Foodie Pen Pal Reveal August

This month, I thanked my lucky stars that I am a part of Foodie Pen Pals. The obvious benefits are the goodies each month, but the added bonus is you get to connect with some new great people! This month I had Kim (who was a doll) and Danielle from Piggy Tummy-A Guide to Swine Dining (BRILLIANT name!!) Read what I got Kim here

Danielle made me laugh because she was so concerned that she was gonna be late. As any former foodie pen pal and my post master will attest, no one pushes the limit or pays more than me to ensure that the package gets on time! She sent me the most adorable stuff from Goebbert's Farm! How I wish Florida had ANYTHING like this! Thanks again Danielle you made me wish for fall.

So Beautiful!

I'm thinking Pork??

Is it Fall yet?? I think so!!

Danielle thinks of everything!
Yummy Add On for Pretzels!

The Lean Green Bean

This blog should make you join the fun! Here are the Foodie Penpals details:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for August, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th! You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours if you sign up. Pin It

Martha Monday- Homemade Jerk Sauce

Maybe the latest human being ever, I am fully aboard the Martha Stewart train. I think after hearing her speak and being rewarded a free ipad subscription to all her magazines have left an impression. I am not the most consistent girl but I am going to to to dedicate some space here to try some of Martha's recipes and let you know how they came out. I really like some of the Everyday Food recipes, its a simple food magazine with 40-50 original recipes for the home cook using 8 ingredients or less. Even if I consider myself a good cook, ease in my schedule in any form I will take. 

My first endeavor was Backyard Jerk Chicken and Shaved Cucumber Salad. Like I mentioned, both recipes came the Martha Stewart EVERYDAY FOOD magazine iPad app. Download the iPad app nowFor more great recipes or to subscribe to EVERYDAY FOOD magazine, visit

Backyard Jerk Chicken-serves 4 • active time: 40 min • total time: 1 hr + marinating

For the Backyard Jerk Chicken, I followed the recipe pretty much to the tee except I used chicken breasts and for my wimpy taste, I had to go back and add some brown sugar to cool down the fact that my face was on fire when I took a taste.  

1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, stemmed
1 bunch scallions, cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grill
3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken pieces
salt and pepper

1 In a food processor, puree chile, scallions, garlic, thyme, brown sugar, allspice, soy sauce, lime juice, and oil. In a large zip-top bag, toss chicken with paste. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day).

2 Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-low. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Season chicken with salt and pepper; grill, covered, turning often to prevent charring, until cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes. 

per serv: 419 cal; 14 g fat (3 g sat fat); 59 g protein; 13 g carb; 2 g fiber

Shaved Cucumber Salad serves 4

With the best of intentions, I got out my vegetable peeler and started peeling away. I am sorry to admit (forgive me, Martha) but after one cucumber, I said "Oh Cussword this" and began to thinly slice my cucumbers and the same effect was achieved. I also added some arugula, and it was freaking good. Unreal, awesome, amazing!!

3 English cucumbers
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced, plus leaves for serving
1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 1/2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
salt and pepper

With a vegetable peeler, shave cucumbers into wide ribbons, stopping when you reach seeds; reserve 1 center. Place cucumber in a large bowl along with celery and onion. In a blender, puree reserved cucumber center, mayonnaise, cilantro, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper and add to bowl. Toss to combine and top with celery leaves if desired.

per serv: 153 cal; 11 g fat (2 g sat fat); 3 g protein; 11 g carb; 4 g fiber

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Skinny and Clean-Dole Healthy Fuel For the Girl on the Go

I had the opportunity to visit the Dole Greenhouse and their booth recently at BlogHer12. In my opinion, they were my favorite booth. Maybe because my energy runs real low at these events and eating is always a second thought. I knew if I ran by there for a quick visit, I would be rewarded with some Dole Real Fruit Bites or a sample of Dole Fruit Smoothie Shakers. Not to mention the awesome recyclable strawberry bag that they gave away!  

As I have learned the hard way, when you get older your metabolism changes. This is a hard thing to get used to, to understand and to comprehend. When I was younger, I ate and drank whatever I want, whenever I wanted. My friend and I would do an hour of yoga or Pilates and then go to Happy Hour for two for one beers...true story. Once I got in my 30's the metabolism Gods had the last laugh. 

