Monday, October 30, 2017

Arm the Animals

It's Monday!

How was your Halloween weekend?! 
My favorite part about Halloween is.....
IT'S NOT OVER YET.

I can't wait to show you the costume I decided on,
and I really can't wait to see how many people know who I am!

But today, what I'm most excited to tell you about is how I'm now an 
ARM THE ANIMALS AFFILIATE!
cute pibble shirts
plaid shirt: Forever 21, tank: Arm the Animals, jeans: Old Navy

Why Arm the Animals?
Well, for starters, they love Pibbles as much as I do!
I mean, how cute is this tank?
They are currently having a Pibble sale until the end of October 
for Pit Bull Awareness Month!

pibble best friend
shoes: Kohls, Ella's collar: The Hound Haberdashery (local)

But also....
They give back.
They not only give $ donations, but they offer much needed services to animal 
welfare organizations like graphic design, marketing, and social media services.

arm the animals fall style

Did I mention they aided with animals effected by 
Hurricane Harvey?
They also work with wildlife organizations to help protect
lions and elephants.

fall pibble style

There are several sales happening right now here including my favorite pibble designs 
(pibble=pitbull just in case you were thinking "what's a pibble?!")

BUT WAIT WE HAVE A DISCOUNT CODE! 

Actually, Ella has a discount code!
Use ELLA10 to get 10% off your purchase anytime.

If you use the code and buy something adorable, PLEASE TAG ME! 
I want to see the cuteness. 

Have a great week!
-SBR




Friday, October 27, 2017

Trending- "Cold Shoulder" Sweaters

HAPPY HAPPY FRIDAY! 
I'll be seeing you ALL at BARCSTOBERFEST tomorrow right?!

But I digress...

 I am SO in LOVE with this "Cold Shoulder" sweater trend. 

Cold Shoulder Sweater

Sweater: Francesca's, jeans: Lucky Brand (at TJMaxx), Shoes- TJMaxx

It all started last year. I saw my first one at Francesca's and fell in love 
(the black sweater above and below).

black francescas cold shoulder sweater

The gray is from Maurices this year- find it here (and they are currently have a BOGO sale).

grey maurices cold shoulder sweater
Sweater: Maurices, Necklace: Francesca's, Jeans: Lucky Brand (at TJMaxx)

I cannot find a top more flattering for fall/winter.
Sometimes big sweaters do the opposite on me and I'm not happy wearing them. 

grey maurices cold shoulder sweater

But I just CAN'T GET ENOUGH of this look!


black francescas cold shoulder sweater


grey maurices cold shoulder sweater


What do you think of this trend? 
Love it? Or LEAVE it?


Have a great weekend friends!
-SBR





Monday, October 23, 2017

{Business Corner} What TIME is it?!

Happy Monday from Ella and I!


Wow! I had so much awesome feedback from the business tips blog post on Friday 
that I thought I'd continue.
Look out for these throughout the blog as they come up!

In the spirit of Monday, let's talk about making the most of every minute of the day with 
"3 Tips On How To Make Every Minute Count". 

Crushing our GOALS with Time Management tips!

Tip 1
Doing Multiple Tasks Together

So with this, don't over-exert yourself. 
Seriously. 
For me, two things that I find EASY to combine are walking Ella, and listening to business podcasts. 
So, I'm walking my dog giving her the exercise she needs (usually 45min-1 hour a day in the morning or early afternoon lately- hey, it gets cold) while learning how to improve my business. 
Win win.
Depending on the day, I listen to either business tips, or podcasts that motivate me (a la Gary Vee). 
Some days I need a break and just listen to music. That's ok. 
But for the most part I listen to a podcast where I can learn or improve, while we walk!
I also find that while I'm walking and listening, so many ideas come to me that I'm quickly typing them in my "notes" on my phone! 
What I recommend:
*Special thanks to Brittany Collier for some of these recommendations!

I feel SO accomplished today. - Ella
Tip 2 
Plan Your Day/Week

On the days that I am the most productive, I have a task list and a plan for that day or even that week. It's easy to be very overwhelmed if I don't have a general plan for which tasks are to be accomplished on which days. 
Let's be real, some days, the plan goes completely out the window. 
There's a family emergency or an unexpected phone call. But if you have a general plan, those things that come up last minute won't completely derail you, and you'll be able to get back into focus more quickly than if you did not have a plan. 
This includes meal planning. Whether you are trying to eat healthy or not, it's always more productive to have even a "loose" plan for the week with food. Make sure you have proteins and veggies in the fridge or pantry so that you can whip up something quickly. 
I'm always ready with smoothie ingredients (I'm sure you've seen my insta stories) so that I stay healthy while working continuously, as well as bottled water, and my favorite bubbles, La Croix. 

