Tag Archives: Single Mom

Single Mom Life Travel

Travel Journal: On My Way to Italy

*Here’s an entry from my actual travel journal on my way to Italy, dated Oct 3rd 2016

“Dear Journal,

I’m on a plane high above the ocean. Its dark and we’ve just had dinner; little petite trays with mini servings of salad, grilled chicken pasta, bread with cold butter, and a brownie. I’m sitting across the aisle from the kids, and keep craning my neck around to see their faces light up as they coo over how “darling” the servings are.

Every now and again Kanen gives me that excited look; the one where his whole body gets caught up, and he’ll mouth; “Mama we are going to wake up in VENICE!”

Travel JournalI return the look and my body covers in little goosebumps and tears beg to blur my vision. I push them back and smile at my three children. They are filled with a joy I’ve rarely seen in them. An excitement that is contagious and it feels like most of the passengers in our wing of the plane, have begun to keep their eyes on us as we get closer to our destination. Maybe it’s because mine are the only kids besides a baby on this flight, or maybe because everyone is seeing in them the joy they must feel deep down at the prospect of waking up in VENICE!

I can’t believe it. Like I don’t think it’s set in yet that in just a few hours I’ll be watching the sunrise as we descend over a city I’ve longed to meet, like no other on earth. KEEP READING

 

Hustle.Believe.Receive. Single Mom Life Travel Vision Boards

How I Manifested My Dream Vacation to Italy!

This is the formula with which I manifested my dream vacation to Italy, the same one I’ve used for years to manifest an entirely new life for myself and my family. #HBRMethod 

How I Manifested My Dream Vacation to Italy!
Live your dream, Izzy in Rome Italy

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know that I’ve had a burning desire to go to Italy since I was a teenager (#DreamIT).  I’ve talked about going for twenty years (#SayIT), I’ve had it on my #FutureBoard (vision board) for the past ten years (#SeeIT), I’d tried unsuccessfully several times in my life to plan a trip (#WriteIT), even going so far as to map out my exact route and pick a date (#ThinkIT), but I’d always lacked the balls to buy my ticket. (lacking #DoIT and #BelieveIT)

Well, this June I had a thought…. Even if I could go to Italy alone (as I’d always imagined I would) it would not be as meaningful if I couldn’t share it with my kids. I envisioned coming home all excited to tell them every detail, but them not wanting to hear about all the fun I’d had without them. Then I imagined that one day I would take them, and we’d travel the same route I’d done alone, and I’d point out all the things I loved; but by then they would be teenagers rolling their eyes with sighs under their breath of, “Oh mom!”

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Travel Vision Boards

Manifest Your Dream Vacation!

Last night I got home from the vacation of a lifetime with my kids. I’ve been to New York many times over the past five years for work, but on every trip I’d wished that my children could fall in love with The City the way I have.   Only one problem… I’m a single mom on a budget, one that does not allow (yet!) for such extravagant trips across the country for a family of four.  Never mind that NYC is the most expensive city in America!

Never-the-less my kids and I had been dreaming of the day they could make the trip with me, especially after they saw the movie Annie.

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Flight to NYC with Mira

The last few years have taught me to expect the impossible and believe in a little magic, because God knows I’ve been putting in my hustle! And so this past week I proved yet again that the #HBRMethod is no joke! It really can manifest your dream.

Here’s how:

In February of this year I’d finally acquired enough miles (through all of my work travel) to purchase four round trip tickets to New York (I only had to pay the booking fee of $25 each ticket #MoneyAintAThing!). I booked them immediately using #CourageOverFear to trust that somehow the rest of the trip would fall into place. I knew finding all four tickets was a sign that this trip was a #ManifestThat! moment in the making.

That moment when you see Manhattan for the first time... and your 7.
That moment when you see Manhattan for the first time… and your 7.

