Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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Easter Baskets: Not Just For Kids

 

Easter-adults

I got to thinking about the big kids for Easter baskets. I didn’t want to leave out anyone. Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we can’t have an Easter basket too.

Easter basket for us adults can go from the traditional to extravagant and cheap to expensive.

Some of the basket ideas could be used for that teenager or young adult child that you have in your family and you want to do something special for them.

Traditional: I know in my other post for unique baskets don’t fall into this category, but as adults we do enjoy memories of our childhood.

Purchase that traditional basket, fill it with the fake green grass and put all the candy you can fit into the basket. Don’t forget to buy the hollow chocolate Easter bunny, Peeps, and the foil wrapped eggs.

Make a loved one feel special by reminding them of their childhood.

Car Bucket: Go to your local auto store (Auto Zone), Purchase a bucket (to wash the car), car wax, car freshener, Armor All and a tire pressure gauge. Put items in the bucket and you have a unique Easter basket or the new driver in the house or for the car buff.

You can also add Car wash coupons, a gift card to the auto store and a free oil change.

This idea works great a person that owns a boat, motorcycle, ATV…anything with a motor.

Tackle Box: Do you have an avid fisherman in the family? How about a new tackle box with all the fixins’. Fill the tackle box with new line, hooks, and lures, fishing knife, multi-purpose tool and artificial bait.

You can also add a note saying they can chose a day just to go fishing with no complaints from us. Or you can add the note saying you have a planned weekend of nothing but fishing with the family.

Hobby Basket: What’s your loved ones hobby? Whatever the hobby is, use your imagination and find a way to make that into an Easter basket.

Photography: Get a new camera bag, memory cards, a new lens, and storage containers for the photos or equipment.

Darts: new darts, tips, flights, new board. Set up your own home tournament one night and invite all your friends.

Electronic Geek: new cases to store or carry what they need, a new piece of equipment they have been wanting or a gift card to their favorite electron store.

Gardening: New tools, gloves, watering can, seeds, potting soil and pots. Maybe a new work space outside, build a small green house.

Baker/Chef: Cooking/baking lessons would be a great idea, especially if it were for two. New pots/pans, knife set, utensils, new cook book. How about the outdoor chef: fill up the gas tank, clean the grill for them, better yet get a new one and all the accessories.

Sports: If your loved one plays sports then new equipment or clothes would be a great idea. How about a Gym bag to carry everything in. If they like to workout at home, some new weights would be welcomed. Get them a year gym memberships or coupons for the batting cages. Here are some small gift ideas: new golf balls, tees, socks, gloves and towels.

Weekend Get-a-Way: A weekend vacation is a wonderful idea. Spring has sprung and it’s time to get rid of that snow, cold and yucky winter blues. What a better way to rejuvenate then a trip someplace warm.

Plan a romantic trip or just a time to relax and reconnect.

I hope these ideas have helped you celebrate Easter in a different way. It’s time to shake out the cob webs from winter and use our imaginations a little bit. Have fun showing your loved ones how much you do care for them.

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Leaving MY Comfort Zone

Leaving Comfort Zone

 

I have been in customer service most of my life, over 30 years. It’s the only thing I know, or so I think. I am what the world considers uneducated because I do not have a degree.

I am 4? years old and I am at a crossroads for my life. I am single and my 24 year old son lives with me. I have no job, no income at this time and I have decisions to make, very soon.

I really don’t like big changes. I find comfort in a routine that is simple. But, here I am. I realize that this transition I am in is huge. Changes are bound to happen and my simple routines are going to be gone.

When I lost my job of 14 years about 8 months ago, I thought, oh great another crappy thing I have to go through and had a pity party for myself. That lasted about a month. Then I thought ok, this is a great. I am no longer stressing over ‘that’ job, because it turned into bad job and was causing me to be sick the last 3 years.

I thought that this is my one opportunity to take the time and really think things through and figure out what I want/need to do next with my life. I have some money saved up, I can afford to take the time to ‘get myself together’.

Then I thought this is a great time to have a real vacation because I hadn’t had a vacation is over 20 years. So I took off and visited some family, which was fantastic. I loved every minute I was with them. I was relaxed, I laughed, slept great, and had some of the best conversations.

