Category Archives: Career

The Current State of the Job Market


Exercising patience.

I’ve been looking for a job. I do that once in a while, when I have to. I had a very nice holiday season with the Etsy shop, but after January things kind of slow down a bit, until spring.

The natural thing for me to do in this situation is to pick up some more freelance work. So I looked, and almost right away, I got a 30+ hour a week work-from-home job! I couldn’t believe my incredible luck. I AM A POWERFUL CREATOOOOR!

I was immediately inundated with emails from this client, and I felt certain that any financial woes were no more. In the first 3 days, I had produced a new finished logo, and four 25′ signs for the sides of the building. At the end of day 3, I was threatened to be fired if I didn’t speed things up. I was surprised!  Then when I submitted my first invoice, I was asked to cut my price down by 50%, or be fired. After some negotiating I managed to get paid a little. Since then, it’s been two weeks, and the owner has promised me 5 times, with heavy apologies, that “tonight!” he will send me more work. He has not delivered. Uh oh.

I’ve returned to Craigslist, and continue to apply for other design jobs, but there’s only been about 1 or 2 posted, so it’s not looking all that promising.

So I decided to also check out some of the other parts of Craigslist. I am amazed to see that there aren’t a lot of traditional jobs available in my area, however there are a LOT of opportunities for MILFs and models, and MILFs who want to model. Sounds fun!  I don’t want to pose nude (go figure), so I found one that sounded harmless and applied. The ad said I would be a leg model. I have skinny legs!  Upon applying, I was immediately turned down. I was told that despite having nice legs, I didn’t seem passionate enough about leg modeling. Bummer!

The search went on. There was a position open for 15 production assistants for a TV show that was being filmed nearby. This was per-diem work, but it appeared to pay well. I applied, and very quickly received this reply:

“do [sic] to the overwhelming response we regret to say we have filled the position of Production Assistant. We are impressed how ever [sic] with your qualification and qualities over all. So will  make you aware [sic] that we do have another position open for a Promotional Representative.
You would be responsible for helping with autographs sound check helping to regulate who does and does not get into afterpartys etc. This is a full time job with a base pay of 45k annually all travel expenses and hotel will be paid to get you to any event/concert.  [sic]

1. Send us a contact number and the best time for you to be reached
2. Send us a pic (as you will be in the company of celebrities you need to be some kind of attractive)

OOOH! Celebrities!

I was contacted by Dan. He told me that his agency finds attractive, responsible people. When a celebrity visits a random city like mine, they want to appear to have an entourage with them. However, it doesn’t make financial sense for them to fly all their actual friends and staff members out to these cities, so they hire a group of locals to act like total party animals and support their cause.

My first CELEBRITY assignment would be the man who wrote the popular songs “Who Let The Dogs Out”, “Tootsee Roll”, and “Move Bitch, Get Out the Way”. I would receive an itinerary, go to the airport, meet the celebrity at baggage claim (alone), get into a car, and be taken to a hotel. For the next two nights I’d accompany the group to parties, clubs, events, whatever.

This is when Dan told me “you don’t have to be the girl flashing her tits in the limo, but you do have to be the girl encouraging the other girls to flash their tits”.


This is where the job market is right now. I am a 34 year old privileged white women with 2 kids from a farm town, I have 12 years of professional experience and a bachelor’s degree under my belt. I am currently filing for food stamps, while pondering whether or not I want to be encouraging women to flash their tits in limos.

Perhaps a move to another city is in order. In the meantime, this is a good time to write, work, work, work on preparing for the next busy season. And sleep. And eat apple cider donuts.

The Pursuit of Slim -or- Shapewear That Doesn’t Make You Wanna Scream

A couple of years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to get a real, grown up job. One that required me to sit in an office, wear a blazer, and talk to other human beings, unlike the work-at-home job I’d been dealing with (and since, went back to).

The benefits of being gainfully employed did not quite outweigh the drawbacks. And, as a result of the stress, timesuckage, and daily takeout lunches (with a coworker whom I believe I was in competition with to see who could eat the most. Why, I will never know.) I ended up gaining about 20 extra pounds within a few months.

