Tag Archives: blogging

Not A Classy Exit Followed By A Better (Hopefully) Return

January was a rough month for Aloysa’s Kitchen Sink. So was the beginning of February. Hopefully from this moment forward it will be smoother sailing. One can only hope for it, right?

A lot of you asked me what happened, why I pulled the plug so unpredictably. A few of you asked me to come back! I do owe you some answers. At least, I feel that I do.

What happened

I don’t have a thrilling story to tell about Lithuanian mob requesting at gun point to pull the website down because of my post How We Did Business The Mob Style. FBI did not put Beaker and me into the witness protection program, and did not send us to some remote farm in Ohio.

No broken hearted women wrote me hate letters because they felt that I portrayed them in A Good Gym Is Difficult To Find. Just Like A Good Man. Maybe one day I will get hate mail from at least one of these women. It would make a great blog post, wouldn’t it?

My story is pretty trivial. I simply burned out. Don’t you feel it sometimes? When the pressure at work is building up at a hectic pace, and you start to wonder if you are going to have a mental breakdown? When you come home and feel completely drained, and not a single coherent thought crosses your mind? That was me. It didn’t happen in one day. In fact, it was weighing me down for weeks.

I shamelessly gave up on my blog because it seemed to be the easiest way out.

Why I Pulled the Plug

I like closures. I don’t like to abandon anything and let it float in time and space unattended. Is it compulsive obsessive? I don’t know. Perhaps. But don’t get me wrong. It was not the happiest moment in my blogging career. The feeling of closure, the finality of it was painful. It felt irrevocable and complete. Or so I thought.

One great thing emerged from this as I call it “not so classy exit” debacle. Your support, emails and forum discussions made me think really hard. In fact, you made me reconsider a lot of things about blogging and myself as a blogger.

You made me feel as if I was still on the blogging ride, my mind caught in some tremendous gravitational force that pulled me back in, right where I was before I thought I left it all behind.

You probably don’t realize it but you also taught me some valuable lessons:

No one is alone in the blogging world. There is a lot of support, understanding and care.

Expectations should be reasonable. No one is expected to be perfect.

If you need help, ask for it. That’s what friends and guest posts are for.

If you need a break then take a break, have some rest, get away from it all. Financial Samurai said it the best “If you can speak forever, you can blog forever.”  Ditto!

What Future Holds

Even though I am still sorting things out, I am ready for a comeback. I wrote this post with a lot of hope and a feeling of endless possibilities.

Talk It Out: Money and Relationships column will be back, and I hope for its first appearance next Monday. Beaker is excited to continue his series Beaker’s World. There is still a lot to discuss about our trip to China. I missed some great blog swaps and, even though, I cannot promise to make up for it, I will come up with something to compensate for missing all of this.

I cannot promise to post three times a week. But I can promise that I am back to blogging.

Are you in?

Should You Write Guest Posts? I Don’t Know, Should You? (Yes!)

Josh Hanagarne is the creator of World’s Strongest Librarian. He was recently offered a book deal (which he turned down), and loves to talk about books, blogging, strength training, and more. He has also found a way to cure his own extreme case of Tourette’s Syndrome.

When I started blogging I never planned on anyone reading what I wrote. Now that they do, I still don’t really plan on anyone reading what I write. Why? Because I write for fun. I write because it’s a healthy thing for me to do. Don’t get me wrong, I like having readers, and more readers is more fun than fewer readers. But before we get into the guest posting discussion, I just want that to be clear: I’d be doing the exact same thing whether I had zero readers or one million.

Whether I am at work or I am just out and about, living my life, I try to view everything as a game. This keeps it fun. One of the most frequent questions I get is “What motivates you to write so much?” Simple: the fear of boredom and the love of creating something that wasn’t here before me. The money doesn’t hurt either, what little of it there is.

I have one question for you:

Do you want more readers?

Then “why do you blog?” question isn’t even important for this discussion. If you want more readers, whether it’s for the potential fame, the money, the clicks on your ads, your affiliate sales, or because you can’t stand the thought of looking at your boss for one more day than you absolutely have to, you should guest post. You should spend time writing in other places. I’m not going to give you an absolute ratio, because there isn’t one, but I would personally suggest that the majority of the content you write goes on other sites, not your own.

