As I was sharing around resources to my friends and family for various areas of need I thought why not share them with all of you.
This first micro grant is with the Division of Agriculture for the Food Security program. I just applied because I have been wanting to put a fish camp in my backyard and if I receive the funding that would be covered by the micro grant. There are many other areas in which you could apply the funding. Check out the link HERE.
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation is hosting another ground of applications for their rent relief and homeowners assistance. Check this LINK to see if you qualify for their application. I don’t believe that my household qualifies but I was checking anyways.
Check out the Emergency Broadband Benefit to see if you qualify for assistance with your broadband services. Check out the link HERE.
Go to your local library and sign up for a library card. I believe if you don’t have a library you can choose the nearest library and sign up through them. Once you’ve signed up you can go download the Libby App. Input your library card and you can listen to audio books for free if your library carries then and then you can also download books to read on your phone. I believe you have a week to listen to the audiobook or read the book on your phone but it is pretty neat. And honestly I don’t know what else it can do I just downloaded it today and started listening to Michelle Obama’s audiobook so I am still learning.
We also discovered our local library Soldotna Library is giving out free seeds to start your gardens. Check out this Facebook post for more information if you are in the Soldotna area. We picked out our five packets and we are going to try our hand at that green thumb again. Every year we yield a few more peas, and a couple strawberries but I would like to try and see if we can get more than 6 peas and 4 strawberries.
And if you are an artist check out Cerf+ The Artists Safety Net. They provide artist relief grants and you don’t want to miss out on applying. Check out their website HERE.
And please if you know of any other resources please share in the comments.
I am finally feeling myself again after our crazy Arizona adventure and ready to share all the fun things we did around Phoenix. We had initially planned our trip for 10 days and then it got extended to 17 days thanks to Omnicron and the storms in the Pacific Northwest. For those first 10 days I jam packed our days with adventures in the morning and relaxing by the pool in the afternoons. If you have teens or little ones renting a house with a pool is a must.
In our 10 days we visited the Desert Botanical Gardens accompanied with a photo shoot, the Phoenix Zoo, The Hole in the Rock, Butterfly Garden, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, Odysea Aquarium, Glendale Glitters, Piestewa Peak Hike, and Tom’s Thumb Hike. And I cannot forget to share the most amazing tacos from Cocina Madrigal.
If you have little ones and they enjoy the zoo and animals I recommend checking out the Phoenix Zoo. With our huge family I found tickets on Groupon for cheaper than the admissions price. We found ours on Groupon for $23 a piece and if you purchase them at the zoo they are $29.95 for adults or $19.95 for children. They also have these sweet little animal rides called Rydables and you can rent them by the minute.
Right next to the zoo is Papago Park where there are some great hiking trails, or you can go check out The Hole in the Rock. The Hole in the Rock is a super duper short hike and Sydney enjoyed the views. We didn’t explore the trails around Papago Park but if we visit Phoenix again we will definitely check them out.
Prior to our visit to Arizona I booked a photo shoot with the talented Morgan of Prickly Pear Photography LLC. Morgan suggested we take our photos at the Desert Botanical Gardens and she picked a beautiful location. Sydney and my mother in law led the way through the Gardens. The boys were not as impressed as the ladies were but we enjoyed our time exploring the Gardens. Tickets were a little on the spendy side but they were worth it. Make sure you plan enough time to walk through it all, there is a lot to see.
And if you are ever in the Phoenix area and are needing an amazing photographer check out Morgan she was wonderful to work with!
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park was a fun little park to explore with Sydney and Orson. The railroad ride and carousel ride were inexpensive and the kids enjoyed the rides. Sydney also had a blast playing at the park. This was a great little park to explore.
The Butterfly Garden was a neat place to explore, it was a little spendy but Sydney loved walking around with the butterflies. I don’t know if it was worth the amount we spent there are no children rates, or Groupon options. If we were to go back to Phoenix I don’t think we would check it out again.
Next to the Butterfly Garden is Odysea the Aquarium. Be sure to check out the bathroom before going upstairs, it is definitely one of the coolest bathrooms we have been in. Again the tickets to the aquarium were expensive and if we were to go back I don’t think we would visit here again. There was no Groupon option or children ticket options. Sydney had a blast exploring the Aquarium and she loved the Tide Touch Pool.
Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction is a fun place to explore. If we didn’t have the little ones we might have went on one of the tours. But walking around and seeing one of the shows was interesting and loud. A little piece of advice do not stand too close when they start the show if you have sensitive ears like me.
