Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer heat and pets

Recently one of the dogs that I petsit for was featured in a local news story that took place at a dog park in downtown Houston. The article was about how the summer heat is affecting dogs. Here is the story:

This brings me to the point that it is very important that if you will be taking your pets to a park or on a long walk it is necessary to bring water along so that they do not over heat. The heat in Houston and other parts of the U.S. has been excruciating and at times unbearable. Being properly hydrated and cooled off can prevent serious harm and illness to humans and pets.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Updated Website

I finally decided to update my website. I have always struggled with how I should word certain things on the website and especially when I am talking about myself. I felt weird talking about myself in third person. I updated many of the pages to reflect who I am. Since for now it is only me in the company (I often contemplate whether to hire someone or not) I am writing in first person. I decided to in the "about me" section really tell my story of how I got started. I am a very private person and don't open up too much or talk about myself a lot because I don't want to portray the idea that I sound cocky. I figured that it is probably a good thing to know how I got started doing what I do and what led me to where I am now.

I have very much made my website about me and who I am to the best of my ability. I am constantly working out kinks with it and trying to reword or rearrange things to make it visually appealing, easy to read and easy to find things. I am always open to suggestions on things I should change in order to enhance my website.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Unwanted Fees

Since I do a lot of personal assistant work for many individuals, I tend to pay many of their bills. One thing that I find to be a common occurrence amongst many of them is they are charged many unwanted and unnecessary fees from varies companies that they owe whether it is from credit cards or utilities bills. Some reasons why this occurs is because they haven't had time before, just forgot or just didn't want to pay the bills at that moment they think about it. That is why they hire me!

Many of the individuals love it when I am saving money for them because they usually have at least $40 extra spending money, if not more just by me taking the effort to pay their bills for them ON TIME. The key is to pay bills on time in order to dodge a boat load of unwanted fees. Besides incurring late fees by not paying your bills on time, you can also ruin your credit. By having bad credit it can cause you many problems later in life when you want to make certain purchases.

Just by taking 30 minutes or less out your day and taking the effort you can lead a healthy financial life free of fees and bad credit.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Always Follow Up

I am constantly meeting new people on a daily basis, whether I am just out and about or it's a new client. One thing that I have found is always important after meeting with a new client is to followup with them regarding your meeting. Whether it is just a quick hello nice to meet you or a phone call following up with them.

By following up people, they are usually more likely to remember you and go back to you for continuing business. Besides establishing a good reputation for you and your business, it also shows them that you care and are willing to to take out to go that extra step.

I try to always follow up so that my possible new clients knows that I truly am there for them and will do whatever it takes to make are business relationship pleasurable. The more happy your client is the more likely is that they will refer you to their friends and colleagues in the future. This is exactly how my business has continued to grow to new heights.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Handwritten Notes - What Happened to Them

Handwritten notes are something that I find to be a lost art in this day in age. With email and everything electronic, I try to stay more personal whenever possible. Yes, I am constantly emailing others, but I think it is so much better if you can sit down and take the time to write something by hand. I always try to write a thank you notes, occasions, just because and for many other different reasons. I always like getting that nice surprise of a note in the mail.

Some ways in which you can make writing a note more fun and interesting would be:

  • Get fun stationary. One person who I love to use is Avie Designs on Etsy.
  • Use return address labels who represent you and aren't plain and boring. I get mine at Avie Designs as well.
  • One special touch that I like to use is sealing the letter in someway whether it is a sticker seal or a wax seal. I use a wax seal more often because it personalizes it more and people usually know it is from me.
Remember, if you use an odd size letter (mine are usually square or rectangle) or have a wax on the back that is thick you may have to use the 64 cent postage.

Try to write at least one handwritten note a month if not more. Whether it is a thank you note or a just saying hi note, whomever receives it will probably be pleased and grateful and you never know whose day you may have brightened.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Plagiarism is WRONG

One thing that I have had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with recently is plagiarism. I post ads on varies sites and one that has been more or less successful for me is Craigslist. Several weeks ago I was talking with someone that I organize for and she asked me if I had heard of another girl she has used in the past. I said yes and didn't think too much of it after that. When I decided to go repost one of my ads I decided to go look at my competitors and see what services they were providing, pricing, locations they worked, etc. To my dismay and surprise another organizer copied my whole entire ad word for word with her own content here and there. Come to find out after researching she has a blog as well and copied some of my content from my blog. After a little more research I saw that she made some presentations with info from my ad for personal assistant work I do. I was VERY disappointed by all this. I work hard to say the right things when I am creating a new ad don't want it to be copied word for word. Moral of the story is plagiarism of anyone's work is WRONG WRONG WRONG no matter who you are or what you do.

So if anyone is ever looking on Craigslist and sees one of my ads and happens to come upon another person who has the same ad as me, please flag immediately. I can see if you want to get ideas from others ads, but please never copy word for word.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Office

The last post I talked about was about office organization and I thought that I would share with you what my office looks like. I try to keep it very organized so I do not procrastinate, but sometimes that becomes very difficult to do.

There are many things in my office that I LOVE here are a few:

This is the clock my boyfriend, Bryan, made me several years ago.

This is an eco calendar from Cat Seto

I found these paintings by an african artist in a resale shop for only $10!

This is my helper Rothko.

Some other things that I love about my office are the pictures of my family whom I am really close with and the amount of natural light that comes in, those things really inspire me to keep doing what I do on a daily basis.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dog Walking

Most dogs liked to be walked. If you are the type that just lets them run around in the backyard, instead of walking them than try something new. We are all guilty of doing this when we think that we don’t have time, but truth is we all do we just have to make time. One thing that my dog, Rothko, loves to do is go on walks. Whether it is just down the street or to a dog park try doing something with your dog that you normally wouldn’t do with your pet, they will love you for it. Check online to see if your city has local dog parks/runs nearby because most do.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Office Organization

One thing in my house that gets cluttered super fast is the office. I help people all the time get organized, but many of times it seems like I have the hardest time myself staying organized. Lately, I have been doing really well though.

Here are some tips to keeping your office organized

  • Have bins, baskets, trays or whatever it is that you need to help you stay organized. Just don’t get used to putting anything in them to get stuff out of the way. Make them designated for specific things.
  • File cabinets are a must. Keep up with your filing. This makes things so much easier when you are trying to look for something whether it is bills or stuff for your taxes.
  • Shelving. This is great to put notebooks, binders, supplies, etc on.
  • When mail comes in do something with it right away. Whether that is shred, file, recycle or needs to be paid bin. Don’t let it get piled up.
  • Keep it clean. For me when my workspace is clean I tend to be more productive and don’t get distracted as easily.
  • Make your supplies easily accessible to you so you don’t have to scramble when you are looking for something specific and in a rush.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I am by no means a relationship expert, but often times it becomes difficult to keep that “flame” alive when you and your significant other are busy and you tend to have less and less time together. You have to make time. One thing that I think has been great for my boyfriend and I is that we try to get away from Houston at least one weekend a month. This doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many inexpensive things that you can do together. The months that we are not able to get away, we try spending one or two nights together at a hotel in town or somewhere in the surrounding cities. It is a great time to reconnect.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Challenge yourself to read something new every week. I love reading and have been going to the library a lot lately. I have so many recommendations from friends and family of books that are a must read. There are also several business and art blogs that I try to read several times a week along with the newspaper.

I love learning and gaining new knowledge and reading various resources is great way to gain this knowledge. If reading is not your thing, try talking with new people or watch videos online. Knowledge is contagious.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


There are many things that are stress relievers and meditating is one of them. It is something that I recently got more into as business has picked up and things have become more stressful for me.

You can go anywhere you want to meditate, whether it is outside or just in another room. I like to meditate in the mornings when I am the only up and it is calm and peaceful. Houston is hot in the summers, but when it cools down I love to go to the back yard and meditate. Whether it is 5 minutes or an hour, I always feel more relaxed and peaceful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Try Something New

Try one new thing that you haven’t once a week. I think that it is very important to do something you normally wouldn’t do and just have fun. Most cities have cheap things and/or free things to do on the weekends.

Doing new things helps you see things differently and many of times helps others to become more cultured. I would suggest doing something that you normally wouldn’t do. This can be as simple as just walking around a new park or going skydiving. Have fun!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Essential Summer Items

There are many things that are essential for the summer. I have been to many festivals and outdoor events since the beginning of summer and there are several things that I am constantly taking with me.

  • SUNSCREEN. It is very important to always wear sunscreen. It is the best way to prevent yourself from cancer, wrinkles and skin damage.
  • Hats. You want to protect your head from the sun and it helps with overheating.
  • Water. I bring my Sigg water bottle with me when I am outdoors.
  • Blankets. I have been to a lot of events lately that are outdoors where you are able sit on the grass or hills and the blankets have come in handy.
  • Plastic bags. To put your stuff in if it rains.
  • Umbrella.

I know that many events won’t always let you bring these items in, but if they do I would suggest trying to bring them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


One of the things that I have trouble with is keeping up with my mileage. If you are a small business owner, this is usually a must if you go to meet clients or do anything work related that causes you to drive somewhere. I know several people who have estimated what their mileage was on their taxes and the IRS has audited them. Since they didn’t keep a mileage log they had to end up paying taxes on that because they had no proof.

This is a very frustrating, tedious and necessary thing to do if you are trying to be the most accurate on your taxes. Mileage books are available at various stores and certain planner companies have where you can buy extra insert pages for your planner.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Russell+Hazel Products

Russell + Hazel make paper products that I love. Besides being cute, many of the products are made of recyclable material, which many of know that is a huge plus for me. Below are my newest items that I got. If you would like to check out the whole line of Russell + Hazel products visit their website.

***I didn’t receive compensation for this post, I just love their products.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pet Cupcake Recipe

As many of you probably know I have been house/pet sitting for people for many years now. And like most pet owners they adore their pets and would do just about anything for them. One thing that every pet loves is people food, if they are allowed to have it. Below is a recipe of some healthy, delicious cupcakes/ muffins your pet is sure to love.

1 cup wheat flour

1tsp baking soda

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup shredded carrots

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

Mix flour and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 8" round cake pan and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Let cool. Puree cottage cheese in blender for icing. Decorate with more peanut butter and carrots. Take several stick like treats to use as candles.

Here is a picture of my sweet Rothko on his 1st birthday 3/28/10.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Laundress

In honor of being in NYC, I am posting about a company that I LOVE LOVE their products and is based out of NYC it’s The Laundress. They have eco - friendly laundry and household items that I can’t get enough of. I have been using them for years and love giving their products as gifts to family and friends. All of their products are amazing, but the one I use the most is the Stain Remover. It gets out the toughest of stains including those pesky armpit stains. You can get their products on their website or at various retailers listed on their website. Enjoy!

***I didn’t receive compensation for this post, I just love their products.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


When you are traveling you may go for various reasons and have different objectives in mind on exactly what it is that they want to do. For me personally, when I am traveling I like to do off the beaten path things to really get a taste of the local culture mixed with the tourists’ attractions. One thing that you should consider before traveling is researching the things to do to make sure you are doing exactly what you want and not wasting anytime.

If there is a large amount of things you want to do in a short period of time than try to plan your days ahead of time to make sure it is the most time efficient for you. Don’t forget to allow for those unexpected ventures that may occur. Take some cash with you and put the rest in the bank. Keep your belongings close to you when you are walking around a lot.

Keep maps, money and identification always handy on you. If you are lost or are having trouble getting to where you are going never hesitate to ask for help or directions. Most major cities have a chamber of commerce or information center that has info on things to do and see. Talk with the locals. Always stay safe and have fun!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Packing Tips

Last week was really hectic for me therefore I didn’t post anything. I am currently on vacation in NYC and Boston. I have several things scheduled to be posted throughout my trip. Last week I was getting ready for my trip and volunteered for a fashion show and The Women’s Home here in Houston. Since I will be traveling for 12 days. Here some packing tips in order to help you get organized

  • Lay out everything that you are going to take on your trip.
  • Make sure your liquids meet the airline regulations.
  • Check the weather before going to make sure you are prepared and will stay warm or cool.
  • Have all your documents together license, passport, hotel info, boarding pass, etc.
  • If you plan on taking a lot of electronics, than put all you cords, etc. in a separate bag, so when you have to move things from your bag it is easy and there is not a mess everywhere.
  • Pack by making sure everything is nice, neat and folded.
  • Try not to pack more in your suitcase or bag that you can’t carry all at once.
  • Have a separate, small bag within your suitcase that you can put your dirty clothes in.
  • Wear something comfortable when sitting for hours while traveling.
  • Have fun!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Moving Checklist

So I recently moved myself and also have helped some others move recently and I thought that I would write about some important things that you need to think about when moving that may be obvious, but are often forgot about.

- Get bills changed into your name. First start by changing your information with the post office. Driver's license, insurance, work, electric company, gas company, cell phone, internet, cable, memberships that you belong to, magazines, etc.

-Hire movers at least 2 weeks in advance if at all possible. If you are not hiring movers, than at least get the people who are going to help you lined up.

