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    3 out of 5 stars

    This book was a 2017 Christmas gift from my Avon upline team leader.  This little book is a fast Read (65 pages with 24 pages of successfull direct marketers stories) and packed with a lot of information which would be greatly helpful to someone new to direct marketing, as well as a good review to someone who is not.

    A lot of the points made and information given I have heard before.  Some of it was presented in a different way, which is always refreshing.  I found it quite funny that there were quite a few disclaimers reiterated every few pages throughout the book:

    "Geometric progression of your sales team's growth is easy to show on paper as a hypothetical but takes leadership, motivation, and dedicated effort for years to accomplish.  Most people (an understatement) do not maintain their motivation to continue."

    "These success stories are exceptional exceptions and are shared here to inspire you and show you people from different walks of life walks of life who have succeeded.  They are not what you should expect to accomplish.  They are 1 out of 10,000 or less.   And yet it is interesting to note where they came from and what they accomplished.  And maybe, just maybe, you could do the same."

    I believe these quotes were repeated to make the reader aware that the likelihood of earning the kind of income represented in this book is not common and should not be expected.

    The takeaway from this book is that most people who enter into a direct marketing company quit before their 'possible' big financial breakthrough happens.  It takes a high level of discipline, motivation and personally developing for the direct marketing entrepreneur to keep going.  There are no guarantees, just unknown possibilities.



    Join my Avon Team here.

    Book Review: The Four Year Career by Richard Bliss Brooke

    3 out of 5 stars

    This book was a 2017 Christmas gift from my Avon upline team leader.  This little book is a fast Read (65 pages with 24 pages of successfull direct marketers stories) and packed with a lot of information which would be greatly helpful to someone new to direct marketing, as well as a good review to someone who is not.

    A lot of the points made and information given I have heard before.  Some of it was presented in a different way, which is always refreshing.  I found it quite funny that there were quite a few disclaimers reiterated every few pages throughout the book:

    "Geometric progression of your sales team's growth is easy to show on paper as a hypothetical but takes leadership, motivation, and dedicated effort for years to accomplish.  Most people (an understatement) do not maintain their motivation to continue."

    "These success stories are exceptional exceptions and are shared here to inspire you and show you people from different walks of life walks of life who have succeeded.  They are not what you should expect to accomplish.  They are 1 out of 10,000 or less.   And yet it is interesting to note where they came from and what they accomplished.  And maybe, just maybe, you could do the same."

    I believe these quotes were repeated to make the reader aware that the likelihood of earning the kind of income represented in this book is not common and should not be expected.

    The takeaway from this book is that most people who enter into a direct marketing company quit before their 'possible' big financial breakthrough happens.  It takes a high level of discipline, motivation and personally developing for the direct marketing entrepreneur to keep going.  There are no guarantees, just unknown possibilities.



    Join my Avon Team here.

    Posted at 8:23 PM  |  by Lisa Epler, AVON ISR
    4 out of 5 stars


    "Whatever the reason, I find that with each passing Christmas the story of the Christmas Box is told less and needed more.  So I record it now for all future generations to accept or dismiss as seems them good.  As for me, I believe.  
    And it is, after all, my story."

    I usually read at least one Christmas book before the holidays. This year was the first year in a very long time that I had no desire to read, let alone it be a holiday book. 

    I found 'The Christmas Box' by Richard Paul Evans at my local library's book sale three weeks before Christmas.  It is a small and short read with just 125 pages with a simple cover.  So why didn't I pick it up and read it? 
    No Christmas spirit.  
    This was the third most difficult Christmas of my life; the first being 2001 when I had miscarried a baby exactly one week before Christmas.  ( I still have a difficult time singing 'Away In A Manger' without crying.)  The second being the year my husband and I had just gone through some major issues in our marriage.  And this year, well, I really just don't want to talk about any of it. 

    So last night, December 28, 2017, I decided at 11:30pm that I was going to read this book.  The writing flowed, the story was interesting and kept you focused on what would happen next.  I read the back cover at the book sale, but really had no idea what the story was about when I picked the book up last night to read it.  

    It is a Christian book with a CHRISTmas message, but it definitely is not one of those religious-in-your-face type books.  
    Anyone would enjoy this book's message. 

    Since it is such a short read and I don't want to give away too much of the story and its plot, I will just say a few words about some take-aways and reminders I had from this simply beautifully written short story. 

