Saturday, June 10, 2006

Container Gardening - Looking for Advice?

Every spring I like to purchase several container plants for my balcony gardening. I love having hanging baskets and pots full of a variety of colorful flowers and plants. I've even tried my hand at growing tomatoes and strawberries, on our small balcony.

The feel and smell of the soil and flowers are very relaxing and rewarding for me.

This afternoon, I replanted a beautiful mixed flower container, that I purchased at Target, for only $9.99. The flowers had definitely outgrown the pot, with the roots wrapping themselves around the bottom. I put in some fresh soil and water generously.

Are you looking for tips, suggestions or container ideas? Heres some helpful websites that I enjoy:


Container Gardening

Better Homes and Gardens

Growing Container Edible Greens - Martha Stewart

Don't forget to visit your local public library for books, DVDs, videos on the subject. - An Affordable Work At Home Job Bank

I've been working from home as a Virtual Customer Service Rep for almost two years. It was a perfect fit since I have over 20 years of call center customer service and sales experience. I'm able to pick my own schedule, receive my pay bi-weekly, while processing orders and information request, from home!

These days there are more work at home opportunities opening up, in several fields, such as clerical, graphic arts, finance, human resources and customer service. But where do you look for these jobs? Consider signing up for job search service. It's very affordable, at an one time $18 fee. Just click on the dollar sign icon to sign up, on the lower right hand side of my blog.

Friday, June 09, 2006

How to Plan Out Your Summer Reading List -

I think that having a summer reading list is a great idea. You're armed with your list, as you enter the library or go to the bookstore, knowing what you want to accomplish. Encourage your children to create their own summer reading list.

I've noticed some bloggers even post their reading list and crossing off the books, as they've been read. I actually keep my reading list, in a section of my home management binder. I include a bit about the book and whether or not I liked it. And of course, I try to post my comments on my blog too.

Visit for tips on creating your summer reading list. I like the suggestion of including books based on your summer plans. For example, I'm planning on growing a small herbal garden. Why not include books on cooking with herbs, medical benefits and making container gardens?

Top 10 Summer Reading List for Kids and Teens -

Sometimes I like to take a peak at a Summer Reading List for Kids and Teens, to get ideas for books for my son. These list are based on grade level, which is extremely helpful. You can click to view it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

How to Clean Your House in a Hurry! by Angela Tyler

You’re lying on the couch in your living room, in one of your husband’s old t-shirts and a pair of baggie sweatpants, watching last night’s taped episode of Desperate Housewives, when suddenly - the phone rings. You don’t recognize the number on caller ID and you make the mistake of answering it. It’s your long lost best friend from the sixth grade. She’s in town and she just happens to be in your neighborhood. She’ll be over in 10 minutes, and your house is a MESS.

So, how do you clean up for unexpected guests in 10 minutes or less?!

1. Stay calm!

2. Do a clean sweep. Grab a trash bag or laundry basket and gather up everything that is lying around that shouldn’t be, and throw it into the bag. Hide the bag.

3. Plump up pillows on couches and chairs in living room, fold blankets. Give each cushion a swat for crumbs.

4. Stack mail, newspapers and magazines in a nice, neat pile. Stick the pile in a corner or on a kitchen chair.

5. Give the bathroom a speedy sprucing up! Wipe out the sink, wipe off the toilet seat and quickly swish the bowl. Then, close the shower curtain, and throw odds and ends in cabinets or drawers. Spray some Lysol or air freshener so the bathroom will smell clean - even if it’s far from it.

6. Rinse off any dishes in the sink and stack them neatly or toss them in the dishwasher. Wipe off the table and counter tops.

7. Take a peek inside the fridge - what beverages and snacks do you have that you can offer your guests?

8. Close the doors to all rooms that you don’t want on display.

9. Light a yummy scented candle in the kitchen - like Cinnamon Buns or Chocolate Cake. Lighting a few scented candles will uplift the mood of any home and make guests feel welcomed. Throw some fruit in a bowl and place it in the center of your table. Fresh flowers also do wonders, if you have them on hand.

10. Take a deep breath. Give yourself a squirt of perfume and you’re all set! You may even have enough time to get changed into something a little more presentable.

Cleaning up for unexpected guests does not have to be a mad rush, if you stay caught up on your housework as a rule. A friend of mine gave me some really good advice right after my husband and I got married, she said “The best way to keep a clean house is to entertain in your home at least once a month.” There’s nothing like having company coming to get cleaning!

Article by:

You are invited to visit for more cleaning tips -- and for more organization advice!

June 8 - Vacuum Cleaner Birthday 1869

Stop by to read more about the history of the vacuum cleaner.

