featured, Social Good

Holiday Gifts with Heart ❤️ to Help Others

by, Louise Masin Sattler

Note: This article appeared on LouiseSattler.com prior to being posted here.  Read original  and complete article here.

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2017 has seen more than its’ share of tragedy.  Mother Nature was angry this year – very, very, very angry. Our world experienced  multiple devastating earthquakes, hurricanes that tore apart whole islands and deadly fires that also ravaged homes and businesses.  Then there was the broken hearts caused by recent acts of violence and rage – Las Vegas, Barcelona, London, throughout Africa and the mid-east and of course, New York City.

Despite the tragedy and profound sense of losses, we can still hope and seek a silver lining this holiday season by giving from the heart to heal hearts.

I have compiled a list of organizations or companies that want to help the greater good by doing good.  Please consider their efforts when you are gifting others’ during the holidays or just “any day”.

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One Hope Wines. Annually this company features worthwhile organizations that deserve our love. Whether to help fight against breast cancer or drive attention about Autism, this company always is about the giving through gifts.  Discover their lovely gift bags here that nourish the soul.

This year the grape crops of Northern California were nearly obliterated due to numerous fires of unprecedented magnitude.  One Hope has pledged to help the farmers and wineries and sent a note from their CEO with their vow for assistance.

Read about the ONE HOPE wine GoFund Me campaign

 

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BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL RESCUE

The statistics are staggering as to how many animals are destroyed annually. That is a polite way to say killed.  That’s right – thousands upon thousands of dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. are euthanized because of bad luck.  They were throw-aways. BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL RESCUE works tirelessly to save animal lives and educate humans.

Adopt a pet either for “real” or  sponsor a pet virtually here.

Sponsoring a pet is the perfect gift to give someone who is allergic or unable to care for a furry family member due to living circumstances.  Last year I adopted a dog and horse to gift someone!

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Sponsor a Classroom!

Organizations are abundant to help teachers get the essentials (and occasional perks) funded for their classroom.  Don’t believe that school districts in 2017 are flush with money to help our student’s learn. Many have shoes-string budgets and can hardly cover the basics, like textbooks or science equipment.  I would love to think that we don’t need a bake sale each time our students need uniforms or basic science equipment. But, that is the reality.

Here are some alternate ways to help without having to crack an egg for cookie-dough.

Click on the links below to learn more about each organization.

Donors Choose – Help a specific teacher / classroom request

Adopt a Classroom (including a special section for Hurricane Relief)

Go Fund Me Educational Campaigns

 

Continue reading… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Culinary, featured, Travel

Reprint from Family Travel by Colleen Kelly: Expanding the Palate of a Picky Eater


Original print of :SEVEN DISHES TO EXPAND THE PALATE OF YOUR PICKY EATER

Appeasing the picky eater is a challenge almost every parent has had to face at some point or another. Whether it’s a battle of the broccoli, or another culinary conflict, getting your child to try new foods can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Experts have noted that one of the best ways to get your child to eat foods that they might traditionally oppose, is by not putting any emphasis or weight on that particular food. Setting a plate of food in front of your child while simultaneously saying, “No dessert unless you finish all your vegetables,” implies that vegetables are a negative thing, since they are being told they have to eat them.

It can be just as challenging to get your child to try more ethnic foods. If they’re used to grilled cheese and chicken nuggets, the idea of international cuisine might seem, well, foreign to them. Here, we’re going to give you some helpful suggestions of kid-friendly foods from around the world that will encourage them to expand their picky palates.

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

1. Thai – Tofu or Chicken Pad Thai

You and your spouse have been dying to try that new Thai restaurant that just opened up down the street, but you both know Little Suzy won’t eat anything but pizza. Try not to make it a point to say you’re going to “try a new restaurant” tonight. Instead, simply say you’re going to have Thai for dinner. A universally-loved option is chicken or tofu pad Thai, a noodle dish mixed with scrambled eggs, some vegetables, and a peanut-flavor. Try skipping the sprouts, to keep the meal looking and tasting a bit more simple. Don’t forget the potstickers! Kids are sure to love these tasty little dumplings with a side of soy sauce.

Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures.net

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2. Japanese – Ramen and California Rolls
Although people tend to associate Japanese cuisine simply with sushi, there’s a lot of options that kids will be more likely to try. One palate-pleasing standard is ramen. This soup-based noodle entree is made to order, and can include a variety of add-ins. If your child is used to more simple-tastes, try shoyu ramen, which is soy-sauce based. If you have a slightly more adventurous child, who wants to give sushi a try, suggest a California roll. These usually contain rice, cucumber, avocado, and crab meat or imitation crab. Some California rolls include fish eggs as well, but you can simply put in a special request with your waiter to leave those out. This might be more appealing to kids who are skeptical of anything fish-related that’s not breaded and dipped in ketchup.

 

Photo Credit: Noodles.com
3. Italian – Pesto Cavatappi
As a parent, I quickly grew to learn that kids love buttered noodles. It’s an easy, simple dish, but of course, there’s not much to it. Build your child’s buttered noodle affinity by trying a new spin on this classic favorite, such as adding vegetables, or even a new sauce. For example, pesto is a mild enough sauce that your child might not notice too much of a flavor change. And with all the different variations and shapes of noodles, serve the sauce over something unique, like cavatappi or bowtie pasta. If you’re feeling really adventurous, combine a few types of noodles into one dish to give your child a fun surprise.

Read the rest of the article here on Family Travel with Colleen Kelly.

headshot-2016-catie_crpAbout Colleen Kelly:

Parent, travel writer, and seasoned traveler, Colleen Kelly grew up traveling all over the world. She has experienced the United States from coast to coast and has explored over 20 foreign countries. Her vast knowledge of travel brought her to realize the need for a new kind of travel experience and focus—one that is centered around the family. As a family travel expert, Colleen doesn’t miss a beat as she offers her personalized tips to parents. Her fun-loving personality pulsates through every moment of the show. She is the ultimate modern-day parent who isn’t afraid to kick back, get a little messy, and have fun!

 

featured

Introducing the 411 Voices Media Influencer Network

For several years our 411 Voices Media consultants have been involved with social media campaigns that involved influencer marketing.   We are pleased to note that we have launched an extension to our services by adding an affiliate influencer network.

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Why is influencer marketing needed?

  1. Industry experts  have determined that brands are using influencer marketing as a significant part of their strategy to garner customers and increase sales.
  2. Micro-influencers have proven to be an effective way to enhance audience engagement and sales. Read more here via KLEAR.
  3. The phone book is dead as are traditional yellow pages. So, we need “voices” that are present on social media to help “spread the word”.

 

What are we looking for with people who with to become an affiliate?

We know that people who are involved in social media often wear more than “one hat” and that sometimes a person may need an occasional supplemental paycheck.  That makes being an affiliate ideal for some.

Sometimes we find people who are amazing but are afraid to let us know they are interested because they don’t feel they have enough “number of followers”.

We don’t care about your social media “Numbers”.  

In fact, the person with hundred of thousands of followers may not have as much engagement as a person with eight thousand followers. We are looking for enthusiasm, engagement and integrity with social media practices.

We also know that some genres have dedicated followings (such as travel) where education is a “tougher sell” in the world of social media.  Numbers are often meaningless.  Quality vs. Quantity.

More importantly…We really want to work with people who believe in giving back to their community or supporting a cause.

Creativity, a willingness to work as part of a team and following timelines is important when one is a contracted influencer.  And, we know there are people who we have met and many more we haven’t who would make perfect affiliates to our team.

Lastly, 411 Voices Media is a “drama – free zone”.

We know you must have questions or perhaps know us well enough to just say, “Yes!”   Simply complete this application form to learn more. 

Thank you!

 

demo, featured

Building your brand

What media marketing and content generation services do our consultants offer?

  • SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES and ACTIVATION – We develop a social media strategy and can help to activate it. As social media architects we are able to tell your story to a large audience.
  • BRAND AMBASSADORS / INFLUENCERS  – We can share and circulate your story via our social media audiences.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA CORRESPONDENTS – Telling your story live from events
  •  CONTENT CREATORS – Produce various pieces of visual and written content to fit your brand’s interests and needs.
  • OFFERING SUPPORT – We understand that your agency may have a great PR plan already in place, but perhaps you are looking for some additional support. We are able to “supersize” your efforts. Let’s talk! Learn more here.
Digital Media, marketing, Media, Social Media Campaign Strategies

You have a great idea – what to do with it? (A presentation)

You have an idea that has been tumbling around your head for quite some time.  You tell a few friends and then finally one (or more) says… “Why don’t you just do it!”

So, now that idea needs to be formalized, made in to a business plan and much more.  Below you will find a short form document of the ESSENTIALS of how to start with taking your idea to fruition.  Remember that all good ideas that are made in to products or business have to include MARKETING. It is astonishing to our 411 voices team how many people forget that part!

Marketing does not have to be expensive, but it is necessary.

DOWNLOAD THE RESOURCE GUIDE HERE :_resource-guide-for-your-biz

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BLOGGING, featured, Media, Social Media Campaign Strategies

Inexpensive and Free Tools to Create Images for Social Media Content

 

Social media specialists all agree that images can speak volumes. Here are a few tips to make posts pops with just the right photo or stock image.