    Make time for people.  Especially children.
    Keep your word.  Don't disappoint them.....they don't forget
    and have difficutly forgiving sometimes.
    The love of a parent is important.  
    The time you put in is NEVER time wasted.  
    And last, but certainly not least, 
    broken hearts are very difficult to heal.

    There is a pre-quel called 'The Timepiece'
    which I will probably read next Christmas
    (or maybe sooner!)



    ~Elle~

    Book Review: The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

    4 out of 5 stars


    "Whatever the reason, I find that with each passing Christmas the story of the Christmas Box is told less and needed more.  So I record it now for all future generations to accept or dismiss as seems them good.  As for me, I believe.  
    And it is, after all, my story."

    I usually read at least one Christmas book before the holidays. This year was the first year in a very long time that I had no desire to read, let alone it be a holiday book. 

    I found 'The Christmas Box' by Richard Paul Evans at my local library's book sale three weeks before Christmas.  It is a small and short read with just 125 pages with a simple cover.  So why didn't I pick it up and read it? 
    No Christmas spirit.  
    This was the third most difficult Christmas of my life; the first being 2001 when I had miscarried a baby exactly one week before Christmas.  ( I still have a difficult time singing 'Away In A Manger' without crying.)  The second being the year my husband and I had just gone through some major issues in our marriage.  And this year, well, I really just don't want to talk about any of it. 

    So last night, December 28, 2017, I decided at 11:30pm that I was going to read this book.  The writing flowed, the story was interesting and kept you focused on what would happen next.  I read the back cover at the book sale, but really had no idea what the story was about when I picked the book up last night to read it.  

    It is a Christian book with a CHRISTmas message, but it definitely is not one of those religious-in-your-face type books.  
    Anyone would enjoy this book's message. 

    Since it is such a short read and I don't want to give away too much of the story and its plot, I will just say a few words about some take-aways and reminders I had from this simply beautifully written short story. 

    Make time for people.  Especially children.
    Keep your word.  Don't disappoint them.....they don't forget
    and have difficutly forgiving sometimes.
    The love of a parent is important.  
    The time you put in is NEVER time wasted.  
    And last, but certainly not least, 
    broken hearts are very difficult to heal.

    There is a pre-quel called 'The Timepiece'
    which I will probably read next Christmas
    (or maybe sooner!)



    ~Elle~

    Posted at 12:46 PM  |  by Elle
    3 out of 5 Stars


    "One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them."

    As I read this book the main word that kept jumping out at me is 'manipulation.' 
    By doing (or not doing) certain things, you are kind of manipulating the person into doing what you want. I am not a proponent of manipulation by any means. I do feel that helping the other person come to their own conclusions through some of these principles is helpful. 

    I read a review on this book by a reader on GoodReads and she said that this book had a negative effect on her life. With any self-help books that you read, you must take things with a grain of salt. With "How To Win Friends And Influence People," I believe many of the insights are mainly geared to a person who is in business (salesperson.) That is not to say parts may not be applied to personal friendships/relationships. I think you have to remain true to your personality and not force something that is not natural. 

    The negative reviewer said "The book basically tells you to be agreeable to everybody, find something to honestly like about them and compliment them on it, talk about their interests only and, practically, act like a people pleaser all the time. After being a smiley happy person with loads of friends for about a year, the unpleasant realization began to creep in, that by being so agreeable to everybody else, I rarely ever got my way. I also sustained friendships with people who were self-centered, so talking about their interests was all we got to do together, which drained me of my energy. The worst thing still, is that by trying to find something to like about every person, I completely disregarded their glaring faults. It didn't matter that those people did have redeeming
    qualities - they weren't redeeming enough! I ended up with a bunch of friends I didn't really want and, because I was so preoccupied with "winning" those friendships I missed out on the chance to form relationships with good people."

    I think what the reviewer did was to conform to the different principles and took them to heart a bit too much. There is definitely a time and place for everything and if you're using these principles all of the time, well that can seriously get tiring in my opinion. If you're thinking of reading this book because you are lonely & want friends, don't read it. 

    I read this book on my Kindle and plan on going back to all of the notes I highlighted. A lot of what is presented in this book is common knowledge, it's just that it is presented in a way that really makes you think about how to use the principles. Having examples of each is also extremely helpful.

