Sunday, April 30, 2017

Book Club Questions For Caraval by Stephanie Garber & Starting Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I was blown away by Caraval by Stephanie Garber! Oh my of the best books I have read in a long time. I loved it so much that I read the entire book in one afternoon. I can't wait for the second book in the series. 

I would love to hear what you thought about Caraval either in the comments or on social media! 
The fourth book we are going to be reading is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. We will be starting Red Queen on May 1st and ending on June 5th.
Synopsis From Goodreads: "This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart."

A reminder that this is a very relaxed book club. You can read a book than skip a book then come back and read another book with the club. Whatever you want to do. We are super excited to get started and hope you all will join us. :) To learn more visit the 2017 Books Without Borders Tackk!

Let's Get Reading!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring Cleaning For Your Small Business's Online Presence

Spring is now in full bloom! I was doing some spring cleaning over the weekend and wanted to share some tips on how you can spring clean your small business's online presence. These tips will help to optimize your online presence and allow you to excel online. 

Create Shareable Content

Take a look at your content and determine how much of it is really shareable. Look at your online analytics and determine what is it your followers are sharing. Shareable content could include blog post, how-to guide, infographic, image or instructional video. If you want more people to see you online you need to create content that people want to spread. Here are The 7 Secrets to Shareable Content from Entrepreneur.

Tune Up Your Content
What words do your customer use when describing your company? Ask around and create a list of appropriate keywords that match your business and update your content to match. This will help more people to find your business when searching. 

Ask Your Customers For Reviews
Good customer reviews are so important for any business. Good reviews from customers are very meaningful and can help you stand out in the sea of small businesses. This is also a very important step when growing your business because what your existing customer's say about you can make or break a new customer's decision to shop with you.

Build Up Your Social Strategy
Utilizing social media is a great way to be visible to customer and potential customers. Social profiles should be used to interact with customers, list business information and share any content that you might have. As easy as this may sound it is a good idea to put into place a strategy that can help your social media sites excel. Check out this great blog post from Hootsuite on How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan In 6 Steps!

Place More Value On Building Relationships
Building relationships is a much better tactic than other SEO tactics. SEO is not the main focus when online. Increasing your online visibility needs to involve creating relationships with followers. Ways to build valuable relationships through social media could include being real, not censoring followers, finding your niche and creating brand ambassadors.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Book Club Questions For You Are a Badass by Jen Sinceror & Starting Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Another book down! What did you think of You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero? I really enjoyed this book. Throughout the entire book I was inspired. I loved how honest and raw Jen Sincero is in this book. I had a lot of great takeaways from finishing You Are a Badass.

I have a couple questions for you who are participating. I would love to hear your responses either in the comments or on social media!

1. What were your main takeaways from the book?

2. Did the author’s style of writing appeal to you?

3. Have you made any changes in your own life based on the advice given in the book?

The third book we are going to be reading is Caraval by Stephanie Garber. We will be starting Caraval on April 2nd and ending on May 1st.

Synopsis From Goodreads: "Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever."

A reminder that this is a very relaxed book club. You can read a book than skip a book then come back and read another book with the club. Whatever you want to do. We are super excited to get started and hope you all will join us. :) To learn more visit the 2017 Books Without Borders Tackk!

Let's Get Reading!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Importance Of Transparency

According to the definition of transparent is.. "allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen." I think that being transparent in business is so important in order to build trust and meaningful relationships with both customers and coworkers. Here are the five reasons that I think transparency is a necessity in business. 

Builds Trust
Trust is everything when trying to gain new clients or trying to understand your coworkers. Without trust a business cannot be sustainable. To excel in business you need to trust the people you are working for and with and they need to trust you. Trust is the backbone for success. Check out this great article that gives ways to build trust inside your business

Creates Better Relationships
This one is similar to building trust. Transparency allows for trust to be built, which in turn allows you to create better more meaningful relationships. Better relationships help you so much in business. Creating solid relationships allows you to gain loyalty, better word-of-mouth and a better image for yourself. Still not convinced that you need to build relationships in the workplace? View this article about why workplace relationships matter

Gains More Engagement
In the 2013 Harvard Business Review employee engagement survey it was found that 70 percent of those surveyed said they’re most engaged when senior leadership continually updates and communicates company strategy. It is so important to be open so that customers and employees know what is going on and feel like they matter because you take the time to update them. 

Gives High Quality Solutions
By being open and honest you can solve problems faster and with high quality solutions. You know the saying two heads are better than one? This is the concept behind this point about why transparency is import. When you are trying to solve something or do not know what to do try being transparent and asking for advice. The outcome will always be better! 

Allows For Better Alignment
Transparency allows for better alignment because when you are transparant your goals, vision and mission are known and every aspect of your business can align correctly. If you want to reach your goals faster and in a much smoother method be transparent and everyone will be on the same page. 


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Habits Of The Successful

Everyone wants to be successful at whatever it is they are doing. Success is not always guaranteed and we are all going to fail at some time, but here are some of my top favorite habits I have learned that have helped me to be successful.

Keep A Journal
Did you know that historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte kept a journal? Journaling is great to write down thoughts, emotions and ideas. There have even been studies done that show journaling helps us deal with stressful events.
I am a total bookworm. Above is a recent post that I did that showed my top reasons to read more. Reading is essential for building knowledge. Bill Gates is an avid reader and we all know how successful he is. Elon Musk claims that he learned to build rockets by reading books. 

Stick To Morning Routines
If you do not have a morning routine that gives your day structed and energy than you need to create one right away. My morning routine is everything and helps me to be successful all day. I start my day by drinking 24 ounces of water, reading for 20 minutes and drinking my coffee. Check out these morning routines of the most successful people.

