September 29th, 2009

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  • BusinessWeek – Startup Jump Starters
  • Entrepreneur – Mompreneur defined
  • StartUpNation – The 8 Things You Need to Make a Home-Based Business Work!
  • Wall Street Journal – Freedom, Not Money, Drives Start Ups
  • Entrepreneur – Top Resources for Mompreneurs
  • Entrepreneur – It’s a Mom’s World
  • SmartMoney.com – Becoming a Mompreneur
  • Central Valley Business Times – Working mothers have it all
  • Parents – Home Office Essentials
  • DrLaura.com – So You Want to Work from Home?
  • iVillage Live TV Show
  • Entrepreneur – The New June Cleavers
  • Nashville Parent – Shhh Mom’s Got to Work
  • Working Mother – Working Mother Group Directory
  • OC Metro – Home-Based Business Scams
  • Entrepreneur – Wanna Be a Mompreneur?
  • CBS News
  • More.com – Working at Home: Tips for Success
  • CSM - Mom’s New Ballgame: Career at Home
  • Also featured in Forbes, USA Today, Home Office Computing, Parenting, Business Start-Ups, Baby Magazine, Family PC, Mothering, American Baby and many others!

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March 27th, 2017

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God has really been working on me in the area of surrender for the past couple of years. For most of my adult life, I’ve surrendered parts of my life to God but not all – not everything. I suppose subconsciously I was afraid of what it would mean to “surrender all” as the song goes. What will He call me to surrender?  Like most people, I want control. To give over control to someone else is both scary and uncertain. What if God calls me to move away, to change jobs, to sell our home, to become a missionary, to give more money away? What if……? What if?

Be Content

I had to ask myself were any of those “what-ifs” worth more than following God with every ounce of my heart and being obedient to Him? Was our home worth it? Were our finances worth it?  What are His plans anyway? He promises us in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Had He not proven Himself faithful in the past? Had He not comforted and provided every step of the way when I was faced with an unwanted divorce? Had He not provided for my kids and me when I was a single mom? Had He not canceled a big hospital debt miraculously when I had no insurance and needed an emergency appendectomy?  Had He not provided for me and my two brothers when my father took his life and my mom was unable to properly care for us as kids?  The list goes on and on. And the answer was Yes on every one of those. He had proven faithful and has been faithful in every area of my life.

So the question became, will I trust Him enough to surrender everything to Him? My answer has become over the past couple of years….. yes Lord yes. I do trust You not only with my life but with our “stuff”, with our businesses and with our children. I know that does not mean a trouble free, easy path but neither does not surrendering to You.  And I would much rather have God and His power on my side than to go at it alone. There is freedom in surrender, and there is also sweet intimacy with the King.

 

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March 20th, 2017

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If you work from home, technology is your friend. Just a couple decades ago the idea you could be a stay-at-home mom who also makes a living wage was pretty unrealistic. Today, it’s commonplace, and that’s due in large part to technology. The internet, Wi-Fi, laptops and smartphones are all tools that give working moms the ability to be at home while continuing their careers. There’s one other way technology is helping us industrious mothers: the smart home.

Office workers networking

It helps you manage, control and monitor your household from wherever you are—your home office, the soccer field sidelines or on vacation—with your smartphone. Devices such as smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart washing machines and smart ovens help you run your home more efficiently.

If you are going to start taking advantage of these great conveniences, however, it’s important to do all you can to secure them. Anything connected to the internet—your computer, smart TV, Roku or smart crockpot—is a potential entry point for hackers. What’s so bad about a hacker getting “into” your crockpot? Other than a ruined dinner, the hacker can use that access to your network to leapfrog from crockpot to iMac, and once there, your business and personal files are exposed. Hackers can also use connected devices to create “Botnet armies” to take down websites, as happened late last year.

It’s very difficult to stop a determined hacker, but you can certainly make it harder for them, and less likely that opportunist attackers will target you. There are three important steps you can take to make sure your devices are more secure.

1.     Secure Your Passwords

When you set up any internet-connected device, always change the password. If a device doesn’t give you the option to do this, do not use it. Default passwords that aren’t changed are an open invitation—they don’t even require any skill to “hack.”

