27 May 2009

Update on Earth-Friendly Maid Service

Hi Everyone.
Thanks for being patient with my lackadaisical posting these last few months. It seems I get into a writing fever for a bit and post almost daily (or multiple times in one day), then I trickle off into nothingness for a few weeks. I apologize and hope everyone can understand that life happens.

Having said that, I'd like to give everyone an update on the cleaning business. Earth-Friendly Maid Service officially has 2 clients; one weekly client and one bi-weekly. I've done two separate one-time cleans and have a bid in for another (which I am hoping will become a regular client). I also have a potential two more estimates to do for relatives of my weekly client. If they both sign up for regular cleans, my weekly client will earn $40 in gift certificates to be used however she wants. Not bad, for simply passing on my name and number, huh?

Anyway, I'm pretty excited. The client I just signed up with today (ok, more like a verbal agreement at this point), saw the car magnets while out and about. Talk about cheap advertising! I am also advertising on Facebook, in a trial period for a week. I set my budget low so it doesn't get too exorbitant, but I'm hoping that I get SOMETHING out of it. If I do, I'll increase my budget for that venue. Apparently there are over 266,000 people in the London area (within 50 miles of London) who use Facebook. Obviously not all of those people will be target clients, but word of mouth has its uses.

My goal is to get one or two more weekly or bi-weekly clients, which I will clean, then I plan on looking into getting employees. I'm sure there is a lot involved with that (taxes, CPP, EI, etc) and I am not really looking forward to that, but I'd like to grow this business into something that, eventually, I can run from home. I'd like to eventually do NONE of the cleaning, and simply run the business. I realize that will take time, effort, and patience, but I am hoping that people will help me out and pass the word! Tell everyone you know about your friend who is starting up a business and needs support! In addition, I will be starting interviews for a part-time employee.

Requirements for an applicant:
-clean criminal record check (yes I will be checking, are you surprised?);
-attention to detail;
-experience with housecleaning preferred, although it is not a requirement;
-access to vehicle;
-flexible schedule;
-willingness to learn new methods of 'earth-friendly' cleaning methods (ENJO, natural cleaners,e tc);
-desire to reduce our impact on our environment by eliminating disposable cleaning products and toxic cleaners; and

I am sure there are other requirements but these are ones I think of immediately. Please pass on the website address to anyone who may need (or knows someone who needs) a maid service. In addition, pass on the word that I will be hiring, and looking for one (and another, eventually) good person to help me represent my company.

Check out the website! I will be updating it soon (tomorrow, likely), with another interesting and informative blog post.


13 May 2009

Quilt Giveaway

I want to win this quilt for Delilah so badly I can taste it. Seriously. I can't believe, it, because it's pink and girly, but OMG it's gorgeous!

Check it out here. Or click on the Win This Quilt button on the right sidebar.

I love it!

Challenge: Show Us Your (Plastic) Trash!

Over on Fake Plastic Fish, Beth has thrown down the challenge gauntlet and is urging us to take part! Go on over and sign up for the challenge! It should be interesting to see how much plastic you accumulate in a week. Her rules are below (clipped directly from her site, thanks Beth!)

Post a note on my blog letting me know you're doing it, and any links to your blog. Then go to Fake Plastic Fish (at the link shown above) and do the same! Thanks!


1) Collect all of your own plastic waste for a minimum of one week. (Longer is okay, too, but try to separate out the weeks' collections.) What qualifies as yours? Anything that benefits you. So, if your housemate or significant other brings home a tub of yogurt that you both share, the tub goes in your tally. But if you hate yogurt, never touch the stuff, and wouldn't have bought it for yourself in a million years, it's not your responsibility. What about stuff for your kids? I'll leave that up to you. Whatever you decide, just be consistent about collecting it. Personally, I'd be very interested to see how much plastic waste is generated by babies, since I don't have children myself.

2) Try to live the way you normally would. It doesn't help to artificially reduce your plastic consumption for the sake of a one-week tally if you will go back to living with more plastic afterward. Think of this exercise as a scientific experiment. Nothing more.

3) At the end of the week, take a photo of your stash and list out the items. You might also want to include details about what things are recyclable in your community or not.

4) Guilt is not encouraged. Nor are comparisons with other people whom you perceive to be doing "worse" or "better" than you in terms of plastic waste. This exercise is for purely educational purposes. Guilt doesn't help.

5) After tallying your plastic waste, try answering the following questions:
  • What items could I easily replace with plastic-free or less plastic alternatives?

  • What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn't exist?

  • How many of these items are from "convenience" foods that could be made from scratch with less packaging but might take more time to prepare?

  • What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?

  • What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?

  • What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?

  • What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
6) Guilt is unnecessary.

7) Send your photo, tally, and answers to questions to beth[at]fakeplasticfish[dot]com along with as much personal info as you feel comfortable sharing: Geographical location, gender, housemate/relationship status, work status (at home or away from home), children living with you, etc. These factors might influence the amount of plastic waste you generate and would be interesting to know, but are completely up to you of course.

8) If you have your own blog, feel free to post your tally, etc. there as well. And let me know the URL so I can link to you.

9) There is no time limit for doing this exercise. I would love to publish a series of "Show Us Your (Plastic) Trash" posts over several weeks or even months, depending on the response.

10) Guilt will only get in the way of understanding. It's not needed for this challenge.

11) Seriously.

Who's in?"

09 May 2009

Happy Birthday Delilah!

Happy First Birthday, my happy, beautiful girl!

08 May 2009

Shirt Dress Sew-Along

Ok. So I followed a tutorial I found online to make a toddler dress out of a dress shirt. I used one of my old dress shirts and found the length was perfect-I wouldn't have to hem the bottom! I traced one of D's current dresses and followed the tutorial from Made. Over on Presser Foot they are doing a sew along this month using the tutorial.

Anyway. Above picture is of the final product. This is what happens when you forget to add seam allowances when tracing an existing piece of clothing. The dress fit her fine except it was too narrow through the shoulders. This fabric had no give-I had to cut it off of her!

Now I know for next time. I am going to the thrift store for some more shirts.

My Weightloss Progress