Tag Archives: the appreciator

i’m digging this!

17 Apr

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here are some things i’m currently digging:

happy friday y’all!

social media tips for busy executives

11 Mar

social media can be daunting,

especially if you’re already having trouble

fitting your to-do list into a normal day.

busy-executive

who has time for it?  you say to anyone who asks.

social media is very important in this current year of 2014.  you can’t ignore it anymore.  but there are some things you can do to make it less time consuming.  why is social important for you?  i’ll give you just this one reason:

because now, current clients/potential clients/employees/bosses can get to know more of you than before social media.  why is that good?  because YOU CONTROL IT.  let’s take the core social platforms and compare them to their traditional (semi) equivalent:

LinkedIn:  business cards.

except with LinkedIn, you can exchange “business cards” online that include who you know in common (great conversation starter),  your complete work history and list of  accomplishments.  also you don’t need to know each other to exchange cards.  the best way i heard this explained was that connecting on LinkedIn was like a “soft” handshake.

manageable LINKEDIN

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1. update your page.  write down your password and check the box that says to keep you checked in.  make sure in your settings, your email is current and you are getting notified if someone links in to you.  get a great picture on there that represents you well.  write a summary.  pretend that a potential client is reading this – what are they reading?  do this now.

2. BE VERY VERY SELECTIVE.  do not write recommendations for someone unless you absolutely would hire them in a new york minute.  don’t accept everyone’s request.  do not hesitate to clean your connections up.  no one gets a notice that you’ve dropped them. these are the people you should accept:

– you know and like them. do not link in with people who just want to use you or your connections to just get a job and that’s it.

– they work in an industry you are in and are in a position to support you or vice versa in some way.

– you are interviewing them

– you currently work with them.  (note: this is how you stay in touch with peers via other jobs that you would nonetheless never talk to again)

do not worry about hurting people’s feelings.  it’s ok.  this is your page and YOU CONTROL IT.

3. Just maintain.  make sure you check your LinkedIn emails and link into people you are meeting with as a way of introduction.  And that’s it.  of course, there is so much more, but if this is the bare minimum.

twitter: newspaper

except with twitter, you customize your front page or “feed” with your interests.  from hot trending topics, to sports, to rush hour traffic.  twitter isn’t printed the evening before, it is instantaneous.  it is 10X better than newspaper.

you can do twitter.

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1. just like LinkedIn, make sure your picture, profile + settings are all up to date.  make sure that if you are mentioned in a tweet or you get a direct tweet – those come in the way of a notification on your phone.   if someone is talking to you, then you want to respond.  recently, onstar tweeted my blog (this blog) out to their followers and i thanked them and they invited me down to their HQ.  just from a tweet.  oh yea, stoli vodka responded via twitter on this blog here!

2. pick 2 times a day to check in on twitter.  scroll through your feed, check out any notifications.  i do this in the morning.  i read a news aggregator called Zite and tweet out the social media articles i read and like.  then at noon i check in and see that other people have favorited them (when they favorite them, it goes out to their followers) and who retweeted (forwarded) my tweets.  all this does is get you noticed and can give you legitimacy in a chosen field.

3. when you travel, follow key places.  if you’re going to vegas, you better follow your hotel, car service, show you’re going to see.  this allows you to connect with them directly and only good can (and has) come from that.

this doesn’t even touch the surface on twitter, but remember, this is for you mr or miss busy executive.

facebook: telephone

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well, telephone is a bit of a stretch.  but you’re able to talk to a good amount of people at once and if it’s relevant to them – they’ll speak up.  remember, you control your social media.  you control what pictures you have up, what you say and all of it helps define your personality to “the public” – or in the case of facebook, your friends.   maybe a better analogy would be that facebook is a magazine all about you.  sound narcissistic?  it’s not.  because i love tracking with my friends this way.  i love seeing someone got promoted, had a great day, went on vacation.  but even more, i love getting advice from a variety of people.

