Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gratitude Journal // Beautiful

Hello everyone:

Monday evening I finally made a trip out to Target. I trip I have been telling myself I am going to make for a long time but just have not had the motivation to do because of the drive. A friend of mine, Emma kept telling me that I needed to go there to check out their office supplies since Matt and I are in the process of redoing our office space. Even though we just renovation the house, the way we rearranged the furniture in the office just is not working for the both of us. It needs to be more “workable” for the both of us.

In any case, the trip to Target was great. I was able to find a lot of great decorations and office pieces that I was looking for to organize all our papers and clutter. What I did not intend to find, was a gratitude journal. I had to stop and think about it for a moment. Did I really need a journal that was $15?? Then I read the back of the book; Gratitude: A Journal by Catherine Price. Things have not been going exactly as planned in my life at the moment, so I thought this would be the perfect way to try and stay positive through writing.

The first prompt in this journal was very similar to a couple other posts I have recently read by other bloggers. Emma Bauso just wrote a tasteful post about how she perceives beauty in response to a journal prompt written by Danielle at Sometimes Sweet. I found this very ironic because I have been thinking about this prompt all week. Should I write my response on my blog? Shouldn’t I? Did I want to add a Gratitude Journal category to my new layout to add a more person touch to my blog? Would that make it less professional? I honestly wasn’t sure.

Then I read Emma’s post and saw how raw and real her response was to Danielle’s journal prompt. When I first started my blog I really did not have a direction. It was a great way for me to share Matt and my renovation with our family, friends and other readers, along with other posts I wrote, and of course my brief pageant journey as Miss Auburn. Eventually those projects were completed and I started to run out of ideas to post about, hence my need for a new direction. I do not ever want to run out of ideas again because I have set my blog up with specific categories that I feel I have to stick to.

Anyways, I am getting off subject, my first gratitude journal prompt was:
Pick out three things in your day that are beautiful. Take time to notice and appreciate them in the moment; then, when you get home, jot them down in your journal. 
I took a full day to think about what my answer would be, and this is what I wrote:
1. Friends. As I have graduated high school, I have found that good friends are hard to come by. Finding one good friend is a beautiful thing. I never had a chance to realize this until I noticed that all of my close friends had drifted away due to new jobs, continuing their education to a graduate level or because life took them down a different path.   
2. Time. Since I have completed my master's degree, I have noticed that extra time is a beautiful gift that I am taking full advantage of to accomplish all the tasks I have been procrastinating. The busier my schedule gets, the less I take time for granted. Life already feels like it is flying by, I do not want it to go by any faster.  
3. Selfless Individuals. I witnessed a person put himself in an uncomfortable position, completely out of his element earlier this week, just to show his support for a great organization and its success of 10 years. Now that was truly beautiful. 
I realize my response was not very long, but I felt like it answered the question perfectly. Sometimes it is better to just be short and to the point, plus this particular journal does not provide you with much room to physically write your responses. Either way, I hope you enjoy reading my gratitude posts from this point forward. I genuinely enjoy writing them!

Sooner than later,

The Tiny Professional

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Start a Non-Profit // Post 1

About seven months ago I started this blog; The Tiny Professional. In December of 2013, I decided that I wanted to give back to my community in more ways than just volunteering for multiple boards of directors, so on January 29, 2014, I incorporated The Tiny Professional, Inc. in the State of New York and started a program called The Tiny Professional’s Career Closet. The mission of the program was to provide interview-quality, professional business clothing at no charge to economically disadvantaged men and women in the Finger Lakes region. At the same it seemed to be the perfect way for individuals to clear out their cluttered closets while also helping men and women get outfitted with the professional clothing required to enter or re-enter the work force.

After numerous hours of research, multiple meetings with respected professionals in my community and some budget crunching, I realized that it would be very difficult to open an actual shop to house all the clothes and make rent, utilities and other expenses, on top of trying to work my regular 40 hour-a-week job. The thought of trying to manage the closet seemed impossible, even though the need was there. Eventually I decided that I was going to take a break and possible discover a new mission statement for the organization before I got in over my head. Fortunately, I have, and it does not involve renting space or have set hours that could potentially affect job (that pays that bills).

