Life as a WAHM {Work At Home Mom}!

work at home mom

Thanks to the media {aka scapegoat for everything} I think there’s a general misconception of what being a Work At Home Mom {WAHM} actually is.  I’ll admit that I shared this misconception when I was working a 9to5 too.  For instance, there’s this misconception that working at home means you’re free to have 3 hour lunch dates when you want, you’re free to chit-chat on the phone for hours on end, you’re free to lounge around all day “working”.  There’s this sense that working from home means you magically get 10 extra hours in your day.  Not the case.  In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Like I said, I am guilty of assuming that work-at-homers had it made, but as I’ve come to realize it’s not cupcakes and tulips.  Let me explain…

What I Miss

Crazy as it may sound, there are some things I miss about working a 9to5.  First, the people.  I met so many amazing people  working in corporate America.  I’ve heard it said before that friends are hard to come by once you leave high school.  In college, everyone’s coming and going and in the midst of all that, you’re changing and finding who you are.  Most of those relationships sadly are just for the moment.  Finding a place to work where you enjoy the people is high on my list of non-negotiables when it comes to jobs, especially since we spend a significant share of our lifetime there.  The people are a huge reason why I stayed so long, but they are also a large part in why I left.  I miss the “watercooler” conversations and catching up on the latest celebrity gossip, Scandal debriefs and of course the office inside jokes.

I also miss the structure that a 9to5 demands.  Knowing that I can focus on what work for eight hours straight and then “clock-out” was a bit of a relief.  Of course being in a salaried position, there are expectations that some nights you work longer hours than others, but it was rare.  The lazy girl in me also misses that fact that much of my job was routine and easy.  I’ll admit that sometimes it’s nice to skip the process and just get to the answer.  Working at home requires self-motivation and discipline especially when you’re taking care of a baby at the same time.

What I Love

The best thing about working at home is the fact that I am home when my children leave to go to school and I’m home with a snack waiting when they return.  I can help with homework and talk about how their day went.  I’m able to go on the class field trips and spend time getting to know the other parents in the class.  I can’t believe all that I was missing when I was working a 9to5.  Even though my kids probably don’t think much of it now, I know when they get older they’ll remember how their mom was present.  I thank God that I was blessed with the opportunity to do this for my children.  There are some things in life that you can’t do over.  Spending time with your children when they need it the most is one of those things.  I remember my mom walking my brothers and I to and from school and volunteering in our classes.  Sure, when I got to middle school it became a bit of an annoyance, but looking back on it now, I see that it had a great impact on me and the choices/sacrifices I’m willing to make for my children.

Why i did it

As you may know, I’ve had this ol’ blog here for a while.  When I was pregnant with Jayde, I created a Facebook group called Bloggers Like Me dedicated to building relationships among bloggers across the country.  It’s a place where women can come for answers, friendship, resources, etc.  The group really caught on and grew faster than I had expected.  So fast, that I had to set limitations on accepting women into the group.  As the group grew, I prayed.  I began to see the potential within the group and the opportunities for growth.  Not only was Bloggers Like Me growing, but the need to support the family printing business, Young Connection, as well as the needs of my church grew.  I continued to pray.  God made it clear to me that I wasn’t serving in my greatest capacity.  It was then that I decided to leave my 9to5 and become a WAHM.

 WHAT ARE YOUR MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WAHMs?

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10 Things to Check Before You Hit Post // FREE PRINTABLE

doh

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been working on a post and I accidentally hit “POST” prematurely.  I’ve done it more than once and every time I want to punch myself in the mouth.  Because you know once you hit “post” that’s it, it’s gone.  No calling R. Kelly to turn back the hands of time.  Since apparently I have no control over my zombie hands I thought at the very least I could put together some checkpoints to make sure that at least when I’m ready to hit “post”…like for real…that the post is complete, accurate and free of embarrassing errors.  So here you have it, 10 Things to Check Before You Hit Post – a free printable.

printable

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35 Things to do Before 35! {My Get Rich List}

Life is so much more than the money we make or don’t make.  In my eyes, richness is defined by the strength of my relationships with God, my family and my friends.  

