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5 Reasons to Grow a Side Income

Three years ago, I was a stay at home mom who really needed to find a way to make some extra money from home.

We had two small kids (a 6 month old and a 3 year old) and I just wasn’t ready to go back to work, but each year our budget kept getting tighter and tighter.

Adam and I had to figure out a way to increase our income (even just $500 a month would make a huge difference!) and that’s when we realized the benefit of having a side income. Adam was working a full time job as a chemical engineer (without the ability to take on extra hours or overtime), so the side income would really need to be something I could do. read more

10 Reasons Why You Should Start an Online Business

Three years ago, I was a stay at home mom who really needed to find a way to make some extra money from home. 

Our budget was getting tighter and tighter each year and it was looking clear that I needed to go back to work… but that was the LAST thing I wanted to do!! I had two small girls at home and I didn’t want to give up my time with them.

 

When Adam and I were first exploring way to generate some additional income, we looked at a lot of different options:

  1. Adam could pick up a second side job (his job didn’t offer overtime).
  2. I could get a Job Outside the Home (I still have my Speech Therapy license)
  3. Start a traditional small business (making and shipping a product – I tried to sew a few dresses to sell).
  4. Start an internet based business.

 

I ended up pursuing Option 4, the internet based business, and I’m SO glad that I did! It’s made all the difference for myself and my family. read more

Christmas Reflections: The Best Gifts aren’t Under the Tree

Just two Christmases ago…

It was a really stressful time for us. Adam and I had to count, save and hoard all his vacation days just so we would have a week off at Christmas. He was working as a chemical engineer and had a great job!! but they were really strict about their vacation days and it just made everything hard to work around.

On top of that stress, all the extra costs associated with Christmas (even without going overboard with the gifts!)… it all quickly added up.

Our family was 1,000 miles away & we only saw them 2x a year – and just being that far away was really tough. We always were making sure we saved enough money to travel back to Louisiana to see family. Because we were that far away it would take two days to get there, hotel rooms and gas weren’t cheap.

 

 

Thankfully a lot can change in 2 years…

 

Last year, Adam was able to quit his job and we both work full time at home with It Works!! What a blessing in itself that has been. Earlier this year, my nephew suddenly passed away. It was a huge shock to our whole family – and during that time we were able to drop everything and go to my sister’s side and be with our whole family for two weeks during that difficult time.

Because of the freedom that our business gives us (freedom to travel and freedom of time), we decided that family was really one of the most important things in our life. Adam’s job had moved us to Virginia, but now we didn’t have that to worry about any more. This summer, we moved closer to family and it has been one of the best gifts ever!! I love being able to be close enough to visit over a long weekend and see everyone more than just 2 times a year.

I never thought I wanted to own my own business…. Until I really understood what owning your own time could really mean.

 

I know it is Christmas… and you aren’t really thinking about starting a business (I totally get it!!)

However, I know as I have grown older, I have realized the best gifts are the ones that don’t fit under the tree:

  • Time with your family & friends
  • Experiencing new places
  • Loving what you do
  • Impacting others around you
  • Giving back
  • Freedom to say YES!

If those are things on your Christmas list… or maybe on your New Years Goals – Don’t miss your change to start something that could change every year from now on : ) As someone who kept waiting for the “perfect” time… I just realized that you have to take this moment and make it perfect.

 

As always,

Angela

 

P.S. You can get started right now if you are ready >>>

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How we Saved 60% on our Health Insurance

Health Insurance is one of those things that I never really gave much thought to. For our entire marriage Adam had worked for large fortune 500 Type companies and we had comparatively affordable Group Insurance Plans.

 

When we started our own independent business, it was just a side thing and we still weren’t thinking about insurance.

 

Then our home business was generating more monthly income than Adam’s day job, we realized that going independent meant we needed to find our own health insurance!

 

That couldn’t be so hard right?

 

Our Search for Insurance

 

One of the great advantages of the Affordable Care Act was to create online marketplaces where people can go and shop for health insurance. So finding some options wasn’t much of a problem, but the COST really was!

 

For our family of four, we were paying nearly $1000 a month for a plan with minimal coverage and a very high deductible. We figured it would be more expensive going it alone, but not at this level!

 

So we began to look at all available options.

 

Enter Medi-Share.

