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Guest Post Archive

2015 Perfect Pitch III Finalist Sonia Smith-Kang Talks About Life After Contest

Sonia Smith-Kang, owner of Mixed Up Clothing, shares her heartfelt experience after taking the Blogalicious stage last year. She, along with two other finalists, competed for the Perfect Pitch III contest, where the prize was $5,000 cash and financial mentorship from Wells Fargo. With our fourth contest racing around the corner, we asked Sonia for words of encouragement for anyone interested in submitting for this year’s contest. Read what she had to say below.


 

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I walked up to the stage at Blogalicious ’15 ready to pitch my butt off. I had spent numerous hours memorizing all my facts and figures about my small business, Mixed Up Clothing. I created a beautiful slide show and brought in samples of my children’s clothing line that represent cultural diversity. I felt ready!  I was given the “ok” to start my pitch.

My voice cracked immediately and I couldn’t shake it. I was nervous but I finished and waited for feedback from the judges. What they had to say wasn’t pretty…

“You had all your samples yet you never showed us any of them”, one remarked.

“You rehashed all your facts and figures which we already had as part of your application. That time could have been spent talking more about what you would do with the money”, another commented.

Needless to say I didn’t win the competition and I’m not going to lie, it sucked. I felt like a failure and I after the winner was announced, I headed back to my room as I could feel the tears welling up. I took the back way to an elevator when one of the judges caught up with me.

“Can I be honest with you?” she asked. I nodded and she told me

“You needed to own your s-it! You went on stage shaky and rehearsed. You shared all you had accomplished: being on the Today show, The Real and other media outlets. You included celebrities that you have worked with as if to give you cred. You gave others the credit for your success and as a woman, I get it. I’m telling you this because I want you and other women to take ownership of your accomplishments and not give anyone the power.

“It is YOU who made your business happen. YOU got your clothes in boutiques and in the media. YOU are the story behind your brand. You failed because it wasn’t YOU who was on the stage today.”

She continued, “Right now, right here, I want you to tell me why YOU left being a critical care nurse and started your kids clothing line?” I opened up and shared with her my background and how my business came to be as a result of struggling to find clothes that represented my children’s mixed-race background.

“That’s it,” she yelled. “Your face lights up and I see what this means to you. We couldn’t see that on stage. You are the brand and when folks are trying to decide whether or not to give you money, they want to get behind the person who is making things happen.”

(image credit: Sonia Smith-Kang)

(image credit: Sonia Smith-Kang)

 

It’s been a year since I was on stage at Blogalicious ’15 and I have learned a great deal since that wonderful event. I wish the next finalists the best and would share this last bit of advice I take with me every day: if you don’t believe in you, why should anyone else? Know that you belong there, on stage and in business so own it!

Thank you to all the wonderful folks at Blogalicious who saw the need for us to get together and learn from one another. To my co-finalists: wishing them continued success. To sponsors like Wells Fargo who want to see small businesses succeed and to the judges who take the time to offer feedback to those like me who want to improve. And finally, to the judge who saw something in me and helped me find my voice, thank you.

Follow Sonia on social media:

ShopMixed Up Clothing | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Wells Fargo is back again at Blogalicious Weekend with the Perfect Pitch IV. Submissions are currently being accepted until Friday, October 7, 2016. More details here: http://bit.ly/ppivb8

WF Perfect Pitch IV

 

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Bloggers: Before You File, Consider These Tax Tips :: Guest Post by Crystal Colon

Bloggers: Before You File, Consider These Tax Tips :: Guest Post by Crystal Colon

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Bloggers! It’s tax time.  Just the thought sends people into a panic. However, there is no need. If you are armed with the right information, tax time can be a breeze. I wanted to share with you a few tax tips based on my years of experience as an Accountant reviewing financial records, as well as being a small business owner.

1)Don’t go at it alone.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that tax software such as TurboTax is easy.  Such software asks open ended questions that can lead to large deficiencies and penalties if you don’t have knowledge of the tax law.  For example, TurboTax may ask you, “Do you wear special clothing for work?”  You check yes.  But unless you wear special clothing that is unsuitable for daily wear or is mandatory, you can’t claim the deduction. An example of this would be a hard hat or steel toe boots, which are items that aren’t suitable to walk around in during your normal non-work day.