Make sure you choose a unique and complicated password for every device you use, just as you do for all the websites you use. Make sure it is not a word found in the dictionary, include uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols, and make it at least eight characters long. Using a password manager like LastPass or 1Password makes this a lot easier.

2.     Create a Separate Smart Home Wi-Fi Network

Most modern Wi-Fi routers let you create a guest network that has a different name and password from your primary network. Put all your connected devices on this network—smart speakers, smart TVs, smart lightbulbs, smart doorbells, anything that connects wirelessly to the internet but doesn’t have business or personal files on it. Keep your computers and laptops on the main network. By separating your computers from the guest network, you prevent hackers from being able to jump from your smart thermostat into your personal computer.

Setting up a guest network is simple to do. Access your router’s setting using a web browser (by typing your IP address into the address bar). Every router has a slightly different procedure, but essentially, you’ll need to go into settings and find the Guest Network option. Create a network name and a (strong) password, then enable the network.

Now, whenever you get a new smart home device that needs Wi-Fi access, simply choose this network rather than your main one. You also want to go back and switch any existing devices over to this network. It’s important to put all the devices on the same network, especially if they communicate with each other. Otherwise, they may not work properly. You’ll also need to put your smartphone on this network when you want to use it to control the devices inside the house, but you can switch back to your primary network for all other uses.

3.     Hide Your Wi-Fi Network and Disable WPS and UPnP

While you’re in the router setting, it’s a good idea to hide your Wi-Fi networks from public view. This means people will have to know its name as well as the password to connect to it. This won’t prevent a dedicated hacker from sniffing out the signal, but it does at least shield you from prying eyes. Another easy security fix is to disable WPS and UPnP on the router, which are convenience features that allow you and others to bypass your firewall. Unless you are a big-time online gamer, you don’t need these, and you’re safer with them turned off.

Take these steps to protect your smart home devices and you can rest assured knowing your home is easily managed and—most importantly—safe and secure.

 

Jennifer Tuohy is a working-from-home mom of two children who writes about her passion for tech for The Home Depot. She provides helpful advice on setting up your Wi-Fi network and preventing it from getting hacked. You can find a wide range of wireless router options, like those Jennifer discusses, from The Home Depot here.

 

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February 22nd, 2017

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When you fell off your bike and scraped your knee, your mom hugged you, wiped away your tears and applied a magical Band-Aid. When you were an all-knowing 16-year-old, your dad patiently taught you to drive, spending hours in the car watching you resist everything he was trying to tell you.

Now, these same two wonderful people — your parents — are getting older, and it is time for you to step up to the caregiving plate.

Woman taking care of her disabled grandmother

While you are happy to care for your mom and dad as much as you can, your folks might have other ideas. Whether they don’t want to worry you or are scared to become a burden as they age, some elderly parents are really resistant to the idea of their child assisting them. To help overcome their objections, try out these tips:

Start Communication Early

The time to start talking with your aging parents about caregiving is not after your mom has taken a fall or when your normally neat-freak dad is letting basic housekeeping slip. If you can, have a laid-back conversation with them before a crisis takes place. Watch for opportunities in day-to-day conversation to mention getting some help — “Hey Dad, if you had a housekeeper come in once or twice a month you’d have even more time to play golf!” or “Mom, I saw an interesting checklist about how to keep a house safe from falls — can we go through your house and make sure it’s safe?”

Get Them an Innovative Activity Tracker

Your parents might balk at getting a wearable alert system. Sympathize with their feelings and instead offer them a less conspicuous activity tracker. The Lively Wearable is a fun-to-use fitness tracker for seniors. It’ll keep track of their steps and heart rate, and -when worn properly- also works as an alert system if mom or dad take a fall and need help. This will not only make them more confident to stay independent, but it will also give you peace of mind as you’ll be notified in the case of an accident.

Be Careful How You Word Things

Remember when your room was a mess and your mom told you to clean it up or you would be grounded until you were 50? You probably didn’t feel very motivated to spend your precious teenage weekend time straightening up your stuff. As Aging Care notes, choose your words carefully when talking to your parents about caregiving. Instead of saying “I don’t think you are a safe driver anymore so I’m taking you to your dentist appointment,” try something like “I have a free morning. How about I drive you to your appointment and then we can go have lunch afterward?” Keeping your suggestions positive will go a long way in getting your parents to accept help.

