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Monthly Archives

December 2020

0 In Fitness/ Lifestyle

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Are Not About Losing Weight

As we leave 2020 behind and move forward to 2021; lots of ads, commercials, and friends are talking about what they will do in 2021 usually focused on improvement and losing weight.

Improvement and growth are admirable – looking long term – have you really stuck with a new year’s resolution all year? Personally, I don’t think losing weight is a bad choice; rather eating healthy and getting adequate sleep are more likely to be obtained and cause less stress.

Starting small with manageable habits can help with any tangible goal. These are some ways to help you start the new year right.

1. Sleep!!

Personally – focus on establishing a sleep pattern – a rested year with goals on taking on the day. In 2020, I picked up a weighted blanket that has made me sleep through the night and without restlessness. Poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and increased risk of obesity and other health conditions. I find that the weighted blanket has worked well year round.

2. Exercise!!

Get moving no matter what. Every day 20-30 minutes of something (5 times a week). While watching tv or netflix, I typically get up and do push-ups or sit ups or some other exercise to remain consistent.

3. Be fiscally responsible!!

Spend money on purchases that make sense. Work to establish an understanding of needs and wants. Do you need a 2021 car or does the 2017 you have work just fine? By adding additional debt, it causes stress and that stress impacts our health as well as additional hours needed for payment – so longer hours at work. Just think about the options. I could buy a new car – right now, I am enjoying no car payment, however with 244,000 miles – a car might need to be in my future. We will see..

4. Invest in you!!

Spend the money to make you better. Take the class online or buy the pair of shoes you feel you need to make that job interview or to get over that hurdle. It is hard to justify expenses – however spending money for a return to school or to better your opportunities is never wrong. I recently made a couple investments in me – more on this within the next month! Can’t wait to share.

5. Be Kind to You!!

Make a plan. Stick with it and make you the priority – empower you to be the best version of yourself. No negative self talk. Pick up a happiness journal to share a sentence a day over the next 5 years. I have found it really has made a huge difference. Channel your inner you. My outfit below is one of my favorites for working out. Colorful and Blades of Glory like – sometimes you just have to be comfortable in your own skin. I have come to the realization that being like everyone else is boring and having a little more fun in my life is better for my happiness. This past year I have embraced bright colors, adventure, and photography fun snaps that I would not have posted; as I have gotten older, I am happier to share and push post. Be Kind to You!

This post is sponsored by Go2.

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Items in this post: bag, socks, compression pants, and weighted blanket!

Have a Great Start to 2021!

Xoxo,

Heidi

0 In Education/ Lifestyle

Financial Goals 2021

There are a lot of people who will tell you that you need to invest, you need to save, you need to xyz. It is hard to do those things when you are barely making ends meet. Right now, in COVID time, it is so hard to get ahead….if it is not one thing….it is truly something else.

What you can do: look at your situation… take a deep look and make plans to move forward. Think about selling that car, selling that place you live in… make life easier and worry less about what people think.

My gorgeous house was sold after 2 years and I was a tad sad about the place (you have seen pics! It was gorgeous) but it is a house….a house is not a home and it is best to let go of the ideal and live with reality. I am in the process of making my new reno better than that one anyway. It is still a process….life is a journey and remember to stay true to you.

I hope you continue reading because my goal is to help share a few secrets of mine that have added significant monies back into my account once I realized what was happening….

Let me start with……people mean well. People tell you things all the time- do this, save that, sometimes they just do not understand where you are. I can remember graduating college and making $20,000 a year at a small school district in Ohio. I can remember thinking – how am I going to pay everything? I will be the first to admit that I have had opportunities and my parents have been extremely generous and that is probably too mild. I can also say that I have busted my tail since high school to retire early and have wealth.

What do I mean? I started college during high school – it was post secondary and meant that my parents did not have to pay for part of my college – my brother and I both did this. It saved or shaved off at least $40,000 by attending the local community college. I know some people reading this may say- oh but there is a college experience – I will agree with you. I will also agree to disagree that by staying at home; I did not find myself in trouble, did not find myself having time to make poor choices, and also can say in hindsight…it might have helped find a suitable mate that would have lasted or gone the distance with me but who knows ?? I do know when I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Principal’s License, and Superintendent’s License – I had $0 debt. I started my Ph.D. program and started paying off my program one quarter at a time…it was expensive and my quality of life (travel, car, life- was impacted) and decided to take out student loans to the tune of $140,000 (more than my first house)

If I had taken out loans with my Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s – there is a good probability that I would not have been able to finish a Ph.D. with the cost required in funding – so again, Community College V. 4 Year School. Both pay the same when you get out and get a job.

