Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Are you a business? Really?!?

So - I don't know who knows this about me so I will bring everyone up to speed. My husband and I do several things to make money. But first and foremost we rely on God to supply all of our needs. Take a look at my other blog for more on this. We own a web based distribution company, we are creative gift consultants, we open distribution franchises, we mentor and coach other franchise owners, I do custom scrapbooks, I babysit (well that is more a bardiring system), I also work with an agency that does MR/DD stuff.

Currently Keith and I are calling small companies about creative gift options for the holiday season. When I say small I mean small under 25 employees. We both work out of the spare bedroom in our apartment. At times we talk over each other, but the we just kindly remind the other that we need to talk too. We are a small business backed by a VERY large compay.


We have been calling small companies for several weeks. Here are some of the things that I have made me say -- Are you a business? Really?!?

  • Hello?
  • This leads me to ask you is this XYZ company? If you are a business and work it out of your home answer your phone like you are a business!

  • Me: Are you currently keeping your options open for gifts or rewards for your employees or clients/customers?
  • Them: We are so small, we just don't do that.
  • This leads me to wonder, just because you are a small company does that mean your employees don't need recognition?

Then there is of course the "Did they really just say that?"

  • Them: XYZ Comany, this is Linda may I help you?
  • Me: May I speak to the person who would be responsible for purchasing employee gifts and rewards?
  • Them: That's me.
  • Me: Great, Did you say your name was Linda [obviously not speaking clearly]?
  • Her: Yes, what is your name?
  • Me: Sara. I am [cut off]
  • Her: It is nice to know who I am talking to, I am not going to buy anything from you. [click]

  • Them: I can help you. We don't do that here.
  • Then what are you going to help me with???

  • Them: We are not entertaining new vendors at this time.
  • We weren't asking to be entertained.

Then there are the things that make you go hmmmm...

  • Message: You have reached extenstion 13, please leave your message.
  • Call one time, you need Ed. Call a second time, you need Tom. - Really can I just get to the right person?

Here is what is great about all of this...

Can you really blog and make calls if you were working for someone else?
Do you have someone to share your stories with as it happens at your job?
Can you take a break when you need to pee without asking?

Just a few points to ponder.

Stay tuned to!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Old People + Parking Lot Rage = Stupidity

I never thought that grocery shopping would be so eventful!

After doing some blogging this morning (check out my profile for other blogs) I made a grocery list, asked Keith if there was anything he needed, double checked the necessities, and went to the store. Now like most people we are trying to make $1 go where $5 should. -- That is why when I am reading other people's blogs and I see adsense I make sure to click at least one -- Any hoo !! I digress. By stretching the dollar that means I go to 3 stores. Yes it kind of sucks, but I got a whole week plus for right around $60.00.

I start at Aldi's get the off brand stuff that it's not a big deal what brand we get. No big issues, except I don't shop there much so I don't know where anything is and I have to go up and down all the aisles. Now here is what is so fun about Aldi's. If you don't bring your own bag you have to buy them. I used to shop here for my clients so I knew that part. I go shopping with a large tote and cooler in tow. I am going to 3 places remember. So I get everything in the car and head back towards home. Next stop is along the way. The Super Wal-Mart.

I go in get what I need. They did not double bag everything like last time. Good for them. So here is where the excitement begins.

I load up the car. I return the cart. A lost art at Wal-Mart, but anyway, again I digress. I get in the car and heading in the correct direction down my aisle of the parking lot. All of a sudden there is a large white conversion van cutting across all the parking spots and pulling out in front of me. I then do something not so characteristic of me, but they were less than 5 feet in front of my car. I laid on my horn. (My usual reaction to stupidity is to shake my head and let the Moe Ron move along)

The driver of this van continues to be an idiot. They zip around to cut back across the lanes, turn down an aisle 2 in front of me, pull into the driving lane and stop. Just stop. They just sit there. I get a look at who is driving this van. AN OLD MAN. This GRAMPS is going to cause a major accident. In the passenger seat is his GRANNY of a wife. In the backseat is their patriotic daughter. (Red Neck, White Trash, Blue Collar) She is on her cell phone looks at me and waves as they are sitting there blocking traffic.

I think, well I will back up and go the other way - knowing they were going to do something stupid again. Then comes the SUV that gets involved. He keeps inching forward next to the driver side of my car (in the lane for oncoming traffic). The van backs up for him to get past. He motions for me to go ahead. When I start to move, the van bolts ahead again. The guy in the SUV motions for me to roll my window down he said I will watch them for you, I saw what they did to you back there. I thank him and he starts to move ahead again they completely get out of his way, but he stays in the wrong lane and I drive with him in the proper lane. When we got past them he had me go ahead of him and he got behind me until we were on the main street.

