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LilMsSophia's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide for the Female Business Owner

Since this is our first year of the blog and we're shifting towards being a lifestyle blog, we thought it would be fun to share an inaugural gift guide for the holidays. We're offering a mixture of our favorite items for the woman business owner on the go. This one is for you ladies!!!!

1. Quilted Phoebe Bag by COACH. What I can I say I've always been a lover of Coach. It's my go -to- luxury handbag. They make their handbags with such top notch quality. When I saw this Phoebe bag I knew I had to add it to our inaugural Holiday Gift Guide. This gorgeous handbag is available at Coach Outlets. If you're not lucky enough to have one in your area then you can shop online at Coachoutlet.com on Sunday.

2. Next on Holiday Gift Guide is every gal's morning friend: STARBUCKS.  Most of us can't start the day without our coveted Starbucks drink whether it's that awesome Caramel Brûlée Latte or a Salted Caramel Mocha, I think every gal would appreciate Starbuck's goodies under the tree.

Starbucks Store Online

3. Third on our list is the gift of wine. With Moscato Monday and Wine Wednesday, a gal needs to be stocked. Wine baskets are so personal and make great gifts year round. We absolutely love all the beautiful wine gifts offered by Winetasting.com. Simply log onto their website and have the wine gifts directly shipped to your gal pal's home.
Free Shipping on Select Wine Collections! 

5. Next on our list is for the technology loving gal. Shop Apple! We are #TeamApple all the way and every gal would appreciate the sleek design and technology offered by Apple©. Our business runs on Apple from our iPhone to our iPad to our Macbook Pro. Simply put once you go Mac you never go back. Quite frankly, our Holiday Gift Guide wouldn't be complete without our favorite technology company. Figuring out what to get can be hard, so a gift card might be a cool alternative.

6. Next on the list we have something for the Creative Business Diva from Cricut©, a Cricut Explore Air.  Let me you, the Cricut Explore Air is what every Creative Diva dreams of having for her business. So much can be done with this awesome machine. We created all of the branded packaging for my daughter's business, LilMsSophia Accessorize Me Please, with the Cricut Explore Air. If the Creative Diva in your life sells t-shirts, mugs or things like party printables, then yes, this is the gift for her.

7. Rounding out our list is the coveted beauty gift and we couldn't think of one we love more than Carol's Daughter. She has such great products hair and body care. After a log day of working I think every diva would want to just wind down and enjoy a little pampering.

We hope you enjoyed our Inaugural Holiday Gift Guide. Next week we'll have another Gift Guide complete with products from Small local and online shops that we love!

Thanksgiving Cheer, Happy Holidays!!

Last Thanksgiving was such a special Thanksgiving for me. It was the very first time, since being a mom, that I was able to handle all the cooking and decor for the holidays. My parents were in Maryland with my sister and her kids and so it was just Sophia and I for the holidays.

Today I was looking at the pictures reminiscing about the great time I had being Chef and Event Planner, Shantel. With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I thought I would share them with you along with a cocktail recipe to get your holiday season started.

I keep the decor simple and clean with Keep Calm and Carry On! Believe it or not, the china is over 20 years old.

I remember when my parents purchased it in my early 20s.

Sophia picked out the little tree and soldiers for the centerpiece.

Needless to say she was getting a little happy in the stores.

But again the experience was so much funny with memories that we'll both have from years to come.

Now I'm not your traditional type of Thanksgiving gal. I don't do turkey and I think the food experience should be an all day kind of thing so I made a mid morning brunch
I started us off with croissant sandwiches. These were not your ordinary croissant sandwiches either. I made a cinnamon honey butter ham and cheese version with black forest ham and asiago cheese, and I made another version with lobster and asiago cheese. Honey let me tell you it was spot on it. It will definitely be on the menu again this year for Christmas Brunch.

Another fun aspect of the holiday season was finally getting a chance to cook duck!! I've only been waiting for 20 plus years. It wasn't an easy mission either. I had to go to FOUR stores to find one. However, it was gas well spent because the duck was so delicious. Hmmm mmm good!! This year instead of doing duck for Thanksgiving I'm going to do it for Christmas and lucky for me I just have to go right up the street to the corner market. They have duck and goose.

Finally, no holiday is quite the same without wine or a signature cocktail right? Well last year I concocted a cocktail that I affectionally named: Nogtini. Clever huh!! It was so darn good. I used my favorite rum, Rum Chata to make it too.
My original Cocktail, The Nogtini  made for the Holidays in 2014
This was a cocktail that I would not soon forget. I'm not bartender, but I'm a risk taker, so most of the time I  just make recipes up and hope that they turn out right and with this I hit the jackpot.

So, I'm sure you're wondering what's in it right. Well, this is the season of giving, so I'm giving you the recipe. All I ask is that if you use the recipe give me some of that Patti Pie fame LOL!!! Cheers and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.