Visit The Vintage Vaccum Museum to view a sample of a private collection. One of my favorites is are the Hoover collection. Take a look at the Hoover Constellation 1952. I remember my mom having one of these.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I Know I'm Crazy - I Enjoy Ironing

While ironing a basket of clothes yesterday, I experience many moments of glee, satisfaction of a job well done and just pure enjoyment. I love watching the wrinkles disappear. The smell of the sizing, as I run the iron across the fabric, is pleasant. The final result, a well iron shirt, pants or T-shirt, to place on the hanger. This is my 'Ah' moment.

I like to have all my supplies ready before I start. Having your sizing and/or starch, extra water, hangers, ironing board and of course, iron ready, will make this project go more quickly. This is a good time to listen to an audiobook, music or your favorite internet talk radio show.

Knowing how to iron a dress shirt properly will make the task more enjoyable. Visit Martha for instructions. not only offers printed instructions but you can watch a short video too.

Rona's Book Review - 'October Songs' by Beverly Lewis

Even though 'October Songs' is taking place during autumn I think it's a perfect summer read. It's under 300 pages, can be carried in your purse or tote bag, and is a great accompliment to a glass of iced tea.

Beverly Lewis gives us an insight to Amish and Mennonite life with terrific characters. You get such a sense of people enjoying the simple tasks, such as housework, quilting and reading the bible. The importance of family and the strain on Katie and Dan as they have to deal with being shunned. You care about these characters as with all of Mrs. Lewis' books. It's another great read.

Visit Beverly Lewis' website for a list of her other books,

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Interested in Starting Your Own Internet Talk Radio Show?

Kelly McCausey, Shoestring Radio and WAHM Talk Radio Show, is offering an audio course for how you can start your own internet talk radio show or podcasting. This is a great way to promote your website and business, while providing information and entertainment.

Stop by Shoestring Radio for more information. The course is only $34.97. You'll see that several of my favorite Internet Talk Radio Shows give credit to taking this course.

Don't forget to let me know if you decide to start a show. I'll definitely stop by for a listen.

ACD What? - Call Center Vocabulary

Having worked in the call center industry for over 20 years I'm very comfortable with the terminology or vocabulary that is the industry standard. Many companies appreciate that you're familiar with the terminology. It definitely gives you an understanding of your job, memos and those important feedbacks.

Visit The Call Center School website for a list of call center vocabulary. For example, ACD means Automatic Call Distributer. Simply put, it's a specialized phone system that answers incoming calls, routes the call to an available agent or voice response. It also has call management abilities such as tracking call and agent performance.

Summer for Life Giveaway - Food Network

Head to Food Network website to enter the 'Summer for Life Giveaway Sweepstakes', for your chance to win $1,000,000! You can enter once a day. Contest runs from June 5 to July 5, 2006. Good luck!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Folded-Shirt Father's Day Card - Martha

I saw these Folded-Shirt Cards on Martha and thought 'Wow! My husband is going to love this. Click here for the supplies and instructions. You and your kids are going to have so much fun making more then one!

Father's Day Gift Idea - Outdoor Grills

Several years ago, for Father's Day, I purchased an outdoor Kenmore gas grill for my husband. He fell in love with it! And still enjoys using it. has several Kenmore models you can choose from. Prices ranging from $160 to $850.

Stop by for a list of the Top 10 Gas Grills for under $500. You can compare benefits and features before you head out to the stores or online to buy. There's even helpful product reviews.

Don't forget to buy something to grill on his new gas grill. My husband wanted to use his that day!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wedding Guest Etiquette - Don't Behave Badly

Our family is attending a summer wedding so I thought it would be a good idea to brush up on wedding guest etiquette.

At you'll find a list of do's and don'ts. For example, don't forget to turn off your cell phone during the ceremony. Do personalize your gift. I like the suggestion to include a family recipe with a set of china.

Don't forget to read up on ceremony, RSVP, and gift etiquette. Did you know that it's quite appropriate to not purchase a gift from the registry? But consider using the registry as a guide and make sure the gift is for couple.

Other Wedding Guest Etiquette Websites


Weddings N Things

The Knot

The Meat Club: Girls Who Love to Grill !

If moms, daughters, or your sisters loves to grill here's the book for you. Vanessa Dina, Kristina Fuller, and Gemma DePalma (The Meat Club) formed a weekly cooking club where they tested meat based recipes. They now have a fun website and a cookbook, 'Meat Club Cookbook: Girls Only' available for sale.

My Father's Day menu is Porterhouse Steaks, Baked Potatoes, Mixed Green Salad and Strawberry Shortcake.

So this Father's Day, let dad put his feet up and you fire up the grill!

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Family Summer Book Club

My daughter-in-law came up with this fun idea to promote summer reading with our granddaughter. But we quickly realized it's fun for the...