I Go Off The Radar on Weekends

A few years back, I would admit that I was a slave to notifications, always checking my apps, always looking to see if my comment was liked or commented on by peers or family. I’ve never been a crazy picture poster as I have always valued my privacy, but I did post more than I do now. A thing happened, a misunderstanding or miscommunication with a best friend that I had since high school and it woke something inside of me.

I realized that I really don’t need social media to exist. In fact, I loathe opening Facebook or Instagram to stare at people’s lives, miseries. I no longer have a personal Instagram, it’s more of a Bookstagram nowadays and I don’t reach for my cell phone as frequently as I did throughout the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love socializing, taking about interesting things, learning new things but I’m not that invested into people’s pictures & life stories. I appreciate bloggers who share, writers who write, readers who read, and yeah…that’s who I’ve become.

Is it a bad thing? A good thing? Perhaps it’s where i’m meant to be at this stage in my life. Bookish talks are my jam and i’ll make an effort for that, and bookstagram, but when I pick up my kid from school on Friday afternoon, I ditch the phone. It’s there for an emergency call but I don’t lug it around in my pocket. Even when I’m out it stays in my bag, not my hand.

What I’ve learned from detaching myself from the phone is that time is precious, and available when you’re not sucked into the vortex that’s Facebook.(i say FB because that’s the only personal social media I have). I’ve learned to utilize time by targeting my goals, really getting to know and develop a friendship with my children, and best of all, silence. Not everyone likes the sound of silence but I do, and I appreciate the few moments of it I get from the outside world. With each year, I also don’t find myself needing to say much on a phone call or on someone’s post. It’s often degrading to someone else, or poking fun out of someone’s appearance or shortcomings and to be frank, I never developed a taste for that.

Am I making any sense? Let me know in the comments how attached you are to your phone or if you choose to go radio silent like me in between. 🙂

As always, thanks for reading. You can find me on Twitter & Instagram by clicking the icons at the top of the page.

Xo Kat

A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer

Currently I’ve developed a schedule that I roughly follow daily, and it appears to be helping.  It’s also a great addition that my kids are getting older and can keep themselves busy for longer periods of time. I assume this gets better with time. It’s still on a day to day basis with me, how much they’ll let me sit and work. I consider myself a part-time freelance copywriter because I take on very minimal work right now. It won’t work for me to take on a lot of jobs and get overwhelmed with everything else going on in my life.

The income is not sufficient at all, but as a newbie to copywriting, whatever little I take exposes me to client relationships, writing experience and just general knowledge of the field. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done actual work. I say actual work because I blog, and I write fiction but I don’t make a dime off it.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s how I work from home.

On a school day it’s easier for me because I have one toddler at home. It’s easier to manage one and there’s less screaming and fights when they’re separated. You parents know what I’m talking about. So after we do the morning basics, and drop off my firstborn to school, me and the other one comes back home. I finish my cold cup of coffee, reheated of course, and feed my young then she pretty much gets occupied with activities, blocks, crafts, toys. etc. I usually get up from my work spot like every ten minutes to hand out more food or tend to needs. So it’s not all pretty perfect once I turn on my computer.

I’ll usually be back and forth from working to toddler, from about 9am to 1pm, then I’ll have another cup of coffee and engage with my toddler some more until it’s time to pick up the older one. After firstborn comes home all hell breaks lose and I pretty much lose my sh*t and can’t function. Just kidding. I do mom things for hours until the sun has set, then it’s time to do more mom things.

As for work, if a client really needs something done quickly, I’ll make the time in the afternoon. I basically work from my kitchen table because the height of the table is comfortable for me to sit and type for long hours. And also, because my little office space is too close to where the kids make their noises. So it’s a little bit easier at the kitchen table.

That’s basically it. How I work from home. I can’t pull all-nighters like I previously did. At thirty, I need to function on a set schedule because there’s so much more to do than I’m actually telling you. I need to read else I’ll go mad, and I need to jot things down for the multiple stories I’m working on. Our weekends change depending on what we have going on so this is just a little look into my weekday.

I get notifications around the clock from other bloggers. What do you guys do and when do you write? Do you write posts and schedule them or just whenever you get a chance? Let me know your blogging process in the schedule.

xo Kat

Working from Home| Storytime

After the birth of my first daughter, I think what bothered me most was being a full time stay at home mom. Of course, both my husband and me decided that it was best for our situation as we don’t have any family close by to help out and I was not about to put my newborn baby in daycare. Not that I have anything against people who do so, but it was just not right for my family at the time. Firstly, daycare costs an arm and a leg in my area, I would be working just to barely make that payment. Secondly, we knew that we wanted another kid close in age. Last August my youngest turned two, and within the last year I have been wanting to get back to work.

Most of my work experience and all of my education was done in my home country so it was a matter of sitting down and figuring out what I wanted to do. I majored in Information Technology but it’s something that I’m not interested in getting back into. Too much time has past and I’ve lost my zeal in that field. So I did research and tried to analyze what kind of job to get or what course I should do to enhance my skills. But there was the matter of paying for daycare, and before and after school programs for my kids. After doing the calculations, I realized it wouldn’t be worth it, unless I could land a really nice paying job right off the bat. Having not been in the work force for a number of years, we all know how rarely that happens.

So again, I sat down and thought about the things that I know how to do best, my skill-set and how I could utilize that to make money from home. Working from home is a decision not driven only by making some extra cash. I’m at a low when I’m unproductive and feel very sad or depressed if you want to call it that. My husband often argues that I do a lot for my kids by being very present in their lives doing this and that but still, I was raised with a strong work ethic and I needed to get back into it. What I do know, is how to write and I’ve been working on books for years and years. However, it’s hard to make an income as an author. The book takes years, then it takes years of networking to get people to notice your book. Even then, it still may never work and  I don’t want to treat my stories as something to sell. At the end of the day, I write for me. For self-fulfillment and if someone happens to like it, then I’d be elated.

Around the same time I was researching working from home(this summer), one of my friends messaged me about a website that basically hires freelancers of various kinds. Graphics, virtual assistants, and writers among others. I saw it as a small window to start offering writing as a service. It hasn’t been that long and the money isn’t that great but I’ve learned how to balance working from home and family time. Although, it’s difficult and I’ll create an entire post about my experience. I’ve also gained some exposure to working with clients, and experience in the field that I’m pursuing. I know I’m not on it as much as I should but for the mean time, it works for my and my family. I’m available to drop my kindergartener off and pick her up, be present for different things that I’d most likely have to skip out on. The last several months has definitely been an eye opener, a learning curve in my life.

Reading over this post, I realized I haven’t mentioned what it is exactly that I write. I write copy for websites, specifically sales copy of various kinds. There’s a list of other services that I do offer and a website is currently in progress for that. I just wanted to share my not-so-spectacular story about how I derived at the decision to work from home. Hopefully it all works out in the future but one thing I can take from this entire experience is that you really have to want something and you have to work hard at it. There’s always so much more you can do to progress.

Have a great week ahead guys, thank you for stopping by and stay tuned for another Work From Home post.

xo Kat

What Happened on Halloween + Nanowrimo???

My kids are relatively small and this trick or treating thing is new to me but year after year I get better. After school, the two year old and I picked up the four year old and off we went. Initially I was spazzing out about trick or treating for the first time on my own with both kids, because the younger is a runner. Thankfully, we met up with the parents of a classmate and they were a big help. Also, did I mention I had to keep the younger strapped into the stroller the whole time?👌🏽

So we started early, before the big kids came out and started shoving everyone away and throwing eggs I heard(witnessed the aftermath in front of the school this morning). This started when we were on our way back. I’d say we did pretty darn good, escaped the crowd in the nick of time with our bags full of goodies. But then…we saw that someone had gotten knocked over in the street and it cut our trick or treat short by two blocks. After that, I just said let’s go home. I don’t think it was serious but at the same time the mother bear in me kicked in and also my best friend paranoia showed up. I’m always so nervous handling both kids without the hubby in public. Maybe it’s the umpteen horror flicks I’ve consumed since childhood or maybe I’m just too darn panicky. Anyway, the kids had a blast in their Moana(4yr old) and Witch(2yr old) costumes and we can’t wait for next Halloween.

It’s still November 1st, although very late and it’s the first day of Nanowrimo(National Novel Writing Month). Ever since I first heard about Nanowrimo, I’ve been excited about doing it but last year my youngest was a baby and this year, well, she’s a toddler. I’d love to say 24 hrs in a day is enough and I should try harder but I know myself and my hectic schedule. Despite writing daily, I’m not sure I can make a Nanowrimo commitment and I’d hate to start it then not finish in time. 

How was your Halloween and what are you reading??? I’m always nosy about that🤣 📖 

Xo Kat

She said “fat” to my kid! :O

Something I’ve struggled with since childhood was people constantly making weight comments in a deregatory way. My weight has fluctuated all during my childhood and until now but I’ve never been to the point where it’s an unhealthy weight gain, just a little chub. Because of the mean comments I’d gotten at an age too early, I made it a thing not to use the word “fat” in a joking way in front of my kids. People struggling with weights issues is not a funny thing at all. We’re not inside people’s heads to know where they’re at in their lives and personally, I don’t think making fun of people’s appearance or intellect is a good thing to do. It’s just not my thing and I’d like to raise my kids with that mindset also. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way and we have no right to comment or bully another person of their shortcomings. 

To elaborate on the heading of my post, I have to share a small story that happened recently. My daughter is almost five by the way and I’ve never heard her say the word “fat” or comment on someone’s size. Her uncle or dad bought her a Hershey’s chocolate bar and that day we had a relative over. My daughter isn’t an irresponsible candy eater so she broke one block of chocolate and stored the rest in the fridge to be consumed over a weekly period, also to be shared with her younger sister. In my opinion that’s not so unreasonable, was it? Well, my relative proceeded to tell my daughter that chocolate will make her fat and that she shouldn’t eat it. While I do get concerns about monitoring what kids consume, many parents give their kids a little chocolate occasionally and they don’t do it in a way that’s harmful for them. If I’m doing something unknowingly as a parent, I would appreciate any good advice I can get so I’m not mad she said that to my kid but I am concerned about bullying my kids for something she eats when it’s not harmful to her.

Well, my daughter doesn’t even know what “fat” means so she resumed doing whatever it was that she was doing. She’s slender by the way so I don’t know why a grown person would want to make such a young child aware of body shaming. My husband and I, her parents, do a pretty good job of balancing healthy nutritional meals with treats in between. 

What makes this topic sensitive for me  was bullying. I hid my head in my lunch bag to eat at school, I was terrified of eating in public. I’ve starved myself, thrown up food after meals and it took me almost all of my life to combat the bullying and taunts from people around me. I’ve seen girls of all shapes and sizes being bullied by people who are just hateful And while it may never fully end, the best thing we could do for our children is to educate them on how to deal with bullies as well as how not to be a bully.

As always thanks for reading. Drop me a line in the comments, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Xo Kat

Back to School Haul|Pottery Barn Kids|Lunch Essentials


My four year old will be entering Pre-K for the 2017-2018 school year as she didn’t meet the cut off age for Kindergarten. Can’t say I’m not bummed about that because I’ve been teaching her basic math, and reading. I hate to think she’ll be kept back a year but it’s completely out of my hands. 

As Pre-K didn’t require much except the basics like hand soap, paper towels, wipes etc. I thought I’d do a review on our backpack and lunch items and why we had to buy so many different containers. 

If you don’t know this already, I am a bit obsessed with Pottery Barn Kids because of it’s durability. I feel like with PBK kids gear, I don’t have to buy backpacks and lunch totes yearly. From reviews, I’ve seen other moms talk about their kids using them for years. The price point for this kind of quality is not bad at all. I also like the backpack size which fits a preschooler perfectly without swallowing their tiny frame. So that was also a plus. 

Now that you know what I like about PBK backpack and lunch tote, here’s what I don’t like. The backpack is fine for now as she doesn’t need to take much stuff, a change of clothes and a folder maybe. But we’ll definitely have to upgrade once she hits grade 1, or even next year depending on the supplies she has to take to school. 

Let’s talk about the lunch tote and why you see two of them in the picture with a crap load of containers. PBK has a variety of different lunch totes but we went with the classic because my daughter doesn’t eat much. That being said, although you can’t go wrong with the quality, not many containers fit in there with other items such as a smaller container or juice box/water bottle. You’ll definitely want to purchase a bigger size tote for an older kid. The second lunch box is just a thermos brand one from Target. I randomly choose the largest sized one for when we send a food jar and a container. 

Here’s the price breakdown of what you see in the picture. I also did not pay full price for the PBK backpack and lunch items so I got a pretty good deal there. 

PBK backpack. These originally go for $39.99. Whoa! I know that’s a lot but with the coupon I had, I got it for $19. Sign up for their newsletter to get notifications on good deals. 

PBK Lunch Tote. Originally $20 but I got ours for $11.

Thermos Lunch Tote. $8.99 at Target.

Rubbermaid Lunch Blox. These are so cool. The containers clip onto the ice pack. Perfect size for small eaters. $8 on Amazon. 

PBK Food Jar. Orginally $18 but I payed $10 for ours which was cheaper than the thermos brand one so we went with that. 

Aladdin Food Jar. This is not a steel food jar like the thermos and pottery barn one. It’s made of plastic and keeps food hot for a lesser time. However, my daughter requested this and because I didn’t get her a trolls character backpack, I caved. The wide opening is perfect for soups and it seems durable enough to last us for years. $10 at Target. 

PBK double compartment container. This one I really like because there’s an ice pack that fits in the lid. Will be great for a little lunchable type situation. Originally $12.50 but I payed $8 for it on sale. 

PBK utensil set. Originally $8.50, paid $5 on sale. It’s a fork and spoon with a little holder. I thought it was practical and at five bucks, why not? 

PBK ice pack. That little horse you see in the picture is actually an ice pack. It came with another one in the shape of a peace sign. I ordered a couple of those some time back because they were .99 cents a pair. Originally $8.

Thermos Water Bottle. $15 at Target. 

Camel Bak Water Bottle. These are $13 each. I bought two at Babies R Us during a buy one half off sale. 

I would like to insert a disclaimer here. This is not a sponsored post. All items were purchased by me and reviewed truthfully for my fellow moms who are looking for deals and ideas. 

Hope this provided you with some options for your little one’s upcoming academic year.

Xo Kat

Mom Fails & Summer Update

Last weekend we took the kids to the lake and boy were we not prepared. We needed some essentials like water shoes, swim suits, sunscreen etc so off to Target we went on our way. 
Let’s just say, although the day was a hit, I had some total mom fails. Obviously, it’s not cool to plan a day at the lake hours before we actually go. As I was rushing around in Target for our last minute essentials, I realized I didn’t have the luxury of looking for deals. Swim suits for kids were almost $20 and if it had been May or June, I wouldn’t have cared but it’s almost the end of August which means fall is approaching. Which means my daughter won’t wear said swim suit more than two times before it’s time to put it away. And it probably won’t even fit her next year. So I felt a huge no creep up my spine about that $20 swim suit. My eyes hit the clearence rack and my hands started skimming through to see if there were any hidden gems under ten bucks 🙂 Lo and behold, I found something and it was cute, for only $7.50. I hit the jackpot there I thought. It’s only after sauntering over to our car that I realized I picked up a leotard not a bathing suit. My daughter absolutely fell in love with the style and color and we were on a press for time so I figured….would anyone really notice or care? 

