Happy New Year!

Can’t believe all that has happened in 2013 – got married to the most amazing husband, bought our first home together, and started growing our family!

One of my favorite moments of 2013:  Star & Michael || Same Day Edit from MPW Media Group on Vimeo.

Can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!  In 2014, I hope to find a happy balance between work and parenthood.

Here are some articles I found inspiring for the new year:

Setting Attainable New Year’s Resolutions by abetterlifetherapy.com  – from a great client of mine!

Planning for success in 2014 by Rhonda Abrams – found this article in The Costco Connection, who knew they had pretty good articles!

Five Smart Financial Goals for 2014 by Jacob Gold – have a pretty good start on the list, need to work on #3 and #5.

What I’m doing for #GivingTuesday…

I’m buying our Holiday Cards from Tree House Books for #GivingTuesday!  Proceeds go to support relief efforts in the Philippines and to Tree House!

The benefits of giving to Tree House Books:

  1. You are supporting literacy.
  2. You are supporting a used bookstore that gives away thousands of books each year: 37,500 since 2008!
  3. You are supporting a place where college students volunteered over 2,000 hours in 2013.
  4. You are supporting the sustainability of an already culturally rich neighborhood.
  5. You are supporting our families, who have high hopes for their children.

D is for Doodle: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

The problem:  How to get a bunch of people with crazy schedules to schedule a meeting.

The solution:  Doodle.com

If you’ve ever tried to schedule a meeting with even just more than one person, you know how difficult this can be.  Between email chains, back and forth text and phone calls, it’s hard to keep track of who said when they’d be available or not available.  I highly recommend Doodle for your meeting planning needs.

Doodle.com is a really simple, easy to use solution for scheduling a meeting with multiple people.  No registration is required and it’s free.  Just go to the website, enter in a bunch of possible dates and times for your meeting, and that’s it!  Doodle will provide you with a link that you can send all of your guests.  Your guests will go to the link and check off all the dates and times that work for them.  You will get an email notice every time someone fills in their availability.  You can check on the link at anytime and Doodle will show you the dates/times that work best for the most people.

Check me out in The Temple News

Photo courtesy of City Paper. This photo is an artistic rendering of the Temple housing market.

It’s no question that the rapid development of the area surrounding Temple University in recent years has been met with a lot of controversy.  It’s a case of gentrification meets growing college town.  This year, Temple University unveiled it’s latest housing development, a 1,275 bed dorm building that has changed the North Philadelphia skyline.  There has been a lot of talk about how the construction of Morgan Hall and other private developments have been affecting the local community.  “Is the Temple student-housing construction boom about to go bust?”, asks City Paper.  The Temple News looks into the question through two recent articles I was interviewed for:  Developers build for students and Morgan slows off campus housing.

My thoughts:  Yes, clearly the construction of recent major developments such as Morgan Hall and the new The View at Montgomery (opening Fall 2014) have an impact on the local, student housing market.  It has been speculated that about 5,500 students live on campus and an additional 7,000 to 10,000 students live off campus. The addition of Morgan Hall and The View at Montgomery alone adds over 2,000 beds to the on and off campus housing market.  

Working as the marketing manager for a private developer with a large portfolio in the Temple housing market, this clearly makes my job a little harder in some ways.  On one hand, the growing housing development will hopefully translate to the growing popularity of the area as a vibrant place to live and work.  On the other hand, more competitors mean more work to fill our beds.  As of right now, I’m still absorbing what all this development means.  With a new leasing season coming up and with another large development about to open it’s doors, we will see what this season brings.  I will tell you one thing though, I have definitely stepped up my marketing game and have a few new things up my sleeves…

Tree House Books in City Paper! Can volunteer effort help keep school libraries open?

Tree House Books is in the news again!  The article featured in City Paper – Can volunteer effort help keep school libraries open? by Samantha Melamend talks about a volunteer effort that is being headed by Tree House Books’ After School Coordinator, Lauren Macaluso Popp.  She along with a team of volunteers from Temple University are organizing and putting together a school library for Duckrey Elementary School which is only around the corner from Tree House Books.  This year, Duckrey’s school population grew from 280 to 590 students when the closure of a neighboring school forced a merger.  And Duckrey hasn’t had a school library in over 8 years.

I have been involved with Tree House Books for over 5 years now.  This is the type of work that I hope Tree House Books can continue to do with the support from our community.  If you would like more information on how you can help Tree House Books, please feel free to contact me.  You can also make a donation online here.

BOOK SMART: Temple student MaryKate Higgins (left) and Tree House Books after-school coordinator Lauren Macaluso Popp organized volunteers to get the library at the Tanner Duckrey School into working order. Photo courtesy of City Paper.