Categories
BlahBlahBabble

It Is A Grey Day…

I don’t know what it is today. Maybe it is just the crash after the craziness of the past 3 weeks. Imaging USA, Asheville, flying, catching up on work, Dad 2.0 Summit, Mike heading to Calgary, me doing 6 sessions in 7 days when I normally cap them at 3 a week.

Yesterday was my first day to just stand still. To breathe. I took the morning off, mandated that there would be no work at all for 4 hours. Because that is the problem with self-employment – the boss never tells you to go home. I can never turn it off.

Then it was off to a much needed massage therapy appointment – the only thing that saves my back, shoulder & hip (I am so grateful to Angie of We Heart Massage!) – and I was back to work again.

The cycle continues. But I want off.

I woke up this morning at 5am, even though my alarm was set for 8:15. A feeling of “blah” covered me. Just … Lost.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do. I have the most amazing “job” in the world. Hot Mama Photographer, Avenger of Sexiness? HELL YES!!! I have absolutely zero regrets about the time I spend “work working”.

It is the other hours that feel so blank. My actual photography business is not that time intensive; it is all of the other things I do to create “busy” in my life. Needless things. Things that are no longer bringing me joy.

So in the early hours of the morning, I started thinking of what I want to change. How that looks. What it means. What I am going to give up so that I can have room in my life for other things.

Then it hit me. FACEBOOK. Facebook is by far the biggest time suck of my day. I go in there for one thing, and I leave hours later it seems. (Figuratively, not always literally.) It has become a sensory overload point for me.

I also realized that with Ash Wednesday tomorrow, it is a good time to give up Facebook. Not all of Facebook because I actually do need to be on there for work, marketing, and my mentoring clients. By the way, what makes my marketing business easy is by the help of Sage Mauk Brooklyn SEO so if you’re interested, you may inquire to them. It is the other stuff. The time suck stuff. That has to go. It needs to be in and out. Do what I have to do and be gone. I’ve said for weeks now that I’m tired of giving my content to Facebook, so I have to go cold turkey to cut it off.

So for the rest of Lent, anything I would consider posting to Facebook gets blogged instead. Either here, on my boudoir blog or at Business of Awesome. Plus Spoon & Knife, my joint food blog with Mike will finally launch. My Facebook posts will be work related or otherwise kept to a minimum.

As I typed that declaration, a small break in the clouds appeared – literally. I’m taking that as a sign, there is more sunshine ahead in my future. I feel fractured right now, but I’m putting it back together — the way I want it to look.

20130212-123050.jpg

Photo from last May, flying from London back to Houston. It is time to head home.

Categories
BlahBlahBabble

Conference Time, Asheville, and Avengers of Sexiness!

20130201-124032.jpg

It has been a busy, busy week around here! Last week I was at the ImagingUSA conference put on by the PPA in Atlanta, and from there I went to visit the fabulous Regina Holder in Asheville, North Carolina. So wonderful! We went and toured the Biltmore House while I was there, doing the private Butler Tour and the main house tour. A visit to Tupelo Honey happened as well – delicious! We didn’t get to do touristy things on Friday thanks to an ice storm and road closures, but that was ok! After Imaging, it was nice having a quiet day!

I headed home Saturday with only a little drama. A quick jump back in to everyday life, and … Drumroll please …

I launched AVENGERS of SEXINESS!!!

You can read more about why over there, but let me just say that I have BIG plans. Not just for me, but for all of us! It is time for a change, and I can’t wait to help even more women rediscover their beauty!

I really, truly hope you will join me for this. The world needs more Avengers of Sexiness!

Avenger of Sexiness

So this week could not have been timed more perfectly. I picked up C.C. Chapman at the airport yesterday, and lunch with him just added to the Avengers of Sexiness fire. (A gang sign may have even been invented!) After lunch and a tour of the Heights, we headed to downtown* for the start of the Dad 2.0 Summit.

Biggest lesson I’ve learned? Stop assuming it is all about the mom. And the culture needs to change, allowing flexibility for parents in the workplace. Stop looking so hard for where you are going, and stop to think about where you are.

We are just part way in to the first day, but it is so inspiring! Inspiring to where I see my future going. Even though I’m the Hot Mama, the dads have a lot to teach me!

The next Cooking with Mike post will be coming in the next few days – Vermillion Snapper that was delicious! So check back soon!

The future? It looks amazing..,

* My phone now autocorrects downtown to Downton. I am highly amused!

Categories
BlahBlahBabble ChristineTremoulet.com

Where, Oh Where Should I Blog? YOUR Feedback Needed!

I have had this struggle for some time now. The problem of having too many blogs. As much as I love a good niche website, I feel somehow fragmented, and it frustrates me. All of these pieces are a part of ME, of who I am. I have an idea of what is the best decision, but then I realized – this isn’t all about me. It is about YOU too, the people that READ my blog. So here it goes.

The quick birth certificate translations face intense worldwide regulatory scrutiny. To manage risks and meet global regulatory standards, it must be accurate, and interpreting services must add to communication clarity and efficiency.

