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  • Winner: November Reader Appreciation Giveaway

    Thanks to everyone who entered the November Reader Appreciation Giveaway, and congratulations to the lucky random winner of a $15 Starbucks gift card:

    L-Shaunese (lswh****@yahoo.com)

    L-Shaunese, I’ve emailed you and you have 24 hours to respond.

    For everyone: Don’t forget to enter the December Reader Appreciation Giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Target Gift Coin, and stay tuned for another fun Mystery Box giveaway!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    If you are celebrating today, I just want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    As always, I am so grateful for the abundant blessings in my life, which of course includes you. Thanks so much for reading and supporting Chief Family Officer!

    And, if this celebratory season is overwhelming for you, if loss makes joy difficult, or if anything is going on that makes it hard to be grateful, please know that you are not alone. The holidays can be a hard season for many reasons. If all you can do this time is survive, then just survive. That’s okay too.

    Savings.com’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide #SDCGiftGuide

    I was very excited to be a part of creating the 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for EZPZ by Savings.com. Twenty top stores are featured, and the gift guide for each store was put together by a blogger like me! I did the Verizon store, because I’ve been a loyal Verizon customer for over fifteen years. Check it out:

    Verizon Wireless Gift Guide

    I’m totally not kidding about the Otterbox Commuter case – my phone was knocked off the top of the bleachers during one of my kid’s games!

    View the entire gift guide to see the suggestions for the other stores:

    • AT&T Wireless
    • Avenue
    • BH Cosmetics
    • Brooks Brothers
    • Charlotte Russe
    • Eastbay
    • Footlocker
    • GAP
    • Home Decorators Collection
    • Home Depot
    • Horchow
    • HP
    • Kohl’s
    • Lane Bryant
    • Macy’s
    • Maurices
    • Microsoft
    • Missguided
    • Old Navy

    Come back and help me with my shopping list by letting me know what you added to your list!

    Why Small Businesses Benefit from Using HR Software

    This is a collaborative post with Amy. Thank you for supporting CFO!

    As a small business owner, you are no doubt struggling to juggle numerous tasks. In all likelihood, you would like to spend all of your time finding new customers and delivering your product or service to them.

    This is understandable, since you are in business to make money, and you can only do that if you complete sales. The problem is that to be able to stay in business, you have to comply with the law, and maintain an efficient workforce. All of which is time consuming, and potentially costly.

    Not surprisingly, some business owners put off investing in and improving their backroom processes. Things like buying HR software are just not a priority.

    However, this is not necessarily the wisest approach. But you may actually be able to benefit by investing in the type of HR software that is available at cascadehr.co.uk.

    Manage Your Payroll Effectively

    The majority of HR packages include very good quality payroll software. Using this can help you to manage paying your staff efficiently. The latest systems allow you to automate the entire process. Once you have set everything up, all you need to do is to enter the amount of work each employee has completed. The software will then work out each worker’s pay, deduct the tax and social security payments, and anything else that needs to be done.

    Your employees will be paid correctly, and on time. In addition, you will know exactly how much tax you need to pass onto the government. The data from your payroll system can then be fed automatically into your accounting software, which will allow you to fill out your tax return accurately.

    Keep You on the Right Side of the Law

    Complying with the law in this way is clearly important. However, there are many other rules and regulations you need to comply with to be able to trade legally.

    Modern HR department software packages are designed to help you to do exactly that. Provided you buy the right modules, you can make sure that every new member of staff undergoes the right training, especially training that is mandated by law. You can also use it to ensure that your workers complete any necessary courses in the future to maintain their legally mandated qualifications. This is essential if you want to remain in business, and be profitable. As you can see from this article, failing to comply with the law, especially health and safety regulations, can have serious consequences for a company.

    Grow Your Business Quickly

    Once your business starts to grow, HR software can help you to recruit the staff you need, and do so fast. You can also use the package to make sure they go through the right induction processes.

    The system can be set up so that line managers and supervisors can post job openings automatically. Your HR team can also use the software to speed up the process of identifying relevant candidates and inviting them to interview.

    There are many ways for company owners to utilize, and benefit from, HR software. How you use it is up to you, but it really is worth considering the investment.

