Nichole Abbott

Virtual Assistant at AVA Virtual Assistance
My blog posts will more than likely consist of ways to enjoy being a virtual assistant, while still having time to spend in the great outdoors.
Nichole Abbott

Latest posts by Nichole Abbott (see all)

As the weather starts to get cooler, the cooking moves from the outside grill to the oven in the kitchen. The meals turn from BBQ’d hamburgers and macaroni salad to homemade lasagna and hearty vegetable soups. 

“Mom! Why are you smiling?” asks my daughter while we are driving to school.

I come back to reality and tell her that this is the happiest time of year for me. Normally, I try to avoid driving anywhere that I don’t have to, but during the fall months, I could spend hours upon hours driving around the city and country. Ideally, this would be the perfect time of year for a road trip or backpacking trip. I explain to her that some day, I want to learn how to paint so that I can capture all of the colors I see and put it on a canvas so that I can enjoy this majestic view all year round from the comfort of my own couch!

I am so amazed by all the extremely vibrant colors and how iridescent some of them can look when the sun is hitting them just right. I love the sound the leaves make when I am hiking on a trail and the sun has dried them. That crunch you hear is what my daughter considers to be aesthetically satisfying. I would have to agree. 

It never ceases to amaze me that the leaves can change so gorgeously right before they shed down to bare branches. Then they withstand the cold winter months only to start anew when the first sign of spring hits. I believe they come back stronger, bigger and brighter than the year before. Getting totally vulnerable ends up making them stronger! What a concept!

This tells me that I can also (and should also) do the same. We all should be more open to change whether it be in regards to your career, your health, your relationships etc.

Maybe it’s time to do a downsizing on your closet or the financial goals for your family need to be re-evaluated. Whatever the case may be, know that personal growth is unavoidable if you accept and allow that change to happen. 

It’s no wonder I have fallen in love with being a virtual assistant because with all the technology changes (almost on a daily basis) and client needs varying on a day to day basis…..I embrace the idea to grow with my team and expand my knowledge 

“Life, the universe and everything which we see with our eyes is changing constantly. Change is life and if you want to live and enjoy then accept the change. Remember you can’t move forward if you are not willing to accept change.” ~Vandana Sehgal (

See Brilliance, Be Brilliant!

Nichole Abbott

Virtual Assistant at AVA Virtual Assistance
My blog posts will more than likely consist of ways to enjoy being a virtual assistant, while still having time to spend in the great outdoors.
Nichole Abbott

Latest posts by Nichole Abbott (see all)

That’s like one of those inspirational quotes that you look for, “See Brilliance, Be Brilliant” but it’s true.

A few years ago I wrote an article about the many works of art currently displayed in my office at AVA Virtual Assistance. Still so proud to be displaying them! Each one was created with so much love and thought. And now there’s even more. I find that I’m a better person when I surround myself with the workings of other brilliant minds. I’m continually inspired by them and still feel as I did years ago – that my own creativity is elevated by them.

The most recent work to grace my walls is a piece done by Hannah Batty, VA and brilliant mind. She continues to amaze me and inspire my life. Here is a photo of her work, which YOU KNOW doesn’t do it justice.

I took it off the wall and still couldn’t avoid photographing the glare shining from the glass. I’ll try to update the photo someday with a scan for you, and if you’re local to Grants Pass… you might stop in and see what I mean…

There’s so much detail! It’s beautiful. (This took her MONTHS by the way.)

These cute little characters are her “babies”, Hopi and Navajo (from left to right). That’s one incredibly annoying chihuahua who thinks he’s the big dog on campus and a chi-weener!?! What the hell is that!?! …think, if Yoda were a dog what you would get. LOL! She’s VERY sweet. Anyway…

Every day I feel as though these adorable little furballs are cheering me on. The piece reminds me to breathe, laugh, approach the workday as if you were a dog waiting for your master to get home. It speaks to a saying that my close girlfriends and I have…

“I get to go to work”

It’s about feeling gratitude for the life we have, the work we do, the people we help and the people who help by supporting us. Funny how you get all that from a couple of chihuahuas.

