Friday, August 24, 2007

Hot real estate

So I've received a lot of real estate assignments lately focusing in on cities such as the Phoenix real estate market, and I'm wondering if these assignments are all for the hot housing markets that remain. It seems that there are only a few left going against the grain of the rest of the nation. I know out here in Seattle, we are still going strong with housing costs continuing to go up instead of down. That's great for my bottom line, but my dad is planning to buy a place out here to retire in the next year or so, and it's not helping him out any. I guess you can't make everbody happy, right?

Finding quality bantam show birds

So I have decided I have to do some local market research and see if there are any local hatcheries that might be selling some quality bantam show birds. Our birds did not fair very well this year, and I fear it's because we have just been ordering them from some of the large national hatcheries. Out of 11 of our birds, we only received 3 blue ribbons, two were disqualified for "too much smut" and the rest were only red ribbons. I say this, yet our very good friends did quite well with a champion bird ordered from the same place we get ours from, so who knows! But I would like to do some research and find out if their are any local places. We have one very competitive club in our county, and they breed show bantams, but obviously we don't want their rejects because they are our prime competition. Off to do a little research!

Caffeine please! Any form will do!

I am just wiped out from all the fair activities, but have to finish some Payu2blog assignments before I can hit the hay. Maybe a jura capresso is in order. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it sounds caffeinated, so it's all good! Today was actually not a long day as far as fair commitments go, but this getting up early everyday is doing me in. And tomorrow will be a very very long day, we will be on the fairgrounds from 8:00 until at least 4:00. It is the busiest day we have scheduled as far as activities and requirements.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Getting ready for fair today!

Today is the day! The girls are all excited. The birds go in today for health check and get settled into their new temporary homes. The fair starts tomorrow and runs through Labor Day, but we are only there until Monday night with the 4-H and FFA chickens. Early Monday night we check out and then the Open Class birds check in for the remainder of the fair.

We are also entering in photographs (the photo here is one my middle daughter is entering!), a drawing my middle daughter did for the arts and crafts division related to poultry. Both girls are also entering a dozen eggs each to be judged, as well as educational posters. Then the birds will each be judged for Type tomorrow morning, and there is a Poultry Knowledge contest for my oldest and Prime Time (for the Primary 4-H members who are 6-8 yrs old). Friday is the Judging Contest. Saturday is our Group Demonstration w/ their club members and the Poultry Bowl contest as well as covering the information booth in the Poultry Barn for a 2 hour period. Then the biggy Fit and Show on Sunday! My oldest has always done really well in this but has not had a great bird to accompany her until this year, so we are really hoping she does well this year! Last we have Fun Day and Round Robin on Monday. Then we also have herdsmanship every morning that the girls are judged on which involves cleaning, feeding and watering the birds and their area in the barn. It will be a fun yet busy next couple of days!

Kitchen design

I am an HGTV addict. It drives my husband insane. Here we built our house only 6 yrs ago, and we have absolutely no plans to move or redecorate or remodel, yet I am addicted. I love to watch everything from House Hunters to the yearly gadget shows which are builders conventions to see all the hot new products from funky kitchen faucets to the latest refridgerators that are computerized and keep a running grocery list for you. I try and tell him it's that "architect" in me that's not currently doing anything architectural, trying to stay up to date with the current trends for maybe one day when I'll need them.

Losing weight

Who doesn't want to lose a little weight these days? I know I do. I could easily stand to lose about 30 lbs if not more. The sad thing is, about 4 yrs ago, I started South Beach Diet, and I stuck to it for over a year and did lose the 30 lbs. But now I've gained it all back! I keep wondering about things like hydroxycut, but don't think I want to take anything to get there. I think it's just another thing I'm adding to my "When the kids go back to school" list. It just seems like it will be easier without having all their goodies around!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Computer problems

Not quite sure what my computer needs, but I fear it needs something. Perhaps a little Dell Memory or some such thing. It seems to be going much slower than usual. I've deleted all my temp files, run defrag and rebooted, and it's still having issues. I guess it's time I have my tech savvy husband have a look at it. But then I'll be down for hours and we can't be having that! Ah well, hopefully it's something that will work itself out. If not, I'll nab him when he's on vacation later this week to figure it out. Wish me luck!

