Blogger Recognition Award

changes, healthy living

I am honored to announce that Song of Sapelo Sunset has been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award!  Woohoo!  Due to a ton of family responsibilities, like getting my son through umpteen college visits, helping him on his 20 college applications, and working on his recruiting process, I have been away from Song of Sapelo Sunset for a bit.  Moms, family always comes first!

blogger recognition award

Anyhow, I am super excited to receive this nomination for all the hard work that has been put into this site.  This baby is my heart, as it revolves around my family, and I started this blog as my daughter entered her freshman year of college.  My baby is next…but that’s for another blog post…coming up soon.

The Blogger Recognition Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers, showing appreciation for all the hard work that has been placed into creating a new blog.  This award is for new bloggers.  Song of Sapelo Sunset is still in its infancy at under a year in age.  Time flies though!


Fellow blogger, Jessie Regula, of The Fit Train––nominated me for this award.  Jessie blogs on the struggles of living with chronic illness.  Her blog is awesome!  Definitely eye-opening!  Thanks to Jessie for making this reality for Song of Sapelo Sunset!

Check back later this week for my 15 nominations for the Blogger Recognition Award.  If you are a new blogger, and would like to be nominated, please reach out to me at, and I will be glad to review your website.

blogger recognition awardUntil next time!


Song of Sapelo Sunset



Living Your Dreams Outside the Shower

Dreams, goals, weight loss, perseverance
Living your dreams outside the shower


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I have a new habit of reading for a brief time in the mornings.  My current inspiration is “Make Your Mark” by Coyote Cooper. Currently, I am reading about dreams and daring to dream.

I have many dreams, some realistic, some not.  I often think about those dreams early in the morning and in the shower.  Coyote quotes Dr. John Maxwell about dreams: “Millions of people have good ideas in the shower, but only a few make it out.”

Making it out of the shower is called follow-through.

Keys to follow-through include:

  • Perseverance

  • Commitment

  • Discipline

On this weight loss journey, my dream is to lose 50 pounds.  This will not happen overnight.   I will have to stick to the plans and practice perseverance, commitment, discipline. I have put this dream off for a month or so, focusing on my son’s college applications, funding, etc.

In the midst of all this school chaos, I cannot lose sight of bettering myself and my health. This week I felt the weight coming back on. I can feel this when I eat, when I walk, when I sit in my car. In reality, the only way I can enjoy my children and grandchildren is if I take care of myself.

I will not beat myself up for faltering these months; however, I have new determination and commitment to succeed.

I will persevere.
I will be committed.
I will be disciplined.

All the best,

Song of Sapelo Sunset


Freshman Year: The Dorm

dorm, freshman year
Freshman Year: The Dorm

**Please note that this page may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and/or purchase from the link, I will receive a commission on that purchase.  I only advertise items I absolutely love myself.**

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The time has come!  Your baby is going to college.  You have a freshman!

Last year, I went through the same thing, totally uncertain of what was to come.  I took a week of vacation just to move my daughter into college for her freshman year.


You, like me, will be just fine.  Your freshman, just like mine, will be just fine.  

Just breathe!

I know you have a tremendous amount of things to do.  It will all get done.  Let’s start with the easy stuff first: 

the dorm.



Bedding is the most important thing you will need to ensure your freshman has.  Most dorms have twin beds; however, you should contact the college’s housing department to verify the size of bedding your freshman will need. 

Depending on your budget, your freshman will need the minimum:

·       Sheets and Pillowcases

·       Pillow

·       Comforter or Bedspread

There are tons of choices.  Check out these awesome deals below:


Other items you may want for your freshman, include:

·       Decorative Pillows

·       Extra Pillows

·       Mattress Cover

·       Throws


Your freshman will want to have some type of décor for the walls and his or her desk.  What you buy and do depends on your freshman’s preferences.   This is your child’s first time away from home, so he or she will need help with organization in order to help things run more smoothly freshman year. 

