Sometimes, the only time we have to get anything done is while our kids are napping. Check out the 9 tasks that will help you leverage this precious time, as well as 13 ways to keep older (or more stubborn) kids occupied.


I Guest Posted Over At: One Woman Shop

Come hang out with me over on One Woman Shop where I talked about 5 steps for creating a routine that works for you. (Getting up at 5am is NOT on the list)

So one week ago, I guest posted over at One Woman Shop, but I was super sick and feeling very muddle-y. I’ve still got the dreadful bronchitis cough (goodness why does that stick around so long?) but I’m blending traditional and alternative medicine to try and take this beast down.

I gave 5 super simple steps for creating a routine that will work for you… and guess what the best part is? Nowhere in there do I say that you should get up at 5am! Isn’t that fantastic? ūüėÄ

Click here to check out my post (and leave a friendly comment… they’re like Scooby snacks for us bloggers!)

4 Business Lessons from a Crappy Amazon Review

Ever run across a bad review on Amazon? I don’t mean a poorly written review, but a review that shreds the product into pieces leaving it whimpering in the corner.

I ran across one of those reviews today. I didn’t set it out to find it. I actually started off on someone’s Facebook profile. They talked so much about how delighted everyone was by their book that I just had to check it out. It takes up most of their Facebook profile. Updates about their fans, and fan mail, and raving reviews.

So out of curiosity, I checked out their book on Amazon (which I suppose was the point of all of their posts, so mission accomplished). Imagine my shock when I saw that it only had 5 reviews.

Just kidding. I wasn’t surprised at all. When someone talks that much about their own stuff it often means they’re overcompensating.

Here are 4 quick takeaways from a crappy Amazon review, and how you can apply them to your business:

1. Don’t be the¬†only one talking about your product/service

When you’re the only one talking about your stuff it diminishes your authority, and when your stuff is¬†all you talk about, frankly it smacks of desperation. This is why testimonials are so helpful for your business. They help show that you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life.

2. Don’t just have reviews from friends & family

Okay so you may have read the line about testimonials and thought “but Amanda, you were reading reviews! Isn’t that like testimonials?” Sure. But it was very obvious that all 4 of the favorable reviews were from friends or family. One of which gave it a 5 star review after only reading the prelude.

When it comes to books it may be an accepted practice to get a round of reviews from friends and family, but if all they’re going to do is spit out an automatic 5 star review then you wind up with the written equivalent of someone who’s on American Idol because of all their family and friends said they were an¬†amazing singer.

3. Nobody is above proofing/editing

I don’t care how good a writer you think you are, you’re not above proofreading. And it’s never a bad idea to get a second pair of eyes on your product. Make sure you pick someone whose grammar/spelling are impeccable. And if you’re going to put a book on Amazon, consider hiring an editor.

Fun fact: When I wrote this, I accidentally wrote “I don’t care how good a¬†singer you think you are”, because I still had “singer” on the brain from the previous paragraph. That is exactly why proofreading is a must.

4. If you must respond to bad press, do it with integrity

Don’t get a friend to write a counter review. Don’t create a fake account and write a counter review. If you absolutely feel like you need to counter the bad press, do it under your own name on your own blog. Make sure that you’re not making a snap judgement. Bad reviews hurt, but it doesn’t automatically mean they’re wrong.

Ten Minute Tutorial: Periscope

Does people talking about Periscope leave you feeling more out of touch than your Dad trying to use “hip” slang?Periscope is a super new platform (less than a year old), so a lot of people are just now discovering it. And others are hesitant to jump on board to a new social media, in case it’s just a trend that¬†fizzles out pretty quickly. The good news is that there’s plenty of room, and it’s the perfect platform¬†for creatives!

I’ve recorded a quick (just under 10 minute) video for you, and I made it nice and simple, with no crazy jargon. ūüôā

So one of the things that scares people away from Periscope is it’s unedited nature. Some people like everything to be super polished, and for those people Periscope isn’t a match. But if you like to be more spontaneous, or you’re unsure how to edit, Periscope can be a great fit for you!

One thing I forgot to mention: Periscopes were initially created to broadcast in a vertical/portrait format. People protested because it’s different than any other video platform, so now you can broadcast in vertical/portrait or horizontal/landscape.

Are you on Periscope? If you’re on Periscope, or you’re looking to try it out I’ve got a page of goodies just for you!

