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Sunday, September 29, 2013

How to Contact a Recruiter on LinkedIn

So, you are in the midst of your job search and want to increase your chances of landing an interview by contacting a recruiter directly.  Let me clarify that your goal is to connect with a Corporate Recruiter or HR person, not an agency recruiter or headhunter.

Here are some tips from a Corporate Recruiter:

  1. Leverage the LinkedIn Advanced Search.  In the keywords section, type the following:  "human resources" OR recruiter OR "talent acquisition" OR recruiting OR HR.  [If you are not familiar with boolean and would love to dominate Google search, then you might want to look into this.  It's a great skill to have in any role.]  In the company section, type the company you are interested in.  Select current.  Submit your search.  This should return a list of possible people to contact who will either be working on the open requisition you want to apply for or at least know how to put you in contact with the person who is responsible for the role you are applying.
  2. Connect with the Recruiter and include a short message in your LinkedIn request.  You only have so many characters available so make the most of it.  I would recommend something like, "I recently moved to San Diego and am interested in your open Sales Manager role.  I am also interested in networking with you for other possible opportunities."  I always select "We've Done Business Together" if I don't have any other options.  The note explains the rest.  Another option is to look at the Groups the recruiter belongs to and join one of them.  Then you can select the "Group" option in your connection request.
  3. Follow Up.  Once the Recruiter has accepted your request, follow up with a more detailed message.  Make this your "cover letter".  See my previous post on How to Write a Cover Letter for some tips to employ.
  4. Be Positive.  In many cases, your best efforts are just going to get the Recruiter to take a 1st or 2nd look at your resume.  If you are not what they are looking for and they let you know that, then please do not argue.  Politely thank them, let them know you are very interested in the company, are open to future opportunities, and wish them the best of luck in their search.  You can try to ask for feedback, but in most cases, legal liability will not allow them to give you any.  Plus, now that you are connected to them, you will be more likely to see any new job openings they post.  And since most recruiters are extremely connected in the community, you might be able to leverage that connection in your job search.  As an individual on LinkedIn, you are limited by who you can see by the number of people you are connected with, but when you add a recruiter, then all their contacts become 2nd connections.  You gain more visibility to other recruiters and HR professionals which can only be a plus.
  5. Put Yourself in the Recruiter's Shoes.  When in doubt, put yourself in the recruiter seat.  This will give you insights into whether or not what you are asking or saying is appropriate or inappropriate.  I have had candidates argue profusely with me about the fact that they are the perfect person for the role, to the extent that they leave me a voicemail every day and curse my incompetence and yell at me.  While this may be extreme, you can only imagine how scary and threatening this behavior can seem.  I am trying to find the best employee for my jobs, and this kind of scenario only confirms to me that I was right in believing this person was not a good culture fit for my company.
  6. Think Strategically.  Sometimes, when I meet new people and they find out I'm in HR, I can get some mixed reactions depending on people's personal experiences with HR professionals and recruiters.  I have been at a party before, when a guest found out I was in HR and immediately went into a rant about how HR is the reason why she did not have a job because hiring managers always want to interview her and then HR puts a stop to it.  Now, I recruit and interview for a living.  No one knows the recruiting and interview process better than a corporate recruiter.  If she had asked, I probably could have told her that perhaps the hiring manager did want to interview her but did not have approved budget, and then we could have brainstormed together how she could approach this situation if it were to come up again or look at strategies for any other future opportunities.  If you have the opportunity to meet someone at your ideal company, step back and think strategically about how you want to approach the conversation.  Many times, I cannot give feedback to someone applying to one of my company's open positions, but I am usually open to giving general advice and feedback to candidate's applying to other jobs.
Remember that how you approach a recruiter online or in person is a reflection of the type of employee you are.  Make sure you are representing yourself and your personal brand in an intentional way.  Think of the words you would want the recruiter to use when describing you to the hiring manager.  I personally like the words "Polished" and "Successful".  Make sure you ask yourself "Does my profile or my message seem like the reflection of someone who is polished and successful?"  This way you are managing your personal brand and representing yourself in a purposeful way.  

What do you think?  What two words would you use to describe your personal brand?



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Saturday, September 28, 2013

What is a Blogging Community - SITS Girls

Twitter Party
So I participated in my first Twitter party today.  That seems rather crazy since I've been on Twitter for 5 or 6 years now.  Not sure what I was waiting for, but the SITS girls finally got me to see what all the fuss was about.....AND I loved it!

The #SITSsharefest was so fun and I met some great fellow bloggers.  The stream of posts was so vast that it was hard to scroll and keep up, and yet the madness of it all added to the excitement.  I'm truly enjoying these new experiences and connecting in the blogging community.  I feel like I'm learning new things everyday.  I know it gets a bad rap sometimes, but social media has really allowed me to make some pretty cool connections with people I otherwise would never know.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

I know it's a couple days late, but I just stumbled upon this Be Happy blog project, compliments of the above Twitter party and fell in love with the concept.  I really believe that if you surround yourself with positive happy people, then your life will be truly enriched and well, HAPPY :)  And I don't know about you, but I love to smile and making others smile.

Will you join me?  Also, check out Why I Blog for some insights on what makes me happy.  I'd love to hear what you do that makes you happy!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What to Wear to Work - Tieks by Gavrieli

Tieks by Gavrieli are the only ballet flats I think I will ever wear.  Something has to be said for the special relationship a woman has with her shoes and the place in her heart she has for only very special brands.  There are some brands, you just gravitate to because they are gorgeous and comfortable.  Every girl has her favorites.  My best friend loves Seychelles for instance, and I've always loved Callisto wedges.  You seek them out, and you cannot get enough of them.  I received my Tieks a little over a week ago, and I have a sneaking feeling that they have become one of those such brands.  I'll find myself just sitting there staring at my feet, mesmerized by how they shimmer and change color in different lights.

Almost like an Apple product, even the unwrapping was an "experience" as opposed to just rote packaging.  My beautiful flats arrived in a simple teal box, adorned with a cute elastic flower band, modeled by my daughter above.  As you can see, the shoes are made to fold and fit in your purse.  They even come with a cute portable black bag to carry them.  And like a Nordstrom personal touch, there was even a handwritten note card addressed to me.

Now, I am not your typical flats-wearing girl.  In fact, I usually dislike flats.  It is probably because I'm 5' 3", and I usually feel short and frumpy in flat shoes.  The only time I really wore flats was when I was pregnant.  Fast forward to today, where I am making up excuses to wear my Tieks.

Here are my 5 "I heart Tieks" reasons:

  1. Comfort.  These shoes are super duper comfortable.  Usually, whenever I try a new style of shoe, I get blisters.  Either on the back of my heels where shoes typically rub or on the top near my big toe.  I did not get one blister from these shoes.  No rubbing, no discomfort, no nothing.  Nothing short of amazing in my mind.
  2. Style.  These shoes are gorgeous.  I bought them in the color Lovestruck.  And because they seem to shimmer, sometimes I feel like I see deep purples and golds.  Other times, it seems to be more copper and rose gold.  And because it has the signature blue stripe and rubber patches, it pairs beautifully with teals and sea-foam green.  It also went elegantly with a deep purple dress and this necklace I am obsessed with from Daisy Blue, a boutique store in Del Mar.
  3. Versatile.  I feel casual yet dressed up in these shoes.  They are perfect for work because I am usually running around a lot.  I have been trying to get more exercise by taking the stairs and sometimes when I am in heels that is just not a good decision, but in my Tieks, I am jogging up 4 flights of stairs no problem.
  4. Compact.  I love that these shoes fold up and fit in my purse.  And even better, they come with their own little black bag.  So cute and practical!  I imagine I can bring them in my purse and break them out during a night out on the town if my heels are not treating me well.
  5. Quality.  You can tell these shoes are well made.  The leather just looks and feels luxurious.  Plus they are super durable and flexible.  
The only downside is probably the price, but you pay for what you get.  My mom always used to say there are 2 places you should splurge:  your bed and your shoes.  You only get one back and one pair of feet so you might as well treat them well.  Plus, shipping was free, and they arrived in just a couple days.  So, if you are looking for a pair of high fashion ballet flats made of the finest Italian leather that will make you feel like a rockstar at work, then Tieks are your brand.  Do you have a brand of shoes that you just love?  Please share below.  I'd love to hear what your favorite shoes are and why!


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Sunday, September 22, 2013

How to Ask for a Raise

So you'd like to make more money.  Who doesn't?  But how do you go about asking for a raise?  And how do you do it in a savvy way that actually has a chance of succeeding?

