Category: Link Round-Ups

Friday Link Round-Up: So You Messed Up Edition

Sad Lilo by Elizabeth Ditty

Let’s face it: none of us are perfect all of the time.  And unless you have a puppy dog face like my dog Lilo up there, there’s a lot to be said for learning to firstly take responsibility for our errors and secondly do what it takes to make it right.  That’s what this week’s round-up is all about — what do you when you mess up.  (Pay no mind to the fact that this post is going live the day after Valentine’s Day.)

Lesson of the Week

An apology is only worth the amount you mean it.  Here are three perspectives on how to apologize.

Product of the Week

You know how I’d like someone to apologize to me? With cupcakes.  This $11 cupcake pan comes ready to transport with a cover.  So simple, yet what a difference it makes!  (And as an FYI for any sometimes or frequent bakers out there, I’ve had nothing but wonderful experience with Wilton products for baking.  They’re entirely affordable and super high quality.)

Recipe of the Week

And speaking of cupcakes, if anyone has any reason to apologize to me and wants to take my suggestion of sending me cupcakes, these carrot cake cupcakes with maple-cream cheese frosting from Smitten Kitchen are a fantastic choice.  I made them for T’s birthday (along with How Sweet Eats’ Angel Food Cupcakes — also very good), and I think I ate at least 80 percent of them. (Can I blame that on being pregnant?)

Thought-Provoker of the Week

“Compassion has enemies, and those enemies are things like pity, moral outrage, fear.” That’s a quote from Buddhist roshi Joan Halifax in her TEDTalk on compassion.

Laugh of the Week

When all else fails, sometimes the best way to say you’re sorry is from the inside of a box.

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Friday Link Round-Up: Valentine’s Day Edition

Let Your Heart Guide You by Elizabeth Ditty

I’ve always been a fan of Valentine’s Day, whether I’ve been paired or not. To me, it’s about the celebration of love in all its forms. However, I know some people beg to differ about the worth of the holiday, and the strong opinions on the subject just fascinate me.  I’d love to hear how you all feel about Valentine’s Day, too.  But first, this week’s Valentine’s-themed Link Round-Up!

Lesson of the Week

Seth Godin relates why a company’s story is integral to selling a product — using a chocolate company as a case study.

Bonus: If you missed it last week, I told you How to Show Your Clients the Love.

Product of the Week

Speaking of showing people the love, it’s a great idea to keep a box of thank-you notes on hand — and to make use of them often. I’m always so touched when I receive a thank-you note from someone, and I want to make it a point to genuinely thank people more often myself.

Recipe of the Week

Lady & the Tramp Spaghetti KissSometimes a fancy meal out can really hit the spot, but if you’re loathe to deal with the crowds and hefty bills that come with a Valentine’s meal out, why not celebrate by cooking together at home?  Single?  Cook something fancy with friends, or team up & cook a meal for a favorite overworked couple you know & love.

Bonus: 30 Chocolate Recipes from Martha Stewart.

Thought-Provoker of the Week

Back in 2011, I did an informal interview of folks on facebook and twitter & used their responses along with my own personal Valentine’s history to shape a reflection on Valentine’s Day — plus a few tips to redefine the holiday for yourself if its traditional meaning isn’t your cup of tea.

Laugh of the Week

The same year I wrote my reflection, my sister and I decided to trade people roses for their Valentine’s Day stories — on camera.  The responses were varied and enlightening — some funny, others poignant.  See for yourself below.

That’s it this week. How do you all feel about Valentine’s Day? Love it? Loathe it? Celebrate it or not? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Link Round-up: Groundhog Day Edition

The Brave One by Elizabeth Ditty

I don’t know about you, but Groundhog Day gets me excited every year — not because of poor Punxsutawney Phil being pulled from his nice, warm hole in the ground, but because it gets me thinking about spring!  I love winter for November and December, but as soon as Dec. 26 hits, I’m ready for sunny & 70 again.  I can’t promise summer weather is just around the corner, but I can deliver this link round-up — Groundhog Day Edition!

Lesson of the Week

Do you suffer from the winter blues?  Whether you have full-on seasonal affective disorder or a simple case of the winter blahs, these eight ways to beat the winter blues are sure to help.

Product of the Week

Did you know that having indoor plants can better your health? From improving air quality to reducing fatigue and stress, adding a plant to your work space can make a big difference in how you feel during the day.

Recipe of the Week

It’s not only plants that can boost your mood — it’s what you eat, too!  Check out this list of 25 meals to boost your mood from Greatist.