It’s simple: if you want more traffic, you have to get more eyes on your work. The Internet is a big spastic screaming match where everyone is howling for attention. Your chances of getting found by new readers plummet drastically if you don’t venture out beyond home(page).

My first big guest post was for Problogger when World’s Strongest Librarian was about two months old, I think. I treated it like a game. I made a list of blogs that I had no business appearing on, based on their subject matter and size/authority, and I tried to figure out how to sneak onto them. Just as an experiment. I had no idea what would happen.

Well, what happened was that I got more traffic in the next three or four days than I ever had. A tiny fraction of it stuck. Most of it didn’t. At the time I knew nothing about SEO or the value of a link. It didn’t matter to me that a high ranking blog had just linked to my own.

So after I crossed Problogger off the list I made it onto Copyblogger and Men With Pens.

These produced similar results. Big, ephemeral traffic spikes, big links, a bump in RSS readers, and then back to business as usual, a little stronger than before.

You’ll hear this whole thing talked about in two ways, by two types of bloggers going through what look like very different paths.

People who are chasing “authority” and people who simply chase links.

The authority blog

I’ll use Problogger and Copyblogger as my examples again. These are authority sites based on their age, the amount of content they have, and the amount of links that are pointing to their sites. Regardless of any chirping I hear about “social” blogging or whatever we’re currently calling it, authority, in my opinion, still comes down to links.

Sure, the traffic might largely spread through social sources, but the real horsepower that ultimately results in passive income comes from the amount of links the blogs generate. The more links you have pointing at you, the more likely you are to be found by searchers.

By most metrics, I also have an authority blog (PR5, 60,000+ links according to Google Webmaster Tools, etc). The core of my readership fluctuates slightly and has held relatively steady for the last two years. My search traffic has gone up steadily and now accounts for the majority of my traffic. That’s because of the links. There are different values of links which are beyond the scope of this post, but the most simple guideline I can give is this question:

Could anyone get this link?

Along those lines, if you tweet one of your own posts, that link is not going to be worth as much as a link from a University’s website. How many bloggers could swing that anyways? (My hand is raised, but I am a crafty devil. Just kidding, it was pure luck).

Now back to guest posting

Let’s forget about semantics. Whether you believe you are chasing Authority or you are chasing links, they lead to the same thing: more traffic. More social traffic, more search traffic, just more. Now, whether you know how to do anything with that traffic is another subject, but if you just want more, you have to be seen.

Guest blogging or link chasing, it just comes down to more eyes on your work. Think of it however is most comfortable for you.

I’ve learned most of this stuff in hindsight. Now that I look at my results, I can tell why I have the stats I do. Lots of links and lots of word of mouth. It all started with appearing in other places.

I’d like you to try an experiment so you can gauge this for yourself. Come write a guest post for me. I get free content, you get a link from an authority blog and more eyes on your work. I’m always looking for book reviews. You can contact me here.

Then you can evaluate and see what you think about the guest posting process. This has been the gospel according to some guy who happens to have a blog that works well. Always run your own experiments and question what you hear.

And if you’re a spammer spewing out crap solely for links, I will know it. Then I’ll print your guest post out and jab it with a pointy stick.

But if you’re good, please consider this an open invitation. And if I sound like I think I know everything, keep this in mind: I only do this because it’s fun. When it’s not fun, I’ll do something else.

PS: Once I got going with guest writing, I was having so much fun it got kind of stupid. Here is the guest post I wrote for Copyblogger after a guest posting marathon.

2010 Year In Review

Somehow it is difficult to believe that today is the last day of 2010. Time seems to fly really fast lately. Even though I don’t set up goals, I still like to look back and see what I have achieved over the period of one year. Could I have achieved more if I’d set goals and specific measurements? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I don’t limit myself by goals. There is a certain feeling of freedom and of endless opportunities when there are no measurements set in stone.

