July Favorites: What I’m Loving Now

This month I found some great products and brands that I love, including some small business owners. I love to support small business so make sure you go check out their sites and show them so support. Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed. Since getting all these products I have been using them on a routine basis, except the candle because I am saving it.

I purchased this candle while at a market with my sister. This candle smells amazing! The scent I picked up is Jasmine Honey and I could sit and sniff this thing all day! Plus, the wick is made from wood so it will crackle when it burns. I have never had a candle like this before so I was excited to purchase this. This Brooklyn boutique is called Brooklyn Essence and they produce all natural candles and skin care. They carry certified organic and all natural body moisturizers, organic candles and body scrubs.

I am a sucker for anything rose gold. Add an inspirational mantra and I am sold! I was silently stalking this seller on Instagram and finally decided to make a purchase. The girl boss behind this product is Nichole and her brand is named NTS Bracelets. It stands for Note To Self and it will leave you feeling inspired! I love the meaning behind her brand and she is such an inspiration to ambitious women. I am silently a huge fan of hers. She only opens her shop every Friday – Sunday so make sure you grab yourself one quick.

If you were wondering what that big blue random object was in the picture above….it is a collapsible dog bath. I love my dog but hate paying to get him groomed because it can be expensive. It is also hard for me to try and groom him at home and I refuse to put him in my tub. So I figured why not get him his own tub! I was not disappointed with this purchase. He fits in it perfectly, it contains a non-slip bottom, it collapses to a compact 2.4 inches thin when not in use and has a drain plug to easily empty the water. So now bath time is much easier for us both!

When I purchased the dog bath my first thoughts were…How the heck am I going to get my dog to actually stay inside the tub! He hates baths and I do not want to have to struggle with him. Then I found the AquaPaw and this is seriously the best thing I have ever purchased for my dog! You smear peanut butter over this thing and suction it to a wall and it keeps your dog occupied while you bath them. Now it does not suction to the tub I purchased so instead I use a food clip and clip it to the rim and it holds in place. I have used this thing so many times already for him. Not only when I bathe him but also when we have company over to distract him and it works wonders.

I found this product in the dollar spot at Target. I am pretty sure you can not purchase these items online because I was unable to find it. Make sure you always check out the dollar spot when you go to Target because you can find some great items. I have been wanting a makeup cleansing pad but they can be pricey and I refuse to spend that kind of money. I came across this for $3 and grabbed it fast and it works great. It suctions to the sink and I can clean my brushes quick and easy. This was a great find and purchase.

I am no makeup expert but I wanted some new makeup brushes since I was using the same ones for way too long. I also did not want to spend a lot of money and brushes can be pricey. I was looking for affordable and good quality. I found this BH Cosmestics Crystal Quartz Brush Set at Ulta and love them. This set comes with 12 brushes and they are even labeled with a number and what their purpose is. The set came with a cute iridescent zip-top case brush bag. The brushes are soft and blend my makeup perfectly.

I love to create and craft and have always hated making pom poms. There are so many ways you can make them but I found them all annoying. So I went and purchased this pom pom maker and it is awesome. It makes making pom poms so easy and you can make them so fast. I have already created a few cute projects and have some more awesome ones planned. Be on the look out for some straw pom pom bags in the future! I found this product on Amazon and it is a great price. Also, it makes four different sizes so you can make so many nice projects in all sizes.

My husband actually found this item and he has been using it for a while. He purchased me one because I kill my cell phone battery fast. This phone charger is one of the best I have ever had. It fast charges my battery and I can charge two devices at once. It is compatible with just about every phone out there and it came with a cord as well. I use this thing all the time and you can not beat the price!


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What You Need To Know Before Signing A Nursing Job Contract

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You are fresh out of nursing school and ready for your first nursing job. You go through the whole process of applying. You may even have passed or have your NCLEX date set. So here you are ready to work and the company requires you to sign a contract. Are you prepared to sign this piece of paper? Do you really know what it all entails? This post is here to help you get prepared and make sure you are ready and willing to make the commitment.

What Is A Contract?
A contract is a legally binding agreement between an employer and an employee. It may contain salary information, job requirements, length of employment required and benefits. Many hospitals who allow new grads to work in specialties will require the new graduate nurse to sign a contract. They may even offer a bonus such as $10000 when you sign. It is important to know that the hospital makes up their own contracts. Make sure the terms of the contract are clearly stated.

