Category

Happenings

McCrae Williams - Brett Wilhelm/ESPN

Aspire to Inspire

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

Do you ever wonder what drives people to aim to become the greatest at something? Do you ever wonder how or why they found a passion so deep that they are willing to grind day-in and day-out to be the VERY best at that particular thing? It could be a sport, a job, being a student, an artistic hobby, and so many others. Where do people find this willpower?

I think it’s fair to say that many people stroll through life living in a meritocracy, myself included! Waking up and repeating the same routine day in and day out, without a single thought. Now I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, in fact, I find it quite nice living a comfortable life. I feel secure and at ease, because generally speaking, I know what to expect each day. But lately, the thought of greatness and the uncertainty that comes along with it has been weighing heavy on my mind.

I recently booked a trip to Aspen, Colorado to watch my friend compete in the X-Games. A few days before the trip, he found out he made the 2018 Olympic Free-Style Ski team. Making the Olympic team has been a dream of his since he was just a youngster and his dream had finally come true. Making it this far has not been an easy feat–he has been grinding his entire life and he is so very deserving of this opportunity. I was pumped to travel to Aspen to watch his last competition before he headed off to the big stage.

McCrae Williams - Brett Wilhelm/ESPN

Photo Credit: Brett Wilhelm/ESPN

 

Unfortunately, he got injured in practice run and opted out of the X-Games competition in order to be healed in time for the Olympics. It was bummer not to watch him compete, but between his physical therapy, fancy press conference, and Olympic photoshoots, we got to have a drink with him. When I saw him walking towards us, I felt completely overwhelmed with emotion. The waterworks immediately turned on and I had gator tears rolling off my cheeks. The entire time we sat at the table with him, I was just in awe. I couldn’t figure out where the emotions were coming from. A lot of it was just pure happiness for him but I’m now realizing there was something inside of me aching to be great.

He doesn’t know it, but he inspired me that day. I’ve been mediocre in just about every aspect of my life lately. Seeing him and his sheer happiness knowing that he finally made it among the best skiers on earth lit a fire under my butt to really go out into the world and try to find my passion and purpose in life. I’m nowhere near having the answers to how I’m going to change my mediocre life into an extraordinary life, but I know we are all capable of greatness and I’m going to try like hell to find my niche.

I’m not saying we all need to throw ourselves off of thirty-foot kickers (while doing 8 rotations) before we land just in time to hit the next one. But, I do believe deep down every human has a desire to be the very best at something. It’s just finding out how to dig deep enough into ourselves to bring that aspiration to light that’s the hard part.

To be continued…

Super Bowl LII

Super Bowl Sunday, A National Holiday

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

This year, millions will be watching the Super Bowl, just like many years past, although, this year, it’s not a battle of the titans, and we aren’t talking about the Tennessee Titans either, the Patriots made sure of that. This year is a battle of one titan and a true Cinderella story, the Philadelphia Eagles. Suffering a major loss right before the playoffs losing their star quarterback, Carson Wentz, the Eagles dream season of being a number one seed team going into the playoffs and eventually into the Super Bowl was looking bleak. Nick Foles, who had been traded by the Eagles after an amazing season back in 2015, was then reacquired this year in 2017 as a backup to Wentz and had something to prove.

The Eagles shocked the world in their first playoff game with a stunning win against a veteran and experienced Atlanta Falcons. This was shocking, considering they had been shut out by the Cowboys on the last game of the season. Many people believed that Nick Foles wouldn’t be able to get the job done. This game was written off by the world as a fluke and that it wasn’t Foles who had won the game, but the Eagles stifling defense. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings, who had been steamrolling through teams, was the obvious pick for many people when they played the Eagles in the next round in the NFC Championship.

Those who watched that game saw something miraculous happen. After a quick drive by the Minnesota Vikings and a great defensive stand against the Eagles making it 7-0, many thought, “Here it goes, the Vikings are going to just keep scoring and keep the Eagles out of the end zone.” The next throw, Case Keenum throws an interception that went back for a touchdown and the Eagles tied the game 7-7. The Vikings get the ball back and the Eagles make yet another great defensive showing and get the ball right back to Nick Foles.

