Whats going on January Edition

Hi guys. So I do have a bunch of posts planned, but I just really haven't felt like doing the necessary photos for said posts, so they are temporarily on hold. Instead I'm going to catch you up on our lives lately.

Abbey: Is in the Spring musical again. Basically we have no after school time with her until the end of school. Especially since basketball season is still going on and she plays pep for that.

Emmy: Has her last swim meet this week. I took her swimming on Saturday to help her with some things she is struggling with. (flip turns mostly) she needs some work on starts too but since it was open swim time we didn't have access to the starting block and we'd probably have landed on someone because we were doing laps around the other swimmers. I am so proud of her. She has improved so much. I swear this kid has a natural talent. I will tell you there is nothing like racing a teenager on their stroke (not yours) that will make you feel old.  Although I totally beat her on my stroke :) But, this happening after Ernie beat me racing last summer. I have to get back into shape its killing me  to know that people are better. I really do hate to see the season ending. I told her we could keep going back to the pool to train in the off season.

Me: So the pool was just the start of it. I have been on an exercise spree  which is so unlike me lol but I am super competitive and Abbey and Hannah have joined a gym so I can't let everyone be fit without me. I am doing a 30 day squat challenge. That first day I thought I was going to die. I've also been walking a few times a week 4 miles and 11 flights of stairs is my personal best. I ran the stairs. Then there was the laps in the pool. Ok so this has only been going on for 2 weeks. I can't see any progress yet.

Hannah: Is back on a joining the Marines kick. She wanted to then she thought she had gained too much weight. Being at the gym has made her reconsider again. Of course she is still talking about going to EKU with Abbey so who knows. I am not getting panicky about Abbey moving somewhere that I can get to in an hour just yet. But you better believe if Hannah enlists I will be a wreck.

Movies: I took Abbey and Emmy to see Forever My Girl. Emmy and I are going back to see it this week. Seriously a good movie. Take tissues though. We immediately downloaded the soundtrack and have been listening to almost nothing else for weeks.

Super Bowl: Hannah is a huge Patriots fan and I am still holding a grudge against the Eagles for having Michael Vick as their QB. So we will be in Red, White and Blue on Sunday. We are also making a football jersey cake. That should be fun. This is the shirt I made myself. The cats laid on it before I could get a picture. So proof the blog is aptly named.  Yes the letters are made of glitter.

In Other News: The house beside me has been on the market for a year and 3 months. It finally sold. Hannah has been parking there since my driveway is weird and you can't park side by side so sometimes you get trapped by the person who comes home last. She wasn't happy that she has to either keep moving her car or park in my yard, which is squishy right now. I still haven't decided if I am going to tell them that my neighbor died there.

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7 Things to Consider Before You Start a Podcast

We are coming upon the 2 year anniversary of the Haunted Family Podcast, I thought since I am procrastinating on editing this weeks episode it is a perfect time to talk to you about starting your own. Every week as we are wrapping up the episode we remind our listeners if they want to start their own to check out Podbean and use our affiliate code hauntedfamilypb. Now you are more than welcome to jump right in and do that. It doesn't cost you anything extra to use our affiliate code (we will get a small percentage for you using our code) but really that isn't fair to just throw our lovely listeners into the water and expect them to swim. So I thought a series of tutorials on everything you need to know to get started in podcasting would be a great idea. This first post is everything you should consider BEFORE you even purchase the first piece of equipment.

This is the first post in a series on helping you get your podcast up and going. We made so many mistakes that first year, I want to help you avoid those same pitfalls. Lets start with some basics, have you given these 7 things any thought? They are important. I tried to research before we started, but beyond buy this or buy that, I didn't get many practical advice. So consider these 7 things and I'll be back with another post (probably in a week) to work through other topics concerning starting your podcast.

