Dec 26, 2008

Ambrosia's Holiday 'Humble' Pie (includes recipe)

I always say "holiday" to cover them all, seeing how for some people, their holiday is Hannakuh (did I spell that right?) or Yule, on and so forth. In any event, it wasn't relaxing the whole time (lots of cooking and hyper kids), but it was good! Though it took some discipline to not work today, I enjoyed the time I spent with my family.

I'm seeing a pattern emerging here, when I work so much that I'm becoming addicted to it and have to "make" myself not work on a holiday. That's pretty bad, maybe I should take more time off, LOL. I certainly hope everybody else's holidays went off without a hitch and that they were able to relax more than I did, lol.

My share of the cooking meant that I made my green bean and sweet potato casseroles. I know these may seem 'blah' to those whose families have made them for years, but my family didn't so these dishes are wonderful to me. Besides, I always embellish anything I make, so they certainly don't taste 'bleh'.

I also made a pie I thought I'd made up the recipe to...LMAO! What a fool I am to think I've made up any recipe...pretty much every combination of every food has already been (at least) attempted. When I went to AllRecipes to see what would go good with cranberries and walnuts, I found a ton of these pies on there! Anyway, I found the ingredient combos I thought would work for me and made my own recipe from them. It turned out so good, that I'm posting it here. I didn't have any vanilla ice cream, but this would go great ala mode!

1 can, cranberries (whole berries)
1/2 C. of crushed walnuts (more if you like)
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. melted butter
1 t. vanilla (+/-)

Mix up and smooth into pie shell. I usually make my own crust (ask anyone who's ever tried my apple pies), but to save on time since I'm always running low these days, I went with Pillsbury Refrigerated. Bake at 350 for approx. 45 min.

NOTE: though it turned out great, the crust was a bit on the thin side for my taste and the filling didn't really fill the pie shell much more than half (I had run out of ingredient, so I couldn't make more than that). If you like thicker crust or heftier filling (possibly a deep dish pie), I'd recommend doubling up this recipe and the crust too!

Dec 22, 2008

It's Been A Fairly Easy Day

With the occasional bit of both kids flaring up at the same time, it's been an easygoing type of day...finally!

I forgot to look up menu planners and budget tips (AGAIN!). I've never used a menu planner before and I thought maybe it would help save some money at the grocery, in addition to the coupons and sales I usually go with.

Instead, I've been focusing on my writing, or at least I'm still planning it into my day. I did manage to post on my Today blog and have been looking into some sites like Suite101 to post articles on. Suite101 has turned me down before (I had to add extra content to my articles in a hurry to meet their word count, so the quality suffered), but I have actual articles up on Squidoo now to refer them to. I may just move onto another site or two instead that don't have the article minimum, so I can write in my own time.

I'll keep working on that and post a couple of Squidoo lenses for my two newest online shops, For The Home, Etc. and Mama Earth ...maybe then I'll be done for the evening.

Tomorrow, I'll work on adding inventory to my shops and/or creating more!

Till next time....

Dec 20, 2008

Another Way To Earn From Home

Last week or so, I checked out Zlio as an alternative to CafePress and Etsy. I do make things (crafts, clothes, accessories, jewelry, etc.) by hand but I don't have time to make them consistently and sell them on Etsy...though I may consider it in the future if I can keep up. I finally have some free stock photos I can use for CafePress, but I haven't opened up a shop yet...mainly, I think, because I want any designs, etc. to be my own and I'm still looking into how to go about copyrighting them.

I came across Zlio in a blog I found through either Entrecard or The Website Owners Zone (WOZone). His blog is great and can be found at

I checked it out and saw you can open up to 50 shops (I had previously thought 20) and earn 10% commissions on all sales. They give you the products to add, meaning that it takes you longer than the 5 minutes they pitch to you it'll take to set up. It takes 5 minutes to get the shop, but hours to set it up with inventory. I've been steadily adding for days, a bit at a time, and now have between 500-600 items in stock.

They also have a feature that allows you to give your own descriptions of the products and a good description will boost it from 0 to a higher visibility on search engines (it takes at least a 35 to even show up on a search). These are name brand products and I was disappointed that the descriptions the companies already have up only have a 0 visibility because adding one that is good enough to get seen takes forever when you're dealing with lots of products. It took me, I know, about 15-20 minutes to get a 40 visibility rating for only one product...the time really adds up!

Honestly, I gave up after a while and put more focus into adding enough inventory to match my shop's chosen variety. Descriptions are for later on, even though I feel they are necessary for a higher degree of success with any shop that's created. I see now why most people's on my to-do list for future stores, since this is my "starter shop" for tweaking on to figure out how the site works.

