Friday, May 27, 2005

TGIF!!

This week has been soooo long. I think the stress of moving and buying a house is getting to me and dh. The last few nights we have been so tired. As a matter of fact, I passed out for the night about 8:30pm and I STILL don't feel rested.

This weekend is going to be a little busy. Saturday morning I get my hair braided (5-6 hours), later that day/evening we will be rubbing elbows with some good friends of ours.

Sunday we might get to hang back but probably not. I know there will be a couple of friends who will want to do something and that is fine. Monday is too far away to predict. *lol*

So to everyone, have a fun, relaxing, and safe holiday weekend!!

Here is a nice true story to kick off a nice weekend:

I sleep talk. I used to sleep walk as a child, but it is rare now. But I sleep talk mostly when I am extremely tired before I go to bed.

According to my dh, last night when he came to bed hours after I did, I "woke" up and asked him what he was doing as he was coming into the bedroom.

He replied: "I'm coming to bed".
I said: "Oh! Well come on in!" (Said in a really happy, friendly voice)
He said: " Thanks for the invitation"
I replied: "You're welcome!!" (Said in an upbeat voice)

Once he got into the bed, he started tugging on the blankets because our dog was laying on top of them.

Me: "What are you doing?"
DH: "I am trying to get under the covers, the dog is laying on top of them"
Me: " That damn dog" (Said in a joking and friendly way)

All of this took place last night while I was asleep. I don't remember any of it. Of course dh knew I was asleep and found the whole thing really amusing.

I used to be really grumpy and mean when I would sleep talk so this is a new thing that I am jovial and kind and even funny!

posted at 6:02 AM

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Cool Tips I've Learned

Over the week I keep hearing cool tips from tv and the net about things we all need to do. I have compiled them here:

Computer

You should defragment your computer at least once a month in order to keep it running smoothly and fast. To do this, you need to close out of everything, disable any antivirus and adware programs. If you click Ctr-Alt-Delete and click on Taskmaster you should see a list of software currently running, close out of everything.

Run Disk Cleanup before your defragment.

Click Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Cleanup

Once that is done you are ready to defrag. Go back to Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Defragment

Depending on when the last time you did this, it might take an hour or it might take all weekend for the defrag to get done. On one of my old computers it literally took us overnight to get it done there was so much in there that needed cleaning. It didn't help that the computer was slow anyways. Now it only takes an hour or so if we keep on top of it.

Another computer tip: Update your virus software frequently. I have all mine (I have 3 anti-virus softwares running) set to automatically update without my prompting. I also run them all once a week or more to clean out any trojans I might get infected with over the week.

Bathroom Tips

To clean the toilet without spending money on cleaners: Get Tang or another breakfast drink with citrus, and scoop 1 to 2 spoonfuls of the drink into the toilet. Take the toilet brush and scrub the bowl and under the lid. Leave Tang in from 30 min to overnight. Flush. Viola! I haven't personally tried this one, but I just saw it on an episode of Queen of Clean.

To clear out drains: Pour some baking soda down the drain (not sure how much) then pour some white vingar down with it (not sure how much). It will bubble up a lot and look like a volcano. Leave for 30 min or more, then rinse with cold water. Drain should be as good as new!

To shine your bathrooms' faucets: One way is to take a dryer sheet and rub the faucets with that. Another way is to use white vinegar. Either way it makes your faucets shine!

If I get more tips I will write them here!

posted at 5:40 AM

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Patience Is A Virtue

It will take at least 8 weeks before I get my first check from Willow because I have to go through the application process, the role play (sort of like an interview), pass a couple of tests, get my business registered as an LLC or S-Corp, go through the first training which is a couple of weeks long, then I have to sign on with a client and go through their training which can be 2-4 weeks long. THEN I start taking calls and getting paid.

Sooooooo while all that is in the works I plan to work Verafast evenings and nights, and work West on the weekends for a few hours. Then when Willow is all set up, I will drop one or both of the other companies and just work for Willow full time during the days and no weekends, unless I need extra money.

posted at 5:19 AM

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Willow (My longest entry yet I think)

A change in work plans. There is a company that I was avoiding working for solely because it is a franchise and therefore it requires money to start ($400-600).

Here is the run-down of my situation:

We plan to move the first week of July and that will give us 7 weeks before our first mortgage payment is due. In those 7 weeks we need to start work so that we can pay our bills on time.

The first company I got hired for West.com seems to be lacking in hours and since I would be getting paid per talk time minutes, my check can range from a tiny bit to a bundle.

