To the Mom Who’s Lonely: You’re Not Alone

To the Mom Who’s Lonely: You’re Not Alone

I’ve been realizing lately that I’ve become lonely. Lonelier than I’ve ever been in the past. It’s not really a place I ever thought I’d be. I’ve always had friends, lots of them. All through high school, college, and my mid-twenties I was always hanging out with friends and always had someone to talk to. But I’ve realized as I’ve gotten married and entered my late twenties, early thirties, and getting close to 34, I don’t have those friends anymore. I’ve become a mom who’s lonely.

I rarely get together with friends and hang out and have fun anymore. Heck, I’m not sure I really even have friends anymore. No one to talk to outside of my husband/family, no one to do life with, laugh with, cry with, no one who “get’s” it. And it’s a lonely place to be.

This has been a hard realization for me and it’s not easy to admit and write about. But I’m trying to be more vulnerable, more open. And if I’m feeling this way, I am sure there are other women feeling lonely, too. So if that’s you, if you’re a mom who’s lonely right now, know that you’re not alone.

To the Mom Who's Lonely: You're Not Alone - acolorfulyou.net

How did I get here, to this place of loneliness?

That’s kind of hard to say. It crept up on me and I didn’t really realize it was happening until I was here. I was one of the last of my friends group to get married, and am one of the last to start a family (currently pregnant with my first). Many, if not most of my friends already have at least one kid. Most of them have multiple kids – 2, 3, or even 4 now. I think that as they got married and started their families while I was still single, it was hard to keep up the relationship and it got harder and harder to connect with them. They had other priorities, as well they should, and time to hang out with friends became scarce.

Then when I got married, I kind of felt like I was in this in-between stage, where a few of my friends were still single, and most of the others had kids. I kind of felt like I didn’t really belong anywhere, not really. It was kind of an awkward stage for me and made it hard to connect. Now that I’m finally starting a family of my own, I’m realizing that I don’t have any friends now, not really. And it’s a lonely place to be.

Read Seasons of Change in Life and Business

So what can we do about it, when we find ourselves in this lonely place?

Remind yourself that it’s a season. It’s not forever, at least it doesn’t have to be. We all go through seasons in life, and some are harder than others. I’d even guess that most people have had seasons in their life where they felt a similar loneliness. Just because we’re feeling lonely right now and don’t have friends to connect with, doesn’t mean it will always be this way. Seasons change. They come and go. This one will too.

Pick up the phone and call someone. Or text if that’s more your thing. I know that I didn’t get to this place solely because of other people, I had a part in it too. I could have picked up the phone and called or texted my girlfriends and tried harder to keep in touch. Now, I’m not saying it’s all my fault or letting myself feel guilty about it. It happens. It’s life; it is what it is. But instead of wallowing in self-pity, I can do something about it. I can call up a girlfriend and make a plan to get together.

Do something fun. Get out of the house and go do something fun. If you’re anything like me, you’re realizing that you haven’t really had fun lately. So go enjoy life again! We need to stop staying at home and feeling sorry for ourselves. There’s so much life that can be lived. When’s the last time you did something just for fun?

Get connected. If you’ve been at home with no friends and no one to talk to, start looking for somewhere to get connected. A mom’s group, a church small group, somewhere where you can connect with other women on a regular basis. I plan on joining a mom’s group that meets at a local church, as well as getting connected in a church small group with other couples with my husband. We can’t do life alone, at least not for very long. We were made to live in community, so get out there and find yours. Look online for local Facebook groups, networking groups, on church websites, etc. Ask around to see what kinds of things other women you know are involved in. I’m sure you can find something if you look hard enough.

Pray. Pray that God would bring someone into your life to be a friend. Maybe He can use you to bring friendship into someone else’s life who needs it. Maybe it’s an old friend, or maybe it’s a new one. It could be anyone. But you can always pray that He would connect you to the right person for this season of your life.

 

You’re not alone, girlfriend. And it gets better. I promise. We’re in this hard season together and we’ll get through it together. You’re not alone.

5 Tips To More Easily Keeping a Clutter-Free Home

5 Tips To More Easily Keeping a Clutter-Free Home

Ok, to be honest with y’all, I am not the best and keeping a clutter-free home. But lately I have been thinking about ways to keep my home less cluttered and more tidy on a daily basis. You know those homes that seem like they always look company-ready at any given time? Yeah, mine’s not one of them.

Sure, I do a pretty good job of picking up and hiding stuff putting stuff away right before I know people are coming over. But the rest of the time I am driving my husband crazy with my mess (he’s way more tidy than me). So, I’ve decided that I am going to do a better job of keeping my home clutter-free.

