Let God Close Doors

As much as I love chasing dreams and being a go-getter when it comes to finding opportunity, there is one important lesson I have learned in a big way and that is to let God close doors. This can be applied to so many things in life.

The writing world is ripe with rejection and failed efforts and more than once I’ve wondered if it’s all worth it. I’ve thought many times that is so much easier to punch a clock and work for someone else and that’s the God’s honest truth. It is.

Though I’m home anytime my family needs me, I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder to attain that. It isn’t just wheee! I think I’ll write today and make money from it. It’s effort and promotion and practice and social media and constantly being on the hunt for projects that suit you. I have several irons in the fire at all times.

♥♥♥

Once upon a time I was emotionally and physically weary from all of it so I applied for a few 9 to 5-ers because I just wanted peace and quiet and an easy, carved out steady income.

So I applied for a job with an organization I just knew I’d be a shoo-in for. I had already worked with them several times in an unpaid capacity and I thought I was really suited for the people and the environment. So I applied and interviewed and had a so-so but very hopeful feeling about it.

Let God Close Doors Real Honest Mom blog

After weeks of waiting, I found out I didn’t get the job. I was really bummed about it. I gave an update on the job search in an online mastermind group I was a part of and I talked about how disappointed I was.

A woman I didn’t even know said something I’ll always remember. She said:

“Maybe God is trying to protect you from something.”

Whoooooo doggggggy was she right. A nuclear bomb went off within that organization soon afterwards and I (eventually) walked away feeling grateful.

And I knew what I was doing at the time. I wanted an out from writing where I could breathe easier and avoid the painful possibility of failure on my own.

I guarantee if I would have gotten that job or any of the others I applied for, I wouldn’t have had the guts to stick this out and I wouldn’t get to enjoy the opportunities now as they keep popping up on the horizon.

God knows what He’s doing. Let Him close doors. No matter how badly you think you might want them open.

But I Love it God Just Trust Me

Speaking of which, I have had a big opportunity come up!

I was invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in February 2017. It’s an invitation-only conference that is a huge invite in my mom blogging world. It’s a conference for moms and digital influencers hosted by Disney.

It isn’t free to attend, but I am working on possibly rounding up a few sponsors for the trip so I can breathe a little easier about the cost.

The conference starts at the Walt Disney World Park and includes a resort stay and then a 3 day Cruise aboard a Disney Cruise Ship.

I’m excited for the chance to attend, but I really want to stay grounded and remember that I won’t die if this door closes. I would be thrilled to take my family with me as I “work” at Disney but I will be okay if it doesn’t happen just yet.

I will be sure to shout it from the rooftops if it works out. But until then, cheers! Keep chasing those dreams and remember to embrace those closed doors.

(And pssst… check out my Hire Me page, I also do video!)

Glow Stick Emoji Fun

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Policy and Disclosure statement for details.

glow-stick-emoji-fun glow in the dark party ideas

I am all about thinking outside of the box to find cheap, easy fun kids stuff and party ideas, but the kids actually stumbled upon this one themselves.

One night after getting home from a children’s birthday party, they were going through their goody bags and found a pack of bendy glow sticks they wanted to play with. They were the kind that come with the little plastic braces so you can attach them in different places to make bracelets or necklaces.

My oldest started forming them into shapes and making pictures and emojis and then running and turning the lights on and off and it was a lot of fun and something the kids did together for hours without fighting. Talk about a lifesaver on a boring night!

They mixed and matched the pieces into several different combinations and here are some of the pictures and emoji’s they came up with:

"Embarrassed"

“Embarrassed”

"Surprised"

“Surprised”

"Shocked"

“Shocked”

"Sad"

“Sad”

Glow Stick Emoji Fun- Happy

“Happy”

Duck

Duck

Glow Stick Fun- Stick Man

Stick Man

We also took them outside on the porch and they danced and moved around, it was really neat to see at night.

Glow Stick Fun on the Porch-Wolverine

My toddler had them around his wrists and ankles, and my oldest put the sticks between his fingers like a “Nightmare Angimon” Digimon character, and if you don’t know what that is, it’s a lot like Wolverine’s blades from the X-Men. And if you aren’t familiar with X-men, think Freddy Krueger except really cute.

We waited on the porch for my husband to get home from work and they started flailing their arms and waving when he pulled into the driveway, it looked really cool!

This would be a great idea for a Fall party or Halloween not-so-scary party for littles and the pictures you take at night turn out really cool (be sure to leave your flash off.)

Glow sticks don’t cost much and these lasted for 3 hours and beyond.

You can buy them in a pack of 20 with Amazon Prime for less than $12 here with my affiliate link:

We had 2 packs of 8 count glow sticks (16 total) to make our pictures.

