Bo Sang Umbrella Festival in Northern Thailand

Artist paints a giant handmade paper umbrella at the Bo Sang Umbrella Festival

Across Thailand, thousands of small craft villages dot the landscape. Each one specializes in the manufacture of a particular handicraft. Especially in northern Thailand, the choices seem endless. In tiny Ban Ton Pao in northern Thailand, everyone in the villages is involved in the production of handmade paper from Mulberry bark. In nearby Baan Tawai, the focus is on handmade furniture. Other villages produce lacquerware, silk clothing and linens, indigo dyed material, hand-woven baskets, hammered silver, jewelry, and more. But my all-time favorite is the village of Bo…

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from Hole In The Donut Cultural Travel

Shoyu Chicken with Hawaiian Mac Salad

Have you ever been to a cookbook pot lucky party? I have to say, I think they’re brilliant. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a cookbook potluck where each attendee made a dish from a chosen book. I’ve seen a few on the Instagram and I’ve always been like, “hmm, that’s a good idea!!” What made it even better was all the recipes were supposed to be made from Aloha Kitchen! This book is so breathtakingly beautiful, from the photos of beautiful Hawaii to the food and recipes and the history lesson, it’s really amazing. Last year was the first time I had ever visited Hawaii and the minute I landed and was told we were having dinner on a former plantation, I had A LOT OF QUESTIONS. I honestly knew very little about Hawaii. So I did my usual quick history lesson on the car ride to the hotel and I didn’t learn nearly as much as I wanted to. Alana teaches the history seamlessly, interweaving it with food and how the cuisine and all of its vastness came about. I wanted to try SO many of the recipes but I settled on this Shoyu […]

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from A Cozy Kitchen

Personal Note from Julie: Are You Interested in Becoming a Virtual Assistant?

There has been a lot of buzz in several of the Facebook and LinkedIn admin groups recently about virtual assistance. People have been asking, “How do I become a virtual assistant (VA)?” “Where do I find clients as a VA?” “Can I do VA work on the side and still work at my corporate job?” The questions just keep coming.

When I first started my VA business in 2005, there were less than 4,000 VAs worldwide. Today, based on freelancing platform data, professional association stats, I’d estimate there are 100,000+ VAs working in various capacities. Some are contracting with third-party freelancing sites, like Upwork or Freelancer, some are operating a side hustle while working full-time, and there are countless others running full-time virtual assistant businesses.

If virtual assistance is something you want to learn more about, we’re sharing a lot of great tips and strategies on our FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn pages this week. You can also get more information in this week’s feature article where I’m answering some common VA questions.

Supporting your administrative success,

Julie Perrine

P.S. April is Admin Appreciation Month and there is plenty of exciting stuff happening throughout the admin community. Click here to take advantage of free webinars, contests, giveaways, and more!

from All Things Admin

5 Tips for Becoming a Virtual Assistant

5 Tips for Becoming a Virtual AssistantOne question I get asked a lot is, “How do I get started as a virtual assistant?”

Many admins are eager for advice on how to strike out on their own and begin their virtual assistant business. Yet they don’t know where to start.

While there’s no exact science behind becoming a VA, there are several things you can do to make the process a smoother, more successful one.

1. Network. Tap your personal and professional network to find clients and work. Reach out to former colleagues, friends, and family and ask if they or anyone they know needs a VA. This is a great way to generate new business, whether you’re a veteran VA or just getting started.

2. Subcontract. If you know someone who is a VA, ask them if they’re willing to subcontract work out to you. Also, don’t be shy about striking up new relationships with experienced VAs and inquiring about work. Most VAs are more than happy to help out someone who is new to the field. And even if they don’t have any subcontracting work, they may be able to refer you to someone who does.

3. Join online VA groups. There are a lot of VA groups on the web and social media that offer advice, resources, and even job listings. and the International Virtual Assistants Association are both excellent options. Do some research and find the groups that best fit your needs. Then get active in their forums and on social media.

4. Read and Research. There are several helpful books out there for virtual assistants, including Virtually Successful: 8 Simple Ways for Virtual Assistants to Find (And Keep) Clients and The Bootstrap VA: The Go-Getter’s Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant Getting and Keeping Clients, and More! Pick up one of these books and gain some valuable knowledge about the VA world. You can also check out VA blogs and websites for additional reading.

5. Create your plan and implement! When you choose to become a VA, you are choosing to run your own business. This means you need a plan and the drive to implement it! Before I launched my VA business, I built up a transition fund to support any gap in income, and provide some startup capital to launch my company. I invested in a logo and branding, professional headshots, competent legal advice, two certifications, and website development training. Having a plan made all the difference in starting my business because I had a solid foundation from day one.

Whether you’re nearing retirement and looking for your second act, you’re between jobs, or you simply want to be your own boss, being a VA can be an excellent career move. So, if you’re entertaining the idea of starting your own VA business, I strongly encourage you to pursue the opportunity! You never know where it might lead you. I’m living proof of that!

Looking for additional VA resources? These sites may be helpful as you research the profession:

© 2019 Julie Perrine International, LLC

Want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or website? You can — just as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at

from All Things Admin

Brunei – To Visit or Not, Given the New Sharia Law

Bicycle surreys for rent in the center of Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei

On April 3, 2019, the Sultan of Brunei imposed Islamic sharia law on all residents of the country, including the 30% of the population who are not Muslims. In a nutshell, this means that people will be whipped or stoned to death for gay sex, adultery, sodomy, and rape, and the crime of theft will require a hand and a foot to be cut off. This is an escalation of previous laws, which carried a sentence of 10 years in prison for anyone caught in the act of…

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from Hole In The Donut Cultural Travel

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’m not gonna front, these carrot cupcakes are THIS carrot sheet cake recipe in cupcake form. A lot of people have asked me “can I make this sheet cake into cupcakes?” The answer is absolutely! It’s as simple as making the batter and putting it into cupcake liners. But listen, I know that might sound more than easy but sometimes we have to see it in its transformed state in order to actually be inspired to make it you know? Here they are transformed! These cupcakes are so delicious and if you want something sort of bite-sized for your brunch situation, then these are it for you! I love carrot cake. It is divine. And it’s always been incredibly high on my list of things to make when the weather starts to get a bit nicer. I love the bits of carrot, crunchy walnuts and large quick bread-like crumb. The cream cheese frosting is thick but also super fluffy (thanks to the heavy cream that’s whipped in there) and then I made a strong buttercream for the anemone flowers. Those are totally extra credit and absolutely unnecessary! I made them, mixing in a few colors to make them a bit […]

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from A Cozy Kitchen