Category

KIDS & FAMILY

A Day in My Blogging/VA Life

 

I was inspired to write about my typical day as a part-time blogger/virtual assistant after reading a post from Kristen Larsen. I work a full-time job, mom to two kids while trying to blog and build my virtual assistant business. I work nights from 3-11 and try to get as much done as I can during the day.

In addition to side hustling, I’m also still working on learning as much as I can to grow as a blogger and virtual assistant. I try to spend at least two hours a day on actual work stuff and maybe at least ½ to 1 hour of learning. If I’m at work I will use my lunch break to watch a training video while I have my dinner.

Our Busy Mornings

Before the kids get up, I’m up and getting my husband ready for his day at work. In between I’ll have my breakfast and coffee (usually it’s pop tarts since it’s quick, easy and I can carry it with me as I move)

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it but my days are pretty busy. I have a 7-year-old who goes to school and my 4-year-old who is usually with me. We have a morning routine so that I can get my kiddo off to school on time. I’ve added an additional 30 minutes to our morning since our van is having issues, we have been walking to school. If my husband is home, I can take our truck while he stays with our daughter.

My Day Starts off Like This

6 am: My alarm goes but often I don’t get out of bed til 615am

630am-830am: Iron hubby’s work clothes, pack his lunch and water.

  • Kids are up, get their breakfast
  • Pack my son’s lunch, water bottle, make sure he has backpack ready
  • Kids get dressed
  • Make my coffee and breakfast (sometimes it’s in between getting the kids breakfast or my son’s lunch for school)
  • Get dressed
  • Out the door and on the way to school (on Thursdays I help out in my son’s class for at least an hour)

 

915am-930am: Home from school, rest for 15 minutes

930am-10am: Snack with my 4-year-old

10am-12 noon: Work on blog, upload content to Facebook if need be, client work. (I will sometimes fit in 30 minutes learning time)

12pm-1230pm: Lunch

1230pm-130pm: Spend time with my daughter

130pm-2:15pm: Get ready for work

2:15pm-245pm: Head downstairs to the car and leave to pick up my son, then meet hubby to trade cars so that he can take the kids home and I head off to work

3pm-11pm: Work at my full-time job

111:15 pm Home from work

11:15pm-1230am: Client work

1230am: Bed Time

My days off are usually the same unless we have a doctor appointment to go to or if it’s Wednesday then my son has his martial arts class that he goes to. We also go to the park after his class, then home for dinner and homework.

Wednesdays

1245pm-115pm: Leave to pick up my son from school

1:15pm-2:15pm: Enjoy a little downtime or help my son with homework

2:15pm-3pm: Get my son’s clothes ready for his Martial Arts class, water bottles and extra clothes.

3:10pm: Leave for Martial Arts class

3:30pm-4:20pm: Sometimes I will work on my schedule or read a blog, but often I will watch  Tanis in his class

430-6pm: Park with the kids

6:15pm-7pm: Homework Time, make dinner

7pm-8pm: Kids shower, get ready for bed

Sometimes I feel as if I’m just running on a half tank of gas and that my life seems busy and hectic! I know some entrepreneurs will get up earlier in the morning but for me, it’s a little difficult. I’m not a morning person but I do stay up to 1 am to get work done. Unless I fall asleep with the kids!

Every now and then I will feel the exhaustion weigh on me and I find myself zoning out. My life seems so hectic because I’m trying to do a lot of things at once. I’m glad to have a full-time job while I’m building my business, we still struggle but that is one of the driving forces that keep me going. I can often be a bit of a procrastinator and sometimes don’t plan things well, but I try to utilize Trello to keep me on the right path.

What’s Next?

I’m constantly tweaking my schedule to be able to fit in the different aspects of my life. Sometimes I fall off the path but I get myself back on asap! I hope to allow more time to reading other blogs and commenting back. I am active in the Facebook community and enjoy learning from entrepreneurs.

I am curious to see how much will have changed in a few months when I revisit this post. Every day I am growing as a blogger/virtual assistant and learning so much from others. I plan to work from home at least 50% of the time and only committing to a few hours a week at my day job.

 

5 Side Hustles to Make a $100 Per Week! It’s Not as Difficult as You May Think

You may feel that trying to make an extra $100 a week may seem as out of reach as winning big in Vegas. I feel like that from time to time as I work towards my goal of working from home on a permanent basis. Although I currently have a full-time job and my side hustles are in the works, it always helps to have a little extra.

