Saturday, July 5, 2014

Right This Way, Right This Way, Nothing to See Here....

Apparently, I have been re-miss in posting a re-direct.  Frown-y face.  
In my spare time (laughs maniacally), I'll be re-posting the posts that had the best stats onto this new site, but in the meantime, there are some new posts there, including the usual movie reviews and book reviews.  


www.thelalanetwork.weebly.com
"See" you soon! 
XOXO,

Monday, December 3, 2012

LaLa Guest Spot: Mark Victor Hansen Talks Niche Blogging!




 I am so excited to present to you a blog post written just for LaLa Land readers by entrepreneur and writer, Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul!

Enjoy! 






How to Make Your Blog a Brand in a Niche

There are many thousands of blogs and bloggers on the internet. But some of them are much more successful than others. What secrets have these bloggers incorporated into their work to be able to gain that success?

There are some things that have to be considered carefully when you want your blog to become one of the most popular in the world. First, you need to start by choosing your level of success. You need to decide how many followers you want – ten, thousand, hundred thousand or a million. This thought forms your goal and becomes the vision that drives you to do better. So, begin by dreaming.

"You’ll see the different approaches to 
blogging that they undertake
 and you will be able to choose one 
that you think you can follow
 to success."   --Mark Victor Hansen


When it comes to the practical end of attaining your goal, you need to begin by choosing the model that works best for you. Blogging, like other businesses, can be undertaken in many ways. So how do you know the different options and how do you choose the one that’s most suitable to you? I’ll answer this question by telling you a personal story. I contacted the best speaker in the world, Cavett Robert, when I had decided to take up professional speaking. At his invitation, I attended his National Speaking Association and met a number of professional speakers. I spoke to them, asked them how they’d made it in the industry and recorded my conversations. I went over these recordings later until I could recognize the model that I could take up. That’s how I chose my model and that’s how bloggers can choose theirs. Join associations dedicated to the field of blogging and talk to experienced bloggers. You’ll see the different approaches to blogging that they undertake and you will be able to choose one that you think you can follow to success.

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 The next aspect that’s as important as the model is the topic. You should avoid topics that have been done to death. Think of something new and innovative, something that’s a niche. You might equate a niche with something that caters to a small group, but the fact remains that if your blog is good, this niche can grow and you will be the brand of that niche because you were the one who made it something big. Chicken Soup for the Soul was one of the first few books that caused behavioral changes almost instantly in people, and there was a huge demand for it when people realized that they wanted that kind of inspiration. That’s what your blog can do too!


Dreaming is the first step in setting goals. Dream big and set fantastic goals that you will be inspired to work towards. Then, look for the model that suits your style and the topic that you think you can do justice to, and you’ll find yourself on the way to a successful blogging business.


"You can easily create the life you deserve."  
- Mark Victor Hansen



 The Richest Kids In America: How They Earn It, How They Spend It, How You Can Too
 teaches kids how to drive millions to their door as young entrepreneurs…
 even before they can drive!
 
The Richest Kids in America book is a real-world study of amazing young entrepreneurs who acted on an idea and are now living their dreams as millionaires and large business owners. In this unique rags-to-riches twist, these self-made millionaires, ranging in age from 9 – 23, will teach YOU how to act on an opportunity and fill a need to create a viable, profit-making business.
And who better to tell their stories than Mark Victor Hansen, the Co-Creator behind a single dream that became the largest publishing empire in history, Chicken Soup for the Soul?

 







Tuesday, October 16, 2012

LaLa Says: eShakti Review


LaLa Says......eShakti Dress Review!



I received this beautiful dress from eShakti (full disclosure: free of charge, specifically for review!) and I was immediately impressed.  Shipping was fairly quick considering it came from India!  I liked the workmanship, the dress was lined, which I wasn’t expecting and the fabric is very nice.  The pattern contains a lot of colors and will go well with a variety of shoes and sweaters in my closet; versatility is a major plus! 

Now, the cons are small things but still:  the pattern is much darker than what was on the site.  The site looked like a pale blue dress with a paisley pattern and clearly, this is a navy blue dress. 
There is elastic on the sleeve holes, on the underside under your arm, which I didn’t see in the picture.  I’m fussy about my clothes and their comfort: I’m not into anything that bunches or pulls, I don’t want to be tugging on something nonstop.  I don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion very often at all.  Elastic falls under that heading and frankly, what an odd place to stick some elastic!  It doesn’t rub, thank God, but still, I’m never too keen on elastic.  (and I know that’s personal and picky, but I texture issues, so if you do  too, then carefully check the pics of the item over to make sure you like how the whole thing looks!) 

There are these beautiful keyholes in the chest and back, but they are much longer than I thought they’d be and even with a backless strapless bra on, I could still see it peeking in the front.  Not cool.  I may have to get the keyholes stitched closed just a few stitches on the front, so my bra isn’t exposed.  

Finally, this is promoted as tailored clothing, where hemlines and such can be adjusted.  While the bodice fit me reasonably well, the length was way too long and I wish I could have asked for a shortened hem.  Now I’m going to have to take it and pay to get it hemmed which can be tricky with lining.  

Overall, I think this is a fantastic idea!  They have a huge variety of clothing, a lot of very pretty and very modern designs that I have drooled over more than once---they just need to tweak the styles a little.  Maybe it’s because I’m petite and I don’t have a long torso and the bustier woman with 3 inches on me tried this on and it fit perfectly—who knows?   And it’s not like I got a poorly made item either, as I said, it was a lovely lined dress.  And you’re not stupid, dear Readers, so you can read between the lines and discard what doesn’t apply to you! ;-)  

Overall, I give eShakti a 5 star rating for effort and a 4 for the dress I personally received.  


