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Excerpt from Kissing all the Frogs

In honor of this month being my husband and my 11 year wedding anniversary.
Chapter 5: Ramon, my prince
Ramon and I had worked together in the past at pizza hut, we didn’t get along very well back then. His last day at work I actually told him to have a nice life and bye! He went into the marines and when he came back he was different. Besides the physical change, he lost a lot of weight, he had lasik and his hair was cut short, he seemed so much nicer and respectful.
He had a job, full time at a hospital. He had a car. He liked to work out ( not really my thing, but okay I mean, look at him). He visited me at work and asked me for my number and I gave it to him. He tried to kiss me in the rain and I dodged him. I was so nervous. Then we actually did kiss.  He asked me on a date and I said okay.  He was going to meet me right after work the following week.
The day of our date, June 13th 2006 I tried to bail so hard. I told him that I wasn’t feeling well and he showed up with Thera Flu and made it for me. We went to my friends house for a few hours and then ended up pack at my apartment. He ended up spending the night. We both called out of work the next day and spent most of the morning in bed. He got up to get dressed and walked across my room completely naked and for the first time in my entire life I felt comfortable doing the same. We just fit. Everything about him was just comfortable. We never spent a night apart after that. Image result for Love  cartoon mixed race free image
After a month I was in serious like with this guy. After 3 months I told him I loved him by accident while were were hanging up the phone after making plans for later that night. Later that night he said he loved me too.
For the next 6 months he stayed over every night. The apartment was now getting crowded. Roommates girlfriend had also basically moved in, even if he wasn’t happy about it. Ray and I started looking for a place. We found one in March, 9 months after we started dating, and moved in. I gave Roommate a month notice but told him I would pay my portion of the rent for the next 3 months until he found someone. He was mad but said okay. I ended up paying for an extra month and then he found a new roommate.
Roommate and I hung out a few years later one night and said we should keep in touch more often. We haven’t though. I know that he’s engaged to someone and they moved to another place in Stamford. I just hope he’s happy like me wherever he goes.
Ray and I moved in together in April and got a puppy, Nacho. On our one year anniversary he proposed to me at one of my favorite spots. The following April 19th, 2008, we were married in Cooperstown, NY at the Otesaga. It was amazing. We were so happy. The Otesaga had shut down for renovations and we were supposed to be there the first weekend they opened back up but something had delayed them a week so we had the entire hotel and staff to ourselves for our wedding. We had about 27 guests. If I had ever imagined myself getting married, that would have been the wedding I had dreamed of.  I really never thought before Ray that I would ever get married. The next day my parents had a BBQ at their house before everyone headed back home.
Side note; A few years later on a ghost hunters show, the Otesaga was on! I guess the 4th floor is haunted. Luckily my wedding was on the 1st, so no ghosts that I was aware of….
Want to read more?
You can buy the book and learn about all my terrible ex-frogs too in this book: Kissing all the frogs
Kissing All The Frogs by [Acosta, J.]
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Our Trip to Boston. Reviews!

