Brainerd Marketing and Publishing Classes: A Series for Writers and Entrepreneurs

Looking to up your social media game as a business owner, author or freelancer? Do you need guidance on how to take that book idea that has been rattling around in your brain and start taking the steps to getting it published. Could your existing WordPress website use some help, or are you not sure if a WP site is the right move for your business?

Well you are in luck! Brainerd Marketing and Publishing Classes offers multiple opportunities to gain the  knowledge, skills and the motivation to take your business or book dreams to the next level!

class series for writers

Saturday, September 19:

9 to 11 am Getting your Dream on Paper: Book Publishing in Today’s World

Do you dream of writing a book? Learn about today’s book industry, publishing options, first steps to publication and what to expect once your book hits the shelves. Instructor: Krista Rolfzen Soukup, Literary Publicist and Agent

12 to 2 pm Find the Buzz: Social Media

Dig deeply into the mysteries of Facebook, Twitter and blogging to discover how to build an audience and gain visibility. Harness the power of social media to gain readers, drive traffic to your website and promote your work. Instructor: Rebecca Flansburg, Social Media Specialist

Saturday, September 26:

9 to 11 am Keeping the Buzz: Publicity for Writers

What strategies can writers use to showcase their work to potential publishers, agents and readers? How can marketing fit into a writer’s daily schedule? Learn the basics of publicity and marketing in today’s literary arts world; including author branding, websites, social media, book promotions, press releases and more. Instructor: Krista Rolfzen Soukup, Literary Publicist and Agent

12 to 2 pm WordPress

Is a WordPress Website right for me? How can WordPress maximize my writing/art/business? This class explains the basics of WordPress and other internet terms: SEO, posts, tags, categories, media, and website security. Instructor: Corey Kretsinger, Web Designer

Click HERE for registration info, Register on-line at or Mail registration and check to TCAA 1001 Kingwood St. Room #114, Brainerd, MN 56401For information call the Crossing Office : 1-218-833-0416

Crossing Arts Alliance activities are funded, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund; and grants from Brainerd Service League, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union, and the Anderson Family Legacy Fund and the Anderson Family Legacy Fund.


Essentia Health offers “Healthy Hour” Education Classes for the Public

Essentia Health offers “Healthy Hour” Education Classes for the Public

Essentia Health - here with you

Essentia Health is offering free education classes the first Thursday of every month, no registration is required. Classes will take place from 1-2 p.m. in Meeting A on the second floor of the Brainerd Clinic, 2024 South 6th Street in Brainerd. A light snack of fresh fruit, coffee and water will be included.

Please join them for the following classes:

September 3, 2015, What is Pre Diabetes?

  • Step up and exercise with Ashley Palmer, Athletic Trainer
  • Deb Bergstrom, RN, will discuss what pre diabetes means. Can this be prevented?
  • Goal setting for the month


October 1, 2015, Vaccinations

  • Step up and exercise with Ashley Palmer, Athletic Trainer
  • Deanne Ehlert, Internal Medicine Nurse Practitioner, discusses adult vaccinations.  What are they and what are they for?
  • Goal setting for the month


November 5, 2015, Alzheimers

  • Step up and exercise with Ashley Palmer, Athletic Trainer
  • Jenna Herbig, MSW, LGSW Program Manager Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota, will provide information on Alzheimer’s.
  • Goal setting for the month.


December 3, 2015 Healthy Holiday Eating

  • Step up and exercise with Ashley Palmer, Athletic Trainer
  • Teresa Farrell, Registered Dietitian, will discuss healthy holiday eating
  • Goal setting for the month


January 7, 2016 Lung Cancer Screening

  • Step up and exercise with Ashley Palmer, Athletic Trainer
  • Nate Kline, Pulmonology Nurse Practitioner, will discuss new advances in lung cancer screening.
  • Goal setting for the month

Essential Health-Here With You


Story Scraps: Shaffer’s Lost 40

Many times when I create an article for one of the several magazines that I write for, I run out of word count before I run out of information. By that I mean, if the story I am creating is limited to 800 words, it’s usually hard for me to write ONLY 800 words. There’s usually so much more I want to add, but can’t because of the word count I am limited to. So that gave me an idea. Story Scraps are blog posts that will share these “leftover” facts, tips, details and quotes that didn’t make it into the original article.

story scraps

Recently I had the absolute honor to interview and write about an uber-talented family in the Brainerd Lakes Area. The Shaffer Family; Sherm, Bonnie, Bill, Lacie and her husband Bradley, were chosen as August’s Feature Family for the new Brainerd Lakes Living Magazine. As the main writer and Content Manager for the magazine, I was the lucky duck who not only got to get to know this wonderful family, but I also got to listen to them play at a Bluegrass Jam at Coco Moon.