But if you take a minute and think about it, making an extra $100 a week doesn’t seem as much as you think. Figure out what type of work you want to do and how many hours it will take to commit to it. You can find a job that pays as little as $5 an hour or $50 dollars an hour for very little hours. Here are 5 Side Hustles to Make a $100 Per Week!

Get Hustling!

Pinterest Virtual Assistant

As a Pinterest virtual assistant, your job is to assist their clients to build their Pinterest outreach and grow their presence within Pinterest. You’ll create amazing pins that have the right size, a combination of the right fonts and has a background image that will catch the eye of someone strolling through Pinterest for ideas. Creating multiple rich pins for a client’s blog post is a great strategy to attract potential customers to their website.

As a Pinterest VA, you will be responsible for not only writing the description of a pin but to also schedule them through Boardbooster or Tailwind. It will depend on your client’s preference, a good rule of thumb is to be familiar with both.  Your client may require you to apply to group boards that they assign, staying updated with the boards’ rules and be in contact with the owners of boards that you join. As a Pinterest VA, you can expect to start at $15-30 an hour as a beginner, as you gain experience you can raise your rates to $100 an hour!

Blogger

As a blogger, you create content in a blog that’s either for personal or business use. People write blogs on various topics such as working from home, tips on parenting and various topics. It may take time but a person can grow their blog to be profitable and gain a lot of followers. Although it’s possible to make a full-time income, blogging takes time and isn’t a quick way to make money.

It’s recommended to have a niche when starting your blog, some have found success as a lifestyle blogger.  If you have an idea or topic in mind try to be sure it’s as evergreen as possible because you will be writing about it continuously and you won’t get bored or run out of ideas.

I still don’t quite have a niche but I know who my target market is and that’s moms who want to work from home or at least bring in a little extra income. I haven’t completely settled on it so it’s more of a lifestyle blog because I include mom and kid stuff as well. If you’re not sure of your niche or what direction your blog will go, come up with a generic name that can go in any direction. That was the problem that I had and I didn’t want a name to stop me from getting my blog going.

 Social Media Manager

Social media is a key component of online marketing strategy, social media is about people, making conversations, developing relationships and possible sales from those relationships. A social media manager is responsible for a company’s social media marketing such as content marketing often their advertising.

Some tasks performed by a Social Media Manager Include but are not Limited to:

  • Planning and Goal Setting
  • Developing a client’s online presence and brand awareness
  • Content Manage and possible Creation as well
  • (SEO) Search Engine Optimization
  • Acquiring Leads and Sales

Uber or Lyft Driver

Working in the customer service and hospitality industry I’ve come across different services for our island’s guest. For 7 years I worked on the West side of Maui, particularly in the Kaanapali and Honokowai areas. Visitors would often come to Maui without a rental car and needed some sort of transportation to get around. Taxis were a common source and easy to get to in that area. When I moved to Kihei and starting working here, I noticed a difference in how taxis operate. You had to schedule a taxi just for a guest to go to a luau! It was weird to me, which is why I feel being an Uber or Lyft Driver in this particular area is a great way to side hustle. In any area across the country.

A few things to know:

  • Your actual earnings may be a little less than is advertised. If you are wanting to earn an annual income of up to $50,000, which means giving up to 60 rides a week. The great thing about Uber and Lyft is that you work as much or little as you want.
  • It may be more beneficial to drive for both Uber and Lyft
  • Be familiar with the peak hours of where you live
  • Find a Facebook group of Uber and Lyft drivers and it can help you to make more money
  • Make sure you can handle the daily rigors of the job, being in a car all day
  • Keep your car clean, inside and outside all the time
  • Lyft adds customer tips in their app while Uber does not
  • Don’t become an Uber or Lyft driver if you’re not a people person.

Clean Homes or Condos

Earn a little extra on the side by cleaning other people’s homes or condos, in some areas such as where I live various cleaning services exist. They operate as a large or small company to clean vacation rentals and not necessarily working for the big hotels. A cleaner does the basics such as cleaning, sweeping, mopping, replenishing supplies. The money can be good, I got paid $25 an hour cash every two weeks. I have done it in addition to working full-time. I’d work for 2-3 hours then head off to work a full 8 hours at the hotel.

If you will be the sole entrepreneur, you will be responsible for maintaining supplies and getting your own clients. But the upside is that you keep all the profits you make minus expenses. Working for someone else may mean you earn a little less but you don’t have to worry about any overhead costs or getting clientele.

