional information prior to purchasing or consuming these products. 

Chococurb Classic Subscription Box Review and Coupon

Subscription Box:  Chococurb Classic

Cost: $35 a month plus free shipping.

Coupon: 10% off with code GOASK 

Product Contents: 5 to 7 gourmet, premium chocolate items each month.

This product ships only to the United States.

Registration Process: It is a very easy process to set up your first Chococurb subscription box at www.chococurb.com. The homepage has a blue “Get Started” button. Clicking on this button sends you to the next page to complete your chocolate profile. The chocolate profile allows you to tell Chococurb what your preferences are so that your Chococurb Subscription Box can be customized.

The first step in completing your chocolate profile is to tell Chococurb why you are signing up for their service. Basically, there are three options:

  • One for those who want to upgrade their chocolate game.
  • Two for those who just love chocolate and want to learn more about it.
  • Three is for those who crave chocolate but don’t want to have to go to the store just to get it.

The second step in completing your chocolate profile is to tell Chococurb what your chocolate IQ is. You can choose from beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert.

The third step is really getting into the fun part of setting up your subscription box. Here is where you tell Chococurb exactly what kind of chocolate you like. You can choose from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate. You then tell Chococurb what you want to put in your dream box. The options here include:

  • chocolate with alcohol
  • chocolate with caramel
  • chocolate with coffee
  • chocolate with fruit
  • chocolate with nuts
  • chocolate with spices
  • chocolate with tea
  • pure chocolate

Once you have completed your chocolate profile, you will be asked to enter in your first name, last name, email address, password, birthday, and an option to tell Chococurb how you heard about them. Pretty please….tell them you heard about them at Go Ask Your Daddy!

Once you hit the blue sign-up button, you are taken to the subscription page.  Here, you have two choices to choose from. The first choice is the Chococurb Mini Box, which comes with a personalized assortment of three gourmet, premium chocolate items each month. This choice starts at just $20 per month. The box I received, and will be reviewing today, is the Chococurb Classic Box. If you’re interested in ordering the Classic Box, select the blue choose button to proceed to check out.

You are presented with three different subscription choices:

  1. One month
  2. Three months
  3. Six months

Once you have selected your subscription, enter in your shipping address. If you have a promo code, which you do at the top of this review, enter it in the box and hit the blue apply button. You’ll then be given your subtotal and the total for your purchase.

Once you’ve entered in your shipping and billing information, you will then complete your purchase. From here on out, you will wait less than a week for your first personalized subscription box to arrive in the mail.

What came in my box:

I received 5 pieces of chocolate in the complementary subscription box that Chococurb sent me for review purposes:

  • Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate
  • Fran’s Macadamia Gold Bar
  • Pitch Dark Pinot Noir Salt & Chocolate
  • Amedi Toscano Blond
  • Theo Cinnamon Horchada

Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate 

Chococurb Classic Subscription Box Review and Coupon

Ingredients: Organic Cacao & Organic Cane Sugar

Weight: 2 oz (57g)

Value: $8.50

Taste Test Results: This one was my favorite of the 5 pieces because I enjoy very sweet chocolates with mixed in cherry flavors.


Fran’s Macadamia Gold Bar

Chococurb Classic Subscription Box Review and Coupon

Ingredients: Caramel and macadamia nuts covered in dark chocolate

Weight: 1.5 oz (42g)

Value:  $5

Taste Test Results: Not my overall favorite, but is one that tasted great and left me wanting for more. I normally like my chocolate without nuts, but this one is one I’d buy more of because it was the perfect mixture.


Pitch Dark Pinot Noir Salt & Chocolate

Chococurb Classic Subscription Box Review and Coupon

Ingredients: Cacao, cane sugar, cocoa butter, Jacobsen Pinot Noir Sea Salt

Weight: 1.86 oz (52.7g)

Value: $8.00

Taste Test Results: I’ve never been a fan of salty chocolate, and it remains true with this one. It just didn’t have the flavor I’d expect from a piece of chocolate I’m known to buy.


Amedi Toscano Blond

Chococurb Classic Subscription Box Review and Coupon

 

Chococurb Classic Subscription Box Review and Coupon

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter, dried fruit (10% peach, apricot), vanilla. Cocoa min. 63%. May contain traces of hazelnut, almond, pistachio, walnut, milk.

Weight: 50g

Value: $7.83

Taste Test Results: Absolutely perfect chocolate! I don’t normally associate fine chocolate coming from Italy, at least chocolate I’ve had in the past, but this one surprised me!  I would order this one again!


Theo Cinnamon Horchada

Chococurb Classic Subscription Box Review and Coupon

Ingredients: Cane Sugar+, Cocoa Beans+, Cocoa Butter+, Milk Powder, Crisped Brown Rice*, Crisped Quinoa+, Cinnamon+, Ground Vanilla Bean*+. CONTAINS: MILK
*Organic +Fair Trade Contains 79% FT Ingredients. Allergen Information: Manufactured on shared equipment with products containing eggs, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts.

Weight: 1.9 oz (53g)

Value: $3.00

Taste Test Results: Chocolate mixed with cinnamon and quinoa? Definitely a first for me, but surprisingly, was one of my favorite! Very tasty!


