When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

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Do you see yourself in any of these scenarios?

  • Your To-do List is longer than your toilet paper roll.
  • You’ve got dishes to wash and rooms to clean and pets to feed.
  • Oh, don’t forget, you’ve got kids! Oops…now where is the schedule of my eldest… She’s got ballet tomorrow?!

  • Work deadlines are fast approaching. Argh…why did I even procrastinate??? you tell yourself.
  • You find yourself constantly stressed out…and you just woke up!

If so, then you probably are experiencing some overwhelm in your life.

According to Merriam-Webster, to overwhelm is “to subject to incapacitating emotional or mental stress.” And to incapacitate means “to render powerless, ineffective, or unable to move.”

Overwhelm has a way of paralyzing its victims…and I’m sure you don’t want to be there.

Well, I’ve got GOOD NEWS for you! Overwhelm does not have to be the norm for you. YOU CAN THRIVE. I am so sure of this truth because God already said it in His Word.

Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” (John 10:10, AMP).

Wouldn’t you want that to be the picture of your life? It is possible! It may not come overnight, but certain things can set you in the right direction.

One of the ways to overcome overwhelm is to breathe deeply and focus your attention on God. 

The Lord God…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Genesis 2:7 (NRSV)

God is the Author of our every breath, and each breath gives us life. The simple act of taking deep breaths has many benefits.

Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax. (webmd.com)

As one who has experienced anxiety attacks, I find deep breathing a simple, natural and immediate solution to a panicking body. Truth is, anxiety attacks are harmless; the brain is just being tricked into thinking that danger is imminent. Which is why it’s so important to set our minds on the Lord, our Prince of Peace. Thus, the promise:

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)


  • Take a few moments right now to close your eyes, take three, slow, deep breaths and welcome God’s perfect peace into your soul.
  • Smile! :)

5 Simple Waysto Overcome Overwhelm-min(This article is an excerpt from the FREE PDF Guide: “5 Simple Ways to Overcome Overwhelm For Busy Moms.” Download your FREE copy here.)


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Looking for the Good

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Over the weekend, my husband, son and I visited two new places in our area, both of which only opened a few months ago. One was a hotel with modern interiors and wide spaces, and an infinity pool that seamlessly segued to the awesome view of a peaceful river and mountains on the horizon. The other was an old house turned into an elegant restaurant that gave us a delightful culinary experience (so much so that we went there two nights in a row!). We tried various dishes — from Chilean sea bass, to truffled fettucine , to Wagyu burger…and choco lava cake (so yummy!).

To me, this is cause for thanksgiving.

You see, nearly 10 years ago when I relocated to the countryside, there was no mall, no coffee place, no fancy restaurant. Prior to relocation, I grew up and lived in a very busy city with vast choices. But when I moved to the countryside, I honestly struggled with having to live without my usual creature comforts.

At first I found myself complaining and seeing all the negative things about my surroundings. I grumbled about what was missing and focused on what I didn’t have. Can you guess how that left me? Miserable.

Thank God I realized that was not the way to live. So what was one of my antidotes? Gratitude. I decided (yes, decided!) to have a thankful heart, even if I didn’t feel it. I decided to focus on the positive. I decided to highlight the beautiful. I decided to look for the good. Can you guess how that left me? Happy.

Since then, I’ve always been on the watch for new things in our area, and been promoting the good. (Some people say I can even put up a travel agency with all my recommendations to family and friends!)

I am also drawn to do this because of what God says in Jeremiah 29:7 (NLT) —

“Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”

God has placed me where I am for a purpose. I know I am here to build it up, among other things. And whoa, “its welfare will determine [my] welfare.” What a great promise. But having a change of vision to see the good and a change of heart that expresses gratitude — well, that is welfare enough.

Now that’s good.

Questions: What good things can you thank God for today? What good might you be able to extract from a seemingly negative situation? How can you “work for the peace and prosperity” of where you are at the moment?

Post your answers in the comments. :)


Cover for freebieFeeling homesick? Sign up here to receive your FREE 5-page excerpt from “Thrive Guide for the Relocated Woman: The 3 Best Ways to Deal with Homesickness (So you can get your happy back!)” and know you’re not alone. Blessings!

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Experiencing a Major Change?

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Recently, I was talking to a young woman who told me about her fear of the future. She’s now waiting for the results of a recent board exam she took, and the results will somehow determine her next steps. She feels uncertain but continues to put her trust in God. At the same time, she also asks, “What now?” And since she’s transitioning from being a student to being part of the workforce, she feels like she’s being pulled out of her comfort zone.

Ever felt that way? I know I have. And I told her it was normal. The reason she’s feeling this way is because she’s in a period of major transition. I’ve gone through many changes in my life, and one of the major ones was…can you guess? Relocation.

Major life transitions are almost always uncomfortable. There might be a period of waiting. And since we live in an “instant” world, the waiting might be agony. We have absolutely no control, seemingly nothing to hold on to.

Then there’s that time of adjustment. We might need to adjust either physically, emotionally, mentally. There might be a learning curve involved, and patience and determination are essential, even crucial. Otherwise, it’s easy to give up.

Though change toward the good might be hard and messy, God gives us hope with this promise:

I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)

Isn’t that such a wonderful promise? Know that whatever transition you’re going through, God is always looking out for your good.

Questions: What changes are you experiencing at the moment? How do they make you feel? How are you dealing with them?

Would love to hear from you! Post your comments below.


Cover for freebieFeeling homesick? Sign up here to receive your FREE 5-page excerpt from “Thrive Guide for the Relocated Woman: The 3 Best Ways to Deal with Homesickness (So you can get your happy back!)” and know you’re not alone. Blessings!

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Home Away from Home

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Just want to share a little insight I got this morning, as I was pondering on the relocated life.

This lifestyle has been a “game-changer” in so many ways. One of which is how it has given me a deeper longing for my true home — heaven.

From not feeling at home in my relocated environment, to being proactive about finding ways to feel at home, to asking God, “How long?” till we moved into a bigger and better apartment (I close to loathed our apartment, haha)…all these things pointed to a deeper desire, and of my deeper need for God.

Yes, living on this earth is my “home away from home” where I can experience and enjoy the fullness of life that God has promised. But those longings, those tugs at the heart, remind me that there is more that awaits.

As a Bible verse reads: “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior” (Philippians 3:20, NLT).

Whatever unfulfilled longings you have, bring them to God. Allow Him to be your true Home.


Have you relocated as well and feel homesick at times? Then check out the Thrive Guide for the Relocated Woman right here: http://citygirlcountryhome.com/thrive-guide-for-the-relocated-woman/

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A Post for Mother’s Day (How’s that for an original title? haha)

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This was written about two and a half years ago, the unedited version of what came out in Good Housekeeping Philippines in April 2012. Hope it blesses, inspires, entertains you…or even makes you laugh! Happy Mother’s Day!

(And oh, no photo at the moment…gotta go to the grocery for now!)

Mommy Journey Thus Far

I never dreamed I’d become a mom. I had seen medical TV shows of women giving birth, and they never gave me this fuzzy feeling of mothering. It scared the wits out of me!

But when I got married, I wanted to start building a family of my own. Prior to getting pregnant, though, I had a valid concern. Since getting married, my lifestyle had drastically changed. My husband and I were trying to find a balance between the city where my work was based, and the countryside where his work was based. We would often take a nine-hour bus ride back and forth — about four to six trips a month. Now how in the world was I supposed to carry a child in my womb with this hectic schedule? But I did. Up until about a couple of weeks before I gave birth!

My due date was in the middle of September. It was August 31. I was so sure I’d give birth mid-September that I was still at work that day, ignoring a mild pain in my tummy. Then in the middle of the night, as the pain became more intense, I started checking the signs of childbirth in a pregnancy book. Then it hit me: I am having contractions! My husband was out of town, and I didn’t want to wake anyone up (I was staying at my parents’ house), so I waited till the sun was up. Come morning, I announced, “I think it’s time,” and they all scrambled to get me to the nearby hospital.

It turned out that I was already dilated by 6 cm. Surprisingly, I wasn’t scared at all. At the delivery room, my doctor and her staff prayed for me. With every intensifying contraction, I would imagine myself on a rollercoaster saying, “Whee!” in my mind. I found it funny that the medical staff would ask me questions and even request for my signature while undergoing this excruciating ordeal. Can that wait till after this contraction?

Two hours into the final stage of labor, and no baby in sight, my doctor advised a C-section, to my relief!