While it may seem like a very genuine notion to make (starting a not-for-profit and attempting to give back to the community) there is a lot of work that goes into starting up a not-for-profit. There are difficult decisions to be made and many steps to be taken, in order to be successful. The steps and decisions I will be conversing further, within these series of posts are: 

  • Filing the Certificate of Incorporation
  • Selecting the individuals to serve on the board of directors
  • Developing a vision and mission statement
  • Establishing bylaws and board policies
  • Obtaining an employer identification number (EIN)
  • Opening a bank account and establishing check signing procedures
  • Filing for tax exemption
  • Finding an office space and obtaining office equipment, and finally
  • Developing an overall fundraising plan

I want to share the experience and knowledge I have gained thus far in my career and through my education, with other young professionals out there who are looking to possibly start up their own businesses or non-profits. I am writing this series with the hopes that my readers will take away something useful and positive from it.  

Sooner or later,

The Tiny Professional

Monday, April 14, 2014


Well I did it everyone. 

I completed my masters in human resource management through an online degree program at Stony Brook University and was able to obtain a 3.7 GPA. Not too bad for working full time and trying to juggle the pageant stuff and renovation towards the beginning of the semester and then all my board service on top of that. In the end, I am glad to be finished and happy with how I did. I would have loved to have gotten a 4.0 but I have learned to accept that I am not perfect and cannot do everything.

I am excited to say that I am working on the new branding and logo for the tiny professional still. I will soon have a new email address with my new domain name. I have purchased the adobe creative cloud suite to help make my layout and images more “me”. I guess it will be trial and error for a few months. I am going to try the platform where I find a host for my blog and sort of maintain everything myself. It is definitely going to be a learning curve, but since I have some more time on my hands, I am excited to see how everything turns out. I realize my readership has gone way down, since my lack of posting, but I promise to start posting much more, once I change my domain name over! I hope you all love it!

Stay tuned….

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wish List

On my wish list: 
1. Two new white desks for the office
2. New HP dual monitor computer to download all the creative cloud applications on
3. Kindle or Nook to read my favorite books (now that grad school is over!!!) but I haven't decided which. Preference anyone??? I only want to read on it, I'm not looking for it to replace my iPad. 

4. More plants to make the house feel more "homey" (and to prove that I can keep things alive). We just bought a yucca cane and I love it!! 

5. New logo and domain name up and running with a new layout within the next month to feature and discuss the new ideas I have for the direction I am going to be talking my blog (super excited).

That's all for now, and hopefully I get everything on my list soon!! 

Want what's on my list? You can Shop my Post:

Sooner than later, 

The Tiny Professional

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Branding Yourself

Hello Everyone:

So once again, I feel like I haven’t posted in forever! My apologies but grad school has consumed me. Only 10 more days to go though, and I could not be more excited… no seriously!! Anyways, thinking towards the future, as I always tend to do, I have been brainstorming potential ideas for my doctoral study. Yes, I do want to continue on and obtain my Doctorate of Business Administration in Management with a concentration in Leadership. I tossed and turned with the ideating of getting a Ph.D., but that degree is more research and theory based while the DBA is more focused on applied management. I actually want to be a CEO not theorize about management trends.

Yesterday was the start of the official logo and branding for The Tiny Professional (TTP). I have my blog, my closet and am still in the works of the non-profit, although the vision and mission will be changing a bit. My goal for my doctoral study is to develop a curriculum that focuses on helping children and young professionals become "tiny professionals", by building leadership skills, completing mini workplace activities and explaining (with PowerPoint assistance) the importance of getting a good education, so that these students are not held back from moving up in the company they work for one day. I feel that there are many professional skills that are not taught to children at an early age that should be. It is never too early to learn about how to prepare yourself for “real life”. It does not mean that you cannot still be imaginative and dream big, because trust me, I still do, it just means that children should be taught basic skills, as early as second grade, that could potentially help them have a better chance at getting a job than their peers when they are out of high school or college.

