Saturday, March 31, 2012

Springtime is Here

Today is a day of spring cleaning at the Rogers house! We are cleaning closets and windows, polishing our wood floors, cleaning fans and baseboards and doing a once-over on the entire house.

I saw this picture on facebook a few weeks ago and it's very fitting for today! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Project Octopus - Mob gone viral

During our National Sales Meeting this year we wanted to do something fun and unique to get the audience pumped up and excited. So to kick off our meeting we partnered with Gary Musick Productions located here in Nashville to help us coordinate a flash mob. Yes, I said FLASH MOB!! I have always wanted to be in one since they've become so popular these past few years and now was my chance.  Our theme was Waves of Change so we wanted the music to incorporate that message too.  Gary Musick came up with our music mix and the choreographed dance. We have over 300 attendees and needed enough participants to make an impact so this is how we made it happen.

  1. Stress that this had to kept a secret.
  2. Come up with a code name - our was Operation Octopus!
  3. Determine some of our favorite people with just the right personality that would be willing to dance in front of their peers and our executives.  We have several business units so it was important to get at least one person from each unit.
  4. We have sales people all over the US so we had to video our dance instructor as she taught the moves. My cheerleading 8 counts from high school really came in handy.
  5. Blind copy EVERYONE on the emails so they didn't know who was in on the secret.  We didn't want them talking amongst themselves.
  6. Create a seating chart for all dancers, strategically placing them for all the ripples within the dance.
  7. Determine someone to kick this mob off and to get the right music cue.
  8. The majority of our dancers were local so we held 3 rehearsals. While we were counting on our remote staff to be practicing at home.
  9. We held one final on-site rehearsal the day of the event. We practiced for about an hour and a half, this was the only time our entire group was together to practice.
  10. And then it was SHOWTIME!
Enjoy the show!

To view the Flash Mob click here
*There is a lot of pre-event footage so if you want to skip through that go to 3:00 and the mob will begin around there.

This was a huge success! People are still talking about it and our video has gone viral. Thank you everyone for all your hard work.

Photo 23: What I Did

Today I painted my fingernails purple, er....Dutch Ya Just Love OPI?. It isn't a very Springy color but I went with it anyway. I still have purple on my toes but give me a few weeks and I'll change it up before heading to South Beach!


I am now a Certified Meeting Professional!

I am fortunate to work for a company and have a boss that supports my involvement with the professional organization MPI, Meeting Professionals International. I have been a member of this organization for 4 years and have served on the Tennessee board for 2. In July I will start my 3rd year of service on the board. I will be changing positions from Director of Professional Development to Director of Monthly Meetings.

Within MPI, I became familiar with CMP, Certified Meeting Professional. I decided about 3 years ago that I would sit for this exam at some point in the future. It's been a goal of mine each year and FINALLY last year in August I submitted my application, was accepted, submitted my exam registration and started studying. The exam was in Atlanta in January of this year. It was a yucky exam, just like those of the college days using scan trons. I hated the thought of studying for this test. There were 3 huge books to study and an entire list of definitions to memorize and I am NOT a great test taker. I had anxiety about this for weeks, more so after taking the exam and waiting for the stinkin' results.

This test is similar to the CPA or Bar exam. So it's very well respected within my industry. After taking the exam I knew I would be waiting 6-8 weeks for the results. Well the six weeks came and went and for two weeks I made the anxious trip to the mailbox.  FINALLY, on February 27th the letter came. I had ran inside to start dinner and Mark came in from the mailbox waving the letter. I was a nervous wreck. I calmly laid it on the counter and continued prepping dinner. Mark wanted to open it and I would NOT let him. I thought, I took the test and I will be the first person to see my results. So I finally got up the courage to open it and PASS was written across the top. WOOHOO!!! I started screaming and crying. I jumped on Mark almost knocking him to the floor. But man what a relief that was. I felt confident I had passed but I still somewhat doubted myself. I don't know how many times I prayed about this and how many times I reviewed those test questions over in my head. Whew, now it's over and I just have to keep up with the continuing education.

Katie Rogers, CMP (Doesn't that looks nice?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Look What We've Done

The pictures below are from a few company events I've either coordinated or assisted.

Left: Centerpieces at sales incentive awards banquet
Top Right: Stage set for National Sales meeting
Middle Right: Stage set for sales incentive awards banquet
Bottom Right: Jungle decor totally transformed this boring hotel ballroom

Top Left: Vespa giveaway and green men (play off The Blue Man Group)
Middle Left: Marketing team gingerbread house making outing
Bottom Left: Titans Cheerleader appearance for company college football kickoff party
Top Middle: Stage set for National Sales Meeting
Center Middle: Room set for customer dinner and song writing session
Bottom Middle: Exotic race car experience for customer meeting at the Las Vegas Super Speedway
Top Right: Alligator promotion in trade show booth
Middle Right: Globetrotters promotion in trade show booth
Bottom Right: Movie Premier and Impersonators in trade show booth

I have to say we've done some pretty creative and fun things!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can I have your job?

This is a question I get asked A LOT! I'm sure the traveling and fun things I get to do often seems extravagant. Most of the time it is but it's not always roses.

