Business Card Magnets |  Stadium Cups |  Prize Wheels |  Coloring Books |  Lip Balm |  Grocery Totes |  Sports Water Bottles |  Table Covers |  2017 Wall Calendars

Big, Advertising Specialties, Dallas, TX

Blinded by the Light

by Amber L. Burden on February 10, 2017

Have you ever seen the stars during the day? If not, then be prepared to be amazed. This August, North America will have the opportunity to check out a total solar eclipse. While the following solar eclipse will be in South America on July 2, 2019, North America won’t see another one until 2024. There are definitely some great reasons to check this out, the first being that those of us in North America haven’t seen a solar eclipse since 1979. On August 21, everyone in the United States will see at least a partial eclipse. The path of the eclipse determines how much will be seen throughout the country. Here at our office in Dallas, Texas, we’ll have a 76% obscuration, meaning that 76% of the sun will be blocked by the moon. Augusta, Maine, however, will only have 57% obscuration. But for the best view, you need to be on the path of totality. This is the specific path that the sun and moon will take and will make a complete solar eclipse visible. One of the best places in the country to view this eclipse will likely be Hopkinsville, Kentucky  with 100% obscuration for 2 minutes and 40.2 seconds.


Many people don’t realize that, as an eclipse is approaching, animals react as if nighttime is on its way. That makes sense, right? The sky will be darkening similarly to the sun setting. So, of course, diurnal animals – the ones that are awake during the day – start heading to bed. As an eclipse approaches, you can see the animals begin to gather their offspring and make their way towards their nests. At the same time, you’ll notice nocturnal animals slowly making their way out of hiding. You can take this chance to get a peek at some creatures that you may rarely get to see, unless maybe you work weird hours.

An important thing to remember about an eclipse is to not look directly at it until it’s in full totality. Of course, you should never stare the sun – eclipse or not. As Bruce Springsteen sings, “Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun.” Mama apparently knew what she was talking about. You should always be prepared, like having a pair of solar eclipse glasses to enjoy the show. (You can find them here: Once it hits totality, though, take them off and marvel at the wonder!


If you’re interested in celestial shows, you can also check out the spectacle that will be taking place tonight. We get a three-for-one: a full snow moon, a penumbral lunar eclipse, and a comet. The lunar eclipse – which, as the name suggests, is a block of the moon’s light – will begin around 4:30 PM CST and will be at its peak around 6:45 PM CST. Some may not see much of a change in the moon. But never fear… just grab a pair of binoculars and head outside around 9:00 PM CST to catch the comet! The light from the green comet with purple tail may be difficult to see without binoculars or a telescope; however, this is the closest that this comet has been to Earth in 30 years so you don’t want to miss out on this.


Finding Your Backbone

by Amber L. Burden on January 5, 2017

I am generally terrible at being assertive. My lack of self-confidence makes it difficult to push myself outside of my comfort zone and toward other people. Because of this, it’s been difficult for me to ‘ring my own bell,’ so to speak. There is so much more I could be doing in this world – for myself, as well as others – if I would just push a little more.

First and most importantly, I am not talking about being aggressive. For those in the back… I am not talking about being aggressive. Many people (for whatever reason) cannot comprehend the difference between assertiveness and aggression. Let’s clear this up. Aggression is pushing past the boundaries of others. It consists of making people uncomfortable, being unnecessarily harsh or rude, and generally thriving on conflict. Assertiveness has to do with an attitude of confidence. It means standing up for yourself and others, being direct, making your voice heard, and still maintaining respect for others and yourself.

With that said, being assertive is such an important asset. It has plenty of benefits – not only in your life, but also for your mental and physical health! Assertiveness gives you a definite boost in your confidence, which opens up opportunities in life. How much easier would it be to land that huge project at work if you were able to directly tell your boss, “I can do this” – and you believe it? Being assertive is also great for reducing your anxiety levels (which tends to bring down the accompanying increased blood pressure and heart rate) and gives you a feeling of being calm and in control.


By now you’re thinking, “This all sounds great but how on earth can I start this now? I’m set in my ways at this point in my life.” Well, no one ever said change was easy. In fact, if anyone has told you that, they lied. Change is definitely difficult but it’s not impossible. Here are a few pointers on becoming more assertive in your life from Randy Paterson, PhD, a registered psychologist and author of The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Your Relationships:

1)      Learn to say no. Saying no will help you build and maintain your boundaries. It’s healthy to say no; it helps you keep your priorities in check and not spread yourself too thin.

2)      A closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Personally, my favorite part of assertiveness is being direct. People are not mind readers and without expressing your needs and desires, you will never get them. There’s no room for misinterpretation or uncertainty on anyone’s part as long as you are straight forward.

3)      Take baby steps. Practice a bit before jumping into the deep end. We all need to ease our way into new situations – especially if we want to increase our chances of success.

You can also find a lengthy list of books available on why assertiveness is important and how to build it, as well as contacting a clinical psychologist to help you figure out where to start. Go on, see where being assertive can take you!


The Demise of Your New Year’s Resolutions

December 6, 2016

As the new year approaches, people are starting to prepare for the annual tradition: let’s make a new year’s resolution! Personally, I do something a little different for resolutions but I’ll get to that later. Most people have an idea of what they would like to change or do to better themselves. It’s something that […]

Read more →

Starbucks Did It Again

November 7, 2016

Each year, Starbucks comes out with a special holiday cup. Last year, the company’s choice of design for their seasonal cups struck up controversy and they’re apparently not disappointing in doing the same this year – whether intentional or not. A green holiday cup (as opposed to their previously red holiday cups) has been described […]

Read more →
Web Analytics