So….

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It’s been a long time (or at least it feels like it to me) since I haven’t had to rush out the door to go somewhere else.  It is taking some getting used to again. 

I must say, my house looks spectacular!  It is clean.  It is organized again. 

It is closing in on me…Argh!!!  It was really bad before my son came back home from his visit to Texas and my daughter moved back in with us.  It was just me and the dogs bouncing off the walls here.  And it’s only been 3 weeks???!!!!

Somehow I am keeping it together.  I think because I truly enjoy being at home, making my home a better place, cooking and cleaning for my family.  I wish I could just do this every day and someone else could worry about the bills,  but we all know that isn’t going to happen. 

So… what have I been doing, you ask?  I made garbage disposal cleaner, biscuit mix and laundry detergent.  I washed the windows.  I cleaned and reconditioned a leather couch.  I moved all the stuff out of the extra bedroom and distributed it all around the house so my daughter could move back in.  I got the computers up and running again.  Made business cards and flyers.  Every morning I sit down and comb through the job ads and send off my resume and follow-up with the companies.  I clean and I cook and I nap and I read and I…….

My dogs are super happy that I am around all the time now.  Each time I leave, I come home to find another pair of shoes destroyed – yea yea I know, I am supposed to be a dog trainer I should know how to fix that.  It’s my fault for leaving the shoes out in the first place, especially when I know that one little Chihuahua is prone to anxiety chewing.

Oh.  I just made this delicious looking pizza for….. nobody.  I told my son and his friend I was going to make a pizza – they left and went to Subway. 

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Ah…life…why do you do me this way??!!

Anyone else having a day like this today?

 

What a trip!

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So…the last post I wrote was in March of this year.  I was starting to work outside my home for the first time in many years.  What I have discovered about myself over the last 4 months is that I am not a 9 to 5 kind of person.  I don’t do well working for other people – in an authoritarian capacity.

I guess I have been on my own for far too long.  So I am going to accept that fact about myself and work with it.  I am going to embrace the independent entreprenurial spirit that I am and move forward.  I am going to quit fighting with myself over who I truly am.

So, after much thought and many job changes, I am going back to what I know and love – working with the dogs.  I may fall flat on my face…or I may succeed – lets hope its the latter!!  I learned some very hard lessons in my last adventure with Sunshine Canine and hopefully I will avoid those pitfalls this time around.

This time around, there will be no overhead – no buildings to rent and furnish, no retail items to try to sell – it will be strictly a service business run from my home.  I will offer private training, pet sitting and dog walking services, Period.  There will be no huge outpouring of money to things I hope will give me a return on my investment.  This time word of mouth, networking and referrals will be the way to go.  No credit cards – cash or checks only.

Those are just the business operating decisions.  As far as my dog handling and training methods, those will remain the same because they work and are proven.  I love the dogs!  I love working with them.  They are incredible creatures that amaze me every day!  My training techniques and true love for them come through loud and clear to the dogs and their people every time.  That will never change.

I hope that you will follow me as I venture down this road again.  I will share how things are going with you as I go.

 

Dog Training & Pet Services

Dog Training & Pet Services

Many changes lately

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So, I have been through many, many changes in the last 6 to 8 months.  I guess, really, in the last year!  I moved from Tennessee to Colorado.  Quit my job that I had been at for 8 years.  Started working with my sister.  Quit working with my sister and started working as a personal assistant for a couple up in Aspen.

This is the first time in over 14 years that I have not worked from my home.  This is the first time in over 14 years that I have had to get up everyday, get dressed and head out to work for the full day.  It is taking a little getting used to, but I am getting used to it.

And so are the dogs.  They do give me the sad face every now and then, but they are adjusting.

Look at those faces!  So sad. :(

Look at those faces! So sad. 😦

Driving back from Grand Junction.  Love this one particular mountain.

Driving back from Grand Junction. Love this one particular mountain.

I haven’t been only working, though.  I did manage to get to Grand Junction three weekends in a row.  I love this mountain and against all my better judgement, I did take this picture while driving down the road at 75 MPH.  (I know, I know.  I am shaking my finger at me too!!)

