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December 12, 2016

How Much You Should Pay For A Blog Post & Why

In today’s marketing climate, original content is king. This adage might sound a little cliche in 2016, but its sentiment still holds true–especially in the world of online marketing. Every business, whether big or small, brick-and-mortar, or online-only, can only benefit from well-researched, compelling, original copy. How do you know if you’re getting the best bang for your buck?

Original content creation can be implemented on every marketing platform, from brochures to social media to blog posts to website copy. Fresh, professionally-written copy has been proven to work wonders in building a buzz around your brand or establishing a presence in your community.

As a professional copywriter, I can attest that my peers and I are often met with some initial resistance from potential clients. “I have a keyboard. I can write. Why should I make room in my budget for a copywriter when I can write my own copy?” Some business owners do go this route but often they circle back after encountering the challenges that arise when attempting to create their own content on top of running a business.

Finding a writer who can partner with you to help build your brand is an asset that helps your business grow exponentially. I’ve compiled a list of how investing in a professional marketing copywriter can deliver great returns in the long run.

You really do get what you pay for. When it comes to developing a partnership with a marketing copywriter, every interaction is actually building a stronger relationship- in turn, think better content and bigger impact! A good copywriter invests in you- just as you’ve invested in us. When you find a copywriter who is willing to give his or her time and energy into getting to know the ins and outs of your business, it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship.

I, personally, devote hours of time to industry research and learning relevant background info on every client I take on so I can speak on behalf of the business with an authority, knowledge, and conviction that reflects the best of the brand. A good copywriter will have a general familiarity of how your company runs. A great copywriter will speak with an insider’s understanding in a compelling way that draws the customer in. This takes time on the copywriter’s part, but gaining this knowledge is an important part of building trust between your business and potential customers.

Copywriters get you noticed. You might (or might not) be a great writer, but let’s say you still want to give your online presence a boost for a conservative cost. You could ask one of your employees to act as your social media/blogger/copywriter-at-large, but this is often a corner-cutting mistake. Unless you’ve managed to pluck an employee from obscurity who happens to have copywriting experience or a marketing degree under his or her belt. If this is the case, promote and hang on to this person! Otherwise, delegating copywriting duties to an inexperienced writer can be a (potentially dangerous) risk.

Google’s algorithm can sniff out grammatical errors and duplicate content, relegating your post to page 5-level search results. A lack of a cohesive strategy, keywords, and phrases can hurt your SEO results, as well. So, even if you have an on-staff, part-time “copywriter,” it can prove to be a waste of money when you fail to produce relevant, original content.

Words are what we do. I might sound like a broken record, but quality content is what will draw your audience in. You know your business inside and out, but so does an invested copywriter. The difference? A copywriter can translate your passion for your business to a consumer without industry-exclusive jargon that might be confusing. Copywriters are educated (either formally or through experience) in talking to the customer in a manner that is educational and compelling without sounding condescending or too sales-y. We know how to speak to specific client bases and industries. When done well, marketing copy evokes a feeling of need in your consumer they otherwise might not have felt. When done poorly, it can make your brand sound unprofessional, schmaltzy, or awkward. A professional copywriter can find a nuanced way to offer solutions to problems a customer didn’t even know they had through storytelling and precisely chosen words. Oh, and it should also be mentioned that a good portion of us are grammar nerds. While this is a quality lost on most, every business can benefit from the professional edge that comes with error-free content.

Consider the alternatives. Craigslist and Upwork are two popular sites for outsourcing content. There are also a number of blog writing services that pop up in Google results. Craigslist.org is an online marketplace where you can offer writing work while Upwork.com is a freelancing website that has recently acquired Elance and Odesk. You’ll usually have luck finding a freelancer on any of these sites willing to write about any kind of subject for a low rate. But…. the bargain price tag comes with strings attached.

When paying less for content, you are usually sacrificing originality, research, marketing expertise, and SEO know-how. You also run the risk of sourcing out plagiarized material by an inexperienced student or someone who speaks English as a second language. While the low price point seems appealing at first, it’s vital to remember that Google’s algorithm hates plagiarized copy and routinely boots it to the bottom of search results. What’s the point of sourcing out copy if no one sees it? And even if it were seen, is it content that you’re proud to put out into the world to represent your company?

Get back to work. No matter the size of your business, chances are that running it takes up a good portion of your time. Outsourcing something like content creation to a copywriter is a great way to free up time for yourself to concentrate on generating revenue elsewhere. Creating copy is a time-consuming process- even for the pros. When you put things into perspective, hiring a copywriter to take this off your plate is a relatively low cost, considering the late nights and weekends you’re likely already working.

Now for the inside scoop:

When it comes to a standard 500-word blog post, expect to pay, at least, $100 for a properly formatted, SEO-friendly, well-researched original piece of content. If you’re paying less, you’ve been warned….

Getting your business noticed is what marketing is all about. While hiring a marketing professional might seem like a large, unnecessary cost up front, I urge you to consider the long-term payoff. Remember the karmic-themed culture of my company? You get back what you put out there. By investing in a copywriter, your business is sure to see results. What business owner doesn’t want an enhanced online presence, improved SEO results, and an uptick in social media followers? 

April 29, 2016

Why You Should Hire A Professional Marketing Copywriter

If you’ve read my last post, you know the basics about what a copywriter does…but maybe you aren’t quite convinced of the benefits of actually hiring one. At least not yet….

Here are the top 5 reasons that you should have a professional marketing copywriter on speed dial:

1. You do you. Please ignore that this is a term which gained popularity from an awful New Jersey-based reality show. Typically, my literary mind would give the figurative side-eye to phrases coined by a girl named Snooki…but to everything, there is a season…. turn, turn, turn. The moral of the story: You do what you’re great at, and I’ll do what I’m great at. (Together, we’ll join forces empowering entrepreneurs around the world! Yeah!)

2. Where has the time gone? Hey, maybe you’re actually a fabulous writer…I would even make a pretty hefty wager that you are. Afterall, you don’t become a successful entrepreneur by cutting corners and being sloppy.

But…just because you can write, doesn’t mean you should. As a busy business owner, there are only so many hours in a day. Why waste them on something that can be easily outsourced to a professional copywriter?

copywriters vow

Your Facebook page might even have a few shared images that look something like this…

3.  Trust me, I’m a pro. First and foremost, professional copywriters can churn out content that would take you much, much longer to complete. I can write industry white papers, rewrite your website copy, draft employee newsletters, conduct research, source images, provide infographics, optimize your content for SEO, and even conduct interviews! Even if you did take on the writing component of your business- besides wasting hours of your precious time- you’d be left wondering if you missed any sneaky little errors, properly cited your sources, or clearly communicated your message to your target audience.

4. Just do it. If you really, really, really have your heart set on writing for your business, do it! It’s your company. You started your business to do what makes your heart sing and, if hiring a writer means you can’t do what you love, then don’t hire one. Instead, consider partnering with an editor for now. Then, if down the line your business totally blows up, and you’re absolutely forced to outsource some pieces, you’ll already have a partner who knows your business inside and out.