Weekend Roundup – Splintered, Fingerless Gloves, and Alcohol Markers


Fun things I discovered online…

Go hover over her logo and watch it spin… I may or may not have done it numerous times

Video tutorials on using Copic markers

How to color eyes with Copic markers

I even found tutorials specifically for Spectrum ¬†Noir markers (which is what I’ve got)

The latest in my arsenal for learning Spanish

Currently reading…

Splintered by A.¬†G. Howard¬†– it’s a totally twisted take on Alice in Wonderland… I got halfway through it, and then I misplaced the book, but it’s been re-discovered!

Coffee Break Screenwriter by Pilar Alessandra¬†– I haven’t started reading this one ¬†yet, but upon finding out that I’m obsessed with TV (sshhhh no judging), a new friend suggested I look into screenwriting.

Winter by Marissa Meyer – The last of the Lunar Chronicles. I’ve been very good and refrained from reading it through NaNoWriMo madness, but now it’s fair game. But I need to finish Splintered first.

Currently watching…

Gilmore Girls – Would you believe that I’ve¬†never seen it before? But I recently attended a CreativeLive class, and I swear I was the only there who’d never seen it.

Empire – Okay… I have a love hate relationship with this show. They definitely push it on adult content, but I feel like it’s pretty tame when you consider what “real” rap music talks about. But man oh man… every time I think they’ve hit the ultimate “what the heck just happened” they raise the bar.

Psych- Yup. I’ve seen it before. A lot. But it’s my go-to “I’ve had a crappy night” show. Nothing quite cheers me up like a bowl of suck-it soup.

Currently planning…

A Tumblr page for Ulysses

A video blog

Currently making…



Does the word “Mompreneur” make you twitchy?


We all have certain words that make us cringe. For Murdoc it’s “MacGyver”. For Edward it’s “Blade”. For some it’s the word “moist”.

I was talking with some lovely friends of mine last week, and we were discussing terms we hate. “Rockstar” = overused. “Fempreneur” = implies that a distinction between male & female entrepreneurs is necessary. ” I threw out that I dislike “girl boss”… shhhhh don’t tell Sophia Amoruso that. I’m sure it’s a lovely book. I just don’t enjoy being called a “girl”. I do realize the irony in this, given that I call people “chick” on a regular basis. I guess we all have our quirks.

One of my friends mentioned that she doesn’t like the term “mompreneur”. To my credit, I didn’t immediately revolt against her. I pondered for a moment.¬†Why¬†am I okay with the term “mompreneur”?


The girl on the left is my oldest. She’s one of the reasons I wanted to work from home to begin with. Like most home based businesses, there’s a lot of reasons I made that final leap, but one of the very biggest was the ability to spend time with my children.



Just so my boys don’t feel left out, there they are too. ūüôā

For me, mompreneur is the perfect term because my children are very young (my oldest is 10), and this is stage where I’m very cautious about balancing things. I never want my children to feel like my business comes first. My business is for them, as much as it is for me.

Sometimes it’s easy to drown yourself in planning, and making, and doing, and launching. Mompreneur reminds me to keep my priorities in order.

I’m Going on a Bit of a Blogging Adventure

I’m going on a bit of a¬†blogging¬†adventure, and I’d love for you to come along! For a while now, I’ve been considering writing a blog post on the daily (ish). I say “ish” because we all know life happens, and I feel like adding an “ish” takes the pressure off, and makes this more fun. Which it should be!

I’m inspired by a lot of people who write daily blog posts, including the wonderful Modern Mrs. Darcy. Another favorite of mine, April Bowles-Olin, did a 365 blog challenge back several years ago, and it was great enjoyed by her readers.


Don’t worry, I won’t send you an email every day (unless you want that, and then I’ll make it happen. ūüôā ), but I’d love for you to come hang out with me as often as you can.

Some of the things I’ll be blogging about are for your business: email, social media, organization, planning, etc.

But for those of us who work from home, our lives are more than just business. So other things I’ll chatting about include: recipes, reviews, and my personal creative endeavors. But more than that, I want share ideas for you to try too, and I’d love to hear back from you. What worked? What didn’t? What do you want to see me write about?

Leave me a comment if you’re coming along for the ride! (Also, if you have anything you’d love to see me¬†blog about please share that in the comments too!)