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Happy Friday, everyone!

Somehow the end of the month snuck up on me again, so here’s this month’s Blogging Business Artisans team treasury! It’s called “Flower Time” and has plenty of pretty florals.

Etsy Treasury Flower Time

Because I didn’t want to bombard people with multiple videos, I combined yesterday’s and today’s writing prompts for the Daily Gratitude Challenge into one video post. I’ll probably combine this weekend, too. The challenge is almost over, which means I’ll be having the drawing for the handmade pen soon! I’ll be going through and giving one entry for every comment in response to a video/writing prompt and then doing a random drawing to see who wins. =)

I hope that you’re having a great Friday and have fun weekend plans!

natashalh

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It’s almost May! Wow. That must mean it’s time for me to share my free printable blog analytics tracker and post scheduler for May!

As usual, I’m excited for the end of the month and filling out my analytics tracker to see what progress, or lack thereof, I’ve made. My FaceBook page would best be classified as “highly stagnate,” but Pinterest is doing well for me (which is funny since I’m personally a little annoyed with seeing the same thing over and over again thanks to the ‘smart’ feed).

free printable analytics tracker and post scheduler for May

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Wordless Wednesday – Waikiki Sunset

lucky live Hawaii - sunset in Waikiki

natashalh

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Why do so many recipes make 18-24 cupcakes? Unless you’re throwing a party, what do you do with all those cupcakes??? I guess you could freeze them, but two dozen cupcakes always seems like way too many, especially if you’re only baking for one or two people. I secretly love cake and icing, but I’ve found most commercially-produced baked goods are way too sweet for me. All I can taste is the tooth-aching sweetness! The combined desire for only a couple of cupcakes and something less sweet led me to create these small batch chocolate chip cupcakes. They’re made with Greek yogurt (hooray!), have far less sugar than “normal,” and have a tasty cream cheese/Greek yogurt small batch frosting recipe to top them off!

Small batch chocolate chip cupcakes and cream cheese frosting [click to continue…]

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I know there are a lot of motivational quotations about making it through hard times out there, but I’m a fan of C.S. Lewis, so I to make this the subject of today’s Motivational Monday printable:Hardship often prepares an ordinary person - motivational Monday free printable

Yesterday I didn’t post a Daily Gratitude Challenge video (eek!), so later today I’ll be posting a double feature for days 20 & 21! See you in a bit. =)

natashalh

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Daily Gratitude Challenge – Days 18 & 19

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

I didn’t post a link to yesterday’s vlog, so here it is. The writing prompt asks you to list small gestures others have done for you that really made a difference in your day, so it’s a fun one. =)

Today’s writing prompt asks what technology you are grateful for and how your life might look without it. A lot of us have already listed specific technological devices we’re thankful for, so this is a nice chance to get creative and pick and underlying technology! It’s really easy to take these things (electricity, running water, wireless communication, etc) for granted and just focus on the devices we use to access them, so it’s a nice way to get your creative juices flowing.

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend with some beautiful spring weather!

natashalh

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Body Shaming Is Never Okay

I don’t think I’ve ever sat down to blog purely about my opinion. Have I? Well, if I have it was a long time ago. Anyway, I recently saw something on social media that got me pretty irritated on behalf of a total stranger and made me decide to write about how body shaming is never okay, regardless of a person’s shape or size. Seriously.

Body shaming is never okay

I believe it’s time to move beyond realizing that “fat shaming” is inappropriate and acknowledge that all body shaming is hurtful. As people who know me realize, I’m a big fan of going to the gym. (As a side note, I do believe in encouraging people to ‘get fit’ and ‘work out’ in order to become happier, healthier, and realize their own amazing potential, but I don’t think that doing it by berating and belittling people is helpful or correct. {I expand upon what I mean by this in a comment below.}) I follow a lot of gym rats on social media and frequent various websites with articles aimed at gym-goers, and I have been appalled by the number of comments I’ve seen from people criticizing individuals, particularly women, who decide to work out. I’ve read things such as: telling a woman who shared “before” and “after” photos that she looked way better before because she was soft and feminine/didn’t have visible muscles then; saying that all cyclists and spin-class enthusiasts have monstrous thunder thighs and giant manly calves; and even a discussion about how women should be careful not to run or even walk too much in order to avoid becoming “too bulky.” (????? Walking can make you ‘bulky’??)

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Hi, everyone!

Earlier today I noticed an error with the version of the gratitude journal printable Google Drive was showing people (or, at least, that it was showing me). I thought I’d fixed this problem back on April 1, but I didn’t double check to make sure Google was actually showing the correct version of the file after I made the update. If you have the printable and see a set of pages repeated, back to back, that’s the incorrect version! It’s also missing a set of frames and writing prompts. I finally got Google Drive to show the correct version of the printable and it should be available at the same URL, so if you need those other two frames they are available to you now! So sorry I didn’t double check earlier.

Anyway, today’s writing prompt is a fun and quick one.

What small gesture can you make today that will make a difference to someone else? I really hope my husband doesn’t watch this at work and see what I’m doing, because I’d like to keep it a surprise. =)

natashalh

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Wordy Wednesday

Hi, everyone!

I haven’t posted links to my vlogs for a couple of days. If you follow me on YouTube, you may have seen them pop up, but if you don’t you might have thought I was slacking off and giving up on my own challenge!

I’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone’s responses, not only because it’s great to get to know teammates and readers better, but also because it frequently reminds me of even more things to be grateful for! So please keep the responses coming. =) This is a lot of video all at once, so feel free to leave your answers even if you don’t have the time to watch everything all the way through.

What does everyone think? Is the cell phone filming okay? I really do prefer my real camera, but I just can’t get enough light inside with all the rain lately. I can put my phone on a little Gorilla Pod and attach it to the railing outside, but I can’t do that with my DSLR!

natashalh

 

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Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Haystack Cookies

Remember last week’s preview of dark chocolate almond butter haystack cookies? Well, today’s the day for the recipe! These no-bake cookies are really dangerously easy to make and eat, which is why I attempted to make them at least marginally more healthy by using dark chocolate, almond butter, and pecans instead of the usual milk chocolate butterscotch chips, and peanut butter. The resulting haystacks are, at the very least, lower in sugar than the usual suspects, and I like to tell myself the nuts make them a little better for me, too. (After all, I do have that weird problem of struggling to eat enough fat most days).

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Haystack Cookies [click to continue…]

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