Family Fun: Playing Charades

During the pandemic it has been difficult trying to keep an 8 year old entertained without telling him to “just use the iPad”. I have been making a point of trying to have “play-time” for at least 30 minutes every day after dinner. This includes playing outside, maybe he’s on the scooter and I am doing laps in the driveway, or we are tossing the football. We all know the attention span of an 8 year old, it isn’t long. He always want to do play something like “lets pretend we’re….” which is GREAT, I want him to build his imagination, but by the end of the day I have no brain-power left and having to come up with an “expedition” can be taxing. I’m not an imaginative play parent. Maybe it’s because I did so much of it as a kid. My mom is laughing her ass off right now.

Fast forward to last week. My son comes into my office and says “Lets play charades”. I’m like okay I can do this. I may suck at it but this should be entertaining. At first we started to think of our own things to act out and then I realized that again took way too much brain power. So to the Google Box I went. I found a couple of lists that work great for kids and are easy enough that it isn’t frustrating. So I started printing and cutting out little slips. I tell him we can play for 30 minutes and whatever we get through we get through.

Then we finish out the rest the next day. We played for 4 days and now I have to find more lists. It’s been entertaining to see how he acts things out and we did a ton of laughing. He also learned some things to so it’s a win win!!

I have attached one of the games. Just print and cut out the slips.

Hope you have a great weekend and make some memories!!

Until next week

Real Life: The Art of Juggling

No! this post isn’t about actual juggling. It’s about keeping your head on straight and keeping everything organized.

Sorry everybody I know that I am a day (almost two) late with my post this week. The scheduled posts finally caught up to me. The last couple of weeks have just been NUTS!!!

As we are starting to think about Back-to-School and Back-to-Work here in New York and in my house. I am thinking about what schedule will be best for me and the family. I am thinking about what planner will work well so that I can keep track of when school is in person vs. at home, when I am going to go to the office as well as the normal appointments and bills.

I love school supply shopping and in the past it has been a pretty fun and easy task. Now I have to sift through 3 websites (or more) to figure out what he needs and what we need to know about what the school day is going to look like. But, at the same time mommy needs supplies for continuing to work from home and I, in a twisted way, love looking for a new planner. Yes I still use a paper planner, so sue me.

Needless to say, this school year is something for the record books in the way of organization. As parents, it’s our responsibility to make sure our kids understand what’s going on so that they keep themselves safe as well as their classmates and their teachers.

So while we add another ball to our juggling act, remember we are all in this one together and everybody’s safety is top priority!!

Hope everybody has a great week!!

Book Review: You CAN Have It All, Just Not At The Same Damn Time by Romi Neustadt

I’m not going to lie I picked up this book because of the title, not because I knew anything about Romi but this book was excellent.   It basically teaches how if you put yourself first and be unapologetic about it you can have it all, no matter what your endeavor.   

The part of the book that really struck me was about having quiet time just to clear your head and refocus.   Since the whole pandemic, shelter in place and working from home I lost my quiet time, my commute.  Which has made me even more bat-shit crazy than before.  

What I also liked about the book is that Romi shared her experiences and what does to be successful and make it work.   I am a person that rules by examples.  “Show me what is working for you and I will tailor it for me.”  

I have so many ideas in my head and I always am so hard on myself because I feel like if I don’t get everything off of my to-do list then I am a failure. 

What this book also taught me is that you have to celebrate the wins.  Ok I didn’t get 3 things off of my list, but I read today (those that know me best know how I feel about reading in general), I played with my son.  Celebrate the wins and don’t dwell on the fact that the bathroom didn’t get cleaned again.

For any woman with 55 plates up in the air.  Check out this book.  It’s an easy read and will make you feel a lot better that you are doing a great job and you can Have It All.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-can-have-it-all-just-not-at-the-same-damn-time-romi-neustadt/1132922788?ean=9780593085950

Transitioning back to the office…How is this going to work?

Office Space

There are so many things to think about when we start thinking about transitioning to work.   “How are we going to commute?”  “What are we going to do about the kids that are only going back part time?”  There are so many questions around what is this going to look like.   But, really the answer is “We have no freaking idea”.

One step at a time

On a more light hearted note maybe.   I have been working from home now four and a half months.   Things are going well my company has been awesome and we are getting it done.  However, I didn’t realize how much MORE sedentary I have been.  This week I have been off of work and we have been go go go as a family doing fun things.   But, with all of the going and going I am freaking tired!!  Go Go Go is exhausting and it got me thinking about how in the hell I am going to jump back into an hour and a half to two-hour commute (one way) and all of the walking.

To put things into perspective on a normal work day when I was going to into the office, I would have on average a 7,000 steps a day.    And that’s just Walking from my car the to train, from the train to the other train and then into my office.  I work in Jersey City which is basically the closest you can get to working in New York City without working in New York City.  Now I’m lucky if I break 2,000 steps a day before I go out on my 30-minute walk (that I don’t do every day but should).

Plus with those of us that have a commute is re-thinking time management and making the most of the time that you have.   Now I truly miss my hour-long train ride where I get some down time.  But, I have enjoyed being able to eat dinner with my family every night.

As we transition again into the next “New Normal” what are you going to be doing to prepare yourself?

Until next week

Signature

Having a Side Hustle

ballpen blur close up computer
Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Why do I have a side hustle?   It’s because I want to make sure that my child is taken care of and I am a glutton for punishment.

My side hustle isn’t anything glamorous.   I don’t DJ on the weekends, do photo shoots or have get togethers (I used to, that will come up in a later post).   But I do Excel spreadsheets for people.   Yup sit at my computer and create files for people, just like I do for my full-time job.

So why would I want to do the exact same thing that I do day in and day out even more?   Well… its because I’m good at it and people pay a lot of money for a spreadsheet because they are terrified of them.

Have a spreadsheet and need some guidance on what to do with it or make it better?   Let me know.

Check me out here  https://www.upwork.com/fl/stefaniel

I started my freelance business because I needed to make some extra money after moving to New York and hell why not make extra money doing what I do every day already?   I also wanted to help people, because, like I said before, people HATE spreadsheets.

I have been freelancing for almost 6 years.  I have shared my story with a number of people who need extra income or are looking for a career change.   The possibilities are endless.

However, it does come with its challenges.   My clients don’t care that I have a full-time job sometimes.   They have deadlines and I have to meet them.  So, there is a customer service element to it as well.    So it’s a balancing act of making everybody happy without going absolutely bat shit crazy.

I make it work, I have some clients that come to me once a year, some that I have stuff a few times a month.  I have pissed off clients, you can’t make everybody happy.   It’s all part of having a business.

What would your side hustle be?

Until Next Week!

Signature

Truth Bomb: The Social Media Black Hole is the Devil!!!!!

OMG!!  How many times have you been looking at Facebook and see a post and then your like, oh let’s go look at their page and then you see somebody commented that you haven’t seen in ages and then you look at their page and then you keep going and going.   Eventually you get a point where you ask your self “Why am I here again”.   In one of the books I read recently “You Can Have It All Just Not At The Same Damn Time” by Romi Neustadt (Book review post coming August 7th) she talks about how you should time yourself when you are on social media.   I agree with this.  As somebody who has a full calendar and goals social media is the ultimate Time-Suck.  I mean what’s the point?   I mean I like seeing what everybody is up to back home and I like to share how much my son has grown.   But why should I care about what the friend of my friend’s friend is doing?

Social media is another way that we can look into the lives of anybody (pretty much) and see that their lives are perfect and we are striving to be there.   Here is a news flash folks

SOCIAL MEDIAL IS A LIE!!!!! 

Nobody posts the ugly stuff and we all have ugly stuff in our lives.    You will get the occasional “anonymous” posts in your groups, but the stuff for friends and family to see, nope it’s not there.    There are also the people that post for attention, ok maybe they are putting it out there, but what do they expect to get out of doing that other than “Oh I’m sorry you are going through this.”  I don’t know, to each their own. 

Then there is the other part of the social medial black hole.   Our favorite the bots, the ones that are out there just to cause a ruckus.    They are the reason we can’t have nice things.   They are the ones that are out there to just be noisy and be a pain the ass.   Which is why I hardly ever read the comments on any public post.  Frankly it’s too damn exhausting and frustrating.   I read something form my own opinion and move on. 

So the next time you are in the social medial black hole.  Don’t start thinking, “wow they are gorgeous and have It all together”, or “I’m going to get riled up by what somebody commented”.  It’s not worth it and in the end will make you better and give you back a hell of a lot of time.

End Rant.  

Book Review: How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith.

I am not a reader, I get bored really easy, but this book was so informative. 

