Tag Archives: love

40 Thoughts on Life Now That I Am 40

now-that-I-am-40

Now that I have turned 40 years old, I am writing to reflect on 40 things I have learned in my lifetime.  These thoughts are not in any order of importance nor are they meant to cover every aspect of life.  I’m sure every adult has at least 40 of their own thoughts on life.  

  1. Life is short and long at the same time.  Sometimes things seem to take forever while other times you want moments to last forever.  
  2. The older you are, the faster time goes by.  As a child, it seemed like it took forever for your birthday and Christmas to come.  Now, birthdays are a reminder to me that we will not live forever.
  3. Life can change in an instant.  Health challenges, car accidents, and other tragic events can drastically change your entire life.  
  4. You can either grow stronger or grow bitter after enduring the challenges of life.  I choose to grow stronger each day.  I am not referring to physical strength, but of growth in character and integrity as a person.  
  5. Our life is meant to be a blessing to others.  Look around you.  There is always someone less fortunate than you.  
  6. Sometimes your own time is the best gift you can give someone.  Time with the ones you love and care for.
  7.  Take time to celebrate life.  It is a gift to live every day in the PRESENT.  We cannot change the past and if we only live for the future, we can’t enjoy today.
  8. Surprise yourself or someone else in your life.  Let someone know what they mean to you by giving them a hug or telling them in words specific things you appreciate about them.
  9. As you spread love, it comes back to you.  It may not come from the same person, but you will be rewarded for your kind words and deeds. 
  10. Be grateful for the little things every day.  Thank God for things that we may take for granted.  That the sun is shining (providing us heat) or that it is raining (watering our plants and farmers’ crops).  
  11. Keep a gratitude jar with scraps of paper noting one thing each day that you are grateful for or something you heard that made you smile.  Read it aloud with family and friends on New Year’s Eve.  
  12. Life is an adventure.  Routines can help you achieve great things, but even for people that like to plan out every minute of their lives, you need to challenge yourself to do something different every day.  Drive the scenic route.  Smile at a stranger on the street.  Post something inspiring on social media.  
  13. Don’t be superstitious.  Thirteen can be a good number.  Maybe you were born on the 13th or the number 13 has another positive meaning for you.  Don’t bother with reading horoscopes or visiting psychics. Life is what you make it.
  14. In all things, lean on God.  He’s got your back if you earnestly seek Him and ask Him to help you.  He loves you and wants you to live the best life possible.  He may allow challenges in your life, but He will never allow you to experience something greater than you can handle.  
  15. Appreciate what others have done for you. There is no way you would be where you are in life today where it not for the help of other people.  Take time to thank them personally.
  16. If you are struggling financially to make ends meet, don’t be afraid to let others know.  Maybe some time in the future you can repay the favor to another person in need.  
  17. People need to know that you care.  There are people you probably know that may suffer from anxiety and depression as well as those who may be dying or in the process of recovering from a major surgery or even a stroke.  Reach out to them and listen.  Your presence in their life may be the motivation they need to live another day.
  18. It is impossible to know everything about anything.  There is always something new to learn.  Even the most accomplished people in life, continue to practice their gifts.  Surgeons learn new procedures and artists learn new techniques. You can always grow in your abilities to do something–even in areas where you are considered an expert!
  19. Everyone has their own opinions about a variety of issues.  Be less concerned about being “right” and be more concerned with how you treat others.  Kindness goes a long way.  
  20. Be a good sport when you lose at something.  This doesn’t necessarily have to be something athletic.  Whenever someone does something better than you, be thankful that they proved it possible to achieve.  There will always be people more talented than us.  What matters more is your character than your abilities.
  21. Be a good sport when you win at something.  Recognize others for their achievements and thank them for participating.  You may be a role model or mentor to them.  It is important to help make other people feel important.  
