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Thursday, February 19, 2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
Surviving Valentine's Day As A Single Parent
If you are anything like me and are a single parent, then the month of February is not your favorite month. Stores are filled with beautifully wrapped candy in heart-shaped packages. People renew their love to each other, and smiling couples hold hands more than before. Now don’t get me wrong, I am always happy for people who are in love, but for a single parent; those displays are a slap in the face.
I always dreaded Valentine’s Day after having my daughter. I don’t know why it never bothered me when I was an unattached single without a child. There is something about being a parent that forces you to evaluate your choices better; and dating is one of those choices. I am often unattached during Valentine’s Day, and so I needed to learn some survival techniques.
The first year as a single parent, I decided to try attending one of those single’s parties that some of the local clubs host. That was a miserable failure as those events are more of a meat market than a normal night. I stayed only a couple of hours before I left, having observed many people “hooking up” for a one night stand. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I know I just wanted to do some dancing and maybe make some new friends. After leaving, I realized that I was no longer a regular single, and needed some new ways to keep my mind occupied during the holiday.
After the first disastrous Valentine’s Day, I began to plan how I was going to survive Valentine’s Day as a single parent. After some thinking, I decided the holiday would be one to remind myself to take care of my needs. Every day, I devote all of my love and life to being a parent. Some days it’s hard; but worth it. My new yearly tradition of relaxation is something I look forward to. These are my tips:
1. Find someone to watch the child(ren). You can’t relax if you are worried about someone getting hurt or doing something that is not allowed. No one can ever truly relax as a parent. I find that teenagers are a great solution, or arrange for a sitter-sharing with another parent. Grandparents are another great option.
2. The day before, prepare a nice meal that only needs to be heated or order takeout from a local restaurant. Try to avoid going out to eat, because you will be surrounded by smiling and radiant couples. This will only depress you.
3. Avoid social media; most of the time, people will post pictures of their date or gush about their life partner. This is the last thing you will want to hear.
4. Rent some movies, but try to stay away from sappy love stories. Get some upbeat comedies or action movies. Whatever you need to keep your mind off being single.
5. Invite a single friend over to help you celebrate. This is great because you will end up laughing together and having fun instead of wallowing in sadness.
6. Do things you enjoy but don’t have time to do. I personally enjoy bubble baths, but never could do them because of the parental interruptions.
7. In my case, my daughter is a teenager who enjoys cooking. The past few years, she has begun pampering me. She makes me dinner, and we watch movies together. I enjoy that bonding time together, because soon she will start dating, and my pampering will end.
8. If your budget allows, arrange to have some bright flowers sent to yourself. Choose mums, sunflowers, or other bright flowers. It will brighten your day, and the look on people’s faces is normally quite fun.
While these ideas are things that I do on Valentine’s Day, everyone has their own tastes and styles. You may want to make variations of these ideas. I’ve known of individuals who have single’s parties in their own home. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to become depressed or angry. Sometimes being a single parent is a blessing. Regardless, Valentine’s Day isn’t necessarily about loving your partner; it’s about love itself. No one can love another person until they love themselves, so celebrate love; just find a way to do it as a single parent.
Written By - Mary Ann Peck for Thirty Something Magazine
Posted by Melissa Gregg at 11:42 AM
10 Annoying Things About Valentine's Day
1 Facebook Romance: Add a million messages and photos you get tagged in, and you find yourself watching a live stream of someone's love life playing out in front of you. Apart from plain exasperation over clogged news-feed, it inspires envy in quite a few of the viewers
2 Single girls brigade: Picture a group of girls pouring vitriol over the other side of the human species. They have full control over the karaoke station and are belting out a version of Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" that sounds more like cats getting run over. Need I say more?
3 Desperate dudes: They might as well have a message "Lonely and Horny" tattooed across their foreheads. Verging on the edge of creepers and stalkers, don't be surprised to see them hop over the neighbor's fence and peek in through the back window to see what Jenny and Mark might be up to.
4 Being the lone singleton: The recipient of the world's pity and official tag of 'loser', this miserable creature is shunted aside from the rising tide of couples.
5 Lack of dining options: If you felt like having seafood tonight, sorry but the place is swimming with blushing fishes. Want to settle for Italian? Well that's out too. In fact, why don't you just go home and cook yourself some dinner? Every restaurant in town is booked. Even planes don't have to be reserved this ahead of time on Expedia.
6 Chocolates: Can white sugar ever be a woman's BFF? There's going to be flab to fret about, while Kendra is walking past flashing her abs and a little too friendly a smile at your man. Gifting calories can never be healthy, especially when that hawk's around.
