A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

The kiddos are anxiously awaiting to jump into their costumes and go begging for candy door to door. There's nothing out of the norm about their costumes, and I'm not very creative either when it comes to things like that. They are to young to REALLY choose some cool stuff, but I'm sure as the years go on they'll start coming up with more unique items.

My 6yr old son is going as a vampire this year. A little bit of frugal advice - the cape on a batman costume works PERFECT for a vampire. Save those capes! We picked up a bag of cheap fake vampire teeth, and the kid is in heaven. It's a good thing we picked up the bag of multiple teeth, since the pair that went to school this morning never returned.

The 4yr old little one is going as a fairy. She's still stuck in "I love princesses" mode, so we had to do something similar again this year. We found some wings at the dollar store and said "perfect". We know they won't last two days of normal play, which is fine because they are only needed for Halloween and only a buck.

Both of them will also be styling in glow in the dark fingernail polish and lip stick. It's a good thing my son is a vampire, because normally fingernail polish and lip stick on a boy isn't a good thing....unless of course his costume is dressing up as a girl.

Speaking of nails, I have to put the first coat on my own and my daughter's before it gets too late. We've only got about an hour and a half to eat supper and get dressed!

Monday, October 30, 2006

SEO and Affiliate Marketing

I'm so excited that I'm almost finished with this new project. Well, I shouldn't say "finished", but rather I'm almost done with the site. I was so excited over the weekend that I couldn't keep away - I ended up getting the message boards totally up and running. A few tweeks and finishing touches were done this morning, but for the most part it was already completely ready to go.

I suppose I will let a bit more of this "mystery project" out. Or should I say, more of what's being done on the site. I'm using SEO techniques and affiliate marketing to build a site which will build itself after I do the initial work on it. What's even better is, I have two very wonderful moderators which will be taking care of much of the message board.

Need some help on your own affiliate marketing projects? I recommend checking out this particular message board:
Affiliate Marketing Forums - Revenue Source
In addition to affiliate marketing, they also cover topics on search engine optimization, so it's definately a good place to "hang out" if you are interested in learning how to build residual income sites. Excellent resource site and great place to ask some serious questions.

I happend to notice their message boards are fully optimized, which is a HUGE deal now with all search engines. Awesome to see they practice what they preach! It took me awhile to configure some mods, but I finally got my own boards on the new project optimized as well. There's only one thing bothering me a bit on my own boards. The posts are indeed showing as html instead of icky php, but not the name of the topic. I suppose it will do because it DOES show an html link, I just wish it went that extra step. Oh well right? The major SEO work is there, and I'm happy with that.

Now off to do some more work on this new site so I can actually LAUNCH it! :D

Friday, October 27, 2006

New Project in the Works

This week has been extremely exciting. So exciting that I haven't had a chance to post in the blog. Well, it's been a busy week too - both me and a kid had major dentist appointments. FUN!

While I can't release the big news just yet, I can say the new project is related to Idea Queen. I don't want to go into too many details (Idea stealers are EVERYWHERE, and I certaintly wouldn't want to see a copy of this before it's released!), but I will say by the time it's all said and done, there will be multiple websites tied in together.

It's so hard to blog about things like this, because I can't give away hardly any details. My post ends up being something so boring like "I'm busy and been working all week". *Yawn* Who the heck wants to read 50 posts like THAT?

Well hopefully things start getting more interesting once the ball starts to roll and I CAN give details. I'm super excited about this and really hoping everything moves along as planned.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Better Homes & Gardens is Way Off

At the dentist yesterday while I waited, I picked up a copy of October's Better Homes & Gardens. Usually this isn't a magazine I read on a regular basis, but it was the only thing even remotely interesting. Plus I spoted roast recipes on the front cover, and though they may give me some more ideas for the roast page on Idea Queen.

Before I even found the recipes, I noticed BHG has a "working at home" section. Alright, so this definately interested me and I had to stop and read. It had the same old "such and such was tired of commuting, so decided to work at home". Yeah yeah, nothing new there. We've heard a million of those stories. But still I'm thinking, there's soemthing of interest in this article. Wow I was wrong. It was all about how to "happily blend your home decorating with work at home decorating". I'm all for organization, but geees like I have time (or the money) to match my desk decorations with my couch. I realise BHG is all about decorating, so why is it they need to have a WAH section now? Is the demand for those wanting to decorate their home office that great?

I guess what I think is the most irritating is it doesn't show the REAL side of working at home. Maybe it's just me - I'm more interested in making sure my house is not completely trashed on a regular basis, let alone figure out if it's properly decorated.

Am I alone here?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Online Coupon Site

I shop quite a bit online. Mostly from individuals and handmade stuff, but there are those occations where I buy from a big name if I really want it badly. The great thing about shopping online from the big names is there's never a shortage of coupons.

