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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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.*



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

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

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

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