Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How to Reduce Office Stress

Stressful workplaces are never good places to be. They can feel stifling, and they certainly don’t make for an open, pleasant or creative working environment. Reducing levels of stress should be a key aim for every business owner.
Arguments occur in every workplace; there’s no way of escaping them. But these arguments can be dealt with positively, and they can be dealt with poorly. The trick is finding ways to resolve arguments and disagreements without making the situation even worse. This is why it’s vital to have a manager who is skilled at resolving problems without favoring either side of the disagreement. If the mediation is successful, the individuals involved should be able to shake hands and move on.
Time Planning
In the workplace, it always seems like there’s not enough time to get the necessary jobs done. That’s why it’s so important to manage time effectively, and plan what should be done when. If time isn’t managed properly, people could end up struggling to meet deadlines and being put under immense pressure. And all this leads to is increased levels of stress in the office. Time management training can help to solve this problem by teaching skills that aid the proper management of time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why I Hate Halloween

Don't get me wrong - I love the fall. I'm not crazy about the fact that we are barreling head first into winter, but for the brief moment that is fall in the Bluegrass, I love it. The colors, the crisp cool air, and, most importantly, fall wardrobes. I was meant to live in boots and dark colors.

While I love the fall weather, I have a love/hate relationship with October for one main reason... I hate Halloween.

I didn't always hate it. When I was younger, going trick-or-treating made it all worth it, of course. And then I was in denial in my teen years as it was fun to dress up and party with your friends.

But now that I'm a full-fledged, thinking-on-my-own adult, I feel free to express my minority opinion.



Here's why I just don't get it:

1. I don't like being scared.
Yes, I'm a big wuss who doesn't like scary movies, haunted houses, etc. I even get freaked out by people in masks. And I don't understand how people get enjoyment out of being scared out of their mind. How is that fun??

2. I'm not really crazy about kids.
Once I have my own, I'm sure I'll love taking them around the neighborhood, but as it stands now, the idea of interacting with strange children all night and pretending to be interested in their costumes does not sound appealing in the least. I'll be in the house with no porch light on watching TV with my dogs.

3. I don't like being morbid.
This may be my biggest issue with Halloween. Why do people enjoy putting tombstones, skeletons, blood and gore in their yard/house to decorate? Why do people paint their faces so it looks like they are distorted/burned/gushing blood? Why would someone want to dress up like a zombie or another gross creature? I have no answers! I don't want to celebrate death, I want to celebrate life, thanks.

4. What is it with horror movies?
For example, the Saw series. There is a psychopath who gets pleasure from terrifying and torturing people. And people all over the world flock to see this film? Yea.. I won't ever get that... sorry.

Somewhere in my early 20s I decided to let my true feelings known and I immeditately shut down any invitation to attend a haunted trail or a horror movie. I stopped trying to make myself enjoy scary things and just accepted that Halloween is not my holiday.

I'll keep my sparkly, magical, champagne-filled New Years Eve, and you people can keep your blood and guts. :)

P.S. Luckily, this year I'll be enjoying sunny Naples with my parents during Halloween weekend - sunshine and sand, here I come!

4 Steps for Writing a Successful Business Plan

Starting a business can be hard. There is a range of factors that often get in the way and make succeeding nearly impossible. The people that do succeed tend not to make mistakes. They realize that one simple mistake can lead to a whole host of problems. It is like a domino effect where one domino falls and the rest follow. So, what do they do to prevent mistakes? Usually, they make a business plan. A business plan details every movement of the company, effectively covering every base. However, they are not easy to create, so the person in charge needs a couple of tips to get started.

1. Executive Summary

The problem most business owners or management executives have is their intentions. Thankfully, Orrin Woodward and his Life Leadership Income Disclosure Statement are here to help. What they want from their business is buried away somewhere within the business plan instead of on the front page. A good business plan keeps the overall targets in sight all the way through the process. That way, a business never loses vision of what they want or how to hit their goals.

