The Dream Board

Most of you are aware that I have been contemplating a dream board for a while now.  I bought the poster board about a month ago. It was perfect, a good size with gold glitter boarder. It made me happy but not motivated. I then made a list of what I would probably like to put on the dream board. And there it sat for another month. Just gathering dust, literally in the corner of the bedroom.

I struggled with this. Am I too old for a dream board? Is it too late to dream that big? Were my dreams silly? Where am I going to put it when its done? I just wasn’t sure. I thought some of my dreams most people would think are silly, like “Why don’t you just go out and buy that?” type of silly. And some dreams I feared were too far away from where I am right now. Sure we have income but we also have 4 boys we are raising with 2 in private school. I think teenagers are just as expensive as babies.

So I was home working as usual and had followed up with all my customers, cleaned the house, did the laundry, started dinner, and even sewed the pile of pants needing buttons and pockets fixed. I sat down and figured why not…. let me start the dream board and see if I like how its turning out. Jermaine and I had made the list together. I got my old scrap-booking stuff out and the bin of markers, sat on the floor and started adding the list in creative ways to this very sparkly poster board. I started with the things I though would be on most peoples dream boards no matter where they were at in their lives. Buying a home, paying off the cars, and vacations we would like to take.

Guess what… I loved it. Jermaine came home and I’m on the living room floor which is now covered in craft supplies, just adding things to the board. And what was even better, he loved it. He was naming more things to add. I was drawing pictures, printing and pasting pictures, using stickers, fun colored markers… it was so exciting. The more I added the more things I thought of to add.

We have everything on there from what we want our credit scores to be to household items we want to upgrade to events we want to attend. There are health dreams, dreams for the boys, dreams for our relationship, dreams for our finances, and dreams for our family. We have agreed that we will write the date across something that we accomplish with a black marker. I’m not sure if you are supposed to but our dream board focuses on the next 3 years of our lives. We figured that by then we would have even more dreams, bigger dreams and our dreams for the boys would be different due to their age. I know what your thinking, dreams should not have expiration dates, after all that’s what held me back from even starting the dream board. But it just felt like we would have different dreams as the ones on the board were accomplished.

So I have learned that its never too late to dream. No matter what your situation in life with relationships, finances, or careers dreams are what push you to the next level. Having a visual display which is hanging where all can see, is extremely motivating. Thanks to everyone that pushed me to do this. It was well worth it.

 

Did you know ????

Did you know we add our family favorite recipes right here for you to purchase?  Every time we have a great dinner everyone loves we add it to the page and you can purchase the recipe for just .99!  We send it to you via email.

Holidays are coming and we will also be adding homemade body scrubs for purchase! Be sure to subscribe to the blog (just click the subscribe button on the left) and you will get all the updates!

 

 

 

Things Irma taught me

I officially made it through my first Florida hurricane!  I have been living here for 9 years and after many threats and close calls we actually got a Hurricane. Where I was the winds were only a category 2, and I say only because for a week my county was predicted to have a category 5 hurricane that would devastate us. As you know Irma weakened and went up the West coast not the East coast so we were spared the catastrophic mess while others sadly were not.

I thought I was prepared. I refused to leave despite knowing that my home floods easily because my boys were staying in town at their dad’s I stayed. I, like everyone else searched for water, waited hours in the store just to get a few cases. I gassed up my car and packed my important papers for if we needed to evacuate. I had got a cooler filled it with ice, packed my home full of food, set up every candle holder with boxes of candles on the counter, ordered a fancy waterproof flashlight from amazon, strategically placed 3M dots lights around the house and even did all the laundry.

For 3 days we were ready and we just sat at home waiting for Irma to come. Every phone and computer was charged in the house. We had the TV on the news all day every day. The kids had no school, Jermaine had no work, this was a big deal….it consumed everyone’s lives. Preparing and praying, that’s all anyone was doing.

The day finally came, Friday night the winds picked up but in a nice way not threatening. Saturday deteriorated fast. We sat on the couch just looking out the sliding glass doors watching the trees bend in half and the water rise in the canal. The lights went out just as I was making my coffee, about 8am Saturday morning. No big deal right…. wrong. We went through a series of tornado warnings that sent everything in the neighborhood flying around. You could hear the tornadoes, like a freight rain coming and then it would get so loud you couldn’t hear anything and the wind was so fierce you couldn’t see anything but white. This lasted all night into Sunday. Sunday was less eventful. Just a lot of wind with high gusts. And then like nothing happened, Monday was back to being a warm breezy day. The kind Floridians dream of but then you look around and see that the destruction was overwhelming.

