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Monday, May 8, 2017

Top Five Things To Do in Kona Hawaii

Well I just got home from a wonderful holiday in Kona, Hawaii! If you need relaxation, love exploring and awesome adventures then this is a place you'll want to visit. This was the first time my husband and I traveled and stayed in an AirBNB with friends. We all got along great, shared some fun experiences together and created memories that will last a lifetime.  

Here are my top 5 things you should plan on doing if you visit the Island of Kona, Hawaii.

1) Bike tour through the lava fields. In our group there was about 12 of us. We were shuttled in a van to the starting point to get fitted on our bikes and test them out by our driver named 'Pretty' and our tour guide Mikey! We rode in total 15 miles. We rode up and down hills and stopped at a scenic spot high above the ocean where we ate lunch that was provided by the tour. We got to walk through a lava tube and take some great pictures along the way.  If you enjoy biking and the outdoors and want to see the lava craters this is a fun way to do it. 




2) Kayaking with a guide. We did a 2 hour kayaking tour on the ocean with our guide named Happy. He told us his Hawaiian name too but it was a little harder to say. A beautiful way to see some interesting sites along the ocean shore. Caves to explore if the ocean swells are cooperating if not you will just stop in front of them and the guide will tell you some interesting stories. It was a bit of a workout as we encountered white caps and big waves that we had to work our way through. Our guide just let us take it easy and go at whatever pace worked for us. All in all it was a fun experience. 




3) Coffee Roasting Tour at Ueshima Coffee Company. If you love coffee you've got to do this. We learned how coffee is roasted to make the various strengths and types. My husband and I made French Roast and Italian Roast. Our friends made 'Full City and French Roast. This was a hands on experience and we each received 2 packages of coffee with our own personalized label and photo on it. Makes a great gift or just something special for yourself.  I definitely recommend this for a fun experience. The roast master was a very sweet lady and explained everything very well. 



4) Snorkeling, body boarding and wave jumping are all a lot of fun if you love to play in the warm ocean. Body boarding wasn't quite for me as the first time I tried I got thrown off rather violently by the waves, my friend and I decided we would just jump and play in the waves and it was just as much fun.  We saw all kinds of fish and even sea turtles. The beach and sun were very hot so we were in the ocean a lot.  





5) Botanical Gardens are amazing to visit. A great landscape of tropical plants, trees and flowers. A unique variety that you don't see everyday. Lots of walking and picturing taking.  





Well that's my list of 5 great things to do in Kona, Hawaii! We also
spent lots of time eating delicious food and visiting some great outdoor markets as well as unique shops and galleries. No lack of things to do here. 

Aloha! 




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Quick Tips For Starting a Business


Everyone at some time or other likely has dreams of starting a business, working from home and being your own boss. Sounds pretty good, right. Actually it is no free ride, you still have to work hard, put in the time and hours necessary to keep things flowing and you become very creative at juggling and learning how to grow your business. Once you've decided you're willing to put in that time and energy and have a passion for what you're doing then it's time to get things rolling. 
Hopefully you've done all your prep work and market research at this point and have set up a game plan. There are few businesses that can be started without effort and money. So be sure you have a budget set up for start up costs, even a small will get you going! So now assuming you've done all your paperwork and are working hard at your business there are a few things that you'll always be doing to propel your business into the future and stay on top of things. 

1) Continual market research

2) Revisit your business plan often

3) Revise goals, small and large

4) Be prepared for bumps in the road but find ways to overcome them (entrepreneurs weren't built in a day)

5) You'll need a url and website, business whether brick and mortar or online really can't survive without one

6) Sell, sell and sell some more

7) Try new marketing techniques and methods as what may work for some businesses may not work for others

8) Business cards still work, always have them ready to give out

    Baking Theme Business Card Collection, Ready to Customize








Saturday, April 8, 2017

How To Get Targeted Traffic To Your Websites

Everyone wants to find reliable sites that can bring that targeted traffic to your own website. I know there are a lot of websites that claim to send free targeted traffic to your page but I also know from past experience that to get the right targeted traffic you're going to need to invest some money. Now I'm not talking about thousands or even hundreds of dollars here but if you can put aside even a small amount for your marketing budget, even as low as $50 is a good place to start. 

