Medicine Quick Tip

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We have a LOT of medicine in our cabinet! Most of the medicines for the kids need different spoons or syringes that fit uniquely to a specific bottle.

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Since I really don’t like having to remember which measuring device to use while holding a sick child in one hand and sorting through with my other hand, I came up with a quick solution. I attached small bands around the necks of medicine that needed it and slip the syringe or spoon through the band! The band hugs the spoon to the bottle and also allows for it to dry after washing.

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Starting a Business-The Basics

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You’ve decided to start a business. Here are some basic steps to starting a business, no matter how small or large:

1. Write a business plan. It sounds cheesy, but just do it. You can always change it later.

Answer the following: What type of business do I want to have? Why do I want to start this business? Where will it be located (internet, physical, etc.)? Who will I be doing business for? Who will be joining me in my venture (if anyone)? When would I like to have my business open? How will I pay for it?

2. Get a mentor. 

Find someone who has opened a business like yours who is willing to share information with you. My local SBA (Small Business Association) has mentors already signed up and ready to go. If you are in KY, check it out at Louisville SCORE or find a SCORE near you!

3. Research like crazy. Know things for yourself.

Learn words and phrases like “sole proprietorship” and “sales and use tax.” Some great links to information are at the following:

4. Register your business! Find out if you need to register with State AND Local agencies as well as State departments of Revenue (taxes) and the Federal Government.

For example, I started a sole proprietorship in Jefferson County, KY. I am NOT required to register my business name with the State of KY because it is not an LLC or Joint Venture. I AM required to register my business name locally with Jefferson County. I am also required to register for local (County) taxes AND state taxes.

These requirements will vary from state to state. Google “(your state name) small business association” or “(your state name) department of revenue” and look for information regarding small business. Keep in mind the internet is not always accurate (!!) or all knowing. When in doubt, make a phone call and get your questions answered. Don’t feel stupid. You are not the first person to start a business and not know what to do.

5. Find out if you need any additional permits or if you need to follow any additional regulations for your products. 

For example, you need to have permits if you are opening a restaurant or catering business (or selling any food products). Your labeling needs to be FDA compliant.

If you are going to make or sell any products geared toward children, you need to check out the CPSC and figure out what applies to your business. You may need to have certificates that show your products are safe for children and possibly conduct certain 3rd party testing to verify this.

6. Start your business!

Get your website, rent your floor space, buy or create inventory, etc. etc. This is a BIG step, but it feels just as good as the way the sentence looks. You will finally START YOUR BUSINESS! It is yours. You have followed regulations and have the proper permits. Now you can greet customers, implement effective marketing strategies, and enjoy your new boss-YOU!

Keep in mind, this list is not all-inclusive. There are more steps not mentioned, like paying for start-up costs, etc. I did not include those because they vary drastically from business to business.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional business advice giver. I am only a fellow small business owner who has gone through the process of starting a business and is sharing information with you. Please consult a professional or a local agency for information specific to your location and circumstance. RESEARCH for yourself to know who you need to be accountable to. Do not solely rely on second hand information.

Starting A Business-Part 1

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I started a business. It took a LOT of research, time, more time, money, frustration, and excitement to start my business. But now I am a small business owner and want to share with you my journey to hopefully make it a little easier.

This is the first of a collection of posts related to starting a business. Look for tips, links, and frustrations. Find ideas and encouragement. Check out the new page Starting a Business for an ongoing compilation of links and resources.

The Beginning

I opened my business in July 2012, using $0 of personal money, Don’t Buy a Thing Style. So far, I have made my $0 back(and more of course) and have so much to share!  If I had taken out a loan I might have been able to skip right into a larger business with more products right away, but I would not have made my money back yet and would be constantly questioning my business venture since I would have bills to pay.

By starting with as little as possible, I made a decision to build a business that was self-sustaining. Not many people have the time, energy, or circumstance to do this and since no business is exactly the same, I am not offended in the least if you do not conduct your business the way I do.

The Middle

I’ll be sharing different pieces of my adventure in other posts, but the middle is the sticky part. This is where I had to find out what I needed to do to start a business, where I needed to go, who I needed to talk to, how to get certain permits, and when to file taxes. I am still learning these things!

Unfortunately, there is not one place you can visit to find out all of these answers. You can get some awesome resources if you have a local SCORE chapter. I have one! They really connected me to the exact information I needed in a 5 minute phone call. The best part was that the first person I talked to on the phone was a retired businessman or businesswoman who volunteered at the center, so they could answer my questions directly. There was no automated message that did not understand my non-accented way of speaking. There was no “press 1″ for anything. It was great! I really like humans!