Back in 2011 I stayed in a hotel in Midtown, which was then called The Alex Hotel.  My job had made the arrangements, and I was so floored by it that I made a video and posted it to my YouTube, realizing that I’d manifested that moment. I wound up staying at the same hotel several times, and one day I got a room that blew me away!  It was a beautiful 2 bedroom/2 bathroom full condo/suit with an uninterrupted view of the Chrysler Building. I remember sitting on the couch looking at that view, and around the giant condo, and being so excited and sad at the same time.  I couldn’t help but feel ecstatic at how beautiful it was, but I wished more than anything that my kids couldn’t see it and experience the magic I felt that night.

I made a promise to myself that somehow, some way I would bring them there.

Fast forward to this year and I’m searching online for a “reasonable” (nothings reasonable in New York!) room for the four of us and of course I look up that hotel.  I was disappointed to learn that they’d turned it into a time-share by Wyndham, and that it no longer functioned as a stand alone hotel, but it still offered a limited number of standard (plain) rooms.  I had been so set on showing the kids this hotel that I decided to book a regular room with two double beds, even though the experience wouldn’t compare.  At least then they could stay in the same hotel I’d stayed in four years before.

When we arrived at the hotel at midnight the front desk clurk looked worried.  She went to get her manager and after a few minutes of looking at our reservation and whispering behind the desk, he said; “I’m so sorry, but it looks like we’ve given away your room for tonight. I could however, upgrade you to our two bedroom suite at no additional charge.” I screamed quietly inside and graciously took the keys. (#MoneyAintAThing!)

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Mira looking up at the Chrystler Building

When we walked into the room, my kids and I all started screaming! It was the same room I’d stayed in four years before!! Kanen had his own bedroom with a panoramic view of the Chrysler Building, and his own bathroom. The girls and I shared the master bedroom and bath. It was beyond a dream come true, even if we only got to keep it for a day. #ManifestThat!

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The kids looking at Grand Central Station from our living room

That is the power of the #HBRMethod to deliver your dream in a way you’d never expect and bigger than you could even dream it! I never let go of the dream that one day my kids would see the view from that room, and I manifested it exactly without it costing a penny more!

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Aside from the cost of the room I did that entire trip to NYC on under $600 for a family of four!!! You don’t have to be rich to live like you are! You just have to want it bad enough, be willing to work for it, believe in it with your entire being and then take the opportunities when they are presented.

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This is just one tiny example of how I’ve manifest experiences far beyond what was ever on my “vision board” I have so many more, using the #HBRMethod.  If your ready to change your life, just know this… YOU CAN.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR FULL PHOTO ALBUM (also following on Instagram and Facebook is the most “real time” way to follow for photos and updates) CLICK HERE to watch videos from our trip.

 

*The hashtags refer to steps of the #HBRMethod as outlined in my book #HustleBelieveReceive

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

Vision Boards

My Vision Board WORKS!!

The past week I lived out a pretty huge #ManifestThat! moment with my twelve-year-old son Kanen.  I’ve had a picture of the Hollywood sign on my #FutureBoard since 2009, and although I’ve been to LA many times since then (even seeing the Hollywood sign), this past week was the moment when that dream became my reality.

One of the reasons I tech people to chose images for their board that represents moments they want to live out, and memories they want to make in life, is for this very reason… so you can take a pic with you in that exact same “moment.”  There is no grater proof that the #HBRMethod works than picture proof! Below is the picture of my board that sat on my desk back in 2009 with the picture of the Hollywood sign under the picture of Disneyland. Below was a pretty great moment on Tuesday this week with my son.

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Top: My 2009 #FutureBoard Bottom: 2014 #ManifestThat!

This trip was the perfect example of #MoneyAintAThing! I’m still a single mom, and sole supporter of my family of four, so my budget is always accounted for. I have a full-time job and a salary, but I like most people have to watch my budget very carefully, and I don’t have “money to throw away.” But I do believe that I can live a fabulous life with my children, regardless of that minor setback. In fact for the past six years I’ve been proving that to be true.  I’ve lived a pretty lavish lifestyle, on a pretty merger budget.