One of my favorite bloggers, Emma Bauso, has been a HUGE help in my logo design journey. She has been able to see my vision, even clearer than I could and help construct some great designs! I cannot wait until everything is completed and I can start using the new logo and header on my blog, website, letterhead, and even for new business cards. So, look forward to a lot of new updates and posts about our progress together! Developing a new brand is always an exciting process. Also, the content of my posts and blog structure are going to be changing a bit in the future. I am going to be posting more about leadership, education, professionalism and myself more than I have in the past. Since the renovation is done, I have run out of updates to post for the time being. When Matt and I start our next project, I will be sure to keep everyone posted!

Sooner than later,

The Tiny Professional 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Hi Everyone:

I apologize for my lack of posting this week. Graduate school is kicking my butt. Only two weeks left!!! I am in the home stretch and have been spending a lot of time focusing on my master thesis. Alleluia!! This morning at my Auburn Education Foundation board meeting, I was inspired by an alumni I remember from high school. She graduated a year before me, but seems to be very successful and happy in her career and life. She is currently working jointly with the elementary schools in our hometown to share stories that she writes on her blog about her experiences in Tanzania, Africa. Since then, she has started up a scholarship fund to help other children in Tanzania continue on in school so that they can receive a high school education. She also briefly talked about how different the cultures are here in America versus Tanzania. In America we are expected to go to high school and college, where in Tanzania, children are sometimes punished for wanting to learn, rather than coming to work on the family farm. Her story really put life into perspective and I was truly inspired by her journey, and the short parts I was able to hear about it. I look forward to making a contribution to her scholarship fund. It only costs $50 to send one Tanzanian to school for a year! It seems crazy to think about how far an American dollar can go in another nation.

[Meet Marisa - Follow her story]

If you would like to donate to this amazing fund, you can do so by going here. Even just $5 can make a difference in a child's education.

I promise to start posting more soon, after grad school is finished!! Almost there… I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Sooner than later,

The Tiny Professional

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Interior Renovation Completed [For Now]

Hello Everyone:

The interior renovation is basically complete. If spring would get here already, Matt and I could start working on projects outside our new home, but it looks like that is never going to happen with the weather we keep getting here in Central New York! This weekend Matt and I went to Marshal’s to buy some nick-knacks for the above the kitchen cabinets. Our goal was to try and tie in some of the green and blue colors from the other living rooms, into the kitchen space as well… I think we succeeded. I love the small pops of color and the variation in height that each of the pieces gives the space. All the different accent pieces just keep making our home feel more like a home. In a way, it still feels surreal.

We also found the coolest glasses for the new house. We already have a few sets (that don’t match), but we wanted to get more for guests, especially since we are having our first house warming party this weekend. They are jars with handles! Just something different with a unique twist; and we found them in small and large sizes! I was surprised that even Matt liked them.

I have to say that being a home owner of a newly renovated house, is definitely rewarding. We love our space and cannot wait to start tackling more projects this summer. Our "to do" list includes:
  1. Ripping out and completing redoing all the landscaping
  2. Expanding the current driveway
  3. Putting on a new roof
  4. Ripping off and putting on new shutters
  5. Stoning the wall of the house (porch area)
  6. Adding on the back deck
  7. Tearing down the shed, ripping up the concrete slab, re-pouring a new slab with  stamp-create and adding a gazebo over it (with a hot tub <-- in the future)
  8. Completing gutting and remodeling the bathroom
  9. Finishing the basement (HUGE PROJECT)
  10.  Adding a master suite to the back of the house
Okay, so our list is not realistically going to be finished this summer. Our goal is to finish #’s 1 -4 and then work on the rest over the next five years; before we have a baby. I think we can do it, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!! 

Sooner than later,

The Tiny Professional