BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEK

TL FEBRUARY 21-27 BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEKFor better or for worse, image matters in all things!  The image we see with our eyes translates to developing an opinion in our brain – we like, we dislike – and that translates into the decision to either want to buy a product based on looks, or not.

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Happy Birthday in heaven, dad!2-21 BUILDING BLOCKS OF DESTINY

I was thinking about all the lessons he taught me – and the importance of appearance is one of the most crucial lessons I learned.  After I graduated high school in 1979, my dad set me up with a job “staging” homes to sell.  Daddy was a talented trim carpenter in Wichita and worked for several popular builders in our area in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Anyone with a house built in that time period probably has cabinetry that was handmade by my dad.  Ironically – the house I currently live in has pre-fabricated cabinetry and is in no way special.  😦

I’ve heard so many women make comments as they tour a staged house – they say something like, “Oh I wish my house looked this nice and clean.”  I have to laugh when I hear it because once a family moves into the house – the level of perfection automatically lowers!  If you have to live in a house, you’re not going to keep the plastic on the carpet – you’re not going to leave all the staged silk flowers where they’ve been placed because think about it – the stuff you need to store or have on hand set there instead!  A staged house is not occupied, so it’s lacking life and vitality!  I’d rather see a house that looks like it’s lived in, wouldn’t you?

Working with amazing designers and staging experts, I learned how color and texture and in some cases even the smell of freshly baked bread make impressions on people interested in purchasing a house.  One of the realtors actually brought dough with her to bake in the oven!  Triggers are different for everyone.  Some folks are turned on by sound, so we always tried to have soft music playing.  It was so soft that you barely noticed it – but it was there.  And remember, back in the late 1970’s, the big thing was intercom systems!  We liked the idea that we could push a button in the room we’re in to talk with the rest of the family instead of yelling across the house.  Those intercom systems also played music throughout the house.  I’d be curious to know if they still work today.  New construction does not offer intercom systems.  That was definitely a late 70’s, early 80’s thing.

Appealing to the senses is what marketing is all about.  Trip the trigger – make the sale.  Cha-ching! 

Sometimes I wish I had pursued that line of work because I’ve always been drawn to design, staging, and making a living space “speak” to people.  It’s important to do the same kind of “speaking” at trade shows.  Even a little touch like having a bowl of free candy available can help draw them to your booth.  The rest is up to you.  Sell your product.  Let them know why their life will be lacking without it.

Just as my dad added special extras to every set of cabinets he made, I try to add extra to my design projects or photographs so the eye is drawn to whatever I want to be noticed.  Image improvement can apply to all areas of life – personal and professional.

What can you do to build a better trade show image???  It depends on what type of product you’re selling, of course.  There are creative ways to draw a crowd and then wow them.  Don’t be afraid to try new things because when it comes down to it, it’s all about trial and error.  If you don’t try, you won’t know.  It might work!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

When I get up in the morning, I don’t think about all the things that are going to happen, whether it’s good or bad.  I say to myself, “This is going to be the best day of my life.  – Tao Porchon-Lynch

DROWNING IN ABUNDANCE

Today I felt fat.  Some of you know what I’m talking about.  None of my clothes fit quite right and when I looked in the full-length mirror, I looked fat.

On the up side, I had an extremely good hair day.  When the cashier at my favorite restaurant complimented my hair style today, I can’t even begin to tell you how much that lifted my spirits – but I digress…

When you have a “fat day”, it affects your mental health, your mannerisms, your attitude toward others and you are literally your own worst enemy.  Am I right?  Yes, I am – thank you.

I spent the entire morning telling God how I wished I was in someone else’s body – anyone else’s body!  I complained about being too short and suggested that if He had made me taller, this weight issue would no longer be – well – an issue.  Have you ever made such suggestions to the creator of the universe?

Let me tell you – when you gripe and complain to God, you may think that He just listens without any reply.  I guess He knew that I needed a major attitude adjustment today – and He gave it to me.

After I finished breakfast and left the restaurant, I headed home as usual.  It was a nice day, so hubby and I decided to drive around and go to a few estate sales.

I love vintage clothing and if I find my size at estate sales I buy it.  At the first sale, I found size 5x.  Well…  I asked the lady in charge if there were any smaller sizes and she told me that these were the clothes that she used to wear – and she is in a 2x now.  It was as if God was asking, “Linda, are you paying attention?”  I walked into one of the bedrooms where there were no other people – looked up and said, “Yes, Lord – I’m paying attention.”

