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.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Websites & Domain Names For Sale - CHEAP

Kara and I are cleaning house a bit around here and we've decided to let some websites and domain names go. We figured we'd give our devoted message board members and blog readers first crack at them ;-)

You can see them at Websites & Domain Names For Sale - CHEAP


Shhh ... What's that sound?

What is that? Now wait a minute ... I KNOW that sound. I think I do at least. Hold on a minute .......... It's been a while but yes, I know that sound! Know what it is? It's SILENCE! No hubby, no tv, no kids ... it's QUIET! Ahhh, now let me enjoy this for a moment.

Seems as though for the past two months now I've not heard this sound. Actually, it's not really just that I haven't heard the silence, it's that I haven't been able to work like I'm used to. The past week itself has been crazy. We were supposed to be on vacation and let me tell you what, if that was vacation, I'm more than happy to go back to work! It was absolutely beautiful outside so I took advantage of the "fall cleanup" outside. You know, trying to make all the dead looking stuff look good, lol.

Oh, and let's not forget our shopping trip. Yes, I'm one of those fools who goes out on "Black Friday". It's kind of become a tradition for hubby and I. The kiddos stay over night at my inlaws and we wake up super-early to be at Walmart by 5:00 AM. Oh wait, Walmart threw a good one on us this year. We had to be there at 4:00 AM!! Actually, that worked out to our advantage because them starting an hour earlier gave us a chance to hit a couple other stores before the usual 11 AM deal ender. But, I must say Miss Kara I only bought ONE CD and that was at regular price!! ROFL! But, we did get quite a few good deals. We bought the kids each a portable DVD player for only $50 each, I got a new Kodak Easy Share camera and dock for less than $200 and we were able to pick up each of the kids a RoboPet for $30 each (regularly $60 each).

Those were some of the "big deals" were we able to cash in on but there were quite a few more. I must say though, except for a few little things to pick up, we are DONE shopping! I've NEVER been done shopping this early! (Loving that one!)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pork Roast Instead of Pot Roast

There's two weird things about me related to cooking.

For one, I never make pork roast. It's always pork chops or pot roast. Don't ask me why, I don't have a clue. I really don't like to eat either one, but I love the smell of roast. Kids seem to eat it for the most part, so I guess that works.

The second weird thing about me in the kitchen - I never use my crock pot. I kid you not, I didn't even think I had one for probably 3 years. I can hear the gasps already... and the shocked "WHAT?! I couldn't live without mine!". Well that's great, but I think I could. I have for the most part. Just weird or is something seriously wrong with me? I don't know.

For some strange reason the pork roast just looked really good at the store the other day, so I bought it. Maybe it was on sale, I can't remember now. Either way it came home. I decided there was only one way to cook a pork roast, and that was with BBQ sauce in a crock pot. I had to do some major digging to get out the crock pot, but I finally freed it from where it was tucked away with the other kitchen appliances I never use (coffee maker being one of them, and no I'm not kidding!).

Honestly I can't remember the last time I've made anything in the crock pot, and I swear every time I get it out I'm going to start using it more. Why not? It's easy right?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Survived Thanksgiving Weekend

When I say "survived", I don't mean I went out fighting for cheap DVDs and toys at 5am the morning of Black Friday. No, my weekend stretched out much longer than just a few hours of total chaos.

If all you had to do was show up at a Thanksgiving celebration, then Thursday was no big deal. Wasn't a big deal to me, since all I brought was veggie pizza to snack on before the turkey was out. Huge hit, so glad I brought it. Unfortunately I made to much and had to take most home. Lovely, my kids hate it and that leaves just me to eat it. (It's not a hot pizza, it's a cold pizza-like appetizer). I tried to pawn some off on mom today, but she forgot it (of COURSE!).

After we ate and had our family time on Thanksgiving, I headed out to Walmart with one kid in tow. The other went to his dad's, so we were able to pick up a few toys for him last minute. I'm officially done shopping for the kids, HURRAY! I tell you what though - if you can make time for shopping on Thanksgiving, DO IT! There was absolutely NOONE there, and we didn't even have to wait in line. Yeah I know, totally unheard of at Walmart. Not a single soul between us and the checkout person. SWEET!

