Starting an Online Business

Hello readers!

I want to bring about a topic or a rather large topic that is near and dear to my heart…..

Starting an online business….ahem….!

I have had a passion for being an entrepreneur; I have always loved the idea of being my own boss. I completed an internet marketing class my senior year of high school; it really opened my eyes to what the internet was capable of. Keep in mind, when I took this class, the internet had definitely been around for quite some time, but the concept of actually conducting business online through different marketing strategies was a growing concept that has developed into our digital world.

When people say they have an online business, there are several facets to that statement, as the sky is the limit. There are many different online businesses: major companies like Amazon not only is the massive empire that it is, but adding on to its revenue with individuals who make side income or more from selling as an individual or professional seller.

There are pros and cons to selling on Amazon: the pro as a professional seller is that you have access to many different resources, however, there is a $39.99 fee each month. That fee isn’t a lot if you are consistently selling which in return brings you a ROI. One of the cons that I do not like about selling on Amazon is the very specific product information you need for data input. I have very gently used items that are still in excellent “like new” condition, but because I don’t have exact information needed (UPC); so the chances of selling that item becomes much more cumbersome. Don’t let me take away motivation from becoming a seller, I’m always striving to learn information and have success with selling on Amazon, currently though, as an individual seller which does not require any high monthly fees.

Another aspect of Amazon which I really do love is its affiliate marketing program. For those who aren’t familiar, affiliate marketing is when a user advertises a product or service and when a customer purchases from the associated link provided, the individual providing the link receives a small commission percentage from the sale.

So…. I’m going to plug my own affiliate link. My family LOVES these Nugo Slim protein bars, they are vegan and gluten free for people with dietary sensitivities. They are low in sugar, high in protein and fiber and come in differing flavors. Get them, they’re good! And to make them sound even better, they are dipped in dark chocolate, so what’s not to love about them? Yum!

Everyone knows about Ebay. I’ll be honest, I really thought Ebay wasn’t going to stick around after Amazon became what it is today. Upon further research, Ebay appears to be much more user friendly for sellers like me who are getting started and are selling personal items as an individual seller vs an established business. There aren’t as many restrictions and listing inventory is a lot easier. Check out my listings page here!

Moving on to another aspect of online businesses; rebate selling apps with an accompanying website. There are a variety of selling apps you can download to your phone/use the website to sell your own personal items. I have used the Poshmark app and website to sell my own gently used, like new items. Poshmark allows you to sell clothes, shoes, accessories and more. They do take a commission around 30%, which covers your shipping label. Visit my personal Poshmark account here!

Facebook, is always updating their software and user interaction capabilities; they added a new feature last year called the marketplace which allows for users to sell items as well. The inventory categories are endless, and it appears thus far there are no selling fees, which is great! My personal Facebook selling place is here, check it out!

As you can see, there are a variety of different ways to sell exclusively online from your own personal inventory of items taking up space in your house that will be a treasure to someone else. Thanks for reading and hope you find some treasures from my various sites.

Xo,

Amanda

Rebate Apps are the new Savings Account Interest

Hello readers!

Over the last few years, I’ve really developed an interest in saving as much money as possible, through any moral or legal means, after all I don’t want to do anything that is immoral, illegal or fatning 😜.

I began searching online for different ways to save money, especially through coupons; with this research I learned about rebate apps such as Ibotta, Saving Star, Checkout 51, Ebates, etc. I was very happy and surprised to learn that you can use all rebate apps together to gain the most savings, in addition to using coupons on the same products for the same shopping trip. As my mother said, rebate apps are a new form of interest on your shopping trips. Let me explain.

I was shopping at CVS and took advantage of a promotion on L’oreal hair products. I not only had manufacturer coupons to use, but there was a promotion in store wherein if you purchased three L’oreal hair dye products, you received $8 in extra care rewards (store credit toward future purchases). I was able to combine these savings methods, in addition to redeeming an Ibotta credit for $3; $2 rebate for one box of hair dye and $1 for root cover up (shameless plug for my YouTube channel, but I explain this exact shopping trip here. I highly recommend downloading the Ibotta app to your smart phone, it really does add up over time. I have earned over $160 in cash, just simply from taking a few minutes from each shopping trip and redeeming qualifying purchases. Use my referral code to get started on your earnings: gaotcgw!

I really like Saving Star because if you link up your grocery cards from Giant, CVS and Harris Teeter, and each week you look at the offers available for rebate redemption, all you have to do is select the product and then the linked accounts will do the work for you. There are a few retailers where you have to manually scan your receipt into the app to redeem for your purchases, don’t worry though, its very specific instructions in the app of what to do! I’ve only been using this app for a couple of months and have already earned back almost $20!

Checkout 51 is very similar to Ibotta, you do need to manually scan your receipts and select the items you want to redeem. It’s well worth it, I’ve already redeemed $25 since using this app.

Ebates you can use both in app for actual in store purchases but also on the website for your online purchases. Ebates is a very simple concept; if you are going to purchase an item, simply search for the retailer to see if they are offering a sale/cash back. I have used Ebates in store a few times now at Bed Bath and Beyond, the percentages are often small, but every little bit adds up! Simply link a credit card and each time you pay, you will be eligible for cash back and sales when promotions are available. Use my referral code to get started: https://www.ebates.com/r/AMANDA67032?eeid=28187.

If you are a skeptic, trust me, these apps really are great. Yes, like anything, it does take some work, but I’d rather be earning back a much as possible on purchases I’m going to be making anyways. Rebate apps won’t make you rich overnight, but every little bit will add up much faster than you’ll realize. Seriously, I had hit a slump when I was only able to redeem $0.25 here and there for items I was going to get, and the next thing I knew, I had $12 in my account…it adds up fast!

