Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Do You Have a Data Disaster Recovery Plan?

The Department of Trade and Industry has found that 70 percent of small businesses suffering a major data loss are out of business within 18 months. Could that be you or your company? My Dad always told me that "failing to plan, was planning to fail". In the case of lost data, this is critical.

Any business owner, regardless of the size of their business, should have a disaster recovery plan in place. Data loss can occur in any number of ways. From human error or viruses, to hardware or system malfunction. If you've ever experienced the "blue screen of death", you know the disbelief and the feeling of PANIC that shortly follows. I recently experienced a blue screen moment and can testify to the panic that ensues. Our main computer suffered a virus that locked up every program on our system. In a heartbeat we were unable to access

  • Customer databases
  • Supplier details
  • Inventory data
  • Financial documents
  • Marketing materials, including a huge data base of pictures and video tutorials
  • Employee Records
  • ... and list goes on...

Thankfully, we had a solid recovery plan in place and we're able to call in the right people to resolve our worst nightmare within a few hours. BUT... what if we had not protected ourselves with a data recovery plan? Certainly, we would not be in business today. Our recovery plan was implemented when I first started my company. I contacted a local IT firm to provide managed IT services. It's been a God-send in every sense of the word. Yes, I do have to pay a monthly fee for this service, however, should anything fail, malfunction, or need service, I just pick up the phone and help is on the way. In a nutshell, I have transferred the day-to-day technology management responsibilities to a team of professionals. They host all of our business software and provide support for us 24/7.

I understand that not all businesses are in a position to employ the services of an IT company. However, you can still protect your data by having a good back-up program in place. Whether you use your own back-up device or an online back-up service, you need to make sure your data is protected EVERY SINGLE DAY. You've worked too hard to make your business a success. Why would you jeopardize all that hard work? Here are a few links that will provide information or services that can help you to better manage your business data.

http://www.ccr1.com/

http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2288745,00.asp

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The At&T Saga Continues

Our voice phone line has not been in service for nearly two weeks. We recently decided to consolidate our land lines. We asked for one line to be disconnected. AT&T disconnected two lines; one of those being the voice line for GoPlanet.

There are no words to describe the amount of anger I have experienced in dealing with AT&T about these issues. Two weeks later, after contact with 20 AT&T employees, encountering numerous disconnect transferred calls that ended with a recording "If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and dial again", I'm pissed! Sorry to be so frank, but that's the honest truth.

This has DEFINITELY been a learning experience in customer service and AT&T's customer service is not one I want my employees to mimic. I am even more frustrated that part of disconnecting these land lines was to implement a iPhone cell line which is only available through AT&T. If I wasn't angry enough, I've just added misery to misery.

I'm not sure when or if we will get our land line reinstalled. At this point, I am considering disconnecting all AT&T lines and starting from scratch. I apologize for all this inconvenience. If you need to contact us, you will currently have to do so via our fax number or by email.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our Phone Line went on Vacation

Quick post to notify you that our voice line is not working at this time. Our apologies. AT&T was doing some work in revamping our voice land lines. There was a BIG OOPS on their end and they mistakenly disconnected our main voice line. We aren't happy about it, but we are at the mercy of their service department to get it repaired.

Yes, we are still in business!!! We're just having some phone issues that need to be resolved.

If you need to contact us, please use our fax line (which thankfully, is still working) or email.

Sunday, May 16, 2010



FACEBOOK SUNDAY SPECIAL was just posted. Don't miss out. To qualify, all you need to do is "LIKE" our page. Remember, your order must be received today, Sunday May 16 to qualify. We will take the discount (manually) once your order is received. Just another way we're helping you save.

Here's the link: http://tinyurl.com/2euae2x

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Night of Magic & Illusions

Today is a special day. I am taking my 7-year old grandson to see his first magic show. The most exciting part is it's not just any magic, it's the magic of David Copperfield. My little guy has no concept of how grand this show will be. In his child-like mind, he is thinking card tricks and rabbits popping out of a hat. I can't wait to see his reaction to Mr. Copperfield's incredible illusions and magic.

As I write this post, I am working from home catching up on GoPlanet paperwork. THEN, it's off to a seafood dinner with my grandson and an evening of magical fun. As my grandson is quick to point out, this is "his special day". No other siblings are invited which make this day even grander in his mind.

My husband and I do "it's your special day" events with each grandchild every few months. It makes them feel important when they recieve our undivided attention for an entire day. Hopefully, we are creating memories for years to come.

This is an action-packed grandkids weekend. Tomorrow we have a dual birthday party for Carson and Miss O. They will be celebrating their 7th and 4th birthdays. Hope your having a great weekend and making some magical moments with family and friends.

I'll be back to business as usual on Monday!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Don't Miss This Mold Special!!!!!!

18-bar Rectangle Soap Making Slab Tray Mold
It isn't often we offer a buy like this!