The rest of the weekend was what got to me. While I would have loved to just spend all three days sewing gifts and relaxing, I couldn't. We paid for a table at a craft show instead that lasted the entire weekend. I thought it was going to be more busy than it was, but I was still pleased with the sales. Although come Sunday night I was seriously ready to crash and glad it was all over. I'm lazy and spend most of my days sitting on my rear in front of the computer, so when I'm forced to stand for 6-8 hours three days in a row I get tired very quickly.

In addition to the craft show which left me with very little energy, I had a friend who was planning on stopping by Saturday night. I was trying to get the house cleaned prior to this, but it wasn't working out too well since I was trying to plan for everything else. Much to my surprise, I find a message on my phone Friday when I got home saying he might be coming Friday too (which he did). C-R-A-P!! Here I wanted to just do absolutely nothing because I was so tired, but OH NO, I had to turbo-clean since he'd be over in about 2 hours. By the time he got here I was nearly asleep! He did return Saturday as well, but luckily I wasn't so rushed that day.

If all this wasn't enough, we had to add a few "after hours" beers and glasses of wine (and little sleep) to the mix, making this one extremely long weekend. Although when you have the opportunity to visit with family, goof off with a friend, AND make a few hundred bucks all in one weekend....well ya can't complain. I really am glad I'm back to a normal routine though. I'm such a creature of habit! *grin*

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Family Game for the Dinner Table


The other day I was browsing merchants for affiliate programs and came across this site. It didn't fit in to what I was working on at the time, but the site itself caught my attention on personal level. Just out of curiosity I checked out some of the products and found this one in particular called Dinner Games

Now how cute is this? There's a total of 51 quick and easy games to play right at the dinner table. Includes games like riddles, conversation starters, and more. Plus each card is laminated, so makes for easy clean up. Now that really caught my attention, because I did think "those cards won't last long at OUR table!", but then I saw they were laminated. PERFECT! They really thought of everything with this one.

The other neat part about this is all the cards come in a tin, so are perfect to take along for evenings out. I know we could always use something to keep the kids occupied when we go out to eat at a real restaurant. My oldest doesn't like to color, so it's hard finding things he can do that doesn't include dumping salt on the table or opening every packet of sugar.

So anyway, I'm off to go buy this for Christmas. I see it's out of stock right now, but another shipment is due in on Monday. I'm buying now so I'm first in line! So happy this makes the LAST Christmas present I need for the kids! Woo hoo!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Content , Traffic, & Links

The other day an interesting post popped up on a popular message board about linking, content, and SEO. There was a comment made that the more content they have, the more people that will link to it, thus increasing their search engine rankings. Sounds good in theory and I can see where this may be true, but let me share with you some interesting facts based on my own experience.

This blog has over 400 entries. How many are there linking to us? Not many, and they are mostly link swaps or comments on other blogs. This blog really isn't read all that much, and most of the traffic comes from BlogExplosion. Random visitors come in from searches on search engines though.

Idea Queen has well over 100 pages of pure content. How much traffic does it get from recommended links? 1 a week if that. All the traffic comes from highly targeted main page link exchanges, articles, and search engines - with the bulk of it being from search engines (I would guess somewhere around 90%).

Don't ever assume your links are going to be passed around, because that's just not reality. The only way to build links is to actively seek out ways to leave your link in places (without being rude or spamming).

The average visitor rarely has time to pass on things they see, and usually doesn't even stop to think of someone that may like it, let alone do something like blog about it or post it on a message board. Plus of course, if you aren't ranked in the search engines and actively building link popularity no one is ever going to find you in the first place TO pass it on.

SEO is an ongoing process. Never take the easy way out! Don't think it's just going to happen without any work, or going to be "automatic". It may be the best way to generate traffic online, but you still have to actually DO something to get those rankings and high volumes of traffic.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Who Knew Programming Was Hard?

