Sodexo Quality of Life – Recognition

Recognition can be a powerful source of motivation in the workplace, encompassing a number of factors that allow an individual to feel truly valued. That person is likely to achieve better as well, as studies show that when employees are rewarded for a job well done, performance levels skyrocket. In fact, 81 percent of employees say they work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. Seventy-five percent of CEOs at small businesses concur, believing recognition increases productivity.

Recognition is also considered the best lever to improve quality of life at work for a great majority of employees. But what’s the best way to spotlight the hard work of others? In the small-business world, how do we as small-business owners recognize and support our employees? How can we help our employees feel valued at work and carry over that value into their work quality?

While my husband and I have had a small business for the past 10 years, it’s just this past year that we’ve gone at it full time and started hiring employees. This has been one of our big questions. How do we recognize our employees hard work in our unique work environment?

main-logo ResultStack is a modern technology company. We offer many technology services like web development, mobile app development, and content management services. – sorry, shameless plug for our small-business. You should check it out, because we’re truly awesome at what we do!

A trend in technology companies is to work remotely and since this is a small-business less overhead works great for us. Meaning, all our employees work from home.

This creates a unique set of issues for us when it comes to employee recognition. We have occasional in-person meetings for project starts, mid-project reviews, and any other time we need everyone on the project in the same room. But, in a remote work environment, how do you recognize your employees in a meaningful way?

1. Communicate – If we’re not communicating with our employees, nothing is going to work. It’s important though to not only communicate when they need to fix something but to also communicate to them when they’re doing a great job. Tell them how they’re doing and recognize them for good work.

2. Tell Others – I’ve never seen a group of programmers look over each other’s code and tell them how awesome it is. There’s no way in a group setting you’re reviewing code and oohing and aahing over a good job. That’s just weird. But, it is appropriate in a group setting to mention that X person got X job or X function done. Give them recognition for what they’ve accomplished.

3. Include them as part of the team – When you work remotely, it’s easy to feel isolated and not part of a team. To build team spirit. And what good does it do to recognize someone if no one else knows them?

a) Give everyone something with the company logo, shirts, hats, pens, business cards, etc. Whatever makes sense for your company. Employees love free company swag. It’s like an extra special perk for working for a company. And not only are you, the company, recognizing them as a valued member, they’re also promoting the company when they use their swag.

b) Get everyone together. We like to do a big lunch meeting, recognition dinner, or we’re even inviting everyone to our Superbowl party. With all remote workers it’s important that they get a chance to get together, see each other, and have fun.

4. Have fun together. One of my husband’s favorite companies was a company he worked for that had a game room. They had an Xbox360, a foosball table, and a couple other things. A couple times a day the employees would round up a quick foosball competition and take a little break. A break does great things for employee productivity and it also helps employees build camaraderie with each other.

We don’t have a physical office for our employees yet but we’re definitely planning a rec room when we do! For now, we do things like Superbowl parties. Recognize your employees hard work with some well-deserved down time.

This is a sponsored post. sponsored by Sodexo.

A is for Available

I had big plans last year to write about my homeschool journey. Those plans were derailed by job changes, busy school schedules, and just life in general. Transitioning to my husband working from home – which started in my schoolroom until we turned half the garage into his own office – was quite the transition. For everyone.

But, January is the month for new beginnings. So I’m starting again. I’m starting with the letter “A”. “A” is for “Available”.

One things I really love about homeschooling is how “Available” I am to my kids and my kids are to me.

1. Available to experience their first reading success – it’s just as good as their first steps when they were toddlers.

2. Available to talk about what they think of history – you’d be surprised with what my 7yr old can come up with

3. Available to watch as they discover something fascinating in science – and often make a mess in the process

4. Unfortunately, I’m also available to clean up the mess from science

5. Available to see them create their own art – the creation process is way more interesting to me than the final product at their age

6. Available to just sit down and talk, or let them play for a few minutes break if we’re having a bad day

7. Available to see them use the math they’ve been learning – it all started with counting out eggs from the fridge drawer

8. Available to teach them fun things like cooking – and why we do not set raw eggs on the edge of the counter so they can roll off and splat on the floor

9. Available to take them to a museum for a hands-on learning day

10. Available to watch an older child teach a younger child – there are so many things (like counting by 2’s) that I’m not going to have to teach my 2nd born because the first child taught her for me

If you homeschool. What’s something you love about teaching your kids?


