Don’t want to chop veggies to make salsa? Try my No Chop Salsa with Hunts diced tomatoes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HuntsFreshTwists #CollectiveBias

No Chop Salsa

 

I love making salsa and pico de gallo but let’s be honest. It takes a really long time to chop all those veggies plus the onions, peppers and cilantro usually leave a lingering smell on my hands. I still crave handmade salsa and want it to be something I can make on a whim. Thanks to Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic, I was able to make a really tasty, quick salsa that didn’t require me to chop or slice a thing. Plus, it’s all ingredients you can keep in your pantry until it’s time to make that no chop salsa. Continue Reading →

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Learnin’ to talk good at Toastmasters

Toastmasters collage

When I was in high school, I was a letterman. You might be thinking “how could a person with a disability earn a letter?” I certainly did earn it but it wasn’t in athletics. I lettered three of four years in forensics. I did pretty well in prose (reading a story) but excelled in public speaking.

I lettered in forensics three of four years in high school.

I lettered in forensics three of four years in high school.

I didn’t do any real public speaking again until a few years ago when I volunteered with a friend to speak at a WordCamp. I started leading other seminars including topics such as disability awareness and blogging for small businesses. I felt confident in what I was saying but didn’t feel that I conveyed confidence because I would lose track of what I was saying or have a lot of “ums” and other crutch words.

I had heard about this program called Toastmasters several times and last fall, I decided to join. The first time I heard about Toastmasters, I thought it was a snobby wine drinking club. Boy, was I wrong! I later heard about it again from someone I worked for and realized it was an interesting club that encouraged leadership skills and improving one’s public speaking skills.

Toastmasters membership application

So far, I’ve really enjoyed it. My club is almost an hour’s drive (worked better for me at the time) but it’s worth it. I enjoy the challenge and appreciate the friendships I’ve made. I’ve even won a couple of awards!  Continue Reading →

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First time at GiveCamp NWA

GiveCamp Logo

 

Last weekend, I had an exhausting but exhilarating experience at camp. Instead of singing around the campfire and making S’mores, we gathered around our laptops and made websites.

GiveCampNWA is a local version of an organization that gathers website folks together for one weekend and they work together to give chosen nonprofit organizations a free website. They recruit volunteer web developers, graphic designers and wordsmiths and place them on teams. Each team is assigned a different nonprofit that was chosen to receive a website.  There were 30-40 volunteers and 10 nonprofits for this year’s GiveCamp NWA.  Continue Reading →

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Enough: Professional enough

This blog is part of the Enough series on the blog Jamie's Thots.

This blog is part of the Enough series on the blog Jamie’s Thots.

At the beginning of this year, I set out to finish this “Enough” series that I started two years ago. There were several topics that I had not seemed to find the time to address but I realize that it wasn’t lack of time, it was lack of readiness.

One of these Enough topics is “Professional Enough.” I’ve decided to tackle that today because it’s time. Because I’ve realized that the reason I didn’t want to tackle it is because I didn’t believe it was true. Years of abuse in a long-time jobs led me to unconsciously not believe I am a writer. I’m over that. A few years of indecision, identity crisis and wandering made me feel like I wasn’t a true professional even though I was a small business owner, for crying out loud. I’m over that, too.

The first question I have to ask myself with all of these “enough” posts is, what is enough? The idea of being enough is being not too much or too little. It’s about filling a role in the way that you’re meant to fill it. It’s about being the person you were designed to be. This is both humbling and empowering.

25 lo resSo what does “Professional Enough” mean? I’ve decided that for me, my self-measurements are:

  • meeting professional standards with my work,
  • treating my clients and other associates with professional respect in my own style,
  • knowing my niche, and
  • being willing to learn new skills, new niches.

Continue Reading →

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Healthy living (and really convenient shopping) is made simple with free health screenings at Sam’s Club

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. Check out these hashtags on social media to see what other bloggers have experienced: #SamsClubMag #CollectiveBias

Shop-Sams-Hero

 

I’ve been a Sam’s Club member since my early 20s and have never even once considered canceling my membership even though for the first 10 years I had one, I was single and now it’s only John and me. We shouldn’t need to buy in bulk, right? Sam’s Club is so much more than buying in large quantities and they have two awesome features that I know I didn’t know about before now so I want to share them with you. Did you realize Sam’s offers free monthly health screenings as well as an online health magazine that truly lives up to the slogan “healthy living made simple?”

Last week I was making my usual “Sam’s run” and stopped at their free health screenings to see what all was involved. Continue Reading →

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Guest post: Georgeanne Yehling ‘Cultivating the present is enough’

This is another entry of guests posts from friends who I asked to write about their take on “enough.” 

