Some of my favorite books


Books have always been a guilty pleasure of mine. To be honest, I’ve always seen books as a way of cutting in line, of reaching to information and experience otherwise difficult to attain. So, because lately, I’ve been keeping tabs on how much books have helped me grow and learn not only as an entrepreneur but also as an individual, as an adult and I’ve decided to dedicate this entry to them. Therefore, the post that I’m going to write will be a little more personal, as I have decided to share with you some of my favorite books. Better said, today, I will be talking to you about the three books that played a great role in shaping the person who I am today.


The first book that I want to talk to you about is Oprah Winfrey: The Real Story, a book signed by George Mair. The reason why I think this book touched me is the fact that it shows the struggles of a female in a male-dominated world. Moreover, the book paints the darker picture, the one we usually don’t get to see when looking up to our mentors. What I particularly enjoyed about it was the manner in which I slowly realized that life is not always fair, no matter what your name is and that what counts the most are the decisions we make in difficult times. This book is my personal recommendation to everybody who thinks about quitting or needs motivation.


My second favorite book is Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Reading this short book feels like an initiation passage. Page after page, you will understand the importance of being financially independent. Furthermore, this book shows you how and why you should consider starting your own business as well as the power of investing.


Last but not least, this last book has been, in a way, my bible so to say. I’m talking about a quite well-known book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. What I find exciting and thought-provoking at this book is the fact that it offers you a new view of reality. Just to tease you and make you want to read it, I’ll just say that it explores the way in which your mind, by the thoughts it creates, it is able to build the reality you live in. So, as the author suggests, if you think about success, you are one step closer to actually achieving it.


This is all for today. Hope I was able to stir your interest and make you want to visit the library in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, let me know if you have a specific book that you find inspiring as I am always interested in reading more and discovering new ideas!



5 Productivity Tips to Get Your Day Started

Who doesn’t like being productive? From what I’ve learned from my own experience, being productive is closely related to habits you have, such as what time you wake up every day. Many people hate being early risers, but I found that if you wake up early in the morning, you are more productive.

The trick is to do something to get your day started on the right foot once you get out of the bed. I will now share with you 5 productivity tips that will help you get the most out of your day. I have tried all these methods on myself and I can vouch that they are really helpful.

One thing I do when I wake up in the morning is that I pour myself a large glass of fresh cold water and I drink it slowly. I find that this gives me quite an immediate energy boost and I feel completely awake and ready to face the day. (From what I read, it seems that it also helps with a healthy metabolism and with weight loss, so there are plenty of great benefits to enjoy from this simple habit.)


Next thing, I exercise for 7 minutes, making sure that I get the cardio I need to kick-start my day and enjoy superior energy levels. You may believe that getting out of bed and starting to exercise is a bit brutal, but the truth is that you are putting your body in motion and, as a result, your mind becomes more mobile, as well.


Plan your day. It is a great thing one can do in order to improve productivity across an entire day. If you don’t know what you are after, how can you expect to achieve results? I used to be quite a disorganized person some time ago, and that had a negative impact on my productivity. I started one thing, only to jump to another, and I could barely accomplish one or two of the things I wanted for that day. You should make your plan using pen and paper, so you can clear your head and see what you are up against for the day.

Another thing that I noticed that it helps a great deal with productivity is to have a certain goal in mind when going to bed the previous night. This gives you a strong reason to wake up and start the day, without delays and procrastination.

And finally, one tip which I find pretty awesome, each morning, I make a short list with 3 things I definitely want to achieve during the day. This gives me a clear sense of purpose, and I do not stall or get lost in small details, since I know what I am after.



Why You Should Consider Getting a Raclette Grill

Are you planning a home party and feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the work that comes along with being the host, especially when it comes to cooking? I think I just found the perfect solution for busy people, such as myself. As you already know from my previous posts, I run my own bakery and that means long hours and not exactly a lot of time for organizing home parties. I don’t complain because I love what I do, but I still need to get better of managing the rest of my time.

But let’s focus on the solution I identified for great home parties. In this post, I will talk to you about raclette grills and what they are all about. When I first learned about raclette grills, I had to look up online to see what raclette means, and so I discovered it is a type of Swiss meal, that involves melted cheese and plenty of grilled goodies.


So, a raclette grill is a cooking device that practically allows you to have this type of delicious Swiss meal without messing up half the kitchen. What I find to be really great about a raclette grill, though, is the fact that it is practically made for a party. The model I got has a space for melting cheese at the bottom, and a grill on top for cooking various tasty bits. There are pans and spatulas provided for 6 people, which means that I can gather all my friends and enjoy a home party really easy.


This is, I suppose, the main role of a raclette grill: to bring people together. I have already hosted a few raclette parties and everyone is more than happy with the arrangement. Another great thing for me is that I do not have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing food for my guests. I just stock on cheese, as well as bits of meat, veggies, shrimp and fish, so that everyone can grill their own food and melt their own cheese, using the utensils provided.

I am known to be a gracious host and to always offer my friends the best of everything I can offer. But I must say that they seem much more excited now to come over, whenever I mention the words ‘home party’.


There are so many things to love about a raclette grill. It is a great conversation starter, and guests can choose whatever they like to eat. I do not have to bend over backwards to cook for these events and everyone is happy. Plus, cleaning the non-stick cooking surfaces and the pans is really a breeze, so I do not have to sweat cleaning after the party, either.

What I Use to Clean the Floors in My Bakery at the End of the Day

Being in charge of a bakery means a lot of work. After a whole day spent baking and selling, the most important task is to clean everything thoroughly, so you can enter a clean, ready to use the facility the next morning.


