Got socks?

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Hello friends!

If you couldn’t tell by the headline, I’d like to talk about socks.

Why? Because I’m hosting a sock drive for Socktober.


The goal of Socktober is to fill a box with socks throughout the month of October, and then donate it to a local shelter.

We (Swim Creative) chose Life House.

Life House has provided homeless and street youth ages 14–21 with unconditional support, transitional housing, and a safe alternative to the streets for nearly 25 years. Life House serves approximately 600 unduplicated youth and 75 of their young children each year.

In a nutshell, I want everyone to donate a pair of socks to the homeless in their community.

It’s easy, fun and everyone can participate.

Here’s how you can participate: bring your socks to me, stop by Swim Creative or start your own box. Then, share your story on social media by using #socktober.

Last day for donations is 10/31.

I’ll leave you with a few words from Kid President:

Thanks so much to all who participate!


What I learned at CMWorld

I’m back from Cleveland and ready to share some of the knowledge I gained from Content Marketing World! My favorite takeaways:

Content Marketing is the new marketing.
Content marketing is the marketing for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

It’s ALL about your audience.

Hug your haters.
Turn your haters into superfans. Thanks to Jay Baer, we can find the positive in those who share their opinions publicly.

Resource: Hug Your Haters

Strategy is the secret to success.
Always start with one and see it through to the end. Who’s your audience? What do they need? How can you help them?

Resource: The Content Strategy Toolkit

Find your tortoise enclosure.
Ideas don’t come easily. Whether it’s at your local coffee shop, a bench in the park or in your office – step away from the screen, meditate and brainstorm new ideas for the project at-hand.

Resource: Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind

Passion beats out your competition.
Stop focusing on your competitors and start showing more passion. If done right, your customers will notice.

Find your niche and own it.
Just because there’s more content available, doesn’t mean we can consume more. Find a unique spin on your brand/product and stand out in the content clutter.

Be authentic and tell your story.
We all make mistakes and customers appreciate transparency and good stories. Be open-minded and share it.

Find influencers and co-create content.
Extend your reach with another credible source.

Pick one thing and do it best.
Rather than overwhelm yourself and your audience, focus on one platform and one audience. Eventually, you’ll add more along the way if it fits with your strategy.

How to Kick the Habit of NOT Running

Whether you haven’t ran more than a mile in your life or decided to taken a two-month hiatus, it’s time to jump on the pavement and get back into training mode.

Here’s a handful of tips to start with:

1. Find someone who will hold you accountable (and that you can hold accountable, too). This can be your boyfriend, best friend or mom. It helps if they have the same goals as you, like a specific race or a certain distance.

2. Make a plan. For me, I have my training program on my Google Calendar at work, a calendar hanging by my bedside and the one on the fridge. It’s impossible to forget what’s on the plan for the day.

Bonus! If you’re running partner is on the same program, send them a text every once in awhile and see how things are coming along.

3. Set measurable goals. “I want to run a marathon” is a good start, but it’s more than the end goal – it’s also about the little things along the way. Whether it’s your first race or you are shooting for a PR, think about what you’d like to improve on physically and mentally. Is it 20 more push-ups or maybe it’s a 7:30 pace?

4. Take selfies. This sounds ridiculous, but it does help. Set yourself up on Instagram and bring your phone, snap a photo during or after and show off that sweaty mess. To the humble Minnesotans, this is not bragging — you earned it! 

5. Start a journal. Training-specific journals do exist, but a regular ol’ notebook does the trick. It’s amazing what five minutes at the end of the day can do for someone training for a 5K all the way to a full marathon. Logging food & liquid consumed, distance or cross-training workouts and anything else related will help pinpoint why you had an amazing (or terrible) run that day.

Good luck starting this new adventure! Please share any tips that brought you from zero to habit.


Homemade Pop-Tarts. ,

Voila! Time to dig in.

A weekend at home and a -14 degrees Sunday morning calls for some serious baking. So, I came across a recipe for homemade pop-tarts and just couldn’t resist.

The joy of baking... Using every measuring device possible.
The joy of baking… Using every measuring device possible.
Dough is cut + chocolate mousse is added.
Dough is cut + chocolate mousse is added.

The recipe says it yields 12, but I ended up making four plus a small bonus tart. (Didn’t want any dough + chocolate mousse to go to waste!)

Problem: I didn’t roll the dough thin enough. That’s fine with me, besides the slightly-doughy results, I’m not sure I could eat these for the rest of the week.

After 15 minutes in the oven.
After 15 minutes in the oven.

Didn’t bother making the chocolate icing, even though it would have made them 100 times better. The recipe asked to let it rest for an hour, and after almost an hour of prep work, we were hungry and couldn’t wait any longer. So, I just make up some powdered sugar icing and drizzled it on top to add some sweetness. It did the trick.