During my vacation time, I got my house organized. I mean really organized. I cleaned out every drawer, closet and room. I even organized my CD collection, got all my photos in order and organized all my paper work. That took me a month or so and it felt wonderful to have the time that we are all missing to actually get some things accomplished.

Since I was a teenager, I thought it would be great to write about something. I sat down and wrote my first book:” How To Plan A Simple Family Reunion”. That felt so good to put pen to paper and I placed it with Amazon to start selling.

I knew it wasn’t going to be a best seller, but nonetheless, it felt great and I was able to mark off something from my bucket list.

I have wanted to start a blog for over a year but never got it started because I didn’t have the time or better yet, too lazy, too scared to do it. After a few months visiting family, friends, writing a book and getting organized I realized I have nothing to do and I am not ready to go back to work because I still don’t know what I want/need.

Since I have the time, I figured this was another opportunity to do something I wanted. After a couple of months researching blogs and coming up with a name, I released the Mother of Necessity blog.

The blog has been running for little over 3 months. I think it’s doing well, especially since I am not a dot com but a dot net. I am harder to find and search for.

I get so much joy from writing the blogs. It’s a challenge sometime to come up with a topic that is not shallow, which I have posted a couple of those just for fun. I love the comments some of my fans have left. I feel like I am contributing to the world in this manner. I love it. Now if I could only find a way to really make a living off this. That’s one of my big questions I have for this journey I am on.

I really have a passion for this kind of outlet. Writing a blog is a great way to reach so many is such a short time. I really want to help. I know if I struggle with the everyday stuff we all have to go through, I can’t be alone. I may not always have the answers but I can try to help.

I guess I still have that customer service in me. I am looking for a new way to be a better customer service representative.

Blogging is my outlet. I get so much happiness writing and it gives me that chance to help others.

It feels so good to write, I wrote a second book: “Making Decisions”. Still knowing that this was not going to be a best seller, but again, it felt great.

So here I am. Trying to find my way. Researching new jobs outside of customer service, researching new avenues to make a living and researching myself and who I am and what I want/need.

I am realizing that my new path is just around the corner and that my comfort zone will soon be a memory. I am excited, challenged and terrified in this journey. I am discovering new things about myself, some I don’t like and others I am blessed to have discovered.

I truly believe that blogging and writing some simple books is part of my journey. I am grateful for all my readers who have decided to tag along in this journey of mine. I am humbled by you (readers/followers) and your comments. You bring me joy and a purpose.

I know this is not my typical blog post, but my heart was telling me to write about my journey.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and if you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment or you can e-mail me at: motherofnecessity1@gmail.com if you don’t want your comment/suggestion to be public.


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Unique Easter Basket Ideas

easter

Are you tired of the same old routine of a traditional Easter basket? Tired of giving your kids candy and you eat all the left overs? Who started this tradition of giving our kids candy and putting it all in a basket that will never be used again…..such a waste of money.

Easter is March 5th, just around the corner and I know you are thinking about what you are going to do for the kids and what’s for dinner and how many are coming. Let me try and take some of the stress for this holiday.

Let’s try some new ideas for Easter baskets.

Movie basket: Get a small storage container (tote) put a little of that fake grass in the bottom and fill it with movie candy, popcorn, their favorite drink and a few movies your kid (you) will watch.

Beach basket: Get a sand/beach bucket, fill it with a beach towel, water bottle (with their name on it), some beach toys, like a small shovel, a blow up beach ball and a card that tells them you will take them to the beach on whatever day. Make sure you keep your promise.

Reader’s basket: For your little reader, an E-reader or buy a few books they will love, a blanket, a book light and put them in a back-pack to carry around.

Music basket: If you have a singer or musician in the family, how about some new sheet music to practice, an i-pod, accessories for the instrument, 3 weeks of singing/playing lessons, tickets to a concert and put everything in a new instrument case or a new personalized bag to carry sheet music.

Faith/religion basket: Sticking with the real reason for Easter, how about a new bible, a piece of jewelry with a cross on it, take them to church, a Christian movie, new clothes to wear to church, have them start attending the youth group in church.

Art basket: Have a little artist in the family? How about some new supplies, colored pencils, chalk, paper, water colors, brushes and put everything in an artist case. Maybe set up a small table in their room that is only for their art.

Sports basket: Get them a new gym bag or sport bag, Get them new equipment, a new baseball glove, socks, shoes, balls, maybe tickets to their favorite sports team for a game.

The idea for the baskets above are to stop thinking about candy and let’s get practical with the things we give our kids.

Find your child’s interest. Your kid can be 1 year old to 16 years old and they all have an interest in something. Cater to that interest, show your support and show them that you love how unique they are.

Use an insulated lunch box, small plastic storage container, personalized bag, or one of those storage cubes instead of a traditional basket. You won’t be wasting your money on a basket that will never be used again.

 

Helpful tip: If you and your kids have colored eggs for Easter, instead of throwing them away, why not make deviled eggs out of them and serve for dinner. Since the eggs are hard boiled why not put them in a salad, or pack them in their lunches.

 

Dinner suggestions: Instead of the traditional Ham, try something new. Maybe a ham steak, especially if you are having a few people for dinner. Maybe spaghetti, who said you had to be traditional? How about pork chops, a beef roast, or lasagna? The point for Easter dinner is to gather around the table and break bread with your loved ones. You don’t have to have the traditional Easter dinner. Just like the baskets, use your imagination and do something different. It will be fun for everyone.


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ABC’s For Storage Units

 storage unitz

 Whether you are moving, downsizing or just need some extra space in your home, a storage unit is a great option.

I have used storage units many times over the years. I have used them to store my full home till I was able to relocate. I have used them for overflow due to living in a very small place and to store seasonal items. I have rented all sizes depending on my need at the time.

I am going to walk you through everything you will need and answer all your questions.

Let’s get started.

Make a list of your packing supplies: boxes, totes, tape, markers, bubble wrap, and twine.

Call around for the right facility for you. Call the facilities to make sure they have a unit available for what you need and when you need it. They can also help you with sizes.

Check on prices, not all facilities are priced the same.

Ask about security and hours you can go to the facility (some have restrictions on when you can be on the premises’).

There are some storage facilities that offer packaging supplies (at a cost to you), like wardrobe boxes, tape, locks and blankets. Some may even rent you a dolly to help with the move.

Ask if they supply pallets for the unit. You don’t want to store your items on a cold/hot cement floor. If they do not supply them you can use 2×4’s and plywood to keep you items off the floor.

Moving Company: If you are using a company, please notify 30-45 days in advance. Make sure you read their contract and check references. Some moving companies will help you pack and supply boxes.

Verify the truck size to make sure the storage facility is able to accommodate the size of the truck. Keep in mind, if the movers have to carry your stuff further then they expected, they can charge you more.

Visit the facility: Ask them to show you the size you are needing, check out the security. This is also a great time to ask any questions you have.

WHAT SIZE OF STORAGE UNIT DO I NEED?

5×5 (25 sq. feet) about the size of a regular closet Personal items, clothes, sports equip., business records, boxes, toys, seasonal items
5×10 (50 sq. ft.) a walk in closet Sofa, chair, boxes, dresser, box springs/mattress, clothes
7.5×10 (75 sq. ft.) a large closet Furniture: Sofa, chairs, bed framer with mattress, boxes, clothes
10×10 (100 sq. ft.) ½ of a one car garage One bedroom apartment with appliances, other furniture, boxes, clothes
10×15 (150 sq. ft.) 2/3 of a one car garage Two-bedroom apartment or house, including appliances, boxes and miscellaneous items
10×20 (200 sq. ft.) standard one car garage Three-bedroom house with major appliances, plus lots of boxes, some outdoor equipment
10×30 (300 sq. ft.) standard 2 car garage Four-to five-bedroom house with major appliances and room for boxes and outdoor equipment

 

  • Not all storage facilities offer the different sizes I have in the above grid.

Prep the unit: Sweep out the unit. Some facilities rely on the previous renter to sweep it out.

Put pallets on the floor. You can use 2×4’s, plywood or a tarp. The idea here is to keep you items off the cold/hot and even wet floor. You want your stuff protected from the elements while in storage. If the unit is outside, it can get super-hot or cold and you don’t want moisture of any kind.

Use freestanding shelves to place items or to organize the unit better. Put your small appliances, box of books, breakables anything you don’t want to stack or have other things stacked on it.

