Saturday, February 28, 2009


This is a wonderful video - it shows how people helping people can be a win win situation.

Enjoy - it is amazing!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why Network Marketing?

Network marketing represents 93% of all direct sales. This video will explain why so many successful conventional companies are joining this exciting industry.

Please note: The video starts a few seconds after you press the play button. It is a short video.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Etsy Twitter Team Featured Shop of the Week Maine Lee Crochet

The Etsy Twitter Team's mission is to bring Etsy sellers who use Twitter together to become the authority on Twitter for all things handmade.

Ginny, from Maine Lee Crochet, has been in business on Etsy since March 2008. She makes gorgeous all crochet or knit items like hats, socks, scarves, dishcloths, and towels with crochet tops . Everything is handmade by her and ready to ship.

Ginny says about her handicrafts, “My product is high quality and made with my heart. I love what I do and I hope it shows in my items. If I don't like the way something turns out it doesn't get listed for sale. My ‘oops’ products stay at my house for my own use.”

Ginny promotes her shop in a number of different ways. She says, ”I use MySpace, word of mouth, I leave business cards where ever I can. I use the forums a lot. I also visit the chat rooms on Etsy and talk about my items, the way they are made, and the material used.”

She ships internationally! Stop by her shop for some good crocheted love!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


My first born daughter got married in Japan last week. She has lived there for 10 years and just loves it.

Last week she and her honey - Futoshi - got registered or married as they call it in Japan.

I have asked for pictures and as she did not send me any - I have made my own pictures. LOL

The rest of the story of her marriage I will put in her words from her own blog.

Now before you all think we did some big wedding thing....we didn't. What we did was go down to city hall and "register". See...I have never wanted a big wedding. I don't like weddings. I didn't go to my brother's or my best friend's wedding. I haven't been to a wedding in over 20 years. Don't ask me why but I just don't like them.

Thankfully my honey didn't want a big wedding and with my family and friends scattered all over Canada and the States and his family here in Japan it just got a bit complicated so we made it as simple as possible....we just "registered". You might be wondering what "registered" means....I mean if you go to city hall in Canada you are getting married.

But the thinking is a little different here (this is my take on it...someone else might have a different perspective about getting married in Japan). First the ceremony is basically a big party here....the white dress, the flowers, even the person performing the ceremony (oh and in Japan it is often a foreigner who is just pretending to perform the ceremony-guys can make money doing this and is legit) have no meaning because until it is "registered" at city hall you aren't married.

I told my friend "I'm getting married" and he asked about the "wedding" and I said that we were going down to city hall to get married and he said " are just registering" if I were buying a clunker of a car instead of a BMW. Ummm....Hello?!!!

Without "registering" you aren't married so....I'm getting married!!!I told some of my older female students and one of them told me that her daughter "registered" 2 months ago but they aren't sure when they will have the ceremony. I said to my student that it means she is married and she looked a bit surprised and said "yes, I guess so.

"So, yesterday my honey, my friend Phee (hi Phee!), his mom and I went to city hall to "register". We had already filled out many forms at home but we still had a few things to clear up when we got there. First it was important to know if I was "choujyo" which means first born daughter....I am so we circled that (still not sure how that is important). Then we had a piece of paper put in front of us that was about the "head of the household". See he moved in with me so I was the head of the household but once married it is assumed that the man would be the head....well.....we looked at each other and said we'd keep it just as it is .....I mean does it matter? But because we didn't change the title "head of the household" to him, we had to wait extra time while they changed his health insurance card so that my name would appear on his card since I'm the head of the house.

I am pretty sure his mother wasn't too impressed that we didn't change it but hey....that's what we wanted!So...we are now officially married!

I called my mom after and she cried! (Hi mom!!) Hope she is ok now. So all day today I've been joking with my honey that I'm the boss since I'm head of the household and he keeps telling me that my butt is his because it is registered!

Well there you go - I have a son-in-law and I am so proud of him - he is wonderful and kind and funny and very handsome.

Please click on the title to go to her fabulous blog.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pretty in Pink Valentine's Day Cards by Rachel Paxton

Looking for some easy cards to make for Valentine's Day? These pretty pink Valentine's Day cards will take you less than an hour to make and your friends and family will love them.

