qigong

New Film Projects Coming Soon

Here is a sneak peek of a photo shoot I did at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

In an effort to get back to filming more frequently, I decided to help out my friend’s Yoga teacher by doing a before and after video of their gardening project. I filmed the video in two segments about 3 months apart. I love shooting scenery with a pan. It’s something I’ve always done and it’s probably the best way to know I filmed something. I’m really glad I started filming again because it’s something that I’ve always loved doing. I’m glad to be sharing my talents with the world again because I know that I don’t keep filming I’ll stop doing it again. I know that if I keep practicing, I’ll get better.

I hope to post a new yoga video featuring my friend, but the weather has not allowed us to film anything. My schedule has gotten tighter with work, but I hope we can do it soon because when school starts I will have even less time to do filming projects. It’s hard to get it all done when filming is not your only hobby. I have so many things to do and these past two months have been pretty hectic with filming family interviews and trying to work on scanning old family photos. I am looking for a way to incorporate all my hobbies so that I can film historical events and sites. If anyone has any suggestions or places that you think I should film let me know in the comments.

If you would like to join any of Mary Martha’s classes please go to GentleWellness.com for more information.

If you would like to read more about how I started doing yoga, please read this blog called 3 Reasons Why I Should Have Started Yoga A Long Time Agostart doing yoga today not tomorrow

one world that will help you increase your traffic goals

The One Word That Will Help You Increase Your Blog Traffic

I started blogging with MCXV in late April. I’ve made $17 since then because I have been trying to figure out all the different ways to drive traffic to my blog. After watching every Livestream that Evan and Danielle posted about tips to help us, I can say without a doubt that all the information they gave us was instrumental in me getting to where I am today.

Now, I’m not getting thousands of views per day as much as we’d all like to. I was at a point a few months ago where I would maybe get 5-10 people to visit my blog but I wasn’t promoting it like I am now. I had a Facebook page and Twitter but I wasn’t using them like I should have been this whole time. In this blog, I’m not going to tell you ALL the ways to increase traffic because some things work better for some, but it doesn’t always work for everyone. I’ve seen a million of those blogging income reports, and even though it inspired me to want to get that point one day, I had to be more realistic.

There’s only one word that will help you gain more traffic and that word is GOALS.

It’s important to have goals to get anything done in life. Without goals, you’re just aimlessly working towards something without a final destination in mind. If you want to make a successful blog you have to figure out what that means to you. A good rule of thumb for new bloggers is to set a goal of 1,000 views per month. That’s less than 35 page views per day. If you aren’t getting that kind of traffic, take a look at your blog, or have someone else take a look, and figure out ways you can improve.

If you get 35 views or more per day, you know you’re well on your way to completing your monthly goal. If 15 people visit your blog per day, but you don’t have any goals, you’re happy with 15 people because at least someone is reading your blog even if it’s just your friends and family. At 15 views per day, you’re getting 450 views per month and most people would be happy about that, but success is about growth.

The first thing I did was sign up for every free course that I could and the first thing they suggested was to overhaul my social media accounts. The courses were mostly about Pinterest, but they have given me a lot of solid information that I was able to use across all my social media. For the last year or so, my Twitter profile had 2,400 followers and I was stuck for many months. I started posting my blogs and affiliate links on twitter and just being more active in general. Even though I’m not getting a drove of new followers, I do get a couple of followers per week so it has increased and has stayed steady over the last few weeks.

I designed a new logo for my Facebook page and set up links that I really enjoyed on StumbleUpon on a schedule so that my page would appear to be active. Sharing articles from Stumbleupon also increased my followers on there, as I now have 20 followers. I’m still struggling to get new Instagram followers, but according to Google Analytics, I am getting a handful of people to click the link on my profile.

I’m still navigating my way through Pinterest but I changed my board covers to the same background with different text to look more like a brand or business. If you haven’t already, you need to convert your Pinterest to a Business account. It’s free to do and you get access to analytics that can be very helpful. I’ve also been pinning a lot per day and I check my Pinterest stats every 3 days.

