Are you prepared for an Emergency?

As I am sitting here on a day where all of the public schools and some of the businesses have shut down due to a winter storm.  They were expecting 1 inch of ice but we only ended up with 1/4 inch.  The nearby cities all shut down their businesses.  Since it ended up being very mild we are all able to go back to schedule.  However, one day it could very well be the worst winter storm ever seen and we could end up stuck in our homes.  What if the skies decide to drop 6 feet of snow on the midwest.  So that I am prepared, I am putting together an emergency kit.

Before doing research for my kit I was only able to list 3 items that would be needed.  They were food, water and a flashlight and/or backup generator.  Im guessing that I am not the only one that really doesn’t have many ideas on what we would need in case of an emergency.  Here is a more detailed list that I found looking online.

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (Peanut butter, dried foods, canned foods with can opener, powder milk, nuts and cereals).You can purchase a 3 month supply food supply kit  My Patriot Supply
  • Flashlight(s)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit [Available on the Red Cross Store]
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket Map(s) of the area

These are just the bare minimum for if you were to be trapped in your house.  You should also have a 3 day supply of all of these things ready to quickly grab if you have to evacuate your home.

You should also think of including these in your kit:

Change of clothes

feminine hygiene items

paper utensils

cleaning items

household bleach ( Can be used to clean water or disinfect surfaces)

puzzles,games, cards etc

fire extinguisher

 

You should have an emergency kit in your car as well.  My grandmother always told me to keep a blanket as well as other first aid items in your car just in case you are stranded without heat in cold weather.

You can purchase a 3 month supply food supply kit Here My Patriot Supply

Not only do they provide emergency kits but they also provide water filtration systems for hurricane relieve.  Check out the following article:  My Patriot Supply

I will be putting together an emergency kit for my own household very soon.  What are some of the things you include in your emergency kit?

My favorite Black Friday/Cyber Monday Item 2017

So, we are in such an age where it almost feels like the Jetsons are my next door neighbors.  We can now talk into our phones and it will call someone, it will navigate us to a location, and do so many cool things that before now we couldn’t do so easily.  Well, now our tv does the same.  My 4 year old still likes to use his dvd’s but they get scratched and broken so easily that they are no longer cost efficient.  We live in a new time where we don’t have to go to the Blockbuster to rent the latest movie.  It is now at our fingertips with smart phones, smart tv’s and streaming devices like the Amazon FireStick with Alexa Remote and the Echo dot.  It’s on sale the Black Friday for $24.99 alone or you can get the Amazon Firestick with Echo Combo for $54.98.  That is cheaper than a month of cable and the options for expansion are huge!

I must say that at first I was leery of these type of devices.  Our world is becoming more and more easy.  We have surpassed the microwave era and moved right into instant cook era.  I had to re-evaluate my mindset because Redbox was taking all of my money.  When I had to go turn the dvd’s in they were almost always late and I paid more than it would cost to just rent it on my smart device.

This item won me over for sure.  Look at some of it’s features.

  • Tens of thousands of app choices.
  • Portable-You can just plug and play on most tv’s
  • Alexa Voice Remote allows you to control your remote using your own voice.  I love this option because some of the typing in the search function can be so annoying.  I sound so spoiled because this is so much easier than the old way where you had to type 3 times to get to the letter C!
  • And other cool features that are too much to list on this post.

I can see where this can really help those with disabilities to be able to do more.  Who thought the day would come where many of us would own several little computers.  We have a handheld computer that we can also make phone calls on and now we have handheld computers that we can control the tv with.  This Firestick with the Alexa Remote is definitely top of my wishlist this year.  What are some of the items that you are excited about buying this Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

If you are afraid that machines are taking over the workplace check out this article  Andrew Charlton.

I really think that technology is here to help us to become more efficient.  The best thing right now is to hop on the technology bandwagon and become a creator yourself for job security.

Click here for more info on Andrew Charlton

*contains affiliate links which helps me to continue to bring you great content and helps my family of 5.

