Thursday, April 30, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Among our 'homework', we are to set our business' goal for the next 90 days. In fact, our director gave us this beautiful, little flowerpot and Forget-Me-Not seeds to remind us to nurture and grow our business. How sweet eh?!
Since, I came home from my last Pampered Chef workshop full of energy, there was also a lot of confusion about where to direct it. With my radio broken in my car (go figure), I drove home in silence tonight, and I was really able to think about where I want to go with my Pampered Chef business.
I turned around in my head everything I want to do with my Pampered Chef income; pave my driveway, buy a printer, pay down some student debt, save money. These are all goals, but what do I strive for first or how do I capture this? Then, I decided to try applying the "SMART" approach we use at my 'real job' .
SMART goals are:
Specific: I already know what I want to get out of PC. More money so I can buy a printer and pave my driveway, in addition to some of that other good stuff.
Measurable: If I need $3000 for the above, then I know exactly how many shows I need to book to generate this income. If I am not on target for a month, I will know if I need to get more bookings.
Attainable: While I have not yet had five shows in one month, I know that I have the time on my calender and energy personally to successfully hold five shows per month. This is do-able, yet still a challenge, because I will need to actively pursue bookings.
Realistic: Along those same lines, while five shows will be a challenge and I will be busy, it is possible for me to achieve. Ten would not be, especially since I want to provide excellent service and support to my hosts.
Timely: For me, there really isn't a better time than spring and summer to let my business take off. If I move out the 90 day window to 120 (end of August), this is the latest I want to achieve my goal. By fall, the real life will take over again, so 'end of summer' is my deadline.
After thinking these through, I came up with my goal:
By making three contacts a day, successfully coaching my hosts and holding five shows per month, I will earn enough income to purchase a new printer, pave my driveway and paint my spare room by the end of summer.
It's so clear now, not only WHAT I want, but HOW I am going to get it. I even recorded it on my phone to listen to daily and posted it at my workspace, on my kitchen fridge and bathroom mirror (all places that I will see daily to remind me to get going). What aspects of your life could use SMART goals?
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
While I am on my computer, I did leave the TV and radio off when I got home this evening. I also spent the rest of the evening flipping through a few books, including a great recipe book I borrowed from a friend on the weekend - Lunch Box: Creative Recipes for Everyday Lunches
by Marie Breton and Isabelle Emond.
I had read elsewhere you could save broccoli stalks for soups. Intrigued by this, I had several stalks in my crisper, and I decided that tonight was as good a time as any to try making broccoli soup. Since I'm not a big fan of 'cream' soups, I liked the "Broccoli and Apple Soup" recipe in Lunch Box. I substituted skim milk to reduce some of the fat content (and its all I have), and I was pretty happy with the outcome. Tomorrow's lunch will be the test to decide if I really like the recipe. The soup is on the right in this picture.
Making soup also reminds me that my blender, while adequate for making smoothies in university, has met its match when it comes to pureeing soups. Another item to start saving for (or maybe a future earning opportunity with Pampered Chef.. hmmm!)
Anyway, back to this photo. The salad on the left is a chicken and rice salad with curried yogourt dressing, also adapted from the book. I assembled this gem last night after dinner (I am loving all this time in my kitchen, making great food)! I believe that with any cold salad recipe, you really need it to sit for at least 12 hours or more for the flavours to 'cure'. Often this means that lunch becomes a little adventure, because it is the first time I really get to try (and hopefully enjoy) these new recipes. I was delighted with this salad!
My recipe included:
- 1-2 C Diced or shredded chicken
- 1-2 C 5 Grain Rice (or any rice or pasta - I LOVE the 5 Grain Rice blend from The Bulk Barn because is keeps me full all day)
- 1/2 C Celery, diced
- 1/2 C raisins and/or cranberries
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 unpeeled apple, diced
- half handful of sliced almonds
- 1 Tbsp curry
- 3/4 C plain yogourt
- 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- Maybe nutmeg or another spice would 'sweeten' the recipe up a little more.. still need to figure that out
Finally, anyone familiar with Pampered Chef (wow - 2 mentions in one post!) will recognize the small, square bowls above and the caddy. Shameless product plug? You know it! If anyone likes this bowl and caddy set, which is fabulous for summer entertaining with dips and toppings , you can get them for 60% off in May!! Ask me how!
