Life by Cynthia: January 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

International Quality of Life BlogIt Day #QoL

This post is part of International Quality of Life BlogIt Day, sponsored by Sodexo. Today's discussion: How do YOU define Quality of Life at work?

Sodexo is a leader in Quality of Life Services. Sodexo has partnered with bloggers like myself that work away from home to encourage conversations about Quality of Life in the workplace. Today, January 30, 2015 IS International Quality of Life BlogIt Day.

It is the start of a new year and many of us have set goals for 2015. When we have discussions about quality of life it is not hard to find that the conversations lead to talk about our careers.  Some folks like me have dual careers.  Working full time during the day in one occupation and then living as a blogger once that day ends (time permitting).  Our livelihood sustains us and in some ways defines us.  Mostly, work is a necessity - at least for me. If your work happens be in line with what you are passionate about, you are blessed. I don't know many that have attained this quality of life in work - but it is a beautiful concept. You may find yourself talking about how work contributes directly your quality of life – both in the workplace and outside of it and Sodexo is all about this. Please visit Sodexo’s Quality of Life Observer website to learn more.

When I work I always keep my family in mind. We do our best so that we can have a good life: a QUALITY life.

My husband and I are in our 40's and first time parents. We both work full time outside of the home. We are blessed to be parents to our 4 year old son who is preschool. Finding balance with family and work life can be stressful. A positive quality of life at home is more easily achieved if the quality of life at work is also a positive experience. My husband and I have both been with our employers for over 8 years. We feel blessed with what we have and don't dwell on what we may not have. We are thankful for the quality of life that we have achieved.

My son visiting me at work: Then and Now.
I returned to work after 3 months of maternity leave. It wasn't an easy transition but we made the very best of it. My biggest challenge work-wise is finding time after my "day job" as an accounts payable analyst to blog.  Since our only child is our biggest blessing, we make sure to make family life a priority.  He needs us more than my blog does, so often times it takes a backseat.  I am slowing improving on finding more time to dedicate to my blog.

There are 6 aspects of Quality of Life that Sodexo focuses on uniquely:

  • Social Interaction – factors that strengthen the bonds of relationships. Examples are access to cultural events, concerts, exhibits, etc. for employees.
  • Ease & Efficiency – implementing programs and services to help employees carry out activities with more ease. Onsite child care facilities and programs that help employees reduce stress.
  • Physical Environment – everything that contributes to an individual’s comfort and sense of safety, from building maintenance to comfortable and safe work spaces.
  • Personal Growth – promoting individual progress and growth. Professional development programs in technology, foreign languages, etc. can help individuals advance their education.
  • Recognition – allowing an individual to feel truly valued. Helping to research and create recognition programs that truly reward employees for good work. 
  • Health & Well-Being – promoting a healthy lifestyle through nutritious meals, a well-balanced diet and exercise. This can include restaurant vouchers and healthy food options, as well on-site exercise facilities or gym memberships.

Realistically, I don't know of anyone that works with all of the 6 Sodexo aspects listed above. Even though I don't personally  know of anyone that "has it all", I do LOVE that Sodexo is trying to strive for this! Why shouldn't everyone in the workforce have it all?! Most of my friends, colleagues, and family (myself included) have a hybrid of what is featured by Sodexo #QoL. We all learn to adapt and create the quality that we can.

One of my personal favorites at work (for my day job in accounting) is the opportunity for Social Interaction.  Our employer does make great efforts in fostering workplace camaraderie. In 2014 we had fun with cooking in the office. We created a family style meal with individuals from different departments - it was a great way to spend time with those that you normally would not. Great for team building! We are fortunate and have a full service kitchen onsite!

Having fun at my "day job"

As far as my work life as a blogger, I truly value the many opportunities that it affords me. Personal growth, Recognition, and Social Interaction brings such a wonderful sense of fulfillment.  I love that blogging can be something that I can do and include my family. I enjoy attending conferences to better myself and my skills, I love meeting like minded ladies, volunteering, and being an ambassador. The fact that I can share events, experiences, and creative endeavors with my friends and family is a huge bonus. I love the supportive communities that I am a part of.  Between my two jobs - I cannot complain! The quality of life that I am enjoying is worth every moment that I find myself tired and over extended! It's all worth it! It must ALWAYS be worth it! I'm a believer in counting your blessings and using positive thinking (especially on the worst of days)! I have learned that there are so many ways to improve quality of life at work. Mindset, supportive people in your life, spirituality (what ever your beliefs may be), and stress relief through exercise - (to name a few) are ways that can help people to live more balanced, productive lives. If you need help, you could seek professionals like Sodexo or enlist the help of a life coach.

Blogger experiences through the years.

I'd love to know how you feel about your quality of life at work! What matters most to you? How do you deal with the reality that some work days are just gonna suck?  It is not always ideal and every day isn't always the BEST day - but it really is what we make of it. There will be good days and bad days. How do you cope?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sodexo. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My BistroMD Review #bistroMDdiet #ad

I have partnered with BistroMD to bring you this sponsored post.

