End of the Year – Don’t Look Back

End of the Year – Don’t Look Back

All to often when faced with the end of the year and making New Year’s Resolutions we look back at what we didn’t accomplish during the last year.  DON’T!!!  Never look back.

Look forward, don’t look back.  Instead of making your usual New Year’s Resolutions make a list of what you want to accomplish…..a To Do List!  Be reasonable, don’t make it a long list, make a list that is attainable over the next 12 months.  That is what I have done for the past two years and love scratching off the items I have accomplished.  It is so gratifying, and when it is gratifying you will be willing to get more accomplished. Don’t stress out over your list either.  Decide what you want to accomplish first and do it then go on to the next  project.  You will be surprised how gratifying this is.

Don’t bog yourself down in “I should have” for the prior year.  Look forward to what you CAN accomplish over the next year

Happy New Year!

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In the Kitchen with Grandma Jo

I have been baking and cooking for the upcoming Holidays. Nope, definitely not good for the waist line as I do test them all.   This ritual reminds me of my Grandma Jo’s kitchen, always full of fantastic smells and always cookies in her cookie jar. There are times when I feel her in my kitchen shaking her finger at me for taste testing.

My latest culinary creation was “Cranberry-Ginger Chutney”

The ginger gives the cranberries a little kick. Here is a single batch of the yummy goodness. I double the recipe and bottle then freeze (leave room at the top for expansion) so I can have some all year around.

1 bag cranberries

2 cups spiced apple cider

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 tsp grated FRESH ginger (please remember to peel first)

1/2 tsp lemon, lime or orange zest (optional, I use lime)

1/2 tsp salt

In a medium sized pan, boil the cranberries with the apple cider 6 to 7 minutes until you hear the berries popping. Simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes. Then add the brown sugar, ginger, citrus zest and the salt. Let all this goodness simmer for another 20 minutes. Transfer to containers and refrigerate.

If making a large batch, pour the hot liquid (careful not to burn yourself) into canning jars. Invert (set jar on lid) so it will seal correctly. Store again in the refrigerator and give as gifts.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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What a Beautiful Morning

Morning Journaling

It is cloudy out this morning, which makes it a good time to sit down and journal. Although any time is a good time to journal. Day, night, rain or shine, journal and feel the stress leave your body.

Why journal? It clears the heart and soul of things that get in the way. Sorrow, fear, hate. Write them down and close the journal and walk away. Better yet, tear out that page and burn it. You will be surprised how much satisfaction and cleansing this will bring.

THEN, journal about the things you are thankful for in your life, be it either the past or the present. Your family, friends, the animals in your life, there is no limit of people or things that bring you great joy. There is so much to be thankful for each and every day.

I am thankful for the clouds and rain as they are rare where I live. The beautiful sunrise I got to see this morning because my cat Thor Kitty insisted I get up. Now, because I got up, I get the witness and enjoy the rare quiet of my house, as I sit here journaling with coffee in hand and my cat curled up at my side.

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Life is GOOD!

Some mornings are frustrating from the very beginning. My first clue, as I am stumbling down the hall with my eyes half closed, I step into cold cat barf. I suppress the urge to scream as I hop down the hall on one foot so I don’t spread the joy.   I grab paper towels and spray cleaner and clean the gross crap off my foot first. When that is cleaned up I run for the coffee which is so very necessary to get me through my mornings. COFFEE!   But wait…..the fancy automated coffee maker did not start. So I push the manual button as I stare longingly at the empty carafe. Must have my coffee.

To kill time, I start my computer only to find there are three bazillion updates waiting to load! I watch the counter 3 of 468, well this is going to take awhile. I really didn’t need to get any work done, at least not in the near future, as my computer continues to count down the numerous updates. COFFEE!

I stumble back down the hall to get my glasses so I can see…..yes that is the kind of morning I am having, I forgot my glasses when I got up and I really need to see.   On my way back out to check on my coffee, I peek into my daughters bedroom to see her peacefully sleeping.   A beautiful calm look on her face and suddenly everything is fine. Life is good.

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Words

Word are just that, words.   We as a people have created the meanings to those words. We make them good or bad. We let them lift us up or allow them to hurt us. Remember a rhyme from our childhood “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Harsh words are usually spoken by those who are frustrated. WE choose to allow them to hurt us or we can laugh. Words only hurt, make us cringe, or laugh if you let them. Choose to laugh.

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind     

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Small Business Owner’s, Diversify!

Diversify

If you’re a Small Business Owner then you probably already know that diversification is the name of the game. If you don’t diversify and grow your business almost daily then you will die a very painful death.

I know several Small Business owners that do one thing and do it well, but over the long haul they are loosing their buyers. You can buy the same product once maybe twice (the second time as a replacement or a gift) and then the buyer is done, they no longer need or want your single product. At this point your buyer moves on to someone else that has grown their business by adding to their product line. They have diversified and their business is growing!

Change or diversification is constant and if you want to grow your business then you to must change and grow. Stretch those creative juices. Look around you, what is your competition doing that you aren’t? Are they on more than one site? Do they promote their business on social media sites? Do they blog, send emails? Take a close look, why are they out selling you.

Don’t allow your business to become stale, reach for that brass ring. When you diversify test the waters first by making a few of your new product and see how that item goes over. No Small Business wants to be stuck with a lot product that bombed out in the market place. Go slow, test a few new products and make sure you market and promote your new line.

If you have a product that didn’t make it, CUT the price, put it on sale, get it off your shelves and make room for what your customer really wants.

“Just as variety is the spice of life, diversification is the key to success in business.” McNulty

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Grow, Live Life

Things do not change; we change. ~Henry David Thoreau~

Unless we are willing to grow, change, challenge ourselves we will never become the person we were meant to be.  The best way to chronical our every changing lives is to journal.  You don’t need to journal evey day, try three times a week.  You will be amazed what you find out about yourself.

Spontaneous Natural Growth

1.Ignore negative input from family and others

2.Read

3.Study, Search, Investigate

4.Meditate

5.Discover Yourself

Developing and writing about our personal insights and thoughts can help us recognize our goals and passions in life.

Establishing and understanding our personal independent nature, uniqueness and our place in the design of life – past, present, and future – is an ongoing quest.

Learn from the past, live for today, and plan for the future.

“You should live every day like it’s your last day because one day you’re gonna be right.”   Ray Charles

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