Snowed In? Netflix It Up

The weather on the east coast has been brutal as of late so what better past time is there than watching Netflix. I’ve been Netflix and chilling for a minutes now with the recent holidays and timeoff from work so when I stumbled upon a documentary named “Requiem for the American Dream” and it was truly disheartening. At the same time it was an intelligent depiction of what the American Dream and democracy has progressed into. It really does a phenomenal job of explaining the illusion of democracy and how the elite keep the masses cloaked in fear and doubt to exploit the masses for cheap labor while lining their pockets like no other time in history. It summarizes our society up perfectly and explains that working for pennies on the dollar is actually the modern day slavery and has been so for a very long time. Narrated by Noam Chomsky a political activist and historian. It’s definitely worth the time if you’re looking for something good to watch and eventhough it’s non-fiction and a bit dry, I highly recommend it.
 

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New Year… New Office

We’re now 2 days into the new year and I’m officially about to head back into the office tomorrow but it’s daunting. I’ve become extremely comfortable browsing online stores for deals and staying at home with family. So much in fact that I’ve invested a few dollars in sprucing up my own home office for the new year and adding a few things that can transition from my home office to my actual office and I thought I would share.

I definitely believe in writing things down so imagine my surprise when I saw a super cute journal online for cheap. I mean I literally have “to-do list”, shopping list, personal notes and business notes on Post It’s all over my office and I needed a new cute notebook that I can carry around with me everywhere. Also my little comic desk top calendar ended so I was definitely in need of a replacement and I got both a notebook and a cute calendar from www.niftysgits.com. I mean it’s really cute stuff!!! How could I actually resist especially since I’ve been taking advantage of the all after Christmas sales? Take a look around and don’t say I’ve never done anything for you.

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NYC Louis Vuitton Exhibit Review

You can always find something to do in NYC but usually to find something free or cheap. However there are often times free jewels buried among the skyscrapers but none as distinguished as the Louis Vuitton exhibit which began at October 27 and will end January 7th. If you’re brave enough to withstand the blistering cold to wait on the line to enter the building the exhibit is well worth it.

Below are a few pictures from the exhibit as well as part of the guide talking about the train cars, crates and introduction of purses in 1920. I did know that handbags were such a recent invention. 1920 is less then 100 years ago. However purses weren’t invited by LV and neither were travel crates. It just so happen that Louis Vuitton was a wood craftsman who worked as an apprentice for many years to a Parisan box maker named Monsieur Marechal before opening his own shop and became the personal box maker and packer to Empress of France Eugenie de Montijo.

One of the rooms tour guides (Anthony) explains a bit of details about the train rides of the early 1900’s and how important trunks were to the affluent passengers who could spend many months on trains for travel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signs of Great Leadership

It’s annual review season which is either dreadfully agonizing or exciting depending on if you’re expecting a bonus, raise or promotion. If you’re one of the lucky people who actually like their jobs and manager then you should be okay but for those who begrudgingly work for a boss they dislike then it’s a toss-up. You keep up the facade for now with a smile on your face but pay close attention to these key warning signs that enables you to decipher if your job is the place stay or if you need to update your resume.

If you’Business-Coach-21re working for a job that isn’t horrible but your manager is then this is usually a sign of the work culture. I’ve been here myself and the golden rule is to look for great leadership in a company that you respect and is respectful of you and your contributions to the company. In other words make sure you like your company’s leadership or hatch a plan to seek employment elsewhere. If not you’ll be forced one day to find other employment because the business will eventually fail.  One of the primary reasons businesses continually miss the mark with objectives whether those goals are minor or major is its lack of  investing in their leadership staff.  Seldomly do these types of companies progress long-term and that indirectly impacts your salary because if they’re not progressing then how can you? Leadership staff needs to be solid because its the foundation on which the company is built and if these individuals are incapable of adequately leading teams then they are missing a huge mark. Too often people are pushed up the ranks due to seniority instead of having to actually prove that they’re capable of leading and they ultimately lose focus or motivation. How can a company expect all of it’s leadership staff to possess outstanding inherent qualities if they’re not willing to invest in their staff? If management is lacking the fundamental leadership characteristics then the entire team will follow suite and you are on a sinking ship.

