Positive Vibes

Who should I tip?
            and HOW MUCH??!!.............................


     Many people find it confusing as to who to tip and how much. There are no real "rules" for tipping, and the etiquette of it really depends on the individual. Besides many different opinions on who and how much to tip, customs can also vary by countries.  Ask a dozen people when and how much they tip, and you'll get a dozen different answers. Although there are no set rules for tipping, here are some guidelines to help you understand who we should tip and how much they should receive. After browsing several different sites I was able to gather

Food Service

$1/drink (or 15% of total bill).
Delivery person
10%, $2 minimum
No tip required unless something special is done
15% for adequate service, 20% for exceptional service. For poor service, leave 10% or less. If the service was extremely poor do not leave a tip.
Hotel Staff
$1 to $2 per bag, $5 minimum.
$5-$20 depending on the service. $20 if he does something exceptional. Nothing for directions.
$2 to $5 per night, paid daily or as a lump sum at checkout.
Parking Valet
$2 to $5 when your car is retrieved.
Room service
$5 minimum (unless gratuity is included in check)
Bus driver (not mass transit)
$1 to $2, if he handles luggage
Cab driver
10%, $2-$5 minimum
Gas station attendant
Nothing. (If you received great service $2-$4)

Personal service
10-15% and $5 to each individual who shampoos or blow-dries your hair!
Spa service
$2 or $3
Coat checker
Most sites recommend $1-$2 per coat upon retrieval.
Furniture deliverer
Most $5-$20 or atleast offer them a cold drink.
Grocery store bagger
One site recommended $1-$3, though I’ve never seen one tipped in my life.
$10-$25 per person

Some points regarding tipping etiquette: Information provided by http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2006/10/12/basic-tips-on-tipping-how-much-and-to-whom/
  • If you use a coupon or gift certificate, calculate your tip based on the total before discount.
  • Tip above the norm if:
    • Service is exceptional,
    • You’ve been a burden, or
    • You are a regular client.
  • Don’t tip if it’s not deserved. Poor service should not be rewarded.
  • In some circumstances, if you offer an initial tip — especially a large initial tip — you’ll get better service.
  • If you take up a restaurant table for a long time, tip extra.
  • Tip discreetly.
  • When in doubt, tip.


Wishing you well

                My Jar of Positive Energy

      It can be very easy to fall victim to negative energy. I mean face it, we live in a society where video taping fights and laughing at others pain have become entertainment for many. We sometimes feel it necessary to defend and explain ourselves to others, which can bring out a very ugly side of us. It's not easy always turning the other cheek and when you're exposed to negative comments and behavior being the norm, you can easily become a part of the crowd. I have had moments where I have laughed at, shared and made insensitive comments that only contributed to someone else pain. I think we all have play a role in a situation where we could have done better. Although it's not always easy to stay positive, once you began that positive journey you will have a totally different outlook on life altogether. Things that use to make you very angry will now seem small and unimportant to you. Vulgar language and violent behavior will no longer be entertaining for you. You will began to feel more peaceful and less angry as time go on. I'm not saying that this journey for peace will be easy, in fact it will be extremely difficult especially during moments when you feel hurt, betrayed or angry. These will be the most trying and difficult times and you will feel like abandoning this positive attitude and replacing it with a negative reaction that will only give you temporary gratification. One thing that helped me was a prayer/well wishes jar. I would place my prayers, positive thoughts, personal pains and well wishes into this jar. Once the jar is full I would read all the slips and see just how positive I was or just how negative I was. If I had more negative moments than positive I would set a goal to do better. No, you will not change over night but taking a step in the right direction is a start. For the next 30 days try this method. At the end of the 30 days review your thoughts and see if your positive out weigh your negative. If you had more negative thoughts, do another 30 days and try to do better. Let me know your thoughts by commenting below :)

