#MeToo

Hello!

I was hesitant to blog about this topic, but I figured, if people don’t talk about it, that is part of the problem.

The ending of 2017, a social media hashtag movement began, #metoo. When I first saw my friends posting theirs, I was wondering what the hashtag was all about. I quickly learned that it was about sexual Harassment and assault. I was saddened to see so many of my peers posting these simple yet hurtful words, giving an illustration that unwanted advancements, both verbally and physically, happen all too often. I too shared my own #metoo, however, I was very lucky that mine wasn’t a severe moment that put my life in a danger I couldn’t handle.

As the Golden Globes aired, I watched the opening monologue, hosted by Seth Meyers, and laughed at his jokes, but also realized many of them were not in reality funny as it was very much related to this whole #metoo movement and the men who came forward or were accused of unwanted behaviors. They are all horrible, but the one that truly broke my heart was hearing about Matt Lauer, though he specifically wasn’t brought up during the monologue. I grew up watching Matt on “Today” and truly was blindsided that a man I thought was a genuine respectable human being, had this other side to him.

I try to keep content politically neutral, but I can’t keep silent on this particular post. I find it so incredibly sad and pathetic that ever since Mr. Trump came into office, all these behaviors came to the surface from multiple sources. I still cannot believe that after the Access Hollywood Tape was brought to everyone’s attention, we still elected this man. It boggles me every single day, that a man who openly bragged about his sexual assault and harrasment tendencies because of his star power. How are we supposed to set an example for future generations, when the leader of the free world gets away with dialogue and sickening behaviors like this?

I guess I can say thank you in actuality to Mr. Trump for doing this. Not because his behavior is wonderful, but because this has now become a nationwide if not world wide discussion. Behavior and language like this will not be tolerated, afterall #timesup. Time is up because now women will be fighting harder for equality in all aspects, its 2018!!!!! Equal pay, no more #metoo because everyone should feel safe in both professional and personal environments. A side note to this, Hoda Kotb, who is now the official replacement of Matt Lauer has even said that even though she is doing the same work that Matt was doing previously, her salary isn’t anywhere close to his. Why isn’t she making equal pay for equal work?

I truly hope that all of these social movements will actually bring about change to our country and world, where we can respect one another, and the only thing that makes us different, is biology.

Thanks for reading.

Xo, Amanda

Tysons Corner–America’s Next Great City

Hello readers!

I live right outside of our Nation’s Capitol, in the heart of Tyson’s Corner, which actually has been named America’s next great city! My family actually owns the domain name, http://www.tysonscityusa.com. We would love to talk to anyone interested in creating a great website for it!

I have been a resident of Vienna/Tysons Corner for nearly 20 years and have had a first hand witness to of the all of the real estate developments. Tysons Corner mall  has been one of the major changes in local attractions in the area. About ten years ago, one of the first huge developments that changed the mall was the addition of the movie theater and additional food court. Developers built it so that patrons could enjoy the convenience of the theatre directly adjacent to the food court offering a variety of different dining options, as well as TGI Fridays restaurant for a more formal restaurant experience.
Other additions to the mall are the constantly changing retail stores, and most recently, the plaza which was developed Summer of 2014. The plaza during the winter months has the ice skating rink available, as well as the annual Christmas tree lighting in addition to fire pits to cozy up to. During Spring and Summer, the plaza offers free events such as the Summer concert series, as well as outdoor family friendly games and activities. The Shake Shack is in one corner of the plaza offering delicious burger and of course milk shake options. Other dining options on the plaza are the Barrel and Bushel with both indoor and outdoor seating for drinks and dining, Earls Kitchen and Bar, and Eddie V’s.  

The other really great attraction, or in this case, lodging/living arrangements are the Hyatt Regency Hotel, and the Vita Tysons apartments. The hotel is connected to the Barrel and Bushel restaurant and the mall, while the apartments are connected to the silver metro line, which was added just a few years ago. The metro is a great transportation addition for not only bus lines into DC, but also transportation around the area.
Tysons City truly is a great area to live, as its not only family friendly, but also provides a sense of community. The Vienna Community Center has various community events, there are thrift stores, library, several schools to accommodate the various zip codes, etc.  

