Monday, March 22, 2010


Okay. Don't literally go away. Just go to my new site. This is the old blog. Hosted by Blogger. A fine service but I've switched to Wordpress.

It's a new look and feel but same old theme: me.

Check it out at

Follow me, friend me, whatever you want. Just stay in touch, okay?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tech Tuesday: Eat Your Own Dogfood

Back in the day, I used to play Buzzword Bingo with my marketing colleagues. Every time someone mentioned a "straw man" or "nailing jello to the wall," we would silently giggle at our bingo cards. It didn't matter if we actually won. It was simply confirmation that buzzwords are definitely overused. Believe it or not, a lot of the same marketing buzzwords from 10 years ago are still around today. And we can add to that list. You'll hear things like "getting plugged in," "Web 2.0," "social networking," Yes, they are legitimate terms but we start to hear them so much that we tune them out and they lose their meaning.

As I was sitting down to write my initial Tech Tuesday post, I was reminded of one of the many buzzwords used by my former employer. "We have to eat our own dog food." Normally, that phrase would have resulted in some eye rolling and the standard "haven't we heard this before" routine. Recently, I embarked on business venture created to help small to medium businesses establish and improve their web presence. What better test case than myself?

It's a new company. It's an unknown company. With no previous clients. I'd like to let the world know about it. So I will be eating my own dog food. I will be establishing and continuously improving my own web presence. When I talk about helping people with web solutions, you will know that I have at least one success under our belt -- my own. You might even smell dog food on my breath.

Stay tuned...

For those of you that don't know, I have spent the last 10 years in the technology and marketing sector. I've stepped out of the corporate world and I'm finally learning to have fun with all of this stuff. Maybe I can even make some money doing it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The blogger's life for me

I don't really consider myself a blogger. Sure, I have a blog. Sure, I post to it. But I'm not sure if I really get the whole blogging thing.

Here's my deal. I like to think about things. And then overthink them. Then reflect on them. Then provide commentary on them. Sometimes I skip the thinking part and just go right to the commentary. Those usually aren't my best moments. Regardless of all of that, what I enjoy the most about this process is writing about it. I can't believe after 16 years of schooling (I went to college. I didn't fail 4 times if that's what you were thinking) that I actually enjoy writing. I even like reading what I have written.

So as some of you know, I started this blog as a bit of a creative release. And maybe even a little portfolio building (it's nice to be able to refer to your own blog when someone asks you for writing samples). But I'm getting ready to cross the line and enter the REAL blogging world. And I have to tell you, I'm a little unsure of what to expect.

At the suggestion of my darling friend, Sue of Motherhood and Me, who I seem to promote every week, I signed up to attend Bloggy Boot Camp in Baltimore on Saturday, 3/6. It's a blogging and social media workshop for women. I'm kind of excited to learn more. But at the same time, I'm not sure what to do with that knowledge.

It seems like most women going are full-on, go-get-em bloggers who have a purpose. Raising twins! Crafts! Cooking! Mommies! I just like to write. And I'm not even consistent with that. I anticipate some of the things I probably don't do "right":
  • I don't post frequently and certainly not consistently
  • I don't have a theme throughout my blog
  • I still use my blogspot URL (at least I have a forward set up on!)
  • I don't have a customized template
  • I don't have advertisement
  • I don't highly promote my blog (usually just a quick Twitter and Facebook share)
Just so I wouldn't have to hang my head in shame in comparison to all the other bloggers, I thought I would write a new post. This is it. I also slightly customized my blog template (got rid of some annoying text tags) and I added bling! This is more or less a badge telling everyone I am going to Bloggy Boot Camp. And I signed up for Google Adsense so that you can click on things that interested you and I will make .0003 cents or something like that. I'm a little impressed with myself.

I don't really know what to expect on Saturday. Right now, I envision a lot of enthusiastic women, a lot of pink, and a lot of hugging. None of those are really me. What I hope is that I will come back pleasantly surprised, a lot more knowledgeable, and maybe even with a few more friends.

So at the suggestion of Evolving Mommy (oops, I called you Mama in the video), I put together an intro video about myself for my fellow bloggers and for my loyal followers (all 3 of you?) to learn some fun facts about Fadra.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So I got this award...

