You Can Have It All, But Not All At Once...

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It's a crock that you can start this thing and just have wild success on 1 hour a day, 3 times a month.  You can't be propped up at a beach with an umbrella drink with your adoring family staring at you AND be raking in the millions.  Or, well, if you can- I'd love to see it.

Tony Robbins said, (You know Tony and I are tight, right?) "If you want to take the island, you have to burn the boats."  What are you willing to do to make YOUR dream a reality?  Will you burn the boats?  

I have a clear vision of Maui.  I have put it on my vision board.  I have affirmations and I work with intention.  I know our family goal is to bring the kids on an epic vacation and to allow Norwex to step in and pay a good portion of the bill!  But I do work!

The amazing thing is that you CAN have wild success, intentional and inspired work that makes you genuinely thrilled to work, and a mission that sets your soul on fire.  You can make the kind of money that changes your family tree.  You CAN work it around your schedule and your husband's schedule and your family's schedule.  In fact, at the time I'm typing this I'm sitting in a hospital room next to my mother who was admitted for chest pain (She's fine, btw!).  

I'm going to Maui because I have burned the boats.  I mean, figuratively, we told the kids about the trip and those boats will never come back to save us from the myriad questions about it!  They are pumped!  So dream a little dream with me, what are you willing to do to make it a reality? 

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Be the Boss

If you see me on Instagram (@courtneysparklespears) then you know I hashtag #betheboss all the time.  I think it's the best option for being able to create your destiny!  When you work for yourself, you can create the paycheck.  You can create the work schedule.  You can create your coworkers!  

You also have to be the one that creates the desire.  That means that even when I'm traveling, I'm working.  Even when I'm at the soccer field, I'm working.  Even when I'm visiting family, I could be working.  The trick is to put up clear boundaries in your schedule of when you're going to just turn it off and be fully present.  

I don't bring my phone to the bedroom and sleep with it on my nightstand, I leave my laptop home when it's a family trip.  I check my messages in a few scheduled times during the day and I have work hours that can change depending on my schedule that day, but that are set and then I shut the lid on the laptop and I'm off to my life.  BECAUSE THAT'S WHY BEING THE BOSS ROCKS!!  I get to live my life 100%!!

If you have the opportunity (you can join me!) to be your own boss and be able to script your life and your paycheck- Do It!  Go for it!  Life is for living and if you can find a business of your own that makes a change in the world, makes your home a happier place, lets you sleep with a content heart- run for it.  My kids have experienced a fully present mom- who ALSO can afford to take them to Disney, travel, and experiences.
In short #betheboss

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14 Weeks of Christmas

Week TWO of 14 Weeks of Christmas is here already!  Today I have a gift idea that flies under the radar at most parties!  It's a gift that new moms, busy moms, working moms, overachieving moms... and you know, other people, would Love!

The silicone cup lids come in a pack of four.  Four little gems to hand out all at once or to divvy among your friends.  Why do I think it's the heavy hitter for moms?  Ever drink a cold coffee?  Or realize you're late to get the kids to ________ (Insert ANY of the ridiculous number of things kids need you to chauffeur them to) and have to run out the door but your coffee cup is not a travel mug?

Yeah, these little darlins attach to the top of your coffee cup to help insulate that beautiful brew and keep the steam in, keeping your coffee hot long past the time you forgot you poured it and go back to reheat the lifeblood.  Only to discover IT'S STILL HOT!  Miracle upon miracle!

Or how about the run-out-the-door?  Pop the cup lid on and it seals the edge of all my coffee cups to make an instant travel mug!

I mean, if you're fancy it can also be used in the oven on a ramekin.  Who has time for ramekins?  I'm kidding, I LOVE a ramekin but back to coffee.  First the coffee, then I do the things, right?

Added bonus: these heavy hitters also cover your wine glass to keep bugs out AND your favorite rum punch can be covered but the stainless steel straws can fit through the hanging hole to make it accessible to you, but not accessible to the yellow jacket who wants to hide in there and sting you when you're drinking.  Just say no to yellow jacket lip injections, it's not a good look.