Tampa Real Estate

OK, I don't know much about Tampa, but it's on the beach, right? So I'm sure I'd like it. Especially about now. I'm really really feeling like we've been gypped this summer....we've hardly had any heat while the rest of the nation seems to be hitting all time record temps. Oh well. I'm hoping that we win the Megabucks lottery this week. I hear the next jackpot is up to $171 million or some such thing. I'd certainly be happy to check out the Tampa Real Estate scene if I do, cause a little old beach house somewhere I can go year long and have some warm temps would be awesome.

Dreaming of new furniture

The husband and I have been dreaming of getting some new furniture lately. His offices just moved, and now they are in a high rise with shopping on the first few floors, including a HUGE furniture store. He was trying to convince me to come and look at poker tables of all things the other day. I said no, first we need to replace our kitchen table that one of our dogs chewed the legs when she was a puppy, and our dining room still sits empty. A poker table is like the last thing we need!

Rainy Sunday

Wow! Did it rain today! It's chilly too, only in the 60's. Perfect day for sleeping in, which is what we did today. We then went out to IHOP for brunch and hit the Half Price bookstore to turn in some books and pick up some new ones for the kiddos. Then we hit the British Shop for some tasty pastries for dinner. The kids got sausage rolls, husband got beef & onion pie and pork pies and I got some spinach quiche. Yummy!

Just a lazy day here, fully enjoying our last veg weekend at home before school starts. The next two weekends will by super busy, and we only have 16 days until school starts! Whooo hoooo! My younger two found out their teachers on Friday and were quite happy with them. My oldest we have to register I think on Friday and get her class schedule. This mommy is getting quite excited for school to start......can you tell?!?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Troubled Teens

As my oldest daughter approaches her teen years faster than I can believe, I have to trust that she will make the right decisions and be smart with her choices. I hear so many stories of troubled teens, many who have come from broken homes. I can't imagine having to deal with kids who have broken the law or need teen rehab or have other major issues that cast a negative spin on their lives. I just have to trust that my husband and I have done all we can to raise our girls the best we can, and be there to support them.

Lazy Saturday

I am enjoying a lazy Saturday here at home. We have no plans this weekend, which is really nice. My husband took the girls up to the fairgrounds this morning to drop off some things for fair, and I cleaned the first floor while they were gone and finished the laundry. It's nice to have that done. We have been talking about needing to refinish the back deck, and I have been motivated to start sanding/scraping and doing the prep work, but the husband is not motivated to help me, so I don't think it's going to happen today. He has to work Monday and Tuesday, and is then off until after Labor Day, so I'm hoping between fair activities and our two days free after fair before we leave for camping, that we will get that project done and then we can cross off one item on the "To Do" list. We really need to paint the whole house too, but I think we might have to do that in two phases. Hopefully we will get one phase done next summer. What fun! NOT. Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Customer relationship management

For many sales businesses to succeed, they need a way to manage their customer relationships, or CRM. One way to do this is by using software to manage your customer relationships. Most of the software out there that provides this service is time consuming, complex and difficult to learn. AIMpromote gets rid of all the confusion and provides a solution that can be implemented with quickness and ease.

Some features that are built into AIMpromote can help to streamline the sales process, and improve follow-up with the sales force automation and sales management features.

CRM Software offers lead aggregation companies (those who generate and then sell leads) the ability to manage and run their entire business from within a single piece of software. They can: - Sell any type of lead, in any vertical - Manage accounting - Sell a lead as many times as they choose - Sell leads automatically - Run ROI reports on all leads, campaigns, and/or website activity

If you own a Sales company, a software program that helps you with CRM and lead management may be exactly what you need to take your company to the next level. And Aimpromote can have your entire organization up and running in a matter of days.


