Category Archives: Blog

I ate all the chocolate chips

I was visiting my parents last week. Sometimes my mom bakes, so she keeps her house stocked with chocolate chips. Unfortunately for me, under these conditions, I keep my mouth stocked with chocolate chips. I eat little handfuls of them with walnuts throughout the day and before you know it, gone.

So, I begged my mom, “Please hide the chocolate chips. I have no self-control!”

The next day, I saw a bag of popcorn in the cabinet. Yum, popcorn! When I removed the chip clip, I discovered the empty bag of popcorn was being used to conceal the package of chocolate chips.

Had my mom hid them in a pretzel bag or cereal box, or just about anywhere else, they could have survived forever untouched by me. But she “hid” my first favorite thing inside the wrapping of my second favorite thing.

The point?

In chocolate-chip-hiding, and in writing words for your website, it’s all about knowing your audience.

Let’s bake up something great,

Do you have a pink Frisbee?

I go to the dog park most afternoons where I sit on a plastic chair in a giant circle with lovely, nutty people and a kerfuffle of running, barking, dirt-eating, misbehaving dogs having the best time ever. My dog likes to rub her body on the perimeter of the fence and gnaw on a pink Frisbee.

I mostly just sit there and laugh. Dogs are totally more inclined to show their quirky than humans…and I think it’s awesome.

The point?

Our personalities and unique perspectives make us authentic. We bring that authenticity with us into everything we do—whether it’s sitting around a dog park or providing our clients with a service.

Here’s the thing. Cannoli doesn’t know that she’s quirky. She might not be able to recognize her most endearing qualities because they come so naturally to her. And you probably can’t either. Can any of us see ourselves clearly?

Let’s find your pink Frisbee,

But honey, you’re right across the bridge…

https://www.instagram.com/a_boy_and_his_dog_photography/

I’m not ashamed to admit it. I paid $32 to ship a purple bridesmaid dress across the Hudson River to my house.

Surprised at my request, the woman on the phone said, “But honey, you’re right across the bridge.” My internal budgeteer said, “That’s a ridiculous price to ship a dress!” While both statements were true, I’d still rather pay $32 than drive to Yonkers!

While also proving why I’m not an accountant, let’s look at the real cost:

  • Annoyance thinking about driving to Yonkers: (at least 60 minutes)
  • Bridge toll: $4.75
  • Parking (meter): $.50
  • Parking (aggravation): at least some
  • Gas: $2.00
  • Total drive time: 60 minutes (without traffic)

Total cost = $7.25 + at least 120 minutes of time/annoyance/aggravation

For $32, the dress just showed up on my doorstep—preserving sanity, time and focus. That’s totally worth it!

The point?

Are you “just across the bridge” from having awesome website, newsletter or blog copy? How much time are you spending worrying about it, planning it, and/or trying to write it yourself? Let me deliver it to your doorstep.

Anyone have nude shoes I can borrow?

P.S. As far as I’m concerned, my UPS delivery man (Bobby, you rock!), postal workers and everyone who drives for a living are my heroes.

* Photo, courtesy of Sean @a_boy_and_his_dog_photography

You want me to crawl like a bear?

Back in November, I decided I wanted actual muscles. And I was tired of my half-baked attempts at getting them myself. (Carrying takeout inside builds muscles, no?) So I did something I never thought I’d do (but always secretly wanted to do). I hired a trainer at the gym.

Ruth makes me do things I would never do myself in a million years—like lifting kettle bells and crawling around like a bear—but I do it because she’s there with me, guiding me, encouraging me, and pretty much making me laugh my butt off, literally. It’s fun. And I’m loving the results.

The point?

I’m the kind of person who thinks I can do everything myself. Yes, I can make myself exercise. Sure, I can hem my own jeans. Yup, I can change my own oil.  Umm, not really!

When I hire someone to help me, all of these things 1) actually happen, 2) turn out so much better, and 3) are way less frustrating.

So if you can handle it alone, but you’d prefer more fun, more accountability and less frustration, let’s talk.

I swear I’ll never make you lift a kettle bell,

Can I give you a high-five?

via GIPHY

The cashier said to the woman in front of me, “If you spend $8 more dollars, you get a free turkey!”

The woman looked at me and woman behind me and said, “I don’t want to hold up the line!” We both yelled, “Get that free turkey!” The cashier ran for the turkey, the woman’s husband ran for $8 worth of pot pies and the woman behind me exhaled, “I’m just happy to have 5 minutes where I don’t have to do anything.”

After the mission was accomplished, I gave turkey-lady a high-five. Then the woman behind me wanted one. The cashier high-fived all of us.

So naturally, because of this, I’ve started high-fiving pretty much everybody. I think it’s a positive and contagious gesture – and heck, we all need a little encouragement sometimes, don’t we?

Please accept this virtual high-five, and if you’re so inclined, pass it on.

Oh yeah … if you need help writing copy that’s even better than a free turkey, I’m your gal. Happy 2017!

My ambiguous guinea pig

My first pet was a tri-colored guinea pig named Violet. Though essentially a rat with hair, she was Elizabeth Taylor to me.

The weirdest thing about Violet? Because her beady little eyes blended into her dark furry face, you couldn’t tell whether she was coming or going. It wasn’t immediately clear which end was which. (One end ate carrots). Because she was cute, most new acquaintances took the time to figure it out.

The point?
If your business isn’t as cute as a guinea pig, there’s no room for ambiguity! Can your website readers quickly understand what you do? If not, I can help.

I’ll point you towards the carrots,

My mother-in-law: Face down in the cactus.

Bouquet of fresh pink peonies

Along with my newish house (and its high-maintenance driveway) came a 50×20 perennial flower garden. Around the time I moved in, I was greeted with pretty pink peonies. Then—it turned into a jungle.

In the blink of an eye, it was out of control. Where did the flowers end and weeds begin? I thought I knew, but could I just start pulling things out? What if I accidentally weeded the important stuff? I was frozen. This is when my mother-in-law single handedly turned my garden back into a thing of beauty (which did involve a minor cactus injury).

Sometimes clients have been planning their website content or blog ideas for years. They have Evernotes that go on forever. Then they are so weighed down by weeds, they can’t see the flowers.

Let me help you. I’m not decisive about everything—if we ever go to a movie together, can you please pick?—but I’m reliably clear on your most-authentic direction and how to represent yourself to your ideal clients.

The point?
When we work together, your word-garden will be beautifully pruned and planted to highlight the blooms.

Here’s to the flowers,

The self-checkout debacle…

 

Bag, Groceries, Recycling.

Every time I’m at the supermarket with my full basket, I think:
Sure, I can do self-checkout. Heck, I used to work at a supermarket!

But every time I’m in the midst of self-checkout, I realize how naïve I am. Like yesterday…

The supermarket is empty. I start scanning my items. Suddenly self-checkout is overrun with people. A man (with just three items) hops in line behind me. Stay calm, Deidre. You can do this. As I try to separate the edges of the yellow plastic bag, it won’t open. Panic thumps in my chest. Serves you right for forgetting your eco-friendly tote!

I start sweating while simultaneously embarking on a one-woman comedy show in attempts to garner goodwill with Mr. Three Items. I frantically swipe what feels like 600 Kind Bars. None will scan. Save them for last. Just breathe.

Oh dear God…produce! My face is redder than these apples (“BEEP—item not recognized!”) and WHAT IS THE CODE FOR BUTTERNUT SQUASH?! With plastic bags flying everywhere, another man gets in line, already looking irritated. Run away, Deidre! Drop your stuff and run!

Flabbergasted, I eventually leave with my groceries.

Forevermore I will be going to a register manned by a human being. I learned my lesson. For my own sanity, I can’t check out alone.

The point?
Sometimes we just need help…from a real, live person. If writing makes you want to abandon your Kind Bars and run, I’m here to lend a hand.

Witness relocation for spiders

The only spider I ever squished was crawling on my arm while I was driving.

I was startled, and I didn’t have the compassion or reflexes to save him (or her). It was a panic-squish. Yes, I still feel bad.

All the other spiders get vacuumed up in my dust buster to “make friends” or “hang out” for the day—and they get released into the wild in the evenings.

The truth is, I dislike spiders very much. I worry they might crawl into my hair and make a spider-nest if I’m not vigilant.

My family makes fun of me because I have a “witness relocation” program for spiders—but I just see it as a small thing I can do to be nice, and at the same time, to cope with something that I’m scared of. Alas, being adults in the world, we occasionally find ourselves face to face with a spider—and we’ve got to cope somehow. This is how I cope.

The point?
It’s my firm belief that people want to work with humans, and sometimes it’s our quirks that make us human. So, all else being equal, if you want to work with me because I catch and release spiders, let me know. (I think that would be the very first time in history that has ever happened.) Or, if writing simply makes you want to panic-squish your keyboard, I can help release your fears.

Save the spiders!

Can you smell the Drakkar?

Radiohead was playing. I inhaled the smell of Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and I got a passing whiff of something like Drakkar. For a moment in the mall today, everything aligned and suddenly I was 17 again. It was perfect.

Then I snapped back into my semi-disgruntled, errand-running reality. Why was I disgruntled? In that split second, nothing had changed at all.

Now, I wouldn’t want to be 17-year-old Deidre again (too close to the mullet years), but I loved that feeling. It was freedom. Everything was so new, so exciting. The world was my oyster.

The point?
With cologne-filled nostrils, it hit me that youth is a feeling, a smell, a moment—a state of mind. We can be young, unburdened and lighthearted whenever we choose. If only we stop being so damn serious.

For me, creativity thrives on joy. This means that talking to chipmunks is pretty much a business necessity.

Just for a moment, what if we forget about life’s responsibilities and start thinking about its possibilities? Well, that’s exactly what I did. I ditched my errands and bought this youth-invoking reminder.

It’s yours too,