Great leaders should possess certain characteristics that have been proven to work. In turn once the quantitative goals are set, leadership sets the tone which flows down to their respective teams who in return meets expectations while crushing objectives.  If your management staff isn’t focused on driving success then the team will surely follow. Let’s delve into why these traits are great motivators on driving a successful team who are fully invested in the success of the collective objective.

inherent qualities of good leadership

They focus on “WE” and not the I. Again it’s a collective objective comprised of  multiple people and components to be successful and achieve goals. Great leaders understand the impact of all in achieving goals no matter how small the task therefore the group as a whole is held accountable. One team… one dream!

A leader accepts full responsibility for the collective and assumes full responsibility when things aren’t always going well. They reassess the situation and are able to make decisions for the team in whole on next steps to regroup and steer the team in the right direction.

They always try to do the right thing and if that includes taking heat or delivering information that may not be regarded in the best light that’s what they are willing to do to ensure that wrongs are corrected.

They are visionaries! They establish clear goals and objectives for the team and for themselves. They understand that goals drive results and establish clear working goals with timelines to push the wheel forward. This also includes ensuring the team is growing professionally and learning.

Passionate about the success of their team. When someone is passionate about what they’re doing it encourages others to buy in. Others are able to see the passion as well when working with someone who truly loves what they do all while doing so with a positive attitude which is characteristic #6.

Positive attitude are a choice. You aren’t in control of what happens to you or some situations but you are most certainly in control of how you respond. You can either choose to fuse the fire and make a hostile situation worse or you can defuse the situation and come out looking like a champ. There will able be someone trying to push your buttons but you don’t have to let them succeed. How you deal with everything and everyone in your life truly sets you apart from the masses so why not raise the bar.

Build strong relationships with everyone no matter who you encounter. Simply saying good morning with a smile or a simple hello let’s people know that you’re compassionate and have interpersonal skills. Little things make lasting impressions and are the catalyst to establishing strong relationships.

Keeping your composure during difficult times shows others that you’re able to rationally think your way through tough scenarios which typically leads to better rationalization and judgement. Instead of hastily reacting you’re able to fully assess the situation and make a decision based on all variables instead of reacting without fully thinking through all possible outcomes.

Listening before adding your input leads to a better shared experience where the other person leaves the interaction feeling appreciated which is the leading factor to leaving a lasting impression. Great listening skills is also a contributor factor to building that strong relationship. People want to feel appreciated and listening to different perspectives allows the speaker to feel like they are contributing and adding value.

Celebrate progress and milestones by acknowledging successes. Acknowledment of wins no matter how small motivates the team to keep striving to achieve more success. Great leaders push their team in a healthy celebratory way which encourages all to stay focused. .and on track.

 

Women In Tech

It’s my Birthday soon and as most I’m reflecting and looking forward to new and exciting experiences with the next year. This year my birthday brought me to Miami. A place where I haven’t been in years and one thing that I realized is that there’s a lot of money to get out here. The prices in Miami are ridiculous and there are a lot of foreigners migrating to the warmer weather and beaches that the city of Miami has to offer. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excess of it all. Let me fill you in on my festivities.

We arrived at our first hotel and was literally there for 30 minutes and within those first 30 minutes we saw 4 roaches! Not 1… not 2 but freaking 4! They moved us to another room which was considered an upgrade and within the first 30 seconds another huge water bug. This bug was HUGE so that was it for us and that hotel. It was a beautiful hotel right on the water which wasn’t cheap at all but the rooms were small which would’ve been tolerable without the bugs. Plus I’m already paranoid staying at hotels because I have a fear of bed bugs. Really since a little girl, I’ve feared bugs and the thought of a bugs sucking blood from me while I’m at my most vulnerable is horrific to even think about. So we got a refund and headed off the strip to the 4 Seasons. After pulling up to the hotel and telling the doorman of our previous experience he took care of us and I do mean that literally. We booked a double bed room online but after discussing our recent experience he put us in a room with the doubles and a master suite. Okay so actually forget just the master suite, we actually had a full 2 bedroom suite with kitchen, dining room, washer dryer, foyer and 2.5 bathrooms! He even let my 7 year old pick from a toy chest and the best thing of all was the view! Oh and not a bug in sight which equated to birthday bliss for both me and my youngest daughter. Truly impeccable customer service and I now have a preferred hotel due to this one experience.

