Feel the Burn

Those that really know me, know that I love spicy foods and sauces. So much so, that people don’t ask me how spicy something is because, what I consider “not that spicy” is often too spicy to the person that asks. I also must be cautious about how spicy I make a meal for other people, because I tend to add a little too much crushed red pepper, or spicy element to the dish, that most people don’t like. Because of my tolerance for the heat and spiciness, I have yet to find a sauce, or dish, that is too spicy for me. I know they exist. I just haven’t come across one yet.

Spicy food for me gives me an unexplainable rush. If you’ve been on a rollercoaster, that rush is about as close of comparison as I can think of. It oddly enough makes me happy. It’s almost as if I must dedicate my focus on trying to get through the pain, and everything else becomes not as important. And not only do I get a thrill out of trying to survive the heat, I also get a strange thrill watching others trying to fight through the temporary pain, all while craving that feeling.

I recently came across a YouTube show called “Hot Ones” where the host sits down with celebrities and eats 10 chicken wings all with different sauces. These sauces range from Sriracha, which they consider mild and often start with, to insanely hot. So hot that the sauces often caution users to start off by dabbing just a little as to not overwhelm the dish or heat tolerance. The show is very unique and funny at times, because some people cannot handle the heat and must stop.

The most interesting thing about the show, at least to me and from a marketing stand point, is the influence it could have on a brand. All the sauces that are used are available across the country and when a celebrity says that they really like the hot sauce it could have a huge impact on anyone who loves hot sauces. It brings a candid side to the celebrity that is not often seen. I know I have bought a couple hot sauces that have been featured on the show, just to see how hot they really were.


Dreaming of a White Christmas

Winters in Wisconsin bring not only the bitter cold and feet of snow, but loads of stress around the holiday seasons. And for non-traditional students like myself, an extra layer of stress as the semester comes to an end. While there are many ways to beat the many stresses that come around winter and the holidays, my favorite so far is to spend it on a beach in Mexico. To me, there is nothing more relaxing and unique about hearing the song “White Christmas” while sitting on a beach, or even poolside, taking in all the 90-degree weather that you can.

Since my wife is a high school teacher, there are few times that are easy, or make sense, to take vacations. Sure, she isn’t working that much at school in the summer, but her family has a lake house that we spend most of the summer at. The only time that we can take a break from the winter is around Christmas when the schools break for the holiday, and our destination of choice is Huatulco Mexico.

With Huatulco being located on the Pacific Ocean, it experiences its dry season during what we would consider the winter months, around October to February. In December the average high is about 90 degrees, but it is comfortable because the humidity is very low, and there is little chance of it raining. Because it is the dry season, much of the vegetation dies off, much like the leaves on a maple tree in the fall, but the Sierra Madre Mountain range, the wildlife that can be seen, and the quaint little towns make it a wonderful place to visit.

When we visit Huatulco, we stay at an all-inclusive resort, so we do not have to worry about anything but getting too much sun. The resort itself is secluded in its own bay so the beach is wide open for anyone from that resort alone to enjoy. All the rooms on this resort feature spectacular views of the ocean. With the resort being located on the Pacific Ocean, one would think that it would be a great place to watch the sun set. Interestingly enough, because of its location it is an amazing place to watch the sun rise.

I could go on and on about the resort and the area, but I would need to create many more blog posts to cover everything that I want to talk about. If you’re wondering what this magical resort is called, you’re out of luck because it is a secret.

Secrets Huatulco
Photo taken by Gewel Maker


Float on!

Working 40 hours a week and pursuing a degree online comes with a lot of stress. It’s been a awhile since I was able to get home from work and not have to think about doing anything. It’s a grind, and I’m sure it will be well worth it, but it is exhausting. I don’t have children yet, but I would imagine the level of exhaustion is similar at times. I have found it difficult to find time to spend with family and time for relaxation. When I’m with my family, school is on my mind. When I’m out with friends “relaxing,” school is on my mind. I was struggling to come up with a good topic for this week’s blog, but I have found it. Today I did my first float therapy session.

I was a little skeptical when I stepped foot in the float tank. I started the music, got into what I assumed was a good floating position, and relaxed. I started with the light on, so I could be sure that i was in just the right relaxed position. As soon as I turned off the lights, I experienced a kind of clarity that is hard to describe.

I think I shut my eyes, although I’m still not sure because it was pitch black. Not an ounce of light was visible, even when I thought my eyes were open. I started to count my breaths, as the person running the spa suggested, and soon seemed to slip into a kind of thoughtlessness. The only thing that I can remember thinking about was if my eyes were open or not. I did not think about school. I did not think about work. I was just there without a worry in the world. I was lost in the binaural beats that were playing softly in the background. After the hour was up, I felt refreshed and relaxed. It was almost as if a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

I have heard, and read, a lot about the benefits of float therapy, but never found myself to have enough time to give it a try. Today I forced myself to set aside an hour out of the day, just for me. I set out with the goal to just let my worries and stresses disappear, even if it was for just a little bit, and I was successful. It is quite an experience and I think I have found a new go-to when the stress is starting to be too much to handle.


Marketing Opportunity

Over the past month or so, my in-laws have been discussing buying a house that is attached to a campground in northern Illinois that lies on 21 acres of land. The funny thing about this is that they sold their house that was on 8 acres of land to downsize. When discussing this purchase with my wife and I, it was discovered that they were not only going to buy the house, but the campground and all that goes with it. They are going to become business owners and are looking to us to help grow this business.

When I toured the campground and saw the potential, my marketing mind immediately kicked into gear. I started thinking about conducting some sort of marketing research to get insights into the campers mind. The campground doesn’t have any major draw that I could physically see on the campground itself. There isn’t any kind of swimming available on the grounds and is surrounded by corn fields. But that is what makes the challenge fun and exciting.

My main focus will be on the the digital side of marketing. I will be tasked with spreading the word through social media and improving the functionality and look of the website. I’m sure I’ll also be recruited to do some maintenance and other physical labor around the camp ground as well.

I won’t be the sole marketing mind behind this venture. My mother in law works in the marketing department for a major health plan, my wife is a high school business and marketing teacher, and I am pursuing a degree in marketing with a digital emphasis. Between the three of us we should have our marketing bases covered. I am looking forward to applying everything I am learning to good use.