Sunday Review- Grammarly Product Review

* This post contains affiliate links, please check my disclosure.

Today we are shining the spotlight on a terrific tool for checking your grammar and proofreading your content: Grammarly of course!

If you are a blogger, author or do any kind of writing, you need this tool in your toolkit.

I have been with Grammarly for a few years now, I use the free version and it has served its purpose perfectly. If you write articles, blog posts or any other kind of content, you really need this fantastic tool.

Grammarly automatically checks for mistakes, corrects misspelled words and underlines potential grammatical errors so you don’t publish sub-par copy.

Grammarly sends you periodic updates!

For those who don’t have a handle on the English language or for those not necessarily paying attention in language class, this is the tool for you!

Here are a few of the ways Grammarly helps writers:

  • Identifies confused prepositions
  • Locates wordy sentences
  • Helps identify overuse of the passive voice

Some program’s built-in grammar checkers do not catch the same mistakes that Grammarly can. Do you know what a squinting modifier us? Grammarly does and tells you when not to use it.

You can start writing directly into Grammarly’s Microsoft Office just like any other document platform. (like Word) Or, if you use Word or want to write directly on a particular platform, Grammarly still checks your work and proofreads your copy. How cool is that?

Another useful feature is that Grammarly has a plagiarism checker, for those who do lot’s of research, that could come in handy. It also sends a monthly report on your use of the tool/app which keeps you on track with your writing goals.

The only downside is that it still won’t completely replace a human proofreader, however, for .02 cents a word, you can use its dashboard to send your work to a human to edit it. Still, it’s a whole lot better than having no extra set of eyes to double check your work for mistakes.

It even helped me correct this here review!

 

The bottom line is Grammarly is a great tool just like it is, but by upgrading to the premium version you will get 250 more checks which could find even more mistakes.

The paid version will also check for misplaced words and incorrect sentence structure. It will also give you contextual vocabulary enhancements to diversify your writing.

They offer discounts for some paid plans, you can see from the screenshot that paying for a whole year will save you big money in the long run…more than half the regular monthly price!

Click on any link and go check out Grammarly for yourself and see how error proof your writing can be.
Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and or trust

Day 271-Free Days-Thanks, Promised Recap & A Plea

*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure. 

Good morning from a windy, chilly patio! Thank you for all of your prayers, they worked! Although we were chilly outside and even wrapped up in blankets in front of fires and heaters outside, it did not rain or storm as predicted! I’m happy to report that the fish fry went off without a hitch and a good time was had by all.

The cool outdoor setup
Us girls huddled in the corner enjoying some time around the heater together!
My boy and me-notice he has no jacket or sweater…again!
Troy and Tisa enjoying the warmth of the kitchen
Told you it was cold! Hermania and Mel cuddling!
Julie’s beautiful granddaughter Carli and her boy, Stryker

Now to some sad news. I’m seeing less reader comments and likes than I have previously enjoyed, and no one at all commented on the product review I did- does this mean you don’t like what I’m writing about, or did everyone just slow down in their own blogosphere? I’m not sure, but a girl sure could use some help over here! Throw me a bone will ya? I realize that so far my product/service reviews have been about things writing related, however, I assure you that I will get to products I use in my daily life like the types of essential oils or food choices we make here on the patio.

I would welcome any suggestions/comments at all! As I continue to work on the direction of my blog/business, I only know this for sure: I just want to help you in whatever way I can. So, I need feedback to know what that is. For now, I will plan May’s calendar pretty much the same way it has been unless you have other ideas for new features or clue me in to the kind of content you want/need me to provide.

I realize also that everyone is busy in their own lives/businesses and there is a lot going on in the writing world. I have been so busy myself finishing the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and working on my website that I haven’t been doing much in the way of creative writing (like on Medium or Prose) except for here on the blog on Fridays.

Before I go, I will tell you, I have one more writing related review over on Products From The Patio, and I really love it, you may use it yourself with your own websites/blogs. It’s for Grammarly the grammar checking service I use. I would again appreciate any feedback you would offer, and I would love for you to check out the review and just let me know what you think about the website in general.