Enough about how great the Four Seasons treated me and my family during our stay. The main focus on my weekend was to determine what’s next for me. As I do every year I make it a time to reflect on the previous year and lay out a chart to build upon what I’ve already accomplished and at times I like to include some extra help.  On October 23rd I went to a group reading class and during the group all the participants had to pull a tarot card for a mini reading. When it was my turn I pulled the “Death” card. As discouraging as it sounds the death card doesn’t always mean something bad. The psychic said that what it meant for me was that I would be going through a transition or a change. Doesn’t death symbolically mean change anyway??? Hopefully my change isn’t going to negatively impact me but at the time nothing particular came to mind immediately in terms of change during my reading. So what I want to do is manifest the positive changes I want to see for myself and if negative changes are in the future then hopefully my positive manifestations will assist with that transition as well.

With that being said I do know that I whole-heartedly will manifest a change as it relates to what I do professionally. I want to help women discover new possibilities within the I.T. world.  In particular women of color! More women and especially women of color are needed in the I.T. world and juggling the high demands of I.T. and family. The world is changing and technology is playing a huge role in restructuring the world as we know it. The industry in itself is so vast and constantly evolving but one thing is certain, it’s not a dying industry and women need to take action within it. I want to step into the arena to help guide women to understand how they can make an impact. How I will do this exactly will develop but it’s where I see myself heading. It’s the legacy that I want to leave and I want to make sure that I’m able to assist even if it’s just bridging others together with information and resources that will help women change their financial futures and impact the industry.

There is money to be me made in this industry and women are taking larger roles in leading the household therefore their finances should also make strides to match the head of house-hold role. In addition to making more money the industry in itself can be very rewarding knowing that you’re impacting the world in some form and there is no debate that technology is reshaping the world. Even during my travels I see a lot of people who change locations for work and many of them are foreigners. In Miami alone it’s been reported for years that the amount of European expats who are migrating to Florida is on the rise and it’s driving real estate prices up. I don’t believe this will be a trend that will end soon. With technology playing a larger role in everyday life, people from all across the globe are discovering new possibilities in foreign lands and they’re migrating. The world is shrinking in terms possibilities therefore when we think of the future we should all think globally and that in part is largely due to advances in technology. I want to help women understand the potential and help them focus on where they see themselves within it.
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Perfect your Passion

Although we’re busy in this world ensuring that we maintain the basics it’s imperative that we remember to nurture our passions whatever those happen to be. Your passion may be singular or they may be many. Still the more you invest in yourself and do the things you truly enjoy, the more you will improve your well being. It’s nurturing to the soul and therapeutic when you’re preoccupied with task that make you happy. You in turn improve your concentration and it helps alleviate stress from other things in life that may be overwhelming.

In addition if ever you wanted to venture into a new career or have a side hustle you can transition you passion into additional income which can lead to a career overhaul.  If you’re able to transition your passion into a profitable business it will take much more than just the love of your craft so be mindful of all the additional responsibilities that would be associated with trying to turn a profit. In doing so it may take the fun and satisfaction out of it. However for most it’s a really rewarding way to earn an income and when there is love invested into in action the universe inadvertently rewards that effort with success but it will all take time. But whose actually tracking time when you’re doing things you truly enjoy?

passion

If  you’re interested in potentially building an income from your passion there are a few things that you must keep in mind.

  1. Build your network. Some people are very reserved when showcasing their most intimate goals and self expression but if you’re contemplating earning a profit out of your passion be sure that you’re setting the ground work in advance. One great way to get people talking about your skills and garner brand loyalty is to develop a social network page primarily for your craft and post frequently. You’ll build your network and your also build a consumer awareness surrounding your brand.
  2. You’ll need help. You wont possibly be able to know it all and do everything so it’s imperative that you’re able to acknowledge when it’s time to outsource and delegate certain task and responsibilities to others. There are tons of resources out there for niche employees who can do your mundane task for relatively little cost. Part of the battle is recognizing when you need to outsource. It may be that you have little interest in the brunt work or that you want to optimize your time. The little task do add up and hiring someone else to delegate those task to can often make or break your motivation to continue.
  3. Practice makes perfect! Study your craft and truly invest the time to fine tune your skill set. The more you’re familiar with the nuances and small details the better equipped you’ll be at setting yourself apart from the competition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live In The Now- Things to do right now to increase your good karma

This morning during my commute into work I was listening to radio and they were discussing how people get so wrapped up in trying to get to the next level or achieve their personal goals that we often forget to enjoy the beauty of the moment. We’re all constantly striving for more than what we currently have that we tend to forget to appreciate what we have now. This causes major issues for us.

