Live The Life You've Always Imagined

Living My Big Dream

May 15th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Is There A Lawyer In The House?

» by in: General

One of the missions of Living My Big Dream is to help people make their dreams come true. Changing or starting a new career is a common dream, especially in this economy.

If your dream is to become a lawyer you already know that you have many years of schooling ahead of you. You can also expect to have to take one of the most difficult tests I know of…the LSAT or law school admission test.

Years ago I enjoyed collecting study guides and working through them just to keep my mind sharp. I managed to find an old copy of a LSAT study guide. I was astonished by the depth and intensity of the material required.

I’m glad I’m not going to school for law but if you are I wouldn’t limit myself to a simple study guide to prepare for the LSAT.

Since the Internet is a wonderland of educational knowledge, I frequently search for new ways to learn new things. Recently I stumbled on what I find to be a great way to study LSAT prep. Knewton.com offers live and interactive classes as well as a fountain of resources for further study. While most LSAT prep courses cost around a thousand for a few months, Knewton’s full course is less than $700 for an entire year!

That price includes not only the live classroom time but also nearly 6,000 LSAT questions that you can use to create custom quizzes and 59 full-length practice tests. And just in case you need the pot sweetened a little, you can try the site out absolutely free for 7 full days and you’re guaranteed your money back if not satisfied.

But what if you don’t think you need a full year of studying? Or maybe your test is coming up next month and you don’t have the time for in-depth study. Knewton.com offers a “Cram Session” from now until the next test date in June for only $199.

If you are studying law or hope to study law in the future, I would highly recommend registering for www.knewton.com.

May 14th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

The First Living My Big Dream Survey…All About You!

» by in: General

Next month marks the three year anniversary of Living My Big Dream. As I mentioned last month, I’m trying to polish things up a bit and maximize this blog to provide more for my readers and earn more profit.

One of the things I’ve committed to doing is creating a media kit that is available to other businesses that are interested in advertising on LMBD.

In order to provide you with advertising that might really appeal to you, as well as provide clients with the best exposure for their products, it would be nice to know more about my readers.

If you could please click the below link and complete the short survey (it’s a pop-up so turn off those blockers!) it would help me provide the best service to everyone involved. The survey is only 8 questions long and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to finish.

Thank you for your participation!

May 14th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

An Affordable Way To Keep Your Merchandise Secure

Big time stores spend lots of money on security features such as alarms and guards. But for those individuals that have small stores or even just stalls at local flea markets security is just as important.

Buying a security alarms isn’t a feasible option for people operating out of flea market stalls and often small stores have an alarm to protect the store while closed but nothing to stop shoplifting during business hours.

One affordable option if you are in this situation is convex mirrors. You’ve probably seen them in stores near the ceiling and often in corners. These mirrors allow you to see what customers are doing when normally they would be out of your line of sight. Not only that but thieves are less likely to steal if they think that are being watched and can be caught.

The best part is that you can get one of these convex mirrors for about a hundred bucks! Search online for deals or you can keep an eye out for shops that are closing and selling their security mirrors.

May 14th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Another Funny Vacation Story…And An Important Lesson As Well

» by in: humor

Last week I told you about my son staying home while the rest of the family went on vacation. This morning I ran into a friend and related the story to her knowing that she would get a good laugh from it.

After her laugh, she told me that her family had also just returned from vacation. She also had a humorous story to tell and I thought I would pass it on to you.

Almost everyone has one of the those friends that has been blessed by the material god and has everything; beautiful house, gorgeous yard, highest tech electronics, the newest innovations in appliances, nearly new cars, etc. etc.

If you don’t have one of these friends, you probably are that friend.

So this friend of mine, normally very organized, somehow forgot to secure the hot tub cover on their outdoor jacuzzi. At some point a group of neighborhood teens had thought it would be fun to sneak an illegal dip into my friend’s hot tub.

She’s not sure which kids it was but as they live in a close knit community she’s pretty sure she knows them or their parents. Anyway, either the teens didn’t bother putting the cover back on at all or animals somehow knocked it off. All my friend knows for sure is that raccoons had been using the water in the jacuzzi for drinking, swimming, washing food, whatever.

