Blogging

Orlando Magazine Metropoly Blog: Weekend Happenings

Weekly I write the Weekend Happenings blog for Orlando magazine which is posted on their website and shared via social media. It is a list blog that shows my capabilities at gathering and compiling information, finding unique ways to introduce the same content week after week, and writing short descriptions.

The sample installment is below, and more recent versions can be seen at: http://www.orlandomagazine.com/Blogs/Metropoly/


407Area.com

407area.com is Orlando’s city guide as part of the larger My Area Network. As a featured blogger, I write assignments about local businesses and events. Below are two samples from their website.

International Hot Glass Offers Orlando’s Only Walk-in Workshop

In Orlando, we’re accustomed to all things hot. Hot weather. Hot people. Hot parties. But since August of 2015, the guys at International Hot Glass have been raising the temperatures inside Artegon Marketplace in a unique and innovative way. Where else can you walk into a gallery space of professionally blown glass art pieces and also catch live demonstrations, or create your own piece? In a shopping mall of all places.

“Everybody is captivated by hot molten glass,” says co-owner and longtime glassblower, David Sandidge on why he chose a mall as his location and how he attracts his customers. “Usually they’re [glassblowing shops] in industrial parks.”

Finish Reading at https://www.407area.com/recreation/feel-the-heat-mold-the-heat.html

16 Places to Drink Outside in Orlando

Looking to freshen up your nightlife? Orlando is home to plenty of open air bars where drinking and mingling can happen al fresco, all year long. Well, maybe not all day all year long when those summer rains come through, but for the most part, we live in a place where outdoor nightlife is certainly a thing. So, if fresh air and fresh beer are your things, make visiting these open-air or patio bars your new thing.

Finish reading at https://www.407area.com/nightlife/orlando-open-air-bars.html


AIGA Orlando Guest Blogger

As an unofficial member of AIGA Orlando – the local chapter of the larger national organization bringing designers, design advocates, enthusiasts, and patrons together to further education and passion for the profession in Orlando – I attend the occasional community event hosted by the group. As I am a writer, not a designer, who simply shares their passion, I also write the occasional blog for the group’s website.

Below are three samples from their website: https://orlando.aiga.org/

Recap: Love By Design

In the two weeks after the Pulse shootings on June 12, 2016, the members of not only AIGA Orlando, but AIGA National and countless chapters across the country, banded together to respond to the tragedy. How did they respond? By doing what designers do best, creating something beautiful to fix the ugly in the world. Locally, Tibby Sparks, cruise director and miracle worker, led volunteers from AIGA Orlando in a crazy crash course on how to throw together an event in almost no time with a budget, venue, and supplies completely reliant on the kindness of others. In just two weeks, she and this team of go-getters landed representatives from The Muslim Women’s Organization, UCF Active Minds, Orange County Supervisor of Elections, and Kids Fringe; local entertainers, The Pauses, Beemo, Beartoe, Ka Mlinalli, Circa, 3AM in Taipei, Raspberry Pie, and at the last minute The Orlando Gay Chorus jumped on board; and speakers included Terry Olson, Sadaf Saied, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, and Kaleb Quast.

The day of the event, members arrived early in the back parking lots of Spacebar and The Sandwich Bar, to set up booths while the blisteringly hot summer sun pelted their skin causing sweat to drip from every inch of their bodies. They laid the donated art on tables and hung the posters sent from designers across the country for display. All exhibited messages of love and support for Orlando. Merchandise such as t-shirts, jewelry, stickers, buttons, and more – also donated – were arranged and everything was available for sale. Every dollar spent on these items was donated directly to the OneOrlando fund.

Finish reading at http://orlando.aiga.org/recap-love-by-design/

Recap: Women Lead Lecture with Ashley Heafy

It is a difficult feat attempting to recapture the inspiration felt in a single moment in time, but I’m going to try. Why? Because Tuesday night’s Women Lead Lecture with Ashley Heafy was that good; it’d be incredibly unfair for those of us who were lucky enough to attend to hoard all her motivation and creative encouragement to ourselves. And hopefully, if I’m a decent enough writer, I’ll manage to translate half the inspirational impression her talk left on me here in this quick summary.

“I’m a creative and I do creative work.”

