Category Archives: Personal Assistant

Getting Organized ~ Jewelry

Getting Organized ~ Jewelry

This weekend, my church is having their annual garage sale. It is a huge event every year, and all the profits get donated to local area charities, like PADS and Neighborhood Food Pantry. Each spring, I try to get an area of my home more organized. Finding things to donate for this good cause helps to get me motivated 🙂

During the week, I’ve been sorting through our things to decide what I’d like to donate. In years past, I’ve concentrated on clothing, shoes & purses, holiday decorations, kitchenware, books, etc.

This year, I gathered those type items, but I also decided to sort through my costume jewelry. I love shopping at places like Charming Charlie’s, especially their clearance section. Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a collection. I usually stored my necklaces and bracelets in various cloth draw-string bags, vinyl zippered pouches. I stored my earrings in a beautiful decorative brass bowl that my friends brought back for me from her trip to India.

It was getting hard to remember what & where I stored these pieces. I would know I had a certain pair of earring that would go perfectly with my outfit, but not be able to find them in a moment or two.

So I decided while I was sorting through all of it, that I wanted to store it in a more organized manner. I found a cute little rack that hangs on the wall. I also like that you can see everything … all your choices in plain sight 🙂

Here’s my AFTER pic …                                         

Getting Organized ~ Jewelry

After Organizing Jewelry

 

 

Vacation Suitcases

Planning A Vacation ~ Spring Break or Anytime

As you may or may not know, I used to be a travel agent. Planning a vacation was one of my main job duties. I was actually employed in the travel industry for 25 plus years. As well as being a travel agent, I also worked in the reservations department for Apple Vacations for a couple of years, and worked for United Express Airlines for 14 years. All that to say, I’ve planned a vacation or two in my day 🙂
Lots of things have changed since I graduated from travel school in the 80’s … the internet being the most profound one. Planning a vacation online is easy for anyone with even a modest familiarity with computers.
Many people book their own travel these days. Most travel websites are very user friendly, guiding the user along each step of the way. After just a few clicks of your mouse and entering in your credit card info, you can pretty much start packing your bags 🙂
Perhaps these check lists (that I’ve found online) will be helpful to you as you plan your next vacation …

Always remember, if you don’t have the time or just plain don’t feel like it, I would be happy to “help” you by doing all the vacation planning research for you … I’m just a phone call away 🙂

Super Bowl 50 Helps Small Businesses

Super Bowl 50 Helps Local Small Businesses

Super Bowl 50 weekend is here … the big showdown between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers !

I must confess that I’m not a huge football fan. I’m not one to rush home to watch a game, but I do enjoy actually going to a game … I’m sure it’s the ambiance.

The Super Bowl is different. For me, it’s mostly about the party … being with friends, the food & drinks. Its fun to have friendly debates on whose team is better. It’s fun seeing the million dollar commercials. It’s fun watching the halftime show (will there be any wardrobe malfunctions?). It’s the fun party ambiance centered around a football game called the Super Bowl 🙂

Being a small business owner, I was happy when I saw a segment on the news a couple days ago. It was about how the Super Bowl planners were using the local small businesses during the week building up to the game. They interviewed a local businesswoman who owned a bakery. They placed the largest order she ever had in her 10 years of being in business … How exciting !! You can view the clip here.

As a local small business owner, I know that every day can’t be super exciting. For me, what is exciting about owning my own business is having steady repeat clients, while always welcoming new ones! Its knowing that my hard work and persistence is paying off by earning an income to help support my family!

So while it’s a one in a million shot of getting a Super Bowl type client, we can support our own local small businesses in our own communities … one purchase at a time … it all adds up. Make a difference in your community ~ #SHOPSMALL.

Tracy Heps You Goals for 2016

Goals for 2016 ~ Reflections on 2015

 ~ Reflections & Aspirations ~

It has been 2016 for 3 weeks already, and I’m finally able to sit down to reflect back on 2015 and make some goals for 2016. The perfectionist in me says that I shouldn’t write a blog post about New Years resolutions / goals because it is already nearing the end of January. This topic should have been covered in my first post of the New Year. Oh well, it is what it is! December and most of January have been very busy with family & holiday stuff, plus an unexpected road trip for an out of town funeral (plus another local memorial service this weekend). In addition to all that, I had some technical difficulties with the website for most of December. So, I’m cutting myself some slack and starting my blogging New Year now 🙂

~ Reflecting back on 2015 ~

~ I wanted to blog consistently (once a week) ~
I was about 85% successful (having the technical difficulties in December played havoc with this goal).
~ I wanted to create a brochure ~
I now have a beautiful full color brochure for my future clients to learn about our services. I have also been able to have them displayed in many local businesses.
~ I wanted to get more local exposure / get our name out there ~
I joined the Chamber of Commerce and join in their networking events monthly. I’ve made many contacts and learned a lot about running a successful business. I also had a booth a 2 local vendor fairs.