We went to Boston Last weekend. We stayed at  Homewood Suites Boston Logan Airport Chelsea . I chose this hotel because we were bringing my Mom, sister and niece with us so we needed 2 cars and 2 rooms. There is a pool and the breakfast and parking is free. Originally, I wanted to stay more in Boston and I look for Hilton because we are in the Hilton Honors program. I looked at hotels in Boston and the rates weren’t so bad, but the parking added almost $100.00 per night and then we would have to find breakfast because it’s not included.  So we went with the Homewood Suites. We stayed for 2 nights and my total bill was a little over $900.00. I got us both the 2 queen studio suites. The rooms were really nice. The pool was really small. With my husband, me, our 2 kids and my sister and niece in the pool, it was tight. The pools capacity is 11 people. It was warm though and my kids loved it and got to swim and jump and they had a blast. That’s what matters to me.
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The rooms were really cool.  I thought they were well thought out. I loved the little kitchen area because I was able to make dinner Friday and Saturday night and save us a little money for the other fun things that we were doing. I also brought lots of snacks that I loaded in the full size fridge because a 7,9 and 13 year old can eat all day and still be hungry.
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I bought a 2 day pass of the Boston Go cards. You get access into a lot of places. It was $430.00 through the plumb benefits site through my job. My niece is considered an adult because she is over 12, weird, right?
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We got there on a Friday afternoon around 1:00. Luckily there were rooms available so we were able to check in and bring our things in. Then we all hopped in my pilot and drove into town. It was about a 7-10 minute drive. I have driven in New York and Boston highways are something else! We were up, down, underneath, driving in a circle to get on other highways…. Make sure you have your GPS. After the first day though, we got the hang of it and it wasn’t bad at all. Our first stop was Quincy Market. It’s pretty cool. We parked around the corner at a garage. Monday through Friday the garage is $42.00 and Saturday and Sunday the garage is $20.00.  The first day we walked around and went to Union Oyster House for lunch. Lunch was great.
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I highly recommend this place. The kids liked their food and my mom loved her clams and fish and chips.  Afterwards we walked around and watched some of the street performers. We headed over to the Aquarium and walked though. We all enjoyed the Aquarium. Then we walked back to Quincy Market and got some Ice cream at Sprinkles and headed back to the car. At that point it was a long day already with all the driving so we took the kids to the pool for an hour and my mom went back to her room to rest. I made the kids Spaghetti and we played Uno and then crashed. The beds were very comfortable.
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Saturday, we met for breakfast in the lobby… It was regular coffee, breads, eggs, sausage, yogurt, waffles, fruit and juice. So everyone found something. Then I took the kids for a quick swim and we got ready to head out for  a day of exploring. Again we drove in to where Quincy market is and parked where we parked the day before. We hopped the trolley ( on the Boston go pass) and took it around Boston. It’s really cool to see everything. The architecture. Everything is so old and squished together but pretty. It was just cool to see to me. The trolley driver will tell you the history of certain buildings and it’s interesting. We hopped off at the 9th stop which is the last one before they bring you back to the beginning and we walked over to the children’s museum (included in the pass) . The kids loved that. We didn’t spend a ton of time here, but they did get to do a few things.
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We stopped at Hopsters Brewing Company for lunch. Everyone enjoyed their meals. Then we headed over to the museum of contemporary Art. This is where I found out that my mom does not care for Contemporary art. Not even a little bit. The rest of us did enjoy it and they had a little kids area set up so the kids could make their own art. That was pretty cool. After the Art museum we walked back to the trolley and went to the USS Constitution.
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To get on the ship is free and we ran out of time to go into the museum that would have been included on the Boston go pass. We would have been able to go but then we would have missed the last trolley and I had no idea how to get back to where we were parked. So we skipped the museum and hopped the trolley back to Quincy market, stopped at Sprinkles for some more ice cream and then headed back to the hotel for swimming, dinner, uno and Wine for me and my mother!
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The Boston Go card wasn’t worth it for what we did, in my opinion. We did get our monies worth, I think, but I am not sure we actually saved anything. Then again, if we had gone to the Fine arts museum and the science museum, it totally would have been worth it. So maybe if we stayed an extra day and bought an extra day pass.
The hotel was nice, I think next time I would spend an extra day and maybe get a room in Boston so we could just walk everywhere or take the T.
Boston is amazing. You should definitely go and spend at least a few days here. There is so much to do and it’s all fairly close together.  We went in March and maybe next time I would go more in the spring so more outdoor things would be open and it would be nicer weather to be outside. We did have pretty good weather when we went but as it got dark, it got a little chilly. We will be back!
Family Reviews:
Husband: I know it’s an old city but it didn’t seem like it was an old city and there is so much history there. It’s very well wrapped up and preserved. Taking the Trolley was a favorite part and being able to see the sights and learn about everything was fun. I will definitely go back there is a million more things to see and do. I wouldn’t mind staying were we stayed because you liked the amount of space and options and it’s only 10 minutes away but I wouldn’t mind being in the city and being able to walk everywhere.
Daughter Review: I liked Boston. My favorite part was the USS Constitution and the penguins are the aquarium. I definitely want to go back and explore more. I liked the hotel I wish the pool was bigger.
Son Review: I liked Boston. My favorite part was eating the oysters and clams at Union House restaurant. I liked the Children’s museum and wish we could have stayed longer. I liked the pool when it was just us in it.
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Have you been to Boston? What are some of your favorite things to do, eat, see?

10 year old me

Hi. My name is Jessica. I’m 10. I am not like the popular girls. I’m not a Girl Scout, I don’t have pretty clothes, and I don’t do gymnastics so that leaves about 2 girls in my grade that will talk to me. I live in a little town called riverside. It’s nice, minus the not having very many friends at my school.  There’s this boy named Brian that calls me bald eagle because I have a scar on the top of my head. Right in the middle of my scalp. A big bald spot from when I had cradle cap as a baby. My mom said I scratched it so much I made it scar so no hair ever grew there. I tell people that I fell down the stairs and my hair got stuck on bubble gum and it ripped it out and then no hair ever grew back.
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I do have friends of course. But they are older and they all live on my street or a few streets over. They’re so cool and they actually like me so it makes school bearable. My friend Katie has an older sister who leaves her make up out so we do make overs. Our friend Drew comes over and we dress him up in neon mini skirts and belly shirts and watch La Bamba and Beaches and eat huge bowls of fruity pebbles.
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Then we stuff our fake bras with tube socks and walk down to the penny candy store with our scrunchie socks layered. Katie has the coolest clothes. After that we steal money from Drew’s grandmother and some Capri cigarettes and smoke them on the way to McDonald’s to split a 20 piece McNugget and a large fries. I don’t actually smoke yet. I just hold it in my mouth and blow it out like I’m cool. I don’t actually inhale till a few years later.
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Drew can drive too. But only in his driveway, so we pump new kids on the block, Whitney, Janet and Mariah and cruise up and down his driveway for hours. I have a big pin of Donnie that I put on my backpack. Katie can have Joe, Donnie is for me. My friend Kristen, who’s actually my age, loves Danny.
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One day Cathy shows up at Drew’s house claiming that mayo is a great conditioner so we take and entire tub of miracle whip and slather it in on her head. She has died her hair one to many times and her hair is crispy. After the great Miracle whip conditioning, I can never eat it again and her hair is greasy for a month.
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My next door neighbor Cory explores the woods with me. Her older brother is in college and we go visit him at Cornell University in upstate New York.  It’s super cool.  He goes to a party and leaves us to watch movies and hang out in his dorm. I feel so grown up as we blast Kris Kross and eat ice cream all night. Cory also tells me about the woman in the woods with marble size holes in her face that watches children from her window and then sneaks out at night and watches you through your windows. I am so scared my mom forbids Cory from coming over for a few weeks. But Cory lives next door so, sure.
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10 year old me loves reading. I love exploring the woods (when not being followed by a woman with holes in her face) and I looove singing. One day I am going to sing and be famous. One day I’ll write poetry and books and live in a House looking over the ocean.
I’m in fifth grade and none of the girls in school ever really talk to me but I know I am awesome. They take turns showing off their cool clothes and doing splits. I can’t do splits and all my clothes are hand me downs from my two older brothers. I’m not as skinny as the other girls and I am not as pretty. But I have awesome friends and some crazy stories and that’s good enough for me!
Gym class is awful because we have to change and I feel like everyone is looking at me. I try so hard to hide in the corner but I can hear the girls whispering in the corner. I get so mad and I take my water bottle and spray it in all their lockers right before break so when they come back everyone has moldy, stinky clothes.  Everyone except a few people. Me and the two people that talk to me. I confess and get after school detention. I have to help the art teacher clean the art room. She has holes in her face but she’s not scary and she gives me all the art supplies that they are going to replace for the next year. She gives me books and clay and paper and tells me that she likes me and I can help her anytime. I spend the first week of summer vacation going to the school helping her clean out her art room just so I can spend time with her. She’s fascinating and artsy and awesome.
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Next year I go to middle school and decide that I will talk to all the new people and make some friends my age. And I do. And I am still friends with some of them. I am also still friends with some of those cool crazy fun older kids that lived around me.
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It’s Friday! I am so happy for the weekend even though I will spend Saturday cleaning and Sunday at kids birthday parties, I’ll be with my family for the entire day so that makes me happy. Last night I kept thinking about growing up and something about being 10 stuck in my head so I figured why not make a blog about it. To me it was a great time and it makes me think about my own child who’s about to turn 10 and how different things are. I know that’s such an old person thing to say, it’s really true. My kids can’t just go out side and down the road by themselves for an entire day like I did. I spent my childhood mostly outside and around the neighborhood exploring. My kids stick mainly to the back yard. It’s just different. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Facebook Spam?