Channel Your Inner Detective

If your mom or dad says “I don’t need help, and that’s that,” spend some time asking gentle yet pointed questions as to why your parents are so reluctant to accept assistance. Listen to your folks and validate what they are feeling. See if your dad will say he is worried about spending all of his hard-earned savings on hiring a caregiver, or your mom is nervous about having a stranger come into the house to clean. Once you know their specific fears and concerns, it might be easier to help set their minds at ease and be more open to getting help.

Dealing with aging parents is a delicate situation. Be patient, listen closely to what they’re saying and approach with suggestions rather than requirements. These traits will make them more receptive to help.

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February 21st, 2017

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Online collaboration is becoming the new normal for many businesses. The number of U.S. workers who telecommute at least part of the time climbed from 30 percent in 2008 to 37 percent in 2015, an annual Gallup poll found. The number of companies that employ some or all workers who telecommute all of the time grew from 26 to 125 between 2014 and 2016, according to FlexJobs research. For companies that employ remote workers, online collaboration tools are an essential part of doing business. Here are four ways companies are using collaboration tools to improve their business communication.

Office workers networking

Centralizing Communication

When everyone worked on an office PC, email was a relatively efficient collaboration tool. When you’re running a business from an Android device such as a Samsung Galaxy S7, email isn’t quite as optimal. For one thing, email is designed primarily for one-on-one communication, but when you’re trying to collaborate with a group of people, referencing an email from a conversation that occurred before one of the participants joined can be confusing. This problem gets compounded if a conversation crosses from email into other channels such as phone calls, texting and social media. Another limitation of email is that each person in the thread can potentially have a different version of the same document, making it difficult to keep editing updates in sync.

To address these issues, many companies are turning to real-time collaboration tools that abandon the email paradigm in favor of a communication platform modeled on social media, where groups of people can see the same conversation at the same time and can stay in sync on document updates. One of the most popular of these newer collaboration tools is Slack, which earned its namesake company the Inc. 2015 Company of the Year Award. Slack provides teams with chat rooms organized by topic, where team members can exchange direct messages and files and search all content from a single location.

Streamlining Project Management

Real-time collaboration tools lend themselves to more efficient project management. Where email-based project management suffers from the same limitations as email collaboration, real-time project management tools let project leaders manage group tasks in an online social space shared by all team members. Managers can see all projects at a glance, break projects up into tasks and subtasks, delegate each task to a team member, communicate with team members from a single location and track project progress. Today’s top-rated project management tools include LiquidPlanner, Zoho Projects and Workfront.

Providing Omnichannel Customer Service

Real-time collaboration tools also enable remote customer service teams to deliver omnichannel customer service. In today’s connected world, a customer service ticket may cross multiple media channels, starting on live chat, progressing to a phone call, and getting followed up via email, for example. In the process, multiple representatives may handle the ticket. This can make it challenging to provide customer service in the event one representative has to repeat questions another representative has already asked, slowing response time and annoying customers.

Cloud-based customer contact centers resolve this issue by providing a single online platform where customer service teams can collaborate to resolve customer issues. Some of today’s leading cloud contact center solutions include Freshdesk, Zendesk and Samanage.

Tracking Communication Effectiveness

You can also use collaboration tools to measure the effectiveness of your internal and external communication. For instance, you can use your project management app to monitor key performance indicators such as how fast employees respond to communication via different media, how quickly projects get turned around and how different members of your team are performing. You can also track KPIs associated with your customer service, such as number of tickets per media channel, average response time and average number of contacts per ticket resolution.

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February 14th, 2017

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Before I was a work-at-home mom, I thought it would be the easiest job in the world. How sweet would it be to set your own schedule, work in your PJs and play with the kids — all while getting paid? You’d avoid the commute, say goodbye to office drama and get to be your own boss. Win, win, win.