How would you like to see this coming at you?  Don't worry, it was a Cabela's in Grand Junction.

How would you like to see this coming at you? Don’t worry, it was a Cabela’s in Grand Junction.

My son and I wandered around the Grand Junction mall one weekend.  We went into Cabela’s and spent about an hour looking at all the fun camping gear.  As we were leaving, I looked up and saw this.  Awesome!!

My son is loving the new independence.  He is really stepping up and taking on the additional responsibilities very well.

I am learning new habits as well.  Like… I need to spend Sunday’s creating and preparing meals for the rest of the week so we don’t have to eat cereal every night.  I am learning to create lunches ahead of time too.  I have recently tried the salad in a jar method and I really like it.   Here is the link if you want to try it:  Salad In A Jar

I gave the freezer meals a try too, but I either need to find a timer that I can turn my crock pot on later in the day or some other kind of gadget that will not cook the food so quickly (in a slow cooker, go figure :/)  Here is the link for that: Freezer Cooking

Household chores have had to be moved to Saturday’s and Sunday’s – just like in the old days.  I can’t just get up and do it when I need to stretch or feel like it.  Now I have to plan a specific time to accomplish all my household chores

Of all the adjustments, surprisingly, that is the one I am having the hardest time adjusting to.

So, I wonder, how do you get everything done and work a full-time job outside your home?  I can definitely use all the tips I can get.

Its all about Time Well Spent, right?

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Most people are pretty motivated to start a new year out right.  They promise themselves that they will lose weight, get organized, de-clutter the house, etc.  This year will be different they pledge.  Now, I am not saying that you should not try to start a new year out with a renewed sense of accomplishment.  I am saying that you should set your goals in a reasonable way.
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I saw a quote today “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.  I completely agree with this.  But, in order to make a plan, you need to have a system that works for you.  That being said, no system will work if you don’t work it – meaning you have to follow through and use the system.
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I am going to address time management this month.  I feel that if you can’t get your calendar, schedule, and to do list in some kind of order you will forever be just putting out fires and never accomplish anything.
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I have tried many different systems over the years.  I have tried paper planners that are daily, weekly or monthly calendars.  I have tried merging different systems together.  In the end, I took the best of all the different calendars that I used and put them all together into a system that works for me and my family.
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I need to see what is on my schedule on a daily basis.  I also need to have a calendar that travels well.  In the end, I found that I need to have a “Command Center” at the house on paper and an electronic calendar I can keep on my phone.
Command Central: Dry Erase Board and Loose Leaf Planner

Command Central: Dry Erase Board and Loose Leaf Planner

My solution, is this Daily Planner.  Please feel free to give it a try by clicking here and downloading the pdf file.
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Print one week at a time on 2-sided paper.

Print one week at a time on 2-sided paper.

I needed a place on my daily planner for scheduled appointments and meetings, so I put a time planner in 1/2 hour increments.  Obviously, I also need color and personality.  I keep my personal and business commitments all in one place.  That way I won’t schedule a business meeting at the same time that I have a family event or vice versa.  I also like to divide my “To Do” list up so I can complete like tasks together, so on the other side of the sheet I put my to do lists divided into categories called: Home & Property, Call or Call Expected, Write, Friends & Family, To Do, and Notes & Messages.
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Most of the categories are self explanatory.  Home & Property is my list of things I need to get done around the house.  Call or Call Expected – I need to either make a call to someone or I am expecting a call from someone.  Write – I use this for when I need to write a letter, a blog, an email, etc.  Friends & Family – I use this space for birthdays, gift ideas, anything that has to do with my friends or family. The To Do category is my general to do list.  Maybe I have something I need to do for a client, I jot it down here.  Or it’s something that doesn’t fit into any of the other categories.  Notes & Messages – anything else that I need to write down.
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I print pictures that I have taken during the year and add them.  Sometimes I doodle on the pages as a way to describe the day.  At the end of the year, I save all the pages as sort of a scrapbook of the year.
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I also use Google’s calendar.  It is the closest system that I have found that is like Outlook.  I really like Outlook, but I couldn’t access it from multiple locations and would have to duplicate information everywhere.  I moved all my emails, calendars, and contacts to my Gmail account.  I can access it from my laptop, my desktop, my tablet and/or my phone.  I only have to update it one time and I can access it from anywhere.
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Google's Calendar is great.

