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Archive for the ‘Analyzing Reality’ Category

The most powerful people you’ll ever meet are people who know their worth. They realize their strengths and conquer their weaknesses. For the rest of us, we need a little help to understand our power, and what better place to start than our astrological birth signs? Let’s talk about the leaders of the chart, Aries.

Aries people are born between March 21st and April 19th. Welcomed to the world at the peak of Spring, they are naturally creative and naturally enthusiastic. They even possess the element of fire in their hearts, which grants them great courageous even in the most stressful of situations.

The prized trait of an Arian is their ability to pave their own path. They can build a world out of their own imagination and crown themselves rulers. It is absolutely no accident that many Arians dominate the art industry from film to music to fine art. Well known Arians include Selena Quintanilla, Al Green, Maya Angelou, and Leonardo da Vinci. These individuals know how to listen to their instincts and transform their thoughts into actions. Just to boost up their egos even more, Arians are extremely loyal but only to those deserving of their time, so don’t waste their time.

On the flip side, Arians are self centered. Their minds are constantly focused on operating their own ideas, which means that their perspective is heavily influenced by their position in a situation.  They are impulsive as well.  They can get themselves into situations that are easily avoidable. They end up dealing with many consequences, so they learn best through trial and error. Lastly, don’t even waste time trying to control an Aries person.

The reason why Arians gravitate towards the arts or leadership positions is because they demand independence. They have to manage their own ideas or manage the ideas of others. There is no in between. This can be difficult for Arians starting out in the career hustle. Agreeing to someone else’s orders can be disgustingly painful for them because  they know in their hearts that their are a much better leaders.  Luckily this will not be a problem for long. All Arians know exactly what to do to get what they want.

How do you feel about Aries’ characteristics? Well, it doesn’t matter one bit. They will continue to strive for their dreams. Instead of judging, take a moment and learn from this fiery sign of pure will.

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Dear Blog,

I have not neglected you. I just took a short vacation and enjoyed the fruits of a community blog called My First Apartment. This is a site where you can gain very valuable advice on apartment and roommate hunting as well as great decorations ideas. Click here to view one of my articles.

Below is my sample article that won me the gig.

Getting to Know Your New Family:

Conversational Starters 101 Using Chinese Astrology

By Sabrina Pettis

After carrying heavy boxes to your new home and exchanging friendly introductions with your roomies, the four of you huddle around the television to enjoy an episode of Heroes! (Yes! You read that right.) That night’s episode was epic, and BOOM! You end with a cliffhanger, a cheesy commercial appears, and the awkward silence follows. Waiting, waiting. The four of you say this and that, but the awkwardness remains. Now is the perfect time to break out the Chinese Astrology book.

Astrological interpretations are always best for fascinating conversations. According to Chinese Astrology, I am a fabulous Rabbit and my roomies are the Dog, the Ox, and the Rat. Just to summarize, Rabbit people are very compassionate and idealistic. Dog people are very determined, Ox People are born leaders, and Rat People are strong problem solvers.  Each sign includes a compatibility scale from 1 (worst) to 10 (best), which determines who gets along and who needs to be separated.

Rabbits’ compatibility is 6 with Rats, 6 with Oxen, and 7 with Dogs. A roar of laughter erupted from all the things mentioned about our signs. Surprisingly, I shared a room with the Dog girl. We got along famously. The Rat and Ox girls became best friends. The Rat girl and I had serious tension. We even agreed; it was fate that we did NOT share a room. Maybe this is true, or maybe not. The point is, learning each person’s sign created a fun night of possibilities.

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I can relate to you. I have been searching for a job for six months and received wonderful news only recently. I am so relieved to be back in game, but I must admit. My long search is not due to the economy scare that most people use as an excuse. It took a long time to land a job because somewhere after college, I lost my creativity.

What does this mean?

Well, Jeff Altman – who is a successful Senior Staffing Recruiter, perfectly illustrates why Americans have a hard time penetrating through the job market in his book “Get Yourself Hired Now: The Big Game Hunter’s Guide to Head Hunting Your Next Job and Every Job After That!” Altman states that when he first searched for a job after college, he found himself looking through newspapers and applying to all positions that matched his qualifications. After submitting his resume, he will cross his fingers and hope for a call back. He did this back in the 70s! Today there has been an explosion of new technology and new jobs yet we still shop for jobs as if we are in the 70s. Are you seeing a connection?

