One of our goals in writing this blog is that it will pay for itself.
Honestly we’re still trying to figure that piece out. Clearly, we’re not professional bloggers, so it’s not something we’ve naturally built in to this experience. And honestly, the thought of associating the word “monetization” with sharing our family life feels kind of icky to me. But at the same time, the cost of running the blog (the website hosting and software that's easy enough for even us to use) needs to come from somewhere-- and anything we can do to keep it out of the household budget would be a great thing.
Sure, we’ve got some ads generated by Google that might show up on your pages, but as of right now we’ve made a whopping $2.27 since we started. I’m pretty sure we have almost $98 more to make before Google will even think about sending us a check…
The other thing I’ve looked into is using affiliate links. You’ll see these in a lot of blogs where the blogger will tell you about some fabulous thing that you should want, and they’ll add a link to the item. So I submitted an application to be able to do that… Apparently they sent me a “Hey you’re in! Let’s get started!” email that I missed, so now we’re at a point where they sent another email saying, “Hey-- if you don’t have two purchases soon, we’re taking this away from you!”
So I’m combining that new motivation with my love of reading clickbait lists (usually from a source like BuzzFeed) of wonderful things that my life is missing… You know the ones-- 42
Gadgets That Will Change Your Life, 74 Things Every Woman Should Keep In Her Purse or even 19 Products To Assault That One Bothersome Pore On Your Face That Is Crippling Your Self Esteem…
With that in mind, I present to you our first ever List Of Things We Would Be Lost Without. Obviously, this is going to contain affiliate links.
We’ll start with a slightly non-clickbait item: our fundraiser t-shirts for the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation… They’re available here through the end of this week and make a great gift! Father’s day is coming up, and it’s a great way to remind Dad that he’s super! Or you can take our approach-- we know who the super one is around here...
And these things are always numbered, so of course, I’m numbering here…
This awesome water resistant mattress pad. Because in this household, incontinence is a reality. Anything we can do to save a mattress is a good thing.
These puppy pads are a lifesaver on road trips. One under his hinder to prevent a problem goes a long way… If we’re too late, we use two-- one with the absorbent side toward the seat and another with the absorbent side toward the boy in case it happens again.
This window film that magically stays in place with the use of only static electricity. We use this on windows where Nolan otherwise would pull on the curtains (in spots like next to the toilet or right over his bed…) to retain some privacy
This home security system that we bought on sale last year on Prime Day after we realized Nolan could get out of the house on his own… Now if he does, we’ll hear it. We also added a Ring Doorbell to complete the set and have video to refer to in case we needed to see which direction he was headed.
These headphones that Nolan wears about 97% of his waking hours. He’s a happier guy when sounds are muted. Plus, he seems to like the pressure they provide on his head.
Chewies. Seriously… Nolan loves to have something in his mouth. Plus, he can’t bite off small pieces of plastic like he’s likely to do with Mardi Gras beads lately…
A bubble gun. Because when something so simple gives such a complicated kid so much pure joy, how can you say no?
These goofy tongs. Tongs? Yes… Any time the kitchen drawer is open, Nolan is right there to steal these out from under me. I don’t understand it, but clearly he loves them.
This soup. Or a lot of kinds of soup, actually. I’m pretty sure if Nolan could, he would eat mostly soup all day every day.
This chewable melatonin is our favorite. Sleep matters, and without melatonin there is no sleep in our house.
The classic Converse Chuckies. These make up a full half of Nolan’s signature style. They’re the only lace-up shoes he’ll wear.
The other household shoe staple: Crocs. Nolan can put them on independently, and often uses them to tell me he’d like to leave the house. These are also the only slip-on shoes he’ll wear.
A funny t-shirt is always a winner, and Nolan will dip anything he can in ketchup or dressing, so this one is perfect. I’ve used my power as the purchaser of clothing over the years to stock him with funny and memorable graphic tees. If 6dollarshirts.com ever needs a non-verbal spokesguy, Nolan’s the one for the job.
Super soft blankets are always welcome in Nolan’s bed (and subsequently dragged all over the house). He loves blankets for snuggling, wrestling with, playing with, throwing, riding in the car… pretty much anything.
Liquid soap is not only good for fighting germs and other yucky things, it’s one of Nolan’s favorite things to play with. As a result, we both go through and clean up a lot more than the average household.
A good audiobook is always the perfect companion for a car ride… And the Lemony Snicket “Series of Unfortunate Events” books have been one of our favorite series.
Kirk sees running as a daily requirement. It keeps him in shape and in (relatively) good mental health. These are his current favorite shoes.
I’ve said before that Dunkin’ is Kirk’s drug of choice. This mug sums up his love of their iced coffee.
Fun story with this one: When Kirk and I were engaged, I went to his grandmother’s house for Christmas Eve along with the rest of his family. Kirk selected a lovely tree-shaped treat from a tray, and sat down to eat it. “Grandma! These are really good! Will you give Cindy the recipe?” Grandma started to answer, but paused when I looked over… You see, among the homemade treats, she had added a few store-bought treats. Kirk was eating a Little Debbie holiday cake of some sort. I looked at her and said, “Oh, I’ve GOT that recipe-- I thought it was a secret family recipe on our side!” These may not be shaped like a tree, but they are available all year and taste the same. Like I tell Kirk every time I bring home a box, they’re “just like Grandma used to make.”
And since Kirk IS a collector, he loves to check out price guides and stories of the hunt. Clearly, he’ll turn to his favorite experts on the matter when he can.
And since Nolan seems to always be disappearing with Kirk’s water bottle or insulated cup, he seems to always be looking for one. This one seems to be everyone’s favorite these days.
My favorite shoes are comfortable. Plus I can get them in solid black so that I can wear them to work without anyone realizing they’re not actually dress shoes or I can get a slightly different style covered with cats to wear when I’m not at work.
My favorite thing to watch on television is Bob’s Burgers. The characters are all unique and hilarious, and no one on the show ever expects anyone else to stop being weird. It’s everything you could ask for.
As a crafter (and even just a mom), I can never have too many good pairs of scissors. I’m a little picky, but these are my favorite. Plus they’re not even the expensive kind!
As an employee and a mother, this girl gets some tension headaches. Thankfully, there’s help when I need it.
I’m a girl who loves coffee. I love good coffee, but I’m certainly no coffee snob. These are my favorite coffee to have on hand-- especially in my drawer at work. I usually buy one of the flavored varieties and use it to make iced coffee (two packets straight into a giant cup of ice water is perfect for me-- add cream and sugar to your own liking) or even to add it to a cup of brewed coffee on the days where I need a little extra coffee in my coffee. Yes-- I’m that girl.
These are my other favorite go-to for my drawer at work… Because sometimes I just need some protein. Plus, pretzels + peanutbutter = the best snack OR a valid substitute for lunch.
So what would go on your clickbait list?