The phrase I recall making in my head while grabbing my to-go order at Starbucks just a few weeks ago. A young lady in the sitting area had a small black pouch out with equipment to take her blood sugar before indulging in what looked like a creamy cold brew of goodness and a yummy danish with a girlfriend.
Now I sit in a small, cold room with a ED physician learning about that very test and insulin, while we wait for our son to be admitted for 48 care and education.
Today we head home but as I see my son in a hospital bed and watch him prick and poke himself my heart hurts. This DOES suck.
To get through this week, I wrote a letter to myself. To keep me going, to keep hope. To find peace. Hopefully others will too.
This is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. One that will bring you many learning curves you will adapt and overcome. It won’t be easy. You’ll have moments of frustration, headache, and some heartache as you and your little adapt.
You’ll watch your little one take on big responsibility that others their age won’t ever experience. This will bring you thoughts that really suck, where you feel angry, alone and isolated. Don’t hide, don’t shutdown, and don’t give in to those thoughts.
Now we organize and plan a bit more before meal time and prep a bit longer before bed time. This doesn’t define your kiddo, you or your family. Don’t forget this.
You’ll become a pro at this new mom title. Though it brings some uncertainties and fears. It also brings peace and moments of hope. Let’s turn the page and continue to write this chapter. It will be filled with new adventures.
Here is to you mom! May you always know the badass you are and the support you have in the darkest of times.
See your way through the chaos🖤
Today, we don’t have all the answers or the perfect plan. Heck I’m still learning and adapting myself. Making carb count cheat sheets, 1TD kits, and peeping for a 504 plan.
To those curious how to help someone or a family with a recent Type 1 diagnosis, give us patience. We need time to adjust and process the next steps ourselves. We need you and we want to teach you, it will just take us time to be confident and comfortable with teaching others and answering questions.
I’ll just say it, making time for yourself is not easy. I’m the worst at scheduling time for me to take care of myself. All of the excuses seem so real. You know the ones that do start with, “I don’t” or “I can’t”.
Over the years, I’ve learned that what isn’t fair is my husband, kids, other family members, friends, and even co-workers not getting me at my best. Self care is so important to our physical and mental self. We must prioritize us. Or to say it best, you must prioritize you.
Going into quarantine, I had the achiever mindset to prioritize it all. Everything was labeled important and by week 10 I had lost me. I found myself with endless to-do lists, losing sleep, eating all the junk food, running on pure caffeine, and truly not taking any time for me.
You want to know what I didn’t prioritize? Me. It instantly took me back to an exercise I did with a prior manager years ago at an off site retreat. The exercise had us list the things most important to us. After, she asked us where we put ourselves on our list I realized I needed to prioritize me. I hadn’t listed myself. I was shocked that was even a thing. This time though, I shouldn’t be surprised or shocked. I should do better.
So, here I am. Prioritizing me. Getting my groove back. Being the best version of me. It all starts with a little self care. Below is my list of best self care ideas through COVID. These are also just great at home items to refuel and recharge yourself after a long work week, a stressful day, or a weekend relaxing at home.
Facial Mask or Scrub
Read a good book
Write a letter
Listen to music or podcast
Take a walk
30 minute workout
Take a run
Hot tea or coffee
Order something nice for yourself
Take a nap
This list may not be things you enjoy but I hope they get your thoughts going on how you could spend time on you. Don’t forget how important you are and to prioritize you. It is the little things that can make a big difference.
*Exercise shared earlier. Write number 1-10 on a sheet of paper. At the top label the sheet “The 10 most important things to me”. Lastly, take no more than 2 minutes to write out those 10 things. Where did you list yourself?
Enjoy a little time for you! Because you are important. You deserve it. Take care of yourself.
As I’ve been working from home, the one thing that has stayed consistent is my morning routine. Having a routine in place has been my saving grace. It has created a positive and feel-good habit for me. So, let’s dive in and chat more about this thing I’m calling “my work from home guide.”
