It’s never as good as the first time… unless it’s someone else’s first time.

You know the feeling of something new: your pulse races… your adrenaline picks up… you are nervous and excited all at the same time.

Well, that happened.

My colleague and good friend and I were on our way back from Miami after a fantastic conference. When I got to my seat on the plane, I noticed a woman clutching the arm rest and clearly nervous. I said, “Hi! How’s it going?”

“Not so well,” she responded. “It’s my first flight. Ever.”

And she was flying alone.

I’ve been on planes since I was a baby – flying alone since I was a kid – so planes are not a new thing by any means.

I don’t even remember my first flight, or even the first flight alone. So, to experience it through someone else was fun. And honestly, I thought, “If she was my mom, I’d want a stranger to take care of her.”

So, we did.

The thing I love about traveling is new experiences and new people – hearing their story, about their passions and cultures. People tend to open up more than in every day interactions. It’s a different kind of connection.

We realized, the night before, we ate at the exact same restaurant – only a few tables away from each other. We talked about our kids – she had been visiting her son and was headed back home. We gave her all the background on what to expect – takeoff, landing and turbulence… thankfully my friend trained to be a flight attendant before opting for PR.

 

The entire experience was unforgettable. The crew celebrated her first flight by sending out wine, and checked on her throughout the trip. Side note: I’ve flown with a lot of crews, on a lot of airlines, but this American Airlines flight crew was by far the best.

If you ever travel, I encourage you to connect with someone you don’t know. Be genuine and let them in. Life is too short to put on headphones and bury your nose in a book. And while I welcome quiet moments (after all, I’m all for dining alone), welcome new friends too.

At the end, she mentioned that she would remember the flight for the rest of her life.

The truth is – we will too.

Social Media 4 Nonprofits: The Recap

Holy cow! A social media conference in my own backyard: Dallas!

Here’s the deal: To Dallasites, we love our city. We rag on the weather, the sixty-thousand-dollar-millionaires and trophy wives, but deep down we think we’re awesome.

Because we are.

And here’s why:

  1. Dallas is the home to the first two seasons of Halt & Catch Fire – also the tech boom of the 80s.
  2. You may see Erykah Badu… naked… walking down the street. Because that’s normal.
  3. Two airports and lots of flights in case you need to get out of town quickly.
  4. You’ve heard everything is bigger in Texas? What is a 200 sq. ft. rental in San Francisco, is a 4,000 sq. ft. mortgage in Dallas.
  5. One (compound) word: Tex-Mex.

So when something about tech happens in my hometown, I must be involved.

Social Media 4 Nonprofits hosted a conference today. About Social Media. For Nonprofits.

Let it sink in for a moment.

Even better – an old friend and mentor, Anita Foster from the American Red Cross – Dallas was there to speak about turning over the keys to volunteers.

Despite the fact that I felt like I was recovering from tuberculosis and sneaked out a little early (after people starting reaching for hand sanitizer around me), it was a good day.

Apparently, this is what I look like when I speak.

me

But here’s the full recap:

 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat: A recap of the PR News Big 4 Conference

I had the privilege of speaking at the PR News Big 4 Conference this week in San Francisco.

First, San Francisco is not a bad city to have a social media conference. There’s plenty of amazing food and wine. Because wine. Plus, I was singing this song the entire flight here (and yes, it was the Benny Benassi remix version):

In the tech mecca, fresh ideas are abundant and it’s an excellent place to channel my inner geek.

I’ve included the full Storify recap, but here were the major takeaways, along with a few of my personal thoughts:

Let’s be real. SEO can be a pain, but it’s the way to get your messages seen by the masses. You Google. So do reporters. So do every day people. So fix your SEO.  

I’ve preached this one for years. Just don’t.

It’s your baby. Don’t kill your baby by suffocating it or abandoning it.

 Fail fast, but know enough to measure it so you’ll know if it worked or really failed. You should have the freedom to try new things. Social media is ever evolving. If it works, great! If not, that’s fine too. Just know how to tell the difference.

Your employees are your greatest asset. Teach them, then trust them.

Listen. Engage. Act. Acting is the most difficult part. It’s also the most rewarding.

And then of course, this selfie happened.

https://storify.com/KrisleighH/facebook-twitter-instagram-and-snapchat-a-recap-of

The second best meal I’ve ever eaten

I love food – all kinds. I’ll try just about anything at least once. And I’ve been lucky to eat some amazing food from various corners of the world.

Some time, I’ll tell you about the best meal my husband and I ever had. It was in Italy. And it changed our lives. (If you want to cheat, it’s Locanda Cipriani).

The bar was set almost a decade ago. And it was set so high, that no where came close until this summer.

My husband and I typically vacation in Aruba.

