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Step #6 – Scavenger Hunt for Sunflower’s Edge Boutique

Step #6 – Scavenger Hunt for Sunflower’s Edge Boutique

STEP #6 1- Read one of my blogs and leave a comment. https://carriecraft.com  3-Comment “done” below on this post. 4- Return to the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sunflowersedgeboutique/  and comment “Done” on the original post announcing the Scavenger Hunt.  Congrats! You did it!  You completed all 6…

Why I Decided to Leave A&D

Why I Decided to Leave A&D

The Backstory Back in 2013, my sister asked me to join her on a journey with a fairly new online clothing business. You might have heard of it – LuLaRoe.  I was excited for all the possibilities of starting my own business! Growing up, my…

Being Honest with Myself – Part of My Weight Loss Journey

Being Honest with Myself – Part of My Weight Loss Journey

My Weight Loss Journey – Being Honest with Myself

I love the Self-Help section of the bookstore. There seems to be a “solution” for almost every issue one can imagine!  It’s almost ridiculous, the number of diet books and plans I have collected over the years. The thing is, I have learned something new from each of those books, so, I don’t feel that any of them have been a waste of time or money.  But none have really addressed the deeper issues of why I am fat or the reason I continue to choose to be fat.

So, I have decided to approach my weight, health, outlook on life, in a different way. I am choosing to look deeper at the reason I eat. The reason I have excess weight on my body. I can tell you, that it’s beyond just liking food.

Food is very much my drug of choice. My legal addiction – food and the act of eating. The very process of eating brings joy or at least joy, peace, and relief while eating.

Weight Loss Journey

The first step of this journey is to be honest with myself and to look at how I have allowed this behavior to become unmanageable.

Honesty. I always thought of myself as an honest person. I don’t lie. I’m not a fan of  liars. However, when it comes to some things, I’ve realized that I am not honest. I have been very dishonest when it comes to eating, not only with myself but with people I love.

I have baked a pan of brownies and hid them and then eaten the entire pan by myself. When I hear my husband coming home from work, I jump up and hide candy wrappers or whatever I happen to be eating, in the trash. Then hide what I put in the trash under paper towels or push the stuff down to the bottom of the can. I have even used the guest bathroom trash where I know my husband won’t accidentally find the evidence of what I have been eating. At night, I wait until he goes to bed so I can eat more, and he won’t know how much I eat.

I recognize that this is all very unhealthy thinking and behavior. I realize I need to change.

To make a change, I must give a damn. I have to literally give. a. damn. Because for the longest time I have not cared. There have been days/weeks where I have not cared, about anything.

So, I have been focusing the past week to 10 days on abstaining from complacency and apathy.

A quick search will tell you – that complacency is a “feeling of contented self-satisfaction, especially when unaware of upcoming trouble.” Apathy is “complete lack of emotion or motivation.” There’s a difference between complacency and apathy and I have been guilty of both.

I have been complacent with my weight loss. Last December, I decided I wanted some Mr. Goodbars and KitKats. I grabbed mini packages of them, because I told myself that the mini packages are better alternative to the regular sized ones, and I ate them all. The next morning, I weighed myself to find that my weight hadn’t moved, so I thought – “I got away with it!”  So, I did it again the very next night, but added in Pringles. I weighed the next morning, gaining a pound or two. I thought – “I can live with a pound or two.”   So, I did it again. Each morning weighing – to say to myself, “I can live with that.”  Until I stopped weighing. I stopped caring. I continued to eat junk on a nightly basis. My weight climbed. I was lying to myself.

 

  1. I didn’t get away with anything.
  2. It’s not a good idea to ignore a pound or two.
  3. Mini packages are not the better option.
  4. There are always consequences for ALL choices. Good and bad.

My complacency, the being unaware of upcoming trouble, lead to complete apathy.

I have wondered, maybe I want to stay stuck in this pattern of behavior, in this overweight body. But – what do I gain by remaining fat? Do people have less expectations of me when I’m fat? Am invisible when I’m fat?  Is the fat a protective barrier?

