Stacey Blog

Indianapolis, born, bred and raised thriller author, Stacey Carroll is known for her unique perspectives on life and fiction. Influenced by Anne Rice, Stephen King and the Grimms Brothers, combined with the pure hatred of Disney endings, her novels are equally gritty and sexy with well-developed, realistic characters.

Additional influences on writing are her degrees. She has a Masters in HRD, a Bachelors in Aviation and a Computer science minor. All of these factors and her experience in flying Cessna 152s, 172s, King Airs and Piper Senecas have resulted in fiction novels that feature satisfying mature content emphasizing the characters.


If you would like to know more about blogging or how to blog, check out these books from Amazon:



Have you suddenly looked in the mirror and wondered where *you* went and where this fat person came from? If you have, don’t feel bad. Back in the fall of 2020, I was doing yoga or trying it, and I decided to film myself. Let’s just say the person in the video and how I view myself were not the same. In fact, I wasn’t quite sure where this lard-ass came from, but I knew she had to go. Initially, I just ramped up my exercise. I have a very sedentary lifestyle so a few hundred calories burned a day should do the trick… Except it didn’t. In fact, over the course of the next 3 months, I would gain an additional 8 pounds. YIKES! The reality is that exercise doesn’t work for me. The other reality is that changing my diet doesn't work. Uh oh…. The two things that are supposed to facilitate weight loss don’t work for me. That’s some harsh truth right there.

I hate MyPlate, and I’ve hated it ever since the US Department of Agriculture first put it on a website as a viable diet plan. I also hated the food pyramid, but I hated it less than the MyPlate disaster. You might be asking yourself why I hate MyPlate, and I’m happy to tell you. This disaster recommends dividing your dinner plate into four quadrants for fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins. There are only two ways this diet… er... excuse me… meal plan is gonna go. You’re either going to eat too much or too little, because how high do you stack those quadrants without measuring anything?


The MyPlate Three Day Pass Out – A Case Study

What has a vegetable ever done for your stomach? Vegetarians are going to be angry at this statement. After all, their entire diets are based on plants. That’s fine. I’m not bashing vegans or vegetarians. If the diet works for you, do it. Vegetables don’t work for me, and they didn’t work for the individual in this case study. Why? Because if I want to feel like I’m starving all day, I’ll load up a plate with broccoli and green beans. BTW, those are two of the very few vegetables that have 0 carbs or as close as you can get to it without that vegetable actually being a leaf. Vegetables do have vitamins, minerals and macro and micronutrients, so eat them for their medicinal purposes, but other than that, I consider them empty calories. (Empty Calorie Definition for that statement – Food that leaves you just as hungry as before you ate it.)

If you haven’t been on LinkedIn lately, you’re missing out. They’ve gone above and beyond to inundate you with advertisements. As you all have probably guessed, I’m not opposed to relevant advertising that’s performed in a non-intrusive way. I mean, after all, look at my Twitter feed. I recommend products all the time. What I don’t do is spam you with DMs regarding my books or Amazon writing products. After all, that’s rude. Well, LinkedIn doesn’t see things the way I do, and I’ve received two of these “sponsored” messages in the last week. The first time, I didn’t realize it was an advertisement, but I did wonder why I didn’t get a notification on my phone. After all, I want to respond to your relevant messages in a timely manner.

How to Determine if It’s an Advertisement Sitting in Your LinkedIn Messaging Box

The first thing you are going to notice is that you have a message in your LinkedIn messaging box but no notification on your phone or in your email. Next, you’ll probably click on the Message link in your upper menu. I’d recommend it, because when you click on that, you will see a list of your messages, and in that sidebar, you’ll see a bold sponsored. If you happen to miss that and read the message, you’ll notice that you cannot reply. So, this means that even if you’re interested in what this person has said to “you”, you can’t continue the conversation. Instead, you can click on whatever buttons the ad provides for you. I would be very hesitant to click on any link in a DM, unless you know and trust the person. Do you trust advertisements in your DM box? To me, the conversation is DOA. You got a message. You cannot respond. It’s finished.