Progresso Stew

Hello!
Brrrrr, it’s been freezing outside, literally. Today it went up to maybe 20° outside.
Everyone loves a good hot meal on a cold winter day like today. Sometimes, though, you don’t have the time, or desire to cook, yet crave a delicious meal in a flash. One thing my family does is buy Progresso soup and then bulk them up! It’s like a crock pot stew, without all of the time and preparation!
We purchase a few different variations and then dress them up: Chicken Cheese Enchilada, Chicken Corn Chowder are two of our favorites soup/stews to make. Simply open the cans, and pour them in your soup pan. We add rotisserie chicken, steamed vegetables, Uncle Ben’s Instant Rice, and croutons. It certainly adds a lot of flavor and bulk to the soup base. We also spice up the flavor with Garlic powder, Onion powder,  Old Bay seasoning, and Worchestire sauce.
You can of course add any variation that you fancy, these are ones they we have enjoyed thus far. And it only takes 15 minutes to prepare. Easy!
Enjoy
Xoxo, Amanda

"Alexa"

Hello everyone!

Happy New year to you all!

Now that the holidays are winding down, people are getting back into their routines, kids going back to school, and the start of the New Year is here. One of my resolutions that I have made to myself is to blog more and talk about interesting content. I was sitting here at my desk thinking, what do people want to read about? How will I keep other’s attention?

Well….one thing that I think we can all agree on is that we love our tech toys and gadgets. A gift that my family received for Christmas was a wonderful Amazon Echo that many refer to as “Alexa.” “Alexa” is awesome, she gives you a lot of useful information when asked. All you have to do is set her up to the Wi-Fi and then download the app to your phone or device and then program the settings based on your preferences. I personally have my location set up so that we can have up to the minute weather reporting, as well as any question that is geographically impacted can be answered as accurately as possible. Other settings include setting up your favorite music stations, whether it be through Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, etc.

The possibilities are endless as to what you can ask of “Alexa.” She will give you facts based on availability  (I asked how old the Queen of England is, 91 for her Royal Majesty!) Want to hear a joke, “Alexa, tell me a joke”….and she will deliver. Want to set a timer for cooking “Alexa, set cooking time for 15 minutes.” Want a soft alarm clock, “Alexa wake me up at 6am to soft music.” You can also link her to your Amazon Prime Account and ask her to order you something and receive updates as to the status of your order.

Need more suggestions, there is a “Skills” email you can subscribe to and you will receive a weekly email as to new suggestions you can try with “Alexa.” Go ahead and discover the power and convenience behind this new gadget, you’ll love it as much as we do. Click here to get yours today!

Thanks for reading, please go ahead and Subscribe your email so that you get automatic updates as to when I post next. I’m going to be adding great content on a weekly basis! Have a suggestion, please leave a comment, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

xo, Amanda

Fiverr

Hello everyone!

Have you all heard about Fiverr? It’s an online gig market place you can go to, to not only offer services of your own work, but conduct business with professionals in different fields like Graphic Design, Digital Marketing, Writing and Translation, Video and Animation and more. From my understanding, Fiverr is all about selling and purchasing these different services at an affordable price. Services start at $5 and can go up to a maximum of $5000. It can be a great way to get a small side business going of your own, marketing all of your professional talents.

Sooo, allow me to give my own plug of business.

Audio recording: I have audio recording experience, and a friendly voice. I will record anything upon request, (I do reserve the right to refuse topics that aren’t in accordance with my comfort zone.)

Transcribe: I will transcribe anything in English.

Blog: I will personally give a shout out or promote anything that you would like to be marketed (I reserve the right to refuse anything that I don’t believe in and/or are not comfortable with.) I need to be able to fully understand what I am marketing before I put my name to it.

Hand written services: I will personally hand write anything needed, up to five pages, in straight hand or cursive.

Custom orders available upon request. Please visit my personal page to set up a gig! I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you!

Xo, Amanda

Everyone Loves Money!

Hello everyone!
Money. It’s something that everyone loves and needs to have, but many of us feel that we may not be earning as much as we are worth. Many of us are putting in long hours, yet still struggle to pay the bills. It shouldn’t be this difficult, right?
I know that I get a lot of anxiety of how I will be able to earn and save enough money not only to support myself and a family, but enough to be able to retire before I’m 80. My dad put it in a great way: money is like energy, the more you have, the more you can do. I’m not saying you need to go and be pulling in six figure paychecks each year, though that would be nice! However,  in order to be able to make basic bill payments, and still have enough left over for anything to reward yourself for your hard work, you may need to bring in money outside of your day job.
I have been researching many different ways to produce additional income, mainly through venues I enjoy and feel passionate about.
One of the ways that I allow myself to afford things outside of bills is to coupon. I have blogged about this many times before, check out my previous posts for more info! 
So what are some ways that you can make side money that either is a few extra dollars per month, or for very dedicated people putting in the work…. a full income? 
Affiliate marketing. For those who aren’t familiar, affiliate marketing is working with brands/stores and advertising their business/product. If a sale results from the advertisement that you posted, you will receive an already agreed upon commission. How many times do you go onto to social media and see people posting about a specific product, and then have the hashtag #sp or #ad. These indicates that the individual or business posting about a particular product or service is being paid to advertise. This happens a lot with athletes; I will see them talking about a protein powder, mattress set, shoes, anything and then, as required, putting in the hashtag indicating it is a paid advertisement. 
Blogging. For someone like me who is building their audience, blogging through a free site such as google and getting their site monetized through Google Adsense is a perfect way to get started. It took a lot of research to figure out exactly how to do this, but it was worth it. What I did was set up my blog, and then applied to have it monetized. After review I was accepted, and now I have ads that run along side my blog. Simple!
YouTube. A very simple way to earn money online, is simply to search YouTube. Of course, everyone has to be careful about scams, because no on wants to fall into one of those. I have personally researched about click bank. For those interested, click bank is about setting up your site, and then marketing a product and providing the link to that product. For example, I have signed up through Amazon to become an Amazon Associate, I can advertise about a product, post a link, and then if someone click on the link and makes a purchase, I can make a commission.
So, a product that you can find on Amazon that my family LOVES is Nu Go Slim Crunchy Peanut Butter Protein bars. They are Vegan and Gluten Free for those with dietary restrictions. They are high in protein, 17g, only have 3g of sugar and have 7 grams of fiber, no Maltitol or Artificial Sweeteners. They are delicious! You can buy them here!
A new way that I have learned about making money, is through Facebook market place. From the research I have done thus far, all you need to do is post about the product you are selling, take pictures, and add in necessary info and wait for your customers. I’ve started doing this, and I must say that I like it a lot. There appear to be no commission fees taken, which means more money as the seller. Here is my personal link to my items that I am selling through the Facebook market place. Please take a look here, if you see anything of interest, I look forward to conducting business! 
That’s all I have for now. Thanks for reading!
Xo,
Amanda

Frugality is Financial Freedom!

Hello my darlings!
You may have noticed a theme by now, I really love to save money, who doesn’t?! I go online to YouTube and learn a lot from people who have mastered their techniques, so I will share many of the things I learned as well as my own general knowledge.

Lets dive right in!

1) Thrift Shopping
I’ve gotten many compliments on items that I have purchased from thrift stores, some of which would have costs up the hundreds of dollars to purchase that I got for at least 90% off!  I love to ice skate, in fact, I almost took up figure skating as a young girl. I also had an immense interest in dance so I had to choose between dance and skating; my dad was much more supportive of dance (cost less and wasn’t as potentially dangerous.) Well I was thrift shopping  and one day noticed a pair of lightly used white ice skates in the corner, just like professional females use. I thought there is no way they’re going to fit me, but the gods were looking down on me that day, a perfect fit! I then thought, well how much are they? Ready for it? A whopping $4!!! I showed them to my mom and she couldn’t believe it, given they were in such good condition, even had skate guard protectors on them.
Not only do I now own my own personal skates,  I’ve already saved money from not having to rent skates when I venture out to go skating!

