Change and such

So here’s what’s up. I’ve been a little MIA. And no, I did not die. Thanks for your concern though. 😉

For three months, I blogged EVERY day. Now I’m lucky if I blog once every couple weeks. The reason? I’m moving on. I reevaluated how I am approaching this whole ‘running your own business” thing. I feel like I’m breaking up with MD… I guess I kinda am.

“Sorry, Motivated Decor,” (like it’s a person) “you’re just not what I’m looking for in a business. I need a little bit more passion in my relationships – and your just not doing it for me.”

A little dramatic? Yes. Cheesy? Definitely. But I came to realize that the posts I love doing the most are family related. I don’t blog about design and fashion and home decor. I blog about life. I blog about my family. I like to associate with blogs that do the same. I tried really hard not to fall into the “Mommy blogger” category – but that’s what I am. And that’s what I love. So, I’m changing some things. Here’s why:

1. The stuff I write about would not be what most people would expect when they go to what they think is a home decor blog. My business/blog name is holding me back from reaching out to all the awesome women out there.

2. I don’t really have a target market. When asked “What kind of readers/customers do you have?” I cannot answer that question. I don’t know anything about the people that read this blog. I don’t have relationships with my customers. Mainly because I don’t have a general point of interest with most of them.

3. When I try to market my products, it feels forced. Like I’m a creepy salesman. I don’t use my products. I just design them and expect people to buy them. How can I sell things I don’t use? It’s impractical. And stupid. Don’t forget stupid.

4. My passion is my family. When I’m at work, I don’t fantasize about home decor and design. I wish I was home, playing with my little and cleaning my ridiculously messy house.

Motivated Decor was founded with good intentions, but not with passion. Passion drives all things. MD does not have passion. That’s why after 3 months of it, I started making some changes. “So then what the heck are you going to do, Amanda?” Good question! I’m still designing things. But not home decor. I’m designing things like meal planners, budget forms, blog planners, home management binders, to do lists, organization logs and shopping lists! These are all stuff I use! Stuff I can make changes to and adjust as I get feedback. Stuff other moms use. I’m really excited about it. So excited that I wanted to keep it a surprise. I’ve been working on this since December 2013. I’m getting all my products ready so my shop is stocked once I open it. I’m getting my blog designed so it looks good from the get go. I’m doing everything differently than how I did MD. I’ve learned some things. 🙂 So hang in there, I’ll make an announcement (with links and such) on my new stuff as soon as I’m ready.

Just know that I didn’t die.

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Women and the 2nd Amendment

My husband and I have recently felt the need to have guns and Concealed Carry Permits. There are so many awful stories on the news. I can’t even watch it any more. I am absolutely terrified that I will be attacked in the parking lot. Every time I go to the store, I constantly think that will happen. But honestly, I’m more afraid of what will happen if I don’t have the protection that I need. I am worried that I will not be able to protect my self or my kids. I cannot control what others do, but I can control my end. If I’m going to be attacked, I can control how I handle the situation. I can practice with my fire arm. I can take self defense courses. I can learn the laws and appropriately enforce my rights.

We are getting guns and taking the CCW course.

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This is the gun that I am getting. Ruger SP 101. We went shooting on Saturday and I shot so many guns. This one was by far my favorite. It fit my hand so perfectly and was a clean smooth shot. The recoil was not bad at all. I am excited to get it and practice as much as possible.

Learning self defense does not stop when you get a gun. That is actually the beginning. You need to practice withdrawing your fire arm. You need to safely role-play with your instructor or family members. You need to learn how to escape life threatening situations. Owning a gun irresponsibly is worse than not having one at all. If you do not arm your self with knowledge, you put your self at higher risk.

Also with owning a gun, you need to appropriately teach your kids gun safety. I’m not an expert on how to do this yet. But I can refer you to my new favorite website: The Well Armed Women. I will also read so many books on this! My daughter is only one year old, so I intend to knock the curiosity right out of her. I will teach her and show it to her. I will  learn as much as I can about children and gun safety before she gets old enough to do any thing with it.

