34 Things You Didn't Know About Nike Anderson

34 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Last year, I wrote a post titled, 50 Facts About Me, to welcome my new supporters to the family. The post consisted of random questions I pulled from Google’s search engine that varied from where my hometown is to what countries I’ve traveled to. Considering this post garnered a lot of traffic to my blog, making it among my top ten blog posts of 2018, it’s safe to assume you all enjoyed it—or at least thought it was interesting enough to click on?

In any event, we’ve got some new members to our blogging family and I figured I’d write a similar post to help everyone get to know me even better. Last week, I celebrated my thirty-fourth birthday, so it’s fitting that I offer thirty-four fun facts about me that I haven’t mentioned yet. The first few questions are related to blogging. The rest are random, yet interesting. I hope you enjoy this post!

34 Things You Didn't Know About Nike Anderson

 

1. How did you first get into blogging?

I believe it was the year 2010 when I first got a taste of the blogging world. I sort of fell into it. I joined a social media platform for women with natural hair and started sharing my natural hair journey with other women of color. Although this platform no longer exists, some of my writings are still floating around the Internet to this day.

 

2. What inspired you to start your recent blog?

Loneliness. When I started homeschooling my children, it felt like we were the only black homeschool family in the world. My blog allowed me to connect not just with other black homeschoolers, but with homeschoolers from many racial, cultural, and geographical backgrounds. It was my way of saying “I’m here and I’m with you” to all those homeschool moms that felt the same loneliness.

 

3. What is your greatest blogging failure so far and what did you learn from that?

Hmmm. I would say not doing adequate research. When I first started blogging in 2010, I would share any old info’ that popped up in my search engine and it came back to bite me. These days, I seek scholarly sources and am more thorough with my research when applicable.

 

4. What is your proudest achievement as a blogger so far?

Hands down, the number of people I’ve helped. Whether I’ve helped them find a valuable resource, peace of mind, or encouragement, it always warms my heart to open an email from someone who just wants to say thank you.

 

5. What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?

I’d have to say my mental and spiritual growth. My skin’s a little thicker, I’m more confident, more spiritual, and am pretty much happy and thankful to be who I am and where I’m at in life.

 

6. Who are some of your favorite bloggers?

 

7. Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

My blog is definitely a hobby right now. While it has helped me earn money, I simply haven’t had the time to make this a full-time gig yet. Contrary to what some people think, even blogging part-time is very time-consuming.

 

8. How often do you communicate with your followers?

Pretty regularly. Join me on Instagram where I post family snapshots and video stories at least four times a week. Follow me on Facebook where I share inspiring stories, budget-friendly resources, and snapshots of our day-in-the-life. I also like to read your blog posts on a weekly basis (if you’re a fellow blogger), so it’s likely you’ll see me drop by with a like and/or comment!

 

9. What do you do in your spare time?

When I’m not blogging or teaching, I’m creating educational resources for Nike Anderson’s Classroom, reading self-help books, writing musings, listening to motivational podcasts or Youtube videos, getting my blood flowing, helping my husband run the family business, exploring local (or far away) beautiful places with my family, eating Mexican food, window shopping, hanging out with friends, laughing until I cry, drinking coffee, or sleeping.

 

10. What are some red flags you watch out for in daily life?

It may seem weird, but too much praise. Sincere compliments are wonderful, but too much flattery makes me suspicious of a person’s intentions. Why? Because it NEVER, I repeat NEVER ended well when my relationships/friendships started off with incessant praise. Sometimes people use flattery as a manipulation tool, so be careful!

 

11. What “old person” things do you do?

Use slang incorrectly, say things like “Is that what the young people are doing these days?” or “What happened to real music?,” declare how “hip” I am, get excited about coupons, retell the same stories to anyone who’ll listen—okay, I’ll stop embarrassing myself now.

 

12. What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?

“Natural hair is not for me.” Oh, the irony of that statement. God gave it to you. It’s for you, boo.

 

13. How do you judge a person?

By how they talk about other people and/or treat people with lower economic status. I once read a statement that said, “How people treat others whom they believe are beneath them is very telling of their character.” So far, so accurate.

 

14. When was the last time you were snooping and found something you wish you hadn’t?

I Googled myself once (under my then blogging alias about 8 years ago) and found someone had shared one of my blog posts. The comments underneath that shared post were hateful and non-constructive. It took a while for me to get over it. But it was a lesson learned in so many ways. The primary lesson? It’s none of my business what other people think about me. 

 

15. If you were moving to another country, but could only pack one carry-on sized bag, what would you pack?

  • My Bible.
  • My cell phone.
  • My laptop.
  • My intimates (bras in my size are difficult to find and are expensive).
  • My family photos.
  • My important documents.
  • My makeup.
  • My good jeans (they’re high waisted and very forgiving).
  • Some leggings and comfy tops (I know how to pack military style).
  • My favorite bathrobe.
  • My Ninja to make smoothies.
  • My natural hair products.
  • A converter for my plugs.
  • A pair of heels.

 

16. If you could have an all-expenses paid trip to see any famous world monument, which monument would you choose?

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It’s currently the tallest skyscraper in the world and I would love to take my boys (who love architecture and skyscrapers) to see it in person.

 

17. What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought?

During my undergrad years, I thought I was purchasing a $99 refurbished laptop from eBay (I know, I know). It was supposed to be a gift for my fiancé (now husband). Turns out when I received it, it was basically a shell with NOTHING inside. No motherboard, no nothing. The computer techs practically laughed us out of the store when we asked if there was anything they could do to “fix” it.

 

18. What outdoor activity haven’t you tried, but would like to?

Zip-lining. My husband just tried it last weekend and I would like to work up the courage to try it one day.

 

19. What’s the worst backhanded compliment someone gave you?

“I love your home—My husband and I are considering downgrading to something small like this.” It’s probably not the worst backhanded compliment, but it’s all I can think of at the moment. Believe me, homegirl was being super shady when she said it. It was a home my husband and I shared when we lived in Atlanta, Georgia nearly seven years ago.

 

20. If you were given one thousand acres of land that you didn’t need to pay taxes on but couldn’t sell, what would you do with it?

Grow crops for food. I’ve been liking the idea of growing my own food more and more lately, and I just might do it one day.

 

21. What about the opposite sex confuses you the most?

The thought-process behind throwing dirty clothes onto the floor NEXT to the laundry basket. Didn’t know this was an epidemic until I spoke with other wives with the same problem. Love you anyway, hubby! It’s all in fun!

 

22. What kinds of things do you like to cook or are good at cooking?

I’m told I make a great spaghetti meat sauce, baked mac n cheese, homemade BBQ sauce, and homemade chewy sugar cookies—just to name a few. I actually don’t like cooking, but I love when people enjoy my food—especially my hubby and children.

 

23. What life skills are rarely taught but extremely useful?

How to handle and overcome adversity. I think too many people give up way too soon. We’d have more successful people if we were taught to expect adversity and were given the tools to come out on the winning side of it.

 

24. What’s the most historic thing that has happened in your lifetime?

There are a few; the 9/11 attacks on the WTC, having the first black POTUS, and the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria—which was the most important election in that country since 1999, and I happened to be visiting during that time. I missed my flight back home to the States due to demonstrations happening in Lagos.

 

25. What’s the most awkward thing that happens to you on a regular basis?

The long, awkward pause when someone asks me how old my children are, what grade they’re in, how many years I’ve been married, or how old I am. For some reason, the answers don’t come to me straight away. Like, I swear I know how old my kids are, haha.

 

26. What’s the most annoying noise?

The sound of my children asking for water for the umpteenth time after going to bed. Haha.

 

27. What animal is the most majestic?

I love lions and tigers (you know you want to finish the song). But seriously, I am a fan of big cats. Have you ever looked into their eyes? So beautiful and regal.

 

28. What seemingly innocent question makes you think “It’s a trap!”?

The good ol’ “What do you do for a living?” I think most creatives hate this question because it simply can’t be summarized in a way that’s pleasing to itching ears. Also, I’ve found that this question stems from one of two places; 1.) Someone wondering how you can afford something they deem a luxury. 2.) Someone waiting for the opportunity to brag about what THEY do. Whatever the case, either your answer will cause them to feel inferior or superior. Neither is a good outcome. I do understand, however, that in some cases this is harmless small talk.

 

29. What small change greatly improves a person’s appearance?

A genuine smile. There’s nothing more beautiful than a face that reflects a heart at peace.

 

30. What topic could you spend hours talking about?

Ugh. natural hair. I low-key get excited whenever someone brings up the topic. I love everything about natural hair from the spiritual journey I’ve experienced, the discovery and acceptance of self, to the science of taking care of it. It’s all so fascinating. So much so that I was once a regular contributor to an online natural hair care magazine. Best hobby ever. But actually, I like talking about anything that’s helped me grow as a person, really—faith, homeschool, family, parenting, you name it!