5. Keep things in perspective. Hiring a copywriter with substantial experience in marketing can have a huge impact on your business and introduce an invaluable, outside perspective. You might have a clear understanding of your product, service, company, or competitive advantage in your own mind, but it might not be resonating with your target market.

Hiring a marketing copywriter is an investment that can boost your biz, drive more leads to your website, and help you to protect your most valuable resource- TIME!

 

what a copywriter does

February 24, 2016

What Exactly is a Copywriter?

When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a writer.

From there, they conclude that I must, of course, sit in coffee shops all day while leisurely sipping cappuccino. In their minds, maybe I’m developing my sensational plot or breathing life into a feisty cast of fictional characters. I don’t mind anyone jumping to romantic conclusions about my career, in fact, I rather enjoy it…but alas, that depiction of my reality is simply untrue.

While not nearly as glamorous, I love my work….and sometimes you might even catch me downtown working from a Philadelphia cafe between client meetings. (For the record, La Colombe is my favorite. of. all. time.) As a copywriter, I work with clients from all different industries, so I’m forever reading, researching, and learning. It’s fabulous, and I feel pretty lucky to do what I do.

Since there seems to be a bit of confusion, let’s clear up what exactly a copywriter writes and how they make life generally more awesome for everyone:

Blog Posts

So you have a blog on your website but can’t seem to find the time to create consistent, quality content? Content creation has a direct correlation with generating leads, attracting people to your website, and closing more business.

A copywriter will pitch topics, create content, and can even manage your entire editorial calendar.

I have experience writing blogs for clients of all types- interior designers, high-end rug retailers, international furniture manufacturers, home decor companies, alternative medicine practitioners, outsourced human resource firms, community foundations, nonprofits, skincare lines, wedding planners, even grocery stores!

Portfolio examples:
Kenny Family Foundation
Neighborhood Spotlight-Brewerytown

Website Copy-

By now, most business owners understand the necessity of a professional website, but maybe yours is outdated, unclear, or perhaps your business has simply evolved since its creation. While it’s an excellent opportunity to recraft your corporate message, rewriting your own website copy can be extremely challenging. You can truly benefit from a fresh perspective and the advice of a marketing professional.

A copywriter will help you to communicate who you are, what you do, and what makes you different

I partner with a full-service marketing firm who can help you craft your corporate identity, identify your target audience(s), implement a social strategy, and  help you to reach your unique business goals. Also at my disposal: photographers, videographers, graphic designers, web designers, social media managers, and public relations experts!

Portfolio example:
About Page
What is Massage?
What is Acupuncture?
What is Chiropractic?

Press Releases-

Your business has big news to share, and you want to be featured in the press. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that news reporters will be knocking down your door- you need to convince them that you have a story! In order to cut through the monotony, grab their attention by convincing them that your big announcement is relevant to their viewers/readers. A press release is your ticket to free publicity, so don’t make any rookie mistakes. (There are lengthy guides on proper formatting alone!)

A copywriter will help you to succinctly communicate your news, craft your message in the proper format, and increase your odds of grabbing some (well-deserved) media attention.

With the help of my outstanding PR partners in Philadelphia, I can help your press release get into the right hands….with your specific audience and demographic in mind.

Portfolio example:
NetCost Press Release

Newsletters-

You’re no longer a small business and maybe your internal communication is starting to fall through the cracks. One location doesn’t’ know what the other location is doing, the company culture needs a boost, and employees are missing out on important information like HR updates, company events, or the big news about your yearly charitable outreach.

A copywriter will listen to your needs, zero in on your goals, and create content that will serve your purpose. Hiring a great copywriter ensures that your newsletter will actually be read- not just hurriedly deleted.

Portfolio examples:
Stakeholder Newsletter
Employee Newsletter

White papers-

A white paper is a document focused on authoritatively explaining any one specific topic. By knowing your target audience, you can focus on their needs, educate them, and even persuade their view of the topic.

A copywriter will help you to research, concisely explain complicated details and specifics, and present your perspective in a clear and convincing way.

Recent Examples:
Whitepaper: Affordable Care Act
Whitepaper: Retirement
Whitepaper:New Software

 

Don’t see your project listed above? Not to worry! If you need help with copywriting for an upcoming video, email marketing campaign, commercial, or advertisement, a professional copywriter-such as myself- can effectively communicate your unique marketing message and make a lasting impact on your target audience. 

 

 

the world from a child's perspective

January 9, 2016

The BIG Thing You Can Do To Boost Your Happiness in 2016

If there’s nothing else that I’ve learned from being an adult, it’s how differently I see the world with each passing year. As we grow and change and evolve as individuals, we tend to see the world with a slightly different perspective as we age. That perspective has a huge impact on your level of happiness- luckily, you can change your perspective with a bit of consistent effort.

Last year, I decided that I don’t necessarily love my own perspective of things. My inner critic is hardest to silence, I can jump to the worst case scenario in the snap of a finger, and I have high expectations of everything and everyone. As 2016 begins, I challenge you to take a hard, honest look at your own perspective. Chances are, you’re not always looking at the world with a chic pair of rose colored glasses…

If, like me, you wish for a fresh perspective, I urge you to shake things up this year. I’ve found that spending time with new people who can help adjust the lens with which you view the world around you. While your friends are resolving to quit their bad habits, spend more time at the gym, or get organized, I wonder if boosting your happiness this year could be tied to something MUCH more fun.

Let’s face it….we may all be created equal, but, at some point, we all develop a different set of strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to boosting happiness, there’s one group who takes the cake:

girl laugh happinesshappiness kidhappiness girl swimpeace sign happiness boy

Kids! If you want to forget your troubles, c’mon get happy, and chase all your cares away, hang out with the best kind of people on the planet. In my personal experience, they’re, undoubtedly, the best people to give you a truly long-lasting happiness boost. If you don’t have kids of your own (or even if you do!), there’s a way to improvise…..

Big Brothers Big Sisters Of America is a non-profit with the sole mission of making a positive impact on the lives of children. This organization helps match you with a child in your local area, and, since I was matched with my little, I’ve been having a total blast.

Once you’re accepted into the program and matched with your Little, you can start doing things you would almost never do as an adult- make crafts, watch kids’ movies, go rollerskating, ice skating, bowling, take a nature hike, playing sports, learn a new language together… the options are limitless!

The commitment is this: for, at least, one year, you spend a few hours 2-4 times a month with your Little. That’s it. Your job is to just have fun with them one-on-one…and the reciprocal pay off is ENORMOUS.

According to a recent study on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America site:

“Researchers found that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, compared to those children not in our program, were:

  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
  • 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school
  • 37% less likely to skip a class
  • 33% less likely to hit someone

They also found that the Littles were more confident of their performance in schoolwork and getting along better with their families.”

And it gets better- 67% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big played a role in their decision to attend college! If you’re asking for my opinion, this seems like the ultimate win-win. Get involved today! You can fill out a simple form to get the ball rolling to make a difference- not only in your life but in the life of a child.