Make Sure You Read and Ask Questions!
Since the hospital is making up their own contracts you need to make sure you read that thing and then read it again! Create a list of questions and make sure you get your answers before you sign. Remember they are an organization and they are worried about their bottom dollar. Yes, it costs money to train new nurses and you may hear this again and again but remember they are a company and they are making money. So worry about your money! They can make it look and sound good on paper but what if the work environment is toxic? What if you loathe working there? Some important questions to ask include:

What happens if I break the contract early?
Will I have to pay back money and how much?
Can I transfer to another floor if the one I am hired on is not working for me?
What if I need to move?
Do you get raises during this time?
What is their retention rate and do they have a high turnover?
Is the contract vague or very detailed?
When does the contract time start? Does it start on orientation or once orientation is over?
Is the amount prorated and does this amount decrease every month?
What amount of contracted nurses stayed on their units beyond the required time frame?

There are a lot of questions to ask when signing a contract because this is a legally binding piece of paper. So do not take it lightly. That $10,000 sign on bonus as a new grad may sound appealing but in the end it may not be worth it. The hospital or unit you are on may not turn out to be a good fit for your personality. If you decide to sign the contract think about putting some money away with each paycheck just in case in the future you decide to leave before the contract is up. And please do not sign a contract until you have all your questions answered and you have weighed all your employment options.

Another option to think about is accepting a Medical Surgical position. Many times these units do not require the signing of a contract. Think about getting some experience and then transferring to the unit of our dreams. This way you are already working for the organization and you will not be required to sign anything. Whatever you decide make sure it is right for you and it is something you can live with.

Why You Should Make Your Bed Every Morning

We all like to get our day started off on the right path and we all probably have a morning routine. I actually work night shift so my morning routine technically starts around 3pm but I still have a routine. As a child, I hated making my bed but now as an adult I feel sloppy with an unmade bed. So I make my bed everyday. Making my bed in the morning makes me start out my day feeling productive and gives me a boost to get moving. Here are some reasons why you should be making your bed and how it can improve your life.

  1. Provides a Feeling of Accomplishment
    Making your bed may seem like a small task but doing this everyday gives you a feeling of accomplishment. It only takes a few minutes but it can set a positive tone for the rest of your day and get you feeling motivated to accomplish more. You will feel more inclined to complete more tasks.
  2. Creates a Relaxing Environment
    Your bedroom and bed are a place of rest and it feels great pulling back those covers and getting cozy. A well made bed creates a relaxing and calming environment. Think of it as your retreat. It creates a place to unwind from our hectic days and start fresh all over again the next morning.
  3. Your Bedroom Looks Instantly Cleaner
    Making your bed in the morning is a great way to encourage yourself to tidy up the rest of the room or another part of your house. Even if your bedroom is clean if your bed is a mess the whole bedroom will look like a mess. This is a great way to start developing good habits.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed… If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed, will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made, that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
– William H. McRaven

How I Paid For Nursing School & Money Tips

If you are reading this then you are probably curious how I paid for nursing school and came out with no school loans. Please understand that this is very circumstantial and will be different for everyone. We all come from different backgrounds and financial situations. I am going to share my story and then share a few tips I found helpful. So whether your goal is to have no student loans or keep them to a minimum I think you will find these tips helpful to incorporate into your life. Lets be realistic because you may not be able to have zero student loans but you can try to keep them as minimal as possible.

I was a nontraditional student and by that I mean I was already an older adult and established in a career. I have always known I wanted to be a nurse and when I decided on this back in my early twenties I discovered I was not able to follow my dreams. I was not able to balance my work and finances to afford to go to college. Plus, even back then I knew I did not want any student loans. So I decided if I could not do it without loans then I would put it off. So instead, I went to school to become a certified medical assistant. Even this took me double the amount of time it was suppose to take. This was because I worked full time and paid for classes out of pocket. Once I finished that program I worked as a medical assistant for about seven years and in that time life happened. I got married and my husband started and finished his schooling. We decided that once he was done that I would go back to college. It was actually a decision between having a baby vs nursing school… I chose nursing school.