Summer Recap

Coca-Cola Life is all about enjoying, well, life, and all the adventures that come with life. As summer has officially come to an end – according to the calendar it is now fall – it’s a great time to reminisce about all the fun I’ve had this summer.

And a few fun pictures from my summer wouldn’t hurt either. For starters, here’s the view from where I’ve been doing most of my blogging this summer. Because the kids want to be outside. This way they get to play and I get to work. It’s a win-win for everyone.



And, of course, my daughter tried to steal my coke, and hid when I took a picture.


We spent most of our summer in the back yard. Playing on the swingset, swimming in the kid’s pool, and playing on the teeter-totter.

IMG_20150827_123200614At the end of summer we took a trip to the beach with friends. Such a fun end to the summer!

We had a nice laid-back, easy-going summer this year. And that was so nice!

What was your favorite part of summer this year?

I received this product free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Liebster Award

Since there’s no school today, I decided to post about something other than Homeschooling this week 🙂

Thanks to Karyl’s Kulinary Krusade for the Liebster Award!

Wow, thanks so much! I’m truly honored to be recognized. “Liebster” means “dearest” or “favorite” in German. It’s also known as the “Love Blog Award.”

The award is to show newer bloggers that they’re appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs.


Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:
1. Acknowledge the blogger(s) who nominated you.
2. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger who nominated you provided.
4. Choose 11 blogs you love and nominate them.
5. Create a list of 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Let your nominated bloggers know!

11 Random Facts about Me:
1. I love summer, I’d much much rather be hot than cold!
2. I used to hate chocolate ice cream. Until I was pregnant with my 3rd child. Now I love it.
3. While we’re talking about food, I haven’t liked chicken since becoming pregnant with my 1st child. It’s so strange how pregnancy changes so much.
4. I hate having my hands dirty.
5. I can sightread anything in a hymnal.
6. I do lots of random things left-handed, even though I’m not left-handed.
7. I love algebra.
8. I like all things elephant – jewelry, pictures, decorations, etc.
9. My hair gets so frizzy on humid days!
10. I have 3 children.
11. My favorite author is James Fenmore Cooper.

My 11 questions:

1. If you had a super power, what would it be? – I would love to fly. Because that has just got to be the best way to travel. Not sure how well flying would work for me while toting all 3 kid’s backpacks, and waterbottles, and lunches, and shoes, and… but I would have fun trying!

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? – Honestly, I love Tennessee (that’s where I live). It’s so beautiful and we get all 4 seasons, but winters aren’t too awfully cold!

3. You have an entire day completely to yourself. No spouse/kids/work. How do you spend it? – Ummmm, hmmm, I really don’t know. I don’t think this has ever happened to me. I would probably clean the house and do lots of reading.

4. What have you found to be the most frustrating part about blogging? – Just coming up with something to say every week can be a challenge. I’ve finally found some things that I like to blog about and I feel like I’m actually making some progress towards creating interesting content.

5. What is the best advice you have for new bloggers? – Be patient. And keep trying. It takes a long time to build up readers. And it takes lots of practice to create interesting content.

6. If you could have dinner with any 3 people, living or dead, who would they be? – My parents and my sister. I only get to eat dinner with them about 3 times a year because we don’t live close to each other. I would love to see them more often!

7. If you could change your first name, what would you change it to? – I really like my name, I have a few things I would NOT change it to, but I can’t really thing of a name I’d rather have.

8. If you were trapped on a deserted island what are your top 3 things you would want to have with you? – A really good book (because I might be reading it for a while), food (you’ve got to eat), my family (it would be so boring to be trapped alone!)

