Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Couples' Q&A {from the archives}


 Things have been crazy and crazy good so I will do this one fun post then bring you up to date.
I got this one from Mackey Madness and decided to do it for fun as well. Thanks!

How long have you been together?
Together for 8 years, Married for almost 8 years.
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Not long. A week maybe, we dated for 7 months before marriage but the whole thing was fast.
Who asked who out?
I think I did when I kissed him at my door of my dorm room.
Did you go to the same school?
No, different towns but pretty close. We had mutual friends so it wasn’t inevitable.
Who is the most sensitive?
Me, called me Mrs Tears a lot.
What about pets?
Bouncer and Maggie- dachshunds and a hedgehog named Shortie
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
I love Olive Garden most now I think and we both still love Outback
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Nowhere. We still need to take a good vacation...
Who has the craziest exes?
That would be me, the crazy guy he saved me from!
Who has the worst temper?
He does, but it's much better than it once was. I'm not a very angry rage type of person.
Who does the cooking?
HA! same response as Mackey Madness- WHAT COOKING!?!
Who is more social?
I think he is. I used to be and now I’m pretty quiet.
Who is the neat freak?
We both are equally messy and neat.
Who is the most stubborn?
I am the most. He is too, but not as much as I. 
Who hogs the bed?
The dogs do 
Who wakes up earlier?
He does. I love to sleep in and not go to bed very early either. But I'm grumpy if I get no sleep. 
Where was your first date?
Macaroni Grill
How long did it take to get serious?
Fast. Within a month or two I wanted it all.. Marriage, kids, white picket fence, we were very open about wanting the same things with each other.
Who eats more?
Both. I have times and he has times.
Who does the laundry?
I do. But he is good at helping.
Who drives when you are together?
He does. No license for me yet or any time soon. 
Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong?
Him. I’m bad at this, need to work on being ‘wrong’.
Who wears the pants in the relationship?
We both do. No one person controls the other, I just want it to be mutual responsibilities and commitment.
Who eats more sweets?
Oh I do, when I get a craving- watch out!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Getting To Know You: Religion


I was raised in an age of naivety when parents (usually) didn't talk to their kids about sex, drugs, politics or religion. At least it's what I know of my family, my spouse's0 family  and my friends around me. We were let to figure it out on our own. Which is somehow a blessing and a curse. I was in tune with making my own decisions but when the hard questions came- they weren't discussed. It was all hush hush. God (or what have you) is a hard thing to discuss, somehow not tangible, lengthy and complicated. However I do remember having a children's bible and I did flip through it once and awhile although mostly for the great illustrations. To be fair, I never had too many questions about God and it seems I just somehow learned innately 'who he was' and why people die.


Religion in my family was sort of the same- it had faded and fizzled out before I was a thought. My older siblings had it and my parents themselves were coerced to have it dumped upon them in their youth. But I, never had the experience- and I honestly don't know what I think of that. I know we would occasionally go for easter mass at a local lutheran church with my maternal grandparents who lived next door to, also where I went to preschool. Maybe that's where and how I learned some of it without even knowing or realizing. However I do know that it was mostly naps, singing songs and playtime so I don't know what I could have gotten from it.


I really didn't even get too curious about God, religion or faith (or lack thereof) until I had something to feel loss about. My maternal grandmother I was very close to had just died pretty suddenly and I wasn't prepared. The thought of death was lost on me until losing her. So when I really knew she wouldn't ‘come back’ it hit me, and it hit me hard. I begged God why and to bring her back to me (even if just in a dream or vision). Well both of those things happened and it peaked my curiousity. Mom didn't think I was crazy for having 'seen her' but she hoped and wished she'd have the same experience. She encouraged me to keep talking to her at night and feel comforted by the fact that I had ten years with her and she was still watching over me.


Well getting back to religion, I always wondered why I was of few families I knew who didn't do a Sunday church. Instead our family (mandatory) Sunday dinners with my upscale, paternal side of the family. There was a grace prayer said but didn't feel like anything to me- similar to a thanks, nothing more nothing less. I wasn't confused by religion so much but it didn't have a huge part to play either. My paternal grandparents also went to church in some form or another (can't remember which denomination, presbyterian?) but it wasn't really talked about that much. On that side of my family, I got humanitarianism and culture shoved down my throat. Some was nice but mostly, I was just trying to be a normal kid.


