Why Hiring a Housekeeper Might Make You Money

The other day someone I was speaking with said they didn’t want the cleaning service to come during a scheduled video conference, so the people on the other end wouldn’t know she doesn’t clean toilets.

A completely rational thought because a vacuum in the background can be distracting for everyone, but there shouldn’t be any shame to hiring someone to help! Outsourcing your to do list is called delegation, and when you delegate the least of your favorite tasks you make room in your day to do what you love doing.

As a business owner, who operates out of the home, you can become extremely distracted by the household duties that you don’t get any business related tasks done. Hiring a housekeeper to clean toilets, vacuum, etc, will remove the thoughts of needing to clean up and allow you to focus more on your work.

You can also miss out on a lot of activities, or adventures, by tying yourself down to household chores. You might have the kids involved in the daily upkeep, such as sweeping, but if you weigh the benefit of having someone take a little off your plate versus what your budget can handle, you may surprise yourself with how those few dollars here and there could add up to a lot of memories otherwise missed out on.

I reached out and spoke with a personal housekeeper and house manager for several families in my area, and heard many remarkable statements from these families of their appreciation:

“We don’t fight over dishes anymore, it’s a lot more peaceful in our house thanks to you.” - Husband and Wife

“I look forward to seeing you every week, because you give me peace of mind and for five minutes I have a clean home.” - Active Family of Four

“I hate cleaning toilets, I dread the job.  I know I can schedule appointments when you’re here, and come home to the sweet smell of cleanliness.” - Real Estate Agent with an active family

“You’ve given me time to spend with my family, before we brought you on I would miss out on the kids’ activities or family time in the living room.” - Active Family of Four 

“There’s no way I could get all of this done, he’s learning how to crawl!” - New Mom

“If I get all of my work done, I reward myself by having you come clean.” - Family with strenuous work schedules.

Maybe you’re looking forward to the State soccer game your child/niece/nephew is playing in, or the highly anticipated movie of the season everyone finally agrees upon, or maybe you just need to have more time for client meetings.  By asking for help, and bringing in someone to take those few hours off your schedule, you can maybe even stop for ice cream on that adventure out of the house.

How does this make you money?

A few questions to ask yourself, write the answers down like a math problem:
How much do you make an hour?  
x How long does it take you to do that task you want to delegate?  
=How much money you are losing by doing this yourself
-How much would you need to pay someone else to do that task?
=What’s the difference in amounts?

If you are no longer spending 4 hours cleaning the house, while also helping the kids or bouncing through your emails, you can strictly focus those 4 hours on what you do want to do.

Chances are, it takes a professional 2/3 of the time it takes you so that is already saving you 1/3 of the cost of you cleaning the house yourself.

With that remaining 1/3 of the cost, you can reward yourself with a date with your family, or acquire another client/customer and increase your revenue.  This is called a Cost Benefit Analysis.

You’ll be seeing a lot me write a lot about cost benefit analysis, because we make these types of decisions daily.  But today I want you to consider how you can make money by hiring a housekeeper.  

There aren't any typical tax benefits to hiring a housekeeper for your personal home, but if you own a company there may be a benefit. Please reach out to your Tax Advisor with questions about your specific tax situation.

That time I pee’d in Public

It wasn’t the first time, and I am unable to guarantee it will be the last.

August 2016: O'ahu We woke up at 3am Monday morning, got ready, and we crawled into a taxi. We were headed to the airport, with visions of flowing lava in our heads.

We landed in Hilo just before 6am, and it was beautiful!! I love Hilo (read about my first visit here), and knew the moment I stepped off the airplane the feeling of humidity would hit me and I SMILED! Hilo Airport is TINY, so it took us 5 minutes from airplane, to rental car office, with a bathroom break in between.

We jumped into the JEEP Wrangler, I was the driver, and were on our way to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.  Two days prior, there was an earthquake in the park which means an eruption was in the making! No one predicted if/when it would happen, but the anticipation of one happening drove up our adrenaline to get in this hike.