Now I really have to go, Dave is trying to work on the game room/man cave and he’s banging things around which really means, he’s ready for me to come and help out! See you all here tomorrow on a hopefully much warmer patio!

 
*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and or trust.

Saturday Spotlight-Why You Need Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course-(Product Review)

*This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure.

Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world in a recreational vehicle, taking your work with you wherever you go? That is how my friend and creator of the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing rolls. You could be living the dream, just like her! With this course, you will find out just how she went from nothing to making over $50,000 a month in affiliate income.

Do you want to learn all the tricks that make her a successful blogger,  how to monetize your blog and stop leaving money on the table? Then you need to check out this course! I just finished it recently and have already started implementing the lessons she taught me.

Michelle started out like many of us, just blogging along, scared to try something new for fear she would scare off her readers. She thought it would be a waste of time to try affiliate marketing or that it would be too hard. Now she makes money while she sleeps, and she can teach you how to do the same.  She will show you the exact steps she took to earn $300,000 from one blog post!

Once you enroll in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, you will learn everything you need to know about affiliate marketing like:

  • What it is and how it works
  • Why it is so great
  • How to pick the right affiliate products to promote
  • How to increase conversions
  • How to build trust and not lose followers
  • Required disclosures you need to learn
  • The one major tool you need for affiliate marketing
  • Several strategies for promoting your affiliate products
  • How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing

All of this and so much more can be yours, which is why you need this course if you want to make your dreams come true. Here is what you will get for one low price:

  1. Six modules
  2. 30 lessons
  3. Over 20 worksheets
  4. Bonuses
  5. Even a helpful Facebook group where you can talk to her and other students, compare notes, share success stories and more!

For less than a set of new tires, you can be rolling toward a new career. If you want to take your blog to the next level, start earning money and stop leaving it on the table, you owe it to yourself to get this course. You will even be welcome to join her affiliate program when you complete the course because that’s what it’s all about!

Now, to be honest, it does take time- this is not a get rich quick scheme, just have a little patience and all of your hard work will be rewarded. I know I want to be able to work from anywhere, even if that place is at home, in my pajamas! Michelle can teach you everything you need to know to make that dream a reality. Try Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing today and I’ll be seeing you in the Facebook group!

 

*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and/or trust.

 

Day 270-Free Days-Hoping Mother Nature Changes Her Mind

*This post may contain affiliate links, please read my disclosure.

Good morning everyone and how are you this muggy Saturday morning? We have evening plans ourselves, so naturally, Mother Nature has other ideas, threatening to rain on our fish fry, so to say. Actually,  it isn’t our fish fry, it is our friend Julie’s- still, I hate for her to have her outside fun have to move indoors. Say a prayer for better weather will you, that would be great!

Photo credit: Pixabay

We are also trying desperately to get our next home improvement ready (the game room renovation) so it is ready for the big party that is coming up next month. We have much work to do outside as well, this stormy weather is keeping us from making progress though. Maybe we will get lucky and sneak some work in before it arrives. Currently, it is super windy, warm and muggy-the perfect set up for spring storms in Texas. 🙁

I also wanted to tell you about my Saturday Spotlight over at Products From the Patio– today I did a product review on Michelle Gardner’s course I just took Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I would so appreciate it if you would all give it a read and give me some honest feedback.

Thanks in advance for your prayers as well as your comments and suggestions on my product review. Have a fabulous day and I hope Mother Nature is good to all of you today! I promise to update later on how the fish gets fried, join me tomorrow when I post again on the patio!

 

*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and or trust

Day 269-Flash Fiction Friday- Destination Ice House

Tom decided that once quitting time came, he was off to The Old Ice House for a frosty beverage, which would be the best dark brew they had to offer. Today had been a hot bitch at work and he was a man in need of some cool relief, an ice cold beer would really hit the spot. He really didn’t want to drink alone tonight so he hollered down the line at his buddy Rich and asked him if he’d like to go with, or meet up there at six.