I hope this helps to anyone interested, might as well take advantage of cash back opportunities in this crazy digital age we live in.

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Thanks for reading!

xo, Amanda

March for Our Lives

Hello readers!
Over the weekend, close to a million if not more attended the March for Our Lives rally in DC, (not evening counting the marches around the country) demanding for  more sensible gun laws. Over the years, the amount of mass shootings has reached a horrific number; yet politicians have only done so much to stop these mass shootings from happening, if not blocking important steps to enable more safety from these deadly weapons. 
Let me make one thing perfectly clear, I am all for the Second Amendment, I have friends who own guns, I have shot a gun. I am not for taking guns away, I am in full support of keeping the Second Amendment in tact. What I am not in favor of, however, is how easily it for people who shouldn’t have access to firearms, and how these semi assault and automatic rifles are available for non military purposes. 
Back to the rally, I was so moved by all of the speeches, and musicians who came out showing all of their support. All of the speeches were very well done, but I must say I am biased and was most looking forward to hearing what Emma Gonzalez had to say. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, you need to. I loved her speech, for anyone who didn’t see it, click here. Not only were her words and presence captivating, but the symbolism of the length of her entire stage time is what sent the chill down my spine; six minutes and 20 seconds of time on stage is how long it took for the deranged shooter to do his evil. Some frozen microwavable  dinners take longer to cook than the time it took to take 17 beautiful lives with a gun. 
What are some solutions that we need to enact to actually make a change? In no particular order, stop taking contributions from the NRA, yes Marco Rubio, you’re one the Politian’s I’m looking at. Vote for people who are going to take a stronger stance on gun laws, and background checks, don’t block them. Most importantly, stop having access for these high kill weapons available for standard civilian use. No one, except for people in combat, or highly trained and skilled security people like police or FBI, need access to these weapons. 
I’m only one person, but if we all take action and put our heads together, maybe one day, very much sooner than later, these mass shootings, and overall gun violence will become so seldom, we won’t be hearing about any gun tragedies again. Wishful thinking, but it can happen. 
Thanks for reading, please subscribe (button to your left)
xo

Hillary Clinton–What Happened–My Review

Hello!

We are nearly one year into the new administration, and I’m wondering how the hell we got here. I’m not going to go into much of my personal feelings of what I think of the policies and behaviors coming out of the White House, but I can definitely say I don’t see how we are setting a good example for our children when the President exhibits the behaviors he does.

I was/am a Hillary Clinton supporter, and I volunteered very hard for her campaign. I’m not saying she is perfect by any means, Mrs. Clinton has stated her faults in her book, What Happened in regards to her campaign; it is a very interesting and well written piece of literature.

Hillary Clinton goes into specifics about her lifelong career as a lawyer and of course her various political titles and experiences. Two of the major components that are covered in her book are those damn emails and of course Russia and its interference.

The different media outlets covered the emails on multiple occasion, even after investigations and hearings revealed no new major information came to surface. Hillary Clinton writes how she never really got a  chance to get her message out to the American voters because the focus was typically on this scandal.

There is another very detailed chapter about Russia and Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimr Putin. She describes it as dangerous.

Overall, my feelings of the book would give it a solid B+. I feel that it is a little bit long; you don’t really get into the meat of what happened during the campaign until the middle; the first half is a mixture of her overall life career, as opposed to simply sticking to the campaign. Those points are of course important to give a person the complete picture of who she is as a person and politician, but I felt there was too much added fluff.

I definitely would recommend this book to interested parties, just giving them the heads up that it does have those added tidbits, for the first half (still very interesting information to read!). Her experiences really show that when you want something so bad, and you may not get the accomplishment you are striving for so hard, not to give up. It was pretty painful to read the chapter on her losing, but, she kept everything as positive as possible. You have to give her credit for not ever giving up, no matter what is thrown at her.

I hope that if ever given the opportunity to meet Hillary Clinton, I will be among the many others who gets a hug and a selfie from her!

Get your copy today here!

Xo, Amanda

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DIY Pampering

Hello!

Ladies (and gents), when was the last time you pampered yourself?  Everyone has their own different versions of TLC; maybe its retail therapy, or a night out dancing, heck, it could just be a night in, with a good glass of wine, a book, and a nice fuzzy blanket. Some of my personal favorites are DIY, saving my bank account. 
For Christmas, I was given an Amazon gift card, and trust me, it wasn’t hard to spend. One gift that I’ve been wanting to treat myself to for a long time is an at home gel manicure and pedicure set. I went on to Amazon and got one that was pretty budget friendly only ($23.99!), this UV light dries the gel polish so quickly and effectively. The gel polishes that I got came in a pack of 6, with different colors, you can choose varying packs with color options, these are the ones I chose, and they came out great! 

Another fun DIY pamper is for your hair. Ladies, do you want super soft and healthy hair? Try my secret, I got this recipe online and it works. A tip for this, put the mask on dirty hair, it absorbs better, and then shampoo and condition as you would normally.
I don’t measure anything, I just eyeball the amount. Put in a sauce pan on low heat, (this is very important because the mixture heats up very quickly) raw honey and coconut oil. Let both melt and then lather your entire head in the mixture. Keep on for 30 minutes to an hour, either in a pony tail, or a head piece you don’t mind washing. Rinse out the mixture first in the shower and then wash. Your hair will look very shiny and soft, I’ve gotten many compliments on how healthy my hair looks. This method is very budget friendly, and they are ingredients you can eat, so you aren’t putting any harsh chemicals on your hair. 
Happy TLC!
Thanks for reading.
Xo, Amanda
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#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.