Thursday, February 22, 2018

Get Uncomfortable and Unconventional

This is probably the theme of this whole blog journey I'm embarking on for 2018 but I want to talk to you guys about it because this topic is important. The stripped down version of this is entitlement and the soaring mentality of it in today's culture.

The economy is increasingly tough. People are beyond frustrated. They're sick and tired of having the same paycheck of the same amount, shrink every couple of months as prices on everything around us consistently rise. If we have learned anything in our lifetime is that you cannot beat inflation. It is a battle which will always be won by the almighty dollar. People can hate the rich all day long and envy their success but it won't matter. Your noise does NOTHING. You can't change your circumstances if you don't change your circumstances. Life doesn't work that way. The longer you wait around or be reactive instead of proactive, the worse your situation will get. You'll slowly dip into the poverty range. Successful people beat the system, not curse it.

Of course life is unfair. DUH!! It always has been and always will be. Luck is not why it's unfair, why people have more success and money than others, and it's not what you should be counting on to pull you out of debt and a negative bank balance. You have to STOP THE MADNESS. What you're doing is not working. You have to do make an uncomfortable reality your new reality. You might have to live an "unconventional" life to get back to "normal", whatever it is to you.

Nowadays people have every excuse, not always realizing they're excuses, for why they can't move or live here or there. "The kids deserve a safe neighborhood and a backyard they can play in." Perhaps but you also have to get REAL. Is it a possibility right now? No? Then get it out of your head! Move on. While ever reasonable, true, and hopeful that is, reality has to come first. If you can't pay for that dream, plus food everything month, the bills, new clothes and stuff for school, gas, etc. then you don't deserve it yet. No one deserves anything. If you did, you'd have it. That's how reality works. You get what you've earned. Punching in a clock and working the hours you can get does not count as working hard or DESERVING anything. You have to go above and beyond to have an above and beyond lifestyle.

Why do you think the tiny house movement is so moving? That is the perfect example of getting uncomfortable and unconventional for the short term to greatly benefit in the long run. On TV people make it look fun and only a small sacrifice to have no bills and travel. In reality, people were running out of options. Most people don't want to put their family in a tiny box but are forced to in order to get out from under a burden of debt, negative cash flow, and starvation or losing the roof over the head. Would it be stressful? Sure. Would the kids hate it and you feel terrible? Of course. That's life. It's also an excellent lesson for them. Don't teach them how to live a life of roses on the outside and a life of financial and emotional despair on the inside by being where you can't afford and them seeing right through you and through the empty fridge. Don't show them how to mask their woes and complain about them. Show your kids how to strategize and rescue themselves even in the toughest of spots. Show them how life is tough and they can use it get tougher; tougher than the rough life.

Don't do what you think you deserve. Do what you know you NEED in order to survive. Bare bones living. If you have to live in a tiny house, mobile home, or crappy and tiny apartments in bad neighborhoods, then buck up and DO IT. Kids, single mom, single woman who gets home late at shady hours, OH WELL. Suck it up or make it happen so you don't have to. Kids will understand eventually and LEARN how to get out of debt, how to deal with struggle, how to make the tough choices in life, how to avoid hardships better and recover from them faster. Kids use their memories, good or bad, from their childhood and it's what forms them into wiser adults. They hopefully learn the money mistakes we made but only if we're HONEST about them and truthful that yes the economy sucks, but we also could have done this differently; OR, the depression hit hard and we'll have to live differently and maybe unpleasantly for a year or two but the sacrifices now will make us stronger, smarter, and better of a couple of years from now. Setbacks happen and it's how you regrow from them that matters. They need to learn this more than the cushy life you're trying to raise them in when it's putting more strain than economic benefit and you end up losing it anyway or meals are missed.

Live BELOW your means, not at them. That means having savings every month of $100 at least that you DON'T spend. That means renting less than what you think you can afford. That means maybe a two bedroom instead of 3, just for now to build an extra cushion. We didn't have our own rooms as kids for a long time. We had bunk beds, one toy chest for each of us of our toys, one room and bathroom to share, Christmas was on a smaller scale, and it was townhouse or condo living for a few years. Life isn't meant to be pretty and fit a picture or mold. It's meant to be done right whatever it looks like. Who cares what other people think or how they're living? It's not their business and their life isn't yours. You don't know the private things they did to get there and how, or if they're not in a bunch themselves. It doesn't matter. Focus on YOU and your family. Don't get obsessed with others and their cars or incomes. Get yours on track. Make heavy sacrifices. Live in an RV, work a second job overnight and only live on four hours sleep, take two jobs at less wages than your one as long as combined they make more. Do what you don't want to do. THAT is how success works and escaping the rat race is done. IT'S HARD. It gets easier too though but at different times for everyone.

