Saturday, January 31, 2009

Work Smarter, Not Harder!

Work smarter, not harder!
-Allan F. Morgensen

The first time I heard this I literally stopped in my tracks. My parents taught me to work hard and through the years I have achieved many of my goals because of my work ethic. I am detail oriented, disciplined and persistent. These traits have served me well.

Many times since I have heard these four words I have paused to think about the way that I work. Time management has always been a challenge to me. I have a wide variety of business interests that keep me really busy. Sometimes I get side tracked from one project to the next so that at the end of the day I have not been as productive as I should have been. Now that I am more aware of this fact though, I am able to keep on task a lot more frequently.

I create and keep a schedule for each month. Within the month I break down what I would like to achieve each week. Then I break it down by day. This system seems to work really well for me. At the end of the month I evaluate what I have achieved and what still needs to be accomplished. I am not as hard on myself as I used to be. Beating myself up is counter productive. Not every project or task needs to completed immediately. By writing the projects and tasks down I am forced to decide what my priorities really are.

By working smarter, not harder I find myself accomplishing more in my life! Do you work hard? Do you work smart? Please feel free to share your tips here!

Friday, January 30, 2009


I love Swarovski products. A few years ago I received this lovely pin as a gift and I was intrigued by the quality and workmanship. Since then I have purchased many pieces for myself as well as for gifts. If you have a moment please check out their site where the history of Swarovski is beautifully shared!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII

It is only three days until Super Bowl XL III! I absolutely love to watch the Super Bowl. Through the years I have watched it alone as well as with large groups of friends. It doesn't matter to me, I just love to immerse myself in the hoopla for one day!

This year the Super Bowl will be held on Sunday, February 1st in Tampa Bay, FL. The game will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers vs the Arizona Cardinals. I don't watch all the television coverage all day long. I usually start watching right before the national anthem and watch until the Vince Lombardi trophy has been awarded.

I enjoy football, but I'm not a diehard fan. There is just something special about fans getting together to celebrate another fun season of football. Everyone enjoy the game!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The trick is to make sure you don't die waiting for prosperity to come.
-Lee Iacocca

Wow! When I read this quote it really made me stop and think about the opportunities I have been given to achieve prosperity. I need to go out and pursue these opportunities on a daily basis!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Magnify Your Life

I sometimes need to magnify my life! A couple of years ago at our tool store we had two customers in a row come in who could not read something they were looking at. One gentleman couldn't read the size of a socket. The second gentleman couldn't read the fine print on the directions of a product (let me tell you it was very fine print!). I thought about these two customers for a few minutes and then decided we needed to add magnification products to our assortment.

We purchased a couple of different styles from our suppliers and they were a bigger hit than I ever imagined! Some of them are small enough to slip into your pocket, or handbag to carry with you! Another is the visor style so you have both hands free to work on a project! There are also a couple table top styles. If you need a little magnification in your life sometimes please free to "click" the magnifiers in our store!

3 Piece Eye Loupe Magnifer Set

4x6x10 Jewelers Loupe Magnifier

5-12x High Complex Magnifier

Variable Magnification Visor With 1.5x Loupe

5 Inch Clip On 2x Magnifier

2x Folding Magnifier

5x Folding Magnifier

2x Helping Hand Magnifier

Monday, January 26, 2009

M&M's Premiums

Yesterday a friend of mine gave me a package of M&M Mint Chocolate Premiums. These M&M's are 'sinfully good white chocoate mint wrapped in dark chocolate'. They truly melt in my mouth. If you like M&M's, chocolate and mint then these are the candies for you! Enjoy! MMMMM....


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

This year the Saint Paul, MN Winter Carnival runs January 22-February 1st. During these dates are events that attract approximately 350,000 visitors a year to the city. The events include a Grande Day parade, ice carving, snow sculpting, a treasure hunt, a hockey tournament and many, many other fun activities. Some years they even build an ice palace. Through the years I have enjoyed many outdoor events during the Winter Carnival. If you're not doing anything today be sure to check out one of the activities!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Write A Letter Today!

I love to write letters! Even though it is 2009 and there are so many instant ways to communicate I also love to sit down on a cold winters night with some beautiful stationery and write a family member, or a friend a letter.

My mom is the best letter writer I know. I love to go to my mailbox and see if there is a letter waiting there from my mom! I have kept the most special ones and every once in awhile I reread them. They almost always bring a smile to my face, or a tear to my eye. I'm not the only one my mom writes to. She keeps in touch with so many people. Somethimes it is just a quick note that she writes, other times it is several pages long! Through the years many of my moms friends have mentioned to me how many times they have enjoyed opening up their mail box only to find a letter from my mom!

