30 Transcript: Living a Full and Frugal Life (with Amiyrah Martin)

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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast episode number 30.

A: And I went outside to go to work and my car was gone. So, you know, obviously I'm calling the police, I'm finding out what's going on and come to find out that my car was not stolen, it was repossessed.

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: Hey there, welcome to today's episode of Vibrant Happy Women, I'm so glad you're here. On our last episode, I talked with Taya Kyle, wife of the late Navy SEAL sniper, Chris Kyle, who was murdered. Taya shares how she's going forward, finding forgiveness and living vibrantly rather than as a victim. Today, I'll be talking with Amiyrah Martin. She shares her story of having her car repossessed and finding herself in massive amounts of debt, and then shifting forward now to the present, she and her husband just paid cash for their first home; how inspiring. Amiyrah was a lot of fun to talk to and you're going to love this episode, so we'll go ahead and get started.

Welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, I'll be interviewing Amiyrah Martin today. She's the owner of 4 Hats and Frugal, a website dedicated to teaching families how to have fun on a dime, be a baller on a budget, and live a full life on less. She's a wife, mother of 3, member of the Air National Guard, New Jersey native, and self-proclaimed Nutella addict; that last thing alone just makes me love you, I also love Nutella. Welcome, Amiyrah.


A: Thank you so much, Jen. I'm glad to hear that I have a fellow Nutella addict to speak with today, there aren't many of us. So… (Laughs)

J: That's right. I think we need to form a Facebook group; there we go. (Laughs)

A: Absolutely.

J: So, Amiyrah, we love to start off with a quote, what would you like to share with us today?

A: Oh, well, actually, my… one of my favorite quote, it's pretty appropriate for our current situation and probably our conversation that we're going to have today is, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go farther, go together.”

J: Ooh, I need more explanation, does this have a story?


J: I love it.

A: Well, I think the reason why that one resonated with me or has resonate with me for a while is just, I feel that I've always felt that when I tried to do things just on my own without the guidance of someone or speaking someone wiser than me or just having a partner or a team to go through an experience together, it just doesn't seem like a real life experience, and it doesn't seem like I really learn a lesson. It's one of those things in life where I do feel that most people learn a lot when they're able to learn it with someone else or to experience it with someone else. Even in tragedies, we see that, you know, if you share a tragedy with a family member, let's say maybe someone passes in the family and you all are feeling the effects, it's amplified, it's more of a lesson in life when it's shared with someone else.

J: Yeah.

A: So, yeah, I think that's why it resonates with me quite a bit it's just that, when you do things all alone, it just doesn't seem like it's that… it's that important to life.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: When you do it with a team or with your family, it really, really means something to you.

J: Right, right, perfect. And we'd love to also dive right into your low point and hear a story of the time when you struggled and then how you're able to live a vibrant and happy life despite that struggle; so let's dive in there.

A: Mm-hmm. Well, I think my lowest point would probably be when my son was… he was only months old, it was a few days after Christmas and I went outside to go to work and my car was gone.

J: (Gasps)

A: (Laughs). Yes, yeah, my car was gone.

J: Oh.

A: So, you know, I went into a panic, my husband I had been working… we were working 60 hours a week separately. At that time, we had a baby boy, he had just had his first Christmas and I went into a panic.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: So, you know, obviously, I'm calling the police, I'm finding out what's going on and come to find out that my car was not stolen, it was repossessed.

J: Ah.

A: Yes, so what we ended up realizing (because we were oblivious to everything pretty much at that time) is that the car was repossessed and that we were $36,000 in debt…

J: Whoa.

A: … with… yes, not just with the car, but with many, many other bills; the car was the catalyst for us realizing how bad things were for our family.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: Like, I said we were working hard, we worked many, many hours, you know, we had to put our son in daycare because we were working so hard.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: But because we were… we were young and we were young parents and we just didn't have that financial foundation, we spent every single thing we made. (Laughs)

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

A: It was… we never paid bills like we should have, we always thought, “Oh, no, we can push it off to another time.” We ate out a lot, we spent money on anything we could spend money on…

J: Mm-hmm.

