Writers Block. How do you move past it?

I have started and erased this post probably 10 times today because I have thought they were all shit. Today I admit my confidence is not where I want it to be. Tomorrow will be a better day. I don’t want to break a promise I made about trying to write more. Today I am drained, tried, cranky and just can’t.

How do you write through your writers block? How do you push your creative envelop when it feels dry? What do you do when you feel like you are trapped with life?

Today readers, I am asking you … I’d love to chat about creative block, life blocks and shaking things up …

Lets go …..

 

XOXO,

C

 

 

Hustlin’

I picked up an extra shift today and while I normally don’t work Saturdays I am working tonight and this song is in my head:

 

Everyday I’m hustling. Because every day I do – expect Saturdays, when I sleep.

It is no secret that I have 2 jobs. 1 full time job working as a CAD monkey making floorplans for trade show company here in Edmonton and one part time side hustle with the siren at Starbucks. I work anywhere from 53-60 hours a week. This depends on the week, my level of exhaustion and my ability to work with the public (cuz let’s be real yo, lots of bitches be drinking skinny vanilla lattes!). Sometimes I find the more busy I am the more shit I accomplish. And, there is a lot of truth to the simple reality that if you are always at work its hard to spend your money. I am lucky that there are some super duper cool people at both my jobs and that the jobs work well for scheduling my life.

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The secret to surviving while working this much & to staying human: I take the same one day off, every week and do not work! That is my Carol day. It is needed and earned and Jesus fuck a girl needs her sleep, and to get shit done, be social and just be.

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Pros & Cons of the Starbucks Side hustle:

  • if I want extra hours I can usually get them at my store or from any other Starbucks in the Edmonton area
  • Usually it is easy to get rid of a shift or book off time if I am feeling like I need a normal weekend (by that I mean 2 days) or I need a break
  • My income from that job varies but is anywhere from $400 – $1000/month working anywhere from 12-20 hrs a week!
  • I have worked on and off for Starbucks from a long time, it’s routine, it’s easy and – hell moonlighting as a Barista gives you lots of opportunity to meet pretty interesting people
  • Sometimes I get super exhausted and Friday night is literally me, tea and documentaries if I can actually stay awake long enough to get through it
  • The perk of 1lb of free coffee or one box of tea every friggin’ week!
  • Pretty decent employee discount when I want new go cups for my ever growing collection AND partner shopping days
  • Working with young people keeps me young
  • Two jobs can be soul sucking because you are working or you are sleeping
  • It eats up social time, gym time, life time, dating time, finding a husband time etc
  • It eats up my writing time
  • People sometimes talk to you like you are a sack of shit and uneducated and stupid and it makes me want to scream in their face  because lets be real – you aren’t drinking Starbucks on the daily if you are on any kind of debt repayment plan – that shit is expensive!

I think there are tonnes of things you can do for a side hustle. It is my opinion that a second income stream is likely your best bet. I was reading on Budgets are Sexy yesterday an entire post about all the different things you can do as a side hustle. I have some research to do to get to the next level.

With that friends, it is Saturday early afternoon, I am drinking my coffee while I write this, I have eaten,  tindered, I washed and cleaned my kitchen is preparation for meal prepping tonight, I powered through writing this blog post, I just need to get dressed, get my myself funky and get myself to work.

That’s how we do it in my world – thank Zeus for free caffeine!

xoxo,

C

 

 

1 Step Back, 5 Steps Forward!

Confession: I had a slip up and bought things that I shouldn’t have …

Gawddamn!!

Here is what happened:

I made a budget. I schooled that bitch. I went super fucking old school and started writing everything I spend in this notebook (note: notebooks should be on my no-buy because I have a back stock of journals – that can be for a no-buy amendment). It is pretty detailed. By day, by receipt, a full week spread. At the end of the week it is totaled into categories so I can accurately track my spending. Last week I made a list of everything I pay for each month included bank fees, CraveTV etc  … It is everything,  everything that leaves my account – I went as indepth as I could and I actually adjusted it for a few days because I kept being reminded of things to add. Then I listed my paydays, 4 per month, the amount they are and then assigned certain bill payments to each pay day. Leaving me with x amount of money for food and entertainment. Pretty basic stuff. But I needed to make sure I have money for food, entertainment – random spending.

Anyway – Tuesday came. Payday #1 on the new plan. This pay period I had a couple of sick days, so it wasn’t a full payday. My work also didn’t pay me for a chunk of December so I got behind with some student loan payments. Already the budget is going to be tight because my payday is a bit less and I need to squeak in an extra National Student Loan payment (the big one).  I have to try and catch up so that when I go to apply for interest relief I get approved again. I digress. I paid all the bills aligned for this pay period. Most of my payday was eaten up. Right on track, right?! Then Tuesday night I had to go and run some errands including a doctor’s appointment. The clinic ended up being closed so I went onto my next errand. Lush. And, friends, this is where I came unglued. I went in for face lotion which I actually ran out of – it was on my errand list, buuuuuut 75$ later and a new body wash in tow I was headed to the bookstore. Thank fuck I stopped myself before a book buying bender. Then to top it all off last night when I was working we got this new pretty coral mug in stock and I was like – I must have it & I bought it. Jesus motherfucking Mary of spending breakdowns and its only week one … this shit is gonna be a challenge!

