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18 Jul

SoFortWorthIt is HIRING!!! Are you my Unicorn?

ARE YOU MY RAINBOW UNICORN?

Have you ever seen that unicorn emoji? The one so fabulous it’s farting a ribbon of rainbow? Well, I am totally obsessed with it. In fact, it’s become the inspiration behind the job search I’m conducting for a Technical Director to help me bring my So Fort Worth It lifestyle brand to life every day, across a variety of online platforms. Think you’re my rainbow unicorn? Read on to find out if you or someone you know has what it takes!

The position of Technical Director for the So Fort Worth It lifestyle brand will start off part-time (appx. 20 hours a week), with the potential for it to ramp up to full-time by early fall. This position is hourly, based on experience and salary history, and the right candidate will earn a competitive salary equal or exceeding the going rate in major markets, and the pay will increase as the brand’s success grows. This is NOT an entry-level position.

YOU MUST BE:

A WordPress and SEO Wizard. This is non-negotiable. Bonus points for proficiency with YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Google, PowerPoint, Keynote, MS Word, Pinterest and Twitter…to name a few.

A Multitasker. There’s always a lot going on at SFWI. Some weeks, you might have time to catch up on organizing; other weeks, you may barely have enough time to pee.

Chillaxed and ultra-organized. It can get chaotic up in here, and there’s no room for another stress ball! Only one of us can have ADD and that’s me!

Realistic. There are definite moments of ultimate fabulosity, but most days, it’s just a lot of hard work.

Punctual, responsible and honest. Enough said.

This position has three components (listed in order of importance):

TECHNICAL/BACK-END WORK

  • Help create a buzzy master editorial calendar and break it down to weekly goals;
  • Optimize post reach using metrics and analytics;
  • Load content, tag, link and generally SEO the bejeezus out of everything to maximize eyeballs;
  • Schedule blog and social media posts;
  • Handle giveaways and prizes on all platforms;
  • Monitor blog and social media comments and metrics;
  • Keep track of all responsibilities and deadlines;
  • Conduct online research required for posts and collaborations;
  • Update plugins;

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

  • Reply to emails, DMs;
  • Create collages for posts;
  • Keep photos and files organized with Google Drive/Dropbox, etc.;
  • Managing mailing lists;
  • Facebook community management;
  • Build contact and CRM databases;
  • Plus more;

BRAND COMMUNICATION & PARTNER DEVELOPMENT

  • Work one-on-one with brand partners to ensure a productive relationship;
  • Help to scout and develop new partner relationships that relate to SFWI’s interests and SFWI social media audience and their interests;

Still with me? Good! If this sounds like your skill set and your vibe, send your resume and three references to [email protected]

I will contact everyone the last week of July to set up interviews on Thursday and Friday of August 1-2. 

Good luck, my rainbow unicorn!

14 Jul

Why I’m so Dang Thankful to Win Best Blogger and Local Influencer in Fort Worth

Christy Dunaway Smith Fort Worth Magazine Winner for Best Blogger/Local Influencer

The Years, the Tears and the Triumph

Last month, Fort Worth Magazine named me the city’s Best Blogger/Influencer. It was a Reader’s Choice award, meaning the votes came from people who actually knew So Fort Worth It and loved it — and took the time to let the magazine know it was their favorite. I have been so honored, so grateful and just totally blown away that I have been unable to write about it. Weird, right? Well, I figured now is a good time to share some of the raw stuff.

Even though my professional life revolves around writing, every time I sat down to write about winning this amazing award, a wave of emotions would overcome me. The memories of everything I’ve endured since I started blogging back in 2012 would rise up like a tsunami and flood my brain with negative and paralyzing emotions.

But I also know that storms make you stronger, and after every storm, the sun shines again. I feel like this award is my sunshine. God’s timing is perfect and so spot-on; I just had to hang on for the ride and have faith. So if it’s OK with you, I’m gonna share my stormy So Fort Worth It story with you. I hope you find something that inspires you or motivates you through the mountains and valleys I have endured. 

Christy Dunaway Smith Fort Worth Magazine Best Of Blogger and Local Influencer
Christy Dunaway Smith Fort Worth Magazine Best Blogger/Local Influencer
Christy Dunaway Smith Fort Worth Magazine Best Local Blogger/Influencer

It All Started with a Christmas Card

For years, I sent out a newsletter with our Christmas card – my maternal grandmother started the tradition, and naturally, my mom and I followed suit. In 2010, I announced in our holiday card that I was going to start a blog. Blogs were just getting big, and I had so much to say and share, I figured it was the perfect outlet to express my creativity.

