Jan 182012
 

It is that time of year again. Everyone is scrambling to figure out what to do about their income tax returns. As a blogger, do you know how you are going to file your blog income? Is your blog a hobby or a business? Keep in mind that every tax situation is different. Your blog friends online most likely know nothing about your taxes. Even I, a former tax preparer of 9 years, have no clue about what you should do about your tax situation. I quit doing taxes about 7 years ago and have no clue what the laws are now regarding taxes. As a former tax preparer, even I have questions about filing my own taxes this year. The question is-where do I get this information? Getting information from someone online that “says” this is how you should do your taxes may end up costing you in the long run.

I can’t tell you how many “tax advice” articles and webinars I have seen online. My question about this advice is who is providing this information? Another blogger? Are they tax professionals? Who is this person telling me how to file my taxes? Keep in mind that not everyone online is who they say they are. Believing what these people say can lead you into a lot of hot water in regards to your finances. Trust me, you don’t want to be on the  receiving end of the letters from the IRS telling you that you owe them money. I know this dreaded feeling all too well. I have had two years in a row when I was self-employed where I owed over $10,000 per year. The IRS started garnishing our paycheck. We had to get a loan to pay it off and we are still paying the loans off. These debts are from over 6 years ago. I still feel my heart drop when I see mail from the Internal Revenue Service in my mailbox-even though I know I been doing everything the right way. I seek professional advice when I have a question.

Being a member of several blogger communities, I have seen many of my blog friends discussing their taxes. Everyone has a different take on what to do with their taxes as far as their blog income, review items, winnings, etc. This is where I tell you to be careful. Everyone has their own interpretation of the tax laws regarding this. Some say you should claim the review items as income and others say it is a gift and therefore is not taxable. So, now you wonder, how do I find the right information? My advice as a former tax preparer is to speak to someone that you KNOW is a tax professional. NOT some stranger online that may or may not know the laws. I have contacted my former supervisor, an enrolled agent with the IRS, with all of my questions. She has been doing taxes for about 40 years. She has also taken extensive testing from the IRS to attain the designation of being an enrolled agent. I trust her with my life as far as taxes go. An enrolled agent or other tax professional can even give you advice as to whether you need to pay taxes in quarterly so you won’t end up in a pickle at the end of the year.

So, who should you talk to regarding your taxes? I would advise talking to an enrolled agent or a CPA. They take continuing education courses annually to maintain their credentials. Most have a network of other knowledgeable tax professionals that they can turn to in the case of something that they may not have had experience with. Keep in mind, you may be the first blogger that they have talked to and they may need to do a little research before giving you an answer to your questions. There is nothing wrong with this. The first time I did a tax return with a farm on it, I had no clue where to start. I took down all of the person’s information and then consulted with my supervisor, the enrolled agent. I ended up doing a professional tax return for my clients and they were very happy.

My final advice is to BE CAREFUL who you trust-you may end up in a mess with your taxes and believe me-that is the last place you want to be. Granted, a professional will most likely not be free, but it is well worth the expense.

Jan 032012
 

030I am a member of a local group on Facebook where people post things for sale. Well, the other day, someone posted an adorable litter of puppies. The puppies are part Shih Tzu and a mystery dad-either a papillon or a terrier type dog. They look like little fuzzballs right now. Of course, loving animals like I do, I could not resist. I sent the girl a message to let her know I was interested. I went to pick my new baby up yesterday and fell in love.

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What do you think? Irresistibly cute,or what? My son named her Fluffy Pia. LOL! He has a Puppy Pia. I love it when kids name your pets. They come up with some cute stuff. Our other dogs took right up with her-and so did the cats. They were all being protective of her. The cats would aw the dogs away from her and the dogs were letting each other know that the puppy was theirs. It was quite amusing to watch them. As you can see in the photo below, she really took up with our make boxer, Rambo.

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 Posted by at 1:54 PM  Tagged with:

Does Your Dog Have Fleas?

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Dec 242011
 

Did you know that fleas are not just a summertime pest? This is especially true for inside pets. Having three dogs and three cats, I learned this lesson the hard way. According to the New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, there are an estimated 1600 species of fleas. There are dog fleas, cat fleas, and even human fleas. Creepy, right?