9. What is your favorite sport to watch? Your favorite team (college or pro)? Football, I’m a Dallas Cowboy’s fan (because my husband is). I grew up with baseball and didn’t really start paying attention to football until after I married.

10. What do you do at the end of a long day to relax and unwind? – I work on my blog. Honestly, I do. It’s the only part of the day that’s quiet and I can work in peace.

11. What inspired you to begin blogging? – I want to become a better write, and writing a blog is a great way to practice.

11 Blogs I Nominate:
1. So-So Mom
2. Takisha Nesbitt
3. Hey Little Sweet Thing
4. All Things Lovely
5. Mrs. Bishop
6. Blissful Gal
7. Amidst the Chaos
8. Her Heartland Soul
9. Birth With a French Fry
10. Because I’m Cheap
11. Boho Berry

My 11 Questions for You:
1. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
4. If you could choose any occupation, what would you do?
5. What have you found to be the most frustrating part about blogging?
6. What inspired you to start blogging?
7. What do you like most about blogging?
8. What’s your favorite way to relax?
9. What’s a goal that you want to accomplish in the next couple of years?
10. If you could go on any vacation, where would you go and what would you do?
11. What’s your favorite instrument to listen to or play?

10 Things I Love

My August Blog Prompt is 10 Things I Love. It’s a great way to start out the month, right before school starts up again and I get busy teaching and keeping up with the kid’s lessons and such.

I’m going to be doing a weekly post on Homeschooling on Mondays throughout the school year, so come back next week to see what we’re up to!

Now, for 10 things that I like…

1. Music – I love listening to music, but mostly I love playing. I started piano when I was 5 and as an adult I continue to enjoy it.

2. Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac – This thing has saved my life (actually, it’s more likely saved my kid’s lives) countless times. I can’t live without it! An entire poptart crumbled on the couch? No problem! The 2yr old just dumped the entire potted plant on the floor? A big problem! But not nearly as bad as it could be (he could have broken the pot). Seriously though, I did use my dustbuster for this because I don’t have a shopvac.

My dustbuster lives in it’s charger on my counter and gets used a lot!

3. A Good Book – Some of my favorite authors are James Fenmore Cooper, Charles Dickens, and Jessee Stuart. I enjoy the classics and occasionally a new book or two. Reading is a time to grab a drink and relax.

I recently reviewed Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus and really enjoyed it. I’m also amazed by how much easier it is to read a book I’m reviewing. I guess I justify the time spent more easily because I have a deadline.

4. Coffee – Speaking of drinks. I love coffee. I like the taste, and it’s my preferred way to wake up in the morning. A cup of coffee and my Bible Study. Of course, the kid’s don’t believe in sleeping in so I have to add getting breakfast and hot chocolates and tea to that list in the morning.

5. BBQ Ribs – The best I’ve ever had are from this local place called Dead End BBQ. Their ribs are soooo good! They also have great brisket and delicious sides. And I have no idea about the desserts because I’m always too stuffed to try any!

6. Sewing – I don’t do as much as I would like to because the kids keep me busy, but sewing is a fun, creative outlet for me. I’m working on a few things for the girls right now and they’re so excited.

7. Caramel Bugles – Seriously, the best thing since sliced bread. It’s like caramel corn, without the kernels. I actually hide this from the kids and then my husband will eat an entire bag! It’s delicious. And perfect any time of the year, not just the holidays when I’m craving caramel corn.

Amazon probably isn’t the best place to get these, they’re kind of expensive online. Check the snack aisle in your local grocery store. A few times a year Kroger has them on sale for $1 a bag and I stock up.

8. SciFi – I love SciFi, from the old Star Trek, to Dr. Who, to pretty much anything interesting I find on Netflix. I’m also teaching my kids well, my 6yr old sometimes suggests Star Trek when she’s trying to convince me that we should watch something!