How?? Using the #HBRMethod and not allowing the “lack” of money to come between me and my dreams.  This trip, I was able to take my son FIRST CLASS to LA, stay in a beautiful hotel, rent his dream car, and fly us both first class back home.  I did all that on a TOTAL budget of $350, and $200 of that was for the day-pass to Universal Studios!

Here’s the details: Over the past year with my day job (my #Hustle), I’ve flown quite a bit (I cover a national territory for a legal services company), and had enough miles on Alaska Air for the tickets, because of my flyer status I got first class both ways for both of us.  Because of my travel points I got a free, two night stay at the Hyatt, and free car rental with Enterprise on my rental points! I’m not rich (AT ALLLLL!) but this week felt like I was.  This week a year of hard hustle, paid off in a really fun and amazing way, next month it will even pay off bigger when I take my whole family to New York for five days!!

Sarah Centrella Off to LA in First Class!
Off to LA in First Class!
He was like "Mama could we get the red car!"
He was like “Mama could we get the red car!”
Kanen Rossi Lunch at the beach
Lunch at the beach
Universal Studios was well worth it!
Universal Studios was well worth it!
Our favorite ride!
Our favorite ride!

The beauty about the #HBRMethod is that it will deliver your dream to you, when you least expect it, bigger and better than you ever imagined. I was able to take my son to the beaches in Malibu, Huntington Beach and the Santa Monica Pier.  We eat dinner at the famous SUR Restaurant in Beverly Hills (yes it’s an ACTUAL restaurant not just the show Vanderpump Rules LOL).  We spent an amazing day at Universal Studios together riding all the rides, walked on the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We did it all, on a budget and felt like royalty.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.  I AM PROOF.

You just have to dream it, imagine it, believe it, hustle and when it’s right for you it will show up.  These moments make me so grateful for the tools I’ve learned to change my life, I shutter to think where I’d be had I not made a concrete decision six years ago to thrive, rather than just survive.

Kanen having dinner in first class on the way home.
Kanen having dinner in first class on the way home.

 

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

 

My Stories Single Mom Life

My Hustle

I talk a lot about #TheHustle.  In fact I’m even writing a book about it! It’s kinda my shit to be honest. But for those of you who don’t know what the hustle is all about I thought I’d share with you what my daily hustle looks like.

This is what #RelentlessPursuit of your dream looks like in real life. The behind the scenes version.  What does it take to get a book published and attempt to launch a brand, while holding down a full-time job and being a single mom? This is my day, basically every day for the last year. Maybe it will help give a little perspective on the hustle it takes to make your dreams a reality.

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2:10 AM My phone rang.  It was my office manager for my day-job in New York wanting to make sure we had everything lined up for the deal we’d spent the last 24 hours trying to close, which had a 9:00 AM EST deadline. I walked her through the plan and double checked everything, lights still off, head still groggy, eyes glued shut.

 5:55 AM My alarm blasts next to my ear, I ask Siri to call the number for my morning conference call with my New York sales team.  This call happens every single morning, at 6:00 AM.  Today I have to lead the call, and I’m still so exhausted I have no idea what day it is. I rack my brain trying to clear it and remember what I’m supposed to say, I sit up in bed and open my eyes hoping that will help.  But there’s no way to sound alert at this time of the day for me.

Mornings are my nemesis.

7:00 AM I wake the girls, pulling them out of bed. Packing lunches, making breakfast, making a pot of coffee. I push, I pull, I prod, some mornings I yell. It’s impossible to get these girls out the door in time, and I notice that I’m still in my robe when they are finally ready to go. I rush to throw on some sweats and drive them the four miles to school. I’m careful not to speed as I’ve already gotten a ticket once, trying to beat the last tardy bell.

8:15 AM I’m back home making Kanen breakfast, and lunch and getting him off to the bus stop.

8:30 AM Finally I’m ready to sit down and catch up on my emails, check in with work. My office is in my bedroom, and I feel claustrophobic.