What’s your favorite childhood activity? Do you have other suggestions for seeing the world through the eyes of a child?

cheapskate guide to philly

November 18, 2015

Visit Philly On the Cheap

Lucky for me, I live in one of the greatest cities on earth. Lucky for you, I write about it.

A city alive buzzing with brotherly love. A city that embraces the arts, that drips with history, and that is evolving and advancing a bit more each and every day. We are on the verge of something incredible- walk down a city sidewalk, you can feel it all around you… just like electricity snapping through this blustery  November air.

A decade of living in Philadelphia has given me a pretty comprehensive perspective on the city. I’ve experienced the city as a broke college student, as a single gal in a studio apartment, and, in my latest reincarnation, as a full-fledged adult. (I suppose…) I’ve lived on Broad Street, in Rittenhouse Square, next to the Art Museum, in Manayunk, on South Street, and I’ve been to every neighborhood in between.

If you fancy a visit, I am the perfect person to ask for recommendations. (Really, ask me anything- your virtual tour guide is only an email away!) I’m a local! I’ve been to the best restaurants, I know the hidden hotspots, I’ve perfected the weekend staycation, heck, I even write the Philly PR Girl Neighborhood Spotlight.

But until now, I hadn’t written a guide specifically targeted at doing Philly on the cheap. Today, through my partnership with Philly PR Girl and the suggestions of our awesome team of ladies, I had the honor of being published on Yes and Yes– an awesome lifestyle blog written by the very talented Sarah von Bargen.

And now, there’s no excuse. If you’ve ever wanted to visit Philly or just need a staycation to shake things up, take our advice to get the most bang for your buck. I promise you’ll never actually feel like a cheapskate- these are some of my favorite places in the city regardless of the price.

And now, without further ado, I introduce the Cheapskate Guide to Philadelphia. Enjoy!

 

Think we’ve missed one? What’s your favorite cheapskate spot in the city?

jillian mccleaf

September 3, 2015

A Year in the Life of A Philly PR Girl

Today might seem like your standard Thursday, but, for me, this day marks one year of personal and professional growth in my role as a contributing writer for one of Philadelphia’s most prestigious public relations companies.

Exactly one year ago today, I wrote my first piece for Philly PR Girl.

Covering Philly’s local hotspots, where to watch the Mayweather fight, and even how to center your chakras while drinking wine, it’s been a year full of fun and interesting experiences with a team of ladies who have become more than just my clients and colleagues- but some of my dearest friends.

Kate Marlys, owner of Philly PR Girl, is someone who I respect and absolutely adore. Her mentorship and faith in my talent has proven invaluable, and I’m eternally thankful for the opportunity to write for such a respected blog. With more than 6,000 followers, the blog has allowed me a platform to share some insight into what it means to be a young, female entrepreneur in the City of Brotherly Love.

Last year on this day, I predicted that Revel would make a long-awaited comeback, and, one year later, the casino reopening seems indisputable. Today, as I celebrate my one year anniversary with Philly PR Girl, I can’t help make another prediction….

Next year at this time, I have a feeling that both Philly PR Girl and JCMc will continue to take Philly by storm while wowing our respective readers with fabulous content! Here’s to a new year, new opportunities, and old friends!

 

2014/2015 Philly PR Girl articles:

death by burnout

August 21, 2015

Death by Burnout: A Study

It’s 9:27 am. I already have one 500 word piece written today, so you could imagine I fall somewhere into the Type A personality spectrum. Forcing myself to stay connected more regularly throughout the day, I take a brief moment to grab some coffee, pull myself out of my laser-focused writer’s trance, and send out a quick Instagram of that necessitous beverage that keeps me clocking my typical 100 mph pace. As Gmail refreshes my inbox, I spot an email from a client.

Aha! This is why I can’t allow myself to completely power off the outside world when I’m writing…..and then I see the link. This isn’t a request for a piece! They’ve attached the latest article from Yahoo Finance which I, of course, don’t have a second to read. The article is entitled: Working longer hours increases stroke risk by up to 33%.

Yikes. You have my attention. The study found that in comparison with those logging a standard 35-40 hour work week:

“Those working between 41 and 48 hours had a 10 percent higher risk, while for those working 49 to 54 hours, the risk jumped by 27 percent. Working 55 hours or more a week increased the risk of having a stroke by 33 percent.”

First things first. Name one person you know who works a “standard” work week…. (Right, it’s Friday, and we’ve all got things to do. You could sit here all day, and your list wouldn’t include more than 5 people…..and at least, two of your five are your retired grandparents- and even they still have jobs.)

So…even after taking other risk factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity level into account, working long hours and exposing yourself to repetitive stress seems to have a frighteningly significant increase in your risk of stroke and even heart disease.

Then, shouldn’t we all be racing to make immediate lifestyle changes? Well, it’s not always that simple.

Just last night, my husband and I had dinner with friends, and the topic of work-life balance came up over a slice of Jules Thin Crust. FYI, all four of us are college educated, we all work in completely different industries, and we represent a diverse range of income levels. My incredibly unscientific study shows:

  • None of us work the “standard” work week. No surprise there.
  • ¾ of us work 55 hours a week or more.
  • ½ of us work some weekend hours each month.
  • ¼ of us works six mandatory days each and every week!

While I’m clearly not going to be writing for The Lancet or any other medical journal anytime soon, it seems like the majority of people- at least those in my circle- are living lifestyles that are drastically increasing threats to their health.

What can- or, depending on your outlook, what should- we do to restrategize our lives and protect our health? Should we just keep banking on it not happening to us?

chasing the dragon

August 14, 2015

Chasing the Dragon: Are You Addicted to Materialism?

I know what it’s like to be poor.

Schlepping along behind my mom with my two younger siblings at my heels, I was a regular at our small town Goodwill, church thrift stores, and the seasonal smattering of neighborhood yard sales. When my father’s business enjoyed a sporadically profitable period, trips to Value City were a nice change of pace from the hand-me-down standards to which we had become entirely accustomed.

It was a novelty for my child self to possess something that had never been owned by:

  • Some nameless, faceless stranger=Best case scenario.
  • One of the kids at school=Absolute. Worst. Case. Scenario.

Looking back, the discount retailer wasn’t actually much of an improvement, but, at the time, Value City was luxe.  The glowing fluorescent warehouse filled with odds and ends of cheaply made clothes, shoes, and home goods- let’s just say it was a far cry from the modern day Maxxinista boutique that might come to mind…

I remember coming home with clothes with real, department store tags on them and feeling the way I do now when I am lucky enough to enjoy a glass of my favorite red wine or dine at a hot, new restaurant downtown.

Over the years, my parents started to do better; I set out on my own, strived to make my own money, and, today, I, fortunately, consider myself to be financially comfortable. But, at some point, there undoubtedly was a quiet, unnoticeable shifting in what purchases gave me that same feeling of esteem and satisfaction.

Over the years, Value City- a place which I once viewed as the apex of shopping and style- became a place I was embarrassed to be seen in.

When exactly did I start to judge myself -and my family- based upon the clothing we could afford to purchase?

When did my material standards become so high?

When does it end?