- Label your boxes and as they are brought into your new abode, place the boxes in the rooms that they belong in.

- Moving is a great way to get rid of your things, so donate or sell those unwanted items.

- Transfer your electric, gas, cable, internet, etc.

- If you are renting take pictures and make note of anything that is wrong with the place. This is great for when you move out and the management company tries to blame it on you.

These are just a few of the main things that you need to do in order to get ready for your move. Moving can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be if you stay organized and plan ahead things are likely to go more smoothly.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Organizing: Sorting

Now that you have purged many of your items, it is time to start sorting. Try separating your items by starting off in areas of your house, room, or wherever you may be. Try to start small and not get too overwhelmed with this process. Try to stay focused on one area like clothes, paperwork, kitchen items, etc. and then move onto the next.

The use of bins and/ or baskets are a great way to help with the sorting process. Sorting is also a great way to purge more of your unwanted items. If you are sorting clothes, sort by type of clothing first like, skirts, dresses, shirts, etc. With paperwork make an urgent pile for things that need to be taken care of immediately, to file - items that need to be field, bills, etc. Try to make as little piles as possible to eliminate it getting too complicated.

Once you have your items sorted try putting them in areas where they should go. This can be a very frustrating and tedious process, so if you have to do something else for a moment do so. Do not leave for no more than 10 minutes to get your mind off of the stress. Some things you can do are go for a walk, do yoga, meditate, or whatever it is that you need to do to get your mind off of the situation for a moment. Then go back and tackle the situation again until it is completely done the proper way. You will be thankful down the road when it is so easy to find the things you are looking for.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's day is just around the corner and if you are a last minute shopper you are probably trying to figure out what in the heck can you get the mom that has everything already. There are several things that you could do.

Try to buy locally. Most major cities have some type of farmers markets or areas to buy goods from local artisans. These are usually really unique gifts that not a lot of people will have. Sign your mom up for a class. Perhaps this could be something that she will really enjoy or you can take the class together like cooking, writing, floral, exercise class, etc. Of course spas and pedicures always seem to be a big hit. Have you seen anything special on That is what I got my mom, a spa day together at an eco spa in Austin, TX, which I found on their website.

There are endless options on what you can get your mom, but more than anything just show her how much you appreciate her. This usually means more to her than any material thing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Renting Tips

As a part -time real estate agent, that as of right now only deals with people who are renting, there are many of things that people ask my advice on and I try to help my clients to the best of my ability. Here are a few things that I think people should follow in order to get into the place they love:

  • Take your time looking, never settle for anything you 1. can't afford and 2. just don't like. Many of times people become very frustrated with the fact that they have been looking for a long time or have to move very quickly, so they just settle. I highly recommend taking your time if at all possible and going with that gut feeling.
  • Location, Location, Location. I know this is something that you hear about all the time, but many of times you will pay the price for the location, but you don't have to. When I was looking to rent I looked for what felt like forever, but there were several things that I wouldn't budge on, which was location and my budget most importantly. You just have to diligently search.
  • When it comes to price never go over your budget because there are many things you need to consider besides the rent, which is all your other bills like utilities, insurance, car, food, etc. etc.
  • Try to negotiate as much as possible. Ask if there is a discount, if you are a student see if there is a student discount, see if they will go down on the rent if you pay a chunk of $ upfront, if you sign a lease for 1+ years, etc. In real estate there is almost always room for negotiation and it never hurts to ask.
  • Be patient. I know this is hard for many people, including myself, but it is something that you will appreciate in the end. Everything usually falls into place if you just stay relaxed about the whole process and try not to get too overwhelmed.
  • Be sure to read the lease carefully and understand every part of it. If there is anything that you do not feel comfortable with be sure to ask questions.
  • I would recommend to always get renters insurance even if it is never used, you never know when the complex or house can go up in flames.
  • A great way to find a place is by looking on craigslist or just by driving around the neighborhoods.
There are so many more tips that I could elaborate on, but these are some of the main points that concern my clients the most and what I tell them when they are looking.

visit my website at:

Smart Money - Save

I am by no means a financial advisor, but in the past several years I have had my ups and downs regarding my financial status. I would like to think that I am a very financially smart person. One thing that I am a true believer in is always SAVE, SAVE, SAVE.