Truth, I can’t even make this self sabotage up!

I thought I would share my lessons here:

  1. I realize that when I work a lot sometimes I feel like I have earned things. Because I don’t go out that much I feel like I  am allowed to treat myself to other things. Mugs, lotions, thrifting, ebooks  … things. I need to get better at doing other things. Cue pinteresting a million list of things you can do that don’t cost money!
  2. Just because I slipped up doesn’t mean I have screwed myself over, this is a learning process and we all fuck up.
  3. I am thankful my freezer is full because my grocery budget is pretty tight for the next week. One slip up shouldn’t derail EVERYTHING in my budget.
  4. Always shop with a fucking list & only buy what is on the gawd damn list.
  5. I am going to need to continue to buy things I like from time to time because when I give myself a hard no, that’s when I fall off the bandwagon. It’s like when you tell yourself you’re on a diet then eat an entire container of cashew ice cream! New thought: I chose to spend my money on debt repayment.

 

How do you curb your spending? Tips or Tricks – let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

C

The No-Buy Rules.

It is getting real, Friends. I made a budget. It still has some generous vague spending areas but we all need to start somewhere. It is a work in progress.

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Note **  I foolishly thought I could discuss financial stuff with people. I have realized that some people are judgmental fucks and fail to appreciate others peoples success. I appreciate all of my friends and family and am incredibly excited for those that have seen heaps of financial success in their lives – I am even more proud of the people that started with less and ended up with more. Your success has blood, sweat and tears and is well deserved.  Go you! **

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I am super excited that I am following through on one of the many many many steps to personal financial success. In the spirit of trimming my expenses I have decided to make a NO-BUY official with rules and all. Mostly this serves as … accountability!

 The Rules:

Well the fact is there is really only one rule and it is don’t buy shit you don’t need but I feel like I need to write out all the pesky details so I have a point of reference.

  1. Shower Gels and Soap. I currently have 5 body washes open in my shower & 3 massive bars of soap under my sink. I think that should suffice for the better part of this year.
  2. Body Lotion. If you saw my post in Instagram on Sunday you know I got a stack of lotions to get through 8 or 9 if you count my purse and work desk.
  3. Makeup – unless I run out of a certain item then it can be replaced (ie; mascara & foundation or powder) ***just because I want to tighten up my budget does not mean I want to look like a haggard piece of shit all the time with gross skin and dirty hair. I will buy makeup when I run out.
  4. Tea or Coffee (since my part time job allows me a free lb of coffee or box of tea/week I am more than sorted here)
  5. Clothing. Unless by the grace of gawd I figure out this weight loss thing & need smaller clothes 🙂 Also unless it is something that I actually need.  Also shopping second hand for things that can be purchased second hand (Not related but have you watched “True Cost” – you should)
  6. Nail Polish. I love me some painted toe nails, all seasons, all the time.
  7. BOOKS (& magazines) – a) I should probably get a library card seeing as there is a EPL right across the street from my apartment & b) I have an entire library of books to read this year that are sitting on a shelf looking pretty in my home.
  8. eBooks from YouTubers – and I can also stop calling it research for my own eBook just stop buying things from YouTubers.

 

So there you have it, the first draft of the no-buy. This will likely change – if you have suggestions for this or things that you don’t buy anymore that I should consider for my list – leave me a note below!

xoxo,

C

 

PAUSE.

Since sometime before my trip to Iceland in early November I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with everything in my life. Not in a ‘I quit and want to run away’ kind of way but in a growing, learning, need to restructure kind of way. Now as we roll into the festive season I have come down with one of those gnarly head colds that takes over your life. The kind that makes socializing seem entirely impossible and makes you want to stand in a hot shower for hours on end. I am that kind of sick. It has been making me feel like I need to take a big step back from all the jobs, blogs, vlogs and such and just reevaluate where I want to put all my time.

I need a pause.

Yesterday I was reading some online bloggery about goals and time management and how we can only feasibly work on so many big projects a year. We need to pick the most important ones and  make a master plan of monthly goals, weekly goals and daily goals in order to achieve success for the year.  My problem is that I have too many project on the go and they all mean the world to me, I want to be perfect at all of them. See success in all of them – how is one supposed to really just pick 2 things. Right?!

2016 or 2017 goals, reflections – all that crazy jazz you “supposed” to think about this time of year… Being sick and the end of the year – it is just making me think I need a gawd damn break. I have been working full tilt since I move to Edmonton. 2 jobs, plus creative outlets, conventions and then stressing that I have no time for anything else. I think this time of year you just need to hit pause, see how far you have come, what you can do to make things better, what you need to weed out, who you might need to weed out and just focus on all the amazing accomplishments you make in your life. Pause isn’t a bad thing. Pause is just a time to reflect so moving forward can be more successful, more brilliant and more of exactly what you want.