Resell Thrift Store Clothes

Reselling clothing and other items is a big industry, so much that thrift stores can make up millions in revenue. You can get a slice of that pie without the expenses of a traditional brick-and-mortar store. Many with on sites such as eBay or Amazon selling second-hand items for a nice profit. You may be able to make a decent living with an online boutique of gently used items.

Visit your local thrift store, there is probably a Salvation Army or Goodwill in the area if not find the nearest thrift store and start hunting! The best way to find out if reselling thrift store clothes is for you is to do it on the side like during a weekend and get started. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to start, head out to one of these thrift stores and buy a couple of items to list for sale.

Other Side Hustle You Can Do:

  • Petsitting
  • Data Entry Jobs
  • Freelance Researcher
  • SEO Evaluator
  • Answering surveys through reward sites such as Swagbucks or Inbox Dollars
  • Joining A Focus Group
  • MLM Companies

I barely scratched the surface of side hustles, there are so many out there to try. You can find a favorite hobby or something completely new to turn into a profitable side hustle.

Feeling Stressed? Here are 4 Tips on Helping You to Deal with Being Overwhelmed!

Feeling Stressed? Here are 4 Tips on Helping You to Deal with Being Overwhelmed!

At one point or another, we all come across feeling stressed and overwhelmed with our daily lives and responsibilities. I know I certainly do! Currently, I am still working a full-time job, have two young kids and a husband that need me. I don’t freeze up but  I get a little cranky and irritable.

It can be mentally and sometimes physically exhausting trying to do a lot of things at once. Sometimes we need to take a break from everything. At other times we may need to implement better time management system so that we don’t get so overwhelmed or feel stressed.

Should you start to feel stressed and overwhelmed try the few tips below:

Stop and take time for yourself

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or your mind is about to burst, take 15 minutes and step back. Close your eyes, you can wear an eye mask, then put your headphones and to listen to soothing music. It doesn’t have to be Beethoven, but whatever music you find that’s soothing and will help you relax your mind. Keep your mind still and try to think of nothing, instead focus on the music you hear

Write your top 3 tasks that must be done

After your mind has had a chance to relax, write down your top 3 must do tasks. Pick one that you know will make you feel better once it’s done. This way you’ve accomplished at least one important task and you won’t feel so stressed.

Journaling

Sometimes it’s helpful to write down the things that are running through your mind. Through journaling, you can find some relief and your mind will relax because these thoughts are written down on paper for you to refer to if needed. Do a brain dump and get all the thoughts that are plaguing you out of your head. You can even toss what you’ve written, what you want to do is basically dump it all out.

Focus on Right Now

If you’re too focused on what could happen tomorrow or next year, you are forgetting about now. Sometimes you can’t help fix or stop what may happen tomorrow. Take note of that fact and do what you can for today.

Whatever may be the cause of feeling overwhelmed, take some time to take care of yourself and deal with it in the best way you can.  Being mentally exhausted won’t do yourself or your family any good.

How to Create a Budget that Actually Works!

How to Create A Budget that Actually Works

 

Some may view the word “budget” as taboo or kapu, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Like us, most folks out in the world have no idea of where to even start to create an effective budget. Having a budget is a critical financial tool for anyone regardless of their age or financial status.

There may be changes going on in your life right now such as a rise in your rent or the loss of a job. I personally am facing the rising cost of rent due to my lack of financial knowledge and putting things off. I have learned the hard way the cost of not being mindful of our finances. My husband and I both agree that we needed a budget to help keep us on track and reach our financial goals.

Studies have been done such as one by Gallup in 2013, that only a 1/3 of Americans create and stick to a budget. This just goes to show that many of us have no idea where our money is going or be able to account for our spending.

When you have a plan in place for your money it can help keep you on track and avoid any unnecessary spending or pitfalls that can cause you to go into debt or financial hardship. Creating a budget can be a challenge, but it can also be easier than people think. Now to begin.

Review Your Spending and Income

After you have spent some time tracking your income and daily spending, next you will want to review the transactions in your bank account to see how your money is moving. You want to review where you are spending the most. You may start to see a pattern and that you are spending more than you realize. If it seems that you are spending more than you make, a review may help you to see what areas you need to cut back on.

Anything I spend using my debit card, I write down in my planner on the day that money was spent.