I did participate in plenty of cattle-call interviews because I passively apply for jobs on Craigslist. Craigslist is a waste of time because most of the employers featured are greedy, but I continue applying to these ads because it seems like the fastest method. There was one interview at a chiropractor’s office in La Jolla, CA that held a HUGE group interview! I was grouped with a bunch of job seekers from all walks of life. The interview turned out to be a sales pitch because the doctor talked about himself the whole time. This was definitely depressing, but this is what “the fastest method” gets me. Therefore, Craigslist should not be your primary source for job hunting. However if you decide to stick with Craigslist, do your research on the company first. Oh and if and you see “Doctor’s Sidekick” or “Doctor’s Assistant” in the La Jolla area, and the ad states “no experience necessary,” do not waste your time. You are worth more than that.

The truth about Craigslist is that it attracts dishonorable companies. Advertising on Craigslist is free and most jobs posted receive at least 200 applicants. The hiring managers of these jobs usually contact most of the applicants because there is so much variety – they are DEFINITELY greedy. Not only greedy, there are shady companies on Craigslist as well. There are horror stories where people have been murdered or sex trafficked from a Craigslist ad. I am dead serious, folks! This is the reality. You must do your research. Check the company on Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Glassdoor, Rip Off Report, and review their Private Policy.

So what to do now?

There are many ways to promote yourself professionally while searching for a job that really goes along with your passion. This is the key to your job search, and the fact is, most people have lost touch with what they want in life.

Being in my first (and definitely my last) group interview, I realize that the job hunters of today are very lost. They have been applying for jobs the wrong way for so long and decided to take anything that comes their way as a result. This is a huge problem. If you don’t know what you want, then someone else will decide for you. There is no way you can be truly happy if someone else is deciding your life’s path.

At my last position, I knew I was not supposed to be there. I respect the company 100 percent, but I did not have a genuine interest in it. I just did my duties and collected my pay check. The money is what got me up every morning. With that said, there is nothing with starting your career path with a respectable job that is not in-line with your interest because you do learn about what it takes to be a part of a team and maintain business success. However, it is best to build a bridge. Use the position as a stepping stone that will lead you to what you really want. If you settle with the money, eventually you will suffer consequences.

Did you know feelings, work, and health are all related? If you are unhappy, eventually it is going cause some type of stress. I learned from the Director of San Diego Clinical Hypnotherapy that most health problems in America are stress related. So it is time to ask yourself, is money more important than your well being? Some people are proud to say yes, but I am sure that is the ego talking. Your well being dictates your money situation. If you are in good health, most likely you are in a good working predicament. If you are in a good working predicament, then you automatically make good money. The opposite goes to those who are in poor health.

Now let’s back track. How do you figure out what job is perfect for you?
Here’s the fun part everyone! Pull out a piece of paper and a group of different colored pens. Think about all the things you enjoy doing? Write them out randomly. Now remember those childhood dreams? Write those down in LARGE print because the child you is the idealist who believes anything is possible. You need the child you in order to enter the perfect career. Lastly, think about your personality and how it relates to the job environment. This is crucial as well.

In the insightful lecture “Piercing the Fog,” Doctor Yaffa Bey provides a short segment where she offers advice to young adults about their working situations. She mentions, if you are not a social person, why would you waste time applying for a customer focused jobs? Or if you enjoy meeting new people, why would you waste your time behind a secluded desk sorting paperwork? It’s common sense, right? But you would be so surprised how people ignore their own needs just for a dollar.

So what do you have on your list? You should have the whole page filled. If not, it’s time to experiment. Go out and try different things through volunteering and classes and meet up groups. There are so many opportunities in your area. You just need to open your eyes. Once you have that page filled, you will have a better time looking for the perfect job.

Through Altman’s book, I found Ezine Articles were everyday people like you and me can write out our thoughts freely. Actually I wrote this article for Ezine, but it was declined (probably because I revealed the curtains on Craigslist). Anyway, I did find another job recruiter’s blog on Ezine, http://www.jobseekeremploymentadvice.com. The author provides refreshing advice on how to find a job. The article that sticks with me is, “60% of Job Are NOT Advertised.”

