Category: Hello.Organization

FabFitFun: Summer Reveal and Discount!

FabFitFun: Summer Reveal and Discount!

FabFitFun is a quarterly subscription service that sends you the latest in beauty and fashion, fitness, and wellness every season. The box is curated by Guilana Rancic and the FabFitFun team, and each season is guaranteed to have $120+ worth of full sized product! Best part? It only costs up to $50 plus shipping (you can also get add-ons but they cost more) If you want to try it out – use this link to get $10 off your first box!

The Cost: $49.99 a box sent every quarter (some discount made for yearly subscribers)
COUPON: $10 Off Your First Box! with this link.

The Products: The hottest seasonal items (worth at least $200) selected by the FabFitFun team
Ships to: US and Canada
Once again they have rocked it with their box! The thing that I love about the box is that I save them and re-use them. Currently one is keeping my handmade note cards for clients and the other is keeping all of my It Works wraps. They are GORGEOUS boxes and I will probably always keep them. They are so sturdy and a great size.
If you haven’t gotten the box yet – you may not have seen this sticker yet. Every season they give this sticker to post on your social media to enter for your chance to win! I never miss an opportunity to submit.
So much anticipation!!!
Here are all the goodies! This box was loaded with great stuff. It had fewer items than my Spring box but I loved everything in this one. Whereas the spring box had a few things I could have lived without.

Box Spoilers

Everyone Gets Each of These In A Color Variation

Annual members were able to select their color choices. Quarterly members receive a surprise!

BKR Little Bottle-$35 (Rosie Pink or Romeo Blue)
Kris Nations Mystic Bar Necklace-$58 (White, Blue, or Orangish/Salmon color choices)
Michael Stars Ruana-$54 value (Blue, Black, and Orange/Beige)

I opted for the Pink BKR, the White Necklace, and I chose random for the Ruana because I loved all of the patterns!

Everyone Gets Each of These

Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate ($29)
Avene Eau Thermale Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion ($24)
Cargo HD Picture Perfect Highlighter in Bronze ($30)
Sponsored Item: Vital Proteins Marine Collagen Sample (1 packette)

Everyone Gets ONE of These Depending On Your Hobby Choice

This season you can customize your box based on your hobbies & interests! You will get ONE of these three items based on your selected hobby, or randomly if you join now. I opted for The Artist choice!

Traveler: Understated Leather On The Road Again Travel Set.
The Chef: Salted Set
The Artist: FabFitFun + Amy Tangerine DIY Kit

Everyone Gets ONE of These Depending On Your Interest Choice

This season you can customize your box based on your hobbies & interests! You will get ONE of these three items based on your selected interests, or randomly if you join now. I opted for the beauty pick!

Fitness: Way of Will Massage Oil
Beauty: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($20)

Verdict

Depending on the variations you receive, this box has a value of $272 to $287.50 (And that’s not counting any value for the FabFitFun TV channel access, or the bonus collagen.) As always, I find myself saying, “I don’t know how they do it!”
High-end brands are really making their way into this subscription box. The Avene sunscreen, Cargo Highlighter, and Juice Beauty eye serum are all great quality items that are perfect for summer. And both the massage oil and dry shampoo options are fab, too.
I love all the Ruana prints, and the item is super versatile. (And delicate gold jewelry is always a win for me!)

XO, Bre

Jurassic Park Workout

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park Workout

Doing the workouts? Here are some basic tips to maximize your workout!

1. Drink more water on workout days.
2. Banish any foods that are high in salt.
3. Stretch before AND after any workout.
4. Bananas and granola are great before a workout.
5. Drink a protein shake or eat fruit after a workout.

Here are some great supplies to get you started on your journey!
1. Yoga Mat
2. 20-Pound Dumbbell Set
3. Insulated Water Bottle
4. Morefit Fitness Tracker
5. Fitbit Flex 2
6. Fitbit Smart Fitness Watch

Want more great content? Check out these other pages on the blog!

Workout Archives
12 Week Health Program
Weight Loss Competition Wait List

XO,
Bre

Facebook Party Themes and Tips to Get Your Guests Excited

Facebook Party Themes to Get Your Guests Excited

Hosting a Facebook Party? Hosting many? Get your guests pumped and ready for action with these great Facebook Party Themes!