Let me start by saying, I’ll only share suggestions that fall within what you can control. We won’t talk about children today outside of me saying this, their entire world has been flipped upside down. Let them interrupt you, plan moments for them to say hello on a work video conference, eat meals with them, and carve out time throughout the day to step away and just be present. They. Need. You.
So, when I say “business casual”, what am I talking about? I’m talking about the structure, action, and effort you put into your day while working from home.
Let’s start from the beginning!
Have your own space.
When working from home, it can be easy to sit on the couch or at kitchen table. Heck, you may even put up shop from the comfort of your bed. All of these sound terrific but are full of distractions and lead to only beta state. Not to mention, you are surrounded by distractions! TV, social media, dirty dishes, snacks, you name it.
By having a proper workspace you are able to stay organized, focused, and in a state of alpha. You will be able to achieve at your highest level.
Get up as if you were going into the office.
Each morning get up and get ready as if you had your morning commute. I know, I know, it feels so good to hit snooze but don’t do it more than once. Rise Monday – Friday and sleep in on Saturday.
The extra time is a great time for me to rotate laundry, finish my coffee (while it is warm), listen to my auditable, or even get an hour or more of work in before my kiddos are up. These things feel good.
You may not thrive in the morning and think getting up early is silly but don’t knock it until you try it. Seriously, give it a shot. The month of May is the perfect timeframe!
Schedule your day.
To be at your best and to truly get things done, you need a schedule. My outlook calendar is my best friend through the work week.
I schedule not only meetings and work events but also productive peeks for myself. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings get 2 hours scheduled for me to get stuff done.
This schedule also helps me find some consistency in my weeks at home. My calendar adds some normalcy to the chaos that be.
Give yourself a break.
I do love talking about grace but that isn’t the kind of break I’m speaking of here. You need to pause, step away, move your body, rest your mind. I could go on but I think you get it.
Throughout your day use your schedule to block time for you. These blocks are small breaks to step away and just breathe.
A few mom breaks:
Step outside and take in the fresh air (I love sitting on my deck).
Take a walk to the mailbox or up and down the road you live on.
Cuddle up with your little ones.
Pick up that book you haven’t finished.
These breaks are separate from your lunch and aren’t just your bathroom breaks. Sitting all day in front of a computer screen at a desk is tough. Be mindful of these breaks as you plan your week and schedule them in advance.
It can be easy to fall into the habit of not interacting with co-workers outside of virtual meetings and corporate chat. Don’t let this be you. Make a mental note each day to connect with at least one co-worker on a personal level. We need human interaction and positive conversations with others helps!
For myself, I not only connect and ask, How are you doing? Or, How was your weekend? Or, Are you hanging in there? But I also send out small thank you notes and appreciation statements. We all need to hear we are doing well, especially through this time!
Know when to call it a day.
It can be very easy to fall into the bad habit of working long hours. Hours no one expects you to put in. Be mindful of your actions here.
I add end of day notes to my schedule that pop up 15 minutes before my day ends. These help. What also helps is shutting my computer down, turning my email and teams notifications off, and disconnecting from work.
Allow your priorities each evening to be your family, pets, hobbies, housework. Whatever and wherever your life needs you. Mine is three children who are always hungry and want to be outside. It’s a great way to disconnect from my day. We prep dinner and step outside into the sunshine!
Need someone to collaborate ideas with, I’m here and would love to connect! Find me on Facebook or Instagram.
With us still under a Shelter in Place order, our family picked 5 items for spring that are “trending” in our home. These are all things you can also enjoy post COVID19 with your family. To help, I’ve listed links to purchase these items throughout.
One of the things we like to spend our evenings doing is playing games. We are all somewhat competitive and enjoy the victory of a board game. For Easter, Ryder got Yahtzee in his Easter Basket. It has been a hit for the whole family!
This is one that the kids have enjoyed for awhile now. It probably has to do with us not updating it more than once every couple of months. When we do update it though, I find a saying and ask the kids to sit in the floor with me. We dump out all the letters and symbols and find letters together word by word.
