Sunday, May 28, 2017

Bloggy Brunch #19

May is just about OVER! I'm already 29 years OLD, I need to remember that it's just a number. What is this magical madness?! I know I say things like this every year but I just cannot believe how fast time flies when my birthday passes each year. I guess I had a different expectation of my life at this point but somewhere along the way that view changed but I never corrected the idea in my brain.
In case you missed my posts last week you can check them out here:


Here's a few other posts I have seen lately that I really love:


In case you didn't see or know that we switched this linkup to a end of the month one- now we have new graphics (by the lovely Pamela Hodges) so please snag the new ones. Feel free to post them on your sidebar if you join in with us and want to spread the word!  Same Rules Apply- they are below in the linkup itself {so if you aren't familiar please go read them}.


Friday, May 26, 2017

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

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*I wrote this previously on my other blog and people seemed to really enjoy it.* I have seen this going around and wanted to actually try to complete these (as true to heart as I possible can) for some time now. These are deeply thought provoking questions and the answers may surprise you. I love that no matter who answers them, each person will have a different take and outcome on it. These questions have no right or wrong answers. The more descriptive and emotionally thought provoking the better. 
Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer:
  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I have always felt older than I actually am, this is the price of having a crappy childhood and being mixed up in a lot of unavoidable situations. Age is a relative number, so I you’re only as old as you truly feel.
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Without a doubt not trying is worse than failing. When we fail, we learn a lesson, a rule of thumb for life and it changes us and teaches us something about ourselves but when you never try- it’s as if, you miss out on yourself or getting to be a part of somthing you’d never know otherwise. It’s a loss for you and no one else.
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? It’s a great mystery but I figure we only try what we think is attainable. We do the things we have to to survive and be successful in life. We do the bare minimum (eat, drink, work, bathe, eanr money and procreate) and don’t think the rest is important enough to make time for it. But really it’s more important because without the enjoyable stuff, you’re just doing the motions through life. You have to be yourself in this life and learn who that is quickly enough that you can live your potential. 
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?  Me, personally, yes. I always say I’m going to do this and that. I never actually do. Although when you think of the grand scheme of life-isn’t it the moments threaded toegther that matters and makes the memories that embed our lives. Yes, so take advantage now and dive into your life. I plan to make some changes in 2016 to attack my life more
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? Peace. It may sound cliche but oh boy we are living in a hostile, violent and tragic world these days. I can’t watch the news anymore living day to day like this. I want to be informed but not at the cost of my own sanity and sense of self freedom. We have to learn how to get along, drop the shit and love each other. I honestly have never understood why all the hate has caused so much violence. These days it’s every moment of the day another life is lost in a million ways. It’s just so sad. 
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? Counseling. Oh for sure. I dreamt of helping traumatized kids who went through tragic loss like I did as a kid and I felt like I’d be so rich if I were to do this. I wanted my experiences and input would change a life, a view or get someone help before it was too late. I would also love to work a crisis line and I just don’t know that I could emotionally handle it so I never did. These jobs or paths would feel so rewarding to me. 
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? I’m somewhere in the middle..I love writing but I need to change and adapt some things because I don’t feel like I’m writing anything that matters to anyone.  I need to up my quality in my content and I am praying that this post also does well. I want to strive for more, it’s one of my new years resolutions next year. 
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? Have no fear of ANYTHING. I would sky dive, bunjee jump, travel, be a nomad and just live life free….. But honestly that’s not really responsible or possible for most people, because you have to have money in the end to live a life like that and be able to survive it all, no matter what. It’s a dream though.
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? Somewhat I think, I learned to take control more but being an adult sucks. Well it’s just not easy unless you have the right timing and resources to create a life you love. I have had a lot of crappy things happen to me my whole life but to what extent does that control you years later? You have to move on at some point. So that’s what I’m trying to do now these days. Start being smart for the future. I can choose to make the days what they are now with the freedom to be who I want to be, so it’s a process that is ongoing daily moment to moment. Every thing in life is a choice. 