My clothes were too tight, and I really didn’t want to have to buy a whole new wardrobe, since I wasn’t planning to keep that 20 pounds, so I started seriously considering purchasing some type of slimming shapewear, which is a very serious and important decision, indeed.

So, I did a little research and found this gorgeous piece of aesthetic finery!  The fact alone, that I thought this would somehow improve my appearance, is a straightforward testiment to the level of cuckoory that I was experience during my stint as an office professional:


Pure sex.

I wore it one time. It was hot, itchy, it created strange bulges on my thighs and belly, and when I leaned over to pick something up, was noticable to anyone checking for plumber butt (and yes, there were cries of disapproval from my honest-to-a-fault coworkers).

So when I was approached by Leonisa to review their Slimming Control Cami (yay, perks of blogging!), I was curious to see if the above is the type of thing one can expect from their shapewear. So, I put it to the TEST. Since there are all types of women, doing all types of jobs out there, I wore the cami for 12 hours on a day that included sitting at a computer, driving, walking, working in a kitchen, and taking care of children.  The results?

– I like how this cami looks. Unless you’re savvy to these kinds of things, no one would know that it’s shapewear, and not just a simple black tank.

– It’s good for layering under just about anything.

– It doesn’t flatten my chest any more than it already is.

– It didn’t cause me to overheat on an incredibly hot day.

– It’s cut on a nice bias, so it nipped my waist in, and wasn’t so tight that caused any weird blobby bulges.

– It’s comfortable, as long as you don’t mind having to pull it down from time to time, as tight things seem to want to creep themselves up into the smaller parts of your curves.  This was the only drawback for me, but wasn’t a huge problem, and mainly only happened while sitting and driving.

– I have willingly worn it again!

Don't look at the streaky fingerprints on my mirror. Dont.

Don’t look at the streaky fingerprints on my mirror. Dont.

All in all, if you’re looking for a nice, comfy way to give you a more toned looking body on days when you might be feeling a little fluffier than usual, I’d totally recommend this little number. You can check it out HERE

What’s Cookin?

I have not faded away, I am still here, remember me?


Oh my gosh you guys. It’s been a strange couple of months. Strange, wonderful, and eye opening. Turns out, starting a new business, when you’re already working full time, takes up a lot of your energy. Who knew? It’s been really wonderful though, and it feels good to be challenged by new things.

So, what’s new? Well, the Etsy shop is steady. I’ve done a few local events as a vendor, and it was amazing to get out into the world (away from the computer, whah?) and talk to real people. People who are interested in the same things as I am. People…who want to give me money! Wow! What a concept…

So, this is a short and sweet post. But I just wanted to say hi, and also welcome all the people who are taking part in Allie’s link parties. I am so excited to be getting a chance to know all of these other talented bloggers. Life is good!

Also I wanted to mention, there are going to be a few giveaways from a couple of different vendors coming up in the next month, so stay tuned, this is stuff you will LOVE!


So… Frankincense.


Last week I was in Pennsylvania to be on Good Day Fox Philly with Allie, which was surreal, and more on that another day. In between filming segments, I was going on and on about Frankincense essential oil, which I’ve been doing a lot of lately, and yes, I was getting some eye rolls because my claims are a little out there. When I’m in PA, everyone thinks I’m this big hippie, which is funny, because my hippie friends in CT think I’m the most mainstream person in their lives.

But, I don’t care, the stuff has literally been life changing for me, and I don’t claim to be sane.

So, what’s so great about this stuff? Let me tell you a little story…

As an entrepreneurial-type, I get hit up a lot to sell stuff. Mary Kay, Market America, that kind of thing. I always kind of roll my eyes, because it’s just never felt right to me. I know a lot of people make a good living selling that stuff, and I don’t judge, it’s just not stuff that I feel comfortable pushing people to buy, so I always politely decline.

When I got a message from my cousin recently, that he’s selling essential oils (doTerra), and that he thought I’d be a good candidate to be a reseller as well, I gave him my typical response, and said I’d take the samples, because I’ve always liked essential oils (clary sage really helped me get through natural childbirth), but I have no interest in being a reseller.

So, he sent the samples.