7 Lovers: They are everywhere. However there are ones who really get to you. Not only is there hardly any conversation for us to eavesdrop on courtesy them being interlocked forever, but every PDA rule is stretched to breaking point. Agreed that true love is all about being united in body and spirit, but surely that doesn't mean bursting out of your seams at the Lincoln Memorial?
8 Hearts: Could we please have another geometric pattern already? A red pentagon perhaps?
9 Rom coms: Christian Grey is going to be getting down and dirty in many a woman's mind. And that imagination is waiting to be played out in some freakishly feral way in bachelor pads, lady haunts and domesticated homes alike. Stay clear of the hat on the door!
10 Cultural Extravaganza: February 14 means big business. Who cares about the other 364 days? If you really love her, make her feel like a Disney princess. Cover her front lawn with a thousand red roses. Place at her doorstep, a silk ribbon decorated wicker basket with a puppy inside. Dine with Golden Imperial Caviar at the Le Bernardin. Slip in those Buccelati pendants in her glass of Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam. Mind you, any lapse and you're Jafar reincarnated.
Written By - Nritya Ramani for Thirty Something Magazine
Posted by Melissa Gregg at 11:39 AM
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Smart Business Social Media 101 - 20 Minute Social Media Breakdown
I was chatting with a new client the other day talking to her about all the different options there are for digital marketing. I was explaining that you have to choose which avenues you will use and do them well, with consistency. I continued on about how even if you have an account and you don’t use it, that is worse than not having one. I was going on and on about the pros and cons of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Blogging, Google Plus, Newsletters, Tumblr and more. I could hear the confusion in her voice. She said, "I didn’t realize how complex this was." It dawned on me that there are many people out there who don’t understand the complexities of digital marketing. I will begin to share some of the basic principles I teach my clients. Social media is a complex ecosystem for businesses, personal brands or professionals. These ecosystems can make or break success. Let’s start with the biggest one out there, Facebook.
Many people don’t think of using their Facebook both personal and business as a tool to drive business, communicate with clients and have a presence. In a recent study over 43% of businesses check out your Facebook profile before hiring someone. Even higher for those hiring a business.
Many of us spend hours online watching Facebook or Linkedin like we would a tv show, END THE MADNESS! Here is a twenty minute social media breakdown guide:
Facebook ~ Login to see “what’s going on” -- Quickly browse through the news feed and comment on profiles of colleagues or people whom you've recently met at a networking or social event. No more than three. As a general rule ~ When I receive a private message ~ Respond as you would with emails Same goes for comments, EXCEPT I like to limit this to morning, noon and night!
Status Updates ~ Updates are critical in developing an engaged following.
Crafting this content seems straight forward BUT it isn't always as easy as it seems. Scheduling your posts is a great way to do this. Choose a topic and utilize it throughout the week. What will your topic for the week be? __________________________________________
What can you write about that promotes you without overtly stating "Buy my product!" (because no one likes that), provoke thought, and gets people to respond to your updates? Using the 12 pillars of social media with strategic intent along side well thought out content creates an audience that is naturally drawn to you. This is how leads are generated. Active participation in your community. Each week get involved in the online communication. Find one person to comment on your posts and get engaged with.
Updates within your community. Browse updated profiles.
Making Recommendations ~ 1 Per Visit ~ Choose someone who you've recently done business with. This will make their day! ~ A brief sample -
Joe Doe is not your standard "off the shelf marketing consultant," instead when you engage with Joe you'll catch a breathe of clean air as his client-centric approach is all about YOU and YOUR FIRM, and not him. Joe's passion is rooted in the sporting news and business, and authentically so...in return, he'll be sure to pair up your firm and needs with a marketing initiative that not only has ROI (return on investment) in mind, but return maximization. His script writing abilities in crafting impact commercials creates the final bridge from marketing consultant --->to ad creation guru.
Use your voice to share your experiences with folks in your community be it Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, or some other social network! By actively participating you share you experiences with like-minded individuals in your group.
Prospecting: Are you connected with someone you’d like to be introduced to? Capture (1) new lead a week by asking for introductions. It is important to ensure that with Linkedin you are asking people who you KNOW!
Getting involved in Group discussions ~ Be an expert in YOUR Field. Repurpose content that you are sharing on your social sites in these discussions. This will help PROVE you are an expert and begin the process of generating leads.
The biggest piece like anything in life comes down to consistency. If you are willing to show up each week and actively participate in Social Media you are ahead of the game, if you are willing to show up with a STRATEGY you are even better off! Think about what archetypes represent you as a person and your brand and integrate those so the message is clear, consistent, and engaging to the user! Happy prospecting!