9. Legos – I love legos. Except for when they’re spread all over the floor in the middle of the night. The kids love legos. They have LEGO Friends, LEGO Elves, LEGO Disney Princesses for the girls. My girls love them. And if I don’t feel like actually playing with the legos, they even have Lego XBox 360 games! I have my eyes on this LEGO Jurassic World.

10. Jurassic World – Speaking of which, I loved Jurassic World. I remember watching Jurassic Park as a kid so I had to go see Jurassic World when it came out. It was not disappointed! It’s right up there with Indiana Jones (except for #4, I didn’t like that one) and The Mummy. Just fun to watch!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite things. Comment below and tell me, what’s something you love?

This post does contain affiliate links, and I do earn a small commission off any purchase made through those links.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award


Ever heard of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award? It’s given to bloggers by other bloggers to recognize each other and shed a little light on other sites. I’m so honored to have been nominated for this award by the Diapers to Potty blog. I always love browsing other Mommy Blogs and I’ve been enjoying the content and engagement of Diapers to Potty. I’m so excited to participate in this blogger award!

The rules are pretty simple

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site.
  2. Answer the 10 questions sent to you.
  3. Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.
  4. Nominate 8 other bloggers, link them in your post and notify them of their nomination

Questions to answer

  1. How long have you been blogging? I’ve been blogging on here for several years. Mainly just tossing around ideas and trying out different things to see what works for me. I really didn’t start getting serious about it until this year.
  2. What are your long term goals for your blog? Long term, I’d like to actually make some money doing this. Also, I want to have fun and I want to share things I’ve learned with other moms.
  3. What do you love about blogging? I love how easy it is to express myself. It’s a great creative outlet for me and motivates me to do things like try new recipes for my Food Friday series that I’m doing (check back Friday for more recipes). Also, I’ve come across many awesome blogs and it’s so much fun to network and see what others are doing as well.
  4. And what do you hate, or at least just dislike? I hate writers block. That’s been my biggest challenge to starting a blog, what do I write? I also hate writing – well, I used to. I’m honestly beginning to enjoy it. It’s been a big obstacle to overcome.
  5. Do you have children and do they influence your blog? Yes, I have 3. And they do influence my blog quite a lot. Since I’m home with them pretty much everything I write about in influenced by their opinions and what I’m doing with them.
  6. What is one thing you have learned about blogging that you never would have thought of before hand? It’s remarkably hard to get people to read your blog. You can’t just put it out there and expect good things to happen. I spend a ton of time networking and just exploring new ways to network with other bloggers.
  7. What are your hobbies outside of your blog? Cooking, sewing (I promise, there will be crafts on here eventually, having 3 regular posts a week was a big step this year), reading, music (I play), graphic design (I do small business websites and other smaller graphic projects), and finding fun things to do with the kids. I also love yoga, but I don’t have a lot of time for it, I’m not sure you can call my once a month visit to the gym a hobby.
  8. Are there any bloggers that you aspire to be like? I haven’t really picked a favorite.
  9. How do you juggle being a mom along with all of your other roles? I do a lot of work during naptime and focus on spending time with the kids when everyone is awake.
  10. Tell me one thing about yourself that most of your readers do not know? I’m really pretty introverted. I love being alone and if you call my phone I probably won’t answer. I’d rather text or email.

My Nominees

  1. An Uncomplicated Life Blog
  2. B is 4
  3. Feeding Big
  4. Coming Up Roses
  5. Happily Ever After
  6. Happily Hughes
  7. Here I Scribble
  8. Kiddie Matters

Questions for my Nominees

  1. How long have you been blogging?
  2. What are your long-term goals for your blog?
  3. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  4. What do you dislike the most about blogging?
  5. How does your family influence your blog?
  6. What is something your learned about blogging that you didn’t know a year ago?
  7. What are your hobbies outside of blogging?
  8. What’s one thing you do to pamper yourself?
  9. How do you juggle it all?
  10. What is one thing about yourself that most of your readers do not know?


With Father’s Day coming up, I start thinking about my Dad and my husband. Both great men. And just think about how blessed I am to be surrounded my entire life by men who care about me. Starting with my Dad.