Facebook Party Themes

Summer Themes

Summer Facebook Party Themes

Bright summer graphics, fun summer music, and summer related products will shine with any of these Facebook Party Summer Themes! Create “this or that” graphics and have attendees choose their favorite product to celebrate the seasons!

Here Comes the Sun

Bar-B-Que

Fourth of July

Pool Party


Fall Themes

Fall Facebook Party Themes

Leaves crunching, weather getting cooler, clocks going back! Incorporate fall into your Facebook Parties by using any of the themes below! Create a fun graphic which asks your guests what their favorite part of fall is!

Harvest Time

Back to School

“Fall” Back


Winter Themes

Winter Facebook Party Themes

Winter is a special time to spend with friends and family. Use these Winter Facebook Themes as inspiration for your holiday online parties! Use a graphic that asks for the guests favorite seasonal song and add it to your Facebook party playlist!

Thanksgiving

Twinkling Lights

Gifts for All Occasions

Snow Day

“Baby it’s cold outside”


Spring Themes

Spring Facebook Party Themes

The days are getting lighter and the sun is shining brighter! Spring is the time to refresh and rejoice that warmer days are ahead! Have guests share their favorite part of the Spring Season! I know mine is longer, sunnier days!

Dad’s & Donuts

Celebrate Mom

Flowers & Blooms

Spring Clean

“I can see clearly now the rain has gone”

Steps to a Highly Successful Direct Sales Facebook Party

Choose a Theme

One way to think about a theme for your direct sales Facebook party is to think in terms of books, movies, TV shows, and any trending topics. Think of all the ideas out there! Harry Potter, Star Wars, Dr. Seuss, Golden Girls even!

Trending topics make great Facebook party theme ideas too. From award shows to the hot topic of the week (Starbucks unicorn frap anyone?), it is easy to turn one great idea into a direct sales Facebook theme party that will wow your hostess and the guests.

Create an Outline

The first thing you’ll want to do once you have chosen your Facebook party theme is to create a simple outline of how you want the party to go. From the pre-party posts to the actual party posts, it helps to write a timeline of how you want the party to flow and what information you want to include.

If you get a little stuck when it comes to this part, it helps to follow a proven direct sales Facebook party template that you can use time and time again. A successful repeatable Facebook party outline means you won’t ever have to wonder how to hit those month-end goals again!

Create Original Graphics

The graphics for your Facebook party are one of the key parts of having a successful direct sales Facebook party. Use your chosen Facebook party theme to create templates in Canva. Canva makes it super easy to do this! Choose a fun template to work with, change up the background, and start creating! All of my images and post pictures you see on this blog were ALL made with Canva!

Once you have these templates set for all of your Facebook party posts, you will easily be able to update the images and text on your graphics for each and every Facebook party you do. Make sure to include product images, fun games, and include a call to action on every post.

Focus on Call To Action Posts

With each of your posts in your Facebook theme party, you will want to ask the guests to do something. That might be to comment on their favorite item or answer a fun question related to your Facebook party theme. It is also a great idea to have your Facebook party guests to join your Facebook VIP Group and other social media channels.

The most important call to action is to have the Facebook party guests shop and engage with your products and company! Encourage questions, make personal recommendations, and above all, make it easy for someone to order. Explaining the ordering process is crucial and can mean the difference between someone ordering or not.

Engage with your audience, get your hostess involved, and use this theme Facebook party as a template for your next one! With the help of a scheduler, you will be able to repeat fabulous theme Facebook parties over and over again resulting in more monthly sales, social media growth, and potential new team members. Find some great hostesses and party on!

XO,
Bre

Things I Wish I Knew When Starting My Direct Sales Business

Everything I Wish I Knew When Starting My Direct Sales Business

When I started selling through direct sales  (definition: the marketing and selling of products directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location) , I went into it completely blind with no prior experience. I had worked retail as a young woman, but I think I had been to one candle party and one Mary Kay party back when I was a little girl with my mom. I had been courted before by a few different companies. Both of these experiences were a little creepy, and I knew in my gut that I didn’t want to be involved in anything like that. Not to disrespect the companies in any way of course, but there was sort of a no-hold-barred-cultish-ness to the way I was approached and I just knew that it felt icky.