Happy Friday everyone! Only two weeks to go and school starts here, and those two weeks will be so busy! Last night we had barn clean-up over at the fairgrounds. Tomorrow we have to bring the girls Educational Posters up so they can be hung. Wednesday, the birds go through health check and moved into their temporary homes for the week and fair begins on Thursday and last's through Monday for us. The actual fair goes through Labor Day weekend, but after our 4-H and FFA birds go in, then the open class birds come in for the remainder of the fair. The girls are excited and I am too. Our 4-H friends are like our second family and it is fun to hang out together for the week. After that, we have two days to rest at home before we head out for a Labor Day camping trip with my husband's family, so that will be a nice way to wrap up summer.

Today we finished working on the girls posters, and my oldest has a friend sleeping over. I just picked up pizza for the girls, and my husband and I had some yummy Thai food. Good way to end the week! Have a wonderful weekend!

Pet bling!

Speaking of bling, what's with all the animal jewelry and accessories these days? I swear, the furry little creatures seem to be treated like children these days! I wouldn't be suprised if soon enough, dogs and cats have their entire own rooms in peoples homes soon to accomodate all their stuff! Don't get me wrong, I love my doggies, but my kids come first. I guess it may be different if you don't have kids and your little critters are all you've got, but to me, the assortment of things available for these little guys just seems overwhelming lately.

Bling or no bling?

My husband and I had our 15 yr anniversary in May. He has always wanted to buy me a larger diamond set, but I have so many other higher priorty items we need, that it hasn't happened yet. I guess I'm just not a jewelry kind of person. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure if he squandered away and saved up and surprised me, I'd love whatever it is he splurged on, but if I KNOW the money is there, I can always find something we NEED instead. But I've never been a girly-girl, more of a tomboy since the git go. I'm quite happy with my plain old cheapy watch and the wedding set I have. Maybe he'll surprise me one day though!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The end of summer birthday season

My youngest daughters birthday is today, she is 6. Megan is the typical youngest child, always anxious to keep up with her big sisters at all times. However, the only thing she really wanted for her birthday was monkey bars added to our swingset. She is the Monkey Bar Queen! She will do monkey bars until her hands are covered in blisters and keep going! Last year she came home from school one day with huge blood blisters, and I told her for her hands to heal, she'd need to find something else to do at recess for a few days and she was broken hearted. She also was in love with her Googles Webkinz that she wanted, and hasn't put him down in days. Megan is a sweetie and loves to cuddle and I'm thankful for that as she's my littlest baby! Love ya Meg!

Speeding along......

Anyone know which is the best radar detector out there? I need to get my husband one. He was so close to getting another speeding ticket this weekend. He is like a magnet for them. We live out in a rural area, where some of these empty roads in the valley have a speed limit of 35 mph. It's sooooooooo easy to go over that! We used to have one but it broke long ago.

Window Coverings

I would really love to get some wood blinds for my kitchen, or maybe roman shades. We have a LOT of windows in our kitchen/living room area, so it would probably be out of our price range. We've been in the house 6 yrs, and still don't have window coverings on the windows in the kitchen. Reason being mostly that we have a built in eating nook with benches, and most of the windows are right at the back of the benches. I have't wanted to invest in anything for fear of dirty fingers destroying them immediately, but maybe with wood blinds, I could just wipe them clean. Not like I need to add another thing to my cleaning list. Maybe I'll just keep waiting until the kids are a bit older. Hmmmmm....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I love saving!

I am someone who never leaves the house before checking to see if I have a coupon in my stash for whatever we might need. It really does pay in the end to put this little effort out. There are now a lot of online communities dedicated to saving money, alerting members of special deals or coupons out there so that you don't miss out. One of these sites is I also like to buy coupons in bulk online for things we use often, wait until the items go on sale, and then buy 10 or 20 of them at the sale price minus the coupons. It all adds up in the end!

