Posting on Facebook – Connect with me there!

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I’m posting daily content over on Facebook! Please connect with me there until my blog redesign is done!

Please connect with me on Facebook as I redesign my blog.

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Counting down to Quiltcon East 2017

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After a 5 minute conversation with the Hubs, I signed up for Quiltcon East in Savannah, GA in 2017. Then, a few minutes later, I booked a hotel. After that, I mentioned it on Facebook, tagged a friend I met at the International Quilt Festival 16 years ago, and she decided to come too! And because I love countdowns, here’s my countdown to Quiltcon East 2017!

Are you going to Quiltcon East 2017?

Anne Dovel
Business mentor, leader, wife, mom, quilter.

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Instagram Algorithms Could Give Me More Free Time

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Instagram adds algorithms
My Instagram – friends and I are upset about the changes coming to Instagram. It used to be so simple and sweet. Then Facebook bought it. It didn’t change too much for awhile. Then ads appeared. But, if it wasn’t interesting, you could shut off that ad, much like you do with your tv remote control. But, let’s face it. The three top social media platforms currently are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And, they are marketing tools. (Marketing tools, not marketing platforms…there’s a difference.)

We can be upset about that, if we want. But, they are free to use. *Free* means I don’t make the decisions, I just get to take and use it the way it is. *Free* means I play by their rules, because it’s not really mine. In my house, I make the rules and no one follows them. Alas, I digress. My pictures and videos are housed on Facebook and Instagram…for free. (Please tell me you have backups of your favorites, because *Free* doesn’t mean forever.)

And let’s consider marketing for a minute. Marketing isn’t bad. You have probably bought some of your favorite things because of marketing, gone to great movies, visited cool stores, and found neat apps, because of marketing. Naturally, you also have to buy “clear the clutter” books, which are marketed to you because you bought things you probably didn’t need.

Here’s the deal. I market my business too. And I haven’t annoyed too many people. In fact, I’ve helped a lot of people. Those who use these social media platforms for marketing, are the reason they are free for everyone else. Bottom line is, someone has to pay for it. The internet isn’t really free. But, we won’t go there today.  Apps aren’t free to make. They cost someone time and/or money. One of the most amazingly irritating things I saw last week, was a comment someone made about an app. “That’s a really cool app. If it were free, I would get it.” It was $4. Well, I won’t jump on that soapbox today. $4. It’s cool, but whoever took the time to envision, create, code, upload and everything else that it takes to make a great app, isn’t worth my $4. That’s just shallow. Oops. Tiny, little soapbox. Hopping off.

So, here’s a word. Spammers…sure, ignore them, report them, block them. Legit business owners with products that are of interest to you, pay attention. Be nice to them. Refer people if you aren’t interested. Share, like and repost. In reality, those people pay so we can post photos of our pets, and videos that make us laugh and stupid memes, that for some reason brighten our days.

I like using social media. I found a quilt conference that I’m finally going to attend in 2017. They marketed it, I found it, I made friends who are going to it, it’s re-ignited my desire to spend less time scrolling and more time quilting.

I’m still annoyed about Instagram changing. But, then… maybe I’ll use the time to quilt, that I used to use for scrolling down my Instagram feed.

I did ask my smarty pants son, “So how hard would it be to make an app for my 500 quilting friends that functions like Instagram.” He just said, “Very,” and I haven’t heard anymore on that subject. Alas!

Until next time,
Anne Dovel
Leader, Business Mentor, Traveler, Mom to Boys, Wife, Quilter

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Ever Had to Start Over?

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   It’s not easy starting over. After all, I was a transformation winner years ago. My story was featured on the P90X infomercial for years. And to take the first picture, below, and admit that I wasn’t where I wanted to be with my health and fitness, was really kind of difficult for me.

    I’m almost 51. Studies, blogs, books, emails; you name it, tend to spread depressing news, especially for women my age. “You’ll lose muscle mass; menopause is going to mess you up; basically, it stinks to be an aging woman.”

You know what I say to that, now? Rubbish. After 100 days of doing a low-impact, daily workout and improving my diet, I was able to do 8 one-arm pushups. It stinks to be an aging woman? No, it doesn’t have to. Do something. Make excuses like I did, believe the  reports, or get with it.

You can improve how your back feels, how your joints feel, your muscle mass, your cholesterol, your resting heart rate…name it. You can improve it if you are willing to do something about it. But, I’m not going to lie. It’s been really hard to feel like I’m starting over.

I overheard a couple of moms at Barnes & Noble recently moaning about aches and pains and how they would be have time to take care of themselves AFTER their kids get out of school. I wanted to step in and tell them, don’t wait.

Don’t wait until just the right time to take care of yourself. Don’t wait until the doctor says you must make a change. Just don’t wait. I may not be where I was at age 40, but being able to do one-arm pushups at age 50, considering everything that happened this year, is not too shabby. 

    I’ll take that and then some!

In this together,

Anne Dovel
Independent TBB Coach

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Carnival Victory Balcony Room 7433 Review

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The Carnival Victory balcony room 7433 is on the 7th deck, or Empress deck.

