A Corporate Meeting With a Taste of The World Cup

As you may remember from this post in the beginning of the year, I have the opportunity to be the Hannah Montana of Corporate America and crafting, because I work on corporate matters during the day, and I get to bring in my crafting life to corporate at night.

My old SAP colleagues love to reach out with out of the box and exciting requests for me (and for them) and this one even brought me a new experience in a new medium!

The last team I worked for at SAP was the Global Content Team – a group of seriously smart and out of the box thinkers who find new and innovative ways to tell the SAP story in written, video, infographic, or any other form they can come up with. Because most teams at SAP are comprised of employees from all over the world, they tend to meet in person at least once a year to evaluate their performance and decide on their strategy for the months to come. This year’s offsite meeting took place in Budapest, Hungary, during the World Cup. Because of that, my colleagues reached out to me asking to create some fun props and maybe a concept for a team-building exercise that incorporated the sporting event in some way. That was really all they asked for, which gave me carte blanche to run with the idea, but was also an extremely broad canvas that I wasn’t sure where I would take.

My thought process was the following: they would have a Welcome Dinner on the first night, followed by a day of team-builders, ending in a Closing Dinner. So I could make three sets of props, or something of the sort, one for each of the days. They also mentioned they were going to get the team members soccer jerseys of their corresponding nationalities, which made the idea light bulb go off for me to round out the concepts:

  • Day 1, Welcome Dinner: to start things off, I pictured a sort of Venn diagram situation, where on one circle I had World Cup related props, on the other one I had props that represented the roles of the team members, and in the middle I put the country flags of all the team members, which was also the common ground that connected the World Cup props with the team member roles. Here’s what I mean:

Welcome Evening

  • Day 2, The Team Building Exercise: with having such a global team, the number one issue is probably having everyone on the same page, when they’re not even remotely on the same time-zone. This was the light bulb that went on when I found out they were using shirts: even though the team is spread all over the world, they are still one team, and they have the same goals… “One Team, One Goal.” SCORE! So I designed a banner, using a soccer ball as the O for “goal”, with spaces for their pictures (laminated, like the ones that are used in the Panini albums), and the exercise would be for each team member to get up and grab someone else’s picture and describe how their strength matched a soccer team position.

Team Builder

  • Day 3, Farewell Dinner: for the last day, after a jam-packed agenda and I’m sure lots of serious talks, I figured this was the perfect time to encourage letting loose and having fun with some off-brand corporate sayings (and a few World Cup ones as well to keep the cohesiveness of the theme throughout). I was inspired from a few different sets of props online, and came up with this bunch:

Farewell Evening

I heard feedback that the team loved the props and really had their fun with it all, and that the One Team, One Goal exercise with the banner and position-matching was a breakthrough moment for the team, and it definitely accomplished the goal it set out to do, which made me incredibly happy! There was also an HR business partner on site, and they reached out to inquire about other ideas for possible work in the future – and so the double-life continues 😉

Here are the pictures of the final product come to life – isn’t it cool how similar it all looks in person versus the digital proofs? Also, check out the thickness of the props when they’re stacked? Hand-cutting those brought back a lot of memories

What do you guys think of the props and concept? I had a lot of fun doing this, and even though I never thought I’d do the sturdy props again, my hands were a lot less hurt this time around!

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It’s All About A Mouse

I’m coming back from a week where I lived in two of my worlds: immersed myself in the corporate, tech setting as I attended the SAPPHIRE NOW conference put together by SAP every year, which brings roughly 22,000 people to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. And at the end of that three-day conference, I headed to meet my new colleagues at Nytro, who were also gathering in Orlando to discuss strategy and goals for the upcoming months. I’m just here, re-defining two for ones, one week at a time.

