Saturday, January 13, 2007

Visit 'Marcus and Me' Blog at Homeschoolblogger.com

I would like to invite you to visit my other blog, Marcus and Me, is where you'll find posts about 'Today in History' facts, special holidays, family, children and teen news, contests and activities. I also share telecommuting information and Internet Talk Radio Shows you might find of interest.

Read about the Discovery Health Channel Body Challenge 2007. Regarding telecommuting, I have information on homesourcing call centers and WAHM.com Job Listing.

Feel free to stop by and leave a comment or two.

Scrappers Talk Radio Show - An Internet Talk Radio Show


'Scrappers Talk Radio', hosted by Vera Raposo, is an Internet Talk Radio Show for scrapbookers. This show features tips, inspiration and even guests. This show is for beginners and expert scrappers. It's available 24 hours so it will definitely fit in any homeschoolers' schedule.

Visit her website to listen, resources and to sign up for her 'Scrapbooking Tips' newsletter. After you've listened to the show, don't forget to call or email Vera with your suggestions and comments.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Saving Money Year Round by Audrey Okaneko

Let's start and maintain good money savings tips, through out the year!
Saving Money Year Round By: Audrey Okaneko

As moms, many of us want to stretch our incomes as far as we can. I’d like to offer some ideas that have worked for me in saving money year round.

1. Check with your local newspaper and see if you can read the paper online. I am able to only subscribe to the Sunday paper in order to qualify for online access. I can read seven days per week but only pay for one.

2. We go to garage sales often. I can not count the number of times we’ve found something we needed, in almost perfect condition and at a fraction of the cost.

3. Either buy books at the used book store or rent them from the library. Used book stores sell books at ½ of the cover price. They then buy them back at ¼ of the price. So, in essence you can get a book at ¼ of the cover price. We also buy books at garage sales. Often they are only 25 cents each.

4. Look into being a mystery shopper for restaurants. Pizza places are great. You can get a free pizza just for sharing your experience and taking notes about wait time, hold time etc. We recently ate at IHOP for free. The questionnaire took about 10 minutes to fill out. Please note there is NEVER, under any circumstances, a fee to become a mystery shopper.

5. Our local cable company charges about $50 to get more than the basic channels. If you add a movie channel, it goes up to about $70 per month. Why not order Blockbuster Online instead? For $18 per month, you can have 3 DVDs out at any time plus get a coupon to rent one more in the store every week. By the time you ship one back and get the next, you’ll always have DVDs to watch. You can rent both television shows and movies, eliminating the need for cable.

6. We do not have a long distance plan on our phone. Instead, we use prepaid phone cards. The per minute rate we are charged on our calling card is far less than the per minute rate if we add a long distance plan.

7. Commit to eating what’s in the house for a week. When we do this, we are able to finish off cans of soup, cans of tuna, pasta, crackers and many other items with long shelf lives. You may need to buy meats, fruits and vegetables, but really make an effort to use everything in your pantry. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by not buying new foods at the grocery store for a week.

8. Invest the time to examine what you pay for monthly. For example, are you paying for magazines you are not reading? Can you read them online? If you are saving a years’ worth of magazines for when you have time, save the money and buy it at the store when you really do have the time. Do you belong to a gym you are not using? Many people join a gym with good intentions, but if you are only working out once every three months, then saving the monthly fee and paying per use might be the way to go.

9. Plan out what gifts you will need for the next year. Shopping spur of the moment is always more costly. Buy gift items when they on sale and put them away. Birthdays, holidays and anniversaries come once each year. If you plan, you’ll save money.

10. Get credit card balances paid off. When you have a balance, you are charged interest on not only the old balance but also on any new purchase that you make. Take all of the money you have saved above and pay that credit card balance off.

Once you begin applying these tips to everyday life, you’ll find you really can save money year round.

Article by:


Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached at audreyoka@cox.net or visited at www.scrapping-made-simple.com

The Six Best Jobs for Working at Home by Leslie Truex

I would like to add that if you plan on going into a virtual customer service and sales position, you will need to obtain the skills. For example, learning to pace your voice, dealing with irrate callers andthe proper way to address complaints, you'll need to know how to deflate these potential excalated calls. The good news is that there are many books written on the topic.

The Six Best Jobs for Working At Home By: Leslie Truex

Every day I get email asking me how to find legitimate work-at-home jobs. I have to say this always baffles me because every week I wade through thousands of jobs to find a select few to post in my weekly newsletter. The problem I believe is that people look for the wrong jobs in the wrong places. They often limit themselves to jobs like "typing" or "data entry" that are so rare they might as well give up on the idea of working at home.