Those days will sneak up on you like...

Tip 3
Schedule Rest Breaks

Easier said then done, right?! 
"But Sarah, I thought that you said this post was about making every minute count..."
I did. And it is. 
If you work yourself to the bone, you will not be productive. Schedule in a rest break. 
If you don't have time to nap that's fine. Sit down with some music or watch a quick 30 minute  comedy sitcom. Do something where for a few minutes, you aren't using your brain. 
It will allow you to re-charge, and continue with your tasks. Working all day continuously will make you extremely tired (I know, because I often do this. I'm a work in progress what can I say?). 
But taking a break, even if you feel like you don't have time, allows you to actually get more done in the long run. 
Pencil it in, and thank me later. 

Run into your week and CRUSH GOALS!

The podcast that I listened to on my walk the other day said "People keep saying that they don't have time. But they do. Beyonce has the same 24 hours in the day that we do. 
She gets everything done, so we can too"**
While humorous, this made me think, and it's true!
So use these tips or your own, and CRUSH GOALS and get "all of the things" accomplished this week. 

You can do it! I believe in you.
Make it a good one!
-SBR






 (**This is a loose summary of how it was said in the Podcast)






Friday, October 20, 2017

{Business Corner} Creating A Fun Promo Table in Five Steps!

Happy Friday all! 

My company Simple Solutions Dog Training has been very fortunate in that we are able to attend several events. Every month we have at least one event at a Pet Valu in the area and we love it! We are starting to get more involved at other local events locally as well. When we first started out there was much trial and error to figure everything out. 

Since starting, we have been able to bring more people to our table to learn about their pups at each event! So I wanted to share with you my personal tips for creating a promotional table that will not only bring interest to your business, but be fun for everyone involved. 

With that I give you....

5 Steps for Creating a Fun Promotional Table!

Step 1
 Look Official

It doesn't really matter if it's been 1 week since you started your business or 1 year, the gear will speak to your professionalism. We happen to love Totally Promotional for our logo tablecloths. It was simple and easy to create ours, you just upload your logo and they send you an estimate. The price is the most reasonable that I have found considering we have one that wicks away water (it's a dog training company ya'll). 

5 steps to create a fun promotional table!

Step 2
Information About Your Company

We use Vista Print for our brochures and Cutting Edge Signs (they also did our awesome logo) for our business cards. Our brochures list all of our services and information about myself and Kevin. Our cards list services as well (on the back) but also have all of the information on how to get ahold of us.
If you are in the Baltimore area looking for some serious professional cards and logos, highly recommend Cutting Edge. 
They were easy to work with, affordable, and perfectionists (like me!). 

5 steps to create a fun promotional table!
photo: Landrum Photography

5 steps to create a fun promotional table!

Step 3
Giveaways or Games

Our last event was at the Merritt Athletic club here in White Marsh for their dog swim and it was SO MUCH FUN! We wanted to do something that would still get people excited about our table, despite all of the dogs, people and swimming. 
So we went with "make your own treat" bags. It was so much fun for everyone. We offered several different types of treats, all made in the US, some gluten free, some just for puppies, some wheat free, etc. It was a major hit! For the kids, we also had stickers so that they could decorate their bags. The bags and stickers were bought at the dollar store. 
This doesn't have to be an expensive hit to your budget at all. 
Just fun!

5 steps to create a fun promotional table!
Bags are the blue, green and red with stickers next to them. 
We also sometimes do logo frisbees from Quality Logo (left hand side).

5 steps to create a fun promotional table!
Our assortment of treats with labels. 
Treats bought at TJ Maxx. 
Containers from the Dollar Tree, 
adorable mini scoops from Amazon - link here.


Step 4
Follow Up

At each event we have our newsletter sign up so that customers are able to sign up to stay in the know with us. This allows them to remember who the "cool dog trainers" were that they met that day (yes, I said it). It's hard at events with everything going on to remember who you spoke to. 
Cards and brochures can be lost. But a newsletter....well that is forever. 

5 steps to create a fun promotional table!
We just love this cute Dachshund pen from the Dollar Tree!

Step 5
Be Approachable

You wouldn't believe it but I've been to events where the people at the table looked angry, miserable and downright just NOT happy to be there. You'd ask them questions and they barely answered. Or worse, no one was at the table when you went by to even ask questions to! Whaaat?
No good, friends! 
Make sure you look alive (even if you don't feel alive), smile, and have a genuine conversation. 
We love "ask the trainer" events at Pet Valu (as a matter of fact we have one tomorrow in Aberdeen!). People come to us with their pup problems (#pupprobz, let's start it) and we have an entire conversation, learn about them, and also see pup photos (or meet the pup). 
Always be friendly and approachable. It will go a LONG WAY!

