Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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Can I ask a favor?

Signify holiday 2017 promoCan I ask you a favor?

Since it’s my first full year in business, I’m celebrating by giving away a Communications Strategy Session to one lucky nonprofit or social enterprise.

I love supporting small cause-focused organizations that are trying to do good things in the world. There are so many of them out there, working hard, and making a difference in their own little corner of the world. They are the kinds of businesses that I support personally, and through Signify, I’m also able to support them professionally.

However, many of them can’t afford to have someone like me on their staff full-time. That’s why I mostly work on projects for small organizations. They can afford some help now and then, and I’m happy to provide it.

But with everything on their plates, they often get behind in their marketing and communications. I totally get it, and it’s a common problem. As a solopreneur, I definitely feel their pain, but I have a different set of skills and expertise to lend.

That’s why I wanted to give a Communications Strategy Session away for the holidays. It will help them get on track, or back on track, with their marketing in 2018. It’s a resolution that I can easily help them keep.

So . . . the favor . . .

If you know of a nonprofit, social enterprise, or other for-profit organization doing good, would you mind sending them to the page that outlines this giveaway? I’d love them to throw their hat into the ring for the opportunity to win this prize, valued at over $500.

I really appreciate your help.

You can also learn more about Signify here, or read the interview I recently did for Ideamensch. Or if you prefer to hear me talk about my company, you can listen to this episode of Business RadioX, starting at 36:40.

Thank you, again!

 

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My 2017 Reading List

While there are many 2017-reading-listbenefits to working at home, the downside is that I don’t get to listen to near as many audiobooks as I used to. I really miss that, and my Wish List is piling up as we speak (or as I type).

However, I did manage to sneak a few in this year, and wanted to share them with you in case you’re looking for a good read.

And if you read something wonderful, please let me know about it!

2016 Reading List

2015 Reading List

2014 Reading List

2013 Reading List

2012 Reading List

2011 Reading List

By the way, if you haven’t yet discovered the magic of Audible, you can snag two, free audiobooks here. They’re yours to keep, even if you decide not to get a membership.

And if you don’t have much time to read, try Blinkist, where they summarize books into just 10 minutes of content.

I spend most of my car time listening to podcasts these days. Here are a few of my favorites. What would you add?

Happy learning!

 

PS: Some links are affiliate links, which means I get a small kick back for introducing awesome people to awesome things. I only promote what I love. 

 


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Happy Thanksgiving!

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#TBT to 2002, when my friend Kat and I were at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Every year, my Thanksgiving begins by watching this parade, so it was an absolute thrill to be there in person. This was when I lived in New York for a short time, and I almost got a job at Macy’s just for the chance to walk in this parade. But instead, I worked in a restaurant in Grand Central Station, and attended the parade as a fan. It was super cold, but worth every second!

The holidays are often a time for traditions, counting our blessings, and spreading joy. No matter where you spend today, or who you spend it with, I hope it’s filled with love, turkey, pie, and maybe even a nap.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

“After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

– Oscar Wilde


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My Current Food Obsessions

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Everyone has favorites at certain restaurants. Some people even constantly visit the same places, and order the same items. But that’s not typically me. I usually prefer more variety, including the restaurants I visit and the food I order. And I often try to patron local restaurants over chains, because I’d rather “buy local.”

However, lately I’ve found myself obsessed with some of the same food items at the same restaurants. And I love perusing the aisles at the grocery store for new brands and items, but I’ve recently been buying the same things there too.

Here are my current favorites in case you’re looking for food and drink recommendations. Bon appetit!

