Business Of Blogging: QuickBooks Self-Employed

24 April 2017

Tax season may officially be over for most of us, but like clockwork it will be back at the start of the new year. We basically have a whole year to get organized and QuickBooks Self-Employed is here to help.
It might be a weird thing to say, but, I love doing my taxes. I grew up with two self-employed parents and learned how to do taxes and loved helping them with theirs early on. I still remember the late 90's/early 2000's version of Quickbooks on my mom's computer. I LOVED adding all the checks and deductibles into the little boxes. Obviously, Quickbooks Self-Employed and TurboTax Self-Employed have come a long way since then, and I'm proud to say that I use them both when it comes to tax time each year. Real talk: juggling a business, life and motherhood is no easy task, so both programs make life a lot easier when it comes to crunching numbers and deciding whether or not that blogger dinner is a write-off or not.

As a blogger, I am very much self-employed. I rely heavily on staying organized and keeping records of all of my expenses for when tax season rolls around. It's not always easy and I personally hate the clutter from all the paper receipts because they add up fast, organized or not. Then you sometimes find that certain expenses aren't even deductible. But this year when I filed with Turbotax Self-Employed they gave me a subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed. Holy moly, taxes just got dare I say, effortless. It can be used via desktop or you can download the app for finance tracking. Plus, if you bundle you can directly import everything to TurboTax self-employed when tax season rolls around, making doing your taxes a minutes-long process instead of countless hours over weeks.

QuickBooks Self-Employed helps find tax deductions, organize expenses by capturing receipts, and automatically tracks mileage and categorizes all of your business expenses! It even keeps track of all of your 1099's. It is so flipping easy to use and you can stay on track all year long without having to wait until January to start to get your life in order. You can even link it up to your bank and credit card accounts so it can better categorize expenses and earnings (also giving estimates on quarterly taxes). You can even create invoices and bill clients, all from the app.

So, if you're self-employed and need an extra hand with juggling it all and that never ending to-do list, I highly recommend you add QuickBooks Self-Employed to your life. Psst. It's tax deductible, just saying.
*QuickBooks Self-Employed users find an average of $4,340 in potential tax savings per year and more than $18,000 in deductions.
This post is sponsored by QuickBooks Self-Employed.

Two Tone Walls Paint Project with Lowe's

21 April 2017

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lowe’s.
It might be just me but I'm constantly thinking of ways to making our cozy abode feel more updated and colorful. I'm on Pinterest 90% of the time pinning bright and colorful bohemian spaces that give me inspiration. So, while laying in bed one afternoon and feeling less than inspired by our white walls and ceiling a thought crossed my mind. Why not paint the ceiling and the molding a brilliant pop of color to make the space feel less blah? I mean, after all, I'm going to be spending a heck of a lot more time in the room once the new baby arrives and I want to feel as comfortable and inspired as I do while in the living room. I mean, I love that room - those walls alone brighten my day. So, with that spark of interest I took straight to Pinterest to see if it had been done and how the results looked. I was worried that my bright idea was lost but as it would turn out it's extremely popular these days, only giving me further validation that it needed to be done. Then Lowe's came in to collaborate and it started to fall in to place.

First, I needed a color. Since we started transitioning blues into the room for the little one, so I thought a deep navy or indigo would be the best fit. It's calm, a little bit moody and will pop perfectly against the teal and navy accents throughout the room. Also, I can't help but love the thought of a sliver of blue poking out from our room as we sit in our living room with the berry walls. Hello, color! At first, I was a little worried going so dark in such a small space but after consulting Shavonda, my decor muse, she assured me it would be amazing. And like always she was spot on.

So, to Lowe's we went to start our adventure in painting. First off, they have A TON of paint options so if you're looking to start a paint project, I highly suggest heading to Lowe's. After about 20 minutes of looking at paint swatches, I finally decided on Victory Blue in satin finish from Olympic One. We grabbed a few essentials for the process, an adjustable paint pole to paint those hard to reach areas on the ceiling, drop cloth, a pan, some brushes and rollers. I also snagged a can of Metallic Rustoleom (Gold) in hopes of updating our hideous 'boob light' while we look for a more suitable flush mount option for the newly updated space. After spending just under $100, we headed home to prep.

After a full day of painting, edging and touching up I'm thrilled with the end result. It adds the needed pop of color and I can finally start moving forward with bringing in nursery items to make things feel finished. Now, to find the perfect flush mount fixture for our ceiling.

Check out the before and after:

The process: 


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lowe’s.
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The Dad's Guide To Baby Essentials

20 April 2017

 The following is a guest post by my husband, David, in partnership with buybuy BABY.
In terms of my newborn or young infant, when I'm looking at whether something might be considered "essential" or not, I'm really only asking a couple of general questions. First, is it going to contribute to my little guy's health or safety? And second, does it sacrifice or enable mobility? 

