Public Sleeping Day

Today is public sleeping day. I’m sure every one of us has felt like falling asleep right smack dab in the middle of our day and I’m sure every one has fallen asleep in class at least once in their lifetime. Before college I never could have imagined sleeping anywhere outside of my home. However, I regularly took day time naps in places all over campus. Those all-nighters eventually come back to bite you.

I had 3 favorite napping spots. The most obvious one being the library. My university had some well placed napping chairs where students could frequently be found catching a quick 30 minute to hour long power nap. The student center also had some of the most comfortable couches for napping. In fact you would have trouble catching the two couches open as they were often filled by someone attempting to catch a nap between classes. As a junior I was accepted into my Universities Honor Program a cool perk many Honors Programs don’t advertise is that theirs a special secret room for students to use anytime of day. We had access to refrigerators so we could bring our lunch, free coffee, and if you had a group project you were working on it was perfectly okay to invite your group to meet there just as long as you didn’t give non-honors students the entry code. The room even had a wii and an xbox for students to play games that they could borrow for free from the honors office. This room was predominantly used by students to nap and eat lunch. my favorite perk as an honors student was this room.

In honor of Public Sleeping Day I give you my top 4 tips for sleeping in Public.

Tip #1:

Always have a warm jacket or light blanket available even if it isn’t cold. Being able to cover yourself or just your face from the glaring lights I found helped for more productive and restful sleep.

Tip #2:

Find a quiet place like a quiet hallway or library. You won’t be able to get any zzz’s if you are constantly being interrupted by yelling, shouting, or another person’s conversation. If you don’t have a quiet place play classical or relaxing music and pop in some ear buds.

Tip #3:

Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t oversleep and miss your next class, meeting, or work. Sometimes I would work on homework at the library and get tired while I was working. So I would set my alarm to wake me in 30 minutes. I would take a quick nap and wake up to continue working.

Tip #4:

Keep your personal belongings i.e backpack and purse close. I usually used mine as a pillow, or had my hand wrapped around the handle. You don’t want someone attempting to steal your stuff while you are sleeping.

What is your favorite public sleeping spot? Let me know in the comments below.

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Monthly Roundup/Review February

I learned quiet a bit about organizing my time this month. Unfortunately our household came down with the flu making me once again a week behind on my work. It is so frustrating being sick and this time it wasn’t just me, but the baby and my husband were also down for the count to. Seeing as I am the mom it was my responsibility to care for everyone and make them well, while simultaneously trying to make myself better too. Hopefully we are done with the long case of the ick for the remainder of the year, because I’m really wanting everything to work out for my business. Now on to this months review/recap.

Posts by Category:

Motherhood: 3

Education: 1

Employment:3

Social:3

News:5

Hobbies:3

My favorite posts to write this month:

Hobbies Post: Tortilla Soup Recipe

Library Lovers Day

Single Tasking Day

Bouncing Back After Illness

Posts that Received the Most Traffic:

My views were definitely up this month from last month. My most popular post still seems to be the Expiration vs. Used By Dates (which I wrote nearly two years ago). However, it looks like many of this months posts were well received. My second most popular post this month was Hobbies Post: Tortilla Soup Recipe. I find it interesting how even though I have moved away from the food posts, these are still the most popular. Library Lovers Day was almost as popular as the Tortilla Soup Recipe. Runners up included Hobbies: Reading List, Work Naked Day, Clean out Your Computer Day, and Laugh and Get Rich Day.

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New Years Resolutions:

Health:

I walked a lot this month. I found that doing errands with the baby in the stroller is fun and makes me feel like I actually accomplished something. I also discovered that our local Burger King has a tot spot perfect for my son to ware himself out and utilize some extra energy. I’ve been eating healthier food and drinking more water. I still haven’t managed to get 100% on board with a work out routine, or even a morning routine for that matter. I’m hoping we stop getting sick and I’m able to work something more consistent out.