2. Report all your income!

This should go without saying. However, you would be surprised at how many people don’t report income and say, “ I didn’t receive my 1099.”  You are responsible for reporting income regardless of receiving an information return (Form 1099 or W-2, etc) from the person for whom you worked. An easy way to ensure you have the correct income at your finger tips is to solely use Paypal to collect your  business income. This way, at years end, Paypal will send you the required 1099-K and you don’t have to worry about collecting Forms 1099 from various individuals and/or companies.
*I recommend having the business Paypal account*

3. Ask the right questions!

When it comes to choosing a return preparer, don’t rely solely on word of mouth.  Don’t choose a preparer because you heard that the preparer can secure you a large refund. Remember, a refund means you are receiving money back because you overpaid. So don’t think you will get an $8,000 refund if you haven’t given the government at least that much during the prior year in the form of withholdings or estimated payments. Everyone’s tax situation is unique.  If you do meet with someone whom you were referred to, ask them if they have experience with your industry.  For us that would be blogging.  Ask what their credentials are.  If something doesn’t look right, ask!  Remember, even if you have a preparer, YOU will be responsible for any errors on the return.

4. Is your home office really an office?

The home office deduction is a tricky son of a gun! Many people think that if they work in their home they are entitled to deduct expenses related to doing so. That simply is not true.  Make sure that you have a DEDICATED space that is used for work.  No kitchen or dining room table.  Also be sure it is a space that, if audited, would look like an office that is used for work and that is for YOU and YOUR business. Not the space set aside for the kids to do homework on the family computer. Also, remember that the first telephone line in the home is not deductible. So if you use the home phone for your business, you can’t deduct that cost, unless it is the second phone line.
I hope these few tax tips help you at tax time!!! Now go out there and MAKE THAT MONEY!
crystal-colon-guest-post-tax-tips-blogalicious Crystal Colon is the owner of Flor Bella Boutique, an online  accessory shop.  She is a married mother of two daughters. Crystal  is a veteran of the US Army having served her country during  Operation Iraqi Freedom.  She has a bachelor’s degree in  accounting and her MBA.  Since 2006 she has worked in her  current position evaluating the accounting records of small  business and self employed individuals.
It’s Impossible to Get Good Love Without Self Love :: Guest Post by @GrownZone
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It’s Impossible to Get Good Love Without Self Love

 

Are you searching for that great love of a lifetime? Are you waiting for that special someone to “complete” you? Do you feel that something is missing from your life because you are not in a relationship? Here’s a love note from the Grown Zone: Your happiness is not out there with the “right” person or “the one.” It is within you. You are “the one.” To attract healthy love, you must focus on and cultivate your most important relationship: the one you have with yourself.

Here’s the truth: It is not Grown to expect a relationship partner to provide what you are not committed to providing for yourself. The capacity for others to love you can never exceed the love you demonstrate for yourself. Furthermore, you don’t attract what you want in relationships, but what you are. So if you want financial security, tender, loving treatment, and emotional safety in a relationship, you must be committed to requiring that of yourself in single life. On the other hand, if you are desperate and unhappy as a single person, you are neither qualified nor prepared for a healthy relationship and you will attract and choose anything but.

The best way to prepare for enduring, healthy and loving relationships is to focus less on trying to find the “right” person, and invest more into personal growth, in learning to be your best you. When you become the absolute expert on what is good and healthy for you, you train yourself to recognize and attract those who are ready, willing and able to meet that standard of care for you in a relationship.

To be Grown is to be happy, healthy and whole all by yourself. No other person is the key to your happiness; you are the key. Others may only enhance or diminish what you established. Whether single or in a relationship, always live—and love—by an uncompromising standard of self-love.
self-love-the-grown-zone-blogalicious  Zara D. Green and Alfred A. Edmond Jr. are business and life partners and the authors of      Loving In The Grown Zone: A No-Nonsense Guide to Making Healthy Decisions in the Quest    for Loving, Romantic Relationships of Honor, Esteem and Respect  (www.LovingInTheGrownZone.com). To learn more about the couple’s Grown Zone initiative, go to www.GrownAdvice.com.