More Writing, More Reading, Less TV Watching

I am very pleased with myself because this year I wrote so much more than usual. I wrote five chapters of the book and queried some agents (bad idea! exciting time!). The query of unfinished, unpolished, unwritten novel attracted the attention of a couple prominent agents. Nothing happened after that but I concluded that I can come up with some creative plots, ideas and characters, and, yes, I can write. Not very humble, I know, but hey, two agents wanted to see my chapters.

I wrote a short story and submitted it to more than twenty magazines. It never got published but it was great just to write a complete piece.

A Random Thought (Not A Resolution) for 2011: Keep writing (maybe an e-book this time) and reading!


In 2010 I started three blogs and closed them down. After a few blogging debacles, I finally found myself in my current blog. I joined the Yakezie challenge, met quite a few great bloggers and made some friends. My blogging direction emerged, and The Kitchen Sink became a lifestyle blog with emphasis on personal finance. I became a staff writer @Beating Broke. Do I consider all of this an accomplishment? Yes, I do.

The most popular posts of The Kitchen Sink in 2010 (according to the unique page views):

1. Five Reasons To Stop Being Frugal And Get A Life
2. Beware of Men Counting Pennies
3. How A Debtless Aloysa Became Buried in Debt
4. My Life Without Christmas
5. Seperate or Joint? Mine or Yours?

A Random Thought (Not A Resolution) for 2011: Keep blogging, keep supporting my blogger friends and the Yakezie network.

Paying Off Debt

We were able to pay off $13,000 of our debt. This is a huge success because my spending habits are not the best, and we still love to take trips and go on vacation. Could it have been better? Of course. Could it have been worse? Sure. What matters in the end, we did the best we could and paid off a good chunk of debt.

A Random Thought (Not A Resolution) for 2011: Keep paying!

Healthy Food Choices

This year we improved our food shopping habits significantly. In the past we used to run to the store right after work and decide then and there what we were going to eat that night. Now, we do grocery shopping once a week and come prepared. We go to the store with a list of groceries based on a menu that we come up for a week instead of just having a vague idea of what we are going to eat.

We cook more at home, we reduced the number of out take outs from three times a week to once a week. Huge improvement.

A Random Thought (Not A Resolution) for 2011: We do need to reduce our sugar intake, eat a little bit less red meat and a little bit more fish.

Curb Those Shopping Habits

My spending habits are not the best but I was able to keep them under control this year. Most of the time. J The results speak for themselves: paid off a good chunk of debt, saved up for vacation, stayed UNDER budget during Christmas consumerist frenzy. Could have done better but a certain long and simply gorgeous pair of boots threw me off balance. Oh well… we do live only once.

A Random Thought (Not A Resolution) for 2011: Shopping my own closet a little bit more can be very helpful in 2011.

Happy New Year Everyone! Let all you dreams, hopes and wishes come true. Let all your goals and resolutions be achieved. Salute!

Aloysa’s Reading Picks

There was an interesting discussion on the Yakezie forum about how everyone is keeping up with reading each others blogs. I have to say that keeping up with reading is not that easy. But we all try, and overall we all are doing really well.

But if you think that you could have missed some of the great articles, make sure to read some of the great posts from this list:

First Gen American suggested a writing experiment – an embellishment on 12 Days of Christmas. Some of the great bloggers participated and wrote:

12 Days of Christmas – Writing Experiment @First Gen American

The 12 Sips of Christmas @From the Pint On

12 Days of Christmas @Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

Walking in the Winter Wonderland @Invest It Wisely

12 Email Spammers of Christmas @Every Day Tips

Other interesting, funny, thoughtful and simply great articles in PF blogosphere:

One of the bloggers might not be able to retire by 40. Find out why: Retirebyforty Biggest Obstacle #1 @retireby40

You have debt and you are thinking about tapping into your 401K. Smart or stupid? Read  Tapping Your 401K Plan: The Pros and Cons of Taking Out A Loan @Spurce Up Your Finances

Want to get a job but don’t want to work in an office? Be careful and know How to Avoid Work At Home Scams@MomVesting

Planning on giving a special gift to a special someone? Read Homemade Holiday Gifts That Won’t Collect Dust@Frugal Confessions

