04.08.2016

How to Choose the Right Audience

how to choose the right audience

I love marketing!! It is a very crucial part of my business and of any business operating online or otherwise. As a business owner, you must make it a top priority to master this subject if you want your business to grow and be successful.

I, like many other homegrown business owners, got my marketing education at good old Google University. I highly recommend this learning strategy to anyone, especially business owners, who can’t see a conventional post secondary diploma in marketing in their future. It is crucial.

One of the most important aspect of marketing is determining your target market and figuring out the best methods to actually reach your audience.

For my business, I have focused my marketing efforts mostly on Facebook ads, as they maintain a community that is highly engaged and, through their targeting tools, it is relatively easy to effectively reach your ideal audience.

[Read more…]

Allison
02.28.2016

How to Network Authentically

how to network authentically

One thing that you will learn very quickly when trying to establish your blog is that you will have a very tough time of it if you attempt to go it alone. Networking with other influencers within your industry is a must if you want to attract readership to your space.

But how do you go about connecting with these influencers?

Most importantly, when networking you must come across as authentic or else no one is going to want to associate with you or your brand, blog, or whatever else it may be that you are attempting to promote.

Authenticity is not difficult to accomplish as long as you remember a few very simple tips.

If you are trying to attract readership to your blog or attempting to promote your product or brand, consider partnering with other bloggers or entrepreneurs from your own industry for some kind of giveaway.  [Read more…]

Allison
02.26.2016

Top 5 Ways to Create Catchy Headlines for your Blog

top 5 ways to create a catchy title

I don’t think that there is anything, besides of course your content, that is more than your title. Without a catchy title, you would have no one reading your posts. Plain and simple.

Listed here are my TOP 5 suggestions for how you can achieve that catchy blog title.

  1.  Always write your headline first. It helps maintain your focus while writing your post and provides an end goal to work toward.
  2. Outline the benefits. When selecting your blog title, you must provide a clear and concise message to your readers outlining the benefits within your post. If you can continually deliver on the benefits mentioned in your title, you will secure new loyal readers for life.
  3. Consider your target audience. You will need to have a very good handle on exactly who you are writing for if you are going to appeal to your audience. What are their interests? What information could they be seeking out for? What keywords or phrases would jump out on them? Continue to draw them in with the content of your post.
  4. Use exciting words in your title. This might seem a little obvious, but it is very important. Would you rather read “13 new ways to accomplish ???” or “13 fabulous ways to rock ???”. One is just more appealing plain and simple.
  5. Use subheadings. This is extremely important and even improves the SEO rating of your posts. Your subheadings should be as exciting and eye-catching as your main title. They will also serve to make your post more readable for your audience, who tend to scan articles, grabbing onto these subheadings for further information.
Allison
02.20.2016

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

Jocelyne moyer

I read somewhere that February 20 was ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’ and I just so happen to have an engineer in my very own family that I would to introduce you to! My sister, Jocelyne Moyer.

Jocelyne is presently away at Harvard Business School, just about to finish her degree, but she started her educational career at McMaster University as a Mechanical Engineering student.

I recently did an interview with her in honour of ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’.

She was happy to participate. I hope that you enjoy the interview and perhaps even find the inspiration to pass on some of her insights to a special girl in your life who may be interested in a career in engineering.

For starters, what exactly is an engineer and what do they do?

An engineer does all sorts of things! It really depends on your chosen field. You may design buildings or roads, computer programs or managing large projects. The best thing about engineering is that it opens so many doors to different fields and careers.

When did you think that you first wanted to become an engineer? 

I used to tinker when I was a kid and I loved to build things. Dad suggested that I should be an engineer and the idea just kind of stuck. I made sure to take all the math and science classes that I could!

Describe the engineering program that you took in school.

Mechanical Engineering focuses on anything that moves. We learned about things like mechanical systems, fluids, and vibrations. We also did a ton of calculus and algebra courses, which are important to be able to understand the fundamentals of engineering systems. We did a combination of lectures, small groups, and labs so that we could learn concepts in all different ways.

How long was your program?

5 years.

What was one of the most important lessons you learned during the course of your program?

The most important thing that I learned was systematic problem solving. We learn how to find all the important variables in a problem and break it down into smaller pieces. This has been so valuable in my career. Problem solving is one of the most important skills you can have and you need it in every field.

What do you think is most interesting about engineering?

I think that engineering is a great intersection between science and the real world. If you like math, you’ll love engineering.

When you first entered your program, what profession were you hoping to pursue?

I was hoping to start out in manufacturing to get a base knowledge before moving to the business side. So far, everything has gone according to plan!

How many other girls were in your class?

Our class was about 20% women. There wasn’t many of us and we all became great friends during the course of our program. One thing I loved about engineering was how supportive everyone was, guys and girls. We all studied together and supported one another. I made some of my best friends in engineering.

What was your most positive school experience?

I think the best part was the study sessions I would have with my friends. We would be in the library with snacks, hanging out for hours. We all just became so close during that time. It was studying and bonding at the same time.

What would your dream engineering job look like?

I no longer work as an engineer, so it’s hard to say. The best thing about engineering for is that it gave me the skills and confidence that I needed to pursue any career I want! I know that the knowledge that I gained from my degree is applied every day.

I would like to thank my wonderful sister for participating in this little interview and opening the window to Engineering and what it is like to be a girl in the field.

Once she finishes studying at Harvard in late April, the lucky gal will be doing some travelling before returning to Canada and settling into a new position at Bain & Company, a consulting firm in Toronto.

She may not have decided to stay in the field of Engineering, but as she alluded to in her interview, it was her Engineering degree that has led her to where she is today and opened many doors for herself. moving forward.

Jocelyne has always been one of the hardest workers that I have ever know, whether it be in school (especially in school) or in her career and I am so proud for what she has been able to accomplish thus far in her life.

 

Allison
02.10.2016

The Beekeeper’s Quilt:: My day at Stitch

Stitch

I have been chomping on the bit to get started on that Beekeeper’s Quilt that I mentioned as part of my goals for 2016. I had attempted to get started a number of times, but I had never knit in the round before and couldn’t figure it out.

Luckily, my Dad just so happens to be lifelong friends with Jocelyne from Stitch, a place for knitters, quilters and needle artists, located at 3799 Main Street in Jordan Village, Ontario.

So, on one sunny afternoon, my Dad and I grabbed my double pointed needles and some yarn and I headed over to Jocelyne’s, with some handmade chocolates in hand to treat her for the favour of helping with my pattern.

Stitch is operated out of an old house, right in the centre of Jordan Village. Every nook and cranny is filled with luxurious yarns and fat quarter squares. The atmosphere is very warm and welcoming. I wish that I lived closer so that I could attend some of the regular workshops that Jocelyne hosts there.

Stitch

I sat in the back section of the store, next to a huge wood burning stove, at a table surrounded by chairs draped in meticulously hand stitched quilts in every colour and design.

I cast on extremely tightly (a habit that I am working to break) so our lesson was slow going at first. Eventually, once we worked past the first row, things became a little easier and I was able to see what Jocelyne was doing with the needles.

Stitch

As it turns out, I am using a slightly heavier yarn than is recommended in the pattern, but if I stick with that weight and my 4mm dpns throughout construction, it shouldn’t affect the outcome. My quilt will just have slightly larger dimensions than if I had actually used the recommended sock wool.

I had asked for assistance when purchasing my yarn from Fabricland, so I was a little frustrated to hear that I had gotten it wrong. Maybe I should have gone to a store that actually specializes in yarn. I was only after the cheaper Red Heart brand, so I thought that it wouldn’t matter. Guess I was wrong.

Stitch

Jocelyne continued to work through a couple of rows, as I tried to master the simplistic art of increasing a stitch, and my Dad and Jocie chatted about what has been going on in their lives.

Jocelyne’s son had just bought a house in nearby Fenwick and was trying to convince her to make the move there as well. My Dad was told stories about the interesting characters that he runs into on a regular basis while working his delivery job.

I quietly worked, with each row becoming easier and easier to manage.

Finally, after about an hour, I had worked the pattern to the widest point of the “hexapuff” and it was time to start decreasing.

I had worked decreasing rows before and told Jocelyne that I wouldn’t need her help to finish the pattern. I would later regret this because, although I did know how to decrease stitches, it took me two full days of trial and error to figure out how to do it properly, so that both sides of my “hexapuff” would hold together.

Now, it is about it is about a week since my trip to Stitch and I have almost 15 “hexapuffs” completed and I am hard at work making more.

I have been spending the week at my parent’s house, so I have had lots of time on my own to work on my knitting. Hopefully, I will be able to find the free moments I need to continue working on my “hexapuffs” when I am back at home. I still have nearly 400 to go!!

So thank you Jocelyne! Without your gentle assistance the other day, I would not have made the progress that I have already made in the past week. I am well on my way to a full quilt. I will be sure to post many pics in progress and once the quilt is done.

I recommend a special journey over to Stitch to anyone who is planning on being in the Jordan Village area and be prepared to spend some time there, as it will take you that long to look through everything that Jocelyne has in store.

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Allison
01.26.2016

Have you treated yourself lately??

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I was doing some online window shopping today. I would have loved to have made some purchases, but I’m STILL all tapped out after buying gifts for all of my friends and family members over Christmas. I won’t be able to really be able to think of myself for another month or so, and then, as always, there will very likely be something else that comes along and taps me out again.

I am not the richest gal in the world and maybe that is part of the reason why I so seldom have spare cash to spend on myself, but I don’t think that is the only reason why I never seem to get to treat myself. I think that a big part of it is that I very rarely put myself first or make my needs a priority over others.

I spent hundreds of dollars over Christmas, nearly putting myself into debt to assure that everyone knew how much I loved them in some material way.

[Read more…]

Allison
01.25.2016

Artist Profile:: Twinkie Chan

about

Twinkie Chan is “that girl who crochets food scarves. eat your cake and wear it, too!”

Twinkie has been on the DIY scene for over a decade now, having launched her site in 2005. She is based out of San Francisco and is the author of “Twinkie Chan’s Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies: 20 Yummy Treats To Wear”, which came out in Fall 2010 and won About.com’s Readers’s Choice Award for Best DIY Fashion Book of 2011.

Her highly anticipated second book, “Twinkie Chan’s Crocheted Abode a la Mode” will be available in Spring 2016.

We can’t wait for that one!

Twinkie has also launched a diffusion line, “Yummy You! by Twinkie Chan” that offer up her signature crochet patterns in a more accessible way, at a more affordable price. The line celebrates bright colours, bold patterns, fun textures, and feeling cute at any age.

If you are looking for something special order, and if Twinkie has the time, you can nab a custom scarf, starting at $150 USD. Each of Twinkie’s hand-stitched pieces takes approximately 6 – 10 hours, with much time invested to ensure that all ends are carefully woven in.

There is tons of detail and love invested in each piece, so you can be sure that your scarf is as cute as possible.

All of Twinkie’s patterns and designs are 100% original, with some stitches being picked up along the way from other resources.

Twinkie has an Etsy shop filled with food inspired scarves, cup cozies, brooches, pen cozies, hair clips, hats, tissue box cozies, fingerless gloves, and tons of PDF patterns.

Stop on by and order up some of her yummy crocheted goodness!

Allison
01.17.2016

Etsy Round Up:: Best Tech Accessories

Hands with smartphones, tablet over table with laptop and coffeeDress up your tech with some of the best tech accessories found on Etsy! Listed here are some of my all time favs. List your favourites in the comments below so that we can all go and check them out!il_570xN.604983919_693w

Steve Zissou phone case for iPhone 4/4s/5 and Samsung S4. $22 USD

From Heahter Buchanan

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Hello I love you robot with LEDs. $400 USD

From Kelly Newcomer

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Cat head mouse pad. $22 USD

From Felt Planet

il_340x270.528450302_170aMint flowers girl’s laptop sleeve. $32 USD

From Studio Papilio 

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Keyboard stickers. $20 USD

From Kidecals

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Padded computer bag with strap. $59.99

From Bertie’s Closet 

Allison
01.15.2016

Pick of the week:: Eva Design Studio

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Eva Design Studios, owned and operated by Keri Chubb, offers up planners on health, your budget and your day to day, but for the purposes of this month’s blogging theme, we’ll stick to the blogger planner.

It is available in an instantly downloadable PDF document, sized at 148 mm x 210 mm especially to fit either a Kiki or the Filofax Original A5 Organizer.

The planner is 12 very succinct pages that contain everything you need to stay organized on a daily basis with all of your blogging tasks.

[Read more…]

Allison
01.13.2016

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

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I think that it is pretty fair to say that we would all like to be successful in our lives, right??

But what does success mean to you?

What does it look like?

I am here to tell you that what success means to you, may mean something totally different to the next guy or gal in the room.

So, what really is success?

And how do we know once we’ve achieved it?

Since success means something completely different to each and every single one of us, I believe that it is extremely important that you take steps to define what success means to you, specifically, prior to beginning any new venture. If you don’t define it and map it out, how will you know if you have ever achieved it?

[Read more…]

Allison