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O365

Office 365 Theme to Match Your Company Brand

Office 365 provides a fantastic set of tools for your business.  Out of the box it has a clean, modern look, with Microsoft’s trademark blue and black color scheme.  Tenant administrators can easily update the theme settings to match their company’s brand.

Log in to the Admin Center https://portal.office.com/adminportal/

Choose “Settings” > “Organizational Profile” in the left navigation, and then click “Edit” next to “Manage custom themes for your organization“.

ManageCustomThemes

Select custom logo image

Upload your company logo or another image.  It will appear in the center of the “suite bar” at the top of all your Office 365 browser applications.  The image must be in .jpg, .png, or .gif format.  It should be 200 X 30 pixels, and cannot be larger than 10 KB.

suitebarnew

Enter a URL that users can link to if they click on the custom logo image.  I recommend linking to the home page of a SharePoint intranet site, but you can put any URL here.

Select background image

You can also select a background image that will display in the suite bar across the top.  This image needs to be jpg, .png, or .gif format.   It can be a maximum of 1366 x 50 pixels and cannot be larger than 15 KB.

Preserve your theme settings tenant-wide

You can prevent users from overriding custom theming with their own theme by checking the box.  If you leave the box un-checked, that will allow users to set their own themes.

Set custom colors

You can set accent colors, navigation bar background, and colors of text, icons, and app the launcher icon.  You can enter hexadecimal codes, or RGB numbers directly if you know them (ask your Marketing department), or you can use a color slider/selector to pick the colors.

Display User Name

One of the newest settings, allows you to choose whether or not you want to show the logged in user’s full name near their profile picture. Simply turn this “On” or “Off” for all users.

showusername

It’s quick and easy to configure the theme settings and make your Office 365 environment feel like home!

Around the house, Cooking

My Steel Cut Obsession: Pineapple Upside-Down Oatmeal Surprise

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. I’m not a morning person, so it’s not easy to squeeze in breakfast most days. I get up with enough time to get ready, get everyone to school on time, and get out the door myself.  There’s no time to make breakfast.

We always have boxed cereal on hand, and a box or two of granola bars to grab and go. If I plan ahead, there may also be fresh berries, yogurt and granola for a quick parfait.  The kids get something for breakfast, but it’s not warm, delicious comfort food.

Then I discovered steel cut oats.berry-oatmeal

Steel cut oats isn’t the normal, mushy oat meal I grew up with. Don’t get me wrong, I like rolled oats…but I love steel cut oats! The warmth, creamy nutty flavor and texture had me hooked the first time I tried it! It’s a “stick to your ribs” type of breakfast that keeps you happy and full for a long time!

I’ve experimented with quite a few ways to prepare them (I’ll blog about that another day), but my favorite is making them on the stove top.

On the stove top

I start with almond milk.  I bring it to a boil and then stir in the oats.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Getting up 20 minutes early is worth it! (…or just save this meal for weekends) I follow the instructions on the box for proportions of milk/water to oats.

A small amount of oats goes a long way.
I use 1/4 cup oats for each cup of milk.

Then it’s time to get creative with toppings!

Sometimes I toss in apples and cinnamon, and other times fresh raspberries and blueberries.  The great thing about oatmeal – It goes great with anything! I add whatever I have on hand.

This morning I went to the pantry looking for canned peaches – I found pineapple slices. I knew I had maraschino cherries on hand…add a sprinkle of brown sugar and voila – pineapple upside down surprise oatmeal!

If you haven’t tried steel-cut oatmeal, you should!

Do you make steel cut oatmeal?
How do you prepare yours?
What do you like to top it with?

Around the house, Just Stuff

The Magic Formula for Successful New Year’s Resolutions – Four Key Ingredients for a “Keepable” Resolution 

felicia As each year comes to and end, we often find ourselves discussing resolutions for the new year.  I tend to make my “resolutions” year round, so January 1st isn’t a big deal in my book, but I always enjoy thinking about and planning ways to make the world a better place, and I enjoy hearing everyone around me plan and dream as well.

I have realized, over the years, in order to successfully keep my resolutions, they have to be keepable. (I may have made that word up.) It’s fairly simple. There are four key “ingredients” in all my successful resolutions…

What makes a resolution “keepable”?

First, a resolution should be something important to you. If it’s important to you, it’s easier to be motivated to stick with it.  It should be something you want to do, or need to do…for you.  That’s not saying that the intent of a resolution can’t be doing something for someone else, it definitely can be! The outcome should be important to you.  Seeing the joy your actions bring others, is sometimes the best outcome of all!