My suggestion to them is to find work in areas that are hiring. There are many companies looking for home-based employees to do work that doesn't necessarily require a great deal of experience or education. So why not go after these jobs?

Some people tell me, "I don't anything about these jobs." THAT'S OKAY. Many of these jobs don't require a formal education and some have entry-level positions. Further, several of these jobs pay very well. As long as you're willing to learn and work hard, there are companies ready to hire you.

Here are six job types that have hundreds of job openings available now. These jobs are found all over the Internet on job related websites. If you have been searching for a work-at-home job, you have probably run into many of them. Remember, even if you don't know how to do these things now, many are easy to learn and are worth considering.

Copywriting – Don’t let the word "writing" scare you. You don't need a degree in English to be a copywriter. In fact, some of the most successful copywriters break most rules taught in high school English. The best thing about copywriting is that it can be very lucrative and requires very little in terms of education and experience. In fact, many copywriting experts indicate they earned a fulltime income their first year without having previous experience. Copywriting involves writing promotional materials including ads, brochures, sales letters, press releases, reports, and web site copy. There are many good books that teach about this type of writing and all say you don't need to be a great writer; you simply need to learn the techniques of promotional writing. Some books that can teach you about copywriting are "The Elements of Copywriting" by Gary Blake and Robert Bly and "Writing Copy for Dummies" by Jonathan Kranz.

Customer service – This is another job that doesn't necessarily require a lot of skill or experience. Most customer service jobs I find are related to order taking and help lines, and usually require a pleasant voice, second phone line or DSL, and headset for your phone.

Sales/telemarketing/research (phone surveys) – Many people hate sales and telemarketing, but if you want to work at home badly enough, its an area worth trying. Most companies have established scripts and training so it's easy to jump right in. Like customer service, you will likely need good phone skills, a quality phone with headset and high-speed Internet access.

Transcription – The most common form of transcription jobs I find are in medical transcription and usually ask for at least two years experience. However, legal and business transcription is a growing market. People doing teleseminars are also hiring transcribers to transcribe their talks. Then there is the growing captioning field, which are the transcribers who type for the closed captioning on your television. You can learn medical and legal transcription through correspondence courses. Or become a general transcriber or captioner by teaching yourself and practicing to improve your speed and accuracy.

Translation – The Internet has made the world a smaller place and many companies want to make their website and other materials accessible to people in other countries. If you are fluent (speaking and writing) in more than one language, there are many companies that need your services.

Graphic or web design and web programming – Often employers will want a combination of all skills required for these jobs so I have lumped them together. These jobs do require extensive knowledge and frequently specific software. However, many will take entry-level employees, so if you can get the education, you may be able to get a job. Many community colleges offer courses in these areas. You can check online educational resources as well.

Experts in economics talk about "supply and demand". The above jobs are in large supply and are waiting for you to fill the demand. If you take the time to develop your skills, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to find a job in one of these areas.

Article by:


Leslie Truex is a work-at-home consultant and owner of Work-At-Home Success www.workathomesuccess.com a free resource to help people work at home in a job or home business. Sign up for her free ezine to get jobs and other work-at-home information and resources in your email weekly.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Teen Product Recommendation: Heavenly Crosses.com

Last month, Marcus requested a cross necklace so I decided to do some online research before purchasing one. After all, he's a teenage boy and I wanted it to be something he would enjoy wearing.

Our solution was Heavenly Crosses.com. They sell solid cross necklaces that will definitively appeal to your preteens and teenagers. You get select from a great selection of colors. The necklaces are affordable priced, theres excellent customer service and quick delivery.

When Marcus received his cross necklace he was very pleased. I even managed to get a hug out it. He loves the look and wears it daily. Now that's a great purchase.

This Week on WAHM Talk Radio

On this week's WAHM Talk Radio show, Kelly speaks with Angela Wills, StarVA.com, about her home business experience, what she learned from it, and how it lead her to her current business, as a Virtual Assistant. I was extremely impressed with Angela's honest. There's something for all of us to learn from in this show.

You'll also hear segment regulars, like Nell Talerico, Telecommuting Answer Lady, and Lynette Chandler.

As always, this is show is accessable 24 hours, 7 days a week. You can also download it to your MP3 player.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wordless Wednesday



Comments and question are in comments.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Attending Your Teleconferences - It's a Great Idea!

