Most of you know I’m a lady boss with a home based business.
I don’t often share my goals because they often scare me and they’re way more terrifying when I see them in print but this month, I’m working hard toward a pretty big milestone…
A promotion. It’s a biggie and the reality is it probably won’t happen until fall.
The thing is…if we wait until we think it will happen to work for it, it may not happen at all. Success comes from consistent, small steps toward a specific finish line.
Soooo, this month I’m working hard to fill my calendar through the end of the year with vendor events and online girls night events. Being new to FL, I’m having to do a lot of digging to find the best events to participate in. If you have a festival or vendor market that you love here in central FL, would you share the date and location in the comments? Or if you’d like to gather your girlfriends for a 30 second hair style class, send me a message.
I’ll keep y’all posted on the progress…
because each one of you is truly the wind beneath my wings
I’m always looking for fun things to do and, as an empty nester, it seems like we get in a rut of eating out and/or catching a movie. Somewhere along the way, we lost our creativity.
So today, I was googling fun things to do and came across a weekly summer activities calendar. Yes, it was made for kids, but I’m ready to reignite the little girl that’s tucked away down deep inside of my heart. I love dancing and unicorns and glitter and tiaras, so even though there are no wee ones in my house and no grandbabies on the horizon, I’m taking this list and making some dates with my honey (on the weekends, since we both work)
…and I have a crazy feeling we’ll find some great moments of laughter and super silly selfies…
When is the last time you did something silly just for the fun of it?
Care to share?
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If I don’t write it down when the thought passes through my brain, I won’t remember it later when I need that information.
Yep, probably a combo of, ahem, my age (ouch, that hurt) and the fact that, at any given time, I just have too much info being juggled in my brain.
When I was in college, I could memorize an entire play script in a week. Those days are long gone and now that I’m out of practice, the thought of memorizing anything at all is pretty daunting.
So what do I do when I really want to remember something specific…something important?
I give myself a tattoo.
Let me preface this by saying… My hubby hates tattoos. Right before we got married, I played a practical joke on him and applied a temporary tattoo where it would just peek out of my T-shirt. We were watching a movie and he was REALLY quiet. He usually plays “commentator” during movies, so I knew he had seen it and was trying to figure out how to approach the subject. He finally just blurted out, “Did you get a tattoo?!!!” And of course, I played it up… “Well yeah, I know you don’t really like them but I thought this was so cute, I couldn’t resist.” The look on his face made me laugh so hard!
So… I had to check with him before I started using this method.
I hate to admit it, but I found DWELL through a Facebook ad. Yep I was a sucker but DWELL has actually proved to be really successful for me. While it’s intention is to help you memorize Bible verses, I’ve started using the general idea for other things, too.
Anyone remember ROYGBIV? That one is burned in my brain from middle school science class!
The process is using an acronym to remember something important. I used it a lot in my college years, but had forgotten about it until I saw that Facebook ad. It’s very effective and makes it much quicker to remember a list , a sentence, or a host of other things.
I don’t get any perks or payment from DWELL for sharing this but I love the product. it’s a subscription, so every month, I get a small package with 3 things… a card with the verse of the month on it (I put this on my fridge), a key tag (one side is the entire verse in words; the other side is the acronym), and a set of temporary tattoos that have a cute design and the acronym.
I was a little skeptical the first month, but it really works! I learned the verse quickly and get to share it with others when someone asks me what my tattoo means.
I think the verses will be etched in my brain and easier to recall because they now have a visual attached to them.
I used to brag and laugh about my addiction. It is socially accepted and considered “cute” to have a “sweet tooth” but other than the taste itself, there’s nothing sweet about it. Sugar made me compulsive and unable to hold my will power, caused me to gain weight, contributed to my headaches, caused me to be bloated, and feel generally lousy. While I’m no expert, and don’t have evidence to back it, I also believe it weakened my immune system and caused inflammation throughout my body.
