Sunday, November 21, 2010

Side Banners

From time to time I like to share other blogs or businesses in my side column. Being I do not do a banner exchange I clear out banners every 6 months and start new. This keeps things fresh and brings in new and exciting sites for you to view. If you would like your banner shown in the side bar, please comment with your banner link (I am unable to host images for this blog at this time) and url link.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Life as I know it

Going from a full-time-plus WAHM to a part-time WAHM running 3 businesses (Party Gals, Teaporia, and Baby Bottom Bakes), 1 of which I own, has made major changes in my life. I closed my purse business recently. It was terribly sad but with the constant troubles I ran into I lost my passion for it. I hope to one day reopen as I regain the passion.

I refocused on Party Gals, a romance company. For years I had tossed the idea around about joining a company such as this. I kept putting it off because I was unsure of how my family would accept my venture. When I was close to closing my purse business I began looking around for a new direction in a completely different market. This is when I sat down with my family and asked how they would actually feel with knowing others new my business. The support was incredible so I jumped at the chance.

Teaporia is a company I have represented for a couple years now and love it. I have always kept this as a very part-time business by choice. Its a fabulous company with great products. I used this company to help boost my other businesses such as a purse tea party and now days naughty tea parties.

My personally owned Baby Bottom Bakes started from a hobby of many years as more and more requested my diaper cakes and other goodies. I opened my website several months ago more as an informational point but soon to take on orders for shipping. I am very particular about my cakes so I want them to be perfect through shipping. They will do just fine as they ship but still nervous. I do however have other items shipping which has become a fun adventure. Being it is only me I am staying small as business builds and eventually will take on a small staff that can create these handmade gifts to order.

When I am not working I am usually babysitting my niece or nephew. My niece is 15 months currently and my nephew (also my godson) is 10 months. My baby is 16 so its nice to have baby time. Its even more special that I can be so involved in my nieces and nephew's lives.

My son is the typical teenage who is trying to be as independent as possible. That makes mom a very uncool person to be around unless of course he needs money, he is sick, or he wants mom time and we head out to starbucks. My husband not only works his full-time job but he also is in college full-time and plays race car driver on the weekends. That doesn't give us much time together as a family but we do manage to come together every sunday at my mothers for family day.

In 4 weeks we will be in CA for a Christmas vacation with Mickey Mouse. In all the years I lived in Socal I never once visited the magic kingdom during any of the holidays. Last year was my 1st visit during Halloween and it was so fun seeing the park with new eyes. We also visited Universal Studios on Halloween at their Halloween Horror Nights. That was amazing! One of the best times I have ever had! We opted for the RIP tour. If you get a chance, try the tour. This year both parks will be fully decked out for the jingle holidays. I love Dr Suess so the idea of playing in whoville is very exciting. I am very excited to see Disneyland yet again with new eyes. Plus for the 1st time in about 10yrs I will be celebrating my birthday and we will be at Disneyland the day of. All of us kids have been cursed with a birthday within about a week of Christmas so to have it all to myself without the combo gifts is a very pleasant idea. We are going with several family members so this is just so exciting. We go to Disneyland so often its become like home. Still fun each time we go but to have the added excitement of something new always brings something fresh to the vacation.

Even with all that is coming I am still looking forward to the 2 of the 3 sit-down family dinners we share each year. Its special and many of my memories of youth have come from these special dinners. The smell of turkey throughout the house, football game on the tv, and the chatter of family masked with the laughs and screams of the kids is always a delightful time.

I will be one of those nuts shopping on Black Friday so wave in my direction if you are out there too!

Cherish those memories and share them for years to come. I wish everyone a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Coffee Shop Deals

Coffee Shop Deals is a site that will allow you to shop from all different types of businesses. I am a work at home Mom and I strongly believe in supporting others that work from home as well.  I started this site as a place to promote all my businesses and decided as things evolve and change to use it also to feature a few other businesses from the amazing people I have met online over the past 2 years. So I will be changing things over the next week or so and you will see new things added here as well. I hope you will enjoy the changes I have decided to make and hope that you will continue to support all of us as we try to make better lives for our families .

Welcome to Coffee Shop Deals. We have opened our doors!! 

This blog has been moved over from Bailey's Bargain Bin and has had a complete Makeover!! We are changing things up and making it more organized and easier to navigate.With the help of Tara Todd from A Creation Of Miracles you will notice a few other things that will be added over the next week or two.

