Monthly Archives: March 2017

Blogging in the Moment

Image of the Phone

When we step outside and join society we don’t really join society. We can be physically there next to someone but thanks to technology we rather connect with other strangers through the web than the ones next to us. For instance, when was the last time you went to a restaurant? (For me its been forever, can’t take my toddler to where she can sit with strangers because she will!) You rarely sit down at a table, look around you, and not see majority on their phone. Even the kids! The average age of a kid having a smart phone is 10. Really! At ten I was trying to figure out the tv or radio, yet alone a cell phone. We played on Nintendo’s and had to go outside to interact with kids. But I shouldn’t complain, it’s because of phones I am able to run my business.

In the Now

With smart phones in everyone’s hand they are able to keep up with the latest news, trends, and stay connected with people. We jump up with joy when we hear that bing sound to let us know exactly when things are happening on our social news feed. And we live for those bings! Groups or individuals are able to reach each other at any time and view what each other are doing right in that moment. It makes us feel like we were actually there. Families and friends can now be thousands of miles away and still feel like they are with you at special events.

The Necessity of the Phone

I do not know if you read my about me page but I am a very busy mom. I have two little ones, work a full time job, a side job of web design/development, as well as my own blog. Let’s not go into the things outside of work, that’s a whole other novel. When I am working I focus on what I need to accomplish. But of course there are moments in those hours that I really want to capture and share. Especially my ah ha moments to help other busy Do It All Moms! With my phone I am able to capture those events instantly and express genuine feelings. Followers want to see what happens in your life. It’s their real life of Keeping Up with the Kardashian but somewhat more personal. As a blogger I can respond to their reactions, comments, and questions.  I can also follow fellow bloggers and partner up with them at that time. There are periods when something happens that I realize I need to share or question for help. I am able to write down ideas when they happen in the note’s section in my phone. In all without my phone I truly believe I would not be successful at what I do.

Bad Images

Constantly being on the phone can set off a bad image to those around you. You can come off rude to those who do not have an online business. Family and friends might not understand the need of taking pictures every time they meet up with you and the constant posts. It will appear like you can’t live without the phone. It can seem to others around you that you can’t live in the now with people in that moment. You might appear fake because most of the time you are repositioning everything so that it looks perfect. Or they think worse that you had alternative motives to really catching up and hanging out with your friends. There is a gap of understanding what we really do as bloggers and what it takes to have a successful one.

Ways to Edit

Here are a few tips I use to correct those bad images that can be portrayed when constantly on the phone. When I do use those moments in my blog I include that person in it. I give them a shout out in the article expressing how I felt and why that moment was special with them. I always link the blog post back to that person so that they can see that I truly appreciated the time and why I had to brag about them. In my post, Pampering on the Dime, you can see how I utilized this technique with my mom. It’s something simple but she really enjoyed reading it and wanting to know the stats on that page. Also she couldn’t help but share the post on her social media threads. These little things help the ones around you understand what you do and make them feel exceptional. Now my mom sends me ideas and links to things so that she can be in every post!

In the Moment

Blogging in the now takes a lot of effort and time. To me it’s not just a 9 – 5, Mon – Fri job. Of course blogging can make you money but it’s even more about the strangers you meet that then become friends. My friends and family get to see another side of me and get to know what I was really thinking. It’s very personal and something I really enjoy. I am very passionate about my blog and why shouldn’t I be? It’s about my view on life and if I’m not passionate about myself than who will be. It’s a way to include my family, friends, and myself in life’s moment!

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A fool proof guide to setting & achieving your goals successfully

How to Successfully Achieve Goals

Setting goals for yourself can be such a motivational experience. It can give you somewhat of a high, letting your mind take over what your reality could be! To attaining any goal it takes continuous planning and holding yourself accountable.

Goal setting is a powerful process. It takes continuous effort and focus for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision into reality. The process of setting goals helps you choose the path you need to take in order to achieve that goal. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you astray.

Why Set Goals?

Top-level business-people, successful performers, and bloggers in various niches all set goals. Setting goals give you a long-term vision and short-term motivation. I compare it to climbing up a flight of stairs. I see where I need to be. That’s my vision and each step I need to take is the motivation to push myself closer to where I want to be. But you may ask how do I keep that motivation going? It can be frustrating at times feeling like you’re not making any or much progress. Just like if you were just staring at that flight of stairs. Your muscles do get tired, your sweeting, and want to throw in the towel. You’re fighting with yourself mentally if you can keep pushing or not. Sometimes it feels like you are only seeing all the same steps you need to climb compared to a variety of mini actions.

