Category Archives: Personal Assistant

I'm Over Winter

My Top 10 Reasons I’m Over Winter ~ Is It Spring Yet?

I’m so over winter this year. It seems to be dragging on forever. I am ready for some warmth and sunshine. I am ready to spend some time outdoors. I am ready for more daylight.

I haven’t done a Top 10 type post in a while … so here are my thoughts 🙂

1 ~ My skin is to dry, it sometimes cracks and bleeds

2 ~ I’ve slipped on the ice and fallen several times already

3 ~ I miss feeling the warmth of the sun

4 ~ The gas/heating bill is outrageous

5 ~ Driving can be treacherous during a winter snow/ice storm

6 ~ I hate having to scrap my car windows

7 ~ Everything has static electricity because the air is so dry

8 ~ It seems like someone in the family always has a cold

9 ~ Tt gets dark so early

10 ~ There is a lot more laundry because of having to wear layers to be warm

Sorry for my rant, but I feel better now 🙂 Do you agree with my Top 10? Can you add any of your own?

holidays on typewriter

Happy Holidays ~ Looking Forward to 2019


I hope all of you had a wonderful Holiday season. My Holidays were nice, but somehow a little different, even though Christmas is generally one of my favorite times of the year.

Somehow this Christmas seemed very rushed, more like work. The whole month of December seemed to fly by for me. I felt like I was always trying to play catch up to get everything done. For some reason, I don’t think I ever really got into the Christmas Spirit.

I feel like society seems to put so much pressure on have a perfect holiday. You’re supposed to take the perfect family photo for the annual Christmas card, complete with a letter updating everyone of the happenings in your life during the past year. The holiday parties start early in the month. It’s stressful trying to get together with all your friends who have busy schedules as well.

Don’t even get me started on my Christmas tree lights … ugh … just don’t

Holiday baking didn’t go as planned either. On the plus side, I did get all my gift shopping and wrapping done before Christmas Eve 😊

I received numerous wonderful gifts, I enjoyed delicious holiday meals, I enjoyed the company of family and friends. Yet, for whatever reason, I missed the happiness & joy that the Christmas season is about. I’m sure next year will be better. I won’t let the stress and business rob me of the true meaning and spirit of Christmas!

I’m truly looking forward to a wonderful 2019 for each and every one of us!

Happy 5th Anniversary

Tracy Helps You is Celebrating 5 Years of Business

Happy Anniversary to us !!

Today, March 21, is our anniversary 🙂  It’s hard to believe that Tracy Helps You is celebrating 5 years of being in business! I still remember all the time I spent dreaming and researching that cold winter season. I talked to many friends for their thoughts about starting a business. There were as many ideas as there were people I talked to (no surprise there). I would bounce ideas off anyone who would listen. Finally, I had the general idea of what my business would be, I wanted to help people.

Then came even more challenging decisions to make … not the least of which was the name of my business. My cousin was helping me brainstorm, I had a long list of possible names that we narrowed down to three I really liked. Of course, we then discovered that the domain name was not available for any of those 🙁   It was like 11pm, both of us beyond tired, we were at our wit’s end … We were like “how many other ways could we phrase “Tracy helps you” ?? Then a lightbulb went on … that’s it – Tracy Helps You !! I loved the sound of it, the domain was available, it was available on all the social media platforms … It was meant to be – Tracy Helps You was born on that cold night back in 2013.

Then came weeks and months of learning how to run a business (I love that learning is an ongoing process) and all things entrepreneurial. So many decisions needed to be made … so many things to learn.

Over the past few years, I’ve added and eliminated some services that I’ve offered. Two years ago, I added Virtual Assistant services. This year, I am adding Health & Wellness Advocate services as another area that Tracy Helps You can be of service.

As many of you know, I started on my “getting healthy” journey about 2 years ago. It started out with a weight loss goal and has now expanded into a yearning to live a healthy lifestyle. I’ve lost a lot of weight (still a little more to go), I try to choose real / natural foods (whenever possible) without all the chemical & preservatives. I feel my health is more important than the convenience of pre-packaged foods. I use intermittent fasting to cleanse my body of some of the environmental toxins. I walk at least a mile every day to incorporate more activity in my day. I feel fantastic, better than I have is more than a decade. I want to “help” everyone to feel as good as I do!