The second company, Verafast, seems the best of both evils, but this one is mostly nights and weekends if I want to make about $12 per hour. I prefer to work days so I can spend evenings and nights with my family.

So in comes Willow. It is just like West.com except Willow only hires corporations because as I said, it is like a franchise. So I have to get incorporated with my state, then I have to pay Willow an application fee, a background check fee, a fee for the initial training course to learn to use their database and system, then another fee to the client of my choosing (whoever is hiring at that time) for training so that I can begin work. After all is said and done it will be a total of $400-600 for startup costs. Most of which can be tax deducted.

I also need to hire an accountant if I want to make sure my taxes are paid correctly and on time. But that is a personal preference.

Why would I do all this when West.com is free? Because with Willow it seems depending on the client I can make anywhere from a minimum of $10 per hour to $18 per hour. One client promises a minimum of $10 per hour whether you take 1 call that whole shift of 1000 calls that shift. Another client pays a min of $8 per hour but you have the possiblilty of making up to $18 per hour in that same job.

So the money is pretty good and instead of a minimum of $0 per hour like with other companies, Willow seems to have clients that will pay me at least $8 per hour even if I only get one call. Some clients pay per minute, others pay per hour, while others pay per contact. Since Willow has so many clients, there is no way for me to know which one I would be working for. Also, once I get hired on with Willow I can train for more than one client if I want to, to increase my income that much more.

If anyone is interested in working for Willow you can go to: Willow CSN

If you would like to research Willow before you invest, you can call Willow to speak with actual CSRs (that is what they are called once they get hired on) : 866.771.0041

You can also go to BBB and type in "Willow CSN" to see their record.

For more personal experiences with Willow check out this message board to talk to others who work for or have worked for Willow: Work Place Like Home .

For detailed info about the job, pay, and how to get started the website to Willow is the BEST place for that. Any other questions, call that number I gave you and/or post a question on the message board Work Place Like Home that is found above.

I haven't started working for them yet, but I know the job entails taking customer service calls for a variety of clients. I do not believe there are any outbound calls (calling people at home). It sounds like it is all inbound calls (customer calls YOU for services or products). So the next time you call a catalog or a 1-800 # off of tv or a flyer you might be talking to someone working from home!

posted at 5:45 AM

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Joys of Technology

If you would have told someone back in the 80's that by the year 2005 someone could find a house, work, buy plane tickets, and even have garage sales all from their computer at home they would have dropped dead of surprise. Now it is such a normal thing.

The past few months I have found our new home online, done most of my banking online, comparasion shopped for products, kept in touch with friends and family, downloaded and burned songs to cd, kept a daily diary, bought a few plane tickets, bought bus tickets, learned about my new town, sent birthday cards, wrote companies letters about their products, got legal advice, learned about mortgages, reserved a moving truck, and I will buy moving boxes.

This list doesn't include the little things like playing games, researching hair care tips, and a bunch of other things.

My whole life is online. And I will start working 100% from the internet very soon! I wonder what our world will look like 30 years from now. I can't imagine things getting anymore wonderous and convienent than it already is. The future is exciting!

posted at 6:28 AM

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bad Hair Life

I had a hard time sleeping stressing over something that is so trivial. My hair! Now that I am about a month away from moving, I am struggling to find a good hair salon to get my hair done every two weeks. I am bi-racial and my hair is extremely thick and hard to take care of. That is why I have lived with braids for the past 6 years or so.

Braids can cost anywhere from $200-$500 every two months if I get them done in a salon. So I would have to find someone who could do it for me at home for $35-$60 instead. That requires me to meet people and working from home won't give me that exposure to new people.

Then I decided that instead of getting braids, maybe I should just get my hair relaxed (chemically straightend) and styled in a salon instead. At least for the fall, winter, and spring. Then for summer I can get braids so I can swim in the ocean.

So now I am on the hunt for a decently priced hair salon in south Jersey that I can go to once every two weeks for a wash and style and once a month for a relaxer and deep condition. If anyone can help me that would be cool. I am currently scouring the internet for black hair care message boards that I can ask that same question.

It might not be a big deal to some, but it's either this or I keep my hair in a bun or afro puffs for the rest of my life. *lol*

posted at 7:54 AM

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Braid Me Up

I should have taken my braids out last weekend. Whenever I put something off I tend to regret it later. My braids aren't holding up to well. One of them came out this morning so I've tried to hide the loose hair under my under braids and that isn't doing so well. So now I have to braid a new one in at lunch which seems like a waste since I will be taking them down on Saturday afternoon anyways. Never again.