In just over a month of implementing these newly learned strategies, I now have 5,000 average daily views and 25,000 average monthly profile views. Of course, I learned this means nothing if they aren’t clicking your link though. Before I changed the board covers, only one person had clicked the link. It took about 4 days since my coding is a little rusty, but I finally enabled rich pins. Rich Pins are essential to getting traffic on Pinterest, so I would look into that if you haven’t already. Since my new changes, I’ve had 5 clicks. 5 clicks out of 25,000 people are nothing to boast about, but small progress is still progress.

I made some personal goals for June and July, but I didn’t want to share my strategies until I could show some results.

My goals for June were:

  • 1K+ Pageviews and Unique Pageviews
  • 100+ New Users per week (500 new users for the month)
  • Make more money from MCXV than the previous month
  • A penny per day in AdSense (minimum $0.30 per month)

This is what really happened:

  • 1,052 Pageviews and 819 Unique Pageviews
  • New Users:
  • Week 1: 66
  • Week 2: 34
  • Week 3: 87
  • Week 4: 389
  • For the Month of June: 604
  • MCXV Money for May: $6.81 ($2.81 more than the previous month)
  • AdSense Money: $1.81

It’s important to note that I got 2 ad clicks during June. I would have made $0.11 just purely based on views.

My goals for July are as follows:

  • 2K+ Pageviews and Unique Pageviews
  • 200+ New Users per week (1K+ New Users for the Month)
  • Make more money from MCXV than the previous month
  • $5 this month from AdSense

Here is my dilemma: I had 443 page views yesterday (July 7, 2017) and I have already received 825 Unique Pageviews for the month of July and 627 New Users the first week. With those 400+ views, I got 2 ad clicks and I earned $3.33. That’s already half of the money I make at MCXV per month. My question is, should I change my goals for the month to reflect the change and continue to challenge myself or be happy with the progress and keep it going the way I have it now (100, then 200, then 300, etc.)? I’d love some feedback, so please leave a comment.

star wars merchandise

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Merchandise on Sale Part 2

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I have not purchased these products personally, but I know how much people love Star Wars so I wanted to pass on the savings to you. I will make a portion of every purchase made, but unlike most affiliate links, if you click mine you know you’re getting the best price because I always look for sale items.

I heard about Shopstyle from a fellow blogger and I love using it for affiliate links because not only does it show you what’s trendy it also gives you the best deal and lets you know all the sales from all the different brands and retailers that on the website. You can click the Shopstyle link at the beginning of this paragraph to see all the items I have favorited since these are only a few off that list. I really wish I could buy the R2D2 suitcase because I think that’s the coolest thing ever. These are a little more expensive than my last blog, but if you consider how much you’re saving it’s a pretty good deal. If there’s something you really want to get, there’s nothing wrong with indulging your nerdy side and splurging for something cool. Shopstyle has lots of great deals for all kinds of stores, but I wanted to showcase the Star Wars stuff because it’s popular and I knew everyone would want the cool Star Wars merchandise. They also have lots of deals for Lego Star Wars video games and other video games for different gaming console systems.

star wars

Star Wars Stormtrooper 28″ Hardside Spinner Suitcase by American Tourister • Star Wars • $199.99


[GREAT DEAL] Star Wars R2D2 21″ Hardside Spinner Suitcase by American Tourister • Star Wars • $99.99

Star Wars BB-8 28″ Hardside Spinner Suitcase by American Tourister • Star Wars • $199.99

Star Wars R2D2 Backpack by American Tourister • Star Wars • $19.99

Check out my Shopstyle page for more deals.

star wars the force awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Merchandise on Sale

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I have not purchased these products personally, but I know how much people love Star Wars so I wanted to pass on the savings to you. I will make a portion of every purchase made, but unlike most affiliate links, if you click mine you know you’re getting the best price, because I always look for sale items.

I heard about Shopstyle from a fellow blogger and I love using it for affiliate links because not only does it show you what’s trendy, it also gives you the best deal and lets you know all the sales from all the different brands and retailers that are on the website. You can click the Shopstyle link in this paragraph to see all the items I have favorited since these are only a few off that list. If I had the money, I would buy the boots and the tie because they fit very well with my sense of style. I would probably buy the Darth Vader cuddle pillow just because of how cheap it is and also because I have a shopping addiction.