And don’t worry, if your child simply can’t stop playing with the glow sticks the next day and chews on one and accidentally bites it open, it will be okay because the ingredients are non-toxic.

We know that one from experience!

This glow-in-the-dark fun was a great exercise in play and imagination where parents are allowed too! Long live childhood!

Where Did September Go?

It’s October. Seriously, weren’t we just at the pool? Wasn’t I just doing back-to-school shopping? It’s pumpkin time. And you know what that means. Turkey day and then Christmas.

© Paul-andré Belle-isle - Dreamstime

© Paul-andré Belle-isle – Dreamstime

For me, September was gone in a flash. Freelance work-wise I like to think of it as The Great Recovery after a summer drought. Things picked up in a big way for me and went into overdrive.

I am grateful to have had several opportunities to combine my biggest passions: fun kids stuff, entrepreneurial/leadership material, writing and video.

To me, there is no better existence. (I have diverse interests you could say.) So, a little something for the kids, and a little something for mommy.

I did several science experiments at home with the boys and did a big article for Care.com.

oobleck

The boys loved playing with Oobleck (a slime-like substance that changes from a solid to a liquid) and creating “magic milk” by watching food coloring react with milk and dish liquid.

sciencepic

Here’s a short video of the Magic Milk experiment:

Read the full post here: Kitchen Science: The 5 Best Science Experiments for Kids That’ll Blow Their Minds via Care.com

I also got to attend a mastermind session and a writing conference as a videographer with master leadership guru Ray Edwards, and I put together a video about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Watch that here:

God has put the most genuine, loving people on my path and for that I am grateful. I really get to do this thing.

I’ve also had several articles go up as of late, but I want to make sure that people don’t look at all of them and think, man she’s lucky that it’s all happening at once like that. Must be nice.

They might all be hitting at the same time, but make no mistake a ton of work went into getting every single project and article up. It’s a lot of spinning plates and a lot of behind-the-scenes pushing-a-boulder-up-a-hill, waiting for it to roll down while running a household.

It’ll roll down, but you have to work for it. How do I do it all? I almost never fold laundry.  That helps.

We’ve also made great strides to improve our health this month with healthier eating and exercise. I posted this Fitness Friday update to Facebook on where we’re at on Week 4. I’m down 8 pounds and my husband is down 13. Because of course. But we feel great.

September has also been busy with kid stuff. Lots of school and scout events, fall parties and my oldest proudly claims September as his “birthday month.” He gets September all to himself because everyone else in the house has a December birthday (not really very lucky actually.)

I made him a cake. It’s hard to find Digimon stuff so I ordered an edible image online to go on the cake. It came out beautifully with vibrant colors.

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But I couldn’t get the super-thin image to peel off of the backing, and I’m a competent baker. After trying several times, it started to wrinkle and tear in 3 places so I just cut neatly around the outside edges and slapped that sucker on top as is.

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It’s just like life. Sometimes you have to compromise and roll with the unexpected. He’s going to love it and that’s all that matters. It even has a sweet surprise inside, it’s strawberry cake with fresh strawberries between the layers. I think it’ll work.

So where did September go? It went to work, that’s where it went. 🙂 And I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you would like to see some of the other work I’ve published recently, I’ll share links below.

October is on track to be even busier.

I have a monster post coming up in the next few weeks. I’m nervous and excited all at the same time, but it’s really important subject matter that will make people stop and think. And that’s what it’s all about. That’s why I’m here.

So look out October! I’m plugging my nose and diving in. Stay tuned.

My other posts outside of RealHonestMom:

Having Kids Shows You Who You Really Married via Babble

Why You Should Have a Take Your Kid to Work Day (Even If You Hate Your Job!) via Guyvorce

Sit in the Driver’s Seat of Big Brutus in Kansas via TravelingMom.com

Kitchen Science: The 5 Best Science Experiments for Kids That’ll Blow Their Minds via Care.com

The Only Thing Better Than National Geographic’s “Weird But True” Book Series?

So I just joined Instagram and I posted this picture and caption:

Sooo glad these count towards the #readinglog or we’d be in trouble. Also good for #roadtrips and the #bus stop. #fun #reading #WeirdButTrue #books #bookstagram #NatGeoKids #NationalGeographic #NatGeoKidsInsider #reading #school #homework

A photo posted by Audra Rogers (@realhonestmom) on

We have had this “Weird But True” book set from National Geographic Kids for a few years.

I got them for my son for Christmas in 2014 because I wanted to give him something cool, yet educational. (I try to sneak books in as presents anytime I can.) He really liked them and sort of became the “human head weighs 8 pounds” kid from Jerry Maguire. Random facts are fun!

I was relieved to know that they also count towards the reading log at school. In fact, his teacher wrote “really cool books!” next to his Weird But True entry on his homework sheet.