Room 7433 is at the back of the boat, otherwise known as aft, and nearly in the center. We’ve been on 4 Carnival cruises, all chartered with Family Life Love Like You Mean It Cruise, and planning our 5th cruise next February on the Carnival Triumph next year. These cruises are unlike any other, because the Family Life cruise team arranges everything from the background music, to the live entertainment. It’s a fun and relaxing way to spend a week with your spouse.

Here are a few pictures from our cruise ship. Room 7433 has 2 twin beds which make into a king. It also has a sofa, which was a nice addition to the room. What surprised me the most was how big the bathroom was compared to the Carnival Ecstasy room we stayed in the last 2 years. The Carnival Victory bathrooms also have real tile, instead of the bumpy blue rubber flooring that is on many cruise ships.

The sink was a really nice size too, with a 3 shelf medicine cabinet next to it. There was plenty of room for our toiletries. I’ve been in nice hotels with smaller bathrooms.

Nice sized bathroom for this ship

Nice sized bathroom sink. Carnival Victory aft balcony room 7433.

The shower was also a full-size shower with an ample rim at the bottom to keep water from splashing out onto the bathroom floor. No shower curtain clinging to me while I tried to wash the sand and sea water out of my hair!

Bathroom on Carnival Victory room 7433

Bathroom shower, Carnival Victory, aft balcony room 7433.

Carnival Victory balcony 7433

Now, here is a view off our balcony. We had really quiet neighbors who must have gone to bed early every night. I’ve had more private balconies on other ships.

Married 30 years.

Ahhh….here’s me and the Hubs. Celebrating 30 blissful years. Ha! Okay, maybe 30 blissful days in 30 years. Check out earlier posts on that topic!

And here is a short video snippet showing the bed, window and balcony door. We were very pleased with this room. Although, being veteran cruisers, we will choose an interior room next time, simply because we didn’t spend much time in the room, since we had so many friends on the ship.

Join us next year!

Anne Dovel
Leader, Business Mentor, Traveler, Mom to Boys, Wife, Quilter



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Why I’m writing about time management

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time-management-melting-clockAnne Dovel writing about time management. Now, that’s a first!  But, this morning, as I broke from my very new morning routine, I had a thought.

If you struggle with anything related to time management, you need an expert like me. Whose time often looks like a melting clock at the end, or sometimes the beginning, of the day. You need someone who doesn’t have it all together and for whom managing time doesn’t look like a perfectly polished silver spoon.

Do you get frustrated or discouraged when you read a blog post or book about time management, when the author is someone for whom it’s really easy. Their tone is, “this is a no-brainer. Duh. Just do it. I don’t see why you can’t figure this out, it’s really simple. I’ve never had a problem with managing my time and so now I will teach you…oh you pitiful human…how to fix your time management problems.”

And, that’s why I’m going to write about time management, among other things. Because it’s not simple for me. It’s not natural. I’m that cartoon dog in the movie, “squirrel.” But, somehow, I’ve still built a successful business. I may not have built it smart, time wise, but I have learned. And the reason you can learn from me, is because I know the struggle. And I know the rewards, of making better use of my time.

The struggles are real, but so are the solutions. Have faith, reader.

Until next time, which will be really soon if I don’t fall off my current morning routine wagon. I told you, I’m not perfect.

Anne Dovel

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How Our Marriage Was Not So Unlike Han and Leia’s

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My talented, and newly married niece, wrote a blog post about Star Wars and how they depicted marriage in the relationship between Han and Leia. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, where have you been? But, this is a gentle warning that reading any further, or visiting the blog post mentioned on my niece’s site, will in fact, give away the plot line.  Start by reading her blog post  here> What Star Wars Teaches About Marriage
And here we go. This is my reply to her thought provoking post.

I personally was disappointed with several things in the Star Wars movie, but then I’m also not one who would show up dressed as Princess Leia, either. I went for entertainment. It didn’t live up to all the hubbub, in my book. Aside from the fact that Han’s son was a very weak character and bore no resemblance to his parentage…like… Zero resemblance. And again, I digress. That probably bothered me the most, though, to be real honest. I’m pretty shallow when it comes to movies.

Long-term marriage and being romantically in love after 30 years, takes a plan and intentionality. I can safely say that in the first year or 2 of our marriage, I was hopelessly, romantically in love with the Hubs. And I’ll be blogging a lot about that in later months when I know what my blog is going to be about.  But, here’s a hint. It didn’t take being in different galaxies for us to drift apart. Speaking from experience, we lived in the same house and it felt like we were galaxies apart.

What the Star Wars storyline shows is that Leia and Han had individual goals and they chose to make that individuality more important than coordinating and being one. Coming up with a solution that worked for both of them.  It is Hollywood, but it’s nothing new.

Good news is, and I won’t ruin my future blog posts, the Hubs and I are set to have a better 30 years, round 2, than our first 30 years. 😉

Dear Niece, of Dandelion Pie Blog,  never stop being intentional. Never stop improving your plan to care for each other. And a little tidbit I learned on our road back to marriage rebuilding, romantic love is not unconditional. You have created the conditions whereby Saia is in love with you. If either of you stop doing that, the romantic love fades.
The Hubs was every bit as romantic as Saia when we got married. We believed we would be the exception to all the broken marriages. We got complacent. Learn from your auntie and uncle.

And that is that.

Want a great marriage that lasts and whereby you are more romantically in love in 30 years than you are today?

Be intentional.

Until next time,
Anne Dovel


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