Friday, January 30, 2015

Making Money

My little hobby/business is moving and grooving.

Business is picking up and traditionally, April and May are my busiest months followed closely by September.  At least for patches.  Those are the busiest months and let me tell you, they definitely keep me going. I only charge $1 per patch, but my average order is $16.  Seriously, this patch thing is big business especially where I live in that there is disposable income and they usually dump it on the kids.

No one sews hardly and the alteration places charge WAY too much - $5 a patch.  Even the Girl and Boy Scout companies know parents don't sew anymore, so they sell this sticky, gunky stuff - I think it is called patch magic.  It is horrible though - it never dries completely and after a couple of washes, the patches start sliding - it is ugly.

In I come to save the day! 

I am quick - usually 24 hours turnaround and I don't even have to advertise because word of mouth is so strong.


Normally, I keep $300 on hand for my little side gig should a big order come in or just anything really.  It is like my emergency fund.

At Christmas, however, I really wanted to surprise my husband with a gift.  I have never been able to surprise him before because we watch our accounts so closely.  I bought him an ipad mini with my own money!  He LOVES it - uses it every day.

I did go down to around $80 in my EF however.  So, all the money I earn either goes to needed supplies for the work or building back up my EF.

So far in the month of January - I am back up to $225!  That is quite a few patches my friends.  Well, about 5 pant hems as well, but still.

I am heavily weighing the option of participating in ONE show in the fall.  Maybe take 1 large quilt, 5-6 lap quilts, 10 or so sets of hot pads, 15 or so mug rugs and anything else I can think of.  That is how things sell around here.  I could also take orders if I sell out and it would really get the word out.

Not sure though.  

I'm thinking....I'm thinking....

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Planner Crazy

Good news - I am on the mend.  I still feel like crap, but I am day two with antibiotics because that nasty cold turned sinus infection.  It's been several years since that happend, but I am not surprised it happened.  My allergies have been acting up more than usual.

Since I have zero energy and this week was cleaner's week (only once per month now), I am taking it easy and looking into planners, AGAIN!

I originally purchased a Passion Planner back in December when I thought I was still homeschooling.  Well, it is incredibly back ordered!  I won't get it until the end of March.  At first, I was ok with that, but really, I am not.

This is what I ordered, but will not be using.
 It will be wasted money because I lost the order number, so I cannot get a refund.

This is why I need to get organized.

So, I have been looking up planners and watching You Tube Videos.  This one by Organized Like Jen struck a chord with me.  She is a little wordy, but it gave me an in-depth look at two planners - Plum Paper and Erin Condren.

I choose the Plum Paper Planner!

This is what I will be using SOON!
 I specifically liked the ability to customize the weekly pages with categories that are important to me AND the list type of planner as opposed to the time tracking.  Most days, I have very few time sensitive appointments, but lots of to-dos.  So, this works better for me.

I purposefully went a little more girlie and "froo-froo" to start bringing color into my life.  I am a earthy, tan and black chic for the most part and with the type of sewing business I run, I need to be a little more colorful.  Plus, it makes me smile.

The categories I chose are - Family, JenSews, ASC, Home, Health, Foodie, then just a blank section.  These are my daily focus area.

I also ordered extra to-do list sheets for my longer term goals.  I am a list person, so this will give me the room to add projects I would like -D to do, home maintenance issues to be addressed, not to mention ideas for meals, gifts, patterns, etc.  PLUS, I ordered cleaning maintenance sheets and colorful stickers to highlight important tasks.

In the back, I plan on keeping track of our on-line purchases with order #'s etc since they tend to get deleted, then needed later!  Plus, it will help us when tracking our gift card purchases that we use for points.

When I do receive the Passion Planner in, I will be holding a give-away for it!  I know it only will have 3 usable quarters, but maybe someone can benefit from it. 

I CANNOT wait get my new planner and get started.  This is my year to really get organized!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Starting off the week

Well, no go on getting better.  Still a low grade fever and feeling worse than ever.  I have a doc appointment tomorrow.  Thinking sinus infection, but I have a pretty yucky cough, so I am not sure. 

The guy is here putting the window in the SUV.  Thankful that I stay home so I can take care of all these little things.  My hats to off to all of you who work and have to make this happen.  It is a pain to manage it all.

We started working on our taxes and the preliminary amount is we are OWED!  FINALLY!  Less than $200, but still.  We owe every year, so this is a very nice break.  Next year we will owe again due to the 401k loan that we have to claim as income plus a penalty as well as bonuses, etc. 

Just to get out of the house a little bit and be in the sun, we drove up to our land yesterday.  We will have some of the pine trees cut down in the next couple of weeks as one fell recently.  Luckily, it just fell on our land, but there is one dead one that will fall on the power lines if we don't get it down soon.  In addition, we decided to do some of the clearing ourselves, since we have lots of time and it would be great exercise and time together. 

I am getting my very own machete!  It is a smaller one - a little over 10", but I thought that work better for my wrists. 

What we plan on doing is cutting down the pine trees and clearing out some of the brush to let the hardwoods grow.  We have oaks, elms, cypress, maples, etc, all being choked out by the pines.  I am not a pine tree lover.  Plus, this would allow us to walk through the property a little easier without all the briars. 

It is going to take a lot of time and energy, but it is what we have.  Lots of time, and depending on the day energy. 

I am actually very excited to get out there and actually start working on it!  I just need to get better first.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I wish I could say I was feeling better, but I am not.  I took a turn for the worse this morning, so I am thinking I have turned this into a sinus infection.  Yuck!  I have too many things going on at the beginning of the week, so I am neti potting it until Wednesday.

