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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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

Christmas Eve

I love LOVE Christmas time. Gathered with family to share quality time together. Joyous. 🙂

Today was really busy. My husband and I both had to work. When we got home, we all took a much needed nap! We woke up and went to Brett’s Grandpa’s house for dinner and fun!

Brett’s Grandma passed away in 2006. This is the first Christmas since her passing that Grandpa has had a tree put up in his home. Thanks to Brett’s family for encouraging him to put it up.

After dinner, we took some of Grandma’s favorite ornaments and put them in a large bowl. We all took turns telling our favorite Christmas memories. After we told our story, we each grabbed an ornament and put it on the tree. Boy did we have some good laughs! What a fun group! This was followed by Grandpa reading the scriptures of Christ’s birth. We got our Christmas Jammies on and headed home.

Santa has came, everyone is asleep and I’m not to far behind. 🙂

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Grateful for such a wonderful family.

 

Loves.

-AMANDA

Christmas Spirit

We made it to church today! Boy am I glad! 🙂 I really loved the Christmas program in sacrament meeting! The spirit of Christmas was so so strong! 🙂 I love moments when you can really feel the TRUE MEANING of Christmas. I want to take my family out and do some thing good for society. I’m grateful for this time of year. Every one is so willing to help and you can feel the love. I wish this spirit lasted all year long. Christmas is in 3 days. Are you ready? When I ask if you are ready, I do not mean materialistically. I mean spiritually. Are you going to truly embrace and remember the meaning behind this SPECIAL day we celebrate once a year?

 

Linus can help you. I love this.

 

Thanks for visiting.

-Amanda

Why my spouse and I shouldn’t miss church.

I’ve had to work the past few Sundays and my husband was sick this morning. Its been a few weeks since we’ve been to church – and boy can I tell! I owe my sweet husband an apology. I have been picking fights lately for NO reason. I don’t know what my deal is but I sincerely appreciate his patience and willingness to put me in my place.

When we go to church we experience several benefits.
1. Our relationship is much stronger. We work together as s team and we set goals together.

2. We are both less snappy. We have more patience with each other and we are much more willing to help each other without arguing.

3. Our lives run smoother. We follow a schedule much better. We make sure our family gets good bonding time. We have dinner at the table as a family and clean up together as a family. We help each other get ready for the next morning and our house stays clean.

4. There is more love in our home. This goes hand in hand with all of the above.

Its only Sunday evening and I’m already excited for next Sunday.

We will do everything we can to make it to church next week. My husband’s sanity kind of depends on my weekly spiritual reboot.

What benefits do you and your spouse experience when you go to church together?

-Amanda.

Grateful hearts

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I don’t want to go too much into detail, but we received a very VERY generous gift tonight. I am very grateful for the love that we share with this person. I hope one day we can leave a legacy just like she has. I’m having a hard time expressing just how much we appreciate and love this person without revealing names or gift specifics. She is just wonderful.

All I can say is Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And we love you!

Remember to give as much as you can this holiday season. Obviously take care of yourself first, but giving is so much fun really make sure that you have the opportunity in this lifetime to give generously. You will have so much fun doing it.

Thanks for reading.

Amanda

Put Christ back in Christmas

I don’t know about you, but I hate the abbreviation for Christmas “X-mas”.  When I see it I feel like people are literally crossing out Christ. I did some research. Apparently this is not slang. I thought it was.

According to Wikipedia:

[The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used. “Christ” was often written as “Xρ” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ (Ch) and ρ (R) used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for “Christ”),[2] and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ.

“The abbreviation of Christmas as “Xmas” is the source of disagreement among Christians who observe the holiday. Dennis Bratcher, writing for a website for Christians, states “there are always those who loudly decry the use of the abbreviation ‘Xmas’ as some kind of blasphemy against Christ and Christianity”. Among them are evangelist Franklin Graham and CNN journalist Roland S. Martin. Graham stated in an interview: ‘for us as Christians, this is one of the most holy of the holidays, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. And for people to take Christ out of Christmas. They’re happy to say merry Xmas. Let’s just take Jesus out. And really, I think, a war against the name of Jesus Christ.’]

I understand that this abbreviation has quite a bit of history, however, I feel that when people use it, they don’t understand or respect the meaning behind the X. Our culture is lazy. I honestly believe that people use the X because they feel Christmas is too long to write out. Some people choose to use X instead of Christ for religious reasons. That is their choice.Regardless of the history or reasons why other people choose to use the X, I choose not to use the term X-mas. It has and always will be CHRISTMAS to me. I choose to keep Christ in Christmas because he is the REASON for the season. This is the day of our saviors birth. I wish more people treated this holiday with the spirit and respect it was founded upon.Enough of Black Friday deaths because of greedy, selfish, materialistic people. This season is not about STUFF. Period. This is about our savior. It sickens me to see so many people forget that. Every year people are caught up in the gifts and shopping. It’s not about that at all.Take your kids out and do some good in the world. Teach them the TRUE meaning of Christmas. I promise several years from now, they will remember those experiences more than the gifts they received this year.I choose to keep Christ in Christmas.

Do you?

 

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-Amanda

The importance of talking to your kids about sex.

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This is always a hard topic to address. Yes, it is an intimate subject – because it’s an intimate and sacred activity to participate in. For some reason, parents are so intimidated to talk to their kids about sex. I’m going to start off by saying: It is no ones job but YOURS to talk to YOUR kids about sex.

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Both my mom and grandma were teenage parents. And in both instances, the biological father did not stick around. Luckily my mom and grandma both later married wonderful men, who I proudly can call my dad and grandpa. Clearly sex wasn’t talked about appropriately in the generations before me.

