Hello, my friends! It’s been a long time since my last post and with good reason. My husband and I are expecting our first child!! I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant and if you’re curious what the gender is, you can probably guess based on the random craving I’m having today:

0b792aea39ba63a3b592ad5869eb5554

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, it’s a girl!

I’m told from this Ted Talk by Ina May Gaskin that Amish women normally make loaves of bread after going into birth. While I don’t plan on suddenly becoming Martha Stewart, I have been experiencing an odd cooking interest over the past week, so I’ll let you know if my cupcake recipes pan out.

Other than that, I just returned from ASAE Annual 2013 (#ASAE13) in Atlanta, Georgia where I was able to catch up with many of the association pals that I love, attend fantastic sessions, and present my session with David DeLorenzo, CIO, National League of Cities on Future Proofing Your Association’s Technology. A marvelous write up on our session by Ernie Smith is in Associations Now). I also contributed a few takeaways from my visit to the DelCor blog.

Here’s a fun photo from the Memberclicks Small Staff ShinDig at #ASAE13

1725_10151864738751457_1392801677_n

 

What are you celebrating this summer?

What were your favorite moments from #ASAE13?

 

Advertisements

We couldn’t decide on a color for the sitting room. Finally my husband and I, after much debate, 8 paint samples, and many trips to the local hardware store (shout out to Annie’s Ace for their help!) – we discovered the perfect shade called Blue Toile. Then more debate ensued: to high gloss or not to high gloss? After contacting friends and family with design and interior decorating backgrounds, we were still confused. Questions like “Can our 83 year old walls ever be perfect enough for high gloss?” to “What if we want to repaint it after and all millions of unknown paints that existed prior to us purchasing this house peel off?” Nevermind the fact that every single hardware store employee looked at me like I was crazy when I mentioned painting our living room in high gloss, a paint which seems reserved only for trim, bathrooms, and the great outdoors.

We turned to our friends on Facebook and Instagram and 97% of our friends warned us not to do it. Still, the glamour and dramatic appeal of high gloss called to me. So, after my husband sanded much of the wall, we went with a flat paint because all the research told us to  and at the end of the day, I wanted the room painted.

BlueRoom1

All of this made me feel better about not going into a creative route for my full-time career and made me feel an extra appreciation for my friends and family who are designers, contractors, and architects. Oh, to deal with clients like me… 

There’s a certain amount of uncertainty with everything and differing opinions. For a room, it’s what you and your family like, ultimately – that’s the color that should win.

Not so for a website redesign.

For a website redesign, it’s what your members and users want and so much more. If only it were as simple as choosing a color or “look.” I was reminded of this again when perusing some of the recent responsive web designs within the association community. While designers seem to be moving in the right direction with designing for many devices, there’s one large area they’re missing: touch features. I was surprised to see homepages with photos and headers that were both lacking hyperlinks, instead forcing the visitor to move a mouse to a tiny hyperlink at the bottom of a block of text (which translates to mobile users having to pinch and zoom in with a fat finger to click a link). Here we have desktop computers now able to support touch screen and some designers & their clients are still out there designing for soon-to-be old school desktops, even while going responsive.

BlueRoom2

Are we truly designing for the user experience? Do we put as much thought and precision into designing “the experience” of our website as we do for areas of our houses and homes – each room serving a different experience and function?

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.

37040_10151653099951457_818338647_n

my nieces Margaux and Rachel

379914_10151640244506457_833016820_n

Elvis dance party!

 

420705_10151639562726457_550684453_n

Mom and Me

 

20819_10151519215341597_1597089249_n

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?

 

Responsive Design has been the buzz word along with “Big Data” in the association community for the past year and there’s a good reason why. With 2013 deemed “The Year of Responsive Design” by Mashable.com, as well as forecasted by many to be the year that mobile browsing surpasses desktop browsing, associations need to have a solid mobile solution.

As all of us have now become comfortable with carrying and relying on multiple devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops, desktops) to tackle our work and manage our communications, we will no doubt embrace even more as new and evolved products continue to infiltrate the market. Just consider the tabtop and phablet.

If associations want their content to be consumed, then they must think beyond traditional mobile sites and native apps as there one and only mobile solution, and really look at their website.

In a recent interview with ResultsDirect’s Cecilia Satovich on DelCor Sweet Spot Live, I asked her the big questions surrounding responsive design, the triumphs, challenges, and reasons why she considers it a solid solution.

Is your association considering moving to a responsive web design? What are the questions you still have?

“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.

424946_10151373424266457_1328393186_n