Have some fun with Funny Money Comic 7, Passing on Lattes @Money Reasons

Don’t like to tip? Like to tip? Express your opinion after reading Is Tipping Getting Out of Control @Squirrelers

Wondering how to handle a homeless person when he or she asks you for money? Read Should You Give Money to Beggars and Homeless @Get Happy Life

Dreaming about winning a lottery? Organize your thoughts while reading How To Deal With $10 Million @Ultra High Networth

Feeling lazy lately? Lazy Pays Pretty Well @Minting Nickels

Like cartoons? Love personal Finance? You will love Samurai’s Jack Guide to Personal Finance @Saving Money Today

Hate being rejected? Does rejection discourage you? A must read – You’re Rejected! How I Use Rejection To Motivate Me Every Single Day @Financial Samurai

Holiday stress is getting to you? Find out Tips To Reduce Holiday Stress @Frugal Zeitgeist

Aloysa’s Reading Picks

First and foremost: thank you everyone who supported, promoted, stopped by and commented on The Kitchen Sink while I was away. You helped me tremendously, and my Alexa ranking dropped to 372,206!!

By the way, if you want to find out more about me, read my interview @Modern Tightwad!

My article Beware of Men Counting Pennies was featured in the Carnival of Personal Finance #284hosted by Sweating the Big Stuff ,and it was one of the editor’s picks!

It took me a while to catch up with my work. Sometimes I think it is better not to go on vacation. But I am all caught up now – more or less, and I am back to blogging, writing and reading.

The following are my favorite articles of the week:

Run out of the gift ideas? No money or budget for expensive gifts? Check out 77+ HomemadeGifts – DI Chirstmas/Holiday Gifts @Wealth Informatics

Don’t like Wal-Mart? Not so sure? Figure it out with Things that Walmart Does Well @First Gen American

Going abroad? Read Are you a Member of the Global ATM Alliance @Green Panda Tree House

Not sure if you love what you do? Sort it all out with Doing What You Love, Or Loving What You Do?@Everyday Tips And Thoughts

Figure out how blog grading works by reading How Mozrank is Filling in the Gaping Hole Left By the Departure of Pagerank @Invest It Wisely

This post inspired me too write my financial summary article (coming soon) My Money at 20 @Minting Nickels

Wondering how to prepare a cheap but delicious Thanksgiving Dinner? Get a clue with Thanksgiving Dinner on The Cheap @Yes, I am Cheap.

Aloysa’s Reading Picks

I took a huge step (not sure forward or backward) and moved The Kitchen Sink to a self-hosted websiste. This bold and painful move happened over the weekend. The new Kitchen Sink website looks exactly like the old one. There are still a few glitches than need to be worked out but other than that, it is up and running.

If you are reading this, welcome to my new website. Please make sure to follow me, update your blogrolls (I am still listed, right?), email and RSS subscriptions (you want them coming, don’t you?).

I’ve read a lot of great articles during the past two weeks. My reading reccommendations are listed below:

A must read Letter to My “Enemy” @ Courage 2 Create

If you want to get outraged read Firefighters Let House Burn and Pets Die @ Faithful With a Few

Get some cheers and get some geers reading The Problem With Being Budget Minded is Other People @Watson Inc

Form your opinion about Twitter with Instead of Twitter Love What About a Twitter War @Financial Samurai

Discover a $1 airfare deals and what it entails reading Nickel and Diming @ Musings of an Abstract Aucklander

Learn 11 Ways to Blog Good @ Of Parchments & Inks

Learn ssomething new reading Expiry Dates Of Financial Documents – How Long Should IKeep MyFinancial Documents @ Wealth Informatics

Express you opinion after reading It’s Your Fault That You’re Still Unemployed @ Yes, I am Cheap

Get some laughs or not with I Thought Duke Graduates Were Smart @ Squirrelers

Read about homebuying and share your thoughts with Judging a Generation of Home Buyers Based on TV Shows like “House Hunters” @ Everyday Tips and Thoughts

Get new ideas how to conserve water 7 Ways to Conserve Water at Home @ Bucksome Boomer

Find out how to Get Cheaper Auto Insurance @ Money Reasons

Learn some real estate basics reading Real Estate Investing For Beginners @ Invest with Passion

What Rookies Should Know About Blogging

I consider myself a new, inexperienced blogger who attempted to blog since January, 2010. You are probably wondering what useful information I have to share if I call myself “inexperienced.“ Please, bare with me just for another minute and you will see.