If you're looking for a new stream of income and you've got the extra time for well-thought-out descriptions and lots of inventory management (once it's set up, it only needs maintained and updated as often as you see fit), I do recommend looking into Zlio as another opportunity for earning from home. Check it out to see if it's for you or check out my shop to see an example of what you'd get signing up (many templates are available).

Ready For The Holidays

I finally got the tree put up a few nights ago and yesterday, finished the stockings I designed. The apartment is done up for the holidays! Spending the time I did on the domestic front has kind of recharged my batteries and I'm so happy for that.

I've still got to put an order in through my gift shop's supplier for a few gifts for my family...I've been putting it off to do other things, but if I don't do it today, I may not get them in time for Christmas. I've got gifts for the kids already wrapped and under the tree. My older son, whose 5 and a half, keeps trying to mess with the ornaments; he likes them and I have to remind him that they're not toys.

All things considered, I'm really looking forward to Christmas and using my vaca from school to get some writing down.

Dec 17, 2008

I'd Like My Chaos With A Side Of Control, Please!

More and more lately, it keeps popping up that I should get back into writing. It seems a great time for except for one thing...I'm lacking in the time dept. at the moment.

I've always been one of those people who thrive on the intensity of constantly being busy and I've really done myself in this time! I love an organized chaos but I didn't allow for it in my schedule when I put in my order for "home-work".

I feel like my life is the lunch rush at an already busy restaurant and I'm calling the waiter back..."excuse me!...I didn't order this much...could you return it to the chef and get me a plate of chaos with a side of control, please?"

Dec 15, 2008

Today was one of those days where nothing got done, despite my best efforts. Now, I have to carry over my To Do list to tomorrow's. I'm a bit of an over-achiever, I admit; but recently, even I'm feeling the ridiculousness. Am I running in circles, chasing my tail here?

I consider myself a very organized person; no, really...I've even been diagnosed with OCD. However, none of my schedules (strict or flexible) do me any good anymore. I'm so wound up that finding time to relax has become near impossible. I think I need to come up with a better plan for action.

Tomorrow's looking like a busy enough day without needing to double my efforts to get everything done. Wish me luck!

Dec 12, 2008

What a week!

This week flew by! I haven't had much time to post on this blog much. Monday was my baby's 2 month checkup and he had to get his first round of shots. Poor little guy, he didn't like it much...not that I blame him!

Tuesday was a running day because it was warm enough for the car to actually start. Went to see about getting financed for the car I'd testdrove last go! I keep telling my guy that my friend can fix it as long as we get the parts (a fuel filter and a water pump, for starters, which is not expensive!). He doesn't like my friend, so he'd rather pay to take it to a garage. How crazy is that!?! He complains that it doesn't start half the time, so he walks to work, but he doesn't want to fix it the easiest (and cheapest) way we can get it fixed? I don't understand the male ego sometimes, lol.

I'm usually all about compromise, but this is getting ridiculous. It's my car (I've had it since before we'd gotten back together), so I'm going to say how it gets fixed and he won't gripe about how because then he can drive to work again, I can run errands again and not be homebound with the kids in case of emergencies! This woman is putting her foot down!

Sorry about the little rant there, but I needed it, lol. Anyway...

Wednesday and Thursday, I spent trying to set up another blog and a new online store. The blog is up, with two posts (I'll include the link at the end of this post). It's a fictional blog and should be lots of fun once I get it going. The store isn't up and running yet...but soon!

Today, well, has been alright. I finished my coursework for the week (I log in for school Mon, Wed and Fri). I have tonight and the rest of the weekend to put the stores together and add them and the blog to search engines and directories.

I have a busy weekend ahead of me, lol....I better get started!

Dec 7, 2008

Family Budgeting Resources

These days, it pays to know where to go and how to go about saving money any way we can (clipping coupons, cutting down on spending, etc.). One way to do this is to create an organized home management strategy. My own search for information in this area led to my creating a lens on Squidoo about it. While the title speaks more to families, the info found inside benefits anybody looking to squeeze some spare cash from their income. Click the link below to get the scoop!

Dec 4, 2008

Uniquely Ambrosia Is On The Web!!

I was looking for ways to boost traffic to my websites and came across an ad sounding like a free, eBay type of auction site. Deciding to give them a try in an attempt to sell merch. from my newest business (having no budget for promoting it at this time), I gave them a look-see....and I'm glad I did. Not only was listing at the auction free, but you can also get a webstore to sell from for free. Needless to say, I jumped on that and took a couple hours or so setting up my shop.