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you go to ask for an increase:

  1. Do your research.  Find out what the average salary is for someone in your role.  Be sure to take into consideration where you live, how many years of experience you have, and the amount of education you have completed.  I have found Indeed to be quick and fairly accurate.  Salary.com is another popular one, but I have personally found the free salary reports to overshoot the market by quite a bit.  There is a version that employers can pay for that allows you to input specific data, but most people do not have access to this.  I just tried Payscale and found it to be a really good resource.  The website walks you through a series of questions related to your job, but I found the free salary report at the end to be more valuable and on target.  Be sure to save all this information and put it into a nice professional looking format that you will be able to share.
  2. Define your goal.  Now that you've done your research, you should, in a sense, know where you stand.  If you are making 70-80% more than your peers, asking for a raise might not make sense.  In that case, you should research what position or role you would want to set as a goal for promotion.  If you are underpaid, then perhaps asking for a raise makes sense.
  3. Assess the corporate environment.  Has your company been going through layoffs or mandatory pay decreases?  Probably not the best time to ask for a raise or promotion.  Where are you in the fiscal year?  Are annual merit increases coming up soon?  Make sure your timing is right.  I would recommend even taking into consideration the mood of your manager on a given day.  You want to give yourself the best chance possible.  Set up a meeting with your manager and let them know you want to discuss your goals.  I say "Discuss Goals" because that, at least, gives your boss a heads up on the topic of the meeting and is less likely to put them on the defensive, like the subject line "Discuss Raise" would do.
  4. Practice and be purposeful about framing your case.  A common mistake people make is asking for the raise "now."  Unfortunately, while it may seem to make sense to you that you get paid more money, then agree to do more work and take on more responsibility, it's a rare case that this happens.  Instead, I would recommend you present your case in this manner.  Start by sharing the research you did on the market trends for your role.  Let's say you are making slightly less than the average.  Proceed to share the responsibilities or job descriptions of the roles you researched and highlight the similarities and/or differences from your own job.  Express how committed you are to the success of the team and the company.  Explain how the role you researched will help the team and lines up with your personal career goals.  Ask for your manager's help to get you there.  Share what you have brainstormed so far as the action items you plan to take to perform at the next level.  Ask for their input.  Close by saying that in ___ time frame, you would like to check back in on your progress.  Then ask if it would be reasonable to expect that if you step up and achieve these goals that they could help you reach the shared market compensation levels.
  5. Make it easy for your manager.  Realize that your manager is going to have to present a case to their boss and to HR/Finance to get your raise approved.  If you complete all the previous steps, then you will have gift wrapped the case for your raise and made it easy for your boss.  He/she will be able to easily present the market research, your current role, your recent successes, and the reasons why you should be fairly compensated.  This is usually what HR and Finance/Accounting will require to make a decision anyways, and you have done most of the legwork.  This should cut down on the time it would normally take for your boss to put this together by themselves and thus cut down the time you will have to wait to get your raise.
  6. Be Patient.  Raises are not approved overnight.  In many cases, depending on the company, not only does your manager need to approve, but so does the department head, HR, Accounting/Finance, and even sometimes, the CFO and CEO.  With hectic executive schedules and priorities, this may mean weeks and possible months before all signatures are collected and an appropriate effective date picked.  Do not assume anything or read into the amount of time that has passed.  Raise your hands and trust that you have done all you can to set things in motion.  Asking your boss where it stands may not do any good if the decision is out of their hands anyways.  Plus, you risk coming off as a whiny employee who wants more money, than the super successful and career oriented individual you want to be seen as.
  7. Decide what you will do if you do not receive a raise.  In some cases, you can do everything right and still not get a raise or increase.  At this point, you need to reevaluate the situation.  In most cases, while many people think money solves most problems, employees never really leave just because of money.  Employees will usually leave a manager before they will leave a company.  Ask yourself what is really bothering you and why you think this raise will solve it.  Is it your team dynamics, the corporate culture, the inefficient processes, the new strategic initiatives, or doing more with less?  Then ask yourself if the grass is really greener on the other side.  Sometimes it is, and sometimes it is not.  If you find yourself at your fifth company in a few years, pause, and realize that maybe this is an opportunity to learn how to deal with a difficult colleague, adopt a new process/technology, or be an enthusiastic change agent.  Because at the end of the day, most companies are dealing with all of these issues, and you will be a more dynamic and successful individual if you can cope with and even thrive when these issues pop up.  Set yourself up to be an essential playmaker in tough situations.  That kind of individual will be nicely rewarded anywhere.
If you can employ all these tactics, you will be in a pretty good place to succeed.  When you go to ask for a raise, make sure you are being purposeful and thoughtful about your approach.  Good luck!