At that time, I was thisclose to launching my online store for my graphic design business. I’ve been talking about it and working on it for about a year. It was taking me forever to finish. I was my own worst enemy. I kept revising and re-revising. My head felt clouded and stressed. I was worried that once I launched, my life was going to change for the worst. I worried that I’d be so busy running that business that I wouldn’t have time for anything else. I’ve been a designer for 11 years now, so I’m kind of not that wowed by it anymore. BUT, ultimately, it’s good money, and I have a family to provide for, so I felt I needed to grow up and just do it, fulfillment be damned.

Being a pretty crazy meditator, I kept focusing on gaining clarity. Clarity, clarity clarity. Just unfog my brain so I can think clearly and ultimately run my life/career from a balanced perspective. It was coming here and there a little bit, but mostly I felt like I just couldn’t quite find what I was looking for. I didn’t even know what I was looking for, but I knew there was something in the back of my mind, waiting for me to find it. It was pretty frustrating, to be honest.

The essential oil samples arrived. I liked them. A lot. At home, alone every day, I would just sit there and breath the frankincense, non-stop. There was just something about that smell that just seemed to reach into my core and grab me. I was like an addict, it was crazy.

One morning, sitting on the floor meditating, breathing it in, I was overcome with something similar to a vision. Thoughts suddenly just filled my entire brain, it was like a voice telling me, “you don’t have to launch that graphic design website. You don’t want to, and why should you? You’ve been working as a business owner for 10 years, you know how to do it right, and you can do anything you want. You can do it on your own terms. There’s plenty of room for another successful entrepreneur in any field you choose”. It was staggering. THERE WAS MY CLARITY!!!! It was something I was so certain of, immediately, all my wishy-washiness was GONE! I became ecstatic, and honestly, a lot of that ecstasy is still running through me. It was an epiphany, and those are awesome, and should be listened to.

SO, (not to brag or anything) after working conflictedly for a year on a website that was never finished, I dove in, made skincare products (which I’ve been dabbling with and giving away to friends over the past few months), and opened my Etsy shop. It took me two weeks to design all the packaging, make all the products, and set up the website. Two weeks. I was like a girl en fuego. Now, a little over 4 weeks later, I’ve made 57 online sales, and 15 in-person sales. I’m set up to sell at several local shows/events in town here, and have 5 offers to sell in retail establishments. This is the kind of turn-around I’ve been wishing for my whole life.

All in all, after reading about the benefits of frankincense, I am convinced that all of this positive change was a result using it. I think it would have taken me at least another year of hard core reflection to even come close to the decisions that I came to in a few days. So, I don’t mind if people roll their eyes at me, because I feel like the proof is clear.

There’s my frankincense story. And to be honest, since trying out some other oils, I’ve had similar results. Patchouli gets rid of my nervous stomach. Rosemary gives me confidence and gets rid of self destructive thoughts and guilt. Grapefruit makes me feel like life’s just one big party. Seriously. It’s pretty awesome. I’ve successfully fought off several colds that went around my house, without Airborne. I could go on and on.

I did end up signing up as a reseller as well. The investment to do so is very low, compared to a lot of the multi-level marketing programs I’ve researched in the past, and the discounts you get on the oils are substantial, so at the very least, that’s enough for me. (I am in no way being paid by doTerra to write about any of this stuff, although that would be nice. Anyone want to pay me?)

So, if you’d like to learn more about frankincense, here are some interesting links.

If you’d be interested in checking out doTerra, which are super high quality, can safely be ingested, applied directly to skin with no adverse reactions, here’s that:

And for the science-minded: (particularly interesting is the part on page 3 about Vanderbilt University Medical Center).

And if you have any questions, or want to share a similar experience, please chime in!


LTB – Never Stop Trying

For today’s episode of Let’s Talk Business, I’d like to tell you a story about epic fails!

When I was five, I was gifted with a beautiful, plastic self-inking stamp.  The image was a strawberry with a happy face, and the ink was strawberry scented.  I was pleased.  I realized that I really enjoyed the important, business-like feeling it gave me to powerfully stamp it all over a manilla folder.  Then I had an idea.