I have designed three different Valentine's Day cards for you to choose from. They are all based on the same theme so you can prepare and put them together at the same time. It is more cost effective to make them this way...I put together six cards from two 12x12 pieces of scrapbook paper.


3 white pre-made greeting cards
1 piece of white 12x12 scrapbook paper
1 piece of pink 12x12 scrapbook paper
Small heart-shaped rubber stamp
Black ink pad
Pink colored pencil
Narrow white ribbon
Hole punch
Paper cutter
Glue stick

Before you get started on the actual cards, you can create the hearts that will decorate each of the three cards.

Use the paper cutter to cut six 2x2" pieces of white scrapbook paper. Using the heart rubber stamp and the black ink pad, stamp heart in the center of each piece of white scrapbook paper.

After the ink dries for a few minutes, color in the hearts with the pink colored pencil. Now you are ready to start your first card.

Card #1:

The first card will open horizontally. Using the paper cutter, cut a rectangle from the pink piece of scrapbook paper. The rectangle should take up about three-fourths of the card.

Using the hole punch, punch two holes right next to each other near the top center of the pink piece of paper. Cut a piece of white ribbon approximately 6 inches long. Thread the ribbon through the holes in the pink paper.

Glue the pink paper in the center of the white greeting card. Carefully tie the white ribbon into a bow, cutting the ends of the ribbon to your desired length.

Next space out three white squares with the hearts on them in the center of the pink paper. Glue in place.

Card #2:

The second card will open vertically. It is very similar to the first card, in that you will cut a pink piece of scrapbook paper into the shape of a rectangle that takes up about three-fourths of the card. Attach the white ribbon at the top center of the pink paper, as for the first card.

Glue the piece of pink paper in the center of a white greeting card. On this card, you will center two hearts in the center of the pink paper, one above the other.

Card #3:

The third card will also open vertically. For this one I cut about an inch off the bottom of the white greeting card so it is closer to the shape of a square.

Cut a piece of pink scrapbook paper into the shape of a square that takes up about two-thirds of the card.

Attach the white ribbon at the top center of the pink paper as with the other cards.

Glue the piece of pink paper in the center of the greeting card. Glue one heart onto the center of the card.

These cards are very easy to make. If you don't want to mess with rubber stamps, you could use heart-shaped stickers in their place. Your friends and family won't believe how little time you spent making them!

Photos of finished Valentine's Day cards:

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four.

Forscrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more familymemory-making activities, visit

Article Source:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tinker and Po

Shop of The Week: Tinker and Po

Lisa Gergets, of Tinker and Po, creates the most wonderfully warm fingerless gloves/arm warmers and accessories that are made from felted and repurposed merino wool, angora, cashmere or lamb’s wool sweaters. She selects source materials for her fingerless gloves from used sweaters, which present endless possibilities in color, pattern and texture. Tinker and Po has been selling on Etsy since July of 2008.

“Every item I sell is meticulously handcrafted, is 100% repurposed, and 10% of every purchase is donated to autism research,” says Lisa about her work.

She uses Twitter effectively as a marketing tool. “I Twitter each new listing in my Etsy shop, any publicity or blog posting the shop receives, and engage in general ‘shop’ talk with other Etsy sellers on Twitter. I am also not hesitant to Twitter about an Etsy product that I enjoy, since in business, as in life, what goes around, comes around. I have definitely seen an upswing in my Etsy traffic since using Twitter.”

Valentine’s Day shipping deadlines: Domestic – February 10th; International - by arrangement, as normal shipping deadlines have already passed. Tinker and Po offers expedited and overnight shipping on all orders.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

CPSC Spells Out Enforcement Policy For New Lead Limits In Children’s Products Effective February 10

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Starting on February 10, 2009, consumer products intended for children 12 and under cannot have more than 600 parts per million of lead in any accessible part. This new safety requirement is a key component of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) aimed at further reducing children’s exposure to lead.

In an effort to provide clear and reasonable guidance to those impacted by this important law, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing its enforcement policy on the lead limits established by the CPSIA.

Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers should also be aware that CPSC will:

• Not impose penalties against anyone for making, importing, distributing, or selling

o a children’s product to the extent that it is made of certain natural materials, such as wood, cotton, wool, or certain metals and alloys which the Commission has recognized rarely, if ever, contain lead;

o an ordinary children’s book printed after 1985; or o dyed or undyed textiles (not including leather, vinyl or PVC) and non-metallic thread and trim used in children’s apparel and other fabric products, such as baby blankets.

