MS. OTTS

Lifestyle Mommy Blog

A Blog about the ins and outs of my crazy beautiful life. Grab a glass of vino or a cup of coffee and enjoy the ride! 

Continuing Education After You Receive A Degree

Think back to those grueling, but fun college days. We were so stressed about pulling all-nighters just to pass all of our quizzes and tests, but now we talk about how those were the days. When it comes down to it, we really didn’t have many expectations or obligations, other than to study and pass our classes. We were learning new things, making new friends, and experiencing life for the first time, without our parents over our shoulders. They really were the days! As much as I do not miss the sleepless nights, I do miss learning and living so care-free. While now it is harder to live carefree because we have real jobs, kids, and other responsibilities, we can still continue learning after college and we should all be doing it. Productivity Theory says, “You may be thinking, “What’s the point? I already went through college. Why should I pursue learning any further?” Well, for starters, you learn something new every day. You can’t avoid learning – so why not take on some extra homework and find somewhere to learn?

 

How will post-college learning be beneficial to you? Here are just a few examples:

You can enhance your career. If you take on new challenges, you’ll develop skills that will help you advance in your field.
You’ll update your life skills. Building these street smarts helps you make smart decisions in your personal and professional life.
It will enrich your life. It’s exciting and fulfilling to learn something new.
Most importantly, it will keep your mind sharp.”

Sometimes, our jobs require us to learn by taking continuing education classes and other times, we just want to learn something new. No matter what your circumstance is, keep on learning! Here are five ways to learn after you receive your degree:

Join a club
Her Campus says, “Discussion-based clubs for people interested in books, film, philosophy, foreign languages and more are a great way to stimulate your mind, meet new people and become a little more cultural. You’ll feel like you’re back in a humanities class in no time, minus all the analysis papers (*giant sigh of relief*).”

Listen to podcasts
There are so many educational podcasts that are now available. Search Google and you will find lists such as “21 Podcasts That Will Make You Smarter,” or “50 Educational Podcasts You Should Check Out.” There are also specific podcasts if you want to learn something of interest to you. For example, if you want to learn how to tile a kitchen floor, or how to grow grass under a tree, there is a podcast for you.

Sign up for a class
There are many different ways and places to sign up for classes. You can sign up for a fun class such as a wine class at places like Vino Venue, or you could sign up for more of a structured class at a college in your area. There are even online classes if you want to learn and have a structured class, but do not want to take the time to actually go in and sit through a lectured class. With options such as meditation training, cooking classes, photography courses, and even weight loss courses, there are definitely some interesting options out there. Community College Review says, “Many adults head to community college to hone a craft, discover a new hobby or simply learn something new. Whether your interests lie in writing, gardening or arts and crafts, a class at a community college may be the perfect way to take your interest to the next level. Even if you want to delve into a subject you have never explored before, a community college course may open the door to a whole new field of interest.”

Hands-on learning
Hands-on learning can go hand and hand with the above topic, sign up for a class. To me, hands-on learning is more geared towards cooking classes, art classes, learning how to change a tire, learning how to build a fence, and more. It does not necessarily have to be through class form - you can learn hands-on outside of school, as well. Most children learn from their parents and then as they grow older, they start learning more from the people they are around and finally, they will also learn from their kids. This is one type of way that everyone learns throughout all of their years, no matter where they are in life.

Career-focused continuing education
Some job descriptions, such as a CPA require continuing education classes. For CPA’s specifically, this is called CPE, or “Continuing Professional Education.” It is required in order to follow the rules and regulations of state boards of accountancy, as well as professional CPA associations. Engineered Tax Services is one place that CPA’s can meet their CPE requirements. They are a nationally certified continuing education provider with NASBA, NAIOP, AIA, and many others. They offer multiple live courses throughout the year and even have an ETS University Web Course that is offered on a monthly basis. This would be perfect for the CPA that is interested in learning more about strategic tax incentives. Engineered Tax Services is a licensed engineer firm that is based Nationally. They provide services such as tax, energy, insurance, and investment-related strategies and over the years, they have become the country leader in these services that increase cash flow to allow for United States job growth and expansion. Engineered Tax Services (or ETS) was founded in 2001 by CEO, Julio P. Gonzalez. His vision was to create a company that provided a valuable service both to its clients and their surrounding community. With over 100 employees dedicated to the industry, Engineered Tax Services is trusted by many top 100 firms, as well as small businesses.

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Spring Trends and Finds

Fresh blooms and bright colors are two of my favorite indicators that the winter is hibernating for the time being. Thankfully, spring is here after what seemed like a very long and cold winter and I could not be happier about it. I think we grow to love warmer weather as children. We learned that May (for most) is when school ends and the summer fun starts. We carry it with us and still love the spring and summer months the most. Although the heat might not sit well with everyone, the time of year is just so much more joyful (other than right around the holidays) compared to other months like February, when it seems like there is no end in sight. There are so many fun spring trends going on right now and I have found so many great products that I wanted to share with you all, in order to get all of us pumped up for the warmer weather! 