How to Remove These Annoying Advertisement DMs/Messages

First, look way down at the bottom of that message, you’ll see “Manage your ad preferences” and “unsubscribe”. That’s right. You were automatically subscribed to this BS. Click on UNSUBSCRIBE. The Manage your ad preferences takes you to a big mess of a list, but I’ll get to that in a minute.


The unsubscribe link will take you to some click radials and options. Click on “I don’t want to receive any promotional marketing messages from anyone.” Save the changes.


Now, let’s say that you haven’t seen one of these, but you never want one. Click on Messaging → Manage Advertising Preferences → Manage Your LinkedIn Ads Settings → LinkedIn Ads Settings. And then it’s a quagmire of trying to find those radial boxes, but since you’re there, make sure all your ad preferences are what you prefer. It looks like LinkedIn sets everything to YES, unless you change it.


Hopefully, this helps you to never receive another advertisement in your LinkedIn messaging box for the foreseeable future.



Jill Safran


Imagine that four is your lucky number. Say you are job hunting, and you get an interview on April 4th at 4:00 pm. What are the chances?

With all those fours in the mix, you know you’ll get hired.

So, of course, you do.

Everything about the job is perfect: friendly co-workers, an easy-going boss, and free parking.

Life is pretty good for a while until COVID-19 lockdowns hit your town. A few months later, your company announces they are creating a layoff list. Anyone without a certain number of years will find themselves on that list and out of work.

The number of years they decided upon is five.

And how many years do you have with the company?

Well…four, naturally.

But wait! Isn’t four supposed to be your lucky number? What’s going on here? Not only do you find yourself out of a good job; after several months, you are unable to find a new one. More importantly, you think you can no longer count on the signs from the Universe that once helped guide your path, and you need them more now than ever because you find yourself getting ready to kiss poverty—and you can already tell his breath stinks!


So what can you do?

As a mindfulness practitioner and a person who has experienced a heavy dose of financial hardship, I recommend adopting a few key mindsets.


MINDSET #1 – Deliberately Create a Future for Yourself


That dream of taking a European vacation two years from now is on hold. The money is gone. It went to pay the rent. Heck, you can’t even think about life two years from now when you aren’t even sure where you’ll find the money to cover next month’s electric bill.

Finding yourself in an impoverished state can seemingly rob you of your ability to see yourself doing anything in the distant future. When you held a secure and well-paying job, you could easily conceive of things like a 15- year retirement plan or a 30-year mortgage. However, when a person struggles financially, the individual’s time frame for goals and dreams often shrinks down to months or weeks. Sadly, many who are homeless live a day-to-day existence.

This type of short-term thinking is dangerous, as it can keep you trapped in poverty and lead to depression. Therefore, it is up to you to deliberately create a future for yourself. While the type of goals and achievements in that future might be dramatically different from your previous ones, there are still many things you can realistically see yourself doing.

One thing to consider is learning origami. There are free how-to videos online. Could you see yourself learning this craft and giving away some homemade origami projects to family or friends six months from now?

The important thing here is not what you see yourself doing; what is vital is that you set a goal for yourself at least six months to a year out into the future. If you don’t care for the art of paper folding, envision yourself doing something else. Even seeing yourself having cleaned out and organized the garage is okay as long as you see that as an obtainable goal that you could achieve in the future.


Because seeing yourself as having an extended future and being open to the possibilities that could enter into it creates the space for opportunities to come into your life. Believing you have opportunities increases happiness.


MINDSET #2 – Consider Yourself to be Your Main Investment


Wealth creation consists of saving money and investing it. Poverty can cause an individual to become preoccupied with the first part of that equation and dismissing the second part. Desperation to find savings on everything from milk to raincoats to toilet paper overtakes the brain. Save. Save. Save becomes your mantra. There usually isn’t any extra money left for investigating things like money market accounts or fine art, so the thought of investing leaves one’s consciousness.

Yet, this is the type of consciousness needed for wealth creation.

The best way to maintain this type of thinking is to reframe your thoughts about spending your money. For example, say you decide you want to save money by buying some online food saver bags. Putting fruits and vegetables into these bags will waste less food and reduce spending on produce.

That’s great.

