Sunday, April 30, 2006

Apple's Pro Care Program

For any other Apple obsessed peeps out there who happen to live near a big, bad Apple Store, I'd like to HIGHLY recommend getting yourself a membership in their ProCare program. In a few words: it seriously rocks the hizzouse.

I had heard of this program before, and for some reason, I thought it cost about $500 smackers. Alas, its only $99 for the year, and what you get for it is pretty darn amazing:
* Fast Track Repair - anytime your computer needs to go in for a repair (something that normally can take 10-14 business days--yikes!), you get "fast tracked." I recently had to have my mother board replaced and it was done in one day. Also, when going into the store, you get "next in line, first on the bench" status at the Genius Bar. Holla!
* Personal Training - You can sign up for once a week, one-on-one hour long personal training sessions on anything apple computer related (including software, os x questions, ANYTHING). I've taken some training lessons on the Pages program and these seriously rock.
* Your computer (or computerS) are entitled to a once yearly "tune up" that also includes an upgrade in system software (yep, for free).
* Complete set-up of new computers - anytime you buy a new mac, your ProC are card entitles you to a complete set-up. All of your files and data will be moved to the new computer for you, so when you pick it up, you're all set and ready to go.
* Advance Reservations - you also get to make advance reservations (up to a week) at the genius bar. The rest of the world, needs to call for same day service and, at least here in NYC, wait for an appointment that could be as late as 8pm at night.

I've had ProCare for about a month, and seriously, I think its already paid for itself twice over. Again, this is really suited for those of you who live near and frequent Apple Stores, but if you do, this is really something you should get on pronto!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

United 93 n' me

I thought I'd take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to mention that I saw United 93 today. Greg did not want to see the movie so I went by myself...and I was incredibly moved and touched.

I know some people feel like its too early to tackle this issue on film, and with all due respect, I totally disagree. If someone feels they are not ready to see United 93, I support your decision 100%, but for me--as someone who was in New York on September 11, 2001--and who now lives a scant 4 blocks away from the world trade center site, I sort of felt like it was my duty to see the movie.

For me this movie was an unbelievable tribute to the amazingly brave people on United Flight 93 as well as everyone else who lost their lives that day. It was a reminder of how our lives have changed since the most tragic event that has ever challenged our country unfolded. And, I guess also my way of saying--to myself--or the world--or the family members left behind from this tragedy, that I remember too.

I walk by the world trade center site often. I'm usually rushed, and late for an appointment and silently cursing the throngs of people that are in the way of my destination. I'm pretty ashamed that I almost never stop to think anymore about that immense gaping hole in the ground as I breeze by on my way to here or there.

Today I saw this film at a movie theater that overlooks the rear of the trade center site. As I walked out of the theater, red faced and puffy eyed from crying, I passed a bank of windows that looked directly down into what turned into the chaos of Sept 11. I stopped for a minute or two to think about that horrific and terrifying day..and how lucky I am that I can go home now and just go on with my boring normal day. The 90 some odd passengers on United Flight 93 (and all of the other hijacked planes) probably all thought they were each going to have normal, boring days too.

I also wanted to mention how impressed/blown away/grateful I was to the nation's air traffic controllers. We often associate 9/11 heroes with fire stations or police squads, but I really don't think enough attention has been given to the air traffic controllers who, on that day, were asked to do some pretty impossible things under an even greater blanket of pressure than they normally assume. It was because of the immediate action and instincts of air traffic controllers that these hijacked planes were identified and through their unbelivable skill and dedication that 4200 planes were, pretty much immediately, rerouted and safely landed. Even more impressive is the fact that many of these key players actually played themselves in the movie.

Though it might not make much sense to those of you who don't want to see United 93, for me, seeing this movie was very much about honoring lost lives, acknowledging this horrible tragedy and standing up to say I remember too.

Paper Mama gets some props

Rebecca Eckler, a sassy mama and writer in her own right, had some nice things to say today in the Canadian newspaper the Globe & Mail about Paper Mama. Rebecca is the Carrie Bradshaw of parenting in Canada, so I was super flattered for her to give us a shout out.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Paper Bride Roundup

*Craft Magazine from the those behind MAKE
*Any aspiring Rolling Stone writers? (via Never Eat Alone)
*Email for Entrepreneurs (via Lifehacker)
*Have you guys checked out Vitamin?:

What is Vitamin?
The web has undoubtedly entered a new and exciting phase. Designers, developers and entrepreneurs are energized, refueled and producing some mind-blowing projects. The buzz is most definitely back! Vitamin is a brand new online magazine dedicated to that new web industry.

Vitamin will inspire you, teach you, advise you and sometimes test you with its in-depth features, audio interviews, training sessions and reviews.

It's updated every week, and it's free! So whether you just want to get dirty with the code or plan to topple Google with your next cunning web app idea, Vitamin is your new best friend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Invoicing Sucks

Despite the fact that I'm fairly organized in several areas of my life, in others I'm a walking nightmare. Invoicing is one of those walking nightmare areas.

I'm ok generating invoices, but keeping track of them is impossible. I don't have a good system (do I make one folder for outstanding invoices? Or do I keep outstanding invoices in each company file and keep those in a certain area?). I really don't know.

So, I was pretty excited to come across this online invoicing site BlinkSale (via Life Hacker) that basically takes care of everything for you. You can use a pre-designed template for your invoices, track them for yourself, send clients friendly reminders and even "tag" your invoices with keywords. I have not yet signed up, but I spent some time checking it out and I'm seriously intrigued. Perhaps I'll get this up-and-running after the National Stationery Show in May to keep track of my HUGE influx of orders. Do you hear that Universe? I said HUGE!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Paper Bride in Daily Candy!

