Saturday, February 28, 2009

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Dessert Recipe

Yummy strawberry jello dessert.

Do you ever need a easy to make dessert for a party?-This one's a favorite in our family! The crispy pretzel crust is unusual and offsets the creamy center layer. Try making this recipe with all sorts of variations-Try fresh raspberries and raspberry jello or orange jello with mandarin oranges.

2c. coarsely ground pretzels
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese,softened
1 c. sugar
2 (8 oz.)tubs Cool Whip, thawed
1 6oz. pkg strawberry Jello
2c. boiling water
2 (10oz.)pkg frozen sliced strawberries

Layer 1
Mix together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3T sugar. Press into bottom of 13x9 inch baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool.

Layer 2
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in Cool whip, mix until well blended. Spoon over pretzel layer and spread evenly.

Layer 3
Mix together Jello and boiling water. Add frozen strawberries. Refrigerate for about 1 hour until slightly thickened. Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until jello is firm about 4 hours.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Business Basics 101-LLC

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The LLC is a relatively new type of hybrid business structure that is now permissible in most states. It is designed to provide the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership. Formation is more complex and formal than that of a general partnership.

LLCs are popular because, similar to a corporation, owners have limited personal liability for the debts and actions of the LLC. Other features of LLCs are more like a partnership, providing management flexibility and the benefit of pass-through taxation

The owners are called members. Since most states do not restrict ownership, members may include individuals, corporations, other LLCs and foreign entities. There is no maximum number of members. Most states also permit “single member” LLCs, those having only one owner. The duration of the LLC is usually determined when the organization papers are filed. The time limit can be continued, if desired, by a vote of the members at the time of expiration. LLCs must not have more than two of the four characteristics that define corporations: Limited liability to the extent of assets, continuity of life, centralization of management, and free transferability of ownership interests.

Federal Tax Forms for LLC

For additional information on the kinds of tax returns to file, how to handle employment taxes and possible pitfalls, refer to Publication 3402, Tax Issues for Limited Liability Companies (PDF).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Michigan Trolls Team Treasury

AngiesdesignsShop got a treasury last night! What's a treasury? For those of you who look at Etsy-it's a showcase of favorite items picked by an Etsy member-a curator. The main treasury list is opened when there are under 333 lists showing. It's almost a game-you have your treasury title picked out and you need to type it it fast-and voila! you have a treasury. Now you fill the spaces with links to 12 items (plus for alternates) in any shops on Etsy. The Treasury is not intended for self-promotion, but instead to acknowledge and share the many cool things for sale on Etsy. Admin often choose an exceptional Treasury list to promote on the home page and occasionally make them to tie into Storque articles or special events and occasions. I love to see the themes and items other sellers pick out-some are very creative. It gives you a bit of exposure-and it's a good way to get to take a look at lots of great shops. If you haven't put together a Treasury yet-try it! But beware, treasury curating can become addicting...If you stay up to 4am just waiting for that list to open-don't say I didn't warn you!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sneak Attack!

Whew! That was fun! If you hang out in the Etsy forums long enough you keep hearing about a sneak attack. A bunch of crazy kamikaze shoppers, rogue buyers...what the heck is a sneak attack anyway? From the Handmademovement blog...Three days a week at an appointed time, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is announced on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop! Want to join in? I bet you do! Read on... A relatively new shop with few sales is "targeted" by a group of seasoned Etsy sellers. Today's attack was sponsored by HappyCloudMoments.

Who's behind all this?

Actually, a lot of people are! The success of this site and the Sneak Attack is are thanks to a lot of different people who are happy to help make someone's day! Michael Phipps originated the Sneak Attack idea. He ties everything together and maintains the site.

Michael is an artist by profession. As part of that he sells artistic t-shirts on his site and his Etsy shop PhippsArt. His art blog can be found at See his illustration work at

Well today I had to try it for myself-what a lot of fun. This afternoon we "attacked this shop HappyElephantDesigns! This is what I got! A darling birthday card...just in time for an upcoming birthday! I hope you try out the "sneak attack" too. It gives a boost of confidence to sellers, and a sense of satisfaction for the attackers. You've heard of random acts of go out and do it!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Twilight Time

Here it is! my first Thursday Sweet Treat Blog Challenge!

On Friday morning Natasha posts a new challenge on her blog: Last Friday she posted the challenge I'm dreaming in color. We are to come up with a new interpretation piece by Wednesday! This was my first time in this challenge-but it won't be my last-it was lot's of fun to challenge yourself-and I can't wait to see what other artisans came up with! When I read the theme this week I let my mind wander-The song “Twilight Time” came into my head. Heavenly shades of night are falling, it's twilight time Out of the mist your voice is calling, 'tis twilight time when purple-colored curtains mark the end of day I'll hear you, my dear, at twilight time. I went thru my beads and found the most delicious shades of blues and purple fresh water pearls-deep, rich colors and mixed them with iolite and amethyst beads, iridescent fresh water pearl spears and these funky round coin beads I had found in my favorite bead store. I combined them into a triple strand necklace that explodes into the colors of “twilight time.” I hope you like it too! Please take a look at all the other artisans at:

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thursday Sweet Treat Challenge

I wanted to let you know about an artisan challenge called "Thursday Sweet Treat Challenge." Natasha of posts a theme on her blog on Friday morning and the challenge is to create a new item by the next Wednesday so she can post it on her site on Thursday morning!
The challenge this week was "I'm dreaming of color." I created my first challenge piece today! I won't give you a peek until later this week-but I'll give you a hint...Twilight Time is what I named the necklace.