When I was 10 or 11 I started going to a few community churches with friends and their families as I asked more and more about it at home. It was a safe way for me to explore; I guess and not be forced or misguided. It was interesting, they were all so vastly different. And I went to a couple that I was NOT interested in. The experience was the fun part and choosing where I wanted to fall back or dive in. I found the upbeat, modern musical churches- some larger churches, were an okay comfortable space for me. So I went a lot with my friend Kaysee to her community church and I enjoyed listening to their church band so much that I bought the CD. Later on as I became more social that was where I felt more comfortable in a youth group setting. I was meeting new people, sharing faith and speaking out in safe circles of friends. That was fun really until I moved away and I never found a youth group like that again.

When we got married there was a pastor named Pete, he was so great! Truly uplifting, happy all the time and wise as heck! I trusted him and believed in his messages every Sunday. I was getting invested. We had to have a marriage counseling session(s) so we went and really it was A) over my spiritual head and B) I wasn't buying a lot of it. It raised a conflict and I didn't wanna continue. We got married there but stopped going shortly after. I do really still know that Pete is a great person and am amazing guide.


I guess to this day I never really learned what role religion plays in my life. I don't feel like it's something I'm missing but that changes day to day. I'm not super altered by it although sometimes I wish I had a practice to believe in and go to. I'm not atheist or agnostic but I'm a God beginner and I think I will always be stuck there in the starting gate. I don't think being a _________ is going to church. I don't think you have to be "part" of some organized religion to call yourself something. I think being a good person triumphs over all. I do have FAITH and I always will. But I also wish it's a part of me that I'd just figure out or put my attention on.

These days I'm super uncomfortable in churches- I've been to way too many funerals by now and it's not a happy place anymore. It's daunting, scary and makes my nerves crawl. Do I believe that God brings people to heaven? Yes. Do I believe in Hell? To a certain degree, no. I do believe all my loved ones despite their actions and choices are all in heaven and awaiting the day I can see and be with them again. I also believe that God won't hand me anything I can't handle. I got mad when it first happened but with all the trials and lessons he's put me through- how can I not believe that? I've had a hard life and made some bad choices but haven't we all?! And I know that no matter what- God has my back, in the light and especially in the dark.

Getting to Know You is a monthly interview series that Brita created after the dissolution of Guys Behind the Blog. While Brita and her husband both answer the questions each month, feel free to use these questions to interview anyone in your life! Or just share your own responses. Link-up goes live on the last Tuesday of each month. 

Link up with Belle Brita:
Getting to Know You | Belle Brita

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Bloggy Brunch Week 13


Welcome to this sunny Sunday! I hope you've had a great and peaceful weekend and gotten lots of things accomplished. I'm trying to get all my production and motivation hacks together to make myself get more done. I'm trying to keep on a good posting schedule but I'm also on a new journey being a VA and that is bringing a lot of new time management skills. I'm hoping to get a new planner soon to amp up my skills.

-------------





Don't forget to link up!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Amazing Podcasts that I Love to Listen to

   

Recently, I've been listening to more podcasts than music and I wanted to share my favorites with you. Podcasts are becoming ever more popular and most blogger or entrepreneur is finding a personal way to create a new podcast expanding their brand and knowhow. It's been really great though as I read more and watch less TV (only occasionally now) and listen to more- I feel like my brain is exercising and that's a great feeling. I really hope you like my suggestions and download them for your spare time or travel time even. Let me know what you think- love or hate in the comments below! Tell me if you have a favorite too that I may not know about.

The Balanced Blonde

A podcast from a sweet gal running a blog and on social media as The Balanced Blonde. I just listened to her latest podcast when she talked to Mary Beth LaRue a soul coach and yoga teacher who helps the introvert become a successful person by owning their fears and overcoming them. She talks to many professionals and gets advice on various topics in life. It's a great talk show and relates back to the blog and her content- I would definitely check it out if you're into many lifestyle blogs.

Making Marriage More

I love this podcast like so so much! It's my favorite podcast on marriage, family and relationships- also faith too but I'm sort of biased. Jeff and Mandy Rose are a couple I've been following for years through blogs and social media. Their family is near ideal and I just adore them to pieces. They make it clear their lives aren't perfect and between the giggling, teasing and marriage tiffs'- it's a hilarious show you never wanna miss. You laugh, cry and ponder things in your life and how you can make your marriage more. 

Coffee with Chrachel

Coffee with Chrachel is a daily mix of  entertainment to news, to celebs and randomness between it all. It's truly a live chat (or brain dump) with a couple of young Seattlites, Chris and Rachel-who just really love chatting and drinking coffee. It's funny and who knows where the conversation will end up- but isn't that half the fun to a morning talk show? 

Ladies who Lunch

This podcast is from two YouTubers who I adore Cat and Ingrid and while I've only listened to a couple episodes- it warms my heart to hear them talk about real and raw things in this world. A wide variety of topics like life, love, sexuality, gender roles, friendship, news and media and more! It's a neat podcast and I never make assumptions on each episode because they are lovely and random and chatty. It always feels like I'm sitting in the room with them as my two best friends. Definitely check them out and if you'd like more- here are their channels on YT as well.
Ingrid: https://www.youtube.com/user/missglamorazzi
Cat: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCveMpvDshyXvo-LWUs3dUmA

The Lively Show

This weekly podcast designed to uplift, inspire, and add a little extra intention to your everyday. Episodes touch on various aspects of our lives including possessions, personal habits, relationships, and career. Entrepreneurship and online business also appear from time to time. (from description on iTunes)
I would also highly suggest listening to this one especially when working on self discovery and self development. It's great!

Where Passion Meets Truth

It's brand new! So go download it now and just take a listen. From my friends Raewyn and Megan who are two self love gurus and entrepreneurs and not to mention- two badass ladies! I've loved the first few episodes: an introduction, one featuring money mindset and one talking about how confidence shapes your mindset. Shield Sisters Initiative website is where it's all based- if you're not  already following and or a part of the movement JOIN US!

Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley

Tyler Oakley is another wonderful and hilarious YouTuber who I cannot get enough of! I've been listening and watching for over 2 years now and after seeing his movie called "Snervous" I am even more obsessed with his personality, dedication and humor. He and his best friend and co-speaker talk about news and media, random stories and adventures they go on. It's the greatest podcast for when you're feeling down- I can't get through a podcast without laughing.

If you haven't grabbed your FREE BLOG CHECKLIST yet- sign up here now and it'll be sent right away!



Monday, March 20, 2017

Currently March


currently drinking//
I've been on a continuous kick of english breakfast tea and coconut mocha k cup with vanilla creamer! I haven't been good at drinking water regularly except at night.

currently eating//
I've been eating some of these Velveeta mac n cheese and Hershey's chocolate eggs to be quite honest.

currently reading//
miracle morning is still being read on some nights when I can't sleep or focus. I'm excited for a list of books I have on my bookshelf up next too. If you're not too busy- you should come read more on my blog or come link up with us on Bloggy Brunch on sundays.

currently obsessed on//
The Voice. Man, I wish I could sing like some of these people and amazing- young kids! It's mind blowing and if you're not watching this season you should be...

currently looking forward to//
april. new month, new objective, fresh start. I'm really looking forward to buying a new used car, a larger more efficient one.

currently inspired by//
I'm also paying a lot of attention to brush lettering and calligraphy- lots of talented people I follow.




Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bloggy Brunch Week 12



Hello and welcome again! I'm glad you're here and I hope you had a great week and if not, well we can soon start over.
These last few weeks have been struggle bunny for me and just plain stressful. I have been sick with worry about my mom and her current condition *simply put* she isn't taking care of herself and no one will help her [outside sources]. Anyway, I'm trying to pick up the pace tonight so I can get a few blogs ahead and just feel a bit more steady. I've felt very lucky that I have such amazing and supportive blogging besties Pamela and Raewyn who do this great linkup with me.
I'm so happy it's almost the end of March and along with that almost SPRINGTIME! What are you looking forward to?


I'm gonna do a new blog reap and maybe a little check in as well. Maybe if you haven't been to my blog a whole lot before now (or on my old blogs) then you'll like what I'm showing you now.


I have realized that it takes a lot to be successful and I surely want to keep moving forward. It takes time, patience and persistence as well as a strong drive to get things done. I'm working on following through with my commitments because that shouldn't be hard in the first place. Mostly it's just prioritizing, scheduling things in a certain order and some time management skills need to be improved. I've been using Trello for managing tasks and prioritizing them as well. I really enjoy using a productivity application on my phone called Forest. It's like a timer but instead it keeps you on one task, the app and if you exit you lose your progress on a game to grow trees. The longer you stay in app, the bigger the trees are and more trees you unlock.
You should check it out!