 

31. What’s the weirdest thing that has happened to you while working at your job?

A couple years ago, I was hit on by a married man in front of his wife (and ALL my colleagues). I was working the front desk at a part-time job after relocating from Atlanta to Middle Georgia and the man blatantly flirted with me while his wife was standing next to him. She said nothing at all but stood there nervously smiling. And, yes, I’m sure it was his wife as I was helping them fill out pertinent paperwork. I thought I was on a prank television show or something. I couldn’t fill out his paperwork fast enough. Mortifying.

 

32. What are some of the most common misconceptions people have about you?

  • That I’m shy.
  • That I’m high maintenance.
  • That I don’t have a sense of humor.

In all fairness, I can see why that’d be an initial impression, as I’m a woman of few words around people I don’t know very well. That’s because I’m trying to discern what type of people they are. You’ll discover a lot about people when you close your mouth and just listen to them speak.

 

33. What was the biggest realization you had about yourself?

I am super TMI. Typically, this happens around people I’m comfortable with. I don’t know how many times a friend has lovingly said, “I didn’t need to know that.” I’m getting better though. It took a few unfavorable experiences for me to wise up and learn when to keep things to myself.

 

34. What values are most important to you?

Faith, peace, love, family, education, health, authenticity, and persistence. But above all; faith, peace, and love.


 

Can you relate to any of my answers? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, friends…

How To Make Friends In Adulthood and Keep Them

How I Make—and Keep—Friends in Adulthood

So, you’re all grown up now. Perhaps you relocated to a different state. Perhaps you’ve outgrown your childhood friends. Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home mom struggling to meet other moms. Whatever the case, building new friendships in adulthood can be a daunting challenge.

I’ve experienced all the above; I moved to a new state, I outgrew most of my friends, and I was a stay-at-home mom struggling to make connections with other moms. To ice that cake, I’m also an introvert and I homeschool my children—which made it even more challenging to find people I could relate to.

As a woman in her thirties, I’ve made many friends in my adulthood, but lacked the quality friendships I desired.

Quality Friends Memes, Quotes, and Inspiration

Let me differentiate the two. With a casual friend, we might go out to coffee and catch up every now and then, but neither of us is committed to taking the relationship to the next level.

And that’s okay!

Everyone needs friendships like these. I call them seasonal friends.

A quality friendship, however, is a friendship where both parties are committed to realizing the potential of their relationship. It goes beyond the coffee dates and birthday party invites. There’s more transparency, a stronger connection, and most importantly—mutual edification.

I’ve discovered finding a good friend is a lot like finding a mate. In fact, my friends and I jokingly referred to our new friendship phase as “dating.”

Here, I don’t just want to talk about things I’ve learned that helped me make friends as an adult, but also things I’ve found to help sustain those friendships. Of course, I’m coming from the point of view of a homeschool mom, but you’ll find these tips can apply to you regardless of your walk in life.

As a disclaimer, I don’t have a ton of close friends. In fact, there are only two people on this earth I can call a close friend. But please be assured that one good friend is all you need. After all, quality friendships take time, love, and dedication to blossom. So, let’s get to it, shall we?


15 Ways to Make—and Keep—Friends in Adulthood


1. Enjoy your singleness.

If your goal is to make quality friends in 2019, don’t just sit around your house and hope for it. Instead, take that hope to the next level. That means doing the things you love—by yourself.

You must start living!

Enjoy Your Own Company Meme, Quote, Inspiration

You don’t need a BFF to go to the movie theater and watch that movie you’ve been wanting to see. You don’t need a BFF to go eat lunch at your favorite restaurant. And you certainly don’t need a BFF to travel or take advantage of wonderful social opportunities. You never know; you might run into your future BFF at the movie theater, coffee shop, or airport.

Just enjoy your own company!

Yes, I’ve dined alone, traveled solo, and showed up to social events with just me, myself, and I. I made meaningful connections, became confident in conversing with strangers, and even met my BFF!

Fellowship is important, but learning to be content with being by ourselves is also necessary for our personal growth and development. It is where we learn the art of balance.

 

2. Practice wholeness.

I’ve learned that no one should complete me. I should be whole all by myself. In fact, when we rely on people to fill our inner void, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Why? Because people are imperfect beings.

So, how do I practice wholeness?

  • By being intentional about improving my spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health.
  • By maintaining a connection with God through prayer, meditation, and worship.
  • By allowing God to help me regulate my emotions and express them in a healthy manner.
  • By taking my thoughts captive to filter out the negativity.
  • Lastly, by developing healthier eating habits and staying active.

When I actively pursue the path of wholeness, I not only increase my chances of being an edifying friend to others, but also building quality friendships that last.

 

3. Build your confidence.

Practicing wholeness naturally increases my self-confidence, making me more attractive to quality people. Other methods I use to help build my confidence are:

  • Praying before attending events. I ask God for confidence and the courage to be myself. I also pray for the people attending the event. I pray that God gives them confidence, peace of mind, and the ability to make meaningful connections.
  • Remembering names. I try to remember the names of the people I want to build a connection with. Addressing people by their name is a small act that makes a huge impact on potential friends. If you belong to a club or group that has a social media account, don’t feel creepy about studying the faces in profile pictures to memorize their names. I’ve done it!
  • Practice small talk. Small talk isn’t my favorite. I like deep conversations. However, I’ve found that most people gravitate toward small talk, and I should become good at it if I want to make connections. And, to be honest, small talk isn’t that bad once you identify your motive. In my case, that motive is to get to know people better. Simple questions like, “Are you from this area?,” “How many years have you been living here?,” “How old are your children?” (if they have any), and “How is your week going so far?” have given me much success in opening the door to conversation.

Arrogance requires advertising. Confidence speaks for itself. Memes, Quotes, Inspiration

One thing’s for certain; when our confidence levels are high, not only are we more likely to engage in conversation, but we’re less likely to resort to “advertising” ourselves in an attempt to gain friendship. You know? When we try to sound as interesting as possible, but it just comes off as braggadocious? You can never go wrong with asking the questions and allowing a person to tell you about themselves. Most people love talking about themselves!

 

4. Join something. Anything!

Well, maybe not anything. Make sure it’s something you have a genuine interest for. Join a book club, a mom group, an art club, or volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about.

Now, this is where I lose some people.

I know joining a group can seem intimidating. But making quality friends will require getting out of your comfort zone.

I’ve learned I’m never going to meet anyone if I don’t attend the fieldtrips, playdates, and classes hosted by my homeschool group or co-op. I’m not talking about an occasional thing, but actively attending most of the events and raising a hand to volunteer. This practice ensured I saw the same faces regularly, which provided more opportunities to develop quality relationships.

There was a time when I didn’t attend events because I felt “too awkward.” I was always off somewhere by myself and it seemed everyone else was hitting it off, except me. If this is you, please stay in the game! Don’t let these experiences keep you home. Push through the tough, awkward moments.

The more I became comfortable with being uncomfortable, the greater my confidence grew. Eventually, those awkward moments passed, and I found myself getting to know new people.

 

5. Don’t always trust your first impression.

Sometimes first impressions are accurate, but they can also be wrong. I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say I’ve unfairly written people off based on first impressions. But, one day, a thought came to mind in the case of negative perceptions:

Instead of being so committed to being “right” about someone, start hoping that you’re wrong. 

Negative Perceptions About People. Quotes, Memes, Inspiration

After all, perception is simply an interpretation, and your interpretation of a person could be wrong. Love always assumes the best of others.

Here’s the thing; speaking from a mom point of view, I’ve learned I was going to see moms at their worst. Not only do most of the moms in my homeschool group have multiple children, but many of them work side businesses, babysit and homeschool other people’s children, and are active foster parents and volunteers. Sometimes, these moms get frustrated and lose their ever-loving mind. So, extending grace toward others is definitely a prerequisite to building friendships in my case.

I admit, I’ve ended up building connections with people I wasn’t too fond of at first. I’ve made sweeping generalizations about their character and God humbled me by showing me I was wrong. I simply judged them based on a moment. These days, I pay more attention to patterns rather than “moments.” Studying a person’s patterns will always offer a more accurate character assessment.

 

6. Ask for them digits.

Am I telling my age with that phrase? Who remembers when we used to say this in the ‘90s? What I mean is, don’t forget to ask your potential friend to exchange phone numbers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit it off with someone and left an event with absolutely no way to contact them.

It sucks.

I remember when I met one of my dearest friends at a homeschool event. We were chatting it up and hitting it off, but neither of us thought to exchange numbers. At the tail-end of our conversation, her husband actually interjected and suggested we exchanged contact info to keep in touch. We’re such good friends now, but every now and then I think of how we would’ve just left that event with no way of keeping in touch.

I know it may seem awkward in this day and age, but requesting contact info is a bold step worth taking—and a great habit to develop. It shows that you find a person interesting and want the opportunity to get to know them more. A great first impression, if you ask me.

 

7. Be authentic—flaws and all.

The first thing most of us are tempted to do when first meeting someone is to make ourselves look as polished, intelligent, and interesting as humanly possible. After all, we’re advertising ourselves to potential friends. However, in my experience, I’ve found the best way to connect with someone is to be authentic—to allow people to see my imperfections.

So, rather than pretend, I admit to people right away that I’m nervous and apologize for my awkwardness. This usually breaks the ice and even evokes a few confessions of their own. I’ve made more connections this way than I ever made rambling on about my life-story and accomplishments.

