What are you hungry for? What ingredients do you have on hand? Throw together a batch of your your special muffin recipe, or whip up a new family favorite by choosing your children’s favorite ingredients and following these measure¬ments and instructions.
Note: The #1 reason muffins fail is due to overbeating. Mix gently, with a wooden spoon, by hand, only until ingredients are combined. Never use an electric mixer for muffins.
Choose your grain:
• 2 cups flour or
• 1 cup flour, 1 cup oatmeal or
• 1 cup flour, 1 cup flake cereal
Add and whisk together:
• 1 teaspoon baking powder and
• 1 teaspoon baking soda and
• 1/4 teaspoon salt and either
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or
• 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or
• 2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon rind
Choose and add your sweetener:
• 1/2 cup sugar or
• 3/4 cup brown sugar or
• 2/3 cup honey (reduce liquid to 3/4 cup)
• 2/3 cup molasses (reduce liquid to 3/4 cup)
Choose and add your liquid:
• 1 cup milk, buttermilk or
• 1 cup fruit juice or
• 1/2 and 1/2 milk and juice or
• 1/2 and 1/2 milk and sour cream
Choose and add your eggs:
• 2 eggs or
• Egg substitute
Choose and add your oil:
• 1 cup liquid oil or
• 1 cup butter, room temperature or
• 1 cup applesauce or
• 1 cup pumpkin pie filling
Choose and add 1 cup (or 1/2 and 1/2) extras:
• chopped nuts
• dates, raisins or Craisins®
• fried and crumbled bacon bits
• finely shredded zucchini
• mashed bananas
• chocolate or butterscotch chips
Fold together until just barely blended. Bake in pre-sprayed muffin cups at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Excerpt from Chapter 10 of Kitchen Shortcuts
The wheels of a car stuck in the mud can busily spin forever without making any progress. In fact, the longer they spin out, the more stuck the car gets.
Super busy people often get "stuck" in a rut, working harder and harder, only to find they are getting further and further behind.
In my next post I'll explain "how" to get your busy self organized, but here I just want to give you the main benefits of taking positive organizational action now.
1. Gain time. Most time management gurus agree that you can save 10+ hours a week simply by getting your organizational act together.
2. Reduce stress. When you are spinning in the mud, even the simplest additional requirement (like, turn left) seems overwhelming.
3. Regain life balance. Sometimes just one wheel is flat or stuck, but it's impeding progress or throwing the entire vehicle out of balance.
4. Enjoy time with family and friends. Being preoccupied with too many things to do robs you of the ability to enjoy the moment.
5. Save money. Disorganization results in unnecessary spending because you re-buy items you can't find or you go out to eat instead of making a healthier and less-expense home cooked meal.
6. Increase your earning capacity. Who would you pay more? The person who could get twice as much done as everyone else or the average performer?
7. Have more energy. Being stuck results in standing still. You may be busy spinning your wheels, but you're not creating energy, you're only using it up.
8. Be more flexible. When a car is in motion, moving forward, it's easy to turn. A stuck vehicle is nearly impossible to turn. You'll find you have a much greater ability to flex once you are unstuck and on your organized way.
9. Sleep better. Once your mind is no longer juggling a "million things to do," you'll be able to relax and sleep.
10. Be a great role model. Your nieces, nephews, kids and grandkids are all watching you. What is your life teaching them today?
There are a thousand things you can do to get organized now, but the following four lay the critical groundwork for your organizational success.
1. Identify your organizational style and its weakness. In their book, "How to be Organized in Spite of Yourself: Time and Space Management that Works with Your Personal Style" by Sunny Schlenger and Roberta Roesch, they describe five time management styles:
Marnie Swedberg is the leadership mentor to over 13,000 leaders from 30 countries training B.U.S.Y. - Best Unique Strategies for You. Learn how to maximize your life in the minutes you have at http://www.Marnie.com.
Including an audio clip on your website today is as essential as providing an email address used to be. Without one your website is outdated: You are viewed as behind-the-times.
Your audio clip should be 2-10 minutes long, jam-packed with action that keeps the listener involved, and should clearly display your ability to communicate about your favorite topic.
Hiring a pro, like Wayne Kelly is a great idea if you can afford it: An experience DJ will lend credibility and polish to your promo clip. However, if you can't afford $300, or don't want to go that route, try to think of someone you know who is articulate, has an outgoing personality and has a great voice. The two of you can literally create an audio clip over the phone for under $5.
I always use freeconference.com. Two people can call into an 800# and talk for up to 25 minutes for about $5. Now that's cheap advertising! Remember, 10 minutes maximum: so, if you don't have audio editing equipment, just keep the entire session under 10 minutes.
