The New Orleans ADDY Awards

My beautiful team of coworkers and I won two awards last weekend at the New Orleans ADDYs! We won gold for a leasing brochure produced for Time Warner Center, and silver for an integrated marketing campaign created for a local nonprofit called NO/AIDS Task Force. I had just started working at Cathedral Creative Studios when the leasing brochure was created, so technically our award doesn’t have anything to do with me. However, I was very deeply involved with NO/AIDS’ Art Against AIDS campaign, and actually created the entire online strategy for marketing the event. I’m so psyched that less than a year after graduating with my Master’s in Internet Marketing, I’m already an award-winning strategist! Even better is the knowledge that it only gets better from here.

I had a talk with my boss the other day, and it turns out that my responsibilities at Cathedral will be growing substantially in the near future. It’s fantastic to know that I not only get to work with such fun, fantastic and fearless guys, but I’m also given so much support and love on a daily basis. I can’t begin to stress how wonderful it is to have finally found a workplace to call “home” after so many years of searching. I’m a little scared that I’m not prepared to take the big steps that I’m going to have to be taking pretty soon, but I have a plan for getting prepared and learning the skills I need to thrive in this career of mine.

Here’s a couple of silly snapshots I took of myself the night of the event. It was a 1940’s-themed event, and I scored the best outfit pretty much last minute. Bought my very first (and definitely not my last) dress from Trashy Diva (called “Honey Child” – how appropriate!), and paired it with a fun feathered hair clip and bold red lips for a vintage look. It was a hit, too – just wish someone had taken a better photo.

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T Minus 30 Minutes

I’m almost 31. Right now, it seems like a pretty good place to be – I’m enjoying a glass of somewhat less than cheap red wine, wearing a sparkly scarf, and I just got back from watching Joseph Gordon Levitt in “Looper.” I won’t ruin it for you, but it was a good movie. The CGI was still a bit disappointing, though – the whole time I kept waiting for JGL’s fake face to slide off and give me a scene or two of him looking like his normal adorable self. It’s hard to think that a guy that boyish is actually older than I am, but it gives me hope!

My brain is pretty fried from the last couple of weeks of overload on the work front – I’m juggling a lot of responsibilities right now as I try to keep my bank account out of the red. I’m helping one client write grants, helping another keep her social media plan alive, helping another write their bi-weekly eblasts and newsletters, and at my regular job I’m planning (and executing) a fall fashion pop up sale.

The last task has by far been my favorite, but it’s definitely the most insane. We’re only 10 days away from the event, and we just got our final vendor confirmations on Friday. Our marketing collateral was mostly finished this evening when I left work to go to the movies, and I believe that I’ll be able to get the designers everything they need in the morning. After that, the stressful part of the show starts – daily overkill on online marketing to make sure that we meet our desired 300 – 500 visitor range, figuring out how to run the cash table efficiently (which shouldn’t be too bad, as long as the internet doesn’t go down at the studio and our CC machine keeps working), making sure that the vendors have everything they need, and most of all, make sure that the space is absolutely gorgeous. I’m talking magical.

My design concept for the space is the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, which I guess isn’t the most creative and inspired idea, but I’m not a designer so I’m going to give myself some slack. I also love rich colors and sumptuous fabrics, mood-setting lanterns, and the sights/sounds/smells of exotic markets, so my gut feeling was to make this project into something I couldn’t help but fall in love with on a daily basis. I’m just hoping that the timeline isn’t too short to get something really good out of our budget and space constraints.

Now, after writing all of this, my brain is even more fried. My eyes burn a little; going to the movies always irritates them a little, and I’m also getting sleepy. The Man wants to give me my birthday presents early, but all I really want to do is pass out and have a good night’s sleep for the first time this week. The sheets are freshly washed and I made the bed myself, so there’s not a single wrinkle to be seen and the bedspread is put on perfectly, to allow both of us enough square area of blanket in the middle of the night. The cats are going crazy behind the couch right now. Isabel has been playing with a little circle that I twisted out of sparkly pipe cleaner; she loves it, and flips it around the house all night long until it gets squished flat. Then she brings it back to me to bend back into a circular shape. She’s a very smart little lady. I think that Munky has been squishing the circle, though. I hear them scuffling a bit right now, but no energy to intervene.

Oh here she is, come to stare at me. I just spent a couple of minutes staring back, then giving her a good ear scratching. Now I’m back. But I really should finish up my wine and stop this rambling. Not too much longer now before I’m 31. Only ten minutes now.

Tomorrow I’ll be making an origami cat. I found the video already, and it’s complicated, but I don’t think it’s too far over my head if I wake up early enough and make enough quiet time to not feel rushed. Here’s the video – cute, eh? Here’s a photo, too:

Blank Pages

Blank Pages

It’s almost time for me to start a new chapter. Time to say goodbye to my coworkers, clean out my virtual desk, pass on my passwords and reroute my emails. Sure, I’ll be doing a little bit of work when I get back from Europe, as long as my boss hasn’t hired someone new by then. Today, she gave me the option of continuing on with part-time “administrative” (by which she meant “actual marketing”) duties at the same pay rate I’m at now. I gladly turned her down. Considering that I haven’t received a raise since 2008, while doing the job of three people and DEFINITELY not as a mere administrative assistant, I’m feeling so lucky to get this chance to finally move on with my life and my career. I’m so proud of myself for getting the guts to quit. I’m finally in a position where I have skill and knowledge in an in-depth field, and having someone call brand messaging, SEO and web analysis “administrative” just burns me to no end. I’ve worked so very hard to get here for the last nine years, and I deserve to work in an environment that helps me build a better life, rather than continually cutting me down. There’s more to it than that, really, so much more, but today this is where I’m at in considering my future.

Sure, I will probably be taking a step back. I might be really screwed in the finances department. But I’m 30, deeply unhappy with my career situation, and ready to get my shit together and move into a different plane of existence. This vacation is physical break with my current reality, and when I return, I don’t intend to live the same way anymore. I’ve reached out to a friend who has a lot of contacts in the non-profit community, and I’m sending over my resume today. I’m also going to get together with a dynamic artist friend who knows all about what’s going on in the arts community, to see if she has any ideas for me. I’m continually scouring job boards and looking at freelance writing opportunities; maybe this is just the kick in the ass that I need to give myself to put together a plan to market ME.

I’m going to think about it while I’m away, but not today or tomorrow or all weekend. I’ve got some homework to finish, some last-minute tasks to take care of at my job, some yoga to do, and tons and tons of packing duties. But first I’m going to do a little recreational reading. I deserve it. And hell, it’s not like I’m losing any money by taking a break to do what I want to do, for once.

Bon Voyage, old shitty life! Hello blank pages!

First Post Since Turkey Day

Today’s Weight: 154.8 lbs.

Today’s Mood: Ack!

Today’s To Do List: Long. Oh so long.

I’m OK with my weight, considering I’ve been avoiding the scale since Thanksgiving, thinking I was surely over 160 again. I’m back on the wagon, though – no snacks or sugary drinks, no bingeing, no more carb heavy meals, as much as I do love an excuse to add gravy to just about anything.

I’ve been eating this really yummy soy yogurt from Silk, and this morning I had a bowl of yogurt with a handful of blueberries and a drizzle of honey – mmm. Currently on the first cup of coffee for the day, but I might be moving to tea after. For lunch I’ll probably have soup and an omelet, and I don’t know about dinner yet. When my boyfriend and I went shopping over the weekend, I remembered everything on my list except for Ezekiel bread, and I’m SO craving a slice of toast right now. Might have to go out for a small grocery run tonight – I don’t know if I can do without for too much longer. Plus, a vegan grilled cheese sandwich sounds so very good now that it’s freezing in my house…

Alright, back to work. I’m finishing up on a pesky acronym assignment right now, then moving on to write the 2nd chapter of my boss’ book, and update all of our social media while I’m at it. Have a happy Tuesday!

 

41 Days: Morning

Today’s Weight: 158.6 lbs, about which I’m happy but not overjoyed.  I flipped through the site last night, looking over all of my old weigh ins, and I keep doing this yo yo thing between 157 and 161.  It made me a little more ticked, and a little less inclined to celebrate something I keep doing every few weeks, then screwing up by bingeing on lovely eats.

So far there’s not much to report for the morning.  I had fresh carrot/apple/ginger/pineapple juice for breakfast, rubbed on a little of the Love Handler on my midsection and arms, and cleaned the kitchen while having a conference call for work.  I’ll be back on the phone in an hour or so with my boss to catch up on her thoughts and plans for the next few weeks, then adding a couple of tiny touches to the company Flickr page and moving on to optimize our LinkedIn presence.  From there it’s on to beef up Facebook, create a Photobucket page, and clean up our CRM.  Fun stuff, all around.

It makes me wish the days were longer, actually, and that I had access to a super-close Starbucks to get my caffeine fix.  I’m drinking a lot of green tea lately for weight loss purposes, but it’s not the same as a really nice cafe au lait.  On second thought, it’s probably better that I’m not close to a coffee shop – I’d pack on the pounds with all that milk and sugar!

Don’t think I’m going to make it to the gym today.  I’ve got a dinner date with a few of Dan’s work friends, meaning that all I’m eating today and probably tomorrow is fresh juice, soup and sauteed veggies to counteract whatever rich, fatty stuff we’ll be seeing on the table tonight.  As much as I really want to see the people that will be at dinner tonight, I’d much rather go to abs class at the gym instead.  Maybe I’ll go for a run or do a workout video during my lunch break – or both, depending on how the day goes.

Catch you a bit later.