As expected from a place where flour and other ingredients are used on a daily basis, the floors are getting pretty messy by the end of the program, which translates into a lot of work for me. That is why I need to make sure that my task is as easy as possible. Now I will tell you all about cleaning the floors in my bakery at the end of the day.

There are pretty strict rules for cleaning floors in a bakery, and I need to abide by them to the letter. The first thing I need to do is to make sure that all the debris is removed from the floors before I get to mopping the floors and clean them with cleaning solutions. Making sure that there is no debris left in corners and under pieces of equipment is, as I quickly realized, the biggest challenge. 


For this reason, I decided to purchase an electric broom. The model I got is very efficient, and it picks up even the smallest particle of flour. For me, it is crucial that my bakery is presentable and clean, and that my clients feel that their health is cared for. The electric broom I purchased helps me thoroughly clean all the corners of the room, so I can afterward clean the floors with a special cleaning solution to eliminate any bacteria and germs. It may not be the best carpet sweeper, but it does a good job. 


In regards to the cleaning solutions I use, my favorite is the Lysol All-Purpose Pourable Cleaner. What I like about this particular solution is that it dissolves in water and it does not leave unsightly streaks on your floors. You need a little substance for cleaning a lot of floor area, so it is very efficient, too. Plus, it has a pleasant scent that is not overpowering. I find this to be an excellent disinfectant for the floors in my bakery.

When I’m not in the mood for using the Lysol cleaner, the next I switch to is the Mr. Clean All-Purpose Pourable Cleaner. This is great for all kinds of surfaces, not just for floors, and I can use for washing the sinks and other areas that are in need of a thorough cleaning at the end of the day.


Once I am done with everything, and the floors are dry, I run the electric broom once more, so I can make sure that no flakes from the cleaning solutions I use to remain in the air or on the floors. This is how I end the day. Having a clean bakery to return to in the morning is my best reward.

A little family history

Hello, everybody, I am Anna Oscar, a baker by belief and a small entrepreneur by decision. I am currently in charge of my Scottish bakery I just opened in the Boston area, and I am here to tell you all about the trials and tribulations of owning this kind of business.

My Scottish roots gave me a sweet tooth from birth, which means that I love cakes and pastries of all varieties to the extreme. I learned the tricks of baking from the talented women in my family, and I think it is safe to say that it was my dream from always to have a bakery of my own. I must tell you that, when I took the decision of opening a bakery, there were many who told me that I had to be more than just great at baking. And this is how I learned about the challenges of running a bakery in the real world, and, I would like to say, being good at it.


Like any other business, a bakery comes with its risks, but also with its own advantages. The thing I like best about running this kind of business is that I am practically making and selling bread, pastries, and snacks that I love. I also know on good authority that there are not many people who would walk by a bakery from which pleasant smells waft into the street. It is almost a guaranteed success, and I love bringing smiles on people’s faces.


Another thing that I find both challenging and rewarding is that your clients expect you to do more than just the same-old, same-old. That being said, I am on a constant lookout for new and interesting recipes I can share with people coming into my shop. Therefore, I often grab the phone and get on long conversations with my mom about traditional Scottish recipes, and I am happy to try the ones I don’t know anything about.

There are, of course, things you need to keep in mind and always be aware of, such as health issues. Although I run a small bakery, and businesses that are not the same caliber as larger bakeries, are not subjected to the same strict regulations, I need to make sure that all the rules are followed to the letter. Even if in a bakery, we are working with high temperatures, which usually kill all bacteria, there are always risks of cross-contamination and employees need to be very aware of abiding by all the health related rules and regulations.


My bakery is now thriving, and I am thankful for it. And I think small is beautiful, and I do not necessarily want to expand. This way, I can afford trying new things and offer exciting options to all my clients.




What You Need to Know about Scottish Bakery Products

Scots are known for a lot of things, some we are proud of, others not so much. But if we are to talk about pride, I guess nothing makes us prouder and also experience a mouth-watering episode instantly, then our bakery products.


I seriously doubt there are many nations in the world as much in love in baked products as we are. I can tell you if you’re a Scot by what you used to have when you were a kid for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All kinds of bread should be on your list, as well as biscuits and cakes. We have a sweet tooth, and this shows in what kind of baked goods we favor. Our mothers and grandmothers must be the best in the whole world, seeing what kind of sweet treats they can bake.

I am talking about everything, and simply because I love everything and I want everyone who happens to enter my bakery to have a taste of real Scotland. I love shortbreads, ginger bread, any fruit cake you can think of, scones, pancakes, oatcakes, black buns, Clootie dumplings and many, many others. Seriously, what’s not to like about Scottish baked goods? Even the type that is manufactured, like Lees snowballs and Tunnock caramel wafers is to die for.


And then, like the list would not be comprehensible enough, we have Scottish baked goods that are specific to certain areas. The Forfar Bridie is famous worldwide, and the best you can have is, of course, the one made in Forfar. This recipe has a history of over 150 years, and it is said to have been a fixture at weddings. The people in Forfar love their bridies, since even the football team has a bridie as their mascot.


I should also tell you about another regional favorite: Selkirk bannocks. In case you are a Scot, you most probably know very well that scones and bannocks are practically the same thing, and if you cut a bannock in wedges, you just call those scones. I love my Selkirk bannocks with plenty of raisins, and if you ever travel to their place of origin, you will notice that people here are not at all skimpy when it comes to putting as many of these as possible.

So, what should you know about Scottish baked goods most and foremost? Off the top of my head, I’d say that it does not matter where you choose to travel when you get to Scotland; you will be welcomed with dozens of baked varieties, both sweet and savory, that you may just have a hard time choosing. I also strongly suggest that you do not consider going on a diet when you travel to Scotland; you will only end up sabotaging yourself.