Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Goal # 1: Complete

Well...I completed my first goal set up for me by my SCORE rep. I opened a business checking account for Papercrafter's Nook today. Yay! Any of those "get rich" book gurus would tell you it's a great idea to add a banker to your "success team". So, I'm on my way...

Next on the list is to start developing some card designs. Any ideas?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Idlewild Park

Last Saturday, we took a trip to Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

My Mom and younger sister, Kimberly, joined us on our little outing.

It was a hot and humid day. So, we made sure we brought our bathing suits for a dip at the Soakzone later.

But, first, we stopped by Storybook Forest. I have fond memories of Storybook Forest from when I was young. Take a look at some of our photos...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Evan & Tyler get Curious...

That's Curious George, to you!

On Friday evening, we went to a sneak preview of the new "Curious George: Let's Get Curious!" exhibit at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, which opened yesterday, Saturday, June 19th and runs through October 3rd.

Once I found out about this exhibit I knew we had to go because Evan is a HUGE Curious George fan. (Tyler is catching on rather quickly, as the second child usually does...LOL)

But, what I didn't know was how much I would enjoy it, too. I did not realize the history behind Curious George...which makes ME love him, too.
Apparently, the manuscript for Curious George was one of five that the authors (Margret & H.A. Rey) brought with them when they fled Paris, France in 1940 on bicycles H.A. devised from spare parts. They escaped Hitler's invading army by just a few hours.

As you know, I love French culture! Not only did I major in French (in addition to Communication) in college, but I also spent a semester abroad in Amiens, France at the University of Picardy, Jules Verne. So, this tidbit of French history weaved in with one of my son's favorite characters is pretty darn neat to me.

 Tyler standing next to one of the "makeshift" bicycles used to save the Curious George stories.

The Curious George exhibit features an Apartment Building just like the one where Curious lives with the Man in the Yellow Hat. John helps Evan and Tyler open the little locker doors to see what's inside...

Mommy trying to hold Tyler for this photo. He's just too excited to see the rest of the Curious George exhibit to stay still!

 Tyler really liked this "seated" Curious George (as I refer to him). Incidentally, when I asked Tyler to say "bye-bye" to Curious George (the one in the costume) he waved to this "statue" Curious George and said "bye-bye" to him, instead. LOL Too cute!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Feeling the love...

Evan showed me these blocks he built. He said "It's your work building, Mommy!" I had to take a picture. He's just too cute (and smart). Yes, I'm biased. That's my job. I'm a Mom! :)

See the picture below of my "real" work building for comparison. :) Sorry I couldn't find a brighter picture of the BNY Mellon building. But, it is realistic if you think about how overcast it normally is in Pittsburgh! ;)

Tyler was hamming it up for the camera lately, too. Here's a photo that got a lot of great comments from my friends/family on Facebook. I call it Tyler's GQ pose. LOL

 Anyway, I just wanted to say..."You love REALLY love me!"

I believe that's a quote from "The Mask" a la Jim Carrey. I haven't watched that move in ages! But, I digress...

I have a confession to make. I've been lazy...about this blog, at least. I haven't been checking my e-mails for this blog very much lately. Of course, some may say I have plenty of good reasons lately (work, physical therapy, two boys - 3 years & 18 months, work, physical therapy...oh, physical therapy, random dentist appointment, meeting with SCORE rep, work, physical therapy...). Not that I'm complaining. Just explaining...

So, I FINALLY check my blog e-mail address after WAY too long away. And, lo and LOVE REALLY, truly LOVE me! Well, you at least like me! People are actually READING my blog. It made me feel special. *Smiles* :)

Thank you for being extra patient with my days of not posting. Here's the latest scoop:

I'm on a "make myself and/or family rich" kick right now. So, what's a Mom to do?! Save all her pennies in ye 'ole piggy bank. Heck no! Spend money on books that tell me how to save and/or invest my money in ye 'ole piggy bank...Of course! (Don't question my logic, please! ~ Yes, it's an obsession...)

Without further ado. Here's my list of makin' some mula books recently purchased via

1. "Make Your Kid a Millionaire: 11 Easy Ways Anyone Can Secure a Child's Financial Future" by Kevin McKinley - I got this book out of the library a couple of times already. I thought it was time to bite the bullet and get it for my reference library!

2. "Internet Riches: The Simple Money-Making Secrets of Online Millionaires" by Scott Fox - What can I say? Scott Fox is an internet marketing GENIUS! But, more than that, he's down to earth, too. He gets into the nitty gritty details that most self-proclaimed internet marketing "gurus" leave out. He's the real deal, folks.

3. "Financial Peace Jr: Teaching Kids About Money!: "Cool Tools" for Training Tomorrow's Millionaires!" by Dave Ramsey - He's another favorite author of mine. I particularly like his Christian bent on money topics because a.) I'm a Christian and b.) I want to raise my sons to be good financial stewards.

