business, personal development, time management

Figuring Out My Priorities aka Adulting

It’s been a while since my last post; spring is always an extremely busy time for our family, my business, and life in general! I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking, soul searching, and giving myself some tough love. And maybe a few of you can relate to what I am going through, so I decided to write about it!

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So…I am a people pleaser…it’s in my blood, I have been that way my entire life. I like to help people, I like to be there for people, I like to do ALL THE THINGS! I say yes to almost everything that is asked of me. Some people might think it’s because I want people to like me, and when I was younger, yes that was probably the case. Nowadays I could honestly give a shit about what anyone thinks of me. I am super secure in who I am, I have amazing family and friends, and a great community of business acquaintances and supportive women. I just honestly like doing things with others, especially if it is interesting or helps people!

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Last month, I had a session with my energy healer, Leigh Hurst from Purposeful Living Healing Center, and I was talking to her about all the things I was involved in. On top of being a full-time mom and wife, I run my own business from home (Arbonne), I have a leadership position with my local women’s connection company (PolkaDot Powerhouse), I help run a self-care group for local moms (Mom Mondays), I am the PTO president at my son’s elementary school along with being the parent representative for the school leadership committee. I also have this blog, and I am a monthly contributor for Reno Moms Blog. Whew! So, I was talking about all of this, and letting Leigh know how I really enjoyed everything I was doing, nothing was horrible or unpleasant, but I felt unfocused and stretched too thin. She completely agreed with me and asked me if she could be truthful, which is hilarious, because I tell her she is the Truth Hammer! I said of course, cause I knew she would tell me anyways! That is why I seek out her services, because I know she will tell me the truth no matter what, no sugar coating, and sometimes you need that kick in the ass!

She told me that although I enjoyed everything I was doing, while I was talking about it all, my entire body language shifted, my energy became more positive, excitement and passion came out when I was telling her about my Arbonne business. And I know in my heart that Arbonne is my passion. Helping change others lives, whether it’s through our business opportunity, getting their health on track, changing their skin, or giving them confidence that they had either lost or never had, is THE MOST amazing thing I have ever done (besides raising my boys and loving my Mister). I just get caught up in self doubt that I am not doing enough, so I end up trying to do way too much. I was never a motivated person growing up because I was so lost and had no confidence, so now if I feel a little lull in my life, I start volunteering and saying YES TO ALL THE THINGS! Anyone relate?

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After my amazing talking session and energy/sound healing table work, I left Leigh’s shop feeling light and airy and focused! But then it was back to life, and a few days later I had such a sense of dread, because I knew that I needed to cut back on things, but I HATE disappointing others and I have a relationship with the Guilt Monster. You know the one…he SUCKS! So I put it off….and I put it off some more…and maybe a few more days…and finally, I realized I needed to put my big girl panties on, quit making up stories in my head about people being upset with me, and figure out what I needed to do so I could put my focus back into my business and my family. And really, it just needed to be small changes.

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So a few of the tough decisions I made are:

I am giving up my admin involvement in the mommy self care group, although I will be a participant for sure, because it is such an amazing offering in our community.

I am going to step down from my leadership position with PolkaDot Powerhouse, which I feel ok with, because I served for over a year and I think there are some amazing gals that should be given the opportunity to put their mark on our group.

PTO elections will be happening this month for next year, so I will be stepping down as president. Of course I will still be on the PTO, because I do love being involved with my son’s school.

As for my blogging, I am going to keep up on that, because Leigh and I agreed that writing is a form of self care for me and it helps me process my thoughts and my abundantly blessed life!

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And of course, the stories I was making up about the people who I had to “let down”, were completely false. Everyone was so supportive and understanding, which I should know because they are amazing people. And I realize that it’s not a complete goodbye to these things, it’s just a little step back so I can sharpen my laser beam focus. With summer coming up, the kids being out of school, and so many activities, I have to be extra organized and in tune with my family and clients. This will give me that extra bit of space that I needed; that breathing room that will help me be the best me to everyone!

Going forward, I will be focusing on building my business into something that will provide for my family, retire my husband, give us time freedom, and above all, help others to do the same. I’m absolutely in love with my company, even after 5 years of hills and valleys, and I have the vision of what is to come and it excites me. If you are curious about what I do or curious about our amazing products for the entire family, please fill out this awesome form! If you know anyone who may be looking for something different to do in their lives, send them my way! And if you see me in real life and hear that I am piling on a bunch of things, please call me out and slap me back to my senses!

If you are interested in learning more about Purposeful Living Healing Center, please check out Leigh’s website or Facebook page! They have amazing offerings of classes (in person and online), online blogs, meditation, retreats and other community resources along with Leigh’s amazing healing sessions! Her sessions have completely changed me as a person, and I am so grateful we have someone like her in our Reno Community!

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personal development, social marketing

Thoughts After GTC

So, a lot of companies have training conferences every year, where employees get together for lots of training packed into a few days. Arbonne does this as well, but it’s a little different than something corporate. I look forward to these couple of days ALL YEAR LONG, because Arbonne pulls out the stops and creates a jam packed conference full of awesome training, TONS of inspiration and personal development, and best of all, NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES! Every year, it gets better, as the staff over at Arbonne tries to beat what they did the year before. And this year was just beyond amazing!

First of all, our conference takes place in Vegas, which is such a blessing, because people from all over the world travel for this event, and it’s in my state, a short 1 hour flight, or a long 7 hour drive away! And Vegas in April is usually gorgeous in the weather department, so you can count on some pool time! The conference takes place at the MGM Grand between the conference center and the Grand Garden Arena, right in the heart of the Vegas Strip, so there’s tons of restaurants and activities, if you want to take a few days before or after the event to explore.

One of my favorite parts of GTC is that I get to see so many people that I love from all over, and I get to meet new people! Our team is located all over the United States, so this is a great time to visit and hug team members that you usually only get to see on FB or over Zoom video conference. This year I even got to meet a few consultants who are members of my networking company, Polka Dot Powerhouse! And anyone who is part of Arbonne can tell you that the consultants who attend GTC are super friendly and love getting to know new people! I get to make new friends and build more awesome friendships each year that I go! It’s so fun!