  1. Will you be recording alone or with a partner? I listen to a lot of podcasts and some have a solo host like Unresolved, The Night Time Podcast,  Criminal, and Lore. Some have two hosts like HFP, The Steph and Tara Show, Stories We'd Tell in Bars, Generation Why, and Crime & Stuff. You can also have a a group recording. Its totally up to you but which route you take will have some impact on the "voice" you are portraying. I love the banter of two cohosts, but its absolutely possible to be entertaining with just one host.You should also think about what you will do in the event the cohost can't record or decides to quit.
  2. If you are recording with someone how will you be recording? In person or in different locations? Will you have guests? Will they be live guests or pre recorded? All of these are questions you need to have an idea of. Don't worry if you don't know HOW to record in different locations or how to have guests. I will help you through that in a later post...I promise. 
  3. What's it about?  When we started talking about ours. I was driving a lot (I still do but not as much as I was then) I listened to podcasts all day long every day. Mostly true crime. I was a criminology/sociology minor in college. I thought it paired nicely with my BS in Early Childhood Development. Just kidding. I thought it was a topic I was deeply interested in and wanted to learn more about. Its still a topic I am interested in. You want your podcast to be something you are passionate about. Otherwise you will get bored and give up. Once you know what its about search whatever app you listen to podcasts on and determine how popular the topic is. If its something that super popular like True Crime is. How will you stand out? Heather really wanted a paranormal podcast and I really wanted true crime so we compromised. We give listeners a little of both, alternating weeks. 
  4. What's your voice? I mentioned voice already but now its time to think about it in relation to your podcast. When we started We tried being serious like Lore and Criminal. That just isn't our personalities. So its no wonder those episodes were so awful that we scrapped them all and are re recording them. No matter how much you love the topic if you try to be something you aren't it won't work the way you want it to. We decided to relax and be ourselves and once we did our growth took off. I know this because I track our analytics in Podbean (daily because I am neurotic) 
  5. What will you call yourself? The name is really important it will be the thing that people remember about you. It should be something memorable, that give the listener an idea what the show is about. Aside from your logo this will be the first thing people see. Heather picked our name and I am still not sure I am in love with it. Her resoning is, Its a podcast about the paranormal, we're family, and our favorite FBI profiler (see so passionate we have a favorite FBI agent) has a book called The Cases That Haunt Us. She had a point so we went with it. 
  6. What do you want your logo to look like? We recently got a branding makeover. That first year we were so scattered nothing was cohesive. I will help you not make that same mistake. People may tell you not to worry about this right now and to focus on more important things like what you will use to record on.....I say have an idea of what you want your image to look like. Its more important than you may think.
  7. Editorial Calendar. This is not a question its a statement. You need one. It will make your life so much easier. In the beginning we just recorded whatever we felt like from week to week. It made us crazy scrambling to research and it and the quality was low. Once we had a list of what topics we were covering and when, things flowed so much better. 
I hope this has given you some food for thought. Come back next week for help  navigating equipment and setup. 
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Winter Survival Necessities

So hey hows it going?  I had the day off (yesterday). The state of Kentucky (ok the university) decided to shut down today because the entire state got a bunch of snow. Its pretty rare for me to have a snow day so I took advantage of it and listed 6 new shirts and 13 stadium blankets. One is even blue with a paw print in celebration of my impromptu snow day. Since I spent the entire day and I do mean 12 whole hours, sitting at a computer (in my warm bed). I was in a checking stats kinda mood. So here I am. I just got back from checking stats here and I was shocked people read my last post and even more surprised that I had a highish number of visits. High considering I never share this blog on anything. That's when I noticed people were reading an old post. From the bygone era of me posting semi regularly.

I thought maybe since people were visiting that post that I could do a follow up. Especially since While working on my etsy shop I sat on my bed and watched cars wreck outside my window. We had about 6 in just 1 hour. I live on the most traveled road in my town. So you know its bad.

Winter Travel Necessities

I live in a well populated area and on the main road in town, so as long as I am in my town I could walk home. I do travel a lot for work and in some not so populated areas so I keep my car stocked just in case. At the moment I could probably live a few days in my car. Not because I am that prepared, but because its that messy. This is not a survivalist level list of things you need, but a just the basics. 

1. Non Clumping Kitty Litter- I keep a bag of the super cheap (less than a dollar litter) This is good for sticking under your tires. It helps give them traction. I bought a bag for Hannah's car too and she thought I was crazy, until we had a sheet of ice on our driveway and were able to back her down the hill no trouble, all thanks to the added traction of the cat litter.