  



Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Coffee Date


If were on a coffee date I'd tell you... This week has flown by. I don't know where the time is going. March is almost over and I'm not ready for that yet. I'm hoping time will slow down so I can get my goals back in order and strive harder for them.
If were on a coffee date I'd tell you... I felt a little lost in my blog this week and I took a step back (while getting posts out late and unreliable) I am challenging myself to get them up anyway. Consistency is K-E-Y! I'm trying to become more inspired and bounce ideas off everyone and everything- but all the while keeping my priorities in order.
If were on a coffee date I'd tell you...  I'm bonding with my husband more lately through some kinda rough days. We haven't been on the same communication wave length for awhile now and I'm really trying to have a patient ear and pause before responding to keep our tiffs at a minimum. It's been working well so far and I feel a lot calmer. I know he sees me trying and we've been in happier spirits lately.
If were on a coffee date I'd tell you... I'm still worried about the health situation with my mom. I haven't talked specifics and I won't. But she's alone and older and her body is starting to fail her. Getting around daily and taking care of herself is a chore everyday. I'm thinking positively for her and trying to keep in good contact as much as I can.
If were on a coffee date I'd tell you... I'm so excited for spring and the weather has been trying to change lately. I can't wait to feel the sun beam on my skin again. We've had some crazy confusing extreme seasons but I'm ready to get back to hot days and warm nights.
If were on a coffee date I'd tell you...I have been obsessed with the Keurig that our roommate got. We've been using it more than he has and I'll tell ya- it's amazing. We have a serious pod collection and I am loving all that I can make with it. Coffee, tea, iced tea, cocoa, etc. It's great! My new favorite is this one !
If were on a coffee date I'd tell you... I'm sorta dying to get back in the gym soon because we took a long break after Sean got sick and we have a break (didn't pay gym fees last month) but I am dying to move around and get my circulation flowing. I know I could walk, jog, run etc or do at home workouts but I feel like I can really grind in private at the gym and it's hard to do anything with two weenies running around.
If were on a coffee date I'd tell you... That I've been slaying the Netflix game and I'm so excited that Grace& Frankie is coming back again for season 3 in a week! I just watched Cheer Squad and I screeched and cried through the whole thing. I can tolerate that though being ex-cheerleader myself, it brought back all the right #feels
What is your favorite show on Netflix right now? Have you seen something you liked a lot that you didn't expect? Tell me.

 If we were on a coffee date, what would you tell me? What are you doing lately? How is life? And how's the weather where you are? I guess I should be thankful (I think) that the snow is gone.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Why I decided to become a Virtual Assistant

Learning Programs

I'm hoping through the process of it all which began way back in January, when I rebranded and envisioned something new for this blog. I started out with design in a tiny sense of the word- I learned a few components from my blog designer who created this beautiful piece on Etsy. I could customize certain aspects and so as I began writing I did change a few key parts. This continued to learning MailChimp, Hootsuite and Buffer now so my blog can reach more people who might enjoy not only my writing and personality but my insight I have from my life experiences. I know of a lot of helpful programs I'd love to look more into like ConvertKit for down the road, more designing programs like Adobe products and scheduling tools like Tailwind and BoardBooster. There are a ton of helpful programs and sites that VA's use to make their work more efficient. Hopefully I can get some help in this department and make some moves to expand my own knowledge for my portfolio. In addition to doing it for the work side of it- I also just haven't learned much in a long time since leaving school. Pushing myself to know more and learn to broaden my horizons is a good idea in any respect.

Passion

There's nothing better than waking up everyday to do something that you love and enjoy. I find myself in this blessed place that I have a unique situation that lends to some job flexibility. I should work and honestly, I want to do something to earn money. But I also know I could not stand and flip burgers all day and be stuck in anything that doesn't bring me the slightest bit of joy. I know most people on this earth are not that lucky and usually have to slump through the work weeks just to earn a living to do what we all have to in the first place. But since, I am outside that scope- I want to always know I'm doing things that make me thrive and bring me peace at the end of the day. Being passionate is something I will never give up.

