Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Love: Keeping in Touch

One cornerstone of maintaining any solid relationship is communication.

Long distance/camp relationships are no different.

Here's how we stay in touch when Mike's on shift and he's an hour ahead:

1. Emails

Mike sends me a daily email to wake up to each day. (I know, I'm lucky to have such a romantic!) If your guy isn't much of a morning person try sending him one before you head to bed. He'll love knowing you're thinking of him every night and he'll probably reply so you can wake up to one too.

2. Texts

No brainer here. Get a good text plan for both of you and get chatting! Just remember the guys aren't supposed to be using their phones when they're working so find out when his break is and keep it free so you can chat. If you do text him when he's working or at the gym don't expect a quick reply ;)

3. Couple App

Mike and I love this app… you can send messages, images, videos, draw pictures for each other… all without ANY danger of your cell company mixing things up and sending pictures to another number by mistake (it's happened to me!). Also you can "thumb kiss" each other where you each hold your thumb to the touch screen at the same time and it vibrates. Silly but kind cool. It's like Instant Messenger but between you two ONLY.

Also it has an anniversary/birthday reminder setting so neither of you can forget those important dates ;)

4. Skype/Facetime

Your guy will need a good wifi/internet connection to make this work but most camps do provide this. We have a nightly FaceTime date where we catch up face to face and even watch Netflix together. Even if we're busy and can only manage a 5 minute call we still make the effort. Especially when you have kids involved this is an essential tool to stay connected.

Did you know? Two people can watch the same Netflix account at the same time! Mike and I pick an episode of our favourite TV show (right now: Brooklyn 99), line it up then countdown so we start at the same time. We both watch the episode with our FaceTime running so we're watching it together even though he's in another province!

5. Phone Calls

If your guy is out in the middle of nowhere or has very bad internet signal then things like Skype and FaceTime are nearly impossible. In these cases a nightly phone call is essential. The next best thing to seeing each other is hearing each others' voices.

TIP: Some cell phones have a "wifi hotspot" capability - get a good data plan on his phone and use it to get a quick skype/facetime call in!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Life: Organising the Cleaning

Ok I'll admit it… I hate chores.

I despise doing dishes.
Sweeping the floor frustrates me (when I can't get every last speck of dust).
Discovering what used to be something in the fridge grosses me out.

BUT Chores have to be done and if you're on your own (or have kids who aren't old enough to help yet) you have to find a good strategy that works for you.

After a lot of pinning over on Pinterest about different cleaning solutions but I discovered Fly Lady.

I loved her idea of morning, afternoon and evening routines, focusing on zones and dealing with it 15 minutes at a time.

But I found her site confusing and there was too much in my house that needed attention for me to ignore until it was that time of the week/month.

SO I came up with an alternative Fly Lady inspired routine:

Daily Routines

Weekly/Monthly/Yearly Routines

To kick things off I spent a day organizing, cleaning and getting my house up to scratch.
I organized my freezer, cupboards, washed appliances and generally caught up so my house looked the way I wanted it to all the time.

THEN I kicked the routine into gear.

I chose to put most of my 'evening' chores into my afternoon as I tend to have more time and energy before I head to work in the late afternoon/evening. I never have any energy in the evening so I cut that down to the bare basics. Mornings I generally have lots of time to squeeze things in.

Inspired to create your perfect cleaning schedule? Here are my tips:

1. Decide what chores need to be done in  your household on a regular basis
2. Prioritise them into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
3. Split your daily chores into blocks that will work with your routine, test them out and see how they best fit.
4. Do the same with your weekly/monthly/yearly chores.
5. Kick start your system! Give yourself a day to do a thorough clean (or as best as you can) and get your house how you want it to look.
6. Put your schedule up so it reminds you and everyone in your household what needs to be done and when.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Love: Out of the Box Date Night Idea

You and your hubby have finally found the time to schedule in a regular date night on days off…

Just you and hubs, kids are with sitters, phones are off… and you end up doing the same thing you always do.

For us we always have movie nights - we dated watching movie nights, we watch movies together via FaceTime and when we can't think of anything to do we watch a movie.

It's better than nothing but every now and then I challenge you to break out of the box.

Do something you've never done before.
Do something you'd normally say no to.

We chose to do a Brewery Tour and Haunted Pub Crawl (it happened to be halloween night).

It was FUN!

We drove down to Victoria, made a road trip out of it, had lunch then made our way to the tour pick up point.

Our first stop was Phillips Brewery - and I can tell you those little mini glasses sure have kick when you drink 7 in 45 minutes! (or in Mike's case he had nearly 14 as I was driving home and was merely tasting)

Next up we went to 3 different haunted pubs in the area… stopped for a drink in each one and ended the night with some delicious munchies.

If you or your man loves a good beer I'd highly suggest it and even if you're not much of a beer person I suggest you give it a try - after all this is about doing something out of the ordinary! There's more to beer than a boring old Lucky ;)

What was your most interesting unusual date night?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Life got crazy.

New posts coming your way over the next few months.

Starting tomorrow!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Life: Choosing the right Network Marketing Company

As I mentioned in my Work post: Network Marketing companies can be a lucrative source of part time residual income.

But not every network marketing company is created equal!

In the last 70 years 75,000 companies have started and only 50 have celebrated their 10 year anniversary! Make sure you choose wisely before you get started...

a. Look for a company with a wide range of products that'll appeal to a large client base.

I chose Arbonne because they have over 450 products for every member of the family all within the Health & Wellness area so their research is top notch. This means I can make more sales because I'm not limited to a single gender/client base.

b. Go with a company that is at least 10 years old. 
The last thing you want is to put your hard earned money into a company that folds within 3 years.

c. Look for a simple compensation plan that's easy to understand.

Arbonne only has 4 levels which is simple and achievable and starts at 35% commission. I don't know about you but I was really shy when I first started my business and I wasn't willing to put myself out there for less than 35%!

d. You're your own boss. This means you set your own schedule and you are in charge! You're also in charge of showing up and following the system. The number 1 reason people fail at these companies is because they don't follow the system then quit and wonder what happened.

In Arbonne we get a free white mercedes when we hit large sales volume numbers… so to get your white mercedes you need to do what the people driving the white mercedes do. It sounds obvious but you'd be surprised how many people don't do that.

e. Do you believe in the products and your sponsorship team?

It's important to love the products you sell and to trust the people training you how to be successful. As discussed above you need to follow the system and it's your sponsor's job to teach you what the system is and guide you through the pitfalls.

My Arbonne sponsor quit within 6 months of me signing up… luckily our team is fantastic and my Regional Vice President took me on as though she sponsored me herself. It's all about team work and I've honestly never met a happier more positive group of people! Every Arbonne event leaves you feeling like you can take on the world and win… every day should be like that.

f. Watch out for these red flags:

Website based "network marketing companies"… nobody is going to pay you just for handing out a web address, they just want you to sign up consultants. <- Pyramid scheme

Social Media parties only… you will not make great sales just using social media, it's uncomfortable for some but direct marketing is a relationship business and you can't build good relationships on Facebook! If you're just looking for an extra $50 you might be ok but you won't make enough to make it really worthwhile.

Consultant sign ups… any company that requires people to sign up as consultants ONLY should be a red flag. People shouldn't have to sign their lives away just to get a product if it's good enough. Arbonne has the option to get discount memberships that don't require selling a single thing.

Magic Cure All Ingredients… as the recent Dr Oz debacle proved: there is no magic cure or quick fix for anything. Integrity is crucial in business ownership… make sure you 100% stand by your product/s. If you have doubts your clients will pick up on it.

Get Rich Quick… direct marketing is NOT a get rich quick scheme. It's a get rich steadily over time scheme. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

g. Look for these Green Lights:

New promotions each month… this means the company is growing and it's not just the same people promoting all the time.

Information available to the public… this means the company has nothing to hide.

Is part of the DSA… this means they can be held accountable for misinformation and run by the guidelines of the Direct Selling Organisation. Integrity is important.

Variety of selling methods… some people like parties, some people prefer to shop at home on their own. The more flexible the company the easier it'll fit into your life not the other way round.

It's a lot to consider! At the end of the day the biggest thing you need to be clear on when it comes to starting your own business is WHY.

What do you want out of Direct Marketing? What will drive you to keep going when it gets difficult? 

I do Arbonne because I want to get Mike home from the Oilfields. We want to have a family and see them grow up, go on vacations, build our dream home… all of that requires funds and Mike being home. Either we can try to win the lottery or I can significantly improve our odds and build my Arbonne business.

If you have any questions about Network Marketing in general (or about the company I chose above the others: Arbonne) send me a quick email and I'd be happy to give you unbiased advice so you can make the right choice for you and your family!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Life: Stuff Boxes

Picture this…

It's a beautiful day! You woke up early with energy to spare, you had a delicious breakfast, the kitchen is clean, the floors don't have any dog fur or dust bunnies plaguing you when the sun shines on it, you even found time to get in a work out or read some of your book.
You head out (with/without the kids) for the day and when you come home… all you can see are things. Bits. STUFF.


Toys, jewellery, change, junk mail, a shoe you had to rescue from the dog before she chewed it… But your house is spotless! You cry… and it is! Except for the clutter.

I can't be alone in this right? And I don't even have kids yet!

SO here's my solution: STUFF BOXES

1. Find/buy some nice baskets that fit your decor. It's worth shelling out on better quality ones with good handles that won't break. The last thing you want when you're de-cluttering for the day is a handle to break!

I found these from Walmart:

I have one downstairs and one upstairs. As I go about my day I put all the random "stuff" into the basket and when it's full I put it all away. Generally the things in the downstairs basket need to go upstairs and vice versa.

2. Next get yourself a nice box for your kitchen. If your house is anything like mine your kitchen will be a hotbed for clutter. Get yourself a nice box with a lid to stash away those bits that don't quite have a home: matches, scentsy bars, coupons, etc). When it's full you can sort through it and put it away or you can just leave it as a general hold all for random bits that are useful but don't have a home.

Here's mine:

3. Grab a couple of bins (I found these from the Dollarama for $3 each) and allocate one for each person in your house. Anything that belongs to that person goes into their bin - it's their responsibility to put them away.

In my case I don't always know where Mike wants certain things so if I know it's his but I don't want to lose it, I put it in his bin. Make sure each person knows to clear their bin (daily/weekly/every other day - depends how much stuff ends up in it!) so it doesn't sit there overflowing with STUFF.

That's it! Do you have STUFF boxes? If not give them a try! They're great for a quick clean up when company comes over and only give you 15 minutes notice.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


As of this moment we've blown past 500 Blog Views in just 3 short weeks!

Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to check the blog out. 

Mike and I at the Game of Thrones Exhibit at the PNE in Vancouver

I've got some fantastic posts coming up: More Real Life Wives! More DIYs! More Love advice!

AND I'm going to do a special post from the Camp Guy's point of view too!

Remember I'm always looking for new Real Life Wives to share their stories and if you have any tips to share make sure to get in touch.

You guys rock!