Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Working at home is not as easy as it appears.

As someone who has worked at home for the last 13 years I just have one thing to say. IT. IS. HARD. It is so hard to work at home when you have 3 kids. I was better at it when I had one child. Then I had 2 and was working at home. When the 3rd one came along I decided I needed to stop working at home and that's when I went to teaching preschool. Teaching preschool is so much better than working at home with 2 small children under the age of 3. Now that they are getting older and will be going to school all day (all 3...a day I thought would never come) I will go back to looking for a job to do at home again.

I enjoyed teaching for Educate Online. However,it was hard to make 3 children be quiet from 3-8 during the week. I very seldom got any hours to do during the day while they were at school. I think during the 4 months I worked there I worked a total of 5 hours during the school day. It almost isn't fair to them. Their after school activities had to stop too.

When you work at home you are constantly distracted. The kids want food, drinks, snacks, something to do, somewhere they need to go or they are just bored and want to talk to mom. Talking to mom is a good thing but not when you are trying to work. Most companies want you to put your children in daycare when you work at home. I'm sorry, but with the amount of money you pay me, that is just not feasible folks! You also never leave work. So your work is always there staring at you. Making you feel uncomfortable. Why is it looking at me? How do I make it stop? If you're not careful you can find yourself working all kinds of extra hours that you wouldn't be putting in if you had an outside the home job.

Working at home may be hard but it's also rewarding. It's great to be the one who's here with my children. Only one of mine ended up going to day care and he only went for 2 years. I'm so thankful that I have been the one to care for them when they are sick, tired, hungry, silly or even just cranky! There are perks when we had all those school snow days in January I was able to work and bring in a paycheck while many just enjoyed days off without pay. I'm hoping with my blog I will eventually be able to just write from home and bring in some kind of extra income. My blog isn't new but in the blog world it's still a baby. It will take a lot of time and hard work to make this blog marketable. I'm up for the challenge. Bring it! It's funny that my degree is in education because I think I'm better at marketing than I am teaching. One of my jobs at home was building a website from the ground up, marketing it, advertising it and doing everything else. I was accounts payable, accounts receivable, customer service, orderer of inventory, making the inventory available to the customers and so on and so on. Then I had to learn search engine optimization. That little website is doing great even today. I sold it during the time when I had 2 children under the age of 3. Working at home is both rewarding and difficult. Have you worked at home? What did you experience?

Here's an article I cam across about the subject of working at home. Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2011

My 10 Favorite Restaurants to eat in and around Nashville, TN

Here's a list of my 10 favorite restaurants to eat in my area in no particular order.

1. Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant

2. Genghis Grill

3. Chuy's (creamy jalepeno dip...yum!)

4. Legend's

5. Cracker Barrel

6. Shoney's (I know it's crazy right...but they still have good burgers).

7. Tokyo Steak House

8. Sonic (I'm addicted to their drinks)

9. Bob's Barbeque

10.Olive Garden

Yum. Now I'm hungry. What is your go to restaurant?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Welcome Karen today who wrote Healthy Cooking on a Budget!

Healthy Cooking on a Budget
By Karen Greenberg of Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle

We often hear that eating healthy is expensive and inconvenient. While it is true that fresh ingredients can cost more, healthy cooking doesn’t have to take any more time or effort than eating processed foods. With just a little planning, and a different method of shopping, dinner can be completely transformed.
When my family started eating healthy last year, we had to learn how to eliminate processed foods from our diets. We slowly stopped purchasing almost everything that came in a box or a can and replaced those items with fresh ingredients. This way of eating helps cut down on sodium and chemicals not normally found in foods. Many believe that eating more naturally will help lead to weight loss as well as keeping the body free of artificial ingredients.
Here are a few tips on how to eat healthy while sticking to your food budget:
Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in-season. Ask the produce manager if you are unsure. Also, most grocery stores will give samples of their product if you are unsure if you like a fruit or veggie. Just be sure to ask first! Many times they will have great ideas for how to prepare or eat a particular food. Don’t be shy to admit that you’ve never tried something.
Use frozen fruits and vegetables for smoothies, soups, and stews. These are generally less expensive and are as nutritious, if not more-so, than the fresh produce.
Buy lean meats when they are on sale. If you want to make lunch meat from fresh meats, ask the butcher to slice it. They will usually do this for free.
Look for a bakery outlet in your area. Some name-brand breads can be purchased at a fraction of the cost in an outlet or the “day-old” section of the grocery store. Remember to stick with whole wheat products when you can.
Stick with staple foods and find your creativity

A couple of recipe ideas:
Eggs, eggs, and more eggs. One of the most perfect protein sources, eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways. Try eggs with whole wheat pancakes for dinner one night. It’s a quick, easy, and inexpensive meal. Scrambled eggs are a perfect way to sneak in more veggies. Add onions, mushrooms, and green peppers for a colorful and delicious lunch.
Frozen fruit (thawed) with a bit of whipped cream on top makes a wonderful dessert
An apple with peanut butter on top can jump start your morning. A perfect combination of protein and carbs, this meal is said to wake you up better than a cup of coffee
Dissect your favorite fast-food meals and substitute healthy ingredients to prepare an at-home alternative.

