Sunday, October 27, 2013

Business Bug has Bit ...

A good friend/sister recently said about me, "you always seem to enjoy having a little job on the side".  And she is of course right.

I guess it started as a child - I loved to sell "seeds" every spring to earn a special prize for myself.  One time I earned a watch.  I don't remember what magazine this came out of but I did it several years.  You could either take money for yourself - or order a prize.   This is what I remember:

Then I picked up the door to door selling or "home party" fun again in the late 1970's  when I began to sell Tupperware.  I got started on it by a lady I babysat for.  I also worked parttime at my present job but I loved Tupperware and loved setting up and hosting a party.

That was short lived and then I began working fulltime - raising a family - and we jump forward to 2009.  I told my bff that I thought I'd sell Avon.  She, being a long time Pampered Chef consultant said "oh no you don't - you should sell Pampered Chef!"  So I did!  I learned a lot from this little hob job - I learned more about cooking - about nutritious meals - about economical meals - the difference between nonstick skillets and stainless steel - and I even pretty much mastered cooking with a stainless steel skillet which I still love!  Did I make any money?  Probably not - you see the fun part was how interested my family seemed to be.  Although the hubs called it Pampered Crap - I could tell he secretly enjoyed my interest in this.  Our two children seemed very interested also - in both the products and the fact I helped them stock their kitchens  - and also pride in their mother that she had "her own business".

Soon - - by 2011 my job had become very busy and demanding.  I was learning all kinds of new things at work and lost my drive to keep up the business of PC after hours.

If you want to check out The Pampered Chef - see Rebecca at her website.                                                
Maybe you might say - I'm a little flakey??   Don't stick with things??  You would be right.  But its okay.  I figure I have learned some things from each endeavor.

So - - - here we are two years later in 2013 and guess what??  Avon came back into my life.  I hired a lady to work in our department at work and she was an Avon lady - she quickly got us all hooked on the make up and perfumes and we had our own little beauty consultant!  What fun that was!  One night I just decided I would click and pay 10 dollars and sign up myself.   So for the next couple of months I began the process of switching the products I normally use - over to Avon products.  Just to see if it could be done.  I really enjoyed the products and I liked the idea of taking care of my skin, hair, and nails, at my age.

But again - I decided - well I have no customers and this is kinda silly - I can just order from my friend at work - - - so I stopped placing orders.  Avon is very patient - but they will drop you after several "campaigns" of not ordering.   I'm not sure why but I really missed getting the products and then a new perfume came out for the holidays - beautiful bottle - and yummy rich scent! Passion!  I decided that this time I should re-register and be "under" my coworker - she would be my boss!  And the business I come up with will also help her!  Win-Win!!

By this time you might be shaking your head and smiling.

I'm officially back in business and with a plan.  Avon is online so I can build clients that way and also I will introduce myself to all my new neighbors on Highland Street and see if I can get them as excited as I am about Avon products - after all - all women have to have make up right? and body lotion?  So why not Avon!   I will not be selling to my coworkers - they belong to my Avon director who got there first!

I plan to have fun with it and be creative in ways to sell.  Avon is affordable and I feel like the quality is really in line with other name brand cosmetics.  I asked my husband what he would call my new business??  He hasn't answered me yet :)  But he did agree to drive me to The Avon Store in Salina yesterday so I could just soak up the whole shop!  Selling Avon is just the complete opposite to my full-time job that I go to every day and I think that is what I like about my little "side-shows".

What experiences have you had in owning your own little business?  Have you ever thought that your hobby could become your business?  I know many creative craft ladies and quilters out there who love to spend time with this - could it become a profit for you?

Maybe not - but I'll let you know how this works for me - and so put the coffee on - I might show up at your door - - - ding dong . . . Avon calling . . .

Check out my personal online store!  Lots of Christmas ideas!  

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's not just about a taco . . .

I had my youngest granddaughter here for the weekend as you know and one of the things she wanted to do was learn to make tacos.  Tacos are one of her favorite foods.  In Texas, with her dad and step-mom Gloria - she has experienced true tacos!  A favorite of all is Gloria's "breakfast tacos".    Perfectly fried diced potatoes with scrambled eggs and put in a tortilla.  Yummo!!

So I wasn't surprised that Elaine wanted to learn to make tacos.  We made Kansas tacos.  You know the hamburger, seasoning, cheese, onions, salsa, lettuce in hard shells or soft tortillas.  Not like the authentic Mexican food we have experienced in South Texas.  And actually I thought well how much of a cooking lesson will this be - just browning hamburger . . .

Then I went into teacher mode:

     Wash your hands.

     Choose a skillet - non stick or stainless - I have both and the right size skillet
     for the job was the stainless.  So - I explained the differences and we used a little
     oil in the pan to brown the beef.    Then came opening the hamburger package and
     how to handle raw meat.  Explaining about bacteria in uncooked meat and after
     getting it in the pan - how to clean up anything the meat touched.

     For a 10 year old with a hot stove and a little hot oil I felt the need to explain how
     to hold onto and stabilize the skillet with one hand while browning the meat and turning
     it with the other hand.

     So hamburger is browning.  That's it.

     No - I explained, part of cooking is then preparing the rest of the ingredients while
     parts are cooking.  So we got out the lettuce (already shredded in the bag), onion, cheese,
     homemade (Aunt Tami's) salsa, sour cream, and the shells.

     Elaine asked if we could heat the shells in the oven so we prepared that and continued
     to work with the browning meat.   A few times hamburger was flying across the stove top
     because for a petite 10 year old - a heavy stainless skillet is quite a bit to manhandle!!

     During this process it struck me - blog idea - - - making tacos  - - - cooking a meal - - -
     is about much more than just the finished product!  Things started coming to my mind
     that my mom taught me all through my life - and the things I learned in Home-Ec - and
     all the hints and ideas and tips I have picked up from the Food Channel!!

     From picking the right skillet - to knowing what temperature to have the burner - to turning
     it down at the right time - to setting oven temperature - to draining grease - to seasoning
     meat - to prep work - to use of pot holders - to getting plates and forks - - - and on top of all
     getting everything done at the same time and ready to serve!
Soon we called Grandpa to come eat and we ate and went on a bike ride - who needs to do dishes??

That's a lesson for another day :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Readathon Fun Part 4

Well Readathon Friends - It's 5 a.m. and I just woke up - after a great day with Elaine and maaannny activities including 2 miles on the bike and 3 miles through a corn maze - I couldn't stay awake even past midnight.  Elaine said, "Grandma I'm gonna stay up all night with you - but I'll let you read".  I said girl I don't think I can do it and she said, "Let's go to bed."  

Now after a little snooze - I will read some til the end - and although it wasn't a typical Readathon for me - it was time well spent.  I realize how many people know so much more about books than me.  I admire those of you who have your blogs just to review books.    If anyone would ever doubt that reading makes you smarter - I can attest that I see it does!  I have been challenged dear reading friends to make it a higher priority in my life from this day forward!!  

Spring Readathon cannot come soon enough!!!

Thanks to all of you who made it happen today!!

I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.”  - Dorothy Parker

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Readathon Fun Part 3

The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs.

Liz Curtis Higgs has written several children's books - parables of sorts - and I own every one!  I used the book with both of my kids as an alternative Christian message for Halloween and during the fall season.   Today's next to last reading assignment for Elaine is to read me this book - and that is what she is doing at the moment!

We just had a short road trip - I knew I couldn't expect a 10 year old active girl to read for 12-24 hours :) so we headed to our local Depot Market, at Courtland, KS.  My memories of this were skewed a bit by an Apple Orchard that we made a yearly favorite stop when Elaine lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  So I was a little disappointed that there were no rides for the kids - no trains or hay rack rides and no face painting.  There was a hay maze though and she enjoyed racing through it time and time again while Great-Grandma and I timed her and one of her new found friends.    The pumpkins were worth the trip as they were gorgeous!!  And no more is it just orange pumpkins - but white and green and "pink dolls".

