Smearing your breakfast into your hair is a good thing.

While perusing the online world for some postSXSW hair remedies (…sun + hats + dry shampoo + I-whip-my-hair-back-and-forth!! = helppp…) I came across this fabulous post by Naturally Curly to help kick start my hair’s recovery.  A homemade remedy that’s cheap and seemingly easy to do.  And it involves oatmeal, apparently.

My immediate mental image involved having the boyfriend walk in on me smearing oatmeal all over my head with a wooden spoon while sitting at the counter enjoying my morning coffee and reading Style magazine.  There really wouldn’t be any recovering from that.  But, with Coachella happening this weekend, it’s really necessary to reset and refresh my poor tresses, so it’s worth the embarrassment.  Two music festivals within one month of each other surely cannot be the best situation for any head of hair.   Plus, being that summer is just around the corner, I feel like it’s time to learn some budget-friendly tricks to keep everything healthy.

Having naturally curly hair is always a struggle during the summer months anyways, so anything that I can do to retain moisture is always a plus.  So, it looks like while I’m picking up my last minute travel-sized necessities tomorrow I’ll be stocking up on some oatmeal as well.  And maybe a few cherries to add to the top while it soaks in.  Just to keep things interesting..

I may even have to document this new hair adventure next week… stay tuned ;)

Tory Burch Sells $300 Coronas — Digital Marketing: Social Media, Online, Internet, SEO — Medium

This Medium article has it all — Tory Burch… marketing… technology… client satisfaction — if there were ever an article to exist that I’d consider perfection, this would be it.

 

Tory Burch Sells $300 Coronas — Digital Marketing: Social Media, Online, Internet, SEO — Medium.

Let me paint you a picture. I wake up in Toronto, on a bachelor party and have this nagging notion that something is wrong…

Then it hits me. I forgot to order my pregnant wife’s gift before leaving the country just days before her birthday. Panic immediately sets in. Now keep in mind I didn’t bring a laptop or tablet and chose not to get an international data plan for my phone.

I race down to the hotel lobby and jump on one of their ancient machines running Windows Vista with IE as the only browser choice — my nightmare begins. I pull up Gmail, run a search for “bday ideas,” and click on the link for a pair of Tory Burch shoes. Find the right size, add to cart, choose expedited shipping, proceed to checkout… and realize that I forgot to grab my wallet when I ran out of my room.

No sweat, PayPal to the rescue! Or so I thought. After checking out with PayPal, I receive a confirmation email from Tory Burch where I notice the shoes were shipped ground and won’t arrive until after my wife’s birthday. By this time my friends have started to gather in the lobby and we’re ready to head to the Blue Jays game. I quickly forwarded the email to customer service and asked them to please change the shipping option.

After the game and a few pints, we end up at the Loose Moose ( it’s a bar, swear ) where they have free WiFi. I check my email and read the response from customer service.

“Unfortunately Mr. Logue, when you checkout with PayPal you don’t have the option to upgrade your shipping method.”

I reply asking them to cancel my order, so that I can repurchase the shoes using my debit card and choose two-day shipping.

“Unfortunately Mr. Logue, we can’t cancel nor modify your order at this time.”

Frustrated, I decide that it will be easier to just wait until I get home to repurchase the shoes at an actual Tory Burch store.

Two days later, and with just 24 hours left, I make my way to the store and immediately have a much better experience than I’d been having online. A very nice woman named Michelle introduces herself and asks if she can assist me with anything. I begin to explain my situation and ask what she can do. Michelle tells me that once my online order arrives to simply bring it in to her store and she’ll return them no problem. She grabs a new pair of shoes, swipes my debit card and tells me that it isn’t going through. Wonderful.

She remembers me saying that I just returned from Canada and thinks my bank may have put a hold on my card. I give my bank a call, get put on hold, transferred, hold again, and then Michelle emerges from the back of the store like some kind of customer service angel…

“Would you like this Corona or perhaps a glass of wine while you get this sorted?”

What an unexpected surprise! My mood immediately changed. Not because of the free booze, but because Michelle saw that I was having a rough day and went above and beyond to make me happy. Eventually, Chase lifts the hold on my card, Michelle charges it and wraps my wife’s gift. Now this is where most transactions end, but she was just getting started.

The next day, I receive an email from Michelle thanking me for my purchase and reminding me that whenever the original order shows up I can bring it in and she’ll return it for me. A few days later my wife and I head back to Tory Burch. We walk in and Michelle greets me by name and introduces herself to my wife. While she’s returning the original order, my wife begins trying on shoes and I take a seat. Within seconds, I have a Corona in one hand and an iPad in the other. These people are good. Michelle knows that if she can make me comfortable and keep me preoccupied, my wife will have more time to drain the bank account.

After the return was complete and my wife was done browsing, we left the store. A few days later, I receive another email from Michelle.

