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Friday, December 31, 2010

Great Questions to Ask Yourself Tonight!!

As 2010 comes to a close and we prepare ourselves to ring in a new year here are some great questions to ask yourself courtesy of Faith & Family Live. Questions to Ask Before 2011

Thursday, December 9, 2010

TV Before 2 = Not Good

I heard about this years ago while working at Lockheed in a course I took called Personal Vitality. And well here it is again, TV Watching Is Bad for Babies' Brains.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Need Help Focusing on the Reason for the Season?

If you could use some help on focusing on the reason for this holiday season checkout The Integrated Catholic Life article I came across on the Young Catholic Professionals Facebook page: Living an Advent Culture.

A few of my favorite excerpts are,

"When the Advent season rolls around, we see two primary and opposing cults: the Christian Advent cult[ure] and the postmodern secular cult[ure]."

"It’s easy to overlook the fact that Advent is a lot like Lent."

"In an Advent culture, the Christian is called to do some spiritual cleanup in his or her life, which often involves increased fasting and alms-giving."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Don't Forget Advent Starts this Sunday

In the midst of getting ready for Thanksgiving don't forget to prepare for Advent which starts this Sunday. Advent, from the Latin word, adventus, meaning coming (from wikipedia). Advent is the time we prepare for the coming of Christ, the celebration of Christ's birth, Christmas.

This year I really want my husband and I to get a jump start on preparing for Advent especially with this being our first Christmas as parents. We want our daughter to know, from an early age, the true meaning of Christmas. Luckily we were recently gifted with a gorgeous fabric advent calendar from our Realtor at our housewarming party. Talk about a fitting and timely gift! This calendar should help keep us on our toes as we count down the days till Christmas.

I also recently ordered a kids book for Advent, Little Star by Anthony DeStefano, which was recommended by Faith & Family. I can’t wait to start reading this book to my daughter, even if she’s only 11 weeks old and not really paying attention. ;)

We have our Advent Wreath which is such a beautiful Catholic tradition done at Mass and in many homes. If you don't have one buy one for the holidays. We bought one a couple of years ago which depicts the journey to Bethlehem and reminds us of our trip to the Holy Land.

And then there are Advent reflections which fortunately many churches are offering. If you live in Dallas Saint Monica's is offering one led by Father Jason Cargo on Sunday, December 5th at 3:30 PM. If you don't live in Dallas check your local church to see what they are offering. And if you are not able to make an Advent reflection in person there are some great online resources such as One Bread One Body (my favorite since high school) which offers daily reflections and The Crossroads Initiative by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio.

Going to daily mass and/ or confession during Advent is also a great way to prepare for Christmas.

May you have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Good Advent!

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Fav Five for Mommies

It’s been 8.5 weeks since my last blog posting. Now that my precious baby girl, Sofia Grace, is a day shy from being 8 weeks old I finally have a little bit of time to write. In honor of my new role as a full-time Mom I figured I would share with you my five favorite Mommy buys.

If you are a Mom-to-be register for these items! I wish I had, I would have saved myself time and money.

If you are invited to a baby shower and want to go off the registry please don’t just resort to buying cute clothes pick up these items and your gift is sure to be a hit with the Mom-to-be once baby has made his or her debut.

  1. The Miracle Blanket: by far the best way to swaddle a baby. Shortly after our daughter was born we ordered this blanket in neutral beige online since it was sold out in our local Babies“R”Us. To see all the benefits of this amazing blanket check out The Miracle Blanket’s Web site: http://www.miracleblanket.com/.