Once you understand your options, here are the steps that will insure your success:
1. Find the voice that motivates you. Remember the joke-telling principle that says, "Tell only those jokes which you think are hysterically funny"? Well, when cutting a promo audio, select only the voice that you think is a perfect match for your message. Choose a voice that energizes you personally.
2. Write a smash-hit introductory bio. You've got 10 seconds. If you grab their attention in the first 10, then they'll give you another 10, and so on. Learn the keys to writing a super intro: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Marnie_Swedberg.
3. Provide your interviewer with talking points. Select three to seven key points that you want to discuss. Make sure that each point addresses a topic or aspect of a topic that ignites your passion big-time. Be sure that you are doing your promo audio for you're A#1 best topic.
4. Practice your delivery. This is not the time to be passé! You need energy, enthusiasm and excellent content. Smile as you speak. Practice, practice, practice. Try to figure out in advance every question or angle an interviewer may address your topic. Craft 10-30 second "sound bite" answers that will leave your listeners eager to hear more from you.
5. On the day of the interview, relax and have fun. You have prepared, you have practiced, and you have perspired.
Now it's time to play. Pretend that it's just you and the DJ over a cup of coffee. Be enthusiastic and personable. Behave as if you were telling him about the most exciting thing you've heard in years! Speak one-to-one with the DJ: Use his first name. If he is funny or insightful, mention it. Say something like, "Good question!" or "What a great idea!" The more relaxed and real you can be, the better your audio clip will serve you!
Marnie Swedberg is mentor and coach to over 500 public speakers. Visit her site at http://www.womenspeakers.com
RECENT HOT SCAMS:
GAP WOMEN'S CONFERENCE in UNITED KINGDOM.
LONDON (UK) YOUTH CONFERENCE
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
Marnie’s Scam Buster Rules
1. A legitimate query will almost always include a discussion about finances early on.
2. Anyone who routinely invites guests is used to answering a series of questions before the two parties reach an agreement. They have questions to ask you and you have an opportunity to ask them questions.
3. Create an “Engagement Confirmation” that professionally includes all of your most important questions. Format it so that you can ask the questions over the phone or send it to the planner via email.
4. Have an accountability partner who reviews your invitation before you make a final commitment. Sometimes one person will spot a red flag that another missed.
5. Establish a speaker fee range, even if it is “love offering”. Planners truly hate it when you say, “Whatever the Lord puts on your heart.”
Bryan Caplovitch’s Scam Alert List
1. Google the organization. Copy and paste a line or two out of the email. People like to share their own bad experiences.
2. Unless you are a celebrity or were recently in big media, it is rare that people just sent you an invitation to show up for a certain amount of money.
3. Most people who are choosing a speaker are working with a committee. They need to collect materials, fee range, suitability, etc. Going past all those, to booking the engagement without those details, is a red flag.
4. Obvious scams approach you and want money upfront. This may include photographers who want to make you famous and book publishers who want to add your chapter to a book full of other speakers,
5. Airplane radio or write up offers. Later on you find you have to pay for the interview.
6. Video showcases. Professional taping in front of a fake audience.
7. Note: Speakers bureaus come to you. They rarely take new speakers without seeing you in person.
Joyce Farrar-Rosemon’s Scam Protection Guidelines
1. Look at the terms and how the offer is being promoted.
2. Visit their website.
3. Google them: Both the speaker, retreat center, etc.
4. If it involves travel and you cannot bring an assistant, that’s a red flag.
5. Be cautious about your compassionate nature.
6. If it’s a promotion like, “I can boost your speaking capacity,” research the rating of that firm. Caution: The Internet can make an individual look larger than life.
7. Ask for the names of some previous speakers, and if you could contact them.
8. Have these people been to your website? Do they know anything about you at all? If not, beware.
All of us need support people who have already successfully journeyed down our current path; people who are willing to share their insights so that our journey can be better; and people whose knowledge, experience or position can save us time, money or unnecessary pain.
We need someone who is a little farther along the journey, is able to invest in us, and sees the value of where we are today on the way to where we are going.
As you read the following lists, take a personal inventory. There are ten categories of support as well as ten different types of support.
Which support genres are you currently lacking in your life? Which could you provide to others in your sphere of influence?
Categories of Support
1. Spiritual: Is at peace with God and self and able to help you grow in your faith.
2. Physical: Models your goal health standards whether through simple adherence, or more often, through a history of victory over your personal areas of weakness.
3. Seasonal: Has successfully completed your current stage of life (educationally, as a parent, in the aging process, etc.) and is able to provide hope and good advice.
4. Professional: Has a higher degree of education or experience than you currently possess and is willing to be your resource person and/or consultant.
5. Positional: Is a veteran member of your new neighborhood, the family you are marrying into, the church you are joining, or the company/organization where you've just been hired.
6. Vocational: Is skilled in the specific task or skill set you need to know next.
7. Visional: Has a knack for seeing things as they could be, instead of just as they are, and is proficient enough in your area of interest to provide keen insight and fresh ideas.
