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creative for good

June 21, 2013



Here’s a big rule in communication and marketing:  it’s not ok to copy the creative campaigns of others.

However, this new initiative not only says it’s ok, but offers resources, case studies, and examples for anyone to borrow and implement. They call it “using the power of creativity to spark social change.”

The Creative for Good initiative wants to make successful social marketing campaigns (for example, public service ads that seek to affect societal change) widely available to smaller organizations that may not have the resources or budget to create sophisticated public service campaigns from scratch. The Creative for Good website is a repository or sorts, allowing visitors to peruse existing campaigns and download information on research, strategy, and creative to help implement the campaigns. Creative for Good features campaigns considered to have smart strategy, top-notch creative work, and impressive results. There are currently 60 campaigns housed on the site (take a look here) and they are accepting new submissions.


What are your thoughts on this? Do you see this as an opportunity for communicators to have a positive influence? Or do you think a widely-available database like this diminishes the communication industry?

Photos above are from campaigns featured on the Creative for Good website (Recipeace campaign and the People for People campaign) .

PS: You can read more about the initiative in the New York Times and Huffington Post.


how to arrange supermarket flowers

June 20, 2013


Between Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and the farmers market, we can usually find a good selection of nice, cheap flowers to throw in a vase. However, the pre-made arrangements at the grocery store always seem to be a bit overpriced and usually include a lot of some flower that I don’t particularly like. I usually opt for a vase of hydrangeas or peonies, but this time I decided to try my hand at creating my own arrangement. I picked those three above and ended up with the arrangement below. I actually made a couple of arrangements for under $12 – not too bad!


Tell me – what are your favorite flowers to pair together? Do you prefer to buy flowers at a florist, grow them yourself, or pick them up on your grocery run?

a weekend in chattanooga

June 12, 2013


In some ways, traveling to Tennessee feels like going home. After spending four years there during college, we have some incredible memories and several best friends who still live in the area (and, thankfully, don’t mind if we crash their homes for a weekend).

For this visit, we stayed with our friends in Chattanooga so we spent most of our time there. When we lived in southeast Tennessee over seven years ago, Chattanooga was slowly trying to clean up its act – it had a couple of cool restaurants, a fun ice cream shop we all loved, and a fun walking bridge to take pictures on.

Since then, the city has taken big steps forward in its re-branding with strong efforts to emphasize its artistic and entrepreneurial spirit. Did you know Chattanooga was the first U.S. city to design its own typeface? It was fun to catch of glimpse of the city’s successful efforts.

Here are links to some of the places we visited:

WAREHOUSE ROW: artisanal goods and boutique brands

PUBLIC HOUSE: comfort food done right

FOOD WORKS: dining in an old knitting mill


For my Tennessee friends – what are your favorite spots in Chattanooga? What would you recommend for our next visit? I’d love to hear!


celebrating female heroines

May 22, 2013


How awesome is this? After noticing a trend towards Disney princess dress-up photo shoots, Texas photographer Jamie Moore had her daughter Emma choose real female heroines for a dress-up photo shoot, picking women who made history in all areas of life, from Amelia Earhart, to Helen Keller, to Coco Chanel.

Here’s what she had to say:

“I noticed quite a pattern of so many young girls dressing up as beautiful Disney Princesses, no matter where I looked 95% of the “ideas” were the “How to’s” of  how to dress your little girl like a Disney Princess. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Disney Princesses, from their beautiful dresses, perfect hair, gorgeous voices and  most with ideal love stories in the mix you can’t help but become entranced with the characters. But it got me thinking, they’re just characters, a writers tale of a princess (most before 1998)…an unrealistic fantasy for most girls (Yay Kate Middleton!).

“It started me thinking about all the REAL women for my daughter to know about and look up too, REAL women who without ever meeting Emma have changed her life for the better.”


Such a neat way to celebrate real heroes. And the pictures are adorable too. You can read more about it and see more photos here.

What female heroine would you choose? I keep thinking it would also be fun to choose a woman in your family as the subject for the photo shoot, like a grandmother or an aunt.

seventh anniversary

May 21, 2013


The first year there was apartment 408, forbes and cambridge, long waits at the metro, lettuce wraps on the living room floor, homesickness for college, Shoppers for cheap groceries, trips to Charlottesville and NYC, a new group called devos and desserts, awkward company Christmas parties, and learning DC.