A: … instead of spending money on your bills and spending money on getting rid of debt; we just didn't see debt the way that it was, that debt is a shackle. That's what we have learned as a family, that's our kind of our family motto is that, “We don't do debt, debt is a shackle.”

J: Oh, yeah, nice.

A: So that was… yeah, I think that was my lowest point.

J: So your car was repossessed, did you go to work that day or what happened?

A: No, I didn't, I mean, I couldn't get there. My car was gone, my husband was already at work. I was actually going to be taking the baby to the daycare. So that day changed our life, the car was gone, I had to go back inside, I literally had to sit on the floor, I cried my eyes out because I didn't want to come to terms of why it was gone. Like, I had to…

J: Mm-hmm.

A: … finally realize the truth that, “It's gone because you didn't pay your bill. It's gone because you thought you had the privilege of having this car and paying a bill was an option to you. It's gone because you… you don't know how to handle the finances in your family. It's gone because you're not taking responsibility for being the wife and the mother that you need to be in this home.”

J: Mm-mm, huge wake-up call. (Laughs)

A: Yes, huge.

J: Oh my goodness.

A: So, you know, with puffy eyes, when my husband finally came home… he came home early because obviously I had to call him and let him know that the car was gone, we sat down and we talked about what we were going to do to get rid of all this debt.

J: Mm-hmm

A: It was a very, very hard conversation, but we got fired up and we got sick and tired. So it was a very low point, it took us a long time to get out of that and to just learn the basics of budgeting and learn the basics of using money wisely and understanding that you're working hard for a reason and the reason isn't to go buy another outfit at the mall and you know get a Cinnabon, like that's not why you are doing it, you're doing it for this child that's here, you are doing it to build a generational wealth.

J: Mm-hmm

A: So that day was horrible; I hate to think about it still, but I'm so grateful for it at the same time.

J: Right, right. So I guess my mind's going to the next part like, what strategies did you use the first day of that debt and then also, how did your spending change?

A: Well, I think the whole being fired up and really (Laughs)… really turned things around for us. I got wise very early in that I knew I needed to seek counsel.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

A: So the internet, you know, forums were a big deal so I found forums. I found that MSN, msn.com, they used to have forums.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: And they had like a money-saving forum, and I used that and I went in and I basically asked these women that were in the forum, I told them our latest story and I said, “Look, I don't know what to do. Like, I have no clue what to do,” and they said, “We’ll help you.”

J: Mm-hmm

A: You know, “We’ll… we'll help you, we’ll teach you. We’ll teach you how to, you know, save money on groceries, how to start cooking.” I didn't know how to cook; I was a horrible cook.


A: Which is really funny because now on my blog, that's really… I do a lot of cooking. I make… I create recipes; so I’ve come a long way. But really, they took me under their wing and they said, “We're going to help you, we're going to… we're going to teach you how… you know, how you can live such a great life and still buckle down and stick to a budget and use your money wisely and tell your money what to do.”

J: Mm-hmm.

A: So that was our first little step was finding someone to help us. The second step was working on our grocery budget, which is really shocking to me that that was the first step to our financial freedom.

J: Mm-hmm

A: But tackling that grocery budget and stop eat… you know, stopping the eating out and learning how to cook, that brought in so much money to our home that it just it kind of blew my mind; it still does to this day.

J: Wow.

A: But that one little thing could change, you know?

J: So you started planning meals and not eating out? I'm intrigued.

A: Yeah. I mean, that's really where it started is I started to plan the meals ahead of time. (Laughs)

J: Oh.

A: I started to actually buy the groceries that and would need to make the meals. They also taught me how to coupon so I used to be a couponer. I don't coupon now, I’ve learned how to handle the grocery budget in different ways, but couponing really did help us get out of debt.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: It helped me to really concentrate on paying attention to what you're buying, saving where you can, and stretching… stretching a book even more by… by couponing. So that was our catalyst as well is just meal planning, really learning how to coupon, and really creating a little tiny stockpile in our one bedroom apartment but then.

J: Mm-hmm

A: And then just learning the basics of cooking, like learning how to chop and learning that you can make rice on the stove and just…

J: (Laughs)

A: … simple, simple things like that, you know what I mean? (Laughs)

J: Yeah, yeah. So you stopped the habit of just spending whatever came in and… and beyond, how did it look as you started planning for the future and saving for the future? What changed there?