Days without power, only a charcoal grill to cook on. The Florida sun back out in full force and no AC. All electronics were dead, I felt like I didn’t know the world I lived in anymore. So detached from my family, the media, and feeling hot and hungry. The food was starting to spoil in my refrigerator. We were searching for energy to charge our phones and WiFi to contact family and friends to see if they were OK. I thought I was prepared for a category 5 hurricane and I was not prepared for even the category 2 that hit us.

Next time I have my plan, I have learned that these hurricanes are no joke. We have decided that in the direct path of a hurricane more than a category 3 we will leave our home for safe areas. I know my home will for sure flood and have severe damage in anything more than a category 3. Although it scares me to leave everything I have worked hard for and head out of town, now I wouldn’t hesitate.

I will never let the gas in my car get below half for as long as I live. I don’t care if I have to put $5 at a time in the tank I am not waiting in line running out of gas just to get more. Especially since we are days after and still fuel is hard to find and when you do there is still a line to get it going down the street.

I will always have 3-4 cases of water at all times in my house. We buy cases of water weekly for us to drink anyway but I will always have extra. I will not be going to 6 stores a day and then loiter in a Walmart for 3 hours just to get water. And to all those that took more than 3-4 cases of water I bet you drank less than 10 bottles. The reality is you need it to cook if you have a way to cook and only if the water supply is compromised. You would need it for a sponge bath or brush your teeth again only if the water supply is compromised. You will need it to drink again if the water supply is compromised. But most of you all that got all the water drink soda, juice, tea, lemonade… something else all day every day, what makes you think your a health freak and need a gallon of water to drink when you already filled your house with sodas and juice? I fed into the panic of water when in reality the water coming from the faucet was fine, I even have a Britta I could have used to filter the tap water. I drink mostly water everyday and even I went through only 10 bottles.

I will prepare meals a head of time.  Yes you can be creative and cook on the charcoal grill during and after the hurricane if the electricity is out. I even made meatballs and sauce on the grill….but, no one likes the taste of every meal off the grill. It get sickening. You don’t want that smokey flavor on EVERYTHING you eat. Cooking chicken and other meats, making a pasta dish and other things you don’t mind eating cold like pizza. Doing this ahead of time would have been great. I did make a big pasta dish Friday night but was gone by Saturday afternoon. Also lunch meat and tuna salad would have helped.

Coffee…yes coffee is my drug of choice. I cant live without it. I was in the middle of my water heating up when we lost power. Never thought to use a regular coffee maker and brew some ahead of time and keep in my big carafe or even by the Starbucks or Dunkin already brewed coffee. I don’t care the brand or if its a hot coffee or iced coffee…I just need my coffee!

Batteries Batteries Batteries….. we will be needing lots of batteries and I will be ordering them off Amazon this week along with a battery powered fan and radio. We were lost after the lights went out. The WiFi didn’t work and cell towers were down. We didn’t know if the hurricane turned, if it was supposed to get worse, or how much longer we had till it moved on. Lost. A radio would have been unbelievably helpful. And then come Sunday Night and Monday a fan would have made life less miserable when sleeping. Having to sleep in your 80+ degree home with a window open at night when there are reports of looting is not a calming nights sleep.

A propane camp stove or grill is in my near future. I will not go through another hurricane without one. I will also keep extra propane on hand as the lines to fill tanks were 3 hours long. I’m leaning more toward a propane camp stove as its compact and the propane is easier to get. This will mean we can cook and not have everything taste like charcoal grill. Breakfast could be made, water boiled…. ugh you just have no idea.

Battery backups and portable chargers. I know what your thinking…just get a generator… see I have no where to keep one in my apartment and searching for more gas is not what I want either. But Battery backups to get a few hours of TV or be able to recharge computer would have been great even just a few hours….I would have got my coffee made for sure! And more portable phone chargers (we had one) would have been great. We are lucky that the Tahoe will charge with the car charger even when its off. So we set up a charging station in the car but that was a last resort.

We were good with the flashlights and candles. I believe we had a good plan if our home did flood or a window broke. I’m glad we didn’t have to test those plans but having a plan in place was good. Also I would like to have more medicine on hand.. we ran out of Tylenol and when you are in a high stress situation, no coffee and not eating properly you have to expect to have a headache. Also meds for upset stomach and a cold just to be safe. We have several first aid kits and survival tools on hand that thankfully we did not need as well.

Irma taught me I was not as prepared as I thought I was, especially mentally. I was so worried about my kids and having no cell service I had no idea how they were. Funny enough they never lost power, WiFi, or TV. They did not know anything about what was going on outside due to having been over their dad’s with windows and doors rated to category 4 hurricanes and also metal shutters over that. They were able to eat good meals and continue to do what teenagers do just not leave the house. Of course they were prepared with water, candles, propane, gas, and food just like the rest of us but thankfully they didn’t need it.

First Days, New Year

So all the boys have officially made it through their first day of school for the 2017-2018 year. Figuring out how to drop off and pick up the boys at 3 different schools, in 3 different cities has been a project but I think we have it figured out.

Now its trying to keep the 24 teachers they have straight….ugh. And of course Boy Scouts is starting back up so there is another activity besides football and Sea Scouts we have to add to our weekly schedule. The crock-pot will be getting a lot of use this season.

In our home we are determined to make this year a great year with so many milestones for the boys. Jermaine is working more days trying to make sure we can provide everything this year will bring and I am working my ItWorks business hard so I don’t have to miss out on this important years activities with the boys.

We are going all out this year now that we are in a bigger place. Decorating for holidays, an Epic Christmas is planned, trying for another family vacation before Kevin moves on to the next stage in his life. I am happy, our boys are happy. I feel blessed that I can get up and pack lunches and make breakfast before dropping off all the boys at school making sure to tell them to have a good day, I love you, and make good choices.

Boys – Have a great year. Take advantage of every moment, every experience. This is going to be the year that you look back on and tell your kids about, I promise you.

The Importance of a Schedule

Ok so even though I am working my own ItWorks! business and do have some freedom right now I have learned the hard way that it is so so important to have a schedule. It not only makes your day go by faster but it helps accomplish everything you need to make your day successful and keep your business and goals on track.

I was not working a schedule the past few weeks and found that some days the house was like a posh bead and breakfast but my business got no attention. The other days my business was flourishing and I was helping so many people and entering so many orders but my bed wasnt even made!

So I sat down and made a schedule. One for the weeks I have the boys and another for the weeks I do not. Although it took me two days on my google calendar to make the schedule the more challenging part was following it. Now I have learned in the past that the first few weeks you would a schedule things may need to be moved around and that is the spot I am in now. I find myself not wanting to put the laundry on when my calendar alerts me or want to spend a longer time doing a particular work task. I have been moving things around.

Now next week I will have the same issue as it will be my first week working my schedule with the boys in my care. Did I leave enough time to drop them off at school? Do I want to eat breakfast before I start working? Is there enough time to edit my blog? I will have to work the schedule and see.

The most important thing is my morning and before bed routine. I leave time to get myself going (coffee) and check my calendar, the weather forecast, and my to do list early each morning. Then I allow time in the evening to pamper myself (wash up brush my teeth, put my hair up) as well as review the schedule to see if I got it all done and look at the schedule for the next day to see if I need to make any changes. These make my mornings and evenings more calm knowing what to expect and having 30 min before anyone wakes up in the morning are what sets me up to reach my daily goals.

I use my google calendar synced with my phone so it will send me a reminder and I can see my schedule on the go. We also use this as a family. All the kids activities are on it and they are invited to the activities as well as their Dad so we are all on the same page of where the kids need to be and then I make my schedule around that. Its color coded with colors specific to each kid and then colored pink for days they are with me, mom and blue for days they are with their dad. So in a glance I can see that Ashton has boy scouts on Tuesday and its Dads day.

My day may seem too planned out for you but I suggest everyone have a morning and evening routine at least. They are what saves my day most of the time.

 

 

My “WHY”

Married at 18 and 3 babies by 22. Life had been a whirlwind of diapers, cooking, cleaning, school, activities and sports. My priority was and always has been my boys. I committed most of my adult life to date taking care of them. I was a stay at home mom 90% of that time. I loved every moment even though being a young family of 5 with one income wasn’t always easy. As years went by I never missed an experience with my boys. We moved to Florida and I started working full time as all the boys went to public school.

With 3 busy boys in school , sports, and other activities working full time had been a challenge. I missed practices games, reading nights, picking my boys up from school, and even cooking and eating dinner as a family. I started missing so much so we could be a 2 income family and provide even more for the boys that needed more and more as they got older.

After the divorce it got 10 times harder especially with the job I had. Now as I work my own business and have the support of Jermaine I get to put all that hard work into my business and be at all the special moments for the kids.This is a big year or everyone and I don’t want to miss anything. Kevin is in his senior year and will have a ton of events to attend, Cameron is at a new school with a new football team with daily practices and weekly games. Ashton is starting high school and has a new principal along with working toward his Eagle rank at scouts, and Jermaine, working 12 hour days 5 days a week and training kids whenever he gets the opportunity.

These 4 men in my life are my “why”. They are the reason I work so hard for whats best for my family. I got sick of missing moments with my kids, I was tired of being out of the loop in my children’s life. I had to make a move but I was scared. Luckily the universe made it for me. I am putting my all into my “why” and I am starting to see it paying off. I got my first pay check working my business and as long as I keep focused on what is important I am sure there will be more to come.