Thought-Provoker of the Week

If winter has left you feeling stagnant and uncertain about what happens next, these words of encouragement from Danielle LaPorte might help you take heart.

Laugh of the Week

You can’t have a post about Groundhog Day without talking about the brilliant film of the same name.

 

Remember, no matter what good ol’ Phil tells us tomorrow, remember spring starts March 20 — right around the corner!

Friday Link Round-Up: Small Change, Big Difference Edition

I <3 Coffee

When you’re facing a huge pile of tasks or find yourself in a creative rut, it’s hard to know how to climb your way of it.  But any effort starts with a single step, and sometimes making a small change in your life can make a huge difference.  That’s what this week’s link round-up is all about.

Product of the Week

I tried really hard to fall in love with French Press coffee, and for a while, we really had something going.  But after a while I had to admit that French Press was a little too acidic for my tastes, not to mention a tad bit grainy toward the bottom.  Enter the Pour Over Method, which uses a cone and a disposable or permanent filter.  It’s a beautiful thing.  I use The Kitchn’s instructions with a digital scale, but you can still get great results with a little less precision.  It’s a small change in the 10 minutes I spend making coffee in the morning (when I’m not running to Starbucks, that is), but it makes it much, much more enjoyable.

Recipe of the Week

Lately I’ve been trying to stock my freezer with ready-to-heat-and-eat meals for after the baby arrives — and also because it’s just good practice for busy people.  While Dump Chicken is perhaps the worst name for a recipe, there’s no denying the simplicity of buying chicken in bulk, placing (or fine, DUMPING) it in a Ziplock bag, adding marinade or stew ingredients, and tossing it in the freezer ’til you’re ready to stick (OK, fine! DUMP) it in a crockpot. Add a side of veggies and a complex carb, and you’ve got a well-rounded, healthy, easy meal. Here’s a list of 48 versions.

Thought-Provoker of the Week

In January of last year, I stumbled across FatMumSlim’s #fmsphotoaday challenge.  She provides a list of prompts each month, and the idea is (you guessed it) to take a photo each day somehow related to the prompt.  There are other versions of this, like #project365, as well as a bunch of photoaday copycat lists, but they all serve the same purpose — getting you to find something new/unique/remarkable every day of your life.  My record isn’t perfect (that isn’t the point), but I’ve noticed beauty in places I’d never have thought to look by taking part.  In fact, many of the photos you see on this blog are a result of that effort.  I wrote a post on my personal blog about it last year expanding on why it’s a great idea, especially for writers.  With the prevalence of cell phone cameras these days, whether you choose to post them somewhere or not, it’s definitely a small but rewarding change to your life worth considering.

Laugh of the Week

And with talk of any photo challenge must come acknowledgment that you’re probably going to take some of these photos. You can still laugh at this video and continue to take said photos. Or at least I do.

Lesson of the Week

All great ventures are done one little step at a time.  If a goal is truly important to you, if you can commit to doing at least one thing a day to get you closer to achieving that goal, you’ve got a great chance of getting there — and sooner rather than later.  Here Seth Godin offers a few ideas on using the “one thing a day” principle to market your small business.

Friday Link Round-Up: Don’t Give Up Edition

Tea Wisdom: Inspiration is an unlimited power.

They say that nearly half of us make New Year’s Resolutions every year, but only 8 percent of us are successful in achieving those resolutions.  If you’re struggling now that the newness of 2013 is starting to fade, it’s perfectly OK to give yourself a new start.  Remember, it only takes 21 days to form a habit, so there’s still plenty of time left in the year to make good on those resolutions.

Product of the Week

One way to stay on track during those habit-forming 21 days and beyond is the Chain Method, first popularized by this Lifehacker article on Jerry Seinfeld.  As much as I love all the digital tools out there, sometimes there’s nothing better or more motivational than a good, old-fashioned calendar.  I like the size & feel of a traditional desk calendar, but this dry erase calendar is pretty snazzy, too.

Recipe of the Week

If you’re looking for healthy but also delicious recipes, then check out Gina’s SkinnyTaste food blog. She provides not only the recipe (with enticing pictures) but also nutritional information (including Weight Watchers points, if that’s your program of choice), so you can choose and plan recipes to fit your diet.  Here are her Top 25 recipes of 2012 to get you started.  (I adapted her Skinny Scones on New Year’s Day, and they were excellent.)