A: I think because we were so aggressive with getting rid of the debt, we got rid of our debt in less than 2 years…

J: Nice.

A: … because we were so adamant about it.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: But that was the momentum to really understand, “Okay, well, know that that is going, but we're still fired up and we're still used to putting this money every month towards something. So let's learn more about savings. Let's really dig into generational wealth, what is that?” Like you know, we had our son and actually, we were planning to have another child. So it was… it was really important to us to not ever be in that situation again, number one, but to think about them now, like, “Are we going to save up for their college? What are we doing about retirement? Is our retirement ok? Are we even paying attention to that? I mean, we had the benefits at our work, but it wasn't something that we were checking into like we should have.”

J: Mm-hmm

A: So I think that the fact that we were doing something, it was a routine to pay a bill.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: We just made that bill our savings instead.

J: Oh, smart

A: So the routine of yeah, the routine of actually putting your money towards something every single month it was kind of an easy transition to put it towards our savings, you know, for retirement and our savings for our children and things like that. So it was, I think, the debt part again, helped us because otherwise, we probably wouldn't know where to start, but we were already in that train of putting your money somewhere every single month so no, we knew that we could we be in the black from now on by continuing to put it into savings.

J: Right. So you kind of had to hit rock bottom and make the drastic change and you've just come forward ever since.

A: Exactly. And I think some of us needed, like some of us are really hard-headed so we hit… (Laughs)

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

A: … we sometimes need to hit rock bottom to figure out that this is the way life is supposed to be lived.

J: Mm-hmm. And you have 3 kids now, how old are they?

A: I do. My oldest son, he just turned 11 in July, my daughter turned 6 in July, and our baby boy, he just celebrated his second birthday on Tuesday; this past Thursday.

J: Cool, congrats.

A: Thank you.

J: And so what kinds of things are you trying to teach your children about money so they don't fall into the same ways when they are adults?

A: Well, they… they're very big into saving. (Laughs)

J: Oh, good.

A: We taught them about spend, save, and give; those are their 3… we actually have little envelopes that they create, they write their own little spend, save, and give on each envelope. And we've discussed it with them. We tell them, “Look, you work for the money that you get.” We have chores in the house, they… they know if they do the chores, they get the money, if they don't do the chores, they don't get the money; just like the regular job.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: So I said… we've sat down with them, my husband and I, and we've explained to them, “This is the money that you make; you earned this money. These are the 3 envelopes where you will separate the money as needed and you get to decide where that's going to go. If you want to put it all in savings because you're saving up for something very big, you can do that. If you decide that you're a spender and you want to spend your money, you can do that as well.”

J: Mm-hmm.

A: And we tell them, “The ‘give’ envelope is very important to mom and dad because we give. We give to church, we give to charity, so we want you to understand that that's probably your most important envelope, but the other 2, that's up to you.” So they've understood it really quickly; we were very surprised at how well they understood that. But they love to save and my actually my daughter is the spender so we're a little worried about that.


A: But she's still learning, she is only 6…

J: Right, she has time.

A: … so I still have hoped for her.

J: That's great, I love that. Well, moving forward, tell us more about how you're living a vibrant and happy life today, what life looks like for you and a little more about your blog.

A: Sure. Well, our vibrant and happy life is a pretty interesting one. I mean, our kids are, they make us laugh every day so I definitely attribute my happiness to them because they make sure mom is happy at least a couple of times a day by giving hugs and making me giggle and laugh.

J: Nice.

A: (Laughs). We're a very close-knit family. We are fanatics for certain things, were actually a Star Wars family so we absolutely love everything about Star Wars (Laughs). So that's definitely a vibrant happy thing here in our home.

J: Nice.

A: And we just we love to live a full life, that's just what we love to do. Obviously, we don't like to spend a lot of money to do it.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: But we find creative ways to just have fun with each other to enjoy each other's company. And I think that it all started obviously with my husband and I because we just… we enjoy each other as well, we're best friends. We were best friends before we even started the date.

