Saturday, December 06, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

One of the Christmas trees in the BerryMorins home

I love having more then one Christmas tree in our home. Here's one that I purchased from Eddie on sale.

Me Time - Young and the Restless

We all need some time when we just unwind and relax. For this busy lady I spend my time by watching "Young and the Restless" online.

Jack Abbott and Victor Newman are still keeping up with their dance. Nicki Newman is now a grandmother, divorced and but still blond.

Question: Do you watch your favorite TV episodes online?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Top 10 Ways to Stay Sane as a Work at Home Mom - Nicole Dean

The other day, someone asked me what it’s like to be a work at home mom. I just blinked back at him, my mind blank. How could I possibly describe life as a work at home mom? Only someone who’s lived it can understand the juggling act it requires.

Work at home moms have the usual responsibilities of being a mom - folding laundry, scheduling doctor’s appointments, helping with homework, reading bedtime stories, and basically being on call 24-hours a day. In addition, there is the conundrum of how to find time to work and answer emails, do networking, update bookkeeping, make phone calls, and more. And, it must fit into a 24 hour day. So, how do we do it? How do we stay sane in the chaos?

It’s disclaimer time. I am not the person to give advice on sanity. I’m pretty sure I filed away my sanity last year when I did taxes. I have my days where I say “That’s it! I’m getting a regular job!” But, then I talk to my wonderful friend who reminds me of the reality of the real world - the traffic, the boss who won’t let me go to my son’s field trip, and the fact that I’d probably have to buy pantyhose again. She manages to slap some sense back into me every time. I hate pantyhose.

Working from home the last few years, I’ve picked up a few handy tips. They aren’t magic beans, that, when planted, will grow you a nanny and a housekeeper, but they can help you to enjoy being a work at home mom just a little bit more.

10. Freezer Cooking! This is my personal life-saver. Spend one day during the week or one day each month assembling meals and your reward is a freezer filled with food. Then, when it’s time to make dinner, just grab a healthful, inexpensive meal from your freezer, heat it up and serve. Think about it. Next time you cook dinner, quadruple the recipe and put what you don’t eat into the freezer for later. Presto! Magic food will appear in your freezer the next time you need it.

9. Pay it Forward- By helping others, it reminds us that many of our own problems are much smaller than they appear. Whether you donate money, give blood, or volunteer your time, you are setting a beautiful example for your children. Involve your older kids and make volunteering a family activity.

8. Stay Healthy - Dust off your rollerblades, strap a pillow across your bottom and hit the pavement. Or surprise your children and the dog with a nice long walk.

7. Organize, organize, organize! If you’re spending hours each week sorting through piles of paper, looking for receipts or “to do” lists, that is wasted time and unnecessary frustration. Sweep the Magic 8 ball, the empty jar of peanuts, the Slinky, and the Snickers wrapper off your desk right now. You can do it!

6. Save Money - As Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard’s Almanac “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Work at home moms know how hard it can be to earn a penny. So, do everything you can to save those hard-earned cents.

5. Time Management - Don’t let Time Stealers make you work any longer than you need to. When you’re sitting in front of your computer or talking on the phone, that is time away from your children. Always remember your “why”. WHY are you working from home? If the reason is to spend more time with your kids, then figure out how to make that happen!

4. Learn and Learn some More! - Find a mentor or someone who you like the way they handle their business. Network with other moms who are successful, take online classes, or hire a coach. Invest in yourself and you’ll invest in your business.

3. Play with your Kids - Whether you sit down to play a board game, or drive Hot Wheels around the carpet, there’s always fun to be had. If you need some ideas, check out

2. Keep your sense of humor. Laugh every day! Turn off your computer, put in your copy of The Village People “YMCA” (I know you have one) and Dance! Dance! Dance!

And the number one way to stay sane as a Work at Home Mom …..

1. Always remember “The days are long, but the years are short.” Although it oftentimes feels like the days drag by as a work at home mom, remember that the years are flying by. It’s that reminder that keeps me grounded on days when the projects are heavy and the beach is calling.

