Lasik a Second Time

#LeftEyeLeanger was my self-proclaimed nickname after leaving Whiting Eye Clinic last week—I had an eye enhancement just 4 months after my 1st Lasik Eye Surgery procedure.

I was part of the 4-5% of all Lasik patients that have to enhance right after the surgery.

Leaving the office 24 hours after the 1st surgery with 20/15 makes it a bit confusing, but my left eye was lacking -.75 of my prescription.

There has to be a 3-month break between surgeries, so I had this one on the books just 2 months after learning about it.

You would think someone would be just more prepared the second time—I was the opposite. I learned about the some of the risk (which is only 4-5%) and also thought about all the time I had worked so hard with my drops between the 1st surgery empowering my eye to heal properly.

   

  

 Arriving the 2nd time for the same procedure, I was then told it will be a lot shorter due to not having to recut the again. Well that is good I guess…

Dr. Whiting found my “flap” quickly and uncomfortably quickly tapped a little bit in my eye to mark where it was. He told me that was the most awkward part of the surgery after he did it of course.

While laying down listening to 80’s Rock music I found myself shaking, and not to the music! The nurse could tell I was nervous so we talked about TLC and how my new name will be #LeftEyeLeanger, of course I added the hashtag.

It was just 10 seconds of starring at a green light, while the room was dancing with color, and poof it was done.

I went home for my usual 5-6 hour nap and woke up 20/20 overall.

I predict my Right eye will need a tune-up over the next year, but I am going to give myself the Summer for a nice break to decide.

Still lovin’ the overall results from the surgery—my odds were just a little bad the first time. Hopefully I took your spot in the statistic, so you don’t have to do the surgery again. But if you are recommended to enhance—keep up with it and enjoy your 20/20 or even 20/15 vision!

#LeftEyeLeanger

  

Stay connected

I still write handwritten notes, cards and thank yous—I don’t see this ageless tradition going away. But Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Facebook IM, Twitter… these are my main social apps at this moment and it becomes harder write a letter when these apps are so handy. I use each app in very different ways to target the audience that makes most sense depending on the content I want to share.

fingerstouch_connected

photo from internet—unknown site

Think about this—we are all content managers every day of our lives. That cute random photo moment of the cuddly baby, the cute heels you decided to sport in the middle of the winter, Justin Timberlake’s newest music video via YouTube, a new job—that you can finally tell your closest friends about. This is all content.

Who should see this? Who needs to know first? Who do you NOT want to see it?
Who can see this and make you famous? (Ok that one may be just me)

My sister is in Manhattan Beach, California and my brother is in Charleston, North Carolina. Both my parents were not on Facebook 4 years ago until my brother was set off to the Air Force… Now both my parents are active on Snapchat and I get messages from them more than I do my 13-year old cousin.

The reason for this, is simply being able to stay connected. It doesn’t matter if it’s a postcard in the mail, a emoticon over text message, a random moment during the day through a Snapchat or a sunset picture posted on Instagram.

Instagram_sunset_andmoreMy Dad just asked me again this weekend if SnapChat was on the iPad—my 75-year old Grandma would love this app to be kept in the loop.

I try to keep up with the updates and share with followers, friends and yes even my parents and grandparents, because technology is ever-changing. Snapchat’s latest update is adding Emoji’s to their address book / friend list. Learn more via Mashable.

Also last week, emoji keyboard was changed with iOS 8.3 update that includes skin tones of some faces. Learn more via Apple themselves.

iphone6-ios8-messages-emoji-skintone-selector

Pick the right channels to spread your content—remember a good handwritten letter or note is still the best to share that update too.

Always thinking with her iPhone 6 Plus in hand,

MN Design Gal

My cousins who are SnapChat and more social savvy then ever before.

 

3rd Annual #32under32

Saturday, March 22nd at Midnight nominations close for the 3rd Annual 32 under 32. Nominate now. Seriously.

The nominations are key to the 32 Under 32 Awards. It gives the people who know the industry best — you — a chance to recognize someone that embodies the rare combination of creativity, drive, and special talents to stand out from the pack.

Video produced by Acowsay Digital.

32under32_sota_mn_moodboard_tjl

My moodboard created in January — inspiring the overall theme for this year.

 

Reminder a nominee could be a current, former or future co-worker, a boss or mentor, or even someone you play in a band with. The only rule is that nominees need to be in a marketing, advertising, PR, or similar role, work, live and play in the great state of ‘Sota, and be under 32 years of age as of May 1.