J: Mm-hmm

A: So I think that's just trickled down into our family just to experience and love each other and understand that we're not just a family, we can be friends as well. So that's where the happiness is coming from.

J: Mm, you don't have to spend a lot of money to be happy, right?

A: No.

J: And probably people are often happier when they have less stuff.

A: Exactly, yes. You know, I… I think that's probably apropos for our family. We're here in a 2-bedroom apartment, were actually about to buy our first home with cash.

J: Ah.

A: So we're really excited about that.

J: Wow, well done.

A: Yes.


A: Thank you. Well, yeah, I mean it's a tight place but the 5 of us plus our kitty, we have a cat we just… we enjoy ourselves. It’s… it doesn't seem like it's such a tight place to us, it seems like home and we are very at home here. So it's funny how you don't really need much and you don't need too much space in order to actually feel like you are living such a big life.

J: Yeah, I think that's right; that's great. So on your blog, do you write about things like this?

A: I do. I love to write about obviously, like I said, living a full life on less is something that I'm pretty passionate about. So I do that in many different ways and there's 4 big pillars on my blog, so we talk about family, food, fashion, and finance. So everything that I talk about actually revolves around the full life on less, living happy full life on less, and then we get to break it down into those little sections. But I feel like a lot of parents, especially a lot of moms that read the site, they can always resonate with me just because I don't… I don't like to hold punches, I like to say, “Look, sometimes things get hard, sometimes saving can get hard, sometimes meal planning can get hard, but we all know it's for a good thing in the end and it's for us to live happier lives; to live lives where we feel proud about what we're putting into the world, whether it's our children, whether it's a happy husband, whether it's ourselves.”

J: Mm-hmm.

A: And it's all for something. It may seem trivial when you're just breaking it down into meal planning or, you know, “Did you create a budget this month or something that simple, but really those little tiny things lead to the big things; so I do love to talk about that on the blog.

J: Yeah, delayed gratification, right?

A: Exactly, yeah.

J: Well, you mentioned the fashion and that's interesting, I would love to learn a couple of tips if you have them about frugal fashion.

A: Oh sure. Well, one of my favorite things right now, well actually for the past year or so is this fashion capsule wardrobe; I don't know if you've seen these all over the place. Everybody seems to be hopping and that bandwagon and I have too; I am a convert. But basically, a fashion capsule is just like a small collection of other clothing, maybe usually between 33 and 37 items. So that includes your accessories, your shoes, and then obviously, like your… your pieces of clothing. And then you just… you get creative in the ways that you utilize them over a 3 month span. So I feel like that's just perfect for somebody that's on a budget because you're already seeing, “Look, I can only get 33 pieces and they have to last me at least for 3 months and they have to be multitaskers.” So that's something that I’ve been really obsessed with lately. (Laughs)

J: Uh-huh.

A: And it's just a great way to size down, like obviously a lot of people are very into living a simple life right now and just being very intentional about the things that we do. So the fashion capsule, I love it because it's definitely a way to save money because if you're only allowed 33 items, then you can't go out and buy any more; that's it, you have to deal with the 33 that you have. So that's been one of my favorites. And it's… I’ve learned so much about myself that, you know, maybe I didn't like stripes as much as I thought or…

J: Mm-hm.

A: …maybe I do thrive off of a beautiful dress with, you know, a nice sandal and then maybe my thing is a jean jacket. Like, it seems very trivial, but you… you learn so much about yourself, your personality, and what brings you joy when you put it on. So that's what I'm loving; I'm loving it right now. (Laughs)

J: That's great. So can you tell us some names of where we can learn more about fashion capsules for those who haven't heard of this; like website or…?

A: Yes. One of my favorite ones is called Project 333. It's very… obviously, they are basing it off of the 33 items and the 3 months. But if you go there, that website actually explains every single thing that you would do for a fashion capsule, how to create one, and how to kind of intertwine your own style within your fashion capsule.

J: Wow.

A: Yeah, I love it; that's a great resource. Another great one is un-fancy.com; so it's u n – fancy.com. And she's fantastic, she actually shows you how she utilizes her own capsule.

J: Oh.