There's a great site which has all the coupon codes you can handle, from a ton of name brand companies. Good to know when Christmas is right around the corner, right? I've already started shopping at craft shows here and there, but always have to do a good chunk of my shopping online. Which is why I love this site, it makes it MUCH easier for me to shop!

I think my favorite place to shop has got to be Joann.com. While I don't buy Christmas presents there, I do buy fabric to MAKE Christmas presents. And this site has several online coupons from Joann.com. HURRAY!

What's your favorite place to shop online?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Candles, Cakes, and Homework

Today could not be more jam packed of things I need to get done. While the homework isn't technically due until next week, I sure would like to get caught up in the class and have it done when it's suggested. This on top of a program I haven't even started which is HUGE and due in a less than 2 weeks.

The house isn't even close to clean, and my daughter's birthday party is on Sunday. Why can't I clean tomorrow? Because we have a craft show all day. When I get home from that, don't expect me to do a single thing except veg out on the couch. What can I say, during the week I'm so lazy that standing on my feet for several hours on the weekend wears me out fast.

Speaking of the craft show, I have brochures to print. We didn't go through as many as I thought we would last weekend, so I probably only need to print out 30 or so. No big deal, I can do that in between baking. Which brings me to my next job.....

Not only do I have to clean for the party, but I also have to make her cake. I was going to take the easy way out and buy a blank cake at Walmart, but decided I really didn't need to go to Newton for any other reason and making the cake would probably take less time and energy. It's not that I like baking, I just don't see it as a "big job". Maybe it's because I have a small kitchen, I don't know. Baking and cooking just never seemed like a "job"....just one of those things that has to be done like, breathing.

So maybe I shouldn't be here rambling, I should be up getting to do some of this "must do" crap. Does anyone remember what a "normal" day is like?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Baby Names & Meanings

While it doesn't go into much detail on the name meanings, this is a really cute site if you are looking for baby names. They've got everything I could think of for names, including some real off the wall names of kids going to school with my kids.

What's really cool is their search function. You can enter a parial name and come up with all the listings for names starting with that letter or letters. Very useful for coming up with different end spellings of the same name.

I have to comment on the name meanings though, which I thought was pretty cool. When I named my kids, I didn't pay too much attention on the meanings. Although now I see my son's name means "Hunter", which is especially interesting concidering his half brother's name is Hunter! What are the odds of that, eh? My daughter's name actually means "girl". I suppose that is a good thing, right? LOL

A must see site if you are trying to come up with a name for a baby!

Monday, October 09, 2006

What went in your VCR?

First of all let me say, YES we still have a VCR. I'm one of those die hard people who refuse to completely transfer over to "what's hot". I do own a DVD player and many DVDs, but we still have plenty of tapes. I make a point to only buy tapes for the kids because they are less expensive, and I don't want them even thinking of touching the DVD player. The last one they managed to break in about 2 weeks flat, which is why we have two separate machines now.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to start a post and encourage others to reply on what they've pulled out of their VCR that wasn't a tape. My sick kid finally decided he wanted to watch a movie, but I had to pull a spoon out before the tape would work. Yes you heard me - a SPOON! Why? Not a clue.

So here's a short list of things I've pulled out of my VCR in the past 6 years:

- Fruit Snack Wrappers
- Fruit Snacks
- Milk (ok so this didn't come out, it just got dumped on the top and caught fire)
- Toys, toys, and more toys
- Spoon (today)

I'm sure there's plenty more I'm not remembering, but it seems the most items pulled out of the VCR was random toys. It's amazing the VCR held up until milk was dumped on it. Maybe this is why it's all being replaced by DVDs, but I'm sure my kids could come up with more creative things to shove in DVD player if they had the chance. Too bad I don't allow it in the living room anymore, and it stays out here with me!

Ninja for Halloween

Now how fun would this be? Granted my kids have already stated what they want to be for Halloween and Ninja wasn't it, but I'm sure it's not far behind. My son is just starting to get into the more "cooler" types of stuff thanks to Nick and Disney.

The Karate Depot has very cool ninja costumes for sale, just in time for Halloween. What's really cool about it is it's authentic, minus some majorly damaging items.

Standard costume includes a Authentic Ninja Uniform (with Hood and Mask), Ninja Hardwood Bokken, and Rubber Sole Ninja Slippers. Deluxe ninja costume includes a Authentic Ninja Uniform (with Hood and Mask), Ninja Hardwood Bokken, Long Tabi Boots, and Tabi Socks. Very affordable for buying the set, and it will be useful way beyond Halloween.

Check out there website and complete line of ninja costumes!

