Thursday, June 28, 2012

Facebook Changed Your Email?? So What, Who Cares?

I feel a little conflicted having a stance on this as I definitely have bigger issues with my privacy than I used to. After I got skimmed and had over $1400 taken from me, I am a lot more paranoid with how I go about my business and my day.

I noticed actually, they changed my email to a Facebook one a couple of months ago. What I don't understand is the dramatic uprising over this. Yes, I am sure that they probably should have made mention but come on, what is the big deal? This way if someone wants to contact you, they can safely do it via Facebook. Surely all the crap that you post on there in the first place can't be any worse or less private than a random Facebook inbox message??

I don't want to alarm anyone but this morning I noticed that they have added a written notification of which page you are posting to-



Oh no! They are trying to make my experience a little more convenient. Why didn't anyone tell me??


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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Nora Ephron Shaped My 20 and 30's

As I am in my mid late thirties, its is starting to get quite apparent the reason why I am feeling instant immense sadness when I hear of certain movie star passings. Gone are the days where I was like, yikes...sad, but, he was old wasn't he?? It is now become a time when the people that I have grown to respect or admire are slowly leaving this world. I absolutely don't count the overdoses and dumb asses that have cheated themselves and us of a greater future together...but it is the people that either have had a disease or simply died of natural causes that have lately shaken me to the core.

Tonight, for instance, Nora Ephron has passed. A women in just in her 70th year was someone whose vision became the foundation for the movies that changed a lot about the way I see the world. Who doesn't have a Harry in their life? Who didn't watch You Got Mail with such a sense of love for the city of New York? I was also forever altered during this movie when it was so eloquently described in a few words what it feels like to lose a parent.

This scene changed me:

Kathleen-


It’s coming on Christmas. They’re cutting down trees. Do you know that Joni Mitchell song? “I wish I had a river I could skate away on”. Such a sad song! And not really about Christmas at all, but I was thinking about it tonight as I was decorating my Christmas tree, unwrapping funky ornaments made of Popsicle sticks, and missing my mother so much I almost couldn’t breathe. 


And finally, Julie and Juila...a blogger's forever dream.  


Thank you Nora for your mark that you left in my life and many others. 


Photo:ABC News

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I Now Pronounce You Avocado and WIfe

I never liked guacamole...it wasn't till my fifth food group in the early 2000's became a Mexican restaurant that me and my friend Megan used to frequent live at. Somewhere along the line I tried this guacamole thing you speak of and I fell in love. I quickly learned that there was something to be said about fresh guac, compared to the nasty processed one and always found ways to be near the freshest kind  A couple of years ago, a friend of mine gave me a recipe to take on for my very own and a love affair was born. 

This avocado had so many things that I could do with it! I could make my guac, I could add it to an amazing kale saladbut what else? Tonight, I found a great new recipe for dinner via Tasty Kitchen email-Sweet Pulled Pork Tacos, and it came with a really yummy Avocado Cream Sauce-something that sounds good to me, but would make my person turn his nose up with disdain. 

So, even though using green onions was new, I had to get a little more creative. I took the recipe and doubled the garlic and the salt and added some fresh corn...and holy cow-a new awesomeness was born!! Enjoy! 


PS-My person devoured and had seconds! Score! 

4 whole Green Onions, Sliced
2 whole Avocados
4 Tablespoons Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
¼ cups Snipped Cilantro
8 cloves Minced Garlic
2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 can of corn or one ear of fresh (cooked)


Creamy Awesomeness

With the Pork, some lettuce and cheese




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Saturday, June 23, 2012

This is Business, not Personal


From the Godfather-
Tom Hagen: Your father wouldn't want to hear this, Sonny. This is business not personal. 
Sonny: They shoot my father and it's business, my ass! 
Tom Hagen: Even shooting your father was business not personal, Sonny! 


Confession: Where I first heard this quote-You Got Mail




Joe Fox: It wasn't... personal. 
Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's *personal* to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway? 


