5 Reasons to Start Holiday Shopping in August

Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Planning ahead will benefit you in ways you never even imagined — especially when it comes to shopping for the holidays.  I always start my holiday shopping in August.  Yep — I’ve already bought a gift for someone on my list!  This is a tradition that I think you should start as well. Read more

Put Puppies on Your List

Lucille the English Bulldog

Lucille the English Bulldog
From the Dailypuppy.com

Just a quick post to make you smile!  Yesterday I came across the most amazingly adorable site – www.DailyPuppy.com.

Each day you can opt to have a precious pooch delivered to your inbox or show up on your Facebook newsfeed.  Or you can just check out the site or even download the iPhone app!  How can you go wrong?  It’s a cute little way to give yourself a boost.

Whether you are having a good day or not – just a little built in insurance for a smile can do wonders! Oh yeah – and I’m sure your stress levels will go down too when you see a little mood lifter mixed in with all your must-do emails. Enjoy the puppies. 😉

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Fabulous Food Truck List

Pincho Factory Food Truck Miami

Pincho Factory Food Truck Miami (Photo credit: Phillip Pessar)

When gourmet food trucks first rolled onto the scene I was definitely skeptical. How can gourmet food go on the road like that? But somehow they do it and now food trucks are popping up all over the country. Now I know a few people who have chosen to browse vehicles here in the hopes of finding a vehicle that can help them kick off their food truck business. I don’t blame them in all fairness, especially as this is taking off! If you are wanting to kick start your food truck business, it’s a good idea to make it clear which food truck you are by getting Vehicle wraps Raleigh nc that show off your logo and branding. It’s a great way to get people’s attention and will advertise your business where ever you go! Hopefully, you’ll make as big of a boom in the industry as these trucks have! I’ve tried a few in NYC and I’ve never been disappointed. Some of my favorites are the Rogue Tomate Cart, Rickshaw Dumpling Truck, and Frites and Meats. Yum!

I’m no expert but John T. Edge is — he’s a a James Beard Award winner and writes the monthly United Tastes column for The New York Times. He wrote The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America’s Best Restaurants on Wheels and shared his list of favorite dishes on wheels. Read more

How To: A Pro and Con List

Have you ever had to make a really big decision? You know — the type of thing that will change your life forever! It can be totally nerve wracking, for sure.

Things like buying a house, changing jobs, having a child, planning your honeymoon, figuring out what outfit to wear are all big considerations and should be given some critical thought. Enter: the pro and con list.

Silly or serious – it serves a purpose. Here’s how to effectively make a pro and con list that will help you be less stressed and move closer to an answer quicker.

1. Paper or Digital? I’m a paper and pencil kind of girl but some of us are better at making digital lists. I find that if I like the paper I’m writing on then I’m more likely to sit down and make a pro and con list even if it’s a really difficult decision. I’ve done several on this fun pre-made pro and con list from KnockKnockStuff.com. But you can use plain paper and crease it down the middle and write “pro” and “con” on your own – the results are the same. Ditto for digital lists. Read more

List for Surviving a Conference

Wow — I’m tired! BlogHer12 was a great conference but I’m pooped and I didn’t even have to travel very far. I went from my apartment in the East Village to Midtown — basically the commute I do everyday to get to work.

But participating in a conference is exhausting — both mentally and physically. You are up early, walking around, chatting, exchanging business cards and ideas, taking notes in enrichment sessions and celebrating with all of the new friends you’ve made. Conferences can be made even worse if the venue is undesirable, so if you are ever involved in the organizing of a conference, you might want to have a look at a venue like Cotswold Conference Centre instead of some of the awful venues I’ve been seeing.

Of course, I have a list to make it a bit easier the next time you are attending a conference too:

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare: I started really planning out my itinerary for BlogHer12 about two months beforehand. The agenda had been posted and I read through it a few times to see what sessions I would benefit from most. I chatted with other bloggers who had been to other BlogHer conferences for their take on sessions, parties and networking so I could optimize my time. I wrote out a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish while there.

2. Bring a Sharpie: I got this advice from Tanya Toledano who writes MontrealMom.com. It is brilliant. Bring a super-fine point Sharpie with you so you can make notes on business cards as you get them. It’s the nature of a conference — you are going to get a lot of cards and you’re not going to remember the people who gave them to you. Write notes on the card as soon as you get it like: “blond hair, glasses, lives in Arizona, possible guest blogger.” This is a huge help.

3. Use Evernote: What an incredible tool. I used this the entire weekend for taking notes. You can include audio, photos and PDFs along with your notes and access them from any device. It makes note taking and life so much easier. I also kept my entire itinerary saved here so I could get to it anywhere.

4. Make a Follow-Up List: While I was at the conference I had my iPad with me and as I met people or got an idea from a session — I added to my follow-up list. So now, this week I know exactly who I have to get back in touch with and what we need to talk about. The more time you let this linger — the less likely you are to make effective relationships and partnerships. Having a call to action list makes it much more possible.

5. Don’t Over Schedule: I totally bit off more than I could chew with this conference. I RSVP’ed for a lot of extra gatherings and parties that I just never made it to. Frankly I was too exhausted! Make sure that you schedule in time to recoup and relax — trust me, you’ll need it!

6. Bring Snacks: Luckily, there were a lot food samples at this conference (my favorite was the Muller corners, which are just making their way from the UK.) But I did dip into my supply of healthy snacks. I brought almonds, fruit bars and clementines. It’s always a good idea because you just never know when you’ll get hungry and be stuck in a meeting or session with your stomach growling!

(PS — for those of you who voted for me in the BlogLuxe Awards thank you again! I didn’t win — but some other awesome blogs did. Take a few minutes to check them out!

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