Friday, October 31, 2008
Today is Girl Scout founder Juliette Low's birthday. She was born October 31, 1860. Which would make her 148 years old if still alive. I do not think I need to explain the impact Juliette Low has made on the United States and the world. Today 3.5 million members belong to Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts is not about cookies and camping, it's about creating leaders. In fact, 64% of the woman leaders today were, you guessed it, Girl Scouts. Every year, on October 31st, Girl Scouts across the country celebrate Juliette Low's birthday! It's a Girl Scout tradition! In fact, I am helping to organzie a big birthday event on November 8th in my community.
Juliette Low died of breast cancer on January 18, 1927. She was just 67 years old. In 67 years, she made the world a better place.
A friend from high school, Lisa, (oh my, was it really 20 years ago?) sent the following email today. Lisa has always been a runner, and is currently putting her running shoes to good use:
"Thank you to those of you who have supported me in this current season and in the past. These are trying times for our nation and exciting ones as well. In a few days we will have the opportunity to make history, either the first African-American president or the first woman in the White House. Our economy is shaky and people feel as though the future is unsteady. But for some the future is more than unsteady, those suffering from cancer and their families.
"A few weeks ago, we had a celebration of our "Cause", our honorees and they announced that a little honoree from Silicon Valley passed away after a valiant battle with leukemia (she was just 5 years old). This news really struck me since Rebekah is 7, and I couldn't imagine her not being with us. Then last week, I watched the TV show "Extreme Home Makeover" and they were working on a home in Arkansas where the little boy (10 years old), battled leukemia and while he was in remission from that, the treatments caused him to require a double lung transplant and he was wheelchair bound. I sat and watched and thought about how difficult the treatments are on the body to rid it of the cancer. Sometimes, the treatments are much harder on the body than the cancer. How can we keep these things from happening (children dying, people struggling after remission because of treatments), we can donate to organizations like The Leukemia Society. They guarantee 75% of all donations to be returned to research. They have funded the research of Gleevac, a drug that is responsible for many lives being saved.
"How can you make a difference in this trying world? You can donate to my fundraising campaign so together we can make a difference in people's lives and become their hero. We never know when our lives will be changed by a single act and wouldn't we want someone to help us if we were diagnosed with these diseases.
"I am going to challenge you to donate at least $10 to help find a cure for other children, like Mickey, Teagan, and Dylan. You are more than welcome to donate more but I am asking that everyone donate at least $10. I am also asking that you send me 5 names and addresses (email or snail mail), so I can pass on this challenge to a larger group of people or please pass my email or snail mail address on to people that may help us in this fight.
"Please use this link http://pages.teamintraining.org/sj/honolulu08/lloder to donate online quickly and securely. You will receive a confirmation by email of your donation and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation. Please make checks payable to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I have committed to raise $2,340 for the Society but my fundraising goal is $2,500 (I have currently raised $624.50) I would like to reach my commitment goal by November 15th, so I can concentrate on my final weeks of training.
"On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support. I really appreciate your generosity! Please remember that 100% of your donation is tax-deductible."
While Leukemia and Breast Cancer are much different forms of cancer, a cure can be found for both. I encourage you to make a donation to either BreastCancer.org or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of Juliette Low, or someone else that has touched your life. Like Juliette Low, you can make the world a better place, too!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
On Branddoozie you can create free business cards, download the PDF and print it right on your printer. Its easy to use, and even if you don’t have a business it’ll be fun to make and print one out for yourself.
I’m sure you could think of all kinds of great titles you could give yourself; Chief Executive Home Officer, Queen of Blogdom, Mrs. Do-it-all. Go ahead click on the link and give it a try, let me know what you think!
Here is one I made today!
Monday, October 27, 2008
We fell guilt when we think we are not spending enough time with our kids
We feel guilt when we hover too much over our kids
We feel guilt when we think we are spending too much time working
We feel guilt when we think we aren’t spending enough time working
We feel guilt when we don’t have the time or energy to make dinner
We feel guilt when the houseplants are thirsty, and our furniture is drowning in dust
The one thing we never seem to feel guilty about is when we neglect ourselves.
So I want to remind you all, make that dreaded annual Dr. appointment, (I for one am overdue) Lock your self in your bedroom and give yourself a facial. Take yourself for a walk (OK you can take the dog with you if leaving it home will make you feel guilty) Sit down with a cup of coffee and look through one of the magazines that’s been lying around for a few months untouched. Do something for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it, nobody else does.
