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After Work Habits, Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities

After Work Habits, Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities

It’s no secret…I love my job. It’s also no secret that I love my time “after the job.” LOL

I try to do a little bit of everything when it comes to after work activities…except going to the movies as some of you may know. 🙂 I like trying different workout classes, walking/biking around my neighborhood, volunteering and…COOKING AND EATING!

One of my absolutely favorite things to do is cook. I’m one of those silly people that like food prepping for the week, which includes chopping vegetables for for my daily salads/egg scrambles, roasting or grilling unique cuts of meat, or anything in between! It’s safe to say that I’m DEFINITELY NOT someone safe to take to a grocery store or farmer’s market.

The unfortunate thing is that a fun cooking past time makes you want to only watch Food Network and buy anything and everything they use to cook…because, you know…I’m becoming a professional chef!

I’ve tried to curb my purchases regarding my hobby, but sometimes it just gets away from me – a dutch oven here, a lemon zester there or the various different kinds of colanders one has to have.

So, what is your favorite after work activity? Are you an avid gym-goer? Do you like mid-week matinees? Do you have your own paint easel set-up in your living room (talking to you, Eloiza!) or do you prefer the quit enjoyment of getting home, relaxing on the couch and binge watching your favorite show? Maybe even reading a book?!

I thoroughly believe you have to have something that isn’t work related for your “me time.” It makes you happy to get to your past time and happy to get back to work! So…what’s yours?

Wine Pairings for Busy Parents (and aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and people who just like wine and kids’ snacks)

Wine Pairings for Busy Parents (and aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and people who just like wine and kids’ snacks)

It is back to school and that means things get a little crazy as we get back into the swing of things. Emily, Ryan and Tracy’s kids are back in class, Sarah is on nephew pickup duty, and at the end of the day, despite our best efforts to go low-cal, low-carb and healthy, all of us are at home grabbing leftover chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for dinner with the kids when in a rush.

Now you know, usually we grab a beer from Concrete Beach Brewery to go with it (there is nothing like a McDonald’s Cheeseburger Happy Meal and a Havana Lager – for real), but the good folks at Personal Creations have done some recon work and figured out the best wines to go with those leftovers to class things up a bit. Take a look at their research below. It’s awesome, Thanks for sharing Personal Creations!

The Best Wine Pairings for When You Eat Your Kids’ Leftovers

It’s the end of the day and your kids are asleep but, as usual, they have failed to finish their entire dinner. Why not turn what’s left into a gourmet dinner for you? Paired with a fancy wine, your kids’ leftovers will make for a classy dinner that parents can enjoy. Don’t worry if you’re not a wine snob; Personal Creations has done the research for you, including the temperature at which your wine bottles should be stored.

White Wines

White wines should be refrigerated before drinking. Typically, white wines pair with lighter fare such as fish, cheese, chicken, and hummus. Try the following pairings the next time you have leftovers on hand:

Pinot Grigio and Fish Sticks: The most popular white wine in Italy, pinot grigio is dry – meaning that it doesn’t have much residual sugar content after the fermentation process and goes with most foods.

Chardonnay and Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Chardonnay is a popular white wine in the United States and, as with most white wines, is served chilled. Chardonnay pairs well with leftover grilled cheese sandwiches or mac and cheese.  

Red Wines

Unlike white wines, red wines are typically served at room temperature, so if you don’t have time to chill your wine for a snack, try the following red wine and snack pairings:

Merlot and Hot Dog: Merlot has a high amount of tannins, which give it a complex flavor that pairs well with hot dogs or other hearty leftovers.

Pinot Noir and Cheese Crackers: Pinot noir is lighter in flavor than other red wines.  It can also be stored at room temperature, which is convenient, and makes an excellent wine to pair with cheese crackers (or cheese and crackers).

Are you more of a beer fan than a wine enthusiast? Try a lager with buttered pasta, a porter with string cheese, or fruit snacks and Belgian strong ale. Check out many more wine and beer pairings for kids’ leftovers at Personal Creations.

Mid-Week Break: Getting Ready for the 4th of July

Mid-Week Break: Getting Ready for the 4th of July

It’s time for a celebration this week! Independence Day is this Wednesday – in the middle of a workweek. I think it’s kind of nice to have a mid-week break from a regular work week…two days to hit it hard, a break and then two more days to get things done. But what do you think? Would you rather have a long weekend to celebrate the holiday or do you also like the idea of a mid-week break?