From 8:30-12:00 I work, making calls, setting meetings, following up on deals. Grinding on my day job.

12:00-1:00 On a good day I get to go to my Barre3 workout.  On normal days something comes up and I can’t.

The rest of the afternoon I finish up work, scheduling upcoming trips, booking meetings for them. Hosting or listening in on conference calls.  All the things a sales rep with a national territory has to do to keep their job and make money.

4:00 PM I leave pick the kids up from their after school program.  On my way I check the mail.  In it is a notice saying I forgot to show up for my speeding ticket court date, and what could have been a free online class is now a $600 judgment.

I want to cry. Or kick a tree.

I’ve been carrying that fucking ticket in my purse for three weeks, with my to-do list a mile long, saying every day that I’d drop it off and take the class. But I’m always just one step behind the eight ball.

I start the car, and the light reminds me that I’m now two quarts low on oil instead of the one I was a few weeks ago.   And oh yeah, my breaks need replacing, my car’s warning message tells me I should drive it to the shop, that it’s late for a service. I pound my head on the steering wheel and take a deep breath. I need to be in a good mood when I pick up the kids, so I try to shake it off. Someday’s it works, others not so much.

5:00 PM Is dinner, than practice, or dance class, or Kanen’s basketball game, or homework depending on the day.

8:00 PM Sharp is bedtime, because on most nights I have an 8:00 Pm coaching call or book interview.

From 8:00 PM-1:00 or 2:00 AM I grind. I hustle like a motherfucker.

  • I have two months left on my book deadline, and 24 stories to write.
  • I catch up on social media, and try to keep my 900 profiles up to date.
  • I conduct book interviews.
  • I edit and rewrite the book.
  • I do coaching calls.
  • I respond to coaching clients homework assignments.
  • I work on my business plan, and my documentary movie pitch.
  • I research the best way to hire interns. Then learn I don’t have the money to pay them.
  • I review my list of 400 things that need to be done in the next 6 months before my book launch.
  • I plan and stress about my book launch party.
  • I market.
  • I try to learn Photoshop so I can design my own logo. Then resist the urge to throw my laptop across the room.
  • I chase down the people in my book for edit notes and approvals, schedule interview times. Coordinating 52 uber successful people is harder than it looks.
  • I respond to messages. Email, Facebook, Instagram, contact cards, texts…hundreds of messages a day.
  • I blog. Or try to.
  • I scream at my blog and wish I had a web designer because it’s a technical nightmare.
  • I create websites for my brands. And then recreate them.
  • I plan my trip to San Francisco next week, then the one to LA the week after that, then the one to DC the week after that.

The days blur together… There is no night. No day. No rain or sunshine. Right now… in this crunch hour, there is only #TheHustle.

I think I’m going crazy most days. Hanging on by a thread, like if one of these balls I’m juggling falls, the whole  lot will come crashing down. When you work this hard, and in such an isolated manner (working from home all day every day), you take rejection harder.  You notice when your friends don’t respond to your text. You take it personal. You question if it’s worth it, you question your sanity.

My kids are my saving grace. When they are home, the phone turns off. The laptop closes. And they rejuvenate me.

And when I look backward, there’s no way in hell I’ll go back to what you used to know.  And then I look forward and it’s everything that burns inside of me.  I want it so bad the taste is always in my mouth.

You thank God every day for the small signs that come, and they do come, even on hard days.  They let you know that its’ going to all pay off.  That one day it will be worth it, and that you are making a difference. Those rays of light fuel you like nothing else could. You hold on to them and keep moving forward.

No matter what you keep moving forward.

How bad do you want your dream?

 

 

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

My Stories

Christmas Eve…

It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m taking a few minutes to pause in the festivities of the Season to reflect on 2014.  It has truly been an epic year for myself and my family, and I feel so blessed to have come this far in the pursuit of my dream.