As it happens, Hal Brown, the owner of Fort Worth Magazine, and his wife Camille were on our Christmas card list (along with half of Fort Worth). Hal must have made a mental note of my blog (or maybe he just secretly loves reading about holiday lights?) because in 2012, he asked me to start my blog under the Fort Worth Magazine umbrella.

Smith Family Christmas Letter 2010

Overjoyed, but Overwhelmed

Having the endorsement of Fort Worth magazine gave me an instant audience, helping me build an organic following much faster than I ever could have on my own. But it turned out to be a very mixed blessing. You see, I wasn’t just blogging, I was also juggling chairing and co-chairing three super major charity events at the same time.

Fundraising for non-profits has always been near and dear to me, but between blogging and volunteering, I had little breathing room left for what mattered most in my life: being a wife and a mother. Add in the everyday stuff like grocery shopping, doctor appointments, family obligations, room mom duties, birthdays, holidays, pets and, well, you get the idea. It was chaos. 

2013 was the Year that Broke My Back

Literally! A mere 48 hours before we were opening our home to 500 people for the Wish with Wings Kitchen Tour, I fell down our staircase and fractured Lumbar 1-3 and broke two ribs. I remember laying on the floor unable to move, thinking to myself, what it would be like living in a wheelchair or if and where we could install an elevator. I prayed for the strength to go about life with positivity and joy despite possible permanent disabilities. 

And even though I was taken to the ER by ambulance, I was able to get out of bed, get on my feet and make it through the event thanks to the magic of Big Pharma…and maybe a glass or two of champagne to boot. Luckily, I was able to heal from my injuries, for the most part. During my recovery, I had a lot of time to think about my life and what was truly important. I knew I needed to slow down and this was God’s way of tapping me on my shoulder. 

A Wish With Wings 2013 Smith

I was Burned Out, then Burned Big

In 2015, I decided to take on the World Wide Web on my own and I parted ways with Fort Worth magazine. (It’s all good, though – we just celebrated a joint birthday for Hal and my husband.)  By then, though, I’ll admit, I was burned out. I didn’t have the energy or the enthusiasm anymore. You could say I didn’t give a Fort. It just wasn’t (so fort) worth it to me anymore.

Obviously – and thankfully – my friends slapped some sense into me and told me I’d be crazy to quit. I agreed – kind of. Remember that part when I said God’s plan was perfect? Well, it didn’t seem so perfect at that moment. Long story short, I hired a good friend’s company to build a brand new website with all the bells and whistles, but after nine months, the entire deal ended up stinking like a big fresh turd. When I finally walked away from the steaming pile, I had lost a $10,000 investment and, even worse, a friend. The layers of violation I felt from her almost cut me in half. Now that’s some next level s** right there.

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Putting on My Big Girl Panties

Not only that, at the exact same time the website fiasco unfolded, I was diagnosed with several health issues. I felt defeated and broken and I couldn’t stop crying. I was a mess. But my amazing husband scraped me up off the floor, helped me get focused, and stood by my side as I started all over again. I put on my big girl panties and hired the ace team I have today, former IT director for The Veritas Project and Branding By Nicole. I relaunched SoFortWorthIt for the second time in the Fall of 2017, and the rest is history.

Haters Gonna Hate

Has it been all rainbows and unicorns? Of course … not. To be honest, some of my lows made rock bottom seem like higher ground. The worst stuff involved mean people commenting on my posts. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that a few of my 25 thousand followers would turn out to be Satan-spawned Internet trolls. At one point, there was an entire Gang of Girls on Facebook working overtime to post hurtful words about me. I mean, who has that kind of time on their hands anyways. Can I get a hard eye-roll please? 

But at the end of the day, I realized that’s all they were – hurtful words. They weren’t real, and they didn’t change who I was. They didn’t affect who my friends were or change how much I loved my family and how much my family loved me. Hater’s gonna hate. I prayed for all of them (and still do) to learn how to find the good in people and have kindness in their hearts. I keep trying to learn, grow and be stronger through the storms in life.

An Attitude of Gratitude

It’s a work in progress, y’all, but I am still here, and SoFortWorthIt is not just surviving, it’s thriving. And not one single bit of this success could have happened without YOU! Thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in me, for following me through good times and bad, and for voting for me to win Fort Worth Magazine’s top blogger/influencer! It really, really meant everything to me on this crazy blogging journey of mine, and one day when I start earning mad cheddar, I am going to pay for the rights so I can have Journey’s hit song “Don’t Stop Believing” start playing right at the moment you start reading this paragraph. 