Check Paper Bride out in today's "everywhere" edition of Daily Candy!

We're featured in the invitations section:

"Also, thank-you notes are the last word. Pick one with a lot of personality."
(that's us!)

Monday, April 17, 2006

10 stupid mistakes made by newly self employed

Work for yourself? Don't make any of these mistakes.

Want to work for yourself? Take this freelancer self assesment.

(via lifehacker)

Friday, April 14, 2006

To Read or not to read?

I'm constantly trying to figure out the best way to keep track of articles or stories that I find online, but don't have time to read at the moment they pop up on my screen; to read seems like a pretty rockin' solution.

By installing the to read bookmarklet on your browser, anytime you come across a page you'd like to read, you simply click on the bookmarklet and the page will be emailed to you. You may then read the material whenever you have time. This is a particularly great option for those that happen to switch between several computer and haven't yet gotten hip to posting bookmarks on

(via Lifehacker)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Are you Overly Wired?

I am.


The NY Times recently published this rockin' article about how we are all so "overly wired" these days, most of us can't concentrate on a damn thing.

They include a bunch of funny new overly wired definitions like a Regurgimailer: people who forward to everyone they know everything that lands in their in-boxes.

I'm so overly wired recently, its actually begun to seriously stress me out. I feel the need to be on top of everything..all the time, which is a task I've discovered is virtually impossible.

I think I need to start meditating.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Paper Bride the Podcast

Check out my very first podcast on the Wedding Podcast Network! This is actually a super cool site for any brides to be. They have loads of interesting info and interviews with some major players in the wedding industry such as Preston Bailey and Sylvia Weinstock.

On a sidenote, does everyone agree thatt listening to the sound of your own voice is one of the most painful exercises in existence? I mean, do I really sound like that?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Steve Jobs knows how to rock it

Yet again, I've got to wave my "i love Apple" flag proudly. I love em, I love em, I love em. I wouldn't mind if every Windows PC in the United Sates spontaneously burst into flames and disappeared with a black puff of smoke, never to be seen or heard from again. It's pretty hard to think of Apple without calling to mind the always entertaining, slightly hot Steve Jobs (yes, I did say slightly sue me).

Business Week has a fantastic article called How to Wow Em' Like Steve Jobs (via Digg) that speaks to all of the things that make watching Jobs in action so mesmerizing--and how you can use his techniques for your own presentations. I don't often give formal presentations, but I think some of the suggestions are worthwhile even for those of us who need to speak in front of as few as 2 or 3 people about our businesses--and do so intelligently.

Perhaps I should be adding this to Post Secret, but I often watch Jobs's keynote speech online at all of the MacWorld conferences. If you'd like to see this guy in action (and fly your Apple freak flag along with me), check out Jobs' keynote speech from MacWorld 2006 in San Francisco (quicktime requred).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spot Scout

Yet another entry in my "why the hell didn't I think of that" list: Spot Scout.

This is a service that helps people aimlessly driving around in search of a parking spot find one. They even allow those who have spots available in their driveway "rent" them out to would be takers.

This site is a perfect example of a new trend being referred to as "Infolust":
Experienced consumers are lusting after detailed information on where to get the best of the best, the cheapest of the cheapest, the first of the first, the healthiest of the healthiest, the coolest of the coolest, or on how to become the smartest of the smartest. Instant information gratification is upon us.

So forget information overload: this desire for relevant information is insatiable, and will soon move from the online world to the ‘real’ world to achieve true ubiquity. Get ready for a click-and-know, point-and-know, text-and-know, hear-and-know, smell-and-know, touch-and-know and snap-and-know world.

I'm pretty darn lusty for info myself (though I have never licked my blackberry as that woman pictured).

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Write lots of thank you notes

I'm a major thank you note sender. Sometimes I send thank yous via email, but most of the time, I write a good ole fashioned note. I truly believe that a lovely, personalized thank you note is such an easy, quick, painless way to show your appreciation and really goes such a long way in making a positive impact with people.

I've gotten pretty good at writing them throughout the years, but for those of you who need some help, here's a great article on how to write a super juicy thank you note (via Lifehacker).

For super special thank yous, I often take the thank you note one step further and send a gift. I have found, almost more than anything, that the thank you note/gift combo seriously gets you the most bang for your buck in life and in business (not that I'm doing this strictly to get noticed and appreciated, but it's not such a bad thing to have people feeling warm and fuzzy about you).

Here are some of my fave thank you gift resources (mostly food):

Fretzels - yummy chocolate covered pretzels
Russ & Daughters - Delicious caviar, lox and all sorts of fab jewish goodies
Zingerman's - Fab gourmet baskets featuring artisinal cheeses, breads, baked goods, etc
Hampton Popcorn - chocolate popcorn? Yep, its tasty!
H & H Bagels - Nothing says "thanks" better than a dozen NY bagels
Diptyque Candles from Beauty Habit
Used Coffee Table or Art Books from

Also a big fan of itunes gift certificates!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'll start my company when...

Oftentimes when I talk to someone with the "entrepreneurial bug" who wishes/wants/hopes/dreams of starting their own company, they usually have a laundry list of items that first must be conquered or achieved or completed before they can actually do it. Many of these laundry lists are 100% legitimate and I certainly don't mean to belittle going about taking over the world with a solid gameplan...but--there is always a "but," right?

I also believe pretty firmly in the fact that there is never really going to be an ideal time. There will always be some reason or circumstance seemingly standing in the way of you taking that leap, but when else would be the right time to follow your dreams except for RIGHT NOW?

Here's a pretty great article about this very topic (blue flavor via Lifehacker).