There is an immense sense of autonomy when you have your own business, you literally get to make any rule you want. Even almost two years later, I can't believe that I really have that power. Except that whole paying taxes thing, I can make and break any rule for my business that I choose. It could be get so arrogant and narcissistic in a blink of an eye, I could wake up today and decide that I don't want to work on Wednesday and wave the magic self-employed wand and my clients will know I shall not be bothered on any day that begins with W. 


But in all seriousness, when you begin your self employment, you do have to figure and lay out how your business is managed. One of the main things is how you wish to bill and how you wish to be paid...As someone who got paid on what she collected and not what she billed for fifteen years, I prefer to get cash up front or payment due upon receipt. I also have to keep in mind that the work that I do is creative and if I am not paid I worked for free that month. 


So, I bill on the first and my clients thankfully send out their payment within the first ten days of the month. I do have some clients that have me paid timely and methodically towards the end of the month and I don't really mind that because it comes without incident every single time and gives me a little spending padding towards mid to end month. In other words, I don't have to chase it. My other policy is that I send a friendly reminder to the non payers at the 15th of the month. I usually go to Quickbooks and resend their invoice but I change the email message to say This is an automated mid month reminder to notify you that as of today, this invoice has not been paid. 


I struggle with the guilt associated with this reminder with some of my clients. I have no idea why this is a sensitive spot for me...I worked hard and I deserved to be paid. I guess I feel a little stupid taking the time to remind someone that this bill must be paid. It is also a little annoying to constantly remind the same people. Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off asking for a credit card and auto billing each month, but would I include a 3% fee to not lose any money?? 

What are some of the no fail collecting tips that work for you??

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Friday, June 22, 2012

I Survived My First 5K



I started running in April right after I conquered a long battle of weight gain due to the medicine I was taking due for my headaches due to life saving surgery...it is a long story...I wish I could say that I was eating bon bons and this is what happened but that wasn't the case. Let me tell you, for someone who used to go home in Junior High crying because I was being made fun of due to my gangliness...buying sweaters to cover up my arms and physically hiding behind people because I didn't want my fat ass in any pictures was a tough terrible pill to swallow. I went on the HGC drops, dieted for the first time in my life and was insanely conscious of what was going in and out of my mouth. End result, 20 lbs and 1-2 pant sizes...which is ALSO very annoying to complain about that I have all these great LOFT jeans that are falling off me...white girl problems, huh? 

One of my girlfriends and I were talking and said that she got the best results from working out after the drops...I am also not a fan of the workout..although I dabble in yoga, the fact of going to the gym makes me a little queasy. When I hadn't had to, it wasn't something that I grew up doing or liking. But, when my Junior League did a 5K and I looked at these GORGEOUS bodies and adorable running clothes I thought maybe this was something I could try to see if I liked. Pretty funny that something so shallow got me motivated, but I also was attracted to the fact that I could use music to motivate which is something I do every day. 

So, I have been running by myself every other day. It is a slow climb but I am working on it and then a 5K Fun Run was being hosted by my client and benefitted an organization that I am passionate about so I said why not? There was a running group that I joined on Facebook for stalking purposes only-I am a true Lurker but when I saw that they were running it, it motivated me to give it a shot! 

Guess what?? I didn't die! I wasn't fast and I just started walking properly for the first time in three days but I. DID. IT, I am thankful for the immense, crazy, inspiring encouragement that I have been receiving on Facebook and in person at the run. It is unbelievable. I can't wait for the next one!!


People Signing Up for the Run
I think I took this by mistake, but it is funny! 
Damn That Bridge, I would have done so much better!
My friend Amy and I before the run, all smiles

After! We did It! 