Luckily and thankfully, there is NOTHING going on this weekend, so I can take it super easy.  All my kiddos are doing much better.  My 17 year old took Tamiflu, so he is practically giddy today.  The others are almost done except for a lingering dry cough in my youngest.

I still have a low grade fever, but nothing too dramatic.

Things coming up this week - replacing the windshield in the car we'll sell later this year.  It has a pretty big crack - in fact, several cracks.  So, we found a great deal - they come to me and replace it for $160.  BAM!  This will give us quite a bit when we go to sell it.

I am getting the oil changed in the Jeep.  Normally, this would not even come up on my radar, but it is an ordeal.  When we bought it, they gave us a deal that we can get the oil changed, tires rotated and car washed 3x.  It normally was $99, but they threw it in for nothing.  Well, nothing is a subjective term.  I have to sit there for 3 hours plus!

This is how cheap I have become though, because I am going to sit there.  Only one more time after this, then I can go to the place close to me that will have it done in 20 minutes tops.  True, no car wash, but I can easily do that myself.

So, that takes me to Wednesday.  I am hoping, beyond hoping, that I am wrong, and that by then I will be good as gold.

Fingers crossed!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Doom and Gloom

Now I know why I was all doom and gloom - I am sick!  My whole family is - we have the flu.

Luckily, I made homemade chicken soup last night while I was still feeling ok.  Letting the steam work its magic.

Take care, I am out for a while til I get us all better.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Grey Days

All these grey days are seriously bringing me down.  Trying to perk up, but oldest just called and said he got sick at school.  Great - only 2 bathrooms.  Plus, I never know if this is a true sickness or his anxiety issues.

My younger two have sore throats - most likely from the weather AND being back around so many people.  They are exhausted and not feeling well.

I feel very stretched and like I cannot take a break from anything.  Husband is working LATE today, so I am all on for today.  I know Wah-Wah, but we have our routine and anytime there is a routine disruption, things go a little crazy.  I am in a lot of pain, so that adds to all this stress for sure.

Upset that no doctors truly believe any of my symptoms and the one that does is pushing anti-depressants so hard, I stopped going to him.  I cannot take those meds and I am not depressed - I am in pain!

My life right now is the same day in and day out, so I don't have much to blog about.  Get up, clean, sew an order, clean, pick up the kids, cook dinner, clean, go to bed.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

So mad, I could scream!

Yes, this is a rant about my son.  He is on the very worst side I could have right now and what is really upsetting is that it is keeping me up at night and dominating my thoughts.  He should not have this much power over me.

Ok, here's what is going on.  His car was broken into this past NOVEMBER.  They took his windshield wipers - both back and front, his side mirror, the radio, the spare tire, and a few other miscellaneous things.  Here is the scoop.  He was at a place that I warned him about.  It is known for car break-ins, fights and even murders.  Not bad in the day, but bad at night.  He parked on the second story of a garage that was well lit, with no one else on it.  Oh, and he left his car unlocked.

Not to mention that his door handle on the drivers side does not work and he has to crawl over every time he gets in.

Now, you may say that he does not know how to get these things repaired.  Ummm, no.  We went over with him, but we refuse to pay for it, so he has yet to get it done.  Not my problem, I know, but the laziness factor is getting to me.

That is one thing.  So, last semester in junior college, he took 12 hours, dropped one class, failed one class, and made "C's" on the other two, one of which he cannot get transfer credit for.  So out of 12 hours I paid for, he only gets 3, but no school will take him with that low of an average.  This spring semester, he only registered for 11 hours.  Laziness.

He has a job at a local grocer and has had this job since he was 16.  He did not like being a cashier, so when he turned 18, he started working in the deli area.  He has made so many demands on management, like refusing to make the number so pizzas the manager asked of him or not being able to work any time but after 4 pm.  He also talks back to the manager quite often and has been involved in a lawsuit about racism.  My kid is not racist, but it is showing you his inflammatory personality.  Management is frustrated to the point that his hours have been cut dramatically and he is only working on the tastings, nothing else. Not good.

We have asked him and asked him not to keep food in his room, making an area in the kitchen pantry, telling the other kids not to touch his stuff, but he will not throw away the soda cans, the fast food waste, food wrappers, etc.  It is causing bugs and horrible smells.  We make him clean it out every day, but it still keeps coming.

Which brings me to his eating habits.  He drinks a 6 pack or more a day of soda.  He only eats fast food.  He only eats at home when I make chili or something like that and refuses any vegetables at all.   He has put on 30 pounds in about 3 months.

He is only showering once a week at most when I make him.  He does not wash his clothes.

He is not saving any money and although he has made his bills to us - $35 for car insurance, he has no emergency fund and cannot replace his things once they break or need repair.  He just says it is stupid and will not get it done.

I realize this is done in fear and most of this is just him adjusting to being an adult.  However, he is on probation, not only with me, but from the junior college for his academics.  We have talked with him about whether he really wants to go to school or not.  He says he does.  I really doubt it will happen.

This kid is going to learn about life in the hardest way possible.  My biggest fear is that he will stop taking his meds - he has a chronic issue that may feed into some of this, but not to this level - not nearly to this level.

On the surface, he seems like a good kid - no drugs, no alcohol, no sleeping around, goes to work, goes to school.  That is it though - no ambition at all, no progressing in life.  He is perfectly content to talk to his international friends on Skype and sleep.

I don't want to push him out before  he is ready, but it may be time.

UPDATE:  We talked a bit after I took the kids to school.  He knows he is not doing what needs to be done.  He thinks maybe his meds are not working as well.  We talked about strategies to get up in the morning and keeping the food picked up.  It is a start.  Let's get the meds, sleep and trash picked up before we start working on the other things.  "Baby Steps"  Hope you all get that reference. ;)