Work and Family

580 Emails to Go!


I have 4 different emails (not including all my social media pages) to check daily and I’m normally pretty good about doing that. However with business picking up for my gift basket company, this new blog, the coaching side of my company, and my personal emails – I’m having a hard time staying on top of them.  I don’t think I put too much time into planing out how I was going to handle the influx of communication. So now I have to come up with that plan (this should have already been in place) to help me be more efficient.

I’m not a fan about taking time away from my family to do get work done, however when you’re a business owner, and it’s just you, sacrifice becomes your middle name.  When time permits, I try to get my family involved so we’re still spending “time” together, but I try not to wear that welcome out because I want them to still like me later.  So, since I don’t mind getting up in the mornings, and as long as I don’t have any gift orders that need to go out, I will use this time to get all my responses and social media post done.  Of course this won’t happen everyday since mornings are typically for my creating gifts and cooking breakfast for the family.

I know how I feel when I’ve sent someone an email or responded to something and I don’t get a reply back.  I want to be best at anything I do, so that includes the tasks of sending and responding to emails and social media posts. I envy those who have this together, I wish I did, but I’m striving (or should I say aspiring) to do better.

579 to go!




5 Reason Why I Love the Kids Being Back In School

Last night around 7:30pm – my husband and I realized there were no children outside as far as our eye could see. You can tell school is back is session around my neck of the woods when you don’t see or hear kids laughing and playing after dinner time.  Having my kids home with me over the summer is loads of fun, and we always have a great time together as a family.  We try to make sure we take mini vacations, vacations and experience things around our own areas too.  But, there comes a time to get back in the swing of things and that starts about one week before the kids go back to school. Below are my 5 top reasons why I love when my kids hit the books again.


1. Structure – This is number one for me (even though I’m not putting them in any order).  I love having structure, my it’s a huge part of my personality. While the kids are out of school it’s hard to come by, especially since I work from home and I’m not available all the time to bring structure where chaos has taken over. Even though there are pieces of it while the kids are out of school, I long for the structure that comes with them in being in school.

2. Grocery Bill – My 17 year old son could be a professional sneaky eater.  Don’t know what that is?  That’s the kid that says “I’m not hungry” and then comes down after dinner and eats everything in the refrigerator.  I can’t forget about my 11 year old picky eater, she doesn’t eat a lot of things, but the things she does eat…she eats!  Our grocery bill almost doubles while the kids are home over the summer.

3. Brain Refuel – I try to keep the kids noodles (brains) in working order over the summer, however they really don’t get the time needed in the books like they do in the classroom. I look forward to hearing about what new things they’ve learned and how they are going to apply what they’ve learned in everyday life. Even better, it’s fun to see them apply something they’ve learned even when they don’t think they’ll ever use it in “real life.”

4. Me Time – Since I work from home, I’m always accessible to my children which I love – that’s the reason I wanted to work from home.  But like any parent, we have to make sure we find time for us or we’re no good to anyone.  Now that the house is empty during school hours, I have plenty of time to get everything I need to get done without any distractions or interruptions.  Once the kids get home, I only have about 1 hour left to work and everything I need done, is done.

5. Early Bed Time – Yes…yes…yes…I – I mean the kids get to go to bed early, Yea!  Since both kids are gone from the house before 7am each day, I want to make sure they are getting enough sleep because neither of them are morning people (that also includes my hubby).  It’s a job all in itself trying to make sure they are up and doing what they need to do in the mornings.  So that means if they are up and at it, I need to be up and at it too.

Weeks In Review – July 29 – August 11

I’m back from my 9 day business/vacation and I must say it was a blast!

The first part of my trip was for business.  The National Gift Basket Convention was held in Orlando this year, which was perfect for me since we have property there.  The convention was for two days and it’s always full of great information for us to take back to implement in our businesses.  The best part of the convention for me is getting a chance to speak with new entreprenuers who are excited and ready to start successful business. I have been in the gifting industry for over 11 years and I must say it’s been a wonderful journey, so when ever I have the opportunity to encourage someone else, I jump at the chance.  I too get a boost and recharge while there, I learn so much about the latest trends, and simply just how to make my business better.

