I am currently in the
process of transitioning from working an 8-5 in an office setting, to working
from home and being able to spend more time with my babies.
I never really pictured
myself as a stay home mom or even a mom that would work from home; but after
watching my daughter grow up and feel as if I’ve missed so much time with her
and now preparing for a newborn, I believe it is finally my time.
We often hear about the
perks and freedoms around working from home. I know some of you may think it’s
a joke, and no work actually gets done, especially with children, but I am here
to tell you that it is possible. More people, not only mothers, are quitting
their office jobs to stay home and pursue their careers.
I wanted to share with you 7 vital tools that I have utilized to efficiently work from home as I start my Freelance writing business.
don’t make that face. Yes this may be an obvious tip, but
many people make a mistake and try to maintain their entire business from their
iPads or cellphones; while these are great additional tools to have, it does
not give you the same selections as you would have using a laptop or computer.
I primarily use an
Apple MacBook 2010; yes it may be time
for an upgrade, but it gets the job done all the same!
My laptop provides with the ability to roam, meaning I can work from other locations outside of my houses if needed. I feel I can get more work done with that openness. I also use a DELL 1607 when I am stationary and primarily kid free. Although the devices are very different, it does not hinder getting any work completed.
2. Work Space
Although, I started my
business by whipping out my laptop on Saturday Mornings while in my pajamas and
still in the bed, I quickly learned that is not the most productive environment
to get work accomplished.
I am not in the
position to dedicate an entire room to become my office space, but I have a
central location in my home where I like to work and feel I am the most focused
– and no it is not my bed.
Currently, I use the dining room table to work. I am not lounging about on the couch; there is plenty of space, and the sitting is comfortable. I also face fewer distractions, because it is sort of an isolated area in my home.
3. A Task Management System
This step is relatively
new to me, and I actually took a step out of another Freelance expert’s
playbook, in order to choose the best system that works for me.
Originally my task
system consisted of a large calendar that I hung in my closet. This method
worked fine when I was just writing for my personal interest, but once I
started taking on clients, I quickly discovered I could not continue with the
I’ve branched out and
started using Trello; since it’s working so well for my needs, and I have added
a dashboard for School and Home as well. I place everything I need to
accomplish for the week on to the correct dashboard and check things off as I get
It is a lot easier than running to my closet to double check due date on the calendar.
4. A Website
I don’t know about you,
but I am not software and technical savvy. I know the basics of computer use.
However, I am clueless when it comes down to constructing a website.
After I did a ton of
research, I decided to use WordPress, since I already had a familiar knowledge
of the tool.
WordPress is an open
source that has plenty of free content; however, I wanted to have my own Domain
name and OWN my site. To do this I did
have to pay an annual fee, but the price wasn’t ridiculous.
There are plenty of
other tools and applications available to build websites such as Squarespace or
Wix, but I personally found that:
WordPress is used more than these other
Relatively easy to customize with
hundreds of different themes and plugins
There is a pretty large community of
In fact, I received an email,
and a phone call from WordPress support a few days after setting up my website,
without reaching out first. They just wanted to check in and see if they could
help me in any way.
If you are like me and started from scratch, I would suggest at least starting with a blog 1st and then branching out to a website once you have a better idea of what it is you want exactly.
5. A Service
How are you going to
earn an income while working from home? What service(s) can you provide to make
good money and still have your independence?
Initially, I thought I
wanted to be a virtual assistant. I was pretty familiar with the line of work,
just not in a virtual setting so I thought I would be qualified. As I started
researching and trying to brand myself, I realized that wasn’t really the route
I wanted to take. I wanted to be more independent in my career!
I didn’t really enjoy assisting someone.
So next, I started by thinking
about what I enjoy doing, such as – working out, reading, writing and then I asked
my self – how can I make money based off of my interest?
That’s when I stumbled
into the Freelance writing world.
I spend weeks
researching the INS and OUTS of freelance writing, and I have barely scratched
However, within 2 weeks
of stepping into this new world, I landed my 1st client, and about 1
week later a landed my second client!
Building my portfolio
Currently, the services
I offer are copywriting, blogging, content writing, SEO writing, Case Studies,
and editing. I provide these services in a wide area of subjects although my
primary interest is Mental Health and wellness.
Once I have a bit more experience I plan to narrow down the services I offer as well as the subjects I write in.
To be successful while you work from home, you have to be able to encourage yourself to actually work. It is almost always unavoidable to get caught up in being home and enjoying the opportunity to relax when you want and work when you want. However, many people run into situations where they may be relaxing more than they are working, which will lead to problems with your business being successful.
7. Superb Communication skills
When working from home
a lot of the communication you will have with your clients will be through
email or skype; although there may be a phone call here or there, you will
primarily communicate through your computer.