Well we ended up not returning it and my daughter used it and no one could tell the difference except me. I’d say it was $7.50 well spent 🙂 

If you’re thinking that’s where it ends, it didn’t. We were initially supposed to pick up food on our way as the plan had been made so last minute, I was only able to throw in a few pouches of apple sauce and some chips in out bag. Well, DH got us all the way to the lake then asked…isn’t there somewhere we can buy food here? We were both so hungry and it turned out there was a place we could get lunch, only we had to pay double price for food and triple for a drink. 🙈

Despite our parenting fails, the kids had a blast and can’t wait to take their grandparents when they visit. 

How has your summer been going? Are you excited for school to reopen or has it already reopened in your state? Ours open in two weeks and boy am I happy to get back into an early routine. 

Happy weekend! Xo Kat

Oh and Because it was an on the spur decision to visit the lake, my Kindle was completely discharged so I grabbed a random book off my shelf. Let’s just say I couldn’t get past the first chapter😪

How to Be A Happier You

I initially started blogging to help people who really had no one to talk to or understand them. I really wanted my troubling feelings to be able to reach out to someone and help them through whatever difficult situation they were in. I am not saying that there are people out there who don’t have worse problems than mine but I honestly wasn’t in the right mental frame for a large portion of my life. The way I saw myself, the way I hated myself and had no confidence, and a mountain of insecurities, it affected my life deeply. It impacted the way I carried about myself, the way I dealt with people and situations and it took me a very long time to really come to terms with who I am and why I should not be insecure or ashamed of being a little different. When I say different here, I mean that I don’t fit the same skin as my peers or family so I often felt like I was strongly misunderstood.

About three years back I lost a really good friend of mine. Not to death or anything of the sort, it was a misunderstanding that I still don’t understand and don’t have the energy to get into. Nevertheless it was an eye opener for me. I realized that I’m the only one who can help me be strong, who can validate my own existence. I don’t like the idea of leaning on friendships to be happy because that’s like putting the key to your happiness in someone else’s hand. And that’s not right. You have to be your own referee. Having friends is awesome and it’s helpful but it’s also very liberating and strengthening to be able to pull yourself out of deep waters.

Here’s a few things that I reassessed about my own life which helps me continuously today in making better decisions and in waking up contented with my life even though there is a lot that I could be sad or mad about.

Respect Yourself

A lot of people hate hearing the words “love yourself”, especially when they’re at a really dark place in their life. I know I hated hearing it. How can you love yourself when everything seems to be falling apart? You have to learn to respect yourself. That is a much better term for what I’m about to explain. It means that you have to accept your own existence, your own purpose the way you accept other people. You are no less than another human being. This is one of the worst kinds of mind sets you can put yourself in.

Learn Yourself

You have to reach deep into yourself and learn who you are as a person. Learn what you stand for and which direction you want your life to be headed. Once you’ve come to terms with that, you need to start weeding out all negative aspects and anything that may be a hurdle in your way. I know this sounds like a difficult thing to do but it’s doable. You have to really want that change, you have to really want to be happy to garner that drive to make these changes.

Focus on Yourself

There comes a point in your life when you really need to stop listening to what other people are saying. It’s okay to listen and incorporate good advice into your life. I’m not advocating being a rude person but if what someone is saying is troubling or harmful to you in any way, you need to filter that out. I needed to stop being concerned about other people more than I was being concerned about myself. I needed to focus on me and my goals, my kids and what’s best for them. Reading into others’ negativity really wasn’t helping anything in my life. It was creating problems in places where there were none. The best thing you can do is focus so hard on your life and goals, until you can’t hear the negativity beating at your door.

I hope you found something helpful in what I shared today. These steps have really worked for me in the last several years. It’s helped me reach a level of maturity and security that seemed so far fetched before. If you take these three points into consideration, sooner or later you’ll realize your worth and once you do, then no one can snatch your happiness away from you. My life isn’t perfect at all. Most of our lives isn’t. There’s many things I could cry about on the daily but really working on myself as a person has helped me reach a significant level of contentment.

xo Kat

(c)Kat Degnich. All rights reserved.