5 steps to create a fun promotional table!
Here I am struggling at the last event to be approachable right after foot surgery. 
But even in my pain, I was smiling!
That event was so fun. 


A few more tips. 
Take care to do the following as well:
  • Be organized, be ready in advance for your event. 
  • Know your plan. Know your giveaway and put thought into it. 
  • Anticipate questions. Think about what you will want to talk about. Have a "lead in" question if people are nervous. I'm shy by nature, so I want to make people comfortable. 
  • If we are at a rescue event, we don't bring our own dog. We never want to take away from the dogs that are up for adoption. They deserve ALL of the attention. Think about what kind of event it is that you are attending.
  • Know the rules. Don't bring something that will upset the person holding the event. Know what is allowed, and what isn't. 
Any questions? Shoot me a comment or email. I'd be happy to help!

Have a good weekend. 
-SBR








Monday, October 16, 2017

From Straight to Curly

I've been straightening my hair since I was about 12 years old. I was constantly jealous of the girls with straight hair. No matter the weather, no matter the workout, their hair was always straight perfection afterwards. I had the curl struggle. If it was humid, forget it. If it rained a little, forget that too. I HATED my curly hair! 

Me with straight hair earlier this year:

That all changed a few months ago. 

Peace out straight hair!

Enter, DevaCurl. 
This is not an ad. This is a way to show you how to get all of the time back that you spent straightening your hair, and to stop being afraid of a little rain! 



I did the math, you'll see it at the end of this video exactly how many hours I save a week and a month. Guys, it's incredible.

Below I outline exactly how I do my hair. Everyone's hair is different, but if yours is close to as curly as mine....well, you're welcome. 

Intro to how it all happened:


Step 1:



Steps 2 + 3:
*don't forget: I suggest not towel drying your hair at all before the gel!


Step 4:




Recap and how much time was saved!



**Special thanks to Jen Padro (Makeup By Jen Padro) and Hair Envy Salon (Hair Envy) for allowing me to try the kit and find out how amazing it is!

Let me know what you think!

-SBR




Monday, October 2, 2017

Routine (n.) - A Fixed Program

Good morning!

So in my Friday post I showed a tour of my office! Many people commented on the photo or in person to me that I was kind of "dressed up" for working from home. Well, first of all, I think we can all agree that maxi skirts are just a sneaky way of being as comfortable as yoga pants but look more dressy. So that doesn't count. I mean, it's not like I was wearing a pencil skirt, blouse, and heels, so let's be real. If you look closely I wasn't even wearing shoes! That's the hippie in me, and there's an interesting story about why I actually hardly ever wear shoes at home (for another time). 
ANYWAY!

It led me to my routine for this post. At one point, I was so busy, I planned my day by the hour! I don't do that now (it didn't really work out anyway). But I do have an outline!

I usually wake up around 7/7:30AM and post my pre-thought out social media posts. I also have coffee pre-made the night before. So afterwards, I grab a cup, then get Ella ready for her morning walk. 

Bottle: Dollar Tree, Mug: TJMaxx (where else), Cactus: free (same amazing person on NextDoor)

We walk for 45 minutes-1 hour on most days. It wasn't always this way. However, I started walking her in the AM on the long line instead of her 6 foot leash, and she loved it. So now we are more adventurous and found hiking trails nearby and walk around the local high school. It's her favorite part of the day (unless we get fro-yo or bacon (shoutout to Diablo Donuts), then THAT'S her favorite part of the day). 

Harness: Halti-Harness, Long line: Pet Valu

Once we are back, I do a few more things on social media for work, check out my schedule for the day, and then shower and get dressed! I'm a firm believer of always getting dressed, even when working from home. If you stay in your sweats or PJs all day, you just aren't as productive, I promise. So, I make myself get dressed. Honestly, I'm usually driving to market the business on most days anyway, so I'm not completely at home, really ever. If I am, it's because I have a project, like getting my office together last week!

Tank: Kohls, Shorts: Under Armour, Waterproof Hiking Boots: Timberland, Backpack: Tin Lizzy Fashion Truck

Then the day goes on, I'll grab an uncrustable (yes I eat these) for lunch most days, and plan my dinner for the evening before I leave. This way I can set out food to de-frost. I follow my day schedule and run errands, then I make it home for dinner. Ella and I usually do a shorter night walk. Sometimes though she's too tired from the day, since she is usually with me for errands, meetings and marketing. I'd like to say I go to bed early, but it's usually around 11pm-Midnight (I need to work on this).

Collar: theHoundHaberdashery


Let me know your schedule and what you think about getting dressed for working from home! Happy Monday! 

-SBR
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