7 Ways Being In Love Can Affect Your Health :: Guest Post by @DrDrai
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Hi, my Be Blogalicious #GYNEGirls! It’s ME, Dr. Drai – America’s OB/GYN. February is here and LOVE is in the air. Did you know that being in LOVE can affect your body? YASSS, Hunni. I know right? In the words of Toni Braxton: “How many ways do I love you? Let me count the ways…” Chile, Dr. Drai will count 7.

1. Dopamine, the chemical responsible for euphoria, is released in the brain. This is why you feel high as a kite when you fall deep in love.

2. The mind has a difficult time focusing on tasks. This is why you are so forgetful when LOVE strikes. You can only think of your NEW BOO. Been there, done that.

3. Oxytocin, a hormone responsible for womb contractions in labor and milk production is also released from the brain. This hormone makes you intimate. All of a sudden you want to cuddle & kiss. See, #GYNEGirls you need this hormone even if you are not #Preggo.

4. Being in LOVE is like taking morphine; it can reduce pain. Interesting right?

5. Lower levels of serotonin, another hormone, makes you blinded to your boo thang’s undesirable traits. That’s why ya’ll never listen to feedback especially if it’s negative from your momma, bestie, OR Dr. Drai!

6. There are pheromones, chemicals released in the air, that are put off by the new #GENT you LOVE. Maybe that’s why we wear our man’s football jerseys, boxers, and T-shirts. Go figure?

7. Norepinephrine, a chemical released during stress, makes you feel flustered. Your heart rate increases AND your palms sweat when you see your boo.

As you’ve just read my Be Blogalicious #GYNEGirls, love will make the hormones and chemicals in your body go wild. Don’t let LOVE fool you – always protect yourself. Safe sex is the only sex to have. You know Dr. Drai the sexpert had to put that in somewhere.

Until next time…

 

dr draiDr. Drai is among the country’s most well-known and respected OB/GYN physicians and surgeons. He is also the founder and Chief Medical Advisor of DrDrai.com, where he discusses actionable ideas and real-world strategies to help women take control of their health. Visit www.DrDrai.com to download his new eBook FREE – “20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina”.

Super Bowl Party Soiree Recipe: Spicy Plum Wings by @Chewsylovers

Super Bowl Party Soiree Recipe: Spicy Plum Wings

Wells Fargo Pitch Contest 2.0 Finalist and foodie lover, Mandi Buckner is here today to share a delicious recipe for your upcoming Super Bowl soiree. Doesn’t that picture make you drool?! Pass the blu cheese and a cold stout my way!  ~Jazzy 

 

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I LOVE a good party and I LOVE football! So if you’re like me, you’re probably looking forward to this Sunday whether your team is playing or not. I’m just hype thinking about all of the amazing food I will be eating! It’s not a party if the food isn’t on point. Don’t get me wrong: the game, the commercials, the people, are all part of the Super Bowl experience, but your menu has to be on it! It doesn’t have to be fancy; just fabulous!

You need a plan. You want to give guests a nice variety, but at the same time not overwhelm yourself with preparation. Here are five must have foods on your menu for game day:

  1. Chips and Dip – Dips and spreads can always be made a day ahead. I personally think they are better the next day anyway. Guacamole, Queso, and Spinach and Artichoke are some of my favorites to serve at a game day party. They are fairly inexpensive to make and serve.
  2. Chicken Wings – You have to have wings! It’s in the silent, unofficial, Super Bowl Menu code of ethics! As a general rule, I usually serve a mild or medium traditional buffalo wing, then something that pushes boundaries a bit that people may want to try. You can get my fabulous wild card wing pick below. The most popular wings to serve a traditional Buffalo and Lemon Pepper, but the beauty of chicken wings is you can do what you want. I’ve have Old Bay wings, Chili Garilc Wings, even Sweet Tea Wings. Wings know no boundaries!
  3. Sliders – These are always great to have and like wings, you can get as creative as you want. Just picture your favorite sandwich in a miniature bite. Pick up some rolls from the deli and and your fillings and BOOM you’re ready to go! The key to pulling these off, especially if you’re having a big party is preparation. If they are cold, like deli sandwiches, assemble them the day before, put them on a serving platter and wrap tightly plastic wrap in the refrigerator for the next day. If you’re serving hot ones, cook the fillings the day before and store in an airtight container and just warm them up and assemble the sandwiches the next day.
  4. Chili/Soup/Stew – Unless you are watching from Miami, it will probably be cold where you are for the Super Bowl. This is a nice way to stretch your budget, warm your guests, and fill them up. Chili and Gumbo are two of my favorites to serve at a Super Bowl Party.
  5. Potato Skins – What’s a party without potato skins?? A boring party, that’s what. I say put out a bunch of plain skins and let your guests decide how to fill them. Dips, chilis, shredded, cheese, bacon, sour cream, sauteed veggies like peppers, mushrooms, and onions, are all great toppings for potato skins.

** Don’t forget drinks and something sweet!

 

Spicy Plum Party Wings

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 6 Servings

Plum sauce gives this sweet and spicy wing a nice tang! It’s a great wing for game day or as a party appetizer!

Ingredients

  • 4lb Chicken Wings (Drumette Sections)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1c. Plum Sauce
  • 1/3c. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1tsp. Fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2tsp. Sriracha Hot Sauce or Hot Chili Garlic Sauce
  • 1/4c. Soy Sauce
  • 2Tbsp. Honey
  • Scallions, for garnish
  • Sesame Seeds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. (Fry) Heat oil in heavy skillet or deep fryer to medium heat. Fry wings until golden, and crispy, about six minutes on each side depending on the size of the wings. Drain excess oil on paper towels and toss in sauce until coated well.
  2. (Bake)Preheat oven to 400. Toss wings in one tablespoon of vegetable oil and place wings on a wire rack on a sheet pan. Cook for about 40 minutes, until crispy.
  3. Toss in Spicy Plum Sauce and serve!
  4. (Sauce)In a glass bowl, mix plum sauce, vinegar, ginger, sriracha, soy sauce, and honey until combined well. Toss prepared wings in sauce, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

 That made me hungry and I’m ready to party! So tell me Blogalicious family, what’s on your Super Bowl menu?

 

buckaroo Buckaroo and Mandi met in culinary school and began as business partners, and are now partners in life and love. They share their love for food and each other at ChewsyLovers.com 

Announcing the #CourageToWrite Movement + Contest Winner: A’driane Nieves

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You deserve to live your courage.

Blogs were born out of the need to spark courageous conversations, and to create communities of people with similar passions, experiences, challenges, and triumphs. One virtue connected  all of these realities: courage. cour·age -mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

Your Voice Matters.

The courage to speak your piece and boldly live your truth is the most fundamental human right. And, with this courage, blogs were born, revolutions were ignited, and Blogalicious came to be.  

Wear Your Courage.

The mission of Blogalicious is to be known as the go-to destination and resource for influential multi-cultural women social media enthusiasts from all over the world to collaborate, connect and uplift one another. To further this commitment, Blogalicious is teaming up with Liquid Courage Cosmetics to help you wear your courage with the #couragetowrite movement. The #couragetowrite movement is designed to encourage bloggers that have stopped blogging or considered the thought of muting their voice. Now is your moment to wear your courage well.

Knowing that studies have shown women wearing make-up feel it gives an advantage at work and made them feel more in control, Liquid Courage Cosmetics debuted “Blogalicious”, a lipstick at the #BeGreatB6 Blogalicious conference

 

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GET YOURS TODAY.

We also awarded the first #CourageToWrite winner while in San Antonio.  Thanks to all who had the courage to share their words and to submit to the contest!