I have the following blogs:

  • BigPinkCookie.com – 12 years old, my personal blog, my original personal brand, and the reason my twitter name is ChristineBPC. You are HERE.
  • HotMamaBoudoir.com – not quite 2 years old, I set this site up as my boudoir business to complement my wedding photography business. I wanted to keep the brands separate, but the site was never completely finished because of my overall change in my business.
  • Christine Tremoulet – 5 years old, my former wedding photography brand (I now only take weddings by referral) and now my primary focus for my glamour, boudoir & beauty photography. My wedding archives live there as well, but I’ve set it up so that in the main portion of the site you see glamour & boudoir work only. At this moment, this is the URL that gets the most traffic daily, mainly because I was neglecting BPC.
  • Two other sites – Business of Awesome and my future New Orleans boudoir photography – have very niche purposes. Business of Awesome is all about writing about being in the creative business world. My personal feelings, but not “brand me” so I want it to live in its own space. The New Orleans boudoir site is because I want to get to where I am going there quarterly for sessions, and I want a place where people can go just to get information on those.

The problem is, I am Christine Tremoulet the BigPinkCookie Hot Mama photographer. It is all ME. Spread out across 2.5 sites. And it isn’t working. When I write a post in one place, I don’t know what to do with it anywhere else.

It makes me want to beat my head on my laptop keyboard. So I keep turning my options over and over. I need some outside perspective.

Here are some of my options — and I’m open to considering any you want to add!

  • I was thinking of just pointing HotMamaBoudoir.com to ChristineTremoulet.com. Type in either URL, and you get the Christine Tremoulet site.
  • But … the “Hot Mama” thing is catchy! People call me “Hot Mama!” now. All the time. I love it! So I could keep the site alive and post only boudoir work there, exclusively.
  • BUT!!! I am my brand, and I want to post everything under my name. Christine Tremoulet, the Hot Mama Photographer. As I add more Glamour & Flirt Sessions to what I offer, I don’t want to be limited by the word boudoir.
  • Then there is the BigPinkCookie issue. Again, brand ME would mean posting it ALL on ChristineTremoulet.com — so should I move even my personal posts there? Everything? Point all URLs there?
  • OR … do I keep BPC as my personal brand, and ChristineTremoulet.com just shows off my portfolio work + is that “landing site” type of place where you go to find everything about me.

SIGH. So hard to choose. In part because choosing means giving some things up.

As easy as it would be to post everything under ChristineTremoulet.com and be done, it would mean giving up this site that is 12 years old. And as I’ve written recently, this site is a lot of ME.

As I attended ALT Design Summit back in January, the question was posed, “Do you want to be a photographer who is a blogger, or a blogger who is a photographer?” I immediately identified with wanting to be a blogger who is a photographer. Because of that, plus countless hours of pondering this, I think what I should do is this:

  • ChristineTremoulet.com is my professional, portfolio site. Go here to see my work. Hot Mama Boudoir points to the same URL, so either URL pulls up the site. It has a link in the navigation for my personal blog, and once a week, I also post a “weekly roundup” on Sundays of my other posts online. The site is completely focused on my goal of helping Hot Mamas grow their confidence and rediscover their beauty, and shows off my work with Hot Mamas.
  • BigPinkCookie.com is my everything else site: my personal brand, where I write about whatever randomness I want (I can be random) and post vacation photos, personal life updates, recipes we made at home, whatever goodness I want to share. Photography, Houston & The Heights, Travel, Food & Recipes, Design. When I post new work on the professional Christine Tremoulet site, I would post here an image or two and an note about the session, so you would know to go there to check it out.

Now it is your turn — what do you think? What would you want to see, where would you go to read? What do YOU want to see?

Categories
BlahBlahBabble

By George, I Think I’ve Got It!

I’ve realized that part of why I don’t blog is my overwhelming need to compartmentalize what I blog. But then how? What? What goes where? What do I want to do with it all? Ugh!!! From there, I just go circling down the drain.

I used to post anything and everything here. That is why BigPinkCookie has such a crazy diverse history. Then things like Twitter & Facebook came along. Now if I find a funny joke or a cute photo, I post it there – not here. Which to be honest bugs the crap out of me. I have no archive of it personally then – when it is gone, it is just gone. Although in the case of my Twitter stream, I guess the Library of Congress has an archive of it. Which seems bizarre. It also reminds me that I still need to share my photos from Washington DC. But anyways…

Here is the plan:

