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How much do YOU read?

How much do you read a month? a year? It is recommended by some, including the Pew Research Center, that children should read about 50 books per year, which includes being read to, flash cards, back of cereal boxes, etc. By the time children transition into teen years, these older children should read about 1.9 books per month, so that's about 20-24 books annually. This includes all genres including comics, magazines, and even social media. In 2011, 79% of adults read at least one book per year. By 2015 only 72% of adults read at least one book per year. Did you know affluent, educated women read more than men? In addition, the older you get the more likely it is you will read a book. Whe

Have you ever heard, "Talent is cheaper than table salt"?

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." - Stephen King That statement resonates with me, I have a personal short example to share. My brother was tested in elementary school as Gifted. My cousin, just about the same exact age, was not. When they both entered their college years, one at FSU and the other at UF, respectively; they both encountered varied experiences. He was challenged and almost failed a class his freshman year and she proved to be quite successful. Why and how you ask? Well he still had academic potential because he was gifted / talented, but she had something a more important and pertinen

My story of autism...

My story of autism begins roughly about 14 years ago. Prior to then my son was progressing socially and mentally as expected. He wasn't our first child so I had an idea of what we were supposed to be expecting when he was 3 years old. It seems to me like it happened just as quickly as when people turn on or off the light switch. One day he was social and playing with his brothers, no issues. The next day, he was hiding in his bedroom closet covering his little ears because it was too loud. I could go on about our discovery and the process we embarked upon in concluding with his official diagnosis. Instead I'll share some strategies that I feel have helped him be successful in school: 1.

Integrity- What is it and what does it look like?

One day I walked the halls of my infamous school and I happen to run into a student. This particular student we will call Student A. Student A needs a little redirection from time to time, but a lot of love all of the time. He and I had just had a conversation a few days prior about believing in yourself and being your best at all times. We talked about how each day was a brand new opportunity of starting all over. He told me that he was ready to be a better version of himself and I smiled, then sent him on his way. Well on this particular day as I walked the halls, I walked into a classroom. It had an adjoining classroom and a small window/door in between them. Student A was making fa

Leadership. Who do you start with?

You're a leader of a team, so who do you start with? I have held a leadership position for more than 1/2 of my years in my career. One of the hardest tasks I have ever had to do and continue to work on is to lead myself. You see, it's a lot easier to see the areas others need to work on. It's a lot easier to examine others strengths and weaknesses. It's a bit harder for us to be able to look in the mirror and see our own areas where we have fallen short. "Why?" you ask...well because most of us have the best and most sincere intentions. If you announce a new objective and you really think it's an objective that will support the ultimate goal, and then you fail...well you might say some

You're a leader...What's your focus?

Do you focus on each individual's strengths or weaknesses? Many individuals tend to focus not only on their own individual weaknesses but they tend to focus on others' weaknesses as well. When you focus on a weak area, which by the way we all have them, just a little bit of effort can make an obvious improvement. Let's say you are a terrible public speaker. Your time management truly needs a lot of work. You're late, you make excuses why you're late and you ask for extra time when the presentation is about over. Well, if you focus on improving this area, then all you'd really have to do is be on time. Then immediately others would notice, "Wow! She's gotten a lot better! She is defini

Did you have the "eclipse" connection?

Did you know that the word "eclipse" is written the same in Irish, Spanish, French, Galician, Basque, Portuguese, and Welsch? There now you're multilingual...ha ha ha! I'm only writing that because I'm so exhausted, I'm dog-tired and discombobulated! So today we got to experience the obscuring of the light, from the Sun, by the Moon. If you were lucky enough to watch it happen some where around 2:30PM Eastern, then I joined you here in Georgia. I talked to a few people right afterwards and many were tired, lethargic. Many people in South America believe you shouldn't make decisions during an eclipse, because your feelings are not trustworthy at that time. Hmmm...wish someone would of told

Do YOU believe in YOURSELF?

Nowadays we are all trying to be a little more mindful of what we put in our mouths, at the grocery store I find myself staying away from the aisles and doing a little more to hang out in the perimeter of my nearby Publix. I'm even a bit more conscientous about the stairs vs. the elevator (before you start giggling I already know that I start strong in the beginning of the school year and then it's downhill or in my case it's up/down the elevator). So why is it that we are not as careful or cautious or even mindful of the people we allow to be in our circle or even people who we allow to influence our thoughts and energy? This week has been a week of reflection for me, I'm usually very refl

Did someone say Publishing Launch Party?

Okay- well first of all I really have never heard of such an event. That's the truth! That may be because I don't know too many authors in my personal circle. I did go to a gathering a few years back and the host had a small table where his book was being sold; but he didn't do a speech, the invitations mentioned nothing about the book, etc. Now that my first book, "3,585 Miles to be an American Girl"; which happens to be a children's book, is scheduled to be released in December, I'm getting super excited. I talked to a few college girlfriends over the past two weeks and they have told me about hosting a Publishing Launch Party. Well, since they are college friends I figured they just w

You know about ADHD, but what about ADD?

So what's the biggest difference between ADHD and ADD? Yep! You're right, you guessed it...it's that "H" for hyper. Many children diagnosed with ADHD have trouble sitting still and might be so restless that adults quickly notice their rambunctious behavior and suspect there might be attention issues involved. Children diagnosed with ADHD are hyper, inattentive and can be very impulsive. They seem to make wrong decisions and regret them almost immediately. They have trouble finishing tasks. Whereas kids with ADD might fly under the radar because they aren’t bursting with energy and disrupting the classroom. Instead, they often appear shy or off in their own world. They're usually the quiet

Does the squeaky wheel get the grease?

