Friday, April 17, 2015

Product Review

-- Product Review -- 

Around April 1st I responded to this review opportunity and the very next day I was sent a confirmation; we arranged the details that day (April 2nd), by April 4th I was signed up and ready to go. I had to come back to it a few days later due to schedule constraints, but found the course was on my mind a lot. I really devour business, marketing and management improvement resources, yet cringe at the thought of taking the time to join yet another site, fill out yet another profile –actually the process was super easy, taking a few seconds to access the course. 

The Work From Home - Turn Your Experience Into A$100,000 Income course put out by Udemy reveals 5 proven ways to turn your knowledge, skills and experience into a six-figure income”, according to course instructor Dave Espino (eh-speen-oh). Beyond that, it also helps guide the individual to choosing the right business model that fits their situation and personality best. Costing only $97, the course is sure to offer a positive return on investment. 

So, first – who is Udemy? This is an online school or “information product” provider offering over 20,000 courses; you’ll find photography, health and fitness, lifestyle, design, business and much more here so feel free to browse their site: The office seems to be located in San Francisco, CA.

This course offers less than one hour (55:77) worth of videos, done in a power-point style with audio covering 5 business models with the potential to bring in a steady income (Freelancing, E-commerce, Info-product Marketing, Affiliate, Offline Marketing). For me, those business models have crossed my path before, but the way that Dave explains them, shows how they can be applied by every-day people, make them appear to be easier more realistic, more practical. 

The format of the course is as follows: 7 different sections, each with several short lectures (under 4 minutes). Each section has a similar format: overview, explanation, examples, resources, personality types and a realistic look at the earning potential. He stressed a few times that the earning potential of someone seriously working that model will of course vary according to outsourcing, abilities, time put into it and how long you work the system (experience = better results). He was also quite encouraging about not being afraid of the opportunities or discount one’s self, because most people can learn the skills, earn the reputation, etc.

Interestingly, there is a line on the lower left of the course screen for selecting Auto-Play on or off. I liked it on – so that I could take notes and do office tidying while watching and learning, letting the computer just cycle through the lectures. Around Lecture #6 I did experience a glitch – the thing just froze – so I clicked on Lecture #7 then back to #6 as a kind or “reboot” and that worked, I was able to watch it without a glitch. That was the only technical issue I had during this whole experience.

When you finish this course you’ll find he offers some bonus items ranging from a list of helpful links to discounts for courses he offers and an book on the topic of the course: Monetize Yourself.

Be sure to complete all the lectures (you can click the little tick mark in the grey circle on the lower right of the screen to mark it as complete if it doesn’t do it automatically for you). Once completed you’ll be sent an email saying your certificate is ready – yep, proof that you took the course. This could be really helpful for people looking to get loans or support business start-up, or resume improvement.

The instructor also wanted me to pass along a massive discount coupon (over 90% off) for our blog readers; now I’m not sure how long the offer will remain active so do take advantage of these huge savings right away.


 My overall feeling about the course is that this is an overview of the 5 business models that have a potential of bringing in an income, but it does not detail exactly how to use them. The examples help the average person understand how those models can be applied in their situation though. I felt the emotion the course leaves students with is hope - and the encouragement here will surely inspire some of them to try passive, self-employment, or freelance work from home. 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:

  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

In the Moment

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“Some walk away from their dreams 
afraid they might fail or worse yet, 
afraid they might succeed.”

~ unkown

 -- In The Moment  -- 

My friends and I have had a lot of discussions over the years about how this moment is our "golden" moment - those "golden years" of yonder do not exist and may never exist for all we know. We talk about how coming back to the moment helps us realize how many opportunities there are in one single day. It makes you more aware to things that were always there, only now you notice a few more of them. We also find that by changing our thinking to living this moment also helps us to be more conscious of the impact that we are having in each moment. Is it a positive or negative impact - is that the way we wanted to spend our moment? 

I hope that some day when you are sitting or strolling in nature, this thought will cross your mind once again, time and time again. Because if it affects you like it has my friends and I - well, it could really change the world couldn't it? 

When I was 20, I was afraid to own my own business and needed the security of a business partner but when that partner fell through I continued on because we had done a lot of work and she encouraged me to. It was super scary! I ran that business for 6 years. 

When we first looked for a our very own home it was at the same time that we realized that we were tiring of big city life, an opportunity came and we launched at it even though it didn't quite lead to our dream until much later - it was still as step along the way. We did what we could to prepare and made the leap. It was super scary! 

