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.