As I was wheeled into the hospital room, my husband and two friends were there to greet me, in all my disheveled hair glory. I finally gave birth. Now what? My doctor’s parting words were, “Enjoy your baby!” I had no idea what that meant. I was honestly trying to fight the feeling of dread. Because I had no idea how to take care of this baby or how the landscape of my lifestyle would now look like.

The first few weeks of motherhood were crazy. I was in the middle of finishing my editing work for a book (way past my deadline!), and dealing with the agonizing wound from my C-section, post-partum blues, breastfeeding frustrations, the absence of my husband (he had to go back to the province for a few days for an important event) and, oh yeah, a baby in tow!

Then came the traveling part. The bus ride was not an option, so air travel it was. Of course, I had my concerns once again. What about ear pressure? Will his ears hurt? At only two months old, our baby had his first plane ride to the province, the first of many. He recently turned four years old, and he’s never had trouble flying.

My son and I now stay, collectively, about half of the year in the city, and half in the countryside. When we’re in the city, it’s my husband who comes every weekend. I have the privilege of being both a working mom (city) and a work-at-home mom (countryside). Sure, I’ve had those monster mom moments. But the Bible is right when it says that children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). God has been so good to give me this gift. I am happy and blessed. And yes, grateful.

— By Mich Nicolas

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Jesus Is Everywhere

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Many things have happened since my last blog post two weeks ago. Since then, I’ve helped organize two Christmas gatherings, traveled back to the city with my family for the holidays, went to the office, got together with my Bible sharing group for lunch, coffee and the sharing of lives, accompanied my son and his cousins to their Christmas presentation practices for their homeschool group, had dates with my husband, worked from home for a few days since the nanny hadn’t arrived as planned, de-cluttered the room, went shopping…and more!

I’m guessing your life the past few weeks have been similar, maybe even busier. But you know what? In all these things I mentioned, I found Jesus!

Holy Family

Jesus was definitely there when we celebrated Him in our missions community. Our theme was simple: Happy Birthday, Jesus!

He was also there during our homebase community Christmas gathering that we held in solidarity with our brothers and sisters affected by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last month, the title of which was, “Jesus, Our Hope.”

I found Him in the company of spiritual sisters where we all shared about our birthday gifts for Jesus this year.


I found Him when I was stretched out of my comfort zone to have to attend to something new, in a place unfamiliar, in ways different from my own. After all, who could be more out of His comfort zone than the Son of God, who had to leave glorious heaven for messy earth, who had to lay His tender head on stuff made for animals, who had to settle for a manger instead of a cradle, to send the message that He was the Bread of Life for all of humanity, aptly born in Bethlehem — the House of Bread.

I found Him and His peace in a cramped and cluttered area one morning, with a note of thanks and blessing on a paper bag from a pastry shop to my left, birds chirping outside, the aroma of Spanish cuisine being cooked from the kitchen, the noise and laughter of kids playing makeshift basketball in the garage.

I found Him while de-cluttering our room. While cleaning up the dust bunnies on the floor, what came to me was, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Clean up my heart in repentance to make room for the King.

Gold Christmas tree

I found Him while waiting in a long line at a food court to order my lunch. Advent is all about waiting, about eager expectation, knowing that what I wait for is, well, definitely worth the wait!

I found Him at Mass yesterday, the third Sunday of Advent — Gaudete Sunday — which celebrated joy. During the homily, as the priest was explaining the Gospel, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart about something I had been praying about. What joy that brought me!

There are still other instances left unwritten, and I am thankful for all of these. Sometimes (or maybe many times), these encounters happen in the most unexpected places, but He is there, ready to surprise, ready to bless, ready to make me happy…and to think, He is the Birthday Celebrant! I love You, Jesus!

Thank You, Jesus, that in the midst of this busy season, I find You. Thank You for showing Yourself to me. I still look forward to all the wonderful moments I will spend with You throughout this time. Be born in the stable of my heart once again. Amen.


Have you found Jesus in all the busyness of Christmas? If so, how and where? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments! God bless you!


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Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?