  1. Fisher Price’s Ocean Wonders Cradle ‘n Swing: this one came recommended to us by my husband’s coworker. Although this swing is blue and therefore thought of as more boy than girl it’s a huge hit with Sofia and in my opinion the best Fisher Price cradle swing on the market. Our favorite feature is the water globe with changing lights. Check it out: http://www.fisherprice.com/fp.aspx?st=2002&e=product&pid=51911&ncat=thumbnail&pcat=bgsw_cs

  1. All Natursutten Rubber Pacifiers: I am not a fan of pacifiers; it probably has something to do with the Ecological Breastfeeding class we took at the University of Dallas… and Catholic guilt… ;) I actually didn’t buy one until Sofia was five weeks old and I only bought one because I was worried about her screaming during her Baptism if she got hungry or uncomfortable. And well sure enough she did get cranky and thank God we had this “paci” on hand. We try to use it sparingly and mainly when Sofia is in the car or at church. If you are looking for a green eco-friendly product that resembles the breast this pacifier is for you. http://www.wellnessbabystore.com/product_details.php?pid=593&cid=38&sub_id=103&subsub_cid=

  1. Wrapped Body Suits, Cross Tees, Kimono Tops, Side Snap Tees: My Mother-In-Law was the first to mention these double breasted type tops to me when I was pregnant and at the time I was like what is she talking about because all I knew about was the “onesie.” But then after receiving a kimono top from Rick’s coworker I am a huge fan of these body suits/ tops. They are ten times easier to put on and off a newborn than the traditional pull over onesies. Unfortunately they are a little hard to come by in stores and more expensive but so worth the price! Here’s one of Sofia’s modern threads:

http://www.wellnessbabystore.com/product_details.php?pid=540&cid=26&sub_id=94&subsub_cid=

Carter’s carries a few: http://www.carters.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Carters-Site/default/Search-Show?cgid=carters&q=side%20snap&simplesearch=Go

  1. Lug’s Tuck Tuck Carry All Diaper Bag in Chocolate Brown: this is my Uptown bag and I love it! It’s got everything including a ventilated compartment for dirty diapers/ soiled baby clothes, a wipeable bottom, water bottle pockets for Mom, removable changing pad and more... http://www.luglife.com/Tuk-Tuk-Carry-All-Bag?sc=18&category=3612

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my fav five. To all the Mommies out there what are yours? Please do share! J

Monday, August 30, 2010

What is Business Casual Attire? Better yet, what is Smart Casual?

In light of the Young Catholic Professionals upcoming Executive Speaker Night with Mr. Dan Hennessy to be held this Tuesday, August 31st this blog entry is about Business Casual and Smart Casual Attire.

According to Wikipedia Business Casual Attire is what 43% of non-self employed workers wear to work (or should be wearing to work because we all know people who don’t really follow the “dress code”). But to make matters a bit confusing every company appears to have their own take on Business Casual wear.

Jeans are typically not considered business casual (jeans are generally thought of as casual). So, to play it safe when you are invited to an event that lists the attire as being Business Casual leave your jeans at home. ;)

I recently came across the term "Smart Casual" and absolutely love it. It supports a concept I was taught by Susan Sommers, a fashion consultant,
(
http://dresszing.com/) who did several workshops at the public accounting firm I use to work for in Uptown Dallas. Susan taught us the power of “three pieces.” Business Casual is typically thought of as being two pieces of clothing i.e. dress shirt and slacks or blouse and skirt but when you throw in a third piece you really turn your look up a notch to what in essence is Smart Casual. For men this means adding a blazer/ jacket or tie and for ladies this means adding a blazer/ jacket/ cardigan or scarf (note this does not mean wearing suits, suits are formal business attire). One need not be afraid to use color, prints and/ or accessories when dressing up their typical two piece Business Casual outfit into a three piece Smart Casual look.

Happy dressing!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Want FREE Business Cards for Your Personal and/ or Professional Use?

Could you use some FREE business cards? I bet you could if you are "in transition" aka in-between jobs, starting up your own small business (like me) or you would simply prefer networking with your personal contact information as opposed to handing out your work information.

Well, you can get some FREE business cards from Starbucks. Isn't Starbucks great?! ;) I first heard about this promotion on a blog I follow, "My Dallas Mommy" and then again via a Google search. For more information and to get your FREE business cards from Starbucks check out this link: http://www.starbuckscoffeeonthego.com/card/setup.php.