A: So you get to see her basic pieces, you get to see how she incorporates her style in that way. And she does a lot of personal writing as well, what's going on within her life, how her capsule actually helps her to get through the days and experience better days because she doesn't have to focus too much on our wardrobe, she could just throw something on and go off and have an adventure. So I love that website as well.

J: Yeah, this is great. I’ll have to confess, I haven't even heard of the capsules, so thanks for that.

A: Yeah, you’re welcome.

J: As soon as we're done with this call, I'm going to surf the web.


J: Well, so tell us about a current struggle that you might have in your life.

A: Oh gosh. Well, I my struggle I feel is always time; time, I just feel like I never have enough of it.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: I’ve been studying… usually when I feel something is a struggle, I like to study it. So I’ve been reading a lot of books on time management, I’ve been working on challenges with my readers actually on time management, how we can manage our time a little better as mom's of little people because, you know, they take up a lot of time. But that's still constantly my struggle, I'm still trying to figure out what's the best way to utilize my time to not feel that I'm neglecting my husband or my kids or myself, that's really what it boils down to.

J: Yeah.

A: I feel like I'm constantly neglecting myself because by the time I sit down, it's 10 o'clock at night, everybody is taken care of except for me.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: And it's either do something fun for me or go to sleep.

J: Right.

A: You know, usually we pick sleep.


J: Oh yeah, no kidding.

A: So yeah, I think time might be my trouble struggle with a little slash of self here.

J: Okay.

A: That's my current struggle.

J: Cool. Well I think that's mine as well; probably all our listeners can resonate with that one.

A: Yes.

J: So let's talk about a few of your favorite things, Amiyrah. So your favorite personal habit that contributes to your success.

A: Oh, that's a good one. I think I would have to say follow up and I’ll explain that a little bit. One of my biggest things that I do love to do is connect people with others that could be helpful to them and I’ve learned that I do that a lot, but I don't do the follow up and I don't see, “Hey, how's it going? How are you feeling? How are things going with that, you know, that friendship or that partnership that, you know, I connect you with? Do you need anything?” And I think I do love to just reach out and help folks, but I have to remember the follow-ups. It's not just reaching your hand at one time, its reach in your… your other hand as well in case they may need a hug instead, you know what I mean?

J: Mm-hmm.

A: But very symbolic but, yeah (Laughs). But I think the follow-up is I’ve been being diligent about the lately.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: Whether it's via email or phone call or text, I always wanted to make sure I'm checking in with family members or just friends that just happened to pop into my head again and just find out, “Hey, how is that one for you? Do you still need help? How can I be of assistance to you?” So I feel like… and that's been very successful in that, when I do that, people either, you know, they may want to do it in turn, but I don't really require that, but they may think of me for certain things business-wise or certain things that may come up for my kids, “Hey, I know your kid loves Star Wars and I just saw this thing and I, you know, check in with you and let you know about it just because you've done so much for me,” things like that.

J: Oh, great.

A: So the reciprocation has been great. And I love that it's not something that was calculated, it's just me making sure that everyone is okay and now it's I feel like the universe and God is kind of saying, “Hey, you’re doing a good job at this, you’re being helpful, it's time for others to come around and be helpful to you when you’re… when you haven’t… you know, you're in need.” So it's been really cool.

J: Mm, that’s brilliant. And tell us a favorite easy meal that you like to eat regularly.

A: Ooh, that's a good one. I am kind of boring, you're going to think I'm boring, but I do love… one of my favorite recipes is homered Hamburger Helper.

J: Wow.

A: Yeah, I know. I think Hamburger Helper is one of those things that people don't like to admit that they really love, but they do. (Laughs)

J: Well homemade…

A: Like ramen noodles or… yes, yeah (Laughs). I used to love Hamburger Helper; when I did not know how to cook, it was one of those things that kind of helped me really get into the kitchen and read instructions and learn how to cook.

J: Yeah.

A: But it's just… it's not very good for you. So I did… I figured out a way to make it homemade and it's something that my husband has adored it since I finally figured out the recipe, but the kids love it. You can change it up so much, like you can make the cheeseburger Hamburger Helper or you can make it like a stroganoff style. There's just so many…

J: Yum!