The kids enjoy story time or us taking time to ready to/with them. Part of their Easter baskets were these books (pictured above) but we have a shelf full of this brand and never miss a chance to add to our shelf. Ryder: Extreme Adventures Chapter Book, Stella: How to draw: Fairies & Unicorns, Everly: Are you there little unicorn?
We live off water, juice and milk through out the day. Having a reusable cup for myself and the kids is great. I’m also that mom that packs drinks for everyone when we leave the house. “Everyone got your cup?” This is a real statement.
Every kids likes to push the soap pump! Bonus when they can enjoy playing and have good hygiene. The kids have spent so much time over the sink since we switched to foam soap. The cutest part is my Grandpa started this trend in our house. It’s fun! Get some.
*Disclaimer: this post is truly from my perspective and experiences as a working mother, it is not to say that stay at home parents or parents at home not currently working don’t have it hard but to share my struggles with others who may be able to relate and also share. Please feel free to read and contribute positively.
Now more than ever, being a parent is one of the most demanding “jobs” we could have. We are no longer just mom (or dad or aunt/uncle or grandma/grandpa or guardian), we are also the coach, teacher, custodian, cook, mentor, and many more. We take all of these hats and add them on top of our daily hats as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, employee, boss, homemaker, and business owner. I’m sure, many of you can think of even more hats you already needed to wear before we entered our current circumstances.
The feelings that come with wearing all of these hats and tasks, can be quite overwhelming and lead to anxious feelings. You can doubt yourself as a woman, mother, wife, employee, etc..
Take a moment to think about how ridiculous we would each look right now with 15 different hats on our head. I’m giggling a little thinking about what these hats would look like and how I’d have to balance myself to not let these hats fall.
It is OK to take one hat off before we put on another. When we start to stack these hats on top of each other, this is when the stress sets in. It is important to remember (and for me to repeat to myself daily, sometimes multiple times a day), you are only one person and it is OK to only do one thing at a time. We have to give ourselves grace, ladies (and gents). This is what I have been struggling with the most, GRACE.
The definition of Grace is to be kind and gentle. We should be kind and gentle to ourselves now more than ever. The stress is real. Self-doubt is real. Anxiety is real. The feelings you have are real. Give. Yourself. Grace.
I know, it is easier said than done. This month, I don’t have a hand full of tips for you but one exercise for you as a takeaway.
Write down all the hats you are currently wearing.
Now put the hats in order – you don’t have to rewrite the list. It is okay if it is messy!
What are the top 3-5 hats you NEED to wear today?
Are you, as an individual on that list? If not, pencil yourself in!
Now, stick to this for today. It may need to change tomorrow and that is OK. Take it day by day.
If you don’t take anything else away from this, take this with you…you are not alone. Mamas and papas all over the world are struggling with social distancing, parenting, homeschooling, irritable children, balance, housework, unemployment, finances, and I’m sure 100s of other things. Reach out to a friend and share openly. It will help 🖤
I’d love to hear from other working mothers (fathers or guardians) on this topic. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas. How are you starting your day? How are you prioritizing all your hats?
When I started writing my March post, I really wanted to focus on mom style tips for faux leather leggings. Then, I started thinking through what I truly needed right now. I’m surrounding myself with positive thoughts and an overall mindset, not style tips. I promise to bring these style tips to you in the near future (maybe over on the gram).
I’m sure you are now wondering, what positivity tips do I have for that you haven’t already heard? You may have heard all of them but the point isn’t about reading them but about applying them within your life. You only get out of life, what you put into it. Same rule applies here with a positive lifestyle. It is all about the vibes you put into the universe, my friends!
Now, staying in the positive with, and for, yourself doesn’t mean you are always positive. Hence the title, “staying in the positive.” I see positivity as an aura around each of us. A light that radiates from within us. The real work is put in when the light starts to dim. We have to give ourselves grace with our thoughts, comments, and actions. Remembering, our positivity is only as good as our efforts.
Throughout my life, I’ve used a combination of these efforts and truly believe at my core that anyone can change their mindset, if they truly want to put in the work.