Business Basics 101-Sub Chapter S Corporations

Subchapter S Corporations A tax election only; this election enables the shareholder to treat the earnings and profits as distributions and have them pass through directly to their personal tax return. The catch here is that the shareholder, if working for the company, and if there is a profit, must pay him/herself wages, and must meet standards of "reasonable compensation". This can vary by geographical region as well as occupation, but the basic rule is to pay yourself what you would have to pay someone to do your job, as long as there is enough profit. If you do not do this, the IRS can reclassify all of the earnings and profit as wages, and you will be liable for all of the payroll taxes on the total amount. Federal Tax Forms for Subchapter S Corporations (only a partial list and some may not apply) · Form 1120S: Income Tax Return for S Corporation · 1120S K-1: Shareholder's Share of Income, Credit, Deductions · Form 4625 Depreciation · Employment Tax Forms · Form 1040: Individual Income Tax Return · Schedule E: Supplemental Income and Loss · Schedule SE: Self-Employment Tax · Form 1040-ES: Estimated Tax for Individuals Other forms as needed for capital gains, sale of assets, alternative minimum tax, etc.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Etsy Team Michigan Trolls Treasury

I'm excited to be part of of new Michigan Etsy team-the Michigan Trolls I'm featuring some fine Michigan artisans on this treasury: Please take a look!

Business Basics 101-Corporations


Corporations are the most formal way of conducting business. A corporation chartered by the state in which it is headquartered is considered by law to be a unique entity, separate and apart from those who own it. A corporation can be taxed, it can be sued, and it can enter into contractual agreements. The owners of a corporation are its shareholders. The shareholders elect a board of directors to oversee the major policies and decisions. The corporation has a life of its own and does not dissolve when ownership changes. The two most common types of coporations are "C" and "S" corporations. A major difference is how they are taxed.

A "C" corporation pays a corporate income tax and the owners also pay their personal taxes on salaries and dividends. An "S" corporation does not pay corporate income tax; instead, all profits are allocated to the stockholders and are taxed at each stockholder's personal tax rate whether or not cash is paid out as salary.

Many small businesses consider creating a corporation to protect personal assets such as home, cars, etc. from the courts in the event of bankruptcy or a jury awards a settlement more than the limits of your insurance.

We'll look at "S" Corporations and "LLC's" in the future!

Remember, as always, I advise you to consult with a qualified accountant or lawyer to give you the best advice for your situation!

Advantages of a Corporation

  • Shareholders have limited liability for the corporation's debts or judgments against the corporations.
  • Generally, shareholders can only be held accountable for their investment in stock of the company. (Note however, that officers can be held personally liable for their actions, such as the failure to withhold and pay employment taxes.)
  • Corporations can raise additional funds through the sale of stock.
  • A corporation may deduct the cost of benefits it provides to officers and employees.
  • Can elect S corporation status if certain requirements are met. This election enables company to be taxed similar to a partnership.

Disadvantages of a Corporation

  • The process of incorporation requires more time and money than other forms of organization.
  • Corporations are monitored by federal, state and some local agencies, and as a result may have more paperwork to comply with regulations.
  • Incorporating may result in higher overall taxes. Dividends paid to shareholders are not deductible from business income; thus it can be taxed twice.
  • Federal Tax Forms for Regular or "C" Corporations (only a partial list and some may not apply) Form 1120 or 1120-A: Corporation Income Tax Return Form 1120-W Estimated Tax for Corporation Form 8109-B Deposit Coupon Form 4625 Depreciation Employment Tax Forms Other forms as needed for capital gains, sale of assets, alternative minimum tax, etc.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My families favorite recipes

