On Thanksgiving, We’re Thankful For…

As Thanksgiving nears, we’re reminded of so many reasons to be thankful.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

We started a tradition in 2012 to post a list of 50 Things We’re Grateful For… during each summer as one simple way to keep gratitude near and dear to our hearts. While we won’t duplicate those efforts in this post, we did want to share a few things that we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving.

#GivingTuesday is a national day of giving to kick off the generous holiday season. After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, think about supporting your favorite charity or cause. Then, see how you can get more involved during the rest of the year. What’s your favorite charity or cause? Let us know in the comments below!

On Thanksgiving, I’m Thankful for #GivingTuesday

Our awesome clients and the CCC community make us smile every day. We appreciate every project, referral, comment, like, share and reader! We’re thankful to work with so many wonderful people who are doing good. If you’re reading this post, say hello!

50 Things I’m Grateful For… Summer 2016 Edition

We’re looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

How do you celebrate?
What are you thankful for?
What’s your favorite charity or cause?

Usually smiling & always thankful,
Chef Jaime

Let’s chat (about what you’re thankful for, your marketing needs or otherwise):
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50 Things I’m Grateful For… Summer 2016 Edition

The days are getting longer, baseball’s back and it’s time for the annual listing of 50 things I’m grateful for. This tradition started back in 2012 and is a post that I look forward to all year.

I’d love for you to add your list to the comments or share your blog post with us, so we can read and share everyone’s lists.

50 Things I’m Grateful For… Summer 2016 Edition

 

  • crushed red pepper
  • Gnome, Penelope & Mojo (CCC’s hard-working staff!)
  • home sweet home
  • chiropractors
  • a sunny afternoon
  • espresso (fueling CCC since 2012)
  • newspapers and journalists
  • vegetarian enfrijoladas
  • awesome clients (who pay promptly)
  • Netflix
  • touchscreen laptops
  • WiFi
  • the power of social media (when used for social good)
  • patios on summer days
  • Grease

 

 

  • laughter and conversation
  • travel, business or pleasure
  • quality design
  • daydreaming
  • handwritten cards and notes
  • adult coloring books
  • my nephew
  • CCC’s online community
  • getting lost in a good book
  • a platform to publish
  • furry friends
  • unplugging
  • fun socks
  • friends & family
  • a night at the ballpark

 

That’s my list on May 24, 2016! What are you grateful for today?

Usually smiling & always grateful,
Jaime

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50 Things I’m Grateful For… Summer 2015 Edition

The author enjoying small talk at a conference.

It’s time, once again, for our annual tradition on the CCC blog. Each year, I list 50 unique “things” that I’m currently grateful for. While I’m grateful every day, it’s helpful to write down a list every now and then. I encourage you to try it! Write your own blog post or share your list in the comments below.

Here we go, 2015 edition:

1) Biting into fresh watermelon
2) A steaming hot latte, even on a hot, summer day
3) Emoji — a universal language that has graduated to the business world
4) My quirks & imperfections
5) Coloring
6) That Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood concert not that long ago…

7) Christmas
8) A good trail to run
9) Zip-lining and high ropes courses
10) Burning candles and a roaring fire in the fireplace
11) Getting lost in a good book
12) The dark
13) The beauty of nature

Just another day in paradise... 🌅 Nature in the city.

A post shared by Jaime Shine (@jaimeshine) on

14) Dirt track racing
15) Scheduling my platelets donations through an app
16) Learning something new
17) Family (blood or not)
18) Art & design
19) Bruce, my first food sculpture (and event planning)

20) Keeping score at a ballgame
21) My brother, sister-in-law & soon-to-arrive Baby Shine!
22) The power of knowledge
23) Mental math
24) Andy Warhol
25) Catching a movie on the big screen
26) Small businesses (and the people who start them!)
27) My wanderlust spirit

28) Hope & second chances
29) God, and his (or her?) glory
30) Music, especially live
31) Clients who pay on time
32) My ever-running mind, even when I want an off switch
33) Whiteboards

34) Adventures
35) Golden Flashes
36) The thrill of crossing the finish line
37) Flexibility
38) Fellow bloggers (Ahh The Simple Life, Lance Wyllie & Sage Doyle to name a few)
39) CCC’s 3rd anniversary

40) Cheez-It Crunch’d (my new favorite snack)
41) Growing up in the 80s
42) My parents
43) Laughing out loud
44) Strong women

45) JAWS
46) Typewriters
47) Mad Men (& women)
48) Wedding soup
49) Generation X
50) Chucks

There’s my list on a beautiful Friday afternoon. We’d love to hear what you’re grateful for!

Usually barefoot, always grateful,
Jaime

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9 Ways You Can Help Those In Need #allin1day

I give because I can.

Did you know?

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.*
  • The Red Cross has won three Nobel Peace Prizes, in 1917, 1944 and 1963.^
  • In 2013, the international Red Cross movement provided food aid for more than 6.7 million people and essential household and hygiene items for over 3.4 million people.`
  • The ICRC’s (International Committee of the Red Cross) water, sanitation and construction projects benefitted some 28.7 million people in 2013.`

Please join us in going #allin1day to help the Red Cross deliver essential aid to those in need.

How can you help?

I gave whole blood for six years before learning that I was an ideal platelets donor, which I moved to three years ago. I don’t give in memory or honor of a specific person, although it is amazing when you meet people who have needed platelets — cancer patients, car accident survivors or organ transplant recipients, to name a few.

Go all in with us on June 2, 2015.

CCC is in. Are you?

I give because I can, and I hope that if I ever need platelets, someone will give for me.

p.s. Did you know the Red Cross has several apps, including one for blood and platelets donations?

Statistics sources: *American Red Cross  ^International Business Times  `ICRC Annual Report

Pay It Forward,
Jaime

Let’s chat (on the Red Cross, Paying It Forward or otherwise):
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I’m Thankful For… Unplugging & Reconnecting

“Don’t be a jerk. Try to love everyone. Give more than you take. And do it despite the fact that you only really like about seven out of 500 people.”  –Judd Apatow

As a country, America tends to be cynical and polarized, impatient and angry. Maybe it’s our roots. Maybe it’s our lifestyle. Whatever it is, let’s put it all aside for one day. Let’s unplug and reconnect with those close to us, be patient and understanding with strangers we meet. Guess what? If you’re running to the grocery store on Thanksgiving morning, EVERYONE is in a hurry. Trust me, it’s not just you.

happiness_ernohannink_flickr

My Thanksgiving tradition begins early, rising before daylight in order to get ready to run a Turkey Trot. (It makes me feel better later when I’m enjoying a slice of my decadent peanut butter cream pie.) After running in the cold, I stop in a Starbucks on my trip South to see family for a steaming hot latte. It helps perk me up for the day ahead.

Last year, I was surprised when the barista who took my order told me that she volunteered to work Thanksgiving morning. Her goodwill earned her a hall pass from having to come in that night (when her family gets together) and serve the energized Black Friday crowd. Plus, she mentioned that everyone was in a good mood and even tipped more.

Maybe there’s something to that. Maybe there’s an extra sense of gratitude in the air on Thanksgiving Day, some added patience that helps you smile and forgive a stranger’s transgressions.

Whatever it is, let’s follow its lead. Smile at strangers. Wish them a happy Thanksgiving. Gently steer your drunk uncle in another direction when he starts talking politics. Don’t rip distracted Aunt Hilda a new one for forgetting her expected contribution AGAIN. And if you head out — to a store or restaurant or Starbucks, be nice to the workers. They’re spending their Thanksgiving serving you, and that’s something to be thankful for.

Everyone’s not fortunate enough to have a warm place to go on Thanksgiving. If you or someone you know is hurting this Holiday season, our friends at TED have pulled together information on where you can find a warm Thanksgiving meal near you

Join the Conversation

What’s your Thanksgiving tradition?

What’s your favorite food on your Thanksgiving menu?

What are you thankful for this year?

p.s. I’m spending Thanksgiving Day with family and friends (for which I’m thankful), so there won’t be a blog post on Thursday. If you’re looking for reading material, check out the I’m Grateful For… series. I’ll see you again on Tuesday, December 2nd, to talk about social media and selling. Same bat time, same bat channel!

p.p.s. Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian, Liberian, Grenadian and Norfolk Islander friends who have already celebrated. Yep, it’s not just a U.S. Holiday.

Incredibly thankful and eternally grateful,
Jaime

We’d be thankful if you’d join our conversation. 
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Celebrate Your Safety: Thank A First Responder Today

Tomorrow is July 4th, and people all over the US are looking forward to a fun holiday weekend. By all means, celebrate. As Americans, we have so much to be grateful for that we often overlook in the day-to-day monotony of life.

Thank a firefighter. They shoulder a heavy load.

