Friday, September 20, 2019

Erin Condren Fall Seasonal Box Unboxing and EasyPress 2

Are you a Childless Millennial Who Goes to Disney?

This is based on a Quora answer I gave to someone who wanted to know what I thought about this woman who had a rant, but first ...
Ok, I have a rant.  It is no ordinary rant.  This is a Disney rant of sorts.  No, I am not complaining about the millions of people who visit the parks each year, and it does not matter if you are in Japan, France, China, or the United States when you visit the parks.  No, it is not the prices, well at least this time.  There are ways to save money when visiting Disney, especially Walt Disney World, which I plan on sharing with you in the next few months.  It is not even how I am getting there, and where I am staying.  Since I mostly focus on the Orlando park, Walt Disney World, I know there are plenty of places to stay, including Disney owned resorts on property, non-Disney own resorts both on and off property, houses around the Walt Disney World area in case you want to visit SeaWorld, Bush Gardens, or Universal Studios Orlando.  I will get to all of that in the next few weeks.
No, my rant is about the rant that was heard around the world.  Someone asked me on Quora about a mom, who was fed up with childless Millennial couples who visit Walt Disney World each year, or when she visits them.  She wants to ban them.
The setup….
This woman, who I am going to call, Jane, was visiting Walt Disney World with her son, who was 3 years old.  This happened about a couple of years ago.  She was in line to get her son a pretzel. The line was quite long, as most Walt Disney World lines are when you have a crowd of people.  She’s tired, and so is her son.  She gets mad at a millennial who has a pretzel, and instead of ignoring the fact the young lady got a pretzel, Jane gets out of line, with her now screaming 3 years old, and along the way, probably to another ride, preferably to her resort room, gets on social media, and writes to the tune of, “this childless _____ got the last pretzel, and now my child is upset because he did not get his pretzel.  These childless millennials need to be banned from Walt Disney World.”
This is not her exact wording, but the meaning is just the same. How does she know if this person did not have a child?  She could have gotten the pretzel for her own child, who was waiting.  More on that when I gave my answer on Quora.
My answer…
I first read this on Twitter, after a woman reposted it on her Twitter account.  I wanted to know why, since she was reading it for the first time since it was originally posted, why the person had to re-tweet it? Sometimes, the best way to keep the peace is to never repeat it, by mouth, or by social media.  Social media is the worst because it starts an online war, and this re-post started a “Rant Heard Around the World” (The World? Disney World?  Get it?) So this is how I came up with the title of this post by the same name.
This re-post of a post went viral in a big way.  Please note:  I am not trying to start it again, nor do I want to.  I made my peace when I put in my $.02 into it and frankly I am very appalled by the statement.  I will have more about that in a moment on how it affects me, a non-millennial, but here is my response after the question resurfaced on Quora:
“Ok, here we go again. Round 4000. I am going to break it down to you like this:
I have a saying…You do You. simple. if you have no problems going to Disney as a Millennial, as a Gen x (which I am), Baby Boomer, War baby (that’s my parents), or one foot in the graver (those over 100 years old), and you have no children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, occasional annoying neighbor’s child (to which their parents should be taking them, but eh), then you have as much right to be at Disney World, Disneyland, Tokyo Disney, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disney (I do not suggest going there at the moment-They’re having major issues), and Shanghai Disney as a person with children. Simple as that. (you can take a breath now)
But seriously…. No one has the right nor the privilege to tell you where you can spend your hard-earned vacation dollars at. If you like Disney (to which I am a huge fan), then go for it. I read it and I saw the video, and the woman is nuts. She is just a tired person who is used to getting her way as a child. she brings in her 3-year old, who is also tired, and hungry. Disney has enough food to feed the entire island of The Bahamas, and she chooses to be a PITA that day. I would have said to her, that if she would wait, they will bring more out. no use cursing out the person in front of you if the pretzel stand ran out of pretzels. They can and will make more. To call anyone a childless millennial who does not belong at Disney is not her call anyway, it is Disney’s call.
So that is my long way to address the childless problem because she was being childish, and having more of a tantrum than her 3-year old, who probably calmed down after 2 minutes.”
Breaking down my answer…. “You do You”.
I am getting so tired of people poking their noses where they do not belong, especially when it comes to public property.  Last I checked, Disney World is public property, not private.  When you have private property, you have the right to invite anyone you care to invite.
You do You….
If you are in your right mind, and not a child, you can pretty much run the gambit on what you can do in the world and in this country.  That does not mean that it is right.  In this country, we do not have a Shreya Law (women must cover their heads or their whole body), we have the right to bear arms, and we have the right to speak our mind.  We have opinions in this country, that are just that, opinions.  This is where “You do You” comes in.  You have the right to do whatever is within the law of this country, moral law, and some good old-fashioned common sense.
Childless Millennials….
This is where Jane got into trouble.  She chose to stand in line with her child.  This was her choice.  I am thinking that this was around 3 pm in the afternoon.  She was in the parks (it did not say which one, Disney World has 4 to choose from) and it was hot.  Her child was hungry.  Most children do get hungry at that time of day, and this is when they also need a nap.   Jane saw a young woman, who did not have a child with her.  This does not suggest that she did not have any children.  They could have been on a ride, getting something to eat, or in another park with another adult.  This mother went by what she saw, and that she was tired, her child was tired and hungry, and she was angry because this young woman got a pretzel, which is what her child wanted. After calling the young woman every name in the cursed book she can think of at the time on social media, Jane saw some teens, and assume they were childless too.  That is when she decided, not Disney, that any childless couple should be banned from a Disney park.
When did you get to decide? ….
With the comment that Jane made on social media, I had to wonder how did she come to that conclusion?  Clearly, the woman did not say anything to her, and neither did the group of teens.  At any rate, everyone was minding their own business, except Jane.  Oh, I forgot to mention that her child cried as soon as they moved out of line, and the comment she made was “thanks for making my child upset” (enter the childless couple remark).  Jane did not have to leave at that moment.  I do not know if the pretzel stand ran out of pretzels, and if she made the whole thing up to get out of line.
Disney has plenty of food, and plenty of pretzel stands, so Jane’s child would have gotten his pretzel.  So I do not see what the big deal of her getting her child a pretzel at that specific stand.  Yes, I have seen Disney run out of food before on several YouTube videos, but most people do not make a big deal out of the situation because they have experience with Disney and crowds.  Disney knows how to prepare for such a case.  They may not have pretzels when you want them and at that particular stand, but these CM’s (Cast Members AKA employees) are training for such a time as this-crowds.
Who’s crankier, mommy or baby?
 Ok, I will admit, I have had my moments where I spoke before I think.  I would like to think that she was having an off day.  When you find yourself having an off day on vacation, do something that takes you away from the situation (pretzel carts and crowds).  Do something pleasant, and I assume that Jane’s family had a resort room.  If you do not live around Orlando (or whatever city you are visiting a Disney park), please take a break.  Even if you live there, go home, and take a break.  Remove yourself from the situation, even if you have to leave with a crying child who only wants to eat something.
Once there, rest, take a nap or do an activity around the resort.  There is plenty to do at Disney that does not involve a park, even at the international parks.  Once rested, you can resume being in the parks, and enjoying yourself.
Also, one thing to note:  Children can take clues from their parents.  If you are upset, so is your child.  Children at a young age do not know emotion like the rest of us.  All they know is they are upset when they see their parent upset.  So most likely, the young woman (who I will name Kathy) did not upset the child.  Jane was putting the blame where is it did not belong.
Childless part 2
This is the part of the tweet that upsets me the most.  Not everyone knows my story, but as hard as I wanted children, I physically cannot have any.  That privilege was taken from me at the age of 29 through a medical condition.  I have tried to adopt in the past, and I still can, but it is harder to raise a child without a second parent. This is why her rant makes me so angry with Jane for making the comment.  I enjoy Disney though the eyes of my nieces and nephews, and my young cousins.  To tell me that I cannot go into Disney without a child of my own is the most selfish thing that a person can ever say to me and millions of people like me.
Plus not only that, how is Disney going to enforce this ban? Going back to saying that Disney parks are public property and as long as you follow the rules, you can visit the parks anytime they are open.  There are a few exceptions, like punching CMs in the face, carrying a concealed weapon, starting a riot (like carrying political signs or fighting with family members inside the parks), and so on.  There is a list, but I do not remember being without a child is one of them.
If you do not know the whole story of a person’s life does not criticize a group of people who may not have any control over what happens in their life.  I am blessed to be surrounded by so many nieces and nephews, and friend’s children, who I call my nieces and nephews, it makes it easier for me that if God does not put a child in my path for me to be a foster or adoption parent, I have lived my life surrounded by children.  I am a single person who wants to get married to a wonderful man, with or without children, and I am old enough to have step-grandchildren who I can take to Disney.  Plus, Disney is not that important to me as my
family is to me. I am not going to let some stressed-out mother tell me what I can or cannot do with my hard-earned money.  I am sure these Millennials will not let her either.
So the moral of this story is please remove yourself when you feel stressed to the point that you have to air your frustration on social media.  Remain calm, allow others to enjoy their day (including reading social media posts), and enjoy your vacation, and you will not be the subject of someone’s re-tweet.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Diversity, Disney Style

