The Adventures of a Freelance Writer and Editor

I recently spent an afternoon in Barnes and Noble reading books and drinking coffee. While there, I found these three great books that are perfect for entrepreneurs.
Start Your Own Net Service Business

This book focuses on four net service areas: graphic design, SEM, blogging and new media. I only browsed through the blogging and SEM section. The book was well-organized and packed with useful tips and statistics. I recommend this book to anyone considering starting a business in one of the four net service areas covered in the book.




101 Weird Ways to Make Money: Cricket Farming, Repossessing Cars, and Other Jobs With Big Upside and Not Much Competition


Even if you aren’t looking for a job or business ideas, this book is entertaining. It covers jobs that you usually don’t think about. Some of them gross, such as crime scene cleaner  and maggot farmer. Others actually sound like fun, such as beer brewer and bounty hunter. If you enjoy the show Dirty Jobs, you will love this book.




Never Get a “Real” Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke

This book won me over when I read the dedication: “This book is dedicated to the death of the ‘real’ job. Die, you miserable bastard.” Written by a young entrepreneur, this book reads like a conversation with your best friend (or the little voice in your head that has always hated the idea of a normal 9-to-5). The book is practical, honest and funny. It doesn’t convince you that a business will make you a billionaire, but it does convince you that there are possibilities outside of the typical 9-to-5 job.



For more great books, check out these deals happening at Barnes and Noble.

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Disclosure: Although I am an Amazon and Barnes and Noble affiliate, I was not paid to review these books. This review is based on a personal trip to Barnes and Noble, and I picked these books because I genuinely enjoyed them.

One of my favorite dishes is homemade sweet potato fries. They are so delicious, healthy and easy to prepare. Here is my recipe.

1) Slice one to two sweet potatoes. If you have a food slicer, you can do thin strips. If you are using a knife, wedges will be easier.

2) Place sliced sweet potatoes on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. I usually use cinnamon on half the tray and salt and pepper on the other half, but feel free to experiment.

3) Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Flip, and bake for another 6-10 minutes. If you like them more crispy, you can cook them longer. Just be sure to keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn.


A few weeks ago, I hosted a bridal shower for one of my best friends. Check out these pictures for shower planning inspiration.


I was obsessed with this cake! The bakery used sugar to create “sand.”

For prizes, we gave away flip-flops and beach towels.

Instead of a guest book, we had each guest fill out a personlized recipe card and place it in this engraved recipe box.

The bride’s goody bag had a beach towel and bridal flip-flops. The favors were wine glasses and little beach bags filled with salt water taffy.

These mason jars were filled with shells and a floating candles. We used them to decorate the table, then acutioned them off at the end of the shower.

We had a special princess sandbucket for the flower girl.

We got these adorable flip-flop picture frames at Michael’s.

One of my favorite books about saving money is Be Thrifty: How to Live Better with Less by Pia Catton and Califia Suntree. The book covers everything from pets to grocery bills. This past winter I started making my own chicken stock after finding instructions in this book. Yesterday, I made homemade vegetable broth for the first time. It was super easy. All you need is vegetable scrapes and water. You simply boil the vegetables and water in a giant pot for about an hour and a half. Then, voila. You have vegetable broth.

A Refreshing Weekend

Most weekends I stay home and relax with my hubby. Our excitement is usually a movie on the couch and maybe a pizza, but this weekend was busy, busy, busy. Friday we had dinner with the family, which was nice because it had been a while since everyone got together. Saturday, I spent all day setting up a wedding at a winery. (It was beautiful!) Saturday night, we went to a “Farmers Dinner,” which auctions off produce and livestock to benefit children with disabilities. I came home with bags of apples, sweet potatoes and three chickens.

Sunday, I attended a bridal shower at a golf course. It was beautiful and the food was amazing. Then Sunday night, we had a surprise dinner for Gram’s 90th birthday. (Yes, you read that right: 90th birthday.) That was fun because we had dinner in the room we got married in almost eight months ago. Plus, Gram is the coolest old woman I know.

After all the excitement this weekend, I woke up refreshed and ready to get back to work today, which is good because I have a busy week ahead: a few writing projects, some time in the flower shop, a day as gym teacher.

Stay tuned to hear all about it.

What I’m Reading Now

I don’t have much time this weekend to read. Today, I’m setting up a wedding with A Garden Party Florist, and I have plans to attend a benefit dinner tonight. I do have a few books on my reading list though.

I am finally reading The Help. I am only a few pages in, but it is really good so far. I want to see the movie as soon as I finish the book.

I also plan on pre-ordering Ellen’s new book Seriously…I’m Kidding. I think Ellen is hilarious, so I’m sure the book will be great.

Well, enjoy your weekend!

It has been a very busy week. Between work and my personal life, I am exhausted. Thank goodness I have a fun-filled weekend planned. Plus, it is supposed to be rainy all weekend, so I have permission from the weather gods to sleep as much I wish.

To kick the weekend off, I plan on treating myself to a Starbucks salted caramel mocha. They are my latest obsession, and I have been craving one all week. I don’t know what it is about coffee (especially hot coffee), but a $5 latte from Starbucks (or my favorite local coffee shop) really brightens my day. It is almost like the high you get from buying a new pair of shoes or finding an awesome jacket for 70% off, but it costs less than $10.

Some days I do feel guilty for spending so much money on coffee when I can make it for almost nothing at home. (I have to limit my trips to the coffee shop to one or two days a week. Otherwise, I would be broke.) Occasionally, I get brave and attempt to make my own fancy beverages in my kitchen. This summer, I mastered caramel and mocha frappucinnos, and I also created my own smores frappucinno. It is never as good as the barista’s creations, but it is a close second when you don’t feel like getting dressed to leave the house or you only have pennies in your wallet.

This morning, I was searching for a recipe to make my beloved salted caramel mocha at home, and I found a recipe I can’t wait to try. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Starbucks Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate Recipe

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