 

Create your own digital Dreamboard with Dreamboard 2

Dreamboard 2

It’s that time of year where we start really looking back over the last year and evaluating where we need to go next to accomplish our goals.  I have been looking for an app that would help me stay focused on my goals since I’m always on my dang on phone.  I have tried several but this one has been the most user friendly.  (I only tested the free version.)  Dreamboard 2.  Here is why I love this app.

  1.  It is really super easy to use.  That is really important to me because I am already constantly stuffing information into my brain during every day so I need simple things as much as possible.  It has everything needed for you to brain dump and then have that visual.  You can even set alarms so that you are reminded to meditate on your dreams.  The only part of the app that was confusing is that it doesn’t automatically save.  You have to click on ACT in order to save your board and then it is stored in Templates after that.
  2. It has some super cute and colorful graphics.  I may be the only one (I doubt that,) but cute, colorful graphics lifts my mood.  If it were really boring I would certainly find excuses to not meditate on it.  This app even allows you to add your own images so you can use pictures of real things.
  3. It has really good affirmations and allows you to add your own affirmations.  If you are having problems coming up with your affirmations for your board you don’t have to worry one bit.  There are a bunch of great affirmations built in.

Im getting a jump on my goals for this next year because,honestly, I have no time to waste.  You can even make a couple of different boards with different focuses.  One with your overall goals, once with your health goals, one with your work goals etc.  It is good to be very specific with what you are wanting to accomplish in life.  I truly believe that God gave man the authority to create our own path but we must have faith in Him AND what He put in US.  Faith will produce evidence.  “You will know them by their fruit.”  If we are willing to have faith that God has blessed us already, and we train our brains to think positively, our fruit trees will be overflowing.

Check out my video demo below

Check out this cool app where you can Ask Bongo anything!

Ask Bongo

Ask Bongo

Get the app here

4 Ways to Finance Your Book Idea

Some people who know me, know that I’m pregnant…..with book ideas.  No more babies haha. I have known since I was 8 or 9 that I was called to write at least one book.  I wrote my first chapter book in a Composition Notebook at 8 years old then life happened.  I never forgot that dream.  This day and time is the perfect day to be a writer.  One of the things that often hold people back is having the money to fund it.  There are so many options to help you finance your book idea.  The best part of all is that it really isn’t that expensive and you can self publish.  Here are my top 4 Ways to Finance Your Book Idea

  1.  Sell all unused or un needed items in your home/Bootstrapping

First of all one of the best ways to get a boost of cash to help start any business/write a book, is to sell things on swap pages, Craigslist, and consignment shops.  This will help you get at least your basic equipment that you may not have.  Computer, software,etc…  Apps like Canva Premium will help if you are doing an e-book.  You can create your entire e-book in Canva.  

 

2.  Ask your Warm Market

First you ask  the obvious mom, dad, sister, brother, etc.  Make sure to come up with a 1 or 2 minute intro about your book idea.  You can post a video on your social media, call friends and family, or set up a Patreon,  or paypal.me and promote it for all to see.  This is usually the best way to get started.  However, I do understand that not everyone has a support system.  Even those who do have a support system may need to make more money than what their support system could afford.

3.  Sell your services

Rake leaves, babysit, clean homes, knit hats.  Whatever you can do do that.  Take that money and immediately put it into your business account and invest that into your book. You can even get small writing jobs from home to supplement.

4.  Get a loan

I had to put this because it IS an option….but I don’t recommend it.  Many books take years to recoup your investment  but you can fund a book on a very small budget.  You could even start it as an e-book which cuts some cost and then later on send it to print, or create an audio book for it.  Loans are not necessary in this situation.  You don’t want to go into debt to make the book so that when you finally start making money you gotta dig out of the hole that you dug.

 

College is a great investment if you are wanting to be a writer.  You could become a professional in your topic of choice, learn more about publishing and marketing and writing as a whole.  If you are wanting to go back to school/or have college aged children and learn more for your craft check out this scholarship from Capital Alliance.

