Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Matter Of Pride

She's in the mirror again
using those words
familiar
as the spark blows
across your mind
igniting the fire
that began
it all

She's your reflection again
using all of the bits
you buried
or pretended you did
under layers of dullness
years of the nothing void you hid in
that accumulated into 
reruns of your mind that
the picture sitting 
on your mantle of pride 
now holds

the ghost
of fascination
constructed from the mold of you
that now suffers
because 
in the mirror 
all she sees is
you
running
away.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Are You Ready For Black Friday?

I am so ready!



My favorite place to go for Black Friday deals is Best Buy. I have found the best deals I've ever gotten on electronics at Best Buy on a regular day, but on Black Friday I definitely found the best! I bought my first blender, television, computer, laptop, and our favorite games all on Black Friday! I tried Black Friday at a few other stores but the deals on electronics were much better at Best Buy. Even as our ecommerce shopping evolved into now having Cyber Monday as well, Best Buy still reigns supreme.

We're all winners on Black Friday.

Many years ago when my kids were still little and ecommerce hadn't evolved to where it is now, we decided to try the doorbuster deals at Best Buy. We really wanted to get a computer for the family room (so the kids would stay off of mine!) that the kids could play their games on or do homework. We all got up at 4 in the morning and drove out to Best Buy. The doors opened at 6 AM and we went in. It wasn't that crazy but it was definitely crowded. We ended up getting an amazing deal on our computer AND a brand new flat screen television! The next year, my husband and son went back to Best Buy on Black Friday and got great deals on laptops for all of us. I was forever sold on Black Friday at Best Buy at that moment!



Best Buy has announced their Black Friday deals, and I am so excited about the Chromecast Streaming Media Player! Now that a lot of commerce takes place online these days, you can order online as early as midnight on Thanksgiving day. Cyber Monday is my favorite for shopping as well. I love grabbing the deals online, it's like a sport almost at this point.  I definitely choose online Black Friday over sitting out in the cold, waiting for the doors to open Black Friday! I absolutely love that it's easier than ever to get all of the deals thanks to ecommerce.

I have my eye on a few other store's Black Friday sales announcements as well. I am definitely looking to splurge on my granddaughter. I have been learning about all of the new fun stuff there is for babies(which is crazy)! For electronics though, Best Buy is always my go to! What's yours?

Do you have a Black Friday story? Tell me in the comments below! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

3 Things To Splurge On For Your Bathroom

While everyone loves a good kitchen, bathrooms can also be beautiful. We tend to spend a lot more time than we think in them. It’s the room where you give your children baths, relax after a long day, or an escape when you just need time to be alone (am I right, moms?!). Remember, you want to love every room of your home  even if the bathroom may seem less glamorous to some.


Since renovating bathrooms can be extremely expensive there are three things that are needed to splurge on. What are these 3 important things? I’ll share below!

Tubs and Showers

While you are building your home or removing what may already be there, you must first think about fitting a tub or shower in the space you are remodeling. Adding some of these items can be difficult because of all the additional plumbing lines you’ll have to put in. Usually by adding this, it means more money for you. However, if it’s what you really want, you can add that modern steam shower or gorgeous claw foot tub if you know it’s going to get the most use in this room. Try to build your design and ideas around an already existing plumbing line. If you do need to remove it, be sure that you to get what you want now to avoid additional remodeling expenses in the future. To help save money on your tub or shower, look for items that might be on sale at your local furniture stores.


Countertops

The countertops in your bathroom don’t face the same amount of abuse as the ones you install in your kitchen such as hot pans, oven trays, or knives. So, picking the perfect bathroom countertop typically is based on budget, style, material, and the ease of maintenance. Of course, there will be spills from makeup and abuse from water so you’ll want to pick one that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. It’s really the number one factor that will contribute to the overall feel and look of your bathroom. One thing to consider is who will be using the bathrooms, how many people, and the amount of time you’ll be spending in the bathroom. One way to help you determine that are the friendly staff at Premier Surfaces. They have over 10 showrooms across the United States so you’ll be sure to find one close by for any questions or concerns you have. Some of the countertops that I found were the Calacatta Kitchen Countertops, which can also can be used for your bathroom. Calacatta is a rare marble and more luxurious (read = expensive) due to it’s pure white background. However, many do consider it to be a great compromise and more on budget because it adds so much to your room. 


