Saturday Review

I was given the opportunity to work with a website called It is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites. They work with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market. You can find thousands of top fair trade Corporate Gifts and home decor items on their website as well as jewelry, apparel and paintings.

I decided to review some of the beautiful sterling silver jewelry they offer.

 I received this 'Magical Harmony' anklet from India. It's made with peridot, pearl and sterling silver by a designer named Ritu. The picture does not do this piece justice - it's BEAUTIFUL! The sterling silver beads around the pearls are a very nice addition to the peridot beads that make up this anklet.

I also received a sterling silver charm bracelet with matching earrings from Thailand. They were made by an artist named Hiroshi Kimoto. I love his designs! I went with the 'Orange Passion' bracelet and earrings. I could not find the Orange Passion bracelet picture but it looks exactly like the picture but uses the colors that are shown in the earrings picture. I was very excited to get this bracelet because it is so original. The hearts are made of glass with silver flakes inside of them.


Finally, I also received a set of three sterling silver band rings called 'Together' made by an artist named Buana. I love stacking rings so I had to have this set once I saw it online. The details of the swirls are beautiful. I love the rings stacked together but some times I where two on one hand and the other one on my other hand because they are a little tighter than I like when worn together. I would recommend ordering one size bigger than usual if you are going to be wearing all three of them on the same finger.

All of the jewelry came in  very pretty jewelry boxes with a card from each of the designers. The shipping varies depending on which part of the country your order comes from but the pricing is very reasonable and fair. I was very satisfied with this company and all of the artistist that I ordered from. These are very beautiful and original gifts.

Novica Links of Interest:

fair trade corporate gifts

green gifts

unique gifts




Fun Halloween Facts for Kids

With Halloween fast approaching, Time Home Entertainment, Inc. and the editors of TIME For Kids bring you a selection of Halloween-related facts straight from their two new books, That’s Awesome ($19.95, Ages 8 and up) and The BIG Book of Why ($19.95, Ages 8 and up). Both books are available in-stores now and feature the vivid illustrations and comprehensive reporting for which TIME For Kids is famous.

The Big Book of Why - The BIG Book of Why answers the biggest questions kids commonly ask and adults can rarely answer. With 1,001 facts, the 192-page hardcover book, it goes beyond just answering the questions, but dips into the science or history to further explain the answer in an easy to follow, straightforward and fun way.

Why do vampire bats drink blood? (page 8) - There are many different type of bats, but there’s only one type that drinks blood – the vampire bat. They are the only mammals that feed entirely on blood. A special enzyme in the saliva of a vampire bat keeps the blood of animals from clotting, making the blood easier to drink. Scientists say the first vampire bats that emerged were related to bats that gorged themselves on parasites of prehistoric beasts. Vampire bats slowly evolved into drinking the blood of animals.

Why do spiders spin webs? (page 15) - Spider-Man spins his web to swing from building to building and to catch villains. Real spiders spin webs for the same reasons – sort of. Spiders release a sticky type of silk from their abdomens when they spin a web. Spiders use webs to climb from place to place. Spiders also spin webs to trap their next meal and to make egg sacs to hold their eggs.

Why do I get goose bumps? (page 64) - You’re watching a scary movie. Just before the zombie pokes its head out of the closet, you get goose bumps on your arms. Goose bumps, or chicken skin, are short-lived changes in your skin caused by cold or fear. Small muscles are attached to the tiny hairs in your skin. When you are cold or scared, the muscles contract, pulling the hair upright and causing goose bumps.

Why can eating chocolate candy make people hyper? (page 130) - Chocolate candy and many soft drinks contain sugar and caffeine. It’s the caffeine, not the sugar, that can make a person jumpy or hyper. Some parents blame sugar for their children’s hyperactivity. But most researchers now say that sugar does not make most children “bounce off the wall.” Some studies show that artificial, or human-made, food dyes are responsible for increased hyperactivity in kids.

That’s Awesome - That’s Awesome brings kids awesome facts guaranteed to impress and remain with the reader long after they are finished with the book. The book is written in an authoritative, age-appropriate and clear style, while incorporating fascinating photos and diagrams.

The Sweetest Job of All (page 150) - Does your sweet tooth rule your life? Think about being a professional chocolate taster, like Rose Potts who works for a chocolate maker in Pennsylvania. Each morning Potts prepares product samples to taste with a group of co-workers. They look at the color of the chocolate, smell it, and feel how it melts in the mouth. They listen to the sound it makes sand decide if it’s fruity or nutty or spicy. When they’re done, they decide if each piece of chocolate tastes right – or if it has to be changed to make it taste better.

Gumming Up the Works (page 153) - Stepping on cast-off chewing gum is really annoying. Luckily, in some cities there are squads of workers who, armed with machines called GumBusters, go forth to remove the sticky wads. With the GumBusters, it takes about five seconds to unstick a piece of gum from the sidewalk.

Is It a Bird? Is It a Plane? (page 190) - Or is it a UFO – an unidentified flying object? UFOs are exactly that: objects we see in the sky but can’t quite recognize. That doesn’t stop millions of people around the globe from believing that every UFO is a spaceship carrying aliens from another planet or galaxy.



Three Ways to Make the Most of Women's Intuition

Three Ways to Make the Most of Women's Intuition

By Sherrie Dillard,

Author of Love and Intuition: A Psychic's Guide to Creating Lasting Love

For generations the term "women's intuition" has been used to describe the unexplainable, non-logical, sometimes quirky wisdom that women often possess. No one quite knows how or why intuition works. But it does.

Intuition has been defined as simply knowing something without any reasonable and logical way of knowing it. Associated with the right side of the brain, intuition resides in the elusive realm of emotions, creativity and imagination, the domain of the feminine.

Everyday in ways that normally go unnoticed, our intuition is at work. We intuit the unspoken feelings and emotions of our partner, co-workers, children and even the check out girl at the grocery store. We know when a loved one in the other part of the house or even miles away is struggling or having difficulties and we can sense the honesty or dishonesty of our children's excuses and the car mechanic's estimate with surprising ease.

Although we don't always know how we know these things, when we listen to our inner voice and follow through with our gut feelings we are almost always right.

There are many ways that you can employ your intuition to make your life easier and frankly more fun.

