Dec 31, 2009

I hope everyone has a fun New Year's Eve planned and wish you all a Wonderful New Year! Thank you for bearing with me this year through all the 'busy-busy bee' stuff. You guys totally rock!

So, have you figured a resolution or two yet?

Dec 28, 2009

Holiday Withdrawals?

Hey,'s the 'after-the-holiday' days treating you? The last few days were a whirlwind, but I got what I wanted...a whole day all to myself to recharge! We had our dinner on the 23rd and my boyfriend took the baby to his grandma's 2-3 hours oldest was with his dad.

It wasn't the two days I was hoping for because they came back a day early (they missed me or so I'm told), but that's ok. I was actually bored since I didn't have anyone needing changed or fed or entertained! I came across some sewing groups online that offered patterns of some cool threads I'm gonna try and spent some time on Myspace, which is where I go when I'm feeling intense...I have a lot of personal friends there.

I had to contend with this guy sending harassing emails because I don't find it interesting when guys come out of left field trying to solicit 'bottoms' (submissives). It's all a part of the Myspace culture, what can I say. He got blocked from ever contacting me again.

I have a full day today, calling my doctor to see about my shot and taking care of my books and thigns for school, which starts in a week...which also means I need to get some 'school clothes', LOL...I'm really hoping to be able to work in some work today to get a jump on this week...the week promises to stay a little hectic and keeping up could be elusive...wish me luck cause here I go!

Dec 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I had to pop in to say that...hope you all got what you wanted this year!

Dec 23, 2009

Doll Pics

I found my pics of the dolls my friend and I made a couple years ago. A lady in Huntington wanted to showcase them in the museum as local folk art. I made the clothes and painted the faces and my friend did the doll bodies and accessories. They turned out real well, but the goth bride and vampire were my favorites.

I'm thinking about asking her if she wanted to revive our old hobby and sell these things like her husband tried talking us into, LOL...Personally, I had fun making them (love the 'gothy' style of them!) and had many ideas for other dolls.

Smaller doll shot

smaller doll pic

smaller doll pic2

Dec 19, 2009

Innovative New Changes at oDesk!

WOW...oDesk is at it again! They are now offering benefits and employment status (rather than independent contracting) to Providers who work at least 30 hours a week. Who thought you could get a job solely online that offers health, 401k and education savings plan benefits?!

Your pay changes slightly as your taxes will be taken out (you'll receive a W-2 at tax time). You're also covered if you fall below 30 hours weekly (or work slows down or stops), by the unemployment and COBRA benefits, should you need them.

I don't think I'll try for this until I'm out of school because I don't know how my hours will flucuate while I'm in. However, it's a great deal for someone looking for real benefits while working from home. Here's the link to check out the FAQ for yourselves. If you've been thinking about oDesk, but haven't tried it's definitely worth your time to check them out!

Dec 18, 2009

Crafty Education

I finally got around to scheduling my classes when I realized my school moved up the date that school starts back...Jan 4 from Jan 25!!!! It doesn't give me much time to get my books and finish up with the 'shuffle', as we lovingly call it when you're sent office to office to get things done. I'll have to commandeer the car Monday and ask my friend to babysit for an hour or two so I can take care of that (luckily she lives near campus). It's sad cause I normally do these things with plenty of time to spare.

The good news is that it happens that all my courses can be done in the evening, saving me the need of a babysitter and giving me the day to work...that's priceless. I can work in any studying where I will need to. Unless I find night classes again, I won't need a sitter till Summer session (which I can -and should- take since I was out all Fall). Who knows, maybe I'll go in an hour early (or stay later)to take advantage of their fitness room and use the treadmill.

Also, I figured out what was wrong with my sewing dumb (sleepy) ass threaded the bobbin wrong or something because I got it working last night just fine. Unfortunately, all my hand sewing has left me unable to stitch straight, so I'm going to get back into practice with that and make a few things around the house before trying anything that would sell...

Dec 16, 2009

OK, the diet is going great so far, though the recommended timeframe for trying it before consulting with a doctor for the bloodtest is 3 weeks (it's been about a week for me). I feel much better, though I'm still pretty tired half the time, but again, the time frame allows the body to start absorbing nutrients again, so I assume I'm supposed to still be somewhat tired.

I'm having trouble with breads, though...I bought some gluten free stuff, along with a (very expensive) flour I can use to try baking my own. The kind I bought is only good for toast doesn't seem to go with anything else, so I'm hoping to find a recipe I can live with and bake mine from now on (preferably half cornmeal to save on the flour).

I'm having one of those days where nothing gets done if I don't cover it, so I'll be back next time with something new!

Dec 11, 2009

A Common Health Issue and a New Blog

No, I'm not referring to endemetriosis. I was watching a recording of Dr. Oz (of RealAge fame), which I recorded because they were highlighting some of my GI symptoms in mention of a dangerous disease. I watched, and realized I had every symptom of Celiac disease, right down to the crazy annoying rash I've sported on my hands for a year now.

Celiac disease is a genetic conditon that's often misdiagnosed as IBS because the symptoms are so similar and is due to a gluten allergy (for lack of a better word). It's actually very common, with an estimated 97% of sufferers thinking they have something else, like IBS. It's also potentially dangerous, so is worth checking into if you have these symptoms.

The only treatment is to go on a gluten free-diet, which sounds difficult, but isn't so much as long as you know what to watch for.

Thanks to the Dr Oz show, I've diangosed myself, which I know isn't recommeded, but considering I have been diagnosed with IBS that still persists, despite my best efforts, and have the rash and lethargy, etc...not to mention it's only a diet switch that can be done, I'm going to try the gluten-free diet and see if that helps.

Also, I've been planning a health/fitness blog for a while now, with a 'green' slant. I'm happy to say I've gone ahead with it and it can be found at Fit and Healthy Lifestyle. I've got one post up so far (with additional info on Celiac's) with more to come. I haven't had time yet to really 'do it up', but that's soon to come. I plan on posting regularly enough to keep the content fresh, as I'm back to here on Brosia's Blog.

I hope I've helped shed some light on this extremely common yet relatively unknown genetic disorder and, possibly, helped to save someone else with these uncomfortable symptoms from going as long as I have with them.

Dec 9, 2009

I need some help with...

...some research I'm doing. I am hoping those of you who read my blog and know something about meta tags can let me know what you think.

There has been some talk about whether or not meta tags are becoming obsolete. Have any of you ever heard anything like this and, if so, is it a theory you subscribe to? Why or why not?

This would really help with a portion of my research and, if I find enough info on it, it will go in my next article. I'll link to it when it's finished.

Till then, I've got to go...I'll be out all day taking my sister the two and 1/2 hours home and looking at some property about halfway through, coming back.

Thanks in advance for anything you can provide!

Dec 7, 2009

Workin for the Weekend

No, not the song (how many of you actually remember when Loverboy was IT?). This post is to describe how the weekend went at the Brosia Household, hehe.

Now, I work every weekend (I give myself Sundays or Mondays off, usually), but last week was different because one of my oDesk supervisors was out sick and I decided to apply for some 'quickie gigs' to make up the hours I've grown accustomed to.

I interviewed for 2 of the 4 I applied to, and wound up getting them both, the second with a strict deadline...and I like to do things in order (OCD). At first I was like "I can do this, if I time it out right...I can write anything!", but that was soon followed by "It's 4am and I'm I nuts?".

Luckily it all turned out OK because I just did them back-and-forth-like till they were done and finished them both before I said I would. Somehow, I managed it even with the kids being so loud and grumpy I could barely concentrate on anything. It's one of those moments that leave me feeling like the superwoman my boyfriend always says I am.

I just applied for another I could knock out today before starting on my current assignments tomorrow. what can I I'm a bit of a workaholic, two the holidays are coming (with a couple more gifts yet to buy)and three, I have two appointments Friday and will have to let myself off that day anyway.

I'm considering a post or series of posts about how to get started on oDesk. I've gotten a lot of requests from friends and family about the learning curve associated with getting started. I'll see how much I can remember from the initial sign-up; if it's not much, I'll probably start with what to expect after the sign-up part. If I can find out, I might post about how to get started hiring others through oDesk.

Dec 4, 2009

A Multi-Post!

This is one of those posts where I cover a few things in a short space. First, for those of you who sell online or would like to...what kind of articles would you most like to see written? I mean, what subjects do you feel need addressed? I have a list going, but it helps to know what others feel should be given a priority. So, if you got an idea or two, hit me with it!

You may have noticed, I've got the Brosiaburg Shopping Center back up and going, with some books and clothes (so far). La Clothier needs some new merch added and construction is still on-going, with a home goods shop next up in the planning. Check it out, if you feel the need, and let me know what you think...if I should add something, etc.