Capital Alliance Twitter

Capital Alliance Website

Can Music be Therapy?

Notes from an instrument can bring out emotions from deep in our bones.  Most people understand this on a basic level, but musicians all know that it is so much deeper.  Music has been the best friend that never fails for a lot of us.   This goes for non musicians as well.  I can really only speak for myself and most other musicians.  Music has been our best friend, our intimate partner, and our brother/sister in times when we just needed to process our emotions and life.

My favorite thing about music is that it is universal.  It’s equally about the lyrics and vocals as it is about the other instruments.  It is understood as a whole but can also be understood across language barriers.  Your mood can be changed from hearing/performing a song even if it is from a different language.

I decided to go away to a state University when I was 19.  I had hit a rebellious period and I had just come out of a really,really rough couple of years.  I decided to follow my heart and major in music.  My grandmother wanted me to major in something more practical but when I chose to go to a University, I decided to take on the financial burden myself and major in something that I couldnt do at the community college.  It just wasn’t something my grandmother could afford.  Her job paid my full tuition to a 2 year community college but at that time in my life I felt like running.  I wanted to get away from my current surroundings.  I went through the application and audition process and was accepted as a full time student in the Music Education with a Vocal Emphasis student.  It was LIFE.CHANGING!  I ate, drank,slept, and lived music and loved most of it.  Here is a video of one of my cover songs on my youtube channel.

Majoring in classical music was a total culture shock for me, but I love music and I was able to enjoy learning music that was from centuries ago and from across the planet from where I am.  If you havent experienced it, here are some people to check out. The Dominican Sisters of Mary’s Jesu, Joy of Mans Desiring is number 1 on the Billboard Charts for Classical right now as of writing this article.   Checkout Lindsey Stirling Youtube for instrumental or  John Jesensky for film scoring.  Here is John Jesensky’s IMDB and here is John Jensensky’s Instagram

If you are wondering what Music Therapy is check out this website.

That was my life for 2 years.  Then due to a lot of negative things occurring in that town I wanted to run again.  I auditioned and transferred to another state college but this time I majored in Music Therapy.  It really was my favorite out of all of my majors but it challenged me in so many ways.  Music.Is.Therapy!!!  It can totally help you get the negativity out.  It can also bring negativity so it is very important that you monitor what music you let in your ears.

I suggest that you began to think of music deeper than you have been thinking.  The next time you turn on music pay attention to how it makes you feel, what thoughts come to mind.  Use the music therapy that doesn’t cost anything except the radio or piece of technology that you will be using.  Its free after your initial investment.  Happy Listening!

My first 8 months blogging (The 2nd time around.) Avoid these pitfalls!

I began making Youtube videos in 2010.  I met a friend who introduced me to the world of Youtube and she also inspired me to go to college to be an Esthetician.  Those 2 events shaped what I am still doing to this day.  Shortly after starting Youtube, it became a top hobby.  I quickly built a tribe without even realizing that was what I was doing.  My brain is always eager to learn.  I was born curious but I like to take what I learn and apply it to my life in order to learn life lessons a little quicker.  I decided to try blogging as well.  I could not figure out how to even make enough money to pay hosting.  It would get temporarily shut down because the cost to run it was outside of the budget that I had with 2 preschoolers who at the time was a sahm/wahm.  I gave up on it and honestly thought I wouldn’t blog again.

Fast forward 7 years later and I finished beauty school, started working at a salon, then passed my State Boards in that order.  A year later we were surprised with an addition to our family and I returned home to raise the next little one.  Now as a sahm/homeschool teacher, I decided to give Youtube another shot 18 months ago.  I really needed a creative outlet and Youtube was perfect for me.  It was 9 months later that I felt that I was in the right place in life and it was time to blog again.