This was the moment that you saw greatness from a true underdog– a moment that is hardly witnessed in the NFL. Nick Foles put on a clinic. He proceeded to make the Viking’s #1 defense look like a junior varsity team and put up 352 yards with 3 TDs, delivering pinpoint passes with ease and leading the Eagles to a 38-7 blowout victory sending them to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2004 season. The same Super Bowl where the Eagles lost by just 3 points against the same titan, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

 

Super Bowl - Infographic

Click the snippet to see the whole infographic

 

When Super Bowl LII kicks off on Sunday, February 4, more than a hundred million Americans will be watching. Can Tom Brady carry his Patriots to yet another victory or will the Philadelphia Eagles finally get their hands on the Lombardi Trophy? As the following infographic nicely illustrates, it is not only the biggest game of the year but also a, albeit unofficial, national holiday. With a record-breaking average TV audience of 114.4 million viewers in 2015, you can understand why the Super Bowl generates millions of dollars in advertising for both the NFL and the local affiliates who carry it. An average 30-second ad during the Super Bowl broadcast national cost an estimated 5 million US dollars in 2017.

The majority of consumers regard Super Bowl commercials as entertainment and about a quarter of respondents also said that these commercials make them aware of the advertisers’ brands according to a 2017 survey. Let Fabrica Creative create a strategy to increase your brand’s awareness and get more customers in the door!

New Year's resolutions

Being More Awesome This Year

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

New Year’s Resolutions

I have a love/hate relationship with my New Year’s Resolution this year. I love the idea of change, growth, and self-improvement; and I wholeheartedly believe that we were put here on this earth as human beings to do just those things. But I hate the pressure I put on myself to come up with these elaborate, lofty (not to mention usually unattainable) New Year’s Resolutions. After years of setting crazy resolutions for myself that I ultimately failed at within just a few weeks, I’ve gradually adopted a new approach to resolutions that has proven to be a much better success! January is nearly over, but in my opinion, it’s still the perfect time to get your goals for the year all laid out. It’s not too late to tweak your resolutions or come up with completely different one than you had last year.

Here are 5 of my favorite resolution tips:

1. Pick one word to focus on for the year.
I read about this, tried it, and it was a total game changer! Before you start thinking about any specific goals, you should come up with one word–one word that you want to focus on. Determine the kind of person you want to become. Identify in your mind what that person will be and then pick that one word. Just stick to one or two, don’t go overboard. I still like to set smaller goals, all of which should ideally fall under the umbrella of why I pick just one word.

2. Don’t set your goals until mid-to-late January.
I know this sounds crazy! You are probably saying to yourself, “January 1st is over, why should I set a goal now? Should I just wait until next year?” I like to avoid the hype and wait until things slow down. I start thinking about what I want my new year to look like mid-month, then I let those ideas percolate for a few weeks. Once everyone else has already given up on their New Year’s Resolutions, I finally formulate and write down goals for myself.

3. Avoid the extremes.
There are people out there that have the willpower to commit (and succeed) doing really, really intense things. Things like giving up sugar cold turkey, working out at the gym every single day, or giving up online shopping during the week. More power to you, people! I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you are probably not one of those people. Most of us aren’t good at the ‘all or nothing’ approach. Don’t set yourself up for failure! Instead, give yourself a little wiggle room. Avoid resolutions that are too strict or extreme, because you’ll just end up quitting them.

4. Keep things organized.
I like to break things up into categories; this helps me pick goals or things to work on that will help me in specific areas of my life. Categories like Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Projects are ones that I like to work with. Under each category, I think of things I’d like to get better at. Many of them are as simple as: come home from work in a timelier manner or turn the computer off to unplug every night during dinner so I can spend more quality time with my husband. I don’t get down on myself if these things don’t happen every single day, but I just make the effort to keep trying.

5. Revisit your goals often.
How many times have you written out a list of resolutions and then never looked at it again? Or forgotten about it? I’m totally guilty of this. I keep all of my yearly goals on a notepad next to my keyboard. I try to revisit and go over them at least once a week (bonus if you have to turn the page over to start new notes). It’s easy to get busy and lose sight of what your goals are. Look them over often to remind yourself and you’ve got a much better chance of incorporating them into your daily routines!

Good Luck!

 

-Jodi Bradfield 

Fabrica Creative

SEO content

SEO Content Needed To Be #1 In Results

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings, SEO

Everyone wants to be first. But when it comes to search engines, you really need to be first when potential customers search for keywords or phrases related to your business because if your content is what they’re looking for, they’ll never return to the results page to even look at result #2 and beyond.