Gift Basket Convention

Second leg of my trip was simply family fun.  When I originally found out about the convention being in Orlando, I told my husband that we should turn this into a family vacation. Unfortunately, my husband’s work schedule prohibited him from being able to go and also my two sons were not able to go due to working and sport committments.  So I decided to make it a girls getaway with my two daughters and granddaughter. Unfortunately, I can’t say I got a lot of rest, but every outing was so worth it.  The freedom to get up and go where we wanted to each day, to eat at some great, delicious resturants, and of course…SHOP! We really had a great time together.

Florida Vacation 2013

Now that the pixi dust has settled, life has returns back to normal.

Stay Calm and Carry-On: Packing For Vacation


Packing has begun for my daughters (and granddaughter) and I to head to the wonderful world of Disney!   I’m very excited to be able to be spend some quality time with each of them and get some much needed relaxation.  With the the hustle and bustle of school being just weeks away, what better way to get ready than to spend some relaxing time at the most magical place on earth.  Even though, the first three days will be business for me, the the rest will be memories in the making.

I must confess, I don’t like packing for trips, it makes me anxious.  I’m always worried I’m going to forget something, so to help me take the edge off, I make lists.  Making lists keeps me focused on what I need and stops me from over packing or packing things I don’t need.

When making my lists, I break them up into categories: carry-on, purse, and luggage, once I have my categories, I can then branch off that list to make another list of things I need to buy.  Finally from that list, I make my shopping lists (for each individual store – since normally I have to go to more than one).

Below are my lists for this trip:


  • Computer w/charger
  • Travel pillow
  • Snacks
  • Camera w/charger
  • Extra memory cards
  • Jewelry
  • Work (if traveling for business)
  • Extra pen and machancal pencil (with extra lead)
  • Itenerary (maps, directions)
  • Car rental confirmation
  • Hotel or resort information
  • Keys to car – at airport
  • Vitamins and any medicines
  • Extra femine products
  • Note pad
  • Idea books – I now have two books, one for my blog and one for my business. I write down any ideas I have for blog posts, gift basket designs or marketing strategies that come to mind.
  • Crossword and Sudoku puzzles (comes in handy for layovers)
  • light weight jacket or sweater
  • Small shopping bag (reusable)
  • Umberella
  • Magazines
  • TSA approved liquid items: lotion and hand sanitizer (inside ziplock bag)

Purse: There are other items inside my purse, however these are items I make sure I have.

  • Wallet (with extra cash for tipping)
  • Earbuds
  • Lip balms
  • Tissues
  • Gum and mints
  • Femine products
  • Pen and machincal pencil
  • Ear plugs
  • Comb and brush
  • Sunglasses
  • Business cards – always need to be prepared.


  • Outfits – I always make it a rule of thumb to bring two more outfits than days I’m staying. I will be gone 10 days so I’ll pack 12 outfits. I also pack at least one pair of nice jeans – even if it’s hot weather.
  • Under garments – the same rule applies for these as my outfits.
  • Shoes – I try to keep this very simple since shoes can take up lots of needed space.  I make sure I take flip flops and a pair of tennis shoes no matter what season or reason I’m traveling in.
  • PJ’s – I don’t typically take a set of pj’s for each night (I don’t own 10 pj sets!)
  • First aid kit
  • Poncho or rain coat
  • Hair care products
  • Flat irons and/or curling irons
  • Bath products
  • Face cleansing products & makeup (also makeup remover pads)
  • Deorderent
  • Shower gel
  • Sunscreen
  • Shaving cream
  • Lotion
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Stain remover wipes
  • Belts & scarfs
  • Hair scarf
  • Lint roller

Since I’m traveling with my 11 year-old daughter, I perform this same process for her as well.  I use my list above as a master and delete items she does not require.  If my husband were going, I would modify this list to suit his needs as well.