My goal is to have a plan for keeping things tidy and clutter-free that won’t take up much extra time. These are not huge, life-altering tips, or really anything you haven’t heard before. Anything I come up with needs to be easily implemented into my daily routines. So here are the five main things that I think are do-able on a daily basis.

5 Tips To More Easily Keeping a Clutter-Free Home - acolorfulyou.net

5 Tips To More Easily Keeping a Clutter-Free Home

1. 10 minute pick-up at the end of every day. I am going to make it a habit to go around the house and quickly pick things up and put things away at the end of every day. You know, the blanket still lying on the couch, my shoes under the coffee table in the living room, the bra lying on the floor because I couldn’t stand wearing it any longer, the wine glass on the end table. And that’s just the living room! I didn’t mention the close lying on the bed/floor in the bedroom, the Color Street nail strips lying around my office that I didn’t get put away, etc.

I don’t have kids yet – one on the way! – so it’s just my crap stuff lying around. It should just take 10 minutes, top! This should help me stay on top of keeping the house picked up. And if I can make it a routine now, I am more likely to be able to keep it up after baby girl gets here in a few months.

2. Do the dishes after every meal. Am I the only one who sucks at this? By the time I have cooked and eaten dinner, I am tired and don’t want to do any more work! But by letting the dishes pile up, it ends up being more work later on. So I am going to try *really hard* to make it a habit to go ahead and get the dishes done after every meal, cleaning them as I go if I am the one cooking. My husband does a really good job of this, so there’s no reason that I can’t do it too.

No more leaving the dishes out overnight (or for days!) Getting them done right away will help keep my kitchen looking nice!

Read How to Get and Stay Organized in Your Business

3. Make sure everything has a place. I think I do ok with this one (I mean everyone is allowed to have a junk drawer, right?!), but I want to get better at it. Everything needs to have a place. If something doesn’t have a place and it needs to, then I will find a place for it so I know where to put it next time. Otherwise, I may need to get rid of it. No more clutter of things I don’t know what to do with! And I need to make sure I put things away right away, instead of letting things stay cluttered until later.

This includes the bills and paper clutter. I am going to go through the mail every day and immediately throw away anything that’s junk. Bills will go in this desktop organizer from Target. Anything that needs to be filed will go in the filing cabinet. No more piles and piles of paper and mail, just because I am too lazy to do something with it right away.

4. Make the bed everyday. This one is going to be hard. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me, but it’s never been a habit I have gotten into. Making the bed is something I just don’t do! I know that I am way more likely to keep the rest of the bedroom picked up and clean if the bed is made, but for some reason I never do it. So from now on I plan on making it every day! (Someone want to check up with me and hold me to it???)

5. If something is not being used/loved/have a purpose, get rid of it! This one kind of goes along with number three. I am done keeping things around that I really don’t need to keep. I have a couple of tubs in my storage room that are designated “garage sale tubs,” so anything that I need to get rid of that I think I can sell, I will put in there. Otherwise I will throw it away/give it away/donate it, whatever needs to be done.

I plan on taking some time in the next few weeks to go through every room and every closet and pull out things that we don’t need to keep. Once I do this I can finally start working on the baby’s nursery! It has become a catch-all room, so this is my motivation for getting this done!

Read How To Stay Motivated and Focused When Working From Home

Ok, there are my 5 tips to keep my home clutter-free! What tips do you have? Leave me a comment below!

Surviving Morning Sickness: 6 Ways I Found Relief

Surviving Morning Sickness: 6 Ways I Found Relief

Morning sickness. The dreaded first trimester (usually) struggle. Why do they call it morning sickness, anyway? For me it was all.day.long. It was miserable. If you are one of the lucky women who don’t have much, if any, sickness during your first trimester, ENJOY IT! If you are one of the not-so-lucky few who deal with it all.pregnancy.long, you have my greatest sympathy. Surviving morning sickness is one of the not-so-fun things we moms do for our children. Because we love them.

The one upside, if you can call it that, to feeling sick during the first trimester, is that it is proof that there is a little tiny human growing in your belly! And that makes it all worth it.

If you are in the midst of surviving morning sickness, here are a few things that helped me find relief during my first trimester. (Along with eating/snacking small meals more frequently, eating foods high in protein, avoiding greasy or spicy food, etc).

Surviving Morning Sickness: 6 Ways I Found Relief - acolorfulyou.net

Surviving Morning Sickness: 6 Ways I Found Relief

1. Preggie Pop Drops – These things were a lifesaver for me during the first part of my pregnancy! I kept them with me at all times – in my jacket/pants pockets, my purse, my car, the bedroom, the living room, my office. Anywhere I went I made sure I had these with me. I got the ones with vitamin B6 in them, as I had heard that can help with nausea as well.

2. Ginger Ale – I lived off of ginger ale during my first trimester – so much so that I was sure I would be sick of it by the end. Surprisingly, I wasn’t! (But I have stopped drinking it since because of the sugar content, now that I am feeling much better.) Ginger Ale was about the only thing I could drink and keep down during the first couple months of being pregnant. I made sure to have some with me everywhere I went.

3. Applesauce – Everyone says to eat crackers, like saltines, when you’re feeling nauseas, especially first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. But that didn’t work for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t really like saltines all that much or what, but I couldn’t stomach them. But applesauce? I ate it like crazy, first thing every morning and anytime through out the day or night when I needed something quick.

I would buy the little applesauce cups and put one by my bed every night with a spoon so that I would have it first thing in the morning. And I’m STILL eating applesauce pretty much every morning right when I wake up, even though I’m no longer dealing with morning sickness. It is really nice to have something quick and readily available to put in my stomach right when I wake up each morning.

4. Peppermint – After awhile I got kind of tired of the Preggie Pop Drops. Enter peppermints. I had heard that peppermint could help with nausea, and my first trimester just happened to be right before Christmas, so candy canes were readily available! And I love candy canes anyway, so it was perfect. I also kept these babies with me everywhere – the little ones were the perfect size.

5. Ginger tea – When I wasn’t drinking ginger ale, I would drink some ginger tea. I wasn’t drinking coffee because I knew my stomach couldn’t handle it, so it was nice to be able to have a hot drink when I was missing my coffee. And a huge plus for the ginger helping to calm my stomach!

Read 5 Ways to Fight Wintertime Blues

6. Pink Stork Pregnancy Probiotic – I was taking Pink Stork’s Total Prenatal + DHA vitamin as my prenatal vitamin. When I saw that they also had a pregnancy probiotic and that it could potentially help with morning sickness and nausea, I was sold! It is nice to have something to support my gut health during my pregnancy, and even better that it helped me survive morning sickness!

What are some of your favorite ways to relieve morning sickness? Tell me in the comments – I’d love some more ideas for next time!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him and Her

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him and Her

10 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas – Are You Ready?

Valentine’s Day is weeks away. Are you ready? It’s an opportunity to show the one you love just how you feel. It’s a great day to shower your love with affection and attention, but a great gift can’t hurt, right? Sure, candy and flowers are classic options, but why not be a little more creative? Maybe this list can inspire. Here are a few Valentine’s Day gift ideas that have caught my eye. I hope they inspire you.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Him and Her

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Women

Spa Day Gift Certificate: 
Total pampering and relaxation is a great present for any stressed out, busy woman. There are so many options to give. Spas have a variety of services – massages, facials, steam treatments, and more. You can offer your Valentine a great day of relaxation at a local spa that she will more than appreciate!

Green Air SpaVapor 2.0 Spa Room Diffuser and Plant Therapy Essential Oils: This is the diffuser I have in my bedroom! I love the intermittent diffusion feature and that you can choose to run it for one, two, or three hours. It is perfect for using at bed time, and with the right oils (I love a combo of Vetiver, Cedarwood, and Lavender), it helps me sleep well! Plant Therapy is by far my favorite oils to use, with pure essential oils of the highest quality. I love that they have certified aromatherapists on staff to answer questions, as well! And free shipping is a huge plus in my book! Use this link to get $10 off your first purchase!

This Gorgeous Kate Spade Purse: 
If your lady is into designer purses, this one is gorgeous! And a good price too, for being Kate Spade. I’d say you can’t go wrong with this one! I’m drooling over it as I write this!

Movie Night Basket
: For the woman who enjoys a night at home with a favorite movie and her special someone, this is another great option. Grab her favorite movie, candy, and popcorn. Add a cozy blanket and a bottle of wine, and date night might be her favorite day of the week. Perfect for after the kids go to bed, especially if you are on a budget!

Color Street Dry Nail Polish: 
For the woman who enjoys a good manicure and nail art, Color Street’s dry nail polish strips offer an opportunity to show off a little personality, with no risk of chips and dings, super easy to use, plus no dry time! It’s a win-win in my book! There’s even a unique collection for Valentine’s Day, and tons of other options to choose from.

Read 5 Ways to Fight Wintertime Blues

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Men

The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Mid-Size Kit: 
For the man who appreciates the perfect shave, the mid-size Art of Shaving kit is a great option. He can prepare, lather, shave, and moisturize with ease. This kit helps to prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs, while creating his perfect look. My husband loves this set and prefers the unscented version, but I am partial to the sandalwood scent!

Shish Kabob Skewer Rack Set
: Does he like to grill? A kabob grilling skewer rack set gives him another option when he moves outside to cook. You can customize each kabob for everyone in the family, and the baskets lessen the potential for flavor mixing.

JackCube Design Multi-Functional Nightstand Organizer: 
This nightstand organizer is great for a guy who likes to keep things neat and tidy. It has a charging hole for smartphones, nine different storage compartments in two levels, and a black carbon leather finish. This is one elegant organizer, with a luxury feel, and it keeps everything close at hand.

Norwex Car Accessories: If the man in your life enjoys washing and taking care of his vehicle, these just might be his new favorites! The Car Wash Mitt is two sided microfiber and excellent at collecting dirt and debris. The Car Cloth is great for quickly drying and polishing your car’s car windows, mirrors, chrome, and the rest of the car!

Norlan Glass Whisky Glasses: 
For the man who enjoys his whisky, classic hand-blown Borosilicate glasses by Norlan are designed to enhance the flavor of his favorite whisky brand. The lightweight glass was created with master distiller Jim McEwan.

No matter what your lady or leading man enjoy, there’s a perfect Valentine’s Day present out there! What do you like to get your significant other for this holiday? Share your Valentine’s Day gift ideas in a comment below!

Seasons of Change in Life and Business

Seasons of Change in Life and Business

Seasons of change at A Colorful You

Have you ever experienced a season of change, maybe a life-change, and felt the urge to make changes in your business? Or, have you experienced changes in your business and felt the urge to make changes in your life? Maybe you suddenly realize that things in your life or business are going in a different direction than you had planned and you realize you need to make some changes?

We all have seasons of change at some point in our life or business, and that’s where I’ve been at lately.

It’s not unusual for women who own their own businesses to find that their life experiences affect the way they do business. Changes in their interests over time can affect their business. For me, the life change was getting pregnant with my first child. (Oh, and it’s a girl, by the way!) And as I am journeying through this pregnancy and change in my life, I’m realizing that my business is going to shift a bit as well.

Seasons of Change in Life and Business acolorfulyou.net

My first two businesses

But, before I get into that, I want to tell you a little about myself.

 My business experience started in 2015 with my very first direct sales business. I attended a Norwex party online and fell in love with their cleaning products. It has done wonders for my husband’s allergies and our health in general and I knew that I wanted to promote the product, so I joined and started working the business alongside my teaching job.

While I still love and use and occasionally promote (but not as actively) Norwex, in 2017 my business transitioned into creating websites for women in direct sales. I had created a website for myself, mostly by figuring it out on my own, and realized I really enjoyed it and it was something I could help other women like me with. I started Melissa Mackey Brand Co and used that platform to share about web design, branding, direct sales tips, etc.

Read Branding Your Direct Sales Business: The Complete Guide

My current business

Then later that year, I was introduced to Color Street. Several of my friends had signed up with this brand new dry nail polish company right when (and some even before) it launched. I was excited to try the product and loved it, but wasn’t interested in the business opportunity at the time. Last July (2017) I agreed to host a party as I loved the product, but said “no” to the opportunity. I said “no” several times after that, but finally in September, I realized that I was wearing and promoting the product and could be earning commission and free product! So, I signed up, thinking I would do this business “on the side.” Ha!

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I can’t do something like a business half way or “on the side.” If I’m in, I’m all in. So I went all in with Color Street. But because of this, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the web design business. While it is possible to run two businesses at once, I knew that it wasn’t for me. I needed to focus on one at a time, especially as I was still teaching full time at this point! So I once again made a transition in my business.

Read How To Stay Motivated and Focused When Working From Home

Another season of change

And now to where I’m at now. This current blog space started with content from my previous website – my direct sales web design business. Now you’re going to see a bit more variety in the content on this website.

Since I am expecting my first child, I am making yet another transition. 

A Colorful You will become more like a lifestyle blog. The existing content on direct sales and business topics will be joined by blog posts on topics like pregnancy, parenting, and a variety of topics on working from home (like getting started, working at home with children, staying motivated, taking care of yourself when you’re busy, and keeping all the balls in the air as a working mom, for example). I’ll have some content related to direct sales and marketing, but that will not be the entire focus of my content.

My hope is that this space will become a well-rounded, informative and entertaining blog, for moms, soon-to-be moms, and those who work from home, whether they have children or not, to learn and see that they’re not alone in the things they experience and the struggles they deal with.

Have you ever dealt with seasons of change? What kind of changes did you make in your life or business? Leave me a comment and tell me about it!

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