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Five Inspiring Women if You Love Kate Middleton

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Who doesn’t love Kate Middleton?

If you can’t get enough of her class and style, here are at five more women who will warm your heart. Some of them maybe familiar, but we could all use reminders of how fabulous they are.

1. Princess Diana, of course

2. Grace Kelly

3. Princess Charlene of Monaco, Grace Kelly’s daughter-in-law!

4. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

5. Jennifer Lawrence, another modern beauty

Check out my whole For Fashion board on Pinterest for more inspiration!


 

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Five Oil Painting Inspirations

They say that marketers are half artist and half data nerd. I spend so much time in the data and analytics world, that sometimes my artistic side feels stifled. That’s why I’ve resolved to get back into one of my childhood hobbies – painting.

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They say that marketers are half artist and half data nerd.

I spend so much time in the data and analytics world, that sometimes my artistic side feels stifled. That’s why I’ve resolved to get back into one of my childhood hobbies – painting. I use to paint mostly in acrylic, but I really want to learn oil painting. I bought some oil paints on Zulily, picked up a bunch of canvases when Michael’s was having a sale, and my wonderful husband has offered to build me an easel.

Check out my whole For Art board on Pinterest!


These finds from Pinterest have inspired me. Looking forward to having a bunch of these around our house.

1. Portrait in Oil

2. Cow Face

3. Howard Tanaye

4. Mstislav Pavlov

5. China, Jan De Vliegher

What are your favorite oil painting inspirations?

Top 5 Mid-Century Modern #MCM House Tours

Where do you find inspiration for you mid-century modern home? I like looking into other people’s homes! Here are my top 5 favorite mid-century modern house tours online.

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House Tours

Since the primary reason I love mid-century modern design is how homey it is, I can’t resist checking out some mid-century modern home tours online. In fact, I first was exposed to mid-century modern when my husband and I were first married and looking to decorate our first home together. There is something about this vintage design that incorporates feminine lines, patterns, and comfort with masculine textures,  colors, and nature elements. Here are some of my favorite sources of inspiration currently found on the internet, and I hope you enjoy checking them out as much as I do!

1. Style At Home: Zoë Chicco at the Glitter Guide

Zoë Chicco is a goldsmith and jewelry designer, who brings a lot of glamour to her mid-century modern  home design. If you are looking for the fancy side of mid-century, or are already have the glamour and are looking to add some mid-century character to your overall look, this house tour provides plenty of inspiration.

2. Jenny & Collin’s Bold Mix of Books & Media on Apartment Therapy

My favorite thing about Jenny and Collin’s home is how books and other media are the main focus. I love everything about books, from the content, to the covers, to the timelessness of the act of reading. One of the best parts of mid-century modern design is how well it mastered making storage beautiful. This particular tour really demonstrates how to use that storage to feature cool things like books.

 

3. A Time Traveling Vintage Inspired San Francisco Home at Design Sponge

Photography Troy Litten has quite a following for his artistic work, but also for his amazing vintage-inspired home in San Francisco. I personally find his style amusing because it has such a sense of science fiction, without actually referencing any scifi literature or films. Great inspiration for the nerd who doesn’t want to over-do it.

4. Love Nest in Lonny Magazine

Did you know that actors Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen were into mid-century modern? I didn’t either, but fortunately Sarah Storms of Lonny Magazine found out for all of us. What a beautiful, understated celebration of how mid-century design brings together masculine and feminine. Now we can all dream of how we would decorate our homes of we had an unlimited budget!

5. Amy & David Butler’s Creative Textile Lab of a Home at Apartment Therapy

While this home tour is billed as an adventure through creative textiles, it also, perhaps inadvertently, celebrates mid=-century modern design. Of course, mid-century design makes great use of textiles, but also of light and space and color which this house tour brings in force.

Top Five Mid-Century Modern Genre Mash-ups

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Mid-century modern design is generally considered to include architecture, interior design, and furniture. But its core set of characterizes lends itself to other designs as well. The clean lines, rich colors and textures, natural elements, and tangible excitement are innately beautiful (at least to those of us moved by MCM design), and here are my top 5 MCM genre mash-ups.

Space

The 1950s and 60s were spent looking at the night sky. This star-begotten generation heard Sputnik’s signal, Kennedy’s speech, and Armstrong’s step falls. As much as I love learning about our amazing universe and look forward to the day that humanity once again walks on other worlds, I know that I can never really understand the zeitgeist of the space race era. Yet by looking at the space works of the mid-20th century, we can all catch but a glimpse.