If I haven't convinced you that you need these yet, you can also use them in other ways, like this time I kept chocolate cake from touching lasagna so I didn't need to wash two containers after school lunch.  #momwin #allday

You can buy the lids here:  SILICONE CUP LIDS
and the stainless steel straws you also need here:  WONDER STRAWS
 

Leap Into the Unknown

I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom for most of my adult life.  When I got my dream come true I didn't realize what I was giving up to give my all.  It was worth it, kids are always worth it; but I have a degree, a brain, a passion for the planet and people.  I didn't use a lot of those skills between singing nursery songs and changing cloth diapers.

Enter Norwex.  I signed up just to be able to get a BIG FAT discount (did I mention the pay isn't good as a mom either?) on all the products I wanted.  Then I did my first party and I remembered how fun being in a group of adult women really was, and I had a substantial $200 to show for a night of laughs.  Money that was mine!?  It was an incredible validation in my life.  I had value!  I was valuable.

A few months, a few friends joined me, and I was a leader- I made a little more money and had a #squad.  My own little tribe of like-minded superwomen.  We were making a difference in the world and at home.  I was able to sign the kids up for field trips, museum passes, amusement parks, karate, soccer, basketball.  I could pay for a date night with my husband.  I could buy sentimental Christmas gifts for my family, like a Disney park pass for my mom.  I wasn't just able to upgrade OUR already fantastic life (my husband works hard and provides such a great home!!) but I was able to upgrade the lives of those around me.

I couldn't have told you that this little cleaning business was going to have such an empowering impact on my life, but if I could go back and give myself some advice 6 years ago it would be to close your eyes, jump in, and really press in.  This company is changing lives, and it started with mine.

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Why Conference Matters to the World

Another Norwex conference has come and gone and it was all about the details.  It's always all about the details for me.  

I think a lot of companies can sell a "green" product.  They can tout their safer choices and be able to entice you with green leaves and water droplets.  The company can have encouraging photos of happy people using their better products to make your life a better life.  But do they change the world?  (Do they even lift, bro?)

Our nametags were (once again this year) printed on compost paper with wildflower seeds embedded inside.  Come home and plant your nametag for a beautiful way to remember your conference.

There were no water bottles offered but rather fresh, iced water was put in large dispensers at the entrance to each event.  Encouraging everyone to drink more water, use a mug, and not contribute to the gyres.

A new foundation was started to give back more money, ever more money, to charities nominated by consultants.  The Norwex Foundation for a Brighter Future will give over $200,000 worldwide this year.  A trend that was started when our company was not experiencing large profits but rather felt it was important to give back regardless. (Give generously, give often).

The gift bags given to all consultants (Holla!  Free product and fun presents!) were all made from recycled paper!  Further reducing the impact of our crazy great conference!

I bet there were many things that I didn't notice (hey, shout them out if you saw one!) but I am not surprised.  This company is not about selling a cloth and making a dollar.  It never has been.  And guess how many times the company stated our profits for the year?  None.  Guess how many times they explained the global impact our individual choices had on the world?  Hundreds.

It's about a mission to make a huge change by making a small choice to clean with microfiber and water.  It's about YOU matter.  You can change the entire course of environmental concerns with minimal fuss, every blessed day.  It's about Be The Change.  I wish you could all come with me, but until then, come be the change with me today!

14 Weeks of Christmas

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I know it's only September!  I know you don't want to talk about Christmas yet.  But like Game of Thrones, Winter is Coming!

Every week I am going to feature a gift idea to help you get that hard-to-buy-for person all set early this year.    What if your gift could have a purpose and make a difference in the environment as well as the health of the recipient?  This week it's the Envirowand, it may not seem fancy but with some little tiny ornaments it would make such a cute little Christmas tree!

Hard to reach dust bunnies, like these behind my washing machine, the spider webs on the ceiling, spearing the spider itself (I don't like spiders), dusting between the tv and the dvd player, dusting behind the television, bend it and de-grime your ceiling fans, and clean your baseboards without bending over!

The fluffy green cover comes off and can go right into your wash machine.  I'm all about the easy button.  I think it's the perfect gift for an older relative that can't bend and reach high easily, for the person that hates dusting, or your secret santa!  

Check out more of the details here: ENVIROWAND

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Back to the Routine

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Fall is my favorite.  For me, it's the start of something.  It's the beginning, doesn't it feel that way?  Sure, our New Year comes in January (and I love that too!) but fall is where the real work begins.  I suppose that would go back to our hunter and gatherer days, right?  In the fall we harvest and hunt to fill the larder for the winter.  Man, I love the Little House books and all the preparations and description.  But- you're not going to find me in the fields foraging, there's too much nature in there for this indoor cat.

Where you WILL find me, is prepping my home though.  I feel the call of autumn in the need to put up decorations, deep clean behind and under the furniture, cull the things we no longer seem to need, bake more and freeze more meals, stock up on the gems of harvest like apples and pumpkins.  I feel a deep need to make sure there is something simmering and Purifying Essential Oil (yes, the Norwex one) diffusing in my water diffuser in the living room.  The clove, cinnamon smell makes me feel so cozy in our home.  I add a drop of Energizing too for a touch of orange.  Is anything more home-y than orange and cinnamon?!

At any rate, Fall in the air here in New Hampshire has me shrinkwrapping my life.  *but not real shrink wrap because single use plastic is the #1 contributor to ocean pollution*  Less is happening outdoors and all the outdoor aspects of our home are being cleaned and stored so we can all converge inside for more nights around the dinner table, more board games, more movie nights.  

Autumn is the best because it closes the perimeter of our lives down to what really matters.  Family.

 

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You can find the essential oils here if you're interested in smelling Fall with me:
Purifying: Here
Energizing: Here

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September Came in Like A Wreeeecking Baaalllll

Can you picture me in men's underpants on a wrecking ball?  No??!  Yeah, me neither.
 

Yesterday, the hostess and customer specials for September 2017 were released and I actually took the time to go grab each item and take a picture.  (Short: I decided to do my job) (Slightly longer: Can you believe Norwex gives me every product for free so I had them all in hand already?!)

It's a LOT of stuff!  And two COMPLETE basic packages mean you have one for your house and one to give away.  Or two for your house.  You can be selfish, I won't tell.

The kitten pet-to-dry is also a great addition to the package since you have a kid going to school, or know a kid going to school (aka the petri dish of childhood) and that pet-to-dry is going to dry hands while also grabbing some junk that they "forgot" to wash off thoroughly.  (yay!  Boogers don't have to transfer from kid to kid all year).  Then the towel self-purifies with the silver inside!  (Yay!  Boogers don't have to get your kid sick all year!).

There's a bunch of other great ish in this package that make good gifts and good refills for your home.  Yeah: I'm looking at you two body packs.  I'm looking.at.you.

The moral of the story is: you can buy some great Norwex as a customer but hostesses are the best deal on the market since the whole lot is free.  And I love free.  Here are the prettier views:
 

Men Are Better In The Boardroom, Women Are Better In The...

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Living Room.  Why, what were you thinking??  There are a ton more women in direct sales, loads of them making large salaries, working from Bali, and being genuinely happy with their lives.  I'll let you in on this Girl's Club secret.

It's not like we have a "No Boys Allowed" sign on the outside of the doors but I have noticed that direct sales seems to bring in the women in droves.  Why?  Why is selling something door to door {well, wine glass to wine glass} such a gal pal gang?  Because we create the power here.

I'll tell you that I'm not necessarily a "feminist" although I want the right to vote and I think equal pay for equal work shouldn't have to be stance, but rather a given.  I AM a feminist in that I think women are strong and capable, citizens, and able-minded in the same capacity as men are.  Which is to say, we're all a little nuts.

Yet in Norwex, I can create my version of success.  I can craft my team.  I can define work hours, vacation time, and sick days.  I can, for all intents and purposes, largely negate the reasons why women have a reportedly harder time rising in industry.  I'm broaching a hot topic, but I'm a renegade like that.

