A Year of Sacrifice

This week will mark one year of a life changing event; I was let go from a company that I worked very hard for, and it was a huge shock for me. I considered this job a foot in the door into something I saw doing for the rest of my life; being my own boss. I was working for a small family business, locally owned. Employed are about 50 people during majority of the calendar year, during high sales volume we had extra staff to assist with the extra needs, so you could say it was a very family oriented environment. We all worked together, though we all specialized in our own specific job description, there was no task that that we could turn down because it wasn’t “our job” to do.

Some of you reading this may wonder, why is the anniversary of a job loss so important and en-grained in my thinking. The answer is simple: I pass by the business on a daily basis whenever I drive into town as it is a mile from my house. Another reason why this loss was so big for me was because I felt that it happened through a misunderstanding. I never was given the chance to defend myself and tell my side of a story that could easily have cleared up a miscommunication. It was simply one person’s word and then bam, I was out. Oh well, I will always know my actions and that I worked as hard as I could.

They say everything happens for a reason. Right after this job loss occurred, a family medical crisis was beginning and I had to take action. Because I was no longer at my job I was able to put all my focus on my family member who needed some desperate help keeping their health in check. I was there to provide transportation to medical appointments, I was there to help with moral support, I was there to help keep the household running with cooking, cleaning, whatever was needed. I was there. This is all the while trying to figure out how to keep myself happy and my next career aspiration and passion.

I truly believe in the idea that no one will ever understand what a person has gone through until they walk a day, a week, a month, a year and so on in their shoes. Life can be beautiful, and life sure as hell can be ugly. This post is more of a reflection of this past year. All the while taking care of my family member who I can say has the treatment they need, and will always have a shoulder to lean on. All of the hours I sacrificed for myself to help my family member will never be wasted. Sure, it wasn’t fun, and at times, very depressing because I felt I wasn’t doing enough, it will always be a chapter of my life that will never be forgotten. Even though I had to put my goals on a back burner to help my family member, not once can I say that I regret doing it. I feel my help will have forever have made a major impact on their health, for the better.

Easy and Natural Beauty Routine

Hey everyone! As you may have guessed from the title, I’m about to tell you about my beauty routine that I use to keep my hair and skin healthy and happy.

I am one of those people who was blessed with naturally clear, healthy skin (I rarely break out), BUT that doesn’t mean that I neglect taking care of my complexion. I have tried a few different products over the course of my teens and now into my late 20s, and I finally have found a line that is “Simple”, and easy on the skin, and affordable! You might be wondering why I put Simple in quotes above, well that is because the line that I use is called “Simple.” I LOVE this line. It is a wonderful brand that not only has no harsh ingredients, but has vitamins that are great for a healthy skincare routine. My favorite products that I use are the Dual Effect Eye Makeup Remover, which most importantly removes my stubborn waterproof mascara. I use the Simple Cleansing Wipes to remove my face makeup and to clean my skin. For day time use, I hydrate my skin with the Protecting Light Moisturizer in order to protect against the harmful UV rays (yes, all year round even on cloudy days) and at night use the standard Replenishing Moisturizer.

When it comes to my hair, I alternate among hair care products depending on the season and what my hair care needs are at the time. The one thing that I do use year round to have an intense hydrating mask for my hair are two ingredients that you can eat together, though they may not taste the best together. They are coconut oil and raw honey.  I melt the coconut oil in a sauce pan on very low heat only for a few seconds (the oil heats up very quickly, so it is really important to keep the heat on absolute low.) I put the honey in with it, to make sure both are warm, never hot. On damp hair, I put this mask all over my hair, focusing a lot of the ends, where the most damage takes place. I leave the two on for 30 minutes to an hour, and then wash and condition like normal.  A tip I heard about is to do this hair hydrating mask on your wash day as it absorbs better into dirtier hair. I noticed the first time that I did this routine, my hair was not only so incredibly soft, but shiny, even my girlfriends noticed! This is a very affordable routine, that I do every couple of months to maintain luscious locks. Your hair will thank you!

I’m all about natural, and affordable products, in every category of my life, as much as possible. I would love to hear any additional beauty and skin care tips you may have!

Regular Price to Coupon Price

I have blogged about this before, and I will blog about it again, I LOVE to coupon. I have found multiple ways to reduce the cost of my grocery bill, and I want to share it all with you all.

Coupons.com is a new treasure that I discovered last Fall, 2016, and it has been such a welcoming surprise. I clip all of the coupons that I need, print and scan! One key concept that I only recently learned was that you can combine multiple different discount techniques: in store promotion, digital coupons through the app, and now manufacture coupons both through the newspaper and through online sources, such as coupons.com.



One very exciting money saving tip that I have is how to get an item that is not on sale at all, down to only one dollar. I recently took up consuming Boost for the nutritional benefits as well as a yummy protein shake. Depending on your budget, purchasing Boost on a weekly basis can get expensive. I became lucky the past two weeks; I managed to get this nearly $10 pack of protein shakes down to only $1.19. How? I had a digital coupon through my CVS app for $2 off of Boost shakes, I had a $2.oo off coupon I had printed out through coupons.com and I had 20%off any item in store at CVS. Combine all those together, and I was able to get a nearly 90% off discount. Talk about a money saver!

I plan on purchasing my next pack soon, as I have $2.00 off again through coupons.com, I now have a $3.00 off through the app and I have $3.00 in Extra Care rewards to use, so once again a major discount, and this is before the item even goes on sale in the store. It is possible to get a significant discount on your own, without an in store promotion, you just need to be educated on the different saving techniques and have good timing.

