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Oh Florida, I Missed You…

Oh Florida, I Missed You…

Over the last week I have been out of state visiting my new nephew in Portland, and while I LOVE to travel and see new places – it is always interesting to check out the news on what I’ve missed here in Florida while gone.

Since lately there’s been a lot of talk on social media about the “Florida Man” challenge, I am not the only one who thrives on the weird that comes out of this area. Even just one week of news will explain why.

There’s the man who was arrested for belligerently eating pasta at Olive Garden and the guy arrested for wrestling a fake alligator.

Couldn’t miss the story of the man threatening to unleash his turtle army on his small little Florida town.

And my personal favorite – the herd of cows living it up and causing traffic jams as they walk around loose in Miami.

Even Portland where the motto is “keep weird”, can’t compete with the strange that comes out of this state I call home.

What is your all-time favorite crazy Florida news story? Anything good this past week that I missed?

I’m glad to be back. Stay strange, SoFlo!

What To Do When You Don’t Want To Do Anything

What To Do When You Don’t Want To Do Anything

When you own a business, especially one where you can totally work remotely when you choose to, there are days when it is difficult to get motivated. Today is one of those days.

Between losing an hour of sleep this weekend because of Daylight Saving Time and a very fun but very tiring weekend that included a client book launch, a best friend’s bachelorette party and wedding, Concrete Beach Brewery’s amazing Miami Gras event and my husband almost breaking his foot – I am ill prepared for Monday.

That being said, being that I was at events all weekend, I was off the computer, and that led to a large number of emails and tasks that need to get done. My team is amazing when I am off site and out of office but Monday morning brain kicked in with a panic early this morning, despite the fact that I need a day off. So, what do you do when you don’t want to do anything.

1. If you can, work from home for the day. Today for instance, I would be useless around people and distracted (or distracting). Know thyself and if you need to be in the office around people to get productive, do it, but self care begins at home and so home is where I shall be.

2. Get dressed. I REALLY wanted to stay in pajamas, wrapped in my bathrobe, but I am a firm believer that you should get dressed on the daily in order to be more productive (except Sundays, those don’t count). Plus if you do nothing else – you’re dressed. Bonus points if you hop in a shower too (no shame if you don’t – sometimes getting dressed is enough).

3. Don’t look at your emails yet. Instead of adding to the to do list with tasks that come through email, get a couple of things accomplished on your current to do list first. Instant calm. Without the distraction of email I bet you can get through more items, in a shorter amount of time.

4. THEN look at emails – and see what you can put on the to do list for tomorrow vs. what has to be done today. If it has a fast answer or deadline, just do it quickly, but if it considers deep thought – see where you’re at. Today is NOT my day for deep thought. I will think tomorrow. Today is just a day to do things until I can nap and get my brain back, and I don’t feel bad about that. I am a business owner but I am also a human and so are .you.

5. Inform people you are out of office. I am checking email, I am doing some work, but as far as people-ing today I am out of office. I put vacation mode on email on Friday and it will come off tomorrow despite the fact that I am online today. I really believe in taking the time to do a job right and not rushing back into it when I am not at my best. By informing clients I am out and giving them alternate team members to reach, everyone is taken care of and I am able to take care of myself. You can’t pour from an empty cup!

6. Get outside. I plan on getting outside today, and you should too. Nature is ridiculously inspiring and healing. 20 minutes outside every day (when weather permits), disconnected, WITH YOUR PHONE AWAY, will change your outlook on life and may even get you motivated to get back to work and change the world.

What do YOU do on days when you don’t feel like doing anything?

How do you face your fears?

How do you face your fears?

So it feels like the entire world has been talking about Bird Box on Netflix lately, and I had heard a lot of mixed reviews so I needed to check it out for myself. While I enjoyed the anxiety filled ride that the film brought me on, I can fully understand why a lot of people hated it, but I think the most important piece of the movie was showing how important it is to take risks and face your fears.

In Bird Box they avoided their fears with blindfolds, but in real life we would look crazy, but the concept in the movie stands true – our brain can be our worst enemy.

Think about it this way – have you ever been faced with a new challenge or an opportunity that you could be so successful at, that it is scary? The unknown is a frightening thing for most people, and it comes down to fight or flight – do you take a risk and face the fears?

If you never face the unknown, it is definitely less scary. You just stay comfortable (or in the case of Bird Box, uncomfortable but inside), but you unwittingly also avoid the success that you could have.

I tend to be a bit of a risk taker who leaps in (movie spoiler without spoiling – I would probably volunteer to look), but I am petrified the entire time. I am chill on the outside and a ball of anxieties within – the epitome of the “this is fine” meme. And often when the day is done I would find myself in bed awake all night stressing about the unknown what-ifs. This is NOT the right way either.

There is a lot of good advice out there on how to face the fears, quiet your anxieties and find success. Below are three tips that have really started to help for me and I would love to hear yours too!

  1. Keep a list of your anxieties. Write them down. Then look back in a week, a month, a year, etc. You will start to see that 90% of the things you thought were going to happen didn’t and you spent precious time worrying about things that never even came to fruition. The more I track it the more I realize that so much of it is totally unwarranted and I have been able to let things go more easily.
  2. I still haven’t learned to stay in the moment enough to totally not worry about future what-if’s, but I read that it would help to tell myself that it is OK to do nothing at the moment. When you lay your head down at night, give yourself the permission to relax. Tell yourself you have done everything you can in one day, it is time to sleep and restart again tomorrow. And then give yourself a “fun task” to think about while falling asleep. For instance, I try to think of new ways to decorate a client’s office space. Since it isn’t my space I have more fun with it with less stress and it occupies my mind while I drift to dreamland.
  3. Finally, I think many times the unknown feels so scary because we are all internally trying to control our own lives, and we can’t even begin to control something we don’t know. In the film there was a lot of control issues at play as well and everyone had to very quickly let those go. But when not involved in a harrowing situation – what can you do? I try to combat it by finding something I CAN control. I will organize the files on my computer, clean out my purses, schedule my next months worth of yoga classes, and I write a LOT of to-do lists and project lists and such. Whatever works for you, showing yourself that you are responsible in one area can give you confidence in another and it will help keep your mind off the what-ifs for a while by telling your brain “Hey – I’ve got this”

Are you a risk taker or do you tend to stick to your comfort zone? What tips do you have for facing your fears? I would love to hear them!

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?