It’s time to take an honest look at myself, my temptations, my decision-making process, and how this fat is working for me on some level. I’m still trying to figure out my motivation for continued self-sabotage.

Throughout this process I’m also looking at what keeps me complacent or apathetic. Binge watching TV is part of this, which leads to inactivity and I eat while watching TV.

Like I mentioned above, my first step has been abstaining from being complacent and apathetic.  Which means:

  1. Following the plan I created to keep my household in order and clean.
  2. Setting goals for 3 things I want to accomplish each day and meeting those goals.
  3. Walking and talking with a friend regularly. It’s like free therapy.
  4. Weighing and/or measuring my food.
  5. Stop making excuses for poor choices.
  6. Stop eating at 8pm nightly.

Due to my dishonesty, I have not been the best for myself which leads me to not be the best for my children, my husband, my friends, or my customers. I’m not reaching goals and I have some amazing goals!

Sometimes I don’t want to be honest with myself or with God about how much of a mess I really am. But I know that God knows me and loves me. He knows me better than anyone else, including me.

 

I realize that I could be in a worse situation with an alcohol or drug addiction. It’s easy to say, it’s only food. It’s only overeating; however, this addiction is keeping me from being my best self. It’s adding dangerous weight to my body and doing damage to my health and self-esteem.

 

Food is a temporary filling. It is not going to fix any issue or feeling. It’s not a remedy or a solution. It’s part of the lie I’ve been telling myself. KitKats are amazing, but after I suck one down, I’m still depressed, lonely, bored, or tired. I’m ready for some truth and light, which I believe will lead to a much lighter me – in all ways.

Verses for this Week:

 

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:11

“Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things” Alma 26:11-12

How We Support Each Other – Motivation & Accountability

How We Support Each Other – Motivation & Accountability

Supporting Each Other When it comes to reaching goals and making dreams come true, motivation and accountability are two important ingredients. These two important ingredients are also helpful when it comes to a successful weight-loss journey. I’ve been on the weight-loss struggle bus since I…

Boyfriend Cardigan – Beautiful Layering Pieces for your Holiday Looks!

Boyfriend Cardigan – Beautiful Layering Pieces for your Holiday Looks!

It’s SO COLD outside! Good thing these beauties are BACK in STOCK! Special Order Time! These would make a wonderful holiday gift! Beautiful Layering Pieces for your Holiday Looks! All items listed – best to size down one size. I will accept returns for store…

Couple Interview About Agnes and Dora Business

Couple Interview About Agnes and Dora Business

Real Couple Interview About Agnes and Dora Business

Learn more about how a spouse views the Agnes and Dora Business, and what he really thinks of it.

Hi, I’m Carrie Craft, an independent sales rep for Agnes and Dora and this is my husband Matt Craft.

This is my man, my business partner, and the guy who supports right me. Several weeks ago I posted a question in my Facebook group asking for customers or members in my Facebook group to ask questions about the Angus & Dora business.  Or whatever part of it they wanted to know.  I took those questions and gave them to Matt because he is my business partner.  One of the questions was “Is your husband supportive of your business venture?”

I know some ladies, that’s one of the things that they have to explain is what the business is like to their spouse.  We come up with some questions and we’re gonna go through each one and hopefully it’ll be helpful to you as you’re considering the Agnes and Dora Business opportunity especially since they’re having a special Black Friday deal.  We wanted to go ahead and do a video for you guys.

Why were you supportive at this direct sales selling business over the other options?

Our first question is, why were you supportive at this direct sales selling business over the other options?  Especially since this one is a much higher price point of initial investment.

Matt:  “I felt this was a good opportunity because I’ve seen other ladies making a business happen with this and make money with it.  It was more than something that would just support a habit (ha ha).  You know what other things you might get into just well support like your habit or your hobby you want.  I didn’t want to get into a hobby.  I wanted to get into something that would help support the family.”