    I think this book should be a requirement for college or anyone working in a business setting. I also believe it was completely written at the time aimed towards salesmen. Not all people have the natural ability to do the things presented in this book; some do. This book is obviously a best seller for a reason and I think the reason is the way the principles are presented.



    Book Review: How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

    3 out of 5 Stars


    "One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them."

    As I read this book the main word that kept jumping out at me is 'manipulation.' 
    By doing (or not doing) certain things, you are kind of manipulating the person into doing what you want. I am not a proponent of manipulation by any means. I do feel that helping the other person come to their own conclusions through some of these principles is helpful. 

    I read a review on this book by a reader on GoodReads and she said that this book had a negative effect on her life. With any self-help books that you read, you must take things with a grain of salt. With "How To Win Friends And Influence People," I believe many of the insights are mainly geared to a person who is in business (salesperson.) That is not to say parts may not be applied to personal friendships/relationships. I think you have to remain true to your personality and not force something that is not natural. 

    The negative reviewer said "The book basically tells you to be agreeable to everybody, find something to honestly like about them and compliment them on it, talk about their interests only and, practically, act like a people pleaser all the time. After being a smiley happy person with loads of friends for about a year, the unpleasant realization began to creep in, that by being so agreeable to everybody else, I rarely ever got my way. I also sustained friendships with people who were self-centered, so talking about their interests was all we got to do together, which drained me of my energy. The worst thing still, is that by trying to find something to like about every person, I completely disregarded their glaring faults. It didn't matter that those people did have redeeming
    qualities - they weren't redeeming enough! I ended up with a bunch of friends I didn't really want and, because I was so preoccupied with "winning" those friendships I missed out on the chance to form relationships with good people."

    I think what the reviewer did was to conform to the different principles and took them to heart a bit too much. There is definitely a time and place for everything and if you're using these principles all of the time, well that can seriously get tiring in my opinion. If you're thinking of reading this book because you are lonely & want friends, don't read it. 

    I read this book on my Kindle and plan on going back to all of the notes I highlighted. A lot of what is presented in this book is common knowledge, it's just that it is presented in a way that really makes you think about how to use the principles. Having examples of each is also extremely helpful.

    I think this book should be a requirement for college or anyone working in a business setting. I also believe it was completely written at the time aimed towards salesmen. Not all people have the natural ability to do the things presented in this book; some do. This book is obviously a best seller for a reason and I think the reason is the way the principles are presented.



    Posted at 9:55 PM  |  by Lisa Epler, AVON ISR
    I've posted this on my business blog & Elle has given me permission to share on her blog too because the image crash is affecting hers and countless others.

    So, as you may have noticed, you're seeing the message 'Please Update Your Account To Enable 3rd Party Hosting' on most of my images.  This is because the site I've been using for various projects since 2003 suddenly decided to become a 'paid' site.  Photobucket.com has hosted images for free for many years with ad revenue being generated on their site.  Suddenly the beginning of July they cut off all of their 'non-paid members' (which is pretty much everyone) from hosting their images, leaving users who post images of their goods on Amazon, Ebay, blogs etcetera, to have no image-hosting.  As you can imagine, users are livid.  For weeks I could barely get into the site to even see what images I have there, but today I finally got access and began downloading and deleting my stored photos.  What's the big deal you might think?  Anyone who is using a hosting site has content seen by users and you want to appear professional online.  This situation obviously does not give that appearance. Here's the new pricing plan:

    photbucket plan

    I've given this topic too much of my time already, but I wanted to make my readers aware the reason my images are messed up.  If you'd like to read more, there are plenty of current articles on the web, including some recommendations of other sites to switch to.  (See Below)

    Musings Of An Average Mom:  Photobucket Crash




    So as soon as I find the time and a different image host site I will get to work on replacing the lost images.

    Thanks for your understanding, 

    Sorry For The Image Glitch!

    I've posted this on my business blog & Elle has given me permission to share on her blog too because the image crash is affecting hers and countless others.

