31 January 2011

Eco Monday: Trinity River Audubon Center

I have loved birds since I was a child. My grandparents bought each grandchild their own birdhouse that hung in the back yard. Mine was red with a pitched roof and it hung in the big pine tree by the patio. I was excited each year to see what bird family had moved in and waited anxiously to see the new baby birds learn to fly.

Now you know where my fascination with birds started. Let me tell you about my latest Dallas discovery. It was a happy coincidence that learned about this place, the Trinity River Audubon Center. It's tucked away about ten minutes South of downtown Dallas and seems like it may be Dallas' best kept secret -- but not for long!

The location? Longitude and latitude coordinates: 32.712636, -96.70879 and here's a link to the map. If you have wings, it's easy to find because from the air the building is shaped like a bird. Very cool!

The first time I visited I felt like someone had let me in on a great secret escape. I had discovered an oasis in the city where nature reigns supreme. From the moment I turned into the driveway it was obvious that I was about to have a unique experience. I enjoyed the crunching sound my shoes made on the gravel walkway leading up to the LEED certified building. It is not only earth friendly but intriguing and beautiful. The inside of the building is filled with so many wonderful sights. The feather insulated ceiling is incredible -- be sure to look up! And the hands on education center is great for kids and kids at heart to learn about nature. But the bird delights are along the trails.

The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and will provide you with a map of the trails and explain which one is best for what you'd like to see. The trails are sprinkled with benches in unexpected places that just invite you to have a sit down and a think while listening to nature. It's very peaceful and a great place to extract yourself from the electronic world for a break. I suggest leaving your electronics behind for the full effect and listening to the birds. There are picnic tables in some areas, so consider bringing your lunch and staying for a while.

They have bee hives on the property and produce their own local honey which is available in the gift shop. You really can't get more local than that! And it's delicious. While you're there don't miss out on local artists creations as well.

Be sure to check out Third Thursdays when admission is free to the public, you won't regret it.

22 January 2011

Saturday Search: Llama

This llama pattern makes me smile. It's from DeliciousCrochet on Etsy.

15 January 2011

12 January 2011

Wisdom Wednesday: Q&A with Scoutie Girl

I was so excited to have the opportunity to ask Tara of Scoutie Girl some of my current pressing questions. I hope you find her answers as helpful as I do.

What's your advice on how to get the best mileage out of media coverage?

If you get media coverage - TV, radio, newspaper, blogs, etc - that sends traffic to your website, you need to have a way to "capture" that traffic. You need to get visitors' permission to contact them again in the future.

 How you do this is up to you. For me, email marketing is queen. You might choose to have them subscribe to your blog, connect with you on Twitter, or like your Facebook page.

What you don't want to do is give visitors that many options! Have a clear call to action.

"Welcome New York Times readers! This is Scoutie Girl and my goal is to empower you to live a more creative life & change the world with your money. If you like what you see, please sign up for my free program on creating more action in your life."

You can do that with a special message on your website, a hidden page created just for them, or a new blog post. Just put it where people are going to see it and give them a good reason to do what you're asking.

Now that flood of traffic turns into a boat load of new fans, followers, or subscribers. Instead of hoping they come back & buy something, you can gently work them towards a purchase on their own time (but your schedule!).

What are your best strategies for getting over that "hump of fear" to get those scary biz things done?

I like worst case scenarios. When I'm having difficulty getting over a fear, I think of the worst case scenario.

What's the worst that could happen if I email that A-list blogger? What's the worst that could happen if I fire this client? What's the worst that could happen if I delegate this task to my assistant? What's the worst that could happen if I invest $1000 into this program?

Last year, I desperately wanted my husband to be able to quit his job. Increasing my income to that level was pretty easy. Making the decision to go through with him quitting was not! But, the reality was pretty simple: what's the worst that could happen if he quit?

My business could fail and we would both have to go get jobs. Maybe worse yet, we might have to move in with my mom. Maybe we have to get a loan.

Those things were all pretty damn manageable. On the other hand, if he quit his job, I might be able to make twice the money I was making. I might be able to help twice the clients. Easy decision.

On average, I think people are pretty resourceful. If you pose the worst case scenario to yourself, you'll quickly think of ways you'd get out of it or over it. All that fear starts to fade away.

Aside from Twitter and FB, what do you think the best newest social networking sites will be for 2011?

Great question! It seems the hot trend in social media is location-based networking. Slightly ironic, don't you think?

Instead of connecting with places & people from all over the world, people are connecting with their own intimate surroundings via technology. This is great for micrbusiness!

But it also just reinforces the fact that your business is not just about the internet. It's not just about how many Facebook fans you have. You have to deepen your roots and plant yourself firmly in a real home.

Look for more sites like Groupon & Living Social... look for more ways to use Twitter & Facebook in your home area... look for more ways to connect with new people right where you are and look for how that affects your wallet.

That's the big trend in social media for 2011!

Tara Gentile empowers you to live more creatively and challenges you to change the world with your money on Scoutie Girl. To move from procrastination to accomplishment, take her free 8-part mini course on creating more action in your life.

10 January 2011

Eco Monday: Make Gift Bags

YES Magazine has a great tutorial video on how to make gift bags from last year's calendar. Check out the video here.

This is a great way to repurpose something you're done with. This could also give your gift recipients cool ideas of how to repurpose their own calendar from last year!

07 January 2011

A word to the wise

Saw this on Facebook and wanted to share!
There's a site called Spokeo.com that's an online USA phone book w/personal information: everything from pics you've posted on FB or web, your approx credit score, home value, income, age, etc. You can remove yourself by searching for yourself on their site to find the URL of your page, then go to the bottom of the page and click on Privacy button to remove yourself. Copy & re-post so your FB friends are aware.

06 January 2011

Thank you Thursday

The holidays are full of great food. Nom, nom, nom. They're also full of fun, friends, family and usually gifts.

A fellow crafty recently confessed that she detests the thank you notes that need to be done after the holidays.

Well, here's a little help from npr.org to get the perfect well written notes out in a timely matter. Heartfelt. Handwritten. This may just be what you need to get your thank you notes jumpstarted!

03 January 2011

Eco Monday: Green Your Mailbox

It's a new week, why not start it with a decision you'll be happy with all year?

Around the holidays, we all get tons of catalogs from vendors wanting us to buy something. They influx of catalogs seems to peak around the second week of November and we're left wondering what to do with them all. You can change this by visiting the catalogchoice.org site to select which catalogs you'd like the receive and which ones you can do without.

On the same site, you may also adjust your choices about receiving phone books. Many cities have decided to stop printing them while other cities have not jumped on that bandwagon just yet.

Not only will your mailbox feel a little more roomy, there will also be less stuff going to the landfills!

Happy Green New Year.

Eco Monday: Resolutions?

So, did you make any eco-resolutions? Giving up platic bags altogether this year? Planning less car trips? Precycling? Walking to more destinations?  Eating organically? Setting up a recycling center in your home?

What's on your green agenda this year?

01 January 2011

Saturday Search: Danke

Danke- Thank You Cards 

These lovely thank you cards can be found in 2ndComing's shop. These are very timely. Don't you have some thank yous to send out now that the holidays are over?

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