Family * Travel * Food

Jul 13, 2017

How To Find The Perfect New Or Used Vehicle

Today's conversation is sponsored and all opinions are mine.

Looking for a new or used car can often times be one of those dreaded tasks, but is a must for most of us. It’s even harder when you are doing it for the first time. Narrowing down what style, make, model, and specific features you are looking for is the first step. There is a ton of research involved to ensure you get the perfect vehicle to fit your needs. 


The nice thing about living in this time is that nifty thing we call the internet. You can hop on to Cars.com and browse any type of car/truck/SUV whether new or used, and find what is available right in your area. If you already have car you would like to use as a trade, you can use their online estimator to see what your car is valued at. It took me about 3 minutes to fill out the short form and the results were instant. 

I was looking at used SUVs in a 40 mile range from my location and was really impressed with how many dealers came up in my area. I was able to set the price that worked for my budget as well as the distance I was willing to travel if I was interested in that particular one. It's nice to be able to see the specifics of each vehicle to help make narrowing down my choices easier. 

Some vehicles have many photos to show interior, trunk, backseat, front/rear end, and more. If you get your choices down, you can plan your visits to visit the dealer lot or showroom for a closer look and test drive. It's like a search engine just for automobiles. You can even save your searches and read reviews from other customers. We will be purchasing a family vehicle in the Fall and will utilize Cars.com as a resource to point us in the right direction.

Whether you are looking for a standard car, minivan, truck, SUV, or even a swanky sports car, Cars.com is a great starting place. You can browse the huge selection on their website and make sure you stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.
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Apr 7, 2017

How to Choose Keywords for SEO (Guest Post)

We all know how important it is to use the right keywords for your website. Identifying the most relevant keywords and key phrases can be essential for the success of your website and therefore business, so it is something you should totally treat seriously. Before doing such a thing, it is advisable to know the SEO process well so that your results could be useful.

Step 1. Have a keyword list

Place yourself in the shoes of your target consumer. If you would like to reach your website, what kind of words would you choose to search on Google? Also keep in mind that many users do not use a proper sentence structure or grammar rules. The order of the words is not necessarily the right one, so be prepared for such exceptions too. Use brainstorming for finding the right keywords and write down anything that comes to your mind. For example, people are more likely to look up “seo Chicago in IL” than write “SEO companies offering service in IL”.

Step 2. Research other keywords

You can use special analytic programs or Google’s suggestions to find alternative keywords. Take the list you have in Excel and start looking up each keyword there. But don’t press enter! Let Google suggest you other words there and write down those too. For example, wordstream.com offers a free keyword research tool which you can use. Also keep an eye for the most popular search terms out there.

Step 3. Careful with the pitfalls

Pay attention to possible pitfalls! These are vanity keywords, most of them formed by one word, which are really generic and descriptive. If you have a political campaign, probably you shouldn’t invest in generic keywords such as “senator”, “politics” or “election”, since they are too broad to bring you useful visitors.

Step 4. Test the SEO keywords

Take the list you made with the useful keywords for your website and test them. Check out the terms that belong to your analytics and which have good test results on WordStream.com. Rank them and see which ones make it to the top of the list. The next step is to buy pay-per-click ads only on the search engines that bring most traffic to the website. Then all you have to do is to sit back and see how do these keywords perform.

Step 5. Do weekly reports

Every week you should do a report and see how your website is going. In this way you can track any changes, whether for good or bad, and you can prevent other future lows. Compare the results to the baseline you had in the beginning in order to see if the SEO tactics are successful.

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Jan 24, 2017

Get Food Delivery With Bootler

Today's post is sponsored and as always, all opinions are mine


Aren't you happy that we live in the information age? If you want to know something, you simply grab your phone or computer and look it up. What happens when you're at home and dinner time is coming up and you don't feel like cooking? You would normally consider eating out, but there are those times you don't want to leave the house. You can order out, but depending on the time day, you aren't guaranteed to get your food delivered when you want it.

There's a new site to help make the process of ordering take-out a little easier. Introducing, Bootler. Bootler is an online search engine for delivery food.  With Bootler, they work with over 6 different delivery services that allow users to choose a restaurant and compare prices, availability, and delivery time. This saves user's time and money. They are not the actual delivery company, but they bring together other delivery companies and then redirect you to their website. You can compare it to a hotel or car rental search site that you can compare different hotel/car chains at one time.


You can choose different types of cuisine like Chinese, Pizza, Mexican and more. You can even order alcohol and it gets delivered through a service called Saucey. Booltler is currently only Chicago based but expanding to NY by the end of the year, and eventually to more major cities soon after. Check out Coal Fire Pizza Delivery.

Get the Bootler Mobile App in the App Store. Be sure to connect with Bootler on Facebook and Twitter for updates and hopefully to see when they will be available in your city!

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Aug 18, 2014

Provost Academy #MyUnVirtualSchoolIdea

This post brought to you by Provost Academy. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Mom Files.
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It appears that more and more families are turning to home or online school options for their children. The world is certainly way more different than when I was growing up and going to traditional public school. With one last child at home, I am entertaining the idea of non-tradtional schooling. The question that comes up is, "Will my child have any friends?" I think the social aspect of not attending public or private school physically makes parents get a bit nervous. Provost Academy in South Carolina might have the answer -- Provost Academy in an online public school incorporating social interaction into virtual learning known as My UnVirtual School Idea. They have thousands of students with a common goal. They are like most teens who want to do their personal best, build friendships and explore their dreams together.
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Provost Academy strongly believes that relationships matter as much as academics. They believe that learning is best done together instead of alone. In life, you can't go wrong with the team work approach. I don't think successful adults became that way all alone. The UnVirtual Online School works hard to connect students with other students who have shared goals and dreams, while being an inspiration and support to one another.  They seek out ways for students to engage with professionals in their fields of interest to talk with and learn from over something as simple as a cup of coffee. They try to match up students with opportunities to help them expand their potential and prepare them for some of life's many challenges. Learning can happen anywhere and they want to expand the definition of anywhere. 
All of this is why they like to think of themselves as The UnVirtual Online School. They’re a school built on relationships.
Other fun facts from #MyUnVirtualSchool
· They are accredited. This means the diplomas students receive when they graduate from Provost Academy are real and they are recognized by colleges and the military.
· There is no cost to enroll since they are a public school. Fortunately the value of a Provost education far exceeds the cost, and they work hard to increase that value each and every day.
· Their teachers, advisors and administrators work to build one-to-one relationships with  students. They are a dedicated group challenging each student to go beyond what they think possible and to care deeply about the learning process, not just the outcome.
· They know that learning is unique to each of their students, and flexibility is required. They believe by working together they can create a distinctive learning experience for each student. In honor of this, they invite our readers and followers to help launch the UnVirtual revolution by sharing their ideas, thoughts and suggestions on ways in which an online school can be more social.
The three Provost states are South Carolina, Colorado and Ohio.
I believe the way an online school can be more social is to have a girls' (or guys') night out for dinner and chit chat. Even if you can't be there physically, a Google hangout will suffice! 

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