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WFMW – In Case of Emergency

Early one morning last year, I woke up to the smell of smoke in our home. I was disoriented and half asleep, as was my husband. But the two of us quickly snapped awake when we realized there was a possibility our house was on fire. Instinct told us what to do, but in reality, we were so unprepared. My husband dialed 911 while I roused the kids and got them outside. First, I woke up our eldest daughter and then I grabbed the baby and our toddler and ran outside to meet my husband. It was then I realized our eldest daughter hadn’t followed me outside. I ran back into the house and discovered her asleep on her bed, oblivious to the smoke swirling around her head and the alarms going off. I quickly scooped her up and ran out of the house with her and by that time, the Fire Dept. had arrived.

Thankfully, our house was not on fire, there was an electrical problem with our heater that had caused a sufficient amount of smoke to blow throughout our home, but once the doors were opened and some Febreze was sprayed, you really couldn’t tell there had ever been a problem. BUT…my husband and I realized that had it been an actual fire, we would have been in some serious trouble. And one of our kids could have died…which was the most frightening thought of all.

October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week. I urge everyone to develop their home escape plan and practice it. You can download a handy checklist here:

Visit the National Fire Prevention Association’s webpage and get all the details you need to prepare your family for an emergency.

We were blessed to have the outcome we did, but we also realized that was a warning and that we needed to heed it and spread the word to other families who are not prepared.

Also, visit this website for a handy checklist to make sure you are adequately prepared for any emergency that might arise.

Head on over to Shannon’s blog, Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday Tips.

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WFMW – How to Add a sk*rt button to your blog post

Have you noticed the cute little add to sk*rt
buttons at the bottom of some blogger’s posts? If you’re like me, you are asking yourself, “Why would I even want one of those?” or, “What the heck is sk*rt?” This is what sk*rt has to say about thier site:

sk*rt is a social media ranking platform of pure goodness. A portal to find cool things, smart scoop, clever ideas, excellent products, exceptional information. All of it. And more. In other words, sk*rt is like that friend who always finds the best stuff. Only better.

You just never know when your tip or your advice that you are so freely doling out is going to be sk*rted, so it’s really great idea to add the button so potential readers can submit with ease, which could net your more traffic to your blog. Whenever a blog entry is submitted to sk*rt, it is rated by the readers and then ranked according to popularity. The closer to the top your article is, the more points you have been given, thus more readers. I don’t use the Sk*rt button on every entry, because they don’t all apply, but if you want to use it on your posts, here’s the how to:

1. Create your blog entry.

2. Copy and paste the following code at the bottom of your post, or put in the footer section:
<a href=” YOUR URL HERE” target=”_blank”><img style=”BORDER-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP: 0px; BORDER-LEFT: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM: 0px” alt=”add to sk*rt” src=””/></a&gt;

3. Replace the “http://INSERT YOUR URL HERE” with your post URL, not your blog URL (you’ll have to publish it to get it and then go back and add the URL). For example, to give you an idea of what it looks like, one URL I recently submitted was “;.

4. Publish the entry and voila! You should have something that looks like mine below, but with your entry URL.

This should work for you, but let me know if you have any problems, I’ll be happy to assist in any way I can. For more WFMW tips, head on over to Shannon’s at Rocks in My Dryer!

UPDATED TO ADD: Or…you can also go here and let sk*rt’s html generator do it for you!

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Works for Me Wednesday – Brand Loyalty

This week’s edition of WFMW is on brand loyalty. After thinking about this long and hard, I finally came up with two. The older I get, the less I worry about branding and focus more on what really works for me.

Eddie Bauer Boot Cut Stretch Jeans – By far, the best jeans I have ever owned. I love the way they feel and the best thing is that the long is really a long – 35″ inseam (which is great for someone with a 34″ inseam!)They are even on sale right now – you can get 20% off your order if you buy a pair – EB is so confident (as am I) that you’ll love them.

And the second item is something very near and dear to my heart. It’s been said that a girl’s eyelashes make or break her eyes…or something like that. When I was in high school, I endured endless teasing about my mascara habits. I would curl, apply, separate…multiple times. Some years ago, I found the PERFECT mascara and I’ve used it every since. L’Oreal (from the makers of Lancome, thank you very much) makes “Lash Out” and I buy it in “blackest black”. It doesn’t flake, smudge, smear, peel, (not that I’ve ever had mascara that peeled, I just needed another word there, you see). Best I’ve ever used and I won’t use anything else.

To see what brands others are loyal to, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

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WFMW – Technorati Made Easy

Ever wonder how folks get those little quick links to Technorati tags at the end of their posts? One quick and very simple way to include Technorati tags them is to use Oddiophile’s Rather Fab Technorati Bookmarklet. You can keep this bookmarklet in your “Favorites” folder – it will bring up a script box into which you can add your tags and generate the code, which you’d then paste into your blog post. (You can also set it up in your “Post Template” box under “Settings” if you use Blogger- which is what I have done. — if you want to know how to do that, just email me and I’ll walk you though it)

To get the bookmarklet, visit this page and right click the link which says “Oddiophile’s rather fab Technorati Bookmarklet”. Then click “add to favorites” or simply drag to your bookmark list.