As a Health & Wellness Advocate, I plan to help by coming alongside you and “help you” as an accountability partner and give encouragement. I can help you with meal planning. I can share ideas for ways to burn calories doing fun activities. Since I have experience with several well-known weight loss systems, I feel I can help guide you. I can also coach you in my nutritional system, Isagenix. It has programs geared to help with Weight Wellness, Healthy Aging and Athletic Performance.

So now, Tracy Helps You can help in three different areas:

  • as a Personal Assistant
  • as a Health & Wellness Advocate 
  • as a Virtual Assistant 😊

How can we “help” you ?? Give me a call 😊

Grandma takes care of you

Rent A Grandma !

Having a Grandma around is nice – they read story books and watch movies with you. They make you chicken soup and hot tea for you when you aren’t feeling so good. They take good care of you and help you feel better ?

This winter sure has been a rough cold & flu season … and they say it isn’t over yet. They are saying that there are so many various strains of the flu this year, that the flu shot only has a 50/50 chance of working … not great odds. The flu is a very serious illness that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Continue reading

Goals ~ Not Resolutions for the New Year

Goals ~ Not Resolutions

Happy New Year’s Eve 2017!

Well, 2017 has proven to be an interesting year for me. Mostly because I decided to make my health a more important/relevant part of my daily schedule.

*********

 Please note, I am healthy, I didn’t have any major medical issues

 … I was just “sick & tired of feeling sick & tired” …

you know what I mean?

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For the first half of the year, we (my hubby and I) worked on making healthy food choices (for the most part). We made a meal plan and cut back on eating out so much. We cooked most of our meals at home. We “brown bagged it” (are those even a thing anymore?) for our lunches. We did have a “cheat” day on the weekend, but really tried hard to not go overboard. We both lost some weight, but not a whole lot 🙁

We tried making a concentrated effort on being more active. Exercise has never really been my thing, so I tried spending more time doing activities that I enjoyed, like camping and taking long hikes in the woods of various state parks. I also worked a lot in my yard and garden. We went for bike rides and went bowling. You know what I mean? Activities that had a purpose in additional to exercising my body.

We also joined the local gym to have a place to do a more consistent type workout.  Like many, we went 3 times a week religiously for a month or two, then it dwindled to 2 times, then once a week, then very sporadically until we are now at the point in time of saying ”why are we paying for this – we never use it”. By the middle of summer, I was off the healthy wagon more often than I was on it ☹

I ran into a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I commented that she looked amazing … she of course thanked me, and responded that that the best part is that she felt great. Healthier than she ever really remembered feeling. Being a good friend, she told me all about the great health and wellness program she was following that was giving her such great results.

I started following the program and I’m feeling great … I’ve lost pounds and inches. I’ve gone down 2 sizes. At my annual physical, my bloodwork came back as being in the normal healthy range, plus I was able to stop taking meds for high blood pressure! It sounds strange, I know, but I feel younger 🙂   I don’t feel as many aches and pains as before. I’m sure my joints appreciate not have so much extra weight to support 🙂

I do have a few health goals for 2018:

  • continue losing more weight while giving my body nutrient rich foods (50 more lbs. would put me back to my high school weight)
  • get my BMI into the normal range
  • continue trying to have a healthy active lifestyle
  • use my gym membership to help build lean muscle tone

I also have a few business goals for 2018:

  • blog more consistently (sorry for being MIA a lot this past year)
  • complete training to get certified in building & maintaining WordPress websites
  • revamp my Tracy Helps You website
  • be more active in my local Chamber of Commerce and in IVAA

These are goals ~ not resolutions.

For me, the difference is this:

Resolutions seem kind of all or nothing – you achieved them or you didn’t ?

Goals can be broken down into doable steps … they are a work in process ?

What goals will you be working on in 2018 ?