This article gives job hunters a fresh perspective. Finding the right employee is a gruesome process for employers. This is why employers seek internal applicants first before going out to the public. Therefore, if you go to the employer before the job is advertised on general search sites like Monster and Indeed, you give yourself a creative edge. Go back to your list. Now do a Google search of all the businesses in your area that relates to your interest and start applying. Remember, applying for work is your current full time job, so treat it that way.

If you still need assistance, please visit my list of alternative job hunting methods, https://sapeni.wordpress.com/job-search-methods. There are TONS of jobs out there. You just have to take a moment and really look.

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Two years ago (wow! time just flies by), I wrote a brief article on the dangerous side effects of my favorite college snack. Once again, after studying the videos below, I found myself rethinking my eating habits.  This article is a quick reflection of my health and well being.

 

 

When I visited Japan in 2010, I seriously was  a bundle of energy. I leaped out of bed every morning at 7am sharp, I was interacting with anyone and everyone around me, and I walked aimlessly for miles upon miles in an attempt to soak in all of Tokyo’s wonders. I was an energetic machine, and I loved it.

Some can argue that my stamina raised due to the fact that I was in a new environment. This is very much true. I always dreamed of visiting the land of the raising sun, and I turned that dream into a reality. I made sure I had the time of my life there. However, limiting my access to artificial and fatty foods definitely kept me in high spirits.

My daily meal in Tokyo consist of milk tea, bread, and/or fish and rice for breakfast. Lunch was always a free-for-all. I would enjoy many tasty snacks in the area. For example, I inhaled fresh, grilled eel at the Tsukiji Fish Market, I munched on seaweed flavored rice crackers from the Asakusa Shrine, and I ate a mango pudding made to perfection along with divine sea salt ice cream in Harajuku. Every snack was paired up with lots of water and bottled green tea due to the non-stop walking. For the finale, I always had a heavy dinner like spicy curry with streamed rice, thinly sliced beef with fluffy egg, or vegetarian ramen. My dinner always included tea, miso soup, and a small vegetable side dish like cucumber. All this delicious, low sugar, moderate in sodium, low calorie selections paired up with hot herbal tea and consistent exercising caused for golden results in my overall physical and spiritual health. As you already guessed, you don’t have to be in Japan to adapt a healthy routine.

 

 

Now I really put all the pieces together. One cold winter night, I was scarfing down large hand-fulls of chips before coming across the video above, and BOOM! It hit me like a large bag of crusty, old Halloween candy. I knew right then and there. I needed to change my eating habits. Right now! and that’s exactly what I did.

The key to good health is consciousness, plain and simple. I must think about what I am eating and why I am eating it as well as how the food effects my mood and energy levels. This is why I really paid attention to some very useful words of wisdom. I was told that eating addictive foods like Hamburgers and french fries can become even more hazardous when drinking cold liquids. Just think about it for a moment. When you add sugar to cold water, the sugar takes longer to dissolve in the solution. Most likely, the sugar will maintain its form and sink to the bottom of the cup.  However in hot water, the sugar dissolves instantly. The same effect occurs when fat enters your body. Therefore, drinking hot tea with your meal always aids the fat, or any food type, so it is easier to digest. Therefore, conscious decision number one is for me to drink natural, hot tea every day.

As you can tell from the time I wrote my first article on junk food, changing bad habits is a process. However, it becomes so much easier when you feel instant results. Seriously, I feel great. I have been taking mental notes of what I eat, and my energy levels went straight back to my time in Japan. Of course, I am not Mother Teresa (nor do I want to be). I still enjoy favorite snacks like chocolate and chips. I just don’t eat as much as I used to. Actually, I am honestly enjoying many of the dishes I added to my diet.

The dish that I am most proud of is as simple as you can get. I will have a mixed fruit bowl in the morning,  and this is not a bland, ordinary fruit bowl.  This is a powerful fruit bowl because it is made with delicious love, so let’s start from the beginning. I sliced a ripe banana and neatly laid it at the bottom of a small bowl. Then I diced up a sour, crunchy apple and place the pieces on top. Here comes the fun part! I tossed in some dried cranberry, a variety of nuts — pecan, almond, and pistachio — and top it off with salty sunflower seeds. Yum! I cannot forget the creamy taste that links the ingredients together though. In the end, I pour a smidgen of rich coconut milk that slowly spills onto the heavenly dish until it reaches the bananas. This is pure joy. One bit of the savory mix of nature’s candy keeps that wonderful smile on my face all morning.

