Top Ten Awesome Things About Being A Work At Home Mom
November 10, 2009 by Sherry Dedman · 2 Comments
Filed under: WAHM 

Being a work at home mom has its challenges and drawbacks, but for the most part, it’s really the best job I’ve ever had. Here are my top ten reasons why being a WAHM is awesome!

10. I can load & start the dishwasher on my morning break
 9. I can easily work “overtime” after the kid goes to bed
 8. If a procedure or policy isn’t working, I can change it without going through any red tape
 7. My watercooler is Twitter :) (Shout out to my Twitter Peeps!)
 6. I can listen for the mailman, then go get any checks from clients out of the mailbox, take them to the bank, run a few errands and get lunch to bring home
 5. I can do my work at Starbucks for a few hours if I want to
 4. I can start dinner cooking on my afternoon break
 3. I can go pick up my son if he is sick at school without apologizing and genuflecting all over the place to boss & co-workers, then just make up the work later that day
 2. I’m there to do my son’s homework with him the instant he gets home from school
 1. Including what would otherwise be commute time and times when he is off school for holidays, teacher days etc., I probably get to spend an average of 20 hours per week more with my son than I would if I worked full time in an office!

Those are some great reasons – my top 10. I really think this arrangement allows a much more even balance to work/family, something that women, especially, struggle with.

What are your reasons for why you love being a Work At Home Mom or why you would like to? Leave me a comment & let’s talk about it! :)

5 Resources For Work At Home Moms
November 4, 2009 by Sherry Dedman · Leave a Comment
Filed under: WAHM Resources 

As a Work At Home Mom, I find myself in need of certain things usually only available if you work in an office or have a lot of extra capital to work with. I have to keep my overhead as low as possible just to stay afloat, so I use free online resources wherever I can.

Here are five resources that I virtually could not work without, in no particular order. (I am not affiliated with any of these sites or resources.)

1. PDF OnlinePDF Online is a free, online PDF convertor. I use it for creating PDF files of Word documents that I want to be “static” (unchangeable by the person receiving it), such as business proposals, contracts, etc. I also use it when I need to sign a document and send it back to someone. I sign the document, scan it, save it as a jpg, and then use PDF Online to convert it to a pdf file and e-mail it back to the party who needs it. It’s intuitive, easy to use and I’ve found it to be very reliable.

2. Google Docs – I use Google Docs primarily for creating invoices. There are many templates to choose from, you can archive all your old invoices and you can export it as a pdf file for easy sending to the client. There is also a document sharing feature you can use when you need to share a large number of documents with a client or vice-versa.

3. AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) – I use AOL Instant Messenger for consulting and communicating with clients about projects. I don’t hear very well on the phone, and chatting online is often easier than a phone conversation anyway, because you often need to check a file or a part of the site or an online resource. It’s really easy to just shoot someone a link or a file while chatting online with them, and it also creates a “to do” list to refer to so that I don’t forget anything after the conversation is over.

4. WordPressWordPress, of course, is especially key to my business, since blog and WordPress Help is 98% of my business. Even if it weren’t, I would still build my website using WordPress because of its extensibility, expandability, blogging capabilities, plugins and built-in SEO readiness. It makes creating and updating a website so much easier, and makes interaction with clients and potential clients that much easier through comments, contact forms, etc.

5. Email – Email might sound like a given, but it all depends on how you use your e-mail. Utilized correctly, your inbox can help you be more organized, efficient and save you time. I use my inbox like a “to-do list.” I make sure that clients outline each task they want me to do in e-mail so that a) I can give an accurate estimate and b) make sure each item they want completed is done. Additionally, outlining projects via e-mail creates a “paper trail” if there are ever any conflicts or questions about what was to be done, when it was to be done, etc. It’s a CYA kind of thing. I personally make sure to get an e-mail with what the client wants done in their own words in an email from them to me.

That’s it. Five online resources for this Work At Home Mom. I hope this list comes in handy for someone else as well. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

Dead Car Battery + iPhone + Twitter = 1 Weird Hour
August 29, 2009 by Sherry Dedman · 3 Comments
Filed under: Twitter 

Twitter Car Battery Saga

Twitter Car Battery Saga

It’s always fun to pop into the grocery store for four minutes, then come back out, get in your car, turn, the key, and hear “click, click, click, click…” Oh boy, dead battery. Better call AAA! That’s what happened to me the other day. Only I didn’t just call the number on the card and sit and wait.

I do have AAA, but I didn’t have my card with me that day, so I used the Safari web browser on my iPhone to look up the phone number. I called and reported my location, etc. Then while I was waiting, I Twittered!

But not just about random stuff. I asked if anyone knew how much car batteries run these days. I was pretty sure I needed a new one, but I hadn’t bought one in a long time. The AAA representative on the phone said that the person they were sending out could test my battery and sell me a new one and replace it for me if I wanted. I thought that was a pretty cool deal as long as I could be sure I wouldn’t be gouged!

I got helpful replies from @enjaysauce, @HaDAk and even @AAAauto. @enjaysauce and @HaDAk told me about how much they run, which I really wanted to know right at that moment. And @AAAauto told me a tech could test my battery and sell me a new one and install it for me, if I so desired. I already knew that, but it was nice to see them on Twitter, checking in on their members!

When the tech got there he ran some diagnostics and, sure enough, I needed a new battery. There was corrosion on one of the posts, and he said my battery should have lasted longer than it did. Who knows why it didn’t, but it was a goner and needed to be replaced. The corrosion was just a symptom of some bigger problem with the battery.