Identify Your Needs and Financial Goals

Once you realize what your spending habits are, next you need to determine what your needs are. Needs are things such as food, housing, and clothing. Cable tv (which I’m still trying to get my husband to go without) is not a need but more of a want. I hardly watch tv these days and if I do its certain shows like Supernatural or Once Upon a Time, which I can stream as well.

Many debt or financial gurus will tell you to build an emergency fund, it’s important to count this into your budget. We all have a different set of financial goals and situations. Create clear financial goals so that you know what is happening with your money and the likelihood of sticking to a budget is more realistic.

Sticking with a Budget

When you create a budget don’t forget about it. Using your budget is just as important as the steps you take to create it in the first place. Put your budget in a place such as on the fridge so that you see it every day and can review if you would like to. Sticking to a budget will take work and will not always be easy to stick to. Remind yourself of why you created a budget or perhaps you’re saving for a new or trip you’d like to take.

If you find that you are having a hard time sticking to your budget, then perhaps you can try another approach such as the cash envelope method. With this method, you use several envelopes for things such as gas, groceries, treats, you name it. Each is designated a certain amount, such as $20 for gas and once that money is spent you need to wait till the next month rolls around. A cash envelope method is a great way to live within your budget.

Building Your Emergency Fund

You may have asked yourself, how do I even begin to build an emergency fund when I’m already barely making it? This is a common problem people are facing when they are trying to create a budget. It’s hard to create a budget for many expenses because you don’t always know what they will be in the future. Some expenses fluctuate and aren’t very predictable. An emergency fund can come in handy for unexpected expenses such as needing a new car battery.

A good amount for an emergency fund budget can start at just $1,000 to help with any financial surprise. Have a separate account or designated spot will discourage you from spending it accidentally.

Don’t Forget to Include a Budget for Fun Money

Be sure to include a few bucks at the end of your budget as “fun money”, this way you get to save money to have a little fun with and you don’t feel as if all you’re doing is budgeting. This can be a small portion of your income that is brought into use for anything to treat yourself. A little extra money will make sticking to a budget easier. It doesn’t hurt to treat yourself a little.

What May Cause You to Not Stick to Your Budget

One thing that may cause you to fail at keeping a budget is that your cost of living may be higher than what you actually earn. If you’re constantly spending more than you  make then creating a budget and trying to live with the means of your budget may be futile. You can always cut your expenses, increase your income or both to make up for the lack of finances. Another cause could be that you aren’t allowing enough flexibility in your budget or allocating enough funds for emergencies or savings.

For me personally, it’s our cost of living is higher than what we make. We got into a hole and it’s been a struggle to climb out. We got to where we had to make a loan to cover rent, then it begins a cycle. It’s hard to climb up but with a budget in place it’s not so bad.

 

Here’s 5 Quick, Easy Halloween Treats that You Can Easily Make!

Halloween is just around the corner, kids are getting excited about what they’re going to wear and the opportunity to get candy! Before I had kids I never really thought about making or bringing treats to school. This year I am going to attempt to make a Halloween treat for my son to bring to his classmates.

Now I don’t have a lot of time to spend on making something super fancy or complicated, easy and simple is the way I’m going! Here are 7 fun but easy spooky treats that you and your little ones will enjoy!

Dracula’s Dentures

Whip up this fun and spooky chocolate chip cooking dentures that will delight kids and adults alike. There’s not much to prepare this deliciously irresistible treat, you just need marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies, almonds and vanilla frosting. This treat is so simple and easy that you can even have your kiddos help out as well. My kids are always wanting to help and this is a great way to let them.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Package (18.25 oz) chocolate chip cookie dough (you can make it even simpler by buying pre-made Chips Ahoy regular or chewy.
  • ½ cup prepared vanilla frosting that you tint with red food coloring or frosting that is already a shade of red.
  • 1 ¾ cup miniature marshmallows
  • 48 slivered almonds (if anyone suffers from a nut allergy you can substitute the almonds with pumpkin seeds or a slice of white gummy)

Directions:

If you are making the cookies prepare them as instructed on the package or according to the recipe.

  1. If baking, be sure to allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes, cut each cookie in half for a total of 48 halves.
  2. Frost the bottoms of all cookie halves with frosting and place 5 marshmallow teeth around a curved perimeter of 24 halves. If you want additional support, you can place an extra marshmallow behind the teeth. Top with the remain halves, insert two almond slivers or white gummy if you choose for the fangs. If the fangs won’t stay, dip the tips into the frosting.