I got some bad news. A friend of mine is going into heart surgery this week. My prayers are with him and I hope he recovers quickly and fully.

posted at 7:59 AM

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Special note to Ghost:

Hi! I usually don't address entries to a particular reader because I find it creepy and rude but I didn't know if you would get this if I put it in comments on another entry.

You said you have a blog that you only let strangers see. I thought, hmmm, since they keep signing their comments "ghost" and not advertising their blog, this person must be someone I know in real life.

Am I right? *tee hee*

posted at 5:14 AM

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Hair!

I was supposed to work overtime and take my braids out yesterday. None of that happened because my parents decided to come to visit for the day so we stayed home to clean instead of doing OT at work. Then by evening, I wasn't feeling like spending 5 hours taking my braids out so instead we BBQ'd and invited one friend to join us.

Then I told myself I would take my braids down today, but I had stayed up til about 4 am so I was too tired to get up at a decent hour to do my hair. Looks like the braids are staying in for another week. I plan to take them out next weekend and get new ones the weekend after.

Ahhh the joys of spontaneity.

posted at 11:34 AM

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Money Money Money

Looks like dh has a GREAT (90%) chance at working with his brother in law. He will be making anywhere from $12-18 per hour depending on which position they start him at. He will be getting raises of $.50-1.00 per hour after every few months. So if he starts at $12 per hour, he will be up to $13-14 by Christmas!!

Also, if he can start his new job in August, he will be working about 20 hours or more of overtime per week since that is their busiest time of year. If he only gets $12 per hour, with the overtime, we will be living VERY comfortably.

I can’t imagine how great our finances will be if he starts at $15 or more an hour! We can finally start putting money in savings and we can also start paying off every debt we owe so that we can have a fresh slate. We will need to buy another car too since we only have the one. Nothing brand new (unless we can afford it). Just a used SUV or truck that he can drive to work.

Things are really starting to fall in place! Now we just need to survive closing on the house with no problems.

posted at 6:00 AM

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Let It Go

I have got to take my former counselor's advice. She told me once that my main problem concerning personal relationships is that I tend to stress over other people's reactions and actions towards me. The one thing I cannot change I stress over and that is a no-win situation for the well being of my mental health.

She told me if someone gets angry with me and it is my fault, apologize and let it go. If the person continues to be angry even after an apology, then there is nothing I can do about it. "Let it go" she told me. So for a while I was able to do just that. But that was a few years ago so I am out of practice.

I was up half the night with insomnia because I was harping over the fact that a friend of mine is still angry with me even though we both said our apologies. One part of me wants to pull her aside and talk to her about it but another part of me is telling me to just drop it. I said sorry about what I did to her to make her mad so I shouldn't have to confront her about her still be angry. Besides I don't know for sure if she IS still angry.

So I will just let it go.

Side note: I am starting a new blog (don't worry I will keep posting in this one). My new blog will be nothing but bad negative things that happen to me. Things I would rather people didn't read. A place where I can go into detail and talk about my true feelings without being censored. Because of that, this blog should be happier. I plan to take more pics with my digital camera and post cool ones on this blog.

But from now on, any really bad things that happen to me will be posted in my secret blog. Sorry.

posted at 5:32 AM

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Embarrassing Moment #1498

So Friday after lunch I was at work and standing in the hallway talking to a co-worker. Then I went to the break room to make photocopies and I stood with my back to the break room while the copies were being made. Then I stopped at one of the tables on my way out to chat with some more co-workers. The first co-worker came into the room at that time and started talking with us.

After about 2 min I turned to leave. Walked back to my desk and resumed work.

10 min later co-worker #1 came to my cube and told me that someone told her my pants are ripped. She came to let me know. I felt my ass and sure enough one of the back pockets was ripped right down the seam for about 3-4 inches. My undies were brightly showing.

I told my supervisor I had to go home for a minute. I ran home and changed.

I think I ripped my jeans on the something in my car on the way out. I thought I heard and felt something odd when I was gettting out of the car at lunch.

Needless to say, I had to go out and buy a few more pairs of jeans this weekend because I quickly realized most of my very old jeans were starting to rip in that same area so it was time to throw those out and buy more.

I wonder how I am wearing out that part of my jeans? Very odd. But at least I got some new clothes out of the whole thing. Yay!

posted at 5:44 AM

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Friday, May 06, 2005

Lose Weight: Take 100-Scene 2

So I am pro-actively trying to lose weight...again.

