Christmas dinner traditional ham
I hope mine looks as good
My two little monsters just left for a weekend with their dad in NC for the holiday with that side of their family.  I'm always torn when they go away because:It's a potential to relax, do what I want, watch a movie without interruption or read. Oh, use the restroom alone! That's a big one, can't forget that one :)

But at the same time, I find myself thinking about them most of the time, what they are doing, are they enjoying themselves, are they behaving, have they eaten, what, and was it enough, do they miss me because I sure miss them. That sort of stuff.

So as an attempt to keep from worrying over my babies the entire week I have set some goals, I guess you would call them goals.  Here it is.

Even though it will just be myself and Mike (my s/o) here I have decided THIS will be the Christmas (actually first holiday of any sort ever) that I will prepare an entire holiday spread.  Traditional Christmas ham, cranberry sauce (but the real kind where you cook the cranberries and everything not that cranberry jello something another that comes out of the can keeping the containers shape.... yuck to that stuff)..... and I don't know what else to make yet, but I think being my first big holiday meal ever (and I don't cook much as it is) those two dishes are pretty lofty goals to begin with, don't you.

I'm also "planning", if I can keep myself to it, to clean the ENTIRE house, spring cleaning is coming early to our house and boy does it need it. 

Begin keeping a weekly schedule slash to do list, slash menu plan, slash whatever else I need to keep track of on a weekly basis, because lets face it I do well to keep track day to day.  What day is it anyway? ....


And finally on my list of goals or whatever I should call them, I plan to read without interruption, sleep in till I feel like getting up on at least one day (lets face it, it'll probably be every day), and to get to use the restroom all by myself!! 

I'll let you all know how this all turns out, and even give pictures



What do your Christmas break plans look like? Do you get to use the restroom alone? If so, congratulations and enjoy it, its a huge perk to kids being away.  Also, what does your Christmas dinner menu comprise of, because to be perfectly honest I haven't a clue what else to make.  I suppose we could live on ham and cranberry sauce for the week, but it'd be nice to have some variety. Ideas, I beg of you please.

Happy Holidays
-Heather
 
 
My blog is just beginning, which is clear with its constant changing and bare bones look, but I am learning as I go which is 1 interesting and fun, and 2 frustrating because I just want it to be in its finished state where I just add to it as I please.  (I'm an impatient person when it comes to my own goals apparently)  But, I figured since I am learning so much I'd pass some on to you in case you get the nifty idea to make your life more public than it may already be thanks to social media, because, I care :)


Blogging takes time AND money

Making money online blogging
Takes money to make money
So far I have learned that having a free site such as my "weebly" domain is not as credible or desirable as a ".com"   I'm not quite sure why that is, but since I am just starting out, and a poor single mom I'm going to stick with this for as long as I need to, heck I might be here for the long haul.
"A rose by any other name.."


What's in a name?

A LOT!  Haha, seriously though I'm not even confident that I chose the best "type" of name for my site after all I have read.  Your domain name needs to be memorable, not too long, and EASY TO SPELL.  Because you know, again with the social media thing     We all abbreviate and misspell horribly now a days and so, yeah it needs to be simple.  I sure hope mines not too rough around the edges when it comes to that.

SEO or More abbreviations we don't know

Or was I the only one that DIDN"T know that this means "Search Engine Optimization"   yup, you have to do more than just have good content, amazing pictures of awesome quality, etc etc.  Much more in fact, you have to spread the word about your site or blog, inform Google for example that your site exists, use key words and meta tags, and whew there's a ton more really but I don't know enough about it yet to write a good blog on it.  

Suffice it to say, this is something I feel I could have been and possibly should have been schooled on.  Hey, there's an idea, maybe a new high school class can be created to teach everyone how to do this stuff so it doesn't take months to build a site or blog that's barely mediocre.

What's that, you want to make money too?

Well, I can't say much on this point other than I clearly would love to make money from this and that I really haven't much of a clue yet on the "best" way to do so.  I know you can like with affiliate sites which I do one at the moment, this does little good though unless you have great traffic and they click on the adds.  You can always sell something you made yourself, which I am considering doing, as one of my goals I hope to begin soon is to actually do the things I pinned on my pinterest boards haha.

There's a wealth of knowledge out there on this stuff though, and ebooks galore, I have plenty. Basically, it takes time and work. So, I beg you, bare with me as I work to make my little spot here in the blogosphere easily accesible and a super fun read with topics you are chomping at the bit to come and read about.  Baby steps remember, baby steps.