Growing up is hard to do

My oldest daughter just turned 12 last month, and today she went to a birthday party she was invited too. She was very nervous about going. The girl who invited her, Emily knows her from them being on the same bus home from school, and they have become friendly over the last year. Emily had invited her to her birthday last month and all went well. But today, is the other girl's birthday, and Em was sooooo nervous go. Apparantly, this other girl is quite popular in school, so all the "popular kids" were going to be there. It was supposed to be a rather large pool party with a lot of kids. Emily has always been a bit shy, and has her one Best Friend Forever since kindergarten, who was not invited. I told her to look at this as an oppurtunity to make new friends, and to just have a good time. We pick her up in about half an hour, so we shall soon see how it went!

Friday, August 10, 2007

I have been a little scared lately

When I was in middle school, my knees ached and ached, and were swollen. I was finally diagnosed with JRA, otherwise known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Back then, I took baby aspirin for it and did physical therapy to strengthen my leg muscles, and got to miss PE class for a year. By high school, it had pretty much gone away. Since then, I haven't had any major problems, and I am 37. My knees crack and pop when I go up stairs, and occasionally ache if the weather is changing, but that's about it.

But starting last winter, my hands have started bothering me, and one of my feet, where the toes attach. Last winter was really bad on some days, to the point where I was taking Ibuprofen all the time, to where my stomach got sensitive to it. By April of this year, it started to get better, and I thought maybe the with the weather warming up, that was helping.

But in the last few weeks, my hands and toes have started hurting again. :-( I can't bear the thought of going through another winter like last year.

So I guess I really need to go to the Dr, but I'm scared too. The idea of taking major drugs just doesn't appeal, but neither does suffering in pain. I often wonder if I'll need to have knee replacement or something like that when I get older, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Summertime is back!

After a week of cold dreary drizzly rainy overcast days, the sun is back today! The kids have just ventured outside to give their pool a go, although I'm afraid it will be WAY too cold! It's only in the high 70's, but it feels so nice after the week we've had.

We finally got our lawn mowed too after over a month with no mowing. We had a part break on it back in early July, and the part was back ordered, so it took a few weeks to arrive. My husband had only been mowing for about 10 minutes, when it broke again. Luckily Sears replaced it for us, but it took another week and a half to come in. I'm sure our neighbors were just thrilled with our dandelion field, so it feels really good to have it done.

Small business financing

Have you ever thought about starting a restaurant? I was just watching a show last night on BBC America, with the dudge who run's Hell's Kitchen. He would go out to a little restaurant that was struggling, and try to figure out why they were struggling and fix it. It was quite amazing. If this is a dream of yours, one place to start would be to look at business loans. ARF, or Advance Restaurant Finance, specializes in loans for restaurants and retailers.

TGIF! And NO weekend plans!!

I love weekends like this! Acutally, it is my youngest daughter's birthday on Monday, but she only wanted two friends to come over, and they are both out of town this weekend, so we will be doing something fun as a family. I think she wanted to see a movie or go to the aquarium. I'm also hoping to escape the family this evening or tomorrow and finish up her birthday shopping. She is turning 6 so I of course got her a Webkinz, (see my previous thread here if you don't know what they are!) and she wants monkey bars added to their swingset. I found some at Home Depot that come as a kit, but the store I was at, all the boxes were open, so I need to try and find a set at a different store. I will probably also get her some arts & crafts stuff, as her and my middle daughter are big into that right now also. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

The real estate game - House flipping

I know that I am not the only one who has been affected by all these shows on TV showing people flipping houses, and turning very large profits in very little time. I am completely intrigued, and if I had large sums of extra money lying around, you can bet I would be jumping on this bandwagon.

My husband and I both have degrees in Architecture, and have worked in the construction industry. I have always thought about entering in real estate as a career down the road, and if I did, it seems as if flipping houses might even become easier as I would get a first glimpse of the ideal prospects when they came on the market.