Prep for moving:   Gather all your packing supplies. Label all boxes, totes on all sides. This is to help you or the movers. If you label all sides of the boxes then you know exactly what’s inside.

Clean all appliances, make sure they are dry. Keep refrigerator doors open a little bit to keep from mildew and that yucky smell. Keep doors ajar on washer/dryer and microwave.

I recommend using the Rubbermaid totes or some sort of hard plastic tote to store your valuables in. They have a tight fitting lid and can be stacked securely in the back of the unit so onlookers don’t see the good stuff.

Disassemble your items: such as tables, bed frames, etc. (This will save space.) Wrap and label all pieces for an easier time when you have to reassemble them. Put all hard ware in bags and mark the bags accordingly.

Computers, stereos, things that have numerous cords, place small colored stickers on the cord and the same color sticker where the cord goes. This will save you the hassle of trying to figure out what goes where when it comes time to reassemble your electronics. If possible, use the original boxes to store your electronics and other items. If you do not have the original boxes, this is a great time to use a tote. I suggest laying a bath towel in the bottom to help with moisture. You can store the cords in the same box to help from losing them in the move.

Prevent rust: Use a small amount of machine oil on metal items, such as tools, bikes and equipment.

Wrapping breakables: Use bubble wrap or unprinted paper. After wrapping, tape it up. This way it will help prevent you from thinking that it’s excess paper in the box.

Group similar items together and label box accordingly.

Clothing/Drapes/Curtains: This is when the wardrobe boxes come in handy. The wardrobe boxes helps keeps your clothes protected and keeps your drapes/curtains in shape. You can also store your shoes in the bottom of the box.

Packing the unit: This is like working a puzzle. You want to utilize all the space in your unit. Make a plan as to how you are going to arrange your items. A good plan will save you the time of having to rearrange your unit. Leave an aisle in the center of your unit so that you have a walk way to the back of the unit.

I suggest valuables and large items or items that you know you will not need in the back.

Try not to lean things against the wall especially if they are cinder blocks. The blocks hold moisture. If you have to lean item on the wall place a blanket or towel between the two. This also helps keep the item from scratching.

Protect your items by covering with blankets, bed sheets, or moving pads.

Store mirrors/pictures/paintings: Store them on end, never lay flat. Use blankets or moving pad to protect them. If you lay them flat there is a better chance of them breaking.

Coaches/Chairs: Store couches on end (if possible) this gives you more space in the unit. Stack the chairs seat to seat and you can use the space on the chairs to store smaller items.

When stacking furniture you want to place paper pads or something in between the items so they won’t scratch.

Seasonal clothing: Keep seasonal clothing up front. Especially if you do not know how long you will need the unit. You want your clothes available without having to move everything to find your clothes.

Be sure to keep frequently used items up front. You don’t want to go searching for the things you need.

Things to keep in mind: You want to visit your unit at least once a month. Make sure the lock is still working, check for water damage, heat damage or if your stuff has shifted.

Beware of your surroundings. There are some crazy people out there and I want you safe.

I recommend the insurance. Some outside renter insurance does not cover a storage unit. If you items are worth storing, they are worth insuring.

Get a good lock. I suggest a Master lock that is round. It’s almost impossible to break the lock.

NOT TO DO: Do not store food. You don’t want rodents in the unit.

Don’t store paint, oil, cleaning supplies or gasoline

Don’t use plastic to cover your items, it retains moisture.

Don’t over pack your boxes where they are too heavy to carry.

Don’t stack heavy boxes on lighter ones, it will make them collapse and maybe fall over and break something.

I hope this has helped you. Let me know how it worked out.


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Still Worrying About Worrying?

Worry

 

I wanted to come back to this topic because I know there are so many of us that worry way too much. I want to try and help ourselves worry less. I realize that most of will still worry about our kids, money, well you know the big things. Maybe, just maybe we can worry less with a few tips or tricks.

We have convinced ourselves that worrying helps. We think if I can find a solution then I will stop worrying. We tell ourselves that we don’t want to overlook anything or be surprised and I want to be a responsible adult.

All of these things lead to worrying. We can’t sleep, or when we try to sleep we can’t shut off our brains. Then we start to have negative thoughts. These actions make us go in circles. When we worry, we become negative and being negative makes us worry. This is not a healthy way to live my friends.

