Monday, January 28, 2013

small house and condos...Help me understand

(Photo credit: OiMax)
I have been watching a lot of You Tube videos of people who live in small houses and condos.  I currently live in a 2-bed, 1 1/2 bath condo, and even though this space is supposed to be everything that I would need in space, it is not.  I really would like to graduate to a three-bed home with a nice kitchen and craft room, and here is why.  I work out of my home, and would love to have a dedicated office, where I can shut the doors (walk out the room) at the end of the day, and transition to things more personal as opposed to business.  I would love to have a place for my potential little occupant, other wise known as a child, to have a place to sleep.   I love to spread out when I cook and I want a place to craft.   But the small apartments and condos I am talking about are smaller than the one I have.
I have seen one that is no bigger than a regular size bedroom, another no bigger than a hallway (in fact it was a hallway in its heyday), and one that was a former school bus (I am not kidding, a SCHOOL BUS).  Some of people occupying the spaces are single, while some are married, and I even seen a couple who had a couple of children in the spaces.   What these people all had in common were the items in the space was very minimal, they were not previously poor and they were very, very happy about their choice.  This is not a post about being critical about where they choose to live or how uncomfortable I would feel in the space, which, BTW, I would.   This is a post to all the you tube commentators out there who are critical of us "Horders" out there, in big house/condo land.  (Because they may think what I have is too big)
Please do not get so high minded if we do not get rid of all our stuff like you did.  Everyone has to crawl before they can walk.  I am still trying to understand why a person wants to sleep on a bed that folds up into a couch everyday, but then I am thinking about the sofa sleepers my parents used to have.  Those sofa sleepers were very hard on the back and everything else for that matter.  Give us a chance, and maybe one day, you can convince us to live a minimalist lifestyle.  Sometimes we do think we have a lot of stuff, but old habits are hard to break.  I personally think what you are doing is beautiful for you.  I still have a desktop computer as a main computer, but it suits me for me.  You do things for you, and maybe we will come around.  If we do, great, if not, then great still.  I know it is the matter of leaving a carbon footprint, and to leave the planet in a better shape then when we first found it. Now I am speaking as a Christian; When Jesus comes back, it does not matter what this planet looks like, but yes, we will all answer to how well we took care of what God entrusted us with.  For the moment, I would rather recycle in a bigger place from where I currently live, and still take care of the Earth.  I believe that can be achieved.
So let agree on a few things:  I will not criticize where you live if you do the same.   Agreed.   Have a blessed day. 

P.S.  I am purging things, and my place now seems a little bigger, but I still want that third bedroom.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Give credit where credit is due

Some big-box retail stores are over-illuminated.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This isn't what it sounds has been one of those days, where you feel like shutting the door, and letting the world do its thing.  It is a day where the moment something good comes in the morning, and 15 bad things happen in the evening.  

First things first:  I was awaken to someone wanting to order the Inaugural Basket.  She could not find it on my Longaberger website.  Good thing, I was getting a little worried if anyone was going to order anything this month.  So I got up, and started working.  I want more days like this, someone waking me up to order something.  A card, a scrapbook, a basket, or a piece of pottery.  Anything to help my quality of life, which is the business side of my life.  I want to touch on that for just a moment.
I am not understanding how I can spend a lot of time creating, promoting, showing, and talking about my businesses.  Giving the amount of care to my businesses.  This is part of my life, and just like the average person gets up to go to a job every day, reports to a boss who may or may not like them.  A job that does not pay much, or it may give that person exceedingly joy that they do not feel like they are working.  This is how I feel when I present my scrapbooking business or my Longaberger business to people.  I want to share with the world.  Yes, at the moment both paychecks suck, but this is where I come and try to show the public why it is important to preserve memories or why it is important to have a well-organized home or to own a business that you truly love. 
What I also do not understand is why so many people want to buy from a Sears, Target, or even Wal-Mart all the time?  Yes, they are reliable, but ask yourself, how many times you have needed something from an employee from these big box stores to get something for you?  It could be a price check, to see if an item is available for purchase, or to get a simply refund for a returned item.  I am not saying that big box stores are bad, but they have made it so that when someone has a small business, home business, or a simply “Mom and Pop” establishment, whatever you want to call it, people shy away from these places.  Let me tell you that these big businesses have all the people they need and more.  Small businesses have to work harder to achieve at least a 10th of what these other stores make in one day.  Think about that while I explain the rest of the day.
So, after getting my package ready to be mail out to my potential customer, I did other things, such as posting a tip on my Tricia’s Basket blog, which I saw on a Facebook group I just joined and calling my sister, who I guess is now in between jobs.  It is frigidly cold in Ohio, and our mom advised both of us not to leave our homes, even though my sis is having a nasty little battle with the apartment complex she is living at with her two children.  She is looking for another place to live, found a house with 3 bedrooms, which is around the corner from her bio dad.  After going around, and around about the situation of going out in the cold, she finally agreed with me to table looking at the house until it warms up to at least 40°F around here.  I have the car, she does not.  Next problem…
I had the television on HSN (Home shopping network), and it reminded me that I needed to update my credit card information, so I go inside my wallet, and get all the necessary info to update it, and I cannot find the card.  The last time I had it was in a McDonald’s drive-in, and I knew she had to hand me back the card with the receipt.   It is too darn cold for me to run back and forth, trying to see if I accidently dropped it in my car, which is in my attached garage.  So I borrowed money from mom to do a couple of things, including a business item I needed to take care of.  These are some of the things that are my responsibility, not my parents.  That is why it is so important that I have people to purchase from me, read my blogs, and other things. 
I understand there is a crisis in this country, but the crisis isn't so great that people cannot make purchases on greeting cards, for example.  I have them on hand to ship out to people who need one.   They are also cheaper than Hallmark or American Greetings, and they can be made to order.  How many card companies can say that?  What about hats?  I know of several people who could use an order or two.  Jewelry?  Again I know several people who sell or can make their own jewelry, and one of them goes to my church.  We are all passionate about our work and we are very proud of that work.   How many Wal-Mart employees can say that about the company?
Have a blessed evening and a good and blessed week.  After all, it is Hump Day. 
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Please do your homework.

