So much time, so many interests….

I’m crazy. Like, all over the place, all the time. Sigh. Remember when I wrote a somewhat whiny post a few months ago about making a music album and putting it online and no one had heard it (cue world’s smallest violin)??? Well, that shit was eating away at me.

So, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here, but I am currently focusing on music and writing a song with someone whose strengths and weaknesses seem to be complementary to mine. Here’s hoping that we actually make something of it. It isn’t like it’s out of left field, since I’ve been doing music, more or less, since I was 14. As much as I love design, music has always been the most compelling, so I know I have to get to a point where I’m somewhat satisfied with my accomplishments in that field. I guess it sounds like I never accomplish anything, ever. But that really isn’t the case. It just kind of goes in fits and starts and bits and pieces. And before I fully finish, I move to something else. I’m not sure if this trait is good or bad, or even if it’s productive to try to label it as either.

I was focusing on eBay, got a bunch of stuff listed and sold, then got bored out of my mind, even though I’m not done selling everything I need to sell. Focus is the issue. Even if I master time management, if my “energy” doesn’t fit in with what I am supposed to be doing at the time, then it just won’t work. The book “Renaissance Soul”, previously mentioned in this blog, is helping me list some strategies for dealing with these competing desires and needs. As promised, I do plan on writing a review of it soon. If you are following this blog, first of all, THANKS. And second of all, there is a good chance you have as much trouble with focus and multiple interests as I do. You’d almost have to, really. So, I think that would be a good sub-subject, if you will. Let’s talk about how to be productive when there is so much to focus on! So, until next time….

Task Organizer!

IMG_1402.JPGThere it is! Pictured above- my task organizer that I look at to decide what needs to be done in my life. The black rectangles are where I didn’t want to share my goals with the internet, but you get the point in what the whole thing looks like. You basically divide a poster board into the categories that you want to focus on in your life. Some can be aspiration categories (meals, for me- since I don’t really like meal preparation) and others can be categories for things where you currently have a lot going on or a lot of thoughts swarming in your head about. Anyway, this whole thing only cost me about $3. I think I paid $1.99 for the poster board and $1 for different colored small sticky notes from Dollar Tree.

I’ll share with you guys an example of what I put in my “shopping/gifts” category that I use to remember what I want to buy, either for myself or others. The top two things are gifts that I want to get and the bottom is something I just want to purchase- a car safety kit to keep in my car. You know, like seat belt cutters, window breakers, etc… in case we find ourselves in a bad situation in the car. That’s something I have to do some research on to see what is out there and what the prices are for that type of thing, so this is my reminder to keep that on my mind. IMG_1399 2.JPG

One of my other favorite categories is the “Personal Goals” section. For me, the main thing right now is trying to work on waking up at 6:30. For some reason, getting up in the morning has always been so hard for me. Once I’m up, I’m up. But it’s getting out of bed that is so hard. 6:30 might seem early, but I’d love to be up before my son and have some peace and quiet in the morning. The last few days, I’ve been setting my alarm and getting up at 7:30, so I’m trying to slowly work my way down to 6:30am everyday. I also think that early risers are more successful (biased? Maybe), so that’s one reason to get into the habit!

“Fun Ideas” is another great category because it helps me to remember the things I want to do, but that are not necessarily on my mind on a daily basis. For instance, decorating for Halloween or making sure we buy tickets in advance to see Santa this year. That stuff always passes me by, but not this year. Because I’m organized. Sort of.

Anyway, this has been helpful for me and the fact that my brain never stops running through lists of things I have to do. So this works, especially if you’re visual and really like to see everything that’s on your to-do list in the immediate future. It isn’t necessarily stuff that you have to get done today though!

Okay- I hope that helps anyone else with a race-y brain like mine!  Just categorize and visualize all those thoughts and to-dos.

 

Side Hustling and Getting Ideas ;)

Hey – I got quite a few new followers recently on here– not sure why but I am super psyched about it. It’s reason enough to update my long-neglected blog that was started at the beginning of the summer with a ton of enthusiasm and a verrrrrry specific plan for its existence. Anyway, welcome new readers. Feel free to leave comments (comments are fun).