Long story short, I have changed my lifestyle, have a better understanding of that I need to eat throughout the day even if I wasn't hungry to maintain thin. I am excited to now look to Dole and their products for their assistance. As a freelancer, I get up at 5:30 and start with coffee and then look up and realize that it is now 9am and I have not had anything to eat. The grab and go ease of Dole's new products will help me get this nutrition to keep my energy and metabolism in check.

What I am excited about:

New DOLE® Frozen Fruit Single-serve Cups provide delicious frozen fruit in unique and convenient single-serve cups.  I can simply grab a cup from your freezer and enjoy at home or on-the-go or use it in a smoothie. Instead of the other fruit cups that are packed in juice or syrup, DOLE® Frozen Fruit Single-serve Cups are just fruit and contain no added sugars or preservatives. Each cup contains a full serving of fruit and 50 calories or less.

DOLE® Real Fruit Bites hands down saved our life at this festival.They are the perfect naturally sweet and delicious on- the-go snack. Each pouch has 80-90 calories, packed with Vitamin C, and no trans fat-making it the ideal portion-controlled, healthier treat. Your choice of apple, pineapple and mango (my favorite).

DOLE® Fruit Smoothie Shakers® make it easy to have a great-tasting, nutritious, real-fruit and yogurt smoothie any time of day—no blender needed, no messy clean-up. I saved the best for last, these are so yummy and easy. There is no reason for me to skip breakfast anymore! The Fruit Smoothie Shakers are made with frozen yogurt beads and finely cut fruit. You just remove from the freezer, add your favorite juice, then shake for 30-45 seconds for an instant real-fruit and yogurt smoothie. How awesome is this? Especially for someone who hates to drag out the blender! They are all-natural and fortified* with vitamins, protein, fiber, and pre- and probiotics (live and active cultures). They are low-fat and a good source of calcium, with only 180-190 calories per serving (with 7-oz. of juice).

So these are my options that I am incorporating in my diet to balance it all out and keep my metabolism in check. They make it really easy to grab things when you are busy and on the go.

What is your go-to snack??

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Social Media Command Center Activates for RNC

As a social media marketer and a huge nerd, I am excited about the advances in social media and technology that will be in place for this election year. Four years ago is a lifetime in social media and I have even noticed a difference in connection from two years ago with the political campaigns that I have picked up this year.
I am excited that they have picked our state as the home to the host the Republican National Convention in Tampa. I feel that this is the first year ever that I will actively watch, it is just more interesting to me at this stage of my life. While I have watched NASCAR races and football games on Twitter and know to stay the hell off Facebook during any season finale of any show I like-I am looking forward to seeing the different ways the Presidential election will play on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more. Read below about the exciting new initiative that Tampa Bay & Company is bringing to the RNC!

Groundbreaking Initiative Shares Local Stories with Millions

TAMPA, FL – August 23, 2012 – Tampa Bay & Company is establishing a groundbreaking initiative for political conventions – a Social Media Command Center (SMCC).  The SMCC will activate the week of the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC) and provide an opportunity to help tell the region’s rich story and engage in social media conversation.

Staffed by a team of 50 social media and destination experts, nicknamed The Herd, the SMCC will interact with social media users across various platforms to answer questions, relay information and join the social chatter surrounding the RNC.

An interactive “Social Media Hub” has been created, which online users can access at The Hub will compile posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other Social Media outlets using the hashtag #TampaBay. The Hub also will allow users to post questions, reply to other posts and engage in the conversation about Tampa Bay surrounding the RNC.

“We know that millions of conversations will be happening throughout the Republican National Convention, and this is our opportunity to share our stories on a local, national and international level,” said President/CEO of Tampa Bay & Company Kelly Miller. “We also want to enhance our visitors’ experiences, show them our famous hospitality and preserve Tampa Bay’s image and perception as a dynamic, diverse and driven destination.”

The SMCC will be located in the Channelside District at St. Leo University, just minutes from the Tampa Bay Times Forum where the convention will be held. It will feature large-screen monitors and computer stations for The Herd to use during the convention.

The SMCC represents one tactic in Tampa Bay & Company’s new leading-edge online marketing strategy. In addition to the SMCC and Social Media Hub, the company launched a redesigned website, including a new look and feel for its mobile website,

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Guest Post: Is Your Company's Website Mobile Friendly??

