Mommy Matters!!!

To say moms are multi-taskers is like saying the sun is warm. Between a full-time job, school, kids, house, significant other, family and friends sometimes there is not much left of mom for… mom. So mom’s of the world, unite with me as I share my top ten ways to treat yourself on little to no budget!!!

1. Bubble bath– never under estimate the power of the bubbles! The warm water will get blood flowing and in turn help you get a better nights sleep.

2. Paint your nails– We can’t look perfect 100% of the time, but know one part of us looks pretty can be good enough to get us through till we have a good hair day.

3. Wine and Pasta– you have to eat at some point lets make it worth enjoying!! Sit down poor yourself a nice big glass and dig in to the alfredo in front of you.

4. Go to the movies… by yourself! Odd thought but once you try it you may like it more than going with someone!! You get to sit with no one talking to you, dumping you, asking you questions or for something, and for a couple of hours you aren’t thinking about what you have to do next.

5. Lunch date with just the girls– no more play dates, sleepover and craft time. Take a sunday brunch or lunch with your girlfriends and talk grown up and eat a hot meal with out it getting all over you. Have a drink and some good laughs.

6. Take a nap with a big comfy blankets– the trick is to wrap the blanket around yourself so many times that you can’t move or hear the world around you! If you’re tired and hanging on by a thread give yourself a break and crash. You will do better when you are rested.

7. I love that show!!!- have a favorite show that once a week everyone in the house knows, “mom’s show is on you better not go in there!!”

8. Godiva and Gossip– the next time you find yourself standing in a check out line grab yourself some chocolate the latest issues of your favorite magazine. Indulge in the chocolate and the fact you know those woman are air brushed.

9. Flowers for me?- DON’T feel bad for this one, but buy yourself some flowers! The fresh and fragrant smell will make your home or office inviting and you will find yourself smiling every time you look at them.

10. It’s a date and you look GREAT– get dolled up and look your best. Spend quality and intimate time with your man. Making time for each other keeps you focused and on the same path to support each other. Take turns making it about one person more than the other every once in awhile.

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Personal Branding is the new Black baby!

I love America. No other country in my opinion has this rare quality of the entrepreneur quite like us. We see our dream and we go after it.  We feel entitled to the challenge of becoming the next Facebook inventor, Donald Trump, or Oprah if we want to. In my circle of friends and family I can list at least a dozen people who have a business of their own.

I just recently finished a class called “Promotional Communications”. In it we discussed the concept of Personal Branding. This concept suggests that success comes from self-packaging. You create yourself to be an asset; this includes but is not limited to the body, clothing, appearance and knowledge acquired. (Wikipedia- Personal Branding) It’s all about creating and image that people will recognize and respond to.

Here are my top five tips to cleaning your act up and looking your best:

1. Google yourself- In my class the first thing we did was to see what our internet presence was. Make sure what is out there is positive and  professional. Note if there are other people with your same name and figure out how you will stand apart.

2. Make a website- an easy one to use is WordPress. Be able to have basic information at the customers finger tips; how to contact you, where you are located, information about you and what you do.

3. Use social media- why not it’s free! These sites allow you to use marketing tactics and strategies to gain new customers. You are able to connect and interact with them as well. Great sites include, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

4. Consistency- Make sure your website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, business card, etc. are all consistent in the way they look and are laid out. It is easier for people to remember images that words or phrases.

5. Evolve- remember to constantly be looking for ways to make yourself better. The more you know or can offer the more advantageous you become.

To get your creative juices flowing just think about the way these recognizable folks have branded themselves.






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March Madness- The Boss Button

I have been a mediocre fan of college basketball in the past, but for some reason this year March Madness has sucked me in and now I love the NCAA playoffs! I even filled out a bracket at work (with a bunch of guys none the less) and only knew that Ohio State was supposed to win the whole thing.

First round starts and I’m watching as the upsets hit the fan! Every game my stomach is in my chest as it comes down to the last few seconds for a victory to emerge. It’s EPIC. I tally my points from the first round and I’m doing alright!

Second round I’m swearing… you’d be entertained to see me yelling at my TV “you suck number 5, my grandma could play better than you with one hand!!”. You got number 12 ranked teams beating number 2 ranked teams and it’s not making me happy.

Round three I have to cheer for the other team to win just so my team can pull it off. And yes I said team, singular, because I’m down to one. But in the end I show up the boys and my bracket has gone the farthest, that being having one team in the Final Four. I never knew it was this hard to win?

I’m so addicted to the playoffs I’m trying to stay caught up when I’m at work! It is then that I found the Holy Grail of all buttons… the “Boss Button”. Hidden in the corner of the page is this beautiful blue button. You click on this magical button and your live game is transformed into a photo of an email. No fumbling around, you can cover your butt easily.

I wish life came with more Boss Buttons, especially with social media sites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter etc. Maybe they could even make a Boyfriend button so I could watch my shows on Netflix, but it pulls up homework when he’s around. Or vise versa a Girlfriend button so guys can watch sports but it pulls up math homework… all good suggestions which need to be taken advantage of right away.

If you haven’t seen the Boss Button for yourself you should check it out. Read the email it hilarious!!

