Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Boarding a Rebirth

I'm at a crossroads - yet again. 

I've spent the past 10 days or so, completely swamped with work, activities, and friends. Let's not forget about the exes that seem to want to remain in my life as "friends." That in and of itself is beginning to take a toll on me. It's one thing to say hi and send well wishes, it's completely another to hear how great their new loves are and that I would "really like them if I gave them a chance." Really?


Ugh. So with that going on and with all of the work and what not, I'm exhausted. I need to make some more changes, as we all do, and it's time to pull it together. 

Luckily, work is going well. My friends are fantastic. My new bed is helping me finally sleep like a baby, and I love my new car. Sleep is making a big difference in my ability to keep a smile on my face. I'm happy with some of the swift transitions taking place, and some others.. well.. they are sort of confusing. 

Part of me is super happy for the egyptian and Big Guy. Both have found someone they have so much in common with, and as a friend, I'm happy for them. But I can't help shaking this completely "lost" feeling. I just don't fit here.. not with anyone that might be interested in me. It's all so freaking complicated. I'm not exactly in the best shape, and I have even been the recipient of a few catty remarks from female friends I know. I sometimes make comments about how I'm looking for this or that, and some of these people will say things like, "You can't be picky." Why not? It's okay if my better looking roommate is picky, but not me? I simply can't imagine why.. hmmm.. could it be... 

Oh.. Whatever. 

Sooo.. on to the theme of the year, which should help turn my frown upside down. I've been trying to "live" and "love" my life and the people who choose to be in it. I'm back home and have finally readjusted. I think I have found my footing there, now it's time to eventually find my plus one.

Here is my past week in photos:

I celebrated the Cherry Blossom Festival by heading to the carnival last Monday night. My roomie and I rode a few fair rides and giggled like little kids. 

We even went for Henna Tattoos. Here is my roomie's.
My tattoo is on the left. It's been a week and it's almost gone! A little silliness, but it felt fun to do!
We went for funnel cake
Corn dogs and cheese fries too!
Cherry Blossom time!

Thursday night, a group of us got together for a little "potluck" and fun! I brought a delicious pasta salad.
My friend Betsy & I at the potluck!
Hunter & Vinson and another guy were hanging out waiting to eat!
Carley getting ready to share her cheese and crackers!

Everyone began a fun game of Four Square.
My friends Mark, Hunter, Scott, and Bill and Mark's kids coloring.
The egyptian and Eric hanging out.

Wednesday I met up with my Leadership Macon friends, Lisa, Susie, and Charles. We met up at Market City Cafe.
James, Kathy and Justin also met up with us.
Friday night I met up with a ton of friends at a local gallery.

After the gallery meet up, Stephanie, Bill, Scott and I headed over to Dovetail for cocktails and apps!
We split a delightful platter of cheeses and jams
Having a lovely experience at Dovetail. Want to learn more about this restaurant? It was featured in Southern Living!!!

enjoying a glass of Pinot.
Next we headed to Kasmir - one of the hottest lounges in town.
My friends and I had a great time at the Mulberry Street Festival this weekend! Here's Angel & Molly!

Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom in Macon!
Provisions for sitting at a festival

Friends - Chris, Jay, and Stephanie at the Mulberry Fest


As I was hanging out at the Mulberry Street Festival- I ran into a ton of friends! Here is Omar and the egyptian.

My view from my booth...

You have no idea...

My roomie and Stephanie (Steph is an advertising prof at Mercer U. )

Me with a fruity frozen yummy goodness

Do you know who this is? It's DJ Shawty Slim - the official DJ for B.O.B.
I ended the weekend with friends at my apartment having margaritas and listening to 80s music!

My friend Jay and his family

At the end of the day - I've got to be happy with just being with me. It's not an easy thing to do - but I'm up for the challenge of getting to know myself again!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Open Letter From The Crazy Cat Lady

Dear Person With A Snarky Remark,

Here's the deal - I have two cats and I happen to be 41. That's essentially the gist of it. Also, I love to take photographs, soooo... I happen to take lots of pics of my cats. Why? Because I like taking pictures, and to be perfectly honest, the cats are very beautiful.

Well meaning and sometimes downright catty (pun intended) friends and associates like to make little snide remarks about me turning into the crazy cat lady. Yes, I get it's funny. But really.... really ... If I was not as freaking awesome as I am, I might actually take offense to it.

So for all of the crazy cat ladies out there - this is for you.

Here are the reasons why I love these cats:

1. Did you know that petting cats will lower your blood pressure? It's true. Did you know that I battle hypertension, and that coincidentally or not, my BP has been at a normal rate - ever since I got those cats!

2. Did you know that the love of my life left me about 3 weeks before I got the cats - the same love who had me get rid of a pet just a few short years before. These cats symbolize a sense of independence and companionship.

3. No, I did not get a dog. I like big dogs, and I think it is not fair to have a dog cooped up in an apartment. Also - Why is it okay to have dogs and not a cat?

4. I happen to have two cats because while I went in for a kitten, I saw so many adult cats, and felt since I had the money, adopt an older one because it was the right thing to do. Best decision of my life.