The fact that I love to write letters may go back to my childhood. My mom sent my name into a childrens magazine for a pen pal. Over 100 girls responded! For many years I faithfully wrote letters every day. I actually still keep in touch with one special pen pal! She has moved many times through the years. She has lived in Austria, Sweden, Greece and Canada. I always look forward to her letters filled with observations of the local history, traditions and values. She has a way with words so that when I read her letters I feel like I am there with her. I have never met her in person, but I feel like I know her as well as some of my good friends that I see every week!

I encourage you to sit down today and write a letter to a family member or a friend. When they go to their mail box they will be so surprised to see a personal letter from you waiting for them!

I am going to write my mom a letter tonight in front of the fireplace on a cold winters night! In a couple of days there will be a letter waiting for her when she opens up her mail box!

Friday, January 23, 2009

How To Warm Up On A Cold Winters Night

How do you warm up on a cold winters night? I have discovered a sure fire way! And it's probably not what you are expecting me to say!

We have been watching seasons 1 & 2 of Magnum P.I.!!! Oh what fun it has been! Magnum, P.I. (which premiered in 1980) featured Tom Selleck as a private investigator based in Hawaii. The show is so much fun to watch with the beautiful scenery and witty banter between Magnum and his colleagues.

If you're looking for a way to warm up on a cold winters night be sure to check out Magnum, P.I.!!!


Thursday, January 22, 2009


Innovation is the introduction of something new. Innovation is a new idea, method or device (novelty). I have been pondering innovation a lot lately. How do you take an established business to the next level? Or for that matter a new business! When it is a small business I feel we hold the key to innovation. The decisions we make on a daily basis affect the outcome on a daily basis.

Are we being innovative? Looking for new opportunities? Knocking on new doors? Taking risks? Are we waiting for something to happen? Or worse yet looking behind us at what didn't work?

Being innovative doesn't have to cost a lot of money. It can be the smallest of changes in our thought process. I tend to bounce ideas off a couple of my really good friends. Sometimes they look at me in amazement! Where did that idea come from?!? They have an innate ability to keep me grounded! However, every once in awhile as we talk an idea forms. One that is innovative and worth pursuing! Take a moment today and think of one new innovative idea to try today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Self Help

I read a quote by George Carlin today about self help that made me laugh!
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

I thought that was pretty funny, and then I paused for a moment to think about helping ourselves. I have been very lucky in my life to have had parents and mentors who have been there for me. They have guided me when I have needed it, but they have always given me the space to succeed or fail. And believe me I have had success, but I also know what failure feels like. There have been times in my life I wish someone would have stepped in and done something for me, but in the long run I am grateful they let me make my own choices.

I recognize the fact the I am accountable for my own actions and the decisions I have made along the way. I am motivated to find new ways to do things. I am sometimes afraid to try to do new things. For me it is best that I just jump in with both feet without thinking about it. That is when I have had my most satisfying experiences. When I stop, look around and then jump is when I have a tendency to fall.

I am very happy that I have had many people in my life like the saleswoman who have nudged me to help myself! They have also given me the ability to laugh at myself!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Supporting Local Small Businesses

I love to support the small businesses in my community. I enjoy walking into a store and being greeted with a smile. To me it is the small things in life that are the most important! When I go into a local store I know my business is appreciated. Not that it isn't in the large retail chains, there is just a different sense of appreciation as I wonder through a store that is unique, inviting and warm. Through the years I have come to recognize the importance of spending my money locally.

These merchants spend a lot of time working on building their merchandise assortment, honing their business skills and most importantly developing a strong clientele base.

I am amazed at the amount of niche markets there are out there where the merchandise assortment is so critical to a successful store. I respect the ability to chose the right products to be in a store. The marketplace is constantly changing and keeping a finger on the pulse of the product mix is a daily undertaking!

A small business person is a jack of all trades. I know that sounds funny but it is so true! The sheer magnitude of business skills that are necessary to run a small business is overwhelming! These skills are learned. Yes, some people are blessed with a strong business sense, but for most small business owners there is a lesson learned every day.

The most critical piece of the business is developing a clientele base. This group of loyal customers will not only come back themselves, but refer other people to their business. This is knack. Giving the customer enough space, but also letting them know that they are right there if needed. A wise business person develops clientele through vendor relationships, business to business opportunities, walk in business, and referrals. You never know when a contact will lead to a new client opportunity.