Preparing healthy snacks and meals sounds a lot more difficult than it really is. Once you get started eating fresh foods, in exchange for the processed foods, you will find that it can be fun and interesting. Don’t be intimidated…. just go for it! Start with small changes to your diet so you are more likely to stick with it.
What is one small change you can make this week?

Karen can be found writing on her blog over at www.KarensHealthyLifestyle.blogspot.com

Be sure to check out my article on Karen's blog about my vision of healthy living!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Remember back in the day when you only graduated from high school and college. Yeah, I want those days back. lol Last night was a night of new beginnings. My daughter graduated from pre-k last night and at the same time on the same night my son graduated from 8th grade. We sent the men to my son's and the women in the family went to the girls. It was so sweet. I'm waiting to get pics of my boy's graduation off my hubby's camera. Abby and her friends had so much fun singing, graduating and then eating cookies and goofing off. I got some really cute pictures of her. Her and 4 of her friends are going to the same kindergarten next year. Her best friend isn't in her class. :( But 3 other friends from pre-k are. That should make her transition easier. She said last night she doesn't want to go. But that's after saying all year she is ready to go. You're off to kindergarten, yes you are. You'll be there soon enough baby girl.

Unbelievable to me is that I will have a child graduating high school in 4 years. WHAT? How did this happen???? I love my kiddos. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Artichoke Fail!

This 17 day diet is all about the vegetables. So I thought I'd try artichokes. Yeah, I tried to steam it and it didn't turn out so well. Artichoke fail! It reminded me of the leaves on a magnolia tree. So anyone know how to cook an artichoke or what I did wrong?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It takes so little to make my girl happy.

A picnic on the lawn and a walk around the neighborhood is what makes her happy today. She talks and talks and tells me everything she's thinking. I love our walks. The dog next door did not stop barking the entire time we were picnicing on the lawn. It was funny.

This was one of her talkative moments. She was even using her hands to tell me all about it. Sweet girl. What a great day. Free things in life are the best. Walks with my girl, talks on a blanket having a picnic and living life with my children and hubby. What are some free things in your area that you like to do?


Friday, May 20, 2011

Sandwich generation

Going to a meeting this week on dealing with being in the sandwich generation. It means taking care of children and taking care of parents at the same time. Hopefully I'll get a few tips. I need it! Dealing with cancer while taking care of children at the same time can be very hard and trying on one person! I'm doing my best. Hopefully it will lift me up and help me deal even better than I am now. More to come after the seminar.

Ok seminar was yesterday and they gave me a lot of good info and websites. Everyone should take this workshop whether you are in this position or not. It gave lots of helpful information I wish I had before my dad ended up so sick and in the hospital (and me being told on an almost daily basis he wouldn't make it through the night). Info like which documents you need (wills, living wills, healthcare power of attorney, durable power of attorney and the list goes on. You can find out what benefits your parent qualifies for at benefits.gov .

I was the youngest person there. Everyone else was a good 10-15 years older than me. I'm a part of the club sandwich generation. Because of my age and my young children. With the way medicare and social security is going I expect by the time my children are grown this will be a fact of life not an oddity. The older generation will have no choice but to live with the younger generation because of lack of access to basic healthcare and there will be no social security. :( This country's priorities are out of whack. Sigh. How do you plan to handle retirement? Do you think you will be taking care of your parent while still taking care of your children?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday (borrowed from my friend Patty)

today I'm thankful for my bank offering a sandwich generation workshop. I'll be attending it today at lunch. I can't wait to learn how to deal better with taking care of parents and children at the same time.

I'm thankful for friends that I'll see and spend time with this afternoon.

I'm thankful for lots of good, healthy food that I purchased yesterday and the pounds that have already fallen off.

Mostly I'm just thankful! What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: I Am Number 4 (sci fy movie)

was a movie that I recently enjoyed on a date night with my hubby. It really gave me pause and fodder to think about. It is one of those Scott (Ridley, Tony, one of those) films. To my surprise it was written by James Frey, author of "A Million Little Pieces". I've not read his book but have heard lots of the controversy. I have to say if his books are as good as his movie I will be reading more of him. I'm not going to go into the plot except to say that Numbers 1-3 have been killed and they are trying to protect number 4. It was a really, really good movie. I had actually not heard of it when we went to see it. But am glad I went. Rent this little gem on dvd. I have a tendency to not like movies as much when I rent them as when I see them on the big screen. But it's worth watching it, regardless. I mean, come on, it has Timothy Olyphant (sp?) in it. :P

Any movies you've seen recently that are must see? Please tell me (comment) so I can watch it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Simple Living...