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[Left] Charlton Heston as astronaut George Taylor in the 1968 Planet of the Apes, [Center] “Atomic Future” limited edition print by Linda Tillman, [Right] “This is Cape Canaveral” by  Miroslav Sasek shared by Tumblr user Mid-Century Modern Grapic Design.

Christmas

As my husband and I were beginning to decorate for our first Christmas together, I turned to the power of the internet for ideas on how to decorate in a mid-century modern style. There were lots of great blogs out there, but nothing that offered directions for a complete mid-century look. To fill that void, I compiled five easy steps to have a very merry, mid-century modern Christmas. If that’s of interest of you, definitely check out the whole list. But in short, MCM makes a beautiful Christmas because it yields great music, great family projects, and great new traditions.

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[Left] modern paper ornaments how-to by Rock Mom, [Center] rustic tree stand on decoist.

Graphic Design

The design elements of Modernism translated naturally into graphic design and showed itself in book covers, movie posters, and Mad Men style advertisements. One of my favorite things to collect is mass market paperback books from used book stores which you can usually find for a couple bucks. Book covers use to be works of art [insert sighing comment about how they don’t make books like that anymore].

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[Center] The Animal Kingdom illustrated by Charley Harper, [Right] giclee print of 1968 Planet of the Apes movie poster for sale at Art.com.

Children

When I was combing the internet for good MCM resources, I found several great boards by other users on Pinterest. One that caught my eye was Anyta’s because it featured adorable small animal prints and figurines. It instantly inspired me for any future kid’s rooms or nursery’s.

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[Left] re-purposed mcm end table into lego play area by Fussy Monkey Business, [Center] danish deer photographed by Flickr user homebug, [Right] white vintage toy kitchen set by KidKraft.

Pets

Pets aren’t kids. Buuuuut, we still all enjoy makings or designing spaces for our pets. MCM lends itself well to pet-friendly design because you can pick up used furniture pretty cheaply and refurbish it on your own. If you are going all out decorating your house, you might as well have pet beds and spaces that you enjoying showing off.

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[Left] MCM dog bed at Apartment Therapy, [Center] Right Bark ‘Atcha Collar at Modcloth, [Right] modern pet bowl stand at Almost Makes Perfect.

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Adorable Kiddos & Your Brand

Children evoke feelings of commitment and trust in customers, particularly if the target demographic is parents. Large brands such as UPS and Ashford University are featuring these small faces, and we can all learn lessons about brand management from them.

Adorable Kiddos & Your BrandLessons from Large Companies Featuring Little Faces.

 

Adorable kids are irresistible. At least, several brands are banking on it!

In 2013, Ashford University launched a campaign to boost online enrollment called “Technology Changes Everything” spearheaded by a commercial of adorable children talking how “smart” and “bright” their parents were for completing their degrees online using their smart phones, laptops, and tablets.

Under CEO Andrew Clark, parent company Bridgepoint Education has increase enrollment from under 1000 students in fall of 2005, to over 95,000 in March of 2012. Capitalizing on this success, they conducted a survey in summer of 2012 and found that 9 out of 10 adults considering high education agree that “Technology Changes Everything,” particularly moms of young kids. Hence the adorable children in their commercials.

Here is their most recent ad, titled “School Comes to You.”

Role Models

Now this recently we saw an even larger brand getting on the smiling-children band wagon — UPS. Their most recent ad, titled “Role Models,” is a slight pivot from their focus on logistics. They still emphasize the logistics, a word they have come to own, but they are viewing the importance through the eyes of their kid’s sports teams.

 

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There is no need to explain why kids are great for brand loyalty. They evoke the same warm-fuzzy emotions of devotion and commitment that brand managers want people to feel about their products. Or in this case, services. As the girl says at the end of the Ashford University commercial above, “you can trust me, I’m a kid.”

Emotions: Devotion, commitment, affection, closeness, warmth

Target Audiences: Parents, older siblings, and those men & women in the age demographics to have young children

Does this describe your customers and how you want them to feel? It does for Ashford University & UPS.

