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Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in The Great Outdoors | 2 comments

Simple Pleasures – Floating the River

Simple Pleasures – Floating the River

Are you looking for a simple and affordable way to enjoy the great outdoors?

For Bill and I, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors is one of the best ways we know to enjoy the simple things in life. We took a trip to the Eleven Point River in the Mark Twain National Forest in southern Missouri in July. We enjoyed it so much that we went back again in August.

This was my first overnight canoe trip – and I LOVED IT! We made the 3 1/2 hour drive to Alton where we camped at Greer Springs for the night. When morning arrived, we ate breakfast by the campfire and then drove to the access to put in the canoe.

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Bill unloads the canoe at Greer Springs.

We packed it full with one cooler, one crate full of camping gear, cooking supplies and clothes, two folding chairs and our life-jackets. And off we went!

We traveled downstream all day, stopping occasionally to fish or eat a bite of lunch.

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Bill caught several fish on this day.

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Stopping along the Eleven Point River for fishing….and lunch.

 

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These beautiful butterflies kept me company while we ate lunch on the river bank.

 

After traveling 18 miles, we stopped at Boze Mill float camp. You know, 18 miles sounds like a long, long way, but to my surprise it was a very easy trip. Didn’t have to do much paddling…..just floated along most of the time. It was soooo peaceful and relaxing. Bill taught me the necessary paddle strokes so that I could help maneuver the canoe from time to time when we floated through faster waters. He is very experienced at this and had traveled this river many times.

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This is the dock area at Boze Mill. The Eleven Point is spring-fed and the water is a beautiful emerald color in many places.

 

20130829-222245.jpgI think Bill and I make a pretty good team setting up camp. Once everything is unloaded and the tent is set up, we both go on the hunt for firewood. He’s in charge of the big pieces and I gather the small stuff. It’s all important though – ya gotta have the small stuff to get he fire started! What do you think of my starter piles??

Bill caught two fish, but only made it to the campfire. I was not paying close attention at one time and we went to close to a tree stump and lost a rainbow trout off the stringer…..lesson learned for me.

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On our second trip here, we had an unexpected visitor to the campfire. We heard something scurrying in the woods and then in a couple of seconds an armadillo came out pretty close to the fire! I could not believe it! An armadillo??? Really???!! He quickly went back into another section the woods. Bill said, “He seems to be in a hurry – he must have a date!” Bill just cracks me up sometimes! Sure do love camping adventures with him ūüôā

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For me, sitting beside a camp fire is such a relaxing experiences. If you have not done this in a while (or maybe you never have) I recommend that you make time to do this….even if it’s in your own back yard.

 

The next morning we spent a couple hours exploring the spring and old mill site.

 

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The Spring at Boze Mill is just gorgeous. Bright green plant life shines through crystal clear aqua blue water.

 

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Bill walks along the stone wall at the former Mill site.

 

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Spring water rushes through the opening in the wall and then travels into the river.

 

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The old mill wheel stills rests here.

 

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The fog is burning off as we head toward Riverton on our last hour on the river.

I definitely recommend this floating trip to anyone who wants to take a break from their usual busy lifestyle. We were without a cell signal for two days – which was really different for me – but we survived it just fine. There is no camping fee for the float camps. Out-house facilities are pretty primitive and you’ll want to bring your own toilet paper. During our first trip the float camp outhouse was full stocked, but the second trip it was not. But if you are a camper, you know not to ever leave home without the TP!

We camped for two nights on our trip, but for those of you who aren’t keen on the thought of camping, you can still enjoy a relaxing day-trip down the river. There are several outfitters that rent canoes and will drive you upstream to launch and then pick you up downstream. We had our own canoe, but used Hufstedler’s to shuttle our Jeep and were pleased with their service.

Anyone else ever floated this river – or have other recommendations? I’d love to hear from you!

Angie

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Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Simply Social Media | 0 comments

New Guidelines for Facebook Promotions

New Guidelines for Facebook Promotions

Do you like to run contests on Facebook?

Good News!!!

