Think Beyond the Big Box...

Showing Category: Wyoming

How to Prepare for a Trade Show

Oh Hiya,

Meg here and it seems that every other weekend has a new trade show on the schedule. Whether you’re a veteran of these shows or you’re new to the experience, this guide will help you be as prepared as possible.

trade show

  • Pre Show Prep- Take some time to meet with your trade show team and work out what you’d like to accomplish during your time at the show. Are you planning on introducing a new product or service? Are you trying to keep attendees up to date and knowledgeable about your company? Maybe you’re looking to scoop up a few new clients and bring your service to a new region. Be sure that you and your team have a clear understanding of your goals before you begin your time at the show.
  • Keep a List- There are some trade show supplies that you just can’t do without! I always make sure to place an order of some key items before the show so I can make sure our team is stocked and ready. On my list are Avery Address Labels to keep everything organized and clearly labeled. I also keep plenty Pilot Gel Ink Pens on hand throughout the show. There’s nothing worse than trying to take notes with a pen that’s nearly out of ink! Finally, I always make sure each team member has a Deflect-o Desktop Business Card Holder. Trade Shows are key for networking and it’s so important to be prepared with plenty of business cards!
  • Keep a Schedule- Are there certain speakers or events that your team can’t miss? Keep a clear itinerary of all the events that you need to attend. It also helps to keep a few time slots open for flexibility and down time. Trade shows can be a busy time and it’s important to put aside a little time for a break.

Need a little more inspiration for trade show season? Take a look at these tips from the Huffington Post.

Until next time, Meg

Ways to Go “Back to School” in the Office

Oh Hiya,

Meg here! Fall will always hold a special back to school excitement for me; no matter how long it’s been since I walked through those hallways. Even if you’re no longer in school, fall can still bring the start of new things. These are some of my favorite ways to put a little joy into the back to school season.

back to school

When was the last time you bought back to school supplies for yourself? Fall is the perfect time to update your supplies while taking advantage of some great sales. I’ve already started a list! This fall I’ll be stocking up on 3M Yellow Note Pads and a new Swingline Desk Stapler. Nothing like some new desk accessories and supplies to get you in the spirit!

One of my favorite things about starting a new school year was the opportunity to meet new friends. Grab a few office friends and join a club or pull together a team to play in a local sports league. It’s a great way to get to know your office-mates outside of work while exploring a new hobby or staying active.

I used to always look forward to decorating my locker for the new school year. Now I look forward to sprucing up my desk with a few new accessories! This season I’m brightening up my desk with a new HON task chair. I’ve also had my eye on a cute new desk plant to bring a little more color to my space. There are so many options to update your office and these ideas from Porch are just perfect.

Back to school excitement shouldn’t go away now that you’re out of school! There are so many ways to celebrate the season, big or small.

Until next time, Meg

Recharge the Office

Oh Hiya,

Meg here and I know how tough it can be to stay energized throughout the day. You may not know it from my cheery disposition, but there are times when it’s downright difficult to stay focused on the task at hand when you’d really like a nap. Some days it even seems like my office supplies are feeling a little drowsy. Here are five ways I keep myself (and my electronics) buzzing with energy:

recharge the office

  1. Morning Caffeine Break- I love to start my day with a cup of coffee and my absolute favorite is Starbucks Breakfast Blend Coffee. I always make sure to keep a supply in the breakroom for those mornings when I can’t seem to wake up. A nice cup of coffee always does the trick!
  1. Light it Up- I always have found that sitting near a window is a great way to stay focused throughout the day. The natural light coming through keeps me wide awake and working away. For those times that you’re not able to grab some natural light, I recommend a desk lamp with a warm, bright light.
  1. Take a Walk- Sometimes sitting at a desk can be a drain on your energy. When it seems like you’ve hit an exhaustion wall get up and take a walk! Not only will you get a little exercise, you’ll come back to your desk refreshed and invigorated.
  1. Stop Battery Drain- There are some days when even my electronics seem to be lacking energy. I make sure that I have a few extra sets of Energizer Alkaline Batteries tucked away in my desk. You never know when your batteries will decide to take a break and it’s a good idea to be prepared.
  1. Turn up the Tunes- One of my favorite ways to reenergize is by listening to some up-tempo music. If your office allows you to listen to music with headphones or on a radio, I highly recommend it. Nothing gives me focus like one of my favorite playlists. Just make sure you’re focused on your work and not dancing!

I sure hope these tips will come in handy the next time you’re feeling an energy drain in the office. For more ideas on keeping your peepers open all day long, take a look HERE.

Until next time, Meg

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Holiday Traditions

Do you have some traditions your family celebrate every year or are you looking for fun new ones for your family to start? We’ve gathered a few of our favorites with even more below!

1.Advent Calendar

2. Gingerbread Houses

3. Caroling

4. Classic Christmas movies

5.White Elephant gift parties

Click here for fun food, community and gift traditions!

Holiday Candy is here!

Our holiday candy is here and it’s the perfect gift for office employees, customers, coworkers, family, and friends! This season we’re offering a little something for everyone. Delicious treats from Florence’s Exquisite Candies, Farr’s Candy, and Sweets will leave you wanting more all winter long! Click on the images below to
place your order today!

Sweet’s Treats

Cinnamon Santas $3.59 Orange Sticks $2.79 Raspberry Sticks $2.79

Farr’s Candy

Cherry Cordials $18.99 Idaho Spud Bars $18.99

Florence’s Equisite Chocolates

1/2 lb. box Nut & Caramel $10.79
1 lb. box Nut & Caramel $18.99
1/2 lb. box asst. Milk Chocolate $10.79
1 lb. box asst. Milk Chocolate $18.99

Holiday Recipes

Start to plan your Thanksgiving Meal with some of our favorite holiday recipes!