As you’re celebrating the 4th of July this weekend, thank a first responder. They put their life on the line for others every day. // “Courage” by Kara B via CC BY ND 2.0

But please be safe. Before you do something questionable or stupid, remember that you’re putting others at risk too. Every day, hundreds of thousands of first responders around the country (and millions around the world) risk life and limb to rescue people from harrowing situations.

I have the privilege of working with some amazing first responders, specifically firefighters and EMS professionals. What they do on a regular basis is incredible, and the majority of them are volunteers or paid little. That’s right: they risk their lives to save yours, and they’re not even paid for it (or not nearly enough). 

So as you’re watching the local 4th of July parade or enjoying the community fireworks, look around. There will be first responders there making sure that everything’s running smoothly and ready to act if anything goes wrong.

Shake a hand. Tip your cap. Say thank you. They deserve it.

Any first responders in the CCC audience? Chime in! Let us know how you serve. And thank you for your service!

Have a safe and happy 4th!
Jaime

While you’re celebrating, get social with CCC!

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50 Things I’m Grateful For… Summer 2014 Edition

It’s become an annual tradition at the CCC blog to list 50 unique “things” that I’m currently grateful for. It makes me think and reminds me how blessed I am. The first 50 Things I’m Grateful For post published in May 2012, a month after the blog started, and was an immediate hit. The follow-up post, 50 (More) Things I’m Grateful For, debuted in July of last year. Combined, the posts have generated over 80 responses and interactions. I would love for you to join in the fun and add your list to the comments or on your own blog.

Here we go, 2014 edition:

1) Working, reading or relaxing on the hammock in my back yard
2) My reusable cup from Starbucks (and the espresso that goes in it)
3) Cool clients
4) New opportunities
5) How everything tends to work out in the long run
6) A beautiful summer day
7) My parents
8) Technology that allows me to work virtually anywhere
9) Netflix — so I can watch my favorite 80s shows!
10) Boots and flip flops

11) Muscle cars (late 60s/early 70s are the best)
12) Learning how to rig, fix and “make things work”
13) The number 13, which has always been a favorite of mine (along with black cats)
14) Catching a ball game at the park on a summer day (and keeping score)
15) Four Days in October (the best ESPN 30 for 30 ever)
16) The American Red Cross for saving lives and giving people hope
17) My strong platelet count, which allows me to help others
18) Clean drinking water (which so many people around the world need)
19)  Animal prints
20) Trails to run on

21) New Balance for making running shoes that fit my w  i  d  e  feet
22) Nail polish in every color
23) Those moments that become memories
24) A sense of humor
25) Tree houses
26) City water & sewer (greatest advancement in my lifetime!)
27) Sports… to watch, root for, analyze and discuss
28) The opportunity to help others
29) The dog I’m finally going to adopt
30) My business

31) Listening to the waterfall in my back yard
32) Planting flowers and landscaping
33) Creating (projects, art, campaigns, marketing collateral, stories, etc.)
34) Firefighters, EMS personnel and first responders
35) Different perspectives, opinions and points of view
36) Our local homeless shelter (and so much more)
37) Planes — for opening up a whole, new world to us (especially the one that will take me to Italy one day)
38) The ability to think
39) Swings at the local park
40) Vegetarian enfrijoladas

Enfrijoladas with egg, avocado and onion from Chef Jaime at la casa de Shine. #vegetarian #foodie

A post shared by Jaime Shine (@jaimeshine) on

41) A tasty mojito on a patio
42) A good book that teaches, inspires or draws you into another world
43) Felt tip pens and notebooks
44) Dry erase boards and sticky notes
45) My Citizen Eco-Drive watch that keeps me on time (well, as much as it can)
46) Random acts of kindness
47) Fresh fruits and vegetables
48) My blender that whips up some delicious green smoothies
49) Gorgeous sunsets
50) My climbing ability (necessary when you’re ‘fun-sized’)

There’s my 50. What are yours? Chime in below or share your list on your blog. With all of the negativity in the world, let’s talk about what we’re grateful for!

The feel of fresh cut grass between your toes... #WHPappreciateEarth #countrygirl #nature #spring #barefoot

A post shared by Jaime Shine (@jaimeshine) on

Usually barefoot, always thinking and forever grateful,
Jaime

Connect with CCC; we’d be grateful!
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And The Award Goes To…

CCC is excited to accept its second award for this blog — The Butterfly Light Award — from Sage Doyle, author of The Journal of Wall Grimm and guest blogger extraordinaire.Thanks, Sage!