I’m sitting by the fireplace with a beautiful tree in front of me, surrounded by my second family; my best friend and her three girls.  It’s so hard to look forward to Christmas when it’s not my year to have my kids (we alternate each year, so as not to split the day).  I basically go into denial mode and Christmas just sneaks up on me.  This year was no exception. It’s the third Christmas I’ve had to spend without my kids, and it really sucks.  But that’s the life when you’re a single parent, I guess.  It’s about sharing holidays and trying as much as possible to not have your kids suffer.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

As I ponder the close of 2014, I am full of gratitude.  I’m grateful for the friends I have in my life that lift me up when I am low, and encourage me when I want to quit.  Who are always there for me, in great times and shitty ones.  I can’t imagine my life without them.  I’m grateful for my two beautiful new nieces who came into this world in 2014, and reminded us all what really matters in life.

On this Christmas Eve, I pray you are with your loved ones and have a heart full of gratitude.  Life is short and unpredictable, it can change on a dime.  This is the life we have created and been blessed with, it’s up to us to make the most of it every day. I hope tonight and every day you remember to be thankful for the blessings in your life and vow to lead your life with a grateful heart. It really is the catalyst for change and the fastest way to bring about positivity in your life.

From my little crew to yours… MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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My Stories Single Mom Life

Single Mom Struggle.

The first post I ever wrote on this blog was called Saturday.  I wrote it to try and articulate what an average day (weekend in that case) was like in my life.  I was trying to figure out how to be a single-mom and every day felt like an epic fail.

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Five years later not a lot has changed…

It’s been a while since I’ve written about what it’s really like to be a single mom.  Mainly because like anything in my life I don’t want to complain about it because I know how to count my blessings and try as best I can to focus on those rather than the struggle.  But people always tell me “I don’t know how you do it” or “it must be tough.”  I just nod and say “yeah it’s a struggle some days, that’s for sure.”   Well today was a struggle so I thought I’d lay it out so anyone who ever wondered what it’s like to hustle as a single mom can try to put themselves in our shoes.

This is my daily hustle…

6:00 AM: Every morning at 5:55 AM my alarm goes off and I dial into a conference call with my sales team for my “day job.”  The one I work full-time from home, unless I’m traveling for client meetings.  It’s my dream job, but it’s not easy.  And 6:00 am calls every single morning are not fun, I can’t lie.

6:30-6:45 AM: After the call I have about 15 minutes to check emails, messages, texts and brew a pot of coffee before my morning ciaos begins in earnest.

I hate mornings. Let’s just establish that from the jump.

6:50 AM: I’m turning on every light in the house hoping to God that it will be an easier morning, relatively speaking. That this morning the girls will actually get up and get dressed before the 50th reminder, and before I’m actually yelling at them fifteen minutes later.

7:15 AM: It’s a full on crisis in my house. Breakfast is getting soggy, lunches are half made, I’m in my robe yelling at the girls to “please for the love of god, get dressed!” The bathroom facet is running because someone started to brush their teeth but didn’t finish. Mira is fixing her hair instead of finding her homework and eating breakfast, and Izzy is still pretending she can’t hear my repeated pleas to get her shoes on.

I’m trying to breath and not totally lose it, because I know that the morning sets the tone for your whole day, and I really, really don’t want to have a shitty day. AND I don’t want them to have a crappy day because I was on them all morning.

7:30 AM: And it’s basically hopeless at this point. There is no way we are going to get to school before the tardy bell rings. And now I’m threatening to walk out the door and head to the car whether they are ready or not. I secretly wonder if pulling out of the driveway one morning would do the trick, get them to understand that in the mornings I mean business. But I don’t have the balls for it.

7:45 AM: And we are finally in the car headed to school. The girls are either quiet because they know a lecture about how disrespectful it is to be late, is coming… or they are chatty Kathy asking me to turn up Taylor Swift.

8:03 AM: They are piling out of the car tripping over their backpacks, and I’m telling them like I do every morning to; “have a delicious day. Be delicious humans.” I roll down the window and yell after them, to “RUN” not stroll to the back entrance and remind them the bell has already rung.

