LIfeAfter Link Escapes Week Of 4-12-2015

Lifeafter Link Escapes

Welcome back to another week of my favorite #LifeAfter Link Escapes! So last week was soooo much fun because it was spring break and I got a chance to hang with my love bugs ALL week! Now I know this might sound crazy but I truly loooove hanging with my kids! They are funny as all get out and they keep me on my toes! I was still able to squeeze in a little bit of work but it was mostly back office work because I purposely blocked my calendar and limited my client sessions last week! Enough about me, it’s time to share my favorite links from this past week!

I love how these 5 Entrepreneurs got fired and got the best revenge: Success! No one writes a paycheck better than you can!

My new fav and fab sisters Mattie James of Mattieology and Maya Elious owner of and BRNDWCH teamed up to co-facilitate an amazing webinar called Making Things Happen. There were so many surreal moments that came up for me and then there were moments where I was like “duh, Erica you knew that,… why aren’t you doing that”? (but the really crazy moment is when I started to answer myself back shhhhh no judgement)! I believe they’re keeping the replay up until Friday so don’t miss your chance to check it out!

Melyssa Griffin of the The Nectar Collective (one of my new fav blogs by the way) just punches you in the gut with these harsh realities as to why becoming a freelancer has more job security  than your 9 to 5! #BOOM and hi-five Melyssa!

Mallie of The Off-Road Millennial shares 5 Fresh Tools for April Fools(I know April Fools has past but try’em any way! I’m already in love with Tool #5! Check it out!


So these are my favorite link escapes that I really enjoyed reading and being a part of this past week!  I can’t wait to hear what links caught your attention and made you stop, click, and read! Share you link escapes below! See you in the comments!

Until next week… wishing you #LifeAfter9to5 success  ♥Erica♥

#ScrewedByTheCube pt2

Screwed by the cube part 2 of 3 series [Printable Checklist]

#ScrewedByTheCube pt2

Last week I spent a little time talking about the mental adjustment you must make immediately to help overcome the initial shock, huge blow to your pride, and not to mention your quality of life once you’ve been “separated from employment”. I started with the mindset shift as my introduction to this series because I strongly believe “what we think is what we become”. Our mind is the biggest contributor to how we act and also to how react to situations. Staying positive, thinking things through from a logical perspective and owning the fact that “this” situation is temporary and not permanent will weigh heavily on how you receive, acknowledge, and execute the tips and suggestions moving forward in this series!

In part two of the Screwed by the Cube series I want to focus our attention on the inevitable (or what we believe to be the inevitable!). It’s the one situation that we as adults dread having to experience (unless you still live at home with mom and dad then maybe…. not so much, but then again nowadays living with mom and pops doesn’t sound too bad these days). Anyway, the situation I’m referring to is not knowing how you are going to pay your bills, take care of your family, and/or take care of yourself. I know for some people who grew up in very under privileged households have the biggest fear of being homeless and rightfully so.

When we become adults and experience this little thing called financial independence and his sister called responsibilities (because let’s face it; “mo’ money mo’ problems”), we tend to work hard to ensure we stay financially sound. No one wants to hear the words “fired”, “let go”, “downsized”, or “corporate restructure” because for some it immediately takes them back to their childhood of being without, or feeling abandoned. For others it’s the thought of hearing family ridicule while you’re in your moment of weakness and for others it’s just a blow to your ego and everything you’ve worked so dang gone hard for.

Below I’m going to cover tips for what you need to do after you’ve made the mental shift from part 1 of this series. Remember don’t get frazzled and start beating yourself up now is the time to simply keep it moving:

Update your resume – Some corporations have a heart and may be courteous enough to tell you when your last date of employment will be. If this happens, thank your lucky stars and use this timeline to your full advantage.  If you are part of a massive layoff, it is crucial that you update your resume as soon as possible because your peers will soon become your competition in job search land. 


Get professional reference letters from upper management – These people would include your manager, team leader, supervisor, and/or director. They’ve worked with you on a professional level, understand your work ethic and if nothing else but out of shear pity they may feel obliged to write a reference letter for you. And for those who are not in “good graces” with senior leadership, try to find a reputable colleague who would be willing to write a professional reference letter on your behalf. Yup that’s tweet worthy!

