How to improve local commercials

Oh, to be hired to go around telling people how to stop making annoying commercials!

For some reason, poorly done local commercials really bother me. Maybe it’s because I hate to see people wasting their money on commercials that in no way attract viewers to their products or services.

If you’re a local business owner, you need to think about how people take in information from advertisements. Here are some thoughts from my perspective:

General points for any medium, but especially radio

1. No fake conversations. Stop it. Just stop it. They always sound unnatural and uncomfortable. People don’t talk like that. And how many times can you listen to the same fake conversation, anyway? Even if it’s amusing the first time, listeners tune it out after that. Some are so annoying that I actually turn the radio down until they are over. That’s wasted advertising money.

2. Nothing cutesie. A satirical poem can be listened to once or twice, but after that, people tune it out because it isn’t clever anymore, if it ever was. Now it is just irritating. Get to the point and just tell me what you have to sell and why I need it.

And speaking of getting to the point…

3. Get to the point! Simply tell me why I should buy your product. Going on and on with colorful descriptions about how awesome and top-of-the-industry your product is makes me bored and I stop listening.

Television

1. Memorize as much of the script as possible. Reading off a card looks like reading off a card. It makes the commercial look thrown together. Are you really that unfamiliar with the material? If you are nervous, practice in front of people and ask for time to get comfortable in front of the camera, if possible. Directors, teach the actors that when they are looking into the camera, they are making eye contact with a person. They just need to talk to a person. 

2. Director, help the person to relax physically. If the subject of the car ad hasn’t worn a suit since his cousin’s wedding in 2002, he will look stiff and uncomfortable, distracting viewers from the product being advertised. The suit should fit, too. I’ve seen men looking like they are kids wearing their daddies’ suits. The man that will be in the commercial should wear his suit for a couple of days before doing the commercial if necessary to become more comfortable wearing it and not look like he’s wearing a something made out of cardboard.

3. Director, tell the actors what to do with their hands.

4. Don’t have the actors looking into the sun. The squinting makes the viewer uncomfortable.

5. Don’t treat your viewers like they are stupid. You will turn them off. They won’t care how cheap your product is.

Billboards

1. Keep it simple: Make one point. There isn’t time for more than that. If there is too much, drivers don’t see anything.

2. Choose easy-to-read fonts. And use only a couple.

3. Make your call to action clear.

4. QR codes on a billboard? Seriously?

So, hire me to help you spend your advertising dollars more wisely. 😁

Photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash

Five reasons to read six Bible chapters a day

I have been following a Bible reading plan that takes the reader through the whole Bible in nine months. That means reading about six chapters a day. I have loved doing it, although sometimes it is hard to stay on schedule. 

Our flesh, our worldly minds don’t want to read God’s Word. It is hard — and sometimes hurts — because we see our sinfulness pointed out and we have to deal with it. 

Reading six chapters a day did these things for me: 

It created longing for reading the Word.

I actually miss it when I miss a day or two. When I opened my Bible at church on a recent Sunday morning after missing two days and saw those words, I felt a longing and affection for God’s Word in a way I hadn’t before. Not only has the familiarity bred affection, but I understand so much more about the Lord that I am inspired and feel closer to God. 

It revealed that I could read this much at a time.

I remember thinking it would be nearly impossible to read six chapters a day. I was used to reading a few verses or half of a chapter, or maybe a whole chapter at most, and thinking that that was so much. 

How often do we sit down with a book and read several chapters, declaring that it was so good we couldn’t put the book down? Maybe we read for a couple of hours, even. Clearly, we have time when we want to. I have time for time-wasters, but not for God’s Word? Do you do the same thing?

This is not a guilt trip. This is just to say that we do what we want to, and even when we don’t want to read the Bible, we do come away changed and often full of joy and peace. That is something to remember. We are not always just being clubbed with our sins when we read God’s Word. We are brought to repentance, given forgiveness and peace, and are encouraged about our futures. 

I see the details even better than before.

Reading long stretches of the Bible quickly did not cause me to miss all the details, as I once thought it would. In fact, it revealed patterns in people’s behavior that I couldn’t see when reading only tiny amounts at a time.

This was especially evident to me while reading through the Old Testament. I saw how, one after another, the kings of Israel and Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet the next passage would say how yet again, the Lord heard the repentant cries of His people and He saved them from their most recent misery. He gave them a way out, letting them start again with a His unearned provision and blessings. It was pure grace on God’s part. 

I saw the patterns of the behavior of the people, but more importantly, of God. He heard their cries, provided for them, kept His promises, saved them from their enemies, and called them His own people. He reasoned with them and hid them under His wings.

Seeing this kindness after so many years of rebellion against God was startling. I couldn’t see it by reading small portions at a time. 

I really see how God is the same in both testaments.

I then noticed how familiar the God of the Old Testament was to me. He really was the same God of the New Testament.

Of course, right? We know that God is the same, never changing, but I didn’t really see that in the past because of how I was chopping up the reading of the Old Testament. I seemed to notice only His anger and punishment, not His constant care, tenderness, and grace for His people. That kindness seemed almost ridiculous after so much rebellion. This really is the same God as in the New Testament.

Now, when I read passages in the New Testament, there is a foundation of meaning behind them. I realize a little of what those Jews knew about God and what He’d done with their ancestors, and I also realize what they’d forgotten about His promises to them and what their responsibilities were. 

I more clearly see the crucifixion.

