Addicted: When Hobbies Bite Back


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That means that Jack needs a hobby. Put simply, a hobby is structured play. Some hobbies are passive, like watching Andy Griffith on TV-Land over and over again. Other hobbies are quite a bit more active like jumping out of perfectly good planes, or diving head-long off a tall bridge with a rubber band strapped to your body. One hobby threatens to atrophy your brain. Another threatens to tear you limb from limb.

Taken to extremes, any hobby can lead to addiction. Some more than others.

The insidious thing about hobbies that lead to addiction is that you can’t really tell when it is happening. At what point does a hobby go from doing what you enjoy a lot, to addiction? Psychology Today defines it this way:

Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.

Because the person caught up in addiction is incapable of seeing the warning signs, it is up to friends and family to help make sure that the obsession over a hobby does not bite back. Here is more useful information that might help you catch an stop addiction before it can ruin the life of someone you love:

Gambling Addiction

These days, when addiction is the subject, the first thing that comes to mind is drugs and alcohol. Because that is all many people are concerned about, behavioral addictions can go unaddressed, resulting in more harm. Gambling is one of the biggest culprits in this category.

In this list of 7 gambling-addicted celebs, this quote from Charles Barkley best exemplifies the problem:

“Do I have a gambling problem? Yeah, I do have a gambling problem but I don’t consider it a problem because I can afford to gamble. It’s just a stupid habit that I’ve got to get under control, because it’s just not a good thing to be broke after all of these years. I gamble too much, I gamble for too much money,” he said. “And it’s something I have to address. I am addressing it, that would be the best way to explain it. I’m not going to quit gambling because it’s my life and it’s my money.”

Sir Charles has the luxury of being rich, with the ability to replenish his bank account by flogging men’s hygiene products. Most of us do not have that luxury, and gambling will rob our kids of their college fund, our spouses of a secure retirement, and ourselves of dignity. Most people who have a gambling problem can and should address it with ongoing treatment programs at gambling rehabilitation centers.

Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is trickier to manage than other types of addiction. With substance abuse, alcoholism and other behavioral addictions (like gambling), the user has the option of completely abstaining from the source of his or her addiction. This is not the case with internet addicts because the internet has become intensely ingrained in almost every aspect of modern life.

Internet addiction typically manifests in one of five ways:

·  Cybersex addiction

·  Cyber relationship addiction

·  Net compulsions

·  Information Overload

·  Computer Addiction

These five categories are more fully fleshed out in’s reference sheet.  Many professionals believe that Internet addiction is a way of self-medicating to fix other, bigger, problems in a person’s life. “Real” life is overwhelming in some way so these people turn toward the Internet for comfort and have a hard time letting go. It’s understandable, since it has become so pervasive in our culture.

On some level, all addiction is behavioral. There has to be a behavior that gets people started down the path of drug and alcohol abuse. All addictions start with a habit. Not all habits lead to addiction. The difference is that we are in control of habits. We are not in control of addictions. There is no clear line of delineation for the crossover. The key is to be aware of your habits that most often lead to addictions in others, and stay as far away from the line as possible.

5 Ways to Get Your Camera Images on Instagram


It’s official I’m addicted to Instagram, its on the top of my list of social channels. A near second is Pinterest and trailing last is Facebook. I think my disinterest in Facebook started when we moved to the East coast after a facebook friend fallout. Who knew people actually expected you to comment on their EVERY post. On top of that all the Facebook policy changes, it just became exhausting. So I started looking for other mediums and Instgram became my favorite social channel.

After all I love taking pictures and photos are a great way to express yourself and showcase your work. It was a challenge at first because I don’t particularly enjoy taking pictures with my phone especially since I have a camera by my side almost on the 24/7. So I wanted to find a fast and easy way to get my camera photos onto Instagram.

Because the Instagram API doesn’t allow 3rd party apps to upload images the list of options below will never post anything on Instagram automatically. You will still need to manually upload your images to Instagram.

5 Ways to Get Your Camera Images on Instagram

A Wi-Fi Enabled Camera
If you have a wi-fi enables camera you can easily add your photos by connecting your camera to your phone. I have the Canon 6D and Canon EOS Remote app. It takes some effort to get it set up but once you do your Camera and phone are essential “tethered” and you can view the images on your phone. If you need some assistance there is a great video tutorial on how to set up your Wi-Fi on the Canon 6D on

Latergramma is a third party tool that lets you upload images to a cloud and schedule Instagram posts. Because of the API limitations it doesn’t directly post your photos to Instagram. Instead you will receive a text alert at the scheduled time to remind you to post the picture to Instagram. You go into the app and approve the image to post to Instagram. The Instagram app will then open and you can proceed with posting on Instagram how you normally would. The App is free to download on your iOS and Android devices. At this time it doesn’t appear to be any limitations to how many images you can post. To sign up visit

Everyone should have a dropbox account by now, it’s a great cloud service that use almost on a daily basis, for work, for photography and for blogging. Once you’ve downloaded your pictures on your computer and edited them to you liking you can save them directly to you drobox folder. When I’m doing this I like to crop/save the images to the best Instagram size (1280 x 1280). Once they are uploaded to you dropbox you can go use the Dropbox app on your device and download the pictures to your phone.