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Saturday, June 16, 2012

When Ex Employees Take Their Anger To Social Media

As you know, I own a social media marketing company...the easy definition is I maintain and manage business page profiles on Facebook...but,that is such a very small piece of the pie. A good part of my week is spent monitoring online reviews on sources like Yelp, Google Places and Urban Spoon. As you have heard me talk about here and here I am amazed at the crazy stuff that people write. I thought I would share the very best reason why you or someone you hire should be on top, across and all over your online reviews at minimum once a day. Found this gem on one of my restaurants-

Looks are decieving! Seems like Ok reastaurant , but Dinners be aware a bad cook brings down a whole reastarant . You kbow the type that drops food on floor an still uses it, an be careful If u order a Venison burger , it might be just Reg Beef! Although they have good Sushi. If theres a cook named Joe working there, u wont catch my Family back in there. Very Disapointed!


Besides being horrified at his spelling, I saw a red flag-this is clearly an ex employee. Sure enough, Nick S. was fired at said restaurant last week. So as a gentle reminder, please make sure that you check your reviews on all sources and sites daily. Put it on your calendar as a reminder, if you have to! Or you can always hire someone! From a legal perspective, I asked my lawyer buddy and he said that Yelp should take it down (they did after I flagged it) but the restaurant could seek slander charges if they wanted to...but really, who would take the time?  
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Trendy Testimonial-Like Candles?? Great Opp for Bloggers!


I am so glad to have found a great new blogger friend in NYC Talon. She turned me on to this fun opportunity with Diamond Candles!! 


Diamond Candles ~ A Ring In Every Candle ~ Review & Giveaway Campaign-More Info Here

Open to the first 100 Bloggers. Once the list has been approved by the Diamond Candles Company, I'll ask you to confirm your mailing address for the candles to be mailed to you.

The reviews and giveaways are asked to be completed within 30 days of your receipt of the product from the Diamond Candles Company.

You can use this product review and giveaway either as your only-blog giveaway or enjoy this opportunity for your blog hops and blog campaigns. Sound cool?? Click here for more info! 


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Sunday, June 10, 2012

How to Share The Love While Blogging


They call it social media for a reason. Whatever the reason you start your blog, it does give you a little encouragement when someone actually reads it. I know that there are times where I would like to take my most intimate thoughts and put it into a blog for my eyes only, but for the most part what you write on these channels it is meant to be shared with the world. If you are a crazy marketer like some people, ahem...you try to figure out ways to get your blog out there and get people to read it and comment on your thoughtful prose. Aside from stalking your analytics, it sure is nice to know that people are reading and liking your thoughts, wit and prattle through the comments that they leave under each post. My friend Nada, the fabulous BeautyMommy and I were talking about this the other day...what is the best wayto get people to comment on your blog? As most of our meetings end, I ran away inspired to conquer the world with some good ideas.

Some things her and I are gonna try to get those comments and page views up:


Enlist A Buddy or A Mentor-Like I mentioned, having a fellow blogger will encourage you to blog more. Especially if you get their blogs in your email, (use Feedburner) which has become my favorite way to read a blog. The ease of it in your email really works for me. People like Nada and Kimberly Wilson make me accountable to blog more because they are so good at doing it everyday...with an endless stream of ideas to boot. Of course you don't need to know them personally but it helps!


Pay it Forward-Anytime you read a blog that you like, why not leave a comment and make their day. You could also share their article with your social media or shout them out on Twitter so they can get some love. I am sure it will come back to you triple fold.


Concentrate on 25 Blogs-This is an idea that Nada came up with that I am STAHHHHHEEEEALING! Take a couple of blogs that you really like and stalk focus on them, always commenting and retweeting and being their biggest fan. Make sure you are genuine and I bet it will build some reciprocity.


Join a Network-There are some great networks that I have found that have your best interests in mind-organic and honest ways to find new blogs, engage with others and increase your comments and readership. My two favorites-The SITS Girls and NaBloPoMo (BlogHer). All Things Fadra's Stream of Consciousness Sunday (SOC) whose weekly feature is also becoming a favorite.