I will be posting more deals on Friday, but I suggest you act quickly. I posted a deal for a personalized Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beach Towel and it’s already sold out. You can check out the other Star Wars deals ahead of Friday by clicking the Shopstyle link above along with other deals that I have selected.

star wars

Star Wars Dark Lord Costume Boot • Star Wars • $54.99–59.99

Star Wars Boys’ Star Wars Neckties – Purple • Star Wars • $9.99

Star Wars: Kylo Ren Boys’ Full Helmet One Size Fits Most • Star Wars • $17.49

star wars
[BEST DEAL] Star Wars Darth Vader Cuddle Pillow • Star Wars • $7.99

Star Wars BB-8 soft toy 25cm • Star Wars • $16

Star Wars BB-8 Backpack by American Tourister • Star Wars • $19.99

If you would like to see more deals, check out my Shopstyle page.

roger waters

Roger Waters: US + THEM Concert San Antonio

(Roger Waters in San Antonio. Saturday, July 1, 2017)

I haven’t been to a concert in a few weeks, and I was really excited to go to this one because as my dad said: “This is the closest you will ever get to seeing the real Pink Floyd.” It was an amazing show. I’ve been to over 50 concerts, and I’ve never seen anything quite so spectacular. I even saw The Who a while back and even though The Who was amazing, Roger Waters put on a show. This show was very special to me because it was the third concert after my dad got out of the hospital. Normally by this time of year, we would have gone to about 6 or 7 concerts. I’ve always gone to concerts with my dad since I was little and I was little worried that he wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. We both had a blast even though we couldn’t be as close as we usually are. My dad has always said that “if you aren’t in the front row then what’s the point in going?” To a certain extent, he’s right, but I’m glad he came around. I love that I still get to spend time with my dad, but his health is important to me and I know how it important it is that he takes things slow and easy. Since my birthday is later on this month, this was quite possibly the best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. Now that we are going to fewer concerts, it allows me to get better prepared for the next one which I believe is Green Day. I know we are also going to Katy Perry in January.

If you like my photographs, check out my Instagram page.

If you enjoy this video, please check out my Youtube channel for more concert and entertainment videos.

stock

Please Enjoy These Rejected Adobe Stock Photographs

Here are a few photos that Adobe Stock rejected for not having any commercial value. I disagree, but since I’m being generous you can check out these photos for free. I thought a lot of these pictures came out pretty good, but I suppose I can see why they weren’t accepted. I learned a lot about what makes for good stock photography. I brought a photography guide with me so that I can try to take better photographs. Even though it was published in 1974, it still had a lot of timeless advice that translated well into modern photography. I took over 3,000 photographs and barely had 200 photos that came out relatively good. I have definitely improved my photography skills over the years. It helps to have a nice camera, but as I tell anyone who asks me, it doesn’t matter what camera you used to take photos.

If you would like to purchase some of my accepted photographs, feel free to check out my Adobe Stock contributor page. There are some really awesome photos that people submit. Stock photography isn’t what it used to be. There’s a much wider selection available now. I find it better to take my own photographs for blog posts, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using stock photography.

What I would take away from this experience is that you should always take lots of photos to maybe get one photo. A majority of the pictures I took were while we were going 70 MPH in the car. I was actually shocked at how good some of the pictures came out since we were going so fast. My favorite one is one of the trains and I was a little hurt that it wasn’t accepted because I thought it came out great.

If you like the way I take photographs, you can also check out my Instagram.

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tips on going to the movies

Tips on Going to the Movies and Movie Reviews

A while back, I started making podcasts. You can tell it’s my first podcast ever because I’m sort of just ranting towards the end of the podcast. It’s pretty funny. I found myself laughing when I relistened to it in order to write this blog.

There are some things that I want to add as technology is always changing and the industry is always changing with it. Please listen to the podcast first as I will be adding to the information given in the podcast.

In the podcast, I talked about an app called Atom tickets. Some things have changed since the airing of this podcast. They do lots of deals every other week or so, and I really like that about them. You can use them to pre-order food at the concession stand as well; that was a new feature when I made the podcast and from what I’ve experienced it’s a pretty nice service.

