Category Archives: Our Businesses

Simplifying in 2011

One of my New Year’s plans is to simplify things.  This is a tough one for me, because I have so many interests and I love diversification… but I have decided that one of my simplifications will be moving this blog over to Blogspot, as I have a few others over there as well.  Having everything together in one place will be easier on me, I hope, and I hope that it won’t be too much trouble for you, either.  🙂

In the meantime, I may post a few more things here, and this site will remain up for some time, but please check us out at Making Our Dream Life Happen over at the new site.  There are some exciting changes coming up this year for us, so I hope to see you there!

As always, I enjoy hearing from you, so please check us out, and I hope to see you there!!!

I’m also going to post a quick list of blogs that I have.  Some of these are new, and some have been around but quiet for a while.  I have plans to keep these blogs going, and a plan for regular updates on them.  Please feel free to check them out as well, and drop me a quick line, letting me know that you found me.  🙂

My photography blog.

My photography website.

Inked in the South.

As I said, I’m pretty sure I’ll be back by within a couple of weeks, so feel free to leave me a comment here, but I’ll be checking the new blog daily.  🙂

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Filed under Education, Free Stuff I find, My Writing, Our Businesses, Parenting, Plans for our Dream Life, Trips, Uncategorized

VCA FUNDRAISING CLOSED

Just to let everyone know, VCA Fundraising is now closed.  Thank you to everyone who expressed an interest, and who supported our boys!  We wound up raising just a bit over the amount needed, and with permission of the one who sent us the overage, used it toward uniforms and a hoodie for Chris.

The Cobras have played two games so far, and their record is 1-1.  The first one was a close game, but they were beat.  The second one (last night) was a great game, and they played very well!!!!  It was a lot of fun.  Chris made his first basket, and a couple of assists, as well as a couple of steals, so he was very excited!  They have another game tonight (FOUR this week… ouch!!!), so I’ll be uploading pictures tomorrow of some of the games.

I’m in the process of creating a website to sell Event Photography (as well as the portraits and landscapes that I occassionally do).  SmugMug (where I had previously hosted my photography) was a little out of my price range this year, so I’ve had to change it over.  My new website will be:  http://eventsbykim.photoreflect.com.  I don’t have any of the photos uploaded to the website yet, but will also be working on those in coming days.  So give me a few days, and we’ll see how this one works out.  It’s less than half the cost of SmugMug, and in tough times like these, I’ve got to watch every penny.  🙂

I’ll also be posting a list of the businesses and individuals that supported Chris and VCA in our fundraising efforts, as a Thank You!!!

So, ’til next time… 🙂

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Filed under Our Businesses, Parenting

Chris’s new business

Chris (our 13-year-old) has started making and selling The Disciple’s Cross.  He’s been really excited about making them, and finding them new homes.  🙂  We’re working on fixing his Facebook account (don’t know what’s wrong with it, but he no longer has access to it), and getting him set up with his own page, but for now, I wanted to give everyone ordering information.  He’s excited about sharing his ministry and his business.  If you know someone who might be interested, please share this post!

Here’s a sample:

Individual orders are $9.99 each, with discounts for multiple crosses ordered at once.  Each cross comes packaged with a tag explaining the significance of each of the elements that make up the cross, and packaged in a bag for easy gift giving.  They are easily shipped ($5.00 S & H for one, $1.00 Handling each and actual shipping for multiple crosses) and can be ordered to your choice of colors, or can be picked up in Victoria, TX to avoid the charge.

If you’d like to order a Disciple’s Cross from Chris, please feel free to leave a comment here with your email address, and Chris will send you an order form.  He accepts checks and money orders in person or by mail, or I can send you an invoice through PayPal, where you can pay via credit card, PayPal funds, or e-check.

I’ll do another post soon, listing colors available.  All orders are shipped within 3 business days of receipt.

With the holidays right around the corner, you can get a jump start on your shopping!  =)

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Filed under Our Businesses, Parenting, Plans for our Dream Life

The WAHM Experiment

I’ve started a new blog.  🙂  Not a big shock, right?  I’d actually talked to my husband about this a while back, and he agreed it was a good idea (and hoped that I’d at least make some of the money back that I’ve spent trying on home based businesses…LOL).  Now I hope that you will like the idea, too.