Décor can be grouped into the following:

·       Wall Décor

·       Desk Décor

·       Floor Décor


For the wall, you may buy tons of different things.  My daughter loves tapestries like these:


She also took an old picture frame with wires attached across and added pictures from home, using clothespins.  She then hung up white lights across the frame.  One trip to visit, I gave her a canvas with a quote on it. Just an FYI, you will most likely need Command Strips, as the dorms will not want you to nail nails into the walls.  Command Strips do not damage the wall.  Inspiration and a touch of home are important in the décor.  Depending on your child, you will add as much or as little as your freshman wants.  Everyone is different.


For the desk, you will want to ensure there is something to keep items organized.  What you use then depends on a few factors, such as major, hobbies, and other interests.  Examples of organizational tools include baskets and shelves.  You can find some really excellent deals on these, such as in the items below:



 Your freshman would benefit from the following on the desk:

·       Lamp

·       Pencil Holder of Sorts

·       Alarm Clock

·       Waste Basket

Now, on to the floor décor.  Some beds are rather high, so it would help to have a stepstool or even a simple ottoman. Most dorm floors are cement, so a rug for the floor in front of the bed is nice for those cool early mornings. 



Your freshman will have roommates, so this is best to be a joint decision.  For the bathroom, the following items will be ideal:

·       Floor Rugs

·       Shower Curtain with Rings

·       Toilet Brush

·       Plunger—and make sure they know how to use it

·       Waste Basket

·       Shower Caddy

Here are some excellent deals for some of these items:




Finally, here are some other ideas of items that your freshman will need:

·       Cleaning items, such as sponges, rags, and cleaner

·       Bath items, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors, deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, etc.

·       Health items, such as vitamins and essential oils

·       Medicine, such as ibuprofen, Tylenol, Motrin, Midol, Aleve, Benadryl, Zyrtec, Pepto Bismol, antacid, and any prescription medications

·       First aid items, such as band-aids, Neosporin, Benadryl itch cream, etc.


Hopefully, these lists will help you on your way to seeing off your freshman to college.  Before you know it, you will be just like me, preparing your Sophomore for a new year of college.  Just breathe and enjoy every second.  Your freshman will come home in winter break an adult.


Until next time,


Song of Sapelo Sunset

Staying Positive in the Most Difficult Situation

The past month has been a total bummer, to say the least…


A simple way to stay positive even in the most difficult situations


Please note that this page may include affiliate links, which if you click on them and purchase a product, I will receive a commission.  I only provide links for products I truly believe in.

Over a year ago, I found my dream job in a vegetable plant.  It was the perfect combination of management, business, and training.  I worked with an amazing team, as a team.  We defied the odds together, moving a mountain in a plant that had a massive listeria recall 2 years prior.  As a team, we moved that mountain! 

Anyone who’s worked in or visited a manufacturing facility would be shocked to hear that when you walked through this plant, all the employees were working hard and doing so with smiles on their faces. 



Last Thursday, all smiles were wiped away, and the tears rolled, as our company was sold, and the plant was shut down for good.  In the blink of an eye, we all lost our jobs and benefits.  I have struggled to stay positive over the weekend, as I lost a very dear family, my work family.  This morning, my husband asked me what I would do for the day.  My answer: “I don’t know.”  Weird, coming from someone is so busy she’s spinning in motion! 


 Anyone who knows me well knows that’s not me.  I’m a bulldog! I don’t stand down.  Life has taught me to pop back up and get better than before.  (that’s for another blog, another day.) 


So, I LOVE to-do lists!  And on my to-do list for the past month has been to transfer addresses into a little address book from a mixture of envelopes and loose papers.  As I looked for a book this morning on my desk, I spotted the address book, and said, “Why not!”  In the middle of the papers, I found a sweet birthday card from a dear friend, and it read:

“Each day holds its own wonder to discover.”

wonder card

I immediately thought, “This is a sign!”  Then, “Wonder what today’s wonder will be!”  Amidst all this pain, depression, and sadness, I remembered how I once stayed positive in a most difficult position.  A dear friend and I would ask each other, as well as others around us, to name 3 positive things that have happened so far that day. 