So follow reader, you shall see more blogs about easy yet magical foods that I have happily fused into my diet.

~See you in the kitchen~

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Tarra and Bella is an inspiring tale of a genuine friendship between a courageous Golden Retriever and a loyal Asian Elephant. The unusual pair met in an instant moment of shared acceptance. Basically, Tarra (Retriever) felt comfortable enough to sleep next to Bella (Elephant) one day. After Bella woke up perplex by the situation, she simply stood over Tara and began her day as normal.  Surprise! Tarra followed her every step of the way, and Bella welcomed her new companion’s company.

To no surprise, Bella actually had a hard time interacting with the other elephants in the reservation. She does have an unusual upbringing. This Elephant was brought up in the zany world of show biz where she worked hard as an animal actress. As she grew older, Bella’s caretakers at the time allowed the unique Elephant to retire in a simple life at a reservation in Tennessee. Due to Bella’s background, it is only expected for her to find a best friend in stray dog. (I am sure Tarra had many adventures of her own.)

Tarra and Bella may look different, but they share the same interesting spirits. (I will even say that they were connected in their “past lives,” but for the sake of this report, I will not deeply explore this possibility…at least for now). The friends cared for each other, even in the worst possible situation. Once Tarra sprained her leg, Bella waited patiently next to her mate until help arrived.

 

 

Sadly, Tarra experienced another unfortunate event. She was brutally attacked by coyotes, and Bella carried her bruised body back to their regular play location. Tarra eventually died, and Bella was present for her funeral to mourn for the lost of her dearest friend. The touching story of Tarra and Bella displays the simple fact that you can find companionship in others even if they do not look like you – just focus on the beauty of the spirit.

 

It is very difficult to locate pure a friendship because many people, including myself, tend to have a hazy fantasies of how life is supposed to be, how they are supposed to be, and how others are supposed to be. Through this fantasy, most find friends who maintain the perception of themselves. Just to put it simply, most use relationships for selfish purposes, which explains why it is hard to locate a genuine friendship.

 

 

Here’s a wonderful example. In the video above, Audrey O’day and Aundrea Fimbres met in a challenging competition to join a girl band called Danity Kane. O’day and Fimbres shared the same love and respect for each other as they strive for the same goal. Then a problem arrived. They both get accepted in the band by music producer Sean “Puffy” Combs, but sadly as the group becomes popular, the ego took over. The world of mainstream music is CUT THROAT.

At that time, both ladies have different perceptions of how to handle fame. Since neither is willing to conform to the other’s fantasy, the friendship is doomed. This is a common situation for many people; it happened to me as well. There is ALWAYS hope though. O’day and Fimbres learned from their faults and joined forces again to create a song that perfectly displays their downfall. So, I do appreciate their 360 turn-around.

 

 

From the wise words of this pop song, I will strive to tame the ego and achieve beautiful friendships like the bond between Tarra and Bella.

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Good evening, readers!

I have been exploring ideas of destiny through Chinese astrology and now through past lives and multi-dimensions since I am trying to write a story based on these concepts. However, I consistently push the idea of one’s upbringing aside. Why? Well, the reasoning for this is simple. I have strong beliefs that an individual’s mind is extremely powerful and as a result shapes how you are. Then I used concepts of astrology and choices to shape this idea. But I began to realize, there is a puzzle piece missing. Just by living and breathing right now, I know for a fact that the human mind is capable of achieving epic success, yet obstacles do hinder the mind’s capabilities and these obstacles can force the mind to achieve nothing but epic failure. So, I began to expand my perspective. I now believe an individual’s mind is shape by their upbringing, and that upbringing will determine the person’s fate because after all, you will become the person who has raise you. In a way, it is inevitable.

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By Sabrina Pettis
June 7th, 2011

 

We must admit. We all are drawn to a specific friend, a specific movie, a specific environment, a specific style, and a specific career. But why? It is common for us to stick to what we know, but how do we learn what we know? Of course, our personalities plays a dominate role in our daily decision-making. Where does personality come from? Some will answer that our personality is based on our upbringing. We are just exact replicas of our parents, but I strongly disagree. Do you find it interesting how to siblings, born in the same household, have completely different personalities? Well, may be this phenomenon is more mysterious then we give credit for. May be our very characteristics are based on the astrological alignments or time. Every culture, including ancient Chinese and ancient Egyptian, have pondered this possibility. And I wish to share with you the very basics of their research. In today’s article, I will start with Chinese astrology.