I want to get some fabric and start the first leg of this business, instead of waiting to be able to do the shampoos and body washes, etc. Problem is, I may need a new sewing machine first. This Necchi I got has a serger tool (one reason I bought it), but I tried it once and it's giving me issues with the tension - at least I think that's what it is. I'll try it again when I'm not as tired as I was the first go, but if that doesn't work, I'm either gonna sell it to someone who knows machines or send it back to the company for a refund and buy a cheaper one (which, somehow, never give me as much trouble).

There was something else...but I forgot what it was, so I'm gonna get some things done and if it comes back to me, I'll be back! If not, I'll be back soon anyway with a new post, hehe!

Dec 2, 2009

Blog Award!!!

My friend, Duni, at Lovely Purses has just spoiled me with an award! With sporadic postings and EC drops, I'm not sure I've earned it but I'm very appreciative and will continue to try and do better. Thank you Duni!!! If the rest of you haven't already done so, definitely check out her blog. It's a great read!

thank you,blogging award,thank you for blogging

Now, to pass this award to some new winners....

~A Happy Hippy Mom
~Shopping Kharma
~Focus Organic
~The Work From Home Mother

Each blog (and author(s))is special in their own way and certainly worth a read! Enjoy!

Nov 28, 2009

E-commerce Coaching Sessions!

I added a link for those of you who would be interested in signing up for an ecommerce group coaching session, through There are still openings available for the next one - date TBA.

The idea is to hold informal monthly sessions for entrepreneurs to get together and discuss ecommerce, learning from each other as we go along. These are free meetings and, rest assured, it's not one of those where the coordinator tries to sell you something (don't we all hate those?).

So, if this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in checking the link to your right!

Nov 27, 2009

Things To Be Thankful For

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

My family isn't one of those families that goes in turn stating what we're thankful for. Sure we may discuss it but it's never made into a big deal; however, we had plenty to be thankful for this year.

I got a call from my sister a few days ago and she came down to stay a bit. She's still here, actually, and it's been a great visit...we haven't seen her in about a year. My niece was with a friend of hers this year so we didn't get to see her, but we got lots of phone calls and I'm planning to bring her down as soon as we can (Christmas vaca?). I'm hoping she moves back home, but she may stay where she is and go to nursing school (it's her dream-she used to be a STNA and found it very rewarding).

There was something else to be thankful for and even though the situation itself wasn't good, it opened the door wide open for improving it. It's just one of those things, you know what they say "when one door closes..." Hopefully it will work itself out.

What are you thankful for?

Nov 24, 2009

New Meds and Old Technologies

Well, the good news is that I don't need surgery...and there's a new med for my condition that I never knew about before, a 6-mo round of treatment. The bad news is that we're still waiting to see if my insurance will cover it...if not, well, they can cover my surgery in a year or two, cause I'll need one eventually without this medication. They can decide :/

Some how, earlier, we had gotten on a conversation about records and I was like 'my kid's generation probably doesn't even know what those are'. So, my 6 year old asks...and I had trouble explaining because, takes me forever and a day to explain anything due to my OCD nature of trying to get every last detail in, LOL

I've been pretty nostalgic lately, looking back on my 'glory days' (a.k.a. 'no responsibility, life is one big party'). Don't get me wrong...I love where I am in life now (stress and all) and where I'm going, but part of me really misses the 'good ole days' and some of my old friends. It almost feels like I'm absorbing some deeper part of the lessons from that time in my life...more of a moving on than a looking back, really.

Have any of you gone through this and do you think it's a side effect of getting older? I did just turn 29 and even though I think 30's a great age, it makes sense to call that a possibility.

If I don't make it back on before then, I hope everybody has a great Thanksgiving and enjoys the time with their friends and families!

Nov 20, 2009

The Doctor Dash

That's what it feels like anyway...going to so many appointments. Just this week, I had one office call to tell me that, despite my biopsy coming back OK, that I'm still high-risk for cancer and they'll need to keep monitoring me, took my youngest for his H1N1 shot and I got a new prescription at today's appointment. To top it off, I have my ultrasound Monday to help determine if I'll need surgery and in three weeks, I go back so they can tell how my new meds are treating me.

Whew! Man, I'm tellin' ya! The good news is that this medication should help in managing my bi-polar and (social) anxiety disorders. It's been 13 years since I've taken anything for them, much less seen a doctor, so fingers crossed. I've been way too stressed (and moody) for a while now and it's wrecking total havoc...something's gotta give here and one way or another, it's gotta be me, LOL

If it really does help me cope better with the day to day and stay healthy...maybe the doctor dash isn't such a bad dance after all. I'll tell you's becoming great motivation to get back into shape and eat better!

Nov 18, 2009

Resources and Help for Ecom-preneurs

It's not typical for me to bring up any specifics of my work. However, I'm making an exception this time because this website is such a great resource for budding and seasoned 'ecom-preneurs' alike. I had to pass it on to those of you who either are selling online, or would like to be.

Basics of Ecommerce has a lot of useful information on how to get started and draw customers to your site, all the way up to how to retain those valuable customers you've earned. There are interactive features, also, as your opinion is always treated as something important and welcome. The site is still building and fleshing out...and is quickly becoming one of the best resource sites for ecommerce enterprise.

Once there, you'll meet Steve, the man whose experience and vision is bringing it all to you. I'll be there too, as his assistant and also as a fellow entrepreneur. As a community, we'll learn and offer support as we grow our businesses to their peak potential!

Nov 12, 2009

General Maintenence

You may have noticed the changes, or not. I removed nearly all of the ads, so I can be choosier about them later (IF I add more at all). I kept the content, minus the Followers widget, which I really wanted to keep but it wasn't showing up at all. I'll check it occasionally and if it starts showing up again, I'll add it back!

I want the focus of my blog to be about the content and not feature a slew of ads. It's my goal to be more active (as time allows) in providing better posts than rants about how busy I've been these last few months. I assume you're all as tired of it as I am by now.

I decided it was time to perform some maintenence on myself also. My biopsy came back fine, but now they want to see what else could be causing my symptoms, so I'm going back for an ultrasound Thanksgiving week. From there, it's possible more tests or even surgery will be in order...bleh!

I'm convinced that the chronic abdominal pain and lethargy is from not properly taking care of myself (only 1-2 small 'convenience food' meals and 10+ hours on the computer daily, lack of exercise, yada yada). Even now, I'm lucky to work in 5-min. stretch/cardio combos once or twice a week, which sometimes wears me out. Sad when you consider all the dancing, walking and 2-hour workouts from my past!

To make a change in the right direction, I started a 7-day detox system to clean out the toxins I'm sure have gotten stuck in my system over the last year...I'm on Day 3 and I'm already noticing the change in my moods, energy level, pain and mental focus! I chose one with dandelion in it to help my liver do it's thing. I've also decreased my caffine intake in favor of more tea/juice and switched to organic convenience foods (yes, I read the labels beforehand) till I find the time for a thorough meal plan.

Working in more exercise is slower going but on the horizon (cut me some slack-I hit a 20 minute stint last week!). A great side effect is that my boyfriend says he'll try it if it works for me (minus the diet change and exercise, though). I'm hoping to ease him into the meal plan I create or sneak in healthier foods and get him at least stretching.

Who knows, maybe now I'll find the energy to use my new sewing machine and revamp that closet full of 'skinny' clothes into a new wardrobe I can fit into!...or maybe some cloth toys and throw pillows?

Oct 27, 2009

Time Management?

One of my struggles as a WAHM is juggling the domestics with work, others not understanding the difference between stay-at-home and work-at-home, and the Man of the House not understanding why the Woman isn't finished by 5pm with dinner ready. Sound familiar to any of you? Hopefully the following can help...

I knew the ticket was time management, but what I didn't know was how to work it in and make it fit. Lately, however, my search for this elusive little magic button has struck pay dirt!

It seems as though the old adage 'slow and steady wins the race' is more valuable than I could have guessed. When I realized my health (physical and mental) was taking a major hit, I decided to slow down...after all, my assignments are flexible and the killer pace was my own doing.

So, I re-evaluated how I work, handle domestics and made only small changes, the most important being to remind myself that I didn't have to run straight through like a bulldozer with an all-or-nothing attitude, only to get pissed at the slightest interruption. I now work sporadically through the day, in between the domestics, and set goals of how much I'd like to see done that day (not being so hard on myself if the goal falls a bit short).