"Nogtini" Recipe
2 Parts Rum Chata
1 Part Egg Nog
Whipped Cream ( I made mine from scratch using heavy cream, vanilla and rum)
Rum Infused Cherries for garnish
Cinnamon Sugar

Add the Rum and Egg Nog to a martini glass top with the whip cream and add three cherries for garnish. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

Cheers from my family to yours.

Free Shipping on Select Wine Collections!

Why Page Verification on Facebook is a Good Thing

Okay we won’t lie. We’re like most people, we complain about all the countless changes on Facebook and those algorithm changes make us feel like we need to take a new math course every other weeks Still with all of it’s annoying changes, Facebook remains the leading social online haven for most business owners.

Today, while patiently waiting for my internet and cable service to be restored, I happened to log onto my Facebook page to update a setting. While browsing through the tabs I came across a link asking me to verify my page.

Whew hew hew are you kidding me verification is like receiving free Starbucks on Monday mornings. So, heck yeah, of course we jumped on the opportunity to verify our page.

Being a verified page on Facebook comes with perks. First of all you can’t request to be verified. Facebook decides which pages and brands are selected to be verified.

If you see a blue badge on a page or profile, Facebook has confirmed that the page or profile belongs to a media company, brand or public figure. If you see a page with a gray badge, like ours, then Facebook has confirmed that it is an authentic Page for that business or organization.

Now for the perks! What are the benefits of having a verified page? Lets see
  • Improved credibility for your brand. After all, Facebook says you’re real right. With so many fake pages being created being verified helps to protect the authenticity of your brand against spammers who create fake pages and post incorrect information in the name of your brand. 
  • Another plus to being verified is having your content appear more frequently in organic searches. Verified pages appear first in Graph Search. Graph Search is a product that Facebook is slowly rolling out to help people find the content they are looking for on Facebook. 
  • Did we mention the huge boost in organic reach!!! 
Now, even with all these benefits you’ll still need to hold up your end of the bargain by offering compelling content with a mixture of different media types such as text stats, videos and those awesome and compelling photos that seem to always woo customers.

Now that we’ve shared the perks here’s how to find out if your page has been selected for verification.

  • Visit your page and click on Settings. Under the General tab you should see Page Verification, click on that link. 
  • The popup box below will show up click on the Get Started button. 

  • You’ll insert your business number so that Facebook can call you with a verification code. After inputing your code you should received a confirmation popup like below. 

Whether or not your verification is approved depends on if Facebook is able to verify the connection between the number the called and your business. If your verification fails, then you’ll receive the following message from Facebook providing alternate ways to verify your page.

As always we hope that you find this information useful. Once you’re page is verified do the happy dance and head to Starbucks and enjoy one of those cool winter drinks. P.S.: Our favorite is the Caramel Brûlée Latte. Happy Marketing Monday!!!

Starbucks Store Online

Christmas Gifts for the Business Minded Friend

No matter who you are and what you do, everyone has that one friend in their circle who has either launched a business or have been talking about getting into the business groove like forever.

When the holidays roll around sometimes you find yourself scratching your head wondering what to get that awesome business minded friend.  Well, we have the perfect gift idea! Give them something to help them start their business; give them a GIFT CARD from a business related site.

Starting out, a business owner will need a ton of things including graphics and templates, business logos, office supplies and more. So, a gift card towards any of those items would be a welcome gift under that big green Christmas tree. Today, we are highlighting some great places to purchase business related gift cards for your business buddies.

1. Creative Market: This site truly is a business owner's best friend. Your business minded friend would most definitely appreciate a  Christmas gift card from this site. On this site, they can use their gift card to purchase a template for their new website or blog;  they could purchase a business card template, a flyer template and so much more. Creative Market offers gift cards in denominations of $20, $50, and $100 dollars. The recipient receives an email letting them know they have received a gift card. It would probably be a good idea to give them a Christmas card with a little message letting them know they can expect a gift card by email.

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2. Etsy: Etsy is another awesome site for business owners. It offers a tons of products and services that a new or existing business owner would find most useful. Like Creative Market, Etsy offers preset gift card amounts. You can purchase a gift card in denominations of $25, $50, $100, and $250 dollars. Additionally, you have the option to either email the certificate or print it so that you can insert it into a cute Christmas card for your business minded friend!

3.  Staples: Regardless if your business friend has an online business or a brick and mortar store, every business can find something they need in an office supply store such as Staples. From copy paper, to pens and envelopes. Staples is a ideal retailer to purchase a gift card from for your busienss minded friend. They offer two options for their gift cards: electronic and mail. If you choose the mail option, a $1.99 secure tracking free is added to the total purchase amount of the gift card. You can purchase the gift card in denominations of $20, $25, $50, $75 and $100 dollars.

We definitely hope you found this information useful and that this Christmas you'll find joy in gifting your business minded friends with something they can use to give their business a jumpstart in the New Year. Happy Holiday Shopping!!

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