Since I’m writing this post before I’m in South Africa, I know that I’ll be “being present” and soaking up the sun and the moment.
When you are with family that’s the most important thing to do.
What I’m Working On…
1.) I am soaking up ideas and writing in my journal about my current book that I’m writing.
2.) I’ll be brainstorming about the up and coming Life Writing Wanderlust Podcast! YES!
3.) We will take pictures. I am planning on doing a photoshoot in South Africa for pictures that I’ll use for my blog, vlog, podcast, and more.
4.) Before I left for South Africa, my sister, mom, and I were working on a quilt that I started when I was younger. Yup, I was cutting out squares. TONS of squares. So when I get home, I’ll start working on that again.
5.) Also I have some exciting publishing news that I’ll share more on soon.
Guess what? I’m announcing something new and exciting. A new blog series. This blog series will publish every Wednesday and is titled “What I’m Working On Wednesdays” which will include anything and everything from the writing I’ve been doing, my publishing journey, that awesome crock pot recipe I tried, an intriguing article that you just have to read, and also that great new cardigan I got.
It’s going to be fun. A little bit of business up front and party in the back. Yes, a mullet type blog post, but WAY more FASHIONABLE. Never did I think I’d write the word MULLET on my blog. Oh boy! haha…
3 Things I’ve Been Working On
1.) Editing my current book print out. SOHCAB is the code name for the book right now. I’ll release more information about it soon. After I get back from South Africa, I’ll be going all in to finish this baby. Planning to have some full on writing days.
2.) Reading A Court Of Thorns & Roses. Trying to finish this book before I take off for South Africa. I don’t want to bring a physical book with me while traveling. (I LOVE physical books, but am trying to pack light for this trip.)T
3.) Tidying Up, Decluttering, and Organizing. I’m talking watching all the Marie Kondo episodes on Netflix, reading the book, going through things and asking “Does this spark joy?,” reading minimalist blogs, and throwing out a lot of things. That’s one thing I was so sick of last year. Having a feeling that I have no control over any of the clutter and mess. Not anymore. Not today satan.
SIDE NOTE: While Johan and I are in South Africa, there will only be one post published every week on Wednesday: The “What I’m Working On Wednesday” post! When I get back the 2 posts a week schedule will pick up again.
What have you been working on? What kind of things would you like to see more of on this blog?
If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably know by now that Johan and I will be traveling to his parent’s place in South Africa at the beginning of February. Man, that’s soon isn’t it?
When I was planning for the upcoming month’s blog posts, I got to thinking about how the last BIG international trip I did was 4 years ago. Hard to believe it’s been so long! Right?
Before that I’d been flying to England and Australia on the regular.
The last international trip I did, was when I last went to South Africa. Johan and I met over there at the airport and then spent the whole month of December traveling and spending time with his family. And when we got to the end of December, that was the hardest goodbye we’d ever experienced. At least, this time we will be going and leaving together.
It’s such a gorgeous country. I’m excited to be going back! But also, we will be stopping over in London town! YAY! It’s been a loooong time since I’ve been there too and I miss it! So we will be spending a day in London before catching the next flight to Johannesburg.
Writing this blog post has pushed me to not procrastinate on the packing side of things – as I usually do it LATE. The night before the flight. NOPE, nope… nope. Not this year.
I just wanted to hop on quick and share the books that I’ll be reading this February. I’ve made it a goal that I’ll be reading more than I have in the past. I really look forward to taking an adventure through these different books.
To be an author you need to read words in order to write words.
The Books I’ll Be Reading
Since I’ll be traveling for most of the month, I’ll be reading from my Kindle and from my Audible app a lot. The only physical book I’m reading this February is Turtles All The Way Down by John Green.
On Tuesday, January 23rd I went to see Rachel Hollis speak in Fargo. Our Chamber of Commerce brought her in. A few months ago when I found out she was coming to town, I figured that I’d buy myself a ticket as an early birthday gift! YES, it’s my birthday today (January 24th)!
Can I say WOW!
I’m sure you all know who Rachel Hollis is! But if you don’t, where have you been? hahaha… Just kidding! This year she published a book called “Girl, Wash Your Face” and it’s an amazing book! I’ll be hosting a contest when I get back from South Africa to give away a copy of her book to one special winner! And that’s not all. You will get some other fun goodies as well!
VIPKID is an amazing company to work for as an independent contractor. You set your hours and choose the times that work for you, and then parents book you to teach their children. It’s seriously so smart!
What Are The Teacher Requirements?
I always like covering the teaching requirements first.
If you want to teach with VIPKID, I’ll help you through the entire hiring process. It’s been such a great way for me to bring in extra income so we cane save and pay off things. Honestly, you make anywhere in the $600-$2,000 a month range.
PLUS, I believe VIPKID has some wonderful bragging rights. In 2018, they were mentioned by Forbes as the #1 remote job!! I’m so happy I get to represent them and know that my company is ranked #1!! Absolutely love it! Another great thing I love about this job, is you can do it from anywhere. So you can travel and work from anywhere as long as you have internet and your computer. I’ll be teaching from South Africa in February!
