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Broken Resolutions

Broken Resolutions

Feb 2, 2016

By Danielle Katz Repeat after me “Its OK. Im only Human.” Every year we burden ourselves with promises of improvement. This tradition is a natural response to a big change, or turning point, or even an upcoming event like a reunion or wedding. New Years Resolutions have to do with a number going up by ONE by the way. Its a natural time to reflect. “Hmmm …what have I screwed up over the past year? How can I improve on that?” All this reflection is natural, so is screwing it up and falling off that “wagon of change.” You see this resolution, or this manifestation of our hopes for ourselves, most assuredly as Oreos are delicious, will be broken. “To human is to err”…I think someone important said that. I don’t know who, but damn if it isn’t true! We are human, therefore, we make mistakes. Now sometimes its no big deal, like we took a wrong exit on the New Jersey Turnpike and now were totally stuck in traffic. And sometimes its a real dozy! “Holy crap I just took the dogs medicine by accident, someone drive me to the ER!!!” But either way, we learn and move on. As a mom, this is an especially tough one to drive into your little ones, especially those little perfectionist types (gosh-darn it they drive me crazy, boy I love ‘em!) This is important for adults too! We screw up and its OK!!! See the first line in this article. Repeat as needed. You will fall off that wagon, whether your trying to loose weight or not go postal at the post office because the lines are so long. (Aren’t the Holiday’s Over? Why are the lines still so long?). Here is the important part. Get back on the wagon. No kidding, its really that simple. Why does it have to be new years eve for you to be inspired? It could be a random Tuesday. Just do it. (Sorry Nike….but its true). For me its the diet. I can be an emotional eater, Hell I eat if I’m just tired and cranky. But I’m 5 feet tall and gain weight just looking at cake....

How Do You Find The Time?

How Do You Find The Time?

Mar 25, 2015

By Vee Pope “How do you find the time?” I’m trying to break up with how that question makes me feel. It has simultaneously irked me and made me feel productive. My over analytical mind asks if it’s a loaded or genuine question all the time. I never know but what I do know is that I can control how I react to it.   So, how do I find the time? I can say I simply make the time to do the things I want to do, or I can show you how I have tried to master the art of time management. One thing I want to make clear to those who are taking the time to read this: I currently have How I Met Your Mother playing, another “work” computer is running, and I just finished texting with both of my parents. Also, I did not sit down to write this in one sitting. Now, I recognize multi-tasking might not be effective for certain tasks. I’m not claiming to be perfect in this area of my life, but I can still provide tips on how you can better manage your time. Let’s just say I have spent a lot of time researching time. Okay–these tips can apply to anyone and I mean ANYONE! Time is not gender, age or race specific. It doesn’t matter if you are a mom, single, dad, married, teen or toddler (well, some of the tips may not apply to toddlers).  We can tackle these together! Find a hobby: No matter who you are or how your days and weeks are structured, you absolutely need to find a healthy outlet to build into your routine. Hobbies can contribute to eustress, which is a healthful dose of stress or quite literally speaking “good stress”. Eustress is that feeling of excitement about life. It keeps us revitalized and positive. So pick up that book or go on those walks and treat yo’ self to a HOBBY! Write everything down: My planner obsession is unhealthy. Trust me, I recognize that, but I have also met people who wished they had one. While whipping out my planner to schedule future appointments, people will comment on how they just...