Financially:

We are doing okay financially of course there are always ways we could be doing better, we are nervously waiting for our tax returns and have fleshed out a plan for exactly how we are going to use the money. We will be paying off some debt and getting my husband a credit card so we can build him some real credit. Thanks to Credit sesame we discovered that my husbands credit is low because he doesn’t have any really. We found that if we put $200 down we can get him a credit card in order for him to build a credit line. The plan is to use it for gas and maybe a few regular bills and pay it within the same week of charging it so we are only using money we have. We’ve chosen to move home to Houston, TX and the end of our lease and will be putting aside $4,000 for the move. We are carefully budgeting our money working towards our big financial goals. By this time next year things will be looking a great deal brighter and better for our family.

Hobbies:

This month my extra energy went towards cooking some yummy and delicious meals. I posted my amazing tortilla soup recipe, but I also made some yummy burgers, and a very earth rich vegetarian dinner. I love it when I get inspired to cook and either improve a recipe to the point of perfection or find an all new recipe that tastes amazing. Meal planning was very helpful this month and allowed me to explore my culinary skill a bit.

To summarize:

My basic resolutions are all being maintained and met so far. Despite the constant barrage of illness that has been rampaging my household for the past two months I’m getting a lot better about jumping back into the swing of things after catastrophe. In the past I would have taken my sweet time to clean up and jump back into work. Now I get sick and once the sick has passed I jump right back into work and getting the house back together. Financially we are no better than we have been, but we are not worse either soon we will caught up  and we have a plan in place to keep us from returning to this place. Though we’ve been sick a lot I’m working on bringing in healthy meals and snacks. I’ve actually managed to eat healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner regularly.

Writing Goals:

I set some specific goals this year. Currently I’m doing a pretty good job of sticking to my goals despite the fact that I keep falling ill. The only goal I have not maintained is my one to publish 5 posts per week. Currently I am about a week or so short on posts. I missed about 3 or so the first time I was sick and then most recently I missed out on two articles. Perhaps down the line I can make up for it by writing a few weeks of 6 posts. I’m not sure when or if I will have time for this, but if I do then I will write and pre-schedule the posts so there’s less confusion.

Clients:

I have two potential new clients in the works right now. If anything was successful this month it was my networking skills. I was contacted by an old friend as well as a previous co-worker with potential money making opportunities this month. I’m hoping to have more information by next month and who knows maybe by April or May I’ll be making some money off of it.

Creative Writing:

I haven’t done any creative writing lately, but I have been getting pretty creative with some of my blog posts this past month. I started covering fun holidays this year and I have been having a blast finding ways to incorporate them into the blog. Single Tasking Day was especially interesting as I realized how I had been utilizing the concept of single tasking  to get my day to day chores and writing work done. Focusing my energies on one task at a time has helped me not only to get more things done, but to work faster. It used to take me about two hours to write and publish a single blog post. I managed to cut that time in half this month.

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My Income Report:

Kinnectpay.com: $135

Total: $135

Since I was behind already from last months illness and was put behind again thanks to the flu this month I was not able to give much attention to Iwriter. This months money is of course covering the expense of the family being ill again. However, I’m hoping next month will be a different story. Despite the fact that I didn’t get to do more work with I-writer I did manage to increase my income this month. Increased income is always a good thing.

How did you manage your goals this month? Were you able to achieve any big goals this month? Let me know in the comments below.

Single Tasking Day

Let’s face it we millennial’s have busy lives as of this year every millennial that was born in the 90s are adults. This means the majority of millennial’s now have bills to pay, and adult responsibilities to take care of. Growing up in the age of social networking, smart phones, and high tech laptops it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount that must/needs to get done.

Instead of trying to accomplish everything at once, give individual focus to each thing on your to do list at a time. I’ve discovered recently that by making a list of to do’s  and goals for the day and giving attention to each item individually I am able to accomplish everything on my list, sometimes I even managed to get more done then what I originally planned.

