My Love Affair with Instagram

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Why I do This

I blog because I like to share stories, facts, and information that might help you.

Helping people and making people laugh are two gifts that I share with the world.  Every. Single. Day.

I do it at work.  At the grocery store. On the highway.  At Walmart. Here on the blog.  And on apps like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  [By the way, if you’re not already following me, I’d be extremely honored if would take the time to do so.  I promise to do my best to bring you only really good stuff. ]

If I drive you nuts, you have my permission to drop me like a hot potato.

No hard feelings.  Ever.

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Adios Starbucks! Hello Biggby!


biggby coffee rug

On a last-minute whim, I decided to grab a cup of coffee at Biggby’s this morning.

My last few experiences with Starbucks were bad.  Really bad.  So…I’ve pretty much written them off.

There’s a Biggby Coffee shop on my way to work and I stopped there a few weeks ago (for the very first time).  I’m a basic, strong coffee drinker.  With a big shot of half-and-half or cream.    None of those foo-foo drinks.  Just give me a nice strong cup of Joe, with a shot of moo-juice, okay?

Biggby makes a really nice French Roast coffee.  And I get a big cup of it for just $2.41 (tax included).

This morning was really warm and humid, so I sure didn’t want any hot coffee running through my veins.  But…I wanted something with caffeine in it

I took on the what-the-heck attitude and pulled into the parking lot.  Unfamiliar with the menu and the iced drink options, I needed some help.

Here’s how my experience went:


Barista Dude (in his very early 20’s):  Good morning!

Me:  Good Morning!

[Barista Dude and Barista Dudette are busy making coffee drinks for other customers in the drive-thru.]

Barista Dude:  We’ll be with you in just a minute.

Me:  No problem [checking email, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter on my iPhone and figuring out that Biggby has free WiFi —  Woot! Woot!]

Barista Dude:  What can I get for you?

Me:  Well, it’s too hot for coffee, so what kind of iced drink do you recommend?  I’m not too smart when it comes to those.

Barista Dude:  No problem.  Two of our most-popular iced lattes are the Caramel Marvel and the Mocha Mocha.

Me:  {Fingers crossed.] Okay, give me a grande Carmel Marvel.

Barista Dude:  (As he starts making my drink) So, what exciting things are going on with you today?

Me:  Hmm, well…it’s the last day of school for my kids.  That’s pretty special.

Barista Dude: (Laughing) Oh, so now they get to be home and drive you nuts all day.

Me:  (Returning the laughter) No…they are great boys.  We don’t have that problem.

Barista Dude:  Well…you know what makes great kids, don’t you?

Me:  [Wondering if this is a loaded question.] Great parents?

Barista Dude:  (With a big grin on his face) Exactly!

Me:  (Smiling BIG TIME) Wow…I appreciate you saying that.

Barista Dude:  Well, it worked for me.  My parents are sort of old-fashioned.  Heck, my dad is in his sixties.  [I smiled to myself.] And when I was growing up, I think the old-fashioned ways helped me out.  Nowadays, kids are different.  [He paused for a second.]  They’re…not as mature.

Me:  Hey, old-fashioned is good.  I agree.

Barista Dude:  Here’s your latte.

Me:  Okay. [Putting my phone in my shirt pocket.]  Looks good.  Thanks. I’ll see you guys later!

Barista Dude and Dudette:  [As I’m heading out to my car.] See ya!


I’m hooked.

I’m hooked on the coffee, the service, and the fact that there’s a 20-something Barista Dude who has figured out that good kids are a product of good parents.

carmel marvel latte


Adios Starbucks.  Hell-o Biggby!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions.  Please leave a comment below!


Hey!  Next Friday is Freebie Friday.  I’m giving away* five (5) copies of the book Success for Teens.  It’s a perfect addition to your family library.  As you can tell from the title, the book is geared toward teens; however, it is a great resource for adults too!


*U.S. mailing addresses only

Planning is a GOOD Four Letter Word!

500x500 tipstricks plan your week ribbon

This is big.

Probably the biggest and best thing you can do for yourself on the weekend is to make plans for the upcoming week.  The payoff is huge.

I know:  it cuts into your weekend free time.  But once you get in the hang of it, it really doesn’t take that long.  And I’m telling you, you will be SO glad you did it.

What kind of plans, you ask?  The important ones:  meals and kids are the two biggies.  Work and social obligations are also items worthy of a good planning session.

Sitting down on a Sunday afternoon and plotting out the next week takes some time.  And it takes time to make the habit stick.  But, take it from me, it is a habit worth creating.  You like to eat don’t you?  You don’t want to leave you son or daughter stranded at school do you?  Didn’t think so.

There’s nothing worse than sitting at your desk at work when 4:30 rolls around and you’re wondering to yourself, “what are we going to have for dinner?”  My wife and I have been there and done that a few too many times.  You too?

But we’ve gotten better.  A lot better.

To get a handle on the new week, here’s what we look at on Sundays:

Food plan (grocery lists, cooking schedules, etc.)

We do most of our grocery shopping on the weekend.  Before we drive off to the food market, we make a list of all the items we’ll need.  Going to the grocery store without a list is asking for trouble.  Trust me.  : -)  My wife and I figure out the meals for the weekend and (at least) Monday and Tuesday’s dinners too.  Many times, there’s leftovers from the weekend that will get eaten up on Monday night.

Weekend Food Prep

This weekend, we make two meatloaves, a big pot of chili and shredded taco chicken.  I also made up a batch of chicken salad (love that stuff).  I’m doing the low-carb diet these days and chicken salad is a great option for me to have around.  By the way, you can follow my low-carb journey here.  Yes, I’m blogging about it.  I’m sort of that way:  when I really get “into” something, I have to create a website and blog about it.  I’d love to see you tune in.  Comments are ALWAYS appreciated.

Appointments (doctor, dentist, etc.)

Life is busy.  There seems to be at least one appointment during every week that we need to plan for.  With a family of four, that’s not unusual.  Especially with the horrible cold and flu season we’ve had this winter, it seems like one of us is at the doctor’s office every week.  It’s crazy!  (Note to self:  add “I appreciate my medical insurance” in your gratitude journal tonight.)

School (sports practice, band concerts, etc.)

Okay, so with two boys (one who is infatuated with sports) there’s ALWAYS something going on.  Matt is on the middle-school wrestling team (much to his parents’ chagrin — a topic for an entirely different blog post).   He has either a practice or a wrestling meet pretty much every day after school.  And sometimes on Saturdays.  Intense.  That’s our Matt — intense! :-)

Since I work 45 minutes from home, my wife handles 90% of the transporting needed to get people where they need to be.  (Thank you honey!)  Even so, we both keep our calendars in synch with the week’s activities.  Things come up and if she needs to stay late or meet with a client, I can pinch hit and make sure Matt gets picked up.

Winston Churchill once said,”Failing to plan is planning to fail.”  And boy was he right.

Your turn:  how do you keep track of all the things you have to do?  Share your tips in the comment section below.



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