Monday, August 30, 2010

We've made the switch!

Hello friends and supporters!

Just a quick announcement to let you know that we are officially leaving this Blogspot behind, effective immediatly. To avoid masses of broken links, we will not be closing this Blogger site down. However, we will be posting all of our new material on our new Blogspot, WordPress! You will still be able to find all of your favorite blogs from the past on the new site, as everything has been re-posted.

If you would like to continue receiving our updates, please register with our new blog spot:

We'll see you over there!

The Our Milk Money Blog Team

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Resume Anxiety

By Nathan Bright

We’re a one-income family. I haven’t worked for two point five years. My wife’s employment is based on a federal grant. The government is amputating limbs to save green. You see where this is going.

Spring 2011… that’s when Uncle Sam turns off our financial faucet. Worry. Fear. Anxiety. And those are just the feelings our dog has shared with us.

Many families are facing tough times. I will say it’s harder when the only bread winner takes a hit. If we both did the daily grind it would merely be matters of tightening our belt, cutting back and sacrificing. We’ve already juggled those three to get where we’re at, so now what?

All is not doom and gloom. There is a slight possibility my wife can make a lateral move, but I stress the phrase “slight possibility.” Nothing is carved into stone. The light is now cast on me.

High School Counselor: “So, Nathan, what do you want to do?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
High School Counselor: “What do you like to do?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
High School Counselor: “If you could do anything, regardless of money, what would it be?”
Me: “Get massages from super models while playing video games and drinking beer from one of those helmets that have the tubes running down from two beers. And there’d be chocolate cake.”
High School Counselor: “That’s illogical.”
Me: “Don’t ask stupid questions. Now I’m craving beer.”

I’ve polished up my résumé, but I find myself in an eerily similar situation as in high school. I’m an excellent worker - smart, innovative, don’t gossip, buy thoughtful holiday presents for under $10 – but what employer would hire someone like me when they can choose from barrels of specialized talent floating in the recession pool?

Another question – do I act now or wait? We’re under a cloud of uncertainty, but me securing a job now would alleviate that stress. But then what? Throw the kids into daycare just to find out in seven months we didn’t have to? Uhgg.

Fortunately we have time to make decisions. My resume is also getting a much-needed sand blasting. I can say with confidence we don’t regret a single moment of providing the kids with a stay-at-home parent. They’ve benefitted greatly from this experience, and we’re optimistic about the next phase of our lives.

As for me, I’m brushing up my skills in order to land my dream job: I’m giving the dog a massage while she eats cake… she looks pretty stressed. I’ll drink the beer.

Nathan Bright is a 30-something stay-at-home dad who resides near St. Louis, MO. He is a husband to an amazing woman and father to a doubly amazing 2 year old little girl. His blessed home is scheduled to be even more blessed in March, as Nathan and his wife will welcome a second daughter to their family. When Nathan is not blogging for's The Daddy's Den, he writes and illustrates his own children's books. Available for purchase immediately is Maddi Patti and her Stay-at-Home-Daddy.

Support Yourself - Four Guidelines

A change in lifestyle is a big deal. Heck, just changing jobs is a challenge! Going from a career to a home based business or being a stay-at-home parent can be quite stressful. For many, the change is a no-brainer. But for others, a little patience is in order. If you're finding the transition tough, here are a few guidelines to help you move through the changes and actually derive benefit from the experience.

1. Have compassion for yourself. Avoid berating yourself for decisions or choices. The past is behind you. Let it go. All there is is NOW.

2. Slow your life down. Taking a few things off your plate will free up the energy to redesign your lifestyle. Delegate responsibilities and ask for help from loved ones.

3. Journal your feelings and/or appoint a confidant you feel you can be open with and who won’t judge you. Don’t allow the judgments of others define who you are. You have a right to choose, and that includes the choice to continue working if you want to.

4. If you decide to take the leap, join a support group designed for stay-at-home parents. There are also plenty of books on the market. Once you leave your job, your circle of friends may shift a little. Make a point not to isolate as you acclimate.

Remember change is personal, and don’t allow other people’s urging to “get over it” interfere with your process.

Are you contemplating a change of lifestyle? Would you like support? Please email me privately at and I'll sign you up for Two Months FREE Membership to my monthly Mama Come Home! teleclasses.

