Social media: a tool, not a distraction

Social media can seem overwhelming. Trying to keep up with what your friends are doing on Facebook, following experts on Twitter and reading up on blogs can be time-consuming. Once you’ve exposed yourself to the social sphere and are just as addicted as everyone else, it’s important to strike a balance between work and social life. This is a challenge that many brands across the social networking world face every day. How do I make my page stand out among the millions of others? How do I get individuals to visit my page, and keep coming back? Full... read more

Photoblog-off!!!

Begins THURSDAY! Yep, you read right. I am participating in a photoblog-off. You might be wondering what exactly a photoblog-off is. Well, that’s what I’m here for! This is the competition of competitions. The holy grail of photographic war. The championship of contests. The shiznit of shiznits.  BRACE YOURSELVES. THE RULES: For ten days only, Justin and I will embark on a journey. Separately. We each will take photographs using their respective cameras (no borrowed or stolen ones, k thanks). Photos will be ORIGINAL (No google image ripoffs – we’re journalists, remember? That’s p-l-a-g-i-a-r-i-s-m. Justin and I will post ONE photo to their blog with prominent viewing ability each day (for ten days). Readers are then asked to leave a comment on the photo they like/think is better then the opponent’s. The competitor with the most CUMULATIVE comments on their photos (written blogs don’t count), and the winner will be declared “International Photographer of The Millenum” in the category: “10 day domestic photo competitions between 2 people.” COMMENT WISELY. THE CONTESTANTS: Yours truly. Shooting with: Canon EOS Rebel Xsi 12.4 Megapixel DSLR Justin Kutner, author of http://alrightthatsenough.blogspot.com Shooting with: Nikon Coolpix 7.1 Megapixel Now, you might be thinking… “this fight seems quite unfair… Lauren is clearly at an advantage with her awesome camera and all her dedicated readers while Justin’s is not so good and he just started his blog”… do not fear. This will be a fair fight. But only if you make it – visit BOTH blogs to see BOTH photos BEFORE you leave your comment. My photos will appear in the Headline section of my blog. Be... read more

So you wanna know about me…

I was inspired to write this post by Kaci, who was inspired by Doniree. Oh, the circle of blogging. (And I copied some of Kaci’s… turns out we have quite a bit in common). Anyway, here goes. What do I do? As a profession, I work for a social marketing company in San Francisco. But, that does not define me. Do I love spending hours of each day coming up with master plans on how fortune 500 companies should use the social space as their number one marketing tool? Yes. Do I love the people I work with and the experience I’m getting? Absolutely. But that’s not all. I write. But you already know that. I write because it calms me. It soothes me. It’s a way for me to communicate things I wouldn’t otherwise (so eloquently) communicate. I write because I can. I write because more times than not, it’s easier for me to sort through my thoughts on paper. I take pictures. While this is a new hobby, I am sad I did not discover it sooner. The ability to capture a single moment in time and be able to save it forever is incredible to me. Everything is can be art. Looking through my lens has opened my eyes to a completely different way of seeing. I love. I love my family, I love my friends, I love my cat, I love myself. I feel. I’ve tried to stop, but I can’t. When I feel, I really feel. I feel deeply. There’s no stopping it, there’s no slowing it down. I can’t help it. I feel. And... read more

My best friend’s wedding…

I can’t believe it. My best friend is married. It’s remarkable to me, considering I knew this girl when we had to make color-coded lists of all the different boys we were dating so we could keep them all straight. And now, she’s picked just one. The wedding was (nearly) flawless. Ali looked stunning. Seriously. I had to hold back tears as I watched her younger brother walk her down the aisle, hand her off to her mom, and then reach for her soon-to-be husband’s hands. She was breathtaking. The ceremony took about 30 minutes. Ali and Justin both read their own vows. They partook in a sand ceremony which was similar to a unity candle, only they poured different colored sand into a jar representing their differences and ability to combine them into one jar of sand. It was beautiful. Since I was standing beside Ali, I could only see Justin’s face. And he was beaming. His smile radiated throughout the entire ceremony. I have never seen anyone so blissfully happy before. It was…amazing. Love. They are so in love. And that makes me so unbelievably happy. Ali deserves the absolute best, and I know that her life with Justin will be full of happiness. True love takes place after the bouquet is tossed, and I know, from the bottom of my heart, that Justin and Ali will be in love forever. (Afterall, I said so in my toast) This wedding was my first “friend wedding.” It was also the first wedding I was part of the bridal party, let alone the maid of honor. Let me tell... read more

Wedding toasts

Toast 1 Ali is my very best friend. She has been a great friend in so many ways. Of course, we’ve had our ups and downs. But, without fail, we have come out on top. I am so honored to stand by my best friend’s side tomorrow on the most special day of her life. When Ali fell in love with Justin, she didn’t really have to say much to make it clear to me that he was The One. All the signs were there… the special looks … the way her face would light up when he was around. I could just tell. Saying we have been through a lot together is an understatement. I’ve seen her with plenty of old boyfriends (no, I won’t reveal any embarrassing moments, don’t worry). But, until now, I’ve never seen her truly happy and in love. That is how I knew that Justin was the one for her. The first time I saw them together, she was a different person. She was relaxed, happy and carefree. She was able to completely be herself. Justin made her feel like the princess she is. He has shown her that she is special. If I am half as happy and loved as Ali is when I get married, I will be blessed. It’s hard to put into words how seeing you together, so happy, makes all of us here today feel. One week before Justin proposed, Ali called me early one morning, near tears. She told me she had a dream the night before that I got engaged and didn’t tell her. At the... read more

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