little girl with pigtails

Happy “Bring your Child to Work {Every} Day”

Entrepreneurs who work from home have the unique ability to schedule their work around their life.

It requires careful planning, and as an example, I know several self-employed moms who are able to successfully do this with babies and small children, below school age. Mostly, they work while the kids are napping, or in bed for the night. This requires working in smaller blocks of time, but it can be done, even throughout the day, it is possible to work in small blocks of time, around your family’s schedule.

Work at home moms with school age children have a great opportunity on days their kids are off from school, such as snow days, school vacations, etc, to teach their children about the business, and foster a good work ethic from a young age.

I wish more people recognized the benefit of this. I remember years ago when I was selling Mary Kay, I brought my daughter who was 10 at the time, to a team meeting. I wanted her to see the work I did.

Some of the other ladies thought it was a great idea, while some acted annoyed that I brought her.

I don’t understand that second mind-set.

Letting your kids see what you do, and why, as much as they are able to understand, which will depend on their age, may help them be less resentful of the time you spend working. Children love to be part of things, and you may be able to find little things that they can help you with.

This was a lesson I learned from my daughter (yes, our children can teach us things, at times) there was a time I was reluctant to let my daughter help me with certain things, but when I did,, she surprised me. Only you know what your kids can and can’t do, but sometimes parents don’t give their kids enough credit.

Children, and teenagers old enough to answer the phone can be instructed in the proper way to answer–you could create a script for them. They can also take messages, when they are home during business hours. This way, you can look forward to school vacations and holidays, instead of stressing about possible interruptions.

Kids can help with the cooking too:

This was one of the ways my daughter surprised me; she is pretty talented in the kitchen; some of it is intuitive, and some of it she has picked up by watching me.

Kids tend to do that.

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#RockYourVacation Twitter Party with Kissimmee, Florida (Great Prizes)

colinewalther:

#FriendshipFriday share

Originally posted on Bucket List Publications:

Rock-Your-Vacation-Logo 2

Adventure is in our blood. We enjoy the rush of adrenaline and heart-racing extremes and there’s plenty to be had in Kissimmee, Florida so we’ve partnered with the #RockYourVacation campaign to host our first Twitter Party. There are great prizes and conversation to be had; check out how to join us below. Is winning a prize on your bucket list this year? We all need a little “winning” sometimes. 

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Want to be Successful? Eat Your Vegetables

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs; Richard Branson, Jonah Lupton, and many others could tell you the importance of proper diet and exercise.

It’s a lesson I learned in college–I get more done when I take an hour or so in the middle of the day (before lunch) and hit the gym, than I did when I tried to work straight through and convinced myself that I didn’t have time.

I also found it best to eat a light lunch after I worked out; fruits, vegetables and water. I also usually ate a piece of chicken, for protein, on days I used weights. I usually did not eat a lot of bread; bread can be heavy, and make you sleepy, so it’s best to eat carbs in the morning, for energy throughout the day.

Drink plenty of water. I’m a coffee drinker, but I have started limiting my intake to one or two cups. I used to drink 3, but I’ve replaced one of those cups with an 8 oz bottled water. I try to drink small amounts of water throughout the day. I feel better, and more clear-headed, and productive, throughout the day.

Since I graduated, I got away from my good habits of taking time to exercise. It’s tempting at times to tell yourself you’re too busy, but trust me, set aside exercise time in your schedule, you will find you will be more productive and creative.

cover of Bayou Bound, by Linda Joyce

Review of Bayou Bound, by Linda Joyce

Bayou Bound is Book #2 of the Fleur de Lis series; Linda also wrote Book #1:  Bayou Born. While it was still in manuscript form,  Bayou Bound won 1st place in Romance from The Southeastern Writers Association, and has also been nominated for the Rone Award.

Bayou Bound tells the story of the blossoming love between Biloxi and Nick, Biloxi’s fight to save the plantation she loves, and ultimately discovering her place in the world.

Drama is added by the fact that Nick and Biloxi’s families have feuded for three generations.

 

Linda paints a lovely picture of life in the south, and her love for New Orléans shines.

 

The title Bayou Bound refers to Biloxi returning to her family’s estate, Fleur de Lis, after being gone for several years, as she built a successful photography career. Biloxi’s father was in the military, and moved his family around often when Biloxi was young. Fleur de Lis always felt like home to her when she visited.

Years later, she is a successful photographer, but when she learns that her cousin Branna, the current Keeper of Fleur de Lis, and subject of the first book Bayou Born, has left to get married, Biloxi fears that her beloved Fleur de Lis will fall into further disrepair without a Keeper. She returns home to take over the position of Keeper, with a plan to make Fleur de Lis profitable.

