I won the Liebster Award!

NOMINATED FOR THE LIEBSTER AWARD

Feeling grateful that my hard work is being recognized across the internet. I would like to thank Amanda from Ambitiously, Amanda for noticing my efforts and nominating me for the Liebster Award. You can check out her blog at Ambitiously, Amanda. Amanda’s blog is a lifestyle blog that focuses on her experiences at University. I love the aesthetics of her blog!

WHAT IS THE LIEBSTER AWARD?

The Liebster Award was created years ago by bloggers for bloggers. It is an award recognizing small, up and coming bloggers with the goal of welcoming them into the blogging community, getting to know the new blogger and spreading awareness of their blogging efforts. As a way of getting to know the new blogger, the Liebster Award requires you to answer a few questions when you accept the award.

10 QUESTIONS ABOUT MYSELF

1. Tell us about your blog.
I started my blog shortly after I found out that I was being laid-off. After working for the same school for over five years and now faced with the unknown, I started the blog to document my new endeavors of finding my new niche in life. I also wanted to share my adventures in parenthood and how I manage to live within my means by saving money.
2. What has been the most rewarding experience your blog has brought you?
I think losing a job and the stability from that job can be a stressful experience. Instead of focusing on the negatives of this experience, I have refocused my efforts into this blog to be more productive. So far, I’m staying positive during this life changing situation.
3. What is the best piece of advice you can give your readers?
The possibilities are endless but you don’t know unless you try. Take risks and enjoy the ride!
4. What is your favorite travel destination and why?
I love the White Mountains in New Hampshire. It’s close to home, affordable, the views are amazing, it’s great all year round, and I love nature!
5. Where would you love to go in the world?
I would like to someday visit the Mayan ruins in Mexico and experience Thailand.
6. If someone were visiting you town, what would you suggest they do?
Go to the beach then grab a cup of chowdah and a lobstah roll downtown.
7. What makes you deliriously happy?
Making memories with my family and getting a crazy good deal.
8. What is your guilty pleasure?
I’m addicted to teen shows and novels. Teen wolf, The 100, Vampire diaries, The Hunger Games, Twilight Series, Harry Potter, I LOVE THEM ALL!!!
9. What is a difficult obstacle you have had to overcome?
I was a special education student with a severe expressive and receptive language disability. I worked really hard to overcome this disability by graduating high school, going to college and becoming certified as a special education teacher myself.
10. What are you most grateful for in your life?
My family and friends.

PAY IT FORWARD

As part of my acceptance and carrying the tradition of the Liebster Award, I would like to nominate seven, up and coming bloggers and recognize them for their blogging efforts

1.  Alicia at It’s a Joyful Journey

2. Monica at Lucky Mojito

3.  Delphine at LesterLost

4. Devajani at  A Cup of Assam Tea

5. Jess at Unapologetic Kinkz

6. Anitra at Chronicles of a Momtessorian

7. Cherie at Reminded Homeschooling

Congratulations!

 

AMAZON FBA UPDATE: I made my very first sale!

I sold my very first item on AMAZON!

My very first post on this blog was about the school I worked for for over 5 years closing and being laid off. Instead of looking at this situation in a negative light, I changed my mindset and looked into all the opportunities I now had available. I now had this new found freedom of not working a 40 hour work week! The two options I chose to delve into was starting this blog and selling on Amazon. You can read the post here https://adultingmama.com/adventures-in-scheming/

If you’ve been reading this blog, you will notice a common theme; parenting is hard and I love a good deal! Retail Arbitrage is the idea that you buy something at a low cost and resell it for a higher cost, making a profit from the resell. I’m always shopping clearance and decided to send in 4 of these items to Amazon in the beginning of May to see if they would sell. Well, I had my first sale last week! It took almost two months to sell something but I made my first sale and I am now $12 richer!

Is this something that I will continue to do?

I don’t know. I did some research on resell arbitrage and it looks like it’s a fading concept, with Amazon at least. Ebay is notorious for resell arbitrage but with Amazon FBA, fullfilled by Amazon, they give you the luxury of keeping your products in their warehouses and shipping the product for you! However, Amazon is getting stricter with their policies and the majority of people who started with retail arbitrage are moving towards private label.

What is private label?

Private label is when you buy in bulk from China, label the product with your brand and sell on Amazon. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! The product needs to be something that is generic and can be reproduced in China. It ideally needs to weigh less than 2 pounds and the dimensions less than a foot to be worth shipping.  You also need to find a product with a high sales rank and not a lot of competition and you need to market it to make it work. I also spoke with some of the more successful Amazon sellers and most of them told me that the majority of their money for the first YEAR goes right back into the business. It’s a lot of work, time, and investment.

I’m not necessarily throwing in the towel just yet. I still have three other items for sale on Amazon. I might ship some other items too to feel out the market place. If something sells quickly and I can find a generic in China, then I might consider Private Label. But for now, I’ll celebrate my $12 sale!

Tell me about your business adventures? I would love to hear from you.

SUMMER READING LIST: 10 novels that are sure to entice any reader!

10 Novels that are Sure to Entice any Reader

 

Red Rising:

I never considered myself a science fiction fan until I started reading dystopian young adult novels. If you liked the Hunger Games or the Divergent series, then you are going to love the Red Rising trilogy. I was crying after the first chapter and couldn’t put the book down afterwards. Here’s a blurb of Red Rising from Amazon;
“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

The Luckiest Girl Alive

My sister lent me this book. At first glance, I was a bit skeptical how much I would enjoy the novel due to the protagonist being such a snob but the book quickly developed into a page turner. The controversial themes and plot twists took me by surprise. I couldn’t put the book down! Here’s a blurb for Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel from Amazon;

HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

 

I Know this Much is True

If you have some time on your hands then I highly recommend this 928 page novel. I know 928 pages seems like a daunting task but trust me, this thought provoking book will leave you pondering the human psyche and the different roles we play in our lives. A blurb from Amazon for I Know This Much Is True: A Novel (P.S.);

In the afternoon of October 12, 1990, my twin brother, Thomas, entered the Three Rivers, Connecticut, public library, retreated to one of the rear study carrels, and prayed to God the sacrifice he was about to commit would be deemed acceptable. . . .

One of the most acclaimed novels of our time, Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True is a story of alienation and connection, devastation and renewal, at once joyous, heartbreaking, poignant, mystical, and powerfully, profoundly human.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A young adult novel that takes a twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast. An easy, enjoyable read to escape reality and pass the time. A blurb for A Court of Thorns and Roses from Amazon;

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

Me Before You

I’m reading this novel right now and I CAN’T PUT IT DOWN! I’m not one for mushy love stories but this book is different. This book is about the things we take for granted and the assumptions we make as humans. This novel is  way more than just a love story. It’s also a movie! Amazon blurb for Me Before You: A Novel (Movie Tie-In);

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Orphan Train

Is historical fiction your thing? As an alternative education teacher, I have many students in the foster care system and I was blown away by the beginnings of the system; religious charities auctioning off orphans for labor in return for housing. This novel dives deep into this little known fact in American history.

Orphan Train Amazon blurb;

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.

 

Into the Water

Did you like Girl on a Train? Yep, so did I. Paula Hawkin’s second novel is now out and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!  Amazon blurb for Into the Water: A Novel;

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

 

Not a Sound

I’ve been a big fan of Heather Gudenkauf since I read her 2009 novel, The Weight of Silence. I love her writing style and I can’t wait to read her newest novel, Not a Sound.

Amazon blurb for Not a Sound: A Thriller;

When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters—her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?

 

Since we Fell

Shutter Island, Mystic River, need I say more? Suspense at it’s finest!

Amazon blurb for Since We Fell: A Novel;

Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. By turns heart- breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.

 

Carve the Mark

I have some sick obsession with Young Adult trilogies ever since the Twilight series. Veronica Roth, the author of the Divergent series came out with a new novel, Carve the Mark and I’m dying to read it!

Amazon blurb for Carve the Mark;

Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth have grown up in enemy countries locked in a long-standing fight for dominance over their shared planet. When Akos and his brother are kidnapped by the ruling Noavek family, Akos is forced to serve Cyra, the sister of a dictator who governs with violence and fear. Cyra is known for her deadly power of transferring extraordinary pain unto others with simple touch, and her tyrant brother uses her as a weapon against those who challenge him. But as Akos fights for his own survival, he recognizes that Cyra is also fighting for hers, and that her true gift—resilience—might be what saves them both.

When Akos and Cyra are caught in the middle of a raging rebellion, everything they’ve been led to believe about their world and themselves must be called into question. But fighting for what’s right might mean betraying their countries, their families, and each other.

When the time comes, will they choose loyalty or love?

 

There you have it, six books that I absolutely recommend you read this summer and four books that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Do you have any books you already plan on reading this summer? Please share! I always enjoy adding to my list of books to read. Even if I can’t get to it this summer, I’ll find time eventually!

 

 

OMG! Are those mom jeans?

Today I was getting ready for work when I slipped on my favorite pair of skinny jeans. These jeans are so soft and have so much elastic in them that they could be the equivalent of pajama jeans, but of course more socially acceptable. They are high waisted so I don’t have to worry about my rear hanging out and to my amazement they are two sizes smaller than my normal size. You would think that being super comfortable and the instant boost of self-confidence when I look at the size on the tag would be enough to make them my favorite jeans, but there is one more reason why they are my favorite jeans; they were on sale for only $9 at Kohls!

Yes! I love these jeans!

As I pondered all the aforementioned positives about these jeans. A thought occurred to me; why have I never purchased Vera Wang before? Doesn’t she make wedding dresses? But like a jig-saw puzzle, I slowly started to piece the picture together.

OMG! I’m wearing mom jeans!

super comfy √

fake size √

Super cheap √

department store √

At first I was devastated by this revelation. I’m 35 years old. I’m too young for mom jeans. But on second thought, am I too young? What is 35? If 40 is middle aged then is 35 like the equivalent of a tween,  a pre-middle aged woman, a priddle? I’m a priddle, teetering on the edge of middle-age. So now that I have succumbed to the idea that I am getting old, where do I shop?

Nowhere!

Why? Because pre-middle aged women are in denial that they are getting old. No company in there right mind would advertise the shocking truth to these women. So instead I see young, hipster advertisements for the 20 year olds or the nice cardigans and slacks for the clearly over 55 community. Clear distinction between the young and old but yet, here I am swimming in the abyss of being almost middle aged.  I can choose to shop the younger, hipster clothes and take the chance that one of my students is wearing the same outfit, only better because gravity and children hasn’t wrecked havoc on her body or I can sport some nice slacks, a cardigan and go play some Bridge at the local community center.

I’m 35 and I own a pair of mom jeans. I never thought this day would happen but here I am, looking in the mirror staring at my mom jeans. I guess growing old is inevitable and I don’t care what anyone says, these jeans look good!

Blogging is hard work

Start a blog, it will be fun.
Start a blog, it’s so easy.
Start a blog, it’s a great stress release.
Start a blog, you can make money.
Garbage!
I just want to take a minute and have real talk. Blogging is hard work. Don’t believe the hype on Pinterest. This blog has been super frustrating. I have been working on this blog for around a month and every time I have a great idea, I find some barrier blocking my way. Put ads on your blog to make money; it’s been three weeks and I’m still waiting for approval. Make your blog interactive; the plugin is not working properly. Add pictures; make sure they are not copyrighted. Add content; blog has a fatal error and you need to Youtube how to do code to make your blog up and running again. This may sound like easy fixes for the average millennial but I grew up with the Doogie Howser word processor, legendary for its green pixelated pioneers of Oregon Trail. I had dial up growing up! So needless to say, I’m currently struggling with this computer tech stuff. I really do have some fantastic ideas and I ask you to please be patient while I try not to smash my laptop while I try to figure out how to make this blog a success.
#adulting

Adventures in scheming

Last week I was scrolling through Pinterest when I saw a post about making money on Amazon. I love Amazon! I’m in the market for a new job so I clicked on the post to find out more. It was about FBA. In special education an FBA is a functional behavioral assessment but apparently it is also an acronym for fulfilled by Amazon. As I read further I learned that there is a job called retail arbitrage. Not knowing what arbitrage meant, I quickly Googled and found out it means you buy cheap stuff and resell it for more money and pocket the difference. What? This is a job? For those that don’t know me I am a deal connoisseur. I never buy anything full price and I always buy in bulk when I see a good deal. I currently have 768 diapers, 27 packs of wipes, 35 magic erasers, 14 boxes of baby food, 8 boxes of graham crackers, and 12 packs of fruit snacks. I know a good deal when I see one. Check it out

Finding a smoking deal is something I’m already good at so now I only have to sell these items at full cost and pocket the profit. Boom! I once had a student whose family who sold items on Ebay for a profit but he told me his house looked like an episode of hoarders. The best part of selling on Amazon is that you get to store your items at their warehouse. This sounds too good to be true and it probably is BUT I’m looking for change and this might be it. I need to give it a go. I signed up for You can purchase a professional account for $40/month or sign up for a free account with less access. I would love to go all in and get the professional package but I’m not sure if this is something I’m going to excel in and might end up being a money losing adventure. I bought a couple things that I think will be profitable and spent around $30 total. I sent them in this weekend and I’ll keep you posted if I make anything!

The unknown

I found out two weeks ago that the school I work for is closing and I will be laid off. I wasn’t shocked to hear this news. Our numbers have been low for a while and it was the unspoken word that lingered in the air for months.
I was out on maternity leave for first term so I was surprised when I came back to work to find two directors; my old director and a new director co-directing. This was my first inkling that something was wrong. Why do we need two directors? It became more interesting when a paper was casually passed around that we acknowledged that lay-offs may happen if we do not get more students enrolled. Then in December the first round of lay-offs began. The old administration, the leadership of the program was laid off. This was not good. I’ve seen this before in large companies; hire a hatchet lady to clean out the old and in with the new. It’s a scare tactic and it works. Once the foundation that the program was built on had been removed, people started to feel the instability and started finding new jobs and resigned.
Not me. like I said, I’ve seen this before and was willing to wait out the storm. Unfortunately the companies plan to start fresh didn’t work out as they planned and the school is closing. So here I am, last man standing near the end of the school year with no job in less than two months.
So what am I doing?
I don’t know.
The safest, most obvious thing for me to do is to continue teaching somewhere else. Monday-Friday, school vacations and the summers off. Great perks! But is teaching my passion? I don’t know. I would describe it as comfortable. I feel that I have always played it safe, nothing too strenuous with fixed hours and benefits. Am I satisfied with comfortable? I’m 35 years old and I’m debating on a career change. What career? I don’t know. I want to take a risk into the unknown. Become a writer, start a business, get into sales. I think most importantly I want to become my own boss. Have you ever had dreams that you were too scared to follow for fear of the unknown? Well, that’s where I’m at.