One of my good friends and fellow bloggers, Sue from Motherhood and Me, has awarded me an award. I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's an opportunity to share 10 honest things about yourself and then bestow the honor on other bloggers.

It's not that I mind sharing 10 things about myself. I'm kind of an open book so I have to rack my brains to come up with something interesting that I can share that not many people know. But my dear friend Sue gave me accolades when she gave me this award:

Fadra from all.things.fadra, because she aggravates me, puts me in my place and is always up for a debate. Everyone needs a friend like that.

Ummm, thank you??? I guess knowing that's how I make a good friend feel makes it easy to start this list.

1. I'm a pretty insecure person. I was a late bloomer in life. Didn't go to my senior prom. Didn't have a boyfriend until college. Never made long lasting friends until years after college (not counting one close friend). So I still feel insecure around people. Especially if they are strong personalities (ahem, Sue). Even at my age, I still wonder if people really like me or think I'm pretty or if they are just saying those things so they won't hurt my feelings. Luckily, my husband understands most of my insecurities and helps me stay sane.

2. I absolutely love pop culture. I couldn't tell you one thing I learned in Organic Chemistry but I can tell you the long line of romances that Brad Pitt has had. I can tell you which celebrities have had plastic surgery. I can tell you what Kirk Cameron is doing now. I watch The Soup. I read People, The Enquirer, Us Weekly - whichever has the most sensational headlines. You could call it a guilty pleasure but I honestly don't feel guilty one bit.

3. I wanted to be Meryl Streep in Out of Africa. This was one of the first serious movies I saw without my parents. I still remember that it was 2 hours and 45 minutes long (back when movies were strictly 2 hours). The only seat left was in the front row and the springs on the seat were broken so I had to prop my seat bottom on top of my foot. But I loved every minute of that movie. As Baroness Karen Blixen, she made Kenya seem like the most romantic place on Earth. And don't even get me started on the soundtrack.

4. I love Rosie Radio on Sirius XM. Not much of a confession but I'm as conservative and Republican as they come. You may or may not know that Rosie O'Donnell doesn't exactly share the same views. I started listening to her radio show by accident and I absolutely love her. She is funny, honest, and normal. She is someone I could shop at Target with and have over for dinner. She is so unassuming. But more importantly, she has a terrific heart. She's been on a great journey and really has a great perspective on her life as a celebrity and on life in general.

5. I'm sensitive and I'd like to stay that way. That's a line from one of Jewel's early songs but it always resonated with me. I'm sensitive in a good way. I can have thick skin when I need to but I have empathy beyond belief. I can cry over other people's pain. It's a blessing and a curse sometimes to take on the weight of the world but I'll take feeling any day over not feeling.

6. I have never been to a funeral. All of my grandparents have passed away. Growing up, we lost neighborhood children. I lost my best friend from high school. My neighbor's wife passed away. But for some reason, I have never attended any of their funerals. When I was younger, my parents kept me away. As I got older, there were circumstances that kept me from attending - either time and distance or my relationships. Now I dread the thought of one. Everyone - stay healthy.

7. I have a huge heart. I think some people just don't see that. And I can't understand why most people aren't the same way. Part of that is the whole empathy thing. But really, it's not that difficult to simply BE NICE. Say please and thank you. Hold the door open for the person behind you. It's not just manners. It's kindness. And the world would be a much better place if more people cared about others more than they cared about themselves.

8. I love the changing of the leaves in the fall. Yes, it's pretty. Yes, it's colorful. But I love it. I plan special trips to the mountains to see it. Some days, the colors bring tears to my eyes. Other days, I think they are so beautiful that I want to capture that moment in time. And then you blink and they are gone. And some people never even noticed them at all.

9. I'm a night owl. I hate to get up in the morning even though I love the sense of accomplishment it gives me. I don't really get my groove until mid-morning and then I crash again right after lunch. I usually get tired around 9pm but if I push past that, I've reached my prime. I usually do my best work at night when it's dark outside and the distractions are few. That seems to be when the creative juices flow. I just wish I could sleep late. Not an option with a 3 year old.

