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Things to do in Anaheim (Besides Disney!)

Most people immediately think Disney when they hear Anaheim, California, but maybe you’re “Disney-ed out” and looking for something a little more Zen while you’re visiting. In that case, skip the regular tourist traps, as the locals will tell you there's more to Anaheim than just Disney! We found several options for a feel-good afternoon/evening.

We are being hosted by Hilton Anaheim for this vacation. Be sure to check them out, because they have a lot to offer!

Hilton Anaheim

Hilton Anaheim is located in the heart of Anaheim’s revitalized Resort District and conveniently situated in the center of Southern California. Hilton Anaheim is just a short distance away from world-class beaches, sports stadiums and concert venues, ultra-trendy boutiques, action sports, lifestyle and tony shopping centers. Hilton Anaheim is approximately a one hour drive to downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica and South Orange County and an hour and a half drive to San Diego.

Hilton Anaheim

Travelers from around the globe will enjoy the ultimate Golden State adventure with Hilton’s “California Road Trip,” a destination package that inspires thrill-seekers and value-minded explorers. Discover an array of adventures and authentic experiences with rates starting at $149 per night. The package will highlight premier destination cities such as San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Anaheim and San Diego with special rates available through Labor Day Weekend 2017. To book, visit www.hiltonroadtrip.com.

Hilton Anaheim

With the California Road Trip package, Hilton aims to provide guests added value inside the hotel with a variety of inclusions to make your trip memorable while highlighting California as a premier destination for family fun, exploration and adventure, and exceptional hospitality through a unique partnership with its local conventions and visitors bureaus.

Huntington Beach

Who doesn’t feel better after a day at the beach? Head over to Huntington Beach for some sun, fun, and relaxation. For us, it’s hard to resist a nice beach, especially this one. They offer warm sand, an ocean view, and even a chance to watch local surfers strut their stuff! It is people-watching at its best, even the kids were fascinated. Honestly, the girls would've been so happy just to hang on the beach all week, but we have a few other things planned! We're keeping it low key, hoping Sapphire's health stays in check while we are on vacation (at the very least).

Things to do in Anaheim Besides Disney
(Image source)

Are you more inclined to do a little exercise to burn off that energy for the day? If you’re trying to be a good little exerciser like I am, check out the Oak Canyon Nature Center. Sit on park benches and view glimpses of colorful flowers and native animals in the three adjoining canyons or take to the many trails for a hike and a better view! The center boasts of 58 acres, many shady areas on the trails, a small museum with live animals, and Wednesday nights in the summer, they do nature tours. Definitely a local’s secret spot to avoid the Disney crowd.

Not up for that much activity? No problem. Kick back and try your hand at a little fishing instead. Head on over to Davey’s Locker where you step on the boat and they provide you with everything needed for a day out deep-sea fishing. Catch the big one, but be sure throw it back! Fish are our friends! ;) Or if you’re not much for fishing, you have to check out their whale watching tour. Get this: they even have a Groupon for it right now!

If you’re more of a culture lover, you need to check out the Muzeo. Right in the heart of a very metropolitan area of loft apartments and retailers, you will find the Museo. It actually houses the original Carnegie Library built in Anaheim and is so beautifully kept up that it is constantly used for events. You won’t believe the water sculptures they have in their courtyard. Definitely will bring my camera. Just be warned though that they are used so much this time of year for outdoor events, that they are only open to the public Tuesday – Fridays.

There's so much to see and do in (and around) Anaheim. Try to catch some music at the Pearson Park Amphitheater or do the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament next time you're in Anaheim.

… and be sure to stay at the Hilton Anaheim!

OREO Creation: My Love Story

When I was thinking of a new flavor for OREO, I was inspired by a love story: mine. I've talked a little about our story in my “Coming Out Day” posts, but do you know where we met? Where our first date was? How she met the kids? Where she first proposed? Why we got married on April 25th?