Today's guest post is from Tia who is the owner of The Sizzle Agency in Daytona Beach, FL. I am excited to know Tia because she is in that very small pool of local resources of like minded individuals that I need to exist plus her website designs not only gorgeous but reasonable.She also does things that I am asked about every day and am happy to have someone awesome to refer like: Custom Website, Basic Website, eCommerce, Search Optimization, Mobile Website, Mobile App, Wordpress Training, and more

You can contact Tia here.

When I was at the (when will she stop talking about this, you wonder??) BlogHer12, two sessions made one thing clear-Mobile Websites are it. If your website is not mobile friendly, as in if it looks exactly like it does on your computer on your phone screen, it is time you to think very hard about making your website mobile friendly. Enjoy Tia's article!

Out running errands last week, I remembered I needed to schedule a doctor’s appointment. I grabbed my iPhone, Googled the doctor’s office and pulled up the website. I then spent (what felt like) several minutes trying to locate the phone number – scrolling and two-finger magnifying like a crazy person…header, footer, sidebars, clicking through pages – I finally got so frustrated I went back to Google and found the number in some third-party physician’s directory. [True Story!]

If you have a smartphone, this probably sounds pretty familiar to you. All you want is quick info – to call, visit, maybe check out a menu…and suddenly you’re going for gold in the Finger Olympics. Frustrating for us, the customer, but even more frustrating for a business owner (who is unknowingly losing potential customers). Truth is, had I had a choice, I would have just said ‘forget it’ and jumped to another doctor’s site. That’s especially harsh when someone’s obviously invested good money in a website.

Read full blog from The Sizzle Agency here Pin It

Trendy Testimonial-Love With Food

Hi My name is Darlynn and I am subscription box addict.

At BlogHer12, I visited a very cool booth-Love With Food. Their idea made my heart quicken for a couple of reasons-a chance to sample at least 8 different new foods per month was the obvious hook, but then they take it a step further. For every box you buy, they donate a meal to the hungry. Every Love With Food box purchase buys one meal donation through the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength—No Kid Hungry

What I also will give them instant props is that they recognize the power of the blogosphere and work with Bloggers actively. One of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie Quilao of
(@Skinny Jeans on Twitter) will be picking the contents of September's box which is awesome!   

The box comes with a minimum of 8 different samples that can be purchased on their website in a full size (usually with some sort of discount-this month up to 25% off + shipping) and the box is themed each month. Did I mention that you will be giving back each time you get a box?? To date, they have donated 8,540 total meals!

As a disclosure, I signed up as a blogger to sample and review the August box, but between you and me...I was hooked the minute I went to their booth.

This month's theme is travel which would have come in handy on my trip to NYC, thankfully we are going to NC for a football game in October...(but obviously I will not wait till then, as I open the cherries as I type!) This gives you more substantial options than some same-ole airline pretzels and peanuts. 

In my box:

Skinny Dipping Pretzels by East Shore-pretzels should be a food group.
Key Lime with Ginger Mustard by East Shore-can not WAIT for this combo with the skinny dipping pretzels.
Vegan Lemony Lemon Cookie by the Sun Flour Baking Company-no sooner did I say, look honey-lemon...sigh...he said it was amazing.
Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie by the Sun Flour Baking Company-currently hiding this in my secret drawer
David Montmorency Cherries by Cherry Bay Orchards-I love dried fruit of any kind! 
Gins Gins Super Strength Ginger Caramel Candy by The Ginger People-as someone who gets egg belly often, this may save me.
Tangerine Glee Gum-adorable retro packaging!

For more information on Love with Food click here
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Skinny and Clean-Green Garden Goodness Dip

If you visit my house at any given football party, or if I am invited to your house for a celebration...chances are a dip of some sort will appear. My Spinach Dip is near infamous, but I definitely like to do trial and errors and I came up with a good one that I thought you all would like. Unfortunately I just have a (bad) picture of the finished product because I didn't think it would be that good. But trust me when I tell you, you want to make this for your next tailgate.

Green Garden Goodness Dip
1 c whipped cream cheese
1 c sour cream
1 package of Hidden Valley Garden Green Onion Dip Mix
4 cloves garlic
1 green onion, green and white
one cucumber, chopped
1 package of dill
salt and pepper

Hidden Valley® Garden Green Onion Dip Mix
Package of Dill

Combine the sour cream and cream cheese with the Ranch Dip Mix. In a food processor, mix dill, garlic, green onion into a nice paste and add to your mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper. I made the mistake of adding a cucumber to the food processor mixture which made it a little watery but I think if you chopped up the cucumber and added it at the very very very end, you should be ok...Serve with carrots and your favorite chips and I know your guests will rave! 

Told you the picture wasn't awesome :-)

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Guest Post: NASCAR Drivers Wish Sammy Gonzalez A "Speedy" Recovery with Special Decal

This is a guest post from my and Megan's first blog Racing Fashionistas. It has been on hiatus for some time but this is an issue that is near and dear to our hearts and we wanted to make sure to get the word out on as many platforms as possible.

As NASCAR races in Michigan this weekend, several NASCAR drivers will be honoring a member of  their own. Sammy Gonzalez, a crew member for the Earnhardt Ganassi's #1 team (driven by Jamie McMurray) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the first week in August. He has been working in racing for many many years and has grown a great bond and family in the NASCAR community. 

Many NASCAR drivers, as well as Camping World Series Truck Series Driver Ron Hornady will be be wishing Sammy a "Speedy" recovery, supporting him with his logo on their car as they race this weekend in Michigan. 

To be updated on Sammy's progress, please like his page-Sammy Gonzalez 5th gear pinned on Facebook. Since its birth on Thursday, the page already has over 400 likes. 

To donate much needed funds, his Give Forward page is here and info on an upcoming Golf Tournament is here.

Sammy is a dear friend to the Racing Fashionistas and we are praying for him every day. 

Jamie McMurray
Juan Pablo Montoya

Martin Truex, Jr.

Jeff Burton

Clint Bowyer

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Tony Stewart

Mark Martin

Ron Hornaday 

Trevor Bayne Showing His Support

Casey Mears

David Ragan

Landon Cassill

Travis Kvapil 

Kurt Busch

Kevin Harvick

Scott Riggs

Paul Menard

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Trendy Testimonial-August Birchbox

This is my second installment of Birchbox and I am slowly getting addicted. There are some new monthly subscriptions that I am going to look into very soon like Love with Food

I am starting to look forward to the Birchbox. If you want to take advantage of this awesomeness.According to the website, Birchbox delivers luxe beauty samples to your door each month. Find out what you love, and buy with confidence. Click here for more information and to join, there is a short wait.

This month, they also featured a charity called Pencils of Promise. PoP believes every child should have access to quality education. We create schools, programs, & global communities around the common goal of education for all. Cool Tie in!

What was in my Birchbox this month!

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Katie Couric BlogHer12 Keynote Speaks About Her Show

Credit:Austin 360
As previously mentioned, a million times-I am a lifelong fan of The Today Show, it is just something that has been a constant my entire life. As some cohosts have come and gone, one of my favorites was Katie Couric...she just was incredibly relatable, honest and open. When I found out she was speaking at BlogHer12, I was really excited!

Katie has a lot going on! She has a new show starting in September-a talk show titled Katie.

Have you seen her  promo??

She truly is this adorable in person, She came to BlogHer looking like a million dollars (she credits spinning) and had a honest conversation with us about where she has been and where she is going.

Some takeaways: (thanks to BlogHer for the transcript)

On dominating Daytime television- I'm very excited, I don't know if I want to be the daytime dominatrix or not, but, I’m very excited, I'm trying to get the best of people, trying to deliver really useful information is great. The idea of being able to talk to news maker, celebrity, is exciting. I want it to feel like a community, like BlogHer has a community. I think a lot of subjects are being short changed.

I have really smart friends that are interesting, curious, and sometimes I feel like they are not being served. I think there is always room for more smart conversations. The idea of flexing my muscles and being able to talk to people like Hilary Clinton, post-traumatic stress, and whether we are serving our veterans like we really should be are all important conversations. And fun stuff too.

On her new theme song (written by Sheryl Crow):Our theme song was written by Sheryl crow and I reached out to her and we sat down and talked about what the show would be about the kind of environment, theme we wanted to create, and I am thrilled we were able to.

On Social Media: I really want social media to be part of this new show. We created a website, we want people to really engage. We are going to have two seats for female bloggers at every show. We want to hear from their community. We want to have input from them, and hear from them some of the things they are doing. And this is an incredible resource for us. We used to hear stuff before, comments about my hair, and it's just a great way to get instant feedback. We are doing the show at 2 pm, and we will solicit questions from people on Facebook and twitter. And I tried this at CBS, but sometimes traditional media is slow to get it.

