Tuesday, December 27, 2005

10 Secret Google Ranking Tips

Shhh...don't tell anyone else.

Here are the super duper secret tips.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy, happy, Merry merry

I've been saying for weeks how special I thought it was that Christmas and Chanukah both fell on the same day this year. Call me cheezy, but I just thought that it meant a lot that many of us would be celebrating the kick off of the holiday season on the very same day. I like what that says metaphorically and, aside from the poor Chinese food restaurant owners who were losing their massive Jewish influx on christmas day, the real life "chrissmakuh" just seemed pretty darn cool.

Though I could not recall another time in my life this had happened, little did I know that this was the first time this dual holiday has occurred in 100 years.

Anyway, wishing the happiest of holidays (whichever one you celebrate!) to everyone and their families and a spectacular new year for all.

Hollah for Hannukah!
Merry to the X-mas!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Freestylin with Fido

I really do love our doggie Oliver. I mean, look at those long, gorgeous ears and sweet eyes. In truth, I've sort of become one of those "crazy dog people"--I get nervous about leaving the little guy home alone too much (so we've gotten him a "dog sitter" before), I wouldn't think of feeding him anything but organic, human grade food and the idea of a doggie birthday party sounds...welll, sort of intriguing. Thus, by most standards, that leaves me squarely in the category of a "crazy dog lady." And you know what? I'm ok with that.

But I think this article in the New York Times on freestyle dancing with your pooch takes "crazy" to a whole new level. In fact, I think I'd be most comfortable if we called these people "Krazy dog peeps." The crazy with a "K" somehow feels more appropriate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

When Will You Be Debt Free?

Hopefully you are NOTHING like me and avoid credit card balances like the plague. However, as someone who's been less than steallar at saving and not lucky enough to inheit a trust fund, I confess that at times I resorted to using credit cards when getting my business off the ground. Yes, I've got super duper low rates (even a couple of 0%'s), but I have a couple of balances nonetheless.

CNN has this handy little calculator that lets you see exactly how much longer you are doomed to be paying those shiny plastic little suckers off.

While we're on the topic of getting out of debt, I really loved this budgeting system I came across on Life Hacker the other day.

I've recently begun a quasi budgeting plan and, man, its a major adjustment for me. But I like the ease and simplicity of this system and am going to try to incorporate it.

Mom, if you are reading and care to fill me in on any afore to unmentioned trust funds, please do so immediately.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Drop Send

It's old news already that I'm a hardcore Life Hacker addict, but talk about the universe delivering just when you need it to.

Yesterday, I had to quickly send out some VERY large files (2 Paper Bride product photos) to our PR agency and it was just not working. They were way too big for my email to handle and after 15 minutes of watching my outbox sputter and stall, I decided to go to with Plan B.

I had just that morn read about this fab new site called DropSend.com that allegedly makes sending large files a snippity snap.

I downloaded the software (which took about 3.2 seconds), uploaded my files, and voila! No problemo. It still took a good bit of time to get the files downloaded, but the whole process could not have been easier. And you could see the progression of the file the whole time, which greatly put my mind at ease. Best of all, you can save your files to your account so that you can easily send the same ones out again the next time around.

Best of all, this whole shebang is free. There are options for beefier accounts for those who send out lots of big files, but for those of us that just need to send things out periodically, the free account seems to be just fine.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

2005: the List of Lists

I love me some lists.

Reasons I like lists:
1. They are oh so orderly
2. They are a marvelous distraction from virtually any task on my to do list
3. I'm fascinated by other people's opinions of the best songs/movies/blogs etc as I like to compare them to my own and puff myself up when I realize "hey, that was my favorite song/movie/blog of the year too!"
4. You can make lists of lists

Which brings me to this awesome site Fimoculous which has done just that--they have loads of lists of lists, and are updating it every day.

Here's my own contribution:

A List of Shows I'm embarassed to admit in public that I have a season pass for on Tivo:
1. Miss Seventeen
2. Run's House
3. My Fair Brady
4. Starting Over
5. America's Next Top Model
6. The Biggest Loser
7. Making the Band 3
8. Real World/Road Rules Challenge
9. Breaking Bonnaduce (this is actually Greg's not mine, but I *have* watched).
10. Gastineau Girls

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


As a new business owner, I seem to spend an increasing amount of time on the phone with customer service reps. Well, on a good day its a customer service rep and on an annoying/frustrating/infuriating/maddening day I spend time on the phone with an automated, breathy woman who seems to record messages for every fortune 500 company. I have named her Ashley.

Some companies make this customer service thing fairly painless (Jet Blue for example ) and others make me want to poke my eyes out with a rusty nail.

Today I happened upon, perhaps, the most useful information I have ever come across in my 14 years of internet surfing--it's a very special List. This is a list worth printing out, cherishing, and building a shrine to. If you have anyone in your life you care about, pass this list along to them. Save it for your grandkids, spraypaint it on the walls of a federal building and bury it in a time capsule.

This is a list of about 100 companies (and trust me, many of us our customers of quite a few of them) and includes a chart of exactly what numbers to press on your phone to get straight through to a real, live, beating heart, human being. It's magical, its super spactacular, it's a dream come true.

Thank you, Paul English. I hope I'm not being too forward by saying that I'm truly, madly, deeply in love with you.

Beginner's Guide to SEO

If you are like me, SEO,or Search Engine Optimization, is something you know a bit about--maybe more than the average Jane but not enough to kick Jane's ass. I want to kick Jane's ass, so I've been trying to read up as much as I can.

I came across this fab, truly comprehensive Beginner's Guide from SEOmoz.com that really breaks it all down into digestible bits.

For the record, SEOmoz is a pretty amazing search engine optimization/marketing company in its own right. They provide a ton of free information (for clients and strangers alike) and even have a section where they recommend other SEO firms because they have more business than they know what to do with. What an awesome, shining example of the fact that giving things away often creates more demand than you know what to do with (hello, music industry? Anyone out there?).

Sunday, December 04, 2005

What the font?

For any of you designer/paper peeps out there who have not yet discovered What the Font?!, this site is pretty faboo.

If you've ever looked at a webpage or a brochure and wondered "what font is that?," this is your one-stop-shop. You can paste a url or upload a particular file, hit "enter" and then BING, BAM, BOOM, voila, they identify the font for you. Pretty darn nifty.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Stick it to Uncle Sam

The end of the tax year is fast approaching, and MSN (via Lifehacker has a great article on some tips for saving on your taxes before that big sparkly ball comes down.

You've only got 30 days left, so hurry up and start savin'.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ten Rules for Web Startups

Ok, granted this list has been everywhere over the past few days, but it really is that good.

Even for those of us who already have a biz (and therefore might be a bit late in the game to a list like this), there is still valuable information here. #4 rang very true for me:

"#4: Be Picky
Another perennial business rule, and it applies to everything you do: features, employees, investors, partners, press opportunities. Startups are often too eager to accept people or ideas into their world. You can almost always afford to wait if something doesn't feel just right, and false negatives are usually better than false positives. One of Google's biggest strengths—and sources of frustration for outsiders—was their willingness to say no to opportunities, easy money, potential employees, and deals."

This is a great reminder that the world will not hinge upon whether or not we're in a particular magazine at a particular moment, or that if Neiman Marcus comes a 'knockin, we don't have to immediately say "SIGN ME UP!" (ok, someone might seriously need to remind me of this if Neimans does come a 'knockin).

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Thanksgiving Grateful Hacks: Paperbride style

Taking a cue from Gawker and their fab roundup of what all sorts of media peeps are thankful for, here is my list (in no particular order):

*that I have finally (and wholeheartedly) kicked my six can a day diet coke addiction (Hollah for Perrier!)
*cheesy (yet delicious) TV shows such as "My Fair Brady," "America's Next Top Model," "Making the Band 3" and "Miss Seventeen"
*the fact that I can enjoy above shows because of the magic of: tivo, tivo & tivo (try explaining to your friend that you can't go out tonight because you have to stay home and catch "Miss Seventeen"--it ain't pretty).
*movie theater popcorn
*stem cell transplants
*Jet Blue
*beautiful, creamy, colorful paper
*our heart stopping Statue of Liberty/bridge/pretty water view
*Dansko clogs
*Clorox wipes
*my loud, hungry (oftentimes bizarre) family
*the transfirmer
*friends that could testify that I'm the worst caller/stay-in-toucher out there, but don't dump me anyway
*the internet
*bread from Balthazaar
*the Container Store
*scented Henri Bendel candles
*the fact that I finally decided to take the leap and start my own business (and that the universe has pretty much just aligned with me since)
*Justin Timberlake
*our doorman Frank
*french fries
*Canal Street Louis Vuitton knockoffs
*feather beds
*all my blog readers
*my reputation as a great gift giver
*the Union Square farmer's market
*central AC AND heat

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I can't think of a day that's gone by in recent memory when I have not used Google-- and when I say "use" I mean probably 5 to 10 times a day average. They've got it all: searches, maps, phone numbers, photos, videos, dictionary definitions, etc. I use "etc" because google now offers so much, I can barely keep track of it.