Life has kind of just been going on and I am still trying to narrow the focus of my interests or fit them all in one place, but I definitely haven’t abandoned the idea of home decoration since it’s something I really enjoy doing and some say I’m good at. In the meantime, I sell stuff on eBay, I tutor math, and I walk a friend’s dog. I like the fact that I am making money- my way. It’s not much, to be sure, but there is a sense of freedom and possibility to knowing that I can really throw myself into any one of those things (or something totally different) and use it to make ends meet eventually. It’s not at all as complicated as I thought it would be. Being a stay at home mom with no extended family around makes it difficult to plan a schedule right now so I am just enjoying being a mom and taking everything day by day, trying to remain professional and focused in my odd jobs and projects.

I want to buy this book soon, as it may help me out with my dilemma of having too many interests. Having tons of things you love makes it pretty hard to choose just one or two- it requires some soul searching, for sure. If anyone has read that book and has an opinion, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it. There are quite a few good books on the topic, though.

Another thing I’m really into right now: this girl! Her organization videos and tips are amazing and her videos are really fun to watch. I discovered her one day while I was sitting in my chair watching my son go through my the living room I had just cleaned like a tornado. It was ironic and cathartic all at once. :0

I plan on implementing a version of this idea to get my head on straight! My life isn’t that complicated but I feel like I might be able to use this to keep track of some of the ideas I have in my head. Maybe? I am a fly by the seat of my pants type of girl so I bought all of the materials for this before coming up with a way I would actually set up my board. Maybe a category for home projects, clothes I need to buy the kiddo, business ideas, social media (the bane of my existence). We’ll see. See why I need to watch organization videos? 😉

I plan on setting that up sometime this week when the little one is in bed, as it looks like it can get kind of involved with poster board and sticky notes everywhere (DESTRUCTION TIME!!!!! to a toddler).

I will update when I put that up!

Of Business and Life

This summer has been long and hot. I wish I had better news, but I’ve been struggling quite a bit. I’m trying to help my sister start a business with what she does and my focus has gone all over the place. She’s currently living with me and working for a lady who doesn’t pay much money at all, and we figured it’d be better to just start her own business. Update: the Facebook campaigns and flyers have gone nowhere. Client count: Zero. There’s still hope, but not before she moves back home to find another job because it’s just not working out here.

As for me- while I enjoy interior design, I have been thinking that it might be a hard business to start while I have a child at home and no alternative childcare options. So, fear not, I have other ideas. I’m drowning in them, actually. One of my other ideas is t-shirt design. I have a few drawings that I’d like to turn into shirts. Mural painting is another potential interest, as it’s something I can do on the weekends when my husband is home to watch my son. I have painted wall murals several times in my life and am wondering if that would be a good business idea. I think so, but getting clients is another matter entirely.

I am struggling. I am struggling financially. I struggle with the fact that I can’t just go out and get a “normal job”. The in depth reasons for that are things I don’t really want to go into right now… Well screw it, I guess I’ll share: I’m “bipolar” and it makes it really hard for me to hold down a typical job. Some of the reasons for that have been discussed in a previous post. Some of the things that have happened to me can be chalked up to bad luck, but some of it is being bipolar, if I’m being completely honest.

However, working for myself is a totally different type of gig. I can’t explain exactly *why* that would be so much better for my mental health, but suffice it to say it would. I love people. I love connecting with people and talking to people. I love giving them what they need directly. I love the fact that business is between you and your client- meeting them where they are. If they don’t like what you bring to the table, someone else will.

But none of it is working. So, to be completely honest, I’m feeling down. I need advice, or encouragement, or someone who is good at advertising and marketing to help me. I haven’t gotten a whole lot of help in any of my ventures that I’ve done and sometimes it gets old feeling like you’re going at everything alone. Even having a business partner would help so much- we both help each other equally. But, I haven’t found that person. I haven’t found someone who can help me while I help them. And, that’s one of the major reasons I’m struggling. I know that sounds soo whiny and bitter, but I guess it’s real. Maybe it’s not even true that I’ve been alone, but it’s a feeling that keeps dragging me down. I have a great family and a great husband, but his career interests are totally different from mine. And that’s okay.