Evaluating the nominees is a hand-selected pool of judges that changes every year to coincide with the diversity of talent out there. This year’s line-up were hand-selected and feature a director of project management, a director of account strategy, an entrepreneur/CEO, a copywriter/business owner, a VP of public relations and a creative director with UX and video production focus.

SOTA

Photo by SOTA Clothing and Spence.

Video produced by Acowsay Digital.

Meet our judges in more detail:

Kat Dalager is a process geek, rule breaker / boat rocker that currently manages the Integrated Producer team as the Director of Project Operations at the in-house creative agency for Life Time Fitness, 3E The Life Time Agency. Past works include Campbell Mithun, The Martin Agency, Carmichael Lynch, Best Buy and Target.

Mark Hines, tech enthusiast and first generation digital professional. Coder since elementary school. Accidental marketer. Currently helps big brands think like startups and upstarts get traction in-market as Director of Account Strategy at GoKart Labs. Was at Ratchet, Mono and Fallon where he lead teams that brought great ideas to life.

Erin Newkirk believes friends + family makes the world go ’round, which is why she founded Red Stamp in 2005. Many years and one successful acquisition later, Red Stamp and Erin are still in the business of thanking, wishing, inviting and announcing with stylish cards + decor that can be sent via their award-winning app or on the web. Past work includes managing brands at General Mills and Kaplan Educational Centers.

Dan Ruppert-Kan prior to starting his company that specializes in copywriting and content, he was a Creative Director at Russell Herder and a Sr. Copywriter at Carmichael Lynch. He’s currently working on projects for Harley-Davidson, Porsche Financial Services and other marketers and ad agencies.

Dan Jasper is a PR guy, spokesperson and anything but stylish, only occasionally gets to shop at work. He is Vice President at Mall of America managing public relations, community relations, social media, tourism, retail merchandise and digital strategy. Thankfully he has a talented team that helps make him look good.

Michael Kraabel writes, designs, strategizes, codes, films, and more while being VP, Creative & User Experience at Bolin Marketing. An early pioneer of interactive marketing and PR, Mike has been devising digital communications programs for companies for more than 16 years while past work has been at Olson, Schematic, Gage and Martin Williams.

This event would not be successful without the talented volunteers that have been hands-on since the beginning planning in December. As this year’s Director of #32under32, it was crucial for me to be surrounded by passionate talented-thinkers that wanted to get their hands a bit dirty after their day jobs. Let’s take minute to recognize them:

Alexandria Huerter
Molly Michalowski
Andrea Styczinski
Hannah Mortenson
Ashley Mullins
Tyler Eichorst
Daniel Krueger
Casey Garvey

[Insert picture after the next board meeting]

Have you nominated yet? Time is running out.

Save the date May 28, 2015. Register for the event is your next assignment folks.

Always thinking,
Your 2014-15 #32under32 Director and forever design gal

 

 



20/15 in 2015

Creating my Lasik vision story a reality in 2015 has truly been a surreal dream. Glasses began in 6th grade—with big gold spectacles (before they were trendy again). Then the contacts came just 2 years later, I never got the colored ones but tried on a brown trial pair once. I have been near-sighted, which means I can’t see far. I never understood why it meant the opposite—near-sighted is far, and far-sighted is can’t see near.

I decided now was the time—I would make it a priority my eye surgery for my 30th Birthday in late 2014, early 2015.

2015/01/img_1508.png
I started my search for the perfect fit eye surgery place by referrals from friends and family.

Top reasons to pick a eye surgery place:

– Convenient to your home (I recommend less than 30 minutes)
– Family / Friends recommended of course
– Lifetime warranty that makes sense for you
– Price matters, consider price match

After 3 pre-opps (all Free, some clinics do charge $100), I decided on Whiting Clinic. I actually never got to meet Dr. Whiting prior to the surgery day—having gone to several places prior, that actually is very normal. There is a entire staff that matters and after calling the main Whiting number several times and getting my random questions answered, I felt comfortable enough to schedule the surgery.

On the day of surgery, I was 75% excited and 25% nervous arriving to the clinic.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 9.09.50 PM

2015/01/img_1498.jpg

Tips prior to surgery day:

– Tell family and close friends, but don’t tell the world about your Lasik decision (you will get unwanted stories and blade-scarism) 
– Don’t watch a Halloween knife movie the night before
– Reflect on yourself and know that your doing it for yourself
– Go through the inventory of your contacts, solutions and old glasses, and Laugh a bit!
– Schedule your appointment for the morning 

The 90 minute appointment really could have been 20 minutes. Sitting in the waiting area, sitting in the small room, then sitting in the pre-surgery room all preparing to be under the later for just the short special 10 minutes.