It sounds strange, but you know what? I'm actually more productive than I was before and have been finding time to relax, read, plan some art projects (sewing, painting, etc.), keep up with my email, social sites and blogs, call old friends. I've even managed to have most of this past weekend off and hope to do so this weekend too (with Halloween and my b-day being involved, I think I owe it to myself to). It'll take some time to master, but taking advantage of the flexiblity of my work schedule and taking it easier on myself has already started paying dividends.

Now the question much will I need to re-adjust when school starts back?

What is going on these days?

This is sort of a repeat of my last myspace post, but I had to ask it again. This fall has been strange to say the least. It seems like things are running in patterns and affecting lots of people at once.

September seemed on a fairly even keel, but October has everyone going nuts! People are in weird moods and not acting like themselves, people are becoming depressed (which isn't weird in itself except that it's almost an 'in unison' thing). A lot of people are feeling restless and acting out.

Is it just me or has the whole world gone crazy this time?

Oct 16, 2009

Well, the baby, my boyfriend's mom and my sister just had my niece's, a couple of friends and my own coming up...what a month, I'm telling you! I really do love October, though.

Just when I thought getting enough work in was my biggest concern, I get the call that I need another biopsy (they had to do one 7 years ago-came back fine). Being the second time around, I'm not as sure about what the results will be. Fingers crossed that it's just another glitch...I've got a strange system and this wouldn't my first, or even second, 'off' test result.

As someone who's done healings in the past(and looking to get back into it), I'm pretty renowned for knowing what's going on with even my own body. I've even gone to the doctor explaining what it is and why I think it (they typically don't like that!) more or less called me a blazing hypocondriac only to have the nurse come back in to apologize for him since he was too proud to do it himself. I don't think it's that bad, but I've been very tired and distracted over the last year and it's left me doubting my ability to keep up with things. I go in Monday for it and should know something in a couple weeks or so after.

I gotta ex just called to say our son got sick at school and his dad's bringing him to me (he's at work and my boyfriend took ours to work)...I may need to get him to a hospital at any point, so I need to be ready just in case. I'm telling you...when it rains, it pours!

Oct 13, 2009

I challenge you to...!

No, not to a dual (and you know you were thinking it!). No, I was catching up some of email after a day long 'triple play' (three assignments) session and I came across in an email from Kiwi, an eco-kids newsletter I subscribe to for my oldest, stating that October is Free Trade Month!

It got me thinking and I decided to challenge everyone who reads this blog to buy at least ONE free trade item this month in support of the farmers/workers who work so hard to make a product available to us.

Are you up to the challenge?

Oct 1, 2009

October Already?!

UPDATE: I just got a heads up on a site that donates to help fund mammograms for every user click. It's free to donate...all you do is click once daily and help support breast cancer prevention/detection! The site also features other causes your click can support. Thanks Raven!
WOW, this year's gone by pretty quick! The weather's cooling back down and everybody's settling in, getting ready for Halloween. I don't mind it a bit, though, since fall is my favorite season and Halloween is my favorite holiday...except that it got cold here way too quick! I may need to plan an indoor holiday rather than go trick-or-treating this year. There are plenty of birthdays to celebrate,too,my youngest boy's and my own included.

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means the pink ribbons are out in full force. A lot of the products we use will be donating a portion of the profits to organizations dedicated to finding a cure. Count me in for as many purchases as I can afford!

I always try to contribute to causes like these any way I can. I've known three women personally who had developed breast cancer (all survivors in remission, no relapses, thank goodness!) and also, a great-grandmother who died from a cancer of the reproductive system. This has become more widespread in a culture blanketed in a polluted environment. The organizations who honestly work toward the goal of finding cures for this and other diseases deserve any funds they can raise to help them do so.

Even those who aren't interested in donating or purchasing products that benefit the cause can do their part by getting the word out about monthly breast self-exams. A large number of breast cancer cases have been found this way and catching it as early as possible can mean all the difference in the world to a woman and her family!

Sep 23, 2009

Adventures in oDesk (and Happy Equinox!)

I wanted to wish everyone a happy transition into Fall, though it is a day late (out-of-town appointment yesterday), vent some minor frustrations and broadcast some good news.

I have been looking for an extra assignment to add to my schedule, being out of school till January and, having quit Avon, able to take on more (looking to integrate my school schedule around a long-term thing). I applied for a few, earning a couple interviews, one for an editor position.

The lady writes me, asking if I'd be interested in a marketing apprenticeship instead, so I asked for the details of the position, hours per week and their flexibility (necessary for any WAH parent lacking a regular sitter), etc. She responds with only a link to her site. Alright.

Now, I thought the 'candidate must be emotionally stable and not blame others for mistakes' was a strange thing to put in a job description to begin with, but the website was full of poor sales copy, in which the potential customer is down-graded and has their intelligence insulted at every turn. Couple that with the fact that most of the site is repeatedly 'we are not a scam, depsite what past clients have said...they are only pissed that I was 5 minutes late calling them' (she even gives one former client's full name) and it becomes clear that perhaps this lady isn't playing with a full deck herself. Not to metion the job description didn't give any info on hours or specific duties, which was definitely another minus.

Deciding this wasn't someone I wanted to work for, I reply and tell her nicely that I looked everything over but didn't see how we could form a work relationship that was mutually beneficial and thanked her for her time, wished her well, etc. She writes back with a 'I can see you're not ready to work and commit, so I will go with your gut'...a 'nicely' put cheap shot to my ego that, unfortunately for her, isn't typically the type of thing that fazes me. She then ended my candidacy for the position (which I'd have done myself if I'd known I could have), claiming I 'disappeared and was very unprofessional'. OK, I'm good at being calm, but that one did piss me off just a little...though it didn't surprise me at all. At the end of the day, I'm convinced I made the right choice and would rather be called unprofessional than work for her!

At about the same time, I was approached about a research gig I applied for with an ecommerce company...and asked if I was interested in also doing some writing and perhaps marketing for the company. This company is based in my home state and the terms were out of this world (giving all the specs upfront too!), so I accepted and am their newest VA! The owner and I are in agreement that we don't like some of the marketing tactics used today and he is willing to help me learn what I need to know to run my own ecommerce site...very cool!

Actually, I am starting today with some marketing research for them, so I've gotta go! Happy Equinox everyone!

Sep 19, 2009

The September Whirlwind!

I hadn't meant to stay away so long, but this month has been insane, with good and bad extremes, and everyone I know has had no choice but to just run with it. I, for one, can handle some craziness and even enjoy it for the most part, but putting everything back together is a delicate, time-consuming dance.

I've even slacked on hours at work due to vacations and family emergencies, the first of which was picking Grandma up from out of town to take her to her school reunion in another state (vaca for my boyfriend, but since I still had to manage everything-not for me). What sucks is that while we were gone, we got a call from his cousin that his aunt had to be rushed to the hospital and put on life support...they had to take her off of it a few days later, unfortunately. Needless to say, we've been out of town quite a bit this month and running back and forth.

The good news is that we're finally ready to buy our own house...found some good ones, but it's time consuming and I haven't logged as many hours. I've been looking to add an assignment to my schedule, since we're up to date on surveys and I'm worried about less hours when we're trying to buy a home. I applied for an editor gig and was approached by them for a marketing apprenticeship, so *fingers crossed*. I want to start soon so that when school starts back up this winter, I can arrange my course schedule around it (I'll be back in a physical classroom, so timing's tricky).

I haven't forgotten my business fact, it's one reason (maybe the main one) we're looking at buying-to have more room for production/distribution and more room in general...this apartment is getting cramped!

I figure it will take me a couple weeks to readjust, but I'm hoping to take a day a week to catch up with my online buds and unwind! Thanks for bearing with guys are awesome!

Sep 7, 2009

The Evening Wind-Down

When the kids are asleep, school clothes set out, the house is clean and put away...'s the time to get out that book you've been taking forever to read, call/email that friend you've been meaning to get ahold of, give someone you love a hug without worrying about what else needs done today...

...grab a cup of your favorite drink, breathe and relax...

Aug 19, 2009

Enter to win a kickass ring!

While dropping ECs, I happened across one of my favorite blogs...Steampunk Jewelry...only to find a contest going on!

For every 100 participants, a winner will be chosen to win one of their kickass rings! You choose your stone and metal preferences, show some link love and gain entries to the contest! I've got a link to the Etsy shop here on my blog for easy scoping.

I'm not on Blogger, Etsy (or many other sites for that matter) often anymore, but when I happen across something this great, I try to pass the word along. Their jewelry is unique, handmade and sure to get attention! What's not to love? Check it out and see for yourself!