  22. People tend to respect those that show them respect. Every person deserves respect.  Wealth, prestige, and fame are what the world values.  I believe it is more important to value someone for their character.  
  23. Your character is who you are when you think no one is looking.  If you do and say what you do only to impress others, in time it will become obvious that is your motivation.  However, if you are truly being YOU, then you may inspire those around you.
  24. Look after those who cannot defend themselves.  Abuse (in all its forms) of other humans and abuse of animals must be stopped.  The sick and elderly also need looking after.  How you treat others reflects on who you are as a person.  
  25. People can change.  It is possible for people to improve their character and their life habits.  Be open to giving someone another chance.  
  26. Look for others around you that could benefit from your wisdom.  Even young people know things that older people may not.  
  27. Eat things that will fuel your body to function at its best.  The old saying is “garbage in, garbage out.”  I gave up the sugary (but oh so tasty) Chic-Fil-A frosted coffees to make my own healthy protein shakes at home.  
  28. Exercise regularly.  I need to do more than just walk my dog outside.  It may help for me to get an accountability partner to discuss my health and fitness goals.  I do know that working with weights helps build muscle tone and burn fat.  I think the more consistently I do something like exercise, the easier it will be for me to make it a good life habit.  
  29. Write down your goals in life.  Break them into smaller steps (a daily to-do list) that you can work on each day.  They say that those who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them.  
  30. Allow yourself to have fun.  Sometimes we can be so goal-oriented that we don’t reserve a little time each day to do something we enjoy.  For me, this includes spending time with family, watching movies, reading, and solving crossword puzzles.  
  31. Volunteer some of your time each week to help a person or a cause.  This gives your life more purpose.  You are contributing to something you feel is worthy of your time.  You are using your unique skill set (there is only one person exactly like you) to achieve things.  
  32. It is easier to keep things clean than to have things become messy all over again.  For example, I don’t keep many things in my car so that my car stays clean.  However, I need more discipline when it comes to my house.  I love how I feel when I just finished organizing a closet!
  33. Be your own person.  Don’t try to impress others by being someone other than yourself.  Be authentic to who you are! 
  34. Always be considerate of others around you.  You may not know everything they are going through.  Some people don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal challenges with others and they may even keep it bottled up inside.  If someone (in your opinion) overreacts to something, there may be more to the story.  Be there to listen, but don’t force them to tell you everything on their mind.
  35. Not everyone is confident in their abilities to do specific things.  There are plenty of things I’m not yet confident in my abilities to do.  I have spoken on a few webinars, but I don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of others who can see me as I am speaking.  With the webinars I’ve done, no one could look at me.  However, if you stuck me in a room full of people looking at me, I would be more nervous.  Even people who appear confident may be faking it.  Fake it until you make it!
  36. Do your best to avoid negativity.  Speak only positive words!  Replace “I can’t” with “I can”!  Swap “I don’t know how we will get this done” to “I know we will get this done.”  I don’t mean for you to be unrealistic, but belief in yourself and other people goes a long way towards achieving great things.
  37. Take deep breaths and five-minute breaks throughout your day.  Those who work nonstop are LESS productive than those who take breaks.  It is more effective to study in twenty-minute bursts followed by ten-minute breaks than it is to study without taking a break.  Your brain and your body need time to accomplish what you are learning and doing.  
  38. Better to eat and stay hydrated throughout your day than to eat one big meal each day especially late at night.  Your metabolism does not need the shock!  
  39. Do a little bit each day towards your specific and measurable goals.  Don’t wait until the last minute to do something.  That just makes it tougher on yourself (and probably the people around you).  
  40. How much time any of us has is unknown.  People are more important than money or things.  Be loving and generous towards others.  Make the most of every day! 