I had turned in my preference card that even included what color I wanted the room and music (for real). I noticed that BLUE was the most common color for the room. Blue to me meant ocean-blue waves and blue skies…calm…cool…clean…and good surgery?

2015/01/img_1506.jpgOnce I arrived in the operation room (is that we call it that?) and I had been at Whiting for 70 minutes (for my 90 minute appointment)—I asked Dr David Whiting if it will take just 10 minutes? He said “yup about that”.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 9.08.20 PM
Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 9.08.40 PM

I wasn’t nervous until my eyelashes were pulled back and my right eye was opened and I was to stare at the bright lights. It only took 30 seconds, then another 10…another 10 seconds and poof it was done!

I felt a bit shaken up and in shock after both eyes were done, but it also was a sign of relief of all the built-up nerves.

Waving to my husband and seeing him fuzzy but being able to see the clock was just crazy. My eyes were checked quickly right after and I was out the door.

My eyes turned hazy very quickly and a sense of tingling and light burning started. All I wanted to do is get home and rest my eyes.

Through my very unstylish black glasses I could see a little but it was hazy and for some reason I didn’t want to force my vision through the blur. I just needed rest and as my husband drove through the windy snow storm to our home in Eden Prairie (this is when it’s good to be less than 30 minutes home because that ride home was terrible).

After getting into bed and falling asleep after a hour of discomfort I woke up 4 hours later and knew it was going to be OK. I took another dose of benadryl and shut my eyes again for those last 2 hours to wake up at 5 PM just 6 hours after surgery seeing across the room and feeling so much better. Is this really real?

2015/01/img_1510.jpg

2015/01/img_1511.jpg

I knew I needed to keep up with the drops and NOT TO RUB my eyes. I kept the awkward black glasses on while watching a movie and even sleep with them on the first night.

24 hours later I was back in Whiting for the scheduled post-surgery appointments. I was told that I am now 20/15. 2015 really is 20/15 clear that this was an incredible thing!

If you have any questions or on the fence, I will not convince you to get eye surgery (aka LASIK) because you are the only one that can decide and schedule, put drops in, and rest your eyes. Taking care of yourself is key and I will continue to do so.

Thanks for stopping by this Social Type’s blog and learning about my eye surgery experience.

Your glasses-less,
MN Design Gal 

2015/01/img_1505.jpg

Sporting the dark glasses the day after surgery.

 

 

 

The Rise of the Ugly Sweater

How many Ugly Sweater Parties have you been to over the last few years?

It occurred to me while attending my third Ugly Sweater sweater themed party this season, I needed to do a little research about this tradition.

Who really started this trend?
In the 80’s, according to an Urban Dictionary, a “Cosby sweater” is an oversized, hideous looking sweater with ugly patterns and colors, often worn by old men or hipsters with no taste, and named after the actor/comedian Bill Cosby. He wore a lot of ugly sweater while acting on ” The Cosby Show “.

Bill

Now, I don’t think we all gathered around the TV in our big 80’s sweaters and idolized Bill Cosby—and his iconic sweaters…but I can see the connection.

Koos Van Den Akker was the designer behind the wild collaged sweaters worn on TV that established Koos’ reputation with the rich and famous. Soon after Bill Cosby was seen sporting Koos’ vibrant and inspiring sweaters, famed notables such as Chuck Norris and Richard Simmons.

ustv-the-big-bang-theory-itchy-brain-simluation-2For years, I have thought this tradition was started with the age-old tradition of Grandmas and Mother-in-laws gifting itchy wool sweaters. Finally one day someone decided to throw a party to show off their ugly sweaters!

1418401265_ugly-christmas-sweaters-350

Remember Ugly Betty?

When did the parties start?

158271aVancouver, Canada claims to be the home of the first ugly Christmas sweater party in 2002. The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver holds a ball each year where ugly Christmas sweaters are the mandatory dress code. This year marks their 13th annual party… who’s going this weekend?

 

The best ugly sweater’s have a story behind them. I seriously have a few including a turtle neck that has belonged to my hip 80-year-old Grandmother.

Most friends will buy from a Goodwill or gently used store that stocks them on purpose and marks them up for the season. The newest trend this year is making your own or buying sweaters and vests 3 times too small and adding accessories such as fun glasses or ties and hats to the look.

IMG_0975

My handsome husband and his two buddies.

