Saturday, June 24, 2006

Rona's Book Review - Customer Service for Dummies

I believe that it's a good idea to stay on top of new customer service techiniques and to brush up on my skills periodically. Since I'm self employed it's my responsiblity to do so. My public library is a great source of customer service books, tapes and DVDs.

Yesterday I found 'Customer Service for Dummies'- 3rd Edition by Karen Leland and Keith Bailey. This is a must have for all Virtual Customer Service and Sales Reps, in your reference library. Whether you're conducting business in-person, email or phone, you'll find plenty of suggestions and tips. The book includes sales techinques, as well.

Some of these tips are as follows:
Paraphrasing or backtracking lets the customer know that you heard them.
Use open-ended questions to produce positive results.

There's even a chapter for on how you can receive get great customer service! The book sells for $21.99 but I would definitely shop around.

San Diego Junior Theater - My Emperor's New Clothes

Consider taking the family to see the classic story, "My Emperor's New Clothes". The play will be running from June 30 to July 16, 2006, at the Casa del Prado Theatre in Balboa Park.

Visit the website for time, ticket prices and season show information.

Friday, June 23, 2006

This Week's WAHM Talk Radio Show - June 19

This week, Kelly interviews Annette Yen, Noah's Ark Animal Workshop and Direct Sales Tools about her business, working with children and direct sales.

You'll really going to enjoy Kelly's interview with Carrie Lauth, Natural Mom Business Guide, as they talk about the benefits of hiring a Mother's Helper.

As always, the show is available on-demand, 24 hours, 7 days a week. It's also available for download to your MP3 Player.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

You Could Win a Free Microscope at Discount Home School Supplies!

Discount Home School Supplies is giving away a FREE microscope to one winner! How do you enter? All you have to do is cut and paste this information to your blog and leave a link in the comments section of Tami's blog.

This is open to the first 100 entrants! So hurry!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stop by Marcus and Me Blog - Summer Camp Packing Tips, Contests, and More

Stop by my other blog, Marcus and Me, at the community. If you have child heading to summer camp read the 'Summer Camp Packing Tips'. It's very helpful and can be downloaded for reference.

There are several contests mentioned on the blog. Are you an artist? Consider entering the HSN/Tiffany Style Lamp Contest. There a trip for two as well as seeing your original drawing created into a Tiffany Style Lamp. View the rest of the contest posted on my blog by scrolling down and clicking on the 'Next Page' button

Oprah's Summer Reading List for Kids

Visit for some summer book suggestions for all of your kids. You can view the list or print it out. Then pack up the kids and head to your public library. Don't forget that your teens need to be reading too.

June is National Graduation Month - Party Planning Checklist

Whether your 'Little One' is being promoted or graduating you'll want to celebrate this moment. Rachel Paxton is offering her graduating party planning tips in the article below. Remember to not get all bogged down with the planning. This is a time for fun, memories and celebration! Congratulations to all the graduates!

Graduation Party Planning Checklist
By: Rachel Paxton

Planning for a graduation party or open house? Our oldest daughter is graduating from high school in a few short weeks. Because we don't normally throw big parties for our kids, we decided to choose this occasion to throw a big party for her and
show her how proud we are of her.

With only a couple of weeks left before the big day, there is lots to do. We decided to host her graduation party in our large back yard. If you don't have enough room in your yard, consider asking a friend or family member to volunteer their yard or check your local parks for reserving a nice spot for your party.

Who to invite? We are inviting family who live close by, as well as relatives we know are willing to travel. Because this is our daughter's one and only "big party" we are inviting all of her friends, teachers, youth leaders, her boss, and co-workers.

We've invited aboout 100 people in all, but not everyone will be there for lunch. Our open house will be from 12:00 p.m. to 4 p.m., so people will be coming and going all afternoon. We are planning on about 40 people eating lunch with us.

We decided to rent tables and chairs because we don't have enough to host a large party, so I called a local rental store and found out I can rent them for $6.00 per table and $.50 per chair. Very reasonable, and because the party is on Saturday, I have until Monday to return them. We are providing seating for 40 people.

I went to a party store at a local outlet mall for party decorations.
Because the party is outside, we won't be doing a lot of decorating. I bought some plastic table cloth (on a roll) to cover the tables. I chose a color that is one of my daughter's school colors. It was about $10 for a roll that will cover 11 banquet size tables.