A: … Mexican style, we love that; yeah. So it's kind of one of those recipes where you learn it and then you just branch out as much as you want, but always bringing it back to the classic makes me it… just makes me smile, it makes me so happy. (Laughs)

J: Mm, that sounds good. And do you have a recipe on your blog?

A: I do, it's up on the blog; yeah, homemade Hamburger Helper, you just search it right in the little search button and it will pop up. It's one of my favorites.

J: And remind us again the URL of your blog.

A: Sure, it's 4hatsandfrugal.com, so you can use the number 4 or you can spell out four, I own both because smart businesswoman. (Laughs)

J: Yes, you are. We will also put a link to that recipe on our show notes page at jenriday.com/30. Okay so, Amiyrah, let's ask you the next one, what’s your favorite kitchen gadget now that you're a chef and amazing at cooking, right?

A: Yes.


A: I'm good at it, I'm good at it I would love to be amazing one day.

J: Yeah.

A: My favorite kitchen gadget (Gasps) okay, it has to be my vegetable peeler.

J: Mm!

A: Yeah, it's a multitasker. I don't think many people know that it's a multitasker. We love to do vegetable spaghetti, like I know spiralizers are a big thing right now.

J: Uh-huh.

A: But, you know, back in the day, old-school, we used to just use a veggie peeler and just (Laughs)… and that's how we turned our vegetables into noodles. So we love to do that with the kids, like we'll take a zucchini or we'll take a carrot and we'll just peel it long ways and we'll actually cook it with spaghetti and then just it gets mixed in with the pasta and the kids just they call it…

J: Oh, good idea.

A: … they call it veggie-spghetti, yeah, they… and they eat it and I just… ugh, it's just so easy and so simple…

J: It is.

A: … to get your kids to eat. So my vegetable peeler, it's been saving me for a couple years so I’ll give it props.

J: Great. Well, that's a great one, I haven't heard that one before, I like it. And, Amiyrah, what's a favorite book you recommend to the Vibrant Happy Women community and why?

A: Oh, goodness, just 1 book. Okay, you know I’ll go with a recent one because I just finished reading it, ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert was just breathtaking, breathtaking for me. I guess as a creative, it's good to read books like that say, “Hey, just create and do. You don't always have to have an agenda behind something. If you feel that it's in your heart to do it, do it and this is why you should, and this is how others have just done it and done it and done it and not feel that it need… it needed to be validated or, you know, you need to be recognized for what you do, it's in your heart and your soul. So as a creative, just go out and create. So that one just really it got to me; it got me right in the gut.

J: Mm, I love that one too, she's amazing.

A: Yes, she is.

J: Okay, and then what's the best advice you've ever received?

A: I think the best advice that I’ve never received was probably from husband's grandmother. We lost her almost a year ago, but when… when she was here, she was probably biggest advocate for our marriage that I think we've ever had, even more than both of us.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: She always said, “You 2 came first; remember that your relationship came first.”

J: Oh yeah.

A: “So always keep that in the center.” And it's something that my husband constantly tells… he reminds me of from time to time, he tells the children that because they need to be reminded that mom and that came first. He tells them, “Look, your mother was brought into my life before you so I'm always going to be on her side.”

J: Oh, that is great, I love that.


A: I know, isn't that…? He's so clever, but yeah, he tells… because, you know, they like to go to mom for certain things and then they like to go to dad and see what dad says. But he knows, he's a very good husband, he'll come exact… he'll come right to me and say, “Hey, what's going on here?” Because obviously they are trying to do they divide and conquer thing.

J: Yeah.

A: But he reminds them of that, “Look, she came first, she came into my life first, so I'm always going to side with her.” And they are learning that…

J: Oh, he's great.

A: … they're learning.


J: Oh, I can't tell you the number of times our kids have played us like that.


J: Okay, and so shifting into my favorite question, the happiness formula, if you had to create a formula thinking about like a math problem, what would be the components of your greatest happiness? What leads to that?

A: Oh, okay. I think I'm happiest when I am centered (that's a big component for me), when I am diligent…

J: Mm-hmm.