Fast forward to when I discovered It Works via a friend, it just didn’t give me that same ‘ick’ feeling. The product was cool and the girls selling it were just like me. Normal. Interested in health and getting their bodies to a state they liked. And just wanted to make a little extra money.

Everything I Wish I knew When I Started My Direct Sales Business

I have learned some valuable things along the way that I wish I would have known – about leadership and business in general. Sharing them is the best thing I can do to pay it forward – and perhaps dispel some myths about starting your own direct sales business.

There will ALWAYS be people who think your business is a Pyramid Scheme.

What is a Pyramid Scheme anyway? I have heard that so many times, especially from older people that doubt the business model. They obviously have had that ‘ick’ feeling somewhere along the way also. By definition on WikipediaA pyramid scheme is an unsustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.
Well that does sound a little icky! But most businesses like mine and other competitors out there these days are far from a pyramid scheme. They are sustainable, above-board businesses that cut out the middle-man (retailer) and sell direct to customer. Especially if they offer multiple products like we have.

However MLM’s or multi-level marketing can be a different animal: Again on Wikipedia: The network marketing or multi-level marketing (MLM) business has become associated with pyramid schemes. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, many MLM schemes “simply use the product to hide their pyramid structure”. While some people call MLMs in general “pyramid selling,” others use the term to denote an illegal pyramid scheme masquerading as an MLM.

Okay so both the terms Pyramid Scheme and MLM’s give direct marketing and sales businesses a bad rap. So be prepared to answer these questions from nay-sayers early on the game. Because you will be running across them frequently from doubters and or maybe people who just don’t want to buy from you anyway. The sooner you know the difference and the sooner you know more about your company’s mission that you can recite verbatim, the easier it is to put these questions to bed! Nothing is worse than fumbling for answers! Or wondering yourself: Is it a pyramid scheme? #badrap

Not everyone that is in your inner circle will support your business. And that is okay.

The sooner you accept this, the better off you will be. Because it is actually easier to sell and deal with people that ARE NOT in your circle. Business is business and in a direct sales business, starting off with friends and family is common practice and quite accepted. However, the sooner that you get out of the friends and family circle, the better things will be for you. It is much easier to sell product to people that really want to buy it because they love it and they don’t feel guilted into it. Because if they do, and then they don’t love what they bought, you will have to deal with that later anyhow! If you are selling a good product that YOU love and YOU believe in, get out there and find other people that do too. It’s as simple as that. #workhard

You have to be willing to work hard.

We get paid a great commission for selling. Most direct sales companies pay between 15-30% on product sales, and even more with team commissions. But you have to work to get those sales. They almost NEVER fall in your lap. If I have heard it once, I have heard it 25 times. “I am just going to give it a try and see if it takes off.” Just know that it will NEVER take off without any gas in the engine!!  “I am just going to play it low-key and see where I end up.” That will be no where. Because it doesn’t just happen. Unless you are coming from another very successful direct sales business where you had a massive customer base or a team of 10,000 people underneath you that want to join you on your new venture.

I certainly knew that I had to work hard to get my business off the ground, but building a team and getting other people into the business so that I could earn more commissions, I learned that not everyone wants to work that hard. It’s a frustration that drove me crazy for a long while. And I couldn’t figure out why they didn’t know this?! There are multiple legs in this type of business and the sooner you realize that all you can control is your own actions, the better off you will be. #hopeisnotastrategy

Success is whatever YOU want it to be.

In a business like this it is very easy to get caught up in comparisons. Because really, everyone is doing the same Lather-Rinse-Repeat steps, just maybe at different speeds or with different techniques. But you don’t go to university and learn the ‘trade’ of direct-sales, like you would learn drafting or engineering or micro-biology. So it is very easy to look at others and wonder why they are more successful than you. For awhile I got caught up in our inner-world of titles and comparison.

This made it all too easy to fall into a trap of negativity and losing steam. It took me a while to get to the place of being happy with my own measure of success. But that also means not achieving every company goal, or not earning the plaques and incentives that they challenge us with each season. Learning not to compare yourself with others and sticking to your own barometer will help you be successful in the long run. #hardlesson After all, we are all entrepreneurs, and we do this business so that we can work for ourselves. Because we are our own weirdos!

Keep all of this in mind while launching (or continuing) your direct sales business. You will be not only happier but it’s likely you will do better! Have any tips you want to share? Leave a comment below!