So he proceeded to change out my battery, but there was a complication. The corrosion had eaten through the contact that attaches to the post of the battery that carries the charge to the engine. So he very carefully peeled off the contact, which he said was breaking in half like carboard (I believe him, I was watching – in fact, here is a picture!)

Totally Grody Corrode-y Car Battery!


Fortunately he had one of those on his truck as well, and was able to replace it without harming any of the wires that go to the contact. It was a little while, but not that long, and he was done!

It was $141.xx for a replacement battery, replacement contact and the labor (which exceeded half an hour, due to the delicate contact-replacement operation). And because of my Twitter-attained knowledge of the price of an average battery these days, I was ecstatic with that amount. I thought it was extrememly reasonable, and I thought the tech did a great job.

To top it off, the tech saw the Blog Solace magnet on the side door of my car (my Vista Print special, which I love), and asked me about it. He said his wife needed a web site and blog built, and he took one of my business cards.

I’d say that was an all-around successful, social media, networking, modern, 21st century car battery replacement experience! Thanks to all my Twitter buddies and the help that day. And thanks to @AAAauto for following up afterwards to make sure everything was taken care of!

Brand New Shiny Twitterific AAA Car Battery!

Static Site Built On WordPress
August 11, 2009 by Sherry Dedman · Leave a Comment
Filed under: WordPress 

I just finished an original site design and built a static site on WordPress for a new client, criminal defense attorney, Jonathan Dichter. I’ve recently honed my design skills, and I am more proud of this site than any I have done in the past. And the fact that it is a static site built on WordPress just makes it that much more of an accomplishment!

Now the site can use all of the SEO plugins available for WordPress installations and is easily updatable. I just ran the Google SiteMap Generator for the first time, linked it in the footer and added the update services. Now Google will be pinged as to the location of the site map and, with any luck, will come visit and crawl the rest of the site very soon!

The next step is integrating a matching WordPress blog to go with the site, for even more SEO success! I think I have him sold on it!

How I Accidentally Started My Own Business & Became A Work At Home Mom
August 5, 2009 by Sherry Dedman · 1 Comment
Filed under: How I Became A Work At Home Mom 

I started my own business, Blog Solace, completely by accident. Actually, I was more *forced* into it than anything else. How? Well, my unique circumstances and special child made becoming a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) a necessity.

SHORT VERSION

I have a developmentally disbaled child who can’t be looked after at places like Kindercare. Specialized care is too expensive, and I am in that special little niche where my income is too high to get any financial help and too low to actually live on, let alone afford any child care at all. So my choices were to either go on welfare or start my own business. I wound up starting my own business with the html/css/WordPress skills I had acquired while blogging and making little web sites for fun was a hobby of mine.

LONG VERSION:

BACKGROUND

I never went to college. Well, I did attend 6 weeks of junior college after I graduated high school. But unfortunately that did nothing more for me other than just give me a *taste* for higher learning. And I did have a strong taste and desire for it! In that short time, I had chosen to take classes like ‘The History of Music in Western Civilization’ which immersed me in wonderful music. And my humanities course concentrated on the arts – I specifically remember Renaissance art and Roman architecture.

But unfortunately I could not continue, due to circumstances beyond my control. So my experience at college had been a big tease! The amazing culture, color, music, and gateway to the world that I was exposed to in that short time, however, whetted my appetite for learning (in a way that high school never did), and I became insatiable for anything that I could learn.

I read literature I felt I should be reading in college, I taught myself advanced composition and writing skills by reading and practicing. I learned everything I could about some things I felt I should know and *many* things I wanted to know. I continue to learn about Florence, Italy and its architecture, Renaissance art, the Medici family, Edgar Allen Poe and more.

But the main thing I taught myself was how to teach myself. How to learn virtually anything I wanted to know simply by honing my curiosity about a subject and applying myself. I became a detective and a forensics specialist, so to speak. I took things apart and put them back together. I immersed, analyzed and absorbed. In other words, I gave myself the ability to learn and do virtually anything I wanted to do in life.

THEN CAME THE INTERNET [READ PART 2]. . .

Launching The SherryDedman.com Blog
December 29, 2008 by Sherry Dedman · 2 Comments
Filed under: General Info 

Hello, welcome to the launch of my blog!  For awhile I had a website here attempting a Web Design service, but I soon learned that straight Web Design was not my thing.  WordPress and backend administration is my thing!  A much different animal.  I am attempting to improve and hone my web design skills, but I don’t think they will ever truly be my forte.  WordPress will always be my love!

This blog will probably reflect most areas of my online life, mostly professional.  The line gets blurred a lot, though, for a lot of reasons.  Clients often become friends, social networking is very social even though it’s used mostly for business networking, and I’m a “Work At Home Mom.”  There will probably be a lot of issues/strategies I can address here that will be interesting to other Mothers attempting to make a go of working from home, so that might be the subject of some of my blog posts.

By way of short introduction, if you don’t know me already, I’m a 41-Year-Old divorced mother of a Developmentally Disabled six-year-old boy and am running my own business (Blog Solace) and living in Bothell, Washington near Seattle.

My business is described as being “expert WordPress help” and I use self-taught, hand-coding skills to manipulate the CSS, XHTML and PHP within the WordPress platform to optimize both static and blogging WordPress sites.  I have vast knowledge of the ins and outs of WordPress and keep up-to-date on its advances, plug-ins, capabilities, updates, etc.  It truly is a passion, and it is not just my job, it’s my hobby.  I truly love what I do.

Please watch this space for my thoughts, insights, queries, and more on WordPress, life online, Twitter, social networking, social marketing (it’s just an interest, I’m no expert), SEO tips (again, not an expert, but I probably know more than the average joe), WAHM posts, and whatever I feel would fit into this space!

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