Majority of guest posts on a lot of popular and professional blogs feature mostly successful and experienced bloggers who share their blogging experience and advice. But what about us, young, inexperienced but enthusiastic bloggers? We also have something to say. Sometime we wish that someone, who just has started blogging, would share his/her experience. Blogging is not an easy craft. Especially in the beginning.

I decided to share my early blogging experience for one reason only. I hope that new, young, inexperienced and somewhat lost bloggers will read it and say “Hey, we are not alone. We are in this together.” I also hope that experienced and professional bloggers will read it, smile, nod and remember their early days in the blogosphere.

Blogging can be a long and lonely process that requires a lot of commitment and patience. Not everyone is a blogger. Not everyone should blog just because someone told them they write well, have great ideas and can make money blogging.

I have opened and closed three blogs within a period of three months. My first blog turned very fast from being fun into a huge overwhelming responsibility. For God Sake, I was writing a novel on a blog! I didn’t give myself any chance to explore any other subjects. Within three weeks I got writer’s block and closed the blog.

Lesson Learned: don’t jump into blogging because today you have something to say to the world. Will you have something to say tomorrow? In a week? How about in a month? Think, research, evaluate. In other words, plan before you jump this rope. Give yourself time and flexibility. Leave a few doors open, especially in the beginning. If you do choose a very specific narrow subject, you might and you will write yourself out.

My next blog was a book review blog. It survived about two weeks and had a total of five reviews. No one ever commented on my blog. But neither did I. Soon it got very lonely. I was blogging by myself with myself.

Lesson learned: blogging can be a lonely business unless you create a collaborative working partnership with your readers. Build open communication. Put yourself out into the blog world, go visit other blogs and write meaningful and sincere comments. Let other bloggers know that you exist, read and like their blogs.
Next time I was very careful choosing a blog niche. I gave myself time. I left a few doors open. I brainstormed and carefully planned my re-entrance into the blog world. This time the idea was to open a literary magazine that would feature new and/or already known talent in writing, poetry, photography and art.

It was a great idea for someone who did not want to write. I dove into the work and started posting other people’s stuff. It was easy. It was fun. People were submitting their poems, short stories, memoirs, photography and etc. A waiting list of bloggers wanting to post on my blog was growing day by day.

The problem was that I wanted to write, express my opinion and share my own work. I needed to be a part of my blog because the blog was already a part of me. Unfortunately, I did not have time to do any of my own writing because all I did was read, edit, schedule and post other people’s work.

I have yet to issue an official apology to the subscribers and guest bloggers for closing this blog down. I am very sorry I let you all down. Please forgive me.

Lesson Learned: a blog is an extension of you. It is a part of who you are. It represents your personality, knowledge and creativity. Embrace this fact and express yourself freely. Learn to share your ideas, insecurities and confidences with your readers. Don’t be afraid of what you have to say and how it will be understood by others. Trust your readers. Be yourself and feel safe about it.

Reading Picks of the Week

Every other Tuesday I will be posting a number of my reading recommendations. These are the articles I read during the week. They made me think, laugh, dream, discover something new and learn something different:

Green Energy: How Much Can You Save @Every Day Tips;

Pizza, Beers, Frat Parties, Credit Card Cosigning @Wealth Informatics;

The Yakiezie Challenge is Open to Everyone @yakiezie;

How We Became Reluctant Landlords @GetRich Slowly;

Thoughts from a First Generation Immigrant @Musings of an Abstract Aucklander;

Thrifty Sucks – The 30 Day Compact @Live Real Now;

Travel Trails: Niagra Falls @Cities of the Mind;

The Social Network Movie Review @World’s Strongest Librarian;

If you Enjoy Financial Obligations, Don’t Read This @Invest It Wisely

Munich, Day One @At Large in London

I also want to say Congratulations to BrownEyed Mystic (who describes herself as “a dreamer, a writer, a thinker… a mystic“) on her 6 months blogoversary (I think I‘ve heard this word before)! I am very happy I got to know you, Browneyed.