Has this ever happened to you?   You are in charge of an annual event.  You have a committee who has been working hard to make the event a success year after year.  Suddenly, your friend, Jane bring on a new person who can take this event over the top.  You have said in your meetings with the group, new people were always welcome, as long as their ideas are consistent with the views of the group.  So Anna joins the group, and she is the perfect fit to the committee.  All of a sudden, Anna has this idea for a new activity.  It for adults only, and the event is supposed to be family oriented, and she insists on having this activity.  What do you do?  
This just happened to me.  it was not about a recent event but this blog.  I try to give my readers something that is inspirational and for writers. I went on a site called Guest and a someone wanted to guest blog on all 5 of my blogs.  "Great, love to have you."   Her topics were way off, but I tried to place them the best way I knew how.  This is the reason why for those of you have been following this blog, were reading the post on Internet Marketing.   I should have not posted this article here, but I did not know where to post it.   My first blog that I started, MDN Creates is all about the world of scrapbooking and paper crafting in general, how to organized your supplies, CHA (Craft and Hobby Association-which starts next week for the Winter quarter); and all of that good stuff.   Tricia's Baskets, which in general is about Longaberger products and how to decorate around them.  For that blog, she submitted how to save for decorating, which really should have gone in the Simply Organized Crafts blog.  This blog is about organizational tips, tricks, recipes, and other household items including finances.  The SOC blog is where the Internet marketing post should have gone, but to me it does not fit here either, because I want to talk more about personal and family finances as well.   Lastly is my Disney blog, and it is all about traveling to the Disney parks in Florida and California, with a touch on the international parks.
So why do I have the example in the beginning of the post, and list each of my blogs descriptions?  It all goes back to homework and writing.  I have not done a demographic survey of my readers, but if I were, the majority of my readers do not write, but it does not matter.  No matter what you do in life, make sure you research, research, research before you do anything.  Had Anna done her homework (research), she would have found out ahead of time that the activity she wanted to do was not appropriate for the event, and she would have found another venue for it.   If the guest blogger I was working with had looked at each one of my blogs that I have in my profile, she would have known about the types of posts I have in each blog, and gauge each post according to my blogs.  She also would not have been so demanding either.
Doing your homework avoids confusion, hurt feelings, and allows both parties to say that they had a good experience.   She left a bad taste in my mouth, but that does not stop me from having guest bloggers in the future.
So what am I looking for in a guest blogger on THIS blog?   I would prefer a writer who is inspirational (yes, no more Abby Lee Miller posts), who loves to write THEIR story.  Something more on the style of Guideposts the magazine.   It can be creative writing, like a poem.  I love poems.    If its factual, please get you facts straight (again with the research).  You do not have to quote scripture, but it would be nice.  If you do quote scripture, please tell me what version of the bible you quoted from.  I want my readers to be able to look it up if they are bible scholars. (Or not.) You can give advise on this blog, but write it so that if your children were sitting on your lap, you would not mind them seeing it.   So nothing about sex and the other "adult" issues, unless it is about how you overcame your problem with those issues, but again, make it family friendly.  Do not advertise, and most importantly, have fun with your post.  You do not have to give me the happy, happy , joy, joy type post.  It could be something that has made you feel good about yourself and inspire others.
So with that, I apologize for the last post, and I hope it will never happen again.  Be well (it's flu season), be safe (it's winter), and Be Blessed (God is always in the blessing business).  Have a great evening.
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

How to be Successful in Internet marketing

Internet is the perfect source for entrepreneurs to market their products and services. Compared to traditional marketing, internet marketing is the effective way to attract customers. You can build brand exposure of your products in the global market. Building the online presence is not enough. Your business needs to follow effective web marketing strategies and techniques to attain success in global field. Here are the few tips to achieve success in internet marketing

 Optimize your website: Optimizing your website is an important task. Design your web page effectively so that it appears in the top list of search engines result pages. Take the help of specialized people in SEO who help in optimizing your site. You can optimize the site by selecting the appropriate keywords. Use Google keyword tool and choose the best word which describes your business.
F Pay per click advertising: Through PPC you can drive instant traffic to the website. By paying a certain amount to search engines you can purchase specific keywords. Your website will be displayed on the right side of search pages. For every click on the ad you need to pay a certain amount to the search engines.
F E-newsletter: This is the best way to drive quality traffic to the website. If done properly, you can attract potential customers and can redirect them to your webpage for additional information. It is the inexpensive way to publish an e - newsletter. So take an advantage of this service to enhance your page rank.
F Blogging: Through blogging you can increase your websites visibility and ranking. You can share your views and can engage customers in your discussion. By this way you can improve your business standards.
F Link exchanges: Search engines will check the number of inbound and outbound links to rank your website. Link building drives quality traffic to the website. Take the help of online services like Linksmanager which is a link management system that automatically builds one way and two links to the website.
F Social media: Never underestimate the value of social media. These days the number of social media users is growing rapidly. Advertise your products on a popular webpage like Facebook and Twitter to drag user’s attention.
F Promote your website in offline: Most of the entrepreneurs do not focus on offline marketing. Seo, PPC, social media are the great online to drive traffic to the website. Most of the customers and prospects will know about your business process in the physical world too. So ensure that your web address is printed on letterheads, business cards, brochures, newsletter, magazine ads etc.
F Customer relationships: maintain good customer relationships. Identify the potential customers who show interest in your business. Focus on these active customers to boost your sales ratings. For instance offer discounts to the existing clients. Respond to the customers queries through comments. Get their feedback. Ask them they rate your products. When a new user visits your page he checks the customer reviews and ratings before purchasing your product.
Organize your business budget effectively. There are different business firms which lend you the required cash to maintain your financial stability. For instance through ppi firms you can refund the total amount paid using ppi claims.
Author Bio: I am Leo. I am a finance writer .Do check my website or can follow me on financeport.

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Friday, January 11, 2013


The truth here is everyone loves shopping. People hunt for different apparels and search for branded items. This makes half the amount to go in vain. But, one should know the sneaky ways to save money. Shop for items you need but never waste money on un-wanted things. Here are few smart ways to save money on shopping.

Ø  Plan: Make a list of items which you wanted to purchase. This will allow you not to buy anything useless. So, plan before you run your errands which help to keep your spending minimum.
Ø  OrganizeSystematize yourself what to buy and then start shopping. The things which you buy un-seasonally will wet your pockets. Make a note of all the shopping goods accordingly and then buy them in an order.
Ø  Comparison: At times, groceries at one shop may vary in cost with other. Even the apparels of the same brand will cost different. So compare goods and then purchase. Never invest lot of money for goods which are not worth. Do a window shopping a day before purchasing.
Ø  Search for discounts: Often now-a-days there are many discounts in the market. Even the mobile phones come at lesser cost with rebates. Unless it is urgent, wait for the discount sale and then purchase things. Few of the malls give 25percent off on all purchases. Such conditions will save money and also give you more choices.
Ø  Season sales: For every season there are sale of garments, furniture, groceries and many more. Dealers expect more sales during festival time and they try earning profits. Much of the basic clothes will be better in such sales.
Ø  Never shop when you are bored: Silly purchases on road side will not meet your requirements but just give a satisfaction. If you are bored, you should not shop. You may wander the whole mall and purchase any interesting item. Wandering with friends and getting inspired by them will empty your pockets.
Ø  Buy limited: Shop wisely. Procure things which are useful to you. Though there is any discount sale, never buy them in bulk. Limited goods are always good for the budget. For more discounts, check for the stock. Buying damaged goods for less cost will not make any sense.
Ø  Save the bills: Some of the stores accept exchange and also give warranty for the purchased items. So, the bills should be preserved. If any of the purchases are not liked by you, exchange offer can work better for it.
Ø  Use coupons: Many of the professional organisations give discount coupons for employees which can be useful for nay conditions. Such vouchers can save little money from your pocket.
Ø  Put some effort on old clothes: As the fashion cycle rotates, the clothes inside the wardrobe will come in use. Such apparels will be useful for any parties or evenings. So this can save a little money. Leftovers should be checked and then purchasing should be done.
So opt for sales in buying groceries, wait for season discount for purchasing garments than boutiques. Such steps should be taken for buying all the accessories sand goods. These are the best and smart ways of saving money.  
About the Author:
The guest post was contributed by Leo, financial guest blogger from Manchester, UK. Apart from blogging, she does research on PPI Claims. Find out more about her finance related blogs at financeport

