Monday, July 07, 2008

Great Quote

I came across this great quote by Jack Nichols and thought others would appreciate it.

Every person I work with knows something better than me. My job is to listen long enough to find it and use it.

What a great quote to live by.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Saving at the Gas Pump

Summer is the time for fun in the sun. Unfortunately, the high gasoline prices have put a damper on summer for many families. And let’s face it we’re all looking to save money and which way we can. Add to the mix, the months of June and July are known for graduation parties and weddings. Sure you want to give gifts to the proud graduates and happy couples. Then, you have Father’s Day, too.

However, that’s more money taken away from the family budget. However, you can still give, yet benefit from your generosity.

One of our local supermarkets offers gift cards from numerous retailers, including restaurants, online specialty merchants, bedding companies, and more. When you purchase $50 in gift cards, you receive an additional 20 cents off of your gas purchase. In the past, I’ve dabbled with this system for saving. Sometimes, I’ll purchase the gift card and give it to the recipient and sometimes I’ll purchase the gift card and buy gifts with it.

For example, with the Dicks sporting goods gift card, I bought my husband a golf shirt for Father’s Day. For my niece’s graduation, I bought a gift card to Target, a chain store, where she can buy all the little things she’ll need for dorm living. For a baby shower gift, I bought a Babies R Us card and had a great time selecting items from the baby registry.

Now, it takes a little bit of preplanning, but oh so worth the effort when you’re at the gas pump.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Work Away From Work

As most of you know, I've accepted a fabulous, couldn't pass it up, position as the wedding coordinator. The position had my name all over it. And the location takes my breath away every time I walk in the doors...well, after I go through what I call the underground. The underground, aka the basement, is the shortcut to my office. And when you consider the building is two blocks in length from the parking lot to mhy office, any shortcut is much appreciated.

Anyway, though I absolutely love this newly created position with the second largest Museum in the United States according to our PR department, I haven't realized how much I missed the networking atmosphere of conferences. Sure, I still teach non-credit courses at our local community college and still attend other networking events. However, a five-day writers' conference reminded me of all the reasons I love the freelance life.

I spend five days in Amish county with more than 200 writers of all genres and experiences. In the mix of all of that, I presented an intensive all-day workshop and gave the talk at the published authors' luncheon, causing many chuckles with the crazy marketing antics I've shared. I listened to several workshops presented by agents and editors, brainstormed ideas with new writers and sidestepped very personal questions by an inquiring mind of a former student.

Though the conference revved my writing engine for which I'm thrilled, the new friends I've met and the old acquantances I've renewed made the trip so much more. Sometimes, in everyday life, we're so hellbent on what we need to do and the to agenda we must follow, that we forget or maybe just allow it to slip our minds, that the friends meet we along the way add another layer to our life. Laughter, friendship and memories outshine the clean dishes, clean laundry and clean house any time. After all, in 24 hours the dirty dishes, soiled clothing and cluttered house are saying "We're back!"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Clearance Racks

Wow!! The markdowns are fabulous right now!! Next time you find yourself in the car make a quick stop at your local department stores. Discontinued items and clothing remaining from the pre-holiday sales are at rock bottom prices. Today, I bought girls' jeans from one of the department stores for $1.80, $2.00 and $2.20 each. I stocked up for birthday and Christmas gifts for nieces and friends' kids. And with Christmas just passing, I still had everyone's size in my purse so it was easy to figure out who needed what size.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Beware Mold--A Health Hazard in Your Home

Where would you think you’d find more fungus, outside in a public environment or inside your own home?

Today our home environment is so contained, says Frank Witkowski, bathroom remodeling expert, that if you have had unexplained illnesses, it might not be the germs outside of your home that are making you sick. Older homes, before remodeling, were drafty allowing for fresh air to come into the home. In airtight homes, the air isn’t exchanged this same way so we’re re-breathing the same air constantly.

Such airtight homes can also become a breathing ground for mold spores. Your family can have mystery illnesses long before you see mold because it’s microscopic. Mayo Clinic’s research confirms these sentiments, attributing many allergies, asthmatic reactions, coughing, depression, headaches and other illnesses to mold growing inside your home. And unfortunately, once you do see the mold, it’s been growing for a long time.

The Lowdown on Mold
Though some people might thing mold has something to do with the cleanliness of your house, it does not, says Witkowski. He offers these insights regarding mold:
• Mold grows in damp locations and on porous surfaces.
• Mold can and will travel through the air from one part of the house to another.
• Mold needs oxygen and moistness to grow, making the bathroom a prime target.
• A window in the tub area might give light and ventilation, but it’s another path for mold. Mold can come from the outside of the house around the window if it isn’t properly sealed.
• Though ceramic tile is a non-porous surface, the grout is porous. Mold spores will penetrate the porous surface.
• Once mold penetrates, staining of the porous surface will appear, as well as black spots.
• In addition to being a health hazard, mold can cause shower area walls to fall down, too.

Solving the Mold Problem
To stop mold, you need to remove oxygen and moistness. Seal up your tub area and mold will not survive. A non-porous surface will help keep mold away because mold can’t penetrate it. Another advantage to the non-porous surface is the smooth texture. You seal up food to prevent exposure to mold spores in the air. The bathtub area needs to be sealed in the same way.

One Last Thought
“If you have unexplained health illnesses, don’t dismiss them.” advises Witkowski. The most important thing you can do is investigate. The cause might be the fungus in your own bathroom.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year, New To-Do List

Happy New Year! With that wish comes a new to-do list (or new resolutions) for the year for most of us. The challenge with New Year's resolutions is we try to change too many things in our life at the same time. What I have found that works for me is making one change a month and taking it one day at a time. For example, if I want to eliminate excess spending, I look at this task on a daily basis rather than on a monthly basis. Each day, I try not to spend any unnecessary money. Yes, that means that favorite flavored coffee at the local cafe is on the "do not need" list. At the end of the day, I look back to see if I accomplished my goal. If I did, I mark a smiley face on the calendar. I love those smiley faces. This system makes me think twice about all those impulsive purchases. Plus, each day is a new day. Each day I start at zero and it doesn't matter what I did the day before.

Now, it also makes it easier to cut out the unnecessary spending when you're saving for something special. If this is the case for you, post pictures of your goal throughout the house and at your workplace, if possible. Having a beach scene taped to my bathroom mirror gives me the incentive to start my "spend-free" day with the right mindset.

Now, you can do the same thing with any of your resolutions, too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Day Tips & Tablecloth

Set the table today. Pull out all of the serving pieces from gravy boat to bowls for mashed potatoes to corn. Don't forget all of the serving utensils, too. This was you'll know what you need and won't be scrambling for it at the last minute. As you're ready to set the table, if you realize you do not have a tablecloth to fit now that the extra extensions for the table are in place, don't fret. Consider using a lovely bed linen, lacey drapery panel, a decorative shawl, or another item that is large enough to cover the table. If you don't have one piece, you can use two larger pieces and pull them together with a table runner in the middle. With all of the dishes, place settings and food, no one will notice. Light a few candles to give everyone that wonderful glow from candlelight.