I still have some catagories and merch. I want to add, but it's nice and ready even now. I will be selling gifts, homewares, etc. priced to fit any budget. With all my businesses, I'm very proud of the fact that I will go out of my way to offer a good deal! Look for sales and specials once things pick up a bit! I've listed both sites below so you can check them out for yourselves. Who knows, maybe you even wanna get in on the fun yourself!

Not a Bad Day...

I didn't get much work done online today, but other things got done which is more than I can say on most days, lol. Test-drove a car I liked and will be seeing soon if I can trade my Honda for it. It'll be sad to see the Honda go, we've had some good times and she has taken me many places. I gotta say though, it'll be nice to be in something a bit more reliable, especially now with infant in tow.

As we left the dealership earlier, we also saw a Lexus for the same price as the Chevy we were thinking on. A Lexus!!...At that price!?!? WOW! I'd love to see about it, but in my area it could get broken into easier than a Chevy could. Besides, being so cheap, I'd worry about what was wrong with it. Who knows, I may call about it anyway, just to see.

Dec 2, 2008


Surfing around for sites of either personal interest or a resource, I came across one that was both. This site offered a GREAT resource for stay at home mothers (in particular) to get helpful tips in home management, chores, etc. Not only this, but also a forum for members to chit chat or rant about their day because hey, we moms gotta stick together, right?

Monthly membership does come with a nominal fee, but it's well worth it with what you get. When you're a stay at home mom, especially before your youngest is in school, you usually don't get a lot in the way of social stimulation. The Internet is a great way to get this need accomplished, why not take advantage? Here's the link to check it out:

Traffic For Your Blog!

It took a little bit of time and some doing, but I'm pretty sure I have things set up for now. I found lots of resources for generating traffic to your site! I've signed up my blog for a couple and am looking into trying a few more. I plan to add the website for my gift business when it comes available and maybe my Avon website as soon as I know the legalities on that (I don't own Avon, obviously, but I do own the other one). I'm thinking about adding my Squidoo lenses too...this thing keeps going on and on here, lol!

In any case, my point is that if you plan on blogging for money (through PayPerPost, SocialSpark, joining affiliate programs, etc.), it would help to have some background in generating as much traffic as possible. This helps especially with affiliate programs, because whether or not you make anything in commissions depends on how many hits (sales, clicks, etc...depending on program) you can get. Let's face's a numbers game, like with many other businesses. More visitors to your site, blog or forum can mean more sales/clicks to earn commissions from! In the case of an ad blog, more traffic can help improve your chances of getting higher paying offers.

What I've found is that these sites offering free traffic do so only if you can spend the time surfing the other sites in the community...this earns you free advert credits and the more you have, the better! Some of these sites offer a top spot on their lists for a fee if you can't surf for credits. I also came across a possible way to hit more traffic generators, consolidate them and make them run on autopilot. I haven't tried this yet, but if I do and it works, I'll let you know!

Some of you may be old pros at this, wondering why I get so excited when I find something new to try. That's because I am new to this whole thing and I have searched high and low in a short amount of time to ensure I do it right and make it worth my while. Why should someone waste their time on something like this idlely?

I have links posted for linkreferral (a free traffic generator that has already given me traffic) and submitexpress (where you can add your site to over 40 search engines for free!) on the right sidebar of this blog. Also, try TrafficSwarm...I made them my homepage so I can allow easy access to my login and also surf a few sites whenever I sit at the computer to get things done for the day...a good way to quickly earn some credits to use later.

Happy Posting!

Nov 30, 2008

Avon For The Holidays

Being an Avon rep, I know ahead of time when something good is coming up. That's why I set up my email newsletter that runs alongside, yet seperate from, the ones my customers get through the website every other week. I offer up the best deals I can find each campaign and make them work for you! You won't find these specials anywhere else! Email me for details at or check out the website at

Happy Shopping!

A Worthy, Yet Lengthy, Quote

"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others! My manner of thinking stems straight from my considered reflections; it holds with my existence, with the way I am made. It is not in my power to alter it; and were it, I'd not do so. This manner of thinking you find fault with is my sole consolation in life; it alleviates all my sufferings in prison, it composes all my pleasures in the world outside, it is dearer to me than life itself. Not my manner of thinking but the manner of thinking of others has been the source of my unhappiness. The reasoning man who scorns the prejudices of simpletons necessarily becomes the enemy of simpletons; he must expect as much, and laugh at the inevitable. [. . .]"

--Donatien-Alphonse-Francois Sade (Marquis de Sade), in a letter to his wife, written from prison in Vincennes, early Nov. 1783.

I couldn't have said it better myself!!!!

