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Thursday, March 10, 2016

2016 is bringing changes...

  How many years has it been since I have had time to blog? Seriously folks. It has been a LONG time.
  Let's see...what has happened to the Foster family in the last 4 or 5 years...

Mom (that's me) is in my senior year in college, online. That ECE degree is fast becoming reality. I am really praying hard to be able to use my degree and my Joy Anderson training to start an in-home preschool. Short on space and living in a rental home, this should be interesting, if the door even opens, but I dream BIG. I plan to recycle the FIAR homeschool curriculum I've lovingly held onto for years for educating my preschoolers, along with a variety of daily hands-on activities that go with the books we read. I'll be challenging myself by making as many portable "shoe box learning centers" as I can in the meantime; this will help me save on space (I hope). I plan my preschool and daydream about it all the time!

  The kids are all growing too fast. One adult, one teen, and one tween keeps my house hopping. Dad (Jarred) is a big help when he's not at work.

 When I'm not studying or working in a local elementary school, I spend a lot of time working on one of my three (yes, I said three) small-ish side businesses. I started a few of them for the freebies and discounts but ended up selling and making some cash too. I really like Initial Outfitters well enough to join for the discount. Maybe once I graduate....


 I have sold Avon for over one year now and was only about $2,300 short of making President's Club level. And that's just selling it part-time! Avon sells itself. I really enjoy doing it and had considered making this a full-time job, but I just can't let go of my preschool dreams.

Visit my fully-stocked AVON estore for daily specials


I also added Usborne Books at Home back to my business list. I have sold UBAM way back in our homeschooling days. I got back into it mainly for the discounts so I can add to my personal classroom library. Great books. I really have not found an Usborne book I didn't like.
See the latest children's books at Usborne Books and More

Then in November 2015, I became a member of Young Living Essential Oils. I started this also because I want discounted products. I have seen such good results already! I live with a family of allergy, migraine, IBS, anxiety sufferers. We were taking a lot of OTC pain meds. for the headaches in particular. When a family member began complaining of ulcer-like symptoms and passing blood, we decided to try to find something else to help with our headaches rather than jumping straight into the medicine bottle. I originally just wanted one bottle of peppermint oil. But I ended up getting the premium starter kit and I have not regretted it. It was a birthday present "from me to me". We use our oils daily in some form or fashion. It is amazing the more I learn through scientific studies of how these oils work in the body. It amazes me also that God made the earth for our use and how these oils are a part of His plan. I will blog again later on some of the ways our oils have helped us be well and also talk about the premium starter kit I got.
To learn more about essential oils and wellness:

 I also started a new hobby, which I really don't have time for right now but plan to make time for every few weeks...Bible journaling! I have only worked on one verse, and I wasn't 100% about the turn out, but I really enjoyed the process. I have always been a doodler, a sketcher, albeit not a good one. But I learn through note-taking and visuals and journaling scripture helps the brain learn better One of my prayers this year is to grow closer to God and I feel this is just one more way I can do that. Plus it's a relaxing pastime that gets your creativity flowing. And as a bonus when your Bible is full of art, you have a legacy of scriptures that spoke to your heart to leave for generations to come.

 There are lots of YouTube videos showing how to do this and you can use tracing paper to trace pretty graphics onto the pages....you don't have to be an artist!

 Well this college senior has a final to write.  Hope to blog again soon.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What to expect from an Usborne Books Facebook party

Home Business Reunion time: I'm back with Avon and Usborne Books after 17 years

When my oldest was about three and we had just begun our homeschooling adventure, I signed on as an Usborne Books consultant. My goal: to rack up all the free books we could hold for our personal homeschool usage. It worked. I held some shows, Made some cash. Mostly invested it back into books and products. Books and more products. I was happy. *sigh*

Fast forward about 17 years. My family has grown by two more children. All of my children are now double-digits. *sigh* Due to some major unavoidable life changes four years ago, I am now working in the local school system, going to college online with Ashford full-time, and selling Avon (which I love and work very hard at doing well). Why on earth with this busy life would I ever choose to add another direct sales company into my life? Crazy, you say. Maybe. Or maybe this gal has a plan.

 See, here's the thing: I hope I make money selling Usborne and Avon (how nice it would be to be able to work from home! My dream jobs always follow the vision of working out of my house), And I am in college to finish my Early Childhood Education degree. Another possible way to work at home is to open a daycare or preschool. And Usborne fits right in! Whether I sell to make money or sell to earn books for my future career and my own family, it's a win-win!

 I've tried selling so many party plans over the years. So many failed. EPIC failure. maybe I didn't really know how to work them or maybe the products weren't right for my audience. But one thing I know for sure is people come to me and ask me for Avon books, and most people I know want their children to be great readers. How can you go wrong with two respected companies that have trusted products and a good reputation to back them up? YOU CAN'T.