The Four Doors Of Innkeeping

four doors of innkeeping

 

The Four Doors of Innkeeping is based on the book The Four Doors: A Guide to Joy, Freedom, and a Meaningful Life by #1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans.  There are more than 17 million copies of his books in print worldwide, translated in more than 24 languages.

 

Door #1: Believe There’s a Reason You Were Born

Never underestimate the power of belief. Not only is there a reason you were born, but there is a reason that you are an innkeeper.  Just like teachers with their students, you will never know the amount of lives you touch for the better as you host and serve your bed and breakfast guests.  Remember that as you extend warm hospitality to each of them.  

Door #2: Free Yourself from Limitations

Most of our greatest learning experiences (and successes) come because of adversity (and failures). Everyone has problems.  It’s how we deal with them that matters. If you had to deal with (or are in the process of overcoming) zoning issues, renovation problems, or even a public relations nightmare, you can come out better on the other side.

Door #3: Magnify Your Life

Dreaming is the first step to making our lives greater.  Ask yourself, “What if…?” Be willing to take risks. We should use our talents and gifts to make more out of our lives.  This could mean that in addition to running a bed and breakfast inn, that you may add a restaurant, a gift shop, or even a spa.  

Door #4: Develop a Love-Centered Map

Love is the secret to joy.  The greatest source of happiness comes from giving and receiving love.  Love is what love does.  We develop love through service.  Love is both the destination and the journey.  As you appropriately love your guests, they will come become repeat visitors as well as spread by word of mouth (and hopefully online reviews) their enjoyable experience as your guests.

The author reminds us that we have a choice to live a more abundant life, a life of joy, freedom, and meaning.  We can improve our lives by opening these four doors of innkeeping. Feel free to comment below about how these four doors relate to you and your innkeeping experiences.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The link to the book is an affiliate link. If you click and make a purchase I will earn a commission from Amazon.  I only recommend what I know and love.

How To Profit From Designing Bed and Breakfast Retreats

bed and breakfast retreats

 

 

Bed and breakfast retreats can be very profitable for bed and breakfast inn owners. I will be presenting on an upcoming Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) webinar.  Here is the blurb:

 

 

“From dreaming to planning and pricing to marketing, Kristi Dement will show you how to profit from designing retreats at your bed and breakfast.  She will reveal 15 different types of B&B retreats that your inn could host.  Plus, learn several reasons we should all love retreats!”

We will discuss:

  • 3 Essential Questions To Ask in the Dreaming Phase
  • Understanding the Role of Activities and Breaks
  • Crucial Planning Considerations
  • Option of Working with Outside Professionals
  • Types of Retreats and The Importance of Names
  • Customizing Retreats for Specific Clients
  • Critical Retreat Policies to Have in Place
  • Retreat Pricing Guidelines
  • Structuring Your Retreat
  • Building Retreat Buzz
  • Key Retreat Marketing Strategies
  • Reasons to Love Retreats

Throughout the Professional Association of Innkeepers International webinar, I will be sharing the images (like the one above) from talented hospitality photographer Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography.  

Click here for the blog post with a link to the YouTube video of my previous PAII webinar called, “How You Can Profit From Creating Memorable Guest Packages” led by Heather Turner, the Marketing Director for the Professional Association of Innkeepers International.

This PAII webinar is scheduled to take place on Wednesday January 25 at 2 pm.  After the webinar, I will provide a link to the presentation right here.  To get more ideas for designing retreats, look at BnBFinder’s website under Specials and then Classes, Courses, and Workshops.  

If you can think of another issue for me to address, with regards to designing bed and breakfast retreats, please feel free to comment below.  Alternatively, if you have experience leading bed and breakfast retreats, I welcome you to introduce yourself.  Tell us the name of your inn and where it is located and let us know what has worked well for your bed and breakfast retreats.

Why Your Inn Will Profit From Blogging

your inn will profit from blogging

 

Your inn will profit from blogging.  If you are not already consistently offering quality blog posts, now is the time to do so.  Let’s examine the benefits of bed and breakfast blogging as well as learn what qualities to look for in a bed and breakfast blogger.

 

 

First of all, search engines like Google absolutely love and reward fresh content.  They give preference to websites which continually add new information.  A blog post is one more indexed page on your website. It signals to the search engine spiders that your website is active.

Bed and breakfasts with blogs establish themselves as being an authority on hospitality and their local community.  By offering helpful, travel-friendly advice, bed and breakfasts can get the attention of those wanting to know more about your local area while also telling others what makes your inn an ideal accommodations choice.

