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Friday, June 14, 2019

Confessions of an "Wantrepreneur"

Confessions of an "Wantrepreneur"

I have a confession: I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I have started and failed at many Multi Level Marketing (MLM)  businesses, from Pampered Chef to Chloe and Isabel.  I ask myself why did I fail? I think to be brutally honest I lost my gumption, my drive and it wasn't shiny and new.

I didn't put in the work; but more importantly, I DIDN'T WANT TO.


As I get older, 46 this year, cue disparaging music, I have less energy to put into excess things so they fizzle out. You can read more about me and my serial fizzer outer here. I was dumbfounded at how I could expect and receive great work from my students,  yet, I was failing at my own assignments. When I am struggling, I try to find the helpers so I reached out to a couple of fellow bloggers and asked for some guidance to get back on track with my budding blog that had sat dormant for nearly 3 years. They were insightful and smart and honest and you can read more from them here and here. More importantly they were the helpers. They were kind and smart.

Fast forward to note taking and journaling, and maybe some drinking, maybe not, I can't remember those notes. The daunting task was in front of me.  I realize that one thing always stopped me... everything that I have tried to do in my adult life had one common denominator as I fizzled out in the fetal position.

FEAR. 


I have never wanted for passion... I have it, I have been known to be too much for some people. AND  I come hard with ideas and projects and submerge myself in projects not to be seen or heard of for days.

When I am finished I am worn out and hungover and so done. THIS time I am going to pace myself and take the time to be the historian of my own life. I have always been critical of other blogs; not publicly of course; I am not cruel and remember, I want to be liked. But I look around at top bloggers and I think, what are they reading this for? I am reading it too... so something has me hooked. And then I remember a quote that rocked my world several years ago. It meant so much to me that I use it in my classroom as a conversation starter when people are being judgy or snarky. Theodore Roosevelt talked about the "Man in the arena" and then Brene Brown condensed the quote so perfectly and it resonates with me as I dare to face fear.

"If you are not in the arena getting your assed kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback." -Brene Brown

But IT creeps back in.


Seriously, that pisses me off. I have always considered myself brave and forthcoming and a truth teller. I am authentic and true. Why in the hell can't I follow through and swim through the oceans, find my niche and break through?  I am still trying to figure the fear part out...and who knows what will happen when I send this post into the flooded oceans of bloggers and judgy eyes to read. Please read it. JUDGY eyes and all.

FEAR. It is paralyzing. Fear of not being liked, or good enough, or just enough anything. What will people think? Well here it is, I don't care anymore. I don't care if you don't like my saggy arms, gray hair or perpetual bun. I am going to tell my truth about being a middle school tech teacher, mom and wife, living in a small rural community.

Recently, I was asked about my opinion of social media and teens and the flood gates opened. I have been known to go on rants about this. Because guys, I am in it. I see it. Both sides. So, this got me thinking... what if I took my rant to the streets of the Internet to help people...

Wallah... here I am. 


SO in my attempt to confess about being an "wantrepenuer" it isn't necessarily about making money, (that would be nice too!) but wanting to do more... for others and myself and to leave this world better than I found it.

I will also confess as I reach out and help others, I may ruffle a few feathers. But I encourage you to embrace those feelings and stick with me. My goal is not to focus on the dead and grotesque that the vultures of the Internet feed off of. Instead I will encourage and seek to find the sweet; I will not let fear paralyze me in flight. I will keep going even when the winds and rains are making it difficult, after all I am and always will be a hummingbird. Will you join my village?


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Middle

I woke up in the middle of the night panicked that I left the pizza out from our dinner ... Because after we ate dinner in the living room,  amongst me folding laundry, daughter one doing homework and my other daughter stretching,  I was toast. 

As I stumbled to the kitchen, I flip on the light. There isn't anything on the counter- nope. Pizza is gone.  Where is it? Well, in the refrigerator in baggies for lunch tomorrow! (Why else do I say, "yes" to pizza in the middle of the week!!!  Leftovers!
 Daughter one,  in between all the other stuff we tended to last night,  cleaned up the kitchen.  
 Go ahead,  judge that it is 4:36 am and I'm just recognizing that. But I'm okay with that after our crazy night of our normal.

 In between getting husband ready for work, laundry, grading, reading, planning and looking ahead to tomorrow (well, today, but you get it...) I forgot. 

I'm in middle.  

I'm in the middle of my life. Middle aged, middle parenting,  middle career... middle marriage.

Two weeks ago, we celebrated fourteen years married. Two weeks before that, I celebrated forty three years on this planet. This is my middle.

Middle of being an adult. Some may stuck in the middle. 

But I don't think the middle is so bad ... Ever had an Oreo?!? 

So,  here is what happens in the middle. 

Busy, hectic but beautiful. 