Whatever the reason, Tis the Season to be silly with friends, slightly awkward with the buddies, laugh with strangers on the bus and most of all, celebrate gathering as friends to celebrate the love the Holidays.

Jimmy Fallon is even throwing an Ugly Sweater give-a-way to his fans. Tweet a photo of yourself in your best (worst) holiday sweater with the hashtag #12DaysOfChristmasSweatersContest and mention @FallonTonight in the tweet, between now and December 19th. Here is his “fine print” …The failure of Sponsors to comply with any provision of these Official Rules due to an act of God, hurricane, war, fire, riot, earthquake, terrorism, act of public enemies, actions of governmental authorities outside of the control of Sponsors (excepting compliance with applicable codes and regulations), or other “force majeure” event will not be considered a breach of these Official Rules… Will you win?

tumblr_mx77aeNkVY1qhub34o1_500-1

My prediction is this trend will go away some day. But for now—keep an over the top Holiday sweater, a snowman sweatshirt and that jingle bell vest hanging in your closet to dust off for those December parties. Now when someone asks at the party “when did this Ugly Sweater thing start?” You will have a few random facts to announce to the slightly intoxicated group.

Stay stylish and be kind this Holiday Season,
Your Holiday-Spirit-Gal

IMG_0977

 

Millennial Homeowner

Homeownership for Americans 35 and under declined to 36.2 percent, down from 36.8 percent in 2013 and the lowest on record since the census’s Housing Vacancy Survey began tabulating homeownership by age in 1982. (source USA News)

When I came across this stat after I had my closing date set, I actually studied the facts further and even started to doubt my decision to buy a home with my husband.

I have had three close friends go through foreclosures and now are renting. I have no single friends that own homes right now that I can think of.  A few that are newly married that have chosen to wait to buy a house “until it’s the best time in the market”. Then finally the friends that do own homes all have children and are in the construction industry “when it just makes sense”.

Really, the facts have always been clear that the millennial lifestyle is just not like our parents.

card from lindsey

New homeowner cards filled the mailbox the first week. My favorite card from a college friend and fellow millennial.

 

nicesmile_withkeys

It wasn’t taken on the day of our closing…but the photo holds the memory and the key that doesn’t work anymore (we changed the locks of course) to our home.

 

I think of one of the earliest research stats I can remember, the average number of children per couple. Gallup has been asking Americans “What do you think is the ideal number of children for a family to have?” since 1936, when the ideal number per family was 3.6. This number declined between 1957 and 1978 to an average of about 2.5 children, where it remains today—OK enough on that stat that’s another blog post, and no I’m not pregnant.

Steve and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary in our home this weekend. Just for the record, we have also already done 91 Home Depot, Menards and Lowes visits in just three weeks (glad the 11% Menards rebate was going on too). Don’t worry friends this blog won’t turn into a BEFORE and AFTER or DIY picture over-share… we will save that for Pinterest.

Thanks for stopping by. Three advertising and marketing events this week, so stay tuned for strategic updates and thought-starters (now I really have to write about at least one).

Your newest millennial homeowner,
MN Design Gal plus Steve 

fun in front of the home

#32under32 Award

What is 32 Under 32?

In every industry, there are those who push beyond what’s asked of them in the hopes of disrupting the status quo. These are the early risers and late-nighters. The after-work hustlers and the opportunity seekers. In the advertising and marketing industry, we call these people ambitious and recognize them as being one of the 32 Under 32. This elite award recognizes 32 up-and-coming ad professionals in the Twin Cities, hailing incredible accomplishments and endeavors they gain at such a young age. – AdFed MN

On June 26, I accepted this award among talented advertising colleagues and fellow savvy marketers, designers, copy writers, digital directors and more.

Why the age 32?

Ad 2 members have to be 32 and under for the lower membership rate, basically it goes back to Ad 2 National rules. There also is a local MPLS magazine called thirty two that was an original sponsor in 2013.

IMG_5777 IMG_5780

 

acceptingmyaward my husband Steve

With my husband Steve moments after receiving the award.

Below are the highlights from my acceptance speech that I preformed in my bathroom, by myself, later that night.

Thank you for the opportunity to be among these incredibly talented people. Some of you have hired me in this room, others of you we have volunteered together for years or just hours, we have played together at the uptown bars and later on in our careers some of you will want to hire me and I will want to hire you.