(I will write more about it another day), and while I am not very far in the book, I have completed my 'Lifestyle Checklist'. I have opportunity to improve, namely the following are items that I plan to address:
- Do I know what's in my beauty products and read the labels (hmm chemicals arn't good for my face?)
- Is my water heater wrapped ?
- Do you have a garden ? Was a no, but I plan to start one!
- Do you know about native plants? Also my intention to learn
- Do you wash your car at home? Check your tire pressure weekly?
Monday, April 20, 2009
I immediately knew something was wrong with my tire, when I was heading to the train station on Saturday. With the warm weather, I had my windows down, so the strange 'clack' noise coming from my front, driver's side was very audible and not normal. A moment later, there was a pop and then nothing. Noticing that the road and pavement was even, I had a gut feeling that I had either run over or had just lost something that was wedged in my tire and there was now a giant, gaping hole in my tire.
I parked at the train station, preoccupied by catching the train to the city. Assuming that my little Jetta's brakes had not suddenly decided to act like air brakes, the hiss from my deflating tire was unmistakable. I strategically moved my car to a location that would be easily accessible for a tow truck and headed to the city.
In hindsight, I should've dealt with the tire right then. I could still drive on it (for a very short distance), and there was an Active Green & Ross and a Canadian Tire around the corner. Failing to do so, I was met with the flattest tire I have ever seen, when I returned from the city. Anticipating this, I had already placed a call to CAA, but I decided to try my luck at changing it anyway. Before I knew it, the spare tire was on and I was yacking to the CAA girl about how empowering it is to change your own flat!
"I know," she exclaimed! "Doesn't it feel amazing?! Good for you! " She asked. Does it ever! I definately stood a little taller, as I explained to the Active Green & Ross guy that I needed a bit of air and someone to look at my old tire.
One note about this - they were booked for the day and would not be able to fix my tire. He gratefully offered to check my spare, make sure the pressure and lug nuts (bolts that hold your tire on) were tight and safe. My spare is a real tire, as opposed to a donut, so I was safe to drive on it until I could get mine fixed. With my past, negative Canadian Tire battery experience fresh in my mind, I decided to wait until Active Green & Ross could fit me in, rather than go to Canadian Tire.
If I could make a recommendation for all women drivers out there, especially the single and fabulous ladies that spend multiple hours a week in your car - learn to change a tire! In fact, learn to check the oil, change your windshield washer fluid, learn all the basic maintenance tasks to keep your car running and on the road, especially if it is older and/or high in mileage. Also, consider CAA. It has saved me many headaches and paid for itself over and over again! They even have Car Advice for Women here.
Have you ever been incredibly empowered by a similar experience? Do you have any great recommendations for women driving?
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Sleeping in would waste half the day, but I still let myself turn off my alarm and sleep until 7:30am. It was actually P&F (Penny & Fergie)'s decision that I wake up. They have this quirky behaviour of sitting outside my bedroom door and squeaking, rather than meowing, when they feel its time to get up. That's another post though.
It was so nice to enjoy a delightfully slow breakfast (homemade oatmeal pancakes, strawberries and yogourt..mmm) and coffee, while reading my blogroll. After being reminded again that I am a Profile 3 Paycheque to Paycheque woman (thanks FB), I am sitting down to restart my monthly budget.
There will undoubtedly be several more posts today. Big day ahead - a few dump trips, cleaning, some PC business and hopefully putting grass seed down.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Maybe this fear has to do with the massive weight that sits at the bottom of my online-banking screen - Mastercard Line of Credit !! <Enter terrifying horror movie sound effect here>
Sunday, April 12, 2009
- Plastic garbage bin and lid
- Drill with 5/8" bit
- Dry organics or 'browns' (dried leaves and grass clippings, twigs, straw)
- "Wet" organics or 'greens" (kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings)
- Rinse out the can. It wasn't too dirty to begin with, but who knows what was in it in the past. "Clean" compost will be better for your plants also.
- Drill holes in the bottom and sides of the can for drainage and so the compost can 'breathe'.
- I placed my bin in an unused corner of my backyard and up on cement blocks to allow air to circulate beneathe it.
- Rip newspaper in 1 inch wide strips and place in the bottom. Top with a layer of dried leaves (about six inches deep), followed by the 'wet' kitchen scraps.