Hmmmm.....I'm thinking maybe I need some kind of little stuffed animals, or pet rocks, I could name panic and stress. Then maybe I could learn to take care of them and love them. Notice I did not say plants? I so kill plants : )
Friday, October 24, 2008
This whole process has been eye opening. Over 400 pages of our custom furniture website have been indexed by google. We get about 130 hits per day. Most orders are placed via telephone, not online. But, since we do not have a brick and mortar store, we know they find out about our furniture online. We do a good amount of business and make a decent living. I'd like to do a phenomenal amount of business and make an awesome living. Thus, the search engine optimization classes.
Cricket's Lesson 4.5, Increase Targeted Website Traffic, leads with: "Imagine for a moment here that my business involves country style decorations for the home. I am currently working on optimizing a page which includes various wall decorations."
Hmmm... we make custom furniture, but we mostly make American Country style custom furniture. So, this lesson hits home in a unique way.
Cricket advises to pick one niche, and focus on that niche for the duration of the classes. I picked wood tv stands because we happen to make some nice ones, like this 56 inch Girtz Plasma TV Stand:
So be like me and do what Lynn does... take Cricket's Search Engine Optimization classes to learn to increase traffic! Then come back here and tell us what you think!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big Jimmy fan, and have personally added to his pile of money. I was just wishing that all of us could be having that much fun while we were getting fifthly rich!
I found some cool blogs for moms - where were they when my boys were 1 and 3?? They are a great place to learn, share and vent.
I've also been contacting MOMS Clubs in PA. When my boys were really young, I went to my local MOMS Club a couple of times. They are great when you need to get out of the house but have to take your kids. I figured the best way to increase sales and get the word about my company is to go directly to my target market. DUH! It took alot of time and research, but I was able to contact them. The advertising cost is minimal for their newsletters and it's good to know that the fee goes to support their efforts in their communities.
The ads will start running in the next week or so. I offered them a special offer and hopefully some of the moms will be just as excited as Sarah and order a couple pillowcases for the holidays.
Advertising is so expensive that I rarely do it. But I think I've hit on something that is beneficial to me and the MOMS Club moms. I get some exposure, the moms learn about our fun and functional products (I stole that from Lynn) and make a little money for their projects.
The best thing so far is the great response I received to my intro email. The women were receptive to my request because I was a mom just like them:) One mom even said that after visiting my site she became inspired to go after her dream and start a business making quilting kits. Good for her - good for me! I hope her MOMS Club members give her alot of support and encouragement.
My site will be getting moved to a new server. Cross your fingers that goes well. Right now it is not passing the PCI security test. This is the guidelines the credit card companies want businesses to follow when they collect customer information. Once my site is moved to the new server, we'll be good to go. If I don't pass the tests, I'll have to pay a monthly fee for non compliance. Kudos to Jo for working on this for me. Of course, I may owe her my first born : )
Hubby got my second kiln set up last week. I have to take some pictures of my work area. It's handy to have 2 of them now. It should make a huge difference in me staying somewhat caught up this year. Maybe it won't be quite as stressful a holiday season....I can dream : )
And that's it....I need to get moving here and get some stuff done : ) Only 2 weeks to election day! Yay!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Please contact the person who's prize you have won.
Kandas - kellyh
Diane - georgie
Noelle - marrdy
Peggy - megryansmon
Jill - pseudonymoushighschoolteacher
Lynn - bink
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I choose to believe the glass is 1/2 full. I think that you are what you believe and if you believe in doom and gloom then you will be a gloomy person. There is so much to be thankful for. Our beautiful FREE country. God Bless Her. :) Long may she live.
I wish you a beautiful day where ever you are. :)
Click here for a little somethin' from me to you.
Have a great day and reach your left arm around your right shoulder and give yourself a pat on the back. You done good : )
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
For WAHMS, we aren't just moms, wives and business owners, we're inventors, designers, crafts"man" (I'm not so politically correct!), assembly workers, accountants, receptionists, customer service reps, sales reps, etc etc. We are also computer geeks! I know more than I want to know about my computer and software and updating my web site. We often spend more time on our computer, than on actually running our business. Let me clarify, we are RUNNING OUR BUSINESS when we are updating our web sites, but I'd rather be designing!
I am not a really good computer geekand I can't believe I understand what I do! OK, Peggy, let's get to the point!