The most difficult aspect to this process, besides having the money around to invest, I think would be finding the right crew to help you. We could do a lot of the work ourselves, but I am sure we would need to hire some professionals for parts and pieces, depending on the job. This part is a bit intimidating to me. We don't have a handful of folks we could turn to, and in construction, it seems almost impossible to find a crew who will show up when they say they will. In my experience, it seems that they run on their own clock. I understand this, as jobs take longer than expected, unforseen things come up, etc. But it seems as if the folks who do well flipping houses, have people in their back pocket who they can count on, and that they show up when they say they will. And these folks seem hard to find, as we found out when we built our house.

Business advertising

Do you have a small home-based business? Do you advertise it? Some inexpensive ways to advertise your business would be the obvious business cards and flyers, but how about promotional items like personalized pens? You can then hand them out, or leave them around town in handy spots like at the bank or the post office. We've even received a few of these in the mail!

Webkinz World

I have 3 daughters, and this summer they have been lost in the Webkinz virtual world. Have you been there yet? Webkinz are the new "beanie baby" craze. They are cute plush little critters made by Ganz, and they come with an online code. You plug in the code on the site, and create a virtual world for your pet, or, um, petz if you have more than one. It's birthday season in our house, so the girls have each gotten another critter, I think this will be 4 now for each of them! Yikes! It's a fun site though, the kids can play games to earn money to buy things for their petz, and I like how it teaches them about how to budget their money for things they really want. The hardest part is limiting their computer time, but they have been pretty good about it. These plush critters were really hard to find by late spring, as their popularity was not well planned for and they did not have enough supply to meet the demand. However, stores have been getting in shipments in the last month or so, and we are seeing them everywhere again. If you have a child in the 5-8 yr range, this would be a great gift idea!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Financial planning, investing and stocks

I often wish that I knew alot more about financial matters and how to invest properly. The entire subject just scares me and seems rather intimidating. Wizetrade is a powerful stock trading software program and stock research tool, and they have now started a blog called The Wizetrade Blog. It seems these days as if with blogs such as these, and so many of the personal finance blogs out there, that if you really set your mind to it, you could teach yourself the basics, I guess I just need to get over the initmidation factor. Of course I would need money too before any investing could occur! But I do like to plan ahead, and I'm hoping by year end, we will be starting to finally "get ahead" a bit.

Do you do meal plans?

I need to start making meal plans. I was doing it for awhile, and did really well with it and felt so organized! I just spend awhile browsing recipes online. I made pulled BBQ pork in the crockpot the other night, and we had quite a bit left over. I decided to make enchiladas with them tonight, I think we have all the required ingredients. I need to go grocery shopping and really feel like my life is so disorganized right now, that having dinner all planned out and ingredients accounted for in advance, would be one less thing for me to have to worry about each day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Halloween is coming!

Fall is coming! Halloween will be here before you know it, and there is already a lot of hype out there for the new Halloween movie directed by Rob Zombie. I am not a horror movie fan per sey, but I have seen The Shining, and the same suspense of the insane killer wandering the halls of the huge empty Inn in the middle of winter in The Shining, seems to be captured in the new Halloween movie as well. I think both films will capitalize on that feeling of suspense, rather than the gore and violence so many other horror movies focus on.

I think Rob Zombie will bring an interesting twist to the new version of this movie. In an online interview of him I read, he mentioned that he dislikes the term "remake", and instead, "plans to make this more of a prequel and semi-remake all in one, so in theory, there will be much more original content to this film than remake content." He also said his focus in directing this movie will be on "character, mood and terror." Halloween the movie, is a classic horror flick. I think Rob Zombie will do well with the new version.

The following U-tube trailer, leaves my heart pounding. It's quite intense! So please don't say I didn't warn you!

Summer is winding down!

Today is one of those weird summer days that feels like fall. The sun has been gone AGAIN, and it's been misting/drizzly and overcast for a few days now with temps only in the 60's. YES, I said only in the 60's! It's a bit bizarre actually.

The girls have friends over, and everyone is cooped up in the house so it is a bit loud and chaotic. It feels strange that summer is already coming to a close and winding down. End of August is always a crazy time for us with the State Fair, and then we are squeezing in a short camping trip afterward over Labor Day weekend right before school starts. I am looking forward to those quieter less chaotic days once school starts, but I will miss sleeping in and having veg days with the girls. Tonight we have our last 4-H meeting before Fair stuff begins, so it feels like summer is almost over!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

What makes you feel good?