Thankfully, I'm not alone. The folks at TipMonkies.com put together a fantastic reference for us all: The Ultimate Guide to Google Services.

My fave new google service (which, shockingly, did not make the list) is their Pedometer service which allows you track the mileage of your runs/jogs, or in my case, brisk walks.

To keep up with google's new services in the future, check back with Google Labs.

Monday, November 21, 2005

10 most practical blogs for entrepreneurs

I must confess I have a love/hate relationship with About.com.

On various internet searches on all sorts of topics I've come across both mountains of crap and sometimes delicate pearls of wisdom. Thankfully, these days the pearls of widsom seem to outweigh the crap, and I really dug this article on the Top 10 Most Practical Blogs for Entrepreneurs.

There are some great blogs included such as WorkHappy.net and HomeOfficeVoice.com.

Here's my problem: there are so many amazing, fantastic, info-filled blogs out there now, I have no time to actually do work. I guess I need to sked an hour each morning for blog reading? That should fit in nicely around 4am between waxing the floor and doing an exercise DVD.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

How to boost your blog traffic

Here is a fab article from PaulStamatiou.com on boosting traffic to your blog.

I actually went to Technorati right away to claim my blog(s) and am trying to work some of the other suggestions as we speak. This is especially timely for me since I've been a major blogging slacker lately and could use all the help I can get.

I don't mean to be a slacker...really I don't.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Savin' it for a rainy day?

Apparently, those of us in the world of the self-employed are not saving our dough very well. We can barely agree to pay ourselves a salary, and if we do, anything left over goes straight back into the biz. "You have to spend money to make money," right?

Well, the flipside of this is that we all might be screwed come our 65th birthday. I'm guilty of this myself. I saved every little penny of my 15% allowable yearly contribution to my 401k at my last job, but since flying solo: nada, zip, zilch, nuttin.'

I guess we need to take on the concept that oprah likes to throw around a lot: if you are not taking care of yourself, you can't really take care of anyone else. So scrimp! Save! IRA it!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Working from Home

Do you work out of your home? Now, I do! So I love to read tips from other people who have figured out to do this effectively (right now I'm sitting on my couch with Dr. Phil on in the background...so I seriously need some help):

Living and Working in Cramped Quarters.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Blog Spam (Blam?)

Over the past several months I've really begun to enjoy and get into the groove of blogging. It's kind of a crazy concept: I write a bunch of crap that is interesting to me and other people out in the world (*maybe*) stop by every once in awhile to enjoy it too. Even if no one else in the world finds my crap interesting, its a nice outlet for me. Don't get me wrong...this isn't a "WHO THE HELL NEEDS YOU!" sort of statment, but for anyone who has ever kept a diary or a journal, you can likely relate to the cathartic aspect of gettin' your thoughts down on paper--in this case, however, my paper is on your computer screen.

So, here I was bloggin' away, enjoying myself and whistlin' a happy tune, and then it happened: blog spam. I love getting comments just as much as the next guy. In fact I have my settings set up such that when a comment is added to my blog, I get emailed--that's how much I love em' (so keep em coming!). But a month or so ago, I was checking my email and noticed that I had 7 or so new comments added to my blog within the course of a few hours. I'm well aware that the size of my readership is...well...a bit on the petite size, shall we size, so needless to say this was highly unusual. After further investigation, I realized that *all* of the newly added comments were bogus: "hey you have a really great blog! Check out (%$^^&.com for some fun online poker games!" Uhm, no thanks.

As with email spam, it seems like once you get on one list, within days you are on hundreds; in weeks you are on thousands; and within months you need to hire a personal assistant to simply deal with all of the spam crap filling up your mailbox. So it went, with blog spam too. I reached a point where if a comment showed up, my first response was to roll my eyes. Blog spam was beginning to affect my life. In fact, it nearly caused me to abandon my beloved blog!

Lucky for me, one of my fab, superstar readers solved my problem! (check out Angela Willis fab wedding design & consultation company: Elegance in Bloom

Here is a step-by-step for those of you who are using a blogger template and are suffering as I was:

1. Within your blog (on blogger, that is) click on "settings"
2. Click on comments
3. Click "yes" for show word verification for comments
4. Click "save settings"

Ok, so YES, this will mean that your blog readers will have to take an extra 11 seconds to type in the weird looking letters in the box before they comment, *but* most of your blog readers are blog writers...so I don't think they'll mind too much. And trust me, this will really make all the difference in the world (can you hear my sighs of relief!?)

While we're on the matter of insidious blog spam, let me further lodge my hatred publicly for splogs!

Goin back to Cali...

Blanket apologies for the super sad, irregular postings of late. Rest assured, its for good reason:

1. I've quit my job! Hooray! And will now be working on Paper Bride full time! (overuse of exclamation points, i know, but freedom rules).
2. I'm away on vacation. Yep, decided to take some "me" time. Here is where I am: Big Horn. If you think the pics look nice, they don't even come close to doing this place justice.
3. Due to #1 and #2 I have flavored iced teas to drink, long hikes to attend to and afternoons by the pool to manage.

I will try not to continue to ignore my bloggity blog, but have you tasted a passion mango iced tea lately? They make it hard to concentrate on much else.

For anyone looking to learn how to play the guitar, here is a pretty fab reference. My gawgous fiance is a guitar player, so its in my best interest to create more just like him...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

This seriously sucks

Soon we all might be plagued with paying/collecting online sales tax. Bah humbug :(

Monday, October 03, 2005

Liquid Treat

Check us out! Much to everyone's surprise at Paper Bride headquarters, we were featured in last weeks Liquid Treat newsletter.

"Liquid Treat delivers a fun inspirational and informative weekly e-mail about design-related topics in a varitey of categories. You'll get cool ideas and design solutions, plus you'll learn about creative people, must-see places or events and interesting products, including unique toys for the kiddies and pets. "

Thanks, Liquid Treat!

Sign up here.


Ahhh..boys, I knew it was just a matter of time. Apparently, bridezillas are passe, its now all about the groomzillas. Might I add that this new breed of crazy boy soon-to-be wedded's sound a lot crazier and bitchier than their female counterparts. I, for one, am thoroughly entertained. Stay tuned for some groomzilla cards in Paper Bride's upcoming collection!

p.s. Several weeks ago, I was watching My Super Sweet Sixteen on MTV and a young chap was featured in the episode who called himself a "Devo"--a male Diva. Nope, folks I could *not* make this stuff up if I tried. Use this word correctly in a sentence? Ok:

If a "Devo" were to get engaged, chances are he would turn into a "groomzilla" pretty darn quckly.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The "FUG" femmes

If you're obsessed with blogs like me, you've probably come across the snarky, biting, oh so yummy blog Go Fug Yourself at some point. Get your mind out of the gutter; F-U-G actually stands for "frightfully ugly." Written by two very sassy young women, Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks, this blog chronicles the good, the bad and the ugly of celeb fashion and culture. Ok, so there's not so much good--it's mostly the bad and the ugly, but man, is it entertaining.

Mad props to you two clever ladies: your site gets hundreds of thousands of hits a month, MSNBC wants you on the red carpet and Star Magazine can't seem to get enough quotes from you. Loooove the power of the internet.

As if that weren't all enough, now the WSJ is a fug fan too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ladies Who Launch, LIVE!

I know I rave about them all the time, but I just can't help myself: I seriously heart Ladies Who Launch. It doesn't get much better: a group of smart, sassy, motivated entrepreneurs/go-getters/do-gooders all working together to help each other make great things happen. I'm super thankful I got involved in this organization, and there is an amazing upcoming opportunity that will allow you to jump in head first too: Ladies Who Launch Live.

This is going to be an all day event here in New York City on Thursday, October 20th. There is already a group of amazing speakers lined up, fab workshops and even a vendor marketplace where you can browse and buy from all of the amazingingly talented ladies. It will be a great opportunity to meet some fantastic women, get inspired, get motivated and get going with whatever it is in your life you need a little push forward with.

Sign up quickly because tickets are going like hotcakes--trust me, you don't want to miss this one.

For those who live out on the left coast, lucky you! There will be a Ladies Who Launch Live event out in Seattle on October 27th!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Making it to the big leagues...

