Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Free Stanford classes...um, yes please!

I heard Stanford was offering free classes online and find it hard to pass up the chance to learn something valuable (for free).  Thinking about signing up for this one:

Technology Entrepreneurship Part 1

They have other classes, check them out if you have the time.  This kind of class would normally cost thousands especially at Stanford. 

Happy New Year 2013!!!

Almost every year (for at least the last 10), my new year resolution has been the same - lose weight, make more money and save more money. 

This year I plan on being less hard on myself and doing my best to do as much as i can (give more, be more, exercise more, love more, live more, appreciate more).  What is your New Year resolution?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

Today was so beautiful and we spent our Christmas in Santa Cruz just the 4 of us.  My older sons are in LA but I was with them both over the last few days.  

I'm so thankful for everything this year and really want to make an effort to focus on giving during the holidays so the little ones understand the real meaning of the season (not just getting gifts).  A little hard to explain to a 3 and 6-year old but we are sure trying.  

Since we did our family Christmas in LA on Monday, today I made chili in the crockpot.  Threw it all together this morning and it came out pretty darn good if i don't say so myself.  I didn't add any chile peppers on purpose hoping the kids would eat it but it was a bit too spicy for the littles so my attempt to make my life easy with the slow cooker was a bit derailed.  I ended up making coconut chicken for them anyway :)

Speaks Family Christmas Chili
(serves 8-10)

1-lb hot ground sausage
1-lb stew meat
1-lb hamburger meat 80/20 is fine
1 slice uncooked bacon (just saved a piece from breakfast that i didn't cook)

2 cans chili beans
2 cans (10 oz) cans of Rotel Diced tomatoes & Green Chiles
2 cans of kidney beans
1-1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 red bell pepper chopped 
1 giant yellow onion chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1/2-1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
sour cream for garnish

Brown all meat (except bacon) with olive oil in a pan with garlic and throw in crock pot.  Add everything else into crock pot including one slice raw bacon.  You can add more raw bacon...i could only save one piece from breakfast without a riot.  Don't add cheese until about an hour before it's done cooking.  Cook on low 5+ hours.  Add cheese about an hour before serving.  Serve with sour cream and a wedge of lemon if too spicy.

*Also, can probably cut one of the pounds of meat if you are making this for less people.  We have a ton left and it filled my giant crock pot.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tweets the new online currency?

I received an email from a rather smart marketing company (to remain anonymous) offering me 5 free infographic templates.  I thought, why not and went to download them.  Usually when you go to download content (if it's any good) you are asked for your information.  The purpose being that they are trading the content for your information because it is worth it for them to supply you with content if they are able to get you into their funnel, be able to nurture you and eventually convert you into a customer.  Today, when i went to click the "Download" button, i noticed another button next to it that said "Pay with a tweet".  This, my friend, is pure genius.  This way, the marketer captures your info and gets you to help them build their brand on social media networks.  There is also the option to put a mention on LinkedIn or fb.  I'm more than willing to "pay" for content I'm interested in with a quick tweet or fb mention.  This company captured a new way to capitalize on social media, referral marketing and capture their customer in the process. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving, 2013

We hosted Thanksgiving this year and had my mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law join us.  It was small and almost perfect.  I say "almost" perfect because my eldest son couldn't make it and stayed back in LA to work (and have Thanksgiving with the other side of his family). 

The next day my cousin stopped by with her family and the kids had a blast playing with them.  Charlotte had a ton of fun with her girl cousin dressing up in different outfits.  My favorite is her as "Alice" from Alice in Wonderland.

I'm so overwhelmed with thanks for all I have almost daily but it's always good to dedicate a day, weekend or an entire month to reminding yourself how fortunate you are.  I have so much to be thankful for and I'm most thankful for my family and that we are all healthy.

Our dinner table (and it was gorgeous weather!):

Charlotte in one of her many costumes the next day: