Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Exercise~Family Health & Fitness Day

Saturday, September 29th is Family Health and Fitness Day in the US.

Our gorgeous area is a terrific place to enjoy family fitness not only on Saturday but every day. With children at an all time high risk for obesity, diabetes,and high blood pressure, NOW is the time to get out there with them and get fit.

Take a walk, ride your bike, swim, surf, go fishing, kayaking...the possibilities are endless. The best part is your children won't care what activity you choose, they will be happy just to be with you doing something fun.

Let's all get together and make an effort to make exercise fun and part of everyday family life!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Manny's Monday

So our new Monday night restaurant is Manny's Pizza on S. Atlantic. My son had the kid's meal spaghetti and my daughter the chicken, I had a really tasty sandwich and the whole bill was under $18.00. Now my kids played $10.00 worth of games in the little arcade, but they were amused long enough for me to read the paper, so I was okay with that.

All in all it was a nice quick weeknight dinner at a good price. I saw a couple of pizza's and salad's go by that looked pretty good also!

I searched for a website but they don't seem to have one....hmmmmm.....

Top Spots

Find Your Spot is a great little website, you take a short quiz and answer some lifestyle questions and it will give you a list of cities that match you and your priorities. I thought it was interesting that my closest match was New Smyrna Beach, followed by Ormond Beach, and Edenton, NC. Check it out.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Laundry Monster

I looked around my house this morning and realized I was in the clutches of the laundry monster, there is a load in the dryer that I have fluffed about 6 times, a load in the washer that needs to be rewashed, an unfolded load on my bed, a folded load on my daughters bed and dresser and there was a folded load on my son's dresser that he finally put away himself in desperation.

I have always tried to do what most professional organizers tell you, a load a day will keep the laundry monster away, I work from home, WHY is this a problem. I have been doing a load a day, just not every day and it has caught up with me.

So now instead of working I am obsessing about this situation and have to go get it completely done. Ridiculous!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Game of Life

Took a trip to Walmart tonight with the kids, my son wanted to buy Life, you remember the game, we all played it as kids.

We came home and played it. My 10 year old son, my 8 year old daughter and I. It was so fascinating to watch the dynamics that went on, they were so excited to land on the buy a house square, they then picked two cards and got to pick the house they son picked the more expensive house and took out a loan to pay for it and did not get insurance, my daughter took the less expensive house, paid cash and bought the insurance.

It is the same in real life, we go shopping and they both bring their money, my son tries every which way to get ME to pay for whatever it is he wants, my daughter carefully adds up what she wants to see if she has enough money or gift cards to purchase it, always being sure she will have money left over in her wallet. It does not matter if they are together or alone with me it is the same scenario, he spends, she saves. He tries to get someone else to buy it, she plans every purchase.

I am not sure what genetic code is present in these two children to make them so diabolically opposite in terms of money, I am trying to teach them to save and plan. She gets it, he does not. She takes after my mother, her grandmother, who plans everything, he takes after his father who would con anyone out of five cents.

My responsibility is to teach them both the value of money, earning it on their own and spending it wisely.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


The details of working for yourself are SO tedious. If only I could be as organized about this as I am my calendar. I spent the better part of two hours sorting and loading receipts into my excel spreadsheet that I use for tracking expenses. It is so ridiculous to not keep up with it, but I NEVER do. So I plod thru months of wrinkled, unreadable receipts, pay stubs and various other trash from the bottom of my purse in order to work from home, for myself. There must be a better way!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Presidential Picker~VA JOE

I had to share this, my brother, the ex-Navy man and I love to have lively political discussions, more often then not we agree but sometimes we squabble just to squabble...

He sent me this today:

Find Your Candidate

You submit your issues and their importance and it will tell you which candidate is on the same page with you. I found it to be very interesting and enlightening. You do not have to be a member to participate, just click and go.

Let me know what you think! I got several emails about the calendars...Bravenet seems to be the favorite...thanks for your feedback!!


Do you use a calendar? For any successful work at home career, business or even just everyday family life a good calendar is a must have.

I use Microsoft Outlook Calendar for my work and family events.It is simple I can print out a weekly or a monthly view and everything is in one place.

There are a number of great interactive calendar programs out there right now and they are free to make them even better:

Google Calendar
Yahoo Calendar
Bravenet Calendar

There are a huge number of calendars you can download and pay for but the free ones work just as well.

A calendar is only as good as how we use it. I take a look at mine every Sunday night to see what I have coming up that week, school pictures, work appointments, calls I need to make, doctor visits anything that week.

I make every attempt to add things immediately as they come up. I have a little basket on my desk, I put appointment cards in there, I clear out the kids backpack every day when they get home and place any school events, meetings etc. that needs to be on the calendar in this basket. At the end of the day when the kids are in bed I go thru the basket and add all these things, then I throw away the paper. Less clutter more organization.

The more organized, the less stress!


I am so glad it is Monday! I usually don't say that, I enjoy the weekends and just hanging out with my kids. We did some serious hanging this weekend, hit the beach every day so the budding surfer could practice in between, shopping, movies, dinner with the grandparents and church, I needed them to go back to school so I can rest!!

The house is a wreck and needs a quick flylady once over. I need to actually do some work that pays the bills today, what an inconvenience work is today! I also start my latest "diet" today. I let you know how that goes. HA

Sunday, September 16, 2007


We made our first visit to church in town today, we attended Coronado Community United Methodist Church
My son is friends with a boy whose family attends regularly and I have become acquainted with his parents, they are very nice folks and I have been wanting to start attending a local church.

Let me tell you about it....we were meeting our friends so I waited in the courtyard for several minutes, then went to the table that had food and drinks and got my daughter a quick drink of juice. There were quite a lot of people milling around and I attempted to make eye contact with a few of them, not much response, well how about no response. I went into the welcome office (that is what the sign said) and asked where I should take my daughter for Sunday school, the very nice lady pointed to a door around the corner and said "through there". There was a place to sign in and some forms to fill out if you wished to "register your child".

I filled out the form for my daughter and our friends showed up, they directed me to where she needed to go and my son was already in there as he came with them. I then went with them and enjoyed a wonderful service, I sat in the balcony and enjoyed the choir, and the sermon very much. I retrieved my children, spoke to each one of their teachers and went on my way. One person (other than those I knew)said good morning, I was kind of surprised that although we were clearly strangers and out of place, no one really tried to say hi or make us feel welcome. I was pretty uncomfortable and I am sure my children were. I think we will try a few more churches before we decide on a new church home.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Playing War

My son is 10 years old, he watches some news here and there and he understands 9/11, but today he and one of his friends went out to "play war". I was not sure what to say to that. I watched our President babble about continuing the war, I hear the democrats and the republicans fighting over it every day...

At the end of the day, our little boys who are out "playing war" will someday be the big boys who are fighting and losing their lives, just as 3,781 american soldiers have lost their life to date in Iraq. Click here if you would like to check out the casualty report, I do not think enough people look at this. I think it has become just an everyday thing to the American people, I have added this link to my Favorites, in the hopes that you will all take a look once in awhile.

I support our troops, I am proud of our troops, my brother was in the Navy and did 2 tours in the Gulf, I am thankful every day he came home. I am also thankful that my little boy is only "playing war" and I pray he will not have to live it like so many others. Support our troops, regardless of your politics, please support our troops.

Click on the links below to see how!

America Supports You
Any Soldier
Support Your Troops

These are just a few ideas. My favorite and one you can get your kids involved in is the Xerox "Lets Say Thanks" campaign.

Please check it out and get involved!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Finally Friday!

Today was the big surf lesson, We met Luke at Inlet Charley's and I was quite impressed, I was watching from the beach, (of course)and I saw the improvement in an hour. His ten year old balance is not the greatest but he did get up a few times.

Luke was great, he spent alot of time explaining the whole concept and then well over an hour in the water. Then he arranged for him to use one of the shop boards for a couple hours after his lesson so he could practice, of course then I could not get him out of the water!

