Let's Talk About Shoes

Thursday, July 24, 2014


From a very young age, I've been hard on shoes. I was never the kid who could keep shoes for years and years because by the end of the summer (usually) they had holes in them or the soles were coming off.

This is still the same as an adult. I am extraordinary hard on shoes. I'm not quite sure why...because I don't consider myself to be a heavy walker and I don't drag my feet or anything...but it seems like every other week I'm having to throw away a pair of shoes that have already been superglued at least once and are falling apart.

The other caveat to my shoe woes is that I have A LOT of shoes. Like...perhaps around 70 pairs. Lots of my shoes are not worn very frequently because they may be...oh...sequined gold 4 inch pumps...or peach jelly ballet flats with appliques on them. (i.e. they don't go with most outfits and/or occasions) Lately, I've been trying to buy more shoes that are either neutral in color or will go with lots of outfits, like black, nude, etc. However, because I wear these shoes the most, they often fall apart quicker and have to be replaced more often.

I know what y'all are going to say. April, spend a little more money on nicer shoes that you don't have to replace all the time. And my reply to that is my little bargain-loving heart might stop if I pay more than $40 for a pair of shoes. Literally, it might. I can't fathom it. But I'm also growing tired of my shoes and feel that there are a lot of my own that should be tossed. Maybe if I toss out the ones that are worn and give away the ones that I don't wear, I'll have a better idea of what I need to replace or purchase??

I used to be known as the girl who always had the cutest shoes. They may have been insanely uncomfortable, but they were dang cute! The older I get, I'm more likely to substitute comfort for style, but I still want to be the girl with cute shoes! However, the shoes I mainly wear now (for the most part) are frumpy shoes. It doesn't make my heart happy to wear ugly or boring shoes.

This post doesn't really have a resolution...I'm just sharing what's on my mind. What are your shoe woes? Do you have any tips for transitioning your shoe-drobe (wardrobe of shoes) from quantity focused to quality focused?





Social Media Tips

Monday, July 21, 2014

I mentioned I was in Orlando last week for a work conference. The conference was all-thing social media. At my job (IRL...not blog-life) I manage our company's social media and email platforms. This conference was more like continuing education for my current job...but I learned quite a lot that I can use in my other job...aka...my blog. :) If I can benefit from some of the tips I learned, maybe you can too! You, social media mavens, you. :) Below are some of the interesting points I gleaned from my conference. Oh, if I say "brand" below, just substitute that for your blog, etc.



1. Develop a clear "voice" for your brand. Determine how you want to come across to your community or fans. Are you witty and creative? Informational and reliable? Smart? Sarcastic? (okay, I put that last one in there...)

2. Prior to a brainstorming session, it is important to preface your meeting with actual idea generation. Don't wait until the session to start thinking...think beforehand and come to the session with some ideas to explore.

3. Standardize your terminology. This is especially important if you have multiple social media vehicles like a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Learn to use words like "audience"  instead of followers on Twitter and likes on FB. This makes it easier to see the big picture of how your voice is heard by your audience.

4. Contests (giveaways) are king! They are great way to gather reader/audience information and build brand loyalty. They are gift that keeps on giving.

5. People want a relationship with your brand. They are tired of advertising and people are looking to cultivate more a personal relationship with your brand than what was possible before social media.

6. Engage your readers as storytellers.

7. Good conversation skills are essential.

8. A visual makes for a better, longer overall impression than just plain text. (this one is a DUH!)

9. The infographic is not dead!

10. The visual that accompanies your content is worth 80% of the "money" or "effort" spent on the entire piece. Meaning, your visual is more important than your content when it comes to getting the attention of your audience.

What other social media tips have helped you?






Hello Orlando

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sorry for the silence here on the blog these last two days. I've been in Orlando for a work conference and have been soaking in all sorts of info on social media, content, and all things digital and I'm loving it! But conference days and catching up on emails/work at night hasn't left a lot of time for blogging, unfortunately. So, instead of boring you with more words, I'll leave you with some photos from my trip. It's my very first trip to Florida and I definitely want to come back!








Wedding Wednesday: Family Photos

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Well, I thought I was done with all of my wedding photo posts, but I realized that I never shared our family shots. Now, I will say that I wasn't as pleased with these photos as I was with the others. I'd hoped they would have turned out a little better...but what can you do? This is the only documentation I have of them actually being there. :)

Wedding Party, Parents and Grandparents of All
 
 
I'd wanted this to be similar to this pin on Pinterest. Not exactly...but it does make me smile. We have this one framed. :)
 
My Family

 
My brother in law, older sister, younger sister, me, my mom and my dad.


Sisters, parents and M.
 
 
Grandparents and us

 
Other grandparents and us

 
This is my mom's side of the family. My father's side is not as local and had to leave before pictures. Overall, from both my mom's and dad's side of the family, included extended family and 2nd/3rd cousins, there are about 60 additional people. There's no WAY we would have all fit in the photo! :)
 
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5 Reasons

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My mother unearthed this gem while moving. At the young age of 9, I was apparently very in tune with my adult sarcasm, because this mini-dissertation is laden with it. Take a read below and allow me to point out a few things afterward.

