moda vivendi

I'm just talking to myself. We do that sometimes, me and myself.

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Five things I love about Lucy

Today is Lucille Ball’s birthday.  I’ve always admired her.  I think her red hair reminded me of my grandmother and since I was little, the two women were inextricably linked in my mind.  One summer, I spent a good portion of my time reading books about her, researching her, and putting together a presentation and speech to deliver to inform others about her (it was for a class, I wasn’t just preaching to people on the sidewalk!)  To say I’ve become familiar with her work is an understatement.  In honor of Lucy, here are five things I love about (and learned from) Lucy.

  1. She knew what hard work and motivation would do.  Lucille Ball started out as a model, worked on Broadway (under a pseudonym), and then “Queen of the Bs” as a B-List contract actress.  From there, she worked her way up to having an integral role in creating I Love Lucy (and a handful of other shows later).  That was a time when women just didn’t do that.  They didn’t sit in business meetings and negotiate contracts, but she did.  Further, after her divorce from Desi Arnaz, she bought out his share of Desilu and worked as a very active studio head.  Lucy knew what her purpose was, what she wanted to do in life, and she followed her ambition to make herself the icon she is today.  Know that you are capable of making your dreams happen, as long as you’re willing to work for it.
  2. She made a fool of herself when women were just supposed to “look pretty.”  Lucy wasn’t afraid to go the distance to get a laugh, whether it was falling, making faces, or attaching bulbous noses to her normal one.  First woman to really portray pregnancy and having a baby on a sitcom?  That would be Lucy.  Beating a dead horse from above, she wasn’t afraid to do what needed to be done; neither should we.  It’s more acceptable today for women to be funny (or CEOs or engineers) than it was in the past, but there’s still that barrier between men and women.  Adopt her fearlessness and do what you need to do to get the job done.
  3. She cared about other people.  When Lucy was younger, she cared for her stepfather’s parents (and her own brother).  When she later moved to Hollywood, her family came too.  She took care of them and helped to provide for them.  Even after her divorce, she and Desi remained close.  This is what you do for family and people you care about.  Never lose that compassion.
  4. She was afraid of birds.  Lucy said that she remembers little from the day of her father’s funeral when she was a young girl, but she did recall a bird getting trapped in the house.  Since then, she was afraid of birds.  She even went as far as removing wallpaper with pictures of birds that she just had hung (not realizing when she purchased the paper that birds were pictured).  We all have those irrational fears; it’s perfectly acceptable to give in to one (just not all of them, because then you’re just a nutcase).
  5. She left a legacy.  I can only hope to be so memorable one day.

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Five Things: My Social Media Marketing Essentials

This week’s Five Things, I bring you my five social media marketing essentials that I can’t live without.  I’m sure you already use them, but if you don’t, look into it (or ask me to do it for you!)  This is by no means a complete list of every tool I use, just the ones I use daily.

1. TweetDeck – Oh how I love TweetDeck.  It is my go-to dashboard for Twitter.  It’s a seamless extension of the Twitter site.  Want to know every time someone checks into your business through Yelp?  Type in the keyword search “[your business] yelp” and it’ll automatically populate a list for you.  Tracking a hashtag campaign?  Type it in.  Yes, HootSuite offers this as well, along with their own great offerings like built-in analytics, but I prefer TweetDeck to manage multiple Twitter accounts for it’s ease-of-use and clean styling.

HootSuite2. HootSuite – Of course, HootSuite made it on this list.  As I mentioned, HootSuite does offer their own analytic reports for use about every social channel they support (we’re talking all the big players here), integration with Google Analytics, URL click stats, and the ability to make custom reports from their data.  While that’s all mighty fine and dandy, tend not to use HootSuite for tracking but for managing channels, like the five Facebook pages I work with every day.  Any more than that, though, and you’ll have to get a paid account.

3. – A clean follower list is a happy follower list.  You can get that with  A basic (aka free) plan will be sufficient; upgrading to pro is just more of a good thing. allows you to see who has engaged with you the most, whom you need to respond to, and suggests who you should follow and/or unfollow based on recent interactions.  On the basic account, you can also track up to three keywords, similar to TweetDeck’s search function, but shows you “top influencers,” or people who use those keywords the most.  It will also suggest that you engage with a particular user based on their use of/relation to your keywords.  It’s a fascinating tool and I’m only scratching the surface.

