Elite Blog Academy – My Experience

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

A few months ago I decided to take a chance and enroll in the first-ever Elite Blog Academy course.  I wasn’t sure I would learn anything new, but I was willing to take the chance.

The reason I decided to take the chance was simple. I love blogging. It is my passion. I have never felt so passionate about anything like I do about my blog. I get to do what I love: create and write. I love it so much that my goal is to be able to earn enough from blogging so that I can resign from my full-time “day”  job.


The photo above was taken at my desk at my “day” job. (I wonder if my co-workers think I’m talking about THAT job, ha!) Truth is: I don’t really like my day job. It’s an unfulfilling, unrewarding, paper-pushing, uncreative desk job that pays the bills. I want more than that. Like the quote above, I want to love what I do.

But in order to do that my blog has to grow. Gain loyal readers. I needed to learn how to do this. To learn from someone who could guide me through the process of a successful blog and show me step-by- step, exactly how to grow my traffic and generate a sustainable income.

Most bloggers know all too well how overwhelming it can feel to juggle the day-to-day demands of writing a blog with the big-picture strategy of creating a profitable business. That is exactly what Elite Blog Academy was designed to do.

Elite Blog Academy

I am so glad I did!  In the two months since I started Elite Blog Academy, my blog traffic has more than doubled! And I’m only about halfway through the course! I would love to talk to anyone considering taking this course who has questions or wants more specifics on my experience with the course. Please send an email to createandbabble@gmail.com.

Through a powerful combination of effective videos, practical and insightful handouts, purposeful assignments, and interactive live webinars, Elite Blog Academy will empower, enable, and inspire you to take the specific steps necessary to refine your message, grow your audience, monetize your platform, and transform your blog into a successful and profitable business.

Over the course of 12 lessons, you will learn how to:

  • Eliminate blog confusion by creating an organized framework that sets the stage for everything you do.
  • Discover the secret to harnessing Pinterest, the most powerful free marketing tool in the world.
  • Understand what is not working in your current monetization model and instead develop concrete goals and a solid plan for achieving them.
  • Dramatically increase your site’s passive income by mastering the four key strategies of optimizing ad network revenue.
  • Take advantage of the critical—but often ignored—connection between SEO and ad revenue.
  • Overcome your fear of private advertising and instead learn to approach brands with confidence.
  • Learn what it really takes to earn a six-figure income from your blog, then develop your own product along with a successful marketing plan to sell it.
  • Create a solid working business plan to take your blogging business to the next level.

While so much of the information currently available about Internet marketing is written only by those whose audience consists of other bloggers and marketers, Elite Blog Academy is different. It shares proven, field-tested strategies for building a successful, profitable blog, regardless of the niche and no matter the target audience.

It is possible to create a successful business from a blog, and Elite Blog Academy shares exactly how it’s done, step-by-step.

Course Materials

Here is what the course includes:

  • 12 Comprehensive Unit Videos
  • 12 Detailed Unit Workbooks with Video Outlines
  • 16 Powerful Handouts
  • 30 Purposeful Assignments
  • 4 Live Webinars
  • Accountability & Community within a Private Community Forum

Elite Blog Academy is designed to be self-paced, but should not be completed in less than 12 weeks. Blogging is not for the faint of heart, and this course requires a willingness to buckle down and get to work. That said, for those who are willing to do the work, it also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.

If you have a blog, you can’t afford not to take this course, and for one week only, starting today, you can enroll for just $299.  This is the last time this course will ever offered at this price, and believe me, it is worth SO much more!

Anyone who completes the course and has not seen measurable results in both traffic and income growth will get your money back, no questions asked. That’s a pretty incredible promise, but it means that you’ve literally got nothing to lose. Enrollment for Elite Blog Academy is extremely limited, and will only be open for two weeks. If you are ready to finally take your blog to the next level, sign up now to secure your spot!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase the course, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. As always, I only promote and recommend products and services that I use and love. This has been, by far, one of the best investments I have made in my blog.

Holiday Cards from Minted & Giveaway


It’s that time! Time to pick out the Holiday cards! This year, my cards are coming from Minted and here’s why. Did you know that Minted partners with talented independent artists? I love that!

“Our purpose in life is to uncover exceptional design from all over the world and bring this to savvy consumers who won’t accept anything else.”

holiday cards from minted

These are a few of my favorite non-photo Christmas Cards.