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(this is my Grandma, Grandpa and mom at my wedding)

I remember when I was about 8 years old, I was at the store with my grandma. Earlier that week, I had heard someone say that you should only have kids when your married. That confused me as a young girl because I knew that my mom was not married when she had me and my older sister. So I asked my grandma “How can people that aren’t married have babies?”. I don’t remember what my Grandma said, but she obviously talked to my mom. I remember my mom bringing up the topic in the car one day. I remember that it was short and sweet and to the point. “People don’t have to be married to have babies, they just have to have sex.” – that might be paraphrased a little but it’s as best as I could remember. But that was all that was said. It didn’t turn into a long conversation of who, what, why, when or how. It was just left at that.

I was in 3rd grade the first time I heard my peers talk about sex. I learned about sex through peers. My mom always said “If you are going to do it, be safe about it!” But I don’t remember ever having a conversation about the different types of contraceptives. I’m pretty sure I learned that in school.

I was 16 when I lost my virginity. And the guy was a TOTAL jerk. I went to his house “to watch a movie”. He gave me my first beer and… well, you can put the rest of the story together. I struggled a lot after that point. Constantly feeling the need to feel wanted, attractive and loved, I had multiple partners. I just thought that’s what your supposed to do when you are dating. No one ever told me other wise. I didn’t have good quality friends at that time. In fact, the quality friends I had before I had sex, decided that it was best that we weren’t friends any more. I lost sight of my dreams, goals and ambitions. And I was confused with my sexuality. I got into drugs and alcohol. I snuck out at night and wouldn’t come home. I was a mess.

When I was 17, I was with a friend at a party. We were the only two girls there with 7 or 8 guys. We were all intoxicated. My friend went in the back room with one of the guys. I didn’t know any of these boys so I had told another guy that I didn’t want to go back with him. I heard one of the boys say “lets rape her”.

Terrified, I snuck away to my car, locked the doors, drove my car around the block and called any friends that I thought would be up at 2 am. My friend, Jeron came to my rescue. To this day, I am incredibly grateful for his willingness to be there for me at a drop of a hat. He left on his mission shortly after that. I wrote him a lot while he was out. He not only saved me that scary night, but he saved my spirit. In our letters, he never once talked to me about the church. But he treated me like a person, he never judged and he was just there. Always.

In December of 2008 after getting one of his letters, I took a look at my life. I didn’t like where my life was headed. It was a dark scary road that I no longer wanted to be part of.

At the time, I feel like my transformation took FOREVER. But looking back, it was pretty quick. But it was baby steps.

I started by moving back with my dad. I was living in a house with several roommates and there were always parties there. I figured I couldn’t change if I didn’t move. After I moved back with my dad, I said “No more sex, no more alcohol.” I was proud of my self for sticking with it. In June of 2009 I went to church for the first time in YEARS. I went with Jeron’s family before he came home from his mission. Jeron came home from his mission at the end of June and took me to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House on July 9 2009. I remember falling in love with this temple. In 2011 I took my endowments out at this temple. 🙂

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I also approached one of my old friends, Patricia. We had lost contact and our friendship fell apart when I started misbehaving. I apologized to her and asked if we could be friends again.

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I kept going to church. In September of 2009, I went to a Young Single Adult activity with Patricia’s ward. I met my husband there. My husband and I were not sealed when we were married, but we were sealed 13 months after.

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Thinking back on it, I pin point my mess of teenage years to that one summer day. I spent the day a lone with the JERK at his house. I think “If I would have never went there that day, I would have been a perfect teenager”. But that’s not true. If it wasn’t that day, it would have been another. I wasn’t armed with the knowledge that I needed to avoid it. This story is MY story. I may not be proud of my past, but I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the mistakes I made.

I do however think this could have been avoided if sex would have been addressed early, often and thoroughly in my home. I will repeat: IT IS NO ONES JOB BUT YOURS TO TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX. If you don’t talk to them about it who will? The boy your daughter has a crush on? Your son’s buddies? Will their curiosity lead them to pornography? Do you really think other children and the media are the most reliable source to teach your kids about sex? Do you really think their sex ed teacher will pull them each a side and tell them how special their purity is? If you think that, you are NAIVE! No wonder babies are having babies. I don’t want my daughter to have the same teen years that I did.

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Talk to your kids! Tell them how special their wedding night will be if they wait. Talk to them about dating and what is appropriate. Be involved in their lives. Make sure they aren’t going to some ones house a lone. Know their friends personally. Group dates are best. Dates should always be in public; group or single. Talk to your daughter about how boys should treat her. Defend her. Demand respect for your daughter. Teach your sons how to treat a lady. Teach them how to open doors. Make sure your son’s don’t honk for their date. In return, make sure your daughters don’t come out if her date does have the edacity to honk! Teach your kids to be respectful. Teach your kids the blessings of following Heavenly Father’s plan. Have a strict curfew. Set rules and follow through with consequences. You are not their friend, you are their parent. Help them feel special, beautiful and loved. Take them to church. Don’t shelter them. Sheltered teens are rebellious teens. Be an example. Dads, hold the door open for women. Moms, dress modestly. Demand respect for your self and your kids. Your kids will do what they see.

As you can see, there are lots of opportunities to approach this.  There are so many opportunities and no one takes them these days.

Teen pregnancy is 100% preventable. Guarding your kid’s purity is so so so so important!! If you need help, I’ve provided a few websites for resources. I also LOVE the way this mom talked to her daughter about sex.

www.stayteen.org

http://www.valuesparenting.com/talktokids.php

http://www.parenting.com/article/talking-to-kids-about-sex-21335549

Good luck.

-Amanda.