What is the spousal role in the Agnes and Dora Business?

Okay and the next question is asking you what your role in the business is are you a silent partner are you financial officer?  Do you help  pick products?

Matt:  “I guess my role changed over the life of the business.  In the very beginning was much more hands-on.  We had weekly Sunday evening 6:00 p.m. we had a business meeting and it lasted 30 minutes minimum probably hour and a half two hours of maximum.  It was both of us talking about where we’re at what we’re going to do what the goals were how are we gonna reinvest.  How much were we gonna reinvest, and what was our goals.  We even came up with a business plan we developed goals for the business.  We developed a satisfaction survey that we did that we still do every three months are we still happy with the direction.  What we need to tweak so we did treat this like any other business or major investment.  Everybody has a different way of doing the business.  Under our circumstances we tried to reinvest everything at the very beginning.  To build an inventory and we were able to do that.  That’s what we did for about six months or so, but every like I said everybody’s got their own way of doing it.  Carrie definitely picks all the products.  I do not think any of them look good on me.”  🙂

Carrie:  “There has been times when I didn’t know what to do and I’ve shown Matt pictures, and said what do you think of this style? Sometimes he’s like yeah and sometimes he’s like no.  So there’s been times I’m on the fence, and I asked him.”

Matt:  “When she asked me about certain products and discuss it, part of the strategy is figuring out what size is the order.  How many to order, what colors?  That all falls under her sometimes you wish you had more one color than another, but that’s how it goes.  Our current part partnership looks like we have weekly discussions on what’s happening with the business and we discussed the plans these are a lot more loose now, than they were.  Basically she gives me an note in my email and some goals that she wants to accomplish this week.”

Carrie:  “I just look at him and generally don’t say much about it he’s like my accountability partner. I email him on Sunday night’s.  Here’s what I want to get accomplished this week.  Then throughout the week he may ask me how are you coming on your goals?  Then on Sunday I email him again telling what I accomplished and sent him a new list.  He has become my accountability partner with a lot of things.”

How do you view our partnership?

Okay where you were in the last one, okay well how do you view our partnership?

Matt:  “Our partnership is good.  One reason it is good is we can trust each other and then we both have the same goal in mind this this business is not a hobby.  It’s a source income it provides and defines items for what it provides.   It buys items for our family by taking care of bills it creates.  I’m not in for a hobby, it’s a business it’s here to make money.”

How do we make business decision?

We come up our next question is how do we make business decision?

Matt:  “So we kind of touched on it but it depends on the decision that needs to be made.  If it’s clothing, it’s Carrie’s.  If it falls under how much to purchase, and I have to trust that you know sometimes since I don’t.  What styles the ladies are buying or what they’re wanting to wear or the colors or the fashions, I kind of have to leave that all up to her.  She comes up and we talk about the final bill and we’re like okay or maybe not you know maybe not this time.  That kind of falls under her if it’s about deduction sales tax, estimated tax payments.  Attending a higher dollar vendor event some have been pretty high and we questioned whether it even break even or or whatever we talk about those kind of things.  We discussed that in the end since we’re married we’re both tied to this business so we benefit from the profits and the losses.  We have to be aware of what’s going on.”

How does this business fit into our family life?

Matt:  “Does it take too much time from family activities or is very good balance?  This is a tough question for me, we have no children at home so it’s a little bit easier.  I do a lot of work outside the home sometimes quite a bit of overtime, so it really doesn’t affect us that much.  It may affect some of the events that we want to go to as far as our family events and stuff like that or church events.  But it’s a choice you make.  Since we don’t have kids at home, if you have kids at home, you have to make time for your kids.”