               Vision board
                      My New Year Resolution


     The New Year is approaching soon and along with the new year comes New Year Resolutions. This is when we swear we will eat better, stop smoking, get a better job, travel, and have a better life. Often we start off very motivated, then two weeks later we fall back into old habits. We really do mean well when we make our resolutions but as the saying go "Out of sight, out of mind". Instead of allowing it to slip out of our sights, this year we are going to put it in our face where we can see it daily staring at us and daring us to fall off course. We will create a visual photo collage of all our goals that will force us to look at the things we swore to do and motivate us to accomplish them. This is called "A Vision Board". A vision board is a collage of photos of things you would like to change or a accomplish in your life. You may have pictures of the car you always wanted, the house you want to buy, the body you aim to have, or the financial goals you would like to meet. You can use a large picture frame, peg board, poster board or scrap book to create you collage of goals. After you have built your guide to success place it in a spot that you will have to look at it daily, allowing it to remind you to do something each day to accomplish those goals. By putting your goals in your face daily, your chances of completing them are far greater than if you write them on a piece of paper that will be placed in your nightstand and forgotten about. When I made my Vision Board last year I accomplished 75% of the things on my list. I upgraded my camera, purchased new lighting, met my natural hair goal, have a healthy diet and exercised more just to name a few things. Whenever I felt unmotivated , I looked at this board and felt determined that I would accomplished as many things on this list as I could. Now I have a whole new list of accomplishments I need to complete and it's time for a new board. Here is a list of items you will need to create your board.

  • Peg board, poster board or scrapbook
  • lots of old magazines
  • scissors
  • tape, glue or thumb tacks
  • A list of goals
     Write down your list of personal goals. These goals should include all things you would like to complete by the end of the year, whether it be big (I want to stop smoking) or small (I would like to spend more time with family). Search through your magazines looking for photos that represent the goals you want to complete. Cut the photos out and began to place them securely onto your board using you tape, glue or thumb tacks. Hang your vision board in a place where you will see it daily more than once. Each day do something to work towards completing your goal no matter how small it may be. New Years resolutions are great and by making them in a more visual form, we will be well on our way to becoming better each day.  Last year my friends and I had a vision Board gathering. With great food and drinks, we sat around sharing our goals and helping each other create beautiful boards. This is definitely a great activity for a ladies night. Take a photos of your board and email it to Audreyhughesfotos@gmail.com and I will post it up or all to see.


                       7 STEPS TO REGAINING YOUR INNER PEACE   


     Some times in life we are faced with challenges that can take us out of character. We face everyday challenges that often cause us to succumb to negative vibes. These negative vibes usually take over our lives, leading to destructive behavior. Often this negative behavior can feel right and cause us to continue making poor decisions. At some point the negative behavior take such a toll on your life that things began to spiral out of control and you began to lash out further. At this point you can choose to surrender to this behavior or you can began your healing process and start living peaceful again. I'm going to tell you a little about how I started my journey to become a more positive person and what lead me to my breaking point.

     In December 2009 my mother suffered several strokes which caused her to lose the ability to move or speak. It was quick and unexpected. Shortly before that I had lost my job and was on the verge of losing my home and relationship. I went from being a happy and vibrant women, to hurting emotionally, financially and praying for my mothers life daily. Each morning that God blessed me with, I wanted to lay down and go back to sleep. I had to juggle stressing over bills, saving my relationship, taking care of my children and making some really tough decisions concerning my mothers life. In May of 2010 my siblings and I decided to sign a DO NOT RESUSCITATE order for my mother. This decision was painful and extremely hard to make. It was also a decision that I hurt over up til this day. I completely shut myself off from my family and spent most of my days pitying myself. On July 31, 2010 my mother, my best friend and protector passed away. Shortly after that I lost my home and my 8 year relationship with my boyfriend was over.  I began to act out because of the tremendous pain I was in. I was not myself and I truly needed to be saved from all the pain I was feeling. The problem was, I was looking for the wrong things, people and places to save me. Although I took myself through some unnecessary heartache I don't regret it because I learned some great lessons. The reason I'm sharing some of my heartaches and pains with you is to show you that you are not alone. Everyone go through some form or hurt pain and defeat. The great news is that I'm going to share 7 steps that helped me regain my inner peace.

     In July 2013 I decided I want to live a happy and peaceful life. I decided that I would no longer allow negative things, people, places, words or attitudes affect my life. I will dismiss anything I feel is not a positive addition to my life. I decided to live a HAPPY life and rid myself of all things the did not contribute to my new journey. In order to do that I had remove anything I deemed negative and replace it with ALL things positive.