I’ve been successful with eating “clean” through several periods in my life before, but when I get stressed or overwhelmed with life circumstances, I find myself going right back to the same habit of sugar binging. Ice Cream is my guilty pleasure and one scoop can send me back into a downward spiral of way more than just ice cream… my days are soon filled with soda, cookies, chocolate, flavored coffee creamer, and ice cream, just to name a few. Drive throughs quickly become a routine part of my errand list…daily.
So after a trip to Nashville last weekend, I came home and knew that once again, I was going to need to cut the sugar addiction…cold turkey.
My hubby just shook his head. He asked me why I don’t just taper off slowly.
The answer is quite simply…that is too hard for me to do.
Every time I quit cold turkey, the first 7 days are agony, but if I can stay the course, that breaks the sugar cravings and clears my system completely. In plain English, I bite the bullet and the rewards are almost immediate…
weight starts coming off
my joints no longer hurt
headaches are 50% less frequent
my food actually tastes better
I don’t need to snack between meals
my mind is clear and I can remember things
I know I’m just like an alcoholic who cannot have even one drink. One bite of anything sweet and I WILL fall right off the healthy wagon, head first. So how have I done it in the past and what am I doing this week to break the addiction and start benefitting from my body operating the way it was designed?
This book:Bright Line Eating (I am not getting anything for this recommendation…I’m literally just sharing something that works for me)
Before you run out and buy it there are a few things you should know…
if you’re not “all in”, you will not succeed…you can’t “sort of” use this plan because your brain will still be affected in a negative way even when you just cheat “a little bit”
the book goes into great detail about the brain and how it is affected by what we eat; for me, understanding why I wasn’t successful in the past was so helpful…no more beating myself up!
Yes there is meal planning and weighing food, but this actually is freeing in that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to cook or eat…the decision is already made for me.
So today, I’m on day 2. Yesterday was rough (not gonna lie)…I was CRAVING sweets. I had emptied out the pantry and kitchen of anything with sugar, so there was no way I could cheat at home, but the real test came when I had to run to the post office and the grocery store. I drive by Dunkin Donuts (maple frosted and vanilla bean coolatta…mmmmm), Wendy’s (chocolate frosty), Panera (brownies or chocolate chip cookie), McDonald’s (large Dr. Pepper)…grinding teeth kept my foot on the gas.
Then on the way home, I had to stop at Winn Dixie to pick up my hubby’s medication…the bakery is right next to the pharmacy…WHYYYYY?!!!! More grinding teeth as I forced myself not to glance in that direction.
The final test was the checkout line where I was surrounded by sugar on all sides and of course a basket of monster chocolate chip cookies right next to the register…individually wrapped and only $1, they used to be my “treat” for the 5 minute ride home. It’s a miracle I have any teeth left at this point!
I am so proud to say, I DID NOT GIVE IN!
Today is slightly better…no errands to run, so I won’t have to resist the temptations in town.
But I did whine while I drank my coffee with plain milk, no sweetener.
Tomorrow it will taste better…
I can do this…
I need to do it for me and I need to help my hubby keep his heart healthy, too.
Are you struggling to stay on track with a health plan you know will work for you? Subscribe to my blog and we can cheer each other on! Accountability is a huge factor in the success of any difficult task…just sayin’
If I can do it, I KNOW you can do it!
Onward and upward,
For more scientific info and explanation of the sugar/brain connection/addiction see THIS ARTICLE
Let me first start off by letting you know…this is not a sales pitch. We’ve been through a really tough year. And by “We”, I mean everybody. My hubby and I have been living off our savings for the past several months (after his heart attack) but I knew that it would be a temporary “fix” to a much longer term income issue.
There are 4 things I’m doing from home that are making a difference and starting to change the cash flow issue for us…
#1 We made a budget.
Our church is doing “Financial Peace” with Dave Ramsey for our small groups right now. One of our first assignments was to make up a budget. My hubby and I both rolled our eyes…
I am 52 and have never lived by a budget. I always felt they were too restricting and didn’t let you have any fun. Totally not true! We made up our first budget and found that rather than restricting us, it has allowed us to have fun, guilt free! We have a set amount every month for entertainment and it is so freeing to know we can spend that amount with no guilty feelings. We used to regret spending money on fun stuff because we always felt that something might come up that we’d need that money for, But now, we have an emergency fund for those unexpected things.
