Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dreams? Do you follow them?

When you think about your dreams, are you pursing them? Do you just hope one day to be able to do something or do you make it happen? Is your dream somewhere out there or something you have made a roadmap too?

When I got pregnant with sister hubby and I decided that I would be able to stay at home with her (and later them). I have not really worked a "real-job" since then. I have spent all of my time being a mommy first. One of my dreams for as long as I can remember has been to own my own business. Something that would help the family monetarily, give me a little bit of a feeling of worth, etc. A few years ago my obsession with keychains came to the point that I started making them instead of buying. I now have 35 bottlecap keychains attached to my purse that I cherish.

After buying the supplies and making mine, several friends also wanted some. So Something Special Bottlecaps was born. My goal for my business is to be able to provide a little for the family, to help ends meet. It also makes me happy to work with people to make the perfect keychain or magnet. Never do I think that it will be a huge multi-million dollar business but I do hope that one day I'll be able to not only cover the supplies it takes to meet the orders but also to be able to contribute to the family monetarily.

Something Special Bottlecaps will one day be able to help me fulfill my dreams of running a successful business of my own as well as helping out with the financial aspect of the family. That is my dream. As for the roadmap to get there; I have a Facebook page for the business as well as a free-standing website. I get in a few orders but hopefully soon it will pick up a little steam and I'll be able to get more orders coming in. I don't expect to be making $5000 a day or anything like that. My realistic goal would be about $100 a week or so.

My dreams are not just something that I think about. Dreams only become realities when you pursue them. You have to work towards the goal if you want to reach it. I know several women how dream of traveling, doing this, or doing that. They do nothing but talk the walk and not walk the walk. I, for one, never talk the talk that I can't back up.

So tell me what is your dream that you are working towards. What are you doing to pursue that dream?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gamer Mom?

Gamer Mom? Do they really exist? 

Well, I'm glad that you asked because we do! And we aren't all neglectful to our kids. 

In 2010, a mother killed her child for interrupting her Farmville game and in 2014 a father was arrested for suffocating his son so he could play video games. Yes there are bad apples in any bunch and I can tell you there are a ton of great parents who play video games. We play games both on consoles and on the computer. 

There is a stigma with video games. All gamers are not the 40 year old living in mom's basement. A lot of us spend hours at work during the day and escape to the world in which our game lives. This is our escape and is no different from someone going to the bar and having a drink or to the club on the weekend. Add to the normal stigma of gamers that I am a female. That is strike two and being a mom is strike three in some people's eyes. 

I started gaming in 2008, when monkey was less than a year old and wasn't yet walking. I played World of Warcraft. I put in many many (probably too many) hours into that game, Yes, I had the headphone and mic and all. I made some great friends and still speak to a few of them to this day. However, Monkey and Sister always came first. No matter what I was doing in game, if the girls needed something it was done. If I died while taking care of them then so be it but the game was not as important as what my littles needed. 

After WoW I moved to Star Wars: The Old Republic and found a great group to play with. I have been with this group for over 2 years now and still enjoy it. Hubby and I both played SW:ToR together and would spend a few hours in the evening playing together. You tell me what the difference is of this or going to a movie or something similar? 

From SW:ToR I started playing Guild Wars 2. Another game that I probably spent too many hours in but never once did I take time away from my kiddos. Do you see a trend here? I was even known to have Monkey sitting with me while I played this game as the game design was very appealing and she liked to help me go and explore different areas in the game. 

From Guild Wars 2, I started playing WildStar which I am still playing now. The cartoony design of this game is great and I love the adult humor in it. I play while the kiddos are in school or after they go to bed. The game may be up all the time some days but that doesn't even mean that I am home, much less sitting as my computer.

Did you get the pattern in each game that I played? Kiddos come first for this gamer mom. Many people assume that I sit at my computer for hours and hours and my kiddos are left attended and on their own. But that isn't how things happen in my home or in many of the gamer parents homes that I know. Gaming is an escape much like reading, going out with friends etc. In fact, I can say playing games it actually better for my family as I am home with my girls, not out spending money that we don't have. It's not about keeping up with the Jones, instead, it is just having a good time while staying at home and being able to have a release of some sort. 

So you guys tell me.. what is your escape from the real world? How do you take time for yourself at the end of the day? 

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy 2015!

Happy 2015! A new year means time for change for a lot of people. For me, this year means taking care of me as well as my family. So the first few weeks were spent assessing what I wanted to better about myself or what I could do to make myself a little happier. The first thing that I want to do is become more organized. When I don't have things planned out and know what's going on I get anxious. Once the anxiety goes nuts the rest of the day/week can be wasted. So the first goal I am going to be working on is keeping the anxiety down as much as possible starting with my organization.

Towards the end of the year last year I was told about this crazy thing called a Filofax. It's a customizable planner/organizer that you make to fit your life. Once you have the pages in the planner you use stickers, washi tape, markers, etc to decorate it. The thought is the more you decorate and like your planner pages the more you will be likely to use it. 

While researching Filofax I fell in love with the idea. However, the prices for them or any other planner wasn't in my budget. So I started investigating making my own. I finally decided on using a 5.5" x 8.5" 3-ring binder for my planner. However, as always I couldn't find a binder that I just loved. Thank goodness that I'm crafty. I took my binder and found a pattern for a binder cover. Off to the Joann's I went to find the perfect material for my planner. 

I decided on a cotton elephant fabric with some flannel elephants on the backside. I have always loved elephants since I was little so this was perfect for me. I then added one of my bottlecap keychains as my charm just to add a little more flair to it.

I began using my planner all the time and really felt good with everything written down so I at least had a skeleton of a plan for what was going on. I was loving taking time on Saturday evenings to decorate my week. It was a little time that I carved out in our busy weeks for myself. Well, in December someone broke into my truck and stole my purse. Yes, I know before you say anything my purse shouldn't have been in my truck overnight. It was one of those days that the girls were taking every bit of my energy and I just forgot that my purse was still in the truck. Either way, my purse and everything was gone. My planner, some of my decorating goodies, wallet, everything was gone. 

At that point I was totally discouraged and didn't want to take the time or the money to put together another planner. So I tried to go digital. Which, being a techie person, shouldn't have been that hard. Well, I'll tell you that was tough for me. I added everything to Google Calendar and downloaded the apps to my phone and tablet. I set it all up and was ready to go. Then I didn't look at it again. I was missing appointments, forgetting what was going on each day etc. So here I am in the middle of January and putting together another planner. I have decided that I am a paper and pen type of girl when it comes to a planner. 

I once again got a 1 inch 5.5" x 8.5" 3-ring binder from Walmart. I love the size of this binder all except for the size of the rings. If I could find a 1/2" binder this size I think I would be even more in love with it. However, after finding the binder I stopped at Office Depot to look at what kind of pens they had. I bought a package of Pilot Frixion Erasable Pens in pink, purple, and blue. All of my planner is color coded for my family. We use pink, purple, green, blue and orange. Each family member has a color and even things in my home are color coded for each of us. I picked up a green pen (not Frixion sadly) and a black pen and happily went on my way. 

Off to Joann's to get the fabric for the cover. I had decided that I didn't want to do the one solid fabric for the cover so I bought 5 different fat quarters and am quilting them together to make my planner cover this time. This process is still going on and hopefully will be completed tomorrow or Wednesday. 

Along with making my own planner cover I also have been making my own inserts for my planner. I looked around online and couldn't find anything that I was 100% happy with so I put my techie skills to work to make my own. I have a section for a month on one page, which holds my big dates on it. I don't use that for day to day stuff, just as a glance of big things (i.e. birthdays, anniversary, etc).

 I also use a week on 2 pages, this is for what I have going on, when the girls have things going on, hubby's work schedule, etc on this. 

Then so I don't get overwhelmed I also use a daily page. This daily page blocks out the time that people are out of pocket and can't schedule anything at that time. My to-do's are written on the week page and then blocked into a time slot on my daily page. 

This is how I have my planner set up right now and am using it again. I'm sure there will be more changes within it as I make it suit what we need but for now I am happy. 

So tell me: Do you use a planner? If so, is it digital or paper/pen? 

Who am I?

Who am I? That is a loaded question! Technically, I am a stay at home mom. I don’t have a full or part time job outside of the house. I don’t run my own huge business. I don’t have a schedule given to me by someone in management. I am blessed to be able to run my schedule according to what the family needs and wants. To my friends I am someone who gets to do what I want when I want. To those who don’t know me I am someone who gets to sit around and be lazy all day. To my family I am everything!

Before I get into all of what is going on let me tell you a little about those you will meet in this blog:

My husband (Hubby) and I have been together for 14 years and married for almost 12 years. We have 2 girls, Sister (13 years old) and Monkey (7 years old). I was born and raised in Daytona Beach, Florida. Hubby was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and lived there until he moved to Florida for college. We met while he was there and, as they say, that was all she wrote. Sister was born in Daytona Beach as well and we lived there until 2004. We left Daytona and moved to small town Tennessee. Monkey blessed us with her appearance while in Tennessee. Shortly after we became a family of 4 we decided that small town living wasn’t for us so we moved to the Dallas area. We have been here since 2007 and have made ourselves at home for the most part.

So now that you know who my family is back to the question of this post. Who am I?I do get to “stay home” with my girls. However, staying home might mean something different to me than it does to you or your friends. Staying home for me is not to sit and watch tv, eat ice cream, and not do anything. Staying home for me is that I am cleaning, planning, organizing. Most of the days I am running from here to there, or working on some project that I have going to bless my family with.

As I said before, I don’t have a part or full time job but I do run a small business on the side.Something Special Bottlecaps is my little business that I try to make a little income from to help out the family. It’s custom-made bottlecap keychains and magnets. The site is still in the works as well as a possible Etsy store coming soon. I am still debating on the way that I want to run that business.

I have a huge passion in my life that consumes almost everything. This passion is PINK. Not really the color but what it signifies. It signifies the fight that many people go through each year. Every year I walk the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for a Cure. This is a 60 mile walk completed over the course of 3 days. The walk is hosted in 7 different cities across the United States. I participate in the Dallas Fort Worth event. 2015 will be my 5th event. This is my way of fighting back against the beast known as cancer.

That’s a little about myself and as you continue to read more on this blog. This blog is going to be a mishmash of all things that happen around here. Posts will be about what I’m reading, my planner/organizer, my family etc.

Thanks for reading,