After the loss of friends and  Dave's mom passing, we decided we should fill that "bucket list" and began a writing career in earnest - writing about things we passionately believed could have a positive impact and was a kind of legacy for us to leave behind. 6 published books later, we are working on our 7th - and this career included running a daily blog, hosting/producing a radio show and working with the media. It was super scary!

...and a few years later, my parent's suicide - led us to rethink that "golden year" promise somewhere in the future. Today, this moment is all we have. 

So we sold what we could, gathered everything, prepared like crazy and made the move to our dream location (one that we were going to move to in our golden years) and did the steps to start up a new business here. It was super scary!

While our "dream" didn't quite turn out like we had in our minds  - our life now is much closer to our dream, as close as is realistic at least. Yet we are driven people, always looking to finish one project so that we can start another. Being driven can be a good thing, but too much of it can lead to an unbalanced life.

We are so grateful every day for learning how to live in the moment. To not be stressing about yesterday (would have, should have, could have) and the future (what will we do?) - we slow down. Enjoy the moment, the flower scent, the expression on the dogs faces, the embrace with a neighbor friend, etc. We do so much more now, enjoy so much more now and share so much more now.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Are U Stressed ???

-- Quote of the Day -- 

"It is with words as with sunbeams. 
The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn." 

~ Robert Southey

 -- My Stressful Story -- 

Some 20 years ago I made some big changes in my life. Up to that time my life was fairly unstable, unpredictable, heavy schedule, lots of responsibility, etc. - my childhood was painful alongside a dysfunctional family. I speak of that briefly only to say that the stress was pretty high before the straw landed on the pile - a car accident. At that time I hit a real new low - suicidal low - and was diagnosed with chronic depression.

The first thing the experts told me about PTSD and depression was that I was not alone, my symptoms were common, that I wasn't "tainted" and there was a lot of help out there. 

The next thing they commented on was that they always recommended getting outdoors, and they were thrilled to hear I did a lot of outdoor stuff prior to the accident. So they had me go outside several times per day and get fresh air and sun even if I had to get help to get out there. So I did that, and continue to do this. There is just something about nature that has always been there for me, and continues to be my therapist and soul mate. To garden, to walk, to just sit in the grass with the dogs and be... whatever it is.

And the very next thing they recommended - avoid the media news programs, magazines, newspapers, online news sites, etc. They recommended feeding the mind with positive movies and TV programs, avoiding those that highlight the destruction of the earth or mankind or violence, etc. So I've done that ever since.

In the years that followed I also learned to watch the thought pattern - gradually sweeping negative and judgmental thoughts aside and saying to myself "oops! I don't want to think that." This slowly evolves to also watching how we speak - that we are saying more positive things. 

"Experts" that had appeared on the radio show I used to host/produce also suggested expressing gratitude for at least 5 things each day. Whether you speak it out loud in the shower or to the wall,  tell someone, write it down, or just take the time each night to overview all the things that you appreciated that day in your mind.

I find it so interesting that first meeting with the "experts" so many years ago is the very same advice I see celebrated and shared on social networking sites nearly every day now... which is pretty exciting. The difference these few changes has made in my life is absolutely huge. So if you are feeling stressed, depressed, tired, overworked... try these. They work - even the "experts" recommend them.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Camping / Travel Prep

-- Quote of the Day -- 

"It always rains on tents.  Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent."  

~Dave Barry

-- Camping Season -- 

Yes, it is camping season ! Yay! (sound of heels clicking and hands clapping). Dave and I always joke that it is time to help out the farmers and go camping... because it rains and storms like 80% of the time that we can get away! lol

I see RV'ers driving our roads in bliss (while the rest of us wither in jealousy). So the call to sleep in the woods has come... but are you ready?

Last year I realized how frustrated I was becoming in the stages of set up prior to leaving. There was just so much to be done around the home and office in advance of the time away, and all the preparation of food and clothes and... only to get there and get a cramp or something and realize you don't have any pain killers, no muscle relaxants, no muscle cream - but ah! there's rum! lol 

Now someone who goes through the amount of pain I do - you don't make that mistake more than once. I now have a little emergency pack in the Jeep and on my key chain. Another thing we need to update is our emergency kits - like for first aide. We do have some partial medical zones in the house, a bit in the RV, there might even be a little one in the Jeep... but they are old and I don't even know what is in them. So that is another project for another day... but I won't leave that project too long as it is important.

