Friday, December 19, 2008

PayPal

So I have been selling stuff that I have had in storage on ebay for the past couple of months. I have had such great success with buying off ebay for the past couple of years that I thought it would be fun and exciting to try my hand at selling. Wow! Did I create an uproar. The first month was fine and then the "Must Upgrade" emails started. I was not sure what was happening. I called PayPal....my trusted source for SO MANY purchases to ask what was going on and was told that it was ebay's policy that if I was going to sell on ebay, I needed to be able to accept ALL forms of payment. That didn't make sense to me....
I had already sold four items on ebay the previous month without "upgrading" anything....what the heck were they talking about???? You mean I wasn't accepting all forms of payment? I thought that was what my PayPal account was for? How am I to know either way... sellers do not receive buyers pay information other than PayPal's notation of cash payment or credit payment. I mean that's the whole draw of PayPal is that buyers can spend money securely. There's no REAL verification for sellers to have proof the credit card fee being charged is real. Wow! Was I confused. After receiving two emails entitled, "ebay Recurring Monthly Seller Fees" within a week of each other (and it was clear based on the amounts that these statements were not duplicates), I decided to give PayPal another call.

I explained to the PayPal representative (Shirvin?) everything that I understood...which wasn't much. I actually thought that a PayPal account was a PayPal account. I didn't know there were different fee structures for different "levels" of accounts. Below is what I learned, how I changed my listings on ebay as they stand now, and a little message that I'm hoping a "mucky-muck" at PayPal will read.
Ebay listing notation:

*** Please note that I have just downgraded my paypal account (12-19-08) to a personal account from a premier business account due to paypal fee structures. If your paypal account is set up to pay for items you are buying with a credit card, I will no longer accept this type of paypal transaction. I WILL, however, be able to accept a paypal payment if your paypal account is set up to pay for items you are purchasing with your bank account/cash transfer. Please be aware that when paying through paypal, both credit card and bank account information is never given to sellers. Your payment protection and all paypal guarantees are still in effect. If your paypal account is set up for credit card payment only, please contact me and we can make other payment arrangements to ensure speedy delivery of your purchase. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I just found out the following as it applies to sellers:

* Paypal Personal Account Holders: Cannot receive more than
$500/month revenue
Do not get charged for any
cash payments or money
transfers
*Paypal Premier Business Account Holders: Can receive unlimited
money revenue
Get charged the same rate
for EVERY transaction
regardless of type of
payment (cash, money
transfers & credit card).

For more information regarding my reasons for downgrading my paypal account, please visit my blog entitled Paypal at http://www.funandmentalchanges.com/.


My own observation: Paypal is shooting themselves in the foot! It seems that there is a greater income level with the premier account if EVERYONE were accepting credit card payments.... more opportunity to receive credit card transactions (and actually receive a "cut" of something big).... why would paypal charge for cash transactions on these accounts? I am NOT a businessperson and do not receive more than $500 of revenue/month. It makes sense to me NOT to accept credit card payments and save the transaction fee. Of course, because I downgraded due to this discriminatory practice, Paypal will make that much less from me. Because once I reach my $500 threshold for the month, I will just change the method of payment I accept for the rest of the month to money order. Sorry that you all are having to read this from my ebay listing....but this is the information that you WILL NOT get from the paypal.com website. They just tell you, "If you wanna sell on ebay, you need to accept ALL forms of payment." That is VERY shady in my book and I want others to know. While paypal provides an amazing service to consumers (I have LOVED it for years), they really should speak to an economist. Simple common sense tells you that "business owners" make up less than 10% and regular consumers make up the remaining 90%. But paypal does not charge the 90% for cash transactions, and DO charge the 10% causing the 10% to downgrade therefore losing a huge potential for revenue. Paypal: you should not charge transaction fees at all for cash transactions. By giving up this fee, you will make more money simply by design. With unlimited revenue potential on the premier business account, there is SURE to be FAR MORE credit card transactions and far less "downgrades". Simple math 10% getting charged 3.9% on 100% transactions or 100% getting charged 3.9% on credit card transactions only (plastic IS the preferred form of payment). Why not let FREE Cash Transactions be a "perk" for everyone? You will end up having FAR MORE people (like myself who are NOT business people... you know, the 90%) signing up for the Premier Business PayPal account opening up the posibility of a DOWNPOUR of credit card transactions and HUGE revenue for yourselves (even if EVERY person did only 1 credit card transaction, PayPal would capture the 90% AND the 10% business owners. Income for everyone would skyrocket and EVERYONE would be signing up for the PayPal Premier). I may not be a genius, but even I can clearly see how the current fee structure is hurting business mainly for PayPal. Seriously... I'm gonna stop babbling now. I hope you all understand about PayPal what took me days to understand. A special thanx to the PayPal representative Shirvin for helping me to understand after I called and said, "Someone needs to walk me through this and MAKE me understand."