If you’re looking for me, you can find me at the beach!

Article by:

Nicole Dean is the mostly-sane Mom behind Are you a Work at Home Mom looking for ways to get more traffic? Take her Web Traffic School tutorial - Free!

Assist Homeless Teens - Street Teens

During this holiday season consider that not all teens are heading to a warm home, for a hot meal and a loving family.

S.T.R.E.E.T. is an acronym for our approach to helping homeless and at-risk teens. Our teens moved into a high risk Street Life over a period of time and rarely by their own choice. It takes time, resources, commitment and a personalized step by step approach to help them move off the streets.

Reunification with their families is always a goal, however, over 80% of our homeless teens were sexually and / or physically abused over a period of time before running away. These children do not have the option of returning to a "safe" home.

Stop by their website for ways that you and your family can assist in making their holiday season alittle brighter.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Teen Affordable, Meanful Holiday Gift Ideas

Marcus aka Captain Kirk and his dad, Charles aka Spock

Holiday shopping can be expensive and difficult when it comes to the teens. But, this year with layaway service, at Sears and Eastbay we've got a real handle on it.

Also, consider making a charity donation in your child's name. Our son has been a member of Boys and Girls Club since he was 7 years old. My husband and I made a donation in name of our renewal vow guests.

Of course, what teen wouldn't want their own MasterCard. Visit your local Wells Fargo branch for information on their Teen checking account. This account allows you the ability to look at their activity. You can teach the important savings and spending habits.

Remember that this is not the time to go broke purchasing holiday gifts. This is a time of giving and loving.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Email or Snail Mail Your Holiday Cards? Question of the Month

I asked this question last year and received some terrific responses. I decided to post it early this year.

This year I not only mailed Christmas cards to our family and friends but our business contacts and customers. One of our customers stated that if she didn't have one's email that person would not be receiving a Christmas card.

My question is: Is it acceptable business etiquette to email their customers and business contacts' Christmas cards?

I look forward to reading your responses.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Yummy Homemade Pumpkin Bread - SimplySeasonal

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread courtesy of Simplyseasonal at

SimplySeasonal bakery, at, has been our favorite online baker since we tried her Cocoa Cappuccino Crinkle Cookies! (they're amazing)

Recently, I placed an order for 2 loaves of the Pumpkin Bread and the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. Everyone who has tried a slice has commented on the taste, texture and moistness being the best they had.

I've even gotten a few Christmas gift requests for the bread and cookies.

You'll find that she bakes it the day before shipping it priority so it's definitely fresh. Share some with our recommendations with favorite and special people on your gift list. And don't forget to place an order for your family too!

Menu Monday Plan - December 1

I've been released back to work on restricted duty. Nevada has one of the worst healthcare systems, in the United States. Due to the limitations that it places on doctors, regarding controlled substances, I've had to turn to my pain management doctor for proper care. You know you're in trouble when your WC doctor tells you that you'd be better off with your own doctor.

Church service was terrific and uplifting. We had a longer then usual worship session. The Thanksgiving Outreach was successful. Pastor Derek was overwhelmed with the local and out-of-state volunteers and donations.

We hosted some friends, at our place for Thanksgiving. Charles and Marcus made the dinner. (as usual) They did a terrific job on the turkey. Their secret - cheesecloth, butter and brushing it every 30 minutes. No more dry turkey!

Chicken, Brocolli and Pasta with Mixed Green Salad

Vegetable Soup and Sandwiches

Marcus' Simple Lasagna

One Dish Chicken with Vegetables

Tacos with Rice and Black Beans

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Facing Additional Chronic Pain - American Chronic Pain Association

There are different approaches to facing my daily severe chronic pain. One is not to do it alone.

The American Chronic Pain Association is a non-profit group that provides chronic pain sufferers, their families, caregivers and friends access to groups, materials, clinical studies and news, that will assist them in having a productive life despite pain.

Stop by their website for more information.

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