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Price Vs. Cost: Using eBay to Teach Teens Entrepreneurship

My son is entering hide senior year of high school. This is it! He is in his final stretch. With that said, I am doing my best to empower him financially before he begins to make his journey into adulthood. As you may know, I set up his checking account and experienced a few hiccups shortly thereafter, but eventually I got him (and everyone else) thinking straight. And then the summer came. And then his birthday came.

And then he went crazy.

I was a teen once so I can't say I don't understand, but I didn't have the access to adult playthings that he or any kid does theses days so I don't understand. After his birthday he did an amazing thing: he poured all his gift money and then some money that was meant for him to actually use and went on a five day spending spree that reached nearly $1,000. He was away at the time, of course, safely out of the naysaying reach of mom and dad. The kicker though? When the smoke cleared he didn't have a bag full of goodies. He had only three things, still had $200 in the bank and had the nerve to send me a text asking for $20 via bank transfer so he could buy some food. I laughed, called him to tell him he had some nerve and said no.

It could've been worse I suppose. He could've been using a credit card. That's what I did back in my day.


Bills That Keep Up Appearances

As a man there are bills you simply don't want to pay. You don't believe they deserve to be paid. They are a waste of time, money (the point in the first place) and usually brain cells.

If I'm on-time with anything in my life it's bill-paying. Yet month after month I forget to pay my infernal cable bill until one day the television is no longer working. I never want to pay to have it turned back on. NEVER.


If the TV were to ever stay off for more than 24 hours, then the kids that live here might begin to wonder, Why is the TV no longer working? What is wrong? They don't even watch that much television but to have something and then make the leap that something isn't operating due to an error on my part... Then wife will be standing somewhere nearby with her arms folded glaring at me with a look on her face that screams, What are you doing to my kids?

As a father I have no desire to shield my kids from the uglier truths that life occasionally shares, but in my home I want them to be as secure as is physically, emotionally and financially manageable. And so I pay, so that the above question will never be raised. That is, until the day we have a family meeting and announce that we are doing away with television.

A man can dream, right?

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @EPayneTheDad.


Mondays With Michelle: Tomato, Tom-ahto

No matter how you pronounce it they are absolutely delish this time of year!

I planted some tomatoes myself this spring and I finally began harvesting my crop last week. I posted a great picture on instagram to document my progress....I will definitely be planting them again next year!
Beautiful cherry tomatoes organically grown by yours truly on my patio.
In the spirit of tomato season, I thought I would share some wonderful tomato dishes to put all those beautiful tomatoes to use. Check it out...

Out Of The Womb of Failure

I screwed up royally last week, passing on a high-paying opportunity and then feeling worse when I tried to backtrack off my initial stance. I sealed my fate the second I opened my mouth and probably epoxy-super-glued it when I came back to backtrack. I spent about 18 hours feeling like I had failed and well, I had. I did everything you're not supposed to do --- I was honest about my feelings and what I wanted. But in the midst of my self-admonishment an idea sprang forth directly based on that failure and now I have a crystallized game-plan, one that might be the most solid I've ever had. One I can pitch and talk about in my sleep. No more convincing myself first in hopes that I'll convince someone else. Thanks failure! Out of the womb of failure, success is born. (As long as you don't stay trippin' over the failure part).

Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @EPayneTheDad.


What A Man Needs


I know this is what you thought as soon as you saw the title. But this isn't what this is about. Nor is belaboring the obvious. Men need sex just as women do. It's truly sad when it's missing, especially between married couples. Arguably, they are the ones who need it the most. But that's not the point today.

But before sex there is affection, consideration, intimacy, sincerity, hand-holding, saying, "I love you," from time to time and meaning it rather than choking on the words as if you were gargling sand. And that goes for both men and women. Especially men, who do a much better job of bottling up their emotions and needs and suffer terribly and often needlessly internally.

The key to understanding all of the above is spelled out almost word for word in the bible and honestly most other ancient texts that seek to achieve balance and harmony with man, his (or her) peers and the surrounding society. But nowadays everyone is too tech savvy for this, too on point, too keeping it real, too chasing after the golden egg, too rough too tough, two tight Afro puffs and too miserable. So their fellow human who might appreciate a kind word or gesture gets bulldozed and bludgeoned by the verbal stones that most of us happily hurl on a daily basis. 'Cause we "keep it real."

The needs I am referencing are much simpler than anything I am referencing above. I'm talking about the basics that every man should have once he becomes a man, unless he opts not to.


Back To School Deals (Yeah, Already)

If you're like me you are horrified by the notion that Back-To-School is just around the corner. In no time I'll have to be dropping off and picking up, dropping off and picking up, dropping off and picking up, ev-er-y single day of the workweek. Attending games, dealing with the insane teenage requests, like, "Dad can I empty out your saving so I can buy these sneakers that match my headphones and my iPhone," going nuts because my daughter does her best to stay up late on school nights...Oh joy.

With school starting in a matter of a few short weeks for some and in a little more than a month for others allow me to present this week's back to school deals courtesy of the Pretty Frugal Diva.

