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

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!

Usually barefoot, always thinking and forever grateful,
Jaime

Connect with CCC; we’d be grateful!
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On Thanksgiving, I’m Thankful for #GivingTuesday

I’ve posted before about many things I’m thankful for, from trail running to espresso. (Yes, they go together.) On this Thanksgiving Day, I want to mention one more — #GivingTuesday.

Related Reading: 50 Things I’m Grateful For  |  50 (More) Things I’m Grateful For

GivingTuesday is a movement to start a national day of giving to kick off the generous Holiday season. It’s celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following popular shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday. After you score some crazy deals this year, why not give back?

#GivingTuesday is December 3, 2013

When I heard about this awesome movement last year, I decided to become a social media ambassador to help spread the word. It was a wonderful feeling to be a (very small) part of such an amazing cause. In its debut, GivingTuesday prompted more than 10 million in online donations, a 53% increase over the Tuesday after Thanksgiving of the previous year. More than 50 million people helped spread the word about this new movement, and over 2,500 recognized partners in all 50 states came together to make it happen.

In 2013, GivingTuesday has grown even more, with over 7,800 partners at the time of this publication. Companies, brands and individuals are all coming forward, asking what they can do to make a difference.

The Chucks (and I) at the Red Cross

My #UNselfie — the Chucks and I donating platelets and plasma at the Red Cross.

What can you do?

–> Post an #UNselfie! Selfie may be the word of the year in 2013, but you can stand out by posting a picture of yourself doing good. The point? Let others know why you’re giving or show us your giving in action. Upload your picture of giving to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and tag it #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday to be part of the movement.

–> Spread the word! Head to GivingTuesday.org to get involved and let others know that you’re on board for this growing movement. Share exciting news and tips with your social networks, talk to your family and friends and let your favorite companies and brands know how easy it is to get involved. GivingTuesday partners will enjoy giving back while also reaping the benefits of positive public relations and corporate goodwill.

–> Give! Your time, money, expertise and efforts all add up to a big win. Donate to your favorite charity in honor of GivingTuesday. Help out at the local food pantry or make an appointment to donate blood or platelets at the Red Cross. It’s amazing what happens when we all do our part. Make sure to let others know what you’re doing! We want to capture the world’s attention on this special day, so tag your posts with #GivingTuesday to be part of the worldwide conversation.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”                                               –Sir Winston Churchill

Now enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends while remembering what you’re thankful for. I’m thankful that so many will join us on Tuesday, December 3rd to give back — an effort that unites us all.

Join Us

How will you be joining the GivingTuesday movement?

What’s your #UNselfie look like? Feel free to link to your #UNselfie or #GivingTuesday efforts so we can check them out!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving day food? 🙂

GivingTuesday banner and statistics courtesy of GivingTuesday.org

Feeling thankful,
Jaime

Connect with CCC on #GivingTuesday and beyond… 
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Who’s Your Biggest Fan?

my mom and I

My mom’s always been my biggest fan, but for once I was able to help her. Pinning on her corsage at my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding two years ago.

(Ed. note: It seems like Thursday is a more popular day for reading blogs than Fridays, so I’m changing the CCC blog publishing schedule. Posts will now appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays (instead of Fridays), so please update your calendars – and reading plans – accordingly. 🙂)

After posting a somewhat pessimistic post earlier this week (but ultimately positive, really), I felt like I should balance it with a much more optimistic subject. As I was scrolling through my WordPress Reader, I came across the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Cheering Section. This image immediately came to mind.

Why? My mom has always been my #1 fan. (I’m a lucky lady; my brother comes in a close second here. :)) She may not understand why I do something (like starting my business) or wholeheartedly agree with what I do, but she’s always behind me 100%. I hate to say that sometimes I take that for granted, but I think we all do.

I love this picture, because I’m helping her, as opposed to the other way around. It was taken by the excellent photographer at my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding two years ago. The female members of the wedding party were finishing up getting ready and my mom came in to see if we needed anything. I’m pinning her corsage on her (and no, I didn’t stab her). If any of you who know me wonder where my (lack of) height comes from, notice that my mom and I are the same height. 🙂 I have a lot of things to be grateful for, but my mom’s at the top of my list.

So who’s your biggest fan(s)? The person (or people) who always have your back? Your cheering section? The ones who will root for you no matter what?

I’d love to hear your thoughts below. It made me smile to write this post, and I’m sure it will make you smile (if only for a moment) to acknowledge your biggest fan (even if you’re having a bad day).

Always proud to be Dixie’s daughter,
Jaime

Speaking of fans, connect with me… 
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50 (More) Things I’m Grateful For…

It’s been too long. I’ve had it in my mind to write this post since I published my first 50 Things I’m Grateful For… post last year. I kept finding cool things to blog about, and before I knew it, more than a year had passed. So here goes…

I’m grateful for (take 2)…

The sun sets on Lock 3

     

I love classic cars 

Wilson -- my idea generator

water view

Alright, so there’s my second list of 50 things I’m grateful for. (If you want to browse the first list, here you go.)

Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear about what you’re grateful for! No matter how tough life gets, we can all be grateful for something. Share your list (however big or small) in the comments below, hit me up on a social network or tag me in your blog post.  Cheers!

Grateful & blessed,
Jaime

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I’m grateful for… “I have an app for that.”

