Guest Blogs

Top 3 Amazing Tools to Visually Brand your Business on Social Media

 

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As a new mompreneur, I had to find the right balance between home, family and my two new business ventures. The key for me was to stay organized. Since social media is part of my daily routine, I rely on key applications to stay efficient.

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More than ever, as I am building my clientele online, having a consistent and solid brand is essential. I manage social media channels for clients and they all have distinct audiences.

What is a brand anyways? It’s how a customer perceives your product or service. It includes your logo, your name, your colours, your fonts, your slogan, etc.

Why should you care about your online brand?

  1. It helps you share your own and unique story and grow your audience
  2. Because people need to see an image at least 7 times to start recognizing it.
  3. To be consistent, allowing your audience to know you, your values and then they will open up about our core offering.

Now do you see the relation between branding and visual story telling? The images and messages you’re putting out there through social media are an extension of your brand, which is why I am sharing with you how to rock your social media strategy using those awesome apps. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s what you have to do to create stunning visual content. Whether it’s a quote, a customer review, behind the scene or to show off your new product, you need to have powerful visuals on social media.

You don’t have a background in Graphic Design? Well no worries, this is exactly what you need to blow away your audience on social media.

 

Canva

canva

Canva is defined by some as the solution for those who don’t know how to use Photoshop or have no background in design.

It’s an easy to use app, full of templates, graphics, vectors that can help you to create your content. Their templates range from the most popular social media network to your blog or website, you can also use it for presentation or your marketing collaterals such as poster, banner, ad, invitation or a specific project that you are working on.

One great feature about Canva is that you can start a project on your mobile and then finish it on your computer. They also have a free option, which is great if you want to try it out and they also have more functions available with the paid plan. For example, you can add different members of your team to your account; choose to use transparent background, which is great for adding your logo.

 

Adobe Spark

spark

Adobe is a newer tool part of the Adobe suite, creators of Photoshop, Indesign and more other great designing tools. Similar to Canva, with Spark you can create and work on your project both online and on your mobile. This is great if you need to do some last minute post or event if you want to work while waiting for an appointment. Just quickly start and finish later.

What I think is awesome with Spark it’s that once you have your visual ready, you can just swap, resize and convert it to the network where you want to publish.  It’s a bit different from Canva where you have to create specific content for each platform and you can’t resize them automatically under the free plan.

Adobe is also great because you can create short video or add visual effect to your content. Adobe is growing and adding more templates and features. It would be nice if they decided let you add multiple images.

 

Phonto 

phonto

Last but not least is Phonto, it let’s you design your content by adding text to your photos. They have tons of fonts available as well as style to choose from. Like Spark and Canva, they have filters to choose from but no pre-made template. The good thing with Phonto is that you can add your logo or use transparent image with their free version unlike Canva. Unfortunately that option isn’t available with Spark.

So there you have it. There are so many tools out there; my advice to you is to try them out and stick with the one that works best for you. Once you do, always be consistent with your brand identity: the colours, logo, font and style you use. People will get used to it and even start recognizing your business.

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What’s your go to app for creating stunning visuals? Please share in the comment section below.

For more tips and tricks on how to enhance your social media strategy, follow me online.

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About me :

HI, I’m Christelle. Social media is my passion and I have a track record

of creating and implementing successful strategies through innovative

and effective online campaigns. Let me help you bring your vision to reality.

 

 

 

Follow me @ctiati or send me a question: communications@aschenti.com.

 


Five Ways to Thrive as a Mompreneur when the Emotional Support just isn’t there

 

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When I left my corporate job several years ago to start a personal coaching business, people thought I was insane.  In spite of the negativity, I had an extreme faith that everything would work out okay and nothing anyone said could sway that.

However, as time passed, I realized how lonely it can be starting up your own business.  That being a mom, wife, and entrepreneur with bills coming in but no steady paycheck was scary.  To be honest, I thought about giving up, and then I’d remember my why!  I’d look at my child, myself, and the stories of those who have come through the “doors” of my business and would realize that giving up wasn’t an option.  Here are five different ways that I have learned to thrive amongst the naysayers, negativity, and self-doubt.