Office Max:
Under $1 Deals:

Purell 0.5 oz Hand Sanitizer $0.10
Just Basics Blue, Black, or Purple 10-pack Ballpoint Pens $0.25
Really Useful 0.14 liter Storage Box $0.50
$1 Deals:

Schoolio 1″ or 1.5″ Poly 3 Ring Binder
Sharpie Accent Yellow Tank Style Highlighters 4-pack
Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers 3-pack
OfficeMax Glue Bottle or Glue Stick and Scissors Combo
$3 Deals:

Sharpie Permanent Marker 5-pack
Expo Dry Erase Marker 4-pack


10 Healthy Life Tips - #WordlessWednesday

A not so Wordless Wednesday post - the Mrs. snapped this pic after I successfully completed 10 miles on my new bike (a Father's Day present).

While the kids are away doing their summer stuff we are back at home getting in shape before they come back and wreck our schedules. My current regimen consists of boot camp 4 days a week, swimming 2 days a week and biking 1-2 days per week. The Mrs. is doing kickboxing and Zumba also. But it's not just what you do to work out I'm rediscovering it also has to do with how you live.

Try a few, if not all of these on for size:
  1. Eat plenty of veggies.
  2. Lay off the bread, especially white flour bread.
  3. Eat fruit (but not too much as sugar is sugar - for example a bushel of grapes might be a lot).
  4. Resists sweets (or push them off until the weekends, at the very least).
  5. Drink water - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. How much is enough? I gauge it by 8 cups of water or when I feel full and/or no longer thirst.
  6. Be positive, enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the heat, savor A/C, attend festivals, take weekend trips, eat at outdoor spots once the sun goes down.
  7. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, not to the 22nd floor of course, but maybe?
  8. Play hard and find someone who will hold you accountable for your goals (an accountability partner).
  9. Be an example to someone else. Invite them to work out with you. 
  10. Have fun with it! It's your life to make it what you will. You don't have to do what anyone else is doing or be like anyone else. Be uniquely and wonderfully you.
Anything you'd like to add to the list above? Please do so in the comments below.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @EPayneTheDad.


Mondays With Michelle: Summertime Grillin' Side Dishes

The Fourth of July has come and gone, but the summertime grilling season has just begun! Whether you are hosting a cookout or attending one, prepare a yummy side dish that will knock your friends and family off their feet. 

Take a look at these yummy ideas...

Cabbage Salad (Recipe by Chef Michelle)

Try a Cabbage Salad instead of Coleslaw and beat the heat and impress your guests at the same time! (Not to mentions it's a little friendly to your waistline!) Same goes for traditional mayo based potato salad, swap the mayo for oil and vinegar and enjoy!

Tangy Potato Salad (Recipe by Martha Stewart)

Spice up your salad by adding some yummy fresh seasonal fruits. Plus the great thing about these salads is that they both take less than 20 minutes to make!

Michelle's Tomato Salad (Recipe by Chef Michelle) 

Peach and Arugula Salad (Recipe by Bobby Flay)

What is your favorite Summer time grillin' side dish? Post your comments below!

Don't forget to visit my Foodie blog for more recipes, food tips and other foodie fun. 

See you back here on Monday, July 23rd.... Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @EPayneTheDad.


Suicides and Piggyback Rides

At boot camp this morning I came in first place in my group doing suicides/windsprints the length of a football field while carrying a 20 pound medicine ball. My secret? I do stairs and piggyback rides on a daily basis with a 58 pound daughter.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @EPayneTheDad.


How To: BBQ Tips From EPayne

In case you didn't know, I am referred to in my house as "Grill Master" when it comes to barbecuing. I guess I should add that I insist that everyone in my home call me,
"Grill Master" when it comes to barbecuing at home. I guess I should also mention that no one is will and in the case of my kids, able, to mess around with hot flames in this hot, oppressive weather.

With summertime in full swing and having already hosted a barbecue not too long ago I jumped at the opportunity to enter the Nature's Own Thrill of the Grill Dad Blogger's Challenge. I entered if for no other reason than the fact that the challenge referred to fathers as "Dads" and not "Daddies". And there is a lot on the line:

  1. The title of Nature's Own Grill Master (real respect)
  2. The chance to win a Big Green Egg© Grill (a grill that is so Bad-A*& that it causes so much envy amongst grills that it turned green with envy, envying itself)

And you can help too! Here's how:

  • After watching the video (that suffered so many onset technical difficulties it almost took me 3 days to make) below please leave a comment here on this post. One that makes reference to a grilling tip or a recipe ("hey I hope you win" will not be accepted as entries).
  • Encourage your friends and social networks to comment as well (you can only comment one time, any addition comments from the same person will not be counted).
  • Comment before 11:59pm EST on July 8 (7/8).
  • If you have Nature's Own products at your local grocery store, please contact me via my Contact Page. I have coupons for FREE Nature's Own products to give away to 20 lucky people.

If you are a Grill Master yourself, be sure to head on over to Facebook to enter the Nature's Own Thrill of the Grill Challenge. But, please, leave your comment here first.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @EPayneTheDad.


E.Payne To Speak At Niche Mommy Social Media Conference

Connect with your niche at the first social media conference devoted to the diverse and multicultural mom active in social media and those that embrace diversity! Imagine a social media conference where you can celebrate your community, your network, and motherhood with other diverse and multicultural social media moms, well it’s finally here!

The Niche Mommy Conference is for the social media maven that embraces diversity and multiculturalism in our unique backgrounds, voices, and perspectives. Everyone is invited, including men!
~ Source: Niche Mommy Network And Conference

The last sentence of the above paragraph is the perfect lead-in to the announcement that I'll be speaking at the Niche Mommy Conference.