Floral Patterns
Floral patterns are everywhere right now! Shirts, dresses, bed sheets, dish towels, and sometimes you can even find it on some home decor pieces, like throw pillows, living room blankets, and floor mats. There is definitely not a shortage of floral patterns and I am loving it. Go to your local Target, or mall and I can guarantee that you will see an abundance of floral patterns. 

Gardens
The start of spring is the perfect time to plant your garden and so many people are doing so. With organic food prices through the roof, this really is the smart way to do it. Plus, you know where your food is coming from. Stronger Together says, “While specific vegetables and fruits are high in certain nutrients, the best way to make sure you get a good range of these compounds in your diet is to “eat a rainbow.” By eating a variety of different-colored vegetables and fruits, you get all the nutrients you need to be healthy. Eating fruits and vegetables is generally a great idea, but the quality and safety of produce in grocery stores has been increasingly compromised. Whether it’s Salmonella on jalapeño peppers or E. coli in spinach, warnings seem to be happening every year. Also, some people are concerned about pesticide residues on their produce. What better way to ensure a safe food supply free of biological and pesticide contamination than to grow your own? You’ll know exactly what’s been used to grow those beautiful crops.”

Coconut Water
Coconut water is a huge trend right now and rightfully so - it is so healthy for you, and pretty tasty, as well. According to Draxe, “In certain emergency situations, it has been used for IV hydration due to its high electrolyte content and the fact that it’s sterile if used directly from the inside of the coconut.” That is so crazy to me, but it makes sense. With the hot weather coming up, coconut water is the perfect drink to grab at the grocery store and take on your long walks, playground trips, or travel adventures. 

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Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is being used for just about everything now - upset stomachs, stomach bug prevention, a whitener, and more. Right now, the current buzz is all about the charcoal scrubs and toothpastes. Apparently, they can help clear up your skin and whiten your teeth. I recently read an article where moms were using activated charcoal when their kids got sick. Apparently, it is supposed to soak up all of the bad toxins (and some of the good ones, too), preventing any bad bacteria from producing. My friend, Alex tried this when she was around the stomach bug and she did not get sick. I hope the stomach bug doesn’t hit us anytime this upcoming year, but if it does, you can bet that I am trying activated charcoal out!

Window Tinting
Window tinting is a new trend that I am just hearing about! Apparently window films can increase safety, reduce high energy costs, improve comfort, and reduce glare. UHS Window Tinting and Blinds, based out of Alpharetta, Georgia has provided the greater Atlanta area with much-needed window tinting, security film, decorative film and select blind treatment services, as well as installation since 2003. With their 3M™ Window Films, you are rejecting heat and harmful UV rays, but they still allow natural light to fill your home. They block up to 99% of harmful ultraviolet rays, they help evenly disperse natural light, and they reduce up to 78% of the sun’s heat. If you live in the Metro Atlanta area and want to improve your quality of life in your home, definitely consider window tinting. UHS Window Tinting and Blinds are available for a free estimate.

 

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Stop Procrastinating and Start Achieving Your Dreams

 Crowds will soon celebrate when the glittering crystal ball drops in Times Square. This singular moment will postmark a time to stop delaying and make 2018 a season for the fulfillment of your deepest dreams and desires.   

Crowds will soon celebrate when the glittering crystal ball drops in Times Square. This singular moment will postmark a time to stop delaying and make 2018 a season for the fulfillment of your deepest dreams and desires.

 

Do not let another 365 days wither away without grabbing hold of your deepest desires and doing everything in your power to bring them to fruition. As the turn of the year fast approaches it is time to consider your goals for the next twelve months. What do you wish to accomplish from January to December? Reflect on the things you have continually put off and end the era of bludging. Find something to motivate you, so you finish the repetitive cycle of procrastination. You cannot make progress if you are busy waiting for the perfect moment to arrive. Stop the stagnation and manifest a new reality.

 

There are different avenues and options when you consider resolutions. The most popular pursuit is to achieve a healthier lifestyle, but you can go so much further than just a number on the scale or your waist size. Avoid limiting yourself when choosing a direction for 2018. Be creative and dream big. If you secretly want to become an entrepreneur, or if you desire to walk a path to financial freedom, or maybe you just want to volunteer your time and talents to an organization close to your heart, now is the time. Regardless of your pursuits, you will be more successful accomplishing them by implementing these simple tips.

  1. Write it down. When you articulate your desires, they become more tangible. Create a visual reminder which encapsulates everything you are working toward and display it in a place you will often see, so it is inspiring and a perpetual reminder.

 

 2. Devise a plan. Outline a way to reach your objectives by breaking them into small steps, so nothing is overwhelming. If you give yourself a modest aim and intersperse each targeted goal throughout the twelve months, the more critical objective will not seem so intimidating, and you are more likely to stick with it.

 

3. Get support from those around you. Let a few supportive people know about your intention so they can hold you accountable and be your cheerleader throughout your journey. A support system is an invaluable asset when you are on an arduous journey because they know how to uplift you when you face challenges.

 The path toward the life you envision is not guaranteed to be easy, but with the support of friends and loved ones, it is more probable you will stay the course.   

The path toward the life you envision is not guaranteed to be easy, but with the support of friends and loved ones, it is more probable you will stay the course.