Cleaning used to really frustrate me, because I would think I had to do everything in a room at once. Since breaking down each of the rooms in my house into individual tasks and assigning certain tasks to certain days I find my home ten times cleaner, and staying clean longer. For example my kitchen is broken down into dishes, counter tops, floors, recycling,  trash and fridge. I could write an entire post on the way I’ve broken down each room into much smaller tasks. clean-571679_1280

For related posts see:

Kitchen Organization

Deep Cleaning Your Kitchen

Surviving Life with a Baby Part 5: Chore Chart

Spring Cleaning: Tips and Tricks to a fresh Start of the Year

In addition, to breaking down my cleaning tasks I have also broken down my work. I assign tasks for each day. I write down everything that needs to be done in the week. I then break down each of those into individual activities. I then take those activities and put them on the different days throughout the week. For example last week looked like this for me:

To do week of Feb. 13-19

Write blog posts for week Feb.20-26

Write Real Estate blog post for March (new client)

Work on e-book 4 hours

Create marketing posts on facebook

February 13-14

Focus on e-book

February 15-17

Focus on blog articles

February 18-19

Focus on facebook posts

Breakdown

Single Tasking Day

Live Streaming Crazeto-do-734587_640

Job Hunting 101

Bouncing Back after illness

Kinnectpay post

Real Estate Post

2 hours with ebook

2hours with ebook

25 fb posts written

25 fb posts written

25 fb posts written

25 fb posts written

Since breaking my work down in this way I am able to accomplish a lot more every week. Sometimes more than I had planned for. By giving each activity its own attention I’m able to accomplish ten times more. Now that I have managed to get my chores and workload under control I’m planning to do something similar with the baby and making it a goal to complete 2-3 activities with him every day so I can make sure he is getting the attention he needs in order to grow.

How has giving your focus to one thing at a time helped you? Will you try to give your attention towards completing one activity at a time today? Let me know in the comments, I always love hearing my readers thoughts.

Bouncing Back After Illness

I got a bit behind on my work in January, thanks to my feeling like death for nearly two weeks. I was very disappointed in myself that not long after bringing you a post regarding ways to stay on track with your New Years Resolutions here I was falling short on my own resolutions thanks to a gross bug. The thing about winter though is it brings out all the nasty things and it seems like everyone gets sick at least once during the season. So here are the five things I did to jump back on the horse after falling so miserably short.

Tip #1: Continue drinking fluids

Just because you are feeling better doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water. Continue to drink plenty of water and try and get some healthy meals in. When I’m sick, but still capable of eating I like to eat junk food. Greasy hamburgers, potato chips, and soda are my go-to’s when I am feeling awful. If you have this type of habit then make sure you are filling up on those yummy healthy foods especially now that you are feeling better.

Tip #2: Make a plan

Once I was better I made a list of everything I needed to do. I then broke it down and set aside certain days towards certain activities. I also had to make a decision about what I was going to give up while I was playing catch-up on all of my work. It actually has been immensely helpful at getting me towards many of my New Years goals. My house has been clean for a straight week, I do basic pick up in the evening and some chores during the day, but over all the house has been clean.

Tip#3: Air out the house

Some might have done this already, but in case you haven’t, be sure to wipe down all of the potentially nasty surfaces in your home that your ick might have spread too. Change your sheets, get a new toothbrush, wipe down the door knobs, cell phone, key board, and light switches in the house. Also (as long as it isn’t going to make your home ridiculously cold) open the windows and allow the house to air out. I do this after anyone is sick and also at the end of every season. I live in Texas so we have crazy weather that allows us the potential of opening up the windows and airing out the house multiple times a year. Others may only get this chance once or twice a year.

Tip #4: Follow your doctors instructions

If your doctor told you to take a certain medication until the prescription was gone. Do it, there’s a reason for that. Your Doctor has your best interest at heart. If you don’t trust your Doctor then get a new one. I wasn’t placed on any medication for my illness, but this is still a great tip for everyone/anyone who ever gets sick.

Tip #5: Take it easy

Don’t rush yourself trying to get everything done at once. You don’t want to run yourself ragged trying to get everything done that you missed out on. If you do you will just end up sick again, because you stressed yourself out trying to do too much at the same time. This is why it is so important to make a list and create a schedule to help you get caught back up. See tip number two again.

Have you ever been sick and gotten behind on a bunch of responsibilities? How did you jump back? Let me know in the comments.

