store

365 Challenge: Day 314 – Smile

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Smile: (a) pleased, kind, or amused facial expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed, or (b) the best word to describe a fellow blogger and her wonderful online store

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As you can see from today’s featured picture, the word is smile and the image contains several types of cards. Today’s post is a bit different, but one that has been a pleasure to pull together. About six months ago, I began chatting with a fellow blogger, Janet, over various posts between both of our sites. Over time, it became clear why her blog name is Janet’s Smiles — she always has one and shares them with others. It’s not often you come across someone with such a wonderful and friendly personality, who not only gives of themselves, but finds ways to go the extra (s)mile! If you’ve never stopped by her blog, please visit @ Blog: Janet’s Smiles. I’m confident you’ll find something you enjoy. But that’s not really the purpose of today’s 365 Daily Challenge post… what is it, you ask?

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As Janet and I interacted more, I kept seeing the link to an Etsy store, but never actually went to it (who knows why, laziness?) for the first few months. At the end of last year, I realized it was time to check it out, and I’m quite glad I did! I discovered that Janet owns an online store at Etsy, which you can shop at via A Smile 4 U from Janet. Janet is a designer, creator, inventor, fabricator and entertainer — that’s the best way to describe it. She makes cards and mini scrapbook albums for all holidays and events, which you can see on her Etsy site. She also loves to design and assemble custom orders, for milestones like birthdays, memories, vacations or any special occasion.

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When I checked out her site earlier this month, I left purchasing 5 new greeting cards, which you see throughout this post. We’re all familiar with these wonderful little gifts or ways of communicating with others. Sometimes it’s for a big holiday, like Christmas or Easter, or maybe it’s someone’s special birthday or anniversary. Perhaps you like sending cards to people for Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving or Arbor Day. Who am I to judge! In truth, cards serve many purposes — perhaps we want someone to know we’re thinking about them, or instead of exchanging gifts, you send a beautiful message in the perfect card. They’re always valuable and have a way of building your relationships and connections with others.

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Let’s chat a bit about the cost and originality of greeting cards… whether you go to a local pharmacy/drug store like CVS or Rite Aid, a higher-end place like Papyrus, or the dollar store for an individual card or a box of your standard greeting cards, it’s likely you’re frequently in need of these little treasures. While you could buy the standard/basic box of twenty and send out those for minor occasions, you’re always in need of something custom, special or unique for the major occasions. When you shop for them, you could spend anywhere from $3 to $8 for each individual card from the big box stores — and they’re always boring. I actually found 3 out 30 useful in a CVS last Christmas. Or you could buy them from an individual / specialty designer like Janet’s shop on Etsy. When I perused her site, I left with 5 unique cards that I can use for a birthday, thank you or thinking of you moment. I can’t explain how easy and fun it was to shop for something so pretty, engaging and different than the norm.

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When the cards arrived, I was quite impressed. Construction was fantastic. Design was beautiful. Presentation was remarkable. It was really fun to open each package and look through each individual card. For me, I’d rather spend my money in a store like Janet’s, where I have custom cards, from a wonderful designer, in a trustworthy sales process… and in the end… it would honestly be less expensive through her than if I had bought these in a Papyrus or another similar store. When you add in all these perks, I think I’ve found a new regular place to shop and buy my specialty greeting cards. It’s even got me thinking about what else I could ask Janet to put together for custom orders around the holidays!

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This is the first time I’ve ever written about another product or service from a fellow blogger, other than books. But in all sincerity, I feel like I found a little goldmine of opportunity to take my card gift-giving up a notch in quality and still spend less money… and I kinda smiled thinking about sharing it with others who may already know Janet, but not about her Etsy shop. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to peruse her blog and her online shop links, then decide for yourself to pick up a few greeting cards for your next holidays or special days.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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365 Challenge: Day 304 – Pantry

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Pantry: a small room or closet in which food, dishes, and utensils are kept

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I was on the phone yesterday with someone who shall remain nameless, as I wouldn’t want to embarrass this person. We were discussing something about my eating habits, and somehow the word pantry came up. We had a fun disagreement about whether the word meant room or closet. One of us was adamant that it referred solely to a room where all the kitchen items are stored; the other firmly believed it meant the cabinet where things are stored. We bantered for a bit, then it was suggested that should be a word for the 365 Daily Challenge. Not one to back down… I immediately woke up thinking about it (and not whether my underwear matched my clothes — that should give you a clue as to who this person was who foolishly attempted to win a battle with me). Hence… today’s word is pantry, and the definition is clearly listed above. Apparently, it can be both the room and the closet. Mystery closed. Or is it?

It got me thinking about pantries… when I lived in the suburbs, I had a larger kitchen (and house), where I could store back-ups of all the key food items and supplies. Now, I keep only the major items in the hall closet, and the necessary food back-ups in a cabinet in the kitchen — I do not have a pantry. I guess that tells you which side of the coin I was on in this disagreement. I miss having the extra space and saving a bit of money buying in bulk. In prior homes, I did have dedicated food/supply cabinets or closets, but I never had a pantry. I always think of a pantry as something in a big estate house, or from the movie and board game Clue. If you can be locked in said pantry, then I think I’d consider it a pantry. In this pantry, I’d keep tons of ingredients to make very moist cakes. But there should be no moisture in the room, or the ingredients will no longer work properly.