Getting your product onto the shelves of Target or Wal-Mart seems...well, pretty freakin fabulous. I've had fantasies of early morning calls that go something like this:

mysterious caller (MC): Hello Paper Bride, this is Target...we MUST have you in every single one of our stores!
ME: uh...really? Uhm, ok, great.
MC: Get some more product printed up and get your stuff to us as soon as you can...we'll wait however long it takes.
ME: uh...ok
MC: I'm sending you a big, fat, honkin' check right now.
ME: ok...uhm...thanks

I hope to be a smidge more eloquent than that, but...

Here is a fantastic article about one company's experience in getting their product onto the shelves of Wal-Mart. It's not quite as easy as I had imagined...and, in fact, seems next to impossible. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Smarter To-Do Lists

Sure, we all probably make use of some sort of to do list. And upon reading the above headline, I too thought "come on...a to do list is a to do list." HA! Was I misinformed. I'm really trying to embrace this whole notion of trying to stay more organized, keeping my life in order and making sure my biz isn't in shambles. Turns out my former to do lists sucked big time. Here's how you can make yours smarter.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mailinator Shmailinator

Ok, spam sucks. Anyone going to argue with me on that one? Thought not. I recently came across this BRILLIANT site called mailinator. Here's the deal: any and every email address @mailinator.com is fully functional and waiting for you to give out to any online shop, annoying boy at a party or anonymous job search. You don't need to join, get a tedious password or think up a clever username. Mailinator accounts are automatically created as soon as mail arrives for it. You can then go to the site, pick up your note or never use it again for all we care. Done. Wasn't that easy?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Introvert to Extrovert in 10 steps or less

Most of us have taken that Myers-Briggs personality test at some point in our lives and if you've taken it, you know the first classifcation you receive is whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.

Paris Hilton=extrovert
Ally Sheedy's character in The Breakfast Club=introvert

Tara Reid=extrovert
Ryan on the O.C=introvert

You get the picture. This test claims that we are all either one or the other.

Though I've been classified an introvert, I think I definitely tend to switch between the two depending on the social situation. But there are definitely times I wish I could draw more on the extrovert in me, and this article actually gives some great tips on how to bring out the "inner extrovert" in us all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Managing Upwards: greatest idea since sliced bread

Can you imagine how fantastic it would be to get the chance to "rate" your boss? Or how enlightening it might be, if you are a boss, to find out what your employees think of how you run the show. This is an idea that will likely catch on right after hell freezes over, but I love the notion of doing a boss evaluation and getting a chance to to tell the people you work for why you feel justified stealing those post it notes.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Here's how to make it to the top

Arlene Blum is a world famous mountain climber. I normally don't pay attention to climbing or mountain climbers. Honestly, with my double fear of heights AND falling, if ever there were a sport that was *not* for me, this one is it. But Arlene Blum is a special exception; she has taken her amazing experiences (climbing some of the most technically difficult mountain ranges in the world) and spun it into a series of stellar tips and advice for small biz owners.

I recently came across this article about Blum on Fast Company and amazingly enough, her advice on "how to make it to the top" works for getting to the top of a mountain, OR the top of the business world. Her advice is solid, and she manages to deliver in a way that even makes typically hokey sounding things like visualization make loads of sense (I actually really believe in visualization--that was just the cynic in me rearing her ugly head for a moment).

She's well worth checking out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

PAPER BRIDE FAVE: Dragonfly Design

Our friends over at Dragonfly Design are always busy making some of the chicest bling we've seen on the internet. They make all sorts of pretty, sparkly, fun and fabulous jewelry but also have some adorable gift items like this super duper cute beaded bookmark. You really oughta check them out pronto.

Lucky for us that in addition to all the blingin', there's some bloggin going on. Dragonfly also writes a sassy blog, and man did we get an awesome review in their Tuesday Treasures column.

Gracias, Dragonfly!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Make it your mission

Most successful companies have mission statements laying around somewhere. Schools have em', non profit organizations. It's a really cool idea, actually: let's sit down and clarify exactly what it is we're hoping to do in the world, how we're going to do it and what we hope to accomplish.

So, when I came across this article on The Five Step Plan for Creating Personal Mission Statements, it struck me as surprising that I've never considered doing this for myself. I can see the possibility of something like this changing more often for me than it might for xyz big, rich company, however, I still think its a great idea. In fact, I wish I had one right now to refer to...to motivate me to get my ass off the couch...encourage me to get through one more monotonous day at work...so I can come home, work on my biz and do some things I *really* want to do. I need one of these puppies badly.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Times Weddings by the Numbers

Our friends at Gothamist have a yummy weekly feature called Times Weddings by the Numbers where they break out the statistical data from the sunday Weddings section of the NY Times into little, fun digestible bits.

For instance, this week, there was 1 bald groom featured, no brides featured wearing glasses and six (!) Yale graduates. If you watch the statistics week by week, its fun to keep track of the "typical" Times wedding. They *do* deserve some props for diversifying a bit, but having said that, their average wedding announcement is still pretty vanilla.

For a more in depth (READ: snarky) breakdown of the NY Times weekly wedding section, check out the highly entertaining blog Veiled Conceit.

Friday, September 09, 2005

envelope and letter folding

Ok, sure. I do realize that it would be much easier to go to staples, the drugstore or the stationery store and just buy an envelope. But how much fun would it be to try to fold your own? I'm here to report that the answer to this quandry is: A LOT OF FUN.

This is a great website with (mostly) dummy proof instructions on how to fold all sorts of envelopes. For a paper lover like me, this is sort of akin to web crack, so beware.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Jobs kill...creativity, that is

Here's a great article that's been making the rounds on Lifehacker and the other orgo blogs (ok, I just made that up...I mean blogs that help with organizing your life=orgo) called "11 Tips to Surviving a Day Job with your Creativity in Tact."

I'm not usually into lists like this, but this one happens to be pretty rockin.' In fact I think every darn item on the list is pretty worthwhile.

So, if you feel like its next to impossible to maintain your creative spirit workin 9-5, start workin this list...see if it helps.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

D*I*Y Planner

If you want to get organized with a daily planner or organizer, we all know we can turn to Filofax or Moleskine. Kate Spade has a gorgeous but insanely pricey organizer that I have coveted from afar. But for those of us DIY junkies who are *really* on a budget, you might want to check out D*I*Y Planner.com.

"We are a community of people who see the value of paper as a medium for planning, productivity, creative expression, and exploring ideas. We encourage visitors to share advice and inspiration, and we love to see submissions for templates, kit images and story articles."

There are fantastic templaes, photos, super clear instructions and all the tools you will need to create the perfect means of organizing stuff in your own life. There is also a great forum where you can discuss tips/tricks about what does and doesn't work for you.

The site is brand new, so I imagine they will be adding loads of great stuff in the days to come. Not that I need another item on my "to do" list or anything, but I love the idea of getting myself organized exactly how I want to be, rather than based upon the bages that come in my pricey leatherbound filofax.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dewey Decimal, who needs ya?

I came across this really cool site the other day called Library Thing that allows you to create an online catalog of all of the books in your personal library. You can set up an account for free to categorize up to 200 books. If you want to keep track of more than that, you can buy a subscription for $10 smackers.

The site syncs up with the Library of Congress' catalog and allows you to enter descriptions and best of all tags for each of your books to allow for easy future searches.

Here's an example of what your catalog page could actually look like.

Though I'm not looking forward to the amount of time this will take to add in all of my info, I'm excited to have a means of finally keeping track of all of my books...that sometimes seem to disappear before I even have a chance to read them.

Most of all, as someone who is fantastic at organizing other people's lives and not so hot at organizing my own, I love all of these new tools that help make gettin' things done so much easier. Internet...I love you.

Friday, September 02, 2005

How do you compare?

Dogpile has a really interesting Search Engine Comparison tool that allows you to compare the top 10 results on your search term from Google, Yahoo and MSN in a visual overlapped pie graph.

Its so interesting to me that there is not a whole hell of a lot of overlap here. Each search engine seems to have an almost entirely unique set of results (for my company url at least). It brought to light the whole issue of the catch-22 nature of the internet: one one hand is fantastic to have so many people, all over the world (companies, people, individuals) putting up anything and everything and allowing us all to benefit from it, learn from it, buy off it, etc, but on the flipside, is there *ever* going to be any sort of regulation and would that regulation be a good thing?

I mean, we all spend hours trying to get our sites up in the page rankings and though there are some tried and true methods, I'm sure most have us have experienced the phenomenon of getting great results with one search engine and some not so hot ones on another.

The browser issue is also hella annoying for me. It never occurred to me (until we had to build our own website) that it would look (sometimes) very different across all browsers. Just when we fix something with one browser, something shows up on another.