 

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Gingerbread At Moonglow by Deborah Garner

My Thoughts & Review A personal and/or virtual assistant can help you check items off your to-do list. Delegate some tasks to us today.

This is the 3rd installment of the Moonglow Christmas themed novellas. Deborah Garner always does a wonderful job of developing her characters, it almost feels like they are real people, at a real hotel, in a real town, in Montana. It is a heart-warming story set at Christmastime that shows how important simple kindness & caring is to people. Mist certainly has a gift for making the guests at the Timberton Hotel feel welcome & special.

Sometimes the Holiday season can get so hectic that you forget what Christmas should be about. It’s not about shopping for numerous gifts, attending countless parties and extravagant decorations, but about the simple joys in life. Slowing down and taking time to spend with a dear friend – taking a walk in the snow or building a snowman with your kids – stealing a kiss under the mistletoe – baking some cookies from your grandma’s recipe that brings back fond memories of times spent with her … or maybe trying a new recipe from this book ?

This book helped put me in the Christmas spirit. It is a feel-good story with no violence – just people being kind to one another, and I loved just loved it. Definitely 5 stars and 2 thumbs up ~ can’t wait to read the next one ?

 

NEW RELEASE….

The small town of Timberton, Montana, boasts an ambiance of near-magical proportions during the Christmas season, due in no small part to resident artist and chef Mist’s mysterious way of working small miracles in people’s everyday lives. Each year, return guests and new arrivals mingle with local townsfolk to enjoy companionship, exquisite decor, and exceptional cuisine at The Timberton Hotel.

As the aromas of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and molasses mix with heartfelt camaraderie and sweet romance, guests share reflections on family, friendship, and life. Although decorating the outside of a gingerbread house may prove easier than deciding what goes inside, no one leaves Timberton without renewed hope for the future.

The Moonglow Series…

Each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, or as part of the series.

Mistletoe at Moonglow, Book 1
Silver Bells at Moonglow, Book 2
Gingerbread at Moonglow, Book 3

Available to buy from…
Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay   Paperback

Also available in The Moonglow Series
Each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, or as part of the series.

Mistletoe at Moonglow, The Moonglow Series, Book 1

The Timberton Hotel has always provided a perfect Christmas retreat for regular guests, as well as newcomers. But the small town of Timberton, Montana, hasn’t been the same since resident chef and artist, Mist, arrived, bringing a unique new age flavor to the old western town.

When guests check in for the holidays, they bring along worries, fears and broken hearts, unaware that Mist has a way of working magic in people’s lives. Old-fashioned time spent together, exquisite food, conversation and a snowball or two offer guests a chance to trade sadness for hope. One thing is certain: no matter how cold winter’s grip is on each guest, no one leaves Timberton without a warmer heart.

Available to buy from….</b
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Nook   iBooks   Kobo   Amazon Paperback   Barnes & Noble

Silver Bells at Moonglow by [Garner, Deborah]Silver Bells at Moonglow, The Moonglow Series, Book 2

Christmas at the Timberton Hotel arrives each year with a unique set of guests, some returning, some new. When this holiday brings a celebrity seeking reprieve, sisters who are distant yet closer to each other than they think, a widow approaching a new horizon, and an eclectic smattering of local townsfolk and visiting relatives, the season is certain to be eventful. Add in a hint of romance and there’s more than snow in the air around the small Montana town.

Elegant decor and exquisite cuisine from resident artist and chef, Mist, form a backdrop to much needed camaraderie, bringing strangers and friends together. When the last note of Christmas carols has faded away, the soft whisper of silver bells from the front door’s wreath will usher guests and townsfolk alike back into the world with hope for the coming year.

Available to buy from….
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Nook   iBooks   Kobo   Amazon Paperback   Barnes & Noble

About the author
Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Google+   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

Follow the Book Tour

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I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY !!

Win your choice of $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal
Ending on Sunday 10th December at 11.59pm EST

Open Worldwide

Enter Below & Good Luck !!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team – Apply Here x
Current book tours open for sign ups HERE

Pet Care

Make Your Pet Care Reservations Soon

June is here !! The school year is winding down (or has already ended) … your summer schedule is about to begin. Have you already planned your vacation or getaway? Have you made plans for your pets while you are away?