The book focuses on 12 habits that women have in the workplace and basically tells us how to “knock it off” because it’s not getting us anywhere. 

While not all of the habits apply to everybody, it made me realize some of the things that I was doing in my career were in fact holding me back.  Some of the habits that I had were

  • Reluctance to claim your achievement
  • Expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward your contributions
  • Building rather than leveraging relationships
  • Putting your job before your career
  • The disease to please

As much as we don’t want to admit it, it is a man’s world and as women it’s time to step up.   Stop feeling like you always have to play the “good guy” and be a “team player”.   So many times, you hear “There is no “I” in team”.   You’re right there isn’t but if there is a dude on the team, he’s going to take the credit in a lot of instances. 

One of the big take-aways that I had from the book was that your boss probably has no idea what you do on a day to day basis.   It’s your job to make sure they understand what you do and how you are making valuable contributions to the team.  

As women, we tend to assume that they know what you are doing and where you want to go.   You have to assume that upper management has no clue and you need to be vocal about your aspirations and what you have accomplished. 

I could go on and on about this book.  Check it out I live by it every day in my professional life!!

Here is the link to the book on Barnes & Noble’s website!!!

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-women-rise-sally-helgesen/1127061508?ean=9780316440127

Six months into the year…Where do we go from here?

This year, by far has been one of the craziest, scariest, most confusing years of my life-time. I can honestly say that I am over having “textbook worthy” events happen. Seriously, a pandemic? One that can’t be controlled because of selfishness!! I won’t go into it now, maybe another post. I mean this is nuts. I have been settling into a new “normal” by working from home and being with my family more. I am grateful that I can work from home and that I have not been affected by the onslaught of unemployment. I am also grateful for having a stay at home daddy husband that can tend to homeschooling, while I am on a million conference calls.

I was kind of excited in the beginning I was excited that I would be able to do more projects that have been on my list forever, like blog posts. Yup nope!!! No more four hours of commuting everyday, great you can work those 4 hours. Then jump right into mommy/wife life. Well, after almost four months of constant go, go, go and little to no time to breath I ended up making myself sick.

So after a couple of days in bed and taking a CVS’s worth of medicine, I’m back to normal and refocusing. It also helps that my company is “closed” for three days for the holiday, but then it’s right back into it.

So with my “free time” I am kicking off a weekly blog post series to be published on Fridays for the new few weeks. They included book reviews, organizational ideas and other things. These are posts that I have been working on for a while and realize now would be a good time to get them off into the world.

Hope you enjoy the posts in the coming weeks!!!

It’s New Years Eve: Out with the old and in with the new

 

new-years-eve

Happy New Years Eve Everybody!!!!

As 2019 comes to a close I realize that not only am I a pen hoarder (see pen organization post), I am a paper hoarder.  I feel like I have to keep everything all of the time because may, just maybe, someday I will need said piece of paper.   Other than Tax returns there is no need for me too keep stuff.  It’s time to purge my file boxes and get rid of some stuff so that I have some more storage.   I have a little office and I want to optimize as much as possible.

While I am excited to purge things, it’s kind of over-whelming and trying to figure out where to start.   All I have to say is thank goodness we have a big garbage bin.   It’s time to warm up the shredder!!!

Have a Very Happy and Safe New Year Eve everybody.   I will post a follow-up with exactly how much I purged out of this place!!.

Stef

 

Happy Thanksgiving

b008b03a51cbf327c0862a66244821a5

Hope everybody is doing exactly what they want to be doing today.   It’s clear through social media that everybody has their own traditions and things they do today.  Whether it’s going to somebody’s house, cooking for your family whether large or small.  Sitting around enjoying company after dinner and watching football or going out, getting some good deals and just enjoying the people watching.

Our tradition is that we eat early (basically lunch), clean up, have desert and the we hit the stores.  Yes we are a small family of three that has been going out on Thanksgiving shopping for the last 9 years.   We go out again on Friday and Saturday and then collapse on Sunday.   This is our tradition, we look forward to it every year.   Thank you to all of the retail workers that are out there, I have been there with you.   To all of you shopping over the weekend, have some patience and remember BE KIND!!!!!

That this is a time of gratitude and of kindness, especially now.   So, no matter what your traditions are, remember they are YOUR traditions, not anybody else’s.

Hope everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving and start to the Holiday Season!!!!

All the best!!

Stef