5 Creative Gifts that Won’t Break the Bank

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Holidays, and especially holiday gift giving, can be extremely taxing.

But this year why not take a step back and create something special?

Save the physically draining desperate crawl around the mall.

Pour a  glass of wine or a mug of cocoa and spend a bit more mental energy dreaming up something unique.

You might find it doesn’t take a lot more time, and it definitely won’t cost more.

Plus I always find I get more joy in giving (and getting) creative gifts.

Here are some ideas:

5 Creative Gift Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank

1. Write a Special Letter.
Think about what you love and admire about someone and put it down in writing.

Not to be too morbid, but think about what you would say about them if they were gone and write it now to share with them while they can really appreciate it.

Smarter Spending and the Joy of Less

I’m a marketer so of course I want people to buy things.

Like (Virgin) mobile phones and domestic and trans-Atlantic flights for example.

But as we approach another “Black Friday” holiday shopping season kickoff…

Part of me can’t help but think – do we really need all this stuff that’s being advertised?

You may recall a very unfortunate incident when a Wal-Mart employee was actually trampled to death at Wal-Mart during this day.

What could have been so crucial to buy that worked people into such a mob frenzy?

For the last year I’ve been taking a new approach to spending and loving it.

I call it the Joy of Less. I wrote about it last summer.

It started with the onset of the Recession. Like many people, with uncertainty looming, I felt a need to save more and to be more careful with my spending.

But what started as an act of deprivation soon turned in to a source of joy.

Are You a Hybrid Mom?

hybridfallbigWhat is a Hybrid Mom?

Hybrid Mom is a magazine I learned about at last week’s Women’s Conference.

How do you know if this magazine is for you?

Well according to their website, you are a Hybrid mom…

If you have ever:

– Owned a purse that functions as a diaper bag, laptop case, tote and/or contains both a cell phone and some stray Cheerios

– Prayed that your mute button is not broken while on a conference call

– Had a great idea for a business, but no clue what to do with it

– Worked from a local coffeehouse to have more peace and quiet then at the home office

– Had to make the choice between a big meeting and a little league game

– Thought “balance” is overrated, yet strived for some form of it each day

I think the concept is interesting. I personally answered “yes” to all of the above.

The summer issue is available for free in a digital version on the website.

5 Tips for Building a Better (Visual) Resume

This post, 5 Tips for Building a Better (Visual) Resume, is another in our series providing insight and action steps for those who are job seeking. Julie Cottineau gives her top tips and shares insights from her 25+ years at great companies such as Grey, Interbrand and Virgin. You can read more entries in this Career series HERE

Portfolios have long been a critical job search component of people in Creative positions.

But I think they are an effective tool for anyone looking to sell themselves.

Pictures do paint a thousand words.

And many people in today’s visually oriented society simply respond better to images.

My advice is to create a visual resume.

There are two ways to do this.

One is an online service. I haven’t actually used this but it looks interesting.

The other, which I use, is to create a portfolio that acts as an accompanying piece to your traditional resume.

It simply brings your traditional resume to life in images.

Here’s 5 Tips on how to create this kind of impactful visual resume:

#1 Start by bringing your personal brand to life:

The first page of my visual resume talks about my background. So it’s a montage of images of people, places, and events that are important to me and help define who I am as a brand.

It’s got pictures of the town I grew up in, an emblem from my University, logos of a few of the brands that I am passionate about, and even a snap shot of my family.

It even has a picture of a pet rock.

This last image is a great conversation starter and allows me to tell a story about how I first got inspired to go into marketing at a very young age (more on that in another post).

The montage is colorful, upbeat, fun- all personality traits I want to make sure come through.

#2 Put your work experience into pictures as well as words:

The next section of my visual resume brings to life my work experience.

For example, when I talk about the accounts I worked on in advertising, I show the logos and even some of the ads.

Carve out Time for Creativity

pumpkin
I admit Halloween has gotten too crazed and too commercial.

All the candy fueled hoopla and rush to find the perfect costume often gives me a “whopper” of a headache.

But if you can manage past all that, there’s also a positive side.

Halloween is a terrific time for kids (of all ages) to tap into our creativity and get inspired by all the magical, mystical things around us.

Case in point: The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton on Hudson, Westchester.

(Under an hour from Manhattan by train).