 So there it is...announcing my businesses...Avon and Usborne Books.
 If I can serve you today in either, please let me know via commenting here or by emailing me at craftymomTN@gmail.com.

 To visit my lovely estore sites to see current specials and discounted items go here for Usborne: www.k4217.myubam.com
and here for Avon www.youravon.com/beautifulyouboutique


Monday, August 4, 2014

Dinner time Dilema

    If you're like me you run, run, run, non-stop, 24/7, all day...well you get the idea. Women don't know how to slow down. Ok, so maybe we do know how to but never get a chance. Whether a career woman or domestic goddess, we are a super-busy group of ladies.

    Although I've had summer free from my day job (SPED teacher's aide), I am still a mom, wife, church worker, full-time college student, home business owner (I sell both It Works Global products  www.wrapwithDonnaLynn.myitworks.com and Spirit Lockets  www.Spiritlockets/#LynnFoster), and on the janitorial staff at 2 churches. So I wouldn't exactly call my summer free. Anyway, one of the worst parts of my day is when 5 pm rolls around and for whatever reason, I forgot to thaw the roast...or got engrossed in business-building, or taking an algebra test, or just playing with my kids at the pool. And now the younger two kiddos are absolutely famished  *swoon swoon*. My oldest son and husband are about to walk through the door hungry from 12 hour-shifts at the factories where they work. And dinner is NOWHERE near the table....or in the fridge, thawing...or even in the most remote parts of my mind for that matter. And the scramble to the deep freezer or pantry begins. I do not like that feeling. A good mom, I tell myself, is June Cleaver...and the roast is ALWAYS on the perfectly-set table in TV Land.

  I really like cooking and looking at recipes. I really do. But the planning ahead of the meals and trying to change things up a bit is what catches me off guard. So before we get too far back into school this week, I am going back to a tried-and-true method of meal planning I used as a busy homeschool mom many moons ago. It's simple, and easy, although it will take some time to pull it together in the beginning. But it is a HUGE time saver in the end.

  First, grab a cup of coffee, a stack of your favorite recipe books/cards/Pinterest boards...wherever you glean meal ideas from, and a spiral notebook or paper.

  Ok, here we go. Start with one sheet of paper and thumb through those books (or look through those pins) and write down EACH recipe that you've tried and loved, or always wanted to try (just the name of the recipe for now, and where you found it is enough information). Do that to all your tried-and-true books. This will take hours if you have anywhere near the recipe collection I have. You can stop yourself at say, 90 main dish recipes. Include sides and maybe 15-20 dessert ideas as well. Now add to the list things you know your family likes to eat but that you don't need a recipe for...pot roast, mac-n-cheese, chili dogs, etc.

 Now go through the rest of the notebook and make lists of 7 complete meals...this will be good for one week's worth of meals.
Night 1
Night 2
Night 3...and so on. Mix the main dishes and sides. If you want to add salad or rolls, add that in as well. And don't forget to allot yourself one or two free nights by writing in "leftover buffet" or "eat out" or "frozen dinner". This way on your busiest night you have a little extra luxury of an easy dinner and still know that *most* of the week your family is eating healthy and getting a good, home-cooked meal.  My family likes deli meat sub sandwiches and breakfast for supper, so I add those nights in occasionally as well.

  Mark off the recipes as you list them. Add more sides if you run short to compliment your main dishes.
At the end you should have at least a couple of months worth of complete dinner ideas that look something like this:

Week 1:
Sunday night: chicken noodle soup (Taste of Home, Dec. 2006, page 15) and sandwiches
Monday night: roast with potatoes and carrots, apple pie
Tuesday: Grandma's baked spaghetti (church cookbook, page 33) with salad and garlic toast, pears and cottage cheese
Wednesday: frozen dinner plus fresh fruit
Thursday: chili with grilled cheese, chocolate-peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies
Friday: chili dogs (using last nights chili) and slaw, baked french fries
Saturday: baked fish with wild rice (Pinterest "favorite recipes" board), steamed broccoli

Now that you have a few months of ideas planned out, you can laminate them, punch a hole in them, and string them together with a binder ring.

