After you look past the comfy clothes and messy bun, what does working from home mean? For me, working from home is a privilege, and for my family, it's a necessity.
When I was living in Boston and working fringe theatre, my 9-5 meant I could pay my bills. But, my life was very compartmentalized. My job was just a paycheck, and I was working my passion like a hobby. I could have shown up to the office and to rehearsal with my best but, in reality, I held myself back from doing either really well. (Psst, pro tip: whatever you do, do it well.)
When I remarried and we started a family right away, I became a stay-at-home mom. Still the most important and toughest job I will ever have. In between sons two and three, I started my own virtual assistant business. I figured, why not, that's what I was doing before and it went pretty well. Well, it went pretty well until my clients wanted more of my time. I decided that line of work was not what lit a fire within me. And, with son number three on the way, there was no way I was going to stay up late to edit PowerPoint slides...
"Be who God meant meant you to be and you will
set the world on fire."
-St. Catherine of Siena
I finally decided I needed to prioritize a creative project I had been pushing aside - a one-woman, faith based show. One day as I sat spoon feeding our youngest and reading the bleak headlines, I thought, there is a lot in this world that is going to get worse before it gets better. I need to make a difference and I need to love what I do. Once I made this commitment, many things I had been struggling with fell into place. But I still had no idea how I would fund my start-up costs.
And, that's when I lost my makeup bag and our oldest couldn't stop scratching. Last place I saw my makeup bag was in the car on our way to church. And, I had narrowed down our son's constant scratching to our laundry detergent. I thought I would DIY-it, but really, was I going to make my own laundry detergent? NO.
A few days later, a fellow mama friend visited and helped me read our children's sunscreen label. Well, that was an eye opener because I thought we were using the good stuff. Then, another few days later, a friend invited me to an event where I learned more about these products and the toxic issue.
I figured someone was trying to tell me something, and, honestly I felt like His timing was pretty bad. We had our house on the market and my father just had surgery to remove part of one lung due to lung cancer. But, let's face it, if we all waited around for the perfect time to start something new, we'd miss out on a lot! Yes, there was a lot going on but I had a need, a few actually, relief for my son, clean makeup, and a chance to earn some money to help fund my creative work. So, I said yes to starting my own business.
I never thought I would be a work-at-home mom. I never thought I would work in direct sales. I never thought I'd grow as much as I have building a business from my home. And, I get to use all my talents and strengths - together. I'm not compartmentalizing my life as before. I can create my own schedule to make room for my creative passions, which I can also use in my job. I can write, create a video, plan a special event, and make a difference helping other families like mine.
I did not choose the easy path, but I feel so fortunate to do what I do. There will always be someone out there giving my industry a bad name, just as there will always be someone out there using this industry to build their best life. I've learned to tune out the doubters and build my best life.
What would working from home mean to you?
I remember on a weekend getaway to New York state with my then fiancee, now husband, we stopped at lavender farm. We could smell it before we could see it. If you've checked into the Liz Lounge, you know I love a good cuppa tea so I picked up a jar of lavender infused honey while I was there. I don't mean sprigs of lavender in the jar, I mean these bees worked hard to take care of their lavender farm and the honey they produced was out of this world!
I also picked up a bunch of dried lavender. I would later add a sprig to each one of our hand-made wedding invitations. I always have fond memories when I see the little purple buds. I never thought I would later share this beautiful flower in my daily work...
Lavender is a popular scent. It's versatile and blends well with other oils, such as frankincense and lemon. It can aid in relaxation and even help to keep a clean home. Here are some uses for lavender essential oil.
• Relaxation: add 1 – 2 drops to Jojoba oil and apply to temples and bottoms of feet before bed. For extra relaxation, add a few drops to Epsom salts and then add to a bath.
• Skin soothing: add 1-2 drops to Jojoba oil and apply to burns and scrapes.
• Calm surroundings: in your home, bring water to a boil, then remove from heat. Next add 1-2 drops to the water and diffuse for 15 minutes.
• Supple skin: add 1-2 drops of Jojoba oil and massage into your skin before bedtime.
• Odor eliminator: add 1-2 drops to a cotton ball and place in trash can.
As I write this, it's freezing outside and I can actually feel the warmth of this photo! It's only February but I'm ready for the scents and pops of color of spring. If you could use a dose of lavender too, maybe one of these beauties will lift your spirits.
I see them everywhere. The vats of goopy electric green or blue sanitizers perched on desks, by cash registers, and in my doctor's office. Or the little mini bottles clipped to backpacks or purses. I get it; we want to protect ourselves on the go but are we really?
Have you ever wondered what you are slathering all over your hands every day, multiple times a day? Are your hands getting dry because it's that season or is something else contributing? Next time you reach for hand sanitizer, check the label.
First, are the ingredients listed on the back of the product? Second, do you even know what the ingredients are? Here are some ingredients to avoid:
Alcohol, there are those that cause dryness, such as ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denat, methanol and Benzyl Alcohol, and others that are fatty and emoillant such as Cetearyl and Stearyl. If only the word "alcohol" is listed on the label, I suggest looking at another product.
Triclosan is an active ingredient in many "anti-bacterial" products and is registered with the government as a pesticide. It is a known endocrine disruptor. The endocrine system regulates all the biological processes in the body so why would we want to "disrupt" it? Oh, and it could be lurking in your toothpaste too, yes, that stuff you put in your mouth twice a day, so keep an eye out.
Methylisothiazolinone (M1) is a powerful biocide "preservative" used to kill off microorganisms, giving products a longer shelf life. This chemical may be linked to nerve damage. It's widely used in leave-on products though it's known to be sensitizing. The American Contact Dermatitis Society named M1 it's Allergan of the Year in 2013.
You can get your copy of ingredients to avoid in your personal and home care products here.
The easiest way to avoid these toxic hand sanitizers is to wash your hands with soap and water. But for those times when you can't, or you're not sure what's in your hand soap, try Pure Haven's hands on the go. It's 100% toxin-free. It is aloe based, so it also helps to nourish and hydrate your skin. With benefical organic essential oils such as lemon, tea tree, neem and clove bud, which are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, you can safely fight germs at work, school, or the gym.
For your safe (and free) hands on the go here.
Wife, boymom, and lifestyle consultant. I empower families to live the healthiest lifestyle possible. I leaped from executive assistant to stay at home mom to running my own business. I love what I do and want to lead you to health and wealth.