Month: November 2014

Use the Thanksgiving holiday to take your Christmas family photo!

Family time is photo time…Family photo Christmas collage

We are at the end of week 5 of the 6 week plan to create the perfect holiday season.  If you haven’t already downloaded the plan and Christmas 2014 Organizer Notebook I hope you will do so now.  One of the suggestions in your week 5 plan is to take a family photo  to insert into or use as your Christmas 2014 cards.

Casual vs. Studio photos…

Have you noticed that family photos are becoming more casual these days?  I much prefer casual photos over studio photos.  Even many of the studio photos are becoming more casual in setting and clothing choices.

We’ve come a looooooong way…

Did you ever stop to wonder where the traditional studio photos came from? Until this post I hadn’t give in much thought either but it got me to thinking and doing a bit of research.  When photography was first introduced it was expensive and mostly reserved for the elite.  Also, the process was much longer, as in it took several seconds for the image to be captured, as opposed to the instant capture we have today.  People had to remain extremely still during the process….so much so, that there were even special headrests set-up behind them to help them remain still!!!!  The somber faces is a mystery and has only theories about it.  All I can say is I’m glad that we have gotten way past that and lightened things up.


Out with the old and in with the new…

There’s a cute joke about a newlywed wife whose husband asked her why she cut the ends off the ham before putting it into the pan.  She replied that she did it because her mother did it that way.  She then asked her mother why she did it that way and she said……”because that is the way my mother did it.”  They then ask the grandma why she cut the ends off the ham before putting it into the pan and she replied….”because my pan wasn’t big enough.”  I just wonder how many things we do that we’ve always done because that’s the way it has always been done.  So what does this have to do with family photographs?

Life is to meant to be fun…..

Gone is the day of somber faces and stiff posed bodies.  It is time to let loose and have fun!  I’m not saying never to have a studio photo again…..all I’m saying is that you can make taking family photos fun and interesting and can bring some life to your family gathering.   I have found that people are more themselves and have fun when they are “hiding behind” or playing with props.   It is like the child in them comes out and the results are outstanding. I’ve seen people sing better at Karaoke when wearing silly sunglasses as if somehow the glasses were magic.   I suppose in some zany way they were magic.  Why not make your own magic?  What I am suggesting is that you go to the dollar store and buy some props like Santa hats or paper mustaches or you fill in the blank.  Get the family together and have fun!!!!  Use one of the photos or even a collage of them to make into or insert into your holiday cards!  Life is about the fun we have, the memories we make and the stories we live to tell.  Let’s all commit to making some new fun memories and stories!

Wishing you much fun this Thanksgiving holiday!

Happy snapping and memory making….


Do you stress over what to take to a potluck? Learn how you can save time and energy with a “signature dish”

What's your -Signature Dish--Tis the season for potlucks and parties….

The truth is … much as I enjoy cooking and entertaining ….. thinking about what to make and take for picnics, BBQ’s, and potlucks used to stress me out.  Now I don’t have to think about it or stress about it because I take the same things over and over.  Yep….it’s true!  That doesn’t mean that I never switch it up… means if I am in the mood to switch it up I do, and if I feel stress coming on over it I rely on my tried and true dishes that I can make quickly and easily and that still have the “wow factor”.  I even have a couple of recipes saved on my computer to print and give out to guests upon request.

In the beginning I felt a bit guilty about rotating the same recipes….

Then….. one day…… I realized this HUGE TRUTH…… musicians, magicians, comedians and motivational speakers do this very same thing!!!!!! They play the same songs, do the same tricks, and tell the same jokes and stories over and over again.  That’s how they get good at it and that’s how this idea saves time and energy!   They play to different audiences so their content is fresh to each new audience.  And yes there might be a bit of overlap from time to time but even that has its place.  Just like they don’t have to learn new songs, tricks, jokes and stories for every new gig… don’t have to learn a new recipe every time!!!!!  Repetition is now my friend and I am guilt free!

So….what is a signature dish?

 Wikipedia’s  definition of a signature dish is a recipe that identifies an individual chef. Ideally it should be unique and allow an informed gastronome to name the chef in a blind tasting. It can be thought of as the culinary equivalent of an artist finding their own style, or an author finding their own voice. In practice a chef’s signature dish often changes with time or they may claim several signature dishes.

Suzi’s definition of a signature dish is…any dish that you enjoy making and taking often.  It can be one that people look forward to you bringing because it’s not one of their signature dishes.  Or, it can also be one that you take to new or different groups.    As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t have to be one that you created on your own, though of course it can be. For me it is dishes that have received rave reviews when I’ve taken them and I love rave reviews 🙂

May your Holidays be stress free days!

Here are a two of my signature dishes…..feel free to adopt them as your own.  They are yours now 🙂


Tropical Cole Slaw for a Crowd RecipeApple Oatmeal Crunch

I said no……and the world didn’t come to an end!

Do you ever say yes… when you would rather say no?

Make time for what matters for just say no post

I’m a pleaser.  Fear of rejection is waaaaay up on the top of my fear list.  Part of it is my natural personality style and part of it is …who knows?  Regardless of where it comes from, or why it is here, the fact remains that I don’t like to say no……..especially to people I love.

So… is a little story that just happened to me and I thought I would share it in hopes that it may help you too.  

By little story, I mean this thing I said no to, in the big game of life, is teensy tiny as you will see.   If you’ve got the whole no thing down I commend you and if you don’t then I hope this will give you courage next time you start to agree to something you really don’t want to do.  I honestly felt my wings get a little stronger from the response I got 🙂

It all started when…

I received an email…not just any email……a chain letter  email.   I was “selected” to participate and they picked those who they thought would make this “fun”.   Now mind you it was only asking me to send a recipe.  Just one recipe. One little recipe to the first name of the 2 names on the list.  Now…if that’s all I had to do I would have done it in a heartbeat.  But, it didn’t stop there.  Next I would have had to copy and paste, change my name to the #2 position, paste the letter into a new email….(still doable for me at this point) AND THEN….. blind copy and send it to 20 people….this is where they lost me.  It no longer resembled “fun” to me….and it sounded like more work than I wanted to sign up for.  The letter also said that if I couldn’t do that within 5 days to let them know so  it would be fair to those participating.

I did not respond right away (though if there’s a next time I will, I promise) I waited a few days and then as I was clearing out some emails ….there it was.  I opened it….reread it….thought about it…..and then replied like this:  I’m sorry I forgot to respond.  I am going to pass on this.  I hope you are not mad.  I stress out over these things and I am eliminating stress so please give my spot to someone else.  Love you bunches, Suzi 

Whew…that was over and luckily I was within the 5 days (it had been 4) so I didn’t feel too bad.  The response I got was the best ever and is what made my day and strengthened my wings.  It went like this:  Thanks for being honest.  I am going to save this exact reply to send out next time I receive one of these emails LOL.  You’re my SHERO!

Woohoo!  I laughed and am still laughing as I share this with you.  Teensy tiny?   Maybe….but HUGE in many ways.  I hope if you are ever in a place where you are asked to participate in something that you really don’t want to, no matter how big or small, ….you will “just say no” and let me know if you feel your wings get a little stronger too.

Wishing you wonderful, stress free says ahead!



Yikes! It’s 6 weeks until Christmas…have no fear, Suzi is here!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas
It’s 6 weeks until Christmas!

It’s true!  The holiday season is upon us and Christmas is only six short weeks away!  Just in case that thought sends your head spinning and your heart racing, I am inviting you to join me on my Christmas Countdown journey.  Just download my  6 week plan to create the perfect holiday season book and then subscribe to my blog Class Is In and follow along.  I will be sharing some of my time tested tips and tricks and be your coach and cheerleader along the way.

As we know….everything begins we a thought.  There is a simple way to turn thoughts into things and that is by turning the thought into a vision and then creating a plan and taking action.  That is exactly what we will do on this journey together.  We will create….

  • A Vision
  • A Master Plan
  • Weekly Action Plans
  • Shopping Lists
  • and much more

We will be discussing things like… gift giving, decorating, and menu planning.  I will also be sharing and demonstrating recipes that are included in the book. You can look for a demonstration video or two along the way as well.

I’m very excited to share this wonderful journey together.  I promise this can be your best and most stress free holiday season yet!

Let’s get started!  If you haven’t yet downloaded my 6 week plan to create the perfect holiday season book, please do so now 🙂


Will you join me on my journey?

Suzi for blogI am very excited about my new journey into the wonderful world of blogging. All of my life I have been creating, sharing and inspiring others to do the same.   Until now I didn’t know what to do with the creative monster inside me that has been screaming to be expressed.   Now I know…and I invite you to join me.  My passions are cooking, entertaining and decorating. I will be sharing from my heart recipes, tips, and techniques that I have come to be known for.  I will also share the life lessons that I’ve learned and am learning along the way.

I hope you will join me on my journey.  All you have to do is click here and you will receive an email when I share a new post.

Best time to plant a tree...

I feel like…I am getting in the game a little late.There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second best time is today.”  Today it is….


Save time and money with these easy recipes for ground beef…

Let’s face it….we are all very busy and sometimes getting dinner on the table can seem child eating spaghettilike a huge task.  We are often tempted to run through a drive-thru AGAIN! 🙁  Fear not….   I have some great time and money saving Prep Ahead Ground Beef Meals for you to try.  I promise, you will be able to get dinner on the table in about the same time as it would have taken you to get through the dreaded fast food restaurant.  And….best of all you will feel good knowing you saved money and fed your family a much more nutritious and delicious meal.

Bon appetit!

Get started on your vision today using these 5 simple words….

getting started photoI don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time getting started.  I often find myself putting off starting projects, even projects that I am really excited about.  The smallest thing can become a giant in my mind.  The bigger it grows the more I put it off.  The longer I put it off….the bigger it grows.  Can you relate?

Whether it is starting a new business, a diet, or a blog (yes I am talking to myself) these five simple words can help your vision get into focus and get you taking action today! (more…)

Blogging for business vs. Blogging as a business…

crop blogWhen I started out on this blog journey I honestly was not even sure I knew what a blog was.  The definition of a blog is; a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.  And while that is true, what I then learned is there are many different reasons why people blog.  I thought blogs were done more as a hobby than anything else.  I thought blogs were simply a platform for people to share their passions and voice their opinions.  I was wrong.

While there certainly are a lot of hobby bloggers out there…..what I soon learned is that there are a lot of different reasons while people blog.

Blogging for business is a great tool to stay connected to your clients and customers.  You can use it to keep them up to date with your product or service. They can “subscribe” to your blog and receive an email every time you add a new post or a weekly newsletter etc.

Blogging as a business is just that….. a business.  I had absolutely no idea that there was a way for bloggers to share information on subjects they are passionate about AND earn money for doing it!  It’s true!  Yes there are plenty of bloggers out there who don’t earn money blogging …..but there are a lot of bloggers who earn a substantial income blogging.  Guess which category I want to be in?

Just how do bloggers make money?  Well……there are so many ways it is almost overwhelming and I haven’t figured them all out yet.  As I do I will bring the answers to you.  If you are interested in learning with me just sign up to receive my new posts and I will keep you informed.