 


                                              

                                         xoxoxo,


P.S. Photography by my sister Kate; awkward posing is all mine.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

LaLa Books: Review of The Exile by Diana Gabaldon




The Exile by Diana Gabaldon:   
An Outlander Graphic Novel

When you’re a huge fan of a series, you often take the characters any way you can get them; this is why fan fiction is so popular and spin-offs and video games, etc, etc. 
 
The Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon, started about 20 years ago and has been going strong ever since.   When I saw that Ms. Gabaldon had penned a story for a graphic novel version of The Outlander, but a whole NEW story told from a different perspective, I about danced with joy and squee’d at the same time.         

                                                                                 
The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel
You know how you hear about readers (ok, women) who say they “fell in love” with a character?  That if they could find that character in real life, they would have died and gone to heaven?  You hear that about say, a certain sparkly vamp who shall remain nameless and about a man who likes gray?  For me, it was always Jamie.  And honestly, a 6-foot-something red-haired Scottish man was not on my list of to- die-for men but then, I fell in love.  This man was….complicated!  Mature at a young age.  An educated gentleman that would snap your neck for looking too closely at his Claire.  He could load a gun with one hand and hold a book written in French, reading it aloud with a perfect accent, with the other.  He was loyal, no-nonsense, smart, persistent, had a great sense of humor, sensual and fierce…..



Where was I? What was I saying?  

Oh right, Outlander.  So the characters are complicated and then, well, so is the plot.  And we’ve followed the characters through love, sex, war, murder, secrets, family, sickness and health, torture, revenge and time travel for God’s sake!  There are betrayals, politics, grief, distance, persistence and ingenuity---how this all came out of one brain is beyond me! 


The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel


         But now, I can see the story but with pictures??                             

Yes.  Ten copies please.  

The artwork is lush.  I love it.  If you’ve read the books, at first, you’re resistant to the depictions of beloved characters that have resided in your mind for twenty years because, well….they don’t look like that!! But then, you read and there’s the sprinkling of Gaelic, the familiar crackle between Jamie and Claire, there’s Murtagh and fighting and then you’re sucked in and it’s your favorite story and the depictions don’t matter;  they meld with the story and enhance it.  

I read this in 40 minutes.  I devoured it.  It is the meeting of the main characters all over again.  The disbelief of where Claire is, the confusion of clan politics, the winding of several plot lines into one with a young man who has fallen in love at first sight in the middle of it all, stubbornly refusing all advice.  And yet he does it.  Jamie moves through his life with purpose and goals.  He knows what he wants and he deftly maneuvers in political intrigue he wants nothing to do with, protecting others along the way, to reach a momentary spot of safety before the next thing hits him.  

How can Claire not fall in love with him? 

How can you not? 

Ya can’t. So just go get a copy already. 

You’re welcome.  




P.S.  ...and if you prefer a traditional novel to a graphic one, give this series a chance.  Starts out a little slow but will suck you in and spit you out dazed and confused.  And there are about 8 titles now I think, so plenty to keep you busy! ;-)   









Friday, September 7, 2012

Options I'd LIKE to Hear When I Leave a Voicemail


Working at a doctor's office, I have to make those reminder calls you get the day before you are due to come in.  And I don't mind talking to people, most of our patients are very nice.  What annoys me is the Voicemail rigamarole I have to go through to leave a message when people *don't* answer their phones.

First there is 30 seconds of "hi, so and so's not here to take your message...yada yada yada."
Then there's what you can do once you record your message.  Six options for that. FINALLY, the beep, which wakes me up, because I've dozed off during that whole speech delivered in a monotone (very conducive to sleeping) computerized voice, indicates I can speak.  So I do my shhhpiel about how they have an appointment.
Quick. 
To the point.

More options.  I put my head on my desk at this point.  Because of course, I can listen to my message or I can press pound.  Or 1.  Or star, depending on the system. Sometimes you can hang up after your finished your leaving your message.  Or you can press another button for MORE options. Right?

Here's how I'd like it to go:
Hi. So-and-so's not here. Their name is So-and-So (it's a very popular last name).  Please leave a message. BEEEEP.

Leave your message.
Press pound.
Message sent.

Easy right?
If there have to be options, if they feel so compelled to make sure that all bases are covered or maybe they feel that's too straight forward and that the American people need options in every aspect of their lives, well they could do this instead:

Press 1 to hear the message of the last person who called.
Press 2 to change the message of the last person who called.
Press 3 to listen to Prince.
Press 4 donate to a cause.
Press 5 to hear a joke told by Ellen
Press 6 to send your message.

And each phone company can feel free to swap out the music and the comic, but really, let's all get on the same page here.  I love it when 5 phone calls in a row say "If you are done recording, press #.  To send your message with normal delivery, press 1," (I could recite this in my sleep) and then the next phone call, you rapidly hit #, 1 and you get "You have pressed an invalid number.  Please try again," which just equates to more time on the phone while I listen to the options.  My favorite ever?  I pressed # 1 and got, "You have erased your message.  To re-record, please press #..."  REALLY?!  Wouldn't you choose something other than the most commonly used buttons to process a message so someone doesn't *accidentally* erase their message?? GAH!

Sometimes, I envision all the phone companies sitting around and saying,
Ok, so we'll use 1 for sending, but you guys use # and you guys use the one-two combo of # AND 1 to send.
Right and then we'll actually use 1 to erase, you know, to minimize confusion, and 9 to save....


 


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