We leave the kids with the grandparents. They need a break as much as we do. Plus, they come back fully-sugared and completely played out. We’ll take them to Aruba when they are older. But for now – their vacation itch is easier to satisfy.

Any way, we tried 2 Fools and a Bull this year. And it’s official – it’s the second best meal we’ve ever had. Although part of me wonders if my memory of Locanda Cipriani has grown over the years. But I’m a sucker for risotto, so probably not.

Since I don’t want to plagiarize myself, you can find my original Trip Advisor review here or below.

You know that place that you compare all other restaurants to? Every time you have a good meal, you think, “It’s good, but it’s not XXXX.”

This is that place, and the bar is set high.

We had the privilege of dining here last week. (Granted, we got reservations about four months in advance). Our foodie lives are forever changed.

Some of the courses were things we would never think would be good together – like the avocado and cornish hen appetizer – but together, it made for a delicious and refreshing course to start the meal.

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And the veal ravioli with truffle sauce… when you make your reservations, ask for that. Trust me.

Each course is plated in front of you, and the kitchen is open for browsing, photos or watching in awe as Fred turns out beautiful and equally delicious courses.

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But that’s just the food…

When we arrived, the fools welcomed us into what felt like their home (actually the location used to be a home). Paul kept us laughing through the entire night, and kept the wine flowing like any good host. We felt like good friends over for a dinner party with a comedian as your host.

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They even nailed the details – from the decor on the walls to the chalkboard nameplates.

We loved every minute. We’ll definitely be back.

—–

I want to hear from you. Tell me about the best meal you’ve ever had.

The day my Fitbit died

I’ve had my Fitbit for about a year now. At first, I refused to challenge friends. After all, getting active should not be about competition. It should be about staying healthy and active, and living the new American dream… That lasted a few minutes.

Then, the challenges began.

First, it was innocent. Let’s compare steps!

Then, it became all out smack-talking – which included a little bit of not updating the tracker until everyone else went to sleep. Then, time zones became another issue (I tend to go to bed early, so my steps are done early too).

But when I was in Chicago, my Fitbit band broke… the week before SXSW. For those of you not familiar: SXSW is a interactive, film and music festival in Austin, Texas every spring. Around 30,000 people come from across the world to partake in the sessions, networking, concerts and parties. Since there are typically not that many people in Austin – I think ever – you walk. And I mean tens-of-thousands of steps each day.

So, the week before SXSW, I sent a frantic tweet to Fitbit to ask about getting a replacement band. They kindly replied and replaced it. But it arrived after I had made the trek down south for the weekend.

All those steps, lost.

I learned a valuable lesson that week: If your Fitbit isn’t working, the steps never happened.

 

I mention this because now it’s really broke. #nohope

5 things I like less than sleep

Teething.

It’s happening in our household. And last night, M was up. All. Night.

In honor of the fact that I can barely put a sentence together, I’d like to offer you five things I like less than sleep (the today version. Because it will be different after a good night’s sleep or two.)

P.S. I’ve been hitting caffeine for hours by now.

1. My cellphone

During the day, I may be glued to it. But today, I’d trade it in for sleep – without a doubt.


via giphy

2. Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? After all it’s good for your heart. Usually, I’m like this:


via giphy

But today, I’m like this:


via giphy

3. A Good Chick-Flick

Chick flicks get a bad rap. They are heart-warming. They are funny. They would never happen in real life. And even now, I like them less than sleep.


via giphy

4. Wine

One glass of wine would put me into a coma right now. Although, maybe that’s not a bad thing.


via giphy

5. Sex

Because this:

via Youtube

Why I should never be charged with saving the world

My husband and I went to go see Terminator Genisys last weekend. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet (or don’t want to), here’s the non-spoiler recap: John Connor sends his right-hand man, Kyle Reese back in time to save his mom, Sarah Connor. Oh, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is back… in the “I’ll be back” kind of way…. but older.

The end.

Now you can impress your husband by understanding the plot line without seeing the movie. Or maybe you can convince someone you saw the movie – without giving away the details for non-movie-watching conversation participants, of course.

I digress.

During the climax, Kyle and Sarah are running around Skynet trying to save the world, and I have a sudden and strong realization: I should never be charged with saving the world.

The reason may surprise you.

  1. I could probably handle a gun, knife or some kind of clever weapon from the future. After all, I tend to be pretty tech-savvy (I’m usually the one setting up our surround sound at home, or fixing computers when they break).
  2. I took self-defense in college, which totally counts toward badass status.
  3. I can pull off a black tank top and black cargo pants. The color definitely makes me look a little more like “sun-kissed” tanned than “ghost-white.” And let’s be honest – in Texas summers, we live in tank tops. So the natural, “girls saves the world” uniform, is covered.
  4. I can totally get down to “Save the World” by Swedish House Mafia. And I can imagine myself doing so while dancing under the strobe lights. I realize it’s less relevant, but it totally counts.
  5. I’d love to think I can handle a major crisis while calm and efficient – both very important in this sort of thing.

