Blog2Biz Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I make a few pennies, which I then save up and use to buy cupcakes and cheap wine. Thank you for helping keep me sane.

Blog2Biz

A couple of weeks ago I found out about Melissa @The Happier Homemaker‘s new eBook “Blog2Biz“, and when I had the chance to give it a read and do a review, I jumped all over it.

Over the past three years I’ve mostly been a hobby blogger, making a little money or scoring a free product here or there. But I’ll be honest, I’ve always been a little envious of the bloggers out there even making a part-time income from blogging. How did they make it happen? Hard work? Knowing the right people? Luck? And of course, do I actually have what it takes to make it happen too?

After reading Blog2Biz and, I feel like making money at this is attainable for anyone who wants to put in the effort. But more importantly, it left me feeling like I could do it without compromising who I’ve become as a blogger over the past three years. That was exciting for me, because, I’ll be honest again: I could really use the money. Paying rent and a mortgage at the same time is pretty much as fun as you’d imagine it to be. Plus, cheap bottles of wine add up over time!

So, back to the book. Here are a few of the things that really stood out to me as I was reading through it (and furiously making a blogging to-do list that still makes me a little excited when I look at it):

  1. It’s personal. Melissa starts off with her blogging success story. She was just a hobby blogger at first too. You get the sense that, hey, if she can do it, so can I!
  2. She doesn’t assume you already know the basics. After three years of blogging, I’ve picked up some knowledge here or there, so the first couple of chapters of the book felt like a review. But for someone just starting out, they’re a goldmine of information laid out neatly in one place.
  3. When there are topics that go outside the scope of the book, you aren’t left hanging. She provides resources for further education.
  4. The book naturally encourages you to take your time, and do things right. At just over 50 pages, you could zip right through the book, but that’s not really how it’s meant to be read. Melissa has added brainstorming assignments after each section so you can absorb the information and start to put it into action.

I wish I’d picked up a book like this three years ago when I started my blog. I know I’ve spent hours upon hours of searching out much of the same information that Melissa has included in one place. It would have saved me so much time, and I would probably be a in a very different place with my blogging by now.

Blog2Biz Book Review

Do you have any concerns like I do about going from hobby blog to money-making blog? I’d love to hear what they are!

Checkout Melissa’s blog here

Purchase Blog2Biz here

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Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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What we’ve been up to

This is supposed to be the post where I regale you with stories about how much we’ve been up to so far this month. And I can only assume you’d be totally impressed by often we go to story time at the library or the park or mommy-and-me yoga or to the natural food store to buy kale (lol, what’s kale?).

Instead, let me tell you what we’ve really been up to.

Finger painting in the backyard. With no pants on. Well, I had pants on. I think. Probably 50/50 chance I had pants on.

What we've been up to

Eating finger paint in the backyard. He learned that non-toxic does not mean delicious.

What we've been up to

I’ve helped Wyatt in and out of these boots 9,823 times. This is also his “going to Walmart don’t care” outfit. I think the fleece camo cargo pants give it a little extra ‘murica.

What we've been up to

We threw open the blinds a few times so the neighbors could watch me chase Wyatt around the house yelling things like “Where did you find those scissors?!!” or “Please stop hitting the dog with your hockey stick!” or my favorite, when he’s naked after a bath “Why are you squatting down like that? You better not be pooping on the rug again!”

What we've been up to

Wyatt formed his own one-man band. I’d describe his music as a folk/heavy metal fusion. Lots of harmonica and screaming. And based on how often I have to clean up his musical equipment, I’m pretty sure I’ve become his roadie. He pays me in kisses though, so I’ll stick it out.

What we've been up to

Wyatt has been playing with every inappropriate item in the backyard that he can get his hands on (he’s holding some of the inner workings of a burnt out firework, of course). And I let him. He’s pictured here being highly amused by my parenting skills.

What we've been up to

So, what have you been up to lately? (if it has anything to do with kale I don’t want to hear about it)

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Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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$25 Target Gift Card + Favorite Things Giveaway

You guys, my blog turned three this month! I can’t believe I’ve been sharing random stuff with you for three whole years. And more than that, I can’t believe you’ve stuck around for it!

So, I wanted to say thank you. Thanks coming here week after week. Thanks for commenting. Thanks for being understanding and so very encouraging.

And because you’re all so wonderful and amazing and you don’t laugh at me (at least not to my face) I’m having a giveaway! To celebrate my three year blogiversary and to say thank you, I’m giving away a few of my “favorite things.”

$25 Target Gift Card + Favorite Things Giveaway

1. Because I am a habitual note-taker, a fun note pad and some of my favorite pens. Plus a handy accordion file, because, well, they’re handy.