Now that I am a WAHM, I know the truth. It is easy! Easy to get caught up in the day-to-day duties of housework and childcare. Easy to let your romantic relationships slide. Easy to put yourself and your work on the back burner until the last possible moment0.

Business lady with her baby

For the record, I still think being a work-at-home mom is the best job in the world — but it’s certainly not the easiest. In fact, most days I yearn for an office and dedicated time to work in it. I often miss my co-workers and the built-in adult interaction that comes with a traditional work space. Some days I even (gasp) miss my commute — or at least the quiet time to think that came with it.

If you’re in the same boat, it’s likely because you are making some of the same mistakes most WAHM make. Here’s what they are and how to avoid them:

Not Setting Boundaries

Unfortunately for many WAHMs, saying goodbye to the traditional 9 to 5 also means saying hello to being on the clock from dawn to well after dusk. Hours meld together and you find yourself wondering how it’s already 4 p.m. when you feel like you just barely cleaned up breakfast. If this sounds familiar, here are some suggestions for setting boundaries on your energy, time and work space:

  • Energy: Make 2017 the year that you stop overloading yourself. Know your limits and respect them. Don’t accept assignments you don’t have time for or say yes to favors that would stretch you too far to complete.
  • Time: Start replacing the words “I don’t have time” with “It’s not a priority” and see how your days, relationships and work habits change.
  • Work space: A completely kids-free home office might not be possible if space is limited, but you can compromise. A few hours a day, turn a room into your private work space and make sure everyone knows it better be for an emergency if they enter and interrupt.

Not Networking Enough

And I don’t mean on social media. While Facebook and Instagram can be great places to connect with current and potential clients, spending downtime mindlessly scrolling through your feeds doesn’t cut it. Make it a point to get out of the house regularly for work-related reasons. For example, if you have access to alternate childcare — like a friend who will swap with you — occasionally schedule a lunch meeting with a client or colleague or work from the library or a local coffee shop. Other ideas include:

  • Using online tools like Meetup to find and connect with other WAHMs
  • Following companies like Amway for news on local networking events and extra income opportunities
  • Regularly searching sites like EventBrite for a directory of classes and conferences going on nearby

Not Taking Me Time

Opportunity and flexibility are contributors, but they probably aren’t the main reasons you are working from home. You’re likely a WAHM because you want to be, because being your children’s full-time caregiver is important enough to you to make the switch. That’s great, but don’t let it be your demise. Be careful not to overextend yourself in giving too much of yourself to others. In an effort to balance your many roles as mom, employee, wife, friend, neighbor, you can forget to take time for yourself as an individual. Try to let go of the ever-popular sentimental messaging about “enjoying every second” of motherhood and doing it all as a WAHM. Because moms need breaks too, whether they work from home or not.

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February 8th, 2017

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Diapers, feeding schedules and cranky babies who won’t sleep are enough to run a new mother ragged. If you are like many new moms, you are already feeling overwhelmed with the never-ending task of keeping clutter to a minimum. Busy moms like you need fast and easy tips so you can maintain something that looks more like a house than a daycare center.

Fridge Organizers

First things first. You are going to be bottle feeding or storing milk for a long time, and even when you baby fully transitions to solid food, you will find yourself storing snacks like squeeze applesauce and Danimals. Get your refrigerator organized from the beginning with simple organizer bins.

business woman with laptop and her baby girl

Hide-it-all Storage Baskets

You know the doorbell is going to ring at exactly the time your family room looks like a nuclear bomb hit it. Make your quick clean-up sweep a breeze with large storage baskets. These are great because you can stack them in a corner or alongside furniture and they look like real décor instead of plastic tubs. Opt for ones with lids to hide everything from blankets and burp cloths to baby books. When closed, they can function as a coffee table or side table. As your child grows, teach them how to put their own items away in them too.

Diaper Stations

You have discovered that diapers need to be within several easy-to-reach outposts in your house. Instead of having them stacked on your fireplace mantle, atop the refrigerator or strewn across your entry table, look for a functional piece of furniture to store them. Shelving with multiple baskets works great because in one basket you can keep diapers, another keep wipes, and another keep your diaper bag so you can reload it before your leave the house.