Elaine and Great-Grandma - after the hay race!

Continuing on with some more reading - and my "secret plan" is to really have some alone time later tonight to spend reading :)   Catch you all after bit!!

Readathon Fun Part 2

Following a morning of reading and some activities with dogs - including playing in the yard with our two for a bit - we made a quick trip to the local library - I love it that Elaine enjoys doing that!  It's unusual in a way with all the tempting technology - that a child still finds a building full of books interesting!

Elaine's choices:  

My choices:  

And who hasn't read Anne of Green Gables, right???   Me!  I am starting with the Prequel to Anne of Green Gables - written after the original series - a long ways after.  Has anyone read this?  How does it really fit in with the original stories?   I also stepped across my comfort zone and picked up a fun mystery!  My sister Tami at Just One More Thing loves a good mystery of any kind - - - I gotta expand my brain!!

It's nearly lunch time - sloppy joes on the menu and then along with "The Pumpkin Patch Parable" book we are heading to the Pumpkin Patch/Apple Market a few miles north of here.  We will check back in later!  Happy Reading!

Readathon Fun Part 1

Elaine and I are checking in with all of you dedicated readers!  We have had a good two hours of reading fun - Elaine has finished 3 books:  The Mitten, Benji Fastest Dog in the West and Dogs.  She had an idea for one of the mini challenges - posting a video or name of song that matches what you are reading!

We are off to the local library in a few minutes - taking a break to pick out some more books.

Dodger enjoys Dog Books too!

Read Read Read Read Read Read Read Read Read Books!

Oh wow . . . that post title is strange and unless you are a Blake Shelton fan - - -

Anyway the 24 hour Dewey's Readathon is here!!!  It's been exciting to see how many readers have signed up and are reading along with me today!  I am probably not the only readathoner to add a twist to the day as I would imagine any moms out there who plan for a day of uninterrupted reading will most likely have some (welcome)  interruptions.  My interruption is welcome and chosen - but then I'm a grandma . . . and I can sit and read any time I choose.  This weekend happened to be the one that worked out best for our youngest granddaughter to come and visit.  We plan a trip to the zoo on Sunday but for today we will read and craft amongst some other activities.  Elaine is 10 and loves to read - but with other things on our list for the weekend - I have planned some special Readathon activities to keep her interest.

 I planned to read for a couple hours while Elaine slept . . .

     Here is how the day REALLY started . . .

Alarm sounded . . . and I joyfully headed for the coffee pot because I don't have to go to work today!

7:00 a.m. -- Good morning fellow Readathoners!

Starting my day with coffee and devotions from my Bible Study called Celebrate Freedom!  It's all about weight loss which is a big issue for me always - - - I told my granddaughter Elaine - today we get moving!!  She is willing and excited about bike rides throughout the day!

This year besides adding Elaine to the readathon - I also decided to be a Cheerleader and so I will be visiting my assigned blogs to commend and cheer on my new friends!  One of the things I hope to gain from the day is to add some great blogs to my list to follow!

I'll get to reading now and check back in shortly - Enjoy everyone!!

I loves quotes about as much as books - so for our first reading quote . . .

You're never alone when you're reading a book.” 
― Susan Wiggs


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday Challenge

Once again I'm focusing - no wait - refocusing on health.  My health.  Stupid to spend time on telling you about my slip ups - but after losing 30 pounds and becoming more fit with exercise than ever in my life - - - I managed to put back on 15 pounds and stop moving.

There is no condemnation . . . The Bible says that - and although I may be stretching the true meaning - I have moved past blaming myself.    I made bad choices - so now I have to make good choices.  And I am always a student - so a new book caught my eye at a quick shop today - called "You Are What You Eat".    I grabbed one for myself and for my sister Tami.