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  1. Always Remember Your Why

If the kids are throwing tantrums, the dog is heaving his cookies, and work is struggling; you may be wondering how the bills are going to get paid that week with deadlines you can’t possibly meet.  Life in those moments may seem desperate, lonely, and challenging.  You may even hear yourself say: “Why am I putting myself through this?” or “will it ever get better?”; But those are the times that you need to remember your why.  If you have a passion, are moving forward, and you are doing the work you are meant to do, than it will always get better.

Think really hard about why you started a business in the first place, (who are you hoping to serve,) and suddenly the how begins to present itself.

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  1. Find Community

When you are lacking support at home, it is important to find those you can communicate with elsewhere.  Look toward friends, or social media groups, meet-up groups, spiritual organizations, or networking opportunities.  There is definitely a community of like minded individuals somewhere in the world that you can connect with.  If not, than create one.  Even introverts need to share successes, hobbies, or challenges with others.

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  1. Organize and Delegate

Some days things feel more chaotic, overwhelming, or out of control and the best thing to do is stop for a minute.  If you are doing everything on your own, than it is likely that pieces of your life seem cluttered.  Take a step back and view everything from a different angle to help you regroup.  Clean up your surroundings, straighten up your files, remove apps that you don’t use.

Many think of decluttering as a chore, but it can be very  therapeutic to move out the old and organize to thrive. When you look at an area and think: “Eeps, I need to do something about that.”  It is probably the space you want to focus your organizing attention first, then move on to the next when time is available.  Specifically look at spaces where you spend the most time, (kitchen, car, office, or family areas.)  And while your at it, learn to ask for help.  Delegating or outsourcing is a wonderful tool in the Mompreneur world.

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  1. Prove Yourself RIGHT

I always say, that it isn’t about proving people wrong, it is about proving yourself right.  If we spend our time focusing on what other’s think, than we are taking away the time needed to grow our businesses or spend quality time with our kids.  Unfortunately as a Mompreneur, when we need support the most, some people show you their worst. The fact is, there are people that just don’t understand the self driven ideas to living an extraordinary life.  Those people will criticize to make themselves feel better.  Some will tell you that you can’t, shouldn’t, or won’t. They will claim that you aren’t good enough.  However, it isn’t about you!  It is always about them.  So don’t worry about proving those types of people wrong. Focus on your why, your how, and prove yourself right!

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  1. Be your own Best Friend

Even when you have a ton of people in your life and your business is taking off, there are days that the list of things to do seems never ending. These are the days that you need to be your own best friend.  Pat yourself on the back for all that you have accomplished instead of worrying about what is left to be done.  Love yourself through the challenges.  Smile at the person in the mirror, and give yourself a pep talk.  Sometimes, the voices in our heads can be worse than any external source.  Take a few moments each day to breath, journal, exercise, reflect, meditate, or pray.  Find whatever resonates with you as a relaxation technique and make it a daily habit.  Put YOU on the calendar!

 

Nita Pettibone is the founder and lead wellness educator of Falling in Happy LLC, a health coaching company that has empowered thousands of individuals to find happiness, wellness, and balance in their lives. She is a mom, wife, author, plant based athlete, and friend of all things kale

Web, social, and Contact info:

Website: www.fallinginhappy.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/fallinginhappy

Instagram: www.instagram.com/fallinginhappy

Twitter: www.twitter.com/fallinginhappy

 


Why Your Mom Guilt Won’t go Away

 

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Like a rat that keeps finding a way into the house, mom guilt sneaks in, takes up residence and haunts us with continual scratching.  I experience mom guilt in my body and mind.  Some days it’s a very uncomfortable itching in the back of my mind.  Other days it attacks my chest and belly.

Having experienced Mom guilt first hand during 18 months of parenthood while working part time and launching my business, I can’t help noticing how common and troubling this emotional state is for mothers.

Looking deeper at my own experience and listening to mothers describe their guilt, what I hear us actually saying is, “Am I a good parent?”  “Am I enough?” This has led me to believe there is something more nuanced and infinitely more painful occurring than guilt:  shame.

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Here’s the thing, guilt is a useful emotion that allows us to take action when our behavior doesn’t align with our values.  Guilt is the Jimminy Cricket on your shoulder quietly asking, “Is this really who you want to be?”  Guilt doesn’t punish, it empowers.  When you say/do something that does not reflect your values, guilt nudges you to take action and repair the situation.  Taking action is refreshing and allows you to move on, more intact emotionally and spiritually.

Shame is quite different.  Shame makes you forget your values. It doesn’t let you move forward.  Instead shame stays buried, like undetected cancer, affecting your daily life and relationships in profound ways.  If you spend time ruminating about something you did or did not do but never feel any better; if you can’t stop telling person after person a story hoping they will side with you; if you can never tell the whole truth to people, even those you love, then most likely you are experiencing shame. 

If you’ve made it this far in this blog, you may be feeling pretty uncomfortable. But hang in there.  I am going to leave you with steps for healing. 

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Mom Guilt

I have found most “mom guilt” is usually not helpful.  Mom guilt is often put upon you by the expectation of the “Others” (parents, grandparents, social media, experts).  For example, you co-sleep with your baby but your pediatrician lectures you about it so you feel guilty.   To deal with this kind of mom guilt you need to take quiet time to evaluate what YOUR values are.  What is important to you (not everyone else!)? What is important to you and your partner/spouse for your family?  Create a personal or family mission statement and post it somewhere prominent.  Then move on to identifying priorities.  With your clarified values, be very intentional about where you want to spend your time, your energy and your emotional output.

When you are absolutely clear about values and priorities you can weigh feedback received from others against what you value.  Anything outside of your values and priorities does not deserve your time, attention or worry. From the earlier example: knowing you value the loving closeness and ease of breastfeeding while co-sleeping, you can reject the guilt you experience after the encounter with your pediatrician.

Shame

Dealing with shame is harder.  But it is absolutely critical to your wellbeing to take a stand for yourself and root shame out.  An important first step is learning to allow the emotion of shame (I wish there was an easier way!). Pay attention to where you feel the shame in your body and how you respond to it (how you behave, how you treat others, etc).  Most crucial is to then offer yourself compassion.  Create a mantra like, “I am ashamed of myself right now but I love and accept myself anyway.”  Once you allow the emotion and respond with compassion, the grip of shame will loosen.

The next step is to share your shame.  Sharing is absolutely counter intuitive and scary but according to Brene Brown, leading shame researcher, the only way to change.  Find a kind person who has earned your trust and talk about it. Through the witnessing and love you will experience your shame can begin to heal. If you do not have someone who can fill this role for you, consider hiring a Life coach. 

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Some of us have experienced shaming and/or trauma so corrosive that our sense of ourselves as a worthy person is significantly damaged.  If this is you dear mamma, I encourage you to seek out an helping professional.  Chances are, if you are suffering from an identity rooted in shame you are also experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety.  A counselor can truly help.  Check out Psychology Today to locate one in your area:  https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/

For all of you- amazing, strong, courageous mothers- May you find yourself to be exactly as you already are.  Worthy. 

Bio

Lesley is a wife, mother and entrepreneur who loves yoga an napping (usually not at the same time).  She specializes in coaching new moms. Lesley believes deeply and passionately that every mother already has and already IS exactly what she needs to be to mother her baby.  With 16 years working in social work and a Masters in Counseling, Lesley can help you create a more confident, joyful motherhood journey. Find out more at www.lesleyyadon.com and/or join her Facebook page

b.me/LesleyYadonCoaching


 

 

Time Management

 

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You start your week fired up – ready to go.