Until then, stay tuned for my next two blog posts about a job search I’m listing to find the perfect rainbow unicorn assistant and my sensational Tata Harper Skincare experience at Neiman Marcus with a giveaway you won’t want to miss. I can’t wait to write it and share it all with you. xoxo

 

24 May

My CBS News Segment Sharing Memorial Day Entertaining Tips

Aaaand … that’s a wrap!

Just a little television jargon for you there because, well, I was just on TV!

If you missed it LIVE Wednesday on CBS 11, watch this video to see me and my son Reed talking about Memorial Day party food, table settings and the new family tradition we started to support our troops.

Christy-CBS11_memorial-day-124
Christy-CBS11_memorial-day-117

Party with a Purpose

When CBS reached out to me to appear on TV with my tips on Memorial Day entertaining, of course I said yes immediately — even though I was crazy, pit-forming-in-my-stomach nervous. I started prepping for the interview by thinking back on the years of Memorial Day parties thrown by both sides of my family.

I had a million ideas swirling around in my head! But then it hit me: The most important element of any celebration should be the reason there’s a holiday in the first place: our military.

The purpose of Memorial Day is to remember those who have given their lives in service to our country. I don’t remember that as being an important part of our parties in the past, or maybe it was just because I was a kid. But Jason and I decided our family was going to change that starting now, and we’d do it in a way that our boys would understand the meaning of Memorial Day, too.

Memorial Day Care Boxes

Our family has officially kicked off our Memorial Day festivities by assembling care packages for the men and women in uniform, and we are shipping these boxes out early next week. We bought as many items as we could fit into the box from several suggested lists while Googling around. And then we are including a hand-made card with a non-denominational prayer (to honor our country’s unity while respecting its diversity).

If you’d like to do something similar, here are a few useful resources to get you started.

www.usps.com

www.supportourtroops.org

www.herocarepackages.com

www.operationshoebox.com

www.herocarepackages.com

Making Memorial Day Memorable

Now for the party part of Memorial Day! For me, Memorial Day entertaining has always involved water, whether that’s a party on the dock at our lake house or a barbecue by the pool. Which means our celebrations are always outside and uber cas.

RULE NUMBER ONE: FFF

Before you do, make or buy anything, ask yourself, is it FFF? That is, Family, Friendly and Festive? Nothing about Memorial Day should be too fancy or too fussy. Cute? Absolutely. But if it requires a dishwasher, you are just adding extra layers to your day. I appreciate disposable party goods, but at the very least, plastic is probably on par, so if you drop a glass on the pool deck, you just pick it up and refill it!

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Christy-CBS11_memorial-day-62

TOP FOOD TWO-FER: A DELICIOUS DUO

Charcuterie Board: This is a GREAT dish to provide or bring to a gathering. It not only appeals to both men and women but kiddos too. Central Market‘s catering department whipped up this fabulous red, white, and blue spread that I showed on TV, on a FABULOUS antique bread board from Simple Things.

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Christy-CBS11_memorial-day-69

BTW, if you are in the market for the perfect board that you can pass down for generations, Simple Things is your one-stop shop! I actually borrowed this board for the TV segment, but I fell in love with it so hard, I ended up purchasing it.

Patriotic Parfait: Not only is this another great FFF option, but kids can help build this dessert as an activity. All you need are blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and a few tubs of whip cream. And VOILA, your mega parfait will be the talk of the party.

SETTING THE TABLE: NEVER BREAK THE BANK

You’d be surprised to know how little money I spend on décor and party stuff for my Memorial Day get-togethers. Like, almost nothing. Really! For me, Memorial Day is the most relaxed holiday from a theme perspective because it’s casual (see above for Rule Number One).

But also, it’s all about red, white and blue. That’s right: It’s also the same three colors used for Independence Day in July and Labor Day in September. Heck, you can even pull out these tricolors for a little Bastille Day soiree, because who doesn’t want to celebrate a holiday that involves Champagne!

Because I rely on a color theme for this holiday (and others), I build and keep a collection of red, white and blue party supplies, similar to the way I do for Christmas decor. You’ll always find me on July 5th stocking up on all the marked-down plates, napkins and other goodies, and you should, too. I especially love places like Kay’s Hallmark, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Party City and Dollar Tree. And when they have sales, I feel like they’re almost paying me to take things! (Note I said ‘almost.’) Here are some ways we have decorated at the lake over the years for all three patriotic summer holidays

In-studio Memorial Day flagpoles courtesy of Jim Irwin

Photography by Elusive Images

WANT MORE TIPS?

Entertaining is my jam, and I’ve written about it FOR-EVAH!!! Check out some of my past vintage nuggets of golden wisdom HERE, HERE and HERE.

And some of my current creative celebrations HERE, HERE and HERE. If you use any of my tips, please send me a note and include pics! Have an incredible and safe holiday weekend!