Job Search 101: How to Dress?

I briefly touched on wardrobe in my post Job Search 101: Top 5 Job Hunting Tips, in this post I want to elaborate more on determining how to dress at work once you have landed the job. Every workplace is going to have a different culture in terms of work attire. Some places are more lax, while others more strict. It is important to keep in mind not only the type of work you do, but also what is acceptable by your co-workers, and boss.

The best rule of thumb in determining what is acceptable attire is usually to look at your boss. If your boss dresses in a suit and tie everyday it may be in your best interest to do the same. However, though your boss may wear a suit it is possible that your job title could mean that it is acceptable for your to dress more casual. In these situations I would suggest not only examining your daily activity when determining what to wear, but also the co-workers who are in the same or similar position as yourself.

Active Job:

If you have a job that has you constantly on your feet and moving about the office, what will be most important for you are comfortable work appropriate shoes. If you work in a restaurant this means slip resistant. If you work in an office this means no flip flops, and if you are walking around a lot please leave the heels at home too. A nice pair of flats is probably what you really need. In addition, you don’t want your pants slipping down so either wear a belt, or make sure they are snug even while you are running around all day. Wear breathable shirts, and even if your office tends to be cold, try to layer so you can reduce the risk of sweat marks appearing while you do all that running around.

Motionless Job:

If you work in a place like a call center or are often stuck for long periods of time sitting in a cubicle then you likely are not doing a lot of moving around. With jobs where most of what you do involves sitting and staring at a computer screen, the most difficult issue you are going to have clothing wise is it being too comfortable. Staring at a computer screen all day can be exhausting to combat the exhaustion avoid dressing up too casual even on casual Fridays. Never wear sweat pants to work unless your job is as a work out instructor or requires for you to literally be asleep. Don’t wear flip flops or tennis shoes, just because your sitting at a desk and no one ever sees your feet anyway. Even in casual work environments it is important to still care for you appearance. Make sure you shower as necessary, keep your hair brushed, don’t over due the cologne, and wear deodorant.

Business Casual vs. Professional Attire:

Professional attire is often viewed as a suit and tie for men simple. With women being able to understand the difference between Professional and Casual can be a little bit more difficult in terms of the fine line. Of course they sell pants suits for women as well, and these are perfect examples of Professional attire for women, but what if you don’t like the Pant suit look, how do you dress professionally as a woman if you don’t want to wear pants? There are a few options for dressing professionally without having to wear a suit. First rule, always make sure you are wearing panty hose, tights, or stockings. Leggings are not professional attire, they are however considered business casual if worn properly. Second Rule, make sure whether the outfit is business casual or professional that the hem line is at an appropriate length. Best rule is if you bend forward to reach for your toes and someone standing behind you can see your underwear then the skirt or dress is too short for work. Third rule, when deciding whether an outfit is professional or casual understand that you want shoulders covered, no thin straps, or 1 inch straps. Make sure all bra straps are out of site. Fourth and final rule, some outfits can look both casual and professional depending on the accessories you place with it. Be sure that when you are putting together your professional wardrobe you are selective of the types of jewelry you wear with it.

Did you find this post helpful? Do you have suggestions for dressing appropriately at work? Please let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Greenpill Magazine Launch

Happy Friday!!! It is time for another Kinnectpay sponsored post. In March 2017, Kinnectpay.com will be launching its own magazine the first issue will be dedicated to Kinnectpay’s services including online marketing, social networking, event planning, and blogging.

Currently Kinnectpay.com is looking for sponsors to place ads in their magazine. In addition, if you would like a post written about your business they are open to doing that as well. If you would like more information on how you can get your business in the magazine please contact the Greenpill magazine team via email Greenpill@kinnectpay.com.

I will be producing two articles for the magazines launch including an article about Networking Events Across the U.S.A. I will be provided a list of events taking place between April and June. Kinnectpay will be hosting its first annual Kinnections conference in Austin, TX this June. I will bring you an article next week with more information regarding the event.