I so agree and I like thumbing through them too. Here are a few sample pages to show you what they look like inside:

WeirdButTrue

WeirdButTrue

WeirdButTrue

The pages are beautiful and vibrant. The last one about the elephant ears is my son’s favorite.

And in my opinion, the only thing better than the “Weird But True” book series is a brand new tv show based on the book series.

Brother-and-sister duo Charlie and Kirby are the hosts of the show and they traveled near and far in the quest for passing on entertaining fun facts to kids.

As a National Geographic Kids Insider, I got a sneak peek behind the scenes from the taping of the show and I’d love to show them to you.TAVERNIER, FLA.- Charlie describes his experience after diving to explore a shipwreck. (Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Jill Littman)

CHICAGO, ILL.- (Left to Right) Kirby roleplays as a storm chaser as Charlie reports at "HQ". (Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Jill Littman) WINSLOW, ARIZ.- (Left to Right) Charlie and Kirby stand atop a rock overlooking Meteor Crater. (Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Jill Littman)

What a cool job!

Here’s a great promo clip from the National Geographic Kids Facebook page:


Did you notice they were in the water scuba diving with sharks and they also took a trip to Alaska? I’d say that’s worth checking out the show… We are excited to check it out!

The show airs on Xploration Station on Saturday mornings on most Fox stations, please check your local listings for times!
NationalGeographicKidsInsider

What I Learned After 2 Weeks of Healthy Food and Exercise

**This post may contain affiliate links for products I have tried, love and recommend.

In a recent post, I told you about how I ask my sons to tell me 3 good things about their day as soon as they get home from school. And in an effort to concentrate on the positive, I held myself to that same standard and told you one of my own 3 good things was rediscovering exercise.


4 years ago after successfully completing the P90x exercise program (and losing a combined 70 pounds), we discovered we were pregnant about 30 seconds later. We kept it up for a few more months, but our success, eating habits, gym membership and exercise schedules came to a sad, eventual end. We haven’t had discipline in… a while.

But we just got back on the horse. We are now in the middle of week 3 after restarting the program and we have modified a few things to fit life, but we are doing great and still going strong.

what-i-learned-after-2-weeksof-healthy-food-and-exercise

© Cristina

I can tell an obvious difference in how I feel physically and I have noted a few more observations:

1. The hardest thing by far is controlling what you eat in a world that uses food as a reward constantly.
2. It’s worth eating better. Every little decision matters and leads to the next one.
3. I’ve felt better than ever and have lost weight already by reducing carbs, calories and obvious sugar for 2 weeks plus exercise.
4. Toddlers are amazing at yoga because they are very bendy.
5. You can do more than you think you can.
6. You can do more than you think you can.
7. The first week is the hardest. It still isn’t easy after that, you have to make the choice each time.
8. My digestion is much better when I eat cleaner and drink water.
9. Deciding that feeling better is more important than great-tasting junk food is a very hard choice to consistently make.
10. An 8 yr old will be so much better than you with ab exercises.
11. There are land mines everywhere at restaurants and value meals aren’t your friend, though it’s the most popular/cost friendly combo with fast food.
12. Reading labels is heartbreaking. I saw sugar listed in a can of green beans in my pantry.
13. Feeling good is better than being skinny. Though I sure want to look better too.
14. Some recipes with fresh vegetables will bomb, it’s a learning process.
15. Some recipes will be awesome. My faves: roasted cauliflower and “squashed potatoes”.
16. It’s hard to work out at home with kids, but it’s adorable when they jump in and they like being included in what’s going on. They like to jump in for a few minutes here and there and we get a few good laughs.

Exercise

I am an emotional/boredom eater. I’m the kind of person who wants to stand next to the freezer and eat chocolate chips by the handful and drink coffee as a remedy to the afternoon crash. But I haven’t felt the need to do that since finding healthy snacks.Some of my favorite combos:

  • walnuts/blueberries
  • almonds/string cheese
  • cottage cheese/cherry tomatoes
  • roasted red pepper hummus/cucumber slices
  • cheese cubes/grapes
  • peanut butter/apples
  • ham cold cuts/cheese stick
  • dry granola/banana slices (my sons’ discovery)
  • protein smoothie (base smoothie w/protein powder)

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It can also seem to be a workout in itself to prepare healthy foods. I did preps here for omelets.

But it’s worth it. I’m at the point now where feeling better and feeling healthy weighs heavier than convenience and vanity. Our meals aren’t going to always be 100% healthy, but we are far better off now than where we were.

I am also a fan of healthy homemade soups (I made chicken soup with leftovers from a roasted chicken). Soups are very filling and stretch pretty far with us on busy nights. They make a good side to proteins or stand alone.

Plus, the kids expect us to exercise at night now, so there’s that. I hope to stay accountable by sharing our progress online via Fitness Friday updates on the RealHonestMom Facebook page, so wish us luck!

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