Your business emails suck

1281188199461918026075766-3d-glossy-blue-orb-icon-business-envelope1-338184247-hiI’m not a CEO. I’m not a CFO. Heck, I’m not even a manager. But I can tell you this much, your business emails suck. Seriously. What are you – fifteen? I have a lot of personality and I know that but you wouldn’t know I’m a total oddball from the emails I send to extended colleagues and that’s the way it should be.

Need help understanding? Let me break it down for you with some helpful fun facts.

1. Your signature. Are you kidding me with the cutesy graphics? No one you work with needs to see a banner about the upcoming holiday, your favorite LOLcat, or a silly graphic. That hopping smiley face that’s waving? It’s not cute. It’s annoying and childish.

2. CAPS ARE NEVER ACCEPTABLE. NOT EVER. Did you feel that? Did you feel how FUCKING INTENSE CAPS FEELS?! That’s because it is. Chill out. Are you abbreviating something? Cool. Are you not abbreviating something? Then stop shouting at me. It’s uncalled for and quite frankly it’s unnecessary. You mean to tell me that the only way you know how to emphasize a point is by typing in really big letters? Did you not take an English class? Let’s talk about italics. Or – better yet – let’s talk about having a good enough grip on the English language that you know how to emphasize a thought or phrase using the proper words instead of typing features.

3. Ellipses… Are pointless… An ellipsis is “series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission…can also be used to indicate an unfinished thought or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence.” SeewhatIdidthere? See how I incorporated one into the quote I used? If you’re quoting – then go right ahead – but you’re not quoting are you? You’re giving directions or answering a question or a plethora of other things that aren’t quoting something. Really, you’re implying something when you type … Typing an ellipsis makes you look frazzled and confused at best; rude and condescending at worst.

4. Full sentences rock. Really? Do I really need to explain this one?

5. One punctuation mark is all that’s necessary. Review #3 for the use of a period. Multiple commas never make sense. Multiple question marks make you look like an impatient ass. And never – under any circumstance – use an exclamation point. Why? See #2. Calm down.

6. The people reading the email are not your friends or your family. They do not need to know the details of your personal life. Didn’t respond to an email quickly? Apologize for the delay and respond. Unless the person on the other end of that email is a close confidant they don’t need to know that you were out because your grandmother died, your wife left you, your dog is in the hospital, you had the runs, whatever. Telling them this when they don’t need that information is just weird. And uncomfortable. You made someone asking you about a business deal squirm in their chair to figure out how to respond to your awkward email. Good job. Oh and if they are a close confidant that you do want to share some detail with? A phone call is much better. Much.

7. Did the business world not get the memo that email forwards are out? Just like DayGlo t-shirts and mullets (were mullets ever really “in”?) it’s time to let them go. Send them from your personal email to your mom and your uncle. Stop sending them to everyone on your business email contact list. You’re not going to win a million dollars, you’re not going to be cursed if you don’t resend it, and some little kid won’t die of a fatal disease just because you didn’t click the button to forward it to everyone you know. If you really love it, send it to yourself at home and use it later. Otherwise, read it and walk away.

The key here is that this isn’t your personal email. You aren’t writing an email to your mom or a personal blog post. When you’re writing emails to coworkers, bosses, businesses you work with, etc. you need to take a step back from yourself for a second and attempt to be someone like you – except way more professional. It doesn’t matter if the company you work for now isn’t the company you dream of working for. Email is fairly permanent and traceable which means if you use it poorly it could come back to haunt you. Trust me, you don’t want there to be physical proof that you’re unprofessional and you’re not going to get any leg up in the professional world until you start typing like you deserve one.

 

Taking matters into my own hands – home gym edition

gym-clip-art-8I have two gym memberships.

One gym is by my house and I pay $20/month. This is a contract that this year I swear I will remember to cancel come spring. I’ve tried multiple times to make this gym workout and it’s just not happening. It was much closer to our original apartment together and now the distance and the inconvenience are too much for me. If I want to get a killer strength workout I have to go early in the morning because after work it’s broflex city. No matter what time of year the tiny gym is packed from 4PM-7PM with all the bros in a 20 mile radius working out and working in with six of their closest friends. To get in the workout I want to get in I have to get to the gym by 5AM which means waking up at 4:30AM and getting to work by 7AM. I made it two months before I became best friends with my snooze alarm (and mortal morning enemies with my sleeping fiance).

The second gym is in the same complex as my job. I work an hour away from home so the first gym isn’t a lunchtime option. This one is $10/month and no contract so this will be a quick $10 back in my pocket. I thought this would be a good way to destress at lunch and it has been but it’s not giving me the time I want for my workouts. In an hour I have to get there, change, workout, shower, get dressed, and get back to work – which leaves me rushing when I don’t want to. I could come early morning but ew I’m over that and the traffic is so horrendous in this area that going to the gym after work would only royally screw me for my commute home. Oh, and they don’t have a squat rack. What is that? I miss squatting heavy! My butt is so sad.

