Archive for October, 2010

Seth Says: Don’t Freak Out

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Such good advice from Seth Godin today, I had to post a quote. This is the end of his Halloween blog post:

My take: Marketing home runs usually happen because the market/tribe/community is itching for a void to be filled, not because a marketer committed some brilliant act of promotion or pricing. The art, then, is to pick your niche, not to freak out about how to yell about it. You can’t make a perfect storm, but you can find one.

 

 

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Adding Trick to Your Treat

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

After living in the South for a while, I noticed most social events seem to include a cocktail.  Not one to rock the boat (cough-cough) I decided it was best to fully embrace this tradition.  Here are three tested recipes:

Blood Thirsty Cocktail

From O, The Oprah Magazine

Servings: Makes 1
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 ounce blood orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime sour
  • 2 ounces tequila
Directions
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a plastic vampire bat.
Notes:  The blood orange is the star of this drink.  Perfect color and something out of the ordinary for your guests.

Pina Ghoulada

From Martha Stewart Living

Serves 10 to 12

For the “Blood”

  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoons red food coloring
For the Drink
  • 20 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 10 ounces good-quality rum

Directions

1. Pour the corn syrup in a shallow bowl. Dip a toothpick into the food coloring, and stir a very small amount into the syrup to combine. Hold a glass by the stem, dip rim into the syrup mixture, and turn glass, coating entire rim. Turn the glass upright, allowing mixture to drip down sides. Dip the remaining glasses. Set aside.

2. Whisk together drink ingredients. Place 2 1/2 cups ice in a blender, and add 1 cup drink mixture. Blend until smooth; add more pineapple juice if mixture is too thick. Repeat with remaining ice and mixture. Carefully pour into prepared glasses; serve.
Notes:  The best part of this drink is the rimmed “blood”.  It’s an easy application I’d add to any sweet drink!  Green, purple or orange would be fun too.

Screwed-Up Driver

From Martha Stewart Living

Serves 1

1/4 cup ice

1/2 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice

1 1/2 ounces black vodka

1 black licorice twist, for serving

Place ice in a tall glass. Pour juice into glass. Pour vodka over the back of a cocktail spoon into glass so it sits on top of juice and creates a layer of black. Slice 1/4 inch off each end of licorice, and use as a straw. Serve immediately.

Notes:  You have to be careful when pouring the vodka over the spoon, but it does work!  Also, you need some kind of straw so you’re not mixing up the drink every time you toss it back.  I used a garnish of tangerine, but it doesn’t provide a practical function like the licorice.

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Getting Unstuck

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Jackie is the Timon my Pumbaa. Yes, I realize in this scenario I am a warthog.

My coach, Jackie, does a great exercise to help me get un-stuck.  We’ve used it so many times recently to solve problems, I had to share it with you.  Here’s how it goes – simplified, of course.

Me:  Jackie, I don’t know what to do!  I can’t figure out how to tie my shoes.

Jackie:  Hmmmmm.  Tying your shoes is difficult.

Me:  I know!  How anyone ties their shoes everyday is beyond me.

Jackie:  OK, how would you tie your shoes in the future?  Like 5 years from now?

Me:  Oh, well, by then I would be an expert at tying my shoes.   I’d make the loops with ease.  Pull just the right amount.  I’d never even need to double knot!

Jackie:  Then THAT is what you should do NOW.

Me:  <Slaps hand on forehead and nods vigorously.>

Do you see what Jackie has so gracefully done?  Taken me out of the nitty-gritty of the now and elevated me to the goal in the future.  Helped me visualize what’s possible.  REMOVED THE LIMIT.

Try this exercise yourself and removed your self-imposed limits.  I personally guarantee results.  Great ones.

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Giants in Lifestyle

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Lifestyle advertising has been top of mind.  Rather than discuss its many virtues, lets start out with some examples.

First, the current queen of the genre, Kate Spade:

From the original preppy catalog turned conveyor of cool, J. Crew:

You knew they invented the lifestyle ad, but did you know they could make it work for paint?  I give you the masters – Ralph Lauren:

And not just for luxury brands, they make their images not only beautiful, but attainable.  The one and only, Target:

As I’m collecting ideas I’d love to hear yours.  Favorite blogs?  Ad layouts that won’t leave your head?  Magazine spreads you’ve kept for years?  I want to see them all.

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You’re So Vain

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Carley Simon had me pegged.

Checking your blog stats is a vanity move.  Really, terribly, inexcusably, vain.

