Back to school shopping for dummies

Back to school shopping for dummies

Back to School Shopping

I get it…we all wait until the last week of summer to shop for our kid’s school supplies.  Even though we know it’s coming, we still put it off. We laugh at those who have it done in June and we smugly remind ourselves that we are shopping extraordinaire.

So, with one week left until school starts, we grab our list and head to the nearest store for our supplies.  Parking is easy enough and we bravely head into the store to find out that every other person in the parking lot is also in the school supplies section.

Sound familiar?  After taking a deep breath (or several) and dodging multiple people, too many shopping carts, and finding too many empty spaces in the aisles, this is what I have determined.  People have forgotten shopping etiquette…so let me refresh your memory.

5 ways to piss off your fellow shoppers

Here is a list of how to piss off everyone around you while school shopping.

  1. Charge through the store with a determination that cannot be questioned.  Put your blinders on and ignore everyone around you.
  2. Push your cart on the left side of the aisle and AGAINST traffic.
  3. Leave your cart unattended on the left side and AGAINST traffic.
  4. Forget your manners.  When you accidentally cut in front of someone, don’t say excuse me…keep blazing that trail to nowhere.
  5. Don't look when you exit an aisle. This one is always fun. It's like playing Pacman with shopping… Click To Tweet

A little etiquette lesson

Seriously, people…we shouldn’t have to take a Xanax before heading out to school shop.  A little etiquette and courtesy go a long way. And quite honestly?  We probably deserve to have a little extra stress on us since we do the same fricken thing every year.  It isn’t a surprise that August means back to school.  However, maybe next year, we will be the ones done shopping in June.

 

 

 

 

How was your back to school shopping experience this year?

Were you done in June or did you wait until the last minute like I did?  I would love to have your feedback!

STOP the MADNESS!

STOP the MADNESS!

 

Stop and Madness!

Seriously, take a look through the internet and you will find pictures of every shape and size of people trying to tell you to buy their product in order to lose weight. I admit it, as an It Works Rep, I am continuously making suggestions to my friends about a product that will help them look or feel better.

Did you catch that? Look or Feel better.

Intellectually, I know that beauty comes from within. First and foremost, you have to give your body proper nourishment. As a result of proper nourishment, you can expect beautiful skin, healthy hair and strong nails. Proper nourishment can also help you maintain a healthy gut that will reduce bloating and keep you regular.

The right nutrients will assist you in keeping a strong immune system, and high energy level.  I believe in plant-based products, so when I have a friend who has a need, of course, I want to provide them with the top of the line supplements that will enhance their wellness. If I didn’t share what I believe to be amazing, what kind of friend would I be?

Who am I do decide who is worthy of these products and who isn’t?

Subjective

Beauty is also subjective. I put out a question the other day on my FB page asking what people thought was sexy. Ironically,… Click To Tweet. It had little to do with physical attributes at all! So why on earth do we waste so much time worrying about our appearance?

Consider the impact that social media also brings.  We now have a new opportunity to compare ourselves with others. Unfortunately, we rarely know what photo is real and what has been altered. Therefore, unrealistic expectations continue to push us to a new level of frustration and negative thinking. Social media also offers an opportunity to participate in behind the scenes bashing.  We have all been there. Consider when we post a photo that we actually like of our self and someone says something derogatory. From that point on, the majority of us will remove that photo and begin to focus on the aforementioned negative area.

Stop the Madness

Just stop.

I tell myself this daily and honestly, there are days I tell myself that hourly. I am a woman. My body has given me babies. I have endured multiple surgeries and injuries. Yet, because of my physical appearance, I was reluctant to become an It Works Rep or a trainer at my gym. I was worried about how other people would perceive me and my products and services.

Honestly, that pisses me off. I am so irritated that I would allow my own self-perception to limit the impact I may have on others. yet, I still get frustrated with myself when I am going to meet someone and I can’t find anything that looks “just right”.  I forget that five years ago I was undergoing major surgery that required extensive recovery. Or that 7 years ago I have just given birth.  My body has been through changes that apparently my mind has forgotten.

Embrace YOU

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look your best. For instance, I LOVE my skin care line because it makes my skin look and feel fresh and glowing. However, globally, there is a sense of shame in wanting to do things to enhance our beauty. Seriously, what kind of crap is that? Why is it that we are shamed if we don’t look a certain way. When did it become the norm to be judged if we don’t fit into a certain size, and why are mocked for wanting to look and feel amazing?