No matter how great things are or how bad they are at the time, I always save on a weekly basis whether it is $5 or $55. I am a strong believer that no amount is too small or too large. Here are a couple of ways to save:

  • Automatically deduct a certain % out of your paycheck weekly, every two weeks or however often you may get paid.
  • When you get receipts from the grocery store or other stores and at the bottom it says you have saved______, put that amount that it says you saved into your savings account. Try to shop the weekly sales to get the most out of your total savings from the store.
  • Set an automatic transfer to your savings from your checking account on a monthly basis
  • Skip eating out or getting your daily coffee and put that money into savings.
  • Coupons, I know it is time consuming, but they can be very beneficial if you put the money you saved into your saving.
These are just a few things that I do to save on a weekly basis. You will definitely thank yourself in years to come.

visit my website at:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eco-Modern Concierge is Carbon Neutral

As I consider myself and my services to be eco, I wanted to participate in this endeavor that I am about to explain.

In order to help reduce carbon emissions, a program called "Make it Green" in Germany started the "My blog is neutral" initiative. Each blog that participates in this initiative the program will plant one tree through the Arbor Day Foundation. The trees are planted at the Plumas National Forest in Northern California because more than 80 acres have been burned down due to wildfires.

Blogs can create more carbon dioxide than you think. As stated on their website, "According to a study by Alexander Wissner-Gross, PhD, physicist at Harvard University and environmental activist, an average website causes about 0.02g (0,0008oz.) of carbon dioxide for each visit. Assuming an average blog gets 15,000 visits a month, it has yearly carbon dioxide emissions of 3,6kg (8lb.). This can mainly be tracked back to the immense energy usage from (mainframe) computers, servers, and their cooling systems."


Do you want to join this initiative with your blog? Well here is how:

  1. Write a blog post about the initiative + insert your favorite button
  2. E-mail the link to your post to
  3. We plant a tree for your blog in Plumas’!

Organizing: Purging

Organizing is a great way to "cleanse" yourself and your home. One of the best ways to start off your organization journey is to begin by purging. Purging means getting rid of unwanted and/or unused items. My philosophy with clothes is if you have not worn it in the 6 months to one year than it is probably not worth keeping. With household items including children's toys if you have forgotten that you even owned it, never use it, or never look at it than it is probably time to get rid of it.

What shall you do with the items you are purging? Well you can either sell them in a garage sell and make some extra cash, take it to a resale/consignment shop or donate the items to your favorite charity or local thrift store. Having a garage sale is a great way to get rid of your unwanted items along with making some extra money. I did this before I moved about 2 months ago and ended up making a little over $800. I LOVE resale and consignment shops, they are a great way to get something 1. cheaper than regular price 2. unique 3. something you enjoy. I have been shopping at resale shops for years now and constantly get compliments on my items whether it is my clothes or my home furnishing. Donating your stuff to a cause you are passionate about is also a very rewarding thing you can do. Besides going to people who really need it, many of times your donation items are a tax write off.

Even if you purge a little at a time than it is a great way towards the organization process. Start off by making monthly, weekly, and/ or daily goals. Make it a household rule that if you bring one thing in than take 2 or more things out. Little things can add up quick. If you feel overwhelmed ask your spouse or a friend over to help you out so you aren't at it alone or you can hire a professional. Good luck beginning your journey!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Introduction - First Post

This is my first time posting anything to a blog, so I will give everyone a brief introduction. My name is Amy and currently reside in Houston, TX. I started this blog to give info and tips related to a side job I am currently in the process of doing. It is called Eco-Modern Concierge, which consists of me helping people out with their personal and professional needs. I mostly do, but not limited to pet/ house sitting, organizing and any personal assistant needs individuals may have . I first began doing this when I was in high school to make a little extra money and once I began college along with my 9-5 job and did this on the side to help pay for school. All through my undergrad and now grad school the business has really grown. I LOVE every second of it. I love the people, the pets, the hecticness, the fast pace working environment, etc. etc.

I know you are probably thinking why eco modern? What is "eco" about this company? Well I have been an environmentally conscious person for many years now before it really began to gain the amount of popularity that it has now. When I go on jobs for people shopping or dry cleaning I try to always bring our own bags, I have started many recycling programs for companies and individuals, donate used clothing, plan trips to the best of my ability to reduce emissions and time, etc.

I wanted to start this blog to share with others tips, information, and ideas that I have for the moment. It will basically be a little of everything mostly related to the things that I do on a daily basis. I hope that others will enjoy reading this and feel free to email me with questions, ideas or comments you would like to share with me. Happy reading!