Carrie:  “That’s one of the most important things here on earth.  That’s one of the things I’ve had to do, because I also work.  I do contract work within the community regarding adoption of foster care.  What I’ve recently done is I’ve created a calendar for myself and each day of the week I work on a different aspect of my business.  Friday I want to take all my flat lay pictures and things like that.  Monday I’m writing reports, and Tuesday I’m doing this.  Otherwise, I feel like I’m going crazy.  so that’s one of the things I’ve done to make sure I’m getting things done I need to get done.  I think it goes along with the next question I was asked today.”

What is the time I put in that people don’t see?Flat lay outfit example

Carrie:  “Well you can see my flat lay, so I think you know it takes me time to put those pictures together.  It takes time organizing for a lifestyle.  I’ve had friends over helping me with that.  They’re like oh we get to see behind the scenes and there’s a lot that goes behind the scenes.  There is a lot of organizing that goes into showing what outfits I am putting together.  I put stickers on all the clothes so though that all takes an hour or two hours at least.  Preparing for a “lifestyle shopping” takes a lot of time.  I think the most time is in shipping and printing out the labels, invoicing everybody, and then putting the packages together.  I think that’s the time that goes into that you guys don’t see.  If you have a schedule and a set time of like when you get those things done everything is possible everything is possible.  It gets done.

What outfits or items do I wear?

Carrie:  “What outfits or items do I wear just carry, and what are your favorites?  You can see I really dress up so I really don’t have any favorites.  I really like the layering products a little bit better, because I think that it sets the outfit apart.  It makes it pop.

Matt:  “I like that she dresses nice all the time, but as far as any one favorite things, I don’t know that I have one favorite item.”

Carrie: “I know there’s times when I walk out he’s like, “oh I like that” or you look nice.  It feels good so that happens more often.”

What growths or changes have you seen in Carrie?

Matt:  “You put me on the spot, well there’s been personal growth.  There’s been also business growth.  Really it’s the way I can see the confidence and the importance of looking good.  When you go out and you know having that confidence and talk to people and and answer the questions.  That’s all personal growth that has helped her on the business side of things.  She learns I’m not a business major but I know a lot more about it, than she did.  But now she knows how to track sales and sales over months and she’ll know when the sales are up or down and based on a month to month.  Or year over month and it just makes it a lot better when you know at the end of the month.

We do a tracking sheet and pretty much has to lay out how much was spent that month.   She has answers to all my questions and we talked about the money.  As far a business sense it made her a lot more business savvy.  That’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed doing is creating all the worksheets that we use in our business.  I like tracking sheets and things like that and sheets we use for our business meetings and topics we need to discuss.  I am a big old nerd and I like making those worksheets.”

Carrie:  “One of the biggest compliments, I think I’ve received from Matt and my favorite thing that he said, “that even if we just shut down the business tomorrow and just sell everything off.  He wouldn’t regret it because he felt like the growth that I’ve obtained from doing this business and the ways I’ve grown as a person has been beneficial, and worth any investment.”

Matt: “That’s definitely true.”

What do you wish you knew before starting the Agnes and Dora Business, that you know now?

Matt:  “We had problems, we didn’t have problems.  We had had experiences with deductions and sales tax. Quarterly estimated taxes, we’ve done before, but it not near at this level.  Figuring out when to pay them, how to figure out how much you owe this year.  We might be getting a good handle on how to figure them out, as by the end of the year.  Your tax accountant will say oh you overpaid and you get a refund.  All right, great now you know.  Well the next year we did the same thing as we did the year before and we underpaid by three times the amount that we needed to paid.  I’m getting a better idea on how to track that.

Get a good program, learn how to use it.  We use Go-daddy bookkeeping and have used it for about two years now.  I’m kind of figuring it out, right now.  That’s something I enter every end of the month.  Then when we do the paperwork, I enter all that stuff in there.  So I have a pretty good idea about the P&L and estimated taxes because April 2019 will mark our end of year two.  So we’ve done this a couple of years we’ve learned a lot about it.  There’s more to this business and preparing for it financially than just buying inventory.  You you need hangers (more hangers) and you need racks, you need to figure out like where you’re going to put your products, a tripod, and a good camera phone.  There’s other things you need besides just the initial inventory.  I didn’t know about the camera phone when we first got started and she was trying to do it on a computer.  I told her, but I didn’t work out.  We got a new camera phone next week. ”

What should a person do or things to get in place before starting the business?