It's amazing how many times in a life a typical woman will try diets over and over and never stick with any of them for very long. I am a typical woman.

This time my plan is to do Weight Watchers combined with Slim Fast. Meaning, instead of only drinking Slim Fast twice a day with a healthy dinner, I plan to drink Slim Fast for breakfast and maybe something like a bag of vending machine pretzels. For lunch something within my WW point range, and dinner the same. If I ever want a snack and if I have enough WW points for it, I can snack on Slim Fast.

Also, I have started taking Mega-T Green Tea diet pills. The reason is because it is just green tea which is widely known to increase metabolism and curb appetite. There is no ephedra or any other chemical in them that is proven dangerous. One pill is equivalent to drinking 4 cups of green tea!

I am also going to re-start the gym. I plan to work out at least 3 times a week for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours each time.

My goal is to lose at least 20 pounds by July and another 10 pounds by August.

July 1st: We will be flying to NJ to close on our new home. We will get the keys to the new house that day as well.

August 1st: We officially arrive in NJ as new residence.

So by Aug I really need to be down by at least 30 pounds. Safe? Yes since they say losing about 2 pounds per week is safe. Realistic? With my track record, no. But I am up for the challenge.

posted at 7:09 AM

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Whole New Respect For Single Parents

I don't see how single parents do it. I am back to work from yesterday to Friday and dh is still in NJ. You might not think taking care of a dog, two cats, and a ferret is not that hard, but damn! I did not realize how much dh and I split the responsibilites until now.

Last night after work I had to run to the bank which is almost across town, did some shopping (had to buy all the animals their food), picked up something at Taco Johns for my dinner, and then went to fill the gas tank up for the first time ever in my life! I am so spoiled. I am 27 years old and have never had to fill a gas tank by myself. My husband is the car person of the family.

Then once I got home I had to take the dog out, feed all the animals, scoop litter (cat litter and ferret litter) and then let the ferret play for an hour and a half or so. I had to jump online to look for airline fares for July, I had to call some places to get some old bills paid, and then I did some online research about green tea diet pills that I just bought. By the time I sat down to relax and watch tv, it was bed time and I still hadn't done any housework. Now the house is a mess! I CANNOT wait for dh to come back home. I am already missing him like crazy, but after last night I am dying without him.

For all you single parents out there: How do you DO it??? Children are 100000 times more work than pets are. I can't imagine how anyone can keep their sanity doing this plus some for years by themselves. You have my utmost respect and love.

posted at 5:25 AM

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Good Credit Means A Great Lifestyle!

I cannot stress enough to those out there who just left home that having good credit is the ticket to a mostly stress free adult life. With great credit you can get a nice car, get emergency bank loans for those unfortunate times when you need quick cash, and eventually having great credit can help you get the house of your dreams.

My credit is bad. It isn't the worst, but it isn't good either. Because of this I am scared as hell about losing our new house because the bank refuses to give us the loan. We've been pre-approved for the loan and that is a huge step towards getting our house, but there is still a small chance that the approval department won't see eye to eye with our bank loan officer and will deny us the loan. If that happens I will have to try to get a loan with a sub-prime lender which means much higher interest rates. So from now until July I won't be sleeping very well. Not just that but if God-forbid something tragic happens and I need quick money, no one will loan it to me because of my credit score. Banks don't care if you are crying your eyes out because you HAVE to get a loan for an emergency. If your score is bad, they won't even look your way.

If I had been meticulous about my credit years ago, I wouldn't be this worried at all. As a matter of fact I would be buying my new window treatments and interior wall paint for my new house because that is how confident I would be about my getting approved.

Luckily though, we live in a society where having great credit is becoming rare. Because of this, banks and other lenders have lowered their expectations of people and have become more lenient about lending to less-than-perfect credit applicants.

If my self of today could go back in time and talk to my self of 18 years old when I got my first credit card I would say this:

Use your credit card for small purchases and pay more than the minimum payment on time every month.

Once you have established good credit with your credit card company DO NOT get more cards, keep using the one you have and paying it down religiously.

Save save save money. Any extra cash you get ahold of, put away.

After a few years of doing that, buy a cute condo or townhome in your price range and pay on time every time.

Do not bounce checks! And if it happens, pay it off BEFORE it gets to court. Having judgements on your credit is one of the worst things to have. Be responsible.

Buy an affordable car.

Once you have established good credit with your car, condo and credit card, look into buying a bigger house to go along with your new husband, bigger pay check, and your more responsible self!

