I’ve been nervously awaiting this week’s challenge for quite awhile, not entirely sure whether I’d be able to complete it. I instead found it to be surprisingly refreshing and liberating!

Challenge #23:

NO SOCIAL MEDIA FOR A WEEK!” – from Nadyne Hayden

Nadyne is one of the many delightful cousins I was blessed with on the Hayden side of the family. She is a few years younger than me, but we spent a lot of time together growing up. She is notorious for giving hugs and loves the entire world. She’s just one of those genuinely good people and I absolutely adore her. She also just recently made a career change and has entered the wonderful world of Brand Building with LPK! Congrats, babe!!


Her intentions with this challenge were to make me focus on more purposeful communication, more phone calls, more one-on-one interaction. During my time of unemployment, a lot of my outside interaction took place via social media. While all of you lovely people were working you little hearts out from nine to five, I was usually doing stuff by myself. That’s actually one of the reasons I started this whole blog in the first place. I came to depend a lot on social media for communication with the outside world.

1) I keep up with what people are doing. I have friends that are now spread all around the world and Facebook is one of those convenient little things that keeps me in touch with them. It has reconnected me with childhood camp friends, friends made on vacations and friends of friends met in passing whom I simply adore. It also provides me with the every day musings of one Ms. Haley Elkins who cracks me up on the regular. I need that.

2) Any important happenings in the world come to me via Facebook and Twitter.  (I don’t watch the news as I find it incredibly depressing. If it’s big enough and important enough, (or funny enough) it finds its way to me via social media.)

3) I keep track of pictures. – My iPhoto is a disaster and I can never find anything. On Facebook and Instagram, I always know right where they are.

4) When I encounter something I find amusing, important, celebratory, etc., I share it. In case you haven’t realized through this blog, I’m kind of an open book. I share a lot of things.

5) It entertains me. Specifically, I F*cking Love Science.  While it seems offensive, it teaches me so many fabulously amazing things. I smiled proudly when the world found out the mastermind behind this Facebook Page was a woman. Shock and Awe in nerdland.

6) Don’t act like you don’t use it more than you should…

The problem is I became too attached to these methods of communication. My iPhone became an additional appendage to my body. Nadyne, since she is so perceptive, noticed this and decided it was time for an intervention. So, with that, we decided that at 7:00 PM last Wednesday, I would cease to exist on the Good Book, Instagram, Pinterest, FourSquare, WordPress, etc. for 7 days. As I knew I could not be trusted, I gave her all of my passwords so that she could lock me out of the interwebs.

Day 1: I began with one last check-in to get my nails done with Megan at Nailtique.

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Ugggh this pains me because I just now noticed the typo.  (I cannot STAND typos. Which reminds me…I’m looking for an editor…email me if you’d like to apply. The gig pays in hugs and first glance at the blog before anyone else gets to see it…lucky dog.)

Between the hours of 7:00 PM and 11:45, I tried to pull up Facebook 19 times, by subconsciously clicking on the little blue icon in my Social Media folder on my phone. Only to be met with this lovely blue screen. I kept a tally to get a real evaluation of how addicted I really am to Social Media. Gaaaaaaah.


I also discovered how many things I have linked to my Facebook. Sorry Aunts Tessie, Debbie and Ann, as well as the many other Words With Friends game opponents that fell by the wayside this week… It wouldn’t let me play because it said my Facebook password was wrong and I couldn’t change it because Nadyne locked it. In retrospect, that was probably a form of social media, as well.

Day 2:

I usually start my day by turning off my alarm and browsing my news feed and my twitter feed to see what’s happening in the world. This was not possible. Instead, I watched the news. Mistake. Mistake. Mistake. Not only did I have NO idea what was happening, it ruined my good morning mood.

On Thursday, I would have normally checked in at several places I visited, specifically bookclub at The Banks, which is really just Wine Club when you haven’t read the book…sorry, Jenna. For those that are in book clubs, you may find this amusing. I was not permitted to pull it up on my phone, but was shown it via another person. That’s not cheating. I was helpless.

After book club, I practiced doing Jenna’s hair for a wedding on Saturday. This is normally something I’d have Instagrammed, because well, I know how you are all dyyyying to see what I do with my every waking moment.