Overall Review: This is the very first chocolate subscription box I have tried, and honestly, I’m not one to pay $35 per month just for chocolate. I will say, though, that if you are a true chocolate connoisseur, Chococurb hits the sweet spot in terms of quality. These chocolates measure up to par with chocolates I had while traveling in Germany. I like that there are two boxes.  If the Classic box is a little out of your budget, the Mini box surely can satisfy both your sweet tooth and your wallet.  If you haven’t already, give Chococurb a try today with an exclusive 10% off coupon code for Go Ask Your Daddy readers – GOASK.

Check out all of my reviews here!

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

I can’t believe it’s almost Mother’s Day! Winter has flown by and now spring is in full bloom. You still have plenty of time to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift. If you are like me, coming up with a great gift idea every year can be a challenge.  Here are some great gift ideas surely to put a smile on mom’s face!

Flowers

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

There are always great deals on flowers for Mother’s Day. You can never go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of roses, lilies, or tulips. Many of the main stream florists will put out coupon codes especially for Mother’s Day. Search the web for the flower special for Mother’s Day and you’re sure to find great discounts. You can also never go wrong with a local florist. If you have a trusted shop you’ve used in the past, call them and ask if there is a repeat customer discount, or any other special discount available for Mother’s Day.

Breakfast in Bed

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

What mom doesn’t like to have breakfast in bed?  This is a very simple way to show mom how much you appreciate all that she does for the family. Have your dad help you make a simple breakfast items such as pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, and orange juice.

The most important thing about this gift is to not let mom do any of the work. If you are the husband, make this the first thing she sees in the morning. By now, hopefully you know what she likes and what she doesn’t like. Make the start of her day relaxing, tasting, and special! Men, you will have to wake up early to accomplish this. Take the time and make an effort to make this gift extra special for her!

A Spa Day

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

We have several local spas in the Dayton area that are top notch. They often provide special services for moms around the Mother’s Day holiday. All it takes is a phone call or a visit to local spas to find out what deals they have. I recommend scheduling her a massage and a pedicure. This is a gift that Mom will surely love and can use anytime she’s ready. Plus, it gives her time to herself to relax without the husband or kids for a while!

I’ve given my wife a spa day gift before, and it’s always been one of those gifts she almost always immediately uses. Be creative with the services you choose for her. Don’t be afraid to call and ask about the spa’s most popular services. Many spas offer monthly or annual memberships. This is a great opportunity to schedule these appointments for her ahead of time and all she has to do is show up. Great, huh?

Maid Service

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

OK, this may be one of the more expensive gifts to get mom for Mother’s Day, but can truly be something that she really enjoys. No mom will tell you she would not enjoy having a maid service come do a full cleaning of the house. Prices for maid services will depend on the size of your house, and the level of detail work you would like to have done. One good idea for this gift is to make it a surprise. Schedule the cleaning for a time when you know she’ll be out of the house, and when she returns home she’ll come home to a clean house. An instant Mother’s Day success!

One piece of advice for you if you do choose to hire a maid service to surprise your wife or mom is to call several companies to get comparative rates. Some companies book out well in advance, so know what you want and when you want it weeks before Mother’s Day. Some companies also only stay for a minimum. Decide what you want cleaned (I suggest the dirtiest spots in the house (kitchen, living room, bathrooms, KIDS’ ROOMS!)

Kids can contribute too!

It’s very important for dads to include the kids in with gift-giving on Mother’s Day. It’s easy to factor them out of the decision since they don’t usually have a lot of money saved for a gift. Gifts from kids can be personally-made free gifts that mom will love.

With the vast variety of social media networks out there, there are even more and more opportunities to give mom an electronic gift. There’s a great Mother’s Day song on Youtube that moms will surely love. Dads, help your kids craft a special email that falls into mom’s email box on Mother’s Day. When she watches the video, she’s sure to have a melted heart and a giant grin on her face.

Pinterest also has such a great selection of ideas. Simply perform a search for Mother’s Day gift ideas for kids, and you’ll be presented with more than you could possibly imagine. The key is to let your kids do the work and let them present it to mom on Mother’s Day. My mom always told me that the gift she loves the most were the gifts that my brother and I made for her. We don’t have to spend a lot of money to show mom how much we appreciate her. Just kids make from the heart are the ones that mom will treasure for years and years to come.

Don’t procrastinate

Great Mothers Day Gift Ideas

If you’re like any man, the tendency is there to procrastinate. The key to finding great gifts at a great price is to continue searching for the best coupon codes and the best services weeks before Mother’s Day. A lot of merchants put out their Mother’s Day products at least a month in advance. Do your research, decide what gift are going to buy, and don’t wait until the last minute.

Speak back

Are you a mother? What have been your favorite Mother’s Day gift? What ideas do you have that you could share with the readers today? Let us know in the comments below. I look forward to reading what you have to say!

Cats And Babies: 5 Things Every Expectant Parent Should Know

Cats And Babies: 5 Things Every Expectant Parent Should Know

If you’re expecting a baby, congratulations are in order! As you already know, it’s an exciting time in your life, and there’s so much to prepare for and think about before that memorable day (or night) when your offspring decides to make an appearance into the world!

One thing that some parents-to-be think about is the dynamic of their homes if they have a pet cat. As with most animals, cats can get confused if big changes are being made in their homes and they suddenly see a new human that spends most of their time in the same abode as them!