  • Tiff’s Treats: I both love and hate my friend, Kari, for introducing me to these cookies! This company is Texas-based, but they have expanded into Georgia over the past year or so. And there is a location only about two miles from me. Get this: they deliver, fresh, warm cookies! They’re baked once you place the order, and they are fantastic! My favorite are definitely the chocolate chip, though the other flavors are excellent too. I even turned this obsession into a paying gig. I’ll be writing about them for an upcoming magazine article. Being a freelance writer pays in more ways that one!
  • Chick-fil-A Cobb Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing: This is my biggest obsession right now. The past few weeks, I’ve even eaten it multiple times per week! I love this thing so very much. Yum, give it a try. And if you want to throw in some Icedream for dessert, I won’t fault you.
  • Figo’s Arugula Salad: This is my favorite local chain. And while it may seem odd to order a salad at an Italian restaurant, you clearly haven’t had this salad. It’s incredibly simple, and incredibly delicious. I love arugula, but it’s the dressing that makes this salad fantastic. Very lemony, slightly sweet, and lots of basil.
  • Zoe’s Live Mediterranean Salad: Yes, I’ve had quite a thing for salads lately! They are one of the best ways to enjoy summer veggies, and while I love veggies year-round, I definitely eat a lot more during warm weather. Zoe’s has a lot of great salads, but this is by far my favorite. Again, the dressing is key to this one, but I love all the ingredients together.
  • Pumpkin: Last year, I read a book about incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle, and the author mentioned that she put 1/4 cup of pumpkin in her morning smoothies to add more fiber and thicken it up a bit. I thought this was a genius idea, so I’ve been doing it every weekday as well. And I order it online because it can be hard to find out of season in stores, and cans are heavy to carry around. You can’t taste it, and it does give the smoothie more staying power.
  • Bean and grain chips: Another switch I’ve made in order to eat a little bit healthier is sub traditional chips for ones made of beans and grains. And I absolutely love them! Simply7 has some great tasting chips! I know because I’ve had most of them. Plentils are another favorite of mine.
  • PERRIER Pink Grapefruit Flavored Sparkling Mineral Water: I’ve been obsessed with sparkling water since coming back from Barcelona last year. I had it before that trip, but didn’t like it. Weirdly, now I love it. Guess that’s the charming, European influence! I love this Perrier brand, especially because it comes in a smaller can, which I prefer. Sometimes I even add grapefruit or lemon essential oil, or a lemon slice, to jack up the flavor a bit. Very refreshing for summer!
  • Trader Joe’s Instant Coffee with Cream and Sugar: I needed to throw this drink in here as well. I love coffee, but I don’t drink it all that often. Mostly when hanging out with people, or on the weekends at home. But since my apartment has limited kitchen space, I don’t own a coffee maker. And when I tried to make it at home, the organic and all-natural creamers would often go bad because I didn’t drink it fast enough. So, I discovered these little gems, and I love them. Not as good as a latte for sure, but they do the trick for me! (My one issue is that they do have an artificial ingredient, so I’m hoping they change that.)
  • Emergen-C Energy Plus: This is probably a bit odd to throw in, but you do actually drink it. I’ve talked about my chronic illness, and because of it, I get sick a lot. This is a great way to get in some extra vitamins, and it has added energy as well. Energy is often lacking for me, especially in the afternoon, so this has been a great supplement.

 

(Amazon links are affiliate links. I appreciate your support.)


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5 More Strange Things About Working From Home

5 More Strange Things About Working From HomeAfter I started working from home full-time last year, I wrote a post about five strange things that came with the territory. And it’s hard to believe, but it’s been just over a year since I started my own business. It doesn’t seem like 12 months could possibly have passed, but if I counted the cups of coffee, I know they’d confirm it.

Working from home 24/7 has been a really interesting adjustment that I honestly didn’t expect. Since I’d previously worked from home two days per week, I assumed it would be a fairly easy transition, but in some ways it has taken me by surprise.

Here are five additional observations:

  1. I don’t see other people regularly. As an introvert (though most people find that surprising), this doesn’t bother me most of the time. In fact, I thought it would be an asset. But I’ve realized that I am more creative and energized by making a little time each week to see or talk to people, whether that is through client meetings, phone calls, or get-togethers with friends. Sometimes I’m ready to see people, and sometimes I have to force myself if I don’t already have something on the calendar, but it always proves to be beneficial in some way.
  2. I occasionally crave leaving my apartment. If the week ahead calls for a lot of writing, or a bunch of similar tasks, I’ve found that I’ll accomplish them faster if I change up my environment. This usually means going to a coffee shop or cafe at least one day a week. I didn’t foresee getting tired of seeing my apartment every day, but it does happen sometimes, especially when my To Do list involves repetitive functions. So, the best option is to switch up my surroundings. And if I don’t plan for it ahead of time, I know it needs to happen when I start feeling the need to unload my dishwasher or vacuum during the middle of the day. I think I’d like to eventually belong to a co-working space, but at about $100+ per month, that’s an expense I don’t need right now.
  3. I’ve taken binge-watching to a whole new level. With no commute, five o’clock can easily mean that the computer gets turned off and the TV gets turned on. And I don’t feel as bad about being a night owl since I don’t have to get up early, get ready, and drive to work. So, that means bonus hours of binge time! Last summer I made it through all 16 seasons of CSI, and watched endless hours of Olympics coverage! 😉
  4. I do less laundry. Yep, I basically don yoga pants and a t-shirt everyday . . . and they’re likely the same ones for an entire week. I will take a moment to note that I do not stink, though! Come on, I still have some standards. And if I have to get out of the house for meetings, to see friends, or to work from a cafe, I’m probably wearing the same outfit to all of those that week as well. #classy But I prefer to position it as further doing my part for the environment.
  5. I’m only dressed and made-up from the waist up for video calls. While part of me gets annoyed that I have to get properly dressed and put on makeup to not leave my apartment, at least I have the satisfaction of only doing it halfway. I look decent from the waist up, but I’m still wearing yoga pants and fuzzy socks. And in talking to others who work from home, this is pretty common. So, there’s a peek behind the curtain!

And that’s more about the glamours life of working from home! This is how the magic happens, people.

If you work from home, do you agree, or have additional items to add?