I am saying that even through I am working straight through Christmas this year, I am sick as a dog and am at my full time job because I need to money to pay my rent and bills. I write this from my work office desk, on a full blown dayquil binge, and after 32oz of caffeine … thinking to myself, why have I extended myself so bad that I need to work when I am so sick. I am learning I need to be better at hitting pause and taking care of myself. I need to stop feeling guilty for not doing things and living up to unreasonable expectations I put on myself. I am writing this because I think there are a lot of people out there that forget to give themselves a break. Forget who they are in the blanket of hurry, and money and bills and life – when we all just need a moment to chill the fuck out, be thankful and be gawddamn grateful for everyone in our lives.

So this is me telling you this Holiday season –  to remember to take a moment to pause and reflect and realize that your are a bomb ass person who is achieving your goals. You are awesome. And even Awesome people need a break sometimes.

2AM YouTube Lesson

Yesterday night in my haze of 2 am YouTube watching I stumbled onto some minimalist wardrobe videos. I am clearly already hooked.  I was watching one of Sarah Nourse’s videos when she said something that resonated with me at my core. The premise was simple. Her and her husband were getting into minimalism. They had downsized and sold a bunch of things for their apartment that they were not using and had money to go thrifting for a new wardrobe. What she said stuck …

She was trying to re-brand herself by only buying a certain type of clothing in a certain aesthetic for her wardrobe. 

Black, Grey or Navy attire.

Done.

It is so simple yet so so refreshing.  I’m sold.

And that was it friends, it was in that moment at 2:45 AM that I started thinking about my closet and the things that are in it. I immediately started thinking about things that have been hanging in there for awhile that I just don’t reach for anymore or clothing that I purchased 6 months ago and haven’t worn yet. And I started thinking about what is in my closet and realized that it is time for another donation. Just in time for the holidays. In my rush for work this morning I grabbed two eyesores and dropped them in the bin with the 3 pairs of shoes that were already there.

YouTube had me thinking about minimalism and trying to create a simple yet effective life with all the things I want – I want to focus more on the fun and travel and creative stuff  and less on the things that just don’t matter. For the first time in a really really long time I feel like I am moving in the right direction.

And Breathe.

 

Next.

There are moments. Pensive moments. They happen often enough where I get into this reflective state and truly wonder if my decision to set up camp longer term in Edmonton was a wise one.  I mean I don’t mind Edmonton. There are moments where it is kind of pretty.  The weather is generally okay. You know Prairie winters and all. The city is just seedy enough and the people are just struggling enough that I don’t feel super marginalized.  There is an international airport. I work more than I should, I sleep more than I should. I am tried a lot. A whole lot of my free time goes into my obsession with eating vegan food as much as possible. And hopefully figuring out this weight loss thing. Cooking. Meal preping. Trying to figure out this YouTube thing. Sometimes blogging. Really Edmonton isn’t horrible. My Question is though:

When do you throw in the towel and say to yourself  – this, this thing I am doing is not working!

I am not paying off my debt. I am not moving forward. Instead I am standing still trying to keep up. Trying to invest enough to get ahead but not quite enough to be successful. I am slowing putting the building blocks in place to create this thing that I don’t quite understand yet but I know will be a thing.

This last week we had to make some hard decision about our convention. Not quitting just not signing on for things we are not ready for, and moving the date forward. It was a bit of a blow to the forward motion. A bit of a what now? What is next? That coupled with the massive reflective state that comes with travel and I have landed here .. wondering if this job, this city, this place is cultivating happiness and the life I want or is it cultivating frustration and loneliness and an understanding that I am meant to be doing something different, something bigger.

I am really bad for breaking promises I make to myself. In particular the ones that are all about – you know –  taking care of my needs. So I just keep just doing the same things and hoping for the best. And we all know that quote about insanity  … there is nothing worse than a person that constantly complains about their situation and then does absolutely nothing to try and change it. I am not sure I fit into that category. I don’t hate my life. I just want to see debt get paid off faster, all while still keeping my sanity, seeing a successful amount of pounds fall off, get to travel as much as I want and keep on paying all my bills. And a few other things that are less public but just as important. I just am trying to be so much more intentional about the way that I live and the things that I choose and the people I surround myself with – the older I get the easier it is to shut people out and hang out by myself.

So I am just wondering. When is your next?!  Do you reflect in the same way? Do you evaluate what you are doing and tweak it, make changes, look for different opportunities?  When do you say – yup I have been doing this a 6 months, a year, 2 years … and then its not working? What is the time frame for making sure you are seeing the progress you want to see?

When do you throw in your towel?

Get at me in the comment down below – I learn, you learn, we all learn!