So, tomorrow is another day I told him and we will be renting a board for the day....ugh!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Breaker's Night

My kids love Wednesday, it is Breakers Night, as they call it. The Breakers Restaurant on Flagler has .35 chicken wings. My kids love them, I can order 15, they split it and a basket of fries, I get something reasonable and we eat for $20.00. I cannot eat at McDonalds with them for $20.00, and the view is certainly better.

Update on the surfing lesson, since today was early early release day we were supposed to hook up with "Luke" our new surf teacher, I called him a couple times, left a few messages and have not heard back. So.....will let you know how that turns out!!

Lost Tuesday

Where did Tuesday go, it is Wednesday already???

Early release day from school, this really wreaks havoc with work at home parents, I imagine it is not great for any parent who has to figure out what to do with their kids at 12noon on a weekday!

Found a great orthodontist for my son yesterday. Larkin Orthodontics in New Smyrna Beach. They spent alot of time with him and agreed to take him on even though his appliances are not the same as they use. Two other doctors refused to take him as a transfer. So that is one more moving hassle taken care of!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Work At Home

I was out on the little public dock fishing with my kids last night near my house and ran into a neighbor, she said, "what do you do?" Certainly she is wondering why in the world I am taking my kids to the bus in my slippers, going to the beach on weekdays, and doing what appears to be nothing, with no husband or visible means of income. So I told her...

I am a recruiter, or a headhunter as some call us. I find people jobs and I find companies people. This is a GREAT job for working at home, you do need to have some recruiting experience or someone who is willing to lead you along and teach you. You should also be able to go several weeks or months without money (have some savings) as it can take about 8 weeks or more to make your first placement.

I had 15 years of Human Resources experience, I got up, got dressed up went off to the office where I made big decisions about the company and peoples lives. Meanwhile I had a string of nannies, moved 3 times in six years and separated and eventually divorced my husband. When I realized someone else was raising my kids I decided this was a great time to work from home.

I investigated and evaluated many different things. There are good work at home gigs out there, you just have to find them. I have a friend who does medical transcription, one who works for GE Customer Service, one who is a virtual Legal Assistant, several realtors who work out of their homes and one who is a volunteer coordinator for a major charity. My brother does outside sales for a software company and another friend is in pharmaceutical sales. My advice is do something you know and love or at least like to do.

I opted to do something I knew. I am good at talking to people I have never met, getting them excited about new opportunities and companies and dealing with hiring authorities and managers, after all I used to be one.

I love my job, it does not even seem like work most days, the company I work for Sterling Partners, uses all "virtual recruiters", some of us work alone, some in teams. I have a partner that I work with and two people who help me out with pre-screening and phone calls. I spend about four hours a day on the phone, leaving messages and talking to candidates. I break in the afternoon when the kids get home and spend another hour or so in the evening getting organized for the next day and combing thru resumes and answering emails. To be successful you MUST be organized.

Drop me a note if you would like more information on this work at home opportunity or have questions about the others I mentioned above, I can get you in contact with those folks. A couple of good places to check out that have great information:

Working in PJ's
Work at Home Mom Revolution
Work At Home Mom

So my new neighbor was satisfied with my answer she said she thought perhaps I had a rich dead husband....if only that were the case....kidding I am kidding!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I love Saturday, kids sleep in, I clean. My friend Vickie says I was born wiping the counter off. (I am sure my mother would argue that) So, I cleaned up, did laundry, opened a few boxes, closed them up as I had nowhere to put the stuff.

Once the kids got up we traipsed off to the beach before the tide got too high, waves were big, I made the kids swim in front of the lifeguard, I am such an "uncool" Mom. Oh well, they may live to see their next birthday because of my not so coolness.

I had some time this afternoon to do some surfing around (on the web, not in the ocean) and wanted to share what I found. I frequent another blog that I love...Work at Home Mom Revolution
I don't know this blogger but I think she has some great information, she works at home and if you read since the beginning you can get some great info on working at home. I will share my work at home thing in a future post.