Closet Clutter

If your bedroom closets are beginning to look like large junk deposits with sliding doors, time to look into closet organization systems that will keep baby’s things organized for years to come. Best, systems such as these grow with your child and maximize space for all those odd-sized items. Traditional closets are only a rod and a shelf but babies and small children have small clothes so you don’t need all that hanging space. Turn that space into areas for bins that can store toys, diapers, and more.

Baby Pictures

Most moms have an aspiration to create keepsake quality scrapbooks of baby’s first year. What really happens is you realize when your child is five you have 5,492 photo’s stored randomly on your phone and you haven’t done anything with them. Before all those pictures become a digital hoard, invest in a high quality photo management software such as PaintShop Pro. Software programs such as this have more features than any phone app, allowing you to create robust tags, an array of special effects, support many file formats, and allow you to easily upload to all your social media accounts.

Schedule

Organization isn’t just about the “stuff” but also organizing your time so you have more time for yourself. Some simple strategies you can incorporate include:

  • Make your mornings easier by setting out everything the night before. This includes clothing for you and baby, bottles, snacks, anything you take to daycare. In the event of a bad night’s rest and oversleeping your alarm, you will be glad you did.
  • Set a timer for yourself. Is baby content watching Little Einstein videos? Or is she napping or hanging out with dad? This is your time. It’s tempting to use the time to clean more bottles or vacuum the floor but resist this. Talk to your spouse about how you need a little time every day as a break from being on duty too, just like he or she has in their workday. Set a timer or block your calendar for you time and do something your enjoy like a bubble bath, reading a magazine or painting your nails.
  • Clear your mind. Before bed each night, make a list of things that you need or want to do the next day or in the week. Keep a small notebook by your bedside. You can use it too to write small journal entries about how you are feeling or how your day went. But clearing you mind of tasks and worries will help you sleep better through the night and feel more refreshed for all the multi-tasking you will do the next day.

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January 10th, 2017

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Lessons from Ruth

The book of Ruth is a short four-chapter book in the Old Testament showcasing God’s faithfulness. Naomi (mother-in-law to Ruth) left her homeland married and secure with her husband, two sons and their wives.  She came back having lost everything including her husband and two sons. She was bitter and depressed.

Romance

Here are some lessons we can learn from their tough times:

Faithfulness

When Naomi decides to return to Israel after the death of her husband and two sons, her daughter-in law Ruth insists on staying with her.  Naomi tries to convince her to go back to her own family but she refuses, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16-17). She is faithful to Naomi just as God is faithful to us.

God’s Favor

Upon arriving in Israel, Ruth goes out searching for work and food. She “just happens” to go to a field of a relative where she finds favor in the eyes on Boaz. He had heard of Ruth’s kindness towards Naomi and instructs his workers to allow her to glean in his fields.

God’s Provision

Naomi took the initiative to go out and find work and God provided for her. From this we can learn that sometimes God may be waiting for us to take the first step.

Humility

In these pages, we also see that Ruth humbles herself by doing this menial and exhausting job. She shows her determination to provide and work hard for herself despite the circumstances and not just wait for someone to come to their aid.

Protection

Showing up uninvited to work someone’s field without permission could be dangerous. Ruth could have been harmed or reprimanded. But God’s protected her. Not only did Boaz not harm her, he also directed his workers to let some of the grain fall in her path.

Even still, God had more in store for Naomi and Ruth than just providing food and shelter. One night, Naomi instructs Ruth to wait until Boaz is asleep in the threshing room and go lie at his feet. By doing this, she was letting him know that he could find someone to marry her or he could marry her himself. After going through the right steps according to their customs, Boaz quickly steps up to marry Ruth.

God’s Plan

Through the book of Ruth, we see that even in our dire circumstances, God has a plan. He not only provided for their needs, He also led them to Boaz. And through this union, Ruth and Boaz gave birth to Obed, who was the grandfather of David.  And Jesus came from the lineage of David. Never doubt God has a plan. And know that His plans are always better than our own.

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January 4th, 2017

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By Jennifer Tuohy

The internet. We all use it, need it, love it and hate it when it doesn’t work properly. You might rely on the web for your home-based business, or your family might need access for homework and entertainment. Most likely, it’s an equal dose of both. Every household today needs a strong, reliable internet connection.