So after I did the steps necessary for my blog to go live (domain,hosting,)  I realized that there was so much more work to do.  I spent hours setting up my site to have the color theme/look that represents my brand well.  My first blog post was Autism Wandering (My Personal Storytime).  This blog post was written to go with a Youtube video where I just shared my personal experience with Autism Wandering/Elopement.  It was my first article and I felt great about it.  This time around I understand a lot more about how the internet and social media platforms work etc…  I have found that my blog is growing and in the mean time…so am I.  Let me share with you what I have learned.

If you are thinking about starting a blog and you haven’t done it yet here is an awesome guide that I found to help you know what steps you need to take.  How to Start A Blog.

My first piece of advice is:

Get professional assistance or choose the easiest set up possible.  I still need to invest in a professional website designer to fix my website but I still have an extremely small business budget.  I have very little money to get my site started so I opted for free or super cheap.  I set my own site up and I am finding that 8 months later, I want to completely change it.  Save yourself the trouble and get some help first.  There are even some that can help you on Fiver starting at $5.

Secondly,

Decide your niche asap.  This will help you grow your tribe.  If you can quickly understand who your readers are and what they need to hear then you can tailor your content toward it and waste less time.

Thirdly,

Write.   Every.Single.Day.  Even if you don’t publish it.  Not only will the practice be good for you, but you can go back to those drafts and use them at a later date.  One of the hardest battles for me is the battle between being creative and being goal oriented.  I love when my creativity comes and I am able to write in that moment, but as a writer, you have to be able to write even in a creativity slump.  The 10,000 rule applies to everything including blogging.

 

Lastly 

Get organized.  I love to use this free blog planner that I found here @ www.avirtuouswoman.org.  Pinterest is a great way to keep track of your blog themes as well as a great way to promote your blog posts.  There are many articles on Pinterest so that you can learn about blogging.  You have to be open to learning every day and treating it like the business that it can become.

 

If you have any additional questions on blogging that you would like me to cover, just comment below.

Check out this inspiring page to keep you motivated.

Grace Lever Reviews

Is Homeschooling Right for you?

The more I talk to other mothers about homeschooling the more I find that a lot of mothers consider homeschooling their children.   I’m always a little nervous that I will get the response “What is wrong with you, I don’t know how you can do it,” or “How do you know you are educated/smart enough to teach your child at home?”  I get that response often, but more often than that I get the response “Im very interested.  How do you do it?”  That is always nice because it kind of happened quickly for me.   It was something that in the back of my head I wish I had done with both of the older kids from kindergarten but I worked off and on and never did it.  My son was having some issues in school and I decided it would be best for me to work with him one on one.

A little background on me.  I went to Kansas State University and majored in Music Education with a Vocal Emphasis, then I went to The University of Kansas for Music Therapy with Vocal Emphasis.  I only ended up getting an associates degree in General Studies because I had been married 2 years but had gotten knocked up.  I finished my credits to earn my Associates degree online with a 2 and 3 year old.   I have enough credits to substitute teach but honestly, these curriculums make it really easy for almost anyone to teach.  A homeschool mom is resourceful.  We have the world wide web at our fingertips now.  Im a lifelong student.  I love to learn so I feel like I’m learning with my son.  If you are wanting some help deciding whether you are called to homeschool, here are

My Top 5 Reasons Why I Decided To Homeschool.

  1.  I had a desire to teach my child.
  2. I felt that the public school system wasn’t working for my middle child.
  3. I became dedicated to working together with my children to find out their strengths quickly.
  4. I have a supportive and hard working husband who works hard to cover the bills so that I can focus on raising our children.
  5. I knew that a friend of mine was successfully homeschooling her children and was already connected to a support system for it.

I was the person who thought there was no way that I could do it.  I am now a never say never person.  I actually love it  It is a lot of work but so worth it.  I love watching my son learn and I love the relationship we are building as I help him find his way in this world.  Lesson planning and choosing curriculum can be tedious but I grew up playing school and making up curriculum and “grading” tests!

Check out my video below from my youtube channel.  I show you a little behind the scenes of getting ready for the homeschool week.