Summertime is always an interesting time for me. I love the weather, hanging out with the girls, sleeping in late, not having to go through backpacks and check homework. But it also stresses me out in other ways. I feel like I cannot keep on top of the house no matter how hard I try. I find it difficult to do errands with three kids in tow. I find I can't concentrate on my "work" whether it be Ebay or blogging. There are constant interruptions. So as I count down the days until school starts, I'm trying to figure out what might help me feel better about all the little things that are stressing me out.

One thing you can do that makes you feel really good about yourself is to give back to those who need a little help. Whether it's just by donating your unused household items or clothes, car donations, or donating cash to your favorite charities, it all feels good. I honestly believe that what goes around comes around, and when you help out others, good things will happen to you as well. I am at a point where I have so many Ebay things around my office to list, I am seriously considering donating most of it. I think it will be a weight off my shoulders right away, and I know that many people would put a lot of this stuff to good use.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I have an 8 yr old slumber party going on!

It's my middle daughter's 8th birthday today! Happy Birthday Shannon! Yes, it's birthday season at our house! All three girls have birthdays within a month of each other. Guess you all know now when I'm most fertile! HA! Anway, Shannon is creative and thoughtful, organized and always wants to know what the plan is, what's on the agenda, when the next play date is. She won the "Most Responsible" award in Kindergarten! She is the most social of my three, doesn't like to be on her own or entertain herself. She's crafty, loves to do projects and go shopping! She wants to be a "clothes designer" when she grows up and she is definently my girly-girl! Hope you have fun at your slumber party tonight, love you Shannon!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Do you need a mattress?

Or any other furniture? If so, check out or if you live in Texas, Houston Furniture. We actually need a dining room set. We've been in our house for 6 yrs next month, and with three kids, and lots of other priorities, getting a dinning room set has not been that high on our priority list, so it sits empty and is usually full of miscellaneous toys. If I had the money right now, I love this set and would get it in a heartbeat:

Our dining room set up calls for a lot of circulation all around it, and I think a round table would work best in there. It's also open to our Great Room, and we wanted to go with either a dark brown or black finish on the pieces in both rooms when we one day get around to buying new furniture for both rooms. Being that we are not really fancy folks and much more casual, I think this set would work well for us with it's casual look, but I love the little touch of having upholstered seats, adds a little grown-up feel!
We also need to get a different set-up for when the girls have sleep overs. I'd love to get my youngest a bunk bed set up but that would also mean we would need another mattress. In fact, her entire room needs to be redone and is next on the list. She still has her nursery theme in there and she's turning 6 in less than two weeks! So much to do, so little time.......and money!

Back from camping! Back to the blogosphere!

We had a wonderful few days camping, lots of walking on the beach, sitting by the lake, a little sunburn and a lot of smores. I've finally caught up with unpacking and laundry. Time to get back to the real world and the blogsphere!

I finally have reached my 10 approved posts on Payperpost for this blog, and hope to add my NEW blog A Problogger Mom to their system this week. Before I left, I signed up with Sponsored Reviews with that blog also, and I just heard back that I have been approved! I have heard really good things about that site from Amanda over on The Blog World. I have two other blogs I need to work a little harder on, in able to qualify them for one or both of those sites also. In the future, I would like to be able to spread out the sponsored posts on multiple blogs, instead of having one blog chock full of them. I don't like reading blogs that have a ton of them, so I'm sure most of my readers don't either.

I know everyone is antsy about the next Google Page Rank update, and most people seemed to think one would occur either late July or the first half of August. I sure hope so. I am very curious to see where the new blog will fall. This blog has a PR of 3, and I think the new blog has a few more links than this one, and a few more technorati favorites, but I don't know if it's enough to have it qualify for a PR4. I'd be thrilled if it matches this one with a PR of 3.