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Ecards Galore

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Of course, if you suddenly remember, “Oh no, the birthday is today,” you can always send an e-card. Instant gratification is the byword these days… and it’s free! Usually.


These are a few of my favorites:

Jibjab.com Oh my goodness, these crack me up! Consider the receiver ’cause some are a little over the top. Here is a birthday example I just made in 10 minutes. The site talks you through cutting and pasting the faces into premade skits. If you type “free” into the search window, you will be sure not to be charged. A $12 per year membership via Paypal gives you access to all.

Hallmark.com I love their Hoops and Yoyo cards. This was the St. Patrick’s Day offering. Be sure you click on a clover or two. Again, search for “free” for your no-pay options.

DaySpring.com This is the site to send cards with a Christian message. This is a woman-to-woman card of encouragement.

JacquieLawson.com This gal is quite an artist and chooses the most serene music to listen to as you watch an animated drawing. Preview an Easter card. Children will be enthralled, and at the end of the animation can choose to work a puzzle of the picture. This site has a required membership of $12 per year or $18 for 2 years.

This could be addictive, you realize. Have fun with it!

Hidden Bed and Secret Doorways

Friday, October 12th, 2012

If I weren’t still a nomad, I would love to put one of these dual-use products in my home:

Hidden Bed - Desk that instantly converts to usable twin bed and back again. This is a wonderful way to maximize space in a child’s bedroom or office/guest room.

Secret Doorway - Turn the wasted wall space of a closet opening into a bookshelf.

Watch this video that explains these two products, now on display at the Organized Home Remodeling showroom, 885 W. 5th Ave, Columbus, OH.



Hidden Bed
Hidden Bed
Secret Doorway

Are You Pinning Yet?

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Recently, my Virtual Assistant, Trisha, brought to my attention Pinterest.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been “pinning” like crazy.(Connect with me here)  Because I’m still in the learning process, I’ve asked Trisha to take over my blog post and introduce us to Pinterest.



Faster than Google+! More powerful than LinkedIn! Able to bypass YouTube in a single bound! Out in cyberspace, look! It’s Boards! It’s Pins ! It’s Pinterest!




If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, it’s the hottest addition to social media! Even though it’s still in the beta stage and the only way to use it is to be invited, it is hot, Hot, HOT!

If the statistics below don’t make you get off here and sign up then we need to have a serious talk.

Who’s on Pinterest?

Here are some of the recent stats on Pinterest:

  • The fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark
  • Average user time is 83 minutes!
  • 11.9 million unique visitors
  • 80% women
  • Household income of 25k-75k

If this describes your target market, don’t finish reading this article until you have sent me an email ([email protected]) titled “Please Invite Me to Pinterest”. Once you have done that, come back and let me share more.

Pinterest’s mission:
“connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is an online pinboard that allows users the ability to create boards and pin images to each board.  The amazing part is that everything you pin can be linked back to a website. So, whether you are pinning a recipe to your “Yummy Desserts” board or a book to your “Books Worth Reading” board it is probably linked to a website where you can read the whole recipe or purchase the book.


Can You Use it for Business?

This creates so much opportunity for businesses.  Are you brainstorming yet?  Get a notebook and pen and put it on your nightstand because if you are like me, I brainstorm in my dreams!

You can absolutely advertise your business on Pinterest. Make sure you remember it is your responsibility to link the product you pinned back to your website.  I’ve seen several images that I’ve clicked and it linked to nothing and they missed out on a sale because I don’t have time to dig around and find where I can buy it.  Don’t miss out on a sale, link your pins!


Is it Like Facebook and Twitter?

As far as similarities and differences with Facebook and Twitter, I don’t see a lot.

Yes, you “follow” people like you do in Twitter and you have a lot of connection with Facebook friends and can post your pins on your Facebook page, but I really don’t see a huge similiarty with either of these social media channels.

Pinterest is different and once you start digging around and having fun with it you will understand.