My opinion is that women are not kept out of the "boy's club" because the boys don't want them there, they are kept out because they tend to take time off for maternity leave, need hours that allow for flexibility to deal with family schedules, and don't devote blind faithfulness to a career.  (Is any of what I'm saying an absolute?  Absolute-ly not! <-- see what I did there?)

In Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In, she talks about experiences in high levels of management where women self-select the back row rather than sitting at their earned positions at the table.  In short, women need to LEAN IN to the meetings and force their spot as their male peers (perhaps) more naturally do.

It's easier to be successful in an industry where you make the rules.  Of course I can be top of the pay grade, because I decide what the structure looks like.  And you know dang well that I'm choosing the parameters based on what I like to do.  Ergo, I'm successful. (10 pts to me for the responsible use of "ergo")

When you write the test, you're going to ace it.  Just one more reason you should #betheboss

In Honor of Shark Week (an ode to scary killers)

I'm a scaredy cat.  It's true.  I read once that sharks have been known in rare cases to adapt to freshwater and get into lakes, they are no longer safe.  And deep ocean water?  Forget it!  God calls us to the deep, scary waters of our lives, right?  I'm over here hoping He walks across the water to come meet me on the shore where I'll be building Him a great sandcastle. 

Back to Jaws, turns out this nightmare is important for the world.  To be serious a minute, every animal plays a part in the roles around them, but sharks are particularly important to the economy of my hometown (shoutout Bath, Maine!) because without sharks, rays increase in number, who in turn kill more scallops <<not the delicious scallops you murderer!!!>> and quahogs and clams.  Which means no more clam chowder and fried scallops in my life!

While movies have increased the scare factor of sharks and media coverage of tragic shark encounters abounds, your risk of being bitten by a shark is lower than being hit by a car, being killed while on your bike, being struck by lightning, or having an accident with fireworks.  In fact, sharks have much more to fear in humans due to the harvesting of their dorsal fins for shark fin soup.  A delicacy that was once rare in Asia, but with rising incomes the soup is becoming commonplace and the hunting of sharks in rising with the economy.

Without sharks, the next predator in line gets a chance to wreak havoc on the balance of the ocean.  So, while you won't see me diving with sharks on my next vacation- I will grudgingly respect them, from afar. Afarfar

More on sharks and the ecosystem here:  Sharks and More Sharks

PHTEVEN.

PHTEVEN.

Louis Vuitton and saving the World

I know, it's an awful dichotomy, right?  On the one hand, I think consumerism is creating a lot of waste.  Particularly ocean waste (I'm really on an ocean kick I guess, must be shark week!).  Remember that blog I wrote where I said my family mocks me saying "Did you know that single use plastic is the #1 contributor to ocean pollution?" because that is a mantra I say all.the.time.  It's so true though, the things we buy have a tremendous impact on the world around us.

Gone are the days when an item came wrapped in brown paper packages tied up with string (bonus points if you sing that sentence), now purchases come in plastic molded to the shape of the gift, with plastic ties to keep it in place, inside of a plastic box with enticing pictures and words in bright colors and when you've chosen your item and are checking out, guess what the wrapping at the door is!!  Plastic bags!

Further complicating matters is that there are few alternatives, so even discerning consumers are really up a creek with options.  What does this have to do with Louis Vuitton?  Well, I mean, they wrap things in cardboard and paper... but no, that's not where I'm going.

See, I love designer handbags.  It's very oxymoronic to the life I live, but I love them.  I love the slouchy canvas and the smell of leather.  I love the way it makes me feel special to see the bag sitting in the entryway.  While I live my whole life in yoga pants and bare feet- my bags are a way to tell the world, "I sort of care about fashion, a little."

I also think designer handbags are atrociously silly and extremely wasteful.  {I'm a real mixed bag, get it?  BAG!  Oh wait, that also could mean I'm a witch, but actually I guess that works too so we'll go with it.}  So I buy my handbags on eBay, The RealReal, Tradesy, and Yoogi's Closet.  For $15 I have them authenticated by a third party.  I pay TONS less money for the bag, I worry less about getting a mark on it because it's already marked, AND I'm not contributing to the world's waste on such a large scale.