~ Looking forward in 2016 ~

~ I plan to get a business mentor from the local SCORE program.
~ I plan on making a weekly blog schedule and having several posts written and scheduled in advance. Please let me know of any topics you would like to see.
~ I plan on taking some courses to get certified to offer more “Virtual Assistant” type services.

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 2016 ?

Book Review & Giveaway ~ I’m Yours by Carolyn Menke

New Release….

I’m Yours is the prequel to Return To Me. This companion novella spins the tale of how Sadie’s mother, Audrey, becomes Audrey McCall, and the events leading up to one fateful decision that will affect generations to come.

The Roaring Twenties spell opportunity for Audrey McCall, a starlet who’s as irresistible as the illegal booze poured behind every shuttered speakeasy. Her big theater dreams include landing the impossible, a role on Broadway. But she’s fallen in love with handsome Edward Stark, who wants her to be his leading lady and his alone.

Edward’s confessed his love and is ready to embark on a future with Audrey. No more sneaking off to speakeasies and enduring cast parties, where the catcalls of men directed at his main squeeze get under his skin. Wouldn’t Audrey rather become the mother of his children than worry about the next paycheck?

Muddying the waters is the shifty Rex Wyatt, a new playwright in town, who promises to make Audrey a star. If Audrey gets the part of her dreams, she has to take it. There are no second chances in theater. Are there second chances in love?

~ My Thoughts and Review ~

I’m Yours is a prequel to Return to Me (you can read my review here). It is a short novella giving background stories to the characters in Return to Me. I’d recommend reading both books together.

The story is about the romance of Edward and Audrey that takes place during the Roaring 20’s. I loved the way the author used the lingo from that time era. Her descriptions made you feel like you were there.

Edward is a lawyer and has political aspirations. He is hopelessly in love with Audrey and wants to get married, settle down and start a family.

Audrey is an up and coming stage actress and wants to be a Star. She is deeply in love with Edward, but isn’t ready to settle down. She wants to follow her dreams.

Times were quite different back then, especially for women. In today’s world, you can have both – marriage/family and a career. Not so back then, women had to choose … love or career.

What did Audrey choose ??

If you like historical, romance fiction, I think you’ll want to read both I’m Yours and Return to Me.

Available to buy from….

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo

Read an excerpt HERE

“A sweeping, romantic debut that brings the war-time forties to vivid life in this Titanic meets Philomena tale—fast-paced, tender, and real.” — on Return to Me by RITA Award-winning Author Gwyn Cready

“Menke’s writing is so lovely, you will want to wrap yourself in her words and savor each moment you spend in Sadie’s story. Return To Me will tug on your heart strings and take you on a journey back in time.” — on Return to Me by Dana Faletti, Author of the Whisper Trilogy

“A timeless tale of love, loss and sacrifice that will equally break and warm your heart, as you cheer for the beautifully complex characters until the very last page.” — on Return to Me by Lori M. Jones, Author of Renaissance of the Heart

Also Available

Return to Me
In 1942…

Eighteen-year-old Sadie Stark, raised by the governor of Pennsylvania, has the world on a string. She doesn’t need the mother who left her any more than she needs the fiance who promises to change. What she needs is to finish college, and keep her wits about her.

When war-bound James Pasko returns her stolen clutch, and shows her what’s missing in her life, she gains the courage to search for the truth about her past.

What Sadie uncovers rattles her to the core. But James’ steadfast love gives her hope for the future—for the first time—even as the war tears them apart.

When James disappears over enemy lines and Sadie makes a startling discovery, she must decide to follow in the footsteps of the mother who gave her away, or face a life of hardship like she’s never known.

Available to buy from….

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo

About the Author
Carolyn Menke is the author of RETURN TO ME, published by The Wild Rose Press in September 2015 and I’M YOURS, the companion novella that released in December. RETURN TO ME, set during the 1940s, follows Sadie, as she uncovers pieces of her mother’s past. I’M YOURS, set during the Roaring Twenties, follows Audrey, Sadie’s mother, as a young starlet destined for Broadway, and the events leading up to one fateful decision.

Raised by a former kindergarten teacher and engineer, Carolyn grew up with a book in hand, a story in her ear, and was encouraged from a young age to pretend, create, read, and write. She’d often come down to the breakfast table with a new story or poem to share. Some of her fondest memories are of her mom reading to her from the front seat of their family station wagon during long road trips, her siblings fast asleep beside her. These read-alouds were the beginning of a lifelong love.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Carolyn blogs for a digital marketing agency and enjoys horseback riding and geocaching with her family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a mom to three young daughters, it’s her turn to carry on the tradition of telling stories, reading aloud, and making the every day magical.

