Rockin' The Work-From-Home Life


I Heart Teachers (Set your teacher up for the best school year EVER!)

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Set your teacher up for the best school year EVER!

It is summer and, for most of us, school is nowhere on the brain. However, somewhere out there, our teachers are working feverishly to plan an amazing year ahead for our children.

If you would like to make this the best school year EVER, consider gifting your teacher a World Edition Classroom Subscription. The timing is perfect for teachers to include it in their upcoming curriculum!
Each Little Passports’ World Edition Classroom Subscription includes:

  • 6 Month World Edition Subscription
  • 30 individual passports
  • 30 individual sticker sets
  • Access to 6 digital Teacher Guides with bonus content for a classroom environment

With the World Edition Classroom Subscription, it is easy for teachers to reinforce geography, reading and problem-solving skills! Take a closer look at Little Passports’ subscription materials and peek inside their Teacher Guides!

Read the Little Passports’ blog, Introducing the World Edition Classroom Subscription or

Click here to learn more about the World Edition Classroom Subscription.

World Edition Classroom Subscription
Gift one to your favorite teacher for an amazing year ahead!



No Bummer Summer-28 Ways To Explore The Brainerd Lakes Area

My home state of Minnesota is such a beautiful and majestic place! I am also blessed to live in an area that is the hub of things to do for thrill-seekers, vacation goes and families looking for a laid-back daycation. Here are some uber cool things to do in my hometown to help create your own No Bummer Summer:

28 Ways To Explore The Brainerd Lakes Area as a Family This Summer (2016)

Created by the Mom Squad Central of Brainerd, MN

Things to do in Brainerd

Visit a Zoo! Our area has two wonderful zoos in a 30 mile radius. Check out the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls and Safari North Park in Brainerd. AND, if you are I the mood for a little jaunt, be sure and check out one of my favorite zoos; Paul Bunyan’s Animal Land in Bemidji. Read more about it here.


Get Your Art On: The Franklin Art Center and Crossing Arts Alliance has wonderful programs and events happening all summer. They also have great programs for kids including Art Camps.

Learn More About Trains: The Northern Trackers Club in Crosslake has depictions on display of historic and contemporary railroad heritage of the settlement and economic development of north central Minnesota from the early 1900’s to the present. Things to see at this museum includes a 1/2 scale replica of the William Crooks loco and cars, operating model railroad layouts, museum (artifacts, photography and interpretative displays and exhibits

Croft Mine: Mining is a huge part of our area’s history and the Croft Mine Historical Park is built on 17 acres of the original Craft Mine. This park includes an interactive underground mine tour and museum.

Go Down on The Farm: The Farm at St. Matthias offers wonderful events, like their Social Animals-Field of Dreams, many growing and picking opportunities, and appearances by the Evergreen Grass Band.

Check out some Bike Trails: Our area has several paved bike trails including The Cuyuna Lakes Trail and the Paul Bunyan Trail. The Cuyuna Lakes Trail Association exists to promote, create, and maintain paved bicycling trails connecting various communities in and around the area known formerly as the Cuyuna Iron Range.

Crow Wing County Fair: The Fair is coming! Mark your calendars for August 2- August 6, 2016. The fair began as an agricultural event for the purpose of providing a place for county residents to exhibit their products. Youth projects such as 4-H and FFA were able to enter and compete for prizes. While many aspects of the fair have changed over the years, the main philosophy remains the same, to provide opportunity for our patronage to touch base with the agricultural heritage of Crow Wing County.

Attend a Music Event: There are many chances to hear live music outside this summer in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Check out events like Bands in the Park – Pequot Lakes Trailside Band Shelter, Crosslake Outdoor Music Series 2015 at Crosslake Town Square, Iconic Music Fest and Lakes Jam.



Most Common Questions about PLR…Finally Answered {Guest Post from Jacqueline Myers}

Even if you’ve used PLR, you still probably have some questions about it. I know I did when I started blogging, and man, I had a tough time pinning anyone down to a clear definition! It’s kind of tricky to explain, which is why even veteran bloggers have questions about it. So today, we are going to tackle some of the most common questions about PLR…finally!


What is PLR?

PLR stands for Private Label Rights. It is the go-to source that smart, successful bloggers and other internet marketers tap into to get consistent quality content for their blogs, information products, email autoresponder series, social media image and e-books. Private Label Rights is content (in all media formats) that comes with a special license that allows you to edit, add to, subtract from and brand as your ownthough you didn’t create it personally.

Why Use PLR?
Because, my dear, it’s super smart! How else do you think all of those (okay, maybe not all of them) content marketers who produce content like crazy do it? PLR, baby!