Never for one second think you're too good to live in a mobile home, ugly apartment, tiny house, with your parents, scary neighborhoods, taking the bus or walking, selling your newer car to get an used one, whatever. Do what will save you the most money QUICK and do it. You'll get out from under much faster if you make tougher decisions and just get focused on getting money in the bank again. Even if changing jobs right now isn't an option, you're giving yourself viable options. They're not forever changes, just temporary solutions to fix the issues instead of band aids that fall off, and masking what is inevitably going to get WORSE if you don't get ahead of it. Take your entitlement however much or little, and SHOVE IT. Deserve nothing, strive for lifting yourself up from nothing.

Make choices that are tough, uncomfortable but necessary and get creative. Make some unconventional choices that aren't exactly pleasant but will also help you recoup and reset the hardships. That matters more than being in struggle and living a lie. Live in your truth and be truthful with your circumstances. Freedom only comes with significant change, sacrifice, hardship and overcoming, and open honesty.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Secret to Finding Financial Success and Freedom....and it isn't saving 10% of your paycheck

Financial freedom and increased monetary success. Everyone wants it. Most people envy it. How do you obtain it?

You've heard all of the "tips and tricks" to save more money, make more money, and stretch that money further; but millions don't know the first thing about HOW to do all of that or get started. It's the biggest challenge. We are so programed as society to hate the rich, think they should pay for everything, be immune to their troubles when they have them, and laugh when they fall or suffer. That is so wrong on far too many levels. The root of all that negativity and distaste though isn't necessarily bad people, but people indebted to creditors, crappy wages, unending frustrations, and living life in the Rat Race instead of running their own marathon.

So again, how?

Well actually step one is quite simple. EDUCATION. But STOP!!!

Before you get mad at me and listing the hundred and seven reasons why you can't (or more correctly, won't), hear me out and understand I am NOT talking any type of conventional education or university system in any way shape or form. I'm talking about the University of You. The you who really wants to have more money where you need it and you are not currently in a position to move, change jobs, or get a traditional college education. And there's nothing wrong with that. I'm talking about good, old fashioned READING and not Google either. Books. Great books!

When I started on my journey to get out of the hell hole of a crappy hourly job I despised, and stop working for people who didn't value me, along with customers who didn't either, I was looking at going back to college as not only expense and time crunch, but a juggling act I tried desperately tired to pencil in but it wasn't working. I wasn't ready yet. So in the meantime, I figured well, "I'd really like to learn how to utilize the very little funds I have and get rid of the negative bank balances we constantly get back down to." I wanted to learn how I could be out of this situation within just a couple of years. I went back to what I did in high school. I studied what I wanted to learn later, now, and even classes I would be taking later. I graduated high school early by taking college courses at night. When I started community college, I kept getting stuck on wait lists for a couple of courses because they were so full but I needed them as prerequisites to advance past freshman year as well as qualify for the courses my degree required for graduation. So while I took mundane workout classes and art classes to keep my units up and fulfill the lower grade requirements for full time and list priority, I went to the library and studied the text of the courses I was on the list for. That way I at least was helping my education further along and not being so bored from the dumb classes I was forced to fill my schedule with. I figured it'd help me get a better grade too when I was finally in the classes I needed. That's when I realized as a kid I did the same thing. I was studying marine science all my life wrapped in books about it and now I was wrapping my head in courses early before I even took them. Fast forward to my junior and now working full time also, I was BROKE and took that same idea to life to get ahead on my money issues.

I figured marine science was fun and all and volunteering in so many places was great, but it wouldn't get me through life nor did it pay much. Everyone has to learn finance, some aspects of business, and of course NOT going to zero in the bank. So here's what I did:

I started going to the university and public libraries to read books on budgeting and personal finance, and business. I wanted to go into business myself one day but also learn how to make more than one stream of income so being broke was never a worry ever again. I had no idea where to start so I started small and thought about all the little things I do each day. Where do I have five dollars and five minutes I could spare, and where do I waste them?