I get it. We want to put on our best face to impress people. But putting on a good front will only result in your appearing pretentious and untrustworthy. Even more? We’re tempted to judge people for not being as good at “faking it” as we are. Just be real and free yourself from the fear of judgment. Otherwise, you’ll have to put on this persona every time you’re around this person—which is tiring!

I’ve learned to accept my flaws, which gave me the ability to accept the character flaws of others. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary for building and maintaining quality friendships.

Accept Your Own Flaws. Quotes, Memes, Inspiration

 

8. Stay true to yourself.

This may sound similar to my last point, but I want to emphasize the importance of being yourself. Can I say it louder for the people in the back? Furthermore, this point speaks more on maintaining a friendship, while my last point speaks more on first impressions.

Sometimes when we get into new relationships, we tend to slowly mold ourselves into what we think the other person wants. Let me tell you, friendships like this are draining and almost never last because that act is difficult to keep up with.

For instance, I’m what many consider a girly girl. I like to paint my nails, wear makeup, dress up, and say “awe.”  But when I used to “date” potential friends, I’d forgo any evidence of who I truly was. I thought my love for playing dress up would be a complete turn-off. I feared they’d see me as vain and shallow, and I knew I was so much more than what I chose to wear for the day. Those friendships didn’t work out. But you know what did work out? The friendships where I remained true to myself.

 

9. Redefine “friendship.”

In grade school, and maybe even college, friendship meant hanging out with your bestie every single day and doing everything together. Perhaps you’ve even spent hours talking on the phone. At least I know I did.

As a thirty-something-year-old married woman with small children, having this type of relationship with another human being is just impossible. I had to redefine the way I’ve known friendship and let go of those expectations formed in my adolescence.

For me, redefining friendship meant knowing most of our encounters will involve facilitating playdates, exceeding small talk, texting more than calling, seeing each other’s homes in less than stellar conditions, and having each other’s back in the case of an emergency.

It also meant establishing boundaries.

I love my friends, but I don’t want to desire their company over that of my own husband and children. But that’s what often happens when we don’t define friendship and put it in its place.

 

10. Have a disagreement.

Not on purpose. What I truly mean is to allow yourself to have a disagreement. Do not fear a differing of opinion. In fact, disagreements make for healthy relationships. You won’t always agree with each other. And if you suddenly find yourself disagreeing that doesn’t mean the friendship won’t work out.

Relax.

Disagreements are bound to happen the more time you spend with someone. This is especially true in new relationships because boundaries are still being drawn and are bound to be overstepped a time or two. How people handle disagreements is very telling of their true personality, so pay attention!

How People Handle Disagreements. Quotes, Memes, and Inspiration

What’s great about these types of hiccups in a friendship is that we can let our guard down (or run!) once we’ve seen what’s on the other side of that smile.

 

11. Take it easy.

Having a new friend can be exciting, but please take it easy at the beginning of the relationship. Don’t expect this person to be your everything. Like you, they have a life to live. It’s not realistic to expect them to meet you for lattes every day and go shopping every weekend. I know you want to get to know them, but you cannot microwave a friendship. It will take time and dedication to build companionship, transparency, and trust.

My biggest mistake was revealing too much about myself too soon in order to move the friendship along. I soon learned that being transparent while maintaining my mystery is an art. If you hang out every day and reveal every detail of your life within the first few weeks of the friendship, what is there to look forward to in the years to come?

 

12. Make your motives plain.

Most people will lose sleep trying to decipher the motives of others. Make it easy for your new pal and tell them straight away what your intentions are. It’s okay to have motives, but you should let the other person in on them. If your motive is to become good friends, express that to them. Let them know you’ve been on the hunt for quality friendships and you’re in the “dating” phase.

During the new phase of one of my friendships, I let my friend know that I’m making more of an effort to reach out to people to form friendships. Lucky for me, she was in that phase of her life, too. So, it worked out for both of us. No guessing. No losing sleep. Just being upfront right at the beginning by saying, “Hey, I think we’re a match!”

As another example, I once told a friend of mine that I wanted to make sure my children built friendships with people who didn’t look like them. That was my motive. I wanted more diverse friendships for myself and my children. She also happens to be an outstanding homeschool mom and human being that I can learn from. That is why I chose to build a relationship with her and that’s okay.

And as fate would have it, our motives were pretty similar. We connected for the sake of our children, but it turned out that we actually liked each other as people. Go figure!

So, don’t be afraid to say: “Hey, our children seem to be hitting it off, would you mind if we connected more?” or “Wow, your children seem to be thriving, would you mind connecting more? I’d love to learn about your approach to child-rearing.” If your motives are pure, sharing them should never be an issue.

 

13. Get uncomfortable.

We tend to gravitate toward people we feel comfortable with—people who are like us. But lately, I’ve been challenged to get uncomfortable. That is, build connections with people unlike myself. I’m not merely talking about physical appearance, but also personality, culture, and lifestyle-wise.

Step Outside the Box Memes, Quotes, and Inspiration

Why is building a relationship with people different from you important? Because it edifies you.

I’m so amazed at how much I’ve learned through my unlikely friendships—how much I’ve grown as a person. I’ve connected with people that couldn’t be any more different, but we’ve discovered our core values are the same.

Connecting with people we’re comfortable with is great, but I encourage you to also connect with people you can learn from. If you’re having difficulty managing your homeschool, connect with someone who does it well. If you’re trying to improve your financial stewardship, connect with someone who is excellent at it. If you want to explore outside your culture, connect with someone who has a rich culture.

These relationships may not always feel the most “comfortable” at first, but they will certainly enrich your life.

 

14. Pay attention to how they treat others.

This one may help you dodge a bullet.

Do they gossip about people often?

You might be next.

Do they put all the blame for the failure of their past friendships on other people and take zero responsibility?

You might be next.

Do they ditch their current friends to hang out with you?

You might be next.

Notice a pattern here? How a person treats their friends is a foreshadow of where your relationship is going with them. Take heed.

 

15. Become the friend you desire.

Have you ever been in one of those frustrated, one-sided relationships where you’re the only one committed to “making time?” There’s no longevity in those types of friendships. Not only have I been that friend who never made time, but I’ve also been on the receiving end.

We’re all “busy.” That’s why maintaining our commitment to making time for others shows we value their friendship.  There must be some sort of sacrifice and it must be reciprocal. I’m not talking about putting off important things, but rather putting off things that “can wait” to grab coffee with that friend or attend that playdate.

Become the Friend You Desire. Meme, Quotes, Inspiration

Everyone has heard the adage: “treat others the way you want to be treated.” This, in my opinion, is the surefire way to grow in consideration, compassion, and humility toward others. If you want a good friend, you must first be one. If you expect others to accept your flaws, you must do the same for them. Extend grace where grace is needed.


 

The key word here is “maintenance.” Most of us are good at making connections but are terrible at putting in the work to maintain those connections. With that being said, these are practices I must work at regularly. They are also practices I know work! Even if you have great friendships, we all need a reminder now and then to make more of an effort to strengthen our bond with others.

If you’re in the same boat I was in, take courage. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for nine years and it took me a while to learn these things. It’s only been the past three years that I could finally call someone a friend. What I found essential is to remember to change my mindset. When I had this notion that there were no good people out there, I was making a rather haughty assumption that I was the only good human being left on the planet.

Which wasn’t true.

Yes, there were people out there who used, backstabbed, and abandoned me. But, going through the fire refined me and increased my discernment to recognize when I was face-to-face with a genuine person. It also taught me that I was no angel, either, and could use a few lessons on being a good friend myself.

Well, I hope this post was helpful. At the end of the day, that’s all I’m aiming to do. Feel free to share your wealth of knowledge about how you’ve made and maintained friendships in your adult years.

Until next time, friends…

SAHM? How to Not Be Miserable.

10 Ways Not to Be Miserable as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Welcome to the New Year!

Okay, so being a stay-at-home mom is no joke. Can we all raise our hand and agree?

I know, I know—we chose this lot in life. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get challenging. And it certainly doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge it.

So, here I am acknowledging it.

Miserable is a harsh word, but it makes for a great title. I am not miserable. But I do acknowledge that some stay-at-home moms are—and that I, too, have experienced those challenging moments.

I’m not talking about clinical depression or any mental disorder that requires medical attention. I’m talking about feelings of unhappiness, discomfort, and/or inadequacy.

Perhaps I can be of some help. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for nine years to two boys, ages 5 and 9. On top of that, I also homeschool, run a business, volunteer, the list goes on.

I’ve experienced a season where I hardly saw my husband due to his job, where I had to care for a newborn and a toddler while battling the baby blues, where I didn’t live close to family or friends, and where I felt isolated, anxious, and alone. And that is just naming a few!

I may not understand exactly what you’re going through, but I have an idea. Won’t you stick around and read what I’ve learned during those seasons?

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or an old faithful reader of my blog, I know that at least one of these points will speak to you.

Note: I don’t mean to assume you’re a Believer, I can only write from my personal perspective. If you’re not a Believer and want to be, please refer to the bottom of this post.