So, I’ve spent the better portion of my adult life trying to find Work at Home businesses that could supplement (and hopefully eventually match) my office job income.  For me, a good portion of those businesses have failed for one reason or another.  Either I’ve lost interest in them, or didn’t put the time into them that I should have… some have just been not a good fit for my personality.  Lately I’ve been reviewing them again, hoping that I can find something that will allow me to stay at home with my kids, and together with that and my blogging, earn a decent income.  While I review so many opportunities, it’s easy to wistfully read the articles and testimonials of those who earn money while they sleep, and forget what I’ve learned through the years.  Yes, I have tried a few of those… in my much younger and slightly more naive years.  🙂  I even (gasp) tried a chain letter once… I think I made $8.  Of course, I spent $40 trying it.  Anyways… my point.  Yes, there was a point.  The point is that with my business sense (developed since the chain letter years, I assure you), I see a lot of these business opportunities that could potentially change someone’s life.  But knowing what I know now, there are certain things that just aren’t a good fit for me.  For you, they may work out great.  I’m a pretty good judge of people most of the time, and I can typically tell the type of person that a particular business opportunity will work for.

So, that’s what The Work At Home Mom Experiment is about.  I’ll do (or have done) the experimenting.  I’ll review the opportunities.  I’ll request the information to start that opportunity.  I’ll interview people who are doing the business.  And I’ll condense it, and report it all back to my loyal readers.  Then, I’ll go a step further, and try to give the reader an idea of the types of people who would do well in this business.  And equally important, the qualities that someone might have that says they might not do so well with this business.  Then the reader can look for something that they might enjoy instead, and NOT have to waste everyone’s time and money trying to do a business that they’re just not “wired” to do.  Make sense?

I’ve found a couple of sites that do this already, but the majority of them are either sales sites for a different business (don’t do business A, do business B), or they are unhappy former consultants who have a need to bash the entire business rather than recognizing that it “just isn’t me”.  Alternatively, they are some subscription-only sites.  The WAHM Experiment isn’t any of those things.  It’s FREE (although there will be advertisements, so please click if they interest you…LOL).  If I have a particular one that requires money to join, I’ll do a post with a ticker asking for donations.  That way, if there are ten people who’d all like to learn more, we can each pitch in a small amount and learn from the review whether it’s worth our time.  But I won’t require any membership fees, and nobody is required to pay anything.

Please be patient with me while I build up the content on the site.  If you are a rep for any company, head on over and leave me a comment, and I’ll interview you if someone’s not ahead of you in the pipeline.  Anyone who is interviewed for a review will receive links back to their online store/site for their time (FREE advertising!!!).  And if you’re looking for a new home-based business?  Well, keep checking back, or comment me and let me know what company you’d like to see reviewed!  🙂

I’m excited that I’ll be able to share this information with everyone, and that it may help someone looking to start their own business find the perfect fit for them!

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Filed under Free Stuff I find, My Writing, Our Businesses

It’s official – homeschooling mom-teacher of three

our homeschoolers

After MUCH debate, and several conversations with each child and each other, Hubby and I made a monumental decision this weekend.  We are homeschooling all three children now.

I’m terrified and excited.  I know it will be good for us, both as a family and individually.  This is one step closer to our dream life.  I always wanted to be a teacher, and now I’ll be teaching my children, each in the way that they learn best.  I’ve done the research, I’ve paid careful attention.  I can do this!  We can do this!!

But I have concerns, too.  What if I can’t do as good of a job with the littles?  What if I find I don’t have the patience?  The fortitude?  The whatever-it-takes to get it done?  What if we really need me to go back to work?  I’m finding there’s a lot more nerves there than I thought there would be.  A lot more questions than answers.  But I’m also confident that it’s the right choice.  With Hubby working out of town, the responsibilities to get the kiddos where they each need to be falls on me.  I’ve already taught Kyle how to read, and Kody is well on his way.  Kyle will continue to have more doctor’s appointments than most kiddos his age, due to his allergies.  And with Daddy being out of town, it’s tougher to stick to a school schedule.  Taking all of those things into consideration, we decided that the uncertainty is worth the plunge.

If I am low on patience, then I’ll schedule more mommy-time when I can get it.  I’ll spend more time visiting family, and getting out and about to museums, the zoo, and other activities that will keep the littles occupied and still be learning activities.  I’ll also be better able to participate in some of the homeschool days activities.  If we get desperate for a second income, then I’ll find something on the night shift.  (I prefer that anyways).  I’ll still continue with my freelancing, and my other businesses to create income when and how I can that way (Avon, anyone? Barefoot Books? There’s another one in the works, but until it’s a done deal, I won’t advertise it.)  I’ve learned a lot about blogging in the last few months, and will be putting some of what I’ve learned to use there, too.  I have a book and a couple of short stories in the works.  We’ll be working together as a family to submit those and learn about the publishing process (rejection letters can be learned from, too).  We will adopt even more frugal attitudes and involve the whole family in those activities (I made laundry soap a couple of weeks ago.  We were lacking the buckets to put it in, but I’ll be trying again soon… I’m also looking to take some “refresher course” on sewing… with my mom if she’ll do it (LOL) or a course from someone local… if you know anyone in/near Victoria, please drop me a line in the comments).