The place where they worked was a factory in Idaho and the job was making cheese at The Snake River Cheese Plant near downtown Blackfoot. Unfortunately for Tom and Rich, the air had quit working on the assembly line and as a result, they had to work double time to get it packaged and into the waiting refrigerator trucks before it could start degrading. Now all Tom could focus on was getting the job done and heading to the Ice House for a slice and a cold brew. It was their favorite pizzeria and their motto was “the only thing better than the pizza is the view.” The restaurant was situated lakeside and boasted some of the best views in town.


Rich met Tom ten years prior when he moved to Idaho from Kentucky and they had been fast friends from the get go. Rich had been sort of starting over since his wife of five years walked out on him and Tom was in a similar state himself. For Tom though, it was he who had called the marriage quits six months before meeting Rich, so they had something in common that drew them together, Tom had been like Rich’s leaning post and in turn Rich was a great listener. Tom got Rich on at the plant after meeting him one night at the Ice House and hearing of his situation. They were known around the job as mutt and Jeff since Tom outwent him by a foot or better.

Luckily, it was Friday night and the special at The Ice House was a large mug for two bucks and a specialty pizza was fifteen for a large. That suited  Tom and Rich just fine and Tom could feel his stomach growling at the thought of it as he pulled into the parking spot closest to the front door. He barely had time to exit the truck when Rich pulled in next to him. They walked up to the restaurant like brothers, Tom clapping Rich on the back as they entered the front door. The place appeared to be hopping already, Rich found them a seat at the bar while Tom checked in with the hostess.

Carol was the bartender on duty tonight and as Rich got their beverages drafted,  Beverly the hostess had steered Tom to a table by the window. It was just like her to put the men in their favorite spot, even as busy as the place was. They were some of The Ice House’s best customers and besides, she had a bit of a crush on Tom and always made sure he and Rich were happy. She had heard the men’s stories and loved the bond they had formed with each other, it made Tom a kind of hero in her eyes. The men around these parts were a rugged sort and she was not used to seeing guys with close relationships like these two had forged. Sometimes, when it was slow, she would sit and have a soda and listen to them talk about their lives.

As Tom took that first sip, Rich could see the pleasure on his face as he wiped the foam off of his lip and laughed. “Needed that did ya?” he asked and all Tom could do was nod in agreement. “Pizza is coming” he finally said, and the men sat in silence for the next few minutes, not needing anything but their beers and the view, relaxing together as they looked out over the lake, reflecting on their day and how good that pizza was gonna taste once it got to the table. After all, it was made with the very cheese they worked so hard to get off the line day after day.  After a minute or two, they simultaneously picked up their mugs and clinked them together, toasting the fact that another day on the job was over and they still enjoyed each other’s company. “Here’s to friendship,” they both said as the waitress set the pie down in front of them and winked at Rich saying, “Yall enjoy that now will ya.” Rich just looked at Tom and said, “she wants me.” Tom laughed and said, “too bad she can’t compete with this pizza” as he sunk his teeth into his first slice.

This story was composed only from the word prompt “beverage”.  I hope you enjoyed it. 

Day 268-A Little Late, My Throwback Thursday

What was Kimmy’s Patio like before the splendiferous wonder it is now you might ask?

Before we purchased the house

Well, it was empty of course! Plain, unadorned, undecorated and devoid of pretty plants, furniture and that oh so cozy feeling you get now. I just thought you’d want a reminder of where it got it’s humble beginnings. 😊

 

Day 267-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Which Is Better, Lemon vs Lemongrass Essential Oil

Let’s talk about the glaring difference first-obviously, one is a fruit and the other is a plant.

Lemon-citrus fruit
Lemongrass the plant

Before I dive into the properties, uses, and benefits of each, let me just say that I believe that God gave us everything we need to heal ourselves, we just need to educate ourselves about them and use them properly. Maybe we could then reduce our dependency on pharmaceuticals and trips to the doctor. I  have to admit since I’ve been using essential oils, which is going on three years now, I’m almost never sick. When I started though, I did my own research and always use quality oils in the manner they were intended. Secondly, when I started, I bought my oils from one of the big companies so popular on the internet, yet over time, I discovered that there are local sources that cost less and worked the same. Again, I did my research, consulted my physician and I now know which are safe for ingestion and which I only use in the diffuser or topically.

