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This Week In Business: Better Light Edition

I’ve gotten a few emails. “I miss your blogs!” I miss them too!

Last weekend, I was in a wedding in Massachusetts and, combined with being busy at work in general, updating my own blog often seems like something I want to do and don’t have time. Maybe when I get a smart phone in a couple months, it’ll be easier to do these things in transit.

Here’s what’s going on at Breaking Even Communications:

I moved my office into my living room.
I was most excited about my move from 220 square feet late last year precisely because I could have aseparateoffice and living area. There was really only one logical choice for my ‘office’.

Fast forward to months later. Why is my energy so low? My office had one small window behind me and it was not motivating to work in a cave.

So I moved my desk to my living room(other office-y things like printer, stationary, etc. stayed in the old office). Yesterday morning, I watched a gold finch hover near a flower. I also got a ton of work done. For the whole separation of work and life, I might eventually get a screen to close off the area in the after hours but for the moment, this arrangement is working, and well.

Let there be light, even if it does mean my work space is in my living space.

Let there be light, even if it does mean my work space is in my living space.

I got selected to present at Social Media FTW about blogging.

I’ll be presenting as part of the Social Media FTW Fall Conference in Portland in September. I’ll be presenting on business blogging (as the intro to Rich Brook’s advanced blogging). There are still tickets available and, based on who else is on the roster, it should be a pretty good conference. Click this link to learn more.

Preregistration for workshops are now required.

This past week, Downeast Learning (my coventure with my friend Matt) had a workshop about email marketing. We were about to cancel it because no one had signed up when I had three people email me about it over the weekend, which is just enough to cover the room rental. “Do we have to preregister? Can we pay you then?” “Sure!” I said in an attempt to be flexible.

One person showed up. I emailed the other two people. One had forgotten and one couldn’t come at the last minute. I bet paying ahead would have been more motivating. Lesson learned: preregistration only! No more Too-Nice Nicole!

I made a deal on a beach.

I had to mention this because it was so random.

So my dog got lost while we were on a walk (long story but let’s just say my dog thinks she can catch deer) and about an hour into the search, I went down to the beach to see if she had turned up there. I waited to see if she’d come off the island we were walking on when the guy next to me started talking to me about my dog. It came up in conversation that I lived in Bar Harbor and he asked me what I did. When I told him internet marketing, he took down my contact info into his iPhone. He runs a video production company in Maryland and needs some website and social media revamping. It just goes to show you that you never know when you’re going to meet people. I’ll let you know if he calls!

Too Cute Tuesday: Embroidery with Tattoo Your Towels

I started TCT on Monday, thinking this project may take a little longer then one night. Then life threw a wrench in my plans.

It's been a busy week (and will only get busier) so I decided to rely on a kit I've been meaning to use for awhile.

Materials
Fabric, in my case four identical squares to serve as napkins one day
Tattoo Your Towels kit from Sublime stitching (less then $4 on their website)
Embroidery floss (raid your old friendship bracelet kit, or I found a pack of 104 colors for less then $10 online)
Needle
Iron
Embroidery hoop (optional)

Cocktail of the Day: Whiskey and Hot Chocolate, my winter standby

1. Cut your fabric into equal squares. (A napkin set with a different design in matching colors on each one? what a cute gift!) Hint: A full size dinner napkin is 20". Oddly some people can't sleep at night when they ask themselves these burning questions. Think that some people are weird. Have the thought that you are probably weird too.

Embroidery 2. Plug in iron and put on hottest setting. Heat up hot chocolate while iron heats.

3. Cut out the design you want from your kit and position on fabric (I put mine near a corner so you can see it when the napkin is folded). Iron (do not use steam!). Move iron gently so as not to move around the design.

4. Lift paper gently. See how cute the transfer is. Get excited.

5. Cue up "Lipstick Jungle" on Hulu.com and get out your embroidering supplies. You are going to have a relaxing evening of embroidery followed by blogging.

6. When your computer dies, stress out. Kick yourself for not blogging earlier. Call mom to calm you down. Realize your new computer is only coming in on Thursday. Panic some more.

7. Decide this is the universe's way of telling you to relax. Hook up your headset to your cell phone and call a friend.

8. Put fabric in embroidery hoop. If you aren't using one, just be careful not to sew two sides of your fabric together. Follow the lines of the transfer using a straight stitch, periodically switching colors. (Tip: Since this is a napkin, keep your stitching in the back as clean as it is on the front.)

8a.Talk to friend on phone. Talk and laugh and realize not blogging for a couple days is not a big deal and that you can post during your lunch break.

9. Sip hot chocolate when embroidery is mostly done. Realize the combination of whiskey and talking to friends and family have completely relaxed you. Too Cute Tuesday on Monday can be fun!

Image: Do you see the little birdy? He's almost done… A photo of the finished product will be posted soon!