Cruise manicure

Cruise manicure

I am getting away from the snow next week as I cruise the Caribbean with my husband. I am planning a new manicure in honor of this occasion. I have narrowed it down to three different manicures. I would make an amalgam of these examples for each theme. Help me decide!
1 – A tropical, beach themed manicure on a gradient background.
2 – A nautical manicure with mix-matched nails
3 – A mermaid manicure with iridescence and scales – George votes for this one!

See how I completed the winner in my post Mermaid Nails! 

I moved from Posterous to WordPress. You can too.

So, Posterous is closing and I finally had a good impetus to head over here. I started Posterous as a beginning blogger. I was intimidated by WordPress in spite of extensive marketing that said otherwise. But when it was time to build my wedding site (Laura Loves George), I started at WordPress.

I’d been meaning to transition my blog of miscellany over to WordPress which is more bloggy and less tumblery. The process was as simple as promised.

How to Move Your Blog  From Posterous to WordPress:

  1. You head over to Posterous and click back up. It will download a zip file.
  2. You can open this to find an XML file – remember this location.
  3. Go to WordPress and open an account or add a blog to an existing account.
  4. Then you can go to Tools on your dashboard and select import.
  5. Select Posterous when it asks where you are importing from.
  6. Then browse your files to find the XML file (you did remember where it was, didn’t you?)
  7. Upload this and your blog should have a new home!

So if you’ve been here all along, welcome! If you are new to the blog, thanks for stopping by. I enjoy nail art, baking, DIY projects and I sometimes share medical topics (I’m a Internal Medicine & Pediatrics resident physician). I hope you enjoy what I have here and it can inspire you!

Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I had a little time off because my rotation this month has had a lighter patient load than expected. Enough time to brainstorm some Valentine’s Day sweets for my family and colleagues.

I was deciding between Cherry White Chocolate Pudding Cookies from Chocolate, Chocolate and More and Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Strawberry Chocolate Cookies

What sold me was the use of jello in the pudding cookies. The initial recipe has a beautiful pale pink color. I wanted something a little more vibrant, so I used a little hot pink gel coloring in addition to adding extra cherry jello powder to make a reddish cookie. I also swapped the white chocolate pudding mix for french vanilla. They are tender, delicious and full of flavor.  I am brainstorming other combinations of jello for future cookies now!

Cherry_chocolate_cookies_2

Cherry White Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cherry flavored Jell-o mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp concentrated food coloring in pink or red
  • 1 4-oz package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and jello mix together.
  3. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Thoroughly mix in coloring to achieve desired color.
  5. Sift together pudding mix, floud, soda, salt.
  6. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  7. Drop by tablespoonfuls (or 1″ scoop) onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes andlet cool 5 minutes prior to transferring to cooling racks.

 

A Book Themed Baby Shower from Martha

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This beautiful book themed baby shower was featured in the May issue of  Martha Stewart Living. I loved it!  I’m a sucker for anything that has DIY stationary, The easily printable bookplates and bookmarks are great invite ideas. A watercolor painting station to color the bookmarks would be a fun addition. The hanging book pages are so pretty. It is not just a sweet baby shower idea, but would work for a birthday, graduation, child’s tea party or book reading.

Since we are discussing book plates, here are some great ones for your library (from Ohdeedoh and Apartment Therapy) and your little one’s library.

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  • Laura . 4/20/11.

Slingshot SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Seriously…

…It’s me on this topic. Well here I am. It has been a long time coming. I have thought about starting a blog for years, but dithered over my ability to contribute anything of worth.

However, I finally have enough incentive! An iPad 2, to be exact.

I attended a Public Relations Student Society of America regional conference this weekend. I was out of place at this event full of PR students and professionals. My sister, Amy, organized this conference. Always eager to support my family, my attendance was clinched when I heard the topic was strategically using social media. I love technology, and thought to use what I learned for my causes and companies that I promote online.

So….to the iPad. I attended a breakout session by Jeremy Dearringer, and he offered a chance at an iPad to anyone that blogged a review of his session.  Hence my motivation. My fingers were burning by the end of his session from so much typing. It was an eye-opening presentation that helped me rethink my attitude toward the internet.

Google_me

Jeremy is a co-founder of Slingshot SEO, a professional search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing company. He dynamically addressed SEO,  a topic I had never considered. I just type a random question into Google and out come  links in some sort of arbitrary order, right? WRONG! There are complex ranking factors and algorithms and magic involved.

I am far from a social media maven, but  this presentation made even my medical self comprehend the importance of moving your site up the to page one of search results. With over 10 billion searches on Google alone during February 2011 (in the U.S. alone), there is a huge audience just a few clicks away.

Jeremy outlined the history of search engines, from Excite and Lycos through Google’s revolution and the ” link popularity contest.” Jeremy continued to treat the recent increase in social media’s effect on search engines. Viral content can create a digital linkerati through sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, and Twitter. Google is now attempting their own link sharing with Google +1.

I know from personal experience that I skip right over the clearly bought links at the top of the page. People aren’t fooled by money, but SEO can allow professionals to game the ranking system and move their links to the top more organically. Some tips:

Advice to optimize your position in search engines:

1. Build a basic internet presence first.

2. Encourage social activity on your website. Make it easy to click and share with  common sites.

3. Make sure the share buttons work.

4. Ensure there is a mobile platform and continually tweak it. Make an option to revert to the full online version from a mobile device.

5. Link Twitter to your website.

6. Interact with people, don’t just set your name adrift.

7. Use interesting and visually appealing infographics to give people something they want to hang on to and send to others.

8. Make sure you are solid on your domain name, do not change it.

9. Be patient, 6-12 months is a minimum before you see results.

10. People don’t trust the PPC paid links, be organic.

There you go. Cross your fingers that I win the iPad. It will spur a new string of blogs. Thanks for the chance at new tech and the eye-opener, Jeremy!

Checkout SlingShot SEO’s webpage: http://www.slingshotseo.com/resources/white-papers/how-to-value-seo/

Google-pagerank

More about PageRank: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/06/05/google-pagerank-what-do-we-really-…

  • Laura