Lovely retro waves!

Trial run on Jenna's retro waves! Gorge.

Trial run on Jenna’s retro waves! Gorge.

I tried to pull up Facebook 24 times today, Instagram 3 times and Twitter 4. Yikes.

Day 3:

I was greeted with an email along side my alarm. Cruel torture. Every morning for the rest of the week. Gaaah.

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This was the hardest day. I had a job interview. My 4th interview with this company to be exact. Two of my would-be teammates took me out to lunch to get to know one another on a non-interview level. I was informally offered the position and walking on cloud nine. And I couldn’t tell anyone.

A few members of the family and close friends received excited phone calls and text messages so I got to celebrate. However, this has been a relatively public job search for me and I wanted to tell all that have helped me of the exciting news. Megan and Nadyne offered to update their status with the news and tag me, but I decided that’d be cheating and resisted the urge. SO HORRRAAAAAAY!!!! I HAVE A JOB!!!!!!!!!

I am the new Director of Events for Prolanthropy, a for-profit company that manages the foundations for professional athletes. I start TOMORROW and my first event is in Philadelphia on the 3rd. I am beyond thrilled to be turning two of my greatest passions into a career – philanthropy and event planning. I’m finally getting paid to do something I feel I was born to do and have been doing pro bono for most of my life.  I cannot wait to see what kinds of things we can accomplish and where this company is headed. It’s relatively young and the potential for growth is endless.

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I will be traveling a lot, which will make some of these challenges impossible to complete, but I vow to stick with this to the very best of my abilities. It has become one of the most amazing adventures I’ve ever been on and giving it up would be very disheartening.

I had the pleasure of hearing an extremely impressive speech given by my cousin Tanner as he campaigned for Student Council President at Mercer Elementary. That kid never ceases to impress me. It was better then most speeches I’ve heard from actual US Presidential candidates. I then had a lovely celebratory dinner and headed down to the Moerlein Uberdrome for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati with the Pottschmidts. Another collection of items I’d have LOVED to have instagrammed…


Jenna’s lederhosen she worse as a 12 year old. Yes. That’s right. 12.


Tanner speaking so eloquently and purposefully. You deserved it, bud.


Me and Dirty Wally, Jenna’s dad at Oktoberfest!


JPo and Natalie in the Uberdrome!


I tried to pull up Facebook 11 times today.

Day 4:

Saturday. The rest of the world joins me in my permanent case of Saturdays. The temptation was there, but I actually did pretty well today. At this point, I’d seen the blue screen enough times to have almost broken the habit. I ran some errands and managed to almost completely detach myself from my phone until the late afternoon. I think the carpal tunnel is healing. I did Jenna’s hair for the wedding and sent her on her way. I did a better job on Thursday so I’m sorta bummed that wasn’t the day that counted, but she still looked beautiful!


We went out to Oktoberfest, El Coyote and Scene that night. I took far less pictures than I usually do. I also found that I was much more attentive. I wasn’t constantly reaching for my phone to look things up or figure out where people were. I actually found that I really enjoyed being disconnected from technology and enjoying the company of those around me. I must admit, it was pretty superb company!  Latergrams from the evening:

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And I only took one dumb picture of the sky. And I was immediately called out on it.


I tried to pull up Facebook 4 times today.

Day 5:

I had a baby shower in the morning for my friend Michelle that I used to work with. I hadn’t seen her in so long and it was great catching up! (I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYS!!!!)

Me and the happy Mama-to-Be!

Me and the happy Mama-to-Be!

Cleaned up in the prize department. Baby shower games are my jam.

Cleaned up in the prize department. Baby shower games are my jam.

I went home to spend some time with my parents and made dinner that night. Mom was having her final surgery on Monday so I wanted to give her “one last meal!” (haha kidding!!) I like cooking for them and have thoroughly enjoyed actually having them in town so much lately.

I only tried to look at Facebook ONCE today!!!!!