 

In the end, my short answer is If you are wanting to homeschool and willing to work hard then it’s worth a try.  Start with summer school or a small course and see if it is something that you enjoy.

I still have 2 children in public school.

This post was sponsored by Groza Learning Center

Click here to find out how to enter for a college scholarship

http://grozagivesback.com

Here is their Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/grozalearningcenter/

 

Curriculum in video

Current Science Curriculum

www.allinonehomeschool.com

From Adam to Us (Social Studies)

http://amzn.to/2wEp2ZU

Reading Comprehension

http://amzn.to/2wDJIRU

Weekly Planner Printable Sheets

www.randomcreativity.wordpress.com

My Dollar Tree Addiction

What is it about this store that gets me so excited?  It takes me back to being a child.  I love that I can stretch my money there.  I love all the colors, shapes and sizes of things there.  From the second that you walk in the store there are so many vibrant colors.  This has to be no accident.  Some very smart marketing executives had to have strategically placed colorful and cool shaped items throughout the store to keep the seratonin pumping in their customers.  I mean seriously.  It is extremely hard for me to keep a bad attitude when shopping there.  I also think that part of the high that comes from shopping there is the illusion that you have a large budget/no budget at all.  Balling at the Dollar Store! Maybe it is because Im a stay at home mom who watches way too much Youtube organization videos and the anticipation of how organized and pretty my house will be kicks in.

Dollar Tree is jam packed with not only pretty decor and organization items for the house, but they also have practical and necessary items at a price that is hard to resist.  You just keep throwing items in your basket because…heck, its only a dollar!  From, soaps, to toothbrushes, hygiene, school and office supplies and even food.  I have to admit that I have gotten some items there that turned out to be total fails and its better to spend more money on these items but you can’t lose trying something out for $1.

Some of the items that totally flopped were, a wine corkscrew opener, a bottle plug, a lemon pound cake and most of the air fresheners.  They either broke or tasted horrible.  I have made several videos of Dollar Tree Hauls or different DIY using Dollar Tree items and there is no shortage of other videos on youtube on the same topic.  I have been itching so badly to go to the Dollar Tree this week but haven’t made it into the store.  I fear that when I do I will spend $50-$100 dollars because I have so many DIY projects that I want to do.  Im currently working on a vanity for my daughter and one for myself.  Im also in the process of decluttering and organizing my house so all of those bins, baskets, and drawers and such are calling my name.

I think the only way for me to break this addiction is to get so rich that I won’t want anything from the dollar store.  Im not confident that will even work but for now I’m able to balance my addiction.  Until then, I will keep looking for cool items at Dollar Tree.

What are some of the great items that you have gotten from the Dollar Tree/Store?  What are some of the DIY projects that you have done using supplies from the Dollar Tree/Store?

Check out my playlist below of my Dollar Tree Videos.  I hope you enjoy!

 

Combatting Burnout

Burnout.  It happens when you least expect it.  You are going strong, checking off your to do lists, not missing any appointments or meetings.  You feel like you are on a treadmill and then one day… Everything seemingly crumbles.  The children start acting like someone else’s child, you start forgetting appointments and meetings, you are behind on all the housework, personal work, and personal care.  You look frazzled and feel even more frazzled.  Life can really get hard sometimes.  When it does, it is so easy to get burned out.

As I write this Im 2 days off schedule on my post, 1 day off schedule from posting our family vlog because my computer decided it had no more memory, and I have a post due on my beauty channel today.  It is filmed but needs editing which once again, my computer is saying no.  The children are going crazy, I haven’t had a chance to just veg out with a snack and netflix in forever and my laundry has taken over my couch.  My homeschool storage is screaming for some attention and I skipped the gym yesterday.  I woke up this morning so overwhelmed that I just laid in the bed for an hour.  You know you have reached burnout when your body and mind completely shut down.  No more input, no more output.  You have been placed on time-out.  I had started a different blog post but this morning inspired me to dig into God’s word on burnout.  Im hoping that as I feed my spirit it will help someone else out there.