PLR is the best, least expensive way to drastically cut the amount of time you spend coming up with content ideas, researching, writing and editing all of the content that is required of today’s successful online entrepreneurs.

PLR is way less expensive than hiring a ghostwriter to create your content! (And I’m saying this even though I am a ghostwriter too!)

What Restrictions Does PLR Have?
Each PLR seller has their own restrictions, so you always want to make sure to read the rules on each site before you buy. They are usually placed in a prevalent place on the PLR website, so you shouldn’t have to look too hard for them. At Phoenix PLR, we have a really wide open use policy so you can make the content your own, without having to do all the work! You can:

  • Use your own name and branding
  • Monetize it with your affiliate links, per individual affiliate rules
  • Modify it by adding, enhancing, deleting or editing content
  • Use it on your blog or website
  • Use it in your newsletters, autoresponder emails and/or membership sites
  • Give it away
  • Use it to create an e-course, special report, e-book, webinar, online or offline event
  • Use it in a paid product
  • Combine it with other products

But, How Can I Really Use PLR So It’s not like Everyone Else’s?
The purpose of PLR is to have someone else do all the work and have you just add your own style to it. You should edit it so that it’s not the same as other people will have on their blog.! Basically, PLR is the “bones” of the content. You add the fun parts that give it the pizzazz that your readers love! That’s one of the beauties of PLR!

My team and I do all the research and writing for you. Then you take it and tweak the language so that it “sounds” like you. You can add in examples from your own life to explain different points. You can add to it to make a particular issue that’s important to your tribe stand out. Or, if a point isn’t relative to your tribe, just click the delete button over that sentence. Once you do these little things, it won’t be like everyone else’s!

So while there will be tweaking you will want to do, it’s still a huge time saver! Plus, at Phoenix PLR, we limit the number of licenses sold on all PLR to protect your investment!

How Can I Make PLR Uniquely My Own?

I understand how it’s one thing to see a list of ways you can make PLR your own, and another to actually make it happen. So I’m going to show you a couple of real-life examples of how I use PLR on my own blog. In this post, I took the text from some PLR I had, changed the wording a little so it sounded more the way I wanted, and made an infographic out of it. You can see it here.

I also took a PLR report and pulled out the stuff I wanted to use and made Power Point slides and an animated video out of it. You can see how the video looks on my blog here.

Pretty snazzy, huh? Plus, it doesn’t stop there. I’m going to put the video up on YouTube and Vimeo to gain some traffic to my new site. And I’ll turn the Power Point slides into Slide Shares and submit the infographic to various infographic sharing sites…instant traffic building. I’m big on using resources to the max, so I thought about the best way to create some traffic. I was going to use the content for a blog post anyway, so why not put it into a fun format that can be used in multiple locations for multiple purposes.

Okay, so I hear you sayin’, But Jacqueline, ain’t nobody got time to do all that! I buy PLR to make less work for myself, not more!

 I totally get that! So I guess I’d better confess…my lovely VA actually made the infographic, the PPT slides, and yes, the video. I shudder to think of trying to do that myself. I’m a word person, not a techie. But even before I had my VA, I would hire stuff like this out on Fiverr. I got amazing videos and stuff for under 30 bucks! So even if you don’t have a lovely assistant, you can still use PLR for fancy-pants stuff that does double-duty for you and your blog!

Isn’t PLR Just Capital Plagiarism?

Let’s settle this old myth right now! First off, let me say that I taught college English for 15 years before I started Phoenix PLR. Every semester, I preached about the evils of plagiarism.

So, do you think I’d start a business that is all about plagiarism? No Way!

What makes this different is that I am creating the content and knowingly selling it to you with the rights to it! You aren’t stealing it off me. I’m providing it to you. I make it easy for you to know the rules of using it, and then I turn it over to you to add your own personal touches. That’s not plagiarism…it’s called working smart, not hard!

11bf5360-f4a8-4386-ac20-796c329e037dJacqueline Myers is a long-time college writing professor who decided to forge a life outside academia in 2013 when she added blogger, freelance writer/editor, writing coach, best-selling author and online entrepreneur to her CV. Combining all of her geeky superpowers, she is fiercely committed to providing online entrepreneurs with premium content to renew their blogs and their lives! Click here to try Phoenix PLR on the house!


Friday Flashback: Fish Emergency in the Wal-mart Express Lane

Fish Emergency in The Express Lane


When I originally wrote this post, my now gigantic 13 year-old son was a mere six year old. We opted to buy fish to quell the nagging about having a pet. They were meant to be “starter pets” for a Small-ish Human that was begging for a pet, yet could barely wipe his own butt.

We have since graduated to an furry puppy dog named Fred and a lizard named Kermit…but the following is a true story and testament as to the lengths us parents will do to keep the peace in the family abode. 