I drove us to the end of Craters Road, parked, and we headed on our 8 mile round-trip walk to see how much lava would could see!

I dressed for cooler temps, which the top of the volcano has. So I started disrobing after the first mile, as it was 10 degrees warmer where we were versus the top of the volcano. I also did not factor in the amount of heat we would encounter as we walked closer to the lava flow, another 10 degrees added each mile we walked. It was a beautiful walk, and there was a small breeze that gave relief.

The warning sign before you began the walk warned that each person needed to bring at least 3 liters of water to safely make it back. We definitely had that covered.

The thing about walking, heat, and staying hydrated: you have to pee! Mile 2 was my first stop (I did you the facilities at the beginning of the trail!), and made sure to factor in the wind. Mile 4, though, the place where the lava was flowing, was a little trickier tending to Mother Nature. We were out IN NATURE. So, I picked out a spot, made sure no one was coming, and let her go. THEN, a tourist helicopter went by, and I was definitely in their line of sight. If they were using binoculars, they had the head-on view. I laughed. I had to pee, there were signs making sure I brought along water, so it really was inevitable peeing-in-public was going to happen to someone at some point.

We did see some lava, and then realized we had even accidentally walked on some (when your feet get warmer randomly, it’s probably the ground). It wasn’t fresh molten lava that burned you instantly, it was silver and moving slow. It cracked as it moved, or as we stepped on it, and was giving off a LOT of heat. It was so awesome!

On the walk back, at about mile 7, a truck hauling a porta-pottie was headed toward the mile 4 spot. 

I'm still laughing about this.

Week 3 - 2017 Goals Check in!

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Officially setting habits into our routines takes at least 2 months, so it should come as no surprise that your week 3 of 2017 goals are a bit of a struggle bus.  I'm no different. I have to tell myself my goals, I have to tell others my goals, I have to ask others to keep me accountable, and I have to ask why I'm delaying my goals by not getting to work.

I did not move 20+ minutes everyday, but some days I moved for over an hour. My body is still adjusting to this new habit, so I'm allowing myself some grace in this transition phase. We had a mini vacation at the beginning of the week, which allowed us to explore and easily earned 20+ minutes of activity each day. Being active while on vacation is important to me, while others use it as an excuse to give up on their goals. You can enjoy vacation while still moving, take a walk around where you're staying. Go for a swim. Do a few laps along the beach. Snorkel. Surf. Paddle board. Kayak. All of these allow you to enjoy your vacation!

I didn't blog more than last week. But I am writing this accountability post.

I did mail a letter back home.

Are you allowing yourself some grace along your journey to your goals? Do you need help figuring out the best goals FOR YOU? Setting Goals

Leftover Champagne

champagne_glassesHAPPY 2017!!!!! For New Year’s Eve, I bought two different types/flavors of champagne from a brand I knew we liked, because I couldn’t remember which of the two we liked; one blue label, one pink label. We knew from the first sip of the blue label it was the one, and we will both never forget it, again. After the first sip of the pink label, I stopped drinking it. It was just too dry; I added juice and tried it that way, and it still didn't taste good. I knew it wasn’t fair to make him drinking it, when he was just choking it down with too sweet juice, so I told him I’d find a way to cook with it. You can cook with wine, there must be at least a few recipes to use champagne, right?!

First, I found jello. Pinterest link: HELLO JELLO. landscape-1482430728-delish-champagne-jello-shots-01I’m a little leary about this, since the flavor won’t change drastically enough for me to WANT them enough to run out and by gelatin to make it. There were MANY other dessert recipes but I am definitely more of a dinner person than dessert. I don’t like sweets that much, except dark chocolate. I eat dark chocolate everyday.

Second, I found something called creamy chicken. Pinterest link: Chicken au Champagne. It’s a recipe you can start & refrigerate 3 days in advance, and just finish on the day you want to eat it. This intrigues me, I only need to let the champagne sit out to turn into vinegar: Thank you, Martha Stewart. 293a849e91f096ff935134937df70233However, won’t letting alcohol sit out ‘open’ draw bugs? After all, gnats are drawn to Apple Cider Vinegar. I’m not inclined to try this method, but I will put it in a wide mouth jar and give it time to breathe everyday. I figured this method will add a few extra days to the process from bubbles to vinegar.

