To this day…

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Well, the eve of Christmas is here, and before I have my nightly Earl Grey (with just  a touch of lemon), thought I would pop in and give a greeting to those who may still be up. Not a bad day today, slow work in the morning, shopping for the next few days taken care of, and topped it off with a early evening dinner with a small gathering at sister’s house.

I hope that everyone’s day had some pleasant moments in it, and that they to get to curl up with a nice hot cup of Earl Grey or hot cocoa.

See you soon.

 

The colors of Christmas

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Some, who are reading this, may wonder why a black and white photo with no snow was chosen to be included in a blog post entitled “The colors of Christmas”. It’s really quite simple. For some, the season of Christmas brings no color at all, no fancy lights, or dinners or parties. No joyful trimming of the tree or waiting for presents to be received or to be given.

For some, this can be the darkest time of the year, when they may feel most alone. Now, there are some that revel in the loneliness and in some ways actually welcome it. For those individuals, this time of the year is not unlike any other time. Just another day in which to get things done while others are spending time with friends and family.

Yet, for most people who dread this time of the year. It is a 30 day reminder that they do not share this joyous time of the year with someone. No one special for them to sit with and enjoy the endless onslaught of Holiday movies, nor to share a hot cup of cocoa at the end of the day.

Well, if you find yourself reading this, and find yourself one of those individuals, no need to fret this year.

I, myself, have been one of “those people” for a few years now. In fact, this will be the eighth Christmas and New Years season I have spent alone, and am hear to say that, it may not be easy, but, you can make it to the new year.

Instead of focusing on the fact that I have no one special in my life right now with whom to share the holidays. I focus on myself. During an eleven month period, one can accumulate quite a lot of stuff. During the holiday season is, for me, the perfect time to reduce the “stuff” I have.

Old clothes go to the Salvation Army, old books go to the library, and I go through and clean out my “catch -all drawer” (and we know we all have one!). As a photographer of community events, I then go through my SD cards, drives, and pictures folders on all PC’s and devices, to make sure that they have all been categorized and uploaded to the cloud, so that they are readily available.

After that, I get into my own “Holiday Traditions” of watching “The Thin Man” with a nice cup of hot tea (with lemon), some chocolate chip cookies (is there really any other kind?!),and then settle in for the showing of the “Doctor Who Christmas Special”.

This year, however, I am adding a new tradition to the mix. And that is of being online. If you read my blogs, and I know there are not a lot of entries, if you find yourself not having anything to do this weekend, give me a shout-out.

We can email, exchange thoughts on movies, music, or just whatever. Just my way of saying that “no one should be alone on the Holidays”. Yep, sounds a bit cliché and a bit sappy. But, I will be here blogging all weekend and if you wish to chat, let me know in the comments.

Till then and make sure you are ready for this years “Doctor Who Christmas Special”, it comes on this Sunday (Christmas night) at 9:00 p.m. on BBC America.

 

Not the upper middle class yet, but..

Being a regular day to day worker in today’s economic arena, can be a challenge, and to some, it can be a daily struggle. Many are living “paycheck to paycheck” and that’s with the help of government benefits, while others, including those with a higher level of education are struggling to even find a job.

I am one of the few that have been lucky not only to secure employment, but most days, enjoy going into my workplace. There is comradery, teamwork, and when you least expect it, great fun to be had.

But, on to the real topic here, which is, living on a not so glamorous rate of pay. As most of us in the customer service field. Our salaries are not to be bragged about. No “fight for $15”. no union (for most of us), and lots and lots of hours!

The task for most of us is how to manage the income we do get from our daily employment to make our lives rewarding to us, allow us to enjoy the things we like to do and to do this without breaking the bank!

Although I am not rich by any means, I do manage to take care of my finances, and in turn, they take care of me.

Saving for a rainy day..

We have all heard the phrase “Save for a rainy day”. And for a number of us this is where the challenge starts. How can you put away any funds from your weekly paycheck, when you need every penny just to get buy? My answer: Open a checking and savings account.

I know, I know. Open a checking and savings account is not a way to save money. But, it actually can be. With most banks today, checking accounts come with a debit card. With the debit card and direct deposit, it makes it easier to track where your money is going on weekly basis.

Still not seeing the savings…

At the moment, you are probably not seeing the value of the checking account and debit card. But, these two, coupled with a savings account, can start to see savings within a 30 day period. Let’s do some math. You bring home (after taxes), an amount of $738.49.

Pay yourself first by transferring the $8.49 into your savings account. Now you have an even amount of $730.00 to work with! At the grocery store, you spend an amount of $75.18, leaving you a new total of $654.82, minus cell phone bill of $65.00, half-months rent of $240.00, and credit card payment of $160, leaves you a grand total of $189.82.! Transferring the $9.82 into your savings account gives you $18.31 that you didn’t realize you had.

You now have $180 left from your wages to cover gas, laundry, and other things that might pop up.

Oh! Now I see the savings!