For the past few days I have spent HOURS on updating Key Words, Meta tags, descriptions on my web site, comfycozy.com. It's a daunting, time consuming task. All with the goal of increasing the rankings on Search Engines and landing on page one, so that when you look for a personalized pillowcase for Christmas, that Comfy Cozy is going to be the first web site on that page!
We all want to use whatever tricks we can to achieve #1 rankings on Google & Yahoo searches. Sometimes the tricks are doing us any good. I wanted to share something I learned about what is called a "robots follow" tag. Two web sites, highrankings.com and seoconsultants.com say that the robots follow tags and revisit-after tags are not going to increase your search engine rankings, don't effect when the spiders stop by and who created them. I was totally bummed! Now I have to go find another trick that will make me think I've got one up on my competition LOL! Check out the web sites for more information. Now, I'm going to do some REAL work - paying taxes...but that's another post for another day!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The amazing and wonderfully talented, Diane, Custom Embroidery Goddess, had her embroidered lamb baby gift set featured in an Etsy treasury! In the first spot, not less!
Kudos to DistinctlyDiana for having such superior taste.
Friday, October 10, 2008
So... I TOTALLY stole this (including the picture) from http://herbigfamily.blogspot.com/ The lists, however, are mostly mine.
8 Favorite TV shows...
1. Battlestar Galactica
2. Doctor Who
3. Star Trek Deep Space Nine
4. Star Trek Voyager
5. Star Trek Next Generation
6. Star Trek Enterprise
8 Favorite Restaurants...
1. Spago (Las Vegas)
2. Taverna (Conroe, Texas)
3. Chez Panisse (Berkeley, California)
4. Da Nang (Berkeley, California)
5. Cha Cha Cha (San Francisco, California)
6. Buca di Beppo
7. Sweet Tomatoes
8. Texas Roadhouse
8 things that happened yesterday...
1. Went for a 45 minute walk.
2. Evaluated a Mark's speech at Toastmasters.
3. Did two loads of laundry.
4. Fixed the BEST tortilla soup ever!
5. Went to the post office to mail presents.
6. Picked up the books I had on hold at the library.
7. Went to a PTO meeting.
8. Ran out of yellow ink and could not finish printing Shaka Studio's new Dining Table catalog.
8 things to look forward to...
1. Camping at Dinosaur Valley State Park Thanksgiving weekend.
2. A Hair Cut.
3. Camping at Space Center Houston with my Girl Scout troop next month.
4. The presidential election being over.
5. A SuperWAHMz retreat!
6. Our Girl Scout Service Units' 3rd Annual Juliette Low Birthday Party
7. Being given an antique piano.
8. The Holidays
8 things I love about Fall...
1. The temperature drops below 80 (usually)
2. Opening the windows
3. I find the time to craft
4. Not sweating when I walk to the mailbox
5. Fixing soup for dinner
6. Wearing my black boots
8. Thanksgiving dinner
8 things on my wish list...
1. A cleaning lady
2. Financial Freedom
3. Tranquil moments of pure free time and no guilt
4. More local cabinet refinishing jobs
5. More tiger maple and cherry custom furniture orders
6. To own income producing rental property
7. Regular pedicures
8. A snazzy white Mercedes convertible
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I just bet you will be so excited when the election is over. I know I will be.
We all need a little financial relief. I can't offer billions in a bailout but...
D's has decided to offer a limited time special on a couple of our gift items. We are also offering FREE shipping on orders placed by November 15th.
If you do early/mail in voting, please remember to sign your ballot.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I think we all feel like we are doing a balancing act. We "superwahmz" aren't the only ones. While being a wife, mother and small business owner have some uniquely tricky moments, keeping all our plates from crashing to the ground is a challenge everyone faces. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking a tight rope and someone keeps making the distance longer with every step I make LOL. The past week or so, however, I'm making some headway across that tight rope!
It feels pretty good. I've decided to not let the recent headlines and financial crisis make me lose my balance. I'm challenging myself to stay focused on the positives and not get caught up in anxiety, fear and hopelessness. (After all, you'll still be ordering my Comfy Cozy Glow in the Dark Pillowcases for Christmas gifts won't you!!)
Having a visual image of what a REAL balancing act looks like helps immensely! I find the following 2 examples help me to "walk the walk". I have apparently forgotten about these the past few months when I was swaying back and forth, on the verge of falling! It seems a good time to look at them again and buck up to the challenges that face me.