I appreciate all that goes into running a small business. I try to support the businesses in my community that treat me well. When you go shopping today take a moment and stop into one of the shops near your home! You never know what you will find!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winter Cleaning

I started my winter cleaning today! Every year in about mid January I feel the need to start cleaning! The Christmas decorations are all put away and it is time to start cleaning and organizing for the new year. I find myself going from room to room and evaluating my use of space! I have plenty of space in my home, but I don't always use it in the most efficient manner. It is always a good time to step back and look at what needs to be done this year. Last year I worked on my office. It is now all organized and really set up the way that I like it! That is always the best feeling! My mom keeps an impeccable home, she cleans every single day. My goal for 2009 is to clean every day as well. That way when it comes to my seasonal cleaning it won't be as overwhelming! Off to clean!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Professional and Personal Visions

I believe firmly in having both professional and personal visions. My visions incorporate my goals along with my aspirations to realize the outcomes I desire. The biggest challenge I encounter is keeping focused on my visions. My visions work best when I write them down and keep photos around me to realize them! Visualizing is a discipline to me, believing and seeing the successful outcome. Several years ago I saw a great Raymond Weil watch in Forbes. I took the photo out of the magazine and placed it on the wall in front of my desk at work. I had no idea how much the watch was, however I knew I wanted it! I went to the store, only to find out it was out of my price range. I wasn't too surprised because it is a beautiful watch. I looked at that photo every day for a year, and I saved my money. Exactly 1 year later I paid cash for my Raymond Weil watch. It is through my vision that I was able to realize the outcome! There are many visions that I have yet to achieve. I wear my watch every day as a reminder of what I can achieve!


Friday, January 16, 2009


I have always been fascinated with snowflakes. Even on the coldest of winter days (like today) when I see the snowflakes coming down I have to stop and watch. When I was a little girl I would carry a magnifier in my coat pocket so that when I saw a snowflake that I thought was cool I could look at it more closely. Each one alone is so beautiful, floating down to earth. Sometimes gently and sometimes with gusto each snowflake falls at a different speed and chooses a different course to its final destiny. I think I will put a magnifier in my coat pocket again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Graham Webb Ice Cap Revitalizing Shampoo And Conditioner

I use Graham Webb Ice Cap revitalizing shampoo and conditioner. Since I teach water aerobics or swim almost every day I need a hair care program that will keep my hair in the best condition possible. Through the years I have tried many, many different products, but the Graham Webb products are by far the best that I have ever used! Graham Webb is found at salons everywhere so when you get a chance please check them out!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

4 Inch Table Saw With 2 Blades

This 4" table saw with 2 blades is the best hobby saw I have ever used. It is small and compact which is perfect for so many projects. Please "click" the photo and take a look!

4 Inch Table Saw With 2 Blades

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lunds and Byerly's

My favorite grocery stores are Lunds and Byerly's. I have been shopping at their stores for 20 years now and I am constantly amazed at their great customer service and awesome food. I find pleasure in shopping at a store where the experience is warm and inviting!

When I stopped there the other day after work I picked up a couple of items at the bakery where I was approached with a smile. Then off to the meat counter where I picked out an item I had never prepared before and the butcher talked me through the cooking process and sent me away smiling. I turned the corner and the store manager asked me how I was doing and if I was finding everything I needed okay. Off to the fresh produce area for fruit. I picked up my complimentary copy of real food, winter 2008 in case I want to make the chocolate whiskey cake that graces the cover of their magazine. Then to the checkout area where two polite young men rang up my sale, bagged my groceries and carried them out to my car for me.

I love great customer service when I shop and if you are looking for an enjoyable experience when you grocery shop please feel free to check them out!


The Greatest Salesman In The World

Have you ever read the book The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino? I received this book as a gift and I have read and reread it many times through the years. When I turned 16 I got a job a local department store, Donaldson's. I loved my job. I had a great manager, really fun co-workers, and I loved helping customers find exactly what they were looking for. After I had been there about a month I received this book as a gift from one of the ladies who had worked for Donaldson's for years. She was a great saleswoman. She knew exactly when to approach a customer as they entered her department. She always spoke calmly and politely to everyone. She had a huge clientele base which amazed me. When she gave me The Greatest Salesman in the World I could hardly wait to go on break so I could start reading. I was lucky. There was a park across the street and every day I would take my book and read during my lunch breaks. What a beautiful setting to read this small book of wisdom.

The book is essentially about 10 principles that will help change your life. My copy is well worn and each time I take it out of my book shelf I am reminded of that great saleswoman who inspired me to make changes in my life. She helped guide my retail career path. Little did she know that by sharing her favorite book with me that she would make me a better person! Or maybe she did!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

We Have Jewelry Vises, Craft Vises, Art Vises, Hobby Vises & Vise Jaw Pads At Evie's Tool Emporium

I find that for so many projects a vise helps! Are you looking for a new vise to help you out? The jaw pads are an awesome accessory to the vise you may already have at home! Please feel free to "click" a photo and check ours out!