I spent the day listening to music and observing things around me I hadn’t noticed before. Several things amused me and normally I’d have taken a picture and shared it on the Good Book, but I didn’t even feel the need.  I did however take a picture of the dinner I made because it was yummy. Although, the eggplant tasted a little weird to me. Dad seemed to enjoy it. Must be old tastebuds…

Roasted Eggplant with fresh basil and sage, Honey-Ginger Pork Tenderloin, Lemon-garlic brocolini, and mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized shallots.

Roasted Eggplant with fresh basil and sage, Honey-Ginger Pork Tenderloin, Lemon-garlic brocolini, and mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized shallots.

Day 6: NO FACEBOOK! Not even once!! I’m pretty proud of the progress I made. I can’t even remember what I did all day…but Beryl came over to watch the Suits finale and the New Girl premiere (talk about a let down…) that evening. Gus misses his friend. I made dinner and she brought dessert. Nice little Monday.


At this point, I think I have completely overcome my attachment to social media. I’ve had more person-to-person interaction this week than I have in a long time. I found myself seeking it out as I wasn’t being fulfilled by hearing everything from friends via FB/twitter/social media. It was glorious.

Day 7:

I had the opportunity to attend an incredible event, the Impact 100 Awards dinner, as the guest of the president, my friend Stacey’s mother-in-law, Sharon. For those of you that aren’t familiar, Impact 100 is a group of women that have come up with something super cool! Each member that joins contributes a $1000 membership fee. This is then pooled with all of the other members’ contributions and 100% of that dollar value is then divided up and given as grants to local nonprofits. There is an application process to be considered as a recipient of these grants and the five finalists spoke to the membership, who then voted and awarded the grants right there on the spot.  I immediately joined. I have never been a part of an organization where ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of your contribution goes directly to the agencies changing this community for the better. The grants were not awarded to the two agencies I would have appreciated, but they both went to worthy recipients.

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The finalists:

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I ran into my friend Tara who made an interesting comment, reminding me just how much I use Facebook. She said, “Ohhh! That’s right! You’re off social media this week! I was wondering why it felt like I hadn’t talked to you in forever…”

See!!! We all use it for updates on how people are doing! But this stuck out to me and I will use it as a little reminder to not let interpersonal connections go by the wayside just because someone’s news popped up in my news feed and I liked it!!


The day I get it all back. Last Wednesday I would have thought I’d be dying to log back in and update the world on all of these things that have happened to me this week. Right now I’m considering removing all of this because when I look back at it, none of it was really all that necessary to publicly share. This has given me a new found perspective on the kinds of things I update daily. I enjoy hearing about things my friends’ kids do, funny Buzzfeed links, interesting news articles, etc., but what quality information would my picture of the tree have brought to the recipients of my updates? Nothing. They can go outside and see how gorgeous it is for themselves. That being said, I do love taking pictures and will probably continue to do so, regardless of whether or not you like it.

I think to really test me I should have eliminated Google from my fingertips as well. As noted in my previous letter to Google, I use them dozens of times a day. I didn’t try to limit that at all, but because I was using my phone less, it in turn, limited itself. I did however play a loooooot of Candy Crush this week.

At 7:00, Nadyne informed me what my passwords were and I returned to the wonderful world of time-wasting…

When I finally logged back in I had 6 messages (which is fine because I really hate Facebook Chat…) and 173 notifications. Like um. WHAT!? How is that possible? I didn’t look at them all. If you said something important to me this week, I apologize. I also didn’t browse through what you had all been up to. Hope it was fun…

My return to social media post was this:

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I must admit, while the gauze was a little dramatic, I was by myself and I was grateful to share the misery of the moment with someone.  And I super love my newly reupholstered chairs and stools….

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Totally worth the injury…it does, however, put a damper on next week’s challenge. Looking for work arounds. Stay tuned!

Will Work for Money! (this makes more sense if you know what I’ve spent the last year doing…)

You’re hired! Those two little words are something that I’ve been dying to hear for the past 8 months. (So have my parents…) After losing my job last August, I took some time to really think about what I want to do with the rest of my life, and while this blog has taken me in so many different directions and revealed so many of my talents, I think I’ve always known what I’m meant to do. Change the world! One event at a time!