1. if you are a busy executive who doesn’t have time for facebook then don’t get on it.  if you pretend to have a page with a profile picture but no timeline photo then we KNOW that you have a page simply to look at other people’s pages.  and that is ok, i guess, but not the point of social media.  you also may have a half of page and just not be interested in facebook – in that case just take it down.  by not finishing your page and keeping up with it it sends the message “i tried but i’m going back to listen to my 8 track tapes”.  you don’t want that!

2. ok, so what to do on facebook if you’re a busy executive.  first, update everything.  it’s easy.  make sure there isn’t a big space at the top of your page – that is your timeline photo.  if it’s not updated, then everyone knows you haven’t done anything in over a year.  next, once a week, scroll through your news feed and “like” and comment on anything you “like” or have something to say.  once a week.  that’s good.

3. next, twice a week post an article you like or create a status with a quote or a favorite saying.  better yet, do it at the same time every week.  everyone likes this and the quote that you choose says something about you.

that’s it.  that’s good for a start.  who knows, you may want to do more once you get this far!  if you do, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for help.  after all that is what i do for a living!

4 perfect cocktails: #2 the martini

8 Mar

like the margarita, the martini has many great memories for me.

at an early age, i always thought the martini glass was chic, hip + intimidating, all at the same time.  as a teenager and in my 20’s, i used to watch clips of the rat pack and james bond – always with a martini in hand and thought there was something cool about it.

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i can remember a boss i had when i was 30 telling me:  “even if you don’t drink martinis, you need to know how to make one.  if you’re entertaining clients, you won’t look like an uncivilized buffoon. right at that time, i decided that if i was going to make one, i had to actually drink one first.  i went into st. pete’s dancing marlin one evening (one of my regular spots) and pete asked: “RO, what can i get cha?” i said: “a martini”.   with a smirk on his face, he asked: “what kind?”  i replied (painfully honest here) “i have no idea” and then added: “make one that the cool guys drink”.

i watched him chill the glass, mix the concoction, slide it over to me on a bev nap where i took a sip, winced and choked back to him “pete, this is nothing but a cold shot in a big fancy glass.”  he laughed, walking away and said “yep, it sure is!”.

this recipe is for my perfect martini.

gather:

stemmed martini glass//shaker with strainer//extra dry white vermouth//olives with their juice//stoli vodka//ice

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do:

take the martini glass, put 6-8 ice cubes + a splash of water and let sit and chill for 10 minutes.

while chilling, fill the shaker with ice + pour 3 ozs of stoli vodka, the smallest dash you can pour of vermouth and a splash (1/2 oz) of olive juice (this is called dirt and i like mine just a little dirty).  put the lid on the shaker and shake for 2 minutes.  kind of like this:

finish:

take off top of shaker, dump out ice from the martini glass + strain the martini into the glass (no ice in glass) + garnish with two olives.

much like the margarita, this is a sipping drink.   do not operate heavy machinery if you’ve had more than 2 of these!  but, as they say:

“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.”
James Thurber

by ROF

this is #2 in a 4 part series.  you can read about the margarita here

shirley’s pot roast recipe

27 Feb

nothing beats a juicy pot roast on the weekend.

whether you’re one person or 10 – this is a winter necessity.  so buy some meat today for the weekend and make your house smell fantastic!

i received some requests for shirley’s pot roast recipe after my post last week, so here you go.  these are a few of my favorite things to do on a saturday or sunday night while a pot roast is cooking:

potroastfor those of you reading from dallas, you may think a fire in the fireplace is odd.  because, after all – it IS the end of february.   not here in michigan.  we still have feet (not inches) of snow on the ground.

thanks shirley!

i think you and jerry need to come up here and stay with us and COOK it for us + jim + marinell roe + the boys!  you’re welcome any time.

from the kitchen of shirley gasvoda!

I like to select a round bone pot roast and trim most of the fat off.

Brown both sides in a little oil in a dutch oven pan.

Season with salt and pepper after browning.

Add one envelope of dry Lipton Onion Soup +

One cut up green pepper (gives a wonderful flavor to the roast)

One bay leaf and a

Sprinkle of garlic salt.

Add enough water to cover half the depth of the roast.