Helping Others

I have seen so many people swallowed up by having too many side hustles or ladies who can never focus on one thing because so many ideas consume them (good and unique ideas-of course)! So I'd love to be the one who steps in and helps them slay the digital world while they have to work that 9-5 or tend to that growing, loving family or write a book or podcast. Mainly my objective is to free up as much time for them as I possibly can while still giving them the progress they desire. I'm a writer and social media addict by heart so doing those things in addition to doing my own is something I became very interested in the more I heard about it. Since then I've watched, gathered materials and joined groups all about Virtual Assisting and asked quite a few questions of a few that I know are successful in it.

Earn Money

I, like many others would like to be paid for my hard work and I feel I deserve what is fitting based on knowledge and quality of work done. Basically anyone doing any kind of hard work whether it be hard labor or digital tech stuff- you want to have compensation for it. In my special circumstance I'm using my earnings for more programs, upgrades for my blog website and any kind of materials I may need for my Virtual Assisting site. I offer fair prices and don't intent to rip off anyone in any way. I've eased into a few easy beginner jobs slowly as I learn. So I want to get the hang of a few things will potential clients before I dive off any deep ends.

Love Being Online

I started an online social media life in late 2005 with MySpace when I moved out right before I graduated. It was my first experience really being on my own (at a friends place- I felt watched over but not over-protected). I felt like I had a chance to meet other new people and be my best adult self. I was always checking in and tweaking my profile, updating the factoids and taking selfies. I opened a Facebook a few years later to befriend old classmates who I had moved away from and lost track of in my life. I followed along the years as Tumblr and Instagram came out as well as Pinterest and Twitter (in whatever actual order). Being online is fun to me, seeing inside someone's world and connecting to others in a new way.

Networking With Others

Working with others as my friends and coworkers in the blogosphere is one of my favorite things. I love hearing other peoples' ideas and goals, their vibes and what they want to accomplish. I love to hand out my help or some advice wherever I possibly can. I know that working online is somewhat of a joint effort in that when I don't know how to do something I can find someone to teach me or to pass it on to another person better suited. Building clientele is also usually done by word of mouth and passed on from networking with others. Plus, it's a great skill to have in any case, from blogging to VA services- you can learn a lot and bounce ideas off each other.

If you'd like to contact me for any VA services or collabs please email me at vanoraspualding@gmail.com

I have a newsletter going out today so if you aren't already subscribed then do so down below or on my Sign Up page up top. Thank you! You'll receive a freebie right after you sign up!



Monday, March 13, 2017

6 ways to make and keep online friends

So today I’m going to talk about friendship and if you don’t have a lot of close people in your life, the ways you can connect with new friends and people you have commonalities with online. There’s no rule about only knowing people in real life (or "IRL") because the way I see it, it’s all real life. No matter where you are the internet connects us, we are all intertwined. We all do this life together one way or another- so be someone's best friend. 
  • be that friend that you’d like to have
Lead by example. Trust is so big in a friendship and so is honesty- if you want to keep friends in any sense these are two qualities and skills you must possess and practice often. Be someone that they can depend on and be that in return as well. No flaking out, don’t be lazy, don’t mooch or be too selfish. No one wants to be around that sort of person. Always be nice and genuine and express gratitude when appropriate. Say Please and thank you! Those still go a long way.
  • stay in touch often
I’m not talking once a month or when so and so comes into town. I was once lazy about precious friendships and surely I lost those people in my life. We no longer speak. Too much time passed and too many things were left unsaid- our bonds disappeared and we crumbled. It doesn’t work if you aren’t committed to each other. Daily, weekly for sure and as much and as often as you can the better. The perfect advice I have is if you’re thinking about them, they are probably thinking about you. So take a moment to reach out and say Hi!
  • be there through thick and thin
Who do you want by your side  when things get hard or even when things are going good? Those who support you and cradle you are the true ones. When someone is down or having a hard time what do you do for others? You listen without talking,  relate some maybe and overall have a gentle demeanor. So when you need someone you want the type of person who will do the same. When things are good you celebrate and cheer each other on, so do plenty of that too!
  • share interests and common goals
Whether it’s writing, blogging, playing games, motherhood, crafting or DIY’ing- whatever it is you love to do, your passion is your tribe. You find your tribe by loving your passion. Take time to brainstorm and talk about your dreams, goals and desires- it grows a friendship by collaborating on a project or being a sounding board for someone. If someone needs your help or advice on a project be there and support them as best you can. It's fun to find things in common when you are not able to be close- I often send pins to my mommyhood friends and wedding decor to those who are getting married and might appreciate my aesthetic. Or I make a fun playlist and give it to someone I know would enjoy a workout playlist or a work mode jam session. It's really nice to think of others and will only strengthen that bond.  
“Do small things with  great love.” (Mother Teresa)
  • share about yourself and don’t be afraid to connect
To be a true friend you have to put yourself out there. It’s much like being in a relationship- you need to be vulnerable and trust that the other person will trust and respect you and you do the same in return. It’s a give and take that can either come naturally or be very difficult. All those yucky things in the corner of your mind, slowly open up all those feelings that helps dust off the cobwebs of your life- plus I promise, it feels way good to share the good stuff and the tough stuff too!
  • try these ways to communicate when you’re far apart
  1. Instant Messaging
  2. Twitter (and other social media accounts-Instagram, Pinterest etc)
  3. Facebook Chats
  4. Snapchat
  5. Emails
  6. Letters/pen pals
  7. FaceTime (if you’re both Apple users)
  8. Slack
  9. blog comments
  10. talk to text/voice messaging or apps like Voxer
  11. and make plans to visit if at all possible.
I’m hoping that these points help you make and keep some great new friends online that can become your IRL tribe- because my girls have become mine! 🙂 Thank you to Pam, Rae, Taush and Krysten- I know there’s many more but I’d ride or die for these four, love ya all so much!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Bloggy Brunch Week 11