The more information you provide on your website and the more questions you answer, the more likely web visitors are to take action like contacting you, reading more of your website, following you on social media, and booking a room.

You can share the following information in blog posts:

  • Behind the scenes: feature your employees backgrounds and give fun facts about them
  • Events: let potential guests know about upcoming local events
  • Packages: people are willing to pay more for something that is already planned and included (such as flowers and tickets)
  • Recommendations: promote local businesses in your area and let them know you do (they might return the favor)
  • Reviews: share rave reviews from your previous guests
  • Rooms: show pictures of your guest rooms, tell each one’s amenities, reveal why the room has its particular name
  • Specials: offer discounts to mid-week stays or specific groups of people like senior citizens, veterans, and emergency workers

The effort you put it now will pay off well into the future because people will be able to view your blog posts years from now.  Providing valuable content means your content will spread. Blog posts can be shared in social media to expose yourself to a whole new audience.

Be sure to attract more guests with calls to action.  Encourage them to contact you, connect on social media, and book now.

Write for your ideal guest.   Know who you are trying to attract.  Pick a diverse range of keywords related to that topic.  For example, “eco-friendly inns” can also be described as “green”, “environmentally friendly” and use related keywords like “electric car charging”, “energy efficient lighting”, “rain water saving”, and so on.

List out relevant keywords describing your guest, your local area, what makes your inn so unique, and different seasons of the year.

your inn will profit from blogging

Keywords to describe the type of guest you cater to:

  • adventure seeking
  • antique lovers
  • beach lovers
  • bird watchers
  • business travelers
  • celebrating birthdays and anniversaries
  • engaged couples and newlyweds
  • girlfriend getaways
  • mystery solvers
  • romantic couples
  • scrap-bookers
  • shopping lovers
  • sports enthusiasts
  • wine connoisseurs
  • winter sports participants
  • yoga exercisers

Keywords to describe your local area:

  • amazing views
  • amusement park
  • annual conferences
  • art galleries
  • breweries
  • business conferences
  • college campuses
  • concerts
  • sports games
  • theatre
  • tourist attractions
  • trade shows

Keywords to describe the uniqueness of your inn:

  • amenities
  • B&B inn association membership
  • awards
  • catering
  • diamond rating
  • eco-friendly
  • gardens
  • handicap accessible
  • historic
  • kid friendly
  • pet-friendly
  • press coverage
  • restaurant
  • retreats
  • Select Registry membership
  • spa
  • tea room
  • Trip Advisor reviews
  • vegetarian or vegan
  • waterfront property
  • weddings
  • wine tours

Keywords regarding different times of the year:

  • Christmas
  • Fall foliage
  • New Years
  • Patriotic holidays
  • Valentine’s Day

your inn will profit from blogging

 

Does this seem overwhelming?  Why not do what you do best as an owner/innkeeper and have a professional like me do your online marketing (blogging and social media)?  These are some qualifications you should look for from hospitality marketing professionals:

 

 

  • What is their education background?
  • What experience do they have?
  • Do they seem easy to work with?
  • Will they be dedicated to your bottom line and getting you the results you need?
  • Are they active in blogging and social media for their own business?
  • Do they have client testimonials?

Contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging for a free consultation today.  Feel free to add comments or questions below.

Images by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Thee Matriarch Boutique Inn

 

Thee Matriarch

Thee Matriarch Boutique Inn is celebrating three years of upscale bed and breakfast hospitality.  Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes used her design talents to skillfully decorate their Victorian manor in Orangeburg, South Carolina.  Husband Chef Fred Holmes is the culinary expert behind all the delicious gourmet food they prepare.