A few months before GTC, our Arbonne book club read The 5 Second Rule, by Mel Robbins. Well, I can’t tell you how excited we were to learn that she would be our outside speaker this year! She is the #1 booked female speaker in the world, and she absolutely rocked the house, I will write more about that later. But for now, if you have not read her book, you NEED TO! Here is a link to purchase from Amazon (this is an affiliate link, so if you purchase I will make a little money), and there is even a journal you can get to work on while you are reading it!

Book: The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Journal: The 5 Second Rule Workbook

Arbonne utilizes it’s own successful consultants for most of our speakers throughout the convention, and I am always SO impressed with the content and the caliber of our speakers. Even Mel Robbins was blown away by the talent that our consultants have when it comes to speaking and inspiring a crowd of 16,000+ live and over 7,000 who tuned in virtually. And this year, my 4th GTC, I have to say, was the best I have seen yet.

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ENVP Missy Wilson

One of my favorites was ENVP Missy Wilson. Her topic was the ABC’s of Owning Your Future, and the notes that I took could help anyone who is in business for themselves, whether it’s social marketing or a brick and mortar company. Some of the highlights:

*Don’t chase success, Attract it.

*It is more important to be interested, than interesting.

*You MUST circulate to percolate.

*Belief has a sound. Can your prospects and clients hear it in your voice? You must believe in your products, your company, your industry, and most of all (and probably hardest), yourself.

*Brick and Mortar is being replaced by Click and Order!

*Things can be managed, but people must be led.

*Protect your mindset and your priorities. Your priorities will keep you balanced and help you not get burned out.

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ENVP Eunice Ray

Another stand out to me was ENVP Eunice Ray. This spitfire woman is 70 years old and has built a thriving business when most people would be retiring! She was absolutely amazing and so full of life and energy. I can only hope to be a fraction of how she is at that age! So inspiring! A few highlights from her talk:

*All of life is about persisting and never quitting.

*Be “others” focused.

*Your belief needs to inspire others and stay steady.

*Having a “side gig” will be a NECESSITY over the next few years.

*Cast your vision and stay on your side of the net.

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Eunice with Kentucky’s governor Matt Bevin, signing the “Colonel Ronald D. Ray Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act” into law.

Also, this lady has done so much for veterans, which I appreciate so much as a family member of some amazing soldiers! She was instrumental in getting a law passed in Kentucky, the “Colonel Ronald D. Ray Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act”, that will help veterans be able to receive oxygen treatment for these brain injuries. Please go to http://hbot4kyvets.com/ to learn more and duplicate this legislation! Just another example of Arbonne consultants giving back and getting things done with causes they care about!

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Author and Speaker, Mel Robbins

And then came Mel Robbins! Here are a few of the highlights from her speech that stood out to me! But seriously, go get her book!

*It is your responsibility to make your future limitless.

*LIMIT yourself LESS.

*Doubt is natural but letting it stop you is a CHOICE.

*There will ALWAYS be an excuse not to do something.

*The power is in you. Close the gap between thought and action. 5-4-3-2-1 GO!

*Your inner wisdom is always there. Do you have the clarity to hear it and the courage to use it?

*Confidence is the willingness to try.

*Nerves are good, they mean you are trying something. The difference between nerves and excitement is what you tell yourself about the situation. Notice your nerves, say 5-4-3-2-1 and tell yourself, I am so excited!

*Procrastination is a stress reliever habit. When you catch yourself stressing, acknowledge it, 5-4-3-2-1, and do ONE thing! Then do the next thing.

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ENVP Miranda Burcham

Lastly, what I thought was the HIGHLIGHT of our entire conference, was our keynote ENVP speaker, Miranda Burcham. This woman is a powerhouse, fitness fanatic, mother of 5, and has fostered over 13 other children. She also spends a ton of time giving back to Haiti, building schools and helping with clean up after natural disasters. She inspired me, got me excited, brought me to tears, and had an incredibly long standing ovation. No one wanted her to leave the stage. It was absolutely amazing and I hope that we will have access to a shareable video, because her message was so wonderful and would benefit EVERYONE! Here are my highlights:

*Make your excuses your reasons.

*Don’t be attached to the outcome, be attached to the activity.

*Short term sacrifices for long term gain.

*Power of Deciding-gives you heart and grit. Everyday choose to do SOMETHING to move your business forward. Shut the back door. Success is not owned, it’s leased and rent is due EVERYDAY!

*Power of Invitation-Arbonne is worth more than a $10,000 envelope and you wouldn’t not give that envelope to your family and friends, so why are you keeping Arbonne from them?

*Power of Mental Edge-mental attitude is EVERYTHING. Use affirmations and power phrases.

*Power of Your Story-take your pen back and stand strong in YOUR story.

*Power of Pushing Your Own Buttons-Use your foot to propel you forward. Master pushing yourself.

*Power of Big Picture-Finding yourself in places you haven’t been before and finding the will to push through anyway

*Power of Grit-don’t be ashamed of the downs you go through, if you fall, get up and do it again!

*Power of a Comeback-Don’t stand down, stand tall.

Throughout her powerful speech, Miranda had her children come to stage. First, it was her younger son, who is obsessed with dollar coins. She told a story that they were at a baseball game and her son kept asking everyone if they had dollar coins and if he could have them. He didn’t get deterred if someone said no, he just moved on to the next person without batting an eye. Why can’t we, as adults, ask for what we want??? Don’t get attached to a no answer, just move on so you can find your yes!

Next, she spoke about her middle son, who wrestled in school. He wasn’t very tall, was underweight, and was definitely the underdog. But he never gave up and little by little, he started to win his matches, making a come back through his persistance. He went to the state championship, ended up losing, but instead of wallowing in his loss, Miranda found him in a pull up competition with some other boys and he was winning. He came out on stage and did 30 pull ups while being cheered on by all 16,000 of us. It was awesome!