 And if you feel REALLY productive, go back and grab yourself some index cards and write down the actual recipes and put them in a recipe box, just like in the good old days. No more wasting time thumbing through all your cookbooks or logging into Pinterest to locate the ones you listed. Handy. At your fingertips. You could even divide the box of recipes by week to match your newly-planned menus. WHOA.  I am amazing myself right now. ;)

  The point of all this is no matter what you and your family like to eat, everyone needs a meal plan. It will save you time and sanity. It will help you grocery shop. You can always add new recipes as your family tries them into new weeks of collections. By the time you're done you may have 12 weeks worth (or more-- you little busy bee!) of ideas to use. Ideas that you can shop for in advance by week or even by the month.  No more of the "I'm hungry Mom!" dinner dash that stresses you out after you've already put in a long day. And the real beauty of this is you can hang this little list right on the fridge or a pantry door...then when Hubby or kids are being really, really whiny (hey it happens) and asking for dinner, you can put your tired piggies up and say, "The menu is on the door...go look up tonight's plan and  *gasp...COOK it." (You might have to help them get started on that project with some smelling salts).

  Wishing you the occasional free moment and many happy meals together!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Spirit Lockets June sale

On sale!!! Try out Spirit Lockets now and bling up your summer wardrobe with happiness!

Shop Spirit Lockets now

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Spirit Lockets affiliate and wholesale program

I am so excited! I have been looking to make some cash to supplement my teacher's aide job and get me through the summer months off work, and I found not one, but TWO excellent opportunities in direct sales.

The first opportunity is a company called Spirit Lockets. I fell in love with these lockets the first time I saw them. Maybe it was the hot pink and teal ad banner or the itty bitty charms...I don't know what exactly but I thought to myself  1. Why didn't I invent these things?  2. How can I get hold of some of these babies?!

I was thrilled to find out that I could indeed buy them AND sell under the company's affiliate program for FREE. Yes, FREE. So I signed up right away. And then I discovered that they have a wholesale program where you can buy items at 50% off to resale....I started thinking about selling their product to people locally...in my Etsy store...at my own shows...and I just got more and more excited. I will eventually sign on as a wholesaler and start hosting "socials" (jewelry parties where the hostess earns freebies just for hostessing). Right now they don't have an official party plan, but a few team members have invented their own and I am learning all about becoming part of a team. Then I will work my way up to a home party...ahem...social.  For now I just want to get myself a locket and some charms and bling this momma out! ;)

Check them out; you know you want to. 

If you have questions or just want more information on making money with Spirit Lockets, feel free to email me at dfoste8@wgu.edu


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Very Pinteresting Evening: April party

      My mother, sisters, daughter, and I just had another "Pinterest party". We were past due on this one by a few months due to sickness, weather, my change of jobs, work,  schooling, etc. My daughter and I were so looking forward to this one.

    On the menu for the night was Dr. Pepper Pot Roast (courtesy of Pinterest),  roasted potatoes, rolls, and salad. Our dessert also came from Pinterest and was called Chocolate Lasagna. YUM!  For those of you who recall when KFC had those little chocolate parfaits (our KFC doesn't anymore that I am aware of), well, that's basically what the chocolate lasagna was....everything was delish!

   We spent the night (and I do mean the night...as in almost all of it...until 3 am) performing karaoke with my new karaoke machine. My sweet husband hooked it into our TV set and surround sound so we could really croon the night away. He opened the windows as well. Pretty soon the dogs around the neighborhood were barking along (I think they were trying to sing with us on "Unchained Melody" but hubby thinks they were howling in pain). FYI: we did close the windows at a decent hour, not subjecting the poor neighbors to our 3 am rendition of the "Shoop, Shoop" Song and Whitney's "I Will Always Love You".

  After the karoake finally died out we spent a little while researching the Illuminati and it the wild conspiracy theories out there. Mind you, this is what my family does for fun on a Friday night. We're easy to please. :)

  The next morning we carried the party over with a Pancake Buffet. Oh goodness gracious, that is some good eatin'! We made four kinds of pancakes...banana nut bread pancakes topped with sliced bananas, pecans, and maple syrup; "Fill 'er up Pancakes" stuffed with bacon crumbles, scrambled eggs, and shredded cheddar cheese; Pumpkin Pie Pancakes topped with Cool Whip, nuts, and Maple Syrup with a dash of cinnamon; and lastly, plain pancakes topped with Nutella and Strawberries and Cool Whip.
H E A V E N L Y    D A Y.    I might fall out just remembering.....swoon, swoon.

  Once we were fat and sassy from our little wanna-be IHOP breakfast, we tried our hand at some subway art and quotes on canvas. They look great! And were cheap and easy to make. Whether I Mod Podge my printed quotes and subway art onto canvas or simply frame, I WILL be repeating this activity. There are all sorts of free, printable subway art prints online. And if you can't find a free one you like you can easily buy them off Etsy or make your own using a free subway art generator like Wordle or Word It Out.

  This very Pinteresting evening was the most fun yet and we can't wait to do it again next month.

  Shoot me a line and share your Pinteresting evenings with me. I would enjoy hearing from you.


To make your own Dr. Pepper roast, visit:

And to test the lovely Chocolate Lasagna, visit: