Hello May!!

May 5, 2016




I honestly cannot believe that it's May already. This year has really flown by quickly! Lately, I have been on a mission, working on decluttering our home & garage. My word for 2016 is Simplify.

I used to love to purchase things all of the time, but the more that I have to go through things, the less stuff that I actually want. The more that I get rid of, the less weighed down that I feel! It's amazing how little you truly need to live a good life. 

I told someone the other day that all I need in life is God, my books, coffee, travel, husband! I would much rather spend my money on travel and good food than materialistic things.

Some of my goals for May include:

>> Pray more, worry less (always on the top of my list!)
>> Finish cleaning out the garage (sell on swap + shop and have a sale/donate)
>> Go on a 1-week vacation!
>> Keep up the healthy eating + daily running (lose 5 lbs)
>> Finish painting our house, put up shutters
>> Sand & Paint interior window trim on all windows
>> Install baseboard trim + putty, sand & paint
>> Possibly purchasing a used vehicle with good gas mileage

I think that's about it. I'm keeping it sweet & simple for this month since we have two Mother's Day parties and also graduation parties this month.

What are your goals for this month?



My Book is Discounted for this week only!

April 26, 2016





See some of the reviews about my book and see for yourself!

 5.0 out of 5 stars
By SharnĂ©_Admin on March 2, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
WHERE DO I START???

Well isn't that the very question every person asks themselves when they want to pursue something new 
and out of their comfort zone. However, Melinda Pollard has been very kind to lend a hand to all "starting-up" VAs 
in this amazing, honest and insightful manual on how to take your first step or steps...

When I came across this book, even at first glance, I was impressed and couldn't wait to get my teeth sunk into it 
(like a delicious cupcake). When I finally sat down and started reading it, it felt like Melinda was right there on the 
couch, holding a cup of tea and just handing over all of this wisdom and knowledge that she had discovered. 
That is how easy it was... She has a way of explaining intricate details, in the simplest words so that everyone
can understand and implement it into their lives. The honesty in this book truly represents the person who 
wrote it and that she only wants to help and develop others in their pursuit of a career as a VA.

I would seriously recommend this book as a starting point for any person considering becoming a VA. I can 
guarantee you now, it will save you time, help you start "doing" instead procrastinating and coming up with 
excuses. Go ahead, TAKE THAT FIRST STEP...

Format: Kindle Edition
As I was reading through Melinda's guide I kept finding myself feeling as if this guide was written specifically 
for me. I was able to fully relate to her personal story and she hit on every pressure point I am currently finding 
myself experiencing and even used some of the same phrases I have been finding myself using more and more
during the day. It was so refreshing having my feelings validated and a little whisper in my ear saying "There is a 
better way to live."

I have been doing a lot of research, and have joined several groups, to learn more about virtual assisting and 
how/where to even begin. In the depths of my digging I was finding myself very overwhelmed - to say the least. 
Melinda's guide laid it all out so logically and informatively that you end feeling empowered, not left with the feeling
that you were just attacked by a fire hose.

She touches not only on the top questions people have such as; where do I find clients?! but also questions you 
don't think of right away such as the legalities of beginning your own business.

Hands down, best guide I have read thus far on this topic. Thank you, Melinda, for putting this together and 
helping shine the light for the rest of us who are trying to find the right path forward.

Raw Revolution Glo Bars Review

April 25, 2016






 Recently, Dorathea from Raw Revolution sent me some raw food bars to review. I mentioned in my last couple of blog posts about working on eating healthier. I love that these bars are vegan, low sugar, gluten free and dairy free! I honestly loved every one of the bars that Raw Revolution sent to me. My top two favorite bars were the mixed nuts caramel and sea salt as well as the dark chocolate and sea salt.

These bars are perfect for when you are on the go and don't have time to stop and grab something to eat! From 10-15 grams of protein in each bar, you will be sure to feel more energized and full enough to hold you over for a while. These are also perfect for pre and post workout to give you that extra protein boost that your body needs!

You can purchase any of their products on their online store Raw Revolution. Use promo code RRSM at Raw Revolution to get 20% off your entire purchase! I also plan on picking up some more of these bars at my local whole foods on my next food shopping trip.

Keep up with Raw Revolution on FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram to stay tuned to their Freebie Fridays where they give away free bars!!

Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. These opinions are completely my own based on my personal experience.

There's No Rest for Those Who dream of Success

April 24, 2016

via lushlity.tumblr

I always say that I am going to slow down in life, but there's no rest for those who dream of success. I'm going to keep hustling until I get to where I want to be!