2. Because I love Vera Bradley, a set of coasters and a Tune In case (I love mine for storing my iPod shuffle and ear buds. I hardly ever lose them now!) – both Happy Snails pattern. Plus a fun notebook.

3. Because I really enjoy a good mani/pedi, a couple of fun nail polishes and a file.

4. Because I love to bake, a set of measuring cups and cupcake liners. They don’t fade when you bake. They’re amazing.

5. And because they’re awesome, a gnome, a bag of Cowboy Bark, and a $25 Target gift card.

The giveaway will be open through 9/30/2014 and is open to United States residents only. Enter using the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Trish Signature

Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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Super fudgy brownies

I feel like I’m drawing a line in the sand here with this post. On one side is the fudgy brownie gang. On the other is the cakey brownie posse. Don’t get me wrong, if the choice were no brownies or cakey brownies, I think we all know I’m going for those cakey brownies. But if I truly have my pick, I choose fudgy every time.

I especially like them straight from the oven, before you’re technically supposed to cut them. And you end up with this mangled mess of chocolate on your plate, but it’s okay because you just plop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and for a few minutes everything is right in the world.

Am I weird? You have to let me know if you do that too so I don’t feel like an outcast.

Anyway, let me get to the point. After making the same delicious brownie recipe for years, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted something ultra fudgy. After consulting my good friend google and making a few tweaks to the recipe, I feel like I’m prepared to declare these the best fudgy brownies I’ve ever had. I can’t keep my face out of the pan. I just keep cutting little pieces off and popping them in my mouth, because as you know, food doesn’t count if you eat it standing up at the kitchen counter. That’s a true fact and I don’t care what science says about it.

So you want to know how to get these super fudgy brownies for yourself? Cool! Because I want to tell you.

Super fudgy brownies

 

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup), melted
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine melted butter and cocoa powder. Mix in your sugars until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs and mix until they’re all well incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix just until everything is combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish, and spread out evenly. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the center is set.

That’s it! I kind threw some baking convention out the window. I didn’t beat the eggs in one at a time. I didn’t sift my dry ingredients. And they still came out perfect.

Super fudgy brownies

If you make these, let me know how you like them!

Trish Signature

Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo Dirt Cake

I know we’re all supposed to be busting out our fall, full-of-pumpkin recipes right now, but today I just really wanted good old chocolate and peanut butter.  And I decided if I was going to go for it, I was really going to go for it. So I started brainstorming and came up with a peanut butter cup and Oreo dirt cake. It’s full of sugar and awesome peanut butter flavor. It’s basically four layers of deliciousness.

At first glance, with all the steps, it seems complicated, but it isn’t. It all came together really fast. And I didn’t even destroy the kitchen in the process. A true miracle.

Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo Dirt Cake

Ingredients

Oreo Layer:

  • 30 Oreo cookies
  • 3 tbs butter

Peanut Butter Layer:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 15-20 mini peanut butter cups

Pudding Layer: 

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup cold milk
  • 1 3.9 oz box instant chocolate pudding mix

Whipped Cream Layer:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6-7 tbs powdered sugar

Directions

Oreo Layer:

  1. Finely crush Oreos in a food processor, or take things old school and crush them up in a ziploc bag. Reserve 1/2 cup of the Oreo crumbs for your topping.
  2. Melt butter and combine with remaining Oreo crumbs and press into the bottom of an un-greased 8×8 baking dish.

Peanut Butter Layer:

  1. Unwrap and coarsely chop the peanut butter cups. Set aside.
  2. With a mixer, cream together peanut butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and continue mixing until combined.
  3. Spread the peanut butter mixture evenly over the Oreo crust, then top with chopped peanut butter cups.

Pudding Layer:

  1. Whisk together pudding and milk for two minutes, until the pudding begins to firm. Add powdered sugar and continue whisking until everything is combined.
  2. Pour pudding over the top of the peanut butter layer, using a spatula to spread evenly.
  3. Optional: Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to allow the pudding to continue to firm up.

Whipped Cream Layer:

  1. Place a metal bowl and whisk (or whisk attachment for your mixer) into the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Once your bowl and whisk are ice cold, add heavy cream and powdered sugar and whisk until stiff peaks begin to form.
  3. Spread over the top of the pudding layer, then sprinkle on the Oreos you reserved from earlier.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making your own whipped cream, feel free to just use a store bought whipped topping. Let that tub thaw and spread it on top. It’ll still taste delicious, and will save you a couple extra steps.

Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo Dirt Cake

I pretty much ate a giant piece of it for dinner. I’m not sorry.

Trish Signature

Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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