Details

This can be anything from the prints that you hang in your bathroom, to the faucet or lamp fixtures you decide to add. You can make statement pieces with accents, over the top lights on either side of the mirror, or you can find vintage knobs for your vanity and/or drawers. You can even add some bold wallpaper to add some movement. Maybe bold roses, an accent wall, or a pattern texture. Your details can also be simple with framing fun sayings, a nice shelf to hold extra towels and necessities, or cute accent pieces. Whatever you choose, you will have a great time showing off you and your family's personality.


There are many other items you could splurge on for your bathroom depending on how large or small the room is and how much it is used. These three things in particular will work wonderfully in your guest bathroom, master bathroom, or your main floor bathroom. The staff at Premier Surfaces are there to assist, encourage, and help you with any issues that may arise, as well as the installation of your products in your home.

Are there any things you and your family have done to spruce and splurge on your bathroom in your home? I’d love to hear some examples in the comments below!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Why I Love Being An Indie Author

Since the first time I wrote a story and let someone read it, I have wanted to be an author.

My father loved my story so much that it was published in the Virginian Pilot - Ledger Star newspaper in my hometown (where he just so happened to be an editor of said paper) when I was seven years old. 

All through my school career, my English teachers loved me, I was in the newspaper club, the yearbook staff, and I focused on writing in any way that I could. I never thought I could make a career at it.

Then, I got swept up into life and got married, had two children, and wrote when and where I could. As I learned and practiced more, I started to enter my stories into competitions on the internet. I won and was paid for writing my story for The Legendary

After that, I began to consider writing and being published. I wrote and saved over the days as I took care of my family and researched at night while they slept.



I wrote about Drive In Movie Theaters for FilmSnobbery for about a year and enjoyed every minute of it. Drive In Movie Theaters are the best way to experience all movies, by the way.



I kept writing on Tumblr, and Facebook, and Twitter, and all of those other places you find yourself immersed in online and stumbled across CreateSpace. That was it. CreateSpace helps you format and edit not only your words but your book cover! It gave me total creative control over my book and I excitedly started putting my first book together. 


It was done! I had done it! And people were buying it! It was almost a surreal experience.


My second book followed shortly after and I was so excited for the whole process again. I put it together using my own creative control, published, and it was well received as well!


 Now, there are some pros and cons I've found being a self-published author and I'm going to share them with you.

PROS
  • You have 100% creative control. You decide what goes in and what stays out. You have all of the creative freedom in the world.
  • It's an excellent way to learn the process of your craft, all the way down to how books are bound.
  • You get as many copies as you need for promotions, giveaways, and signings for free. 
  • YOU DID IT. Yeah, just that feeling. That feeling of accomplishing a lifetime goal is the biggest pro of being a self published indie author.

CONS

  • MARKETING. Get ready to HAVE to learn everything you never cared about! You should be able to get a marketing degree from Google for all of the tips, tricks, stats, graphs, blahhblahblah you have to research to get even an inkling of a tip or trick to get your book out there. You are definitely going to have to eat it on marketing and just pay someone to do it if you can swing it. I've tried myself and I've paid others to do it and when I've paid others to do it, it always turns out much, MUCH better.
  • You are now grouped in with "What's Up With Needles?!" by Anti-vax Mom and "Hey, Aliens Are Real, Join My Cult!" By Crazy O'Ridiculous or the zillion "Marketing Master Entrepreneur Real Pro Tips" By Basic Business Guy/Gal In A Business Suit on the cover as the type of authors people associate self published authors with. 
  • You are going to learn a lot about royalties. You'll have to learn to negotiate and fight for your work to get the money you deserve. Although, once you can negotiate the right terms, you'll be so happy, especially when you get your first check!
  • It's A LOT of work. Expect to put a lot of work into it. It's more than just writing once you are publishing.




But, it's so worth it. I love being an indie author! I love having complete control over my words and how I present them to the world. But most of all, I proved to that little seven year old girl that yes. Yes, you can write a book. And you will.

And, you did.

I'm working on my third book at the moment which will be another collection of poems. I hope to have it out by next autumn but maybe I will get it out sooner. Either way, I'm excited to be closer to my next publication! 

What do you love about being an Indie Author?


Monday, September 23, 2019

Is It Too Early To Talk About The Holidays?

Because I feel like it's never too early to talk about the holidays.



I know a lot of you parents out there are still dealing with going back to school and it's rough. I've been there and done it.

The payoff, though, is when the holidays come around! The very super best holiday is coming first and I am SO ready for it!