The kids are growing up on me!

The other day, my brother asked me what size my 5 yr. old wore so he could buy his presents and it dawns on me....I wasn't exactly sure anymore. After looking through his clothes and finding pants and a shirt I knew fit him, I finally told him size 6. It didn't take long to realize that my infant is now needing a bigger size also, the transition from 0-3 to 3-6. He's not even 2 months old yet! Not bad for a child who only weighed 5'10 at birth.

It sounds like a cliche when you hear "they grow up fast...", but it's true enough to make a mommy wanna cry sometimes. Pretty soon, they'll get their license and drive off to college...but not too soon. In the meantime, there will be runny noses, picnics in the park and resolving fights between friends. It's part of the journey to miss each stage as it passes, and to look forward (in joy and fear, lol) to the stages ahead. Enjoy the ride.

That's much better...

I think I finally have a system in place for calming some of my stress. Lately, the schedule has been 'very little sleep and waaay too much to get done' and the result was a manic mess that couldn't relax at any cost. Once I realized that some of this stuff is no where near as urgent as I'd made it out to be and set a regular schedule for what I need to get done, I had my "Aaaaah!" moment. Nice :)

Nov 21, 2008

A Word of Inspiration

Reading through this blog, I came across these words of wisdom written for a friend. I'm gonna post the link for you all so you can read it for yourselves. It's a good reminder for those of us who forget that our troubles are temporary and as life goes on, each experience gets traded for a new one. We all know how easy it is to get sidetracked along the way and at some point, we all need to hear that "this, too, will pass".

Blogging as a Home Business

I'm new to this whole blogging for profit thing and I've found that there are quite a few sites out there willing to pay for your opinions and/or space on your blog. Add all the affiliate programs you could get into and what you get is a lot of time spent online putting it together before you see anything resembling a return. That's where I'm at right now. Not to mention, I've had to start new blogs because the one I have on myspace either isn't good enough to qualify, or myspace itself won't let my blogs get posted.

It's enough of a drain on my time trying to put together a website for my gift shop while also keeping the house presentable, taking care of my young sons, managing 2 businesses and going to school. How much time exactly does it take to sign up for something? I'm finding that getting the sign-up set up is taking longer than the actual work involved in the blogging business.

Has anyone else had this problem and if so, can you suggest a way to make the transition smoother? I'm more than willing to put the work in so long as i'm not on for hours a day just trying to get qualified for an opportunity that works, or find a site that'll give me quick verification so I can get started. I'd rather put in my time actually writing something!

Couldn't think of anything to....

...write about, which lately has been a common problem. Brainstorming came up short. Then, it hit me....people are always saying "write about what you know" and even though I know a little about a lot, one thing I know pretty well is making clothing patterns from scratch.

When a friend decided to make some dolls to sell, she came to me for making the clothes they sport...we wound up going half and half in the work and everything. I'll post pics up of the most recent ones soon. We considered going into business for it...maybe we should re-visit that idea...hmmmm.

I've been sewing since I was 5 or so and have been actually making things since I was 15. It didn't take me more than a garment or two to realize I had a knack for it. So, at some point in the near future, I'm gonna put up a post, or series of posts dedicated to "how to-ing" pattern making.



Nov 20, 2008

Faire Memories....

Once upon a time, I worked for some Renaissance Festivals (or Faire's as we called them). The more hectic my life becomes and the more distance time puts between those days and today, the more I miss working there.

Out of the 3 years I did them, 2005 was by far the best season! A lot of my friends were working there that year and we rocked that place! We prepared by making the costumes we'd be wearing and working on our accents...setting up our campsites when we got there and meeting the people we never seen before, as well as happily greet old friends from previous seasons.

Every Thursday that year, we host a 'drum jam', during which we'd get out the bongo drums, light a bonfire and just hang out together. Us girls enjoyed breaking out the jangle-belts from our costume bags and bellydance around the fire. I even met a cousin I never knew I had at one of these jams.

I really miss how relaxing the enviroment there is and how much fun we'd have, whether we'd be working, hanging out at camp or doing something as a group. But I gotta say...we definitely had more fun AFTER work than during! In fact, at the Texas Faire (where they have a separate campsite for the patrons), we used to joke that the patron camp was so happening (their drum jams were wild!) because they liked to party the way they THOUGHT we did after work, lol. Usually, we wound up going to their jams once a week.

If you're into historical re-enacting, costumes and the like...check out a Ren Faire sometime. The one in southern Ohio is just about the only one in the country to feature an un-choreographed full-armor joust for your entertainment. You never know, you may just surprise yourself with how much fun you have!