2. A flash light- I got mine from Harbor Freight. It has a hanger on it so if you needed to see under your hood you can do it hands free.

3. Extra Gloves, socks, shoes- When one set gets wet you don't want to be stuck with in them all night. You can find these gloves in my etsy shop. Also available is just the gloves.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/571079933/monogram-beanie-and-gloves-gift-set?ref=listings_manager_grid


4. Charger- I have an iphone which means I am charging my phone about 4 times a day. Not really, I actually just got my phone so I am only charge it twice a day. But it still means I have to have a charger available all the time. I actually have a charger just for my car and one just for my house.

5. Throw Blankets- These come in handy if you can't keep your car running because you are conserving gas. I have a few of these in my car. They are like curling up in your favorite sweatshirt. You can find this one in my shop also.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/586985269/monogram-stadium-blanket-sports-blanket?ref=listings_manager_grid


6. Water and snacks- I keep a few bottles of water and some small snacks, granola bars, protein bars, individual bags of chips, or beef jerky are all good items to have handy.

7. I almost always have my work bag in my car which has stuff I could be catching up on, or magazines for reading. Great for occupying you for hours. You could just throw a book or your Kindle in the car. Although don't leave electronics in your car, the cold temps could ruin them.

8. Small tool Kit- Mine really only consists of a knife and some screw drivers. I really need to be better about this.

9. First Aid Kit- I keep a variety of head ache meds, band aids, Allergy meds. This is a result of Emmy once getting too close to something that had been near a horse and she had a head to toe rash and her eyes swelled shut. So from now on Benadryl and Allegra stays with me. Yes she use to be so allergic to horses that she could be near something that was once near a horse and have a reaction. She swears she isn't that allergic now. I am not taking any chances. Dramamine. I get car sick. This is a necessity.

10. Car Care items like jumper cables and a spare tire, windshield scrapper.

11. Lighter- I really don't know why I have this. Once when I had a flat the guy who came to change my  tire asked me if I had one. So now I keep one. I have never used it. 
 
12. When you hear that you are getting snow go ahead and fill your car up with gas. You don't want to be stranded in a ditch and unable to run your car to stay warm because you are afraid you will run out of gas.
 
 Things I should add but haven't yet
 
I mentioned these things two years ago. Wanna know something? I still don't have them in my car. To be fair though we had no snow last year. Or at least none that impacted travel at all. 

1. Small mini shovel
2. Flare
3. More variety of tools

The bright side is everything that I keep in my car can fit inside a 31 utility tote.
If you live in a cold weather climate. Is there anything you keep in your car that I have left out?
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Setting My 2018 Goals

I finished my performance evaluation for my day job  today. Should I even say day job since really podcasting and this blog does not pay? Oh well, I did it anyway. Filling it out got me thinking about my previous employer. Same job just a different employer. I would have to set yearly goals for myself. My supervisor would then walk me through breaking those larger goals down to manageable outcomes. I decided to do something similar to my personal yearly goals. I had never done that before and come November I am usually bummed that I didn't get as much accomplished that I wanted to. I have a lot of exciting things going on this year and hope my goals help me with those things.
Its my goal (haha my goal about my goals) to share an update every three months. I would love to say monthly but I am really trying to be practical. Here are the goals I have set so far.

Increase my Etsy shop views/orders
I am over joyed with how well  this little shop has grown. I admit I was not prepared for the Christmas rush and it got the best of me. I was overwhelmed, stressed, and all around crabby. I'm hoping for a better Christmas 2019.

Purge and Refresh House
Painting my living room inspired me to look at other rooms. I want to paint my room. Its the only room left from us moving in that hasn't been touched. But now the kitchen/hallway is looking worn. I took down a huge hutch that wasn't functional anymore and in its place I made an island/bar type thing that so far I am loving. I will share here soon.

Focus More on Me
I've gotten to the point that I rarely fix my hair or have make up on. I literally spend as much time as possible in sweats. That is not me. I don't know how I let myself get to that point. I had a work appointment last week and met with someone with no make up on and my hair in a pony tail. I did at least have nice clothes on. I want to get away from this level of laziness.