Is this rationale going to stop the 127 schoolbusses worth of plastic drinking straws from entering the landfill?  No, I use my stainless steel straw from Norwex for that.  Click Here.

But it's a compromise I feel comfortable with to be able to have those lovely gems of luxury in my otherwise quite boring closet.  <3

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY NEWEST GEM!

What the Oceans have to do with You

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I'm sorry for the things I said yesterday about throwing glitter in the lake.  Just kidding, I'm never sorry about throwing glitter- just ask the girls on my Norwex team!  Or, any of my recent customers.  I add glitter to nearly every thing I mail.  

But there are so many things going into the ocean that effect the wildlife and our life- the two are so entwined.  In an article from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, they were quoted as saying:

 "When we think of public health risks, we may not think of the ocean as a factor. But increasingly, the health of the ocean is intimately tied to our health."
{https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ocean-human-health.html}

While I don't have a lot of control over the large ocean oil spills, I CAN have an impact in the amount of things that get flushed into waterways from my home.  I know you have likely wondered what you can do to make a change on the environment, and it feels crushingly ethereal.  (how's that for descriptive language?!)  Yet, there is SO.MUCH. you can effect from your own pin on the map.

Using the Norwex microfiber has allowed me to get rid of all the sprays, powders and gels I previously used to clean.  Ironically, using just water to clean my house, could save the water for my kids.  We are as tied to the water as the fish- help protect it.  Change the climate inside your house and change the climate forever.

In the immortal words of Michael Jackson: "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change."

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It's My BIRTHDAY!!!

There are SO many women that are too modest to say when it's their birthday because the next logical question is "what birthday is it?" and I suppose that's a delicate question.  Not for me, friends, not for me!  I'm 34 today!  (and so young looking!)

More importantly, a birthday is a time to be grateful that you've made another trip around the sun.  I'm healthy, well, happy, blissfully married, joyfully (a sold 85% of the time) mothering, and blessed beyond measure.  I'm not talking fake snapchat #blessed ✌️ kind of blessed, like genuine blessed.  Where I want to lay facedown and spend the whole day thanking God for this life.  Because who knows how many more days I have (hopefully a ton) and how many will have this much happiness (I pray all of them).

As my birthday wish, I implore you to take more pictures with yourself in them.  Double chin, love handle, red pimple, bad haircut- take the damn picture!  Because you are YOU in this moment.  You could lose 50 lbs, gain 50 lbs.  You could lose a limb...or gain one.  You could have a terrible haircut, lose your hair, dye it blonde.  Regardless of what tomorrow brings, take the picture, you'll always be glad you have it, and I daresay, your children and husband or wife, mother or father, favorite cousin who looks just like you-- they want that picture too.

So today I will throw glitter, eat cake in bed, take my children out for every meal if I choose, or spend the whole day at the beach throwing (marine-life safe) glitter {{It's a thing, but CAUTION: nudity on the page!  https://glotatts.com/products/biodegradable-glitter }} while doing handstands in the waves.  Because that's how to live your life to the fullest in my opinion.

Wish me a happy birthday by sending me a selfie, perfect imperfections and all!  I want to see the YOU you are now, today, on my 34th birthday!!

Hooray! My son is allergic to sunscreen~

Most people wouldn't be grateful that their child is allergic to anything, but I have to tell you: I'm overjoyed that Xander is allergic to toxic sunscreen.  He was getting hives on his neck and chest from the time he was a toddler from any spray sunscreens and any "normal" sunscreen made him itchy and rash filled.

It was "-benzone".  Before Norwex, before I became an eco-queen (j/k I only know a little bit even now) I did some google research about why my child, who is seemingly not allergic to anything at all, would be breaking out in hives every time I applied any sort of sunscreen and the word benzone kept popping up.  Here is an article that I find helpful:
http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/

So I went on the hunt to find a sunscreen that would not cause rashes AND that would not cause cancer.  The one that we have used for forever was Aveeno mineral block baby, basically just zinc and it made my kids bright white.  But it worked and we loved it.  Last year we tried the Arbonne sunscreen and while we liked it, the price point is high and we went through two tubes that summer.  But we make the money to have the best quality of life for our kids, so I bought the sunscreen with joy.

This year, I forgot our special sunblock at home in NH and came to visit family in Maine and kids wanting to be outside (can you believe that?) so I had to run to Target to see what I could find and I found this Pacifica SPRAY sunscreen!!  Listen, you still have to rub it on to the kids but it's still a time saver, especially when I have to wrestle them like a wet seal between running and swimming.  It's like trying to put sunscreen on one of these:
 

Water Wigglers: kids of the 90s rejoice!

Water Wigglers: kids of the 90s rejoice!

Still, I'm a big fan of the spray and the only active ingredient is zinc oxide so I am SUPER pleased!  Here are some images to help you find it.  Again, I bought mine at Target.  I went in to only buy this sunscreen and ended up with $124 in products, so...beware!

Happy Birthday, Norwex!

23 years ago a company started that would meet me nearly 6 years ago, make me a leader 3 years ago, and match my highest income ever earned this year.

Thank you to Bjorn Nicolaisen for agreeing to see the cloths in action in the middle of his busy day as a lawyer in Norway, and thank you to Debbie Bolton for seeing that there was a whole world of possibilities woven in the fibers of that little envirocloth.

My world has been forever better because of they and several other pioneers, namely the amazing team around me, that have turned a cleaning rag into the symbol of our commitment to save the planet.

Happy Birthday, little cloth.  Today, I toast to you!

Norwex Co-Founder, Bjorn Nicolaisen

Norwex Co-Founder, Bjorn Nicolaisen

Norwex Co-Founder, Debbie Bolton

Norwex Co-Founder, Debbie Bolton

Our senior leadership team for Team Synergy

Our senior leadership team for Team Synergy

The woman who introduced Debbie to Norwex's envirocloth, Gerd Doroshuk

The woman who introduced Debbie to Norwex's envirocloth, Gerd Doroshuk

The sunburn: day eight.

I was an idiot and somehow decided that the sun would not burn me if I was only sitting outside on a cloudy day.  Famous last words.  I'm such an advocate for keeping yourself slathered in sunscreen and protecting against the sun's rays and melanoma gambling.

This burn was so bad that for two days after, I was in agony.  I wiped it repeatedly through the day with apple cider vinegar (don't ask me, I don't know, my great-grandmother always told me to do it and I'm a fan of old wives tales.)  I kept applying straight aloe from my aloe vera plant AND I kept applying Norwex's Aloe Vera Face and Neck gel- yes, to my legs and shoulders.  I'm a renegade! (http://courtneyspears.norwex.biz/en_US/customer/shop/product-detail/108503)

I use this gel as a moisturizer in the summer before applying sunscreen.  I use it as a primer before makeup (yay dual duty) AND I definitely use it when I have gotten too much sun.  Please avoid too much sun, I'm here to tell you, it's not worth it.

As this sunburn has progressed to this scale-like skin shedding that I'm currently experiencing (sexy, eh?), I'm SO grateful that the aloe is keeping me from being itchy.

So, PSA, the sun burns people.  Especially super-brilliant-white people.  Especially indoor-loving-neon-porcelain-white people like me.  God help me if this had been my stomach, which has not seen a UV ray since 2007.

Sunburn day 1

Sunburn day 1

sunburn day 8

sunburn day 8

Oh, but what if you fly

Do you know there are hundreds of types of fear, there are even websites dedicated to describing every type of fear a human can have.  I have a theory though, that one fear reigns supreme.

Fear of Failure.

Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can, or think you can't; you're right."  And I believe him.

You don't have to see the ending to have a great beginning.  Sometimes people get themselves so caught up in the "what-ifs" or the "maybes" that they are missing all the great opportunities of the world because you weren't brave enough to just jump on in and give it a try.  This month, the try is free.  For six more days, you can become a consultant with a $10 shipping charge.  There is no catch.  There are no hidden fees.  Literally, $10.  I leave you with this amazing quote, because this is your moment.