“Hi Doug, It was a pleasure meeting your wife, Lindsay. Just wanted to check in and make sure she was completely satisfied with her new shoes. Also, I noticed her trying on the navy blue Kaitlin Wedges in 8.5. Would you like me to put these on hold for a future purchase?”

This was the first time I’ve seen online marketing being fused with an offline transaction. Marketers like myself, use software to show you ads for products you recently searched for or viewed in hopes of getting you to complete your purchase. The fact that Michelle was doing this manually really impressed me.

One of the things I liked most was the personalization of this email. Michelle used my name, my wife’s name, the type of shoes she tried on, the size of the shoe, the color, and included a picture. I’m sure that Tory Burch has some type of CRM that populates the email with my basic information, but the shoes my wife tried on didn’t have a tracking pixel embedded in them. That information had to be entered manually. I’m not sure if this is common practice at their stores or exclusive to Michelle. Either way, I highly recommend other retailers find a way to merge offline interactions with online communication and vice versa.

These tactics are usually only seen in the B2B space, where the sales cycle is much longer than an in-store retail purchase. However, I believe these practices will become commonplace in the very near future. Especially with the introduction of geofencing technologies including Estimote and Apple’s iBeacons. Merging the offline and online worlds is something I’m extremely interested in and will be exploring in the coming months.

Needless to say, I follow up with Michelle and thank her for offering to hold the shoes. At the time, I wasn’t ready to make a new purchase. About a month later, I receive a phone call from Michelle.

“Hi Doug, This is Michelle from Tory Burch. Is now a good time to talk?”

Normally, I would identify this as a sales call and say no. However, my previous experience with Michelle kept me on the line.

“I just wanted to call and let you know the shoes your wife was interested in are now 30% off.”

Did a sales rep really just call me and tell me a product was on sale? Sure I get email coupons and alerts for generic sales all day long, but once again this was personal and specific. Since the holidays were right around the corner, I told Michelle to move forward with the purchase. Michelle saved me from having to fight holiday crowds and traffic. She saved me from having to distinguish what “super cute” shoes my wife had been trying on that day. And she saved me 30%! This was a new level of customer service that I wasn’t familiar with, but could definitely get used to. This experience has coined a few sayings in the Logue household…

“Honey, I want… just email the link to Michelle.”

“This would never happen at Tory Burch.”

“$300 Coronas just taste better.”

Soon stores and physical items will send reminders to your mobile device about which pair of shoes your wife tried on. Until then, find a Michelle.

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The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch

melissahochadel:

/ 1 day ago

San Cristobal ayer

San Cristobal on Tuesday night

Dear International Editor:

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.

People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street.

And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.

What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.

Here at Caracas Chronicles we’re doing what it can to document the crisis, but there’s only so much one tiny, zero-budget blog can do.

After the major crackdown on the streets of large (and small) Venezuelan cities last night, I expected some kind of response in the major international news outlets this morning. I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country, we weren’t going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I’m staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…

Nothing.

As of 11 a.m. this morning, the New York Times World Section has…nothing.

NYTimes

NYTimes – nothing

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The Guardian’s World News has some limp why-are-you-protesting? piece that made some sense before last night’s tropical pogrom, but none after it.

Guardian

The Guardian: Fluff

So…basically nothing.
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.
.

The BBC is still leading its Latin America section on a Leopoldo story, as though last night had been just business as usual.

BBC Americas

BBC – Would you guess a sort of pogrom took place in Venezuela from looking at that?

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.

CNN is also out chasing the thing that was the story in the old Venezuela:

1964465_10152219869700325_463488673_n

CNN: Your breaking news is broken.

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.
.

Al Jazeera English never got the memo:

1939203_10152219838200325_311951454_o

AJE: NPI

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.
.

Even places that love to hate the Venezuelan government are asleep at the wheel:

Fox News

Et tu, Ailes?

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The level of disengagement on display is deeply shocking.

Venezuela’s domestic media blackout is joined by a parallel international blackout, one born not of censorship but of disinterest and inertia. It’s hard to express the sense of helplessness you get looking through these pages and finding nothing. Venezuela burns; nobody cares.

Let me put this clearly. Y’all need to step it up. The time to discard what you thought you knew about the way things work in Venezuela is now.

Quico

(Damnit, there’s just no way to stay retired in these circumstances…)

Originally posted on Caracas Chronicles:

San Cristobal ayer
San Cristobal on Tuesday night

Dear International Editor:

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.

People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street.

And that’s…

View original 401 more words

Darling, Just F*in Own It

I could write a book about the amount of motivation I’ve acquired over the past two weeks by attending two completely inspiring bootcamps, each led by very gifted women.  These workshops were geared towards women who are focused on improving themselves in all areas of life, from careers to relationships, and being in touch and aware of the steps that will get us there.  And more importantly, making a plan to get there.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’ve been SO lucky to have met some pretty fantastic ladies in Austin.  We genuinely are each others cheerleaders and jump at the chance to support one another.   One of these women is the fabulous Corina Frankie.  It was her goal to work on her public speaking skills in 2014 and to motivate others.  Being a trainer at Camp Gladiator (more to come on that in a later post..) this girl is already insanely motivating in the fitness world.  But speaking… well, yelling… at 20 people at 6am to go harder, run faster, & squat lower is COMPLETELY different than speaking in front of 20 women.   Corina made a rather large leap (…screw baby steps – we go big) in her public speaking goal by leading a Goal Setting Workshop for young professional women earlier this month.   Needless to say, the girl nailed it.  I think I got temporary carpal tunnel from trying to write down all of her useful information.