On The Well Armed Women website, I read all of the women survival stories. So many women were able to defend themselves because they had their fire arm. Others wished they would have had it. As my mom always says: I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. If you are considering getting a gun for self defense, I encourage you to read those stories. It can happen to any one, even YOU and your family. Don’t let it. Be the protector of your home. Keep yourself and your family safe from all those crazies out there.

this house is protected by the good lord and a gun

(Click pictures for links)

WM DON'T MESS WITH THIS GIRL

I will read as many books and take as many classes as possible to make sure my family stays safe – at home and in public.

Do not mess with this momma bear.

Period.

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New posting Schedule for Motivated Decor

For the last 3 months, I have been waking up at 3 am every day to update my blog and run my business. Then go to my day job from 7 am to 4 pm. I even work on more of my business stuff on my lunch break too.  After 3 months of it, I am starting to burn my self out. I’ve been so tired when I get home from work that I don’t want to do anything. At all. I would so much rather just sit and watch TV with some fast food. That’s lame and honestly pathetic.

I started this business and blog because I want to inspire people to GET OFF THE COUCH and DO SOMETHING with their lives. How can I provide motivation in the “physical” area of life if I’m sitting on my butt eating Pizza every night? Gross Amanda, you can’t. Same goes with all the other areas of life. I feel like the only area that I’m strong in right now is career. I need to focus more on my family and my health. I need to read more and spend more time with friends.

Overall, I need to feel more balance. My blog posts are only half way done. My house is a MESS. I keep forgetting to pay bills (even though we budgeted for them. DOH!). My cute family needs more attention and my social life sucks because we are in bed by 8pm (sometimes 7:30!) every night. So I’m gonna fix this mess!

I told you that I’m reevaluating the way I run things. Here is my new schedule for 2014.

–    Blog posts will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This will ensure that my posts are higher quality. This will also allow me time to prepare my subject  matter appropriately (instead of just winging it when I start a post). I will still try to cover the 7 areas of life in each post, but it won’t be a strict schedule like it was in the past.

–   Instead of taking all my energy trying to come up with a blog post every day, I will be making a new design everyday. So every post, you will see two new products. If you follow me on Facebook and on my Etsy page, you can see my new products before they are posted on my blog.

–   Every month, I am going to offer 2 free product downloads. You can expect these on the last Friday of every month. I will make a tab on my menu bar so you can access them any time you like.

–   Every three months, I am going to participate in a give-a-way with another blog or business. I might even try to host one. 🙂

–   I will add tutorials once a month so you can see how I do different crafts and designs.

 

I have a feeling that I will love what I’m doing so much more with this new approach. I hope to regain my energy, determination and spit fire personality.

Thanks for reading! See you Friday!

-Amanda

New Year, New approach

Sorry for my lack of blogging the past few days. It’s the first time that I’ve missed a day since I started in October. With this new year, I’m going to take a new approach on my business and my blog. I’m working on re-evaluating everything, but I will let you know on Jan 1st what I plan on doing. I have a feeling that I will enjoy this new approach much better.

 

Thanks for your patience as I re-evaluate. I’ll be back on Jan 1st.

-Amanda

I believe in you.

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I don’t know why, but I’ve been feeling like I’m in a funk lately. This helped.

I have to stop and remember that my attitude is what will make everything run smoothly. My family, my business, my day job; everything is effected by my attitude. Why waste all that energy on negative thoughts and vibes? Find the problem and fix it. And for goodness sakes, do it with a smile!

I’m working on it. Just remember I BELIEVE IN YOU!

I believe in myself.

Tell yourself that, it feels really good.

Thanks for reading.

-Amanda

What’s my deal?