Regal Crown Club recently partnered with Disney Movie Rewards which makes it so much easier to track your movie points and if you didn’t already know you can use those points to redeem a $10 movie ticket gift certificate or a $5 concession gift certificate. And since Disney bought Star Wars and Marvel they are considered Disney movies now.

In regards to the Regal Crown Club, take it from someone who used to work there. You’re better off redeeming the points for food rather than a free movie ticket because you’re getting more value if you use it on food. Unless you know that you’re only going to eat a little bit, you’re better off getting a large for the drinks and the popcorn. I might add more tips later on because I’ve got 4 years worth of movie theatre experience; although I’m sure you can tell by the frustration in my voice while I was recording this podcast.

If the code doesn’t work, click this link to hear my podcast called Tips on Going to the Movies.

Let me know if you guys like my movie reviews, I might do some more. Feel free to tell me I’m horrible at it, I would rather know the truth. I can take it.

For more movies reviews, you can view my entire list of movies here.

3 Injured at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Today, June 25, 2017, I went to see my grandfather sing with The San Antonio Liederkranz at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. I was expecting a normal concert and it was quite an event. I really enjoyed one of the songs that had one of the men wearing a Vikings hat and yielding a sword. They did a cover of the song “Memories” from the musical Cats which I posted a video of below.

A few days ago, my local newspaper wrote this tidbit of the organization urging San Antonio residents to enjoy quality entertainment at no cost. They are also promoting that the organization is looking for new members. If you would like more information about that click here.

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The San Antonio Liederkranz is celebrating a major milestone this weekend and they want you to join them. The German historical society is honoring their 125th anniversary through a free concert. (News 4 WAOI)

Disclaimer: This is strictly my point of view and it should not be regarded as fact. I do not know the full story, so please do not quote me on this section.

Before the concert started, right before I got there, there was a man and woman being wheeled out on stretchers. From what the event staff said, both of them were walking down the stairs, slipped and fell, and hit their heads pretty bad. One man had a large amount of blood all over his clothes, and the woman didn’t appear to have any blood but she did look very pale as if she had fainted. I was a little shocked that they just wiped up the blood and the opening band never stopped playing. I’m not sure if I would have done the same thing, but it was just strange to me in that moment. I know the show must go on, but it just didn’t feel right.

During the intermission, I sat down and apparently another woman fell down and sustained a head injury in the same manner that the previous two people had fallen. She was an 85-year-old woman who had lots of blood gushing from her head. I find it crazy that 3 people were injured at this event and I will bet that none of the local news media will report on it.

The Most Comfortable Pair of Leggings I’ve Ever Purchased

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a portion of your purchase. But unlike other links you see, if you use my affiliate link you get a discount. How great is that?

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If you follow me on social media you’ll see that I wear lots of leggings. People often buy me leggings as gifts because of how often I wear them. I’m not saying I’m an expert on leggings, but I would say I know a lot about leggings that I can say without a doubt that the leggings I’m writing about are the best leggings I have ever purchased. Let me give you a little background on my experiences with leggings. If you’re like me who wears clothing until it falls apart, then you’ll know how easy it is to create holes in your leggings especially if the company you bought them from has poorly made leggings. I once bought a pair of zebra leggings that fell apart the same day I bought them, but they were $4 so no harm done. I bought 3 pairs of leggings for $6 from a store that ended up going out of business shortly after I bought them. I still wear them around the house because of all the holes, but they are very sheer and you can practically see through them. As a general rule, you should expect to pay at least $15 for semi-decent leggings. I have a weird fashion sense, so I love wearing print leggings even if it means I look crazy in public.

leggings available at skullection

The leggings seen above are from a company called The Skullection and I found them on Instagram. I jokingly asked if they would send me a free pair to advertise for their company and they sent me a link for their affiliate program. I figured it was a no-brainer since I already wear leggings all the time and people are always saying how much they love my leggings. Everyone knows I love a deal, so I waited until they had a sale and I got $80 leggings for $40 plus shipping and tax. Now I know what you’re thinking: $80 for a pair of leggings?! That’s insane! Allow me to explain why it’s worth it.