 

4. Do your research. Spend time researching the best ways to go about things, so you do not jump in blind. Try to find testimonials or tutorials from like-minded individuals who have tackled a similar objective in the past. When you humble yourself and learn from the mistakes, miscalculations, and misconceptions of others, you are more probable to find success.

5. Take a step forward. One of the most challenging parts of tackling one's dreams is to move from the abstract to reality. You need to begin actively pursuing your goals. It can be scary but remember a baby step forward is better than remaining rooted to one spot.

When you are defining your objectives, shoot for the stars. One thing most Americans strive for is to purchase their own house. The new year is the perfect time to start making the homeownership dream a reality, especially if you want to build. The primary step in the construction process is to purchase a lot. When doing so, do not limit yourself. If you do not foresee yourself in a cookie-cutter neighborhood, then find an atmosphere where you can thrive. Surround yourself with an environment which brings you and your family joy. For example, if the woods are where you are most comfortable, then consider a property with mature vegetation. Try not to be discouraged by tree covering because all of those types of obstacles are handled with ease when you enlist the help of a team of professionals like JT Magbe Contracting, LLC.

 Source: jtmagbe.com

Source: jtmagbe.com

JT Magbe Contracting is the leader in landing clearing, restoration, land management, and development in North Georgia and Atlanta. For those interested in building a home, JT Magbe can assist you with the process of maximizing a plot of land to reach its potential. They will help obliterate and remove unwanted obstacles like trees, old structures, or overgrowth. Over 20 years of civil construction experience has allowed JT Magbe to built a reputation for excellence and a Rolodex of satisfied customers. They have proven themselves, time and again, to be a fantastic partner. JT Magbe will get you started along the path to construction by priming the site and setting the stage for a solid foundation. The trained professionals who work with JT Magbe are proficient in demolition, brush mowing, clearing land, forestry mulching, and even excavating or grading. They are well equipped and highly skilled with the capacity to groom rugged terrain and manipulate it into an ideal setting for your dream home. In summation, they will manicure the property to meet the foundational needs specified by the architect.

JT Magbe will provide you with the personal attention you need to see the forest through the trees, and then remove those trees to prepare for home construction and the fulfillment of a life-long pursuit. Do not delay another year when it comes to tackling your goals. Take the leap in 2018 and find experts, like JT Magbe Contracting, to help you achieve your objective of building a house by first manicuring a piece of land perfect for your new home.  

 

 

 

August Goals

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Wow! How the heck did August get here so quick?! Like most of you have probably said, this year is going by so fast! I didn't get to do a "July Goals" post as I was still figuring out my site. So I figured why not go ahead and start with August?  

August Goals:  

One // Plan Plan Plan. I need to be  better at planning my days out, and figuring out what bills are due, when Ryan's Dr. appointments are, etc. Which I plan on using my Happy Planner, and making it fun by decorating my Months/Weeks with stickers! Because I feel like it will motivate me more. I have already started. 

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Two // Cook. Yes. I said it cook. We just moved into a house and rent has gone up.. so we need to save money. Which entails me cooking.. or at least trying.. I am not sure what Little Man will let me do! Maybe try and find 5 new recipes. That can't be too hard... right?! Or at least not breaking the bank by buying a ton of ingredients! 

Three // Save money. Yea this one should be a yearly goal. But I feel like you have start somewhere. Why not now? 

Four // Read more. Whether it be a good book or even just doing devotionals. I need to be reading more.  

Five // Blog Posts. Blog Posts. Blog Posts. That's all I have to say about this goal!  

I am thinking I may stop it at 5. Maybe start at 5 Goals a Month and then increase it.  

What are your monthly goals?!  

Xoxo, Erin  

Friday FAVES

Whoa! We made it to Friday friends! This week had flown by I must say! Here are a few of my favorites this week!  

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ONE // Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew with Caramel Drizzle!! Ummm hello my new favorite Starbucks drink! Ok so I have been getting these for a minute now! But ya'll if you haven't tried this.. uhhh... you need to like ASAP! I promise you won't be disappointed.. if you like cold coffee.. 

 

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TWO // My dad and sister are in town this weekend and since my husband and I are in a house now, they are actually going to stay with us Saturday-Monday, this will our first EVER visitors! And they also get to see this sweet face this weekend which they haven't seen since he was 4 months...I think... and he will be 7 months next week! 

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yes that is little man drinking from a soppy cup... he is growing up!  

THREE // I have been obsessed with this "A - List Country playlist I downloaded in a Apple Music. If you don't know by now I am a huge Country Music fan! It has artists like Luke Combs, Brett Eldridge, Lady A, Sam Hunt, Maren Morris and so on! I love it! 

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FOUR // Glee on Netflix! I forgot how much I loved this show! I don't know what it is about this show but it was honestly one of my favorites! I am already on season 3 and I think I started it this passed weekend... whoops... binge watch much?! 

FIVE // Live PD! Y'all if you do not watch this show you are missing out!! it comes on every Friday and Saturday night at 9:00 on A&E.

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That's all I got this week! 😊 I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!! 

Xoxo, Erin