However, you can also view this purchase as a smart investment in your health as you are prolonging the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in your home to improve your nutritional needs.

Notice how that line of thinking is expansive, whereas the notion of penny-pinching to save a few cents on produce is reductive. Having a balance of both thoughts can help relieve some of the anxiety financially challenged people create by continually entertaining thoughts of needing to save every dime.


MINDSET #3 – Turn Your Situation into a Game When Possible.


If you haven’t seen the film Life is Beautiful, please watch it. The story centers around a Jewish Italian bookshop owner who employs various games to shield his son from the horrors of imprisonment during World War II.

Let’s face it. Poverty isn’t usually fun. Leaky ceilings, worn-out shoes, and insufficient heating aren’t pleasurable experiences. Too much focus on these difficulties lowers our vibration, ignites stress, and increases depression. Since leaving your environment usually isn’t possible, making a game out of your situation is often a practical method for maintaining your sanity and optimism.

Here’s one option if you live with others: Get a small box or jar. Every time anyone in the household encounters stress, they get to write down the experience on a small piece of paper and put it in the container. At the end of the month, you can all play “Guess my Stress,” a type of charades played by taking turns pulling the pieces of paper out of the jar and act out, without speaking, the action on the paper.

The more ridiculous and exaggerated the actions, the better. Should you play this game, you’ll discover you’ve found a way to transmute the energy of stress and negativity into something funny and absurd. In that way, you will feel as if you have power over your troubles instead of feeling as if your troubles have power over you.


#Mindset 4 – Continue to See Yourself as Lucky.


Give the number four a break. Wait a while before seeking a different lucky number or talisman. You might not be as unlucky as you think. Had you stayed there, you might have found that downsizing caused your co-workers to become competitive, transformed your boss into a micromanager, and turned the free parking into a memory.

Keep in mind this quote from the Dalai Lama: “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

Understand that his message isn’t saying you have to do cartwheels every time something terrible happens to you. The things that push us into financial hardship don’t usually fill us with joy. Death, disease, and betrayal rarely ignite feelings of good fortune. However, if we can find an element of luck within the situation, we can increase our chances of attracting more luck into our lives.

In fact, according to Richard Wiseman, author of Luck Factor, lucky people see the positive side of their bad luck. They believe that any ill-fortune in their lives will, in the long run, work out for the best.

A mindset like this boosts resiliency and increases happiness. Think about using it if poverty forces its way on you and gives you a smelly kiss. No, you don’t have to love the experience, but you can hold your nose and get through it. Maybe afterward, you’ll meet someone who went through the same thing, and they’ll offer you a free beer or even a job.

Who knows?

You might be that lucky.






By Blue One Heating and Air

When you need air conditioning and heating services in Linden, NJ, choosing the right HVAC contractor can mean the difference between comfort and nightmare. Hiring the right pro for the job ensures that your comfort system gets the proper care and maintenance it needs to serve its purpose well.

Today, we will let you in on the most essential tips for selecting the best HVAC contractor.

1. Do Your Research

Conducting thorough research gives you a head start in finding the right HVAC contractor.  First off, make sure that you have the right information about the company and its services.  Check if they have the necessary credentials, such as license, certification, and bonding. When a company is certified and licensed, you can have peace of mind knowing that it is reliable.

  • Licensing – It is a state requirement that means that the HVAC technicians from that company have completed the required training and exams.
  • Certification – North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is one of the trusted credentials that you need to look for an HVAC company. Having this certification means their technicians have undergone rigorous training and test.
  • Bonding – A trustworthy HVAC contractor must have insurance to protect the customer from potential misconduct or agreement issues.    

2. Seek Referrals

You can ask your friends, neighbors, relatives, and colleagues if they know someone who is a reliable HVAC contractor. It also helps to ask about their experience with the company first hand.  Asking for recommendations is an incredible way to save time and effort because you can get the information you need fast and easy.

3. Check Reviews and Ratings Online

You can never go wrong with online reviews and ratings. You may need to check their website or even social media channels, like Facebook and Instagram to check for customer feedback, reviews, or ratings. It helps you easily spot their best side and flaws. If there’s a red flag, you can easily scratch them off your list.