When I'm thinking about health and safety, I'm including basic cleanliness, exercise and development, protection from the elements, and general comfort and happiness.

Air is the first and most basic necessity for life, so it's the first thing on my mind when I'm considering my baby's health and well-being. This is one of the reasons I've always been big on plants in the house. They clean the air in so many different ways and continually pump out oxygen to enrich the space. They really make a difference when you go out of town for a little while and come back. They make the air fresh, and clean-smelling instead of stale- especially in older apartments. The only thing they can't do that well is filter out dust, and other particulates, like maybe pet hair. So a high efficiency table top air purifier like this one can come in very handy. 

Next up is food. This is mostly mommy's job, but sometimes she either can't be there, or just needs a break. In that case, a good set of wide neck slow-flow bottles that are easy to clean and sterilize should be on hand and ready to use.

After food comes shelter and clothing. His little hands and feet need special covering, especially in the first weeks, when his nails are inexplicably sharp- must be a sort of survival feature or something. Unfortunately. nowadays, they only end up slicing themselves. Aside from that, anything that covers quickly and easily, like hooded towels, onesies and receiving blankets are a must. With our first two boys, we could never have enough receiving blankets or swaddles. Those things are absolute gold.

Then of course, you have to keep everything clean. Babies are very sensitive right out of the gate, so you have to have something that is hypoallergenic, dye and fragrance free. 

Mobility is up next. You obviously need something to carry it all around in, and it has to be something that is light, easy to use, and makes everything easily accessible. If it's just a little bit stylish, that's cool too. Personally, I'm usually only focused on utility and sometimes style doesn't even come into play. But that's what I have my lovely lady for: she helps keep me from looking like a total slob.

At this point, you're probably really in need of some exploring, or at least a walk. In that case, There are a couple of choices. The Baby Bjorn is a really fantastic option, because it's hands-free and your little one gets to be right up there, face in the action. A lot of babies love to be floating up there in space, going through the world like it's their own little virtual reality game. The only thing with this option is that they can only use it for so long because they get too big. After that, you have to graduate to the stroller. Even before the baby's size plays a factor, though, sometimes it's actually more convenient to use the stroller. Anytime you might need to do some recent lifting or bending over, times like that. One more consideration: if you're going to use the stroller and the weather isn't terribly friendly, the addition of a stroller muff for your comfort, and a weather shield for the baby will make a huge difference.

Lastly, mobility is not just about you moving the baby around, it's also about helping to create an environment where they can learn to move themselves around. They need the right support to feel comfortable lifting and moving their heads, space to learn to roll around, and opportunities to learn hand eye coordination. 
That's it in a nutshell, and hopefully this is was helpful. Are there any items you would put on the list I might have missed?
This post is sponsored by buybuy BABY. As always all opinions are my own. 

15 Pom Pom Sandal Options Under $100

19 April 2017

After spotting my new pom sandals on Instagram last week a lot of you expressed that you needed needed a pair in your life. Which I couldn't agree more. So, I after doing some digging I was able to find 15 pairs for WAY under $100 (including my exact pair for $50) that I hope fit your colorful, pom loving needs. Thankfully the weather is working in our favor so pulling out all the stops when it comes to the bright, bohemian (festival appropriate) footwear is absolutely necessary. 

Wear them with off the shoulder tops & dresses, kick flares and your favorite denim shorts or overalls in my case.

6 Ways To Wear Sneakers For Spring

18 April 2017

Spring footwear isn't just about adorable adorned pom sandals, gladiators and a variety of heels to show off your newly polished toes. It also happens to be a prime time to take advantage of the athleisure trend and slip into a new pair of sneakers. There's a lot on the market these days that are bound to fall into your personal style, whether you're a classic Keds gal or like a little edge from a leather slip on there's bound to be something that you're itching to add to your closet. Sneaker lover or not. Personally, I'll taken them all which is why I'm rounding up a handful of my favorite ways to wear sneakers (with my current bump situation). 

Check'm all out....

1. With A Bodycon Dress

2. With a tee and leggings

3. With a Moto jacket

4. With a maxi dress 

5. Dressing down office attire

6. With a tunic and jeans. 

Off The Shoulder Maxi Dress for Now & Post-Bump

17 April 2017

Since it's nearing the end of my pregnancy I'm shopping for pieces that I not only can wear now, with this enormous bump but also later as it starts to whittle away. Thankfully spring and summer dresses are in full swing making my options a little better than they would be in the winter. I'm all for dresses without the zippers and room to grow (or not grow, in my case). This particular maxi from Zappos has an optional tie waist, an elastic off the shoulder neckline (perfect for nursing!) and nice little slit up the side to keep it from appearing to have too much fabric and not enough shape. I'll admit it looks a lot better on the model sans the bump, but for now, I'm taking full advantage of this not-so-little belly while I can....