The End

I can not see the end in sight, which is a good thing. Right now I am enjoying filling orders, coming up with new products, and making current products better. Because I am not working my business full time it does not get updated as often as I would like, but I am really enjoying this new piece of me! Visit my store at Old Life Redesigned!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional business advice giver. I am only a fellow small business owner who has gone through the process of starting a business and is sharing information with you. Please consult a professional or a local agency for information specific to your location and circumstance. RESEARCH for yourself to know who you need to be accountable to. Do not solely rely on second hand information.

Elsie’s Soup Recipe(Ham and Potato)

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The other day I was throwing together some bottom-of-the-fridge-pantry-and-freezer ingredients and looked over to see my 2 year old making her own soup in her “kitchen”. She was so proud of it, so I took a picture of it on the real stove next to mama’s pot.

Photo: Who's coming for dinner?

Her recipe:

  • 1 wooden pot
  • 1 wooden knife
  • 1 wooden orange
  • 2 wooden strawberries
  • 1 decorative gourd
  • Lots of love

Simmer on a fake stove until mama says it’s done!

My recipe came spur of the moment as I was trying to think of what to make for dinner. I used up the carrots and potatoes that were sitting in the bottom of my fridge and pantry. I used up the ham bone from the freezer that I couldn’t bear to throw away from thanksgiving but didn’t really know what to do with. You can make this soup your own with different spices or ingredients. Seriously. Just throw it all in the pot.

This soup came out tasting like a good baked potato with bacon on top. We all ate it; me, my husband, 2 1/2 year old, and 10 month old, and everyone had seconds :)

Ham Bone & Potato Soup

  • 1 Ham Bone
  • 3-4 cups cubed ham
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby carrots or regular carrots sliced
  • 7ish medium potatoes, chopped in 1in cubes
  • 1/2 pound white beans soaked & drained (or 1-2 cans drained)
  • 8 cups water or broth (pork, chicken, veggie all work well)
  • Salt to taste
  • Whatever else you think should be thrown in

Place bone, ham, carrots, and beans in water or broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 45 min or however long if you’ve forgotten about it. Add potatoes and salt and simmer for about 15 min. Scoop out about 4 cups of potato/carrot/broth mixture and blend in a blender or food processor (please be careful-it is hot and will BURN you if you fill your blender too full). Add the puree back into the soup and simmer until serving.

Enjoy! This is delicious, easy, and excellent for a cold or rainy day.  You can also just place everything in a slow cooker and simmer it forever until the beans and veggies are soft but not mushy. Yum Yum!

Guest Blogger: My 10 Month Old

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My son is super smart.

While I am sure every mom brags about their son, I am really just being honest. In fact, if he could write I would have him as a guest blogger. Even if he could just hold a crayon without eating it, that would give him some great credentials.

I was observing him the other day and noticed all of the neat things he uses and plays with and said to myself, “Wow! Why didn’t I think of that?” He just uses one item for another because he doesn’t have any money to spend. In fact if he did have money he would probably eat it because that’s just what he does right now.

So here are some things Isaiah would like to share:

1.  If you are out of hair gel, just rub banana on your head. It is very effective and does not get flaky. In fact, it is so effective that it only washes out with lots and lots and lots of soap.

2. When at a restaurant, it is not necessary to spend money ordering food for me. When I am hungry, I will just reach about 5 inches longer than expected and swipe what I want to eat off of other family members’ plates. Ketchup, for example, is full of lycopene and is delicious. Yum yum!

3. Daddy can fix anything. If it is broken, daddy will fix it. In fact, there is no need to ever call a handyman or buy replacement toys because daddy can fix it all.

4.  Big sister’s toys are my toys too. If she does not want to play with something, I will play with it (as long as mama does not snatch it away for having small parts). So if you want new toys, just borrow them for awhile from someone you know and return them when you get tired of them(tablets, etc.). Make sure they are covered in drool and crushed cheerios.

Guest Blogger

Isaiah enjoys eating crayons more than writing with them. In his free time he likes to play, eat, and play some more. He even likes to play with big sister.

5. Oatmeal keeps your skin baby soft. Isaiah rubs his oatmeal all over his face and ears. He would even suggest rubbing it on other people’s faces, like mama’s, because she needs it. Use ground oatmeal and mix with boiling water. Let cool completely and smear everywhere. No need to wash it off until tubby time. It is good for eating too.

Happy New Not Spending Money Year!


Wow!  2012 was a super whammy of a year. I know most of you can relate, and I am sure that most of you have had crazier, tougher, more stressful discouraging years than I. Many of you had much better years than what I dealt with, and with you I am so happy! 

Looking forward is where I am right now. I am so thankful that God has brought this new year to my family and a renewed sense of what HIS plan for us is. It includes sticking to our budget so our FUTURE is less stressful(trying to remember this daily). 

Happy new year to you! I will be back soon to share some things I have been working on in between children’s hospitals, doctors appointments, sick children, sprained ankles, a 2-working burner stove, etc.

What are you looking forward to in the new year?

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