OREO Creation

My dream OREO creation is rainbow but I want it to taste like the original OREO because that's the perfect flavor for me. I want the bursts of color, of course, because rainbows are life!

R-O-Y-G-B-I-V … that's the rainbow, right? Right. So what better way to tell our love story than with ROYGBIV?

coming out day
(Our first official family photo!)

R – Rachel. We first met at work. It was a part-time job for me so I could get caught up on bills and afford Christmas for the girls. It took a while before I said anything to her but after that first introduction, I knew I really liked her.

O – Over the moon. We started hanging out (couldn't really call it “dating” because we just hung out at her apartment and watched movies lol), and got to know each other rather quickly. I was happier than I had ever been!

Y – Yes. We moved in together, she proposed (in a K-Mart parking lot because she wanted to propose at the Arch but my friends convinced me it was “too dangerous” at night so I told her no and she said “okay well I guess I'll do it here then”… she was not happy with my friends LOL). I said YES! We didn't get married until about 8 years later, on April 25th. There is no significance to that date! Well, there wasn't until now. :)

G – Girls. She fell in love with the girls as quickly as we fell in love with each other. Jenelle was 7, which is a tough age to introduce someone new so it was a rocky start. They still have their moments. Grace and Sapphire were only 2 and 4 so it was much easier for them. It was nice to have help with the kids. She was a good Mom from the start.

B – (New) Beginnings. We moved to Arizona 5 years after we met. While we left behind her parents (and mine – though my Mom moved out here 2 years ago to be near us) and friends, we know it was the right choice to continue our own lives together. We love Arizona so much!

I – Ideas. I'm always coming up with new ideas. I love how supportive Rachel is… every. single. time. It doesn't matter how crazy my latest idea is, she's like, “go for it!”. I love her for that.

V – Very (small wedding). Our wedding was small; it was done by the Justice of the Peace in Florence, Arizona… a tiny prison town with not much to offer. But we were surrounded by our kids, my Mom, and our two best friends (plus an awesome JOP), so it was perfect. We thought we wanted to do a wedding in the fall so we could have our families and friends join us, but now we just want to take a vacation as a family instead.

Oreo Flavor Contest

What's YOUR dream OREO flavor?

With My OREO Creation, OREO is inviting Walmart shoppers like you to exclusive in-store demos to try unique OREO flavors and then submit your own ideas for the next OREO flavor! The demos will be happening 6/30 – 7/2 at participating Walmart stores. Head to Walmart to check out all of the awesome OREO flavors available, including:

– Birthday Cake
– Mint
– Peanut Butter
– Salted Caramel
– and more!

OREO Creation

OREO is running a contest called the, wait for it… My OREO Creation Contest! They're offering a chance to win $500,000! WHAT IN THE WORLD?! I'm so excited! No PURCH NEC. 50 US/D.C./PR 18+. Enter by 7/14/17. Rules: ENTER HERE!!

OREO Creation

Instant Pot Hummus Recipe – 1 PointsPlus

Our Instant Pot is getting a workout! We had to replace our old one, so we upgraded to the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1. This Instant Pot Hummus is something Rachel has been asking for for quite some time now, so I'm glad we were able to try it.

Instant Pot Hummus Recipe

Easy Instant Pot Hummus

A 2 Tbsp. serving of hummus has 50 calories, 3g fat, 5g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g protein and a PointsPlus value of 1.