One of the activities that inspired me the most was one where the team got these Disney quote cards (fitting, since we were in Orlando) at random, and we were asked to interpret them in a way that made sense to Nytro or our roles. The card that I got was:

It all started with a Mouse

I know this is extremely specific to Disney, but when you think about it, it can really be applied to anything. Thinking of the Disney enterprise – the characters, the parks, the movies, etc. it’s hard to understand and remember that it all came from an idea in one guy’s head. Walt Disney, like many of us, had an idea, the talent to translate it to paper so that others could visualize it, and the drive to see it through. And that’s the same basic formula for most successful people/companies today: Bill Gates/IBM, Jeff Bezos/Amazon,  Steve Jobs/Apple, Elon Musk/Tesla, etc. They had an idea, and they got to work on it. Everything that informs how society works today came from needs that led to thoughts for solutions, that in turn became ideas – which are a reality today. They all faced obstacles and failures along the journey, but they kept going and now they are industry leaders who have shaped our lives and will continue to do so for the future.

Check out this profile on Walt Disney – his childhood, how persistence paid off for him and the unusual path that led him to create one of the biggest empires to date. It wasn’t easy and he failed many, many times, but he made it happen, and it was all started by an idea. We all have ideas, every day. It’s up to us to fight for them and keep fighting until we succeed. The next big thing could come from your head, because – why not?

Some food for thought for you all from my Nytro team! Get your ideas going 😉

Fixer Upper: Finishing Touches on the House Before Selling

Move over, HGTV! WCB is here to save the day!

As I wrote a few months back, my family and I listed our house and have slowly but surely moved our stuff and ourselves into our new apartment. The downsizing has been REAL and thankfully we’ve had all this time to sort through and get rid of/donate/sell what we’re not intending on keeping.

Currently we have an offer on the table and are waiting on the bank to approve all the paperwork for the sale to be final. We really like the buyers, and they are super happy to be moving into the house. As expected, there are some things that need to be fixed here and there, and of course I’m doing whatever I can so we can call the actual handyman for only the absolutely necessary. So here are some of the home improvement projects I’ve taken on:

  • Front & garage door makeover: Our house has beautiful wooden doors that due to normal time tear as well as Florida weather and hurricanes have deteriorated pretty heavily. So I got myself lots of sanding paper, varnish, and spray polyurethane and got to work. Check out the before & after!

    Front door:

Garage door:

  • Fixed the lamp that broke during the hurricane: remember how thankfully the only physical damage we had from Hurricane Irma was a broken lamp? Aside from one glass that got completely shattered when it fell on the rock that was right under it, I managed to put back together the whole lamp structure and glue it back to the pole! Looks as if nothing had happened 😀
  • Put curtain rods and rolling curtains instead of the broken blinds in my brother’s room: a minor “side effect” of hurricane Irma was that when I was opening the windows to close the shutters, my brother’s blinds fell off (whoopsie!) and I didn’t want to replace them with the same crappy style, so I decided to add a nice touch to the room with a curtain rod and curtains that would be enjoyed by the new owners.

I did a few more things like fill and paint the holes from hangings on walls, and many other painting-related things around the house, but these were the ones that were the most noticeable issues that we wanted to fix before the owners moved in. I’m so in love with how the doors turned out and I seriously can’t explain how big of an operation it was to put the lamp together, so I’m very satisfied with my WCB handy skills!

Extreme Makeover: New Apartment Edition

Ok, don’t get too excited because I only have two makeovers ready for publishing, but I guess it’s a good contrast to my usual lengthy posts.

With the move and fixer upper moments behind us, it’s time to improve the things that we’re actually keeping for our new apartment!

  • Bookshelf Makeover: I bought this shelf for my brother at Walmart a few years ago for his books, and it actually made it through one move with us already. It was badly beaten and falling apart, some of the nails had gone through the wrong side and broke the wood, etc. So I took out all the splinters, fixed the positioning of the back slat and nailed it down more precisely. I filled the spaces left by the missing wood chunks with wood glue, and then spray painted the whole thing a dark brown to match our new bathroom drawers. Then, I bought a Con-Tact brand non-adhesive shelf liner from Target with a pattern similar to the marble counter top of our bathroom as well. Even though originally the shelf was meant to be thrown out, this was a cheap makeover (all I spent were the $5 on the liner, everything else I already had) and it’s proving to be super useful storage for us!
  • A Quickie Makeover For a Lazy-Eye Sun: so my mom is really obsessed with suns, and she has all kinds of sunny paraphernalia around the house. But there’s this one sun I REALLY wanted to leave behind/gift/throw out or whatever to not see it again. I really wasn’t a fan of it at all, especially because the artist kind of gave it a bit of a lazy eye when he made it. Since my mom refused to part ways with it, I compromised with her by giving it a bath of rose gold, since by now you know I live, breathe and sleep on cans of rose gold spray paint. It took the depth of the design away since it’s all one flat color, but I actually quite like the little guy now!