That was only my 2nd stop! Thank God there were no other issues.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Inspiration at the Pool from a 5 year old.

I have been inspired today. During the time with my newphew (away from other family members) I have been taking pictures, at the park, at his house, at Chic-a-filet, and now at the pool.

While taking pictures today he said, "Are you taking pictures for Daddy's book?" I told him, "Daddy's book was just pictures of you and Daddy together." Then he asked, "Are they for Mommy's birthday?" There is where the inspiration hit. My sister-in-law, his mom, loves scrapbooks. She usually asks for them. In fact I am creating a scrapbook for Christmas of their cruise from last year. However, it would be nice to have one for her that she has not asked for.

I also thought about doing a picture collage, but they don't really have much room for more things on the wall.

Plus the pictures turned out great!

Happy Scrapping ~

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Are you up to the challenge?

I was listening to a CD over the last few days titled "Princess Power"and it got me thinking. So what does any computer savvy person do in this day and age, Google it. Really, I remember hearing people call little girls their princess. But when did it stop being okay to not want to be a princess? When did it stop being okay to want exquisite things, sparkling tiaras, gorgeous gowns and grand balls? And when did we stop wanting our handsome prince?

Think about this, don't men really deep down just want something to fight for?

So, what does it mean to be a princess? How does a princess act? What are the characteristics of a princess? So I did some research --- I wanted to really know, so I am sharing with you.

A princess is noble: She carries herself with poise and dignity. She listens attentively and chooses her words carefully. A princess always controls her emotions and makes choices based on what is right. Her choices revel her character. She has a strong sense of duty, she knows she is a princess.

A princess is selfless: She does what is best for the people of her kingdom. She is a server, she chooses to focus on others. A princess is humble: She does not demand special treatment because she is a princess. She refrains from bragging or boasting. A princess will seek and accept advise.

A princess is kind: She is gentle, compassionate, patient and forgiving.

A princess is trusting and faithful: She is easy to trust and shows her faithfulness in her actions.

A princess is respectable and admirable: A princess does not just complete her prince, she builds him up. She respects him and compels him to greatness. He is a hero in her eyes.

These qualities will still attract a prince today. We need to remember, we are all princesses. We are the daughters of The King. When exhibit these qualities we are looked highly upon, like the princesses we are. We are all princesses, but we may not look it right now. Here is what is great.

We can start becoming a princess at any time.

I am currently on the path of becoming a princess. I know that I am the daughter of The King, but there are many areas where I can be better than I am. This is a journey. Life is a journey. Success is a journey. I am going to fail my way to the top and learn from my mistakes. In the end I will be the princess people can look up to. My dash will mean something. I will have made a difference while I was here on this earth.

God has already blessed me with my prince, but everyday I strive to be a better wife. I strive to be a Proverbs 31 wife. I strive to respect him. I strive to be the princess he deserves. I thank God for him everyday. I pray that I build him up more than I tear him down.

My question is when will more ladies strive to be real princesses rather than what the American Society has turned the word into. What does it currently mean to be a princess? You must love glamour, pink and glitter. You must have tons of money or max out your credit cards with all day shopping. You tell people what to do and where to take you. You have your little accessory dogs and drink expensive coffees. You think you make the world a prettier place. I wonder if you became a real princess if you would even know how to handle it?

I would like to take all the things that a princess is and combine it with what the word has become to mean. I would like to really just add one.

A princess is authentic: She is true to her style. If she likes the glam she likes pink and glitter. If she likes the punk rock scene her appearance fits it. She carries herself with poise and confidence. She does make the world a prettier place by doing what she was called to do. She makes a difference. Parents would not be ashamed that their daughters want to be her. She can handle everything that comes her way because she knows that everything goes to God in prayer. He will never let her handle more than she can bear. He is her Father, He is watching out for her.

He is Our Father, He is watching out for us. My final question for you is: Are you willing to take the challenge? Are you willing to become the princess you always wanted to be?

Your tiara is waiting.

Strange Gift

A few years back my sister-in-law had asked me to make a scrapbook of her son's first year as a Christmas gift. I was thrilled to make a baby scrapbook so I jumped all over it. Well, that year I aslo made my mother-in-law a scrapbook calendar. These were a huge hit!

Well earlier this year I was asked to work my magic again. The requested seemed very odd to me. My sister-in-law asked me to make a scrapbook of my brother-in-law and his son for his birthday. Now you don't know my brother-in-law. He is not the sentimental type for the most part. He has his moments, but it is not his overall nature. I did not leap as excitedly as I had in the past, but I did agree to do it and kept my questioning nature to myself.