A little side bar on the paypal premier business account: Transaction fees may be a "business deduction". Please speak with your tax attorney/tax accountant for eligibility. However, whether or not you are operating with the paypal premier business account doesn't determine a business qualification for such purposes. If you are not earning that $500 + per month, you may not be considered a business to deduct these expenses even IF you've been utilizing this (so called) upgraded business paypal account. I have finally figured out why I am not a millionaire yet.... I'm too smart. Apparently I need to work on being completely devoid of common sense then maybe, just maybe, I can be the one in charge. I DO look pretty snappy in my suit... I'm halfway there!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Nail Epic

So, as some may or may not know, I am working on trying to master caring for my own nails after my economic situation has required me to cancel my standing nail appointment with the "Amazing Alison". I have realized just how hard a job it is! My nails were in dreadful shape after having fake nails for so many years. I have battled brittle nails, peeling nails, polishing issues....you name it, and I suffer with it.

The first was the peeling of the nail layers right after the fake nails were first removed. I attempted to "strengthen" them with nail strengthening products such as OPI's Nail Envy. I found out that strength was not what I was needing because that led to my nails being so "strong", they would break with the slightest pressure since the Nail Envy did nothing to help with the nail's flexibility to give without breaking. I then ordered Nail Aid which I STILL use as a basecoat (this product is still my number one!).

The polish issues, more specifically BUBBLING, are still present. I haven't figured out how to polish my nails to the mirror finish like I always got when I visited the Amazing Alison, so I call her. She informed me that my nails need to be clean and the brush cannot be too dry nor too coated when applying the polish. Also, she said that the polish needs to be set up between coats and that natural nails take longer to dry. She said that they will NOT be completely dry for 24 hours. I now polish my nails first thing in the morning, and find that, for me, splitting up my coats gives me better end results. I have split it up between two days (I wish I could do it all in one day, but I just can't without seeing bubbles). The first day I do the first two coats, the second day the last two to three depending on what color I've chosen.
So there you have it! My progress so far. I have a VERY long way to go in mastering this, but I've also learned that after fake nails, the only thing that fixes your nails is time (and in the case of polish....lots and lots of practice). There is no miracle product to fix the problem, but there are some pretty good tips and products to help mask it. Good luck to everyone out there and if you have any tips to pass along....PLEASE do!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spiritual Beings in the Human Experience

So yesterday's blog was kind of a "downer". And just when I think that I am not going to find my "silver lining", the silver lining finds me. As I was flipping through the channels this morning I paused on a local morning program. I love it when that happens! When you see something you normally wouldn't look at or you hear something that "sticks" and you have no idea why, just to find out down the road that it was exactly what you needed to see or hear to help you in the knick of time.
Well this was it! The featured show guest was Mindy Mendelsohn speaking about our divine connection and how we are choosing to act and what part of us is influencing our decisions. To really look at what decisions we are making from moment to moment and what is REALLY influencing those decisions certainly boggles the mind. But I also think it gets us closer to really knowing ourselves...the real us inside this skin. Clearly my post from yesterday was getting in touch with my human-self worried about the state of our government, economy, my bills and affording this Christmas holiday. Like so many out there, I am finding my focus going toward the negative instead of realizing all the positive around me (something I thought I was so good at!). Mindy's appearance on that program this morning really brought me back to what I believe is important. I cannot feel bad enough to change a thing, but I CAN feel good enough and move mountains. I think that is important this holiday season. I somehow forgot that I believe an attitude of gratitude can literally save my life. Mindy....thank you for putting me in check! Ordinary people who do extraordinary things in spite of the circumstances they are faced with....THAT is the topic of my next blog, because we ALL have that opportunity right now. I think we all should check out Mindy's site to help us turn around this holiday season.

Resources Sponsor ----> http://tinyurl.com/ojco7q "Learn To Study The Bible"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Can't Find the "Good" In This One

This economy is HURTING so many people. You are hearing it on the news and even in my day to day, talking to people who are getting downsized and jobs being cut. It is unbelievable to think about the "chain reaction" of things. Gas prices effects food prices. Loss of housing effects the spending that ultimately effects businesses that effects future jobs....the list goes on and on. I spoke to someone yesterday who is in the medical field. People are not spending money on health care because they can't even afford to keep their houses....my heart is broken. Why, oh why, did our government choose to "bail out" all those banks when the people who put the money IN the banks need the "bailing out". Our government chose (ignoring "the people's" voice) to bail out the minority when the minority is dependent on the majority to spend the money they now have even less of because we are funding the bail out of the minority. That sounds to me like a never ending vicious cycle.