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? I’m more worried about doing the right things. Because each course of life is a new path and changes your reality in as much as a split second. 
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do? Speak up! For sure. I was a walk all over mat for too long so I believe if you are truly friends with someone that means you have their back and are honest with others. I would stick up for someone I cared about NO MATTER WHAT. 
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Be diligent. Be yourself and be a good person through life. It matters, you matter, I matter-life is a string of moments and experiences. 
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Yes, absolutely I would do anything for those I love. I would do whatever it takes to save them in any kind of circumstance. Even if jail was on the table- I would still take it for the people I care about. 
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? Yes I was at a breaking point where I lost my father and I was a flipping mess (in every sense of the word, didn’t know which way was up) but at a certain point I hit a way to deal with my trauma in a creative way and started writing poetry and lyrics, anything I could get my brain around. 
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?  I live life differently. I mean obvious yes, but I have been through so much that I know I am more understanding and more empathetic than most people I know. I am trustworthy and love to give advice to people in thier low times.
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? Because everyone is an indiviual and different, new person. No one likes all the same things unless you’re a twin. 
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?  I want to be in terms, just more adventurous. I want to go sky diving, bunjee jumping, zip lining and all those crazy things. I want to become a much more outgoing person in general. 
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Grief, anger and sadness over the loss of my loved ones especially my dad. I want to be a more positive upbeat person and let go of those negative emotions that bog us down day by day. 
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? I would move back to my motherland (Italy) where my grandfather and his family were raised in centrail Italy until they came here. I would love to see the country, roots and customs that my grandfathers family were raised with. Getting to know my ancestors and extended family is my biggest dream. 
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? Sure I do, but I do not belive it makes it faster and I only repeatedly press it when I’m in a hurry. It does make me calmer and helps me to be more patient in the waiting stage. Plus I’m an antsy person anyway, so figiting it inevitable. 
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? I would definitely enjoy being a happy simpleton! I am a worried simpleton and I hate constantly living around with stress. This is a daily occurence and enough to drive anyone mad. 
  22. Why are you, you? I am a culmination of both of my parents and it’s very clear to me where I got my personality, habits, traits and mannerisms. My features physically both enbody my parents and there is no denying I’m their child. I am thankful that I had the parents I had and for the most part they were great and the other parts- well I learned how to not be. 
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?  Yes, I always try to be the very besy friend and confident I can be. I support those around me and am always available to help no matter what. I do not let myself get walked on though anymore. I like to keep a few close friends around me and into my inner circle. 
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?  When a friend moves away definetely. I was this such friend and to feel helpless about the situation is so hard!  I think if you drifted from a friend who lived near you- maybe you just aren’t suited to be close anymore. People go through phases and people change and grow together or apart. That’s life!
  25. What are you most grateful for?  My husband. Might seem very typical or cliche but really. I think he saved me truly. I was in a terrible situation and place when me and my husband met. I was in an abusive relationship and brainwashed to what was happening and how bad it was. I wasn’t happy and he just swooped in at just the right time. He talked to me kindly and listened intently when I had something to say, we finished each others sentences and it was a wonderful time. I’m so thankful to have him in my life. 
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?  I would lose all my old memories, since most of them are negative ones anyway. I have lived a semi hard life already filled to the brim with loss and tough times. I can’t imagine not being able to create new ones. 
  27. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?  I don’t think it is. If you said the sky is purple and I can see the sky is blue, wouldn’t I question that?! You can’t take everything always at face value and plus some people are really good liars. 
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true? I would say yes and no. My greatest fear would be to lose those I love who are closest to me and yes, I have lost family members and friends too soon but it also changes when you get married and have kids etc. I cannot imagine losing a child and I think to date that is my greatest fear. 
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now? Yes I do remember. No it doesn’t. It is all situational. We grow and adapt everyday to change our realities. Time heals all wounds and all that stuff-but hey, it’s true. Unless it’s a traumatic experience (it could be different for you) but it won’t alter your life much. (I see how and why others may answer this oppositely)