Two hikes that we were able to explore were Piestewa Peak and Tom’s Thumb. Both hikes were pretty intense with two little ones. We made it about halfway up for both which is pretty impressive for Sydney considering these were her first two hikes. And Orson just added an additional 20 lbs to my hikes but they were both beautiful. The next time we make a visit hopefully we can make it to the top with both kiddos.
And if for whatever reason you find yourself celebrating Christmas near Glendale check out Glendale Glitters. Or any light shows for that matter. Sydney and I had blast wandering around checking out all the Christmas lights set up in downtown Glendale.
As far as places to stay we loved staying in Scottsdale. And if you ever need a beautiful place to Airbnb please check out Mindy’s place in Scottsdale. Our place in Scottsdale was close to great hikes, restaurants, and shopping. If we find ourself in Arizona again we will definitely be saying in this area again.
Last but not least if you are wanting to eat the best tacos in the world you NEED to go check out Cocina Madrigal. They have thee most amazing tacos I have ever eaten in my entire life. The beef tenderloin steak is marinated in the most delicious pomegranate marinade and cooked to perfection. The tacos were so good we had to eat them twice and I am drooling just thinking about them. You will not be disappointed. Do yourself a favor and if you ever find yourself in the Phoenix area you will go grab yourself some tacos, maybe an elote and some delicious chips and salsa!
And that’s it for all my recommendations for if or when you find yourself in the Phoenix area. I will post another blog on what you should and shouldn’t when it comes to traveling with kids. Our 10 day trip turned into an extended 17 day nightmare and there were plenty of things I wish I had purchased and looked into before we went on our family vacation. Overall we had a blast and made the best of it!
The zoom classes will be over three different weekends. The three weekends are:
The first two zoom classes will be traditional qaspeq classes. And the third class will be a modern qaspeq class. There will be three sessions over the weekend. There will be two (2) hour sessions on Saturday, and one (2) hour session on Sunday.
Students will need to provide their own material, and sewing machine.
The fee to participate in the class with $75 per person. And there will be at 15 person maximum capacity.
I will create three different events on Facebook for these events. If you do not have Facebook you can send me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating.
I wanted to create this post to prepare those of you who are interested in attending. Please do not ask me to remind you, or to message you when I post the events. I work full time, work part time, have two little ones at home, and my mom brain is in full force. I forget when I showered last so I am not a good person to ask to remind anyone. Sorry for the TMI but I want to be honest.
Materials needed for a traditional qaspeq:
3 yards for sizes XXS-XL with no skirt
3 1/2 yards for sizes XL and up with no skirt
Add 1/2 yard if you would like a skirt
2-3 packages of bias tape, trimming of your choice
I personally like using the extra wide double fold bias tape, and piping
Being a school nurse during this difficult time has been unbearable at times to the point that I am breaking into a million pieces.
I cherish my times with the students and generally love every aspect of being a school nurse. But now it has been so hard that I get physically sick to my stomach every morning when I drive to the school. Being yelled at daily is normal. Most times its more than once.
It is all out of my control.
I don’t have control over the school policies. I am not making up any nilly willy rules just because it’s fun and I feel like it. I want students in school just as much as the parents. We all saw how last year students suffered mentally and emotionally because they were not socializing. It was tough. For every single one of us and some more than others who have lost a family member, friend, coworker. I get it. I too have lost family members to COVID related illnesses and it sucks.
It is not hard to be kind. It is not hard to be empathic or sympathetic. We are all doing our best. Most days I am prepared to be yelled at and that is the shittiest feeling in the world. But today is not one of those days.
So please be kind. It’s not hard. And I hope that you can find joy. Life is too short to be angry.
Here are my two littlest investors and I am going to share how I am setting them up for success. First and foremost I am not a financial advisor and by no means an expert but I am sharing what I know and have learned in my investing journey.
I first learned about 529’s at a young age when my father started putting my Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) in my own account. He was also gracious and put half of his PFD in my 529. A 529 is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed for future educational expenses. The only downside to a 529 is that the funds can only be used for educational purposes. It may not work in your favor if your child does not have plans on attending college, or a vocational school. I am not planning on investing huge amounts into each of my children’s accounts. With each of their PFD’s half of the funds will go into their accounts and the other half will be invested in their UTMA which is a Uniform Transfers to Minor Act.
