Halloween is Here, Beware Dark of Night!

Halloween pumpkin on wood with dark background

Halloween in my family was probably our favorite holiday.  Besides the fact that for many years we lived in one of the creepiest houses on the block, a 100 year old slightly run down Victorian, my mother had a propensity for making it very special.

Every year she would line us girls up outside of her bedroom door.  One-by-one we were brought inside where she would quickly conjure up an amazing costume with full makeup.  My mother had an entire dressing room filled with old clothes and jewelry she never gave away, so her resources were plenty.  We typically never knew what we were going to be, unless we had a special request, but it was always different and never something store bought.  I’m not sure she even knew what she was going to do before we stepped inside, but as we waited in great anticipation for each big reveal, we were never disappointed.

For all my scary friends and family, I’ve penned a special Halloween poem just for you.

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The Proust Questionnaire | My Honest Responses

Proust_QuestionnaireThe Proust Questionnaire was originally a parlor game of the late nineteenth century designed to better know the personalities of friends and family. During this time, a teenage Marcel Proust was given a set of questions by his friend Antoinette, the daughter of the president of France. The questionnaire’s notoriety first arose when two documented versions with sets of answers by the French writer were discovered in 1924, a few years after his death. Proust believed that an individual’s answers would reveal their true nature.

The questionnaire regained popularity when French television host Bernard Pivot resurrected it as a basis for his literary interviews. Today, a revised version is regularly published on the back page of Vanity Fair magazine, with answers by various celebrities and public figures.

I’ve read these responses over time and often wondered how I would answer the tough questions myself, but never actually put pen to paper…until now.

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Creating the Optimal Home Office

Who doesn’t dream about working from home at least a few days a week, if not full time? For me, not sitting in some drab cubicle or bland, boxy corporate office is one of the biggest draws to a virtual work lifestyle. I’m an aesthetics person by nature and as such, my surroundings deeply impact my mood, productivity, and general well being.

She's devoted to her careerYesterday I wrote about building a professional virtual workplace persona, but now I’d like to explore designing a proper physical space.

If you haven’t spent much time working from home, there are a number of considerations before you set up shop. The occasional remote day with a laptop and a mobile phone are one thing, but establishing a professional workspace that is optimally designed for daily efficiency takes more thought and planning.

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Hard Choices and Tough Decisions | The Art of Selection

iStock_Decision-Making_LargeWhat do I want for dinner? What am I going to wear today? Where should I go on my next vacation? Should I share this idea or that one? Should I email this to my client? When should I speak with my boss about that raise?

One person makes thousands of decisions every single day. Most of the time we are unconscious of the process and move rather seamlessly through the day making relatively small choices. We don’t overthink them, we simply choose and move on.

But sometimes we’re faced with more difficult decisions requiring more attention, and often causing sleepless nights. How do we make these choices? What steps do we typically take that help us to get to a final resolution so we can carry forward?

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7 Life Disciplines We Can Learn From Marathon Runners

“Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” – Anonymous

This Sunday is the 37th running of the Chicago Marathon. Every year, this inspiring event runs right by my building on Michigan Avenue, very near the home stretch. As 45,000 participants grace our city streets, I join the 1.7 million spectators cheering them on in pure awe as they fight every obstacle to make it to the finish line.Chicago Marathon Runners

Like many, I try to get out early so I can witness the winners in all categories pass by with full press, helicopters, and police escorts. Each time I see them passing by, I get incredibly choked up as the crowd goes nuts witnessing their amazing inner strength and perseverance as we all share in their great accomplishment.

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Top Gems from STORY Chicago

STORY ChicagoOver the past six months, I’ve been attending numerous events and conferences to re-engage with my professional community. Last week I attended an event I had never heard of before called STORY hosted here in Chicago. In its sixth year, the event took place at the beautiful Harris Theater located in Millennium Park. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I hadn’t found anyone in my circles who had heard of it before, but I went with an open mind and a strong desire for creative inspiration.

With the 2014 theme focused on “Creators, Dreamers, and Storytellers,” STORY Chicago is a conference combining music, performance, digital, discussions, presentations, labs, and much more, all focused on creative storytelling and drawing more than 1,500+ creative professionals nationwide.

The speaker line-up included writers, filmmakers, an Emmy-winning actor, photographers, digital creatives, a tattoo artist, an illusionist, college professors, a spoken word artist, musicians, and so many more. With this much creative power in one room, you can’t help but walk away inspired, enlightened, and enthused.

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