In order to fully relax and enjoy yourself while you are away, you need to know that your furry family members are lovingly being taken care of. Let’s face it, they are not just pets, they’re family … like a child or grandchild. I believe they have feelings and emotions, just like us. Evidence of this can be seen by their excitement when we arrive home at the end of the day. They lavish us with affection. They snuggle with us if we’re sad or feeling sick. They love us as much as we love them, you can see it expressed in their eyes. Furry children, just like their human counterparts, need TLC.

At Tracy Helps You, we love all kinds of animals and we take pet care seriously. We think your pet should feel pampered, like they are on their own stress free ‘stay-cation’ while you are gone. We’re not talking about a trip to the local boarding kennel. Let us take care of them for you. We will come to your home to visit them … spend time playing with them or taking them for a nice walk, above and beyond the basics of food, water and ‘bladder relief’. Just let us know how many daily visits you would like for them to have.

If you prefer, we can also stay in your home while you are away. In addition to caring for your pets, we can take care of some of your routine household chores for you … bring in the mail and newspaper; water your garden and/or houseplants, curb service on garbage day, etc. Having someone ‘home’ everyday will give you peace of mind knowing that your home is secure and that your pets are safe.

Call today to make a pet care reservation with Tracy Helps You !

Book Review & Giveaway ~ IN Doubt by John W. Mefford

~~~ My Thoughts & Review ~~~

IN Doubt is the 3rd book in the Ivy Nash series. It can be read as a standalone book, but reading books 1 & 2 can provide some background info on each of the characters.

Ivy continues to deal with (and will probably have to for a long time) repercussions of being abducted and tortured (twice) by the same sick and deranged man that she has known since her foster home days as a young teen. He is obsessed with her, and stalks her both physically and virtually by hidden cameras set up where she thinks she can feel safe … but will she ever truly be safe?

Cristina is also dealing with the demons of her past, except this time one of those demons shows up to terrorize her in the present … then ends up dead. Guess who gets arrested …

Moreover, ECHO is hired to care for the young daughter of a high profile, billionaire client who isn’t exactly who he seems to be.

John Mefford manages to weave all of these character’s stories together seamlessly. He is a gifted story teller.

As I’ve said before, if you like reading thrillers, read this book. If you like reading series, read this book. If you like reading stories with strong, inspiring women as the main character, read this book. As you have probably guessed by now, I loved this book and highly recommend it.

5 STARS and 2 Thumbs Up … I can’t wait to read the next book in this series 🙂

NEW RELEASE….

When lives are shattered, can the bond of friendship survive the suspicion of guilt?

Just as she feels her world caving in around her, Ivy Nash realizes that there are no guarantees in life…for her or for those she cares about.

Ivy must protect an adorable little girl from a wealthy egomaniac hell-bent on revenge, as a monster from Cristina’s past returns with a fury.

When the dust settles, will those that live have any life to speak of? And will Ivy ever be able to stop looking over her shoulder for the man she knows will never stop until she’s destroyed?

Available to buy from….
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble    iBooks   Kobo   Paperback

“Rife with deceit and deception and characters that leap off the page, this story is told with confidence through a sure hand, engaging both the mind and the heart. A compelling treat.” — Steve Berry, New York Times Bestselling Author

“I love the way that Mefford writes, seamlessly jumping between characters and time frames with no confusion, and he is extremely descriptive of the setting . You almost feel like you are watching a movie instead of reading a book!” — Hilary Mahoney, Elusive Red Tiger

“Mefford wrote her character with depth and you can feel her passion for her job throughout the entire book.” — Shelly Maynard, Lynchburg Mama

Above reviews from An Ivy Nash Thriller, Book 1, IN Defiance

Books in the Alex Troutt Thriller Series:

AT Bay AT Large
AT Once
AT Dawn
AT Dusk
AT Last

Books in the Ivy Nash Thriller Series:

IN Defiance
IN Pursuit
IN Doubt

Coming soon….

Break IN
IN Control
IN The End

Q&A with author John W. Mefford: 

