Taking Care of Business 11:51 p.m. 2004-07-24

It's my fifth anniversary and my husband and I just returned from a bite at the IHOP. Well, more than just a bite...I had the usual: two eggs (over easy), cheese grits, and 4 links of sausage. The trick is to chop up the eggs and sausage and mix them with the grits (the cheese is new...), adding salt and pepper if necessary.

Many people look at my plate in disgust (including my signifigant other), but you should try it - it's really good! I think I inherited the technique from my father, although he usually adds Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce to his.

Because I was in a celebratory mood, and because I just wanted to, I followed that up with two pancakes. Of course, there's a routine involved there, too. With waffles and pancakes, what you do is melt the butter on top (or between pancakes), then chop it all up. Only then is it acceptable to add (lots of) syrup. My dad like Steen's Cane Syrup - his daughter's never acquired a taste for it. I currently have two cans in my pantry, and I don't know who will consume them!

For the most part, the breakfast foods are the only ones that I seem to have a routine with. I'm sure other peculiarities will come to me later, as I toss and turn on a full stomach from eating so late.

I spent the afternoon working on my new website, Maison Celeste. After getting some good imput from friends, I worked hard at uploading images for the main page, and I switched my fascinating bio to an About Celeste page. And added pictures of me, my former pony, my husband, and my dog.

Oh, and according to an English lit profesor friend (and former riding instructor...English, of course.), I use the word and a LOT! So, I tried to fix that!

I sent an e-mail to everyone in my mailbox with the URL of the new website, and asked them to pass it along. I also have put in for 500 more banner ads with Diaryland to try and attract more people to my site. I still have a lot to do to get ready for my trip to the New Orleans area, but I got the dining room cleaned and vaccuumed. I also organized the growing number of art supplies I am accumulating!

As an anniversary present, my husband ordered two t-shirts from Think Geek.com. They are both black. The first one says "I am blogging this." ;-) The second one says "I love (it's a heart, of course, so I heart) my geek." Great stuff!

For my gift, I went to Priceline.com and got us a room at the Marriott Hotel on Canal Street in New Orleans. I was going to get a room at Le Pavillon (a great hotel at a great summer price! Check Travelocity.com), but it is a little far from the Quarter, and even though the price was only $85, with tax and parking, it all adds up. I offered $50 for the Marriott, and there was a $13 fee (it had better be tax, because I will be pissed if that is added when we get there!).

I called the hotel to be reminded of the outrageous parking fee. It was $24.95 per day!!!!! That's over $1 an hour!!! My hubby and I considered paying a homeless person to continuously drive around the Quarter in my car, but will instead see more reasonable parking at the Moonwalk or on Iberville street. Why don't they just go ahead and add parking to the room quote?

I going to put another layer of varnish on my jewelry box chests. I also need to sign my coasters and other work. I recently contacted the Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo, about two great articles that I read and printed out from her website. Of course, I have misplaced them, but she told me where they were in her blog. The first article is called Crafting for Cash, and the second one is called Crafting for Cash TIPS. I will soon be ordering a couple of guides to opening a small business, and my husband is checking out how to run an e-commerce site, but Kathy's articles are the most helpful I have found so far.

I think that part of the reason for my overindulgence was the first of "business" discussions between my husband and me. I paid one year in advance to register my domain name and also for the upgrade in services with Bravenet, and it seemed like a really good deal. And it probably is. But I have been playing and playing with the template wizard until I finally was able to get just a white background and black lettering, and it was not easy! Live and learn! I still think that it will be adequate (with the help of PayPal, CafePress, and E-Bay) for the start up of sales and orders.

Anyway, my techie (geek) husband is nudging me toward an e-commerce site and business plan is. Frankly, that was something I had been avoiding. It is much more fun to go out and buy supplies and make things! Wish me luck with this new stage of planning!

Oh, and send all of your friends to MaisonCeleste.com!

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