Thursday, December 15, 2016

Vince Lombardi Quote

Vince Lombardi said, “It is time for us all to stand and cheer for the doer,  
the achiever-the one who recognizes the challenges and does something about it.” These words resonate with me. At times I have been the one who recognized the challenge but yet did nothing; a sad state of affairs because my conscious is always in shambles as an after effect. It is important that we all are both aware and that we respond to our awareness. So if you are aware that you are overweight, then do something; if you are aware that there is a bully on the playground, do something, at least tell someone; if you are aware that you are a  spendthrift, then create a budget. Where ever your awareness leads you, respond  and in so doing you are leading yourself on the inevitable path of success. Let  us be doers. I have always said that the Universe/God that great spirit that created us all, rewards action. Be action focused and action centered.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Salvation Army Red Kettle

The Salvation Army's red kettle is a staple of the holidays. You see them outside of the grocery stores, department stores and various other public spaces where people frequent. I know it is the holidays when I hear those bells. It puts me in the spirit of sharing and giving.

How many times do we pass them? For me it leaves me with a guilty feeling when I don't have not even a single dollar bill to place in the kettle. But that red kettle reminds me to give, not only to the Salvation Army, but also to the people who have served me so willingly throughout the year: my postal carrier, hairdresser, manicurist, garbage collector, etc. etc. That red kettle reminds me to go to the bank and collect the money that I will give to these individuals. It also reminds me to give my favorite charities an added bonus.

The spirit of giving should not only be for the holidays. We should embrace it each and every day. However the holidays reminds us of the importance of giving and the Salvation Army's red kettle is a physical symbol of the joy of giving and sharing.

To learn more on how the red kettle tradition started, read here and Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas:) Life is Good!


Library on Mompreneur's World Blog

Libraries are serene, beautiful, peaceful spaces. As a lover of knowledge, it is expected that this space would be one where I am perfectly and divinely in my element. But what about you? We all need to find spheres/spaces, whether public or private, that inspire us to live more and to be more. We are very much influenced by our physical environment. So if you need to go somewhere to be inspired, then bon voyage. If you can't go, then imagine you are already there. Your mind's eye is more powerful than you think. Whether you create it mentally or you are there physically, your place of peace, tranquility, inspiration will help you live your best life ever. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What's for Dinner: Chicken Prepared in 3 Different Ways

Mompreneur's World: Chicken Dinner Ideas

I love to cook, always have, always will. When I was growing up, I thought we would fly. That's how much my Mom cooked chicken. As a result, I have many recipes for chicken. Here are three chicken dinner ideas.

Barbecue Chicken, with Gluten Free Baked Macaroni and Kale Medley

I shop mostly at Trader Joes. Love the store and the quality of the ingredients. This meal was fun and simple to prepare. Gluten free baked macaroni with kale medley and barbecue chicken. Trader Joes has a very nice organic barbecue sauce. Try it. It is delicious, according to my family. Almost forgot to mention that the vegetables are a medley of kale, carrots, and radishes.

Baked Chicken Wings

The second chicken dinner shared here is baked wings. It is a Friday night tradition in our house. The trick to baking chicken is to pat the chicken completely dry, season with salt and pepper and preheat the pan that you are going to bake the chicken on. These details are important. If you preheat the pan then when you place the chicken in the oven it will begin to cook right away, which makes for a more crispier chicken on the outside and more succulent on the inside. Also it is extremely important to pat the wings dry with good quality clean paper towels. If the skin is as dry as possible, before you season it with the salt and pepper and before you place it in the oven, then again it leads to a better tasting chicken. I don't understand the secret behind it, I just know that it works.

For vegetables I cut up carrots and celery into strips and made a dipping sauce. For the dipping sauce I combined, mayonnaise, ketchup, a drop of apple cider vinegar, a little bit of olive oil, salt & pepper to taste and pickle juice. Whisk it all together, add and subtract ingredients to your taste.

Stewed Chicken

My third chicken dinner idea is stewed chicken. I am an island girl, born and raised so it was a frequent meal for me as a child. I believe some may call this chicken cacciatore. Not sure how similar the recipes are. I begin by seasoning the chicken and letting it sit for at least 1 hour. Always make sure that the chicken is at room temperature before cooking. Then I cut up the vegetables: onions, sweet peppers, garlic, thyme. Saute the chicken and the vegetables together. The chicken will spring its own water so don't add any initially. After it cooks for a while and you smell the sweet fragrances then add ketchup and your best pasta sauce. Again let it simmer a while before adding a little hot water. Season the gravy to taste. I tend to add some worchester sauce when checking the flavoring. Let the chicken simmer for at least 45 minutes. This chicken with some basmati rice and veggies is utterly delicious.