Monday comes and you have your to-do list filled. You’re excited and ready to feel accomplished. Let’s do this!

You start the first task on your to-do and you’re determined. Halfway through you get distracted by item number 2 on your list because it is just as important as number 1. This becomes a cycle and before you know it – your list has grown twice its size without crossing anything off.

I am here to tell you that there is a better way. You don’t have to feel so scatter brained.

TO-DO LIST

First, you need to plan. Find one place/program to put everything you need to do.

If you were like me a year ago – you have a sticky note with a list on your fridge , a couple items written on your bathroom mirror, and a piece of printer paper on your desk to complete the whole collection.

Find a way to collect everything in one spot. If that means writing it on one whiteboard in your kitchen or using a program to collect it all in one place – do it.

You need to put every little thing on your to-do list. No more storing a mental list and hoping everything gets accomplished.

The easiest program for me is Wunderlist.

It is great because there is not a time that I don’t have my phone. It’s easily downloaded on your phone AND computer.

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Anytime a to-do pops into my mind, I can jot it down so quick and move on to what I was doing.

It is for every area of your life – grocery list, housework, business, personal, etc. Nothing will be able to slip through the cracks.

You can put items in order of importance as well. With a little bit of planning, this comes in handy when it is time to complete the next steps I am about below.
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CATEGORIES

Next, go through all the different areas of your life and what you do in a typical week. Group those tasks into categories. My categories are:

-Eat (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

-Family Time

-Business (Back-end, Client work)

-Housework

-Date Nights

-Lifegroup

Now that you have your categories, it’s time to put them into action.

First – Find a fillable calendar.

On each day of the week, from 7am to 9pm, write what you will be doing for each hour.

This will allow you to have specific times for your business and specific times for your family. They no longer will be meshed together and done halfway.

Below is a picture of my example calender.

calendar

I have everything down that I need and I stick to it.

I know that each day can bring it’s own surprises. Give yourself a little bit of room to breath so you aren’t too down on yourself when everything isn’t completed by the end of the day.

This is a template for you to go by , not to die by.

If you want to get a pretty fillable calendar download – Here you go!

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By putting this system into place, I got more done in 1 day than I usually did in 3. It kept me focused on what needed to be done.

I would never finish a task and wonder what was next.

Spending 15 minutes of planning the night before will give you an average of 2 hours a day extra than you had before. My clients have double their productivity by putting these few actionable steps into place.

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Being ahead will make you feel accomplished, kick overwhelm out the door, and grow your business.

You’ve got this mama.

 

headshotHi, I’m Alacia. I help businesses find the most efficient way to run. Through organization, systems, and mindset – we can reach your dream before you know it.

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  • Contact details:

Email: hello@alaciaparker.com

 

 

Don’t forget to download your free productivity tools for busy Mompreneurs.

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VIRTUAL HUGS

SINEAD

 


TIPS FOR CREATING A WORK/LIFE BALANCE THAT WORKS FOR YOU

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Doesn’t it seem like work/life balance is an oxymoron?  I get envious of other working moms who can juggle everything and make it look so easy.

I was always jealous of “those moms” who had their act together.  But then I realized that I did too.  It just looked different.  I make lists, keep schedules, and prioritize my time in order to create balance for myself.

And after three years, I feel that it is working!  So what’s my secret??  Finding balance that works for me and my family.  It will totally look different for each family, but once you find that sweet spot, stay there.  That is YOUR balance and you need to OWN it!!

As you are working to finding your balance, test out some of these tips to see if they can help you get into your sweet spot!

  1. Lists

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For me, I have a ton of color-coded lists to help keep me organized.  I make each list on Sunday night with everything I need to do for the upcoming week.  I have one for my blog, one for my organizing clients, one for home, and one for me.  Each list is then broken down into subcategories based on what I will accomplish that week.  I have my must-do for the week, my may-do for the week, and my eventually list for the week.  This helps me prioritize my tasks at hand.  I try to do all of the must-do lists first, then the may-do list, then, if there is time, the eventually list.