#7 READING: Start reading books on being positive. Choose books that inspire you and feed your mind. Reading a good book will help distract you from all the negative energy around you. It allows you to have some quiet time and help you relax. Find a comfortable space and cuddle up with a good book.

#6 WRITING: When you are stressed find a calm and peaceful place to sit with your pen and pad. Spontaneously began to write whatever comes to mind. Relax and allow all the hurt and pain to be release on the paper in front of you. By doing this you allow yourself to unleash all that bottled up anger.

#5 MUSIC: Music has always been a great way to change your mood. Make a playlist of music that make you happy. The playlist can consist of calm soothing music, much that make you smile or music that make you dance. Whatever you decide to put in your playlist, be sure that it change your mood to a good one.

#4 STOP WORRYING: Worrying will not change your situation. Actually, worrying will harm you more than help you. Worrying can interfere with your appetite, life style habits, job performance, sleep and relationship. Instead of worrying, began to think of solutions that may help you with your situation. If you can not find a solution continue to stay positive and do not allow the negative thinking to enter you space.

#3 YOGA: Emotional stress of daily life often contribute to physically stress like muscle tension and constricted breathing. Yoga help reduce stress by encouraging you to take deep, rhythimic breaths. It also increase the flow of blood and oxygen in your body allowing you to feel relaxed and calm.

#2 MEDITATE: Much like yoga, the deep slow breathing technique helps to reduce stress. I usually breath in on a ten count and breath out on a ten count. While breathing, clear your mind and began to think or speak positive words such as peace, love, humble, etc.....

#1 FORGIVING: This one is tough. It's not always easy to forgive someone who hurt you or forgive yourself for hurting someone. Carrying around pain and hurt will only harm you. You should forgive those who hurt you because if you hold onto that pain you are allowing that person to have too much power over your life. If you don't forgive yourself your are allowing your emotions to control your life. Release yourself by way of forgiveness and you will be a much happier person.

I hope these tips helped you the same way that they helped me. Don't allow your life to be overcome by negative the energy of people, places, emotions and things. If you find these tips helpful let me know by commenting below. If you have some tips to add to this list feel free to share. 

Here are some great tips on becoming successful in business and in life.

GET BUSY: Set goals that are realistic for the amount of time you have. You can not do a 5 year plan in 2 months. Being realistic with yourself give you a better chance of succeeding. Study your craft is must. A successful person know their craft inside and out. Never stop learning new and improved ways in your field. There will always be room for improvement. Network with other people in your field. Networking with other people in your field will not only help you gain future clients but will also help you gain new business relationships with other talented people. Learn some of the ways that helped them become successful. Use social media to your advantage. Social media is a great outlet to get free advertising for your business. Seek to live at your full potential. Use all of your skills, intelligence and great personality to your advantage. 

BE PRODUCTIVE: We all have our long term goals but sometimes we become so consumed working on a long list of goals that we lose our way and become less productive. One way to becoming more productive is to make a short list of goals to be completed each day. By doing this you have a better chance of completing your list, therefore becoming closer to your goals. Remember never bite off more than you can chew. Quality over quantity will always get you better results.

STAY POSITIVE: A positive attitude goes a long way. Being resilient is one of the benefits of staying positive. When you are resilient you are able to ignore negative behavior and/or people. You are more optimistic therefore having the ability to focus on making a difficult situation better. Having this positive attitude will not only rid you of negative energy but will also help you overcome some of life's challenges. The benefits of staying positive are definitely worth the effort.

REMAIN FOCUS: Stop procrastinating! People who are bored or distracted easily are usually procrastinators. If you notice you are procrastinating STOP! Saying "I'm going to do it later" or "I will finish right after...." will not get you closer to your goals. Remove all things that are distracting you (cell phones, television, Internet etc.). Set aside a time slot to work on your goals uninterrupted. You will find yourself closer to your goals in no time. 

BEMORE U: There is nothing wrong with admiring the next persons work, style or personality but never lose yourself trying to be someone else. Find your own niche. You will find that when you self evaluate and learn more about yourself you will not only have a more successful business but you will have a better life all together.