When I was working in call centers, it wasn't uncommon to have weekly team meetings. Thes meetings allowed management to keep us updated with policy changes, scheduling and technical problems and upcoming contests and events. There usually will also be an opportunity for questions and answers from the team. They are an invaluable tool.

I strongly recommend that if your direct sales or virtual call center offers teleconferences that you make these mandatory. This allows management to gives details that emails cannot accomplish. You get to hear the voice behing the name, humanizing the person. During Q&A session I find that many of my concerns are addressed. It also allows me to hear from my fellow team mates far and wide.

Recognizing that we cannot always attend the scheduled live call, many companies will archive the calls. So set aside some time, get a pen and paper listen and learn.

Stress Balls - The Customer Service Reps' Friend

Of course, you need pen and paper for jotting down info but don't forget your stress balls. Yes, these are a 'Must Have' for Customer Service Reps. When I worked for Geico Insurance, we were given one each year. The balls never made it through out the year. All the squeezing, poking and choking limited their life span.

When you're dealing with objections, rebuttal, angry customers, and trying to maintain the enthusiasm while repeating a statement for the thousandth time, the stress ball is your best friend.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dr. Laura Will Be Signing Books in San Diego County


Dr. Laura will be signing copies of her new book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage," this Wednesday, January 10, beginning at 7PM at Borders Bookstore, 159 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon.

The store expects a big turnout, so try to get to the store as close to the 7PM hour as possible. They'll also have some prizes, including the much talked-about Dr. Laura action figure, to give away every half-hour to a lucky winner who's waiting on the book signing line.

'Ignite Your Faith' Magazine for Teens


'Ignite Your Faith' is definitely a fantastic magazine for our teen. The style, pictures, and articles will appeal to your teens too. They discuss issues like dating, peer pressure, suicide, and of course music. (a big one with Marcus) It's definitely not fluff. Teens will recognize how other kids are dealing with the world and their faith.

Stop by Amazon.com or Christianity Today.com for your trial issue. I'm sure they're going to love it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Keeping a Kitchen Journal by Rachel Paxton


When my family informs me that they've enjoyed a recipe I place it in my recipe notebook. It's an inexpensive binder with protective pages. Everyone knows the location if mom isn't cooking. Oh, by the way, today is Organize Your Home Day. Enjoy Rachel's article on keeping a kitchen journal.

Keeping a Kitchen Journal By: Rachel Paxton

I know, I know, you're thinking a journal for the kitchen?

It seems like the busier we get the more forgetful we are. And getting older has something to do with it, right? Whatever the reason, a kitchen journal can be a useful tool for keeping your home and family running smoothly on a day-to-day basis.

Did I mention journaling is fun? It is! Find a notebook to start your journal. You can decorate it yourself with stickers or cut-out pictures. Make it into something you look forward to writing in.

A kitchen journal is for making notes to yourself when you're meal planning, cooking, or when a creative thought pops into your head while you're doing something else.

One thing I use my kitchen journal for is recording my family's food likes and dislikes. I've been married for almost eight years and you would think by now I know what kind of cereal my husband likes. It's not so much the ones he likes, as the one he dislikes! Then when you add in our teenage daughter and my teenage step-daughter who doesn't live with us and comes and stays with us from time to time, I'm finding it almost impossible to keep track of who likes what. This is also useful for family members who visit and eat at your home. They will be impressed that you remember what they like/dislike and that you plan your meals around their tastes and/or food allergies.

Use your journal for recording new ideas for and keeping track of your kids' school lunch menus.

Create a list of which fruits and vegetables are in season, and when prices are lowest so you can watch for good deals and prepare your meals around the seasons.

Kitchen journals are also great for when you're experimenting with a recipe. When you change the proportions of a recipe or make an emergency ingredient substitution, make a note of it in your journal. You can also use your journal to write down new recipes you want to try or make a note of where you saw a recipe you want to come back to later.

When you have guests or are entertaining friends or family make notes of things you tried that went well or things that didn't go well that you want to remember not to try again (like the salad that didn't set long enough in the refrigerator before you were ready to serve it).

In addition to keeping track of favorite foods, make a note of your family's favorite recipes. When your children grow up and go to college and/or get married, you can compile their favorite recipes into a keepsake cookbook or recipe card box for them to take with them as they start their own families.

Try incorporating a kitchen journal into your daily routine and see for yourself if it helps keep you more organized. Once you get started you'll discover many ideas of your own to record in your new journal.

Article by:


Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the owner of
www.organized-mom.com, featuring the Easy Organizer, loaded with tools to help you plan, schedule, remember events, keep in touch, get your family on an organized schedule, prioritize, and more.