I’ve always wanted to make a checklist of things to do by a certain age. So, today’s the day and I did it.  Some of the things on my list may not seem fun and exciting but I know if I do them, the result will be a more focused and centered life, which is ultimately the way to GET RICH!

  1. Make a Get Rich List.
  2. Finish reading Teach Your Team to Fish by Laurie Beth Shall
  3. Learn how to do my undereye makeup.
  4. Go to a USC football game (…to see what all the hype is about).
  5. Make it a habit of getting to Sunday School on time.
  6. Got to an L.A. Galaxy game.
  7. Drink 64 oz of water a day.
  8. Take part in a run.
  9. Teach my kids to swim.
  10. Do volunteer work.
  11. Cook a holiday dinner.
  12. Watch the sunset with the kids.   9.13-We have to do it again and find a better spot at the beach!
  13. Plant some seeds in the garden.
  14. Write 2 books.
  15. Go on a road trip with the family
  16. Learn to sew.
  17. Play in the snow with the family.
  18. Fly a kite with the kids.
  19. Lay on the grass and look at cloud shapes.
  20. No meat for a month.
  21. Organize a picnic.
  22. Get fit.
  23. Go on a romantic getaway with my hubby.
  24. Go on a trash hunt with the kids.
  25. Find a photographer.
  26. Get out of bed by 5 a.m. daily
  27. Monthly dates with Jaxon, Julia and Jayde.
  28. Color with the girls.
  29. Bake a cake with the kids.
  30. Play action figures with Jaxon regularly.
  31. Make a music video with the kids.
  32. No more candy.
  33. Eat a gourmet meal on a rooftop
  34. Jump in rain puddles with the kids.
  35. Let the kids stay home from school one day.

What’s one item on your Get Rich List?

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How to Pick an RSS Reader

RSS reader
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary.  Essentially, it’s a tool used for collecting the most current website content and condensing into one place.  It also saves the hassle of having to sign up for a newsletter on each website.  RSS tools usually offer the option to either receive a single email listing the new content for each of the websites you’ve subscribed to.  Other RSS tools store new content for you to access at your leisure.  You can opt to have the tool update automatically at specified intervals (hourly, daily, etc.) or set it up to be updated manually.

RSS

Prior to using an RSS tool, I had the hardest time trying to remembering the URLs for the newest and best blogs I came across.  With the RSS, I simply copy and paste the blog URL into my reader’s subscription bar and voila.  No more trying to remember new URLs or adding them to my browser bookmarks.  It’s also convenient because depending on which RSS Tool you use you can upload an app to your phone for convenience, or you can access it online.  I have a habit of checking my email and such at various points of the day using my iPad, phone or laptop.  Even better, they tool syncs so that I’m not looking through the same content…just the new!  I also have been trying to make it more of a habit to comment on blogs regularly.  This tool allow you to immediately comment and “favorite” the posts you want.

rss reader

For those of you who have blogs or websites and want to add an RSS tool for your readers, it’s pretty simple.  Most blog host sites, like WordPress, have a widget available for you to add the RSS option in one step.  There are typically options for the reader to subscribe to your newest content, or to the comments left on your blog.  The reader can determine which she’d like to subscribe to.

rss reader

Here are some RSS tools and what they’re compatible with:

AmphetaDesk – Windos, Mac

FeedReader – Windows

NewsGator – Windows, Outlook

Feedly -  Mac, Android

Newsblur - Mac, Windows

RSS reader

I subscribe to about 100 blogs and for me to keep track of each of them individually, I wouldn’t stand a chance.  In the past I used the Google Reader tool which I loved but for whatever reason that tool is no longer around.  Now I use InoReader.  What I love most about InoReader is that there’s a synced app so I can read my favorite blogs wherever I go.  I’ve also changed the options so that I don’t get chiming notifications on my phone.  I suggest this tool because it’s extremely easy to use.

rss

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10 Tips for Creating and Keeping A Morning Routine

back to school

The Hubs and I realized, through trial and error, that with four little ones it’s imperative that we create and stick to a morning routine.  It’s a necessary part of raising responsible children and keeping a calm household.  I thought I’d share with you what we do when it comes to the weekday morning rush.