Simmer on top of the stove for several hours or until nearly tender (depending on size of the roast)

Add carrots and potatoes, if so desired.  This makes a delicious base for gravy too.

Now with slow cookers being so popular I use the same ingredients and cook according to the cooker instructions and it turns out just as good.

You can also do this in the oven but I’ve had better luck on top of the stove and think the roast turns out more juicy and tender.

I have fond memories of the kids coming home from school lifting the pot lids and just enjoying the aroma!

4 perfect cocktails: #1 margarita

23 Feb

every man, once he passes the beer only or the tumbler of rum (or jack) + coke phase of drinking, needs to learn how to make a good cocktail.  it needs to be one that he likes, impresses his friends + becomes a signature drink his lady friends brag about.

the first drink, that could be your drink, is the margarita.

probably the most bastardized cocktail on the planet.  i have to admit, i started drinking margaritas, probably underage, using chi-chi’s “authentic” original or strawberry margarita right out of the 2 litre bottle.  i remember a phase in college that i very much took part of drinking the infamous upside down margarita that is mixed directly in your mouth.   i remember doing this with a group of guys at our apartment and at the frat house in college.  all that was needed was a bottle of montezuma tequila + mr. boston’s margarita/sour mix.  together they cost less than $8. the bottles needed to be cold + almost frozen.  the person partaking had to sit in a chair with his head back, mouth open with a dish towel around his neck.  the “mixer” would then pour equal parts of the cold concoction directly in his mouth until his fist rose, which meant enough.

the kind of margarita i like to make now is nothing like these two i just described. 

i gained an appreciation for the REAL margarita after moving to dallas, texas in 1994.  anyone who lives in dallas knows all of the awesome mexican and tex-mex restaurants it has to offer. these are all places i love.  and their margaritas are all so different.  you gotta get the steak nachos at mi cocina and the frozen margarita in a frozen fishbowl schooner loaded with salt.  or go right now to javier’s, where i get the rojo fish and their top shelf margarita served in a stemmed blown glass goblet.  lastly, there is our beloved blue goose on lower greenville.  always get the fajita combo (god, are those good!) with their signature on- the-rocks sour margarita  in a large tumble.  it goes down way too easy.  two nights before my (+ the appreciators) wedding, we went there with my sister, Susan, and my brother in law and group of folks.   we were way over served pitchers of these margaritas but matched it with a platter of fajitas.

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after 15 + years of working on my perfect margarita that i like to serve to guests at home with a mexican meal or just on the back patio with friends and family is this:

ROF’s epic margarita

serves: 2

3 oz herradura silver tequila

2 oz cointreau liqueur

2 oz simple syrup (any brand or homemade)

juice of 4 whole limes

cup of ice

place all ingredients into a martini shaker and shake briskly for 2 minutes.   put additional ice cubes in a short waterford cocktail glass and pour in your mixture.

and as i often have to tell my sister-in-law, katie:

this is a sipping drink!

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enjoy!

ROF

what younger women need to know.

21 Feb

I love older women!  

older than me, that is.  i think about all i’ve been through in my 44 years – the things i’ve done, seen, loved + cried over and, well, it’s a long list.  that’s why i appreciate hearing from other women that are even older than me.  they are in their 60’s or above and willing to mentor + share with me their wisdom.  

so today, i will share with you my notes from shirley.  Shirley is my dad’s cousin and one of the neatest people that i know!  she and her husband jerry, surprised my mom for her 70th birthday party along with my aunt annette.  ROF and i got to know shirley and jerry even more and i love this lady!  thanks shirley for the great insight!

name:  Shirley Gasvoda

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occupation before and after marriage:  Assistant Counselor at Indiana University

1.  The best thing about growing older:  The peace and contentment of a life well lived, the joy of helping to create a happy family, the time to do what you want and not what you have to do and, most of all, not having to look like a raving beauty to impress people knowing you’ve earned every wrinkle and grey hair!

2.   My favorite (age) decade was the 50’s because our children were raised and mostly on their own, we had enough money to do things we enjoyed and we were still healthy and energetic enough to kick up our heels and look forward to grandchildren!