2 Inch Universal Parts Vise With Adjustable Jaw Pins
2 Inch Universal Parts Vise With Adjustable Jaw Pins
3 Inch Universal/Clamping Bench Vise
3 Inch Universal/Clamping Bench Vise
3 Inch Table Vise
3 Inch Table Vise
4 Inch Swivel Base Vise
4 Inch Swivel Base Vise
3-1/2 Inch No Mar Magnetic Vise Jaw Pads
3-1/2 Inch No Mar Magnetic Vise Jaw Pads
4-1/2 Inch No Mar Magnetic Vise Jaw Pads
4-1/2 Inch No Mar Magnetic Vise Jaw Pads
5-1/2 Inch No Mar Magnetic Vise Jaw Pads
5-1/2 Inch No Mar Magnetic Vise Jaw Pads

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Drink More Water!

The last couple of years I have tried to drink more water. I feel so much better when I drink enough water. With my meals I drink milk and as a treat I drink 1 12 oz. Coca-Cola a day. Drinking more water has made a big difference in my life.

The question I always ask is how much water should I be drinking?!? It depends on a lot of factors. When I teach my water aerobics class I always try to drink 1 bottle of water before class, 1 during class and 1 after class. That is the recommendation of A.E.A. When I walk Evie I always have a bottle of water for us. Whether I am working out in stores or from home I have ice water with me all the time. Most days I feel hydrated enough. However, there are days I know I haven't had enough.

There are several articles I have read recently regarding water consumption. I always refer to the Mayo Clinic. They have insight into health and wellness topics. I recently discovered this hydration chart which is really interesting.

Are you drinking enough water? Do you feel better when you drink more water? Here's to a hydrated 2009!


Friday, January 9, 2009

Family Values

My parents taught my brother and me our family values by the way they have lived their lives. My dad worked hard at his job providing for our family and my mom worked hard at home providing for our family. They managed their time with us really well. My dad worked hard all week, but always had the weekends off. That was family time. We would ride our bikes, go swimming, skating, sledding and all sorts of outside activities. We were blessed with private piano, flute, and trumpet classes. I twirled the baton and my brother became an Eagle Scout. We were very, very lucky children. Our meals were made at home by my mom and conversations revolved around our activities and our friends. Almost every Sunday we would entertain family and friends, or else we would go visit them. That circle of friends inspires me today to keep in contact with those who are important to me. Those friendships were very important to us at that time so we really focused on those that we cared about. Every year we had a summer vacation. We traveled to Canada, Mexico, and every state in the U.S.A. except for Hawaii and Alaska. We always traveled by car or train so we could experience how beautiful our country is.

As my brother and I have gotten older I know we both look back fondly on all the times my parents took the time to spend with us every day. Sometimes we wanted to spend more time with our friends. However, we always had our family time. We have learned to give each other space when we need it and to be there when we need that.

On December 18th my dad passed away. My mom, brother and I were all there. He is at peace now. That circle of friends I spoke of earlier embraced us and celebrated his life with us. Sometimes people mention that it is the smallest of gestures that touch us the most. After my dads funeral mass I was approached by a gentleman. He introduced himself as my dads bus driver. My dad had a form of Parkinson's disease. Until 2 years ago, he rode the bus downtown Rochester, MN to walk in the skyway to the library every Monay-Friday. As his disease advanced he was unable to do it as frequently, but he kept going as often as he could. I was so touched as I talked to the bus driver and his grandson that they would take time out of their busy lives to come and share the day with us. What a great example that bus driver was setting for his 13 year old grandson who I'm sure could think of more exciting ways to spend his first day of winter break. The grandson said it was important to his grandpa to be with us, so he was with us too. Wow! Another example of family values.

My dad received the best care in the world in Rochester through the Mayo system. The doctors, nurses, physical therapists and all who cared for him through the years are to be commended for their professionalism. The commitment they show on a daily basis is to me also a sign of family values because they treated my dad like part of their family. The funeral mass was held at St. Pius X where Father Nelson treated us with such compassion. The funeral arrangements were made by Macken Funeral Home, who have been in business for 100 years. Again, strong family values.

I appreciate all of the family members and friends who have reached out to us the past several months. I have been so comforted by their prayers of strength.

Please take a moment today to reach out to those who have shared their family values with you. It only takes a moment to go swimming, prepare and eat a meal, or travel with a loved one. I hope you know you will touch their lives forever.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Udderly Smooth Udder Cream

Have you heard of Udderly Smooth Udder Cream? I swim and/or teach water aerobics every day. I have tried every lotion and potion there is for my dry, itchy skin after spending too much time in the chlorinated water. I discovered Udder Cream and my skin has never felt better! The fragrance is not too strong and it is not greasy at all! When you get a chance please check it out!