I write down every little detail of anything I need to accomplish.  If I have to go to the grocery store, it goes on my home list.  If I have to fold laundry, it goes on my home list.  If I have to go to work out class because my sanity depends on it, well, it might go on a few lists to make sure I do that!

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Every time I complete the task, I get to cross it off and celebrate a little!  I know it is kind of funny to think about, but instead of focusing on everything else that is left to do on your list, try to celebrate completing that one task.  By doing this a few times, you will get in the habit of finding the good in completing small tasks.

2. Schedules

Schedules can be super useful or super stressful.  I find them super helpful when they are set up with wiggle-room.  And by wiggle-room, I mean super flexible, written in pencil, so it can easily be erased.

I have all of my schedules printed out and hanging from my fridge.  I have my kids daily schedule; I have my kids weekly schedule; I have my weekly schedules; I have my blog calendar; I have my social media calendar; and I have our family master weekly schedule all set and ready to go.  I complete this task Sunday night as I am making my lists.

By creating a schedule, I am able to (roughly) sketch out my day and week, so I feel more productive.  I am able to break down my tasks and make time to complete things on my list throughout the week.

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My kids daily schedule does not change as it is when they sleep and eat.  I also have my own weekly schedule for work, along with my weekly schedule for my blog.  My weekly blog schedule is consistent and does not change either, as I have given myself small tasks to accomplish every day.  On Mondays I work on my Pinterest boards.  Tuesdays are for writing, as I have help that day.  Wednesdays are for scheduling social media posts.  Thursdays are for my Etsy shop.  Fridays are my catch-all day, where I catch-up on anything that didn’t get completed during the week.  By sticking to this simple weekly schedule, my tasks doesn’t seem to pile up as quickly as I am slowly tackling tasks that need to get done each week.

Then, when I am making my master family calendar, my kids weekly calendar and my personal weekly calendar, I always start with writing in our appointments for the week.  These can be done in pen as these appointments aren’t flexible.  Then I take a step back and see where we have some open space.  I start with planning out some activities to do with the kids.  I have found that by spending fifteen to thirty minutes of quality (no phone/computer/talking to adult) time with them early in the morning, I am able to get more accomplished in the late morning/afternoon.  So I make sure to pencil in some quality time with them every day.

Now I am able to pencil in work stuff.  I know that I have a big chunk of time during nap to get things accomplished, so I typically plan to accomplish some of my work to-do lists at this time.  I also know that if I plan things out on our family master calendar, I can get some time to work after dinner if my husband puts the kids to bed.  But when I do this, I have to have another night where my husband can work while I put both kids to bed.  This is a deal we have made and has been working out well for both of us if we plan it on Sunday night.

Again, having so many calendars may not work for you.  If you need one giant calendar (which I totally use to do until I ran out of room), then you use that.  If you need multiple planners to keep your schedules in order, than you do that.  Find a system that works for you and stick to that!

3. Prioritize

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Each evening, I record what made me happy from the day.  Then I set my intentions for the following day.  It is like my daily mantra.

I have decided that there are some things that I will do daily, no matter what.  I will make the bed every morning.  Silly, I know, but it makes me feel like I have accomplished something before the day has even started.  And it is so nice jumping into a bed that is put-together.  I also make sure to run the dishwasher every night, and pick up the majority of the house before I go to bed.  By taking fifteen minutes to tidy-up at the end of the day makes my mornings a little less stressful.

So there you have it, my three tips for ways to create balance for your work and life By making lists, sticking to a super flexible schedule, and prioritizing what your intent is, you can begin to find a way to balance your work and life.  You have to find what works for you and makes sense for both your work and your life.  If something doesn’t work, then try something else.  As your business evolves, you will have to make changes, but my hope is that you will only have to tweak your already amazing system to keep yourself balanced!