Cats And Babies: 5 Things Every Expectant Parent Should Know

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Unfortunately, some parents worry too much about what might happen, and so they decide to put their feline friends up for adoption before the arrival of their newborn babies. While that’s something you could do, it’s an extreme reaction! The good news is that cats and kids DO get along okay – as long as you do some preparation work beforehand. Here are some things all soon-to-be parents should know about babies and cats:

  1. Your home should be clean at all times

The last thing you want to do is introduce germs and bacteria to your newborn baby and make them ill at such a vulnerable time in their lives. As much as we don’t like to admit it, cats can make our homes dirty – especially when they bring fleas back home with them!

Luckily you can reduce the risk of that happening by keeping your home clean, including the area where your cat sleeps at night. And if your feline friend does have fleas, use some flea and tick drops on them to sort the problem out.

  1. You must get your cat used to the idea of a new human

One of the things on your to-do list will be to prepare a nursery room for your new offspring. Even though you may wish to get the work done as quickly as possible, it’s important to do it gradually from your cat’s point of view.

Taking such an approach will ease your cat into the idea that changes are afoot at home, and they can familiarize themselves with the new baby equipment such as cots and changing stations.

Cats And Babies: 5 Things Every Expectant Parent Should Know

Pixabay

  1. Give your cat some space

Once the new arrival comes home, your cat will most likely want to mark out his or her territory in your home.

What you can do is create an area of your home where your feline friend can spend their time alone without getting disturbed by the baby or anyone else for that matter.

Give your cat some toys to play with in “their” room or area, and include things like scratching posts and perches.

  1. Ban your cat from the nursery

It’s critical that you prevent your cat from entering the room where your baby will be sleeping. First of all, it ensures you maintain a clean environment for your newborn. And, secondly, the cat won’t try to sleep next to your baby.

  1. Supervise your cat and baby when they are together

One final thing to bear in mind is that babies should NEVER be left alone with cats under any circumstances! Whenever your cat wanders into the same room as your baby, be sure to keep a close eye on things.

Cats And Babies: 5 Things Every Expectant Parent Should Know

Pixabay

Outdoor Fun With The Kids

Outdoor Fun With The Kids

It’s getting to the time of the year when we can spend more time outdoors with our children. After all, the last few months we have been locked inside doing activities such as crafting and cooking. And while it can be educational and fun for kids, it can leave you longing for a bit of outdoor fun. Thankfully, now is the time where we can get some sun while having some fun. However, a lot of dads get stuck on what to do with their children. Therefore, here are some outdoor activities that your kids, and you, will love!

Go for a day out cycling with the kids

Now is the time to dust off those bikes as it’s a perfect time to do some cycling with the kids. After all, you can go out and enjoy the sun while taking in the local views. And biking is definitely something the whole family can get involved in. You can all get on your bikes and then follow a planned route. You can even stop for some lunch half-way at a park which is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your kids. And a bike ride is a great chance for you to bond with your kid. After all, you can talk while you are biking around the local area. And having something you both enjoy doing will ensure you get plenty of quality time together. Moreover, cycling is an active sport that will help you all to stay fit. Therefore, there is a ton of benefits for your health too!

Outdoor Fun With The Kids

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Take the kids on a hiking adventure

You can also enjoy the outdoors while having a great family day out by going hiking. After all, it can be a fun day out for the whole family. You get to enjoy amazing views while getting fit at the same time. And it’s the perfect way to enjoy the sunshine with your family. Of course, if you are going hiking, you need to make sure the kids have all the kit they require including a good pair of hiking boots. In fact, you can look online on websites like the FamilyFuntures site to ensure you get everything you need for the outdoor activities. And the kids are bound to love hiking so it can become a hobby you all enjoy doing together. To finish off the day with a bang, you might want to camp overnight. After all, you can all have fun around the campfire telling stories and singing songs. And the kids will love spending the night in their own tent!

Spend some time gardening in the yard

You don’t have to even leave your property to have some outdoor fun. You can head outside in the garden for a fun time doing some gardening with the kids. You might be surprised how much the kids actually enjoy digging and watering the plants. And if you set tasks such as planting certain flowers or vegetables, it can be a fun experience for all. In fact, the kids will love watching the fruit and veg growing over time. And then it can ensure they are more keen to eat them when they are fully grown!

And remember heading out to the park can be a fun activity for the whole family during the summer months!

Taking, Fetching and Carrying the Family: The Properties Your Car Must Possess

Taking, Fetching and Carrying the Family: The Properties Your Car Must Possess

Family cars are very important, and if you don’t have the right family car, you won’t be able to do all the things that your family demands. For example, how will you get your son to school or your daughter to her dance class? How will you get all the food home after the weekly grocery shop? These things all require a car that’s suitable for the family. But what are the most important features to look for when you’re seeking a new family car?

Space for Passengers and Whatever Else Needs to be Carried

Space is always one of the most important things to look for when the time comes to purchase a new car. If it’s not going to be big enough to accommodate your whole family, it’s probably not the right car for you to buy. Always test the space on offer before buying too. You can never get a proper feel for how much space a car has to offer by merely looking at some photos and judging it that way. You need to get up close and personal to see for yourself what it has to offer you and your family. Think about what you will be carrying and transporting, and whether the vehicle is suitable for those tasks.