There’s a third recipe I found, it has to do with shrimp and champagne vinegar. When the day comes for the vinegar to be ‘done,’ I’ll pick my protein and go with that recipe. I’m betting I’ll go with chicken since I think the shrimp would need a pasta and I’m not on a pasta craving right now. I’m on a mission to eat more veggies this year, which means less bread products that I would normally have; I enjoy open face sandwiches now for the most part, and cut my pasta serving in half and double my veggie side portion. I haven’t noticed a difference in taste, so I’m sure I’ll be able to stick with this for a long time.

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Maybe I can find a ceviche recipe that would pair the shrimp and my new vinegar, that opens the possibility to be a salad topper. MMMM ceviche.

 

I know it’s hard to imagine having leftover champagne, but have you ever repurposed champagne, or sparkling wine, into a dish?

Life Changes

Holy buckets, there is SO much I have not shared with you!!! First, I'm running again!!!! I can successfully, and comfortably, run a full 5k without issue! I only run, currently, once a week but have big sights on getting up to 10 miles in one run by fall!! Crazy how I ran a marathon last year and now I'm excited about completing 3.11 miles!

Second, we're planning a HUGE move! I will share more on this as things get closer to getting the keys to the new home!

Third, I'm creating a subscription based recipes section after a lot of people have requested me to write a book and share more of my creations. If you want more info, please go HERE.

Talk to you sooner than later, this time!

Thursday Thoughts

I recorded a message for a private business group, but decided to share it publicly because it would be selfish of me not to.  Video is here on my Facebook. 

I'm going to write topics of other short messages I want to share, please let me know what you took away from this message and any topics you'd love to hear about!

I went Road Cycling for 51 miles to fight MS

On Saturday May 9th, I went for a 3 hour bicycle ride. My half-marathon training schedule said I was supposed to run 11 miles, this sounded like it would work instead. This was my second time on a road bike, ever, the first time was just a few days prior and I rode 9 miles. Good thing I take half-marathon training more seriously. I borrowed a friends bike, since she was 9 months pregnant and wouldn't be riding it. They made sure the normal pedals were on, since I would be wearing running shoes.

The event registration opened at 8:30, it was a brisk 45 degrees and the sun was shining. While the riders huddled in the rat maze registration line, I took in what I was about to do. 51 miles on a bike, something I swore I would never do because I didn't like to bike. Little did I know riding a mountain bike and riding a road bike were two COMPLETELY different things!!

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After registration, we got a group photo, and then headed out. There were 5 of us riding in our team, all saying we were going to do the long route, compared to the 15 or 25 mile routes, but that we would see once we reached the "no going back" point in the course. Only one person was really sure, that was my friend's husband (we'll call him Tom) all decked out in his bike gear. Once we started pedaling, we warmed up, that cool breeze kept the temperatures of the hot sun off the skin. I wore a breathable long sleeve running shirt with thumbholes, and running shorts, because I'm a runner. I remembered to wear sunscreen on my bare legs and face.

I broke away from the group at about mile 8, there were hills involved and I couldn't handle going slower up them. Tom kept up with me, and we were a duo passing and being passed.

The first pit-stop was at mile 12, at beautiful Fort Snelling.

History was made here.

This was the decision maker, we had to either get going and make it the "no going back point" in one hour otherwise they weren't going to let us take that route. Tom filled his water bottle, I ate a snack, we briefly saw the other three and decided to get going without them. We were on a mission to get those 51 miles DONE!

There were a lot more hills than I had anticipated, but since going down was a lot more fun than going up it seemed to even out. The views were spectacular, and without that scenery I probably would still hate riding a bike. We stopped at each designated pit stop along the route to eat, grab more water, and sometimes use the port-o-potties. We sat at only one, for a brief 2 or so minutes.