I crawl back into bed, I have at least 40 minutes plus 2 snoozes before I will get out of bed for real! I check on the girls. I cover up daughter #1.   

 I ask her if she is cold she says,  "I'm good."

 I say,  "Thanks for putting up the pizza"  ... She says,  "of course."

If this is the middle.  I'm okay with it.  Truly.  The moments in the middle (of the night, in this case) is what matters.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Summer of LuLaRoe

It never fails someone always asks me what I did last summer? Heck, there is even a song about it... now you are singing it ... YOU ARE WELCOME! I love to summer hard and this summer hasn't been any different.  I decided to do a countdown; there is exactly 87 days from when school lets out in May until we return in August. It seems to get shorter every year; however that is because I am "off" in the summer and we all know it flies by!

My countdown has been fun... I take pictures of whatever tickles my fancy, represents my mood, my day, whatever we are doing in the summer. You can follow my journey on Instagram.

BUT right now I want to tell you my summer is all about...  leggings... more specifically, it is all about

LuLaRoe



LuLawhat?? Yes... LuLaRoe.

So you get it right?  Currently in the summer of LulaRoe it is crazy;  no one is paying me for this blog entry or advertising; me and my friends are just simply obsessed maybe even a little mental about these super soft buttery leggings. Oh, and the prints, they are fun and whimsical. I like to call them conversation starters!

Watching a live sale in the Lularoom

What is LulaRoe?

You can read and learn about the company here. But it's this amazing community of women (and men too) that sell clothes made up of fun and inspiring patterns. It is set up like network marketing and let me tell you people are killing it. You can only purchase through online sales and in home parties. I was introduced to the phenomenon by a good friend, who was introduced by her sister. The craze started for us with leggings... they are soft as buttah and yes; they can be worn as pants. Look at these cute prints!!!
One of our LulaRoe hauls this summer
So that same good friend and her sister started this adventure together and well let's just say I am a groupie. You can join their group here. I know when they get shipments of new goods, when their parties are happening, live sales and new albums will be available for purchase. I am obsessed. But in a totally good and supportive way! Aren't they the cutest???


Fierce consultants, sisters and partners

So it started with the leggings and then, there was Irma.  Oh, Irma... I love you! It is soft and covers all my perfect imperfections. And next Madison... or wait, was it the Maxi... then the Perfect Tee and the Classic.... OH GOODNESS...my love affair runs deep and true.

My very first piece... I just love this Irma. 


The thrill of the hunt at a Pop Up party
The other thing that is so awesome about these clothes... if you even need another reason?? You wash them in cold water and hang dry... no wrinkles. Easy Breezy!

It's all about looking for your print in your size and style.  Because consultants can't buy specifics. They just order sizes and styles and are surprised when their shipment comes. It's like Christmas morning when UPS delivers. They have hard to find prints that the consultants have affectionately called Unicorns... and the thrill of the hunt for these unicorns is so fun!


My Unicorns!

"Self confidence is the best outfit. Rock it. Own it." 



LulaRoe in my opinion is all about creating a village of women who inspire and encourage others. The confidence to wear a whimsy print and mix the patterns to make a fashion statement all comes from within.
It has brought people together and made shopping fun! You can shop with your friends and make new ones all from the comfort of your own couch!


So if you are still on the fence about giving LuLaRoe a chance let me preach for a sec-

5 of the top reasons I love LuLaRoe:

1. The clothes are unique: they only create 2500 of certain prints so ...the combos are endless.
2. The clothes are comfortable...I forgot I was wearing my Maxi skirt! The light weight fabric is easy to care for too!
3. There is something for everyone...with sizes going to 3XL it celebrates all sizes and beauty.
4. It creates community and sisterhood...this goes without saying. 
5. It feels good on! If it feels good, you look good! WIN! WIN!

If you are interested in learning more start here and join my friends group... she will help you every step of the way!  

Have fun and happy Unicorn hunting!


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Day I Let My Daughter Cook

Today I said yes more than no and I created some memories for my daughter. It was hard at times. Like for reals hard. But I got through it. And it was awesome.

We all know that dinnertime is the one of the craziest in any house; so the fact that my daughter wanted to wreak havoc on my kitchen after a long day of summering hard... well... I was reluctant scared to say the least.

I am a self denying control freak. I tell myself nope! I'm super chillax. Ha. Not true!! As I get older, I think it is getting worse, folks. Like, I always want to drive places; or be at the restaurant first; or host the parties; pick the menus; choose the outfits;  pick me. Love me. UGH. I am a monster!

A couple nights ago daughter #2 asks as if she can make dinner from start to finish? I had to pause. And think long and hard before I didn't do a knee jerk reaction and say no. Nope. Not today!

I swallowed hard. And I said yes!