I call bullshit.

Here is my advice.  Be comfortable in your skin. Enhance what make YOU stand out from the crowd. Let yourself be pampered. You work hard and you deserve some love too. Stop letting comparison steal your joy. When you continue to worry about your appearance, you lose out on the moments happening before your eyes. Stop the madness.

Moderation

Personally, I have vacillated between 115 and 175 my adult life. Could I be a size 5? Probably. However, I am NOT willing to give up the things I enjoy and revert back to skin and bones. As a mom, I don’t want my boys to see an unhealthy person who is always so worried about my appearance that I won’t share that delicious dessert with them.

I want them to see me as a determined woman who works hard at her businesses and who works out because I want to be strong. They have watched me use my wraps and understand them to be a skin care treatment (which they are). They see my passion for helping others and my focus on being healthy and strong.

So, my friends, mock away. I love when I see memes regarding no wraps, pills or gimmicks. I know what it takes to become stronger…it takes exercising and watching what you eat. Additionally, I know that many people need some help overcoming a plateau or to feel less guilty after a cheat meal. Honestly, I don’t care what you have to do to focus on your own wellness, just do something and believe you are worth it.

Because you are!

 

Is it Fulfillment or a Title?

Is it Fulfillment or a Title?

While at the gym recently, a member asked me if I am fulfilled.

I am a mother, a wife, a puppy mom, a small business owner, a volunteer, an advocate, a writer, the… Click To Tweet

I have an advanced degree, I continually push myself out of my comfort zone and I routinely accept new challenges…but am I fulfilled?

What is fulfilled?

One thing I am is tired.  Absolutely fucking exhausted.  I tend to overextend myself and forget to stay in the moment.  I feel as though I can do many things, however, I am not sure I do any of them well.  Is that fulfillment?

For me, fulfillment is a sense of accomplishment.  When I received my BSW, I was accomplished.  I barely graduated from high school with a diploma, so receiving a college degree was pretty cool. However, I wanted more.  For me, there is a sense of never reaching a goal because I keep changing where the golden ring is placed.  I keep setting the bar higher and higher.

Is that a bad thing?  I don’t believe so.  I am not one to be content.  I have an internal drive within me that pushes me to do more and be more.  However, I am not afraid to stop and do nothing and sometimes I shut down and do just that.  I restore, I connect with God, I connect with my family and I just let myself be.

But the next day I am up and moving toward another unseen goal.

Fulfillment in a title

For me, fulfillment is an illusion.  It is something people strive for when they continue to push themselves into new and scary adventures.  It is something external that they strive for.  Perhaps it is confused with recognition or accolades.

For me, fulfillment is internal.  What’s fulfilling for me is when my children recognize how hard their mom works.  My boys often ask how many businesses I own or where I am working as I drive them to school.  More importantly, my boys participate in my businesses and I hope I am teaching them a strong work ethic.

What I find fulfilling is when I hear my son tell me he loves me and he puts his little arms around my neck.  I may be many things, but the golden ring goes to the title of being a mother.  After years of being a child abuse specialist, knowing that I am impacting the lives of these living and breathing littles is indeed fulfilling.

Of all the titles, degrees and businesses I add to my name, being called mommy, mom, and mama are at the top of the list.  And I will continue to strive to be what God has trusted me to be.  And I will pray often for His guidance in helping me be who the boys need.  Everything I work for is done around my boys.  I am the first person they see when they awaken and I am the last person they see before they close their eyes at night.

For me, that is fulfillment.  So in answer to my client’s question. Am I fulfilled? Yes, I can confidently say that I am.

They lied – A MLM mom Confession

They lied – A MLM mom Confession

I am THAT mom.  Four years ago I signed up to be an It Works Rep and I have a confession, several, actually.  I absolutely love what I do!  That being said, this business isn’t for the faint of heart.  Intrigued?  Read on.

Confession, They lied

If someone tells you this business is easy, they are flat out lying to you Click To Tweet Unless you love hearing the word NO twenty times a day.  If you are afraid of what others think of you, this business probably isn’t for you.  And if you can’t handle people not returning your messages, texts or calls. you may need to look at working somewhere else.

