The Sound of Closing Doors

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Do you ever feel like doors to a path in life are closing for you? Sometimes you see it coming, sometimes it is very unexpected. I’m there right now. I’ve spent most of my life working with children. Even when I was one, I was babysitting and tutoring. I spent my life working with kids on and off in one way or another. After I had Little Divine 10 and a half years ago, I tried to go to work away from her. I was a single mom, my mother had dumped me in this state when she was supposed to take us with her so I could finish school and work from home doing Medical Transcription. Since she failed to do that, I ended up taking a retail job and putting my newborn in daycare. It was an absolutely shitty position to be in and I cried every single day. There are no nice words to express the place I was put in. It was miserable. :/

Thankfully a girl at the daycare recommend I just apply for a job there. I had past childcare experience so I went for it and I got hired. I spent the next 4 years working in daycare. It had a lot of rewards but I was at a place that took advantage of the hard workers and mistreated a lot of employees. They ended up dealing with a lot of legal issues for many years after that because of their lack of respect for the rules and for human beings.

After I left the daycare, I decided to do home childcare. From 2011 till 2016 I worked from home watching children. I’ve seen so many kiddos grow up in those years! I’ve been blessed to be a part of each one of their lives. ❤ There were both good and bad moments. Many times I struggled to bring in enough income. I live in a very low income state so it was hard to get paid well doing childcare. Yet with a little one of my own, other work wasn’t an option since I also couldn’t afford childcare on the pay I could get from jobs I would qualify for.

We had years of good pay and years of struggling. But we stuck with it through it all because I loved what I did and it gave me the freedom to stay home with Little Divine and see her grow. There is nothing I would trade for those moments! I got to see all of her firsts and I got to be there for everything. As a single parent, that is very rare!

The last two years I mostly worked with one kiddo. He had a lot of behavioral issues and was asked to leave his preschool. We had a hard time with his family as his dad was a jerk, plain and simple, and his parents were split up so we were often put in the middle of bad situations. Dad complained all the time about paying me, despite the fact that I discounted my rates for them and I was barely making it off the pay. They would constantly change their schedules and hours last minute, often giving me zero notice. They didn’t want to pay cancellation fees or deal with paying for last minute schedule changes. I often got different stories and times from each parent. All their instability created extra issues for their son who did not need any of that.

When I sent him off to kindergarten this past August I was exhausted. They had sucked all the joy out of childcare for me. They drained me completely. The idea of watching kids exhausted me. I decided to take a break for a bit. We had tons of stuff left over to sell from my resale business and I was making my $2 fashion earrings that seemed to sell well. I had saved up a bit over the last couple of months because I had a feeling I would need a break. I just didn’t have anything left to give after that.

Since then I feel like the doors to childcare are closing for me. I don’t know if it’s because we haven’t found the right family yet or if it’s because I am meant to do something else. I have been applying for jobs on Care.com weekly but so far no go on any of the ones I feel would work for us.

I got another message today telling me they found someone else. I keep feeling like I’m supposed to focus elsewhere. A few weeks ago I took my jewelry making to a new level and started making higher cost sets that people seem to really love. Apparently I have a really good eye for it and I’ve been told I’m great at my craft! For someone new to it, that’s a huge compliment! ❤

Maybe this is what I’m supposed to do instead. I honestly don’t know. I wish life came with clear signs in the direction you should take! Instead I am working on selling off all the resale items left and everything we don’t need  in the house. Little Divine has been bringing down hoards of toys from her room for me to sell as she’s getting older and is weeding out what she doesn’t use. We have a small income coming in from that and now I’m  slowly selling jewelry sets. Eventually I want to work on refinishing furniture too. And I am working on my photo editing and photography work.

I’ve always felt my creative pursuits benefit me the most and I really, REALLY love doing work involving them! Maybe this is why the doors to what I’ve done just to make it through the last few years keep closing. Maybe it’s time to find something new that I truly love. Mr. Divine tells me often that he wants me to find something I love to do. I love him for so many reasons but that is one of them. He doesn’t care if I make millions. He wants me to do what I love and succeed at it!