First, it’s important to note that we do as much preparation as possible before the week starts.  You’ll notice several of these tips can be done on the weekend and a couple can be done the night before.

1.  Clothes.  I don’t know about you, but I praise God for uniforms.  Jayde isn’t in uniforms yet but it’s super helpful to know that Jaxon and Julia only have a couple of options when it comes to getting dressed for school.  On Sunday I pull outfits for each day of the week, make sure anything that needs ironing is ironed {thanks Hubs} and also make sure socks and undies are pulled.

2.  Groceries.  Weekends are usually the time we try and get our grocery shopping out of the way.  We make sure that we buy all of the lunch items we’ll need for at least the following week.  It makes things less hectic when you know you don’t have to make an extra trip to the store during the week, which in my house is inevitable.  I’m not yet on a weekly dinner meal plan schedule but that next on the list to talk to hubs about.  I’m sure he’ll love that. {insert sarcastic font}  We also only use paper ware during the week.  It seems to make meal clean up so much easier.

3.  Headstart.  Last year we headed out the door based on the time we knew we had to be at school, 8:30 a.m. which meant we were leaving around 8 a.m. and arriving to school just in the nick of time.  This year we got smart and reset mindset.  We did away with the 8:30 school deadline and created our own deadline of 7:40 a.m.  So now, we find that we’re not necessarily racing against the school clock anymore, which feels much better and less stressful.

4.  Homework.  Homework is one of the first things we do after arriving home from school.  To decrease the chance of a morning scramble to find homework, the kids know that homework is not complete until it’s made it’s way inside the folder, the folder has made it’s way inside the backpack and the backpack has made its way to the door.

5.  Backpacks.  When homework begins I check the kids folders for letters and information from the school.  I immediately read everything and if there are important dates for us to remember I put them on our master calendar.  Other items are tacked to our command center board so that they won’t get missed.

6.  Meals.  We have found it helpful to allow the kids to pick what they want in their breakfast and lunches.  Slow down now, we don’t let them get carried away with it.  They get to choose one item for breakfast the following morning and one item to add to their lunch.  We pick the rest to make sure they have a well balanced meal.

7.  Hair.  Every night, I make sure to freshly comb and style the girls hair.  Even if it’s just restyling it into the same style, I take time to do it so and put a scarf on it so that in the morning all I have to do is whip off the scarf, add some hair dress and barrettes and we’re good to go.  Since I realized how much sense it made to do hair at night, I’ve saved myself a ton of  morning frustration.

8.  Baths.  We used to do baths right before bedtime, but since the school year started we made a change.  When the kids get home, I have snack prepared and on the table for them.  They come in, wash their hands and take off their shoes and then sit at the table.  While they’re eating their snack we talk about the day’s peaks and pits.  After snack is homework and immediately after homework it’s up to bathtime.  Getting into this habit has been a little challenging because I find myself constantly repeating the plan of action while they’re having snack and during homework and letting them know that after baths they can have free time to do whatever they want, short of burning down the house.  So far so good with this part of the routine though because the bath tends to calm them down.

9.  Bedtime.  Last year, bedtime was 9 p.m., but the problem with that was we didn’t begin going upstairs until that time, which meant the kids didn’t actually fall asleep until closer to 10:30.  This year 9 p.m. bedtime means they are asleep at 9 p.m., which means we are upstairs brushing teeth, washing faces and reading books at 8:15 p.m.  I’ve seen a huge difference in their behavior in the morning.  They’re more energized and have a better attitude.  It’s also good for Hubs because we get more quality time with each other.

10.  Attitude.  Having a good attitude is very important to me.  It’s the determining factor on a good day versus a bad day.  With kids, it’s rare when things actually go exactly as planned, so it’s important to cut yourself and your family some slack when there’s a fumble.  Going about my morning this way helps me to be less effected if someone spills milk, has a meltdown, or is being uncooperative.