The second year there were new friends, an ACC championship game, wedding road trips, love for eastern market, last minute weeknight restaurant dates, and volunteering at NCC nursery. There was a new obsession with thai food and movies on Tuesdays or Wednesdays or Thursdays.

The third year there was apartment 379, small group leading, Muir Woods in flip flops and plants that smelled like chai tea. There were promotions, late nights at work, dreams and journeys about microfinance, a sprint triathlon and a broken camera. There was another State of the Union, a realization we’d stay for awhile, a real mattress, and Crystal City 5Ks. There were late nights with friends and spades and oreos. There was Harris Teeter and eating out.

The fourth year there was a commitment to celebrate creativity in our home, Ardie, snowmageddon, driving through Times Square, a desire for Del Ray. There were sleepless nights and serving in Nairobi, chasing wildabeest on an African safari, and a little girl named Irene. There was a hot air balloon ride, showers for friends, Thanksgiving in New York, vacations with family, and a commitment to be grateful. There were tears about work, dreams for the future, and a desire for flexibility.


The fifth year there was a scavenger hunt with friends, kite festivals, and Dean and Deluca. There was our fifth Cherry Blossom Festival, a new little place in Del Ray, oxford, a backyard, and a commitment to simplicity. There were bike trips, picnics, day trips to NYC, conversations in Central Park. There were secrets and sickness in LA, preparations for new life, an ultrasound tech’s note that read “girl,” turquoise, orange, patterns, and homemade birds. There was April 9, and 10th, and 11th…. There was more waiting, and then there was April 18th. There was Emerson Kate and a family of three.

The sixth year there were sleepless nights, learning new ways to communicate, adjusting and falling in love. There was refreshing at Keswick, a journey to California,  and the fifth Tennessee Ten vacation. There was working from home, a lot of Starbucks, Buzz in the mornings, Trader Joe’s, a table for two plus a high chair, visits from family, a roller, a sitter, and a crawler. There was the Patch and a desire to write, and there was faithful Cambridge. There was biking in Paris, cafe cremes, language barriers, clutching our pockets in Barcelona, and a Spanish wedding celebration. There was fasting and praying and a call to the future, two-months full time, a goodbye to a chapter, and the start of another.

The seventh year there was mama and daddy, walking and talking and running and jumping, swings, strawberry patches, pumpkin patches, and Oronoco Bay park. There was less eating out and more exploring in the kitchen. There was Johns Hopkins, a commitment to learning, and intentional conversations about family and future. There was Charlottesville, California twice, lost luggage, trips to Chesapeake, and a greater love for Del Ray. There was Billy the Bulldog, library story time, goldfish, and snack cups. There was production and small group and coaching and leading. There was the pocket park hills, and a tunnel, and a slide, and and a seesaw.

Happy Anniversary, my love. May our years together continue to be full of adventure and love.

keeping house plants alive

May 16, 2013


I have yet to keep a house plant alive. That’s not an exaggeration. Every plant I ever owned died a slow and wilted death, due admittedly to my own neglect. My solution: write-off house plants all together. Instead, I stuck to placing fresh flowers in the house, which are expected to die so I’d be off the hook in trying to keep them alive.

Last week, I decided to turn a new page in the horticulture chapter of my life and take on the challenge of house plants once again. I’ve noticed that many homes and apartments I admire have touches of greenery added here and there. So we made a trip over to our local nursery and bought some ferns, a kalanchoe plant, terra cotta pots and a few herbs. We’re a week in and I’m happy to report that they’re all still alive! I’m actually attempting to pay attention to them, and I’m feeling brave.

There’s something emboldening about taking up a project or a challenge that you’ve written off, even when it’s something small like house plants. It causes us to think with a different perspective and challenges us with new creative outlets.

Is there something you’ve written off that you’d like to try your hand at again? (And, do you have any tips for keeping house plants alive??)

brilliant new product for parents

May 1, 2013


This new product is a brilliant idea for parents – onesies that prevent the mess of diaper blowouts! The poopsies brand just launched this week with cute basic patterned onesies that have a waterproof lining to prevent blowouts from ruining clothes. If they are as effective as they sound, I think poopsies may join Sophie and aden + anais muslin swaddles as a must-give shower gift. And their branding is super cute too.

Check it out here.

(Just a warning – if you’re not familiar with the scene of a blowout, you might want to skip some of the “see it to believe it” pictures!)

What do you think moms and dads? Would you invest in one (or many) of these?



Photos from the poopsies website. You can enter to win a poopsies on their site here.


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