Thursday, March 27, 2014

Finding your 'why' {guest post}

Have you ever thought about working from home? There are legitimate work from home jobs + business opportunities out there. Sometimes it's just hard to find them.  Direct sales + network marketing offer you a turn key business that you can truly work from home and build a stable income. This is an industry that I can see the potential and love sharing with others.  Everyone has a reason they want to work from home. What's yours? Today's guest post is from Pauline.  She is sharing a little more about her journey in direct sales and finding her 'why'.

I just want to give you a little glimpse into my family, because it is due to them that I am the person I am today. My mother died at the age of 28, and my father moved back home with me to be with his mom, 2 sisters and brother. It is a multifamily house in Fall River, MA, and they lived on the first floor. Two great-aunts lived on the second. I grew up in a large family home and was surrounded by more love than I could have imagined, but I digress...my grandmother was a widow. Her husband died at the age of 38 leaving her with 6 children to raise. I don't know how she did it, but her skills at budgeting still amaze me.

So, I grew up and got married and had a little girl and a little boy. We were in our first single family home, and money was a little tight. Not too bad, but going out to parties and stuff were stressful on me. I felt that the gift I was bringing wasn't good enough. At a family party for a cousin, I was sitting with my grandmother and I said I hope she likes the gift I brought her...it wasn't particularly what I wanted to bring, but it was the best I could do. She said, come over tomorrow once the kids were in school. I did, and the conversation was one of the best gifts she could have given me.

Meme (french for grandmother) told me she knew exactly how I felt. Having 6 children and no husband, on assistance, made holidays and birthdays a little stressful for her too. She went ahead to say that it was not a bad thing to bring a homemade gift (she usually did), but she understood that it was a different time... Then she said, do you know that close line tree in the back yard? I said oh course I do, I spent many a day helping to put out and take in the laundry. She said, I earned that for free. I did catalog parties for a home company. She brought her catalog to family and friends homes, and most bought what they needed from her, for they all knew her situation. Well, as she told me the story, I was amazed. It was such a leap of faith for her to do this. She couldn't leave to go to work, she made all the kids clothes from scratch and was an over all wonder woman! She went on to list other things she earned for free for the house. It was so cute, she was so proud and so was I. Then she said to me try it, maybe selling something can help you. We had tea and I went to go get my kids from school, and spoke with my husband. My journey was about to begin.

One of my neighbors was a director for Princess House, she had been dropping hints about me joining her team for a few years, but I had always politely said no. The day after my grandmother's talk, I went a few doors down to talk to her. And, that day I joined her team. I did Princess House for about a year and then it just fizzled. I did however earn some really nice gifts for the parties that year. I did Avon too...same thing...ran it's course and I enjoyed it. Our financial situation was better so I could just relax for a while.

Three years ago, I joined Scentsy. I needed help again. I was starting to get embarrassed about what I was giving away for parties. Wow...it has been great! I have been able to pay for my daughter's dance, and have nice gifts that I could actually afford. Now, my family is having trouble financially. My hubby hasn't had a raise in 3 years, and I only work part time. Our income isn't meeting our bills. So, during the last 3 months, I have ramped up my biz! I have been able to help us start to catch up! I just want to say direct sales, can help you do whatever you want it to. I just needed gifts, so that is all I did. I did the bare minimum...now I am moving right along, helping our family get into a better position. Find something you really like, and then do as much with it or as little as you need. Enjoy life...that is the most important thing of all and share your experience with others.

Have a Scentsational Day!

You can learn more about Scentsy here or contact Pauline directly at pmiranda05@yahoo.com.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Oil pulling + why this isn't a post like all the others

I'm positive that at this point this week you have read or heard something about oil pulling.  Honestly, this topic is on fire + I've got something to say about it.

Surprise, surprise.

I started oil pulling a few months ago. I've only tried it with coconut oil so my experiences are based solely on using that. I was apprehensive in trying it because I gag at almost everything + can hardly use mouthwash. But, after reading so many good things about it I thought I would try it. So, I took a big spoonful and headed to take a shower. Why would I do it in the shower? Well, for the most part I don't have to talk to anyone aside from a wayward child. I just figured I would be distracted enough to forget about the fact that I was swishing coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes.

Overall, it was really easy. I would just advise you not to look at what you are spitting out because it's pretty gross.