I love shopping and buying nice things as much as the next gal (or guy), but, money and happiness are just not one in the same. How can we stop chasing the dragon? Is there a rehab facility that can heal this deeply rooted addiction to materialism and …

Or will we just keep raising the bar?

 

 

Best of Philly 2015

August 8, 2015

The Best of The Best of Philly

I love lists. There’s something so definitive about ranking items in a concretely determined list of importance. Lucky for all of us so does Philly Magazine. They’re my go-to resource for the area’s best nightlife, restaurants, sporting events, and more. Not sure where to brunch this weekend? Philly Mag knows (and I can attest) that the bufala ricotta bruschetta at Amis is the best brunch dish in the city.

Need the latest update on the Papal visit? Yep, Philly Mag will keep you posted on all of the logistical details the city is facing in preparing for Pope Francis’ visit. From cultural trends to city planning and everything in between, Philly Mag has got you covered.

This year’s Best of Philly Soiree (an event celebrating- you guessed it, The Best of Philly!) was held in the very center of our beloved city at the fabulous Dilworth Park. Hosted, of course, by Philly Mag, the swanky open-air event truly showcased the very best that Philly has to offer in a glam night out under the stars.

If you’re itching for the inside scoop, check out my blog post on Philly PR Girl where I get a chance to list my favorites from the night!

 

 

July 20, 2015

Dining Spotlight: Noord

IMG_4544

Seared diver scallop

You’ve eaten the amazing French cuisine at Laurel, fallen in love with exotic Grecian flavors of Kanella, and, let’s face it, you live in Philadelphia – you’re no stranger to Italian food. If you’re ready to expand your palette and venture a bit northward, experience a taste of Northern Europe at one of Passyunk Square’s best restaurants.

Noord – the Dutch word for “North” – is consistently delightful. While the name might seem a bit odd sans explanation, you’d probably now concur that it’s quite a fitting name for a restaurant serving uniquely Dutch cuisine built upon the flavors of Northern Europe.

Chef and Owner Joncarl Lachman opened the Passyunk Square BYOB in May 2013 and, more than two years later, Noord has become a Philadelphia hotspot known for its delicious dishes and cozy-casual atmosphere. Lachman’s own heritage inspired the menu that focuses primarily on Dutch and also Scandinavian cuisine. Traditionally maintaining a simple listing of ingredients, both flavor profiles meld to create a unique dining experience you won’t find anywhere else in the City of Brotherly Love.

Lachman’s background is rather unconventional: the Philly native visited 33 countries before his 30th birthday and didn’t even attend culinary school until age 38!

IMG_4542

Bitterballen

A graduate of New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education, he was named the winner of the inaugural “San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef” in 2002. Working under chefs like Nora Pouillon of D.C.’s Restaurant Nora (America’s first certified organic restaurant) and Anne Rosenzweig ofInside, Arcadia, and Lobster Club in NYC, Lachman received plenty of experience under his belt before returning to Philadelphia.

Read the full article here.

July 7, 2015

My Path to Entrepreneurship

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: There was a time in my life where I was this close to going mental-institution-crazy if I had to work for my/a/any boss for one more second. At some point, at least for me, it was just bone-crushingly unbearable to live 40-60 hours a week to fueling someone else’s livelihood.

I started looking for a way out, a little bit of oxygenated hope that would help me to start breathing again…you know, give me a little space so that I could let my autonomic nervous system gear down out of the fight-or-flight response before my rampant anxiety fueled my own spontaneous combustion. (more…)

wedding website writer

June 30, 2015

How to Dazzle Your Wedding Guests Well Before the Big Day

Not to delve too far into my personal life, but I just became someone’s wife. Pretty big news, right? With years of experience in wedding and event planning, I couldn’t wait to utilize all that I learned to orchestrate my own big day…but in a slightly different way than you might expect.

We eloped!! Yes, you read that correctly. After seeing so many huge, beautiful bashes all I wanted was a stress-free day packed with as much genuine romance as we could manage. While we were away, we sent out lovely printed invitations to announce the news and to invite our friends and family to attend a proper party upon our arrival back home. The trouble with invitations is that you can only fit so much information into a 4×6 space, so we did what any tech-savvy couple would do- we designed a wedding website. (more…)

June 30, 2015

Fashion and Fundraising Mix at Diamonds & Denim 2015

cole and heidi hamels

An annual fundraiser organized by The Hamels Foundation, “Diamonds And Denim”, brings Philadelphia’s most generous philanthropists together on a night that holds immense potential for positive change. With a dual purpose that encompasses both a local and global reach, The Hamels Foundation is giving children access to education with the hope of fundamentally transforming our world.

Dedicated to “enriching the lives of children through the power of education”, The Hamels Foundation was organized solely to provide children with the tools they need to achieve their goals and secure their future success.

Though their mission is serious, the spirit of the event is quite the opposite. Diamond encrusted celebrities, professional athletes, and reality stars glittered on the red carpet at Vie, one of Philly’s poshest venues located on North Broad Street.

Hosted by the foundation’s co-creators, Cole and Heidi Hamels, the 6th Annual Event has become a Philadelphia institution. In the short time that’s passed since its 2010 inception, the Phillies pitcher and his polished partner have raised millions of dollars to support their charitable goals. Funds raised from this exclusive event will benefit not only area schools but also educational initiatives in Malawi, Africa.

According to CBS Philly, The Hamels Foundation has donated more than $1 million to Philadelphia area schools since 2009, and, while the Hamels’ efforts have profoundly impacted our local community, they hope to inspire positive change in one of the most impoverished nations in the world.

Due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, there are over one million orphans in Malawi alone. To break this tragic cycle, The Hamels Foundation hopes to provide children with the most powerful resource that exists: education.

Fully funded by The Hamels Foundation, and with the help of the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA), the Namunda Primary School welcomed 320 students into its eight, fully functional classrooms at its September 9, 2014 grand opening.

Read the entire article here…

 

 

June 23, 2015

Top 5 Lessons Learned at TEDx Philadelphia 2015

TEDxPhiladelphia provides an opportunity to showcase our community’s most impactful ideas – a time for our city’s most polished and elite thinkers to be heard and their ideas to be reflected upon. TEDx Philadelphia 2015 was such an event that inspired us to make a difference in our community, no matter how small it may seem.

The sold-out conference brought people together for an inspiring day of talks on June 11, 2015 at the Temple Performing Arts Center, during which the public was invited to live stream the event online from anywhere in the world. Each of the 14 slated speakers shared their unique perspective on a topic related to the day’s theme, “And Justice For All.” Here are the lessons that inspired us most during this epic event:

1. Transcendence is possible

Jesse Krimes possesses three factors of privilege in America: he is white, college-educated, and male. Jesse is also a convicted felon. He spent almost six years in prison on nonviolent drug-related charges, yet during this time, he was able to transcend the darkness of his situation by producing beautiful works of art with few materials at his disposal. Krimes is an industrious individual who was able to reinvent himself and to turn his life and his situation around by thinking outside of the box.

Krimes’ work seems to explore the authenticity of the individual and the idea that society is, in it’s own way, a “macrocosm of incarceration.” He believes that with the rise of social media, the complexity of a person is reduced to surface judgements and shallow interactions. Life becomes a performance, and we lose our authenticity of self. During his talk, Krimes further explored how the surface appearance of an object can become the object itself with no real inspection of what lies beneath the surface. His artwork is currently on display at the Eastern State Penitentiary.

2. Listening can change your life

Ronnie Polaneczky of the Philadelphia Daily News once covered a story about a boy who was murdered. Not long after the piece ran, Ronnie received a hateful call from a mother whose son also suffered a violent death. The woman’s icy tone conveyed her revulsion for the media’s sensational coverage of this one particular incident when so many young men are killed in Philadelphia each year. Although Polaneczky’s first instinct was to defend her actions and protect her pride, she instead set aside her own judgments and feelings, and discovered the practice of “deliberate listening.”

Deliberate listening is a way of suspending your own emotions and judgments while listening intently to the person speaking with an open heart. It is one way you can drastically improve any relationship in your life – even when dealing with a complete stranger. Listening carefully to this distressed mother, Polaneczky began to realize that if she put aside her own urge to prove that she was right, she could hear through the woman’s anger to the pain that was there beneath the surface. In that instant, Polaneczky disarmed the woman by listening with compassion and without judgment. She now practices deliberate listening each day wherever possible. She has seen the immense benefits of genuine, deliberate listening both in her own life and in the lives of those with whom she comes into contact.

3. The bootstrap myth is a myth 

We’ve all heard the phrase: “Lift yourself up by your bootstraps.” This Puritan-based metaphor illustrates the idea of a person who can lift himself out of a difficult situation using his own resources with no help from anyone. Unfortunately, this superpower isn’t based in reality, and Antonio Valdés knows that this way of thinking can have detrimental effects on those who aren’t able to better their own lives through hard work. While you may not fully grasp how calloused thinking like this is, first understand the repercussions of substantial trauma in early childhood.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) have a profound effect that can continue to negatively impact a person’s life for decades. Most people experience at least one ACE in their youth – such as neglect, abuse, violence or divorce – and these are in direct correlation with diseases, suicide, depression, violence, and an array of other severely negative outcomes. Those who are unable to lift themselves up out of their unfortunate circumstances are blamed for their own inability to correct their course, while inequitable attention is paid to the success of those who have had fewer obstacles to overcome in the first place. Surely there are exceptions, but they are just that; exceptions, and not the rule.

Luckily, there are protective factors that will allow people to succeed even if they have been exposed to numerous ACEs. The most important of these may be having one important, stable, loving adult relationship. Valdés hopes that society can begin to integrate protective factors into the fabric of our communities, and to remember that it takes just one positive adult relationship to transform the life of a child.

4. R2D2 is real

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TEDx

May 29, 2015

TEDxPhiladelphia to Return for its Fourth Conference

Get ready, Philly: TEDxPhiladelphia 2015 is just days away! Held on June 11th at the Temple Performing Arts Center on Broad Street, the fourth annual event will welcome 1,200 attendees for a day of live speakers,
each selected for their unique perspective and life experiences. Fitting for a city known as the birthplace of American Independence, this year’s theme, “And Justice for All”, will trumpet messages of equity, access, fairness, and connection while also exploring the enemies of each. 

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grand opening

May 15, 2015

NetCost Market Philadelphia Celebrates the Grand Opening of Their Blue Grass Location

On Saturday, June 13th, 2015 from 11:00AM- 5:00PM, NetCost Philadelphia will celebrate the long-awaited grand opening of their new Blue Grass location. Located within the Blue Grass Plaza at 2417 Welsh Road in Philadelphia, PA 19114, this grand opening event hopes to attract area foodies who may be unfamiliar with the gourmet product offerings of this international market.

 

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hackers

May 12, 2015

Four Ways to Secure Your WordPress Site From Hackers

If you’ve ever been hacked, you know how serious it is to have your information compromised, and we’re willing to bet that you’ve already taken the proper precautions to avoid any future attacks.

For those of you who are still leaving your website security to chance, we urge you to take some simple steps to protect yourself in order to avoid becoming the next victim of a security breach. Not only are these violations obtrusive and time-consuming to remedy, they can also lead to branding issues, malware infections, Google blacklisting, and have a substantial negative impact on your precious SEO rankings.

 

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May 12, 2015

Where to Watch the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight in Philly

If you’re not a boxing fan by now, don’t wait another minute to hop on the bandwagon.
This Saturday, May 2nd, hero meets villain in what some are calling the “Fight of the Century”. With an undefeated record, the understandably arrogant, sometimes disrespectful, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. (47-0, 26 KOs) faces the very lovable, congressman/humanitarian/role model-by-day, Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs).

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bri emery

May 10, 2015

Bri Emery Design Love Fest

When she’s not carefully crafting killer content for her crazy popular blog, designlovefest.com, Bri Emery lends her expert eye-for-design to companies like Target and West Elm where she moonlights as an art director and a consultant.

With more than 20,000 daily readers, it’s safe to say that Bri has made it in the blogging world with her addictive lifestyle blog that’s offbeat, creative, and truly captivating. Now, as a 2015 Tastemaker for Loloi area rugs, she is inspiring their high design collections with her uniquely creative perspective.

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May 6, 2015

Upcoming Concerts in Philadelphia: May Edition

rootspic-ban-300x150

We’re still more than a month away from the official first day of summer, but why wait? We give you permission to kick off the summer concert season a little early this year. This month, take advantage of some of Philadelphia’s incredible shows and this beautiful, sunshine-filled weather!

 

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resolve conflict

May 5, 2015

How to Deal with Difficult People & Resolve Conflict Like a Pro

Today, I had a sudden, strong urge to actually scream at a stranger. Judge all you want, but I know I’m not the only one who’s had that anger provoking- yet puzzling- experience that usually begins with the thought:

“Is this really happening right now?”

Maybe you’re in traffic. Maybe you’re at Starbucks. Maybe you’re in the office lunchroom. Conflict happens, and it seems like some of us just never learned to deal with our issues like adults. (Clearly, I, myself, am a work in progress…)

Whether in your personal life, in your business dealings, or as you simply move through life, everyone experiences those unfortunate run-ins with people best labeled as “difficult”. I’ve only had the pleasure of existing on this big blue planet for a few decades, but I’ve had plenty of experiences to test my patience and self-control.

Today, I have developed a reliable strategy for dealing with difficult people and, more importantly, leaving a bad situation better than I found it. Remember: When dealing with a (momentarily) difficult person, you have the power. I dare you to choose to improve the outcome by taking a few simple steps.

1. Be objective. If you’re already secretly plotting your revenge, this will be nearly impossible. Don’t speak, don’t respond….just find your happy place, and try to stay there for as long as you can. Gather as much information as you can about what is happening and take one, big, hypothetical step back. It may be difficult, but it’s important that you view the situation as if you were a third party. Clouding the issue with your own personal beliefs, thoughts, or feelings will prevent you from taking an objective inventory of what exactly just happened.