I'm all for freedom of expression and lettin' things work themselves out, but would a little bit of regulation be so horrible?

I don't know, myself. Just wondering...

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Watch the Today Show on NBC tomorrow morn, 9/2. Tune in at around 9:30am and pay close attention to the segment on awesome bridal shower gifts. I'll tell you why later ;)

UPDATE: we got cut. Boo hoo.

UPDATE TO MY UPDATE: woo hoo! The segment wound up being taped *after* the show was over and they are now planning on running it next Thurs, 9/8. I think. Of course anything and everything could change, but seems like we're back on Katie's "to do" list. Hollah!

UPDATE CUBED: Now it looks like Monday, 9/12 is the day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Crafters United: Katrina, you suck

Some sassy, crafty cyber friends of mine have organized an awesome fundraiser to help raise cash for the thousands of people devasted by Katrina.

Please go here to Etsy.com and shop for all sorts of cool, kitschy, crafty stuff. All items have been donated and proceeds will go directly to the Red Cross Hurricaine Relief Fund. These are some talented chicas, so there's no way you won't find something awesome to add to your jewelry box, closet, kiddie's back or desktop.

We've all seen the pictures...watched the news...its beyond horrible what has happened on the Gulf Coast. Let's all do our part to help out.

Laguna Beach: REVISTED

Man, now the NYT is writing about Laguna Beach??

Could I *be* any more on the pulse? Don't answer that.

I want my MTV...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

How to fold a shirt

I'm generally quite a messy slob, however, the one thing I'm *really* good at is folding. There are others in my life (you know who you are) who really suck at it, and its become an ongoing disussion in our lives.

I was quite blown out of my chair after coming upon Ready Made Magazine's article on how to fold a shirt Know How to Fold Em'. According to the mag and the included diagrams, my years of folding practice are basically now straight out the window. The aricle and featured folding "approach" is based on a Japanese "how to fold a shirt" video that, trust me, is quite an eye popper for all other Martha Stewart devotees out there like myself. Needless to say, I'm dying to get home to try this technique out. I've watched the video six or seven times now and am still unsure I *really* get it, but man am I psyched to go home and get my fold on tonight.

UPDATE: ok, I am dumb. Really dumb. I cannot for the life of me figure this out and its making me very mad. I have tried way too many times already. I think I now speak Japanese from watching the video so much. I still can't do it. ARGGGGHHHH!

UPDATE TO MY UPDATE: Phew. Thanks to my good buddy Sarubozu, I finally have figured this out. My shirts don't look *quite* as nice as the japanese lady's shirts, but they look pretty decent. Man, folding is F-U-N!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Who needs a job?

Here's some stellar advice re: going about the process of saying "see ya!" for those (of us) who might be considering resigning.

Of course there's the little tip about actually having a job before you take the leap, some sample resignation letters and a list of smart things to think about before taking the plunge (i.e. unused vacation days, insurance, 401k plans, etc).

Some other fab job findin' resources:

Indeed.com is a job search engine that scours hundreds of different websites and offers up all results in one convenient spot. You can receive results via email or RSS feeds as well.

Guru.com offers up a fantastic "freelance marketplace" in which freelancers can "bid" on job proposals that have been submitted by employers. The site helps you manage invoices and payments and makes the process pretty darn easy and painless.

Craigslist remains one of the fave job search site of unemployed peeps near and far. You can search by city and, though the interface is simple and not snazzy, the sort of positions that are offered tend to be more interesting and less corporate than listings on standard job search sites such as Monster.com or Hotjobs.com.

For those in the big cities (NY, LA, Miami, etc) looking for event focussed jobs, BizBash.com has some interesting opportunities.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Are you in the "Flow?"

No siree, these are not the lyrics to Ja Rule's new song. According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (trying saying that ten times fast), the state of "flow" is when you are so focused, so determined, so happy and exhilarated with what you're doing, that you barely notice anything or anyone else around you. "It is what the sailor holding a tight course feels when the wind whips through her hair....It is what a painter feels when the colors on the canvas begin to set up a magnetic tension with each other, and a new thing, a living form, takes shape...."

Fast Company has a great article on the concept of "flow" and Csikzentmihalyi's book: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Major companies are picking up on the "flow" concept and trying to figure out how the hell to get their employees "flowin" all day long. I'd like to figure it out myself. With work and with life, there have been several time periods for me (some lasting weeks or motnhs) where I have been so focused and driven, it never even occurred to me that I might not reach my goal (like when I decided I wanted to run a marathon when I had never run a millimeter in my life. Six months later I came across the finish line at the Chicago Marathon). Why are we so insanely motivated and focused at certain times, and at others I can barely pay attention to an episode of the Jetsons. I guess I need to read this book, huh?

Entertaining Ways to Network

The concept of "networking" used to make my skin crawl. After my stint in the entertainment industry when I had some of the slimiest and most unplesant of networking experiences (YES, I've been to Sushi Roku...YES, I know that club off of fairfax with no sign that you can only get to by going down that back alley...YES I've partied with Jamiroquai...so what), I just tend to shy away from the whole thing. But, I've quickly come to learn that that's just plain dumb. Networking is an easy and super important tactic to make use of as one grows their own business. I'm constantly amazed by the opportunities that arise and deals that I am able to make by simply making use of my "network." It's pretty cool, actually.

Lifehacker has a great post on some entertaining ways to network swiped from the pages of a new book called The Big Sister's Guide to the World of Work: The Inside Rules Every Working Girl Must Know.

Speaking of networking, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to plug my fave networking group of all time: Ladies Who Launch. This is a nationwide group of the coolest, most ineteresting, most talented and sucessful women you could ever hope to find, and I'd highly recommend seeking them out immediately and finding some ladies ho launch of your own. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Christmas...meet Chanukah

Brilliant! Brilliant I say to Elise Okrend who has developed a line of greeting cards that address the multi-cultural, mixed religion families of today who celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah, Mixed Blessing. Way to pick up on a social trend and capitalize on it, Elise!

Though I've read about this line before, MSNBC has a great article/interview with her. Elise mentions in the interview how she and her husband (who is her biz partner) really took the time to build up their biz slowly, rather than diving in head first with no bathing suit on or water in the pool, like some (of us) have done. She also mentions that in the last few years, her strongest area of growth has been in online sales (hollah!). Love to hear that. Mazel Tov Elise!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bowling for "I do's"

I came across a super fantabulous article in the Hartford Courant about the trend of brides and grooms choosing to really think outside the box and throw weddings with their own quirkiness and style: 'I Do's' With a Difference.

My fave couple in the story, Kris & Rob, eloped on their own an then decided to throw a bowling party wedding reception, replete with personalized embroidered bowling shirts, and bowling pin centerpieces. The coined it "The Thompson Tournament of Love."

The message of the article is, though traditional weddings are mos def still alive and well, there is also a major identifiable trend of brides and grooms choosing to do things their own way, foregoing accepted traditions and inventing their own spins on what a wedding should and could be.

In terms of the wedding industry, many of us are already seeing this develop, and in fact, was my main impetus in creating Paper Bride. In a major way, it really sort of opens up the playing field. I bet this bowling alley in Connencticut, for instance, never considered that there might be a revenue stream for them in throwing weddings, and in fact, there just might be. Cupcakes, magnet/postcard save-the-dates, photo booths at weddings....unless you have been living under a rock, you have likely seen these things and many other unexpected items gain serious footholds in the industry over the past few years and this is absolutely, positively destined to continue. I think we all need to continue thinking waaaay outside the box regarding our own businesses and what we can be doing because...well...all the brides already are.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Why wasn't it like this when I went to school?

When students in Vail, Arizona started school this year, they didn't get stacks of text books. No snazzy vinyl bookcovers from the drugstore that you can fold into cutesy bookcovers. They all got a different sort of book: an ibook.

Ok, this is no fair. There were no ibooks for me when I went to school. True, ibooks had not yet been invented, but still...kids today have it pretty damn good. I mean ibooks?! Ok, but really I'm not bitter. I actually think this is really fantastico....really, I do.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Top 500 Blogs

Not that I want to send you away packing or anything, but just in case you're feeling less than inspired here, RSS aggregator Feedster has put together a list of their top 500 Blogs (according to linkage).

I happened upon this little beauty: TV Squad which dishes on all of our fave TV shows. They have this great column called Spoilers Anonymous which offers up some don't read this unless you want the show ruined-sort of info..which is, of course, my favorite kind.