Happy Readings, Everyone!

Personal Finance in a Non-Confrontational Way

What kind of blogs do you read? I like to read a wide variety of blogs from writing blogs, travel, photography to personal finance. One of my favorite blogs is The Simple Dollar: Financial Talk For the Rest of Us. Some of you already know him. Some of you never heard of him. His name is Trent Hamm, and he writes about finance and self-development from a personal angle. I was lucky to get his time and attention. Trent is a busy family man, a writer, a blogger and much more.

Trent, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and finding time to answer my questions. I know it wasn’t easy. Your blog idea was born out of your personal struggle with finances. Your desire to be a writer and desire to share your story created The Simple Dollar. You could have realized your desire to be a writer in some other different way. Why a blog?

Two reasons.  First, the production costs of starting a blog are very low, much lower than publishing a book.  Second, blogging is such a flexible format, allowing you to write anything from a single paragraph five times a day to a book-length article once every few months.

Fair enough. We all have plans with our blogs. What did you expect out of your blog initially?

I expected it to be read by a few of my friends, nothing more.  I was mostly seeking a way of telling them about the personal finance material I was discovering in a non-confrontational way.

Why The Simple Dollar? I don’t think that a “dollar” is that simple after all.

It was the best name out of the ones my wife and I brainstormed one afternoon. We wanted it to seem accessible and non-confrontational and not confusing to people who aren’t confident about their finances.

You openly told your readers your personal financial life story. Have you ever regretted doing it?

I don’t regret telling my story.  I do regret how I have told it at times in the past, mostly when my story overlaps with the privacy of people I care about.  I don’t want to violate their privacy, and I’ve had to make some difficult and awkward decisions because of that, and readers have become angry with me over such issues more than once. They see an incomplete story where a particular piece has been excised and get quite angry!

You talk and write about being frugal and frugality a lot. Why do you think this word has a negative connotation for a lot of people?

For a lot of people, frugality means not having the things that you enjoy in life.  They think of cutting back, and they imagine the knife plunging into the things that they value.  Of course, that’s not how it works at all – you actually focus the cuts on the areas you don’t care about, like the specific brand of detergent you use.

Do you think students loans exist to help students or to drown them in debt?

The idea of student loans is great.  In practice, they’re not so great.  America’s obsession with the idea that everyone needs a college degree is the real problem.  What America needs is more skilled tradespeople that take pride in their craft.

The biggest mistake that people commit with their finances is that they spend more than they earn. I am guilty of it! Is there a second biggest mistake that we all do with our money?

We spend to please other people instead of pleasing ourselves. We buy things to impress others and to prop up our own feelings for a short time, but it’s a fragile prop and we find ourselves right back where we started except with more debt.

People write to you asking for your financial advice. How comfortable do you feel giving your advice to them? Have you ever had anyone come back blaming you for their financial debacles?

I typically don’t like giving advice.  When I do, I stick to a handful of core principles that I reiterate all the time.  Keep costs low. Seek debt freedom.  Spend less than you earn.  Give to others when you can.  Those principles have worked for me and for many others.  I’ve never had someone come back at me with rage over bad advice because I don’t ever give advice that goes outside of those guidelines.

I believe that behind every successful person there is a talent and a  huge amount of hard work. What do you think made your blog so popular?

My guess is that it’s popular because there’s a constant flow of solid material that pushes people to think about their own situation and to improve it.  That’s what I focus on with every single post and I think others find value in it, warts and all.

I have to ask you this – it came to me as a shock (in a good way) when you recommended my articleInvesting Fiasco or Reminiscences on the Past for your blog readers. Why did you pick it as one of your recommendations?

The story it told was interesting, particularly in how it related social concerns and social changes to the personal finance moves that people choose to make.  We all do that, and it’s brave to recognize it in yourself.

What are your thoughts on 401K?

It’s a good investment vehicle for retirement purposes.  The big advantages it has is the ease of use because it’s facilitated through the workplace and the fact that many employers offer matching contributions, which amount to free money for the retirement saver.

