Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Gift of Travel

Getting ready for a big trip can be overwhelming when you start to think about all the details that have to come together. There's of course the trip planning in itself like your flights and connections and all the information you need to go with that. There is the hotels to book, your tours and excursions to book otherwise you risk not being able to get into many of the places that you wish to see. Booking ahead will also save you from being in those nasty long lineups and wondering if you'll actually make it in. Booking many things ahead can also save you money as many sites offer deals for signing up to things in advance.  Then there are all of the details to leave for those taking care of the fort, so to speak. Lots of things to finalize, not to mention all the packing and organizing of  travel items.  Okay... I'm tired just thinking of it all! 

My husband and I have been greatly blessed to be at the stage of our life where we are able to travel. Not just little trips but longer adventures to places we've been fascinated with and often talked about. This is our third time to Europe and our excited to explore new cities and countries in this area of the world. Exploring new cultures, art and history and tasting a variety of foods new to us is pretty exciting.  When we return home I will share pictures and stories of our adventures.

Having the opportunity to visit different places gives me great picture taking opportunities too! This works out perfect giving me a variety of photos for use on many products that I sell in my store and on my websites.  I get great inspiration from new places, from nature, people and sites that we visit. 

If you're travelling soon don't forget to pack it right and tag your bags with recognizable luggage tags.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Marketing Yourself And Your Business

Perhaps you're quite familiar with an 'About Me' page or maybe this is the first you're hearing about them. An 'about me' page is basically a page that shows a biography telling a little about yourself and sharing what your business is all about. It is really to show a face to your customers. This offers your potential customers a practical and professional connection while giving exposure to your service or merchandise. Sharing a personal picture of yourself gives people an emotional connection as well. Remember visuals speak to people often better than written words. With attention spans being very short these days because of all the social media sites, it can be hard to capture one's attention with text alone.

The 'about me' pages are a valuable marketing tool and a great way to expand opportunities.  A well written and designed page can reach your customers on many different levels. Although one cannot offer items for sale directly from your pages, links to your store or websites can be added. Buttons that link to your other marketing sites like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or whatever sites you are using can be added to your page as well. This is a powerful marketing tool that you should be using. I have only recently been spending more time promoting my 'About Me' page.

When you're ready to create a page for yourself, remember to keep it real. People connect best with those who are positive and upbeat. Don't make yourself up to be somebody you're not. Share a little about yourself, things that you like to do, maybe a little about your family. Things that give people a little insite into who you are.  Of course, don't foret a great picture of yourself, people like to connect with a face. Share your business and anything else you feel is important. It's pretty simple and a professional way to market yourself and your business.

Check out other people's pages to see how they've done theirs and perhaps you'll get some more ideas too!

You can visit my page here:

Designs by Shell - About Me

Friday, April 1, 2016

Push and Pull

Guess you're wondering what I mean when I say 'push and pull', hey? Well I am referring to my gym workout today.  I did an intense cardio workout that really made me put my mind to it.  First let me say, that I am preparing myself for a one week bike tour that my husband and I will be doing in about 5 weeks from now on a trip to Spain. So excited for this but I want to be in good form for 6 days in a row of biking that consists of anywhere from 30 km to 50 km a day!  It's in the mountains and we ride from village to village while the tour organizers take our luggage from place to place for us. Of course, it's not a race we can set our own pace and rest when needed but it will still be lots of riding.

 I often set goals for myself when I go to the gym. Today my goal was to do 30 mins. on the stair climber and then 40 minutes on the bike. I got through the stair climber fine and proceeded with my bike workout. This is where I had to do a lot of self talk today. The first 15 minutes went by fine but as the time grew longer my mind kept saying ah, you don't need to do the whole 40 minutes you could stop at 30 or maybe even 25 minutes is long enough. I persisted, pushed and sweat my way along, at 30 minutes I was telling myself "you've got this, just keep pedaling you're gonna make it no problem. Somehow if I let myself off and don't reach for the goals that I've set I feel self-defeated and it makes it much harder to do my next workout. Glad I persevered and finished well! Does this happen to you?

I think this can kind of relate to business in the sense that we need to set those goals, big and small and follow through with them as hard as it may be. Sometimes we have to 'push and pull' to get things done. It's always a great feeling when you accomplish your goals too!

Where is She Going

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Take Care In The Air

Many people get anxious at the thought of flying. Anxiety over flying affects millions of people world wide. There can be a variety of reasons that people get anxious and nervous every time they board an airplane. Fear of heights, enclosed spaces, lack of control and air sickness are some of the more common ones. There is an actual name for fear of flying known as aerophobia.

After experiencing several bad flights myself, I have come to have some flight anxiety as well. The excitement of going on a great trip keeps me going but doesn't alleviate my anxieties. On my last long flight to Greece I was fine for the majority of the flight but then the last couple of hours I began to experience nausea, a drop in blood pressure that left me limp and weak and I actually had to get sick in the little bags they provide. Blah... then I had to gather myself to get off the plane, wait for a couple of hours and board another plane for the reminder of my trip. This of course caused my poor husband some anxiety as well as now he was worried about how I would make it. We still had a fabulous trip to enjoy and then journey back home.  Every time something like this happens the next flight becomes a little more stressful.

Things I learned to do and bring with me to ease anxieties.