Once again, this topic came from this question on Quora:
If Disney is making Ariel black, why aren't they making Prince Eric black as well?
My Answer:
“Disney believes in diversity. In 1997, Disney showed a production on the Wonderful World of Disney, with Brandy as Cinderella, and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother. The Prince was mixed, Whoopie Goldberg played the Queen Mother and I forgot who played the King. Cinderella had a White stepmother, who was played by Bernadette Peters, and she had a black step sister and a white stepsister.
It is their belief that everyone should see themselves as that character, any character when they watch their movies”.
Oh, my goodness, where do I begin with this post?
Photo by P.Lynne Designs
Let’s start with a PSA, shall we?  As much as pains me to say this, there is more than one race in the world.  OK, let me take that a step further and not throw color into this discussion:  There is only one race, the human race.  We are all a mixture of different skin tones and hues. No one should say that their skin tone is better than another, but we do.
With that, let’s address the elephant in the room, Ariel is black, prince Eric is not.  I remember in a scene of the animated Little Mermaid, where there were different shades and sizes of mer-people swimming throughout the ocean, and they were not all white.  Some were brown, tan, and white.  Some were male and some were female.  Some were tall and skinny, while others were fat and chubby.  In other words, like our own world.
People like to see characters who look like them.  At first, the only thing that I could relate to from Disney was an old man in Song of the South, which sort of, okay, was a little on the racist side, but back in the 60s, they were racist.  I am going to call it out there.  Disney’s next attempt was a bunch of lions in The Lion King.  Sorry, but the only black voiced actors was James Earl Jones (who much to my happiness reprised his role in this year’s version) as Mufasa and Marge Sinclair (who passed away due to cancer) as Sarabi.  The rest were white actors, including Jeremy Irons as Scar and Mathew Broderick as Simba.  The last animated movie, that is in The Little Mermaid’s wheelhouse, was The Princess and the Frog where Tiana was black and Prince Lavigne was Mexican? Asian? Okay, some sort of dark tan color.  So, I can kind of see the criticism.  I also count Moana, who actually is Polynesian, but she is a woman of color. Ariel is a white Mermaid, this is what the imaginers saw when they first drew her, and that is who supplied her speaking and singing voice.
People are also creatures of habit.  We do not like change.  It is the same criticism that was given to the all-black cast in this year Live-action (actually CGI-action) The Lion King with BeyoncĂ© and Donald Glover, and Aladdin with Will Smith as the Genie.  I am sorry that most people hated Will Smith for his portrayal of the Genie, but as one of his rules, The Genie cannot bring people back from the dead, and I guess people wanted Disney to bring Robin Williams back from the dead.
I like diversification.  It shows that the world is not as segregated as they want it to be.  You can possibly live in a world where you only deal with people of your own kind, but let’s face it, it is getting more impossible to do it.  Eventually, you need to come out of your house, get a job, go to the store, go to church, whatever, and mingle.  You can not ban people from doing what they want (see my rant about the woman who wanted to ban childless millennials from Disney Parks and most of the civil rights movement of the 1960s).
Look at it this way:  If you do not want to see this movie, any movie, you do not have to go.  Disney may suffer from it a little bit, and they may have a little drop in attendance because you did not buy a ticket, but you do not have to go, period. Your non-attendance will not shut down this company, who has dealt with far worse things (such as the loss of their fearless leader, Walt Disney in 1966).  After all, it is entertainment and the character is not based on a real person.  At least I do not think there are Mermaids in the ocean.  No one has discovered them yet.  This movie is not required for college credit, a credit for a religious course, and when you die, God is not going to judge you for not going to this movie.  He will judge you if you make some kind of racial slur towards the actress who will be playing her on social media or any other media.
I am going to see this movie and I am going to take my niece.  Why?  Because it will satisfy the little girl in me.  I always wanted more characters that look like me in the movies and on television when I was a child.  I am about to date myself, but in school, I took a school day picture where my mom gave me Cindy Brady’s famous curls, two ponytails with ringlet curls.  I also wanted to be Tracy Partridge, and I clapped very loudly when I saw Penny from Good Times and Tootie (Character’s first name is actually Dorothy) from Facts of Life, both who are black.
Look, Disney wants their customers happy.  They know where the money is coming from, and they know that white people are not the only ones what visit their parks and buy their merchandise.  Most companies know this.  We as the black business community have a hard time getting black people to buy from us. This is our biggest problem.  I will go into that at another time, I am getting off the subject.
People should be happy that Disney wants to diversify in their movies.  I know a lot of people do not like interracial couples, but I also believe this is Disney’s other reason to not make Prince Eric Black as well.  I remember reading several times in my life how people in the late 60s were upset because Captain Kirk kissed Lt. Uhura on the lips, and that the episode was banned until several years later when it was more acceptable.  The Jeffersons television show had an interracial couple named Tom and Helen Willis, who were Lionel Jefferson’s girlfriend (later wife’s) parents.  This happened in the 1970s.  There have been many times where interracial couples were a thing back then, but they still frown on today for some reason.
However, you take this post is up to you.  I want you to look at it with new eyes if you are on the fence about this whole Little Mermaid live movie casting situation, and it is not really a situation if you do not let it be.  It is a movie made in a different way by the same company who made the original and has a black mouse.  Think about it.  Mickey is a black mouse and people are okay with him.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019