Also found this little goodie called Pop Gadget: "Personal Tech and innovative lifestyle for women." Hollah for early adopters!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Indie Brides: Brides, only....better

Traditional brides are a dime a dozen, but an indie bride...well, they're just more fun. Perhaps I say this because I consider myself to be an indie bride, but I think the mere existence of the term says a whole heck of a lot about how the wedding industry is changing. Things that were, in the past unheard of (i.e. Destination Weddings, strapless wedding dresses) are now considered the norm.

Here's a great article on how Indie Brides are shakin' things up.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Beauty and the world wide web

Meta tags, search engine optimization, link exchanges, oh my. If you've parked yourself at the drive-in movie lot on the world wide web like I have, there are about a gazillion and one things you need to focus on to make sure your website stands out. All of this stuff is crucial...yes...and should not be ignored. But for me, there is often something much simpler and much harder to "quantify" when it comes to web browsing: Do I like your site? Do I think its pretty/intriguing/interesting/well designed/noteworthy/balanced? If not, see ya.

This might sound like a dumb M.O to some...and I admit that my reasoning is ocassionally subject to flawed logic, however, I pretty much just flat out refuse to buy anything or spend time on your website if I don't like it. Call me a snob if you will (I've been called worse), but I really think that one's website is almost akin to your front lawn. Are you going to have the grass cut and the bushes trimmed? Are you going to leave that rusty drain pipe hanging off of the side of the roof? and a broken window pane? Of course not...so why do that on your website?!

As it turns out, CNN informs me that I'm not alone. And that, furthermore, a site that *I* might like might be loathed and abhored by my brother/father/fiance/delivery guy.

My tastes change as quickly as Lindsay Lohan's hair color, but strictly from a design point-of-view, I'm madly in love with this site called Pampered Tot. I don't have a baby...and likely won't have one anytime soon, but dammit if I don't feel like buying things when I get there. I want to buy Pampered Tot a dozen roses...share a one-strawed milkshake with Pampered Tot and take "him" on a rowboat ride to the middle of the lake. Screw it...I'm just going to throw caution to the wind and say it: Pampered Tot...I love you.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Long live marriage!

With all of the talk these days about divorce, greeting cards for cheating spouses and the like, its insanely refreshing to read about couples who are bucking the odds like broncos and staying hitched through thick and thin, sickness and health, etc.

I lived in LA for awhile and didn't spend a whole lotta time in Ventura County, but their "Spousal Longevity Derby" held every year at the county fair, sounds plum adorable. The contest is held for couples who have been married for at least 50 years and this year 15 cute as a button couples took part.

Here's my favorite quote from the long-livin married folk: "Marriage takes two four-letter words to last," said one older bride, as about 100 fairgoers listened intently. "The first is 'love' and the other is 'work.'

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

80/20 All the Way

Ah, Lifehacker.com, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...but only 20% of the time.

In this fab post, How to work less and suceed more, we get some brief insights into the 80/20 principle: "Businesses have known for a long time that they can improve their position enormously by concentrating on the key 20 percent of activities. But why can’t people do the same? It turns out that we can"

For some in depth, full frontal, work smarter (READ: lazier) info, read all about it.

(hmm...pretty short post you got goin' there Paper Bride. Guess you're taking this whole "work smarter" concept really seriously...)

{Editors Note: er...not really. There was a "Blow Out" Marathon on Bravo tonight and just like Jonathan Antin, "I'm all about perfect hair...really, that's all I'm about."]

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"Today's Bride"

For the past several years, NBC's the "Today Show" has been scooping up monster ratings with their wedding series: basically they choose a lucky couple, ask them to agree to let america at large plan their wedding and then put every element for the big shebang up for a vote. Traditional dress, strapless dress, sexy dress, ugly dress...you decide. After the millions of votes pour in (which tend to fall on the traditional end of the spectrum, in case you were wondering), the wedding is broadcast live for all to ooh and ahh over all of their hard work.

The Washington Post today published a bang-up article on all of this brouhaha and includes a slew of interesting tidbits about the state of the wedding industry in general: "It's a growth industry with no end in sight. While the number of weddings has remained fairly steady, the amount spent on ceremonies, receptions, honeymoons, gifts and every bridal product or service continues to spiral upward -- $125 billion on 2.1 million weddings this year, according to a new survey conducted by the Fairchild Bridal Group. That's 40,400 weddings every weekend, with 18 million bridesmaids and groomsmen and 295 million guests bearing gourmet toasters." That's a hell of a lot of "I do"s....and a hell of a lot of opportunity for those of us slingin' our wares...which kinda rocks. Hooray for Brides!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

How to be Productive working from home

Ah, to wake up, rumply pajamas still on, brush my teeth and amble into my "office" ready to face a full day of productive work. This is my dream of what it would be like to work from home. Based on my experience doing limited projects from home, however, it would probably go a bit more like this:

Wake up, rumply pajamas still on, wander into living room and lay on couch (damn, forgot to buy toothpaste again). Get sucked into mindless morning talk show and realize that I do, indeed, need to get myself on a "skincare regimen." Order bagel from deli and promise myself that after said bagel's arrival, I will get to work. Serious work. No joking this time. Eat said bagel, gaze across room and realize that its been a fort night since I've vacuumed. Vacuum. blah, blah, blah.

Despite all of this, its still a dream of mine. I feel like working from home would be dreamy, fantastic, inspiring, fulfilling, fun and fruitful! But I often hear from those that are doing it, that it is sorta hard to keep yourself motivated, focussed and on task. Seeing as I want all of you blog readin' peeps of mine to be able to bring your A-game every day AND have the most successful businesses ever, I thought I'd point your hungry eyes in the direction of this great article on How to be productive working from home.

Ok, so now get to it. Stop reading my silly blog and go work. YES I MEAN YOU!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Laguna Beach: The real O.C. (yeah right)

I realize that my rep might seriously be on the line with this post, but its the weekend and I have sand in my hair and, frankly, I just can't control myself any longer.

There is an insidious pop culture undercurrent that has been eating away at my very consciousness night after night. I have tossed, I have turned, I have prayed to God almighty for an answer ant thankfully our friends at Gawker.com have delivered. The quandry is this: WTF is going on on MTV's Laguna Beach: The Real O.C.?

Billed as a reality show that follows around a group of hot, horny self-involved high schoolers in a tony California beach suburb, I have never in my life seen a show that is less real than this one. I just didn't get it. How was it that each and every time something interesting happened, the cameras coincidentally just happened to be there to catch it. Storylines were resolved as neatly as a Friday episode of Young & the Restless. Nothing was left unsaid. Nothing was left undone...unexplored...Steven just happens to be with LC everytime Kristin calls...THERE IS NO WAY THAT THIS SHIT IS REAL.

I just wasn't getting it and thankfully, someone at Gawker has uncovered the real lowdown and dirty scoop.

Halleleujah. Gawker, I seriously salute you, because this has been a conundrum, wrapped inside a quandry, dipped into curiousity milkshake for me, and...well, I now feel at ease.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Paper Bride & the NYT=BFF

Yesterday, along with some other hip and fabulous Trunkt designers, Paper Bride was in the New York Times.

Now, stick with me folks. You have to dig a little because we are not mentioned by name. But do you see that part where they say "not-so-subtle engagement announcements with an illustration of a diamond ring and the words "bling bling" ($15 for 20)"? That's us! I realize this is like one of those blind items on Page Six where you have to guess who is canoodling with whom, but a mention is a a mention, gosh darnit.

That "old grey lady" is pretty darn hip and happenin' after all.

Bridging the Google Ad Gap

These days, if you have a business online, chances are good that you take part in some sort of pay-per-click campaign. We do, and it requires constant tweaking, adjusting and, oh yeah, tons of money.

As it turns out, though these pay-per-click ads have been wildly successful for some, "the average web surfer spends less than 5 percent of his time using a search engine," according to the Online Publishers Association's Internet Activity Index. Sooo, the flipside of this means that 95% of web surfers time is NOT being spent typing in google.com. This is super duper interesting to me.

A recent Wired article outlines a pretty cool and quasi-revolutionary idea about how to bridge this gap with a program that would "create an ad network of web publishers that share readers and in the process reap commissions."

The internet is an amazing place to be right now. As far as we've come, it really seems like we have barely begun to scratch the surface of realizing its full potential. And the fact that there are people out there right now, comin' up with all sorts of other ideas, approaches, directions, scenarios...well, it just makes me feel kinda lazy.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

No way, jose!

Saying "no" is a seemingly easy task that has managed to avoid me like the black plague for most of my life. In fact, I think I might be allergic to saying "no"...like hives, guilt anxiety attacks sort of allergic. It's dumb, I know, but I'm a jew, and we've got the guilt thing down to a science. So, I totally dug this recent article from Online Organizing outlining 20 snazzy, successful, "you can do it too" ways to say "no"

A few of my fave "no's" include:

"Not right now, but I can do it later"

"I wold rather decline than do a mediocre job"

and my all time fave: "NO"

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hello, Dollar!