Here are the top positive lifestyle tips I have for you as we all work to stay in the positive.
Use the 1 – 2 Rule. You know the one, when you say one negative thing out loud, you then have to share two positives.
Have a routine and stick to it. Get up and get ready, drink a cup of coffee, etc. Then, at bedtime do the same.
Put on your dancing tunes! I adore Taylor Swift. Turning her on and up in the morning just makes me feel better.
Move your body. Get up! You have options and below are a few. The point is, it is so important to let your mind rest and put your body to work.
Take a walk
I recently was challenged to practice daily gratitude journaling. This one is currently one of my favorites. Each day, real quick, write down three things you are grateful for.
Read that book you’ve had sitting on the shelf for awhile now. It’s good for the soul! Other motivational or positive feeds I’ve found is through other blogs or articles, turning on a good podcast, or even looking up inspirational quotes.
For years I would spend 10 minutes each night writing all my thoughts out in a bullet journal. Write it all down, friends! It helps.
Power down all your electronics. This means turn them all off! It is so good to disconnect from technology and enjoy life.
Work hard. No matter what you apply yourself to, apply 100%. Show up and produce. Hard work pays off. Remember to celebrate, this could mean daily celebrations! No matter how small, count your wins!!
Lastly, Rest, Sleep, Repeat. This isn’t just about getting a full nights sleep but resting with intention. Feel free to still binge watch your favorite NetFlix series but also make time to clear your mind. I personally enjoy meditation and muscle or breathing exercises.
Through the circumstances we are experiencing world wide, having a positive lifestyle is what many of us need. I know for myself, a reset every few days is needed. I review my behaviors, follow up with those who experienced me at my lows, and then pivot back to the items above I feel I need most.
Now, I have a few questions for you.
How do you hold yourself accountable?
Does self-accountability work for you?
Do you need an accountability buddy?
Who can you be open with about wanting to make a lifestyle change
Being open about what you want out of life, including an overall positive lifestyle will only help you stay in the positive. This is simply adding into conversations what you are doing and hope to accomplish. Conversations with friends, family, co-worker, mentors, and of course your significant other around living your best life is important.
Here are a few more self-accountability tips.
Before going to bed ask yourself three questions:
What went well today?
What could I have done better?
What can I do differently tomorrow?
Brain dump: Following an experience that isn’t the best for you (potentially causes negative thoughts or behavior), write out everything you are thinking and then move on. Don’t let one negative interaction ruin your day!
Be aware of your body and thoughts. True self accountability happens when in the moment you can self-direct. Pause, thing through the bullets below, and course correct.
What is your body saying?
What thoughts are you having?
What tone are you using?
My hopes in writing this, verse my style tips, is to help further shift you to stay in the positive. As my area of life (and many others) is full of uncertainty around health, finances and more. These topics all cause stress and bring on negative mindsets.
I’m truly here for anyone that needs a listening ear or who would want to collaborate on this topic (or any topic for that matter).
We’ve all heard, “show up”, before. Show up for yourself, your passions, your hobbies, everyday, damn it, show up! In the past, I heard show up and instantly felt exhausted.
What you don’t get from this phrase is the full sentence. You know the one, the one you haven’t finished yet!
My sentence reads, “Show up… as you are.” Period. It’s about being real and vulnerable. Showing up as you are, for you. For your family. For your future aspirations. It won’t always look pretty and that is ok. That is real. That is vulnerable.
The not so pretty parts can be scary, uncomfortable, and may even hurt like hell. In these not so pretty (and truly raw) moments you get to decide what happens next.
Keep freaking going. Push to overcome. It will take time but it is so worth it.
Through difficult times, those that you surround yourself with is life. You will need a tribe. Be open and honest with them, most likely they are going through something and need you too.
A Brené Brown quote comes to mind and should be lyrics in the next Taylor Swift song. So, you know I am in love.