5. I like taking photos. I really, REALLY should have gone to photography school. So now, I just capture pretty pics for fun... and I like trying different things out - different settings on my camera, the lighting, angles....

6. I have to see pics of your kids, your husbands, your happiness, your new home, your new car, and your political rants. What the hell is so bad about these two furry babies that bring me so much joy?

That's about all I have to say about that.


PS - This was wonderfully inspired by some truly good friends. Trust me, I know you are only kidding. But it got me thinking....

Thursday, March 27, 2014

10 Tips For Dating In Your 40s

Found on
You girls are so incredibly lucky. I've been out there trying to figure out this "dating in your 40s" thing, and all you have to do is read, learn, and apply. 

Where were you a year ago when I could use YOU? ;-)

So let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Suddenly one of the big birthdays pass. Yes, you are in a whole new decade, and if you are anything like me, that in and of itself brings its own worries and concerns. But this go around, you find yourself flying solo, and the only problem with that is, for once in your life, you might actually could use someone by your side. You don't want to be the "old person" in the bar, and you definitely don't want to attend the next gala alone, so what do you do?

Pray? Sure. That will help in the long run, but what about some actual practical advice?

I've got you covered. 

These are things I have learned.. and boy oh boy... it's like going through puberty again and trying to figure out how all of this works.

1. Rebound- I don't care what anyone else says, I think you need to find yourself a good rebound guy and just get it out of your system. Of course, you are going to develop some irrational crush on this person, and of course, they are going to NOT be the one for you, and yes, they will probably leave you high and dry - regardless, get it out of your system and be done with it. 

2. Put yourself out there. While visiting my favorite herb farm in Baldwin County, the owner of Olive Forge, Darrell, said to my roommate, "Well, sweetie. Mr. Right is not going to fall out of the sky and into your house." This is true. You can't sit at home pining away for the one that got away. Just get out there. Go to art openings, attend a festival, go to the library, take yourself to the movies, go to dinner - yes, even alone. Just go. I do it all the time, and there is something incredibly liberating about that. Not to mention, you'd be amazed at how more comfortable men feel approaching you when you are not surrounded by 5 of your friends.

3. Say yes to most dates - at first. I'll admit, I went on dates I knew would not go anywhere. But it was important for me to be able to just be comfortable talking with someone other than my ex. It's weird at first, and I think as females, we all understand what I am talking about. Plus, it's nice to have someone treat you to dinner, or make small talk, or try really hard to impress you. I can only imagine if your relationship/marriage just ended, you went awhile without all of the attention you deserve. So enjoy yourself - no one says the next guy is the one you have to settle down with.

4. Now that you have experienced a few dates, let's weed through the red flags. 
- Does he live with his parents?
- Does he constantly complain about money?
- Does he talk about his ex a lot?
- Does he talk poorly about his ex and about child support and other things pertaining to that.. a lot?
- Does he ask to borrow money?
- Does he only seem to want to come to your house, or you go to his, and nothing else?
- Does he seem to drink every - single - night?
- Does he ask you to do chores for him when you are around?
- Does he look at other women when the two of you are at dinner?
- Does he have you pay for dinner more often than not?
- Does he always prefer to do activities he is interested in and does not seem to listen?
- I could go on and on.... 
Needless to say - Back away from the guy immediately. Those red flags will become the death of anything good. You were given a fresh start, and I don't care how much of a crush you have on this guy - you DON'T want to end up in therapy during your first year of marriage. That's never a good sign.

5.  DO, however, try to date people you may not typically give a chance. Just see.. and be open to the process.

6. Remember - the effort should be equal. 

7. Monogamy before intimacy is a must. I'm not saying you have to marry the guy... just have some sort of commitment first. 

8. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want and need. We are not 16 anymore, and technically, we can take care of ourselves. If you need a label, then ask for one. If you need more quality time, then ask for it. If he can't provide - then bye, bye. 

9.  Remember, at this age, people are looking for their future life partner. Make sure your non negotiables are covered before you make any long term commitments. There is no reason to squash your hopes and dreams now - again - treat this as a new lease on life!

10. Finally - remember, you will not make a good partner until you are okay with you. Let's be honest, getting in shape is sort of important when in dating. Heck, it should be throughout your relationship. I'm not saying any of us are ever going to have our 21 year old body back, but try to stay active, as best as you can. Take care of your skin. Buy the cute dress. Get your hair and nails done. You are back out there, and you need to look your best. Then work on the other parts of you - your spiritual side, your financial side, your interests side. Do you - and do it better than before!

PS - Please note, the ex may from time to time make an appearance, and yes, sometimes they pull some "I miss you card." Stay the course and DON'T look back. Happiness is around the corner for all of us. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

20 Things You Should Never Say to Your Public Relations Person.

I've worked in Marketing & Communications since 1995. That's almost twenty years of dealing with the media, being the media,  trying influence people's spending habits, and raising awareness about one cause or the other. 

It's exhausting.

But I love it.

Probably one of the biggest reasons I keep this blog is to have an outlet to voice my opinion, create my own best practices, and basically thumb my nose at the establishment.

However, this little mama needs new shoes, so working for "the man" must continue.