Q: What do the Ivy Nash Thrillers have to do with the Redemption Thriller Series?

JWM: The Ivy Nash Thrillers comprise the second sub-series in the Redemption Thriller Series. The Alex Troutt Thrillers are the first sub-series. While I’ll eventually write a series that connects the major characters and plots from all the sub-series, you don’t have to read the AT books prior to the IN books. But I have to say, the AT thrillers are darn good.

Q: So you’re saying you don’t have to read the Alex Troutt Thrillers before the Ivy Nash Thrillers?

JWM: Nope. While a few of the characters might occasionally overlap between the series, they can be read as stand-alone. And then I’ll wrap everything up in a final set of six novels that connects all of the main characters and stories from each sub-series. If you haven’t read any of the Alex Troutt thrillers yet, you can try out the first three at a pretty nice discount. Just search for Alex Troutt Box Set.

Q: Can you give some insight into how Ivy Nash might connect to Alex Troutt down the line?

JWM: Sure…and then I’ll send over a hit squad. Seriously, I’ll be sprinkling in a few clues along the way for those who pay close attention to the details, but it will all come together in that final six novels of the Redemption Thriller Series. And it will be explosive and gut-wrenching at the same time.

Q: How many different sub-series are you planning to have in the Redemption Thriller Series?

JWM: Right now, I see four sub-series in the Redemption Thriller Series, with six novels in each. It’s the most challenging and fulfilling creative endeavor I’ve undertaken. I hope you enjoy the journey.

About the Author
A veteran of the corporate wars, former journalist, and true studier of human and social behavior, best-selling author John W. Mefford has been writing novels since he first entered the work force twenty-five years ago, although he never put words on paper until late 2009.

John writes novels full of intrigue, suspense, and thrills, but they also evoke an emotional connection with the characters.

When he’s not writing, he chases three kids around, slaves away in the yard, reads, takes in as many sports as time allows, watches all sorts of movies, and continues to make mental notes of people and societies across the land.

John lives in Frisco, Texas with his beautiful wife, three opinionated kids, and a feisty fat cat who rules the world.

“Pop on over to my Website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads and Amazon Author Page

Join John’s Readers’ Group and receive the first novels in both the Greed and Booker Series 

Follow the tour

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I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY

Win IN Doubt by John W Mefford ebook
3 Winners!!
Ending on Sunday 4th June at 11.59pm CST
Open Worldwide 

Enter HERE

Good Luck !!

Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team – Apply Here x
Current book tours open for sign ups HERE

Mothers Day Special

A Tracy Helps You Gift Certificate is a Great Mother’s Day Gift

Give a Tracy Helps You Gift Certificate to Your Mom This Mother’s Day

It’s May in Chicagoland, to me, that means lilacs (my fav) ~ May also means Mother’s Day to us Americans.

On Mother’s Day, we honor our mothers with gifts and cards. Flowers seem to be a particularly popular gift.  Many families treat Mom like a queen on Mother’s Day … treating her to breakfast in bed and a day of relaxation by taking over her usual household duties for the day. Many families go out to share a meal together.

Speaking as a mother, and I’m pretty sure I speak for most (if not all) mothers, when I say one of the most wonderful gifts to receive is the gift of time spent with my family. Just spending time together, reminiscing and making new memories together is the best way to spend the day ❤

Everyone needs some free time / me time, especially Mothers. Sometimes, Moms can feel a little guilty about taking some time for themselves in their busy life. There is always so much to get done. While I am taking care of her To-Do List, she can be relaxing without worrying about things not getting done.

While you are making your Mother’s Day plans and choosing the perfect gift for her ~ remember that your Mom deserves to be pampered & treated far more often than just on the holidays. While you are with her this weekend, helping her out with some of those chores around her house, give her a Tracy Helps You gift certificate. It’s like giving her the gift of free time.

This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’m offering a special rate for Gift Certificates ~ 3 hour for $50 … contact me 🙂