How doesn’t she know this? Because when she and her family arrived home, they found a family of raccoons surrounding her hot tub! The funnest thing is that one of them was floating around on his back as if he was taking his own vacation! Needless to say I’m sure next time they leave on vacation, she will make sure the hot tub cover is secure.

The way she told this story had me laughing hard enough to make my face turn red. Do you have a funny vacation story that you would like to share?

Leave a comment and let us know.

May 13th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

What Was The Worst Job You Ever Had….?

Let’s be honest, we’ve all had those jobs. Usually as teenagers for the summer but not always. Now I’ve had my share of lousy jobs, and I’ve had some jobs I almost enjoyed. I worked in an ice cream shop for a couple of weekends and that was a lot of fun (plus break time was delicious.) I had several jobs as a dishwasher and never really minded those. Then I worked in retail and soon realized that retail jobs could easily replace prison as a form of criminal punishment.

Once my third child was born, my husband and I decided that it would be best for me to stay home. Of course we all know what happened to the economy and before my youngest was potty-trained, I knew I had to find a way to bring some money into the house. So, like many stay-at-home moms, I turned to the Internet.

First to Ebay, I sold everything that was worth anything in my house (that I didn’t want anyway). Then I turned to trying to learn about buying things cheap and selling them for a profit on Ebay. To put it simply, this was not something I was good at. After some further research I discovered something called a Trading Assistant, someone who sold on Ebay for other people who didn’t have the time, expertise or desire to sell for themselves.

I got a couple of clients, only one had anything worth selling and I managed to make a decent living for a summer doing that. Unfortunately, it wasn’t practical for me to do with a toddler in tow. So I shut up shop and went back to the search engines for job opportunities. By sheer luck I stumbled across writing opportunities.

Years ago, in another life by which I mean high school, I had enjoyed writing and had often been told that I was pretty good at it. As a young mother with two babies and no car I had  tried to write a novel a couple of times….with no luck at all. I even signed up for a correspondence course in Writing For Children and Teenagers which I completed with mostly positive comments from my “teachers”.

So….writing on the Internet. Well what did I have to lose. I sent in some samples to some people looking for writers and sat back. I never expected to be “hired” so quickly or to suddenly be swamped with work. And while I wasn’t rolling in the dough, I was certainly making enough to help make ends meet for my family.

And then, before too long, I figured out that I had the worst job ever. Not only did editors keep increasing and increasing the amount of work, the subject matter was mind-numbingly boring. I’ll never forget the two weeks straight that I had to write 25 different 300-word articles on barcode scanners. I’m sorry whoever out there got those articles but there just isn’t that much to say about barcode scanners.

So that’s my worst job story. I would love to hear yours so leave a comment.

May 10th, 2010 at 11:42 am

A Better Way To Find A Job Online

Although I usually blog about starting your own business or being self-employed I realize it isn’t for everyone. So what should you do if you’re interested in finding a new job or entering a new career world?

Yesterday I came across a job search site, Beyond.com. Usually job search engines don’t impress me much but I found this one so easy to use that I thought I would share it with those of you looking for a job and coming up empty elsewhere.

The things I liked best about Beyond were the ease of searching. Any job title you can think of, they’ll find jobs to match it. I received many job listings for each career I looked up; writer, coach, chemical analyst, and manager.

Also the job listings were very detailed and easy to understand. Job requirements were spelled out and applying for the job was an easy task. Lastly, and my favorite part, is the personal portfolio Beyond lets you create and post, even print if you want.

With tons of resources, job opportunities, and an easy user-friendly navigation I would have to say Beyond.com is one of the best ways online to find a job.

May 5th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

You Wouldn’t Believe Why The Cops Were Called On My Son While I Was Away…

I know. That title isn’t great but I promise the story makes up for it.

A couple of weeks ago most of my family went to Florida on vacation during the school break. My less-than-a-month-from-seventeen year old son decided to stay home. After much consideration, conversation, and instruction we decided it would be all right for him to stay.

Before we left, myhusband and I asked a few neighbors to keep an eye on the place.