3.   The meal I cooked the most was pot roast which was the favorite of my three men and I must have baked pies a hundred times over.  I was and am the designated pie maker for all the Gasvoda holidays and that usually calls for five or six each time.

(i think we need both recipes, right?  will you share, shirley?)

4.    The best decision I ever made was to marry young to my wonderful husband.  We had our two boys at an early age which may not be as easy today but we were lucky to be surrounded by family to help and a strong love to depend on.  One advantage for us was that we were still young and healthy enough to be active after the kids were grown and we can enjoy our retirement years together.

5.    The worst decision I made was not pursuing a college education after being awarded a scholarship to Indiana University.  I was in love with my husband and decided to work at I.U. at home to be close to him while he attended Purdue University. Fortunately it worked out well but I would have benefited from not only the knowledge but the social advantages college would have offered.

6.     The advice I would give to a young woman is be yourself and not be influenced by social media if it contradicts what you want in life.  Think before you make a decision and if it’s the life you want badly give it all you can and go pursue your dreams.  If a husband is one of your goals, make sure he treats you with respect and love and wants your happiness as well as his own and you both have the same desires in life.

7.     I had two very strong women in my life and I admired them greatly.  My Grandmother came to the USA alone via Ellis Island when she was sixteen years old.  She spoke only German and didn’t know a word of English.  She was sponsored by a Dr. in Chicago and found work as a Nanny and supported herself until she married my Grandfather at twenty one years of age.  She had eight children and lived a happy life until age 76.

My Mother was also very strong and raised two children on a tenth grade education with little financial assistance.  She was a very hard worker and was always ready to take more than one job to supply our needs.  She had no help from the government which would probably be unheard of today! I like to hope that both these ladies shared some of their strength with me.

8.    Who is the most famous person you’ve met?  I’ve met some wonderful people along the way and impressed by their love of country and humanity but to categorize them as movie stars, politicians etc. would not top my list though I’ve met several.  I’ve had the pleasure of being guided by two Christian ministers who mentored and blessed me with their deep and abiding faith and have the love of fantastic friends and family that have provided unending inspiration.   Friends and Family make my world go around and a God that supports my every move….What more is there???

thanks, shirley.  i appreciate you.

and people – look for more of these to come in the future!

killer company chili recipe

5 Feb

everyone is looking for that killer chili recipe and i may have found it.

this is fancy chili.

this ain’t no throw it in a pot and watch it boil type of chili.  it’s stay-in-on-a-cold-saturday-afternoon-light-a-fire-in-the-fireplace kind of chili.  in our case, we made it before the super bowl while it was a balmy 7 degrees outside.

i got this recipe from one of my favorite cooks, but it actually isn’t her recipe but an award winning chili from one of her friends.  i googled this name and found a lot of bloggers have already covered this chili recipe, so if you don’t believe me how good it is – company good- just click here, or here or even here.  i don’t mind, but they don’t have cute ROF in their photos!

PLEASE NOTE:

1. we cut this recipe in 1/2 and it gave us 6 servings.  note that or you’ll be eating it for a week. for lunch and dinner.

2. it has coffee in it.  fancy…!

3. there is a ton (i mean ton) of hot spices in here.  may want to cut it back just a little if you’re not adventurous like us.   the sour cream is a mandatory topping to cut in on the heat.

i’m not going to do a step by step post on this because, come on…. you can figure it out.  but both ROF and i highly recommend!  let me know if you make it.

Devon’s Award Winning Chili (Serves 6 to 8 )

Copyright 2010, Devon Fredericks, All Rights Reserved 

5 pounds beef brisket, cut in 1-inch cubes
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, crushed
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons cumin
2 green peppers, diced
1 bay leaf
6 cups tomatoes, chopped with their liquid
Salt and pepper
½ cup strong coffee
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans
2 tablespoons basil

Serve with
Sour cream
Grated Cheddar
Diced tomato
Tortilla chips
Guacamole

Pat the brisket cubes dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a very large heavy casserole and quickly brown the meat in batches on all sides. Transfer the brisket to a separate bowl and set aside. Sauté the onion and garlic in the same oil over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes until limp, but not brown. Add the chili powder, pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and cumin and sauté for 1 minute. Add the green peppers, bay leaf, tomatoes with their juice, the reserved meat, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 2½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Add 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste, and the coffee, cover the pot and simmer for one more hour.