Try these:

Intuitive Listening

Your intuition is telling you that there is something that your partner, who is slumped in his chair, needs to talk about. When you ask him he tells you there is nothing wrong. Although this is frustrating it may be that he is unable to put into words what he is feeling. Give him the benefit of the doubt. He may not be intentionally withholding information.

Instead of pushing him to talk, take a seat near him and sit quietly. Take a long deep breath and relax. Come into an open hearted receptive state and listen within. When you feel moved to talk, express from the heart what you are receiving. Do not lecture, push or tell him how he feels, instead use "I" statements and talk about what you are experiencing.

This simple practice will help your partner to relax, open up and communicate.

Open hearted intuitive listening is also affective with your children, other family members, friends and even co-workers. It creates a calm intuitive environment of safety and love.

Intuitive Eating

It's been a long day. You finally have a few minutes to relax. Before making your way to the couch or bed, you scan the refrigerator and cabinets for a special treat. A little chocolate, a piece of left over fried chicken, and some popcorn never hurt anyone, right?

Before you grab the bag of tortilla chips, sit down, take a deep breath and listen within. Imagine that your body can intuitively communicate with you.

Ask within if you are hungry? If the answer is no, ask your body to reveal to you what is prompting the desire to eat.

There is a message behind the hunger, listen to it. You might find that emotions like loneliness, frustration or stress surface. You may be bored or want to fill an inner feeling of emptiness.

Instead of eating to dull the feelings, spend some time in inner listening.

Eating is a way to nurture ourselves, but there are other more affective ways. What is the best way to nurture and take care of you?

Listen to your intuition and commit to those actions that will empower you with self care. Often times just listening within and acknowledging how you feel will help you to release the feelings and dissipate the gnawing hunger. Acknowledge all that you accomplished during the day and have loving compassion for you.

Intuitive Career Decisions

Something feels off at work. You can't quite put your finger on it, but you feel restless and find yourself scanning job boards for other employment possibilities. You talk to your manager and he tries to assure you that your job is secure. As much as you would like to believe this, that little inner voice keeps telling you to start looking.

At this point you have a choice. You can convince yourself that this is just your insecurity and caution speaking or you can without any outside evidence, listen and act on your intuitive impressions.

In these kinds of situations, I often advise people to pay attention to outer synchronicities that may reinforce your intuition. Synchronicity is the random occurrence of unlikely coincidence and a form of intuition. In this situation, you might for instance receive a call from a friend who randomly lets you know that the company she works for is hiring. While exercising at the gym you overhear a couple of people discussing a new division about to open in an exciting and innovative company. You have dreams of being in interesting places involved in new activity and wake feeling more sure and ready to pursue other career options. I have a friend who woke up at 2:00 in the morning, spontaneously went to her computer and looked at the job postings of a company that she had always wanted to work for. There was a job listed that was perfect for her. Two weeks later she was hired.

Your intuition is like a muscle that must be exercised. Be creative and explore the many ways throughout the day that your intuition can guide you. As you do this you will become more adept at recognizing and confidently following through with intuitive messages. You will more often than not be glad that you did.

© 2010 Sherrie Dillard, author of Love and Intuition: A Psychic's Guide to Creating Lasting Love

Author Bio

Author of the bestselling Discover Your Psychic Type, Sherrie Dillard has been a New Thought pastoral counselor, professional psychic, medium, and teacher for over twenty years. She has taught classes and workshops, both nationally and internationally, on the life-enhancing aspects of intuition development. Her writing has also appeared in New Age Journal and on and

For more information please visit and follow the author on Facebook.



500 Business Cards Giveaway from


Up for giveaway I have 500 Premium Business Cards from They have tons of styles, including die cut business cards.

The winners business cards will be:

2 x 3.5”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.75 x 3.5” (slim card)

14 pt gloss cardstock, 14 pt matte cardstock or 13 pt recycled uncoated cardstock

Full Color Both Sides

This giveaway is limited to US residents only that are 18 years old and above. This giveaway will end on June 25, 2010 at midnight. One winner will be chosen using If the winner does not contact me within three days a new winner will be chosen using again.

To enter, visit and leave me a comment telling me what type of business card you would like to win in a comment below. For additional entries you can do any or all of the following options:

Remember to leave a seperate comment for each bonus entry if you want them to count


Culturelle T-Shirt Giveaway

Culturelle is a once-daily probiotic dietary supplement. This product is great because our immune and digestive systems (especially children) are constantly being challenged. The good bacteria contained in Culterelle can improve our daily lives in so many ways. Studies prove that Culturelle given to children:

· Strengthens their still-developing immune system
· Helps reduce upset stomach
· Improves their digestion
· Helps maintain regular bowel movements
· Helps with occasional diarrhea
· Helps replenish good bacteria after taking medications, like antibiotics
· Helps manage symptoms associated with colic

Click this promotions link to find a $1, $2 and even a $3 off coupon for culturelle products.

You can fan their Facebook page and let everyone know that you love bacteria, follow along on their YouTube channel AND enter the giveaway below for your chance to win one of these I Love Bacteria T-shirts.

To enter the giveaway simply visit the culturelle website by clicking this link and tell me something that you learned in a comment below. You can receive bonus entries by doing any or all of the following:

•follow on Google friend connect

•follow on Networked Blogs

•grab my button (left sidebar) 5 bonus entries

•grab my store button (left sidebar) 5 bonus entries

•Tweet this giveaway (once a day) 3 bonus entries

•follow on Twitter

•fan us on Facebook

•fan my store on facebook

•friend me on Facebook

Remember to leave a seperate comment for each bonus entry if you want them to count! These giveaway will end on June, 28 2010 at midnight. I will pick the winner using The winner will have three days to contact me or I will pick another winner using again.



The Cream Perfume Company - Review and Giveaway

Sooooooooooooooooo, I'm back to doing product reviews again even though I'm STILL not finished moving into my new house. I couldn't resist my love of trying new things! The good news for you guys is that when I do reviews you all get to enter amazing giveaways for great products. I received a great package from The Cream Perfume Company for review this time.

I have to say I LOVE THIS STUFF! I was given the coconut, lavender and rose moisturizing body lotions as well as the Mimosa Bouquet and Apricot Chypre solid fragrances.