We were gone for about a week and I talked to my son every night that he was supposed to be at our house (he spent a couple of days at his dads) and everything seemed to be going smoothly.

until the night before we were coming home. During our scheduled nightly curfew call, he mentioned that the police had been called to the house earlier that evening.

Not what a mother wants to hear

Then he told me the whole story…..

For Christmas my son’s friend got a new t.v. and gave his old one to my son, Damien. That’s just the way him and his friends are, always giving each other stuff.

Since the beginning of the year Damien has really gotten interested in playing guitar. He got it into his mind to sell his XBox 360 in order to buy a new electric acustic guitar. Thinking he wouldn’t be needing his t.v. anymore he offered it to another friend.

So off the two kids go, rolling Damien’s t.v.  to his friend’s house on an old AV cart we had hanging around. In retrospect, not the smartest thing they’ve ever decided, but still not criminal.

Things didn’t start going wrong until they got to his friend’s house. For some reason, the friend’s father was convinced that the boys had stolen the television. Granted, it was a television on an AV cart and we live only three minutes away from a school. So I can kinda see where he was coming from. Anyway he completely freaks and tells the two of them to get that “hot” stuff out of his house.

So Damien and his friend turn around and start rolling the t.v. back to my house. They were in the process of bringing the television back into my son’s room when the police showed up. Someone (the father) had reported the boys and the “stolen” t.v.

The police listened to the boys story, wrote down the serial number of the television, and left. I never heard anything from the police at all.

So my son had the house to himself for a week and the cops get called on him for ….being a generous friend. I have to say that considering all the various reasons the police could be called on my son, that’s the one I would pick if I had to choose.

How many moms can say they are proud of the reason the cops were looking for their kid?

On a side note, the neighbors were watching the whole police scene from inside and talking to each other on cell phones trying to decide whether or not to call my husband and me. I can just picture them peeking out their windows, on phones, saying “Should we call them? Should we call them?”. In the end they decided to give my son the chance to do the right thing and tell us first.

Which, of course, he did.

April 6th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Time For Spring Cleaning…Blogger Style!

» by in: General

Not only am I focusing on spring cleaning my home, I’m getting out the old online polishing cloth (not a real thing) and giving my online ventures a good old-fashioned once over. I plan on getting rid of broken links, updating advertiser info (such as Amazon which no longer pays affiliates in the Rhode Island area), updating biographical information and add pictures or ads before each post. I hope by the end I will be able to go forward and focus more on my priority project of setting up a life and career coaching service.

Let me know how your spring cleaning is going as well as any special tips you have for making any kind of major cleaning more successful.

April 2nd, 2010 at 6:40 am

Clearing Up Misconceptions Of Adult ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is well known due to the dramatically increasing number of children diagnosed with it in the last twenty years. My son was one of those children. He was diagnosed with ADD about seven years ago. My niece was also diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder only a couple of years ago.

Some people say it is over-diagnosed at least and often misdiagnosed at worst. Critics say that kids are just being kids and it is the parents and teachers who don’t want to “deal” with them. Even when people agree that ADD exists, they don’t agree on what should be done to treat it. Some think medication teamed with cognitive behavioral therapy is the best option while others prefer an all-natural approach.

And all of that controversy has been brewing over children being diagnosed with ADD. Yet more and more adults are also finding that they suffer from the disorder. It is an unfortunate truth that most people have a very specific idea of what someone with ADD acts like – hyper, moving all the time, distracted, uninterested and impulsive. While it is true that children with Attention Deficit Disorder have a harder time focusing and can act out in impulsive ways, they are often very intelligent, highly creative and determined in their pursuits.

I remember one teacher telling me that my son “just didn’t care” about his schoolwork. Nothing could have been further from the truth. He cared very much, he just couldn’t….he just couldn’t. That’s what happens with a child is found to have ADD.

When an adult is diagnosed with ADD the jokes begin, people look at you with skepticism, and some don’t believe it at all. I was diagnosed with Adult ADD last autumn and believe it when I say it’s been an enlightening experience. Before a diagnoses could be made, my doctor asked me a bunch of questions and suggested that I pick up a certain book to read. The doctor asked my to pay special attention to whether  I felt like I could relate to the case studies; if they sounded like my life to me.