Every morning during the week I post a blog while I drink my coffee, and then I pin it to pintrest. Then I go on twitter and jump on as many blog follow trains as possible. Next I go to Facebook and post it on my blog and book page and finally I post it on my author page to all my friends. Sometimes I will also share it to some groups that I am part of too. I read the blogs I follow and then keep an eye out all day for people who are reading me so I can read them back.
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I guess something happen yesterday and I was marked as spam. I don’t understand why all of a sudden everything, even things I posted weeks ago, are now blocked. That’s so weird to me. I have tried to say it wasn’t spam. It’s my stuff  and my page clearly says that I will be posting the links back to my blog.
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My husband thinks that somehow I was picked up in some kind of algorithm thing, or that someone reported me as spam. Either way, I am not able to post on there anymore right now and I am a little annoyed. I mean, I don’t really get much traffic from there but I did get one book sale back in February. I was hoping to get a few more sales and some more followers on my page eventually.
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Last month I did an ad with Facebook and I have to say that it was a waste of my $15.00 credit. I reached 1200 people, had 12 people engage and sold 0 books… So how is me posting my blogs spam, but they can run an ad for me? I don’t get it.
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So I am back to twitter and Pintrest for now until I get out of Facebook jail. I am trying to figure out Instagram still. I have no idea how to work Instagram yet.
I’m kind of running out of ideas on how to attract readers and believe me, I am reading all the pins on how to but nothing is giving me more traffic yet.
Does anyone have any things that worked great for them? Any websites that have yielded great results? I am slowly growing and I am super happy about that. I really want to figure out how to make some kind of side income off this. I do enjoy it and I am definitely going to keep at it. Some days just feel like defeat and some days feel like a win. Today felt like a little defeat since I have invested a good amount of time into building up the Facebook pages and now everything is frozen.
What’s your experience so far? What are the best platforms you have used to promote your blogs?

Self doubt day

I’m feeling a little down today. I have been seeing growth in my blog and I am really happy about it. I have been growing my numbers on the social media accounts too. It’s so encouraging and wonderful. Some days though, some days I feel so small and not important at all. Like nothing I say is good enough or carries any value.
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I keep reading all tips on pintrest about developing blogs and getting new traffic. I hope to grow a following and a blog audience. I don’t know if I’m doing it right. I’ve been thinking about taking the books down and slowing down on the blogs. It’s a lot of work and I have really nothing to show of it yet.
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Of course, I’m  not going to stop writing. I know sometimes I have something important to say. I’m going to keep believing in myself and I’m going to keep posting and promoting my mini books. It’s just one of those days…
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Do you have those days? How do you get past them? I just put my head down, focus on my family, try not to make any serious decisions, and keep going. I will get through this.