Facebook has updated its guidelines for hosting promotions and contests within its platform. ¬†If any of you have attended any of my workshops, you know there were quite a few “No No’s” concerning contests on Facebook.¬†Prior to these changes, small businesses were very limited as to what they could and could not¬†do to promote a contest on their business page.

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Here are the new guidelines that were updated August 27, 2013.

Promotions

1.  If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
a. The official rules;
b.  Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residence restrictions); and
c.  Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)

Simply Angie advice:  Nothing has changed here.  It is your responsibility to take care of any legal issues surrounding your promotion.

2.  Promotions on  Facebook must include the following:
a.  A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b.  Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Simply Angie: Be sure to state in your promotion that your contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Facebook.

3. ¬†Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. ¬†Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted.)

Simply Angie:¬†You cannot ask your fans to “share” a post on their timeline or a friend’s time-line to be entered in your contest….But….this is where the good news comes in!¬†¬†

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  • You CAN now use the Like or Comment features that accompany your post for your contest entries! ¬†This was not allowed before (even though thousands of Pages did this.) ¬†You can ask your fans to comment or like, just don’t ask them to share.
  • You can now use the Like button at the top of your page as a means to enter your contest.
  • Contests which are run as “the most comments” or “the most likes” are now acceptable.
  • You can now notify a winner through a Facebook message.
  • You do NOT have to use a third party app to run a contest, but you might want to consider this for other reasons anyway. ¬†I have used Rafflecopter and have been pleased with the results.

4.  We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.

Simply Angie: ¬†Pretty self-explanatory. ¬†The contest is your responsibility, not Facebook’s.

As you know, things change on Facebook quite often…..we’ll see how long these changes last before another revision is announced. ¬†Happy Contests To You!


 

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Posted by on Aug 17, 2013 in Simply Social Media | 0 comments

What Honeybees Can Teach Marketers

What Honeybees Can Teach Marketers

I love this analogy!  I ran across this post by Don Peppers on Social Mediaopolis and wanted the share with you. 

Honeybees are social insects, always exchanging information with each other for the success of the hive. When a bee finds an attractive new flower with a good supply of pollen, it flies back to the hive and performs a sophisticated waggle dance for the other bees, communicating the distance and direction of the flower from the hive, the type of flower it is, and the potential magnitude of the find. Other bees watch this dance, then navigate to the flower themselves to harvest more of its pollen, which is good because producing a single pound of honey requires roughly two million bee-loads of pollen.

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So now imagine for a moment that your company operates a flowerbed, and you are in the business of “selling” your pollen to bees. Your first task is to attract an exploring bee to land and take a look, and for that you need to be sure that your colors are bright and your scent is attractive. That’s advertising.

But the bee is part of a social network, so when it returns to the hive after visiting your flower it’s only going to send for the other bees if your pollen was good. And that’s customer experience.

Advertising and customer experience are both important elements in making your business a success. You can’t grow and prosper without a steady stream of new customers, but you also have to be sure the customers you acquire are in fact satisfied. And the more social your customers are ‚Äď the more they communicate and interact with each other ‚Äď the more important the customer experience becomes, relative to advertising.

If customers don’t communicate among themselves, then advertising is all you really need. With an attractive look and a good smell you should be able to get a steady stream of new customers. But once your customers begin to interact with each other, you’ll only prosper if the customer experience you deliver to them is acceptable.

This is the key reason why delivering a truly frictionless customer experience has become so vital to every company’s success in the e-social era. Customers are technologically connected to each other more and more tightly, as social and mobile technologies proliferate.

We’ve all heard of Moore’s Law, of course, attributed to Intel founder Gordon Moore. Fifty years ago Moore noticed that the number of transistors that could be squeezed onto a square inch of silicon was doubling every 18 to 24 months. So every 20 years, computers were becoming a thousand times more powerful ‚Äď that is, a thousand times faster in processing power and memory, per dollar of cost.

A corollary to Moore’s Law is sometimes known as Zuckerberg’s Law: Every 20 years we interact a thousand times as much with others.