Well I was skeptical to say the least. After all I had done well in school as a child and no one had ever suggested that I had any problems focusing or paying attention. However while I was reading  the book, “Driven to Distraction” by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D. I came across a list of suggested diagnostic criteria for ADD in adults. I was surprised at some of the behaviors on the list. Some of them weren’t at all what I would think of when thinking about ADD.

In order for a diagnosis of ADD to be considered, a person should display at least fifteen of the following on a consistent basis which impacts on their life.

Here are the twenty behaviors/characteristics:

  1. A sense of underachievement, of not meeting one’s goals. A feeling of “I just can’t get my act together.”
  2. Difficulty getting organized – more so than most people and in a way that seriously impacts their life.
  3. Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started.
  4. Many projects going simultaneously; trouble following through.
  5. Tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark.
  6. A frequent search for high stimulation – always on the lookout for something novel, different, engaging.
  7. An intolerance of boredom – more like an extreme hatred of boredom.
  8. Easy distractibility, trouble focusing, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or conversation, often coupled with the ability to hyperfocus at times.
  9. Often creative, intuitive, highly intelligent – obviously not a symptom but a noteworthy trait of adults with ADD.
  10. Trouble in going through established channels or following “proper” procedure – this stems from boredom and frustration with doing routine things.
  11. Impatient; low tolerance for frustration.
  12. Impulsive, either verbally or in action, as in impulsive spending of money, changing plans, or starting new careers or jobs.
  13. Tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly. Tendency to scan the horizon looking for something to worry about. This is a perfect example of a behavior I would never have attributed to ADD.
  14. Sense of insecurity. Chronically, no matter how stable their situation is.
  15. Mood swings especially when disengaged from a person or project. Adults with ADD, more than children, are prone to unstable moods.
  16. Restlessness – usually adults don’t display the full-blown hyperactivity that you see in children with the disorder. Instead you’ll see fidgeting, “nervous energy”
  17. Tendency toward addictive behavior
  18. Chronic problems with self-esteem – Adults with ADD tend to feel defective no matter how much success they have achieved.
  19. Inaccurate self-observation – People with ADD do not accurately gauge the impact they have on other people. They usually see themselves as less effective or powerful than other people do. **This has been one of my major problems. For years people told me that I was a good writer and I thought they were crazy. When I first applies for freelance writing jobs, I was shocked that I got hired as often. Then I was amazed every time one of my employers would compliment my work.
  20. Family history of ADD or manic-depressive illness or depression or substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood.

Only fifteen needed for a diagnosis. I currently display 18 out of the 20. My doctor prescribed medication but drugs alone aren’t going to allow me to get where I need and want to be. Therefore I have to focus on mindfully changing my behaviors. Meanwhile I want to spread more accurate information about adult ADD.

If you are interested in more information on ADD in adults or children or how to diagnosis and treat ADD, here are some resources”

Helpguide.org

Wikipedia – Adult attention deficit hyperactive disorder

Adult ADD.info




April 1st, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Fabjobs.com Helps You Find Your Dream Job

There are so many people selling ebooks online and so many of them are just rehashed junk or so common sense that they are nearly useless. It is hard to know who’s offering useful information and who is just peddling trash.

Well I’ve found one website selling career guide ebooks (printed copies are available as well) that not only deliver what they promise…they over-deliver.

Fabjobs.com sells in depth ebooks about how to be….well almost anything. The topics offered vary from virutal assistant to cartoonist to wine shop owner. They have been selling online for more than ten years and I have personally bought at least half a dozen guides. I have always been impressed with how much information they offer and how easy it is to understand the content.

Many, if not most, of the careers Fabjobs write about do not require any special schooling or degrees. The guides are written by actual experts in the fields with short bios of the authors at the start of the book. Not only do the guides talk about what knowledge and skills go into each career but also how to start a business, market that business and succeed in that business. Additionally you’ll receive sample form templates that will be helpful if you decide to start a business in that field.

Each guide is usually about 200-300 pages long (at least the ones I’ve bought) and is downloaded as a pdf file readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can preview a short sample of the ebook before you decide to buy and each guide comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you don’t find the content meets your expectations, Fabjobs.com will refund your money.

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