If you are getting started with your business it is easy to say that you want to do it all by yourself.  I say do not resist outside help and I will explain that in a moment.  For right now, I want to talk to you about a little service called Fiverr.
Photo by Sarah Pflug © 2019
First off, this is not a sponsored post because I have a love/hate relationship with the service.  Yes, I have posted some ads on it, I have not gained any revenue from it, but I keep it in the back of my mind. Confusing, right? Again, it will be all explained along the way.
What is Fiverr?
Fiverr is a task service.  It is a place for artists like me to list jobs they will do for $5, hence the name, Fiverr.  In addition to listing $5 gigs that we will do, we can also list bigger jobs for a lot higher.  For example, I am listed on the site as a freelance writer and a freelance graphic designer.  My products are not small in price.  I usually start at $10, not $5, with my highest package deal being $100.  So far I have not received anyone wanting my services since 2016.  At that time, I listed that I will do resumes, and I did one resume for a person, who paid $4.  Resume writing itself is worth more than $4, but that is why Fiverr is so cheap.
I have seen listings where a person will, “sing happy birthday in the resistor's favorite character for $5.  Voice impersonators make more than $5. 
Even though I am still on Fiverr, I have problems with it, and here are my top reasons for anyone to not make it your main source of income.
  1. Cheap. 
They are cheap as I said.  They are cheap and the sequesters are cheap.  Cheap can be good or bad.  Good in if you are starting out in business, sometimes, you do not have a lot of money to spend.  If you are in the United States, depending on your state, you will be shelling out some money for registering your business, getting a business license, opening a business checking and Savings accounts, and hiring people to run your business.  You do not have a lot of money to create stunning advertisements, and purchasing software from companies such as Adobe and Microsoft, which can get a bit pricey.  You also do not have the time.  When you look at a listing on a site like Fiverr, paying $5 is like buying a candy bar.  It is a drop in your budget, which you can afford.  You go for the basic package, a little more if you can spare the change.
Likewise, If you are that person who puts up a listing, $5 is all you will get paid most of the time.  Yes, $5 does add up, but tell that to your utility companies.  If you do not go pro with your listings (a whole different animal than regular Fiverr), you may be eating Ramen noodles for the next month.
I am lucky that Fiverr is not the only place where I list my work. Plus, how do you think they make money on the website?  Yes, from what you earn.
  1. Everyone is on Fiverr
When I mean everyone, I am talking Foreigners as well. You are not just seeing someone from the United States, Canada, or Mexico, I am talking someone from India, Saudi Arabia, England, France and Nigeria to name a few.  Fiverr does not discriminate, which is a good thing if you are from that country, but I wish that they would separate the countries. I do not like competing for your hard-earned dollars if you are the other countries I mentioned, I have to do that with my own country, which is in the US. 
Not only that, sometimes they tell you that they are from the United States, and they are really from Russia.
With that in mind, you do have to watch who your clients are.  This did not happen to me on Fiverr, but another popular website for gigs called Freelancer, which I will talk about in more detail at another time.  One of freelancer for potential customers is for them not to contact freelancers outside the site. The person who asked me to open several accounts for him did.  I ended the relationship because he wanted me to send the money to Nigeria.  I did, so I would get the stolen money out of my account.  This can also happen on Fiverr.
My recommendations for this stream of income:
Go with caution.  You never know.  This could work if you are not looking for a huge amount of payback from it (income).  It is also helpful if you are not familiar with having clients.  In other words, if you are new to freelancing.
However, as I said before, buyer beware, seller beware.  There are a lot of people out there who may not be what your ideal client should be. 
Most business people who come to Fiverr are getting started for the first time.  They do not have a ton of money, and if you can get them a simple graphic design, such as basic business card, print off no more than 50 cards is worth the $5.  If they want more, this is where you would give them your website if you have one.  Once there, the client can see more of your products, and they may not have to purchase on Fiverr.  If they still want the $5 product, at least they know what is out there on your site.  Now you have a repeat customer.
Once you are established in your niche, cut ties with Fiverr, but not before setting up your website, and not before you have gained some traffic and customers.
This is the same thing that I would recommend for Etsy, but I will get to that website as well.
Tips and Tricks (the new name for Takeaway):
In the meantime, proceed to Fiverr with caution. I cannot say it fast enough that if you want to go for it, OK, but it would be a little simpler if you open a website in either Blogger or WordPress, set your prices, and promoting your service or craft.  You will at least have all your money (until the IRS comes a-knocking), and you can screen your clients (there is a right way and a wrong way).  I would even go with Wix.
Be safe, work your business every day, even if you are checking emails, and God Bless You.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Trust in Me