It is just the
preferred method these days.
You have to be sure to communicate clearly and effectively when communicating through these avenues. You don’t have the option to recognize facial and body cues; you can also misinterpret the tone of the message being sent to you. Be sure to ask questions, make suggestions and don’t make any assumptions.
It possible to be successful while
working from home
It does not take a lot
to get started on this journey. If you take a moment to invest in the essential
and crucial steps, you will find yourself the success part starts to come easy.
Although I am still
relatively new on this journey, I can say I have had promising results and only
plan to perfect my business as I learn and time progresses.
So how about it – are
you considering working from home? If so, which tool do you think is most
important? Any tools that you would like to add?
Why is Night
time so tricky in my house? I seriously can’t be the only one asking myself
Here I am 4 almost 5 years into being a mom, and I still can’t win the epic bedtime battle with my sassy little munchkin.
How did we get here?
I believe we have a reasonably loose bedtime schedule. I know you’re going to tell me that’s my 1st mistake!
Here’s the thing, for the longest time I worked Mon-Fri from 7 or 8am until about 5 or 6pm. Some nights, after work, I would go to Night class; if I didn’t have a night class, I would come home for about an hour and then head to a gym class.
This caused us to be home and sort of
settled in around 9pm or later most nights.
Now that I have been out of school for a year, I still work until about 5-6pm and 2-3 nights out of the week my daughter has Dance or Gymnastics. So depending on the day of the week we may not get home and settled in until about 10pm.
Maybe some of you can relate?
I personally don’t
like getting home and directly starting the bedtime process; I want to unwind,
talk with my daughter about her practice, her day or just in general, before we
get to the nitty gritty sleep time mess.
Once dinner has
been eaten, and showers have been completed, I am pooped and I honestly just
want to kick my feet up and enjoy maybe 30 minutes of my TV shows before
falling asleep. To do that I need my kid to hit the hay.
The only problem is……. she still sleeps in the bed with me!
Let me go back a bit
When my daughter was born, I was deathly
afraid to co-sleep; I mean you hear so many sad stories about families and
their co-sleeping experiences; it completely terrifies you out of the idea.
But I did also read some positive
experiences as well.
After about 7
weeks of sleeping with one open eye one and on the edge of my bed or couch,
while my daughter peacefully dreamt in her bassinet, swing or crib, I thought
it was time to relax and loosen the reigns just a tad bit.
Then I went back
to work, and I missed my little baby like crazy; I missed holding her and
smelling her and even watching her sleep (because I did that a lot).
So in my mind,
sleeping with her was time for us to be close because we were away from each
other so much during the day. I tried to make our sleeping arrangements as safe
as possible because I was still nervous about the co-sleeping thing.
And I’m sure I will get a judgment or two
on this, but hey we all parent how we want to parent and just hope and pray we
are doing it right!
So anyhow, now my
little one has been introduced to mommy and daddy’s bed!
As time progressed
Fast forward about 2 years, we
started trying to get little lady in her own bed. Well, I was trying; her dad
was perfectly fine with our sleeping arrangements.
But this step proved itself as
a hard one.
We would try reading a book;
stretching, night music even 20 minutes of TV here & there but absolutely nothing
prepared her for sleeping in her own bed. So I would hold her and rock her until
she fell asleep; which took anywhere from one to two hours!
So here I am totally worn out
from getting my toddler to bed; its 12am and I still have to study or clean or
do laundry. Hell or all three!
Needless to say, I became
discouraged with this plan and welcomed Missy back to my bed within about 2 weeks.
Wait, don’t let me forget the nights I was successful in getting her to sleep (if you want to call it a success) she never slept in her room the entire night, and I regularly set alarms to wake up and go check on her throughout the night.
Ha, Ha, I know – I am shaking my head too!
The Other Night
So what prompted me to break
out my laptop and write about this longtime struggle? What made me say enough
is enough after 4 years of co-sleeping?
The other night!
There was nothing relatively different
about this evening; we did our thing, ate dinner, talked, played, cleaned; it
was a regular weekday night for us.
As 9pm approached I start
talking the steps to prepare my kiddo for bed; by 10pm we are in bed, and I am
turning off all devices, except the iPad which plays the “night music.”
First I ask my daughter to lie
on her pillow, and I would pat her back while she falls asleep; she immediately
jumped into freak out mode and demanded that she was held.
Okay that’s fine I hold her
just about every night so what is the big deal with holding her again.
As I am holding her and patting her back, I swear about every 2-3 minutes she whines, tells me she is not comfortable and wiggles around in my arms, sometimes flopping from one side to another; after about 15 mins of moving and whining I just place her next to me and tell her to go to sleep.
Ohh, but why did I do that?
She broke out the waterworks
and experienced a complete meltdown.