She squealed. And said really?  She said it  way too many times and I could feel the heat raising on my neck.  Do I not let them do what they want? Do I control and not let her just be?
I pushed back the desire to ask her that... Instead I smiled and we started the planning.
I had a few stipulations - guardrails if you will:
  1. The meal needed to have healthy choices
  2. She would have to make her own grocery list 
  3. She would have to come shopping with me and put away the groceries. 

And away she went.


Pinterest luckily is always on the ready for times like this and last night it was no different. You can follow me here.

She searched for healthy easy dinner recipes, healthy dessert recipes and also an appetizer.

It all happened pretty fast! And before I could recant my yes... She had a menu.

Fruit Salsa with homemade Cinnamon Sugar Chips

Zucchini Boats

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie



We got up and went to the store. She was very organized; had her list and she was ready.  As you can see she loved the process!





I coached her along each step; giving her pointers on how to hold the knife; to move the handle from the pan towards the stove etc.

I couldn't help but hear my Grandma saying "do it my way or not at all!" I may or may not come from a long line of control freaks! However, I have learned so much from these women in my life that I tend to remember more of their passion and zest for life and how to live then anything else!

I admit (now) my Grandmother knew more than me at that time... But now I think she would realize that there is more than one way to get things done. Gasp.

As she chopped the strawberries. I cringed.   Then cheered her on and praised her precision. Although it took a long time to cut those strawberries I am proud to say she got better by the end!



Next came the awesome tortilla chips. The least healthy choice... They were so good. She nailed it!


Do you think she was having fun?!?

The zucchini boats were surprisingly easy to make and she whizzed through it. I had to show her a few times how to hold the spoon to get the insides out of the zucchini but she did very well!


Now on to the dessert my friends. So yummy and decadent and so clean. I was impressed that she went with it   She doesn't like hummus ... But this recipe calls for chickpeas. Yes, you heard me! I linked all the recipes for your enjoyment. Let us know what you think!





Dinner was a huge success. For both of us! She was very proud of herself for working as hard as she did to feed the family.  She may have told me that it is hard work cooking and cleaning all day... I just laughed!  I didn't make a comment about how I know all about that... I just let her do her thing.

It was worth it. 4 hours letting go of control in my kitchen translated into my daughter learning some cool things about herself one summer afternoon
  1. Cooking is fun 
  2. She knows how to make healthy choices
  3. Her mom is awesome 
  4. She can follow a recipe
  5. Measuring is math 
  6. It is okay to make a mess!

I am so glad I said yes to her.  I mean for all the feels... Look at her smile.

I will do my best to give her more chances to make a mess in the kitchen... Cause let's face it. She is old enough to clean it up. The right Her way!













Monday, June 20, 2016

Mermaids and Ruby Slippers

As we floated in the pool to escape the heat daughter # 2 asks me;

"Do you like mermaids momma?"

I never really thought about it.  So I give her a shrug of the shoulders and reply with no enthusiasm what so ever:

"I guess they are kinda cool. Why do you like them?"

"They are so pretty and they have powers!"

She was beaming. Her smile was big. And I kinda felt bad for being a downer... then it hit me.

This was a huge teachable moment for me and it was waiting there for me to seize it.  Do not squander it. don't be less than enthusiastic; don't be a downer!

Sitting there on a silver platter was the opportunity to tell daughter # 2 this:

You are pretty and have powers too,  ya know?
It may look different then the mermaids powers but you do. Even if you don't see it sometimes... they are there. You just have to figure them out!

I went on to say that the power is in us to do lots of things, 
 the power to be kind 
 the power to make a difference 
 the power to learn 
 the power to do something bravish
 the power to forgive
 the power to be anything you want to be
 the power to dream

Her brown eyes just stared at me. A smile curled up on her lips...

"Where do I get that power?" she said.

"Well you get that power from your passion and drive and your village. Your people, your friends,  help fuel that power."

Hopefully. 

She laughed and the moment swam off. As I heard those last words come out I believed every word of them. We all have that power and passion to do something. Whatever it is. And the people around us are the ones that keep us afloat and paddling when we want to give up.

The Little Mermaid was all about dreaming and the power to change her course. With her dinglehoppers and passion she makes her dreams a reality.

We recently went to see The Wizard of Oz and the aha moment went off again sitting there holding my girl's hand. Dorothy desperately wants to get home. Glinda the Good Witch tells her; "You have always had the power my dear; you just had to learn it for yourself".

I am pretty sure Ariel and Dorothy would be best of friends, don't you??



Whether its your mermaid tail or your ruby slippers... you have the power.

So surround yourself with people who get it. And get you! Be someone's biggest fan and give them the fuel and energy to power on. You don't get to take their power. Use your own.  We all have it, we just need to learn it for ourselves.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Kindness Rules

Kindness is my mode of operand i. I believe you should try to be kind in any and all situations- you, we, all of us should just do it. It bothers me when people aren't kind to waiters and waitresses, retail clerks alike. There is a saying that goes like this , "If a person who is nice to you but isn't kind to the waiter is not a nice person".  You get the picture, right? Or how about the person that hides behind the computer screen... and picks fights and belittles others while trying to make their point.

I preach it to my girls. I preach it to my students. And after I preach it I try and show them what it looks like. Now before you get all judgy on me; I am not saying I get it right all the time;  I have flaws and have made mistakes. But ultimately kindness rules. So imagine when my nose got all out of place when I read an article about just the opposite. To say I was ticked off is an understatement.

After I read this article on TODAY.COM  about an incident that involved three young girls at a Starbucks not being kind and saying mean things about other people, particularly Catherine and how they voted her out of their singing group. They went on to bash gifts they had received and people's performances at a recent talent show. These pretty girls were talking ugly about others. It struck a nerve. I'm not going to lie it made me angry to just read of this.  How dare they?

What happens next is so awesome- a lady hears them; obviously unnerved by the whole thing and does something. Because she simply must! In a North Carolina Starbucks she simply stood up to the unkind behavior of three girls with none other than kindness! She writes them a note and buys them another drink! The note reads: 

Hi Girls!
"I sat near you today in Starbucks and listened as you talked. You three are obviously pretty and hard-working. I wish your kindness matched your pretty exteriors. I heard you talk about a girl who sang a song about being lonely in the talent show – and you laughed. About a girl who couldn’t be lead singer because you got all the votes, about crappy presents other people have given you…and you sounded so mean and petty.
"You are smart and you are pretty. It would take nothing from you to also be kind. – M.
Courtesy Of Facebook page Michelle in the Middle
http://michelleinthemiddle.com

This was one of those moments that I wish I could give this awesome, brave, lady a high five. Her name is Michelle. You can read more about her here. She totally nailed it and is the epitome of what authentic kindness is. Right? I mean, she could have just shrugged her shoulders and walked away ticked off. Instead she did the right thing- even when no one was looking. Aw, my friends, integrity, loyalty, authentic kindness, all stuff that is hard to come by these days. But I refuse to be okay with that!  

If you see something or your spidy sense goes off and something just doesn't feel right... you must say something. Be true and be brave. Stand up for what you know is right; even if it isn't what everyone else is doing.  What if your daughter was Catherine?










Friday, May 27, 2016

Good Friends


It is summer.  I am grateful for the slow start to the summer season with the rain and canceled plans. The weeks leading up to the coveted break was anything but slow. It was frantic, hurried, hard, sad and emotionally draining.

So because it is summer I have lots of time to reflect, recharge and reinvent myself. (In between planning for next year's school year, tech seminars, NETFLIX and enjoying my new pool of course!)

Remember how I said it was a sad few weeks; well let me say that when there is pain and hurt you find your village waiting for you...  like that lighthouse showing you the way.

They send you a love note in the middle of the night; they meet you where you are to just say... hey it is okay! They make you laugh even when you don't want to, they make you take your vitamins, unplug your phone and make sure you have showered. Essentials.

It seems so elementary- but being a good friend is that. Simple. Easy breezy.

All the feels. 

I love sappy and sweet- I do. But I know it isn't always that way... sometimes we have all the feelings with our friends. And maybe just maybe we want to punch them in the throat ( as an act of love of course) but ultimately, friends... true, real friends... those are the ones that make this "adulting" thing manageable.

As I caught up on the phone with a dear friend recently; we laughed, listened, encouraged and loved each other in the short 13 minutes we had. It wasn't elaborate; it wasn't glamorous but in those moments she knew I loved her and was her biggest fan.

No one should feel alone; connection is key in this plugged in world we live in...so make it count. So what is a true friend?

This is a list I came up with the little help from a friend.

How to Be a Good Friend

1. Listen to them...don't interrupt, really listen.
2. Be intentional about spending quality time time together
3. Give them space to explore things on their own
4. Laugh with them and at them... because come on!
5. Show up! That is all!
6. Watch movies together... stupid ones, serious ones, let them pick and make fun of you if you DON'T GET IT
7. Be loyal
8.  Get pedicures together... let them get the color they choose without comment. okay you can comment- but don't think it will matter!
9. Take their side- unless they're being ridiculous in which case you have to tell them.
10. Respect your differences- hell, welcome it!
11. Know their favorite drink...THIS IS A MUST.
12. Ask them what scares them... and then comfort them,
13.Try new things together and don't be afraid to fail.
14. Be their biggest cheerleader and their biggest fan, but also know when to tell them to hang it up.
15. Love them hard.

I am not the perfect friend - this list isn't meant to make you pace and get nervous; it just is. This is what being a true, honest friend looks like for me. It is what I was shown selflessly by people who have loved me when it wasn't always easy... and I hope I can reflect this to my village everyday.