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Friday, September 20, 2013

What to Wear to a Speaking Engagement - London Times and Via Spiga

So, I was invited to co-present at the San Diego HR Forum last week.  We booked the engagement a few months in advance, which basically meant I had several days and hours to ponder what I was going to wear to the event.  I am always very much aware of my personal brand and felt like I had to be super conscious of it because our topic was Creating Personal and Team Brands to Drive Company Goals.  I kept analyzing all my options.  I would ask myself questions like:  What does this outfit say about me?  Does it convey a strong professional female image?  If I bend over to adjust the projector, will everything still be covered?

Well, at the end of the day, I very purposefully chose a deep purple London Times dress I bought on Zulily and a black pair of Via Spiga booties I bought at the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale this summer.  And I have to say, I think it was a home-run decision for the following reasons:
  1. Objective Feedback - I had several compliments on both the dress and the shoes via email and in person.  That's probably 20/20 hindsight but I'll take it.  It is also a good idea to run your outfit by a friend or spouse if possible ahead of time.
  2. I felt like the dress was both Fun and Colorful but Still Professional.  I did not want to wear the typical black suit because I felt like that was easily forgettable.  I wanted a look that was clean, classy but still made me approachable.  Plus, I felt like the length and cut were the right combo of conservative and sexy.
  3. The booties are one of my current obsessions.  They Just Make Me Feel Happy.  I slip them on and I cannot help but feel a smile creep across my lips.  I think it's important to have an item that you just love for no reason because it gives pep to your step and adds to your confidence and presence.
  4. Finally, and most importantly, I felt that My Outfit Reflected My Personal Brand Words.  The words I had chosen for this event were Sophisticated and Trendy.  This is how I wanted people to perceive and treat me.
You may think this is all way too much thought for just choosing an outfit, but you'd be surprised how many judgments people will jump to just based on appearances.  You cannot change first impressions.  If I had shown up in jeans and a collared shirt, you would have had immediate conclusions about the type of person I was and the type of company I represented.  I challenge you to be thoughtful about what you wear.  Choose a couple choice words that you want your outfit to reflect and which are in line with the brand you want to build for yourself.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

San Diego Business Journal - Emerging Generation: 25 In Their 20's

Gen Y in the workplace.  Such a hot topic in the last 5 years and for the most part, I have not been very fond of the articles written on my generation.  Tonight I got to attend the San Diego Business Journal's 1st Annual Emerging Generation:  25 In Their 20's awards reception at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens at Liberty Station.  I do not know what I expected, but I have to say, I came away both humbled and proud.  Humbled by the major accomplishments of my peers and proud because those accomplishments were so altruistic and reflective of global citizens.

As a quick sampling of the talent in the room, let me share two examples.  Jeffrey Harding founded Recycle San Diego in 2006 and today recycles over 85 tons of e-waste each month.  Jenny Amaraneni and Dana Holiday started SOLO Eyewear, a company that makes handcrafted sunglasses from recycled bamboo, which, if that was not cool enough, the proceeds of each purchase have restored vision for over 6500 people in 19 different countries.  How can you say that's the reflection of a selfish, entitled generation?


At the end of the day, I think tonight's event reinforced in me that you need to remember that we are all still individuals.  Whatever you say about Gen Y is still going to be a mass generalization.  I’m sure there are those of my generation that are lazy and spoiled but there are those of us that are also extremely loyal and hardworking.   

Plus, we’re the majority of the workforce.  There’s no avoiding working with or hiring us.  And those who can understand us, unlock our potential, and invest in us will have a competitive edge over those who have written us off.

Michael and Shanna, I love you guys!  It's getting to work with such a rockstar team that makes me excited to go to work everyday.  Thank you for believing and investing in me.

Also, a shout out to two of my high school friends that also got nominated - Carrie Miller and Tim Hutter.  It was great to catch up with you this evening.  You both inspire and amaze me.  It was truly a pleasure.  Cheers and Congratulations! 


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Sunday, September 15, 2013

What to Get Your Wife for her Birthday - A Great Example

Today is my birthday.  I do not know what I expected today, but I have to say, my husband surely delivered above and beyond my expectations.  And no, it was not in a flashy, over the top way, but in a fun and thoughtful way that he knew I would appreciate and that reflects his creativity and humor.

Like most weekends, he woke up early to take care of our daughter and let me sleep in.  He then brought me my mail, and I proceeded to open my birthday cards.  I came to the one pictured here to my left.  As you can see, the names on the return address are just barely legible but not really.  I couldn't figure out who it was from, but the zip code was in San Diego so I figured it must be from some of our friends.  Anyways, I figured I would find out soon enough, so I opened the letter.  Later I would reinspect this envelope to find that the stamp was re-glued from another letter and the wavy lines are not, in fact, from a post office meter but from my husband's pen.

