Bumps and Bruises

Ever since my family moved to AZ, from MN, in 1990, I have ached to go back. Something about ,AZ, just does not feel like home to me. I think it might be the lack of seasons where we live, everyday looking the same and the heat gets to me as well; as I am naturally warm all the time.  Unexpectedly, we got an amazing offer to go live in MN, last year, so we picked up our little family and moved there.

Even though we were elated to move, it was hard at first, for the kids and myself, actually to get settled there because we were dealing with our house in ,AZ ,on the market and meeting new friends and getting to know a somewhat unfamiliar town. Also, I found out that there is something very unsettling about leaving my adult friends and my somewhat successful business behind. You find yourself in the middle of somewhere that you thought would feel comfortable but then just feel empty. Definitely, a growing chance. A chance to rediscover yourself.

After, being in, MN, for  about 6 months, my husband was called back to work in , AZ, so here we are again, until the summer. ..

Our house was still on the market, so we removed it and are going to re-0vamp it so it feels new to us. Honestly, in the 8 years we lived here, I never really made it my own ( with paint and design) and am kind of excited at the chance.  Moving back in, I see all of the imperfections and damage my business and family have made to it, while we were busy living in it.

So, for the next few months I am busy with this new challenge and it’s kind of fun! So far , I have had the garage ceiling light fixture fall and hit my head to give me a concussion as well as the window blinds falling on my shoulder and giving me a never ending bruise.. It will heal and my home will have all its bumps and bruises fixed as well.

This should be interesting!

Project is on….

Nicole

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How To Be Interviewed On The Radio Or A Blog Well

Thank you so much to my friend Shara, owner of Mommy Perks, for having me as a guest today on her awesome radio blog , Small Business Matters. We chatted a bit about Strawberry Monday and partnerships and stuff.  It was a really good experience for me but, I was SO NERVOUS!

I don’t even remember half of what I said or if it made any sense as I feel like I have so much information in my head that it is jumbled unless I can write it down. Also, when I get nervous there is a little laughing issue of mine that appears… Jeez!

Anyway, I thought this would be a good time for me to study and share about how to be a good radio/blog/TV guest so that if I get another opportunity I will not be so nervous and be clear headed . Here is what I found :

1. http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/08/10/10-tips-on-how-to-be-interviewed/

2. http://thecorporateagent.com/blog/air-9-tips-interviewed-radio-show-podcast-audio-seminar

3. http://www.dpkpr.com/articles/top-10-tips-for-preparing-for-a-tv-interview/

Hopefully, this will help you if you need some pointers! In the meantime, be sure to listen in to , Small Business Matters, on Wednesdays and if you miss the shows you can find them here : http://www.mommyperks.com/articles/97-small-biz-matters. There is a TON of valuable small business information here from talented small business owners.

Nicole


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How To Cash In On Your Unwanted Clothing

Happy Fall!! It does not seem like fall in Arizona and I am so jealous of the cooling weather a lot of you are getting. Time to start switching wardrobes and getting rid of the things you don’t wear anymore. We no longer do trade ins but there are several outlets that you can utilize to try to recoup some of your costs.

1. Resale Shops : Make sure your items are neatly placed in a bag or bin and clean. It will save time and make you more cash. Also, PLEASE do not turn in items coated with animal hair. Most stores will not even look at the items because most stores do not clean their items–that is what the funky smell is. At Strawberry Monday, we wash everything before it hits the shelves or the mail.

2. Consignment Sales : These sales take some time on your part but can be really profitable. Make sure to mark your items to sell. If they are marked too high you will be bringing them home and will not be happy 😦 .

3. Yard Sale : You can have a sale but from my experience people do not want to pay more than $2 for a clothing item. If you have things that you need more from then do the Consignment sales. Make sure to hang your items nice or have them on tables. Many people can not get down on the ground to dig –myself included–and will not even stop at your sale. If you invest some time to make it look nice you will make much more money.

4. Sell Online : Ebay is a great outlet but is very time consuming–I know! Also, the more you list the more business you will have. If you sell Online, make sure your pictures are nice and abundant. Invest in a half torso mannequin if you can–they are about $20. Also, outside is the best place for true light and make yourself a scene. It looks more professional if items are not laid on a floor or bed.

Also, Craigslist.com is a good outlet but be safe about it. Don’t let people come to your home if you can help it. Generally, most people are honest and true but there are some that do not have good intentions. Just keep safe.

5. Switch With Your Pals :
Save your items and get together with your friends and switch. That can be really fun!

6. Donate : If you don’t have time for any of this just donate. Many people will benefit from your kindness.

When I go through my closets I have 3 bins :
Donate – Yard Sale – Resale.
I resale, then yard sale, then donate. It works for me.

Regarding Strawberry Monday, we are fully Online now. It takes a lot of time so please be patient. I am almost done listing children’s items and will be listing ladies’ soon and as well as . You will be able to purchase from our website, Ebay and Etsy stores. Or just call or email me directly.

Coupons and deals will be offered to our Facebook fans so please like us! 🙂

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What’s in the lunchbox?

I have been volunteering at my child’s school during the Kindergarten lunch period, and it is quite an entertaining and interesting time. 🙂 When I volunteer, I help the kiddos open their food items, such as milk, animal crackers, and jello and have seen some really funky things in their boxes…

One child asked me to open his thermos for water for his soup – that he was going to dip his cold pizza into…yuck! Another child had two Capri Suns with a big ol’ burrito packed in a gallon baggie (it would not have fit in a sandwich size). He said he was not going to eat the burrito–I would not have either. Then another little one pulled out a baggie of at least three cut-up, cold hot dogs…EW!!! One more child had a wooden kabob skewer he used to dangle a banana piece in front of another kid’s face. Okay…

Anyway, my point is that many of the kids’ lunches were kind of gross, and I felt bad for them. Maybe they like cold pizza and hot dogs but they can expire during the day, so it’s better to save them for home if possible.

I realize we can’t make super tasty and awesome lunches everyday, but try to keep in mind that if you won’t eat something, maybe your kids won’t either. Save the funky stuff for the hubby’s lunch–Ha Ha!! I am kind of kidding as my hubby will eat almost anything, within reason.

A lot of the little kiddos can’t open their items and not all schools have volunteer programs to help during lunch so maybe try to keep that in mind when packing the little lunches. You can even slightly open items or replace the packaging. This gives them more time to eat (not waiting for someone to open it) and maybe puts more in their tummies.

When I was little, I begged and begged my mom to let me take my lunch (cuz my friends did), but she had me eat school food everyday.

Aside from moldy stuff you forgot to clean out, what is the grossest item you have ever found in your lunch box?

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