Revival.

An instance of returning to life or consciousness.

I can relate to that definition, while I may be acting slightly dramatic by considering my life the past few months as a revival, but you get the picture.

Back in January, I jumped on the vision board band wagon and created my colorful and creative board of goals I set for myself.  While surprisingly a few of those I put on the board have actually happened, including being able to move into my very own bachelorette pad!

I spend many of moons and energy to create a home retreat that I felt complimented my personality and life.  Ask anyone who truly knows me in my life and they will attest to the fact that I do not play around when it comes to decorating and making a vision come to reality.  My ultimate goal for my new profound space was to not only represent who I am, but also look like it came straight off of a famous designer blog or HGTV (my jam).  My secret passion is home decor and interior design.  I consider it my hobby, and I have helped out several of my friends bring their own visions to life as well.

So then it dawned on me, blog about my apartment journey.  What better way to let people into my insane head of ideas as a act them out?

Lets start with my inspirational piece.  In my opinion, this is the best way to start creating your home vision.  For me it was my tuffed yellow ottoman.

DSCN1134

I was OBSESSED when I first saw this online. ¬†I watched it at 4 different sites for over a year and when the time finally came, I purchased it on sale with some ballin’ coupon codes.

{side note: if you don’t promo code search every time you shop online – you’re crazy}

So this is where I started. ¬†My style has historically been eclectic, but with a designer twist. ¬†Which is why i am dubbing my style as ‘Bohemian Glam.’

In this picture is a few of my obsession items – the carved wool rug (World Market) is another one, that I was dreaming about. ¬†It was literally perfect for my vision. ¬†I wanted detail, but a neutral color. ¬†I am not a flower/paisley/traditional pattern lover, so this was perfect for me. ¬†Just enough detail and when you catch World Market’s online rug caravan sales… you can get a great price.

Let’s talk about my had carved Made in India tray. I literally gasped when I saw this in HomeGoods. Two little facts about me: One, ¬†I am always in HomeGoods. ¬†ALWAYS. ¬†One of my favorite things to do. ¬†Two, If it’s made in India, I will more than likely burst with excitement and obsession. ¬†That Passport to India brand that you always see in Marshall’s/TJM/HomeGoods is literally half of my decor. ¬†Back to the tray – it’s huge, it’s got some weight to it, and it looks fabulous on the ottoman. I bought this tray before I bought the ottoman officially, but my brain works in remarkable ways in terms of visioning something I must say. ¬†¬†DSCN1079

On the tray I have various items, but that is for another post. On that note, if you are starting your decorating journey, I highly suggest you start with your own inspirational piece and watch the vision come to life.

Hiatus.

So I took a little bit of a blog hiatus. It has almost been two years since my last post… two years! For someone that tends to find serenity in writing, that’s a very long hiatus. I’m not sure what made me stop. Funny thing is, that I have found myself in a but of a deja vu state recently – which has turned me back to my writing. Funny how that works out.

Two years… a lot has happened. I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve experienced things that have changed my views, broke my heart, made me the happiest camper, and made me question my sole purpose. That’s the funny thing about getting older.. things you’ve been told your whole life from adults start to make sense.

Currently I am a little lost in my life – not in a depressing way, just in a milestone kind of way ha. Not sure where I want to be or what I want to do. What I want out of my life. Some may think it’s a little late for these thoughts, but I’d say its a great time. I’ve had fun and made questionable decisions throughout my twenties, and I guess that big 3-0 that is around the corner could make anyone sit back and evaluate their life.

‘Living’ creates certain situations for you and brings people into your life for a reason – and it also takes them out. I am still trying to figure out that one.. especially when ‘ghosts from Christmases past” float in lol. I’m an impatient person by nature. I hate waiting on stuff in the mail, let alone waiting for that life lesson or message to make sense. I often try to figure the life lesson I am suppose to be learning while living it at the same time. Probably not ideal.. but I am a big believer on everything in life happens for a reason. Because it does. I think that there is something magical about how people’s lives turn out. How everything eventually falls into place. The trick is, you just have to let it. That’s hard. Especially when you think that you are the ultimate person to dictate how your own life turns out, when you are actually not.. that’s up to the big man. I can’t help but wonder – as I’m having some recent ‘deja vu’ moments – what the purpose is, what didn’t I learn the first time – or better yet what do I need to learn the second time going around?