Lemon essential oil is made from the peel, which most of us do not consume on a regular basis. I assume most of us use lemon frequently if not daily, whether in our diets or as a cleaner. Lemon has many fantastic benefits including the ability to rejuvenate dull, sluggish skin (when ingested, since it supports a healthy digestive system which then results in clear skin). Here are some other benefits:

Clears and supports the respiratory system-rub on the chest or soles of the feet to clear lungs and nasal passages

Bug repellant-fleas hate lemon

Food flavoring-add to the end of the cooking process due to the fact that heating sometimes destroys the beneficial properties

Has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the most essential of all essential oils.

Freshens and cleans the air when diffused, freshens laundry, can be used in mop water to freshen and clean

Can be added to coconut oil for daily oil pulling routine-brightens teeth and freshens breath

Lemon mixed with vinegar and water (and a drop of dish soap to keep the oils from staying on top of the water) makes a great all-purpose kitchen/bathroom cleaner

Just breathing in the scent of lemon can improve the neurological activity responsible for promoting the breakdown of body fat! Hang on, why is my diffuser not running right now? 

Ok, now that I’m back, let’s see how lemongrass can improve our health as well.

First off, lemongrass is steam distilled from the plant. The plant itself is nice, ornamental, and helps repel mosquitos-good enough reason to have it around.

Its flavor is sweeter and milder than lemon and can be used as a substitute when lemons are scarce. (like that would ever happen in my house anyway) Besides its many culinary uses, it has many medicinal properties as well.

  • As an analgesic-relieves pain and inflammation in muscles and joints
  •  As an antidepressant- boosts self-esteem, uplifts spirits and inspires confidence
  • It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties- inhibits bacterial growth in and outside the body, cures wounds, supports the respiratory system, helps cure infections like typhoid and malaria
  • As an astringent- promotes contraction of gums, hair follicles, muscles, skin and blood vessels, thereby reducing blood loss and falling out of hair and teeth
  • Carminative- helps remove gas from forming in the abdomen and relaxes the muscles providing safe downward passage of excess gas
  • Deodorant- can be used to replace current commercial deodorant, which has an environmental impact. Safe for skin when diluted and no harmful side effects like synthetic deodorants
  • Diuretic- aids in fat loss by removing fats and excess urine from the body
  • Febrifuge- reduces fever by fighting infection and also aids in toxin removal through perspiration
  • Galactogogue- increases and enhances breast milk which indirectly keeps your baby infection free
  • Insecticide- popular insect repellant probably due to such constituents as citronellal, and limonene
  • Nervine- acts as a tonic for the nervous system in general and may help with nervous disorders such as shaking hands, vertigo, convulsions, and sluggishness
  • Sedative- soothing, calming for the mind and relieves tension and anxiety

As you can see, both oils have many unique and beneficial qualities and can be interchanged depending on the way you want to use it. I sometimes switch out which oils I use in my water daily just so I get different benefits. I can attest to the diuretic properties of lemongrass as well as the boost of energy I get from lemon. They can also be used to help reduce cellulite, ladies you can agree that is a great benefit, right?

Oh, and while I’m at it, let me tell you three different sources I used in my own research, e-books I consult frequently to remind myself how to use the different oils. Some, I have memorized-others I need some reminding. Remember, my memory is not the best. I used to keep a handy chart within site at all times, but got away from that practice…it’s time to make myself a new one. Please read The King’s Medicine Cabinet by Josh Axe- The Essential Homestead by Jill Winger and Using God’s Medicine by Eric Zielinski- all great sources for info and proper use of essential oils. (all free too!)

I also consulted Organic Facts for some of this article. I hope it has been a help to you and you will consider adding one or both to your medicine cabinet, kitchen or laundry room- they both help in so many ways!

While I could go on and on, I do have other things to get to before I go visit Dad today- I will surely be encouraging he start using lemongrass oil to aid with his tremors (none of the doctors we’ve taken him to know why he shakes) maybe it will finally be the answer to his prayers. I will admit, that was news to me in my limited knowledge of lemongrass’s many benefits. (I am not an expert, just an avid user and lover of essential oils.) Join me back here tomorrow…ssshhh, it’s a surprise-even I don’t know yet. 😉

 

 

 

 

Day 266-MET-We Did New Orleans With Children!

Oh my goodness, this place was hot, and I don’t mean just in the sense of live music, let’s party, in your face, good times hot, I mean 126 degrees in the center of town hot! Add to that, I love big crowds, throbbing dance music and crazy people, my husband…not so much. This is the scenario you must picture when I tell you the story of our trip to New Orleans with children.

The kids were young, Josh had just turned 15 and Chris was 13, yet I still saw them as babies. It was our first vacation somewhere other than Port Aransas and we set out to cover New Orleans, Biloxi, Lucedale and Vicksburg in one week. We wanted the kids to see what New Orleans was all about, the people, the history, the music, the food…well, they got all that and a whole lot more. We wanted them to get some culture but what they got was an eyeful, and we were seriously doubting ourselves as fit parents by the end of that trip.

Luckily, we did not go during Mardi Gras, we went in the middle of the summer and I cannot tell you how bad the city smells at that time. Think stinky trash meets dried puke from last year’s Mardi Gras meets hot port-a-potty, and you’ll be pretty close.  The heat made it unimaginable and dragging two impressionable boys around sin city seems so wrong right now yet it seemed like a cool adventure at the time. We visited the cemetery- not my idea- but they enjoyed it. Cemeteries creep me out, this one was ok during the day. It was interesting to see that no one is buried below the ground, due to the high sea level. The boys thought it was cool and marveled at how big some of the tombs were. We took lots of pictures and I think even they realized the historical significance of that place.

Later, after experiencing some delicious beignets and coffee, we ventured into Jackson Square and saw live music, magic and a  “freak” show that I will never forget. Of course, my boys thought the freak was awesome and seeing it may have had a profound effect on Josh, he really got into it the way some kids want to run away and join the circus.  I think he still views  what that guy was doing as a viable way to earn a living. Which it is not, unless you’re a drug addicted homeless person looking for your next meal.  Anyway, they ate it up and wanted to see more but we had to move on. Next stop was Pat Obrien’s so Mama could get a Hurricane…oh Lordy what a mistake that was! Alcohol and heat do not mix.

Let me remind you, it was 126 degrees-however we were not aware of that until,we were back at the hotel-and I believe I consumed one and a half hurricanes and they just about dragged me back to the hotel (I still say it’s because it was so hot) and once there I laid down on the bed in the cool air condition and that revived me a bit. Later on Dave and I visited the casino and the boys were actually good, hanging out in the room playing video games and watching tv. What is comical is that when we were walking around Bourbon Street, Josh was wary of the people coming up to his dad and acting like they knew him, or the street performers painted silver and standing still as statues, yet the “freaky” guy in Jackson Square didn’t seem to bother him at all! Kids. Go figure. Chris was more like me-eyes wide open, taking it all in…some things he should not have seen at his tender age (strolling past open bars and viewing half naked ladies within) but his Dad just took it in stride. He figured it would have been much worse had it been night time and just kept walking and trying to get their attention redirected to something more…historical.

All in all, it was a very memorable trip, we had a lot of fun despite the heat and I cannot wait to go back again. We tried at some point to go to the aquarium, but the line was too long, it was Africa hot, and we decided it would have to wait until next time. Of course, there hasn’t been a next time since the hurricane ravaged New Orleans, some day we will go back-maybe even this summer, but you can bet, it will be an adults-only kind of trip this time!