Friends, sometimes wonder is in the simplicity of things.  For example, three positives from my day thus far are:

1.   Ate lunch with my best friend and had awesome conversation!

2.  Giggled as I watched the neighbor’s baby goats frolicking in the pasture. 

baby goats.JPGGiggled even more when the Mama goat came up to my face to say Hello!



mama goat.JPG

3.  Found an amazing Virtual Assistant Course I will complete this week!  Yesterday morning I found a Pinterest pin about this and just knew I had found something special. 


Nothing happens by chance.  Everything happens exactly when and where it is supposed to happen!  Today has been a wonderful day! 

Now, you try it!  Name three positive things that have happened to you today. 

Have a blessed, wonder-filled day!


All the best,


Song of Sapelo Sunset

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How to Multi-Task and Thrive

How to Multitask and Thrive
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Do you ever feel pulled in a million different directions? 

I often wish I had a clone!

I am the mother of 2 adult children and 1 teen, as well as the step-mom of 1 teen and 1 pre-teen.  Add a precious grandson and beautiful daughter-in-law, and don’t forget grandson #2 due in May of this year!  And, we can never forget my husband, child #6!  A nine, soon to be 10, person small family!  We are beyond blessed.

On top of being a mother and wife, I am a manager in a major production facility, managing approximately 100 employees daily.  Finally, this year I helped create the first booster club for my son’s wrestling team, one which has raised about $10,000 in its first year!

Everywhere I go, every minute I spend, I do what I can to multi-task.  Even as I sit typing this blog, I have made phone calls and sent emails for my son’s team and arranged for my daughter to travel home for the weekend.  For a moment, the world was spinning!

As a manager and mom of teens, I have noticed the struggle for lots of people to handle multiple tasks in succession.  Today’s life is so fast-paced that if you don’t keep pace, you miss out on too much.

How do we keep up and still enjoy life to the fullest?


All tasks are not equally important

Thus, it is essential to establish a hierarchy of importance between tasks and responsibilities.  Checklists are great for ordering tasks by importance.  I handle the bills for my family, as well as any other “secretarial” type calls or transactions.  Friday is the big day.  Thursday evening I often write out a list of calls to be made to pay all the bills.  Often, a child’s activities creep into the middle of this list.  However, the power bill being paid on time is more important than registering my son for a tournament, for example.  His registration will happen, but he needs electricity in his home more than he needs to be registered for the tournament.  Often, tasks are time-sensitive, thus dictating the order they must happen.  For example, I submit specific reports by a designated time daily because other employees are awaiting the report to complete their tasks specific to those reports.


Organization saves time, time we all need

There are numerous ways to organize your life activities.  Calendars are the best.  I use my calendar on my phone, placing reminders for all work, family, and sports activities.  This simplifies making appointments and keeping them.  When my daughter called me today and asked if I could pick her up from Atlanta on Friday, I quickly looked at my calendar and saw that it was clear.  Calendars work great for future events.  However, for a daily basis, a checklist suffices.


You do not have to do everything!

You are not the only person in your company, you are not the only person in your family, and you’re definitely not the only parent in the school.  Growing other employees to learn some of your responsibilities at work gives you flexibility, and it is just the smart thing to do.  If you aspire to move up from your current position, teach someone you trust aspects of your current position so that it would be an easy transition for the company.

I have been in a position in which I have refused to move to another division of the company, simply because it would have hurt the company due to the lack of cross-training that had taken place.  The second time this happened, I set out to change things, and I decided that day that I would always have a back-up so that I would never be in that position again.  The key is searching out someone you trust to fill-in for you.  In the family unit, suck up your pride and let your husband pull his weight by picking up the kids or washing a load of clothes.