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Keep Christ in ChristmasI’m participating in the KEEP CHRIST in CHRISTMAS Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by Monica at www.equippingCatholicfamilies.com Erika at http://raisinglittlesaints.blogspot.ca/ Tina at http://trulyrichmom.com/ Laura at http://daybydayinourworld.com/ Sarah at http://onthewayhome2.com Chris at http://campfiresandcleats.blogspot.ca/ Birgit at http://designsbybirgit.blogspot.ca/

Jesus as the Greatest Gift

Happy December! Christmas greetings from our country home up north (not the North Pole, though, but in the tropics!)

It’s the first Sunday of Advent and I am excited! That’s because this season is all about Jesus! And I don’t mind all the lights, trimmings and decorations — they all just remind me that our Savior, our Hope, our King is worth celebrating, is worth all the fuss, is worth all our love and attention!

I’m the type who loves to relish everything about the Advent & Christmas seasons. For me, it is a time of heightened sensitivity to Jesus’ presence, of trying to find Him everywhere, of not wanting to miss out on all His surprises. So, in search of a deeper and more meaningful Christmas this year, I came across a grace-filled video from Ann Voskamp that talked about slowing down so as not to miss Him. Perfect. Check it out here.

Then I began to reflect and pray. Lord, I don’t want to miss You this season. How do I slow down with all that needs to be done? I am a busy wife, mom, servant of the Lord… And so went my enumeration of my responsibilities, what I needed to do in the coming days, this and that and everything else in between. (Most of these have to do with Christmas preparations. Which brought me to remember this.)

As I brought all these before Him, I was at peace actually, not at all frazzled.

Then He spoke to my heart. I don’t call you to be busy; I call you to be holy. The Holy Spirit then reminded me of the story of sisters Martha and Mary from the Bible. Martha was so into the details of hospitality (not a bad thing), but she missed what was most important: being with Jesus. Meanwhile, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus — gazing at Him, listening to Him, giving Him her undivided attention. She was 100% focused on Him.

I can’t conjure up holiness. Only God can make me holy. And that comes through immersion in His presence. I then sensed the Lord telling me to find Jesus in all that comprised my life right now, and offer them as gifts to Him. For Jesus is there. He is Emmanuel, God with Us. But more than all these offerings, He asks me to be WITH HIM. To receive Him as the Greatest Gift. To keep Christ in Christmas.

Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room.

How do you plan on keeping Christ at the center of your Christmas? Share in the comments below!

And please do check out these other entries of this Blog Link-up. Thanks and God bless!

Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas

Simply Homeschool  Living Advent Series 12/1 – 12/25

Fifth of Five                     Keeping Christ in Christmas – Blog Link-up 2013

Coffee Moments with Sam           The Light of Hope

Hand-Maid With Love: CHRISTmas Presence: Keep Christ in Christmas 2013 Edition

Open Window               Making hay while the Advent wreath shines

Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas

Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual

On the Way Home:  Keep Christ in Christmas

Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others

Mommy Bares All        Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH

Canadian Catholic Mom                Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up

Mountain of Grace Homeschooling               Keep Christ in Christmas

Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception 

Adoro Ergo Sum:  How We Keep Christ in Christmas

JoyAlive.net: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Home to 4 Kiddos      Keep Christ in Christmas

Embedded Faith          Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas

City Girl, Country Home                Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?

Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats

Joy of Nine9                   Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child

Splendor in the Home                    Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy

Training Happy Hearts                     10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year

A Catholic Life               Advent: The Beginning of the Liturgical Year & Source of Rich Meditations

Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus

Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas

A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas

Catholic All Year: Three Reasons I love Advent

Mary the Defender: Christmas The Battle Begins

Truly Rich Mom: Keep Christ in Christmas

Day By Day in Our World: 40 Days Seeking Him and Keeping Christ in Christmas

Diapers and Drivel: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Raising Soldiers 4 Christ: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Rosary Mom                    Keep Christ In Christmas With A Teenager

Tercets:     Keeping Christ in Christmas: Join Church Ministries

Campfires and Cleats                        How We Keep Christ in Christmas

Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season

Homeschooling With Joy              Keeping Christ in Christmas

Mrs Domestic Bliss     Gingerbread Nativity

The Chic Traveller      Keeping Christ in Christmas

California to Korea     Keeping Christ in Christmas

Dominique’s Desk       Keeping Christ in Christmas

Our ABC Life: An Advent Update

Journey Living: Anno Domini

The Road to Rome: Advent Prayer and Reflection Resources

Life of Fortunate Chances: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Quidquid Est, Est!: Reblog: Advent Posts

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Posting This Just for My Reference, Actually…

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Warning: This post might bore you, as I’m just working on some major backlog with the 30-day blog challenge. I mentioned in my last post that I don’t plan on quitting, so even if it took some time to continue this, I’m still here. I may be behind “schedule,” but what’s important is finishing. So there. (Oh goodness, now I just remembered how it took me an UBER.LONG.TIME to finish my college thesis. But even if it took way longer than it should have, I still finished.)