Ingredients:

16 oz dry chickpeas (or 2 cans)
2 tbsp tahini paste
3/4 cup water for dry chickpeas, 1/3 cup water for canned
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp cumin
Pinch of salt
½ tsp smoked paprika for garnish (optional)
Fresh diced parsley for garnish (optional)

instant pot hummus recipe

1 PointsPlus for 2 Tablespoons.

Also see: Free Instant Pot Meal Plan

Directions:

Making Instant Pot Hummus is super easy and fast, and you have tons of options as far as adding (or subtracting) ingredients. We like ours with extra garlic and I usually add cayenne, too!

instant pot hummus recipe

Pour dry chickpeas (or drained canned chickpeas) into pressure cooker. Cover with water, seal the lid, and cook on “Manual” for 8 minutes. Quick Release and remove chickpeas from basin, then drain.

instant pot hummus recipe

instant pot hummus recipe

Combine chickpeas, tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth and lump free.

instant pot hummus recipe

Pour into a bowl, stir a few times, and garnish with smoked paprika and parsley. Serve with veggies, pretzels, or chips.

instant pot hummus

instant pot hummus

Instant Pot Hummus Recipe

Easy, delicious, Instant Pot Hummus.

  • 16 oz dry chickpeas (or 2 cans)
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste
  • 3/4 cup water for dry chickpeas, 1/3 cup water for canned
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika for garnish (optional)
  • Fresh diced parsley for garnish (optional)
  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas, pour into pressure cooker. Cover with water, seal the lid, and cook on “Manual” for 8 minutes.
  2. Quick Release and remove chickpeas from basin, then drain.
  3. Combine chickpeas, tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth and lump free.
  4. Pour into a bowl, stir a few times, and garnish with smoked paprika + parsley.
  5. Serve with veggies, pretzels, or chips.

Recipe submitted by Jess Toothman. If you'd like to contribute your own recipes, please email slapdashmom AT gmail DOT com!

3 Ways to Get Kids to Clean Up After Themselves

Disclaimer: Our kids are total slobs and still don't clean up after themselves without some bribing nudging, but in this sponsored post for Bounty we're going to chat about how we can get them to have a little fun cleaning up.

SCROLL DOWN FOR A GIVEAWAY!!

3 Ways to Get Kids to Clean Up After Themselves

Make it fun. We all know kids are great at making messes, but cleaning them up is another story. Get them excited about cleaning up by making it fun! How did we make it fun? We downloaded the Despicable Me 3 Soundtrack, grabbed some Despicable Me 3 Bounty paper towels, and promised the kids to take them to see the new Despicable Me 3 movie if they all cleaned up without fighting.

In celebration of the new Despicable Me 3 movie, Bounty is introducing limited-edition Bounty with new Despicable Me 3 prints paper towels and quilted napkins that make clean-up quick and fun!

despicable me 3 bounty

These prints are adorable. The kids were looking for more stuff to clean so they could see if their favorite Minions were on the roll.

Keep a routine. Our kids don't have set chores but they know that they each have to clean up daily. In the morning we will tell one to feed the dogs, one to do the dishes, and one to dump the trash. In the evening if there's more to clean up, one will clean the table off, one will feed the dogs, while the other cleans the counters off. Using Bounty paper towels ensures the cleaning will be done sooner rather than later because it takes a while to run out of paper towels now. When we bought the cheap brands, the kids would use 10 paper towels at once and still not get the countertops clean! Now, it's one and done.

bounty despicable me 3 paper towels

Give lots of praise. Some kids need tons of praise while others are fine without it, but we've noticed that our girls all three respond relatively well to positive praise. Sapphire especially is the type of kid that will go above and beyond if she knows you're going to notice. Just this week, she cleaned the entire kitchen without asking while we were at the gym! A few days later, Jenelle did the same. Even if you don't think your kids need lots of praise, try it and see how it goes. A little love goes a long way!

bounty despicable me 3

Keep the celebration going and be sure to check out Despicable Me 3, rated PG, in theaters NOW!

Despicable Me 3

ENTER TO WIN!!!

Prize pack:

Despicable Me 3 movie tickets
Despicable Me 3 mugs
Despicable Me 3 tote bags
Despicable Me 3 magnets
Despicable Me 3 lunchbox

How to enter:

Follow me on Pinterest, then leave a comment below letting me know your favorite thing about Bounty and why you love Despicable Me!

Giveaway ends 7/16/17.