The thing is – I am directionally challenged.

It’s true. If I can’t Waze it, don’t count on me coming.

I travel some for work. When I do, I always make sure I have enough of a phone charge to make sure I can get wherever I’m going and back. I also take a photo of my car in a parking garage and the sign that says exactly where my car is.

When I’m trying to get somewhere within a building, I wonder aimlessly until someone takes pity on me and gives me directions. I get anxiety about it – my pulse picks up and I grit my teeth.

But, I realize you may not believe me, so there’s this:

Hubs even has a name for me: Wrong way birdie. I pretend he’s being endearing, but it’s true.

The day after the movie, hubs, the kids and I venture out to get the kids’ haircuts. Ironically, one of our favorite sushi restaurants is opening a new location in the very same complex.

I think it’s a sign. We should eat more sushi.

So in my excitement and with a few minutes to burn, we decided to drive by for a sneak peek. I turned onto the street in front of the restaurant and ogled the construction as we went by.

Then my husband said it: “Um… you’re going down a one way street – the wrong way.”

Damn.

I pull up to the stop sign to turn (the right way), but there’s a cop… and he’s spotted me.

Five minutes later after some razzing from both the cop and my husband, I’m allowed to leave – this time, without a ticket.

So that’s it.

If the zombie apocalypse is going to happen, don’t call me. Because I won’t make it, and I won’t save the world.

For your listening pleasure:

#sorrynotsorry

Mom-Shaming: The New #Selfie

A few weeks ago, I read an article about a mom who was shamed on Facebook for breastfeeding her child in a restaurant. Of course, she discovered the photo and delivered a pointed rebuttal to the original poster. Well played.

Apparently, mom-shaming is becoming a “thing,” like #selfie, non-post-workout yoga-wearing and “The Rachel” haircut.

I’m not even sure how that happened.

Here’s the thing: We all have moments – we’re tired, we’re bored, we’re not on our A-game. Our kids have moments too.

Mom-shaming hasn’t happened to me, but I bet I can identify with the typical mom. I have done extensive unscientific research with my mom group. We’re all in the same boat.

We’re doing the best that we can.

We don’t get owner’s manuals with our babies when they are born. I know what it feels like to be in a store or a restaurant with a child who is in the middle of an epic meltdown.

We’ve all guessed from time-to-time – playing it by ear and hoping no one notices. But people do. And people are beginning to act like the mean girls who bullied before cyber-bullying was a thing. It’s a gross invasion of privacy, and is detrimental proof of immaturity.

It makes me sad and angry.

We all have different ways of raising our kids. Believe it or not, we all make mistakes. We also have beautiful moments.

So on that last line, I’d like to change the conversation. Forget #momshaming. Share #momlove. I’ll start.

Since this mom and her kiddos are identifiable, I’ve asked permission to post this publicly. It also happens that she is a good friend… after all, our youngest kids have been betrothed. I joke… kind of.

mom

 

Now it’s your turn. Catch a beautiful mom moment and share the #momlove.

The one that comes first

Eeeks! My first blog post. This is one of those moments that I may regret when Timehop comes around every year… but for now, I’m so stinkin’ excited to meet you!

Here’s the deal:

Let’s get this out of the way now. I’m one of those moms who popped out two beautiful kids and kept working any way. They call me a “Stay-at-work mom.” It’s perfect for our family – just like other families where mom or dad decide to stay home. Don’t give me the side-eye.

I should be featured on Pinterest fails. Luckily, they haven’t found my mishaps… yet. If you don’t tell, I’ll share them with you.

I have the wonderful privilege of working in tech for a nonprofit and meeting people every single day who inspire me. I cry regularly at work because of it. Our brand team uses it as a litmus test for good content.

I also get to travel for work and/or leisure. I’ll take both. When I was breastfeeding, I pumped in dozens of airport bathrooms and on planes. Mom problems. Anyway, I’ve always had a case of wanderlust.

And with that comes a craving for culture, food and wine. I’ve even hit up a couple Plum packets with a glass of wine for dinner in the past. Like I said, no side-eye. You know you’ve done it too.

My good sense of fashion usually comes from my husband who worked in high-end retail for a number of years and is my personal stylist. I’ll take a Gucci bag and pair of Jimmy Choos any day! Of course, good finds can be found at Target too.

I have a group of mom friends who are just as crazy as I am, and one of the only reasons I’m not in therapy. My husband – or as he prefers to be called, Super Dad – is the other reason.

Many of my conversations start out with, “So I have a funny story.” This one is the same.

So, here we are. Let’s be friends. I’ll toast you wherever you are.

Cheers!

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