Then Miranda said she was going to put herself out there and get out of her comfort zone for us. A few beautiful ladies, all shapes, sizes and ages took the stage and started dancing to our conference song, Limitless. All of a sudden, Miranda ran out with her beautiful pre-teen daughter and joined them, doing a choreographed dance for all of us to enjoy. It was just so amazing! Seeing her with her children, knowing that they are always watching us, and rocking the house along with them. It was a moment I will never forget and the inspiration that I needed! I always get caught up in guilt when I am away from my family, but she really made it clear to me that I am doing these things to better myself, creating a business that will make all of our lives better, and setting an example for my children that hard work will always pay off in the long run.

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ENVP Miranda Burcham and her daughter
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Miranda and her Limitless Dancers

I am home now, pumped up, inspired and completely confidant that the business choice I made in starting my Arbonne journey is still the best decision I have made! This little lipstick business is going to make my family’s dreams come true. Ain’t no shame in the side hustle game!

Here is a fun video of highlights from the conference! I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I hope that if you are curious at all about what I do, that you reach out to me! I am truly passionate about this business and the opportunity it gives so many people who are brave enough to jump in and do something out of the norm!

GTC Highlights

 

personal development

Hooray for Body Positivity!

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As I’ve spoken of before, I have been overweight almost my entire life. It was definitely hard to deal with in those awkward middle school years and rough high school years. I look back at photos now, and I wish I could tell that girl how beautiful she was, what she would accomplish when she got older, and how NOT FAT she was! Sure I was overweight, but NOTHING compared to what happened as I got older. I was so hard on myself, spewing hate in my mind directed at my body, wearing huge clothes to try and hide what I thought was disgusting, which in turn made me look bigger.

As I got older, in the college years (when I wasn’t going to college ha ha), I remember dressing better, but still very ashamed of myself. In romantic relationships, the lights were ALWAYS off, and I hated if my partner came anywhere near my stomach, butt or thighs. I would swat their hand away, like it would burn me if I was touched on those spots that I hated. My boyfriends, and later my amazing husband, always told me how beautiful and sexy I was, but of course, I didn’t believe it. I look back now and I’m so saddened with how I treated myself.

When I was 20, I was looking for an activity to get some exercise, because I (still to this day) HATE and CANNOT do gyms. I had always been mesmerized by the art of belly dance, so I decided to enroll in a local class. And guess what? I was really good! Slowly, my walls started coming down, as our teacher spoke of other dancers who were bigger that were amazing at what they did. They weren’t looked down upon because they had some cellulite or rolls, in fact, those rolls emphasized the amazing dance moves that they performed. I loved seeing the “bigger” girls on stage, claiming ownership of their bodies and the way they moved, not sucking in their bellies, but rather, pushing them out to show them off even more! All bodies were celebrated, because the woman’s body is a work of art, and this dance was made to show it off in such a beautiful way! It was the first step I can remember towards body positivity and I decided that I needed to be kinder to myself. During those years of dance, I was in the best shape of my life, even though I was over 200 lbs. I could isolate my muscles, roll my abs, and dance non stop for hours! Unfortunately, my teacher had some health issues and couldn’t keep teaching, and I have taken other classes around town, but it just isn’t the same as what I had with our troupe. But I will always be thankful for those years, because it started my quest to love my body, no matter what it looked like.

I gained A LOT of weight after we got married, thanks to eating like crap and partying hard. I was drinking way too much, eating a ton of fast food (Taco Bell is my weakness), and not being active at all. I ballooned to almost 300 lbs, and I even thought about surgical intervention. But even through all of that, I felt beautiful. My husband made me feel beautiful, I loved experimenting with my hair, my makeup and my clothes. As a big girl, I taught myself how to dress for my body. I was no longer trying to fit into the size I wanted to be, I accepted where I was and that if you wear clothes that fit you, you look better, no matter what size you are! And yes, I am human and I had those moments of depression because I didn’t feel good. I was so unhealthy. I couldn’t keep up with the kids I was watching as a Nanny. I watched TV ALL THE TIME! And I drank tons of booze, life of the party style!

When we decided we wanted to start a family, I kind of panicked. I had read that getting pregnant when you are overweight can be hard and the pregnancy can be difficult. I made an appointment with the OB I wanted to see (she had delivered my nephew and I fell in love with her) to get looked at and make sure all my parts were working ok despite my weight. Lo and behold, by the time that appointment rolled around, I was knocked up! My doctor laughed and said, “Well, I guess you figured out how it works!” I voiced my concerns with her and she soothed my mind, letting me know that yes, I was overweight, but if I ate healthy and took care of myself, we (the baby and I) would be fine. She never made me feel ashamed with my body and she has cheered me on through the years, which I am so thankful for in a doctor. She only wanted me to gain 15-20 lbs which scared the crap out of me, cause all my friends usually gained 30-50 lbs during their pregnancies. But with taking out the booze and eating healthier, I actually lost weight in my first trimester. I ended up gaining 12 lbs, and my big baby boy weighed 9 at birth! I embraced my pregnant body, loved my belly, took photos of it and celebrated the miracle that I was going through. Pregnancy is so crazy, you are growing a HUMAN! And I mostly felt beautiful and glowing.

In the first months after I gave birth, I struggled with post partum depression, not eating enough, not taking care of me, and I lost about 40 lbs, but it wasn’t healthy weight loss. I finally got balanced thanks to medication and counseling; I started to come out of my cocoon and I really liked how my body looked, but then old habits crept back in and I gained some back. The period between my first and second son was rough; I was putting all my energy into my family and not taking care of myself. And I lost my confidence. My once smooth, yet big stomach was now covered in stretch marks and loose skin. My breasts were ginormous and uncomfortable. Pregnancy changes your body and it’s hard to accept those changes. I ended up doing the stupid HCG diet, killing myself to lose some weight, zapping any energy I had, hair falling out, I looked like death! And gained it all back, my usual MO.

