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New York Office Suites- wow!

July 14, 2010

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You can learn a lot from studying office design.

While we’re working on the kitchen and dining room of the house, we are also trying to keep a mind on the future. We have an attached garage that we do not use, so I have intentions of converting it into a Conservatory (a family room with lots of glass windows) for the musicians in the family to play and listen to music, where we can read and pray together, and basically relax. It will have big plants, lots of light, comfortable chairs, and a very sweet audio sound system. NO television, no computer, no radio. It will be our quiet room.

Of course, that leaves me the living room to then tool around with. 😀 i work at home, but I have no office. Since I am a writer, I really need a quiet, non-interrupted atmosphere to write. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to do this in the living room– the cat, the bird, the kids, the schoolwork, the phone, the road traffic… UGH! I often stay up very late to do my work because it’s the only time I can THINK.

So I’m planning on building a small home office– I’ll probably get rid of the living room concept all together. We don’t watch TV, we don’t have parties…. if the kids have guests, they can go in the Conservatory. I want the living room to be my office space.

Oooo lala, offices are IN, baby! Home offices, yes, but all kinds of offices. They are making offices more “homey.” There are companies specifically hired to create offices, any kind. I think I would love that! It’s really great to see the cubicle disappearing, isn’t it? Skylights, soft chairs and couches, pretty decor, plants…. it’s all very inspiring.

So… while we restore the kitchen and dining room, here’s hoping the Conservatory and Office are not too far behind. Once we have the electrical and plumbing done, I think the rest of the house will be a breeze!

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Small Businesses Penalized

May 12, 2009

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Ouch. It’s a bad time to be a small business owner in this country. Not only do we have no real voice in our government (compared to the heafty lobbying power of the big corporations), we are being penalized for our success. The Washington Post reports that small business owners are going to see a big bite of their earnings taxed.

Gail Johnson doesn’t think of herself as wealthy. The former pediatric nurse has spent 20 years building a chain of preschools and after-school programs that accommodate sick children so working parents can keep their jobs.

But, like most small-business owners, Johnson reports her profit on her personal tax return. In a typical year, she and her husband make more than $500,000, according to her accountant, a figure that throws them squarely into the ranks of the richest Americans — and makes them a prime target for the Obama administration’s tax policy.

Since last year’s campaign, President Obama has vowed repeatedly not to increase taxes for families making less than $250,000 a year. That pledge, while politically popular, has left him with just two primary sources of funding for his ambitious social agenda: about 3 million high-earning families and the nation’s businesses.

19% tax is way, WAAAAY too much. I have always been against the income tax, anyway. People, we are being robbed.

And the government is getting pretty smart about their taxation methods. Did you know that your barterings are taxable? Yes! For example, if you trade Joe Plumber a Moen faucet for watching his kids for a weekend, the government says you have to pay tax on that service, by estimating the dollar amount of the trade. Ridiculous!! And here in New York State, the state requires us to incriminate ourselves by estimating how much tax we owe on supposedly non-taxable Internet purchases (from other states). Outrageous!

The taxation is getting way out of hand. What would happen if the government taxed us all and nobody paid?

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Watch and Learn, Weedhopper

April 2, 2009

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I took the boys to the dental hygienist the other day. I just love this dentist’s office, everyone is so friendly and the place is so clean and colorful. So as the hygienist worked on my son’s teeth, we chatted for a while. We talked about education in general, and online education in particular, which is becoming very popular.

She said to be a dental hygienist, all you need is a two-year degree. The courses are mostly science-based, and it’s a pretty heavy dosage of a science education. Honestly, as fun as the hygienist made her work look, I don’t think that’s something I’d really like to do. I like teaching– not necessarily in a school, but I like giving instruction on tjhings I know. Maybe I’d be better suited as a tutor or some kind of a specialist in instruction. That would be fun, I think! Then again, there’s the education. So many employers are paying less attention to merit and more attention to that piece of paper from a college. But the good thing is that online institutions have become just as competitive and instructional (even more so, now) as “real” colleges and universities. One particular place that has some interest is the School of Education at Saint Xavier University. They are based in Chicago, but have become renowned for their outstanding MS Curriculum. The curriculum is suited for modern instructional methods, including integrating technology, literacy, and development of curriculum for K-12 all the way up and into college level and specialized instruction. I think it looks great! If you are interested in learning more about Saint Xavier University’s online program, check out the website. The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and they offer degrees in business, education, and health care.