Easy Pumpkin Krispies Treats

Instead of cooking up traditional rice crispy treats why not change it up and dish out Pumpkin Krispies! These treats are orange and sorta shaped like a real pumpkin but taste a lot better. This kid-friendly recipe is sweet and oh so delicious.

There’s not much to making this treat, prepare your basic rice krispie like you normally would but add orange food coloring when you put in the marshmallows. You can brown the butter and pour in a little bit of vanilla extract. Let the cereal mixture cool before shaping into pumpkin balls. You can use tootsie rolls as the stem and use m&ms for the eyes, candy corn for the nose.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • red & yellow food coloring or orange gel coloring
  • 5-1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • mini tootsie rolls
  • candy for decorations, M&M’s, candy corn, etc.

Directions:

  1. Melt and slightly brown butter on medium heat in a large saucepan. Next, add vanilla extract and the marshmallows. Stir until the marshmallows have completed melted, add food color until you’ve reached the desired orange color. Add in cereal and stir until it’s blended well. Turn off heat and allow to cool until you’re able to handle them.
  2. Once it’s cooled, spray your hands with cooking spray, then mold cereal into pumpkin like circles. Unwrap the tootsie roll and press into each pumpkin for the stem. With a little bit of frosting, adhere candy for the eyes and nose.

Pretty Simple!

White Chocolate DIY Mummy Pretzels

These yummy miniature sized mummies are a delicious mixture of white chocolate, pretzel rods and of course candy! They’re sweet and yet a little salty as well, easy to make for those that aren’t an infamous chef. You can use a squeeze bottle to drizzle the melted white chocolate onto the mummies. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make this tasty treat, just 3 simple ingredients and at least 20 minutes to make them.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 18-20 pretzel rods
  • 12 ounces of white melting chocolate such as Ghiradelli
  • Candy eyeballs

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate according to what is described on the packing. Dip the pretzel rods into the white chocolate, covering approximately ⅔ of the pretzel. Remove excess chocolate by gentling tapping on the side of the bowl.
  2. On each pretzel rod place 2 candy eyeballs, let chocolate sit for 1 minute to avoid the eyeballs falling off. Place each rod on wax paper to help it set.
  3. Spoon remaining chocolate carefully into a Ziploc bag or squeeze bottle. Snip a small corner of the Ziploc bag. Drizzle chocolate over each pretzel, making sure to be careful not to cover the eyes. Pretzel must set completely before serving.

Monster Cupcakes

These monster cookies a spooktacular way to bring Halloween into your home or your child’s classroom. You can find recipes online to make the buttercream or use store-bought frosting for the top.It can be simple or as fancy as you’d like. To make the cupcakes, simply pick up a box of cake mix and make it according to the directions on the box. Add candy eyes and call it a day!

Mini Chocolate Bat Treats

These mini chocolate bat bite-size treats are easy to make and requires just 4 ingredients! Perfect for busy moms and families to make together.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Miniature sized Reeses Cups
  • Oreo Sandwich Cookies
  • Cream cheese frosting either premade or homemade
  • Edible eyes

Directions:

  1. Toss wrappers from the Reeses cups
  2. Break each cookie in half, then separate each piece to make four bat wings. Make sure to scrape off the frosting.
  3. Next, fill a plastic bag with frosting, cut off the tip of the bag so that you are able to pipe the frosting onto the back corners of each broken cookie piece.
  4. Take one cookie piece and press it on the left of the Reeses cup and place another cookie piece on the right side of the Reeses cup.
  5. Pipe frosting on the back of the edible eyes and be sure to secure on top of the center of the Reeses cup.

Halloween treats don’t have to complicated to be fun. Get the kids together and have fun making these delicious treats!

 

Delicious recipes courtesy of :

https://cutediyprojects.com/halloween/30-easy-and-spooky-diy-halloween-treats/

Make Your Mornings a Little Less Crazy by Creating a Routine

Do you ever feel as though you’re always rushing to get the kids ready and out the door to school or a doctor’s appointment on time? I know I have and still do! I like to give myself as much time as possible before I need to be anywhere. Sometimes it’s a whole two hours just because I know something will come up.

Before creating a routine, I needed to understand the timing of everything that needs to get done so that I get my son to school on time. There’s always something they forgot, usually it’s my daughter that takes the longest. So I needed to plan accordingly.