 

Medi-share is one of a growing number of health care options that are “Sharing Programs” rather than typical health insurance. It provides a truly cost effective alternative to typical health insurance. Medi-share is actually a non-profit ministry that connects Christians together in order to “Share their Burdens

 

Pros of Medi-Share

  • SAVE MONEY IF YOU ARE HEALTHY

    There are further discounts for being healthy or for meeting certain health goals (like weight and blood pressure).

  • IT FITS YOUR BUDGET

    There’s something for everyone with program options to fit virtually every budget and family size.

  • IT’S FLEXIBLE

    Choose any healthcare provider and enjoy additional savings by choosing providers from the preferred provider network.

  • IT’S GOOD STEWARDSHIP

    Medi-Share members lead biblical lifestyles, and share dollars are never used to pay for procedures that are objectionable.

  • IT’S PROVEN

    Since 1993, more than $1.4 billion in medical bills have been shared and discounted by Christians.

     

  • read more

    How to Have a Stress Free Holiday

    It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year… or is it???

     

    As reported in a recent survey by Think Finance,

    Forty-five percent of Americans would prefer to skip Christmas read more

    How to Lose Weight, Detox, and Feel Amazing this Fall

    I have been talking a lot in my live videos about how Adam and I decided to make this a September to Remember! 

     

    The Fall is historically a time when people tend to gain 5-10 pounds… Holidays, Parties and cooler weather tend to encourage people to put down their guard and the weight begins to pile on steadily.

     

    How do we stop this trend???

     

    Goals, Commitment, and Action!

     

    Adam and I started with making some goals for the month of September. We started waking up 2 hours earlier to get in some reading and focus before the girls woke up. We also set a goal to focus on our health for this month and lose some weight, cleanse, and detox. We are going on a cruise in November, so that is our motivation to look and feel our best! Next, let me share our plan.

     

    Your plan to reach your goals is just as important as the goal itself!

     

    Our Weight Loss Plan

     

    We decided we were going to use Our System to help us Cleanse, Remove, and Reboot!

    We also wanted to eat as healthy as possible – so we wanted to focus on eating as much fruits and vegetables plus protein as possible and cut out any wheat. We still indulged in dark chocolate, we didn’t count calories, and we didn’t go hungry. We had good intentions of adding exercise to our monthly plan, but I want to be honest with you and say that didn’t end up happening lol. I do use my FitBit to track my steps, but most days I was under my daily goal (again, I do just want to be honest).

     

    Saying that though… I’m still BLOWN AWAY with our personal results as of 25 days in!!

     

    Adam just weighed himself this morning and has lost a total of 13 pounds!! I have been consistently down 3 pounds (my weight tends to fluctuate, so being under 3 pounds consistently is awesome for me!)

     

     

    Not just the scale showing progress, but I feel better too! I know that when I nourish my body it is able to digest food better, give me sustained energy throughout the day, and I have more confidence as well.

     

    Drinking Greens always gives me a natural burst of energy and curbs my cravings. The Cleanse is a two day gentle cleanse to help you cleanse your colon (which you can hold several pounds of waste just in your colon!!). Thermofit is a natural metabolism booster, so you burn more calories doing your normal life. Wraps help you target any areas with loose skin that you want to tighten. Our results show why we rave about these products!

     

    Order Your System Now!

     

    Not only does it feel amazing to feel healthier, but anything that helps our marriage too, double winning!! We hold each other accountable, set goals, and celebrate wins together!! This is by far our absolute favorite recommendation: The System!!

     

     

    It Works System!

     

    If you have any questions about getting started with your own results, we would love to hear from you!

     

    Wear Your Skinny Jeans this Fall

     

     

    Can Your Accountability Partner Help You Reach Your Goals?

    Let’s be honest… We all have great intentions to lose weight, to work out, to make a promotion, to get healthier… and then we just stop. 

    We stop working towards our goals… we lose focus… and we don’t even realize what happened. It wasn’t a single decision to give up, it was daily choices to not follow through.

     

    What can we do to help us break through those days when we are feeling weak, our willpower is down, and it feels like it would be easier to just not do anything??? 

    You need an accountability partner. A friend, a spouse, a sister, a neighbor who you can both walk together towards to finish line.

    Guys, this is a case study, haha! Adam and I have committed to waking up 2 hours earlier than normal – and it is WAY easier to just sleep in and say that we are too tired today. Together we can encourage each other! One morning I may be the one kicking him and saying it is time to wake up and the next he is doing the same to me. Because it is rare that we have the focus, the willpower to be full on – 100% committed everyday without a little help.