10. I believe in fate. When I say fate, I don't mean that our lives are out of our hands and whatever will be will be. But I do believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. It's not my Pollyanna outlook on life. It's that I believe we are here to learn. And everyone has something different to learn. I go to psychics and meditate and pray. And I am learning too. In fact, just yesterday, as I was completely my list of 10 things, I accidentally deleted the whole thing. An hour of work down the drain. But I knew it was for a reason. And today my list of 10 is completely different. It must be fate.

I'm not a big blogging follower because I mainly write for me. But I'd love to bestow this award on some new blogs I'm following. Maybe they will be inclined to share. It's a fun exercise.

This Mama Works It! is about moms finding themselves as women again. It is about moms being secure in themselves and who they have become, who they are going to be, and the decisions that got them there.

Housewife Bliss is a daily release from the clutches of reality. Coryanne posts her 'bitchy post-it notes', offer tips on homemaking, and more frequently than originally anticipated, offer insights into the insanity and quirky nature of her secret thoughts on life, love and everything that makes her who she is.

Mommy Can't Sing started her blog to record all of the smart and funny things her 3-year-old son and (when she can talk) 1-year-old daughter say.

Pretty Swell follows Suzanne who seem to finally be getting the hang of motherhood.

Monday, February 8, 2010

How Fadra got her groove back

My name is Fadra. It's been 91 days since my last post.

Whoa! Can you actually consider yourself a blogger if you don't write? I promise if you could tap into my brain you would find blog posts and tweets galore. So why haven't I written in 3 months? To put it as my 3 year old would: "Idonknow" (translation: I don't know).

I guess most people don't write because they don't know what to write about. That's never my problem. I get inspired probably 3 times a day. Or they have writer's block. They know what they want to write but can't seem to get the words to say what they want to say. Not usually my problem. Most people that know me will say I'm never at a loss for words (written or otherwise).

Or the biggest excuse: I just don't have the time. Here is the reality. Nobody ever feels like they have time. You have to MAKE time. It's been 3 months. And here is where my time went.


I hosted a dinner for 15 people and had a grand time. I had planned to blog about how "crafty" I was. Seriously, I did get creative and had a lot of fun. I made my own napkin rings, and centerpiece, and even hand wrote place cards for each person that told them why I was thankful to have them in my life. And I had a little humor to throw in there about the crafty ladies at Michael's that sneered at me for asking about artificial fall leaves the week before Thanksgiving. I guess the crafty types plan their crafts months in advance.


Then as Christmas approached, I was torn between the excitement of the holidays and the sadness at watching my Lhasa Apso, Holden, continue to decline. We canceled our holiday travel plans because we knew he couldn't travel. On December 21st, we had to make the decision that every pet owner dreads and we said goodbye to the best dog a girl could ever want. I wanted to blog about that but thought it just might be too depressing for anyone to read. I ended up sharing a lengthy photo album about Holden on Facebook and really received some warm support and comments. Now I'm inclined to simply share my favorite picture of him. It truly captures the spirit of Holden - running happily on the beach with all four paws off the ground. I miss you, sweet Holden!


The joy and stress of the holidays. 'Nuff said.


I'm still unemployed and trying to get my business, Media Orbis, off the ground. It has been a lot of trials and tribulations but we are moving in the right direction. Definitely something worth blogging about. Just didn't seem to make the time.


I enjoy the company of some fabulous moms. We all became first time moms right around the same time. About 3 years ago. So this time of year gets busy with all of our friends having birthday parties. It's exhausting but so much fun to see these little babies blossom into little people running around playing and talking with each other. And it's fun to see those scared and clueless mommies blossom into experience, take-no-crap kind of moms.


And I got my groove back. I love to travel. I love vacations. But with being pregnant and having a baby, and caring for 2 ailing dogs, it's been literally years since I took a vacation. Yes, I have taken car trips to visit family. And if you have too, you know that is NOT a vacation. My family and I took a last minute trip to Disney World. I could be cynical about all things Disney and the commercialism. But the reality is Disney envelops you in a happy place. And without even trying, all of the tension left my body and I came back feeling good. Actually feeling great.

So I'm back and I'm blogging. Hope you stay with me.