“If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
– Brené Brown
This quote brings me to my last point. Be kind. Show up as you are. I hope that is kind and empathetic. Because if someone else is down, walk beside them in the arena. We all need each other. Let’s build ourselves and others back up.
Now it is time for you to finish your sentence. Show up as the best me or Show up for my kids. It’s up to you!
I’d love for you to share. Feel free to comment here or on my social media sites.
Being a full-time working wife and mother, along with having a side business doesn’t allow for a lot of free time. However, I have learned how to somewhat balance my time by what is most important to me. Focusing a majority of my time on those big rocks.
Now more than ever side jobs/businesses are growing. Supplemental income is being sought out everyday to assist full-time working individuals with paying off student loans, medical bills or just extra spending money.
This month, I was honored to share a handful of tips I’ve learned through my four year journey at a local Boutique Summit.
Here is my story…
My first venture started roughly four years ago. I was pregnant with our third child and had started planning for maternity leave and realized to take a full leave from my 8-5 I needed something to allow me to contribute to our finances and fill my time (fill my cup). I did discover just exactly what I needed, a women’s clothing line seeking direct sales representatives.
Before this chapter in my life, I’d always worked two jobs out of necessity. So selecting the right business for me was important. I was determined to find something to meet my needs financially while also lighting a passion I’ve always had for women’s fashion.
Looking back, I truly have had the experiences to share what to do and not to do to stay focused on you. To remain balanced in your side hustle.
#1. Don’t try to be perfect.
First, customers and followers view perfection as non-genuine. No one can relate to perfection. Share from the heart.
Don’t feel obligated to spend hours on posts, pictures, and social media. That’s exhausting! Minor edits and to the point posts from you work just fine for your consumers.
Focus on those tasks that will drive sales. Revenue generating!
Remember, GETMO! Good Enough To Move On. Set a time for yourself: 5 minutes, 1 hour, etc.
#2. Learn from your mistakes.
Fail forward! A concept we should all want to do, no matter how big or small the mistake.
Everyone makes mistakes but people aren’t waiting for you to fail, they are waiting to see you recover. Show them how to do it with grace.
Remember to breathe! Pull out your inspirational quotes, turn up your rap music and bounce back!
What is key through failure is not allowing them to stunt your growth. Learn from your mistakes and grow through them.
#3. Stop comparing yourself to others.
The first thing that comes to mind is the quote, “Comparison is the death of creativity.”
As entrepreneurs we have a need to make our own way. We can’t truly do that by constantly comparing ourselves to others.
It’s so easy to get lost in the scroll of social media. Stop following everyone else and focus on your insights, followers, and customers.
We have to remember to strive for our personal best! Strive for your best NOT someone else’s.
Mastery by definition is a focus on learning and improving ones self.
#4. Have a plan for yourself.
Depending on what chapter you are in for your business, your organization and planning will look different. What is important is to think it through and write it down.
In the beginning, I set down and created a business plan for myself. It included supplies, hours, monthly sales goals, hours to dedicate, etc. This was my personal accountability to my business.
Today, I utilize a monthly calendar with hours per week at the boutique, specials, sales, inventory, etc.
I also enjoy a good to-do list on Trello and post-it note reminders for myself.
The last key piece to know and to write down is who you can lean on. Who is your tribe? Those people to help support you along your journey?
Now, stick to your plan! Have the dedication and accountability to yourself to follow through. If you don’t, you’ll be the mom up at 1AM entering inventory into your website, telling your husband one more item. Ask me how I know! Today I cringe looking back and how I was not as structured with my time. Today, it’s the most important thing to me!
We all need time away, time cut off from our responsibilities and then some (as it comes with the territory of having a side business).
Unplug means to truly disconnect from it all, including social media. Be present! Enjoy the reasons & whys you get up and do so much everyday for!
Without this time disconnected, your passion and dreams just become work. With too much stress, sweat, and tears.
Don’t allow your dreams to lead you to burnout.
Now, these things are all from my personal opinions and experiences. You can take them or leave them. I share them because too many times I’ve watched individuals (and myself) overshoot their time and expectations. Chase a dream without stopping to remember what is most important. Spinning their wheels in neutral. I hope those of you working your business are able to take at least one of these tips away with you!