There is nothing wrong with aspiring for more. Pushing your limits is a healthy path to growth. We can actually see that in the physical form when we push ourselves past our comfort levels with physical fitness. When you repetitively push your limits, you will gradually see the physical changes to your body. Wanting to achieve and do better than you are today is a great goal. We should all have short term and long term goals. However there are rules to everything and one thing you must do to ensure that you’re spirit is welcoming bigger and better is to practice appreciation for what you have already attained. Hopefully you’re better off now than you were a year ago or you’ve experienced wins and loses along your journey and that’s okay.  Sometimes we tend to overlook the present and fall short of being grateful for the wins along the path. We can be so set on what the bigger picture looks like or how we expect it to look that we miss being grateful for the beauty of today. Tomorrow isn’t promised but right now you’re living your perfect imperfect life. Relish in it!

Things to do right now to show appreciation and gratitude

  1. Give yourself a moment to be in the moment RIGHT NOW! Take a few slow deep breathes and tell your body and spirit how grateful you are for it’s contributions to getting you here. After a few deep breathes, take your fingers and slowly rub your chest or neck and say “Thank you”. Touch is a powerful thing and appreciation of your body with your own touch stimulates positive vibes in the same way that it does when you’re skin is stroked lovingly by someone else.
  2. Smile! Smiling instantly boost your mood and it also encourages others to feel better and to think more highly of you. If you’re one of those people who are constantly told “you’re always smiling” be proud of that. I’m sure that smile has gotten you further than you’re aware of. People want to include you in things because you appear to be more easy going. No one wants a combative person around them draining their energy. Your smile is your calling card to the world that you’re happy and present in the moment. Let your smile works it’s magic internally and externally so get to smiling.
  3. Slow down a take a few minutes to say a little “thank you” to your creator and the universe for this exact moment. You thanked yourself now thank the unseen for the things you’re unaware of that’s working in your favor spiritually.
  4.  Express gratitude and appreciation for someone who is helping you now. In addition do something small to assist someone else right now because someone is assisting you right now. It may not huge but subtle expressions of gratitude are still gratitude.Make sure that you tell that person helping you that you’re gracious and appreciative for their assistance. Make sure you’re doing little things too throughout the day to assist others in small ways or large if you’re up to it.  As you give, so shall you receive. It’s the universal law of karma.

 

Garden Inspired by Disney

I am definitely a novice at this gardening stuff but after success with my small little garden growing tomatoes, lettuce and a few other small herbs and veggies my interest has grown.That inspiration to do more with my gardening piqued when I visited Disney with my family a few weeks ago. My 7 year old daughter performed along with her dance academy at Disney and all the women in my family traveled to support her. In attendance was my grandmother who is almost 90 (pictured with my mother and children here) went on all the rides we could together but there were limits. My grandmother wanted to go on every ride that she possibly could so we made sure to do slow moving simple rides and I’m glad that we did. I would have never gone on the slower less action packed rides without her presence. During our Epcot day we went on a ride called Living with the Land and the name alone grabbed my attention but it’s definitely one of those rides I wouldn’t have gone on if it weren’t for my grandmother and the unbearable heat. Never-the-less the ride had no wait and it was a sit down ride which accommodating wheelchair riders and it completely blew my novice gardening mind. I was blown away by all the usage of the space and the amount of vegetation they were able to grow in what seemed like a confined space. In addition to the space utilization, they also used sand instead of dirt and had rows of piping for their hydroponic vegetable garden which I’ve never heard of before. Again my mind was blown and I was immediately intrigued. Their vegetables were abundant, full and extremely vibrant which I only thought could be achieved through dirt and soil gardening. After doing a bit of research I decided to give it a go and purchased a small hydroponic system to use during the winter months here in the North East.

Hydroponic systems are great for indoor use and really maximizes small spaces. I purchased small florescent lights, a grow tent and pH controllers so monitor the system because one of the biggest drawbacks is root rot. I’m trying to avoid root rot and any pest that attack my harvest and naturally an optimal pH is what’s best to assist with my overall goal. One thing that kept coming up during my search is that most people use this same method to grow indoor weed gardens so if you’re into that and it’s legal in your state it’s a great little gem to get you started. Don’t say I didn’t look out for you.