That is really exciting development for the blogging community. To have it embraced on such a great platform is pretty huge. Believe it or not, this whole blogging thing isn't understood by all, looked at as a hobby...people actually ask me if I am still doing "that blogger thing" So this recognition and involvement from bloggers by the Katie team is applauded.

A side note, one of the few things that I didn't love about BlogHer12 is that some of the speakers and peanut gallery comments were extremely democratically leaning. I appreciated the most when Katie was asked about the Sarah Palin interview, she answered it eloquently and diplomatically as possible and kept the political angle out of it.

If that wasn't enough her Stand Up to Cancer Event is the same week as her debut! That is the epitome of superwomen multitasking!

For more information about Stand Up to Cancer click here
To find out where Katie is going to be on your television this fall here

Katie and her social media channels are here Pin It

Socially Acceptable-The Skimm

Hurray for Girl Power! In a land full of who cares less of which Kardashian has what drama, a new website/daily email has really impressed me.

According to their website, The Skimm describes themselves as an online newsletter that simplifies the headlines for the professional who knows enough to know she needs more.

In the HUGE file of why didn't I think of this, The Skimm is a daily dose of the news of all kinds, broken down on a level that anyone can understand in a fun readable way that makes  you really want to know what is new in the world today.

I was attracted to The Skimm immediately based on their own description:

The Skimm is a daily news recap to make it took a lot of guts, and white wine, for us to make the Skimm a reality

These are smart girls that deliver the news in a fair balanced manner and then break it down to make it easier. They then relay it back to you with every day situations for you to keep up.

My question to Carly and Danielle, the founders of The Skimm is what every women in business wants to know- How did you know it was time to make the jump to venture out to make The Skimm a full time reality in "a leap and the net will catch you fashion?"

I also asked them to describe what circumstances gave them the courage for these ladies to decide that this was awesome enough to quit what they were doing (where it was safe) and make a go at it...

Here is how they answered-

As longtime friends who bonded over working in the news industry, we each came to realize that the careers we idolized growing up didn't exist in the same capacity in today's digital news world. We both had a streak of entrepreneurialism in us but were scared to death at the thought of leaving the career path we had worked so hard to get on in the first place. Nevertheless, we were at a point in our careers where we wanted to take on more. Our "A-ha" moment for what 'more' was, exactly, came as we were texting one night, discussing a problem we saw amongst our friends - busy, successful, highly educated women who don't have the time or interest to dig through the news but still need the info to confidently go about their day. We realized the service we had been providing all along to our friends -- explaining the news in a palatable, accessible way -- was something everyone can use and benefit from, as an information concierge service. 

It's one thing to be told 'now's the time in your life to do this!' While it's true, neither of us has a mortgage (we're roommates!), kids, or major expenses, we were very anxious about giving up steady employment to follow a passion. But the financial and emotional leap came to fruition when we realized this was a passion project with legs. We weren't leaving to go make a quick buck, we were leaving to pursue a true passion, that was also a well thought out business. 

The best advice we've received on making the jump was that the only way we would fail is if we never tried. If you really believe in your idea, no truer words have ever been spoken. 

Be inspired by these ladies like I am daily by signing up for The Skimm here, you can also follow their blog, Facebook and on Twitter. Pin It

Martha Stewart-Keynote and Inspiration At BlogHer 12

I am slowly rolling out my time at BlogHer12. I have a lot to say and I am trying to get it all out in a concise manner As exciting as the BlogHer12 conference was at face value (like minded individuals, conference held in NYC), the more details that were released the more excited I became. The special guests were being released and to my delight, Martha Stewart was added as one of the keynotes.

What's great about Martha is well, what is NOT great about Martha. She is crafty, she is a business women, she is an entrepreneur, she makes kick ass waffle weave blankets...(I digress), she lets her daughter make fun of her...(I LOVED Whatever, Martha), she has magazines, she is more proficient on social media in her 70's than most of my friends (check out how she connects with her fans on Twitter)...and basically just someone to be inspired by, no matter what your goal in life is.

OH!! Have I mentioned her awesome new line of office products! My favorite color combos!

You go to these events to learn, to take away and to become better than you were when you sat down.

Thanks to the wonderful people at BlogHer, I am blissfully borrowing parts of the transcripts that inspired me:

It’s about keeping curiosity, hard work ethic. I like to learn something new every day. I learn by many different methods.