Minted Photo Holiday Cards

And the choices for photo cards is almost endless.

booklet by minted

This year Minted offers a new and unique idea: booklette cards! Booklette cards are part family letter and part Christmas card. These booklette cards are a lovely replacement for the old-school Christmas letter!

minted holiday cards giveaway

This season, Minted also has a beautiful series of foil wrapped cards; you can choose from silver, gold, or the new rose gold, how pretty!

While I purusing the Holiday Cards I had to click over and see what else Minted offers and look at what I found:

holiday cards from Minted
I am crushing big-time on these Vintage Metallic Glass Ornaments

Minted Holiday Cards

And the Seaglass Large Felt Garland – I love it!

Minted and I would are giving one of you $150 in credit to shop at Minted!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, to keep the lights on here at Create & Babble.

Silhouette Portrait® Giveaway

Create & Babble is two years old! I know, I can hardly believe it myself. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy writing this blog. Truly. I absolutely love this!

Even though it sometimes feels like I am burning a candle at both ends since I also have a full-time job, I wouldn’t write this blog if I didn’t feel so passionately about  it.  Hopefully, this will be my full-time job within the next year – that’s the goal anyway ; )

It’s hard to believe how this little blog has grown and reached so many people in the last two years. And I do believe that I have the nicest readers in all of blogland!

silhouette portrait giveaway

For those of you who have been here since the beginning, I thank you so sincerely for sticking with me. And to all of my new readers, I welcome you and thank you too for reading and sharing. It means the world to me.

To help me celebrate, Silhouette America is giving away a Portrait® to one of my lucky readers. How appropriate that the maker of my all-time favorite crafting tool is sponsoring this giveaway!

two year anniversary giveaway

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Blogland Tour

I was asked to write about what goes on behind the scenes at Create & Babble as part of a tour through blogland. I was introduced on the tour by Sondra at Sondra Lyn at Home.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sondra this summer at a blogging conference and she was just as sweet in person as she is on her blog. We hit it off right away. Probably because we’re from the same generation and we are both newish grandmothers! I must admit that I’m a little green with envy that she gets to stay home and watch her precious grandson everyday ; )

Sondra’s blog is not only full of great decorating ideas, but also tips and tricks. Like this one where she tells us how to preserve pumkins:

How-to-Preserve-Pumpkins-for-Decor-Sondra-Lyn-at-Home1 And she’s crafty, too. Look at these cute notepads:


There’s so much eye candy at SondraLyn At Home!


As part of this blogland tour, I am to answer four questions. Here we go!

1. What am I working on?

Right now, I am finishing up the remodeling my powder room. Some times I tell myself that I bit off more than I can chew, but I have to say that it’s been quite the learning process. There have been a lot of firsts for me in this project. Like installing glass tile for the first time and removing and replacing wood trim. Both of those turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. Another first is installing crown molding. As of this minute I am failing terribly but I’m not waving a white flag….yet! UPDATE: it turned out pretty good!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That’s easy. Because it’s ME talking. And it’s MY experience that I’m sharing.  And it will be different from any other blogger. Of course you may see some similar projects around blogland, but we all have our own individual writing styles, senses of humor, and ways of doing things that aren’t alike at all.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?’

Another easy question for me. Because I LOVE IT! I have never felt so passionate about anything before in my life (besides family, of course). This blog is my fourth child! I often think how different my life would be now if all of this would have been available when I was in my 20’s or 30’s.

4. How does your writing/ creating process work?

This is a tough one. I honestly fly by the seat of my pants most days. I wish I could say that I’m so organized and planned into the future, but I’m not. Maybe some day this can become my full-time job and I’ll be more organized, but for now this is how it is ; ) And it seems to be working out okay. I just make what I want to make and then talk about it. Yep, that’s my writing/creating process: making pretty things, making things pretty and then talking about it! Simple as that!

Now, I’d like to introduce you to two blogging friends of mine. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recognize them since they have contributed here in the past.

The first is Maureen from Red Cottage Chronicles. Maureen and I have been online friends for a few years and we’re hoping to meet in person next year at a blog conference.

Hey All!  I am Maureen from Red Cottage Chronicles.  I have a passion for baking and love to share my adventures in my tiny cottage kitchen.  I am currently navigating my way through part-time studies to achieve my baking certificate from a local culinary school.  I am married for 28 years to my high school sweetheart who is always more than happy to be the official taste tester! 

for jeanie

Did you just gain 10 pounds looking at those desserts, ’cause I think I did!

Now meet my funny, smart, and very talented friend Leilani from Keeping Up With Mrs. Smith.