My friend and I were discussing my new found obsession one day when she brought up the fact that people with dental work shouldn't be doing it at all. While some people claim it can cure all sorts of diseases and ailments there are some that believe it isn't that great for someone with fillings in their teeth. WHAT?!?!  Panic set in as I wondered how much damage I had been doing to my teeth. I have quite a few silver fillings in my mouth.  I got on Google and did what any other rational person would do. I searched for hours for looking for more information. I needed to know more about the not-so-good side of oil pulling. Which turned out to be harder to find than I thought.

You can call this pure coincidence or bs but after a trip to the dentist for a cleaning a couple weeks ago it became apparent that many of my fillings were leaking. There were a few literally lifting off the tooth and others you could see damaged around the edges of the filling. Maybe they were just at the point were they needed to be fixed. Maybe my grinding my teeth at night had something to do with it. I don't know for sure. But, in all my life I had never had fillings basically falling out of my teeth.   Some of the fillings were only about a year old. It was like my mouth was falling apart + my teeth were crumbling just like in my nightmares. Yes, I have dreams my teeth a crumbling + falling out of my mouth when I talk. I know it's weird.  I didn't tell my dentist right away what I had been doing differently since the last time I saw her. I just needed time to digest the cost estimate they handed me to fix everything. I think in the car buying arena this may be called sticker shock.

After another major repair appointment yesterday I finally asked her what she thought about oil pulling. And, her answer actually surprised me. Mostly because she was my dentist and seeing lots of teeth daily. I had just assumed that she would have been seeing some great results already since oil pulling is the next best thing.  She told me that there really just isn't enough information out there on it for her to give me an honest answer. I jokingly said 'You mean you don't read blogs?' since right now that is a huge source of oil pulling advice.  I knew that it wasn't a new idea and people have already been doing it for years. It's just the blogosphere is going crazy the past few weeks talking about it.  But, the reality is that there just isn't enough clinical studies for my dentist to give her honest opinion one way or another.

She is a rather conservative person so I shouldn't have been that surprised.  I didn't expect her to tell me how great it was and how she was recommending it to all of her patients. I just thought maybe she had seen some great results in person. After all, she's a dentist. She is on the front lines everyday. Where are all the people with the beautiful teeth + gums hiding at?

I'm not here to tell you that oil pulling has no health benefits. I truly believe that it does.  I also know that everyone is different + will have different results. My personal results, although not 100%  proven,  have been that my teeth are not in the condition to be oil pulling on a daily basis. I'm thinking for now I will stick to my regular routine. Brushing, flossing + trying to use mouthwash.  Maybe after my next visit in 6 months I can try it again if everything is looking ok.

Also, I'd like to point out that my oil pulling did not start before I read some books and researched what I could find about it online. There really isn't any one thing that says why it may be bad for dental work that I could find. Which I really wanted to find.  For instance,  I use coconut oil to make my popcorn. I'm eating the coconut oil although it's a much smaller amount touching my teeth. Is it just the amount of time it is in the mouth that matters? It is the simple act of swishing it that may be bad? I don't know. I haven't found my answers yet.

This is my experience and I'm not here to rain on anyone's parade.  The best advice I can give you would be to research any natural remedy before you try it.

Have you ever tried oil pulling yourself? How often are you doing it? Are you seeing the benefits?  Is there anyone else that has heard of damaged dental work due to oil pulling?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Book sale coming!

image


Whoa, that's exactly what it looks like. Four huge totes full of books. And, there is actually more than that....

Clearly I have a problem.

I have always loved books. Spending time curled up with a good book is my version of a perfect day. As a child I always dreamed of being a teacher and reading to my classroom of dollys was just part of my day. For the past few years I have added so many books to my life that we are literally running out of room to keep them. I have a soft spot in my heart for used books because they hold so much more than what meets the eye. Sometimes it's a hand written message, a folded over page and even just the smell that a good, loved book holds. I have a really hard time leaving a good book behind.  I have literally spent hours at Goodwill crawling my way through the shelves looking for all my old favorites. And, fortunately or unfortunately my local Goodwill does not disappoint.

My newest obsession is to stalk @dibbleanddash on Instagram when she is running a book sale. If you are on Instagram + love books, you seriously need to check it out. I have gotten so many great books from there and the little extras she adds to the packaging makes it even more special. She's got this book sale thing down to a science!

Molly is definitely a tough act to follow and I am definitely not trying to recreate her Instagram store. But, I decided that I would be hosting an online book sale of my own on my own Instagram. I'm still working out all the details but I will keep you all posted.

Books available will be....

  • cookbooks

  • special interest books (sewing, knitting, etc)

  • early readers

  • Step One readers

  • chapter books

  • board books

  • story books

  • classic collections

Feel free to message me any questions on my Facebook page and make sure to like it for updates!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Charge your kids a fine? Who does that?