What is horrible is that these creatures live on our beloved pets and can cause a myriad of health problems-not to mention that the fleas can infest our homes. Fleas can cause skin problems, allergies, and even anemia in pets. One of my dogs had fleas so bad that she was very anemic. I spent quite a bit of money at the vet to get her back to her normal pre-flea health. You have probably heard the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This is so true of your dog’s health and fleas. Since my fur baby’s illness due to fleas, we have used frontline plus for dogs to control the flea population on our pets. Lucky for us, they also make a Frontline Plus for cats.

Of course, flea eradication would not be complete without doing a thorough clean-up on everything in your home that may have gotten fleas, flea eggs or larvae on them. This includes vacuuming any carpet in the house that your pet has access to. You should also vacuum any furniture that your pets may lay on. This means removing all of the cushions and vacuuming under them. Be sure to remove the vacuum cleaner bag from the vacuum cleaner when you are finished. Take the used bag out of the house to prevent the fleas from getting back into your home. The pet’s bedding should also be washed thoroughly to get rid of any flea infestation. Keeping your house flea free is not a hard thing to do. Just be sure to use a good flea prevention product and make sure to keep your pets away from areas that may be infested with fleas.

Holiday Shopping At NoMoreRack

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Dec 172011
 

Are you still looking for that elusive deal for that special someone for the holidays? NoMoreRack is a great place to find great deals for your loved ones. I am quite new to NoMoreRack but have browsed around a bit. I have found items priced at 80% off! Those are the kind of deals I am looking for. They even feature name brand items at super low prices.

Of course, as with many online deal sites, you hear plenty of rumors about them being a scam. There were previously several sites that were talking of a nomorerack scam. Before spending any of my hard earned money, I tend to do a lot of research. I have also talked to several online friends about whether it was a scam or not. They have all assured me that there is no scam. They also assured me that NoMoreRack was a great place to shop and save money.  If you have any doubts about NoMoreRack, be sure to search the nomorerack reviews to put your mind at ease. I have read a lot of great reviews of this site. Of course, most people are very happy when they are saving money.

My online friend was able to purchase most of her holiday gifts for a fraction of the cost. NoMoreRack features eight deals per day that are release at 12PM EST every day.  I have seen a variety of products such as electronics, jewelry, toys, and clothing.  I am hoping to be able to make a few purchases for my son’s birthday which is coming up in February. I will need to save some money since I just spent what I had on Christmas gifts. I really wish I would have found this site before I did my holiday gift shopping. I could have saved a LOT of money.

NoMoreRack also donates money from one deal to charity. This is a great thing to do and I have a lot of respect for a company that gives back to the community. How many companies actually run a special deal and give the proceeds to charity? I bet it isn’t very many.

 Posted by at 9:40 PM
Dec 142011
 

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This is the first year that I have had cats at Christmas. We have a momma cat and her two kittens. The kittens, Fufu and Meowmeow, have decided that the tree is a new house full of toys. Over the past week, I have had to rehang most of the ornaments. As you can see in this picture, Fufu has made herself at home in the tree. I have even caught Meowmeow chewing on the tree. It is an artificial tree. I have no idea what could be so tasty on it but he seems to like it.

I am trying to figure out how to keep them out of the tree but have not come up with any good ideas. If anyone has any ideas, they are all welcome! I am tired of redecorating my tree.

006I have dogs and have never had problems with the dogs getting into the tree. My toddler never messed with the tree when he was little either. I am really frustrated by these silly kittens. I do have to say that she looks awfully cute in the tree though. I love my babies, so I guess I will get used to fixing the tree. I just hope they do not knock it completely over! LOL!

 Posted by at 1:38 PM  Tagged with:

Home For The Holidays by T-Mobile #homefortheholiday

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Dec 142011
 

This post is sponsored by T-Mobile.