I want to share with you two traffic sites that I am using and believe that they are working to bring the right traffic to my site.  

The first one is called 'Rebrandable Traffic'  

1. Add a Campaign, create a destination url, enter the visit limiter (when to shut off your campaign) enter keywords, click type of traffic you want to view your site, click save campaign. (very simple process)

2. Purchase credits through 'Credit Store', follow the prompts through Paypal, in minutes they show up in your account and you can then apply them to a campaign. 

3. Turn on your Campaign. When it runs out of credits it will automatically turn off. 

Sounds pretty easy, hey! With Rebrandable Traffic you can track you campaigns and there is also an option to resell your traffic. Another little perk you might enjoy.  The traffic packages often go on sale and this is the best time to purchase them to get the most value for your money. I have bought 1000 credits for as low as $2.50 so watch for the deals. Join Rebrandable Traffic here and start seeing your business grow. 

The second Traffic Website is called 'Kris Clicks' 

This site is just over a week old so still in the early stages. I just signed up yesterday and began using it to drive traffic to my shop.  This site is different in that it places your banner ads on already established partner traffic sites and networks to bring visitors to your website.  They over a great 25% commission on referrals. Adding another way for you to increase your earnings. For a time, first time users receive 100 free credits to get started but I'm not sure how long this promo is on. Go here to sign up and start sending visitors to your website now. Without targeted visitors your site can't grow and you cannot make the money you deserve. 



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Travelling in the Spring

Spring is here and I don't know about you but I can't wait to travel to a sunny destination. The rainy weather and late snowfalls have made the winter drag on and on and I am so ready for the sun to shine at least for a few days in a row! Thankfully my husband and I have a Hawaii trip coming up this month. White sand, warm water, snorkeling, paddling and lots of adventures that we will pack into just over a week on the Big Island!  

Getting ready for a trip can sometimes be daunting as there are so many details to think about, Obviously booking your flights and place to stay are the big ones here but also smaller details like what to buy before hand, what to pack and take on the plane with you too.  I like to make lists and each time you travel it gets a little easier to know what you want to bring and what you can leave behind.  

Here is a set I put together to help with some ideas for you ladies to think about bringing in your carry on, on the plane. I like to be prepared so I thought these things were all fairly important.  You can also add a change of clothes to this, 



  Things I've learned when you are preparing to go on an airplane or long flight. 

Eat lightly the day before your travel.  Avoid all fast food! Grease is not your friend! Think about eating protein like chicken, fish or turkey as this will keep you satiated and is easier to digest. Fruits and non gaseous vegetables are fine to consume as well, just not too much.

On the flight bring snacks like bananas, nuts, veggie sticks and bottled water. You need to stay hydrated so drink plenty of water or light fruit juices even if it means more trips to the washroom.

Keep items like tums, antacids and something for stomach cramping in your carry-on. Gravol can be useful to keep nausea away. I like the Gravol with ginger and the one that is non-drowsy. I don't like to be lethargic or out of it on the flight. Mints are better than gum as chewing gum can cause indigestion because you swallow air as you chew. 

Well hope these tips help you and I hope you get to enjoy some sunshine wherever you travel. 




Thursday, March 9, 2017

Put Those Dental Fears Behind You

When you were a child do you remember being afraid of going to the dentist or were you one of the brave and happy kids that had no aversion to visiting a dental office?  I remember quite well being terrified of visiting the dentist. I think it had something to do with all of the dental tools, the 'big' chair and the guy in the mask, lol, I mean the dentist.  Many children and adults have convinced themselves that a dental office is a place to fear. Sometimes the adults actually pass this fear on to their children. Kids tend to get anxious and nervous about going to the dentist probably because they don't really know what to expect and it just seems scary to them. 

We are all well aware that consistent dental visits at least once a year but preferably twice is what most dentists recommend. There are many ways that dentists can help ease a child's anxiety over their visits. 

First off creating a playful, relaxed atmosphere and mood in the office can go a long way. Rooms with bright walls and colorful posters can help a child feel calm. A pediatric dental office is specially designed to make children feel welcome but if you can find a regular dentist that you feel is the right fit for your kids then that is perfectly fine. 