Google’s Calendar is great.

Another feature I love about the Gmail Calendar, is that I can set reminders.  I can email, text message, or have a pop-up on my computer to remind me I have to be somewhere or do something.  I tend to get very focused when I am working on something and the little nudge that I get from the reminders allows me time to finish up and move on to the next thing.
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I learned a new trick last month.  If you are involved in many clubs and organizations, you have multiple dates and times for many events and programs.  You may or may not be able to attend all of the functions, but you definitely need to know when they are.  With the Google Calendar you can create more than one calendar and choose which ones you want to show.  What you do is create an Events calendar where you put all of the dates of the clubs and organizations that you belong to.  Put your personal/family commitments on your Personal Calendar.  Put your business commitments on your business calendar.  You can display one or all of the calendars at once.  If you decide that you are definitely going to attend one of the club events, you move it to your personal calendar and set a reminder.  It’s that easy.  You still have access to all the information you need, but you don’t have to be overwhelmed with more information than you need at any time.
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You know, there is no right or wrong way to keep up with your calendar and to do lists.  Not having any kind of a system is worse than having one that you can change and tweak until it works for you.  You can find pre-printed calendars and planners pretty much anywhere you buy office supplies.  There are tons of different systems on Pinterest.   The key is to start somewhere.  Try a system for  a week or a month to see if it works for you.  Remember what works well for you and what doesn’t so if you have find something else, you will know what to look for and what to exclude.
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What systems have you tried?  What worked best for you?  It might be the answer someone else has been looking for.  Please Share.

Hello There!

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My name is Terri.  I have 2 children and 4 dogs.  I am a single mother.  I am also self-employed.  My sister and I own our own business – Carbondale Business Services, Inc. located in Carbondale, Colorado.

I am going to use this blog to give tips and hints on how to manage a busy life, family and/or business – without pulling all of your hair out.  I am a research hound, so I will be sharing a lot of content that I find on Pinterest and other organizing blogs that I follow.  Or, if you have a tip for helping make life easier – bring it on!!  I will definitely share with everyone.

I have spent many years trying different systems to help keep me organized.  I believe that through trial and error, I have narrowed down the ideas to what works best for me.  That being said, not every idea is going to work for every person, family or business.  Feel free to change them in a way that works best for you!

Making Your House Your Home

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Over to the far left, can you see the tiny numbers hidden behind the tree branch?

Has there ever been that one thing about your new house that makes it not your home?  I found that when I moved into the house in Tennessee, that the mailbox and I had to settle a thing or two.  The previous owner of the house had placed a tiny padlock on the mailbox so the mailman couldn’t leave mail there.  The house had been empty for quite some time before we moved in, so I understood.  Except that I called him 3 or 4 times to drop the key off to me or tell me where I could meet him to get the key… something – anything…  Well, I finally got sick and tired of trying to chase him down so I went to Wal-Mart and bought a set of bolt cutters.  It’s really funny to think about now, but then I was madder than hell that I was being denied access to my mailbox.  I bought these huge bolt cutters that could probably cut through a super huge padlock for this tiny little lock.  But, by God, I was getting that stupid lock off that mailbox.

(Side note:  I know, I get distracted by the dumbest things.  Why didn’t I just go out and buy a new mailbox, you ask?  Because it was the principle of the thing.  And besides, you know you love me because of my little eccentricities – HA)

Anyway, once I was able to get into the mailbox, I was also able to say that this is MY home now.

So you might be asking yourself, “What is the thing about the new house that has stopped me from saying it’s mine?”

The house numbers.  Yes, that’s right.  The address numbers on the front porch.  The first time I saw the house back in October 2012, I thought about those numbers being too small and there was a tree branch hiding them.  So I have thought and imagined and schemed and planned to fix this little problem.

First, I knew I needed bigger numbers, so I went to the local hardware store, Mr. T’s, and bought some 6 inch black numbers.  At first I thought I would just screw them on to the larger middle post on the front porch, but then I thought that was too boring.

Second, I asked my brother-in-law if the Aspen Valley Harley Davidson had any spare pallets that I could have.  He delivered those pallets within a couple of days to me – way before I was ready to use them.  I am sure my neighbors are wondering if I am some kind of hoarder.  I am not, I assure you.  I just take my sweet time in completing my projects.

Third, I went to Pinterest for ideas on how to take apart that pallet – Ha!!  hahahahaha!!!  I tried the crowbar tool I had left over from putting in the laminate floors in the house in TN and a hammer.  That lasted about 5 minutes, tops, before I realized that the post was right – those pallets are meant to last and put up with abuse.  They do not come apart easily.  So the next best tool came out, the saw!!  I just cut the boards I needed out of the pallet and decided to use that size because it worked so well.  Again, I am sure my neighbors think I am crazy.  They may be right.

Fourth, I assembled the boards into a sign, painted it the same color I painted my mantel and side cabinets (which I haven’t shared with you yet because the cabinets are not mounted on the wall…still).

Fifth, back to Pinterest to find out how to paint letters on the sign.  This technique worked to a point, but I had to improvise a little bit because the pallet wood was very hard and was not easy to make indentations on it.  So, I went to the sewing supplies and pulled out the dressmakers marking paper.  I placed it, color side down, on the board, then placed my printed words on top and traced the letters.  After I was done with that, I used a black Sharpie to draw in the outline of the letters.  I did that, just in case the marking paper marks got wiped off.  Then I painted in the letters.

I sprayed the whole sign with a clear coat protector and added the 6 inch numbers.  I added a couple of heavy duty picture hangers to the back and hung it on the front porch.

Now, this is MY home!!

Not very fancy, but it's mine.

Not very fancy, but it’s mine.

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And yes, I know it is not square – that’s the point. I don’t want perfection, I want me.

Susie Homemaker today – LOL!

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Colorado Weather today

This is what the weather is doing today, well, probably for the rest of the weekend.  Today is my Friday to work the late shift and Jake doesn’t have school on Fridays so we both got to sleep in a bit today (by a bit, I mean 7:00 am).

It being cold and snowy out there this morning, I started getting the Susie Homemaker vibe.  On my menu this week from emeals.com was this delicious sounding meal…
Blueberry Sizzle French Toast with Crispy Bacon.   YUMMMMMM!!

Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the “Extended Refrigeration” notice above the name.  I didn’t let that stop me though.  I went ahead and made it anyway since I had unlimited time this morning.

Bob Wire is not looking very happy today.

Bob Wire is not looking very happy today.

 

 

Since I am normally up at 5:30 am each day to work the 6:00 am to 2:00 pm shift, my body doesn’t care if I don’t have to  get up early.  I am usually up early in the mornings anyway, so I cut up the french bread and added the egg and milk mixture and let it soak in the fridge for about an hour.    After it soaked, then I put it in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  I took it out of the oven and I slathered it with butter and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over it and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.  While it was baking, I melted some butter in a small pan, added blueberries and syrup and let that cook for about 3 minutes.

Butter, Blueberries, and Syrup

Butter, Blueberries, Nutmeg and Syrup

Baked French Toast

Baked French Bread with Egg Mixture and Sugar-Cinnamon

Blueberry Sizzle French Toast

1/2 loaf French bread, cut in 2″ cubes

5 medium eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

(2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla)

(2 Tbsp melted butter, cinnamon-sugar)

3/4 cup blueberries

(1/2 Tbsp butter, 1/3 cup maple syrup, dash nutmeg)

Place bread cubes tightly in sprayed 13×9″ baking dish.  Beat eggs, milk, sugar, salt & vanilla.  Pour over bread.  Cover & refrigerate 6-36 hours.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove; baste with butter; sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar.  Bake 5-10 more minutes.  In non-stick skillet, cook blueberries in melted butter 3 minutes.  Add syrup & nutmeg.  Bring to boil; serve warm over toast servings.

The final product, which was devoured in seconds flat.

The final product, which was devoured in seconds flat.

**Sorry about the pics being placed in strange places.  I couldn’t get them to line up correctly.