Another fun purchase that we did thrift shopping is a pair of Gucci shoes. Gucci shoes can easily go up to the thousands of dollars. Well, once again, same thrift store and wonderful pricing…..$25. Goes to show you can find remarkable goodies for a fraction of the price.
2) Save in store and online without coupons
I learned that if you want to save some money online shopping, just put your items into the cart and don’t check them out right away. Wait at least 24 hours that way you a) know for a fact that you really want to purchase the item(s) but also, the software will often notice that you haven’t immediately purchased, so they may offer you a small discount to give you and incentive to purchase. Give it a try! All you have to lose is less money!

A way to save in-store without using coupons is to take advantage of the store brand and not the name brand. I learned online that many of the time the store brand is just as good as name brand, the only reason consumers pay more for the name brand is to finance for commercial advertising, as well as product testing. As a disclaimer, I have tested out the name brand vs store brand and have found myself favoring the name brand at times. To me the product is overall better, but that is just a personal preference. Point is, there are many times where you can still get good quality using store brand products vs name brand.

3) Online Rebate Sites

I have talked about these rebate sites before, like www.retailmenot.com, www.ebates.com. Consumers can save even more online using different websites like these. Ebates includes not only coupon codes but a percentage cash back. I actually received my first check today, it wasn’t huge, just a little over $6, but its a start. This was simply just from some online shopping. There are several ways to save, you just have to learn how to do it.

I hope these few tips are helpful. Leave a comment on how you save money!

Social Media: Professional or Personal?

Eleven years ago, I was sent an invitation from a girlfriend to join this social media platform called “Facebook.” I joined, and learned that I could connect with as many or as few friends as I wished, upload information about myself, publish pictures, “like” a post and many more interactions. Today, Facebook is so popular that it is not only utilized as a personal means of connection, but businesses have jumped on the bandwagon to promote their products and services. So much has changed, you can now react to a post through different emojs, do a live Facebook video stream, promote products through paid ads, etc.
So many platforms developed, not even 10 years old, have made such an impact on our global society: Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. It makes me wonder as a consumer what will be developed next.
Is the level of social media usage a good or a bad thing? One might say that it can be very good because not only from the personal connections you can maintain, but from a professional stand point social media can reach a very large audience, depending not only on your own audience numbers, but based on the numerical amount you are willing to fund to reach your target audience through ads.
Twitter, especially for me, has become a news outlet. I personally follow many news sources, and stay ahead of the most breaking news and weather stories. Yes, Twitter was originally designed simply to “Tweet” out our inner/random thoughts, all at only 140 characters. Now, Twitter has become a major platform, once again for professional usages, for businesses, actors, business owners, politicians, to get the word out to a very large audience.
Others might say that social media can be a platform for online bullying to take place. How often does it happen that a person will post a picture/video, accompanied by a mixture of responses. Why do people feel its ok to say something extremely negative and downright mean to someone they have never met in person? Is it easier to hide behind the screen? It will never be ok to be an online bully, no matter what the social media platform is.
Another downside to social media is the addiction of usage users have developed (I’m guilty of this.) How often do we see in public people on their devices, instead of communicating with the people in person (again, I am guilty of this.)
Social media, has also become a source of income. Having a large audience can be very lucrative; we often will see an account holder talk about a product or service followed by the hashtag #ad or #sp, meaning they are being paid to post. YouTube used to just be about posting amateur video on any topic, now people have made a side or full time income from posting videos to their large audience and make money through monetizing their channel.
In the end, social media is great for both, just with a good balance. We will see how many of the platforms stick around and compete with one another.

A "Unique" Way to Save

Hello readers!

Do you love saving as much money as I do? From previous posts I’ve published, I’m sure you have learned by now that if I don’t have to pay full price for something, I’m certainly not going to.