So, without further ado, on with the blog:

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclaimer for more information.)



10 Ways Not to Be Miserable as a Stay-at-Home Mom

 

 

1. Know Your Purpose.

Knowing your purpose is directly linked to knowing who you are. When you know who you are and what you’re doing here, you increase your sense of self-worth and wellbeing. This is essential because some negative opinions about stay-at-home moms can really hurt. But when we know who we are, and understand our purpose, those unsolicited opinions roll off our backs easier.

You are not “just a mom.”

You are not “lazy.”

You are not “outdated.”

You heard the call and you answered!

Many stay-at-home moms are called to this particular ministry to inspire people only THEY can inspire. And yes, I said “ministry.” In whatever we do, whether it’s working a corporate job or being a stay-at-home-mom, our primary focus should be to glorify God, love others, and spread the good news wherever we are.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart

There are stay-at-home moms in your city that don’t know Christ or who’ve fallen away from the faith—women only YOU can reach. This is why we shouldn’t only associate with people “like us.” I’ve made some of the best connections with people I’d never expect to have anything in common with.

So, stay on course and realize this lifestyle you chose has more significance than you think.

Your children are the future and they need YOU.

The stay-at-home mom community needs YOU.

And God is working through YOU!

 

2. Know it’s Supposed to be Challenging.

Being a stay-at-home mom is not for the faint of heart. You can’t be ready to quit at the first sign of adversity. If it’s truly a calling then, as with all callings, you can expect to face challenges. Challenges aren’t meant to break you, but to edify, improve character, and increase faith. Therefore, expect:

Frustration.

Tears.

Guilt.

The desire to quit.

Feeling like it’s not worth the trouble.

When these things happen, it can be tough. But remember, we aren’t operating in our own strength, but God’s. When we expect challenges, we eliminate making permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.

When we expect challenges... Quote, Meme, Inspiration

Even more? When we expect challenges, our first inclination will not be to get “sad” when they appear, but to armor up and fight!

 

3. Establish Your Village.

We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” No truer words have ever been spoken. We weren’t meant to take on the responsibility of childrearing on our own. It’s not healthy for us or our children. Children need to be exposed to varying personalities, perspectives, and environments to help them become well-rounded adults.

We need companionship and support to help edify us.

It wasn’t always this way but, these days, I’m fortunate enough to have the support of my family, friends, and community. But if you don’t live close to family or friends, sign your kids up for local classes and activities. The public library is a great place to start if you want to know what resources and events your city has to offer. They usually have pamphlets at their front desk, or you can ask a knowledgable librarian. Many events I’ve attended were not advertised online so a Google search may not be your best bet.

And dare I say, join a mom group?

I know, I know. It’s HARD!

You tried, and it didn’t work.

Or, you simply just don’t want to do it.

But hear me out, you will never find the perfect group of women. You, yourself, are not perfect. There will always be some women in that group you can’t stand the sight of. But I promise you, if you stick with it, you can establish healthy friendships. But, you must be determined.

Most women give up too easily. I, myself, gave up easily at one point. But by God’s grace, I was able to connect with other women. And if this introverted, socially awkward black woman can make friends in a 99% white support group in the Confederate South, you can do it, too.

 

3. Create an Income Stream.

Contributing to the household income can be a satisfying feeling. But you don’t have to leave your home to do it. Today, streaming additional income from home has never been more attainable. All you need is a skill you’ve honed and a computer with internet access.

Proverbs 18:16 reminds us that our gift will make room for us!

A mans gift. Proverbs 18:16

I know plenty of moms who’ve put their gifts to use to earn income. They have virtual shops where they sell one-of-a-kind crochet designs. They host webinars that help people manage their finances. They write ebooks and author resources. The possibilities are endless!

I, myself, create educational resources for teachers and parents around the globe, and it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Earning money is just a bonus!

 

4. Make a Difference.

Some of the happiest moms I know are those who serve others. Ever hear the adage “the quickest way to get over your own problems is to help someone else with theirs?” Research shows making a positive difference in the lives of others increases our sense of self-worth and combats anxiety and depression.

I’ll be the first to raise my hand and attest to that. One of the reasons I continue to blog and create resources is because of the emails, DMs, and comments I receive from people who’ve felt I’ve positively impacted their lives in some way. Reading the words “thank you” and “this is just what I needed” never gets old for me!

Getting involved in your community is another way to make a difference. Find a cause you’re passionate about and go for it! That’s where it’s helpful to be a part of a mom group or club. When you belong to a community, it’s easier to be presented with opportunities to serve.

And I want to note that, above all else, you’re making a positive impact on the lives of your children when you serve your family. After all, your family should be your first ministry.

 

5. Step into Your Role.

You are the manager of your home. Yet, many moms stray from the true definition of “manager.”

But what does a manager do?

The purpose of a manager is to set goals, decide what needs to be done to achieve those goals, and delegate responsibilities to ensure those goals are met. You were not meant to do everything alone.

I’ll repeat it louder for the ones in the back:

YOU were not meant to do everything ALONE! 

Don’t you dare do all the housework if you have children of age who are capable of doing chores.

Don’t you dare not consider asking your husband to contribute to keeping the house in order.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different. Perhaps you have an infant or a husband that’s deployed. Perhaps your village is non-existent. But if you can help it, never do everything by yourself. Even children as young as three-years-old can pick up after themselves and wipe down a table using a non-toxic cleaning spray.

And there’s no shame in hiring help if you can afford to. Hire someone to do your lawn care, shampoo your carpets, or deep clean your bathrooms every week. I’m not ballin’ like that at the moment, but if you are, go for it! We must stop shaming moms who hire help and we must stop making overworked, worn-out moms the face of motherhood.

 

6. Count Your Wins.

Let’s forget about how many times we’ve failed. Instead, let’s remember to count our victories. One method that helped me in the past was taking inventory on a regular basis. Every so often, I would ask myself what I did right and reflect on those things. When I started this exercise, it suddenly occurred to me how much I focused on my failures and how rarely I thought about my wins.

Consider this verse:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

Whatever is true...Philippians 4:8

Let’s emphasize, “If anything is excellent or praiseworthy.” You can’t be doing it all wrong. There has got to be something you’re excellent at and is deserving of praise.

When we reflect on our failures, we start identifying ourselves as failures. Which is simply not true. Romans 8:37 tells us we are more than conquerors! Furthermore, we must remember we are what we think. For “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

 

7. Stop Comparing.

Whether you think you’re better or worse than the next mom, comparison is a joy stealer! I know it’s tempting, but please resist the urge.

Most people talk about comparing yourself to others in the form of feeling “less than.” I want to talk about the other type of comparison. It’s easy to see why feeling inferior to another mom isn’t healthy, but I would venture to say that feeling superior to other moms isn’t healthy either.

Consider this:

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Romans 12:3).

We must remember not to mistake arrogance with confidence. Arrogant moms tend to have a revolving door of friends because they depend on putting others down to feel better about themselves. But confidence doesn’t depend on the inferiority of other people.

Don’t be that mom!

I love this verse:

Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of (Galatians 6:4). 

It’s easier said than done. But it’s not impossible. What has really helped me to stop comparing myself to others was to live out Galatians 6:4 and focus on my own endeavors. Do you see why I recommended seeking volunteer opportunities and establishing healthy hobbies and friendships? You’ve got to be so busy enjoying an edifying life that you don’t have time to reflect on what the next mom is doing.

 

8. Monitor Your Self-Talk.

Self-esteem is measured by the way we think and feel about ourselves. I used to think of myself as a confident person, but I became amazed at the things I told myself when I wasn’t paying attention. A devotional by Barb Roose, titled Beautiful Already, was what inspired me to REALLY listen to the lies I told myself about myself.

Even today, I must still take heed and pay attention, lest I subconsciously fall into negative thought-patterns.

Why is this important?

Because when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we project those insecurities onto others—including our own children!

So watch phrases like:

I’m not good enough.

Nobody likes me. 

I’m failing at motherhood.

My kids aren’t like those kids.

Remember when I said you are what you think? Whatever you meditate on becomes your reality. Of course, we must be real with ourselves if we need to improve in certain areas, but constantly putting ourselves down isn’t doing us any favors.

You are what you think. Inspiration, Quotes, Memes

9. Practice Self-Care.

I’m going to repeat this airline cliché:

Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you assist others.

Self-care means different things to different people. For me, it means ensuring I’m pouring enough into myself so that I have plenty left over to pour into others.

Can I be real? I went an entire week without practicing the self-care habits I normally do. I was a complete mess! There are many excuses women use as to why we can’t put themselves first. But the reality is, we make time for what’s important. The question is:

Why don’t we consider ourselves important enough to make time for? 

Exercise.

Quiet time.

Fellowship.

Hobbies.

These things are not luxuries. They’ve been proven time and again to improve our quality of life. They are necessary. I know moms who get up at the crack of dawn just to ensure they have time to exercise, meditate, and work on their hobbies. It’s that important to them. I, myself, know that I’m a better person when I practice self-care.