Hello! I’m Mrs. Smith and I live in a fixer-upper with Mr. Smith and two cats. When I’m not eating scones and enjoying coffee in our sleeping porch, I’m making some other kind of food or fixing up some other room in the house. I’m all about upcycling, dinner parties, growing food, the smell of dirt, and kitty snuggles.

Mrs Smith collage

Leilani recently updated her “rumpus room” as part of the same 30-day room challenge that I’m doing. I’m sure she’d love to show you how she took upcycling to a whole, new level!

Lavender and Mason Jars

Hi friends! Thank you to everyone who entered the Ball Jar giveaway. The winner has been notified and she will receive her prize pack in a couple of weeks. Speaking of the Ball Jars, I want to show you what I did with some of mine over the weekend. Painting mason jars is pretty popular right now so I had to give it a try. I have a big bunch of dried lavender that needed a home so I put the two together and came up with a pretty way to display both.

lavender and mason jars Since I don’t normally use a lot of the typical falls colors in my decorating, I thought this shade of purple would make a nice transition from Summer to Fall in my living room. And the fragrance from the lavender is heavenly.
I had enough paint, jars, and lavender to make three. One for me and two to giveaway as gifts.

This was a super easy project. I simply painted the jars with some acrylic craft paint, used a sanding sponge to add some distressing, and tied some torn scrap fabric around the top of each jar.

I tried to grown lavender this year but it didn’t make it. I had read that it’s easy to grow. Not for me. I did a little researching and it seems lavender likes well drained soil. Maybe that was the problem. Do you grow lavender successfully? If so, I’d love to hear your secrets to success!

Vinyl Word Art

We’ve all seen word art, right? I find myself admiring all of the word art posters, boards, and canvases that I see but I don’t ever buy any. Why? Because I know I can make my own for practically nothing. Any time I see some that I like, I grab my iphone and take a picture with plans to make one similar using my Silhouette Cameo. And then the photos stay on my phone and I forget about them. Womp womp. Until now. word art | createandbabble.com
I have had the following photo on my phone for at least a month.


These word art signs were at a store near me and I spotted them on my way to the check out and stopped to take a quick photo. I was originally going to make a stencil and paint the letters on a board.


But then I saw what Nancy, from Artsy Chicks Rule made. A word art sign using vinyl. Isn’t that pretty! Perfect for the kitchen! If you’ve never been to Artsy Chicks Rule, I urge you to go visit. She is super talented at re-inventing thrifty finds.

Well, since I seem to have amassed quite the stash of vinyl it was a no-brainer!

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 8.08.31 PM

I used a font called FontleroyBrown and designed my word art to fit on the piece of wood that I had. The letters are about 3″ high. One trick I learned when working with vinyl is to draw rectangles around the shapes or words to make weeding easier.

If you would like to make your own word art like mine, feel free to download the Legacy version of the cut file here or if you use Version 3, use this one. (for personal use only)

vinyl-word-art-createandbabble.com Using transfer tape, I removed the words from the vinyl backing and placed them on my board that I painted black with acrylic craft paint.

word-art-3-createandbabble The I slowly removed the transfer paper. It is so easy and fast!

vinyl-word-art-createandbabble I lightly sanded the edges of the board. This little project only took about 15 minutes to make. Can’t beat that!

vinyl-word-art I hung it above the patio doors in my living room using Command strips and love how it looks there. It’s a nice reminder to anyone walking out that door.


Silhouette Goodie Bag Giveaway

I have teamed up with seven of my blogging friends to host a Silhouette Goodie Bag Giveaway!

Image Map
1 Grand Prize Winner will get a prize pack valued at nearly $200 that includes:$25 Gift Cards to each:
My Vinyl Direct
Expressions Vinyl
Punch Place Plus
Square1 Masterpieces
approximately $80 worth of Silhouette goodies including:
1Silhouette Sketch Pen Starter Kit (Includes 10 free designs, 24 pens)
1 Silhouette Printable Sticker Paper
1 Silhouette Double Sided Adhesive Paper
1 Adhesive Magnet Paper
1 Rhinestone Template Kit
1 Pack of Assorted Rhinestones
1 Light Hold Cutting Mat (CAMEO)
1 Silhouette Replacement Blade
1 Fabric Blade
1 Clean Cut Interfacing
3 Winners will Each Get $25 Gift Cards to MyVinylDirect.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Discover P&Geveryday

Ever since I discovered that gardening may become a new hobby for me, I’m trying to learn a little bit about it. Now there are a lot of resources that I could use. There are countless websites, books in the libary, magazines, etc. that I can use. But I know me. I easily become overwhelmed with all the information that is available and I start to lose interest. I’m just looking for smaller doses of information that will help me succeed. I recently found a great resource that I want to tell you about.