I ordered my FREE business cards today and according to Starbucks should have them soon. I'll keep you posted please do the same if you order some as well.

- "BossLady"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Resume Help Results and Much Much More

Wanted to give everyone an update on the results of my Resume Help offer. I received 15 resumes from four states and one commonwealth. Resumes came from Texas, Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Puerto Rico. Senders included family, friends, friend of friends, family of friends and an online stranger - new friend. Professions varied and included financial analysts, pharmacists, lawyers, engineers, accountants, etc.. Experience levels ranged from college students to those with over ten years of experience.

Thank you to all who sent in your resumes for review. I enjoyed helping you and hope you found my critique to be beneficial. I also wish you the best in your career.

My husband, Rick, and I have been thinking that once things settle down after having our baby girl and moving into our new house I should perhaps start up a part-time consulting business on the side, specifically from home and Starbucks while being a full-time mom. Others have suggested this to us as well and seem to not only be interested in resume help but also career counseling, mock interviews, presentation skills, networking and Myers-Briggs.

In preparation for this entrepreneurial possibility I am working on completing my recertification credits for my SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) so that there will not be a lapse in my three-year certification cycle. I'm taking my first class, in what feels like a very long time, tomorrow on the topic of "Emotional Intelligence: Useful Tools for the HR Practitioner." I also need to come up with a business plan, thank God Rick has his MBA from SMU and I need to figure out my rates for specific services. My personal trainer says I should at least charge what he charges me i.e. $60/ hour. ;) We'll see. The Wall Street Journal published an article this week saying that resume-writing services are ranging from $100 to $2,000 which seems ridiculously steep to me. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704868604575433791872911672.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_careerjournal)

Aside from offering career development services I plan to finally write my first book. It's been on my mind since elementary school and I have talked about it from time to time over the years with close family and friends. I've even come up with an outline, stories to include, dedication and title. It's a father daughter book of sorts (oh how I love my Daddy and all that he's taught me - especially about guys) and well since I am about to have a baby girl with and for my husband, Rick, how fitting is this topic right now in not only my life but our family's life. Perhaps this is the time/ God's time... Maybe, I'll write it in time for Father's day as a gift to my Dad and Rick. Anyone know an editor? And/ or publisher? If so, send them my way.

Until then, for now, time to get ready for baby girl Macias. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Did you know that day care is not the norm?

Day care is not the norm!?!? I had no clue!!

Yesterday was mind-blowing for me when I found out that according to the United States Census Bureau that 74.6% of non-school-age children are taken care of by family. (non-school-age children means children under the age of five/ not yet in kindergarten)

So, the majority of children in the U.S. are taken care of by family? Yes.

Only 25.4% of non-school-age children in the U.S. are cared for on a full-time basis by someone other than family.
  • 15.1% of children are in day care
  • 8% of children are in-home day care
  • 2.4% of children are with nannies
For more information on this topic check-out "7 Myths of Working Mothers - Why Children and (Most) Careers Just Don't Mix" by Suzanne Venker, forwarded by Dr. Laura.

I just started reading the above mentioned book and these are some of my favorite lines:

"Accepting motherhood as a full-time job does not mean women must be completely out of the workforce for eighteen years. It just means that for eighteen[+] years they will have to be creative in fitting other work around their primary obligation to their children. "

"We simply must get rid of the idea that women can balance full-time careers with motherhood. Instead, we should encourage women to embrace motherhood and career separately, to plan their lives in such a way that they will be able to succeed in both of these pursuits, though at separate times." Sounds like the story of my life, my 20s were all about career success and now my 30s are turning out to be all about motherhood.

"Women now spend all of their time and energy - all of it - preparing for a life at the office rather than for a life at home." I've lived this, from an early age I prepared for school and/ or work and not a whole lot for motherhood. This point is something for me to think about as I get ready to raise my daughter.

