life curation · Uncategorized

How to Support Small Businesses During the Pandemic

One of the things that continues to come to my mind is the well-being of small business owners, especially those that are not able to do business in person (“nonessential” businesses). As individuals, we may not be able to save every small business, but we can definitely do something to help support these businesses.

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Buying local and buying from small businesses can make a big impact

Seek out Etsy sellers – Etsy is full of creatives that make and sell all sorts of amazing stuff.If you’re looking for something specific, try Etsy first. You may be able to quickly locate the perfect item, and (as a plus!) you’ll be able to support a small business owner.

Use local food delivery – If you’re tired of cooking, or maybe you just want to get your grocery items delivered to your front door, then local food delivery services are just what you need. Seek out small (non-chain) restaurants for your meals, and if you use a grocery delivery service, then make sure to tip your delivery person. That money can make a huge difference to the “gig economy” workers that may be working in these services to help cover expenses during this crisis.

Use Amazon to help you – Amazon has set up a portal specifically for handmade items from every state in the US. If you want to ensure that the money you spend goes directly to sellers living near you, you can click on your region and then select your state to find vendors. I recently purchased these darling Cinderella earrings for a special little one in my life. They’re so cute, I may end up buying the Belle earrings for myself!


Charming Cinderella earrings

Ask family and friends to give you referrals – Of course, if you’re at a loss for businesses to support, ask your family and friends to make suggestions. Some of them may themselves be business owners that you can support directly, or they may know some business owners that would appreciate having a new customer.

Do you have any ideas for supporting small and local businesses that I didn’t mention? Let me know all about it in the comments below!

 

 

 

(this post contains affiliate links)

life curation · Uncategorized

It Feels Great To Be BACK!

Hi my dear friends! I’m so happy to be BACK on the blog! As you may recall from my last post, I’d been experiencing some health issues that were making it difficult for me to keep up with my blogging schedule. To be honest, I didn’t feel like getting out of bed on most days, and even little tasks felt like huge chores, so blogging fell WAY down on my list of priorities.

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Smiling because it’s great to be back!

After experiencing some pretty dreadful symptoms for several months, I was relieved when I finally got a diagnosis. I have fibromyalgia, a disorder that affects your entire body and causes widespread pain, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and a host of other symptoms. I’ve read countless articles and found that most doctors agree that this is a neurological disorder and not a joint/muscle issue. I often find myself needing a lot of rest and even small, stressful situations can lead to a “flare up”, where my symptoms are more intense and I find it difficult to function. When I experience “flares”, I have to rest more and use stronger pain medication in order to get some relief.

Through all of this, I feel truly blessed. Yes, this condition is annoying and I wish I didn’t have it. But, I have a wonderful support system, and I recently moved into my first home, which is much closer to my care providers. My new home is beautiful and serene, and being in this setting has contributed tremendously to my overall health. I’m so fortunate that I have an understanding workplace that allows me to work from home as needed. And now, after making a few changes with my providers, I finally have a healthcare team that has given me the treatments and tools to feel better daily.

This experience has taught me SO much and I am excited to share these lessons with you all. I feel like I have a new lease on life! Now, I still have pain occasionally, and I have to monitor my symptoms daily so that I know what I need and how to best care for myself. But simply KNOWING that I’m not just tired or stressed has been such a relief. Knowing that I have an actual condition that is medically recognized and treatable means that this isn’t “all in my head”, and if other people are experiencing this, then that means I’m not alone, and there’s a good chance that that are treatment options that can really help me minimize my symptoms.

So I’m BACK! All of my posts won’t be about fibro: I’m going to leave those discussions strictly for Fridays, which will be (for now) Fibro Fridays. I’m excited to share self-care tips, lessons, and more information that I’ve gotten since learning about this condition. I look forward to sharing this journey with you all, as well as resuming my art, music, luxury, and lifestyle posts! Take care!

culture · Uncategorized

5 Easy Ways to Support Your Favorite Content Creators

Happy Wednesday! I hope you all are enjoying your hump day and making it a great one.

I recently have been consuming a lot of motivational/inspirational content on social media. I really needed to tap into the encouraging words of some of my favorite content creators, as well as learn about products and programs that could support me in accomplishing my dreams in 2019.

As I watched videos, checked out Instagram stories, and listened to podcasts, I realized that it’s important to support these content creators, who pour out their hearts and souls for our consumption. There are a lot of ways to support them, but I wanted to share 5 easy ways that you can give them support that doesn’t require a lot of time or money. ‘Tis the season to be generous, right? Here are some ways that you can do that.

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  • Watch the advertisements at the beginning of YouTube videos.

It’s almost instinctual to click through the advertisements and get right to the content. However, I’ve been making it a point to allow the advertisement to play at the beginning of YouTube videos. It’s a little way that I can support content creators, and it doesn’t cost me a thing.

  • Purchase a program/training/book/product from them.

This is obvious, but if you’ve been consuming a lot of material from a particular content creator, it stands to reason that you may want to invest in one of their products or programs. If the investment is within your budget, it would be great to support in such a clear, tangible way.

  • Share the content with your social network.

Saw a video that you really enjoyed? Listened to a podcast that got you fired up (in a good way)? Read a post that really helped you get clear on something? Share it with others! You never know who is looking for that information. Even if you’re not on social media, share it with someone that you know offline: send a link to a friend, family member, coworker, whoever.