My children who are 4 years old and 6 months old each have an account for their 529’s with Alaska 529 which is associated with T.Rowe Price. There are many other websites that offer 529 plans make sure you do your research. I chose Alaska 529 because my children’s PFD’s can be deposited directly into their accounts.
Now I chose to open UTMA accounts for my children because I can invest in Mutual Funds, ETF’s (exchange traded funds) and individual stocks. With a UTMA I am able to invest as little or as much as I prefer up to $13,000 per year per child. I chose Vanguard to open their UTMA’s because I have been a Vanguard investor for the last 10+ years and I like how their website is user-friendly also their funds have low expense ratio’s.
Creating an account on Vanguard is fast and easy. Once you decide which account you want to open with them then it takes a couple days for the funds to hit the account. Once you see the funds in the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund the key is moving those into a mutual fund, index fund, or individual stock. You do not want those funds to sit in the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund because they will not start accruing that compound interest.
When it came to selecting funds for my children my go to tickers have always been VOO (Vanguard S&P 500 ETF), VTI (Vanguard Total Stock) and VTSAX (Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares). The key to choosing funds is selecting ones that have a low expense ratio. I prefer funds that have an expense ratio of 0.10% or less any more than that you are losing out on free money.
If all this is another language to you and confusing I recommend checking out Personal Finance Club’s website Jeremy does an amazing job of explaining all of this in simpler terms. At the beginning of the year I knew that I wanted to learn more about investing and the stock market. I went head first and started watching hours of YouTube videos, researching the web and then started stumbling across great finance accounts on Instagram. If I can start, you can do it! Sure, it can be scary at first but the scarier thing is not starting. If you have funds sitting in a bank account and you are not sure what do with it I suggest you start researching investing. And if you are scared to put it into the stock market look into HYSA (High Yield Savings Accounts) at least allow your money to work for you.
My goal for my children is to set them up for success and allow them to have that financial freedom that I am working hard to create for myself. I am working on that generational wealth. Money should not be a topic that is taboo it should be something that we discuss with our children at a young age. I know that when my daughter is old enough I will allow her to choose her own stock to invest in for her birthday present. For now mama will invest in one stock for her each year and right now mama is liking AAPL (Apple).
And if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out I am willing to share what I know to help others. I hope that this post was helpful and if you enjoyed it please feel free to leave me a comment. Quyana Chuck Norris!
I am going to highlight each of these slides and how I began my financial journey. First and foremost I am not a financial advisor, this is not financial advice. I am merely sharing what I have learned on my journey since getting my finances in order. In the early 2010’s I opened a Roth IRA with Vanguard. I set up automatic monthly investment to my Roth IRA for a few years. And then life got in the way and I was not able to contribute and stopped. This January 2021 I got serious about my finances and investments and went down the rabbit hole of investing, cryptocurrencies, various side hustles, and learning everything anything money.
In January I opened up my Vanguard account and familiarized myself with my Roth IRA again. My funds had been allocated in mutual funds that had HIGH expense ratios. I moved my funds to ETF’s (exchange traded funds) and mutual funds with low expense ratios such as the S&P 500, Total Stock Market Index, and Total Stock Market International. The specific funds that I invest in are VOO, VTI, VFIAX, VTIAX, and VTSAX. Again these are my personal investments and this is not financial advice. The maximum amount that you can contribute to a Roth IRA is $6,000 per year. The deadline to contribute is when taxes are due which is typically April 15th. Make sure when you contribute to your Roth IRA, brokerage account or rollover IRA that you move the funds from the Federal Money Market and invest it in a specific ETF (exchange traded funds), mutual fund, or individual stock. Do not forget to do this step otherwise your money will not work for you.
Along with ETF’s and mutual funds I also invest in individual stocks. The stocks that I invest in are things that I use everyday such as my Apple, Disney, Etsy, and other things that I use on the daily. I also have researched and invested in other various stocks that could potentially become beneficial down the road. Those specific stocks are in the renewable energy sector and other areas. I spend at least 30 minutes everyday and try and learn about something new with regards to investing, the stock market, cryptocurrencies, and anything and everything related to investing!
With my Employer Retirement Account when I initially opened it I apparently opted to have a financial company allocate my funds. I was scared for the longest time to move it around because I wasn’t sure what to do or what funds to pick out. And honestly I thought it would be complicated to do. I finally found the courage and time and opted out of that service and allocated a majority of it into an S&P 500. The other smaller portion I invested into an International Equity and World Equity fund. I also contribute the maximum amount that my employer will match.