When it comes to parenting, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  What works in the Young home may not work for you, but when it comes to kids, I’m of the belief that you do what you have to do by any means necessary, even if that means creating a routine that feels uncomfortable at first.  If you tweak and tweak some more you’re bound to come up with a routine that works for your beautiful family as well.

Do you already have a routine? What do you do?

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22 BEST Labor Day Sales

labor day sales

In case you didn’t know, Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers in this country.  Just thought it was necessary to highlight that since, you know, it’s Labor Day and all.

In other news, here’s a list of Labor Day sales that might interest you!  Some of them have already started so get on ‘em!

Amazon Fashion: Up to 70% off women’s clothes, shoes, jewelry, and watches. Ends Sept. 1.

American Apparel: Extra 30% off sale items with code BIGDEAL. Ends Sept. 1.

Anthropologie: Extra 20% off sale items.

ASOS: Up to 75% off dresses.

Gilt: Up to 80% off select items

H&M: Labor day deals starting at $4.95. Ends Sept. 1.

Intermix: Extra 40% off sale (savings applied at checkout).

J.Crew: Extra 40% off sale styles with code WEEKEND. Ends August 31.

JewelMint: 50% off site wide including extra 50% off sale items. Ends Sept. 1.

Juicy Couture Black Label: Take $15 off purchases of $100 or more, $40 off $200 or more, and $75 off $300 with code JCLABORDAY. Ends Sept. 2

Madewell: Take 20% off select dresses and boots plus extra 30% off sale with code YESYES. Ends Sept. 2.

Nasty Gal: Labor day sale items starting at 30% off.

Nordstrom: Up to 40% off clearance items. Ends Sept. 7.

Of A Kind: 35% off select fine jewelry with code AFINEFRENZY. Ends Sept. 2.

Old Navy: 50% off site wide. Starts August 29 and ends Sept. 1.

The Outnet: Up to 50% off M Missoni merchandise.

Revolve: Up to 70% off select items.

Sephora: Up to 75% off sale items.

Shoemint: 50% off site wide and extra 50% off sale items. Ends Sept. 1.

Shopbop: Up to 70% off select items

Stylemint: 50% off site wide and extra 50% off sale items. Ends Sept. 1.

Topshop: 30% off select items. Ends Sept. 2.

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How to Work Your Curves

curvy

Newsflash!  The average American woman is a size 12-14, and sadly the average woman has minor body image issues.  Even women who are considered petite have days when a pair of super skinny jeans are not in the plans.  I’m here to tell you, that you don’t need to hide behind ill-fitting, boring clothing.  Sure, black is a sliming color to wear, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like you’re going to funeral every day.  Here are 5 ways to use your wardrobe to celebrate your curves.

First, patterns are still very much in style.  The key to making this look work is to find a dress with an allover dark pattern.  The darker the pattern the better.  Patterns keep the eye moving and take attention away from shape concerns.

Next, the easiest way to define your waist is to fake it.  Add a cropped jacket over a dress and voila, you’ve got a waist.  The jacket will hit at your natural waistline creating the illusion of a curve right where you want it instead of where you don’t.

In this warm climate, there’s nothing wrong with showing a little skin as long as  you do it tastefully.  As I tell my daughters, make sure you’re always appropriate.  I’m a huge fan of wearing layers, but did you know that when you wear too many layers you can end up looking larger than you actually are?  It’s true.  A great way to show more skin without showing more skin is to wear sheer fabrics.  Blouses with sheer sleeves as well as dresses and skirts with sheer hemlines will always allow you to suggest more skin without revealing too much.  And they’re much cooler during the hot summer months.

You’d be surprised to know that working your curves doesn’t only apply to what you wear, but also how you accessorize.  A bold sparkling necklace or dazzling drop earrings will draw attention where you want it.  The more spectacular the better.

