18 Months Later I’m Out On My Own

Dear WordPress.com,

It’s been a fun ride, but it’s time to move on to my own self-hosted blog.  I appreciate you giving me the confidence to branch out on my own.  You’ll notice that I’m still working with you in a small way so it’s like things never changed.  This isn’t good-bye, but instead the start of a new endeavor together.  We’ll continue to see each other often and blog together at 21st Century Gal.  You’ve been a great friend and I’m looking forward to the next adventure!

Enthusiastically yours,

 

Alexis

 

 

Stop by the new blog and be sure to subscribe to it as that is where all the new postings will be.

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Filed under Blogging, Uncategorized

Headlines That Will Take You By Surprise

Offensive shrubbery is worthy of being headline news? Unemployment rates are still in the tank, the world is continually in an uproar, it’s an election year and yet I still am finding the craziest of headlines that are unrelated to the afore-mentioned topics. Believe it or not, but a 53-year-old man in England is at war with his local town council because of his shrubbery. Apparently his neighbors are complaining that his topiary, which has been shaped the same way for the last eight years, is offensive to them. Am I the only one that realizes this avid gardener must have one heck of a sense of humor?

Thanks to Cater News Agency for the photo

Thanks to Cater News Agency for the photo

After eight years I am impressed that only one neighbor has voiced their offensive concerns and that it was not done until recently. Can you imagine what he must do with holiday lights and this topiary during the month of December? Just when I thought that the news couldn’t get any more strange I stumble upon this man who has been dubbed as the “Cathedral Licker” according to Caters News.

This guy makes the gardener look like he is totally sane. The “Cathedral Licker” has traveled 5,000 miles to ensure that he can give every Anglican cathedral in England a good lick. Apparently this is all because a friend of his bet him that he couldn’t get his slobbery touch on every Anglian cathedral in the UK during a five-year period.

Thanks to Caters News Agency for the photo

Thanks to Caters News Agency for the photo

I’m not sure what they were under the influence of that night, but this guy took the challenge and never looked back. This goes way past the five second rule and straight to gross. On the other hand, it’s made me think that my sense of humor is way more suited for the UK.

Right here in the good ol’ United States you can have your mortgage paid for if you are willing to cover your house in advertisements for one year. Apparently a California advertising agency is willing to pay your mortgage payments in order to increase their advertising space. Godialing (formerly Adzookie), the company offering this enticing program, is accepting applications from homeowners who need help paying their bills.

Thanks to the Godialing site for the photo

Thanks to the Godialing site for the photo

I’ll tell you what, that’s one way to put your home to work in these rough economic times. Godialing only asks that the homeowners allow the company to decorate their home with social media icons and other forms of company logos. In exchange the company will pay for the mortgage for every month that the house remains painted. I dig the fact that if for any reason your cancel after three months or Godailing cancels the agreement then they repaint your house back to the original colors.

The company is even willing to work with website owners. Apparently they will give a $1,000 credit that the homeowner can spend on advertising their business on smartphones. Not a bad deal. I know we haven’t finished or home buying process yet, but I wonder how my boyfriend would feel about me registering us for this? I get the feeling that the Homeowners Association would frown upon something like this, but I’ll sure as heck check to see if I can make this happen. Who doesn’t want a little help with their first year of mortgage payments?

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Filed under Culture

My Mother; The Blogging “Expert”

Acquiring blog readers is hard.  Simple as that.  At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for.  However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience.  When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure.  I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.

I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog.  Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though.  During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since.  I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.

Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques.  Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others?  Oh yes, that’s right…my mother!  Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right.  See what I did there with the “almost” part?  I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.

It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own.  I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer.  Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof.  Anything and everything has the potential of being funny.  I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.

Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me.  Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh.  She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting.  Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly.  For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit.  There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.

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Filed under Blogging, Culture, Dance, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Friends, Parenting, Sewing, Taking Charge of One's Health

Move Over Nappytab ‘Cause We’re Coming For You

Back in the day I posted about the “Coffee Compatibility” I have with my boyfriend.  Over the last two and a half years I’ve learned there is much more that we share then just our coffee and ice cream preference.  What I most treasure is our shared love for the performing arts.  Although we’ve only once done a show together in our teenage years, I’ve had the pleasure of being able to watch him continue his love for being on the stage.

In the last handful of years I have kind of navigated away from performing myself and turned towards the behind the scenes production side of things and it has been fun to see him taking on more projects in that regard as well.  Although he does still grace the stage every once in a while, his skills in show production seem to grow more and more every year and it has been exciting to watch his journey.  Since I switched jobs last June I haven’t taken on that many side projects myself so it has been exciting to start putting myself out there again in the last few weeks.

In formatting my resumes, and yes most performers have two, I’ve come to find that I really do have a crazy background that has come together to get me to the point I am at today.  Now I’m looking towards the future with the excitement that we might actually get to work on a project together in the coming year.  Last time we were both a part of a show it was on stage, so it will be exciting to now be working together behind the scenes.

