Category Archives: My Story


I loved this week’s Literacy Tip to much I just have to write a post about it!

Literacy Tip

Create a new Holiday Reading Tradition for your family. Listen to audio books while traveling by car, wrapping presents, or making cookies.

With a 5 1/2 hour drive to Jason’s grandparents for Christmas, we always listen to audio books on the drive. One we listen to from time to time is by one of my favorite authors, Cornelia Funke. She is actually the one who reads this delightful book about Christmas. We borrowed it from the library several years ago after I saw she wrote Inkheart (I haven’t had a chance to read the series yet, but I loved the creativity of the story when I saw the movie). I just learned this Christmas story (When Santa Fell to Earth) has been made into a movie in the UK I believe. We are also huge fans of Igraine the Brave on Audo. Yesterday we started listening to Dragon Rider. I hope we like it as much as her other works!

We also find listening to audio books or dramas together is a great bonding experience.

What are your family’s favorite audio books?


Usborne Necklace

Here is a picture of the necklace Nicole is giving everyone under her who sells $1,000 in the first 12 weeks of running the Usborne Books & More Business! As you can see, these are made in the USA. The couple live in IL a short drive from me. For more information on Jazzy Pop Can Jewelry see the Pop Can website or the Facebook page.

Book Fair!

I’m having a book fair this week! It’s so exciting! I made this flyer for it.

I am immensely enjoying working with 5 Star Learning Ranch this week. The place is truly amazing. The rooms’ set up is amazing!

I love how the rooms are set up with a quiet loft area for reading and so many adorable high quality child size tables, chairs, bathrooms, and other fun kid sized amenities. I love how there is cowboy and cowgirl wall decor everywhere, but it is subtle enough that one doesn’t notice until he/she really looks.

The teachers are exceedingly sweet and compassionate. If we were in need of a daycare or looking for a preschool, 5 Star would be at the top of the list.

For more information about book fairs, click here. For more information about fundraising, a reading incentive program or a grant programs from Usborne Books & More, click here.

Changing the Teacher Gift Idea

I ran out of the flowers I had for the School and Library Catalog Gift. So I tried these instead.

Do you like the flowers I used in September (below) or November (above) better?

Facebook Page!

I set up a Facebook page in mid-September, but it just occurred to me that I should make sure everyone knows! I post reading tips, sales, and things I’m doing with Usborne.

I’d love to see you there too! Thank you for visiting Usborne By April today!

School and Library Catalog Gift Idea

I became an Education Consultant on August 1, 2012. I intended to visit the schools I am going to be serving shortly before school started. However, my husband ended up needing surgery and that plan had to be delayed.

He is recovering well now and is cleared to go back to work on Monday! I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to schedule any parties, but I can now see it was God’s blessing as I have not had the time or energy to put on a show.

That being said, I was able to go to two schools on Tue to drop off catalogs, along with a few other things made into a fun gift. I had always wanted to make these flower pens, so this was my chance!

I also made some with chalk flowers to go along with the Usborne Chalk-It-Up Mug, which you cannot buy in stores. If you would like one but are not a librarian, I’m sure we can work out a deal, provided you live in the US.

The Flowers are the Usborne Colors. It was pretty hard to find green! Orange wasn’t too bad, the season being fall certainly helped! The Lily is a Sharpie, and the mini Carnation is 1/2 a chalk stick, I like this solution for the broken pieces.

Here they are, all ready to make the drive to my listed schools!

Last Box of My Incentive Period

My last shipment from my 12 week incentive period came the other day. Look what was on the outside of the box! Randall White, Usborne Books & More’s President and CEO, packed the box!

This is the inside box:

My First 9 Weeks

I am just past my 9 week mark and will be in my first 12 weeks selling Usborne until Aug 27th at 10am. I know it’s a funny cut off time, but that helps the staff at the home office.

This first 12 weeks are an incentive period. When I first signed up, my friend Mary C. told me to make sure I take advantage of the 12 weeks. I’ve now sold enough that if someone signs up under me, I’ll get $50 worth of books/supplies!

So I’m wondering if you or someone you know would be interested in selling Usborne Books & More. The commission is 25% and the August deal for signing up is awesome! If you sign up by August 26th, I’ll let you choose $30 worth of books! If you refer someone, I’ll let you choose $10 and the one signing up $20! Just be sure to email or call me. The kit, which I paid $149 for, is on sale for $69! This is a great deal! If you are considering this at all, please give me call. Even if you don’t sign up, I’d love to answer any questions you may have.

God has been at work since this journey started, and I’m excited to see what else he does! In July my sales were ranked 24th in the USA. I earned a Whatif Monster (the stuffed monster that goes with this book) and a bonus in July! Since starting at the beginning of June, I’ve had six parties and one booth.

A New Friend

When I met Nicole at the Aurora’s farmers market, we had an instant click. Have you ever just clicked with someone where it feels like you’ve always known her (or him) and you can just tell you are going to be really good friends? That is what I had with her. With Jason and the boys at a chess tournament, we sat and talked for a few hours. We found we had a lot in common. We both like to do crafts, but tend to dabble in lots of them instead of become very proficient in one or two. We both have a seven yr old who loves chess! And we have similar personalities!

Welcome to Usborne!

The first Saturday morning in June, 2012 was warm and pleasant. Jason, my husband of 8 years, had taken our seven year old son to a chess tournament. Our five year old tagged along, thus leaving me home with the two girls, two and and a half years and 10 months.

It was the first farmers market and I was hoping to buy some organic “local” produce. I didn’t find what I went for, maybe next time! I passed several vendors selling items from fresh cooked food to home sewn goods to Tupperware and Pampered Chef. I saw quite a few vendors selling items for dogs. I even signed up for the city’s email and entered a drawing for a rain barrel.

One vendor I passed by was selling books. Now earlier that week I had decided my days of buying children’s board books in the Target dollar bin were over. I had found too many run on sentences and fragments in their pages. The quality of the books had also been on my mind since many had ended up in the recycling. The durability was an issue to say the least.

I saw some “That’s not my…” books in the display. We had a That’s Not My Bunny in near mint condition at home. It had been a gift several years ago. I decided to go over and look. When I started looking at the other books, I realized many of them I had seen referenced in homeschooling or used for homeschooling. I had no idea one company published both. As I talked with Nicole about the books, I realized Usborne uses independent consultants for book fairs, conventions, selling to libraries, and yes, even home shows!

Nicole gave me her information and told me how I could sign up. I told her I would think about it. I walked a few yards to call Jason. He encouraged me to go ahead and do it! I walked back over and told Nicole! She gave me $30 worth of free books and I invited her to come back to my house so we could continue chatting and so she could help me sign up if I had any trouble. I was signed by the time she arrived.