BistroMD is a healthy meal delivery service that provides gourmet, balanced meals to help you on your quest to stay healthy and/or lose weight. The folks at BistroMD pride themselves on only using natural and wholesome ingredients. For the many of you who are concerned about gluten: They have gluten-free programs, as well!

As an aging woman to a very young son I am very concerned about my health. I'm in my 40's, and along with my husband, we are raising our 4 year old son.  I am a working mom burning the candle at both ends and often question how so many women seem to do it all with grace. I love the opportunity to make life easier if and when I can. I heard about BistroMD which is just up my alley! With wellness, diet delivery, nutrition, and health in mind I just knew that BistroMD was something that I needed to try. At 43 something has certainly changed with my metabolism. I've put on weight that I'd like to manage in a healthful manner. I can do that with BistroMD.

This delivery program takes the guess work out of the equation when it comes to nutrition, portion control, and in avoiding unsafe additives. In addition to filling portions, you won’t find any Trans fats, artificial colorings, MSG, chemical fillers, nitrates, added sulfites or the artificial sweetener aspartame in the entrees.

You can choose from a Women's Program as well as a Gluten-Free Program. Check out the BistroMD Menu for yourself!  If you have a moment I would recommend reading some of the BistroMD Success Stories, I found them inspirational.


I tried 3 days worth of BistroMD meals and snacks. The items were shipped in a cooler and packed with dry ice. Here is a picture of what was included in my delivery:

A photo posted by @lifebycynthia on

A photo posted by @lifebycynthia on

A photo posted by @lifebycynthia on

A photo posted by @lifebycynthia on

I liked the flavor of the meals, the ease of eating a healthy and nutritious meal, and the time saving factor. I was pleasantly surprised that these meals did not taste like the frozen foods that you might find in the grocery store. While on the 3 day meal plan I never felt hungry. In some cases I couldn't finish the entire meal! Not pictured are the snacks and desserts that were also included.

With your delivery you will get printed nutrition information and your weekly menu. You can customize your meal plans online and easily connect with a team of experts; the M.D., Registered Dietitians, and fitness expert.

If YOU are interested in wellness, diet delivery, nutrition, and health check out BistroMD. It is a perfect holiday gift for yourself and your loved ones to start the New Year off right.

Disclosure: I received 3 days worth of BistroMD meals & snacks to review for this post. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection The Little Mermaid GIVEAWAY #disneymusic #enmnetwork

I received the Little Mermaid Legacy Collection CD as a member of the Entertainment New Media Network. No further compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Honoring the continuing legacy of the Disney music catalog, Walt Disney Records’ newly launched site, Disney Music Emporium (DME), is a destination for collectible Disney music products that also features monthly columns by guest writers, a News tab for fun Disney facts, plus videos that exclusively debut on DME including behind-the-scenes of beloved soundtracks, and more.

I was thrilled to receive a copy of Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: The Little Mermaid. The movie was released during my senior year of high school and I have seen it countless times since then! The beautiful book-bound two disc collectible set is AWESOME! While listening to the music it really brings back such fond memories of viewing the movie with my niece! She is now in high school herself! I can remember watching it with her for her first time like it was yesterday!

Since receiving my copy I have been listening to it while driving in my car and during my workday. YES I confess that I sing along on my commute to work and on drives with my husband and son in the car.  I don't have the greatest of signing voices but they humor me and let me go for it without covering their ears. I can only imagine how crazy I must look signing my heart out to my fave: Part of Your Wold. I don't hold back and am more animated than Ariel herself! I can listen to the CDs all day and often do when at work. I set myself up with my favorite cup of tea, my Stress Away Essential oil, put on my ear buds and cruise through the work day as happy as a clam!  I am just waiting for one of my coworkers to ask me what I'm smiling about all day!

The Legacy Collection The Little Mermaid 2-disc set is now available for $14.99 at iTunes and for $19.98 at Disney Music Emporium.

Here's a TREAT! Take a listen to Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: The Little Mermaid - Album Sampler:

For more information on Disney Music Emporium, please visit, Get social and become a Disney Music Emporium fan on Facebook and follow on Twitter @DisneyMusicEmp.

I've saved the BEST for last! You can WIN your very own copy of The Legacy Collection - The Little Mermaid! Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below! Good luck! Prize will be sent directly from Disney, please allow 4-6 weeks for prize distribution.

The giveaway is open only to U.S. residents, ages 18+. Giveaway ends on January 15, 2015.  No purchase necessary to enter. A winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be notified via email. Winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. Prize will be sent directly from the sponsor. Not liable for unclaimed prizes or fulfillment.

If it comes to this blogger’s attention that the winner of this giveaway has won on an additional blog for this same prize, this blog reserves the right to choose another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was written in partnership with Entertainment New Media Network and Disney Music Emporium. All opinions are my own.


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