In an age where the brand name Google has become a verb used in phrases like, “Just Google the definition of that,” search engine optimization (SEO) has become a key to a successful online presence.

To start your journey on optimizing your company website or blog for search engines, get familiar with how to create strong copy and strategy for ranking higher in results. But before you can create a plan for what to do with your SEO marketing, you must first know what SEO is really all about.

 

SEO Meaning

All search engines (i.e., Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) return organic results they believe are most relevant to the user’s search criteria. These results are not always paid ads, which we’ll explain later. They’re simply web pages that these search engines have crawled for the keywords related to the user’s search. Search engines are intuitive and use search history to provide relevant content based off previously winning results for that user because after all, the only way users keep coming back to “just Google it” is if they’re ultimately finding what they want with ease.

The way these search engines decide whether or not to show your content is based off of complicated algorithms including total web traffic, average time users spend on your page or article, trustworthiness of your website, connections via back links to other valuable and related websites, and of course, keywords that match their search criteria.

These factors can be greatly affected by how strategic and well-thought out your website is. If your pages lack page titles, search engines won’t trust you as much, and they are less likely to find your webpage because it’s looking for consistency in keywords in your body text as well as your URL and page titles.

By this point in the article, you’re probably starting to realize just how complicated the algorithms search engines use truly are. The good news is, Fabrica is laying out a plan below that helps you understand step-by-step, how to plan your website for search engine optimization, so read on to start showing up in results.

 

SEO Friendly

So now that you know what SEO means, let’s talk about how to get really chummy with search engines to ensure your website is SEO friendly. There are a few main keys to ensuring this.

  1. Include social media in your SEO marketing plan (which we’ll discuss in greater detail below). Search engines love consistency. So, when you set up your Facebook page, ensure the business page name matches your full company name on your website. For example, if your website name and URL is Search Engine Optimization Guru and searchengineoptimizationguru.com, don’t make your Facebook page SEO Guru. To a search engine, this looks like a separate entity. That link between your company and each of your social media channels should be crystal clear without explanation. Search engines like to see the link in your social profiles be your company URL and your social profile links on your website to go straight back to those same profiles because then the connections are clear.
  2. Along these same lines, search engines appreciate websites with clear URLs. This means not have your blog posts look something like this: searchengineoptimizationguru.com/content181. This extension on your URL doesn’t tell the search engine more information about what’s on that page. A better option is a link that looks like this: searchengineoptimizationguru.com/10SEOTips. Now there’s a clear description of the content and that extension should match your page title of 10 SEO Tips.
  3. Ensure your images and videos have metadata attached that tells a search engine what it is. Search engines cannot pull scripts from videos, which is where your keywords are, automatically. It needs some help on this that you can do in the backend when you post your video. The same is true for photos. If you post a photo, be sure the name of the file includes information about what is pictured and add alternate text. Not adding alternate text, while faster for posting blog articles and new content to your website, is a mistake not worth the saved time because now you have a chunk of your page set aside for content that the search engine can’t understand.
  4. Use responsive design and ensure your website looks great in all browsers. This means designing for mobile so that your website adapts from a computer screen to a smartphone seamlessly. Be conscious of tools like flash and javascript. These can affect your search engine optimization because flash and javascript don’t work on all browsers and search engines don’t favor that type of content.

 

SEO Writing

You may be asking yourself, what is SEO writing? SEO writing means authoring and posting content targeted with specific keywords to ensure you’re appearing in the search results you hope to. Sometimes this can be a challenge due to the way people search for items on Google. Take for example how someone might search for a search engine optimization guru: search engine optimization guru, Utah. How do you fit that into normal writing?

The good news is, that pesky comma before the city name doesn’t have to be there in your articles to ensure your content appears in results. You can actually adjust those phrases slightly with punctuation as needed and “stop words” like in, a, the, which search engines tend to overlook in crawling.

The key to successful SEO articles is to write the content in such a way that the reader would never know it was written to achieve certain keywords. The easiest way to do this in your SEO articles is to naturally write the articles about the topic and then go back and insert the keywords where they make sense. That way you aren’t sacrificing the narrative for the keywords. When you reread it, it should be fairly apparent where you can insert the words.