I decided that enough was enough, I wasn’t going to torture myself anymore with diets and crazy things, and I was going to accept my body and love it where it was. My body gave birth to two humans, it has carried me through 29 (at that time) years, and after being completely insulted by a new doctor (pretty much fat shamed me my entire appointment), when my blood work came back, I was actually very healthy for my weight. And it’s interesting when you let go, and let God/The Universe/The Goddess whatever higher power you believe in. When I gave up the struggle, the best program ever entered my life and I taught myself a different lifestyle. I lost weight in a healthy, manageable way. Crazy to think that if you eat real food and get rid of the processed crap that you will get healthy and lose weight! Who’d have thunk it?

I ran across a People Magazine with a woman named Tess Holiday on the cover. She is the first size 22 super model, and holy hell, she was GORGEOUS! I loved her message of accepting and loving your body, no matter what, whether you are fat, skinny, white, black, curly hair, straight hair, crooked teeth, trans, gay, albino whatever! She started a movement called #EFFYourBeautyStandards on Instagram and I loved it. She inspired me to buy my first bikini since high school and rock it all summer long! When my mindset changed, the weight came off easier, especially after really learning how to eat in a different way and supplement my body with the things it needs.

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I look at myself today and I can honestly say that I LOVE what I see! Loose skin, saggy boobs, floppy stomach and all! I will keep going with my weight loss journey, NOT because of my looks, but for health reasons. I want to be the healthiest I can be for my family, teach my boys healthy habits, and be able to participate in all their activities without feeling like I am going to die. That is the important part!

When I am coaching others in our program, I definitely come across the hateful comments towards their bodies, and I get it, I have been there. But I try to help them stay positive and learn to love things about themselves. When friends put themselves down in front of me, I shut that shit down! If you talked to someone else the way that you talk to yourself, would that person be hurt? Or would they be thankful for a positive supportive person in their lives? Don’t compare yourself to others, comparison is the thief of joy! I share my story, not to brag, but to show them that you can do anything and you can change your mindset, no matter how low you are. Even if you have to fake it for a while, eventually you will start believing in yourself. If I can do it, anyone can!

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If you are having a hard time with something about your looks (whether it’s weight, or anything else), I really want you to sit down, get quiet, and come up with 5 things you love about yourself. Also, give your body gratitude for the things that it does for you. It carries you through your day, it breathes, it helps you succeed in life. Give it thanks and love and I promise that the more you do that, the easier it will be to accept it and move forward with your journey. Don’t let these hang ups bar you from living the life that you want to live. I missed out on a lot when I was at my heaviest, not because my body couldn’t do things, but because I was ashamed or embarrassed. Don’t go one more day doing that to yourself! You are an amazingly wonderful being of light and beauty, and you were created for a purpose, not for what you look like!

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Family

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

It is my oldest son’s 7th birthday, and as I reflect on the last 7 years, I’m in disbelief of how fast it went, but also, how much has changed in our lives in those 7 years. When you are in the midst of the dirty diapers, tantrums, no sleep, hormones, post partum depression, time ticks by as slow as can be, yet it is also moving the fastest it ever has. It’s so hard to explain, but once you become a parent, it all makes sense!

I know as a mom, I am thinking daily about how bad I am probably screwing up, how much I will have to pitch in for my kid’s therapy, and how you can possibly love something so much it almost takes over your entire body/brain/being! Of course, before we had kids, we knew EVERYTHING about being parents, and knew exactly how we would raise our kids and exactly how they would behave, because they were ours and since we were raising them RIGHT, they would be perfect and do everything we want them to. Anyone else experience this phenomenon of the “know it all” non-parents? We really like to tell people who actually have kids how to deal with their children and what we would do if we were them! What a kick in the face when you actually have that screaming newborn enter the world and turn everything upside down right?

We are super lucky, our boys are actually really good. They were good babies, pretty good toddlers (man those 2’s and 3’s HARSH), and Kaleb is turning out to be one of the sweetest, most empathetic, smartest kids I have been around! But even with good kids, parenting is SO FUCKING HARD! And it requires F-bombs, so if you don’t like curse words, just stop reading! There are millions of parenting books, but I feel like the best thing to do is really listen, really empathize, and really get to know your kids. I want my kids to be open and honest with me, I want them to look at me as a safe space where they won’t be judged. That doesn’t mean that they won’t be disciplined or that we will let things slide. We have very serious conversations about very serious topics and behavior. I want my boys to accept others, to be a friend to anyone that needs one, and to also be strong enough to not fall into the “everybody’s doing it” downfall. I want them to stand up for others who are being bullied, and also realize that the people doing the bullying are doing it from a place of pain, so we should try and understand and not judge.

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Some people might think that is naive, but I’ve already seen how our serious conversations play out in my son’s lives. Jamie came home the other day saying there was a new kid in class and he was very shy, so I told him that maybe he should introduce himself the next school day and see if they wanted to play. He was so excited when he got home to tell me that he had a new friend named Jack and they played outside together. Proud mommy moment for an amazing 3 year old. Kaleb has a way of befriending a few trouble makers, much like his momma. And I have to be diligent in talking to him about these friendships as much as it can drive me crazy when he gets in trouble because of certain kids, but at the same time he tells me that he is friends with them because of xyz, and they are important reasons to him. I finally got to meet one of these kiddos at Kaleb’s recent birthday party, and he was such a sweet boy, just not from the greatest home situation. Kaleb is a helper, just like me, and a caring person, just like me, and now I see why he is gravitating towards this boy. I can’t parent the other kid, so the best thing I can do is make sure that Kaleb is staying true to himself and realizing that he doesn’t have to join in when others are acting out and getting into trouble, which he is getting much better at.

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I can hardly believe that I am done with the baby/toddler years, and now the HARD part is starting. Helping your kids turn into decent humans and put their mark on this world. I’m amazed every day by my boys, the things that they think up, their amazing imaginations, the way they see the world around them. I learn something every day about them and about myself and about life in general. Children’s wisdom can be one of the greatest teachers in life.

I’m so thankful that they are growing up surrounded by amazing family and people in my life. Kaleb was almost 2 when I joined my home business, and I try and share as much of the positive influences as I can with them while I’m working. They love affirmations, positivity, and helping others. I love that Arbonne is so supportive of mothers and families, and I love that the life I’m building is influencing them and showing them to always reach for your dreams and to never quit on yourself. When my boys spout off something that they learned because of watching me work for my dreams, it brings tears to my eyes, hope to my heart, and so much love for this culture that I have been so blessed to be a part of. I can’t wait to be able to take them on earned trips and show them the world through travel with like minded people and families. They are my why, and I will never quit on my dreams of building our lives on our terms and not needing to take a vacation from the hum drum everyday drag that an ordinary life can be.

Shout out to all those mommas out there. Being a mom is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, but also the most rewarding. Having kids is like watching your heart outside of your body running around in someone else. You will do anything for them and you can’t explain the utter amount of love you have for them and that they bring into your life. So to you moms…I see you…I understand you…I love you…and I am cheering you on!

Happy 7th birthday, Kaleb Joseph. You made me a mom on March 29, 2011, and it is my greatest accomplishment to be your mother.

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Uncategorized

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

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Growing up, I feel like people who knew who I was would probably describe me as a positive, optimistic person. I was always smiling and laughing; one of my nicknames in high school was Perma Grin. But underneath that mask, as the ones who know me well know, I was a negative hot mess. Having identity crisis after identity crisis, dealing with puberty/hormones along with emerging depression and anxiety, turning to drugs and alcohol to get attention and numb my crazy feelings, becoming promiscuous searching for something that was missing, never really feeling as if I fit anywhere. I loved my family, I loved my close friends, I didn’t have enemies and hung out with people in all groups, but I just didn’t feel like I belonged to anything. Coming from a large family where the majority are super intelligent, super talented, and really cool on top of all that, I felt like a black sheep. In my mind, all I did was put myself down, discourage myself, and let’s be honest, HATE myself. And in return, I never really excelled at anything, I was always in trouble, I didn’t apply myself in school, so college wasn’t a big thing for me. As my siblings worked their asses off and became very successful, I floundered and thought that this was it.

After dropping out of college and beauty school (cue “Grease” lyrics), I finally went to work for my mom’s mortgage company. I was good at what I did; I had been working in an office since I was old enough to answer the phones and transfer calls responsibly. And slowly, I started learning the business, thanks to some awesome coworkers. My manager always encouraged me to apply myself and start accomplishing some goals. She took me under her wing and I became a loan processor and loan officer. My other coworker, who I still work with today on anything mortgage related, was a really cool guy who did Bikram Yoga and was a master networker and could talk to ANYONE. These two lit a bit of a fire in me, and I finally started to see that I could be good at something. At one of our meetings, we watched “The Secret”. I absolutely LOVED it! I bought a copy of the movie, bought the book, and started visualizing the things that I wanted out of my life. I showed it to all my friends, who brushed me off, probably thought I was a bit crazy. But I knew there was something there. Unfortunately, once again, I let the negative of what other people thought kind of get in my head, and I fell back into my usual hum drum. The market crashed and things got pretty crappy for us in the business. The Reno office closed and I went back to being a receptionist in the Carson office. I was BORED…but we just weren’t as busy anymore.

One afternoon, I was watching Oprah, and she was announcing her book club book, A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. I had tried reading Eckhart before, and it is some serious stuff, very hard to understand when you aren’t in a good place. But, she claimed it would change my life, and I am a firm believer in all things Oprah! So I bought the book and signed up for the web classes that went along with it! Thank goodness there were the classes, or I would not have made it! Oprah did such a good job dissecting each chapter and interviewing Eckhart and having him explain what he meant in his writing. This was the first time I had been introduced to the concept of living in the present! When you are living in the past, you are depressed. When you are worried about the future, you have anxiety. What was I dealing with? Depression and anxiety! AHA!!!!! I tried really hard to start catching myself and my thoughts and redirecting my thoughts to be more positive, in the moment thoughts. It was awesome!

My adult journey has been a pretty winding path…college, beauty school, working for my mom, working for the state (for 1 day, I could not hang), being a nanny for my cousin and best friend, and going back to school again for culinary (which I thought would be my thing, but it wasn’t), and finally, finding out I was pregnant and knowing I wanted to be a stay at home mom. My son was born and I can’t even describe the feeling of having a child. The best way I can even try to put it into words is that your heart is now beating outside of your chest in someone else. But along with new baby happiness came post partum depression and my anxiety shot through the roof. So, throughout all these little paths, I was back and forth in being positive or being negative. When I was positive, good things happened. I could see it, but I was lost in my brain and felt like I had no control over my mom guilt, anxiety, and so many thoughts that scared the crap out of me. I finally got it under control with my medication, and things were beginning to look up. I also realized that I may not be cut out to be at home, I needed something to do, I needed adult interaction or I was going to go (even more) crazy!

Enter Arbonne. Now, I don’t want every blog to be about Arbonne, but it has been such a force in my life that it’s hard to not talk about it. So, I will talk more about the personal growth that I experienced when I started my business and throughout my 5+ years. I remember going to my first team meeting, petrified of meeting new people and talking to strangers. My sponsor introduced me to my now, RVP (Regional Vice President), and this woman hugged me and made this eye contact where it felt like she could see into my soul (we laugh about it now, because everyone knows that look from her). Everyone kept hugging me and asking me questions and being so friendly…what had I gotten myself into? Who are these people? Is this some kind of cult? Is this real? By the end of the meeting, I was completely blown away with how these women worked and supported each other. I had never seen anything like it, and it felt really good. As I worked my business and started to earn recognition, I was hooked! I went to my first conference, called GTC, and was surrounded by 14,000 of these people! It was positivety GALORE! The speakers and trainers were FANTASTIC, and I met so many amazing people from all over the world. I made lifelong friends and dove deep into thinking about my life and what I wanted it to look like. I had never really done that before, I was just going with the routine, getting through day by day, not really thinking about impacting others or creating an amazing life that I didn’t need a vacation from. It was so eye opening and so life changing. But also hard, because when you come home and you try to explain it to the people you love, they all think you have lost your marbles a bit, and you get a lot of negative thrown at you. But I’m so glad that I just kept going. I knew I had finally found something that was ME. I didn’t listen to the dream-stealers, who are all now pretty big supporters of mine, if not clients ha ha!

People have never seen me stick with anything. Even as a kid, I never stuck with anything. I did so many sports and activities, but only for one round, if I even finished them. So for me to stick with my business for 5+ years, with no end in site, and still be incredibly passionate and fueled by it, shows that I can be serious, I just needed to find my niche! And my niche isn’t just Arbonne…it’s SO much bigger than that! I want to HELP people! I want to teach them about positive thinking, becoming healthy, reaching for their dreams, overcoming their fears, embracing their truth, and sharing their gifts with the world. If you become my client, you are not only well taken care of business wise, I honestly care about YOU! I want to know you, I want to celebrate you, I want to make a difference for you! Some people can’t handle all of that, and that is ok, I am here to meet you where you need me to on your journey. But I will never give up on you and you will always be in the back of my mind, because I can see greatness in people. When someone tells me that I made a little difference in their life, I know that I am doing the right thing with mine. Whether it’s my words, my friendship, my encouragement, my coaching, my products, or my business, just know that YOU are WHY I do what I do!

The last couple of years have been amazing on my journey, but I am not perfect. I deal with my demons every single day. There are days that I can’t force myself out of bed because I am crippled with sadness or anxiety. But those days are becoming fewer, and I have more tools to combat them. Gratitude can always help snap me out of a funk. Listening to some awesome books on Audible helps; my favorites right now are The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein, and Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I also LOVE anything by Brene Brown. I have seen the power that being positive has in my own life and in the lives of others around me and I know that it’s a TRUTH! Energy is so powerful and the universe is always watching and listening. I’m sure some of my friends get a little pissy when they are bitching to me and I turn it into something positive, but I hope that it can make a difference.

I could choose to look at my business journey in a negative light. I don’t have a team (yet), I have lost my DM status a few times, I haven’t made a ton of money, I haven’t earned a trip or my car like I said I was going to in that first year. But I choose to look at it in a different light. This business honestly saved me. It set me on a path of self discovery, of self worth, and self care. I used to constantly think about what everyone thought of me, and now I could give a shit, because I am secure in what I am doing and how I am doing it and the only thoughts that matter are my own. I used to belittle myself because of my weight, which caused me to gain more. Now I give myself grace, love the body I have in all it’s stages, and I am grateful that this body bore me two beautiful children and carries me through each day. And now, I have lost 90 lbs. I used to torture myself with mom guilt, foregoing taking care of myself and giving everything I had (which wasn’t much at the time) to my kids and husband. Now, I schedule time for me into my life, whether it’s a bath and facial after the kids are in bed, or a girls night out with friends, or treating myself to a pedicure, because I know that when I take care of me, I show up better in my family’s life. I used to be terrified of talking to people I didn’t know. Now, I love meeting new people, getting to know them, finding a way to brighten their day or inspire them in some way. I used to be jealous of my successful family, thinking I would never get to their level and I would always be the black sheep. Now, I am so unbelievably proud of each of them and their accomplishments and the lives they are building and the lives they are touching. Comparison is such a thief of joy. Do not compare your life chapters to someone else’s! You will lose every time because their journey is NOT yours!

If you find yourself in the hamster wheel of negative thoughts and negative things happening in your life, I really implore you to start making some changes. Just little things. Start a gratitude journal and write just one thing each night that you are grateful for that day. Start going through your Facebook feed and unfollowing negative people or groups. Add positive pages and people who post positive things on their feed. Find some books that you LOVE, that speak to you and feed your soul. Listen to uplifting podcasts. Watch the movie, “The Secret” or get the book and start studying the Law of Attraction. Implement meditation into your routine, even if it’s for 10 minutes. Take some classes whether it’s something creative or something you have always wanted to learn about. Truly enjoy your time, your moments with those you love whether it’s playing with your children, cuddling and talking with your significant other, talking to your best friend on the phone, or having extended family at events. Really listen to those around you and be present with them. Little by little, things will start switching in your brain, and positive moments will be created in your life. The more you implement it, the more you will get out of it. Start small and let it grow!

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social marketing, Uncategorized

Social (Network) Marketing is NOT a Scam!

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Believe me, I did not EVER think that I would end up with a network marketing company. Not in a million years! I thought it was a scam, a scheme, and definitely not an honest way to make money. So when I started to fall in love with Arbonne’s products, I was very skeptical about the business side. Even after I signed up, I still didn’t understand it, but I started doing my homework and realized what a genius business model it is!

Of course, as with every industry, there are the bad guys out there. And unfortunately, that is what we mostly hear about right? So I have definitely had to deal with a ton of people ragging on me, telling me I am part of a scam, a pyramid scheme, that I was being taken advantage of. And it can be hard to hear those things, especially from people that you are close to. And that is why a lot of people don’t make it with their companies (a lot of other reasons too, but this is a big one). But I knew that there was something special about these products and this company and it just felt right to me. So I tuned out the naysayers, I educated myself, and I forged on!

Basically, network marketing, or social marketing as it is now being called more often, is a different form of distribution to get the product to the consumer. In traditional retail, the product is manufactured, then sent to a wholesaler, then a warehouse, then through advertising, then finally into a retailer where you, the consumer, can purchase it. Because of all the different channels the product goes through, which each cost money, your product is not the newest it could be once it’s finally in the store you purchase it at, and the majority of the money is going into each of these channels, meaning they aren’t putting the money into quality control of ingredients for your products.

With social marketing, we have cut out all those middle men. Our products go straight from the manufacturer, through our network of independent consultants, and into the hands of you, the consumer! Our independent consultants do our advertising by word of mouth, social media, etc. Arbonne doesn’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of money on advertising, so in turn, we can have the purest ingredients and the best technology at a fraction of the price! You won’t ever see paid ads in magazines or on TV for our products, any mention of our products in magazines are usually people reviewing it or we are getting an award of some sort. Even our own marketing materials only feature Arbonne consultants, so we aren’t paying models or talent for those photo shoots. A lot of people think that our products are on the expensive side, but if you compared the quality of our products to something in traditional retail, you would be blown away at how much they would be priced in that market!