The budget has helped us see exactly where we’re spending money. And it’s not rigid, in that we can make a few adjustments, during the first few months. Since we’ve never done one before, we’re currently guessing on how much we spend for things like groceries and gas…now that we’re tracking every dollar, we’ll be able to adjust categories as needed next month.
How are we saving money with a budget? By being more mindful of what we’re actually spending, it’s easier to skip the drive through, “just one more” amazon purchase, and snacks at the checkout line. A budget makes it easier to say “no” to impulse purchases…or “yes” when you’ve saved your fun money for something you’ve had your eye on.
#2 Order groceries online
This single thing has saved us a TON of money! I order our groceries online and pick them up without ever setting foot in the store. Post COVID, most stores are offering this service for free. I make up my meal plans for the week, check my pantry and then make up my grocery list. Ordering online means I’m not throwing any extras in the cart or buying something “while I’m here”. I stick 100% to my list! Oh! And one other bonus? …no hour+ wasted going up and down the aisles of the grocery store!
#3 Start a home based business
Lots of people have gotten creative here…mowing lawns, pet sitting, cleaning houses, data entry, etc. With my background in retail sales, I chose to go with a retail option. There are lots of “business in a box” options with a very low start up cost. My hard rules were that I didn’t want to have to hit up my friends and family to buy things they don’t need and I didn’t want to have to beg people to “join my team” in order to make any money. I found an option I love and was making good money at fairs and festivals until COVID hit…all my normal avenues were shut down. I quickly realized I’d have to switch to online if I wanted to continue selling retail. With a little research and the help of friends, I learned a lot about online sales in a short amount of time and my stream of income is still steady (slightly less than pre-COVID, but steady nonetheless). I have learned to love working at home and, as events begin to open up again, I’ll be able to maximize both in person and online.
A couple of tips regarding a “business in a box”: make sure it’s a product you absolutely love; pick a business that does not require you to carry inventory; make sure there are not monthly or quarterly fees or quotas; find one that maintains a free website for you.
#4 Managing my own IRA
This option is not for everyone and definitely not for the faint of heart! There are huge risks to playing the stock market, but with a lot of patience and being willing to learn from teachers who have been doing it a long time, there can be some big payouts. Your decision making needs to be made logically and not based on fear or excitement during the ups and downs of the market. If you know that your personality tends to be impulsive, this may not be for you.
I started out by transferring my 401K into an IRA that I could personally manage. After a few months of studying and learning how to understand the stock market, we opened another trading account with some of our savings. The IRA is growing money for our retirement while the other account is usable now as needed. Again, there is big risk involved, but if you’re willing to put the time into educating yourself, you can make some pretty good money by managing your own investments.
So that’s it for now…
Feel free to share this post and subscribe to my blog…
Hope you have a beautiful day!
PS. I am not getting any perks or commissions from any of these…just sharing what has worked for me and hope that it helps someone else out there…Resources I have used and had success with are the following:
I have many friends and family members who have struggled with super fine hair for years. Tangles and breakage have made them dread the battle to ease the inevitable snarls…the telltale harsh ripping sound while brushing, daily signaled the resulting hair breakage and split ends.
Thankfully, I have found something that has really made a difference. This is what one of my friends shared with me…
“My daughter and I are already in love with it! I use it after my shower, when my hair is still wet, to help brush through, before adding anything else. It helps me avoid pulling out or damaging any hair while brushing and conditions my hair for a healthier look and feel. My daughter uses it with her hair dry. In the morning before school, she sprays a few squirts and brushes through those bedtime knots without any pain! And it leaves her hair shiny and beautifully soft.”
Today I’m feeling so grateful because I love helping others feel better, look better, and enjoy life more… My heart is happy and I truly love what I do!