2. Explain The Business

The best bosses understand what sets them apart from the competition. How do they stand out from the rest of the sector? The second section of a business plan needs to explain and analyse what the product is and what it does. As a result, it also helps people understand what is unique about their product or service. How does the idea stand out from the crowd? What will customers gain from their purchase? Can the business develop to future changes to grow and expand? All these are questions that need asking and answering.

Monday, October 26, 2015

What Meeting Planners Want Their CSMs to Know

The Meeting Planner/Convention Services Manager relationship is an interesting one. You're assigned to work very closely with each other for a specific amount of time. You go through a lot together, working out every minute detail. It all culminates into a live event. And then it's over as quickly as it began.

Here's some things Meeting Planners want their CSMs to know.

We know you're busy.
It must be difficult focusing on in-house groups while your future planners are pulling you in multiple directions. I can see how that would make it hard to manage your time each day. While I'm mostly at my desk during the day, you may not even open your emails until 5pm. Just know that we understand the demands of your position.         

Our focus is this meeting.
While 4 months out you are mostly concerned with your in-house group and then with all the groups before us, for those four months we eat, sleep, and breathe THIS meeting. And we need your help.

Non-responsiveness is a silent killer.
Yes, we may bombard you with calls and emails every time we think of the smallest question. Even if we try our best to gather questions and then send to you all at once, you know our name is going to pop up in your inbox frequently. If you take a week to respond to one email, just know that we are panicking. Even sending a quick email saying you received our message and will get back to us tomorrow goes a long way for our mental stability.

We don't want to taint the relationship.
Even if we are concerned about your performance during the pre-planning stages, we probably won't tell you. You are our lifeline for this meeting. And this meeting is our baby. So the last thing we want to do is upset you and make you less eager to go above and beyond for us.

You have the power to make us look really good or really bad.
We take responsibility for the meeting in the eyes of our team, our bosses, the members/attendees and even the industry. So, if things go wrong during planning or on-site, it reflects poorly on us, whether or not it was within our control. On the other hand, if we work well together and the meeting runs smoothly, you can help us exceed the expectations of our invested parties.

We don't like giving bad feedback.
We really don't want to give you or your team poor results post-meeting. We want nothing more than to sing your praises to anyone who asks. But, we have to be honest. I've worked with CSMs who are outstanding on-site, but would take weeks to answer my questions in pre-planning. It made planning a big challenge and I felt obligated to mention it even though the live event was successful.

I've had some incredible CSMs that have made my life so easy, I want to send them a Christmas card. I've also had some not-so-stellar CSMs who have made me eager for my event to be over.

It's important to remember that for Meeting Planners, the pre-planning process is just as important as the live event. We want to feel like our CSMs are giving as much attention to our meeting as we are, even though we are just another group in their lineup.

In the end, we both want the same thing: a wildly successful event. With good communication and understanding of each other, we can get there.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Best Tips For Working Up A Sweat

If you’re trying to get in shape then take my advice, just do it! It’s honestly a lot easier once you get started and get into a routine, as you can see from achievements on other posts. It’s definitely hard trying to work up the energy to get off the sofa. But once you make staying fit a personal life goal, you can have exorcise become a part of your day, everyday. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Buy The Equipment

When exercising, it’s important that you invest in the right equipment, even when the situation seems quite simple. For instance, if you’re running it’s important you buy a good pair of running shoes. If you run in shoes that have poor leg support, you may develop serious issues later in life. Essentially, what happens is that the force of running works down your bones, often leading to the development of arthritis. Similarly, if you are weightlifting, you should make sure you’re buying high quality weights from a good source. If you check out, you’ll find all the equipment you need.

Motivate Yourself

There are a couple of ways you can motivate yourself to exercise. A great way is to use music and by creating running playlists or exercise jams. Ideally, you want tracks with great beats. Dance tracks work quite well but you’ll find any upbeat song is awesome for lifting weights.