Aspring Champion: Pickleball

Don’t know what Pickleball is?  Well until four days ago, I didn’t either.  Pickleball is a sport that incorporates tennis, table tennis, and badminton.  Close friends of ours challenged us to a game on the 4th of July and we have been hooked ever since.  It’s a great way to get in some fun and exercise to boot.  It’s one of those sports that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re going to pass out from exhaustion, but you do feel it (especially the next day).  I have never been a tennis player, but what I think I like best about this sport is the ball is like a harder version of a wiffle ball, therefore it moves slower than a tennis ball would.  I like that because it gives you more time to get in front of the ball, but don’t let the slower ball fool you.  You are putting in some work, moving front, back and side to side, just like in tennis – you are definitely going to sweat!

PickleballcourtThe court is very similar to a badminton court, as you can see in the illistration to the left (but larger) and striped like a tennis court.  We haven’t played on a actual pickleball court, play at the local high school tennis court – which has worked just fine.  We use the same foul lines that are set for a normal game of tennis, except the center line is considered foul instead of the back line.








The paddle is really cool since it looks like a cross between a large racquetball paddle and a tennis racket without netting. The grip is easy to hold on to even for smaller hands (even our children can play).

Pickleball Paddle

Love this new past time and a great way to get the whole family involved.


Photos and information from web:



Put It All Together: Confessions of a Blended Family

IMG_3491My husband and I were married 14 years ago (this October) and to this union, I brought 3 children and he brought none (What was he thinking).  Blending a family can be a job all in itself, but the key is to make sure (before you enter into the convenient of marriage) that you both are on one accord, because if not…well you know what is destined to happen.




  • Blending a Family Takes Patience & Lots of LOVE 

When I married my husband, my daughter was 10, my first son was 5 and my last son was 3. The kids didn’t want him there and I think sometimes he didn’t want to be there, but he stuck it out and stayed the course.  What made me love him more was that even though my kids were giving him a run for his money, he continued to love them and show them love.  In 14 years, I have never heard him introduce my children as his step kids – he’s always called them my kids (our children).  He didn’t have to do that since my children had a father who was active in their lives.

  • Blending a Family Has To Be a JOINT VENTURE

In the beginning, I felt that my husband was the one that had to adjust to us since we were already a family before he came.  That is furthest from the truth, it’s a joint venture – it takes everyone being on one accord and respecting where each other are coming from.  That is not something that happens over night – trust me when I tell you. I had to adjust to how my husband did things and he had to do the same for me.  The kids also had to understand that my husband and I stand on one front together.

I always share that being a wife and a mom have been the two most rewarding things I have every done in my life, however they have equally been the two hardest things I have ever done.

This Bag is Made for Traveling – Business on the Go

I have owned my gift basket company  for over eleven years.   When I need to be away from my home office; networking at a local chamber event, or out doing my weekly errands, I want a system that has everything I need to better serve my clients and perspective clients.  I created my traveling office to help me be prepared to take an order or give information about my company anywhere I go. The bag is not only functional but cute (which means a lot too) as well so I don ‘t feel awkward carrying it.

Traveling OfficeIMG_4354

I ordered my bag from Thirty-One, I like it because it’s big enough to hold everything I need. Inside my bag I have the following:

* Blank order forms – I’m always prepared to take that order

* Neat Receipts scanner – this comes in handy when I am making purchases I can scan the receipt right to my laptop.

* Promotional postcards and brochures

* Business card

* Clip board – when I need a hard surface to write.

* Paper clips & stapler

* Journal and blank paper

* Mechanical Pencils & lead refill

* PayPal – credit card plug-in (again always prepared to receive the order)

* Post-it notes – in all sizes.

* Travel mug

* Calculator

* Sample of a delicious product – I try to keep a sample of one of the many products I put inside our gifts with me to give out.

Simple and functional.

~ Lisa


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