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I’ve been kind of busy lately, but for a good reason.

I had some plans but they had to be pushed.

My husband and I started renting in a lower cost apartment thinking it would help us save to buy. Things kept coming up and every time we would have a decent amount in savings, it would end up going to random things.

We finally were able to get the loan and just bought our first house earlier last week.

We have had the past month to get everything set up here and out of the craptastic apartment we were in.

I finally have a yard to plant a garden and decorate (not to mention my kids finally have a yard to play in) and we finally have a house we can actually do stuff in.

We are now settling down and my plans are being put back into action.

 

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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’m tired of stuff

I have five hobbies I can think of off the top of my head.

I sew, do crafts with my kids, make candles, read, write and garden.(candles and crafts are pretty much one in the same)

I have a few things I’d love to pick up- kayaking and working out.

I belong to several decluttering groups on Facebook and use those groups for guidance as well as inspiration.

I watched Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix and grabbed her book on audible and listened to it. Before watching or reading (well, listening) I started to try to tackle my home.

Over the course of the years since I grew up, I have ended up with such a cluttered mess of a house. We have been pre-approved for a home loan so we just have to find the house and when we move, I do not want to take the clutter from one house to another.

Some of the clutter belongs to my kids (my husband just has tools he needs and a closet with stuff like fishing poles, camping supplies and hunting stuff- he’s not bad at all- I have a whole room that I can barely breathe in). Most of the clutter is mine.

For the past several years, the minimalist approach has really appealed but how can I part with my useless stuff that I don’t use? I’m working on getting rid of all the clothes I don’t wear, what sits in my drawers and is never picked. The uncomfortable pajamas (I have very specific types of fabric I am able to wear, anything else will make me lie awake for hours agitated until I change)

I already have pared down pretty much everything in my kitchen and clothing but when I look around my house, all six rooms and both walk in closets (storage closets that are the size of small rooms) are stuffed. I’m currently playing the game of “do I want to load you in a box and move you to another home?” game with all my stuff but it still feels like there is so much left.

 

Last night I finally tossed my favorite pair of jeans (holes that couldn’t be patched worn from me wearing them so much) and a favorite pair of pajama bottoms for a similar reason.

I also got most of my main clothing down to what will fit in one large tote. We threw away a storage container that was damaged and some other damaged items from the bathroom, so now I’m trying to pare down bathroom items because we don’t have enough space.

I’m constantly working to try to get as clutter free as I can, I’m also working on trying to use less plastic. I have to drink bottled water- I can’t stomach any water that was out of the tap- including filtered, I just can’t take the chemical after taste. Once I use up the very last bag of disposable razors I bought, I’m going to stop buying disposable and I’m looking around at either making or buying produce bags. I use shopping bags most of the time I grocery shop- with 2 kids, it’s easier to take 2 or 3 bags from the car to the house and I’m looking for reusable stainless steel straws, although I’m trying to quit drinking with straws altogether- they can cause wrinkles around the mouth.

Over the years, I’ve worked at trying to find time to make small changes to my lifestyle.

I ran across a minimalist challenge on another site and I would try to follow it for a month, but I’ve done half the things listed. I have studied minimalism up and down but letting go of the anxiety over things I don’t use but am afraid of getting rid of is the major challenge. I’m torn, part wants to hang on to everything and part wants to blindly throw everything out.

 

 

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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 Dream Journal is Up For Sale

After talking about it and working on it for the past few months, my dream journal is up and ready.

In this, there is space to record your dreams along with descriptions of common themes. I’m already in the middle of working on a dictionary to go along with this and am hoping to release that out by the end of the year.

It’s 10.00 a copy, you can get it here.

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“I can’t keep plants alive”

I’ve heard that “argument” for not having kids a few times.

I have to ask, is that a true worry or is that one of the random “excuses” people feel they are forced to come up with when they don’t want kids (by the way, the only valid excuse should be “because I don’t want to have kids.” I’m sorry, but people should never be pressured or told they are selfish if they don’t want to have kids.

This question is coming from someone who has managed to keep 2 kids alive- for 8 years almost now (8 years next month for one and 3 years for number 2) but still managed to kill cacti and other “impossible to kill” plants. It’s so much easier to keep children and pets alive than it is to keep a plant alive, at least in my book.

With kids you just have to provide food, shelter, water/milk, teach safety and make sure they aren’t in dangerous situations.

With pets, it’s the same.

With plants- make sure the soil is perfect, the temperature and lighting is perfect and give them water- but not too much. That’s not enough… no! that’s too much… you just killed it.

Inside plants are the worst when you have cats. You can’t put something by the window, if you do, the cat will perch. With the cat perching, they will likely destroy the plant, make a mess and destroy the blinds.

Outside plants are a bit easier, until it rains and you end up with mud soup. You go outside in the morning after a hard rain and watch your flowers floating around your garden. Or you see huge bite marks in your sunflowers. Or your tomatoes are ate up.

I’ve had successful gardens a few times but more than once I’ve had unwanted visitors eating my plants and over watered succulents. Every year I’ll keep trying to keep plants alive, but I will always say- it’s much easier to keep kids alive than plants.

 

 

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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. 🙂