Absolutely nothing I said would
comfort her; she didn’t want me to touch her, yet she didn’t want to lay by
herself. My halfcocked threats didn’t work either.
I felt so defeated and over the
entire night! I just wanted to sleep!
After about an hour of crying,
flopping around and more crying she was off to sleep, in my arms!
I kept telling myself that
after that night I was changing things up. My daughter was going to sleep in
her perfectly comfortable queen size bed with her plush pillows and comfy
comforter; after all, we had to prepare for her little brother arriving in a
What am I going to do with a
child that still wants to be rocked to sleep and a newborn that is going to
expect/want the same things?
Should have, Could have, Would have
These types of thoughts lead
you to think of things you should have done differently or could have done
differently. And then you tell yourself that you’re going to do so many things
different with your next child to avoid not such positive experiences.
I specifically said to myself
that I will not cosleep with my son at all; I came to this conclusion because
of the difficulty I am having with my daughter now.
But if I choose to eliminate
the cosleeping idea with my son, will I miss out on the same benefits of
cosleeping that I have enjoyed with my daughter over the years?
Which leads me into next week’s subject –
Is it fair to change your parenting styles/approaches with each child?
Let’s be honest pregnancy
is not always this beautiful, blissful experience that everyone wishes it was.
okay to acknowledge its truths, no matter how ugly they may seem.
thing is social media has put this distorted view in our minds regarding
pregnancy, parenting, fitness and so much more. We see perfection everywhere
that we feel it’s a requirement; we feel like what we see on Instagram and
Facebook must be what real life looks like or what real life should be.
reality is, that perception and that image you see on Instagram isn’t everyone’s life –
and that’s okay!
I would love to be a fitness guru at 8 months pregnant, while running my
business, tending after my 4-year old,
keeping a spotless house, cooking healthy meals daily and having plenty of
energy left to hang out with my girlfriends…. the reality is that isn’t my life!
Big props to the women that can do just that; whoever
they are! I am not speaking anything negative on their lives; but I am stressing the fact being that image, that lifestyle
everyone – and that’s okay!
Hey lady you are still winning!
reality is your probably 30 pounds heavier than before you were pregnant. You
are either going to have a clean house or have dinner cooked by 8pm. Energy these
days seem to be non-existent, and you can’t
remember the last time you took a moment out for yourself!
reality is you probably hide from the camera because you don’t feel comfortable
in your own skin. You smile when people joke about how big your belly has
gotten, but in the inside, you just want to slap them. (No, just me?)
reality is you may act as if you are 100% prepared and have it all figured out,
but secretly you are probably scared out of your mind and hope you are doing
everything right; whether this is your 1st or your 5th
pregnancy, we still have fears and concerns at some point.
Real Be Happy
we have to understand that everything we see isn’t right; it isn’t real.
want or need to be perfect, the perfect mother or just the ideal human, makes
it so much easier to take these things that we see and allow them to imprint on
us and ultimately drive us crazy because we strive for the impossible.
photo, one post, one video does not tell the entire story. It is only a piece
of someone’s life. Most of the times it is the piece that they want us to see
or that they create to promote the idea that they that have it all together!
maybe she does!
don’t have to; you don’t need to!
break yourself trying to be perfect when all you have to do is live life and
take in the experiences you are meant to have.
still great! You are still winning.
Journey just looks different than mine and hers!
I know what you are thinking, “Not another Beachbody post?”
Am I right?
Believe me, I know, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to
let you in on a few secrets!
So keep reading.
Yesterday while trolling Facebook I saw quite a few status
updates about being “summertime fine,” and it made me realize that
summer is right around the corner.
Yes, yes, it is already that time!
If you have not already
started to work on your summer bodies, you
might want to get started!
Now, with all the workout, nutrition and general health fads available right now, I figured I would talk about one I know reasonably well- Beachbody
What is Beachbody?
I am glad you asked!
If you are not familiar
with Beachbody, it’s a program that offers work out plans like 21day fix, P90X,
Insanity, and many others. Beachbody has over 30 workout plans, and they all
vary by intensity and your overall goal.
However, Beachbody is not just a program full of workouts; it
also provides supplements, such as Shakeology, BeachBar, and other nutrition
Wait, that’s not all. Beachbody also has an enormous community
of coaches that are around to help push you towards your goal.
All this sounds pretty amazing, huh?
Everything you need wrapped in one program?
Too good to be true?
Not at all – let me explain.
Everyone can be Successful
Whether you are looking
to sculpt your booty, with the Brazilin Butt Lift program, seriously shred,
with the P90X Plus program or maybe you looking for some laid back fun that
will still get you moving, with the County Heat program; there is something for
everyone. You don’t have to be a 5-star athlete to complete these workouts. You
just have to complete them!
