Random Musings

My random musings that really just don’t belong anywhere else.

Making Your Skills List

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Going back to the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom is scary. There are people your age who have BUILT their careers while you were wiping noses and changing diapers.

So if you can’t go back to your old career, what CAN you do?

This is where you make your skills list. Your skills list will have every type of skill you have and will help you evaluate yourself for potential employers as well as seeing if you need to make a career change. However, this will require you to REALLY look at yourself. Good and bad. You need to write ALL your skills down.

To help you get started, start with listing all the skills you learned from each of your jobs before becoming a stay-at-home mom.(Yep, even the ones in high school)  This will also help you when you go to dust off that resume by adding some updated descriptions of your work. For example, I use to work at Sonic while in college. I learned how to “balance” food while rollerskating. It sounds like such a small thing, but you would be surprised how many times I was asked about it in an interview. It was a great way to show as an example how I was a great multi-tasker and was perfect conversation starter into my personality. Why did I roller-skate if I wasn’t required to? Because I could (and the tips were much more profitable, too).

Next, your going to list every job you have been done while staying at home. What do I mean by this? Well, what do you DO all day? Sit down and eat bon-bons and watch soaps? or do you do laundry? clean the house? Home-school? etc. Either way, LIST those skills!

Having difficulty describing your Netflix binging while the kids are away at school? Label that skill as “movie critic” or “media analysis”. Are you a Facebook junkie? Write that skill down as “proficient with social media”. Don’t blow those skills off! There are people who will PAY people to do these things for them. You don’t need a degree to post on social media. Just know people and trends.

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Here is a small example of my list of things that I’ve been doing for the past few years as a stay-at-home mom to help get your mind buzzing on yours:

*Cooking (2 course meals)

*Cake decoration (i’m not great but i know the basics)

*Do laundry including using an industrial machine for larger items

*Clean house (not a bad job choice if you don’t mind cleaning other people’s messes, which you have been doing with your kids all these years)

*Teach (history, math, english, science)

*First Aid knowledge

*Managed small guild in MMO, organizing mergers, raids, and recruiting (LEADERSHIP SKILLS! Don’t laugh. A guy actually got hired at a Yahoo! for this reason)

*Proficent with Social Media (FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)

*Hostage negotiator (Kids. need i say more)

*Teenage Crisis Counselor (Girls.)

*Wash Dishes

*Pet groomer

*Dog walker

*Babysitter

*Event Planner (birthdays, bat mitzvah’s)

*Blog (social media calendar, editorials,)

This is just a small list, but should help you think about some of the things you do. Big or small. It’s the small things we let pass us by and yet we will find that we might be able to actually DO something with it.

If you craft, list all the types of crafting skills you have. Include projects that you have done to really shine your skills. Made costumes for the school play? Add costume designer to your skills list!

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Now, some skills you can’t just jump into (like becoming a doctor because you know a little first aid). So you will need to probably go back to school or to a technical school to get certified in that field. For example, as the financial secretary of my synagogue I’ve become fascinated with numbers. Many moons ago I took an accounting class and loved it. I’ve decided to go back to school and learn accounting because my degree is no longer applicable to what I can do in my life anymore. I need a new “career”.

Soon you will begin to realize that even though you haven’t been “working” you HAVE been working but on your other skills. I would love to see which one of your skills really spoke to you. Comment below with you “skill”.

~Gin

Finding who you are

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So I heard back from some potential employers.

No go.

Part of me is a bit disappointed about their decision to not hire me, but the other side is going, “whew!”

Thing is I don’t know if I really wanted to go and work for them. It was in the field I had been trained and educated in, but didn’t I leave for a reason? For some of you, you may feel the same. What you left behind when you decided to stay home may not be the same as you left it. Industries are growing at a rapid rate these days that few things are the same.

Which means you have the luxury of reevaluating if this is what you really want to go back to. Some might say, “of course!” while others may feel lost in the new changes. Unless you have been working part-time on the side in your field you might just as well be a kid fresh out of college.

But hold on…..

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First, you need to think about if you could be in any job, what would that job be? Do you want to have a job that has the flexibility to allow you to still be home when the kids come home from school? or are you looking at work that is the regular 9-5? or works around your husband’s schedule?

Self-employment is the most flexible job. You are your own boss and you set your own hours. Do you have a special skill that would allow you to be self-employeed or a contract worker? When I was younger I was a Real Estate Agent. This allowed me the flexibility to be home when the kids were home but cut generously in my weekends. Also, the pay fluctuated greatly. Some temp agencies will also have jobs with flexible schedules.

As with any job change though, check to see if there are any educational or certification requirements before beginning.