Trust is one of the hardest things for a person to do to another person.  It takes on so many facets of life.  Trust in a parent to take care of a child, a trusting friend who a girl to tell secrets to and that friend will never tell a living soul or even a patient on the verge of dying trusting that their doctor and their family will make the right decisions on their behalf. 
Yes, trust is that word which says, “I put my life in your hands, and you are not going to let nothing happen to me no matter what.”
 So, what happens to that trust?  That is what I am going to talk about today.  So, “trust in me” as we talk about trust.
What is a trust?
Trust. created by P.Lynne Designs
Under social context, according to Wikipedia, is “Trust has several connotations”.  The one I will be concentrating on is the one that says, “a situation characterized by the following aspects: One party is willing to rely on the actions of another party; the situation is directed to the future.”  Do you see why I used the previous examples in this piece?
The reason for this post
Lately, I have been disenchanted by the way things have been in this country, specifically the last couple of weeks.  No, this is not a political post, which would have included a campaign for you to vote for this candidate or hate another.  We all have our reasons for voting and supporting the person who we think is better to run the country.  No one is perfect.  It all goes back to trust, and trust does not need a campaign slogan to be heard.  Later, I will tackle “the art of advertising and influencers”, part 2 and conclusion of a miniseries.
Disenchantment be damned
Like many Americans, three weeks ago, on a Sunday, in the middle of the summer season, I was sitting down with my mom at my parent’s home.  My family and I usually take Sunday as a day of rest, to worship God by going to church, coming back to my parent’s home, eat and rest.  We talk about things that went on during service.  We are United Methodists, part of the Protestant Christian faith.  We believe in the Holy Trinity (God, Son, Holy Spirit), with the Son being the savior by dying on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.  We are to do God’s will, which is to love all mankind, no matter what their life is like, everyone can be saved.
I say that to say this:  whoever pulled the trigger on the people at that Garlic Festival was not acting in God’s will.  I am not saying that the person was Christian, but the actions of this person too were not the way that Jesus would act.  I am going to leave it at that comment for now.  Same with the incident in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, Ohio. 
The Dayton, Ohio incident was about an hour and a half from me, plus my brother lives there, so I feel more apart of that incident than the El Paso, TX one because of my brother, who, thank God was at my parent’s house in Columbus when the shooting happened, and I thank God that my Sis-In-Law, who was at home, was nowhere near the Oregon District.
So what does that have to do with trust?
As Christians, we trust that God will take care of us, no matter what.  We also trust that the people who did not make it in these incidents over the past few weeks and beyond had a purpose to teach so that others will learn of our mistakes. 
This next thing that I have to say may turn some people off, and that’s okay.  Maybe this country and this world need to learn a lesson or two.  No, do not misquote me.  I grieve for every single person, including the people who pulled the trigger.  We have been too loose with the second amendment, “the right to bear arms”. This to me is the NRA’s Motto, but there needs to be an amendment to the amendment.  You do have the right to have guns for sport and protection, BUT if you want to do harm to anyone (including self) because of hatred or mental illness, you do not have that right, period. The second amendment does not apply to you.  Before you can purchase a gun AND own a gun license you must go through a deep background check and take a class on gun safety.  This is how you can build trust.  I think that is what those who have died in the name of gun reform have taught us.  Yes, it is gruesome, but someone became a martyr because of gun control.
On top of that, Japan, and other countries are now telling their citizens to stay away from us, and do not visit the United States at all.  Now that is deep.
This is a short post (less than 1000 words) because there is nothing more to say on this kind of trust except to:
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Use the buddy system whenever you can
  • If you carry a concealed weapon with you, make sure that the safety is on, have your license on you, and that you are of sound mind IF you have to use it.
  • Never carry it in a building that does not allow on in it.
  • Never escalate an argument with anyone.  Or finish one for that matter.  Get the proper authorities if someone is bothering you.
  • Report anything suspicious.
  • Finally, be at peace with yourself, God, and try to love everyone.
I pray that everything goes well with you. God bless you.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

No Goals report for July 2019

This is a short post, I promise!!!!!

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For the past two months, I have been sharing my goals for the month. Now to put up a warning; I am not reporting one this month.
  • Because I want to see if my goals will happen naturally and authentic?
  • Because it is summer, and I am lazy
  • Because it is my birthday month
  • All the above
I have one, I am not publicizing it.