First, write down every task or activity that you need to get done before heading out the door. Grab a notebook paper and draw a timeline that starts with when you need to get up on one end and on the other when you need to leave. Use 15 minute time increments and list all the activities that need to be accomplished. Things such as changing clothes or brushing teeth. I was inspired to do this timeline by Sharon Rowley of Mom of 6, you can read the exact post here that helped me:  https://www.momof6.com/mom-organization/how-to-organize-your-life-how-to-create-a-morning-routine/ .

I get up usually at 545 am so that I am able to allow myself  20 minutes of “Mom Time” to enjoy my coffee and breakfast. I’m also able to check a few emails before I start. Then my mornings begin at 610 am with getting my husbands’ work clothes and lunch ready. But as with life, sometimes the morning routine doesn’t always go as planned. I tried to prep things the night before but because my current day I job is from 3pm-11pm, I felt too tired and just wanted to relax a little before bed. So that routine idea was out the window!

Still, I needed to create a morning routine that would help ease my crazy mornings, I’ve come up with a few tips to help not only myself but all other moms out there!

  1. Eliminate or Limit Tasks That Take a Lot of Time in the Morning: Try to be proactive and take care of tasks that are time-consuming the night before or pick a day such as Sunday to do them. I’ve chosen Sunday as my day to prep my kids’ clothes for the week ahead. They’re all in one spot on a shelf in their closet and all we do is grab and go! When I first wake up, I get my husband clothes ironed and then focus on his lunch for the day. Once he’s set, I get the kids their breakfast and they’ll watch their cartoons while eating. I’ll grab a bite and my coffee in between.
  2. Use Lists to Your Advantage: Write out a list of things that you need on a daily basis, keep it in the bag you will be using or placed in a spot you will be able to see it such as a cork board or refrigerator. I keep a spiral notebook with me at all times, so that if I have an idea or a thought I want to remember I can quickly write it down before I forget.
  3. Leave Yourself Reminders and a Mental Checklist in Obvious Places: Leave yourself reminder notes on the fridge or cork board to give yourself a quick reminder of what you need for the day and tasks that have been or still need to be completed. Also, keep a mental checklist to make sure you have everything before heading out the door. I like to also have a dry erase board or cork board to write notes or post up sticky notes as well. 
  4. Allow Extra Time for Unexpected Events: Getting kids out the door on time can be a challenge on a daily basis. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes just to get them to brush their teeth in the morning. I always like to get ready at least a half hour before we need to be anywhere so that we’re not rushing. Such as when my son has karate, I get his gear prepped 20 minutes before he has to be at the dojo. If we had a dentist appointment I’ll get our stuff ready 20 minutes prior and we head out the door 45 minutes before the appointment. It’s at least a 2o minute drive from where we live to the dentist. It’s always better to leave yourself extra time to get everyone going and getting things ready so that you’re not rushing. What’s the worse that can happen except being a few minutes early!

I usually get about 5 to maybe 6 hours a night of sleep, I know I have to sacrifice a little bit of sleep so that I am able to work from home on a full-time basis.  No matter what time of schedule you come up with, keep in mind that things may not always go according to plan. I try to give myself extra time to get the kids ready if we plan on going anywhere, even a whole 2 hours if I have to. My husband probably thinks I’m a little crazy for allowing so much time but I just know that getting a 7 and 3-year-old ready can be a slow moving process.

A routine can make such a difference in your day and when I stick to it, I notice it too. If I’m not being too lazy that is!

Do you have a morning routine that you have found works for you? Please feel to share!

 

How To Remain Positive When Life is Throwing You An Armful of Curveballs

Recently, my family and I have been going through a rough patch. I let our electric bill slide and now it’s putting us at risk of being evicted. For the first two days, I was really depressed and had a difficult time getting myself to get up. I just wanted to sleep and I was shutting down mentally.

What really brought me out of my funk was my son Tanis, and a conversation I had with a dear friend. Tanis was patient and kind because he knew even at a young age that his mom needed him. I have to say I have an awesome kid! Soon after I met up with a friend briefly who was going through a few things herself. It was so nice just to talk and be in the company of a wonderful person. She made me realize that I need to get my head out from my behind and do what the heck I need to do.

You Can’t Hide From Yourself

As a mom, you can’t hide from yourself because you have a family to think about. They need you as much as you need them. I’ve also been writing emails to myself anytime I feel down and it’s been helping to get things out. I’ve come to understand that I’m the one constant presence in my life and the importance of being in charge of me. One way to do that is to notice how I react emotionally when my thoughts begin to generate and how my emotions show up in my body when I do. For instance, does my emotions show up in an erect posture position, do I have a smile on my face or a clenched jaw.