Get Your Butt on Twitter-Hands down-there is no better love fest than Twitter. Surround (follow) yourself with like minded individuals that will support and comment and share and cheer everything you do.

What are some other ways that you can share the love while Blogging?
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Hi, I am a Secret Blogger

This is my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
#SOCsunday


Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
Link up your post below.Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.










Do you have a secret blogging life? Are you connected to your “real life” friends and family through social media? How does that affect your writing?


For the second week in a row, this topic hits home! You are scaring me! My business is a social media marketing company called Little Blog Dressin Daytona Beach, FL-it is a little deceiving-first, I am not a dressmaker, and I don't only just blog. But when I break it down to people that can wrap their head (or give a hoot) of what I do-I describe that it is almost like I have two jobs (lives)...Little Blog Dress is my company that pays the bills providing social media for your business through Facebook, Twitter, Online Reviews and Blogs. Me, Inc. starts at 5p...or sometimes at 5a when I wake up and well, lets be honest-when I get sidetracked throughout the day where I write on The Little Blog Dress-a blog about social media, career and healthy eating that is pink and fluffy and for women. 


I live in Central Florida which is lately not known for much more than Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin...there is not a ton of interest on growing social media trends. A handful, and I mean less than a dozen residents in my immediate area even has a presence on Twitter. My boyfriend's cousin always asks me if I am still doing that internet thing. To even talk about my blog brings daze and confusion to all who listen. Why do you do it? Do you make money? are the questions that come up.


So, I take it to Twitter and networks like SOC to build it and brand it and set goals to figure out where I want to take this little project of mine. I guess when I get a good contribution opportunity, I can show it to the non bloggers/believers and say SEE this is what I have been doing. Regardless, my blog and writing brings me an eternal joy, a network of amazing people and a sense of worth that little else does. 
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vote for Little Blog Dress Media News Journal Reader's Choice For Social Media

Little Blog Dress currently is the 2011 Reader's Choice for the Daytona Beach News Journal in Social Media...pretty cool stuff, huh? I would love if you vote for me again by clicking here and scrolling down to Goods and Services on the right hand side and fill in that little line that says Social Media. Thank you!


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Monday, June 4, 2012

SOC-Graduation Day

What happens when you are reminded of your teen years? Happy? Jealous? Feelings of bitterness or regret?


#SOCsundayThis was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
Link up your post below.
      Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

This prompt couldn't have come at a better time. This weekend my niece graduated high school...twenty one years later in the exact same spot that I walked across the stage. I was insanely emotional during the entire process. I have been thinking a lot about what I wished I would have known when I had that day in the sun. I wish I would have known that I would never forget that day and all the days that followed. I wish I knew that no matter what was the issue, I would have the strength to get through it. I wish I would have known that my closest friend that day would still be the person I talked to once a week. It was a period of growth for me during this time, and I am thankful for all that molded me. I am happy to be reminded of my teen years because thankfully the relationships I had that day still are so important to me....my boyfriend at the time, is still a dear friend and the boy who was part of our crowd and social circle is the man I have loved with all my heart for the past seven years. I can understand why this time would cause some anxiety but to me, they were the best of times. 




My niece and my beau and I at graduation

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Why you MUST use Facebook new Admin Roles Feature

Facebook finally added the ability to assign roles to their business page administrators yesterday. This is a feature that is long overdue. Many businesses do not think of the potential hazard of everyone having the same authority as admins on Facebook. Before this feature was rolled out,  if you had an employee that was an admin on your Facebook that was fired or left in a disgruntled manner- they could with a few clicks of a button X you right out of your own business Facebook page and take it hostage. I have seen it happen. I am sure that there is a law here but there is some not nice people out there that could have quite a time with the control of a page of the company who just screwed them.

Please, stop what you are doing and go to your Facebook business page and make the necessary measures to keep your Facebook page safe.

Click to Enlarge


There are now five levels-

Manager-You can manage admin roles, send messages and create posts as the Page, create ads, and view insights.