Anyway, back to camping - so being the proactive kinda gal that I am, I got out my pen and made lists. Yeah - that's me. List lady.  We saved good quality small and tiny containers all year long. So this year I had this list and the containers to go with it - stored in one clear zip bag (reused from bedding we had purchased). It was easy to fill (and label) each container, ticking items off the list until we had it complete. There wasn't any rushing, no fussing, no frustration. Pens, paper, games, bedding and anything non-perishable and non-food or cleaning supply etc related will always be left in the camping supplies even through the winter. Everything else has to be refreshed. So here is my list and perhaps it will help you in making your own. You'll notice I have a couple items have a little *. That is because those items should be in the camping supplies, but at the moment I don't have spares so I'll have to bring them last minute until I do have spares.

Last minute:

Fresh foods / menu foods 
Menu-based condiments (salsa, etc.)
Dog beds / bowls / food
Frozen Jugs
Juice Jug
Puzzles / books
*Bug spray
Firewood / starter
Recreation supplies

Spring Prep:

Peanut butter
White sugar
Powdered milk
Ice tea
Hot chocolate
Cooking oil
Dish soap
Hand soap
Bar soap
Face cream
Freeze jugs of water (for coolers and freezers)
Lip balm
Extra food
Wine vinegar
*Spray cleaner
Dog Meds
Dog bones
Breath mints
Throat lozenge
*Bug spray
Extra food storage containers
Eye Drops
Nasal spray
Muscle cream
Soup crackers

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

chit chat

-- chatter -- 

As you can see, I've taken a few days off from the blog inadvertently, actually.  This last week has involved weeding, mowing, tending, trimming / shaping perennials and trees, plantings, compost sifting, garden bed preparation, seed ordering, spring cleaning, a garage improvement project, book edits ...and dealing with a rash of incoming product review requests and submissions for the blog - which reminded me that I needed to draw my attention to the blog. Whew!

Since May 2004 I've been blogging every single day... up to this last year when I've relaxed, a lot. I love blogging and the networking it brings - but it also eats up a lot of time to manage, maintain and promote.

As you know I've been in the crunch of finishing the last edits to the upcoming cookbook. With just a few pages of the main body of the book left to do, I'm feeling a sense of relief. Of course that still leaves the image insertions, formatting, cover design... so we are far from finished. Still it comes with a sense of relief. I hope to take the next 4 days just for me... and nobody else but me and of course my fur-kids and my husband. lol

Anyone looking to publish an article / poem / info-graphic or do a interview on this blog is welcome none-the-less; you'll find the "contact" information on our website.

And lastly - but far from least - Thank you to all our readers who are allowing us to take some time to get our life organized :)

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Loving Soil

It’s Alive! The Living Soil

 * Today's article, written by Andy Lopez of the Invisible Gardener, will help us understand about the relationship between the nutrients your plants need and biological activity in the soil. The article was edited by the blog owner, however, and a few corrections made.

There are two ways to get minerals needed by plants:
The first and fastest as well as easiest is to apply through foliar spraying onto the leaves and trunk. Trees and most other plants are much like humans in that they can absorb nutrients thru their "skin".

Another way to get minerals to the plants is to provide it in the soil by adding compost, which is rich in minerals and bacteria. This is the main reason we make compost piles or bins - to provide the proper condition for bacteria and minerals to get together and produce these nutrients in the form that the plants can then use. (*Blog Owner's Note: Remember a few days ago on this blog we talked about the term "bioavailable" - it applies here as well.)

The best time to apply compost is during the early spring, allowing for  the bacteria to get active making many nutrients and many minerals in just the right form for plants. These nutrients slowly make their way to plants root hairs where it will be absorbed by a type of fungi that live only on plant root hairs. 

Mycorrhizal fungi live in a symbiotic relationship with plants to extract nutrients and water. These fungi are living organisms that live with the plant, for its entire lifetime. In exchange the plant provides carbon and sugars to the fungi. 90% of all land plants employ this relationship to enhance their own root system's capacity to deliver nutrients.

Anyone with property should apply rock dust, compost and mulch (make sure the mulch is Azalea/Gardenia mix) as an annual garden habit.
Here in Malibu, we have a nice source of rock dust at our local garden center. Its Called Gypsum. While it is not a complete rock dust, it is  very high in calcium and natural sulfur as well. This will help break down the clay soil that we have here as well as allow for better drainage. The calcium is a very important mineral needed by plants and is best applied mixed in with compost. Gypsum can also be made into a tea and sprayed. I add 1 cup gypsum , 1 cup compost into a panty hose and tie into a ball. Place into 5 gallons clean water for a few days. Then add to sprayer and spray all your plants. I do this spray about once per month for most plants, although heavily fruiting and trees vegetables can be done weekly.
Additional ways to get minerals to plants is to buy liquids that are rich in minerals and spray those. Try liquid seaweed, fish emulsion, liquid organic fertilizers enriched with minerals, special mineral enzyme products such as Superseaweed, Nitron or Agri-Gro are good also.