It’s been a massive transition as I moved away from someone who had no involvement in my passion for the arts to someone who shares it with me in every way possible.  We can talk shop without worrying about having to explain everything.  We can go see productions together and evaluate them as not just patrons, but those who have been on the other side as well.  It is a pleasure to respectfully bump heads with another person’s creative vision because I’m just happy that he has one!  I think our strengths and weaknesses really compliment each other and that is why I hope we continue teaming together in the future on projects since we’re already teaming together in life.

Moving into the new house in a few months will be stressful with all the projects we’re looking at tackling within the performing arts, but I’m so thankful we’ll have more floor space to rehearse in.  Coda will finally be safe when we are staging numbers without having to hide on the couch to stay out from under our feet.  It seems like each day I learn more and more about our compatibility and it makes me happy that he so persistently stuck it out with me.  He always seemed to know that this would work, but I’m elated that I’ve had the opportunity to now see it myself on so many levels.

 

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Filed under Dance, Dating

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet…

With my grandmother joining Facebook and getting an email account all in the same week, it’s come to my attention that I’m slipping behind the times.  My mother and step-dad regularly Tweet like others in our family and I think it might just be time that I join Twitter before my grandmother beats me to it.  I’ve been looking for a way to branch out and give my blog a chance for more exposure and I’m starting to think this might be a way to do so.

The bad news is that I’m going to have to get a Twitter tutorial from my parents…so much for being the cutting edge child!  I know a lot of my fellow bloggers take advantage of the Twitter universe, but I would love to know what you really think about it.  Did it increase your subscriber base?  Is it a good way to connect with other bloggers that you regularly follow?  Please share your stories as I consider embarking on this new area of the digital universe.

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Filed under Culture

The Game Of Telephone Doesn’t Belong At Work

Within the last few years I noticed that the best managers I ever worked for were those that kept open lines of communication.  I had two managers that may have needed to actually have less of an open door policy as I have no clue how they ever got actual work accomplished.  However, you could always get the status of anything you needed at any given time.  Unfortunately there have been very few managers that I have worked for that made the environment as open as these two did.  It was a delight to work for them and when I moved on I actually felt bad knowing I was leaving them.

Therefore, today’s casual business lesson is going to be focused around open lines of communication.  Being a manager who has always practiced open lines of communication with my employees I know it can be difficult as it often takes time away from other work to keep everyone informed.  The flip side is that your employees will take more stock in their position with the company and feel more like a part of the team when you keep them in the loop.

Several places I’ve worked have given me managers that are poster children for broken lines of communication with staff.  In each location I’ve seen the same problems arise.  There is always confusion amongst the employees, eventually an uprising and that’s usually when people begin searching for other forms of employment due to the unhappiness with their current work situation.  These are all problems that can be avoided.

My last place of employment gave me an opportunity to get to know my employees very well as my office was in the corner of their break room.  It was an interesting office situation that could be trying at times to get my work done, but it did allow me the chance to continually keep my staff up to date on everything that I was able to share.  Obviously there are topics that you will not be able to openly communicate, but there are many that you will be able to and your employees will appreciate hearing them.

When I made the decision to leave my last job it was very difficult.  After three years I felt as if we were less of a workforce and more of a dynamic family situation.  I cared about each of the employees as I watched on as the attended college, graduated, got married and even moved on to professional careers of their own.  I was always sad to see them go, but so proud to see them achieving their goals and starting their own careers.  In my mind this was all due to our open lines of communication and the wonderful work environment we all maintained each and every day.

Take a moment out of your day and think if you have taken the time to chat with your staff.  Do you know anything about them outside of work?  Are they looking to move forward in their career?  Do they feel like they have a good grip on the company and what is going on around them?  Are you sharing information accurately and equally with all of your team?  If you are having trouble with some of these questions than it might just be time to re-evaluate the way you interact with your team and share information.

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Filed under Female Management Skills

The Liebster Award

I have to take a moment today and extend a very generous thank you to Ginger Ray of DailyLifeWithFibromyalgia for nominating me for the Liebster Award!

“This award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers, as a way to encourage them, as well as spread love around the community.  It also shares appreciation for fellow bloggers and the wonderful work they do.”

I can’t express my gratitude enough to Ginger Ray for considering me for something like this.  I started this blog as I was tackling a difficult time in my life and I am moved that others have found the topics I touch on to be entertaining and / or informative.

I tend to tackle everything from relationships, to management techniques, to running and now sewing.  I’ve got a very broad range of experiences and interests and I think my blog is a shining example of that.  I greatly appreciate the support of my fellow bloggers that I have received over the last year and half of my blogging journey.  In an effort to spread the wealth I wish to nominate the following 5 blogs for the Liebster Award as well:

The World According to Alexandra

Growing Up Senge

Have You Met Ken?

Under The Tea Cozy

The Dancing Runner

Congratulations everyone and keep up the good work!

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Filed under Culture, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Sewing