Have you ever heard of anyone charging their kids a fine?? A fee for chores left undone or even lights left on? A picture I posted on Instagram last week prompted a lot of questions I felt deserved an answer. So, I wrote a post about it.

Welcome to my world.

I am one of those parents. The parent, that at first glance, you may think of as being mean. But, honestly I am far from mean and actually quite the opposite.  I have a hard time making the rules + an even harder time enforcing them. I hate to see my kids sad and hate even more when I am the one making them feel that way. I mean, we obviously have rules but I swear each day brings a new situation that requires me to be quick on my feet. Kids are sneaky little humans and if you turn your back for more than 1/2 a second they are bound to be into something new. Which makes sense when we are thinking in terms of little kids but what about the big ones??

My big girls are 10 + 14. They are old enough to know better about almost everything but still too young to always do better. Here is where parenting gets tricky. Consequences get bigger. And, longer. It's not a clearly defined line on what exactly an appropriate consequence is all of the time. Quite often I just resort to taking the electronics. But, taking one usually isn't enough.  Taking an iPod away but leaving a Kindle really isn't teaching them anything other than how to find new apps to replace the now missing ones.

Which leads me to telling you all about The Fine and how I came to the idea.

Lights, camera, ACTION!

My girls and these darn lights! I have spent much of their lives reminding them to turn off a light as they leave a room. Most of the time I would send them back to do it themselves even if I was standing right there. Why? Because I wanted them to learn how to turn it off!! Day after day it felt like I was following them around just to remind them that it costs money to have the lights on. It seems like such an easy concept that I felt like there was absolutely no reason they shouldn't just be doing it. They clearly didn't want me hounding them about it. But, they still weren't getting it.

A few years ago both girls moved into bedrooms downstairs. It seemed like almost every single night they left the lights on. After I say goodnight to them I usually don't go back down. Unless a light is on. So, here they are snuggled into bed and I have to go turn everything off because it felt too mean to make them get up to do it. It was beyond annoying and I can't tell you how many times we'd talked about it.

Then, one day it hit me. They don't like spending their money so what if their money had to go towards the electric bill? What if every time a light was left on they actually had to pay me? I let the idea float around in my head a few days so I could come up with some concrete rules. And, when I was ready I presented them with The Fine bank.



     Here are the rules,
    image
  • Do not leave the lights on.

  • If you notice you left the lights on, turn them off.

  • If you didn't leave the lights on, but they are on, turn them off.

  • If you feel the need you may require the 'offender' to turn them off.

  • No fighting or arguing about it at all.

  • If for any reason the lights are left on and we find them that way BOTH of you will put $1 in The Bank.

  • No fighting or arguing about it at all.

  • Do not leave the lights on for any reason.

Honestly, these are not hard rules to follow at all. They need to hold each other accountable which is a great lesson in responsibility. The fact that they are paying The Bank is also a great reality check. Electricity costs money. Money doesn't grow on trees. No one likes to spend money on the bills especially when it's an unreasonable amount. That's why I made the fine $1. And, it's all right there. There are no surprises here. You leave the lights on and you pay for it. Simple as that.

Surprisingly enough for me this little 'lesson' is much more profitable than I ever thought it would be. It has take awhile for them to get into the swing of things and even still there are a few times a week they are putting money into the bank. Overall, I feel like this little idea of mine if working. I am spending a lot less of my time yelling about lights & money.

If your kids are still little than I know it's hard to even think about what the future holds. Holding your tiny baby you never imagine a day when you could actually be mad at him. Little things that happen over the years are all just a drop in the bucket my friends. Teenagers are a whole new kind of human you need to try to figure out + peacefully cohabitate with. Little things are often monumentally exaggerated with tears. Questions are usually answered with body movements of which you have no idea what they mean. You will be perpetually wrong. The things you thought were impressive by normal human standards will be met with eye rolling of epic proportions. Trust me, it doesn't get any easier when they start sleeping through the night. ;)

Also, in case you're thinking I must have a horrible relationship with my kids because I am so mean I can assure you that is 100% not the case. They don't run away from me when I enter the room which I think speaks for itself. I'm not yelling at them all the time either. I don't want to yell at them at all which is the reason behind this.

As for the money in The Bank, don't tell them but I think we are going to use it for something fun to do together. I just couldn't see myself not feeling guilty about it at some point.  See, I'm not so bad after all.

So, have ever done anything similar to this? Or, did your parents do this when you were young? Do you feel like it worked?
 
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