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Inspiration

Okay, so it’s already March. It’s a good time to check in on the resolutions I created for myself in 2014, which I redefined this year. Resolutions should be fun according to Elizabeth Weaver Engel who inspired me through her Ignite session at ASAE Great Ideas last year to stop making boring resolutions (lose weight, blog more, play guitar more, etc.) and to start resolving to learn something new. According to Elizabeth Engel, she’s never broken a fun resolution (learning to play poker, belly dancing, riding a motorcycle) since she started making them years ago. She also stressed that those typical resolutions (blog more, lose weight, be a better mom, etc.) are actions you should be taking now if you truly desire them.

Inspired, I decided this year to embrace the cocktail. Hey, I couldn’t drink for 9 months while carrying Sadie and also got tired of having dinner parties where despite my best efforts at having a full bar, a key ingredient always seemed to be missing. The pros of learning a new cocktail recipe a month? We could slowly enhance our bar stock, learn a new cocktail recipe, keep the ole blog alive, and sip in splendor after the little one is fast asleep for the night. I also was realistic with myself that as a working new mom it was an easily achievable resolution.

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The resolution has stuck so far and my husband has happily gotten on board. In fact, I would say he’s really driving the resolution at this point with purchasing proper martini glasses, jiggers, shakers and stirrers, as well as the best alcohol each month for the mission.

January we started with the classic – The Martini. Since February is my husband’s birthday month and a wintery month, we chose one of our favorite cocktails The Manhattan. Upcoming blog posts on the two drinks to come!

What are you resolving to learn this year?

Do you have a good cocktail recipe you’d like me to feature?

 

 

There is so much to be grateful for all around me.

My husband and I bought a house in Petworth, a neighborhood in Washington, DC and moved from our little condo in Columbia Heights about a month ago. The 83-year old row house we purchased has two dogwood trees (one white, one pink) in the front yard and the kindest neighbors we could ask for. After a month of renovations we moved in one month ago and have been making it our home, one day at a time.

Just today my mom returns home to Missouri after spending ten days with us here. With all the busy schedules and everyone married and traveling, it’s been harder and harder for all of us to find times to get together as a group, and I’m embarrassed to admit it was almost 1.5 years since I’d seen her. Happily, we found some much needed family time over the last two weekends between my entire family here in the DC area.

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my nieces Margaux and Rachel

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Elvis dance party!

 

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Mom and Me

 

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burlesque brunch at SAX

I just couldn’t be more appreciative for the time we shared. Here’s to making more great memories with those you cherish.

What are you grateful for this week?

 

“The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler.” — Edward Teller

If you’re feeling anything like me, the rush of new projects and goals in 2013 to accomplish jumped upon you in January and now you’re trying to catch your breath. You see, I’ve been having incredibly creative moments and ideas that pile upon me faster than what I know to do with them, but invariably, there are the other unplanned instances in life (meetings, emails, dramatic phone calls) whether in business or in life that creep in and before you know it, you’re scrambling again and those ideas are pushed aside or quickly forgotten.

After some recent family events, I’ve been reminded of how easy it becomes for many of us to get lost in the details. And it doesn’t help that in America our average “options” resemble something like this:

photo from CreationAgency.com

photo from CreationAgency.com

 

In this time of information overload that we live in, we are seeking quick, clean lines and the information that we need delivered quickly. I’ve been working a lot recently on online strategy projects, where often times we evaluate the clutter at hand on a website, define the objectives and needs of an organization, and understand the needs, language, and lifestyle of an organization’s members in an effort to bring a balance of efficiency and elegance to a client’s new online adventures.

Today, I am reminding myself that the answers are simple. A project can be complex, but don’t let distractions do their part to create overly complex situations. Stay on track and run the course. Break your project into many parts. Don’t let the clutter (phone calls, emails, Tweets, and G-chats) sway you or interrupt your most productive moments.

How are you “staying the course” and finding simplicity in your life?

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” — Albert Einstein

Another lovely weekend with a rare moment alone. December is becoming a busier month with holiday parties, the rush of work trying to get completed before offices close, tech conferences, and all those gifts that need to bought in time. December also happens to be a month filled with inspiration for me. Perhaps it’s because I’m seeing so many friends in such a short window of time or all the visual stimulation from online shopping, but here are a few things I’m most excited about this weekend:

Grace Coddington’s memoir. 

I want this/need this. I’m a big junkie for biographies and recently read Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, a fun, quick read that had me chuckling to myself non-stop. I’m also reading Stacy London’s The Truth About Style which is semi-autobiographical, so this would be an awesome gift for myself. Take a look at my other gift ideas on Pinterest. 

Grace Coddington Memoir

Moscow Mule 

An American classic cocktail originating from the vodka craze in the 1950s, this drink is easy to make and perfect for a little holiday shindig. My friend Svetlana (the force behind http://www.brightestyoungthings.com) made this for me during a quick visit yesterday and perhaps it’s my Splenda-loving/sugar-hating ways, but I’m always shocked by how delicious ginger beer can be in a cocktail.

Moscow Mule

Jessica Pratt

San Francisco native Jessica Pratt’s debut album is a soft, folksy gem reminiscient of Linda Perhacs and Karen Dalton. This release seems to be perfectly suited for the cold months, like a warm sweater that you wear. Not that I bake too often, but if I did this would be my baking soundtrack.

 

What’s inspiring you this weekend?

Last week the annual ASAE Technology Conference took place in Washington, DC, as well as the Higher Logic User Group (HUG) and DelCor’s first ever user group, DUG. As an outgoing three year member of the ASAE Technology Council that helps choose the sessions for #Tech12, it was feeling of accomplishment, as well as reunion of sorts for the bustling association tech community. My overview on the Conference will be posted to the DelCor blog tomorrow, so look there for more details from the event! 

However, one moment worth mentioning twice was meeting the opening keynote of #Tech12, Brian Solis. A big fan of his books and blogs, it was an honor shaking his hand and grabbing a quick photo with the business analyst.

For more on the Conference, as well as my interview with Craig Sorrell, the Project Coordinator at AIHA, please read my post on the DelCor blog tomorrow.

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Today is National Preparedness Day  

Is your association prepared for a disaster? What about your family or pet? Join me and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Team on Friday, September 21 from 12:30-1:30pm ET on DelCor Sweet Spot Live as we discuss tips on getting prepared and look at how NACCHO is using social media to spread the word. What your question answered? Join us live tomorrow and Tweet your question to us at @KyleeCoffman or #sweetspot.

Also, here’s a fun look at the Call Me Maybe meme the American Public Health Association (APHA) put together to get the word out about National Preparedness Month.

 

Liv Tyler by Ruven Afanador

“We must assume our existence as broadly as we in any way can; everything, even the unheard-of, must be possible in it. That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us; to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter.”
-Rainer Marie Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet 

I came across this passage this afternoon, highlighted in my paperback copy “Feb 2006” in pen. I have no idea what I was doing in February 2006 or why I felt the need to document the date, but I do know that Rilke’s intellect and prose is just as moving in 1934 as 2006 and now, in 2012.  He writes this to the young poet who has suffered a great loss, but his words apply to everyone who has or is navigating through transitional periods in life. Whether starting a new career or a new project, fear of the unknown and our boundless insecurities seem to arise. This is a reminder to push through. That we are so much more than we ever imagined.