Focus on Health
 I'm drinking more water and tracking my movement and sleep with my fitbit.. When it alerts me to walk I get up grab some hand weights and get to walking. I have to say I do feel more refreshed afterwards. I have been complaining for years about needing to lose 15-20 pounds. This is the year I am going to do it. I haven't decided how yet, but I know going to a gym is not me.

Podcasting HFP
I am over the moon excited with the podcasts growth. We do a Happiness Jar every year and write positive things that happen. One thing I wrote was how many downloads we had. It was early in the year. We have doubled that per episode (if not more) It made me laugh at how excited I was and I had no idea what was in store for us. That being said there are still some areas I want to work on. I updated the etsy shop's banner and logo. HFP will be getting a make over too, I am also going to focus on marketing it better.

Podcasting Football
I am still planning on starting a second podcast this year. I haven't decided the exact launch date though. Either spring training or right when pre season games start. Either way if you like football, you may like that new endeavor.

Start a Youtube Channel
Because I like to stay  busy I am also starting a youTube channel. It was be crafting and general tips. I am shooting for a March 1st launch, I have a list of topics and have been working on branding it with this blog and the Etsy Shop since everything will be under the Cat Hair and Glitter name.

Work on Organization
with all these projects (and kids who do lots of extra curricular activities) I know I will be busy. I need to step up my organization game.

Cat Hair and Glitter the Blog
Last but not least this little blog. I know an editorial calendar would help. I just struggle with balancing topics I want to  talk about and adding in the pinterest worthy pics which be honest doesn't happen.  I will work harder here. That may be batch writing instead of flay by the seat of my pants last minute writing. I do want to improve my blog reading and add some new blogs to the mix. If there are some favorite blogs that you follow drop me their link in the comments. I would love to check them out.

So there you go. Its a tall order, I know. But I am excited about this year and ready to get started. What are some goals you are setting this year?
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Just some New Years Updates

Hi...I almost couldn't remember my password to log in here. That's how long its been. I was seriously surprised to see I have actually had readers in my absence. I am going to chalk it up to Heather mentioning this blog on our podcast which has a crazy amount of listeners. Anyway a lot has changed since I've been gone. In no particular order:

My work gave me a fitbit. I've been so excited, you know, to track my non existent steps. Actually I use it to track my nonexistent sleep 3 hours one night and 4 the next, followed by 11 the night after that. I love the heart rate feature. Now I understand why my dad use to wear his O2 monitor 24/7. Its strangely satisfying to see your body at work. If you have a Fitbit and want to be a part of my community let me know. I definitely think I need a competitive motivation.

I am no longer house hunting. After finding my literal dream house (pool and a doggy door. I am apparently not that hard to please) My relationship went down the toilet so no engagement or house. I am heart broken to say the least. I will be happy to talk about it, just not publicly on the blog.

I had an entire week off work between Christmas and New Years. It was amazing. I used that time to not think about this neglected blog. Instead I used it to paint my livingroom (which you can see in the upcoming Haunted Family Podcast YouTube videos)

Which reminds me, HFP recorded two videos for their just as neglected (as this blog) YouTube Channel. If it wasn't for Podbean uploading recording of our episodes for us there would be nothing there.

Which also reminds me. I believe I am hooked on YouTube. Emmy has been wanting to start her own channel for awhile and for Christmas she got equipment to get her on her way (which I used to make the HFP videos) But I am 99.9% sure that I will be starting my own channel there doing crafts. so if your interested in the crafty side of Cat Hair and Glitter you can check me out over there.....at some point. I'm thinking February or March.

Further proof I did nothing on my week off I downloaded a game I use to play years and years ago, Tiny Tower. I am sucked in again and waste more time than I want to admit on it.

I also want to jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon. I haven't bought one yet but seeing everyone on my FB feed with theirs is making me jealous. Do you have one? Would you recommend it?

I think that's it for updates. I am hoping to stop in and visit everyone this week (virtually on your blog, not in real life because I am an introvert and its too damn cold to get out)
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