Matt:  “If you’re married you both need to be on the same page.  Whether this is going to be a hobby for you to supplement your income or whether it’s going to be a your bread and butter you got to figure out.  You both need to know your intent is so you’re both heading down the right road.  Things to get in place we talked about Go Daddy.  I figure out what program you’re going to use and I mentioned before it’s not just buying Agnes and Dora business inventory.  Inventory is of course number one, you need inventory, but wearing a store your inventory.  How you gonna store it lights you need.  Lights we got, lights going on right now.  I just makes so people could see the colors how are you gonna do this.  If you’re gonna do this through lives on Facebook, are you gonna do it in person.  Some people don’t use Facebook at all to do their business not at all some people just have in-home boutique and people come there to shop if they’re in bigger communities.

You gotta look at like where do you lives, what can you make work, and that is things that you can talk with your sponsor about.  You’re not like what would work for you but there’s a lot of different things to think about.  How are you gonna sell it, you need hangers, you need storage, a lot of different little things to think about and we mentioned.  The camera phone, a good one.”

What’s one is words of advice for anyone interested in starting their own Agnes and Dora Business?

Carrie:  “Well my answer that would be pick a speed and a process that you can maintain and maintain constantly forever.  Or speed up, they don’t come out of the gates 100 miles an hour and think you’re gonna be able to maintain that because you’re probably gonna run out of steam or run into roadblocks.  Pick a pace and move forward with it and some days you may be working a lot harder than you want to.  Other days you may not, but if you stay consistent and you stay focused on your goals, I think that it will turn out good for you.  You just have to keep consistent with it.”

What would you say to a spouse who was hesitant in in going forward with this business opportunity?

Matt:  “What counsel would you give, put me on the spot here and she knows I like that.  I would say to the spouse you know sometimes you got to go out on a limb and help your wife.  See if she can do something like this to help your family.  I mean some of this you got to know whether you can handle financially.  You start with talking about money.  I was okay with it right at the beginning and then we got more into it, and I was like okay with the email.  Then we got further into it and I was still okay with everything’s.

It’s still going good so that communication of our how are our business is going.  It has to work for your family and that questionnaire that was good that helped me build confidence in her.  I don’t know what else to say, I just I gave a shot and it’s working.  I think like you said earlier or what I shared is that sometimes the growth is more more than just financial.  The other type of growth that you can see in your partner is just as important or even more important because this could be learning skills and talents.  Developing talents that your wife or partner will need in the future to do something else something else so taking the risk may be exactly what you all need.”

Partnering as a couple to run a business has a learning curve. Agnes and Dora Business Independent Sales Rep Carrie Craft discusses working together.

Interested in joining there team? https://ccraft.agnesanddora.com/site/join-

Why I Love Agnes & Dora Styles

Why I Love Agnes & Dora Styles

I love shopping! I never thought I’d say that, but it’s true! There was a time that I dreaded shopping.  Being a plus-sized woman, attempting to find cute, trendy clothing that actually flatter my body was extremely difficult. Why do stores feel larger women LOVE peg-legged…

Home

Home

According to Google, I’m middle-age and have been for a few years or so. Through my forty- something trips around the sun, I have been through a lot, as a daughter, wife, mom, sister, and friend. Lost my mother to cancer at twenty, found a…

Family – No Matter How

Family – No Matter How

Family – No Matter How

There we stood, in the judge’s chamber, November 5, 2002.  The three boys looked stunned, the social workers were ecstatic, and I cried.  I couldn’t believe that after two years, our journey of wanting the boys to be a permanent part of our family was over.  The boys, brothers, came to us in August 2000, as foster children making the total number of children we’ve fostered eight, since becoming foster parents in 1997. We seemed to get children that needed a lot of help and a lot of love. When they first moved in, we knew these boys; these traumatized boys, would more than likely not be going home. We were right.