I mean emotionally sad. Not physically sad. I have a nice butt.

I digress.

I have finally come to the conclusion that the only way to do something right is to do it myself and why not? I live in a single family home with three guys who I’m sure would love to take advantage of the home gym and we have more space than we need so I totally deserve to use some of that space to spoil myself with my dream home gym.

And by dream I exaggerate because I am fithacking the shit out of it. My dream gym probably includes all of the latest and greatest technology. This one will include some hacks. On account of how I’m not rich. Or even remotely close. It’s probably going to take a couple of months to get everything I want on this list particularly since I’m going to be bargain shopping and looking for Craigslist deals on most of it. You can also assume on any of the cardio equipment listed that I’m considering the cheapest option with the fewest bells and whistles and least amount of parts – not top of the line thousand-dollar pieces.

Bonus: Once the gym is all set up, I might consider training out of my home a couple of times a week for extra fun/income.

So ladies and gents, without furthur adieu, I give you my home gym MAKE THIS HAPPEN list. Anything in green I already own (look I’m already halfway there).

 

Sabrina’s Garage Gym of Awesome

Wooden Squat Rack/ Bench Press (making with my Dad)

Wooden Plyo Boxes (making with my Dad)

Undulation Rope

Kettlebells, 5#, 10#, 15#

Sandbag up to 40#

Adjustable Dumbells, 5# increments up to 50# (have up to 12#)

4ft barbell, 7ft barbell, plates in 5# increments up to #50 x each side (#100) & safety clips

Radio

TV w/DVD capabilities

Stationary Bike

Elliptical

Row machine

Pull up bar & assist band

Medicine ball 4#, 8#, 12#, 15#

Adjustable Bench

Exercise floor mat (2)

Jump rope

Small, medium, large stability ball

Varying resistance bands

Bosu

Disc pillows (2)

TRX Suspension System

Rubber home gym flooring

If any local friends/family have any of the above pieces they want to donate to the cause, please do. Donating an item will get you at least lunch and at most (if you’re interested) an ass kicking in said gym or two (that’s a good thing, I swear).

I expect to spend less than $500 on the whole set up over time and I’m aiming for under $300 which I think is pretty reasonable considering I’m spending $360 per year to maintain my current gym memberships (plus annual dues) and this one has the perks of being annoying gymgoerless. And I can workout without pants on.

Is there anything I’m missing? Anything that you think is pointless? Do you have a dream home gym too or is this just a thing personal trainers dream of?

Oral health (stop giggling)

Let’s talk about those bones in your mouth.

hehe.

Okay, in all seriousness, for some reason there isn’t much chatter in the healthy blogging world about how much of an impact your oral hygiene can have on your overall health. We’ve all heard it’s important but what do we really know?

How important is it? Let’s consider the biggest connections between poor oral hygiene and two other [unfortunately] common diseases.

 

Diabetes (aka Diabeetus)

According to WebMD (diagnoser of all my diagnoses), “The working relationship between diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and body. ” Diabetes – a condition in which a person cannot properly process the sugars in their body – can be triggered by inflammation in the mouth that suppresses the body’s ability to control blood sugar.

Heart Disease

WebMD also states, “”Up to 91% of patients with heart disease have periodontitis, compared to 66% of people with no heart disease…some suspect that periodontitis has a direct role in raising the risk for heart disease as well.” The idea here is that an inflammation of the mouth can lead to an inflammation of the blood vessels and if you’ve been to even one health class in your lifetime I don’t need to explain the importance of keeping your blood vessels at a natural, un-inflamed state.

 

The almighty WebMD also goes on to discuss that although some studies and links are controversial, the link between oral health and overall health is undeniable – in both directions. Gum disease can cause further disease in your body that can, in some cases, be fatal.

Not brushing your teeth can kill you. Kill you dead (I should seriously go into marketing).

Because I love you and don’t want you to catch diseases from your own face, I’ve sought out some helpful tips on brushing your teeth and flossing from Mayo Clinic:

 

source: MayoClinic.com

Brushing and flossing daily isn’t too complicated, right smarties? I even compiled links to some pretty common questions because  I know you’ll ask and I’m here for you.

Why do I need to floss?

“Flossing is one of the most difficult things to get people to do, but probably the most effective method of reducing the need for a dentist and preventing disease.” Dr. Oz

Should I use mouthwash?

“I look at mouthwash as an added positive habit to help with oral health. ” Dr James Jacobs

Does whitening toothpaste really work?

“Whitening toothpaste can whiten teeth slightly by removing surface stains, such as those caused by drinking coffee or smoking” Dr. Alan Carr

Should I use an electric toothbrush?

“It’s possible to brush your teeth effectively with a manual toothbrush — but an electric toothbrush can be a great alternative to a manual toothbrush.” Dr. Alan Carr

You might be thinking, “Hey Sabrina, why the sudden interest in my mouth?” (heyooo) and the answer is pretty simple. I finally have an oral health routine and you should too. I don’t want to tout the healthiness of anything I’m not doing myself. After a quarter of a century on this planet I finally have a great routine down and it’s never too late to start!