Another secret about me: I have an entire music album posted online under a different name. It consists of 8 songs and I spent 2 years working on it. I wrote every song, played piano, composed it, recorded it, and mixed it all myself. Before you go thinking that sounds awesome, just know that no one cares. The promotion over the past few months has gotten me a grand total of one play. Maybe it just isn’t good: that’s something I have certainly not failed to consider. I’m terrified to show people I know in real life though. I’m so afraid of their opinions. So, I promoted it to strangers. So much work, and for what? I know music doesn’t make money, and that’s why I’m trying to leverage my other “talents”. But I didn’t do the album for the money. I did it because I’ve been obsessed with the idea of writing my own songs and making an album since I was 14 years old. It nagged at me for 10 whole years before I finally sat down to start it while I was pregnant. I am the type of person that usually goes after what I want. The returns I get for it though? Yeah… let’s change the subject…

The stay-at-home-mom thing is good sometimes. Some people are not even lucky enough to stay at home with their children at all. For my family, it’s not at all good money-wise, but it’s nice to watch my son grow everyday. I wouldn’t trade spending every day with him the last 14 months. I guess the hard thing about it, for me, is that I do want to do other things eventually. Like NOW. That makes me feel like I’m not a good mom, though. That’s an entirely different post, I guess.

I am so sorry to be whiny, but I haven’t written in awhile and this is just the raw truth about where I’m at. Some of it may sound delusional and it may not all be based in actual reality, but it’s all I could think to write about- and I haven’t written in awhile. To be honest, I actually wasn’t going to write at all today, but when I logged into WordPress for the first time in a few weeks, I saw that I had a bunch of new views and someone even read my blog today. Wow. I seriously couldn’t believe it. I’m not gonna say I jumped for joy, because bad mood, but it did get me writing. ;0

Alright, well. Peace.

Nursery Pics!!

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I apologize for the long break in writing. Fear not, I am still doing the blog! And… I’m proud to announce that I am finally done with my son’s nursery. He is 13 months old, so it might be late, but better late than never, right?

It was taking us forever to get the giant map up on the wall. It was pre-pasted wallpaper and it came in four sections that were really hard to put up, as you can probably tell from the picture (it’s kind of messed up!). Overall, I really like it and would still like to get some type of chair – maybe a bean bag chair for this room, but other than that, it’s DONE! Here are some more pics:

 

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Domain Name and Plans!

If you read my blog, you already know I’m trying to start a business that is interior design or decorating related. You also know that I’m trying to be as transparent as possible about the process of starting this business. You might be able to guess that my business plan isn’t very solid. So what do I have going for me? That’s the doubt that has been plaguing me for well over a week now. It’s been one week since my last blog post and this past week was really rough. There were a lot of things going on, but a consistent doubt has sort of been eating away at me. It doesn’t help that I’m feeling a financial crunch and wondering about whether I should go back to teaching or not for the time being.

BUT I believe that things have a way of turning around. The positive is that I got a (top secret!) domain name through Squarespace and am trying to figure out which template to use for the website. At first, I am planning to offer virtual design-a-room services where I can create a mood board for clients looking to get quick decorating tips without even having to meet face to face with a decorator. It’s a budget option for clients looking for someone to visualize a space for them and provide links to items they might like to purchase online. Say– you want to design your living room, but you don’t have the money to hire someone to come in and do a full consultation, order everything and put it together for you. Perhaps you need it done quickly and you don’t have the time or inclination to figure out what you need and where to place it. That’s where this service would be useful for many, such as young professionals and busy families. It’s about creating affordable options for customers who want a beautiful space, but don’t necessarily have a big budget.

I also think that selling some other home decor items would be a good avenue for me since I can see myself getting creative with decorative items- pillows, vases, etc…  So, that’s the loose collection of ideas I have right now to start myself off. Sometimes writing it all out makes you feel just a little bit better!

Wooden Crate Makeover

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I have been working on putting together a room for my son since January- so about 6 months now. It’s been slow going because we didn’t have a big budget to get it all done at once, but we finally just bought the last item we needed- a giant wall map. As soon as we get that up, his room is DONE!

One of the other loose ends I wanted to tie up this weekend was decorating these wooden crates that I have been using as bookshelves in his room. There are two of them, from Michael’s, and they’re just these plain pine crates. Instead of painting them  (I paint everything with acrylics all the time), I decided to do something different and line the insides with paper.

I did have to modify my project a bit because I was originally going to line the other two “walls” of the crate, as well, but those are 4 strips of wood, not a solid wall, and it just seemed like a pain- so…. shortcuts for the win! But I do like how they turned out- it’s just a pop of color to make them a little more interesting.

Anyhow, next blog post should feature his completed room! I can’t wait!

Quick Update- Life is Busy!

This is one of those days when life just got really busy. Between a broken refrigerator (ugh- horrible), a broken pool, a house that won’t stay clean, and an almost 13 month old that isn’t walking yet, I sort of feel my head spinning today.