If you aren’t well-versed in this tactic, it may be best to hire SEO content writers. These professionals are trained and have made a profession out of ensuring content is engaging while still helping you achieve your search engine goals. SEO content writers will sprinkle in your keywords in a way that makes perfect sense to the reader.

 

Content Optimization

Writing SEO articles with strong keywords is not the only way to create content optimization for SEO. There are a few steps to ensure content optimization in your full digital strategy:

  1. Start your content strategy with SEO. This means actually deciding what keywords to optimize for before ever deciding what kind of content to create, where to post it and how to promote that content. If you start with SEO as your focus by doing keyword research, you’ll ensure that everything you do surrounds those keywords. This allows your content strategy to be very strategic instead of being a shot in the dark or just following what your competitors are doing.
  2. Is targeted, thorough and answers your customer’s search engine query. Targeting your content to your audience ensures that not only will they find it on a search engine, but it will reach the right person at the right time. This ensures your content is actually selling your product or service. If you’re blog or website reaches a large audience but doesn’t convert, this won’t help you. Thorough content means you’ve gone in depth into the topic. Generally speaking, pages or blogs with 1,000 words or more tend to do better than short-form posts because they provide greater detail to your customers so they don’t have to go elsewhere to read further information and it fully answers their question to where they see you as a subject matter expert to buy your product.
  3. Design from a customer perspective. Content that is engaging with images and interaction ensures your visitors will stay and read your full piece of content, increasing your time on page, increasing the likelihood that search engines will continue to show your content in results. Use visuals that can easily be shared on social media to further spread your article’s reach. Ensure the content is clear and easy to read. Chunky paragraphs and a website design that has no way of breaking up the content with visuals will make your content look difficult to read and send your visitors away to look at the next result in their search engine.
  4. Ensure accuracy. You don’t want to have grammatical errors and typos strewn throughout your content or your readers will be turned off and look elsewhere for something they enjoy reading. Be sure all content is fact checked as well because you want to showcase yourself as a subject matter expert to bring recognition to your company name. While incorrect facts may bring that recognition, it isn’t the kind of recognition you’re hoping for.

 

SEO Marketing

Ultimately, you should have an SEO marketing plan that integrates with your full company marketing plan. SEO marketing includes two key areas.

  1. Paid search engine ads. If your rank is low, but your keywords are strong, you may need to drive more traffic to your site to help increase your ranking. The algorithm search engines use favors popular websites that receive large amounts of traffic. Target your paid search ads to the keywords you’ve optimized for to ensure the right traffic is going to your site so that search engines are seeing the correlation.
  2. Quality inbound links. Partnerships with other organizations or providing content that bloggers or others want to link to will help your site rise in the rankings. This needs to be strategic though. You can’t put out content related to plumbing for your search engine optimization guru website because your links will be from sites completely unrelated to your subject matter, which search engines don’t favor. Don’t pay for services that just link up your content to large amounts of other websites. Google is fully aware to these tactics and can tell a good link vs. a paid, irrelevant link.

 

Why is SEO important?

By now, we hope you’re convinced as to why SEO is important, but if not, we’ll reiterate the importance of a strong SEO strategy. As sales and consumers’ interaction with companies move online more and more, you need to be not only present, but first, and here are the key items to keep in mind:

  1. Not all types of content play well in search engines. Forms, images, videos and flash all need background details to tell a search engine what type of content this is and why it matters.
  2. Uncommonly searched phrases, though synonyms to commonly searched phrases, won’t help you rank. Knowing what keywords to target and how to incorporate them is a key to ensuring you’re actually appearing in results you want to.
  3. Not all links to your site are equal. Yes, you want inbound links, but ensure these are quality sites linking to you because search engines are intelligent to know the difference.
  4. Creating content regularly that is at least 1,000 words in length helps search engines see that your site is being updated regularly and that you provide thorough content that provides longer times on page from visitors so that search engines favor your site.

We hope you found some of the SEO tips and tricks useful!

 

Fabrica Creative

 

design trends

Everything Old is New Again

By | Blog, Design, Happenings

Design Trends

It is a new year–yes, it’s 2018–but it’s also time to shift gears in the seasonal advertising industry. The start of each year brings new design trends, some of which are “Wow! That’s amazing!” and some that are “Meh, I’ve seen that before.” However, just like many trends of the past (think bell-bottoms, hairstyles, and vinyl records), some interesting and very foundational design elements keep coming back to influence our current designs. You might conclude that they never actually left.