The topic was on how she achieves work-life balance as a freelancing designer. Her opening slide titled, “All the Cake,” opens her introduction as a woman who “wants everything life has to offer.” Something she finds to be a common theme between men and women, but women seem to have a harder time with that path. Why? Probably because we have children to consider in our version of “having it all,” and Heafy is no different from many women her age who are married and still childless receiving just a bit of hint-hinting from her ninety-year-old grandmother who wants her to “pick one thing and settle down.” Heafy seems to accept this pressure with a shrug of the shoulders and a laugh as she says this is the same woman who tells her there’s no reason she can’t have all the things in life that will fulfill her. With someone supporting her like that, it’s no wonder Heafy is choosing to chase after all the cake.

How is she managing to go after it all? One step at a time, with patience and a great degree of self-awareness. Graduating from art school where she admits she spent too much time painting and doing ceramics because she wanted to rather than focusing on a future career goal, she knew she wouldn’t be able to dive into being her own boss right away. So, she and her husband, a fellow local from the Orlando area making a name for himself as lead singer to an internationally famous metal rock band, chose to make their home here where they both grew up, and she took a job as an in-house designer for the Orlando Museum of Art. Not a bad gig for someone just starting out.

Finish reading at https://orlando.aiga.org/recap-wl-ashley-heafy/

Recap: GUTS Orlando 2015

It was a beautiful sunny day without the slightest hint of rain – the kind of day where you’re warm in the sun but there’s that cool breeze occasionally breaking the heat. With such pleasant weather and the fun festivities, it finally felt a little bit like fall right here in Orlando. Overall, the conditions were ideal for spending an afternoon at Orlando Brewing watching the GUTS Orlando pumpkin carving contest.

In the early hours of the event, the carvers worked furiously to complete their pumpkins in the time limit they’d been set. They did this while allowing spectators to loop the tables, peek over their shoulders, ask questions, and in many cases snap a photo or two. For the younger spectators, the tables were doubly fun to visit with their candy bowls offering an early Halloween trick-or-treating experience – especially for those who’d visited the face-painting station and were “in costume.” Children were also asked to contribute their creativity at the tables set for them to color and decorate their own paper plate pumpkins. The over twenty-one attendees were invited into the brewery for locally brewed libations and a chance to sit and socialize. And everyone, regardless of age, was encouraged to visit the photo booth or create their own GIF’s to share on social media.

Finish reading at http://orlando.aiga.org/recap-guts-orlando/


Palm State Wellness


Palm State Wellness is a health and wellness company selling Arkworld vitamins and supplements. With a content marketing strategy heavily focused on their blog, we share relevant advice and insights for staying healthy as well as the nutritional information behind the ingredients that make their products effective. I am currently the primary blogger for the company and any installments seen on the website as authored by Palm State Wellness were written by myself.

Below are a two samples of the various topics I write on while others can be browsed at: http://palmstatewellness.com/blog/

What is Arginine? And Why Does My Heart Need It?

The truth is, there’s oodles of scientific information about Arginine and it’s benefits out there. But, who wants to spend their time reading scientific studies and formulaic models? Sure, we can provide all that (in links at the bottom of this article, peruse away at your leisure), but why not make it simple so it’s something people actually want to read?

Arginine is defined as a basic amino acid that is a constituent of most proteins. Once it’s in the body it converts into Nitric Oxide (we promise this is about as scientific as it’s going to get). And what does Nitric Oxide do? Just about everything!

Nitric Oxide is “involved in complex behavioral changes in the brain, airway realization, beating of the heart, dilation of blood vessels, regulation of intestinal movement, function of blood cells, the immune system, even how fingers and arms move,” according to Harry Elwardt, N.D, PhD. So basically Nitric Oxide is necessary in making our bodies run, and Arginine is a major component in producing it.

