WAF’s Five for Friday – The “Eco-Friendly Elf” Edition

Ecofriendly Fabric journalOnly 14 days left until Christmas, but it’s not too late to get great, affordable, eco-friendly stocking stuffers. Here are five that are sure to have people calling you “the eco-friendly elf”…

1. Fabric Journals – These elegantly striped red and orange cotton cover journals include braided string bookmarks  and are handcrafted by Indian artisans. The pages are made of acid-free recycled paper and bound in hand-woven cloth recycled from textile mills. $16 each.

2. Stainless Steel Food Carrier – A far cry from the boring brown bag lunch, this 3-tier Stainless Steel Tiffin Set (a lunch box system that hails from India) is reusable, lightweight, and has a lid with a fold down handle that doubles as a plate. It comes with a sidekick tiffin that’s great for dressings or sauces. Works for both cold or hot food. $24.95 each.

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I say tomato, you say frittata

00443790I subscribe to Chris Brogan’s e-newsletter. For those who don’t know, Chris Brogan is a social-media/blogging/marketing guru. He’s an author and the creator of the blogs Chris Brogan.com and Human Business Works.com.  And by all accounts he seems like a pretty nice guy. He also says some really smart stuff. Today was no different.

Turns out Chris is in the process of submitting proposals to publishers for a new book project he and a partner, Julien Smith, are working on. Chris is already the New York Times bestselling author of Trust Agents, so pitching a new book should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. Here’s what Chris had to say about the process thus far:

We’re shopping it around to some publishers, and what we’re hearing back, I’ve gotta be honest, isn’t really encouraging. In fact, most people are saying that they don’t see what we’re getting at, and that they don’t understand why it’s not a clear jump from Trust Agents into what they want to have as Trust Agents 2.

I’m also in the process of trying to secure an agent for a book project I’ve been working on. I’m very early on but have had just enough feedback to believe that I may be on to something. Now, being “on to something” is a far off from getting a book deal, but I know the project I have in mind, and I believe I can find at least one agent who’ll share my vision.

What especially peaked my interest while reading Brogan’s post was that he and his partner are clear about not wanting to write a Trust Agents 2. He goes on to explain that if the publishers aren’t getting the clear message that he’s not trying to write Trust Agents 2 then his proposal might need some tweaking. But maybe not…

With that vision, with that understanding that we’re working on the right thing, comes a clear sense that no matter what we’re getting for feedback, we know that we’re on the right path, and just have to adjust and improve. Meaning, we HEAR the feedback, but WE are deciding whether or not they see what we see to begin with.  Put another way: if you’re trying to make an omelet, and someone comes along and tells you that you’re not making a frittata right, who’s wrong?

I think that’s a really great point to make. Everyone should be open to advice, to feedback, to making changes. But if you know that you want to make an omelet, don’t let anyone convince you to make a frittata instead, even if it’s the best frittata in the history of frittatas.

This sound piece of advice applies to so much more than writing books and book proposals. Whether your calling is entrepreneurship, the corporate world, teaching, stay-at-home mom or fill-in-the-blank, if it’s your calling, listen to advice, adjust your plans accordingly, but don’t let anyone (not even yourself) convince you that you should try your hand at frittata making as a career. You might end up making the world’s best frittata that no one, including you, is going to want to eat.

Survival of the fitness: Holiday feeding frenzies

00182714I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks. Two road trips (one 30 hours round-trip), a girlfriend getaway (more on that in a future post), my first ever spa treatment, and a lot, lot, lot of food.

I officially fell off the wagon, or as I like to call it, “the back of the food truck” somewhere in Birmingham, Alabama after a barbeque feast fit for a queen. Due to a meat induced high, the details are somewhat sketchy, but there was roasted corn, potato salad, grits, biscuits, sausage and cinnamon buns, and that doesn’t even include dinner. *Sighs*

Today, back to reality. And as 40 year old bodies often do, mine is reacting negatively to the meat parade that just worked its way through my system. I have no one to blame but myself though, so you’ll hear no moaning from me. Instead I’m stocking up on the veggies my body is now most certainly craving and drinking water like I just got out of the desert.

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Kalin’s Chronicles: Journey to the Bottom of the World

antarticaYou’re going where?  Why?  That’s how my friends responded when I told them I was going to Antarctica.  Little did they know that the coldest place on earth is becoming one of the hottest travel destinations with more than 25,000 visitors a year.  Antarctica is also one of the most difficult places on earth to reach – so travelers must visit during the southern hemisphere’s summer – the winter months for the U.S. – when the ice melts enough to allow access to the continent’s outer banks. So December is a great time to cruise to Antarctica!

I made the journey years ago. My cruise to the “bottom of the world” began with an 11-hour flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a night on the town and an excellent steak dinner (Argentina is known for its beef), I was up early the next morning for a three-and-a-half-hour flight to Ushuaia, Argentina—the southern-most country in the world. This seaport and ski town is partly surrounded by the beautiful Andes Mountains. One of the jumping-off points for a cruise to the “bottom of the world” is Ushuaia, Argentina. I took the Clipper Adventurer, with about 100 other passengers.   The cruise line has been cruising to Antarctica since 1998. (Photo: Kalin with a few of Antarctica’s most famous inhabitants)

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