In the back of my mind, I’ve been thinking about how best to create a website: reading books about search engine optimization, and books about starting an online business. The next step is to decide whether to use a site building website, or not. My husband says he wants to try to build it from scratch, but I know he doesn’t have the time yet to get started, so I think I’m going to have to start doing that- hopefully by the end of next week.

It gets pretty crazy around here sometimes. I feel like I can’t stop thinking about what needs to happen next and just focus on taking everything one step at a time- finish one thing before you start something else. That’s a big challenge for me!

 

Interior Design Review- RoomSketcher

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Today I visited roomsketcher.com to check out their free design tool. I was excited since it seemed like a comprehensive program that I could really do a lot with, and it definitely is. As you can see from the first floor of an apartment I designed above, it is tons of fun!

This program had a great selection of just about any type of furniture, wall colors, floor types, closets, etc… Pretty much everything you need is here and the variety is great! Let me repeat: SO MUCH VARIETY! I love it! You can resize and rotate the objects, as well, which is awesome! You can also change the color and pattern of all of the objects if you upgrade.

When it came to adding windows and doors, there is a neat measuring feature which shows you how far away it all is from other objects, making symmetry happen more easily! The only problem I can think of was that I couldn’t see where to lay one floor on top of the other if I wanted to design a second floor that is a different shape than the first, but that really isn’t that big of a deal, since you could figure it out anyway if you had to.

In this software, you have to upgrade to get a 3D view, but once you do, you can view your project from airplane view, you can view it as though you are walking through it, or you can direct a character (either male or female) to walk through the space. So, there are lots of options for seeing the project from different angles, and even seeing how people are supposed to move throughout the space.

I am definitely considering buying the upgraded version of this software because it’s amazing. It seems to be everything I was looking for and more! I do plan on doing a few more reviews of free design software on the web just to get a feel for what else is out there though. I’d like to invite any readers, especially anyone in design, to leave suggestions for software that they use and how they use it. Please leave me a comment, because I’d love to know: what works for you?

 

Arbonne – 28 Day Challenge

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I’m sort of on a self/life improvement kick, and it wouldn’t be complete without the focus on exercise and diet. I had already done some research looking into different 30ish day programs that eliminated “allergenic” foods from your diet. My good friend, Sammy (sammydvintage.com, remember?) is also a really knowledgeable Arbonne representative, and their program sounded good, so I decided to give it a try.

Although I’m not sure if our bodies need to “detox” or if it’s hype, I do believe that people have sensitivities to certain foods, particularly gluten, dairy, caffeine and alcohol. So, I was interested in going without those foods for awhile and seeing how I felt, in addition to making sure that all of the meat I ate was organic, antibiotic and hormone free. There are also some restrictions on fruits you can eat- for instance, bananas, berries, lemons, limes, grapefruits and green apples are allowed. Most other fruits are not. There are no restrictions on vegetables.

This program consists of eliminating certain foods as well as adding specific Arbonne replacements to your diet. For instance, you have two of the protein (chocolate or vanilla) shakes a day, along with some fruits or vegetables, the Arbonne Daily Fiber Boost, Arbonne Digestion Plus and Arbonne Greens Balance products in the shakes. Let me just say that the shakes are absolutely delicious, no matter what you put in them. The protein powders, especially the vanilla, taste great. It doesn’t matter if my shakes have spinach or kale in them, they will still taste awesome with the protein powder, so that’s a big bonus.

Another Arbonne product is the fizz sticks for those of us who always need our caffeine fix in the morning. The taste took some getting used to, for me, but the energy boost with these is as big as what you get with coffee, so that’s pretty great. In addition, there is also a detox tea that I have been drinking in the evenings.

So far, my experience has been really good! I am only on Day 6, and the first few days were an absolute breeze. I was so excited to start the program that I didn’t have any cravings, but the past couple of days I have started to miss certain items from my diet. The weekends are always the most challenging with any new diet or eating program, so today was tough when I went to a diner and could only order a basic salad with grilled chicken. But, I can’t complain because the salad was good and I didn’t overeat like I sometimes do when I go out to restaurants on the weekend.

The main thing I miss is COFFEE. I have to have at least 2 cups a day and would say I’m (unfortunately) at the point where I feel like I can’t start my day without caffeine, so it’s nice to take some time to back away from that habit a little bit.

At the beginning of the program, I took my measurements and weight, so look out for an update when the challenge is over detailing if my body changed or if I feel significantly different. As of now, I don’t know if I feel different, but I also don’t think I’ve given it enough time to really notice. Then again, my sister said that it seems I have more energy this week, so this may definitely be the reason why!