2. Be compassionate. Even in the most rigid business settings, we should never leave our humanity at the door. Take a few moments to remember that you are dealing with a fellow human- one who likely has the same thoughts, feelings, and desires as you do. If you were able to objectively remove yourself from the situation, you can try to tap into the source of the other person’s frustration. Leading with compassion will ensure that you’re more equipped (ie. more willing) to find a mutual resolution.

3. Don’t take it personally. With the exception of your own personal experience, you have no way of knowing the conflicts or external pressures exerted upon any person. Maybe they have a sick child, maybe they just got some awful news- maybe. Hold onto that “maybe” and explore the possibility that you do not have all of the answers. Do more listening than talking, and try to get to the bottom of what is really going on. Even if you never uncover the personal details of their struggle, stay open to the idea that there may be underlying factors that you have absolutely nothing to do with.

4. Keep your ego out of it. While it can be tempting to retort with a demonstration of your intelligence or a similarly snarky remark, you won’t win in the long run by throwing your own dignity and grace out of the nearest window.  Take the high road. You’ll have a hard time finding a solution if that’s not what you’re looking for….

5. Some issues run deep. You’re not a therapist- and, for the record, neither am I. You’re just a person who is trying to make the best of a difficult situation. If someone becomes disrespectful (or worse), safeguard yourself and know that you handled yourself in the best way possible. It’s okay to draw a line in the sand regarding what you are willing to tolerate based upon your goals for the situation.

6. Be happy. Reinforce your own social circle with people you love to be around. The people you surround yourself with should energize you, build you up, and make the life a more pleasant place to be. The happier you are in your own life, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with that occasional “difficult” individual.

What is your experience in dealing with difficult people and situations? Have you been able to turn things around in a time of potential crisis?

WordPress

April 20, 2015

WordPress 101 For Small Biz

While WordPress is a powerful tool for all types and sizes of business, Media Components particularly loves using WordPress for our small business clients and startups. We put together a list of FAQ’s to help shine some light on why WordPress is our most utilized content management system:

 

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grand opening

April 11, 2015

Grand Opening Sale – Blue Grass Plaza

We invite you to join us on Tuesday, April 28th as we celebrate the grand opening of our new Blue Grass Plaza location! As NetCost expands in the Greater Philadelphia region, we promise to continue to provide all of our customers with the quality and service that you have come to expect from NetCost Markets.

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April 8, 2015

Spring Seasonal Farm-to-Table Restaurants in Philly

Farm to Table

 

Spring is a time of renewal; a celebration of life, rebirth, and the cyclical patterns existing in the world around us. Considering that we live in one of the most rapidly growing culinary cities in the world, Philadelphia residents have the pleasure of welcoming spring at one of our many gourmet, farm-to-table establishments. For a literal taste of all the freshness that spring has to offer, enjoy the fruits of a spring season inspired menu, featuring local, seasonal ingredients at one of our favorite seasonal restaurants:

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rittenhousespa

April 2, 2015

Top Hotel Spas You Must Try in Philadelphia

Whether you’re in need of a little spring stay-cation to rejuvenate your spirit or if you’re here visiting our lovely city from out of town, Philly’s truly amazing hotel spas can help get you relaxed, renewed, and rejuvenated just in time for the sunshine filled months ahead! Book a room at one of Philly’s most prestigious hotels and get ready for some seriously glamorous R + R.

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Gift of Love

March 31, 2015

THE Party Raises Awareness for the Importance of Organ Donors

High profile, Philly-based interior designers Don & Renee Freeman of Freeman Interiors have been working tirelessly to imbue Philadelphia’s commercial and residential spaces with their chic, trademark aesthetic. Highly sought after by the Rittenhouse elite, Main Line’s high society, and national clients looking for a glamour-boosting makeover, their work has been featured by Philly Mag, Philadelphia Style, GQ, House Beautiful, and House & Garden.

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gourmet cheese

March 10, 2015

Gourmet Cheese

NetCost’s incredible selection of fine imported and domestic cheeses will leave you with some difficult decisions to make. If you need help narrowing it down, as we think you may, feel free to ask one of our cheese specialists to assist you. It may be a difficult choice, but there is no wrong choice. Each of our delightful cheeses have been hand-selected for their superior flavor, texture, and quality.

 

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joslyn taylor

March 6, 2015

Joslyn Taylor Simple Lovely

If you take a peek at Joslyn’s blog, Simple Lovely, you will get an immediate sense of Joslyn’s organically glamorous sense of style…and, if I had to wager a bet, I’d say you’ll probably also get lost in the endless supply of inspiring photos that will have you itching to redecorate your own space.

 

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March 4, 2015

Women’s History Month #WCW | Sharon Pinkenson

Sharon Pinkenson

We’ve heard that Sharon Pinkenson doesn’t like when people make a big, silly fuss about her hair, so we’re not even going to talk about those signature curly, golden locks of hers – even though they are fabulous. With March here once again, we’re ready to celebrate some amazing females of notoriety in the Philadelphia area and beyond in honor of Women’s History Month.

 

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cristina lynch

March 4, 2015

Cristina Lynch Mi Golondrina

Cristina Lynch is proud of her Mexican heritage. Growing up she recalls early memories of her and her mother “dancing to (their) favorite mariachi band while wearing beautiful embroidered blouses and long flowing dresses.” Now, that she leads the creative design for her inspired line, Mi Golondrina, she has made it her company’s mission to support female artisans in rural Mexico helping them to find purpose and financial stability through their traditional craft. Produced in Oaxaca, Mexico, the line is inspired and unique.

 

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loloi

March 2, 2015

Creative Process Behind Loloi Rugs

Founded by Amir Loloi, this trailblazing manufacturer has taken the industry by storm since its debut in 2003. With colors and styles ranging from coolly contemporary to regally elegant, the company credits its astounding success to its thoughtfully, inventive design process. With his team of talented designers, Loloi’s creative process takes an idea from Amir’s mind’s eye and brings it to life with tremendous importance placed on the product’s texture, design, and color.

 

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convention center

February 28, 2015

Spring 2015 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

You were out over the weekend and heard your friends talking about how completely awesome the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention was, and you were, like, “Wait?! The Tattoo Convention is so much fun! It already happened, and I just completely missed it?”

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manayunk main street

February 23, 2015

Neighborhood Spotlight: Manayunk

Manayunk is certainly Philly’s most under-appreciated neighborhood. Existing just far enough from Center City to keep this secret section from becoming completely mainstream, Manayunk is absolutely charming, possesses so much character, and has solidly established itself as a ‘hood that can hold it’s own. With a flood of cool new establishments vying for their spot on Main Street, we insist that you swing by and check out the scene next time you’re near in the area.