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Sometimes its not WHAT we are but WHERE we are. If you could live anywhere doing your job, where would that be? If you want to be a marine biologist, you may find it difficult finding jobs in a landlocked state like Arizona. However, if you were in a place like San Diego you might have better luck.

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The best jobs are those that you can do, however, anywhere. For example, nurses are good anywhere in the WORLD, as are teachers. Once you become a Realtor, its a matter of a small test to get you certified in another state. Some technical jobs also can even be simply done in a home office.

Simply, imagining your dream job is not going to get you that job. You need to look at yourself and see what skills you have and what you don’t to fulfill that job. Listing your skills will help determine what you can and can’t do.

~Gin

More Changes

Just as I put myself out there, more changes have happened. My eldest daughter was recently (finally) accepted into the Early College Program for her school district. In this program, an associate’s degree is completed simultaneously within her four years of high school. She is a sophomore this year so they said they will pay for her summer school classes to help her catch up with the rest of her class.

THIS IS AMAZING for our family! And of course for her.

My daughter has aspirations of becoming a business lawyer. We, as parents, fully support her and her work has shown that she is more than motivated to do this. This goes beyond the dual credit you normally get in High School as she will be physically on a college campus experiencing “college” from the safety of her high school life. She has been praying and hoping to get in since 8th grade. Entrance was based on a lottery and her number didn’t get picked till recently. She started crying with joy when I told her I finally got the call.

Now, this brings more changes to our house. There are some days the bus will not be able to take her to school because the regular high school is out but her college classes are still going. This means she will need a ride. Something that would be difficult if I was working. Especially if I was back working for an airline (since that is where my degree and experience is).

Maybe I’m making excuses but it feels like the universe is giving me signs again to not work. Or at least full time.

H&R Block

So to keep me “busy” I decided to reenroll into the Income Tax Course that H&R Block does. I did it once before about 5 years ago and even though the tax laws haven’t changed, much, I still feel like I need a refresher course. We haven’t even DONE our own taxes in the past 5years because we use a preparer. So I feel out of the loop.

My class doesn’t start till mid September so I have some chances to see if I want to keep looking for a job or just hold on and wait till after I do the course. My gut is telling me to wait only because I did apply for several different types of positions at several airlines and so far all I’ve heard back is crickets.

Again, is this a sign from the universe or me just making excuses?

I’ve also thought about going back and taking some accounting classes at my daughter’s college. I figured it might help me with doing the finances at the synagogue but even that I think I won’t be doing next year. It is only a two year position and that would make this my last year. The thought is there but I don’t know if I will act on it. I wouldn’t be working for a degree because I already have a AAS degree which is what a degree in accounting would give me. But I think the extra classes would help me feel a bit more confident only because for a business degree, I really don’t feel like I took enough finance classes nor were any required for me.

Let’s see what next week holds.

~Gin

Let’s start over

911I’m back.

I’m here with my Lipton tea (fresh without milk since my kids used it all up) and sitting at my kitchen table at 3am thinking of what should I write. Is anyone even reading this? Apart from my family and friends, probably not.

As you know from my previous post my son has decided to go back to public school. I don’t know if you could tell in my writing or not, but part of me was in fact hurt. Only because I had felt we had created this bond. This special relationship that would make us successful homeschoolers. I feel bummed that we aren’t going to do it anymore.

On the other hand, not homeschooling leaves me open to a vast more opportunities to do more crafts or even get a job again. Even my crafting has gone a bit downhill since I found little inspiration while dwelling in my own self pity from not homeschooling anymore.

Some projects you can expect up.

Sergering.

I bought myself a Serger with my birthday money. (Squeal!) I’ve been making napkins like crazy that my family had to have an ‘intervention’ asking me to please stop making them for now. For the 4th of July I was going to make some patriotic napkins. The family quickly told me no and said they didn’t feel right wiping their faces with the american flag. I don’t blame them.

Planner Addiction.

I have become ADDICTED to decorating my planners. Like, how did I miss this INSANE craze?!?! Apparently I wasn’t the only one. Recently I saw Michael’s start putting out “planner” decorations when all it was is the same scrapbook stickers and washi tape that we always use. lol.

Job Hunting.

Yep, you read that right. I’m looking at probably getting a job. (As if my life isn’t busy enough.) I’m still volunteering for my synagogue but I’m needing some cash flow. Mostly to support my crafting as well as have my own play money. My hubby is sweet and says I don’t have to but he knows I’m already starting to get stir crazy and its only summer.

Random Bits.

I don’t want to lose this blog. I’ve enjoyed sharing things with everyone and I wish to keep doing those things. Things are going to be a bit wonky for a while until we see where this blog will go. I’m sure it will stick with the theme of my life. Travel, Crafting, and Judaism. This. This is my life.

~Gin

Still Here…

I’ve been kind of silent.