This is not a phrase I mutter often. Perhaps, "SEE YA, dollar," or "stop jumpin outta my wallet, dollar!," or "why must you always hop into the register at Anthropologie, dollar?" But there is a fab new blog, Hello, Dollar! that might help me change my tune.

"Hello, Dollar is about learning to do it the right way: getting out of debt, spending less, saving money and investing in your future. It's about learning the financial habits that will allow you to become rich slowly over a lifetime."

Though the info here is not exactly earth shattering, its nice to be reminded that there are super easy ways we could all be saving some cash if we really wanted to be. This has become doubly difficult for me as a small biz owner, but all the more important. Deciding when, where and how I should spend my money is hard...really hard. And I feel like I make mistakes with it all the time. But I know I could be saving a lot more than I am...and I'm not. Hello, dollar? Are you there, dollar? No...you went chasing after that seafoam green balenciaga bag. Bad, dollar!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Blogger's Depression

An insidious virus is working its way through the cybersphere, and few of us are safe from its suffocating grip: Blogger's Depression.

"Loss of pleasure in the internet?"

"Feelings of sadness, disappointment, anger, self-loathing, hopelessness, dimentia?"

"Passive agressive moaning and a steady lengthening of the intervals between posts?"

...then you could have it too.

Uh oh...I'm off to go get myself innoculated right now.

My cheatin' heart...

Well, not *my* cheatin' heart, because I don't cheat. But a lottttt of people do. I don't mean to sound bitter, but I read a lot of magazines and have a seaon pass to Oprah, and believe me, its rampant.

i've read a heap of articles about the Secret Lover Collection of cards recently, and I'll go on record as saying I think its a pretty damn brilliant idea. Basically, its a line of greeting cards for people that cheat on their spouses and, as such, often deal with a set of challenging and unusual circumstances.

Though I'm still young enough and idealistic enough to believe wholeheartedly that I will never be one of her customers, I still want to send out some mad props of my own to Cathy Gallagher, the creator of the line. She has been quoted as saying: "I'm not a crusader for infidelity I'm a businesswoman and an entrepreneur. I've concluded that it isn't my place to judge." Gallagher saw a need that was not being met and, quite simply, she filled it. Period. In essence, I have tried to do the exact same thing with Paper Bride. Right now, cards like these are borderline shocking...in five years, they'll probably be in a prominent "CHEATING" section in Hallmark.

By the way, Cathy, if you are out there, can you please send me the name of your PR firm?--they're seriously doing a bang up job.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Read the Daily News...Buy the Daily News...Subscribe to the Daily News...

Not to toot our own horn or anything, but T-O-O-T.

Check Paper Bride out in today's NY Daily News tHERsday column (scroll down to 3rd item: "Cards for your Chicks"). If you happen to be in the neighborhood and want to pick up a real paper, we're on page 48. I think its safe to say that this is both a fab AND fantastico day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Geek Chic

Move over gangstas, Geekstas are on the scene and "Nerdcore" is hoping to do for the pocket protectin' folk what the East Coast vs. West Coast rap wars did for music...get them noticed. I, for one, am pretty darn happy that the geeks are finally getting their due...and this is also one of the most hilarious things I've read about it recent memory. Anyone interested in joining my new movement?...the "shopstas" we search for sales, drop our greenies and flip flop all over this city that never sleeps. Is it gettin' hot in hurrr? Hollah!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"Brand" new day?

As I've confessed before, I'm pretty fascinated by the whole concept of branding, trends and why people like what they like. Creating a successful brand, and doing it well, takes a whole hell of a lot of thought, time, effort money and luck (hello, Jet Blue!).

I recently came across this great article from Entrepreneur that follows the ever present debate on whether to brand, or not to brand. I also think its interesting to consider that some industries allow much more room for branding than others. Sure, everyone has heard of hallmark, but if you find yourself buying a cute box of purple polka-dotted notecards at the gift shop, you probably only remember that they are purple...and polka-dotted, and not the name of the company that produced them. But if I ask you to tell me what kind of sneakers you are wearing, I'm sure you could immediately give me an answer. And likely recall some recent ads of theirs you've seen in a magazine, a commercial that aired on TV or a favorite celebrity that you know that likes to wear those brand of shoes too. It's interesting to think about the images and associations that certain brands evoke, just by hearing their names. I *am* a bit of a brand "groupie," so here are a few of my faves: Apple, Tivo, Jet Blue, Puma and Google

Thursday, July 21, 2005

"Tip me over and pour me out..."

I am a HUGE fan of Malcolm Gladwell in general and an even bigger fan of his book The Tipping Point which I found to be a seriously riveting look at the process of trends growing and expanding and finally reaching that marketing nirvana state of critical mass. Right now, for instance, its peasant skirts. Can you think of a single day in recent memory that you were out and about walking on the streets and did not see a girl, woman or chick walking around in a gauzy peasant skirt? My guess would be no. Hell, I finally had to give in and get one myself. But I digress.

I came across this today: Tipping Point - The net version and thought it did a spiffy job of summing up some of Gladwell's finer points. Though I should warn if you find any of these tidbits even remotely interesting, you really should pick up the book--its pretty trendalicious.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Cool Hunting

My super secret, dreamland, no way jose job would be to work as a cool hunter or trend forecaster. I briefly thought of pursuing this way back when, but decided it was way too much of a longshot. Nonetheless, I've continued to remain abnormally entranced with pop culture, trends, celebrity nonesense and just can't get enough of whatever it is that's "hot" at the moment (except for saying "that's hot"...I hate that).

I was thrilled to recently come across an international global trend blog called PSFK and promptly spent far too much time hoppin, skipping & jumping all over their fun filled pages. I particularly loved this discussion of "trend" vs. "trendy."

Aside from just being super duper entertained by all of this, I suppose my basic philosophy is that if you are in the business of creating and selling, you need to be on top of what it is out in the world that fascinates people...makes them smile...or makes them say "I want that." In my super naive, humbled experience so far, there is just so much more to selling and being successful than simply making something cool. Your "something cool" is, in fact, almost besides the point. Everyone has something cool--it's what you do with your cool thing (how you sell it, how you market it, what stores you sell it in, what magazines you submit your press kits to, what snazzy promotional ideas you come up) that will really dictate whether or not your cool thing will make its way onto the trend forecaster's radar screen or shrivel up in your basement. Thank goodness I live in a tiny apartment in New York City and don't have a basement.

How to be Creative

The internet is really an amazing thing. I swear you could now find tips and tricks to do anything you could possibly ever think of (both good and bad), but here is a good one: How to be Creative.

If you read my blog and you're, in any way shape or form, trying to make a living at some sort of creative endeavor, this would be a pretty amazing skill to be able to pull up on cue. Most of us are creative, sometime, somewhere, someplace, but I myself have definitely struggled with the hows of bringing up this creativity when I need it...or really want it.

No. 30 also really rang true for me: "The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it. If you have the creative urge, it isn't going to go away. But sometimes it takes a while before you accept the fact.

Mostly I love the idea that you really can "call up" your own creativity whenever you need to. I mean, you can be focussed when you need to, reasonable when you need to, sympathetic when you need to, why not creative? I'm off to be creative RIGHT NOW (if you consider rummaging through my cupboards trying to find a reasonable treat for Oliver "creative" as all of his normal standby's have been gobbled up. Graham crackers? Cheese Nips? Anyone?...)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Outsourcin' and Lovin It

There have been several stories making their rounds last week about outsourcing. Large companies have been outsourcing for ages, but now the little guys are picking up on concept and actually outsourcing their own jobs.

There is the infamous story which appeared on Slashdot.org about the programmer who actually outsourced his own job to a developer in India. He got paid $67k; paid the Indian programmer $12k and no one was the wiser. Say what you will about the ethics of this, but you have to give this chap some props for being clever. Maybe I will outsource my job?...anyone interested? Hello? A-N-Y-O-N-E???

Friday, July 15, 2005


Aww shucks, Paper Bride was featured on a cool jew-centric online blog called Jmerica.com. Lots of funny/interesting/shocking/thrilling Jewish tidbits.

I for one have already already ordered my Tough Jew t-shirt. YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME?

didn't think so.

21st Century Couples

I received a press release this morn about the "21st Century Wedding Contest." Basically, the gist of it is: a lucky "21st Century Couple," will win a destination wedding at a beautiful Starwood Hotel in Hawaii. The contest, in and of itself, doesn't interest me much (I mean , sure a free wedding and a trip to Hawaii *would* be kind of cool, but that's a long ass plane ride). What does interest me quite a bit is their definition of a "21st Century Couple."