XO,
Bre

Harry Potter Loot Crate May 2017

Harry Potter Loot Crate May 2017

I got my Loot Crate box for the Harry Potter crate! This month’s theme was The Dark Arts! I was actually really happy with what I got, especially for the price.

Here is what came in the box:

1. Percival Graves/Fantastic Beasts Shirt
2. Azkaban Prison Pouch
3. Chamber of Secrets Stationery Kit: 6 notecards + envelopes, wax stick, velvet bag, stamp
4. Tom Riddle Diary Pin (you can stab it!)
5. Professor Umbridge Frolicsome Feline Plates

Check out the pictures from the box below!

I have worn this t-shirt almost every day since I got it! It’s really soft and comfortable. And the XL really does feel like an XL (i love using them as over sized pajama shirts!) This alone would have been worth the box price.

Next month i’m expecting the newest FabFitFun box, so expect that review after that!!

 

Have a great evening!

XO Bre

How to Develop A Routine To Save Time

How to develop a routine that will maximize your day and save time!

“There is only one thing more precious than our time, and that’s what we spend it on.”
– Leo Christopher

It seems like everyone spend their time rushing from one appointment to the next. Sound like you? Well, this post is definitely for you then! Studies show that the best way to go through your day, for both time and sanity’s sake, is my scheduling your time blocks and setting a routine.

Developing a Routine

Developing a routine can sometimes be easier said than done.

With these tips it doesn’t have to be. Most important, though, is to remember to stay calm and flexible. We can’t always stick to a routine, sometimes life can get in the way. So don’t stress about it, that’ll just make you feel worse.

Here are some great tips for scheduling out your day to save as much time as you can-
The night before:
  • Look at tomorrow’s schedule, so you can plan outfits and things ahead of time.
  • Set your alarm for a 6 am or earlier wake up time. The only exception to this is if you work a job with graveyard shifts. Outside of that, most studies show that waking up sometime between 5 and 7 am leads to not only a more productive day, but a better night’s sleep as well.
  • Turn off all electronics 1 hour before you plan to fall asleep. Screen time causes a higher alertness in our brains which delays sleeping patterns.
When waking up:
  • Don’t stress out about how early it is. Giving yourself time to drown in complaint will just delay getting up and being productive. Or worse, cause you to just go back to sleep. Don’t let this happen!
  • Similar to that, don’t press the snooze button. My biggest suggestion is to actually place your alarm clock somewhere out of reach. This way your body has to phyically get up to turn it off. Then you are already out of bed!
  • Set a simple morning routine for yourself. Basics you will want to include are: drinking a full glass of water before anything, taking a shower (unless you like to shower before bed), some sort of physical activity like yoga or a brisk walk.
  • One of the biggest suggestions I have for the morning is DON’T EMAIL! Let your brain wake up naturally before you tackle any screen time.
Kicking butt all day long:
  • Avoid any TV time until the end of your day, unless for some reason it’s part of your job. TV should be considered a reward for a job well done throughout your day.
  • Having some sort of background music is extremely motivational. Our brains like to consistantly be stimulated and adding music to the background is a very easy way to do this. Studies also show that music helps with motivation.
When at work:
  • Stay away from social media as long as possible. Again, the exception here is if it’s related to work.
  • Start your work day with the most important tasks. This ensures that you get them done before wasting time with busy work.
  • Manage your energy by blocking tasks into time frames, being sure to leave busy work for absolutely the last thing.
Night Time:
    • Use the end of the day to indulge yourself. Play games with the family, watch a movie or TV, read that magazine that’s been sitting on your coffee table. You earned it!
    • Don’t forget to plan and set up for tomorrow as well.

Once you follow all this, your days should start to feel much more productive! I know mine does!

Need help figuring out your own schedule? Leave a comment or email me!

Have a great day!
~Bre

A Day In My Life : My Routine

Here is what a routine day in my life looks like.

Thinking about being a stay at home mom, earning income from home, or getting healthy? I’m here to show you how easy it can do this and more! Here is my routine that I go through almost on a daily basis! I have even included my favorite healthy shake recipe.

My Daily Routine

In my life there are 3 things that are extremely important to me.