Taking, Fetching and Carrying the Family: The Properties Your Car Must Possess

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Reliability All Year Round

Reliability is a pretty big deal when you have a family to think about. You need to be able to rely on your car to get you from A to B day after day. If it’s always breaking down and causing you problems, the routines that your family lives by will be thrown into chaos. No one wants that, so you need to think pretty carefully about this issue. There are some brands that are known to be more reliable than others. Many people head straight to a Volvo or Ford dealership when they want a reliable vehicle. But researching exact models and reading reviews is also important.

Taking, Fetching and Carrying the Family: The Properties Your Car Must Possess

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Safety Features to Protect Your Family

As we all know, the road is a pretty dangerous place, and you should keep this in mind when you are selecting a vehicle that’s going to be right for you. If you don’t think about important things like safety features, you might end up with a car that’s simply not cut out to keep your family as safe as they should be on the road. Think about all the modern features that the best cars have. It might be worth spending a bit more money if you can get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your car is going to keep your family safe.

Taking, Fetching and Carrying the Family: The Properties Your Car Must Possess

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Built-In Entertainment Options

Finally, you should think about the built-in entertainment options offered by your vehicle. If you’re going to be taking lots of long journeys with the family, keeping everyone entertained and quiet along the way can be important. That’s especially true if you have young kids who don’t particularly like being stuck in the car on long journeys. Having good entertainment options can make these family trips much more bearable.

Workout For Wimbledon

Workout For Wimbledon

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Top tennis players spend months preparing for the biggest tournament of the year, Wimbledon. That means that they start working out almost as soon as the previous year’s tournament ends. To succeed in Wimbledon, you have to be agile, extraordinary and determined. Now, there’s probably no one reading this article who’s competing in the tournament in July, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it as inspiration. Tennis is a great sport to take up for a variety of reasons.

First, it works out every area of your body. Swinging the racket will build up your upper arm strength and boost those chest muscles. While running around the court will increase your stamina dramatically, although the first couple of sets you’ll definitely be catching your breath.

Kids love it too so if you want to workout with your children this is a great opportunity. One of the brilliant things about tennis is that it’s easy to enjoy even if you don’t have much skill. You can send a few hits towards children that are soft enough and slow enough that they’ll be able to get the ball back across the net.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Because if you’re going to take up tennis, you need the right kit.

Perfect Racket

Finding the right racket for tennis is about two things. You need the perfect grip and a good spring in your racket. You want to make sure that you get that perfect bounce when the ball hits it that will easily send it flying at rocket speed. You might be surprised to learn that the secret behind some of the killer serves of the pros is just a great tennis racket.

Comfortable Sneakers

You’re certainly going to feel it if you’re not wearing the right shoes for the tennis court. They need to have enough give that your feet aren’t squeezed while still keeping them in place, so you don’t get blisters. Don’t forget, you’ll be diving around the tennis court a lot through a few sets even if they only last a couple of minutes. That can quickly cause agony with the wrong trainers. Luckily, Adidas online stores and other similar brands sell sneakers designed for tennis. They give you the right grip while still providing the ultimate level of comfort you need.

Energy In A Flask

Your final purchase? That should be a flask that you can store an energy drink and another one for water. You need both, one to keep you hydrated and the other to provide the kick for those strenuous lunges. You can’t jump a foot off the ground and swing the racket like lightening without the sugary goodness that energy drinks provide, that’s for sure. Don’t leave until you build up a sweat though. Those energy drinks are packed full with calories, and if you’re not working out properly, it will definitely affect your waistline.

Does tennis sound like a sport you should try this summer? We think if you give it a shot you’ll love the way it feels when you make that perfect serve.

 

Talent Ahoy! Investing In Your Child’s Passions

Talent Ahoy! Investing In Your Child’s Passions

When it comes to parenting, there are many things that you have to do, such as making sure they’re well educated, well fed, and can navigate the trials and tribulations of life. These are the bare requirements of your role as a parent, but it doesn’t end there. You’ll also need to be on hand to encourage your child’s passions and push them toward finding what they love doing in life.

Source: Pexels.com

Helping them Find Their Passion

That being said, pushing them to do what they love is usually harder than it sounds. Finding what one loves to do in life is no easy task, and it might mean a few wrong turns before your child really finds what it is they love. Generally, though, they’ll be giving the telltale signs that they love an activity when they’re doing it – and you should be on hand to steer them towards doing that activity more and more.

The First Investment

Sometimes, it’s not finding the passion that the child has a problem with – it’s that they don’t have the tools to actually do their own passion. Whatever it is, they’ll need your assistance to enable them to do it. For example, if they’re passionate about sport then they’ll need you to drive them to their practices and games. If they find their passion in plucking guitar strings, you’ll need to find them a guitar that’ll enable them to pluck, pluck, pluck away.

Encouraging their Growth

Sometimes, a child has an initial burst of enthusiasm and then quickly loses interest – not because they’ve lost the passion, but because there are so many other things going on in their life. Their guitar might be just one of many items they have in their cupboard, for example. While you don’t want to become a pushy parent, you can push a little bit to ensure they stay on top of their passion. If your child really doesn’t want to do it, don’t worry – they’ll tell you. But it might just be that all they needed was a little nudge in the right direction to get back on track.