How to Make Protein Shakes Taste Better

The first protein shake I tasted was just protein powder and room temperature water mixed together. It was gritty, and the flavor was horrible. I swore protein powders off all together for a while because I thought that is just how they tasted. Fast forward a few years and I realize I need to get some fast protein, so I start looking at protein powder options. There are so many protein powders out there but you really want to make sure it's going to provide protein, without a ton of sugar, while also tasting great. If you've had a bad protein shake experience, have no fear! I'm going to show you how to make protein shakes taste better!

How to Make Protein Shakes Taste Better

Adding cinnamon, honey, or even vanilla to your protein shake will keep the calorie count relatively low while boosting the flavor. But how else can we make protein shakes taste better? Oh, let me count the ways…

Start with a high quality protein powder.

PlantFusion LEAN

PlantFusion LEAN (sponsored) is a protein powder that contains 20 different superfoods. This protein powder is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. It's also plant based which means Rachel loves it! ;) It's perfect for keeping you satisfied while working towards your health and fitness goals. When I'm eating something, it has to taste good. I'm not going to eat crap just because it's healthy, but if it's healthy and tasty, I'm in! The key ingredient in PlantFusion LEAN was shown to be 35% more effective than whey protein for curbing hunger. This helps you manage your caloric intake without depleting yourself of key nutrients.

Most weight control solutions focus on restricting or depleting good nutrition along with bad, leaving us feeling weak and tired. PlantFusion LEAN is designed to replenish and energize. Clinically tested protein, 20 superfoods and blood sugar support to fuel us through our workday, our exercise and our busy lives. With PlantFusion LEAN, I stay full longer, have more energy, and easily maintain my blood sugar. Maintaining my blood sugar levels is super important, mostly because I get very angry when I'm hungry. It's like a level beyond hangry. It's bad.

EcoLean is the only protein shown in clinical testing to be 35% more effective than whey protein for curbing hunger. It's also rich in amino acids for enhanced muscular energy and recovery. This is important all the time but especially when you're kicking butt at the gym like I have been lately. The natural enzyme bromelain is in LEAN, which helps with inflammation and protein digestion.

Blend it.

How to Make Protein Shakes Taste Better

You won't always have time to sit at home and make a gourmet protein shake, but I've gotten the best results while making sure my protein shakes are blended rather than just water and protein powder stirred/shaken together. It's not as convenient and it does take a little longer but for me it's 100% worth it.

Decide on your flavor.

When I say decide on your flavor, I don't mean the flavor of the protein powder. I mean, dream up an amazing shake and figure out how to make it. I always work backwards when doing this. For example, if I want a protein shake that's going to taste like a candybar, I will start with a chocolate protein base, and add some natural peanut butter with a little bit of almond milk. You can throw in a banana for added nutrients.

If you love coffee, great! I mix 1/2 cup ice, 4 shots of espresso, a few tablespoons heavy cream, and 1 scoop chocolate protein powder together in a blender for about 45 seconds. It tastes like a mocha frappe, without all the added crap we don't need.

Love strawberries n cream? Start with a base of vanilla bean protein powder, add a cup of strawberries, 1/2 cup ice, and 1 cup almond milk (or just 1/2 cup if you're not wanting a huge “meal”).

Mix it up.

How to Make Protein Shakes Taste Better

Always mix the flavors up so you don't get burnt out. You can even mix the consistency up by making your shake thicker some days. Combine yogurt, protein powder, granola, and fruit to make delicious parfaits. You can even add protein powder to your pancake mix! The possibilities are endless. Try new things and enjoy being creative rather than thinking of protein as a chore.

How to Choose the Right Dispensary

How to Choose the Right Dispensary

I'm learning about this as I go, so please don't take everything I say as gospel. This should just be part of the research you are doing. I am very careful while researching and am using solid sources (not just the High Times ;)).