Offering each child a small toy, dental stickers along with a toothbrush and toothpaste at the end of the visit can help make the child feel special and promote good feelings for the next time they return. 

I love designing products for dental offices. Whimsical and unique designs to make an office a calm and relaxing place for people. 

Dental Office Products - find a variety of items to dress up your office. 

Here are a few items that I'm selling to dental offices. 







Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

Well today March 7th, is known as National Cereal Day. Did you know this? Cereal has become one of the most popular breakfast foods in America. Not only do people consume cereal for their morning meal but often as a quick dinner option and readily as a bedtime snack. It is loved equally by children and adults. 

Cold cereals are the most popular. The choices and varieties are endless from sugary sweet types to healthier flakes and grains.  It can also be made into breakfast bars and used in recipes for squares and cookies too.  Example: Rice Krispie Squares

In 1863 the first cold cereal called Granula was invented by James Caleb Jackson. Cereals now are enriched with vitamins and minerals. Many contain iron, thiamine, niacin and riboflavin and a high fiber content. Protein is there when milk is added. 

Cereal is known as a staple crop and provides more food energy than any other type of crop. All cereals fall into the category of cereals or grains. These include rice, brown rice, barley, wheat, millet, oats, maize, sorghum, rye and buckwheat to name several. 

Support this day by having a healthy bowl of cereal! 









Monday, February 27, 2017

Change Your Routines and Get Unstuck

Everybody has days or sometimes weeks when they feel completely stuck. By stuck I mean unable to move forward or gain ground in something. It might be a relationship for you, it may be in your fitness workouts, in your job, or perhaps you're simply in a creative rut. One can be stuck in big or small ways. Whatever it is you feel stuck in, it can make you feel very unsettled and anxious. 

One of the best ways to pull oneself out of a rut is to completely change up what you're doing. I mean if your sleeping in, get up earlier, if you're going to the gym in the afternoons switch your workout to mornings or evenings. If you're super strict with your eating give yourself a break and have a treat or if it's the other way around stopping eating so much junk food and substitute that for healthy snacks.  The idea is that you break the routines that might be making you stuck and gain some momentum by changing things up. 

Like today for instance, my plan was to head to the gym at 10 am but the weather (snowing again) changed those plans. Thanks to gym equipment at home and some motivational youtube clips I had a great workout this morning. No, it wasn't my usual gym workout but it was good to do a different workout using different muscle groups while do exercises that are a change from my normal gym routine. 

We can often become so focused on the situation or circumstance that we feel stuck in or are trying to get out of that we forget that we have choices and some control. It might be a negative attitude, a fear we hold, something that someone has said about us that might be playing a role in where we find ourselves. It may also be because our life pace is just to busy, making you feel tired and over worked. If we are always all about routines we will eventually find ourselves stuck. 

We are meant to continually learn and grow and try new things in this life. Limiting ourselves is something that comes from within and we can retrain our brains to change things up. So whether it is something small and simple like changing your gym routine, working different hours, spending more time with your kids or adding some traveling to your life. Go for it, break your routines once in awhile and you'll get unstuck. 



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Change and Challenges

Have you ever set yourself a goal that really challenges you? The month of January starting Jan. 1st I challenged myself to go without sugar for the entire month. Sugar was something I'd been reading and researching a lot about and had been wanting to cut back on for awhile. So it was a month of change and challenge for me. I do love chocolate and my husband has a big sweet tooth as well so he was often eating his treats while I ate a piece of fruit or nibbled on a few dates.  Now by not eating sugar for this time, I mean I had no desserts, no chocolate not even a mint during the month. I did not eliminate what is called hidden sugars, sugars that are found in things like maple syrup which I only had a couple of tablespoons of but I don't eat a lot of prepackaged or processed food anyway so this wasn't too big of an issue for me. 

I really only experienced a handful of days where I had strong cravings for chocolate but I did not cave in and powered through. I found if I changed up my routines and did things a little differently I could avoid thinking about what I was missing. 