(The Commission generally will not prosecute someone for making, selling or distributing items in these categories even if it turns out that such an item actually contains more than 600 ppm lead.)

Sellers will not be immune from prosecution if CPSC’s Office of Compliance finds that someone had actual knowledge that one of these children’s products contained more than 600 ppm lead or continued to make, import, distribute or sell such a product after being put on notice. Agency staff will seek recalls of violative children’s products or other corrective actions, where appropriate.

• Issue an interim final rule effective February 10, 2009, which establishes alternative lead limits for certain electronic devices, in order to prevent unnecessary removal of certain children’s products from store shelves.

• Accept a manufacturer’s determination that a lead-containing part on their product is inaccessible to a child and not subject to the new lead limits, if it is consistent with the Commission’s proposed guidance or is based on a reasonable reading of the inaccessibility requirement. Paint and other coatings or electroplating are not considered barriers that make a component inaccessible.

This enforcement policy will remain in effect until superseded by action of the Commission. CPSC still expects companies to meet their reporting obligation under federal law and immediately tell the Commission if they learn of a children’s product that exceeds the new lead limits starting on February 10, 2009. Companies also should know that the CPSIA generally prohibits the export for sale of children’s products that exceed the new lead limits.

As announced on January 30, 2009, the Commission approved a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers. Significant to makers of children’s products, the ‘stay’ provides limited relief from the testing and certification for total lead content limits, phthalates limits for certain products and mandatory toy standards. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will still need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

Certification based on testing by an accredited laboratory is still required for painted children’s products and soon will be required for children’s metal jewelry, as well as certain other products for non-lead issues.

Office of Information and Public Affairs

Washington, DC 20207

February 6, 2009
Release #09-120

CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Friday, February 6, 2009


Please click on the title to take your test.

You will be amazed.

Pass it on.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


What are the XoBiotic Squares™?
There are many natural functional foods in virtually every food group. As we all know, chocolate itself is a functional food if it contains sufficient antioxidants and flavonoids. However, it is now possible for manufacturers to create functional foods by fortifying and enhancing their products to give them added health benefits never before possible. A new growing segment of functional food is called “probiotics."
Probiotic means “fit for life”, or “pro life." Probiotics are living microorganisms which when administered effectively in adequate amounts confer health benefits. The adult intestinal tract is home to approximately 100 trillion microorganisms. More than 400 different bacterial species have already been identified in the intestinal tract.
First, in order to be effective Probiotics must contain bacteria which are resistant to stomach acids and bile salts. Secondly, the bacteria must have the capacity to compete successfully with the indigenous intestinal bacteria. So, either the bacteria must be protected by the use of encapsulation techniques, or new types of foods must be developed which offer increased protection for the bacteria. The key to the effectiveness of probiotic treatment is for the bacteria to be able to pass through the stomach and the small intestines reaching the large intestines with sufficient strength to colonize and flourish.
SHIME stands for “The Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem." This in vitro system was created to simulate the activities and conditions found in the stomach, small intestines, and large intestines. This enables scientists to monitor the quantity of bacteria that survive the journey to the large intestines. And, it also enables them to monitor the development of the bacterial colonies in the large intestines.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 95 million Americans suffer from digestive problems. Some 60 million have heartburn, 50 million have irritable bowel syndrome, and 20 million suffer from stomach ulcers.
Many, many new probiotic products have been launched in North America and Europe. But, we have a distinct advantage. Chocolate appears to be the ideal delivery system for probiotics. Chocolate has been shown to be far superior to milk as a delivery system for Probiotics.
The Xoçai™ XoBiotic™ chocolate will be in the form of an 11-gram square and will deliver 1 billion microorganisms of two types— Lactobacillus Helveticus R0052 and Bifido Bacterium Longum R0175. These probiotics have been selected for our probiotic chocolate because of their stability in chocolate and their guaranteed shelf life equal to the shelf life of the chocolate itself, if properly stored as recommended for all Xoçai™ products (40*F – 75*F). By marrying the health benefits of dark chocolate with those of these two probiotic cultures, which have a positive influence on immune and gut health, we gain new opportunities with health-conscious consumers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Xocai Healthy Chocolate Probiotics

Dr. Warren XoBiotic Video Presentation
To view this video, click the video image. Learn about the unique and powerful infusion of Probiotics and Healthy Chocolate.