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”- Benjamin Mee

Eleven days left

Most people join the team and pay $10 and agree to do the equivalent of 4 regular parties in three months.  They get to keep the $300 in products that come in the kit (including the rad mop!) if they do that.  Never having to pay another dollar AND netting $700 in free products and $700 in income.

I signed up skeptically.  Worried that maybe I didn't have what it takes.  Worried that I would have to pay $200 if I wasn't successful.  And we did NOT have $200 if I blew this chance.  
I blew that goal out.of.the.water.  Hitting my $2,000 in sales in just 5 weeks.  To be honest, most people on the team hit their goal in under 2 months too.

Then Norwex went and changed the game for just 11 more days.  Eleven.  You pay $10 shipping and then YOU'RE A CONSULTANT.  You don't have to agree to any sales requirements.  You can just try it on like a jacket and see if it fits.  Like a red jacket, maybe.

You'd be silly to miss this opportunity if you've ever considered having a side hustle that saves the environment.  I can't think of anything more noble than reducing toxins, potentially slowing cancer statistics, helping improve skin and breathing and electricity.  And hey, the awesome friendships are a fun side effect of being a mother.freaking.super.hero.

It's the best $10 you'll ever spend.

Working From a Basement

Sure, there are downsides to working from a concrete square.  There are only two small windows down here and I can only see my plants.

There are a lot of trains down here with me.  The air in the summer can best be summed up with the word "damp".  The hum of the dehumidifier fills my ears.  And my kids are always down here with me running and jumping on the couches.

The HUGE upside to working from down here is that it is COLD.  Like, close to frigid.   I have a blanket on my lap in this sweltering heat.  It is peaceful and cool.  Serene (ish, I mean, the kids, remember) and organized.  I have set a clear perimeter to my office and made several threats about entering the confines unless you are working.

{{Bonus- my kids are still small enough to WANT to work for me and for peanuts too.  Well, ice cream and peanuts.  Well, Pokemon cards, ice cream, and peanuts but still}}

I love to set my own schedule that follows the flow of our summer adventures.  We can go to the beach, have a water gun fight, hit up an arcade, and then head down into the coolness of the basement to refresh and have a drink while I can bang out a bunch of work that I leave intentionally open on my desk at all times.  {thus, the perimeter of forbidden passage}

If you work from home, I implore you to find a sanctuary for your space too.  A cluttered mind is ineffective.  Go make yourself SUPER effective!  My desk is build of a closet door we no longer used sitting on two wooden filing cabinets and it's perfect!  Large, flat, and cheap.  Like m....nevermind.

The Wild West has Begun

Summer break starts today.  It's just me and a couple of hooligans for the next two months.  And by the looks of this ornery pair, it'll be a showdown soon.

It's true, being a stay at home mom with school-aged kids can be a lot of hanging out with my friends, naps by the glow of Netflix, and quiet hours spent reading.  I mean, I also have to sling food and scrub things but I have long stretches of time to just catch up on grooming.  And listen, being a light skinned, dark haired, German girl means I have a LOT of grooming to do.  

But the summer?  Yeah, that's a different adventure entirely.  While there are brawls daily (I mean, my kids don't actually get physical but there is a lot of verbal sparring.) and there is So MUCH boredom.  Entitled kids from the suburbs, it's hard to be them, ya know?  "All we ever do" is go to the beach, ride our bikes, and have bonfires.  Poor children.

The flip side is that I get all the snuggles, rainy movie days with popcorn, long afternoons watching my kids conquer swim strokes and holding their breath.  I get sweaty hugs and I get to feel their still-tiny bones when I put sunscreen on.  I have a job that lets me take the whole summer off to really be present with my kids and I am eternally grateful.  They get bigger by the minute and in this summer when they will be 7 and 9, I am rejoicing for the OK Corral and getting to be the Sheriff to these little cowpokes.

It's colored water at a photo studio doing Old Timey pictures.  He has NO idea what it is but the picture made me laugh.  Don't judge me.  He is NOT holding whiskey.  I would never share my whiskey.

It's colored water at a photo studio doing Old Timey pictures.  He has NO idea what it is but the picture made me laugh.  Don't judge me.  He is NOT holding whiskey.  I would never share my whiskey.