Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Life's Next Adventure

After making the decision to close my daycare I sat around thinking, "Now what?".

Luckily, we can make it on just my husbands income but who wants to just make it? Not us! We want to save, we want to travel, we want to make changes to our home! So what in the heck am I going to do to bring in extra money but be 'Mom' first?!

I started Googling.

Googling didn't spark anything in me (except contemplating pursing being a doula [finally] but it just isn't the right time yet).

I ended up talking with three different people about the businesses that they are independent consultants for. I only got genuinely excited about ONE of them.

[Drum roll, please!]

Dove Chocolate Discoveries!

You're probably thinking, "Dove chocolate? What do you mean, Dove chocolate?" .. because I thought that, too!

Dove Chocolate Discoveries does chocolate like I've never seen before! Cocoa rub, BBQ sauce, balsamic vinaigrette, pasta sauce, salsa and of course your chocolate in a more familiar role as brownie mix, bite sized candies and chocolate martini's (& much more!). Not only did the product excite me but also how they're such a family oriented company. They WANT you to put your family first and encourage that you only "work" (because how is having chocolate tasting parties actually work?!) when you can and how much or as little as you want.

Another hugely exciting thing for me is that I have been told by multiple people (people that have even been consultants with other companies) that there isn't a company out there that makes it as easy as they do to earn trips and free stuff.. on top of the fact that there's an unlimited income potential with Dove Chocolate Discoveries!

My sponsor has been doing this part time since June 2015 and held 8 tasting parties between her start and October. In just that short amount of time and doing 2 or less parties a month she is already 90% of the way to earning a trip to Maui in May 2016! How incredible is that?!

If you're looking for a little extra money or a lot of extra money for yourself, please don't hesitate to ask me questions about Dove Chocolate Discoveries! If it's not right for you, it's not right for you! I know exactly what that feels like! But if this sounds like something you'd love to do, I'd love to give you more info!

Maybe you just want to take care of some holiday shopping that you hardly have to do anything or pay anything for! That's when it would be a great idea to host a chocolate tasting party! All you have to do is pick a date, invite friends and let me handle the rest! I have $20 product vouchers for the first 8 people that host a party with me before December 15th, 2015! Only 6 of them are left!

I am so excited about doing this and I can't wait to find out what's in store for me!

[Check out my very own website!]

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Our Untraditional Engagement (& other little wedding details)

Chances are, that if you don't hang out with me, Andy or any of our close family members or friends, you had no idea we were getting married.

Rewind back to some random day in April 2015. I had an awful dream that Andy had died. It was so realistic that I vividly remember sitting down with Levi and Rex and I was about to tell them that he's gone when I jolted awake.

I took that as a sign. A huge sign.

I nudged Andy awake and said, "I had a dream that you died. We need to get married."

At that time, we had been together for 6 years. Living together for over 5.5 years. We had a 2.5 year old child together. We knew we would get married. Someday. EVERYONE pretty much knew we would get married. Someday. Why not now? What's wrong with right now?

So, we took about a week to mull things over. How many guests would we have? When would we have our wedding? What do we envision it looking like? How much money is this going to cost us? We had a lot of variables to consider.

I wanted to do it sooner than later.

My dad has been progressively losing his ability to walk since 2012. He needed to walk me down the aisle. I'm his only child.

We'll get married this fall. 5 months from now.

So, we started telling our close family. Then our close friends.

We set the date for September 26th. I wanted to get married at our cabin. Surrounded by only the people we were closest to.

But where would our guests stay? Our cabin is small. It could be cold outside. It could be rainy. The hotels and motels in the area are nothing to brag about. So, I did some digging. I found an amazing house we could rent on a private lake right in the same little town as our cabin. 7 bedrooms with space to sleep 22 people throughout the house. I toured it (without Andy.. it interfered with nap time and he trusts my judgment) and I fell in love with the place!

So, we'll have the wedding at this house! And we'll make an entire weekend out of it! BUT we agreed to sign the marriage license at the dining room table at the cabin. So we could make it officially, official at our most favorite place.

Well, things got rolling with planning the wedding and then we started talking about rings. I didn't have a ring on my finger. We're already "engaged", what would be the point in getting a ring right now? None, really. So, I decided I didn't want to see my ring until we were at the alter. It was one of the best decisions ever! I am so, so glad I waited to see it. It was the highlight of my whole day. Andy could not have designed a more perfect ring for me!

That's not the only thing we did different.. We also opted not to post anything on social media about us getting married. It wasn't a "secret" (we were just fine with word of mouth) but it just felt right to me to not post anything, anywhere online about us getting married. It made our day feel more special to me now that I look back on it.

September 26th, 2015 was such an amazing day. The weather was great, I never felt stressed, everything went just as planned and here we were, promising our commitment to each other in front of 45 of our closest family and friends.

We had the wedding I had always dreamed of... && more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What a year - Here come more changes

I really cannot believe it's been over a year since I've gotten around to writing a new blog post.

A lot has happened.

November of 2014 I started caring for a family of two boys before I was able to get licensed for daycare. Come April of 2015 I finally got my license after eight months of hard work to get the training I needed and my home up to par. Once I was licensed I had three more kiddos join us at Nature Sprouts! It felt so good to have everything come together and start my own business. Though, it hasn't gone the way I had envisioned or hoped.

I knew it would take some adjusting for as all to get used to. Especially for my kids. My oldest did just fine with all of it but over the summer I had a lot of guilt towards my new business because he was spending WAY more time in front of a screen than I would have liked and when he wasn't in front of a screen he was really bored.

My youngest (2 years old at the time and now 3) did just fine at the beginning when I was just caring for two kids but when I became licensed and the others started, he became miserable. He started screaming at everyone over everything and then the screaming escalated to hitting and shoving. He would have really awful days where it was a constant struggle to keep him happy and then he would have some days where things were fine. Not perfect. But fine. I could handle those days. I could not handle the bad days.

I started to realize that my child was becoming unrecognizable during the week. We'd have our fun-loving, goofy little guy on the weekends and then during the week he was swapped out with a very stressed, unpredictable child. I began to miss my own kid when I was in the same house with him all day, every day. To maintain as mellow and quiet of an environment as possible, I plopped him in front of the TV in my room way more often than I would like to admit. I had a no TV daycare. Yet I was allowing my child to watch hours of TV a day just to keep my sanity.

This was not working. This is not how I want my child to go through his childhood. He was miserable, which would make me feel miserable and it started to turn our house and family life upside down. No amount of money was worth this to me.

I have decided to call it quits. Come November 25th (or sooner if the daycare families choose to go elsewhere before then) Nature Sprouts will be no more.

It has been incredibly difficult to accept the fact that my business has failed. Honestly, this is the third (fourth?) thing I've tried to do with my life and again it has not worked out. But, I had to do what was best for my family.

Who knows where life will take us now..