Photo by Elle
It is all the above.  Let me explain….
Since April 2019, I have been on a mission to improve my ultimate goal of being an entrepreneur and writer.  Really, it has been my goal from the very beginning, but I have been sort of lax from the beginning.  If you take a look at my previous post, one of the goals was to take my business seriously, and I while I have been working at it, I sometimes feel like I am spinning my wheels.  I feel like I was not going anywhere fast, and not making any money.
Starting today is the start of a new day and a new fiscal year for me (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020), and while it may not mean much to some people, it means a lot to me.  June is usually the time where I look back at the last 12 months and clean some things up in my business.  I may add some things, take away some things, and redo some things that may not be working while keeping the things that are working the way they are.  The past 12 months, I have been doing it each month.  Well, not every month.  There are some months that I skipped because it was really not needed for that month.
            Tip:  take time out to look at your situation and change it if it is not working.
This is not just a tip for business but a life as well.  No one is expected to stay the same for the rest of their life.  For one, it is boring, and another, it looks weird if, for example, a six-year-old who still learning the same set of skills they did as a four-year-old. There are some exceptions, such as the child may be autistic or they may not have learned it as a four-year-old, but under normal circumstances, it looks weird.  Same as an adult or any type of situation.  You learn and grow from it as well as new things.
One of the things I have learned from a long time ago is that Blogger is not the best platform for me.  If you have been following me for a while, you know this has been a struggle for me.  Another struggle for me has been to keep a consistent schedule.  
One of the things I talk about a lot is being careful.  I do not fully come out and say it, but I dropped little hints on how to be careful.  Being careful includes;
  • Watching your back
  • Watching your time
  • Watching your writing (or whatever business you are into-passion)
  • Watching the money
It is watching the money that I want to briefly touch on for the rest of this post (which is growing longer by the second, LOL).  It is a touchy subject for many and most people do not like to talk about money situations.
The first part of watching your money is careful about who you talk to.
When we first start a business, we (and I include me in this as well) want to tell everyone.  If we could tell our first-grade teacher we would do it, but not everyone needs to know that you are going into business for yourself, especially when you first get started.  Your boss does not need to know about any situation that you are facing unless it affects your job, and your business should not be one of them.  Your co-workers most definitely do not need to know this. 
Here is why: 
Most people are jealous.  Sure tell your family, unless they run the business you are working at.  What will happen if you have this new business idea at your job, but your supervisor poo-poos the idea.  So, instead of sitting on it, you decide to make it a business venture.  Heck, that idea may be working your paintings or photography as a side hustle.  Whatever it is, you decide that this going to be your second income instead of getting a second or third job.  It now tells your employer that you are no longer available for certain hours, the weekend, that holiday shift that no one wants because they want the two weeks in Cancun instead.  Not only that but, now you have done something that they should have done, leave.
When I first thought of going into business for myself, I was working at Archiver’s, which was a scrapbook store. I kept getting requests from customers who wanted someone to have one of the associates make something for them, but that was not a service that the store offered.  It was a Do It Yourself store, that offered supplies to make a project. This happened especially around the holiday season and even though the store offered to show them how to make a project, the people who asked were not creative, and they told me that the moment their mouth opened.  I wanted to offer it as an extra income for me, separate from the store, without the managers knowing about it.  One employee was already offering those services on her own.  As soon as I got my ideas together, a new employee handbook came out that November 2009, and apparently, the company was made aware of this to the point where they stated that no employee can work for themselves or for a direct selling company.  I was also a Longaberger consultant at the time.  Since I was down to one day a week, and making $8.15 an hour for 4 hours, I had a decision to make.  Talk about your punishment.  I thought, “they might as well fire me”, but I quit instead.  This was my mistake, now that I think about it.
            Tip: do not quit until you can make 10 times more than your current paycheck.

Now, I am sort of struggling to keep up, and even though my parents have been gracious by helping me, still I should have gotten another job until I am able to peacefully quit to run P. Lynne Designs full-time.  I have a friend who owns his own photography studio, but he also has a job that does not take up his weekends, so, he does photography shoots on the weekends, and works during the week at his regular job. Which reminds me to schedule for a new headshot with him soon.
OK, I lost track of time, and this is starting to become my normal post length
Other excuses on why there is no July report…
It is my birthday month.  If I use that excuse for the reason why I am not writing is that my birthday month is here, I would not be working at all.  Every year, I keep saying that I am going to have a giveaway, and my month is gone before I could get started, so to roll everything in one package, I will be working on a giveaway that combines my birthday with my anniversary of 10 years of blogging.  I am not sure what the giveaway is as of yet, but it is coming.  I would say around Christmas, but I am traveling that month, so it will be around November.  It is in the midst of the holiday season. Anyway, look for it.
OK, that about does it, I am no longer announcing that I will have a short blog post.  If you like this post, please comment and share it.  I hope you enjoyed it.  God Bless You.

Monday, July 15, 2019

I Am Looking Back and Remembering My First Blog Post as a Blogger

Photo byPixabay 
My very first post on my P. Lynne Designs blog.  My Ambiance Life is not the first blog I started.  The evolution of my blogs goes like this:  MDN Creates.  This started as a hodge-podge like a blog that covered topics such as “What heck am I doing” to “I got this, but it is time to split the blog because there are too many different topics on here”. That last topic I owe to my friend, who told me that I was covering too many topics on the blog.  The first post was an introduction to me and the blog itself, so I will not reminisce on that topic.  Nothing much to reflect on.  The next post, the one I will be commenting on was dated January 5, 2009, was titled Resolutions, and again, it was before I separated and divided the blog into the three blogs you know of today. 