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?  My favorite childhood memory is when I played downstairs in our family room with my dad.. I had a kitchen playset and a shopping cart and we were on video playing together having a grand old time. I lost him when I was 13 so if I could have those tapes back I sure would. I miss him and how we were so alike in so many ways, we were inseperable. I was a daddys girl and I still say that I am. 
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?  Probably when we got our second car. It was exciting and so adult-like thing to do, I don’t think anyone ever gets used to being an adult but I felt like I was being so responsible about it. It is my husbands car but our money, I felt like I was being so smart with it. 
  32. If not now, then when? Now. Because you may never get your second chance or next day to try again. 
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? I have nothing to lose. So I need to make more effort in my dreams and goals. 
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? Yes I sure have. It was a really good night of my life. I will actuallly always remember this night. 
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? Because love is understood differently and looks different to everyone. Not everyone is going to agree on an emotion that is ever changing and has strict rules applied to it depending on where and who you are. 
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? This is also a relative thing. I’d like to think there is a black line to good and evil but that is just not the case. For example: someone who kills an intruder- is it still murder? or self defense? Is it okay to love your neighbor and not your horse? Who’s to say what is right and what is not? We all have opinions. 
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? Yes. Yes I would. For some time at least. Or maybe I wouldn’t and I’d donate it and save for college funds and retirement. 
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? More work I enjoy- for sure. I would take a full time, non stop job over one I hate and don’t want to ever go to or something I don’t agree with anyday. That would be too hard and promised myself I’d never be stuck in a job I hated- no matter what. 
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? Yes. I do. And really I have. What makes your day so varied? How do you know time isn’t standing still? I love having a clock and a calendar. 
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?   When I fell in love and the world was against me and judging me from the outside in, everyone thinking they know better than me in my own relationships in life. I have been there and done that- when it’s true love at first sight- you don’t let anyone or anything stop you. 
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? Everyone I possibly could. Those family members I miss, love and trust. The friends I call true and trust. The people in my life that have made an impact and mattered to me at the roughest parts of my life, because without them I would not be the same person I am today. 
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? No. No way, not ever. I think I’m doing fine in the life I’ve been given-plus I think I wouldn”t turn out so nice with attraction, glory and fame. It would change me too much into someone I wouldn’t wanna be. 
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Anyone can be alive but truly living is putting your life in the drivers seat and taking advantage, learning, growing and striving for all you want in life. Being a good person and treating people like they matter. Changing the world to be better in your own way. Leaving your mark on it and showing the future you were there.
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?  I think as long as your not risking your life it’s safe to take some wise chances. I’m a pretty safe and practical person so I’m not the greatest judge of being spontanious but I do an okay job. Risk=Rewards. Yes!
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? Because we as humans are perfectionists and are afraid of failure. Hence we don’t wanna make a mistake I think it also plays into our ego. 
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? I would be much more free in my lifestyle, I would be more open and honest with everyone. I would try and fail more things without judgement. I would be happy and have no fears relating to what people think of me. 
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? When I was snoring… As I fall asleep or when I’m laying with Sean adoring my husband. When I’m meditating and being quiet. 
  48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? I love bloggging. I love my friends and family-I love most of all my husband and my dogs. I love our apartment and the memories we share and will share here to come. 
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? Maybe. I will remember all the little times collectively. I’ll remember the great phases of life. The milestones. The simple parts of life. The wonderful seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years.
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?  I’m making them for myself. I need to cherish and treasure the people around me more and remember the small things. I need to choose the direction of my life and decide what I want most at this point in my life. I’m happy, healthy, loved and very blessed. I’m deciding to be happy with where I am right now. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