Buy two 18-Bar Rectangle Grid Slab Trays and get one FREE (B2GO). For a limited time, we are offering these top-selling molds at the incredible price of $13.30 when purchasing two. Considering this mold retails for $19.95>>>>>>>it would DEFINITELY be the time to round up other soaping friends and split the cost.

LIMITED OFFER, so don't delay. You must use the above link to receive this special pricing.



Melt & Pour Soap Making: Realistic Ice Cream Soap Tutorial

I was finally able to wrap up the 3-D ice cream soap tutorial. My staff and grandkids walked out the door with these soaps before I even had a chance to take photos of the cones with our new "Mixed Jimmie Sprinkles". The multi-colored sprinkles are a great addition to Mold Market's cupcake and ice cream molds. Hope you enjoy the tutorial!
 
video
 
 
Our new "Jimmie Sprinkles"...
Jimmie Sprinkles for Cupcake & Ice Cream Soaps



Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mother's Day Reflections

Today my grandson had a soccer game. It was COLD, COLD, COLD!!! It's supposedly Spring here in Michigan but today it was windy and in the mid 40's. That 40 degree temp felt more like 32. Being the smart gal that I am, I opted to not attend the game and sent my honey-man to be the cheerleader. The soccer field is within walking distance of our home. Within a short time I heard my husband bounding into the house digging through closets for Winter garb.

Grandma Duley's Blue Jean Quilt
My grandson's cheering section was freezing and my honey was searching for warm gear to stop the fans from shivering. While digging through the closets we happened upon the quilt that is pictured here. It's a blue jean quilt made by my Great-Grandma Duley. These aren't just any blue jeans, oh no! These are the blue jeans that were worn by the farmhands and family members who worked in the cotton fields of my great-grandparents farm in the South.

This was a quilt gifted to me by my Grandma just before she passed away. I had forgotten about it and when my husband pulled it out of the closet, an overwhelming sense of loss enveloped me. In this quilt was family history. In this quilt was the blood, sweat and tears of family that toiled in the fields. In this quilt was the nimble hands of my great-grandmother who cut, pieced and stitched this humble work of art.

Grandma Duley's Blue Jean Quilt It brought back memories of summers I spent on my great-grandma's farm. I remember picking cotton to take back home for show and tell in grade school. I remember making doll clothes from scraps of left-over fabric. I remember picking giant sunflowers that grew in the garden next to the house and the chickens that wandered around the yard not knowing they might be the evening meal.

Seeing that blue jean quilt caused me to reflect upon the woman I am today. In just that instance, I realized that part of who I am has been shaped by the women in my past. It was from these great women that I learn to sew, cook, paint, create, design, write and most importantly, how to be a good mother. Today, that blue jean quilt means the world to me. It may be tattered, torn, and soiled, but, it's a reminder that my past and family history are an inherit part of "me".

This weekend, I salute all the women who have given guidance, counsel, quiet shelter, and a beacon of light in the changing scenes of life. The blue jean quilt tells me I belong. Yes, I belong to my past, and that past helps me find my way in the future. I hope you have something or someone that speaks to the greatness you have within yourself.

Happy Mother's Day to each of you!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Soap Molds: Mold Markets Tiled Square & Polka Dots

Tiled Square & Polka Dot Soap Molds Mold Market's new Tiled Square and Polka Dot molds make pouring mulitple colors a breeze. We used the injector tool from the PJ Professional Tool Kit to fill the dots and squares. It was a snap!

Tiled Square & Polka Dot Soap Molds The color possibilites are endless.

Tiled Square & Polka Dot Soap Molds

Soap Colorant Tips Now in Stock

Dropper Tip for Soap Colors
We have received repeated requested to bring back the dropper tips for our colorant bottles. We discontinued these tips last year in lieu of raising colorant prices. We are now offering the tips as an option. They are sold in 12 count packages. You can order the tips here. They retail for $3.75 a package.

Ice Cream, Ice Cream, We all Scream Ice Cream SOAP


You would have thought my grandkids had died and gone to heaven when they spotted this soap sitting on the kitchen island. I wondered how long it would take them to notice it. It wasn't more than 20 seconds and they were fighting over who was going to get the soaps.

Over the weekend, I whipped up a batch of soap frosting to see how it would fair as ice cream. It was colored with Rock Me Raspberry soap colorant and scented with Strawberry. The strawberry scent smells just like strawberry ice cream and definitely lended authenticity to the soap cone.



You have to work fast when using the soap frosting so that it doesn't harden too fast. I made all the scoops first and then attached them to the cone base. I'll have a tutorial out soon that outlines how it was done.




Once I had all the ice cream (soap) scoops ready, I had a brainstorm. Why not place one in a small ceramic dish and drizzle with chocolate colored soap. It turned out exactly as I envisioned.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Facebook Sunday Special

Don't miss out on this week's Facebook special. Here's how you can cash in on the special: Visit our Facebook page and LIKE IT (formerly BECOME A FAN). Once you've done that, you're eligible for the posted special. Remember, you only have today to cash in on the special offer.