I haven’t tried Mosiac yet but this sounds like a great way to streamline the process a bit. With Mosaic your Lightroom photos are synced automatically to your mobile devices. With the app you will be able to search your photos by keyword, collections, folders & more. You can save the images to your camera roll. The app is $24.99 and can be downloaded on the app store. You can download the Lightroom at

Mobi Eye Fi Card
You can purchase a Mobi Eye Fi Card for you camera. The Eye-fi transfers your pictures from your camera to your favorite iOS, Android or Kindle device as you take them. You don’t need to have a Wi-Fi enabled camera for it to work. Your images are stored on the Eye Fi Cloud, a private, photo-centric cloud service, to make those high-quality shots instantly available on any Web-enabled device. Again you can save these images to your camera roll and open them up in Instagram to post. The price range for Eye Fi Card ranges from $40 – $80. Check out my review of the Moby Eye Fi Card.

Camera to Instagram

Cleaning & Organization Tips for Your Home


When you have a Type A personality, life is about control and organization. So it’s safe to assume that your home needs to reflect these attributes. Just because you’re not a Type A personality, doesn’t mean you can’t have the same cleanliness and order that often accompanies the personality. There are plenty of simple tricks that can get you on the right path.

Not many people in the world will say they enjoy cleaning. While it may be a sometimes daunting task, especially with kids and pets, staying on top of cleaning will reduce the overall load. Rather than allowing dirty dishes to pile around the sink, rinse them and immediately load them into the dishwasher. Handle cleaning one space at a time rather than falling victim to “cleaning ADHD” which can be distracting and lead you away from your original task. Keep your products to simple cleaners like vinegar, basic dish soap, and baking soda. These products are safer and can clean pretty much anything.

Organization is a key factor to maintaining a tidy home. Devise a system that works for you and stick to it. Remember to return items to the locations where they belong. Shelving and storage bins will help keep similar items together and maintain a proper spot to keep them. You should be able to easily navigate through your home. If you have excess items you need to hold on to, consider getting an off site storage unit. There are a variety of storage units throughout Houston that can meet your needs. 

Creating a cleaning schedule will help keep you on track in maintaining your home. Tasks can be tackled in brief spurts of time throughout the day to break the monotony. Rather than letting task pile up, designate a day or two within the week for each task. Large projects like shampooing carpets or power washing siding can be added on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to the schedule so they seem more like a routine and not an overwhelming project.

Decluttering your home will make everything much easier to organize. Clutter can have ill effects on the mind, even if you haven’t reached hoarder status. To properly declutter, you need to get rid of things you don’t need or use. Donate clothes that don’t fit and you haven’t worn in years. Clear flat spaces like kitchen counters and dining room tables regularly to prevent them from becoming clutter collectors. Reduce what you have to what you need and it will make your life simpler and surfaces easier to clean.

Tips for The Kids
Kids are messy and there’s no denying it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t guide our children to live cleaner and more organized lives. Make sure you clearly establish where everything goes. You can outline areas specifically for larger items and label general areas as well. Daycares often use this practice to keep track of items so there are so many children. Make sure they clean up as soon as their done. Demonstrate that cleaning small messes takes less time than cleaning a big mess. Small habits like wiping out a sink after they brush their teeth, will help keep the house looking nice. Have them sort through their toys and donate items they’re not using. Remember to lead by example and your children are sure to follow.

The key to maintaining a clean home is to not let it get out of hand to begin with. Don’t let projects become overwhelming and feel free to make a game out of it. A little music can always spruce up undesired activities. Free your home of filth and chaos and your mind will reap the same benefits.

photo credit:

Macarons Helped Her Quit Her Day Job


I’ve been on this earth for thirty something years and I’ve never had a French macaron. I’ve seen them and have wanted to take pictures of them because they looked so pretty. So a few weeks ago I bought a case of six for a mini photo shoot at home. After I wrapped up the shoot I decided to have a taste. I can’t remember the flavors that came with my set but I knew one of them was chocolate. And you can never go wrong with chocolate. Well I was wrong; they weren’t very good at all.

After watching Dana’s video I’m thinking that maybe I just chose the wrong bakery so I’ll give the macron one more chance.

Dana Loia quit her job as a photo editor and jumped with both feet to launch Dana’s Bakery a boutique macarons bakery. Check out her entrepreneur story.


Women in Business Interview – Joanna Neiderhiser


Joanna Neiderhiser 3This week’s interview is with Joanna Neiderhiser an Avon Executive Unit Leader from Pennsylvania. Joanna transitioned into Avon after being laid off from a job she worked at for 16 years.

Can you explain your role as an Executive Unit Leader at Avon?
My role as an Executive Unit Leader with Avon is to help my downline team grow and reach the goals that they want to achieve in their lives. My goal is to be an inspiration to them and show them all that’s possible to achieve with Avon. My role is also to help them believe in themselves so that they can get to the place where they want to be in their Avon career.