I’m having an internal struggle with how I should approach writing about this on the off chance that the people interviewing me peruse my blog, but as this is a full-disclosure kind of thing, here goes nothing.

Challenge #12:

Apply for 5 different jobs that you see as possible careers.” – from my cousin Terri Hafertepen.


I have had a wide variety of experience throughout my career. I’ve been everything from a Cocktail Waitress at Montgomery Inn Boathouse to an Account Coordinator at Powers Agency. I’ve planned fabulous events for clients and driven all over the Tri-State area to create a preferred vendor list for a new marketing plan. I’ve served as a self-proclaimed concierge to our fabulous little city. I’ve networked my heart out. I’ve shot incredible promotional videos for well-deserving non-profits and escorted Big Boy around the Greater Cincinnati Area prepping him for his Founders Day Celebration. I have evaluated home inspections and built incredible relationships with general agents over the phone, having never once met them in person. I’ve written columns for company periodicals. I’ve designed promotional materials. I’ve scanned twitter feeds and unintentionally ended the serving career of a few less than stellar employees. (I still feel very bad about that, but you should know better than to bad mouth your company in a public forum.) I’ve pretended to be a potential customer to evaluate competitor programs in an effort to help improve our own products and services. (I’m not entirely sure that one was ethical, but it was fun!)

I’ve also had quite a lot of experience doing things people don’t pay me to do. I volunteer. A LOT. I’ve coordinated large, fabulous galas. I’ve put on cooking classes. I’ve helped provide hundreds of new moms with necessary lessons and supplies to ensure a healthy, productive start to their child’s life. I’ve mentored a sweet, bright little girl named Destiny, whose growth and development surprises me more and more every day. I have delivered rack cards to every single hotel in a 40 mile radius of Cincinnati. Just this morning I helped reveal a new Augmented Reality feature for the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit at Cincinnati Museum Center. It’s so awesome. I highly recommend you check it out.

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This little lady seriously is my pride and joy.  She’s a straight shooter, tries so hard at everything, says what’s on her mind and makes me laugh so much. I hope I don’t screw her up… 🙂

The point is, I’ve done a lot of different things that have provided me with a set of skills that could really lend themselves to a variety of opportunities. I’ve also put a lot of miles on my car. I have a lot of interests, as well. Rather than applying to thousands of positions, like I have before, I decided to be more calculated about it.

My parents are both very intelligent and great at what they do. My mother, who inspires me to be just like her every single day, is an incredibly active community volunteer. My father is one of the brightest, most driven businessmen I’ve ever met. They try very hard to help me in this process, but I’m kind of a pill about it. I’m stubborn and want to do it on my own. I decided to reluctantly take my parents’ advice and read a little book called StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. They gave it to me and my siblings for Christmas a few years ago and it continued to sit on my shelf and collect dust. Then I cracked it open and wondered why I’d never done it before…

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You read about 30 pages and take a brief (180 or so questions) online assessment and almost immediately, it evaluates your answers and provides you with your top 5 qualities or things that you do best. This book teaches you to focus on the things that you are inherently good at, rather than trying to improve the skills you don’t naturally possess.

I mean, duh. That makes total sense. All our lives we are evaluated on our progress through school, through jobs and throughout our every day activities. Have you ever received less than satisfactory reviews on your performance? “Needs improvement” should now be read as “Not your strong suit, let’s try something else.” For example, I’m the first one to admit that I have flaws or things that I’m not particularly good at. This is why I’m not designing jet engines. It’s in everyone’s best interest. So I sat down and took my assessment.  These are my results:

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Now, for those that have not read the book, you have no idea what that means. Fortunately, it also provides a handy little description laying out exactly what each of those represents. Then it goes further to tell you what you should do with these strengths and 50 different aspects of an action plan for EACH THEME to help utilize it to the best of your abilities. Awesome.

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For those of you that know me, most of these probably come as no surprise. I’m a wear my heart on my sleeve, upbeat, life of the party kind of girl. I’m sensitive and intuitive. I’m also an ENFP, for those that are familiar with the Myers Briggs system of measurement.