I sincerely am not here without the American Advertising Federation and Ad Fed MN organization. Too many times we take it for granted the volunteers, the ideas and the execution of these events. I would like to thank Anna Sanders for her idea on this 2 years ago and this year being the 2nd annual event for #32under32. [insert applause] I also want to thank past Ad Fed and Ad 2 Presidents and current board members and volunteers, photographers and social community managers I recruited a few years back because without event marketing there wouldn’t be any attendees to come to these events and all the volunteers and bartenders just stare at each other.

I’m accepting working as a volunteer and past Ad 2 President will always be part of my life because you learn so much more shit when your not getting paid for it, it’s just less apparent. [insert laughs and claps]

mystery poster design 32 under 32

Even though no one knows who nominates them, I knew one for sure in this room. So I thank Cathleen for her time and on-going support in my young advertising career, you are an incredible entrepreneur and talented business woman.

I also want to thank Steve. My husband and supporter of my crazy creative thinking, late-nights on my Mac researching and executing ideas that I’m not getting paid for. [insert laughs] I am lucky to have a tech savvy man who also understands that I will always be in this crazy design & advertising world.

Also want to thank Family and Friends that aren’t here tonight-they are usually always positive and encouraging of my creative talents. Without them I would have probably never made it through presenting for 2 hours my digital design portfolio at BSU and surely would have never handled all those 2nd place call backs. Seriously my family is my rock and I’m excited to see where my career and life keeps taking me while designing this path through life.

Thanks for listening and thanks for not booing me while on stage. See you again soon! Cheers!

[insert applause] exit stage—

your mn design gal – designing her path through life 

mndesigngal

Drive Your Business Forward

Fast Company is a news source with the following of innovative and creative thought leaders who are actively inventing the future of business. What is happening this month is the judging of their Drive Your Business Forward contest.

drivebusinessforward

The submission process started with seeing the ad for small businesses on a promoted post on Facebook and then taking a look at the past winners on YouTube. My Dad is the sole owner and operator of his vending machine company who works 14+ hour days with a Sprinter van with over 340,000 miles on it. He has never owned a new work van or truck ever.

A Plus Vending

favorite smile

We met Dad at one of his Minneapolis vending stops on a late Thursday night in May and filmed him in action.

After explaining more to him about this mystery contest, he insistented in a follow-up shoot where he would be more prepared with commentary on why he deserves a new Sprinter van. A new Sprinter van or even the $10K would be an unforgettable experience and dream for him and the really-the entire family.

What is the GRAND PRIZE you ask?

The Grand Prize consists of a 2014 (or 2015, if available) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van together with $10,000 worth of customizations. 
Additional second place is BEST VIDEO: The Readers’ Choice Prize is $10,000 in cash.
 
The eligible entries will be judged on the following criteria: 
1) how the proposed use of Sprinter van will help Entrant’s business grow (50%)
Keith is all about efficiency on his route being the sole owner and operator, the more variety of snacks in his machines and the more stops on his route the more sales will be made. So with the help of Fast Company if he could customize and create the best layout in the Sprinter van, meanwhile drive a new safe and quality vehicle, this would grow his business. 
2) overall business strategy (25%)
– Keith needs to transfer all of his machines to credit card acceptance and that is a huge investment; so his route and sales need to increase by 30% to be able to do this by 2015. With the business strategy to keep his route efficient with the best possible transportation as possible, it will help this sole business owner. 
3) quality of performance on submitted video (25%)
Trina (my younger talented sister) used Final Cut Pro to develop this entertaining and customized video, so the quality is super- just see for yourself!
keithaplus_blkwhite
Taking all this into consideration we went drafted a quick outline for the 60-90 second video submission and used iCloud to quickly upload video clips from iPhones and labeled them in sequential order for efficient editing.
With the deadline being May 30th we had no time for multiple revisions. While Trina found music that wasn’t copyrighted, I created Dad a Google+ Account, YouTube Channel and added photos captioned from the submission video shoot.
Without any further details, please comment, encourage and LIKE our 90-second video submission for the Fast Company’s Drive Your Business to Success starring Keith Severson:

 

Ready for more? Trina made an extended version with an overview of a day in the life of attending to vending with Keith:

Lastly, for Father’s Day we had to make sure to release the uncut version. At the end there is a shout-out to Fast Company and how brilliant of an idea this contest is because not only did we spend time filming our hard-working Dad, but he may the underdog but he’s still the Winner to us!

Cheers to hard-work and stop by after July 7th for the update to the Fast Company contest. We hope our Dad wins because he needs a new Sprinter soon!

Staying creative as the Vending Man’s Daughter,
Tricia jo

pic of this mndesigngal