The first one is the amazing accomplishment of Libby as the first woman to walk the Lost Arrow Spire Highline. You HAVE to watch this video with the sound. Libby is one of my heroes now and somewhere on my list of 100 things I want to do in my life, is to walk a highline! OK, my husband isn't too thrilled with the idea, so I'm starting with putting a cable in my yard. It may only be 6 inches off the ground, but I think it will be great for me and my boys to walk on!
The second one I learned about from my oldest son, who brought home The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.
I was amazed, impressed and in awe of what Philippe Petit had done. It was on
Aug. 7, 1974, when Petit stepped onto a cable rigged between New York’s Twin Towers and proceeded to walk back and forth, literally suspended in midair, only pausing to lie down for a bit of a rest—1,368 feet above the ground. YIKES! (Note: Libby had a safety line, Philippe did not!) It's a great story for kids. Not the part that his walk was illegal, but the accomplishment. So my boys could appreciate his walk, we drew a chalkline, the same distance, in front of our house and tried to walk it without falling off ...not that easy!
Both of these are inspiration that no matter how hard it is to balance everything in our life, we can do it. The wind will blow, the distance will seem endless, but we CAN do it.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
First up from Kandas at Shaka Studios, we have a $150 Gift Certificate good towards the purchase of this lovely Brazos TV Stand or any handcrafted furniture or bedding from Shaka Studio. (oooo's and aaaaah's would be appropriate now : )
Secondly, from Diane at D's Sticheree, we have this ADORABLE embroidered Doggie Tote Bag. (imagine a Price is Right model holding this : ) Valued at $34.00, it can be personalized just for your pooch. Imagine all the doggie treats this cute tote could hold.
Next up, from Noelle at Cabin Fever Primitives, a hand poured, highly scented, 16 ounce jar candle. (breath deeply and you can just smell it : ) Valued at $16.95, a great gift for someone you know, or a treat for yourself.
"What's next???" you ask. How about a little something from Peggy at Comfy Cozy? An ORIGINAL "magical" Glow in the Dark Make a Wish Pillowcase! (these are really cool!) Perfect for anyone that believes in wishing on a star. Valued at $18.95, it can also be Personalized : )
Wait, we're not done yet....Jill from Tips From Home is giving away a $99 membership to Branddoozie, the do-it-yourself marketing tool that provides start-ups and small businesses with online access to design, publish and print marketing materials. The Start up package includes a matching Brochure, Flyer, Business Card, Envelope, Letterhead and Postcard. It also includes a Free logo builder, and you'll be able to upload your own photos and have access to our free stock photography. (this is way cool!)
And last, but not least, would be my prize....you know me as Lynn - the piggy bank painter, but I do paint other things. In honor of the upcoming election (will it ever end?), I am giving away this assortment of hand painted, Americana items from Korff Ceramic Originals. A set of votive candle holders, tea bag holders and a double spoon rest, a total value of $44.00, these are great gifts for yourself, or someone you love. (I say "keep them" : )
- to get 1 entry in our contest, simply leave a comment.
- to get another entry (that makes 2) follow our blog.
- to get yet another entry (this would make 3) blog about our contest and link to it. Then leave us a comment so we know where to look for our link.
- to get 6 more entries (yes, I said 6) visit each of our 6 websites that are listed with the prizes. Find your favorite product at each site (w/price, if applicable) and leave a comment back here for each website. Please leave a separate comment for each website.
The rules (are as follows)...
- There will be a random drawing for EACH prize offered, from all entries received.
- You may win more than one prize.
- No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Etc, etc, etc.....
- The prizes will be shipped free of charge to US residents. If you are outside the US and would like to enter, and win, you would be asked to pay the shipping charge.
This contest will run from Tuesday, October 7th to Tuesday, October 14th. Drawings will be held on or around Wednesday, October 15th .
So, I think: "Hmmmm.... Do I know any amazing women?" DUH! Took about 5 seconds to cut and paste this Award to give me my FAVORITE Wylde Women!
This award was created by Tammy Vitale to send love and acknowledgment to women who brighten your day, teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy. The SuperWAHMz certainly do that for me!
These are the rules of this award:
1. You can give it to one or one hundred or any number in between - it's up to you. Make sure you link to their site in your post.