Kids in halloween costumers are hysterical! I used to love bringing my kids trick or treating or to fall festivals and see all of the great costumes. Fun Fact: My husband and I almost got married on Halloween because it's our favorite holiday, heh.

Actual footage of the first time I saw my husband.

Thanksgiving is a special holiday in our immediate family. Since my husband was in the Navy, we moved around a lot far away from everyone so on Thanksgiving, or Stuff Your Face Day as we called it, it was just my husband, myself, and my two kids. We'd feast out and just spend time together. We would try to outdo each other searching out Black Friday Deals! We found some crazy deals over the years and even camped out one night for Black Friday. Only once, though. It's still memories that are wonderful to hold.


At the end of the year, we have a huge celebration on the beach in The Outer Banks. My husband has a huge family and it's so nice to be able to spend the winter holidays all together. The view isn't half bad, either.

Are you ready for the holidays? What Black Friday deals would make you the most excited this year? What's your favorite holiday? 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Deepest Dark

In my deepest
dark
You can't see me

look away

This is where I 
hide
just me
and my dreams

toss and turn
through 
the replay

down here
I'm not okay
I promise

In my deepest
dark

You can't hear me
silence
embracing me like an old
friend

grasping at anything to climb out

eventually

As for now,
I'm down in my deepest
dark
hiding
just me and my dreams.




Monday, August 19, 2019

Debt Consolidation With Keel Associates Can Reduce Debt And Raise Your Credit Score

Debt is a part of pretty much everyone's life. Whether it be a financed car, home, boat, credit cards, or all of the above, we all have some debt. It's easy to get over your head with debt but luckily, there are solutions!



While many folks turn to bankruptcy, that's not always the best option as it stays on your credit file for seven years. If you have already found yourself in a hole that seems irreversible, bankruptcy is not your best option. As TheLendersNetwork.com succinctly states:

Filing for Bankruptcy Doesn’t Help Your Credit at All 

"When you file for bankruptcy you’re giving your credit the death penalty. The bankruptcy and all of the accounts included in the bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for the next 7 years. Even a few years down the road creditors will see you as high risk. You’ll have a hard time getting new lines of credit, or loans for many years. Most people understand this, however they’re told they have no other options and that they have to file bankruptcy if they can’t pay their debts. False! 

Your credit will recover faster if you don’t file bankruptcy

 If you do not file for bankruptcy and just ignore the collection agencies, the credit damage you suffer will actually be less than filing for bankruptcy. Unpaid delinquent accounts are just as bad for your score as delinquent accounts that are included in a bankruptcy are. In fact, accounts included in bankruptcy are far worse than a regular unpaid collection. You may think that $50,000 worth of collection debt is what is hurting your score and by filing bankruptcy that unpaid debt will go from $50,000 to 0. It’s true the balances will show a zero balance, however unpaid collection debt is not included in the credit scoring algorithm. It’s the 15 collection accounts that are hurting your score, the number of collection accounts is what impacts your score, not the balances. This is why paying collections does NOT improve your credit score." 

 How Can Keel Associates Help Me?

Keel Associates provides low interest rate debt consolidation loans. They break down all of your debt and work closely with you to help find solutions and the best rate to accomplish your goal of lowering your debt thereby raising your credit score. They combine all of your debts so you can make one monthly payment to pay off all debt, sometimes lower than all of the payments you are making individually. They are committed to providing their best services and encourage you to meet your goals. It truly is the better option in paying off your debt and the extra help you receive from Keel Associates will get you right back on track! It's so simple and affordable, it's almost impossible not to try!

Have you ever tried debt consolidation? What was your result? I'd love to hear your story in the comments below!



Friday, August 16, 2019

A Portable Juicer Blender Perfect For Wellness

I have been on a health and wellness mission for almost three years now. I have lost over 60 pounds on my journey and while I have hit my plateau, I also haven't gained any weight back!



I've been trying lots of new things and finding that they aren't even as close to being awful than I thought. I had heard from many folks that a good juicer or blender would help in my weight loss and so I started looking all around for the perfect one.

Luckily, I found it!


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RV331YL

This blender is so easy to use! It charges with a usb cord and once charged you can use it anywhere! I decided to test it out with the fruits and yogurt you see above. I added the ingredients and got to blending:

YUM


As you can see, it blended quite nicely and I could not wait to give it a try. Luckily, it comes with a cup attached to the top that fit the entire contents! There is also a top you can use should you not finish the entire thing.