How to Keep the Motivation Going

By setting sharp, clearly defined actions, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you’ll see forward progress. It can be fulfilling to see what you can achieve once you set out a plan. You will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you’ve set. Periodically review the longer term plans, and modify them to reflect your changing priorities and experience. A good way of doing this is to schedule regular, repeating reviews using your computer and setting a weekly reminder. For example, instead of having “to have 1,000 followers” as a goal, it’s more powerful to state your goal as “To have 1,000 followers by December 31, 2017.” Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation and steps has been completed beforehand!

Starting to Set Personal Goals

You set your goals on a number of levels. First you create your “big picture” of what you want to do in the next year, and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve. Then, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit to reach your big picture goals. Finally, once you have your plan, you start working on it to achieve these goals. This is why we start the process of setting goals by looking at your lifetime or big picture goals. Then, we work down to the things that you can do in, let’s say, the next year, then next six months, next month, next week, and today, to start moving towards them.

Staying on Course

How many times do we look at our list and decide to knock off the little things because it will take less time? Reality of it is that knocking those small things off our list also makes us feel good. We see our list and say to ourselves wow look at all I got done. What we should be doing is not looking at our list to feel gratified and accomplished but review our list and rank them based on importance. After you rank your action items concentrate on your top 2 during the day. This is considered the 80/20 rule or Pareto principle. This is where 80% of your outcomes really come from 20% of your operational work load. When you need a 15 minute break from those 2 action items, then review your list to tackle one small item for no longer than 15 – 30 minutes! The key is not to get distracted. You are only making a pit stop not taking another route to your destination because you prefer another type of scenery.

Further Tips for Setting Your Goals

The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective, achievable goals:

  • Create positive action items/statements
  • Be detailed and as accurate as possible
  • Review your goals/plans Daily and prioritize
  • Visualize, draw, and write your goals down
  • Keep operational goals small – Keep the low-level goals that you’re working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it.
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals –If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals, and draw satisfaction from them.
  • Set realistic goals – It’s possible to set goals that are too difficult because you might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.

Achieving Goals

When you’ve achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement, and observe the progress that you’ve made towards other goals. If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself! All of this helps you build the self-confidence you deserve for all your hard work.

With the experience of having achieved your goal, ask yourself:

  • Was the goal easily attained or took much effort?
  • Is there a better process?
  • Where there additional skills needed?
  • What did I excel at?

Key Points

Goal setting is an important method of deciding what you want to achieve in your life. By setting goals it will help with separating what’s important from what’s a distraction. You will start to see a new you by building your self-confidence, based on successful achievement of goals. 

Set your big time goals first. Then, set a year plan of smaller goals that you need to complete if you are to reach your ultimate plan. Keep the process going by regularly reviewing and updating your goals. And remember to take time to enjoy the satisfaction of achieving your goals when you do so. If you don’t already set goals, do so, starting now. As you make this technique part of your life, you’ll find your life full of achievements, and you’ll wonder how you did without it!

 

Back to Reality

The days leading up to my final ones on maternity leave were both stressful and exciting. I was ready to get back to talking like a normal person and leaving my baby voice at home. I was ready to see what was outside my house since I really stayed inside most of my maternity leave. I was too afraid to take my son out in the cold weather. But I was also scared of a lot of unknown factors and some that I thought I had control over and prepared for!

Time was running out and there were concerns that had not been taken care of. For example my daycare informed me three days before I started work that they will not be able to take my son. Let me add that this date was confirmed months in advance and I was communicated that it wouldn’t be a problem to take him in at that date. I cried for two days wondering what was I going to do about the care of my son and why do people do this. I needed to go back to work because I really needed the money for my family. My maternity leave was unpaid. But I am super thankful for the moms out there in our community that came in to support me. I was able to have someone watch my little man for a few hours a day until I could get him and my daughter into another daycare. Then there was also the stress of how am I going to be able to cook, clean, and have everything ready after work! For the past 6 weeks I had been spending all day doing chores that I will now need to do in 3 hours. I also knew I was going to be tired with adjusting myself and the family to another schedule. I took a deep breath and thought hey, we are moms and we conquer all and figure things out, that’s just what we do! So just do it! (And I did!)

Now on a more positive note, I was excited to get back into designing and seeing what I could accomplish in the work place. I wanted to challenge myself with my peers and feel like I did a great job accomplishing different project’s and consumer needs. I am not saying I don’t feel like I do a great job at being a mom but sometimes you need that reminder that you can accomplish and do all. That hey, I am Wonder Woman. Plus you know you’re good at it. During my first 6 weeks with my new born I questioned my ability at being good at juggling it all and at work I knew I was good at juggling.

Now from my experience I came up with some tips to help with getting everyone ready in the mornings before you leave the house. I hope this helps other moms and dads out there get adjusted to getting back to work and make it there on time!