Thought-Provoker of the Week

Forbes tells us why our New Year’s Resolutions will fail by Feb. 1 — and offers advice on how NOT to let that happen.  And remember, you can make resolutions at any time of the year, so if you’ve decided your initial resolutions weren’t quite right, use this advice to make new ones!

Laugh of the Week

Jimmy Kimmel asks folks if they’ve been able to keep their New Year’s resolutions two & a half weeks into the new year.

Lesson of the Week

And because any time is a good time for a TED Talk, 12 TED Talks to inspire your New Year’s (and anytime) resolutions.

Bonus Video of the Week

And when times get tough, just remember…

That’s it, folks! Have a great weekend!

Friday Link Round-up: Easy Peasy Edition

Tea Wisdom: May this day bring you peace, tranquility and harmony.

We’re one week into the New Year.  Are you surviving?  I always feel a little overwhelmed with everything I want to do in the New Year, so this week’s link round-up is all about slowing down and taking it a little easier.

Product of the Week

Eucalyptus Spearmint Candle from Bath & BodyworksIf you’re already feeling overwhelmed by everything you want to accomplish this year, then this Eucalyptus Spearmint Candle from Bath & Bodyworks is for you. This is one of the strongest and longest-lasting candles I have ever come across in my life. I think I’ve been burning the same one for like three years, so you’re definitely getting some bang for your buck.

Recipe of the Week

Avocado Toast by Ditty

Are you guys ready for the easiest snack ever?  Here it is:

AVOCADO TOAST

Ingredients

  • 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado
  • 1 slice of bread
  • A dash of hot sauce (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Turn bread into toast.
  2. Spread & mash avocado.
  3. Top with hot sauce, salt & pepper.
  4. Devour.

(Pro Tip: Leave the Pit in the side you don’t use, place in an airtight bag or container & refrigerate; the avocado will stay green & keep longer.)

Thought-Provoker of the Week

If you’re not familiar with TED Talks, there’s no time like the present to get acquainted.  And this list of 10 Talks on the Beauty & Difficulty of Being Creative will get you started off on the right foot.

Laugh of the Week

Via my good friend Danielle at @semicoloncomm, this is about right.

Lesson of the Week

Sarah von Bargen of the awesome blog Yes & Yes offers solid, practical advice on how to balance your ambitions and your, you know, life.  This is aimed at freelancers, but the lessons work for anyone running their own business.

That’s it for this week.  I’d love to hear your January Stress Coping Strategies, too!  Share how you’re dealing in the comments if you like, and have a lovely weekend!

Friday Link Round-Up: New Year Edition

Tea Wisdom from Yogi TeaHere’s what’s been capturing my attention around the internet this week.  If you’ve come across anything interesting (or have anything to say about the links below), I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Product of the Week

If a new and improved healthy eating plan is on your agenda for the New Year, then this Personal Blender with a Travel Lid is fantastic way to enjoy easy-to-make, vitamin-packed smoothies on your way to work or after a workout without dirtying up another cup.  Pro Tip: start with liquid, then add softer ingredients like yogurt, fresh produce, protein powders, etc., and top it off with frozen items like fruit or ice.

Recipe of the Week

And to go with that blender, how about a Green Smoothie Challenge? This collection of 5 combinations is super easy to get you into the the green smoothie habit.  I’ve been looking for easier ways to get my fruits & veggies in (since I crave salt & sugar even MORE while pregnant apparently), and smoothies are a great way to do it.  Adding a handful of spinach or kale to a fruit-filled smoothie packs a huge nutritional punch, and you’ll never even know you’re drinking spinach/kale — except for the bright green color, that is.  Throw in some Greek yogurt or some protein powder to make it a fully functioning nutritional powerhouse!

Thought-Provoker of the Week

I’m big on reviewing the previous year (the good and bad) and setting new goals for the next year.  Instead of setting New Year’s resolutions, I define New Year’s initiatives.  I first came across Nicole’s review method in 2011, and I used it again at the end of 2012.  If you haven’t done any sort of review/initiative process yet and want to, check out her free guide.

Laugh of the Week

To the point about why content matters, from The Oatmeal: How to Get More Likes on Facebook

Lesson of the Week

Inc. interviews successful entrepreneurs for their advice on How to Succeed in 2013.

Shameless Self-Promotion of the Week

Speaking of facebook (and I’m pretty sure I’m not committing any of The Oatmeal’s DON’Ts here), if you’re facebook-inclined and like what you’ve seen so far here, I’d like to invite you to visit (and like if you like!) the Sarah Writes Stories facebook page, just launched last night.  Thanks, and have an awesome weekend!