Category Archives: Furnishings

Stay At Home Mom to Entrepreneur

Guest post by Fran S

I’ve been a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) for five years now, and I’m grateful for every minute I’ve been able to spend with my kids. No amount of work outside the home could ever fulfill me in the way that being a mom has. As my children are getting a little older now, though, I recently decided to start pursuing my dream of owning my own cupcake business and running it out of my home so that I can still spend quality time with my little ones. Let me tell you, it’s been hectic, frustrating and fraught with doubts from time to time, but it’s also been incredibly rewarding!

The truth is, with the right equipment and a gung-ho attitude, I’m certain that any SAHM could replicate what I’ve been doing. Once I decided to take the plunge, I knew I needed to keep my overhead low while still maintaining a professional look to my kitchen and to my products. I used the budget-friendly Culinary Depot to outfit my kitchen with the cake-baking accessories I needed, and I used word of mouth and free social media to start marketing my business. I’ve been so pleased by the support I’ve gotten, especially from other moms. I’m starting small with catering birthday parties and christenings, but I can already see the potential my business has for the future.

Ways to Help Decrease Your Energy Bills

As the cost of energy has continued to increase in recent decades, people are starting to seriously examine their own usage and consumption. Decreasing your energy consumption will go a long way in saving you money, as well as helping reduce damage done to the environment. There are several ways to decrease your energy bills. The first and best way to decrease your bills is to determine how energy is being used, lost and correcting any issues.

It can be difficult to understand where your energy is being lost, and how it is being used. However, if you have a number of different electronic appliances that are always on, that is a good place to start. Make a habit of turning off, and even unplugging, any electronic appliances that are not in use.

One of the biggest causes of energy loss is when the heat or air conditioning is lost by improper windows. The right windows can actually help keep your temperature inside consistent when the temperature outside starts to waver. If you believe you are losing energy to outside sources, consider finding Chicago window replacement windows that are specifically designed to help keep energy in your home.

You may find out that your doors and windows are actually one of the biggest sources of energy loss in your home. This is perhaps one of the most common losses of energy throughout most homes in the world.

Saving energy is not rocket science. You simply need to identify areas that are causing an unnecessary expenditure of energy in your home and correct them. Begin by turning off unused electronic appliances and purchasing upgraded doors and windows.

Another very important thing to consider is having your HVAC installation of a brand and affordable new system with an ongoing maintenance contract with a qualified heating and a/c company such as the Crystal air conditioning repair in Tampa FL is known for their extraordinary customer service, all the while using the best quality products available while going the extra mile to find the most cost–effective HVAC system for your home comfort needs. A free quote from Crystal heating and a/c is available and let’s face it, a totally free quote is always a good way to go before investing your hard earned money in a major purchase such as this.

I remember back in my early twenties I worked at a well known plumbing and heating company in the Call Center in Phoenix Arizona. That was one of the hardest jobs I have had considering the phones just never stopped ringing and they were always short handed. However I also learned how to deal with customers on the telephone and I learned a whole lot about plumbing, heating and air conditioning. The main thing that I remember learning is that if you take care of your systems, with a good cleaning at least once a year, that they can last you a good long while.

If you provide regular maintenance on all of your home’s various systems, from the basement all the way up to the basement is always a great option. There is never a good time for something to break down, but there are always worse times. I remember spending one Christmas literally around the fireplace. The furnace had broke down and it was one of those Christmas’s that the temperature was way low. It was a pain in the rear, but we made the best of it and actually that is one Christmas that we will never forget and forever tell stories about.

There are a lot of different plumbing, heating, a/c and electrical repairs companies roaming around out there. Using some common sense, doing your research, ask around and of course there is always Angie’s List that can be used as a good reference tool.

Auto and Diesel Repair

Back in the day, service stations were where you went to buy gasoline for your car, but they provided a lot of other car care services, too. For example, when you bought gas, they sent out an attendant to pump the gas for you and then check your oil and tires, wash your windshield, and other little maintenance issues. As we all are aware of, we now even have to prepay before we pump our own gas. And if you need anything else, you are on your own.

gas station attendent

The Good Old Days

If you needed car repairs, they had a full garage with at least 2 or 3 bays to work on your car. If you were friends with the mechanic, he would let you buy the parts yourself and he would help you put them on the car. My old Chevy work van has a heater and an air conditioner but neither are working, it has been getting really cold during the day and I need that heater to keep me from freezing. I survived the summer without the air conditioner, but keeping warm is a whole other story.