What I want to highlight today (and which is back on the list for 2018) is a design technique called Negative Space. The unused space around an element or typography, sometimes also referred to as “white space,” is back in the design trends for 2018. Personally, I think this trend never goes out of style. Nowadays it’s frequently used and it creates really subtle-but-genius interactions for the viewer. It has long been said that white space is sexy. If you don’t think so, look at Calvin Klein, Chanel, and what Apple has done with their advertising in the past decade. That excessive resting space for the brain makes the experience more impactful.

design trends

Negative space doesn’t have to be white, it can be black or any other color that works with the creative intent. A teal background with bold white type? A gray background photo with an elegant logo? Isolating a person or element from a photographic image creates white space and allows the eye to linger on the complex silhouette for a little bit longer. This can be advantageous when wanting someone to chew on what you are selling for a little bit longer.

Negative Space Logo

There are many simple ways to create impactful designs using negative space. Using the space inside an object is a way to combine elements and create negative space in unique ways. Examples might be placing a photograph inside bold type or overlaying a photo over a complex shape from an isolated image. I am often awe-struck by the designs I come across (see a compilation of designs here). With my design biases, I often analyze and examine those design elements to understand how and why they work the way they do (or reinforce what I have already discovered).

design trends

I could claim that in graphic design, like other professional fields, creations of the past will influence the ides of the future. Graphic design basics are something to always fall back to for a creative solution–your foundation of sorts to build new and innovative ideas upon. Putting a new slant on that fundamental design concept might be the next design trend. Who knows…maybe will you be the innovator that might bring that idea to life?

 

Fabrica Creative

Fabrica creative

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

You know when you have a really powerful experience and you want to tell your loved ones, neighbors, even your trainer’s dog? Yeah, well…that’s what I’m about to do so you better keep reading. You see, I had the opportunity to travel out of state for a presentation with our President, Operations Manager, and CFO of Fabrica Creative. We did some shopping, stayed at a fancy hotel, and ate mouthwatering food for every meal. Sounds like a grand time, right?

Well let me tell you–it was! But it wasn’t the glitz and glam that made for such an amazing experience, it was the meeting that took place at the tail end of the trip. Our team had been working relentlessly on this project for weeks and the time had finally come to show off all of our hard work. We made a quick pit stop at a breakfast joint to fill our bellies and go over our presentation one final time.

As we were going through the powerpoint, Cyndi leans over to me and says, “Okay now this will be your slide, Chelsee.” Nervous tension came over my entire body and I think I may have choked on my omelet. We had gone over the presentation countless times and not once was I told I had a slide! It wasn’t that I didn’t know the information, I did. It was the fact that I had to stand in a room full of people and speak when I hadn’t rehearsed one bit.

Cyndi explained to me that she gave me the slides last minute because she didn’t want me to overthink. She knows that I’m a pro over-thinker and suggested that I’d be better off speaking from the heart. She, of course, gave me the option to opt out but after reassurance from my team, I said I’d do it. The nerves were still high but I knew I had three people who would have my back should I slip up. We gave each other high fives, did a little dance, and off we went.

We walked into the meeting and went around the table one-by-one introducing ourselves. Cyndi took the lead and the room immediately filled with positive vibes and the nerves quickly faded away. Everyone was engaged, excited, and chiming in at the perfect times. It was such a cohesive effort and honestly, I’m not sure it could have gone any better.

We walked out of that conference room feeling over the moon about our performance. Cyndi was on the money when she said to speak from the heart. I knew the second I left that meeting that if I would have rehearsed my slides, it would have been a mumbled jumbled mess. Instead, I trusted myself and spoke from my gut. In fact, we all did! That day was a huge learning experience and I will cherish it for the entirety of my career.

I could not have been more proud of my team. It just goes to show that with hard work and endless trust in one another, we can accomplish just about anything. Oh yeah, one last thing! The President, Operations Manager, CFO, and I are all, drumroll please…females! Yes, you read that right! The ladies dominated out of state. Butttt we can’t forget about the boys holding down the fort and kicking butt in Salt Lake City. It is and ALWAYS will be a collaborative effort here at Fabrica Creative. Each individual on our team brings something so unique and indispensable to the table and that’s why we are known as the magnificent seven. Because you know what they say, TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK, and oh boy do we have dreams!