Friday Flashback-Fish Emergency in the Wal-mart Express Lane:

We have fish.

I kinda like them. They are easy to care for, don’t make a mess, and don’t poop on my floor. However, there is just one problem. We’ve been through about 10 of the little buggers in 3 months. Obviously as fish owners…we suck.
You’re feeding them too much…you’re feeding them too little….they need sunlight”…don’t let sunlight by their tank….clean their tank one a week….don’t clean their tank once a week…..

Frankly, this fish ownership gig is downright confusing.

My daycare lady just shakes her head at our fish follies. “Mine have been alive for years”, she says. “YEARS……” (which is code word for “dumbass you shouldn’t own fish. I should know. I care for your children…HELLO?!)

We keep trying…and the damn things keep croaking. 
And the tears! Oh my goodness, the TEARS that are shed by a certain 6 year- old boy every time one of his fish Bites-The-Big-One. I was hoping the first fish burial at sea (flush) would be the hardest, but I can’t say it’s getting any easier. 

Recently, this same 6 year old just left on weekend hunting trip with  Daddy. “Take care of my fish, Mommy”, he ordered as he trotted out of the house for the weekend.

I knew in that instant…I was DOOMED.

Sure as heck, the next morning ..we had a floater…an upside-down-dead-as-sh*t floater.

BUT..being the clever and resourceful Mommy that I am, I figured I’d pull a fast one on my little man. No sense ruining his trip by revealing we had managed to kill off yet ANOTHER one of his beloved fish. Off to Wal-mart I went.

Although I am NOT a big fan of Wally-World, I will have to say I get the best service from the Fish Dudes in that store.

I think they just feel sorry for me. Maybe because I am there with a bawling, heartbroken 6 year-old so much. I am waiting for them to offer me frequent flier miles. I arrive at Wal-mart in a head of steam on a Quest For Fish. 

Ah-HA! There is ONE fish left that is right kind and size. Victory!

Sacked up and secure, I happily load my fish into my cart. I decide to treat myself to a bit-o-shopping, then head for the checkout line. I spy a lighted a “20 items or less” lane that is open and empty. ROCK ON. I pull in, smile politely at the cashier, and reach to pull my plump bag-o-water & fish from my cart..

THEN…it happens.

Before you can say “gill plates,” my precious fish is falling towards the floor. THE FLOOR. It is the Sploosh Heard Around The World.


I am certain the scene that followed was probably captured on film, documented, and already gone viral on a “The People Of Wal-Mart” You Tube channel somewhere.

But in case you missed it, here’s a visual for ya; Picture a chubby 43 year old mother standing in the checkout line shrieking “HELP! FISH EMERGENCY! HELP!” And doing it in a pool of water the size of Lake Erie.


Desperate and panicked I scoop up my poor fish bare-handed and deposit him inside what’s left of his plastic bag (with about a teaspoons worth of water left).

THEN….an angel appears.’s one of the Fish Dudes. I’m not sure what caught his attention. I’m thinking it was either my hysteric cries for help or the onslaught of water that’s creeping across the floor.

Leaping into action, he seizes what’s left of my water bag and fish and begins to sprint back toward the Fish Department with me shouting at the back of his head “whatever you do…I NEED THAT FISH!”

I’m a class act. That’s for sure.

Minutes later he returns with my precious (and still breathing) fish in a fresh bag of water. His face flushed and proud. He rocks. He is my new hero.

Relieved, I contemplate giving him a Frenchy.

Fish safely secure-in-bag, I am now thoroughly flustered and embarrassed. I pay for Robo-Fish and the cashier giggles and comments “that is one tough fish.” 

No sh*t Sherlock.

Days later, Beloved Son arrives home from his trip and immediately runs to greet his fish. After a few moment he gets very quiet.  “Hey Mom,” he chirps, “You know my black fat fish? He looks…weird“.

My heart stops and my palms get sweaty. Keeping my wits about me, I press for details.

“Well…he’s got this weird mark on his side. You know…like a scrape. I wonder what it is…?”

Road rash, I think silently to myself. It’s frickin road rash.

That is one tough fish.


Organizing experts have stated that the average family of 4 has at least $1500 worth of unused, sell-able items in their home.

I think it’s MORE.

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Turn it into CASH.

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Battling (and Zapping) the Middle-of-the-Year Biz Blues

Battling the Middle-of-the-Year Biz Blues (+3 things to re-ignite your fire!)


Battling (and Zapping) the Middle-of-the-Year Biz Blues

It is now the merry month of JUNE. Officially the “halfway mark” until 2017. Kinda makes your stomach roll doesn’t it?