I also bought some graduation napkins at the party store, and a box that is made for graduation cards. You set the box out on a table for guests to leave cards for your graduate.

I decided not to spend the extra money on fancy plates and cups. I will buy large packages of these at Walmart or Costco.

For food we are planning to barbecue hot dogs and hamburgers. In order to get my husband to agree to all this, we decided he could buy a new barbecue. We looked everywhere and finally settled on a stainless steel gas grill from Lowe's. This will definitely be our biggest expense, but at least we will also be able to enjoy
it later.

If you are planning to invite a lot of family to your graduation party, don't be afraid to ask them to help with food. Our family will be bringing salads and chips to help out. We'll also serve potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans, and lemonade and iced tea to drink.

If you decide to purchase a cake, make sure to order it ahead of time so it will be ready the day of your party. We ordered a large, beautiful graduation cake from Costco for only $15.99. We just have to pick it up the morning of the party.

You might want to think about a photo display of your graduate. You can create a poster of snapshots, or even lay out photo albums or scrapbooks. I have a scrapbook I have been keeping of my daughter's high school memories that I will lay out for guests to enjoy. You also could lay out a book for your guests to write notes to your graduate.

The key for our graduation party will be simplicity. We want to enjoy the party and enjoy our family and friends, while also celebrating our daughter's graduation. With two young boys also under our feet, it makes it hard to get anything done, so I won't
be afraid to ask for help, because the whole family is looking forward to this exciting day.

Article by:
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, organizing tips, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

'The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kenney Onassis' by Caroline Kennedy

I actually checked out the audiobook version so I could listen to it while doing housework. That was a wise decision because the readings are so relaxing and meaningful. I really enjoyed this book and would love to include it in my personal library.

'The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' is a collection of poems by Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare, W.B. Yeats, Emily Dickerson, Jacqueline Kennedy Onass and many more.

Today, stop by your public library for a selection of audio and hardcover books on poetry.

'All Creatures Great and Small' TV Series - BBC

This was a series that I got hooked on while living in New England. Every Sunday, I watched the trials and misadventures of the staff of a country veterinary office in 1940's Yorkshire, on the PBS channel. James Herriot is a vet in Yorkshire, England, during the 1940's. He is assigned to the practice of Siegfried Farnon, who already has a successful vet business. James undergoes a variety of adventures during his work, which are just as often caused by the characters of the county (including the Farnon brothers) as the animals in his care.

Stop by to purchase the DVDs. Or visit your public library to check on availablity. I hope that you become a fan of the books and TV series, as I have.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Have You Consider Becoming a Independent Nurse Contractor

If you are a licensed nurse or know someone who is, and want to have more control of your work schedule, you might want to consider being an Independent Nurse Contractor. Florence Gale, author of "How to Start Your Own Nursing Agency" has written an article on the whys and hows for this fast growing profession.

Just visit to read the article.

June 19 is Juneteenth

While studying American History, last year, we covered the events that lead up to Juneteenth celebration. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived on Galveston Island to take possession of the state and enforce slaves' new freedoms. This day continues to be a state holiday in Texas.

Visit for more historical information, ways that you can celebrate, poetry and lesson plans.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Homemade Dill Pickles - A Great Picnic Recipe

Homemade Dill Pickles
By: Chaele McMillan

1 Qt Water
1 Pt Vinegar
1/4 c. of Salt

Boil these three items together. Slice cucumbers and pack in a sterile jar. Add 1 t. of garlic flakes and red pepper. Pour vinegar mixture over cucumbers and add a fresh dill and seal.

Very easy to do!

Article by:

Chaele is married to Paul and has three children. She owns Mom State University ( and the Outreach Manager for Sunrise Retreats (

International Picnic Day is June 18

Yes, it's Father's Day and a great day for a picnic! My family enjoys a picnic. Our favorite picnic foods are cold sandwiches, potato chips, and refreshments. Occasionally, I'll make a potato or macaroni salad. Another favorite is grilled green beans and red peppers, with olive oil, salt and garlic. Serve it cold or room temperature.

Visit Picnic for tips on planning, recipes, and games, for adults and family. Do you need a new picnic basket? Stop by the Picnic Products Buyer's Guide. You will find baskets and backpacks, of all sizes and prizes.

Have you ever wonder where the word picnic came from? The Origin of Picnics will end the wondering.

So pack a picnic, head out and enjoy the day!

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