Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Fitness Instructor Sara: Save yourself 100 calories.

In Health, Holidays on 11/27/2009 at 12:10 am

It’s the end of Thanksgiving, and most of us are probably either a) in a tryptophan coma, or b) planning out our Black Friday routes. And though the pie is already long gone, Sara (who’s also a fitness instructor at a gym in Oswego) gave this piece of advice before indulging in our gluttony today:

“Don’t eat the pie crust on the edge. You can eat the bottom. But break off that edge piece and you’ll save yourself 100 calories, at LEAST.”

We did it. And we did it so well, we rewarded ourselves with a second helping of whipped cream. It is about choices, after all. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Ryan: Get linked.

In Business, Marketing, Strategy, Web on 11/24/2009 at 7:55 pm

Ryan Evans (@ryanevans) is the owner of Rand Media Group, an online marketing firm. Ryan ordered three dozen cupcakes; I delivered them so we could have a nice chat on his doorstep.

Fast forward 36 hours and we both ended up at the same coffee shop in Lincoln Park. And because both of us had work we wanted to procrastinate work for ourselves, we started talking business. Well, I let him do most of the talking, because I had all of the learning to do.

He ran through some of the basics of SEO and search engine ad placement. And although what he was sharing with me was really basic to anyone who has ever owned a web-based business, it was brand new to me. The stickiest?

“Get as many links to your site as possible.”

Links to your website boost its credibility among the algorithms Google uses to determine which sites are good and which sites are crap.  Good sites with high rankings get higher placement and more visits. Which, duh, lead to more sales.

I can’t wait to figure out how we’ll implement this strategy in 2010. It’ll be interesting to track and measure our efforts.

Thanks, Ryan, for sharing all two hours worth of conversation and information with me. I really do owe you more than just cupcakes.

Jenny: Birthday = toothbrush day.

In Health, Human behavior, Organization on 11/17/2009 at 10:56 pm

You know how you’re supposed to change your toothbrush every three months? And you know how you never remember to, and you go another three months before you realize the indicator on the toothbrush is worn down to the bottom of the bristles and you think, “Gross! My teeth are gonna rot!” and you book your trip to the dentist?

Well, my best friend’s older sister Jenny taught me how to remember when to change my toothbrush:

1. Change your toothbrush on your birthday.
2. Change your toothbrush three months after your birthday.
3. Change your toothbrush three months after #2.
4. Change your toothbrush three months after #3.
5. Three months later… happy birthday. Start over with #1.

So easy, right? And I’ve never had a cavity. It’s probably totally because I change my toothbrush every three months religiously. Totally.

Cousin Noriko: A lesson in plastic origami.

In Create, Human behavior, Just plain fun, Organization on 11/11/2009 at 10:01 pm

I have four girl cousins who live in Japan. We’re not BFFs (language barriers and geography have sort of prevented YaYa Sisterhoods), but we do bond over the important things: 90210, Mariah Carey, and Harry Potter.

The last time I went to visit, I stayed with my cousin Noriko. Her 2-bedroom condo was 300 square feet. Her kitchen was maybe 5×5 at best. Her dishwasher sat on the counter like a toaster oven. Her laundry machine and dryer were the same unit (throw clothes in, wash, rinse, spin, heat-dry cycle – no need to change machines). It was the perfect poster condo for IKEA. (Ironic side note: the word for “condo” in Japanese is “mansion.”)

By necessity, everything’s teeny tiny and serves a practical purpose in Japan. I even saw it in the way they store their plastic shopping bags from the supermarket:bags

I’m pretty sure she’s converted over to reusable bags by now, but holy jaw-drop.

If anybody wants to get together over lunch sometime and learn how to fold plastic bags, I’m happy to give lessons. Because it’s just THAT FREAKING COOL.

Tom: Relationships + numbers = fun.

In Be memorable, Business, Dancing, Experience, Human behavior, Just plain fun, Marketing, Strategy, Take action on 11/08/2009 at 11:58 am

Tom Krieglstein (@tomkrieglstein) is one of my new favorite people. Among the many things on his list of accomplishments, he owns and operates SwiftKick – providing the training and tools to student leaders to engage others in their college experiences.


He invited me and Nate to his presentation on Dance Floor Theory at UIC. While his speaking style was engaging and his content captivating, one thing that stood out as absolutely brilliant was this:

“Anything is fun with relationships and numbers.”

It doesn’t matter how well-planned your event is. If it a) is not attended by enough people and b) doesn’t allow people to bond based on their common interests, chances are it won’t be fun. And fun is memorable.

I need to remember this, not only among my company’s internal staff relationships, but also among customers. I’m positive people across Chicagoland could really connect via their love for cupcakes, and with numbers, they could do something amazing for the community. I’m not quite sure what this could be, but I’m definitely open to just about anything right now. As long as it’s fun. And legal. 🙂

Does anyone have any ideas? (And thank you, thank you Tom! You’re so FAB!)

Jesse: Get organized.

In Organization on 11/04/2009 at 7:21 pm

Jesse and I were in the same 7th grade English class together with Miss Draper. We always got along, although never were the closest of friends. All throughout junior high and high school, we took the same classes here and there – Physiology (dissected minks together), French (studied for the AP Exam together), World History (watched Schindler’s List thanks to Steven Spielberg together).

Our senior year of high school, we were in the same Humanities class with Mr. Keep fall semester. And I will always remember the first day of school when, instead of a binder, she pulled this beauty out of her backpack:


An accordion folder. Plastic. With dividers.

I about had a heart attack. No ripped dividers! No flipping 200 sheets of paper to get to the back! No broken binder covers! No duct tape! No need to decorate something cool to slide into the front pocket! No canvas to worry about getting dirty! No trapper keeper flap to worry about falling off!

Jesse looked at everyone who was gawking at her beautiful new “binder” and said, “I thought this might be better to stay organized. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Pretty much the entire senior class followed suit soon after. I still have mine, 14 years later. And oh-my-goodness. Yes, it is the magical file folder of organization.

Melissa: A lesson on Q-tips.

In Health on 11/03/2009 at 3:15 am

I think of my college roommate Melissa every single time I see a Q-tip. She’s an audiologist and has traveled around the world for her discipline. She’s my resident superstar of anything to do with hearing.

She moved in mid-semester, and I remember her FREAKING OUT when I started to clean my ear. (Sorry, maybe that was TMI.)


“Mari! A Q-tip is meant to only clear the exterior of the ear! Don’t you EVER stick it into your ear! That’ll damage your ear drum forEVER! Do you want to lose your hearing?!”

She scared me, and I haven’t done it since. I’m pretty sure that she’s bluffing, but I don’t want to find out. 🙂