 
In case you can't read it, here is the text: (grammatical/spelling errors not removed)
 
5 reasons why I should obey my parent is because number one I get privaleges like tv, getting to go outside, getting to play with my freinds, and getting to do special activityes.
 
Another reason is that my parents will actually listen to my ideas, and they will actually "have" time for me.
 
Another reason is obeying my parents is good because my parents will also maybe award me or praise me which doesn't happen very often.
 
Yet another reason is because they will trust me more than they do now. I think they are a little hard on me just because of my teacher.
 
My last reason is because I won't be scared of them anymore right now I am terrified of them.
 
Done April
 
Neither my mother nor I remember what I did to have to write this as punishment, but it somehow involved a teacher. Not exactly sure about that. Nevertheless, we should discuss the most noteworthy points of the letter.
 
"...they will actually 'have' time for me." - YES, young April. You have learned the power of guilt and quotations in 7 little words.
 
"...award me or praise me which doesn't happen very often." - This was probably a jab at the fact that unlike most of my friends, my parents never rewarded me for good grades or when I did chores around the house. It was expected and simply a cost of living in my parents's home, eating their food and using up their air conditioning. (Because, in the South, using up the AC is a frequently used analogy for draining money...because it's hot down here!)
 
"...I won't be scared of them anymore right now I am terrified of them." - Ah yes, young April. You have again understood the power of emotive words when used by a 9 year old in relation to your parents. Brava. But really, I don't think I was terrified of my parents (like the kind of terrified where DSS has to be called) but, like The Lord, I did have a healthy and ever-present fear of them. The kind of fear that one might have about lions or perhaps a thunderstorm. It's there, you must respect it...or you will suffer the consequences. So my use of the words "scared" and "terrifed" seemed like an attempt to toy with my parents' emotions and make them think they were being too hard on me for whatever I've done.
 
This letter, though only 116 words (as evidenced by the word count in the left margin), provides great insight into adult April...who still uses sarcasm as a second language and would much rather convey my emotions via written word than in person. There's also a hint of silent rebellion which still courses through me as an adult. Perhaps the adult April isn't so different from the young April after all?

DONE April ;)







My Favorite Place

Monday, July 14, 2014

Yesterday, I just wanted to have some time away. Time away from a lot of other people, away from family and in a peaceful atmosphere. There's not really a whole lot to do at this place besides hike, picnic and watch the river, but it sure is great for the soul. Traffic noise is replaced with the sounds of the river moving over the rocks. Mindless chatter from people is replaced with the sound of a gentle breeze blowing through tree leaves.

We packed up Hewitt and a picnic lunch and just got away for a little bit.

 

Do you ever just want to get away for a little while?



Decorating My Walls

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I posted yesterday an update on our home. Since I've taken those photos, I've been on a mad hunt for all sorts of wall art/decor. Framed art, canvas art, mirrors, prints, sculpted pieces, you name it! I have a couple of art pieces/photographs and M has some as well. Some of mine are up...but I want MORE! Most of M's are Star Wars themed...so...we're saving those for the future man cave. (wink)

I'm kind of half-heartedly working on a gallery wall in our dining room area (you can kind of see it in the photos from yesterday's post) but I only have a couple of things so far. I'm searching for a mirror or two to put in our bedroom and on the other side of our dining room (per Kelly's excellent suggestion) and a couple of other interest pieces for our bedroom, the guest bedroom and the kitchen. My dilemma with just buying wall decor willy-nilly (because I've done this before) is that if it doesn't mean anything to me or have any sort of significance, I quickly grow tired with it and sell it or give it away. So, I want to invest in pieces that have meaning and/or significance to me or M. Here are a few things that I like.

Athens Ohio, Ohio University Street Names Print

I love this idea. And this actually wouldn't be too difficult to do on my own, print and frame. I'd do the names of streets in the cities I've lived in. (Mostly Charlotte and Wilmington.) via

"Shem Creek Shrimpers"

I would love to get another Paul Silva print. I already have this one and it's framed and in my half-bath downstairs. I like the one pictured above or this one.

BILD Poster IKEA Motif created by Linda Kruger.

Ikea has a lot of interesting colorful prints. My hang-up here is that Ikea art is mass-produced and lots of other people have it, but if the art is interesting or meaningful, why not? I like this bird print, this abstract and this photograph.

Kure Beach After Irene

Along the same vein of Paul Silva, this local Wilmington artist has some unique prints too. This one is of the Kure Beach pier. I used to work in Kure Beach when I lived in Wilmington.

Pinterest: I love this idea and this idea for wall art.

What sorts of art do you have in your home? Where did you get it? I'd love more inspiration or ideas!




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