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Please join me in welcoming guest blogger, Kaitlin Gardner, from An Apple Per Day! She’s here with us today to share some quick tips and tricks for easy exercise routines for the busy, working mom. As a former half-marathon runner and avid yogi, the lack of exercise I get these days is a constant frustration. Admittedly, I’ve probably slacked off more than I needed to, and Kaitlin’s great tips have motivated me to make the most of what little time I may have to exercise and stay fit. I feel better emotionally and physically when I do, and a better me makes me a better mom!

Easy Exercise Plans for the Busy, Working Mom | Chaos & Kiddos

We’ve all heard the phrase, “killing two birds with one stone.” Well, for me, one of those “birds” is exercise and that “stone” is time: With one block of time, in fact, as little as thirty minutes, you can incorporate exercise into your day on a regular basis. Think you don’t have time? Too many kids? Too much work? Read on for more ideas on how to incorporate exercise into your busy life, complete with kids, house, yard, animals, work and all!

It’s a rare moment when I don’t have a full “to do” list bearing down on me. But it doesn’t stop me from squeezing in some exercise; in fact, the busier I get, the more protective of my exercise time I become. Why? Because, as another popular saying goes, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” So I suppose that the best trick to finding time to exercise is really no trick at all: it’s a choice to protect a little time every day for exercise. Think of it as an important appointment that all other tasks must be scheduled around. Once you have chosen to make some amount of exercise part of every day, even 15 minutes of stretching, you are half-way there.

Back to Two Birds, One Stone

Once you’ve made the decision to exercise regularly, give yourself the best chance of success by finding clever ways to incorporate it into your regular (busy) routine. One of my favorite tricks for blending a busy life and exercise is by overlapping my exercise time with something enjoyable, which takes my mind off the to-do list. Occasionally, I steal away a few moments to really be present in my workout, but for me, at least while my kids are young, exercise is a means to an end. That said, here are a few of my favorite ways to get all the jobs done.

Embrace Modern Technology – Indoors and Out!

First, I set my DVR to record automatically the two or three shows each week that I absolutely don’t want to miss. When I’m ready to hit the treadmill or do some yoga and stretching, I turn on the TV in our game room and not only do I exercise while watching my favorite program, but the time flies! In fact, I’ve noticed that I exercise longer, on average, when I’m doing it while watching the TV!

For outdoor activity, don’t forget the smartphone. In addition to letting the music serve as your distraction while you log the laps, try tuning into a local talk show, TED talk, or podcast (downloadable to your phone for listening at your convenience). When I’m distracted by listening to an engaging conversation or my favorite music on my wireless workout headphones, I’m motivated to run or walk for far longer than I would have without them. Need dinner ideas? Find a cooking podcast and find out what’s for dinner while you garden!

If you have a backyard pool, and children, chances are you spend a considerable amount of time supervising. Aqua aerobics is a great way to build muscle tone and burn calories while the kids are having their fun splashing around you. Water’s natural resistance will give simple leg lifts and arm circles in chest deep water a whole new meaning!

Outside Watering the Flowers? Don’t Just Stand There!

For the Calves

Keep a cinder block or brick in the area where you normally stand, or near where you are watering. Stand on the block and the balls of your feet and lower your heels to the ground, then back up. If balance is an issue, place the brick near a post or fence; just one or two fingers on a stationary object is plenty to keep you balanced. Doing three sets of 12 of these, three days a week will do wonders for your calves!

Squats and Lunges for the Upper Legs

For a great upper legs and butt workout while the planters are filling, do three sets of ten squats or lunges. Walk a line of lunges around your garden or yard, or stay in place.

For When You Have a Little More Time…

If you have a little more time on your hands to truly get into the exercise moment, so to speak, but joining a gym is out of the question, don’t worry; with most cable packages today, there are exercise channels that feature 24-hour yoga, Zumba, or aerobics workouts that you can watch in the privacy of your own home, and without the travel time. Just set the DVR and then tune in when it’s convenient for you.

Remember, getting into shape starts in your mind: Make a decision to do it and then use the resources that are at your finger (and toe) tips! No need for a special wardrobe, monthly dues or traveling across town.

 

Kaitlin_HeartKaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.

 

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Tricia the Good Mama

    September 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    This is great! I’m pinning so I can make sure to try out these exercises.

  2. Savanna McCurry

    September 17, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Great post!! I am definitely a working Mom in need of more exercise!!

    • Katy Blevins

      September 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      As I catch up on comments and come to this post, Savanna…yeah, reminded I need to pick this charge back up again!!! Still not using my little bits of time like I should most days.

