Thursday, January 29, 2009

Google Analytics and Excluding Your Own IP Address

Admit it, you stalk your own site. You know you do. How else do you Twitt your items, post them in the forums, transfer them to ArtFire or just see what is going on? Ok, it isn't stalking, really. You are just trying to stay on top of things. Now that Etsy has Google Analytics up and running have you wondered how many of those hits recorded are you posting your fabulous items to Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook, Blogger, ArtFire and all the other places you netowork? I did. Once I finally got my GA up and running,I posed that very same question on Twitter of all places and Jess came to my rescue. She posted a link that allows you to EXCLUDE your own ip address--basically your own computer from counting as "hits" when GA does your tallys.

Pretty cool huh?

Here is the link for walking you through excluding your computer here.

And if you don't know what your ip address is, just go here and it will show up.

You can do this for your blog too.

Just so I can have a picture....

Here is a great Valentines card for a guy...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Coffee, coffee, coffee

I love my coffee. It's a well know fact among my friends. Most of our outings include a stop at Starbucks or Brickhouse. I start the morning off with a grinding and a percolating. Every morning. I do it before showering, getting dressed or brushing my teeth. Addicted? No, just well prepared.

This morning I am particularly in need. We had a busy weekend. Both kids are sick with some kind of profound snot producing cold. My wonderful husband took care of them while Wok (grandma) and I got ready for Switcharoos. After sorting, cleaning, ironing, tagging and inputing over 200 items, I am nearly ready. I have to go through the toy room now but will have quite the load. Switcharoos is our local consignment sale. It is HUGE. Twice a year Switcharoos starts off a domino effect of children's consignment sales in our area. This year not only am I consigning, but I'm also working the sale. But, thanks to Wok, I have just over 200 items ready for the sale--I'm ahead of the game.

Hence the need for coffee. I'm whooped! Today I still have two sick little ones to take care of. They are camped out in front of the tv with juice resting eating bananas and crackers.

The pictured mugs are my favorite ones. The top one I made at one of our local clay painting shops called Color Clay Cafe. My oldest and I went there for one of our "dates". It is great, it holds about 20 ounces of that carmel yumminess. Add a bit of milk and sugar and I'm in mommy heaven. The second is from my dish set and holds about 8 ounces. I love the tankard shape. If I let myself I could easily become a coffee cup collector. But we don't have a lot of space for such a thing in our kitchen so I figure if I don't start then I won't continue it. For now, these two are my favorite at home mugs.

Enjoy your monday while I wipe noses, fetch juice and snacks and drink lots and lots of coffee!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

It's a beautiful blouse, isn't it? Would you like a chance to win it? Click the link below and follow leave a comment and see if you do. Stay a while too, she has a beautiful blog!

The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

Post It Note Holders

I finally am getting these posted. It was difficult, let me tell you. I had a custom order for these so I made extra to put in my shop. I adore custom orders, money in the bank right? But, that also means that I can't work on things that need to be done. Such as Valentines, new ideas, birthday cards and the like. It's a juggling act. I need to find that balance.
On to the post it notes. I made these for my very first repeat customer--woo hoo!! That repeat customer made me think that, hey, maybe I've "made it". So as I'm straddling that awkward phase between getting a lot of shop attention and not really having time to stock it.... I know a lot of you out there know exactly what I mean. In the interim, I'm trying to find that balance of promoting/blogging/crafting/spending time with my kids/husband/down time and other things I want to do. I'm not sure in what direction I want to go.
Up to this point, I've had naps and a couple nights a week to create. Well, we are down to one nap a day and during that nap there is a 4 year old that needs attention. And I don't want to be the wife that says "see ya" every night after the kids go to bed. I need a schedule,I think.

In the meantime, I've finished these and have them in my etsy shop and my artfire shop. They say "the little things" which I think is appropriate for taking little notes. The pink one is from paper my husband gave me for Christmas.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pampering Beki Necklace Giveaway

Pampering Beki has some fantastic jewelry. She makes it for moms as well as kid's hair accessories. She also has a great blog that I follow. Ellen over at Thrifty and Chic Mom is sponsering a giveaway from her shop. You can win the necklace at the bottom of this post. Nice, isn't it? Go on over to Ellen's blog and register to win. She has other ways to get more ways to win so have fun and give it a shot. She's also got a great blog, so take some time and look it over while you are there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blog Makeover Giveaway

How would you like a brand new blog look? Without the headache of doing it yourself? Yeah, me too. Head on over to Doodlebug Designs blog and register for blog free blog design. You have until January 24th to do so.

Have fun!

Monday, January 19, 2009


When my first son was born, my sister-in-law Amanda decided she wanted to be called Mimi. It's cute, easy to say and she thought it was easy enough that Stasiu would say it sooner rather than later. When her son, Isaac was born almost two years ago, she dubbed me Bebe. At first I thought it was a bit silly, but since I'm crazy for Mimi and Isaac, I went along with it.

Now, I come from a long line of women, especially with familial nicknames. We had a Peek, a Dibs and a few others. So this concept is not entirely alien and is actually a bit endearing to me. But, Bebe, I wasn't so sure about. I don't know why, but I wasn't so sure about it.

Sometime last week, Mimi called me because Isaac wanted to talk to me. So Isaac gets on the phone and is talking about his day and chocolate cake. Then I get it.

"Bye Bye Bebe, I love you"

Hook, line and sinker.

I love the name Bebe.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vetting Blogs Before You Add Them

I love reading blogs. I could easily spend all day doing it. When I first started this whole blog business if someone put me on their blog roll I automatically put them on mine. Seemed like a good idea, right? Well, not so much. I did that once way back when. I then had some time on my hands and went and visited everyone's blogs and the blogs they had on their blog rolls. Some of them had some interesting blogs on their blog rolls.

Now, I don't have a problem with this. I am open minded. Those of you who know me in real life know this and are probably reading this going "huh?". But, part of the purpose of my blog, besides fun and games is also to promote my business sites on etsy and ArtFire. So, you do have to be a bit more mindful. I also send my blog to relatives-read grandparents-so I also watch what I put up here.

That person way back when eventually found their way off my blog roll and I started vetting my blogs. There are 3 ways I do this. Anal? Yeah, probably. I follow anonymously. These are ones I'm trying out, businesses (mostly to find out about free shipping and such) and ones that I want to just check out for a while. I also have friends and family that I think may want their blogs left out of the public blogosphere for a bit. And there are some, who still don't have the "follow me" button.

Then there are those I follow publicly. Those are obvious. I think they have fantastic blogs.

The ones on my blog roll are easy. They are friends and my teams. In all honesty I haven't updated my blog in months and need to do so. I am going to move some from the annonymous to public following. Stop following some, pick up others, and put more on my blog roll. I'm also going to get rid of some widgets and I'll probably find some along the way.

A few months back I found out about one of the several blogs where you submit your blog, shop or site and the blogger will edit it for you. Sounds great, right? So, I followed this blogger for a few weeks to see what they were all about. About 2 weeks into their blog, I found a post with numerous mistakes. Okey dokey. Now, I know I have posted with errors. But I am not claiming to be a writing guru of any kind. So, I am going to submit my blog, you are going to tell me what is wrong with it and post it for everyone to read. Yet, you cannot post without 3 mistakes in one posting. So glad I had institued my rule proir to this.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My List of 99 Things

I saw this doing the blog roll call yesterday over on LivnGoodJewelry's blog and it looked like fun. Check out her blog, too-it's beautiful!
  • Things I’ve done in bold
  • Things I haven’t done but would like to do in italics
  • Things I haven’t done and never, ever want to do in plain text.

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band — or musical.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped. 12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. Bought a knitting book and taught myself how from it.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning. In Turkey on vacation.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitchhiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden a Gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud. (I have 2 boys-it's required)
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class. 59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book. If I ever finish it....
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Valentine Blog Feature

CurlyFrySC has featured my Thank You cards from my shop on her Valentine blog post today. She is catering it toward everyone, not just couples. For my cards, she suggests it for going out with the girls, then thanking them for a great evening. There are some fantastic finds on her blog. Head on over there and check it out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Etsy Twitter Team Treasury

I twitter. A Lot. I probably should be doing other things but I'm twittering away. One of the nice things about twittering is that I've been featured in this beautiful treasury by In My Head Studios, who has a really cool shop, by the way.

Go on over to the treasury and give it some clickable love! And if you are in the mood and have some cash, buy something! I love, love love the True Romance Heart Pendant myself. Hmmmmm. Did you catch that honey?

Valentine for Boys

This is a great Valentine's Day card for boys--or even the men in your life! I actually did this as a custom order for Bitty Books (check out her shop-it is awesome!). She's on The South Carolina Street Team with me and ordered them for her sons. She wanted them to be basically the same but to have the trucks colored the opposites of each other. She saw the original in my shop and even put it in a treasury! Ya think she liked it?

This is a fun way to tell a young, or not-so-young guy Happy Valentine's Day without getting too mushy. I have one left in my shop currently but can do more in other colors at your request.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Valentine Blog Candy

Like to stamp? Like Valentines Day? Like free? Here is some blog candy for you. Head on over to Donkey Smiles for details and see if you win.

Pediatritian Rant

I have to change Pediatricians. Now. Due to my son being born in Canada and moving twice since then he missed one of his vaccinations along the way. He missed his Hep B. The nurse went through his records and discovered he was missing this shot which he needs for school. We went about 2 months ago and got this shot and if you know anything about 4 year olds, it was traumatic. He is at the age where he understands it and hates it.

On Monday I saw that it was time to sign him up for Kindergarten and called the pediatrician to get a copy of the shot records so I can go next week to sign him up at the school he will attend. They require 48 hours to print off the records and have them ready for pick up. I went yesterday after dropping my son off at preschool. The nurse called me back after the office staff couldn't find it.

Seems he didn't get the shot he needed. The way the nurse put it was "he needs to get another shot". I said, in a very loud voice " he got the WRONG shot?" She said "I wouldn't put it that way." I asked her how would she put it. She said he didn't get the wrong one just not the one he needed. RIGHT. "He got the WRONG shot?" He needed a Hep B, he got a Hep A. Hep A is NOT required for school. She said "well, if that's how you want to put it." I said again "he got the WRONG shot?" By this time parents in the waiting room are looking at me and holding thier kids a little closer. I said "explain to me how he is supposed to get one shot, he gets a different shot and how that is not the wrong shot." I know what is going on here, they are covering their asses.

I tell her I want the doctor told. I want to know who the nurse was and want her to have nothing to do with either son's records, shots, appointments, care, nothing. She said she will do so.

In order for my son to attend kindergarden he has to get another shot. After I promised him no more shots. I feel horrible. I figire I will pick him up from school run him over then take him to lunch then let him go spend some of his Christmas money. Make it an all-about-Stas day. Hopefully take some of the bad away. I call the office and talk to the nurse and tell her that I will pick him up at his school, which is right across the street from their office, run him over and be done with it. She says they go to lunch at 12 but can see him at 1:45. No. You can't. You gave him the wrong shot, remember? You can wait 10 minutes to go to lunch. She decides to wait on us.

He is ok going into the room. As soon as he sees the needle he freaks. It takes 3 of us to hold him so he doesn't kick the nurse. Although, between me and you, I wouldn't have been to upset had she gotten a tennis shoe to the chin. I got a knee to the throat, but that's ok. I'm a mommy.

Then after all this she says she talked to the doctor. The Hep A is a series of 2 shots and the doctor recommends we come back in 6 months for the second shot. I asked her if she was nuts. She reminds me it is recomended. So? She says in a few years the school system may make it mandatory. Great. In a few years it won't take 3 people to give the kid a shot.

Oh and where is the doctor? It would be nice if he had decided to come and talk to me in person since his office screwed up so badly and gave my son the wrong shot. He's in a meeting she said. "Yeah, wouldn't want him to miss his lunch." I said. "Really, he's in a meeting." she said. "Right, he should have been here." I said.

I'm in the middle of switching doctors now.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Valentine Treasury

Isn't it a pretty treasury? This was done by bitty books who is on the South Carolina Street Team with me. She did a great job! My Truckfull Of Love card is featured at the top. So go ahead, click here and give it and all the other artisans some love!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Every morning I put on my makeup around 7am-a pretty early hour. Thankfully I wear this:

It's a great color, especially for a mom. It is from Bare Minerals It is light, gives me a bit of color and in the wee hours, if I mess it up getting it on, you really can't tell.

You may wonder at the U2 video. The name of the color is "Desire". Every morning when I put it on, the U2 song plays through my head. I figured I share it with you.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Merci Thank You set of 6 cards

Have you finished your Christmas Thank You cards, well, have you? This is a cute way to get the message across. With the multiple textured layers and the raised "Merci" your recipient is sure to appreciate your heartfelt thanks.