Reflecting on Resolutions

As I am reading, I am first reflecting on how much I have grown as a writer in the past 10 years (January 1, was my anniversary).  In order to get anywhere, you need a starting point.  The only things I knew at the time in regard to blogging was;
1)      This blog had to be interesting to grab a reader’s attention to the point where the reader cannot wait until the writer puts in a new post. This means that I needed an interesting topic and the content of that topic is not of your typical, boring textbook variety
2)    Consistency is the key to all, even though I have not always reflected that consistency.  I am getting better.
I also had a moment or two, where I reflected:
·        I started the blog (now called P. Lynne Designs) at a time when Oprah was still on the air.  In fact, I referred to something she said on her show.
·        I mentioned that I had goals in 2009.  They were: 
o   To organize
o   To stop beating myself up
o   To love me more
o   To do more of what God asked of me
o   To scrapbook more
o   To take my business more seriously
o   To take time for me, to learn, and to grow.
·        I mentioned each goal and how I would do it.  Now I am finally going to give you an update on those goals in a moment.
·        Joel Olsteen came up in the conversation about never be still.
·        I submitted an article to Associated Content.  I am not sure what the results of that were, I am a terrible person in the art of follow-up.
Some of those moments made me cry.  Why?  I get extremely emotional at times or there is something in my eye?  I love gushy moments like this, and this is one of the reasons why I started blogging and journaling in the first place, to not hold it in.  I have gotten better on where to channel my anger, but that does not mean I do not get angry anymore.  That is like taking an emotion away from someone.  For someone like Abby Lee Miller to tell a dancer to save their tears for their pillow or to tell a boy that men do not cry does not do it for me.  Yes, there is a time and place to cry, but if you must cry, do it right there and get it over with.
So, back to my reflections on resolutions….
I mentioned that the post was long.  Why did I say that when the average post is supposed to be at least between 1,000-2,000 words?  Yes, back in 2009, “Resolutions” would be considered a long post.  No one knew exactly how long a blog post had to be at that time. Experts used to mention that anything blog post beyond 500-800 words is a fairly long post.  Another reason for that statement is back then the experts thought that such a lengthy post would give way to repeat phrases and ideas, and you cannot and should not repeat what you said 5 minutes ago unless you are summarizing.  
Summarizing a post
When I summarize, I call them TAKEAWAY MOMENTS.  During this time, I am telling you again what I said throughout the piece, or I am giving you little nuggets of information that should help you should you be going through what I have been through. I start out by reminding the reader of my topic then I sprinkle in the repeated information that was mentioned in my blog post.  When I repeat, I often remind the reader what is important, and I try not to sprinkle in the fluff.  Finally, I concluding with on a bit of advice to carry through.
What has changed since Resolutions?
This is an update to the goals I mentioned in “Resolutions”. Not only has my writing changed from that post, but the goals as well.  The most noticeable change is the blog name.  It is now P. Lynne Designs and it reflects that on the blog when you first click on the blog post.  It is about the change again soon because I am working on my website, P. Lynne Designs, and new posts will be going in the blog section on the website. It has been a good ride on Blogger, but I have grown, and my writing has grown. At the moment, I have a coming soon on the website, but you are welcome to signup to be on my mailing list to be notified when the website is coming.
Also, the niche has changed.  It is no longer a hodge-podge collection of what I feel like writing.  I own that splitting the blog up into bite-size pieces.  My Blessed Life (now known as My Ambiance Life) is part of the split.  So is At Home with Tricia's Baskets, a combo of former blogs Simply Organized Crafts (which is now ONLY a Facebook page), Traveling to the Mouse’s House, and Tricia’s Baskets.  These two blogs will also leave the Blogger Home for WordPress.  The foundation of the blogs are there, I need to start the final setup and launch.
Updating my goals since that date
Since I wrote that entry, here is what has transpired:
  •         To Organize:  well, I am not totally organized to that point.  I can receive company now, even though I was always able to receive company.  When you are in possession of things, even things that people agree you should have or not have, you want to make them presentable and so not messy.  I was on the side of messy, and even though people had places to sit, hold a conversation and eat my food without feeling ill to the pit of their stomachs, I did not feel comfortable without someone saying something.  That may have been my OCD kicking in at the time.  As my pastor puts it quite eloquently, I am an extrovert introvert.  More on that in another post.  If you do not understand, try not to overthink it for now.
  •          The next three I will tackle together; To not beat myself up, To love me more, To take time for me.  This does not mean I was harming myself.  When I do something that was a mistake, I am harder on myself more than anyone.  I am constantly saying why did you do that.  To love yourself means, do not get upset because you are not married, you do not have children, or you are not a certain status in life.  Just because you see someone who has those things that you desire does not mean you do not have to say things like, “I wish”, “Why did this happen”, “why was I not more intensive”, or “if only”.  That ship has sailed, or it has not come to you.
  •            Scrapbooking More.  Actually, that has slowed down a lot.  Since that time, I have created one scrapbook album for someone in 2018, a lady at church. The reason was around October 6, 2010, a little company called Instagram got started and paved the way for scrapbooking the traditional way obsolete.  Instead of sharing scrapbook pages you have made with the photos you took, you share them on an account.  No one was asking for an album to be made because they can make them on the phone and in an online account. Not only that, there were people who asked me at work why to make albums when all you are doing is wasting paper and making the world a bad place to live.  Please do not get me started for there are worst things a person can do to desecrate this world than making a project out of paper.  I shifted my focus more to making cards and learning how to turn my skills into freelance writing, graphic design, and projects.  This lead to;
  •          Taking my business more seriously.  No explanation there, except I am still learning.  This also leads to-
  • Photo by Pixabay
  •           I am still learning and growing to better myself and to teach others.  I keep mentioning that in a former career move, I was once a preschool teacher.  While I may never find myself teaching anyone (children or adults) full-time again, I enjoy learning more so I can teach.  Last month (June), I was thrown into being a teacher’s assistant for my church’s Vacation Bible School.  I actually had double-duty.  I was the assistant director and a teacher’s aide.  One of the teachers ended up in the hospital before VBS got started, and since no one volunteered to be a helper and substitute for her, I volunteered.  Even though it was for one week, I enjoyed listening to the children (ages 4-11), and it reminded me of why I chose to be a preschool teacher in the first place.  Every once in a while, take in the small moments on why you started something in the first place. For me, it was the love of children, and watching how they process things and ideas. I will have a whole blog post on why I quit my teaching job later

Conclusion and takeaways

If you are a blogger, I suggest that you take a look at your first blog post to see how much you have grown as a writer.  Even if your blog is only a few months old you will discover in that few months’ time how much you have grown as a writer.
If you are not a writer but do not know where to begin, start with journaling.  Once you are in your comfort zone, try to expand your writing.  It does not have to be a blog, but I can tell you right now that sharing in some compacity helps you to grow.  Also, sharing helps you to be mindful on your writing skills.  If it a journaling post you do not have to share every detail of your life. 
If you do start blogging, use a program like Grammarly (a program I use and love).  Grammarly is a free spell checker and grammar checker.  Grammarly also comes in a premium subscription too.
Finally, if you share things like goals, it makes you more accountable than to say them and forget them.  Work on those goals and update your readers.
Until next time, take care of those things that matter to you, which include those persons in your life that matter to you.  You matter to me, so, take care, and God Bless you and your week.

July 15, 2019:  PS- Please share this post

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Tech Wars: Time to get an upgrade Part 2

Disclaimer: P. Lynne Designs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to
This is the camera edition of “Tablet Wars: Time to get an upgrade”.  In the last “Time to Get an Upgrade”, dated June 13, 2015, I talked about upgrading my Ipad and my phone.  What had happened at that time:  I was grocery shopping.  Grocery delivery had not come to my area and I needed some vittles (southern talk for food-trying to be funny, bear with me, people).  Anyway, I knew it was about to storm, but it looked like it was so far away. 
Photo by: NDTV Gadgets
If you know anything about Ohio weather, you know that it could be sunny one minute, raining the next, followed by snow, sleet, and hail, topped off by a tornado warning in a split second.  I can see some of you from other states nodding your heads as well. Anyway, I thought I was safe.
The purse I was carrying at the time had pockets on the side and for convenience,   I went into the store, grabbed a cart, and started shopping.  In the middle of my grocery shopping, down came the rain.  I was not too worried because I thought that the rain would stop by the time I checked out, but I started to hurry.
I carried my Samsung Galaxy SIII in one of the pockets.
I paid for the groceries and started outside, but stopped because the rain was harder than before.  My car was too far away to do a full sprint to it, but I attempted when it lightens up.  Running to the car I go, popped the truck, grabbed my purse to toss inside to the passenger side of the car, not thinking that the USB hole on my phone was exposed to all that water.  I tossed the groceries in and left.  No worries (at least I thought).
I got home, put the groceries in the house, then put them away.  I thought that I had to turn off my phone, but it died from all that water going inside.  I took the battery out, put it in rice, and let the rest of the phone air out.  I could not believe it, my precious phone, gone.  The rest of the story is on that blog post, and even though it is an old post, it is still a good read.  I even upgraded my Ipad the day I upgraded the phone.  The bad side of the story was getting the bill, which Verizon charged more than I was willing to pay when the rep told me another price. 
For today’s Post
I am interested in another phone.  The one that replaced the SIII phone is dying a slow, painful death.  It is slow, and it is painful for me to watch as I decide to take a picture, video, or add a new app, and the memory isn’t there to support my forever growing social media presence.  I want the new Galaxy 9 phone, but the money does not support it, and not only that, my dad is the owner of the account and told me to forget about getting a phone anytime soon.  Same goes if I decide to switch up and get an Iphone.
I also need a new Ipad. The current one is still ok, and I still can do all the things, except drawing.  I can draw on it, but I do not have the proper stylus.  Plus, I would love to hook it up to the new laptop or the desktop, then I can see what I am drawing.  Enter the New Apple Mini Ipad 5, which I played with today at the Apple Store.  I was asking about a stylus that I could draw with my current mini Ipad, and the rep pointed me to another person who showed me the Ipad 5.  I love the price, $389, which is the same price as my Cricut Maker, and actually, come to think of it, the current Mini Ipad.  I also love that I do not have to pay for the Procreate software that I would have to get for my current Ipad. ($9.99, yikes!!!)
Last, I need a new camera.  The last camera, which was a baby camera (I will call Pocket), is lost somewhere in the condo.  This is how tiny it is or was, I cannot decide which is which, and it depends on if I can find it or not.  If I can, then it will be a backup camera, but if not, Oh well, I am not crying over a lost tiny camera.
I have been thinking about getting the Canon G7x, Mark II camera or the Canon Powershot Camera.  I tend to get cameras that I am familiar with or have heard good reviews on.  The Cannon G7x, Mark II camera is currently being used by one of my favorite YouTube families, Gabe and Chad Rader, and have been using it for a couple of years with success.  The only problem has been for them was Chad accidentally leaving the camera on the top of the family car and driving off.  The camera immediately fell off, and the screen broke.  Yep, sounds like me, but lucky for them, they have a warranty, and Gabe (as is Gabrielle) seen off the camera this week for a replacement.   I would also choose the Powershot Camera because at $369 it is a cheaper version than the Mark II’s $669.  I am not sure I will be taking that many pictures between now and my trip to Disney later in the year.
 Yes, I did it….
Photo by:
I am creating a new series over on my At Home with Tricia's Baskets blog and it is properly (I think) says, “I’m Going to Disney World”.  The story starts like this:  Have you ever wanted something so bad until you can taste it? Well, that has been me for the past 8.5 years.  (as long as my youngest nephew has been alive, he will be 9 in August.) This trip was actually 16 years in the making.  I started planning my next trip (in my head) at the end of our last trip in 2004.  We went in 2007 to Disneyland, but it was part of the California trip.  If you are a true Disney fan, you know that any trip to Disney is not a proper trip if you add on going outside of the park, but while me, my oldest nephew (then 11), and my mom were at Disneyland, my dad took in a Dodgers game.  It worked out for all of us.  My sister was at home tending to my middle nephew, who was 2 months old at the time, and not able to travel.  Tip: ladies, your little one can get on the plane at 3 months.  He was so cute in the Disneyland onesie I bought him.  Now at 12, I think he is a little bit too big for it, LOL.  We flew out on one of the now defunct airlines, which I forgot the name of.
Anyway, sidetrack moment, and a good lead-in.
I do not give out full trip details for privacy reasons (See protect yourself from Unwanted viewers-July 23, 2018). I will say that I and the family, minus three dogs (Strype, Chewy, and Duchess) and a cat (Gizmo) will be staying in a 3-bedroom Grand Villa at Bay Lake Towers at Disney World.  It is part of a package deal that includes the deluxe dining plan. 
To get details on the series, go to At Home with Tricia's Baskets soon.
My only takeaway tip for today is to research what you need and watch your camera budget. Sometimes suggestions are just that…. suggestions.  It could be that these cameras are out of your price range.  That is ok.  There are plenty of camera choices out there but go in knowing what your price range is, what you plan on doing with the camera.  Is it for photography?  For videos? What about both? For this, my plan is for all of it, but I need a phone that allows me to do Instagram and Pinterest posts as well.
As for trips, the same thing.  You do not have to go to Disney, nor have my package.  I will give more details on how I got my package in the first place, and how you can get it cheaper at a later time on both this blog and on At Home with Tricia's Baskets.
Until then, I will have to clean out my phone.  Goodbye and God Bless.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Goals For June 2019

Last month was a very trying month for me.  There are some things that I did not expect (like the electric going out in two of the rooms and leaving me without wifi for 3 days on Mother’s Day weekend).  I am humbled that in this country, power is a freely given, even though we must pay for it.  There are some luxuries that we as Americans do to order to afford them, and sadly this administration does not get it.  OK, that is it for my rant.  I am supposed to be talking about my goals for the month of June and that is what we are going to talk about.
What did I get done in May?
In May, on the social media side, the following happened:
Instagram:  Last month: 750 This month: 557
I have no doubt it is the photos I publish, but I have one slight problem.  While people like my photos, and it seems that I keep posting the same type of photos, I have received maybe one or two comments on them.  So, if you comment, it helps me a lot.  I am also commenting more on other people’s photos.  Generally, I am a shy, quiet person, so introverted, but as my pastor says, I have extrovert tendencies.  Interaction is the key.  Also, a tip:  to constantly get followers to interact with you, Kittens and puppies work.  I am just kidding.  My last photo of the boss cat got a lot of likes because she was sitting in her usual spot overseeing her “parents” making dinner.  No, the real tip is to follow the person who follows you.  You may not be interested in what they do, but it helps to support them.  It also does help to turn your personal account into a business account. You can see insights and see what works for your IG account.
Facebook: I am not tackling that as of yet.  I did get a chance to look at it from a non-grabbing traffic aspect (is Non-Grabbing a term?) and I will admit that if I want to grab a follower’s attention, I need to:
·         Get rid of the drama.  In other words, curb my issues, don’t react too much to Trump’s and other political antics, and get rid of my gaming (although that has been restricted to my Ipad).
·         Promote more of my business, but not too much.  Remember, Facebook execs do not want you to spam your readers, and I am on of those people who do not want to see an ad for ½ of Paparazzi Jewelry. I love the pieces (who can beat $5 jewelry), but I do not want the same ad popping up every 5 minutes or more.  Even Jesus took a rest, and you should too.  If I know how I feel about the same ad, then I need to rest about my business as well.
o   Tip: Talk about something related to your business that can be a takeaway tip.  For instance, talk about what types of jewelry goes with each other.  In my case, I would be talking about types of invitations to help when inviting guests to the wedding or a good size number of guest to invite when your venue is small.  This may turn viewers into buyers.  Do not always offer a product.  Let the post bring in the buyers.
This is something that I want to tackle starting next month.  This does not mean I am friending anyone it means I am adding followers.
I can always use more followers, but what I have notice is what I am not posting enough of, my blogs.  Just like Instagram, this is something that I need to work on, and this case, it brings more people to my blog posts and my Etsy site.  I have been mostly repining other people’s pins.  While that is a good thing for them, it is not good for me.  I am finding better photos by taking some of my own or using the ones that I purchased with a commercial license or free and the original photographer said I can use them.
Twitter: 1,679 (May) added 2 more for June (1,680).  I am going to work on posting my blog posts on Twitter and hopefully I have the same results as I did with Instagram.  At one time, Twitter was my go to, until the a few years ago, mojo when “No Go”.  Now that I am building up traffic again, I do need to work on all of them in some compacity and Twitter is no exception
YouTube:  I gained 5 new followers, with no new videos for the whole month of May.  I did put out a video on Instagram stories to see how I liked it.  It is good for short bursts of video, but for long ones, it is YouTube. I have a Vimeo account, but I have not made any videos on it in the 5+ years I had the account.
In June, the goal is at least two videos. 
Finally LinkedIn:
LinkedIn is the business Facebook, even though Facebook now has a legitimate Facebook business area, this is the first social media made for business people.  I do not talk about it much because it is supposed to be more professional than Facebook.  I have 363 connections.  LinkedIn does not call them followers or friends. Each connection is supposed to allow you to ask for business, sell your product, or apply for a job.  If that connection does not have a need for you business or product, or hiring in your expertise, they may know of someone who does or have a need.  LinkedIn is supposed to be a place to network.
I have been mostly lurking on LinkedIn.  When I first got the account, I was engaging so much.  Now I barely get on because the way I have this account setup, anything I do not Twitter or Facebook, reflects back on LinkedIn.  Lately, I have noticed that the dynamics have changed.  It seems that LinkedIn does not allow it anymore. So, I am looking into my account and changing things up a bit. 
OK, I am off of social media for now.
Other Goals
You may think that this is all I talk about.  No Sir/Madame.  These are my other goals:

  1. P. Lynne Designs Website.  For some reason, I took a month off.  Not my usual depressive state, but I had things to do, people to see.  Also, I have been getting house stuff done.  When you only have so many hours of the day, and/or people and things give you limitations beyond your control, you have to take them. So, the website was put on the backburner for a bit.  So, the new goal is to have things running by the new year. (new fiscal year, that is, which starts in July).
  2. Bedroom organization:  I am almost finished clearing my bedroom.  I cleared out my 3-tier long shelf for something that only holds my router/modem, my long basket with my rolls of vinyl, and my planner supplies, which are temporary until I get my craftroom set up. The new goal for this area:
    1. Change out the final phase of Fall/winter/spring bed clothing (sheets and spread/comforter/blanket) for summer stuff. I have not decided what I want on my bed, but I want the ugly green comforter to get out of here.  I had it for 3 years, so it is bye-bye.
    2. Clear off my dresser.
    3. Get rid of the shoe rack and basket table.
    4. Start hunting for bedroom furniture.  This is a purchase planned for 2020, and I need to start looking now, even though I am looking to move in the next 1-2 years.  Why?  I had this furniture since I moved out of my parent’s house in 1998, and this furniture was built in 1968 (at least that was what the previous owners of the furniture said). I want something that is a little more up-to-date.  Heck I have changed computers since this furniture was bought.  I need a budget for this purchase.
  3. Product creation.  I think I have a handle on my Etsy store.  I had 2 sales in the month of May, but June needs to double the amount.  This means 4 sales.  I also need to renew one of the listings, the “Smile” in white lettering composition notebook.  I need to make some products for my website that may or may not be a product on my website who is to tell on that until I create it.  I need to do pricing for some product as well.  This means the introduction to change some placement products and finish my website.
Well, that is it for right now.  I had great response to the May 2019 goals.  My reason is not to brag that I can do this.  I am not perfect.  There are some goals that I did not meet in the month of May that I am not happy with, but you move on, you do what you can to meet and exceed those goals.  If you do not meet them, do not beat yourself up over it.  Things happen and life happens.  I am very proud of things such as meeting some social media goals, mad that I did not complete my craftroom and master bedroom, but things have not fallen around me, and if not, I will pray, ask for forgiveness, and move on.  This is the takeaway I want to give to you.