I have a few things that I have been doing to help myself worry less. So far, so good. Hopefully by sharing these ideas, they will help you too.

DO SOMETHING: When you find yourself being tortured over something, stop thinking and do something. Go to your to-do list and start checking things off, get some chores done, exercise. If we do something that has a physical action we tend to think about the action we are doing and not worry.

I have been practicing this one for a while. When I find myself fretting over something, I make myself do something, I clean the kitchen, do laundry, finish a craft project or just go take a walk.

SMASH THE WORRY IN THE MOUTH: I don’t meant that literally. If there is a problem that can be resolved, then get to it. Smash that problem with a big hammer and move on. Stop worrying and get rid of the problem. Facing things head on takes some courage. Lace up them boots and be fearless.

This one is getting easier for me. I am a big chicken and I hope/pray/worry that the problem will just go away on its own. Well, it doesn’t work that way. The ball is in my court and I get the privilege of smashing the ball over the fence. That feels real good, when I am in control and solve my own problems.

ASK FOR SUPPORT: Talk to your friends and family. They will have a different perspective and can give you some great insight. I know for myself, if I just say the words out loud to someone then my worry is less.

LISTEN TO MUSIC: I love music, but I don’t listen enough. When I see that I am worrying, I plug in some digital music and just listen. Sometimes I sing along. Here’s the fun part. When I listen to music it gives me energy, I am able to get more work done and it relaxes me.

Music is a wonderful thing and I have to remind myself that I love music and I should make sure that I get my music anytime I can.

WRITE IT DOWN: One of my aunts told me when I was a kid to write down my bad thoughts. I hadn’t practice that in a long time, but I am doing it now. I have a worry journal.

Just like keeping a blessing journal, it works the same way. The big difference is, when I am done worrying, I take that sheet of paper and either burn it or shred it. This works great for me because it allows my brain to know that the problem is done and I have no need for it anymore and it’s gone….literally.

If you keep a Blessing Journal, go back a read your blessings, this relaxes me too and takes some of the worry away.

HOPE FOR THE BEST-PREPARE FOR THE WORST: This is an old saying but it does ring true. This one is hard for me. I have no problem preparing for the worst, it’s that ‘hope for the best’ part that gets me.

Having hope can be hard for a worrier. Hope has no action, it’s just positive thinking. Yep, that’s right, it’s time to start thinking a little bit more positive towards our problems and life in general. The funny thing is, where there is hope there is positive thinking. They go hand in hand.

Preparing for the worst is the easy part for most of us. When we worry, we tend to think about the worst possible outcome. Here’s the hard part, accepting and I really mean, accepting the worst. If we truly accept the worst then we can take action to improve upon the worst.

Worrying doesn’t do any good in the long run, it only hurts us. Let’s practice a few if not all of the suggestions above and become a little bit more relaxed and worry less.

I would love to hear from you. Please let me know what worked for you.


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It’s A Family Thing

Are you ready for another great idea to use Peanut Butter? I have the perfect treat for breakfast or dinner.

This treat has been passed down through four generations in my family and it continues to grow. Most of my family have Peanut Butter as a staple in our homes.

It’s real simple to make. Here are the ingredients you will need.

  1. Frozen or home made pancakes. I use frozen because I am lazy and there’s no mess to clean up. You can make your pancakes from scratch, if you want.
  2. Jar of Peanut Butter. It can be any brand. It can be creamy or chunky. I prefer creamy.
  3. Syrup: Of your choice. Just plain maple syrup is best. I do not recommend any flavored syrups like blueberry. It will ruin the flavor.

Directions:

Make your pancakes. I am not going to give a recipe for homemade pancakes. There are so many out there or can buy the quick mixes at your local grocery store. In my case, I microwave my frozen pancakes.

 

Place on plate.

Plain pancake

Slather Peanut Butter on pancake. No need to real butter. If you are having a stack of cakes, slather Peanut Butter on each cake. If you are like me, I put a healthy portion on the cake. If you are first-timer you can use less, if you are scared.

Pancake w/peanut butter

Pour syrup on Pancake. I recommend using a little more then you usually do because the Peanut Butter needs it. You can also heat up the syrup if you want. It helps the Peanut Butter melt.