Now that I have kids of my own it’s so much fun to watch my husband play with my daughters. It always brings back so many memories of my own childhood.

I remember…

1. Dad pulling me around in diaper boxes (I don’t remember this so much as I have pictures of it, because I was pretty little). He would attach a string, I would climb in, and he would pull me around the house.

2. Dad chasing me through the house. When my dad blows his nose it’s basically like he’s trumpeting. So as a child, whenever he blew his nose I would go running through the house screaming “Ahhhh, it’s the Water Buffalo!”. And he would chase me. Until he ran into a doorway and broke his toe. After that, I did all the running.

3. Dad swimming with me. Actually, what I remember is playing in my little kiddie pool and mom constantly telling me to stay in the pool and not get so much grass in the pool by climbing in and out. Then, when my dad finished his yard work he would come flop into my pool and make a gigantic splash – also he would get LOTS of grass in my pool.

Once I got older and we graduated to one of those back-yard 3ft pools. We would all walk in one direction around the edge of the pool and make a whirlpool.

4. Horse rides. Riding on Dad’s back down the hall to bed at night. Also, I would walk on his feet. Stand facing him holding hands and put my feet on top of his. He walks backwards and I walk forwards. It’s better than just sticking my feet in Dad’s shoes and clomping around.

5. Angry Alligator. Basically, just chasing us kids around on a playground. But it’s way more fun if you’re trying to escape an alligator.

We would build “tents” from chairs and blankets and “shoot bears”, and we would even play this game (I can’t remember what we called it) where dad sat in the middle and we ran around him trying to get as close as we could without getting caught. Kinda like blind man’s bluff without any blindfolds.

I received lots of good advice from my dad, and he always did a good job taking care of his family, but thinking back to when I was a kid, I most remember all the fun, laughter, and play.

So, Daddys, play with your children. It means so much more than you think it does. And please, don’t run into any doors.

4 Things I Love About My Husband

1. He’s an optimist – I’m more of a pessimist, so he keeps me balanced. Without him I would never try new things or do anything that I’m not 100% certain of success with.

He encouraged me to start my blog and always has positive things to say about it. Even when I’m sure it’s going terrible. He’s been so encouraging and has really helped me keep going and finally find my groove. (well, enough of a groove for now)

Also, I’m prone to stressing about things that could go wrong, he sees all the things that could go right, so between us, he doesn’t jump into projects uninformed and I actually jump into projects.

2. He’s patient – I want something to happen, right now. He’s ok waiting. And really, there’s no harm in waiting. I’m just impatient. I’m glad he’s more laid back about it.

3. He’s flexible – Last minute call, “can you pick up child from preschool?”. I had something come up and couldn’t make it. Even with a busy day at work he picked her up and let her tag along with him until I could get over there to get her.

Dinner isn’t going to be ready for another 30 minutes, no problem.

4. He works hard – He actually likes working. He enjoys his job so when he comes home he’s not all stressed about his work environment. Which is really nice.

Also, he doesn’t mind doing extra work when it’s needed. As long as I don’t ask him to cook dinner, life is good.

The Thing About Little Boys

Remember those old rhymes about what girls and boys are made of?

Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice for Girls

Snakes & Snails and Puppy Dog Tails for Boys

I had two girls and then a boy, and boy are they different!

My girls are very girly, glitter, sparkles, dresses. If it’s girly, they love it. They don’t like getting dirty, and they sit still and quiet in Church. They want to have tea parties (with sugar and milk). They want to wear makup and have their hair fixed up. They talk a lot, but they’re really not loud.

Then, along comes the boy. He’s oh, so different. And I’m loving all of it.

1. He just won’t sit still – The girls have no problem sitting through a 1hr meeting (with snacks or something to color of course). The little guy? Sitting is always optional, anywhere. And sitting through a meeting is just out of the question.

I remember moms with boys commenting on how well my girls sat still and quiet, and being polite I would always reply with something along the lines of “it’s just easier for girls to sit quietly”. I’m so glad I said that!