Whether you are a new business owner an aspiring entrepreneur or someone who is simply interested in growing their networking skills the March issue of Greenpill magazine is sure to have something for you. Each member of Kinnectpay’s team is currently working diligently towards creating amazing articles for the blog about their own personal experiences working with Kinnectpay in its many different branches.

The magazine will come out quarterly you can expect a new issue in March, June, September, and December of this year.

If you haven’t joined the newest sites in social networking you may just want to take the leap today. You can join kinnectpay by clicking on my referral link here.

Tipping in America vs. The Rest of the World

A tip or gratuity is a sum of money given to an individual for doing a good job at a particular service. For example in America people often tip waiters/waitresses, cab drivers, baristas, bar tenders and cosmetologists. While it is considered customary in the U.S to leave a tip, it is not necessarily in the rest of the world.

Some people know this, but many others do not. The majority of the world specifically Europe includes the tip within the price of the food/service. Unlike in the United States where most restaurants have a system of allowing customers to decide the tip, in Europe a tip is not necessary unless you feel exceptionally generous and happy about the service you received. In order to assure everyone takes home a livable wage waiters and waitresses, are paid hourly. Similar to how cooks or baristas in the U.S are paid.

However, the United States of America does have a system of determining an appropriate tip vs. an in-appropriate tip. Generally a 10% tip means your work was shoddy, but not bad enough for me not to leave a tip at all. (I understand you like me have responsibilities to take care of outside of here.) A 15% tip means, you did the job I would expect any waitress or waiter to do. Then you have 20% or more this is given for exceptionally amazing and terrific service. Anything less than 10% basically means the service was so horrible you don’t believe the individual who took care of you should be working in that industry or at the very least they shouldn’t be working in that restaurant. If you receive good service and do not tip at least 10% at the restaurant then you are basically being rude and showing that you could care less about your fellow man.

I wrote this post because I feel the art of tipping is not always well discussed. I feel it is important to understand the customs of any and every country you visit. I feel it is especially important to understand the customs of your own country. While attending college I was surprised by how many of the people I went to school with did not understand what it meant to leave a real tip. As a result I found myself on too many occasions over tipping for my own meal/service because others around me just would not tip.

*Bonus tip to you reader, many people don’t know this, but when you eat at a sushi restaurant the tips are often split with the chefs behind the bar. This means you may want to tip a little extra when eating out a restaurants like this as not all of it will be going to the waiter/waitress. In addition, some restaurants require the waiters/waitresses to split their tips with the bus boys and hostess. To better determine what an ideal tip is you may want to ask your service provider whether or not their tips are split, or if they keep them.

 

 

Hobbies: The Cursed Child Book Review

Harry Potter The Cursed Child was released November 18, 2015. I was busy having a baby that year, and learning to be a mom so it got past my book nerd radar.I was pleasantly surprised to get the book as a Christmas present (December 2016) and read it before bed over the course of three nights (January 2017). To be honest excluding Shakespeare I have never been a big fan of reading plays. (Ironic when you consider that I spent 4 years between middle school and high school taking Theater courses.) However, I really enjoyed reading the newest installment in the Harry Potter series.

Summary: (Spoiler warning)

The book is written in play format and the story of one of Harry Potters’ sons’ Albus Severus Potter. The book brings back episodes from the past as Albus and his best friend Scorpius (Malfoy’s Son) go back in time in an attempt to rescue “the spare” who died during the tri-wizard tournament. A surprise twist lands them both in the hands of an unknown relative of Lord Voldemort. The book or play seems to have been written as a means of summarizing the rest of the lives of Harry Potter and his friends. We learn what became of Malfoy, Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron.

Critical Assessment: (Spoiler for the ending)

I loved getting to read this story I felt just as attached to the characters as I was in reading the original seven books. However, I felt much was left out and as though some of the characters were down played. Ron’s roll irritated me, I disliked the way they turned him into his mother. I would have understood them doing that with Ginny, but I felt the way they turned Ron into this goofy house husband was a bit weird. Overall though I really got a kick out of the surprise twist ending. It was like seeing my teen girl fanfiction stories coming to life as I imagined Voldemort had a daughter, but in my version the daughter attended school with Harry and his friends. In the end, the book fulfilled all of my needs regarding an 8th tale even if I do wish they had given more attention to all of the children, vs. giving so much of the focus on the one child. I do see why they choose the route that they did, after all their is only so much you can say in a play or even a movie.