Chinese Astrology is no different from Egyptian astrology where they determine a child’s characteristics, motives, and demeanor through the annual rotation of the sun. It was even believed that astrological experts can determine your past, present, and future from the exact year, month, day, hour, minute, and second you were born. If that wasn’t specific enough, Chinese astrological experts associate the information of your birth to the five elements: earth, water, fire, wood, and metal to better determine your outcome. It is quite fascinating. The minuscule details play a huge role in making you who you are today.

With all that aside, Chinese Astrology also has a practical yet whimsical element. As I mentioned, a child’s characteristics are determined by the rotation of the sun, or simply put, by the year. Each year is represented by an animal, and these animals were chosen based on ancient Chinese farm life. For example, there is the Horse and the Pig on the astrological calendar (zodiac calendar). The only mythical creature on the calendar is the Dragon, which is based on involved folklore in the Chinese culture. Dragons are believed to be the guardians to the spiritual world, so they deserve a spot on the calendar.

There are twelve animals for the twelve zodiac signs. The Rat represents year one and the Pig represents year twelve. These animal years repeat themselves after year twelve, so year thirteen is the Rat again. Get it? If not, it’ll make more since after I break down the main traits of each animal. First let us read the wise old tale of the twelve zodiac signs.

 

[I am re-telling the classic folklore story from Sabrina Liao’s version.]

Once upon a time in a world just beginning, there was a heavenly Empress who wished to create a calendar for the humans to track time. The Empress told all the animals of the land that there will be a grand race and the first twelve animals to win will become the years and each human child born under their year will carry their characteristics. The animals where excited. Every single animal from the majestic dragon to the tiny tadpoles lined up to participate in the race.

The Empress said, “You must travel over the mountain and across the river to get to the finish line. There will be a party for the twelve fastest animals.” The Rat was worried.

The Rat took one looked at his little feet and knew he would have a problem climbing the huge mountain, and he expressed his concern with his best friend Cat. Cat also worried. The Ox over heard the Rat and expressed how he has bad eyes. Then, the Rat thought of a plan. He said, “Ox, let Cat and I ride your back. We will be your eyes and together we will cross the finish line.”

The race was about to start. The Empress held her hand in the air. “Ready, Get set, Go!” yelled the Empress while she dropped her hand. All the animals raced to the mountain, except the Dragon. The Dragon told the Empress that he had enough time to change the weather for the party since he can easily fly to the finish line.

Days passed and then months passed. The Rat and the Cat can see the finish line. “It is there. Go Straight, Ox!” said the Rat. Ox jumped in the river and the Rat and the Cat held on tight. While the Ox was swimming against the current, the Rat realized he wanted to be first. So in the moment, he pushed Cat into the river and the Cat screamed as he was carried downstream.

The Ox’s head was underwater and did not see what happened. When the Ox was just about to the cross the finish line, the Rat jumped off his back and claimed first place. The Ox didn’t mind and claimed second place.

Moments later, more animals trickled in. The Dragon came in fifth place after he made the weather sunny for the party, and the gleeful Pig came in last. The party finally began. After about an hour, the Cat appeared soaking wet. The Empress told him he was too late, and fury grew within the Cat. Even today, the Cat and the Rat are sworn enemies.

 

What’s your sign?

[Summarized from Sabrina Liao’s Chinese Astrology book]

1. Rat People – As you can tell from the story, Rat people are born survivors and a problem-solvers. They’re able to use their intellect for any situation and they usually end up at the top. Rat people can turn competitive and be calculating, but they are still very communal. Their family comes first.

2. Ox People – These are hard-working and reliable people. They are also equip to be born leaders. Ox people do have the tendency to be to be stubborn, but that’s because they know their way is the right way. Though their gentle nature makes for that. Ox people are the type of people you can trust.

3. Tiger People – Fear is not in the Tiger’s vocabulary. Confident and assertive are natural traits for them. This can cause Tiger people to be impatient, but their natural charm allows them to enjoy many rewards. They are very energetic, and fun. Tiger People definitely stand out within a crowd.

4. Rabbit People – One of the luckiest signs in the group and toppled with a compassionate nature. These peace-loving people are accommodating and trustworthy. They can be very passive in the heat of confrontation, but like the Rat, Rabbit People are communal. Also, they love to show off their successes and talents.