I hope you enjoyed the chicken dinner ideas shared herein. Maybe you thought you would fly as a child  because your Mom also cooked a lot of chicken. Share some of your chicken dinner ideas below. Life is Good! :)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

5 Articles Worth Sharing: Curated by Mompreneur's World

Mompreneur's World
  1. 8 Reasons to Become an Entrepreneur (Infographic) The infographic is so pretty and cool that I almost want to print it and frame it as a reminder of why I do what I do.
  2. 10 Fascinating Things you Probably Did Not Know About Warren Buffet's Berkshire-Hathaway, Inc. Did you know that Berkshire-Hathaway owned Dairy Queen and Geico? Find out more.
  3. 3 Things to Watch in the Stock Market this Week Yes you have an awesome business! But you also need passive income. Why not invest in stocks?
  4. 16 Tips for Upcoming Self-Made Entrepreneurs As an entrepreneur for well over 25 years, I have learned the hard way, the importance of tip number 1.
  5. How to Stop Burnout With 1 Simple Rule Damon Brown tells us that we all need a healthy dose of selfishness.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kids and Learning: 5 Simple Old School Tactics from a Mompreneur

Kids and Learning: 5 Simple Old School Tactics from a Mompreneur

Kids and Learning: 5 Simple Old School Tactics from a Mompreneur

I am first and foremost a mother. I am a mother of 4 beautiful girls, one of whom is now married with a child. My other girls are still school age. One commonality with all of my girls is that they were and still are good learners.

There is no secret to kids and learning. For me, I relied on old school beliefs and I tried to instill such beliefs in my girls. My eldest daughter finished high school at 16, undergraduate college at 20 and is now All But the Dissertation (ABD) at Brown University in Rhode Island. My second daughter is a high school senior who will graduate with college credit as a result of  dual enrollment. My third and fourth daughters have been in the gifted and academically talented program from elementary school until now. They are just normal kids who were able to do well in school because of the support they received at home. If they can do it, anyone can. Here are 5 tactics that I employed while my kids were in elementary school that have manifested in their ability to have academic success.
  1. The mindset that a child's first classroom is the home: With this mindset, I taught my kids to read before they went to school. Since I am old school, I utilized the old phonics method and it worked. All of my girls were reading on a 2nd grade level by age 3.
  2. Bedtime reading to my girls was a tradition in our home. This meant that I read to them every night from infancy until about the 6th grade. The material read was varied, sometimes fiction, sometimes not. At times we were reading history and science text books. We always read a Bible story. They loved biographies and so did I. My husband did stories in a round. For us this meant someone begins a story and the next person continues the story, each taking turns. This allowed them to use their imagination.
  3. No television during the week and only an hour on the weekends. In this day and age, this may seem draconian but it worked. This rule was relaxed a bit after the girls entered middle school. However it laid an excellent foundation for them to explore their own creative spirits. When they got home from school and finished their homework, they played a lot and used their imaginations.
  4. We played classical music in the car and listened to lots of self help tapes. The car is an ideal place to supplement what kids are learning. For instance, if the teacher is teaching the multiplication tables, then I would buy multiplication CDs to play in the car. Or we will sing the tables. At times, I would quiz them in the car. The same goes for any subject. In order to do this, however, the car should be a technology free zone, so that you can have the opportunity to chat with them without the interference of texting etc.
  5. Positive expectations with regard to their academic success: As parents we should expect our kids to do well and we should keep abreast of what they are doing in school. Ask questions about tests. Set appointments to speak with teachers. Find out what they are struggling with and see how best you can assist them in overcoming the hurdle. Let them know that the only failure is when one does not try for even a bad grade is still a win (if you actually tried) because at least now you know what you did not know. If they know you expect the best from them, they will try their best for you initially and eventually for themselves.
What tactics do you employ that have resulted in academic success for your kids? Please share your thoughts below. I am no expert and even my kids have room for improvement but if we collaborate and talk about what we are doing, we all can benefit. 

Life is Good!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day | A Mompreneur's Thoughts

"The end of labor is to gain leisure." — Aristotle

Happy Labor Day everyone!

We were heading to Florida this Labor Day but with the threat of Hurricane Hermine, we canceled our plans. So today, my family is relaxed and enjoying an opportunity to have a lazy day. As I consider the meaning of this day for me as a Mompreneur, the following thoughts come to mind:

  1. As the official end of summer, Labor Day is a day to have that last hoorah with friends and family, whether on the beach, at a new unfamiliar destination, or just in a neighborhood park.
  2. Labor Day marks the time when I begin to plan fall activities for my family. We love the fall season with Thanksgiving, apples, pumpkins, fall wreaths, and the list goes on...
  3. Since Labor Day is in the the last month of the third quarter of the year, I begin to make a list of business goals that can be achieved in the 4th quarter.
  4. Labor Day sales are the perfect opportunity for me to shop for winter clothes for my kiddos.
  5. And finally, Labor Day is a day to reflect on the fact that I have a responsibility to vendors and employees that I shouldn't take for granted
What are your thoughts on Labor Day? Share below.