-Heather
 
 
So I told you about Swagbucks earlier, and they really are super great, and here is why.......


I mentioned that you get points or "bucks" from doing surveys, completing offers, shopping, etc.  One offer I found this evening was to purchase a gift from Personal Creations.  Upon ordering something I was to receive 850 Swagbucks.

So I went and looked over the Personal Creations site, and this is solely my opinion I am not an affiliate of any sort, but they have some awesome stuff and at really affordable prices. 

I found a super cute gift that I felt would be great for some friends of mine expecting their first child and continued to place my order. 

Long story short, I found a wonderfully affordable, cute, personalized gift, AND got a TON of Swagbucks, which put me in a place with the couple hundred I had for another $10 in Amazon gift cards.   That's what I call Win Win !!!


PS  SwagBucks have way more than Amazon Gift cards to redeem your points for, that's just my go to because I use Amazon so much.
 
 
I haven't decided yet if I want to make this a series with several posts or not, as this is something I have tried (and not exactly mastered) for a couple of years. BUT, I do think I have at least sorted out the tactics that DO NOT work for sure.  Eh, we will see if I can come up with a series or not, but today I just wanted to mention one site I use that works for sure, is easy, and I enjoy.

SwagBucks is one of those sites where you complete offers, surveys, play games, search etc.  I have heard of many, and tried several actually but SwagBucks keeps me coming back.  Now , I haven't made millions, nor am I rich from using this site. And I definitely couldn't live off what I have gotten from the site.  However, when it comes to holiday shopping, or saving for something its great.

So , I primarily use mine to rack up points to redeem for Amazon gift cards because, well we all know I love Amazon, what can I say.  But in less than a month I made enough SwagBucks to redeem for $15 in Amazon gift cards.  Not a ton I know, but I have read of people making as much as $80-$100 a month on the site.  It just depends on how much time you have to spend, and how much you use it. 

If I could remember to always use the site to search for instance, or take the daily poll, put videos on in the background as doing other things, etc I could wrack up a lot more.  But I am happy with the earning curve I have for now, and SUPER happy for my gift cards.  Yay online shopping !!! Try SwagBucks out yourself :)
-Heather

Do you know of any sure fire earning sites? If so share here :)
 
 
All of these Amazon Kindle eBooks are free at the moment, so browse through the ones I have here, the list is pretty eclectic, although I'll admit I'm not much into fiction or romance currently.  If you don't see anything that strikes your fancy here, head on over to the Kindle store (link below), they have tons of great deals, and I just search "free kindle books" and then go through the categories.
If you love to read like I do, but don't have the space for all the books you HAVE to read.. eventually, this is a welcome alternative.  There are free downloads for ereaders for other devices as well.  I read mine on my android or my windows laptop.  Happy readying.
 
 
Amazon's Deal of the day today is all about kids!  Save 50% on learning resource toys.  I personally LOVE learning toys, my friends and family always got on me because I wasn't getting the kids "fun" toys.  But the kids loved the learning toys just as much and sometimes more.  All while learning new skills. 

Here's a link to
I hope you find something you love for the little people in your world. 


Disclaimer: this is a post that links to an affiliate, however I was not asked to make this post, and all comments and opinions are 100% my own.  I will not promote something if I don't like.
 
 
So.....  It turns out that just "changing your routine" isn't quite as easy as it sounds.  I did not accomplish all of my to-do-list from the other day. So now I just have MORE to do *rolls eyes*  I have a focus issue wherein, I'll start a task, notice something else that needs done or that interests me more........ and , what was I doing?  So sometimes little bits of several things get done but never completed.  More often than not though, lots of procrastination happens and nothing gets done :/  So I did some research on breaking and building new habits.

It seems there is no "cookie cutter" recipe to break bad habits and build new, but I got a few good ideas at least.  Oh, time frame... somewhere between 21 and 30 days is what you'll commonly find, but I'm just focused on making it a week, then the next.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves with this whole month idea just yet. 