Stepping Up

Until your child is an adult and has their own job and money, it’ll continue to be your job to support their passion by investing in the hardware they need to be able to do it to a good standard. It’s about getting more refined, going beyond the entry level tools and becoming a little more specialized. It’s all about finding the right tool for them. For example, if they’re a guitarist, take a look at Epiphone Les Paul Standard review: to buy or not to buy? If you’ve got a little writer on your hands, take a look at the best affordable typewriters to buy. With the right tools, they’ll be able to get better and better.

Source: Pexels.com

Keeping Distractions at Bay

There comes an age in every child’s life when, no matter how passionate or natural talent they may have, they simply won’t have the same enthusiasm for their hobbies. We’re talking, of course, about those troublesome teenage years when hormones and everything else are flying around their bodies and social lives. It’s at this stage when most people give up on their hobbies. While you can’t expect them to show the same level of dedication (there’s much more going on in their lives now), you should endeavor to at least make sure they keep up with their hobbies. If they don’t, they’ll regret it later in life.

Knowing When To Quit

That being said, sometimes it does happen that a hobby can run its course. Just because a person did something in their youth, it doesn’t mean they should be bound to it for the rest of their days. It’s just important that the decision isn’t taken lightly. This is less important if they’re just putting their hobby in the cupboard for a while, but important if they’re actively giving up on something – say, a band or sporting team. If they’re genuinely not enjoying it anymore, however, then moving on to the next passion will be the most sensible solution.

Paying Back

In the end, you’re going to have to show a lot of selfless dedication when it comes to nurturing your child’s hobby. But hey – ‘selfless dedication’ is essentially your job description as a parent anyway! Keep them on the right path, push them when it’s necessary, and enjoy watching the journey they’re on. They might not make it to the very top, but they might – whatever happens, they’ll have you to think for getting them started.

How to Start a Blog in 2017

How to Start a Blog in 2017

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a little bit of pocket change to keep this blog up and running when you make a purchase through them.  Thanks as always for your support!

Crazy 8 Sale On Now!

There are millions upon millions of blogs in the world. If you’ve finally decided to take the opportunity to earn some extra income by blogging, this is the post for you. My goal today is to explain the critical steps necessary to getting off to a strong start in the blogging world

I’m relatively new to the blogging world. I didn’t start until late 2015. At that time, my blog wasn’t about making money, but more about documenting my experiences as a dad of 4 kids. As I slowly got acquainted to the blogging world, I quickly began to realize that I needed to do more than just write.

Why Start A Blog in 2017?

There are many reasons you would want to start a blog. Here are a few of those:

  • Make money – Most people start a blog as a way to earn a full-time income, or to supplement existing income.  Blogging has a very low startup cost and the level of knowledge needed to succeed is relatively low. This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy. Running a blog is hard work and takes a lot of time and effort.
  • Promote your business – If you already have a business, starting a blog is a great way to promote the business and connect with your clients.
  • Connect with others – Blogging is a fantastic way to build common ground, touch lives, and form communities of like-minded individuals. I can’t tell you how valuable the new connections I’ve made are to the success of my blog.

Steps to get up and running today

Here are the main topics we’ll touch on today.  After reading these steps, you should be able to have your blog up and running within minutes.

  1. Determine your subject matter
  2. Decide on a platform
  3. Choose a web hosting provider
  4. Find a creative domain name
  5. Choose a theme
  6. Write your first post
  7. Share your posts
  8. Incorporate affiliate links
  9. Continuously improve

Determine your subject matter

The very first step in starting a blog is figuring out what you are going to write about.  I don’t care if you are the most popular person in the world, if you write about lame and boring topics, no one is going to waste time reading what you have to say. You must choose what you are going to focus on before you move any further in the process, because the theme and domain name of your blog will depend on this. My blog, Go Ask Your Daddy, focuses on several topics that I know a lot about – blogging tools and tips, parenting tips from a dad’s perspective, and the Catholic faith.

You need to do a lot of research before you decide on your niche. Find out what subject matter does well. Know your audience – who are you talking to?  My blog caters to several types of audiences. For the blogging tips, it caters to just about anyone curious about starting and promoting a blog.  I’ve found that mostly women between the ages of 25-35 are interested in what I have to say on parenting topics. The key to succeeding in your niche is knowing who you are gearing your content to, and catering your posts to them.

Decide on a blogging platform

Okay, so you’ve chosen your niche.  Great!  The next step is determining how you are going to produce your content. There are several options available to choose from, so do your research ahead of time and choose the one that suits your needs the most. Watch out for the free services. Yes, they are free, which is good for some things, but let me tell you from experience, free is not always the best route to go. If you are looking to make a name for yourself and rise among the professional bloggers, free is the wrong way to go. WordPress does offer a free version, but as I’ve said before in previous posts, you don’t want to use a domain name that’s obviously free.

I use WordPress, have used WordPress for 2 years, and don’t plan on using anything but WordPress in the future. WordPress is the industry standard for blogging. It has a little bit of a learning curve, but is very effective in doing everything you need to do to run a successful blog. You’ll see two types of WordPress sites out there today. WordPress.com and WordPress.org.  Wordpress.com is not a self-hosted option, which means you are limited in what you can do and the income you can earn. WordPress.org means you are self-hosted and can do more in terms of options and income. Choose wisely!