Brainerd Lakes Living Magazine

Oh my goodness what fun that was! My parents listened to bluegrass quite a bit while I was growing up so hearing the Shaffer’s amazing string-work and vocals felt a lot like when you put on your favorite jammies after a long day; warm, cozy and just like “home.”

Here’s a quick excerpt of the article:

A love for bluegrass music that is an every-day part of life: The Shaffer Family

Shaffer's Lost 40 Bluegrass

Shaffer’s Lost 40 Bluegrass

For many of us, music is a constant in our lives. We listen to our radios, play our CD’s and hum along or tap our toes to the beat. But one long-time Brainerd family has taken their passion for music to a whole new level and made it a generational tradition.

Fans of bluegrass are well aware of Sherm’s pronounced, energy driven sound that has become his trademark over the years. This talent allows him to not only deliver amazing sound via his playing and singing, but it also transfers into the bluegrass instruments he builds. Well-rounded in the instruments he plays, Sherm also enjoys restoring old fiddles, as well as building instruments including guitars, banjos, mandolins and dobros.

Sherm’s love of bluegrass music and instruments extends to his family as well. Wife, Bonnie, sings lead and harmony vocals, plays rhythm guitar, banjo, and bass. Her vocals blend harmoniously with every member of the family and leaves listeners wanting to hear more. “Bonnie and I have been married for 38 years and she grew up in a very musical family as well,” he confirmed. “She has deep roots in the love of bluegrass and has an amazing singing voice. She has always been an influence to our kids who have grown up in an environment where their mom and dad were always singing. We are both thrilled that our passion has been passed on to our children.”

Story Scrap:

Daughter and band member, Lacie Philippi, offered up this cool thought and angle and that didn’t make it into the magazine, but is worthy of sharing. “We are excited to be participating in the bluegrass jams that are every first and third Friday evening at Downtown Brainerd’s Coco Moon.  Basically  a ‘jam’ is where any bluegrass musician can join in and play, from beginner to experienced. Most of the stuff Bill and I have learned throughout the years has been from attending different jams and picking up on styles from other people. Sometimes its just a few of us that know each other at the jams and sometimes there will be 5 people there you’ve never met. Either way, it’s like a language that everyone just kind of picks up as they go.”

The Shaffer’s Lost 40 will also be showcasing their musical talents at the upcoming Lakes Bluegrass Festival in Pine River (August 26th-30th). If you have some hours to spare, I highly recommend listening to this fun, down-to-earth and talented family. Enjoy!


Back To School Time! Are you Ready?

By the time you read this, Back-to-School time will be less than a month away for parents and kids in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

 Pencil, Note, Learning, School, Pen, Public, Student

I am sad….but also very READY. Our No Bummer Summer list of adventures has been exhausted along with my pocketbook. It will be good to get back into a normal routine and that “routine”  is  appreciated by this work-at-home mom.

But earlier this week, it hit me…are we ready? Do I have all the supplies they need? Gym Shoes? Lunch bag? Will the youngest freak out on her first day back? So much to consider! If you are a parent in a similar situation…here are some tools and resources to keep the stress and crazies at bay:

Looking for some books to help prepare kids for starting a new school year? Here are our Favorite Children’s Books for Back to School from Buggy and Buddy.

back to school books

Here are some Great Ideas for BTS from Tater Tots and Jello — 20 DIY Back To School Projects & Printables!

back to school printables

5 Ways to Get Your House Ready for School from Infarrantly Creative

Here’s the One Week Countdown Checklist:
  • Review transportation plans with your kids. Are they riding the bus? Do they walk to school? Give everything a “dry run” mainly to make note of the “leave home” time.
  • Pack up the good ol backpack with gym shoes and all the First Day of School supplies.
  • Start sending the kids to bed early NOW. Might as well start conditioning them to their new, and early, school day routine.
  • Plan out school lunches and review first week menu. Plot which days are “hot lunch” and which days are “cold lunch” days and plan accordingly.
  • Review after school plans, routines, and who’s going where.
Before The First Day of School:
  • Choose the outfits for the first day and lay them out.
    Double check backpacks.
    Locate shoes (a BIG issue in my house)
    Put the kiddos to bed early to ensure a good nights rest.
The Morning of The Big Day.
  • Get everyone up just a bit earlier than normal-first days are always tough to get into new routines. PLUS, you want a few extra minutes for those “First Day of School Photo Opps.”
  • Prepare a good breakfast to get good fuel into little tanks.
  • Be enthusiastic, supportive, and positive about school starting. If you need to “lose it” or bawl your tail off..that’s cool. Just wait until they are on the bus and on their way. Save the drama for your mama…wait a minute…..
As The Bus Disappears from Sight:
  • Bawl, wail, wring your hands, and lament your baby is “growing up.”
  • Get over your 45 seconds of tears and then dance wildly and happily in the middle of the street.
  • Head home, roll on the floor gleefully and shout “PEACE AT LAST!”
  • Once it’s all out of your system, anxiously watch the clock all day, excited for the safe return of your beloved cherubs.