    Menu Plan Monday: Week of November 7, 2016

    Menu Plan Monday | Chief Family Officer

    Did I mention I actually planned out my menu for the whole month of November? I did, during the last week of October, and it makes the weekly menu so much easier to do. I can tweak it a little bit to adjust for any new plans that have come up, but I really like knowing that I’m making my way through the meals and ingredients in the freezer and pantry.

    It turns out that I really enjoy the actual process of making freezer meals. My in-laws live super close, so I’ve started providing them with meals because honestly, I can easily make more than my family of four can possibly eat by itself! So even though we are eating through the meals in our house, I am making a few new meals to put up that will end up on my menu plan next month.

    Here’s my plan for this week:

    Monday – Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken {I made this into a freezer meal a few weeks ago}, snap peas

    Tuesday – Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Pita Crackers {I use frozen spinach and artichokes, without defrosting, and just cook it longer}

    Wednesday – Poke Bowl {maybe I will finally get around to posting the recipe!}

    Thursday – Brown Sugar Meatloaf {I make this with turkey, and incorporate the sauce that’s supposed to go on top into the meat mixture – makes it incredibly moist and sweet}, roasted squash

    Friday – Eggplant Rollatini {from the freezer}, some kind of green veggie

    Saturday – Rice, spam, eggs, fruit {Hawaiian-style breakfast!}

    Sunday – Corn Chowder {I plan to use frozen corn and possibly the slow cooker}

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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    Popular Printing Myths – Busted

    This is a collaborative post with Amy (who you might be able to tell from context is from the UK). Thank you for supporting CFO!

    There are literally hundreds of myths and old wives’ tales about printers and printing; some have been proven beyond doubt to be false, but still they persist. In an effort to break them down further, take a look at five particularly stubborn misconceptions, then erase them from your memory!

    Busting Popular Printing Myths|ChiefFamilyOfficer.com

    You have to stop printing as soon as you see the “low ink” message

    Almost all printers like to send out a low ink message way ahead of time, and it’s not to help you, either! According to the manufacturer, you should immediately swap cartridges, but the truth is you will still have a decent amount of ink in the reservoir, so carry on printing until you see the quality start to fall. Only then bring in the new cartridge that you had waiting in the wings.

    Only use original cartridges from the manufacturer

    Most manufacturers will tell you to use only their ink cartridges and other consumables in your printer. Using compatibles will break your printer, result in poor quality prints that will mean your CV instantly gets tossed in the bin and so on. This just isn’t so. Of course, some compatibles are rubbish, but many retailers like Cartridge People specialise in proven, trusted compatibles that also come with a warranty. You can’t get much better than that, and they’re also significantly cheaper.

    Originals give higher page yields

    This myth really does need to be blown out of the water. If you use third-party cartridges, you’ll get the same page yield as you would with an original. In fact, you’ll probably get a higher yield because the big printer makers have been steadily (and stealthily) reducing their reservoirs in recent years. Compatible makers don’t tend to do this, so as well as paying less for each cartridge, you’ll find you’re getting more ink. Double-win!

    Third-party ink cartridges will void your warranty

    Many people think that using compatible ink cartridges will make their printer warranty void – the printer manufacturer can simply refuse to help them if a non-original cartridge causes a problem. This isn’t the case because the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act (UK) means that your printer manufacturer can’t refuse a refund or help that would have been available otherwise just because you used a compatible.

    Low print quality is always down to a dodgy or defective ink cartridge

    Very often, people will just assume that faint or faded print-outs, as well as smears, blotches or streaks on the paper come from a broken or defective ink cartridge. They may also assume that fading or blank patches are the result of the cartridge running out of ink.

    This is a bit of a rush to judgement, though, as sometimes using the cartridge cleaning function on the printer can sort things out. This function can help to shift out ink that’s clogged up and is blocking the cartridge from operating as it should. This can also be the case with toner cartridges if you’re using a laser printer. Gently tilting the cartridge from side to side can move the powder around so it can come out easily.

    Of course, if you’re still having problems, you can always call your printer manufacturer or your ink supplier for help.