My last question but definitely not the least… Can you share with us the best financial advice you ever heard?

For me, it was the idea that every dollar you earn represents some amount of your life invested – five minutes, ten minutes, an hour. When you spend that dollar, you’re essentially trading some chunk of your life for whatever you’re buying.  So, if I earn $10 an hour and then go out for a $60 meal, I’m trading at least six hours of my life for that meal.  Is that a trade I want to make?

About Aloysa, The Kitchen Sink and the Yakezie

About The Kitchen Sink: the blog celebrates a two months anniversary in October. I am getting to know a lot of you, my loyal readers. When I started this blog I was not sure where it will take me and what I was going to write about. So many subjects I wanted to discuss. A lot of questions I wanted to raise and search for answers. So I created The Kitchen Sink and decided it will be about:

– living a life filled with writing and blogging;

– exploring personal finance;

– trying to live a healthy life;

– traveling, researching, learning and reading.

Quite a wide blog niche you probably think. That’s exactly what I like about The Kitchen Sink. It breaks the rules of the blogging world, does not define a niche and does not limit me to one or two topics. It is a lifestyle blog that is scattered and full of unpredictable things. Just like our lives are.

About Aloysa: Aloysa is my blogger’s name. You know a male name Aloysius? Well, Aloysa is the same name; it’s just a female version of it that I came up with. I am an accountant by day and an aspiring writer and a blogger by night. I work in finance industry and deal all day long with numbers, budgets, debits, credits and journal entries. It is fun stuff but sometimes it gets to me. To get away from it all, I created this blog.

Before all of this happened, I was born and raised in the Soviet Republic of Lithuania (call it the Soviet Union) in a family of teachers. My grandmother taught Chemistry and Biology, my mother was a teacher of Russian Literature. My grandfather (a character worth at least a few blog posts) was a teacher of English and German languages. He should have taught me English but he never did. I guess, he never could imagine me moving to the US many years later.

Our life in the Soviet Union was not all that bad. Like in every culture and in every country, there were good things and bad things. In 1990, when I was close to graduating from the high school, the Soviet Union collapsed and The Soviet Republic of Lithuania became The Republic of Lithuania. It happened very fast: one night everyone went to sleep in the Soviet Union and woke up in the different country with a new government.

Everything was turned upside down. Russian language became a language of the enemy. Russian schools and Russian community struggled to survive in the new hostile world. About five years later, in 2000, I moved to the United States.

About the Yakezie: it is a personal finance and lifestyle blog network that was formed awhile ago. Their motto is “Selflessly Helping Others.” Sounds great to me! The group created the Yakezie Challenge (you can see their badge on my blog) for bloggers. The challenge requires the following:

– write quality content;

– post 2-4 times a week;

– selflessly promote others.

All of these are required in order to challenge and hopefully increase bloggers’ Alexa ranking. Before I stumbled onto the Yakezie I never even heard about Alexa. Apparently it is a very important ranking in the blogosphere. The lower your number (closer to #1), the better it is for your blog. I started my blog two months ago and my ranking is a whapping 2,693,805.

I joined the Yakezie Challenge yesterday. Let’s see where it takes me in six months.

Final word for my readers: I hope that my eye-opening and jaw dropping content will make you come back to The Kitchen Sink again and again. It is a potpourri of intellectualism, culture trends and out-of-the-box stories featuring smart and stimulating plots… Are you still with me? Good! I am joking! But I do hope you will come back, read, enjoy and subscribe. Without you, my readers, this blog would not exist.

You will find in The Kitchen Sink:

1. My book reviews;

2. Ramblings on life, writing and inspiration;

3. Interviews with great, empowering and talented people;

4. Personal finance discussions (I am an accountant after all);

5. Articles about health and fitness;

6. Guest posts that bring a new and fresh perspective.

I want to say a special Thank You to my most loyal and committed readers. Through The Kitchen Sink I met a lot of interesting, talented and inspiring people from all around the world. I hope to meet even more now as I joined the Yakezie Challenge.

You gotta love blogging for the opportunities it gives!

Thank you all for your support, encouraging and moving comments and kind feedback.

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