I was asked to Rate myself as a Mom

One of my friends does studies with new born babies and parents. It’s really interesting but I would be leave that explaining up to her as I will probably junk it all up and not make any sense.
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The other day she asked a group of us in the girls chat what we would rate ourselves as mothers. It was off the Questioner from the group study. The answers to pick were something like:
  1. I’m a great mom
  2. I’m an okay mom
  3. I’m sometimes okay sometimes I struggle
  4. Mostly I struggle sometimes I’m okay
  5. I always struggle and I’m not a great mom at all.
These aren’t actually the exact answers, but it was basically something like that.
The crazy part was that every single one of us picked between 3 or 5 depending on the day.
The reality is we are all great mothers and we feel bad about ourselves because we feel like we aren’t doing enough. Yeah, sometimes you’re going to yell, sometimes you’re going to lose it, we’re human. But you are always there when they need. You are reliable and loving and understanding. You are providing stability and care for them. You listen when they need to talk.You make sure everyone is taken care of. You love those kids with every piece of your heart and would do anything for them and they know it.
We all seemed to think that we are doing so poorly in the child care department because of our thoughts stuck in our heads of what we think a good mother is. I put myself down because the kids aren’t in enough after school things.  I work till 5, I have to make dinner and sometimes I just trust that the afters school people had them do their homework right because I don’t even get around to checking it. On those days, I’m a 5. Most days I feel between a 3 and 4. Really though, I am a 1. We are all 1’s.
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I hope you know that you are a #1 mom or dad too.

 

Celebration!

To Celebrate crushing all my February Goals I am dropping all my Books to 99 Cents! Please check me out and leave a review on Amazon. They are all short reads and I will forever be grateful to you for helping me accomplish my dream.
My newest book “Having Children and some things they don’t tell you.”  It’s a short book on some of the things I learned after I had kids. My expectations verse the realities that I encountered. This is the link if you all are interested and would like to help me out. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NKB848R
This was a tough book for me to write. It’s a lot of the traumas I went through and the things that forced me to grow up a little.
Kissing all the frogs: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L1HPVX5
A short book on all the stupid relationships I had that eventually lead me to my husband.
Working my way through life: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K72DRZD
A short book on all the jobs I have had throughout my life and things that each job taught me.
I am currently working on my next mini book and that should be up by the end of March so stayed tuned!
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The thing about elevators

I am not claustrophobic… Well, maybe a little. I love my personal space. Even sometimes with my kids I am like, back up child. I need a little space right now. I do love cuddling too but sometimes you just need space… In saying that, I dread getting into elevators with people.

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I would rather walk 20 flights up (both ways in the snow barefoot), then get in a elevator with strangers. Even if I sort of know you, making small talk while being in an enclosed space gives me anxiety. At work every day, I take the four flights up and the four flights down. The only time I take an elevator is if I am with my family or if I really don’t have any other option. I just don’t like being stuck in a box with random people. It’s not like I can’t go in a elevator, it’s just uncomfortable for me and I would rather not put myself in that position…

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What about you? Is there anything you try to avoid as much as possible?