Estate sale number two.  God had softened my heart and got my attention – but He was far from finished.  This house was in a completely different part of town, but there were some beautiful clothes for sale.  A pretty pink dress caught my eye.  I looked at the size – you guessed it – it was a 4x.  Again I inquired about the clothing.  I heard about another successful weight loss.  That lady is now wearing a size 18.

God seemed to impress upon me that if women wearing those sizes could lose weight, I can too.  Again, I found a quiet place where I was alone – I looked up – raised my hands and thanked God for encouraging me as only He can.

We moved on to the third and final sale.  I couldn’t wait to see what lesson was waiting there.  I was grinning from ear to ear as I walked back to the bedroom to look in the closet.  It was as though I knew what I would find!  I was not disappointed because God doesn’t leave any lesson unfinished.  Once He starts to teach you a lesson – He teaches it to the end!  You may as well just hang on and enjoy the class!

I was almost laughing by the time I reached the clothes closet.  The clothing wasn’t funny but the lesson was cracking me up!  God was showing me what HE can do if I will just ask…  how do I know that???

At the third sale, not only were the clothes size 5x, but on a table beside the closet was a collection of books.  One of them was a book I’m quite familiar with called “The Weigh Down Diet”.  Written by Gwen Shamblin, it’s a book that reminds us that God provides us with more than enough, but it’s up to us to make a conscious decision about how much is enough and how much is too much.  She encourages us to eat only the most choice bites and leave the rest.  She reminds us that it’s not a bad thing to feel hunger before eating.  We are supposed to feel true hunger before we eat.  The first few bites always taste the best – when it doesn’t taste as good, it’s probably because we are no longer hungry and it’s time to stop eating.

God seemed to say, “Now you understand, don’t you?”

I said, “Yes, Lord – I sure do.” 

I forgot that His provision of food for me is so abundant – and it’s up to me to know when I’m consuming too much.  It isn’t God’s fault for making me too short – but my fault for not knowing when to stop eating.  From this moment on, I only want what I need.  I no longer need what I want.  I know the difference – now I remember. 

Thank You, God, for Your lessons.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

THE WHITE LETTUCE BLUES

I’ve made the most extraordinary discovery! The more restricted my diet becomes, the more picky I get about my food! There was a time I just ate what was put before me whether it was fixed perfectly or not. I just mindlessly ate it. Those days are gone. I only get 1200 calories a day and I will not waste them on food that does not taste good.

If I’m at a restaurant and order a salad, or go to a salad bar, there had better be some green leafy lettuce in that bowl or they will hear about it. I try not to be rude, but really, people, does anyone like the white part of iceberg lettuce??? I don’t. It’s even worse if it is rusty and white!

When I pick out more of the lettuce than I eat, this is a problem and I don’t like it. I’m paying money for a green salad, not a white rusty salad.

That’s one reason I enjoy our local deli – Jason’s Deli. They not only offer the iceberg lettuce, but they have a large bowl of spinach as well. When I make a salad at home it is always with spinach! I never buy lettuce. I’m in heaven with a spinach salad with a little raspberry vinaigrette on top.

It’s been difficult to become a picky eater because I was raised by parents who lived through the great depression era. They knew what it was like to be poor and eat what was put before you and “like” it. My dad used to tell me about the lines they stood in to get a block of cheese. I learned that you use it until it’s used up – haste makes waste. Those values were passed on to me.

I still appreciate everything I have, don’t get me wrong, but now I recognize my likes and dislikes. I’m not a garbage disposal – I’m a person. I don’t have to eat whatever is put before me. In my mind – eating food that is not good for me or does not taste good – well… that haste makes WAIST. So…

I only get 1200 calories a day. Why should I eat anything I don’t really like?

CELEBRATION OF THE SENSES DAY

TL 6-24 CELEBRATE THE SENSES DAY

Anyone who knows me in “real life” knows that one day I would like to go to a beach, feel sand between my toes, hear seagulls and see (perhaps tour) a lighthouse or two. Here in Kansas we have the odd lake here and there, but it would be wonderful to see something besides wheat fields. The trip to the beach is on my bucket list.  And now a message from Madame B.

If you are able to stop and smell the roses, take a moment today to do it! Be thankful for all of your senses and be aware that you are blessed if you have all five of them.

When I was in high school I met a girl named Joyce. We were introduced through a mutual friend at a church meeting. Joyce was a happy, bubbly, cheerful girl with a positive attitude and it seemed as though she had life by the tail and knew how to control it. There was just one difference between Joyce and my other friends. Joyce was blind from birth.

She acted so independent I sometimes forgot she was blind, to be honest. I had to remind myself that if we went out somewhere, of course I would be driving! She had a German Shepherd seeing eye dog named Buckshot. Naturally he went everywhere with her. We got some strange looks in public when we walked in with Buckshot, especially in restaurants and at the movie theatre.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.
– Helen Keller

Today is CELEBRATE YOUR SENSES DAY!!! This is a day to appreciate your ability to see, smell, hear, touch and taste. I don’t take my eyesight for granted since I met Joyce – not because I had pity on her, but because I knew what beauty she was missing even if she did not.

Because Joyce was never able to see, her other senses were heightened. She often commented that she could hear my car or smell the sweet pea I wore before I rang the doorbell. At first that made me uncomfortable and I’d ask questions like “Did I put too much fragrance on? Does it bother you?” But I soon learned that it was not my excess that triggered her senses, but her ability to overcompensate for being blind.

Don’t take your senses for granted. Thank God for your abilities and for the senses you use to do what you do. ❤

NATIONAL GARLIC DAY

TL 4-19 NATIONAL GARLIC DAY

Shallots are for babies; onions are for men; garlic is for heroes.  – Unknown

Everyone knows that a necklace made of garlic wards off vampires, right?  Anyway, it’s strongly insinuated that garlic has powers to stave off the most wicked of creatures!  If one smells strongly enough, one can get anything one wants, I suspect!  Garlic keeps me from wanting to talk or kiss anyone who has eaten it.  Where there is garlic breath, there should also be a sufficient stash of breath mints.  Garlic is also known as the stinking rose, but it’s part of the lily family. 

That bit of trivia is interesting, but is garlic the super food that everyone thinks it is?  I thought today, on NATIONAL GARLIC DAY we should get the real story about it.

There is no such thing as a little garlic! – Arthur Baer

Garlic is part of the onion family and is closely related to leeks, shallots and chives.  Known as a sulfurous food, it has been used as a bug repellent and treats bug bites and minor infections.  It’s also been said that garlic heals severe acne.

It has been used in herbal medicine, phytotherapy and other alternative medicine as well.

Because the aging process is actually just oxidative stress happening in our bodies, antioxidants combat that oxidative stress and protect us at the cellular level. The whole idea behind eating an alkaline-based diet is to slow down the inevitable aging process as much as possible. I’m not saying it’s going to keep us from getting those dreaded crow’s-feet, but I am saying that the antioxidants help to protect us from the more deadly disease processes.

Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good. – Alice May Brock

Since garlic is alkaline-based, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, It has been given credit for helping the following conditions:

  1. Lowers blood pressure.
  2. Prevents atherosclerosis and coronary blockage.
  3. Reduces blood clot formation.
  4. Lowers cholesterol LDL levels.
  5. Stimulates the pituitary gland.
  6. Regulates blood sugar.
  7. Reduces risk of certain types of cancer.

Many cultures have embraced garlic as their aphrodisiac of choice.  Which leads me back to the well-stocked supply of breath mints.

But people who love each other find a way, right???

The humble garlic clove deserves another chance to be part of your arsenal of healthy foods if isn’t already.  Now what do I DO with my garlic?
http://youtu.be/PJ9SJ2bbob4

Garlic Linguine With Mushrooms (serves 4)

Ingredients:
Salt
Water
1lb. Linguine
1 oz. Butter
3 oz. Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1 lb. Mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs. freshly chopped Parsley
Black Pepper

Instructions:

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.

2. Add plenty of salt and the linguine and cook for 8-10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a saucepan then add the mushrooms and sauté gently until golden, stirring from time to time.

4. Add the parsley, salt and pepper to the mushroom mixture and mix well.

5. Drain the cooked pasta well, return to the rinsed out pan and stir in the oil and garlic mixture, tossing to coat well. Serve immediately.

Make something amazing for NATIONAL GARLIC DAY!!!   😀