we all want to treat our moms to something special for mothers day, dont we? well what if by treating our moms to a little gift could do big things for other moms around the world? how great would that be? pretty great, right?
every piece of akola jewelry is beautifully handcrafted in uganda from local materials by women who live in rural poverty and have never been educated. akola not only employs these women, giving them the means to provide for and educate their children, but they also provide holistic education programs and vocational training to these women to empower them to become business owners and leaders in their communities. the akola project is a nonprofit whos model goes beyond merely providing aid to bring lasting, sustainable income for the over 400 women they employ both in uganda as well as dallas.
akola jewelry not only does amazing things for the women who make it, its also beautiful, versatile, and amazing quality. akola has four different lines that feature different locally produced materials: paper, glass, metal, and horn. akola was kind enough to send me the vela necklace in onyx, which i wear nearly every day. this necklace has a mixture of hand rolled paper beads and small metal beads, and because of its extra-long length, it is incredibly versatile: i can wear it as a long necklace (as i styled it on instagram), doubled as a short necklace (as ive styled it here), or wrapped several times around my wrist as a bracelet. its the perfect accessory piece for my minimal wardrobe.
if you want to gift your mom with some amazing akola jewelry (which.... um... i may have gotten for both mine and jamess moms, but... shhhh... dont tell), order quickly because their last day for guaranteed delivery in time for mothers day is this coming tuesday! and be sure to use the code MEYERS30 for 30% off your entire order!
one of my favorite things about akola jewelry is how with all their different collections, they really do have something for everyone. what's your favorite akola style? what are you getting your mom for mothers day?
im just going to start this post address the elephant in the room: yes, i posted five days a week in january and havent been back since early february. no, i am not sorry about it at all. also, yes i did just post a post with no image or tags like some kind of blogging noob.
i just wanted to come back and say that no, i did not quit blogging, its just that theres been a lot going on here and ive been really overwhelmed so blogging hasnt been a priority. and thats ok with me.
january was really awesome blog-wise, i got into a really good writing routine, put out posts that i was really proud of, and felt really good about how much i was able to build my brand online working around 10 hours a week. i was able to write posts ahead of time, actually think about how i was marketing them, and even started on working on what the blogging circle calls "content upgrades" (and by that i mean like, printable recipes, patterns, and checklists). BUT i need to be really real here:
this blog doesnt make us any money.
it by all means can, and im absolutely working toward being a professional internet person someday that makes real money at the internet.
but were at a stage of life where i need to be bringing in an actual income, a real life direct-deposited every two weeks enough to pay some of the bills income. not a hypothetical potential maybe a few bucks here and there every few weeks after the affiliate commissions clear income.
i mean, weve got two little kids, jamess job just isnt all that consistent during the school year and ive still got two more semesters of school (after i finish this one). our financial situation really isnt all that bad (actually for us were doing pretty well right now), BUT things (especially school and the car we just bought) cost money, and me just staying home isnt working anymore.
so i got a job. a real life paycheck getting taxes paying not minimum grown up job with a commute and a title that actually uses the things i learned in college job. its only one (partial) day a week, but theres a fair amount of prep and research involved and the drive is the most RIDICULOUS la drive ever (its 17 miles but takes over an hour to get home). even though its challenging, i do really enjoy my new job. BUT the few hours a week that it takes up basically eat up any free time id have available for blogging.
and with school, a husband, two kids, our house, and myself to take care of, i just cant sustain another thing. i mean, maybe i could. if i was more energetic or more dedicated and spent all my kids nap times blogging or put on a movie every day to get some work done or something, but i really dont want to be working all the time.
i want to be able to relax and enjoy being a mom on the days im home and only worry about work when im getting ready for/at work or school. mainly, i dont want to burn myself out the way i have a tendency of doing, i want to still like blogging when im ready to go at it full force again, unlike knitting which i forced myself to still do while teaching knitting at joanns and now i hate knitting.
so long story short, blogging isnt a priority right now. thats not saying that im done blogging, i just cant pressure myself with schedules and content calendars right now. honestly im getting really tired of not blogging, so until things settle down enough for me to re-launch a less overwhelming content schedule (im currently thinking something like, three posts a week on a rotation of six topics...), im just going to post whatever i feel like whenever is convenient for me.
hey there, happy february! ive heard a lot of people refer to january as "the monday of months", and i cant quite argue with that. we made it through january and are very much IN 2016 (and hopefully not still writing 2015 on all our checks... ahem).
anyway... as part of 2016s fresh starts, i decided to do this blogging thing a little bit differently: i printed out editorial calendars for the entire year and am planning posts and series way in advance. im also batching my work as much as i can, doing all the writing or photos or scheduling for a group of posts all at the same time. i really like doing things this way for a few reasons: 1. i can be more intentional in my post planning, keeping things seasonally appropriate and not missing out on key holidays (which ive never, really been good at before), 2. i can put together better and more cohesive post series by planning them out all at once, and 3. i can work ahead of myself so i can do things like finish all of januarys blog work an entire week early (just in time to have a really bad health week right when school starts, as per usual so, actually, im not ahead anymore). to be completely honest, id love to perfect this system to have blog posts done like a month (or more!) in advance so i can do better DIY projects and such.
but theres one big downside here: working this way means theres not a ton of room for like, normal daily life kind of stuff. I'm sure there will be more in the future as i find the right balance here, but for now i figured ill keep up with my old "monthly update" posts as the first post of every month (as opposed to the first monday, as i was doing before). since i dont have big yearly goals to "check in" on every month, im changing the format a bit: instead of a long ramble about life lately followed by a recap of that months goal progress, im going to steal a little something from my friend carrie annes "snapshot" series, and just pop in with a quick list of whats been happening here lately. (aside from this new way ive been writing blog posts)
so without any further ado, here are januarys happenings:
benedict turned 6 months old and has all kinds of new tricks! he can sit up and clap and sometimes it seems like he's waving! also, we got our health insurance situation sorted out enough to finally take benny to the doctor. the little guy is perfectly healthy and measures at 50th percentile for weight, 80th for height, and... 99th for head size. so, yeah, no surprises there. also he got shots which resulted in one day of great naps followed by at least a week of terrible naps.
our car situation is turning out totally ok! first of all, jamess mom is letting us borrow her super fancy lexus hybrid, which is great because: 1. we were only completely without a car for like, three days, 2. i was able to find out first hand that i do not want to actually own a fancy robot car from the future (though the heated seats... im going to miss those), and 3. weve totally been able to thoroughly research what we want to do/can afford car-wise in the long term and not just jump on the first/cheapest thing available. researching cars/loans/insurance/etc. was not fun, but it was a valuable learning experience that will hopefully be over very soon.
james worked for 4 straight weeks! at any other time of the year this would just be a refreshing change, but to happen in january! what an exciting surprise! its the middle of winter, but all the bills are paid and were all stocked up on buying stuff like its the middle of summer or something!
im mostly getting back into my normal routines for the first time since getting pregnant! having really solid routines for chores and errands and meal planning is what gives me the framework and stability to be an actually-pretty-ok mom and not just a wallowing-in-being-overwhelmed-all-the-time mom. unfortunately, i had at least a year where i just could not make it happen. this month, i made it happen. pretty perfectly i might add (for the first three weeks, last week i got sick though so im not going to count that because chore lists dont count when youre barfing).
were introducing the concept of chore charts to alice with very mixed results! alice is very much to the age where she needs to start helping around the house on a consistent basis. she wants to help, to do what i do. so far weve figured out that shes totally capable of doing easy chores (with supervision), and is easily motivated by checking off the boxes on her chart. the thing is shes smart. so shes been finding every possible loophole in every chart system we devise for her. including, i am literally not making this up, filling in the box where a sticker would go for doing a chore with a drawing she described as "me crying because im sad that i didnt get to watch a movie because i only got two points". yeah... i dont even know how to turn that back into a lesson about chores...
i kind of have a job right now and its really cool! its not like, a job job but im helping my friend (a drama teacher) with the costumes for her schools jr high play. basically, im getting paid to do crafts with materials that somebody else payed for. also, this is probably the first time ever ive used any of my actual formal education in an employment situation. there really is a first time for everything!
my school schedule is really great this semester! instead of going to class two or three different days every week, i only go on fridays (for most of the day) and then monday nights (but only today and four more times). so like, i actually have free time sometimes!
im super, super excited to do our taxes! i look forward to doing our taxes every year because thats like, the one time ever i feel like im really good at adult things. we need one (possibly two) more papers to come in the mail and then were good to go. and after taxes we can go buy that car we need to buy...
unfortunately, we did have to say one last goodbye to our beloved disneyland goats. thats pretty much our one really big bummer for last month: thanks to stupid star wars land there are no longer goats to pet at big thunder ranch because big thunder ranch is no longer a thing.
over all, january was pretty great. exhausting, but really productive and definitely what we needed after our doozy of a december. so hello february, lets do this! (and by this i mostly mean taxes because i just really want to do taxes).
how was your january? what are your big plans for february?