As you can see, I finished all of the deliciousness

So, if you are looking for a whisper quiet portable blender you can use at your desk or anywhere, this is definitely the one! If you click the image below, you can own one, too!


Do you use a juicer to meet your fitness goals?

Friday, August 9, 2019

How Knowing Your Net Promoter Score Benefits Your Business

The most important thing for business is being able to track your return on investment (ROI). There are many tools that companies use today that can estimate customer satisfaction. Today I'm going to talk about one of the easiest Net Promoter Score tools to use. 

What is a net promoter score? According to Wikipedia, it is defined as such:

                     "...a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and is claimed to be correlated with revenue growth. The tool aims to measure the loyalty that exists between a provider and a consumer."




A Net Promoter Score, or NPS, basically tells the company how loyal customers are to the brand, what they like and don't like, and how the business can improve. NPS measures from -100 to 100. The negative numbers indicate a need for improvement while a positive score means you have happy customers! Once you have the data from your customer satisfaction surveys, you can calculate where your Net Promoter Score lands. 





 The NPS Calculation

Calculate your NPS using the answer to a key question, using a 0-10 scale: How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?

Respondents are grouped as follows: 
  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every customer is a Promoter)."




Commerce is always moving and business is always open now in our new market, thanks to the advent of the internet. Your product is available for purchase twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. When you start to see fluctuations in growth, you might want to start sending your customers a customer satisfaction survey to fill out. Encourage comments and communication. The most important thing you will want to accomplish once you have calculated your NPS is turning those passive customers into promoter customers! Once you can see the numbers, you will know your next step.



As you can see, knowing your Net Promoter Score benefits your business by letting you know where your company is strong and where it could use work. You are hearing directly from your customers what they like about your product, while also learning what they don't like. Once you calculate your NPS, you can open your business to expansion and growth! There are many different software tools available online, I prefer the Net Promoter Score tool found here, if you would like to get started. 

Do you know your net promoter score?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Current mood:

Cannibal - Silversun Pickups


When the king comes down to speak
With animals
Animals...
With his claws out for a feast
A cannibal
Cannibal...
When we crawl out to the brink
To meet and greet
With a wink...
Pull the rug out from underneath
This cannibal
Cannibal...
Who is gonna break the ice
No room for shallow alibis
Who will be the first to bite
Or do we keep on playing nice
Until the next time...
Hey
It's too late
I've been here before the change
This latest phase...
If the king bows to our feet
A cannibal
A cannibal...
Who is gonna break the ice
No room for shallow alibis
Who will be the first to bite
Or do we keep on playing nice
Until the next time...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Is A Career In Musical Theater For You?

The world of musical theater seems to be growing in popularity by the day. This is a form of entertainment that has long been enjoyed. However, to say it has come back into fashion would be a mere understatement. Nonetheless, this post does not deal with watching productions, it is for those who wish to be involved in them. Have you got dreams of being on the stage? Or, perhaps this is something you are merely considering? Either way, read on to discover all of the benefits associated with taking one of the musical theater courses. 


One of the best things about getting involved in musical theater and taking a relevant course, is the fact that you will be increasing your skills in a multi-talented subject field. After all, there is no one solo ingredient that makes a good performer. You will work on everything from acting, to singing, to dancing. If that wasn’t enough, a lot of courses provide aid on everything from costuming and music production, to box office and direction, to stage management and lighting. There are so many components that come together to create the ideal performance. By enhancing your knowledge in all areas at a music school, you are going to put yourself in a fantastic position once the course has finished. Moreover, if you don’t bag your dream musical theater job, you will have plenty of qualities and skills that appeal to other roles. 

In addition to this, musical theater is beneficial because it develops you as a person. This is something very few people consider. However, after several years in the industry or several years in training, you will definitely start to notice a difference. Your self-esteem and confidence will have rocketed. In addition to this, you will have increased your level of self-discipline and you will find prioritising and organising a lot easier. If that wasn’t enough, your poise will also improve. Don’t take for granted just how beneficial all of this is. All of these excellent qualities come together to build your character and make you a better person. They are attributes that will serve you will in other parts of your life. After all, being more confident will lead to increased happiness, whilst being more organised will certainly help in a lot of areas.


