Scratch that.

Having big goals requires having a bunch of little ones to check off the list to help you get there. I’ve written some of my smaller goals here that will help me get to the bigger, badder bucket list items. Today, I got to check one of those off. I now have some articles published somewhere other than my own blog.

It feels like a big day but maybe that’s because the sun was still up at 7PM.

The writing is different from what I usually write here. It’s more personal, or at least a different kind of personal. Also, it’s been edited! It’s weird seeing words that did not come from myself. It was also helpful to see how unclear I can write or how I can mix my points and switch topics mid article. Humbling.

Read on

Confessions of a Former McDonalds Addictmcdo-1
McDonald’s and I have had an interesting relationship over the years.
 I love McDonald’s and have had a tendency to lose self-control around it. At first it was infrequent during late-night study sessions with friends, entirely on impulse. Then it stopped being so infrequent.

I moved to Montreal after I graduated University and found myself in a new (big) city with few friends. My evenings after work were spent alone in those first few months. I didn’t have a lot of energy to meet new people at the end of a long day. So I watchedBig Bang Theory instead. During this time, I had moved right across the street from a McDonald’s. The mouth-watering scent of salty fries were carried on in the warm September breeze across the street and into my bedroom window.

I was doomed.

Click to read more.

It feels good, people. Now that the sun is down I can say confidently that it does feel good to scratch this off the list.

What smaller steps have you scratched off your Bucket list recently? Leave a comment here

How to get free stuff

free stuff

I’ve received a decent amount of free stuff on the internet since the burgeoning of social media. It’s actually quite surprising. Some of it was through contests, others of it was from being a huge nerd. This morning, I woke up to find an email in my Inbox from Lift (remember when I posted about that app?) asking me for my address because they wanted to send me free stuff to thank me for the nice post I wrote. That is a very smart thing to do on their behalf because now I’m writing a second post talking about how great they are. This made me reflect on how much free stuff I have received and how it usually ends up happening. Here’s how:

liftUse social media.

Tweet, Facebook, blog about products you love. Be honest and be generous. If you love something, talk about it. Why not? We all know no one trusts marketing, unless it’s by real people we trust, so why not help the brands we trust by gushing about them in a place where more people can hear about it (and so can the brands).

Let them know.

Tag them  in your post so they know you love their product so much you’re giving it to your sibling/spouse/friend.

Don’t be greedy.

Every time I’ve received freebies it was totally off my radar. I have never intended to get free things (unless it was in relation to a poor customer service issue) I have just really loved the product so I’ve talked about it. I used to go to this coffee shop by Guy-Concordia metro called Café Myriade all the time because I worked near Concordia. I really loved them and the owner Anthony started to know me by my tweets. I would tweet about how I was bringing in my dad to try his first latte, how i was bringing any friends who came to town there, etc. I even thought about stopping there on my wedding day. It became common for Anthony to give me a free drink when he was working the cash. Those free drinks didn’t discourage me from tweeting in the least, I sent more people there because I liked the business more! Or, I talk a lot about a certain handmade journal company I like a lot, and I get a free journal for all the publicity. I never tried to get these things. I just loved them so I talk about them.

Customer service cases are different.

In those cases, we have every right to be compensated for poor service and social media leverage can get you the recognition you deserve. If you were treated poorly, tweet about it and tag their company twitter. But, don’t get in such a huff that you lie and blow the situation out of proportion. Be honest about the fact that they replied to you to try to mediate the situation (because they probably will) and give them the credit they deserve if they fix it. If they don’t, well, that’s another story. I’ve had some good and bad experiences with Rogers on twitter. Some great experiences with WestJet and Air Canada on twitter. In this day in age, using social media leverage is very wise when dealing with things like airlines and other brands. They’re often quick to compensate for fear of bad publicity. That’s where you can benefit.

Easter DIY

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So like I said the other day, I got a little inspired and ended Easter-ifying a Christmas printable I found on Pinterest and have been using to decorate for christmas for the last two years. I will be clear: I did not make the original. All glory and thanks goes to eighteen25. What I did was change the colours and make one have a chevron print. That’s it. No special thanks to me at all.

It was pretty surprising how quickly that Christmas stuff came down when I was motivated to put something better up. These are much better for spring than the dark colours of those Christmas ones.

easter banner

Click the image to get to the actual file

For instructions on how to make the banner, I’m going to direct you over to the eighteen25 blog, since they deserve the props. Here they are.

I also made a Easter-related Bible verse that you can print out and frame if that’s your thing. Yes, I used more than 2 fonts. Deal with it!

resurrection

Click the image to get to the actual file

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You can see the bottom line is cut off, but I edited the image so that shouldn’t be a problem for you if you choose to use it.

Do you usually decorate based on the holiday? Or the season? Do you even decorate your place? Leave your comment here.

If this, then that

iftttThis morning I woke up and it felt like spring in my heart. Even though it’s been cloudy and slushy for weeks, I can tell that something is thawing my heart. I am glad! I checked “craft” off my list today on Lift. Inspired by a commenter who pointed out that maybe I actually just plain like my christmas decorations, I took the printable that I had made my Christmas bunting from and made an easter version. I’ll post pictures and links to the printable once it’s done.

What I really wanted to talk about today was this glorious website I’ve been using for quite awhile.  Have you ever been frustrated that the internet doesn’t do what you want it to do? “I wish I could click this button and then this article shows up in my Evernote” or “I wish that I could have an automated process to do X.” Well, folks, that’s what If This Then That does. As I’ve fiddled with it, I’ve made certain processes completely effortless because, well, they require no effort. Here are a few of my ‘recipes’ that I have on IFTTT:

  • each wordpress post automatically gets put into my Buffer list to be distributed on twitter at set times each day
  • every day at 9PM a new Daily Portfolio note is automatically created in my Evernote
  • (one I don’t use anymore) any time I posted a recipe on my old blog with the tag “curry” it would tweet the link to my friend Christina who likes curry!
  • if I star an item in Google Reader, it saves it to Pocket for me to read later (I had forgotten about this one!)
  • If I tag something with “buffer” in Google Reader, it will add it to Buffer to tweet and share
  • Every time I post a picture to Instagram, it adds it to a folder in Dropbox.
  • Every time I post a picture to Instagram, it adds it to my pictures in Flickr, which is attached to my AppleTV and those pictures are used as my AppleTV screen saver.

Amazing, right? And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You can do basically anything with texting, tweeting, Facebook, Google Reader, Buffer, Gmail, Blogger, WordPress, Youtube and tons of other websites. I highly recommend this website to help you streamline certain aspects of your online life and to — like their tagline says — make the internet work for you! Here are some more examples from other people who are using IFTTT.

I have to say, there are 3 that I just love. The one that adds my wordpress to buffer, the one that backs-up my Instagram on Dropbox and the one that puts my Instagram to Flickr for my screensaver. Just love.

Do you use IFTTT? What’s your favourite recipe? Is there one that has made your life a lot simpler? If you’re new to IFTTT, what will the first recipe you make be? Leave your comment here.

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