 

 

They actively host a wide variety of events right at their inn:

  • Top Chef Tuesdays: Every third Tuesday the community can come out and enjoy an international food, dessert and beverage tasting in a relaxed environment complete with sheer fun and networking. The cooking is prepared by local featured chefs, pastry chefs, caterers, cafes, bistros, and restaurants.
  • First Fridays: Every first Friday of each month Thee Matriarch invites you to experience a tantalizing feast of savory mouthwatering southern style favorites and their healthy alternatives.  Enjoy delightful lunch and dinner items created by Chef Fred!
  • Wine Tastings: Thee Matriarch offers a complimentary private guided wine tour of boutique, handcrafted, artisan wines from the wine country of California.  Taking their guests on a “colorful journey” of whites and red as they pair them with cheese and chocolates.

Thee-MatriarchThee-Matriarch

Thee Matriarch is listed in Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the 7 Top Black-Owned Bed and Breakfasts in America.  Rachelle and Fred make their guests feel welcome from the moment they walk in the door.  Whether they come for an event or stay overnight as a guest, their guests leave feeling even better than when they first arrived.

Everyone needs a little rest and relaxation.  They were voted one of the 12 Unforgettable Vacations in South Carolina If You Feel Like Really Splurging by the “Only In Your State” South Carolina website.

Millenium Magazine stated in their recent article, “Thee Matriarch Ranks Among the Top Boutiques” that “the couples love for people and their community fuels their enthusiasm to service their guest with excellent customer service, attention to details and personal attention.”

In Carolina Panorama’s article, “Best of the Best Orangeburg Couple’s Bed and Breakfast Named Among The Best Regional and National Boutique Inns”: “Designer Rachelle has elegantly restored and beautifully designed Thee Matriarch to appeal to business and leisure travelers satisfying the need for a full-service small- to medium-size venue for corporate retreats, seminars, family and class reunions, showers, weddings and receptions. An ideal setting for BFF, spa and golf getaways, Thee Matriarch’s Chef Fred crafts tantalizing cuisines of every genre for any occasion offering on and off property catering services.  Each bite will make your soul sing and yearn for more.”

Hosts Rachelle and Fred show their guests warm Southern hospitality.  Stay with them at Thee Matriarch in Orangeburg, South Carolina the next time you travel to the Palmetto State!

Bed and Breakfast Patriotic Holiday Celebrations

patriotic holiday celebrations

Bed and breakfast patriotic holiday celebrations in the United States of America occur on special days like Flag Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day.  It is during these times that we can honor our country as well as the men and women who serve in the military, our nation’s veterans, and those who sacrificed their lives while fighting to protect our freedoms.

 

Bed and breakfasts across the country can take the lead by decorating their B&B inside and out, hosting events on site, informing guests of local events in the community, offering holiday specials to attract guests to their inn, and cooking festive looking and fabulous tasting foods.  First, did you ever wonder about the history behind this patriotic holidays?  Here is an up close look:

  • Memorial Day, May 30 (traditionally), is a sacred day to all war veterans. America’s citizens are reminded of the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime. By honoring the nation’s war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice. They came from all walks of life and regions of the country, but they all had one thing in common: love of and loyalty to country.
  • Flag Day is June 14 and celebrates the official symbol for the United States: our Stars and Stripes. Flag Day was first recognized by Congress on June 14, 1777. The colors used in the flag give special meaning to the flag: red for valor and zeal; white for hope and cleanliness of life; and blue for reverence and loyalty. When you are looking at the American flag, you are looking at the magnificent history of all Americans who have lived before us and the most enduring nation of free people that has ever existed.
  • Fourth of July is a day when Americans celebrate the pivotal moment in history on July 4, 1776, when the signers of the Declaration of Independence boldly asserted that all are “created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” With these words, our forefathers formed a new nation and put forth a vision of liberty and democracy that would forever alter history. This set into motion the development of a land of freedom and opportunity without equal in the world.
  • Veterans Day is an opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of living veterans. Formally the holiday was called Armistice Day through a congressional action in America. If World War I had been “the war to end all wars,” November 11 might be still called Armistice Day. Realizing that peace was equally preserved by veterans of World War II and Korea, Congress decided to make the day an occasion to honor all those who have served America. In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.