The press release actually does provide a pretty interesting recap of the current state of affairs in the world of online wedding planning. If they are on target (and I don't know about you, but my fingers and toes are crossed that they are), the internet will continue to play a major league role in wedding planning, which can only translate into more and more profits for those of us settin' up shop on the good ole' www. The release even insinuates that certain jobs (like that of a wedding planner) may soon become obsolete.

It totally makes sense to me, especially since I too have recently become a bride-to-be. If I am thinking of a particular vendor and I find out that they don't have a website...forget it. You are off my list. Not only are you off my list, but I might even send you a letter complaining about your lack of a url. On the flipside, a great website can win me over in moments. For instance, I nearly had to control myself from leaning in and trying to lick the icing off of my screen after checking out Confetti Cakes. Yes, I do realize that there isn't actually icing *on* my screen, but my point is I forgot for a moment.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


If you know the GTD acronym already you are likely a reader of Lifehacker or 43 Folders...or both. You are probably pretty organized, make lots of lists and use things like Quicksilver. Basically, you Get Things Done.

Getting Things Done is basically a framework for keeping your life organized and streamlined in a way that most of us find very difficult to do with our day-to-day, pile up the mail on the coffee table, answer emails days or weeks later, avoid our to-do-lists as if they were covered in fleas sort of approaches. Sellf-appointed productivity guru David Allen claims that he has the answer...and the answer is GTD.

Wired magazine has an interesting profile on this dude who, as they point out, seriously has a cult-like following.

Though I have not yet read the book, I'm actually insanely curious and itching to implement some sort of organizational structure into my own life. Not that I have bills piled up on the coffee table...or emails to answer...or dishes in the sink...or anything like that. Nope. Not me. No siree Bob.

(Note to self: ditch home webcam idea)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Come on in...the water's fine

It's true folks, I'm officially a store owner! True, my store Paper Bride is located on the world wide web instead of Main Street USA, but I kind of feel like the www is the new Main Street, don't you?

Thanks to Just Two Girls (a fab OS commerce resource for anyone out there looking), for helping me to get things up and running and looking so snazzy.

Also check us out today on She Finds.

Hooray for Paper Bride!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I heart Zach Braff

I really do try to keep things fairly wedding-y and stationeryish around PB Blog headquarters, but in this case I just can't help myself. I have a not so secret crush on Zach Braff and, well...he's a blogger too. If you've never checked out his blog before, you should.

Nuff said.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Charisma, for shizzle

If you've got it, flaunt it. Willy Loman seems to be on to something in "Death of a Salesman;" being well liked and charismatic can directly affect your level of success in business and in life. A step by step guide to charisma from the BBC (via kottke.org) delves into why those with more captivating personalities always seem to wind up on top. Bill Clinton is actually known for being charismatic, and I can give you a first hand account (back from my days in school in Washington D.C.), that this guy could be talking to me about sausage making techniques and I would be captivated. I'm talking drool in the corner of my mouth, goofy-ass smile on my face, unconscious flirty head tilt/hair flip captivated.

The interesting twist is that the researchers say that it is possible to learn how to be charismatic...which I sort of buy. I know that, if need be, I can turn on the charm and switch into totally sweet/interesting/fun/animated mode...which is, admittedly, sometimes a nice break from my bitter/frustrated/snarky/know-it-all/despondent mode.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Workin for da man

If there are any of you out there who are hating your job...wondering what might be next...dying to take a leap but just unsure why/how/when/what, you really need to check out this article from the SF Gate about the silliness that has developed in our culture around the idea that we all must work so damn hard. It also offers up a pretty fab perspective on the idea of taking chances in our own lives and taking a look at all of the excuses and barriers we set up for ourselves to make sure we stay locked in the safe little "boxes" that have become our lives. I'd like to offer up a serious Amen to that one.

It's seriously scary business to take a huge risk in your life and abandon the safety and comfort of a steady paycheck and all the goodies that come along with it. So serious, in fact, that I've yet to do it. But reading this article reminded me exactly why, someday soon, somehow, some way, I'm going to take that leap and make it happen for myself. And dammit, if I can do it, than you can too. Hollah!

For those who are ready to fully embrace the life of "slackerdom," you must check out Slacker Manager; "Paving the path of least resistance, so you don't trip and fall."

Friday, July 08, 2005

Viva Las Vegas! L'Chaim!

Ok, so looks like Vegas weddings are not just for Christians anymore! Sin City is finally waking up to the needs of the tribes people and are now offering a whole host of packages for us Lox lovin' folk.

Just as the traditional wedding rules and practices of yore have quite nearly all been chucked out the window, so too have the negatives associated with the cheesy "vegas wedding"--I dare say it has come the way of the chic and happenin. With all of the new hotels on the strip and loads of options from the cheapest to swankiest, it seems like you can actually whip yourself up a fairly fab vegas wedding these days.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Ladies Who Launch

Ladies Who Launch is a seriously fab organization that you need to check out pronto if you are a female business owner, if you know a female business owner or if you wish you were a female biz owner.

"Ladies Who Launch is an innovative platform for female entrepreneurs, creative women, women in business and motivated women that combines information, community, style, fun and passion." Seriously, what's not to love about that?

I recently completed a Ladies Who Launch Incubator which, in a nutshell, was like a shot in the arm of adrenaline for anything and everything I hope and dream for for my businessPaper Bride. Aside from meeting a seriously inspiring group of women whom I now consider my friends, I learned about the importance of taking care of myself (we actually had to do one nice thing for ourself everyday for homework!) and , most importantly, how to seriously dream big for myself and for my business. Sheesh, I guess I'm a lady who launched.

Check out some of my fellow launched ladies:

GAWGous jewelry at the Stringbean Shop.

Pervartistry is a seriously fun, naughty board game that will make you laugh like you've never laughed before.

I was kind of over the whole pashmina scene, until I discovered Indigo Handloom. These gorgeous silk shawls make pashminas look like dish cloths.

Our "cool friend" Beth Schoenfeldt launched us all!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Celebrity Weddings Unveiled

Ok everyone, set your tivos. Tonight CBS is running "An Entertainment Tonight Event: Celebrity Weddings Unveiled". OOOhhh, I've always been curious about how Melanie Thomas Scott from the Young & the Restless handled her "morning of" routine and MY, OH MY it rained on the day Holly Robinson Peete was to wed. Sounds like it will be a real nail biter, folks.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

'Talkin bout my generation...'

Ok, I realize that as of late I am admittedly using the word "hipster" too much in my posts, but I came across this great article today in Business Week about marketing to this slippery group: Getting to The Hipsters.

The gist is that the focus has totally shifted amongst these snarky, technologically savy peeps from an all out war on corporate culture to a virtual full embrace.

Though there is no mention of weddings anywhere in the article, its interesting to see how this has crept into the wedding industry (shout out for sponsored weddings) and into society in general (yes, there are babies running around in the world named Gucci and Lexus. That is just W-R-O-N-G.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

ROUNDUP: Celebrity Engagments

Can we all let out a collective groan for TomKat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes for those of you who are not addicted to PerezHilton like I am).

Lizzie Grubman's PR analysis of this non-stop ridiculousness.

Paris squared (Paris Hilton hearts Paris Latsis).

Singer Avril Lavigne is engaged to some guy named Derrick who annoyingly spells his name Deryck. Nope, that does not bug me at all.

Who am I missing???

OK, let's add Pink to the mix!

Hurrah, a celebrity wedding that won't make me want to hurl myself through an open window into the icy waters of the Hudson River! Congrats to Josh Duhamel and Fergie. I love me some Black Eyed Peas.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Save-the-Date! Save-the-Date!

Save-the-Date notices (STDs for those of us who are brave enough to acronym-ize them) are becoming more and more a standard part of the average wedding stationery suite, as evidenced by this article (oops, the original link that I posted is dead, so here is a new one!) and a slew of others I've seen recently. I think as wedding planning steadily spins further and further out of this universe, as well as the massive increase in destination wedding planning, save-the-dates are truly becoming necessary for many brides and grooms.

The choices for save-the-dates really run the gamut from magnets to stickers to, (of course my personal fave!) postcards! (online store coming SO soon).

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

10 things to do to jumpstart success

Ok, perhaps there is nothing earth shatteringly new here, but I still think its some pretty sage advice. I def need to work on the expense stuff, personally. I also love the idea of really trying to keep track of everyone you meet. Most importantly, I think the idea of somehow working on creating your own success every day, whether its keeping lists, going over goals, rethinking your approach or whatever...the every day thing seems key (and majorly lacking in my own life).