Finish reading at http://palmstatewellness.com/what-is-arginine-and-why-does-my-heart-need-it/

8 Date Ideas for Fitness Junkies

So you love working out. Being active. Pushing yourself to the limits. And you’ve found yourself someone else who enjoys getting their heart pumping too. You’re not the dinner-and-a-movie kind of couple because it’s just too much sitting still for your active bodies; so what can you do together? We have plenty of date ideas that will keep you up and active and get in your workout too.
#1 Rock Climbing
Whether you want to tackle actually scaling the side of a cliff or pay for admittance to an establishment with a rock climbing wall, this is an excellent idea for doing something different (unless rock climbing is already your thing), and getting a whole body

#2 Hiking
From the foothills of the Rockies to the beaches on the East Coast, hiking is a great way to intimately get in some exercise. The longer the hike, the more time you two have to get to know one another. Choose a hike with a picturesque destination and you have ample opportunities for a picnic lunch and more quality time.

Finish reading at http://palmstatewellness.com/8-date-ideas-for-fitness-junkies/


Dragon’s Den Cues

Dragon’s Den Cues is an eCommerce store for billiards and pool cues, cue cases, and accessories. I am currently the primary blogger for the website touching on some topics of tips and advice, though mostly retelling the lessons I’ve learned through my personal experience in playing pool.

Two samples are provided below while other can be seen at: http://dragonsdencues.com/blog/

Pool Lessons: One Ball at a Time

I picked up my first pool cue one lazy afternoon at a friend’s house when I was eighteen. We were bored and his dad had a pool table downstairs, so my buddy decided to teach me the game. I was as terrible as you’d expect any teenager who’d never played to be, but there was something about the game that caught my interest that day. I wasn’t good at it, it didn’t instantly click with me, but there was something about the feel of the cue in my hand, the clink of the balls when they struck, the swoosh of an object ball dropping into the pocket that grabbed hold of me, and that was the beginning of my long love for the game of pool.

At eighteen, the number of pool halls I could be admitted to was limited. Therefore, it wasn’t until I hit the ripe drinking age of twenty-one, I could call myself a pool-hall junkie. Between the ages of 21 and sometime around 24 when I became pregnant, I visited my favorite local pool hall almost daily. I wouldn’t say I was a serious player back in those days. I loved the game. That’s for sure, but I didn’t truly get serious about becoming a better player until after my son was born and I joined the APA (American Pooplayers Association) to have a night out once a week and get back to something I love.

Finish reading at http://dragonsdencues.com/blog/pool-lessons-one-ball-at-a-time/

8 Classic Mistakes Made When Playing Pool

Our greatest lessons come from making mistakes. This is true both in life and when learning a new skill. I’ve been fortunate to play in my local APA league for going on three years now, and I can tell you I must have walked in the door my first night making oodles of mistakes because I now feel like an expert on which are the classic errors newcomers to the game make.

My expertise is borne out of the countless times I’ve heard the same admonishments repeated from my captain, my teammates, and many practice opponents. “Take your time. “Nice and easy.” “You call that hitting it soft?” “Play safeties!” Are just a few of the utterances made under someone’s breath as I walk up to or away from the table.

Learning by trial and error, or learning by doing, rather than through some sort of formal training process can be slow. I’ve had to take these criticisms and instructions and put them into practice time and time again. From week to week, I may be so focused on becoming proficient in one skill I forget and slip up on something as basic as remembering to look at all my angles before calling a time-out. For others like me, still struggling to master the fundamentals, or for newcomers who are doing their extracurricular research, I’ve comprised a list of the classic mistakes made when playing pool.

#1 Not Chalking the Cue

Not everyone realizes the importance of chalking when they first begin playing. Chalk in between every shot. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. For some of us it takes multiple embarrassing miscues before this becomes routine, but it is a necessary action for successful shooting.

#2 Awkward Bridge

It takes some practice and experience to nail down your own bridge preference. Some players balance the cue between the thumb and forefinger, known as an open bridge, while others close their bridge by supporting the cue with the thumb and wrapping the forefinger around the shaft to keep it straight. No one way is better than the other, it’s a personal preference kind of thing. The mistake most often made here is a player insisting on using a technique because they think it’s what they “should” do. Perhaps it’s they way they were taught, or it’s the way their father or brother or best friend held the cue, whatever the reason, both ways don’t work for everybody and you should choose the bridge most comfortable for you. It doesn’t always come naturally either, so once you’ve made a choice practice how it’s most comfortable and keeping it steady on the table so your cue doesn’t get out of line during the stroke.

