Balancing Priorities

25 10 2009

According to Webster, a priority is “something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.”  When it comes to balancing priorities, we must first identify what our values are so we may order our priorities correctly.

This requires a bit of work, but -please- take a few extra minutes and do this with me. Grab your journal or even a scratch piece of paper and write these things out.  This is for you (and for me, too -I’m doing it along with you) and a mental list simply won’t cut it.  If you want to balance priorities in your life, you’ve got to put some effort into to.  Starting now.

Important: marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence : valuable in content or relationship

Here’s our first assignment:  List the top 10 things that are important in your life.  (ie: goals, people, jobs, values, etc.) What is of greatest value to you?

What did you come up with? Were you surprised by your answers?  I always am.  Here’s my list; the first three are tops, but the rest are in no particular order.

-Family (husband, children)

-Relationship with God

-Fulfilling my purpose in Christ

-Being responsible with what I’ve been given

-Fun

-Creating

-Good physical health/exercise

-Rest -time for myself

-Relationships -extended family and friends

-Creating a peaceful environment and homelife, nurturing

Looking at your list, does your daily life reflect these things? If you’re like me (and I’m betting most of you are) you’ll already see there’s a contradiction between our values and how we ration our time.  Yep, I can already see several things that I need to rearrange in my life.  On to the next step.

Step 2: Pick the top 5 most important items in your list and write down how you can begin to integrate them into your daily life in order to bring greater balance and satisfaction to you. You might pick one or two that stand out on your list as things you’ve been meaning to work on, such as physical wellness or rebuilding relationships.

Relationship with God Daily quiet time, get in a community-based bible study for fellowship and accountability.

Family Stop working when Brian gets home until Wilder goes down to bed.  Focus on my family during that time.  Make nice dinners we can enjoy as a family and/or couple.

Fulfilling my purpose in Christ Prayerfully consider directions with Uncommon Women, seek guidance from godly women, focus on being the best mom and wife I can be.

-Relationships (cringe) Write more letters and start remembering people’s birthdays and special occasions.

Rest Create a sabbath, a time of rest.  Spend time each day surrendering to Christ and working on it as an attitude.  Focus each day on my little girl growing inside me, praying for her and connecting.  I need to rest so I can have the energy and focus for the other wonderful people and things in my life.

Oh, I feel better already!  Do you?  Hm… for those of you who said, “No” consider this:  What is blocking you from making these things top priorities? What is keeping you from truly LIVING what is important to you?

Think about that.  WRITE IT DOWN.  Really communicate with yourself and write out what’s going on.  Too many activities, not enough time? It’s time to start simplifying in order  to increase your quality of life, and the quality of life for your family.  Hey, I’m in that same boat, ladies, and I understand the struggle.  Having a 2 year old, anticipating a new little one, starting up new businesses and organizations, running a household, literally working from dawn to practically dawn -it’s tough!  And it’s so easy to lose focus on what is truly important to you.

Sometimes we aren’t living our top priorities because we’re trapped in fear, not believing that we can do or be more or afraid of what others will think.  DO NOT let fear stop you from living you passions or your dreams. Yes, we need to be wise and cautious, not jumping into things without thinking, but we need to live the lives we’ve been created to lead -and those are lives of victory, great fulfillment, and abundant joy.

Order your life to fit your priorities, don’t let The Urgent make those decisions for you.  My dear friend and mentor, Gina Murrow, coached me on The Tyranny of the Urgent versus The Important.  Just hearing that concept changes how you think, doesn’t it?

I have started keeping a mid-sized white board by my computer that I update daily.  I have a list of The Important and The Urgent, as well as a list of to-dos for the week.  I check things off, I write new things down – it’s a way for me to keep perspective on my day.  When I get sidetracked by something on the computer that fritters away my time, I am learning to stop and get back on course.  I’m also learning to say “no” to email addiction.  You know what I’m talking about -that impulse to check email every 10 minutes so you can stay on top of the latest communication.  It all comes down to being purposeful and intentional with our time. I am choosing to stop my work to spend time with Wilder while he’s playing so I don’t miss out on those precious moments.  I am choosing to allot several minutes to electronic communication and conquering my to-do list during nap time instead of browsing folks and companies on Twitter (oh, so tempting…) I am choosing to plan dinner ahead of time so I can provide a peaceful and enjoyable evening for my husband after his 14 hour work days.

Live your priorities, not The Urgent. We live in a day of urgency, which gives no rest, no peace, no deeper fulfillment and we must choose to stop. Take control of how your life is lived and reflect on these verses with me.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:13

That means the strength to stop.  The strength to take care of yourself.  The strength to live your priorities, not the world’s expectation of you.

Peace be with you as you begin to live in greater fullness.

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Beauty Bootcamp: Women’s class starts Nov. 2nd!

21 10 2009

Alright soldier!  Strap on those heels, it’s time for BEAUTY BOOTCAMP!

Beauty Bootcamp

BEAUTY BOOTCAMP is kicking off early! The Women’s course is starting this coming Monday, November 2nd through Nov. 23rd  from 7-9:30pm at my home in Georgetown, TX.  $175, includes materials.

It’s 4 weeks of intense training on beautifying from the inside out.

We’ll hit wardrobe, poise, confidence, inner beauty, etiquette, skin, nail and hair care, make up, communication, public speaking -just to name a few.

The classes are Christian-based, meaning we’re working on Christian principles when we address how we put ourselves together both on the inside and outside.

Teen Classes (9-12 grade) start Tuesday, November 3rd through Nov. 24. 7-9:30pm  Class size limited to 8 students, so sign up early. $175, includes materials.

Girls Classes (6-8 grade) start Wednesday, November 4th through Nov. 25. 7-9:30pm  Class size limited to 8 students.  $175, includes materials.

Call (512) 639-6908

or email UncommonWomenGroup@gmail.com

*Classes payable by credit card, cash or check.  Ask about our deferred payment option.





Beauty Bootcamp!

14 10 2009

Beauty Bootcamp

Beauty Bootcamps Start the weekend of November 14th.  Saturday and Sunday classes available for girls, teens and women.

Time Commitment: 4 days over the course of 4 weeks.  2 1/2 hour sessions.

Fee: $175  (includes materials)

Graduation ceremony and professional portrait for all who successfully complete.

Give yourself or your daughter the skills to become a true woman of beauty, to be a cut above, and have true confidence.  Enroll today.

Uncommon Women

(512) 639-6908

UncommonWomenGroup@gmail.com





Style Watch: Skirts Getting Longer!

10 10 2009

Ladies, if you haven’t noticed, the hemline is lengthening!

Just below the knee and mid-calf are the hot styles for fall and winter (which helps keep warmer legs!)  But remember, no matter what’s “a la mode” you need to wear a length that is flattering to your figure.

If you have chicken legs like me, skirts cut directly at or slightly above the knee are great, as well as mid-calf which creates the illusion of a fuller muscle.  Angle length is also excellent for slender limbs.

Thick calves? You’ll look great in skirts cut right above or at the knee or go for tea or ankle length.  Careful not to accentuate those lovely built calves by cutting them at their fullest, creating the illusion of an even fuller calf.

Thick ankles, but love skirts? Try wearing boots this season!

You deserve to feel beautiful and have a perfect way to work with your body shape and build, learn how to dress it!

This skirt reminds me of  Rosemary Clooney in “White Christmas.”  You know, the scene where she has a tiff with Bing Crosby while ‘rehearsing the Blessings number.’   I LOVE that movie, don’t you?

Gorgeous on a fuller figure or if you have lovely curves!

My Classic Black Skirt. A pencil skirt with personality.  Perfect for skinny or proportionate legs.

BootsBOOTS – & MORE Boots! These pairings of boots and skirts are excellent examples of ways to combine two loves -dresses & leather- for stunning and economical looks!





Uncommon Women: An Introduction

6 10 2009

An introduction to Uncommon Women.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Uncommon Women: An Introduction“, posted with vodpod





Profiles of Uncommon Women: Dian VerColen & Amy Bissonett

4 10 2009

Dian VerColen of Cameo Chocolates and Amy Bissonett of Discovery Design are October’s featured Uncommon Women. Both are small business owners and have inspiring stories to share about the birth of their businesses and the journey along the way.  Catch their passion, get inspired, and be encouraged by these two Uncommon Women!

Uncommon Women:  How did the dream of your small business begin?  Share with us how your vision came about.

Amy: When I made the decision to get my degree in Graphic Design I hoped to one day work for myself. What was even more important to me at that time was having not just a degree, but a skill. After graduating from college I had several amazing job opportunities that taught me a lot about the industry and how to apply all of the skills that I had learned. There were years of juggling schedules in efforts to balance work and family. Many of you are familiar with that routine and that was where the dream began… out of desperation!

Dian: I worked for Thornton’s Chocolates in the US while in high school.  There were only 7 stores in the US, and our location was in a mall right across from Godiva.  Our flavor and quality was far superior, and I was proud to be working for the underdog.  As an adult, I made truffles for a few Christmas gifts before we moved to Texas, but without a tempering machine, they had to be rolled in cocoa, nuts, etc.  I always gave baked goods and a few candies to our neighbors and family as gifts, which were well received.  One year I decided to take the plunge and invest about $200 in a tempering machine. The chocolates were a huge success that year, and no one could believe that they were homemade.  From then, it became more chocolate and fewer cookies/cakes every year until I decided to make it a business.  I still make Cameo Christmas Cakes every year, and last year sold them at the cupcake shop and online.  They’re so delicious!

UW:  How did you develop the confidence to step out into small business and what were your first steps?

Amy:  One day I found out a local association was bidding out their conference brochure and I made a leap, bid on it and got the job! The success of this one job made me realize all of the possibilities that were right in front of me. This was exactly what I had been looking for. I went ahead and went through the steps of setting up my company as a Sole Proprietorship, set up a way to track my hours and billing and built a simple website to establish myself locally. After that first conference brochure the association had me do all of their design work and then they told a few people and so on and so on. I now do all sorts of design work from any all printed work to web design  for many associations and companies. My business at this point averages out to more of a part time schedule, but that is what I need now in order to keep that work-life balance, but I know I can grow more when and if I need to.