Understand your money flow – Now all situations are different but for the most part employees may receive unemployment benefits, severance pay, and/or 401K  here’s a little extensive info on what happens to your 401K after you leave. Now your UI benefits are determined by two factors; 1) Your employer actually pays into unemployment insurance and 2) Your termination of employment was deemed legitimate and UI approved your benefit claim. Your severance pay (in most cases) is based upon number of years of service and then broken down by a cute little HR formula to determine how many weeks you will receive. As for your 401K, make sure you understand when you can pull or transfer your retirement funds. I remember in my situation I had to wait until the end of the quarter due to stock and stakeholders’ mumbo jumbo. In either case, make sure you ask questions about your money. 

Keep it simple – Now don’t hate for me this it’s only for a little while! In addition, don’t confuse your want with your needs! This one by far was the hardest for me. Although I didn’t get fired I still made the decision not to return to work after being sick seizing my very nice and consistent weekly paycheck resulting in me having to adapt to new “financial behaviors”.  Rather it’s planned or unplanned, having a reduction in your finances is a hard pill to swallow especially when your lifestyle has become spoiled to this certain way of living. After you’ve come down from the initial shock of it all, it will be time to put your game face on and really discipline yourself in this area.  Some examples of adapting to new financial behaviors are listed on my Screwed By The Cube Part2 Checklist

***BONUS*** put together this detailed synopsis of 50+ FAQ About Getting Fired. No matter your situation I believe there is a Q&A in this list that you’ll find helpful! Don’t forget to come back for Part 3 of What to do when you get Screwed By The Cube Series!

Did you missed Part 1 of this Series? Well here ya go!

Are these tips relatable?  Which tip was the most helpful for you and your situation? Do you agree? Disagree? Have you gone through a similar situation with cubicle screwisms? Drop a love note below and let’s chat about our Cubicle Convict experiences (and let some poor soul know we’ve “been there and done that”!

Also if you know someone who could benefit from reading this post, I encourage you to share using your favorite social media outlet below! And don’t forget to  download your checklist printable!

Until next week… wishing you #LifeAfter9to5 success  ♥Erica♥

April To Do List [Free Printable]

April 2015 To Do List Template (2)

Click here to get your free printable!

          • I had so much fun making our all natural body scrubs with my little love bugs not to mention all the money we saved this month alone, I’ve been doing a little research and now I want to test the waters with another all natural product that will be beneficial and cost-saving for our family…I love my #LifeAfter..stay tune…
          • So next week this coming Friday actually (Good Friday) will officially begin my love bugs Spring Break vacation. As I type this, I literally have no clue what we are going to do but one thing I do know it is going to be funnerrrs and cost effective!
          • I’ve had two people say to me “I don’t watch TV” within two days of each other. My first thought was “You gotta be kidding me!” then I evaluated how much I watch TV in a week (like 6 hours, a little more with the NCAA games)! So I am going to reduced my TV time and expand my mind with a little more reading! It’s going to be interesting to see which TV I am going to sacrifice!
          • I go into a little more detail behind this “escape” (happy reading) but seriously it is a must that I take this meal planning seriously!

So what does your April To Do List look like for you? Drop a love note below! I know I’m not the only one trying to keep this thing called life all together! Don’t forget to download your free printable!



I gotta get my iron levels up!


My broccoli, grapefruit, and banana smoothie with a squirt of “Milk Splash” liquid milk enhancer! PS..No the Smart Balance butter was not part of the ingredients it just photo bombed its way into this pic!

So I have this little pain in the a$$ deficiency called Iron Deficiency Anemia. Basically it’s the result of not having enough iron in your blood, particularly your red blood cells. Why is this important? Glad you asked! Well these little boogers are help get oxygen throughout our bodies! So yeah, its kind of a big deal! Since I do not consume enough food with high levels of iron, it is a must that I incorporate this new diet into my eating regime! Now I am worse than a kid when it comes to eating all of my green vegetables and those not so tasty looking beans and what not but I know I have to get my health in check for the sake of kids. Seriously my house will turn into a never-ending circus if I take my eye off the ball for one second!