That mom…the one that cries at the drop of a hat…the one that loses it when the national anthem is played…the one who lies awake at night, praying for the safety of her son…the one who puts a flag on EVERYTHING.
I knew my youngest son wasn’t happy taking college courses, but I was seriously blindsided when I got a call from my daughter. She was the one who broke the news to me that he was thinking about enlisting and had dropped his college classes for the semester. Since he lived with his dad, I wasn’t always the first to know what was going on in his life.
Two days later, my son called me to apologize for not calling sooner and to let me know…
He enlisted in the Army that day
He was already sworn in
He would be leaving for boot camp on Monday (less than a week later).
I was in shock. I have always tried to hide my disappointments, fears, and sadness from my kids, but the emotions overcame me and my voice betrayed my breaking heart.
Don’t get me wrong…I am SO proud of him for making this HUGE life decision and for serving our country so selflessly and completely, but I needed some time to process the “mama thoughts.”
I needed time to process the shift from school to soldier life. I needed time to process and let go…to surrender my child 100% to God’s protection. I needed time to say good bye to my “little” boy and embrace the man he was going to become overnight. The hardest thing to accept was that I would not be able to see him off…to give him that last hug and kiss before the toughest challenge of his life thus far.
The day he left, I was able to talk to him for about 10 minutes. I pushed my emotions deep down into hiding for that phone call…I wanted him to remember his mama happy and proud of him. We laughed together and I made mental notes of what his laughter sounded like.
It’s now 2 days later, and I haven’t heard from him yet. I suspect he will call his dad and since they only get one phone call when it’s earned, I will need to communicate in other creative ways. There are several things I plan to do throughout his time in boot camp and I’m not sure if it’s more for him or for myself…
I’m writing letters every day. 2 down, 47 to go
I’m praying for him every morning. “The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children” (Stormie Omartian) has a beautiful prayer of protection in the chapter on “Be Protected and Survive Tough Times” It has become a comforting way for me to find peace and surrender my son to God’s protection.
And lastly, I’m doing push-ups, adding one each day, so when he gets out of training, he can tell someone ELSE to “drop and give me fifty”
To help me through the toughest days, I’ve found some great advice and tips from some Army moms groups and perhaps the best advice is to accept the waves of emotions that will come but always be positive and encouraging when receiving those phone calls or writing those letters…you can cry in the shower later…
Yep…I have a feeling our well pump won’t have to work quite as hard for a long while to come.
Thanks for reading…subscribe if you like and feel free to share this post.
If you’ve been following my blog, you may have noticed that I’ve been absent for quite some time. In spite of the fact that my hubby and I never got COVID, “2020” seriously did a number on me and I had to let some things go…
Letting go has always been hard for me…my old thought habits make me feel that, in laying something down, I have been a failure or, at the very least, a disappointment. So while 2020 was extremely difficult, I grew a lot as a person.
I learned that setting something down does not mean I’ve failed…it means I can pick it back up later when I can give it more attention.
One reason I needed to take a break from my routines had to do with travel. My hubby had wanted to move back to FL for a very long time. He’s not a happy camper in cold weather, even though TN is considered to have “mild” winters. He asked me what I thought about moving south. “Warmer” sounded good in February, so when both of our businesses came to a screeching halt in March, we hit the road looking for adventure and possibly a new life. Our first road trip in March, covering the FL panhandle, came up completely empty. The only thing we found that even remotely resembled our downsizing dream, was a 2 1/2 acre lot, mostly cleared, but we would have to build. As we started researching what the FL building codes, permits and requirements would be, we quickly knew that was NOT the option for us. Road trip #2 in April was much longer as we explored first the east side of the state going as far south as Delray Beach and then back up the west side. We put an offer in on a property and were outbid, so we started the trip back to TN. We had been on the road for several hours when a new listing came up and we both felt we needed to turn around and look at it.
I learned that home really is where the heart resides.