Shallot-Sage Accordion Potatoes

To prep ahead, bake through step 2. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate, up to 2 days. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour before proceeding as directed.

  • Prep Time 30 minutes
  • Total Time 1 3/4 hours
  • Yield Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make deep cuts into each potato, 1/4 inch apart, without completely cutting through. Place shallots in each cut (using about half the shallots) and season with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes, cut sides down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Scatter remaining shallots around potatoes.
  2. Tightly cover dish with foil and bake until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Uncover and bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sage and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Top potatoes with sage butter; scoop up loose shallots and divide among potatoes, then bake until golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 1 small lemon, sliced and seeded
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preparation

  1. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.
  2. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring often, 15 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat, and stir in sweetened dried cranberries. Cool. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Note: Mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

And now for the turkey….

Make the bird the way you like it: this step-by-step guide from Food Network Magazine leads to thousands of possibilities!

1. Pick a turkey

2. Thaw

3. Brine

4. Make a butter

5. Roast the bird

Click here for the full article including brining tips, butter recipes and more!

 

Product Review: Our Favorite Planners!

2013 calendars and planners are here and i’m going to break down some of my personal favorites.

One day per page planning notebook- Ideal for jam packed schedules

The power of two: Planning and Note Taking ALL-IN-ONE

-Page size: 6″ x 9″; Gray flexible, perfect bound with bungee closure

-One-page-per-day format with ruled planning space

-Past, current, and six future months reference per two-page spread

-HOT spot reminder section

 

Monthly Planner and Notebook- Perfect for an all-in-one organizational tool

– 18 months from January to June and include 160 undated, daily journal pages.

-Two-page-per-month spreads include unruled daily blocks, Sunday-through-Saturday

One-page-per-day format includes ruled planning space for most of the page,

– Bookbound, stitched planning notebook

– Three-year reference calendar, future planning and contact pages.

– Black, 9.5 x 11

Two days per page Planning Notebook- My Favorite!

-The Power of Two: Planning & Note Taking ALL-IN-ONE

-This notebook also features a hot-spot reminder section on every lined page.

– Works for any year.

– Two page per page total of lined planning space

– Three-year reference calendar, index sheet, future planning pages

-Black, 5.25 x 8.5

Think Pink- Brainstorming Ideas

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States after skin cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic, and yet so many are unaware of the risks or tools for prevention. October has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there are many ways in which your community or business can participate in building awareness for breast cancer. The simplest idea for increasing knowledge and raising awareness is to play an ongoing role in helping ensure that all young women in your community are educated about breast and ovarian cancer prevention and early detection.

Most businesses and communities see October come and go without paying any homage to this critical and ongiong health crisis for women. Here are a few ideas of things you can do in your own backyard so to speak:

  • Host outreach groups that provide support and a sense of community to young women who are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Hold a rummage sale and give the proceeds to a local breast cancer charity.
  • Organize breast health education workshops to arm young women with the knowledge and resources they need to prevent breast and ovarian cancer or detect these diseases at early, non life-threatening stages.
  • Represent breast cancer awareness at community health fairs and other outreach initiatives; contact various local and national charities for more information on how to volunteer and represent their organizations.
  • Collect stories of survivors and have them share their personal experiences for others in newsletters, on company websites, or in marketing initiatives.
  • Distribute educational literature to medical professionals and patients to ignite conversations between doctors and patients about breast and ovarian cancer risk and strategies for prevention and early detection.
  • Provide a venue for fundraising events, which raise awareness and provide funds for the outreach programs and breast cancer charities nationwide.
  • Be creative and have fun by hosting a concert, talent competition, or contest that has an entrance fee and provide refreshments, raffles, or other items for sale at the event.

Last but not least, you can do the simplest thing of all, which is to “Think Pink” by wearing pink and exhibiting pink throughout the month of October in your office, at your home, in you community. People will soon take notice.

Idaho Halloween Recipes

Potato Ghosts

Serves8
  • Active time: 30 min
  • Start to finish:1 3/4 hr
You and your guests will be utterly charmed when you see how easily mashed potatoes can be transformed into a gaggle of ghosts. Simply form them into pointy mounds and then personify—no, make that “ghostify” —them with seed “eyes.” Don’t be surprised if these become a new family must-have for Halloweens to come.
  • 4lblarge boiling potatoes (preferably white-fleshed)
  • 3/4stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/4cupswhole milk
  • 3large egg yolks
  • Nigella seeds (sometimes mislabeled “black onion seeds”) or caraway seeds for garnish
  • Equipment:

    a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with medium disk; a pastry bag with 3/4-inch plain tip
  • Peel and quarter potatoes, then cover with water in a 4-qt pot and season well with salt. Simmer, partially covered, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While potatoes are simmering, heat butter and milk in a small saucepan until butter is melted. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
  • Drain potatoes and force through ricer into a large bowl (or mixer bowl if using stand mixer). Beat in milk mixture, yolks, and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper with an electric mixer at low speed until combined.
  • Spread about one-third of potatoes in a buttered 1 1/2-qt shallow ovenproof dish. Transfer remaining potatoes to pastry bag. Pipe potatoes close together into 2 1/2- to 3-inch-high pointed mounds to form “ghosts” and garnish each mound with 2 seeds for “eyes.”
  • Bake until tips of ghosts are golden and potatoes are firm, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cooks’ note:
  • Potatoes can be piped into dish 1 day ahead and chilled, loosely covered with plastic wrap.

Recipe can be found here