1. They are very durable and tough

Out of all the leggings I’ve ever bought, these are practically indestructible. I wasn’t planning on testing exactly how durable they were, but my cat decided differently. He was sitting on my lap when something scared him and he ended scratching my leg. I was wearing the pants at the time, and at first, I was so upset because I thought he had messed them up the first time I had ever worn them. After the panic subsided, I took a look at my leg and I had 5 little marks where his claws broke the skin. Ironically, the pants only had one tiny mark that you can barely see unless you know it’s there or you’re looking at it close up.

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Here is a picture of my leg to show the damage to my leg, and I was in shock that the pants were still intact. Based on past purchases, I was fully prepared for them to fall apart and there was hardly a scratch on them. That right there is worth it in my book, but in case you’re not sold yet, I’ll keep going.

2. They are relatively expensive leggings, but not by much

I say relative because most people cannot afford $80 leggings. Hell, I can barely afford $80 leggings that’s why I bought them on sale. If you buy clothes often you’ll know that $80 is nothing compared to the price of a pair of pants or jeans at the mall. They might be a little more than the leggings you’re used to buying but I can assure you that you will want to wear these every single day. After doing some research online, I noticed that they are only slightly more expensive than other online legging sources like Lularoe or Fabulegs. If you recall, Lularoe is facing a lawsuit that claims that the quality of the product does not match the price they are charging. It may cost you a little more now, but it’s an investment worth making.

3. Ease of Comfort

I accidentally fell asleep wearing these and didn’t even realize it until the next morning. Just the other day, I feel asleep wearing another pair of leggings from somewhere else and I had to wake up and change because they were so uncomfortable. They fit so well on my body that sometimes I don’t even want to take them off.

4. Breathability

I have worn some leggings that when it gets hot it makes my legs sweaty and the leggings become uncomfortable to wear. I wore these leggings to a party outside and I never had an issue with them. I live in Texas and I bought them about 2 weeks ago when it started to REALLY get hot, just to give you some context on the kind of environment I’m in. Every time I leave the house, I get at least 3 compliments on my pants. Before I would get one every now and then. Everyone just loves these leggings! Like I said earlier you can purchase through this link here or use the coupon code “RUTHMINI” at checkout.

most comfortable pair of leggings

 

Check out my shopstyle page to find more deals on clothes and accessories.

justin bieber

Why I Don’t Think Justin Bieber Deserves A Pass

I recently read an article that Luis Fonsi, writer and lead vocalist for the song “Despacito,” said that we should cut some Justin some slack for not knowing the words to the song because it’s not his native language. Here’s why I disagree.

1. The song was released in January of 2017.

The song was released to the public in January, so Justin has had well over 6 months to learn the words to a 4-minute song. No one is expecting him to be fluent or have a conversation in Spanish. I barely speak Spanish and it only took me a few days to learn a song in Spanish. In my opinion, this proves that he doesn’t care about his musical reputation to learn something so simple. I think it would take him at most 2 weeks to learn. It makes you wonder if he really thought he only needed to learn enough Spanish to record it once and would never have to sing it again. Why bother even collaborating with a Spanish-speaking artist in the first place?

2. He refuses to sing it live.

I’m not a Justin Bieber fan, but I am an avid concert goer and I’ve seen some older bands refuse to play songs before but never because they couldn’t remember the lyrics or didn’t remember the words. Perhaps if he would make a promise to his fans to learn the lyrics, they might not be so upset with him. Instead, he flat out refuses to sing it at all and this decision was met with boos and a water bottle being thrown at him. This once again proves how little he cares.

3. Borderline Cultural Appropriation?

Katy Perry was recently in the news for apologizing for what the Court of Public Opinion deemed was cultural appropriation. I’m not saying that what Katy Perry did was okay, but I think it’s important to note this because I haven’t seen anyone accuse Justin of doing the same thing. He recorded a song with a Spanish-speaking artist and because it’s a #1 hit he has made a lot of money off this song. I think it’s very disrespectful to the Latinx community to take the royalties from the song and then refuse to sing it live because “he doesn’t know Spanish.” Spanish is not impossible to learn, and I’m shocked that people made a bigger deal about Katy Perry’s wearing cornrows than they did about Justin Bieber refusing to sing in Spanish.

This could have been a great opportunity for Justin to embrace and celebrate the Latinx community, and instead, he is disrespecting the community that pays for his luxurious lifestyle.

Source: ABCRadio;