All opinions are my own. This review is based on two separate stays at the hotel for Peace Corps Conferences. My thoughts and opinions are not reflective of the US government, the Peace Corps, or the Government of Botswana. Thanks to Sheev Dave for providing me with pictures.
I had the lovely opportunity to stay at Phakalane Hotel on two occasions while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Photo Credit: Sheev Dave
The hotel is located just outside of the Gaborone City Center in Phakalane. Minutes from the airport, and in a gated community, driving up to the hotel was like transitioning universes. It’s lush green landscaping was stunning against the dry desert background of Botswana. While serving as a volunteer, it was hard to not resent how much resources went into keeping the property green. While many parts of town, and the country were suffering water shortages, the hotels (especially the fancy hotels) rarely experienced the same water shortages.
Just outside one of the conference rooms was a lovely pavilion that overlooked a pond. While standing in the relieving shade and looking out over the water, it was hard to believe I was still in Botswana. I could have been anywhere in the United States. The green golf fields spilled out behind us, bespeckled by white gold carts.
Checking into my room was easy breezy. The front desk agents were very friendly and spoke english very well. Standing near the front desk was some inviting iced water and iced guava juice. After two hours of travel in 100 degree heat, it was a lovely offer and I definitely had my fill of the iced water.
The Rooms at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, my experience at the hotel was probably a little different than most. Most people on vacation are relaxed, and excited to experience what’s around them.
I was more interested in running water.
The water pressure in the stunning recently remodeled rooms was perfect. Getting over my guilt of using the water was a struggle but it had been months since my last real shower. I hadn’t feel clean in too long.
The room came with a decent sized flat screen, lots of places to charge my various electronics, and different charger styles. That was a particular bonus because I forgot my converter on one trip.
I remember walking into the room, unsure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. The beds were backed up against a wall with a wallpaper tapestry of a forest scene. It was like peaceful and beautiful and I was completely enchanted by it.
The oversized tub in the bathroom begged for a long soak, and there were these… cupboard doors that you could move aside for a nice view of the television… or the rest of the room. From the bathroom, if that wasn’t clear.
My first stay there, my room was located on the bottom floor and had the loveliest porch to walk out to and watch the sun rise over the course.
Food at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel
They have two restaurants for visitors to choose from, but as we were part of a large conference, our meals were all catered.
The food was buffet style since they were feeding so many of us. The first time I stayed here I indulged on large salads, curries, and traditional Tswana foods like morogo (spinach/rape that’s been sauteed), beef, chicken, and paletche (which is kind of like thickened corn meal).
Photo Credit: Sheev Dave
There were always cakes and special little tarts for dessert and a full tray of fruit at every meal. They also served a lovely tea with biscuits, fruit, coffee and juice.
During my second visit I had developed a host of food issues (couldn’t eat gluten) and the staff tried their best to accommodate us. When you have food sensitivities, your anxiety about food is incredibly high. I was still early in my experience and wasn’t really sure what I should be doing to protect myself and took my cues from other volunteers who came into their service with their food sensitivities. If they couldn’t eat, or didn’t trust, then I also couldn’t eat or couldn’t trust.
Lunch usually went fine, but when we ate inside for dinner at night, each meal was themed for our conference and sometimes they didn’t have a alternative to the main course. For instance, one night the meal was the traditional American meal of hamburgers and fries, and when the gluten free people were served, we received fries.
And that was it.
No vegetables, no paletche, no, fruit or meat without a bun. Just the fries. And when we asked for an alternative they told us there was nothing they could do.
During the four dinners we had during that second experience, this happened three times.
At breakfast and lunch they accommodated us perfectly though. It was interested to experience this once as someone who didn’t have a food sensitivity, and once as someone who did. I really believe that if we weren’t not part of a group of 50+ volunteers and staff, they would have accommodated us just fine. Most Tswana food is naturally gluten free, as long it doesn’t use the pre-made spice mixes.
Photo Credit: Sheev Dave
Things to do at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel
My stays at the Phakalane Hotel were both times as a volunteer so my activities were limited to what was on our daily agenda. They have beautiful conferences spaces that are well air conditioned, and with beautiful views of the golf courses, and surrounding areas.
I told my friends almost every day how much I wish I golfed. It was a beautiful course and has been played by some of the biggest names in the game. There is lots of memorabilia of tournaments and celebrity golfers who have played a round on the walls of the main conference lobby.
There were several pools on the property and unfortunately during both of my stays I was unprepared to swim in them. Plus, one time it was winter and the pool was much too cold to experience.