Over the past few years, I’ve thought about starting a blog. A space to share my love for clothing, cosmetics, children, chaos, coffee, and well, you get it…all the C words.
I want to welcome you to this space and thank you for reading along. My hope for this blog is to share relatable life moments, great deals, and encouragements.
As we approach the new year, goals and aspirations have been heavy on my mind. The biggest weight, what is achievable in 2020? Followed by, how do I prioritize?
Prioritization for goals is all about prioritizing your time. I get it, some days I can’t squeeze one more thing into my day. So, how would you ever have time to focus on you?! Selecting those large rocks, prioritizing what is most important to you, and contributing 80% of your available time to achieving your goals is key.
Contributing 80% of your available time to one goal will look different for each of us. 80% could mean daily affirmations to build your confidence, or staying up 30 minutes later each night to have adult conversations with your spouse, or focusing each morning on getting up earlier to focus on you with a little self care. Now it would be hard and truly overwhelming to think about all of these at once but contributing 80% of your available energy to one would be terrific!
So, where to start?
First, right them down. I like to use a vision sheet to first think big picture. Segmenting my goals into 6 areas that are most important to me.
Personal and/or professional growth
Next, be clear in exactly what you want to accomplish. Paint yourself a picture of the actions/tasks you’ll need to take, and most importantly set yourself end dates.
For example, our biggest family goal in 2020 is to break ground and move into our forever home. What do I specifically need to do to accomplish this? Well, here it is!
Meet with bank to open construction loan in January
Have driveway, electric, and water complete by March
Break ground between April – July
Make minor home improvement updates to current home throughout first 1/2 of the year
List and sell current home by Fall
A more personal goal for myself is around my professional growth. I’d like to further expand my vocabulary and grammatical abilities. Its true! I’m the worst!! It’s some what ironic with me starting all the c words but very true!
Set up daily review for a word of the day to expand my vocabulary
Spend time building my composition and writing skills
Continue learning from others by following and reading other like minded individuals
Utilize a mentor to learn and build from
Be open to feedback, constructive criticism, and additional support from others
Lastly, create a visual for yourself. A vision or inspiration board is the cherry on top. This year I have started a virtual vision board for myself and created a family cork board for those goals we have as a family unit. More to come on this cork board process in a future post!
This virtual vision board was created by an app I found. It is literally called “VISION BOARD“!
I took the 6 areas of my personal goals and created the 9 visuals off the highlights I hope this upcoming year brings.
What will help you follow through is making the time to review your goals. You need to put them in your face! Here are a few ideas to keep your goals at the forefront:
Hang your vision board where you can see it daily
Set reminders/events in your calendar to review monthly or every other month
Find a gal pal or mentor to check in with you (an accountability buddy can do you wonders)
As you start thinking through what you want to accomplish in 2020, I hope this helps you build your thoughts into a plan!
This is the part when you respond, “Hello, TaShawna.”
I am going back 4 months after my first blog post to update this example post. This is a post I’ve thought long and hard about but no matter the prep, I always end up with a blank page or scribbles.
Let me explain. You may relate.
Through my adulthood, I’ve heard this statement and I can’t escape it. “Your about me is more than your titles.” However, I’m here to tell you, my titles have made me.
I’m a wife, mother of three, business woman, entrepreneur, dreamer, daughter, sister, and friend.
I believe in kindness, positivity, self-improvement and growth. I believe people can change and evolve as long as they put in the work. I believe in hard work and hustle. I believe is raising my small humans as I was raised. We do time outs, spankings, sometimes we cuss a little but we always hug it out. I believe in nights out with good company, food, and wine.
My hopes for this blog is to share my experiences, share some of my favorite topics and opinions to relate and connect, and grow here with you.
All the C Words is truly a place for not just mothers or parents but anyone and everyone. Children, Chaos, Coffee, Clothes, Courage, Community, and more.