July In Review

I think it’s a good time to start doing some income reports. July is always a rough month for businesses like mine, and honestly several other business owners I know, so this is definitely going to look AWFUL.

My income comes from different sources- My booths at The Warehouse in Cuthbert and Dawson, my website, and local sales… And I guess the blog.

Income Statement Icon , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKey

The Warehouse

This month my sales at The Warehouse amounted to about $325. For July, that is actually a great amount of sales. However, my booth rent and items that I bought on credit took most of that money. It reminded me that I need to keep an eye on my spending though!

My Website

Website sales this month were only $365. I probably could have advertised a lot more and put more products on social media. I definitely intend to do better in August about this!

Local Sales

$2596. Although this may seem like a large amount, about 75% of it is a really large bulk order for Richland Rum.

Blog

A whopping $0.58. All I have on here for now is affiliate links, so I made this off of one Amazon sale. I really expect this to be better in the month of August.

The Grand Total

For the month of July, my income is a grand total of $3286.58

While this may seem like a lot, this does not account for the products that I had to purchase. However, for July, it makes me feel pretty dang good!

Until next time,
Alicia

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Let’s get cleaning- An honest review on the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush

I think the hardest part of having kids and pets is trying to keep up with cleaning up after them. In my experience, the messes that they make are usually far from an easy to clean up place. Over the years, I have tried hard to get every tool I can at my disposal to clean such messes, and that’s why I have to tell you about my latest favorite: The Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush!

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Powerbrush Cleaner - 2846 : Target

First time user

My first experience with this little beast involves an incident with spilled (and spoiled) chocolate milk in the middle seat of my Pathfinder. The dreaded words “Uh oh” were heard behind me, but the only mess that I saw was actually on JW, so after I cleaned him up, I forgot about it. Until the next afternoon. I had to ride to town and the smell slapped me in the face.

Since I was in a rush, so there was no getting to it then. I sprayed some smell good in my car and hoped for the best in the hot Georgia summer. As soon as I got back home, I decided to pull my new toy out and give it a try. The Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush did an amazing job! There was caked up chocolate milk on top of the seat that the spinning brush took off with ease! The smell was taken away almost immediately as well!

Second use

A few days later, Mollie (my beautiful Australian shepherd) threw up all over my favorite chair. I cleaned it up, but the smell was lingering. I pulled my trusty buddy out to give a try again. A few quick minutes and my chair was as good as new!

Becoming a Pro

Now I’m going to give you a tip so you don’t make a stupid mistake like I did the third time I used my new toy…

By the time I pulled my little friend out to use a third time, I thought I knew it well enough that I had no worries. SOMEONE (JW) spilled a drink in my bed. Bissell to the rescue! The one thing I didn’t think about was my soft mattress not standing up to the spinning brush. Good news though- I was paying attention, and I only have a few strings loose, and not a hole in my mattress! After cleaning the most recent stain, I decided to go over some older ones… It got rid of them ALL!

To sum it up

I honestly could not be more pleased with my Bissell! I have one of their carpet cleaners already, and could probably have used the attachments for one or all of these jobs, but I loved the idea of being able to bring it out to my car without running an extension cord! Another thing I love is the ready made formula for the portable machines! This stuff smells amazing!

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush Plus Portable Carpet Cleaner in  Titanium and Electric Blue | Nebraska Furniture Mart

If you haven’t tried the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush, I highly recommend that you order one today! You will not regret it!

Until next time,
Alicia

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Introducing KitKat, our new kitten

A few weeks ago, the unthinkable happened. I lost my dear cat, Pookie. I never in a million years expected to love a cat as much as I loved her- I am not a cat person. At least, that’s what I continue to tell myself. After losing her, the thought of harvest season coming up around us made us realize that we needed another cat for at least one reason- we needed a mouser.

Adoption

My husband and I looked at many different humane society websites in our search. We wanted to make sure that if we got another cat, we adopted one that needed a home. Little did we know that my oldest child was doing the same. We found one particular kitten that we all were drawn to. A kitten at Paws Humane named Dash. I believe I described her as the ugliest cat I had ever seen, but something about her eyes just drew me in.

I applied for adoption that night. The next morning, Micheal came to me with his research and showed me the same kitten. He had no clue that I was already looking into her though.

Micheal sent me this picture, a screenshot he had taken from the website as well! I told him that we would consider it. A few hours later, we got a phone call that we were approved to adopt Dash, we just needed to visit her first! It was late afternoon, and they were supposed to have 4 more kittens come to the adoption floor the next day, so we decided to wait until morning to visit.

The Process

We arrived at Paws an hour before opening. We were so excited to see Dash. That hour wait seemed to last forever with three kids. When they finally opened, we signed in and immediately went to Dash’s room! She was just the best.

After about 30 minutes of playing with Dash and getting to know her, I stepped out and told them that we would like to move forward with the adoption. We didn’t bring a pet carrier (I didn’t think that far ahead) so we had to purchase one there. The great news was, Dash had already been spayed, so we were able to bring her straight home.

There were a ton of forms to sign, almost like when we closed on our home, but it was worth it! About 30 additional minutes (and about $85) we were headed out the door with our new family member!

A name change

After getting to know our sweet kitten, we decided that she was in need of a new name! The boys and I decided to name her KitKat.

Feeling at home

In the last several days, KitKat has definitely made herself at home! She loves to sit on top of the couch while I work and watch over my shoulder. She was a little skittish around our dogs in the beginning, but has warmed up to them now. Her favorite place to hang out in the entire house is on top of her new litter box.

I love this litter box, it looks so much nicer than any other ones we’ve ever had!

Reasons to adopt a cat:

  • It makes better financial sense to adopt than to get a free cat. Adopting a cat means that she will come spayed, and with all of her shots.
  • You save more than one life. Adopting one cat makes room for another in the shelter.
  • Controls overpopulation. When you adopt, your pet comes to you spayed or neutered, so you have no worries of unwanted kittens.
  • Animal shelters take great care of the cats and other animals they are entrusted with.  Some may have been neglected before arriving at a shelter, but once there they are given needed treatments, vaccinations, medicine, care, behavioral screenings, and lots of attention by trained, experienced, and professional staff members; they are ready to join their new family. 
  • Cats and pets in general are great for mental health, especially during a time when we are at home and social distancing so much.  This can be mentally taxing and cats can greatly help reduce anxiety, depression, cabin fever, and a host of ailments that are typically seen when we are cooped up and can’t get out as much as we would like.  And cats make excellent senior companions as well.

Until next time,
Alicia

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Our Meal Plan and The Recipe of The Week

One thing that I have done in an attempt to make my life easier is start writing a weekly meal plan. It’s so much less stressful to be able to go straight to my meal plan when someone asks “What’s for dinner?” instead of playing a guessing game.

How cute is this sign?!?!?!

I sit down once a week and take into account one meal that each person in the house would like, and I also go to my Pinterest board that I keep recipes in and find recipes that I would like to try.

After I’ve made my meal plan, I create a shopping list for my husband. Steven does all of our grocery shopping on Friday nights when he gets off work. This works out great for our family. He buys anything extra that he wants, and I don’t waste money at the store (I’m forever overspending).

Saturday-

Burgers (Steven makes the BEST burgers). This is a once a week staple for us!


Sunday-

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup – This has been on my Pinterest board for a while now, and I cannot wait to give it a whirl!

Monday-

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs – A favorite for the boys (and ME!).

Tuesday-

Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls – We usually do Taco Tuesday at our house and I needed a change, so to the Pinterest board we go to!

Wednesday-

 Instant Pot Baked Ziti – This is a quick pasta, which is a staple in our home! We love us some pasta!

Thursday- 

Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi – Steven has been begging for scampi for a while now, so I’m super excited to try this Instant Pot version!

Friday- 

Instant Pot Hibachi Chicken – Hibachi is my favorite meal and I cannot wait to try this recipe. If we weren’t already having shrimp the night before, I would want to add in shrimp instead of chicken.

Shopping List

  • Meat
    • Hamburger Meat
    • Frozen Meatballs
    • Chicken Breasts
  • Dry/Canned/Etc.
    • Soy Sauce
    • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Yum Yum Sauce
    • 12 cups Chicken Broth
    • 3 cans Black Beans
    • 3 cans Whole Kernel Corn
    • Tortilla Chips
    • 2 jars Spaghetti Sauce
    • Taco Seasoning
    • 2 cans Rotel
    • Long-Grain Rice (uncooked)
    • Ziti Pasta
    • 1 can Crushed Tomatoes
    • Dried Basil
    • Dried Oregano
  • Baked Goods
    • Bread
    • Hamburger Buns
  • Produce
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Lime
    • Mushrooms
    • Ginger (fresh or in a jar)
    • Green Bell Pepper
    • Red Bell Pepper
    • Lemon Juice
  • Dairy
    • Sour Cream
    • Butter
    • Milk
    • Heavy Whipping Cream
    • Shredded Parmesan

I am so excited about this week’s meals! We have lots of new meals that we can have, and some old favorites as well!

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Back To School

As we prepare to start another strange school year, I have to admit I am more than nervous. Officially, I am the mom of a high schooler, a middle schooler, and a pre-K student. This will be JW’s first experience with school, as the pandemic prevented him from going to a head start program, so my nerves for him are especially high.

The pandemic has stolen so much from so many, but the children in school more than ever. In our school, and many others, instead of moving from class to class, middle and high school students must sit in their seats all day while the teachers circulate in and out of the classrooms. This is especially hard for neurodivergent students. It hurts me to think of how their grades are suffering. It hurts me to think that they are unable to socialize as they should be able to as well.

Thankfully, my youngest will have a mostly “normal” year at school. There are special precautions taken, sure, but he will get to play and be a kid.

As they travel back and forth to school on the bus, they will have to wear a mask. There will certainly be a lot of emphasis on hand washing and hand sanitizer, and temperatures will be taken before access is granted to school property. I grieve for “normal” because I fear that it may never actually return.

Another feeling…

Even with my grief, I am excited for them. My oldest, Micheal, is going into 10th grade. He has three years left in high school. Kyle, my middle son, is going into 8th grade- his last year in middle school! Oh, and JW, he has been excited to go to school since the first time he walked into the building! I am so very excited for him!

Let me tell you the funniest thing- Everyone thought that I was going to lose my mind about JW starting school. I handled that with no tears at all, however the thought hitting that I now only have two more first days of school with Micheal tore me apart inside.

Until next time,
Alicia

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