Another way to provide minerals besides using compost is to provide the bacteria a place to inhabit by creating what I call "Tree Vents". I use clay drain pipes that are about 4 inches wide and about 1 or 2 feet long. These are buried near tree root systems so that the pipe is even with the ground, but have one end accessible (closing it off with a rock or something). Then, annually, place a mixture of nutrients and compost inside the pipe, close off the end. The nutrients will slowly leach out and feed the plant all season long. 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ease Worrying

Tips To Help Ease Worrying

* Today's article was written by: "Richa"

Have you turned on your television lately? If so, words like ISIS, Ebola, economy and Obamacare can send your blood pressure through the roof. It is difficult in today's world to keep from worrying. I've recently spoken with a number of friends who say they have trouble sleeping at night because their minds just can't shut down. With all of the stresses and strains on our lives these days it's no wonder people are weighted down with worry. 

Worry is a dangerous animal. It lurks through our minds and then moves in and says a while. It fills us with self-doubt, fear, and sometimes even anger...all of which have significant negative effects on our health and well-being.

So the question becomes, "How can we stop worrying?" There is a quote I love that states: "Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles, it takes away today's peace." Today I would like to present to you my top 5 guidelines to easing your worrying mind. I know I could use a little more of all of these things in my life as well. Let's take a look.

Focus your thoughts on positive things. This sounds pretty simplistic, right...just don't think about the negative things that surround you and you won't worry so much. We all know it's not that easy though. Thoughts are powerful and we need to be very conscious about how we allow them to work in our lives. We are the masters of our thoughts. If we allow negative thoughts to take over, "I will never get that job." or "I'm just not as good as every one else.", we will begin to live what we are believing. Thoughts become actions, so we need to ensure that our thoughts are supported with positive energy and power. Garbage in, garbage out right? When worry starts to creep in, try your best to consciously change those thoughts of worry into something more positive.

Stay in the present moment. Nine times out of ten the things we worry about are either in our past or in our future. For example, someone may worry that they may run into an old friend that they had a falling out with while others may worry that the presentation they need to give at work at the end of the week won't go well. The key word in both situations is control. Ask yourself: "What can I control about this situation?" If your answer is "nothing" then you need to consciously refocus your thinking. You cannot control where your old friend goes or exactly how your presentation will go. Those are things that need to be dealt with in the present moment; if you ever run into that old friend you will deal with it then just as if your presentation doesn't go well. All you can control is what is happening in the present moment. Become aware and present in each and every moment of your day, and you will notice worry starting to disappear. Life is a sequence of moments called now. Be sure you are living every moment fully!

Stay properly informed. Here's a newsflash; not everything you read online or see on television is authentic. I know, shocking right? Seriously, there will be situations, such as is the case recently with ISIS and Ebola, where there may be legitimate cause for concern. Concern...not worry. It's okay to be concerned. When someone is concerned, they properly research the issue that concerns them and find out what they need to know to do what they can to help the situation. Sometimes you can take preventative measures and sometimes you just have to leave things to the Universe and trust that everything will fall into place appropriately. In either case, worry is not going to help. I suggest reading up on what concerns you and arming yourself with knowledge. After all, knowledge is power!

Do something to initiate positive change. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to help others. One of my favorite quotes says, "You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." I have found this to be true, especially recently with my work as PTO president at my daughter's charter school. There is just something about volunteering with the other parents and helping the children that speaks to my soul. It's wonderful to reach out to others in need, especially when our hearts and minds are filled with worry and doubt. Seeing the looks on the faces of those who are helped brings about a sense of peace and purpose that the worry and fear we experience sometimes can diminish. Replenish that peace and joy by doing for others.

Meditate, breathe, and Pause for Power. I spoke earlier about how we are the masters of our thoughts and how positive thoughts bring about positive energy and power. I started my Pause for Power programs and meditations because I firmly believe that when we take time out of our lives to center ourselves, to meditate on the things in our lives that are not serving our higher purpose and release those things, when we pause and meditate with a grateful heart on those things in our lives which we are thankful for...that all of these things together create a power within us that nothing can diminish. Breathe deeply, release your doubts and fears and fill that space with positive energy and peace. 
I am grateful that you took the time to be with me today here on my blog. I hope these guidelines will help you lessen the worry in your life and help bring about more peace and joy.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at:
  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!