 

headshot_organized_mama-jpg-jessica-litman

 

Jessica Litman, is the founder of The Organized Mama; a blog and organizational company which inspires order through creativity.  She is a wife to an amazing husband, mother to two kiddos & a fur-baby, boss mom, organizing coach/professional organizer, writer, wanna-be decorator, crafter, exclamation-mark enthusiast, and lover of creativity.

 

Blog: www.theorganizedmama.com

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/organizedmamas/

Pin: https://www.pinterest.com/organizedmamas/

 

Don’t forget to download your free productivity tools for busy Mompreneurs.

mum productivity tools

 

VIRTUAL HUGS

SINEAD


Tips and Tools for Online Marketing!

 

Tips and Tools for Online Marketing!

 

Tip #1: You can’t be everywhere at the same time.  I always advise clients to start with one social media channel and really give it some love.  Learn what works [and doesn’t work], and once you’ve mastered that one channel, then pick another one.

 

Action Step: Check out your social channels on Google Analytics:

 

On your Analytics, go to Acquisition ->> Social ->> Overview.  Here you can see which social channels are performing best.  Looking at this type of engagement can help you decide whether you want to continue with a particular channel or focus on others that are performing better.  You can also click on the channel names and see more in-depth data.

 

Tip #2: Practice patience.  Don’t give up just because things aren’t growing as quickly as you’d like.  Online marketing takes time.  It’s a crowded environment but there are enough clients for everyone!

 

Action step:  Be consistent. Try to post at least every other day.  Share your posts to your own profile to reach more people.  Ask your friends to share your content as well!

 

Tip #3: Nurture your online relationships.  Make your fans feel loved.  GIVE more than you SELL.

 

Action step:  Decide how you will best be of service to your fans.  What are your followers needing most from you?  What tips and tools can you share to support them?  What free giveaways can you offer?

 

Tip #4: Try out different types of posts and post at different times of the day.

 

Action step: Start looking over your channel insights to see which posts are doing best. Look for the common thread – what are people responding to most?  Which articles, text-only updates, pictures, videos, etc are doing best?  What are people clicking on [or not clicking on?].  Adjust your strategy based on your findings.

 

Tip #5: Create in bulk. At the end of every month, I sit down with a delicious cup of coffee and do all of my social media posting for the month ahead.  Of course, there are times when you’ll need to add in fresh content but knowing that the bulk of the work is complete will give you a sigh of relief and allow you to focus on your business the rest of the month!

 

Action step:  Scheduling tools

Hootsuite and Edgar are my two favorite schedulers to use.

Why use Hootsuite:

If you’re on a budget or you only want each post to be scheduled once, it’s a super simple tool to ensure you always have content going out to your social channels.

Why use Edgar:

If you have A LOT of content and you want it to be repeated [“set it and forget it”], then Edgar is a great choice.  One quick note though: I still recommend creating fresh content regularly and adding it to your Edgar account.

There are lots of other schedulers out there so if these two don’t quite work for you, seek out other options that might be better suited for you and your business.

To wrap it all up, my best advice is to put yourself out there in an authentic and meaningful way.  In today’s world, you can exponentially reach so many more people than ever before.  Let yourself be seen and your voice be heard!

 

Bio:

Chrissy Gruninger is the owner of Social [media] Wellness, an international online marketing company. She provides online business management, social media strategy and virtual support to, as she likes to say, “good people doing good things”. With a graduate degree in sustainable living along with health coaching and yoga teaching certifications, she blends her background in conscious living with online marketing strategy, helping her clients bring their positive messages of wellbeing and harmony into the world.

Chrissy lives, works and plays in Costa Rica and is the author of several books, including A Wildhearted Sanguine Life and Vicarious Adventures on the Rich Coast.

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Why Your Mom Guilt Won’t Go Away (and what to do about it) – Lesley Yadon
    November 3, 2016 at 2:29 am

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  • Reply
    seo report
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