Sunday, March 8, 2015

Not Worring...but Now What?

I am going on 6 months of "not working." Yes, I put not working in quotes because I do work -- at home. I resigned from my job not long after Lily started treatment to be home for my family. During these months of being a stay-at-home mom, I've settled into my own daily routine. I'm so thankful to be home just to see the kids get on and off the bus since it was one of my worries this school year.

Once the kids are off in the morning, I drink my coffee, read my Bible and meditations from The Word Among Us, and talk to Alex the Cat who sits at the window seal. It's quite and peaceful. Whether the birds chirp or the rain pours, it's so refreshing. I'm happy to have gotten back into my morning prayer time, too. I feel like I've found an old friend again.

Mondays have become my laundry day and every other week, I do my big house cleaning. Family budget reconciling is daily and I have switch the majority of my shopping online thanks to Amazon Prime and my Melaleuca membership. I can't tell you how much this has cut down impulse buying and provided healthier lifestyle options for our family, so much so that I've become a rep for the company. I'd love to share more about Melaleuca's products. If you are curious, send me a message via my contact form on the side bar. I also spend a portion of my daytime working to build my invitation and party printables design business by filling orders on my Etsy shop and other special projects.

I've enjoyed being home -- it's the least I've been stressed in years, despite so many life-changing challenges. I know this was all part of God's plan to see me through Lily's cancer journey and my grandmother's untimely death. I was where I needed to be for my family. 

We were blessed to receive such unexpected, generous support and loving understanding from family and friends during this time. But, I pinned the month of March as my red flag month. The month where, OMG how are we going to pay for this and that? would start. Worry, stress, and anxiety were creeping their ugly faces out on Tuesday night when I was crunching our family budget and the reality of it hit. Once again, God listened and spoke to me the next morning when both of my daily meditations were about "not worrying." As I've surprisingly handled everything this past year, I took it in, relaxed, and assured myself that things will work out as it has been. 

Although life is back to normal and I stay busy with mom-work and my growing little side jobs, I know it's time to get back into the "real working world" because it's just not enough to contribute to our family needs at this time. Besides, being creative is a passion I enjoy too much - which usually means lots of extra uncompensated hours ;)

I admit, I've been picky about where I'm submitting my resume. I know, it's not the best way to go about finding a job. I guess I feel as I'm pushing closer to 40 years old, I understand my qualifications, know what I do and don't like to do, what is and what isn't a priority, etc. One thing I know for certain is that I really want to work closer to home to continue to be available as needed for the kids. In the past, I've made some career changes in hopes of development and advancement. Some of these choices have been great and some...lets just say I've learned the grass is not greener on the other side. However, job searching at my age is a double-edge sword. I look at this time as a chance to start over or even try something new, but on other side I feel like I'm a new college grad again having to prove myself... sigh...

So, recently I've made the decision to try my luck at substitute teaching, at least until something permanent and more closely related to my experience comes along. My mom was a teacher, my cousin is a master teacher and my grandmother was a substitute I figure I have some natural ability, right? LOL!

I know I won't be as cool as this...

pray I won't be like this...

I hope I'm exactly like this....

Did you watch this clip until the end? It's so great! LOL!!!

Feel free to comment and share any substitute teaching or career advice below - I'll take it all :)

Whatever new career path I take, I want it to be one that I enjoy, where I can pave the road nicer than it was before, and where I can grow both personally and professionally on that journey.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

My DisneySide @Home Celebration

In my last post, I shared some background on how I was DisneySide-ing before #DisneySide was Cool :) This past Sunday I was able to share all of my favorite sides of Disney at my @Home Celebration! I had received a sweet package of free products from Disney Parksand MomSelect in order to host my Disney Side @Home Celebration and the opinions I share in my posts are my own.

We had a small gathering due to some of my invited guests having scheduling conflicts. Those who attend had a fun time and loved the decorations! I didn't really have a theme per se but more showcasing the sides of Disney that I like. I kept the party fairly simple and tried to use all of the provided products.We are a coffee drinking family so my party was centered around "coffee time" with a yummy Mickey cake and Mickey cookies.

A Duff Goldman tie-dyed cake mix was provided in the package. This was a fun cake to make! The colors were so vibrant after the cake baked.

How about here? 
Lily loves to help bake.
Do you see the hidden Mickey?
Here's our finished Mickey Mouse cake! 

The first batch of my Mickey Mouse cookies were an epic fail but the rest turned out just great and yummy!

For the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration favor boxes, I added the perfect shiny treat --Hersey's Kisses, or as we call them, Silver Bells.

I try to make environmentally conscious decisions in my daily lifestyle choices, so a #DisneySide that I give two thumbs up for is their commitment to environmental stewardship and conservation. I recycled some of my old gift bags for goodie bags and filled each with the products -- complimentary luggage tags, a pack of HP CMYK paper, tattoos, and a Diamond Celebration favor box. I also pulled a few interesting facts from The Walt Disney Company website for a "Did You Know?" info sheet. Here are some of the bullet points I included:

  • Disney reduces environmental impact through innovations, such as the trains at Disneyland Resort which run on biodiesel made with cooking oil from the resort’s restaurants and hotels.
  • Recycling at our parks is an important part of our approach to Disney's long-term goal of zero waste.
  • In 2009, Disneyland Resort was recognized with California’s highest and most prestigious environmental honor for water conservation efforts used in the World of Color attraction.

Another #DisneySide fan favorite I represented was fireworks! We had a few color sparklers left from New Years so we let the kids light them up.

Since my party was centered around coffee time, I asked each guest to bring their favorite Disney coffee cup. If they forgot, I had set out all of my past vacation resort mugs...for some reason I did not take a picture of them :(  
I designated another area to show my #DisneySide love for animation. I displayed some of my Disney animation books, snow globes, and artwork.

Shared #DisneySide scrapbook memories.
Some of our Disney friends also showed up :)

Even our youngest guest was sporting her #DisneySide!
Shared my D23 Magazines.
Games and prizes table.

The kids enjoyed Disney Bingo and Pin the Smile on Mickey. I think some of the kids were a little "Goofy."

And for some, just a little time to relax and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was just as fun.

Thank you Disney Parks, Maria Bailey, and the MomSelect team for selecting me to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration and providing me with the free products to share with my Disney friends.

We had quite a few items left from out party. I'm planning to save the Disney Princesses nail polish, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse pencils, card games, Crayola colors, and leftover goodie bag items for a St. Jude fundraiser tea party my family is hosting this June - stay tuned! I'd also like to donate the ALL detergent and Snuggle and Wisk samples to our church food pantry. Finally, we'll put all these fun Disney party decorations and games to good use again for my nephew's (pictured above) Mickey Mouse Clubhouse birthday party!

Feel free to share my post and leave a comment, maybe even your favorite #DisneySide story.

Sincere thanks again!!