Choose a web hosting provider

One of the most critical decisions you need to make when starting a blog is in choosing a web hosting provider. A web hosting company provides you with the online space to publish your blog. You will store all of your online files through your hosting company.

There are many, many providers out there.  If you don’t do research on anything else I tell you today, do your research on web hosting companies. Your hosting plan can make or break your blog very easily. If you have a hosting provider that is notoriously slow and/or down, your blog will suffer.

I started my blog using Bluehost. I found them to be very reliable and also found a lot of my blogging friends used them as well. They have good options, fast and reliable speed, and their customer support is top-notch. When my year was up with them, I was angered to see a major increase in the cost of my hosting, which caused me to have to go to another provider – eHost. I hadn’t heard too much about eHost, so I was initially skeptical about switching to them.  eHost has been very stable and their range of options are wide. The only complaint I have after the last few months is that their technical support responses have been slow by email. I recommend using their live chat vs sending them an email.

Find a creative domain name

Most of the time, you can choose your domain name at the same time you are signing up for web hosting, but this isn’t always the case. If you find a cheaper price elsewhere, but want to host it with another company, you can, but I find it easier to do everything with a one-stop shop. Your domain name is the web address people will type in to find your blog. Mine is www.goaskyourdaddy.com.

Be creative when you are choosing a domain name. Some bloggers go with their actual name, while others use a creative name. I chose www.goaskyourdaddy.com because I knew people would know I’m a daddy blogger, and it’s easy to remember. Make sure you select a domain name that relates to your niche. It’s going to go EVERYWHERE  – in email signatures, in Facebook groups, on media kits and business cards, etc. Choose wisely!

Choose a theme

Since I use WordPress, I have access to THOUSANDS of creative themes for my blog. WordPress makes it easy to browse for themes inside of the dashboard. What I like most about it is that you can filter down to the features you want the theme to have. This saves a lot of time browsing through themes that don’t meet your needs.  Right now, I’m using the light version of my theme, but plan on upgrading to the pro soon. Your theme should reflect your blog’s niche.  There are some themes that are too noisy in terms of color and features – steer clear of these. Make sure your theme provides you with all the tools you need to set your blog up to your expectations. Most of the time, you’ll have to invest a little money here. It’s money well-spent!

Write your first post

Now that your blog is ready to go, it’s time to write your first post. I do want to admit that my very first post sucked badly. This is because I had no clue in how to structure a blog post. Now that I’ve done my research on the best ways to structure blog posts, readers have given me positive feedback. My trick in structuring my blog posts is by using an outline. An outline allows you time to think about where you want to place your headers and links, and gives you time to analyze the structure before you write it down. Outlines do take a little extra time, but in my opinion are worth every second because it makes the post much easier to read and follow.

In WordPress, you have the option to save as a draft, which is a great feature if you like to write in pieces and then come back to finish up. There are several other options you’ll want to pay attention to as you are creating your post.

  • Categories – Categories are like the table of contents in a book. Let’s use my site for an example of how categories work. Look to the right of this post into my sidebar. You’ll see a drop down menu called “Categories.” Let’s say you want to see every post I’ve written about sports. I created a “Sports” category and selected it every time I wrote a sports-related blog post. If you select “Sports” from the Category menu, you’ll be presented with any post I’ve written about Sports. Go ahead and try it, but come back to this post!
  • Tags – Tags are more like an index than a table of contents. Tags are keywords that tell the reader what the post is about. Go ahead and scroll to the bottom of this post. You’ll see I’ve included several tags that tie to the subject matter of this post. Tags are also a good way to group related posts. Think of them as being just like hashtags on Twitter. If you click on a hashtag in Twitter, you’ll be presented with any posts that include that tag. It’s a great way to read related content.
  • Featured Image – The featured image is the image that will show up at the top of your blog post.  Look at the top of this post. Do you see the very cool image I’ve created for this post?  That’s the featured image.  Whenever you share your post, unless you’ve told WordPress to use a different image, by default, it will use the featured image. I use a creative featured image for every blog post.
  • Sharing –  Under the featured image is an option to select which social media sites you want to share the post to once you’ve hit publish. While you can connect to any service you want, I usually share to the big boys – Facebook and Twitter.
  • Post format – I don’t mess with this feature very much, but can be useful depending on the type of post you are writing. If you are only posting an image or a video, this feature will format the post to that particular medium. Since I primarily post in regular text and images, I leave this setting at “Standard.”

Share your posts

You’ve spent hours writing and perfecting your post before publishing it. The next step is critical in getting readers to it. I always share my posts through a variety of mediums: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Flipboard, etc. I take the extra steps in sharing my new post inside the many Facebook groups in which I participate.

Incorporate affiliate links

If you are looking to make income with your blog, and don’t want to rely on Google Adsense, affiliate links are fantastic income producers. If you find the opportunity to incorporate an affiliate link to promote a product that relates to your post, do it. I wrote a very informative post on how to make the most of affiliate links. I recommend checking it out, as well as my post on how to make passive income with affiliate marketing.

I’m a big supporter of ShareASale. They are one of the best networks out there with thousands of approved merchants. I wrote a review of ShareASale earlier this year so if you are trying to decide whether or not to check them out, read the review to help make that decision.

