Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guest Blogger of the Week - Chriss Knight

“Office Dilemma”

My name is Chriss, and I am a television reporter turned Social Media nut! Before I tell you about my “Office Dilemma”, let’s rewind first, and learn how I started my new Social Media Management and Public Relations Agency, NOLA SOCI@LITE!
            It all began in 2010, when my husband and I moved to New Orleans. I joined the "Good Morning New Orleans" morning show team on WGNO, the local ABC affiliate. It was somewhere between covering the excitement surrounding the Saints Super Bowl victory and the fun events leading up to Mardi Gras, that I fell in love with New Orleans and discovered a respect for Social Media.
            I constantly updated my Facebook and Twitter pages, engaging in fun conversations with fans, and even used questions from Facebook during live interviews. In two years, I grew my Facebook page from 200 to 5,000 friends, and my Twitter page tripled in the amount of followers! I wanted to do the same for local businesses, so I helped out my husband, and began tweeting for Pinkberry New Orleans, the company he manages....and NOLA SOCI@LITE was born!
           I quickly discovered other businesses were also in need of my services, so I decided to leave television and focus my efforts on doing what I love: Helping local businesses grow through Social Media and planning events! I am now handling the grand opening of the new Pinkberry Mandeville store (coming in April!), and I am the Publicist for Old.New.Blue, a wedding accessories boutique in Uptown New Orleans.
            I always tell my clients, “Social Media is a marathon, not a sprint.” You aren’t going to go from 0 to 2,000 followers overnight, unless you are a super star celebrity like Taylor Swift (who has more than 8 million followers, by the way!). It takes time to build a strong base of followers who want to engage and communicate with your business. After all, building a relationship with people in general requires a long term investment, and the same applies to Social Media.
            But my new business has brought me to a surprising new dilemma…my home office. I work from home, which is a wonderful perk, but unfortunately, my office right now is anything but wonderful. While my job does require me to be out in the community, meeting with clients, attending functions and other events, I do spend several hours a day, sitting by the computer. In fact, as I write this blog entry, I am surrounded by papers scattered around my desk with no organization around. There’s an old ugly bookcase lining the wall in front of me, and a bureau that was once in my bedroom is now just taking up space in my office. I need a major home office makeover, and to be honest, it’s a bit overwhelming. It’s an issue I didn’t consider before starting my business, but now it’s one I must face!
           I even spent one Saturday searching for a desk, and after going to five stores, I couldn’t find anything that I liked. I was clueless. I can quit my job, start up a new business, but I can’t furnish my office? Feeling frustrated and defeated, when I got home that day, I did what any Social Media person would do…I turned to the internet, and started reading blogs. I got great ideas from Chet’s blog in fact! I started feeling better about my unorganized office, and I could see the light at the end of the design tunnel! That’s when it hit me, what I tell my clients about Social Media is what I need to tell myself about my home office: Designing is a marathon, not a sprint.  And while I don’t have it now, eventually, I will piece together an office that I love and one that makes a great working environment and an impressive meeting space for my clients.
            In the meantime, I am going to continue to clip pictures from magazines, follow blogs like this one, and rally the help from friends and family to create my new workspace! By the time it’s finished, I may have to move to a bigger office, but you won’t see me complaining about that!

(You can contact me by emailing: chriss_knight04@yahoo.com, visiting my site: www.nolasocialite.com, or following me on Twitter: @ChrissKnight)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Only in New Orleans

I love this city! This is what just passed Chet Pourciau Design on Magazine Street: The Original Prince of Wales - Social Aid and Treasure Club

I can't wait for Mardi Gras!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bookcases and Shelves

I wanted to share some fun book shelf ideas that are far from dull and boring.

L-Conceal Umbra bookshelf
Screen shot 2012-01-12 at 1.34.07 PM
These conceal hidden shelves are only $13 a piece! If you are a reader, put your own books to good use.

I don't know where these bookcases are from, but they are a great modern twist to traditional furniture.

ideas for elastic shelves
This is kind of a strange concept, but unique none the less. Your items are held between two elastic bands. You can find further information about them by clicking on the link.

alternate image
I love these eco-friendly shelves from nigel's eco store. They are made of paperboard rolls, that are stuck together with velcro. You can make your own configurations by stacking them on top of each other.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dallas Market January 2012

Hi everyone!
I wanted to post some photos from my recent trip to the Dallas Market Center. These items are all the new fad for 2012. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chet Pourciau on FOX 8 - Mardi Gras Guests

Follow Chet Pourciau every Friday at 8:15am on FOX 8 for weekly design tips. Last week's segment was about how you can decorate for Mardi Gras and visiting guests. Enjoy!  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Clean Up that Cluttered Closet!

So I really wanted to blog about this subject because most people I know go through a stage when they realize how disorganized they are. I recently went through my closets and organized all the items I have that I never use, but still hold on to for that "just in case" situation. Here are my easy tips on organizing:

  1. As I started, I realized that I have items like random wallets or unopened gifts that I will never use. Put all those kinds of items in box with a label for Goodwill. 
  2. Sort all that remaining junk into piles: Art supplies, electrical cords, light bulbs, batteries etc. I found a bunch of clear storage bins at a store that were well priced and bought a load of them. 
  3. The most important thing is to label every bin. This way in the future, you will know where to put things, instead of just sticking it in a closet.  Most of the time when I put things away, it's out of sight, out of mind.                                              
  4. The only real way to stay out of the mess and keep organized is to always put things back where they belong. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Post by Dan Meyers

This guest post is by Dan Meyers of Your Life, Their Life

After I graduated from college, I moved to Dallas with a great new job and dreams of finally making it "big".  However, my big dreams and Chevy Lumina weren't the only things I brought with me; I also hauled down about $25,000 in debt!  It was from a combination of student loans ($21,000) and credit cards ($4,000).

I found a cheap apartment and a roommate to share the rent.  There was only one catch: we were sitting on boxes and sleeping on the floor.  For us, the choice was clear.  We could live like poor college students or begin our adult lives in a modern, beautifully furnished apartment.  Like most young adults, we thought a college degree entitled us to live the high life and opted for the latter.

Instead of being sensible, we went straight for the expensive stuff - searching for items only in big box furniture stores.  With the promotions they were running, I thought I was set.  After all, I wouldn't make payments for a full year!  Little did I know at the time, this "deal" enticed me to buy a lot more than I could afford.  For a college student, more than $1,000 dollars for a couch, coffee table and bed was too much.

For a year, the debt loomed over me.  I was nearing the end of my "free year", and I hadn't saved any money.  Luckily, I scrounged together enough cash to pay it off and narrowly avoided a big penalty - mostly accrued interest.

It was tough for me, but I hope my mistakes give light to something we can all learn.

Should you take advantage of 0% offers from furniture dealers?

No!  This is a lesson for all of us, not just college students.  Try to avoid buying furniture and decor on a 1-to-2 year 0% interest plan.  It encourages you to spend more and allows you to justify taking on debt.

If you can't afford it with cash, you can't afford it all!

If you're jump starting your plan to save, trying to enhance your financial future or are a recent college grad, it's important you take control of your money.  To get started, follow the plan on my website.  You'll get tips on controlling your spending and learn the importance of building your $1,000 emergency fund before purchasing luxuries like furniture.

If you were like me, you couldn’t wait to buy furniture because sleeping on the floor meant you could longer stand without pain!  Instead of spending all of your money, it's time to get creative with furnishing your place.  Chet suggests scouring garage sales and flea markets - you can find some great deals (He posts tips to Facebook and Twitter).  Also, Craigslist is a wonderful resource for used furniture.  

Another tip: think about timing.  If you live in a college town like New Orleans the end of the spring semester is a great time to find cheap furniture from students who are trying to clear out their rentals.  Just bring a friend a long if you feel uncomfortable making the purchase on your own.

Or, try reaching out to family and friends.  Often times, they'll have furniture they aren't using.  

I know - buying used furniture or borrowing from family may not sound like what you had in mind, but don't dismiss the idea so quickly.  Chet has great tips on how to upcycle your Grandma's 1950's couch, making it look designer and more personalized than the pleather option at a never-ending furniture store.