How to book a stay at Phakalane Golf Estates Hotel
If you’re visiting Gaborone, Botswana I would totally recommend this hotel. It’s beautiful, the staff is incredibly well trained in customer service (which is not something you can say about many other places in Botswana), and is a great place to just relax.
Visit the website directly to book your stay at http://www.phakalanehotel.com/home/
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Have you read You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero yet?
I finally got the book, You are a Badass at Making Money, on Audible the other day and I’ve listened to it THREE TIMES.
You guys. Everything I’ve been practicing she says it. You gotta adjust your attitude. Gratitude is the mother of it all. If you share your gratitude, good things will come. Because you’re attune to the universe and the universe responds accordingly. If you’re angry all the time, your life is going to be miserable. If you choose to find goodness, and appreciate even the smallest thing, the universe will respond in kind.
She says it a lot more eloquently.
Jen also has a lot of interesting stories to share her different experiences with gratitude, negative thoughts, and dealing with fear, anxiety, and overwhelming situations.She tells a story about finding her ideal housing situation. Well, the neighborhood. She managed to find a place in her budget in an area she totally couldn’t afford. I’ve had this happen to me too. And with every word, every chapter, all I could think was,
“Yes. When good things happen to me, it’s because I’ve been doing exactly this.”
The problem I was left with at the end of the book (probably because it was the audio version and not the book) were the end of chapter lessons. It wasn’t that they were bad lessons; only that I had to stop what I was doing, find a pen, and do it. But of course I was usually commuting or walking the dog during those moments. It wasn’t easy to fit the practice in. I would pause the book and try to remember what she said… this is partially why I’ve listened to it three times.
I needed a journal to go along with this book. Something I could fill out in the morning or evening. Something I carried around with me. I needed something I could print on demand as I needed additional pages.
So I made a money mindset empowerment journal, because that’s what I do.
Here’s the thing: You Are A Badass At Making Money didn’t actually teach me anything new. It merely reinforced everything I already believed, and practiced. But that’s a good thing. I regularly tell my clients (and my mom) that I have all the answers. You are a Badass at Making Money just proved it to me.
But lately, my practice has faltered. Sometimes life gets in the way, or you let it. When I don’t maintain my practice, I can immediately see and feel the difference. So after listening to You Are a Badass At Making Money, I knew I needed to figure out a way to be more consistent about my gratitude practice. I needed to hear all of this again. And again. And again.
I’ve made a twenty 21 day gratitude journal before and it is effective. But it is more general towards just practicing gratitude, not refocusing your money mindset. Plus, when you’re making a lifestyle change, 21 days isn’t enough. (if you’d like to try though, it’s in the Millennial Life Skills Vault and its FREE!)
As a Millennial Life Skills Coach, it’s my duty to have an actively engaged and empowered money mindset. If I can’t do it for myself, how can I possibly get my clients to that same space?
If you know the magic that happens when you flex your gratitude and faith muscles and make life happen, instead of waiting for life to happen, nothing in this book is going to take away from your understanding. But it will reinforce what you’ve been doing and I gotta tell you; that feels nice.
If you haven’t yet experienced the magic of truly practicing gratitude, read this book. This book, You are a Badass at Making Money, and her first one, You Are A Badass. It will probably rock your world.
This blog post, and Jen Sincero’s book is the universe reaching out to you, letting you know there is another way. If you’re reading this, then you’re ready to answer that call.
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Tips for changing your money mindset so you can be a badass at making money
Watch your mouth
The words you think and the words you say have a direct correlation to how you feel. And they encourage or discourage likewise events from unfolding. If you’re only complaining about how much you hate your job, your job is totally going to suck.
On the flip side, if you hate your job, but you find 3 things to be grateful for anyway, your mindset will shift and it won’t be so tedious. The work will be the same, but you will have changed.
Believe in your worth
You are worth more than the sum of your parts. You are more than one chapter in the history of your narrative. Wanting for things to change is not equal to believing things are changing. If we’re going to wait around for things to change (like Aaron Burr – and see how that turned out?) two things will absolutely happen: 1) We won’t know how to handle the situation (like Burr) or 2) We don’t recognize the opportunity when it finally arrives.
Pay it Forward
What can you do right now? When my mind is starting to crowd with all the things that need doing, I check myself and think: What are three things I’m grateful for right now?
Whenever possible, I make sure the people around me know that I appreciate them because of their work, their honesty, their commitment, etc. And I never keep my gratitude to myself if I can share it outloud.
What can you do next?
If you want to be a badass at making money, buy her book. It’s great. Can’t recommend it enough.