Decorating your bed and breakfast is a patriotic expression of our thankfulness to be citizens of our free country.  You can add unique displays of red, white, and blue with American flags, banners, decorative crepe paper, table centerpieces, fireplace mantel decorations, and even displaying your very own fireworks show at night!

While hosting an event to celebrate a patriotic holiday at your bed and breakfast, your inn could have some of those actively serving our country or military veterans as guests.  Reach out to your local community and invite a guest speaker to give a speech. You can serve tasty treats at your event and hand out patriotic goodie bags so visitors can remember their visit to your inn.

Letting guests know about local events in the community such as parades or public nighttime firework displays allows you to promote your area.  There may be some local museums that allow your bed and breakfast guests to get a closer look at America’s military history.

Offering guests attractive holiday specials at your bed and breakfast will likely bring more business.  You may gain some first time guests to your inn.  This could be from a patriotic discount to American guests or a military discount to military families and veterans during these specific holidays.

patriotic holiday celebrations Lastly, creating patriotic breakfast dishes adds to the experiences of your guests.  In particular, using strawberries, bananas, and blueberries (to represent red, white, and blue) innkeepers could make a mixed fruit dish, add the berries to French toast, or even make a berry fruit smoothie.  Only limited by your own creativity, you will think of something amazing that your bed and breakfast guests will be delighted to eat!

 

Images by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

What Should My Inn Blog About?

inn blog about

What should my inn blog about, you ask?  Since each inn is unique, your blog should give readers a better understanding of your particular bed and breakfast. Is your location a relaxed beach setting, a scenic mountain location, a rural country farm, a contemporary urban inn, or something else entirely?  Entice your website visitors to stay at your bed and breakfast.  Pictures are a very visual way to attract vacationers.

Why do people visit your local area?  What local leisure activities can guests participate in?  Does your area have any local tourist attractions?  Blogging about this will give you fresh content and keywords for search engine optimization.  Moreover, knowing this information helps you target different types of guests:

Do you offer any special packages or retreats?

How does your inn serve breakfast?  Some B&B inns have their own restaurant.  Some bring breakfast to your room on a tray while others have a common dining area for guests.  At some bed and breakfasts, guests can choose from a menu what they would like to have while at others everyone the same delicious gourmet cooking.

Be sure to ask guests if they have special dietary needs.  Your blog can feature pictures of your breakfasts as well as recipes of guests’ favorite dishes.

What kind of amenities can your guests enjoy?

Potential guests also like to know more about the owners, innkeepers, and staff members of bed and breakfasts.  Be sure to put their pictures on your website including their name, a couple sentences about what they do, and what they recommend guests try when they visit.  You could even feature staff members that receive a lot of compliments from your guest feedback.

Be sure to tell guests what you, as an innkeeper, love the most.  Let them know that you will be attentive to their needs, but also give them the privacy they desire.  If you have a historic bed and breakfast, be sure to share your inn’s history.

Do you have any accreditations or affiliations?  Membership in a bed and breakfast association and/or having received a certain award or level of distinction will set you apart from other bed and breakfasts.

Do you have your own bed and breakfast shop?

How does your inn celebrate the seasons?

How does your inn celebrate holidays?

Your inn can blog about remodeled or redecorated rooms.  Improvements to your inn are worth talking about.  Previous guests may want to return based on your description of the new changes.

Do you offer any incentives for frequent stays and/or referrals?  Reward your guests for returning and recommending your B&B to friends. On the topic of frequency, be sure to have a frequently asked questions section on your website.

Let guests know how to connect with your bed and breakfast on other social media websites. Have a presence on one or more of the following websites can make a big difference in your visibility online.

 

When you share your blog on social media, this lets people know more about you and your bed and breakfast inn.  Give website visitors an “inn-side” look at your B&B from behind the scenes.  Having a blog and being active on social media is a great way to draw more attention to your website.

Don’t have the time or desire to write a blog or stay active on social media?  Let Kristi Dement and her team at Bed and Breakfast Blogging do all the hard work for you.  Her clients see results with consistently booked rooms.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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