Friday Fab Four

image001Happy (black) Friday! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Here are the best four articles I read this week.

1. Why Giving is the Best Metric for Success–Shane Snow {absolutely agree}

2. The Secret Life of Passwords–Ian Urbina {fascinating}

3. Four Ways Giving Thanks Improves Your Life–Michael Hyatt {I experience this everyday!}

4. Thanksgiving and the Power of Gratitude–Jacob Shriar {be grateful everyday}

Giving Thanks

Give ThanksThanksgiving is upon us and it’s always a great reminder to give thanks in our lives.  I try very hard to give thanks every day of the year but this week really puts it on notice.  I am a huge believer in the power of gratitude and I believe in giving thanks not only for the blessings in our lives but also to give thanks to the people in our lives.  Do we say thank you enough to the people who really matter to us?  I hope we do.  Do we say thank you enough to those people on the peripheral of our lives, postmen, wait staff, nurses, retail clerks, mechanics etc? Probably not, but we need to.

Here are a few ideas for giving thanks:

1. A handwritten note: I cannot say it enough…taking the time to write a note in your own unique and special handwriting, is a gift all by itself.  Throw in beautiful stationery and you’ve really made someone smile.  It doesn’t take a lot of effort to write a note of thanks from the heart.

2. Give a great book: When you read a really good book do you think of the people in your life who would enjoy the book as well?  Then make it a habit to either pass along the book or buy a new one for someone who would really benefit from the message in the book.  I love to give books as gifts.  Include a thankful message inside the book and it’s the perfect way to give thanks.

3. Pay it forward: We were recently in our favorite brunch spot, The Farmer’s Table, and we learned that the folks before us bought our breakfast.  This was such a treat! We decided to keep it going and buy the next person’s breakfast as well.  In line at Starbucks, or drive through at McDonald’s, make yourself happy by paying for the person or car behind you.  When you have a really great wait person…tip a little more, especially during the holidays.  This is a great way to give thanks.

What are your favorite ways to give thanks?

Friday Fab Four

image001Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? I can’t either.  Until then, let’s enjoy Friday with four really great articles for you to read.

1. Pat Summitt’s Son Steps Out of Basketball Legend’s Shadow–Wayne Drash (Love this so much and have always loved Pat)

2. Better All the Time–James Surowiecki (this one hits close to home & loved all the comparisons)

3. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year…Vape (how disappointing…I was pulling for bae)

4. 10 Steps to Conquering Information Overload–Laura Shin (Good tips!)

48 Hours In San Francisco

Would you like to go away for the weekend? My answer is always yes! The Hubs and I hopped a plane Friday and spent the weekend in San Fran.  It was a long plane ride but well worth leaving the polar vortex for sunny, warm California.

The weather was absolutely perfect in San Fran, 65 degrees and sunny.  Wonderful weather for walking around this beautiful city.  I hated seeing the snow and sleet tweets and texts from family and friends back home but I really loved having the sun on my face and the sea air blowing all around us.

IMG_5146We ventured out early Saturday morning to the Ferry Building to one of the best farmer’s markets I have ever experienced.  Not only is the Ferry Building filled with stores that would make any foodie smile, but the farmers who show up on Saturdays offered just about anything your little heart or stomach could desire.  We bought fresh lavender, several varieties of dates, warm buttery croissants, and CHEESE…so much amazing cheese.  The Hubs and I could never afford to live in SF…we’d spend every dollar we earned on Saturday at this market.

After the market we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf.  I already knew that the wharf was a touristy place IMG_5154but I specifically wanted to see the sea lions who sunbathe near one of the piers…and they were well worth the walk.  I just love to hear them bark.  Plus this spot was great for a shot of Alcatraz.

We then hopped in a cab to the Golden Gate Park to see the Japanese Tea Garden.  It was so lovely.  The admission is $6 and it’s well worth it.  Incredibly beautiful manicured IMG_5175 2gardens, the largest koi fish I’ve ever seen and lovely Japanese sculptures and structures.  Plus a tea bar! It’s a great place to spend an hour and relish in the tranquility and beauty.

After visiting Golden Gate Park we headed to the Mission district to eat lunch.  We found a great Irish pub called the Phoenix and had beers and boxty. We then hit the shopping area near our hotel in Union Square.  This is a shopper’s paradise.  Every major department store, speciality store you can imagine is in this ‘square’ and we soon realized we were trying to shop on a precious Christmas shopping Saturday! The stores were packed with residents and visitors.  We made our obligatory stop at Niketown to load up on gifts for our son and I found my favorite store, Kate Spade.  We were soon ready to head back to the hotel for rest and to catch the Hogs game on television.

On Sunday we were on a mission to find the best Dim Sum in Chinatown and we found it! We went to theIMG_5185 Great Eastern and it was a noisy, busy restaurant with some of the best Dim Sum we’ve ever had.  The Hubs and I try Dim Sum in every major city and so far NYC has the best but SF is a close second.

After walking and shopping in Chinatown we cabbed it to Japantown to check out the neighborhood there.  This area was much smaller and quieter but we wanted IMG_5191udon noodles and we found a great place in Suzu Noodle House.

I’d read online that the San Francisco Art Institute was having their annual student art show so we went there after our noodles.  The institute is in a beautiful old monastery and the students were set up all over campus selling their art.  We bought a few items and enjoyed visiting with the students.  The views from the institute were just amazing IMG_5201and I am so glad we decided to go.