Add the kidney beans and basil, and warm through. Serve with bowls of sour cream, grated Cheddar, diced tomato, tortilla chips and Guacamole.

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plaid + flannel

17 Nov

when i think of flannel, i typically think of plaid.  and i think of…

Eddie vedderdon’t you?

ah, eddie vedder.  hand’s down, my generation has the best music ever.  but that is not what this post is about.  it’s all about flannel + plaid.  two things that have fall written all over them.  tell me you don’t have a big ole flannel shirt with the arms rolled up that captures all the outdoorsy smells of bonfires, grilling, wet leaves and still holds out the chill in the air perfectly?

here are some items that are also trying to get into the plaid and/or flannel state of mind:

flannelplaid

like this fantastic iphone cover by jake spade, a smashing bowtie by the kozie canine, a vintage poncho from freepeople that is no longer available but they have loads of hippie fantastic clothes, these flannel scrunchy boots i’m coveting and a plaid flannel infinity scarf that is sure to brighten up any old black winter coat.

oh, but that’s not it, my friend!

how about some more?  you can’t talk flannel without talking plaid and vice versa.  quite honestly, i’m even thinking they are one in the same which they most certainly are not.  something can be plaid or it can be flannel but most flannels are plaid.  sigh.  this sure beats thinking about all the work i have to do.

here is a website, you’re sure to dig.  i love the name of it.  toast.  already without looking, you are going to be able to tell that it is crunchy, warm, buttery and scrumptious.  go ahead and peek.  i’ll give you a glimpse.

toast

 

lastly, did you know…

that duluth trading company rated cities as to how “flannel” they were?  check it out here.

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rant: only say thank you when you are thanking someone. thanks.

24 Jun

it’s not normal for me to rant on my blog called “the appreciator” but i feel like it.  and it’s my blog.

have you noticed how incorrectly people use the words “thank you”?  

especially in this modern day communication via email, i notice that people say “thank you” when they really aren’t saying thank you for anything at all.  like the entire email is one big to-do list for you and at the bottom is “thank you!”  for what?  reading my diatribe?

the worst offender is the one that populates their signature with the word “THANKS!”  which means that they could be ripping you a new one in the email but don’t forget that i added “THANKS!” to the end of the email so now we’re all good and i’m really a nice person.

really annoying.  there.  i’m done ranting.  

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appreciating: the free ride

10 Jul

i travel a lot for business.  like, a lot.  and i have to share with you one of my favorite things.

 

it’s the people that drive the rental car buses and the hotel shuttles.

it’s a wide range of people that do this but i typically run into older, retired folks and for the past 20 years, i’ve always thought the same thing – someday i will be them.  maybe not driving the bus, per se.  but older.  and hopefully content.  suddenly, you realize that you’re working so hard to… drive a shuttle bus someday!  if that isn’t enough reason to slow down and smell the roses, i don’t know what is.  this puts things in perspective for me.  here i am all stressed and stuff, yapping on the phone, texting, emailing, face booking, tweeting, on conference calls, juggling a suitcase and a briefcase, sweating, swearing and worried that things that i can’t control will come to fruition.
i used to fly from love field into houston intercontinental airport.  you can’t do that anymore, by the way. but i did it every month for about 5 years going to visit the houston area chevy dealers. there was the nicest man who used to pick me up in the hotel shuttle and drop me off.  and it was such a kind interaction.  we’d chat about where in africa he was from and how it differed from houston.  we’d talk about what was going on in and around houston and texas.  it made me remember to slow down and enjoy the process and not always be seeking the finish line.  talk to people, learn about someone else.

yep, i appreciate you mr or mrs shuttle bus driver
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