Anyway, she had some interesting things she found from StumbleUpon this is a cool site, you put in your interests and click Stumble, I hit some great stuff today.

I wanted to share goes.If you are a runner, a biker or a walker this site is awesome. Running Map you put in your address, it comes up and you can drag any route you want, it gives you the mileage and you can move it around, save it, print it whatever. Is used it today to map the route to the bus stop (which is over a quarter mile by the way), the route I walk every day and a bunch of other interesting things. Check it out!

Another one I found interesting. eHow it tells you how to do anything, I mean you can learn how to change windshield wiper blades all the way to cooking a souffle. It is incredible.

And for the cleaner in all of us...Vickie this is is Clean & Green
there are some great cleaning remedies that will not damage the environment using alot of everyday household things you already have.

And this one I like also How To Get Rid Of Things this will help you get rid of everything from cigarette smoke smell to trick or treaters. If only they had a chapter on ex-husbands......

Anyway check these out and enjoy the rest of the weekend!


My son is driving me crazy to surf, he sees those cool surfers out there and wants to be them. He is 10 years old, we moved here from Charlotte, NC, before that we lived in Tennessee, you getting the trend here, NO ocean. He is great on a boogie board but "by the way" I tell him, "you have to stand up and balance on a surfboard".

So after 2 weeks of daily nagging I went with him last night to Inlet Charley's to "look" at used surf boards, Now I am not stupid and did not start being his mother yesterday so I left my purse in the car, I had NO money.

I am happy to say it did not matter, Joe Armstrong was there he showed him some used boards that might work for him, he is a tall kid and recommended that he take a couple of lessons before he buy a board. I was totally impressed, this kid wants a board so bad he would have bought the first one.

Anyway, the very nice young lady working at the front desk offered their card and the name & number of one of their recommended surfing teachers. I called him last night, he called me right back and told me this weekend was bad since the surf was so high due to the storms offshore, how about one day next week. He did not want me to waste my money and wanted the kid to get the most out of it. Again, I am impressed. He asked me for a bunch of pertinent information, age, size, etc and we made a plan for next week.

Two people in one day who are in business to make money and did not take my money! This is great!

I recoommend Inlet Charley's as a business with some integrity and if you want the scoop on the surf coach, I will fill you in after the lesson next week!

Friday, September 7, 2007


This post is about my new house, and those that know me best will most appreciate it.....

So, I rented this house(that I love by the way) that I had never seen, moved from NC having no clue what I was getting into with two cranky kids, a dog, a hamster and a fish, I had to give a dog to my brother and two cats to a friend, I still have two horses that are currently boarded with no where to go. IS SHE NUTS THEY SAID???

Anyway, we get here, have to stay with my parents for two days til we move in the house, no big deal you say, well, my father recently broke his arm and is not getting around so well, he is afraid to walk around his own house for fear of tripping. OK enter me and my 2 not so pleasant children, did I mention I also have a dog, a hamster and a fish. By the way, they live in a retirement community, they like quiet, the neighbors like quiet, we are not quiet, we have never been quiet, we will never be quiet......the original LOUD family.

So we made it through those 2 days. We get to our new home at the appointed time...the cleaning people are still here, I was told they would be gone and they were doing a "deep" cleaning. I came, they left, lets just say their DEEP and my DEEP are very different.

OK, fast forward, house is now clean...I brought some things from my NC house, washer, dryer, refrigerator, with full intentions of using them and placing my rental stuff in a safe place in the garage. My ex-husband worked for Best Buy and although I did not like him much I do have some of the best state of the art appliances around....ok are you with me now....Vickie are you there.....

My refrigerator is too big, my washer and dryer won't fit....ok so no big deal you is not like I have to go to a laundromat or chill my food in a cooler, the house is equipped. But I am not all that happy that the fridge I can fit a body in is relegated to the garage,I have to stand on my head to see in this little one and I have to use a Downy Ball to distribute fabric softener......did I mention I have NO garbage disposal or ice maker??? I was not aware they still made ice trays.....and I have this really cool little screen thing that keeps food particles from going down the drain....yes, you are saying to yourself right now...this chic is an appliance would be correct.