When you use the bookmarklet, link your words with a “+” sign and don’t use spaces. Once you’ve got the script, You can also modify the bookmarklet to suit your blog’s needs, as demonstrated on my blog — I changed the words “Technorati Tags” to the color green and bolded it. This is a great tool for both Blogger and WordPress users who have no alternative method to tag their posts. It’s also a great start towards helping build traffic using Technorati, as your blog will then be associated with the tags you have used, and will become easier for readers to find.

I use Technorati tags on every post — so if you’d like to find out how they work, just click on one. You will be directed to the Technorati page to see all the bloggers who have tagged that same word.

It works for me! For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head on over to Shannon’s at Rocks in My Dryer.

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WFMW – Home office organization

The old saying that there is a place for everything and everything needs to be in its place certainly holds true when organizing a home office. It doesn’t take long for a home office to become inundated with piles of papers and other various items. Here are some tips on how to organize a home office so that maximum productivity can be achieved.

1. Clear the clutter! Remove every piece of paper and every item from the desk. Thoroughly dust and clean the computer desk area or other work area in the room. If this task is a daunting one – work in increments of 10-15 minutes. It will be well worth the time to have less mess and chaos in a home office. Productivity will increase simply because there will be no more clutter and it will be easier to concentrate on your blogging current projects.

2. Decide what items are most important in the home office and place these items on or nearby the work area. Basic items for most home businesses can include a desktop or laptop computer, a printer, a scanner, a copier, a fax machine, and a telephone. Include a small notebook, along with a few pens and pencils, to keep by the phone for easy retrieval when taking messages. I know this sounds really elementary, but if you’re anything like me, you know you end up writing on the back of last month’s electric bill!

3. Filing can be an enormous chore for any home office. Setting up a filing system is an important step in achieving maximum productivity in a home office. The type of filing system needed will depend upon the size and type of business that is done out of the home office. If the home office is utilized for personal business, such as household budgeting and surfing the Internet, a small filing cabinet may be all that is necessary. Don’t forget to deal with paper as it arrives – I have a policy that I only touch a piece of paper one time. Decide whether documents need to be filed, placed in a to-do basket, or discarded.

4. A home office should have a criss-cross cutting shredder instead of a regular wastebasket. Shred any old documents that are no longer needed and contain personal identifying information. Remember that identify theft can happen to anyone…I love my trash guys, but I don’t know what they do to it once it leaves the end of my driveway.

5. Calendars and planners are the ultimate organizational tool of any home office. It’s difficult to keep track of several calendars. I use two calendars. One calendar is a desk calendar or planner and the other is our family calendar, which is on the wall in the kitchen. Make it part of a routine to record events on both calendars so that there will not be any conflicts in scheduling.

6. Lists are a wonderful organizational tool,and one of my favorites. Just don’t list too many items and don’t procrastinate on items that are necessary but are not fun. Generally, a list of approximately ten items is a very doable list. List the items and place a star by two or three things that are a priority. Don’t overdo and place a star by every item. List dreaded tasks first and when finished with those tasks enjoy crossing them off the list! Makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something too!

5 things you should do Daily in your office

1. Defragment your computer- you’ll waste too much time waiting for things to happen if you dont do this daily!
2. Make sure all notes & addresses are transfered to your day planner.
3. Remove manuals & catalogs from desk top & put them in their proper place.
4. File as you go- dont wait to put things away.
5. Run your virus scan if you do email or downloading. I have mine set to scan when I turn the pc on. That way, I don’t have to think about it, as I’m less likely to take the time if I have to remember to schedule it.

So there ya have it. These are some things that have worked for me – head on over to Shannon’s at Rocks in my Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.

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WFMW – Kids, Toys, and Storage – Oh my!

If you have small kids and you’re anything like me, you probably have issues with toy storage and clutter. I’ve tried just about everything known to man to keep the plethora of kid toys from overtaking my house in a tidal wave of red, yellow and blue plastic. There are Fisher Price Weebles under the couch, lego blocks stacked all over the bookcase, and hot wheels in every corner of the living room.

I used to use some pretty bad parenting tactics to get my kids to clean their messes up, but I’ve discovered three things that have really helped me out:

1.) I bought one of these so the kids could keep their toys sorted and in sight. (no digging through the toy box to find a specific toy)

2.) I go through their toys about once a month and throw away weed out all the McDonald’s toys and the other little “tschotke” type toys they have.

3.) We do two clean ups a day – once right before naptime and all the toys are picked up in a quick spree and then again at bedtime. All toys not returned to their rightful place go in a “Special Box” in the top of mom and dad’s closet, not to be seen for a long time. Usually, they are forgotten after a couple of weeks and when they are brought down again, it’s like Christmas all over again.

This is what has worked for me. I have found that even my youngest at two is more than able to clean up after herself if she is required to. I like to think I am teaching them responsibility and accountability for their things and hopefully, those things they are trained to do now they will not depart from when they grow older. Sound familiar?

Head on over to Shannon’s for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!

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