I started one Sunday afternoon for 3 hours or so and just thought, I looked at the pictures I had, I sorted them - Okay by year.... well, there are not enough of this or not enough of that... how else can I do this.... then it hit me... Cory is 5.... There have been 5 summers, birthdays, Christmases, ect. So I really went the route of this is from Cory. I really wanted Cory to help with it, but he wanted nothing to do with it. He did help pick out stickers at the store. (in exchange for candy of course)

Well it is finished and Keith says that he will like it. I hope so, but now I get to start another. Their cruise!!! It will be really good gift for the both of them, but Janet is the one that wants it the most. I am looking forward to getting started on that one.

Father and Son 5 years of being silly.

Happy Scrapping~

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My first bloggin mishap

I get some comments on my blog today. I am so very excited.... then I hit the wrong button and they are gone. I was able to go back and read them. I really appreciated what each of you had to say. So I reposted it, giving you credit and then the comment. I know now to publish each one individually and there will be no mishaps.

Everyday you learn something new!

Ok, Yes I am a dork.

I had to get up early today to head off to a part time job I have picked up. I had to leave before my two favorite guys were out of bed. I had not been feeling well, so I slept on the futon. Well when I got back at 9am - here is what I find.

I pull into our driveway and look for hubby's car. I didn't want to miss him - he was still there he actually was waiting becuase he wanted to use my car. Anyway! I pull into a parking spot right in front of our building. I look up towards our windows and there they both are - looking out at me. It was so cute! Both of them in the window, looking at me -- Oh here she is! She's home! YEAH!

I go up stairs, unlock the door and Kirby jumps up on me as soon as I walk in, and Keith is standing there behind him. "I told you mommy was home." Both of them waiting for me at the door.

I have been married for 340 days and today was one of the best mornings yet. I felt so important and so loved. All because my husband and my dog were watching for me to come home and waiting for me at the door.

Believe it or not, that is exactly what I needed lately, just to feel important and feel loved.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

521 weeks, but who is counting

Friday night we played games - Imagine If then Apples to Apples -- Concert gardens and Fragrant Japenese. We even spiked our mom's drink. It was great. Kriby enjoyed seeing Mom and Melissa again. Saturday we went to the art museum and a few parks. Then it was concert time!

521 weeks ago (8/2/1998) Melissa went to her first Backstreet Boy concert. It was at Marcus Amplitheater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In attendence were the five Backstreet Boys - AJ, Brian, Nick, Howie and Kevin - Melissa, Sara and Jenny Brazy. Fast forward ten years and one week. We are attending Melissa's 21st Backstreet Boy concert at the Fraze Pavillion in Kettering, Ohio. In attendence were the four Backsteet Boys - yes we lost Kevin - Melissa, Sara and Katie (Jenny was unable to attend). Oh and we can't forge Bailey. He was the cutest announcer ever.

The concert itself was great. We experienced a great mix of old and new. They each also sang things from their solo projects. Melissa is definately the number one Backstreet fan. She screamed every song expcept solo's for AJ, Howie and Brian. She knew Nick's. Making her the number one fan. Katie sang everything except the solo's making her the number two fan.

Melissa almost fell doing the "Everybody" dance, none of us had a voice when we left and the concert was in a Park -- Great memories attached to another Backstreet Boys concert.

For the record - I do not care that people think I am crazy for going to this concert. I had a great time and made great memories. The music was great too.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I have an amazing husband -- I won't apologize if that makes you ill.

I need to brag on someone.

I have the most amazing husband in the world. I am so proud of him. In June we sat down and wrote out where we would like our business to be in 6 months (January 1, 2009). We wanted a certain franchised structure, we wanted a certain amount of volume following through the group, we committed to doing certain things each week, etc. We also have been taking a serious look at our growth, both business growth and personal growth. We have been serious about getting the job done. Not just one of us, but both of us.

So we started truly developing a list of people we knew to run our business concept past them. Keith has been getting some great results. I am too, his are just manifesting a little faster.

Well Saturday he went to Memphis to get a new team started. He got one of our mentors in the car with him and one of our team leaders. The three of them left at 8 in the morning. They had a great time. It was not only fun, but successful. They drove back the same day pulling in at 5 Sunday morning. He got home, crawled into bed and said - "Tonight I totally felt crazy." I looked at him and said, "Sure, but we are destined for greatness." I gave him a kiss and we went back to sleep.

He is so willing to do whatever it takes. It's not just what it takes -- it is whatever it takes. Yes, I didn't go with him but it would have been a blast if I were able to go. Next time, hopefully. He is always looking for more people to serve, more people to help, and just when you think you can't serve anyone else, he will find us more. I am excited about what his is willing do to for our future.

Keith - Thank you for going out and earning my respect everyday.