Here we completely and fully support the Work From Home Industry as well as striving to bring you the best deals, recipes, shopping experience and more. You can find all kinds of great things here and more to come as the days go by. This will also be another hosting blog of our Holiday Gift Guide Tour!!

So in honor of our Grand Opening we have a few different things going on:

The first being a featured post special!!! If you would like to feature your business on this blog we will do a featured post for you for just $5!!! Your post will stay in the appropriate Category for the life of this blog. All you have to do is send us an email by clicking here and put "Featured Post" in the subject line. We will return your email within 24 hours (usually sooner) and let you know where to send payment and what we need from you.

The second is a giveaway!!! What a great way to kick off our blog by hosting a giveaway. This will be a Gift Basket full of Goodies including items from Kat's Coffees & More and Andy's Home Made Fudge!! You will get some great mixes and some homemade fudge!! What a great treat!!!

Come on over and link up and enter to win!! Hope to see you there

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Changes

This past week I made the decision to close my purse business. It was tough but after a few days absorbing my decision I think it was the best decision. I do have the ability and desire to reopen this at a later date but focus on a retail location supplemented with a website. It will be of course a brand new start including a brand new name.

I have not given up all my business ventures. I have recently joined Party Gals (a romance company) and very pleased with the products, customer service, least amount of limitations in building a business I see fit including adjusting my hostess rewards to go above and beyond what the company offers. I really love the warranty. I can offer my customers up to a 90 day warranty. I have not found another company that can offer the same.

I also have my tea business through Teaporia ( and I also have my diaper cake business at Baby Bottom Bakes ( So while I have ended one venture I still have 3 others going strong and in a direction I am happy with.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Share it

With school here we all have ways to manage the home, family, school, and work. Some need some advice or new tricks. Here is your opportunity to share your tips and tricks.

Throughout September we will have tips and tricks for Home, Family, School, and Work

Home  Sept 1 - Sept 7
May include but not limited to: Organizing, cleaning, recipes

Family  Sept 8 - Sept 14
May include but not limited to: Crafts, family outing ideas, game night

School  Sept 15 - Sept 21
May include but not limited to: Homework, staying focused, staying organized

Work  Sept 22 - Sept 28
May include but not limited to: Schedule, time management, staying organized

Submit your tips to with "LOAWAHM Share It [TOPIC]" in subject line.

This will also be shared on

Include your name, tips, topic (home, family, school, work) and short bio to include your business info. Keep bio to 2-3 sentences.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I can't help it!

I am not typically a jealous person but when I feel cheated I am. I don't care if it is petty to others or even being selfish. It is how I feel and nothing will change that.

In April I was to accompany both brothers, their wives, and their children for a trip to Disneyland. Life happens and things kept getting pushed back leaving us without the time so trip was canceled. It sucked but it happens. So we decide December is a must do for us all and right around our birthdays. The trip will be special on so many levels -

* Elizabeth's and Chase's first Disneyland trip
* Mine and Dan's first trip with Emma to Disneyland
* Our first trip all together (all 3 of us kids and our families)
* The first time in many years I have celebrated my birthday (the last day of the trip will be my birthday)
* Captain EO reopened after Michael Jacksons death so this will be the first time we will all see it since it closed but we get to take out families to enjoy it
* The first Christmas we have ever spent at Disneyland despite living an hour away for 17yrs

Why I no longer feel it is special

* Elizabeth went this week instead on a last minute trip. No matter how someone candy coats it you will never relive a first time so don't try to make it better
* They are all going to see Captain EO
* It has become a week long birthday celebration for everyone going which is absolutely ridiculous
* Chase will have his first time at Disneyland nearly a week before we arrive in CA
* Anthony and Nikki will not be there for my birthday but I will celebrate Anthony's (this is due to work scheduling)
* They are having a special belated birthday celebration for the girls

Things would have been different if things were planned out this way instead of a last minute trip. To go I would have had to have my own car and my own hotel room. Whether intended or not I would have become the nanny and spent a lot of time waiting for everyone else to get off the big rides. Plus I would have missed Phillips first day of school. May be the 11th grade but still the first day of the 11th grade. Not a lot of fun.

It doesn't help that not long before this was Elizabeth's first birthday. I did all I could to spend a little time with her at the zoo (where her birthday party was held) and all I got was 2 minutes to hold her while she got cleaned up. I even tried to kiss her bye and she was pulled away from me while doing so. Every time I got close to her someone was pulling her or preventing her from seeing me. It starts to feel personal after awhile.

I just feel like I am getting sloppy seconds and nobody cares how I feel. If they are so determined that I do not get those firsts them maybe they should come right out and say it. At least I know where I stood and can learn to accept it.