Before we start, I'd like to mention the fact that there is a difference between recreational and medical marijuana. I am researching medical marijuana because our daughter, Sapphire, has debilitating migraines and vertigo that have affected her quality of life. We are on the path to getting her medical card (just waiting for it to arrive), and will continue researching and sharing what we learn as we go. We haven't found much information out there for kids, so it's my goal to spread awareness and at the very least just get a conversation going.

This is all new territory for me. My wife, Rachel, is super comfortable talking about marijuana for both recreational and medicinal use. I'm not. I'm getting more comfortable (obviously since I'm writing a blog post!), but it's still very new and makes me anxious. I hope that being open, honest, and completely transparent about our journey, I can help others come to the same conclusion as I have: medical marijuana is a necessity and it should be legal, federally.

Get weekly updates on our family and Sapphire's health here!

How to Choose the Right Dispensary

Just like with choosing a mechanic, a doctor, or even a place to travel to, you'll want to ask a lot of questions and read reviews when choosing a dispensary. After reading reviews on Leafly, WeedMaps, PotGuide, and bud something-or-other, I chose to make a few phone calls rather than drive to each one and ask a few questions. I wanted to get a feel for the customer service and knowledge each dispensary had before taking too much time on them. In places where it's not legal recreationally yet, most dispensaries will tell you to come in and ask more in-depth questions. In some states like Colorado, there are so many dispensaries to choose from it's almost like a Starbucks.

How to Choose the Right Dispensary

NOTE: This is not medical advice, it's not health advice, it's not advice telling you to smoke marijuana, it's not… anything else other than me sharing my daughter's journey.

Questions to ask when choosing a dispensary

The questions you ask your dispensary will vary based on why you're using medical marijuana. We are using it for migraines and vertigo, so what we need might be different than what you need. The goal here is just to get an open dialogue going because it's important to feel comfortable with the dispensary you choose. If you don't like the vibe of a dispensary you've called or visited, don't give them a second thought. There are more options out there.

Do you have experience with (your issues)? The first question I ask is if they have experience with treating migraines in children. A dispensary is not a doctor's office so “treating” might not be the right word but I want to make sure they don't freak out when I say the word children. Dosing in children is much different, and for legal reasons alone you have to be much more careful! You don't want to get your child high, you just want them to get relief.

Do you have additional resources? I found an amazing dispensary that not only has experience with children, they have a website with additional resources listed (including a dosing calculator for CBD). This was a huge deal to me considering the first dispensary I called was literally no help. Your local dispensary might offer free seminars or classes, or even allow you to schedule some 1 on 1 time with one of their staff, to learn more.

Other questions can include who to speak with about dosing information, where their products come from, etc.

Things to look for when choosing a dispensary

Read reviews! I recommend Leafly and WeedMaps. Scroll through until you find better reviews than “best pot in town!” from the 420 lovers.

Quality. As difficult as it may seem, finding the best (or at least better) quality is important when choosing a dispensary. Not just the quality of the products themselves but the quality of the staff. Sometimes it's trial and error, but it's better to learn now rather than later. Finding a top-quality dispensary is key in finding the right products for your needs. Whether you suffer from chronic migraines and vertigo like our daughter does, or you have debilitating anxiety, each strain is different and each product is different. Some medical marijuana patients vape, while others use oils and rubs. What you use is a personal decision that the right dispensary can help guide you to make.

Education. It's important, especially when dosing kids, to connect with staff that is educated on the topic. I called a few dispensaries and right away I could tell some employed well-educated staff while others were just like “hey dude”… and that's not the type of vibe I want to be dealing with. When I called Harvest, I asked if they had experience with children and told them what we were treating. They suggested I go to one of their free seminars, and meet with someone to discuss everything. That type of customer service is exactly what I was looking for. It showed that they're educated and willing to share that knowledge, which is what I needed. When I called the Reef, they said I should get information from my doctor (which my doctor cannot legally provide), and said they could “tell us what products they had” and that seemed like all they were really interested in. I knew right then that Harvest was a better choice for my family.