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Mompreneur's Planning Process | My 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner

I am so excited to have received my 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner. This is my second year using the Life Planner. Last year when I first used it,  I was pleasantly surprised that it was so easily adaptable to my life as a Mompreneur. With school aged kids, a home, a husband, a business and myself to manage, I am never without a planner. My planner covers all bases.

It has a monthly spread with a column for goals. I use this section for appointments, birthdays etc. If someone calls and makes a request of me, this is where I go to take a quick glance at my schedule. I also, use this section to literally mark off the days so that I have a quick visual of how many days are left in the month.

Though the Erin Condren Life Planners come in both horizontal and vertical spreads, my personal favorite is the vertical spread. Each week is on two pages and a day is in a full column. There is also a section for lists and a gratitude area. I find the gratitude area to be a lovely reminder to say thanks for the little things in my life. In addition, there are lines below the columns that can be used for anything you wish. I use mines to reconcile out some business items that I pay attention to on a daily basis.

I love the fact that the planner is colorful. Each month has its own color theme. This allows me to immediately know when I am transitioning to the next month. Also, if I choose to add seasonal stickers, they don't seem out of place.

Typically my planning process is based on the David Allen Getting Things Done Methodology where I keep a running to do list. Sundays are my planning days. So on Sunday evenings I would look at my running to do list and pencil in items in my planner that have to be completed in the week. Then each evening I make more specific plans of what I intend to do the very next day.

My husband and kids know that the planner is my command station and if it not written down in the planner it is more than likely not getting done. As a busy Mompreneur with so much on my plate it is inspirational to have a planner that doesn't look too corporate but yet functions well enough to complete all organizational duties necessary for my life as entrepreneur, a Mom, and a wife.

If you have an Erin Condren Life Planner and you love it as I do, please share your thoughts below.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My Evening of Relaxation

My time away from blogging has not been intentional. In fact, not blogging has caused me tremendous stress and anxiety. When I plan to do something and it doesn't get done, when my expectations and my actions do not align, I feel as though I have let myself down. For this and other reasons, life has been a bit stressful. In order to calm myself down and remember what is truly important, I am taking this evening to relax and as a result I decided to share this experience with you.

Usually reading a good book helps me to relax, but for some reason I didn't have one handy. So instead I decided to listen to the Simply Luxurious Life Podcast by Shannon Ables. Shannon provides lots of tidbits for having a wonderful life. I find the podcast to be uplifting and rejuvenating. On one of her episodes she suggested a movie named Man Up, a 2015 drama/romance starring Lake Bell and Simon Pegg. So for this evening I am going to relax by watching this movie and slowly drinking a cup of Tea of Life's Mango Honey Green Tea.

This is going to be a simple evening. No big plans just two simple items, tea and a movie, after which I plan to get a good night's sleep.

What are you doing to feel rejuvenated this evening? Whatever it is, make some time for it because we all need to alleviate a stressful day sometimes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

When a Competitor has Fallen: Musings of a Mompreneur

Everyone is in business to win. Competition exists and most times its existence only makes us stronger. Both parties do their best to secure a larger market segment. In the end, the consumer is better off.

As a mompreneur, I have managed both my family and personal life in a rather unbalanced way. When I am at home with the kids, I am constantly thinking of what needs to be done for work or employees are calling and interrupting dinner. Perhaps customers need me just when I want to go to lunch. But this chaos is soothing because it is addictive.

What happens when ones primary competitor has fallen? The very same ones who push you, pull you, entice you to keep going. Yeah, yeah, I know that should not be the motivation! Right! We all want to win so competition motivates all of us.

Do I continue to live this highly multi-tasked lifestyle or do I begin to relax? The obvious answer is to keep pushing. But it is not so easy especially when you want to jump up and say I win, time to OOOOSAAAHHHHH!

Instead, here are 5 things you can do:
  1. Don't get comfortable, once a profitable market exists, new competitors are on the horizon.
  2. Learn from the mistakes of your fallen competitor and take that word fallen with a grain of salt because anyone can rise above the ashes and be greater than they were before.
  3. Analyze you current business and place systems in place that will improve your bottom line.
  4. Take a brief sabbatical......just to ooosahhh..a day, a weekend, a month, whatever you need.
  5. Pray for yourself and them. We all need strength as entrepreneurs and we all can benefit from some self reflection and divine intervention.
What about you? What do you do when your competitor has left the market, whether intentionally or not? Share your thoughts below.