Judith Cassis,C.Ht. is a Personal Development Consultant with 26 years experience. Known as "The Bounce-Back Coach", she works with people who are "bouncing back" from failure, loss or tragedy. Judith is co-owner of a small newspaper,Tidbits of Santa Clarita Valley, a family business she and her husband, Lee Cadena run with their sons. Through a monthly teleseries, Mama Come Home, Judith supports mothers in staying home or returning home to raise their children.

Make Art!!

I am back from my wonderful, much needed family vacation!! It's been years since we did something like this. I started organizing and packing up the family at least 4 weeks before our excursion to the other side of the country, the entire time wondering if the trek with 2 young and energetic boys, the rising level of our expenses and my loss in sanity would be worth sitting on a beach for a week.
It was.
It was, it was, it was.
I am eternally grateful for all the relatives who were drooling to spend time with my children- and did, leaving me with REAL legitimate relaxation...not the kind that is interrupted every 5 minutes with a child's need for attention. I took complete advantage.
Some listen to music while on the sandy beach, others like to read. I choose to sand sculpt.
To me, there is nothing like sitting in the silk soft sand for hours and hours, getting filthy dirty the way I used to when I was a child, letting my mind wander freely and creating something from my deepest imagination. Sand sculpting is cathartic, thereputic and cleansing. My only stress was wondering when the tide might come to wash it all away, and even that became less of a stress after a few days, and more of a way for me to feel part of the universe. It was a terrific lesson of the natural process of all the we are and all that we are a part of. The tide, although different each and every day is something we can come to count on, toying with us, supporting us, watching what we build for hours before it slowly comes in little by little to wear our creations down...eventually until there isn't even a sign of our work. Yet, we don't cry over it- we build a new creation the next day. I am glad to be back, and especially grateful that I was able to take with me a new sense of purpose and bliss. My sandcastles may be gone forever, but the construction of my spirit has given me a strong foundation for living a long and happy life.
Art is good for the soul.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ISafe Bag Review - A Great Way to Add Security and Peace of Mind

by Julianne Alvarez-Wish

In the 'good ole days' kids used to be able to play outside and walk places with very little to fear. I certainly did as a child. I would go out to play after school and had to be home by a certain time as did my friends. There was little adult supervision.

The same cannot be said of today's environment unfortunately. In the blink of an eye, children, young adults, women and even young men are kidnapped, attacked and worse. Also, there are children in school suffering from being bullied.

We do all we can as parents to ensure the safety of our families and nothing should substitute for that. However, adding good tools to our 'toolbox' for caring for our families is a terrific idea and I'm all for adding security and some peace of mind.

One such idea is the line of ISafe Bags. The ISafe Bags were created by a Chicago entrepreneur. He heard about a woman who was attacked by four men. The story upset him so much he decided to do something about it to help protect people from attacks.

In full disclosure, I did receive an ISafe Bag at no cost to review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are fully my own and in no way influenced by the receipt of the bag.

ISafe Bags look like regular back packs, laptop backpacks, or laptop messenger bags. They come in an array of colors that will please children and adults alike. I reviewed the pink laptop messenger bag. My laptop fit in the bag easily as did a bunch of other things I carry with it. It's functional, pretty, light, durable and well-constructed. It has lots of pockets for storage and even has a handy removable key ring. I love it!

Hiding in each of these bags is an alarm system with a strobe light. The alarm is quite loud and the strobe light is very bright...they will easily attract help to whoever set off the alarm. Another great feature is that the alarm and strobe light system are very light, only adding 1/2 pound to the weight of the bag so you won't get tired carrying it around.

ISafe Bags are easy to activate and deactivate. ISafe Bags also have a replacement policy. When your bag gets worn out, you can purchase a pre-wired bag from ISafe Bags at a fraction of the cost of the original. Simply insert the alarm system into the new bag and you are all set!

The ISafe Bags web site is full of useful information from who should use the bags, common uses, to alarm system operating instructions. There is a link for personal safety tips for women and children. The web site will also feature a video on how to hook up the replacement bag to your alarm system.

The line of ISafe Bags are a terrific way to add some security and peace of mind to life using an ordinary item many use daily...what's not to like! I highly recommend them!

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for She also blogs at Wishful Thinking. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.