I found out I was anemic after my first born but back then my metabolism was moving through the roof and it didn’t really effect me as much. Four kids later my metabolism has since died with no signs of life and this when I realized I am always overly tired. Not only was I tired all the time but extremely sleepy too. Of course I didn’t pay this any attention because with a family of six who has time for sleep?!?!  Then I noticed something extremely weird, like freaked out weird…. my nail beds began to develop these little “grooves and ridges” in them. It made my nail color look weird and it was just a weird thing to see all together. So I went to the doctor and just like I predicted, all of these symptoms: tiredness, restless, nail bed changes, etc are were results from me not getting enough iron in my diet. I know you’re probably asking the million dollar question “Why not take iron pills”? Well the answer is simple, I hate taking pills and I have the worst gag reflex you’ve even seen! (I know.. such a cop out excuse right?). Well I’ve found a way to remedy that with smoothies!

This is my first go-round with experimenting with my food (which is a complete no-no in my house) but I think this broccoli, grapefruit, and banana combo did the trick! It was super yummy and I added a secret ingredient to trick my mind as I swallowed it, I told you I was worse than a kid! Thanks to Pinterest I will be doing a little more experimenting with foods as I journey this quest of #OperationIncreaseIronLevels !

Thanks so much for stopping by as I share a page from my digital diary! Do you struggle with anemia? Drop a love note below, I’d love to read more tips and tricks for eating high iron foods psst..make sure it takes delicious oh and my family will thank you for it!

Until next time… wishing you #LifeAfter9to5 success  ♥Erica♥

#ScrewedByTheCube 3ptSeries_opt

Screwed By The Cube Part 1 of 3 Part Series

#ScrewedByTheCube 3ptSeries_opt

Photo by Sean MacEntee 

I consider myself a strong advocate for being independent, making your own money, writing your own checks and being your own boss but let’s face it, not everyone is cut out to run their own business. And this is perfectly OK!

But what’s not OK is giving any negative thought to your gifts and abilities. There’s a host of reasons why an individual may become separated from employment. However, what I’ve come to realize, in my experience, is you either get fired for 1 of 3 reasons:

  1. You’re sick of your job as a result of losing passion and excitement to come to work everyday you once had and the motivation to get up and come to work everyday. As a result, instead of quitting you start to update your resume and submitting it to various job boards in hopes that some other company will contact you. In the meantime you slack on your work tasks and until a verbal warning turns into a written warning which turns into a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) ending in final termination
  2. Due to your amazing dedication and kick-ass skill-set abilities your leadership sees you as a prominent threat and fight tooth and nail to get you fired.
  3. Offshore delegated companies has found its way into your industry whose offering a 45%-65% ROI for executing your company’s services.  In short cheap labor for a fraction of the company cost. Now let the downsizing begin.

So what do you  do when you’ve been screwed by the cube and you don’t have anything else lined up to continue your money flow?

What do you do when you realize you are one paycheck away from being homeless? Lights shut off?

I’m going to spend a great deal talking about this topic simply because it’s effecting 46% percent of our households still in 2015 when our economic recession has supposedly subsided.

Now there are a ton of things you need to do when you get screwed by the cube but today I want to spend a little time talking about Things you DON’T want to do when you get screwed.

There’s a wave of emotions that take place in the first 24 to 48 hours. You feel angry, you feel betrayed, you may even feel worthless (in a sense), you feel embarrassed, you may feel defeated, and/or back stabbed for some people, you may even feel ashamed because you were the bread winner in your household or


Don’t wallow in your pity - Stay encouraged and motivated. Don’t spend your time going over the “shoulda woulda coulda’s”, you know… things (in your mind) that you could have done or said differently.  Don’t start to think about all those times you turned down voluntary overtime because you wanted to have a life outside of work. What’s done is done! You can not undo anything or unsay anything (is that a word)?