With that being said, not a day goes by without some "well meaning" person trying to tell me how to do my job. I don't care what field you are in, we all get a bit of this, but I think Marketing/Communications/Public Relations people get it more than anyone else. 

Thankfully, we are trained fairly early on how to smile, grit our teeth, and accept the daily criticism, (oh sorry.. I meant to say suggestions.) I would like to share with you 20 things you should never say to one of us:

1. "Have you thought about....?"  I spend 9+ hours a day thinking. Conjuring up creative, innovative, and down right brilliant ideas for promoting XYZ. I'm sure your idea never crossed my mind in the twenty years I have been dealing with this stuff.

2. "I don't think anyone knew about it. I never saw the commercial." Okay, soooo... I am sure you are sitting in front of your TV 24 hours a day, consistently combing through every station, at every commercial break. The typical household has over 300 channels. Oh, but you're right, it never aired. (Seriously?)

3. "My mom's cousin's sister's friend knows someone at XYZ station, I think we should definitely get on their show." Thanks for the info, however, did your mom's cousin's sister's friend tell you that the XYZ show is a podcast with about five listeners. Yeah, I did not think so.

4. "I don't know why you concentrate so much on Social Media. I mean, some of us don't get on Facebook or Twitter." Yes, this is true. But the 1.23 billion people that ARE on Facebook spend over 3 hours a day on this app, and close to 243 million people are active on Twitter. Sooo... I'll take your advice into consideration... however... um... yeah... I'll pass. 

5. "What do you mean what we're doing is not news worthy?" Okay, so herein lies the problem for those of us who actually worked in the news world, we actually know what makes a good story. I used to be a television news producer, so it was my job to decide whether or not something actually ended up in my show. If the visuals are not there, it's not worth it. PLUS - no one will come to cover it. 

6. "No one came to cover the event, did you even contact the media?" See number 5.

7. " Can you make me a flyer?" Hi, my name is Nicole, and there are two things I need to share with you. #1. You are not in college anymore, stop it with the flyers. #2. I'm not a graphic artist - those are two different career paths.

8. "So, we need a new website. Since you are the Marketing Director, I need you to create one, oh.. and... we don't have any money." Again, I say this unto thee - I am NOT a website designer. You hire people for that. Yes, I know some basic tricks, but no, it will not be what you are looking for. 

9. "Why weren't we listed in...." Okay, there are 5 bazillion publications & website sites out there. There is no way your "whatever" is going to make it into Also - important note, sometimes those "lists" actually cost money. Yeah.

10. "It is critically important we mention "so&so" sponsor during this interview." Yes, I get it. Every time anyone does anything, there is basically sponsorship dollars tied to it, however.. oh never mind. 

11. "We need billboards." Okay. One way communication. Hmm. They are expensive. The best media impressions will be on a major interstate. AND... do you really think the type of people you are trying to attract to your gala are going to feel compelled to purchase a $200 ticket by seeing the event on a billboard? I rest my case.

12. "Why can't we have an ad in "so&so" magazine?" Well... I agree, it would be so nice to be able to showcase what we do in every local, regional, and national magazine. However, even the smallest ad in the smallest magazine in a typical town will run you about $400 +, and that's per month. Don't even get me started on bigger pubs. If you work for nonprofit, you know exactly where I am going with this one.

13. "I know "so&so" is a media sponsor, but why don't they have the anchors talk about what we're doing on the desk?" Ha! Okay... this one is always my favorite. Let me introduce you to a television station. It's sort of like our government, there are different departments that act as a checks and balance sort of deal. You have promotions. You have news. You have sales. Rarely do the three cross over officially. PSAs - promotions. Commercials - Sales. News - Should not be bought & must remain objective. (Though, that's changing more and more.)

14. "They spent 2 hours at our event, interviewed three people,  and only showed the ribbon cutting. What is their problem?" Well... let's have a class and call it journalism 101. Better yet, let me show you how to stack a newscast. There is only so many minutes in a newscast. Each story gets between 1:10 and :15 - :30. Guess how much the non violent stories get? Yeah. Just accept it and move on.

15. "We need to write a press release." Yes, we do. But know that a press release is NOT the story. We do not tell the entire story there - we want to wet their appetite and sell the "why it's important" factor. But.. then again... just let me do my job.

16. "Why did you write that script in all caps, and add dots and back slashes? That's weird." Sooo... our radio/tv friends that work as our emcees. Yeah.. it's called writing in broadcast style.. but again.. just let me do my job.

17. "Let take a picture next to this thing and send it to the paper to print." Umm... a photo release (press release) of you standing next to a thing and accepting a check? Oh.. definitely.. that will make the front page.

18. "Here are the pictures I took of the event. You can use these for a story." Taking a second to scan the photos... dark... grainy... blurry... Uh... thanks.

19. " I can't seem to get my email to go through. Since you are in marketing and know more about technology, can you help?" 
Do I even need to dignify this with an answer?

20. Finally... my favorite one - "I'm so excited to be working with you. You know, I minored in marketing in college. So if you need any help with anything, like.. writing or if you need me to take the interviews with the media, it's right up my alley."

Yeah... I'll pass. 


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