 

Fabrica Creative

seo experts

UnGagged

By | Blog, Happenings, SEO

Fabrica Creative’s SEO Experts take:

This month I was able to attend one of the biggest SEO conferences in the world, UnGagged in Las Vegas. While there, I was able to meet some of the most successful SEO experts from all around the world, getting to talk to them one-on-one and ask questions that I couldn’t find the answers for anywhere. I was able to discuss and strategize the best plans of action for some clients that I want to do so much for but haven’t been able to break through certain barriers. I received some of the best advice I have ever been given. Without revealing all of our secret tools that we now have in our toolbox, I will now be able to start breaking through those barriers that were once holding me back.

While on this trip, I took hundreds of pages of notes, no, I am not exaggerating, filled with all of the trade secrets that so many of the world’s best SEO experts were willing to share and applying them to Fabrica’s clients. I will be able to show some major changes in rankings that we have been working so hard to show. I am not lying here, people, and the numbers won’t either.

One of the most important things I have learned is that not only is content king, but GOOD content is king. So many websites have blogs filled with trashy content that doesn’t inform anyone about anything. Heck, we all have been guilty of it ourselves at one point or another. We are now able to use tools that will help take your content from basic writing to SEO-optimized and informative writing that will not only entertain your readers but will keep the almighty Google ranking you higher and higher for a variety of keywords that you weren’t able to rank for otherwise.

Also, did you know that on average, a person has to see your brand at least eight times before they will start to subconsciously trust that you are a legitimate company? This means that constant publishing of informative articles with no intention of trying to sell them anything will win you more customers. These customers will look to you for good information and, when the time comes, they will trust you to sell them the best product or service. This is done by publishing blogs that are extensively researched for the best-targeted keywords as well as building a blog that asks a question and answers it throughout the content.

With all of the gained knowledge from this conference, I have come back with a fire lit under my you-know-what and am already implementing many of the strategies into our client’s pages. I also have a plan of showing what all of this work is going to do going forward. Fabrica Creative will be the leader in all-around SEO strategy, and the network that we are actively forming through these world conferences will promise you a network of SEO experts that will be able to answer and strategize the best solution for any SEO problems you may be having.

Boredom

Hello Boredom My Old Friend

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

Boredom: Your arch nemesis. In this time of non-stop technology, it gets a bad rap. It’s one thing that you never want to admit to. Thanks to the mobile device in your hand, you can all but stave it off forever. However, boredom is not all bad. You may spur creativity by daydreaming and allowing the mind to take an alternative route. Ideas and solutions can suddenly erupt from this non-focusing brain exercise.

Instead of looking at boredom as a waste of your time, look at it as a part of the creative process. You must spend several hours a night sleeping to give your body a rest. Why not the same for the brain? A little brain processing downtime might be a good thing!

Some research results suggest that boring activities could result in creativity. In one study at Pennsylvania State University, researchers found that those who were bored outperformed others who were relaxed, elated, or distressed on tests of creativity. In another study done at the University of Louisville, researcher Andreas Elpidorou wrote, “Boredom helps to restore the perception that one’s activities are meaningful or significant.” In the total absence of boredom, we can remain trapped in the same situations and unrewarding outcomes.

First off, change the label you have placed on boredom. Let’s refer to it as a “temporary cognitive vacation.” Who doesn’t like a vacation, right? If you could take a momentary vacation after your busy day, would you say no?

Here are two tips to help:  TIP #1 Make time to take a temporary cognitive vacation (aka being bored). Put down the phone, turn off Netflix, and just do nothing; giving your brain a break from constant stimulation. It may be a modern lifestyle challenge but it can be done easier than you think. Try to build it into your daily or weekly schedule or allow it to occur randomly. TIP #2 Use temporary cognitive vacation (aka boredom) to your advantage. Stuck on brainstorming? Creative brain cramp? Step back and switch your brain to the off position. Go for a walk, bounce that random tennis ball against the floor, wall, and back into your hand (like many movie famous movie scenes where someone is trying to come up with an idea). Take advantage of your brain break and see what happens when you come back and revisit the same creative challenge. If you aren’t on a tight deadline, see if ideas can form naturally over spurts of boredom.

So, if you’re looking to get more creative, get bored. It may be that simple!