After maxing out my Roth IRA for 2020 and 2021 I opened up a brokerage account. I will not do justice by trying to describe a brokerage so I am sharing a link to Personal Finance Club’s blogpost created by Jeremy. Click HERE to get to the post regarding what a brokerage account is. In my brokerage account I invest in VOO, VTI, VFIAX. I also invest in other individual stocks and ETF’s.
I also rolled over two of my old employer retirement accounts from when I worked at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. I had around $100K that I rolled into a Vanguard Rollover IRA. Back story I worked at YKHC for over 10 years and I don’t remember when I started my retirement account with them but I am thankful that I did. I just recently rolled over the $100K to my Vanguard and just finished allocating it today. I had a little more fun with a small portion of it and invested it in some risky stocks. I also have one more old employer retirement account that I need to rollover. Once I roll it over to my rollover IRA I will look into a Backdoor Roth IRA and see if I can do that. Again I will not try and explain what a Backdoor Roth IRA but click HERE. Jeremy from Personal Finance Club does an excellent job explaining what it is.
I work full-time as a School Nurse. I had two part time jobs at one point as a Contact Tracer. I have my small business Sew Yup’ik. I teach classes via Zoom and in-person. And I try to find any and every single side hustle there is out there. I am currently in the process of going down the rabbit hole and researching Turo a car sharing company. I am also looking into ways that I can monetize my Sew Yup’ik Youtube channel, and my Sew Yup’ik Instagram page. Like I said I love to learn anything and everything if it helps me to become financially independent.
I would not have gotten serious about my finances, budgeting and daily tracking if it was not for stumbling across The Budget Mom’s Instagram page. I started following The Budget Mom in 2019 and got serious about daily tracking my finances and budgeting. When I started following her I had $81K in debt with my student loans and car loan. I started tracking my daily finances. I created monthly budgets. Challenged myself to no spend days. And threw whatever I could to my student loans, and car loan. I was able to pay $71K of my loans and still have $10K left of student loans. I could be paying it off but instead I am choosing to invest that. I am also secretly hoping President Biden will cancel some student debt haha but I won’t hold my breath. My goal is to reach Coast FI meaning that I want to invest enough money so that it can work for me and I will not have to invest another penny down the road. Again I wont explain it but check out this blogpost from Personal Finance Club on what Coast FI means.
All of this information is what I have done for my financial journey. I will continue to educate myself and keep going. My ultimate goal is to work when I feel like it and set my own schedule. I hope that this information is helpful. If you have any questions comment below. If you are not following me on IG or FB head over to my Sew Yup’ik pages I share a lot of my information on those platforms. And again my motto as always is don’t buy dumb sh**.
Please let me know if you would be interested in a post regarding my children’s accounts.
I am going for it. I am applying for a Family Nurse Practitioner Program. When I finished nursing school in December of 2018 I was convinced that I needed that I needed to have an actual real nursing job before I applied to a Nurse Practitioner program. It has always been a dream of mine to be a Emergency Medicine Nurse Practitioner and return back to the YK Delta and work in the sub-regional clinics to provide care to the Yup’ik communities. Growing up in chaos has always had me preparing and overly preparing for the next step. It doesnt matter if I am driving, preparing for a test, anything I am always going over in my head what road I will take, when I will turn left, what lane I will be driving in, and when I will turn my blinker on. I have always prepared myself for my next move no matter what. When I would have surprises occur in my life I would panic and freak out. My body would go into a fight or flight reaction and I would always fight because that is what my body was used to. When a crazy event would happen in my life growing up I would always fight and as an adult that would be my first reaction. So applying to FNP school after completing my BSN was not in my head.
I always felt that I needed to have actual “real nursing” experience. And what I mean by nursing experience is inserting IV’s, foley catheters, assisting in codes, and all that hands on experience that I do not get on a day to day basis as a school nurse. After completing my BSN I thought that I wasnt smart enough. I didnt have the experience because I was only a school nurse and I felt that I needed that hands on before applying. However, as a school nurse I am getting that nursing experience just in a different way. I was not confident in my skills as nurse and I always felt that I needed “real” experience. I now realize that I am good enough. I have the experience. I can do it. And I will do it. I do not need to have worked on a Med-Surg Unit to apply to FNP. I do not need to have that hands on experience before applying because I will learn it while in school and through my clinicals. And I do have the experience I just dont have it as a nurse.