I know it’s difficult to develop these habits, but all you need is to take one step at a time. Can you commit to seven minutes a day of physical activity? Ten minutes a day to do something you enjoy? One day a month to meet with a friend? Wake up just ten minutes earlier to pray and meditate?

It all starts small! You can increase over time.

Here’s a seven-minute workout routine I like to do when I don’t have much time. Here’s my favorite twenty-minute HIIT workout at the moment.

 

10. Appreciate Your Season.

I can say this, and still, most of us will not feel the truth of this statement until after the fact—savor the moment.

If you don’t stop and smell the roses in the spring, you’ll regret it and long for them in the winter.

Life is full of seasons. As a stay-at-home mom, I’ve gone through many of them.

When I was a nursing mom, I desperately wanted my body back. When I was a new mom, I desperately wanted my baby to sleep through the night.  I think you can see where I’m going with this.

I remember talking with a fellow homeschool mom at the local skating rink. After exchanging a few comical mom stories, she stared into the distance and said:

“If my kids went back to being small like yours, I would play with them more. Take long walks and crunch the leaves with them. I would steal more kisses, more hugs. I spent their childhood waiting for them to get older, be more independent. Now that they are, I realize they are never going to be small again.”

Wow! I absolutely loved every word she said! You will NEVER regret spending more time with your children. How fortunate are we that we get to spend even more time with our children than the average American mom?


I want to sign off by saying, your feelings are valid! This post is not meant to guilt-trip or condemn, but to offer a bit of advice that has helped me over the years.

Of course, I am not an expert. I don’t know everything. All I know is that being a stay-at-home mom is taxing. But what greater purpose to labor for than for the wellbeing of our family!

Until next time, friend…



Want to change your life and become a Believer of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Say this prayer with faith and conviction, and then find a fellow Believer who can point you in the right direction.

Sinners Prayer for Salvation.

Did you just give your life to Christ? Email me and tell me about it!

 

 

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What I Got My Boys for Christmas

What I Got My Boys for Christmas for Under $100 | Non-Toy Ideas

I have two boys, ages five and nine. Since our very first family Christmas, my hubs and I have thought diligently about how to balance enjoying this time of year without overshadowing its true meaning. 

One thing that has really helped me over the years is becoming an early shopper. I seldom wait until December, or even Black Friday, to start my Christmas shopping. Being prepared in this manner ensures I won’t be stressed during the holidays, which means I can focus on what Christmas is really about. 

I wasn’t going to write a post like this, but I felt inspired to for two reasons:

First, I know for many families the lack of finances can be a stressor that inhibits them from truly enjoying the holiday season. Of course, Christmas is not about “things,” but there’s nothing wrong with desiring to give good gifts to people you love in remembrance of the divine gift God gave to us. 

Listen, you don’t have to go broke this Christmas season. This year, we’ve spent $99.25 (plus tax, of course) on 24 Christmas gifts. At twelve gifts each that rounds out to be about $50 per child, which is way below our usual budget! And, yes, we bought them awesome things they actually wanted! 

Perhaps even $99 is something you can’t afford, but most of our gifts were on sale as low as $2.50. That means if you have four children and wanted to get them each two things, it is possible to spend just $20! 

The second reason I’m writing this post is to help those of you who need alternative ideas on what to get their boys (or girls!) for Christmas. Perhaps you’re tired of purchasing toys your kids never play with. Perhaps gift-shopping just isn’t your forte. Whatever the case, I can at least help you with gift-shopping for children under the age of ten. 

Here are our gift-giving guidelines:

  • Give gifts they’ll actually use. 
  • Give gifts that foster creativity and learning. 
  • Give gifts you can do together as a family.
  • Give gifts that are mostly consumable.
  • Give gifts they specifically asked for.

For our family, art and science projects are great gift options because they follow the aforementioned guidelines. As a homeschool family, we will actually use these gifts, they will inspire creativity, we will do them together as a family, they are (mostly) consumable, and we made sure to get specific gifts our boys asked for. 

So without further ado, keep reading to find out what we got our boys for Christmas. 

Note: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased all of these products at my local Dollar General with my own money. Affiliate links are included for those of you don’t have access to a Dollar General. Please see my disclaimer for information. 


What I Got My Boys for Christmas for Under $100

 

1. Volcano Projects

Amazing Volcano Gift for Kids

This set includes everything needed to make a model volcano. We’ve made one before, but volcanic eruptions NEVER get old for my children! My sister-in-law purchased something similar from Michaels and it did not include the baking soda or vinegar, so the fact that this set includes everything is great! Get it on Amazon

2. Sketch Wizard Kits

Sketch Wizard Gift for Kids

My boys love to draw, so I knew this sketch wizard would be greatly received. This sketch wizard allows children to draw any flat image or three-dimensional figure of their choice. All the child must do is place the object in front of the lens and it will create a traceable image. Along with the unit, this set comes with a graphite pencil, colored pencils, 5 scenes, and 5 blank sheets so kids can get started on their sketches right away! Get it on Amazon

3. Metal Art Kits

Metal Art Gift for Kids

It doesn’t get any cooler than creating designs in copper, aluminum, and brass! My oldest son enjoyed when he did something similar to this in his STEM class, so I know he’ll appreciate this kit. It comes with everything needed to create cool metal projects!

4. Velvet Art Kits

Velvet Art Gift for Kids

My boys are huge into coloring. I figured coloring on velvet would take the fun up a notch. I love that this set comes with markers and 8 different designs to choose from. It would be a great idea to frame and hang them in the bedroom as wall art when they’re finished!

5. Slime Lab Projects

GooZooka Slime Lab Gifts for Kids

Slime is all the rage these days. I know it can be messy, but my boys love it, so I’m willing to bend a few rules for the sake of a fun family project. This lab includes everything we’ll need to create slime. It’s even color changing slime, which makes it a bit cooler!

6. Spin Art Projects

Spin Art Gift for Kids

Notice a theme here? Mostly everything is art related. I could not pass up this cool spin art kit, though. Mostly because it’s a painting project and my kids love to paint!

7. Neon Doodle Kits

Neon Doodle Designs Gift for Kids

I bought this set because it includes neon gel pens and my oldest son has been asking me about purchasing gel pens. It also includes neon markers, a coloring book, and giant coloring pages. I’m sure this will create hours of fun in our home!

8. Sand Art Projects

Sand Art Gift for Kids

As if this set wasn’t cool enough, it also glows-in-the-dark! This set boasts hours of fun sand art projects. I think my youngest son will be most excited about this, as he’s into kinetic sand. But I must admit, this looks like fun for the whole family! Get it on Amazon

9. Marker Maker Kits

Crayola Marker Maker Gifts for Kids

This set allows kids to create their own custom marker colors. It even comes with wacky marker tips. I mean, how fun is that? I can’t wait to do this project with them! Get it on Amazon

10. LEGO Sets

Lego Classic and Lego City Gifts for Kids

I know this is a non-toy post but let me plead my case if I may. My boys spend hours at a time making LEGO creations, so I’m more than happy to contribute to their collection. Besides, LEGO is something they specifically asked for. And, yes, these sets were also included in my $99 total! They were just a bit cheaper than other stores, but not majorly on sale. In fact, Amazon has a cheaper rate than even Dollar General at the moment. I purchased the LEGO Classic Bricks and Gears for some fun STEM-related projects.  

Get LEGO Classic Bricks and Gears on Amazon

Get LEGO Classic Blue Creativity Box on Amazon

Get LEGO Classic Green Creativity Box on Amazon

Get LEGO City Airshow Jet on Amazon

Get LEGO City Arctic Exploration Team on Amazon

11. Foam Dart Blasters

X Shot Toy Foam Bullet Shooter

This gift is for both boys since it includes two blasters. Again, this is something they’ve specifically asked for. At our co-op, most of the boys have foam blasters so, of course, my boys asked for one. I know this is a toy item, but I’m including this blaster set so you can get a visual of everything I purchased for just $99. Get it on Amazon

12. Emoji Pillows

Emoji Pillows Gifts for Kids

What kid doesn’t love emojis? My boys are no different. I know seeing these pillows on Christmas day will bring a smile to their face. My youngest son especially loves plush things at the moment so he will love cuddling up with these pillows at night! Get it on Amazon


How did I get 24 items for under $100? All the art and science projects were half off. I paid as low as $2.50 for some of them. For everything else, I received 20% off! Although the sale I took advantage of is over, Dollar General is still having an amazing BOGO sale on toys—including LEGO! The secret is to look through the top shelves for heavily discounted items! You may need a ladder. I borrowed one from the store. 

Here is a look at my long receipt of 24 items for a subtotal of $99.25. It’s a little worn, but you can see that after I got hit with Georgia tax, I ended up paying $106.20 for all 24 items. If you compare these prices to Amazon, I got a pretty decent deal paying a fraction of the cost at Dollar General. 

Christmas Gifts Under $100

For fun, I totaled up how much these items would cost if I purchased them on Amazon for the best value (minus the 4 items not available on Amazon) and the grand total is $172.07! And this grand total is still missing four items (actually 8 because I purchased double of those particular items). Wow! What a saving!

I want to end this post by saying that each year is different for us. For instance, last Christmas our boys received new bikes and helmets and we went outside and rode around the neighborhood. It was so much fun and they were extremely grateful even though they didn’t get a lot of “things.” 

And while every Christmas looks different for us, a couple things that remain constant are not waiting until Christmas season to shop, sticking to our budget, and being intentional about teaching our children what’s truly valuable. 


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Home Management Tips and Freebies

How I Plan for Homeschool and Manage My Life | FREE Printables Included!

Hi there! Join me this month for My Journey to Homeschool series. In this series, I’ll be sharing the why behind our homeschool and the process it took to get from there to here.

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! My name is Nike and I’m entering my fourth homeschool year with a new kindergartner and third grader.

Last week, I shared How We Pulled Off an Entire Year of FREE Curriculum.

This week, I’ll be sharing how I plan for homeschool and manage my life.

We couldn’t have made it through our first three homeschool years without a vision and a plan. My planning routine has pretty much stayed the same over the years, the only difference is I’ve gotten a bit fancier. Instead of just typing everything out on a Word document and printing it, I made a customized home management binder with cute inserts.

Why do I use a home management binder rather than a store-bought planner? Because most planners are too small for my needs. With a home management binder, I can literally three-hole punch my entire life into it—and I have!

Read on to see what I put into my home management binder. There’ll be free printables at the end! For privacy purposes, I won’t be sharing my exact write-ins for certain schedules. I hope you don’t mind.

1. Daily Do-To List

This is pretty self-explanatory. What’s different than most to-do lists, though, is that I also include a water intake tracker and a section to list my daily gratitudes. I got this great idea from a Youtuber called Jady Alverez. I simply laminate this insert so that I can reuse it with a dry erase marker. Check out my sample “To-Do List” below.

To-do List Planner Insert for Home Management

 

2. Events Calendar

This comprises all events from homeschool fieldtrips, sports games and practices, co-op days, playdates, birthday parties, extracurricular activities, local family events, holidays and more. I will also chart doctor and dentist appointments here. Check out my sample events calendar below. Of course for privacy reasons, this is an unofficial sample. Wouldn’t want anyone showing up at my kid’s soccer games.

Events Calendar Sample Planner Inserts for Home Management

3. Daily Tentative Schedule

This is more of a routine than a schedule. I basically like to picture what a perfect day would look like and write it down. That makes it more of an ideal than a reality, doesn’t it? Haha. But it does help our days flow better even if we don’t follow it verbatim.

I know some of you like seeing other people’s schedules, so here it is! Our REAL schedule. Just know “momma time” seldom happens, but I do workout in the evenings so that sort of counts as momma time, right?

Daily Schedule Sample Planner for Home Management

You’ll notice that I’ve also noted the days I plan to rest, have a family day, and buy groceries. Optimal grocery shopping time happens between 3 and 5:30 on Thursdays. However, if we have a fieldtrip or some sort of outing that week, I’ll typically pick up groceries straight afterward. In fact, as I’m typing this, I’m realizing Tuesdays after co-op is probably the best day to swing by the grocery store since it’s on the way home. Hmmm.

It’s safe to say this schedule only works when it’s a non-event day. I think the key to a functional routine is to leave some wiggle room. That way there’s more flexibility on the days we have fieldtrips, co-op, and other events to attend.

4. Daily Homeschool Schedule

I keep a separate homeschool schedule so that I can go into more detail as far as time management goes. It also helps me plan how to divide my time between my two children. Typically, all the subjects my oldest son can work on independently is the time I’m scheduled to work with my kindergartner. Again, this is ideal, but we try to stick with it as much as we can.

I will share our actual schedule so that you get a gist of how things work with teaching more than one child around here. This is tentative, so it’s likely to change as we get into a good groove.

1 Homeschool Schedule Planner Inserts for Home Management

One thing you’ll notice is that some subjects are missing. That’s because we’re working with the Good and Beautiful curriculum this year and it comprises multiple subjects that include phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation, literature, art, writing, and geography. I labeled that curriculum “Fluency” and “Course.”

Another thing you’ll notice is that we don’t have “free” days. Many families reserve Fridays for makeup work or fieldtrip days. We don’t. One reason is that we attend fieldtrips primarily with our homeschool group and choose dates that are available, which isn’t always on a Friday. Another reason is that we don’t take as many breaks as public-schools, so I sort of view those extra school days as a way to stay on track.

5. Blog and Work Schedule

I don’t have a 9-5, but I do work on many projects throughout the year. Since most of those projects are monetarily compensated, I label them as “work.” I like to keep a separate blog and work schedule because they allow me to see the full picture at a glance. I laminate these schedules so that I reuse them with a dry-erase marker.

Here is my actual “work” schedule. My goal was to keep it pretty light because I want to enjoy the last few weeks of summer with my family.

Work Schedule Planner Inserts for Home Management

 

When do I work on these projects? VERY late at night. However, I do try and commit to the bulk of my projects during school breaks and summers. I have set work days, but I honestly just work whenever I have time. Today has been a sixteen-hour day so far, but that is normal for Mondays.

Yes. I said sixteen. I’ve been working on this project from noon to past four in the morning and counting. I don’t think people realize the time it takes to create and publish quality content.

And this is why I only blog once a week. For one, blogging is not all that I do. For two, I’d be super sleep deprived trying to cram a bunch of blogs in during the homeschool year. I love blogging and earning extra income, but not at the expense of my well-being.  If I’m a mess, my kids will also be a mess. They are only this small once. When they’re older, they’ll be plenty of time to invest more of myself in these types of ventures. The internet isn’t going anywhere.

6. Workout Schedule

This isn’t a fantasy schedule. I actually do workout 3-5 times a week. It’s typically during the evenings between 8 and 11 pm at our local gym. I do cardio each of the days I go and have a different target muscle group for each weight training session. Below, I share my workout routine.

Workout Plan Planner Inserts for Home Management

They say you make time for what’s most important, and physical fitness is important to me for three reasons. One, it lifts my mood. Two, it makes me look and feel great. Three, it’s my me-time. Most people like to listen to music while working out, I love listening to podcasts and learning more about my interests!

7. Cleaning Schedule

I like to break my cleaning schedule into two categories: Daily Cleaning and Weekly Cleaning. I used to also have a monthly cleaning agenda, but NEVER lived up to it, haha. You know, things like washing the windows, walls, etc.? Yea, those things got done when they got done.

For daily cleaning, I try and do a load of laundry each day. Admittedly, some days I forget. We also take turns unloading and loading the dishwasher and doing afternoon and evening pickups to get the house in order. Sweeping the floors and wiping down kitchen counters and bathroom surfaces is also a given.

For weekly cleaning, on my list of to-do’s is washing the bedding and linens, cleaning out the cars, deep cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, and mopping the floors, and taking the trash to the curb on trash day. Everything else like dusting, washing baseboards, and cleaning the windows, fridge, oven, etc. will get done on an as-needed basis. And by as-needed, I mean when I’m tired of looking at it. Got to keep it real, here.

Cleaning Schedule Planner Inserts for Home Management

I DO NOT. I repeat, DO NOT, do all the cleaning. My boys have a chore checklist. My husband primally cleans the bathroom and takes the trash out. And we all pitch in on the dishes and other daily chores around the house. Therefore, laundry, cooking, and vacuuming are primarily the things I do by myself on the regular basis.

8. Weekly Meal Planning

I also laminate my weekly meal planner so that I can reuse it with a dry-erase marker. The categories are broken down into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Here is our actual meal plan for the week. Try not to judge me too much, haha. This is primarily for my boys. My husband and I do smoothies for breakfast and leftovers for lunch.

Meal Plan Planner Inserts for Home Management

I’ve been asked about meal planning a few times and the key for me is eating the same thing in rotation! One week, we’ll have PB&J with fruit and cheese for lunch. Another week, we’ll have cheese quesadillas and apple slices for lunch all week. The same with breakfast and snacks.

For dinner, we have a few tried and true recipes we like to rotate with. I always cook extra for leftovers the next day and a possible lunch for my husband and I. In total, I only cook dinner about 3 times a week. That is the power of leftovers!  Spaghetti leftovers in itself will last us three days—lunch included.

9. Favorite Recipes

Yes, I have a list of all my favorite recipes. I get most of my recipes from Divas Can Cook and tweak them to suit our needs. While I made cute inserts for my recipe lists, I find it’s just easier to print them from their home website. I then put them into sheet protectors and place them into my home management binder. These recipes are great to have on hand when meal planning and making my shopping list.

Here’s an example of how to use the planner inserts to record recipes. And, yes, beef stew is one of our favs!

Yummy Recipes Planner Inserts for Home Management

10. Monthly Budgeting

The most dreaded of them all, but it must be done. Once again, I laminate these inserts for repeated use. I’m still learning the art of budgeting, but found it helpful to log these expenses in an excel spreadsheet at the end of each month. Since we are business owners, this helps keep us in the practice of being financially responsible. We also keep a business log specifically for business expenses, but that’s best done in Excel.

For obvious reasons I won’t be providing our exact budget figures, so here’s a sample version of how to use this planner insert for your home management binder.