  1. Take a lot of photos.  You never know when you will need to have a photo of a cute dog, a landscape at the beach or in the woods or a group of smiling friends dining over a luscious dinner.  Special note: Don’t post photos of kids that aren’t yours without permission.
  2.  Use a variety of different stock photo sites.  Many people seek to use only free stock photos or ones that are from “known sites”.  Sometimes you have to dig for special sites that post unusual graphics or photos.  Some of  our favorites are (in random order):

PIXABAY:  Lots of great FREE photos with options to pay from partner sites.  Buy them a “cup of coffee” if you use a lot of photos.  The image below was made for one of our clients using a photo from Pixabay.

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GRAPHIC LEFTOVERS:   This site has undergone a huge upheaval in the past few months. Once known for easy on the wallet photos, it now has posted a steep increase in pricing.  I reached out to the owners who assured this writer that the prices will “level out” soon.  However, it may be too late to keep dedicated users. Hope it all works out for them, because some of their images (see below) are valuable with creating themed websites and more.

Make Ideas Happen Concept
From Graphic Leftovers

FREEIMAGES.com  This site has a number of free photos and images. The licensing agreements should be reviewed carefully, as with all of the aforementioned websites.

StockSnap.io also gives free photos for commercial use.  This site offers some non-traditional photography – even a bit edgy.  gr

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from: StockSnap.io

Gratisography  offers “gratis” high resolution images that range from “normal” life to really “out of the box”.  Truly a treasure trove for when you are seeking something that will never be described as boring.

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from : gratisography

What to do with the images you made?

3. Once you curate great photos and graphics you will want to give them some design magic . Sprout Social created a comprehensive  list of free tools for creating images. Here are some of our “must haves” from this list:

Collage Maker (Pro and Lite) versions are excellent apps.

BeFunky  is good for basic design and easy for start-up

RELAY  Want to make clever posts – this is one of our favorites. Check out their “mock-up” feature.

Photo Effects Lite app (and purchased packages) – Animate your images in 600 different ways.

CANVA – Some free, pretty inexpensive and very much liked within the industry

Like to make images on your phone?  We have favorite apps that make content creation via a smartphone a breeze (and fun)!

Try these for iOS

Glitch-Art – ups the interest level, for sure

Pic-Collage – a “must have”

Lumyer Photo Editor (you will laugh at some of the graphics here and it gives “life” to your video. )

Flipagram – a favorite among travel bloggers, it would seem

Color Pop Effects – for when you want to create a stunning image that simply, “pops”

Fontmania – Fonts and more to give some pizazz to your posts

Last thoughts…

There is an abundance of content creation tools – far more than mentioned here. Which are your favorites? Why? We all can learn from each other.

 

featured

Reacting vs. Responding

by Debbie D’Aquino, guest blogger

“It sounds trivial but I didn’t get my coffee order as I had requested and found myself getting irritated; I was already short on time . . . Then the traffic was extremely slow, I didn’t want to be late, so I became frustrated! . . . When I arrived at the office there were kids running around the reception room and my temper started escalating . . . next thing I know I’m arguing with the dental assistant about something I can’t even remember. How was your day?”

These were the tales of a client. It’s probably fair to say he was having a bad morning.
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that upset us when life isn’t matching our expectations.

I write a short chapter in my book, Calm is the New Happy, How to get there in 5 minutes! about REACTING verses RESPONDING.

We may not realize it, but most of us feel entitled that only “good” things happen to us.

Then when our real lives don’t match up with the ideal picture we hold in mind, we become depressed, angry, frustrated, or anxious. We are quick to react negatively and bring everyone around us into our negative attitude.

When more serious events affect us like a difficult diagnosis, an unexpected layoff, a heartbreak or something disturbing like a random act of violence, terror, or a frightening accident – it is most important to possess a calming response.

It is important to be available for response, not reaction in order to help those around you to remain calm and clear-headed.

So many of us live in a state of low-grade fear, sadness or depression that a negative reaction helps validate why our attitudes are so dismal.

Related: Depression Statistics (infographic)

Would you be interested in a lasting state of peace, power, purpose, and presence?

You’re ability to live in peace in the midst of suffering is only a few practices away. It can be life-changing. It can be life-saving!

 

Develop an Inner Peace that supports your Response and helps eliminate your anxiety-filled Reaction!

I can teach you how to make that happen.

I am here to help you. No matter what your situation, I will help bring your dreams to life.  Together we will bring about results greater than you can imagine.

 

Get crystal clear on what you want ~ Create the lifestyle you desire ~ Uncover hidden challenges ~

 

About the author:  Debbie D’Aquino is an author, speaker, teacher, host of Calm is the New Happy Online Telesummit where Debbie interviews 21 experts from around the world in the field of personal development and spiritual growth.  She is also the Founder of Green Tea Meditation Transformation. You can  connect with her about more information regarding her breakthrough sessions /coaching  and also online.