Aug 17, 2009

My first attempt at Middle Eastern food

I've had a hankering to try some of this (or anything eastern european, mediterranean or middle eastern) for a few days and gave it a go last night. I finally found some leg of lamb at the store, and got a couple other things to use with that couscous I bought to try and hadn't messed with. Thanks to my dad, I had the spices on hand (he gave me his stash when he moved in with my grandpa). This turned out so good, my boyfriend called the neighbors over to try it! Measurements with me are usually by ear, so these are's the list:

2 lb. lamb, cubed
1 red pepper, 1/2 eggplant, 1/2 cucumber, cut into 3-inch strips
1/4 c. green onion, chopped
3 tbsp. mint flakes
2 tbsp. each rosemary and basil
chile powder, garlic powder and pepper, to taste (or scent)
2 1/2 c. water with 1 t. olive oil
10 oz. box couscous

Get the lamb going under some heat in a large, deep skillet. Yes, this is a one pan dish! Once it's most of the way cooked, add the vegetables and spices. Let cook for a few, stirring a couple times...then turn down heat a bit and simmer as long as you feel necessary.

If you think it's ready for it, add the water/oil mixture, followed by the couscous. You'll wanna stir constantly to keep it from sticking, but it's done once the couscous is.

Again, all measurements are approximate, and we found that once the couscous was added, it took away some of the spice (or toned it down, if you wanna look at it that way). The flavor is good as it is, but if you like a little extra kick like we do, add a bit more spice to it.

This makes about 4-6 good-size helpings, depending on how much you boyfriend and I made two meals out of it on top of giving about 2 servings to our neighbors. Once we find some more lamb at the store at a reasonable price, we'll try this again. I honestly don't think it would work as well without the lamb and mint, but who knows...I've been wrong before.

Aug 12, 2009

Avon New Product Review

I posted this on my Avon MySpace blog, and thought I'd post it here also. I was thinking of doing a periodic review for products I buy and use, or new ones I may get to try. This one's for the new OnDuty 24 Clear formula goes...

I tried it a few days ago and it worked like a charm! I'm not just saying that because I sell Avon...I wear a lot of black and, in the summer, I wear a lot of black tank tops (those of you who know me personally can vouch for this). It dried fairly quick and left absolutely no white marks on my tank at all! Even when I tried it again the next day and didn't let it dry all the way before putting my shirt on.

This is an embarassing thing to admit, but since I had kids and got older, I sweat more fact, I quit using Avon anti-perspirants back when I was a teenager (years before the kids even) because they didn't work well for me. The new formula is amazing in this regard too (I haven't tried any other they've got for years, so I can't vouch for those, but they are coming out with a new SSS Hair-Minimizing anti-perspirant too...maybe I'll test that out too).

This stuff will not only keep your darks'll keep you dry as a desert! Well worth the 99 cents it costs!

Aug 6, 2009

Life just goes and goes and....

Every time I check in to post a blog/read your amazes me how long it's been in between. I did finally drop some E last week and will try to pop in with those at least weekly. One day runs into another and the 'to-do' list does too, unfortunately. The pace is more relaxed but there's still so much to do and keep track of.

I took a mini-vaca last weekend to visit my boyfriends grandma and we brought his son back with us for a few days. He would have stayed longer but he had to finish his paperwork to start college this fall and was missing his girlfriend. He and his little brother (my 10 month old) bonded, which was great to see, especially considering the 17-year age difference.

We finally traded in that car of mine for a newer one, so that's been taken care of (did I mention finally?). Also, I postponed my plans for a fall launch in favor of a longer research and testing/development period. I'm aiming for spring, but we'll see how it goes. I wanted the extra time so I didn't have to rush the process...I will not sell an inferior product!

Thanks for those of you who participated in the pre-market survey! It's still on-going for those who haven't and can be found right here!

Gotta get going for now and log some more oDesk hours! Hope the day is going great for all of you!

Final grades are in!

I was looking up my final grades for this session A in Business - awesome! Then I took a look at my Computer Info course grade...a C...let me repeat that...a C!!!

I have been either on the Honor Roll or Dean's List all my life, which I'm very proud of! I don't want to sound like a 'grade snob'...I can handle a C if I had earned a C, but I had actually earned an A and my professor chose to ignore some of my assignments and left them ungraded. Yes, this is the professor I had looked into filing a complaint on because he denied me access to our quizzes. I was finally able to take them, but he didn't include the grades for those and three other assignments, which knocked my grade to a C.

I sent an email to the person I spoke to before about filing a complaint...I'm gonna nip this thing in the bud...pronto! This guy does not need to be a professor and hold another person's future in his (inept) hands!

Jul 17, 2009

I think it's going to work after all!

I've begun re-organizing the way I do things, and while it's only freed up a little bit of time, I definitely feel less stressed out! That's part of it right?

I've closed down the decor and gift just doesn't make sense for me to keep it going anymore. You may notice the widgets I had up linking to the products are gone. I've also decided to postpone the fall launch I was hoping for with the new business. I will need the extra time to figure out my exact formulas and give them proper testing time...I want to offer a superior product with lots of room for customizing for different skin/hair types, etc.

I have finals next week and cannot wait to be done with this session! I'm working on filing a formal complaint against one of my instructors...he has hindered my progress in this class from the outset and I'm sick of dealing with him. The benefit of the doubt only goes so far with me and when he told me he would not help me with some trouble I've been having with one of the schools sites because 'you're the only student that is having trouble with this site', I saw red! I refuse to fail this class because the site isn't showing the quizzes I need to take and the 'teacher' refuses to do his job and help...I'm so frustrated with him I could scream! Everything else with school is great...I wish this could be too!

On a more positive note, my boys are both getting teeth! I know how cheesy it sounds, 10 month old is cutting a few all at once and my 6 1/2 year old (who had to have dental surgery at age 2) is growing in his permanents. His front teeth had been missing since his surgery, so we're all glad to see them coming in!

Jul 5, 2009

I did not realize how strange that post for the pre-market survey came out. It was copied and pasted from my myspace bulletin and, being half asleep, it didn't occur to me to customize it for my blogspot readers. I apologize!

Maybe this will be my lesson for spending 15-18 hours each day on my to-do list and help me get my timing on track. I'm getting better, guys, I promise! I've been working hard at it and at the rate I'm going, I'll be back to dropping EC's and checking in on your blogs more regularly very soon! Not being able to all this time has been a buzzkill for me...I really enjoy reading your blogs!

Jul 1, 2009

Winning t-shirts and school assignments

I got an email that I won an oDesk t-shirt for May's buzz, thanking me for the first post I put up about it. I should receive it in a few days. I absolutely love this company!

On another note, one of my assignments was about customer lists that businesses keep. A few of us in the class discussion commented about how we hate getting swamped with emails, phone calls and letters from companies we have no interest in because we did business with a company they are affiliated with.

It led me to ask why a company would shoot themselves in the foot, as it were, by 1.) selling their customer lists to the highest bidder (usually a competitor) and 2.) annoying consumers enough to stop being your customer when they trace it back to when you made them give their personal info just to get a detailed product description of something they probably never bought anyway. It seriously begs the question.

I understand the need for customers to market to, but a company should ask their permission first, not coerce them or put it in the middle of 'legal jargon fine print' that they'd never see. In my opinion, customer lists should go under the catagory of a trade secret and not given out at all. If a company wants customers, they can work for them like everybody else and not take the lazy way about it.

Sorry for the much as I love it, there are just certain aspects about business and marketing that bug the crap out of me.

Jun 28, 2009

Hey everyone!

I'm gone for a month and have gained a few new blog followers in my absence. Welcome to the blog, I hope you enjoy it! I will try my best to check in more often and do more than just rant about how busy I am :)

I really didn't mean to stay away so long. I got HIT with school work this session and had my hours expanded on oDesk. I've had zero time to market my websites. I did put some visual links up for them here and create a MySpace profile to promote my Avon business. I post special deals in my blog there each campaign (bi-weekly) for local and long-distance customers, so if you're so inclined, check it out and subscribe.

I pretty much gave up on building my website from scratch and my host's sitebuilder is too limiting. For now, I have put some catagories up on ecrater and will be expanding as my time allows. I'd like to build and publish the official site, but time is simply too limited right now.

I need to take some time today to market these sites and put together my next Avon blogs. Tomorrow starts a whole new round of 'race the clock', so I can't put it off. My goal is to run my ass off to have everything done by Friday and have the weekend to market and catch up my blogs. *fingers crossed on this working as planned*

I'm thinking my next post should be 'You might be a workaholic if...', LOL

Thank you guys so much for sticking with me through this! You totally rock!

May 21, 2009

oDesk update!