Color is your friend.  I’m not sure who started the rumor that curvy women should not wear color, but that’s a complete and total fib.  Color looks amazing on curvy women especially in monochromatic tones deep blues and emerald greens, even a sapphire red.  This fall, think about pairing your solid monochrome dress with a dark colored pair of tights.  This combination will make your legs look amazingly slim and trim.

Here are a list of some of my favorite curvy bloggers to see how it’s done:

curvy bloggers

http://www.curvesandconfidence.com/

http://girlwithcurves.com/

http://www.diaryofachicmommy.com/

http://thecurvyfashionista.com/

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Bless me with Patience – Wednesday Prayer

prayer for patience

God deals with all of us in certain areas.  For me, it’s patience.  I try so hard to be patient and exercise grace when I’m being pulled in many directions, but boy is it hard.  I like this little prayer for patience and I try to remember it when those moments come.

In what area does God deal with you?

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15 Things to Post {when you’re out of ideas}

15 things to post

 

Let’s face it.  It happens to all of us at some point in our blogging journey.  We get bloggers brain, when we can’t think of a single thing to blog about.  While some might suggest that it means you just sit it out and don’t blog, while the die-hard bloggers say you think of something and get to blogging.  For those die-hards, here’s a list of things to blog about that you might not have thought of before.

1.  Love story.  Tell readers about how you and your spouse first met.  Where did you go?  Were you immediately smitten by him or did he have to grow on to you?  How did you know he was the one?  Of course pictures of you back then are fun to share as well.

2.  Instagram.  I’m very visual as are most bloggers.  Share a few of your favorite pictures from Instagram and tell your readers the context of the picture.  Readers love to hear the back story to pictures.

3.  Personal favorites.  A round up of your favorites (bloggers, favorite places to eat, online stores, apps, etc.)

4.  Reader comment.  Dedicate an entire post to responding to a comment left by a reader.  You may want to keep the reader anonymous, but if you choose to share who the reader is for the sake of giving her a shot out, be sure and get permission.

5. Nightstand.  Your nightstand is usually covered with items you use or need before bed or when you wake up.  Take a picture of your nightstand and describe the items there.

6. A day in the life.  Your life.  Believe it or not, you’d be surprised to know just how many readers are interested in knowing the basics of what you do on a daily basis. Tell readers what a typical day looks like.  Include products you use, food you eat, etc.

7.  Recipe.  Share a recipe that you’ve successfully made, are planning to make, or only dream of making.  Tell readers why you like this recipe.  If you’re going to cook the recipe, be sure to take pictures along the way.

8.  Workspace.  You’ve seen it before and chances are you love it.  Maybe it’s just me but I love to see how people organize their desks to optimize space and cuteness.  Tell what inspired you and what were absolute must haves with your workspace.  Include pictures.  If you incorporated any DIYs into this workspace, you can write another post on how you created the DIY.

9.  Goals. What are you goals for the rest of the year.  How close are you to getting there?  What are the biggest obstacles, and opportunities to reaching your goal?

10. Burnout.  How do you cope with blogger burnout or lack of inspiration.  Tell readers if there are other bloggers, networks or groups you go to for inspiration.

11.  Solicit feedback.  Tell your readers how much you value them and ask them to give you feedback on how to make your blog better.  Follow through with incorporating some of those suggestions as well as responding to comments.

12.  Why did you start blogging?  Tell readers what your blogging journey has been and why blogging is important to you.

13.  Superstars.  Be it Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter or Bloglovin we all have our favorite accounts to follow.  Tell readers who you’re following and why you love them so much.

14.  Road trip.  Okay, maybe you don’t do roadtrips, but what was the most memorable trip you’ve gone on.  Tell your readers about why this trip was so memorable and of course all the funny or enlightening moments that happened along the way.

15.  Casual conversation. Whether you know it or not, there are tons of blog topics found in the casual conversations we have on a daily basis.  Tell your readers about an interesting conversation you recently had.  It may be a challenge to find pictures that match the subject matter, but give it a shot.

Hope this is helpfu!

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