It really is true. My Father in Law tried to take my almost 2yr old boy to the Church service with him the other Sunday. He didn’t last long before he took him to the nursery. He apparently wanted to talk the entire time and wanted to explore instead of sitting still. Yup, and that is why there is a nursery. For all those active little boys.

photo_1581_200605172. He loves to get dirty – really dirty. A real conversation between me and my husband.

Husband – “what does he do outside?”

Me – “gets dirty.”

Husband follows son into the yard and watches what he does.

Husband – “it’s like he wants to get dirty.”

Yes, he wants to get dirty. What fun is the outdoors if you don’t come inside covered in it?

My girls on the other hand, refused to go down the slide the other day because it was a tad muddy at the bottom. –

Girls, don’t let your brother know…

3. He loves sticks – I’m still teaching him that “we do not hit our sisters with sticks”, and he does pretty good about it. So he is allowed to play with sticks.

Every time we go out the door he feels compelled to get a pile of sticks. He brings them in the car and when we get home my 6yr old throws them out in the yard.

Sticks are great for a variety of things. Stirring puddles so that they become mud puddles, banging the swingset, running around the yard with one in each hand – also very effective for clearing a path as everyone wants out of the path of a stick-wielding child, and of course they’re just great to have on hand.

Football Equipment4. He also loves balls – and he can identify them all, football, baseball, basketball, bouncyball. And all round objects are balls. He thought baked potatoes were awesome until I cut one open, then I had ruined his ball. The same thing with tomatoes, he loves to play with them but he wouldn’t dare destroy a ball by eating it.

5. And cars – before he came along my house was filled with dolls and barbies, now we’ve added hotwheels and thomas trains. I keep a couple of hotwheels in my purse for emergencies. It’s amazing how calming a tiny car is to a little boy.

They’re also great for plopping into your sister’s tea cups if you want to join their tea party, and they’re just the right size for dropping in the Children’s Hospital donation box at the grocery store – yes, he dropped his favorite car in there while we were checking out. They were really nice and got a manager with a key to come up and rescue it for him.

And it’s not just the little cars that he likes. He wants to play with the big ones. He would like to run out in the street and he’ll actually run towards moving cars in the parking lot!

Yellow toy race car6. He’s an explorer – The girls stay with me, if I’m more than half an aisle away at the grocery store they come running. Not the little guy, he’s pretty certain that getting lost is just a state of mind. Nevermind that the fish tanks at the pet store are at the opposite end of the store from mommy. Fish are awesome!

7. He’s oh so sweet – As full throttle as he is about just being a boy, he’s also so very sweet. He likes to snuggle way more than the girls ever did and if anyone starts crying he has to be right there to give a hug and tell them it’s ok.

He loves hugs so I’m going to enjoy them while I can because I know that in just a few short years he’ll be all grown up and won’t be quite as interested in hugging his momma.

Dinner Club

A while back I found this great idea an and old cooking magazine that I had lying around. It’s called a Dinner Club. Sounds pretty impressive!

When you get down to it, it’s actually very simple.

You get 3 or 4 families together for dinner once a quarter. More often if you want, but once every three months is good for us. You rotate houses. For our first dinner I hosted. Next time, someone else will host. If you have 4 families and you meet once a quarter, each family will only host once a year.

The host family provides the main dish. Anything they want. And then the other families bring the sides and dessert. Since it’s great grilling weather, we decided to do hotdogs and hamburgers. The other families coming brought broccoli with cheese sauce, chips, brownies, and soft drinks.

You could do tacos, steaks, stir-fry, pork roast, or really anything that you want. Just pick the main dish and let everyone know what it is and then the attendees can bring the sides that they like to eat with this main dish.

We met at 4:00 on a Saturday. Since we all have kids this worked well because we had plenty of time to eat and talk and let the kids play but everyone was still able to head home and put the kids to bed on time.

We had a lot of fun! It was simple, and low pressure to prepare for. And we can’t wait to do it again!