20140129-165852.jpgOne of the first lists Corina had us create was that of five things we’ve already accomplished… things that we’re proud of.  This is actually harder than it sounds because if you think about it, we’re taught that it’s not classy to brag.  But the interesting and fun thing is that no one list is the same.  She also had us make a list of 50 things we want to do in the next 10 years – FIFTY?!  Good Lord I should have prepared for this.. enter Corina in Camp Gladiator mode.  I thought she was going to have my head if I didn’t write 50.   The girl knows how to motivate.

Corina referred to Napoleon Hill throughout the session, who was one of the original “personal success” authors.  One of his main messages was that truly, deep down believing in yourself and your vision directly correlates to your actual success in life.  “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  This thought, as well as its formula, was his main focal point for his books, including Think and Grow Rich.  I of course have added this to my “To Read” list.

Thanks to another thoughtful friend who went out of her way to write an amazingly touching email about me, I was invited to attend the Bossed Up Bootcamp by Emilie Aries herself – Co-Founder & CEO of the company.  Let me just say that if any woman has the chance to attend this, they absolutely need to. The Bossed Up Mission is “To keep women contributing to the workforce by empowering each of us to craft healthy, happy, sustainable careers – for life!”  And holy shit did they give us some good advice.  I attended with two girlfriends of mine, each of us in very different places, but with a somewhat similar professional background.  Even though each woman in attendance at Bossed Up Bootcamp was in their own unique “place”, each and every one of us could relate to the topics and will be able to use them as we grow in all areas of life.

Our first session had to do with our personal vision, meaning “What you want to create of yourself and the world around you.”  Again, this might sound easy, but our speaker Emily Downward really had a way of making us sit back and think about what that means – What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?… if you knew you couldn’t fail… if you didn’t care what anyone thought…?  Then – boom – Emily tells us to envision that it’s 2024.  We’re asked to walk around the room to tell each other what we’re doing in life, where we’ve been, and what we’ve accomplished.  Emily got our “heads right”, prepping us for what we were about to experience.

20140129-170257.jpgOver the course of the weekend, we had sessions and discussions on everything from Communication in the Workplace, Negotiating, Community Building, to the importance of being Mindful and Conscious, the importance of sleep (I definitely needed to hear that one), and even a lesson on the 5 Love Languages, and how to know where you fall.  The amazing Ashley Lavalle, who’s voice could be compared to fuzzy socks and tea (so soothing & comforting),  had us pick the statements that fit us best when describing how we like to be treated – really by anyone.   I knew right away that I’d fall into the “Quality Time” bucket – that was easy.

With the mix of so many important discussions over the course of two days,  and a real focus on how to make things happen, I’d go ahead and call Bossed Up the Best Etiquette-for-a-Woman’s-Brain Bootcamp. But maybe also I walked away with too much confidence and excitement to think that actually makes sense…

Either way, I’m super thankful that Corina gave me the mental-ass-kicking that I needed Saturday morning in order to get over a crappy week and just “Own it!” – she’s insanely good at that whole “motivation” thing.   Both Corina’s Goal Setting workshop and the Bossed Up Bootcamp gave me the chance to meet other women from all over Texas who are motivated and striving for success.  And because I attended both I now have the ability to connect women from these two different groups and build our networking community even more.  And for me, that’s really fabulous. 20140127-183611.jpg

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January Girls Dinner – and we have a winner…

Ok so I saw this and two things happened:
1 ~ I immediately fell in love, and
2 ~ I was inspired for an outtie for Girls Dinner tonight…

Fun girlie outfit

Gold shirt
$48 - owntherunway.com

Balenciaga weekender bag
realdealcollection.com

Bangle set
lorisshoes.com

Forever New drusy earrings
$13 - forevernew.com.au
Also, I freaking need that pink ring.
The gold Yves Saint 20140122-134201.jpgLaurent piece reminded me of one of my favs from my very own collection – a silver number by H&M that I found in Vegas 2 years ago and clearly had to have.  And, being that it was only 20-something dollars (… I know, right?! That’s ALL?!), I’ve definitely received a return on that investment.  The shiny factor in itself is ROI… not to mention that open back.  MmmmHmm.
So, now that I’ve got my outfit inspiration for a lovely evening with my Austin ladies, all that’s left is taking a look at the cocktail menu.
One can never be too prepared.

Quenching the thirst for all things social, one pair of stilettos at a time.

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