But, in the past two weeks I have mastered the ice trays, the downy ball, the little screen thing....oh and I can walk to the beach, the river and I have a big ass pool in the back get over it I say to myself.

But the kicker is my cute little beach house used to be a vacation I have an EXIT sign over my front door, a lighted EXIT SIGN.

Now my kids think this is the coolest thing, when the power goes off we have emergency lights blazing throughout the house.....I mean they light the night sky! We could direct in air traffic with our EXIT sign.

I am done complaining now, like I said I love my little house, I love walking my kids to the bus, going to the beach after school, fishing off the dock and being able to visit with my cantankerous father anytime I want to. I can live without all the "stuff" and we will probably be better for it.

I am getting a storage unit for the washer and dryer though...I am not crazy...

JB's Fish Camp

I have been going to JB's for about 15 years, my parents live here, I lived in Orlando in the 90's and we have always frequented JB's. Debbie who was on the lunchtime weekday wait staff for many years and is now a dinner manager is one of my favorite people in the area. She always has a kind word for my 75 year old, cantankerous father, who has a ridiculous sense of humor.

I have never had a bad meal at JB's, I love the soft shell crabs, the rock shrimp, the crab cocktail, I prefer to go for lunch, it is not crowded and the service is always great!

This is a great place for visitors and locals alike. I thought about trying for a part time job there but realized it would cut into the job that pays the bills and decided to just go for lunch.....

JB's also rents kayaks and has a dock you can park your boat at while you dine, bands on weekends, great place to hang out.

Check out their menu here.

New School

Next step - the new school, I have a son in the 5th grade and a daughter in the 3rd grade, he is a social animal and she is painfully shy. I knew this would be tough!

I called Coronado Beach Elementary a couple weeks before we got here. I was given all the information I needed by Cornelia in the office. She was wonderful!

I got there to register on a Friday, had all my paperwork in order, other than the blue & yellow health forms from the health department that FL requires. After I did all the paperwork, Mary Jo in the office gave my children a tour, they met their teachers, she made sure they knew exactly what to do on their first day, even went above and beyond to tell them to come right to her if they needed help or were confused. Wonderful, wonderful staff at this school.

They have been there two weeks and of course they have had the challenges that come with making new friends, new school etc. but I cannot say enough about how kind and giving the staff of Coronado Beach Elementary has been to my children and me.

A Place to Live

Once the decision to move to NSB was made, finding a place was the next thing to do. My parents live in Edgewater, I wanted to be near them but really wanted to be near the beach.

I was put in contact with Prestige Properties, David Kosmas who manages vacation and long term rentals, he gave me some great advice about schools, locations etc.

David told me about a great house in north beach area that was about to be available, my parents looked at it the next day and I rented it sight keep in mind it is half the size of my ridiculously big house in NC.

I decided I had a lot of junk I did not need and downsized, and downsized some more. I still need to downsize, Habitat for Humanity is my friend, I will be their friend too as I continue to take them things I really DON'T need.

If you need help with a rental or a vacation rental, I recommend Prestige, they were very, very helpful to me.

Welcome to New Smyrna Beach

That is what I hear everywhere I go here in New Smyrna. I moved here a little over two weeks ago, after years of visiting and vacationing I finally said now or never. I finally had a job working from home, I was recently divorced and it seemed like a great time for a change!

So I packed my moving truck and rented a house in North Beach, my house in NC is for sale, even when it sells I will probably have to rent for the rest of my children's elementary years because I am sure I can not afford to buy in north beach!!

I am going to share our experiences here as newcomers, our visits to restaurants, schools, stores, churches. It should be interesting for natives, snowbirds and those that are new permanent residents to the area.

Join me in my exploration of this terrific area to live and raise a family!