For more information on what that means, visit:

So after looking at these two systems of evaluation, I narrowed down my skill set and starting scanning the job boards, as I generally do every morning. My first choice is ALWAYS The ArsWave Job board. ArtsWave features all kinds of career opportunities for local creative-based nonprofit organizations. I imagine that no matter what role I eventually end up with, it will have been posted on this page.

I have set some criteria for what I want to do.

1) I want to work for a non-profit. I am not a sit in a cubicle, filling our paper work for the man kind of girl. I want to make a difference and know that the hard work I put in every single day is for a greater cause.

2) I want a different day, every day.

3) I want to interact with others on a very regular basis. Solitude is not my friend.

4) I want to experience new things in an environment where there is opportunity for growth.

5) I want to be inspired by the place I work and the people that work alongside me.

6) I MUST love what I do.

I woke up Tuesday morning and, low and behold, right before my very eyes was the job I was born to do.

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Job #1: Event Coordinator for the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Reasons why this is perfect for me: (though, if you have been reading any of these blog posts, or, I don’t know, talked to me…ever, I’m not sure that there is really a need for explanation)

1) I love to plan events. A lot.

2) I love art.

3) I love to talk to people. A whole lot.

4) I love to solve problems. Really tough ones like the caterer is stuck in traffic and the event starts in 4 minutes. WHAT DO WE DO!?

5) I looove Cincinnati.

6) I looove non-profits.

I realize there is a lot more to this position than those 6 things, but when it comes down to it, fundamentally, everything I’ve ever wanted from a job lies in this very position. I was so excited after reading over the job description that I immediately set into action. I drafted a new cover letter, created a relevant resume, put together some writing samples and sent it on its way. I also contacted anyone I knew that might be able to help connect me with the powers that be at CAM. Disclaimer: If any of you have any interest in applying for this job, don’t. It’s mine.

I just got word that I have an interview tomorrow. If any of you know anyone and should feel so inclined to call in and tell them how incredibly amazing I am, I’d genuinely appreciate it! For those that have already helped me, I genuinely appreciate your support and guidance! Fingers crossed!

Then I came across another incredible opportunity.

Job #2: Development Manager for JDRF.


Development is a bit like sales. Except, by giving money to the organization, you don’t actually get any product in return. You get exposure. You get a tax deduction. You get the feeling that you’ve done something good. But other than maybe a table at an event or your name on a building (if you give a whole, whole lot), there isn’t anything tangible you get in return. Imagine trying to sell someone something and then say thank you for your money, I don’t have anything to give you. It’s not an easy task. But for some reason, it seems to be something that comes naturally to me.

I like the challenge of getting to know your donors, building that rapport, finding common interests and eventually, going in for the ask. Making the ask is a very delicate situation and should be handled differently with each individual. Determining how each situation should be handled is part of the reason I love it so much.

I reached out to a family friend for some sort of connection to the powers that be, but received confirmation today that they have already filled the position. Thank you for your help, as well.

Job #3: Pretty much everything I qualify for at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.


This is another job board I frequent. I love kids and would find working for CCHMC to be an incredibly fulfilling work environment. I reached out to one of their HR recruiters whom I’ve been working with over the past year and applied on their less then easy to use job site. This list of options includes:

Communications Specialist – Patient Services

Marketing Associate

Project Manager

Business Development Manager.

Job #4: PR Manager at Newport Aquarium


How cool would that be?! I know it’s not a non-profit, but I would definitely be excited to go to work every day and see all the incredibly cool animals. I bet I’d get to play with the penguins…though, last time I did that it was not as desirable as I’d imagined it’d be. Is it appropriate for a 29 year old to spend her lunch break like this every day:


‘Cuz I will.

Job #5: Accessories/Purse counter at Nordstrom


Just for kicks. If one of these other career opportunities doesn’t work out, there’s always time for a part-time gig slangin’ handbags to housewives!  Commission + discount = Happiness.

I think it’s pretty clear which one of these I want the most.  While I spend most of my mornings looking for potential opportunities, Terri’s encouragement came at just the right time. I was reinvigorated and I basically stumbled upon what I’m hoping is the perfect job. While I’m not positive this will end with those two little words, I’m incredibly hopeful. Fingers crossed!!!