I would go door-to-door, soliciting my neighbors to purchase a hand made candy dish (which I would later figure out how to make out of cut up manilla folders and glue).  If they desired to purchase a dish, I would smartly and professionally smack a stamp on my folder, then on a little card, and give it to them as a receipt.

Every single person ordered a dish.  Thankfully, I wasn’t smart enough at the time to ask for payment, because I completely failed get around to making the dishes, therefore my only loss was maybe a little credibility, meh.

Clearly, I understand the importance of shoulder pads in business at a young age.

Clearly, I understand the importance of shoulder pads in business at an early age.

I just really enjoyed pretending to be a professional, and the thrill of a sale was all the reward I needed.  That, and some pretty sassy office supplies.  The success for me at that tender age, was the experience of the task, not the money.

Since then, I’ve had a lot of major epiphanies for new business ideas. Unfortunately, my epiphanies have not resulted in creating 50+ jobs for people, have not landed me on the cover of Forbes, and have not allowed me to finally trade-in my 96 Geo Prizm for my dream car…YET.

The businesses I’ve started (and ended) are:
– Online store selling handmade baby clothes and silk baby slings
– A service similar to SpaBoom for spa owners to sell gift cards online
– A shared workspace/child care co-op

These businesses failed, for various reasons, despite my initial passion for them.  I lost money.  I lost friends.  I lost faith in myself, and most importantly, I lost the ability to enjoy the successes that are in addition to money. In each of these failures was a common thread.  I was crippled with fear of losing money.  It consumed me, and eventually I wasn’t able to enjoy them, so I closed the doors, one by one.

What I learned, is that if I had been capable of figuring out smarter ways to keep my investments within my means, giving myself the time and patience to think things through carefully, and overall, staying like that wide eyed five year old, focused on feeling fulfilled by my trust in the process, I think things would have been different.

I had to fail in order to learn those lessons.

So, with those lessons simmering on the back burner or my mind, for 1 year I put aside any thoughts of making money in new ventures.

I allowed myself to enjoy writing for this blog, and plug away in my graphic design business, which is the only thing in my career that has withstood the test of time.

Anything else had to be purely hobby, when there was time and money.

It was liberating to be free from the pressure to make money from those wonderful, hobby-ish things, and just enjoy the process of being creative.  It’s been teaching me SO MUCH.  It allowed me to make mistakes, which eventually turned into happy accidents (ie, innovations).  Without the pressure to make things quickly and efficiently, with the expectation of making money, I was able to create things that I was extremely proud of. Things that I used on myself, and gifted to my loves ones, instead of rushing them out the door to the public in hopes to turn a profit.

Essentially, it’s teaching me to care for myself, which might just be the most important thing to be able to understand, in order to create a successful career, and life in general.  It taught me that success isn’t just money, it’s an overall picture of your life, and how comfortable and joyful you feel. Frequent, regular comfort and joy are true successes.

Now that I’m at the one-year mark of being safe, figuring out what I really love to do, without the pressure of making money at it, I’m releasing myself from these restrictions, forgiving my 5 year old self for never fulfilling those candy dish orders, harnessing that wide-eyed wonderment that I relished at that age, and THEN revisiting the money questions with a clear head, and asking friends for advice. I am now ready to gear up, and start Entrepreneurial Venture #725 – the Etsy Shop.  I’ll be keeping y’all in the loop on that project, stay tuned!

If you’re interested in exploring the notion of starting your own business (but maybe feeling a little crippled with fears related to past failures), here are some excellent books to get you going:

The E-Myth
$100 Startup
The Four Agreements
Think and Grow Rich
The Circle

But most of all, just enjoy the process and try not to psych yourself out.

I’d love to hear your experiences and lessons learned from successes and failures alike, please feel free to chime in here!

xoxo, Mere


After wrapping up two big projects, I actually had some time yesterday to devote to my own marketing initiatives, and I’m so happy I did!

I revisited my original website layout, which is currently just in Photoshop.  The next step will be converting it to an HTML template.  I am pretty excited about this, here’s a preview!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris …

Also, after several failed attempts at getting the correct size from the stamp maker, they finally got it right, so here’s a very rough attempt at my business card:


I am ordering some slate-gray paper from Paper Source, and plan on trying out some bright orange/yellow inks.  I’m very excited about this.  For years I ordered full-color business cards from places with cheap paper.  There’s just something so much nicer about a really nice, hard, textured business card.