29 wishes, 29 goals


Today feels pretty much the same as any other, except it is my BIRTHDAY! I wrote these 'birthday related posts for the last few years and I really liked them so I wanted to include them this year with a few pictures of birthdays past.I really can't believe it the last year of my 20s. That to me, is scary.. I wonder if for some things my internal clock is ticking. I mean a lot has happened in the last year from Sean losing his job, us moving to a nicer apartment, then us moving to a house, roommate moving out, friends come and gone and Sean regaining his job back! It's been a roller coaster ride but we are just doing the best we can and trying to make the most of everyday.

WISHES

  1. I want to grow my marriage-grow closer and gain better communication; always working on that.
  2. Keep building a community with my blog, stay consistent and show steady growth in my social media numbers.
  3. Read more, watch less.
  4. Make a solid plan to meet up with friends and create deeper friendships.
  5. Do more random acts of kindness for strangers.
  6. BELIEVE IN LOVE
  7. Cook more,  eat out less.
  8. Regular date nights.  Maybe at least once a month planned.
  9. Find peace with losing loved one
  10. Take better care of myself (physically, emotionally and psychologically)
  11. Decorate the bathroom.
  12. Be a more patient person
  13. Act more graciously/be more forgiving
  14. Stay super close with my sisterhood of bloggers
  15. Clean my apartment daily & weekly to keep our place looking nice
  16. Drink more water!
  17. Save 1000$
  18. Find some spiritual connection
  19. Watch top movies on IMDB
  20. Travel anywhere- Greece, Carribean etc. 
  21. Go visit Disneyworld
  22. Shop Costco for a year (DONE)
  23. Get a massage
  24. Work on taking more pictures
  25. Do a boudoir shoot
  26. Be happy with less (stay content) and full of joy
  27. Learn more worldly knowledge
  28. Learn a language (french, relearn)
  29. Don't feel old, age is just a number

GOALS

  1. Go on a cruise
  2. Do 2 good deeds for strangers
  3. Get VA biz going (build website)
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Get a King size bed
  6. Get a bike and go trail riding
  7. Read 5 books and write reviews on my blog
  8. Decorate our house seasonally-keep it feeling home-y (TJ MAXX, HOME GOODS, ROSS etc)
  9. Use Fit Bit regularly-track sleep again
  10. See 3 movies with my husband
  11. Blog post 3x a week
  12. Keep in touch with friends better
  13. Take more pictures
  14. SAVINGS$$$
  15. Get health insurance (again)
  16. Get regular checkups/dental- medical
  17. Keep daily schedule routine (9am-midnight)
  18. Discover more music/write more playlists
  19. Journal daily
  20. Learn to shop thrifty 
  21. Build a nice wardrobe 
  22. Data Entry for VA website
  23. Be less consumed by electronics-One day of TURN OFF social media
  24. Stop and just breathe, take in all the small moments
  25. Dance in the rain and fully be happy in it…
  26. Go to the beach
  27. Cook more and go out less
  28. Kiss and Hug even more often, at least a few times a day, connection is key.
  29. Review 5 shows/movies from Netflix, Hulu or Prime


Monday, May 22, 2017

Letters to Myself: Past Edition


Dear sweet naive little girl,
Well you probably are shocked I said that but my darling you have so much to learn and experience yet. It's just the start. You have no idea what is about to come. You have been so good, so pure, so very innocent up to this point-again you'd disagree with me but goes to show that you just don't know much yet. You think that you know it all and are wise beyond your numerical age-which for most; you are.

Don't worry about how small you are and how you won't basically ever grow into your body, just know that you are a unique petite flower and that's all you were meant to be. Embrace it and own it. Many wish they were like you, just be sensitive to others feelings and body shapes as well. 

Your life has been hard in comparison to some others but you have no idea what God has challenged you with in this lifetime. Whatever God throws your way, you know you can overcome and get past anything he pushes you through. Believing even that right now in your beginning years might be hard but rest assured; God has your back every single day. All your thoughts, dreams, wishes and hope are all heard and counted for tally in the grand scheme of life. The things you truly want and are looking forward to, will happen in due time and with all grace. The people you really need will be at your side and keep fighting for you even when you push them away. Family is family but 'family isn't always blood' and that will ring true as well multiple times in your life. 

Having all the feelings you'll experience is good and healthy. Don't be scared, don't pull away- feel them deeply. you'll be better for it in the end, I swear. May I also say don't be mad at God for creating all these feelings in you. Sooner or later you'll be happy you had them. Granted you will still be making some mistakes and things you wish you had handled better but it's okay because you'll forgive yourself too. The overall lesson is to stay strong, understand that you will get through it, and keep everyone close. the people who matter will always stay by your side. 

As much as you want to, stop looking to the past for all the answers. If you go there, you'll stay there and miss the beautiful continuance of life ahead of you. It's not where you want to stay in the past-it's toxic and basically does no good in the grand scheme of things. So head your head on straight and look towards your bright future, don't give up and keep on truckin'. (I've always been one for cheesy motivational sayings)
Even if you never see it again, you are a smart, kind, gentle soul who cares a lot about others and will always have a ton going for her. Be brave my young girl... it will all be okay.

If you're not already subscribed to my newsletter I'll have another one coming out soon by the end of the month!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Happy Friday 5/19/17



This week has flown by and I'm happy to report it was a wonderful week. I got so much done and I feel very accomplished and organized. I have been in better communication with friends and family too. The good news is that Sean got his old job back at the vape shop and we are excited about that with any extra income on the side. I have been in a good (better) head space to get more things done around the house and in general.

This weekly linkup is every Friday to share all the little, sweet things we enjoy and make us happy during the week! I've been writing and joining for years with the amazing Krysten from Why Girls Are Weird and seriously her blog is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! encouraging, truthful and relatable! Be sure to check it out! And she started this incredible support blogging group on Facebook and it's one of my TOP favorites! So check that out here too and come join us! Facebook group here: AuthenticBloggers .

Without further ado, here's my list for this week (typically 10):


  1. HelloFresh box
  2. "Dishes are done man!" (quote the movie!)
  3. Laundry got put away and hung up, vacuumed the bedroom and tidied the closet
  4. Panda Planner
  5.  AJ and Aly are making new music!! YES it's about time!
  6. LuLaRoe clothing is collaborating with DISNEY (2 yr contract) [who's excited!?!]
  7. apple juice {because yum!}
  8. big blog plans and editorial calendars
  9. my mophie xxl charger, it's my tech saver- as long as I remember to keep it charged up, lol
  10. still loving my MONQs! Maybe a review post? Let me know down below. 
I discovered this week after getting my hello fresh box that I really enjoy cooking. I had never really believed that I could or would be good at it. As long as I have something to follow or a guide and flavor profile, I do just fine. I also found out that you can cook salmon in 8 mins and its SUPER easy and comes out divine. I guess I'll be cooking more fish at home. 
While I was cleaning I noticed that I was becoming more productive and efficient with music on. I could have fun enjoy what I was doing and get more done. I got all my chores done yesterday in one foul swoop and enjoyed the peaceful day by myself while Sean was at work. 

 Hope to see you in AB group and have a lovely day!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Currently: May



Loving: All the quiet time around here in the mornings we've had. I enjoy waking up and feeding the dogs. I enjoy a cup of coffee while watching a morning talk show or listening to a podcast sometimes. Pretty quickly I've gotten into doing some laundry as I get ready for my day as well; getting dressed and waking up my body for the day ahead.


Reading: I've been back in audible and I had some credits, so I used them! I got three celeb related, autobiographical books that have lots of humor. So I'm excited to start them.

Watching: I've been loving Fixer Upper because HELLO! It's the best show ever! And I got back on the Once Upon A Time train-I am a whole season behind and getting excited to see it's closure. It's a fantastic concept of a show and if you haven't seen it then get on it!

Anticipating: When I feel like I have my S*** together again. It’s been about a hundred years since I’ve felt grounded and organized. I’d love to get back to that feeling of peace of mind and contentment. I have a lot to do with some growth and process to get through but eventually I’ll do it and I’ll be patient in the meantime.

Planning: Some pages work on the blog! I have a lot of challenges to begin on my goals post for this month, let alone the things that I haven’t gotten done on my past to do lists. I will be taking on a data entry program (which I’ll be scheduling out for this week) and working on a newsletter.

Working on: This post! Drafting ideas for the rest of the month and ways to include more on each post so I can offer my readers as much as I know how. I want to always include important key pieces of info in each post and feel like they are complete. Jotting down ideas for extensive social media posts. If you have any ideas you’d like to see or give any input email me [noraspaulding@gmail.com]  or comment below. I’d also love some lifestyle guest posts; I’m pretty open to anything so if you’d like to participate also please email me.

Wishing: I need more seconds, more minutes, more hours, more days and more years. I’m turning seventy five twenty nine in about a week and I’m nervous... I am feeling older and time is rushing by. I can’t handle it! I just would like it to all slow down...but wouldn’t we all??  What are you wishing for right now? How can I make your wishes come true?

Excited about: SUMMER! Since we live constantly in a mucky state, I am ready, ready, ready for sunshine all day long! Swimsuits and tank tops and shorts are all I want to wear (in addition to my new LuLaRoe clothes) when it’s hot out. I can’t wait for us to start exploring more in this town and go walking around more often and maybe I’ll get a bike soon to explore even more! :)

Eating: I had Subway today for the second time this week and I got really full! It was so good, I had a Melt which is turkey, ham and bacon. Yum- like so delicious! I got lettuce, olives, pickles, cucumbers, onions and ranch/salt pepper on it. It was just so yummy and exactly what my stomach needed. I was satisfied for hours and now munching on chips and cookies as I work. Leftover from earlier...

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Monday, May 15, 2017

The Keys to Finding your Next Apartment

Location/Price/Size:

Of course when you’re moving, you’ll have an idea of why and where you want or need to be living. Location is most important factor when choosing a new apartment because you’ll be there for at least 6-12 months or longer if you choose to re-sign. 
Price is also going to be one of the major key elements; maybe there’s a strict budget or you have some wiggle room. Either way you need to be diligent about price and discuss with your partner/spouse or roommates about finances. It's important to be up front and very honest about it.
You have to be realistic about square footage, number of rooms, how many bathrooms, amount of closet space, as well as storage spaces like cabinets and drawers and storage closet (if available) you’ll truly need.  Know what you have and if anything downsize & declutter before moving-it will help you a TON. A lot of new tenants aren't allowed to make many adjustments to the space however it's a great practice to be smart with organizing clutter and also using wall space in a tactful way(vertical not just horizontal). 

Applications/fee, Deposit-first last month’s/credit check, Pet fees, utilities:

Step one in moving is taking tours and physically seeing the space. If and when you like an apartment (or condo/house etc) then you have to apply for it. Put in your application ASAP! Applicants are vicious at some nicer complexes and will snatch a unit from under you without a deposit down or unit being held (this happened in my experience twice). When you fill out the application, make sure you print neatly and if you mess up; either A) very carefully use white out and write clearly over or to the side of the mistake or B) start over on a fresh application  if it can’t be fixed.

DO NOT PUT YOUR IDENTIFYING INFORMATION on it until the end especially YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER! For fear of it falling into the wrong hands besides your hands or your managers hands…BE CAREFUL! 

But also don’t forget to sign the bottom and bring with you any needed documents like bills for identification, pay stubs or bank statements for income verification and an ID (of some sort). Usually application fees are no more than 20-40$ a piece, if at all.
Have an idea of your credit score beforehand- you don’t need to know this particularly but you’ll have a deposit based on credit so be realistic about what that number may be. They can run anywhere from like 300$- 2x the full rent amount (is what I’ve seen on Oregon applications). Sometimes it’s one full month rent or even first and last months rent OR a flat rate deposit based on your credit.
Pet fees are a big part too when you have a kitty or your best friend fido, you’ll want to bring them with you. These days it is expensive to bring your buddies along with you to a new place-I don’t know if every state has "pet rent" but usually you’ll at least be hit with a not-so-friendly deposit for your furry pal too. I know most major cities are initiating these fees, especially in big time NYC or Seattle. 
Utilities are another monthly expense (most places don’t cover for W/S/G (water, sewer, garbage), so if anything one maybe comped but don’t go in expecting anything. Count these in addition to your rent and pet fees expenses could be upwards of 50$ or more depending on where you live.

Quiet community V.S louder kid friendly complex:

As far as this goes- you need to know what type of person you are. You may not have all the control in the world over this but, to an extent you do. If you are a family of four, you won’t mind having lots of kids and a more active community around you. But if you are a single adult, a quiet older couple or a pair who just isn’t about kids then you’ll want a much quieter complex. In your search be mindful of places that are loud and active versus more quiet and reserved. We personally don’t like to hear  screaming, some badly behaved kids constantly and have to deal with many families in the pool for instance but you don’t have much control over it. So I always just ask what the manager thinks and if we can get a unit in a quieter building.