What you make may be lower or higher than the figures I use here. But, the outcome can be the same. By using a savings account to balance your checking account to an even amount, can start to show a savings very quickly. I have been using this method, and now have a very comfortable savings amount. I have also been able to purchase a couple of penny stocks, and am now working on the purchase of mutual funds.

So, as I said, not in the upper middle class yet, but I keep plugging away at it everyday.  You can as well. Try it a little at a time, even saving a dollar can be a great start. as the old Nike commercials used to say – “Just Do It”!

 

 

A little late to be relaxing..but, oh well..

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Busy, busy week!

This weekend was a welcome one to see. It was nice to be able to take some time off and just take a nice stroll and have a relaxing day. Taking time to reflect on some recent changes and life happenings and all that kind of mental relaxation.

Just doing me (as the hip kids say..lol!)

Most importantly, took some time out and concentrated on making the best of my social media connections. About a month ago, LinkedIn allowed me to have a Premium Membership. And over the weekend that membership was used to reach out and connect with individuals in the fields of marketing and social media. The membership allowed me to send direct email to heads of social media and marketing departments in firms such as: SMG Venue Management, Rock and Roll Museum and Hall of Fame, and a couple of major movie studios. And when I did that, an amazing thing happened – positive replies were received back! Now, this is not an endorsement for LinkedIn, but I do have to say, that using direct email within a professional platform like LinkedIn, was pretty cool, if only for a while.

Using Social Media to be socially productive!

For me, this is what I have always thought social media was for. To reach out, be productive, and make contact with individuals in the career fields you are most interested in. And with the Internet making it easy to find the names of those who work in various fields, its a shame not to reach out to them. Even if you get no answer back, you have been bold enough to make the first move, and with some power-players, that bold move can not only get you noticed, but also help them to remember you.

Make sure they can see the real you.

So as you reach out to professional individuals no matter what platform you use,  be Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, or any other platform, be sure to present a professional look to not only yourself, but your content as well. Do you have to start deleting friends? No, rather instead focus your posts on the fields you are interested in, and maybe start a blog to increase your web presence. Be bold, but also be respectful as you reach out to professionals in the career fields you are interested in. You may be surprised as to who will answer you back.

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day and end to a very busy week!

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As we celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I find myself being deeply grateful that my own mother is still with me this year. I say that because she has had two minor strokes within a very short period of time but, with the grace of GOD, has recovered from both of them. Still needing a little physical therapy, but in control of her body, mind, and spirit. And for that, I can be truly happy.

As for myself, this week found me very busy with my business. Planning for and then covering events for clients and finding time for new clients as well.

Moving into summer here in the Port Huron area, brings with it many downtown festivals, parades, and concerts. The summer gets off to a start with the “Pine Groove Festival” at Pine Grove park on June 6th (if memory serves me right!) followed by “Art on the River” (June 14-15) a 2-day fair that highlights arts, artists,music, and crafts in our area. After a brief rest, we take off with our biggest and most well-known festival – The Blue Water Festival (July 8th – 12th) culminating with the Port Huron to Mackinaw Race that weekend!

And how many of these are my company covering?..well, let’s see..all of them!..lol. Working with various groups, we will be out there covering at least a portion of each event as it happens. And of course, we will be back here to let you all know how it went!

Stay tuned, I have a feeling it will be a very busy summer!

A tray of treats, some beer, and a fun derby day!

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Well, this was a full week for me. Thank goodness, that this week coming up is going to be a slow one! As a content marketer, I do my best to make sure that my clients events are covered so that they can provide photos or even video on their Facebook page. This past weekend, that was put to the test.

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There were two big events on the same day. A “home brew” beer tapping event at one end of my route and a Kentucky Derby Party at the other end. I will tell you that I am glad to have worn some comfortable shoes that day.

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Both events were a joy and much fun to cover for each restaurant, and gave me an opportunity to network and to meet other individuals that wanted to know about my business and that was, for me, a good thing!

As this week starts, it will be a needed change of pace for me, as only one client will be in “highlight-mode” for the week.

If you would like to see more photos of all the events from this weekend, you can just visit the DPHBRC Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dphbrc/1440194492885580 and if you would like to find out a bit more about my company, you can visit my Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/contentmarketingcreations

Thanks and have a great and wonderful week!

Charles

 

 

Cajun Gator

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New Client this week – the Cajun Gator in downtown Port Huron, Michigan! Funny story here, I had been in contact with the owner before and he was not sure if having a dedicated social media marketing person for the restaurant was the way to go. Well, on my way to see another possible client, I happened to pass by the restaurant where the owner proceeded to knock on the widow to get my attention, and as they say, “the rest is history’!

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As with all my other clients, this staff is a joy to work with and can only get better as time goes by! Oh, and the picture above? That was one of their dinner specials from the night the restaurant signed with the company. The dish is Blackened Beef & Lamb tips, and it was so good!

That is it for now, has been a super-busy week for me and time to get some rest, finish watching the Saturday feature movie on the SyFy network, and have some fudge brownies!