Social marketing is a great opportunity for someone who wants to be their own boss and run their own business, but doesn’t want to invest a ton of money into start up, or buying into a franchise, which can be very expensive. These companies have low start up costs, which appeals to a lot of people. As an independent consultant, I am running my own company. But I have the amazing team at Arbonne behind me! They provide amazing marketing materials, our own personal website, a huge amount of resources for product training, sales training, personal development, the most amazing home office and customer service to help with any inquiries myself or my clients might have, etc. Becoming an entrepreneur for less than $100? It was a no brainer for me! If it didn’t work out, I wasn’t out thousands of dollars, and I got an great discount on the most amazing products I have ever used.

So because we have the social marketing business model, we have independent consultants, who build teams, and who teach their teams our system for success in the business, and they in turn build their own teams and teach them, and so on, and so on! It’s called duplication and it works! When people mention the pyramid to me, I kind of laugh at them now that I know more about it. Pyramid schemes are illegal in the US, so if Arbonne was a pyramid, it certainly would not have been around and successful for 38 years. The real pyramids are these huge corporations where the CEO is at the top and no one will ever have the chance to reach that top level no matter how hard they work or the time they put into it. In our company, everyone has the chance to promote to the top. It depends on the work that you put into it. We have no glass ceiling, there is unlimited income potential.

People tend to join a network marketing company because they think it’s going to be easy money. Well, that is definitely very far from the truth. This business is not easy. We have a simple system, but it is still work and you still have to apply yourself every day. This model is also a huge lesson in personal development. Because you are working for yourself, you don’t have to answer to a boss, but you also have to motivate yourself and make sure that you are doing all you can to be successful. This business will not just magically build itself. You go through trials and tribulations, hills and valleys, and you will learn a lot about yourself. And some people can’t handle diving deep to become the best version they have to offer. If you aren’t willing to grow, then this business is not for you.

I have a lot of favorites about what this business offers. For me, working from home is a huge thing. I have always known I wanted to be home with my kids, but I didn’t realize that I would need something for me. I needed to work and be useful, not just to my children and husband. But, I know that I am not an 8-5 person, so this was a great fit for me. Another aspect of this business I love are the people and the culture. Social marketing tends to attract very positive, inspiring people who work very hard for their success. I have learned from some amazing people in my 5 years doing this business, and I learn something new every day. I also love the concept of time leveraging and time freedom. Most people who start their business are also working a full time job, but the beauty of time leveraging is being able to fit this work into the nooks and crannies of your life, fitting it around your family and work obligations. When you have built a successful social marketing business, you can work part time hours and be paid for much more than full time work. You are building recurring, or residual income, which is an amazing thing. I also love the recognition we receive. A lot of times, you are working really hard and you are never recognized for it. Not in this business! We celebrate everyone! We love to gift, we love to put forth fun challenges, we love to CELEBRATE you! Flowers, jewelry, trips, cars, parties, etc. There is so much reward to being in this business!

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If you are considering getting into social marketing, there are a few things that you should look for in the company you are joining. Do your research before joining ANY company!

  • Look for a company with consumable products. This will create a demand for customers to reorder, especially if they love the products.
  • Make sure the company is in the DSA, or Direct Selling Association. This would mean that the company follows a high code of ethics and is being held accountable to those ethics of doing business. Check out www.dsa.org to search for the company and look into the DSA!
  • Look into timing and trends for products. For example, Arbonne has 2 product lines, skin care and health/wellness. These are both huge trends, billion dollar markets and they aren’t going anywhere for a long time.
  • Check into marketplace demand for the product. Do consumers want your product?
  • Look for companies with global opportunities. Who wouldn’t want to build a global business?
  • Having a local team has been a great advantage in my own journey. But you can also build a business completely online with people all around the world! It is just nice to have local support, meetings, gatherings, etc.
  • And finally, find a company that has been around for 5+ years. Network marketing companies pop up all the time, and unfortunately, they close all the time too. There are a ton of amazing companies that have been around and successful for a long time, so you can be comfortable that your investment isn’t going anywhere. Arbonne has been in business for 38 years!

I hope that this was a little educational and eye opening for anyone who had a bad taste for social marketing. Anyone can do this business, we have doctors, lawyers, stay at home moms, college students, teachers, yoga instructors, etc.!  But it is not for everyone, and that is OK! I just want people to realize it is an amazing option for so many and if someone you know is starting their own business, make sure you support them. Don’t blow them off or bad mouth them. You don’t have to buy their product, but give them an encouraging word or think about people that you know that might be interested and give them the referral. If you really don’t want anything to do with something, be open and tell them that! We work really hard and we get a lot of negative thrown at us, so having some positive energy thrown our way can really brighten our day and give us the boost we need to get to that next goal!

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For more information about Arbonne International, you can go to www.arbonne.com.

For compensation details, visit iccs.arbonne.com.

THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES REGARDING INCOME, AND THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF EACH ARBONNE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT, LIKE ANY OTHER BUSINESS, DEPENDS ON EACH ARBONNE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT’S OWN SKILLS AND PERSONAL EFFORT. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THE RESULTS OF OTHER ARBONNE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS AS AN INDICATION OF WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT TO EARN.
personal development

Venturing into the Lifestyle Blog World

For the last 5 years or so, I have thought about starting my own blog. I love writing, always have, but would I have anything interesting to say? Would anyone even want to read it, except my supportive friends and family who read it out of pity? This last year has been a year of discovery, a year of exploration, and a year of getting out of my comfort zone, so I think it is finally the time!

About a year ago, maybe a little more, I was pretty disheartened with myself. I had been working my at home business for about 4 years, it hadn’t really gone anywhere despite a lot of work and time away from my family. I still absolutely loved the company and the products, but I was discouraged and a little pissed off that it wasn’t happening for me. And pissed off at myself because I knew that I was the problem. Everyone who was successful in the business seemed to have a defining moment, when things clicked. For some, it was right away, and for others it was not. I was in the latter category, and it still had not happened for me. I decided that I needed to do something different, put myself out there a bit, see if it helped, or maybe it was time to come to terms and give it up. So here’s a little bit about my back story and what I have done this last year.