Back then we had MySpace and of course Starbucks. Even things I didn't NEED at Target and the grocery store made their way into my cart when I should have looked at the price more carefully instead, of "It's cheap, so it's fine." I was soon learning every damn dollar and minute matter. I was thinking about the little things because I did know that they add up to big things. I found two books that helped me discover that and get better with the little things to add up to more. One I recommend for EVERYONE is the "Compound Effect" by Darren Hardy because it touches on every aspect of how we can do more on less and improve our lives every single day without any huge changes in job, location, lifestyle, etc. He gives knowledge on how to take our daily behaviors and tiny paychecks into something more that isn't investments or schemes, or promises of "make money from home". REAL things we need to do to start out.

THEN, I read The Richest Man in Babylon. It is extremely old but highly relevant today. If you're the broke man trying to be the financially stable man or woman, this book tells you how in a short read with results you'll see soon. It's the perfect book for people who cannot afford to invest a dime or tuck away chunks of their small income flow.

From there, I read "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill. Another classic for a reason. It's dirt cheap on Amazon, even less than a dollar for ebook, and very helpful.

The solution to getting out of your circumstance is rethinking life as we know it and trying education for the real world and real people in all too familiar circumstances we've all been in. How do you get out of debt and live off bad wages to make them better wages? Mindset. We need to forget a few rules we've been told for too long and stop doing what everyone else is doing. Most people are broke because the basics they think know, are WRONG. Way wrong. Don't take advice or follow others in the same situation or worse, listen to the rest of us who saved ourselves and didn't need the government to "raise wages" or Wall Street to try out the stock market to get "rich" or earn bigger cash flow. Those don't work. Read these books and you'll learn what does. And follow this blog every week.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Why do people hate Capitalism?

If you've been on social media the last couple years and even scrolled for a just a few seconds on the comment sections of news reports, been in groups of a lower income demographic, or just paid attention to your newsfeed, you've read the comments and how people feel about a capitalistic nature in others. Out in the real world, discussions get negative and I have to walk way astonished at how others think these days about money. Typically, it's people with very little of it and though they refuse to admit, are not wise in spending or even close to achieving their potential. They're living on wages and think it's the government's job to increase those wages so they can finally be successful Just reading this you should see the ridiculous issue with that logic.

There is such a hatred in our country about money and understandably, people are frustrated and stressed to the max at how our financial system works and how much more money out there seems to leave our pockets. However, we're doing a lot of it to ourselves and we need own up to our money mistakes and weaknesses.

The average person refuses to admit, but the proof is in the bank statements, we spend HUNDREDS of dollars per year on overpriced coffee, drive thrus, eating out, and fast food. The value menu is just a marketing money trap and so is "I don't have time". Yes, you do. We all do. All of those eating out trips actually clock up several minutes, up to twenty easily if you watch the clock, including the travel and wait times, and sitting down. If your Netflix and Facebook accounts are active daily or close to it, you have TOO MUCH time to be making excuses. We're all busy and always have been. We all also waste time and don't realize how badly we struggle with time and money management. Instead, it's the government and the rich's fault somehow.

Blame, however, does not pay the bills and neither does doing the same thing expecting different results. NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES. Every day when I worked hourly and went online, people complain they've looked at all the jobs on the market. Yeah right. There is nothing out there. They won't find anything better. And plenty more of excuses but they will also be the first to say getting an education is too expensive and a waste of time because they won't make any more money. Ask them how much time and how many financial aid and grant applications they've even tried to submit in the last five years. Probably none. How often do they try to find a new job, talk to their boss about raises, or get a second job? We can't say it's pointless, won't work, why bother, and so on. We can't use time, which is an illusion, and say why we CAN'T do something to make more. Can't is a loser attitude. JUST DO IT. That's the solution.

Internet and TV are NOT necessities and before you say otherwise, cut the cord and prove it. Free WiFi is available everywhere now and most people are close by to access it. If it's not making you money or a basic need essential to survival, it's a luxury. I see so many DirectTV satellites in the cheapest and poorest neighborhoods, on apartments, and homes of people complaining about money. They always post their Starbucks, what they just blew their refunds on, and the leggings and movies they just HAD to have and go see. That's poor money management and time that could be used for other productive things. Until we kill the victim mentality and all take ownership to step up our game, America's issues will further deepen. It is not the government's job or your bosses to make you successful and well paid. WE are all responsible for our own money woes and level of success.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Palm Springs Modernism Week begins

Palm Springs, CA has long been held as the iconic and once hidden paradise where the stars loved to lounge as an escape to the noise of Hollywood. Over the decades it has transcended into its iconic history and remained a top tourist destination and play ground of the A-list elite. Cocktails, palm trees, and the quietness you can't find in Los Angeles is hard to beat. As fanciful and delightful as the relaxing vibe is here, we haven't lost our taste and preservation of old glamour and the architecture of our hey-day either.