That being said, I check mine all the time.  How many hits today?  How many hits on that one post?  Where did the site visits come from?  Was there a comment?  Was the comment from my Mom?  Do I feel badly because I didn’t get more visits today than I did yesterday?

The immediate feedback and validation is what makes it fun. Watching the number go up, getting comments or a reply on Twitter provides instant endorphins.  (No, I can’t scientifically prove this, but trust me, its true.)

I’m not sure how important the readership on this blog is to starting a business.  I know its important.  But I almost feel like I just need to keep doing it regardless of the results.  Having the backstory public will be very useful once I have the bag launched.  It will let people know who I am – not just what the bag is all about.

So I’m going to keep on telling the story.  Putting it out there.  Hoping for the best no matter how many people read about it.  Oh, and right after I publish this I’m checking to see if you read it.  Yep, I’m so vain.

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It’s Called Lavish – Sign Me Up

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Recently I discovered an exciting new conference – Lavish!  It’s for the “lifestyle social networker” – and if you aren’t one of those already, I’d be surprised.  It takes place in Atlanta from December 10th through the 12th.  After reviewing the sessions, I’ve already picked out a few bloggers I’ll be following:

  • Lucky + Lovely is a beautiful design blog run by Melanie Carter.  It covers everything from fashion, to paper to weddings.   Once I found her Colorful Palette section she had me hooked.
  • Johnica Reed is a travel and lifestyle writer.  The front page of her site drew me in with three beautiful leather bags. Check out her features articles to find your next vacation destination.
  • Besides having the same name as my best friend, Kelley Moore is a design expert.  Also, she just announced she’s going to have a new show on HGTV!  Now you can say you knew her when.
  • Tami Hardeman is the lover of food behind Running with Tweezers.  She has somehow managed to make her food look delicious and gorgeous all at once.  I was throughly impressed.

I’m working with my schedule to see if I can attend.  Let me know if you’re going!  Looks like a blogger blast.

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Cute Halloween

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

This year I was looking for Halloween decor that reflected our daughter’s age – a year and half.  Nothing scary, gruesome or dark.  And it wouldn’t hurt if it had pink either.

I started out with some natural elements.  Mums and pumpkins were a must have.  Then I added petunias because luckily the weather is warm enough so they can survive the month of October.  Plus they were the right color pink.

Better Homes & Gardens had a wonderful Halloween issue this year.  It has ideas for all ages including a Monster Madness Halloween Party for Kids.  I was especially enamored with the cute monsters they put behind glass cabinets.

Those monsters were great! But mine needed to survive outdoors. So I turned to the force that holds the universe together – duct tape. I found a product with all the right colors – Duck Brand.

This heavy-duty yet colorful tape (it comes in colors like Funky Flamingo and Island Lime) allowed me to create a gallery of cute monsters for my porch.  Each was hung with dental floss – it seems to hold the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll be handing out treats to match the color palate suggested by Better Homes & Garden - orange, pink, aqua and green. Trick-or-Treaters will get Wonka candy and glo-stick bracelets.

If you’re in my neighborhood, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble finding my house so  stop by for a treat and a picture with your favorite monster. If you’re not, send me some photos of your decor! I’d love to see how you’re celebrating.

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I Spell Task B-A-R-F

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

You did something you don't like, what do you want, a cookie?

“Our coaching calls definitely take on one of two forms,” Jackie said to me after we finished our meeting tonight.  ”The first kind,” she continued, ” is the big thinking, big breakthrough kind.  The second type is more of what we had tonight.  Task oriented.”

Sounds thrilling, right?  Task oriented.  Barf.  I even dislike opening Numbers (the Apple version of Excel) sometimes because I know there’s a list of tasks in that program.

Jackie elaborated further, “Your voice even sounds different on these types of calls.  You really plow through it.”

As she said it, I realized there was even a crick in my neck from literally having my head down.  I was going through every task on the Big List, giving Jackie a status update and talking about the due date.  After we were done reviewing all my goals, Jackie gave me her input and I made some notes.

For all my ill will towards “task orientation” I feel great after these calls.  Having a coach as a sounding board keeps me focused, accountable and moving forward.  It makes me organized.  It makes me good at being detailed person when its not a natural strength.

I also feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing exactly where I am in every part of my business.  Its like the feeling you have when you dread getting off the couch to workout, but when you’re sweating and finished you feel awesome for doing it.

Who’s the person keeping you accountable?  How do you get the things done you don’t like to do?  And what’s the reward?  Please share any tactics you find valuable – I’m sure they will be for others as well.

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