Branding Tips For The Small Business Owner

Branding Tips For The Small Business Owner

Mar 18, 2015

Small businesses often overlook their branding efforts because of the perceived cost of having a cohesive look. In reality, it’s a small investment with high return potential. Branding is the first thing a customer sees and also the last thing a customer feels. My best tips to help you strengthen your brand: 1. Describe Your Brand’s Personality – What does your brand look, taste, smell and feel like? Are your current efforts evoking this personality? Every company should have a personified brand and those characteristics should come out in everything you do. 2. Fix Your Font – If your company is modern, new, fresh and clean DON’T pair it with Times New Roman. And please don’t ever use Comic Sans, Curlz, Brush Script or Papyrus. That’s a big WTF (Why The Font) in my book. Once you’ve described your brand’s personality, pair it with fonts, colors and verbiage that convey. 3. Be More Than The Business Suite – A cohesive business suite of collateral is standard. Well-branded companies look the same over e-mails, invoices, thank you cards and social media. Here are a few great resources for inexpensive logo’ed products: Pakible – Online packaging products with a variety of colors and sizes to pair your logo with. Take advantage of the current 10 for $10 special. Sticker Mule – Another low minimum (50) online print shop with a fast turnaround. Choose your final sticker size based on multiple uses.  Campaign Monitor – User friendly e-newsletter templates that you don’t have to know code to customize. The best thing about Campaign Monitor is the option to test out one campaign without the commitment of a long term contract. Canva – This free, online photo-editing site offers small business owners a place to edit their branding with built in dimensions. Templates from facebook ads to pinterest posts are readymade with no pixel x pixel guesswork. 4. Establish Your Standards – Once you’ve settled on your branding, set the standards. At minimum, your business should have a guideline of colors, fonts and logo to adhere to.  A simple brand standards guideline would look something like this example from University of Connecticut: http://brand.uconn.edu/sites/default/files/BrandStandards_Guide0913.pdf. Don’t let the entire document deter...

What That Damn Dress Can Teach You About Life

The dress…you know the one. The “What color is it?!” that people are freaking out over. Crazy how you can look at the same thing and see two totally different ideas.   There’s a life lesson to be learned in all of this. (No, not to see if your spouse is color blind.) It’s all about perspective.   It’s all in how you look at it. Perspective. I struggle on a daily basis to stay positive, to relax, todecompress. Little things (and big things) get me stressed out. I’m up at night, my mind racing over things–like my work evaluation–that I can’t do a damn thing about at the moment.   I find myself short of breath when I’m thinking about the laundry and cleaning and dinner (and darn it if I forgot to take something out to thaw!) and baths that are cluttering up my evening after working 10 hours during the day.   My heart starts racing in irritation when my kids are screaming at each other in the back seat about what exactly are the lyrics to some inane Katy Perry song.   And I make myself STOP. Perspective.   When the world starts to overwhelm me, I take a step back and a deep breath. I pull out the positives in those situations that are making me freak out. (No, really. You need to do it, too.)   My job. I was in total tears over a recent evaluation at work. But then I looked at it differently. I have a job. A good job. I work with kids who drive me crazy at times, but love me fiercely. I make a difference in their lives. My evaluation didn’t meet MY standards and expectations, but (I keep telling myself) my boss wants me to continue to improve to be the best first grade teacher I can be.Perspective. It’s all in how you look at it.   Laundry and dinner and cleaning and baths…I haveclothes to wash and a house to clean. I have a healthy family who need to be fed (and the Chinese takeout place down the street rocks!). Perspective. If it’s overwhelming, let it go. Compromise. It doesn’t have to always be perfect. Really.   My kids in the back seat…they love music. They enjoy each other’s company...

The Winter Doldrums

The Winter Doldrums

Feb 26, 2015

By Mo Breden That’s my excuse.  I’ve not posted a blog since early January.   Yes, I know I live in Florida and you are saying “what winter”.  We do get colder weather here, believe it or not.  It just doesn’t snow and the cold weather does not last very long. But the winter doldrums is my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. As compared to where we were last year at this time, personally we are in a much better place.  Erin’s tumor is stable, she is back living her life fully, I am so thankful.  James is happy, working and settled in northern Florida, I am so thankful. I am busy, almost all the time.  The only time I am not busy is when I don’t want to be.    I recently was certified by USMS (United States Masters Swimming) to teach adults to learn to swim, which goes along with my YMCA Swim Instructor Certification.  I’m happily swimming in the heated YMCA pool, even on the coldest days and have braved the open water several times this winter without a wetsuit. So, what doldrums???  I’m not exactly sure, but I’m going to try to discuss it with you guys.  I turned 60 in July, and my age, or getting older has never bothered me, I’ve actually looked forward to it, but it is not easy looking in the mirror and seeing new lines, wrinkles and folds appear on my face.  It is not easy when society continues careening around wildly, like, well, like it always has.  I get discouraged and disillusioned with humanity and my natural instinct is to withdraw.  Chuck it all, turn on the TV, close the door and hibernate.  Problem with that is, I can’t do it.  I love life and I love most of the people that I encounter.  So I keep going, and I do the best I can to make my little corner of the world better, which is really all I can do. I intend to write more about aging in this society, but that is not primary on my mind today. Something that has been gnawing at me, which I simply have to write about. ...

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