{Congratulations to A’Driane Nieves!}

Submission from: A’Driane Nieves of Butterfly Confessions Dancing in the Light During the Seasons When Darkness Abounds Confession: My greatest fear is that I will lose my life to suicide. I don’t say that to be melodramatic, I simply state it as a fact. As a person living with bipolar disorder, it is a fear that silently stalks me, always watching for a misstep to expose a weakness it can take advantage of, a crack it can slide itself into. Once inside it starts searching for the gaps serotonin has been unable to fill, settling into each one, and methodically goes to work on eroding my mind’s defenses. Sometimes the process is slow, my mental erosion, building up to a collapse. Others it is swift and jarring, flinging me from the light of life into a plunging darkness that swallows my soul instantly. And then there are times when it’s an excavation of my insides, a scooping and hollowing out of my personhood designed to leave me as nothing more than an outward shell of a woman. When I was 13, years of abuse at the hands of my father gave birth to a despair that swiftly engulfed me one Saturday afternoon while my belly was empty from hunger and my father was out on a golf outing. That time it was pills. It was an amateurish and desperate attempt at escaping the hell I lived in that lead me to a drugged sleep but not death. At 20 it found me after a series of rapid changes over a short amount of time and the hormonal shift that comes with miscarriage. Becoming an airman, being stationed at my first base, the dissolving of a tech school relationship that had left me pregnant and then suddenly not, surrounded by people I did not know, working a job that wasn’t what I had envisioned or hoped for when I swore an oath to protect and serve my country, being estranged from my family…it found me in my dorm room and I went to work at my next shift, telling my supervisor I couldn’t arm up and that instead, I needed to be taken to the mental health clinic on base to be seen. It started feverishly raking its claws on the walls of my mind daily just shy of Alex’s first birthday. I was constantly triggered by anxiety and depression, guilt over not being the mother I thought my kids deserved, feelings of overwhelm when he would scream inconsolably, and my thoughts dancing with sudden desires to just leave and never come back. I started seeing a therapist who specialized in treated women with postpartum mood disorders like PPD and its grasp on my mind unclenched just enough for light to enter in again. In July 2011 I woke up on a Monday, found it staring me steadfastly in the eyes and just knew: I wouldn’t make it past the next two weeks alive if I didn’t get help. Even with the help I had been getting, my symptoms had been getting worse. I was dancing with what I know now was hypomania and plummeting into gravity wells of depression hourly. It was constant and unrelenting, its devouring and feasting on my mind. It’s appetite was insatiable and if I wasn’t crying from the burn depression’s cold grip had around my heart, I was screaming from the rage flashing through me…if I wasn’t bounding off the Earth from the energy vibrating through my body and bursting out of my fingertips, I was pressing my sweating, anxious body into the coolness of my bathroom floor, praying each inhalation would quell the panic trying to claw it’s way out of my skin. My mind was too loud, full of thoughts that spun and splintered into chaos at a pace that often left me nauseated. Two days later, I found a sitter for Brennan, put myself on a bus with Alex wrapped to my chest in the Moby, and walked into the VA Behavioral Health Clinic in Philadelphia, with whispers of death roaring in my ears. The intake psych diagnosed me with rapid cycling bipolar disorder type 2 & OCD and put me on a mood stabilizer. Within a week it kicked in and I embarked on a new treatment journey for an illness that I could more accurately name. Treatment has helped, and while other times it just shows up to flirt, every Fall has become hunting season. Suicide is the predator, my life and sanity the prey. No matter how well I’ve been taking care of myself and compliant in treatment, it hunts me down, licking its chops as it circles me, watching…waiting. Two years ago I had to go inpatient to stay safe from its advances. I slowly paced the halls of the VA Mental Health psychiatric ward in Waco in my green, floppy, foam sock shoes desperately wanting to go home to my boys and my life but at the same time stay hidden, monitored by those who whose job it was to not let Death have me. “Do you really want to die?” the doctor had asked me. No. I didn’t. I just wanted relief and couldn’t find it in living with a mind designed to self-destruct…fray at the edges…unravel…erode…become my enemy. It’s found me again as I’m nearing one year postpartum. It’s been a year that’s come with it’s difficulties as I’ve adjusted to mothering three while living with this illness, but joy has found me at various points throughout, grabbing my hand and saying, “dance with me, Addye. Be free.” This is the freest I’ve ever felt in my almost 32 years of living and yet here I am again staring at the whites of Suicide’s eyes and searching desperately for a gun to shoot it with… I want to keep dancing in the light. But my marriage is barely breathing as my husband and I scour the landscape for a path that brings us back to each other. Each of my sons has An Issue that demands every ounce of my mental capacity daily that leaves me exhausted and specialized attention that is straining our finances. Writing here has brought some success this year, but exposure saw my inboxes become inundated with vitriol from those who’d rather the Other stay silent. I look at my baby as he screams and cries like babies do and brace myself against the panic that floods my system. Images I’d rather not see flash through my mind, unwarranted and unwanted. Overwhelm asks me repeatedly throughout the day if I’m done and my breath is labored when I whisper “No.” Worry fills me. Depression courts me. Anxiety ravages my insides, ripping me open, exposing where my heart and resolve are weak. I want to keep dancing in the light. So I tighten my grip as my mind cycles from one extreme to the next. I expand my ribs out as far as my bones and skin will allow and I drink in the morning air as I take Alex to school. I concentrate on the laughs bubbling up and spilling out of my infant son and use it to anchor me to the present. I respond when Brennan asks me if I know that lions are the only big cats that live in packs, and beg him to tell me more so I can marvel at how much information his brain clamors to hold. I take their pictures on my phone and use them to dig in and root deeper when the darkness pulls at me. I paint my lips with my favorite shade of purple lipstick because it makes my heart beat a little faster and my hips sway with power and allure when I walk. I text my friends. I use the internet to distract. I read the words of others, press my hands in paint, go away for a weekend retreat to hold onto myself. I call my psychiatrist and resolve to hold on until December 9th when I can sit in her office and say “help me.” And I come here. Today. To find my way back after struggling to see Why My Words Matter in the hopes that it will help me remember why my life does. For them. For me. I’m here to dance in the light even in the seasons when it can’t be found. Selah.