Content Creator- You can edit the Page, send messages and create posts as the Page, create ads, and view insights.

Moderator-You can respond to and delete comments on the Page, send messages as the Page, create ads, and view insights.

Advertiser- You can create ads and view insights.

Insights Analyst-You can view insights.

Click here for more detail from Facebook describing these roles.

How to Change Admin Roles on your Facebook Business Page
  • Go to your Facebook Business Page
  • Go to Edit Page
  • Click on Admin Roles
  • Go through each Admin and put them in their appropriate role as described above
  • Click Save
  • Type in YOUR password that you use to log in to your Facebook account





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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Skinny and Clean-Canning Tomatoes

My boyfriend's family (mom, aunts and uncles) are off the boat Italian. It is really neat because obviously the food is beyond but the traditions remind me of my dad and growing up in an Italian family. I am very thankful. It is not a stereotype when they want you to eat. A couple of weeks ago, I had a stomach virus with no appetite and that didn't go over very well with the ladies!!

One of my favorite parts of our meals is the instant brushetta that Aunt Dora makes and when I asked her about it, she said that she cans the tomatoes and the next time that she does it she would let me know and I could help. Admission-I hate raw tomatoes but this process will make a salsa, bruschetta, a mean sauce, bloody mary's etc.

Mother's Day weekend is when the tomatoes are at its best and we bought two cases of tomatoes.

We had to lay them out for almost two weeks for
them to ripen! 
Washing

Blanch Cooking so the skin will come off
 
 Cooling off before peeling

Pretty!! 


Jar Stuffing
Finished Product





Putting the tops on...





Sealing







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Friday, June 1, 2012

Is Being A Childless Blogger A Curse?

I am starting to get a little anxious....no, not because I am mid, sigh late thirties and we haven't gotten around to having babies yet..that is another story for another bottle of wine.

I am getting a little worried because I am not a mommy blogger. I have what I think is a blogging niche...women in business, career advice, crazy soapbox rants and a little social media, but is that enough??

This panic started last summer with IVillage. I am in awe of IVillage because of my love of all that is NBC (for starters) but it is completely mommy driven. They said no, no they were looking for non mommy bloggers...and even when I auditioned for IVoices and I made it through a round or two...they only picked mostly mommy bloggers. My video wasn't that good, fairly but I was really surprised that I think only one girl was not with children, and they picked a dad. I am just so bummed because I love their platform and I know if only I could plop out a child I would be so great for them,

So, that turned me on to Blogher who is such a cool community of like minded individuals. I love their site and their network and how cool and massive yet warm and fuzzy their organization is. I can't wait and I mean this with a thousand billion exclamation points to go to BlogHer12 but I keep looking through the people attending dying to find a non mommy blogger to connect with there and I am coming up a little empty.

But is that rude? Anyone who is a non Mommy blogger please DM me #blogher12 does not seem like an ideal Tweet.  That is what I am terrified of, I don't want anyone to judge me because I have what I think to be a valid concern. I do want to connect with like minded individuals regardless of their niche. Because I know that they will understand why I blog and don't ask me am I still doing that internet thing...(wrinkle up your nose and make the face, for the full effect). How I wish I had children, because I would have so much fun blogging about them!

I am really excited to sit in on Live from the 205's Kim Trimble's Room of Your Own/Table for One-she will be speaking on (from the BlogHer website) -the underrepresented childless blogger and why PR firms and blogging groups seem to focus on mommy or daddy bloggers for the juicy deals and sponsorships. Ding Ding Ding. Can't. Freaking. Wait.

I have a voice, I have a niche and I have a soapbox but I don't have a child and I am starting to get a little nervous! I know there are a ton of non mommertons out there, but when it comes to connecting with a network, am I just out of luck? Will I be out of place?

Any advice? and PS Mommy or Not- if you are going to Blogher12 and want to connect-add me on Twitter and lets make a plan!

What Would Carrie Do?

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