Hard floors/Laminate V.S Carpet:

This is a main point of a residence and he floors you have really set the stage for your apartment. If you have kids then you’ll want more carpet for falls and playtime. If you have dogs or cats then maybe hard floors might be a better option. There are often many options in an apartment and this may play more into what you’re looking for in a place. I find hard floors a little more difficult to clean the dust bunnies and get the corners spic and span but also impossible to keep nice clean carpets with dogs- so weigh your options and take it into account while visiting spaces. I love using Swiffer products on my floors and Dyson vacuum for carpet. I would highly recommend a Dyson vacuum, they are worth the money and you'll want to use it for everything. 

In Unity Laundry OR Laundry Room separate outside space: 

I always prefer having my own laundry in unit. Sometimes it’s not possible and having a laundry room outdoors is usually what people would get stuck with. The moving of everyone’s clothes, having to pay coins for it, and going up and down floors with your laundry is a hassle.
Having an in hall laundry area is somewhat of the same problem. It’s always in the way, you’ll have clothes everywhere and moving them up and down (usually in a stack able version) isn’t the best for your back.
But those who can be blessed with an in-unit laundry room (small or large) will certainly appreciate some place to get rid of those stinky clothes, somewhere to get those spots out and a place to fold and sort. Handy too when you can do laundry in your own space at any hour. Do your best to also keep your laundry space clean and maintain as pests can get in through walls or where the connections come through. Wipe down your appliances every week or two in order to keep them looking nice and clean and working properly. You can also do a vinegar and hot water rinse cycle to "disinfect" your machine. 

Renters insurance, Mold/Mildew/Pests, Late Fees etc:

Important things you need to know before moving into a new place. Renters insurance is required everywhere and there’s no need to have an over expensive coverage usually it’s required for 100K worth of renters insurance for a year time span. I go through Assurant and they have me on a plan that’s about $15 a month (which is normal for Oregon state) around $180 for the whole year to cover costs if any damages should occur. Believe me if a fire or something does happen you’ll be thankful that you had that coverage.
Mold/Mildew and Pests will and do often happen. Just ask your manager and go over these points in your rental contract. Usually it states that they will come and clean mold as it occurs and because it can make you very sick- it needs to be carefully cleaned with bleach and blocked from more moisture getting inside to create moldy areas (door seals, windows, bathtubs etc.). Pests are another story- I would think that a maintenance person or manager would cover that as well but I can’t speak for all properties. I know our complex here has a “pests day” where you can make appointments with an outside company if such a need occurs.
The penalty for not paying rent on time or past the rent pay days usually the 1st-the 5th. Late fees are usually anywhere between $50-150.

Gated V.S Non-gated: 

Gated and non-gated complexes, these are also nice to take into account. Honestly especially in a sketchy neighborhood- I’d rather be a little more protected from the outside population. Having a key card or gate key is nice and also a bother, if lost or stolen you’ll be paying for a 30-40$ key, because they are specially cut at the key maker. Unlike a normal door key lock they are more intricate and therefore cost more. But not gated can sometimes be more dangerous and strangers being even more loud and obnoxious.

Security number, access code to pool/office/bunkhouse, newsletter/special events and maintenance number:

Things you should know that you may not think about, make sure you get the number for security company if they have it or local police/non emergency line.
You’ll need pool access codes or key/key-card if needed and knowledge about who can and can’t come into the pool area. Some complexes do not allow guests or limit to one per resident. Pets are not allowed in pool and clubhouse areas. Knowing the hours of when the pool is open and exactly when it closes is good to know.
Office hours are a need to know basis and you should memorize them so you’ll know when you can get help to a problem or concern. Know who is the manager and what the policies are for living in that complex.
A newsletter goes around in some complexes to let you know what the happenings are- special days of the month, holidays, closed office days or events like Taco Tuesday!
Having the maintenance number is crucial because you’ll have accidents and things will happen in your new apartment. And although it looks shiny and new- it’s been lived in before, so truth is it has previous dents and dings. Don’t be scared to live in your space though despite breaking in your own apartment. I love to be in new shiny spaces but a cozy lived in place is just as nice too.