That’s a good morning. One when I don’t have a work conference call at 7:00 AM (because it’s 10:00 on the east coast). If I don’t have an 8:30 meeting I can run through the drive through at Starbucks, because… umm I’d never actually leave the car in the physical condition I’m in.  Hair a total mess, no makeup, hopefully workout clothes and not actual PJ’s. I’m a train wreck.

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8:15-8:30 AM I’m making Kanen’s lunch trying to catch up with him on what’s going on in his world while I make him breakfast and get him ready to catch the bus.

8:30-11:30 AM I work. Book meetings or run them, finish client stuff, address the emails in my inbox and find new ways to generate business.

11:30-1:00 PM on a good day I try to get in a workout. Go to Barre3 class or run, but it’s hit or miss because I normally have meetings then too.

2:30 PM I pick up the girls from school. Rush home to finish work and get back on calls until roughly 4:30-5:00 when the kids are all screaming for dinner.

(I’m so glad Kanen’s football is over, because the next two hours would be spent running him across town to practice and back)

5:00 PM is dinner. If it’s a good day I’ll try to make it, but chances are I’ve not gotten around to prepping it in time and the kids can’t wait. So it’s something quick, pizza or Trader Joe’s frozen dinners, but at least we are all sitting down as a family to eat together. It’s our one moment of solace in the day so far.

This is the point in the day when I begin to feel like a total failure. I love to cook, but it’s probably 3 nights a week that I get all my shit together right and can make that happen. It’s loud and the house that was clean when the kids got home is now quickly turning upside down, and with it the walls are closing in on me.

6:00-7:00 PM we work on homework and clean the house, and I’m sounding like a broken record. Sometimes I think that’s 90% of my role as a mom to constantly be repeating myself, I wonder if there will ever come a day when I can say things, say 5-6 times and it gets done?

I’m tired.

I got back two days ago from a work trip that had me missing over 24 hours of sleep with time changes and red eyes.

I’m tired.

7:30 PM we finally all sit down and we snuggle on the couch to watch Curious George. This our favorite part of the day. It’s the time when we get a chance to breathe, and snuggle and the house is clean and quite.

8:00 PM The kids are in bed and I’ve sung “Hush Little Baby” to each of them, said prayers and tucked them in.

It’s quiet.

And now it’s time for me to work my “night job.”

8:00-1:00 or 2:00 AM I’m writing my book, or blog, or newsletter. Doing interviews for the book or updating the many social media accounts related to my true passion. This is the time of the day that I look forward to. It’s my time. It’s my happy place. I’m having a glass of wine and doing what fulfills me.

 

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I put this out there NOT to be all “poor me,” because I know that every parent out there is going through some version of this, and I’m hoping that their days feel as out of control as mine sometimes do.  But I do think that maybe if you have never been a single parent, and you know one, that maybe you’ll look at them a little different than before. Because though all parents have these crazy lives, single parents have no one to share days like this with. That’s the main difference.  There is no one to tell you that your not totally screwing up your children for yelling at them all through breakfast.  Or that it’s okay to have one of those days when you really just don’t want to talk to anyone and that doing that is better than being a mom-ster.

If you’re married (or have a partner) you have someone to yell at when your ceiling is raining (like mine was last week).  Someone to take over if it’s just one of those days that you’d be better off taking an hour time-out.  Someone to share the craziness and the joy of raising your children with. For most of us (me at least) you are on your own.  I thank god for my two best friends who check in on me daily and keep me sane from 3,000 miles away, without them I dare to think what a hot mess I would be.

And I share this because I am praying to god I am not the only one out there going through days like this.  Feeling like a complete failure.  Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.  I am praying I am not the only one…

So there you have it. That is my Hustle.  It’s never ending.  Some days I feel like I’m winning, but many I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water. On those days it takes every bit of training I’ve given myself the last few years to not sink into a place of being totally overwhelmed.

But I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I know the hustle and the struggle will pay off and I can almost taste it. I just hope that when that day comes I can hire and assistant!

 

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

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