These past few days have been rough. I’ve woken up late (like 20-min-AFTER-I’m-supposed-to-be-to-work late) both today and yesterday. Both days either my alarm clock did not go off or I slept right through it.

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Pathetic. Embarrassing. Lazy. That’s what that is.

Which is why I’m shamelessly putting together a last minute blog post at 930pm. I realized as I was getting ready for bed that I never posted today. I try to keep my promises. I said i will post every day. By golly I’m going to do it.

Its incredible to me how much a routine can impact your life. Miss it once and it’s so hard to get back on track. I’m going to set multiple alarms and keep my phone by me. Tomorrow there will be NO excuses.

What are your routines? Have you ever missed one and it ruined your whole day? Tell me about it.

Thanks for letting me share my embarrassment. 🙂

See you tomorrow MORNING!

-A.

Boundaries. Don’t blow things up.

I’m indecisive. That is why I am currently reading 3 books. (listening to 2 audio books and reading another.) 3 books? Really Amanda? I think I’m a bit obsessed.

Hey, I guess it’s better to be obsessed with learning new things rather than obsessing over something destructive. Like blowing things up. While blowing things up can be entertaining for some, it often crosses some boundaries.

Sid&Buzz

Take Sid for example. In Pixar’s “Toy Story”, Sid has no perception of personal boundaries. He doesn’t care who’s toy it is, or what purpose the toy serves, he just thinks “Let’s blow this up”. He violates the toy’s personal space by mutating them into something that Woody found all to terrifying.

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One of the books I’m listening to is Boundaries by Henry Cloud.

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In this book, he talks about identifying the different types of boundary crossers and how you should handle those particular individuals. People that suffer from abuse need their support system to overcome their challenges. In Toy Story, Woody and Buzz offered the support and encouragement for the other toys. They worked together to get Sid to stop blowing toys up.

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Every boundary crosser has one thing in common: They do not realize the harm or negative impact that they are putting on the other individuals involved.

I’m a boundary crosser. Not in an abusive or physical way, but I guess in a verbal way. I offer opinions and advice when they are not wanted. I say things that I’m thinking, but shouldn’t be said. To be honest, it turns people away. I’ve noticed this more and more as I read Dr. Cloud’s book. I’m learning more and more how to handle myself, but for now, I’m just going to work on holding my tongue for 5 seconds. Just pause and think for a moment.

I’ll let you know how it goes, but if I say something that offends you, just say “Amanda, hold your tongue.” I’ll get the hint! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by. See you tomorrow.

By the way, tomorrow I announce my big exciting news!! 🙂 Are you so excited? I am. In the mean time, remember that you can still get 15% off by using code BLOG15 at check out. I just added some Christmas Decor to my Etsy Shop! Check it out.

8 minute organizer

I feel like I’ve said this a million times, but I love reading self help books! I’m currently listening to the audio book: The 8 minute organizer by Regina Leeds.

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While I was listening to this book, I had an idea.

My daughter always gets in to the kitchen cupboards and pulls everything out. There is one cupboard that seems to be her favorite; “The baking cupboard”. Our apartment does not have a pantry, so when we first moved in, all the baking supplies had their own cupboard. We later decided to turn our linen closet into our pantry. For some reason, the baking stuff never made its way over there.

My daughter is often found grabbing the bag of flour and walking around the house. We are just asking for a giant mess! One time, she managed to get the syrup open. That was fun. She spilled some out and was finger painting on the kitchen floor! So in attempts to avoid future messes, I moved all the baking stuff to the pantry. I put her kitchen toys in the newly empty cupboard and moved her play kitchen set so it’s right next to that cupboard. And with Regina’s inspiration, it only took 8 Minutes! Now everything is all together and she has her very own cupboard! Plus, I don’t have to worry about her dumping flour all over. When I showed her what I did, she seemed confused at first. She looked at me like, “Wait. That’s not what goes in here!” and then she got really excited! She spent the next half hour playing kitchen! I wish I would have gotten a picture of her playing.