Here’s the blog that inspired this idea: KMG Branding + Design

I’m so excited to keep moving with these ideas, and I’m collaborating with another career mama to launch a networking event for entrepreneurial mamas. This is also very exciting, I love an excuse to get together with smart people and drink wine!

Have a lovely, wintry day!

xoxo, Mere

This Will Be “Quick”

I am very busy, and I’m very happy about that, because there was a time that I had too little work and therefore, too little money.  BUT, I’m not trying to brag, because being busy can be STRESSFUL, and stress is bad.

Therefore, when I’m stressed, I comfort myself with this little saying:  “Time doesn’t exist, anyway”.

My challenge to you (and myself) today, is if you feel stressed about time, whether if you’re feeling guilty for wasting it, feeling stressed that there’s not enough of it, etc, just say to your self, “time doesn’t exist anyway“, and see if you feel better (and also see if you end up having a pretty productive day).

If you are the type that needs to understand why you should do something someone is telling you to do, especially when it sounds insane, then you might want to read this first to understand why I would ask you to do this.

Then do it, and tell me how much better it made you feel all day long.

xoxo, Mere

Making Business Cards

Let’s Talk Business – Entrepreneurial Rules Were Meant To Be Broken

Making Business Cards

The last time I posted about business stuff, I was hellbent on FINISHING CRAP UP.  I’d finished my logo, and was starting to work on my website, and I had a PLAN to finish the website in about 6 weeks.

Well… things don’t always go as planned. As was going through writing the copy, I sort of started feeling this fog, like I just wasn’t sure about something, something that I couldn’t even put my finger on. It was just a feeling of a lack of clarity.  Then I got really busy with client work, so it became easy to put it on the back burner.

Thankfully, my obsession with meditation has taught me a valuable lesson, which is “when in doubt, wait it out”.  That’s right, the most impatient woman in the world can now peacefully wait for what she wants.  Meditation truly can lead to miracles.

So, I stepped away, and focuses on networking for now, trying to attend at least 1 event per week. has a lot to offer anyone who’s looking to network, or just about anything else social.

Also, I ordered cool rubber stamps of my logo so that I can make my own business cards.  This is extra super fun.  I think I’m slightly addicted.

Ultimately, a feeling of clarity came to me out of the blue yesterday.  I’ve been knocking WordPress as a website (vs. blogging) website for the past year.  The reason is that yes, there are a lot of amazing plugins that can make life very easy, but they’re third party plugins that could contain bugs, and you really have to be on top of making sure they’re updated regularly to avoid security issues or whatever.  So, I kind of made it my personal policy that I just don’t do WordPress for websites (blogs, yes, in fact this is a WordPress blog).

Generally, I tend to be extremely wishy washy.  My husband says the only predictable thing about me, is that I will always change my mind and will always be extremely unpredictable.  Sure enough, out of the blue yesterday, it occurred to me that WordPress is the best solution for my website!  And, I need to sell my ability to build custom WordPress websites!!!!!!!  Whatever.  So, the fog has lifted, my mind feels clear, and here I go, building a WordPress website.  The entrepreneurial spirit is re-energized!

Never say never, I guess.

The Practice of Setting Goals and Achieving Them

I am self employed.  Often times, when I tell people I work from home, I hear the same question “how do you stay motivated?”, and the truth is, it IS really hard to self motivate when you don’t have coworkers to keep you on point.  The television is there, the breakfast dishes, the bed, the books, the yarn, whatever.  It’s definitely something that took me years to come to terms with, and learn to manage, and I have to say, if it wasn’t for the kids waking me up at the crack of dawn, and the student loans and mortgage debt hanging over my head, I don’t know if I’d be successful at this job.

But, there are some things I’ve put into practice that help me to get it done, and here are a few of them.  I think these can really be applied to any type of work, whether it’s a career, a hobby, managing your finances, or household chores.

1.  Goal setting done RIGHT.  I recently went through this webinar by Hubspot.  They say one of the single biggest mistakes we can make when going into any endeavor is neglecting to make measurable goals.  I went into the webinar feeling completely confused about which path to take in this turning point of my career that I’ve found myself in.  I left feeling completely solid and confident!  Believe me, if you’re feeling uncertain, this is worth your while:

2. If / Then thinking.  Read this, just read it.

3. The right tools for the job.  Staying married to an exercise regime is hard.  Take one day off, and good luck getting back into it.  The solution?  Buy yourself some new sneakers, and see how excited you are to try them out, show them off at the gym, etc.  A little reward, particularly one that helps you achieve your goals, goes a long way.

Recently I had a massage.  My butt’s been killing me.  I told the therapist I work long hours with my laptop on the couch.  She practically spanked me (hey now!), and yelled “Meredith!  You’re smarter than that!”.  She was right!  Now I sit at a kitchen chair with my adjustable laptop table (in the living room, in front of the TV).  I feel so much better physically, and it’s fun to pretend this is my cute little studio office.  I get a lot more done, I eat less junk food, my clients are happier, I’m happier, the money’s coming in, my house is cleaner, I’m HAPPY!  The gadget helped. (Dave Laptop Table)

My friend buys herself fancy cleaning products to motivate her to keep the house clean.  You see where I’m going with this?

4.  Mantras.  I’ve scheduled my mantras into my Google calendar.  I get an alert when it’s time to revisit them.  Believe me, it helps.

5. Do it your way.  Throw out any notions that it needs to look, feel, smell or act like anyone else’s achievement.  Go out of your comfort zone.  Be OK with ugly (ahem, did you see my title graphic??).  Notice the word PRACTICE.  Achieving goals is a practice, which means, no one’s perfect at it.  Go easy on yourself, take your time, rest in between efforts, look around and feel proud!

The worst thing you can do is lay around and wish you had motivation.  The rewards are there for the taking!

xoxo, Mere

One Year Ago


One year ago, I was going through a major upheaval.  It’s funny to look back now, and encouraging to see that not only did we survive, but we’re doing so great in spite of it.

What was the upheaval?  Well, I’m not too proud to admit that I made one of the biggest slip-ups of my life, and sent a big ole angry rant about my boss….to my boss, instead of to my husband.  Yup, that’s right folks. I pretty much unintentionally gave my tyrannical, ego-maniacal, dictator of a boss the f-you he was subconsciously begging for.  Whoops!

I saw his name in the “To” field, just as the window was disappearing.  I couldn’t stop it.  I remember very specifically what happened next.  It happened in slow motion. I said “fuck, it’s over”.  Looked around, grabbed all the things I really cared about (my purse, my notebooks), and non-nonchalantly walked out of the office, as though I were going to lunch, and drove home.

I knew my goose was cooked, and I wasn’t prepared for the confrontation.

As I was driving home, I was simultaneously calling my friends, giggling hysterically, and crying.  It was such a jolt of emotions!  I was FREE from that hell hole!  OMG, how am I going to pay for anything?  Who cares, I’m FREE!!!  Why am I such a fuck up???

When that occurred, I was very uncertain where my life was going to take me.  Before that, it had seemed full of promise.  After, pretty much felt like a survival challenge.

One year later, I’m at peace.  I have a thriving freelance business, which holds lots of promise for expansion, I am blogging with my sister, who is a genius and I feel lucky to be part of something with her, my husband has a new job (that doesn’t make him travel to India every 10 seconds), my kids continue to live healthy, full lives, and bonus, the nastiness of that situation lead me to commit to a serious meditation practice, which gives me so much peace and joy.

So, all in all, even when life hands you a big pile of doggie poo, it’s totally possible to scrape that junk off, wash your hands, laugh, look inward, and learn something, and benefit from it.

I think I probably sent him that email subconsciously on purpose, because I knew I could have better, but was too scared to take the leap and quit, consciously.  As much as we were not suited to work together, I do hope that in some way my email helped him, but I’ll never know, and that’s perfectly fine with me.

Alright, now go tell your boss to fuck off.  Kidding!

xoxo, Mere