Often times we try to control everything in our lives, the schedule, the children, the spouse, our diet, our house, our job, our thoughts, and the list goes on.  There is an amount of responsibility that we have in working toward the common goal of God but ultimately He is in control and we don’t have to be.  For some reason we feel good when we have this sense of control, even if it is a false sense.  It is actually a much better feeling to know that all we have to do is to do our best and God will take it from there if we ask him.

 

Thank you God for giving us a resting place.  When I get so wound up and busy trying to fix things myself I end up out of control.  After we rest in God, we are able to see much more clearly.  Its amazing how you can rest in the middle of chaos and actually feel peace.  I can rest while the laundry is still piling up, while my 4 year old is writing on the wall with the marker that I told his brother or sister to make sure was always put up, while my bill budget and family calendar sit and wait even thought the month is halfway done.  It’s almost like God pauses the time for us and gives us the grace to take a breath then start again.

Even when we feel like the depths of hell are coming up after us, we can see God working if we look really closely.  You will find little clues from God that the harvest is still right in front of you.  Don’t lose sight of your path.  Keep your eyes to God and you will see the way out EVERYTIME.

 

 

Moisturelicious Curls Defining Pudding Review

I have been on the hunt for the best defining styler for my curls.  Anyone who has “gone natural” knows that it can be a constant learning experience.  As soon as you think you know your hair needs, the season changes or something in your health changes and effects your hair.  Our hair is definitely a reflection of our inner health (except for those who are just blessed with great hair.)  While I’m working on my inner health, I am also working on my hair health.

On my Youtube channel I do a hair product of the month video.  It’s so easy to become a product hoarder so my goal is to try new products until I find a brand with several options that works for me.  Our hair needs consistency but also a little bit of variety.   The latest brand that I have been trying out is J’Organic Solutions.  One of the things that stood out the most to me about this brand is the fact that they are 100% certified organic and they leave out harmful ingredients like parabens, formaldehyde, petroleum, artificial color, silicone, sodium chloride, mineral oil and no animal testing.

They contacted me on Instagram and asked me if I would be willing to do a review for their company.  It came at a perfect time because I was in the middle of really trying to figure my hair out.  It was also shortly after I decided to start minimizing toxins from my life.  It became really obvious that the great majority of products sold locally are not only horrible for my hair but also horrible for my health.  I, of course, agreed to try out the products in exchange for an honest review.

I have made 2 videos on my Youtube Channel reviewing 3 of their products but on this post I want to focus on the Moisturelicious Curls Defining Pudding.

This styler has shea butter, almond oil, avocado oil, vitamin e, aloe vera, and vegetable glycerin in the ingredients.  It is very moisturizing and not heavy.  It left my hair defined but not crunchy at all.  I used this styler a lot in the last couple of months and have really liked it.  It is a very thick but creamy texture.  It definitely reminds me of pudding.  It has a light vanilla/almond smell to it and doesn’t leave a sticky residue on your hands after applying.  Some stylers leave a sticky and or drying residue on your hands and hair after you apply it.  That makes me feel like it isn’t really soaking into my hair but instead it is evaporating or just sitting on top of the hair.  This product leaves my hair feeling like it has soaked in but the outside still feels moisturized.  I really like that my hair is defined but still soft.  My only regret with this product right now is that I only have the shampoo, mask, and  curl defining pudding.  I feel like my hair would receive the products 10 times better if I were also using one of their leave in conditioners and an oil to complete the lco or loc method.  Even though I skipped those steps my hair still looked and felt amazing so I can only imagine how much better it would be with more of the products in their line.  I will definitely be trying out their other products and seeing how my hair does with layering their products.  If you decide to try them out make sure to use my code at checkout Medley15 for 15% off.  Here are the 2 video reviews that I did on this brand.  Click here to check out all of the products ——>  J’Organic Solutions

 

 

*contains affiliate links