In the end, be smart with your design decisions.  Remember: if you're willing to make a few sacrifices now, you'll begin your climb out of debt - or stay debt free - and set yourself up for success in the future.

Dan Meyers started Your Life, Their Life to help you take control of your money and your life.  Read how he paid off $50,000 of debt in two years and how his strategies can help you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Look for the New Year

If you didn't catch Chet on Fox 8 last Tuesday, the show was about finding a New Look for 2012 online and then buying it locally. The segment will be uploaded shortly.

Featured local clothing retailers:
Haute Boutique located on 725 Magazine St. NOLA

Vernon on 2049 Magazine St. NOLA

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Color of the year

According to Pantone, the color of the year is Tangerine Tango, which is a reddish orange. It is "sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with depth to it," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. 

Chet Pourciau will be on FOX 8 this Friday 13th at 8:10am to show viewers how they can incorporate this vibrant color into their decor, without breaking the bank, and without a complete room makeover. Below are some photos to get you excited about Chet's upcoming FOX 8 segment!

Monday, January 9, 2012

FOX 8 at Rouses for BCS Championship

Chet Pourciau was at the new Rouses (701 Baronne St. NOLA) today with FOX 8 to show his support for LSU in the BCS Championship. 

He showed us some ideas on how to throw a tailgating party. We wanted to give a special thanks to: 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Game Day Party Ideas

If you are having a party for the BCS Champion ship, these cute cocktail toothpicks might come in handy. Below are the instructions on how to make them:

1. Print and cut out the tooth pick template from this link 

2. After folding each rectangle in half, pierce each with a cocktail toothpick.

3. Use double stick tape to tape secure tooth picks in place.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Taking Down Christmas Decorations

Now that Christmas is over, we all have to start taking down all those decorations that we were so excited to put up last month. I wanted to share some tips to help you all out.

What to do with your live Christmas tree?
This is always a question asked after the holidays, we are lucky in New Orleans because the city has set up a recycling program. All you have to do is put your live Christmas tree out with the rest of your regular garbage on the days of January 5,6, and 7. The trees will be used to rebuild Louisiana's wetlands. 
If you have questions, contact the Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs 504.658.4070

The Times-Picayune

What to do with all the Christmas cards?
People spend so much time putting together beautiful cards with thoughtful messages to friends and loved ones. The question is, what can you do with them?
  • Use the front of the cards to create a Christmas scrapbook
  • Collect your favorite cards and create your own framed collage for next year. You can also create Christmas collage place mats for kids with construction paper and glue. 
  •  Use family photo cards in family photobooks

What to do with all your ornaments?
  • Used bubble wrap and tissue paper to individually wrap your ornaments. Place all your ornaments in one or two labeled boxes. Place the most important or sentimental ornaments in resealable plastic bags.
  • Keep purple, gold, and green ornaments out for the Mardi Gras Carnival Season.  
What to do with anything else you just don't want anymore?
Take photos of your unwanted decorations while they are still being displayed. You can sell or donate them. Visit websites like Craigslist or Ebay or donate to Goodwill or The Salvation Army. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Weekend Curb Appeal

It is extremely important to keep up with your home's curb appeal. Below are some quick ways on how you can help transform your home in a weekend.

Replace your outdoor light fixtures for a fresh look. If you don't have the budget for new fixtures, buy a $4 can of spray paint from your local home improvement store. You will be amazed with the difference a fresh coat of paint will make. You can also spray your mailbox for a more uniform look.

Power wash your exterior. Summer flooding and normal wear and tear in New Orleans is a given. You can give your home a whole new look by renting a power washer and giving it a good cleaning.

Paint and replace the hardware on your front door. Use painters tape to protect glass and trim. Be sure to ask the experts at home improvement stores for tips on what paint to use.

Mow and rack your lawn! It's a tedious job, but someone has to do it. It's amazing what a little lawn care can do for a home. If you really want to add more appeal, think about planting a tree or new shrubs.