I sure wish someone would have told me before I went back to school that computer programming wasn't easy. Alright so I knew I was going to have to put effort into it, but had no idea I was going to get this lost along the way. I'm still trying to figure out what half of this stuff has to do with my ultimate goal of being able to write programs.

The worst of these classes has to be COBOL. Not because of the level of difficulty, but because it's one of the oldest programming languages. Which means NO ONE USES IT! Trying to get help outside of the class is a joke, since everyone just looks at you funny and wonders why in the world you want to write codes in COBOL. Why not Java or some other up-to-date language? Because I can't take those classes yet. :( Yesterday I felt like throwing in the towel and just saying forget it, but I didn't. Little by little I sacrificed my entire day to muddle through the program. Just before supper last night, the program was DONE and actually working the way it was suppose to. BIG sigh of relief since it was due within a few hours. If I don't get an A on this project, it's not going to be pretty around here.

While I feel tons better the project is done and there's only one left to do for the class, there's still the matter of a Statistics project and test due Friday. I thought that was going to be a somewhat easy class, but boy was I wrong. Lessons are getting more and more involved, and I'm having a heck of a time keeping up. Luckily after this project, there's only 2 more short chapters put together with another project, then the final test.

Exactly one month from now I'll be completely done with all of the classes this semester. I'm just hoping I come out of this with decent grades.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Work Continues on Scrapbooking Site

Whoever said you are never finished with a site couldn't be more right. I know this project will never be "finished", and right now it's not even close. Sure I got enough content up to officially open, but I'm still working hard on all those "little things" we sometimes forget about in the excitement. I tried to make sure I had everything in place, but I've missed some details.

I decided to go back through the SEO class I took several months ago, and it's been helpful once again. It's not that I don't know what's in the class (I've been doing SEO with my sites for several years), it's just the class helps me take a second look at things, and gives me a kick in the rear to do it right. For example, today I started working on the content of a specific page on the site. When I had gone through it before, I worked through the normal process of choosing a keyword phrase, checking keyword density, and word count. Although just before opening, I said "good enough" even though my word count was somewhat low. Today though, I went through the parts of the class dealing with writing content and really boosted that page. Not only does it look much better now, but it's going to serve as better search engine food. More words = more visitors. Perfect!

I'm still not quite done with that page though, and still in need of a few more main page link exchanges. Once those are done, I should have a much better word count on the page and it should be completely set (as far as "on the page" ranking goes). I still "off the page" work to do, which will never really be done. ;)

Friday, November 10, 2006

House Additions

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but we are trying to plan to add on to our house. My poor kids are stuffed in the same small room, and they REALLY need their own rooms. Lucky for us there's a whole lot of unused space directly above the kitchen and bathroom. Not so lucky is the fact that I really don't know any contractors to do the framing work.

I did happen to find this site though, where I found Local Contractor Services. Just took a few minutes of my time to locate a reliable contractor, and I can hopefully compair rates as well.

Honestly I have no idea how much we are going to be able to loan to get this project finished, but once I have a better idea of how much it's going to cost I can plan accordingly. My ex has already agreed to do the finishing work just as long as I can get the frame up. Weird I know, but at least my son will get a kick out of his dad being here working on the house. Wouldn't be the first time...he put in a new front door last year. Granted it was him that broke it to begin with, but that's beside the point. I pay him, he sends it to child support. Everyone wins!

Back to the site though, I really do hope to find someone who can do this for as little as possible AND knows what they are doing. Sure I could probably contact my uncle, but it took him 6 months just to put up drywall in the hallway. No thanks. Would rather find someone who does this seriously for a living, and specializes in framing work. Which is another cool thing about this site, you can request information based on the job. Very cool!

Crossing my fingers we can get this job started soon!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Links Exchanges - Scrapbooking Site

Normally I don't do a whole lot of link exchanges, because I know my time is better spent pulling in quality incoming links instead of mass amounts of links stuffed on a link page. Although since this site is a niche and I was forced to put a "resource" page, I'm actually going to accept a few link exchanges.