That’s it for now! You know there’s plenty of little projects to do when you move in to a new place and especially with reorganizing all our things, but with the day to day of work, orders, and events, I’ve had to turn down the crafting for a bit. I hope you guys like these projects and get inspired to re-purpose or makeover some stuff as well!

DIY Fascinators Fit For The Royal Wedding

And we’ll never be royalllllllllllllllllllllls, it don’t run in our blood… but we sure can pretend for a day!

My friends and I decided to be royally extra this past weekend, and have a watch party for the Royal Wedding of His Royal Highness, Prince Harry and his new bride Ms. Meghan Markle aka Her Royal Highness, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The event was everything you could’ve expected, and so, so much more. No detail was spared and the love was felt throughout social media. Our watch party I mean!

My friend Alisha decorated the room with all kinds of red/white/blue garlands, and even a Mr. & Mrs. sign! She greeted us with York peppermint patties and muffins. THE WHOLE NINE!

Ever since the engagement, our group chat has been non-stop with every appearance and detail revealed about the royal affair, and we were READY for what was sure to be an unforgettable event. As we inched closer to the day, I found an invitation online for a “Fancy PJs and Fascinators” sleepover/watch party and I knew immediately we had to do the same. I shared with my friends and OF COURSE we were all 100% on board with getting ourselves some cute fascinator hats to wear so we could be part of the day, even with an entire ocean standing in the way.

Since I’m still in the process of moving and much of this has been a huge undertaking as a de-cluttering experience for me, I didn’t want to buy a hat. The good thing is, I have materials of all kinds and I was sure I could pull something together with what I already owned. So I pulled out some fabrics, ribbons, headbands, and my trusty styrofoam head, and got to work.

I decided I would either do something in purple or gold because 1. duh, royal colors and 2. I probably had the biggest amount of materials in those colors. I started playing around with fabrics to see how they could bend, and which could sustain a form once pinned down, arriving at two very different options. The gold one was my least favorite, as it looked good on the styrofoam model, but not on me 😦 #bigheadandforeheadproblems. I thought it looked quite chic and it made me think of Victoria Beckham a little, but it was a no-go for my head.

I moved on and decided to focus on the purple one. I had a bunch of tulle circles (from honestly I don’t know when or for what I bought them) which I noticed were holding shapes, so I stuck to playing with them. Some folds, twists, and a few pins later, I arrived at my final product. To be honest, I think it kind of looks like a loofah but I also love it, so I called it a day and proudly wore it to the watch party. For the fancy PJs, I wore the set that my friend Michelle got as a gift for the bridesmaids to get ready in the day of the wedding. And without further ado, here are the final shots!

My friends all got theirs off of Amazon, and though I was tempted, I’m glad I stuck to my DIY option and I love the outcome. Did anyone else have a watch party/got or made fascinators? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to check out pictures from fellow royal subjects!

Say Hello to the Newest Member of the Nytro Marketing Team!

Hey guys! I have some news for you 🙂 I know most of you are here for my craftventures, but this blog is named “Work-Craft Balance” after all, so I like to share parts of the W when they come to be.

When I started working for SAP, I met some cool people from a marketing agency that put on pretty big events for the Latin America region. The employees were the nicest, most accommodating and badass group of humans that ever existed. I loved getting to see them every time events came around, and we built great rapport over the years. In 2016, the CEO and top employees of that company decided to start over and build a new agency which they called Nytro Marketing, and we stayed in touch through social media as well as seeing each other at another annual SAP event, and both on different capacities as well. They were pitching customers, and I was now working for a global team. In those annual encounters, we’d always talk about what we were up to and we’d joke about me joining the Nytro team… until this month, when the joke became a reality!