 

Let me tell you It is not easy money either.  The money does not just fall into your lap.  You will not get rich within one month.  Of course, there are always the exceptions, those who rise to the top quickly, and their stories are phenomenal!  But they are not the norm.  It takes practice, it takes belief, and it takes determination.  The majority of people quit before they even give it a chance.

Confession, It’s Worth It

Is it worth it?  YES!  I will emphatically tell you yes, it is.  WHEN you choose to invest in yourself ( because let’s be honest, when you purchase a business, you are investing in you) the benefits far outweigh the negatives.  In most instances, when you purchase your business, you also purchase training and support.  IF you actually do your training (the majority do not) and IF you connect with your company and your team (the majority do not), your will be on your way to an amazing journey.

You will learn to integrate your business into your life.  You will have opportunities to stretch yourself in ways you never before considered.  In most cases, you will have the chance to connect with people who share your ideal goals and you can learn from watching them in action.

How do you choose?

This may be the most difficult part of your journey.  How do you choose a business that is right for you?  In my experience, the following are key to success:

  • love the products – you must love your products in order to passionately share your results with others.  For me, it is similar to recommending a favorite food or service.  When I find something I love, I feel the need to share it with the world!  After all, everyone should have the opportunity to be as happy as I am!
  • research the company – While many people love to join a company that is starting up, I advise looking for an established one. You can find positive and negative reviews for anything and you need to look past those.  For me, a key point was that my company was debt free and had been for years.  They continue to try to do the same for their distributors.  I also loved that this company is Christian based and I had the opportunity to see this for myself.
  • unique product – Having a product that can only be purchased through you will help you to stand out.  It is far more difficult to sell something that can be purchased at the local department store.  Represent something that is unique.
  • pray about it – it’s scary to make the launch into being a business owner and it isn’t to be taken lightly.  Before I signed on, I researched, talked with my other half and prayed for guidance.  Truth be told, I still do today because my business is about so much more than just me.
  • consider the financial investment – some companies offer a minimal start up fee.  While that may be appealing, be sure you are on board with the products being sold, or you will be throwing your money away.  Look at the compensation plan (it may not make sense when you first look at it, but over time, it will).  You want to be able to make your initial investment back.
  • understand residual income – this is one of the key draws of direct sales.  After all, don’t we all love the opportunity to earn money over and over after one sale?

Confession – It is a Process

You can and should do all of your training, however, the best way for you to be successful is to be consistent.  Trust your upline, your sponsor, your team to guide you.  You will say stupid things that you wish you could take back and that’s ok, it humanizes you.
Self-growth will take you farther than success in your business…it will make your more confident in every aspect of your life.
A brick and mortar store typically takes 5-7 years to see profits.  You can see profits from your Multi level marketing business so much faster by making the decision to work.
So take the chance.  You will never know what you are capable of if you stay in the shadows and watch everyone else.  After all, you are worth it so take charge of your own destiny!

 

 

Join Me!

Join Me!
MOMFAIL – Valentines Boxes

MOMFAIL – Valentines Boxes

As  I am scrolling through FACEBOOK  I see all of these absolutely adorable Valentine’s Boxes for upcoming class parties. Therefore I can’t help but wonder how everyone is getting their kids to participate.  Are all of these other kiddos doing this freely? I have to threaten the removal of favorite objects to get my boys to even pretend to care about their Valentine Day boxes.

MOMFAIL

After literally three days of telling the boys they need to create their boxes, I  taped my It Works boxes together and put them on our kitchen island.  The next day they were still there.  Being proactive, I provided the kids with paper, stickers, colors, markers, letters, and tape.  Ten minutes later they were both finished with their Valentines Boxes and five of that was probably spent wrapping the paper around the box.

After encouraging them, coercing them and pleading with them, I finally gave in.  Feeling a tad disappointed, I released them from the horror.  I let go of the illusion they would be creating masterpieces like all of the other kids in their classes.  Without belittling them, I let them decide how their boxes would look.  While they made sure to cut holes large enough to receive valentines, the outsides are a tad “interesting”.

Perspective on Valentines Boxes

Looking at their boxes while rolling my eyes to my husband, he reminded me of why these boxes were not important to my kids.   “It isn’t a guy holiday,” he said…you can’t make them be interested. (This from the same guy who made sure the kids were included in giving me flowers so they knew how to treat a special woman).  Right then, it hit me.  This isn’t about me.  Their Valentines Boxes are not a reflection of me as a parent any more than my choices are reflections of my own parents.