The lotions are all certified organic with European essentials oils that make them smell amazing! The lavender is by far my favorite with the coconut coming in last. The lotion made my skin super soft and softly scented - not over powering at all. Just subtle and sweet.

I'm usually not a huge fan of solid perfume because it never seems to last like the spray but this surprised me! Mimosa is one of my favorite scents so I was excited to try this one. It smells amazing and to my surprise it really lasted all day long!!!! I was so happy because this is definitely one of my new beauty products. The Apricot smells very, very good as well and has hints of jasmine, which just so happens to be one of my other favorite scents.

You guys are in luck because I have a wonderful giveaway to offer with this one - TWO DIFFERENT WINNERS AND YOU GET TO PICK ANYTHING YOU WANT FROM THE SITE! You have two chances to win this one and you get to pick your own prize - how sweet is that? The website is Go check it out and decide what you want to win and let me know in a comment below to enter. I have to reccomend one of the solid fragrances because they smell great and really last all day long!    You can get bonus entries for doing any or all of the following options:

Remember to leave a seperate comment for each bonus entry if you want them to count!

This giveaway will end on June 24, 2010 at midnight. I will pick the two winners using and each winner will have three days to get back to me once I send you the winning email. If you don't get back to me in time I will have to pick a new winner


Daily Twitter Meme's

Everybody knows about #followfriday and #FF on Twitter. You see the Tweets all day long, so I was thinking, why does everybody leave out the rest of the week? Monday's not my favorite but Wednesday is such a sweet reminder that Friday is just around the corner. I think it's time we stop ignoring all the other days of the week and show some Twitter love EVERY day. I did some looking around and found these some what forgotten Twitter meme's - at least one for every single day of the week.


#musicmonday - write song lyrics, link to videos or band sites

#followmonday - just like #FF, tweet out the names of tweeple you think others should follow


#followtuesday - same as #FF

#twittertuesday - same as #FF


#wonderfulwednesday - best wishes for the middle of the week

#followwednesday - like #FF

#healthyhumpday - like #FF, but only health related Twitterers

#wisdomwed - share wisdom and useful advice

#women2follow - recommend women that you think should be followed on Twitter


#rtthursday - retweet and thank other retweeters

#followthursday - like #FF

#thankfulthursday - tweet about what you are thankful for


#FF - follow friday

#followfriday - the ever-so-popular follow friday, tweet out tweeple you think others should follow too


#sexysaturday - sexy tweets


#wkendthx - thank all of your friday followers and any other mentions you had through out the week

#sinnersunday - what are you doing instead of going to church?



Boosting Your Home Based Business with Blogging

In terms of personal necessity, blogs act as an avenue for you to express yourself. It can serve as a memory bank for articles you dragged from the internet. It functions like an organizer and thus keeps you updated on everything. A blog is nevertheless a personal website.
The functions of a blog don't stop there. In the field of business, a blog is also used as an instrument. There are thousands of companies that have adapted blogs to push their businesses at the summit. Focusing on the power of the internet, these companies manage to trust their blogs for the growth of their businesses. They have actually gambled in a sure win game. Knowing how many people surf the web everyday these companies are geniuses.

How about those smaller enterprises? Do blogs suit them? By all means, yes.

Home based businesses need a blog much more than any other types of businesses. Or shall we be more specific by saying that such type of businesses necessitate more promotion than that of the mainstream businesses. Since their business place is far off from the central marketplace, people need to be informed and be aware of the existence of these smaller enterprises through blogging. By means of blogging, these types of businesses are given a chance to be known and be noticed. They can gather an audience and later on customers by means of these super business channels, or Blogs.

Here are some advantages of  having a blog for a home based business:

» Blogs are an all-in-one package. HTML is hard to learn and a little time consuming. By using blogs you will not have a problem with the appearance since it is preset for convenience purposes. It is very simple to change fonts and colors, add images and links with no knowledge of HTML or CSS at all.

» You can post any thing on blogs without any hassle at all. Plus you can post any time. Nonetheless, posting is not a problem.

» Since blogs are not e-mail communication, spam has no place in it.

» Blogs are convenient because you can easily make as many as you need to cover your subjects or topics.

In order for your blog to be beneficial to your business, there are a few things that you will need to do.

1. You must update your blog, two to three times a week at least.. New updates leave something to look forward to on the side of your audience. It will leave your audience asking for more. Never overlook all current information and issues that will surely catch their attention.

2.  Your blog must have a place for comments, reactions and suggestions. It will help you reach the audiences tastes and desires through their own feedback. Criticism is an essential tool for growth. Just take every criticism positively.

3. Do not forget to link your blogs to other resources. It will help not just you and your business but also your customers.

4. Simplicity is not ugly. Complicated layout and color will attract customers easily and also can shoo them away easily too. Remember that content is more important than anything else on your blog.

5. Lastly, keep your good values intact. That will require you to have an ample amount of patience, a comforting aura, proper relationship through words, etc. You may not have a large audience at first, but it will grow with time.

More entrepreneur and business articles


Advice for Starting Your Own Business

Are you thinking about setting up your own business? Have you an idea for a new business but are unsure about how to proceed? If you have answered yes to either of these questions, this article could be of benefit to you. I am going to write about how to plan and create a successful small business.

Many people are looking at ways in which they can become self-employed as they have had enough of being dictated to and  are fed up owith long and frustrating commutes to work. They want the freedom of being their own boss and to be able to choose their own hours of work.

Leaving a full time career can be quite a scary prospect however. The security of having a regular income and other benefits such as a pension and a share save scheme can seem hard to let go. I am sure many people whether rightly or wrongly have opted to stick with this security and to merely keep their business plan as an idea, which they never see through or use.

Other people are willing and happy to take the risk and see it as a way of getting out of the rat race.

When you have an idea for a new business you then need to think of a name to call it. I would keep this name quite short as it makes it easier to remember for people. It obviously needs to have something to do with the business sector you are entering.

You will now need to work out how much money you will need to set up the business. This can be quite daunting but is essential. In the short term I would advise to keep these start up costs as low as possible, you can always buy or rent better machinery in the future as an example.