Click here to learn more about the Money Mindset Empowerment Journal. It was originally created for myself, but when I noticed how much it really helped to have my thoughts written down, I knew I needed to share it. It comes with over twenty pages of affirmations, journal entries, lists, and more.
How do you practice Gratitude? What is your favorite affirmation? Are you a badass at making money?
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission at not cost to you. In fact, if you use the links, you are directly supporting the creation of awesome content for the future. So thanks!
Raise your hand if you’ve lost hours taking quizzes on Buzzfeed.
Yeah, me too. They’re great. They have all those fun pictures, the questions are interesting, and sometimes they even get things right. And Buzzfeed has literally thousands of them. They have a community of fans who create the quizzes for them.
Quizzes are a great tool to use for your blog or business because it encourages visitors to stay longer. It creates trust, and interest. Plus, they tend to share the results with their friends. Their friends in turn go take the quiz and share their results as well.
Check out my quizzes here:
What type of blogger are you
When will you get married
What is your fashion style
What kind of store should you start as a side hustle
If you’ve ever thought of making your own, using Interact is the best way to go. With Interact, you can use over one hundred different templates, or create your own quiz. These quizzes can have as many or few questions as you want, and at the end, you can request an email address in order for them to view the results.
How to get started with Interact Quizzes
First, sign up for your free trial here
Then, you can either choose from over 100 templates, or create a quiz of your own.
For the purposes of this tutorial, let’s create one of your own.
Step one: Create new quiz
When you create a new quiz, you’ll be given three different options: Personality, list/survey, or scored. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going with the Personality assessment. Then when you’re ready, pick a title for your quiz.
Step two: Choose results
It might seem counter intuitive to start at the end, but it makes sense I promise. Choose 2-5 different outcomes.
Step three: create questions
Ask any type you like, but keep it semi relevant to your topic.
Step four: connect questions with results
Easy as clicking on a few buttons.
Step five: connect to email list
Interact integrates with so many different companies, some of them I didn’t even know they existed. Even better, if it doesn’t connect with your mail provider, it does connect with Zapier so just zap it over!
Step six: publish to blog
You just hit share and embed and it’ll ask you to publish the quiz. Then copy and paste the code into your blog, or download the Interact WordPress Plugin and use the short code to install it that way.
Pro tips for making your Interact Quizzes:
You can choose to not require email addresses, but I’ve noticed people won’t fill that out if you give them the option. Instead, make sure you require it or not capture the email at all. But if you do require their email (which is what this tutorial all about!) make sure you really let them know what they’ll get in return for their email.
With “What Type of Shopify Store should you start as a side hustle?”, they’re not just finding out what kind of store to start, they’re getting a file that gives them all the steps laid out for them to get started. Doing this encourages trust – I’m not trying to hustle them, but give them useful, actionable information.
If you choose not to collect email addresses at all, that’s okay too, but you should have a call to action – buy this, sign up for that, etc. I’ll let you decide.
Sign up here to Try Interact for FREE
Quiz: Why kind of store should you open as a side hustle?
Side hustles seem to be the only way to make additional funds. Face it, as millennials, we’ve been given the short stick for economic growth. We’ve been told to stop eating avocado toast so we can afford homes at skyrocketing prices, never mind the outrageous interest being earned on degrees that barely allow for entry level jobs. The fact is, we need more money.
I’ve written a lot about side hustles, and have interviewed a variety of people with different ways of earning money, and have come across my favorite way to make an additional income.
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows you to start your own online store. With reasonable monthly fees (no contracts required) and tons of support from forums, blog posts, and other resources, Shopify has helped over 500,000 stores make over 40 Billion dollars and create that additional income we all desperately need.
If you think the market is too saturated, think again. As long as we’re making money, there will be a need to spend it on things we want, love, can’t afford, and can’t find anywhere else. Every month, dozens of new ideas come out, just waiting for people like you to build a community and store around.
Shopify integrates with dozens of other places like Amazon, Wish, Pinterest, Wanelo, so you can expand your sales reach.
You can sell pretty much anything, but if you’re not sure what to sell or where to start, take the quiz below. You’ll find out the best type of store for you to start on Shopify, plus a swipe file of all the steps you need to set it up to make your first sale.
Take the quiz! At the end when you enter your email address, you’ll get access to a swipe file that will show you all the steps you need to take to set up your very own store.
From picking a domain, apps, and finding or creating things to sell, this swipe file will guide you through your set up! Plus get a Business Plan and access to a free video course to get your first sale using Facebook Ads.
TAKE THE QUIZ!
Sign up for Shopify’s 14 day Free Trial here!