First, let’s meet Georgeanne

Georgeanne Yehling is not a Southern belle but a Southern bramble. An Arkansas transplant, Georgeanne spreads the gospel of Southern food and hospitality at Eggshells Kitchen Co. in Little Rock. She is an emerging professional operatic soprano, amateur gardener, devoted kitchen wench, and crazed Oklahoma City Thunder fan. Find her at Southern Fried Soprano, where she writes about navigating the world of classical music and keeping it #arkansassy, no matter where she is.

Georgeanne Yehling is not a Southern belle but a Southern bramble. An Arkansas transplant, Georgeanne spreads the gospel of Southern food and hospitality at Eggshells Kitchen Co. in Little Rock. She is an emerging professional operatic soprano, amateur gardener, devoted kitchen wench, and crazed Oklahoma City Thunder fan. Find her at Southern Fried Soprano, where she writes about navigating the world of classical music and keeping it #arkansassy, no matter where she is.

 

Cultivating the present is enough

Continue Reading →

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Warmer weather Nudges us outside with the #Smithpuppies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#NudgeThemBack #CollectiveBias

Shop-Nudges-Summer-Fun2-Hero

The snow is gone and the sun is shining longer each day. I love warmer weather! I love being able to go outside more with our dogs and I love it when it’s better grilling weather. We’ve had a few good weekends with the #smithpuppies (yes, that’s their official hashtag) and I thought ya’ll might have fun seeing some of the photos. We also got to try some new Nudges Dog Treats that just came out. We tried the original Nudges last year and our dogs go nuts over them. The new Grillers and Sizzlers are even more amazing!

Check out what we’ve been up to and read a few of my tips for being prepared for more glorious outside time with your beloved woof baby.  Continue Reading →

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My reflections on ‘renew’ (Blogger of the Month for April)

Arkansas Women Bloggers

A few weeks ago, I was notified that I was selected as Blogger of the Month for Arkansas Women Bloggers. Each month, they choose a different member to feature and I was chosen for April 2015. We are asked to write an intro piece that talks about who we are then four blogs that can be on any topic we choose. We can (and most seem to) write with the organization’s theme for the month.

I decided it would be a challenge to try and write about the theme for April all month. Instead of posting a new blog every time, I’ll come back and add a link to the latest blog that I’ve written during the month here.

The theme for April is “Renew.”

4/1  My intro blog: Miss April 2015-Jamie Smith

4/6 First blog: What does Renew Really Mean?

4/13 Second blog: Rebranding as a form of renewal

4/20 Third blog: Sometimes the best way to renew is to take a break

4/27 Fourth blog: My final thoughts on “renew”

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5 steps to greener severe weather season preparedness

This blog was compensated by #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. All opinions, pictures, and thoughts about #BringingInnovation are my own.

Shop-EcoAdvanced-Energizer-Hero

 

I love a good thunderstorm, don’t you? Not one that does a lot of damage and hurts people of course but one that gives some good thunder boomers and rain is simply a joy for this Kansas girl’s heart.

This is a screenshot from a local TV station of storms we had last week. Scary and exhilarating all at the same time!

This is a screenshot from a local TV station of storms we had last week. Scary and exhilarating all at the same time!

That said, growing up in Kansas and then living in Oklahoma and now Arkansas I’ve seen my fair share of really dangerous weather and know how vital it is to be prepared. I think that living in our country’s heartland has also shown me how important God’s creation is and I think it’s important to protect that. How cool is it that we now have ways to be prepared but also be a little bit more environmentally conscious at the same time?

Being prepared for storms isn’t just a mental state of mind. It’s about having the plans and supplies you might need in place so you don’t have to worry as much when the storm clouds start rolling in.

5 Tips for Preparing for Storm Season

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Fun with Painting your Pet

PWT Final Me

 

 

More than a year ago I went to a Painting with a Twist party and discovered my artistic side. I kept meaning to go back and just never seemed to have the chance. That is, until last weekend and it was even more fun than the first time!

This trip was a Paint Your Pet party and instead of each person painting the same thing, we each submitted a picture of our pet ahead of time and painted a sketched version of the picture. Of course we have four pets so at first it was hard to decide which pet to paint. They are like our kids so it’s important to have pictures of them around.

We settled on Flower because of her incredibly unique coloring and we can’t find pictures or figurines that look like her. We’ve found several that look like Jazzy, Missy and Colby but nothing that looks like Flower. I’m glad we chose Flower because her unique coloring also made her a challenge to paint!

I took cell phone pictures throughout the process to document the fun.  Continue Reading →

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