I would want it to be on modern culture. We are sitting here live, this is modern culture. So much has changed drastically in the last 20 years. I think about it a lot -- are we as productive as we once were? Can we be that way? Are we spending our time the way we should?

Encouragement would be one thing. Be encouraged by your mentors. My father always encouraged me. That's the best thing you can do to any young person, giving the confidence to follow their talent, abilities. Encouragement is the best.

To be honest, I never spent a bunch of time thinking how inspiring Martha Stewart is. I was thankful to hear her speak. I can't wait to read her magazines and see her new show on PBS-this fall it is Martha Stewart Cooking School. It will teach you how to cook and breaks down the how-to. Martha says it is also good for people who already know how to cook but might want a refresher.

Check out the promo:

If that wasn't enough, Martha is checking out our blogs. She is smart and she gets it. And that makes me a forever fan.

Check out my Brite with Martha-

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I Know You Are On Vacation, But...

There is always a decent amount of prep work to go away on vacation when you are in a job that never stops, or if you own your own business. How I am envious of the people I know that at 5:01 on any given weekday, leave their job and duties till they sit back down the next business morning.

I had that opportunity once when I wasn't allowed to put the company email on my phone so it would just have to wait till the next business opening hour to be addressed. How I yearn for those days! But when you sell or market, or you own your own business...time is money. I mean, yes I could put my phone down till the next day at 5:01 but it just doesn't work that way. There are some boundaries that you can set, but where is the line??

For two weeks, I planned leaving for 5 days (to NYC) and then leaving the country for 3 days (Bahamas). I told everyone three weeks early that I would be leaving during this time and then personally reminded most the week of. I am fortunate that I can schedule things outward but I really did keep an eye on my email when I was in New York, because to disconnect for me is an impossibility.

What I didn't expect is for certain clients, the day before I was leaving to dump an amazing amount of work on me that could have waited (the day before he gave me restaurant recommendations) .Or the client who emailed me at 11pm that Saturday to update some social media. Or the winner, that someone did call and say "I know you are on vacation, but..." and proceeded to detail what he needed and by when. It just isn't human nature is it? What if it was 1995 and I physically couldn't get back to you til I returned?

When you are a business owner, this puts you in delicate situation, doesn't it? In one breathe it would be nice to say something to this insensitivity or just dare ignore all correspondance until you get back into town but can anyone afford that kind of arrogance in today's economy.

How to save time when you go on vacation:

1. Set a precedence as a business rule. Whether you are on vacation or not, do not answer your phone or email to reply after business hours unless their building is on fire. If you respond or take that call on Saturday, it is automatically assumed that you are ok being interrupted at these times.

2. Tell your clients, even if it the ones that are the most needy that you will be going away, and whether or not you will have access to your email in your absence.

3. Set a boundary for yourself...are you truly disconnecting (Bravo!) or are you just gonna work each morning, much to the glare of your loved ones??

4. Set a vacation message on your email saying when you are leaving, when you will be back, what kind of correspondance they can expect from you in your absence and if there is someone else they can contact.

1. Feel Guilty! Let yourself take a break. Take one, and feel no remorse about it.

2. Forget about the clients who had no regard for the fact that you are may need to reevaluate your relationship upon your return. Remember you say when, right??

3. Let one thing slip through the cracks in your absence. Work like a dog the days before, have someone check your email and voicemail while you are away, if possible and when you close your computer for the last time before you go away, do so with a certainty that no one will come back and say you let the ball drop because you were away.

4. Forget why you started your business in the first place. The freedom and the ability to make your own decisions...this is a part of that process. Just be clear, set boundaries and Bon Voyage!! Pin It

Skinny and Clean-Poached Salmon with Asparagus Fries

Salmon is quickly becoming my favorite Superfood. There are many benefits to eat salmon regularly with one of them that works on your metabolism: The Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin-D and selenium, together help increase influence of insulin, thereby facilitating absorption of sugar and consequent lowering of blood sugar level. (source).

Because I really was unkind to my body (and liver) last week in NYC, I made a conscious effort to really cook as healthy as I could this week...not to mention we are leaving for the Bahamas this week!

Check out my latest Brite for pictures and directions and for a detailed recipe on the Asparagus Fries  visit Spoon Fork Bacon's (could the name be any more darling?) blog

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Socially Acceptable: Square+Starbucks=Score

I have been a fan of Square for quite some time. I think that it is interesting that all these years companies have held small businesses hostage with their big, expensive, heavy credit card machines with a take it or you or get nothing attitude and then along comes Square. A little piece of goodness the size of your hand that plugs into your phone that swipes swipes away. Convenience at its finest, high technology that makes you shake your head, all at a tiny finance fee...why isn't everyone using Square? 

Certainly the folks at Starbucks agree with a letter today from Jack Dorsey, the genius founder of Square, he announces that Starbucks has signed up with Square. After reading Howard Shultz's Onward (an inspiring MUST read for any entrepreneur or little engine that could), it is no surprise that a man who started with one store and a dream would embrace this technology. The best news for small businesses is that with nearly 7,000 Starbucks stores soon accepting Square, these new payers will be able to find your business (including coffeehouses) and pay with their name, building community and creating value. #Onward indeed.

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Kicking it with the Rockettes

Who goes to a world famous BlogHer blogging conference and then doesn't blog in a week?? This girl!  I have so many things to tell you about, I have no idea where to begin. It is the safest to give you a play by play of something I will remember the rest of my life. As this conference began to take shape, it was incredibly clear that there were going to be offered a bunch of extra curricular activities that were a bonus to be an attendee. Right away, we signed up for the 5K because how cool would that be? And then we saw this:

How do I say this without being dramatic? This may be a lifelong dream come true? All the blood left my body when I saw it? I couldn't breathe for about five minutes? Whatever the case, the 5K was off and this was ON. Had a feeling that there would be a little bit of interest so we really patiently waited for the opportunity to get in....and by that I mean we stalked all outlets and people for the chance to sign up. Finally, I saw that the the link went up and signed us both up and prayed. On Sunday, the day before I left I received a note from Erin at BlogHer:

 Thank you for signing up for the Rockettes event on Friday, August 3rd, at 7am, at Radio City Music Hall! This email confirms your space at this event. We can't wait to see you there!

We received a large number of sign-ups for this event, so if your plans change, please do let us know, so that we may fill your spot.

You can imagine our excitement and with one day left at home, a mad rush began for outfit selection as we patiently waited for Friday for what was sure to be a lifetime experience. I am sad to say that my partner in crime was sidelined with a terrible funk and had to leave...I have been trying to downplay this event because I didn't want to make her feel bad but I think she knows that this it was the greatest experience for any girl who has spent a minute in ballet and tap and jazz...and especially for the girl who cries every time the Rockettes are on TV. 

How gorgeous at 6:30am

These gorgeous Girls meet you as you enter 
When we were waiting in the Rockettes green room, I was looking on Instagram and saw that Jenny from Jenny on the Spot was there too. I have been following her for a while and was looking forward to meeting her. When I introduced myself to her, Lyz who is also my Twitter friend was like you are Little Blog Dress? and introduced herself to me. Fun to meet my Twitter friends in person! There was one other girl who recognized my name too but at this point the blood was whooshing in and out and I don't remember who she was! (I am sorry) We were seconds away from dancing with the Rockettes! If you look on the Rockettes website, our classes were held where they rehearse and audition.

This is the floor where little girl lifelong dreams come true
The first thing we did was create a line up that would be similar to the real thing. The tallest girls go in the middle and fan out to the shortest. As a requirement, all Rockettes must be between the height of 5'6"-5'10". When you fan out like this, it looks like from the audience that they are all same height. You then stand on your line according to your number. Mine was nine, which is my lucky number.

Melissa and Lindsey were our Rockettes. They were adorable and funny and really good sports to come show us their awesomeness so early in the morning. 

Thank you 
This is me on the far left grinning like a moron. I dont think the smile ever left my face. P.S. I cried inwardly twice (no one saw, I promise). Yes, you would too. It was very overwhelming, to say the least.

We learned how to do the Wooden Soldier, and how to link up without falling over to do your kicks. We then learned the last part of their Christmas Spectacular ending with some famous eye level kicks. I could go on and on. But,I really want to thank Pfizer, the makers of Centrum and Caltrate who were amazing enough to sponsor this opportunity. We also received some products from them that I can't wait to try: Caltrate 600+D and Centrum Pro Nutrients Omega3 

Here are my pictures using a new kick butt app called Britely...I will be telling you about them soon!

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