So several, probably most, of you know that I'm a planner. That goes for my professional AND personal life (sorry Mark).

This goes waaaaaay back to elementary and high school days. At least I come by it honest, right? I plan my wardrobe for the week, our meal plans, vacations, our budget, parties, date nights, showers, and our weekends (which Mark loves to hate sometimes). I'll have to say he has gotten me to lax a bit and just go with the flow, which is so very hard for me sometimes. I like to put together the details and come up with the ideas to make things work. This is very handy for my career as a Meeting Professional.

The responsibilities of my job include planning and executing our National Sales Meeting, incentive trips, holiday parties, customer meetings, national tradeshows, charitable events, department parties, investor relations events, etc. The tasks associated with planning these events are: contracting/selecting exhibit space, staffing, ordering booth furnishings/electrical, pre- and post-show marketing campaigns, organizing offsite client meeting/outings/dinners, securing hotel rooms, executive speaker travel, meeting room assignments, food and beverage selection, arranging transportation, coordinating agendas, printed materials (agendas, name badges, welcome letters), excursion selection/coordination/appointments, theme/decor selection, award procurement, prize/gift selection.

This one may sound the most elaborate; site visits; this means me traveling to a destination, checking out the surrounding areas, seeing the popular destinations, testing excursions/things to do, touring restaurants and hotels, envisioning that unique experience, etc.

There are some not so glamorous things too like maintaining our budgets, which require more accounting than I thought I would ever do, administrative tasks, long meetings, long hours on your feet and really just some stupid people I have to deal with.

So to answer your question.....sorry folks, my job is NOT available. I love what I do and most of the time it is lots of fun! Who knew when I was in nursing school (BLAH!!!!) 10 years ago I'd be doing this!?!!?  I guess that had to be God and boy am I sure glad he put me exactly where I needed to be, doing exactly what I should be. He's brilliant, ya know!

So now that I've explained a little about what I do, my next few posts will be a follow-up to this one.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cutting the Cake

This past weekend we went to the wedding of a coworker of ours. It was a beautiful wedding and I wish the happy couple the very best!!

While at the wedding I started thinking about the history of cutting the cake. So, for those of you interested, check it out.....

Matt and Susanna Spell

Of course this made me think of Mark and I cutting our cake.
Mmmm, wish I had a piece RIGHT NOW!

The tradition may have its roots as far back as the Roman Empire. The groom would eat part of a loaf of barley bread baked especially for the nuptials and break the rest over his bride's head. REALLY!?!?  Glad we don't do that anymore.  History tells us that breaking the bread symbolized the breaking of the bride's virginal state and the subsequent dominance of the groom over her. As wedding cakes evolved into the larger, more modern version, it became physically impractical to properly break the cake over the bride's head. The tradition disappeared fairly quickly in some places, but there were still reports of breaking an oatcake or other breakable cakes over the bride's head in Scotland, in the 19th century. It's reported that in Northern Scotland, friends of the bride would put a napkin over her head and then proceed to pour a basket of bread over her. It's hard to say why some traditions endure and some do not, but the obvious male chauvinistic bent of this particular tradition probably leads to its early demise.

Wedding cakes take center stage in the traditional cake cutting ceremony, symbolically the first task that bride and groom perform jointly as husband and wife. This is one tradition that most of us have witnessed many times. The first piece of cake is cut by the bride with the "help" of the groom. This task originally was delegated exclusively to the bride. She cut the cake for sharing with her guests. Distributing pieces of cake to one's guests is a tradition that also dates back to the Roman Empire and continues today. Following the tradition of breaking the bread over the bride's head, guests would scramble for crumbs that fell to the ground. Presumably, the consumption of such pieces ensured fertility. However, as numbers of wedding party guests grew, so did the size of the wedding cake, making the distribution process impossible for the bride to undertake on her own. Cake cutting became more difficult with early multi tier cakes, because the icing had to be hard enough to support the cake's own weight. This, of necessity, made cutting the cake a joint project. After the cake cutting ceremony, the couple proceeds to feed one other from the first slice. This provides another lovely piece of symbolism, the mutual commitment of bride and groom to provide for one another.
All I can is that I'm sure glad we don't break bread over our heads and that we get to enjoy the yummy wedding cakes today!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo 22: Treees

I'm loving this Spring weather, blooms and fresh air!

I want to plant some of these trees in my yard like NOW!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Date Box

While we're still talking about Valentine's Day, I wanted to share the gift I gave Mark. We decided NOT to do gifts but I couldn't resist. I found this idea on Pinterest and had to execute. So we exchanged cards and then I gave this gift......

Mark was so defensive, thinking he was a slacker for staying true to our agreement of no gifts, not spending unnecessary dollars and being satisfied with our homemade meal and movie night. I told him I only spent 99 cents on the box so this was a very cheap gift and was pretty much a gift to us both.

So let me back up and recap a Christmas gift I put in Mark's stocking. It too was a Pinterest idea. I got a deck of cards and on each card wrote a reason I loved him. Again, that cost pennies.