4. Experience in the HVAC Industry

Experience is something that you should always consider. If they have the right knowledge and track record, they can handle significant HVAC jobs. A highly experienced heating and cooling technician can easily spot the problem and provide solutions right away, no matter what type, brand, or kind of HVAC system you have.  

5. Can Answer Questions

Once you narrow down your list of potential local companies, prepare a list of questions, and conduct a separate interview. Doing this interview can help you determine their familiarity with the HVAC industry. You can ask important questions for comparison. Don’t forget to ask service contractors, payment plans, emergency HVAC repairs, and their strategies.  An ideal HVAC contractor will never think twice about answering your questions.

Professional Contractors

A reliable HVAC contractor should be professional at all times. They should be courteous and know how to handle challenging situations.  A dependable technician must always be there to provide the best solution to your problem.

Finding the right air conditioning company in Linden, NJ contractor seems to be a daunting task, but it shouldn’t be.  As long as you know what to do and have the information you need, you’ll find the best contractor to help you meet your comfort goals.

Need an AC repair, installation, or maintenance in Linden, NJ and the surrounding areas? You may call Blue Air One Heating & Air Conditioning at (908) 293-9413 or connect with their experts here to schedule your appointment.

Blue Air Logo 


Blue Air One Heating & Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated business specializing in the installation, repair, and maintenance of heating and cooling systems.  They are known for providing top-notch residential and commercial HVAC services.  


I am sorry to say that it is. Sadly, I found this out first hand after I purchased a MOTO e, due to a recent email from Comcast that stated:


Support for your device is coming to an end


As of January 1, 2021, our network partner will begin phasing out its 3G network. As a result of these network updates, phones that use only 3G networks to make and receive calls and are not compatible with Voice over LTE (VoLTE) will experience a degradation or total loss of service and will no longer be supported.


We’ve identified the following phone on your account that will not be supported by Xfinity Mobile as of January 1, 2021:


LG X power


We want to help you stay connected. Shop online, visit an Xfinity Store, or give us a call at (844) 202-9007 to purchase a new device for your line. If you’re no longer using the device listed above, you can reach out to check if the phone you are using will still be supported.


We’ll notify you again before we stop supporting your device.


Needless to say, rather than waiting until the last minute, I decided to see if they had any sales for those of us that were going to be forced to change phones. My current LG Xcharge was paid off, and I had no intentions of getting a new phone. After all, why would I want a new bill in the middle of a pandemic? Hint: I don’t.



Low and behold, I found a sale on a MOTO e. regularly $149, but on sale for $0.00 per month due to a $149 credit. The caveat, cause there always is:



How this works

  1. Buy this device today and get your first monthly credit.

  2. Transfer your number and activate your device within 30 days of purchase date.

  3. Enjoy lower monthly payments — device credits continue as long as you transfer your number and complete activation.*

*If line is canceled, voluntarily or involuntarily, or device payments are accelerated, the remaining credits associated with device payments are lost.


So, all right. I can’t get the sale and open another line, like say if I wanted to have a personal and a business cell phone. Fine. I’ll transfer my number, which I did. I transferred the line from an LG Xcharge to the MOTO e.


My Caveat: Had the MOTO e not been on sale or had they no sales, I would have gotten another LG or a Samsung, since I own a Samsung tablet. While I’ve owned Motorola phones before, I don’t really prefer them, and I’m not sure that I’m happy with the MOTO e. It is weird. There’s no way to “close all apps” and the apps leave off at the same spot you pushed them away. That’s really annoying. So, this isn’t my favorite cell phone to date, and without the sale, I would have chosen something different. Let’s not forget that I would have chosen something different after the cell service for my current phone degraded so much that I could not use it. I was NOT in the market for a new cell phone.


Credit Not Applied: Are We Surprised?


Today, that credit was not applied, apparently, I still owe $143 on this phone. Keep in mind that the line is activated. The number was transferred. The sale price was never initiated. I contacted Comcast, always a pleasure (and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible) the end result was that they were not going to honor the sale price. That, folks, is false advertising. After my dealings with this company over the last year, I more or less expected this behavior. Hence, all the screenshots. The bad news is that you shouldn’t expect this from a well-known established company, but of course, we’re talking about Comcast. The bottom line, don’t believe any of Comcast’s advertisements or sales. the fun part is that I can actually prove this scam. The sale is still ongoing, and I have the screenshots. And yes, I know who to contact about false advertising.