We thank A’Driane for her beautiful submission and hope that it inspires you to have the #CourageToWrite.

Join the Thunderclap! Details HERE.

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Schooled by ‘The Intern Queen’ ~ Guest Post by @CaraPaigePR

 

Cara_Paige_Intern_Queen_Interview-2She started her business with a chunky Dell laptop and $5K. Today, Lauren Berger is CEO of InternQueen.com, author of the National Campus Best-Seller, All Work, No Pay and her newest work, Welcome to The Real World, not to mention the go-to expert on all things internships.

Last month I had the chance to sit down with Lauren at her inaugural Intern Queen Party in DC. We talked blogs, the benefit of breaking the rules, how to make it without a mentor, and how a celebrity chef inspired her business.

 

Cara Paige: So, how did Intern Queen get its start?

Lauren Berger: I had 15 internships when I was in college…which is a little crazy… no one needs 15 internships. I was the ambitious “little-engine-that-could” and no one would help me. So, I got all my internships on my own through breaking all the rules… cold calls and everything else they tell you not to do.

When I graduated college I thought ‘what if there were a resource, person or destination that could help connect students with the opportunity of their dreams?’ Then a light bulb went off and I said fifteen internships… my friends and peers can learn so much from my experiences. Why don’t I call myself the Intern Queen? The goal was to be the Rachel Ray of the ‘internship world’ and to have a more personal website, because I knew that places like CareerBuilder and Monster could be so overwhelming.  That’s how it all started.

 

 

CP: Did you have a mentor? 

Not really. A big misconception is that everyone has these mentors and that’s just not true. I reached out to so many people for advice and no one really wanted to help me and I get it… I was just a girl with a laptop. So I felt that I really needed to prove myself then people started turning their heads a little bit and saying “Oh I’d love to talk to you” or  “I’d love to help you.” But I think there’s a difference between the people that say they want to help versus the people that actually help. In my entire career I think there have only been a few people that have helped. I think a lot of times people are waiting for this “knight-in-shining-armor-mentor” that’s gonna turn their lives upside down, and I think you have to turn inwards and kinda be your own mentor.

 Blogalicious Cara Paige Intern Queen Interview

CP: So why is blogging important for you?