So when I said my Valentine's Day gift cost next to nothing he asked "is this another one of your thrifty Pinterest ideas?"  He was on to me. :)  I had come up with almost 50 date ideas and included them all in this box. I love to be on the go and sometimes Mark isn't too fond of my ideas and just wants a lazy day at home. The dates range from breakfast at the Pfunky Griddle to a weekend getaway. Some include our favorites places and things to do while others will be us trying something new. Whenever we want, we can draw from this box. I was so excited for Mark to read all of the suggestions in the box but instead he decided to only look a couple and let the rest be a surprise. How can he do that, I would be busting at the seams??  I'll probably forget most of them too, so it will be a surprise for me too! 

We actually just drew our first one this past weekend and it was "City Saver Lunch Date - pick anywhere for lunch as long as we have a City Saver Coupon"  See, I added our savings in there too! :)  We went to Razz's and had a horrible experience but it was still fun since it was our first date drawn and we spent that time together. I'll continue to blog about our date experiences.

LifePoint's Romance and Roses 2012

Our church hosts this banquet, er, party, Romance and Roses, for married or engaged couples every year around Valentine's Day. It's a night full of comedy, good food, friends and great quality time with your spouse. We went with our small group this year and had a blast. Mom and dad were supposed to go with us but couldn't make it. Mom, you'll HAVE to come next year!

My, we are cheeeesing.

Krispy Kreme Challenge

I think most of you know my love for doughnuts, not just any doughnut but a Krispy Kreme doughnut (NOT Dunkin DoNots).  And you may also remember this. Well I read about The Krispy Kreme Challenge from my "friend" Kate (I just stalk her blog really).

I think this is going to be a must do for 2013!  Who's in!?!?

Copycat Alfredo Sauce

Mark loves him some Olive Garden.  (Funny how never had it before I came into his life, poor baby had a very sheltered childhood.) Anyway, he mentions every once in a while "man, I wish you could make OG's Alfredo sauce. We'd never have to go there again!"  So I googled some recipes a while back and took a stab at it last night.  

Jackpot! I'm purty durn sure we're closer than we've ever been.

I would probably add an 8oz cream cheese and nix the butter next time.

You should try it too! It would have been better with the salad....I'll try that next.

Wine and Easel

We had a date night a few months ago at Wine and Easel and I'll just say, this painting was much better than some of the others I've done. It was fun that the guys joined us but I thought what in the world am I going to do with 2 of the same paintings?? I haven't even done anything with my previous paintings.

I have to say my palm fronds are amazing!

The finished masterpieces!

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Recipe

Pinterest did it again! Tonight we tried a new recipe, Lasagna Soup, which sounds strange to me but it was DE-lish!  I had pinned it on Pinterest and found out a friend of mine actually tried it. I'm GREAT at saving/printing/pinning new recipes but NOT so great about actually trying them. I do try new recipes but I definitely have more new recipes that I haven't tried than tried.

I'm thankful that Mark is pretty good about being a guinea pig for my new recipes. I often have to keep some of the ingredients a secret but as long as he likes the final product, we're good!

So score - Lasagna Soup! Try it! I have a feeling it's going to be great leftover for lunch too.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Game Time

We have come to love a good game night. The newest game for us is Sequence. It's a game of strategy, teams and concentration. It is a fun game but definitely makes you think. You have been aware and watching every move. We have many great nights playing with our neighbors.

Some more of our favorites are Catch Phrase, Apples to Apples and even Uno.

Speaking of games............HUNGER GAMES!!  Ohhh, I loved the books and CANNOT wait for the movie on IMAX next Friday! Woot!

Saving the Moola

This year Mark and I are on a very strict household budget. I'm not saying there isn't any play money and we're going to have a boring year, we're just really watching more of what we spend and planning for the future. We sat down during the week we were off between Christmas and New Years to make our budget. As we did that I took it upon myself to see every way we could save. I surprised myself when I felt like I hit the jackpot with these savings (even though they may be minimal).
  • We lowered our cell phone bill by decreasing our monthly minutes. (Savings of $35)
  • We received a promotional card for discounted garbage pickup from a competitor. So I called our supplier and they ended up matching the deal from the other guys. (Savings of $24)
  • We called Comcast (several times) and ended up getting a GREAT deal from them. (Savings of $90)
We've done great so far and can't wait to see our progress come the end of the year!

I've also become quite the "point nazi."  I love me some hotel points (such as Marriott, Hilton or Starwood), frequent flyer miles/points, credit card points/cash back, Qdoba and PetSmart, and even frequent customer punch cards at Blue Coast Burrito or Sweet CeCe's. I've even come to love the points at Home Depot for gas discounts. 

This only helps with our budgeting!  Thank goodness Mark is on board!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Photo 21: In My Bag

Well, I think I've officially become a roller.

I have had a few short trips lately in which I was able to carry on my luggage. So I tried the roller technique and I might be hooked. Silly, but it seems to work........for now anyway.  You should try it.

Or you could try the toss and shove technique, which Mark recommends. Toss everything in and shove it so the lid will close, no organization, definitely no rolling. That's the reason we can't share bags when we travel. ugh.