4. Google Analytics – Yep, Google Analytics is making an appearance on here.  From learning which page your customers are Google Analyticslanding on to creating custom dashboards brimming with just about any metric you’d want to look at, this program will you just about anything you’d like to know about your website traffic.  I’m a particular fan of Visitors Flow.  It tells you on which page people begin, where they go from there, if they drop off, and the percent of each.  As well, you can filter which segment you want to analyze.  Want to know where people go after they come to your site from Facebook?  Segment for “Social.”  Not sure if you keywords are performing?  Boom, set for keywords.  Again, I’m only scratching the surface.

5. / Delivr I use bitly to shorten and track websites that I share with social channels.  I use Delivr to create QR codes (are QR codes over? Yeah, probably, but some people still like to use them for convenience).  Both will show you how many clicks you get, when, and where.  Bitly will tell you who else shared a bitly link to that content.  It will also show you clicks on that link versus clicks on your other links; this is helpful if you’re testing click rates.

Honorable mention to Twimbow because it’s cool.  It’ll organize your Twitter account based on color.  One color for DMs, one color for mentions, etc.

So that’s my short list of things I “reach for” (“click for”?) every day.  What can’t you live without?

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Five things I’m thankful for today

1. Seeing an okra blossom this morning.  Unusual, I know.  But have you ever seen an okra blossom?  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It’s the softest yellow color with the most vibrant ruby ring right in the center.  Mother Nature, you know how to make them.

2. Coffee. And rain.  Aren’t you just absolutely shocked to read that one?  Right now I am sitting on the porch at my favorite coffee shop (sadly, not Affogato in peace, old regular place) and it is raining and there is a breeze and it’s all so poetic and perfect for writing.  What is it about coffee and rain that are so conducive to writing?  I do believe I have a best seller in me somewhere in the style of Thoreau or Wilde.

3. This guy.  Dogs may stereotypically be man’s best friend, but look at that face.  How can a girl not fall in love with him.  I’m dog-sitting for the week and every night, like clockwork, we go for a walk (well, he takes me for a walk; the little fella can pull!) and then come home and have a raw hide, for him, and a dish of ice cream, for me.  It’s possibly the best relationship I have ever had.

4. Homemade cookies.  I don’t have a picture of them because I haven’t actually made cookies in a surprisingly long time, but that doesn’t cancel out the fact that they are delicious and definitely one of the better things in life!

5. World peace?  New exciting things, like meeting new people and going on new adventures.  I would willingly be hurt 9 times if it means I get to experience that “new relationship” feeling just one more time.  It really is one of the best feelings in the world (the new, exciting one, not the curl-in-a-ball-from-emtional-pain one).

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Five adorable things I need from Etsy

I have become addicted to Etsy.  Not buying, just window shopping.  I love that it’s (mostly) all handmade products and you can choose to shop and support local artists/crafters/makers of stuff.  So here are the five things that I must have.

Cupcake Pan and Tiny Measuring Spoons on a Sterling Silver Plated Chain necklace
1. It’s cupcakes.  2. It’s mini.  3. It’s a mini cupcake necklace.  I mean, how can you not love this?!  A cupcake pan with measuring spoons on a necklace.  I’m literally out of any words, just one continual “Aww!” squeal of joy.
Find: Penelope’s Porch

iPhone 4/4s case Keep Calm Pac-Man Design
How ridiculously awesome is this?  Geekery at it’s finest.  Or, as Nadia G of “Bitchin’ Kitchen” fame would say, “Okay you newrds, check this out.”
Find: Graphic Pals

Snoopy Mac Decal
More geekery.  More squealing.  How can you not like Snoopy!?  This store also has other Peanuts-related decals and a whole bunch of other newrdy goodness.  Snow White with a hand placement right by the Apple logo so it looks like she’s holding it?  I’m all in.
Find: Sunny Luo

Set of 4 Get Together Periodically Cards
For the science newrd in your life.  I don’t know about you, but if I got this in the mail from someone, I’d meet them for lunch.  Forget Facebook; this is the perfect way to re-friend someone you lost touch with.
Find: Macey Mac Design & Illustration

Pistachio Knit Bolero/Scarf
The color is perfect for spring, and it’s practical for chilly mornings/nights.  This person’s store has many different pictures and colors but this one just spoke to me.  I love how versatile the wrap is.  Pricey (and from Turkey, so there goes my buying local thing) but very nice.
Find: Denizgunes

And I can’t talk about Etsy without plugging a Pittsburgh collective shop, I Heart Pgh!  All I’m saying is that I hope that when I get my Etsy site up and running (don’t think I forgot about my button bracelets) I hope IHP will hook a gal up.  Plus, I love the people they follow as part of their collective.  So cute and hip and perfectly kitsch.