 

 

Where to Find the Best Marketing Blogs

it is important to keep up with the industry literature if you work in marketing, communications, and public relations. The first place normal people check would be the industry mags, but most young professionals or entrepreneurs need to find resources that aren’t as taxing on the wallet. Here is a secret spot to find great marketing blogs.

file0001810786833As with any field, it is important to keep up with the industry literature if you work (or want to work) in marketing, communications, and/or public relations. The first place normal people check would be the industry mags (think AdWeek and PRWeek), but most young professionals or entrepreneurs need to find resources that aren’t as taxing on the wallet. For this purpose there are many great blogs out there if you know where to find them, and as I’m beginning to realize, some of the best marketing and PR blogs can be found by the companies who operate marketing and PR databases.

These blogs are a head above the rest because the companies don’t rely on this content to drive income – their databases do that. Obviously the operation of such blogs is a marketing tool itself. The blog supports their brand as a go-to company for marketing or PR support, and they hope that you as a marketing and PR professional will someday come to a point where you might purchase a subscription to a database. Well good on their part, and I wish everyone a mutually-beneficial marketing experience.

 

Some of the best database blogs that I frequent are:

1) clearCI

This database specializes in competitive intelligence, and has practical advice on how to apply this intelligence in a variety of marketing projects. They have advice on how to gain intelligence from free online tools like LinkedIn, and also super-creative tools on how to convince your boss (or purchasing manager) to buy their product.

Access the clearCI blog here.

2) Meltwater

Meltwater’s database is fun and user-friendly, which is definitely reflected in their blog. Their clean and modern Norwegian sensibilities help make their information accessible to young professionals. Their blog is divided into a PR blog, a social medial blog, and a “success” blog.

Access the Meltwater PR blog here.

Access the Meltwater Social Media blog here.

Access the Meltwater Success blog here.

3) Vocus

What I’ve read on the Vocus blog seems to be higher-level advice and strategy, which means if you are looking to learn and expand your knowledge, it’s a great place to frequent. They also feature case studies of companies who have successfully used their products from which you can glean knowledge apart from the sales pitches.

Access the Vocus blog here.

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Marc Cowlin at Meltwater compiled a list of “The Top 15 PR Blogs You Should Read Regularly.” Some of them are great finds indeed, and I am beginning to work them into my reading rotation. Definitely check out his list, which I am NOT copying here because you should go read the blog yourself.

How to Have a Merry Mid-Century Modern Christmas in Five Easy Steps

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As my friends and family are beginning to suspect, I really love mid-century modern. So as my husband and I were beginning to decorate for our first Christmas together this year, I turned to the power of the internet for ideas on how to decorate in a mid-century modern style. There were lots of great blogs out there, but nothing that offered directions for a complete mid-century look. To fill that void, I have compiled here five easy steps to have a very merry, mid-century modern Christmas.

NOTE: Most of the pictures link to Pinterest if you want to pin them yourself.

1) Pick a Color Pallet

This is a crucial place to start because it defines all of your decorating decision from here on out. Not to say that you can’t change your mind, or have different color pallets in different rooms, but having a specific color pallet in mind will make it easier on you to coordinate your pieces, make purchasing decisions, and make decor yourself (as we’ll discuss later). Popular combinations include the classic red and green, the addition of white to the red and green, metallics, and brightly colored neons.

Bright Colors & Neons

  

White, Red, and Green

  

I chose Red, Silver, and Gold

Red, Silver, and Gold Red, Silver, and Gold Red, Silver, and Gold

2) DIY

One of the best parts of the holidays is spending time with family. But if you are like most families, you begin to run out of ideas after a few days! Making your own mid-century Christmas decorations is a great way to spend time together, add a little vintage feel to your decor, and save money. Here are some great DIY ideas.

 

  

  

3) Utilize Vintage Prints

Thanks to the Internet, we can find actual vintage mid-century prints, wrapping paper, and cards on sites like Etsy and Ebay. Or you can find reproductions and mid-century inspired prints almost anywhere. They are small, easy ways to have a mid-century Christmas even if you do nothing else.

  

4) Play Classic Carols

Music wafting through a home is one of the simplest, yet most powerful forms of decoration. It can brighten spirits and set holiday moods. The 1950s and 1960s is a great vintage of Christmas Carols, and you should definitely pick up some old albums (or download, whatever).

  

5) Exercise Restraint

Despite some people’s interpretation of mid-century, and others’ of the Christmas season, the key to a well-executed #MCM Christmas is exercising restraint. Minimalism in a close cousin of mid-century modern, and you should keep that in mind when you decorate. Think more of what you can highlight, than what you can hide, and what you can put away than what you can put up.

  

How to Have a MCM Christmas in 5 Easy Steps