Despite all of my uneasiness about where I am going in my life, I am proud of the person I have become the past two years. I’ve learned to not settle. I’ve learned to stand up for myself in all areas of my life. I’ve learned that I deserve the best. I’ve became a little bit wiser. I’ve walked out of situations that I knew were toxic. I’ve traveled, lived, soul-searched, dreamed, opened my eyes and even closed them at times. I’ve listened to my heart over my head and sometimes vise versa.

I’ll continue to make mistakes, because that’s how you learn. I’m just glad that I’ve become someone THAT learns from them. Bring on the next chapter. I’m ready.

image

There is a reason why your windshield is bigger than your mirror… Where you’re headed is much more important than what you’ve left behind.

Selfishness.

Well…. what can I say? 2013 definitely went out with a bang for me.  And not a good one unfortunately.   It amazes me the way a person can manifest this image of themselves with attributes such as loyal, honest, straight-forward, and sincere.  And you Рbeing the honest and loyal person that you are Р believe it all along, until one day… you abruptly get a drunken message at 5:42am on Facebook that totally contradicts all of the attributes you liked about that person from the beginning.  

Side Note: Facebook message? seriously? Since when in the hell is it acceptable for a grown adult to conduct personal matters over a social media site? What ever happened to facing your problems or concerns in real form Рor if anything an effing phone call.  This is what is wrong with the world.  People can just delete people and pretend there was never any kind of personal bond… but anyways..

So, what lesson did I deserve to learn out of this I ask myself? ¬†That’s the question that I have been pondering on for a good week and half. ¬†I have been beating myself up over it, analyzing it, reliving it, playing the “what if” game‚Ķ you name it, I’ve done it. ¬†over and over. ¬†I know typical girl stuff that leads men to believe that we are all crazy because we actually gave a damn. ¬†

In my lovely Dear John Facebook message the re-occurring excuse I have heard before from this person was “I’m selfish.” ¬†What the eff does that even mean? ¬†At first it just made me angry. ¬†Angry because it was a cop-out excuse equal to the “it’s not you, it me” bull that has been overplayed in the dating world for decades. ¬†

Image

But the thing that I have found out through my middle school break-up story is that selfishness makes people act like little children. ¬†These selfish people want what they want when they want it. ¬†and like small children, selfish people are egocentric. ¬†They think the world revolves around them, and they are so blind that they can’t see how their actions affect others. ¬†Or perhaps, they see it, but they can’t feel it. ¬†Or they just don’t give a damn. ¬†

Being a selfish person makes partnership impossible. ¬†You can’t partner with a child, you can only take care of one. ¬†

Image

 

 

You can’t carry on a healthy partnership (relationship, friendship or any other kind of ship frankly) with someone if you can not respect them. ¬†But hey, that’s what selfish people do; show a lack of respect for other people. ¬†

 

Past Wisdom.

Man I come up with some great stuff.  I know that sounds incredibly presumptuous, however I sometimes look back in my old journals and remind myself of how I have had some great life lessons.  And how I really need to get started on writing this book of mine.  Not getting any younger…

1242761_f520

So Back to my past wisdom. ¬†I found this ‚Äėnote‚Äô on my Facebook that I wrote a few years ago that had me smiling today ‚Äď as well as relating to my few-years-ago-self.

Coming to you live from July 2010 and appropriately titled ‚ÄúBeing on The Backburner..‚Ä̬†

So, every now and then I get these miraculous epiphanies of life realization that I feel compelled to share with the world…. Recent life events have made me realize a few things:

1. cheap vodka is never a good decision, but cheap sangria is the way to go


2. never go grocery shopping hungry because you’ll end up with oreos, brownies, and other crap

3. pay your bills before you go out of the country for over a month

4. anticipate being stuck in the airport for several days

5. because of #4 ‚Äď carry extra money

6. always get a second opinion on car maintenance

7. never settle for being someone’s back-up…

number #7 is really important for this particular life epiphany. It only took me several years to realize this ‚Äď and countless examples ‚Äď but after some undisclosed complicated situations, I have come to the conclusion that I Rachel will be no one‚Äôs runner-up, second-hand man, back-up plan, rebound, or anything that puts me on the back burner. Its really an unpleasant situation that a lot of us seem to make constantly. and it‚Äôs really quite sad‚Ķya know? I took a step back to observe myself today and then it dawned on me. why should I bend over backwards to try and make something work with someone who doesn‚Äôt give me the same in return? why should I always be the one who makes an effort to stitch the seams of this so-called bond, when all they are doing is using a glue stick for a cheap quick fix? why should I sit around and wait like an idiot just to turn around and have the replay button pressed‚Ķ I‚Äôm tired. Now in my old age (haha) these little games are for the birds. I am an adult and don‚Äôt need this anymore.