In the booster club and in other team parent situations, I have had to delegate responsibilities to other parents.  This year our team held a tournament with 4 other wrestling teams.  The same evening was our first ever Alumni Night, along with a reception created by yours truly, as well as recognition during the matches.  Don’t forget the concessions stand, the gate, and a 50/50 raffle.  My daughter was home for Christmas break that week and really wanted to spend time with her new boyfriend.  I capitalized on that by enlisting her to cook the food for the reception and bring it to the gym so that I could arrive earlier at the gym.  She and her boyfriend helped in setup of everything and ran out for pizza and other needed items.  Texts, phone calls, and emails brought lots of parent help into the picture.  It was a busy but extremely successful night.  Without delegation, it would have been a total wreck!

In the home, delegating is as simple as assigning chores to the kids.  This has helped my daughter cope with “real life.”  She easily cleans her own clothes, takes out the garbage, cleans her area, including the dorm room bathroom.  This is all second nature to her.  Now, I am working on my 16-year-old son!  I will groom him into an awesome husband for one very blessed young lady…maybe 20 years down the road.  Delegating is not laziness, rather it is intelligent work, intelligent living.

Focus on the task at hand.


According to research, what we call multi-tasking is truly task-switching at a rapid pace.  Yes, life, in general, is extremely busy.  However, focusing on the task at hand and completing this task leads to greater productivity and quality.  If you switch between tasks constantly, you do not devote adequate time and energy to either task.  Focus on one task, complete this task, and then move on to the next task.  Sometimes you must tell others to wait on their needs until you complete the current task at hand.  Focus makes an amazing difference in the result!

Learn to say, “No.”

If you are always the “yes man,” you will burn out.

And quickly at that!  Learn to say, “No,” as needed in ALL areas of your life.  You do not hold the world on your shoulders, and no one should expect you to do so.  Just breathe!  Don’t be scared.  Just say the word!  No!

Find time for yourself.

There is only one YOU! 

Find time to do the things you love.  Reading is my escape, my relaxation.  In the past year, I have finally found time again to read three books.  That’s not a lot of reading, but it is more reading than I have allowed myself in the recent past.  I was more focused on what everyone else needed or wanted.  An old hobby of mine is sewing.  I have had pillow stuffing for quite some time now.  During Christmas, I shocked my daughter when I finally made some pillows out of all this stuffing.  It was a relaxing time doing something productive but fun.  An added plus was teaching my daughter a new life skill.  I savor and cherish moments as those.

Cherish those simple moments with your family.

Love those you love with all your heart in the simplest of moments.

We spend lots of time driving our kids to and from various events.  During those long drives, I take time to talk to them about life.  We set life goals together.  I will never forget the trip where I had both Sarah and Abe make a list of their life goals.  We revisit these goals about once a year, sometimes more often for my son, Abe.

This Christmas was the first time ever our little family had a family get-together and all were present!  It was rather special as we ate a feast together, exchanged gifts, and just loved on one another.  Besides cooking for about 8 hours, I spent hours in the floor playing with my sweet grandson.  Other things in life went to the backburner as we enjoyed our time as a family, for that was the most important thing in our lives at that time.

Set attainable goals.

Don’t overdo it!

Set the bar high enough but not so high that you can never reach it.  Give yourself adequate time to effectively complete tasks.  Many of us would love for our children to attend Ivy League colleges and universities at little to no cost.  I am not saying to lower your standards.  Reach for the stars!  However, realize limitations.  Not every child will receive a full scholarship, or any scholarship for that matter.  You’re a parent, though, and your number one job is problem-solving.  If you don’t reach a goal in one way, you try another way.  There is more than one way to skin a cat!

Reflect on successes and failures.

Without reflection, our successes are meaningless.

Reflection is a healthy step of life.  Genuine self-reflection opens one’s eyes to reality.  Success and failure are both part of life.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again! Analyze that failure, and ask, “Why?”  What could you have done differently to be successful? How have you succeeded in the past?  What was different this time?

Never give up!

You only fail if you stop trying.

A failure is not the end of the world.  It is only a stepping stone to your success.  Life is too short to just throw in the towel.  Fight the good fight, and ensure you can look in the mirror at the end of the day and can say, “I gave it my all!”


All the best as we all give it our all,


Song of Sapelo Sunset


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