How do these people get in power? How is it that the people with the least amount of common sense wear the snappiest suits and get to override the voice of the people they are supposed to SERVE? In any other walk of life, they would be put on trial and made to pay for their crimes.
Isn't that the very reason we just exterminated Sadam Husain? He was hurting the people he was supposed to govern. Instead of governing, he was controlling. Isn't that what our government is doing? And not even discretely!

As I personally am trying to take a financial inventory in preparation for this Christmas season, it occurs to me that my silver lining is clouded this time. I am so disappointed in what we've allowed our government to become. I really just want to cash out retirements (if there is anything left) and move overseas, some place quiet and unassuming where the government openly controls without the smoke and mirror and facade that is our democracy. The only difference is that in America we have rights that we are choosing not to fight for (and clearly we still need to). We are currently fighting for other's right to choose while abandoning our own. WE are allowing our government to ruin us. How much more will have to occur before we decide that enough is enough and take it back. Someone said on a blog recently..."it's time for another tea party." I'll bring the cakes!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS!

YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS

So, for those of you familar with "Chili Cookoff"....this is chili cookoff funny!

Visit: TheBeautyBrains.com

It is a blog post about UV polish drying on the nail and safety. The post isn't what's funny, but the thread made me laugh so hard I think I peed a little. It was that freakin funny! And just like "Chili Cookoff" the more I read, the harder I laughed! I couldn't get air in, tears were running down my face.....I was laughing so hard!
I originally found this site while browsing photo images on Google for UV nail lamps to attach to a Christmas List for my husband when I ran across this pic and HAD to see where it came from. I'm so glad I did. That was just soooo much fun. Everyone needs to check it out....seriously!

New Shoes

So I saw something on MySpace yesterday that cracked me up and also made me think.

"Don't criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you will be a mile away AND will have their shoes."

So ok! That is HILARIOUS! But more importantly, what a great attitude to have. I mean, we ALL pre-judge others before first getting to know them or their situation. It's the ones of us who allow that initial "first impression" about another person, their decisions or behavior to keep us from "connecting" who really buy in to the negativity of the first impression. That is really all criticism does. It hurts you MORE than it hurts the other person. At it's very essence, the definition of criticism is: to find fault. How do we get to a place where we can take it one step further? In a world where we are judging this or judging that, and usually in a negative light (as the very definition is "to find negative"), to judge a person or their behavior AFTER we've attempted to connect with them? What makes them tick? What was behind their behavior? All people really want is to be loved and accepted.....what strings are you attaching by judging them before walking a mile in their shoes? What relationships have you deprived yourself of because you couldn't go beyond the judgement? A lesson that is not lost on anyone who volunteered their time this holiday season (i.e. homeless shelter, etc.).
I've been hearing Paolo Nutini's New Shoes A LOT lately (dang it!), but if I were looking for a song to fit this theme....you know, changing your mind....I would definitely say it's worth hearing. And I say..."walk that mile in another's shoes". If you don't think that a pair of shoes can change your life, go have a talk with Cinderella! HA!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Serious Protection

Living in Arizona for the past 14 years has taught me a few things. One of those is that sunscreen is a MUST, but I have also discovered that sunscreens you buy on the market contain many chemicals that can be harmful to your health. So you get protection from the sun, so that you don't develop cancer, only to get cancer from the stuff in the protection.... doesn't make sense! What alternative do you have other than to not leave your home (which doesn't help you either because the sun provides vitamin D and boosts your immune system)?

Well, I've got the answer! Try an all-natural, organic sunscreen that will give you protection from more than just the sun. Using it will also keep you from poisoning yourself. Hahahahaha! That's what I call serious protection.

Got Support?

This is the blog post as seen on Danielle's MySpace Blog

Got Support?

For those of us on the journey of health and building our bodies, I have found an invaluable resource. PeerTrainer.com is a FREE site with incredible information and support. I hope you all get a chance to check it out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yummy, Yummy, Warm and Fuzzy!

A cold winter's night. You want something warm and yummy. Warm creamy soup? The weight gain the next morning will not be worth the indulgence. What if I told you that there WAS a warm yummy soup that will hit the spot without denting (the cellulite kind)?