Don’t get lazy – I repeat, do not get lazy. This is such a “mind over matter” tip. You’re upset, I get that…. but do not turn into a couch potato. Do not become a “regular” Steve Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres show watcher and Bon Bon eater (do they still make Bon-Bons?) well let’s switch it to cookie dough eater! You need to stay energized and not lose your self-worth during this particular phase in your life. Remember all of those skill-sets that you’ve gained along the way and all the on-the-job training that you received (yuuup all of those pesty and redundant modules!). use this to your advantage and pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

Don’t forget to look good – I know this is extremely cliche and I want to kick myself in the butt for not finding a better choice of words to use but these words will have to do… “when you look good you feel good”! Your confidence level drops to an all-time low (and understandably so) which was driven by all that angry and bitterness mentioned in the first tip. When you become consumed by all of that inner darkness and negative energy, it begins to (unknowingly by the way) show in your outer appearance, hence the emotional eating starts, and so and and so forth. Or just the opposite, you stop eating and lose sleep but either way, your weight could go up or down and you’re at a point where shopping sprees are just not in the budget right now!

I know I shared more internal and mind-shift tips this week but I’m a HUUUUGE believer in “change the way you think to change the way you live”.

Ok, I could literally go on and on about this topic because it’s such a situational topic and definitely not a one-size-fit-all scenario, however I believe you can use these tips no matter how you become “separated from employment”.

So what are your thoughts of Screwed By the Cube part 1 series? Do you agree? Disagree? Gone through a similar situation? Drop a love note below and let’s chat about our Cubicle Convict experiences (and let some poor soul know we’ve “been there and done that”!

Also if you know someone who could benefit from reading this post, I encourage you to share using your favorite social media outlet below!

Until next week… wishing you #LifeAfter9to5 success  ♥Erica♥


LifeAfter Escape Links Week of 3/29/2015


This has been a very crazy, emotional,  sleep deprived, and adrenalin rushing week for me! From pushing my goal deadlines to the limit, to forgetting my little love bugs had a scheduled school closure, to my love bugs  and I making all natural skin products and smoothies (quite yummylicious I might add… and yes I completely made that word up), to my little love bugs getting sick back to back, not to mention screaming at my TV while watching our relentless Wisconsin Badgers dominate in the NCAAM Tournament (they will be playing the University of Kentucky by this time next week #GoBadgers!)along with watching my two favorite NCAAW teams South Carolina and Notre Dame crash the boards to punch their tickets to the Final Four, to sitting here in the eleventh hour trying to complete my April editorial calendar for next month!  Yeah… I know… some week right?!?!? But hey… What’s a little excitement in the “Afterlife” without a splash of crazy? umm … don’t answer that! In spite of this week’s life curb ball (be it planned or unplanned) I came across a few interesting links I wanted to share! Enjoy LifeAfter9to5′ers

I had the fortunate opportunity to interview the amazing Andrea Owen of (don’t forget to watch for more details).  I didn’t want our conversation to end so I had to settle for the next best thing and that was becoming a part of her (you need to be apart of this too) email community! So when I signed up, I received not only her 20 page Ebook you see also post a few of her most popular blog articles and this one really stood out to me

What’s Your Money Personality? Check out these pros and cons of your money  personality! Can you relate?

Life After Obamacare - Obamacare in Jeopardy - Is this effecting you or someone you know?

Movie life after Paul Walker Furious 7 I can not wait to see how Ian Shaw gets revenge on the “furious” crew after killing his brother but I’m even more eager to see the on screen performance of Paul Walker long after his death from a  tragic accident in 2013.

Did you get an opportunity to catch one of the movies that hit the box office this weekend?

My Purple Passion of the Week – When I think of April, I think of Spring. I think of flowers blooming, new beginnings, and fresh starts in life and this little bundle of joy just sums it all up in one optic while rocking my favorite color!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: PinterestdxvvXczxc

Thanks so much for reading ! So tell me what did you think of this week link escapes? Drop a love note below and if you write amazing blogs that would be of interest to my readers (HINT: check out the categories to your left!) and you’re interesting in getting a S/O for your blog! Send an email to I’d love to mention you!

Until next week… wishing you #LifeAfter9to5 success  ♥Erica♥

Helping You Break~Free From Your Cubicle Jail Cell