Day 17
What three steps can you take to build trust and credibility online for you, your brand and your business?
2. Post CONSISTENTLY on social media.
3. Did I already mention — blog and post CONSISTENTLY?
Seriously, I need some planning and focus. Goodness, I think I started off this blog challenge somewhere with this…and here I am, delayed, yes, but still wanting to somehow finish this entire thing! My goal now is just to answer the questions for each day. At least I’ll have something to look back to as some kind of guide, right?

Day 18
What does your dream sales team look like and how will you ensure they help you build your business?
I’d love to have a sales team that’s on the same energy level as I am, who are of the same heart and mind, who are all passionate about the stuff I’m passionate about as well. To ensure they help me build my biz, I’d say I’d first have to help them, to sincerely be there for them, to build relationships based on trust.

Day 19
Which methods do you want to use to build your platform and increase your influence?
No fuss answer: The most logical method for me is to simply share what I already know.

Day 20
State your top three tools that you will use (or already use) to save time and money and make your online world more seamless.
I already have a domain and website, so the next three tools to try would be:
1. MailChimp
2. Hootsuite
3. And one of these: LeadPages, e-junkie or Gumroad

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On Not Quitting, Hard Work & Delegation

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He who began

Howdy, friends! I’ve had a fun, full and fulfilling weekend, quite busy with the following:

1. Details, details, details regarding a spiritual renewal seminar that we conducted last Saturday (which turned out really well, by God’s grace!)

2. Hosting guests for the weekend

3. The usual stuff (family, home, work, missions…)

Which is why…tada! Clumping, yet again, several days of the 30-day blog challenge! Backlog’s a’swelling, but I.WILL.FINISH. Determined, I am! That just brings to mind this verse:

I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

God is not a quitter; therefore, I shall not quit! 😀

DAY 14

Day 14 of the blog challenge was this podcast with Jaime Tardy who has interviewed over 80 millionaires, and shared her discoveries about them. The picture she painted was a very practical one. These are not the types who were born into opulence, or the spoiled-brat types who can have anything they want at the click of a finger. They are the seemingly ordinary types, but what sets them apart are certain attitudes and disciplines that have brought them to where they are now.

Some of the things that resonated with me were:

1. Hard work. Nothing beats that, indeed. God’s Word also confirms this.

Do you see those who are skillful in their work? They will serve kings; they will not serve common people. (Proverbs 22:29, NRSV)

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. (Proverbs 31:13, NRSV)

2. Continuous forward motion. In other words, perseverance. Just keep at it.

And just to put this in, I saw this post online: “When God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of living. Raise your standard of giving.” (Mark Batterson) Beautiful!

DAY 15

Day 15 asks: “How are you building your email list?”

Answer: “Email list? Let me check.” Haha.

Actually, I did sign up for a free Mailchimp account sometime ago…now to install it on the blog! But yes, I would love to reach out and connect further with other women (as I mentioned some entries ago). God’s been so good to me that I need to share all this goodness with others, too!

DAY 16

Day 16 asks: How will you build a team around your vision and work smart instead of hard?

I’m so thankful for such things as outsourcing and delegation. What freedom to know that I don’t have to do everything! (Because truth is, I can’t!) God distributed all these wonderful gifts, talents and skills to different people, and maybe one of His reasons for doing so was so that we could learn to appreciate one another’s differences and learn to work together!

And did you know that yes, the Bible also has something to say about outsourcing and delegation? (Just check out Exodus 18:13-26 and Acts 6:1-6.) These verses are rather long, so I won’t post them all them all here. But I just wanted to highlight a few:

When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?” (Exodus 18:14, NLT)

“This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself.” (Exodus 18:17-18, NLT)

So how do I plan to build a team? With an online biz, it does make sense to have an online team as well, to bring like-minded people on-board, most especially busy mommas like myself. :)

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