Once you are aware of how much money you need, you then have to find it. You may have enough yourself via savings or a redundancy payout, however most people are not in this position. If you do not have enough money, you could try and raise money via the family, by seeking a partner or by releasing the equity from your house. There is also the option of a business loan.

The next stage is to market your product or service. There are many ways of doing this including:

The internet via a website

An advert in the newspaper

Direct marketing in the form of leaflets

An advert in the yellow pages


Trade fairs

I would advise finding out where other people from your industry advertise as they will have tried and tested many of the above options.

You then need to work out how much to charge for your product or service. I always keep these charges fairly low at the outset in order to attract as many people as I can and to get some income in. I then hope that word of mouth will take over and the idea is that after a few months I will be in a position to increase my fees.

It is also important to realise that we will make mistakes along the way. When this happens we need to think positive and not beat ourselves up. It is an experience we can learn from.

Always have belief in yourself. At times any business will go through a rocky period, this is when we need to be strong. In my opinion the more work we put in, the more rewards we are likely to obtain.

Self-discipline is one of the keys to your success. Being able to choose your own hours of work may seem like a dream but it can prove to be many peoples downfall. We have to ensure that we work the required amount of hours. It is far too easy to stay in bed for that extra hour or to arrange yet another game of golf. These things are fine once you are established, but this is a long way off at this stage.


Four Easy Steps to Building Your Business

Creating a successful and profitable business is no easy task. It’s reliant on many outside factors, including competition along with timing and demand, which you have very little to no control over at the beginning. Assuming all of these outside factors are in your favor, having a sound business plan can lead to having a successful business. Here are five steps to consider when you’re building your business from the ground up:

1. Determine your business. What are you selling?

This question isn’t as easy to answer as you may think. For example, Nike is in the sportswear business, but the truth is that when you buy a pair of Nike shoes and a t-shirt at the mall you’re buying a lot more than sportswear — you’re buying an image, a feeling. You're buying the Nike brand. Richard Thalheimer, the former CEO of The Sharper Image and the founder of, has worked in specialty retail for more than 30 years. When asked what business he’s in, he’ll tell you “convenience” or "innovation" before he specifies any particular industry, and he's built one of the most powerful brands in America. Keep in mind, there’s more to a product than, well, the product. Your brand is what sets your product apart from your competitor’s.

2. Select your market. Who are you selling to?

This step is a bit less interpretive as the first, though equally important. Who are you selling to - or more importantly, what do you know about this person? Understanding your consumer is a key to success. What do they do? Where do they hang out? What do they watch on television? These are just a few of the questions that you should be able to answer about your consumer. Knowing the answers to these questions can answer a lot of questions of your own when it comes to a devising a marketing strategy. Richard Thalheimer understood his market for The Sharper Image, probably as well as they understood themselves. From an article in the LA Times, Tracy Wan, who was president and chief operating officer under Thalheimer says "Richard has the amazing ability to figure out the things that people want to have." This ability to perceive your consumer's desire can only be a result of knowing them like your neighbor.

3. Create a marketing strategy. How do you speak to these people?

This is a culmination of understanding your brand and your consumer. As mentioned in number two, understanding your consumer can answer a lot of questions concerning your marketing strategy: Where should you advertise? What's the voice of your brand? What kind of prices are reasonable for this demographic? In order to engage your consumer, a.k.a. sell your product to them, you must know where your advertisements will be noticed, how to speak to them, and how much they will be able to spend, among many of things. Really, this step should have been combined with the last because who your market is dictates your marketing strategy entirely.

4. Learn by example. Seek advice from those who have done it.

There are ton's of books written by professionals who have already started their own business and have been successful in doing so. One that comes to mind immediately, as we've already mentioned him a couple of times, is Richard Thalheimer. "Creating Your Own Sharper Image" shares the story of how he grew his tiny office supply company, The Sharper Image, into the thriving enterprise that it has become today.

Remember, building a successful business in not all about the dollars and cents. Equally as valuable is your brand equity and your ability to engage your consumer, which is only attainable by understanding them. Assuming there is a demand for your product, and you can compete with the other brands, following these four steps will guide you in the right direction.


Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur

Studies have shown that successful entrepreneurs possess these characteristics:

1. Self-confidence

This is that magical power of having confidence in oneself and in one's powers and abilities.

2. Achievement Oriented

Results are gained by focused and sustained effort. They concentrate on achieving a specific goal, not just accomplishing a string of unrelated tasks.

3. Risk Taker

They realize that there is a chance of loss inherent in achieving their goals, yet they have the confidence necessary to take calculated risks to achieve their goals.

Entrepreneurs are people who will make decisions, take action, and think that they can control their own destinies. They are often motivated by a spirit of independence which leads them to believe that their success depends on raw effort and hard work, not luck.

So which of these three main characteristics is the most important? Believe it or not, it has to be self-confidence. Without self-confidence, nothing else is possible. If you don't believe in your abilities, then the first challenge that arises may knock you off the path to achieving your goals. Here are a few things to keep in mind for maintaining a higher level of self-confidence.

Positive Thinking

Well, it all starts with a positive attitude, doesn't it? Believing that something good will happen is the first step. Negative thinking simply is not allowed. You must truly believe that there are no circumstances strong enough to deter you from reaching your goals. Remember too, that positive thinking can be contagious. When positive thinking spreads, it can open doors to new ideas, customers, friends, etc.

Persistent Action

Now all of the positive thinking and believing in the world is useless if it is not applied towards a goal. You have to take action, no excuses are allowed. This action must also be persistent. Trying once and then giving up is not going to be enough. Keep at it one step at a time. If you can't get by a certain step, then find a creative way to try again or just go around it.

At the beginning of this article I identified a few traits that are common among successful entrepreneurs. You should be able to look ahead and see yourself where you want to be. Now, just maintain a strong belief in yourself and your skills, stick with it, and don't give up. If you can do that, you're already half way there!


Business Plan Outline - The 5 W's

Business plan outlines are all unique. The one common thread is that all business plan outlines help the business owner answer the five W questions: who, what, when, where and why.

If any of you ever worked in journalism or as reporters, then you know that what you want to do when you investigate anything is answer the 5 W's. A business plan outline is a concrete method for investigating a business idea, so answering the 5 W's just makes sense.