Dian: After enough people said they would be willing to pay for my chocolates, I thought it might be wise to investigate further.  Registering as a business and getting a food handler’s permit were not difficult.  When you’re starting out, don’t get caught up on whether you should incorporate, be an LLC, or sole proprietorship.  Start small (and cheap) and see if your business can be profitable before going further.  Get some basic insurance to protect you and your investment, and get to work!  I received some fantastic advice from an accountant who told me to keep my day job.  She loves my chocolates but knows that a good product doesn’t necessarily equate to a good business.  She suggested going to farmers markets to get public feedback before going any further.  Before I could even do that, I had to find a certified commercial kitchen, which proved to be very difficult.  After a lengthy search, I found a couple that owned a party venue and used their kitchen mostly for weekend events.  I rented it a few times and then began to rent monthly.  Within a year, I heard Cherie’s story and knew that I wanted to rent from her.  We met, hit it off.  She has been such a great mentor to me ever since.

UW:  Share with us a key encouragement and also a key set back and what it’s taught you.

Amy: I don’t know that I have had any set backs, but a challenge that I continually face is being able to independently keep up with technology. This is a really fast paced ever changing industry. The minute I learn a new software program the next version is out. The majority of my work is in print design and with the ever growing web presence I have had to learn web design too. If I worked on-site with a team of designers more than likely there would be scheduled training as well as the resource of your fellow co-worker to rely on. Working with a team helps you double time that learning curve where inversely it just takes more time to learn on your own. I’ve learned to stay focused on the items that I need to learn that really apply to me and my business and not to get overwhelmed with the big picture.

What encourages me is knowing that I have a good thing going on. I feel extremely blessed to have an extremely supportive husband and family as well as loyal clients that make it possible for me to be doing what I absolutely love!

Dian: One of the key setbacks for Cameo is related to storage space.  Storage will always remain an issue as long as I rent a kitchen, instead of having my own.  During a busy holiday season when the Galaxy kitchen was rented several evenings a week, I was renting two different kitchens.  One night, I was at the kitchen with no storage space, and had to transport the finished goods back to Galaxy.  It was about 1:30 am and I had finished a long, but productive night.  As I as rolling the cart of supplies and finished goods to my car, the vibration from rolling on the pavement caused one of the bins to fall to the ground and open, spilling the contents on the sidewalk.  I lost nearly $200 of finished goods, not to mention a whole night my time.

It is always encouraging to see the reaction that people have when they taste my chocolate for the first time – especially if I’m asking them to take a chance on something exotic of if they’re a self-proclaimed chocolate snob (like me).  I love being at an event and having someone buy only one or two pieces, and then immediately come back to buy some gift boxes.  I love when my children (and nephew) try to create new flavor combinations, or when my husband encourages me and supports a business change or idea.  I love when Kacy does an event with me and says things about Cameo Chocolates that I’m too modest to say myself.  These are all so encouraging to me.

The MOST ENCOURAGING thing is when a person or a business buys my chocolates to give as gifts, because it’s an endorsement.  It shows that they enjoy Cameo Chocolates enough to give it to someone they care about.

Uncommon Women: Thank you, Dian and Amy, for sharing your stories!  Both women will be guest speakers at October’s Event, “Small Business & Balancing Priorities,” Oct. 16th 7-9:30pm. Please join us for an open forum discussion on small business tips, our wonderful guest speakers, and a fireside chat on how to balance priorities so we can truly live in peace and fulfillment!





An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale

24 09 2009

holiday show and sale

November 7, 2009

From 3 to 8pm

Held at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce

100 Stadium Road

Georgetown, TX 78627

We want you!

Ladies, if you have a small business and create your own product or art, sell a product, offer a service, or even have a storefront and want to get some sales and exposure you can reserve a table!

Vendor Information

Available Booth Space: 35 spots available.  One table available to use per booth while they last (20.)  If you need additional tables, please bring them.

Fee: Register by October 7th for $25 per booth.  After Oct. 7, $35 per booth.

Registration: Email interest to uncommonwomengroup@gmail.com.  Or call Kelly Cameron at (512) 639-6908.  Please share what you plan to sell or represent and include either pictures of product or your website.  To ensure fairness to vendors some types of companies have limited spots.  I apologize in advance if we are unable to accept your registration due to multiple representatives.  Registration is closed after October 25th.

Guidelines

-Please provide tasteful table covers, preferable reaching halfway or full length to the floor.

-The event is a Christmas Holiday theme.  Please try to integrate the festive spirit in your presentation and dress.

-We are aiming for a professional, friendly and productive event infused with holiday cheer!

-Registration may be paid by check or cash and is due by October 7th for early registration and by October 25th for late registration.

Uncommon Women is a faith-based non-profit organization with the mission to encourage women of all ages to be confident, godly, beautiful inside and out while living with passion and greater purpose.  We ask that vendors respect and represent this vision as they participate in this fun event.

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce in no way endorses the contents of the program or services offered by Uncommon Women and the vendors present.