I was compensated for this post, which contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
So you want to be a Stella and Dot Stylist
Thinking about starting a side hustle selling… something, but not sure what? There are lots of different companies out there but Stella and Dot is one of the best for budding entrepreneurs to get started.
Stella and dot offers supportive, ongoing training, high commissions, bonuses, starting package comes with tons of jewelry.
Not sure if you have the skill set to start this kind of side hustle? Well, you don’t actually need any sales experience: they will train you. You just need to be passionate about beautiful jewelry, and the drive to succeed.
Reasons to become a stylist with Stella and Dot
You want to share your love of affordable and beautiful jewelry with your friends.
Some people just love jewelry. When they put it on, they feel beautiful, special, loved, and strong.
Stella & Dot New Moon Earrings
You love meeting new people and bonding over common interests like bracelets and rose’.
When you’re hosting a trunk show, you get to create a fun and exciting experience. Trunk shows are often hosted for bridal showers, birthdays, girls night out, girls night in, and other special events.
Stella & Dot Totem Bracelet
People are always telling you have great style – they wish they could steal your look.
Give people the gift of feeling sexy, beautiful and powerful with your personal style tips, and ideas. Spread your love of beauty with Stella and Dot.
You understand how a pretty necklace can make a person feel empowered.
I’m such a big fan of statement necklaces. When I wear one, I feel like I own any room I walk into. All eyes are on me, you know? Stella and Dot has a great selection of statement necklaces, and pretty little things that are eye catching.
Stella & Dot Hazel Statement Necklace
You want to build a bigger professional network
When you’re having your trunk shows, its often hosted by a friend… or a friend of a friend. Many people are able to quit their day jobs, or use Stella and Dot to supplement their income. If you have a day job, Stella and Dot fits into your schedule because you create your own. And every person you get to meet during a trunk show is not only a potential customer for Stella and Dot, but a potential partner for your working endeavors. Teachers, managers, associates, dancers, clinicians, they all wear jewelry. You never know who could be at these parties and it is a fabulous way to build your personal network.
Stella & Dot Casablanca Bracelet
You appreciate integrity, quality, and affordability.
Stella and Dot isn’t some crappy china store jewelry. Their designers take a lot of pride in their production and make it an affordable luxury to wear and enjoy.
Stella & Dot Laurel Lariat Necklace
Talking about style tips is one of your favorite hobbies.
If you’re the person your friends turn to when they need fashion advice, you need to turn them on to Stella and Dot.
Stella & Dot Elise Pearl Cuff
You’re completely obsessed with fashion blogs and outfit of the day posts.
There are so many great ideas out there and Stella and Dot is a wonderful and recognized name in jewelry and fashion. If you love the OOTD, make Stella and Dot part of yours.
Stella & Dot Arabesque Chandeliers – Silver
You want to help women feel good by looking good.
It’s true that when you look good, you feel good. Sometimes women forget to take extra time to care about themselves and their appearance and it shows in the quality of their marriages, children, and work. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you glow.
Stella & Dot Grace Chandeliers
You’re ready to control your own destiny and fortune.
If you want to hang out with your friends, meet new people, make more money and play with beautiful jewelry, and be in control of your own destiny and fortune, Stella and Dot might be the perfect side hustle for you. Imagine being able to earn hundreds of dollars an hour over the weekend and put it towards your student loans, mortgage, or holiday on the caribbean. Don’t work harder, work smarter.
How to sign up to be a Stella and Dot Stylist
Sign-up to be a Stella & Dot Stylist Today!
Choose your plan
Essentials – is your basic plan, it gives you everything you need to gets started.
More to Love – if you’re really serious about making money with Stella and Dot, the More to Love plan is going to provide you with enough samples to entice even the most weary customer.
Ultimate Kit – This is for those who know they have the personal network, tenacity, and clear plan to succeed selling Stella and Dot. You’re deep in the trenches of everyday style and fashion, you probably have a fashion blog, and you’re ready to take your career to the next level.
Every plan comes with:
- 50% off your first 30 days
- Your personal website
- Dottie, the easy-to-use business app
- Digital and printing marketing materials
- Online and in-person training
- Trunk Show display tools like a neck forms and tray
- Your New Stylist Workbook & more launch guides
Read up on the training
All Stella and Dot stylists receive access to excellent training that will show you exactly how to host trunk parties, find new clients and hosts, and close the sale.
Connect with other stylists in your area and the community
Many communities have regular meetups with other stylists so you can collaborate, and share your best practices.
Set your schedule and start hosting trunk shows.
When you’re ready to get started as a Stella and Dot Stylist, take a look at your calendar and start booking your first trunk shows.
Sign-up to be a Stella & Dot Stylist Today!