I've been meaning to update for about a week or so, but have been working, managing the domestics and preparing for school to start back up. For now, I'm in between the planning and beginning phases of product development, so I can take a breather on that for now. The home decor website will be worked on in what free time I'll have for it. Also, following an Avon meeting set for tonight, I'll most likely be an active Rep. again.

I was happy to see the comments on my last post, one was even from oDesk's CEO Gary Swart! I realized after I commented back that I forgot to thank him for manning the helm of such a great company. My friend Duni commented and asked if oDesk is just here in the U.S., which reminded me that I also completely forgot to mention that they span the globe...I've seen Buyers and Providers from all over, and translation seems to be very much in demand!

After I posted, I was informed that I had scored another job on oDesk, this time without even an interview! I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. This position is an ongoing one, processing customer surveys for a travel company. I'm happy that both jobs are beneficial to my marketing degree, since sales copy and surveys are generally tools of the trade. In fact, both Buyers have upped my hours, and I'm now at approx. full-time, depending on the week's work.

Processing so many surveys can be time consuming and even tiring, but I'm a nomad at heart (a gypsy, if you will) and hearing first hand accounts of the experiences others have in so many places really brings out the wanderlust in me. I went to their website and located what would be a perfect trip for my best friend and I to take one day (hopefully soon)...eastern Europe! We couldn't leave just yet though, with her about to have a baby anytime and me being so busy, but for future reference...

I better get going and get this week's surveys finished up...I've got another batch coming and I better get an early start so I can get ready for that meeting this evening. Take care, all!

May 9, 2009

Working From Home With oDesk!

I'm not sure if I mentioned it here or not, but I had put my Avon business on hold due to low sales (they are impossibly down district-wide). I had to do something to get a little cashflow going, but there really aren't any jobs in my area at the moment...this is a bad area for jobs even when there's not a recession.

I was checking out the Work From Home Mother blog - fortuitous since I'd hardly been on any blogs for a while - and found a post about oDesk. It sounded great, so I signed up and I'm so glad I did! Thank you so much, Work From Home Mother!!

oDesk is basically a virtual staffing agency that has a rating system, sort of like eBay does, where you can set up a profile as your resume (you become a "Provider") and apply for jobs. Thousands of jobs are available in web design, programming, various writing, sales & marketing, customer service, etc! You can even take tests on various skills to make yourself more marketable to potential employers, known as "Buyers". In fact, I'd like to take a few more. You set your available hours and pay rate.

After a few days and about 6 applications, which are sent as a customized cover letter, I got an interview with a gentleman with a marketing firm in Canada looking for someone familiar with work from home businesses to write some sales copy. How fortuitous that it matched me so well - my profile has me as a marketing student and WAHM who writes...perfect! I'm almost finished with my first weekly bit...just have to edit my work and send it in!

I'm still figuring out how the odesk Team system works, because I need to delete about 20 minutes where I was logged in, but had to jump up to take care of the baby.

If ANY of you reading this are interested in working from home, definitely give oDesk a try! It's legit, payment for hourly gigs are guaranteed (as long as the Buyer's payment method has been verified) and there are jobs there! I'm not the most skilled person by ANY means, but I found an assignment even competing against some heavy hitters...what can I say, I write a snazzy cover letter!

Best of all, it's FREE! Here's the link, what are you waiting for?

The On Demand Global Workforce - oDesk

Passionate Blogger Award!!

My blog was given this award quite some time ago, and I promised that as soon as I was able, I would pass it along to some worthy blogs. In between prep work for product development, gearing up to start at a new school, domestic/mom duties, setting up a website for my home decor products and working an assignment at oDesk (more on that later), I finally found that time. I didn't mean to take so's kind of been having it's way with me lately.

First, I want to thank Duni at Lovely Purses for nominating me for this award. I highly recommend checking out her blog...she's awesome!

Passionate Blogger Award

Here's my list of blogs to nominate...check 'em out!

*Shawn at The Shark Tank - this blog is either seriously humorous or humorously can decide which, lol

*My friend at Shopping Kharma - this blog tells of the personal struggles and triumphs of a strong young woman

*Bonnie at Thrifty Momma Ramblings - this blog is always full of great advice to be resourceful by

*Dianne at WAHMs United - this blog is a great resource for WAHMs and is full of articles...I also love her eco-friendly WAHM blog!

That's it for now...I could think of many others that are worthy, but I can't seem to find the list I had...definitely check these out, they are great!

Apr 29, 2009

Soon to come...

I got a blog award from Duni at Lovely Purses a month or two ago and have not yet had the time to put my list of blogs together and acknowledge them all.

Thanks for bearing with me in my attempt to take a break while still being busy. A list is on the way in the near future.

Beware of Online Schools

I have found out a lot about online schools recently...and it all started when I found out mine was associated with scams.

University of Phoenix is currently in the middle of a class action law suit because they are (allegedly) mishandling the funds and records of it's students. After the school changed CEO's a few years ago, former employees allege that admissions were to be gotten at any cost, at the risk of losing their jobs. In 2004, the school was in court for similar charges and were made to pay a few million dollars in fines. The current suit was brought up by "whistleblowers" made up of former employees.

Another allegation is that when a student (more often than not complaining of sub-par courses) withdraws, the school uses the student's information to pay off all loans and then bills the student directly for classes taken. If the student doesn't pay, it's reported on their credit report and UoP refuses to send their transcripts when the student transfers to another college.

The reason they do this is to keep their default rates down. A bit of research will tell you that their default rates are suspiciously low, by any standards. A low default rate enables them to look good to federal funding entities, as well as on Wall Street, as I understand it.

Do I believe this, you may ask? Yes, I do...because I was lied to when I signed up. I was told that if I chose to transfer, all of my credits would transfer successfully. I found out later that NONE of them would. I also found out that employers will laugh you out of an interview if you have a UoP's nowhere near marketable. I know from experience that all of your advisors, who were so attentive when you signed up, refuse to talk to you if you even consider taking time off. They suddenly went MIA and are still impossible to contact. I decided to withdraw completely.

I just found out the other day that, despite having sent in my withdrawal notice before the current session began, that I'm still on their student roster. True to the stories going around about them, they're waiting 27 days so they can "boot me out" based on "non-attendance". I was expecting this, so I made sure I had tangible proof of the date I withdrew and sent my forms.

I'm in negotiations to transfer to a reputable school with excellent credintials, but I'm expecting UoP to be a problem. I have the contact info for the plantiff attorneys for the lawsuit and also for a few of their current and former students who are interested in forming another suit. I'm prepared to seek legal counsel if I need to...all I need is for them to bill me for classes already paid for or to openly deny that I withdrew properly. If I'm forced to, I have no problem being a spoke on the wheel that brings them down. I have a HUGE problem with companies that deceive for profit.

It's not just UoP that's under the gun. Their parent company, Apollo Group, is also responsible for heading other online schools, such as College for Financial Planning and Western International Univ. AIU, WGU, Everest, Colorado Tech and others are also being called scam colleges.

My advice is if you're considering getting your degree online, do your research. I just found out that I didn't do a good enough job in that dept, while I thought I had. Know if the school is for-profit or not-for-profit and assess how this would affect the way they do business. Check the accreditation and then double-check it to be sure it's the kind you need for your career goals.

UoP's ACBSP accreditation for business is not recognized by many employers as a "respectable" accreditation, who prefer AACSB accreditation (the way I understand it, the latter is harder to for a school to get). I recently started telling others to check complaint boards, forums, ripoff reports, etc. for the schools their considering to see how current and former students rate it.

Being smart about choosing a school just got more complicated. With all the perks of the World Wide Web came all the downsides. You can get a quality education just have to do an extra bit of homework before signing your way into one.

Mar 29, 2009

Going Green and Staying Busy *long post*

I completely missed Earth Hour last night! I would have participated if I'd have been paying more attention. My recycling efforts show me that the largest majority of our trash is recyclable (big surprise there, huh? LOL). I'd like to add a vermi-composting bin in my kitchen, even as small as my apartment is.

I'm going to order more cloth diapers for the baby and have been looking into greener feminine hygiene products. Add the fact that organic and/or cloth versions are more comfortable, healthier (same with diapers) and it's a no-brainer. I found a large selection that would please even the least eco-savvy consumer...and came across some interesting facts along the way, some I already knew.

Your average commercial brand contains as many chemicals (such as the highly toxic carcinigen, Dioxin) as your average commercial brand diapers do and have been linked to things like heavier, more painful periods and even endemetriosis.

I froze after reading that one...I was diagnosed with endemetriosis at 18; it was the cause for the second surgery I had that year. Now I'm wondering if those products could've had a hand in my having developed it. Scary. Kind of makes you wonder what else is going on in the foods we eat, prodcts we use, etc...etc...

