Tuesday Thoughts

Well hello, there!

I've wanted to blog for a few weeks' now but never knew where to start. Isn't that something we all struggle with? Where to begin? What to do first? What to stick with? What to love the most? What to get rid of and leave behind? So much has been going on as of late, its hard to know where to start and what to share.

Springtime

There is something about this spring that has awaken me to so many new things. New things about the world around me, about people, but most importantly, about myself. The new greenery and flowers blooming, even the fresh smell of spring has awoken me in a different way than the last few years. I've happily welcomed this.

Motherhood/Back to Work #onthecampaigntrail

Its an overwhelming bittersweet time for me personally right now. I'm transitioning from my year off on maternity leave, entering back into not only the workforce, but the campaign trail. Ontario's provincial election is 23 days away on June 7th. When I began working 4 years ago in politics at Queen's Park, I knew this election time would come eventually, I just didn't think it would come this fast. Much like my time with Blake. Where did this past year really go?

Because of the transition heading back to work, it has meant closing the book on being a stay-at home mom for the past year. It has meant starting a new chapter of watching Blake transition to day care. I'm also preparing to move back home to Peterborough for a few week's while I work #onthecampaigntrail. I promise to blog about this exciting adventure in a separate post.

What the last few weeks has taught me is about sacrifice. Loving what you do for a living, while you have to watch what you've did for the past year fade into the sunset. Knowing that while it is hard to watch your child grow up, this is what life is all about.

I've been trying to soak up as many friend hangouts, family catch up's, sunsets on the dock and coffee shop visits before reality sets in next week when I officially go back to work.

I love me some routine

I've enjoyed setting up a productive routine for the past little while, knowing full-well that, that routine is going straight out the window now that the campaign has started. If there is something I have learned about myself, its that while I love new things and discovering the unknown, I thrive on routine. Don't we all as human beings? I've learned this the most from watching Blake. He loves meeting new people, taking in new things, not going to bed on time once and a while, but he pays for it a few days later. He sleeps better, eats better and you can tell he's just an overall more happier baby when he's in his routine. This is us as adults too, we just don't like to admit it.

Learning Overload 

I've been the type of person that has 100 tabs open in my browser; articles saved to read; and so many random notes about motivational TED talks written down in my notebook but it hasn't been until recently that I've wondered... is it too much? I'm not saying I want to stop learning but at some point, is it too much? If I want to speed up in the areas of my life I want to succeed it, does it mean I have to slow down in other areas of my life that don't allow me to grow? If anything, Blake has been the greatest reminder for me to slow down.

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7 Ways to Manage Your Digital Footprint

If you visit here often or we follow each other on social media, you would have noticed some changes last fall to my photography and branding.

It was just some simple, subtle, yet positive changes that helped to spice things up around here and on my social platforms. Hello, new headshot! :P 

Its like when I re-arrange furniture in my house when the seasons change, it is the simplest thing to do and the BEST feeling when its done. In the social world, you really always have to be changing it up to keep fresh, continue to evolve and be noticed as you and your brand grow and evolve.

The intended change was good because it made me realize how you have to take continued stock or inventory of your digital footprint. Simply put, you have to keep track of all your social profiles. Sounds easy but it isn't.

Even if you’re not rebranding, having all of your passwords and log-in information in one place is a good place to start. This made things SO much easier for me when I went to do my rebrand and proudly post my new headshot across all my social platforms last fall.

This blog post can serve both individuals or even businesses and social/digital managers that manage their company's corporate communications and brands. Here are 7 things I learned last fall with my rebrand for how you too, can easily manage your digital footprint at any point in time.

7 Ways to Manage Your Digital Footprint

  1. Create and maintain a locked password document (that requires a password to get into the document). This should contain all of your social media platform passwords. This is an easy way to keep organized, period.
  2. Establish and set your brand guideline. This will ensure you execute your brand with consistent colours, fonts and look/feel across all social platforms you use. It is best to create a mood board and then a brand board to always refer back too. I've provided my latest rebrand branding board below for your reference :)
  3. Once you've set your 'look and feel', hire a professional photographer to capture your brand - it’s a wise investment and some of the best money you will spend!
  4. Have a consistent logo/photo/headshot across all of your social platforms.
  5. When/if you decide to change your logo/photo/headshot, take the time to update your bio and descriptions with the same consistent wording and put this across all of your platforms.
  6. Update your website or your blog at the same time to reflect any of these new changes and introduce your new rebrand.
  7. Review your analytics on each of your social platforms and website/blog to determine what platforms are working best for you. When you rebrand, its a perfect time to add new platforms, change the function of existing platforms or decide altogether to stop using certain social platforms if you find you're not getting the ROI for the value you're putting in. Your followers on each of your social platforms will tell you a lot about what they consume from your brand.

If you have questions about your own social media profiles, need help in rebranding or want to know more about the analytics behind your social platforms,let's get in touch!