Once the parent’s rights were severed on January 2002, we told the boys right away, on the advice of their therapists. They seemed to understand, being older children; 14, 12 and 10, what this news meant, what the word termination meant. They knew in their minds that their birth home wasn’t safe, but their hearts still cried for their birth parents. Their crying hearts being the source of the stunned, pained expressions on our big day. Split loyalties between their birth home; their family of origin, and us; their family of circumstance. Talking about the adoption and being adopted are certainly two different things. Obviously for the boys, any held fantasies of going home were signed away permanently by the judge’s pen. It was at that moment, the moment when the judged announced that they were now our children, that they truly understood the meaning of adoption. There we stood, in the judge’s chamber. No longer separated by different last names, a brand-new family, and an uncharted path ahead.

Decade of creating a new Family

We spent the next decade trying to figure out the how of being a family. My husband and I asked ourselves many times, how.  How are we going to get through this? How are we going to make this work? How will we continue to enjoy our lives, while caring for the broken pieces of broken children?  Friends and family asked us similar questions. How are you doing? How do you do all that you do?

The how of our family was not an easy task with three young men who suffered years of abuse and neglect, mixed in with our own biological daughter who was only three when they joined our home as foster children. However, through the years of hardships and big emotions, we also had several family vacations, happy birthdays, and Christmas mornings filled with joy. We laughed together and played games together. We enjoyed each other’s company. My mother-in-law advised me years before we became parents to always make happy memories so that during the tough times, we could look back and have something to anchor to during storms. We followed this advice and I’m so glad we did.

Patient – Love – Commitment = Family

The “how” of our family was, and still is, made up of long-suffering, love, commitment, and time.

Long-suffering – Be patient and look for the good. It’s not always easy, but even during the hard times, it’s important. What growth or progress has a child made?  They may be driving you crazy now, but where have positive changes been made? While complaining about one of my sons, a friend asked me to say one positive thing about the child. My response? He is wearing clean socks today. It was true and it was growth – for both of us.

Love – Love them, even when they are not lovable. I know its a cliché and I get that, but it’s still true. You love who you serve. If you can’t love them right now, because you’re angry or hurt and I totally understand that too, then serve them. What does your child need? Even if it’s a PB and J, then make them a sandwich and cut it into cute shapes and serve them. Love will grow through service, even when you’re mad.

Commitment – Commitment is a big word and I think one many take lightly. Parenting does not end at eighteen. My husband and I had many conversations about what the word commitment meant to us. What does it mean to you? Know that when it comes to adoption, it’s more than just attachment. It’s more than just saying I love this child. It’s saying you will stand by this child through it all.

Time – Take time, and I don’t mean just as a family. Remember to spend time with each child individually. I used to take each of my children to lunch, just one on one. They really enjoyed that time with me. If you are parenting as a couple, don’t forget to take time to for your relationship. Don’t lose your marriage over the stress of adoptive parenting. I’ve seen many divorces after fostering or adopting. Take care of your relationships. Lastly, take time for yourself! Don’t forget to care for yourself while caring for everyone else. Do you have a hobby? A best friend? Or maybe, you’d enjoy a nap! Do what you need to do to refill your cup.

Growing together

All our children are now grown. We are still connected today, maybe not at the same depth of connection or reciprocation, but connected all the same.

At the end of the day, a week, or maybe even a very difficult year, what you are left with is the love, commitment and time you put into your family and often it includes long-suffering, because we are a family – no matter how.

Agnes & Dora by Carrie Craft

Agnes & Dora by Carrie Craft

High End Clothing by AGNES & DORA Carrie Craft sells premium women’s clothes online. These clothes range from plus size dresses, layers, and leggings to stylish skirts and tops. Make getting dressed everyday fashionable and fun with all the amazing clothes at amazing prices on…