Mostly because I’m not sure where this blog or my life in general will go.

Homeschooling at our home is quickly fading away. We are doing test to get him ready for public school. Both scholastically as well as emotionally and socially. This way when he returns he will have the tools that he needs to succeed in front of him.

I, myself, am staying busy too. With being our congregation’s Sisterhood president as well as it’s financial secretary my life these past few months have been rather busy.

Let’s just say its a welcome distraction to the end that is inevitably coming.

No more homeschooling.

My Jewish life has not ended though. (Nor will it in the foreseeable future) So keep close to the blog. I’ll be publishing my Passover Menu here soon.

For now, I hope everyone has a Happy Purim. IMG_3854

Upcoming Changes for 2016

After 3 years of homeschooling, ginnstars.com is about to go through some changes. My son has decided to go back to traditional school. After a long talk we both feel it would be for the best. The biggest reason is he feels like he is missing out with meeting new kids. Although the people he have met in his groups have been great and he has strong relationships with many of them, he wants to meet more kids. Many of his friends attend traditional school and he is hoping he will be able to see them a bit more as well as meet some new friends.

I do not take this personally but as a learning experience. He knows he is welcomed to come back to homeschooling at anytime. We talked about what to expect. The bad and the good. The bad being, the school system might feel he is not in the same grade as his friends but maybe lower. He’s been behind on his Khan and has only completed last years math recently. Yet, he has time to get caught up by Fall and we plan to go over what he is “suppose” to know according to the most recent state standardized testing. I’ll be teaching by the test until Fall, and I hate it.

The other bad is the getting picked on. This was an issue before, yet he’s learned a lot about himself and what he is capable of this past few years while homeschool. I am very confident that he is prepared for it and how to respond to such treatment.

I’m not sure where this blog will go. Over the next few weeks I’ll be reviewing what was planned and will probably tweak a few things. We will just have to see where this leads us.

~Gin

How to make a Beaded Kippah

orginalAs a Jewish woman, you know how important it is to have your head covered when you are up at the bima. Now you don’t have to use those ugly nylon ones they have at the synagogue but you can make your OWN Beaded Kippah. I’m pleased to share this pattern with you from our Sisterhood.

Now, to be perfectly honest this can be a bit hard to do. Although many of our older ladies were able to do it, some did have issues due to arthritis. At our last beading, we had several young ladies join us and those as young as 12 years old were able to do this. The result?

A beautiful personalized beaded kippah that shines your femininity.

So let’s begin!

Materials Needed:

  • 460 (minimum) Size 6/0 beads
  • 24lb gauge wire cut to 1 @ 8″, 1 @ 12″, 4 @ 18″, and 1 @ 20″
  • pencil or chopstick
  • small barrette comb

Step 1- the base

This is the hardest step. Watch the video for clarification if the directions don’t make sense.

Take the 8″ wire. Place perpendicular against pencil leaving a small tail on one side. Take the larger tail and wrap around the pencil, then as you come out on the other side, bring it forward and wrap the 8″wire once, then once again. This will give you your first loop.

Take the pencil out of the loop. Place a bead on the wire, then create the loop again by placing the wire against the pencil with the loop and bead one side of the pencil and the remaining larger tail on the other side. Wrap around the pencil, then as you come out on the other side, bring it forward and wrap the 8″ wire once, then once again. This will give you your second loop.

Remove pencil and add another bead. Keep doing this until you have 6 loops and 6 beads.

After you add your last bead you will take the two tails and connect them to make an octagon, circular shape. Your finished product should look similar to the photo below.

Step 2 -Row 1

Using the 18″ wire, connect your wire at the top of one of your loops. Using 6 beads connect them to the next loop by wrapping twice. Add 6 more beads and wrap twice on the next loop. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

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Step 3- Row 2

Using an 18″ wire you will now connect 6 beads between every third bead as shown going in between the loops as well as at the tips. This will help form your “Star of David” in the middle. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.beaded kippah 3

Step 4- Row 3

Using an 18″ wire you will connect 6 beads to every 6 starting at the top each loop of the previous row as shown. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

beaded kippah 4 beaded kippah 4A

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5 – Row 4

Using an 18″ wire you will now connect 8 beads to every 6 beads , starting at the top of each loop from the previous row as shown. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

beaded kippah 5 beaded kippah 5A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6- Row 5

Using an 18″ wire you will now connect 8 beads to every 8 beads , starting at the top of each loop from the previous row as shown. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

beaded kippah 6 beaded kippah 6a

 

Step 7 – Row 6- Final row

Using an 20″ wire you will now connect 9 beads to every 8 beads , starting at the top of each loop from the previous row as shown. Continue all the way around. Finishing in your original loop. Wrap and cut off excess.