So how did we pay for college? We saved up money in advance and made a separate account for a college fund. We did not have a lot of time, but in this time we put away as much money as we could. I knew that once I actually got accepted into a nursing program that I would probably quit working. We also made it a point to pay down any debt. This way we had less to worry about once I lost my income. Thankfully, between the money saved and my husband having a good paying job that was possible. While taking my prerequisite classes I was working for a hospital and they offered tuition reimbursement. So that was also something I took advantage of. Who does not like free money? Another way we were able to pay was by me attending community college. Community colleges are less expensive and can help you save money. No, you can not get your bachelors from a community college but you are still a nurse and once you have the income you can always go back for your bachelors. So here I am today working full time as a registered nurse. I will be starting college back in the Fall to obtain my Bachelors degree. My current job will pay a percentage of my tuition and I will pay the rest out of pocket as I go.

Money Saving Tips
1. Prepare in advance
I know how exciting it is to make the decision to attend nursing school. You are determined and want to get going but slow down. If you have not heard this already I guarantee you will at some point from a nursing professor. I heard it a million times…..”you should not work during nursing school”. When I first heard this I thought the person was crazy! How can you not work? Who is going to pay the bills? Most people do not have a choice to work or not and most people will have to work while attending nursing school because that is life. Since you have already or you are thinking about pursing nursing I recommend that you start saving your money. Are you able to pay down debt? Are you able to save a certain amount or percentage of money every month into an account. Can you do this for a few months or a whole year to put yourself in a better position? Make a solid plan before you decide to take on new debt because college is expensive. Nursing school takes up a lot of time. It was a full time job for me so try to go into it well prepared in advance. If you have to work try to obtain a job that is flexible with your schedule. A great option that will give you experience and maybe flexible is working as a certified nursing assistant. You can find plenty of employers that will actually pay to train you and then help pay your tuition to attend nursing school.

2. Attend community college
Make sure your are reviewing all your options when looking at colleges. Many people want that college experience or they want to get it all over with at once. But can you afford this price? When I decided to become a nurse I looked at some 4 year colleges and the amount of money you pay is insane. If you attend a community college that is in your county you will save a ton of money. You can still apply and be eligible for assistance at community college. I had have other nurses comment to me about attending community college. “Oh, well you only attended community college” “I wanted the true college experience” Well guess what? We are both now in the same job positions and making the same money! And not only that these people now how $60,000-$100,000 of loans they have to pay off! On top of that my college was very competitive and well known in my community for their nursing program. So in that regards many employers do not hesitate to hire nurses who went to my college.

3. Find a job that will pay for your schooling
While I was attending school to become a medical assistant and also part of my nursing I worked at a hospital. This hospital and many others will pay a certain percentage of your tuition! Many times you just have to show proof of your enrollment, keep your grades above a “C”, and stay employed for a certain amount of time. This is free money! Most of these employers are placed like hospitals, nursing homes, doctor offices and are medical based facilities.

4. Stop failing classes
This might seem harsh and it is! But lets be realistic here for a moment. I personally told myself when I went back to college that if I failed a class even once that I would re-evaluate this journey and my goals. Seems kinda harsh and it was. But guess what? I never failed a class and I graduated with honors. Now I know this can be very unrealistic and I know plenty of nurses who have failed classes and they are amazing nurses. Plus, depending on the person some people are just not good test takers. While attending college I knew many people who failed the same class multiple times and they kept retaking the class. Please understand I am not saying that if you fail to give up and many people will fail a class. Just think about the money you are spending when you consistently do this. There is nothing wrong with taking a step back, taking a break and re-evaluating.

5. Assistance Programs
I did not qualify for any financial aid to attend school and I never applied for scholarships but this is something you should look into. Never pass down free money especially if you need it. I have included some links to some programs that are available. I recommend you do some homework and research because there is so much information out there. Make sure you also check out your employer because many times they offer scholarships.

FASFA – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the form that the federal government, states, colleges and other organizations use to award financial aid. 

NURSE Corps. – a scholarship program that’s available to U.S. citizens who are willing to work in an eligible critical shortage facility (CSF) after they’ve graduated. 

Johnson & Johnson – A great list of nursing scholarships that are available.

All Nursing Schools– 40 nursing scholarships for all kind of students.

6. Live below your means
This is something that everyone should be doing anyway but many people do not and it can be very hard. What this means is that each month you should be spending less than the amount of money you bring in each month. Make a plan to track your spending over the next 30 days and see where you are blowing money at each month. Then you can create a realistic budget and get your finances on track. You may have to temporarily stop buying coffee at your favorite coffee shop, say no to going out with friends and reduce your shopping. This way you can save that money and use it towards your education.