Resolution sept. 21/2020: Comcast/Xfinity will update their wording on the sale to be more clear that the transfer cannot be phone to phone, and it must be from X carrier to Xfinity.  Fine.  It didn't solve my problem, so I told them to go ahead and process a return for the MOTO e.  I like my Xcharge.  Fast forward 5 minutes later, they can't reactive the LG Xcharge without contacting tech support and jumping through a whole lot of hoops to try and get a 2017 phone back on the network. It'd cost them more to get my Xcharge back onto the network than it would to just give me the MOTO e.


End result - the MOTO e ended up being free, but not due to the sale, simply due to the fact that my other phone was so old, it would cost too much to put it back on the network. Seriously, there were like 10 steps to that and putting in a support ticket to have Comcast's tech support force the phone back onto the network was just 1. Then, the MOTO e would cease to function. THEN, I'd have to switch cards and turn the Xcharge back on and hope that it worked.

By Maddox


Unfortunately, even the most durable HVAC equipment may fail at any time due to several factors. And if your air conditioning system goes out on a sizzling summer day, your home can be pretty unbearable. Let’s take a look at some of the common A/C problems that you can avoid with routine maintenance. 

1. A/C Won’t Turn On

When you found out that your air conditioner isn’t turning on, don’t fret just yet! It’s entirely a common issue with air conditioning systems, and the reason could be any of the following: 

  • Tripped circuit breaker

  • Blown fuse

  • Clogged air filter

  • Dirty evaporator coils

  • Loose wiring

  • Thermostat problems 

Regardless of the reason, it’s best to consult the pros for appropriate action. For every air conditioning problem, there is a simple, safe, and efficient solution that your local HVAC contractor can provide. 

2. Compressor Not Working

If the problem is in the compressor, then you’re likely to face a big expense for A/C repair. When it fails, it’s often caused by an underlying issue, such as dirty coils, electrical failure, or too much stress on your system. Fortunately, about 80% of compressor malfunctions are preventable if they’re corrected in a timely and professional manner. 

3. A/C Not Cooling

At some point, you might find yourself feeling toasty even when your A/C is on. Why is that? Several factors can cause your system to stop cooling your residential or commercial space, but the most common reason is improper installation. Contact your trusted HVAC company to inspect your system and have it fixed immediately. They’ll also check for other possible issues, like insufficient airflow, low refrigerant, and a broken thermostat. 

4. Thermostat Glitches

An incorrectly calibrated or broken thermostat may tell your air conditioning system not to run. If you’ve set the thermostat right but the A/C still didn’t start, then it’s time to call for an expert to calibrate or replace the thermostat if necessary. 

5. Dirty and Clogged Condenser Coils

When you’re experiencing trouble with your A/C, don’t forget to check the condenser coils. If they are clogged with dirt and debris, they won’t properly discharge the heat outside the building. As a result, your air conditioning system will work harder trying to meet your cooling demands. 

6. Faulty Capacitors

Without the capacitor, both the compressor and the fan won’t work. If a bad capacitor (start or run capacitor) is ignored, you may end up with an inefficient cooling system during the summer months. But if you act on the problem in time, your A/C repair technicians can easily fix it or replace it with a new one to prevent serious effects on your system. You’ll know if the problem is on the capacitor when your air conditioner is blowing warm air or short cycling. 

7. Worn-Out Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coil absorbs heat in the air then passes it through the ducts and sends it to your home as cool air. Over time, the coils can become corroded and may require routine maintenance to keep working at its best. Being proactive with system maintenance ensures that all parts of your air conditioner including the evaporator coils are capable of doing their job. 




Maddox Residential and Commercial Services is a locally-operated and family-owned company serving East Texas for over 80 years. They provide a wide array of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and automation services for homes and businesses in Tyler, TX and the nearby communities. For your comfort needs, you may call them at 903-350-1203

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