As I keep reading this book I am sure I'll have more to share, stay tuned...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Offering FREE Resume Reviews Until August 15th, 2010

Just wanted to remind everyone that I am offering free resume reviews until August 15th, 2010. So far the response has been great but I am sure there are still lots of people out there who could benefit from having their resume reviewed. So email me your Word doc resume or have your family, friends, coworkers send me theirs at kane_nelly@yahoo.com. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Networking Tips

In anticipation of the Young Catholic Professionals kickoff event to be held next Monday night, August 2nd at Trinity Hall Irish Pub in Dallas I thought I would post some networking tips. But before we get to the tips let’s look at the definition of networking. According to Merriam-Webster networking is, “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”

Seven Tips for Networking

1. First research the event you are going to, find out what the host organization is all about, who is on their board and who are the likely guests to be in attendance... Knowing the purpose of the event, board members names, and who might be in attendance beforehand will help you sound more knowledgeable when speaking to others at the event and perhaps make you feel more comfortable when networking.

2. Look your best, dress up but dress conservatively for the most part one or two eye catching accessories are fine i.e. for men a bright tie or shirt, for women a bright necklace, scarf, handbag, or shoes. Be sure to check the invitation details to see if there is a dress code for the event. And as an old family friend use to say you are never fully dressed without a smile. J She may have gotten this expression from Harry Connick, Jr.’s “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile.”

3. Bring your business cards, have lots of crisp, clean cards on hand and keep them in an easily accessible location, i.e. jacket pocket, pant/ skirt pocket or outside purse pocket. And be sure to ask for cards, don’t just hand out yours, collect others. If time allows and you can discretely do so jot down notes on the back of the card about the individual you just met.

4. Place your name tag on the right side of your chest so that when you shake hands with others your name tag is in their line of sight. (lots of people get this one wrong)

5. Keep your right hand free… Keep your right hand free of drinks, papers, pens, cards, etc. so that you are ready to shake someone’s hand.

6. Greet everyone because you never know who they might be and what conversation may spark. After greeting people follow-up with open ended questions (people generally love to talk about themselves) and have your two minute introduction ready as well. Once you’ve gotten to know someone for a few minutes, say goodbye/ great meeting you/ hope to see you at the next event and then move on to someone new, your goal should be to circulate around the room don’t monopolize anyone’s time.

7. Follow-up Quickly touch base with those you met after the event, email them, add them to your LinkedIn and invite them out for coffee or lunch.

Food for thought: The best time to build your network might be when you don’t really need something from someone, when you are simply trying to meet, get to know and build relationships with others. If you do this by the time you do need something from someone in regards to employment or business you’ll be in a better position to ask them since you’ve already established a relationship with them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Resume Help

Need help updating your resume? I'll help you. Just email your Word doc resume to me at kane_nelly@yahoo.com by August 15, 2010 and I will review for you free of charge. I've been reviewing resumes for family and friends in a variety of fields over the last ten years, since majoring in HR Development at the University of Florida.

In the meantime here are my top 10 tips on resumes:

1) Center your name at the top of your resume in larger size bold font

2) As far as your contact information goes only list your cell phone and email address under your name... forget home addresses, employers will get this info from you at the application stage and unfortunately sometimes your address can deter employers from contacting you

3) Double check your email address, make sure it's politically correct/ professional

4) Write an Objective... in writing your objective answer the questions: what are you looking to do? And why would you be good at whatever it is that you are looking to do?/ what will you bring to the table?

5) If you've been working full-time i.e. not a recent college grad follow your Objective with your Experience otherwise for college grads you can follow with your Education

6) When writing about your Experience try and use numbers wherever possible as they are eye-catching/ carry weight/ provide a metric

7) Do a Ctrl F for any keywords your next desired employer may be looking for... you can get keyword ideas from job descriptions you are applying to

8) Do not use the Underline function in Word as Underlines may be mistaken for links when your resume is viewed online

9) If your name leaves potential employers questioning whether or not you are a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident you may want to state that you are, if you are, on your resume i.e. *U.S. Citizen or *Permanent Resident... Most universities are now instructing their students to do this as many employers are no longer sponsoring international students/ foreign employees

10) Always have someone proofread your resume