On another note, I've halted adding catagories to my Simply Ambrosia site for now. I'm having trouble getting my Entrecard widget up due to the layout and lack of options on my blog. I have a few up and thousands more products to add later, but I'm in the process of working on a permanent site for my shop. Without the EC widget, traffic would be extremely hard to come by...I simply have no time to market it at this time.

I'm also spending a lot of my time on getting together everything I need to start my all-natural product business. Most of the products are vegan certified and all are made with only natural ingredients. I'm very excited about this but it will take lots more planning. I'm working on my logo now and trademarking it when it's finished, the specific recipes for each line, labeling, packaging and my business model (which I won't go into at this time, but I promise, you guys will LOVE it!).

My goal is to find a company that will not only offer eco-conscious packaging to suit my needs, but also labeling that uses recycled paper/materials and earth-friendly inks. Another criteria is that the labels are made to "keep" in a bathroom environment and not bleed, rub off, etc. A lot of my products are for bath and body.

I want to make sure I do this thing right. It's been my dream to run this type of business since I was a young teenager in my kitchen making my own face masks, herb teas and performing tarot readings and healings for friends. I feel like I've become out of touch with that side of me in recent years and this shop is almost like my re-awakening. I'm loving it, having lots of fun.

It's easy to see why I've been so busy lately. My scorpio nature doesn't know how to do anything half-way and my one-track mind keeps me running like a woman posessed, LOL. I've jumped in head over feet and there's no stopping the train. Nothing to do but enjoy the ride!

I certainly hope all the rest of you are having as much fun with your endeavors!

Mar 5, 2009

Another Great Giveaway!

I tend not to participate, due to my lack of time for, well...anything!, but I may just get hooked on these, lol.

Momstart is hosting an eco giveaway, courtesy of Ecostore. You all know me, I love scoping out earth-friendly products and companies...this one's new to me!

So, check out her post for how to enter! Giveaway ends Monday, March 23.

I finally have product up!

It's not a full-fledged professional website...yet...but it's a start. I figured out how to add a shopping cart to my new Wordpress blog, Simply Ambrosia (finally, right?).

I've only added one catagory so far, Outdoor Enjoyment, with 3 sub-catagories. The idea is to add as I go, with a goal of at least 3 catagories a week. Next up is candles and candle accessories, which I'm hoping to have up by later today.

As always, I'm willing to give a great deal, so the Choose your Own Sale special that I offer with my Avon business will apply to this one as well.

So, check it out and let me know how it navigates, etc. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Mar 4, 2009

Check Out This Giveaway!

My friend, Duni, over at Lovely Purses is hosting a giveaway in honor of her 100th post! She's making available some of her handmade items for the winner of the drawing. To be a part of this event, check out her announcement post for more information!

The drawing is this Saturday, March 7, so the giveaway expires then. Well, what are you waiting for?

Feb 27, 2009

Got Plastic Bags?

WOW! I just read on Eco-Friendly WAHM's blog about a really cool project you can make with your stack of plastic bags to eliminate waste. Cool beans!

My family, including myself, will sometimes forget to use the reusable shopping bags I got (which, btw, holds more and holds up better than plastic bags, I must say!). I've been wondering what to do with those things for a minute.

If you're in that same boat, you should definitely check out this post!

$10 off diapers!

It recently dawned on me that I could order my son's diapers online, thanks to an ad in BabyTalk (or was it American Baby?), I went to to check them out.

I'm glad I did because I found some really good deals on pretty much everything I was looking for. The only exception was some diaper rash ointment that I found at Kroger's for a buck or so less.

The site also runs an ongoing special where you can get $10 off any order that's at least $49, but only with your first order. Every order over $49 gets FREE shipping, and it's easy to hit this number with all the items you can buy in bulk.

So, if you or anyone you know is in need of baby/maternity stuff, check out and enter code 4yourbaby to get the $10 off your first order!

Feb 25, 2009

Weddings, know...the usual!...

I haven't been around as much lately. It's part burnout, part busy with other things, on and so forth. My week has been picking up, too! I've even been neglecting dropping my EC's, though I hope to fix all that in the next day or so.

I think it started after I ordered my son's cloth diapers. I made a personal goal to finally get off it and do something about eliminating waste instead of just talking about it. That's right, I am going eco-nomically Eco, thanks to an article I decided to write a few weeks ago. I stopped using sponges and went back to dishrags, cloth diapers rather than disposables and shopping with cloth bags...little, inexpensive ways to make an impact! Next, I'm going to invest in a water filter for my kitchen faucet.

Anyway, back to my point...soon after, I get a call from one of my best friends about hosting her wedding reception. Of course I said yes! The whole week leading up to it and since, I've been constantly on the go, it seems.

The wedding was Monday and the ceremony was beautiful. I, the woman of stone, nearly cried. The groom and I have known each other, literally, all our lives and the bride has been one of my best friends for the last 7-8 years. I joked that it was like seeing my brother and my sister get married...only not the creepy incest way. Of course, I meant that they were my extended, adopted family. I wish them all the best; they're perfect together.

Work, I've toned down on a bit and it was nice to have the break, but I gotta jump back into it or I'll go nuts, lol. I've been having trouble finding a good web host that offers a website builder and domain name...rather, finding one that I can find info on at the BBB. I've run across one or two that stank of SCAM, so I wanna be sure I pick a good one at a good price.

I caught wind of one called 000webhost and it sounded great, but then I read somewhere that they offer free services where you wind up downloading a virus or something. I didn't like the sound of that, but I also read in various places from people who have never gotten a virus using their services and swear it's not only legit, but great once you figure out some of the techie tricks to the software they offer.

Do any of you know anything about this, or other well-priced, hosting services? I'm open to any and all suggestion...I just want to make sure I make a wise choice before I jump into business websites. Thanks in advance to those who respond.

Feb 15, 2009

My Kinda Valentine's Day

At first, I'd debated on even celebrating it (budget's tight right now, car broke down, etc.), but then I went ahead and bought my boyfriend a gift. He came in and gave me my gifts, very romantic.

Then, my mom got the boys for the night and, instead of going out, we stayed in (my idea), ordered Chinese and I ordered an old Vincent Price movie OnDemand. The original House on Haunted Hill...I highly recommend this and I didn't particularly like the new one at all.

Vincent Price doesn't sound romantic to most people...but I'm not like most people. Besides, it wasn't about the movie being romantic anyway. It was that we finally had a night to ourselves to kick back and cuddle up on the couch. That's a wonderful and rare treat for any couple that stay incredibly busy any other time. The movie was a treat for me from myself because I like old movies, horror movies, etc.

It was a nice, relaxing evening and I hope everyone else had the same!

Feb 11, 2009

The NEW Kindle 2!!

Amazon's infamous wireless reader just got an update...the Kindle 2! And guess what, guys? They've been made available, as of yesterday, for preorder at $359 to be shipped later this month. You can get yours today at!

To celebrate, Amazon is also featuring Kindle accessories, such as covers from Cole Haan, Belkin and more.

What makes the new Kindle different from the previous version, you ask? Quite a bit, actually...take a look:

New Features & Enhancements

Slim & Lightweight: Just over 1/3 inch and 10.2 ounces.

Books in under 60 seconds: Get books delivered in less than 60 seconds; no PC required.

Improved Display: Reads like real paper; now boasts 16 shades of gray for crisp images and text; even reads well in bright sunlight.

Longer Battery Life: 25% longer battery life; read for days without recharging.

More Storage: Take your library with you; holds over 1,500 books.

Faster Page Turns: 20% faster page turns.

Read-to-Me: Text-to-Speech feature means Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud.

No Wireless Bills: No monthly wireless bills, data plans, or commitments. Amazon pays for Kindle’s wireless connectivity so you won’t see a monthly wireless bill.

Large Selection: Over 230,000 books, plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines and blogs available.

Low Book Prices: New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise.

I, for one, was pretty impressed with the updates. I'm also an incorrigible bookworm, so no surprise there, lol. It's definitely worth a look if you're one also! Even if you're not, with thousands of books in so many catagories available to choose from, you're sure to find something in your favorite subject.

Feb 7, 2009

Weekend Off!

Just cause I said so! I've been running myself ragged for nearly a year now and I'm so due for a break! School's back in session come Monday, so until then, I'm only gonna do what I want to. After that, I'll decide if I can throw in more businesses (writing, homemade herbal products and consulting for adult issues).

I've sold my first article to Associated Content, but if you know their terms, you'll know it wasn't for much more than some exposure. Still, it was my first, so I'm still proud to have crossed that threshold.