We went back to the Ferry Building for our final foodie check list item…oysters! The Hog Island Oyster Company is located in the Ferry building and usually has a wait to be seated but is well worth the wait.  We had a dozen or so of the best oysters I’ve probably ever had in my life.  So glad we made this our dinner destination.

I loved my 48 hours in San Francisco, I feel like I got to see a great deal of the city in just two days.  We didn’t get a great photo of the Golden Gate Bridge and we didn’t go to Alcatraz but for the most part I was very pleased with our visit.  It was my first time to the bay city and I would definitely visit again.

 

Friday Fab Four

image001Isn’t Friday just the best day of all? Here are four articles I chose just for your reading pleasure.

1. The One Thing About Your Spouse’s Personality That Really Affects Your Career–Andrew O’Connell {Interesting}

2. How to Get a Career That Provides Stability–Penelope Trunk {Gen X wants flexibility…yes!}

3. Why Work-Life Balance is Important for Parents–Jacob Shriar {Really love this one}

4. What Happens to Your Brain When You’re Having a Brilliant Idea–Vivian Giang {Eureka!}

What I am Reading-November

girlbossThis month I tried something new, I am listening to the book on Audible instead of reading the book.  Pretty good so far.  I finished Lena Dunham’s new book, Not that Kind of Girl on Audible last month and really enjoyed the book read to me by Lena herself. So, I thought I would try my next business book on Audible…so I chose #GirlBoss. I am more than half-way through the book and its pretty good.  Sophia Amoruso has a great success story to tell about persistence and hard work.   By all ‘normal’ standards, she should be homeless today but she’s running a very successful company with 350 employees and growing.

I would recommend you try this book on Audible, the narrator is not Amoruso but her voice is nice and steady.  I had a lot of dental work done recently so I listened to the book during my root canal.  The book held my attention through all that drilling!

Here’s what Amazon says: The first thing Sophia Amoruso sold online wasn’t fashion—it was a stolen book. She spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and dumpster diving. By twenty-two, she had resigned herself to employment, but was still broke, directionless, and working a mediocre day job she’d taken for the health insurance.

It was there that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay. Eight years later, she is the founder, CEO, and creative director of Nasty Gal, a $100 million plus online fashion retailer with more than 350 employees. Sophia’s never been a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is winding as all hell and lined with naysayers.

#GIRLBOSS includes Sophia’s story, yet is infinitely bigger than Sophia. It’s deeply personal yet universal. Filled with brazen wake-up calls (“You are not a special snowflake”), cunning and frank observations (“Failure is your invention”), and behind-the-scenes stories from Nasty Gal’s meteoric rise, #GIRLBOSS covers a lot of ground. It proves that being successful isn’t about how popular you were in high school or where you went to college (if you went to college). Rather, success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break.

Friday Fab Four

image001Happy Friday, friends.  I hope each of you had a wonderful and productive week.  I certainly did! Here are four really good articles for you to read this weekend.

1. Six Stretches for People Who Sit at Desks–Joanna Goddard (which is pretty much everyone!)

2. How to Handle Stress in the Moment–Rebecca Knight (Good tips here for stress monkeys)

3. 9 Core Behaviors of People who Positively Impact the World–Kathy Caprino (Really liked this one)

4. Why You Need a To-Do List for Others–Rebecca Greenfield (interesting way to give back)

Working from Coffee Shops

onyxNow that I am self-employed and soon to be working from home, I can spend more time in one of my favorite venues…coffee shops.  I love working from a coffee shop. Doesn’t matter, it can be a chain shop or locally owned, I love them all.  There’s this wonderful vibe in the air of entrepreneurism and free lancing spirit that I believe is contagious.

When I had a regular 8-5 job I would have meetings in coffee shops and look longingly at the folks who seemed to always work in coffee shops and be jealous of their ‘office.’ Now, coffee shops will be my office. What better place to call home than a clean, airy coffee shop that serves yummy hot beverages and pastries? I’m in!

I always have the best conversations in coffee shops as well.  It’s a more relaxed setting so the convos are uplifting, inspirational and laid-back.  Plus coffee shops are great places to network for new clients or services.  Just sitting quietly and listening to the deals and pitches makes me very happy.  Thank goodness for coffee shops…they allow everyone to feel at home.

Ironically, while I love coffee shops, I don’t drink coffee.  I love a hot cocoa with soy milk or decaf tea but I don’t drink caffeinated drinks so that rules out most coffee.  In fact, I haven’t had caffeine in 17 years so I missed the whole Starbucks explosion.  I have no idea what to order there or what any of the cool terms mean…grande, macchiatto, whip, latte,…all greek to me.  I usually just get a bottled water at SB.

Here are the shops I love in Northwest Arkansas and where you will likely find me in the coming months:

1. Starbucks, they are all great but the one on MLK in Fayetteville is my favorite.

2. Red Kite Coffee, at Crossover in Fayetteville, nice open space.

3. Onyx Coffee Lab, my fav is in Springdale but the Fayetteville one is good too.

4. Pressroom, in downtown Bentonville…great atmosphere.

5. Arsaga’s, on Dickson St in Fayetteville, perfect for hopping off the trail and resting.

6. Einstein Bagels, in Fayetteville is my favorite…yummy food too.

Do you like working from coffee shops? Which one is your favorite?