 

-Cal Fenske

Fabrica Creative

Eggnog

Season’s Greetings

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

Ahhh can you smell it? It’s that time of year again and you know exactly what I’m talking about. Come October, we all lose ourselves. There’s no stopping it.

EGGNOG IS HERE!!

Oh sure “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” refers to Santa, getting gifts and people being abnormally kind. However, you’ve all been fooled. There is one reason and one reason alone why this time of year is wonderful and that is Eggnog!

Don’t believe me? You mean to tell me you can’t wait to wake up to 6 inches of snow? Ice sheets from hell that have one mission, to make sure you do not get anywhere on time! Days and nights as cold as your mother-in-law’s opinion of you. An overweight bearded man who has you convinced it’s ok to sit on his lap?

To me, this is all a nightmare!

Just when you thought it was time to head south you remember one thing, you’ve got Eggnog at home. There’s no practical way of measuring the amount of joy you experience with each sip. Joy only matched by that of a Great White Shark hearing “Maaan Overboooaaard!” You can’t help but wonder how you live life the other three quarters of the year without Heaven’s sweetest gift!

No, I don’t dilute it with milk or water! As a matter of fact, I’ve consumed a whole quart while writing this blog. I know what you’re thinking; did I really just read an entire page about Eggnog? You did! Why wouldn’t you? You’ve known about this mesmerizing nectar for some time now. You probably already know which cup you will use. I actually prefer a bowl.

There’s a lot to be said about “good” Eggnog. Don’t be fooled by all the naysayers of the world. Their lives are terribly miserable and incomplete without the un-rivaled satisfaction a single drink can bring. It doesn’t matter how you consume this luxury. Use a mug, a wine glass or heck, get crazy and just use that princess cup! Your Eggnog won’t mind, trust me.

All I’m trying to get you to understand is that there is only one good reason to wake up in the morning when this time of year hits. Sure, I may seem like a Scrooge but I just think it’s tough to see people only be nice for one month out of the year. ONE month! There’s at least a solid three months of Eggnog to prevent you from faking it in December. That excludes the time you have before your Eggnog expires. Think about it! I’m not asking you to be nice, happy, and cheery all the time. That’s not fair and I get that–especially without THE NOG!

 

-Anthony Brown

Fabrica Creative

organizational skills

Give Me Organization or Give Me Death

By | Blog, Food for thought, Happenings

Get organized…oh the dreaded phrase. I can’t even begin to count how many times I was told this in my adolescence. Who am I kidding?! I was told this way into my adult years. In all honesty, I was told this up until I was a few months into my first ‘real’ job. I had a hard time understanding why people cared if my belongings were organized or not. So what if you walked into my room to find piles of work paper, dirty laundry stacked as high as my bed, or even a few dirty dishes. It wasn’t affecting anyone…except maybe it was?

My first ‘real’ job required some serious organizational skills that I did not have at the time. I worked at a university in athletic sponsorships, overseeing football, basketball, and gymnastics. I had a long list of clients and my head was spinning trying to ensure I was fulfilling each sponsorship package day in and day out.

At first, I thought it was sufficient enough to jot down a few notes, keep some information in my noggin, and put an occasional reminder in my phone­–but I learned REALLY fast that those tactics weren’t going to cut it. I was missing print deadlines, forgetting to traffic radio, running the wrong LED, and most importantly letting down my clients.

I became so overwhelmed and defeated–I knew something had to change. I remember calling my mom expressing my disappointment with myself and telling her that I just wasn’t competent enough for the job. She laughed and said, “You’re not incompetent-you’re unorganized.” Hmmm…haven’t heard that before! Mrs. Queen Organizer herself gave me some tips and off to work I went. I started with archiving emails, making client folders, and creating enough spreadsheets to make me never want to use Excel again. I know what you’re thinking…why didn’t she just use the CRM? Well, because we didn’t have one (hence the spreadsheets galore). I’m not saying it happened overnight, but every day I made a conscious effort to stay organized and eventually it just became a habit.

After a few months of being organized at the workplace, I noticed that translated to be organized at home. I would find myself excited to arrange my closet, junk drawers, even my fridge. I was on top of my workload and no longer had that constant lingering stress. I’m NOT saying I haven’t had hiccups in my work life since then, after all, I’m human. However, I am expressing that I have found peace. Sounds silly but teaching myself organizational skills has truly helped me with so many aspects of my life.

-Chelsee Durfey

Fabrica Creative