Aside from that, you can use apps to motivate yourself. Using an app you can keep track of your progress. If you’re doing well, knowing what you’ve achieved can help you push up your game. If the situation is poor then it can still encourage you to put more effort into it. It’s really a win-win and great for keeping a watch on your weight and diet as well.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The 'MEH' Mood

I got to work today and was thinking about how I'm just not "on it" today. Or really this whole week, to be honets. My energy is low, I'm eating like crap, I haven't been to the gym, my house is a dis-as-ter. And instead of tackling everything, I've been a lazy blob.

As I was scrolling through my daily reads, I saw this post from Steph. What a coincidence that she was writing about just want I was feeling. If "MEH" was a mood, it would be mine this week.

It's strange to me how I can be so fickle from week to week. Some weeks I'm super woman, going to the gym in the morning, killing it at work, coming home and knocking out laundry and even cooking!

Then there are weeks like this when I haven't been to the store, so I don't eat well. I just stare at the laundry pile, the dog-hair covered carpet, sigh, and proceed to the couch for some TV time.

Maybe it's the momentum issue I've talked about before. The more productive and "on it" I am, the easier it is to continue down that path. But when I get derailed from traveling, a fun weekend, or bad weather, the snow ball effect also happens, but in a negative way.

On days like this it makes me think.. are there really people who are "on it" 24/7, 365? It sure seems like there are.

I follow a blogger who is a mother of 3 young children, a wife, a career woman, and runs a lifestyle blog AND a cooking blog daily. She also seems to find time to volunteer, shop like crazy, and decorate her impeccable house for every season. Just reading her blog makes me feel inadequate. How does she do it?

I know the life that is shared online is not 100% real. I know her kids are probably fighting over something stupid and there's probably days they just order pizza (here's hoping). But on days like today, seeing people who are getting shit done makes me even less interested.

I'll just be over here on the couch that's covered in dog hair, thanks.

You've heard me say it before: Yesterday has no bearing on today. I know that I can get back on the train and my productiveness will come right back.

But today, MEH is still hovering over me like a dark cloud.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Some Thoughts on a Thursday

1. I've decided to start the Harry Potter journey all over again, from the beginning. And by journey, I mean the books. I've only read them through once and it was years ago, before the movies came out. So, I'm in for a long treat!

2. Tim decided last week that he no longer wants to eat any product that comes from a pig. He's disgusted with how many pigs are treated and tortured before slaughtering. It bugs him so much because pigs are extremely intelligent, even more so than dogs. And no animal deserves that.

After some thought, I've decided to join him in this effort. It feels nice to take a stand for something. Even if we won't make much of a difference, it feels good to not contribute to the issue.

Ham and pork will be pretty easy for me. But, I do love bacon and pepperoni, so those will be tougher to let go.

3. I'm starting to think of Christmas gifts for the people in my life. I like to try to buy a couple things here and there early so I don't have a huge cost in December.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Looking for Beauty Solutions

So lately I'm struggling with these makeup issues and can't seem to find the right solution, so I thought, who better to ask than my interwebers.

1. Eyelash curling

I have thick, long lashes that hold mascara nicely. But the problem is they are straight as a board. They actually angle down. I've tried several curlers. This Tarte curler is what I'm currently using. It does a good job but I have to curl a couple times before and after mascara. And throughout the day. (Side note- the Tarte mascara is awesome. Lengthens and defines without clumping. Unlike the Benefit one I tested.)

