Archive for December, 2014

Why Planning Works!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

This is the last post of the  year. I have been thinking about what to write to finish the year  and decided that the best thing to do was to share with you the insights I have gained thought the most ordinary activities of my life these last two weeks.

Christmas Eve Dinner

My family has always celebrated Christmas Eve rather than Christmas day just like they did in Belgium.

Each year since I have had children, I have therefore prepared a traditional turkey dinner. Each year, some new addition to the menu has been made or an old favorite replaced by an updated version or by something new entirely just to make things more interesting for me, the cook.

As they grew up, the children’s taste became more sophisticated and they began to make requests such as roast potatoes instead of mashed, mousse cake instead of the traditional Bûche de Nöel I prefer and finally this year my son presented me with a real challenge when he transitioned to  a vegan a few months ago.

My first course is a French Canadian meat pie known as a tourtière which I prepare a couple of weeks in advance and freeze until the day of the meal when I pop it in the oven until it’s bubbling hot.

Then comes the stuffed turkey, spicy maple glazed sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts tossed in butter and nutmeg, leeks and carrots in white sauce, cranberry sauce and salad. The whole followed by a blackcurrant mousse cake.

Now, I was going to have to provide a second meal without any animal product at all, not even butter or eggs.

How was I going  to pull this off without going mad and ending up tired and stressed out at the Christmas Eve dinner which I really wanted to enjoy like everyone else?

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To Blog or Not to Blog…



that is the question.

Many people ask me “Do you have any advice about blogging? I don’t know where  to   start.”

Well, the best place to start is to answer the questions:

“What am I going to write about?”

“What am I passionate about?”

“What do I know about?”

“Who am I?”

Who are you?

To be a successful blogger you will need to be a self-starter, to think quickly, organize your thoughts and express them immediately. You will also need to be thick skinned because, believe it or not, there are going to be readers who will not like what you write and will disagree with the  opinions you express on your blog. You will also need to be consistent and blog regularly to establish a large readership of followers. This requires time, energy and will probably be unrewarding until you get some momentum and then things will take off and be very rewarding indeed.

What do you know about?

Expertise in any given topic gives you a great head start over your competition. Even obscure subjects will find an audience if you truly know a lot more than most people out there in the internet world. You will soon be seen as the one to go to and your blog readership will grow by leaps and bounds. You can easily do a quick search on Google to see what else is available on your topic on the internet and where there may be a gap you can fill in.

If you have a business, you can add a blog to your homepage and quickly capture an audience of people who are interested in what you have to say. Let’s say you sell paint, you could create a blog and video podcast showing  different painting techniques using the paint brand you sell. Your  expertise will be seen directly by website visitors who will be more likely to purchase paint from you because you can offer valuable advice as a free bonus.

In any case, you blog needs to have some type of specific topic to get any traction. A topic blog about watch collecting will succeed if you do lots of research to keep writing regularly. The more focused the better. You could talk about your 1980 quartz watch and then do a series on other quartz watches of the same year. You now have what is known as a niche.

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