As I wrote about the addiction to sugar in my last post this is kind of a continuation to let you know I survived the month. I found doing this really lets you take a step back and think about what you are feeding your body on a daily bases, I really consider now my choices for what I want to put in my body. I am eating way more fruit, nuts and seeds now in place of the sweets. Now that I know that I can handle leaving many of the sugar things out of my diet I feel so much better.  My gym workouts are better, I have more energy throughout my day.  It was a great challenge and I encourage you to give it a try if you want to boost your health and create a healthier lifestyle for yourself. 

List of Healthy Snacks to Replace Sweet Ones

- cut up fruit like apples, pineapple (my favorite) cantaloupe or whatever you like
- 1/4 cup of peanuts or walnuts
- pumpkin seeds
- 4 or 5 naturally sweetened dates
- a 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, add your own fruit like blueberries or strawberries
- 1/4 cup of cooked oatmeal 

I hope this inspires you and challenges you to make a change in your own life. It can be whatever works for you. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Addiction That's Stealing Your Health

So you probably thought I was going to say that your iphone was the culprit hey? Actually I'm talking about the silent killer, yup the one that no one wants to admit is wreaking havoc on your health. Sugar, yes, there it is. Sugar is the addiction that is stealing your health and shortening your life. I've recently been reading a lot about 'sugar' in all it's various forms and the damage that it does to our bodies when abused or consumed in excess. 

It's no secret that the western diet is clearly one that is driven by sweetened foods. Though most people know that loading up on sugary foods and snacks is not good for their bodies it can be a real struggle for people to break this addiction or even realize that they are addicted to it. Sugar actually stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain making us crave more and more of it.  Sugar is labeled with a lot of different names as to likely confuse the consumer when label reading. Here are some of the names that sugar can be hidden under:  

  1. Dextrose
  2. Fructose
  3. Glucose
  4. Sucrose
  5. High Fructose Corn Syrup
  6. Lactose
  7. Maltose
  8. Agave Nectar
  9. Fruit Juice Concentrate
  10. Evaporated Cane Syrup

 The list really does go on, there are loads more words that we perceive to be healthy but are really disguising sugar. Here are some reasons that I've discovered that might make you think twice about the added sugar that you're putting into your body. I"m not talking about natural sugars that come from fruits as our bodies do need this sugar to produce energy. I'm talking about sugars that come from all types of desserts, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, chocolate, etc., you get the idea. Also the sugars that are hidden in foods that we don't even realize are in there. Foods like ketchup, worcestershire sauce, yogurts, granola bars and so on.  
     

  1. Contains no essential nutrients
  2. Can overload your liver and cause fatty liver disease
  3. Increases toxicity in the body
  4. Messes with blood sugar levels
  5. Causes inflammation
  6. Can contribute to cancer
  7. Sugar is highly addictive
  8. Can lead to obesity
  9. Raises cholesterol 
  10. Contributes to heart disease                                                          
One of my goals this January is to get healthier and reduce my sugar intake. As of today I am on day 18 of no sugar. Meaning no sweets or chocolate, nothing other than natural fruits. So far I had a headache for a day in the first week but other than that I feel great and have no cravings for it.  I think being active and working out regularly definitely helps with this too!  Did you set any health goals for yourself this year, if so I'd love to hear what they are. Feel free to leave your comments.                                                                  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Push Yourself a Little Harder

A new year, means a time for new beginnings. A time to set some new goals and challenges and perhaps push yourself a little harder. I don't mean over do it but maybe it's time for you to try something different, challenge yourself with something you've always considered too hard to do. There are many ways to stretch yourself and make small changes to grow. 

I like this quote "Small changes eventually add up to huge results" Think about that, baby steps really do make a difference if you're consistent with them. 

If you manage an online business like myself you know that you always have to be learning and staying on top of the game. Otherwise literally, you will lose. It's about learning new marketing methods, seeing what changes have taken place as nothing stays the same online for very long. Yes, it can be challenging to learn how to navigate new tools and information but it is all part of running an internet business. 

E-commerce has reached crazy heights with new businesses and services exploding onto the web every minute of every day. This is why it is so important to work hard and explore new options to grow your business continually.  Learning new skills and ways to enhance your website can be pretty fun too! 

I encourage you to join forums that relate to your business, accept and offer useful advice, read helpful blogs and find new ways to present your business.