Find the author on the following sites…

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

Follow the book tour

Photobucket I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own. NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY     Win a $20 Amazon.com GC / Paypal Cash (winners choice) Plus ebook to 3 runner ups Open Worldwide   Ending on Sunday 31st January at 11.59pm EST   Enter Below and Good Luck !! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top 10 Blog Posts 2015

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015 ~ The Year In Review

Happy New Year !!

I’ve always loved watching those “Year in Review”, “Top 10” (or Top 100) types of shows on TV. You know the ones … they usually break the stories down into different categories, like severe weather or celebrity deaths.

Sometimes I didn’t even remember the stories, or else I remembered but thought they took place longer ago. Time has a way of playing tricks with us. Some things flash by in an instant, while other times, time seems to stand still.

Tracy Helps You’s “Year in Review” for 2015

These were my top 5 Blog Posts from 2015 …

Back To School ~ College Bound

Locks of Love Donation

How My To-Do List Helps Me Get & Stay Organized

Tornado Touches Down / Stormy Spring Weather in Illinois

Top 10 Tips For Having A Successful Garage Sale

These were my top 5 Book Reviews from 2015 …

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Hot Flash by Kathy Carmichael

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Eighty and Out by Kim Cano

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Fractured Not Broken

Book Review & Giveaway ~ The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Return To Me by Carolyn Menke

Thanks for taking the time to reminisce with us … Let us know if you have a topic you would like to read about … We’d love to hear from you :)

 

Need A Ride ?

Need A Ride ???

Are you traveling for the holidays? Do you need a ride to or from the airport? Maybe you need a ride to and from a doctor’s appointment or hospital for an out-patient procedure. Many people choose to take care of medical appointments at the end of the year to take advantage of flex spending account balances and paid deductibles. Continue reading

Pet Sitting / House Sitting Tips

Holiday Pet Care & House Sitting

It’s mid November, and the holidays will be here before we know it. To me, the holidays are all about spending time with family and friends ~ near and far. When you travel to see your loved ones, don”t forget about your pet care for your fur babies … they are family too! Who will take care of them?

Personally, I think in home pet care is the best option. This way, your pet stays in their familiar surroundings, even though you aren”t home with them. Another benefit of in home pet care is home security. Your home won”t appear vacant while you are away.

Pet care & house sitting is one of the many services that Tracy Helps You offers. I can come a couple times per day to feed and let them out to do their business ~ or ~ I can stay at your house. This has the added benefit of bringing in the mail, watering the plants, online casino etc. A home that has someone coming and going throughout the day is less of a target for burglars. Plus, your fur baby will have company in the evenings … we may go for a walk, play fetch, or have a good belly rub while watching TV 🙂 Dogs especially are such social animals, I believe they feel lonely and really miss their owners when they go out of town.

You can also board your pet at a kennel while you are gone. Your pet will have their basic needs met, but will otherwise be spending most of their time alone. Most kennels don”t have the staff to offer more than food & shelter. I highly doubt there would be many good belly rubs 🙁
If you have plans to travel, please call me sooner rather than later. The holidays will be here before we know it. It will be a wonderful gift for your fur babies to have someone who will love and play with them, as well as, take care of their basic needs. 

Happy Holidays … Call me 🙂

Time Change

10 Seasonal Chores To-Do When You Change the Clocks

It’s that time of year again … time to change the clocks back one hour.

I love almost everything about autumn, except for the time change. We “gain” an hour, but I hate that it is full on dark by dinner time. It seems like I have a harder time adjusting to this each year than the year before. Is it age related? Oh well …
Continue reading

Fall Fun Ideas

Bucket List Ideas for Fall Fun

Fall is my favorite season. In my opinion, the weather is perfect … warm, sunny afternoons and cool, crisp evenings. I think it’s the best season for outdoor activities. There are some activities that are occasional for me, but others, like the Pumpkin Spice Latte I’m sipping as I write, are seasonal musts 🙂

Here is a list of some of my favorite (both past & present) Fall activities:

  • Take a long walk in the woods admiring all the beautiful foliage
  • Go apple picking; make sure to enjoy an apple cider donut with a cup of hot apple cider 🙂
  • Have a bonfire with all your friends
  • Navigate a tricky corn maze
  • Go to your local high school homecoming football game … amazing ambience
  • Go to a pumpkin farm and choose the absolute best pumpkin … don’t settle for less 🙂
  • Go on a hayride
  • Visit some of the many outdoor fall craft fairs
  • Go to a haunted house
  • Have your friends over for a leaf raking party … have fun jumping in the huge piles before bagging them
  • Bake an apple and/or pumpkin pie … yumm, plus your whole house smells wonderful

I hope some of these ideas inspire you to get working on whatever is on our Fall Fun Bucket List. Do you have a favorite activity that I missed? Please share the fun 🙂