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That face. That excited expression. I would have never gotten that if I didn’t take the time to enrich my life with the knowledge of someone else. I love learning new things and I’m glad that my daughter gets to share in the excitement with me.

Find your smart.

Thinkin’ Tuesdays.

Intellectual.

This area is one I always struggle with. I feel its an area that I need most improvement. Maybe because I don’t consider myself smart. I have to take a step back sometimes and think “You are your own kind of smart”

I may not be into physics or trigonometry, but I can work my way around any self help book. That is one area that I am confident in my smarts. Self improvement. I learn so much about my self and ways to improve on different areas of life. I now have a sincere passion for diving into a good book. Reading is how I get my smarts.

I often find my self comparing myself to others. It’s a dangerous habit to get into. There are reasons why God made us all good at different things. What if we were all really good at plumbing, but no one knew how to preform brain surgery? We’d all have headaches, but our pipes wouldn’t be clogged. Win some, lose some I guess. But life would be boring. I have to remind my self that being smart doesn’t mean trying to be smart. It means embracing what you naturally find intellectually stimulating. I read non-fiction. Others might find nutrition fascinating. Some may be intrigued by medical terminology and how the body works.

The important thing to remember is to not underestimate yourself by comparing yourself with others. It’s our differences that make us unique and beautiful.

WMbe the best version of you

Get this here.

10 activities that will help your toddler learn

My one year old, Chelae (pronounced sha-lay), and I went on a walk a few weeks ago. Since she is really good at walking now, I decided to let her walk instead of taking the stroller. It was so fun to see the world through a child’s eye! She was so enamored by the sprinklers, the grass, the bushes. She had never really seen or felt any of those things. It was so fun to watch. The best part is, we never felt rushed. I just walked around and let her explore. SHE LOVE IT! I feel like she learned so much that day! I think everyone needs to slow down and play with their kids more. Let them learn. Let them get dirty. Let them live. Take time to focus on letting your kids learn new things.

When she is getting into all the cupboards, its hard not to think ‘Hey, get out of there!” She’s just learning. She doesn’t know what a curling iron is. So it looks like fun to play with. I need to remember that more. She’s learning.

According to Albert Einstein, play is the highest form of research.

So if you are like me (and almost any other mom) you are probably always feeling like you don’t get out and do much. Here is a list of 10 activities you can do with your toddlers to help them learn new things. All of these are so simple, and you probably have the stuff lying around your house. I’m cheap. So are these ideas.

1. Let them play in a bucket of water. Put toys in the water that they don’t play with in the bathtub already. Like spoons and cups. This is best for out side when it is warm. It’s starting to get cold here, so I did this activity in my kitchen. It was messy. But it was just water! Easy clean up and she had a blast!

2. Let them put balls in a tissue box. They love it! And it enhances fine motor skills.

3. Cut up paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls into smaller circular rolls. let them put it in the spaces in a muffin tin.

4. Find several different textures around your house or out side. Walk around and show them how cool each item is.

5. Put together a “learning basket” you can put ribbons, magnets, brushes, little hoops, pom poms and pipe cleaners. Let them dig right into this basket. They will learn new textures and shapes.

6. Put rice or uncooked beans in a Tupperware or mason jar. Let them shake it around.

7. Let them play with your pots/pans or bowls.

8. edible finger paints. Some people just use baby foods for these. My mom used whipped cream and food coloring.

9. Marble painting. Put a piece of card stock at the bottom of a Tupperware. Add marbles and a couple drops of different colored paint. Put a lid on it and let them go to town on their own art piece!

10. Show them how they can put golf tees in a foam square.

I’ve tried a few of these, but I found a lot of these ideas by searching pinterest. I’m going to try some new ones!

What ones have you tried? Do you have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them! 🙂

Thanks for joining me for Thinkin’ Tuesdays. Come back tomorrow for Workin’ Wednesdays!