Sari’s Letter, October 2017

As I promised the ladies on our last LOV call, here is a copy of the poem “When God Created Women” that Amy Hinton shared;

When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day…….

An angel came by and asked.” Why spend so much time on her?”

The lord answered. “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?”

She must function on all kinds of situations, 
She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time,
Have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart,
She must do all this with only two hands,”
She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day”

THE ANGEL was impressed” Just two hands…..impossible!

And this is the standard model?”

The Angel came closer and touched the woman”
“But you have made her so soft, Lord”.
“She is soft”, said the Lord,
“But I have made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome”

“Can she think?” The Angel asked…
The Lord answered. “Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate”

The Angel touched her cheeks….
“Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too many burdens on her” 
“She is not leaking…it is a tear” The Lord corrected the Angel…

“What’s it for?” Asked the Angel….. .
The Lord said. “Tears are her way of expressing her grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride.”…

This made a big impression on the Angel,
“Lord, you are a genius. You thought of everything.
A woman is indeed marvellous”

Lord said.”Indeed she is.
She has strength that amazes a man.
She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens.
She holds happiness, love and opinions.
She smiles when she feels like screaming.
She sings when she feels like crying, cries when happy and laughs when afraid.
She fights for what she believes in.

Her love is unconditional.
Her heart is broken when a next-of-kin or a friend dies but she finds strength to get on with life”

The Angel asked: So she is a perfect being?
The lord replied: No. She has just one drawback

“She often forgets what she is worth”.

 

From My Heart With LOV – Sari

 

 

 

How to Market Your Business Around Halloween

Halloween marketing will soon be on overdrive (you know this if you’ve been anywhere near a Walgreens recently). So it’s time to get your local business in on the action. After all, by the very nature of trick-or-treating, Halloween is all about bringing the neighborhood together.

Here are some fun Halloween marketing ideas for small businesses.

Dress Up Your Business

You don’t have to be selling costumes to deck out your storefront or office for Halloween. Try spooking things up with a Halloween-themed window display. If you’re a retail store, for example, style your window with orange-and-black outfits. If you’re a hair salon, put up a cutout of Elvira or Wednesday Addams with a Happy Halloween message. If you’ve got an online business, that’s your storefront!  Rub a little Halloween goodness on that site.  A bit of Halloween goes a long way in letting your customers know you have a sense of whimsy, which helps make your brand more endearing.

And don’t forget the pumpkins. Venture away from the generic jack-o-lantern and instead carve something related to your business. If you’re a beer hall, for example, maybe you do up an “I love beer” quote. It’ll require skills, yes, but impressive pumpkin art is social media candy for passersby (hey, free marketing).

Host An Event

The question “What should we do for Halloween?” will soon be on people’s minds. Answer their call by hosting an event at your shop. A costume party is always a no-brainer (don’t forget the dry ice), but you could also do something a little more creative. If you’re a nail salon, maybe host Halloween-themed nail art lessons. If you’re a makeup studio, do the same with costume-themed makeup.

But whatever you do, be sure to get the word out early so people can plan for it (and invite their friends). Promote your event via Square’s email marketing tools, and also trumpet it from social media. Getting the event on people’s radars may also land you on one of those “What to do for Halloween” lists that local media outlets will no doubt be publishing in the coming weeks.

Halloween-ize Your Store Items

The start of chilly weather means that fall flavors are on people’s minds. (Evidence: pumpkin-spiced latte mayhem). Think about what types of items you can offer to help people get in the Halloween state of mind. If you’re a bar, spice up your drink menu with Halloween cocktails (witches brew, anyone?). If you’re a restaurant, offer a Halloween-themed dinner (here’s some inspiration). If you’re a bakery, whip up some Halloween cookies (think office parties).

This is especially important in the days leading up to Halloween (and day of), since people are in a festive mood. Be sure to let people know that you’ll have these things on tap. Social media is a great way to promote your Halloween-themed product offerings. Snap a picture of your item and post it to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. A fun hashtag gets you bonus points (aka more likes). You can also let people know about your Halloween items through Square Customer Engagement, which has a built-in email marketing template for announcements.

Offer Specials Or Deals

Halloween-themed deals are a perfect opportunity to get more foot traffic and clients. An enticing, timely offer gives people a reason to choose your store over others. Think about offering discounts for items or services that will get people Halloween-ready. Square’s email marketing tool has a template specifically tailored towards discounts and promotions, which makes this easy.

Dress Up

Another photo op ripe for social media: a dressed-up staff. But take it to the next level and do it around a theme. If you’re a salon, for example, it’s time to do up some crazy hair. Marge Simpson, Cher, and David Bowie (that is, Labyrinth David Bowie) are always solid options. If you’re a bakery, maybe get your employees to dress up like the Swedish chef from The Muppets.