What’s the saying? fool me once shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me….

Well I will say that i‚Äôm done being the person on the back burner ‚Äď the one who will always be there. I think that it‚Äôs time for me to be someone‚Äôs first choice for once. So I will no longer be the one that you can run back too.

Those are still pretty relevant life events that I learned from ‚Äď and may I add cheap anything to #1.. as you get older its hard to bounce back after a rather flashy memory of nights that involve cheap wine, cheap tequila, cheap rum.. whatever your flavor ¬†– if it comes in a plastic bottle, don‚Äôt chance it. you‚Äôll be like this guy

images

Nobody wants to be that guy.  #2… still true.  And working out gets harder people. get yourself in check NOW.  #3… solid advice, but I might add just pay them period.  #4 and #5… always expect the worst.  you’ll never be disappointed.  I’m telling you it might sound a bit pessimistic, but that little life antidote has worked well for me on several things.  #6… just find a reputable mechanic and stick with him.   I have learned my lesson on this one a time or two.  And finally #7… ahhh #7.  This little tidbit is something that even 3 years later I can relate too from time to time.  games are for children folks.  If you are into someone just go for it! They have feelings too, and no one wants to be someone’s second best (or third..fourth…fifth… girl… run fast.)  That blows.  There is only so much a person should tolerate, and being on the bottom of someone’s list shouldn’t be one of them.

So go forth with this great wisdom that I am sure you all have already known, just haven’t accepted or experienced (seriously… no liquor out of plastic bottles. put that Sailor Jack’s Rum down shawty).

As soon as I finish digging through all of my earlier notes, I will share more embarrassing/enlightening/idiotic  life lessons  I have learned.  =)

Carry On Now…

Future Implications.

q

Social media has matured and the  goal is no longer to just connect with people. People want to engage about topics they deeply care for or will improve their daily life. With social media on the rise in every day life,  advertising is increasing and taking new measures.  for example,  if you don’t own a dog then you don’t need coupons saving on pet food.  There is a fine line when buying advertisement space on social media platforms and promoting it to your audience in a non-invasive way.

In this blog the author discusses the top 6 trending predictions  that experts are saying are in store for the social media world:

Combining big data into useful applications
Rise of e-commerce
Mobility takes over
Change of engagement
Permission marketing
 Independent platforms combining information from  several  individual social media channels

The social media movement has definitely changed, especially with human behavior and ever-evolving technology.  Things that worked well in the past for social media such as engaging on a lower level by liking pages and getting an update on daily events is evolving too.  Users are expecting a higher value out of their engagement. Interest groups and applications that ease daily lives will progress.  Technology definitely plays a big part in this evolution. We can see examples of this today in ecommerce as they integrate social media functions. Now, companies have to make sure that they are providing valuable engagement applications and features that are suitable for mobile phones.

Coke.TV-Slide_Devices-300x168 coke-name-650x485

Another great set of predictions was presented in this slideshare by We Are Social Singapore


I think that all of the predicted implications about the future of social media are definitely going to be as a result of our own human behavior.  Look how far we have came since the social media explosion a decade ago?  Absolutely changes in technology have a significant amount to do with the evolution of how we connect with one another.  I remember when I was in high school (yikes) and cellphones just became affordable Рand the tinier the better too! When the camera phone came out, it was mind blowing people that you could send picture messages. Fast forward to present day, and most people do EVERYTHING on their cellphone Рbecause it is more than that now.  It is a means of doing everything you can pretty much do on your computer Рbut with the connivence of fitting in your pocket.  If these predictions do come true, I for one am pretty pumped about my refrigerator knowing what I am out of and ordering it for me. That. Is. Awesome.