My only concern is that people are going to become bored with it because there is not that relationship building like Facebook offers. But, for now it is the hottest social media channel and you need to tap into it for your business.


How Can I Get Started?

To get started you must setup your account through an invitation as described above. It is simple but, if you need help, email me and I’ll send you a video tutorial that I’ve sent my clients.

Once setup is complete, I recommend looking around at some of your friends’ boards and pins to start.

Keep in mind you can always change the names of your boards so, don’t get overwhelmed that you have to get it perfect the first time.


How Does “Pinning” Work?

If you see a pin that you like, you can “Repin”, “Like”, or “Comment.”

Repinning will allow you to pin the image to one of your boards.  Still don’t be alarmed if you don’t have your boards setup, Pinterest allows you to create a new board anytime during a repin.

“Liking” a pin will add it to your likes, but will not pin to a board.

When you “comment” it allows you to link to Facebook friends by using the “@” symbol just like you do in Facebook.


What Are Your Favorite Boards?

A few of my more popular boards are “Encouragement for WAHM” and “Social Media Tips & Training”.  My new favorite board is my “Dream Farmhouse”.


What Else Do We Need to Know?

Have fun with it at first and then start brainstorming for your business.


Where Can We Learn More?

I’ve been studying Pinterest for a few months and have so much more information to share about promoting your business. This month I’ve been private coaching clients on how to promote their business using Pinterest.  Out of this private coaching I’ve created a Home Course.  If you like learning at your own pace, check my Home Study Course here.


Happy Pinning!



Trisha is a successful work at home mom that has a passion for helping women in business succeed!  With three young daughters at home, she has learned how to balance work and family time although it is a weekly challenge. 

You’ll want to check out her newest blog “Devotions for WAHM” where she offers daily encouragement. To find out more about her business and read her blog you can visit www.TrishaPhilbrook.com.

Product Review: Urban Eco Trash Can

Friday, January 13th, 2012

I do not have a good poker face.

So, when I opened my Christmas present from my oldest daughter, I know my face showed exactly what I was thinking. “You’ve got to be kidding! My daughter just gave me a trash can for a present!”

Sarah was quick to say, “I know it’s a trash can, Mom, but I know you of all people will appreciate how it works.”

Once I saw how the molded plastic arms easily store and use plastic grocery bags for quick disposal, I was thrilled and want to share the website where you can get one (or more) for yourself.

This Urban Eco Trash Can comes in either black or lime green.

To store the bags, place handles over the side arms. Then pull up and hook the handles over the inner tab to form a new liner. I love both ease of use and the excellent way to reuse those grocery bags.

Sad to be excited about a trash can, isn’t it? I do love my present, Sarah!

Hope you had a joyous holiday!

Jerry Seinfeld Had a System

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

In the organizing profession, we are always talking about systems for managing paper, reducing clutter, and making use of time efficiently.  In following up, an organizer will make sure the systems put in place are compementing the client’s personality and lifestyle.

What exactly do we mean by a system? One dictionary definition for system is “orderliness, the use or result of careful planning and organization.” Orderliness is definitely a desired result, but a better description of the system an organizer means is “a way of proceeding, a method or set of procedures for achieving something.”

Jerry Seinfeld had a system. His neighbor, Kramer, found he was spending too much time in the shower and asked for Jerry’s advice.  Jerry said he could take a shower in 10 minutes flat. He had found a procedure that worked for him.

Think about it for a minute… do you reinvent the order that you wash body parts each time you shower, or do you proceed on autopilot?Are you pretty sure that when you are done, you have achieved the desired result? Is dirt and bad smell gone? CHECK! Is skin clean and good smell back? CHECK!

You just followed a system, a certain way of proceeding to get the job done.

The beauty of a workable system is:

1. The system can be documented and repeated.

2. One planning session yields desired results over and over, saving time over all.

3. A  system followed consistently becomes easier as skill increases and habit kicks in.

Kramer did not have a system that was working for him, he questioned the amount of time he was taking and could have used the advice of a professional (Jerry) to become more efficient. If you saw the episode, you know that didn’t happen.  I think Kramer could have used a professional organizer.

3 Ways to Give Homage to Your LP Oldies

Monday, January 25th, 2010

You know the words to most of the songs on the oldies channel and can sing along when you are driving. Of course, that is only because your dad made you listen to that stuff when you were little. Right?

If you were a teenager before the 90′s, you are sure to have a collection of long playing record discs or  LP’s. They represent memories – some good, some not so good. You may even have a record player still hooked up your stereo system. If not, rather than simply consign your golden memories to a cupboard or a box in the attic, you may want to consider these options that let you enjoy the memories on a year round basis.

Acrylic record frame

1. Display your best loved albums on your wall as framed art.

Bags Unlimited has a selection of archival quality frames in either aluminum or wood, with 24 mat colors. You can choose to frame the album cover, a picture disc itself, or gatefold art (interior rectangular photos twice the album width.) These are priced from $32 – $57.

Bed, Bath and Beyond has a more modern take with an acrylic cover that is bolted over the jacket on a black background that frames the piece. This single option is also priced at $30.

2. Convert your LP sound tracks to CD or MP3 format.

If you feel lucky and are a techie, you can try to do this yourself.  DAK Industries offers an e-book tutorial for $10.

Otherwise, there are many of companies offering their services to you, for a price. LPtoCD.com will convert your first 10 LP’s to CD for $25 each. Reclaim Media advertises as  “the best, fastest and most affordable audio digitization service in the industry” and is less pricey – $12 per LP. Reclaim Media gives you the choice to convert to CD or MP3 format on a DVD.

LP Record Bowl

3. Turn your sturdy vinyl discs into home decor. This suggestion is only for those records you don’t care to listen to again.

Use the step-by-step instructions at this craft site to make odd-shaped bowls or wall art. Not sure if I would put food items in these without a liner.

Of course if you are ready to let go of your LP collection, you can sell on eBay or to a resale shop.  A good site to discover the value of your oldies for resale is Music Price Guide.

Box any remaining records vertically and store in a climate-controlled location. One day they may truly be antiques! Your great-grandchildren will bless you (if your children don’t throw them away first.)

“Organization Can be Messy”, Charlotte Adams Mysteries

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

These books just went on my “to read” list. How fun to see how an uptight, driven organizer solve mysteries! Each book includes organizing tips and tricks.

Organize Your Corpses, reprinted May 2007

August 22, 2009 review by bookeeBD

Maffini entertains with a delightful mystery that involves cleaning up a cluttered, aging mansion. When Charlotte is commissioned by Helen Henley to clean out a mansion she has just inherited, Charlotte gets more than she bargained for and ends up being the number one suspect when Helen is found dead at the mansion and Charlotte’s favorite pen is found at the scene.

The Cluttered Corpse, released April 2008


Organization can be messy. When Charlotte Adams agrees to help Emmy Lou Rheinbeck organize her stuffed animal collection, she never imagines she’ll find herself fending off pranksters whose shenanigans lead to murder.

Death Loves a Messy Desk, released May 2009

April 24, 2009 review by BikerLibrarian13:

Charlotte Adams is a control freak, a busybody, and a compulsive organizer who likes to neaten up everything she can get her hands on. While these qualities may make her somewhat irritating to her friends, they also make her a stellar professional organizer and de-clutterer. They also get her in over her head when she is hired by the office manager of Quovadicon to clean up the desk of an employee whose messiness is leading the rest of the office into chaos.

Mary Jane Maffini continues to entertain readers in her third mystery featuring Charlotte Adams. This is a mystery full of quirky, humorous, and engaging characters, many of whom are as frustrated with Charlotte’s investigative compulsion as she is with it herself.

I will get started reading these three so I am ready for the next book in the series. If Ms. Maffini remains true to form, we will have the continuation this summer.