I was thinking of trying a heating curler like this Panasonic one I've seen ads for. Have any of you tried these? Any suggestions?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Keep Your Makeup In Place All Day With These Tips

There is nothing more irritating then looking in the mirror at lunchtime only to realize that almost all of your makeup has worn off. You might think that keeping your face in place all day long is impossible, but it’s actually, not.
With Winter on the way, you know that soon enough, on the way to work, you'll have to deal with wind and rain, which can lead to all sorts of makeup issues. That’s why we've got some great tips, to ensure that come Winter, you know how to keep your makeup in place all day long.
Cleanse your face
Before you start applying your makeup, one of the most important things you should do is cleanse your face. This will help to ensure that when you put your makeup on, that it sticks properly and won’t easily wear off.
Once you have cleaned your skin, the next step is to apply a lightweight moisturizer. Leave your moisturizer to be absorbed by the skin for a few minutes, so that when you apply your makeup, there is no oily residue left.
Always use primer
You know how your nail polish stays in place that little bit longer when you use a base coat? Well, it’s the same with your makeup, if you want it to stay in place, a base coat or primer is a must. Using a primer will help to fill in any open pores, it will help to blur imperfections and, best of all, it will act as glue for your makeup.
Top tip: Just like with moisturizers, there are different primers for different skin types. So when you are choosing a primer, make sure to pick one that is suitable for your skin type.
Opt for waterproof products
Want to stop the rain from causing your makeup to melt down your face - you need waterproof products. You have most probably heard of waterproof mascara, but did you know that you can also get a foundation that’s water-resistant?
Don’t apply makeup with your fingers
Far too many of us use our fingers when applying makeup. However, if we want our makeup to stay on all day, we shouldn’t do. Our skin has oil in it, which gets spread onto each surface that we touch, including our face. Oil can cause your makeup to run more quickly, which is why it’s so important to use makeup brushes when applying your products.
Set your makeup
Once you have finished applying your makeup, use a translucent powder to fix it in place. Using powder over the top of your other products will soak up any excess oil on your skin, and will set your makeup in place.
Top tip: If you wear pencil eyeliner, sweep a small amount of powder under the eyelids and use it to ensure that your eyeliner doesn’t smudge.
These are just some helpful tips to keep your makeup in place all day!

This is a sponsored post, not written by Kaliwood.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hootie and The Skinnyfish

Growing up my Dad often made us listen to his music. Whether it was playing in the house or on 12 hour road trips to New York, I quickly learned songs from the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Eagles, The Who, and the list goes on.

It comes in handy at weddings because people love to play the throwbacks and I usually know them all. I also can appreciate cover bands at events. Thanks, Dad.

For some reason, when I was younger, and my father mentioned "Hootie and the Blowfish" I always pictured this band of really fat guys. I guess I assumed that if a group was calling themselves the blowfish, then they must be larger than life. So one day I searched the band online and came to find that they weren't overweight at all. In fact, they were quite thin.

The oh-so-witty preteen Kali then started calling them "Hootie and the Skinnyfish" anytime my Dad would ask "Do you know who sings this one?"

Whenever Dad said "blowfish" I would correct him, "It's skinnyfish!"

Now I realize this joke is lame, but that's not the point of my story. I never really appreciated the Hootie songs back then. I don't know if I didn't give them a chance or never really paid attention, but I pretty much wrote off the skinnyfish.

Fast forward to my adult days. "Hootie" is now Darius Rucker, a crazy successful country singer. I start loving his songs and realize that this man has the most incredible voice I've ever heard. It's one of those effortless voices that sounds phenomenal without trying.

Then it hits me. This is HOOTIE. Like, ringleader of the skinnyfish, Hootie.

If his voice is this good, then....

Download and listen to every single Hootie and the Blowfish song they ever made.


Instantly become obsessed with Hootie and the Blowfish.

And now I'm sad! Because I didn't appreciate them when they were actually a band. And now I'll never see them live in concert.

I keep looking out for Darius to tour near me, hoping that maybe he'll sneak some throwbacks into his set list.

I even think "Hold My Hand" would be an awesome father/daughter wedding dance song. Especially with our history with the skinnyfish.

Until then, you'll find me driving with the window down blaring some Hootie and the Skinnyfish any chance I get.