These special moments are very special to me and I just want to be part of them. I don't need to take them over. Just be part of it. Is it really too much to ask? Apparently so.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ramen Noodle Pouch

I am always looking for quick ways to make dinner and keep things interesting. I found this recipe a couple years ago. It is easy to change up to fit your family or taste. Trade shrimp for fish. I think Tilapia works best since it cooks quickly but many fishes work well. I took out the sake but left it here for the recipe. Also I changed the vegetable broth for chicken broth. Try chopped cabbage or bean sprouts. The possibilities are endless with this recipe.


* 2 packages Ramen noodles
* 1/2 cup dried mushrooms, chopped
* 20 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
* 1/2 cup sliced scallions (green onions)
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 quart vegetable broth
* 1/2 cup mirin or sake
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 4 teaspoons sesame oil
* 4 (18-inch) squares aluminum foil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Divide ramen noodles evenly in center of each of the 4 pieces of aluminum foil. Stack the following ingredients on top of noodles, in this order: mushrooms, shrimp, onions, scallions, red pepper flakes, and salt. Pull sides and corners of pouch up to form a small basket shape leaving an opening at the top to pour in liquid.

In small bowl, combine vegetable broth, mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Distribute liquid evenly among packs. Press foil together, leaving a small opening to allow steam to escape. Place on cookie sheet and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

2010 Tax Free Weekend

With school just around the corner, many are hoping to take advantage of the tax free weekends available in select states. The list is as correct as I have been able to find. There are links to your states tax and revenue to verify or stay up to date on any changes. If your state is not listed check with your states tax and revenue. It is possible there was a change that offers a tax free weekend and I missed it.

 States That Offer A Tax Free Week or Tax Free Weekend


Alabama's Tax Free Weekend: Aug. 6-8, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing under $100
  • School supplies under $50
  • Books under $30
  • Computers/computer equipment under $750


Connecticut's Tax Free Week: Aug. 15-21, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing under $300
  • Shoes under $300
Note: Connecticut is also offering a sales tax and use tax exemption on purchases and leases of fuel-efficient passenger vehicles between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010. For more information, visit the State of Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.


Florida's Tax Free Weekend: August 13-15, 2010
Applies to:
  • Books, clothing, and footwear ($50 or less)
  • School supplies ($10 or less)

Iowa's Tax Free Weekend: Aug. 6-7, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing under $100
  • Shoes under $100
Maryland's Tax Free Week:
The State of Maryland will reintroduce its annual tax free shopping event in 2010, beginning on Aug. 8, 2010, and ending on Aug. 14, 2010.

Mississippi's Tax Free Weekend: Jul 30-31, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing under $100
  • Shoes under $100
Note: Individual municipalities can choose to opt-out of the sales tax holiday, so you will need to check with your town hall or municipality office to ensure that the tax holiday is indeed taking place in your area.

Missouri's Tax Free Weekend: Aug. 6-8, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing under $100
  • School supplies under $50
  • Computer software under $350
  • Computers/computer equipment under $3,500
  • Note: Some cities and counties in Missouri elect not to participate.

New Mexico
New Mexico's Tax Free Weekend: Aug. 6-8, 2010
Applies to:
  • All clothing and shoes under $100
  • School supplies under $15
  • Computers under $1,000
  • Computer equipment under $500

North Carolina
North Carolina's Tax Free Weekend: Aug. 6-8, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing, footwear, and school supplies under $100
  • Sports and recreation equipment under $50
  • Computers under $3,500
  • Computer equipment under $250
North Carolina is also offering a sales tax holiday on qualifying energy star certified appliances from Nov. 5-7, 2010.

Oklahoma's Tax Free Weekend: August 6-8, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Priced under $100

South Carolina
South Carolina's Tax Free Weekend: Aug. 6-8, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing
  • Accessories
  • Footwear
  • School supplies
  • Computers
  • Computer equipment

Tennessee's Tax Free Weekend: Aug. 6-8, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing under $100
  • School supplies under $100
  • Computers under $1500

Texas' Tax Free Weekend: Aug. 20-22, 2010
Applies to:
  • Clothing and footwear under $100
  • Includes backpacks under $100 for elementary and secondary students
  • Includes layaway items
West Virginia
West Virginia's 2010 Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday: September 1-November 30, 2010
Apples to:
  • Energy Star products
  • Limited to items that cost $5,000 or less
  • Must be purchased for noncommercial, home use only

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mom, Tia, Nina

The last 3 years I have added 2 more names to the list of what I am called on a day to day basis - Tia (aunt) and Nina (godmother).