Image

This award is given to those who are using their blog to spread light or be a positive influence in today’s world. We’re honored to accept this award, because we’re big believers in helping others, bringing a smile to people’s faces and Paying It Forward. With every post, we’re aiming to help business professionals and small business owners with their marketing, writing and social media efforts while also reflecting on life, lessons learned and what moves us as human beings. If one person walks away from reading a post with more knowledge, an idea for her business or a smile on his face, we’ve done our job. If we’ve accomplished one of these goals with you, please chime in and let us know about it! What post(s) or type of post(s) are your favorite?

Now comes the hard part: choosing who we will bestow this award upon. We appreciate the entire CCC community for your loyal reading, continuing the conversation with your keen insights and comments and sharing our posts with your networks. When thinking about what this award stands for, one reader quickly came to mind.

Rich Mistkowski of Proforma ROI Marketing

Rich is a small business owner, volunteer firefighter, husband and dad. He and his wife, Lisa, are blessed with two great kids, including Mattie, who has Down Syndrome. The family is active in promoting Down Syndrome awareness and supporting the Special Olympics. As a volunteer firefighter of 30+ years, Rich has been involved in numerous fundraisers, charity benefits and helping out those in need. He’s truly one of the good guys, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with him for the past year. Congratulations Rich, you deserve it!

Image

Rich and Mattie hang out at Mattie’s favorite place — the fire station. Mattie wants to be the first firefighter with Down Syndrome. Go, Mattie!
(Photo courtesy of Rich Mistkowski)

 

“I’m blessed to have Mattie as my son. “It never ceases to amaze me about the impact that Mattie has on people. He seems to be able to bring something out in people that I’ll never understand, but always marvel at.”  –Rich Mistkowski

Thank you to Belinda for creating this award to promote positivity and helping others.

Cheers,
Jaime

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What is the Pay It Forward movement all about?

Pay It Forward

How are you celebrating Pay It Forward Day 2014?
Pic credit: PIF Experience

Happy International Pay It Forward Day 2014! While we’re all better off paying it forward regularly, having an official day helps bring attention to this worthy movement.

So what is the Pay It Forward movement all about? Watch this TEDTalk by Charley Johnson, founder of the official group behind the global Pay It Forward movement and head of the Pay It Forward Foundation.

Are you inspired?

Here’s some of the ways that CCC pays it forward. How are you paying it forward in your community (or around the world)?

For more information on the global Pay It Forward movement, please visit the Pay It Forward Experience website.

A PIF believer,
Jaime

Pay It Forward — connect with CCC:
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Make A Ripple… And Change The World

A ripple. It’s not much by itself. But it’s amazing what happens as more and more ripples gather together: they cause change. Whether you’re trying to make the world a better place, become healthier or advance your career, small acts and minor decisions do matter.

Hocking Hills Resevoir

Enough ripples can become a tidal wave.

We love dramatic reveals after makeovers, watching contestants reshape their bodies on the Biggest Loser and seeing people use a financial windfall to do good. The only problem is that these situations aren’t relevant for 99% of us, so we feel helpless. 

But we can make a difference — in our own lives, our communities and even the world. The key is to make small changes and commit small acts. They’re sustainable, we can incorporate them into our lifestyles and they add up to make a big difference.

What if every person recycled one plastic bottle a month? Would our landfills be lighter? What if you replaced one sugary drink with a glass of water daily? Would you be healthier? Think about this: If you replace one 12 oz can of soda with water every day, you’d save 51,100 calories a year and lose about 15 pounds. (Source)

It goes beyond your physical health. Has someone made your day recently with a small act of kindness? Maybe they held the door when your hands were full or let you pull out during the busy commute home. Or perhaps a co-worker brought you a coffee one morning or a friend made a minor repair to your car. Isn’t the power of kindness amazing?

Apparently, it doesn’t just make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. More and more evidence points to kindness actually making us healthier in a number of ways. Learn more in an insightful blog post, The Science of Kindness: How It Makes Us Healthier, on Ahh The Simple Life. You can also read more about the power of kindness and discover fun, easy ideas to pay it forward here.

At CCC, we’re big believers in the Pay It Forward movement and try to make a difference every day. We’re not making million dollar donations or ending poverty (we wish we could), but we are saving lives by donating platelets and volunteering our time and talents.

What small act are you committing to make a difference in your own life or your community? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below to help inspire others to join the movement and make our world a better place.

p.s. Need a reason to smile? Search the #PayItForward or #UNselfie hashtag on your favorite social platform to read about the good going on in the world. (Add your own story!)

Paying it forward,
Jaime

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