Reverting back a minute, being fiscally responsible is important. I have tons of friends who blew through money; I always worked hard for what I have. My parents had my brother and I renovating houses, flipping houses, and building houses in our spare time – this paid the college tuition. I can remember my brother and I both being at Cedarville and I had just graduated – my brother was also doing the same business program and he was also running a multi-million dollar project for the military while holding down a full course load. I was playing college tennis, taking classes at 3 universities to finish at the age of 20.

My brother and I both have grit. We have extreme work ethic and a no failure policy. We fall down, but we get up stronger and learn from our mistakes…we have had plenty. With years in education, years in remodeling, and helping to sell/ building/ and flip houses; we have a skill set that is unique and provides for extras in our daily life. With that said, we put in an extreme number of hours to afford such things. We also have skills many people do not have: when I was a teacher and there was a snow day; I would help snow plow, snow blow sidewalks, and clear parking lots/ businesses for money. I have helped out on farms – driving a combine or driving a grain cart. I do not have a CDL (I regret not learning how to drive stick and not having a CDL, but if I wanted to do; I am sure I could) This comes in handy and will share in a few …

Back to finances….. how you can get it together in 2021 and have more money each month and can plan for the future? Below is google sheet with 3 tabs that is good for anyone, college, high school, or adult.

Sinking Funds Checklist

The Sinking Funds Checklist shows an example of my monthly fixed costs as well as the monthly incidentals that get ya! What can you eliminate…what can you see disappear?

On the second tab is a blank one so you can copy and save for yourself. Tab 3 shares the actual income, costs, additional funds, and tracks expenses – use this monthly.

Why is important to having a sinking funds checklist? To plan ahead of the expenses you have and to save at least 5 months for an emergency fund.

I did say 5 months of expenses – add those costs and that should be what you aspire to have in a savings account in case something happens….

When you look at my list, there are definitely things that could come off…ie spray tanning, but that also serves as an additional revenue for me. (Instagram and my blog) so you can definitely see some examples. There are also somethings I will point out and no judgement to others, but no drugs, no alcohol, no smoking: those costs add up…..I do have travel expenses and never feel bad about paying for those crazy outlandish costs – ie microlight over Victoria Falls, helicopter of Kauai, last minute flight to Amsterdam…..

Something I do recommend…is to consider thinking about revenue – how might you create another stream of income beyond your regular job that creates happiness or joy?

Do you like to organize (can you establish an organization business) or you love numbers and like accounting and can help out a small business on a part-time basis? or you like to be crafty and can design birthday kits for parents who cannot pinterest?

I personally have several revenues of income: I have created 2 apps that were sold by Apple and Google. I have created items on Teachers Pay Teachers, I sell things on ebay, mercari, facebook, and craigslist. I renovate houses, I consult on home projects/ design, write for blogs/ newsletters/ companies, provide content for companies via instagram, Amazon, and other famous companies (you might see my pics floating around), I instagram, blog, TikTok, Likee, and Zynn. All of which have paid me to do different things. My point is….hone your skills. Know yo Worth and Get At It.

I am going to share more on money each month…I have been asked at least 20 times in the last month on information to save, survive, and have. I will do better at blogging on that to help others.

Success does not happen by accident (for the most part) it is hours of planning, hours of working, and hours of trying to move forward. I also start with goals…..3 month, 6 month, and long term goals and write it down – which I will do here. I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions…I fall off the wagon every year, but with goals…..I seem to meet them.

3 Month Goals: (Small steps)

  1. REDO website: Make it aesthetically pretty and blog at least 2 times per week
  2. Gain more followers to my facebook page as well as followers to my blog (easier once new site is up)
  3. Learn how to use my Nikon d850 and Sony a7iii better
  4. Move into renovation house

6 Month Goals: (what do you want in June or where do you want to be)

  1. Learn more about Graphic Design. Make Pinterest and Blog more appealing to viewers
  2. Create content for 15 new companies
  3. Get the COVID vaccine
  4. Learn how to use a tripod well

Year Long Goals: (think future…what do you have coming up? House, Car, Baby, Wedding, Relocation)

  1. Save Money
  2. Max out the Roth IRA (457 and 403b)
  3. Improve Social Media Engagement
  4. Book Antarctica again without fear
  5. Save for Replacement of Lexi (my 6th Lexus)

There is a lot of information here…..

A couple books I recommend:

The 4 Hour Work Week

The Broke Millenial

The Millionaire Next Door

Okay, that is a lot. Hope you enjoyed

XOXO,

Heidi

1 In Lifestyle/ Travel

Crazy, Random, and Interesting Travel Experience: Catching a Cheater

After getting a lot of requests to start writing about my life experiences and share the stories I tell friends…I am going to slowly venture out…..based on a true personal experience.