Finish reading at http://dragonsdencues.com/blog/8-classic-mistakes-made-when-playing-pool/


Treeblog

Treeblog is the official blog for Treefrog Cinegraphix, LLC. I was the primary blogger for them in my time as their Overseer of Agency Well-Being from 2013 to early 2015. We blogged about a myriad of topics, though most tied back to the advertising and marketing industry. Below is a sampling of my top posts showing a variety of informational posts, how-to guides, and list posts, and more can be seen at: https://www.treefrogcx.com/

All the Advertising Bits and Pieces

Cake. Who doesn’t love a perfect cake? (If you happen to be one of the few people who actually don’t like cake, please keep reading, this is just an analogy.) But, would you love a cake made without sugar? How about without eggs, or flour, or baking powder? No, you wouldn’t. A deliciously scrumptious cake isn’t so because of the bowls it’s mixed in or the oven it’s baked in, rather what makes a successful confection is the ingredients that go into it.

Just as there is no single way to bake a delicious vanilla cake, there is no single correct way to approach marketing your business. There are most certainly a lot of wrong ways, but no one right way. Like with the cake, if you leave out the eggs, your dessert will be awful. No one will eat it and they’ll never trust you to bake a cake again. But, you never know, maybe adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla or half a cup of powdered sugar may take an otherwise ordinary cake and make it outstanding.

Finish reading at http://www.treefrogcx.com/2015/02/19/all-the-advertising-bits-and-pieces/

Guide to Hashtags For Small Business

Hashtags are not anything new. They’ve been in active use for quite a while and aren’t showing signs of going any where any time soon. In fact, the # symbol has been used to denote important information within technology fields since as early as the 1970’s. It makes perfect sense for someone to come along and use it as a marker for indicating central themes in more casual communication.

Social media posting without hashtagging is like asking someone out on a date but forgetting to give them your phone number. Hashtags create the means for people to find you or your business based on topics interesting and relevant to them. It brings the most likely potential customers to your brand because you’re talking about something they’re actually searching for.

Finish Reading at http://www.treefrogcx.com/2014/10/17/guide-to-hashtags-for-small-business/

Title: Top Ten Sexy Typefaces

What is sexy?

A man observes a woman from across the room and finds himself captivated. Is it her eyes? Her mouth? Her…?

A woman sneaks a glance at a man as he passes her on the street and becomes titillated. Is he sleek? Sophisticated? Or perhaps the right amount of rough around the edges?

Whatever it is that turns us on, we know it when we see it.

That same inherent attraction to our fellow human beings is also what drives our pull to a certain aesthetic. Truth be told, we make a considerable number of insignificant daily choices based on visual enticement. Advertisers know this, and they strategically use design to beguile the masses.

We all know sex sells, but what makes a sexy design? It doesn’t always come down to scantily clad, tanned, and oiled models with sculpted bodies handling the featured product. No, rather a skilled designer arouses the same excitement as the half-naked-practically-going-at-it-gorgeous-supermodel-type ads without resorting to such a cliché tactic.

Typography holds great weight within a design. That being the case, when striving for a result that spells S-E-X, the designer must employ the sexiest tools in his/her arsenal. What are these tools? The ten sexiest fonts, of course. Lucky for you, dear reader, we know which ten are the sexiest, and we’re in a sharing mood.

Carolyna Pro

We’re beginning our list with the Audrey Hepburn of the typeface world. Designed by Emily Conners, the talent behind the one-woman foundry Emily Lime, Carolyna Pro is a handwritten calligraphy script with playful, yet classy, to-die-for swashes. The choices of alternate glyphs make this a worldly and well rounded font ready for any occasion.

Carolyna is classic with an everlasting style; the sleek kind of sexy. This is no one-night-stand kind of font, this one you’ll want to spend some time with, get to know, and build a long lasting relationship.

Archer

If Archer were a man, he’d be Joseph Gordon Levitt. Typography.com describes Archer as, “Sweet but not saccharine, earnest but not grave … designed to hit just the right notes of forthrightness, credibility, and charm.” Archer may have been designed with Martha Stewart Living in mind, but it’s blending of geometric and antique serif styles with that bold use of ball terminals can – much like a simple smile from Levitt – bring a designer to their knees.\

Finish reading at http://www.treefrogcx.com/2014/02/11/top-ten-sexy-typefaces/