Aside from the points that have already been mentioned, the last factor worth considering is the job opportunities you will have at your disposal once you complete your musical theater course. A lot of people tend to think that this is a limited industry because they only consider the main theaters and the award-winning productions. However, if you think about how many theaters there are all over the country, you see that there are a lot of productions to get involved in. Unless you are lucky and get a big break, this is definitely a career whereby you have to work your way up. Nevertheless, this can certainly be fulfilling and is a quality many people enjoy. Moreover, this is not your average job. No two working days are ever the same and this is something that appeals to a lot of people. When you take all of the points mentioned into account, it is not difficult to see why musical theater courses are becoming so popular.

Have you considered a career in musical theater? I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Heavy

Heavy
This feeling that is
weighing over me

I look over my shoulders
to see if it's the world rotating upon them

but all I see 
is that monkey

Glaring with his 
red eyes
snarling
gnashing nightmare teeth

that
will
chew
right
in

Heavy
this burden

This burden 
I am...




Treat Yourself Tuesday: Little Lovelies From Sureway Digital Mall

I always look forward to Tuesdays. It's those one days that I can count on to give me a much needed break. Working from home, it's easy to fall into the work, work, work all of the time hole and not be able to climb out. I used to give myself a break on the weekends, but found myself checking this one little thing and oh while I check that I might as well check this and so on and so on...

I picked Tuesday because I've just gotten over the crazy Monday and could use a little goal and oomph to get motivated and ready to tackle the rest of the week. Hence, Treat YoSelf Tuesday.



via GIPHY

I was browsing around and came across Sureway Digital Mall and found some pretty little lovelies, plus many more if I would've let myself keep shopping, heh.


I got myself a gorgeous Kate Middleton Silver Cocktail Ring Replica and this adorable gold cat pendant. There was much more gorgeous jewelry and unique gifts that I might just be checking out for my next treat!

You can visit Sureway Digital Mall on their website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

Now, go for it. Treat Yo'Self! 💋

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Most Common Cases Of Medical Malpractice

Once you find out that you must go into surgery, it can be frightening news. One of the least worrisome things that you could possible imagine is mistakes by your doctor. It's a little more common that you think so here's a list of the most common causes of Medical Malpractice:



Image Credit:  Pexels

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital or healthcare professional causes injury to a patient, whether it be through negligence or omission.  While fairly common, medical malpractice can have a devastating impact on not only the patient, but their loved ones as well. Medical malpractice can sometimes even lead to permanent injury or death, which is why it is so important to be able to recognize what medical malpractice is and know what to do if you suspect it has occurred.  Here are some of the most common cases of medical malpractice and next steps you should take if you or a loved one has fallen victim to it.

Birth Injuries

Some of the most common cases of medical malpractice involve birth injuries.  Birth injuries occur when damage is inflicted on an infant during the birthing process, and of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, 6-8 of them will be affected by a birth injury.  There are several different types of birth injuries that fall under this umbrella, with some of the most common being:


  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Hypoxic Brain Damage
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Placental Abruption

Birth injuries are often some of the most devastating kinds of cases of medical malpractice, and in worst-case scenarios, can even result in death of the infant.  Many birth injuries can also result in the need for lifelong medical care, making these cases of medical malpractice all the more devastating.

Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose

A misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition can be extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening, making it one of the most serious cases of medical malpractice.  As a healthcare professional, it is imperative to listen to a patient’s concerns and run the proper tests to make an accurate diagnosis. Cancer misdiagnoses are some of the most common and also most dangerous, as devastating consequences can occur if left untreated.  What makes a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose so dangerous is that patients typically put a lot of trust into healthcare professionals expecting them to take the necessary steps in detecting a condition, so when a doctor fails to do that, the patient’s health is put in danger.  With something as serious as cancer, for example, failing to properly treat and diagnose symptoms can often result in death.

Surgical Errors

Going in for surgery can be an incredibly scary and nerve-wracking experience, and one that requires the patient to fully trust their surgeon.  However, this trust can be broken if a surgical error occurs during the procedure.  Some of the most common surgical errors include:

  • Performing unnecessary surgery
  • Too much or too little anesthesia
  • Performing the incorrect procedure
  • Using non-sterile equipment
  • Leaving medial equipement inside of the patient
Errors during surgery can be extremely dangerous and can often result in life-threatening injuries or even death in some cases.

If you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, it is important that you know what to do.  Hiring one of the top medical malpractice lawyers can help you get the justice you deserve.  An experienced medical malpractice attorney will go over the details with you and help you build a case based on your experience.  Falling victim to medical malpractice can be traumatic, but with the right team on your side, you can rest assured that you will see justice.



Do you have a medical malpractice story to share? Leave your story in the comments below!