I came across another site that lets the writer set their own price, Constant Content, and I put my next one up there. I'll know in a couple days if it needs edited or not...hopefully not, I reworked it a couple of times. It's nice that I could set my own price to it, instead of taking a few bucks for it, because it's over 1660 words.

I'm giving myself some time off, though, before I start writing my new articles (I have two still to get published anyway) or launching my new marketing campaign or working out the business plans for the next three.

Let's hear it for quality time with the family, another Laurell K. Hamilton Anita Blake installment and a couple home spa nights. WooHoo!!

Feb 3, 2009

The Stimulus Plan

I had heard the other day that the stimulus had gone through...or thought I had anyway. I haven't had a lot of time to keep up with news lately. However, I came across some news today that really irked me-it might not go through, due to conservatives on both sides of the political aisle pushing their agendas to favor corporations.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but didn't the rich guys have their fun already? That's a big part of the reason we're in this mess now, isn't it? Why should they continue to get bigger tax cuts while the rest of us sit high and dry?

That's what's going to happen if this gets pushed aside, or if it gets blocked until 'changes are made'. These guys want to cut out the parts that create green jobs, affordable health insurance for families in need of it...even money for education, that's needed to keep hundreds of thousands of teachers from getting laid off!

I'm not gonna hate on these corporations for needing to stay in business. My question is this: Must they do it at our expense? Is a globally recognized business with plenty of money to blow going to fall off a cliff without a boost in capital that would barely put a dent in their bottom line...really?

Our schools need it more. The argument that raising taxes is going to hurt families makes me laugh. What's going to hurt us is if we have to pay those taxes and the corporations rather than our families are the ones to benefit from it. Either way, we're likely going to have to pay more in taxes. I, for one, don't mind paying a bit long as it goes to benefit the people as a whole, not just those in a higher income bracket.

Jan 27, 2009

Stimulating Our Economy

I took a minute from working on my finals to drop a couple EC's and came across a post about our economy. Being an entrepreneur myself, it really resonated with me and I felt the need to blog about it.

The issue of what needs done to best stimulate our economy is brought up as putting the stimulus money to use by allowing small businesses and entrepreneurs the chance to prosper rather than throwing it into a welfare pool. There were parts I agreed with and parts I didn't, but it definitely got me thinking.

Finances are an important part of our daily existence and are a huge part of what makes our culture work, and I get very passionate about it. I'm definitely of the opinion that we need to keep the markets moving in a forward manner. Letting them stall is only going to hurt us more in the long run.

Banks have received their why aren't they doing more to help it along? I understand that their role in our downward slide may make them iffy, but when will they realize that it's not giving the loans that did them was giving them out stupidly. Nudging people (or out and out conning them, in some cases) toward loans they couldn't afford without a crazy adjustable interest rate was asking for trouble. Of course they got caught up when the rates spiked! That's what happens when people get used to paying one amount and suddenly have to pay another, way more expensive.

I'll never call myself a finance expert (I'm no more than an adult interested in doing as well as I can with what I have), but even I knew those adjustable rates were a terrible idea when I heard about them. It wouldn't be that bad as long as the people taking them out stayed aware of how much it could spike and prepared themselves. Most didn't. Still, having one steady payment throughout the life of the loan with all cards on the table is just a more logical way to go.

I've heard it said that we should go back to the system that was up in the 50's...approving loans for those who could actually afford to pay them off and had conservatively saved for a good down payment (in the case of cars and houses). Some things I am glad we've moved forward from, but that's one I agree with going backward on. We, as a nation, really need to learn to manage our money better. It's a tough way to have to learn that lesson, but we'll be the better for having to.

Ranting about money is one thing that motivated me to join the Suze Orman Fan Community Blog as a contributor. She's very passionate about being frugal and I like that in a celebrity :)

Jan 25, 2009

All About Telling A Story

This whole week has been about writing for me, in between assignments for my classes (which I fell behind in due to computer issues and had to catch up), that is. In addition to Chronicles of Caelan , I have created a second Today blog that was approved this week, Misplaced Myths .

This new blog takes familiar stories and gives them a different perspective...I'm hoping to add more in the way of fairy tales and urban myths soon. Tomorrow, it'll be eligible for an Entrecard widget...Yah!!

In addition to this, I've got some new articles in the works and can't wait for my week out of school after my final projects are completed and turned in to have the time to put together a few of them!

I haven't had much time for anything fact, I've pretty much neglected the online shops ( Zlio and Bravisa ) I put up in addition to my businesses..I marketed them, then due to time constraints, I left them alone.

I think I'm rubbing off on my oldest son...he's taken to being quite the little story-teller! His stories are good, going into description and flows logically...pretty good for a kid his age! Mommy's little artist has branched off!

Jan 16, 2009

To Help The Children

I've been trying to put together an Outreach in my area for some time for the children's ward at my local hospital, to no avail. I have these ultra plush 21. in. tall bears available for distribution as a fundraising item; I dropped the donation amount from the suggested $20 to $15 in light of the economy's downturn.

With my car broke down, I'm not able to get out myself to collect donations and names (seeing how I'm not willing to subject my infant to the freezing weather). My solution to this was to include the idea in my Avon e-newsletter and offer an additional discount to anyone willing to help.

Then, I went further when I figured out a way to involve my out-of-town online customers. They will get the discount and those who have donated through them have the choice of their money going either to the Avon Foundation, St. Jude's Children's Hospital or St. Jude's Ranch.

Each organization is deserving in their own way. The Avon Foundation raises funds that go toward breast cancer awareness, treatment and prevention, domestic violence awareness, care packages for the troops, etc. We're all familiar with St. Jude's work in helping families who can't otherwise pay for their child's cancer treatments. The ranch is their's also, a residential home for abused and neglected children. In the case of St. Jude's, the bears can also be donated to the children, or sent to the donor, if they prefer. In the case of choosing Avon Foundation, the bears can go to the donors, or delivered to the children at my local hospital.

I'd like to also do this type of fundraiser for the schools in my area, when my car gets fixed so I can. In this case, the money would go to the school and the children would get the bears to take home. For my part, I put the order in thru Avon, the bears get sent where they're going and the funds go to their respective organizations.

If you're interested in helping out, please email me at

Call me a proud mama!

I had to post this! My baby, who's been cooing and babbling in sentences for some time, has said his first actual words! Yesterday, he was cooing at me and it sounded like he said "I good" (don't all babies coo this?...sure). I asked him if that's what he said, and he repeated it back and laughed. A few minutes later, he called me mama (it's sounded like he's said this before, but not as clear). Then today, we were 'talking' back and forth like we always do; I looked up and said something to his daddy about 'booger-butt'...and he repeated that too, laughing!

I'm absolutely amazed at it because he's not even 4 months old yet; we knew he'd start talking early, but this early?!? I am so proud of him and all he's accomplished in the last 3 1/2 months.

What about his big brother, you ask? I'm incredibly proud of him also! He didn't talk as early...he had problems with his teeth that required surgery and they say that'll postpone talking in many cases. My (almost) 6 year old is so creative...I call him my little artist and encourage him at every turn. His father can draw anything and make it look good...he totally gets it from him. He loves drawing and making collages out of his work. He gets better and better every year and always comes up with cool names for what he draws.

I love everything my little artist and my little communicator come up with. No doubt about it...I'm one proud mama!

Jan 14, 2009

It's here!

I'm loving this computer for the most part...much faster! Certain things are odd, like the time always reads PM...strange. I still need to put my office software on it, so I can work on my presentation for Business Comm., the notes for which are due Friday.

It's been a good week for efficency with a dash of relaxation...or is that the other way around, lol. I have a slew of lists, that somehow are in order. These things will keep me busy for a while. I'm thinking about putting out an online ad for the Outreach program I'm wanting to head for the children's ward at my local hospital. I have some new products in my line and some fresh ideas for work the first quarter.

I haven't been working out except maybe twice, and it could be hurting me. I had some issues with my legs swelling and going numb; I almost went to the hospital. Once my legs were pretty well back to normal, I did some stretches and lifts with my ankle weights to get things moving. It's been off and on a bit since I was pregnant with my little guy. If they swell like that again, I will go get checked out (that's a stretch for me!).

From what I was reading and when I talked to a nurse, my symptoms run the gamut from bursitis (in my knee) to PPH to mini-strokes brought on by poor circulation to some lumbar stenosis thing (makes sense, I already have scoliosis)...none of these things are good though. Then again, it could be as simple as sitting around working too much. I feel fine now, but I'm keeping an eye for anything odd and have been moving around more to be sure. I'm used to being very healthy (though tired) and I don't intend to change that any time soon (except the tired part, hehe).