Time in Business. Sometimes this is a bit deceiving because if marijuana was just legalized in your state, all of the dispensaries will be new. Ask about experience. Many will be proud to tell you they've been in the business for ten years or whatever else.

Pricing. Price should not be high on the list of determining factors, in my opinion, because quality is most important. However, you don't want to be going to the most expensive dispensary around just thinking they're the best because they have higher prices.

Proximity. Another determining factor that shouldn't be too high on the list (no pun intended) is how close it is to your home. However, you do have to be careful when transporting medical marijuana in states that are not approved for recreational use yet, and when you're on federal property. So for example, we drive to San Diego at least twice a year. During that time, we pass through federal checkpoints. If we had marijuana on us, even though it's medical, it would be seized and we could be prosecuted for it.

Finding a dispensary that is closer to your house is obviously the safest bet, but the dispensary we have chosen is about an hour away and it's worth the drive for us because they hit all of the other bullet points as far as things we are looking for. I was told to carry the product(s) in my trunk during transport because most of the time it would require a damn good reason to have them look there. Some have said a warrant is required but they can say they “smell drugs” and will be allowed to search your trunk, so just be careful. I recommend getting a smell-proof bag if you're worried about it. If you're using drops and oils it's not as big of a concern.

Weigh reviews, quality, education, length of time they've been in business, and pricing together before making a choice.

Read more about medical marijuana for kids.

Get weekly updates on our family and Sapphire's health here!

Cake Mix Cookie Bars

You love cake, and you love cookies, so you'll quickly become obsessed with these cake mix cookie bars. You can mix them up with chocolate cake mix, chocolate chips, and nuts.

Cake Mix Cookie Bars

Cake Mix Cookie Bars

I would make these for a potluck, or any type of event where you are supposed to bring a dessert to impress everyone. ;) They're easy to make, super cheap, and you can make them ahead of time without the cookie bars drying out.

Ingredients:

1 box white cake mix
1 stick of butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 scoop protein powder
1-2 tbsp water (more or less depending on how sticky batter is)
Rainbow or pastel colored sprinkles

Prepared as directed: 8 PointsPlus per bar, 12 Smart Points
You can make it a lower points dessert by using a sugar-free cake mix, and skipping the sprinkles.

Directions:

Cake Mix Cookie Bars

In a large bowl, blend cake mix, butter, egg, protein powder, and water together until smooth. The batter will be THICK and almost dough-like, but you can add more water if necessary.

Cake Mix Cookie Bars

Add in white chips and some of your sprinkles.

Cookie Bars made with cake mix

Spray a small brownie pan with nonstick (8×11 or smaller), and spread batter out into an even layer. Smooth down with a spatula or your hands.

How to make cake mix cookie bars

Generously add sprinkles on top and press down slightly into batter.

Golden Cake Mix Cookie Bars

Bake at 35o degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into 9 pieces and serve.

White chocolate cookie bars made with cake mix

White chocolate cookie bars made with cake mix

Cake mix bars

Cake Mix Cookie Bars

Super delicious, most cookie bars.

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp water (more or less depending on how sticky batter is)
  • Rainbow or pastel colored sprinkles
  1. In a large bowl, blend cake mix, butter, egg, protein powder, and water together until smooth. The batter will be THICK and almost dough-like, but you can add more water if necessary.
  2. Add in white chips and some of your sprinkles.
  3. Spray a small brownie pan with nonstick (8x11 or smaller), and spread batter out into an even layer. Smooth down with a spatula or your hands.
  4. Generously add sprinkles on top and press down slightly into batter.
  5. Bake at 35o degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Cut into 2-3 -inch pieces and serve.

Ultimate Virtual Assistant Resource List

Virtual Assistant from Home

Are you ready to become the most amazing Virtual Assistant ever?