On February 15 begins Palm Springs Modernism week descending upon the valley with home tours of some of the most iconic residences in history. It's an Architectural Digest lovers dream and all the top magazines and home sites are here to showcase the valley's love of color, style, shapes, and design you can't find anywhere anymore.

With a spotlight on homes from Frank Llyod Wright in iconic neighborhoods where celebrities like Leonardo Di Caprio still call home, it's an Instagramer and blogger dream come true as well. Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra estates gets a lot of the glory but each year several other homes are put into the spotlight to show off mid century modern design done right.

Vintage furnishings and creations are at every turn, old world glamour and splendor delight each room, and colors and lines you didn't know exist impact all of your senses for years to come.

Home tours take you around the famous neighborhoods of Palm Springs and its surrounding and equally amazing neighborhoods of Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. View and walk through countless homes expertly styled and staged from some of the top designers in the world and homes here for decades still kept and preserved perfectly over the years. View local and influential residents who show you how to live and the true spirit of Palm Springs as it still remains today.

Tickets are available at and you won't want to miss this event!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Why I Love My Characters

Do you know why I love the characters in my books so much? Because they're honest. They value their relationships in their lives and aren't consumed by selfish desires. They have no social media accounts, never watch TV, aren't glued to their phones, and they're never without someone they love. Are they perfect? Of course not. Even in fiction, no one is without their mistakes and their flaws. But my characters forgive, come clean of their mild discretions, and admit to their mistakes. It's as if they're indestructible and incapable of being tarnished by the outside world. There is no hate and ridicule in their lives because they refuse to live that way. They live their fictitious lives through love and the understanding that not even the rest of the day is promised. I can't make them come to life in reality, but I can share them so they live through my readers.  It makes me wish they were real so that I could spend more time with them. Until then, I will continue to write their stories and welcome them into my life. I work on their stories everyday until I release them to the world.

Why do you love your favorite characters?

*****All comments have been disabled to continue the integrity of other's opinions and maintain respect to the writer. Thank you.******

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Architecture and Design Week has come to a close!

This is our final day, I am sad to say; but I still have four great homes left for you to see. For the final day, we are looking at tiny homes and sustainable living to cap this fabulous week!

House #1

The FabCab tiny house kit will get you started living well within your means and help you dramatically lower your carbon footprint.

     When you are living small you have to be creative with your space while still giving you the functionality that you need like storage and office space. This is typically how many people with tiny homes organize their workspace and belongings, usually with a loft bed on top also.

     As you see in the initial photo, tiny homes are often on a small plot of leased or purchased land, but they still need basic ways to get their electrical needs and other utilities. An inexpensive way to do that is to reuse old soda cans for a DIY soda can solar panel for heating and cooling, naturally.

     Tiny home living is primarily about saving a lot of money and living more meaningfully without clutter in your life; but also having a bigger impact to the planet. This is one way to do that.

House #2

     This cute little bungalow is my style. It has a great little pool and garden all around. The plot is small but cozy and extremely private. I love the back patio, the style of the home, and everything else about it.

     Just because you live small with few things in your life doesn't mean you don't have some nice things like clothes. Even in a tiny home, you need a decent place to store your wardrobe that doesn't hog the square footage.

     You saw the gorgeous backyard to the home and what the benefits are to having more of your land to do what you want with. Instead of piling your life with material things and clutter, this type of living shows you what you are missing in a big home with no garden space and outdoor appreciation. This is simple living and it's breathtaking.

House #3

     If you are more of an Earth Mother type, this natural dirt and log home will make you happy.

     This is the ultimate hippie paradise! It is green living at its finest, using sustainable and reclaimed materials. In this home, nothing is wasted, and all of the wood is used and recycled.

     It is amazing what very few materials can do but you'll notice not only is wood great for flooring, it makes a stunning ceiling. This home is a true natural splendor with cork fiber wall paper, unfinished window framing, recycled iron light fixtures, and organic cotton bedding. This room is amazing and it has done a lot with its limited space.

