Thanksgiving – Great time to enjoy time with friends and family

Halloween is hardly over and it’s already time to get ready for the next holiday. Thanksgiving! I love turkey and stuffing and for me, it’s always been a great day visiting friends and family in the US. One year, driving to Lawrence, KS and spending the holiday with my friends from school, it was actually so warm (21 C/70 F) that it didn’t feel like a cool autumn day. The walk after a huge meal was fantastic and it was such a relaxing weekend. I’m still looking back at it with fond memories.

Often, holidays like Thanksgiving can become a nightmare for the host. There’s so much to prepare and cooking a turkey takes for ever. To not get frazzled by it all, you can follow these 11 easy steps for a relaxed Thanksgiving party:

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Working from home

The other night, my colleague and I were talking about flexible working options and how to make it work for him. My boss sits in the UK and can’t watch over my shoulder for every task. He needs to trust me and my actions have shown that he can. Knowing how I’m working, he granted me a compressed working week and I can only say: “It’s brilliant!” Instead of working 8 hours over 5 days, it’s 10 hours over 4 days, giving me a 3 day weekend.

Now let’s focus on my colleague again. He’s interested in alternative ways of working. As he often has to attend telcons at 5:00 and 6:00 am, his days starts extremely early. After all, he’s in the office for these calls. We brainstormed how working from home can be beneficial for him and possibly also for you. Working from home! On days when calls are starting at 5:00 am, he could work from his house.

How can working from home work for you:

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Beat procrastination

Last week, my friend and study partner found out how terribly lazy and what a master procrastinator I can be. You’ve probably heard of writer’s block? I was stuck with a “study block”. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t focus and instead could see any other project needing immediate attention. I could see what I was doing and even wrote down a few notes as time passed.

2:02 pm: started reviewing… Felt hungry, looking for something to snack on… I didn’t really like these vegetable crisps, it’s been too long since I’ve eaten them last time…
… One more look at the news. There was a prominent event that influenced Dubai that day….
… Just 2 more games of Mah-jong. I lost the first one, so I had to play the second one…
2:39 pm: got a bit done… Time to look at the telly again and to take a break with a cup of tea. My tea is already cold and the smell of the chips is annoying me. Better put the bag in the bin. Oh, it’s getting really interesting on the TV now…
2:43 pm: only 4 minutes lost, not feeling too bad about it. Better continue…
…No, just one more game…
3:21 pm: finally working on my review again. Yeah!
3:31 pm: That’s done. Now let’s start the questions. Maybe I can play one quick game of Mah-jong….

Something that should have taken me about 20 minutes took 1 ½ hours. That’s 4.5 times the original time!! To beat procrastination and to gain your time back, try these tips:

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Networking – How to benefit from and contribute to them

It appears there are 2 types of people: Those who like to network and those who dread it. For me, networking is a fun time. I get to meet interesting people and learn something new. If I’m lucky, I’ve made a connection with someone who can provide me with some guidance or a second opinion in the future. As networking is more about relationships these days, it’s surely a give and take and I’m more than happy to share my knowledge.

My own network has helped me on various occasions dealing with business issues, acting like an external counsellor and providing guidance on my topics. As there are different elements to my role, I like to have a diverse network. My industry-specific group meets on a regular basis and we update each other on general trends, of course, without revealing company secrets.

How do you create or expand your own network?

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Handbags, totes, clutches, pouches – How to best store them

Most of you have not seen me in person and wouldn’t know: I’m a big fan of baguette handbags. I love how small they are, meaning less weight on my shoulders, and big enough for everything I need (keys, phones, money, sunglasses, lipstick…). To me, they are the ideal purse and fit almost every occasion.

I say almost. Unless you’ve ever flown with me, again, you wouldn’t know how crazy I can be at an airport’s newspaper shop or their little local delicatessen shops. Plastic bags don’t hold the weight of the magazines too well but my travel backpack does.

Luckily, I can store my day-to-day handbags in a different place than my travel bags. Unfortunately, there’s no a separate walk in-closet where my bags can be nicely arranged and displayed on glass shelves though. If you’re limited by space or are looking for new inspirations, there’s the same question each time: How do I best store my bags?

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Fire!!! What would you take from a burning house?

Just imagine your house is on fire. The flames are spreading quickly. But you were given special protection by the fire fighters to quickly take few things. What would you take with you?

As horrible (and dangerous) as this situation is, the question brings a dilemma along. Would you take what’s practical (e.g. your insurance documents), what has value (e.g. your money) or what has sentimental value (e.g. a a necklace from your husband)? And what about your pets?

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