The GOOD Kind of Stress

— 1 —

I’m pretty stressed. I only decided recently what I was going to make – yes, make – for a lot of family members this year. Nothing I’d pinned on Pinterest really seemed the thing. Then I went to a holiday bazaar and came home full of fabulous ideas! Lots of what I needed I found here at home,  and I have a sewing machine, but I can only work at it for about fifteen minutes at a time and somehow there are only twenty days until Christmas! Yikes!

— 2 —

 And then Monday I found out about a special opportunity Nerium was providing for Brand Partners – but only in December. It’s not something that I can do personally, but it so good that I feel compelled to pass along the details to people who might be interested, because I’d feel too guilty if they came to me in February or March and wanted to sign up and I hadn’t offered them this deal NOW.  Yes, Catholic guilt at its best – feeling guilty about not doing something now that someone could want me to do in the future. And the national debt is my fault, too.

— 3 —

I had a wonderful birthday, complete with homemade chili and white cake with white icing (my fave) and lots of birthday wishes on FaceBook. My birthday is the one day I really like FB. Of course I know all these people are just wishing me happy birthday because their computer tells them to, but it’s still pretty awesome to have people all over the world wishing me happy birthday. Just sayin’.

— 4 —

John and I watched the season finale of The Walking Dead together and, as usual, discussed our own plans should certain things happen during a Zombie Apocalypse. We decided that we wanted Ted Nugent in our group. I don’t know why we hadn’t thought of him before. He’s the obvious choice, after all. No, the songs around the campfires wouldn’t be quite the same as Beth’s, but his hunting skills would certainly make up for it.

— 5 —

Is it just a boy thing, or do teen girls also end up with other people’s clothes for no apparent reason? John was wearing a T-shirt I’d never seen the other day, and I asked him whose it was and why he was wearing it. He just shrugged, said, “It was in my pile so I thought it was mine,” and went back to his video game. I hope it wasn’t someone’s favorite shirt!

— 6 —

I can’t wait to see Aaron and Catherine for Christmas, and to meet Tabby, my grand-dog. When Aaron Face-Timed on my birthday she was wearing her thundershirt. It wasn’t storming, but he said she’d been shivering after playing outside for an hour. They live in Texas, so it’s not that cold. I thought perhaps I could make her a cute sweater if I could find a pattern. Or up-cycle a human sweater, perhaps. She is a Great Dane mix, after all. Yeah, I’m totally in denial on this whole craft situation.

— 7 —

In fact, it’s apparent from our house that we’re all in denial of the entire Advent season. There are no decorations up. None. In fact, it’s a bit depressing, because the only part of winter I enjoy at all is Christmas. Once the decorations come down on the Feast of the Epiphany I’d rather fast-forward to Ash Wednesday so we can start Lent and the countdown to Easter.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Financial Woes? Let Me Help!

Most of you know Michael and I work as independent brand partners for Nerium. Why? Well, the product’s results knocked me off my feet after trying it for only three days, and it’s new enough that getting on-board now is like buying a few shares of Microsoft when they first became available – seriously.  This is my current favorite results picture.
age gracefully
Yes, it’s a picture of a woman after she’s been using the product for two years. I love the great changes after thirty or sixty days, but I turn forty-eight tomorrow, so for me it’s about the long haul. I want to know that if I dedicate myself to putting this on my face every night I will see differences not just during the next couple of months, but for years to come. I want to be a gorgeous grandma!

But it’s not only about the fabulous break-through products that improve the appearance of your skin head-to-toe. It’s about making money. I haven’t been able to work since my third and fourth spinal surgery in the spring of 2011, and SSI estimates I still have almost a year before I get an answer on my first attempt at disability. Since I was the primary breadwinner in the family this has put us in chronic crisis mode. There are many other people out there in the same boat: college grads who have student loans due and can’t find jobs, people who have been laid off, retired people who have realized they can’t afford retirement, and people who are dealing with crippling medical bills.

Then, of course, there are people who simply don’t make enough money to make ends meet no matter how frugally they live. People who lie awake at night wishing they had just a little more money so they didn’t have to work overtime every week, so they could have more time with their friends and family, so they could pursue their true passions. Let’s face it, there are a lot of people who hate their jobs. They show up, they work hard at full-time jobs for decades because they have to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, and pay insurance premiums. It doesn’t have to be like that.
This month you can sign up with Nerium – using the package that best suits your needs, and with no minimum sales. Sign up only two people and “Fast Start Qualify”. It’s a prestigious title and it makes every other rank advancement, commission increase, and bonus that much easier to qualify for.  When I FSQd I had to hit a certain sales volume in my first month and sign three brand partners. So I’m excited about helping others get started. I can’t promise you instant millions. What I can promise is that if you do this one year from now you will look younger, be more financially secure, and be happier. Let me help you take the first step. Contact me ASAP – no high-pressure sales talk (I don’t think I even know how to do that) – just sharing the information others have been kind enough to share with me!

Don’t Forget Small Business Saturday!

small business saturday
It’s been years since I’ve engaged in the Black Friday insanity. I don’t like crowds, I can’t stand in long lines,  and I’d much rather order online and have gifts shipped to my house. If they don’t have free shipping I choose in-store pickup, which is typically fast and easy. This year I’m making several of my Christmas gifts – hopefully I’ll have everything done in time!

But the few things I will go out and buy, and many things that I purchase online, will be from small businesses.  When my sons were younger I’d bypass ToysRUs for a small neighborhood store called Playthings. Their entire inventory was carefully selected to be long-lasting and encourage imaginative play. Last weekend I went to a holiday bazaar and met men and women who’d made the most beautiful up-cycled hats and neckwarmers, personalized ornaments, and gorgeous jewelry. Several years ago a friend of mine made scented candles in mason jars and sold out of them as fast as she could make them! Etsy is home to many small business owners, and every single thing I’ve purchased through them has been magnificent!

This year Michael and I have our own small business, sharing Nerium anti-aging skin care products. If I didn’t already have a head-to-toe supply coming every month it would absolutely be something I’d put on my Christmas list.

If there are readers on your list let me recommend a few independently published local authors:
Lisa Tapp (young adult)
Leslie Lynch (contemporary)
Mysti Parker (humor and children’s)
Joan Kayse (historical)
There are many more, but that should get you started!

I’ll be buying myself a gift of aromatherapy from doTERRA, since the pain relief from one dose of their products gave me immediate pain relief that lasted for hours. MakeUpBeGone has chemical-free makeup remover cloths that will save your eyelashes, washcloths, and pillowcases. How many people do you know who sell Thirty-One merchandise, Pampered Chef must-haves, or lovely silver jewelry or candles? Remember those people this Saturday. You’ll be buying a wonderful gift and helping people in your community.

When you buy something from a small business this season encourage others to do the same: Post about it on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using the hashtag #shopsmall. And when you do order online please place your order through an affiliate link (like the Amazon link on my sidebar). It won’t cost you any more, but the bloggers who have taken time to recommend products from those companies will get a small percentage of all sales through their links.

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!