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

What Drives your Happiness

Adoption by Choice, Erie PA
(Photo credit: hbimedialibrary)

About a year ago, I have hit a dry spell.   In fact, I have hit a writer’s wall.   So I was sitting in bed a few minutes ago, when everything that I was upset about for the past couple of days just hit me like a ton of bricks.   Have you ever felt that way?  
At the age of 29, I was told that I would never have a baby.   I was not trying to conceive.   I had a fibroid tumor (actually 3 of them), they must come out, or I would die.   Well the doctor tried to shrink them to no avail.   In fact, my tumors look forward to their drug-induced dinner every month.  They grew instead of shrunk, and they grew into the size of a 5-month old inside the womb.   I had to go to the emergency room once during that time, and the doctor swore I looked like I was 6 months pregnant (I wish).   So November of 1993 was the last time I saw a period, ever.   I had partial hysterectomy (all but ovaries gone).   I was down, depressed, my part of the Logan legacy gone, and forgotten.  I was never going to be able to experience to find out the day after I get married, telling that lucky man that I was carrying his child, and then to go through a 36-hour labor process of pushing this kid out of my 5’ petite frame.   Beyoncé was lucky to rent out the entire maternity ward of the hospital where she had her Blue Ivy (who names their child Blue anyway?)
Finally, at the age of 30, I decided that I was not going to worry about it, even though still at the age of 47, it still bothers me when that blue moon hits.   So I made a conscience effort that I was going to have that child, without or without a man, and with no reservations whatsoever.  Now comes the whatsoever, family.   Yep, I believe sometimes these people are happy that I did not have a child.   First of all, I am a Christian and Christians do not do that.  So I was told.  We wait for that man or woman that God has deemed for us, and we listen with batted breath.  Well, in my opinion, He did not say sit on your hands, and He did not say that you could not date.  Next, there is adoption, but as I get older, I wonder if I can adopt a newborn baby girl.  I know that God places whoever in your life that you desire, but my desire is to adopt a baby girl. 
Since my initial decision of adopting, I found out that I can handle boys just as well as girls, so even though my desire is a baby girl, I will except a boy with open arms.     After all, I have three nephews.  One is a teen, typical teen.  He is the one I like to bounce things off of because he is so technical and he likes to analysis things.   The second one, my preschool nephew, is the same way, except he is now into asking me or figuring out in the “how does it work” stage.   He’s a talker, and just about ready for kindergarten.  The last one, the baby nephew at one is an explorer.  He like to open and close things and likes to get a feel for his surroundings.  Typical boy, typical baby.   While I am on the subject of my sibling’s children, I cannot forget my little girly girl niece.  Very hardheaded, as most girls are, and all girl.  She loves to dance in front of the mirror, sing, and put on jewelry.   Yes ladies, did you see yourself at the age of 3 doing this?  I did, and my niece is my sister’s child.  She likes to follow her brother, the preschool Einstein around.  The teen and the baby explorer are brothers.
I am going back to the topic at hand, which is what drives your happiness?  To keep my levels up (meaning keep me from going into that “I am not a mother” state), I immerse myself into my existing family, my businesses, and my faith.  I see my friends rarely outside of church, because I am so busy.  Besides that, most go to another church, another one recently moved to Atlanta for a new job, and the other one lives in Texas.  That should not stop us from getting together, but there are families to consider (husbands and children), and scheduling time that does not involves seeing each other except at an event or a funeral.  I would say dinner, but with the economy, I am sure they are just as strapped as I am.   I am planning on having a get together after I organize the place.  It is going to take two months for this process, because I am purging old stuff.  Besides, it is wintertime, and winters in Ohio can be brutal.
You may have things you love.  If not, I am suggesting these ideas:
1)      Find a hobby.  It does not have to be an expensive hobby.   My hobby/craft is scrapbooking.  I started it in 1997 after the teen nephew was born, and I started a scrapbook.  I plan on giving it to him for his graduation, as I plan on doing with the rest of the gang.  From there, I added making cards, and then journals.  I have added the tools of the trade that are costly (like a Cricut machine) and not so costly (paper).  My hobby is now part of my business line (I have three), but I still find time for others.  I will adjust my schedule as the businesses grow, but my mantra is God and family first.
2)      What is your passion?   It could be that hobby from #1, but it also could be a cause as well.  My passion is my direct selling business.   I have had it since 2001, and I love it.  I love meeting new friends, introducing people to the company who have not heard of the almost 40+ year old company.   I find it comforting, as well as rewarding.   Writing has become my new love.  I never thought I could do it, because I used to get red marks all over my papers in school (teachers, you know who you are.)  I found over the years that the red marks really helped me, even if I did not know it at the time. 
3)      Just be you.  No one is perfect, only God is and we are trying to do His job.  Do not worry what everyone is saying about what you want to do in life.  If it does not harm you or someone else, and you have thought or prayed about it, and it is in God’s plan for you, so be it.  That is still my biggest problem I have with myself.  I still worry that someone has a problem with the things I have chosen in my life.   One day, I was in my mood, worrying if I will ever adopt this one kid, and I posted on Facebook.  Rule number 1, if you do not want anyone to say anything, do not post it on Facebook.  A cousin, who I rarely hear from, blasted me, and said that I did not say anything about a man in my life.   I told her on her wall (and in texting from my phone), that I wanted a man too, but I have a better chance of the baby being adopted before marrying a man.   She blasted back saying that Christian women do not do that sort of thing, and that I need to be waiting on a “Kingdom Man” (whatever that means), who through God will provide everything I need.  Now if she was so godly, why did she get a divorce from the first marriage, and finally after 4 divorces, she has someone, and she is a year younger than me?   Other family members have said at different times in my life that I do not need a child, and none of it has to do with what happened on that operating table.  For that I say, if I want a child, I am getting a child, for I have prayed about it since the age of 12, and if God sends one, you have no say so in the matter.  Except your new niece or nephew or not at all.  I have listen to family members all my life with respect, now it is my turn to talk.
Overall, find your happiness and find it with God’s blessing.  Whatever your belief is, please take this advice at heart.  This is from a Christian woman’s prospective.   I am not going to leave you without ending it with a bible verse or two:   Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass (Psalms 37:4-5 KJV).  Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles (Psalms 103:5 KJV).  We all need happiness in our life.  Make it so.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The top 10 of My Blessed Life 2012