The crucifixion of Christ looks different to me with this understanding. There’s more to it. I see the whole story and what led up to it, and see how the whole thing was prophesied and yet most didn’t see Jesus for who He was.

Jesus can be found in every book of the Old Testament, so when you read large portions, by the time you get to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, the sadness, glory, and magnificence of it all becomes more clear. 

Even all these words cannot adequately portray the change in myself from this reading. So, no matter how hard you may find it to stay on schedule, I recommend doing your best to read six chapters of the Bible a day.

If you want information about the plan I am following, check out the women’s Bible challenge page here. What’s really neat about this plan is how it often matches Old and New Testament readings that relate to one another.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Safety tip for using your Instant Pot

In case you don’t know, if you cook something that leaves a layer of fat on the top, like bone broth or some other thing with a good amount of fat in it, heat can build up in the liquid beneath and then explode like a geyser, so shake the cooker before you remove the lid. Let it cool! Then remove the lid carefully.

Instant Pot users, please read this.

In case you don’t know, if you cook something that leaves a layer of fat on the top, like bone broth or some other thing with a good amount of fat in it, heat can build up in the liquid beneath and then explode like a geyser, so shake the cooker before you remove the lid. Let it cool! Then remove the lid carefully.

The other thing is that if you attempt to cook down your broth that you just made by using the saute setting, you must remove that layer of fat from the top of the broth or you will have a geyser erupt like it just did in my kitchen. I forgot to scoop the fat off! There is so much broth everywhere. I am just thankful that no one was standing near it!

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Cheesecake

You know, these could be regular muffin size instead of giant muffin size. The stuff in the layers is pretty rich. I’ll have to try that next time.

OK, some notes here. (I’ll put all of this on my blog this weekend when I get it up and full of words! LOL)

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Cheesecake

  1. This takes a good number of bowls, spoons, etc., so in order to not end up with a giant pile of dirty dishes that make you never want to attempt this again, have a “hot, soapy sink” ready so you can wash and reuse things. Be sure the dishwasher is empty, too, if you have one.
  2. Measure out the ingredients beforehand if you can. It really does make things go more smoothly. Chop the peanuts ahead of time. As a matter of fact, the heavy cream and cream cheese need to be room temperature, so get those out early.
  3. There will be plenty of bowls, beaters, bowl scrapers, and spoons to lick, so prepare the children. 😀
  4. Use the giant muffin papers for these instead of buying a bunch of the tiny springform pans unless you plan to make these often. Those things aren’t cheap! Use the giant muffin tins to go with the papers. I tried it without the tins, just putting the paper cups on a cookie sheet, but they looked so messy, so I got my tins out. Much better.
  5. Make sure you have room in the refrigerator for these to chill. They’ll need most of a shelf. Don’t attempt this the day after grocery shopping like I just did. 😀

You know, these could be regular muffin size instead of giant muffin size. The stuff in the layers is pretty rich. I’ll have to try that next time.

The cheesecakes are in the refrigerator chilling, waiting for the last topping to go on. I’ll post pics in the end.

ADHD’s focus issues

This explains ADHD focus issues so well! It isn’t just lack of focus, but hyperfocus, too.

3 Defining Features of ADHD That Everyone Overlooks

The textbook symptoms of ADD — inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity — fail to reflect several of its most powerful characteristics; the ones that shape your perceptions, emotions, and motivation. Here, Dr. William Dodson explains how to recognize and manage ADHD’s true defining features.

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

Ladies, prepare for the next stage

Ladies, I am at that stage of my life where I can look back and see what things worked and what didn’t, so I just want to humbly encourage you to think ahead about your futures. If you have littles right now, I know it can be hard to do that.

I guess I just hope you will be prepared for each stage, since there will actually be more stages. LOL I was afraid of moving into the time when I’d have teen or grown children, but there are such blessings in each stage.

  1. Pray for your children and their future spouses. and for their future vocations whether or not they marry.
  2. Study and read your Bibles, of course, and pray for your spouse, significant other, parents, etc.
  3. Read as much as you are able when you are not too tired to do so. I know that sleep comes first, though! Keep developing your mind. It will not only keep your mind sharp, but you will be glad later when those subjects come up during schooling. I wish I’d spent more time studying the sciences and reading classic literature! It is so much easier to teach English and lit if you have read it way ahead of your kids and have time to think about it and examine what others got from the books, too. I was able to use the things I learned in homeschooling, though, to teach other people’s kids for actual money and taught for co-ops and opened a school of my own for a few years. Make money on what you know!
  4. Build any skills you can. Not only will they help your household now, but you never know when you may need to use them to bring money into the household. I did this with sewing and cannot tell you how thankful I am that the Lord kept sending me work that challenged me to learn new skills continually. I studied books on making clothing, doing alterations (before the internet!), quilting, and more. I ended up sewing from home, professionally, to fund our homeschool. I could work and be here to teach, too! As mentioned above, I earned money teaching things I’ve learned, too–school subjects such as art, science experiments for elementary kids, all sorts of middle school subjects, writing for all ages, etc. I taught sewing classes and private lessons, too. So, think ahead. What skills can you hone or even start now that someone else may want to hire you for later?
  5. Teach your children how to do everything in the household and even outside of it. If your husband is working on the dryer, have your kids watch and learn and help as much as possible. Is your husband changing the oil on the car? Have the children old enough watch and learn how. Let them help. They will thank you later!
Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash