Do you adore grocery shopping and cooking? Who doesn’t love making your way down the same old aisles of thestore, grabbing the few standard ingredients needed to tackle the next chore of cooking and then suffering the whines of our kids as they complain and push their plates away?
Re-discover the magic of choosing and preparing food.
Cooking is like magic – you transform separate ingredients into a complete meal. And we learned that we could transform our picky eaters into willing taste-tests by including them in the grocery shopping and cooking. While it seems like a chore to most adults, to kids it’s brand-new and gives them a chance to experience aspects of food that adults take for granted.
Many times, picky eaters are simply scared of the unknown. We have found that when our kids can choose which bunch of broccoli looks “most delicious” at the store or which “new flavor of cheese” they want to try, they are less intimidated.
It was the Irish Soda bread that opened our eyes. Would our pickiest eater ever touch this? No way – there were
raisins in the bread! But thanks to his cooking class at our Kindercare, he participated from start to finish and loved the bread so much he had trouble sharing it. He knew what was in it and I believe he felt more comfortable trying it!
At home now, we try to include our kids in as much grocery shopping and cooking as possible. Dylan is now quite skilled at making scrambled eggs from start to finish. It’s one of his favorite foods and I love that he understands how much work goes into preparing food.
We try new recipes together, like the very simple process of making homemade tortillas or family favorites like pizza bagels. Starting with something simple and offering options like pesto or black olives is a great way to encourage tasting new foods, too.
Inspired by this discovery, My Food Notebook has a Notes section that allows kids to record what they would like to buy at the grocery store and paste or write their favorite recipes. My older son likes to use the Notes section to invent menus for different restaurants he would like to open. I’m not sure about some of his ideas, but I promised him I’d at least give his recipes a try!
What were 3 things you did that increased your followers?
I followed folks that were on the lists that other people put me on. Convoluted I know, but go to your own profile page, click lists, then switch to member of (from subscribed). This will show all the places you’ve been listed. I switch to “people” from “tweets” and follow other like-minded folks.
I follow a little indiscriminately but then use twit cleaner to clean up my follows about once a month – stop following those without good content or real interaction.
I never RT or tweet out anything I don’t actually read and agree with.
How much time did you invest?
I invest on average 30 minutes a day to social media, sometimes lots more but often a fair amount less. And I take one day completely off a week.
What’s your favorite channel?
Favorite is Twitter, but Facebook is close behind and learning to love Pinterest!
A client of mine wrote a book. Our publicity plan involved a virtual book tour and we hoped some talented,exciting bloggers in her field would review her book and visit her site.
It’s a great book – full of practical steps to take to achieve a goal. It’s not too expensive and really bolsters her position as an expert on her topic. It would get great reviews.
Problem: some of these bloggers we approached couldn’t access her site. I freaked out – what do you mean some people can’t access your site?
“Not the first time this has happened,” my client said. “My web team tells me there’s nothing to do.”
I am not a computer or internet security expert, so please don’t expect an explanation but if some settings are “too high” then many people can’t view her website and access her extensive knowledge.
I am the kind of person who likes things to work the way I want them to. I didn’t care that their settings were too high, but I did care that these excellent bloggers wouldn’t do a book review because they couldn’t check out my clients’ sweet site!
Thank goodness she had well-developed social media platforms.
Thank goodness this client had an active Facebook page! Thank goodness she had a lively Twitter stream! Thank goodness she curated interesting content on Pinterest and was frequently updating her YouTube channel! Woo! Way to go client!!
Do you seriously still not have profiles on at least one or two platforms? What are you waiting for?
In 2012 I published my first children’s book, The Bumpy Grumpy Road. It’s a metaphor intended to help children understand that they are in charge of their emotions, actions and reactions.
As parents bought the book for their kids, I heard more than one time “This book helps me, too.”
And when you read the story behind the creation of this book, you’ll understand why I’m not surprised. The metaphor was easy for my preschooler to understand and to remind me when I was driving down my own bumpy, grumpy road.
Adult readers don’t need fancy multisyllabic words to engage them. Adults need a strong message with a compelling storyline that gives them something useful for their daily challenges. Next time you’re writing for your co-workers, your manager, your current customers and your potential customers, make sure you’ve told a good story.
Knitting is an obvious metaphor for writing. Using your own two hands, you hold the needles and weave together a lovely fabric. You choose the yarn, you choose the pattern and you choose the end product.
Along the way, you encounter problems. You miss a stitch. Holes appear. Something goes wrong.
You have choices in knitting – you can back up and correct the problem or you can plow ahead and accept the finished product with all it’s flaws. When you choose to go back the awful feeling that you might never finish the project looms over your shoulder. Plowing ahead means you might feel embarassed to show your imperfect work to others.
Luckily, writing isn’t exactly like knitting. When you write, you can lay words to paper, plow ahead and then go back and make the edits and corrections you need. But even the best of writers needs an experienced editor to look over their work.
Have you recently completed an incredible piece of writing? Do you need a skillful editor to find the holes, the places where you left a stitch unworked? Give me a call and give you work the attention it deserves, so you can be proud to show off your finished product!
If you don't know what this means, better ask a local.
The language and words we choose show if we’re locals or tourists – and if we know what we’re talking about.
When you visit New York City, you want to go to “the Hi Line” not “Hi Line Park.” And if you’re looking for good Cuban food you ask the taxi driver to take you to Broadway and Houston- but you pronounce it “How-ston.” Then you’re speaking like a local.
When you visit Pittsburgh, don’t be offended if you someone mentions that you’re not a Yinzer but do be offended if someone in Cork, Ireland calls you a langer.
When you’re looking for someone to write your copy – whether it’s for the web, ads, brochures or a simple customer letter – make sure you’re using a writer who knows how to speak the vernacular. Give me a call and let’s talk about the language your customers will understand best.
In a two-hour delay at LaGuardia, I wrote up a 400-word interview, 2 blog posts for my business and one for my personal blog. I had a little trouble focusing because I was worried about my toddler who was rushed to the hospital earlier that morning due to an asthma flare-up. But if you have trouble focusing on your writing day to day, if you struggle to find the right words, and you just don’t know how to get started, you probably need a professional writer who can focus and deliver under any circumstances. Give me a call, let me see how I can help!
It’s never to early to learn how to talk to customers.
Lemonade Stand Proving Ground
My kids are learning to do this at ages 7, 5 and 2 thanks to their very first lemonade stand. We live near a park and have a relatively constant flow of potentially thirsty neighbors walking past our house. So my boys decided they could earn extra cash and my husband and I supported their entrepreneurial spirit.
One of the first things they had to master was not making lemonade (they are old hats at that) but building a relationship with their customers. Each of my children have different areas of skill here:
One is more articulate and can enunciate clearly.
One is more willing to engage strangers in their interests.
One is more aggressive about making the ask.
Working together, they are a flawless team. But when one loses interest or has to run inside to use the bathroom, their sales process slows.
As I oversee their efforts from my C-Suite (a lawn chair on the porch) I realize what a delicate dance it is to engage customers online and try to channel each of the three heads of Cerberus (not a bad name for their lemonade business…) equally.
Since our lemonade stand opened, I’ve become very aware of this when I’m writing sales copy, web copy, customer letters or social media content. I check to see if I’ve allowed one approach to dominate the others. When it does, I just call for a potty break.
I work out a lot – for fun, for stress relief, and because it’s in my nature to set and strive to achieve goals. To help
Work Hard for the Results You Want
me reach these fitness goals, I hired a coach. Having a coach gives me accountability and someone to help me overcome obstacles and celebrate my successes.
For my clients, I’m their social media coach. I don’t always write all their content – many times I’m just laying out their editorial calendar (training schedule) and teaching them how and when to use new platforms (workouts).
But my own training hit a bump in the road when my coach accepted a new job in another state. Now I am meeting her replacement and I have to bring her up to speed on my goals, my philosophy, my strengths, weaknesses, what I’m afraid to try and what motivates me. The good part is – I know what I want her to know.
I try to help my customers with the same thing. One thing I offer my customers is the creation of a social media policy or guidelines. I know there will come a time when I need to move on or they decide to take over these tasks in-house. By working with my customers to build a social media policy, my goal is to make the transition and education of their new social media manager as simple as possible. I can’t make it seamless, but I can give them a sense of history of what customers have hated and what they’ve loved, what we’ve tried (and where we’ve failed) and the overall goals all of this creative work!
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