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6 Tips to Develop a Successful Holiday Email Marketing Campaign

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Guess what? The holidays are upon us. This means gifts, trips and time with family, friends and loved ones. But it also means, one other thing. Tis the season to go shopping. Fa la la la, la la la laaa.

Many family-centric businesses are on the verge of launching their email marketing campaigns based around the concept of family, love and unity.

While those themes always resonate with almost everyone, more of than not, it is that sense of ubiquity that actually works against these campaigns. After all, every business seems to be doing the same thing by trying to emulate the aforementioned feelings in their target audience. Which is why, only the brands that are smart about devising these holiday themed emails get to benefit from them.

Doing so does not require very special arrangements either. A few steps could take those campaigns from being just another email marketing tactic to something which truly strikes a chord with their target audience.

The experts at email marketing platform MyEmma have created a list of such 6 steps that have the power to turn a standard email marketing campaign into a success story that is filled with positive customer responses, and the potential to transcend to real world conversions.

Here are the 6 tips that could help you create an unforgettable holiday marketing campaign that would help you recruit families as consistent customers.

  1. Focus on Segmentation

The first and foremost action is to know your audience. Segment them properly, and start by rolling out special emails to your primes spenders and those who visit your website through your emails often. Showcase the most exciting offers that you have got, and how those offers set you apart from your competitors.

  1. Provide Valuable Content

When it comes to marketing, content is the uncontested king. You need to make sure that your marketing email is interesting and captivating. Create copy that is in line with your business approach and the offers that you have in place at the moment.

  1. Include Your Customer on the Gift List

Instead of going with the act of purchasing gifts for others, make sure that you make your individual customer feel special by creating gift lists for their own selves. This would ensure that individual customers feel special and more inclined to use your services, since it would have told them that you care about them.

  1. Leverage the Relationship

Reminding your customers about how long have you been together is another way to create marketing campaigns that would evoke a response. Make sure to include a few “loyalty gifts” offers in these emails, so your customers can know that they haven’t bring the shorter end of the stick in terms of discounts by not being a new customer.

  1. Be Playful

Make sure to channel that holiday spirit within your email and be playful with your content and your overall tone. By instilling that certain personality into your email, you can strike a connection with your customers that could lead them towards actually enjoying your whole holiday marketing campaign.

  1. Be Clever with Your Sales Send

Every business sends email marketing campaigns during the holidays. You can comprehend this by knowing that $3 billion was spent on marketing emails budget in the holiday season of 2017. Seeing this, you need to set yourself apart from the crowd to actually be able to utilize the success from this medium. Therefore, make sure that your pitch is different from others and something which makes you stand out from your competitors.

By following these tips, you can make sure to run a holiday email marketing campaign that would have the most bang for your buck while getting multiple families to become your long-term customers.

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Tech

Applications for Synthetic Industrial Diamonds

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Synthetic diamonds from http://www.e6.com/ can either be polycrystalline or monocrystalline. Monocrystalline diamond grits are mainly used for demanding applications. They can either be cubo-octahedral or cubic in shape.

Polycrystalline diamond grits, on the other hand, are distinctly friable. These diamonds have an undefined geometric shape.

As the hardest known substance, diamonds are used in cutting and machine tools. Synthetic diamonds are used to wear away, polish, and cut any material, as well as, other diamonds. The main industrial applications of diamonds are for making diamond-tipped saws and drill bits. Diamond powder is used as an abrasive.

Synthetic diamonds have many industrial applications including:

Optical Material

Diamond’s thermal expansion has a low coefficient. Diamond also has a high thermal conductivity, is hard, and chemically inert. It is these properties that make synthetic diamond a superior and viable window material for transmitting microwave and infrared radiation.

Diamond is actually replacing zinc selenide and is now widely being used as the output window of gyrotrons and CO2 lasers which are high-powered. The polycrystalline synthetic diamond windows have the shape of disks with a small thickness to minimize absorption.

Also, crystal slabs are increasingly being used in a number of optic applications among them heat spreaders inside diffractive optics, laser cavities, and in Raman lasers as the gain medium.

Single-crystalline diamond is now being used as a diffraction grating material in synchrotrons, which are high-powered radiation sources.

Thermal Conductor

Synthetic diamond has a high thermal conductivity and minimal electrical conductivity. The combination of these two properties is extremely useful for electronics in that, diamond is used mainly as a heat sink for the high-power transistors and laser diodes, and laser arrays. Effective heat dissipation extends the life of electronic devices. What’s more, the high cost of replacing electronics substantiates the use of the efficient although pricey diamond heat sinks.