It’s the P&Geveryday website. This website is is committed to making every day just a little easier by helping you achieve rewarding moments. Every day. P&Geveryday has a goal to inspire, support and empower you to unlock the extraordinary potential in your everyday life. I like that!

The site features content and resources on beauty, family, food, health, home and more – all alongside great offers from the innovative and trusted brands you know and love. All in one place!

What you will discover on P&Geveryday

  • Delicious recipes, beauty trends, and smart tips
  • New products to try out for yourself, family and home
  • Product ratings and reviews
  • Fresh ideas and inspiration
  • Coupons and samples from your trusted brands
  • And much more!

P&Geveryday is a website created by Procter & Gamble, a company that has been establishing brands for the past 175 years, helping people around the world have extraordinary days. Every day.

I just read the article under “Gardening” and quickly learned 7 watering tips. Good information for this novice gardener to know!


And there’s another about weeding……


….and how to attract hummingbirds.


I’d love for you to visit P&Geveryday and tell me how their ideas, advice or products can make it easy for you to enjoy life….every day!

You can follow P&Geveryday on Facebook, too!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Berry and Yogurt Parfaits

Berry and yogurt parfaits have long been my go-to everyday breakfast for years. I make them all year long, but now that berries are in season, I love them even more by making them with fresh berries instead of frozen. reddi-wip-sweeps

You know I don’t share a lot of recipes here, but when Reddi-wip told me about the Berry Joyful Sweepstakes taking place, I knew now was a perfect time to share how I use Reddi-wip topping. And you can too! Now through July 7, 2014, consumers can share their everyday Reddi-wip® berry-licious moments on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the #BerryJoyfulSweeps hashtag for the chance to win a trip for two to the 2015 Watsonville Strawberry Festival, Reddi-wip coupons or berry keepers. See the official rules.

Here’s how I make my berry and yogurt parfaits:

First I place cut-up strawberries in the bottom of a glass.

berry-yogurt-parfaits Then I add layers of yogurt (I use low-fat, sugar-free yogurt to keep ‘em healthy), granola, a little more yogurt, blueberries, then a squirt of Reddi-wip.


Each serving of Original, Extra Creamy and Chocolate Reddi-wip has only 15 calories. Each serving of Fat-Free Reddi-wip® is only five calories.

berry-yogurt-parfaits-createandbabble One of the reasons Reddi-wip® sounds, looks, and tastes so good is that it has always been made with real dairy cream—and never hydrogenated oils like some other whipped toppings.

Fore more recipes, visit the Reddi-wip® website.

Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Reddi-wip. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Reddi-wip and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

Country Living Fair Ticket Giveaway

I just received word that I have two tickets to giveaway to the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, New York! These two 3-day passes will grant admission to the Fair all three days, from June 6 to 8, and early admission (at 8:30amon Friday and Saturday.

CL Fair Rhinebeck 2014


WHAT: See the pages of Country Living magazine come to life, with three days of shopping, cooking, crafting and DIY demonstrations, as well as antique appraisals, and locally-sourced, artisanal food, in a fun, festival atmosphere.

WHEN: June 6, 7, 8, 10am-5pm

WHERE: Duchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck, NY

WHO:   Guests will have an opportunity to meet the Country Living editors, as well as special guests, including:

  • Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys”
  • Cari Cucksey,  star of HGTV’s Cash & Cari
  • Kelsey Nixon, star of Cooking Channel’s Kelsey’s Essentials
  • Michael Devine, entertaining and design expert
  • Designers Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham of Tilton Fenwick

Full list of celebrity guests and vendors: http://www.countryliving.com/cl-fair/country-living-fair-rhinebeck


  • Purchase tickets starting at $13 at www.stellashows.com
  • Admission is $13 in advance and $16 at the door; three-day weekend passes are available for $15 in advance and $20 at the door
  • An Early Bird Three-Day Weekend Pass is available for $40 (in advance only) and grants early admission at 8:30 a.m on Friday and Saturday
  • Free admission for children ages 16 and under.

On social media, attendees will be able to engage with @CountryLiving at the Fair by using the hashtag #CLFair.

A huge thank you to HomeTalk for giving me the opportunity to attend the Country Living Fair!

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment! One winner will be chosen at random and I will announce the winner on Monday, June 2 at 09:00 EST. Good luck and see you at the fair!