Family in living room with laptop smiling

But what happens when your home’s Wi-Fi is painfully slow, your devices keep dropping the connection, or your streaming videos constantly “buffer”? Frustration ensues, deadlines aren’t met and family movie night becomes an exercise in futility. Parenting in the digital age is hard enough as it is. This article will share five simple tips that, taken together or implemented on a step-by-step basis, are sure to pick up your speeds and bring harmony back to your home.

A quick Wi-Fi 101: We are connected to the internet courtesy of our Internet Service Provider (ISP), which pipes the web into our homes through cable or fiber-optic. Once inside, our internet router picks up the wired connection and feeds it to a wireless router (these two devices may be one in the same), which turns that wired connection into a wireless one. Now we have Wi-Fi, and all our wireless devices— smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs—can connect to the web.

The key in this scenario is the wireless router, and if you want good Wi-Fi, you’ve got to take care of your router. Try out these tips to improve your speeds:

1.     Choose Location Wisely

Is your router hiding in a cupboard? Set it free. Your Wi-Fi router needs room to breathe and send its signal around the house. Make sure it’s in a central location and put it on a shelf or table—the higher up, the better. You’ll see an instant bump in performance.

2.     Check for Devices

Wi-Fi speed is dependent on bandwidth. The more use it’s getting, the slower it will be. If you’re surfing the web and your son suddenly hops on Netflix in the living room while your husband starts streaming Spotify, you might see a sudden drop in speeds. But what if someone else is using your bandwidth? Using your router’s web configuration page, you can see a list of devices connected to your Wi-Fi. If you spot someone unauthorized, kick them out and change your password immediately.

3.     Limit Your Load

If surfing the web, watching Netflix and listening to Spotify often happen simultaneously in your household, consider hardwiring any devices you can (connecting them directly to the router with an Ethernet cable) to lift some of the pressure off your bandwidth. Devices to consider hardwiring include desktop computers, smart TVs and gaming devices such as Playstation or Xbox. You’ll get better performance on those devices (hardwired internet is almost always faster than Wi-Fi) and free up your bandwidth—a win-win.

4.     Ditch Those Dead Zones

Do you find you’re all huddled around the coffee table with your devices, as that’s the only place that has strong Wi-Fi? The further a room is from the router, the weaker the signal. If you have brick walls or thick plaster, the signal has an even harder time getting through. Gift every room with a strong internet connection by buying a Wi-Fi range extender, an inexpensive device you plug into an outlet that will push your Wi-Fi signal further throughout the house.

5.     Buy a New Router

If none of the above works for you, or you’ve had your wireless router for a few years, it’s time for an upgrade. Wireless router technology has advanced a lot, and the new models are “dual band,” meaning they contain both a 2.4GHz band and a 5GHZ band. Having the extra band will help significantly if you have lots of competing Wi-Fi networks near your home. Many routers also offer a new protocol called 802.11ac, or AC. AC routers offer much faster speeds and larger bandwidth loads, which, put simply, is the solution to all your problems.

One (or all) of these tips is sure to fix your family’s Wi-Fi problems and help you all get your work and entertainment fix without frustration.

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Jennifer Tuohy is a wife, a mom of two children and a technology maven. She knows how inconvenient a sluggish Wi-Fi signal can be, and provides great tips on improving signal strength. To see some of the router and WI-FI extender options that Jennifer talks about in the article, visit The Home Depot. 

 

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December 20th, 2016

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The demands of running your own business are never ending and can sap you of your energy. To put in the care required for your business, you must make sure you take care of yourself first. A healthy lifestyle — formed through intentional morning habits that boost your physical well-being — is essential to your personal and entrepreneurial success. Be mindful of your diet, exercise routines and body care techniques to supply the momentum and mindset that you need to run your business.