Business Plan Outline of the 5 W's

Who are you?
Your business plan outline should detail your certifications, industry experience, and credentials. List the business credential that you've already received or those that you're planning on getting in the early stages. This part of the business plan outline also lists the staff you project needing and what their qualifications will be.

What do you plan to sell?
In your business plan outline you need to include a discussion of what it is you are selling. Are you selling products, services or both? Once you know what you are selling you then need to discuss the revenue and profit associated with your products and/or services.

This part of the business plan outline also includes your preliminary sales and marketing plan. What will you be doing to gain your clients and how much time and money will you spend doing so?

When did you launch or when do you plan on launching?
 This information is critical to outside investors and it will also help to keep you on track.

Where are you located?
Here you will indicate the types of facilities needed to run your business. Will you work out of your home or rent office space?

Why is your approach unique?
This is a critical question that your business plan outline must address. You need to explain your number one differentiator. Somewhere in your business plan outline you must make space for detailing the proposition that sets you apart from everyone else in the market.

Business plan outlines help you structure your answers to the most important business planning questions. These questions can are summarized as the 5 W's. By answering these questions, your business plan outline will lead you to discover and detail the exact "how" of your overall business operations.

How To Write A Business Plan… Made Easy
The Help You Need With Writing Your Business Plan that is broken down so that anyone can do it. Find Out More...



Four Steps to More Blog Traffic and Increased Sales

If you own an online store you  probably already know that a blog is a very important source to promote your product or service. They are easy to install, administer and update, plus, search engines love them. Really though, what  good is a blog without traffic? It doesn't matter how amazing your blog is if no one is reading it. Here are five quick ways to boost traffic to your blog and hopefully start seeing those big sales for your business.

1.Build a list of blog services to ping every time you post new content.

There are a lot of different services and sites that you can use to ping your blog. If you didn't know, pinging means that you notify the service that you've updated your blog with new content. These services then list your new posts and you get the traffic from them. The more services that you use the better chance you will have of receiving the traffic that you are looking for. I've made a list of blog pinging services you can copy by clicking the link. That should be enough to give a nice boost to your traffic if you keep your site updated frequently.

2.Update your content regulary!

Both search engines and blog  ping services love, love, love regular updates! It's very likely that you will get targeted traffic from search engines if you update your blog regularly. You should try to make a new post to your blog at least once per day if possible. Be careful though because too many updates per day, say eight or more, can harm your search engine position and hits from traffic.

3.Post in forums

Post in forums, but do not spam them! Post something useful and interesting with a link to your blog in your signature. Don't just post  your messages in any forum, if you're selling cds, post in forums that are about music. Don't post in pet forums if you're selling beauty products. That will definetely get you tagged as a spammer and you don't want that. By posting your messages with a link in your signature in forums you will get one-way links back to your site. These are good for search engine position on sites like google, msn and yahoo.

4.Submit to blog search engines

There are tons of search engines available that list only blogs. Just google search  "blog search engines“ and you will find a nice lengthy list of them. These blog search engines will help you to receive targeted traffic. Be sure to write a  very good title and description for your blog when you submit your information to the site so that people will easily find it and want to click on your link.

Follow these four simple steps and you will begin to see an increase in traffic to your blog. Soon those long awaited sales will start coming in and adding up. Don't forget to update your blog with fresh, unused content that you write yourself everyday to acheive the best results.


Blog Pinging Services

Here is a list of sevices that I use to ping my blog whenever I post new content to any of my sites. Some of them ping a few of the same services but you can manually pick the sites that are pinged in most cases so just remove the checks beside the services that you know have already been pinged.



Free Advertising Sites

I found some more free advertiseing and classified sites yesterday that I wanted to pass on to all of you. I like these sites a lot because they are easy to use and I've already seen lots of hits to my blog after posting my ads yesterday morning. They are all pretty much set up using the same system so once you get the hang of it you'll see how easy it is.

Advertyze is great because it safely and spam free sends targeted email advertisements.

Swom  is one I like a lot because you can advertise your business, services and expertise. You set up a profile where you review the company you work for and then you choose what you have to offer other people and then you can select people and their businesses and services based on what you are looking for.

Free Ads Planet This one is a forum for advertiseing.

My Free Adboard is what I have recently posted in the menu tabs across the top of the site. It's just a basic classifieds board, really easy to submit to or sign up for your own.

Text Ad Profits I love this site and think that it is one of my favorites. You post free text ads that you can save so after the first time you use it all you need to do is hit send the next day and your messages go back out again. It is very simple and fast.

My Daily List Builder - Another good one for free classifieds posting. If you join you can also post html ads and text links to your site.

I've seen results from each of these in just two days so I really think they are all good sources of free advertiseing that you should try.



Here's a fun article, A Certain "Je Ne SAIS Quoi"

Here's a fun article that I was sent and thought that I would share with you guys. It's full of random information, which I LOVE! Hope you guys enjoy the article and have a great day!

A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"

By Chloe Rhodes,
Author of A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi": The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English

Picture this scenario: You're having a tête-à-tête with an old friend from your alma mater, who is a wine aficionado. So you pick an al fresco table at a chic little café, and order from the a la carte menu. However, your companion won't stop exchanging double entendres with the woman in the sarong at the next table. So you're stuck listening to the klutz of a waiter droning on ad nauseam about the soup du jour. At that point, you're ready to say hasta la vista -- but you don't want to seem like a diva.

Try to say all that in "English." You probably wouldn't change a single word. How else would you describe such a scene if it weren't for the thousands of foreign words and phrases we've snuck into our conversations over the years? We all use them without a second thought. But how much do you really know about the origins of the borrowed words and phrases you use every day?

Did you know, for example, that when you place an order for apple pie a la mode, that you are using a phrase that dates back to the days of King Louis XIV? His court became such a standard of good taste that the British aristocracy wanted to do more than dress in French fashion; they wanted to use their phrase for it, too. In the seventeenth century the term was anglicized to become alamode -- a light silk used to make scarves. And at some point in small-town America, the combined flavors of cooked apple, sweet pastry, and cool, creamy vanilla represented the very latest in fashionable, cutting-edge gastronomy, giving the term its modern meaning of "with ice cream."