The Couch Kid Today

Today is one of those days where I'm just giving up hope of productivity early. I've got on kid sick on the couch, and the other thinking it's funny to mess with the sick kid. I would think the sick kid would get bored out here in the front room with out cable TV or any type of entertainment, but now I'm startign to understand. The other kid has been banished from the front room and sentanced to spend the day in the living room (aka the toy and TV room), so the sick kid is getting some peace and quiet.

Of course, sick kid is mad at me right now because I called him into school. I've heard several times in the last hour "I want to go to school!", which is still way beyond weird to me. When I was a kid, I hoped for those sick days so I didn't have to go. Of course I didn't have cable when I was a kid, so when 1pm rolled around and there was nothing to do but watch soap operas or educational television, I was starting to rethink my decision of staying home. 3pm I REALLY had wished I would have gone, because I wasn't allowed to do normal non-sick things.

Anyway, in addition to keeping sick kid separate from the other kid, I've got to get my house picked up by noon since my dad and a contractor are coming out. I usually get most of my housework done on the weekends, but was at a craft show all weekend. So nice of my dad to schedule this on Monday at noon after I've been gone for the past 3 days. I'm so behind on dishes it's not even funny. Laundry too, but that's easy to hide at least.

I had better get to work concidering I haven't even had a shower yet and the upstairs is a COMPLETE mess. It's an off limit area so I don't often bother to clean my own room. Looks like I'm going to HAVE to now! :(

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dress Up Games and Dollmakers

Dress Up Games and Dollmakers

So this may be more for adults than children, but it's still fun for mom to play with. I had to sit and play for a bit, because I love stuff like this. What's really cool is you can save your doll, as well as use it for forum icons and instant messenger profiles.

The options are just unreal - you could sit for hours making thousands of different people. I don't think it's even possible for two people to have exactly the same doll, so that's a huge plus if you are wanting something unique.

I think these would great stuck on blogs as well, putting a little of "you" into your blog without actually using a real picture (which one of these days, I know I'm not going to be able to get away with using a picture from high school!).

Dress Up Games and Dollmakersis very unique and worth checking out. Due to the base bodies (which must be used) having no clothes, I do not recommend this as a play site for children. It's not extremely graphic though, so don't worry about that.

Here are a few examples from the site:

Very cute stuff! Plus they are not hard to work with at all, and there's actually a few options for working with the dolls and clothes. You can either click and drag, or drag and drop. I worked with click and drag which worked alright for me. Load times were very reasonable concidering all the different graphics I had on the page, but note I'm on a cable connection. I don't know how this would work with dial-up, but I can't see it being too bad since I had absolutely NO problems at all.

Check out the site at:

Dress Up Games and Dollmakers

Thursday, October 05, 2006

We Tried Something New

While some may call us crazy and possibly "bad marketers", Anita and I decided to do something different.

Since the Direct Sales Success Kit was released in March of 2005, we've had it set at one price. We've done some special sales here and there, but it's been selling well at regular price.

A few weeks ago though, we got the idea to actually lower the price....for good. We took out the "extras" which went along with the kit, including the private membership and any current or future ebooks. We did leave the website guide ebook as a bonus though. By doing so, we took off $20 of the original price.

Are we crazy? Probably - sales were just fine with the original price. We had no good reason to lower it, other than we wanted to make it more affordable to others. Well ok, and maybe sell more individual ebooks as they are released. But at least there is now the option to buy or not buy the other "side" ebooks, since it's not included with the kit anymore.

Feedback will be appreciated, as I'm sure we are about to hear it from both sides, both good and bad!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Taking a Personal Day

There's no doubting it any more - I'm stressed and need a break. I'm barely keeping up with housework, things need to be done online, and I'm starting to get a bit behind in school (nothing late YET, but I have a program due tomorrow and haven't even started coding it). Last night I decided to get to bed early (which I'm so proud of actually DOING!), and make today a personal day. Oddly enough my horoscope said this today: "Glide through your day without a direction and just experience things for a while." HA! Works for me....

So first thing on the list for today is homework. Both kids are at school, so now would be a perfect time to muddle through Computer Network Literacy reading and take the test. No distraction and lots of motivation (my motivation is at it's highest the morning). I imagin my daughter will be home before I can start work on the COBOL, but that's alright. Coding with kids around is nothing new to me. It's just reading and comprehending that I have a problem with.

While I'm trying to make this a personal day, I know I'll have to pop in and check email here and there. I still have some things which need my attention for at least a few minutes, so I'll have to get to those at some point. I've also got an idea for the candle site which I'd like to work on as well, but need to get school work out of the way first before I can concentrate on it. I already put up an Etsy listing while the kids were getting ready for school, so I can check that off my daily task list.

I'm hoping today will be a nice relaxing day and I can relieve some of this stress that's been building up. When was the last time YOU took a personal day?