Category Archives: This and that

How to gain followers and increase engagement on social media

Nearly 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are on social media. While checking in on others is fun and valuable, building your own brand can be helpful to individuals or businesses.

Below are 10 tips for gaining followers and increasing engagement:

1. Understand your audience: You will never reach — or appeal to — everyone. Don’t waste time trying. Focus on the group or groups that would be most interested in what you are offering (be that personally or professionally) and strengthen that following, rather than worrying solely about the ‘followers’ number ticking upward. Ten local, ‘real’ people (and, in turn, their connections) are far more valuable to your personal brand or business than 1,000 bots from Nigeria.

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How I earned $250-plus in two hours


This Marc Jacobs bag was originally $900. Is selling for $69 — more than 80 percent off retail.

I’m officially a Posher (not to be confused with “Posh,” as in “Spice” or “posh” the adjective).

I’m talking Poshmark, an online consignment boutique where you can unload all your unwanted clothing and accessories — and pick up some new goodies to freshen your closet — in minutes. I’m completely addicted, cleaning out my closet — and my sister’s — and earning some legitimate cash along the way.

10 reasons you should try Poshmark:

  • The return on your investment is simple. I’ve spent about two hours (probably fewer than that) over the last two weeks “poshing” my goodies — and my sister’s — and I’ve already made more than $250. It’s not easy to find a (legal) part time job where you’ll make that hourly rate.
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ARA: What do I do with the nude photos I found?

A reader asks (via Facebook):

While cleaning the basement I found a personal photo album hidden on top of one of the ducts. It was a professional album, bound nicely and shot by a photographer. They are of the previous owner and I want to return them but I am concerned that she will be embarrassed since they are nude and semi nude photos. I believe they were taken for her (now ex) husband as they are themed (firefighter/military) and he was both.

I have met her (and her ex) a few times since they are friendly still with those in the neighborhood which is how I know it is her. I don’t want to throw them out (could get in the wrong hands and they aren’t mine to toss) but I also feel strange about telling her I found them. What should I do?

A break-up letter to spring

Dear spring,

breakupsYou’re on notice. I’m closer than two (still browned out) blades of grass to being done with you. You don’t write, you don’t call and you’re cold.

Remember when you enveloped me in your warmth — emotionally and physically? That’s gone. I’m left alone, buried under a heap of covers, trying to sleep away the pain and disappointment. I’m waiting for a new day — hoping and wishing you’ll change and become what you once were.

And you’ve gotten so unpredictable. It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who goes through so many extremes. You’re down, you’re up, you’re down (and down and down and down). You’ve reached a near-record low.

I saw on social media you’re really going rogue and may start dropping snow later this week. My friends and family would describe me as open-minded and fairly understanding, but that right there was so not part of the agreement. Continue reading

I’m done …

I’m so over …

bruce jenner

  • Chevron: Up till about six months ago I loved it, now you can buy a chevron mixer, and parents named their kid Chevron. I’m moving onto gingham, or polka dots.
  • Infused … anything: Give me pure, give me original, but stop infusing everything from cookies to cocoa to cooking oil.
  • Brian Williams: I prefer Lester Holt, anyway. Although we’ll have to see how he raps with Jimmy Fallon.
  • Binge watching: Take your time, savor the show and remember when it’s over, it’s over. You can never experience “Parenthood” (the show, not the life) for the first time again.
  • Bruce Jenner: So he’s (likely) transgender. It’s 2015. Let the man be (a woman).
  • Leather ottoman coffee tables: It’s either a table or an ottoman. Trying to make one both is like texting on a date. Not a match made in … anywhere.
  • FitBit status updates: You most certainly exercise more than I do, and you may sleep better, but I’m not sure why that information needs to be shared with anyone but you (and maybe your doctor).
  • Money-grabbing GoFundMe campaigns: Helping others is good, but people asking for money to fund their trip to Costa Rica, or their iPhone 12s, dilute all the worthy causes and genuine “asks.”
  • Kim Kardashian’s husband: He’s an attention-hungry baby. Don’t talk (tweet/blog about) his antics and they’ll stop. Irrelevancy would hurt him more than Kim K leaving the house in sweats and no makeup.


10 reasons I hate Valentine’s Day

open heartOK, maybe ‘hate’ is too strong. I really only hate coleslaw, and hearing a woman (or girl) swear. “Dislike” is more fair. But no matter the word, the fact remains: Valentine’s Day doesn’t excite me — and it hasn’t since I was a child.

Here’s why:

10: Cheap chocolate: The big box grocery and drug stores look like cupid vomited poor-quality chocolate in the aisles — and on the displays by the door. No matter how fancy Mr. Whitman tries to make his heart boxes, they’re still filled with crappy candy made with sub-par ingredients. Amazon shoppers agree, rating the brand 2.5/5 stars, at best.

9: The color red: Blondes (at least this blonde) look like a broken capillary in red, unless we’re talking nail polish.  Continue reading

The ‘right’ way to do things

pillow-cases-13We all believe our way is right. My ‘rights’ go something like this:

  • The open sides of the pillowcase must face out.
  • Cookies should be crisp, not chewy.
  • Towels should be folded in thirds.
  • The toilet paper goes over, not under.
  • Calling someone between 5 and 7 p.m. is, in theory, interrupting dinner (and therefore rude).
  • A hand towel is not a sponge, or a rag.
  • Babies should be dressed like babies — meaning no tulle, sequins or other bedazzling.
  • Email responses should take no more than 24 hours. Continue reading