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Weekly Meal Plans – It’s important to me that I make healthy meals for my family

Second, it should be something you can actually do. It should be a goal you can reach with a reasonable amount of effort.  It doesn’t have to be some huge, earth-shattering, overwhelming big deal.  A resolution can be something small, or a handful of small things. If you can break a large resolution down into several smaller ones, do it! I like being able to “check” boxes when I complete things. It feels great when you reach your goal and fulfill your resolution.


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7000 steps/day

It should be measureable.  I do better with my resolutions if I can tell I’m making progress toward my goal.  Some resolutions lend themselves to counting your progress in numbers.  This isn’t always the case, but even “soft numbers” are good here. Whatever you’re dealing with, you should be able to tell you are making progress.


It should be maintainable. Some resolutions may be complete when you finish a task or reach a specific goal, but many resolutions help develop good habits, and become a way of life.  I enjoy knowing that I can maintain those resolutions, and they become part of who I am, and will continue throughout life.

Great Smoky Mountains
Spend more time outdoors – Log 30 minutes each week on walks or hikes outside

How have I done with resolutions in the past?

I have had success and, of course, some failures.  Failures always help to keep me humble and challenge me to try again.  Sometimes a failure is a good reason to evaluate my goals and really decide if I want to try again, or move on to something else.  There’s no shame in reevaluating and switching gears!

My Failures:

I have resolved to learn to play guitar 3 or 4 times in the past…and each time, I got a couple months into practicing, and realized I’d rather be spending my time doing something else. Playing the guitar dropped off the priority list, and that’s completely okay. (I think it failed because it really wasn’t that important to me)

There are probably a few more, but I resolved to focus on the positive…so lets just jump to that!

My Successes:

In February of 2015, I resolved to be more “green” and lessen my carbon footprint.  I worked at a company that had a cafeteria employees could purchase breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the workday.  They served all their meals in Styrofoam “clamshell” containers.  I ate lunch there 3 times per week.  I was going to use foam containers and plastic cutlery 3 days a week for 52 weeks a year.  I resolved to be more green.  I bought a plastic tray from a thrift store, brought in my own silverware and cloth napkins. That’s 156 foam trays and plastic forks and napkins that WON’T be going into a landfill because of me.

In addition to reducing the disposable items I used, I also inspired other people to do the same.  Although I don’t know how many people stuck with it, I always had people ask about the tray…and it started the conversation on how and why I was doing my small part to save the earth.  Setting an example with my own resolution made an impact on others to do the same.

Why was this a success?

  • First, being environmentally responsible is important to me.
  • Using a tray, my own silverware and cloth napkins is something I can do without much extra effort
  • I can count that 156 containers are not going into a landfill because of me
  • I am able to maintain those green practices.  I even use cloth napkins at home more too!

My Next Resolution:

Weekly meal planning and scheduling is my new resolution. 

I live a busy life.  (That may be an understatement)  It is difficult to juggle household tasks, work, personal activities and activities of three busy kids and a bunch of pets.  Time keeps ticking and things need to get done.  We all get where we need to go (on time most of the time), everyone has clean clothes and everyone gets fed.  Schoolwork gets done, carpets get vacuumed, dishes get washed.  Everything seems to work out, albeit with a bit of chaos.  That chaos leaves me a bit stressed.

Last summer, on a Sunday afternoon, I sat down with a calendar and wrote out all the upcoming activities for the week.  I took a look and figured out when I could fit some meals in.  Wednesdays I would work from home, make dinner promptly at 4PM and eat by 4:20 so we could be out the door by 4:45 for whatever activity started at 5PM that night.  The summer was a blur. Thursdays would be leftovers from the day before.  I planned cereal and yogurt parfaits for breakfasts, sandwiches and salads for lunches, etc.  I mapped out all the meals for the week and made a grocery shopping list…and went shopping.

It was one of the busiest weeks of the summer…and ended up being one of the LEAST stressful ones.  Everything was planned, and everything was scheduled.  I planned in some “backups” if plans changed…everything went smoothly.  I didn’t have to stress about what we were going to eat, or who had to be where, when…it was all planned out, written down and I didn’t have to think about it.  IT WAS AWESOME.  So yeah…I want to do that again.  What if I did that every week?  How much more smoothly would life go?

