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I started on day 4 of the Whole 30

I think the anxiety buildup of starting was ten times worse than actually starting.

Besides either accidentally using too much olive oil in 2 dishes last night or using bad garlic in one, it’s been smooth (I threw up pretty much everything I ate for lunch and dinner and thanks to work, had to almost combine lunch and dinner because I decided to go to bed early)

I’m barely even craving snacks or junk now and I was reading these are the worst days. I didn’t go full- Whole30 because if I attempted to quit smoking on top of the restrictive diet, I’d be setting myself up to fail. I’m even craving those less and smoking under a half pack a day.

Every time I start to feel annoyed with myself for taking on this “no desert” “diet,” I just have to remind myself it’s only a month and the benefits should be much better than giving up junk food.

 

Yesterday, I decided to keep the computer turned off and put my phone away after I got off work. I also cut my kids’ electronic time 2 hours before bed and they both went to bed on time and slept soundly- but we overslept and the alarm didn’t wake us up. (we had a HORRIBLE night the night before and none of us got much sleep)

I’m going to do that again tonight and see if it’s a repeat, I’ve been reading the book “Sleep Smarter” by Shawn Stevenson and there are so many things he suggests I’m planning on trying.

I would recommend that book to anyone who wakes up every morning exhausted and is always feeling tired. He goes into the science behind the suggestions and explains things in an easy to understand way.

I also started working out again, not too big of a difference since I would start one regime then move on to another. This time it’s a mix with HIIT and Yoga. Since I’m no longer in my 20s, I know I need to start taking things more seriously. I have logged off Facebook, not sure if this time it will be a few weeks or a few months. I kept Messenger so I could talk to people but other than that, I’m off it for a while.

Other social networks are linked to my business and I spend less time on those, so they are a nonissue, but I have been finding that Facebook is my kryptonite with getting anything at all done.

 

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I’ve been experimenting with a few niche websites

I’m starting another four in areas of interest right now.

I did a “best of WV” travel post for another site and doing the research got me interested in doing a kind of travel site for West Virginia. There are so many places here in WV that are great places to tour and visit, lots of great locally owned businesses and small, local artists/artisans and authors and I want to shine the light on those places and people.

After working on the book review/spotlight for Booklure Promotions, I decided to start up a Fantasy site. This one will have exercpts from a few fantasy books/stories I’m working on as well as reviews of fantasy books, movies and series I have really liked.

I also started a site as a resource for both new and seasoned parents- different products, books and other things that I (and others) have found useful as well as tips, research and studies I find that have to do with parenting (none of the celebrity gossip crap unless a celebrity parent comes out with a baby product or baby clothing line)

 

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I haven’t been on here too much

My personal life has been extremely busy and stressful. I’ll hopfully be getting some exciting and good news soon and if it’s positive, I’ll mention it on here but right now I’m full of nervous energy.

I’m currently working on the actual book to go along with the workbook I just released.

I’ve also gone with some new ideas and decided on the full series I’ll be trying to write by the end of next year. There will be at least 3 books and 3 workbooks with potentially 3 more books and workbooks after. (but not by next year)

I’ve started a new page on Facebook dedicated to the series and education of dream interpretation, astrology (natal chart) and divination.

You can find it here.

Part of the page as well as the Twitter I’m about to start is promotion and updating about the books but mostly it’s sharing facts about the subjects listed above.

It is also going to be lining up with my new site, Astromommy, which is currently under construction.

I’m also working out some plans for DIYmommy and they will be posted when they’re finalized.

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Blogging niche- yay or nay?

I’ve read a bit here and there about niche. I’ve read both the opinion that niches aren’t that important and I’m assuming my regular readers don’t look at the fact that my writing is all over the place and I talk about random things to avoid this being just personal thoughts and stuff.