8. Editorial: Typifies your target audience, possesses an eye for detail, and is willing to serve as an editor, guinea pig or product tester.
9. Organizational: Juggles life responsibilities like yours in a highly effective manner and is capable of teaching you the concepts that work within your unique parameters.
10. Social Medial: Is skillful in using cutting edge technology to communicate with family, peers, customers or audiences.
Types of Support
1. Prayer Partner: Prays for and/or with you on a regular basis.
2. Launcher: Introduces you to, or shows up at the beginning of, your learning curve in a particular field of interest and shares the foundational concepts that get you going.
3. Guide: Helps you prepare yourself and your supplies in advance and then personally leads the way down one of their own favorite paths.
4. Teacher: Communicates technical knowledge in a way you can understand.
5. Coach: Teaches skills and polishes them to bring out your personal and/or professional best.
6. Accountability Partner: Helps you set reasonable goals and requires frequent reports on your progress until the goals are met.
7. Counselor: Provides insight, compassion and advice at critical decision points.
8. Sponsor: Holds a position of influence or authority and uses it for your benefit.
9. Role Model: Occupies the position, skill set or lifestyle to which you aspire.
10. Expert: Shares the precise information you need to know when you need to know it through books, articles, or papers.
There are thousands of experts who have demonstrated broad knowledge, or have written books, articles or papers based on extensive research; but you will be able to identify your ideal support person because their experience, expertise and availability will satisfy your need.
A mentor to mentors, Marnie Swedberg is the online leadership coach to thousands of women from every continent, career path and religious denomination. She is the author of ten books, the webhostess of sites generating millions of hits per year and the owner/manager of a restaurant, retail store and espresso cafe. If you need a mentor, coach, consultant or friend, come and meet Marnie!
Ina van Staden, a Women's Ministry leader in South Africa recently wrote, "At this moment I am doing everything myself and it is getting a little hard to get everything done." You may be able to relate to her list:
I believe in a gentle, "3-strikes-your-out" policy. If she forgets or doesn't do her task once, simply remind her and express your true sadness that her area of responsibility was left undone. If twice, repeat the above, also gently thank her for her willingness while helping her to see that the work of that ministry are vital. (If she rises to the task, she will be grateful for the words of encouragement; if not, she will understand your next step.) If she fails you a third time, after you have spoken kindly to her, offered her assistance, and explained the importance of her role, then you must carefully and prayerfully let her know that you will need to find someone else to coordinate that ministry. If she is very sad about this, ask if she might be retained as a helper, for the times she can attend.
Once some volunteers are recruited, have a special meeting for the gals whose positions fall into the middle section of your chart, followed by a meeting for all of your new women's ministry volunteers. Treat these women with extra honor for their labor of love. They will be your Aaron and Hur, holding you up during times of exhaustion. Then, hold regular meetings with your volunteer leaders in order that you may be able to encourage them in their responsibilities. By doing so, you will soon see who is in "the right spot" and whose gifts may require a change of job.
Marnie Swedberg is the Women's Ministry Leadership Mentor via her online hub athttp://www.marnie.com, where you will find many free and low-fee resources, connections and training opportunities to help you reach your full personal and ministry potential in Christ.
It’s one thing to write a book and call it “How to Write an Ebook,” but if I had, my great little resource book would have gotten lost in the pile of other great little resource books.In writing, niche is everything.
You have got to develop your plan to compete in an overcrowded marketplace.
- Analyze your personal strengths.
- Consider your competition.
- Research holes in your market.
- Determine a direction.
- Develop working chapter headings.
- Research strong keywords until you find the niche that needs you.
- Brainstorm and test irresistible title ideas.
- Confirm title availability and rule out duplicates.
- Nail down your chapter headings, incorporating as many keywords as possible.
Make your book the one that everybody is dying to read.
The new term is “cooler talk:” If you tell someone about your topic, and they turn around and tell somebody else, then you’re onto something.
In the middle of this whirlwind writing project, including it’s super tight publication deadline, a close friend, Larry, was laid off. About an hour ago, my husband, Dave, and I took Larry and Jenn out to lunch.
Shortly after getting in their SUV, Jenn asked what I’d been working on lately. I did a one minute overview of my upcoming pinch hit engagement after which Larry asked the topic of the eBook.
I said him, “It’s a book about how anybody, any author, can now personally publish their own book on Amazon, without a publisher or agent, in seven simple steps.”
Immediately, they began brainstorming out loud the names of all the unpublished authors they knew who could use such a book. Within seconds, their train of thought had moved on to include peer-professionals who needed to publish papers in eBook format and within a matter of minutes, they were speaking in personal terms, about something they might be able to publish on Amazon.