Save anywhere with Pocket

I recently read a blog post by Lifehacker asking readers what free apps they are most thankful for this year. That’s when I realized how much I utilize apps to make my life, both personal and professional, run smoothly. What are your favorite apps (paid or free)?

Here are 7 apps that have become a part of my regular routine (in alphabetical order):

  •  Dropbox — this awesome app allows me to access my files anywhere from any of my devices. Also, it’s an easy way to collaborate on projects due to its sharing capabilities. Dropbox was a life saver when I was working on a printing project with a customer in China earlier this year and working with large art files that needed several revisions.
  • Evernote — my favorite note-taking app! I use Evernote daily for work and play. From keeping a running shopping list to making note of possible gift ideas, this app is easy to use and share with others. In fact, it’s my app of choice for gathering quotes, successful case studies and ideas from events that I work for clients.

  • ING Direct — I love banking with ING, who was recently bought by Capital One and is becoming Capital One 360. I’m crossing my fingers that they, and their app, won’t change for the worse (which I’m sure it won’t). I love being able to check my account balances, pay bills, transfer money, find an ATM, cash checks and more from the convenience of my phone — anywhere at any time.
  • Mint.com — my financial snapshot at my fingertips. Plug in your accounts so you can easily keep an eye on your finances — loans, investments, checking and savings, mortgage, etc. If it affects your finances, it’s there. Budget, see where you spend your money and save for those goals, like that vacation on a tropical island.

mint.com app

  • MyFitnessPal — this app allows me to track calories, fat, sugar, sodium, etc. and view a snapshot for the day, week or month. Enter your exercise as well, so you can see your net calorie intake and stay on track fitness-wise. The database has thousands of foods already entered, or you can enter your own, like my legendary peanut butter cream pie. Remember, a sound body means a sound mind too.
  • Pocket — I’m always coming across interesting headlines or intriguing websites right as it’s my turn to check out, a lunch appointment shows up or the light turns green. No problem, I just save it to my Pocket. This handy app lets you save favorites for viewing later on any device and share easily to social networks or non-social friends as well (i.e. text messaging, email).

Save anywhere with Pocket

  • Pulse — It’s 2012 and my newspaper is now on the Web, customized to me. Stay up-to-date on the latest news anywhere via any one of your devices, and easily share what interests you to your social networks or save for reading later when you’re stuck in line. Create pages so you can flip through content similar to the sections in a physical newspaper; only now, you create the sections, specify the content and don’t have to recycle the paper later.

So if you run into me in the real world while I’m on my phone, I’m probably using one of these apps. They’re game changers, and they have improved my life for the better.

What apps have found a permanent place in your life? I’d love to hear your favorites! While you’re at it, remember to be thankful for some other things in your life too.

You might also like: 50 Things I’m Grateful For…

Image credits: Evernote, Mint.com, Pocket

Be Thankful,
Jaime

50 Things I’m Grateful For…

Courtesy of Searchquotes.com

I came across a post recently talking about things the author was grateful for. What a great idea! In our busy lives, oftentimes we allow ourselves to get mired in the frustrations and minor inconveniences of the day-to-day grind. Below are 50 things that I’m very grateful for… what are yours?

1) Waking up this morning with no alarm
2) Seeing the beautiful sunshine today
3) Technology that allows me to work without being tethered to a desk all of the the time
4) A fantastic group of friends, some of whom I met in elementary school
5) Working for myself
6) Finishing my first half-marathon (and soon, my second)
7) My brother who always (well, almost always) let me tag along
8) The amazing people I’ve gotten to know in the industry I work in
9) Being American and enjoying all of its freedoms
10) My Little Miss Sunshine mug

11) My first home, which I’ll forever love no matter where I move
12) The best parents I could ever ask for
13) Watching the Kentucky Derby from the infield
14) Sky diving
15) Swimming in the ocean
16) My Italian roots
17) Martinis in a bag!
18) Piggy back rides on the Vegas Strip
19) Lounging on the beach at Hilton Head
20) Being able to give back

“Being grateful is a good way to end your day. Not in a repressive way, more like a celebration. To life. To the living.”               ~Unknown

21) My time at Kent State University
22) Things that make me laugh
23) Hiking in Hocking Hills State Park
24) Sports, every last one of them
25) Books and books and books…
26) Casablanca on the big screen
27) Catching an Aeros game at Canal Park
28) My love of the outdoors
29) Maya Angelou for speaking her mind
30) Elvis for changing music forever

31) The Bible
32) Dropping out of the corporate rat race
33) Running through Hardesty Park
34) Watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve
35) Experiencing and participating in the Pay It Forward experience
36) On Writing by Stephen King (what a mind!)
37) Religious freedom
38) A steaming hot caramel latte
39) Sitting by my fireplace watching the flames
40) All the little princesses & monsters at my door on Halloween

41) That Garth Brooks concert so many years ago…
42) Kind words and well wishes
43) Watching the *famous* sunset in Naples, FL
44) God’s incredible grace
45) Turtle soup
46) Homeless shelters, especially Haven of Rest & ACCESS, who help people get back on their feet
47) Evernote for capturing my random thoughts no matter where I am
48) Lounging on my back patio while listening to my water feature and nature
49) The Ten Commandments
50)  Michael J. Fox for his courage and bringing much needed attention to a great cause

There’s my 50… what are yours? I would love to hear from you! This is a great exercise to remember everything good that you have in your life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there!
Jaime