For now though, since I didn't do any of those things, I am cleaning up my credit as much as I can. This time next week all of my outstanding collections on my credit will be paid off. I haven't had a late credit card payment in 3 or 4 months and I intend to keep it that way. Now I can start over and restore my credit to what it should be had I been more responsible as a young adult.

And lucky me, I have discovered all of this and I am only 27!! I know of people who have worse credit than me and they are in their 40's and 50's! My plan is by the time I am 30, I hope to have my credit score so high that I can finally get the best sleep of my life.

posted at 8:55 AM

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

On A Lighter Note...

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posted at 9:32 AM

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Monday, May 02, 2005

Q&A Time!! WARNING: Very Long Entry

If you are a friend of mine, please do not take this entry the wrong way. I am not talking about a specific friend but I am talking in general from comments and concerns that I have recieved from a few people in my life regarding my move to NJ.

Seems a few people are worried about us getting into a mortgage that is $400 a month more expensive than our rent is. I understand the main concern is that my dh won't be able to find a job that makes enough to help make all the bills. I know these are all said with concern and love for us and I totally respect that. Lord knows I express my personal concerns with friends as well.

Anyone who really knows me, knows how anal I am about research before I make a major decision. I spent 3 months obsessing over the technical side of tongue piercings (safety, cost, types, care, ect) before I forked over the money to get my tongue pierced. They also know how much I obsessed about legit work-from-home jobs before I started putting in my applications and resumes to employers (I now have TWO legitimate work at home jobs).

That said, I would NOT just up and move cross country and stack on a big mortgage without months and months of research. The past 3 months or so I have literally spent almost every waking moment planning, researching, and learning about this move. From hours spent comparing prices of moving vans to even more hours of job hunting and following up on applications I submitted.

Dh and I even went through several conversations of budgeting. Figuring out how much we would each need to make per hour in order to pay all of our bills.

It helps that dh is 80% sure he has a job working with his brother-in-law. In case the 20% wins out and he doesn't get that job, the job market in our new area is thriving. He can very easily get a job making more than what he is making now. I know this because I am constantly on Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, and hotjobs.com as well as my speaking to dh's family who literally lives minutes away from our new house.

As for me, well I already have two jobs lined up. One will be my full time job making anywhere from $9-12 per hour depending on my speed (totally in MY control) and the other job will be part-time or very very part-time making between $6-10 per hour depending on the call volume.

In this part of my post I will address that many Q&A I have dealt with from different people:

Q: Why not rent for a while before you buy to give you time to settle into your new area?

A: We have 2 cats, 1 dog, and 1 ferret. I spent literally 5 months online looking for places to rent and either they don't accept dogs or they accept pets but my deposit would be $300 PER ANIMAL ($1200) and $1800 for the normal deposit. Rent would be $900 a month. Another place told me that the deposit would be significantly less but my monthly rent would be $1200 a month! With these prices, we might as well OWN our home. The deposit would take care of our downpayment and the monthly rent money would take care of most if not all of our mortgage payment.

Q: How can you afford the downpayment, closing costs, and moving costs in such short time?

A: Saving our money wisely and dipping into our 401K, stocks, ect. Since we still have another 30 years before retirement I am sure borrowing from our 401K and selling our stocks won't kill us.

Q: Why not wait until your car is paid off in 3 years before moving?

A: Because who is to say in 3 years we won't need to buy ANOTHER car and start ANOTHER car payment. Or better yet, who is to say in 3 years we won't be starting a family? I hear moving cross country with babies can be a bigger pain than moving with 2 cats, 1 dog, and a ferret....Oh and I cannot stay in this place one year longer or I'll scream.

Any other questions? Feel free to put them in the comments section of this entry and I will answer them as well I can.

posted at 2:02 PM

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

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Dream Home

No that is not our house. That is what I aspire too one day. Hey, a girl can dream!!

Tomorrow is gonna be a busy day for dh. He has to sign some paperwork at the bank, he plans to go back to the house to take lots of pics for me to see, and he needs to make an appointment for the house inspector. Hopefully the inspection can be this week while dh is in the area.

My fingers are still tightly crossed that everything goes smoothly for us. I won't be able to relax until we get the keys in our hands come July. Once that is done I will post pics of our new place for sure! I just don't wanna post pics, lose the house and then have to explain why the pics are no longer valid. But for now, the pic of my dream home will have to do.

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about
  • Name: Nicole
  • Age: 28
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