I was allowing my emotions to interfere with my boy’s priorities.  I was letting the fact that I will be a volunteer in their parties influence MY reactions to their choices.  Consequently, I admit to feeling a tad embarrassed.  How dare I compare my children to others.  How incredibly silly is it that I even put pressure on them to participate in something because of how it would reflect upon me?

No Comparison

Since my boys were little, I have encouraged them to make their own choices.  These two would learn from those decisions that every choice has a consequence.  Some of their choices were amazing while others were definitely learning opportunities.  The things that make my boys different from others are the very things that make me love them even more.  I had always taught them to be different and now when they were, I wanted to force them back to being like others.

My oldest used to wear a stocking hat during the summer.  He was my little Disney Thug and I loved it!  My youngest loved to wear cowboy boots everywhere and I thought it was adorable!  I embraced their individuality!  So why in the world do I care about these Valentines Day boxes?  In conclusion, forgive me, boys…lesson learned.  However, when it comes to homework and schoolwork, that is a totally different arguargument

 

 

Weight Loss Warrior

Weight Loss Warrior

Sometimes you meet someone and you know they were put in your life for a reason.  I remember when I first met Alicia Fechtmeister; we were both standing outside Armbrust YMCA and I commented on how amazing she looked.  I had seen her around the Y and noticed she was working hard and her weight loss was showing dramatically in the shape of her face and the confidence she now bestowed.

I have watched this woman continue her weight loss journey for the past two years and she continues to be inspiring to those around her.  She supports her counterparts and she has become a contestant in early morning spin classes.

Today I talked with her about her wellness journey and what prompted her to change her lifestyle.  Alicia and Bob both graduated from Lincoln and began the American Dream.   With a business and five children ranging in ages from 5 – 16, they are incredibly busy.  While Bob is a runner, Alicia really didn’t participate in any wellness activities as she was focused mainly on keeping her large family up and running.

The Beginning

Three years ago, she took her two boys to watch Bob run the Lincoln marathon.  She saw a picture of her with Bob and the boys and she couldn’t believe that was actually her.  Many thoughts went through her mind, including:

“I don’t like how I look”…

“I didn’t like how I feel”…

“I wanted to look good for my husband (although she knows that he loves whatever size she is)”…

“I want to be healthy.”

The Journey

She didn’t want to wait until a doctor told her she needed to lose weight or until she suffered a heart attack to get into shape, so she made some changes in her life.   She and her family joined Armbrust YMCA and she started attending one class per week.  Shortly after that, she began the FAST program and learned about balancing what went into her body with what went out.  Soon after, she was all in.

Initially weighing in at 236, she upped her classes to 7 days per week.  Alicia found she loved spin class and combined with the FAST Program, she began to see changes in her weight and her body.  Alicia reports it was “liberating” to not have to shop in the fat aisle at the store!

bike-forever

During this time, her husband continued to run.  He and a friend were doing a 5K and asked her to join them.  She and her sister joined the guys and her sister kept pace with her until she completed her very first 5K!  That started a love/hate relationship with running.  To this day she still doesn’t love it, but it is something that she and Bob can do together.

run

Alicia has found continued support from her husband and her sisters, along with various members at the YMCA.  While her weight has fluctuated some, she continues on her journey and is the first to admit that she is not where she wants to be; this is not the end of her journey.

I didn’t ask her what her final goal is, I just shared that she continues to be a motivator for others.  This past weekend, Alicia ran the Lincoln ½ marathon.  Admittedly, this is not something she ever thought she would do and she finished strongly with a 12 ½ minute pace!  Bob ran by her side, supporting and encouraging her the whole way.  She says she is overwhelmed by the number of people who sent her texts and messages encouraging her along her run and didn’t realize how many people were pulling for her!

Giving Back

Ultimately, Alicia wants to give back.  She has invited other Y members to the Color Run with her and she has promised to run at their pace, just has Bob and her sister did for her.  Has she made an impact on her children?  Bob will say she has.   Last week their youngest child was on a workout machine and said:  look daddy, I’m getting healthier, I’m exercising, I’m just like mommy”.

You never know who you may be impacting or who may be observing.  As Alicia has learned, her journey just isn’t about her, but those who are watching and being motivated by her determination.