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What to do in Minneapolis

In a couple of weeks my boyfriend and I will be going on a much needed vacation to South Beach Florida. Yeah for me!!! I’ve been Googling my little heart out searching for places to stay, things to do, and food to eat 😉 I go to website after website in quest to learn more about where to go and find myself sinking farther down the rabbit hole in a maze of “clicks”.

So after this experience it got me thinking how, as a local I know some pretty great spots for a romantic get away to Minneapolis.  So let’s get started!!!

First question is where are you going to stay? When I was looking for deals on places to stay a co-worker of mine told me about a great resource called homeaway.com. It’s a website that lets you choose what type of place you want to stay condo, hotel, apartment, a home. You enter the details (price range, rooms, bathrooms, city) a it populates a selection. (I have found that the larger the city the more options, if your city isn’t well known you probably won’t find much). Otherwise based on price points you can stay at the hotels in the city: $Double Tree and Radisson, $$ Hilton and Grand, $$$ Graves 601 and W Hotel.

Places to visit:

1. Mall of America – This is a classic. It’s a great place to say you have been to and you can’t go wrong with finding something to do. The Nickelodeon Park inside has some rides for adults but all in all is meant for kids. The Underwater World is amazing there and is something not to miss.

2. Target Field- If you are in Minneapolis in the summer you have to go to the new Target Field!!! I don’t care which team you cheer for, there is something about summer and hot dogs and a beautiful sunset on the skyline of Minneapolis that can’t be missed!!!

3. Restaurants!! Everybody loves to eat right!? Well here are some of the best places to eat in Minneapolis.

Romantic- Amore Victoria this little restaurant is hidden in uptown and is the ideal place for a candle light dinner. Happy hour has great specials.

Trendy- Seven Sushi Bar and Ultra Lounge This place has three levels; main floor is a steak restaurant (elegant), second floor is the sushi bar (edgy), and the third floor is the roof top patio (stunning). The views are amazing and it’s a real sophisticated vibe. Sushi is very well priced and the best in the city. The steak is pricey.

Entertainment- Dakota Jazz Club This place is awesome! I love live entertainment you don’t seem to get that experience very often. There are two way to enjoy this place. 1 the cheaper way- pay the cover upfront and have a seat in the balcony or up by the stage. 2. make reservations for the dinner, cover is added to the meal and get the fancy food.

4. Dancing: Aqua Night Club, Valentino’s, Envy and  for the fun of it Cinema Ballroom

5. Take a walk on the wild side: my last bit of advice is to just enjoy the city. Walk around and stop in what ever place catches your eye. Minneapolis is beautiful in the winter and the snow brings a mood and energy of it owns. No matter what season you come you will be sure to have a good time

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First Timer

So this is my first time blogging… I am doing this out of requirement for my Promotional Communications class, but if I like doing this I may keep it going. We will see.

Today I would like to talk about an article that my boss sent me about branding online. Branding to marketing is like cheese to nachos. So what if you got chips, but you add the cheese and it’s unique, has flavor, and it’s identifiable. You want people to know what your product is, where it came from, and have a positive reaction to it. So managing your brand and its image is a crucial part of the sustainability of your company.

The name of the article I read and have attached for you is “The New Rules of Branding Your Business Online”, from the website Inc.com. The medium of social media is one of the biggest tools that businesses are trying to incorporate into their marketing strategy. It’s not good enough to just send out messages to consumers anymore, they now demand interaction. The article states, “Like branding, social media is all about the conversation and building effective communication”, Ed Roach. 

The article highlights nine key point to remember when branding online. Number 1. Don’t just start the conversation. If you are going to have a Facebook or Twitter account, you have to manage it and update your posts often. Get personal and respond directly to the person. You need to be aware of what is being said on your site. Crisis management for social media is much more temperamental than other sources, “these days, companies need to acknowledge any issues and control the messaging in a matter of minutes instead of hours.” Number 2. “Either keep you brand out of it..” Long story short, don’t over promise and under deliver. Number 3. “…Or dive in and make all the headlines you can.”  In this tip they suggest that you use your expertise to send calculated and targeted pitches. Take your message on the road, do vending, as it can have “long-term personal branding benefits”. Number 4. “Don’t favor edge over consistency” your site should align with the company goals as well as the image it wants to portray. Have a happy medium. Number 5. “be persistent in finding and targeting your niche”. Best quote I’ve heard in a long time, “people use to think water was all the same; now stores carry half-a-dozen brands or more”.  Keep trying to differentiate yourself and create uniqueness. Number 6. “Excel at telling customers ‘About Us'”. “Readily available contact information shows customers that you want to hear from them and that you have nothing to  hide.” Number 7. “Fully integrate social media into your site” The quote that sums this up, “You’ll not only look savvy, but increase your connectivity, and gain traffic to your site from elsewhere.” Number 8. “monitor your brand’s reputation, and be ready to respond”. You must be aware of what is being said on your site, negative comments that are not addressed can lead to loss of current and potential customers. And finally, Number 9. ” Showcase your best work” post testimonials and big name clients you have worked with. Also consider stating any organizations you partner with or awards you have been recognized for.

I found this very insiteful and thought I would pass along my new found knowledge; because everybody loves helpful hints 🙂

Article

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