My life is spent cleaning out what we have. Does that mean we have too much? Could that mean that we are going through a stage where we need to get rid of things? I believe 100% in the simple living philosophy of life. Now we're just trying to implement and follow it. Simple living to me means less stuff, less consumerism, less tv and less of a lot of things. We have spent the last year getting rid of things we don't use. For example, the salad bowl we got when we first got married and yet we've never used it. Gone! Clothes..What good are a bunch of clothes that you haven't worn in a year and have no plans to wear. Get rid of it. My friend said I shouldn't have gotten rid of all those clothes (it was my fault I was complaining that I had nothing to wear). But here's the thing...I still wouldn't have worn those clothes had I had them. So why keep them?

Friday, May 13, 2011

How do you handle a stressful week?

I am going to handle it tonight with a hot shower and a large glass of wine. Then my comfort food kicks in. I'm making oven fried pork chops, smashed potatoes,steamed broccoli and biscuits. I'm ready to eat now! I need to go make tea to go with it though. I know you're not supposed to stress eat. But yeesh my kids are making me nuts! :P

On a good note I've almost got the laundry caught up so they can begin packing for DC. Another good note we go to Olive Garden tomorrow. We celebrate Mother's Day with my hubby's side of the family. We've not seen them yet. Do your holidays tend to go on for more than one weekend? Have a great weekend friends.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

End of the school year stress...

every year it begins on May 1st. The end of the year is so stressful. We have one strings concert to attend, at least one graduation (this year two on the same night at the same time), a play to attend and a musical. Whew! I love my children so much but this time of the year stresses me out.

The play is tonight and the two graduations are the last week of May. I'm sad that my 8th grader and my preschooler graduate on the same night. I am going to the preschooler's graduation and my dh is going to the 8th graders. I want so badly to be at the 8th graders too! Sigh.

My boys are going to DC next week with the school. They are going to have such a great time! I'm excited for them. The strings concert this year was amazing and it was B's last year in strings at his school. Next year he's in high school. Then it will be one in K, one in 3rd and a high schooler. So proud of all 3 of my children. They are amazing and the most fun people to be around. Thank you God for my blessings!!

Any tips for handling the stress and activities of the end of the year?

I'm so ready for summer and the beach! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

I want to share something very dear to my heart...

being a mom is amazing. Being the mom of a sweet asian girl is so fun. Did you know that there are 147 million orphans in this world? Did you know that if the body of the church took in the foster children in this country there'd be no need for foster care? Orphans and children who need a place to rest their head hurt my heart. I still struggle with wanting to do foster care or adoption. I've just not taken that first step. Maybe it's time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Abandonment feelings in my sweet daughter...

I left her today for a few hours so that I could go on a field trip with my son's second grade class. She doesn't ever like us to leave her. EVER. She cries and wants to go with us. We've had her since she was 4 months old. But she has most definitely been affected by it. She was attached to her foster family. She was so confused when we first picked her up from the airport. She didn't sleep for 3 days after we brought her home. She would take 30 minute cat naps. I was about to lose my mind. On day three she slept all night and did so from then on. You could see the confusion on her face. My heart hurt for her. She is loved and knows it. She loves in return. But have no doubt she is affected by adoption even at the young age of 4 months old.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Walked to the store with

my girl yesterday. It was such a beautiful day. We had a few things to get. We had a great walk there, when we carried nothing but empty backpacks. She talks the entire time we walk. I'm not sure even she knows what she's talking about. It took us forever to get home (not because of the incessant talking). She had the lightest backpack, but, she wore a shirt with no sleeves. So, the backpack hurt her shoulders. It's a mile there and a mile back. She did great the first mile. The second mile we had to stop at least 4 times. lol She's a trooper though. She kept on going. We're doing this for two reasons. One is for more exercise. 10000 steps is a lot of walking. I'm hoping 2000 steps per mile (fingers crossed, don't tell me any different...I'm short...I take more steps than you...shhhhh...zip it! The second is that even a mile saves gas. What a ridiculous amount of money we spend on gas these days. Hopefully it will start going in the opposite direction now. Have you found some small way to increase your steps/exercise?

Monday, May 2, 2011

When I was little all we had to play with were:










We weren't mistreated. We didn't have 180 channels with nothing on it to watch. We were content with what ever we had. This new generation has a lot to learn from us. (Geez I sound old). You can make do with what you have. You don't deserve more than you/your parents can afford. If you can't afford it you don't buy it. PERIOD. Children, listen now, it will save you a lot of wishing you had listened later. Credit cards aren't the devil but they put you in the position of having to work to pay for that dinner you ate out 6 months ago. That's crazy. So, to sum up. You deserve it when you can afford to pay for it. :) Stepping down off my soapbox today. What have you wanted to purchase but decided to wait to get so that you can pay cash?