Considering I just purchased a new dishwasher a couple of months ago (right before Christmas) this is really going to be tight. The previous dishwasher was over 30 years old, she did a great job for so many years! It took a new dishwasher and a new dish washing detergent, to figure out how to eliminate the fishy smell that was driving me slowly up the wall the last year or so. With Dad being an avid fisher I had just had enough, budget or no budget.

Anyway, I don’t make a whole lot of money as a bartender laying  beers down, so coming up with large amounts of money always stressful. There is never a good time to have to dish out money on car repairs, but in November is just the worst time ever. I promised myself that I wouldn’t rely on any of my credit cards this next Christmas and I really wanted to make this a reality.

There are a good amount of car repair specialists in the area. I have always had good luck with Champs Family Automotive and it isn’t a long drive from here but it isn’t exactly right down the street. For a while they got to know me real good with all of the problems I was having with my last vehicle. They treated me like I like to be treated. Their ASE certified technicians didn’t treat me like I was a typical “stupid woman” and they were always in communication with me through all of the stages of the repairs, from start to finish.

It looks like I just might need to pay them another visit, when I can fit it into my already hectic lifestyle. Thank goodness for my father who will be driving his pick up truck there and back to pick it up when they are done with it. There is no way that I could afford a rental vehicle, even for just one day. With all the running around that I do as a working mom, with a kid that is always needing a ride everywhere, there is no way I can be without some kind of transportation.

I guess while my car is in there I should have them do an oil change and possibly a tune up. There hasn’t been enough time for me to have the proper maintenance that I normally would have done on a regular basis. I used to go to the local Jiffy Lube every 3 months, but the new owner and I didn’t see eye to eye on a few things and I swore I wouldn’t ever go back and I haven’t.

When my father was younger he would take care of most of the car repairs for me. He could work on just about anything, even diesels. But eventually he had to stop using so many tools because of the pain in his hands from arthritis. It hurts to see your father’s health start declining. He is a proud man. He has never even looked at another woman in all the eight years since my mother’s passing. For now we are taking care of one another in so many ways and he still spends a good amount of time fishing!

Destined To Be In The Music Business

My sister tells me that she talked on the phone for a bit with our other sister’s son, our nephew Drew last night. He is thrilled with the best cheap electric guitar at Guitar Center that we all chipped in together to get him for last month’s Christmas celebration.

Drew has been a music fan since he was born. I remember him rocking in his crib at night for hours before falling asleep and after he woke up. The chair in the living that he used to sit in was totally worn out by he reached the age of 5! We all know he was destined to be in the music business and it looks like we were right!

Comfortable Church Seating

When my sister told me that she was put in charge of finding new chairs for their church I really thought she was talking about, what they are now apparently calling the old-fashioned pews, that I thought were still be using in the majority of churches these days. I mean that tells you how long it has been since I have been in a church for me not to even begin to imagine a church with seating other than the traditional, no padding or cushions, straight-backed, and they are certainly not the most comfortable wooden pews to have to sit on for an extended period of time.

I have been to a few weddings but they have been either outside or at some other facility rather than a church, so I can’t even wrap my mind around the last time I was inside a church. I tend to my spiritual needs and wants in my own way, but I know that my sister and her husband are getting very involved with the church down where they live and I think it is great. They need to meet people in their new community, so volunteering to help find affordable church seating on her part is a smart move to help get involved.

church seating

Church Seating

So the whole point of this story is how surprised I was when she sent me this photo along with the link to the website that she was seriously considering submitting to the committee that meets next week. The chairs look like office chairs to me, but apparently that is what they are looking for. They look comfortable to me, anything must be better than a traditional wooden pew.

Good Luck With Your meeting next week sis! I think you did good. The next thing we should tackle is checking out table linens for sale premier table linens. The new year brings many needs and wants for so many of us.