On InternQueen.com we’re blogging about internship advice so it’s important for us to constantly be giving our audience a wealth of new information. Just when they think they’ve heard everything about their resume, they hear something else from us. We need to keep them motivated that way.

Our new site, LaurenBergerInc.com, was launched because I [personally] wanted a new challenge and a lot of the users that have been with us since 2009 are graduating and going into that first, second or third job. I wanted to be there to help them. So it’s been a fun challenge for me to launch the new book Welcome to The Real World, helping our audience connect with advice and information about the opportunities of their dreams.

CP: What’s next for Lauren Berger?

We’re taking over the world…  at least that’s on my agenda today (snickers). Just kidding, our goal is always for every student in the world to know about Intern Queen.  We have a lot of work to do still. Slow and steady wins the race and we’ve been in the game about 5 years now, so it’s onward and upward from here. We’re also planning on increasing our career content so that when students graduate they don’t loose Intern Queen and I, Lauren Berger can still be someone that helps them through their career.

 

Thanks for this insightful interview, Cara! We love hearing about smart online brands like Lauren’s. Have a ‘Getting Schooled’ Moment that you’d like to share on the Blogalicious blog? Let us know!

Raising Grateful Children {Guest Post by @MindfulOrder}

For the remainder of the year, we’re celebrating GRATITUDE and FAMILY TRADITIONS.  It can take many forms and can be inspired by the smallest of gestures.  One thing is for certain: each story has a powerful message and we’re honored to share yours here.

 

Mindful Order:  Raising a Grateful Child

It is vital, as a parent, to teach your child from early on the power of gratitude in their own lives, both as an attitude of mind and as an emotional motivator to keep going.  By nurturing and supporting them daily with a positive attitude, you will help your child carry their everyday excitement and adventures in life forever.  Continue to open their world to be grateful for everything and show them that the more grateful they are the more they will be given.

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Ways to help your child become more Mindful about what they are grateful for:

  • Every morning, before their little feet hit the floor, remind your child to be thankful for God giving them another day to get it right.
  • Thank your child when they do something kind.
  • Ask your child often what they are thankful for.
  • Make every moment a teachable moment of Gratitude.
  • Point out to them when they are happy and playfully tickle them and ask them to say Thank You for that what is making them happy.
  • Point out when others don’t have the same freedoms as they do, so they can be thankful for what they have.
  • Point out when someone shows them they care.
  • Point out all the ways nature is a blessing to them.
  • Teach them to show thanks for the food they are receiving.
  • Turn every whine, cry, or complaint into a moment where you help them think about how blessed they are and what they can be thankful for in that moment.
  • Help them to understand that gratitude is more than just saying Thank You when someone does something for them and just saying the word Thank You on occasions is not enough.
  • Practice Gratitude with them so often that it becomes second nature.
  • Teach your kids to say Thank You deliberately; no matter what.
  • Teach them that gratitude will help them dissolve problems and transform any negative situation.
  • Teach your child to count their blessings.

All of these are simple ways to practice gratitude with your child and it will teach them to not be ungrateful and will help them overcome any challenges in life.

It is definitely easier said than done, however, not only will this bring more greatness into your child’s life, but it will also bring more greatness into yours when you practice multiple times a day with them. If practiced with them every day, eventually you will no longer have to ask them what they are grateful for; they will just start telling you all of the great things that have happened in their life.  This is when, as a parent, you can be grateful that you have helped your child develop an attitude of gratitude

 

3kingsProfessional Organizing Consultant and Life Coach, Kristin Price of Mindful Order is a stay at home mother who works gently and compassionately with professionals to help them find order and balance in their lives. Kristin loves to help people fulfill their dreams, by using a T.A.S.Y.L (Take Action And Simplify Your Life) method, along with her degrees in Psychology and Computer Consulting. Through Mindful Order you will become aware of a life you never knew existed: one with more freedom, wealth,time, happiness, family/friend bonding, LOVE and APPRECIATION.