Tomorrow I’ll officially withdraw the littles from school and send off our letter to the administration.  I’ll have their curriculum completed by then, a la The Well Trained Mind.

Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkk!!!!  What have I gotten myself into????  LOL!!!  {Breathe, Kim… it’s going to be okay!}

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Filed under Education, Our Businesses, Parenting, Plans for our Dream Life

Barefoot Books

You’ve seen the many income streams I’ve attempted to build to help support our family and homeschooling.  I have a new one!!!  This morning, I was watching Good Morning America, to see the Avon clip (did you see it?), and saw Barefoot Books.  This is perfect for our homeschooling family, and there is no cost to get started!!!  So, what did I do?  Yep, if you’ve been reading my blog long, you’ll know exactly what I did.  I signed up to be a Barefoot Books Ambassador. If you haven’t seen them yet (or even if you have), please check out my new site.

Have you ordered from Barefoot Books before?  What did you think?

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Filed under Education, Our Businesses

Shameless Plug for August :)

Photo of Kim EarleyAs I’m a WAHM, and a professional freelancer, I do many things.  This means I need to tell people what all I do… often.  So this is my “plug” for the month of August.  😀  Please, if you’re seeing this on Facebook, and know of someone who might need my services, please SHARE.  If you think you have a friend or family member that just might want my contact information, please send them to my Facebook site, this blog, or my website.   As a freelancer, I keep my options open, and the more offbeat the assignment seems, the more interested I am.  🙂

My website shows a bit of what I write about.  It is in the midst of a major re-design, but it has contact information and links in abundance.

My business resume is showcased at LinkedIn.  This will give you an idea of what all I have done in the business world, and some of the breadth of my knowledge, as well as the industries I’ve worked in.

Facebook page.  This is more of a contact me page, as I frequently post my articles and links there, but I also post favored quotes, and just chat here.  The advantage is that I’m frequently on Facebook, so I can be contacted quickly through this page.

Although my primary focus is writing, and I write on many subjects (which can all be found in this blog under “My Writing” category in the drop down box on the right, or on my primary website), I also offer many other services.

Some of my recent projects have included:

  • Lender Site Inspection (photography and business report)
  • Articles about tattoos
  • Articles about social networking
  • Articles about money-making ideas (ghost written)
  • One-on-one computer training
  • One-on-one business training (reception and office management skills necessary in the workplace)
  • Temporary Staffing for office and retail

Some projects that I’m currently being considered for include:

  • Group training:  using social media for your business

Offbeat and one-off projects are welcome.  If you’ve got a project that needs to get done, but the people in your organization aren’t sure where to start, or just don’t have the time to complete it, that’s when you call me.  With professionalism and integrity, I can help businesses or individuals in unusual situations.

Examples:

  • Want to take a week-long cruise, but you own a retail business and need someone to step in and run it while you’re gone?  I can do that.
  • Need a (Texas) Notary Public available on call?  I can do that.
  • Need help getting your new business office organized, policies and procedures in place, and help with hiring new employees?  I can do that.
  • Own a campground and haven’t had a vacation in years because you have no one to look after it while you’re gone?  I can do that.
  • Need someone to come in and teach your employees (or you) how to use social media to benefit their jobs?  I can do that.
  • Need someone to handle the social media for you, so you can focus on your business?  I can do that.
  • Need one-time, basic training on Quickbooks Pro (or Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)?  I can do that.
  • Need someone to come in (or work remotely) once a week and do all of your billing, so you can focus on doing what you’re good at?  I can do that.
  • Need someone to travel to all of your stores within a certain area, taking photographs and reporting back to you on how the stores look?  I can do that.

If you’re looking for affordable help with an excellent skill set, that’s me.  I’ll work with you to create a pricing structure and schedule that fits your needs.  Call today!  Kim three-6-one-7-seven-1-eight-5-five-one.  Or contact me via email at: kimberlyearley ‘at’ yahoo-dot-com.

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Filed under My Writing, Our Businesses