If you know me personally, or even through social media, you would think of me as a pretty outgoing person who loves people. But, that is if you know me. Put me in a room with people I don’t know, and I throw on my nervous laughter, find the nearest corner, and try to blend into the wall so no one notices me. Growing up and even in the beginning of my relationship with my husband, I couldn’t even order a pizza over the phone because I was petrified of talking to someone I didn’t know. Pretty ridiculous right? I am an introvert. I like my alone time. I like to be by myself, with a great book or a good show, snuggled in my bed where no one can bother me! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being social with my friends and family, but after a gathering, I would have to recharge my batteries, be with myself and my thoughts. Which is hard to do when you have a 6 and 3 year old who want constant attention.

I have dealt with depression and anxiety since I was a teen. I started having crippling panic attacks in my early twenties, but tried to keep them to myself. I take my anti-depressants and for the most part, I have my depression under control. I haven’t been suicidal since high school, and back then, I’m not sure if I was really serious, or just trying to get attention. But I definitely had those thoughts. I used to see a counselor, but now I go in for monthly energy healing sessions and life coaching I guess you could call it. My healer is amazing and I have worked with her for 3 years. But this last year I committed to regular monthly sessions, which really helped me work through things and make sense of my brain chatter.

Life in general was pretty good, but I wanted it to be awesome. I wanted to make a difference somehow, or at least work towards that goal. I wanted to be more present with my kids and do more activities with them that didn’t involve phones or screens. And I really wanted to contribute to my household financially. I look at how hard my husband works and I am so thankful. I want to be able to take him on vacation and eventually retire him so he can do the things he loves, like building computers and creating awesome projects for our home and family. He has an amazing mechanically creative brain that just blows my mind. And yes, I know that I am taking care of our household and our children and that’s a huge job in itself, but I wanted to be able to take some of the burden from my best friend who has always taken care of us so well.

In February of last year, a Facebook friend messaged me and let me know that she was starting a new chapter of a women’s connection group where we had met the year prior. This group was amazing, but I couldn’t go to the Reno chapter meetings because of my schedule, and she was starting a group in Sparks, NV which would work with my calendar. I was IN! This was a start! This is something that I could implement in my life that would get me out of my comfort zone and out of my rut in my own business! I was so excited! This started my year of self transformation, my year of yes. I said yes to this group, said yes to being on the leadership team of this group, and said yes to setting up a ton of connections with a bunch of women that I did not know! Holy Crap! What was I doing?

But in the end, it was exactly what I needed. Every month I met with this group of women, with other guests, and with our monthly speaker and I put myself out there to people I didn’t know. I stood up every month and gave my 1 minute intro about who I was (which made me want to barf and I couldn’t stop shaking), and each time it got easier. I connected with women all across the country through online conference and phone calls. I got to talk about why I love my business and why I had a passion for it, which in turn made me remember my passion for it. We weren’t shoving our businesses down each other’s throats, which was refreshing. We were genuinely getting to know each other, which in turn, created a few business relationships, because women do business with people they like, know and trust.

In my personal life, I was doing more with my boys. We were turning off the computers and TV’s, going to parks, taking walks, enjoying each other’s company. It really is amazing to get to know your little kids; they are lights on this earth, and they just make your day so bright if you let them. We took our yearly Vegas Vacation, but went to our family cabin in Utah first. We stopped at different places on our drive, taking pictures, learning about new places. Instead of holing up in my room with a book like I usually do, I participated. I said yes, even when I really didn’t feel like it. I hiked, I 4 wheeled on the quads, hell I even did my first zip line! I will cherish those memories forever, because I had so much fun with my family. I was involved.

I met a few women through the connection company, and one of them had an amazing idea for a moms group. It would be a group focused on self care for moms. We would have guest speakers/teachers each month and it would be a sacred place for moms to come and take care of themselves, learn about a subject of self care, confide in each other and learn from one another, and just socialize. We put it together and scheduled a launch party. The founder asked me to speak about my journey…wait what? Speak? In front of people? About myself? Of course, I didn’t voice those concerns to her, I happily accepted like I did this all the time! The night came around, and although we didn’t have a big turn out, I was so nervous. But I got up there and shakily spoke my truth. I brought one of my friends to tears who didn’t know much about my fears and my journey before she knew me. The others gave me great feedback and said they were inspired! Inspired? By me? WOW! That felt amazing!

Over this year I have grown so much and found a confidence deep inside me that I never knew I could have. Other people had always told me that I could do great things, but I didn’t believe them, because I didn’t believe in myself. But over this year, I am seeing myself in a new light! And it’s pretty amazing when you are radiating this positive energy. All of a sudden, people are noticing. People are talking to you first in crowded situations. People are giving you opportunities. People are asking you what has changed and encouraging you to keep with it. I’m connecting with new people and reconnecting with people that I always wanted to be involved with but didn’t think that as a stay at home mom I could hold my own with them. Because of this newfound sense of self, I am finally growing my business in the way that I want to grow it. I know that I can now lead a team of rock stars and show them how to lead others, creating a domino effect of change makers. Most people think my business is just about great products, but it is actually the ultimate platform for personal growth and creating leaders who lead with integrity, who inspire others to become their best selves. It has finally clicked for me, in a way that I was almost ready to give up on.

I know that there will still be ups and downs, hills and valleys, that is life. And I know that I will come up against my fears here and there, because I’m human. But I now feel like I can face life head on, and not shrink into the background. I am good enough, I have something to offer, and I am ready to share with the world!

If you are still reading this, thank you, and I hope that you will continue to join me on this journey. I’m not sure where this blog will go or what it will consist of, but I hope that I can offer some inspiration, some laughter, and maybe a few kick ass recipes for those cooks out there!

With Love and Gratitude,

Megan