Hello and welcome everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful and relaxing Sunday! My own headspace has been a little bit all over the place. I already talked about my mom I believe but she's having some just getting older/daily care issues so we are trying to reach out and help her some. It's been somewhat of a battle.
I've been trying to work on recreating a page for my VA biz and making the most sense of these service packages. I think I have a good process going but we will see because I haven't 'tested' them yet. I'm also trying to get my newsletter off the ground so I've been posting it at the end of each post.

This week I'm choosing Inspire the Best You post on "What depression and anxiety means to her"
because I believe in how important it is to talk about mental health. Depression and anxiety have these negative contexts but why are they that way? It shouldn't be. There are so many people suffering and being quiet about it. It only exacerbates the problem and doesn't solve anyone's' issues. I'm proud that she is talking about it and opening up her blog for conversation. I am a survivor/fighter of someone who took their life. I will miss him everyday but I believe in getting help when you need it. Talk to ANYONE. It will immediately make you feel better, relieved, less bogged down etc. If you feel you need to- always calla crisis or help line because they are always there 24.7 to help when maybe it's not enough. I want to link this article that I found on Facebook the other day as well- it was moving from both perspectives. It impacted me in ways I didn't realize, take a minute to read it and pass it on.
I also think people underestimate anxiety and what it does to those who fully have it in any capacity. I have been told I'm exaggerating, being pathetic, making it up and so on. I am not.  There is no choice involved in this which ails me, if there were I would not be choosing it. Or tolerating it each day. I was previously on medication personally and I didn't always think that it's for me. I ebb and flow, some days are worse than others but I also highly value life a lot more over the years and would never do anything to hurt myself even in those darkest moments where I have been before. I hope you seek help if you need to and know I'm always here for you. Privately email me if you'd like.





Friday, March 10, 2017

Thanks for the memories


If you don't know me very well or haven't read my older other blogs then you don't know this story. Let me rewind and back up to my high school days when I was not living at home and was not close with my mom at this time. My mom had moved into her childhood home back with my grandpa for a short time (or a long time..) with the help of my brother. Without placing any blame because in fact, I do not know whose fault it was the moving truck was repo'd and our possessions were also taken. And with that, not only a lot of prized possessions and antique furniture but also a whole 50 gallon storage tub which held all and I mean all of our family photos, trips, dances, birth announcements, school crafts and projects, childhood photos and childhood mementoes, awards and grade sheets. Everything you can possibly imagine to mark a point in our lives not only of mine but my siblings and many of my parents old personal photos as well. So it was a lot of irreplaceable items in them and it's very unfortunate that we lost it all. Every holiday and birthday started and ended with photos. Taking pictures is a big deal to lots of families and keeping these special glimpses in time. In the digital age,folks take lots of senseless photos everyday but we don't stop in these seconds to take in the moment when it's happening.