'Movin on up...to a DE-luxe apartment in the skkyyyyy?'

According to Forbes Magazine, I'm seriously screwed. Apparently, in order to live "well" here, I need to be making $483,000 AFTER taxes. I will spare you the link to my bank account, but trust me when I tell you that this is not anywhere in the same universe as what I'm making. Or what I expect to be making in the next couple of years as a small biz owner. I know that that these articles just paint broad strokes and should not really be referred to in any serious way...but man. I think I just need to stop reading them. Ok, there...I'm done. Ta-da. That's it. If I can ban Tom and Katie from my life (I mean it folks, I don't want to look at them, hear about them, see them, or even walk by them...EVER), then I can stop reading this stuff. Ok, bookmark deleted, catastrophe averted.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I don't think it gets any cheez whizzier than this...

Whether you've had one or not, we all know that weddings cost big bucks. Star Jones recently brought the trend of sponsored weddings to the forefront, in which you somehow manage to coerce major companies to foot the bill for various aspects of your wedding by mentioning them (over and over and over again) and allowing them to make use of the resulting publicity firestorm. While you can't fault the idea in the arena of ingenuity, as someone who could have paid for her own wedding 10 times over without having her bank account seriously affected, I'm left feeling like any teeny tiny bit of admiration I may have once had for Star Jones has been chewed up, spit out and left in the gutter for my dog to sniff. To me, her entire wedding turned into an appalling, staples center like caricature of itself and ended up so far off the mark from the beautiful, meaningful, "we are in love, honor us" sort of day that I think most of us dream of, I was actually left speechless (and not in a good way).

Much to my surprise, I awoke this morning to find that someone actually managed to take this dizzying concept a step further; Wesley Puryear and Valerie Hernandez did not look for sponsors for their own wedding, they simply charged an admission fee. Should this trend continue, I anticipate many changes will need to be made to the average wedding: instead of valet parkers, couples might need to set up ticket booths where admission fees can be collected and counted. Seems to me that the renaissance of the "cash bar" most certainly is not far behind either. Perhaps we'll need to add a line on the reply card where invited guests can jot down their credit card numbers and expiration dates. Best of all, maybe the bride and groom should consider selling off seats at the most desirable tables at their reception on ebay? Winner takes all!

Ok folks, I fully admit that I am (by some standards at least) still considered kind of young and have certainly not yet graduated from the "hard knocks school of life." However, for me, this sort of behavior waters down the concept of commitment and marriage to such a degree, that I'm not even sure how to define or categorize what you're left with. True love? Family? Lifelong commitment? I imagine that it would be super duper hard to see and honor these beautiful ideas while standing in the heat waiting in the slow moving ticket line at the admission booth at someone's wedding. As my wise grandma would likely say "OY."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Greeting Card "Little Guys"

USA Today, has an article in their weekend Money section about the growing ranks of little bitty greeting card companies.

Check out ruby red begins for a good recap and links to the companies mentioned in the article (also another fab paper chica blog, so stick around).

Hipster PDA's

I don't own a calendar...or at least not one I update regularly. My phone numbers are kept in a variety of places. I have several email accounts and different folders on different computers that I file identical messages in. For someone who is generally pretty damn organized, I'm kind of a disaster when it comes to my own stuff. So, I've been seriously intrigued reading about the new hipster PDA over the last several months. Just as I love the notion of stationery and personal notes totally coming back into fashion, I kind of heart the idea that we're all just palm piloted/treo'd/sidekicked out.

I was in staples the other day, and found this super cool plastic index card wallet (I would post a link but can't find the damn thing online). I also snapped up some cutesy pink index cards and so now I kind of have my own hipster PDA. The great thing about this wallet is that it has little plastic file dividers so that you can actually separate your index cards. I have a Paper Bride file, a wedding file, a schedule file and a "to do" file. I need to start using it more, but so far I'm sort of diggin it.

There is a fab piece on the hipster PDA on 43 folders.

In the meantime, I was sitting next to a woman the other day at lunch who had this gorgeous Il Bisonte agenda that I am now seriously coveting.

How to be a designer

I really loved this article I came across in Fast Company. I loved it because it had lots of good info, but also because I'm in a business full of super duper talented designers and, well...I aint one. What's worse is that everyone assumes I am a designer and then I have to bashfully correct them and say "no, I'm actually just a writer." This is of course my own thing: getting over the notion that writing isn't quite as important or as admirable as designing is. No one has ever said that to me, yet I manage to postulate it on a daily basis. I even manage to take it a step further by differentiating myself as a quasi writer rather than a full fledged writer: I could write a mean research paper or letter to the editor (or greeting card!) but I could never write a book...I'm not that sort of a writer. Isn't it interesting how we manage to put all sorts of restrictions and limitations on ourselves?

Want to work better with designers? Yeah, me too.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Guess who's a Paper Bride?

Yes indeedy folks, you heard it here first--Greg and I are engaged! Hollah! As of last Thursday, I am the future Mrs. Right-Man (Reitman) and it feels pretty divine.

Greg totally surprised me with a romantic whirlwind proposal. He normally leaves about a half an hour before I do for work, but on that day told me they were interviewing some people in the morn and he did not want to be in the way, so he was going to walk out with me. Totally plausible in my eyes, so I was clueless about what was about to pass. As we walk out the front door of our building, a white Rolls Royce phantom was parked out front. But, hey, this is NYC and I thought "hmmm...cool car...gotta get to work!" and was about to breeze right by. This is when greg said "NO, wait. This is for us. Today is your special day." I was in shock. I still didn't quite believe him until he walked up the driver and introduced himself and before I knew it we were sitting in the car.

Greg told me he was taking me on a trip down memory lane--to all of the special places in the city that were "ours." I think it took me 10 mins or so to get back my ability to form human words and understand language. Then I was able to relax and enjoy the specialness of the day.

Our first stop was the Grassroots Tavern on St. Marks. This is where Greg and I met almost four years ago at a little shindig thrown by our friend Blake. At each stop throughout the day we got out of the car and greg shared his special memories with me of that spot or that day and I did the same. It was pretty pixie stick sweet and I loved every second of it.

Next stop was my old place on Houston Street where I first introduced Greg to the pleasures of Tivo and our fave Indian restaurant Rangoli and the beauty of the Mojito.

We then moved on to greg's old apartment in Murray Hill before we hit up Magnolia Bakery for some cupcakes and, yup, you guessed it, more fab memories.

Our next stop threw me off (good work g-funk) for a moment, but Greg picked the perfect one. He took me right near the park that is by our apartment where we walk with Oliver all the time. It was a beautiful spot that is right out on the water...and this is where he proposed.

The moment really was just as I had always dreamed it would be. It was special and wonderful and emotional and completely unforgettable.

Our final stop was lunch at Balthazar which was just the perfect end to our trip.

My ring is TDF if I do say so myself. It's exactly what I wanted (cushion cut in a cellini setting) and for anyone who has seen me in the past week, may I just make a blanket apology that I just can't help staring at it. Really, I do care about your new job, sold house, great movie review, brush with death...I swear I do. But my ring is just so darn sparkly and well...it needs a lot of attention.

Here's greg's recap of the special day. If you want to see more pics (including a ring close up, you can go here.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Wedding Report

Came across a cool new blog called The Wedding Report recenlty. They feature "wedding trends, news and research for the wedding professional." There are a great group of articles there as well as a cool new tool: Wedding Keyword Search Tool which allows you to search over 10,000 wedding keywords to check on average number of searches per day.

Hooray for Gay Weddings!

My "hooray" is two-fold. Firstly, its about time that gay couples begin to get their props with the loooong overdue notion that marriage can mean much more than just man+woman. My fingers are crossed that this will stop being such a controversial, attention grabbing topic and soon just fade into the background of our cultural norm. Secondly, if you are involved in the wedding industry, you best begin to take notice that this super duper important group of customers is ready, willing and able to take the world of weddings by storm. Those who have jumped on the bandwagon early are already reaping benefits, with gay specific wedding services from planners to caterers hitting the scene.

MSn recently featured on article on Gay wedding registries. The article mentions a cool sounding chick named Gretchen Hamm who got herself involved in the gay wedding biz after experiencing her own frustrations in trying to plan her own daughter's lesbian wedding. She went on to start TwoGrooms.com and TwoBrides.com which sells cake toppers, albums and all sorts of fun stuff for gay brides and grooms. You go girl.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Startup Success

Here's a pretty great article from The Wall Street Journal online on avoiding the pitfalls common to startups. Oops...i've already made quite a few of these mistakes. I hope you don't (or maybe you should...don't we all learn from our mistakes?).