We are all dietetic sinners; only a small percent of what we eat nourishes us; the balance goes to waste and loss of energy.  ~William Osler

No that didn't come from the book - but I believe Mr. Osler.  And the one thing I did learn while losing my weight was that the glycemic index is important - basically - keep your blood sugar running level and you will not be as hungry.  

So as I refocus on my health I am issuing a challenge to myself and to Tami - and to any of my readers for today!  

     Get moving!  Walk four miles (not all at once) or ride bike 10 miles (not all at once).  I am
     doing this because I have an entire day at home today with no plans.  Well I plan to clean
     house a little and prepare for our granddaughter's visit next weekend.  But I am on my own
     time frame and I have the most fun when I can run out jump on my bike (which I LOVE and have
     not done much of this summer) and go around my 1.5 mile path. (twice) and then stop and rest.
     Kansas/Nebraska winds predicted to blow 50 miles per hour - may have to go to the treadmill
     in the basement for the 4 mile walk instead!  Either way - I will be moving!!

Join me!!  I'd love to hear what blessings you found in a Saturday work out!

Order your copy here!       (Tami don't!)

   Eubie Blake At Age 100
If I'd known I was gonna live this long. I'd have taken better care of myself.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon with a Twist!!

I am so excited for the Fall Version of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!!!  24 hours - favorite coffee brewing at 7 a.m. - snacks on store - Diet Coke/Diet Sprite - Comfy chairs/blankets - Stack of books - Relax - Read - and oh yes - a 10 year old granddaughter alongside!

This will be my third or fourth readathon and I'm excited to join in with hundreds of others including my sister, Tami and my daughter, Casey.    

Soooooo . . . I had a decision to make . . . Readathon which I have looked forward to for a month already or picking granddaughter up on Friday night and having her to myself for the entire weekend!  Readathon vs. Granddaughter.     Believe it or not I weighed the two - well at least for fifteen minutes - - - little girl won.  

I prepared to tell my sister the disappointing news - - - but then we came up with a great idea!!!  I will involve Elaine in the Readathon!  She loves to read - always has at least two books in her back pack when she comes to stay and she gets excited about doing just about anything with Grandma!  So I am making special plans to enjoy the readathon at points during the day as well as spend precious time with her.  

Here is my plan so far:

7 a.m. - I will get out of bed and start the coffee.   Granddaughter will sleep.

I will have some time to read and check in on the blog sites for the first couple hours.

Then I have planned for some reading fun with Elaine.

     I will have her bring a book along that she will want to read.

     We will go to our local library and she can pick out some books to read.

     I will have her pick out a few books from "Grandma's Library" in     
     the basement to read to me.  

I also plan for some crafting fun!  

     One of my favorite books is Jan Brett's "The Mitten".  I think it will be 
     great fun for Elaine to read it to me and do a new craft technique I am 
     just learning called "Zentangles".  I found a cute Pinterest mitten sample 
     of Zentangle.   


     I have several other cute Zentangle designs that she can work on also.   
   If you want to learn more about the art of Zentangles - read here.

   Another book choice I will make is for Elaine to read her dad's favorite
   childhood book, "Benji, Fastest Dog in the West" and I thought this cute
   puppy craft would be a hit.

One last reading assignment will be to try reading on the Kindle!  I will let her find a book online and try her hand at e-reading.

After reading and crafts along with some cheerleading for fellow bookers we may have to take a time out for some outdoors play.  Last time Elaine visited we didn't have time for a lot of bike riding and so this time a few short rides are planned along with a picnic lunch down at the airport a couple blocks away.  There sits this picnic table and I think it looks like an inviting and interesting place to hang out!  

I will share with you the books I plan to read.  I have a mixture of Bible study, two novels to decide between and a short book on leadership that sounded really interesting!  I'm not planning on reading from my Kindle as little one will probably find a better use for the Ipad!

Here is hoping you join the Readathon!  A great 24 hours of fun!!