Some of these workouts are coupled with specific eating plans to
help maximize your results.
The best example I can
think of is 21-day Fix. 21-day Fix is a relatively popular Beachbody program
that yours truly completed a few years ago.
We will come back to that.
21-day Fix offers a detailed workout plan and portion controlled
eating plan. This program can be used whether you are looking to lose weight or
The workout has six 30 minute programs and a 10-minute ab program.
Upper Fix – targeting upper
Lower Fix – targeting lower
Cardio Fix – targeting your
burning more calories
Pilates Fix – targeting your
abs and thighs
Yoga fix – targeting
relaxation and stretching through Yoga
Total Body Cardio Fix –
targeting burning more calories
10 minute Abs –
targets your abs for 10 mins
The eating plan provides 6 colored containers that are different
sizes. The number of containers you use will vary, depending on the targeted
calorie intake in you want.
Green container: Vegetables
Purple container: Fruit
Yellow container: Carbs
Orange container: Seeds
Now back to me – I started this program in 2015; about 6 months
after I gave birth to my daughter. I was
at the heaviest weight I had been my entire life, so I knew I needed to do
something – and fast. I heard about the 21-day fix, and honestly, I took a
My primary reason for
choosing this plan was to be able to work it around my
schedule. Being a first time mom to an infant is much work on its own, but not
only was I a full-time mom, but I was also working full time and attending
night school to obtain my Associate’s degree. I needed something that didn’t
have restrictions on workout times, didn’t require two-plus hours in the gym
and didn’t involve me having to chug a shake six times a day for X amount of
So it is safe to say when
I started this program, I was completely out
of shape, low on time and determined to be successful.
And I did just that!
Just wait, you’ll see!
So, are you wondering about Shakeology?
Yes, Shakeology was one of the BIG recommendations when completing this program; which leads me to my next point.
2. There is no Magic Shake.
While I cannot sit here and provide you with every nutritional
fact about Shakeology, I will say, it is not the enchanted weight loss device
that you are looking for.
Cinderella, it is not your Glass slipper, girl!
However, with that being said, I personally enjoyed Shakeology.
I order the chocolate flavor. I would usually blend it with a banana and
sprinkle in a bit of cinnamon and have it for breakfast.
Keep in mind there are plenty of recipes out there for all the
flavors of Shakeology; that was just my preference.
The thing about Shakeology is, that it was just that, a shake –
which I used to supplement a meal now and then. It did not miraculously cause
me to lose inches or shed pounds. It did not remove every ounce of hunger from
my body. However, my consistency with the workouts and dedication to the meal
plans helped me do that!
This leads me to the next thing you must know….
3. You have to put in the work.
Most of us just want to
lose the weight; we don’t really want to make
any significant lifestyle changes that will lead us to our dream bodies.
Alternatively, we do want to make these changes, but we don’t want to do the work required, to see those changes unfold.
I am entirely guilty of this!
However, that’s the problem, these programs, not just Beachbody,
provide you with tools and you have utilized those tools to achieve our goal.
No one and nothing can do it for you.
So skipping on the Monday and Wednesday workouts and sneaking
that Juicy Burger has consequences that Shakeology can NOT fix.
There is no sugarcoating it here – you have to put in the work!
Also, no, I’m not saying you will be working to your death; as
we discussed earlier, the plan is flexible and completely obtainable, but it
requires you to come out of your comfort zone and stay consistent.
With that being said I want to discuss the next secret.
4. You can make tweaks and still be successful.
Much, later on, I learned that I can make some alternations and
still get to where I wanted to be or maintain where I was at the time.
As I mentioned in 2015, I had very positive results.
Yes, I am getting to the phots
– patience, please.
However, I was getting bored with the same six workouts every
week for months. I personally prefer to do different types of exercises here
and there. I was scared that if I didn’t follow the plan, I would get out of
the groove and lose progress.
However, I took a chance, and I started replacing my cardio
workouts with nature hikes and other outdoor activities that would provide a
good cardio work out. I also stopped with the Shakeology drinks; they were
delicious, but my bank account did not enjoy dishing out roughly $130 every
month. I also increased my protein intake (red container) even though that
changed my calorie goal.
But you know what? It all worked out fine because I was consistent!
5. It really is a lifestyle change.
Do you know how I mentioned those handy tools that we have to
Well, I was successful in this program because I learned how to
take those tools and fit them into my life! Yes, at first I followed the
program to the T, but after learning what worked best for me and discovering
what I actually liked, I didn’t need to follow the plan step by step. I just
needed to stick to the foundation that was provided for me – active living and
now for my results:
Have you used any Beachbody products? If so leave a comment about the product you used and your outcome. If not are you considering trying any of the Beachbody products? Which one? I’d love to hear from you.