What You Can Do to Think Positively

When I’m feeling good, I’m focusing on those positive thoughts and trying to keep the negative ones away. It’s hard sometimes and when it is I send an email out or even say a prayer. I’m not a religious person but I find that saying a prayer helps me to feel positive and another way to release all that bad energy.

It makes it hard to focus when I’m feeling negative and thinking a new thought helps me to think clearly and perform tasks. I repeat a positive mantra such as “It will be ok”  or “ I can do it” over and over until the thought has passed. I may say another mantra depending on what my mind is saying to me.

Our thoughts and the things we say can have all that we need to turn a bad mood into a good mood, change how we’re feeling and thinking. Just like anything else it takes time and training to make any sort of change. I know sometimes I still fail but I have this desire to keep myself thinking positive and to push forward.

If you let negative thoughts to overpower your mind you will be stuck right where you are. I didn’t believe in positive thinking and how it could change my mood. I was feeling very angry, bitter and just unhappy. It stemmed a lot from our current situation but I realize that I’ve closed myself off mentally from positive thoughts and just being open. I am in charge of myself and will only take good feelings with me.

Valentine Gift Idea for my son’s class

Ok so I know Valentine’s Day was last weekend but I wanted to post the treats my son shared with his class. He handed them all out on his own since myself and my husband were unable to be there. I was so bummed I had to work but proud that he was a big boy!

I love trying to be fun and creative in coming up with ideas whenever my son has a class party or friends birthday. I find it fun and I simply enjoy it. I originally planned to use the idea of bubble blowers and lollipops that I saw in a pin on Pinterest called “You Blow Me Away by Sheena of “Little LDS Ideas”. A few days prior I picked up lollipop treats to give to his classmates and I found that it was lacking something. I wanted to add more to it.

tropical-bubble-bottles~34_1916                     lifesaver lollipop

 

I decided to do my own version of what Sheena had created, it was just what I was looking for. Since I already had the lollipops, all I needed were the bubble blowers and some kind of bag to put them in. I thought maybe Ziploc bags would work, simple and affordable. I went to Target because I was hoping they would have what I needed, and I didn’t really want to go to Walmart too. I wasn’t able to find everything I needed for the Bubble Valentine treat bag, so I  had to come up with a different game plan. With the foundation laid in place I was able to quickly come up with an alternative treat bag.

I found cheap treat bags,  little m&m bags, stickers for boys and girls, pencils…score! It was cute, simple and best of affordable. I spent at least $25 total on the goodie bags, not bad I would say and I got to help my son with something fun to give his classmates…..take a look at the final product!

tw vday class gift

It was also quick and fun to do, my daughter kept trying to eat the m&ms so I had to move fast! In the end my son was able to hand out something to his friends.

 

 

 

Let’s Get Organized! 5 Tips to a more organized you

Lifes more fun when you're organized

 

 

Who doesn’t feel the need to bring a little bit of organization to their life of perhaps disorganization. As I begin this journey to becoming a freelance writer, I feel the urge to be more organized. Besides, I think it will help me from going insane! I tend to write notes in random places and toss items in the nearest spot.  Things don’t really have a home and have a habit of just ending up somewhere.

Keep thing simple!

Don’t overthink and make the process more complicated, find a system that works and keep it simple!

Choosing your task or to do list

First start by choosing an easy to use task list or to do list that you can work with. Whether it’s an app that can sync with your phone or a simple sheet of paper, choose a method that works for you and stick with it. I like to be able to have access to my list, whether it’s home or while I’m out and about. I have a Tasks N To Do List app on my phone which also syncs with my google calendar, here I can add any task and check them off as I go. The app allows me to keep up with my schedules as well as my family’s, since I’m the coordinator for us all. I also use a sheet of paper that is split into 3 main sections: Today (must be done today!), Notes and a To Do Sections (a place to write things that must be done but not necessarily right away). In my Today section I have that split into 3 smaller sections: Me (things for me personally), CatKWilson (my blog), and Kids (especially since my oldest is now in Kindergarten). I carry this list with me everywhere I go so that I can add to it at any time. At home I have a dry erase calendar to write important notes or events, each family member has their own color marker. I thought of having a board where I use post it notes to write our tasks but it felt like a little too much and I’m trying to keep it organized and simple.