- Lightly sprinkle water on top. You want enough to make the compost damp, but the contents should not be 'floating'. In springtime, Mother Nature will also help with this process naturally.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Here are the Easter "brownie baskets" I made for my Brownie unit for "Easter party" this week. Homemade two-bite brownies with cream cheese and coconut frosting, tinted green with a drop or two of food colouring, and candy eggs. So easy and so fun to make!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I did ask for a comparison to Norwex, the direct sales company that totes microfiber as the core of its product line. It was obvious, she had no idea who Norwex was or knowledge of their product. It looks very similar to their mop, but I would be interested to know how durable and sturdy the Norwex mop is. Price-wise, I believe that Norwex is also more expensive.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Having attended my fair share of training sessions and meetings for a variety of reasons, I thought today's session was excellent, and I assure you, I do not make that comment often. The training was enthusiastic and the group was engaged. I was engaged! Yet, as the afternoon wound down, I felt that fear creeping into the back of my mind- how will I maintain this energy? Once I leave the safety of the meeting room, how to I keep my enthusiasm and ensure I put the ideas into action?
Scanning the evaluation form, my fear was solidified when I got half-way down the page: "What 3 goals will be most impactful to your business in the next 90 days?"
Goals? Impactful? 90 days? When I got to the gym, my mind was still lingering on my goals for my business.
My reasons for getting into direct sales was quite easy - money. Money, however, doesn't motivate me. The motivators were on my vision board, and the main one, was my house. (Hence the connection to here). Until now, I thought my motivators were my goals - change the electrical, renovate the basement, have fabulous shoes, etc. I realized today, that if I am to achieve these goals, I need to break them down into smaller goals. It seems SO simple, yet I have been too focused on the big picture, to determine how to navigate through it.
This lead me to David Allen's "Getting Things Done".
I took a day-long workshop last fall, and it changed my worklife. Why not implement it in my home life? David suggests breaking large tasks (in this case, goals) down into their smaller steps. A simple example? I want to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Burrows. HOW do I do that?
1) Get the book. In this case, it has a hold on it at the library for 4 months.
2) Request the first available copy.
3) Pick it up when available.
4) Read the first page, then the first chapter.... and so on.
SOOOOOO... all this rambling, I am going to do a "mind sweep". I am going to write down EVERYTHING that is on my mind. All the little things I want to do, and I have been thinking I should start. Outside of work, I suspect that most items on my brain are either Pampered Chef or house related. Then I will be able to determine the steps to reach my short-term goals.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I even made two trips to Home Depot, the first resulted in me leaving with a large plastic bag of replacement parts and the second confirmed that the part I needed was, indeed, not included in the bag of parts. There are only 2 moving components on my shower door, and they are the same component consisting of three parts. I swear the part I needed was the only one missing in the bag of hardware. MEXX Canada's Aftermarket Customer Support informed me its "factory installed" and they sent me the part I needed.
On a somewhat unrelated note - I also learned that the parts bag I recieved was the installation parts for a brand new shower. I have a feeling that Home Depot "warranties" several of these installation bundles....
So these are the parts I needed. They arrived over a month ago, so at 10 o'clock last night, I decided it was finally time to install them. It was also only a matter of time before my pet monsters discovered they could push the door in and wreck havoc in my shower.
I went to the trouble to get a stubby-handled screwdriver from my neighbour, but upon closer examination with her and later when I set to work, I realized that it would be much more efficient just to take the door off.
Holy nasty soak bathroom scum!
Anyway, here is the part I needed to replace. 2 screws - three of them were broken, one on the bottom, two on the top. Easy -peasy. Hanging the door again proved to be a little more challenging and might have been easier with an extra set of hands, but I managed.
So it's all fixed again! No more wet bathroom floors or fumbling around with the door!
As a bonus, it's also clean. The nasty bathroom scum that I found when I took the door off was enough to turn my stomach just a little! Thank goodness for Comet!
On another note, I moved my living room around last night. Penny and Fergie had become accustomed to lying on the back of my parents' couch to watch the birds out the window, and I didn't have anywhere in my house that allowed them this luxary. It looks goofy, but hopefully they will find the chair in the window a decent substitute until I get the office finished. Then they will be able to lay in front of the screen door and watch the birds in my back yard.
Does your pet or pets have a favourite lounge area in your home?