Help me, Puh-lease?

I’m at a crossroads in my blogging journey and I’d love some help. Simplify, Live, Love has changed a lot since I first started blogging almost two years ago from sharing deals and my tips for frugal living, to sharing green living tips, gardening successes and failures, homeschooling exploits and a lot more. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed since trying my hand at getting my blog to earn a little money, actually. Just being honest here – but I’m a little lost and I’d love to know why YOU read my blog. What do you like?


Green Living Tips?

Frugal Living Tips?



Iowa Information?


Grammar Tips?

Do you think I compromise my integrity by including sponsored posts that pay me for my content? While I try hard to only promote products that meet my standards, I sometimes feel that perhaps I shouldn’t blog about this, that, or the other topic just because I’m being paid to do so.

I’m really not sure how many people actually read my blog regularly and I’d love to have your input as I struggle to find a balance between taking care of my family, teaching online college classes, homeschooling, and attempting to keep a clean house.

It seems when my blog is going great, my family suffers. When my family is my priority, my blogging suffers. I need to find a balance. If you happen to be a regular reader, can you please comment and let me know what you enjoy reading most of all so I can prioritize my life?


Thank YOU so much!!



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  1. Good morning, Micbelle! I absolutely love your grammar tips. I have fun figuring out the grammatical errors in a sign you see at WalMart or the like. I also love the recipe plus the frugal and green living tips. I don't believe you are compromising your integrity by getting paid for a review. I'm a fairly new subscriber to your blog and you strike me as an honest person. The company isn't telling you what to write about the product and you are entitled to be paid for your time spent in testing the product and writing your review of it. I look forward to any changes you make to your blog. Your family definitely is your priority, especially with homeschooling. I hope you have a blessed day and thank you for the hard work you put into this blog!
    • Marcella, Thanks so much for your comment!! I really like blogging. I'm just trying to figure it all out. It's been a while since I've shared a recipe. I need to get cooking!! :-)
  2. Thank you for your blog! I hope you are able to find a balance in your life. Do what works best for you and your family. I think that my favorite topics are the frugal living and recipes. I enjoy the gardening section too during the summer. I don't have a problem with sponsored posts. I'm glad that you are able to receive some money for your blog.
    • Thanks, Kathy! I certainly don't earn a ton of money doing it, and I blog because I really enjoy blogging,not to make a ton of money. But I'm not going to lie, a little extra money is always welcome!
  3. I'm a fan of your recipes and your meal plans - both very impressive. When I'm stuck in a rut and trying to figure out what in the world we are going to eat this week, I always come to your blog! Your waffle recipe is a staple in our family! I downloaded a free SEO plug-in for my wordpress (self-hosted) blog and I can see exactly how many hits I get everyday - and where they came from. I get the most traffic when I participate in blog hops (linkys) and get hits from my FB page. The plug-in is AWESOME is you're trying to see what posts get the most views. I think paid review are awesome -- you work hard to become good at what you do. If your expertise sends a paid review your way, then go for it! Love your blog! Best wishes!
    • Hi Christy, I have analytics on my blog too and am always curious which posts get the most traffic. I'm just still unclear on the whole thing. I have a lot to learn. Thanks for your comment! All of these lovely comments made my day. :-)
  4. I like a bit of all the things you write about, especially homeschooling and family/life stuff.. I have no problem reading sponsored articles, because I think it is just like receiving a recommendation from a friend from a product: they may not all apply to me, but it's nice to know a little bit more about x-product in case I'm ever in need of something like it:) It is especially nice to know that you won't just write a sponsored review if the item isn't in line with your personal life choices.. I simply enjoy your writing style, or I wouldn't be here, lol:)
    • Awwww - I love all these wonderful comments. I do have a giveaway coming up that I'm not sure why I agreed to it, but ah well. Live and learn! I won't recommended the products...and you'll know when you see the post! ;-)
  5. From the first time I visited your blog (for a Patagonia giveaway!) I knew you were one of those people with whom I felt an affinity -- which is, for me, at the top of my list of reasons to keep coming back. You're the all-American girl in flyover country who personifies excellence (that is how I see your blog and your character/nature)and reflects my own values, and I know that whatever your topic du jour it will be interesting and worth my time to visit and read your latest. My feedback, in a nutshell, is that you have accomplished what I think so many bloggers miss've gained my trust as a reader almost from the start just by being authentic and writing about your own life and interests. (Your its'/it's post hit the mark with me; I am appalled at what has happened to education in our country! And your Goodwill post -- I have done the same thing for Halloween with my kids. Your ghost story post kept me coming back for many visits to read the updates, too. ) So, that part about my trust being said, I enjoy your blog as-is. And heck yes, I love the giveaways and would enjoy seeing more if that is where you wish to go, especially if it will bring in more $'s for your family and help with your budget. Sponsored reviews have guided me toward purchasing decisions quite often since I discovered them in bloggie-world and for the most part I see it as a win-win for the sponsor and the blogger. I say go for it. I'll definitely be reading them. If it helps to know this, I will add that almost all of my visits to your place are prompted by your newsletters in my inbox. I read the entire thing, every one you send.
  6. Ah, blogger "growing pains". I think we all have them from time to time, when things get a little out of balance between blogging and whatever else is going on in our lives. In my experience, it all tends to work itself out on its own. Maybe a short blogging break is all you need to have a clearer idea where you want to go. I, too, first found your blog from the Patagonia giveaway. I have you in my Google reader list and read every post, although I don't comment often. Maybe it's because we cover much the same types of topics, but I enjoy all of what you have to say.
  7. I really enjoy the frugal living asspect of your blog. Also the green living, and meal planning. I think all of those go long with frugal living :) I have no problem with sponser paid post. If it helps you earn extra money I say go for it!
  8. My favorite posts are recipes, frugal living,and gardening. I have no problem with giveaways or sponsored posts. I personally dont read the grammar tips so if you cut anything that would be my suggestion.
  9. Favorite?Hum that is a hard one because there are so many elements in your blog that i love. I know i love the pictures and the experiences you and your family go through.I love the recipes Yummy.I love the grammar tips/homeschooling because this is something Iam considering doing for the first time with my daughter.I have never been Iowa but iam trying to be a world traveler LOL . Trying LOL ! however if you need a break from the blog to deal with family or personal affairs i think you should do so and i will be waiting your return.I think you are doing a great job ,your kids look happy and you seem very involved with the lives of your family. i personal cant see how bloggers can post everyday ,respond to emails and find sponsers and be a full time stay at home parent and homeschool,and all the stuff you do. Bravo!please excuse all typos and stuff,my keyboard has missing keys.
  10. Hmm, I LOVE grammar tips b/c those things drive me crazy! Also frugal living and homeschooling...oh, and recipes. Guess that doesn't narrow it down much, huh? I have no idea how you do what you do and w/four kids!

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