My hubby and I are opposites…I mean, as in 100% opposite. The fact that we both felt pulled toward this property was a miracle in and of itself. But when we met the realtor at the house, we knew the minute we walked in that this was the one. “Turtle Run Ranch” was born and today it’s a place of peace and rest for both of us. (More on the “ranch” later)
I learned that saying good bye is hard, but if you use it, technology can ease the pain.
When we moved to FL, I had to leave my family behind… My 3 kids are now grown so I wasn’t seeing them as often as I would have liked but at least they were in the same town and I could be there if they needed me. Same for my mom…she is not in the greatest housing situation and I spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to fix that (I’ll save those thoughts for another post.) My dearest friends, who are like sisters to me, are still connecting and we are able to support each other through video chats and texts. I was worried I would lose touch with many of the people I care about, but I was wrong and my heart is so blessed by each of these beautiful people.
I learned, on more than one occasion, that life is fragile and deserves love and gentleness.
2020 brought 2 near death experiences into our life. A spring tornado passed by in the middle of the night, just 2 blocks away from our TN home. We heard it coming and were able to get to safety in our walk out basement…for those of you who have never lived through a tornado, it is a sound you don’t ever forget. We seriously thought these were going to be our last living moments as we clung to each other in fear. Once it passed, we stepped outside with our flashlights in hand, to survey the damage. Aside from a few downed tree limbs and losing power, our house and our neighbors and their homes all appeared to be ok so we went back to bed and tried to get some sleep. About an hour later, I knew something wasn’t right as emergency vehicles continued to travel up our street…all night long. In the morning, I took a walk to see what was going on and was in shock as I rounded the bend in the road. Entire blocks of houses were completely gone…as in, just the foundation remained. I learned later that one couple was killed just 2 blocks from our home. While I’ve always considered life to be sacred and fragile, I suddenly realized just how fleeting our life and lifestyle truly are. I now cherish little miracles and snippets of time with a whole new perspective.
I learned to be content.
For the first time in my life, I am truly content. I don’t drive a new car but I love the one I have and enjoy not having a car payment. My house was built in the early 80’s and has had very little updating, but it’s a log cabin and I love the rustic nature of it. Are there things I’d like to change, oh yeah! But I realized yesterday, as I swung on my porch swing, I’m content. I’m at peace with where things are at. I could live here for the rest of my life and not change a thing…and still be content. Maybe part of it is my age, but after 2020, I no longer feel the need to have the latest and greatest. My appliances are old…the dishwasher has rust stains inside from the iron deposits from our well, the freezer door doesn’t seal properly unless you close it just right, the microwave is missing the turnplate inside…I could go on but it really doesn’t matter. I truly have everything I need and that is a beautiful, warm and wonderful feeling of freedom.
I learned that joy and laughter are vital to a healthy life.
The second near death experience came in October when the love of my life almost died. He had a “widow-maker” heart attack at the age of 51 and, thanks to a friend of his, got to the hospital in time for an emergency stent. The stress of 2020 had finally caught up to us…tornado, finding a home, prepping a home to sell, putting a house on the market, downsizing, packing up and moving out of state, getting settled, and building fencing, all by ourselves, had taken a a hard toll on us. We were in survival mode, ate a lot of “drive through” and weren’t taking care of our bodies. We didn’t smile or laugh much for several months. STRESS. When I thought I was losing him, I realized how much pressure we had put on ourselves to complete tasks and realized that we had forgotten how to live, how to enjoy the moment, and how to have fun.
Yes, 2020 was HARD and yet it changed me in ways that I’m trying hard to maintain.
I learned to speak kindly to my own heart and that doing the best I can is a gift to others, even when my perfectionism thinks otherwise. The smallest of actions carried out in the spirit of love is all that’s really needed in this world…
What did 2020 teach you? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Every year I do the same thing…set huge, “pie-in-the-sky” goals that will radically change my life for the better.
The problem is…in my 50+ years, I’ve never achieved any of them…not a single one.
This failure to achieve over and over and over again, subconsciously tells me that I’m not good enough or strong enough and that deep down, I’m a failure.
2021 is the year that I let go of that plan of action and choose to take a different path…one that is gentler with myself and one that celebrates my successes instead of beating myself up for my failures.
This year, I am choosing to set ridiculously tiny goals….ones that seem silly because they are so easy to reach…ones that are daily activities to create good habits…ones that will reinforce my efforts…ones I can celebrate on a regular basis.
This year, I choose to recognize the good things and celebrate progress even if that progress is miniscule.
This year, I choose to focus on what I’m doing right instead of what I did wrong or didn’t do at all.
This is the year I choose to love myself.
Is this your year? I hope you will join me in choosing to love and celebrate oneself in 2021…
PS: If you’re curious about how I got to this mind shift, this book explains it very well…
“Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results” by Stephen Guise
If you’re curious to see how all this pans out in the end, subscribe to this blog and feel free to share with your friends… after all, we can all use a little encouragement once in a while…ok, maybe a lot of encouragement!
My sister and I were early teens and our younger cousin was spending the summer with us. We had never been on a long road trip style family vacation, so my dad decided to make up for lost time. He had saved up a ton of vacation and with the help of AAA and a pile of TripTiks, he planned out the ultimate road trip making sure to stop at all major national parks in the western US. I don’t remember the exact route we took but there are pictures from Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Canyon…there may have been others that I am forgetting.
Needless to say, it was a LONG trip.
I remember being VERY bored and getting creative with things to do in the car. There was lots of laughter at those creative things… we brought along an entire zoo of stuffed animals and put on a “puppet show” for the motorists following behind us. The dialogue was hilarious, but I’m sure it was even funnier for the people watching when they couldn’t hear the reasons for the antics in the window.
My younger cousin was a boy, maybe 10 years old, so my sister and I tormented him with girly things like pretending to kiss him on the cheek when we posed for pictures. We tickled him without mercy. He blushed a lot that summer.
I don’t remember what started this, but one day we all started talking with a lisp…the phrase that is burned in my memory is “How many thicknethes do you have?” I think it may have come from one of the puppet shows and it was supposed to be “how many sicknesses do you have?” I do remember belly laughing until my face and yummy hurt!
Not only did we take the longest road trip ever, we saved money by camping…every night…in a tent. Now, I’m a pretty adventurous girl, but we were setting up and tearing down that tent almost every night (sometimes we’d stay in one place for 2 nights). I don’t care how avid a tent camper you are, that gets old pretty quick. We did get pretty efficient in the pitching of said tent, but there was one night I will never forget as long as I live…
We pulled into camp and there was a steady gently breeze. As we started pulling the tent and other campsite necessities out of the car, the wind picked up a bit. We rolled out the tent on the ground and started putting the poles in. It took all 5 of us, with the wind, but we finally got the tent set. I thought the wind might be getting stronger, but I wasn’t going to be the one to say anything about it. The sun went down and the wind got stronger still. We headed into the tent to crash for the night. It was HOT so all of us planned to sleep on top of our sleeping bags. We unzipped the “windows” for some ventilation and still the wind continued to whip the tent. I knew we were in for a long night, but I had no idea just how long it would turn out to be.
I don’t remember if I had dozed off or not, but my dad was fretting over the tent poles possibly getting bent or broken by the wind. He came up with the idea of removing the poles and allowing the tent to collapse over us, so next thing I knew, we were inside a collapsed tent with the wind flapping it all over us. I was miserable from the heat and the flapping tent…we all were. But wait… there’s more… Remember those open “windows”? The wind was pushing sand over the tent and depositing it on us through the windows in little bursts, keeping time with the flapping tent. I don’t think any of us slept that night, not even my younger cousin. In the morning we looked like the sand people from some B flick movie set. I have not gone camping in a tent since that infamous summer road trip.
What about you? Any funny family vaca stories to share? Feel free to tell us your story in the comments!
PS I’ll pull out the photo albums and add some pics to this post when I get home…we are stuck in FL right now with this “Stay at Home” order.