Take a Moment or two to Breathe: Yoga and the Holiday {Guest Blog Post by Mike Manning}

Among the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget the real reason for the season. This month on the Blogalicious Blog, right on time for Thanksgiving, we’re celebrating GRATITUDE.  Mike Manning shares a few tips on how you can incorporate yoga into your holiday routine while giving thanks and practicing gratitude.

 

Yoga and the Holidays: A Winning Combination

yoga

The holidays are upon us, and many of us are finding our schedules affected. As Thanksgiving approaches, keeping up with our yoga practices may be a bit more difficult. With a bit of planning and some preparation, however, it is possible to maintain a yoga schedule and make it through the holidays feeling great. Here are a few tips to consider:

Give Back to Yourself

Thanksgiving is about expressing thankfulness to others. However, you may want to take some time for yourself. Be thankful for your health, and be glad that you’re able to perform yoga. By keeping these realities in perspective, maintaining your yoga routine may be just a bit simpler. Also, take a few moments to be thankful for your hard work and dedication to your health.

Create a Sanctuary

Whether you celebrate the holidays at home or away from home, make preparations to give yourself a yoga sanctuary to continue your practices. Use this space for keeping a yoga journal as well, and make a soothing playlist as well to help you relax. Low lights and candles can go a long way to creating an ultimate sanctuary.

Focus on Personal Gratitude

Make sure you take gratitude seriously when Thanksgiving approaches. Take some time to thank everyone individually for what they’ve done for you over the year. You may also wish to buy meaningful gifts as well to show how grateful you truly are. Yoga is about fostering peace and insight; gratitude is an important element of fostering a healthy mind.

Consider Modifying Your Routine

During the holidays, you may wish to modify your routine slightly. If your find yourself lacking in personal time, modify your yoga routine to include meditation to help center yourself. You may also want to make your routine a bit longer to help give yourself a break from the holidays. Remember that yoga is a great way to reduce stress.

The holidays are a wonderful time to gain some perspective on the year and to catch up with family, but there are stresses involved as well. By taking steps to encourage yourself to maintain your routine, you can ensure that your yoga practice remains strong even if others surround you for days on end.

Namaste.

 

Mike Manning is a fitness and healthy living enthusiast who tries to see the best in all situations. He loves to hike, do yoga, run, weight lift, travel, camp, cook, and be outside. Traveling the world and seeing nature’s beauty is his hobby and staying healthy through that is essential. He blogs at mikemanningmusings.blogspot.com

Thoughts on Gratitude: “A Mother’s Love Transcends Borders” ~ guest post by @VRFreeney

This month on the Blogalicious blog, right on time for Thanksgiving, we’re celebrating GRATITUDE.  It can take many forms and can be inspired by the smallest of gestures.  One thing is for certain: each story has a powerful message and we’re honored to share yours here.

This Thanksgiving will be the second year in a row I do not spend with my mother. My mother moved overseas to work and we have not been able to visit her yet. Every time we speak with her on the phone, via Facebook or Skype makes me feel even more appreciative of the sacrifices she’s making for my sister, brother, nephews and I. I have always been close to my mother but took it for granted. I didn’t exactly realize how close I was to my mother until she was gone. When I left teaching my mother supported and still supports to this day me being a blogger. She has never questioned once why I decided to blog full time. In fact, she has more faith in me than I have in myself with this endeavor.

Vernetta blog photo

My mother choosing to work overseas is her way to continue to do what she loves but a way for her to financially support her family. She tells me every time we speak that she sacrificed moving half way around the world to give her grandchildren things she wasn’t able to give us. She is away from all of her family and friends yet she inspires and motivates every single one of us in this country to live on purpose. I dedicate this blog post and eternally grateful to my mother for wanting to give her grandchildren more opportunities. And for her many sacrifices to support me as a full time blogger.

 

VernettanewheadshotVernetta R. Freeney is an award winning blogger and Editor in Chief of VernettaRFreeney.com. She is the former CEO of Women Are Gamechangers LLC. She created Fusion Tour which creates intimate business conversations for women solopreneurs, blogpreneurs and socialpreneurs. She is a chocolate lover, TV scripted drama watcher, film fanatic and the biggest Dallas Mavericks fan. Follow her on Twitter: @VRFreeney

 

 

 

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