Their business has grown exponentially over the past year, and they came knocking to see if I’d be interested in working with them since I have years of SAP experience, and they were looking for someone with my profile, based in the U.S. Check and check! Just when I had been thinking about what my next step would be, they found me ❤

I am so so so happy to join the Nytro team on a Project Management role, getting to leverage my experience but on a capacity where I get to learn and grow so much. I’ve already started to join calls on some big projects coming up, and I’m excited for the challenges ahead. I will be their only Miami-based lead, working remotely with a team spread across countries and time-zones galore.

Katherine Capeluto Doodle

All Nytro employees have a “doodle” on the website which describes their skills & passions. This is mine 🙂

This is especially a cool setting for me because after working for a massive international company of 90,000 employees, and later launching my own micro-business, this seems like a nice “midpoint.” 😉

Welcome to the journey. Here’s to #TheNytroExperience!

WCB…Z? Adding Zumba To My Work-Craft Balance!

Friends, I want to share something with you that I literally didn’t tell anyone about before doing it: I got certified to become a Zumba Instructor!

Ahhhh, it feels so good to say out loud/write publicly. Let me explain: I love to dance. It’s something I do all the time and it makes me genuinely happy. When I was little I was always ecstatic to be in recitals and the only reason I stopped was because when we moved to the U.S. my parents didn’t know where to take me and I was going through a lot with the move, so I stopped… but since a very young age, I’ve always wanted to do something dance related in a teaching or choreographic capacity. I didn’t know how, but ever since then, it’s been in the back of my head.

I discovered Zumba when I was 14, as I exercised to get in better shape for my 15th birthday. At the time, it was all about the at-home DVDs, so I envisioned myself being on video one day, but that was that for the time being. Two years ago, my best friend Caro started working out consistently, and she found that she enjoyed Zumba, and she invited me to join her. I was a little unsure about going because when you mess up in your living room it’s no big deal, but going to a new class not knowing the choreo seemed daunting. I went. AND I LOVED IT! The energy of the room is so different and Zumba choreographies are designed to be easy enough to be followed along, and really all you need to do is keep moving.

A knee injury and two Fitbits later, I find myself completely obsessed with Zumba, my instructors, and the friends I’ve made in class. Its exhilarating every single time and it’s as close as I get to meditating, because my mind doesn’t shut off easy but when I focus on the music and on dancing, I can actually stop it for a while.

Counting on the fact that I have a pretty good memory for choreos and I truly enjoy this, I decided to take the next step and become certified to be an instructor. I was SUPER scared of doing this. I don’t have a fitness instructor body type and I definitely have some work to do, and I was imagining that everyone who would show up were going to be athletic stars that were going to look at me like I was out of place. That was not the case, at all. The room was a diverse mix – men, women, younger, older, very fit, not super fit, etc. Our ZES, or Zumba Education Specialist was Erick Santana. He dances incredibly well and really knows his stuff. The day was divided between dancing, learning steps, and understanding the science and process of Zumba in theory. You know how the recommended daily step count for a healthy level of activity is 10,000 steps a day? Well, we had reached that by 10:00 am. I came out of there having taken over 26,000 steps and burned off 4,000 calories. It was incredible! So much fun, so educational, and so cool to meet everyone who came to get certified, from all walks of life. We left with our virtual certificates that were e-mailed to us, and the homework to go audition for gyms and try to start subbing for classes and practice with our friends.

20180407_004759000_iOS

Let me be 100 here: I am terrified to teach. I know that one day I will, and that I will improve with time and I will get to the point where I’m really comfortable with it and love every second of it… but right now I know that I have very high standards as a student for what I look for in an instructor, and I am doubting myself on every level. I’ve gone to the front of the class a few times and I really get in my head when I’m there. As an instructor, you have to bring the energy, the steps, the music, the charisma, and be ON for an hour. I know that I can and it’s just a matter of time and practice, but I’m 100% standing in my own way until I feel a bit more ready. I always want to be honest here because I really look for that type of content in people I look up to, as it’s reassuring to know we are not alone in our struggles. So if you are doubting and kicking yourself in the butt for not doing what you want or not pursuing a dream out of fear – you’re not alone.

All I know is: my story with Zumba is just starting, and I’m looking forward to all the good times I will continue to have as a student, and all the growth and experience I will gain on the instructor side. In the meantime, here’s my instructor website where you can see some of the music I love and stay tuned for when I start subbing/teaching! Feel free to drop any advice or encouraging words below ❤