While Arizona doesn't see cold winter nights really, it does get to be a little brisk in the evening. Tonight is was 69 degrees and I was searching for the warm and fuzzy feeling. So I searched the kitchen for something that would fit the bill. Coffee? No, I don't like it black and would hate myself for consuming the cream and sugar. Hot cocoa? Nope, same problem there as well. The guilt tomorrow isn't worth warm and fuzzy tonight. Soup! Yep, that's the ticket! But who the heck wants to MAKE soup at this hour of the night? While my VitaMix would certainly whip up a batch of healthy, yummy, make-you-toastie soup in minutes, it would still require prepping the veggies....something I wasn't wanting to do. So I wandered into the kitchen and searched the pantry. Viola! Progresso Soup....the 0 point weight watchers chicken noodle! There it is; warm, fuzzy and guilt free.
This soup has officially become a new staple this winter.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Gift Idea

I just got a Bible cover embroidered and it is BEAUTIFUL. What a great holiday gift idea! This Bible cover design runs about $25 plus tax. My friend Patty of Artic Fox Designs did it....here's what it looks like.

Sorry about the picture quality. The Bible cover is vinyl, so the flash created quite a bit of shine. Without the flash, the pic is blurred. Oh well...what to do?If you would like to get in touch with Patty, feel free to contact her at 480-456-3644. You can also order online at http://www.articfoxdesigns.com/. Her website shows a TON of designs and she can embroider just about any material (I was shocked when she said that she could do vinyl).

Just a little gift idea I thought I would share. Happy gift shopping!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Way To Go God!

I actually wrote this some time back, but am just now posting it. I found it while perusing Romans (thank you sista!) and thought it was very special and wanted to share. I really enjoyed "re-reading" it! I did do a little editing, but for the most part it's the original.

Way to Go God!

It's a funny thing about Matthew chapter 7. I have hung on to verse 7 for a very long time, and in recent review (and knowing verse 7 by heart) verse 11 JUMPED out at me.

Shortly after I was first saved and baptized, a VERY traumatic event took place in my life. To which, I reacted with definitive hatred for God for not answering my prayers (I even tore up a Bible). "Pray God's word" the experts and theologians will tell you.... yah, that's all well and good, but you must first UNDERSTAND his word. And I'm afraid that only time, experience, and in some cases the reading of His word a couple hundred times, will give you that.

So here I am today. Many years have gone by (I'm in much better standing in the God-relationship department) and I STILL read and reread chapter 7 with a little pang in my heart. For as time has passed, and I've experienced God's truly amazing grace, I have just relented to trust Him saying to myself, "I know that he says ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and it shall be opened unto you...(Verse 7)You have experienced how all things work together for good for those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28). While you are still sad that you did not realize what you asked for, what you sought so many years ago...God has his purposes and you are just going to trust him; be grateful. He has clearly blessed you with far more than you lost." But why didn't I receive what I asked for back then? I had hung on to verse 7 for so long. Yes, I have read ALL of chapter 7.... more than once. But honestly I never really heard anything beyond verse 7 for many, many years. My wishful brain had burned that scripture into my head following that horrific and wonderfully blessed event, that I have been blinded to what His word really says only remembering how deeply I had prayed verse 7. Here is verse 11 in Matthew chapter 7. Let's see if YOU can see what I had missed for far too long. Why it's coming to light now.... hahahahaha...only God knows.

Matthew 7:11 - If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

It's a funny thing about "good things" and God-only omnipotence. More times than not, we don't know if something (a decision, a person, an event) is good or bad until after we have made it through the windfall. And then after the "smoke clears" if it was good we know it was from God. If it was bad we know it wasn't, but God promises that if we stick with Him it will work together for good.

Well! A couple of things to note based on this epiphany:
A) God is DEFINITELY male.
1) When things work out right, leave it to a man to say, "Yah, I planned it that way."
2) When things go wrong, leave it to a man to say, "I can fix it."
B) You really couldn't ask for a better win-win.
1) If things go great, you're blessed.
2) If things "go to hell" you're blessed. Nice!

Sounds like God's the way to go! All these years, I put "blame" on God for me hearing only part of the message. I have spent a good many years (yes...I said that already, but it's THAT important...hahahaha) carrying this around. Oh, I've had good intentions. I realized very quickly that God was as wonderful as everyone said he was on my trip to AZ (I'll blog about that some day), but there was always just something in my heart....a little resentment I guess for not being given what I believed he promised. To find out now, that all along I was mistaken. He really did give me the good thing I asked for. Funny thing is, he gave it to me THROUGH that traumatic event! I really am very lucky. And I do trust Him. And I'm VERY grateful!