Now don't get me wrong, I think link exchanges are an important part of marketing online. Although more important are the one way incoming links. The links you get without having to "exchange". I also put a focus on "main page" link exchanges, where there is real visability and traffic coming from the exchange.

So I decided, alright, this site DOES need some links coming in, even if it's on a link page. BUT! I made sure to give the option on the form to accept a main page exchange as well. I'm hoping to get an even response from both types of exchange.

If you have a craft site or scrapbooking site (blogs work too), please feel free to check out the details on our link exchange at:

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Getting Paid to Blog?

Quite a while back ago Kara had posted something about PayPerPost.com. I remember her asking if anyone else had been doing it and I was feeling a little skeptic. At the time I didn't have time to fully research it and I kind of forgot about it.

Then a little over a month ago another friend of mine, Lynn Terry was recommending it to folks so, I thought I'd sign up and give it a try. I signed up and started looking over the website so I could give it a decent review one way or the other ... and I got sidetracked. Guess what happened? I kind of forgot about it again.

Well, needless to say … a little over a month later and I’m kicking myself for not really jumping into this! Especially after reading her update! See PayPerPost.com holds your payments for 30 days after you make the eligible post. So, now that it’s been over a month, she consistently has money just rolling into her paypal account every day. (Boy now doesn’t that sound “scammy”? LOL But, I’m serious. Since September 19th, she’s earned over $400!)

And I quote from Lynn herself …
“This was quite honestly some of the easiest money I’ve earned online.”

So, now I’m thinking … if you’re active blogger … you’re crazy NOT to sign up! And if you’re anything like me, sometimes it’s hard to come up with something to blog about. So, now you’re getting a topic to discuss AND getting paid to do it. Hmmm… works for me, how bout you?

All it takes is 3 easy steps…

Step 1
Register Your Blog
You will just have to put some info in about your blog, like what it’s all about. After that, your blog will be reviewed and upon acceptance, you are ready for Step 2.

Step 2
Check out the opportunities.
An opportunity is the way an advertiser presents their need. Each opportunity has a set compensation rate and requirements. Choose only the Opportunities best suited
to you.

Step 3
Finally, My Posts!
Allows you to see all of your working opportunities as well as the payment countdown clock. My Posts will also let you know the status of your post, if it's Pending, Approved, or Rejected etc.

So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try! Oh! And I almost forgot … back in Step 1. Don’t forget to add my email address mommyshelperonline@yahoo.com for your referral. I’d greatly appreciate it! Sign up here.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Scrapbookers: Why Haven't You Joined?

Yesterday I announced the grand opening of The Scrapbooking Source. Today I'm bugging all you scrapbookers out there to join the boards!

The community forums are a great place to meet other scrapbookers, share ideas, and pick up some super deals and discounts on scrapbooking supplies. Yes that's right, I said discounts! As in free stuff, sales, cheap products. Can't pass that up, can you?

Join our scrapbooking community at:

Did I also mention we'll be having a contest just as soon as there's some chatter on the board? You know what that means, right? FREE SCRAPBOOK PRODUCTS! So get on over there and join already - we need members to hold fun contests!

Don't be shy, I know all of you scrapbookers breezing in from BlogExplosion have lots to say and share! ;)

Friday, November 03, 2006

New Scrapbooker's Resource Site

After much hard work over the past few weeks, the new project I've been talking about is finally ready to be released! The Scrapbooking Source is officially opening it's doors TODAY!

If you are a scrapbooker, you're sure to feel at home. We've created a cozy place for all scrapbookers to come chat about ideas, share some insight, and make some new friends.

We've even created a full supply page you can view to find exactly the item you are looking for. Ten different suppliers are currently listed on this page, with more to be added soon. Many sites limit their supplies to only what THEY offer, but we've expanded and made sure we have the most products possible.

You'll also find expert articles, layout ideas, and much more.

We'll be offering a contest for free scrapbooking supplies in a few weeks as well, so you'll want to jump on over now to get involved in the message boards!