Basically my family didn't have copies or other pictures from really any period in our lives. I kept whatever few I could find from certain friends and family members I kept very dear to my heart from that point on. It's been a long time since that happened with the pictures but I try to keep track of the memories we create now. I have a few albums of my family photos I have gathered and when my father and grandpa both passed- I was able to get my hands on more mementos and photo frames. Part two of this story is that when I moved out of my house when my dad died- I surprisingly found many, many undeveloped rolls of film and packets of pictures that I had even forgotten about. Mostly from camp, the summer previously and a few vacations with my dad and other family get together. I carried these with me wherever I moved and boy, I moved a lot. Like not a normal amount. Beyond a normal amount, I moved every year for several years, moved in with my sister, moved in with a friend and lived in 5 dorms in 3 years. So I really treasured these pictures in my memory box where I kept all my memories and childhood things, then that housed my photo album collections, funeral cards and wedding cards. It was a big deal to me and it should be a good thing for everyone to do. Always back up your online presence, not just a blog but multiple copies of pictures and things. Becuase even if Facebook and Instagram disappear tomorrow you'll want to be able to access them somewhere and have multiple hard copies.

What can you do to not let his happen to you? Well for one, digital is the way to go because you won't be suddenly missing them. And make sure that you put them in various places like Photobucket, iCloud or OneDrive. Being on social media is always being criticized for being  I would suggest having family photos of holidays and birthday perhaps in photo books created with any of the reputable places for low cost. This is a great way to keep the memories and have them all bound together in one spot and not just loose. Also when moving, I would suggest taking the irreplaceable items with you personally in the car or moving them separately and getting movers insurance with companies can be a good thing. It may seem like a stretch but if you have any vintage photographs that are irreplaceable I would suggest a safety deposit box. Either one at the bank or an indestructible one in your home to guard against any natural disaster. It's a serious thing especially when you live in a state where those things can happen at the drop of a hat. I hope this helped some of you be more protective of your things and not forget about those memories most precious to you.




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Simple Ways to Show You Love Someone


This post is loosely about "The Five Love Languages" and I really liked putting thought into this for new, fresh ways that I should even apply more of the 'showing instead of just telling' someone you love them. I don't know about you but I'm not always the best at remembering to be present and show love. I'm working on this and striving to be a better listener for my marriage. I'm still reading through this book so I will not claim to be any kind of expert or know it all but, I am familiar and clear with the principles it's based on. It's a book I'd love to read with my husband but neither of us are big readers, so we will see.

say I love you, give a compliment, use kind words to describe them etc.

The easiest and simplest way of showing someone you love them is by simply telling them. But as you say it let the words sink in deep. Just like people rush into bed or marriage sometimes you should never rush into an "I love you". You should always mean it and never say it just to make someone love you. These words are not to be taken lightly obviously because it helps our significant others feel more cherished and appreciated. Even if it turns out to be something you don't even know about- I'll use this as a great example. I never knew how my husband talks about me when I'm not there- but after a recent conversation, he admittedly said something like "I'm always raving and ranting about how wonderful you are and how much you help and care for me everyday...My friends know how much I love you." It was totally in the back of my mind and I never batted an eye but it melted my heart to hear how kind he is especially when I'm not there.

help them with something (a task) 

A great way to show he's loved is by helping him do a task that you may not be a part of normally like gardening or helping him fix something. This also works well vice versa by having his help and bonding over easy chores you'd like a hand with: pesky laundry or dirty dishes, make it fun and playful so you can express the love while you accomplish something. You do a task without expecting anything in return , the act in itself is showing outwardly affection. In our home, from the start of moving to a rental house we divided chores to be fair so if Sean mows the lawn, I know my job is dog poo poo duty before he does. That's still (to us) a small task that shows love because it's helpful and one less thing he has to do in the end. It also saves his bad back too which I know he appreciates. 

gift them something with genuine thought (not always something bought)

Now this one is more about the thought and intention behind the action and less about the actual gift or presentation. If I were to try this, it would be a homemade card or a hot cocoa mix or thinking of making a care package for a certain person or time that would be helpful. This could also fall under like helping with a task because you could make a special dinner, put out a nice presentation, decorate and make dessert. Like to me, even though it's not a big thing- getting fresh flowers are a grand gesture because it's rare and I love it that much more! 

show them with hugs or physical affection

Being psychical is a keystone to any relationship so if that is an area you're lacking then I suggest to create more effort there. The smallest actions have the biggest effect on a person and their love meter. Like in our relationship- I love it when he kisses me on my forehead or holds my hands and strokes the back of it to calm me. He enjoys when I sit on his lap, give him big hugs or cuddle and lay next to him. He wants to see and feel my affection before anything else. This is also part of his love language- he's a physical touch person. But it's not really mine so I'm much less dependant on these things to feel love.