You can find this set of six cards in my etsy shop or in my ArtFire shop.

Get those Thank You cards out!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Grocery Game Bonanza

As some of you may know from one of my previous entries I play The Grocery Game and yesterday was GG nirvana! First of all the coupons were amazing! There were 5 circulars alone in my paper and the sales were nuts! I bought 5 papers (the Walgreens in my area sells the sunday paper for 88 cents) plus the one I have delivered, so I was cutting and sorting coupons for hours. My girlfriend bought 10 papers, I heard of some who bought 20. Here is a little background on my budget and how I make this work so you don't have to read this again if you already have.

On to the good stuff; my receipts. Yup, I'm going to post them and what I bought. Here is what I DIDN'T buy and why: meat, cereal and diapers. I didn't buy meat because my freezer is full. I hit Sam's last week when they were having a crazy sale and stocked up on chicken for $1.88 a pound, pork chops for around $2 and I still have ground beef from a Bloom sale that was $.99 pound. I still have cereal and I don't pay more than around $2 a box for it--usually less. I don't buy sugary cereals either so it tends to be harder to get. And as far as diapers go, I'm going to Costco later today, they are having a great sale with a coupon and I plan to stock up there.

This is my BiLo receipt and totals. The idea is to stock up when the deals are this good.

I bought:
6 bottles of Wishbone salad dressing
4 cans of campbells cream of chicken soup
6 jars of Jiff peanut butter
6 Softsoap liquid soap
1 bottle of Infusium shampoo (19 cents!)

This is my CVS receipt and my purchases.

One Touch blood glucose monitor (free)
2 Libriderm lotion
2 Boost 6 pack
2 Glade Diffuser Twinpack
2 Centrum Multi w/ Caltrate
2 All Small and Mighty Detergent
20 pack Cottonelle bath tissue

I also got $26 in ECB for my next visit there. My receipt was taller than me!

This is Publix, where I do most of my shopping because I just like the store. The food is good, and I like the store, the pharmacy and the people there.

Here is what I purchased:

2 Kelloggs Pop Tarts
Pampers Wipes
2 Totinos Pizza Rolls
2 Publix graham crackers
2 Flinstones Multi Vit
4 4-Pack Campbells Tomato Soup (ended up being .30 can)
2 Land O Lakes Butter
2 Aleve 50 count tablets
30 count Claritin
2 barillia Ziti
2 Barilla Angel Hair
2 Barilla Spaghetti
10 Danon yogurt (.30 each)
6 cans Progresso soup (.75 each)
Northland cranberry juice
2 Kraft Macaroni Dinner
Lea and Perrins worcestershire sauce
2 Athenos Hummus
Publix frosted flakes ( 1 cent item)

That's a lot isn't it? I rarely buy meat there since Bloom, Ingles and Sam's have such spectacular meat deals and I just stock up there. So, if you are interested in cutting you grocery bill by 45 to 50% as I have without having to sacrifice what you eat, check out The Grocery Game. Make sure you put me down as a referral too (! Whenever you refer someone, you get a month free so be sure to do the same once you sign up.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Musings Journal

I decided to make myself a journal to write down things and ideas for my shop. I have plenty of beautiful journals that have been given to me but considering that I do papercrafts, could I not make one? I think not! I took a composition journal and covered it in this beautiful paper that my husband, er Santa gave me.

The idea is for me to write down or sketch down ideas for the shop. Whether it is cards, new products, stamps I saw or whatever. Hence the "musings" on the front cover. Yes, I made the pen, too.

The back cover is from the same paper line that Santa brought me for Christmas. I just love this paper line.

This is the inside of the front cover. Who wants to look at the measurement tables inside a composition book? Certainly not me! I used the same paper for the inside of the back cover.

I think I will do a line of these for the shop. They are a bit labor intensive as they have to dry on the outside then the inside before adding the decorative bits, but I think it turned out beautifully and will greatly enjoy using it for my ideas.

Starving Artists Blog Candy

Aren't these cute? Would you like to get these for free? Hop on over to Starving Artist's blog and find out how you can. You can get ALL THREE of these stamp sets by leaving a comment on their blog and posting about this either on your blog or in your crafting group then linking back to their blog. The details on how to do it are there, so read all about it. You have until January 6th to enter.