Inside that envelope, I found the following cover letter from my wonderful husband.  I asked "Did you make up this return address?"  He laughed and asked me to think about it.  That is when I realized Santiago Courtyard is the location we got married on the grounds of the Rancho Bernardo Inn.  And duh, the 53010 was the date we got married.  Very clever indeed.

At the end of the letter I was given a clue and told that he had left multiple comments on the Facebook profiles of our friends and family today.  I had been given a birthday scavenger hunt!  I quickly opened my iPad and started my fun present adventure.  The first clue spoke of salamanders and a collision during softball.  This of course led me to guess my dad.  He was the only one I knew who used to carry salamanders in his pocket as a kid and who I coincidentally knocked unconscious while going after a fly ball.

On his wall I found a post written by my husband.  It was clever enough that my dad probably had no idea it was a clue in my birthday scavenger hunt, but it was also random enough that I'm sure my dad had a moment when he read it and had to shake his head a little bit and laugh.  And that's how it began.  The Facebook clues would lead me to wrapped gifts in our home.  And then those gifts would include more clues that pointed me back to Facebook profiles.  It was quite fun.

Through the course of it, I received my favorite flowers (orchids), gift cards to two of my favorite stores, an adorable framed photo and tickets to Cirque Du Soleil.  I gotta hand it to him.  He outdid himself.  He even shared a video he made of our 7 month old daughter signing the card he gave me from her.  Too perfect for words.  Today I am thankful for my amazing husband and how he made my day so special.  I hope this provides some inspiration for you when you think about what to get your wife for her birthday.  This great example surely scored my husband a lot of points.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What to Make for Dinner - Sloppy Joes and Roasted Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

This was probably one of my favorite meals yet.  And the best part....it was so easy!

My husband made the Sloppy Joes using a can of Manwich as the base.  He used some super lean ground turkey, added some onions, sugar, and worcestershire sauce and BAM!  Deliciousness was created :)

The sweet potatoes were yummy and simple.  Just cooked them in the oven with some olive oil, garlic, thyme, parmesan, salt, and pepper for 40 minutes and then broiled them for about 8 minutes at the end.

I'm actually starting to enjoy cooking.  Maybe it's because my husband helped make half the meal.  It was some good old comfort food though, and was relatively healthy (at least in my mind).  Bon appetit!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

During Strategic Change Initiatives and Company Reorganizations - Don't Forget to Manage Your Personal Brand

First and foremost, I think the most important thing you can do during any type of change at work or at home is to SMILE and keep a SENSE OF HUMOR.  Change can sometimes make you feel like your world has turned upside down but it is important to keep perspective and laugh if you can.  It will make everything that follows much easier to digest and swallow.

At any given time, there is probably a company going through some type of change management.  You have to in order to keep up with the ever-changing market trends.  And what often happens when a company announces major new initiatives is a natural gut reaction from employees which often involves lots of emotion.  I do not proclaim to be immune from this natural desire but I have learned over the years that it does not serve a purpose, nor is it at all productive.