    Here is a little video to encourage you to find your accountability partner and start crushing goals together!

    Do you have someone who encourages you to keep going?

    Share this with them and tell them Thank you!! 

     

    How To Pick the Perfect Mattress

    One thing Adam and I realized  in our recent big move, that is that there’s no point in paying to pack, store, and move things that you don’t REALLY like and want to keep.

    Case in point, we decided that we wanted to do a bit of an upgrade on our bed, and move up to a King Size Mattress! Since we have owned our previous mattress and bed for right about 11 years it was a little intimidating to consider new options!

    If you know anything about my shopping habits, is that I HATE traditional shopping. I don’t get any enjoyment from it, so we started looking for options beyond going to mattress stores, laying on a mattress and trying to decide right then if we wanted to buy it…

     

    Enter Casper!

    Adam had heard about them on some of the podcasts he listens to pretty regularly, and loved the idea of just buying a mattress online and having it shipped to your door. No Muss, No Fuss! I’m terrible at sales haggling and I don’t enjoy buying larger items like mattresses, especially looking at the sticker prices!

    Casper caught our attention because it’s simple to order, they do free delivery, AND they have a 100 night guarantee. If you don’t love the mattress and want to return it within 100 days, you get a full refund no questions asked! FYI Casper ends up reconditioning returned mattresses and donated them to charity, which I also loved!

    We’ve had ours for about 3 weeks and are LOVING it! But what’s cool is, if we change our mind in another month, we can return it! I’m totally sold on this sort of mattress buying experience.

    You know what’s one of the most fun parts of buying a Casper? Opening the box!!!

    The girls had a lot of laughs at our mattress! (If you aren’t following me on Facebook yet: Follow me here)

     

    Guess what’s even better though?!? Because Casper is pretty cool and so are our readers, Casper is allowing us to offer $50 off any one of their mattresses to our readers! Simple follow this link and you’ll get the discount right now! If you need to, you can also enter the code “Grassfedmama” at checkout so they know who sent you!

    Our New Bed!

     

    P.S. A LOT of people have been asking questions about our new bed as well (which we LOVE). Here’s a link if you want to check it out for yourself 🙂

     

    Would you try a mattress that comes in a box? What do you think about it?

    Why We Chose to Homeschool

    You may or may not know that Adam and I both work from home.  Because of this freedom to work from anywhere, we like to travel with the kids and go on many adventures. With my oldest daughter getting closer to being in school, it got us thinking about what we were going to do for school. My sister started homeschooling her two older kids about 2-3 years ago, and it got me really interested in the idea.

    I loved the freedom you have when you homeschool.

    Freedom to go at the pace of your child (faster in some skills and take longer in others), I love that you can go on vacation when it is off season, I love being able to go on field trips as a family and learn together! I’m not saying that we came to the idea of homeschooling easily… I never ever thought I would homeschool! When we talked to a few other families who were and heard their stories – it just felt like something we should at least try for ourselves!

    I feel that homeschooling has really changed in the past few years as well. I have a really good friend who shared with me that she tried to homeschool her kids one year several years ago, and she had a very hard time finding resources or a community to find support. What I have really been impressed with is how much there is for us as a family who homeschools.

    Our local children’s museum has homeschool days for homeschooling families to come and connect with each other. Our library also has numerous resources just for homeschooling families! I really am excited about being a part of such a helpful community.

    We also want to get connected to a local co-op (we just moved into the area, so we haven’t connected with one yet, but it is on our list!) We would love to have that community that a co-op provides.

    We certainly aren’t saying we are homeschooling forever – or that homeschooling is what is perfect for everyone. We are saying that for this year, homeschooling is what we are choosing. So now that we ARE homeschooling…. what will that look like???

    Now to pick our lessons!

    I used to be a speech therapist and had many classes about language development and learning in kids. One of the main ideas that was recurrent was to immerse kids at a very young age in reading and language activities. Knowing this, I was looking for a “curriculum” that used books as its foundation. I also love “unit” type studies too because children learn better when they are interested in the topic and can see it from different angles (reading a book, looking at a map where a book was placed, studying the culture of the characters, learning how to count in the book).

