Monday, November 25, 2019

Thanksgiving Tips to make your day easier!

Thanksgiving tips for a great dinner!

A week before
Plan your menu and work out what time to start the turkey, stuffing, veggies etc. I work backward from the time I want dinner to be served. A schedule for the food prep and cooking makes the day easy!

Wash all your serving dishes and glasses if they’ve been in storage.

Buy everything except for fresh produce. Our new town sells out of specialty items quickly, so we learned to plan ahead instead of scrambling for last minute substitutions.

Two days before
Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator if you bought a frozen one. We usually buy a frozen 
Butterball turkey because they always taste great.

Empty your ice machine ice into Ziplock bags. The machine will make more ice over the next few days and you shouldn’t need to buy ice.

Make the cranberry sauce  and pies.  

Day before
Buy all vegetables and any last-minute fresh ingredients you need.

Brine your turkey – it makes the best turkey!

Make your mashed potatoes. They can be warmed up in a Crockpot on Thanksgiving day. Start them Thanksgiving a.m. on warm they’ll be good to go by dinner.  They taste the same and it’s less work on a hectic day.

Make all dips for appetizers and cut up all your veggies. Go light on appetizers so they eat the turkey! 

Set the table and put out all the serving dishes and utensils you’ll be using. Label the serving dishes so when guests help, they know what food to put in what bowl/platter.

If you are lucky to have an extra refrigerator use it to start cooling down all your beverages.

With enough forward planning it makes Thanksgiving Day easy and relaxing!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Grass is Greener

Wow what a difference 10 years makes.

10 years ago, most of my blog posts were about how to survive the Great Recession.  Those blog posts include advice from my Grandfather and how he survived the Great Depression, which is still an interesting read.  They also included how difficult it was for me to talk to friends on the kid’s school playground about their layoffs but, times have changed and for the best!

Right now, unemployment rates are crazy low --   Los Angeles, CA is at a 4.4. Orange County, CA is at a 2.4 and Tampa Bay FL area at 3.3. Times are good and shockingly some of our clients are still very conservative with salaries and pulling the trigger with hiring. They learned a big lesson and a good one from the past, but we do caution them on taking too much time and offering too little money.  Good people are getting hired quickly and if our client finds someone they want to hire, it’s like the crazy housing market, you need to jump on it and make an offer! A start date can always be contingent on background checks and references so if someone is that great fit – make the offer! 

The grass is greener right now – go for it.

*Amazing lawn care and photo credit go to Holden McLeod

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Smash it. Break it. Crush it.

Dinner out with business associates, potential clients and co-workers is quite common in the corporate world. In fact, extending an invite to the persons spouse is also normal.  I was shocked when a candidate who was going to become a potential manager/partner, in the interview process and close to an offer, got offended by our client asking if he and his spouse would like to, “Go to dinner?”

He acted indignant and shocked. I was told it was inappropriate and asked, “Is my spouse interviewing for the job?” No it was just dinner and then it got WEIRD. Really WEIRD.  

My client was just extending a friendly offer for them to all get to know each other better. It was a small firm and they get together often.  It had nothing to do with the spouse’s race, sex, education, looks, gender, interviewing the spouse, etc. It was just dinner. A basic civil small talk dinner to meet and see if a future partnership could be made.  Dinner. 

The offer was pulled, the hope of a new employee was smashed and I was relieved. Can you imagine the dinner conversation had they met?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Networking - getting those new connects

Online networking can be daunting. It’s reaching out to someone you don’t know, attempting to make a business connection, and hoping that you get it right. I don’t accept everyone connects and it’s often because they don’t bother to introduce themselves. 

I like an introduction – the 15 second elevator pitch  - but a softer version. Give a reason why you want to be connected.  It can be as simple as I’m interested learning more about your industry or I’m new to the industry/area/profession and I thought I’d introduce myself.  Be genuine and once they connect to you thank them with another short note. Most people are friendly and appreciate increasing their network too.

Monday, April 1, 2019

East Coast for Ankenbrandt

We did it! After talking for so many years about moving we made the jump. SoCal is a great place but we’ve been hankering for a change and new digs. Scott and I relocated and now Ankenbrandt has both West Coast and East Coast offices.  Dave and Deanna are still in West while Scott and I have settled down in the East  -- where we are lucky enough to still enjoy West Coast sunsets! We continue to recruit out of CA but we are more easily available to our East Coast clients. We’ll pop into CA as needed but right now we are enjoying laying down new roots in Florida.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Moving a house and an office is nerve -wracking. I read a lot about moving before we decided to move, and we did most everything recommended but I realize now we should have done more --

Get rid of more stuff before you move. We got rid of a lot, but we also moved a lot of stuff we could have left.  After the move we donated a truck load to Salvation Army and our trash guys are saints for all the trash they haul out weekly.   

Unpacking takes a lot of time. It’s not just about unpacking the boxes it’s about where the stuff goes and figuring out a new system. I have moved stuff around several times much to our kid’s frustration. Their snack drawer got moved twice!

Setting up an office in the new home – this took a lot of thought and I still don’t have it right. I like my location and my view out the window, but my storage and desk are not big enough. Again, new location, new layout means new desk, new storage and new habits. I’m still working the kinks out.