    So, as you may have noticed, you're seeing the message 'Please Update Your Account To Enable 3rd Party Hosting' on most of my images.  This is because the site I've been using for various projects since 2003 suddenly decided to become a 'paid' site.  Photobucket.com has hosted images for free for many years with ad revenue being generated on their site.  Suddenly the beginning of July they cut off all of their 'non-paid members' (which is pretty much everyone) from hosting their images, leaving users who post images of their goods on Amazon, Ebay, blogs etcetera, to have no image-hosting.  As you can imagine, users are livid.  For weeks I could barely get into the site to even see what images I have there, but today I finally got access and began downloading and deleting my stored photos.  What's the big deal you might think?  Anyone who is using a hosting site has content seen by users and you want to appear professional online.  This situation obviously does not give that appearance. Here's the new pricing plan:

    photbucket plan

    I've given this topic too much of my time already, but I wanted to make my readers aware the reason my images are messed up.  If you'd like to read more, there are plenty of current articles on the web, including some recommendations of other sites to switch to.  (See Below)

    Musings Of An Average Mom:  Photobucket Crash




    So as soon as I find the time and a different image host site I will get to work on replacing the lost images.

    Thanks for your understanding, 

    Posted at 5:31 PM  |  by Lisa Epler, AVON ISR


    It's summertime and normally you can find me reading in the evenings on my hammock.  Weeks ago the hammock stand we had for years, broke.
    I started to search for new hammocks & stands but my husband told me to wait....they're too expensive.  One of the things I look forward to the most in the summer, I'm missing out on.  Before I know it the school schedule will be in full swing and the days will be shorter & cooler.  I guess my husband wants to wait to see if we can get a hammock on clearance near the end of summer....which is too late for me!

    I haven't been reading as many books in comparison to other summers.
    Currently I have about four reviews that I need to post, but just haven't had the time to sit down and write.  Also I just learned that the site I have been using for hosting my images on this blog is having issues, so I may need to deal with that issue soon.  Fun stuff.

     This has been the most stressful July in my entire life.  I don't think I can ever remember thinking of the month of July and stress in the same sentence!  There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are being a lending ear to someone with cancer and another friend who is leaving an abusive marriage, watching a 4 month old puppy for a week, some personal medical issues I won't go into here, bickering/friend issues with both my daughters and a few issues dealing with respect and time.   Summer has always been more of a relaxed time, never depressing or rushed, but yet here I am experiencing it.

    Most of my life I have been the friend to go to who will just listen.
     I try not to give advice if it doesn't seem wanted or I don't know about the topic at hand.  I think I'm there for people because when I was growing up what I thought and felt didn't seem to matter.  I think this is why I was shy and just kept to myself after awhile.  It also gets difficult when the people you trust or love the most look at you differently and lose respect for you.  I've lost friends over the years who I trusted and confided in and then they majorly betrayed me.  It's difficult to bounce back from things like that and want to be able to let new people into your life again.  Guarded......that is probably the best word to describe me.  I definitely have downfalls with being too serious or hard on myself.  I was brought up as the oldest of three daughters, so I was made the example of.  It wasn't right or fair how strict my parents were with me, but I know that everything I deal with now is because of the high expectations place on me.  There's nothing I can do about it now, other than try to be the best person I can be.

    Anyhow, summer is NOT supposed to be this serious, in-depth or depressing.
    I've ALWAYS loved summer.  Not so much the miserably humid days or mosquitoes, but swimming, picnics, fireworks, friends, lots of sunshine, sitting on the patio, laying on the hammock, gardening, reading and a myriad of other summer memories from my childhood are what make me cherish summer days.

    I'm just curious if anyone reading this has ever experienced a disappointing summer?  Can you remember the best summer you had and what made it the best?  I live in the Northeastern part of the United States and summer days are truly numbered.  Maybe that is why I cherish it so much because so much of the rest of the year is dreary.

    What are you reading this summer?
    Any recommendations?
    Even though I don't have my hammock, I hope to get in a few books within the next month.  And I will definitely start working on writing the book reviews of the books I have read.

    Thanks for reading & sorry if I depressed you!
    I just wanetd to clear up with my readers why the book reviews
    have been less and there haven't been many posts here.

    Thank you for following my blog & stay tuned......


    Summertime ~ Depression?



    It's summertime and normally you can find me reading in the evenings on my hammock.  Weeks ago the hammock stand we had for years, broke.
    I started to search for new hammocks & stands but my husband told me to wait....they're too expensive.  One of the things I look forward to the most in the summer, I'm missing out on.  Before I know it the school schedule will be in full swing and the days will be shorter & cooler.  I guess my husband wants to wait to see if we can get a hammock on clearance near the end of summer....which is too late for me!