    We decided we wanted to jump into this school year and use the program Five in a Row. We found that there were many resources to help us while using this curriculum and that the reviews were incredible as well in the homeschool community.

     

    IMG_6940

     

    Every week, you have one book that you read every day. In your teacher guide, you have activities that you can use to build on the story. The first classical book is The Story of Ping. What I loved is that Adam remembered reading this book as a kid too! So fun when parents and child can have bond over a book! 

    Every day we did a different activity that built on the story: Social Studies, Geography, Literature, Art, Math, & Science. I loved how everything was congruent with the story we had read and it was easy to pull information from the story to learn in these different subjects.

    Because there are lots of other homeschool resources, it was easy to make a week long unit on this great classic!

     

    Here are some other activities you can use with The Story of Ping:

    The Homeschool Mom Resources

    Pinterest Board

    Delightful Learning Week-long lesson ideas

     

    Do you homeschool? What curriculum do you use and what do you like about it?

     

     

    How To Work With Your Spouse (And NOT Kill Them!)

    As you may or may not know, Adam and I had very separate careers for the first 10 years of our marriage. I was working on completing my masters in Speech Therapy and working in various healthcare environments, and Adam was a Chemical Engineer who worked in several different manufacturing environments.

    It seems like for most couples, that’s how it is. The husband has his work, the wife has her work (or maybe 1 of them is a stay at home parent), and although they share their lives together, they rarely share their “professional” lives in a significant way.

    That all changed for us when we started our home based business, and eventually became a stay at home family, building our business together, raising our girls together, and basically being together A LOT more than we ever did before.

    After being full time at home together for over 8 months at this point, here are our top 5 tips for working well together as a couple!

    How to Work with your spouse

    Lean Into Each Other’s Strengths

    Adam is a big a data nerd, he loves spreadsheets, reports, and tracking everything. I HATE THIS STUFF, I can’t even listen to him talk about (I get all glassy eyed and stare into space). Conversely, I love photography, writing, as well as natural health (why we started this whole thing to begin with!). Adam enjoys my pictures, but doesn’t enjoy taking them the way I do.

    And you know what, that’s a good thing!! We aren’t the same, and our business really thrives when we are able to leverage our personal strengths to make each other better, and not try to make each other the same. Opposites attract they say, and I find it’s true!

    Take Your Work Seriously, but Don’t Take Yourself Seriously

    Really now, have fun! You married your spouse because you do like being with them. What you devote your time to is very important, take it seriously, but don’t fall into the trap of taking YOURSELF too seriously. Sometimes you need to be able to laugh at each other (and yourself) and enjoy the lighter sides of life!

    How to Work with your spouse

    Take Some Time for Yourself

    That old adage of having a date night is perhaps more important when you also work together. Having some time away from your business and the rest of your life is incredibly helpful to your mental health and energy levels. And ideally this is both for you as a couple (Dates, Lunches out, Walks together) and you as an individual (Relaxing with a book, Girls night out, Go on a Run, go to a Spa, etc). Adam & I enjoy having a gym membership with childcare, so we can exercise and enjoy some conversation over a cool down, 🙂

    We LOVE what we do, and there’s a risk of workaholism when you love what you do and do it with people you love, so we find we have to be intentional about this!

    Show a LOT of Grace 

    If we have learned one thing, is that just like in your marriage generally, you MUST give LOTS of grace to your spouse. You are both going to irritate each other, even in the best of times. You married each other because you loved each other and wanted to be together, not because you were exactly alike. So when you feel that irritation or anger come up because of your spouse’s behavior, try to step back, take a breath, and give even more grace to the person in your life you have the greatest connection with!

    How to Work with your spouse

    And Finally….

    Brunch (With Coffee)

    When you work together, breakfast meetings tend to become brunch meetings. Enjoy them with a cup of hot coffee and some dreaming about the future, 🙂  I don’t know anything that has energized us more than some slow mornings enjoying time together, dreaming about the future, and cherishing the process.

    If you have worked with your spouse or significant other on a business, project, committee, etc, what are your best tips to make it work?

    P.S. – One of our awesome Instagram Followers @PreppyandPetite suggests “Be Open Minded” when your boyfriend or spouse tries to give suggestions (in this case designing jewelry). Great Advise!!

    P.S.S. – If you are curious about what Adam and I actually do in our business, feel free to contact us using the form below, or check out business tab!