Continuously improve

I hope you’ve found this post helpful.  One more piece of I advice I have for you is to always be willing to change things up and find ways to improve.  Stay updated on the latest blogging trends and always look for ways to stick out above the competition. There are so many ways to get your content out there. I’m currently writing an Ebook composed of all of my blogging posts.  This post will be in it as well. The Ebook will allow me to share my content even more.

If you have any questions about how to start a blog (that I didn’t answer today), feel free to email me at jeremy@goaskyourdaddy.com.

Vacations For The Family Low On Money And Ideas

Vacations For The Family Low On Money And Ideas

A family vacation isn’t just something the kids want, for a change; it’s something the parents want too. In fact, when it gets to that point of the year, a vacation is something the family needs. Of course, given that most vacations seem to cost the moon and the earth (and must actually be a vacation to the moon and back at some of the prices you see), you might be finding that you and the family are running a little short on ideas of places to go. With all the best deals getting snapped up early, here are some of the best vacation ideas for families who don’t want to break the bank but need suggestions now.

Vacations For The Family Low On Money And Ideas

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Real activities.

Seeing as many families spend a lot of money to spend their vacation lazing in front of a pool or on a beach, perhaps your family could use this opportunity, whilst you’re a little low in the bank of money and ideas, to make a vacation out of adventurous activities. If you want to spend some quality time together as a family, watching a film or sleeping on a lounger in some sunny country isn’t the best way for you all to have fun together. Going on a hiking or rafting trip, might be.

There’s so much you can do without travelling too far if you just get a little creative. If travelling abroad seems a little costly this year, then you can make up for that by spending more on an adventure course, rock climbing or any activity which will get the family together and laughing, even if you’re not a team of super athletic people.

Camping.

It’s always nice to take a little time away from the built-up, noisy, electronic world to embrace mother nature now and then, and there’s no better way to really get back to your roots than by heading off on a camping trip with the family. ‘Camping’ is a broad term, so you could either rough it in the woods or join a more public setting if the family don’t like that idea. Either way, this could be turned into a far more enjoyable experience than sitting in a tent. Camping near an adventurous trail or near a tranquil lake could really give the family something fun to do during the day, and you could even consider fishing in a charter boat with other people if you’ve camped in a popular area.

Vacations For The Family Low On Money And Ideas

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Stay local.

Whilst we all become accustomed to our neighborhoods and start to take them for granted, you might surprise yourself if you and your family take a local trip to a nearby park, site of historical significance or perhaps just a nearby town or city which has lots to see and do. We often give little thought to the interesting things on our doorstep because we have so much to do in our busy lives, but you could really take this opportunity to explore your local area with the family and save money whilst adventuring.

Tips For A Frugal And Fun Family Vacation

Tips For A Frugal And Fun Family Vacation

Tips For A Frugal And Fun Family Vacation

Credit: Max Pixel

Vacations are more or less a staple of family life. Whether it’s a weekend at grandma’s house or Disney World, almost everyone has a lot of fun memories where the whole family went off on some big adventure. The only bad thing about family vacations is that they can get expensive. You may not be able to take your kids to some 10th-century monasteries in Europe or go on an African safari, but there are still many ways to have a wonderful vacation on a budget…

Staycations

You may have been overlooking them for a long time, but there are probably tons of great places to visit in your own backyard. Whether it’s a site of historical interest, a national park, or some fun museums in a nearby city, by staying at home or booking accommodation somewhere nearby, you’ll be able to create some precious memories without having to pay a small fortune for travel. Start researching some cheap tours or attractions, and ask the staff at your hotel about places where local residents can get a discount. One of the best ways to plan a great staycation is through websites like Livingsocial, which catalog fantastic discounts on everything from food to accommodation to activities.

Try to Be Active!

Tips For A Frugal And Fun Family Vacation

Credit: Wikimedia

If you take a step back and think about it, you’ll find that all the most expensive activities you’d typically do on a vacation are passive. It costs a pretty penny to see a live show, catch a ball game, or spend a day at a theme park. However, these don’t always offer the best opportunities to bond with your family, which is what vacations are really all about. Camping, cycling, fishing and similar activities are all great ways to have fun with the family on a budget. Sure, you’ll need a few essentials like this Browning Camping family tent, but in the long run, you’ll save a lot compared to what you’d spend on a more typical family vacation. Aside from the big savings, tending towards more active days out will give you more of a chance to talk and connect with your family.

Bundle Up

On the surface, it may be seem more cost-effective to look for the best deals on travel, accommodation, and activities separately. However, families can save a lot of money by booking their vacation as a full package deal. Sites such as Expedia give you all kinds of great resources for comparing different package deals, and so can your local travel agency. Many travel agents come across fantastic deals which simply can’t be found online. Sometimes, you can even get the best deals on visiting a certain destination by going straight through the airline. These kinds of deals can be few and far between, but if you’re able to get them, you can save hundreds of dollars compared to what you’d spend by booking flights, accommodation and so on separately. To make sure you’re getting the cheapest deal possible, start off by pricing each thing separately, then compare the total to any package deals you come across.

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

With all the responsibilities that traveling involves, including your papers, insurance, tickets, accommodation, local sightseeing tickets, and other important details, it’s almost impossible to think about maintaining your fitness regime while visiting another country with your kids. In all fairness, that’s difficult even in your hometown when you consider all the things parenthood involves on a daily basis!