The more I think about our present economy and the employment future, the more I see that the days of getting a 9-5 salaried job at a factory for your lifetime is OVER. Workers today have to be more innovative, more flexible, and more educated than at any time in our history. I’m keeping all this in the back of my mind for myself but also for my children. I think online educating is the way to go: it’s extremely flexible, affordable, and convenient.

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Working From Home Opportunities

February 27, 2009

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I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for some work-at-home jobs. So far, I haven’t found anything besides paid blogging. Blogging for pay is an ups and downs kind of career, with dry spells from time to time. Perks can be very nice, from a promotional free hotel stay as payment, or cash payment, or keeping the items that your review. I just love blogging, and it seems to like me as well. Nonetheless, work is not always consistent, and it helps to have a different job to rely upon.

I thought I’d share my little resource list in case you are looking for some work, too. Jobs ARE out there, you just have to be the right person in the right place at the right time. Here are some places that may help you:

Tutor.com
You have to be certified to be a tutor. Check the site for more details.

WriterAccess
Writing jobs, essays. This looks like a great job, but it seems that the pay is rather low for all the work involved. Might be good for a teen who shows proficiency in writing.

Kelly At Home
I’ve applied and sent my resume weeks ago, and haven’t heard a peep.

About.com
They are always looking for people who specialize in quirky things, like beadwork or sailing or urology. They have little About.com blogs, and these kinds of jobs look terrific! But so far, none of their specialities are my specialities.

Finally, there are two blogs I enjoy visiting every day, checking for various openings and jobs. They are the Work At Home Mom Revolution and the Work From Home Mother. They also have tips and other helpful posts about working at home. I’ve applied to a few of the places they’ve posted about, but nothing yet. Maybe you can find something helpful!

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Springtime… When Our Thoughts Turn To…

February 12, 2009

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A NEW WARDROBE! Yeah, baby! A number of my girlfriends are returning to the workforce, now that our kids are all older. It’s a great feeling to realize that you’ve (finally) raised the kids and they can now fend for themselves, haha! I haven’t found a new job yet (I am still looking for something, at least part-time), but I am preparing myself by

1.) getting up earlier (hee);
2.) combing my hair every morning; and
3.) looking for a new, “outside” wardrobe.

Which of course means that the fuzzy pink slippers and gray sweats have to go….

How about you? Looking for some classy pieces to add to your wardrobe, but maybe you are a little tight on cash? Check this out: Roman Originals. Classy! Roman Originals has the best selection of tailored skirts and trouser suits I’ve seen. And we’re not talking about the boring old navy-stripe or black polyester stuff, either. I saw this jacket and fell in love. Isn’t that the classiest jacket you’ve ever seen in your life?! It’s charcoal-color single-breasted with fully-lined satin fabric. Gorgeous. They’ve got a terrific sale, too– buy a jacket and get the matching bottom trousers for free! And Roman Originals offers free shipping too, for qualifying purchases (orders over £75). I love the styles, because they don’t make you look like a man– the suits are extremely feminine with feminine styling and fit. Check the site for a free 20% off voucher.

Roman Originals has been in business snce 1957, so they know a thing or two about women’s clothing needs and styles. They’ve got dresses, skirt suits, outerwear, eveningwear, and more to offer. Check them out- the prices are great and the quality is stunning.

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It’s Not Only The Newspapers That Are Changing

December 5, 2008

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If you follow the news, you’ve no doubt heard that the traditional media newpaper outlets are seeing record losses. More and more people are getting their information from the Internet. I am extremely happy to see it, as I believe that there is more freedom on the Internet than in any other media form today.

But as the newspapers fold, so does the advertising. I have been seeing a trend, despite nayayers who say that a downward economy spells doom for media outlets. Not the Internet, anyway. Actually, for those of us who rely on the Internet for our information and for ou livelihood (like me), we will be seeing an upward trend, as advertisers intend on shifting their focus to the Internet for their market.