  • Like, comment, subscribe, follow, join: get involved with the content creator’s groups and social media outlets.

If you really want to support content creator’s, it’s as simple as pressing “like”, subscribing, joining their free groups, following their fan pages, etc.,. Having a strong social media following is important for content creators, and since it’s free, why not do it? Besides, it’s the best way to stay current with these creator’s latest offerings.

  • Give them positive reviews.

While you’re joining your favorite content creators’ groups, why not post reviews of their content? Reviews are pretty easy to do on podcasting platforms like iTunes and Stitcher, and can be done on other platforms, too. It’s a simple, easy way to let the world know who you support.

Can you all think of any other ways to support content creators? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

life curation · Uncategorized

I Got a New Planner!

Happy Friday! Let’s just take a moment to smile and rejoice as we made it to the end of another week.

A few days ago, I knew I had to embark upon my annual exercise of selecting a new planner. I hate to wait until after January 1st to buy one, because the selection isn’t as good AND I have a slightly compulsive behavior where I must fill in the first day of my calendar/planner: filling a calendar retroactively just won’t suffice.

So I buy these sorts of things in December. Last year, I was gifted a 2017/2018 planner and it was absolutely perfect: seriously, it’s exactly what I would have purchased for myself. This year, I’m buying my own and I needed to find one that met my practical needs and aesthetic preferences.

My planner had to:

  • Be pretty
  • Have lined spaces for daily entries
  • Include a space for weekly/monthly goals
  • Have convenient at-a-glance calendars for this year and next year
  • Lots of space for notes at the back of the planner
  • Less than $30

I was delighted to find this beauty at Target for a little under $13. It’s perfect: pale pink with gold lettering, and generously sized.

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I am already enjoying it so much. The first few pages of the planner have spaces for fleshing out your vision for the year, as well as milestone goals that you want to accomplish in different areas of your life. Talk about comprehensive!

This planner is by Day Designer and I highly recommend it. It’s beautiful and meets all of my requirements. I love it!

Uncategorized

Instagram Experiment Underway …

This post is late but I wanted to check in and let you all know what’s going on.

Over on my Instagram profile, I’ve been adding more content and seeing the result of being more active on that platform. If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, make sure that you go ahead and hit that follow button.

My experiment involves learning what it takes to have true engagement on that platform and whether it would be better for me to spend more time over there or whether I need to pour more energy into the blog. I want to make sure I’m connecting with my audience in the channel that they prefer, so I’ll continue to tinker with it until I find a good formula.

I’ll keep you all posted on what I learn from my experiment: stay tuned!

art · Uncategorized

The New Resources Page is Live!

Untitled design - Edited (2)I’ve been promising you all some changes over here. I haven’t had nearly as much free time as I’d expected during the past several weeks, but I finally can check off one of the things I’ve had on my list for a while.

I have a brand new art resources page available, and you can find the links to over 40 free online art courses! I always mention the courses that I find all over the internet, so I was excited to compile this list for you all. I’ll continue adding courses to the list as I come across additional sources.

There are a LOT more changes ahead, so stick around and I promise to come up with some good stuff for you all. Thanks again for the support! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Enjoy your Friday!

Uncategorized

Keeping a Watchful Eye on Hurricane Florence

Hi loves! I hope you all are having a great Thursday. Today’s post will be brief because I may be affected by Hurricane Florence over the next few days. I’ll try to keep up with my regular posting schedule, but if I lose electricity at some point, then I may miss a few posts over the next several days. My priority is to stay safe and make sure that my family is safe and secure until this storm blows over.

The hurricane took a turn that indicates that we may not be impacted as strongly as originally expected, but I’m still keeping a watchful eye on it. If you are in the hurricane’s path, PLEASE follow the directions of local authorities. Be safe, friends!

Uncategorized

Enjoy Your Labor Day!

Today is Labor Day, a federal holiday that honors the American workforce and the many people who pushed for labor standards that protected workers. My parents were both union members, and I’ve been a member of a few unions during my career. I know that a good union can make the difference between a comfortable workplace and an intolerable one.

Happy Labor Day!

So enjoy your Labor Day – I know that I will!

Uncategorized

In Denial About Fall . . .

Here we are, staring September right in the face.

I’m not happy about it. At all. I love the summertime and I hate to see it end. Summer is my favorite season and I get a little mopey every time September rolls around again.

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Yes, I know that this is inevitable: I live in an area that has four distinct seasons and after summer, I can reasonably expect fall weather to arrive shortly. But that doesn’t mean that I have to pretend to like it!

Since i’m unable to do anything about the weather, I will try to remember the things that I do like about the cooler months. Here are some of my favorite things about the fall:

  1. Most of my paid holidays come during the fall and winter months.
  2. Fall time is apple season!
  3. Leaves that change to brilliant shades of red and gold are a sight to behold.
  4. Layering clothes can create some really cute looks.
  5. The weather is perfect for curling up with a good book, a snuggly blanket, or a cute beau.

While I’m sad to see summer come to a close, there are reasons to look forward to the months ahead. So today, I’ll savor what’s left of August. I hope you all get a chance to do the same!

Talk to you all tomorrow!