See anything on the list that YOU forgot?



Dreaming of more Family Time? You CAN be a STAHM & get by on ONE Income!

I am always on the hunt for really good information that can help me be and better me… and also help improve my family’s life in general.

Money, income and budgets are a biggee in our family and I am always exploring news to make and save the almighty dolla. There Internet is filled with awesome thought leaders on this subject and Becky Mansfield from Your Modern Family is one of those people. She always has amazing blog posts crammed with solid info, and lately I’ve discovered the joy and bounty of the many ebooks she has written. This one really caught my eye becasue I know many moms doubting that they can be a STAHM & get by on ONE Income.

The Moms Guide to Saving Money was one that caught my eye. As a self-employed individual, I am always curious about creative ways to cut costs, stretch the budget and hacks and shortcuts that can save money. SO…I bought Becky’s book.

A Mom's Guide to Saving Money

“My goal, for writing this book, is to share ideas with you about how you can save money for your family, make money from home, and make it easier plus more affordable to reach your goal, whatever that may be. I will share with you tips to prepare your family for your journey to be a stay-at-home parent or to teach your family how to save money.”Becky Mansfield

I truly think ebook will be helpful to far more people then STAHMs or WAHMs. This ebook is for anyone who wants to start saving now in hopes of working less in the future. It would be helpful to ANYONE who is just looking for ways to supplement their income. It’s perfect anyone who loves to make their dollars stretch as far as possible.

Within the pages of this ebook, readers will learn so many tips, ideas & secrets to help them save more money & live easier! The stress of money can be a big one if you let it; but a work-around is to learn to take control of your money NOW. Spend less & save more, live below your means (not above it) and do so the easy way!

This book was previously called You Can Be a Stay at Home Mom on One Income, but because it is filled with money-saving ideas Becky opted to changed the title to The Moms Guide to Saving Money.


Whatever the title, the info inside is worth it’s weight in gold. SERIOUSLY

What you can expect from Money Saving Tips for the Stay At Home Mom:

– Make money from home

– Save money at the grocery store

– Save money on clothes

– Save on household items and decor

– Get discounts on schools (private school, preschool…)

– Get discounts on gym memberships and club memberships

– Learn the secret to getting items for FREE with coupons, the easy way!

– Get prescription medications for free
Make money selling items online

– Learn the best websites for the best deals

– Save money on diapers

– Get free toys for your kids

– Alternatives to preschool (or saving money on tuition)

– Eat out for over 70% off the regular price
and so much more!

Good info…and so much more. And for less than the price of a pizza! Consider the affordable $9.99 cost an investment in your future. Let’s git ‘er done.


**Some of these links are affiliate links

Summer Activities for When Boredom Sets in & Funds are Limited

Summer is a blast…it is also expensive at times. Between the zoos, trips, gatherings and adventures, I often feel like there is Too Much Month at the End of the Money. Here a some Summer Activities for when the money runs low and boredom sets in:

LOVE!! Bumblebee Garden Stake {Kid’s Craft} – Coffee With Us 3

summer crafts
30 Fairy Crafts and Recipes for Your Little One from Kids Activities Blog


It’s Minion Madness! 20 minion activities, crafts and foods from Mum in the Mad House

summer crafts


Camping Activities for Kids

pretend play camping

Invitation to Play in the Mud! From Paint on the Ceiling blog

mud play

What summer fun have you discovered?


Summer is in full swing and our kids are loving their summer of freedom.

As always, the Flansburg Crew will be engaging in our annual No Bummer Summer Quest. This quest involves finding new adventures, crafts and activities (preferably ones that involve the out-of-doors) to help temper the long days of summer.

This summer, we are trying something new. We are trying a creative, affordable alternative to pricey summer camp, this 8-week eCurriculum called At-Home Summer Nature Camp eCurriculum.

At Home Summer Nature Camp

This eCurriculum is packed with ideas and inspiration to keep your kids engaged and happ.y all summer long. In one easy-to-follow PDF, parents will receive eight kid-approved themes, each including ideas and tutorials for: outdoor activities, indoor projects, arts & crafts, recipes, field trips, books & media, and more. Every weekly theme is packed with summer nature fun our family can have right in our own backyard! Learn more, or plan your summer fun here At-Home Summer Nature Camp eCurriculum.

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