This is a good articles from the eMarketer:

In our latest projections, released in August, eMarketer saw online advertising growing from $24.5 billion in 2008 to $28.5 billion in 2009. eMarketer benchmarks its online ad spending projections against quarterly reports by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which uses PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct its surveys. For the first half of 2008, the IAB reported 15.2% growth for online ad spending, which is in line with eMarketer’s predictions.

Another factor confirming our predictions is that the combined growth rate for first half online ad revenues among the top four US portals—Yahoo!, Google, AOL and Microsoft—was 19%.

Although most of the following projections from a range of different analyst firms and researchers are likely to be high, since they were published before the recent outpouring of negative financial news, there is still a consensus among many analysts that spending growth for online advertising will continue to show double-digit gains in both 2008 and 2009. eMarketer agrees.

It agrees with my own thinking that in times of a weak economy, advertisers will spend even more on advertising. A sluggish economy means sluggish consumers; strong advertising is meant to shake the consumers from their depression and get them to spend.

eMarketer makes some excellent points:

Marketers should rightly ask, “What is behind the bullish projections for online ad spending, especially when most traditional media are taking the financial equivalent of body blows?” The seven reasons are as follows:

  • The Internet is inherently more measurable and accountable than are traditional channels.
    The Internet allows for better, more-granular targeting than do other forms of media. That reduces media waste and can save marketing dollars.
  • The Internet is interactive, thereby allowing for a higher degree of engagement with consumer and business prospects and customers.
  • Particularly among younger consumers, the Internet is accounting for a larger and larger share of total media time; numerous studies demonstrate that teens, millennials and other younger cohorts are spending more time online per week than they are watching television.
  • The Internet plays into the consumer-in-control movement and therefore provides new opportunities for marketers to be a part of their conversations about interests, attitudes, shopping plans and even brands.
  • New Web 2.0 phenomena such as blogs, social networks and Twitter provide marketers with the potential to gain rich insights into consumer behavior and attitudes (the Internet is like a perpetual focus group on steroids).
  • The Internet, unlike any other medium or channel, allows marketers to reach prospects throughout the entire consumer buying cycle, from initial awareness through pre-information-gathering to sales and post-sale feedback and support.

This is good news to me– for one, I have relationships with online advertisers. I like it that the market is opening up to me. I want more advertisers to work with me. And two, this also means that companies will become more competitive; they will work a little harder to please the consumer and offer better deals and better service. So a sluggish economy, while not exacty great news, does have it’s benefits. Consumers should always be spending wisely, but now we have some leverage as well. Everything is shifting from the more traditional (and limited) avenues of information and advertising to the more instantaneous and broader avenues of the Internet and telemarketing.

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Home Improvement for the Blog

December 12, 2007

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It’s a sleety, snowy, stormy mix of precipitation for the next few days. It is not pleasant to go outside when it’s raining and 32 degrees out. And it’s too gloomy to finish framing my French door. So, we’re inside, waiting for the snow to come. The kids are hitting the books and I am hitting the blogs and thinking about the art and business of blogging.

I’m come to discover that blogging is more than just plunking down thoughts and words. Half of blogging is writing (and writing well) and designing your page, and the other half is social networking (like Facebook, etc). I’ve put some effort into joining some neat social networks, and have met some really interesting people from all around the world. I’m surprised at the variety of visitors this blog gets from all around the world. (And thanks for coming!)

This has helped my blogging and it’s helped my broadening variety of topics to blog. For example, I do a lot of blogging about our home improvements, but I also want to start blogging about my thoughts and ideas in the business of home building, construction, tools and their functions, techniques, and etc. Blogging has become an excellent discipline for me as a writer. And one of the perks is meeting people!

Another new thing I’ve learned is that I can even “market” my blog in the “real” world, and not just online. A few years ago, I had some business cards printed up for my website. Cards can be very helpful breaking the ice, or as an offering to others who are interested in social networks or blogs or the specific topic of my blog. They were good for me, because I am always promoting or discussing New York issues and home improvement, so my cards had a local interest, as well.

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