Green detox smoothie cup and woman lacing running shoes before w

Morning Fuel

Take your breakfast game up a notch and start your day off with some high-energy nutrients. Some of the best morning foods include oatmeal, eggs, yogurt and fruit smoothies. Your food should be high in protein and also have a balanced mix of carbohydrates and healthy fats. Fiber is another essential element, as low-fiber foods will leave you feeling sluggish and diminish your energy rese

rve. You should also steer clear of any foods that are high in processed sugar, like sugar cereals, flavored yogurt, pancakes, waffles and pastries. These sugary foods will result in a blood sugar crash shortly after they’re eaten. For ideas on nutrient-rich breakfast foods, visit Health Magazine’s website.

Energizing Workout

Start your workday with a workout that will amp up your physical and mental stamina. While it may feel difficult to wake up early for a gym session, you’ll fin

d that it’s worth the time and effort. The extra boost of endorphins you’ll have, post workout, will keep your body energized and also increase your brain’s focus, critical thinking and creativity. With this excess energy and enhanced mood, you’ll be well-equipped for your day. Join a group fitness class that will give you a workout and also allow time for socialization and fun. 24 Hour Fitness has facilities nationwide that offer many different classes to members.

Body Care

In the morning, your body needs some assistance to wake from its restful state. Even a small practice — like stretching — will rejuvenate and warm up your muscles for your daily activities. You can easily integrate stretching into your showering routine or right before you change into your work

clothes. Your skin will also require morning care, so it’s protected throughout the day. In the winter months, guard it from the biting cold with body butter and facial moisturizer. Your lotion should always be at least SPF 30 to protect from sun damage as well, even if the day is overcast. Thorough skin care will reduce the risk of dry, chapped skin that will detract from your professional look.

Morning Mindfulness

Mentally prepare yourself for your intensive workday with meditation. Meditation is shown to increase focus, creativity, critical thinking and disposition. It is a great method of practice to keep your stress at bay and maintain a clear mind throughout the day. A meditation session will require only a few minutes out of your morning. The Headspace Appprovides basic, guided meditations and mindfulness exercises that last only 10 minutes. The app keeps track of your routines and practices, as well as alerts you of your scheduled meditation time. It can be used through your laptop, Apple iOS or Android devices and downloaded from the Apple iTunes App or Google Play Store.

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November 25th, 2016

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Christmas is a favorite time of year for many people. It offers so many opportunities to see friends and family, to buy and give gifts, to attend parties, to eat yummy food, to listen to Christmas music and so much more. But it also can be an overwhelming and stressful time of year… if we let it.

free-christmas-nativity-wallpaper

In our family, we try to keep things a bit simpler and enjoy the true reason for the season – the birth of Christ. For the past few years, we’ve told our four kids that we have X amount of budget for each of them for Christmas and 50% of that they will spend on a child or family of their choosing (usually from KSBJ’s Giving Tree). It has been such a blessing to us and to our kids to see how much this means to the kids and families who would otherwise have very little under the Christmas tree.

So giving to others is one way to celebrate and keep our eyes on the true meaning of Christmas, here are some other ideas on how to keep Christ in Christmas and have a more meaningful Christmas:

  • Instead of buying gifts for those who “have it all” consider giving a gift in their name such as a water well, education, food, clothing, etc to those in underprivileged areas. (Go to: www.compassion.com/catalog.)
  • When preparing your Christmas meal, set a place for Jesus, your honored guest.
  • Have a daily family devotion that gets everyone’s hearts and minds set on the real reason for the season.
  • Send Christmas cards that share the love of Jesus.
  • Play Christian Christmas music and not just Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer. (A couple of my favorites are Joseph’s Lullaby by Mercy Me and Mary Did You Know by CeeLo Green. Great video of it on YouTube).
  • Hang a stocking for Jesus. Fill it with notes just for Him expressing your love and thanks.
  • Teach your kids the gift of giving: Adopt a kid or family from the KSBJ Giving Tree or similar charity.
  • On Christmas, have a birthday cake for Jesus and sing happy birthday to Him.
  • Attend church on Christmas Eve.
  • Read Luke 2 together on Christmas Eve or morning.
  • Invite a needy family or elderly / single neighbor to share Christmas dinner with your family.

Whatever you and your family choose to do to celebrate Christmas, may it be full of love, joy, generosity, kindness and beautiful memories.

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