She finds that long-held traditions, and long-running feuds, don’t change easily!

 

“Growing up on military bases, places so different

from Bayou Petite, had spurred her interest in

photography. She learned to capture the beauty of her

surroundings, but those places never felt like home.

New places provided the adventure she wanted, but

always left her longing for the permanency of Fleur de

Lis. Her heart and soul resided within the property

markers where her roots ran deep. Maybe her

connection had to do with the house standing strong for

over two hundred years, the vibration of her ancestors

resonated there.”

 

In the introduction, Linda gives readers a peak at the book:

 

Under the shroud of darkness, minutes clicked

away slowly. When the driver’s door opened, the

overhead light snapped on and startled her. The stranger

climbed into the driver’s seat. He yanked on a sleeve

and started to remove his large coat. Biloxi strained to

get a better look at his face.

Just in case she ever needed to identify him.

Like in a line-up.

“Take it off.” He motioned to the blanket.

Her mouth gaped. He sounded like a man used to

giving orders—and having others follow them, doing

exactly as he said. Well, he could wait forever. She

didn’t take orders from anyone. That’s why she worked

for herself. Besides, she’d freeze without the blanket.

“No.”

“C’mon now, you’re cold and wet.”

He must have read shock on her face. He sighed,

but the sigh was tinged with disgust.

“Okay, here goes.”

She froze statue still. The man straddled the

console, a knee in each front seat, then he faced her. He

reached toward her and yanked the blanket.

Clearly he was the stronger one. Their tug-o-war

lasted less than a minute. He pulled the blanket away,

wadded it up, and tossed it on the floor.

She pulled her legs tight to her body, prepared to

fight, kick, even claw. To her surprise, he gently draped

his long coat over her. The lingering heat from his body

covered her shiver. The coat would protect her, if from

nothing else, from him.

Here are some reviews from other authors:

~*~

“A raging storm has nothing on the steamy and fierce

passion of Nick and Biloxi. Linda Joyce is the new

author to watch!”

~Kathy L Wheeler, author of

The Color of Betrayal

~*~

“As if the bayou needed more heat and steam! Step

aside, Shakespeare. Linda Joyce adds southern charm,

and a much happier ending, to this modern-day Romeo

and Juliet.”

~Claire Croxton, author of

Santorini Sunset

~*~

“Family feud turns up the heat between jet-setting

photographer Biloxi Dutrey and family-oriented

veterinarian Nick Trahan.

BAYOU BOUND is a

keeper.”

~Marilyn Baron, author of

Under the Moon Gate

The main characters  are Nick and Biloxi, and their families, who have great impact on their story, and their lives. I empathize with them, and they become even more likable as they grow and become wiser by the end of their story. It is a painful process, at times, for both of them.

 

To learn more about Linda Joyce, read her guest post here:

 

http://thevirtualvirtuoso.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/guest-post-travel-to-latin-countries-by-linda-joyce/

and check out her website, where you can read an excerpt from Bayou Born, book #1 of the Fleur de Lis series.

http://www.lindajoycecontemplates.com/excerpts-from-bayou-born/

 

 

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Virtual Assistant Q & A: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 @10 AM CST

  • What does a Virtual Assistant do?
  • Is it a “real” business?
  • How can a Virtual Assistant help my business?
  • I know I need a Virtual Assistant, but I can’t afford the cost now.

If you can relate to any of these questions, or statements, you should consider joining me for a Q & A session. We can chat via Twitter, in real-time, and I will answer your questions about the Virtual Assistant industry, and tell you how I can help you grow your business.
#NetworkingEvents #VENChat

Gumbo picture

Seafood and Andouille Gumbo

Chef John’s Duck, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or more as needed

2 duck legs

1 copal-purpose flour

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken broth

1 pound andouille sausage, thickly sliced

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup diced peppers

1 cup chopped celery

4 green onions, chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

1 smoked ham hock

2 cups water, or as needed

1 cup pickled okra, rinsed and sliced

1 pound gulf shrimp

1 pound crawfish tail meat

1 tablespoon chopped green onion (optional)

 

Directions

1. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook duck legs in the hot oil, skin-side down, until duck legs are browned and skillet contains rendered duck fat, about 10 minutes on the skin side. Flip and cook 3 to 4 minutes on the meat side. Remove duck legs from skillet, leaving rendered duck fat in the skillet.

2. Whisk 1 cup flour into the duck fat, adding enough vegetable oil to make the flour mixture a thick and smooth roux. Turn heat to medium-low and cook the roux, stirring constantly, until it turns a rich reddish-brown color, about 40 minutes. Whisk 2 more tablespoons flour into roux and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Whisk chicken broth into roux, 1 cup at a time, until all broth has been incorporated. Remove roux mixture from heat.