Technically Challenged

Well I set up the computer in the kitchen. Got the video app opened and pressed what I thought was the record button, but it was the stop recording button. So the whole cooking video i thought I made the other night was nothing but me prepping the ingredients and cleaning up after.

funny

Looks like I will have to wait for my tech team aka Kevin Didion to teach me more about this since it was his idea. I will try again. It was good though. I thought I did a good job but no one was there to see it.

But if your wondering it tasted great! We will try again next week, not sure what we will make but I’m not giving up on this.

 

 

 

Results….so scared

So most of you know I started a weigh loss journey and due well life I was finding it difficult. Since refocusing I have been doing great and it helps that I now have all the tools on hand for every situation since starting my ItWorks business. Yes, I got hooked on those crazy wrap things lol.  I have been dong good with working out and staying active, drinking a ton of water and just watching what I eat and when I splurge like on movie night with the boys when we had pizza I have my fat fighters to keep me on track.

So I have been taking before and after pics or a while now and have been so scared to show my results to the world. I guess because I didn’t think they were dramatic enough. I have since realized that this is a journey and wont happen over night. As long as I keep seeing results no matter how small or results that can’t be seen but felt like more energy, more stamina during workouts,  or less cravings I will continue on my journey.

So I did the ItWorks Cleanse and lost 5 lbs. Its a 4oz drink you take twice a day for 2 days and reboots your system clearing out the toxins. This is my second time doing the cleanse and both times I lost weight and felt better. I am going to share with you my results from my first cleanse. I did this a few months ago. I hope you can see the results even though it was just a few pounds. Comments are welcome!

I will try and post my most recent cleanse next week. Next post will be a cooking video! make sure you subscribe to no miss out on anything!

 

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Boys Reviews

New round of reviews are up from the Boys. You all now that is always interesting. Just click the link to the left that says Boys Reviews. Guest reviews by Jermaine 🙂 Next round of reviews will be Tuesday 8/15/17. This week look for the results of my ItWorks! Cleanse, Cooking Episode #1 video, and my Journey update! Thank you all for your support and if you dont want to miss anything make sure you subscribe by clicking the link on the left!

OMG Summer is almost over

With just a few short weeks before school starts again I look back on this summer and …. ugh. It was a roller coaster of emotions, stress, laughter and bonding.

First is facing the reality that now we have three high school boys. One Senior,Kevin, one Sophomore, Cameron and my baby Ashton a freshman! In case you all didn’t know, although the boys are close in age they do not go to the same school and have not since middle school. Yes its crazy with different drop off and pick up times and different days off but they each go to a school that fits their needs and interests.

Kevin loves public school which is funny as he didn’t when we lived up north. He loved his private school up north. He chose public school because he wanted to participate in the JROTC program and it was only at the local public school. His passions are military and engineering. He chose a public middle school that was a magnet school of science and had Army JROTC. This ended up being a perfect fit. Kevin likes to fly under the radar and public schools here are big with a lot of kids. He can be low key and get the classes he wants in public school.

Cameron started at a Charter middle school/ high school. Smaller classes helped him keep on track. Cameron is very smart and gets bored and looses interest. They kept him in line and they had a sports program that had middle school football so he could play for his school instead of the city. At the time this was a good fit and he attended charter school from 6th through 9th grade. This year Cameron is making the leap to a private prep school. They offer the same smaller classes with more emphasis on his grades and college prep plus they have a beautiful campus and stellar football program. The most stressful part was he just decided 2 weeks ago to go to the prep school. We had applied to four private schools and he got in to all four. It was decision time and he chose the prep school. Going almost the entire summer not knowing where Cameron would go to school was beyond stressful.

Now Ashton goes to a private school near and dear to us. I wish I had put him in it sooner. He has been there since middle school and loves it.  Its a school for children that have high functioning special needs and with Ashton being autistic this was the perfect school for him. Ashton gets to be himself with none of the judgement he was getting in public school. They also have all the services he needs during the day. He has grown socially over the past few years even so much as to be going out for ice cream with his friends and meeting them at the park to hang out. his school loves him and it shows.

With all these schools they have payments as Cameron and Ashton go to private schools that are far from cheap. I used to think when my boys were in private school in Gloucester it was expensive but now…. wow. I had no idea the right education that fits each kids needs could cost so much. Besides the cost all the schools have different schedules. They all start at different times, get out at different times, have different days off, different spring breaks everything. We use a google calendar that is shared by Roy, Kim, Jermaine, my mother, all the kids and myself so we can coordinate the kids schedules not only for school but their extracurricular doctors appointments, everything. This is important as the boys schools are all in different cities and none have buses that we can utilize due to timing, location and cost. It literally takes more than one person on a daily basis to drop them off at school.

They say it takes a village and boy does it. My kids are blessed that they have their own little village working to meet their needs every day. With only a few weeks left of summer we are gearing up to start the craziness all over again. When the boys start school I will post up a new first day pic. Wish us luck!

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