Requirements to work for VIPKID:
You must have a Bachelor’s Degree
Be a North American Native English speaker
Have a right to work in either America or Canada
Experience teaching or working with children
Computer and good internet
What You Need To Know Before Applying
The application process for me took about a week. I got hired right before Christmas and it seriously has helped us in so many ways!
The process may look a little intense, but I promise it’s so much easier than it may look.
First, sign up to become a teacher:Sign up here and I’ll help you through the application process. It usually takes them about 24 hours to screen the application. Sometimes it takes less. And if my code isn’t automatically filled in, here is my code: DEVIN0027
Next, you’ll either record an interview, do a 1-on-1 interview with a VIPKID staff worker (they will pretend to be a 5-year-old Chinese student with limited English.) OR, you’ll be invited to do the interview express (which is what I did).
Stuff you’d like to get rid of? That causes more stress?
What’s even better is that you could even make some money while getting rid of those items. What I love about it, is that the items you find yourself annoyed with will be loved by someone else. Which makes it even better, right?
Over The Last 2 Months Of Selling On Facebook
A while back I saw a quote that went a little like this: “Take a moment and look around. All that stuff used to be money.”
That’s some intense food for thought. We spend too much money on things we actually never use. Or use once and then throw it in the back of the closet. After going through all of our clothing and cleaning up our house we decided that, instead of donating it all, we decided to have a closet sale and sell some of it to people who might want it.
Since we decided to do a closet sale and sell items that we no longer wanted or needed, we were happy to add $500 more to our pockets and get rid of the items.
5 Tips For Making $$ On Facebook Marketplace By Cleaning Out Your Stuff
Go through all the things in your house. Pick out everything you want to keep and find a home for them. Then put everything you don’t like or want to get rid of in a laundry hamper. Those are the things you’ll sell online. Put it in a place that’s out of the way where you won’t trip on it.
Take beautiful pictures of the items. For me some of the pictures are of books and clothing and other MISC items. Place them in pleasing ways!
Or share a picture of you with the item of clothing on.
You may know of the cute Japanese lady named Marie Kondo, who wrote that hit book The Art Of Tidying Up a few years ago and who now has her own Netflix show!
Have any of you seen it yet?
Johan and I have seriously been loving this show. I’m also so excited, because I recently got the book and have been reading it. Last year, I noticed that I’ve really gotten a bunch of clutter over the years and it stresses me out. So when I remembered Marie’s book, I couldn’t help but to give it a try! And so far, I’m liking what I’m seeing.
Her Netflix show has had some real-life side affects. And what TV show has actually caused change in your life?
Yeah, you can’t really think of one off the top of your mind, right?
Well, this is one that has seriously caused change in our lives. And because of the work we put into tidying up our closet and clothing, its helped us be more relaxed! After watching the first episode, Johan and I found ourselves saying “We need to do that.”
We are all pretty busy these days, aren’t we? I like to think of it as commuting to a corporate job during rush hour. That’s kind of how life is right now- BUSY.
For the last month, I’ve been practicing yoga at a local yoga studio where they have hot yoga classes (Seriously my new FAVE!), hard cardio classes that make you feel like you are crying from how much you are sweating (It might be tears too, though!), and relaxing restorative classes that help you relax and put off the stress from your day.
And then besides practicing yoga, I’ve also been listening to guided meditation podcasts. I’ll list a few of my favorites in this podcast.
I feel like it’s so easy to get consumed.
Do you feel me?
There are the day-to-day stresses, bills to be paid, clothing to fold, dishes to wash, among other things. And then by the end of the day you flop onto the couch like a dead fish. You know it.
I am so excited, you guys! I recently got a NEW job! And I’ve been loving it. I’m still an entrepreneur working from home. This opportunity has seriously opened a whole new door for me and Johan, especially when it comes to adding more money to our bank account and also making a difference in children’s lives across the world. It’s a WIN WIN!!
So far, I’ve been teaching English to Chinese students for a little over a month. And all from the comfort of my home. I love it.
What I’ve Learned My First 30 Days With VIPKID
First off, one of the biggest things I’ve learned from teaching with VIPKID, is how blessed I feel to work with these lovely children. They are so talented, smart, and dedicated.
I mean, I don’t think I would have been up at 9pm learning Mandarin when I was 4-years-old. I appreciate them so much. I was so excited when I got the job with VIPKID. I love how it really gives me more time for my family, dreams, and goals.
One of my favorite times of the day is sitting at home wrapped in a cozy blanket with my husband and kitten, while watching a movie. Since I get done with teaching earlier in the day, I have the opportunity to relax at night and stay in like I prefer to. Hermit much! Yes, I am.
A Day In The Life of Being A Teacher for VIPKID
I wake up early in the morning (4:30 am because I’m in the Central Time Zone in America) and make myself a cup of tea. Then I go into my little classroom and start the computer up and get onto the online classroom.
The class runs for a period of 25-28 minutes. After the classes are done, I leave feedback for the students and send cards to my new and returning students to encourage them.
By the time 7am rolls around, I’m done with work and have the rest of the day to work on other things like: cleaning, writing, running errands, reading, and more.