Hydroponic systems also expedite growth so you’re able to produce more plants at a faster rate. You’re also able to control the nutrients of the plants being that it’s all administer by you through the water. Since your plants aren’t getting the nutrients from soil, then it’s completely up to you how nourished your garden will be. Being that you’re able to control the nutrients and there is no dirt the roots get more oxygen and the oxygen expedites the vegetation’s growth and maturity. Your garden is also pesticide free which is healthier for you. Also there are no weeds to prune unless you’re growing weed (HA) intentionally. If you’ve ever been on the fence about growing a garden to ensure what you’re eating is healthy then there is no better time then the present to jump on it. Happy growing and I’ll be posting my progress shortly.

Weekend TV Recap

So much has happened over the weekend to chat about so let’s start with the fight. I grew up watching boxing. My father was a boxer and he would take me with him to the gym so I totally get boxing as a sport but I prefer brawling instead of boxing and Mayweather is a boxer. Brawler he is not! The reason Mike Tyson was so entertaining during his matches was the anticipation of actually seeing a brawl and a knock out. The average person doesn’t watch boxing to appreciate the technique of the boxer therefore Mayweather fights are a bit lack luster. Still I like getting together with good company. That’s always the added bonus.

GOT is over and I feel cheated that I have to wait another year and a half to see the rest! Last episode was a true cliff hanger with them finally revealing that Jon is the true rightful ruler but now he’s slept with his aunt. How are they going to work that little conundrum out? “Oh.. so you’re my auntie??? That sucks!” Then they set us up with that question he asked Dany about her not being able to have kids in addition to tying that into Tyrion’s chat about a successor I’m putting 2 and 2 together with a guess that she’s going to be pregnant during the final season after she finds out she’s slept with her nephew. Also will she want to kill him them knowing that she will never be the rightful ruler or will they just throw caution to the wind, marry and reign together on their two dragons?

I know that I say it every time I speak about GOT but I love Arya. She’s the family HITTER!!!! She just casually waited for Sansa to give the word and slit Littlefinger’s throat in front of the entire room with no care in the world and then dipped back over to the side. I’m sure she’s going to take his face after they’ve all left. LOL  Also she cleared the air with her sister about wanting to be the “lady of Winterfell” letting her know that playing dress up and having power is not her thing because she already has power knowing she can skillfully kill the whole damn village if she wanted to.
Was I the only one who was unaware of the Hound’s sibling relationship with Sir Gregor??? I honestly thought that Sir Gregor was a monster that was half dead until my daughter told me the back story regarding them. Side note: the Hound was a bit proud when Brienne of Tarth told him that little Arya was alive and slaying shit. I’m looking forward to their reunion. Also speaking of Brienne, Cersi was definitely peeping “the friendliness” she had with her lover/brother Jaime. Nothing gets past the queen and I personally don’t think that Tyrion will be the one to kill Cersi. I totally think it’s going to be Jaime as the prophecy only said it would be a brother. What good is having power and being able to see things if Bran isn’t really utilizing that power to the fullest? My final comments on the finale is that I hope Jamie makes it to meet back up with Tyrion. He loves his brother and I feel sorry for Tyrion for having to choose between his family whom he clearly loves and everything else. At least the 2 of them will be together for a short while potentially. Also was Tyrion a little hurt when he saw Jon enter Dany’s room??? I didn’t understand that one. He knew they would get together so I’m not understanding how that just threw a wrench in his plans and from the look on his face he definitely felt a ways about them hooking up.

Insecure- Love Issa and I did love Molly but now that Molly’s sleeping with the married neighbor I’m not

feeling her. I love “boss” Molly and I’m totally not feeling I’m thirsty to be loved and will take anything Molly. In addition, I’m not feeling Issa’s need to want to sleep with randoms just for the sake of sleeping with randoms either. Daniel really likes her and she’s shading him yet again. One of the most significant lessons we all learn or should learn in life is to like those who like you and Daniel likes Issa. She will never be happy trying to chase down insignificant people or trying to force a narrative which clearly isn’t authentic and too many people make those mistakes in real life. I hope they don’t push these girls to be that type because the show will become whack and not entertaining because it’s just reinforcing a misguided approach to finding love. But back to the humor in last nights episode… I love the nut in the eye scene. It was funny and I chuckled but still I was a bit disappointed in how they’re steering the characters. Hope it changes up soon and it stops being so cliche.

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