Back in 2010, I spent a summer out in Las Vegas and the other half in Hawaii – between Kauai and Maui. I spent that summer writing my dissertation and figured that leaving Ohio for a summer was a good bet for writing and researching. So, one may ask….how do you decide on Las Vegas and Hawaii?

I went out to Las Vegas as I had a friend out there who worked and planned to get my writing done during the day and planned on 4 weeks to get my research including interviews done during the day and time to walk around at night and sightsee as well as catch a few shows here and there on discount. After 4 weeks, planned to head to Hawaii – 2 weeks in Kauai and 2 weeks in Maui.

So….in Las Vegas, my parents and brother were concerned that I was going to be out of Ohio for 8 weeks and wanted to check in on me so they came out to spend a week – we went over the Grand Canyon on Helicopter, went to see Carrot Top (which I dearly love) and a few other epic adventures. On day 3, we opted to go and see different casinos. In Bally’s, we never go in there…and for whatever reason, my mom wanted to watch the “Price is Right” and she ended up on stage; long story short, she did not win. (not real tv version, just Las Vegas version)

When exiting, my mom and dad headed in one direction and I went to get in line for a massage. My brother was waiting with me. My dad comes over about 15 minutes later and said “you need to come see this” and I am like “I am not leaving this line” and dad was insistent….. I was like this better be worth it…

Dad said “your mom sees Samantha holding hands with some dude” and I am like….um “no way” and get out to the main area and sure enough…..

So, I was 30 and what did I do? I took a picture…and then called my relative (Samantha’s husband) and said “hey, if I know something I should not know, do you want me to tell you?”

My relative/Samantha’s husband was like…”uh….yes” and I asked “where is Samantha?” and he said “she is at a horse show in Indiana”

I was like “um….I am in Las Vegas and she is holding hands with a dude”

He was like “what, and I am like yep, here is a pic” and sent it

So, being the Heidi I am…..I go up to Samantha and give her a hug and say hey, I am talking with your husband, want to say hi? And if looks could kill, I would be totally dead.

Honestly figured my phone was going in the lobby fountain, but surprisingly it was not….so details right????

So, Samantha gets on the phone and talks to my relative/ her husband and said that the horse show in Indiana was cancelled and she was offered a free trip to Las Vegas for Mary Kay (the cosmetics company; no she does not work for them) and the guy she was holding hands with was helping her because her hand was cold.

Give me a break…. so she spun the web of lies……

Samantha was on the first plane out of Las Vegas (and we live in Ohio) and lied through her teeth….my dad, brother, mom and I all witnessed this chaos. My mom was the one who saw her, my dad was like –Heidi, Heidi, Heidi……I was in line to get a massage and was really upset about losing my spot in line…but to be honest, it was worth catching a cheater!

So really, let’s play the odds. What are the odds that I would be in Las Vegas, out there for 4 weeks; one of the weeks with the family; go into the casino at the same time and run into Samantha who is cheating on my relative? I did happen to play the lottery and did not win, though I wished I would have. My parents and brother flew home and I went on to Kauai.

After that, going to Kauai was like a dream…. Kauai has always been a magical place for me – I have been 10 times and just find it so beautiful and not commercialized. I booked a hotel with a balcony and wrote my dissertation. I stayed on schedule with writing and finished 8 days in and had the rest of the time to enjoy Kauai and then on to Maui….for two weeks of revisions and preparation for the defense.

So, you probably want to know what happened…….Samantha and my relative/ her husband did reconcile for a short period of time. There were other episodes of crazy and unexplainable and truth is hard when people are in love….they did separate and go their own ways. So what about that random dude….so he resurfaced later as the next target for Samantha… it did not last long….

I was awarded my Ph.D. in November of 2010 and graduation was in Miami, Florida in January 2011.

*Samantha is not her name – to protect the identity

If you liked this article, please make a comment or let me know what types of stories you would like to read about!

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XOXO,

Heidi

0 In Family/ Lifestyle

20 Best Classic Christmas Movies to Watch This Holiday Season

Plan a Christmas movie night with easy ideas, recipes, and 20 Best Christmas Movies, Invite some friends and make it a party! Adults and kids will love this movie countdown!

1. Rudolph

2. Charlie Brown Christmas

3. Home Alone

4. Elf

5. Polar Express

6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

7. White Christmas

8. The Holiday

9. A Christmas Story

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

11. It’s A Wonderful Life

12. The Santa Clause

13. Miracle on 34th Street

14. Love Actually

15. Mickey Christmas

16. Prancer

17. Frosty

18. Christmas Chronicles

19. Fred Clause

20. Die Hard

Christmas — time with family and friends is golden. Embrace the opportunity to watch a movie, two, or three this season!

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