What gets you in the holiday spirit? For me, it is Christmas music and hearing stories of good deeds done for the benefit of others during the holiday season. This video showing a flash mob of ladies dressed in pink singing while walking and dancing around the mall is also a great holiday spirit lifter. It shows shoppers getting into the spirit of the song and everyone is singing and dancing.

 Posted by at 10:04 AM  Tagged with:

My New Dentist

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Nov 182011
 

I have never been very consistent with going to the dentist. Seriously, how many people actually like going to the dentist? Not me for sure. I guess if I were to go regularly and not wait until I am in pain, it might be different. I have been having tooth pain for the past month and have been procrastinating on going to the dentist. I finally decided that I had better go before the pain got unbearable. I asked a few friends for recommendations and decided to go to Dr. MacKenzie at Paris Smiles.

From the moment I walked in the door, I felt very welcome. Every single person in the office was super friendly. The assistant, Laura, took x-rays of my mouth and took them for the doctor to look at. After he had a chance to look at them, he came in and told me he could do nothing today because of the infection surrounding my teeth. So, they called in some antibiotics and a pain medicine for me to take. I have to take the antibiotics 4 times a day and the pain med when I need it. Of course, I will try to make it without the pain medicine but the way it has been hurting, I may have to take them. I scheduled another appointment to have the 2 offensive teeth pulled before the end of the month. I am not looking forward to having it done but am glad that everyone in the office is so friendly so that maybe it won’t be quite so traumatic.

Another problem that I will have once I get the teeth pulled is that I will have no back teeth on the left side of my mouth. He suggested that I think about partials but of course, in my life money doesn’t grow on any of my trees-so I don’t know what I will be able to do as far as that aspect of it. I just hope I am not in too much pain to eat Thanksgiving dinner next week.

 Posted by at 1:44 PM  Tagged with:
Oct 142011
 

I fell on my knee the other day in Dollar General when I slipped because my shoe was wet from the rain. I was so embarrassed. I felt like such a cow. It was a humiliating feeling when I realized my foot was slipping. I could not stop. I went kerplunk right there in front of everyone. Being 6 foot tall and weighing in at 270 pounds, I don’t really look too fat-I am just a flipping amazon. I imagine it was quite a site to see me trying to hoist myself off of the floor.  I finally got up, got my stuff I was buying and got the heck outta there. I am now on a mission to lose this 100 extra pounds.

I am so wishing that I had not sold my Treadmill a couple of years ago. I am in desperate need to lose about 100lbs. I currently have high blood pressure and my back and knees are in continuous pain. I feel miserable and really need to do something to lose weight. I am working on trying to eat better and exercise more. I know that this is the best way to do it. It is just really hard to adjust my eating habits when I have to fix something for my family too. My four year old does not need to lose weight so he needs to eat differently than I do.

Have you succeeded in losing weight? How did you do it? I am in desperate need here!

Free Halloween Fun Crafts and More

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Oct 112011
 

I found some really cute Halloween printable freebies this morning. Be sure to check them out. Family Fun is a Disney site and has a bunch of great Halloween (and other holiday) fun stuff on their site. Be sure to check out the subscription page to subscribe and get Family Fun magazine by mail. You get 10 issues for $12.00. I have gotten this magazine for 4 years now and they always have awesome kid friendly things to do.

Here are the Halloween “things to do”. Hope you enjoy them.

Need Advice On Finding An Affordable Mattress

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Oct 082011
 

I am in need of a decent mattress. Mine is over 10 years old and totally NOT comfortable anymore. I even put a piece of plywood under it hoping it would help. It is so saggy and is just really too small anyway. It is a queen-sized bed and I am 6 foot tall. I need a king-sized bed. I have no room to move around and stretch out. Of course, I also have a boxer, and English bulldog and a Shih Tzu that sleep in the bed too. My main problem is my budget. I have no job and am on a very limited budget. I entered several blog giveaways for mattresses but did not win. I was so hoping to be able to win. I would try to do a review but I don’t think I would qualify for a free mattress since my blog is so new. I do have a lot of followers but am not sure that would help.

So, does anyone have any advice on how to find an affordable, comfortable mattress? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. If you know of a company that would let me do a review, I would love to know about it!