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Step 8 – Adding comb

To keep the kippah on the head you will need to attach a small barrette comb underneath the kippah. This will help it stay in place. To attach it to the kippah you will need to use some scrap wire and twist tie it on the kippah via the comb’s base.

 

I think you will find that it can be an easy pattern to follow once you get the hang of it. Leave me a comment if you feel a video demonstration would be better solution.

If you are not feeling daring enough or are having difficulty and would like to by one of the test ones I’ve made for the blog, then go to my Etsy shop to purchase them. You won’t find them in any store.

I invite those who are DIYers to purchase the pre-made kits complete with instructions so they may make one themselves without the hassle of trying to find the material. Order now while they are in stock.

 

Let’s get to know each other better!

I’m participating in a Getting-to-Know-You game of 20 Questions with Kris (With a K) from the With a K Writing Academy. I’m excited to get to know my own blog-readers better & to find other bloggers to play with too. You know – friends who just get it. If you want to participate, you can too! Just go to check out Kris’s post about it here, & get started.

 

1 – What’s a ridiculous nickname you’ve had?

Taco. My grandfather use to call me that.

2 – Why do you write a blog? Have your reasons changed over time?f11dd-familygrandcanyonphoto

I started my blog because I wanted to document my adventures with my kids. I worked for the airline and since we traveled free I blogged about where we would go. It then turned into a travel blog for my travel business, until I retired. And now it’s a blog about our NEW adventure in homeschooling my youngest son.

3 – Where do you like to be when you are writing?

Usually when I’m writing I’m at my desk. HOWEVER, when I get my really great ideas I go outside on my back patio and sit at the table with some coffee.

4 – Peanut butter & __________.

Honey. I like it sweet and sticky!

5-What does your Writing Process look like?

Besides being a “flying-at-the-seat-of-my-pants” kind of girl, I’m a sit in my pj bottoms and oversized t-shirt blogger. You will never see it of course since I practice Jewish modesty and only my hubby can see me that way. (and he probably doesn’t want to see me like that either. lol)

6 – What keeps you up at night?

My husband’s snoring. It’s a curse and a gift. Mostly because I’m able to get SO MUCH blogging and other things done while everyone is asleep and not bugging me.

7 – What was your last online purchase? Did you hide it from anyone? (I see you, impulse buyers & shame shoppers)

My last online purchase was a laminator. Now what the h-ll I’m going to do with this said laminator I have NO CLUE so when I got it I just laminated random crap. lol. It was fun. I let the kids join in with me as well.

8 – What do you honestly think of elastic waistbands?

They should only be worn with an over shirt. There are typically only one kind of person that is wearing elastic waistbands. I’m one of them but you will never know I’m wearing them.

9 – What blogs or magazines do you love to read? Why?

I like reading the My Litter blog and I love following her on Facebook. She is hear in Houston and since I’m new to the area she has taught me about SO many things that large families like mine can do.

10 – What is your favorite way to express your creativity?MENORAH

I love to draw and photograph. I have to be involved with some kind of picture that shows what I’m feeling at that moment.

11 – DSLR or iPhone?

I heart my Nikon D40 DSLR. I’ve been through so much with that little guy. We are family. He’s been all over the world with me.

12 – How do you feel about the semicolon? Do you have any feelings about punctuation marks, in general? (it’s ok if you don’t)

I never understood how to use it. In the end it seems like it’s an arbitrary punctuation mark. I’m always worried someone is going to say, “OH!!! She should of used the semi colon instead of the comma!!!”

13 – What is a skill you really want to learn?

Water coloring. I’ve copied Renaissance art in oil paint but ask me to watercolor and you’ll have a soppy mess.IMG_5199

14 – Do you use a planner or journal to keep your life from derailing? What kind?

I use a planner. I have this medium sized Red planner and the only reason I bought it was because it was the only one that had Jewish Holidays! ARG!

15 – What does your dream Sunday look like?

My dream Sunday is when I can sleep in, not have to take the kids to Hebrew school, and my husband is serving me Starbucks in bed.

16 – Do you have a full-time business or a side hustle?

I consider this full time. I volunteer at my synagogue as well and that takes up my time, but this is my first priority in terms of work. Family is always first.

IMG_507217 – Coffee or tea?

Pfft! Is this a trick question?!? Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.

18 – What is your favorite outfit?

My yoga pants. (yep I said pants.) And my husband’s black Einstein shirt. I feel super comfy. I wear it when I plan to have the house with just my kids and hubby.

19 – What scares you?

Failure….and bees. Bees are EEEEEEEvvvvvillllll.

20 – Cats or Dogs?

Dogs. We just got a dog. Her name is Stella.

I can’t wait to get to know you. Be sure to place your answers to the 20 questions below!!

~Gin

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