What inspired you to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur?
In February 2007 I was laid off from a job that I worked at for 16 years. While attending a local fair with my family, I ran into a woman whose mother I had helped take care of at the medical supply store. She invited me to check out Avon and I realized shortly after the first year that I did not want to be back in an office working for somebody else again. I realized in that first year with Avon that I wanted to be my own boss.

What did you do in your past work life? Have you been able to use any of those skills in your career at Avon?
I worked in a medical supply store, so I was the leader of getting our held revenue to where it needed to be so that corporate was happy. I was very goal oriented and task oriented when given a task. The same goes with Avon; I make a goal, I figure out how I’m going to get there and I make it happen.

With all the advancements in technology, have you had to make adjustments to your business to accommodate the shift from print communication to digital communication?
I am very paper oriented but as of this morning, I’m working on being more digital oriented. It’s very hard for me to give up my hand-written calendar so that’s the first thing that I will be working on as of August 2014: becoming more digital and less about paper.

Describe your ideal workday?
My ideal workday begins with getting up at 5:00 AM, having coffee with my husband and then immediately getting online to see who from my downline has their numbers, who needs to work on numbers and who has an order on hold. My children get up and out the door by 7:00 AM and at that point I get myself ready to get out the door by 8:30 AM. At that point, I’ve already determined whether I am working with a Representative in the field, out prospecting, or participating in holding meetings with my downline to show them how to increase sales or how to build customers. Whatever it is, I’m out of the house for the day for at least the next six hours.

We recently moved from the west coast to the east coast and struggle with the amount of days the schools are closed for snow days or teacher days, how do you manage your time when your son is home from school but you still need to work?
It has gotten a little easier because my son is now in the senior high ninth grade. However, when he was younger and there would be a snow day or he was home, I would utilize that time to be on the phone with my leaders, with old leads on Facebook helping them, while still scheduling time for the team. I find it important to work the family into the business so that everybody realizes the part of the business that I’m doing but also that they benefit as well.

What has been your most rewarding experiences working with Avon?
That is an easy one, especially since I was just chosen to be a part of a breakout session panel with Avon at our national conference in Orlando at the end of August – I was blown away when I was asked! The networking that came out of the event was just amazing, with so many wonderful ideas to bring home and put into action and encourage my team to do the same.

What did you struggle with most when getting started?
I struggled with approaching people for Avon’s leadership program. That was something that was a learned habit and it did not come easy. But the more that I have been out prospecting, the more I absolutely love to meet people and help change their lives.

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I have a goal in sight of becoming a Senior Executive Unit Leader (the next level up from Executive Unit Leader) and that motivates me every day. I have worked really hard and I want so much to take my son to Hollywood, CA with my Avon earnings. He has always wanted to go and this trip would be an opportunity for me to be able to make his dream come true.

Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
I like Avon’s “jumpstart flyer” – it really shows a new candidate how they can capitalize on the earnings opportunity with Avon. Also, Avon Pathways, one of Avon’s free online training programs, is probably one of the best tools there is. It offers so much knowledge and learning that any Avon Representative can do in the privacy of their own home and at their leisure.

What is your balancing secret when managing a business and household?
I have a calendar that I follow every day. Every other week is when I clean the house, so on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I clean one room per day so that it’s not overwhelming. On Sundays I prepare our menu for the week and handle grocery shopping so there isn’t any guessing as to what is being made for dinner that week. My husband Brian and the children are also a great support system in helping complete daily household tasks.

Do you have a motivational quote?
“Throughout Christ all things are possible.”

If there was one piece of advice you could give to another mom about running their own business, what would it be?
Stay organized. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and it’s just a choice of what you choose to do with them.

What is your online guilty pleasure, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.

If someone is interested in a career with Avon, how would they go about getting started?
If somebody is interested in the Avon opportunity, I would explain to them how easy it is to get started, how we can get them signed up and how we can get them a $400 order right off the bat. It’s important for them to understand how to sell effectively so that they can earn money with Avon. continue to build their business and ultimately share with others how to do the same.

Disclosure: As a paid Blogger Ambassador for Avon, I will be discussing many aspects of Avon’s brand; from the entrepreneurial side, to career, to beauty tips, Avon staples, and more in a series of posts. The opinions in these articles are mine and are not indicative of the brand.

Avon Website:
Avon Brand Ambassador

Climate Change: 33 Things you Should Know

USA 2002 (July 27th) California, Joshua Tree National Park

I generally try to keep my opinions to myself regarding major political and debatable topics I just don’t see the need to defend my opinions to others that may appose them. That being said I’m having a difficult time biting my tongue about climate change and global warming.

Frankly it’s getting a little nerve wracking and as my son would say, “It’s Obvious” something is going on. If you don’t believe me check out the 33 Things to Eat, Drink, See and Do Before Climate Change Ruins Everything article on Medium.

Photo credit: paraflyer