Pancake with PB

Take a bite and enjoy the gooey goodness.

Pancake w/PB & syrup

Now that you think I have lost my mind. Please give it a try. It’s sweet, gooey and yummy. All the ingredients complement each other nicely. It’s like they were meant to be together.

My kid won’t eat a pancake unless it has Peanut Butter on it. It’s the same way with my nieces, nephews and cousins.

You can have this treat all by itself or a meal. Add an egg and some bacon/sausage with a glass of milk and you have a great dinner. The kids will love you for this treat.

I still have this as a splurge. It brings back so many memories as a kid. Now whenever I go out to eat and I order pancakes, I ask the wait staff if they have Peanut butter. Most of the time it’s a “No” but I always get….May I ask why you wanted Peanut Butter. Then I am a happy camper. I get to share my family treat with another person.

Give it a try and please share your responses with me. I would love to know what you think.


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Making Lists

 

Now this is a topic I love. My family thinks I am just a little crazy because of all the lists I make/keep and they say I am addicted to being organized. Well, they’re probably right. I do love my lists and I do get a little goofy grin on my face when I am organizing my stuff or someone else’s things.

I make a list for almost everything. When I go grocery shopping, I have a list. When I have errands to run, I have a list. If I travel, I have a list and carry a pen/paper with me. I even have a list for everyday chores I need to get done.

I really enjoy checking things off my to-do lists. I feel like I am accomplishing my goal and it drives me to keep going. Lists are great reminders for me too. I can get side tracked easily and the lists helps me stay focused.

Here are a few examples where making a list will help.Check List

PRIORITIZE: Prioritizing is a great method of list making you can use to be assured that the most important things will get done first. It allows you to give your full attention and energy.

I suggest that with this type of list, you write down the items that have the highest priority first to the least important to the end. This way you can go straight down the list without having to shuffle things around. Do the items at the top and work your way down.

This type of list can be used for almost anything: business chores, household chores, kids’ activities, weekend chores, vacations, and husband’s to-do. A prioritizing list can be used for the day/week/month and yearly list that you want to accomplish.

I like this type of list because it allows me to see what is important, it helps me stay focused, and the list helps me save time and sometimes money.

GROCERY: I never leave home without my grocery list. This list is simple and most people already use this method for shopping.

The reason I love a grocery/shopping list is, it saves me money. I make my list at home by going through my cabinets, freezer, fridge and each room. This way I know I am making a list of things I need. I only buy what’s on the list. If the item is not on the list I don’t buy it. I can add it to the next time I go shopping if I really need it.

To help with saving money, I sometimes make up a menu for the week and only buy the items for the menu. Great way to save some money and by knowing what your meals are for the week, it takes out the stress of cooking for the week because you already know what you are having.

CHORES: When we think of chores, we think of children. That’s not the case here, even though a chore list works for the kids too. But let’s talk about big kid chores. The things we have to get done, whether it be going to the store, cleaning, organizing, toting the kids from activity to activity or just the simple errands we do every day.

Making a chore list is a great way to remind us of the things we need to get done for the day or week. It can save us time, energy and money because we are not back tracking or adding to the next day of chores that have to be done.

I know you are thinking I don’t need a chore list. I do the same thing every day and I don’t need a list to tell me what is next. You may be right, but what about that one day where everything is turned upside down for some reason? Or, if like me, my memory is shot for the day? Do you have a back-up plan to help yourself out? Just giving you something to think about.

IDEAS: Making a list of your brilliant and not so brilliant ideas is good too. How do you think I come up with these posts? I may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but at least I’m in the box. We all have ideas of things we want for our future or ideas about decorating the house, or ideas of the next best thing. I too have a list, mine is a list of ideas I want to explore or write about.

We may not achieve everything off the list but it’s great to have dreams and just go for it. I really like this list. I can go back to it every day to remember an idea I want to make a post out of or to add to my lists of ideas.

Remember, there are no bad ideas and anything is possible.

Making a list takes less than 5 minutes of your time. In my opinion there’s no reason not to have a list of some sort. It’s one of the simplest ways to help yourself. A list can save you time, energy, money and maybe make you some money too.

Start making your lists today. Let me know how making a list has helped you.