4th of July Activities

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays…mainly because it’s in the Summer – my favorite season. I think you all know by now that I’m a big beach and pool person. If I could go everyday, all day I would! So you can bet that’s where I’ll be on Wednesday!

I like to do a lot on Independence Day to really celebrate being independent. Some of the additional activities I like to include:

  • kayaking/paddle boarding
  • grilling out with neighbors and friends
  • dressing up in my favorite red, white and blue clothes/bathing suits
  • watching fireworks from the roof

What do you have planned to celebrate Independence Day?

New Year…New Goals

New Year…New Goals

I’ve gotta be honest…I’m not much for resolutions. I am big on goals though. But what’s the difference? To me, resolutions never stick. When it comes to a new year, everyone starts talking about resolutions, fresh starts and drastic changes to their lives. While I believe this is a great way to think for a new year (especially when it comes to bettering your health, finances, life, etc.), the word “resolution” still has such a negative connotation for me.

Since “resolution” is most notably linked to the term “New Year’s Resolution” I automatically think that it’s something that will never be completed – since almost all of mine go unfinished. It may be just semantics, but I’m a much bigger fan of the word “goal”. I can set my own goals at any time of the year without the pressure of all that New Year excitement. I can amend my goals as I go to further the success already obtained from the original goal!

Here’s the bottom line. A resolution is what you set to “fix” something. A goal is what you set to fulfill your dreams and ambitions. So this year, I will be setting no resolutions…only goals.

Wishing you all a wonderful and safe New Year!

 

It’s Like Having One Arm Tied Behind Your Back

It’s Like Having One Arm Tied Behind Your Back

PR is a tricky profession. You have to have a plan, know how to execute it and be ready for any eventuality that comes along. I have over 10 years of experience in PR (ugh…that hurt) with multiple industry experience. While you can always be prepared for any eventuality, you can still get hurt…just like in life.

Recently (well in February), I broke my arm…my right arm…my dominate arm. Needless to say, it sucked big time. I broke my arm in such a precarious location that it was misdiagnosed the first time. It also sucked (pardon my language) that it was at the very tip-top of my humorous bone (near the shoulder). What that means is that it couldn’t be put in a cast…just a sling. It was literally like having one arm tied behind my back. Only, it was more like having it sewn to my stomach.

Everything changed for about 3 months. Any way I used to do things had to change. I learned how to sign my name with my left hand. I learned how to type with one hand. I definitely utilized dictation more on my iPhone. Don’t get me wrong…there were still a lot of things I couldn’t do. I couldn’t drive my manual transmission car. I wasn’t allowed to walk my dog (for safety purposes obviously) and I honestly couldn’t really cook for myself – no chopping veggies, sautĂ©ing or baking a big meal…all of which requires two arms.

Fortunately, I was still able to adapt to this eventuality that I never saw coming. I hated it…but I adapted. And I realized it could have been much worse.

PR is somewhat similar to having one arm tied behind your back (or sewn to your stomach). Just when you get comfortable with how things work, something happens. You then have to figure out how to do everything you know in a different way. I won’t go as far to say, “It makes you stronger in the end.” But I will say that shit happens, and if you figure it out, you won.

 

Much-Needed Motivation at Work

Much-Needed Motivation at Work

There’s always those few tasks that are hard to get any employee to do. They’re either so mundane that you have to stand and work while completing them so you don’t fall asleep, or it’s a task that you know will interrupt your working groove so you just keep putting it off.

You know the type of work I’m talking about. But how do you motivate employees to make sure it’s done on time and done right? INCENTIVES! It’s almost like trying to motivate yourself to eat better…you make yourself do it by incentivizing yourself after awhile (i.e. after two weeks of eating vegetables at every meal you’ll buy yourself a new pair of shoes….for instance).

Here are some great ways to incentivize or reward your employees for doing great work.

Meal Time: There’s nothing like a free lunch to perk up your work day! If your team bands together to go above-and-beyond what the task required, reward them with a lunch outing to continue the celebration!

Early In…Early Out: Do you have that one employee that’s always in the office earlier than everyone else making sure all deadlines are met? Reward him or her with an early dismissal from work. Chances are, they’re an early-bird/morning person and would enjoy an afternoon to do their personal errands or just relax.

Over-Achievers: Don’t you love it when you assign a task to an employee with a certain goal and they just shatter right through it? ME TOO! To reward them, take a look at their social media profiles and find out where they like to shop or what they like to do for fun and get them a gift card that they’ll really appreciate and actually use. They worked hard for you so take the time to reward them with something they would actually want!

How do you reward your employees?