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We went through neighborhoods I had never visited before, and some neighborhoods I grew up as a kid. We rode right by the public swimming pool I visited in the summers, rode along the path we went along as a family some days in the summer, and rode passed the hospital my grandma spent most of her nursing career. We had the paths to ourselves most of a the way, and when we shared the path it was with a lot of people enjoying their Saturday afternoon along the lake shores.

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It was the longest physical effort of my life, to date, and now I want to own my very own rode bike and do that adventure again next year.

I was this happy 90% of the entire ride!

It is for a great cause, after all: Multiple Sclerosis

Have you ever taken on a challenge you never thought you'd do? Did you end up completely changing your feelings about it, and ended up loving it?

We love to travel

Spending time together is amazing, and since we both love to travel and experience what this life has to offer, we truly have a magical time together. My work schedule drastically changed in October 2014, and his changed only one month later.  I started working for myself 100%, I do not have a brick-and-mortor business which means I work whenever and wherever I want, and his job finally gave him a reasonable work/life schedule.

My boyfriend actually travels for his job, we like to call the down time on the road interviews for potential vacations.  Over the course of MANY years, and even more airports, there was always one place at the top of his list when we were able to take longer vacations than previous years: Providenciales.

We spent a day in the cold Minnesota winter talking about where we wanted to go on vacation in 2015, how much time to spend there, looked up when the best time to travel to all of those places would be, and matched them all up against his work schedule.  We spent 9 hours dedicated to this.  The end result: booked 45 nights of hotels rooms, 1 week in a family condo, 3 nights in an airbnb apartment, 10 roundtrip airline tickets, 4 inter-island airline tickets, and 1 rental car for a week.

The confirmed list for 2015: Palm Springs, CA San Diego, CA Las Vegas, NV Hawaii Provodenciales, Turks & Caicos Colorado (road trip to see family, with family. Will be a cheap trip, tons of fun!)

No, we're not rich.  Almost the opposite, really.  I budget, we utilize credit cards that offer travel rewards, he racks up frequent flier miles, bank the hotel rewards points, and then we decide what to spend cash on versus blow points on.  The freedom of working for myself is really what allows us to travel this much, and the fact that I like to travel CHEAP.

Part of the budgeting process is food, I need groceries where ever I go because: 1. food allergies, 2. I would rather spend time in the kitchen than money on a restaurant, and 3. I eat whenever I'm hungry & usually can't/won't wait for the kitchen to open.

I can not recommend a more important tip for traveling than getting at least a mini-fridge (tell the front desk you have medical needs, they should give it to you for free) and buying your food from the store, it will save you A LOT of money!

If you want to live this kind of life, I am more than happy to show you how.  I'll post more travel related topics, as I remember to write them down, and if you want to help people on your own terms like I do, please comment below or email me.  I'm more than happy to help you live the life you want!

UV Splash 5k - It's more than just glow sticks

Have you heard of the UV Splash? Until 3 days ago, I had not. I saw an ad for it in one of those upcoming race newsletters that list about 10 races, and read the word FREE twice. My thoughts: 1. A FREE race? HECK YES!!

2. What does UV Splash entail?

Here's the link for the one in the Twin Cities: http://newcolordash5k.ticketmob.com/event.cfm?cart&showTimingID=60843

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Doesn't that look FUN?? I'm PUMPED!!

Let me know if you've heard about one of these races, or have participated in one before!!

March Assisted Long Run (ASL)

I participated in my first group assisted long run last Saturday morning, March 14.  It was a cooler March day, which means I had to wear long-sleeves, fleece-lined pants, and an ear band.  I've been running since 2007, and participated in organized races since 2011.  The fact that it's 2015 and I'm just now joining group runs might show you a trend: I incorporate something "new" into my running every 4 years.  This may or may not be as effective as the elected officials' who are in office 4-years or longer. ;-) An assisted long run (ASL) has at least one water stop, and, if you're lucky, fuel.  This particular group I am now part of has both on their ASL's, which are held once a month.  If you're in the Twin Cities area, you may have heard of Mill City Running.  This is an amazing place for all things running, and they have weekly runs, various in type and distance.  I love going in there just to window shop, and now that I'm running with them it gives me even more opportunities to browse the beautiful selection of gear.

Back to this ASL: since this was my first group run, I was not familiar with their route.  They did a route preview in-store just before heading out, and there were many people that were 'elected' as pacers.  It was a large turn-out, too.

For my training, I only needed to run 6 miles, but they had a 22 miler laid out if someone wanted/needed to go that distance.  It was a lollipop route, which means it looks like a lollipop!

Here are some of the photos I took along the way, since this was a new route for me, and I adore it!  I plan on running along here many days to come, with or without the running group!

Do/have you run with a group?

#IceCreamforBreakfast because #kidsgetcancertoo

My FAVORITE ice cream is chocolate almond fudge, but I haven't found this flavor profile in the non-dairy section.  Since today is International Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast, a grassroots campaign bringing awareness of the Give Kids the Village Campaign (read more here and here), which is a vacation cost-free for kids with life-threatening illness, and their families. What a better reason to make my own version of chocolate almond fudge ice cream!  I had some thoughts, and decided to go with protein powder, chocolate almond milk, ice, regular almond milk, and some Horchata.  It needs some work on the consistency, but it is GOOD!

Chocolate Almond Protein Ice Cream 1 serving Vanilla Protein powder of choice 8 ounces Dark Chocolate Almond Milk (they come in these sizes in a 4-pack!) 2 ounces Regular Unsweetened Almond Milk 1 ounce Horchata 2 handfuls ice

Blend.  Enjoy!

How did you celebrate this day?

Sick Day turns into Zombie Week

Hey!  What day is it?!  If it weren't for my phone, I honestly would have no idea until I turned the TV on and checked the channel guide.  I'm hoping this post doesn't confuse you, too much. I flew home from California the 20th, and on the 22nd I had this horrible congestion in my lungs.  I did the usual: pop zinc, drink tea, drink warm water, take it easy, nap, get fresh air in small amounts, and lay in bed with the heating pad on.

Yesterday, I tried Mucinex D.  BAD IDEA!!!  1. It has pseudoephedrine (Sedafed) in it, which DRIES you up at the same time as making your sinuses DRAIN.  I went through 3 boxes of kleenex!!!  And my chest did not break anything loose, the entire day.  Since it's a 12-hour regimen, I thought perhaps the first tablet was the starter and it would maybe increase the medicinal attributes, so I took a second one at the time it was supposed to be taken.  BAD IDEA!!  I was up almost the ENTIRE night, nothing came out of my chest, and by this time my nose was RAW from blowing it so much.

I even carry a full kleenex box in my purse, because those tiny little ones wouldn't keep up.

Maybe that's why I am having trouble thinking today, I literally blew all my brains out. :')

Needless to say, when I woke up this morning (after sleeping 4 hours, thanks to doing a toxin cleanse at 2am when I determined the Mucinex needed to be flushed) I immediately called my clinic to be seen as soon as possible.  Thankfully, the 'float physician' was available right away.  He did his questions, and simple tests, and told me I have what is very COMMON right now, and I'm probably only stuck with it for a few more days.  It's a virus.

There wasn't anything he could give me to make it go away, as it is with viruses, but he did give me somethings to make my life easier until the crud gets expelled from my lungs (which could take a few weeks).

1. He tells me that coffee will soothe my throat.  SWEET!  He says honey in coffee is sometimes better than cough syrup itself, as far as making the throat feel better.  NICE!

2. He prescribes me cough syrup with Codeine which will mean I can sleep at night (finally!).

3. He prescribes me these little throat suppressant pills that will calm my throat when the cough syrup isn't needed anymore.

4. He prescribes me an inhaler, since I do have asthma and do not have an inhaler anymore.

The appointment took less than 20 minutes, I was even at the Pharmacy before they opened waiting for my meds to get bagged up!  What makes this whole illness even harder, it's been in the 40's this whole time and I can't go run in it. :'(

Hope your day is going better!