It’s one thing when people can think of other people who might enjoy your book. But when they get interested on a personal level--when they realize that your book is a good fit for them and not just “somebody,” that’s when you know you are on the right track.
The old saying goes, “There is a book inside of all us, just waiting to be written.” Well, if you’ve got an irresistible book idea, there’s never been a better time to write it.
Women want to improve their lives. Retreats provide an excellent opportunity to offer a variety of workshops to help them. Since several workshops are usually taking place at the same time, the guests will need to choose their priorities and then pursue the classes that best meet their own needs. Most weekend retreats offer at least two workshop segments. Each segment may offer two or more electives.
When selecting which workshops to coordinate, the easiest thing to do is to think through your women and their talents:
- Do you have a Pampered Chef Consultant? Would she teach a cooking class?
- How about a Master Gardener? Would she teach a class on perennials?
- A Creative Memories Consultant? Would she host a scrap-booking center?
The goal is to offer a balance of fun, informational, hands-on and physically challenging options.
The retreat registration form should include the workshop choices and allow a place for women to pre-register. This information will be ever-so-helpful to the workshop leaders as they determine a list of supplies. If there is a cost involved in the workshop, be sure to include that in the brochure.
The final step for you will be to coordinate with the facilities team regarding which class will be held where. It is important that you organize these areas well in advance so women do not waste time getting lost.
Here are the basic workshop categories and some suggestions for each:
Spiritually Challenging Interactive Lectures
How to Study the Bible
Spiritual Gifts Assessment
Motivational Interactive Lectures
Dealing with Stress
Hands On Arts/Crafts Activities
Homemade Greeting Cards
Family Related Interactive Lectures
Single and Searching
Explore Home Schooling
Personalities within the Family
Caring for Aging Parents
Physically Active Options
How to Give a Great Massage
Lessons in Liturgical Dance
Tour of Homes
Marnie Swedberg is the author of Retreats Made Easy: A comprehensive guide providing step-by-step instructions so you can set and accomplish your goals, enjoy the process, and get rave reviews all in less time and with less stress than you would think possible.
An evolving list of workshop ideas is available at http://www.PromoTemplates.com
Does your mind sometimes lock-up on you under pressure?
I just sometimes get to the end of my rope and feel like I’m going to snap. I have learned, and continue to learn, that the key to unlocking God’s creativity in any given situation is “humility.”
When there is undue stress, I quit looking around and I look up. Either God is…
- allowing this negative emotion for some eternal reason or
- it’s a ploy to get me off track – to either throw the God-ordained schedule or to strain a God-ordained relationship.
In order to lead a truly joy-full life, we must let God be in charge of our schedule, our relationships our rest and our work.
Then, when we feel like we are going to crash, or explode or lose our grip, we simply cry out to Him for mercy and watch as He provides everything we need to succeed!
Formatted for Easy Memorization:
The eyes of all wait for You and You give them their food in due season.
You open your hand and satisfy every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways and merciful in all His works.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him in sincerity and truth.
He will fulfill the desires of those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him;
He will hear their cry and will save them.
T e o a w f Y a Y g t t f i d s.
Y o y h a s e l t.
T L i r i a H w a m i a H w.
T L i n t a w c u H i s a t.
H w f t d o t w r a w f H;
H w h t c a w s t.
Do you love to invest yourself, your time and your gifts into others? Do you love giving, but hate it when the result is exhaustion, little or no appreciation, and confusion as to your true motives?
Adopt these healthy personal policies to help you make the tough choices, and deal with the tough.
1. If God grants you the grace to give something away (your time, whatever), do it!
God is not obligated to jump through every hoop we hold up and you are not obligated to jump through every hoop others hold up for you.
If God has chosen to bless you with the ability to serve others in a particular way, then serve you should. But if He has chosen to withhold that ability (for a moment, an hour, a day, a lifetime), accept His decision and apologize for any inconvenience it inflicts on others.
*Why apologize? Well, at least for me, I actually do wish I could say "yes" to everything - both because it is more fun and also because I truly care about the tangible needs of the people in my sphere of influence. But, if God says "no," my answer must be, "Yes, Lord. I, too, will say no!"
It's tough. The only way to stay in balance with God's provision is to stay in touch with His Spirit. I love Ephesians 5:18. "Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit."
When a person is drunk, they are no longer in control of themselves. They do things they'd never do if they were in full control.
It's the same with a Christian who is Spirit filled. We do things we would never do if we were fully in control.
The difference is that the drunkard's focus is on pleasing self while the person full of God's Spirit is focused on pleasing God. You truly can never out-give God if your sacrifices are for Him, through Him, in Him and to Him.
Marnie Swebberg is the online mentor to thousands of leaders worldwide. She trains: B.U.S.Y. - Best Unique Strategies for You. Learn how to maximize your life at http://www.Marnie.com.