I can't say its the easiest of jobs because its not. It is however very rewarding and gives all those warm fuzzy feelings inside. I spend at least 2 days a week with this bunch and upwards of 5 including an overnight stay. The 2 youngest are 5 months apart so that is a challenge. Add a 3yr old who moves faster than a speeding bullet and can destroy a room in 2.2 seconds and it gets pretty chaotic. Then for a little fun you throw in a hormonal teenage boy who has seemed to become one with his new cell phone and only hears keywords like money, food, and yes, well you have just welcomed natural disasters into your home.

As a WAHM having these 4 on any given day, whether together or separate, that allows presents challenges. These may not be my children but I live a life as though I was a mother of 4 (3 of which are 3 and under). Just when I get a moment to answer an email, pop a binky on the floor. Time to wash! Pop it back in a crying baby and a toddler wants juice and attempting to water the kitchen attempting to make her own concoction. Of course that means stop everything you are doing and hurry before the house floods. After the last drops all soaked up into the dripping towel, someone just set off a stink bomb so they all join in. Start an assembly line of one off to the potty, and 2 on changing pads to ruin my appetite. Then heaven calls (que music here) - NAP TIME! HOORAY! I can answer a email, make a call, and check on inventory shipments. 20seconds later (at least that is how it feels) babies awake, toddler destroying, and its back to pamper patrol. When its time to go home and take care of the understanding man that sometimes forgets what I look like since I can scarce at home, people wonder why am I tired and why can I not get any work done expect late at night? Its simple. I am lazy and do absolutely NOTHING all day long.

Thanks to the makes of 5 hour energy I am happy that I managed to get deliver 3 kids unharmed even if the hair is not exactly brushed to perfection, or the clothes have a drip left over from lunch, or I forget that I didn't wash the last bottle and get ready for the next round of feedings. The balancing act changes from day to day but the tactics and skills do not. They only improve.

This is the life of a work at home mother and I wouldn't change it one bit!

Monday, June 21, 2010

If You're Happy and You Know It!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Well I did it!

I started my diaper cake business called Baby Bottom Bakes.

I've been doing these for years and after the baby shower for my nephew/godson it was time to begin. I created a few more diaper cakes aka Diaper Bakes since the baby shower and just solidified the demand for these in my area.

I have also created what I call Lolly Pots™ that are filled with Lolly Pops™. This has been a fun adventure and its not over. I still have a lot to do on the new site as more photos to upload as new creations are made.

I am going to start a few more shower gift items that will debut on the site soon.

Come on by and see the new website at

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mia Bella Candle Sale


I have 2 mixed dozens of Mia Bella votive candles. Great candles. Just have too many and I keep storing these. I hate seeing a great product put away and never used.

Dozen #1 Includes:
Apricot Freesia
Caramel Apple
Victorian Rose
Chili Vanilli
Tahitian Spiced Vanilla
Lemon Verbena
Sicilian Lemon & Rosemary
Forbidden Fruit
French Vanilla
Georgia Peach
Sugar Cookie
Cucumber Cantaloupe

Dozen #2
Black Cherry
Ginger & Cedarwood
Caramel Apple
Lemon Verbena
Christmas Essence
Peach Papaya
Apricot Freesia
French Vanilla
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Cactus & White Peach
Forbidden Fruit
Blueberry Cobbler

All yours for $18 a dozen (plus shipping) or $45 for both (including shipping).

A dozen votive, single scent, retails for $36 plus shipping.

I accept Paypal (paypal balance, echeck, credit card) and ship USPS

Email Olivia at

*I am not a Mia Bella representative nor do I represent Mia Bella and its company. Just a great customer who got a little over zealous buying candles and don't want to see them wasted in storage.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shrimp, Tortellini & Spinach

What You Need!

1 pkg. (9 oz.) refrigerated cheese tortellini
1/4 cup KRAFT Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 lb. cooked cleaned medium shrimp
1 bag (6 oz.) baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

Make It!

COOK pasta in large saucepan as directed on package. Drain in colander; set aside. Heat dressing in same pan on medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook 1 min. Add tomatoes and shrimp; mix well. Bring just to boil. Stir in spinach; cover. Simmer 1 to 2 min. or until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally.

STIR in pasta and basil; simmer, uncovered, 3 to 4 min. or until sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.