Smacznego-Bon Appetit! One of the things I wanted to share with you is my love of cooking. Good, sometimes old-fashioned cooking like your mom and grandma night have made if you were very lucky! I grew up in a Polish family of great cooks. My Babcia (grandmother), various aunts and my mother were wonderful cooks that passed down a wealth of knowledge. We learned cooking by doing-not by following recipes in a cookbook-but treasured recipes handed down generation to generation. My brother Adam put together a collection of recipes intending to share them with the world but alas!-the cookbook was never published. I hope to share some of them with you and many of my own favorite recipes. Give them a try-maybe some of them will become your family favorites too! Golabki-Stuffed Cabbage Filling: 1 onion, chopped fine 4 Tablespoons butter ( 1/2 stick) 1 c white rice, cooked 2 lbs ground beef-I like ground chuck 2 eggs 1 tsp garlic powder Salt and pepper 1 whole cabbage For sauce: 1 can cream of tomato soup 1 can diced tomatoes Saute onions in butter until transparent. Combine with cooked rice, meat, eggs, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Put whole head of cabbage into large pot of boiling water. The trick here is to cut away the leaves of the cabbage from the core. As the cabbage leaves become transparent, run a knife along the center cabbage core to remove a few of the scalded cabbage leaves . Place the cabbage leaves in a colander to cool and drain. Repeat this until you get to the leaves that will be to small to form rolls. Discard ( or eat!) the core.
Take a small amount of the filling-and place it at the base of the cabbage leaf-the amount you need will vary with the size of the cabbage leaf. Put the completed cabbage rolls into a baking dish-I like to lay down a few of my leftover or torn leaves to line the baking dish to keep my golabki from browning too much. Pour the sauce mix over the cabbage rolls, cover and bake in a 350 degree oven about 1 and 1/2 hours. I love these served with homeade mashed potatoes!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I 'm excited -I'm featured in two Treasuries today!

Wow-It's been a good day today. I'm featured in two treasuries tonight! Please go check them out!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jury duty

That dreaded letter came to my home a couple of weeks ago "You have been summoned to jury duty." I thought, oh great-I'm busy at the office, it's winter, I want to work on building up my Etsy business-and now this. Who's got time for jury duty. I considered asking for a postponement-could I be so lucky as to just get out of it? But then, I decided I would go and find out what this was all about. This morning I filed out of the house and down to the county court building-along with about 200 other potential jurors. I was surprised by the number of people called into service-and it struck me that it was a pretty diverse group of people. We were given a short orientation and a video to watch-so far not so bad. Then the waiting began, I waited and waited, and waited and waited..... About half the jury pool had been called. At lunchtime about half of us remaining got dismissed. Now I feel a little left out. I realize that jury duty isn't something everyone jumps in joy to do, but it is our civic duty to do. I never did make it on to a jury-but next time if you get called to serve be proud of the fact that YOU are participating in the process.

woolies blog give away

Take a look at Woolies latest blog give away-it features a pair of my Rhodochrosite earrings! What a lovely gift for yourself or someone special. The give away ends at midnight February 9th, so head on over to her site for all the rules! Good luck!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Business Basics 101-Sole Proprietor

Today let's explore the simplest and most common form of business ownership-the sole proprietor. Owning your own business certainly does give you many options. This series is intending to give you a basic uderstanding of business and how they operate. As always, I caution you to seek good advice from either and accountant or attorney who can help you best determine what is right for you! Sole Proprietorships The vast majority of small businesses start out as sole proprietorships. These firms are owned by one person, usually the individual who has day-to-day responsibilities for running the business. Sole proprietors own all the assets of the business and the profits generated by it. They also assume complete responsibility for any of its liabilities or debts. In the eyes of the law and the public, you are one in the same with the business. Advantages of a Sole Proprietorship:
  • Easiest and least expensive form of ownership to organize.
  • Sole proprietors are in complete control, and within the parameters of the law, may make decisions as they see fit.
  • Sole proprietors receive all income generated by the business to keep or reinvest.
  • Profits from the business flow directly to the owner's personal tax return.
  • The business is easy to dissolve, if desired.

Disadvantages of a Sole Proprietorship:

  • Sole proprietors have unlimited liability and are legally responsible for all debts against the business. Their business and personal assets are at risk.
  • May be at a disadvantage in raising funds and are often limited to using funds from personal savings or consumer loans.
  • May have a hard time attracting high-caliber employees or those that are motivated by the opportunity to own a part of the business.
  • Some employee benefits such as owner's medical insurance premiums are not directly deductible from business income (only partially deductible as an adjustment to income).

Federal Tax Forms for Sole Proprietorship (only a partial list and some may not apply):

Form 1040: Individual Income Tax Return Schedule C: Profit or Loss from Business (or Schedule C-EZ) Schedule SE: Self-Employment Tax Form 1040-ES: Estimated Tax for Individuals Form 4562: Depreciation and Amortization Form 8829: Expenses for Business Use of your Home Employment Tax Forms

Business Basics 101-Deciding on a structure

Forms of Ownership One of the first decisions that you will have to make as a business owner is how the company should be structured. This decision will have long-term implications, so consult with an accountant and attorney to help you select the form of ownership that is right for you. In making a choice, you will want to take into account the following:
  • Your vision regarding the size and nature of your business.
  • The level of control you wish to have.
  • The level of structure you are willing to deal with.
  • The business' vulnerability to lawsuits.
  • Tax implications of the different ownership structures.
  • Expected profit (or loss) of the business.
  • Whether or not you need to reinvest earnings into the business.
  • Your need for access to cash out of the business for yourself.

Good Sunday morning!

I just posted this new listing. If you like golds and browns you have GOT to check this piece out! I am soooo happy with this necklace-a triple strand of tigers eye, pearls and bronzite with a free form tigers eye pendant-it's just opulent!