A: … and when I am of service. I think those are opening in the 3 things that just really… I feel like once those things are happening, once I'm in the midst of having all 3 of those happen at the same time, I just feel that life it's just so great, that I'm just… I'm in a happy place.

J: Oh, I like that. So that really applies in personal life as well as for your business as well, I would assume.

A: Yes, definitely. I only feel great business-wise when I am of service. If I'm feeling that things are getting mundane or I'm not helping someone, I don't feel that whatever business or whatever opportunities that come my way that I will be a deserving of them. I should always be of service just in my heart, I always feel that that's something that I I'm never going to let go of; I'm always going to be able to be of service to someone. Even if it's just, you know, my family right here in my home, I have to be in service; that's the only way that I can really live life.

J: And what helps you to be centered?

A: Quiet.


A: Which is hard when you have 3 kids, but, yeah, quiet; and I try to get it wherever I can. My husband knows this, he… look, we've been married for 11 years. So he knows that, at least once a month, I need, whether it's just sitting in the car or going to a Starbucks and putting headphones in, I need a quiet place just to be… just to re-center.

J: (Laughs).

A: And he’s good about it. Actually, he's made me recently sign up for those monthly massages.

J: Mm-hmm.

A: So that's been my quiet time and it's like…

J: Ah.

A: … it's like killing 2 birds with 1 stone because I get relaxed, I get quiet time. But I have to get my quiet in, and if I'm not… if it's close to the end of the month and he sees that I haven't had my centering time, he's like, “Look, honey, you have to go do something, you have to… whether it's 15 minutes or an hour, you need to be in a quiet space.” So…

J: Oh, good for him. And…

A: Yeah.

J: … that reminds me… I'll tell you a little story; it goes with quiet theme. I read the book ‘True Purpose’ by Tim Kelley earlier this summer and he has you write your answers to a lot of questions like, “I felt the best when I was at peak performance, when…” I'm just filling in, I'm making up these sentences, but you get the idea.

A: Yeah.

J: And then you find a theme in what you've written and the word that was all over my page was ‘quiet’.


J: So I realized, “Oh my goodness, no wonder I always feel frazzled because I don't have enough of this.” So the way I… I thought, “How can I have more quiet? Well, I have 6 kids so I can't, you know, solve anything there.”

A: (Laughs)

J: Guess what I did? This might be a little too embarrassing for some people, but I'm going to share anyway; you know, vulnerability. I went on Amazon and I purchased some ear muffs that people would wear in a shooting range, and at least once a day, I put them on for about, you know, 20, 30 minutes; it's a lifesaver. (Laughs)

A: Oh my gosh, that is genius; that is really smart! It's like your own little meditation, right…

J: Oh, it’s true.

A: … in your very busy, loud home. (Laughs)

J: It’s true. They really work too so I love it. Well, so thank you so much for sharing the happiness formula (being centered and diligent and of service), and now you… we'd love for you to leave us a challenge and then tell us where we can find you and we'll say goodbye.

A: Sure. Oh, I have a very good challenge. I feel that everyone, just for the next week, think of at least one thing a day where you can be of service to someone else. And I kind of wanted it to branch out outside of your family because we all default to our family, especially if we have children or spouse. Think of someone, maybe in your neighborhood or maybe your barista that you see every day, how can you be of service to that person (something very simple)? But every single day for the next week, see how you can be of service to someone.

J: Great, I imagine that people are going to have a lot of happiness come from this too.

A: Yes, exactly.

J: Well, thank you so much, Amiyrah, that's a great challenge; I've loved listening to your story. And, everyone, you can find her at 4hatsandfrugal.com. And I'm sure we're going to talk again; I have a feeling. So thank you so much for being on the show, Amiyrah.

A: Absolutely, thank you for having me, Jen.

J: Thank you so much for joining us and be sure to head over to the show notes page jenriday.com/30 and get a copy of the meal plan rock star which Amiyrah has generously decided to give to all of you; and that's again at the show notes page at jenriday.com/30. Be sure to join me next time when I chat with Susie Parker about how to teach your child to love sleep. Susie is a certified sleep specialist and she has a lot of fun tips to share. I will see you next time, make it a great week and take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.