Seriously though, a sliver of Hannah’s brilliance reminds us to go ahead and hang our own brilliance on the proverbial “wall”, for others to enjoy also. Here’s how you do it (inspirational quotes style…but ya gotta say ’em with fake accents):

  • Go with your gut, ya swanky bastard.
  • Trust yourself, pilgrim.
  • Enjoy your own creativity, mk?!
  • Duuuuuuuuuude! Speak up if you have an idea.
  • Sing out loud, lil’ diva.
  • Try something new, ah-ight!
  • “Choose Happy” (or just sing the Happy song by Pharrell Williams)

So, what does your office look like, I wonder? Is it covered with inspirational quotes? What might you have on your walls, bookshelves (even digital ones), window sill?

You don’t have to be good at something to be great. Just let the brilliance in and see what happens. When you surround yourself with who and what you admire, you’ll internalize the goodness without even trying.

Looking for a little more freedom to do your hobbies? Connect with our Virtual Assistant team by Booking a free consultation. Oooh! That’s brilliant too. 🙂 Or just send us an inspirational quote… those are fun too. 😉

More secret weapons for the WAHM

Nichole Abbott

Virtual Assistant at AVA Virtual Assistance
My blog posts will more than likely consist of ways to enjoy being a virtual assistant, while still having time to spend in the great outdoors.
Nichole Abbott

Latest posts by Nichole Abbott (see all)

So far in our series on being a work-at-home mom, we’ve discussed the decision factors and logistics of working at home with a baby, the importance of not multitasking, and the usefulness of nap schedules. Now we’ll look at a few more tools to help you get the work you need done—while still being the best mom you can be.

Bonus secret weapon: the babysitter.

Before you start yelling at me about how the point of being a WAHM is that you don’t have to pay for childcare, here me out! I’m talking about getting a teen girl to come over once or twice a week for a few hours to play with your baby, not paying the big bucks for daycare. The key thing is that you’re home, so you don’t need someone whose super experienced or professional. If something goes wrong, you’re right there.

I chose a teenager who’s a family friend of ours. I don’t pay her a lot since I’m home too, and she likes the extra cash. It’s a win-win. I think having this extra bonus focus-time is a huge asset to your work productivity. I love having a babysitter twice a week because not only do I avoid the stressful/guilt-inducing situation of trying to work while Alan fusses for my attention, but I also get a concrete time I know I can count on to get work done.

Babies are babies, and sometimes even the best plans go awry and they mess up their schedule. Or maybe it’s teething, or a developmental leap, or just a bad nap. It happens! It is so frustrating when your baby wakes up crying halfway into their nap and you lose that work time, especially if you have a deadline. That’s why it’s so nice being able to rely on that hour or two the babysitter provides.

Babies and computers don’t mix!

Now I can’t really call this a secret weapon because it’s something all WAHM already use, but I just don’t want you to forget you have it in your arsenal. And that’s independent playtime.

It can get really easy for baby to get used to being entertained all day long. But it’s incredibly important for your little one to get “alone” time (with you still in the room, obviously) where they learn to explore the world on their own. Usually, you’ll want to put up a playard or set baby in a playpen for this time.

If they’re not used to this, they may fuss immediately and plead to be picked up. Give it some time! Keep them in for 5 or 10 minutes (set a timer) and tell them they did a great job and take them out. Soon they’ll get used to it and start to enjoy this playtime, and you can increase it to 30 or 45 min (dependent on your baby’s age).

Independent play does not contradict our weapon #1 (not multi-tasking) because it is a set, scheduled time. This is why it’s so important to use a timer! With the timer, baby knows it’s not arbitrary and he won’t be left in there for hours. When he knows what to expect, he’ll be totally happy, and you won’t be multitasking since he’ll be on his own.

Well, this concludes my ultimate list of tools for the WHAM. I’ll list them out again to wrap everything up:

Thanks for coming along and learning with me! I hope you’ve found some of this helpful, and I’d love if you could comment below with anything I’ve missed that’s been a help to you in your WAHM journey. 🙂

Here’s to all moms—the real-life superheroes!