Trick-Or-Treat It Out

Now is the perfect time to bring the neighborhood together. Families (especially in cities) are always on the lookout for fun and safe places to trick-or-treat. Make your block the go-to destination by banding together with other stores to host family-friendly neighborhood trick-or-treating. Get spirited, though — decorate the street in a creative way and ensure that all participating stores have something fun and different to offer. Well before the festivities, market the event to your customers with Square’s email marketing tools.

Hopefully these ideas get your creative juices flowing. But we want to see what you’ve got. Post a picture of what your store is doing for Halloween on Facebook (be sure to tag us), and we’ll give you a shoutout!

Close Friends Are Good For Your Health

It’s pretty well-established at this point that having friends is good for you — over the years, study after study has found that social support is a significant predictor of a long, healthy life. The word friend, though, can mean so many things in so many different contexts: your work spouse, the old college pal you call when you feel like reminiscing, that person on the edge of your social circle that you always chat with at parties. Maybe you use “friend” to refer to a broad swath of people you enjoy hanging out with; maybe you reserve it for the few people you’d feel comfortable spilling your guts to.

According to one of the newest studies of the bunch, that last type of friendship may be one of the most valuable when it comes to your well-being: In a paper published last month in the journal Child Development, a team of researchers found that having a childhood best friend can play a significant role in a person’s mental health well into adulthood.

The study drew from a data set that tracked the mental health of 169 racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse adolescent participants at three points: age 15, age 16, and age 25. For the first two rounds, subjects also identified the person they considered to be their best friend, and the study authors interviewed both members of the duo (the label of “best friend” didn’t have to be mutual, the authors noted, and participants didn’t necessarily have to name the same person both years). By age 25, the researchers found, subjects who had had higher-quality close friendships as a teen —defined here as “high degree of attachment, intimate exchange, and support” — tended to have lower social anxiety, an increased sense of self-worth, and fewer symptoms of depression.

“We weren’t surprised that better adolescent close friendships turned out to be important, but we were surprised by just how important they turned out to be into adulthood,” says lead study author Rachel Narr, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Virginia.

Importantly, it was quality, not quantity, that seemed to matter. In fact, teens who prioritized broader social networks over a few close friends actually had higher rates of social anxiety in young adulthood. When kids are focused on being popular instead of forming deep connections, Narr notes, that’s when problems often arise: “Being the popular kid is ‘cool’ in high school, but by 25, it doesn’t set you apart and make you a leader in the same way,” she says. “The phrase ‘feeling alone in a crowd’ comes to mind when thinking about those kids and their heightened social anxiety later.”

Other researchers have made similar conclusions. Psychologist Tim Kasser, for example, has identified two values that influence how our relationships affect our well-being: popularity, the drive to have more friends and be liked by a wider circle of people; and affinity, the drive to deepen and build close relationships. Much like Narr’s findings, Kasser discovered that those who sought popularity over affinity tended to be less happy, less healthy, and often more depressed. Those who sought and found best friendship, on the other hand, had the opposite outcome.

And in a pair of studies that involved nearly 280,000 individuals, social psychologist Bill Chopik, a professor at Michigan State University, found that the power of friendship gets stronger with age and becomes even more important in fending off loneliness and chronic disease. But, once again, the quality of those friendships matter. “Having closer friends is better than having many, superficial friends,” Chopik says, adding that it’s smart to invest your time and energy in the friendships that make you happiest.

Which, according to both science and common sense, should probably include at least one person whose friendship is deep enough to be considered all-purpose — someone you can go to when you want to cry, vent, brag, laugh. A 2015 paper published in Personality and Social Psychology Review suggests that people generally look to their best friend to fill two critical roles: “source of strength support,” in which friends provide comfort, protection, and soothing; and acting as a “relational catalyst,” challenging, encouraging, and celebrating the other person. A best friendship, in other words, can make the bad better and the good even more so, something that more casual friendships can’t always pull off.

That’s not to say, though, that you can’t reap the benefits of best friendship if you no longer keep in touch with anyone from your younger years. “Great friends are made at all ages,” says Kelly Rudolph, a certified life coach who often writes about relationships.

With a childhood best friend, Rudolph notes, you learn about life together, with all the traumas, challenges, and excitement of growing up — but when you make a best friend later in life, the relationship has a different kind of power thanks to the experience you both bring to the table. “The conversations, support, and adventures can be deeper and more fun,” she says, “as you navigate your future with your combined wisdom.” And all the evidence suggests it’ll be a longer, healthier future, too.