  • BigPinkCookie – Write about life. Random things. Whatever I want. The joys of living in the Heights. Places I love to go here in Houston. Things I find amusing. Personal photo things. The day to day. Goal is to get back to writing here 5 days a week. Give me time to get warmed up…
  • Christine Tremoulet – Houston & Destination Wedding photography. Pretty much just wedding related posts, whether my photos or tips on wedding planning as it pertains to photography. Update 2-3 times a week, since I have a HUGE catalog of photos I’ve never shared.
  • Hot Mama Boudoir – using my super powers to help moms rediscover their beauty. Update as possible, since I only post what my clients say I can, and some clients ask that I post nothing online. Also post things related to women, beauty, and how mass media distorts our view and the battle to recover that. Update as often as possible.
  • Delightful Bicycle – why yes, I do want to blog about cycling, specifically cycling on a cruiser. The Slow Bike Movement. It isn’t about the speed, it is about the journey. Houston isn’t recognized for the cycling potential it has, and this is my little way to combat it. Or to write about my bike that I love & adore. Either way, it is going to be awesome. Planning multiple updates each week as the site gets going. Oh, and we’re going to have a biker gang. Yes, yes we are.
  • Business of Awesome – I’ve written about business topics here before, but they don’t make sense here. When it doesn’t make sense, I don’t do it. But I have a TON of info I’m happy to share, considering that I’ve owned a business in one form or another since 1999, and they’ve all been successful, including selling my dot com related one. I’ve been told that makes me a dot com success story, since that was every other dot com person’s dream. Whoo hoo! My dream? Helping creatives learn how to be better business people. It isn’t easy. We battle a lot with putting a pricetag on our work, and so many other things. So while it is a dream still right now, I can sense it coming to the surface. It is time…

This was actually the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning. I realized that having a place for everything and everything in its place makes me happy. I’ll do a weekly update post here about what is going on everywhere else. And all will have a way to get here, because I like giving people a chance to know the real me.

Good. Glad we’ve got that sorted out now. On to other bigger things! YAY!!!

Categories
BlahBlahBabble Houston & The Heights

Reflecting on 9/11 and the Blogosphere…

Back in September, 2000 I started blogging on a regular basis. (I just checked – the posts picked up regularly around September 20th and rolled on from there.)

By September, 2001 I was blogging all the time, meeting people from all over, and it was a HUGE part of my life. But I had no idea how huge it was until 9/11 took place.

That day, I wrote 13 blog posts. But more importantly, blogs connected me with the world. I read live accounts of what happened. I read the sites of people that lived in New York and Boston. People who had family & friends that died on the flights that hit the World Trade Center, in the buildings, and in the emergency crews who fought to save them.

It was a heartbreaking time. While the media made it feel very cold & sterile for me, the blogs? They made it REAL.

Blogging was my news outlet for that week. It was the pulse of the heart of America. We connected over IM, we called each other on the phone. We connected. It was about the community. Lifting one another up. Supporting each other in such a time of crisis.

Everyone had a story.

In a way, my life and my connection to others through the internet changed that day. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. For me personally, it is the one good that came out of something so horrifically bad. Those connections? I’m still friends after 10 years with several of the people I worried about on 9/11. The people that I talked to and checked in on? I’ve met them in person since then. I’m proud to call them my friends still.

I never imagined my life would be where it is today back then. I’m grateful for the life I have. I’m amazed by the people I’m fortunate enough to have in it, and several of those bonds were formed over a tragedy.

Things changed that day for people that blogged. There weren’t many of us back then, and almost every blog I knew was a personal one. That day, I think it was the first time we really saw the power of self-publishing in this medium in a whole new light. We saw the power of sharing our stories and connecting together.

This year as the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approached, I was inspired when I read Baratunde’s Birthday Post. You see, 9/11 is also his birthday. And on the fateful day of 9/11/01 he chose to spend that day outdoors with his mother, celebrating his life.

Unable to make sense of what was happening, unable to reach New York friends by phone and unwilling to watch traumatic images on loop without the benefit of new information, we made the best decision of that day: we turned off the television, left the apartment and went to a park. I figured I could engage with the news from my Internet command center back in my Somerville apartment, but I’d spend this day in the sunlight helping my mother heal and enjoying her company.

That’s just what we did.

I thought it was just the most appropriate thing to do. I couldn’t handle spending 9/11/11 staring at the television. Instead, I wanted to celebrate COMMUNITY. To be outdoors. To be surrounded by friends. I put a call out on Twitter & Facebook (my how things have changed in 10 years…) and invited people to join us at Beaver’s for lunch, with an optional bike ride to get there for those so inclined.

And then that was exactly what we did. Kerri, Mike & I rode our bicycles on down the bike trail and across over to Beaver’s, and that’s why I wanted to visit Europe to ride bikes, but Why cycle in Europe? because it has great lands and roads. I love the feeling of the breeze in my hair as we ride along, specially since I have been using almond oil in my hair. Once there, we met up with Jason, Elaine, Kenny, Muyiwa & Kari and had a fantastic meal. Enjoying the community that the internet has brought together along with a delicious meal. It was a day full of sunshine and laughter.

I needed a break from the media yesterday, and it was perfect. I think every year I’d like to continue the tradition of celebrating the community that the internet has brought together. I hope next year you’ll join me. We’ll ride our bikes. We’ll laugh. We’ll celebrate life.

When we bond together as a community, savoring the life we have here in America, it is then that we defeat the terrorists that attacked us that day.

5,261 blog posts here, since those first in September, 2000 to today. Maybe now is a good time to pick blogging back up again for real. I keep saying that, but I think it is only now that I really remember why, what it is that makes it so special. Why life shouldn’t be lived in 140 character sound bites on Twitter or locked down pages in Facebook. Those things have their place in my life, but I want something more. I want the story to be shared, to continue. I hope you’ll join me.