It’s important to me that I reduce some stress.  It’s important to me that I can plan healthy meals for my family.  I’ve done it before, so I know I’m capable of it!  I may not be able to count units of stress, but I’ll definitely be able to feel the impact…and I can count the weeks or days that I plan if I want to.  I’m also sure that I will waste less food and I won’t need to grab convenience foods as often.  That will have a measurable impact on my pocket book too!  If I can do it on a regular basis and make it a good habit and part of my life, I can maintain it and improve the quality of life for my whole family.

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My family – They are the important reason behind most things I do!

I can do it!  I’m looking forward to it!  I will let you know how it goes!

What are you resolving to do?!  I’d love to hear about it!

O365, SharePoint Sites

SharePoint Super-Secret Site Template

You’ve added apps and pages, you’ve laid things out just how you want them. You’ve toiled for hours. You’ve created the perfect site! You are ready to create your site template so you can stamp it out for all your sites and save yourself some time.

Simple, right!?!

Create a Site Template

  1. Go to the site which you want to use as a template.
  2. Click the “gear” and click “Site Settings” (or, “site information” and then access advanced site settings from there)
  3. You’re looking for “Save site as template”

…but it’s not there? Where did it go?

“Save as site template” is missing! AAAAAHH!!!

 

shark
Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as your curling team’s encounter with JAWS!

 

Chances are you have publishing features active on the site collection. The “save site as template” link may be gone, but you can still access the functionality if you really need to. This is where the “super-secret” (well, not really*) site template link comes in.

*It’s not really a secret…you can probably find this info in at least a hundred blogs out there already. I just decided to save myself some time and put it in my own blog so I don’t have to search next time I need to do it.

Create a Site Template – Take 2

  1. Go to the site which you want to use as a template.
  2. Click the “gear” and click “Site Settings” (or, “site information” and then access advanced site settings from there)
  3. Publishing features are active on the site collection, so you will need to proceed to the save template link by entering it at the end of the URL manually.**

Simply copy and paste /_layouts/15/savetmpl.aspx as the end of the site URL once you are on the site you want to make into a template.

https://hkbetz24.sharepoint.com/XXX-XXX/_layouts/15/savetmpl.aspx (where XXX-XXX is the specific site or subsite string)

For example, the URL will look like this if you want to make a template out of the Products site: https://hkbetz24.sharepoint.com/sites/products/_layouts/15/savetmpl.aspx

  1. Complete the following items:
    1. File Name (avoid using spaces or special characters)
    2. Template name (what your admin users will choose from when creating a new site)
    3. Template description
    4. Include Content (y/n) (This is helpful if you have documents or files you want included with every site)
  2. Click “OK”
  3. The new site will be created

**If publishing features are not active, a link to “Save Site as Template” will be visible on the “Site Settings” page.


Note: I’m writing this with O365 SharePoint in mind, but you can do the same thing for other versions of SharePoint.  ” /_layouts/15/savetmpl.aspx ” for SharePoint 2013, 2016 and online. For SharePoint 2010 its simply /_layouts/savetmpl.aspx”.

Also note: I’ve run into some people who use this a lot, and others who like to steer away from site templates completely when using SharePoint Online.  That’s a discussion for another day. 🙂

 

Just Stuff

Hello Busy World

Me

A Single Step

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu

Like many others, when asked how I am, my reply is typically something that includes the word “busy”.  Busy, hectic, crazy and  overwhelming are sometimes the best ways to describe life these days. Managing a household with three kids, two dogs and a flock of chickens can be all those things. Taking a step back, however, I could also say I’m active, lively, involved and engaged.  Those, more positive words, are how I prefer to view life.

That being said, and because I’m engaged in an active, already fulfilling lifestyle, I need to prioritize the new things I add to my life.  …which leads me to the blog dilemma: To blog or not to blog, that is the question…to which the answer, whether I have the time or not, is “yes”.

Yes, because I enjoy writing.  Yes, because I enjoy sharing. Yes, because I enjoy helping people. …and yes, because I have to do it for work. 😛

So here it is, my first step in a journey to share, learn and grow…my new ‘hello world’ adventure, where I’ll share experiences, tips and tricks about SharePoint, O365 and other techy stuff, stories about my family and backyard chicken projects, and maybe I’ll even throw a few yoga poses in for kicks.

I do not know where each step in this journey will take me, but I’m excited find out! I hope that you will join me.