Around here, June also marks the end of the school year (insert massive happy dance HERE) and the beginning of summer FUN! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I love being self-employed this time of year. I am able to make some bank yet flex my work around the needs of my family and the desire to enjoy these delightful summer months.

BUT, I am also slipping into Lazy Mode. That’s the mode where you stare mournfully out your office window wishing you could be doing less work and more sun-soaking-up. I think it has reached epidemic proportions for me…and it’s only mid-June. My daily work/gig prospecting has taken a backseat to scrolling Pinterest for fun crafts and cool things for me and the kids to do.

NOT GOOD, grasshoppa

I also find myself justifying my laziness with things like, “I’m living in the moment for my kids” or “creating memories is so much more important now…” All true, but I truly cannot let myself backslide like this. I’ve worked too hard to build up the workload and client base that I have to piss it all away.

Can I get an amen?

SO, what’s the solution? I can think of 3 things that I will be focusing to battle and zap my summertime- Middle-of-the-Year Biz Blues.

*Reevaluate, re-look and re-study my goals and dreams for the year. Do I have them? Why yes I do! I’m sure you’ve heard me gush about my Create Your Shining Business and Life Workbook from Leonie Dawson. This system has been my Godsend this year for helping me map out what I want from my business and following the steps to get there. BUT, my beloved book is now buried under four books (that I tell myself I need to read) a pile of completed paperwork that needs to be filed and a broken portable DVD player (WTF?).



Leonie needs to be pulled out, dusted off and revisited. ASAP. I need to remind myself of my End Game, my focus and the direction I want and need to head in 2016.


If you haven’t created your own roadmap for success in the way of Leonie’s Create Your Shining Life and Biz, do it NOW. It is NOT too late. You still have 6 months of money-making and tootie-kicking ahead of you. Make the best out of it. All physical workbooks are sold out nationwide, but the digital ebooks are available and uber affordable. Please consider this tool to get your aspirations back on track!

Leonie Dawson Create Your shining Life workbook

*I re-did my Dream Board. My mid-way-through-2016 Dream Board looks a little different because I’ve achieved some things and want to focus on the remaining goals for the rest of the year. Here’s my original post about the power of Dream Boards and planners and also my old Dream Board…which leads me to #3….

Dream board

I Created a Make-More-Money incentive: Now, I honestly would NOT rush out and buy a 2016 Explorer like I did. But as you can see, it was on my Dream Board!

The funny thing is that, when I created this board in January, I don’t remember putting that picture on it! The story leading up to why this Ruby Red Beauty is now in my garage is not magical or even planned. The short version is that my crappy 2008 Toyota Rav4 was close the DEATH. And I hated it. I checked with the local Ford dealer and holy moley, I got the deal of a lifetime and drove away with my Dream Rig.

NOW, back to #3; having this rather LARGE car payment, after many years of having NO car payment is pretty damn motivating. Having this new and looming need for $$ incentive has done wonders for re-igniting my flame for success, let me tell you. Bottom line; have something to shoot for. An incentive so big, you hardly dare to dream about it.


Do you feel like you are floundering a bit? It’s OK, you are normal. But let’s turn this trend around:)

**some of these links are affiliate links


Summer fun is such an important part of life…BUT, I know you need to make a living as well. I firmly believe that earning all money in the world is not worth sacrificing the most precious moments in your life for. Not only is it OK to take a break, but it is imperative that you do so. Luckily there is a way to earn an honest income AND be able to have the flexibility to take time to smell the roses in life.

Soooo….want to know more? Have you been secretly (or not-so-secretly) dreaming of working from home, making an honest living and flexing that work around the needs of your family? NO, this is not one of those assemble-rubber-duckies-for-ten-cents-a-bird gig. Those type of gigs suck…right along with the “Make money taking surveys!” silliness. I am talking about taking the skills you already have and finding people/clients who are willing to pay you for your knowledge/help/guidance.

My commitment to this subject is a sincere desire to help others. My goal in becoming an “expert” on the topic of working from home successfully (re: emotional and financial success) isn’t to come across as a giant smartypants. My goal is to help readers, and women just like me, discover that there IS “life beyond the cubicle.”

I want to educate newbie and veteran solopreneurs (in my fun and quirky style) that working from the comfort of home and supporting a family is totally possible. My FREElance FREEdom ebook is not “the fluff” of working from home. It is real life, I’ve-been-there-done-that, “no B.S.” details that share the tips, secrets, best practices, processes and resources that peel back the curtains of being self-employed and a business owner. Working from home is not all butterflies and unicorns, but it IS completely worth it.

FREElance FREEdom

Ready to learn about creating your own home business while earning a honest living on your own terms? Go HERE to take the first step in realizing your work from home dreams.


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