     When you are trying to live green, you don't want to waste water on keeping a pool or having extensive landscaping. A better alternative is recycling old pallets into handmade furniture that brightens up the yard and provides you the best seat in your yard to love the natural surroundings.

     Being green means living off of the land. This means building a chicken coop for fresh eggs and using rain barrels to conserve water to harvest the power of the clouds. Nature does provide everything we need, we just need to know how to use it.

House #4

     If you want a little more style to your green home, perhaps you might enjoy the Cal Earth Eco Dome. It is earthquake and fire proof so there is also a greater peace of mind with this home.
An eco-living home isn't complete without a DIY home furnace from reused materials and a conservation-friendly design that doesn't require all of the electricity usage of a normal home. The sun has what you need to regulate the temperature in your Eco Dome home.
     Now, you may not want an energy sucking, expensive home to run all year but that doesn't mean you don't want some of the benefits of traditional living. Even an eco-friendly home needs a cozy patio courtyard for listening to nature and admiring the stars.
     It has been a fabulous week with everyone and going through this has been truly fun; especially as I go through the home buying process myself at this time. Thank you all and keep checking back for Indie Author week, spotlighting up and coming children's authors with great books and reviews for you to check you. Thanks for stopping by!

Architecture and Design #4

          Architecture and Design week is almost over but we're not done yet!

House #1
     This Studio City modern design by Keven Stirdivant is unique in many ways. The front door is joined by a walking bridge crossing onto the top of a three car garage on a sloping lot. The top of the garage becomes usable space on a fantastic deck, overlooking Los Angeles and all of the beauty of Southern California. The left side of the photo is the stunning pool deck with surrounding miniature golf course and beautiful landscaping. The structure is elegant but nothing is over the top. All aspects of this house have function as well as style.

     I love this interior. It is just as unique has the exterior snapshot with a little more glamor and sophistication but nothing that takes away from the intelligent design of the home. The wall coverings and light fixtures are fabulous, and I love the side paneling on the walls. For everyday living, you might drop the side frames around the fixtures, but overall it's a gorgeous house.
     This is a shot from this year's Modernism Week in Palm Springs, CA. This particular piece is in Joshua Tree, CA. This type of outdoor design and unique art goes hand in hand with the exterior architecture of the home and the style. It's a fabulous and a very similar design is usable as a back patio or gazebo area.

House #2

     Also from Modernism Week, this Shields Residential is a Palm Springs Mid Century Modern design. It is a stunning piece of property in one of the most beautiful cities in California.
     Initially I had a different master bath design but then I realized this design idea gives continuity to the architecture from the exterior to the interior. The modern design is still true to the home and the Southern California lifestyle; and the round mirror just stands out. Excellent design pieces like this don't need intricate moldings or d├ęcor pieces.
     I also had a different pick for the backyard but it just didn't fit the home at all. This backyard however does. The landscaping and palm trees in the background are exactly what a typical pool area and surrounding greenery would like in Palm Springs for this price range and architectural style. It blends perfectly with no fancy decks or anything else. The backyard streamlines to the city all around. It's still simple because there are no huge waterfall rock formations or waterslides, or fancy patio chairs. This works with the home and the area.

House #3

     I was going to do another New York City townhome as a more cozy abode but this house is so grand and more fun to work with; so I chose it to be the final home of the day. The growing greenery all over the home takes you away from city life and gives a calmer ambiance. The black and white architecture color pallet gives the home the ability to bask in its true glory as a grand home with an East Coast feel, or Hollywood Hills essence. It's a more simple structure than many mansions these days but it doesn't need to be anything else than what it is. It's already perfect in my opinion.

     Naturally a home all white on the outside would be all white on the inside with East Coast charm and design. The floors give all the color you need, and again, the touch of greenery makes it a home. Look at all of the natural light coming in. The light fixtures are elegant as well but they're not ostentatious. The home has its own splendor so you don't need expensive chandeliers or elaborate cabinetry.

     The first picture already shows what the pool area and backyard has to offer but a home that is on the East Coast, especially like Connecticut or New York, should have all year around swimming. The winter is no place for an outdoor swim in the Northeast but when you have money for a home like this one while raising a family, you have money to keep them entertained all year long with an indoor swim park. Why not?