So I start off the holiday weekend with hope for my jewelry business to bloom into more, and more new doors to open for my life! I have hope for the next year to bring more joy and more happiness in whatever work I do. I look forward to seeing what doors will open as these ones close. I’m very excited to see what happens! ❤

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Motivational Monday – Work For Your Dreams

On Saturday morning Mr. Divine and I got up and Little Divine wasn’t up yet. I made us coffee and we both sat down at our desks. Our desks are side by side (so sweet!) and we often do games together so it’s nice to be nearby. I always check my email in the morning and check Facebook for sales, etc. One of my favorite people right now is Jamie Primak Sullivan, author of The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl. I listen to her morning videos and check out the inspirational and motivational stuff she shares on her Facebook page. She’s been a huge reminder to me that there ARE good quality people out there, you just have to be patient and not accept crappy people in your life until you find them.

This weekend her video was about, “Why not you?” and she talked about how there’s no reason you can’t be the one to have your dreams. I really felt it hit home with me because I’ve been going through a lot of self-doubt lately with putting childcare on the back burner and trying to focus more on making jewelry and photos. It’s very scary to take a leap into something new when you aren’t sure what will happen! Plus I had several friends who were supposed to support me or who had ordered items from me that ended up flaking and letting me down. Not only did that hurt me as a person, but it hurt my business.

I got a lot from watching her video and it reminded me that I CAN succeed in my dream if I keep at it and I can keep confidence in it. I think the big thing we need to remember is that our dreams can’t happen while we sit on the couch dreaming them. We have to be fully committed to MAKING them happen, and that takes work! You can to put yourself behind what you are doing 100% and put in the effort to accomplish it. I think that’s where a lot of people lose their vision, because there is so much work involved.

Everything in life takes work. This is something we teach Little Divine constantly because we don’t want her to have the mentality of so many others out there who don’t want to put in any effort for anything. Life takes hard work! You don’t get where you are going by not doing hard work. Anything good in life will take lots of hard work. And the rewards from it will be totally worth it!

I sat at my desk next to Mr. Divine and he heard the theme of the video I was listening too. He asked me if I had seen the Shia Labeouf motivational video, which I had not. Let me tell you, it’s a hoot! Shia is a *unique* character. His motivational video is him in front of a green screen, screaming at you to just do what you need to do. I have to say, as silly as his video was, it definitely can be a good motivator! Having something tell you to, “JUST DO IT!!!” has a way of getting your blood pumping to get something done!

Taking what I got from both videos, I walked away with a renewed sense to make my dreams happen. I am really good at making beautiful jewelry pieces. I walk into a store, I look at the pieces, and I can make something gorgeous out of them. I’m excited to get even more detailed in my work and use bead necklaces I’ve made as well. I’m excited to see what wonderful creations I can come up with!

Everyone comment I’ve had on my sets so far has been how beautiful, gorgeous or stunning they are. That says A LOT. I am not saying this to brag in any way. I am saying this to make a point. Clearly I have something here. Clearly I am doing something right. Clearly I am doing something that catches the eye of others. I need to take that and run with it!

As I am sitting at my desk, discussing this with Mr. Divine, and setting my resolve to make my little business bloom, an email comes in. It is a lady messaging me on Etsy asking if she can pay extra to get one of my jewelry sets rush mailed to her! I wrote her back, offering to ship it out priority 2-3 day mail at not extra cost. She was thrilled, and paid for the set immediately!

Yes, that was my first ever jewelry set sale on Etsy! I cannot express in words how excited I was! I may have also cried a little. I have sold one set locally and one set on Etsy. I’ve been making these sets for 2 weeks. Just TWO WEEKS. And I’ve sold two! Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot to some folks, but to me that bodes very well!

Successful people did not give up on their dreams. They did not quit when things got hard, or their plans weren’t going right. They kept at it. They kept their eye on the prize. They continued to work hard and deal with bumps in the road. You cannot achieve success by quitting. You cannot achieve success without doing the work. Your dreams are very much worth it! You should be able to live your dreams and make them happen! Please don’t quit on them!

Today, take the time to ask yourself what you really want in life and what you can do to make it happen. Then work at it! Don’t expect overnight changes or success. Be prepared to do a lot of hard work for a while. But don’t give up! Remember that you have people like me who support you in chasing your dreams, and who want you to succeed! Every dream, big or small, is worth it! It is worth chasing after, it is worth doing the work for, it is worth having! ❤

I am going to the store today to get pieces for a new set to make and sell. I made a deal with myself when I started this that if I sell a set, I turn right around and use some of the money from it to make a new set right away. This way I always have a good inventory available and can keep pushing sales. If you are interested, feel free to check out what I’m creating on my Etsy Shop or my Facebook page!

One major update in the next few weeks will have to be a camera. My pieces are so pretty but my phone is just not capturing the detail and the beauty enough. I think a big part of that is that it can’t zoom and the photo quality it takes. So keep an eye out for even better pics to come!

Have a wonderful and successful week every single one of you! ❤

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Savings Jar Craft Project

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Things in life cost money. Unless you are handed an unlimited amount of money to do with as you please, you generally have to save up for the things you want that you can’t currently afford. I like saving money in general. It’s always good to have money saved for a nest egg just in case. Emergency funds to help if you lose your job or have a huge unexpected cost, like your car breaking or your home flooding, keep you be prepared just in case. I feel it’s generally better to save up for things you want but can’t currently afford rather than going into debt to get them.

Saving money in your bank account it great – if you won’t spend it. I’ve found that having the money in an account means I am more likely to spend it with less concern. Which is why I like to have a savings jar of some sort at home. It’s labeled and separate from my spending money so I am much less likely to spend it. Looking into the jar to see how much I’ve saved so far gives me an extra sense of pride that also helps me from spending out of it and to keep adding to it.

We recently moved and are working on settling in and getting our new home set up. We are also saving to buy a home in the next few years, saving for our wedding since we don’t really have family to help with the costs much, and saving up to get me a better car. Mine is okay, and it’s lasted well since I got it almost 2 years ago, but it is very old and I bought it because we had been in a car accident and desperately needed a vehicle. I want to be able to get something a little nicer that will better fit my needs in the next year, so we’re saving for it now.

These 3 things are very important to us right now and are our priorities to save for at the moment. We could have created one main savings jar to use on whatever we needed, but I liked the idea of 3 separate jars to see each dream getting closer to happening.

These savings jars were very simple and low cost to create. I bought 3 cans of coffee that come in the round hard containers. We drink a lot of coffee so we used up the coffee in the cans, washed them out with soapy water, and then let them dry. When they were dry I purchased 3 different rolls of duct tape in cool designs so each jar had its own unique look. I paid $3.22 for the 3 rolls at our local Dollar Tree store. I knew the tape would mostly likely only be used for this project so I didn’t want to spend a lot on it. I also bought a package of sticker labels to label each jar, but I also am going to use them to label things in Little Divine’s room to help her keep her toys organized. They were $1.07 for a package of 60.

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Photo by Ivy Divine

I took each jar and taped all around the jar along the bottom edge, the top edge, and then the middle, to completely cover the jar with duct tape. I then took small strips of duct tape about 5-6 inches long to cover the lid. You can leave it uncovered if you like, but I wanted the whole thing to be matching. After that, I turned the lid upside down and set a shot glass in the middle of the lid to make an opening for adding money. I traced around the shot glass and used small, sharp scissors to cut a whole. Again, this is optional. You can create any opening you like or leave the lid as it is and just take it off when you add money to the jar.

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Photo by Ivy Divine

I wrote what each jar was for on the sticker labels and put them on the jar. One of the labels started peeling off a little after a few hours so I covered the labels with clear tape to keep them on. I used a permanent marker to write on the labels so what I wrote was easy to see and would last.

The end result is a fun looking way to save up for the things that are important to you! ❤ We’ve already been adding to our new jars and it’s exciting to see each step closer we get to our goals! (^.^)

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