Happy Birthday to Me!

I have started and not finished several blog posts recently, as well as other projects. It is October 11th and school is in full swing, we’re gearing up for the big block of holidays and I turn 42 today. It is so easy to let things fall by the wayside when you’re hip deep in homework, school fund raisers, and of course, the inevitable school age problems of lunches, learning and bullies.

I’m very positive about the whole aging thing, even though this year I have no actual plans for my birthday. I am not one of those ‘Oh no! I’m old!’ people who obsess over younger people, my own lines or grey hairs, or even about how successful I feel I ought to be by now. No, I’m firmly in the ‘Yay! I made it another year!’ camp. Hey, life in uncertain at the best of times, and I have always been clumsy. So every year passing, still alive, with no broken bones, is kind of a miracle to my mind.

That said, I’m a little on the introverted side, and generally only enjoy parties which are short, or where I know every single person there personally. I also don’t really enjoy throwing parties, as I wear myself to a frazzle during planning and set up, then once people arrive, I just give up. I just throw my hands up with a ‘whatever’ attitude and let it go. Then afterwards I have to basically rest for 3 days. I’ve thrown parties, both at my home and in restaurants. I’ve had impromptu dinners at the last minute so that I can enjoy my friends without the planning. I’ve also had years where I just stayed in and ordered out.

This year it’s on a Tuesday and I’m a mom. This is a school week. Kids have to be taken to school and picked up, homework has to be done, baths and showers, lunches, laundry, and of course, dinner. I had thought to take them out and celebrate with just my little family, but wowza does that seem like a lot of work for a school night. I think I may just order in and try to relax as much as I can. My husband and I do have plans for a little getaway midway between our two birthdays as kind of a Just the Two of Us joint celebration.

All in all, I’m glad to be alive, proud to have made it to 42 and although it is to be quite low-key, I’m not sad about my birthday at all. I have things to do, so many things, and at the very least, when your to-do list is miles long you really never have a reason to be bored. If you’d like, comment and let me know what your favorite low-key ways to celbrate are!

Here’s a great AVON coupon code!

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Fall Wardrobe Overhaul

It’s been a crazy week. I have all the laundry in the world in my house and I’m behind. I know it’s only Tuesday but  with school starting, the weather just cool enough so that every morning there is a debate about jackets, then Back to School Night, and all the usual husband, home and kids nonsense, I’m just running crazy. This is especially true because I don’t want to deal with any of it. I just want to crawl into a book and sip coffee. Mmm, that sounds great.

On the last post, I was talking about Fall Fashion. I love Fall for fashion. Summer is fun and all, but I love the rich colors, the boots, and all the layers. It’s hard to start making plans though, because my wardrobe is full of summer things, which at this point, I still may need some days. However, there are things I don’t like, things that don’t fit, and things that have been around way too long that I really need to get rid of. And that’s just my wardrobe! I really have to get in and dig out all the stuff from my kids’ clothes that is old, ragged, or just doesn’t fit those rough and tumble boys anymore.

So, here’s my method. First, the kids. I sit down in front of their closet and chest of drawers with a couple paper grocery bags. Sometimes I write donation on one or more of those bags. I dump all clothing  2 sizes smaller (or more!) than the last clothes I bought them into the donation bags. All except cut-off pants or stained or ripped clothes – those go in the trash. Then I go through and check the sizes only 1 size smaller than their newest clothes. Those I check carefully. Sometimes those still fit, and sometimes they don’t. It turns out children’s sizes are no more uniform than women’s sizes.

Now the hard part. My clothes. These are annoying because I have to try things on. I have to look at pretty party dresses, and try to remember when I last wore them. I have to think about how often I wear things, whether they are flattering, and of course, check for damage. I have to look over my regular everyday  clothing and wonder, am I wearing this too often? Does this even look good on me? Did I get a stain on it last time that cannot be removed? And of course, maybe I should wear something else? This is frustrating. So, my current method is not the most efficient but it works better than throwing my hands up and walking away.

I set up a few paper grocery bags – donation, out of season, and throw away. There are two ways to deal with out of season. The lazy way is just to decide what you do no want to wear in the Fall/Winter and toss them in the bag. This is a good method. The harder way is to decide what you do not want to wear during Fall/Winter, then try them on and check them for damage and fit and how well you like it on you. Then, separate them into the Out of Season bag and the Donation bag. This is the better method, but best done when you have more time, patience or wine. After that is done, then you can attack the rest of your clothes looking for damage, trying them on, and judging how flattering or fashionable they are then separate them out accordingly. The winners get put back in your closet or moved to the laundry room or car for repair, dry cleaning, or attempted stain removal.

Then of course, one has to tackle the shoes. Then the belts. Maybe purses after that. Then, the worst, the jewelry. Do I really need that clunky pewter bracelet I picked up in 1998? I love these shoes, are they really ruined? Where did I get this belt anyway, is it even mine? I tend to do this in stages. No, wait, I mean, spurts. I do this randomly, occasionally, with no rhyme or reason. Also, if you can, play happy music, preferably loudly. When you are done, it is a good time to reward yourself. Personally, I am planning on this woven bag from Mark. Or maybe these new Moto Boots?

As always, I leave you with a coupon code, good today only. It’s Customer Appreciation Week at AVON, so there will be new specials every day on my eshop. Orders today over $60 will receive a 8-piece Customer Favorites Set with code DAY2 – remember today only for this code!

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Mama’s Day Off

Well, technically it’s not a day off. Just like usual, I got the boys up, fed and dressed, then off to school. I took care of the dog and the husband. I did some online work for my AVON business. The normal SAHM stuff. I even emailed my doctor for some advice.

What makes this Mama’s Day Off, is that instead of continuing to work until it’s time to pick up the kids, I’m going to spend time with one of my closest friends. She is moving to Southern California soon and we are making the effort to spend some time together before she does. Of course, we will still be friends. Distance cannot break true friendship apart. However, our Sunday Breakfasts together will be much more rare.

I’m kinda excited because the skies the limit! Well, not the sky. More like 2pm is the limit because I have to pick up my kids and go back to the Mom Gig at that point. Still, there is a lot of fun to be had in a few hours by a pair of determined women. After the coffee of course.

So far our ideas include a trip over the mountain to the beach, shoe shopping, brunch, or a local museum. The beach is a 45 minute drive from here with no traffic. We may have to scratch that one. There are also outlet stores about 40 minutes away. Museums could be good, because this would be a good chance for her to see something local before she’s no longer a local. There are several amusement parks within easy drive. We’re pretty central to a lot of things here.

Anyway, this is what I’m excited about today. Friendship should be treasured. I’d end this post with my usual AVON coupon code, but I’ve got two, so pick your favorite!

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Finding My Voice

I mean, literally. A long time ago, in what seems like another life, I was a receptionist at a tech company. I answered phones, I conferred with co-workers, and I greeted and chatted with guests. It must have seemed effortless. It wasn’t though, because I am actually quite shy, but repetition and the sure knowledge that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing gave me the nerve I needed to get through my workdays.

Now, it’s been years since I was in the workforce. I got married, and I had kids. I know for a lot of women, that does not slow them down, and I applaud them. It didn’t slow me down so much as bring me to a screeching halt. To be honest, my work had never been about pursuing a goal or achieving anything. It was all strictly for the paycheck. For the most part, I haven’t missed it.

In the years in between those jobs and my current place in life, I’ve done many things. I’ve taken classes, I’ve traveled a little, and I’ve had two beautiful children who my life revolves around for the time being. I live in an area where expenses are high, and with my work history I couldn’t find a job that would pay for enough for childcare for two children. One, maybe, but not two. So, working a job that takes me away from home didn’t seem the best use of my time, since I would not be netting a profit, nor working towards something in particular.

All of this to say that my outgoing work demeanor is very rusty. I haven’t flexed these muscles in so long, I can hardly remember how I ever did it. One of the great things about choosing to work from home is that when, or even if, you use your social skills is up to you. With Avon, there are a lot of different ways to build your business, although the most traditional is face-to-face. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what shape my business will be. I have a lot of ideas. One of those ideas has led me to resurrecting my phone skills. I generally have good ones, but they’ve become a little less professional over the years.

Today, I called two possible new Avon Representatives. I prepped extensively, so that I could answer any questions they might have. It’s funny how nervous I was, when there is absolutely nothing scary about it. It was just two women, who are probably very nice, who had already expressed interest in Avon.  I was just the voice to contact them and offer help and advice if they should need it. I ended up reaching voicemail for both. I’m not concerned. I’m happy I took the plunge and maybe a few dozen more tries and I will find that voice again, that confident and effortless voice that has been laying dormant for so long. In most ways, I’m more confident now than I’ve ever been. You know what they say; feel the fear and do it anyway.

And as always, I’ll leave you with a current Avon coupon code. Please click the Shop Current Campaign to use the code.

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First Day of School

No, not me. My twins started 2nd grade today. My plan to get my boys up and ready in a relatively relaxed fashion so as to stave off morning freak outs worked well. They got up quickly and even had a light breakfast. I, on the other hand, zombie walked through my morning, getting the few tasks I had assigned myself done, and discovered a few things I hadn’t thought of ahead of time that also needed to get done. Next time, coffee first.

It all seemed to go well at the drop off, although we were slightly late due to me underestimating how many parents drive on the first day which lead to parking WAY farther away from the school than I had hoped. I also overestimated how fast I can walk on my still recovering left leg and ended up limping a bit on my hike back to the car. Still, the teachers seemed calm and in control, and at least one of them seemed friendly. I had the kids give them Start of School gifts of cute pencil bags enclosing my business card, a 4 color pen, a tin of mints, and a full size Avon Skin So Soft hand cream. One of the teachers seemed suspicious, the other seemed delighted.

Now, I am sitting in this very quiet house and wondering what to do next. My list of household chores is long, and of course there are other projects I could be doing as well. So far, I have had coffee and toast, got into a discussion about FRIENDS on Facebook, and talked to my mother. None of that seems too productive. I think it may be time to pull out the motivators. I could write a list. Or I could watch a motivational video. Or I could listen to high energy music. Or I could use my favorite motivating website, http://www.mindbloom.com (it’s a fun little task and/or habit tracker site with lots of bells and whistles. If you use it, you can add me by my email marjdudley@gmail.com).

On the upside, my mother-in-law is taking the kids this afternoon, so if I get little else done this morning than writing up a to-do list, then at least I will have some free time later to get started on that list. If you have any great motivator idea and/or links, let me know. I could always use more motivation.

In the meantime, great deal today on my eshop. We’re introducing a new skin cream and I’m pretty excited about it.

August 23-25: Get FREE shipping with your order of $25 or more! Plus be sure to try our latest skin care launch – early! Get a FREE 5-Piece sample set of Anew Ultimate Supreme with any order. Use code: ULTIMATE