And there's hundreds of other examples from France: laissez faire, joie de vivre, fait accompli, faux pas, I could go on but you'd only become blasé. And with good reason; English speakers have been word collectors since the fifth century, when the dialects of Anglo-Saxon settlers, Celts, and Norse invaders were cobbled together to create Old English. When the Norman conquerors arrived in 1066 it must have seemed natural to steal some of their vocabulary, too. By the end of the thirteenth century, more than 10,000 French words were absorbed into English -- and we still use 75 percent of them today.

But we've done more than add a French lilt to our lingo. Those Normans also introduced us to Latin. In medicine, we have words like post-mortem and placebo, while in legal language, Latin phrases such as in camera and quid pro quo are still bounced around the courtroom. And others have crossed over into broader use; an agreement or contract signed in good faith is said to be bona fide. However, in everyday use, the phrase has become interchangeable with the word genuine and usually describes someone or something whose authenticity can be trusted.

More foreign phrases joined the fray during the marauding, seafaring days of our English-speaking ancestors, who filled their boats with strange Asian spices, exotic fabrics, and loads of new words for all the animals, garments and foods they had discovered.

Even ketchup, that favorite sidekick of French fries, is an import, starting life as a spicy pickled fish sauce in seventeenth-century China. The word is a Westernized version of the Malay word kichap, which came from koechiap, meaning fish brine. The sweet red version we love with began to take shape when American sailors added tomatoes, which are excellent for preventing scurvy. In 1876 John Heinz launched his infamous tomato ketchup and the rest, as they say, is history.

And there are stowaway words in your wardrobe as well as your pantry; your pajamas, dungarees, and even your bandanna have their origins on foreign shores. Bandanna comes from the Sanskrit word bandhana, meaning to tie, from the tie-dying technique used to decorate scarves and handkerchiefs in India. The anglicized "bandanna" was incorporated into the English language during the days of the British Raj, though they're now more popular with wrestlers and cowboys who want to give their look a certain panache.

And while the Brits went abroad to gather additions for their dictionary, in seventeenth-century North America, words were coming to the English language by the boatload. Soon words from Italy, Poland, German, and Eastern Europe were leaping off immigrant ships and landing in the American English lexicon. To uncover the backstory on some of these, from alter ego to zeitgeist, explore the pages of A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi -- The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English by Chloe Rhodes, published by Reader's Digest, and voilá! Soon you'll easily be able to schmooze with everyone at the next cocktail party without making a single faux pas.

© 2010 Chloe Rhodes, author of A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi": The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English

Author Bio

Chloe Rhodes, author of A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi": The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English, is a freelance journalist who has worked for The Telegraph, Guardian and The Times as well as numerous other respected publications. She lives in North London with her husband.



Minimize the Clutter in Your Home

Minimize the Clutter

Here’s a four-part plan for organizing your stuff from Fresh Home Magazine:

1. Prune Your Possessions

o It’s simple physics: If you add stuff to your closet without removing anything, it becomes an overcrowded mess. So once or twice a year, do a little weeding and pruning, says organizing expert Harriet Schechter, author of Let Go of Clutter. If you can’t remember the last time you wore or used an item, remove it from your closet and either store or give it away. Once you’ve pruned your possessions down, keep doing it: never add something to your closet – whether it’s a coat, new blouse or pair of shoes – without first getting rid of something of equal or greater size.

2. And That Includes the “Someday” Stuff

o The biggest closet space-hogs are all well intentioned “someday” items we hold onto: the clothes that don’t fit right now, the accessories that aren’t quite in style anymore, the shoes and other items that need fixing or altering. “If you kept only what works, what fits, what makes you look and feel good right now, closet clutter would be a thing of the past,” says Creel. If you’re serious about the “someday” part, pack the items up and put into storage somewhere out of the way.

3. Empty It Completely

o You can’t improve your closet when it’s filled. So empty it – completely. Hauling everything out serves three purposes: it give you a good look at the actual space and storage – rods, shelves and so forth – you have to work with. Second, it gives you a chance to clean a space that rarely gets cleaned. Third, once your stuff is spread out on the floor or bed, it’s easier to do the first two tips and indentify items you no longer want or need.

4. Organize Precisely

o As you gaze at your empty closet, think about how to organize it around the specifics of your possessions. “Closets are like puzzles: If you want to solve the puzzle, find a place for every piece,” says Scott Roewer of Solutions by Scott and creator of the organizing blog Divide your closet however you like – office clothes on the top left rack, party clothes on the back, shoes here, umbrellas there. Just have specific spaces for specific items.



I received the Stiletto Award!! Yay, Yay me!!!

Jill over at The Husailey Bunch gave me the Stiletto Award! I know I always say it, but I LOVE getting these awards since they are from other bloggers who really know what's going on with all this blogging stuff, you know? I really appreciate this award and will proudly post it in my side bar and pass it on to some other peoples blogs that I think are amazing. Thank you so much! Here is the story behind this award:

What is a Stiletto Award???

There are thousands of blogs, and there are hundreds of awards. The Stiletto Award is a little different than most!
First, to understand, let us understand the Stiletto… some words that describe it…

Classy – Strong -Exotic – Demure – Extreme – Ultra – Sexy - Bold – Funky

“Walking in extremely high heels is not something that the average woman (or man) will need to do in their everyday life.

However, there are times when this skill may be required.”

AND… what is a “blogger”? According to the official definition is:

Blogger: One who writes entries in, adds material to, or maintains a weblog

However, I think there is a LOT more to it than that. My definition of a blogger…

Blogger: A strong, confident woman who has a full life. Because of the nature of her existence, she seeks connection and companionship with others who understand and wish to support her. She gains strength and courage from the experiences of these woman and shares her story in return. Through the “blog world” she develops relationships with women she would otherwise never meet and builds a community of cherished friends with whom she shares her life, experiences, challenges, failures, triumphs, goals, family and so much more! She IS Classy, Strong, Exotic, Demure, Extreme, Ultra, Sexy, Bold and Funky!

“To walk gracefully in high heels, take short steps, as opposed to long strides, and come down in a heel-toe, heel-toe motion.”

Hence, the Stiletto Award…For Excellence in Blogging!