Be Conscientious
According to conscientious can be defined as "wishing to do one's work or duty well and thoroughly". Based off this definition you can see that we all need to be conscientious in order to be successful. Research has found that conscientiousness is the only major personality trait that consistently predicts success.

Practice Gratitude
I feel that a lot of us sometimes forget how far a little bit of gratitude can go. Not only does gratitude help you to make others feel good, it will also make you feel good about yourself. Check out these 29 unique ways to show gratitude

Exercise Regularly
To be successful we need to make sure our bodies are in shape and can function the way they are suppose to. Exercise and eating well are the top ways to do this. When I do not exercise I am less motivated, less inspired and less creative. Need a little more convincing as to why you should exercise? Here is a list of 19 reasons to workout that are beyond having the perfect body

Know When To Say 'No'
We can't do everything and it is important to know when to say no to things that are not going to add value or get us to our goals. A good way to figure out when to say "no" to is to define your main objective and always think about that objective when deciding if you should accept or decline.

Listen To Others
Deependra Dobriyal says, "Listen more, talk less. Be attentive in every meeting. Hear everyone out, no matter how useless you think their ideas are." Having the ability to listen to people is key to winning them over in every aspect of life. Learning to listen more is a great asset to have when on the road to success.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Healthy Kid Approved Snacks For School

Did you know that nutritional deficiencies can affect brain growth and performance in students? We all know the feeling of being hungry and unmotivated, increase feelings of alertness and motivation to learn with these easy and healthy snacks. My mom and I are going to bring you three of our favorite healthy snacks for school that will help keep your kids learning and focused!

Brianna’s Three Favorite Snacks For School
My first favorite snack for school that helps keep me learning and focused are Chocolate Almond Butter Energy Balls. Not only is this snack delicious, it is also packed with protein to help keep your kids fuller for longer. You wouldn’t know it by tasting them, but there is also a healthy hidden ingredient in them...BLACK BEANS! Coming from someone who hates black beans your kids will have no idea and will think they are eating a yummy chocolate treat.

My second favorite treat for school is Peanut Butter Dip. This snack is super versatile and delicious. It also has greek yogurt to give your kids extra protein, while also giving them good fats and carbs. My favorite way to eat this is with apples, but you can also enjoy it with celery or any other fruit or veggie.

I saved the best for last! My final treat that I am going to share with you is Protein Almond Butter Energy Bites! I eat these every single afternoon to keep me full between lunch and dinner. They have lots of protein and healthy fats that really give you a boost. These are always my go to if I am feeling hungry and in need of a healthy snack.

My mom, Shannon loves to bake too. She always had yummy snacks for us after school and brought great ones to school for our birthdays and special (or everyday) events too. Here are three of her favorites that she loves making for my brothers and I….
My first treat to share is one of Hagan’s new favorites and it is super easy. I cut up a banana and drizzle almond infused honey over the pieces in a bowl. Sometimes I even add a little scoop of Sweet Freedom ice cream which has half the calories of regular ice cream but so good!
My second treat to share and one that I love making for my kids is banana bread. I use a recipe from my hometown church cookbook but make a few changes. One of the biggest changes is that I add applesauce instead of a ½ cup of butter. Hagan, Brady and Brianna have all loved making this with me. It is definitely a family favorite!
The third treat to share is Brianna’s favorite and it is called Hot Buttered O’s. My mom made these too when I was little. You just melt a little coconut oil in a pan and make sure it is hot. Then add a few cups of Cheerios and stir them constantly to toast them in the hot oil. Once they are toasted, you can season them with salt or whatever seasoning you would like. They are more nutritious than popcorn and oh so good!


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Tips To Staying Healthy At Work

For those of who do not know, I love personal health and wellness! I believe that even when at work it is essential to take care of yourself. Staying healthy at work will lead to fewer missed workdays, greater productivity and less stress. Below are five tips to staying healthy at work. 

1. Move Around
One of the most important things you can do during your day to stay healthy is to exercise. This could be as simple as walking around during your lunch. Getting up and moving around helps to not only burn calories, but also helps to de-stress and refresh your body for the rest of your day. I like to get up and move around at least every hour and then I do a workout in the afternoon. Allowing myself this time helps me to stay focused and not get overwhelmed. 

2. Drink Enough Water
Drinking enough water is a must! You should be drinking at least eight to ten glasses of water everyday. This will help you stay hydrated, which will help to beat the afternoon lull that many people feel. It is also good to eat foods that have a good source of water, such as oranges, grapes, and apples. An easy way to make sure you are getting enough water is to bring a 16 ounce water bottle to work and try to finish it by lunch, then finish two more in the afternoon. Also, setting reminders is a good way to make sure you are staying hydrated. 

3. Eat A Healthy Lunch
Eating a healthy lunch at work is an important part of a balanced diet. Packing a lunch beforehand and insuring you are practicing portion control is a great way to make sure you are not eating too many calories and then sitting all afternoon. Meal prepping on Sunday is how I make sure I have healthy lunches on hand that are the correct portions. 

4. Limit Caffeine Intake
Morning coffee is a must for me, but remember, everything needs to be in moderation. I have my morning coffee and then I do not have any more caffeine for the day. I like to drink decaffeinated tea in the afternoon, then I do not have an afternoon caffeine crash. If you are needing an afternoon boost try green tea or matcha, both will give you some energy without the crash. 

5. Be Self-Aware
Being self-aware is my #1 tip. In order to really stay healthy you need to be self-aware and know yourself and your limits. Knowing when to take breaks and when to take a vacation is very important. It is also important to get in a mindset that recognizes that exercise is a must. Exercise will help you both physically and mentally in all facets of your life. 

Go Get Healthy!