FAMILY. HEALTH. BUSINESS

 

8:00 AM – Wake Up Time! I love being able to sleep in this late, roll out of bed with my daughter, and tackle the day. Because of my business, I can do everything from home. No early morning commutes for me! This is also when I take my first Thermofit and my daily Greens!

Thermofit

Fire up your metabolism with this naturally based, thermogenic weight loss formula! Powered by the antioxidant superfood acai berry and the metabolism-boosting properties of Capsimax® (red hot pepper blend), Ultimate ThermoFit:

  • Promotes increased calorie burning
  • Helps boost metabolic rate
  • Boosts energy
  • Thermogenic formula
  • Antioxidant benefits of acai berry

 

Greens

ALKALIZE: The natural blend of ingredients in Greens is designed to help alkalize the body, restore pH balance, and support the immune system for overall health and wellness.

BALANCE: Greens contains a powerful blend of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and enzymes in their bio-active, bio-available form so you experience maximum absorption by your body for a big nutritional boost.

DETOXIFY: With the natural detoxifying properties of Matcha Green Tea and a complex blend of 34 different varieties of fruits and vegetables, Greens delivers the best nutrients to support your body’s natural detoxification and help your body to naturally cleanse and balance for a healthier you.

  • Acidity-fighting magnesium and potassium blend
  • 52 herbs and nutrient rich superfoods
  • 34 fruits and veggies
  • Matcha Green Tea Added
  • Allergen-Free. Soy-Free. Dairy-Free. Vegan. Non-GMO.
  • No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners
  • Tangy orange flavor

8:15-9:00 AM – Breakfast and Social Media time! I make a filling yet healthy breakfast for me and the kiddo. Then while she works on her flash cards/math/etc. I take the time to answer messages o my social media account. This time is so crucial because I not only get one-on-one time with my daughter – but I ALSO get to really connect with my clients and team members.

9:00 – 11:30 AM – Park playing or Cleaning. Unless it’s the weekend, I will drop my daughter off at school and then head home for some cleaning and organizing. This is a great time to also go over my planner. See if I have any coffee dates with team members or any walks scheduled with some of my clients. I also have my healthy shake for a snack in this time frame.


Chocolate Covered Strawberry Shake:

8 oz. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 Scoop of Chocolate Profit
1/2 C. of Frozen Strawberries
1 T. Cocoa Powder
Crushed Ice

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until you get whatever consistency you want.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

ProFit: 

Ultimate ProFIT Advanced Superfood Nutrition is a superior blend of protein, mood-elevating superfoods, and soluble and insoluble fibers that is proven to produce ultimate results with only 100 calories per serving!

Ultimate ProFIT helps build a leaner, stronger, and healthier you from the inside out. It’s advanced superfood nutrition for your muscles, immune system, digestive system, and cardiovascular system. You’ll not only see results—you’ll feel results!

  • Experience quicker post-workout recovery
  • Build lean muscle mass with fewer calories
  • Get feel-good, mood-elevating energy with maca and cacao powder
  • Promote healthy digestion with seven different soluble and insoluble fibers

12:00 or 12:30 – Lunchtime! I make a healthy lunch and take both my Thermofit and Fat Fighters! This is also a good time to glance at my social media again.

Fat Fighters: 

Have a sweet tooth? A carb craving? It’s okay to indulge every once in a while when you have Advanced Formula Fat Fighter with Carb Inhibitors!

Simply take Fat Fighter up to an hour after eating, and it will absorb some of the fat and carbohydrates from your food so that your body doesn’t. Powered by NeOpuntia™ (a naturally based ingredient made from the “prickly pear” cactus) and the It Works! proprietary blend.

  • Blocks some of the fat & carbs from meals
  • Helps balance healthy blood glucose level and reduce cravings
  • Designed to be taken up to an hour after meals
  • Cactus-based formula
  • Does not contain shellfish
Second Half of My Day:

1:00-3:00 – This is the time frame where I schedule any walks with clients or coffee dates with team members. It’s a great time to connect with everyone and get a moment to really collect myself!

3:00 is usually around pick up time for my daughter. We head home to tackle some homework!

5:30 – Last Thermofit dose of the day as well as some catch up on social media!

Want a 40% discount on all of the health products I use?

6:30 – Dinner time! I love this meal because I get to talk to my family about our day. We get to laugh and spend some really nice quality time together!