By - Jamie Palmer of Outlier Marketing Group www.outliermarketinggroup.com
As seen in the Holiday issue of Thirty Something Magazine www.thirtysomethingmag.com
Posted by Melissa Gregg at 10:46 PM
Layer Your Look - By Dani Romano - As seen in the holiday issue of Thirty Something Magazine
How can you layer up for the fall? It takes more than just keeping up with this season's coolest clothing to look remarkable; It's just as important if you know how to wear the styles! Good thing there's "Me" to navigate you through getting dressed for this fall. I will aide you through all your anxieties about what to wear now for the season, your needs, and how to pull off the rules of layering!
It starts in your closet with your blazers for the fall, but it ends with how you piece them together and look when exiting your front door and entering upon the streets! It is important to remember that layering applies to your “Own” closet and clothes, particularly your blazers; the "short-over-long" method gives your look a more disheveled and chilled-out result! The sharper your blazer, the better the effect; make your layers and jackets pop, when you layer them over a longer menswear inspired button-down top! This style looks best when the shirt is either striped or solid and bold on the color palette! Leave the collar unbuttoned a bit and add a feminine necklace.
Start by leaving your shirt untucked, even if it is a dress shirt! Next, you can layer a funky and soft cardigan or brilliant V-neck sweater over top of it. These tried and true pieces will lock in your shirts trains and make your “look” less sloppy! If you truly want to kick-back, you can polish the look off with a pair of warm, thick socks and either add some half-booties or high-top sneaks over “slim-fit” and dark denim pants, especially the kind with some comfortable stretch in them for added comfort! The added socks and boots will make your new look flawless and original; the copious socks are a serious additive, the kind of thing I refer to as “progressive” and not for the feeble heart. If you are unsure about this look, stick with solid colored tops or flat, neutral, lace-up loafers would work perfect as well on your feet! In end, making your classier pieces street friendly is essential for this fall.
Another fabulous and layered look for this time of year piggy-backs off of the former style! Usually we may be content to leave most “street-wear” fashions to the teens wearing their slip-on Vans, yet, I, myself have latched onto this look, because I truly believe everyone can seamlessly pull it off! Anyone can easily go from work mode to weekend wear in no time at all.
One important detail, especially as our “Thirty-Something” selves is to keep the look very simplistic; first find a lengthier, draped or V-neck tee or wear a pliable solid or dark t-shirt you already own. Maximize your attire with a shorter bomber jacket that hits just above your waistline and you are done in a jiffy! There’s absolutely zilch invalid about wearing a few styles at once, keeping your ensemble all black “my favorite” gives you a unicolor look you can add and delete from, in regards to your accessories. I love to add both gold and silver jewels intermixed, especially a statement necklace with a V-neck, that’s all you need! Keep your feet simple with comfy, stylish, and sporty sneakers. My go-to for the layered weekend look is feminine sweats, not overwhelming, and a sheik leather jacket to rock it up a bit!
The above are two very easy and flexible looks for any day of the week, add your own flair! Pulling layers together means more than just piling on your clothes. It means finding out the right notes to your own song and tacking down your very own pieces from your closet to make a new and polished look out of your latest garbs! Check out some of my very own, amazingly cheap and brilliant essentials to layer on for the fall and winter to come at “Dani’s Closet Boutique.”
By - Dani Romano
Posted by Melissa Gregg at 8:28 PM
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Being prepared to handle challenging winter weather can help provide peace of mind this winter season. Tire Retailer; Auto Service Retailer; and Automotive, Goodyear is committed to helping consumers hit the road safely this winter!
Here are a few things to keep in mind when driving in winter months:
WINTER TRAVEL TIPS
Driving conditions can vary this time of year based on where you live. Goodyear has advice for drivers taking on snowy and icy conditions, and tips for drivers who face wet and rainy conditions. For whatever Mother Nature has in store, Goodyear has a special deal to ensure you are armed with superior performing tires.
Posted by Melissa Gregg at 5:00 PM
Friday, January 2, 2015
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
A message from Spencer Behrend
Founder / KiLife Tech
When your child’s safety is at risk, you want to make sure you have the best tracking device ever. That's why we developed the Kiband. Kiband is a super advanced wearable that lets your child safely explore their world without the anxiety of losing contact. Unlike other GPS trackers and simple Bluetooth tags, our smartband allows parents to set custom perimeters, actively map the environment, alert children when they're getting too far away and much more! Take full control via Kiband's intuitive App right from your smartphone. The Kiband comfortably fits on your child's wrists (18 months to 7 years) and can only be removed by an authorized parent or caregiver. Best of all, Kiband has NO monthly fees!
We launched Kiband last week on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The response we've received from all over the world has been incredible.
See at www.igg.me/at/kiband/x/9388743
Posted by Melissa Gregg at 8:12 PM