Using a cleaning service

Would you use a cleaning service?
I had a cleaning service till last November. Every other week someone would come in to my house. Change the bed sheets, scrub my kitchen, bathrooms and floors and just tidy up. I loved coming home to a scrubbed clean house every other week. Then my husband got a new job and we thought we were making around the same but the insurance was a little more expensive and we have a deductible now. Plus, we had our floors redone last year. We switched them from carpet to wood and that was a little pricey. Sometime around November I was crunching our budget numbers and realized we were breaking even or in the hole every month. I had to look for things that we could cut so we could maybe save some money every month. That’s when I decided that it was time for me to start the deep cleaning again.
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I don’t mind cleaning. I clean all the time throughout the week. I do all the laundry. I just thought it was nice to have someone come in and do a deep clean every other week. It frees up Saturday mornings for me. I never would have thought of this except when we moved into our house I was exhausted and my brother and sister in law suggested we hire someone to help me clean the apartment we moved out of. I said, that’s silly, it’s way to expensive. I was exhausted though so I figured why not get a couple quotes? I googled it and found a wonderful husband and wife who made the apartment look better than when we moved in for $80.00. Best $80.00 I ever spent.  That lead me to wonder how much they would charge to clean the new house? They said $100.00. Sold.
Every other week they came in and cleaned our house. After a year they said since we were such good customers they would take $10.00 off every clean. So it was $90.00 every other week to walk in to a freshly clean house. Totally worth it in my opinion.
After a year and a half or so they started using our house as a training house. They were constantly bringing in new people to train them how to clean. Some weeks our house would look great and some weeks our house was lacking. I would tell them when this happen and they would usually take money off the next cleaning. Because they were constantly bringing in new people our dog would bark at them. He would just sit there and bark. He wouldn’t go up to them. He’s a 12 year old pit bull, he’s not moving anywhere fast. But I do understand how it could be scary having a dog that big barking at you. I told the cleaning company it would be better if they gave us the same people. They said that they didn’t know if they had time for us anymore because their business was starting to pick up. So we parted ways.
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**** not my dog, looks like Nacho though****
I went out and interviewed a few new people and we settled on a woman who said she was good with dogs but she charged $120 every other week. Which was more expensive but if it was her every time and the dogs and everyone were happy, I could make it work.  Then I noticed some things just weren’t being cleaned so I would ask her to  focus on the cabinets or just clean around the vents and I would notice it wouldn’t be done when I got home. After we had the floors done I asked her is she could just wipe the walls if she saw finger prints and she was like “with a mop?” Um, no. I would do it myself I said. Anyway, we ended up having to redo our budget and I figured I could just do the deep cleaning myself again every other week and save us $240 a month. I honestly thought after the new year we would call and have the cleaning service return but I found out that I actually enjoy cleaning. I get to focus on what I want done and do it the way I want. And I love the way it feels in my house once it’s totally done.
In the future I think I would like to find someone again if we start to make more income just because it really is nice to just have it all done. I think I would come up with more of a schedule though of what is expected every time because then we would all be on the same page.
What are your thoughts? Have you used a cleaning service?

Facebook ads and me

I got a $15.00 credit on Facebook to run an ad for promotion. I figured, why not?  I am running it for 10 days and it’s free, it’s free promotion, right? So I started it yesterday, yesterday morning actually and it’s been approved. I picked to run it to a target audience of ages 18-65 with interests in motherhood, amazon kindle and parenting. I am running it for my newest book “Having Children and some things they don’t tell you.”  It’s a short book on some of the things I learned after I had kids. My expectations verse the realities that I encountered. This is the link if you all are interested and would like to help me out. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NKB848R
Having Children... and some things they don't tell you by [Acosta, J]
 We shall see if this can generate any income for me, or visibility. That’s what I need more of. I also am super active on twitter this weekend. I got a lot of new views and new followers. I am up to 150 now! That’s insane because my goal for February was 100.  Maybe I can hit 1000 by the end of the year. I talk about numbers and stuff but the truth is  I actually really love blogging and writing. It makes me happy and the fact that anyone is reading me is just super encouraging.  According to the promotions manager in Facebook the ad has reached 33 people and 7 people engaged with the post. It’s cost $1.33 and I haven’t sold a thing yet. Haha.
Anyone use Facebook ads before? Have you had any success with it? What has been your experience?
Also, if you are interested these are the links to the books I have written. They are all short and I would really appreciate it if anyone would read them and shoot me some feedback or leave a review on Amazon.
This was a tough book for me to write. It’s a lot of the traumas I went through and the things that forced me to grow up a little.
Growing by [Acosta, J.]
Kissing all the frogs: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L1HPVX5
A short book on all the stupid relationships I had that eventually lead me to my husband.
Kissing All The Frogs by [Acosta, J.]
Working my way through life: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K72DRZD
A short book on all the jobs I have had throughout my life and things that each job taught me.
Working my way through life by [Acosta, J.]