Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Today is the 4th anniversary of my house closing! The past four years have been the most difficult and best years of my life so far. I’ve faced a leaking roof (multiple times), moldy drywall, a septic tank reroute and moles that ruin the yard.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of things to renovate but I also have a huge yard, beautiful gardens and now a wonderful husband and baby on the way. It took a few years but this house is finally a home.

Septic Tank Reroute

Septic Tank Reroute

New Windows!

New Windows!

Home Depot Truck

Home Depot Truck

We’re having a girl!

We’re having a girl!
Pink Dinosaur Onesie

A gift from Aunt Kate – a pink dinosaur onesie!

As some of you already know, Dave and I are expecting a little one in June and recently learned that we’re having a girl! We are both excited beyond belief with this news!

Because I’m no longer a spring chicken, my doctor recommended having a Level 2 Ultrasound at week 20. We did and the High Risk OB doctor found a few indications for slow growth. Our baby has a 2-vessel umbilical cord at the edge of the placenta that is straight instead of coiled. She also has a cysts on her brain but those typically disappear by week 24-28. Both the Quad Screen and Harmony tests came back negative so it doesn’t appear that she has any chromosomal abnormalities.

Like every new mom, I’ve been googling a lot which typically leads to many horror stories about similar conditions but our doctor will keep a watch on her growth with monthly ultrasound growth scans. If she doesn’t grow enough between weeks 28-32, we may deliver a few weeks early so that they can provide her better nutrition than what she can get in the womb.

I tend to worry a lot normally so I’m asking that you keep our family in your prayers these next few months for strength, calmness and the birth of a healthy baby girl.

 

New Pinterest Ranking of State DMOs

New Pinterest Ranking of State DMOs

My Pinterest tool is still not working but I’m hoping that since they’re opening up the API, I should be in full swing again soon. Until then, I manually pulled the data for State DMOs.

Looking for the top 5?

The most followed State DMOs on Pinterest (as of Nov 21, 2013):

  1. Texas Tourism: 480,238 followers
  2. Pure Michigan: 10,572 followers
  3. Colorado Tourism: 9,028 followers
  4. Explore Georgia: 6,090 followers
  5. VISIT FLORIDA: 5,208 followers

Find the full post and ranking on the Sparkloft blog.

Pinterest Header

Pinterest’s Place Pins

Pinterest’s Place Pins

I haven’t been this excited about a social media upgrade in a long time!

Pinterest introduced Place Pins today!

And the cool part is that they connected their map to Foursquare. So not only does it geotag correctly (remember the old days of Flickr geotagging?!), it also will pull in the address and telephone number of the place, based on its Foursquare listing. One more reason for CVBs to keep Foursquare on their list!

I went through and added pins from my lighthouse board to the map. I love how Pinterest kept the map very artistic. It’s very Pinteresty of them.

The process of adding a pin to the map is very simple. Foursquare’s search makes everything easy and fairly quick.

When you click through on a mapped place, it displays the address and phone number from the Foursquare listing, if available.

You also have the option to “Learn more” and click through to see the listing on Foursquare.

What I don’t like is how much real estate the map takes up on the screen. I think boards that use a more detailed map, such as a city or neighborhood, would be better than displaying the entire US, as in my board example.

The board now also only shows a width of two pins and I don’t know how that will affect the aesthetic look that we’re used to seeing on Pinterest. Personally I missed having more images on the screen.

Overall, this is a great benefit for all CVBs and DMOs on Pinterest. It may entice you to work on your Foursquare strategy a little more but it’s definitely worth the effort. My recommendation is to play around with only 1-2 boards at first and see how your followers react to them.

Share your Place Pins in the comments below!

Happy pinning!

CVBs on Pinterest, June 2013 update

CVBs on Pinterest, June 2013 update

Let’s take a look at where CVBs stand on Pinterest! Some accounts have reached a few milestones worth noting in this update. *data collected May 30, 2013.

Los Angeles has over 30,000 followers now. VisitSavannah Georgia has nearly 25,000 and Pure Michigan will probably be the next DMO to reach 10,000 followers. Other top accounts include Visit Austin Texas, Colorado Tourism and Beverly Hills when it comes to total followers.

The top 5 accounts who received the most followers since the last update are Los Angeles (3,304 new followers), Visit Austin Texas (1,389 new followers), Boston USA (1,024 new followers), VisitSavannah Georgia (892 new followers) and Visit Philly (832 new followers).

The most active accounts over this period include Lake Lanier CVB (1,942 pins), Visit Utah (846 pins) and VisitSavannah Georgia (732 pins). Of the 441 accounts analyzed, 128 CVBs had no activity (0 pins) since April.

Here’s a complete ranking of CVBs on Pinterest:

The Future Mrs. Swoboda

The Future Mrs. Swoboda

Sushi, a ring and a dinosaur. Perfection.

March 6, 2013. Itto Sushi – the location of our first date. Dave reserved the exact same table and arranged every detail of the big moment. Our dinner came out of the kitchen with a dinosaur on the platter with a small velvet bag and a ring box hanging from T-rex’s mouth.

He read me the most beautiful letter, got down on his knee and proposed. I said yes, of course.

I cannot wait to be Mrs. Dave Swoboda.

I'm a lucky girl!