I think it is bedtime now, lol...I've been up all day and half the night already and there's much to do rest for the wicked, eh?

Jan 12, 2009

It's A Boy!!!

Not me, of course...I just had one in October! One of my best friends just called me to say that they just got back from the ultrasound and it's comfirmed that the baby's a boy!!

My oldest friend in the world, Jack, was excited...he was rooting for a boy. His fiance, whom I introduced him to, btw, wanted a girl but she's excited and just wanted a healthy baby.

I'm gonna be an auntie (for the ga-zillionith time, lol) and I'm gonna give them all of my son's clothes as he grows out of them. I can't wait to hold their baby shower, which will be sometime in March (little guy's due in June). I am so happy for those two...I've known them for many years and my life just wouldn't be the same without them.

The Weekend's Over

I didn't post over the weekend because I was busy with my sons and used my extra time putting together a working schedule, to allow for more writing, study and domestic duties.

I decided that since one of my goals was to create 3 more blogs on , I made lists of content to add to each that are good for at least the first two weeks. I also created a list of writing gigs I wanted to query. I set up my Sundays for researching the coming week's list of content.

It's a work in progress, as is everything, LOL. I feel a lot calmer overall and more in control of how my time is managed.

Another development is that I finally found the computer I wanted (to replace this old relic I'm currently using) and it's due to arrive Wednesday. I'm so excited! It's what I was holding out for and a little bit more. Best of all, I found it at a GREAT price.

I'm frugal to begin with and after paying a bill my boyfriend owed (I didn't mind, he's been paying for everything until I got back into the swing of things after having the baby), it left me with around $175 to either upgrade or replace this ole PC.

I shopped around relentlessly looking both for parts or a new computer, minus the monitor or any extras like that. My focus was mostly a faster processor (at least 2.8GHz), 1GB RAM, a new motherboard to hold it (this one's maxed out) and possibly even a hard drive (20GB acceptable, pref. 40). Amazon, TigerDirect, Dell and a few lesser known discount computer sites got to know my IP very well, LOL.

I kept seeing a Dell Optiplex GX270 popping up everywhere for anywhere between $115-300+, depending on specs and extras. I actually found it cheaper and was going to get a keyboard/mouse set AND a cool phone (we need a new one of those too, lol) for $150, shipping and all....till I realized FactoryDirect ONLY deliver in Canada.

Wanna know what I wound up ordering? The Optiplex (you knew that, right?). It has a 40GB hard drive, 1GB RAM, 2.8GHz P4 processor, DVD-Rom/CD-RW drive, floppy, XP (my preference), software installed, keyboard/mouse set, a few little other things I know I'm probably forgetting and a 1-yr parts/labor warranty. All for $170, shipping and all, from TigerDirect.

Not bad at all for the limited budget and the happiness it'll bring me for the productivity boost! I'm not joking when I say this one's so slow. It has a 16GB hard drive, less than 512MB RAM (probably WAY less) and one of the slowest processors known to humankind, lol. I don't know the details in was built for me when I had no other options, so I wasn't gonna bitch! I'd say, though, that it's prob 1.6 or so in processing.

Whew! Sorry for the rant...I'm really that excited about it.

Jan 8, 2009

A Resolution Under Way!

Ah, finally...I managed to work in time to start in on one of my resolutions for this year - getting back into shape! I've always been really thin (too thin) and even after having my first son, I eventually whittled back down to 105lb...not what you wanna see on the scales when you're 5'7-ish. I fought against it and lost when I'd started smoking again. People used to tell me I was lucky to have the high metabolism, but I found it more of a problem than anything because I thought being skinny made me look like I was sick.

Even now, I'm at 135lb., which is what I like to read, but it's an out-of-shape 135lb. In my skinnier days, I was still in great shape and a whole lot stronger than I looked...I ate like a horse, walked as much as 10 miles some days, went hiking, lifted weights, did yoga, danced, etc. I'm hoping to get back to that kind of shape without losing any of the weight I kept after having my younger son. It should be easier since I quit smoking again a couple years ago (never to return!) and have been able to maintain my weight after that, for the most part...pushing 30 means my metabolism is finally slowing down a bit.

Enter my plan. I wanted to start by stretching everyday, and work back into some upper body weight-lifting and exercises for my lower body. Research has shown that abs can work themselves when a person puts focus on their upper body. Experience tells me this is correct and I won't work in too many core workouts to avoid further pudging out of what's already there. I did buy some ankle weights and a core training ball to help with balance.

I don't always have time to work health and fitness into my schedule, but I figure if I can start small, it'll be easier to work up from there as I'm able. If I can put in at least half an hour each day for some kind of exercise and make at least one meal more nutritious, then I'm doing something good! I'm thinking about omitting one cup of coffee (going from around 3 to 2 daily) and adding one cup of juice or milk in it's stead. I did it yesterday and I wanna keep up with it as much as each day's schedule allows.

This is a longer blog than I meant it to be, so I'll cut it off here. I'll add any new developments, assuming they occur, lol. If any of you have any tips or comments, please send them this way. Maybe we can all help each other stay on track with our resolutions, whatever they may be.

Jan 3, 2009

It Doesn't Have To Be Summer To Relax With a Cool, Refreshing Lemonade

Lemonade Award

I'm happy to say that I won the Lemonade Award!! I was nominated by Shopping Kharma, whose blog totally rocks out! I highly recommend it for it's inspirational qualities and great decor. I am honored that my blog was considered worthy of an award, thank you!

The thing to do when you win one of these is to pass it on to those whose blogs you like, send some link love to the person that nomiated you and (don't forget this step) go to the blogs of those you've nominated and leave comments to let them know they've won the Lemonade Award.

Below is my list. Each of these blogs are great for their own reasons and definitely worth following. Again I want to thank Shopping Kharma for nominating my blog!

- Trivia Facts and Fiction

- ShakespeareMom

- Free Money Saving Tips

- Wine at Five?

- Mom's Kitchen Cooking

- The Truth of Credit

NOTE: I did come across another blog while dropping EC's with a great premise (a fictional blog of the diary of the last person on earth), but I wasn't able to load the page. It may just be that my computer is ancient, but I'll include it here as an honorary mention due to the creativity involved in the storyline. If any of you decide to check it out, are able to load it and love it...please let me know!

Where Else Can You Choose Your Own Sale?!?

Coming up with new developments in any of my businesses is typical for me. I like to save money and I know I'm not alone there by any means and so I try to use my experience as a consumer to help me as a business owner.

This is why I come up with the Choose Your Own Sale deal with my Avon business, and more recently with Simply Ambrosia-Unique Gifts and Decor. The customers now have the power to decide that they want to save money on their favorite products when they need them rather than waiting for it to go on sale! It also encourages a more personal shopping experience and productive rapport between customer and shopkeeper...something we don't see much in our modern, corporate world.

All one has to do is contact me with information on their favorite products and I'll make it available at the best possible prices I can offer them at! Oftentimes, this means I can take a current sale and beef it up to the customers benefit. In the case of Avon, I also offer an e-Newsletter (sent every other week, I do not spam)with news, specials and previews of future campaigns.

Please note that the giftshop's website is's main purpose is to give an example of the products I have available and the prices are adjustable here as well. My supplier offers an online catalog of full inventory, which I can make available by request. I hope to have my own website up and running soon enough.

Jan 1, 2009

Ushering in the New Year!

First of all, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I wish you all the best of luck making your resolutions happen!

I spent a lot of last night watching the History and Discovery channels (are there any others?, lol)...programs about torture/execution devices (Disc) and the fragility of our home planet and the myriad of things that could end it for life here. Couple that with the fact that the first song I heard after waking up was "Dust in the Wind" and you've got the point of this blogpost.

No, I'm not going to drone on and on about the 'end times' or anything like that. My point is more that seeing how easy it would be to not be here by tomorrow, it makes it that much more relevant to stress enjoying the time we're here.

Why this post? Why now? Why not! This is the time of year where we're more likely to be all about making change in our lives (positive changes for most of us and we're all better off if they are). January 1st is when we spend more time thinking about how we can implement that change in our lives and come up with the plans to make it happen. Now is the perfect time for this post!

This year, how about we try to stop worrying about the things beyond our control and focus on the things we can change. Who knows, maybe if enough of us can do that, it could snowball into actually taking care of the bigger worries we have (the economy perhaps)! This is one small way we can free up our lives from some of the stress we face, which could leave us with more time (emotional time, as well as physical) with those we love and make us happier overall. It's definitely worth it to try and is my wish for the world this year.