1. Crest 3D White Glamorous White Toothpaste. Unlike a lot of whitening toothpastes this one doesn’t taste all weird and chalky.

2. Dentek Complete Clean Floss Picks. This line is made specifically for tight teeth; of which I am the proud owner. I avoided floss for a long time because I always got it stuck in my teeth like an asshat. This removes the asshattery and I am free to floss my teeth, unjudged.

3. Crest 3D White Glamorous White Multi-Care Whitening Rinse*. Whitens teeth, prevents future stains, and kills bacteria. What more could I need?

 

I brush and rinse with mouthwash twice a day and I floss at night. David deserves credit for finally getting me to floss. When we first moved in together I thought it was weird that he flossed every night. I’d never met a regular flosser. I was curious. I found it odd. He told me I needed to start flossing too since it was such a simple step to being healthy.

Two years later, I’m finally flossing regularly. Okay so maybe I’m not super prompt at heading advice but I did try to floss regularly right when we moved in to impress him with my willingness to grow so I deserve points for that. All two days.

More importantly, now that I’m a regular flosser, I can’t ever go back. Sure, it hurt for the first week and my gums bled but that’s because my gums were inflamed – not a good sign. I worked through the pain because flossing every day taught me to floss every day. It’s a very complex catch 22. I floss. Every day. And yet, I eat food. Every day. So, every day, without fail, my floss picks pull some food out from betwixt my pearly whites.

It’s super gross and yet super validating. And here’s the thing, now I’m convinced non-flossers are all wicked gross. Seriously people, I pull PIECES OF FOOD FROM BREAKFAST out of my teeth. I didn’t even know they were IN there (that’s what she said). If you’re not flossing, I don’t even want to know what sort of month-old BLT is hanging out in your mouth, breeding bacteria all day long.

And people, it’s the kind of bacteria that makes your breath smell. So if you floss for no other reason than vanity, then consider those around you and be kind; floss.

I’m really grateful I’m engaged to a flosser because if I wasn’t I would have demanded he become one. My squirmy fiance gets points for not refusing to kiss me until I hopped on the floss train. #TrueLove

 

 

When it’s all boiled down, takingcare of your mouthspace is easy and isn’t incredibly time consuming. And oh yea, it can help to prevent further disease in your body so hell, why wouldn’t you clean out that chatty orifice of yours??

 

 

 *Not pictured or linked. According to the internet – even Crest.com – this mouthwash doesn’t exist but I just looked at it on my bathroom sink five seconds ago – I swear it’s real.

***Large amounts of important information cited from WebMD.com and MayoClinic.com – they know their facts so do your research!

 

Recipe: all natural smoothie

strawberry-banana-smoothieThis is a recipe of my own making after doing a bit of research. I don’t add any sugar or use any sugar-substitute so this might seem a little bitter to some (see: my fiance).

I think it’s a great way to get breakfast in when I’m on the go but when I mix up the quantities of the mixture I tend to end up with more of a mush than a smoothie and drinking a mush is quite difficult (trust me).

This recipe isn’t 100% exact to the tee as I tend to be the cooker/baker that adds things without measuring but it’s as close as I imagine and I can get. It fills up my traveling coffee mug (I don’t drink traveling coffee) that I believe is 16oz.

Oh and be sure to use your extra-super-powered blender because I’m pretty sure the death of my one-person blender has a lot to do with my love for smoothies in the summer… oops?

2 Cups Frozen Fruit with no sugar added – I usually do 1 cup of 1 mix from the freezer aisle and 1 cup of a different mix from the freezer aisle

1 Cup Nonfat Yogurt – I switch off between nonfat and sugar-free

3/4 Cup Nonfat Milk – Sometimes I switch this out with soy milk or rice milk – don’t forget this step even if you replace it with water otherwise you’ll end up with mush instead of smoothie

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Cup Leafy Green Vegetable – I usually go with spinach but trust me, you can’t taste the greens in this at all!

1 Half Banana – this helps to add some softness to the load of frozen bits. I don’t eat bananas by themselves very often but my fiance does so this one works out well because it gets to eat half a banana. I suppose you could use a whole banana if you don’t have a backup banana eater in your house.

 

Directions

1. Blend yogurt and leafy green vegetable together until well mixed and leaf is chopped up decent.

2. Mix in 1 cup of frozen fruit along with banana and blend until well mushed. It’s important not to put all of the frozen fruit in at once so your blender doesn’t cry.

3. Add remaining frozen fruit and milk. Blend until all mixed fantastically.

4. Add vanilla and honey and blend until delicious. I save this step for last so that I know the bits of flavoring had a change to absorb into as many pieces of the smoothie as possible. This is probably crazy talk but it makes me feel better.

5. Drink!