5. Dragon People – You know a Dragon Person when you see one. Being the only mythical creature, people born under this sign are blessed with natural appeal. Being the luckiest sign of them all and born perfectionists, Dragon people usually live an extravagant lifestyle to feed their unique style.

6. Snake People – Intelligence is the key attribute for Snake People. They are also deep thinkers and know their decisions are always right. They are also competitive and know how to show off in a way that’s subtle and appreciated.

7. Horse People – These People must live freely. They ride life’s spontaneous events and absorb all of those experiences with passion and charisma. Since they operate through feeling, they can be emotionally detached, but their independence and excitement still make them alluring.

8. Sheep People – Sheep People were born in a dream and will do everything in their power to make that dream come true. As a result, they are extremely creative but can be unreliable with tasks they feel are not of importance to them. Creativity, compassion, and style best sums up their characters.

9. Monkey People – The fun is here! Monkey People are fun loving and highly social. Monkeys are clever and mastered the art of conversation and will prove it to you will long conversations, which can be center around themselves. They are not that lucky, but their optimism and natural charm makes up for that.

10. Rooster People – Rooster People are little peacocks because they love to put on a show and are the most eccentric of all signs. They love to hold extravagant parties with many unique trinkets. Rooster can be frank about their feelings and live their lives in the fast lane. No sleeping for the Rooster.

11. Dog People – Being the most loyal sign in the group, Dog People very caring and helpful to whoever they call family or friends. Dogs are also frank and see the world in black and white. They are best motivated when there is a goal in mind. They will be the first to run and achieve the goal.

12. Pig People – The party has begun! The Pig sign is one of the most social signs in the group. They love people and still caring and considerate. Pig People do tend to indulged too much, but most would say they deserve it. They are honest People who will go out of their way to help you.

 

This is Chinese Astrology in a nutshell. However, if this philosophy doesn’t work for you, be patient. May be Egyptian philosophy is more fitting with your beliefs.

 

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February 5, 2011

You know, a high-status business typhoon once told me, “young business owners are a myth.” Apparently this person fails to realize that all myths are based on reality.

Tina Harris is a young entrepreneur who created her own online empire called Stacie’s Gifts, and get this! She started only two years ago and is still standing strong as we continue into the New Year. Tina has huge plans for her stylish jewelry boutique, and today I am excited to hear her plans as I interview her on how she created her success story. (All you aspiring business owner; you should definitely take note.)  

Sabrina: What inspired you to be your own boss, and how did it impact your current lifestyle for the better?

Tina: First, I decided to create something for myself while still young.  I wanted to form my own source of income, which would ultimately give me an entrepreneur skill-set that I would be able to use when older.  Second, I had fun both being a local and online merchant. 

From [my experience], I learned there is no security in working for someone else. Going into business with almost no clue, I took a blind leap of faith and have not looked back since.  My security is based on my own efforts and merits, not based on someone else’s business decision.

 

Sabrina: Since you are a service company, what is your customer service motto and how do you initiate it?

Tina: Having worked in customer service for over 10 years, this was not too hard to figure out.  I always put the customers first and make it easy for them to do business.  Customers want reasonable prices, open communication, and a secure shopping experience.  My goal for this company is actually initiated prior to the customers placing their orders.  In addition to having free 24/7 access to the website, customers have the same access to our social media sites.  This provides direct access to communicate with [the staff of Stacie’s Gifts] as well as information that can be used to help them shop online and offline. 

Sabrina: What type of business owner are you, and how do you set yourself apart from other owners?

Tina: You can say I am a business owner that operates in two worlds.  There is the virtual online world consisting of our website and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and there is the “real world” where we also service our local customers.  As most business owners choose between marketing online or locally, I have been able to strike a balance between both worlds. 

Our size gives us an advantage [statement referring to Tina and her staff members].  We have ample opportunity to meet our customers face-to-face, and/or simply form a connection online.

 

Sabrina: Every business starts with an idea, but what is the first step that you recommend for aspiring men and women to take when trying to manifest that idea into an actual business? 

Tina: Now is actually a good time to start a business.  In this recession, it appears that the business world is realigning itself all the way from the fortune 500 companies to the “mom and pop” establishments.  My recommendation is to always start with a written plan.  Test your plans, and adjust them accordingly.  Have your plan reviewed by professional consultants.  Know that there are no short-cuts.  There is no fast track or tricks of the trade.  If starting and growing an enterprise were easy, everyone would do it.  Mentally prepare yourself for an adventurous journey ahead.

