Recipe: 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Yesterday I received an email that sparked some interest in the office. I forwarded it around the office and we all agreed it was definitely worth sharing. So here ya go!


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (microwave safe)


Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in milk and oil, mix well. Add chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip our onto a plate if desired. Now it is ready to eat…this cake can serve 2. Add some vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream!

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?

Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night! YIKES!

Feel free to share…



Posted in Cooking in your kitchen on August 28th, 2009 by Angie | | 0 Comments

Relieve Stress With Daydreams

With our current economy, many people have felt their share of stress, especially those in sales. While some stress is good, it is important to find ways to deal with it and relieve it. I recently read, “Rewarding Daydreams,” an article found in the July/August 2009 issue of Selling Power magazine that contained some interesting information regarding stress and daydreaming. According to the article, one sales person interviewed explained that he rewarded himself by spending more time daydreaming. He realized that we live in a culture obsessed with efficiency, where we fill every waking moment with work. He cited a recent article that explained how daydreaming can lead to epiphanies, valuable insights, and creative problem solving.” Even Albert Eistein apparently allowed himself to daydream, which helped him focus more on his disciplined areas of studies.

So why not give yourself a break from your everyday stress, and routines and allow your mind to wander and ponder on some new adventure, or experience some relaxation in a far away place, etc.? You might just find yourself drifting back to reality more focused.

Thanks for reading!



Posted in Uncategorized on August 26th, 2009 by Barb | | 0 Comments

Acts of Kindness

A few weeks back, we had a man call us about replacing a tiled top table with granite. He explained that he had given the table, with a hexagon shaped top, to a friend as a gift. She used it outside, and the elements of the Minnesota climate had taken a toll on the table. He felt bad that it had deteriorated so quickly, and offered to replace the table top with a piece of granite, which he knew would withstand the elements! Not only was that a generous offer, but Leisa and I had the pleasure of getting to know him.

The first visit he made, happened to be on a Friday when Zeus, a Chocolate Lab, owned by one of our installers was here. The man was enthralled and delighted to get to meet Zeus, whom he mistakenly kept calling Duke!

He selected a Labrador Antique granite remnant that was beautiful, but wanted to bring the table base out the following Monday to ensure the proper fit. Upon his return, he also brought his friend to ensure she liked the granite he selected, as well. I have to say, he was quite disappointed that “Duke” was not here to meet him. During that visit, he also found a piece of granite that he wanted for himself. I have to say, it was a very enjoyable experience working with him.

We work with quite a few different customers everyday, however, every once in a while, there are those customers that stick in your mind. This man happened to be one of those customers. His kindness and generosity are not as common as you would hope, in this day and age. It is nice to know that still exists, especially when a lot of what we hear in the media is doom and gloom. It just goes to show, that one simple act of kindness can trickle down and touch the lives of many! Keep that in mind…

Feel free to share…



Posted in Uncategorized on August 24th, 2009 by Angie | | 0 Comments

When It Comes To Cold Calls—Timing Is Everthing

Cold calling has always played a big role in the sales process, no matter what the business. A  new study by Dr. James Oldroyd from the Kellogg School of Management, however, indicates that an individuals success rate may have little to do with their sales skills, and more with the timing of a follow up call, including specific day and time, according to “The Science of Cold Calling,” an article found in the July/August issue of Selling Power magazine.

“The study examined the electronic logs of more than a million cold calls made by thousands of sales professionals and 50 companies.” When the study was concluded, various patterns of success and failure were revealed and some conventional thinking in regards to cold calling was disputed.

Following are some interesting findings from the article and Dr. Oldroyd’s study:

  • Thursday is by far the best day to contact a lead, and Friday is the worst.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the best time to call and qualify a lead is 8:00 am to 9:00 am, or 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
  • The best way to contact a lead is still by telephone.
  • The worst time to contact and qualify a lead is right after lunch, between 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.
  • The best odds of qualifying a lead is within 20 minutes of a shown interest. In fact, 5 minutes is the most effective.
  • Hiring inside sales reps, over outside sales reps has become the new trend.

Thanks for reading!



Posted in Business, Marketing on August 19th, 2009 by Barb | | 0 Comments

Too Good To Be True…

Many consumers these days are looking for a good price no matter what they are buying. While a cheap price may draw consumers in, and appeal to their pocket book, cheaper is definitely not always better, especially when it comes to granite countertops.

The other day, I read, “The ‘cleansing’ of the granite industry?”  an article found in August 5, 2009 issue of Stone World Fabricator eNews, by Michael Reis, that addressed how during tough times, some fabricators have cut back on their fabricating practices, and customer service to make a fast buck, and how it is hurting the industry. While some of these “hack” fabricators have gone out of business, not all have, and probably never will. When you hear someone out there offering granite countertops at $39/SF or lower, you better do your homework.  Most likely, the cheaper price is too good to be true, and you’d be better off spending a little more .

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a fabricator:

  • How long has the fabricator been in business?
  • Does the fabricator have references?
  • Does the fabricator have a showroom and fabrication facility?
  • Does the fabricator have a website?
  • Does the fabricator have proof of insurance?
  • Are they members of any trade organizations such as the MIA, etc.?
  • Does the fabricator have samples of their work for you to look at?

Thanks for reading!



Posted in Granite, Industry News on August 17th, 2009 by Barb | | 0 Comments

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