Category Archives: Random

For every post that doesn’t fit a unique category.

How to Grow your Instagram Followers

How to Grow your Instagram Followers

A question I am often asked is “How do I grow my Instagram followers?” – The answer is simple. It will require a little effort on your part, but nothing too complicated. Here are my best tips for how to grow your Instagram followers:

How to Grow your Instagram Followers

Define your NICHE. It’s ok to have a lifestyle Instagram feed. I do! But, feeds with a defined niche (think travel, food, yoga, etc) gain more followers. This is because people know what to expect. If you don’t have a defined niche, then try to keep your pictures related somehow.

Post CLEAR images. Instagram is all about photos. The better your photos, the better your chances of gaining followers. Avoid posting blurry pictures or pictures with poor lighting. Clear, bright, and colorful images get the most interaction.

Use relevant HASHTAGS. Posting a selfie of you in bed with the hashtag #food isn’t going to help you get followers. Use hashtags relevant to your picture. I find it works best if you use one or two of the most relevant hashtags in your caption and then put your other hashtags in the first comment. Take advantage of the limit and use at least 5-10 hashtags.

COMMENT on others photos.  “Liking” photos are important, but commenting is more personal. People often skim through the list of likes, but will take time to read the comments and who they are from. Comments show that you put effort into being a good friend/follower. Make yourself stick out by commenting. (Side-note: Make sure your comments are relevant and not considered “spammy”. Good comment: I’ve used that same curriculum. It worked well for us. Bad/Spammy Comment: Thanks for sharing!)

LIKE multiple pictures at a time. Pick a friend or pick a person that has used a hashtag relevant to your feed and like multiple pictures from that individual. Don’t forget to add a comment or two! Your name stands out when commenting and you may even get a shout-out for liking multiple pictures from an individual.

FOLLOW people with similar interests. You can find them by browsing hashtags or looking at who your followers are following.

INTERACT with those in your niche. Browse the hashtags that you use most frequently and interact with those people. Like and comment on their pictures. Ask questions to facilitate conversation.

AVOID posting too much or too many of the same image. It’s ok to post every day, but you don’t want to post 5-10 pictures in a row, especially when the pictures are similar. Keep similar pictures to a minimum of 2 and space them out.

LINK your Instagram account to other social media accounts. Whenever you post on Instagram, share it with the other social media accounts. This lets your followers on other platforms know that you are on Instagram.

That’s it. Sounds simple enough, right? I bet you are already doing the majority of these. Remember, the biggest key to growing your Instagram following is staying consistent!


Do you have any additional tips for how you grow your Instagram followers? 

Do you follow me on Instagram?
You should check me out. Here’s a glimpse at what I post:

Chronic Lung Disease looks a little like this… #cld #specialneeds

A photo posted by Life As A Convert (@lifeasaconvert) on

Finished Aybra a hat.

A photo posted by Life As A Convert (@lifeasaconvert) on

I am early so… #selfie

A photo posted by Life As A Convert (@lifeasaconvert) on

Practice Makes Progress

Practice Makes Progress

Practice Makes Progress.

This is a phrase I say often. I don’t believe in Perfection, and teaching my kids that if they practice something they will perfect it seems wrong to me. Instead, we strive for progression.

Practice Makes Progress - A gentle reminder that perfection isn't required

As you saw in my 2016 goals post, I didn’t quite complete all of my 2015 goals, but I did make progress. I think part of that was because I just simply didn’t look back/read them often enough. To avoid that, I have printed my 2016 goals out and hung them in my bedroom where I will see them everyday as a reminder of what I want to accomplish.

Nevertheless, I wanted to share the progress of my 2015 goals. I added notes for some goals inside parenthesis. I plan on completing the list in 2016. I put a strike through the goals that were completed.

2015 Goals Progress:

Delete old blog posts – edit/bump some others for SEO (Deleted some, but didn’t edit any for SEO)
Make better/Pinnable images 
Blog 1-2 times weekly with focus on Reach and interaction (I think I averaged 1 post a week overall if that counts)
Set up social media scheduled shares
Update social media kit regularly
Promote YouTube channel more!! (Though not as much as I should have, I did get better at this)
Clean sidebar including: About Me. Popular Posts
Define and stick to my niche
Reach level 50 in Diablo 2 :)
Read 12 new books for FUN I read 41 books in 2015.
Complete my 30 before 30 list
Learn new makeup techniques
Complete 12 craft/DIY projects
Teach Aybra to read!
Teach Losh to write his last name and 1-20
Serve others
Save save save (Saved and then drained it.. so while not a complete failure, it ended up being a fail)
Create more income (Need steady income)
Build more friendships
Create more worksheets
Take family pictures (Selfies don’t count!)
Day and Night family prayer
Visit the zoo – maybe a new one
Visit a new park
Swim more  (We didn’t swim much, but more than the previous year, so I am counting this as a success)

Did you complete all of your 2015 Goals? 

I find it easier to complete my goals if I make them according to what I am already focused on doing.

2016 Goals and Word of the Year

2016 Goals and Word of the Year

Welcome to another year and me sharing my 2016 goals!!

Same me; new goals.

As usual, I am keeping my 2016 goals simple and focusing on things that I am already working on. Last year I had a similar strategy with goals that would be easy to achieve.. tho I did fail on completing all of them. This year’s goals are also easy to achieve, yet things that will benefit my life in some way.

Here we go!

2016 Goals and Word of the Year - by Life As A Convert

Bake pies and deliver to strangers.
This may be a totally selfish goal but it sounds very charitable, right? I want to learn how to make a good pie crust, but also not get fat in the process. This way, I can bake, and make other people fat. Win-Win!

Record 3 videos in public.
I vlog all the time in public, but making videos in public has been something that I have not done yet. For the longest time I have wanted to do some videos in public. I have a few ideas in mind, but nothing actually planned yet.

Read 30 books.
I set a goal last year to read 12 books and went way over my goal. This year I will be happy with 30.

Shoot more in Manual.
This is somewhat of a long-standing desire. I would like to get more familiar with my camera and learn how to shoot in manual. Learning how to edit would be the next thing.

Take a vacation.
Even if it is just a weekend away, we need a vacation! We didn’t leave the state at all last year. This year, we must remedy that. I want to take the kids to the beach.

Family Pictures!
This one was on my list last year, but I failed to make it happen. I am in desperate need of some updated family pictures. We usually take them in the Fall, so I guess that gives me plenty of time to plan.

Dinner Parties with FRIENDS.
I like hosting dinner parties. My dinner parties are normally just family though. I want to do more of that this year and include more friends.

Add Recipes to Document.
I have plans of putting my most used recipes in a recipe book. The first step is to put the recipes – single page format – into a document. I originally planned to do it from my cooking blog, and just turn my blog into a book, but realized I have a lot of blog posts that won’t look good enough or that I no longer use/like.

Learn to Play Piano.
Keyboard… Piano… Same thing, right? My oldest son, Kaia, recently acquired a keyboard and I am trying to learn it along with him. I know that “learn to play piano” is a very big goal, especially since I am finding that my fingers aren’t too coordinated, but with practice I hope to be able to play some Christmas tunes next year.

Complete 2015 Goals.
Seems fitting enough, right? I have some leftover goals/tasks that need to be done. The ones I have in mind are mostly blog related.

That’s about it folks.. Nothing drastic going on over here.

2016 Word of the Year

It took me until today to officially decide on my word.

I chose VALUE.

To value something is to notice it’s worth and to hold it dear to you. I want to value my relationship with God, my family and the time spent with them, my friends, strangers, my time, my finances, ME, my body, my mind, and….. You get the idea.

I don’t want to lose sight of what is important to me. And I want others to know what they meant to me.

I did a little search and found out that I am not the only one who chose value. Alexandra over at MOKUSKA chose Value too. How cool is that?!

What are some of your 2016 goals? 

Do you have a word for the year? 

5 Christmas Toys I Regret Buying

5 Christmas Toys I Regret Buying

Christmas has come and gone, but what is here to stay is the regret over buying certain toys for Christmas. If you are a parent, then I bet you can empathize with these 5 Christmas toys I regret buying.

5 Christmas Toys I Regret Buying

The toy with no volume control

You know the one I am talking about. It looked like a good idea in the store. Thinking I could just turn it off or lower the volume at home, I bought it.. Except when I brought it home I discovered there was no volume control (only loud or louder) and no off switch. My daughter got an after-Christmas gift of a Robot dog that is attached to a leash and walks and barks. Cute, right? The button that makes it move also ALWAYS makes it bark -loudly – and it doesn’t stop until turned off. This toy tops the list of the toys I regret buying the most!

The toy with a gazillion* pieces

I thought I did pretty good with this one this year. I refused to buy any toy that had a lot of pieces (ahem, I am looking at you tiny lego kits).  Instead, I ended up buying craft kits with a million pieces. It’s worse than Lego kits! Not only do they get the stuff everywhere, it STAYS there! Because, you know, paint and stuff.
*That is only a slight exaggeration. 

The toy that I wanted when I was a child

I bought my kid a (blank). Go ahead, insert whatever you want in that blank. You know as a parent that you have bought your child something you wished you had, or something you liked when you were younger. I always wanted a tea set but never had one. Instead I got one for my kid. Now, she doesn’t like it and it sits unused in the corner.

The toy that I only bought one of..

Hello?! I have three children. What in the world was I thinking? I knew they would fight over it, yet I fantasized in the store that they would all get along and share it nicely. Nope! They argue over whose turn it is, or what color it should be or even HOW to play it. Next year, I will purchase three!

The toy that doesn’t work (anymore)

Ever got suckered into buying something because of a great marketing strategy? I have! I bought a helicopter for my son. It was a nice, expensive, remote controlled helicopter. What’s the worst that could happen, right? I paid good money for it, so it should work. Well, turns out my son is a terrible pilot, and a crashed helicopter will no longer work. $100 for 5 minutes of fun was not worth it! – Even worse? Spending money on a toy that never holds up to its promises.

What are some toys that you regret buying?

– OR –

What are some that you are glad you purchased?