Sabrina: What are the three most important aspects of a successful business?

Tina:  Simply put:

One – A written plan with attainable goals and objectives.  Write down what you want to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish your goals in detail.  Keep it simple.

Two –  Happy customers that keep coming back and can put out the good word about your business.  Learn how to provide good customer service.

Three – A high degree of self-discipline and superb organization skills.

Sabrina: Your website is very straightforward, yet very bright and welcoming. How important is design and marketing for a new business, and what is the best way to expose the business to the public on a tight budget?

Tina: First impressions are very important, but there is also a bigger picture.  The best way to expose your business online is getting found.  Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, and even Ning sites are an excellent way to get your site found on an upstart budget.  Search engines like Google provide many free and low cost methods of getting your website out to the public.

Second, make sure your site is easy to navigate.

Last, make sure the site terms are straightforward enough for everyone to understand.

Sabrina: Loving what you sell is crucial for credibility and success. What are your favorite items in your inventory and why?

Tina: There are a few items that are near and dear to me.  The first is the beige Pashmina.  Of course, I own one of my own.  I can wear it with almost anything, and it is versatile enough to wear year round.  The Pashmina is a piece I personally wear on a regular basis.  The second is the Dragonfly necklace.  I love wearing the Dragonfly necklace as I can always expect a compliment, or it can spark up a conversation with someone I have never met before.  It also helps breaks the ice with prospective local customers who end up buying the very same necklace as a gift.

Sabrina: What is your ultimate goal with Stacie’s Gifts?

Tina: The ultimate goal of StaciesGifts.com is to create a secure future for myself and loved ones by becoming the premium one stop shop for gifts and women’s accessories online.  Our purpose is to provide gift items for any occasion such as weddings, anniversaries, holidays, and corporate events at the most affordable prices.

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It’s no secret! The most powerful aspect of life is your personal imagination. Over the years, we have learned to ignore it or reduce it, but that never works. It’s completely impossible to tamper with your imagination no matter how many times you deny it, and there’s no better way of proving this point than to curl up with a good book and allowing your thoughts to soar.
 
Actually, a book is not necessary. Everything you read requires your imagination. Tisk! Tisk! You still don’t believe me? Well consider this. You are currently reading this blog, correct? Well, in order to comprehend this blog, you must be able to connect each sentence with the over all message in order to figure out what this blog is conveying. So you’d have to use your analytical skills to complete these steps. Of course, your analytical skills are heavily based on your perception, and guess what! You’re preception is based on your imagination. You cannot posses a perception with out an imagination, and every living being has a perception.
 
Confused? Well, this article shouldn’t be mind-boggling if you’re actively using your imagination. Then again, my imagination is different from yours, so let’s play a little game to stretch out the argument.
 
Analyze this sentence:
 
The cow jumps over the moon to meet the fish.
 
Got cha! I know you were visualizing some type of cow floating over some type of moon to meet some type of fish. It’s impossible for you not to visual this very playful sentence. Now visualizing this sentence is the first step. Fufilling in the details is the second and most important step because every single person will have different details based on their perception. In my head, I pictured an overweight black spotted cow walking up to the blue radient moon, which is turns out to be the size of this country. The cow simply flies over this glorious sight, and when this extraordinary cow arrives to his destination, he meets a tiny gold fish. The fish is also swimming in air. After all, they are both in outter space. What did you see?
 
For those of you who are a step ahead of me, you would have already asked questions like: how did the cow even end up in space and how do the cow and the fish breath in deep space? These are insightful questions, but you already posses the answers to these questions because guess where the answers are located…
 
Need I say more?

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Don’t you think it’s odd how major toothpaste companies like Crest don’t list all the ingredients of their products? You’re putting this stuff in your mouth. You have the right to know what it’s made of.

Some of the ingredients in Toothpaste:

Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluoride 0.243% (0.15% w/v fluoride ion) Inactive Ingredients: Sorbitol, Water, Hydrated Silica, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Trisodium Phosphate, Flavor, Sodium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Carbomer 956, Sodium Saccharin, Titanium Dioxide, Blue 1.

What is this stuff, and how does it affect our bodies?

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