I am challenging myself to blog in each of my blogs almost every day, as I find every day to be a blessing.  This is the reason behind me wishing all of my readers a “blessed” day, week, month or year.   You will never know if saying just that one word makes a person’s day, week, or even month even more special.  That word can spread like wildfire, touches a person’s mind and soul all year through, and make them feel good inside.  It is called a kind word.
So I saw on another blog that I follow, a post, where the person listed their top 10 posts of 2012.  I thought, “Hmm, that sounds like a good idea, I should write one.”  So with further ado, here are my top ten posts of 2012.

Did you read them?  I had fun writing them.  Some were funny, some were serious, and some were down so ridiculous, until I did not get no rating on them at all.  I have to laugh at the first one, since it received 565 views, while the follow-up to it received 23, LOL.  It goes to show that dance competitions are more important than beauty pageants and an overweight grown dance teacher screaming at students and their moms is more memorable than an overweight 6 year-old red-neck bring in lots of money from looking pretty.
I am taking this blog into a different direction than when I first started beginning January 1.  I want to have more writing prompts for the aspiring writer, inspirational writings, and a little less of the ones like Dance Moms and Honey Boo-Boo.  That is fine for any blogger who chooses to write like that, but I am more into the uplifting, get your brain to working-type of writing blog.  These posts will make you think.  I love writing things like “Are you a Cool Aunt” and “Monday Morning being Single and Childless”, because I want people to know who feels the same way that there is someone in their corner, rooting them on, and giving them encouragement.
I will also try to find more things like “Desiderata”, which is a poem I found, laminated in my condo.  I write in all of my blogs, but I am coming to find this to be the blog where I am finding my writing soul, that I am glad to share with the world.  Thank God for 2012, and I hope and pray that 2013 will bring you as much joy, happiness, peace stirring, and new prompts for writing as they did for 2012.
Be Blessed on this day, the rest of this year and into the next.   Happy New Year 2013.