7:00-9:00 – Family Movie or Board Game. We usually let the little one choose what we do but it often involves a game or a movie.

9:00-11:00 – Social Media Breakdown! I get to do my final looks and replying on social media. This is also a really good time to go over the basic plan for the next day. It’s all about efficiency!

That’s my day! It really is so great, and I honestly think that anyone could do this! Interested in being on my team? I am available for any questions!!!

Have a wonderful day everyone!
~Bre

What is Boardbooster, and Why Every Blogger Needs It

What is Boardbooster & Why Every Blog Should Be Using It

What is boardbooster, and why every blogger should be using it!

First of all, to understand Boardbooster, you need to know these things about Pinterest:

1. The more you pin, the better the views! Higher frequency (within reason) is best for Pinterest! They love pins!
2. It’s poor etiquette to only pin YOUR content. Share the love!
3. Frequency does’t mean 100 pins per minute. The best way to get good frequency is by pinning a variety over a span of days.
4. You can read all about Pinterest in my post about it here. But, to sum it up, you should have 1-3 boards for YOUR CONTENT, and 10-15 for OTHER PEOPLE’S CONTENT that is related to your topics. To see all my boards, go ahead and give My Pinterest a follow!

Now that you know those facts, let’s talk about Boardbooster!

This strategy of a variety of pins in a frequent schedule is where Boardbooster comes in. In layman’s terms, it helps you schedule your pins to maximize usefulness!

Now, first of all, money. It does cost a small amount to use it, but you can always start with a free trial. After that you will spend $5-$50 depending on the amount of pins you want to share.

After you have decided on that, there are a few ways to use this great program.

  • Campaigns
  • Scheduler
  • Looping
  • Pin Mover
  • Pin Doctors
  • Manager
  • Reports
Using the Campaigns Feature

What is it? Schedules a drip campaign for your pins. Drip campaigns are known by many other names—drip marketing, automated email campaign, lifecycle emails, autoresponders and marketing automation—the concept is the same: they’re a set of marketing emails that will be sent out automatically on a schedule.

Use this feature for YOUR CONTENT. Here are some more details on it:

  1. Scheduled Campaign – Takes pins from secret boards and pins them to boards you choose.
  2. Random Campaign – Pulls random pins and repins them to the designated board
  3. To use either: Choose a category, make a list of relevant boards, and choose the pin settings.
Using the Scheduler Feature

What is it? Schedules pins from a secret board to other boards of your choosing.

Use this feature for OTHER PEOPLE’S CONTENT.

  1. Click the pink button labeled “Add Boards”
  2. Choose the board
  3. Choose frequency
  4. Submit!
  5. On Pinterest, pin to the secret board that it creates
Using the Looping Feature

What is it? Revives older pins so that new subscribers can see your older content!

Use this feature for YOUR CONTENT.

  1. Click on “Add Boards”
  2. Choose settings. Optimal is multiple per day, basic times, at 2 pins per day.
Other Features of the Site

1. Pin Mover: Cleans boards up for 1 penny per pin.
2. Pin Doctor: Tests pins to identify a common problem for 1 penny per pin.
3. Group Manager: Helps people with collaborative boards.
4. Pinning History: Shows you stats and trends for your boards.
5. Third Party Viral Pins: It gives you reports on your viral pins!
6. Best Time to Pin: Sends reports on when your re pinning rates are the highest.

That’s the basics on Boardbooster! It really is a great tool. Have another tool you want to share? Leave a comment below!

Have a great day,
~Bre

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry Review

My 4th book from Oprah’s Book Club!

I think so far this one was definitely my favorite. Since it was one of the few I had never even heard of before – it was a really nice surprise. I have loved doing these reviews so far, and I hope you guys are getting some good recommendations from them! I would love to know what you guys thought about the books too! Leave a comment after the review so I can see!

Book review on A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance

I have read so much young adult fiction, partially due to the fact that I am a young adult, and partially because I have been reading that category since I was in the 6th grade. So, to find one that was unique enough to grab my attention was a surprise.

Overall Review: Rich and Devastating

A Fine Balance is captivating. When I picked it up I was determined to at least read a good amount every day rather than letting it drag out in minute portions (which really ruins the book). Each day, I would return to the pages, reading more and more each time, until finally two days ago I sat and read every last page.