    I haven't been reading as many books in comparison to other summers.
    Currently I have about four reviews that I need to post, but just haven't had the time to sit down and write.  Also I just learned that the site I have been using for hosting my images on this blog is having issues, so I may need to deal with that issue soon.  Fun stuff.

     This has been the most stressful July in my entire life.  I don't think I can ever remember thinking of the month of July and stress in the same sentence!  There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are being a lending ear to someone with cancer and another friend who is leaving an abusive marriage, watching a 4 month old puppy for a week, some personal medical issues I won't go into here, bickering/friend issues with both my daughters and a few issues dealing with respect and time.   Summer has always been more of a relaxed time, never depressing or rushed, but yet here I am experiencing it.

    Most of my life I have been the friend to go to who will just listen.
     I try not to give advice if it doesn't seem wanted or I don't know about the topic at hand.  I think I'm there for people because when I was growing up what I thought and felt didn't seem to matter.  I think this is why I was shy and just kept to myself after awhile.  It also gets difficult when the people you trust or love the most look at you differently and lose respect for you.  I've lost friends over the years who I trusted and confided in and then they majorly betrayed me.  It's difficult to bounce back from things like that and want to be able to let new people into your life again.  Guarded......that is probably the best word to describe me.  I definitely have downfalls with being too serious or hard on myself.  I was brought up as the oldest of three daughters, so I was made the example of.  It wasn't right or fair how strict my parents were with me, but I know that everything I deal with now is because of the high expectations place on me.  There's nothing I can do about it now, other than try to be the best person I can be.

    Anyhow, summer is NOT supposed to be this serious, in-depth or depressing.
    I've ALWAYS loved summer.  Not so much the miserably humid days or mosquitoes, but swimming, picnics, fireworks, friends, lots of sunshine, sitting on the patio, laying on the hammock, gardening, reading and a myriad of other summer memories from my childhood are what make me cherish summer days.

    I'm just curious if anyone reading this has ever experienced a disappointing summer?  Can you remember the best summer you had and what made it the best?  I live in the Northeastern part of the United States and summer days are truly numbered.  Maybe that is why I cherish it so much because so much of the rest of the year is dreary.

    What are you reading this summer?
    Any recommendations?
    Even though I don't have my hammock, I hope to get in a few books within the next month.  And I will definitely start working on writing the book reviews of the books I have read.

    Thanks for reading & sorry if I depressed you!
    I just wanetd to clear up with my readers why the book reviews
    have been less and there haven't been many posts here.

    Thank you for following my blog & stay tuned......


    Posted at 10:57 PM  |  by Elle
    3 out of 5 Stars

    This is the 4th and final  installment of the Napa wine heiress series.
    I would've been fine with this series ending at the 3rd book, as this was not my favorite in the series.

    Xavier St. Pierre is forced to introduce his three daughters to their half-Japanese sister, a product of one of his many affairs.  
    The sisters had no clue Sake even existed!  

    Sake has been living a less than glamorous life in San Francisco. 
    She has a potty-mouth, hangs out with less than desirable people and longs for the day she will see her mother again.  I did not really 'buy' her relationship with Bill Diamond, the real estate broker.  They just did not seem like the right 'fit'.  Sake's character was definitely more 'street' than than her half-sisters and she really had a difficult time fitting into this family.  
    (Talk about opposite sides of the track!)  
    I enjoy Heather Heyford's writing, but I guess I just didn't like the character Sake.


    Book Review: A Taste Of Sake by Heather Heyford

    3 out of 5 Stars

    This is the 4th and final  installment of the Napa wine heiress series.
    I would've been fine with this series ending at the 3rd book, as this was not my favorite in the series.

    Xavier St. Pierre is forced to introduce his three daughters to their half-Japanese sister, a product of one of his many affairs.  
    The sisters had no clue Sake even existed!  

    Sake has been living a less than glamorous life in San Francisco. 
    She has a potty-mouth, hangs out with less than desirable people and longs for the day she will see her mother again.  I did not really 'buy' her relationship with Bill Diamond, the real estate broker.  They just did not seem like the right 'fit'.  Sake's character was definitely more 'street' than than her half-sisters and she really had a difficult time fitting into this family.  
    (Talk about opposite sides of the track!)  
    I enjoy Heather Heyford's writing, but I guess I just didn't like the character Sake.


    Posted at 11:27 PM  |  by Elle

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