I want to salute the women who balance life, family & relationships with style & class! Those women who share their experiences with us…who encourage us, inspire us, teach us, make us laugh and basically keep us going! You know who they are! While you read this blog, your family is looking at you wondering what the heck you are laughing about so hard…or why the tissue is necessary for internet browsing. It’s the one that the kids are excited about cuz a new post means a new craft project or family outing. The one that inspires you to be a better mom, friend, person in general. The one that reminds you that we are all “in this life together” and you’re not the only one going through the hard stuff. The one that you secretly wish your blog was like…

“It is good to get into the habit of doing the warm-up and cool-down exercises every time you wear them.”

If you’ve received this award, someone out there thinks you deserve it! Be proud! Display the badge with honor! You earned it…after all it means that you brought something special to at least one other person, and really, isn’t that what life’s all about????

“Under no circumstances drive a car with your heels on. Not only do you have less control over the car, but it will damage your shoes – and they aren’t cheap at this height. Keep spare shoes in the car for driving, or have someone drive you.”


This award is meant to be shared, to be given out, to be bestowed upon any and ALL women who exemplify what the stiletto represents. If you’ve received this award, here’s what you do:

1. Display your Stiletto Badge of Honor on your sidebar! Wear it with pride…

“Heels this high are not meant for clubbing or walking long distances in. They are mainly used for getting from the living room to the bedroom, from the car to the restaurant, or for a short stroll along the catwalk.”

2. BRAG ABOUT IT! -write a post about your award. Include the link to this page so everyone will understand what it’s all about!

3. SAY THANKS! - include a link to the friend who nominated you for the award.

4. SHARE THE LOVE! -nominate 5-10 blogs that you feel deserve the award. Include links to them in your post -and- leave them a comment to let them know they are nominated.

 5. DO WHAT YOU DO! -keep at it. Keep inspiring and encouraging and sharing your life! We love it and we thank you!!!

I'd like to pass this award on to...

Joe at 20 to Life
Mimi at Woven by Words
Amy at Just Another Manic Mom Day
Donna at But I had a Coupon
Angela at Angela's Bits


I Received the Sunshine Award! YAY!

Ana at I'm a Hodge Podge passed on the Sunshine Award to me and some other great bloggers too so go check them all out. I appreciate this award too just like the others and I really am thankful that you guys think of me when you're giving out these awards. Thank you so much Ana! I know that someone else passed this award onto me too but I can't find it - when I do I will thank that person also and pass the award on to some more bloggers.

The rules for accepting this award are:

Put the logo on your blog or within your post,

Pass the award onto 12 bloggers,

Link the nominees within your post,

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog,

Link to the person from whom you received this award.
Richele at Under the Golden Apple Tree
Robin at Simply Delightful
"Deal" ightfully Frugal
Laurie at Guessing All the Way
Mary at Mommy's Money Cents
Amy at Housewife Hacks
Shay at Wonderfully Chaotic
April at Crazy Little Thing Called Life
Stephanie at Coupon Clippin Mommy
Jennifer at Eighty MPH Mom
Jen at Mommys Online Garage Sale
Stacie at Simply Stacie
There's my list - take the time to check them all out because they are all great blogs that I know you will love just as much as I do.



Valentine's Gift Guide - Snorg Tees Tee-Shirt Giveaway

To enter to win the SnorgTee of your choice, visit the site, and leave me a comment telling me which shirt you would like. As always you can do any or all of the options below for additional entries. This contest will end on Feb. 14 and is only available in the US.

If you get bonus entries for an item you complete, leave that many comments, like this: I linked back to you #1, (new comment), I linked back to you #2, (new comment) I linked back to you #3...

follow me on Google Friend Connect (bottom of the page)
subscribe by email (right sidebar)
follow on Networked Blogs (bottom of page)
add a link back to me in your blog roll (5 bonus entries)
grab my button, leave me a link in your comment (5bonus entries)
follow me on Twitter, leave your Twitter id in your comment (right sidebar)
add me on Face Book, leave your name in a comment (right sidebar)
write about this giveaway on your own site with a link back to me, leave link in your comment (ten bonus entries)
Stumble this post (right sidebar)
add to Delicious (right sidebar)
retweet this post, leave me a link to it
Digg this post, leave Digg name in comment
Share this post on Facebook
follow me on Blog Lovin' (bottom of the page)
Vote for or rate my blog (Left side bar)



Old Navy Item of the Week and Coupon Giveaway - ONLY ONE DAY TO ENTER


Check out -- It's Old Navy’s new weekly coupon hunting site. Click on the link and see what it's all about.

You don’t have to be a SuperModelquin to feel like one in the new Old Navy Item of the Week: Women’s Natural Lace-Trim Camis. They’re $2 (Reg. $12.50) and come in daring colors. Get one or two to layer with a long sleeve top or cropped jacket. Say g’bye to chocolate this Valentine’s Day and stock up on this sweet deal. Get ‘em in store and online 2/5 – 2/11.With romance around the corner what should the single SuperModelquins wear with their Cami for V-Day?

Just answer the question above to be entered to win one of ten one-time-use coupons for $50 off of $100, the coupons will expire on Feb. 11 so act fast!

For bonus entries into the giveaway you may complete any or all of the options below. Please leave a comment for each item you complete. If you get bonus entries for an item you complete, leave that many comments, like this: I linked back to you #1, (new comment), I linked back to you #2, (new comment) I linked back to you #3...

follow me on Google Friend Connect (bottom of the page)

•subscribe by email (right sidebar)

•follow on Networked Blogs (bottom of page)

•add a link back to me in your blog roll (5 bonus entries)

•grab my button, leave me a link in your comment (5bonus entries)

•follow me on Twitter, leave your Twitter id in your comment (right sidebar)

•add me on Face Book, leave your name in a comment (right sidebar)

•write about this giveaway on your own site with a link back to me, leave link in your comment (ten bonus entries)

•Stumble this post (right sidebar)

•add to Delicious (right sidebar)

•retweet this post, leave me a link to it

•Digg this post, leave Digg name in comment

•Share this post on Facebook

•follow me on Blog Lovin' (bottom of the page)
Vote for or rate my blog  (Left side bar)



Cottonelle Free Toilet Paper for a Month Contest at Mom Bloggers Club

The Mom Bloggers Club has a contest going right now for all of it's members to win a months supply of Cottonelle for free when you vote for team over or under. I'm gonna have to go with team under! I decided to enter and also share the contest with you guys. All you have to do is
leave a comment on this post and you will be entered to win 1 of 10 Cottonelle gift baskets randomly chosen on January 29, 2010 from all of the entries.