Sample Budget Planner Insert for Home Management

11. Business Receipts

As business owners, keeping track of important receipts is vital. I place the receipts into a plastic pocket folder made for binders. This way they are easily accessible and we don’t have to go looking for them when we need them. I also place my warranties in this folder.

12. Important Documents

I currently have three pocket folders in my binder labeled the following: Medical Records, Homeschool Records, Important Records. This is where I’ll keep vaccination and health records for my boys, homeschool DOI’s and registration info for programs and sports, family membership info, birth and marriage certificates, and other legal documents. This is especially convenient when I need to register my child for something and I need their birth certificate, vaccination records, and so forth.

13. Vision and Mission Statements

You must have a vision for where you’re going and a plan to get there. That’s why I chose to write a vision and mission statement for our homeschool, businesses, and family. It’s helpful to refer to these statements often to keep me on track with my life goals.

Below are our actual vision and mission statements for homeschool. They change every year.

 

14. Inspirational Quotes and Scriptures

This is a new addition this year. I wanted to compile a list of inspirational scriptures so that I can read them every morning before I start my day. I thought it would be helpful to print and laminate them so that I can keep them in my binder for easy reference.

Here’s one of the pages. I currently have three pages worth of favorite scriptures. I’m working on filling out my favorite quotes page.

Scripture Planner Inserts for Home Management

Other things in my home management binder that I find extremely helpful and convenient?

15. Birthday Reminders

16. Important Numbers (Pediatrician, Dentist, Contact Persons, Etc.)

17. Address Book

18. Password Log (Use password hints rather than the actual password)

19. Business Log

20. Shopping List & Notes

21.  Weekly At-a-Glance

Here’s what they look like at a glance! Get a real preview, here.

 


I must say, this home management binder is a real blessing to me. It makes life so much easier and cuts down on the time I have to search for things. What’s also great about it is my husband, or any family member, can use and refer to it if I’m traveling, sick, or out of town. They’ll know everything from our daily schedule to our favorite recipes and where to find important medical info for the boys.

Today, I’m sharing three FREEBIES from this awesome collection of planner inserts! Click the image below to download and get a great start to the upcoming school year!

Home Management Binder FREE Printables

GET THE FULL SET!

Home Management Binder Printables

 

I want to hear from you: What types of things do you include in your planners?

12 Ways I Overcame Jealousy

12 Ways I Overcame Jealousy  

No one ever wants to admit they get jealous. Yet, jealousy is one of the common strains in human relationships. There are many ways to define jealousy; envious, covetous, resentful, insecure, begrudging, the list of synonyms goes on. Today, I’m going to talk about jealousy in the form of envy.

In my post last week, 50 Random Facts About Me, one of the questions I answered was “Do you get jealous?” My initial response was, no. But I didn’t feel like that answer would set anyone free from the stigmas surrounding jealousy. Feeling jealous isn’t fun. And when we feel like we’re the only one who experiences this emotion, it makes it all the more difficult to defeat the green-eyed monster.

We all experience jealousy at one point or another. But if we never admit to it, how do we defeat something that we’re in denial even exists? Better yet, how do we help others who struggle with this “not so fun” emotion?

So, instead of answering no, I had this to say in my last post:

“Yes [I get jealous]. But I don’t stay jealous for long. I’ve learned strategies to conquer the green-eyed monster whenever it threatens to steal my joy. Perhaps I’ll write a future post about it.”

Well, the time is now to write that post! Today, I will raise my hand and say, “Yes, jealousy can be a struggle for me if I don’t check it at the door.” It’s not an everyday thing, but when it does happen, it can take anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple days to heal from it—maybe more depending on where I am spiritually. The great news is, the more I overcome jealousy, the less power it has over me.

Here are some methods I’ve put into practice that helped me put jealousy to rest.

 

1. I wanted to change.

And I wanted it badly. I hated “hating on” other people. It hurt. I can’t quite pinpoint when this desire emerged, perhaps my mid-twenties, but I can say it’s been a passion of mine ever since. Jealousy was a disease that I wanted no part of. It was debilitating. That’s why I’m writing this post; in hope that someone will take the necessary steps to be freed and healed from this dangerous emotion. But, you must want to change, first.

 

2. I realized jealousy has a root.

That root is fear. It helps to know this because I could then ask myself questions like, “Nike, what is it about this person’s accomplishments that you fear?” The answer? In my younger years, I feared that someone else’s accomplishments, beauty, spirituality, possessions, etc., diminished my own. In other words, I allowed myself to feel small in the presence of another person’s greatness—to fear that I’m not enough.

Never allow yourself to feel small in the presence of another person's greatness

 

3. I admitted I was Jealous.

Everyone knows that admitting the problem is the first step to recovery. I used to mask my jealousy by putting it off on the other person. I would say things like, “That person is soooo braggadocious” (yes, I used words like “braggadocious,” haha) or, “That person thinks they’re so much better than everyone.” But when I closely examined the thought-process behind my words, I realized my assumptions were rooted in jealousy. It wasn’t until I admitted this ugly truth about myself that I could begin the healing process.

 

4. I made a choice.

Once I became honest with myself, I had a decision to make; I could continue to poison myself with jealousy by holding on to it, or, I could free myself and let it go. The ball was in MY court. I didn’t have to entertain jealousy. I didn’t have to STAY jealous. I could let it go. So, I did. It wasn’t always easy and still isn’t, but each time it gets easier.

 

5. I filled myself with good things.

What you’re full of eventually spills out of you. I’m a Believer, so I like to fill myself with scripture, focusing on this particular verse:

Philippians 4:8 Verse Scripture MemeThe power of thoughts is not some new-age concept, this notion existed since the beginning of time. The more I meditate on good things, the less room I have for negativity. Think about it; is it easy to pour liquid into a full glass of water? In the same way, it’s not easy to pour jealousy into a full spirit.

 

6. I recognized jealousy is a seed.

Once you entertain it, once you nurture it, it just keeps growing until it can no longer be contained. Remember when I said, “What you’re full of eventually spills out of you?” Trust me, you may think you’re hiding your jealousy well, but it WILL come out. When it does, it will reflect poorly on your character. It happened to me. That’s a story for another day. But I’ve learned what’s done in darkness is always brought into the light. It may seem like “just a thought,” but any thought, when meditated on long enough, has the potential to be carried out into action.

 

7. I became more productive.

I asked myself, “What are you doing with your disposable time?” Am I idly scrolling through social media? Am I binge-watching Netflix? Am I entertaining gossipy conversations? These things are not only breeding grounds for jealousy, they are thieves of time! Have you ever heard of this saying?:

The difference between the wealthy and the poor is how they spend their free timeI’ve found that being productive is a great way for me to mind my own business. When I’m minding my own business, I have no time to invite jealousy by seeing what she’s up to. There’s no time for me to meditate on the things I don’t have by watching shows where people are glamorous and live glamorous lives. And, there’s no time to entertain conversations that start off with, “Girl, you’ll never believe what so and so did.”

 

8. I monitored my self-talk.

Self-esteem is measured by the way we think and feel about ourselves. I used to think of myself as a confident person, but I became amazed at the things I told myself when I wasn’t paying attention. A devotional by Barb Roose, titled Beautiful Already, was what inspired me to REALLY listen to the lies I told myself about myself. Even today, I must still take heed and pay attention, lest I subconsciously fall into negative thought-patterns. Why is this important? Because when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we project those insecurities onto others. In other words, we become jealous of other people’s confidence and seek to tear them down. After all, misery loves company.

 

9. I realized God doesn’t owe me anything.

Ah, entitlement. That dangerous feeling we get when we feel like God, or the world, owes us something. It seeps out whenever we see someone we view as “less deserving” receive something we want. A husband. A new car. A raise. Fame. Status. I can attest that it doesn’t feel good when you have to watch someone receive all the things you’ve been hoping for. But I’ve come to learn that God doesn’t owe me anything. It’s a tough truth to grasp, but we must all take hold of it, nonetheless. The sooner we do, the less hold jealousy will have over us. I can’t tell you how many times I must remind myself of this truth to this day. But when it sinks in, my inner peace is established.

 

10. I practiced contentment.

I’ll let you in on a little secret; if you don’t practice contentment, you will always want MORE. Why do we want more? Because we develop a habit of fixing our eyes on things other people have that we don’t have—envy.  I remember it clearly. I was discontent with the way things were going, sitting on my couch moping around. Then I had a vision:

I was sitting on an expensive couch, but in a huge mansion filled with beautiful things. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I was still dissatisfied. Still moping around. I could feel myself getting frustrated, asking myself, “Girl, why are you so dissatisfied when you live in this huge mansion?” It was then that this truth sank in: If you’re not happy with the little things, you won’t be happy with the big things.

If you aren’t happy with the little things, you won’t be happy with the big things.

11. I realized I needed help.

God’s help. I’ll always lose if I try to battle jealousy in and of my own strength. Trust me, there was a time when I tried and failed. No. My strength must come from God, and it begins with repentance—confessing my jealousy to God and seeking his strength to overcome it.