My love for the Emergency Room started in February in 2008 when I was hired on as an Emergency Room Technician. I loved it. I loved every aspect of the ER and I felt so comfortable. And that comfort was because of my childhood and growing up in chaos I craved chaotic environments. I strived in that environment and it felt like home. And in that time working in the ER I was accepted into nursing school the first time. But that first round of nursing school did not work in my favor. I was young, arrogant, and felt I knew better than the instructor and I had a hard time keeping my mouth shut. Thankfully, I was failed out of the program due to personality conflicts between myself and the instructor after the first semester. Looking back I was creating chaos for myself and instead of keeping my mouth shut I chose to argue back. It was a hard lesson for me to swallow but I am thankful that it happened. I have learned from it and I can say that I am thankful for that experience. I worked in the ER for almost 3 1/2 years and had plenty of hand on experience with assisting the nurses and providers. But because I wasnt a nurse during that time I always felt that experience wasn’t “good enough.” I know now that it is good enough. And I am good enough. I am confident in my skills, and I know that along the way I will learn those skills I need in school, clinicals and on the job.
I felt a strong urge and incline to share my thoughts because if you are wanting to do something in your life and you are afraid to do it, DO IT!
Have the confidence in yourself to know that you can do it. Take the leap. Make that call. Apply for that program, job whatever it is. You are good enough. I am taking my own advice and taking that leap. Its scary. Really scary but I am comfortable and feeling confident in myself.
I have all the support in the world and I am so thankful for that. My husband has been my rock through everything. He was by my side when I was failed out of the nursing program the first time. He has watched me change jobs because I was never happy. He has always had my back and has been supportive no matter what. I am so thankful to have my best friend by my side pushing me to follow my dreams. Thanks boo.
I am excited and scared for this next chapter.
But I am ready. And I am confident in myself and I believe in myself. And I can do it!
Boundaries are something that I still struggle with to this day. The month of April was a difficult one because it is always a reminder of how long it has been since I spoke to my mom.
The morning Sydney was born after being in labor for 29 hours, pushing for an hour and a half, and sleeping for a few hours I had a difficult conversation with my mother. That was over four years ago. In that moment and the moments leading up to having Sydney I knew I was only going to allow healthy people in my life and my family’s lives. In that conversation I made it very clear what I expected of her and what I needed from her in order for her to be allowed back into our lives.
I needed a healthy mom. A healthy grandmother. A healthy mother in law. Those were the boundaries that I set in place. I need to be healthy for my children, my family but mostly for myself. Toxic is toxic family or not. In the times when she tries to reach out to me or send me things it is a trigger for me. It is triggering because she clearly ignores my boundaries and yet still tries to send things. I don’t want things they mean nothing to me I want a healthy mom. And I just wish she would respect my wishes. Things mean nothing to me if she is not healthy.
I was around 12 or 13 years old when I was called a c-u-n-t. In high school I was told to go spread my legs and have men f*** me. And I was called and told so much more that I will not dare to share. When I set my boundaries in place please know that I am doing it because I am protecting myself. Before saying “she’s your mother,” and “you only have one of her,” maybe try to understand where I am coming from. The years of damage and trauma have taken a toll on my mental health and there were times when I thought I was those names that she would scream at me. I had been called those names so many times over the course of my life I started to believe her and I thought I was a wh*** or a b****.
I share these things not to shame my mother but to give a small glimpse of my life. My boundaries are mine to set and I am more than willing to share why I have them in place. I have worked really hard to get to the place where I am today.My happy memories of my mother are far and few but I do remember in those sober times she was hilarious, caring, vibrant, and beautiful. I know I will never get that version of her but I do hope someday I get a healthy and happy mom. I am thankful for my life the good and the bad. I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t have those deep, dark moments where I was able to find strength to keep going. And again please know this post is not to shame my mother but I want to share what I struggle with everyday
I struggled for many years with boundaries and holding true to them. It got to a point when I just couldn’t handle the emotional trauma and I knew I needed to do something before I lost it. I am so thankful that I was strong enough to set those boundaries in place and hold them. My children are my motivation to be the best version of myself and I want to be happy and healthy.
I have created a Sew Yup’ik YouTube Channel and I would love for you to head over and tell me what you think.
What types of tutorials would you like to see?
Would you be interested in a live class with me for a donation?
I am open to any and every suggestion! I love to share and teach and I am hoping to create more tutorials around salve making with traditional plants, making moose jerky, salmon processing, akutaq making and sew much more!