Friday, October 29, 2010

Do you like cupcakes?

Do you like cupcakes? More importantly, what are you doing Sunday?

Start Halloween early with a kitchen demonstration/open house. I'll be demonstrating how to bake and frost the perfect chocolate cupcakes in the perfect baker's kitchen. Gobble up a cupcake or two while checking out this super sweet house my friend Erin has listed.

We'll be hanging out, baking, frosting and eating cupcakes from 1-4 pm. You can check out more information about the house at

Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Motivating the motivator

What do we do when the motivator needs motivation? As professional project managers and producers one of our biggest assets is our ability to motivate our team. That is often times one of our favorite tasks as well. That being said, what do we do when we need motivating?

My trick is surrounding myself with other professional project managers and producers. I have a fantastic group of kindred spirits that I can lean on from time to time. These are former coworkers, friends, all around kick-ass people. They are crucial for my sanity. They are what allows me to keep the faith when it starts to waiver.

The great thing about this support team is they are very empathetic and in most cases reach out to me before I get the energy to reach out to them. They can sense I need the atta boys.

OK, take a deep breath, in with the good air, out with the bad air. Go forth and surround yourself with a solid support group!

Here's the quote that I go to often. It sums it up.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pop Up Cupcake Stand Experiment

I had been thinking about trying a pop-up cupcake stand for quite some time. But just never got around to it. Well last week I tried it and I have to say it was a pretty good success. I wanted to see if a word of mouth, twitter, facebook approach would work. Viola! It did, with flying colors.

I sent out several emails to my friends and colleagues, I posted on twitter and facebook. I had a combination of 96 chocolate andcarrot, mini and maxi cupcakes. I sold about 75 in under an hour. It was so much fun, granted most of the customers were my friends that worked in the area. But several were not. One group that I didn't know, actually worked in my building heard about it from an email to one of my friends, that was blasted to her company, then forwarded to them. I love how that worked out. As a result one of the gals from that group follows me on Twitter and shared the photo I've posted. Fun! Thanks @tinyabstraction

I will definitely do this again, I may try to do it more regularly. It has really made me think about how I take more steps toward my goal of bringing people together with food. Do I need to get a cart and do this more formally or do I dabble in the pop up stands a little more. I'd love to have a little shop where I could bake in the morning and team build in the afternoon. Some day!

In the meantime, order up cupcakes for your next party, event or wedding.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Inspired by Enjoy Cupcakes

This adorable cupcake bakery is absolutely what I would dream for myself. Enjoy Cupcakes. I heard about them via twitter from @ohjoystudio's blog, which is great by the way, and was led to Enjoy Cupcakes. I was so inspired by them that I immediately wrote them a long email letting them know that. That catering trailer, true genius!

Thanks Enjoy for getting me to take another step toward my dream!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Working with, not against

I had the pleasure of some organizational development training from OD guru Thom Walters. This is a tidbit I wish I practiced more often.

There are two positions we function out of at any given moment: the position of trying to be right and the position of trying to understand. Our current culture is ingrained in the right vs. wrong mentality. In our business it really doesn’t ever matter who is right or wrong. What matters is that we work together to create an amazing outcome both internally, as well for our clients.

Core idea:
When we are in the posture of being right, we are making someone else wrong. This leads directly to tension and defensiveness, causing a polarized situation. We end up all being wrong because we lost our effectiveness to resolve the situation and move the project forward.

When we are in the posture of understanding, we are not necessarily admitting anything or accepting a particular behavior or situation. We are not giving in. We are getting to the bottom of what motivated someone to do what they did, or why they are taking a certain position. The best result is to move people out of defending their position and onto solving the needs of the project and the team.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What are your natural talents?

I'm a big proponent of focusing on your strengths. I think if you spend time working on those your weaknesses will begin to fade away. I recently came across this great book and website (thank you Jennifer R from NWEA). Strengths Finder 2.0. At the website you go through a series of questions that output an assessment that identifies your natural talents. I was so moved by this book I bought another five copies and am giving them to my friends.

My assessment validated a lot of things for me. And really showed me that I'm in the right place career and life wise. Here are my strenths:
- Arranger
- Individualization
- Includer
- Maximizer
- Empathy

I urge you to check it out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chirp, Chirp...Mmmm Lemon Cream

Wow, its been a while. I'm back at the full-time PMing and wow is my brain feeling sore. Funny how a few months of not working full time will cause part of the ole' brain muscle to get rigamortis. Oh well. I also started a bootcamp this week. So brain and body are going to get back into shape all at once.

For a little Easter spirit I baked some lemon cream cupcakes and added peeps. Don't you love peeps? Well the look of them not actually the taste or texture.

They turned out cute, I thought I'd share.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Inspired by a blog post "Your goals suck"

Its been two and a half years since I set my intention to bring people together with food, an endeavor called Peach Cheesecake. Two and a half years ago I wasn't sure what that meant. And for two and a half years I've been figuring it out. I know I have a huge passion for food and a huge passion for helping people be better, well, better people. I made a conscience effort to spend more time adding structure to my "goal" last July when I left my well-paid, yet overly-stressful job. I've been freelancing and am loving the flexibility that provides. Have I gotten closer to shaping how I'm going to bring people together? Not so much. But I have found more joy and happiness which I feel is getting me to a place that WILL help me structure Peach Cheesecake.

Today I came across a great blog post called "Your goal suck" by blogger/small business consultant Johnny B. Truant, It inspired me to consider my goals and know that I am finding success on a daily basis by living my life and being happy. I encourage you to read it too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

The Valentine's Day feeling took over me today. The result Red Velvet cupcakes with Tiffany blue cream cheese frosting.

Making sense of it all

Reinventing yourself, in your career anyway, is an interesting adventure. At moments the thrills are so high but then again, the lows can be quite low. The empowerment you feel is great, then the worry about your finances creep in. Its a roller coaster of emotion, stress, happiness. Honestly though I do not regret one single minute of it. I see the path before me and as long as I'm taking a step toward it each day then I'm good. I've still not 100% figured out how I'll bring people together with food. And that's really alright. As long as I'm constantly working toward that then eventually the way will become clear. I do know that I love to cook, I do know that I love to help people. I love being a connector.

I have a team building cooking experience with the Schoolhouse Supplies executive team next month. That is the holy grail of Peach Cheesecake. Getting a team together in a kitchen and cooking together, helping them build their collaboration tools, their communication skills. I'm really looking forward to rolling up my sleeves with them and getting them cooking.

As for today, my agency project is wrapping up and I'm baking some Red Velvet cupcakes, I'm feeling in the Valentine's Day mood.

Two steps forward, one step back, that is still progress people!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Build relationships...

As a project manager, business person, human on this earth the best attribute to have in my opinion, is the ability to study human nature. This means letting go of your own agenda and getting into the mind of your team or coworkers. You need to get an understanding of what motivates, stagnates and pisses them off. You know, build a relationship. Once you done that you can tailor what you say, how you say in a way that is best received by the other person.

Some may say this is a waste of time. I say, and it has worked wonders for me, at the beginning of your relationships with your team or coworkers if you invest this little extra time in learning these things you will save many hours of churn, bad communication and missed signals.