Have plenty of nausea medication in my carry on,  I found Gravol with Ginger worked the best for me. Not the regular gravol as I didn't like the drowsiness and out of control feeling it gave me but it may work for some who can tolerate this.

Carry something for bloating, cramps, etc.
Bring water, that you can sip frequently. I know they can give you some on the airplane but it's usually just a small glass.

Bring a few small snacks that you tolerate well, dried fruit, trail mix or bread sticks are good. The airplane food may not sit well with you so choose wisely if you are offered a meal.

Herbal tea is better than coffee on a long flight.

Have some good reading material that you're interested in to keep you occupied for awhile. Maybe a word search or cross word puzzle.  Watching a movie may help too.

These are just a few things that help me cope with the stresses of flying. I hope they help you too! If you have some great tips that have worked for you please leave a comment!

Ready for Take Off - Airplane Sticker

Friday, March 18, 2016

Valuing Your Time

You've heard it said, we all have the same twenty four hours in a day but it's what we do with those hours that makes the difference. Valuing your time and learning to manage it well is a challenge many people face daily. When you have a business that requires a great deal of your time and energy you want to make the most of it. Finding balance and focusing and being well organized is a big key to managing your time properly.

Everyone has days where procrastination sets in and energy levels are low and those can be tough ones to manage but organizing your time correctly and efficiently will help you be much more productive throughout your day.

No doubt, running a business takes a great deal of quality time but if you use your time wisely the results will certainly show. Remember you are the one in control of your time so choose your priorities and set up your day to run as smoothly as you can. If you're balancing children's schedules, helping parents or volunteering you'll want to factor all of these important things into your day.

A well designed work schedule can make a huge difference in what you accomplish for your business too! Sure it can be hard to follow it one hundred percent of the time but if you can manage to follow it most days you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and commitment.

Time management is really a skill that is learned. Time is defined in the dictionary by 'the point or period when something occurs'. There is clock time and real time. Time can pass quickly or drag on endlessly depending what we are doing. Time can also be seen in the growth of a child. In the long run, it's truly not about having enough time it's simply about learning to manage your time wisely.
Basically you need to plan, schedule and act on your time. You are the manager and if you value your time you will learn to be creative, take action and make things happen.  

Designs by Shell - the home of whimsical happy designs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How Much is Too Much

We've all heard that daily exercise around 30 minutes a day is beneficial to ones health. Finding a balance in your routines is crucial to not attaining burn out. This not only applies to work/home life but to a fitness and exercise routine as well. If you go to a fitness gym regularly you may notice many of the same people working out when you're there each day! Recently I have talked to some of the folks that are there and many say they're working out up to five days a week, attending fitness classes as well as working out on cardio machines and doing free weights each day as well. That's a lot of fitness training! So how do you know when 'too much of a good thing' is just that 'too much'?  I have seen it happen to several people that used to be regular gym goers',  they did fitness classes several times a week, got themselves in fantastic shape and then burned themselves out! Now many of them do nothing because they over did it. They say 'ya, I should get back to the gym but now their motivation is gone!

Many people are constantly preoccupied with their need to exercise and for some this can become a real issue. They feel anxious or irritable if they mess up their workout schedule. Sometimes these people skip meals and restrict their diets to a point of unhealthiness. Many people seem to be unhappy no matter what physical goals they reach.

Clearly we can see from society that exercise is essential and necessary and most people need more of it but many people are confused as to how much is too much or how much is good for us. There are lots of conflicting messages on social media, talk shows and adverts that dictate what people choose to do in regards to being physically active. Staying active and keeping ones self in good physical shape is important and should be a priority for everyone.When a person is happy, healthy and balanced this is when each is there best self. Taking care of ones body will spill over into every area of life and make every day activities and caring for others easier and more enjoyable.

So Balance it is, I hope you find yours!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Using Polyvore as a Marketing Tool

If you haven't gotten on the latest train to leave the station so to speak, you're missing out on some serious ways to market your business. Polyvore has been around for awhile but is taking off like a rocket, fast becoming the number one site for fashion finds, trend setting and promoting mood boards. This has become a great way to promote and market a business.

Polyvore promotes fashion, beauty, home decor and  art and expression. There are plenty of opportunities for online businesses to market products through this method.  It has become the highest converting social shopping site where members can discover and purchase items they find. Polyvore is said to have higher conversions driving more social commerce than Pinterest.

If you have an online business with products like I do, I highly recommend considering using this site to market your items and get them seen by millions. The more items you have out there the more potential for people sharing them and converting sales.

Through the Polyvore sight once you sign up, (super easy) you will begin by creating some collages, adding your own items as well as mixing in items of others. You will gain followers as you promote your collages and you will want to follow others. Liking and commenting on others creations is a good social idea and helps to encourage others to comment and share your creations too!

To Create an Account:

1) Create a profile
2) Load up your products
3) Design sets using your products
4) Connect with other Polyvore users

As you grow your following, people will discover your items and in time your products may get used by others in their collages which helps your business. This has been happening for me in just a short time. Many people use Polyvore to get inspired and comparison shop too, many want to see what the celebrities are wearing and using too!  If you have a brand or logo it can be good to include this in your collages as well.

I hope you give this site a try as I'm sure you will find it beneficial to your business in the long run. It's super fun and a little addictive too, once you start creating your sets you just want to do another and another.   Here is an example of one of my collages with my Birthday Party products! Feel free to follow me here!