Here are a few things that I was able to accomplish this week:

>> Cruise dining seating set up (table for two is a  must)
>> Hotel purchased
>> Taxes submitted & paid!
>> Designed Opt-in for Blog Email List
>> Emailed companies RE: collaboration opportunities
>> Finished eBook on Money Saving Tips
>> Lined up 20+ Reviewers for new eBook
>> Added my new eBook to both websites
>> Cleaned couch cover, shower curtain + liner
>> Hubby installed hood vent above stove
>> Hubby installed 5 new window trim
>> Hubby caulked cabinets
>> Cleaned yards
>> Sold a couple of items on Swap & Shop (working on my decluttering goals!)
>> Merged cell phones to save money
>> Ordered 2 extra iPhone cables, computer speakers, and vitamins
>> Joined more business Facebook Groups (Entrepreneur, Author Groups, etc.)
>> Joined all of the free Kindle Book sites (let's just say I have a TON of new books to read!) If you haven't already, sign up here to get access to my free kindle book list!
>> Started a new Book Club online (see below) & created graphics for blog and social media
>> Submitted & set up my book promotion starting next week + created graphics for marketing (My VA Business book will be discounted, so be sure to look out for it starting Monday!)
>> Mended several pieces of clothing
>> Added new book link to email signature
>> Cleaned garage (threw out quite a bit!)
>> Daily running + healthy diet
>> 2 outside tanning sessions (read a book that I've had forever!)

Goals in the next 4 weeks:
>> Move remaining house items from Albany
>> Finish cleaning out Garage & have a sale
>> Finish painting exterior house
>> Successful Book Promotion
>> Weight Loss
>> Schedule hair appointment
>> Finish a couple of product reviews

For me, life's all about what you make of it. It's not up to anyone else to make your life better; you get to choose how your life plays out every day. I choose to work hard and become the person that I dream of being and believe me, it's not easy! It means working 10-14 hour days on my business and my books, social media marketing, personal house updates, exercising, etc. If I've learned anything in the past year, it's that I write my own story and I can sit around and choose to focus on the negative or the things that I don't have in life or I can choose the positive things and look forward to all of the wonderful things that God has planned for my life!

Speaking of being positive and inspired, if you love to read, come join my new book club on Facebook where I post quality free & bargain books during the week. "The Book Clique"- I sort through free & bargain kindle books to find the quality ones to save you on time! I post lots of great books on self-help, spirituality, business, etc.


Working towards our Goals; one Day at a Time

April 18, 2016

 

Hi Lovies! I hope that you had a great weekend! I really enjoyed mine and was able to get so much accomplished. The hubby and I have a new plan to paint 4 exterior rafters each per day this week and our goal is to finish that part by this Thursday or Friday. Then we can move on to touch-ups, window trim, etc. Once the painting is finished, we can put up shutters.

I read a book over the weekend about being successful in life and the author was talking about how time is so expensive and that we shouldn't be doing things that we don't want to do just because others want us to. He talked about how we waste time with people who drain our energy/negative and how we should use our time more wisely. Some things that I am applying to my life is to start getting up earlier so that I can get more done. Every day, I feel like I don't have enough time to get everything that I need to get done. In order to finish our goals and to be successful, I am going to have to start sacrificing some sleep. I don't need 9 hours of sleep per night; 7 hours is ample enough time.

We have also been working on some health goals as well. Because of our food allergies, we have started a new healthy eating and exercise plan.

>> Decrease coffee to 1 cup per day (coffee can cause your body to hold on to fat cells)
>> Decrease dairy intake (using coconut milk for coffee creamer)
>> Decrease sugar intake (using agave + stevia)
>> Daily walking break for 20-30 minutes
>> Drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day
>> Eliminated Gluten, eggs, and soy altogether

We also started back taking our vitamins. I have gotten back on the vitamins to build up a good gut health since I had some health issues last year. Our new vitamin intake includes probiotics, chlorella, daily vitamin, slippery elm, MSM, calm with magnesium. I just put in another order with iHerbI do my shopping here because I earn loyalty points that I can use towards future purchases! For first time customers, you can also get free items. Just use the code above.

I also cleaned out some of the garage on Saturday and Sunday. We are going to get the rest of our things and have a Garage Sale coming up on May 6th and 7th. I hope to clear out half of the garage! My goal this year is to declutter and get our house finished. For us, it's all about making lists of what needs to get done and mark it off one thing at a time. I am so excited to have our goals accomplished by this year so that we can sit back and enjoy what we have worked so hard to build!

