Game Night Traditions

I love board games.

 

Call me a dork if you want, but I love board games.

 

I’d rather play a game and talk, then just sit and talk. Because if the conversations become dry, they can be revived by the game.

 

So why then am I the only one that ever wants to play games?  THEY’RE FUN!!!!

 

OK so here are a few of my favorite games:

 

Phase 10 has been a favorite for many years!  It’s an easy game to learn, and it’s can drive people crazy.    My husband works a crazy schedule, and I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like.  So we started playing 1 hand a night.  So far – he’s won every hand.  Jerk.  Our goal is to not only complete the game’s set 10 phases, but the additional 10 phases that we found online.

I Love The 80’s is a game I bought last year.  I’ve played it a few times, and it’s definitely easier to play with people who lived, even partially, in the 80’s.  Playing with someone born in 1991 isn’t as much fun….

Apples To Apples can be a lot of fun, with the right people.  I’ve played it where everyone is taking it WAY TO SERIOUSLY and you want to stop after one round.  But if you are a silly group, the game can get quite interesting…

Smart A$$.  It’s a very simple game to play, but boy, the arguments that break out are hilarious!

 Telestrations is a game that we’ve recently discovered.  Again, it kinda depends on the people you’re playing with. But it’s a lot of fun, and can you can hear some very interesting explanations and back stories…

I never really got into Pente, when it was just Steve and I.  But when our kids became old enough to play with us, it became fun.

Ahh Risk…  I have a love/hate relationship with this game.  I’ve been playing it with Steve for 12 years… and well, apparently I don’t play it right.  Yet I always win…

Feb 9, 2012

Growing up in the 80’s, and in the New Millennium

I am living in the same neighborhood that I grew up in.  It’s looks the same as it did when we moved here from Massachusetts when I was 5.  My kids will go to the same schools that I did. They may even have some of the same teachers (super weird, right).  

Right now, my son is watching The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. on Netflix.  OMG it’s funny, yet kinda bad!  But he is loving it.  HeMan and SheRa – wow, those also are not as good as I remember.  I’ll sit and watch Transformers (the original, not the new one) Hello Kitty Furry Tail Theatre, Rainbow Brite with my kids.  They’ve seen the newer cartoons, but for some reason prefer the stuff that Steve and I watched. 

Steve and I have been joking about all the stories our parents would tell us.  “When we were kids, our TV’s were black and white, and only had 3 channels”  “We listened to 8 tracks and Vinyl Records.”  “We had roller skates” “We didn’t have computers”.

When I was a kid, we grew up with 2 TV’s, with cable.  Today, we have 2 TV’s, no cable, but we have Apple TV and Netflix.

We had cassettes and CD’s.  Now, we have a few CD’s, but mostly we download from Amazon or iTunes.

We had roller blades.   My kids want those stupid wheely shoes.

 

We had 1 family computer.  In my house we have 2 desk tops, 3 lap tops and an iPad.  Oh yea, and our phones.

When I played video games, I used a super Nintendo and gameboys.  My kids have games downloaded on the iPod Touch and the Wii.  

I’m thankful for the technology that we have.  I’m thankful for the improvements that have been made.  

But hey, there are just parts of our growing up what we think that they should know: game cartridges, disc-man, cassettes in cars; you know, the important stuff

 

He will never know what an Atari is…

 

Feb 2, 2012

Wearing Many Hats

  • Wife
  • Mother
  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Friend
  • Maid
  • Chef
  • Dry Cleaner
  • Nurse
  • chauffeur
  • Teacher
  • Student
  • Entrepreneur

 

This is probably an incomplete/generic list, but I’m exhausted just looking at it.

One of the hardest things that I have to deal with during any given day is managing my time.  I’ve been falling asleep at 9:45 every night – partially from my meds and being ill, partially because it’s non stop all day.

Most days, I wake up at 6:30, get my kids up and ready for school and out by 8.  Then I’m out of the house:  Meetings, networking, research, writing… Then the kids get home at 3 and then I’m helping with homework, reading, cooking, kid’s baths, bed.  Then I reply to a few emails, a little bit more research and writing then I crash.

I think the thing about being a working mother is even though we all know we need to take time for ourselves, we don’t.  I don’t make time for me, or get together with friends like I use to.  I don’t read for enjoyment, only for education.  I don’t go to the spa any more, I’m back to my natural color and will probably keep it that way for a very long time.

It’s funny; in business I need an accountability partner to help me make sure I’m staying on track.  Perhaps I need someone to help me to do the same for myself personally.  I don’t get it from my husband as often as I use to, I barely see him any more (work, school, work, sleep… poor guy, he needs some alone time too).

Well, perhaps now that it is written, it will be.  Probably not.  All I can say is – do as I say not as I do, and take some time for you – your business and family need you, and you can’t function without focusing on you every once in a while.

 

 November 14, 2011

Strong Enough To Break

 

 

 

Have you ever had a moment when EVERYTHING starts to make sense, and scare the tar out of you at the same time?  That moment when the planets align and you feel peace, but the peace you feel ends up being pure nostalgia?

 

I went to a concert alone a few weeks ago.  I didn’t know anyone there, but I think it was better that way.  I’d been to the venue before, but it had been 8 years.   I really enjoyed the almost 2 hour drive there, I really needed some alone time to think things through.

 

I got a great spot, 6 feet from the stage.  I hate those people who just push and shove their way up to the front – really, we’re adults – act like it.  Besides, it’s better to be a few feet back so you can see everyone and everything. 

 

And then the music takes over.  I really needed an outlet, and honestly I haven’t had one for a while.  I don’t do clubs or bars – it’s not me and it never will be.  But a concert, when there is true passion behind the music, and the music is good, that is my refuge.  

 

I worked at a radio station for a few years in and just out of college.  We had a concert almost every month.  That’s probably why my daughter is so musically charged, she was surrounded by it in the womb.

 

But this night, hearing songs that I listen to frequently live and in my face, something clicked.  And then I hear it – ‘Strong Enough To Break’.  And everything made sense.  

 

I’ve ALWAYS been beat up, knocked down, abused, humiliated, taken advantage of.  I’ve let it happen since childhood – heck I let it happen that night by letting people push in in front of me.  I recognize that I do this, but I don’t know how to not.  It’s something that I’d just accepted.  But hearing that song that night… it hit me.  Over 20 years of mental abuse, some of it my own.  I’m broken and have been knocked down, and I let it happen.  But I always got back up; that’s got to count for something, right?

 

I’m human, I’ll make mistakes.  I’m trying to grow, but walking down unfamiliar paths.  I feel like I’m doing it all alone, even though there are so many people around me… I’m letting go of those who maybe haven’t given me the support that I need.  

 

Have you taken a look at yourself lately?  Because I am right now, and I don’t know who I see right now.  

 

So thank you to Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson for giving me a great night; helping me let go of all the stress in my life, if only for a few hours.  You’re music has always brought me great joys, and I’m thankful you do what you do.

 

Oct 13, 2011

When It Comes To This – DO NOT Mess With Me

I hate bullies, ‘mean girls’, cliques and all that punk kid stupidity.  I don’t like to be negative, it doesn’t get anyone anywhere, but this is one thing that I just WILL NOT tolerate.

I recently posted on my Facebook profile that I’m not a good person to piss off… if I offended anyone, I apologize.  But when a friend jokingly said “good to know”, I elaborated a bit.  I felt the urge to continue on.

While out for a walk with my family, some High School students were out selling something in support of their sports team.  The last few years, we’ve opted to not purchase anything from this team in support of another that I’m more passionate about.  However last year, the team members didn’t like that myself and a few neighbors did not buy anything from them and they chose to vandalize our houses and cars.

So after we catch you doing that to us last year, do you really think I’m going to by something from you this year?  And you think that when I tell you “no not right now” it’s appropriate to use very foul language around me and my 3 small children?  I think not.

I’m a mom, before anything else, I am a mom.  And I love my community and want to support my local athletic teams.  But if you are going to write foul words on our cars and vandalize our yards and then call my neighbors and I a B—- in front of our kids – you’ve got another thing coming!

I’ve expressed my distaste for anything of this nature to my kids.  Joking with a neighbor I swore I’d lock my kid in their room every night until they moved out if I ever caught them TPing someone’s house.  My husband use to think it was funny until it happened to us and he was the one who had to clean it all up.

I don’t know why people think it’s ok or funny.  I don’t understand why some parents encourage and even drive the getaway car.  I’ve work VERY hard to buy a house and a car and to have you write dirty words on it and TP my house and to shove things into my mailbox… just because I didn’t buy your $10 booster card?

Kids today just don’t seem to have any respect for things or people.  Wait until you get into the ‘real world’.  When you have worked your but off to buy a house that’s just right for your family, and you get the first brand new car you’ve ever had… Then tell me how it feels to have to wash every foul word in the dictionary off your car and driveway before your 6-year-old starts sounding them out…

 

Blog and Event Sponsorship Opportunities

I am excited and eager to attend several Blogging Conference and would love to have your partnership. 

I’m looking for brands to represent during these conferences. 

Funds from sponsorship will be allocated toward:

{1} Ticket to the Conferences  

{2} Travel to and from the Conferences 

{3} Food and Lodging during Conferences

I have several sponsorship packages available; I am available should you like to speak regarding any other sponsorship ideas you may have in mind.

Platinum Sponsorship {$1,000+}
{1} One year of advertising on my blog (Sociably Cindy or Sociably Surviving). 
Banner size and placement of your choice.

{2} One blog post per month for 12 months (Sociably CindySociably Surviving, or combination). Post will feature your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials. Included in the post will be any links back to your site.

{3} During Conference, I can wear clothing with your logo/brand.

{4} Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and placed on Facebook weekly during prime times for one year.


Gold Sponsorship {$500+}
{1} Six months of advertising on my blog (Sociably Cindy or Sociably Surviving). 
Banner size and placement of your choice.

{2} One blog post per month for six months (Sociably CindySociably Surviving, or combination). Post will feature your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials.  Included in the post will be any links back to your site.

{3} During Conference, I can wear clothing with your logo/brand.

{4} Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and placed on Facebook every other week during prime times for six months.


Silver Sponsorship {$250+}
{1} Three months of advertising on my blog (Sociably Cindy or Sociably Surviving). 
Banner size and placement of your choice.

{2} One blog post per month for three months (Sociably CindySociably Surviving, or combination).  Post will feature your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials.  Included in the post will be any links back to your site.

{3} During Conference, I can wear clothing with your logo/brand.

{4} Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and placed on Facebook weekly during prime times for three months.

Sponsoring/providing an iPad

{1} Your logo will be placed on the item and I will be using it during Conference.

{2} Six months of advertising on my blog (Sociably Cindy or Sociably Surviving).  Ad size and placement of your choice.

{3} One blog post per month for six months (Sociably CindySociably Survivingor combination) featuring your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials.  Included in the post will be any links back to your site.

{4} Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and placed on Facebook weekly during prime times for six months.


Upcoming Conferences: 

(**Conferences Sociably Cindy is planning on attending.  If you are interested in sponsoring a particular conference, here are other opportunities to share your business. Attendance is subject to sponsorships.)

BlogHer 2012 New York, NY August 2-4, 2012

**Bloggy Conference 2012 Cincinnati, OH September 27-29, 2012 


Do you want to sponsor me for one of these Conferences or have questions, please e-mail me at cindy@sociablycindy.com

The Power In An Email

We all get emails.  A lot of emails.

 

Sometimes we don’t remember signing up for the newsletter.  Sometimes we get email forwards from friends (or people we’ve only met once).  Sometimes we get 5 emails a day from 1 person/business.  Sometimes it’s only a few times a year.

 

An email can be a beneficial tool to your marketing plan – if done properly.  I find myself some how subscribing myself to email newsletters and then getting bombarded with emails.  Now, I signed up for it because I did want to hear something from you, but not all day every day.

 

So here are a few tips that I’ve learned about email marketing:

 

  • Consider how many you get from any 1 company.  If you think that’s too much, do less.  Unless you have a lot to say, don’t send more than 1 or 2 a month – if that.  If you have a lot to say – write a blog.
  • Know your audience, and what will get their attention: What key words or phrases will encourage them to open the email, but not be deceitful and cause your contact to unsubscribe
  • Include links – lots of them!  Usually, your e-newsletter provider will track the clicks; you’ll know what got the reader’s attention for next time.
  • Don’t make it all about you, make it about them.  Offer up a great piece of information (suggesting they follow you on Facebook or Twitter to learn more), promote a giveaways, etc.
  • Be a person, not a machine.  Add some personality to it, this is Social Networking, so stay social!
  • Don’t get upset if people unsubscribe – you’ve done it too!

There are several great services available.  I’ve been using MailChimp to send my messages, and WuFoo for my opt-in forms.  I’m very pleased with it so far – if you’re looking to start with an email campaign, start small, and try it out for free!  If you need help, Sociably Cindy is here for you!

 

 

How ‘Pinning’ Can Grow Your Business

Well, unless you live under a rock and never check your Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably noticed a new thing called “Pinterest.”

So what is it?

Well, to put it quite simply, it’s a collection of anything and everything you want.

  • Favorite recipes, or recipes you want to try
  • Clothes you love
  • Vacations you want to take
  • Things for the home
  • Activities for the family
  • Books you’ve read or want to read
  • The list goes on, and on, and on…

So for a business or a blogger, how does this affect you?  Well, if you’ve got great content with great images, you can get your products out to the masses.

For example, my daughters have SUPER LONG HAIR.  And I’m tired of putting it up in the same braids and ponytails every day.  So I did a search for fun braids and up-do’s – and I found a couple of neat websites.  Instead of adding them to my bookmarks and forgetting that I’ve save them (we’ve all done that, right?)  I pinned them to my Hair Style board.  So taking what I found, this is what I did with Samantha’s hair:

 

So if you’re a hair stylist, grab a friend and take step-by-step pictures of how to maintain my hair at home.  Put it out on your website/blog.  And then pin it.  Your friends will pin it.  And soon, your names is out there, getting people to your website to learn more.

OK, so if you’re a business with a physical location, how does that help grow the business?  Well, if you sell products, sell them online.  In your step by step description, talk about the products that you are using, and put a link to where people can buy them.

So if you are a garden expert, teach me how to prep my garden for this year – step by step with images.  Show me how to start my seeds.  Be detailed.  Pin it.  Then sell some seeds or tools.

If you’re a photographer, show me how to take a good picture with my cell phone; how to get my kids to sit still. Pin it.  Then sell some frames or prints.

Pinterest is becoming an activity for many people, just like playing games on Facebook.  To the business – they’re looking for your stuff.  Be there for them.

Follow me on Pinterest, or for more information, contact Cindy@SociablyCindy.com

Featured Business: Kevin Charles Salon

6626 Monroe St          905 Central Avenue

   Sylvania Ohio         St. Petersburg, Florida

419.882.3400                  727.823.8585



One of the hardest things for me to deal with is my confidence.  I don’t feel comfortable in my outward appearance.  I don’t have my style.  And when I find something I like as far as my hair goes, even if I’ve brought in a picture and said “THIS IS WHAT I WANT” I’ve been convinced against it and I end up hating how I look until for the next month until I can have it fixed.


That was not the case at Kevin Charles Salon.


I’ve been to several salons over the last few years, ever since my dad got sick and I donated my hair.  This was probably the best experience I’ve had in a long time.


Of course the first thing that Kevin and Carly asked me was what I wanted – and I told them: less layers, darker to match my natural color and a touch of red.  Then they asked what my wardrobe consisted of (mostly dark and neutral colors, a few bright pieces), what my morning routine is, how I usually wear my hair, what I do for a living, they people that I meet.  


Hey, I’ve got a fun job, but I still need to look professional.  He asked me to trust them – and I did.


The process was about 2 1/2 hours, start to finish, but the time went fast.  Because there were other stylists with clients, we were all in conversation with one-another; fun and casual.  We all need girl talk from time to time, right?


I was also impressed by the wide variety of stylists and clients.  Whether it’s a dramatic change or a quick trim, the people at Kevin Charles Salon will be able to help you out.  


The cut is what I need (and it’s long enough for me to put up).  And the color is AMAZING!  It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting for a couple of years, but had previously been told I couldn’t pull it off.  


Thank you Kevin Charles Sylvania for giving me an wonderful experience, 

and a look that I can finally call my own!


Check them out on Facebook:

 

 

After my last hair appointment – see, some red…but it faded out within 2 weeks 

 

 

My New Hair!  

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

You can’t afford to NOT use social media

Someone posted something about you today.  And you don’t know what they said.  They could be singing your praises to the high heavens.  They could be blasting you down into the dirt.  They could have just said that they were there.  But they said it, for all the world to see.

And you don’t know about it.  But you should.

It’s been almost 7 years since my first child was born.  And I remember opening up a brand new package of wipes, and there being black fuzz on the first dozen wipes.  Now, pre baby I would have just taken those dozen wipes, throw them out and used the rest.  But this was my brand new baby – there was no way I was putting those anywhere near her.  So I called customer service.  I got a $5 voucher and an apology.  It appeased me, but it was pretty annoying.  I mentioned it to a friend of mine at dinner that weekend, and we talked about weird product incidents.  That was it.

Now my kids are all potty trained, but I still use night-time pull-ups for my son.  Recently, a friend asked what brand I used (whatever’s cheapest).  She told me to NOT use a particular brand because it was causing sever rashes on a friend of hers’ daughter.  She saw this post on Facebook, to which over 40 of my friend’s friends had commented that they were dealing with the same problem.

Now, if Diaper Company was paying attention, they’d be doing regular searches for their brand’s name, and might have come across this.  Damage is done.  I know of at least 40 people who will not be buying that brand; and I’ve passed it on to several of my friends as well, and those other 40 people probably passed it on to theirs… BIG PROBLEM!

So, as a small business, what can you do?

Well, you’d better be monitoring your name. Set up alerts to notify you anytime your name is mentioned.  Be there to respond quickly.  Have an idea of how you’re going to handle it.  You can’t give away something every time someone complains, can you?  It’s just not good business sense.  But you can offer them that you’ll fix whatever is wrong, and guarantee that it won’t happen again.

Or what if someone is having trouble with one of your competitors?  You’d love to gain their business, right?  Set up a search, and be up on it.

Ok, you’re probably thinking “but that takes time away from what I need to get done”.  Yes, it does.  And there are a few options.

1)  Do nothing.  Continue doing things they way you already are.  If you don’t know about it you’re not missing it.

2)  Do it yourself.  Create time in your daily schedule to devote to social media and brand awareness

3)  Bring in outside help.  That’s what we do best – so you can focus on what you do best.

So, if you’re thinking options 2 or 3, I can help.  If you’d just like a run down of what to do and how to implement it into your daily schedule, I can help.  If you’d like to put it all in my hands, well, I’ll gladly take it off your plate.

Whether you do it yourself, or bring me in to help, use the tools available to you.  They really can help.