And when it comes to managing the customer-facing side of your business, you can extrapolate this to Peppers’ Law: Every 20 years, customer experience becomes a thousand times more important to a business’s success.

Moore’s Law: Every 20 years computers get a thousand times more powerful.
Zuckerberg’s Law: Every 20 years we interact a thousand times more with others.
Peppers’ Law: Every 20 years customer experience becomes a thousand times more important to business success.
Recent research by Google, in fact, does show a distinct and dramatic rise in the volume of social interactions that surround individual buying decisions. In just the last two years, for instance, the percentage of consumers who say they consult the opinions of their friends and connections prior to making a purchase doubled, from 19% to 37%.

And guess what? When customers ask their friends about a product, they aren’t asking about the advertising. They’re asking about the customer experience.

They want to see the waggle dance.

Post Credit: Social Mediaopolis


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Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Angie's Originals Artist Creations | 3 comments

Artists and Friends

Artists and Friends

I am blessed to have met so many talented artists and craftsmen and women who contribute their unique creations to my boutique.

Craig Rhodes in his studio.

Craig Rhodes in his studio.

Craig Rhodes played a major part in helping me to open my business in 2010. ¬†His pottery is simply amazing….and functional as well. ¬†All of his stoneware and porcelain pieces are microwave, dishwasher and oven safe. ¬†In the photo here you see Craig where he is most comfortable – in his studio. ¬†(Well…I must say, he is also quite comfortable in his garden. ¬†He is a master of that form of art as well!) ¬†Thank you, Craig, for your inspiration and for being such an important part of my business!

Diane Bremer demonstrating at our Anniversary event.

Diane Bremer demonstrating at our Anniversary event.

Diane Bremer and her husband, Monte, are equally important contributers to Angie’s Originals. ¬†Diane and Monte demonstrate their craft every year at our Anniversary celebration. ¬† They will be on hand for the 2013 Anniversary event on Saturday, Nov. 23. ¬†Thank you, Diane and Monte, for all you do to make Originals the local place for local art!

My sincere thanks go to this entire list of talented people whose works are featured at Angie’s Originals:

Craig Rhodes – pottery
Diane Bremer – pottery and paintings
Monte Bremer – Wood crafts
LouAnn & Jay Elwell – jewelry including handcrafted glass beads and copper
Karen Linduska – fiber art, jewelry and purses
Judy Dummeier – jewelry
Jane-Plain  Рjewelry and purses
Benjamin Suttles – wooden spoons
Tracy Morgan – jewelry and glass pendants
Bettie Griffen – Painted furniture
Kelly Bailey – jewelry
Birute Schmidt – Scarves and Shawls
Elizabeth Douglas – aprons
Michelle Longworth – photography
Bob Wessell – wood crafts
William Parmley – photography
Megan Henderson – fiber art
Courtney Deasel – photo note cards
Anita Price – knitted creations
Angie Sivori – handcrafted soaps, rock art & other items

Watch for future posts about local artists and Fair Trade artisan groups from around the world whose works are available at Angie’s Originals.

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Posted by on Aug 9, 2013 in Simply Social Media | 0 comments

Welcome to Simply Angie Social

Welcome to Simply Angie Social

Are you a business owner who would love to find simple ways to manage your social media efforts?  Let me help!

You have just landed in my little corner of the web dedicated to Social Media resources – Welcome!

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My name is Angie Sivori and I’ve been learning the ins and outs of social media while starting a couple businesses of my own over the last three years. ¬†I also work as a consultant to small business owners, and one of thing I have learned is…there is so much to learn about social media!

So…I’ve decided to start this blog as a platform to share helpful tips with other small business owners out there. ¬†Most of us don’t have the budget to hire anyone for marketing, so we do all of the social media promotion ourselves. ¬†And…don’t get me wrong…we CAN do it! ¬†But it is always helpful to learn about a tip here, and a tool there, that can make the job a little easier, and even SAVE US SOME TIME!

Every month I will sift through the endless stream of social media information available and share a few tips and tools with you. ¬†And, of course, I also invite you to share any tips with me, too ūüôā

Stay Tuned!

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