I hope these ideas help you to spend more time with your significant other and be closer to them by doing small little things that they might appreciate. What small thing could you do for your significant other or spouse that would show them love today? 



//Thanks for reading this post! If you liked it please leave a comment below telling me why and where I can find you. You can always follow me elsewhere like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. You can also follow me via Bloglovin' if you like to read over there instead. Make sure you grab my FREE BLOG POST CHECKLIST here when you subscribe to my newsletter. It makes it easy to never miss a post either! XOXO lots of love. // 


Monday, March 6, 2017

March Goals and Intentions


This past month was self admittedly not much progress on my goals, it just didn't happen. I guess to be fair- some did improve and some didn't stick at all. But besides that, I do still want to work on them so I'll try to pick fewer and focus on them more routinely. These are the few from last month that I chose to focus on and from looking I got about half of them accomplished. Better than nothing at all I suppose!

February Intentions Recap:

A) Book review- Feisty and Fearless and You are a Badass
   -Read every night until You are a badass is complete, put status updates on Goodreads
   -review on Goodreads rate for other readers book 2 for yearly challenge
B) Get 2 VA clients and get testimonials from those clients to build brand
   -Promote the VA business in groups, on social media and through word of mouth and referrals
   -Create design for infographics for VA business
   -Try to gain one new small skill for services
  • I tried to get on this one however I was sidetracked when I got some re-design efficiency advice. So I started to overhaul my VA page and took it down for the time being while I figure out my direction and purpose. I did promote it before however I got this advice from a professional in the field. I'm going to try to get ahead on this and drive through for Virtual Assisting. 
C) Keep my blog successfully written 4x a week
   -Draft a week in advance ( I kept up but not ahead in Jan. )
   -Stay on top of Hootsuite and social media for my blog/VA
   -Vary topics weekly-pets, life, linkups and more!
  • Writing consistently? YEP CHECK! Until this last week I was totally written every M/W/F/Sun in February. I'm proud of myself for keeping to this one it's been hard but I did pretty good. I haven't scheduled social media quite as much as I should have for visual means. I'm working on that one still. I've done good with varying topics as well- trying to stay and not widen too far but my categories up top are pretty spread out. I haven't drafted a week in advance (right now I'm catching up) but I'm motivated so maybe this month. 

Goals for February (done):

I did connect with friends more.// I definitely wrote more in my Instant Happy Journal and also started journaling through freewrites.// I'm just starting to re-organize my online life, photos and emails (which I need to do again). // I kept the blog successful by writing regularly. // I did 'meet' some business connections in groups on facebook and others. // We also managed to keep the house in clean state of sorts. //


Now onto this month: 

MARCH: 

it's been a huge doozy let me just tell you...Family concerns, basic depression, anxiety and boredom. So here's what I will manage to try. 

Goals

  1. Read nightly for 30 mins
  2. Less time on phone- Saturday social media free
  3. Drink more water
  4. Refresh VA page and set up for new clients
  5. Use fitbit for daily activities and monitor sleep
  6. Charge up water bottle and use for monitoring intake
  7. Write one review, one pet and one marriage post this month
  8. Possibly do home yoga on youtube or video
  9. Meditate daily 
  10. Show love more, listen and be patient, breathe and stay calm

Intentions

A) Blog regularly: Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (linkup) 
-post to social media, include all needed links, newsletter connection and VA info

B) Overhaul VA page and do one trial run for testimonial with new packages 
-design package graphics and set up terms/information 

C) Read another book, finish Miracle Morning and write review this month.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay well I hope you all have a very good week, email me with any questions or if you'd like to collab: noraspaulding@gmail.com

And I hope you grab your FREE BLOG POST CHECKLIST if you haven't by signing up for my newsletter. 

If you would like to hire me for any of my VA services or have any questions you can email me at vanoraspaulding@gmail.com


© Nora Spaulding. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.