Resources Sponsor ----> http://tinyurl.com/ojco7q "Learn To Study The Bible"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Mountain and the Molehill

So why is it that men just don't get it? Women need to vent! When we start ranting about this issue or that issue (and usually the issue is of NO consequence either way), we just want to be heard. When men begin adding instructions on how to fix this or that, or try to explain why this or that has occurred, it is interpreted as opposition when all we wanted was an open ear, acceptance and understanding. It is then that the smallest issues become an argument. And guys, the argument in and of itself IS NOT the issue at all....rather, it's us women not feeling support and understanding. "Everything's gonna be alright" and "I understand completely" go a long way. And why can't my mountain (that I completely know is a molehill to you) be a mountain? Even for the 5 minutes it takes to vent....

What if every time ANYONE talked to you about ANYTHING your response was always, "it's no big deal. Why do you have to make it a big deal"? How many people would RUN to talk to you about anything? Is that what YOU would like to hear every time YOU wanted to vent about an issue? And sometimes the issue being vented about isn't even a mountain at all....until, that is, you make the mistake of telling the other person that their making a mountain out of a molehill. Suddenly your lack of inter-personally connecting is now a mountain.

This post isn't so much about funandmental changes....or is it? I'm going to have to put that one on the back burner.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm LOVIN it!

For quite some time I have been focusing on my diet. My husband's physical therapist recommended a diet that was PACKED with fiber, fruit, vegetables, and lean mean.... all the good stuff. Unfortunately, this diet was very hard to stick to because it was the same food over and over. That led to me looking for recipes that I could substitute some of the meals with on this very wonderful (but boring) diet.
** A quick note: it was a wonderful way to start changing the way I eat! Let me know if anyone would like a copy of it. It has a full 2 week eating plan. No guess work. What you need to eat is outlined daily.

I first grabbed my "old standby".... Eating For Life (Click here for link to Amazon.com). This book is FULL of terrific recipes that are very easy to make, but lacked in the amount of vegetables that the previously mentioned diet included. Then I found it! Volumetrics! This book is fantastic. I am including the Amazon link as well as a blog link so that you can all see what the excitement is about. This diet is rated the "top diet" by consumer reports and I know why! With all the vegetables and fruit that you are consuming...you can't help but get healthy! I'm LOVIN it!

Amazon Link for Volumetrics
Volumetrics blog link

It's Always the Little Things!

I have been working out pretty regularly lately and found that motivation to get the gym in the morning was slowly declining. Why is that? Well for me it was the fact that I do not eat breakfast for an hour after my first workout in the morning so the time it takes to get ready, get to the gym and then complete the workout is the difference between feeling good and feeling famished! So upon waking I found myself not very motivated to get up and get ready, but rather wander to the kitchen for something to eat. Well, that was until I found that "little" thing that turned it all around. Fake hair!

That's right....fake hair! I can't believe it either! More correctly named faux hairstyles, these things let you clip and go! I can't tell you how ecstatic I was after I bought this and found out how beautiful it looked on. It looks like I spent an hour on my hair at 5:00 a.m.

I purchased Toni Brattin's fake hair and it has saved my life! You can find her hair products at http://www52.hsn.com/toni-brattins-beauty-secrets_c-bs_a-161_xc.aspx?gs=&sz=2&prev=hp&ccm=BS. I purchased the can-do combs and those suckers STAY PUT when I'm working out. It only requires 1 minute to put my hair in a pony tail and then pop it in. I don't even need a mirror (usually clipping it in on my way to the gym). When I get to the gym I feel good....put together....energized to do my workout. I have found getting up in the morning and heading to the gym is soooooo much easier for me. It really is true, when you look good, you feel good.

Now this might not be the thing to get everyone motivated, but this little thing worked for me! I never would have guessed that a piece of fake hair would be the thing to help get me in shape. I wonder what other "little" things will work? But until I find them, I'm grateful for my fake hair.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Making Changes

So A LOT has happened in my life over the course of one short year. A lot to be grateful for with Thanksgiving fast approaching, even though the economy is struggling and my employment has s l o w e d. I have found that, as of late, I have had a ton of time to devote to....ME. I am going to the gym 5-6 days a week, attended Bible studies, and have actually read books (instead of the audio books I'm so used to). My husband is digging it as well since he is seeing me energetic and happy.....the home cooked meals he comes home to every day helps too! :)

Anyway, with all the bad going on in the world today...I thought it was time to start focusing on the good even if we have to vent the bad. Let's Rock and Roll!