If pushed, I’d probably have to say I’m a blogger mommy. I write and I’m a mommy but I’m definitely not a mommy blogger in the traditional sense. I won’t post anything (hopefully) that will ever embarrass my kids when they grow up. (one loves the limelight anyways, I’m trying to get her to start a Youtube with me and hey, maybe we could get the not so social girl involved as well…)

I have silently promised to take 20 pictures to make sure I get the perfect shot, if it ever comes up when my girls are teens or adults I don’t want them to be embarrassed.

I also lost my identity when I first had my oldest. She was born 3 months early, had an 8 month NICU stay and when she came home, we took her out once and she ended up back in the PICU because of a cold. Due to that, we were afraid of putting her in care and my parents worked, so I had to stay home. We tried home health care but the nurses kept leaving (better opportunities out of state or in other areas) or weren’t stable enough for us to leave them alone with her.

I stayed home for 4 years until she had been in pre-k for a while (it wasn’t 4 years by choice- when she started pre- k I started looking around but the job market is hard to get back into when you’ve been gone for as long as I had)

In the years I was unemployed, I started slipping out of my identity. I got very actively involved in the “Mom Facebook community” to the point I adminned in several groups but ended up getting tired of the drama and being expected to post multiple times daily. I very slowly quit those communities.

Now, I have two healthy kids. The youngest is 3 and I’ve been working on losing the identity of just “mommy.” I’m working on trying to get in touch with my real interests, hopes, dreams and who I am as a person. Thanks to that, my mind is typically all over the place. One minute, I’ll be listening to “Baby shark” with Bubble Guppies on in the background and the next I’ll be listening to Within Temptation with Lord of the Rings on. It hasn’t been as huge a process as it seems or even feels like it would be. I love reading “mommy blogs” and connecting with “mommy bloggers” but I don’t feel like I would fit into that.

I know I’m not a travel blogger, beauty, fashion or lifestyle so I’m guessing I don’t fit in any of the neat little categories.

The cons I have read about not fitting one is that it’s harder to find a target market. Since I write and have my business, I spend a lot of time trying to determine my target market and in that realm I’d need a niche, right?

I can name one huge pro with not fitting a niche- you aren’t confined to only writing about one topic. I was writing for a pregnancy/baby website for about 6 months. In that six months, I wrote 72 articles. Those 72 articles were all about either pregnancy or having babies under 2. By the time I left that site, I was burned out and wracking my brain to figure out what to pitch for them next. I was starting to think of random topics and pitching 2 or 3 bad ideas based around the one topic. It got to be a huge pain. Pregnancy is something I know very well but there comes a time you can write too much about a topic and run out of ideas. Since this isn’t a pregnancy site, I don’t have to stick with writing about pregnancy.

Do you have a certain niche?

How did you decide- just an interest, business or hobby or did it fall into your lap once you started writing?

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My writing has been featured

A while back I submitted a “Share your story” post about losing my Cassandra to Pickle & Poppet. They submitted the post to “ABloggingGoodTime” and they selected it as their featured post this past week.

“Reflections
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The ever popular “Quarter life crisis”

I read about the quarter life crisis for the first time several years ago when I was trying to figure out if I was going through some sort of “mid life crisis” early. I found out about the concept that tends to start somewhere around your 25th year.

From the time I was young, I had things mapped out in my head-
By 25 I wanted
1. A college degree
2. To be started enough in a career I actually loved to be financially fully stable
3. A husband
4. To be finished with pregnancy and have 2 kids
5. Be a home owner and not renter

Our reality at 25
1. I had a beauty school license
2. I was a stay at home mom by necessity, we took our daughter out in public once after she came home from the NICU and ended up with a cold and in the PICU, so we couldn’t put her in care for a while
3. I did get married at 22, so I met that goal
4. I was pregnant with baby 2 when I was 25 but we lost her so we only had 1 living child. I was trying to come to terms with my older daughter being an only child.
5. We still rented the first home we moved into when we first got married.

Hell, even at 30 I’ve been unable to meet all those. I still can’t find a major I want to study but I am working on going back to school hopefully this year and we’re hoping to be able to get the first time home buyer’s loan this year, but

My reality at 31
1. Still can’t determine a degree I want to study and go in debt for- so I’m just not sure a 4 year is right for me. I’m a licensed skin therapist and looking at an LPN program (waiting for the test to get in to the program in March and have been reading through study material). I’m looking at several other programs as well at a couple other schools
2. I just left a retail part time job and before that, I worked in a salon. Both were stable- like, I wouldn’t lose the jobs but the paychecks weren’t stable. I’m currently looking around at job openings and writing/doing Etsy full time until I get to my next step
3. I’m still married, we’re going on 9 years so that never changed.
4. At 27, I had my last child- this pregnancy was healthy and she’s now a very hyper and healthy 3 year old.
5. We still rent and still live where we moved when we first got together. We’re just hoping next year we’ll be ready to buy.

I’m starting to get out of my quarter life crisis, (funny when you know a name). I’m still a Type A personality with no career to throw myself into and I’m still a workaholic type with no work to throw myself into- which is most of the reason I have this site, my Etsy and my writing. I have to have goals and something to focus that particular energy on- I also have gotten to the point over the years I can’t stand working under other peoples’ rules.

I’m also starting to notice that there is nothing I really want to go into major debt for that will promise a pay out. (4 year college)

I’m hoping I won’t be as stagnant in my 30s as i was in my 20s. I’m still completely unclear to the path I want to take but I am starting to accept that I’m not “young” anymore, but not old either. I guess I’m in the middle age- not middle aged but not young adult. I know I could easily pursue a higher degree and I could easily go back multiple times but for what? To go into debt and end up with lower earning potential? To work for someone else? Live by someone else’s rules?

 

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First Post of 2019

I’ll be posting more regularly again as it gets further into the year.

About 2-3 weeks ago, I got slammed on Etsy while slammed with my former day job. Since then, I finished all the orders on Etsy and I’m going into 2019 un-traditionally employed. I have a lot of plans for 2019 and on.

I’m in the middle of shutting 1 Etsy shop down and adding everything back into my main shop. My goal is to have over 200 items listed by 2020.

I’m also going to be kicking off the opening of this shop on here, it’s usable but my grand opening ended up going on at the same time as a huge event at my former day job- so it didn’t work out. I’ll be doing that, maybe when I release my next project.

I’m currently working on a guided dream journal that I’ll be releasing hopefully mid- to late January or Feburary. It will be a journal to record dreams with some tips on what details to remember.

I also have planned-

A pocket guide to the tarot

A pocket guide to Astrology (understanding the natal charts)

A guide to understanding dreams

I also have several fiction pieces I’m working on that I’ll be publishing.

Of course, not all these will be finished this year, but some will be.

 

I’m looking forward to taking my writing into 2019

Happy New Year to everyone. 🙂

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Starting January, I’m going to start a new once a month newsletter

It’s going to be the next month in Astrology and Numerology along with divination topics every month.
I’ll start offering the sign ups in the next week or two.

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Blogmas Day 9- A look at our Christmas Tree

Each year, my Christmas tree gets less and less “decorated” by normal decorations.

My girls go out and make small ornaments or we make ornaments at home and I have been using less store bought ornaments.

I have a whole collection of old (antique) ornaments that I’m thinking about trying to sell (keep a very few but sell the rest) that I got from my grandma after she passed. She passed nearly 15 years ago and she had had the ornaments for a long time, most are actually older than I am.

We  bought a pre-lit tree, and instead of having lights or beads around it- we have a paper chain my oldest daughter made a year or two ago

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I bought a beautiful wreath off of Etsy that I was more than happy with. It was much nicer than i thought it was going to be (I bought it, so I already knew it was going to be good, I just was surprised by the material they used as the base)

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Instead of using actual candy canes, I’m using the pipe cleaner candy canes I made and posted on my other site, and instead of using store bought ornaments, I’m using some my girls made with other people or that we made at home like my pipe cleaner Christmas trees. You can find both tutorials clicking on the links.

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I have a few tutorials coming up with some other decorations I’m using. These crafts are kid tested and approved, if you’re interested in checking out the tutorials, click here and in the next few days they will be going up.