Launching a Business…Baby Steps

Hello readers!

I am writing this post as a novice when it comes to launching a business. You see, I am a born entrepreneur, I love the idea of being my own boss, making my own rules, and helping others. I’m sure many of you are thinking the exact same thing: wouldn’t we all love to be the boss in our line of work. Well, I have a question for every single business owner out there:

How did you actually launch the business?

What I mean by this is, literally what steps did you take to get the business going. Yes, I understand about having a business plan, marketing and of course the finances to cover all of the start up costs. What I mean is, when someone says that they started from nothing and then built a very successful business, how did you go about marketing, and going from perhaps the basement in your home to an actual business office. How did you go from being a one person, or a literal family business to having the recourses to pay your staff. I have read many different articles about how people have found a situation that they wanted to solve and thus created a product or business (I watch “Shark Tank a lot as well) and they have said how they “launched” their business. Well, I am one of those individuals who needs to know the EXACT steps these entrepreneurs took to make a success.

I recently thumbed through a book about how a mom wanted to have it all: a family, career and overall enjoy life. Well once again, she used that word, “launched.” Its a great word in the business vocab, but again I ask HOW.

Please feel free to comment how you business folk started. Trial and error always happens, share your thoughts. Please and thank you!

Limited Income….Love Coupons!

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I last blogged, my apologies! A brand new hobby that I’m proud to say I’ve become addicted to is couponing, which will explain my title. I am in my late 20s, on a limited budget and live in a very expensive zip code at home helping a family member with health issues. How do I do it over and above a straight job?  I COUPON to save money, and I’m proud of it. Let me explain how I saved around $100 on groceries and gas this week. Yes, $100 saved.

My family does the majority of our grocery store shopping at Giant for two reasons, its our closest grocery location with great deals, and also gas points at participating Shell stations. For every dollar you spend at Giant, you earn a point, get 100 points, you earn $0.10 off per gallon of gas, 200 points, $0.20 and so on…reach 1000 points, $1.00 off each gallon. Certain items have deals each week, if you buy 5 of the participating items (shampoo), you then earn an automatic $0.50 per gallon, along with all of the other points earned based on the dollar amount you spent for that particular grocery shopping trip. For example, you spend $50 on groceries, and also purchase the participating products for gas that day ($0.50 additional gas points) then you earned a total of 1000 points, or a $1.00 off per gallon. Make sense? It is a bit confusing at the beginning, but it becomes pretty routine and easy once you get the hang of it. Now people have pointed out to me that I’m still spending that money on these items, in order to redeem my gas points, so isn’t it a waste? I say no. My logic is, if I’m going to use the item anyways and it won’t expire  (non perishable items) or pantry goods that have a long expiration date, it really in the end evens out because you are saving at the pump, the same dollar amount you spent at the grocery store.

My most recent triple saver was one I am especially proud of. It was on shampoo. I had a manufacturer coupon for $2 off two bottles of a specific brand of shampoo. The store had a promotion of not only 2/$6 but also, if you buy 5 of them, then you earn $0.50 additional gas points. Bam! I was able to combine all 3 promotions. I ended up saving $20 on gas with previous points earned.

Let me just say this, I’m not a crazy coupon hoarder, I don’t just take items out of the store I don’t need just because I can get them for crazy cheap, or free, I use all of my items. I also don’t store 25 bottles of laundry detergent, I store 20…..kidding! But in all seriousness, I use commonsense when it comes to deals, and have not built any additional storage places in my house, so I have keep in mind the amount of room we have to keep everything.

Last bit I will say on this, as you can tell, I am really passionate about saving money. Go onto different coupon apps, they are a money saver….Ibotta is a major one I use, it ranges from $0.25 off of bread, to $3 off detergent, every penny adds up! I also go to coupons.com and print out deals. Check with your local stores policy, many times they will allow you to stack coupons. Good luck!

 

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

There is the saying “don’t quit your day job.” Here is a very important question and concept to really contemplate: you have your day job that produces the stable income, but if you’re like me, you have always wanted to be your own boss. How does one find the balance of keeping your focus on your day job where you answer to your boss and co-workers, all the while still maintaining the energy, physically and emotionally to create a new start-up business, or product. It can be hard. I have been a big fan of “Shark Tank” and have read books from the “Sharks” on advice. They talk about how you need creativity and the pros and cons of working for yourself. So here is my question: how would you, my readers, go about and come up with a great product, or business idea, get started, all the while maintaining your job that pays the bills, and maintain a family/social life (if you have a family of your own.)

YouTubers…..

So this is a very honest question I have: how do YouTubers become sponsored. There are so many competitors out there creating all sorts of different content; everyday products they use, clothing and makeup purchases, and straight up fun and creative videos. How do you go about getting “discovered.”

My questioning behind this comes with having an entrepreneurial passion. Lets face it; the world has gone digital, yes there are still plenty of tangible ways of life, but a lot has transferred to mobile devices. Social media in its infancy was and is still Facebook, yet, there are newly developed applications competing with one another constantly. Facebook originally was created for personal exposure, and now many consider it more on the professional side with businesses promoting their services, and advertisements on the sides, targeting different members interests. Instagram even has become much more professional. Not in anyway saying businesses don’t have a right to advertise through social media, just that it clearly shows that social media exposure has changed the way our world operates.

People are becoming “Facebook” and “YouTube” stars based on various content they are sharing, everyday content that goes viral. What makes them so much more special and noticed? Just some thought that I have. Feel free to comment.