Website

Facebook

YouTube

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disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by Debbie D’Aquino are hers and may or may not reflect the views of 411 voices.
Education, Social Good

Helping school students through #SocialGood… Meet Jaylen Arnold and Retro Bill

There are many people who talk about volunteering their time to help school students. And, then there are those who actually carry-through and donate their talents and energy to help others.  We would like to shine a spotlight on some very special individuals and their school- based programs.

Jaylen Arnold
Jaylen Arnold Photo Credit: Facebook: Jaylen’s Challenge

Meet Jaylen Arnold of Jaylen’s Challenge. This young man has a multitude of challenges, including being diagnosed as a toddler with Tourette’s, a neurological disorder.  Jaylen is a unique young man in that he has been talking to school audiences with the hopes that his anti-bullying campaign will reach not only student’s but teachers.  Jaylen started Jaylen’s Challenge as a very young elementary aged student (with a little help from his Mom, Robin).

The website is one of the best educational resources out there for anyone who wishes to learn, teach and offer school based anti-bullying interventions.   Click here for information about anti- bullying programs via JaylensChallenge.org. 

Bullying…the facts

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Now a teen and in high school, Jaylen has amassed the admiration of many far and wide.  He has been featured on many major media outlets, including being highlighted on the Halo Effect on the Nickelodeon channel.  (View here the full episode)  Not to mention that he is an award winner (recently received the highly esteemed World of Children Award) and even received accolades and donations for his cause from Ellen DeGeneres.

Schools and organizations looking to book Jaylen for speaking can connect here. 

When you first meet Retro Bill you think you have bounced back in time! But, this man with his signature pomRetro Billpadour focuses his efforts on matters of safety, wellness, character and anti-bullying.  His award winning programs help students learn acceptance, resisting peer pressure and safe living have received accolades from many across North America!

Retro Bill makes appearances at school and in media.   You can connect with Bill Russo, aka “Retro Bill” via his website.

Here is an example from his Youtube channel on how he works continuously to keep kids from dangerous situations!

 

Education, featured, Sign Language, ASL, 31 Days ASL Challenge, History of Sign Language

31 Days of Sign Language

Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Perhaps for purposes to travel and experience culture’s in foreign lands? Or, maybe you wished to learn the visual language that is the cornerstone of the Deaf community – sign language.

Learn the history of sign language in the United States here.

I first learned sign language from a few friends when I attended the University of Delaware.  I was fascinated by the ease of how people could communicate without voicing a single word.  My first words signed … well… let’s just say that I don’t teach sign in the same order that I learned it. (Afterall, I was a college freshman!)

In the years following my initial introduction to sign language, I worked within and among the Deaf community.  I would spend quite a bit of time as a School Psychologist at educational meetings listening to parents lament about how they couldn’t communicate with their children.  So, I began a sign language company, Signing Families, and developed DVDs for  parents  with the sole goal to help them learn and teach their Deaf and Autistic children… one sign at a time.

Learn about my journey with Signing Families here via SLATE.

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SLATE magazine chronicled the history of Signing Families

 

Over the years more products came, including a Sign Language for Emergency Situations and school communication folders. One of the most well-received outcomes of my efforts was a set of videos I created – ASL 31 DAYS CHALLENGE.   I uploaded these 31 short videos on YouTube last year and again on Facebook this past month. Below you will find the opening video.

 

 

View all 31 days of ASL vocabulary videos

 

 

author: Louise Sattler

 

featured, Podcast

Fan of Pretty Little Liars will love this podcast featuring Tommy “Teeco 71” Geraci

Tommy Geraci loves Pretty Little Liars, and just about any other pop culture TV show.  Recently, he was interviewed on cAbernetAndA.  This group describes themselves as a fun loving group who combine watching together Pretty Little Liars along with a bottle (or more) of their best wine! (Hence, the Cabarnet).

ODD?

Actually, gatherings that combined “fine” beverages and television viewing date way back… or at least a decade ago when Sex and the City took over TV sets (and more)! Substitute Cosmos for wine and you have the makings of what was an HBO main-stay among women (and many men!)

Enjoy listening to Tommy Geraci discuss Pretty Little Liars and whole bunch more on this podcast brought to you by podbean.

LISTEN HERE 

iTunes
Listen the podcast with Tommy Geraci here http://cabernetandA.podbean.com

 

Watch Pretty Little Liars via FREEFORM TV

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Tommy Geraci at REGAL CON – covering ONCE UPON A TIME

Connect with Tommy Geraci and read more about his life in social media and celebrity via  Teeco71.com.  He is no stranger to Red Carpets, too!