Viral Marketing Initiatives.

v3

Viral marketing initiatives are quite easily the best forms of advertising and getting noticed on the internet in my opinion. ¬†I am a huge fan of the viral videos that have gained popularity over the past few years, and they just seem to get better. ¬†The best thing about having a marketing initiative go viral is that as a company, you don’t have to spend millions of dollars on expensive marketing campaigns to gain exposure. ¬† In order for a marketing initiative to become viral over night, there are several characteristics that the initiative needs in order to stand out.

So I am sure that by now, you have had the pleasure of viewing viral videos such as the infamous song by DJ Baauer called The Harlem Shake.¬† This viral phenomenon has exploded since February 2013 with everyone from the The Today Show, Backstreet Boys Band, and various NFL teams participating in the viral madness of The Harlem Shake. ¬†since then upwards to 40,000 videos have been uploaded to YouTube of this viral sensation. ¬†Just incase you haven’t ¬†seen it, here is a compilation of the Best of the Best Harlem Shakes.

With that being said, participatory initiatives such as the Harlem Shake, is a great characteristic for a successful viral campaign.  It not only allows viewers to share it, but also creates an opportunity for them to give into the madness.  Baauer rose up to the top when his song went viral, and especially after there was a trend setting dance to accompany his track.  It pretty much lead the way, without much outside advertising from Baauer himself.  Participation is not the only characteristic the Harlem Shake demonstrated.  Humor played a big role in these thousands of videos and versions that were created with the song.

Humor is a great way to generate buzz for any campaign. ¬†People love a good laugh break in the middle of their work day, I know I do. ¬†One of my favorite marketing campaigns that went viral almost overnight because of the humor in it – Old Spice. ¬†‚ÄúThe Man Your Man Could Smell Like‚ÄĚ ads included a hefty 185 videos that were uploaded to YouTube over the course of two days.¬† Old Spice‚Äôs marketing team even responded to the comments left on social media sites with the same witty tone that the man spokesman Isaiah Mustafa.

These ads created brand awareness because these videos were filmed in a bathroom/shower setting with the character usually was in the shower or just getting out and simultaneously using an Old Spice product.

Differentiation.

As much as I love to explore the wide open road and anything travel related, I felt that it was appropriate to look into the social media efforts of those who travel best ‚Äď airlines.¬† Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines are two of the top competitors in the air travel industry.

deltatwitter

Delta Airlines first dabbled into the social media world around 2009.  This immersion came as a result of other airlines focusing on Facebook and Twitter as apart of their marketing campaigns.  In an interview with Splash Media a spokesperson for Delta Airlines social media team Susan Elliott stated that

‚ÄúWe decided our first entry would be in the customer support area;¬†When we launched, we started listening to see what was out there and we quickly realized that people were talking about us but not to us. We realized we had an opportunity to change people‚Äôs attitudes about the travel experience and help support them throughout the experience.‚ÄĚ

While utilizing social media as a marketing platform for their campaigns, Delta also took advantage of using it as a means of talking to and supporting their customers.  They added their third Twitter feed @DeltaAssist in an effort to solely talk to and listen to their customers.  This feed is monitored in real time, and is now operating 24/7.

SouthWest Airlines took their plunge in social media around 2006.  Currently they are on top of the list with successful social media strategies coming in with 12 million monthly visits to its website, 1 million Twitter followers, and 1.3 million Facebook likes. In an article on Social Media Explorer, Mark Ivey listed the top five lessons that all marketers should learn from SouthWest Airlines:

  1. They leverage their employees: The Nuts About Southwest blog is mostly the result of employee posts-writing about their life at SW, issues, people, etc. SW-blog-pic
  2. They clearly represent the brand: At times the blog has a bit of a rah-rah cheerleader feel, but SW is a vibrant, people-oriented brand-and that’s what they’re reflecting.
  3. They employ stories: Personal and business stories are far more memorable than facts, and few blogs utilize them well.
  4. They’re lean, efficient, focused: They operate from a web COE (center of excellence) model with Christi’s group enabling social media activities across SW.
  5. They listen:¬†SW was dinged back in early 2010 when the airline ¬†kicked off an overweight passenger who didn‚Äôt fit in the seat.¬† Turns out he was a budding filmmaker with a large Twitter following, and promptly started blasting SW. SW‚Äôs communications team immediately responded with tweets and phone calls to see what they could do to rectify the situation, winning a ‚Äúcommendable‚Ä̬†nod from Mashable.