(PS-I’ve torn the house apart looking for our pictures and found only the Vicksburg pics and one other from New Orleans, I will have to add the pictures later, sorry)

(PPS-Joshua had a life-changing event, but that actually happened in Vicksburg on our way home-remind me to tell that story some day 😉) Never mind, he said no way could I tell that one. Oh well. 😂

 

 

Day 266-Motivational Monday-99 Days Left!

Good afternoon everyone and how are you on this beautiful Monday? Today marks the first of the 100 days I have left to complete my 365-day blogging project! So that is why I titled this post 99 Days Left! I am excited at the prospect of not having to blog Every. Single. Day. Even though it has been a great experience and has taught me a lot. That has been my greatest motivator today, just knowing that in 99 days, I can choose how many days of the week I want to blog. Of course, I made the choice to blog for 365 days, so I am responsible for my own stress.

Speaking of stress, I was even given the gift of extra time today and still managed to spend it doing other things than writing. Nothing was working out, and I started panicking that I was wasting the time given to me, so I got kitchen tasks done. Am I burning out, overwhelmed or have I just not been good at planning my calendar as I was a few months ago? I still like to write, I just worry when every post isn’t making perfect sense, or helping someone solve a problem-that’s what I’m supposed to be doing here after all.

I don’t know how many of you that follow this blog are interested in blogging as a hobby or more for business, but I have been taking yet another course, this one is on productivity and getting better use of your time. It is from the gals over at Think Creative Collective and their names are Abagail and Emylee. They teach you all kinds of ways to run your business on autopilot, plus tons of time-saving, techniques meant to help anyone really. If you like to sell goods for profit or have any other kind of online business, this is a great course for you. Personally, I think I’m just addicted to learning all new things that help with blogging. This is a free course, so that made my ears perk up, but I have to be honest and say that there are some lessons inside the course that are not. You choose which ones you think will help you the most, that is the beauty of it.

Well,  that is my two cents today, I hope you found something useful or at the very least motivational in my post today.

What was your biggest motivator today? Tell me in the comments and if you have any suggestions or questions for me, add those as well. Have a great day everyone, see you tomorrow on the patio! 

 

 

Day 265-Free Days-How I Spent My Weekend (Spoiler…Not Writing)

Happy Sunday everybody! I hope your weekend has been as productive as you wanted it to be. Mine was, if yardwork is your bag.

Dave and Chris building me an acorn sieve
Me using it

Athough I was supposed to write another review on the website-Products From the Patio, we spent most of yesterday working in my Mother-in-law’s yard and today in our own. Not to mention I’m going on 4 hours of sleep, due to my son waking me up coughing from working in the cold in shorts and no coat yesterday (he has bad allergies and asthma…and smokes 😡) and the other thing is that I’m still having computer problems and did not get what I needed to write my review today. Hopefully I will get it soon and I will compose the post as soon as I do.

On the plus side, I surely worked off lots of calories this weekend with all the exercise I got raking, sweeping, root pulling and shoveling on the two yards. Wish I had taken before and after pics of Claudette’s backyard, but I was cold and tired when we finished and was ready to get home and take a hot bath.

As tired as I was from not getting sleep, I worked my tail off for another four or five hours in my own yard, maybe getting energy from a combination of lemongrass essential oil and a new coconut water I tried that was infused with coffee-not to mention sheer will of wanting to get the job done. The boys worked hard as well, chopping and digging out the roots of eight more bushes, building me an acorn sieve for the thousands of acorns accumulated over years of neglected yard work by the previous owners. They planted that darn jasmine ground cover and let it take over the beds completely. We found everything from trash to shingles in that stuff!

Add to that, my husband built the brackets needed to hang the tv in the soon-to-be-remodeled game room (man cave) even after all that yard work and is kindly cooking dinner for us now! That man is a keeper!!

I will be so glad when the tilling gets done and I am able to start planning and planting new things. I’m very sore and tired, but glad for semi-clean beds. In retrospect, I did more work than necessary, I should have waited until we tilled to sieve and pull roots, it’s ok though, we have several bags of leaves, acorns and bush roots to show for it. Sometimes, writing has to take a backseat so other things can be accomplished…and that’s ok too. 😉