  1. Prep at night! I had both kids’ bags packed and ready to go at the front door. If I could have had those bags in the car the night before I would have but the milk does need to be refrigerated. I also knew if I didn’t see the bags before I walked out that I might forget to grab the milk and possibly the bags too!
  2. I had my clothes picked out (for the whole week) and even went to bed wearing my leggings and undershirt. Anything I could have worn to bed with I did. I only needed to worry about the second half of my outfit once I got up. I also had my daughter sleep in her dress or leggings. I know that sounds like much but I was desperate to make sure we left the house on time! Especially for the moms watching over my son and doing me a favor.
  3. I also selected what makeup I was going to wear and placed it on the counter the night before. I had an empty cosmetics bag in case I needed to bring anything to work with me. If I didn’t finish doing something I would then throw it in the bag. My thought was if I was really running late I can toss my tooth brush, tooth paste, make-up, deodorant, and jewelry and run out the door with it!
  4. I had the coffee set to brew at 5:00am with my goal to leave the house by 6:00am. Smelling coffee when you get up, especially that early, always put a smile to my face. I also had the cup, sugar, spoon, vitamins, and anything else I needed for the morning right there next to each other in the corner of my kitchen. This was a huge help! It was a mini buffet section for me.
  5. I started work Monday so I packed a bunch of snacks for the whole week to take with me in case I ran late and forgot something for me. I also meal prepped my breakfast, lunches, and dinners. (I will be writing a blog about different ways you can meal prep!)

I hope this helped you and please comment on any tips and tricks that helped you and your family with their morning routines!

Pampered on the Dime

With a newborn I had been feeling worn down with trying to adjust to a new schedule with a baby and toddler by myself. It’s a lot of hard work! And don’t get me wrong I love it but it does take time to figure out when you should prep for dinner, do laundry, learn how your baby likes to sleep, when to sleep, and so much more! With juggling so much there comes a time you need to take care of yourself in order to go strong for another couple of weeks.

One way every mom could feel put together is by getting quality salon pampering once in a while. That can be extremely hard because of three factors; time, money, and who is watching the kids. How would the household survive for those few hours without me!? For me, I have been on maternity leave for 5 weeks and I was trying to figure out when I would have the time to get my hair done and if I could have some type of facial. Luckily I had visited my mom and she was able to help me watch my son and daughter, so I had two factors covered. Now what do I do about the cost to relax and feel like a new me? Well my mom came to my rescue again with not just money but ideas that every mom should know and I am eager to share! But first…

As you can see in my oh so thrilled before picture my hair had become frizzy and dull. The last time I had my hair professionally done was two years ago. Last year I attempted to do it myself by doing a box color and going to Walmart to have the ladies there cut my hair. It was ok but I didn’t have that wonderful relaxing spa experience that I very much needed. As woman we enjoy leaving that spa feeling like a million bucks, that someone else was taking care of us for a change.

Now here is my after picture. What a big difference! Now would you believe I only paid $50.00!!! That’s a steal to leaving looking that good and feeling great. How you may ask? Well there is a beauty school by my mother’s house that has had great reviews. I ended up paying 75% less than I normally would and learned a lot about hair and skin care since it was a school and teachers were asking questions of the students. It truly was a great experience and I felt relaxed knowing the teacher was there inspecting everything without it feeling like she was hoovering.

After my experience I decided to look into other ways getting pampered could be possible and that easy. I researched and found out that there is a lot of beauty schools out there that provide the same services for those great prices. You might have to type in beauty school and your location to find one. Then of course look at reviews and ask around to see how the experience was for others. Another tip I learned is that salons want new hair stylist to show their work at the salon before they hire them so they can check out their technique, skill, and how much time they take. You can let salons know you volunteer to be the person that potential hair stylists work’s on and to leave your number! When you do that your service is free! The only thing is you might be limited to what services they need to do, when they need to do it, and how much time they will take. However, these are all things you can discuss before the service.

I do have to share a product I am obsessed with! Bumble and Bumble Style and Blow Dry Creme. It helps protect your hair from the damage of heat from your blow dryer, straightener, and curling iron. For healthy hair, even fine or oil-prone, microfine oil-absorbing powders to extend the life of your blow dry right from the start, and this product lasts for days! Exactly what us moms need on the go. I have had my tube of this product for over 2 years now and I use it every time I wash my hair. I highly recommend getting this product if you get your hair done. Below is an affiliated link to the product I use but this brand carries so much more. Again I promise you won’t be disappointed with how well your hair looks and lasts with it!

I hope this information helps you Do It All Moms out there and please let me know if you have any other salon tricks to get pampered on a dime!