SERVE topped with cheese.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Chicken, Tortellini & Spinach
Prepare as directed, substituting 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces, for the 3/4 lb. shrimp.
Prepare using 5 cups packed torn fresh spinach.

shrimp, tortellini & spinach recipe at

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

The First Dance

Saturday my son went to his very first dance with his very first real girlfriend and also happened to be their very first real date. They attended winter ball, a semi formal dance.

I was proud he was such a gentleman. Made me feel good and told me he actually listened to what his father and I have been saying.

We didn't get to order pictures since they are sneaky in requiring payment the night of with no peek at packages, prices, anything. We were able to snag a few pictures as he arrived to pick her up so those will have to do. I was a little shocked they did not offer even punch at the dance and not thinking I didn't give extra money to hit up the vending machines since the dance took place in the school cafeteria. I figured simple refreshments would be included and nothing indicated to the contrary. Live and learn. Next time we know how the game goes and will play it well.

It occurs to me looking at the picture how young he still is but when I see him in person I see someone older (will be 16 in a few months). I am convinced he photographs young.

In the end they had a wonderful time and that is all that matters.

I even made it the entire night without shedding one teenie tiny tear. I am so proud!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time to catch up

I was going through my various blogs and checking my posts only to find I have not updated here in almost 2 weeks! Bad Liv!

Its been an interesting couple weeks. Nothing major.

If I am not spending time with my family especially my nieces and godson I am submerged in work. I am revamping and refocusing where my business is going. This past year was about testing the waters with new products and ideas. I have the information I need and its time to move forward full force. Next week will be 2 yrs since I bought the company which leaves me 3 yrs to open a retail location. In 10 yrs I plan to have 4 locations and a fully blossomed consultant program.

There is unofficial plans to have my niece and godson baptized this April. This has me on the look out for special items such as his outfit, a special cross, and the blanket I was baptized with (somewhere buried in my closet I'm sure. I want as many of the babies in the family baptized with the blanket as it is passed down from generation to generation. I considered having my baptized in my son's outfit but I want my first grandson to be baptized in it so Chase will get a brand new outfit.

Like most people I have seen the news about the terrible earthquake in Haiti. My heart certainly goes out to the families affected. Sadly there is several who are upset that Americans are rushing to their aid when Americans need to focus on Americans. While I can agree with that statement I also agree when we are able lets help. Who cares if they have come to our aid. You help others out of the kindness in your heart not because you kept score and only help those who helped you first. There are people dying, trapped, giving their lives trying to rescue others, mothers crying because their children will never come home. These people need food and water. Its not as though they can go to the corner market and buy food and water. Stores have crumbled, refrigerators are under rubble, food and water have been contaminated. Not only that, how many Americans are vacationing or visiting family? Should we just ignore the fact they traveled outside of their home country? I think its awful when I see people speaking ill of those wanting to help. There is no need to speak unkind. Keep it to yourself.

I noticed some speaking unkind words for the government not helping those in need during this recession. Unemployment is being extended. Not by the states but the federal government. Not many realize this. When state benefits run out they turn over to federal. There are many who have turned to agencies such as welfare for assistance, food banks for food and clothing, non-profit organizations to help with their utilities. If you are out of work you get more assistance than if you take a pay cut and have a hard time paying your bills. I am not saying either is fair but some are not looking at the entire story.

In February I plan to participate in a can drive to help our food pantries. They are suffering. They are still getting donations and sometimes more than in the past. Its the huge increase in those needing their assistance that is the problem. Some complain that big companies such as Walmart are not donating enough. The problem there is in times like this they are inundated with donation requests. They can't donate it all. There is a limit to what everyone can do. Most of those around me can donate a minimum of 1 can of food to help the local food pantries. If I give up 1 Starbucks a week that is at least 5 cans of food a week I can donate. Did you know food pantries could also use pet food? Why tear a family apart. Pets are family members and they need to eat. Luckily our local food pantry receives donations from a pet supply store (its either petco or petsmart. can't remember which). They also need formula. If you have extra pet food or unused cans of baby formula, donate them. Can't donate food? Donate those old clothes you no longer wear including shoes. Don't forget to donate towels. You know how many could use towels to shower with. Look at donating personal hygiene items such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, even female personal products. Just make the call and see what they need and accept. Get your team at work together, sports teams, moms club, carpool, those you see on the bus everyday, jazzercize class.

Next time you see a lady at the store carrying her louis vitton using food stamps, remember she may have been able to afford it 6 months ago but today she is without a job and needs food for her kids. You may need the help too one day so don't judge a book by its cover as the story may be heartbreaking.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a wonderful 2010!