Audience Perspective:

I think any Harry Potter fan who reads the book will enjoy the story, they will of course have their own concerns as so much time has passed since the series ended we have begun to romanticize the futures of these characters. We have our own feelings about what would happen with each of them. We also have our wishes for how it ended, many of us did not get our wishful endings, but no matter how you look at it. Harry Potter has been the book series of the millennial generation. We will read these books with our children, we will show them the movies, and we will speak of the great J.K Rowling as the generations before us spoke of Tolkien.

Have you read the book? Where their things you didn’t like? Things that you had previously imagined? Tell me in the comments below?

Library Lovers Day

Happy Valentines Day everyone, for those who do not know today is also Library Lovers Day. My husband is a chef and therefore we don’t really get to celebrate today together as he is busy feeding all the other happy couples of the world. Don’t fret though he does always manage to get me some kind of flower in celebration. He actually bought my gift early this year. I have a beautiful heart shaped orchid plant or rather two orchids sharing a pot. I’m hoping my green thumb works out to keep it alive and to see it re-blom when the current blooms eventually fall off. In honor of this special love filled day I have my bucket list of libraries I wish to one day visit. Anyone who knows me, understands I have a great love of books. In fact, I have a small library of my own ranging close to 800 volumes not including children’s books for the baby.

So here it is my library bucket list:

Oxford Public Library

Housing over 10,000 volumes, this library is a classic example of the beauty libraries hold. In fact, if I get the chance I would like to visit all of the Oxford University libraries as well. It is  a secret dream of mine to one day give a lecture at Oxford. To do this I will likely have to get my Ph.D and write an awesome research paper. It will happen one day, after all someone who loves research and writing as much as I do, should have no problem.

Library of Alexandria

It was the largest library in ancient times, originally dedicated to the Nine Godesses of the Arts. The original burned down, their is argument of exactly when, though it is believed it might have burned a few times. In 2002 the Bibliotheca Alexandria was completed in commemoration of the original. Seeing as we do not have a way to go directly back in time, I would love to visit the library commemorating the original Library of Alexandria. To me this is the most romantic of libraries, because of its long history as a academic resource and place of knowledge.

The Welsh Town of Hay-On-Wye

This little town has the largest private collection of books, their is literally a used book store on every corner. I know this isn’t really a library, but it might as well be. There are so many books in this small little town, it seems crazy to me that any book lover would not have this place on their list of dream places to visit. I stumbled upon this place when I was playing around pinterest.

To be honest, there are many many libraries on my list of places to visit, but these  were my top three. What are some beautiful libraries you would like to visit or have visited? Let me know in the comments below. Happy Library Lovers Day everyone.

 

 

 

How to Write an Undergraduate Essay Like a Master’s Student: Part 3

Literature Review:

Now that you have all of your research collected it is time to write up your Literature Review. A literature review, will not be required for all research papers or by all professors. Some will ask for it as a precursor to your paper. This is their way of making sure you have begun the research process. In simple terms a Literature review, reviews the articles you have selected to use for your research paper.

Step 1:

Read all of the articles, and books you have selected to use in your research. Make sure to take notes

Step 2:

Choose one quote or more that you will likely use from each article in your paper.

Step 3:

Summarize each article and how it is useful to your research topic.

Step 4:

Make sure each article has its own paragraph.

The literature review will often include the introduction to your paper. This means you will have designed a thesis and you will show in the literature review how each of your articles helps support or dispute that thesis statement. The literature review is not the body of your paper, but merely a supporter of your introduction as well as a tool for developing what will eventually become the body of your paper. Sometimes articles will be small and support the same concept or point within your paper in this case it may be beneficial or helpful to combine two or sometimes three articles into one paragraph.

In case you missed my article describing how to locate literature for your paper be sure to check out that article here.