Today i went shopping with my mom and sister for some retail therapy, and what’s better than shopping….saving money WHILE shopping. We went to a thrifstore called “Unique.” This particular location is located in Merrifield, VA. The store is very large with many different department categories–shoes and accessories like handbags, wallets, scarves and belts, kids clothing, men and women, jewelry, as well as a home goods section. They have a huge variety.

Like any thriftstore, it can be either a big hit or a miss. Well, it was a big hit today! Scored about 6 items for only $22.10. One of the items that I was super excited about was a pair of Nine West shoes that were very lightly worn, black heels that were not only comfortable but were under $10! You just don’t score a good pair of brand name shoes for under $10 even on clearance (usually.)

A big tip on how we only spent $22.10 was because on Thursdays, if You have the membership card, you receive 25% off the whole purchase. The prices were so great to begin with and with the 25% off, we saved an additional $6.58. Awesome, right? You just need to do a little bit of research and know the store policies.

Don’t be ashamed to thrift shop, many of them benefit local charities or organizations. “Unique” benefits veterans, all the while saving yourself some green.

I don’t brag about how much I spend on an item, I brag about savings. Saving is cool!

Happy shopping and happy saving!

Make Money with Reading!

Hello readers!

Over the past year, I have joined up with a wonderful company called Usborne Books and More. It is a book publishing company that sells excellent quality books at a very affordable price.

The books are designed for children beginning at a very young age, all the way up until high school, though anyone who likes the books can benefit and enjoy them!

You might be wondering from the title how you can make money from reading. Well let me explain. I became a consultant because not only can I read the books and enjoy them, but I now sell them. I signed up under a neighbor; she is my go to consultant when I have questions, or just overall want a team partner. Signing up is a one time fee, and you receive a welcome kit with all the information that you need, plus starting inventory of books, catalogs, and more. There are no quotas you have to meet per month, no minimum in sales, nothing. Just the amount of work YOU as the consultant want to put in, is what you get out of it. There are many different ways that you an earn money: web sales, Facebook parties, home shows, community fairs and more.

An added bonus, the more you sell, the more free books you earn, which then makes your inventory greater for future sales. This is all the while you can help encourage your student to want to learn to read and to make it a fun learning process. Everyone needs to learn to read, why not make it enjoyable!

Visit my consulting website to shop the catalog, and if you would like, become a consultant with me, that way you an start your own business, promoting a wonderful cause, LITERACY!

https://j5126.myubam.com/

Miracle 10

We all have different hair types; I have been blessed with having straight hair, that doesn’t require any blow drying. I have noticed, however, as I matured that my hair, especially in the warmer season, gets poufy after I have washed it. I also have noticed that every time I have gotten my hair cut, my hair is always smooth and silky after I leave the hair salon. It then dawned on me why the change in my hair texture and volume is different when I leave the salon. My hair dresser has used a wonderful leave in conditioner called Its a 10 Miracle Leave in Product. This product is so wonderful. It attacks 10 problems in one, hence for the name. It add softness, controls frizz, provides shine, so many benefits. Check it out!

The product is a little pricey, depending on your budget, but it is totally worth it. I personally purchased mine from Walmart for roughly $18, however different retailers will sell it for different pricing.

All you need to do is wash and condition your hair as normal, towel dry, and then spray the product in, and comb it through. That’s it. Its wonderful and smells great too.

Homemade Crab Cakes

It has become a tradition recently for my dad’s birthday to have homemade crab cakes for dinner. Yes, we can always buy then from any store or go to a local restaurant and pay $20 buck a pop for them. Why not make your own?

The recipe I did: 2lbs of crab meat, lemon juice, mustard,  egg, mayonnaise, Old Bay seasoning, crushed croutons and crab cake mix. I “eye balled” all of the ingredients and them made them into patties. I generously coated my frying pan with olive oil and olive oil spray. I then let the patties cook on each side.

How well done they are is up to each individual. I make sure they have a golden brown finish to ensure food safety.

Bon appetite!

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