I was happy with my results and I’m sure this is a great recipe for mom’s who want to give their kids (maybe not the healthiest), but an alternative to the preservative-packed Pop-Tarts from the grocery store. Plus, they taste WAY better fresh from the oven.

Happy baking!


Miss Run-A-Lot


Ever since I went through the challenging [and painful] experience of a half marathon race without training, I’ve been eager to start running again. All it takes is a few steps. Eventually it’ll turn into a mile… two miles… marathons!

I’m not quite to the 26.2 mile marker yet, but I’m working my way there. It’s been added to the bucket list.


I have seven scary, but exciting races lined up for 2015 and I’m going to kick off my training with the #WorkitOut100 challenge that everyone’s raving about. Have you seen the photos filling up your newsfeed, yet? Well, I’m signing up for the challenge but I’m taking a slightly different approach. Let’s be honest, no one wants to see my sweaty selfie.

I’m going the “motivational” route in hopes that my fun little quotes and peaceful photos will get people off their bums doing something that gets the heart a pumpin’.

In order to keep up a routine and continue to stay positive and motivated to run – I need to plan out a schedule and STICK TO IT. As easy as it sounds, it’s the hardest thing to do. When you mix in a boyfriend, family, friends, work, sleep… where on earth do you find time for everything?

Sample Week:

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There are so many training plans out there that may have you run 3 days / week, some want you to run 6 days / week. I would suggest not paying more than $10 for a plan, but if you need the minute-by-minute structure like myself, putting some serious time and investment into a plan may be an excellent idea.

Remember, it’s not all about the running. A healthy diet (those late night ice cream runs will have to stop) and plenty of water balances well with your favorite strength & cardio workouts.

In case you’re looking for a race or two to sign up for, here’s a few I’m planning to do. Please comment below with any courses you’d recommend – might have to add those to the 2016 list!

1. Team Ortho Series

2. Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

3. Get In Gear

#WIO100 Day 1: Ran for 35 minutes, about 3 miles. Other than rolling my ankle, it was an extremely refreshing and lovely run through the woods. Ready for another run tomorrow with my runner-friend, Sam! #GetAfterIt

Happy running!

Fast Track Half Marathon Training

New Shoes

So, I suppose you guys are all wondering how my training for my second half marathon has been going, right? Well, to tell you the truth there hasn’t been training. At all.

Sure, I ran a few times after the Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon in June. Other than that, I’m failing at this whole “running” thing.

Who has time for running, anyhow? When you’re a busy girl like me, you have plans nearly every night of the week; happy hours with friends, shopping sprees and don’t forget those hot date nights, aka, watching our favorite shows with Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

I recently found an article on a two-week half marathon training and it got me thinking, my second half marathon is a mere 10 days away… I should probably start running.

So here’s the plan:


I’ve accepted this will be one of the most challenging things I will do in my life thus far. Luckily, my boyfriend will be going through the same experience.

I keep telling myself, “it can’t be THAT bad.” (Not as bad as the first race we ran together: the evening after the run, we enjoyed a little food poisoning.)

Besides a funny-looking walk and a couple of sore feet, I’m really ecstatic about this race. I hear the course is on the easier side and I’ll be surrounded by the fall colors and crisp air. What more could you ask for?

Wish me luck! I’ll be praying to the recovery gods every step in every mile during the Centurylink WhistleStop half marathon.

PS. If you have any pointers for the procrastinator runners like me, please share in the comments below!

Social Media: Baking Up a Good Strategy

S'mores Cupcake

Ever wonder why your posts are being liked and your followers aren’t commenting and sharing? Welp, you should take a closer look at your insights and do the following.

I’m the Socialista at Swim, but I’m also a damn good baker. People always ask how I make such great goodies—and my answer is simple.

I test out different recipes until I find the perfect one.

This same strategy aligns itself with social media tactics and best practices, too. The main objective of social media for any business is to gain brand evangelists and build engagement. So, how exactly do you figure out the type of content that grabs attention and keeps people coming back again and again? You try out different social recipes.

Here are the ingredients to build an effective social strategy:

  • Know your brand’s voice, message and goals.
  • Layout a timeline for at least six months.
  • Post two to three times/week—relevant, educational, informational, trending and cultural tidbits.
  • Follow up and maintain comments.
  • Check your insights—time of day, demographics, post engagement, etc.
  • Re-evaluate and refine every few months.

Once you have a strategy nailed down, raise exposure:

  • Spend a little dough on paid advertising. Pair routine posts with promoted posts.
  • Blend your presence with strong copy and vibrant photos.
  • Post when your followers are looking.
  • Measure engagement carefully. Who likes your content? What content gets the most love?
  • Encourage your fans to share the goodies with their friends. The more shares, the more shows.

At the end of the day, the number of likes, shares and comments boil down to how awesome your social strategy really is. If your social media is lacking striking copy, eye-catching graphics, or engagement with your audience—no one is going to seek it out or request it again.

Read more articles here.