Have you ever heard the phrase, "The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease?" What does that really mean? Well it's an American proverb used to convey the idea that the most noticeable (or loudest) problems are the ones most likely to get attention. Recently, I had a conversation with some colleagues that could be categorized under this context. So here's the deal, if everyone is following through with the process, the expectations, the "rules" persay, then the one person who is not will be noticed first. Personally, I am not a fan of the "Squeaky Wheel", I mean who would be right? I do not want to be that person and honestly I feel bad for anyone that would fall under that category. If he/she is co

Who made the BIGGEST influence in your life?

Some would readily say that their peers made the biggest influence in their lives. Yet others would venture to share that it was a special teacher. I can see those two groups as viable options, but if I'm completely honest with myself I would have to say my parents. Yep! My parents made the biggest influence in my life. Both my parents are some of the bravest people I've ever met. They migrated to the USA with a family, which included three kids. To make it just a little more adventurous, the third kid was a three month old baby! So here we have a family of five, no language acquisition, less than a couple week's worth of financial means in a brand new land. Through perseverance, hard

Is there such a thing as work and life balance?

Recently I read a blog that reiterated that there was no such thing as a work-life balance style. I don't think I can actually agree with that. In said blog, the writer noted that you should have your life and work blend together. Your work should be your passion, so it is almost like not working. Don't get me wrong, I'm in the profession I truly believe is my calling. I have never imagined myself in any other type of profession...but I am 100% on the thought of work and life balance. I believe in being present at work and getting things accomplished each and every single day. Especially since I work with people's lives. I take it as a huge responsibility. The impact and influence I

You have a new team?

So you have a new position? That can be fun and exciting, but a new team can be a little bit scary, right? Today someone asked me for my advice on how to bond with a new team. I thought about it a little, it didn't take too much thinking because if you know me, you know I believe in building positive relationships, therefore most of my advice always goes back to that. So here goes the personal advice that I shared: 1. Get to know your team members...one by by one. Some work places have profiles with information about each team member. If your work place does not, then you should probably create a Getting To Know You survey or fact sheet for each team member. 2. Schedule a time to meet wi

Another restless night?

I don't know about you, but as far as sleep and I go...well let me tell you "we have a thing going on". Yep, when I was young, I'm talking about like five years old young. Well let's say naps and I really weren't seeing eye to eye. Nowadays though it is a different story. "Dear Naps, I realize I didn't love and appreciate you when I was a mere child, but I want you to know that now, I love you!" Yep! It's that serious. Honestly, naps, sleep, slumber, siesta, beauty rest, so on and so forth are quite the priority in my life. I have the Do Not Disturb activated on my iPhone from 9PM - 7AM. So no one can disturb me while I get some Zzzzzs. It's quite serious, I can readily recall replying

What motivates you to do what you do?

Have you ever thought of that question? Well to answer that we would have to acknowledge that we are all different, therefore we all have our own motivation profiles, if you will. When leading a team, whether the team is 12 years old or are professional employees, you need to learn what motivates each of them. It would be an effective idea to personally or electronically survey them. Learn what makes each of them tick. What makes them happy at work? What do they need from their leader to be happy? What do they need in order to be able to adopt a goal or vision? Some people need deadlines. Others need affirmation, like a pat on the back. Others need to feel needed or even acknowledge. O

Who needs boundaries?

One of the definition of boundaries is to limit areas with lines which the picture assigned to this post makes sense. An additional definition would be more about setting limit to actions with invisible lines. Boundaries can some times be challenging to enforce, I feel like more and more parents or caregivers nowadays would agree. I truly don't believe it was that hard for my parents, as a matter of fact I think they found joy in setting and monitoring boundaries. They were real experts at it. I see the importance of setting personal boundaries just about as much as I see the importance of personal confidence. When one has matured enough to recognize and set personal boundaries, it can h

How's life like a paella?

I guess some of you might not know what a paella is, so let's quickly get you up to date on that... paella is a traditional Spanish dish which originated around the 15th century (I'm not a historian so don't quote me on that- please). What I do know is that the Romans and the Moors in Spain are responsible for creating this dish. The original one included chicken, rabbit, green beans, artichokes and some type of legume like white beans. The Moors brought in the rice since it had been a staple since they had started its cultivation around the 10th century. I've heard stories that paella was considered a poor man's dish. Families would save meat and vegetables from their week's meals and

What does it take to be a leader?

If you're an effective boss, you tell people what to do and they do it. At the same time, the majority of those same people would not follow you, they would probably rate you at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of leadership- you're not consistent in motivating them or inspiring them to do more and become more, like the meme notes. In my opinion, in order to lead others LOYALTY is on the top of the list. I think of those in the military, your team has to be confident that you will watch out for them. If bullets start flying all over the place your team needs to know you will take one for them. You will warn them and defend them at all costs. Your team has to feel supported and safe w

What's happiness?

That's a real question- What's happiness to you? Is it the blessings that have been bestowed upon you? Is it waking up on your own terms? Does it involve accomplishing a daunting task? Could it be not having an enraging, compelling force to complain? Perhaps it's reflecting the fortitude to smile even when you're having a hard time finding what to smile about? Today, I was happy, but if you know me well that might not be a surprise. Why? you ask...well I find myself looking for the little things to be happy about on a daily basis. There are so many examples I could share like last Sunday when the three boys, errr well my three young men I call my sons were over to eat, watch a movie, swim

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