I’m writing today to tell you a little more about my life.
let’s start with the fact that I grew up with both parents working, I knew when I grew up and had my own family that I wanted to have more flexibility with my schedule. I knew I wanted to earn an income but I wasn’t quite sure how.
I worked part time while I was pregnant with Navi, until Navi was two and continued to work throughout my pregnancy with Indie. I held so much value in myself because I worked outside the home and was able to contribute to our financial situation. I was very proud of the work I did and loved my job. taking a step back and being home ‘full time’ was a HUGE transition for me and honestly still gets to me somedays when I’m feeling overwhelmed with ‘mom’ stuff. I felt I have lost my identity and don’t get time to be ‘Jensyn’ – so I have to remind myself to take breaks and do things for ‘me’ where I get to be ‘Jensyn’. not just ‘mom’ or ‘Nash’s wife’.
the work I’m doing at home with my daughters, I know is irreplaceable and I feel so lucky to be home with my girls. I have a sacred responsibility to teach and love and raise these special people in my life.
I’ve been a part of so many ‘at home’ businesses. I worked outside the home for a few years while pregnant with my first two daughters and it just became so expensive and almost ‘not worth it’ for me to be working – just to turn around and pay (even more than I was making) for child care.
my husband earns a good living. we aren’t ‘making the big bucks’ but I would say we are very blessed and we have the ability to pay for what we need every month. that’s the thing though. we live basically month to month. sure we have a savings, but it’s not something we want to take out of for every. little. expense.
Nash and I are a good team and we each take turns doing various ‘jobs’ around the house .. typically I do laundry (because it’s time consuming and I’m home in the day) but if there is a bin of clean clothes – he folds them and puts them away without being asked. I make a lot of crockpot meals or we cook together when he’s home.
we talk about what needs to be done during the week and we understand each others’ wants and make goals to have the ‘not fun things’ done so we CAN have some fun after! we reward ourselves with a little treat or an outing somewhere!
I don’t have a set day that I do things for organizing or cleaning, but each week I will make a list of things I WANT to get done and if I can check off about 3 of those things each day then I’m happy! and I go throughout the week and check off the rest.
Navi is turning four this fall and so some of the activities we do together involve her learning letters, numbers and we practice spelling and make things with play doh, paint, do puzzles, and play imagination games with toys. we involve Indie as much as we can in playing, and often read books together. I have them both help with chores and they’re at ages where they really enjoy it. Indie (even at 1 year) loves helping unload the dishwasher and she has a blast picking up toys, and throwing things in the garbage. I have the girls participate in tasks that are age appropriate and we often make games out of cleaning.
KEEP COSTS LOW
here’s what we DO or DO NOT have in our life to help with cost.
we do not have cable, dish network or other types of TV. we use Netflix and Hulu because they’re cheaper.
we do not go out to eat super often, if we do – we usually go to Wendy’s and get the 4 for $4! and we can feed our family for about $12.
I do shop for groceries online. I do this because I can apply my online coupons, and buy what I NEED. I don’t get distracted by ‘sales’ or what ‘looks good’ when I’m hungry/shopping for groceries in the store. we try to buy groceries about two to three times a month and I try hard to keep the total around $100 each time I shop. I haven’t been really strict on keeping receipts so I’m not entirely sure what we spend on food in a month but I REALLY try hard to keep it low. we make meals that give us leftovers, so my husband can take them to work for lunch.
I shop at the dollar store as much as I can for things around the house (storage containers/plates/cups/hand soap/holiday decor/cards/kids activities/beauty supplies .. nail polish remover, cotton balls, etc.) I seriously save so much money by shopping here!
we don’t drink soda. lol this sounds funny, but pop can be expensive and if you’re buying a few $1 sodas a day outside the home – that really adds up too.
we don’t belong to any clubs, gyms or places with memberships. eventually we’d love to go to the gym – but for now with little ones, it’s not practical with our schedule.
I skip out on having false eyelashes, nails done, salon visits .. it’s hard because as much fun as those things are – the upkeep is REAL and the cost can really add up. at this point in time it’s just not in my ‘budget’ to have those things. I prioritize others things instead (I’d rather get a new outfit than have eyelash extensions) etc. I get my hair colored every 3-5 months and that’s what I do for my beauty routine.
my husband actually has TWO jobs, and he’s out of town sometimes because of this second job. (we’re working hard to pay off a few things so we can be DEBT FREE, and he’ll quit this job)
we pay off EVERY credit card that has an interest amount in one month. we don’t let interest build up on our cards. we are VERY careful about spending and no matter the amount – we pay it off.
okay here’s the thing too – while I do ‘stay at home’ and I’m a ‘mom’ – I do work. BLOGGING is my job.
I actually PAY BILLS and earn an income from what I post on my social media and website. not EVERY post is sponsored – but I do get a few paid gigs a month (and for that I’m SO grateful). I don’t know if a lot of people know that, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share the WHY behind what goes into creating the posts I share.
I have a love for fashion. I have so much fun putting together outfits and shopping (one day I’d love to be a personal stylist!) and so blogging and sharing that became so natural for me. I started in 2013.
I reach out to companies, spend hours emailing, negotiating and creating content for my blog and social media channels. I work with other bloggers and learn from them. I go to events and classes to learn how to build my ‘business’ because really THIS is a business. some companies contact me, I work with various networks to help find brands to collaborate with. my husband and sometimes my family members (brothers, mom, sister, and even my tripod) are my photographers. I edit all my own pictures and video content.
I wake up early so I can work on my blog and work little bits throughout the day and during nap time so I can focus on my kids when they’re awake. I work on the weekends, I work on holidays, I work MORE than if I had a ‘full time’ or ‘part time’ job that I could clock in and out of.
BUT this is what I love. I enjoy sharing with you. I have fun using my creativity and trying new products, talking about fashion and beauty, showing little bits of my day as a mom and relating to YOU. I’m so grateful for you and the relationships we’ve built through social media.
it’s become quite saturated over the past couple years, and while social media is growing – there is a HIGH percentage of ‘style bloggers’ out there. that’s why I need your support. if you’re following me, WHY do you ‘follow’? if you don’t actually ‘like’ (tap the heart on IG) what I’m putting out there – why do you ‘follow’? every comment, every like, every message shows me that what I’m creating is of value to you – and that you support me. you have no idea how much it means when you reach out or mention me in some way – I get so excited because SOMEONE cares! someone besides my mom, dad and husband is actually excited about something I created. something I envisioned. something I spent hours planning, prepping, crafting, shooting, editing, writing … it all takes SO much work.
so thank you for those of you that do support me … by liking, commenting, clicking on my posts, sharing my work, buying from my links … it all adds up and it all allows me to do ‘this blogging thing’ as a source of income for my family. it also helps me know that as I’m using my creativity and knowledge – that you’re benefiting and that you’re enjoying the content I’m putting out there!