Nothing I can say will do it justice. This is the kind of book where there is meaning, thought and precision in every single word. Mistry is an absolute master. A Fine Balance isn’t a short book, but there isn’t one word too many or out of place. Every piece of the story threads through and loops around, to create a richly woven scenario where every character’s story adds to the overall tapestry.

No character is neglected. In some novels, the secondary characters are little more than names, with only the barest outline making them more than words. In A Fine Balance every character is given their own story. What is beautiful is that there are frequently moments where a character from another piece of the story appears again, which gives them more significance in a reader’s memory. Although this means that there are no ‘secondary’ characters, it worked out well. The four characters are the epitome of the title as they walk a sharp line between joy and despair.

Breaking it down…

When you dissect the book and it’s themes you would expect to be overcome with despair or anguish. Somehow though, Rohinton Mistry works joy and hope into events that should be soul-crushing. His eloquence makes the lengthy, often devastating pages fly by and ultimately speaks of the human abilities to endure and find joy even along the dustiest of paths. A Fine Balance is an exquisite piece of writing, that will no doubt spoil me for other books for some time.

The only downside…

The only thing I would say about it is that maybe young adult is perhaps an easy-going label for it. I would definitely recommend this book to teens because at that age when you feel as though the whole world is against you, this book could really help with showing how to process emotions and find silver linings.

A+++ Rohinton, job well done!

I hope you guys enjoyed this review, and found it accurate! Next week (hopefully, I just started the book) we will be reviewing While I Was Gone by Sue Miller.

~Bre

Bringing Organization to the Office

Organization isn’t just for the home…

Everyone thinks that you only need to organize your house. But, in reality, organization works anywhere. It helps everyone. If you struggle at all with being on time, finding papers when you need them, or anything else – keep reading! It never hurts to be as organized as possible.

 

bringing organization to the office

Studies show that when an employee has control over his desk/office and can organize it, efficiency and work ethic go up by almost 200%. Here are some great ways to be sure to make your office or work space as efficient and time friendly as possible.

1. Your boss isn’t the only one who should be keeping a file on you!

Employees and Independent Contractors should keep files on themselves for work.

Why?

  1. It makes filing your taxes easier.
  2. Comes in handy when there is a work dispute.
  3. Makes for a great new hire packet!
  4. Employee review meetings can go much quicker and run more efficiently

What will I need for my Employee Folder?

  1. File Folders
  2. 2-Hole Punch
  3. Prong Fastener Bases
  4. Highlighters

What papers should I keep for it?

  1. Hire Records (application, letter of hire, etc)
  2. Payroll Copies, or any income related forms
  3. Insurance Copies
  4. Copy of Time cards, if you are hourly
  5. Copies of e-mails pertaining to your employee status. For example, if you were e-mailed reminded you of a new duty you are expected to perform.

How do I make my folder?

Step 1: Take your folder and along the short end, use the two-hole puncher to punch the holes in the center.

Step 2: Open the manila folder and starting on the outside of each end, put the brackets through the holes. This is where all of the papers will be filed.

Step 3: I also suggest using labels, but that is absolutely not required.

2. Performance Evaluations.

You should always keep track of progress as an employee! Going into an evaluation review is best done prepared. It is common for a supervisor keep performance. But, for an employee to come in with his/her notes speaks highly! Here are some areas to keep notes on:

  • Timeliness
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Dress/Work Attire
  • Taking Directions
  • Performing Duties
  • Sick Time/ Vacation Time
  • Communication
  • Skills Learned
3. Employee Training Binder

One of the hardest parts about an employee transferring/promoting is the training required for the person who takes their place. Organizing an employee training binder will help make you much more valuable. Increase your office organization worth by making this as easy as possible. Make a binder to be used as a reference guide for whoever ends up in your desk. Here are some great things to include:

  • Position title + basic introduction to the job
  • List of duties organized by frequency and priority
  • Office extension cheat sheet
  • Instructions for common or important tasks
  • Voicemail prompts
  • Employee and department guide
  • Master copy of time card and mileage reimbursement logs
  • E-Mail outlines
  • Daily, Weekly, and Monthly to do lists

If you can follow all these steps you will be a much more efficient and valued employee!

Good luck,
Bre