Category Archives: Life

The Blogging Hiatus is Over

The following is not an excuse; it just shows that life happens…

When we moved in September I gave myself until November to get settled. I figured two months would be enough time to unpack and establish a routine. Things didn’t work out that way. I spent the first two months training for my new gig, being the primary caregiver to the girls and trying to adjust to southern life as an adult. My husband was contractually obligated and couldn’t join us full-time until November.

So I moved that date from November to January (this was a more realistic goal anyway…) and said I would make no excuses. Well, I didn’t make an excuse, but I DID find out that I was expecting. And trust me, expecting another child is definitely a reason to alter plans. So I moved my timeline to May.

Well, I didn’t quite make that deadline either. For starters we were supposed to move into a house April 4th, but due to contractual issues, that date had to be pushed back to May 1rst. Then I had some unexpected family issues that were draining, both mentally and physically.

But now, it’s May 12th, and I’m back. Tweeting has filled the void a little, but it’s not the same as being able to write in more than 140 characters. I’ve missed blogging; I’ve missed the conversations.

I have a lot of topics on schedule, so now that I have a decent routine you should see new posts here at least once a week.

And since I’ve said that out loud that means I’ll have to follow through…

Towanda Long

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Reasons People Like You

  • You remind them of themselves. It’s that whole “birds of a feather” thing…
  • You’re knowledgeable (but not a know-it-all).
  • You add value to their life/project/business.
  • You have qualities they find inspiring.
  • You make them feel comfortable.
  • You have a sense of humor.
  • You’re honest.
  • You’re reliable.
  • You make them smile.

 

Just a quick reminder that being likable is a great personality trait.

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Emails I Read Daily

Vital Juice This is a well-designed email that offers nuggets of health information. It’s not overwhelming, takes a couple of minutes to read, and serves as a daily reminder to live healthy.

 

Ad Age The online version of Advertising Age, this is a compilation of news and opinions. I get a dose of daily news and links to some of my favorite bloggers (check out The Big Tent) in the same email.

 

Daily Candy We all need a little sweetness in our life. Whether it’s an announcement about a new spa opening, a great event coming up or a new product hitting the market, Daily Candy is a great source for “in the know” information. It gives me a break from the “serious” things that try to take over my day and it constantly adds things to my “I WANT THAT” list.

 

HARO (Help A Reporter Out)  I think of HARO as the media matchmaker. Journalists post their source requests and they get responses that are on target! The bonus is that members of the email list are from a variety of industries and backgrounds, not just the traditional media machine.

 

Which are your favorite and why?

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

The Upside of Less

A smaller budget means streamlining our annual marketing plan, using creative strategies to reach our target audience, and closely monitoring how we spend our travel dollars.

 

Downsizing our homes means less to clean, smaller energy bills and less furniture to buy.

 

Wearing less jewelry means the signature pieces will truly stand out.

 

Whether in our professional or personal life, now is an optimum time to evaluate our systems and lifestyles, cut out the slack and be more productive.

 

Efficiency, it’s the Upside of Less.

The Beauty of Starting Over

Mastering my to-do list. And by “mastering” I mean I’m starting from scratch.

 

I twittered this statement about a month ago. I had just accepted a new position in another state and my “things to do” list had grown to astronomical proportions.

 

As I looked at my list I realized that every time I checked something off I had two things to put in its place. The list that was supposed to keep me organized was really just causing me more stress.

 

So, in an effort to maintain my sanity, I threw away the list and decided to start over. I figured if, at the end of the day, my family and I had the essentials (you know, a place to live, food to eat, etc…) I was doing fine. This was a HUGE deal, because my nature is to make sure everything gets done.

 

It’s funny, but now I feel more productive. My list is more balanced (especially after reading Godin’s blog mentioned in the previous post) and includes things like:

 

-spend at least two hours with the girls (daily, no distractions!)

-read before bed (daily, sometimes this is only a magazine article, but who’s counting pages…)

-study continuity plan

-begin “green” case study

-plan ski trip

 

Not only that, but I’ve given myself a pass so that I don’t feel pressure to get everything done at once. For instance,

  • YES, I love writing. But if I can’t blog everyday, twittering is fine.
  • Yes, I would love to find some new organizations to join, but it’s okay if I give myself time to get acclimated to the new gig first.
  • And of course I need to print new business cards, but my girls will only be this age once, and I don’t want to miss it!

 

Yes, there is beauty in starting over. And to make sure I don’t get caught up in this cycle again, I’ve set a monthly appointment that says “Reel in that TTD list!” 

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Working on my “Things To Do” List

It’s been a while since I’ve written, mostly because relocating is EXTREMELY time-consuming. Plus, I just haven’t found my new groove yet.

 

 However, this post, Godin’s Get To vs. Have To, has inspired me to make time, not only for the “musts” on my TTD list, but the “wants” too.

 

Enjoy!

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Flying With Kids

A few weeks ago we took our first flight as a family of four. From the time we entered the terminal with our double stroller and bags, it was obvious that other passengers were not too happy to see us.

Passengers sighed heavily as they waited for us to fold our stroller for the security checkpoint. As we approached the gate, many passengers had the “I HOPE they are NOT on my flight” look. Defeat was written all over the faces of other passengers headed to Ft. Lauderdale.

We were able to board pretty effortlessly and since we were first (definite perk of traveling with kids!), we got to enjoy the sighs of relief from other passengers when they realized they weren’t sitting near us. We also enjoyed the sighs of disgust from those not so lucky.

After everyone was onboard, the flight attendant actually offered my husband ANOTHER SEAT. I guess she thought he was the unlucky soul that was seated with the “mom with two kids.” I politely smiled and said, “That’s okay, he’ll be fine – she’s looking forward to sitting with him (pointing to my oldest daughter).” She politely offered apologies and walked away.

We take off, no problem. My girls are fine the ENTIRE flight. They talk for a little while and then they go to sleep. See people, all of those looks for nothing.

But this is where my husband and I got our “ain’t karma something” joy. A GROWN MAN sitting behind us SNORED most of the flight. And I’m not talking about a “breathing heavily” snore. I mean one of those “A TRAIN IS COMING!!! A TRAIN IS COMING!!!” snores. We could barely contain our laughter.

Yes, stereotyping is never good…

Towanda Long aka mscafe