2. Link back to this blog site ( http://www.tammyvitale.com ) so I can go visit all these wonderful women.
Read more about the award at: http://tammyvitale.typepad.com/women_art_life_weaving_it/2008/07/wylde-women-award.html
Friday, October 3, 2008
Almost every morning, after I put my nine year old on the bus, I grab the dog and head out for a walk around the neighborhood. I listen to recorded books and think up witty insights that would make perfect posts on this blog. I sure wish I could remember some of those witty insights by the time I return home and sit down to blog. Sigh.
In case you are wondering which recorded books I listen to... the last three titles are:
- Star Wars: Legacy of the Force #8: Revelation
- Lemony Snickets' - A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window
- Douglas Adams' - The Salmon of Doubt
Lest you think I only listen to Sci Fi, I am a business owner, so I also enjoy listening to Jack Canfield, Robert Kiyosaki, Suzi Orman, etc.100 Things
An update to my list from last week.
REVISED 72. I cook on a gas range. WELL... I have a little extra cash right now and my oven has been "broken" for over 2 years. The broiler does not work. I did some shopping around for a gas oven. After having put serious consideration into this, I've decided that for now I am perfectly content with my ceramic top range. It's very easy to clean. Gas ranges do not appear to be as easy to keep clean. I don't like to clean. So... number 72 on my list can wait and I'm just going to repair my oven.
79. I have a lap pool and jacuzzi.
80. I have an amazing yoga instructor from whom I learn weekly.
81. I have tried scuba diving.
82. I make someone laugh each day. (During my early 2o's this was my mantra. How did I let this slip away?)
83. I am comfortable wearing a sexy black dress and occasionally I do.
FIVE lucky winners will each receive a $150 Gift Voucher towards the Shaka Studios product of their choice.Choose from one of our signature painted American Country classics or new Figured Maple or Cherry offerings.
Contest ends 10/31/2008. Winners will be drawn and notified on 11/1/2008.
Enter To Win...
BONUS: Save $25 on your internet purchase of $100 or more. Use code 311083552 in the "Discount Coupon" field under the "Voucher" header on the check out page. Shop Now...
Thursday, October 2, 2008
We believe that Dogs are family too and we thought that you might like to proudly display your pooches name on a colorful tote. Of course we all love cats too so keep an eye out for our new Cats Rule items, coming soon. I am looking forward to adding more Dogs Rule items as time goes by.
Since this is Thankful Thursday let me see if I can find something to be thankful for.....hhhmmmmm lets see....... LOLOL as if I can't find a ton of things to be thankful for. :)
Today though I think I will say I am thankful for my health. Although fighting my weight, all in all my health is pretty good. I have work, I am thankful for that. I have an awesome husband and I am super thankful for that. I have awesome kids and grandkids. Oh my gosh, who could ask for more. AND, let me not forget my SuperWAHMz friends. They are THE best. I have some pretty awesome non wahmz friends also. I am so thankful for friends. Life is just good. :)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
How do you define success? It's been a rough couple months for me. Well, rough may be too harsh of a word. Let's say a bit stressful and frustrating. For a few days, here and there, I've had a hard time defining myself as a "success". Whether it was as a mom or a business owner, it just seemed that I wasn't making the grade.
I was defining success in lots of ways - hoping to find ANY way that would make me feel better! What I had forgotten, was the saying that I often use as a mantra when it seems like I'm wallowing in a string of failed attempts and success seems unattainable. It was time I sit back and remember that success rarely comes easily and without some early failure, and certainly without a lot of hard work. I was hoping some things would be successful because I "wanted" them too - right out of the box, no real effort on my part! What was I thinking??
As I accomplish little things, I feel better. Like today, I updated my web site comfycozy.com. It's not where I want it, but I am gearing up for Christmas and it no longer talks about Back to School! I LOVE my Christmas Pillowcases:My reality check and reminder came when helping my 2 young sons with homework. They get frustrated and I hear them saying "I'll never be able to do this" or "I'm always making mistakes". It breaks my heart to hear them be so negative. So, I'm teaching them my mantra. Teaching them that SUCCESS is string of failed attempts to get it right. They'll misspell words and get math problems wrong MORE often then they'll get them correct UNTIL they put in the effort to learn them and soon SUCCESS will be theirs.
My kids have helped me accept that I AM a SUCCESS as a mom and as a business owner...I just have to remember that failure isn't necessarily a bad thing when we learn from it.