Visit our site and join the scrapbooking community at:

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Christmas Shopping Online

I'm sure everyone has their favorite places to shop, but I thought I would share my shopping techniques I've picked up in the past few years as well as some places I like to spend my cold hard cash.

Well first off I have to say this. We always use to tease my grandma just a bit, because her shopping was usually done in her attic. No we didn't get used toys or clothes from the 30s. We got a box of new stuff. Stuff she would buy all year and throw in the attic or one of the guest bedrooms (if you call not being able to see the bed or most of the floor because of the large amount of crap a "guest bedroom"). She's done this for so many years and picked up so many "on sale" items over the years, we get an occational item which we sometimes are able to date back to the 70s or 80s. Which it's the thought that counts, right? Plus it was mostly items which were "practical", such as bath salts or paper towls. Well and also, the "main" gift is always a wad of cash. Works for me! Thank you grandma and grandpa! :D

So even though we've teased her a bit, there's something to the way she does it. It really is smart shopping if you think about it - buy stuff all year if you find it on sale or if you think HEY this would make a PERFECT gift. So I've slightly picked up on that, and managed to have all my October baby's gifts bought by the beginning of September. Hell I even had a few left over for Christmas that I kept in "the hidden box". Sweet!

Since this worked so well for the last birthday, I've already started picking up things here and there that I find interesting at craft shows we go to. Of course I just know it will be mid December when I'm rushing off to Amazon, crossing my fingers the package will get here in time for Christmas. While I do support many work at home moms and buy from several "indies", you just got to make that Amazon trip to get the true crap the kids want, even though you know in the back of your head the toy won't work as it's suppose to, or it will be broke in a few months, or all the pieces will go missing. Even still I've got a few gems from Amazon the kids still enjoy (I've found the more peices the better, just as long as you don't need them all to make whatever it is work. What's left makes up for what's missing).

Speaking of Amazon, I've been seriously thinking about buying my son his own laptop. Well, kinda. It's like a toy laptop with just access to games. But it's the idea of his very own computer that has me really thinking about this.

My biggest fear is that he'll either break it or like many electronics in this day and age, just stop working after a year. $50 isn't a cheap toy, and I'm not sure I want to spend THAT much on something which might not last. This would definately be a "special" toy which only gets down when I can supervise closely. Although still.....arg what a hard choice to make. I just know he would LOVE this, and it would be the end-all-be-all toy this Christmas. Anyone have this particular toy and would like to tell me how it's held up?

Alright so in addition to picking up stuff here and there at craft shows and making an Amazon list, I've also been eyeing things on Etsy. I picked up some SUPER CUTE soaps from an indie soap maker. Oh let me tell you what, these soaps are PERFECT for my kids. It's her own unique creation called "Floap", and I got the Cow-me-flage ones for my kids. What I love about etsy is the ability to start a conversation with the sellers, and ask for them to list a special order just for you. I ended up with 2 floaps and a lip balm for my girl. There's a ton of other stuff I want on that site too, but the bath stuff is perfect for the kids (love love love handmade soaps!!).

I better go before I start getting emails of people who go broke on Etsy, Amazon, or some other shop I've recommended. :P

New Message Boards Look - Cast Your Vote

Okay, the idea was going to be to just surprise our members one day with a whole new look ... however, we're having a hard time deciding ... so, we figured we'd make it a little more fun ...

Which theme do you like:

Blob Theme


Cast your vote here or visit the boards for our discussion on
Which Theme Do You Like?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

DNA - Domain Names Anonymous

Lately I've been doing a lot of side-work designing websites for friends and family. I must say I've been enjoying the creativity vent it gives me ... not to mention the ability to enjoy the desiging aspect WITHOUT adding yet another website to my already too long list.

I seriously think buying domain names and creating websites is an addiction. However, I know for myself ... the domain name buying is the worse of the two. It's just so easy and when you have an idea, you HAVE to go buy it, right? If you don't then someone else will, right? Alright everyone ... I KNOW you're all out there. I think we need to create a new support group called DNA - Domain Names Anonymous. How many domain names do YOU own?