What are some of your goals that you are working towards?

Who's Your Cheerleader in Life?

April 12, 2016









I have to brag on my hubby and another example of what an amazing husband that he is to me. The other day, I had a really bad day because this girl left the most hateful review on my Amazon book. It really hurt me because it felt like she was attacking me, not my book. This passage that she wrote, shows what I am referring to: "Sophie" (the main character who is based on the author) comes across as petty, materialistic and self-absorbed. The first few chapters are essentially an extended rant about her mean boss and her inability to afford designer shoes- first world problems that are insignificant in comparison to the actual issues our society is facing." 

I was shocked and hurt. Mostly because anyone who knows me, knows that I am always giving back and helping others. I'm the least self-absorbed and petty person that you will ever know. I'm just a girl who enjoys life and yes the occasional pair of shoes or Starbucks coffee; so sue me! (Let's not forget this is a chick lit book, not historical non-fiction!)

Anyway, I was upset when my husband got home and I just didn't want to talk and told my hubby that I was going outside to take a walk. He came outside a few minutes later and started walking with me and just let me cry and vent to him. We walked for close to thirty minutes together and him just supporting me and listening was all that I needed to feel better. I'm so blessed that God placed me and my husband together. We complement each other perfectly. I uplift and respect my husband and he gives me the support and love that I need. Neither one of us received those things from our families and we give those things to each other. God knew that we needed each other when he put us together almost twenty years ago.

Sometimes, I hear people say things like broken people shouldn't look for someone to fill their void and I always find this somewhat untrue. In my personal experience, hurt/broken people need God to fill their void, first and foremost. But they also sometimes need those things that their parents, siblings, family aren't able to give to them, and for me, my husband gives me those things that I don't get from my family and I do the same for him. He uplifts me instead of tearing me down; he tells me I'm beautiful when I don't feel like it and he tells me that I'm special; unlike when I was growing up being told that I was no more special than anyone else. Everyone needs to have a cheerleader in their corner. Your cheerleader may be a group of supportive friends or your spouse, siblings or parents.

Some days when I'm feeling down and life feels overwhelming; I just remember how amazing my marriage is and I know that all of the money in the world can't buy the kind of love that my husband and I have for each other. It's what keeps me going and for me, it's my "why" in life. It's why I do everything that I do and work so hard to help make our life better.

Who's your biggest cheerleader in life?


Top 10 Reasons that I'm looking forward to cruising the MSC Divina!

April 9, 2016

So remember how I blogged about how I pretty much skipped my birthday this year and also didn't even celebrate publishing 3 books on Amazon? Well, I will be celebrating very soon on a cruise! This will be my first time cruising on MSC. We have been on every cruise line except for this one!

I thought I'd share with you the Top 10 Reasons that I'm really looking forward to this cruise in particular. So, are you ready to hear my 10 Reasons?!


TOP 10 REASONS THAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO CRUISING THE MSC DIVINA!


1. Because it's a gorgeous ship!! 

photo via Flickr

2. This will be our first time in a balcony room!!

photo via cruiseone

3. The Swarovski Staircases. What girl doesn't love Swarovski crystals?

photo via travelzoo

4. The pasta is home-made. What?! I don't really indulge in pasta at home, but you can bet your butt that I will be eating some on board the MSC Divina. 

photo via jillsgreatescapes


photo via travelzoo

5. I've read reviews that the pizza is amazing! Again, I don't eat pizza at home too much, but I definitely am looking forward to trying their pizza. Did I mention it's an Italian ship?


photo via MSC Cruises

photo via MSC Cruises

6. The amazing Desserts!!

photo via MSC Cruises

photo via tipsfortravelers

7. The Nutella Crepes on board. I have never had a Nutella Crepe but it sounds divine!

photo via MSC Cruises

8. The gourmet coffee- espresso, please! I'm assuming because it's an Italian cruise that they have to make amazing Americanos and espressos right?

photo via MSC Cruises

9. Relaxing by the pool & reading my books! There are five pools on the MSC Divina!

photo via MSC Cruises

10. Tropical Drinks, of course!

photo via cruise critic

I'm so excited for this cruise! I personally love cruises because they are so easy to plan. All of the food, drinks, excursions are in one place, so all you have to do is buy! We opted to purchase a coffee drink package (includes 15 coffees) and an alcohol package (includes 18 drinks) since we aren't big drinkers. I love that MSC offers the coupon vouchers instead of the huge drink package! I'm counting down the months + days!!