I hope you found this list helpful and motivational to get yourself financially prepared for nursing school because you do not need to go into tremendous debt to reach your goals.



June Favorites: What I’m Loving Now

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Hey Friends! I thought it would be a fun idea to do a monthly favorites at the end of each month on the blog! So this series will be posted at the end of each month and it will include items I loved using that month. It will include anything from beauty, home, fitness, skin care and well just anything I loved that month! So let’s jump right in!

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I love this bath brush and picked it up at Walmart. I need a pouf because I love to wash with lots of lather and this brush is perfect. The handle is great for those hard to reach places and get cleansed all over. Plus the price point is great.

 

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My husband and I are obsessed with Method products. We use all their cleaning products, hand soaps and body wash. I love that their products are naturally derived and the scents are amazing. This stuff leaves my skin soft and smelling great. It is my go to body wash! A little goes a long way and the bottle last me such a long time! The extra money is worth it for this product.

 

ponds

This is a classic that everybody should have in their home. I recently just started using  Ponds Cold Cream again. I was trying different eye creams and they dried my under eye area so bad! So I picked this up and started using it again and within a few days my skin was soft and supple again! This stuff is great to remove makeup and it moisturizes so well! I will always keep a jar of this in my home.

 

isadoraThis is the first liquid eyeliner I have ever used and I am obsessed! This IsaDora eyeliner goes on smoothly, applies easily and dries nicely. It really makes my eyes pop and I could not believe how easy it was to use! The great thing about this is it is waterproof but comes off easily with makeup remover.

7b65d1b7-3b06-4f98-ae05-4b3309e8a038._CR0,0,2000,2000_PT0_SX300__.jpgI love to diffuse oils in my house and now I can in my car! You just hook this little guy to the USB in your car and it lasts for hours. Such a great way to get my car smelling nice and enjoy a relaxing drive before heading to work and it fits right in the cup holder. My favorite oils to use are lemon or lavender. If you are driving at night you can have the diffuser light up with different colors. This was a great purchase that I will get lots of use out of.

kcupMy husband and I are behind the times and a few months ago we purchased a Keurig. We also purchased some cheap reusable cups so that we could save money on Kcups because they are pricey. We quickly learned the ones we purchased were junk. So we decided to pick up two Keurig My K-Cups since they are made for the machine. They are amazing! No more watered down coffee and they fit in the machine perfectly. They were a little pricey but they are worth it because you are using it so many times. In the end it will save you money on that coffee.

99868_bluehazeBeing a nurse, I am on my feet a lot and I need to wear compression socks. I get all my compression’s from NurseMates and I love their selection! They have so many cute pairs. I currently own five of them! They help increase circulation and prevent swelling. They are great for so many occasions and not only nurses! You can even save 15% off any purchase with code REBEKAHxNM and this code is good or all of 2019! So go get yourself a pair!

Until next month! Let me know in the comments below some of your favorites from June! I am always looking for great finds and products to try out.  FYI: Each paragraph contains a link to the product but just in case, below are the individual links.

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My Favorite Crochet Washcloth- Easy DIY

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I am so excited to share this DIY project with you today! I am branching out and sharing more of myself on the blog. If you did not know I love to crochet and I have made everything from baby blankets, hats, scarves, pillow covers and I even sell my mug cozies on Etsy.  They are super cute so go check them out >>HERE<<

Today I thought I would share with you my favorite crochet washcloths. They are perfect for any beginner and they whip up nice and fast. I have been using these for years to wash my face and they last forever! The great thing about these is the hook size and gauge do not matter and you can also use any kind of yarn you like! I know most people would probably prefer cotton or a soft yarn. I have always used Caron Simply Soft yarn and have never had a problem with it on my skin.

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Here is what you will need to make a washcloth (This is what I used but you can use anything):

  • Size E (3.50mm)  crochet hook
  • Skein of Simply Soft Caron yarn (I used the color Bone)
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry Needle

Measurements:
Again, this does not matter and it will be different depending on the size hook you use. If you use a 3.50mm hook then the washcloth will measure about 8″ x 7″

Pattern:
Chain 40
Row 1: *Double crochet in second chain from hook and in each remaining chain, chain 2 and turn (39)*
Repeat row one until you have 20 rows.

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this pattern, and if so please share on social media so that others can try it out as well!

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