  1. Apparently you can't or shouldn't just quit bad habits because they play some role in your psyche, who knew, instead I'm supposed to "replace" a bad habit with a good habit. I'm thinking uh, duh? If my bad habit is completely not being a morning person, but I really need to be able to get up and start the day and be productive, isn't that clearly replacing the "bad" habit (lover of sleep) with the "good" habit (insane supermom that runs on little to no sleep, but still functions somehow)


    But okay, I'll bite, whats next?
  2.    Start small with one habit to change at a time as to not overwhelm yourself.  OKay this one is hard for me because I just want everything fixed like right now, and all "perfect" and supermomyish.  You know like the other blogger moms that work full time from home, home-school their 15 children, maintain an insanely good and highly followed blog, cook, clean, hunt for their food and clean the winning game, perform brain surgery while teaching advanced algebraic equations..... whew okay maybe not ALL of that, but better than where I am right now (i e lazy slob)

    And my formatting and numbered list decided to not work for some reason but here it goes the last couple tips.

    3.    Remember to reward yourself when you accomplish and keep up with the new good habit.   Basically be my own cheering section every time I get up early or complete my list of to-dos for the day.  It makes sense though, we keep our "bad" habits because they fill some need, or something psychological apparently, so we have to make ourselves think the new habits are just as cool as the bad ones we are replacing. 

    4.  and 5.    Doing at least the smallest of things in the times you feel like you want to repeat the routine of the bad habit, and accountability is major leverage to help you along in changing habits.
    Essentially, when I feel Facebook or the TEDtalks website, things like that where I love to get lost and procrastinate, calling my name when I know I am supposed to be doing homework lets say.  I should stop myself from the fun stuff and do at least a little bit of what I know I am working on to better myself.  If I have reading to do, read a couple chapters depending on length.  If I have a paper to write, write at least a paragraph.  Supposedly our brains don't like to start a task like that and leave it be when you are "watching" your self, so that drives you to complete the task. 
    And accountability, well missery loves company so this one makes sense.  If you have a friend that is working on the same habit talk to each other about progress and set backs. I imagine even if they are working on something else, or not working on anything but a good sounding board that you are comfortable with it'll help still.

    So, I'm going to try and follow this model and not try to change too much too fast. I'll let you know how I am doing soon. :)

    -Heather


    Are there any habits you are working on to stop or pick up?  Any that you would like to but aren't currently?  I love hearing from readers


 
 
If you've read the "start here" page you have an idea of what I'll be doing on this "journey" I keep mentioning. And getting this blog set up, and FINALLY writing a post that I will be able to publish when I am done was one of my first goals.  I wanted to have this public forum to keep a record of things I would need to do to accomplish my dream of starting the non profit organization I'd thought about constantly for the past nearly 10 years.  Also, a place to keep record of things I need and want to change in my life to better things for me and my family, and some of those things spill over into the greater goal.

So, I realize this is going to be a short post, but hey, I did it, and I feel good about it.  It had to start somewhere and sometime so why not now.

To attempt to build new habits, and figure out a format for setting goals and keeping track I am going to list just a few of my smaller tasks that I have for tomorrow. Start small, I've learned, I am the type of person that can get overwhelmed quickly if things are chaotic and give up at times. I don't want to repeat that. 

My to-do-list for tomorrow::
    -Concerning home and family:    1: catch the house cleaning up
                                                           2: spend some much needed, peaceful, fun                                                                 time with my kids.
                                                            3: work out a schedule to encompass                                                                     home, school, internet endeavors, and                                                                 sleep most importantly.

                                                            4: Check on the dates and assignments of                                                              my upcoming elective online courses.
                                                            5: Call my school and make a plan to                                                                     hopefully get all required paperwork in to                                                              start this semester.
                                                             6: Pick one of my free kindle books I                                                                    downloaded ages ago and begin reading                                                          for pleasure, (I miss reading for pleasure)
   
 
-Concerning steps for the organization:
                                                        To be honest getting this and all the social networking sites I have thus far I feel like I need to now do some research into the step by step process of beginning an organization such as this. I know I will need a business model, mission statement, board members; oh there's a lot.  and the thing is I don't know how to do those things necesssarly, and I certainly don't now the step by step process to take.  So for the next little bit I will be researching the process, and if I feel like I can effectively put some of those things together now I will.  I may find I need some more skill sets and knowledge, which is why I'm returning to college to finish. Changing majors, but I haven't been in school for 8 years or so now so the change of majors is not really a shocker. Especially since when I went straight out of high school I had no clue what I wanted to do the rest of my life.  Now I do, so I'm already better suited to take on school. 

Well, in writing it doesn't seem like much of an undertaking, but add in 2 kiddos, and a ME that gets distracted easily in research or reading, and that is a pretty full to-do-list.

Do you write to-do-lists daily or weekly.  Or are you better suited to keep tasks in your mind and be flexible? 

Heather


I'd love to hear from readers :)