Ultimate Virtual Assistant Resource List

For two years, David and I have been adding resources to our VA/blogging group. This past week, I went through all of them so I could share with you! As we discover new resources for virtual assistants, I will add them to this post. Be sure to bookmark it and check back frequently! Leave your favorites in the comments and we will feature them.

virtual assistant training

Our #1 goal is to help you make more money, which is why we designed the Rocking VIP Lounge. Check it out and make some moolah!

Best Freebies

No strings attached to these freebies! Check the licensing agreements for each download but many have Extended Use Licenses for free as well.

Free fonts, graphics, and more each week (link never changes, so bookmark it!)

Weekly freebies for bloggers and VAs (link never changes, so bookmark it!)

Free Fonts for 2017

FontBundle has some free fonts, too!

Free alternatives to Photoshop, Illustrator, Word, and Microsoft Office. You can also use Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive. They're all FREE.

Productivity Tools for Virtual Assistants

This tomato timer is perfect for pomodoro, short breaks, and long breaks – the choice is yours!

2-5-10 minute action plans for bloggers – You could create services around these ideas.

Find free time in your schedule using this calculator.

Time saving hacks for entrepreneurs – many are things you can offer as services!

PIN IT!

free resources for virtual assistants

Finding Work as a Virtual Assistant

My best tip for finding work (other than joining the groups mentioned in my course) is to create a simple (simple!) website/blog that will serve as a portfolio. I created a tutorial to help you do just that: how to start a blog.

Sign up for the Gig List (free) to get freelance gigs sent to your inbox every week.

Scriptd is a community for freelancers. It comes highly recommended though I've never personally used it.

Social Media & Email Marketing

Freshly updated (2017) Facebook photos sizing guide: “so thorough, it's ridiculous” – David

Learn all about email marketing, from the Shopify blog

Help your client get caught up on emails using these techniques (or let them hire you to do it!)

Facebook's “banned” words list from Moolah

How to Build a Massive Instagram Following

Branding, Photography, & Design Resources

My #1 resource for branding and color inspiration is design-seeds. I could spend hours looking at all the pretty colors! The first step to a good design is a good color scheme. ColourLovers offers color palette inspiration as well. Also, you can try this free color wheel.

Find variations of every color using this color tool.

Beginners guide for choosing colors for your blog (resource to send to clients, maybe?)

50 Color Schemes from Canva

This Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing from Canva has helped me a ton.

I use this free online image editor to remove the background from photos and PNGs.

Grid calculators are super helpful for those of us who stuck at centering when more than one image is involved!

Learn how to tackle product photography (great service to offer!), from the Shopify blog.

If you aren't a photographer or don't have time to create your own photos, I suggest using stock photos from this free stock photos list. Another great resource I just found: Free Travel Stock Photos

Free clipart from Open Clipart

Content Creation & Brainstorming

My favorite thing to do as a virtual assistant? Content creation! The #1 thing that stops other VAs from loving content creation as much as I do? Lack of ideas! Don't let that stop you from creating content. There are way too many free brainstorming tools available to use.

Stuck? Try brainwriting and mindmapping rather than just brainstorming.

Kick Ass Headline Generator

Blog Title Generator

100 Best Websites for Writers – It's an older resource (2014), but still very relevant. I love it. One of my top bookmarks.

Read these tips on how to become an amazing copywriter, then read this review on Copywriting Academy. It's not like a regular review, it contains lots of helpful info.

Pinterest and Instagram Content Calendars – tells you when to publish content for best results

Learn SEO

RankXL – Ebooks and other free downloads.

5 Copywriting Techniques that Affect SEO

Here's a huge list of SEO resources, including some I'll be reviewing soon.

7 types of content that helps boost SEO

Everything Else

Free Pinterest Course, designed by yours truly. :)

Free courses on Shopify and Instagram

Free Courses from CreativeLive

2000+ free backgrounds for your PowerPoint presentations

Convert visitors into subscribers – a service to offer