When it comes to semiconductor technology, heat spreaders made using synthetic diamonds prevent semiconducting materials including silicon, from overheating.

Electronics

When doped with phosphorous, and boron, synthetic diamond can be used as a semiconductor. This is because the two elements have one less or one more valence electron compared to carbon, thus turning synthetic diamond into n-type or p-type semiconductor. The p-n junction produces LEDs (light-emitting diodes) that produce 235 nm of UV light.

The carrier mobility of a diamond is high and this is a useful property in that, the high mobility favors field-effect transistors and high-frequency operations. Diamond has exceptional dielectric properties because of its wide band gap. This combined with diamond’s mechanical stability, which is high makes it useful in power stations for high-power prototype switches.

Transistors made from synthetic diamond are now being produced in laboratories. These diamond transistors operate at higher temperatures than the silicon devices. The synthetic diamond transistors are also resistant to radiation and chemical damage.

Apart from having a wide bandgap, synthetic diamond is also radiation hard making it a powerful radiation detection tool.

Diamond lacks a native oxide that’s stable. This potentially creates access of UV radiation to active semiconductors without being absorbed in the surface layer. This property makes synthetic diamond a suitable material in applications like BOLD (Blind to the Optical Light Detectors) for VUV (Vacuum UltraViolet) solar observations. #syntheticdiamonds

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Tech

Dealing With Business Emergencies

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Dealing with a crisis is never something that you want to happen when it comes to your business, but of course, the unexpected can and does happen. This is why it’s important that you have a series of management strategies in place so that should the worst occur, you have a plan to follow that will not only minimize costs, but also ensure that you are able to resume business as quickly as possible. When an emergency happens, it’s key that you respond quickly and efficiently, no matter the situation, in order to protect your business, your employees, and your customers. In order to act as a guideline on how to manage those business emergencies, here’s a checklist of the possible issue that may arise, and how you should tackle them.

Cyber Attack

In the digital age, we’re all more connected than ever before. While this interconnectivity has been a massive boon for businesses, it has also lead to the rise of the cybercriminal, and businesses are often the first victims. This threat is why it’s so important that you have your software and hardware as protected as possible at all times. However, no system is foolproof, and employees are the most common reason why data breaches occur. Staff training on cyber-security basics can help, but having an active crisis plan in place will be essential. There are a number of templates available that will guide you to creating the best cyberattack plan, and being able to follow your guidelines will ensure that you recover from any breach quickly. While cyber attacks can severely damage a business, they do not need to destroy it completely, and having a crisis plan in place is the key to restarting your business and dealing with the damage that has occurred.

Environment nightmares

We spend a lot of time in the workplace, which is one of the reasons why there’s such value given to the notion of ‘health and safety.’ However, even the safest environment in the world is not safe from peripheral damages, and incidents like fires, leaks and faulty electrics are all areas that you need to assess regularly. In the case of any environmental issues, the priority is obviously safety, but you are also going to want to resume work as quickly as possible in order to continue providing the best service for your customers. The key here is to use professionals, as they can save you significant amounts of time and money, both of which are essential to your company. For example, using qualified electricians to repair any faulty wiring before it becomes an issue will save you from spending much more when compared to an electrical fire. Flooding is also a potential issue, especially after a bleak winter, and water damage can be particularly time-consuming to recover from. Using professionals to tackle commercial water damage restoration can save you a lot of time when it comes to recovery, so make sure that you have contact details close to hand, just in case.

Accidents in the workplace

Even if your work environment is office based, never underestimate the potential for workplace accidents. Injuries that happen at work can damage your business in a number of ways, not least of which is that of litigation. Costly court cases will seriously impact your work rate, and may even mean the end of your business. With everything from repetitive motion injuries to lost limbs, and even deaths all covered by the notion of workplace accidents, it’s clear that you need to prevent these incidents occurring in the first place. However, even the most robust of health and safety awareness programmes will not prevent every incident, and so the key to response will be the subsequent investigation. As well as your accident report book, you need to address how your response is managed because how you respond to injuries may make the difference both legally and professionally. Workplace accidents can be incredibly disruptive to the business at every stage, from the incident itself as people rush to help, and afterward if it comes to legal disruption. Tackling your health and safety procedures and keeping them updated with any legislation changes is vital when it comes to ensuring that workplace accidents are kept as limited as possible.

The key to recovering from an unexpected disruption in the workplace is having a strategy in place that can be easily followed and contains all of the relevant information that you need. While disruption is always going to affect your daily business management, it doesn’t need to be damaging to the point where you can no longer continue to run your company.

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