4.Brown andouille sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, about 8 minutes; stir in onion, peppers, celery, and 4 green onions, cooking until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir thyme, bay leaf, black pepper, and cayenne pepper into sausage mixture, followed by diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.

5. Place smoked ham hock into the center of the sausage and vegetables. Pour roux mixture over ham hock along with enough water to cover. Place duck legs into mixture. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, and cover with a lid set at an angle to let steam out. Simmer slowly, stirring occasionally until duck and ham hock meat are tender, about 4 hours. Skim as much fat as possible off the top as it simmers.

6. Remove duck and ham hock to a bowl and let cool. Stir pickled okra into gumbo. Pick meat from duck legs and pork hock and return meat to the gumbo. Simmer gumbo for 45 more minutes.

7. Turn heat to medium-high, bring gumbo to a boil, and stir in shrimp and crawfish tails. Cook until shrimp and crawfish tails are bright pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon green onion, taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.

PREP 30 mins

COOK 5 hrs 55 mins

READY IN 6 hrs 25 mins

Cook’s Notes:

The deeper the color of the roux, the deeper and richer the flavor of your gumbo. The darker the roux, the less it will thicken.

Use any combination of hot and sweet diced peppers.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chef-Johns-Duck-Sausage-and-Shrimp-Gumbo/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Thumb&e11=seafood%20and%20andouille%20gumbo&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page&soid=sr_results_p1i2

Easter Campmeeting is Coming Up

My church, Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, has their Campmeeting coming up: April 16-20th. I will be attending the entire week, so I won’t be online at all. I’ll be thinking of you all, though, and I’ll see you when I get back, recharged and refreshed. Smiles!

http://www.jsmcampmeeting.org/

 

Bully Prevention

Success Happens One Failure at a Time

I used to fear failure. Then I realized that is sometimes the only way to learn. I used to fear criticism, too, but while I still don’t like it, constructive criticism has value, even when it stings.

Even criticism that isn’t meant to be constructive can teach. A while back, in a forum, a woman pointed out a broken link in my LinkedIn profile; she pointed it out in a very rude  and sarcastic way, stating that everyone in the group should learn from my professionalism. It stung, how she went about it, but still, she called my attention to a problem, the broken link, and I fixed it.

I don’t think she intended to, but she provided an opportunity for me to show my professionalism; I didn’t sink to her level and respond with rudeness. I fixed the broken link, and then commented in the same forum that I had fixed it.

End of story. Almost.

I’ve used this woman’s bad behavior as examples of what NOT TO DO, in this and in another post about cyber bullying. I’ve forgotten her name, but I have not forgotten how she made me feel.

Also read:

http://thevirtualvirtuoso.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/cyberbullying/

Smile: Our New Emoticons Have Arrived!

colinewalther:

I saw these new smileys today! Great job, #WordPress :)

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Fan of smileys? :) We are. That’s why we just redesigned them to be cleaner, simpler, bigger, more expressive, and modern.

;) :D

These new smileys are actually vector graphics, so they’ll stay crisp if you zoom in on your page. They’ll also stay sharp on high-resolution mobile displays.

8-) :star:

To find out how to use an emoticon appearing in this post, just hover over it and you’ll see which characters produce it. We’re working on expanding our collection, so stay tuned for more smiley fun.

XD >:D :( :’( :| :/ :o :P >:( O_o ^^’ <3

If you’re not a fan of smileys, that’s okay! You can always turn them off and on in your dasbhoard under Settings  Writing. We hope you’ll have fun with these. Smile!

Bonus: We also created a few secret emoticons for you to discover. Good luck finding them! ;)

<3

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Is there a place for me?

colinewalther:

#InspirationFromTheWordPressCommunity I fell hopelessly behind in my project to share one of these posts each day, hence the reason I dropped 365 days from the hashtag. I will still share posts that I find inspiring–like this one. #GoSherry

Originally posted on sherryleek1961:

I went back to school after receiving my gastric bypass. I have done unbelievable and incredible healing since my mid-30′s and have come a long way. I will be graduating this fall with a bachelor’s degree in Business, Management and Economics. I have a great GPA of 3.63, however, I am physically disabled and I should be able to work. One of our presidents was in a wheelchair, so if he could do it back then I should be able to do it now.

Today times is suppose to be anti-discriminatory against handicap people. I have been looking in the business field now for 3 months with no luck. I finally get a job interview and he did not see where he could give me a spot with problems with my legs, seeing the people are on their feet all day. Even though, he was encouraging and said there are…

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