Saturday Morning Inspiration

Happy sunny, Saturday friends! That's if you're in Ontario I guess but if you're like me, you are SO freakin' happy it is sunny and warm. This delayed Spring has been so hard to deal with but I think it is safe to say that Spring may finally be here to stay.

Before I spend the rest of the day outside enjoying this fresh air, I had some creative juice to get out this morning. So to my computer I went to write...

I don't know about you, but I always need to be in a creative mood to write. We all need something to stimulate us. And while I've been bad here on the ol' blog of only blogging when that creative spirit is in full force, I'm continually reminded of this message:

Writing is like a muscle, you must work at it to get stronger.

One thing I've tried to do in the last little while is create habits around fostering creativity especially around my writing deadlines. For anyone who designs, wordsmiths, brainstorms or works in the creative/marketing/communications field, we all know that being in a creative mood helps to make the words and ideas flow easier. Or a glass of wine or rye always helps too ;)

And of course when deadlines are impending, that is when creativity usually decides to take a hike.

That's when habits come in to handy.

One of these habits I've been trying lately is creating 'mood boards' to help me visually get into the creative spirit. Sourcing photos from fellow bloggers, things I find online or social and capturing my own photos has certainly helped me at referring back to these mood boards whenever I'm in a rut and need inspiration. You could also call these vision boards. Here is an example below of the cottage vision board I created when I knew I'd be tasked with the interior design for our little cotty :)

I had mentioned this idea of mood boards/vision boards to a colleague a while ago and she loved this idea and asked that I share an example here on the blog. So voila, here is a spring mood board above I created just this week that may help inspire you as well, like it has for me this morning.

Let's be serious though, just waking up to this sun and warmer temps this morning was enough inspiration itself. Thank you Spring for making your very late entrance to the party, regardless, we are so happy to see you!

{tulips/robins eggs/split leaf philodendron/coffee/wisdom begins in wonder}

The Sunday 7

  1. Well hello there, it appears it has been a while! The past couple of weeks have saw me on the road and really what feels like this, there and everywhere. I proudly became an aunt on April 2nd to sweet baby Claire (congrats Justin and Meghan!). I can't believe what this year has brought for our family #Blessed
  2. If your in southern Ontario this weekend, your probably experiencing the same freezing rain/snow storm we are, which has had everyone indoors for the past 48 hours :S We are actually now currently siting here without power which means all our candles are out and lit up. Its actually quite romantic for a Sunday evening ;) But really, where the heck is #Spring?!!!!
  3. I've been meaning to blog lately but I'm been finding it hard after the Humboldt Broncos tragedy that took place last week in Saskatchewan. I've sat down so many times to try and put words down and for some reason, I can't put the words together to express my emotions and the emotions of so many of us Canadians after seeing something like this shake our country to its core. But I want too and I will this coming week. At least I know one thing - we are truly an incredible country after seeing how we've rose collectively as a country in a time like this #United
  4. One thing that the Humboldt Broncos tragedy reminded me to do is check my organ donation status after one of the players, Logan Boulet saved 6 lives through his organ donation. I checked tonight and I was already signed up, thankfully. Sign up today to give the gift of life #BeaDonor
  5. Keeping in the hockey spirit, now that the NHL playoffs are here, we're cheering on our favourite team #GoJetsGo
  6. I recently finished this book and it is hands down, one of the best books I've read. I'm now on to this book.
  7. Today, I listened to this podcast on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday with Gretchen Rubin (Author of The Happiness Project). So many good lessons in this one, it wanted me to pull back out my Happiness Project book and read it again. The biggest take-away? Happiness is like a muscle, you must work at it and exercise it. It was a perspective I needed to hear and be reminded of right now.

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The Sunday 7

Oh, Sunday's. 

1. We saw Nelly this past week. Like the rapper. Who say 'Hot in Here.' Yes, it was epic. Like circa 2004 epicness that made my high school-University self sing WAY too loud. It was the best $45 I've spent in a while. It reminded me how we need more of those random nights out with friends that turn out to be the best nights.

2. I have a day in Toronto planned for some work-related things and meet-ups.. a day in the big city sans babe is what my heart needs right now.

3. This tote has my heart swooning. I'm just wondering if it's big enough to hold all of my stuff.. and Blake's stuff :S

4. Now that Spring may be here (the last two weekends have been sunny and made me hopeful here in Guelph!), I'm wondering where the Instagram spring stickers are now?!! Come on #Instagram!

5. If we're talking about Spring, a good ol' 'Spring clean' of the house is necessary. I found this handy list of one item you can do each day for a month to get your place clean super helpful.

6. A place we forget to clean that we use daily? Our smartphones. I used this list to give the iphone a good clean tonight!

7. Talk about a fun-filled week, we celebrated the upcoming nuptials of my girl Mac at The Fancy Design Co with a girls night out. It was wildly fun, I wouldn't expect anything else from our group of friends. A night out with the gals celebrating one of the best people I know was SO needed after a week of Blake being sick with a cold. We had dinner at Gilt in Kitchener and oh yum, was that menu amazing.

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