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wedding

February 18, 2015

Philly’s Best Wedding Professionals

Between Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day, it seems like everyone and their mother has gotten engaged! While the majority of the Philly PR Girl office consists of ringless, single women, we are single ladies with the inside scoop. To help with the planning process, here’s our list of Philly’s best wedding professionals to book before the word gets out:

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February 13, 2015

Valentine’s Day Gifts

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Valentine’s Day is almost here. I don’t know about you, but I can almost guarantee that my honey will be planning some combination of these three romantic traditions:
A) 1 dozen red roses…usually sent to my office
B) 1 assorted box of gourmet chocolates
C) 1 table for two at a pricey, romantic restaurant
caviar valentine's day

February 10, 2015

Top 5 Caviar Brands For Valentine’s

Dating back to the Middle Ages, caviar has been known as the ultimate indulgence- a gastronomic treat that is meant to be savored and fully enjoyed. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, NetCost Market brings you the finest selection of the world’s most prestigious, high quality caviar.
Besides being a mouthwatering gourmet extravagance, the delicacy has been known as the most luxurious aphrodisiac in the world! We recommend enjoying yours on this romantic holiday with your sweetheart and all of the traditional accompaniments: blinis, crème fraiche, hard boiled egg, fresh chives, smoked salmon…and, of course, a chilled bottle of champagne.

 

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Al Dia Marin Group

February 9, 2015

Marin Group Featured in Latest AL DÍA Chef Series

It’s tough to find a reason to brave the cold in Philly – but when Latin American food is on the menu, getting warmed up is easy.

December’s premiere of the AL DÍA Chef Series Event, held at their office on Market Street, featured Peruvian fare from El Balconcito; and for their second installment last Thursday, guests were taken on a tasty trip to Meh-HEE-co for an authentic treat, courtesy of the Marin Group.

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gourmet coffee in philly

February 3, 2015

Looking for Gourmet Coffee in Philadelphia?

Interested in tracking down some really amazing gourmet coffee in the Philly area? Read on for the best selection of high-quality coffee varieties according to NetCost Philadelphia- the Philadelphia’s most impressive grocer.  The area store’s coffee aisle is nothing to scoff at- they have an incredible assortment of gourmet, imported brands featuring expertly roasted beans from the world’s most respected regions.

 

Check out their top recommendations here…

Fishtown

January 23, 2015

Neighborhood Spotlight: Fishtown

I have to tell you something…..and it’s not something I’m proud of. So, please don’t judge me too harshly. Ok, here it goes…. I was never in Fishtown before last week. Ah!!! I know! It’s shameful. I’m an embarrassment to Philadelphia.

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2015 shopping trends

January 12, 2015

2015 Shopping Trends & NetCost Market

With so many of our customers setting food oriented resolutions to lose weight, eat right, and get healthy in the new year, we started wondering what shopping trends might be on the horizon for 2015. NetCost Market predicts three shopping trends that will shape the future of your grocery store experience.

 

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January 5, 2015

Local Tips For Dealing With Post-Holiday Stress

candles

Is your 2015 starting off with less of a bang and more of a blah? Did spending all that time gorging yourself on holiday treats while avoiding the usual cycle of yearly family drama leave you stressed and slovenly? There’s no shame in admitting that sometimes, all of the holiday hoopla can leave you feeling a little blue. If this sounds like you, we’ve got the remedy for your post-holiday slump!

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dollface studios

December 22, 2014

Holiday Open House at Dollface Studios

Dollface Studios hosted their first Holiday Open House featuring the tastefully seductive boudoir work that they are known for across the tristate area. A hit amongst brides-to-be, Dollface Studios caters to women of all shapes, sizes and styles who are looking to spice things up for the special someone in their lives. Owner Siobhan Edmonds brought her love of provocative photography to Philadelphia and boasts that her job is “one of the best in the city.” Her career objective is to make women feel sexy and amazing about themselves and their bodies.

 

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tackey sweater

December 19, 2014

Tacky Sweaters Take Over Philly

Host of the “My Big Gay Tacky Sweater Party,” Ashley Piotrowski of The Bronzed Bee, decided to end a fantastic year with a fun and fabulous holiday party on December 10th to celebrate her success with her clients and friends that have supported The Bronzed Bee since its inception. Besides just getting together for a raucously fun evening and thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the attendees, Toys for Tots received a sizable donation just in time for the holiday season. The evening featured an impressive panel of celebrity judges: Philadelphia’s own Cory Wade Hindorff, featured on America’s Next Top Model with a recently released hot new single, Pose Down – Miss Brittany Lynn, the mother of the Drag Mafia, and  Bev, Philadelphia’s premiere Christian drag queen.

 

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holiday gift

December 12, 2014

Top 3 Edible Holiday Gifts

At NetCost Market, you can always find an unbelievable selection of products at the most competitive prices. During the holiday season, NetCost Market keeps the shelves stocked with the tastiest holiday treats, so you can spoil your family and friends with their favorites.

 

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al dia

December 1, 2014

AL DÍA News Media Launches Chef Series

AL DÍA is a Philly-based news organization that provides the Latino community with relevant local and national news including topics related to the arts, cuisine, technology and pop culture. Their vision: “To showcases the fullness of the Latino experience in the United States — fostering engagement and driving a new American narrative.”

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organic trends netcost market

November 27, 2014

2015 Organic Food Trends

To many families, incorporating organic foods into their diet is an important part of their health and wellness goals. Organic food trends show an increased importance placed upon farm-to-table, environmentally friendly food options. With an overall rise in shoppers who are interested in integrating organic items into their pantry, NetCost Market wants to cater to our customers by making organic, quality foods available at a price point which all families can afford. Nationally, we expect some interesting organic food trends for 2015:

Read the full article here…

October 24, 2014

Dining Spotlight: Dizengoff

dizengoff

Before CookNSolo’s new restaurant, Dizengoff, opened in The Sansom apartment complex just steps from Rittenhouse Square last month, we weren’t even aware that hummusiyas existed. A restaurant that specializes in hummus is a new and interesting idea for us Philly foodies, and I couldn’t wait to check out the menu. (All the information you get online is that they serve a rotating selection of hummus with fresh-baked pita, seasonal salads, and Israeli pickles. Definitely a kitschy new concept!)

 

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farm and fisherman

October 15, 2014

Dining Spotlight: The Farm & Fisherman

In September, we had the opportunity to finally dine at one of Philadelphia’s most talked about restaurants: The Farm & Fisherman. In months past, we poured over OpenTable waiting for cancellations, changing the dates/number in our party trying to find a loophole – and mistakenly made reservations at their New Jersey location. Finally getting a reservation to their dining room at 11th and Pine was an incredible accomplishment; as F&F was continuously recommended to us by friends, family and coworkers, we could not wait for the opportunity to experience the cuisine firsthand.

 

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October 9, 2014

7 Shades of Wine and Chakras

7 shades of wine

Well, it wasn’t really a bar- technically, it’s a wine accessories superstore, but you get my drift.

At Pinot Boutique on September 27th, we had a chance to expand our spirituality with a lesson on Eastern philosophy while sipping perfectly paired vino in a guided wine tasting. We’ve done some pretty interesting activities after having a few cocktails, but yoga hasn’t been one of them… until now. This crazy combination sounded a bit odd to us at first, but, once we were settled in the class, we couldn’t believe how seamlessly wine and yoga melded together.

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Feastival

September 23, 2014

Philadelphia Feastival 2014

It was made incredibly apparent at this year’s Feastival event that Philadelphia’s innovative arts and food scene has pushed our fine city into a new realm of acclaim and distinction.  Sponsored by luxury automobile manufacturer, Audi, the event showcased all of our favorite things: finely crafted cocktails, haute cuisine,  fast cars, and, of course, the arts.

 

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radnor

September 17, 2014

18th Annual Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance

Concours d’Elegance” is a French phrase that literally means competition of elegance. On the weekend of September 12th, elegance, beauty and prestige were not lacking in any regard at the 18th Annual Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance.

Dating back to the 17th century, French aristocrats would parade their horse-drawn carriages throughout the streets of Paris during the summer months. Though with the tremendous advances in vehicular transportation over the last four centuries, today’s events feature some more sophisticated automobiles.

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street fare food festival

September 12, 2014

Street Fare Food Festival in Mt. Airy

This week Philly PR Girl got a preview of what’s in store for you on September 18th when Mt. Airy unveils their 2014 Street Fare on Germantown Avenue. It will be an evening dedicated to showing off this neighborhood that doesn’t get nearly enough of the attention it deserves.

No night which starts with corned beef hash and a glass of Lancaster Milk Stout has the potential of ending badly. We kicked off the evening at quizzo hot spot, the Trolley Car Diner, with its adorable trolley car-turned-ice cream shop out front, homemade doughnuts and phenomenal beer selection with over 400 choices!

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perseverance

September 9, 2014

“Perseverance With Dignity” Wows First Friday Crowd

When you meet Christopher Brown, there’s no denying his easy manner and ingenuous air. Brown, a charming Englishman with an intriguing accent, is a “no frills no nonsense” kind of guy who can put it all on the table and speak his mind freely.

Christopher Brown, a documentary photographer, brings his straightforward perspective to life in his most recent project, Perseverance with Dignity, which debuted at National Realty Art Gallery on Friday in Old City, Philadelphia.

 

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made in america

September 9, 2014

Made In America Festival

Made In America, the two-day music festival, kicked off its third annual event in Philadelphia on Benjamin Franklin Parkway while a sister festival premiered on the East Coast in Los Angeles. With a bicoastal star-studded lineup, the Labor Day weekend event was expected to be the most anticipated event of the summer bringing in more than $10 million of revenue to the Philadelphia economy along with a record number of attendees. The final numbers aren’t out yet, but with numbers doubling from the event’s first to second years, (40,000 in 2012 to 80,000 in 2013) the City of Philadelphia hopes to have attracted 100,000 people into the city on an otherwise slow weekend.

 

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September 3, 2014

3 Things That Will Never Change About High School

shutterbooth high school

Everyone has their memories of high school -the good, the bad, and the ugly- and it seems like people’s opinions on that stage of life fall on either one end of the spectrum or the other. Either high school was the time of your life or the time of your life you wish you could forget. No matter what your feelings are around those four years, there are a few consistent themes in every high school:

 

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revel

September 3, 2014

Reveling in the Memories

Since opening weekend back in April of 2012, Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City has been a source of hedonistic pleasure for both New York and Philadelphia socialites looking for a getaway from their usual city scene. On Tuesday, September 2nd, the $2.4 billion resort has officially closed it doors at 6 a.m., leaving Revel fans in disbelief and the city curious about the future of this iconic landmark. In its final weekend, it was imperative to soak up the last hours of the Revel experience along with the last of the summer sun.

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swinging

August 25, 2014

Swingin’ At the Venetian Club

There were so many swingers at the Venetian Club in Chestnut Hill this weekend that I just couldn’t look away for a minute. While I don’t know if your mind is completely in the gutter on this beautiful Friday morning, I guess I should just clarify to be clear: Swingers- as in dancers. As in: swing dancers.

 

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laughter

August 25, 2014

Laughter: The Secret to a Happy Marriage

One of the wonderful things about what we do is having the chance to witness some of the most beautiful and memorable moments in a couple’s life. There are couples that we meet that we just know will be married for years and years to come, and we are so grateful to watch them take their vows and start their lives together. One of the things that we notice in the couples who seem to be the most happy and the most in love is their ability to have fun, to laugh, and to enjoy life together.

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lifes a peach

August 25, 2014

Life’s a Peach

From the sweet peach place settings, the peach trees strewn throughout the venue, the adorable wands wrapped with cascading ribbons and bells, and the “Mint to Be” favors, we couldn’t get enough of Nichole & Dale’s aesthetic for their big day! So many details went in to making everything just right, and the entire venue was transformed into a space which really represented the couple.

 

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classic affair

August 13, 2014

A Classic Affair

This weekend’s wedding was the epitome of the classic celebration. Andrea & Peter – the new Mr. & Mrs. Maxwell – officially started off their married life in style. With a posh venue (the only word to describe The Lake House Inn = GORGEOUS), a classic color palette of cheerful yellow cooled down with navy accents, exquisite linens, and signature accents, you can only imagine the look of awe on their guests’ faces as they entered the room for dinner, drinks, and dancing.

 

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abington art center

August 13, 2014

“Nana Recommends Manhattans”

Last month, we had the pleasure of working with an awesome couple- Kaitlin & Deniz – as we witnessed their vows at the Abington Art Center. This gorgeous venue had us totally swooning as we envisioned the endless possibilities for DIY details and darling decor. We must say: Kaitlin & Deniz wowed us with their adorable details which were both sweet and also a little bit sassy- kitschy mugs at each place setting, robot cakes pops, a naked lemon cake, carefree centerpieces, and the coolest cake topper we’ve ever seen of the groom dragging the bride by her delicate little ankle. This was not your typical vanilla wedding! She even had a sign made at the bar with a photo of her with her sweet Nana….The sign read: “Nana recommends Manhattans.” Apparently Nana isn’t as innocent as she looks- this little lady likes a good Manhattan every now and again, and she welcomed everyone in attendance to try their signature drink. The night, of course, with all of the whiskey cocktails flowing- was off to a great start, and the guests danced the night away under the gorgeous open-air pavilion. Nana included!

 

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blog benefits

August 7, 2014

5 Ways Having a Blog Benefits Your Business

At Media Components, we have witnessed, firsthand, the incredible effects of the internet on business, marketing, and communication over the last few decades. Incredibly, in the last 20 years, global communication has completely shifted, and, with the advances in online marketing, social media, blogging, e-commerce, information sharing, etc.– businesses are no longer able to ignore that an online presence dramatically effects their bottom-line.

 

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flash mob 2

August 6, 2014

Flash Mobs: Part 2

There was a very recent debate on our blog about flash mobs and whether they are still cool or a trend that has fizzled out. Inspired by a flash mob done at one of our recent ShutterBooth weddings, we decided to investigate a little further into the issue. After a quick Google search, I have arrived at my definitive answer…….and the verdict is:

 

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flash mobs cool

July 24, 2014

Flash Mobs: Still Cool or So 2013?

According to Wikipedia, the internet’s most fabulous source of all things informative and the tool most often used to settle bets on trivial matters, a flash mob (or flashmob)[1] is a “group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.”

 

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