Still, people have tried and succeeded in staying physically active while traveling. So, before you pack your bags and make peace with the fact that you won’t be able to work up a sweat during your travel, take a look at these simple tips on incorporating a workout into your trip without compromising your family fun time!

Include it in your itinerary

If you’re visiting the French countryside or a Swiss mountain range, there will be countless options for hiking, biking or even mountain climbing for the bravest among you! For example, there are family-friendly trails in Austria that can be physically demanding, but you can always hire an experienced  professional, who’ll help you to enjoy the local wildlife and beautiful landscapes.

Then again, playing football on a Copacabana beach with the locals or fellow travelers can be a memorable experience, a perfect chance for you to embarrass yourself in front of your kids and an ideal way to work out while experiencing life in a new culture. What more could you ask for from a perfect family vacation?

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

Exercise before breakfast

Even though you might try to use jetlag as an excuse, or the fact that you can’t be held accountable for your own actions before that first cup of coffee, including a quick bodyweight workout is a perfect way to turn your exercising into a travel habit. If there’s a park or a beach right next to where you’re staying, you can step out for a quick jog, and a few sets of pullups and pushups.

Make sure to include a brief warmup and cooldown routine to complement your exercises because you don’t want to get injured during your stay in a foreign country. Moderate morning workouts can give you the perfect energy boost for the rest of your day and help you manage your weight when you’re tempted to dive into insanely large portions of the local cuisine.

Explore local options

Visiting a completely new, exotic destination can tempt you away from your regular fitness routine, but there are creative ways you can use the local offers and turn it into a fun activity you won’t even perceive as an exercise plan! For example, visiting Australia usually ends up with entire families hurrying to see the monumental city architecture, unique culture, and untamed nature as much as possible.

To get an even more intimate taste of the Aussie lifestyle, join the local runners on the gorgeous Sydney or Adelaide coastline, explore their pristine parks. However, if you insist on sticking to your original fitness plan, you can look for some local fitness trainers in Adelaide that can motivate you and make sure you don’t skip a single workout in your routine!

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

Get your kids involved

If you’re traveling with toddlers and very young kids, it can be tricky to include them into your exercise regime, simply because they wouldn’t be able to keep up and you’d have to keep an eye on them all the time, making it almost impossible to stay true to your plan. However, some kids are tireless dancers and they can always challenge you to explore new moves and steps that a typical grownup would never think of.

Luckily, there are other ways you can use your traveling time to work out. The local playground is a perfect field for you to experiment with your training and include your kids in the process. Mix and match various activities to get the most out of your journey while still staying active. A good example is taking your kids for a long walk and taking photography breaks that will give them just enough time to rest. Playing volleyball or water polo as a family, or swimming with your kids can be surprisingly taxing and fun at the same time!

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

Whether you decide to keep your kids busy with drawing or playing in the sand while you and your better half find an innovative solution for working out, or you decide to motivate them to tag along, there is no valid excuse for taking a break from your fitness routine while traveling as a family.

Think and plan ahead, research the country you’re visiting and you’ll find a perfect way to keep those pesky pounds at bay. Who knows, maybe you will discover a new fitness passion during your travels and learn a new skill that you can continue perfecting even when you return home.

Coming Closer Together: Fostering Community in Your Church

Coming Closer Together: Fostering Community in Your Church

Credit to VinnyCiro

For many people, attending church gives them a chance to be involved in a community. Some might not have other places where they feel like they’re part of a community of like-minded people. Ensuring that your church offers a place where everyone feels welcome and surrounded by people who support them is an important part of sharing your faith with each other. If you want to foster community within your church, there are several ways you can do it with structured planning and with more organic approaches. Try these ways to strengthen the community in your church and create a supportive network of people with a shared faith.

Supporting Church Members

Churches often aim to be supportive communities, where members of the congregation can find comfort, as well as practical help. There are lots of ways that everyone in the church can support each other when help is needed. Some churches offer support groups addressing various issues that help people in the congregation, as well as the wider community. Other churches might have advice available on a range of life issues, perhaps through their website or other materials. Being there for church members who are struggling is always helpful. For example, if someone is ill or grieving, bringing them meals can be a practical thing that helps.

Church Activities

Some churches don’t want to make the structure of their community too rigid. But even if you want to avoid having a strict schedule of events, you can still arrange regular activities and things to do. Of course, there are important dates when you might arrange community events to celebrate and recognize your faith. You can also organize activities outside of these dates as fun things to do that don’t necessarily have anything to do with the church directly. A church cookout or a bowling trip for younger members can be great opportunities to get to know each other.

Coming Closer Together: Fostering Community in Your Church

Credit to VinnyCiro

Organize a Church Retreat

If you want to go beyond short activities now and then, another idea is a church retreat. It can be a chance to connect with and explore your faith, while at the same time getting closer to other members of your church. Spending time living together for a couple of days can help you to understand each other better and see how everyone acts outside of church. There are some Christian retreat centers you could choose from, which make a useful base for a conference or a more fun family trip. Consider the purpose of the retreat and how it will help your church community.

Encourage Involvement from Everyone

If a church community is to flourish, it’s important for everyone to get involved. Individuals need to make an effort to take an interest in each other, be supportive and be a part of the community in any way they are able. It’s hard for a community to stay together if only a few people make an effort.

The church offers a strong sense of community to many people, so helping the community aspect along can be valuable to everyone.