As you can see, I’m a bit snarky today, as same said person mentioned many times that the word moist was an awful word. I know many people feel that way, and I humbly apologize for using that word in today’s post. It’s only meant to bother a single, solitary, specific individual, as when I texted to say ‘Good Morning’ today, this person responded by asking if my clothes finally match my underwear — do you see how I am tortured? Anyways, I digress, almost as bad a Ryder Rant day. Do you see a difference between the word moist and the word moisture? I personally feel if you dislike one of those words, you must also dislike the other. This other person is fine with the word moisture, but nearly threw a tantrum over the word moist. So many oddities out there… how about the concept of a pantry? Is it a room or a closet for you? And don’t try to play the middle game… if you’re going to respond about it, pick a side!

Psst. This was all true, but in humor. Not meant in a mean way. PERIOD.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 199 – Store

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Store: an amazing book store in Asheville I wanted to live in

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Today’s post is a short one as we’ve been driving around a lot and haven’t stopped to take many pictures. We are leaving Asheville later this afternoon after a final stop in an amazing bookstore called the Battery Park Book Exchange, where they have tons of older books (and newer ones). They also serve champagne, pastries and coffee, as well as have a full bar and about 30 sitting areas over three different stories in a winding maze pattern. Amazing! My friend Kiersten (good blog to follow!!!) suggested another one, Malaprop’s, which I hope to catch before we leave. Definitely worth visiting Asheville… my favorite of all the towns in North Carolina so far. We had lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe, where the biscuits were perfection and walked around the town for a few hours. Oh, it’ll be sad to leave. But I have all the pics of Biltmore to get me to come back soon. Off to finish out the day… back tomorrow!

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About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 178 – Market

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Market: (a) a regular gathering of people for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other commodities, (b) place to trade stock, (c) advertising and promotions

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It’s been an interesting day. A few days ago, I mentioned it was Ryder’s tenth birthday. He absolutely loves brisket and pot roast. Goes ballistic for it. Sits in front of the oven and stares at it for hours while it cooks. Since we were away for his actual birth date, I promised him a brisket when I returned, even told him I’d cook it today. I try to keep my promises. Just went to the market after the gym with the list of groceries I needed to purchase. This particular market is a regular grocery store one block away from my apartment building. I had enough time to get everything, as well as my lunch, and then come home to eat before a scheduled phone call. I arrive at the market, go immediately to the meat department in search of either a brisket or roast-like product. I had already turned on the air conditioning, as the apartment gets a tad hot when I cook in the oven, and today’s humidity is high with the rain here in NYC. Thought I’d come home, chop the vegetables, brown the meat, pour in a bottle of wine (maybe have a glass myself) and start the cooking process. I get to the meat section; they had every other meat product (filet, chop meat, burgers, hanger steak) but nothing to prepare in the oven. Ryder loves his gravy, carrots and potatoes. He’s gonna be one disappointed dog.

How could a grocery store not carry anything like that? I asked the butcher. He had no response, just shrugged his shoulders. This is the same store earlier this year that had some financial issues, leaving the shelves less than 33% stocked. They’d been out of basic staples, which annoyed me, but I could get those at Duane Reade or the small corner store if necessary. But no meat to make a pot roast with? I was an unhappy camper. So was Ryder when I told him. The nearest grocery store is another seven blocks north, which I normally wouldn’t mind going to, but that’s a bit of a walk to carry multiple bags. Plus I didn’t have the extra time today. I will try on Friday at the other grocery store and cook Ryder his special birthday dinner. Poor little tyke, first we’re not home on his birthday, then a delayed meal. The ‘market’ annoyed me today.

Yesterday, another kind of ‘market’ annoyed me. It shouldn’t, but some days it could drive a guy wacko. I invest money in the stock market. I have since I was 18 when I left for college. I used some of the money I earned in high school and during the summer for college tuition, room, board and expenses. I put some in savings. And I put some in a few stocks based on guidance from another family member. It did relatively well and taught me how to choose my investments. When I graduated from college, one of the presents I bought my mom for her birthday was a shared stock investment account. I put $200 in a new account, told her $100 was hers and $100 was mine. We watched it grow and drop over the years. It was always a fun experiment and bonding session. When I took a full-time job, I received a 401K and company stock. I also made a few private investments. Over the years, it grew and provided a lot of opportunity to learn more about how the stock market works. When I stopped working last summer, I transferred everything to a single account, as I didn’t want to have to worry about checking tons of places. Now I check it every day because it’s more prominent in my mind. Some days it does well. Some days it does not. Yesterday it did not. It’ll correct itself, but yesterday was an unhappy market day.

A third kind of market is how you advertise or promote services and goods. I always hated this type of market. I am not a good salesman. I also am not creative when it comes to thinking about the ways to advertise or promote. When you are an author, you need to do those things. I have a product to sell now. I am appreciative of all my friends who are giving me ideas and even one, the amazing Claire, who did an entire write-up for me on options. I won’t name her as I don’t want to put her on the spot for others to pressure her for help. But if she wants me to, I’ll happily put her name on here. That said, I will soon be turning my focus (once Father Figure editing is done next week) to keeping 50% of my schedule dedicated to marketing ‘Watching Glass Shatter.’ So many things to consider: giveaways, radio spots, book reviews, author profiles, campaigns, Amazon advertisements, book store signings… it’s scary. I am so out of my element. But that’s when you learn the most, which means I need to put on my big boy pants and just do it.

Three types of markets. Some days they are good. Some days they are bad. This week felt like a bad one. Maybe that means next week will be a good one. Eh, it’s a roller coaster. No complaints from me. I’m too happy and lucky with all this progress to worry about small dips. The bigger world is suffering way worse than my little concern over the word market. Just thought it would be a fun little play on words in today’s 365 Daily Challenge. How about the rest of you? Any interesting little stories about these three definitions for the word market? Share with the rest of us!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.