Monday, February 2, 2009

CPSIA Requirements

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Nov 13, 2008 at 2:56 pm / CPSIA / Trackback

The forum has been buzzing fast and furious in response to the CPSIA Requirements Alex wrote about in New Product Safety Regulations That Affect ALL Manufacturers. I am waiting to hear back from a few off site authorities who may help provide some insight. Below appears the list I’ve prepared for inquiries and you are welcome to post this entry in its entirety elsewhere on the web provided you link to the source. Obviously it cannot be comprehensive but it’s what I’ve come up with based on the 100 +/- comments posted to the two threads in the member’s forum. By all means add to it.

The overarching concerns are:

What are we required to do -and when? (sewn product producers)
What are we required to do -and when? (Retail)
Definitions and time lines
Enforcement and standardization
Infrastructure of testing facilities
Stifling innovation
What can we do (activism/comment)?
What are we required to do -and when? (sewn product producers):
Confusion reigns over whether assay of inputs or final products is required.
How about acquiring certifications from upstream suppliers? If one cannot be absolved of liability by accepting documentation from an upstream supplier, it’d be a huge expense and duplication of effort on the supply chain.

What are we required to do -and when? (Retail):

As the last stop in the process, what is their responsibility for collecting certification on goods they receive?

Are they absolved of liability if certifications are not genuine?

Is retail being forced to assume the responsibility of policing the whole process?

What if they get goods without documentation? Do they ship it back and risk incurring wrath from their suppliers over charge backs needed to cover the costs?

What if this happens to all or most of their goods and their shelves go empty while everyone scrambles to come into compliance?

Definitions and timelines -Among the myriad of complaints regarding the lack of comprehensive guidelines are these:

How is the date of manufacture determined? Is it considered to be manufactured when it comes off the sewing machine, when it goes into the shipping container, when it hits the dock in the US, or when one takes receipt of the goods?

Will items in the pipeline be permitted? If not, the losses could be devastating considering the time line of upstream sourcing of fabric and inputs.

Enforcement and standardization:

The certificate is not considered part of the entry documentation and therefore, not needed to be presented at entry. However, it does need to be included in the shipment meaning it must be present. This is beyond confusing.

What if enforcement agents don’t like the way the forms are done (lack of standardization) so the lot is impounded into a bonded warehouse? Is one permitted to pull samples out to get them re-tested? Currently, pulling goods out is not permitted.


Costs disproportionately impact small businesses and can put them out of business at a time when the economy is least able to absorb it. Solicited quotes for services range in price from $450-$982 per colorway of each style meaning a style with three colorways can cost $3,000 (I use the higher figure for reasons #6 and #7 below). For a small line with only ten styles, this can mean $30,000 -more than the total cost of production or inputs.

Worse (other than price increases to consumers) overhead is affected as testing must be done pre-market meaning one is spending money for compliance costs on styles that may be dropped. Yet you can’t pre-sell something if you don’t know it’ll pass. This should prove the need of assays of inputs (#1) over finished product testing but this remains unclear.

The logistics required are of greater complexity, straining those with less sophisticated sourcing management systems. One must collect input samples from international suppliers which must then be sent to labs for testing prior to purchasing. How much time will the logistics of testing add to the product development cycle (aka “speed to market”) considering the myriad of details to be collected?

Infrastructure of testing facilities:

Has anyone done an analysis of test lab capacity?

Are there enough to manage the new caseload?

How long will product development and scheduling be delayed?

Considering the dramatic increase in the demand for testing services, one can only imagine costs will dramatically increase until more labs get into the business.

Stifling innovation:

Due to logistics, lack of readily available compliance certifications from international suppliers, it is very likely producers will have yet another encumbrance, limiting the range of styles they develop. Style development will centralize to reflect only those goods which are readily procured and established to be within compliance.

What can we do (activism/comment)?

HELP! Tell us who to write or talk to and what to say and we’ll do it.

Related in the forum:The War Room: CPSIA & Consumer Safety. This is a very active section with nearly 60 different threads and over 1,000 postings. Open to the public.