 

I Removed My Kids Pictures from The Internet

Back in 2012 when my first daughter was born, I couldn’t help but share photos of her online. At the time, I used Facebook and Instagram as my main sites for social networking. They were both set on private settings which meant that only people I allowed to see my pictures would see it. I was still apprehensive about posting the pictures but almost all of my family lives on another continent so it was the only way for them to see her.

By the time my second child came around, I grew even more skeptical about posting my kids’ pics online. I started to limit the number of photos I posted as well as not post so frequently. When it comes to my kids I am very protective and a little anal to be honest, and I have since removed all of their photos from social media. Read more to find out why…

Lack of Privacy – Even the people you know personally don’t have respect for your pictures. Time and time again I specifically said don’t share my kids’ pics yet people were sharing them and using them as their profile pictures. How rude! I couldn’t imagine using someone else’s kid pictures. Another privacy concern is strange people viewing your children’s pics. No matter how much you try to keep your photos on lock down, it’s still on the world wide web, an infinite space with all sorts of people. Anything can be hacked, anything can be sent at the touch of a button. Now, I am in no way bashing anyone who shares pics of their beautiful kids but I’m left paranoid after some of the things I read.

Respect for my kids – I’ve always said that I would be mortified if my parents uploaded all of my childhood snapshots online for the world to see. Till date, I hide as much of my awkward childhood pics as I can. It’s just the way I am. One day I got to thinking what if my kids really have a problem with this later on? So I just don’t do it anymore. When my kids reach an age where they can make a sound decision if they want their pics online or not then I would be okay with sharing.

These are my main two concerns with putting my children’s pictures out there on a social platform. Do you feel the same or do you oppose? All comments are welcomed!

xo Kat

 

My Favorite “Me Time” Indulgences

Can you tell I’m not a summer person? Just kidding. I have been MIA for a while and with good reason. Uh oh! Here comes the vent! It’s honestly been overwhelming with the kids, work, house things, outings, errands ever since summer started. I forgot how hard it was having two kids create chaos all day as opposed to just having my toddler with me when my preschooler is in school. Insanity!

As a little hello to my new-ish subscribers and a salute to my fellow parent bloggers, here’s how I survive admidst the chaos.

Books! Books! Books!

I’m never not engaged in a book. As soon as I finish one, I begin another. No intervals. If you’ve read things on my blog from way back you’ll see how drowning myself in stories and book worlds helped me escape from a lot, deal with a lot and conquer a lot. It’s no different today than it was back then.

Creating my own stories

At this point you’re thinking I’m a real party animal, right? On a serious note, it’s something that always came naturally to me. Weaving my own stories and characters and it takes a lot of the stress off my back so to speak. It’s a positive activity that I enjoy doing with all my heart and it helps me wind down from a long tiring day just as much as reading.

Thrift-store Book Hunting

Oh, that wasn’t a different thing than reading? I enjoy finding gems for a buck a piece. I feel like I hit buried treasure when I see hard backs in pristine condition and I almost feel guilty for paying so cheap for them.

TV Junkie

I don’t watch TV daily, a few episodes a week if anything but I do love to get caught up and engrossed in a good long running series. Few of my favs are Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Vikings, Supernatural. What are some of yours?

Treat Myself to Something Extra

Whoever says money can’t buy happiness didn’t fully think that through. (Again just kidding.) It might seem trivial to some but a lot of parents would agree with me on this. We sometimes enjoy a nice fancy dinner or sometimes just splurging on a favorite make up product does the trick.

Planning

This seriously is one of my favorite things to do. I’m always planning things, from outings to redecorating to enhancing my own life. I am still a work in progress and I dedicate a lot of my spare time to working towards many goals. It might sound like a task but I feel proud when I accomplish something.

It’s not selfish to take a time out for yourself even though you feel guilty for doing it. The key to holding everything together is to take care of you first. Leave me a comment and let me know what are your favorite indulgences.

xo Kat