A White Binder

I’ve decided to use a two white binders, one as my personal and one as our family command central binder. In my binder I have sections for my daily, weekly and monthly tasks that need to be completed. I also have a section to write any notes or reminders that I need to know or remember later.  I have a simple calendar that I use so that I can say the days and months of the year to help with future  planning, this information gets transferred to my wall calendar. At first I was going to have just one binder but I needed a take with me binder where I can put my daily tasks.  It seems crazy to have to but in my weird mind it works! I also keep it clutter free of any unnecessary paper so that it says light weight and I can easily carry it along. Our family binder holds important papers for each of us, contacts, household chores.

A Place for everything

Spend at least 15 minutes everyday putting away items or papers in their appropriate homes, even if it’s just sorting the day’s laundry. Keep your things in their correct homes will help keep your life organized. Make your storage spaces easily accessible for the items that you will need constant access to and labeled these spaces accordingly. Start by choosing one particular area of your home and organize it. Group together items that are loose or scattered throughout your home, find or make a home for these items.  For instance, keep homework materials such as pencils or erasers together in a pencil box or drawer. Items that are rarely used can be stored out of sight but close by.

Write Everything Down

Here’s also where my white binder comes in handy, in my notes section I can write down any important notes that I will need for later. I find it’s always helpful to have a notes section in one place. In the past I’d write notes on post its and stick them in random places in my calendar. Don’t make life more crazy by trying to remember everything in your head, make it easier by writing down even the smallest task.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/36521962026@N01/92240723″>Life’s More Fun When You’re Organized</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Beginning the Journey…

FINDING WHERE I NEED TO BE….

Aloha and welcome to My Journey to Paradise!  My name is Cat, I’m a thirty-something wife and mother living on the beautiful of Maui, Hawaii!

The beginning….

I’m constantly multi-tasking with mommy and wife duties, work and just life in general, so much that when I’m not so crazy busy I feel a little lost!  I’ve always dreamed of being able to work from home and be free of the typical day job.  Within the last two years I faced almost being laid off twice, the first time I was pregnant with my daughter and feeling stressed with the unknown.  Then not a year later the same thing happened again but thankfully I was once again able to transfer to a different location within the company.  But that unknown as like a trigger switch to get on the ball about securing my future on my own.  Things never really got off the ground due to my own procrastination and just really not knowing where to start.  With my oldest entering kindergarten in the fall and my little girl growing up fast, it really started to hit me that I wanted to be present in their daily lives and not watch them grow up from afar.  For my last job, I lived over 20 miles away and would have to leave almost two hours before my shift so that I wouldn’t run into traffic delays.  One day my son told me “mommy don’t go to work, stay with me”, that about broke my heart. I decided I needed to make a change and the first thing I did was accept a job that was closer to home, I didn’t want to work for another employer but at the time it was the best decision I could have made for my family.  

Making Changes…

In addition to changing job location, I decided I needed to figure out a way to secure our lives financially and not to rely solely on a job. I’ve gone through many different networking marketing ideas, business ideas, work at home ideas and the best one that seemed to fit was becoming a freelance writer.  I needed something where I could do as a side hustle and wouldn’t required getting a second job. I realize that even being a freelance writer would require sacrifices I felt it was one I could still be there for my kids.

One of the hardest things for me in deciding to become a freelance writer was settling on one niche and discovering what I was most passionate about.  I have an interest in many different things so it’s taking me time to figure out what it is.  I’m still learning and growing to find that niche and I want to share this with everyone.  I didn’t want that to be the reason I didn’t get started.  Not doing anything wouldn’t get me anywhere.  Writing this post I already feel confident that I will get to where I need to be.  I’ve decided to try Gina Horkey’s  30 Days or Less To Freelance Writing Success  to put me on the right path.  

IN CONCLUSION…

This blog will serve as my platform as I share my journey to strive to create a better future or my paradise through freelance writing with tips and techniques that I learn along the way with others.  Having a great job and career is a wonderful thing but not something that you can soley depend on these days.  

I’m concerned that I have no idea what I’m doing and that it’ll be an epic fail but I would rather try and fail than not try at all.  If I want things to change I need to make changes and have the strength to make it happen.  I haven’t quite figured out what my niche is but through this blog and journey I will discover what my purpose is.  It may be a confused mess but through hard work it will all make sense.