Friday, October 26, 2012

Leah's Unsolicited Advice - Make a plan

Posted By: Leah
Happy Friday you guys!
(And we all know I'm a southern gangsta and if I really said this to you it would go something like
"Happy Fri-Fri Y'all" ...kidding...sorta).

I recently have noticed myself offering more and more unsolicited advice to other people, and the crazy thing is my advice has actually been helping others! I feel like a little counselor over here! I've somehow really really been helping people and it makes me feel sooo happy. To protect the parties involved, I am not going to list their specific examples in case they don't want their dirty laundry showing up all over the place.... but...

The interesting thing is the reason I can offer this advice is that I've been in pretty much every situation that my friends have also been going through. I try not to talk about my past too much in the blog (for fear of boring you guys). But more often than not, people find my past really helpful to their own issues. Here's the short list of topics I'm a semi-pro on, in no particular order:
  • I've been married / planned an extravagant wedding
  • I've TTC (done the whole temp taking/tracking/fertility friend game)
  • I've been pregnant
  • I've been through 16 hrs of labor and had a c-section (being Rh-negative and had a jaundiced baby)
  • I've attachment parented
  • I've been unable to breastfeed
  • I've potty trained successfully (in 2 days mind you. Holler!)
  • I've gotten my child to fall asleep easily and stay in his own bed (for the most part)
  • I've been a SAHM (for a short amount of time, but enough to offer an opinion/support)
  • I've been a working mom
  • I've been divorced
  • I've dated
  • I've found new love
  • I've experienced 'miracles' through my found spirituality
  • I've had issues with my son's teacher
  • I've had issues with my son's classmates
  • I've been in debt
  • I've successfully gotten myself out of debt and learned to save (insert said 'miracle' here lol)
  • I've graduated from college
  • I've struggled with learning in college/school in general
  • I've looked for a job/been rejected for jobs
  • I've been vegan / vegetarian / raw
  • I've lost significant weight / gained weight / lost weight / etc.
  • I've had low self esteem and high self esteem
  • I've started my own business
  • I have failed at said business and started other businesses (hello Etsy!)
  • I've been a fashion emergency. I've had a fashion intervention (thanks BF & Tanger Outlets)
  • I've traveled to Europe, a ton of Caribbean islands, central America, and the majority of the US
  • I've accepted the help of others
  • I've given a lot to charity and received even more in return
.... and more, but those are the most recent items that my knowledge has been called on. They are what I've gone through, and maybe the reason I've experienced them is so that I can help others.

And clearly (or if you couldn't tell) I have come out on top in each of these situations.   How's that Kelly Clarkson song go? "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger"
Of course none of these situations were anywhere close to actually killing me, but you get the idea.

What I'm saying is that whatever struggle my friends, or acquaintances are going through, I have been through most of them too. And at the time, duh, it sucked. But I feel like I'm living proof that any situation can be conquered and you can become a better person because of it.

In all of these above listed situations, I had to find the strength within myself to push forward and develop a plan. By creating a plan, I felt in control. Most of the time, getting the steps of the plan written out on paper is the very first step to making a situation better or at least tolerable.

I've also enlisted the help of professionals. No, I've not paid for this help, most of it I have found in books, online, or even on TV!

Below is a list of people (and most have written books) that have changed my life. These have helped me personally get through so many of the above situations. You can get these for free at the library or buy 2nd hand editions for next to nothing on Amazon or another website.

If you are struggling with someting, I there are always free resources out there for you as well. You just need to know where to look. And that starts with making your plan.

Once you know what you want to do, here are some books that I can personally recommend.

if you find yourself single...

Let's put it this way: I followed the advice of this book and had BF knocking down my door within weeks. (And by knocking down my door I mean blowing up my FB). And he was the quenticential bachelor. Never been married, never lived with a GF. He was the popular football player in HS. The one who's dated a zillion girls (ok maybe a few less). And he chose me. The divorced girl who was never all that cool.
And it's been almost two years. Thanks Patti
BF is such a fan of this book too (it's not like you trick guys into thinking you're hot sh*t, it's just really simple things like letting the guy call you, not labeling the relationship, etc.) that he has recommended it to all of his friends who are single girls. That says it all right there!
PS- It's not like that old book "The Rules"

if you find yourself in debt....
Ok I admit I've never actually read this book. I just googled the Dave Ramsey Snowball concept and that told me everything I needed to know. Pretty simple stuff about how to save, how much to have in the bank, what you need for emergencies, when to use your credit cards, etc.

if your kids are not behaving as they should....

I HIGHLY recommend watching Supernanny or Nanny 911 shows. The concepts are the same. I cannot thank the people who made these shows enough. I started watching just as Gav was two years old and starting to test his boundaries. We created a 'naughty spot.' Rules, and the 5 to 1 countdown. They key is to stay calm, and consistant. All of Gav's life he and I have received compliments on how well behaved he is. And if he gets a little extra hyper at the wrong time all I have to do is look at him and say "5" and he KNOWS to calm down immediately. It's like magic.
For all things baby-having I'd recommend the What to Expect books. I am off the vegan diet (sorry I love fro yo and chicken wings too much) so I could get you started but not offer much long-term advice on going veggie for longer than a year.

And as always, feel free to contact me to talk about anything. Sometimes it's easier talking to someone who you don't know well and who is removed from the situation. The only topics that I really have very little knowledge on and I'd help you locate a professional are those that deal with family issues/ loss/ violence/ abuse/ and I don't mean 50 Shades of Gray stuff  hahah! PS I seriously hated that book and I'm no prude. But I do sorta want to see the movie!


  1. I was wondering where you were today!!! Now let's add travelling to Massachusetts to that list!!!

  2. ^ totally agree. Also, I loved this! So many things I didn't know about you. Come help me get rid of my debt, you can fly up and be a consultant over margarita's.

  3. I haven't been through half of what you have, but this is so inspiring to read! Thanks for the post!

    x Ellie @ Ellalogy 

  4. You Do give great advice! The email you sent me about my job search seriously made me feel so much better! You know how to put a smile on a persons face.

  5. I can't be friends anymore with you because you don't like 50 Shades...

    kiddin ;)

    And I say "ya'll" all the time!!! Just picture me saying it like Paula Deen! Oh wait! I did say it like that in my vlog about my junk drawer! HAHA



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