12. I worked toward REAL confidence.

When we place our confidence in how much we have, how much we’re adored, how good-looking we are, how talented we are, how famous we are, how educated we are, and how many titles we earn, we set ourselves up for failure. Real confidence does not come from any of these things—it comes from trusting in Who’s in your corner.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” (Jeremiah 17:7)

When we take hold of true confidence, we experience true fulfillment. Isn’t that what we’re all striving for, anyway? Isn’t that why we run after material things? Status? Relationships? Power? To feel a sense of fulfillment? To fill a void? Isn’t that why we become jealous of others? Because their life seems more “fulfilled” than ours? Consider this verse from James 4:1-3:

James 4:1-3 Verse, Scripture, Meme


 

I don’t quite know how to end this post. But what I want to say is that no one is exempt from the temptation of jealousy. We can, however, choose whether we give in to that temptation. These are some of the steps I took, and still take, in order to stand firm against jealousy. I cannot take credit. All credit goes to God the Father, who is a wise and patient teacher.

If jealousy is something you struggle with, pray this prayer with all your heart, mind, body, and soul:

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for my jealous ways, and direct me toward the ways of the Lord. I thank you, Lord, that you are a patient God who is slow to anger and abundant in love. I praise you for your mercy that is new every morning. Reveal to me all the seeds planted in me that gave root to my jealousy, so that I may be steadfast and alert of the enemy’s schemes. Help me to renew my mind daily, dear God, to reflect more of your truth. I praise you in advance for giving me everything I need to live a godly life that is pleasing to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

God bless you! Have any tips to add? Don’t be shy! Let us know in the comments.

50 Random Facts About Nike Anderson

50 Fact about Me | Nike Anderson

I want to take the time to welcome all of my new readers! To shake things up a bit, I figured I’d share a few random facts about myself so that everyone can get to know me better!

Most of you know the basic facts:

  1. My name is Nike, pronounced nee-kay.
  2. I’m half Nigerian, half American.
  3. I have two boys, ages 4 and 8.
  4. I’ve been married for ten years.
  5. I’m a homeschool mom.
  6. I’m an M.Ed who makes educational resources.

Nike Anderson Family Picture

Now, it’s time to share some “not-so-basic” fun facts about the woman sitting behind the computer screen. Some of these may surprise you. To keep things neutral, I Googled “100 questions to ask people.” Google hit me with this VERY random list of questions. I’ll share fifty of them today! Here goes:

1. Where do you consider “home” to be?

Definitely Rhode Island, where I was born and raised. However, I’ve been a Georgian for nearly eleven years now.

 

2. Do you believe in ghosts?

No.

 

3. Are you religious?

No. I’m one of those “cooky” people that find the term restrictive. I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, died for our sins, and defeated death by rising three days later. I don’t live my life by laws, but by faith.

 

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

I would love to visit Egypt.

 

5. If you could have dinner with any of the presidents, who would you choose? Why?

Since this is just for fun, I’ll say I would’ve loved to have dinner with JFK if I were living during his presidency. Why? Because he seemed to be a fountain of wisdom.  My favorite quote from him? The one from the 1961 address to the United Nations, “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”

 

6. What is your dream job?

I always wanted to be a New York Times best-selling author.

 

7. Who is your role model? Why?

My role model is my mom. She has so many characteristics I aspire to. She’s beautiful, intelligent, loyal, strong, talented, humble, encouraging, and generous.

 

8. Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?

Coke.

 

9. Do you prefer Cheetos or Doritos?

Doritos.

 

10. Do you eat breakfast in the morning?

Yes. One of my favorite meals is a spinach omelet…with cheese, of course.

 

11. When you go to the beach, do you sunbathe or swim more?

I prefer to get into the water. No sunbathing, here. I’ve got loads of melanin, haha. 😊

 

12. Have you ever ridden a city bus before?

All the time. When I was a teenager, I rode the city bus all over Providence. In fact, I took the city bus every day to get to school.

 

13. Have you ever traveled outside of the country? If so, where?

Yes. I’ve visited 5 countries—England, France, Spain, Nigeria, and the Netherland’s. Some of the cities I visited were London, Bath, Stratford Upon Avon, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Amsterdam, and Lagos.

 

14. If you got arrested, what do you think it would be for?

I don’t like imagining these types of situations.

 

15. What is your favorite childhood memory?

I remember my mother helping me get ready for a play that I starred in when I was in elementary school. While doing my hair and makeup, we had some good laughs. When everything was all said and done, she told me I looked beautiful. It was the first time I considered that it might possibly be true—that I was beautiful.

 

16. What was your favorite song two years ago? What is it now?

Hmmmm. Two years ago, I loved the song “Victor’s Crown” by Darlene Zschech. Anytime I got a moment alone, I would bellow this song out in the car. These days, my favorite song is “Holy Spirit” by Jesus Culture.

 

17. What teacher have you had that’s made the biggest impact on your life? How?

Shout out to Ms. Latessa, my former elementary school teacher. She planted the seed for my love of writing. She was the first person to tell me I was a great writer.

 

18. Are you a cat person or a dog person?

If I had to choose, I’d say I’m more of a dog person. Truthfully, I LOVE both!

 

19. What is a quote from any movie that you know off the top of your head?

“If you want to be somebody. If you want to go somewhere. You’d better wake up and pay attention,” from Sister Act II.

 

20. What are you most afraid of?

I try not to meditate on my fears.

 

21. If superheroes were real, who would you want to protect your city?

Black Panther. He has access to the strongest metal in the world.

 

22. What is the silliest reason you’ve ever cried?

Someone forgot to wash my son’s face. He was three at the time, I just had a new baby, and I accused my family (who was helping us) of neglecting him while I was asleep. I blame it on the hormones. I did apologize to them, though.

 

23. If you could be a character on any show, what show would you choose? Why?

And here’s where I admit that I don’t watch TV. Back in the day, it would’ve been The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. 

 

24. You’re stuck on an island with no way off and no one knows you’re there, what three items do you have with you?

Again, I don’t like imagining up negative hypothetical situations.

 

25. What is the name of one song you know all the words to?

One song most people would probably be shocked I know (and love!) is “You’re the One That I Want,” from Grease.

 

26. Are you a sore loser?

No. You can always learn from failure.

 

27. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

Closed.

 

28. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?

You already know I’m not going to answer this.

 

29. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Water on the floor. I hate touching it with my unsuspecting bare feet.

 

30. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?

Wouldn’t you like to know, haha. 😊

 

31. Would you ever strip or pose nude for a photo in a magazine? For a movie?

No.

 

32. What has been your best Halloween costume thus far?

When I was a little girl, my mom made me the most beautiful Belle costume. Beauty and the Beast was my favorite Disney movie at the time.

 

33. Are you stubborn?

Yes. I’m working on it, though.

 

34. Do you sing in the shower? In the car?

Totally. I sing in both! Just ask the driver in the car next to me at the stop light.

 

35. Do you take vitamins daily?

Daily, no. Regularly, yes.

 

36. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?

Yes. On my wedding day (and on everyone else’s wedding day). I also have kids who do adorable things, so happy tears are a regular thing for me.

 

37. Can you swim without plugging your nose?

Yes.

 

38. Have you ever won a contest?

Yes. A very nerdy one when I was a kid. I had to belt-out facts about the history of Thanksgiving in front of the entire school on a stage full of contenders. I knew EVERY single fact, lol.

 

39. Do you want kids? How many?

Yes, I want kids. I already have two beautiful, fun-loving boys.

 

40. Are you missing anyone right now?

Yes. My Rhode Island family and my five siblings. If you’re reading this, call me.

 

41. Do you smile at strangers as you walk by them?

I’m going to say no. Unless I make eye contact with them.

 

42. Do you think your life will change drastically before 2020?

I hope so. The only thing constant is change.

 

43. How do you react when people talk badly about you?

I honestly don’t know when people talk badly about me, which is a good thing because what they think about me is none of my business.

 

44. Where did you get the shirt you are currently wearing?

I’m wearing a tunic and I got it from Goodwill for fifty cents.

 

45. What has been your favorite gift you’ve been given?

I can’t speak on favorites, but a memorable one was from my college friend. She gave me an inexpensive clutch bag with laminated inserts where she wrote out a ton of our favorite memories together. I still have it to this day and read through it sometimes.

 

46. If you had to delete one year out of your life completely, which would you choose?

I wouldn’t delete any of it. Everything, good and bad, made me the woman I am today. So cliche, right? But it’s true.

 

47. What is your favorite thing about school?

Grade school is a distant memory for me, but my favorite thing about school was homework. I loved worksheets!

 

48. Is there something that happened in your past that you hate talking about?

No. I’m transparent about my past. It is my testimony that helps bring hope to others.

 

49. Who was the last person you were on the phone with?

My mom.

 

50. Do you get jealous easily?

Yes. But I don’t stay jealous for long. I’ve learned strategies to conquer the green-eyed monster whenever it threatens to steal my joy. Perhaps I’ll write a future post about it.

(EDIT: Read 12 Ways I Overcame Jealousy)


 

That concludes my list. Did any of these surprise you? Can you relate to any of my answers? Don’t be shy! Let us know in the comments!