I hope that this is super helpful information! If any of this helped you or you want to pass onto someone else, I would really appreciate it. 
*This is all information I have learned over the years and is based on my knowledge in Oregon.*



Friday, May 12, 2017

Happy Friday! 5/12/17


A lot has happened lately and I'm doing my best to get back into the swing of blogging by doing some simple linkup posts and some revamped ones from the old blog. I've been trying to concentrate on one task at a time and focus within each one so I get more done. If you have any tricks please let me know.
This linkup is one from one of my bloggy pals Krysten at WGAW and she has a couple lovely co hosts as well! I have been enjoying this linkup for years now and it always seems to brighten my spirits. It's a good practice to have at the end of the week!
  1. Reno shows like Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop: Vegas both on HGTV, Nate and Jeremiah on TLC.
  2. Chores and to do lists
  3. My Mophie PowerStation XXL
  4. Ruth over for a visit to chat and watch TV
  5. Late night panda planning
  6. setting up my VA website and getting back to data entry
  7. Coffee and Pop tarts
  8. Hanging out at the vape shops
  9. Writing in Instant Happy Journal
  10. SUNSHINE and gardening!

I hope you all have a fantastic Mothers Day weekend! If you'd like to subscribe to my newsletter out soon for May click here


Monday, May 8, 2017

May Goals and Intentions


A lot in April was distracting away from my blog plans and productivity. But I'll tell you the truth- it was my fault! It cane so suddenly and I didn't plan for the month really at all ahead of time. Things all happened so fast and while I enjoyed it, it was a plain relax month. So I'm sorry that I dropped the ball again but I had a great time. 

April Intentions Recap

A) Blog every M/W/F/Sun. Post regularly to social media, write up and send newsletter and include links and VA information
  • I did not get to do this. We had an unexpected (good) visit with a friend and I was quite busy. While we did do a lot of fun things I didn't document as much as I would have liked. I still have a plan in place for blogging on a weekly basis but I wish I had done better. 
B) Overhaul VA page and do one trial run for testimonial with new packages 
-design package graphics and set up terms/information 
  • I also wasn't able to do this however, I have set up a trade to start some VA services in exchange for a website setup. So I'm excited to say that will be starting soon! 
C) Read another book, finish Miracle Morning and write review this month.
  • Yeah I didn't do this one either much. I wanted to read more in my spare time but I haven't came around to it yet. 
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Goals for April (done)

 I re evaluated my goals for the blog and VA biz. / I made a plan and worked out a way to trade data entry in exchange for a VA website. / I spent time and made lovely memories with my husband and his friend from KS. / I got a new computer and set it all up. / I signed up for stock photo service each month so I have more variety for my posts pictures. /  We got taxes done and then had to make an appt to amend them. / I managed to keep the house very clean in the last month./ 

Now onto goals for May:

May:

The month has already started but I want to keep it going in a positive direction by getting as many goals and intentions done as possible. 

Goals

  1. Blog regularly on a schedule maybe only T/Th/Sa 
  2. Editorial Calendar for rest of month (include hrs for data entry/website setup)
  3. Read 1+ book, audible book this month
  4. Write a few notes to friends-new notecards
  5. Keep house clean weekly-laundry, tidy, dishes, organize, clean windows, vacuum etc
  6. Practice Brush Lettering with new paper
  7. Communicate better with husband, be more patient, more openly loving
  8. Meditate Daily
  9. Keep strict routines (morning and night) up at 9am bed by midnight 
  10. No social on Sundays

Intentions:

A) Data Entry Resources Wordpress:
- do as many as possible- 20+ , check in with admin and keep track as they get finished

B) Virtual Assisting: 
-welcome page note BLM, new members for SSS weekly on sundays, Tailwind for SSI. New topics for discussions in SSS. 

C) Read Daring Greatly for SSS book club, answer questions and blog post about it.

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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

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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

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