You can click the link,, to get more information. Cottonelle is running a contest to see if folding the toilet paper over or under is most popular.


I Won a New Bloggy Award - The "You're an Angel Award"

This really is one of the sweetest awards I've seen around! Yaaaaaay! I havn't had an award posted in a while because I've lost the last 4 or 5 that I was given. That's why I decided to go ahead and post this one before I lost it too. This award was given to me by Richelle from, "Under the Golden Apple Tree".  Thank you so, so very much! She is an angel herself and she definetly deserved to win this award. Make sure you go see what's going on at her blog, don't forget because you'll really be missing out. Now, on to the rules of the award...

The Rules:

1. Thank the one who gave it to you by linking back to her blog.

2. Pass it out to five bloggy angels.

3. Let your angels know they have been selected for the award.

My five angels:

1. Night Owl Mama, at

2. Shannon, at

3. Ellie, at

4. Barbara, at

5. Samantha, at



Sites to Submit Your Giveaways To

If you host giveaways on your site you know how important it is to have lots of entries. Some times you have a giveaway that you need to tell people about instead of hoping they will find it on their own. There are a lot of places to submit your giveaway and contest too other than the networks that you may be a member of. Blogger communities like mombloggers and are a great place to start but once you go through your networks try posting your giveaways to the sites below and see how many more entries you'll find for all of your contest. The first section of links is for contest/giveaway/sweepstakes sites that you can submit your giveaways to. The second section of links are all other blogs that you can submit your giveaways too. Take some time to go through the list and find the sites that you like or you can just start at the top or the bottom and work your way through the many sites listed below.

Sweepstakes/Giveaway/Contest Sites located in link bar across bottom of the header click on add a sweeps at the bottom of the page add a sweeps is in the left side bar submit a sweeps is on the left sidebar near the top submit listing is located in the link bar across the bottom of the header

Blogs to Submit Your Giveaways To - Giveaway Round Up Tuesdays - can't miss submit - click on submit a giveaway across the top link bar click "blog giveaways" in the top link bar Linky is located half way down the page on the left submit a giveaway-giveaway is located in the link bar across the bottom of the header - submit on Link 'em Up Thursdays you can't miss it at the top of the page submit on Link and win Mondays submit located across the link bar under the header



How to Make Money and Monetize Your Blog

I've made a list of ten of the best ideas to monetize your blog and your Twitter Account. Join the sites below and start making some money with your blog and your Twitter.

Make money with your Twitter account using the sources below:

  1. Twitter Advertising Network
  2. Sponsored Tweets

Make Money with Your Blog using these Sources:
  1. Bloggers Review
  2. Advertise Space
  3. Blogvertise
  4. Pay per Post
  5. Blog Ads
  6. Bloggers Review
  7. Sponsored Reviews
  8. Jungle Ad Network
They are all very easy to join althought some of the blog networks have different requirements to join. I think these are the best choices but the choice is yours, so check them all out.



Blog and RSS Directories

I made this giant list/directory of directories for blogs. Everyone with a blog should submit it to as many directories as possible. I have almost finished the list myself and my backlinks have greatly increased and my page rank went up too, but nobody really knows how that works so I don't know if that matters or not.

If you don't have an RSS feed for your blog, try and set one up then submit your blog to all of these RSS search engine directories.

RSS Search engine Submissions

Blog Directories to Submit Your Blog To - Click on blogger network at the top, then add your blog  in the tabs on the next page. You need to go to your control panel and add your rss feed. fashion and beauty site, email your link, maybe banner too This is a huge directory that you definetly want your blog in. Make sure it's in the right category or you will be rejected. - just like top mom blogs two levels to upgrade to for $5 a year or $10 for a month This is not what it sounds like from that title. I promise, no porn, just a really badly though out name. Click on the tab that says girl wide web then click submit blog in left sidebar Another one of the top sites you want your blog in.  super quick and easy

The Mommy Bunch -  - for mom bloggers  There's also a free twitter directory you can submit to.  - register and you can add your blog to your info.  - blog directory for shopping/review sites  for WAHM moms but they will accept blogs from all mom's, you can list your blog in three categories for free  blog directory for christian stay-at-home moms  a site to submit adult blogs  - this is for submitting directories, so if you have one on your site go ahead and submit  free listing or $4 for a featured one year listing  upgrade to a paid subscription to list deep links, $9 sponsored for a year, $5 premium for a year  suggest a site for free / super quick and easy, just use your rss to ping them  upgrade to no reciprocal for $7.95 or featured for $12.95

Pay to Submit Blog Directories $5.00 for lifetime listing or featured listing for $30 for 3 months and $55 for 6 months  $15 one time payment or $45 for 4 months featured with four other blogs at the top of your category and on the Delightfulblogs homepage  $1.99 regular link, $12.99 w/ 3 extra link submissions, $39.99 yearly with 5 extra link submissions  $39.99 one time or $54.99 annually for featured link  $49.95 for one year or $149.95 for a permanent listing

Top 100 List to Submit To- These are list that people started that you can submit your blog too and then as people click the link on your site it counts as a and  vote for yout site you'll move higher up on the list.  - has around 20 list to submit too in this category

Websites with Directories to Submit To  - Online magazine, submit is in the left sidebar under "Citizen Journalism" join Wikizines to submit your blog post to or just use what they suggest, great site, ping your blog to import post, they advertise you blog post for you in the zines - you have to email your info.  you can pay to upgrade to a premium listing or add a button to the site for $15 a year

Blogging Communities

Blogged -  blogging community, here is my profile if you want to follow me and I'll follow you back  also has paid listings starting at $8 or $60 a month by sponsoring a category on their site  free listing or featured listing for $49.99  - search for MandaBlogsAbout and we can follow eachother  search for manda if you want to be friends  sites not working so well, takes a while, have to claim blog with code

Search Engines


Google Blog Search

Yahoo Directory  - submit site is in small print on the top of tthe right side of the page