Here are some tips I've put together that I think will serve any employee well during a company reorganization or other major strategic change:
  1. Don't Forget to Manage Your Personal Brand:  Think about everything you do and say during a company reorganization.  Management is going to be in the same boat as you.  Things are going to be undefined and everyone is going to feel more stressed and uneasy.  Decide to be positive about the changes and get onboard fast.  Think of it this way.  If the company does have to do lay offs, which employee will they let go?  The happy team player with a can-do attitude who is working hard to learn new skills and better the company or the pessimistic employee who spends most of their time lamenting to colleagues how awful the changes are and who has been combative in implementing any new changes.  Think like your manager.  Who would you want to work with if you had the choice?
  2. Go With the Flow:  During major change initiatives, nothing is set in stone.  If you are of the mindset that you are going to go with the flow, then last minute changes, redirections, or unexpected road blocks will be that much easier to tackle.  Plus, if you are ready to go in any direction, you will also find you prepare for more options.  You will become an invaluable asset and put yourself in a great position to succeed.
  3. Smile and Make a Conscious Decision to be Happy:  You may not have control over what is going on around you, but you do have an incredible amount of influence over your own actions and attitude.  Whenever I was young and started to complain about going to school everyday, my mom would say, "You control how you feel.  I challenge you to smile and talk about the things you are excited about that will happen tomorrow.  Keep thinking of the positive aspects of your life and what you appreciate about it.  You'll be surprised how you will start to feel better."  Remember that it is your health at the end of the day.  Stress, anxiety, and fear will affect you physically, and can physically age you.  It is definitely not worth it to internalize that much negativity.  
  4. If You Need to Vent, Vent in Private:  Sometimes you do need to just let it out.  If you have some close friends, go ahead and dump, BUT begin with the caveat that once you get it out, you will be done with it.  Emotions are contagious, and you do not want to become that friend or spouse who is eternally negative and depressing.  People will not want to hang out with you after a while, and it is really not fair to take it out on the people you love most.  Let it out but then let it go.  Also, try not to do this at work, because again emotions are contagious and change has its best chance of succeeding when everyone is onboard and positive.  If you want to work in a happy environment and culture, I suggest you consciously try to create one that is happy.  I know I personally would not want to come to work everyday if I only worked with people who were constantly complaining.
If you are able to successfully employ the above tactics, I can guarantee the changes at work will not be as bad as you initially thought.  It will not be easy at first, but with practice, these tips can truly make a difference regarding how you feel about change and will help you excel in your career and at home.  So, whether it is a new strategic change initiative or a company reorganization, try to remember to manage your personal brand, and you'll be in the best place to succeed.



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Friday, September 6, 2013

Improve Work-Life Balance by Outsourcing at Home

A while ago, I read the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg where she talked about outsourcing the things you could at home to make more time for your loved ones.  At least, that is one of the lessons I remember learning, so I tried it out this week.

I normally cannot afford a cleaning service and have only used one in the past when moving out, however since having a baby, my home has become particularly messy.  I just do not have the time to clean, let alone tackle the many other items on my to-do list.  So I decided to treat myself to a home cleaning.  It is my birthday month, so I justified it as a birthday present to myself.

I have always had slight trust issues when it comes to the idea of a stranger cleaning my home, so I started with a friend's referral.  I called the person, and first of all, she barely spoke English.  Then, when she found out where I lived, she lamented how far out of the way it would be.  Already turned off, she then asked me to text her my address so she could Google Map it to see just how far it was.  She said she would call me back.  After I hung up, I concluded I would not want to use her even if she did call back, which she never did.

I then turned to the web to help me find a reputable cleaning service.  I scoured Yelp and found cleaning service after cleaning service with terrible reviews.  I thought, either people have insanely high expectations when it comes to cleaning services, or there are no good cleaning services out there.  I finally narrowed it down to two.  I called both and left a message.  Tranquil Home was the first to call me back.  The appointment setting process was super easy, and she was able to send someone out in two days.  They charged me a fair hourly rate, and on Thursday I had my house cleaned.

At the end of the day, they were not able to perform miracles, but she did work five straight hours and delivered decent results.  I think the only thing that would have been icing on the cake is if she had time to clean the windows and blinds, but as it is, I did not request it so I am okay that she did not get to it.  What I did get was more precious time with my baby, because those are five hours of cleaning I did not have to do myself.  I believe that is totally worth it.  And that is how I improved my work-life balance this month.  It's a process and a balance of resources but I was very satisfied with this choice.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How to Keep Your Baby Cool at a Summer BBQ

Yesterday we went to Kaelani's first outdoor BBQ to celebrate the Labor Day weekend and the new backyard renovations our friends had made.  About a day before I belatedly remembered that they do not have any air conditioning, and it was projected to be relatively hot.  I was super worried about keeping her cool and thus began to brainstorm my options.

I immediately thought of a personal fan.  I called the local Ace Hardware and CVS but unfortunately they did not carry them.  I then thought about Target but at this point we were already running a little late, and Target was a little out of the way.  Then it came to me....Bed Bath and Beyond!  I checked their website for personal fans.  Satisfied that they had options, I quickly ran to the store and picked up a personal fan and mini-mister.  I figured that was the best I was going to do at this point, and if it got too hot, we could always leave.

When we arrived, my friend Jenn had the brilliant idea of attaching the fan to her stroller so I would not have to personally hold the fan the whole time.  With the help of some string, we were able to jerry-rig the fan to her carrier.  She did kick it a little but the blades are made of foam so it did not hurt her in any way.  As a finishing touch, I would periodically spritz her with the mister and the fan would nicely disperse the coolness on her.  Overall, she stayed relatively cool and happy = SUCCESS!  And that is how to keep a baby cool at a summer BBQ :)

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What I Believe

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