4. "Growing Millionaire Kids" by Marvin Sparks - I've never read his books before. I took a chance buying this one based on good reviews on I'll let you know what I think later on this one.

5. "How I made my First Million on the Internet and How You Can Too!: The Complete Insider's Guide to Making Millions with Your Internet Business" by Ewen Chia - I've gotten this book out of the library so many times that I think I've already paid for it a couple of times due to late return charges! Despite the "cheesy" title, this book has some really great - practical - internet marketing ideas. I love when I can actually implement ideas from business books. And, this is one of those books. Another "must have" for the internet marketers/business library IMHO.

Ok...As for "real" life, I can't say enough about physical therapy! The heat therapy is doing wonders. I have to give a "shout out" to Jason McIntyre at Centers for Rehabilitation Services in Penn Hills, PA for his personalized approach. Quite impressed. My pain is G - O - N - E. I have not had to take my pain meds or muscle relaxants in over 4 days! I still have numbness in my right shoulder. But, I'm confident that I'm healing. Thank you to God for keeping me and my family safe. Thank you to my friends and family for your thoughts, prayers and support!

On another related note, we're just waiting to hear from the local insurance rep about our check to replace the van. We should be getting a call any day now. Then, it's back to minivan shopping! I come!!!

I met with a SCORE representative today during my lunch hour at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Downtown & Business Center to go over goals for my Papercrafter's Nook business. We came up with some great action items for me over the next few months, including 1.) Creating a *separate* business checking account for my business 2.) Come with estimates of COGS (costs of goods sold - i.e. expenses for my business, including labor and materials to accurately price my products 3.) Create my own designed card lines 4.) Locate 3 - 5 *well-attended* craft shows to possibly get a booth & set up a weekly summer production schedule 5.) Look up trade shows and/or trade magazines to track trends in the retail handcrafted greeting card industry (if there is such a beast). I felt good coming away from this meeting. I have some momentum now.

Well, that's enough updates for now. Take care all and God Bless!

~ Rachael

Monday, June 7, 2010

Physical therapy

Today was my first physical therapy appointment for my shoulder injury from the car accident.

The good news is that I have good range of motion. So, the shoulder itself seems fine.

The bad news is that it seems that I have nerve damage. That explains the numbness. The physical therapist thinks that since I'm young (yay!) I should recover from this injury. It will just take some time to heal - maybe 6 - 8 weeks. So, I have to go to physical therapy 2 - 3 times per week.

The physical therapist gave me some exercises to try at home. And, he also used some sort of heat therapy on my neck/shoulder. The heat therapy really felt relaxing. I didn't realize how tense my neck and shoulder were until doing those exercises and getting the heat therapy.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Minivan accident

Well, many of you know this and some may not...

My family was in a car accident on Sunday, May 23rd. A teenager ran a stop sign and plowed into the left side of my beautiful metallic dark blue 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport. My husband was driving. I was riding in the front passenger seat. The boys were in the middle seats. My husband's parents were in the back. By some miracle everyone was able to walk away from the accident, albeit with some injuries. I have a sprained shoulder. I had to take 5 days off from work to recover sufficiently to return to work this past Tuesday. I'm still on muscle relaxants and pain relievers. And, I start physical therapy next week. My mother-in-law had to be transported to a local hospital due to some chest pains/side pain. They kept her overnight for observation. She's now starting physical therapy for her left shoulder and chest. My hubby had multiple large bruises and abrasions on his arms in addition to being really sore. The boys were completely unharmed thanks to those wonderful car seats!! I'll NEVER complain about using car seats, again. My father-in-law had no reported injuries, either. There were two other teens in the other car. No one from their car requested medical assistance at least at the scene.

Anyway...the crazy thing is wrapping my head around the fact that we only had that minivan for a week and got into an accident. We've owned our 2-door Cavalier for 7 years with no incidences! It's just weird how these things happen. But, I thank God it wasn't worse than it was. I mean I think the minivan is a total loss; we're waiting to see what the adjuster comes back with. There was just too much damage.

{FYI...If you don't know what to do if you're in a major accident, check out "My Motor/Vehicle Road Accident Ebook": Click Here!.}
At least the boys are so young that they probably both won't remember it...or at least Tyler won't....Evan has been asking questions like "What happened to the minivan?" or "Where was Grandma (when she had to stay in the hospital)?" He's stopped asking anymore questions now that it's been over a week. I'm just hoping it will become a distant memory for him.

I do have to say I'm very impressed with how safe that the minivan kept us from major injuries. I couldn't imagine if that accident would have happened if we were in the Cavalier, instead. I think we're going to look for a similar minivan, if possible, for a replacement vehicle. We shall see what the future holds.

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