Litmus Email Conference Recap

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You know these days, when everything just seems to go wrong? That seemed to be the case, when I was on the way to London for the Litmus Email Conference 2016.

I already went to work with a bad feeling, which I didn’t seem to be able to shake off, no matter what I tried. Making a few jokes with my coworkers I told them good-bye and made my way to the bus for the airport.

Thanks to my previous bad feeling, I wasn’t all too surprised, when my bus broke down in the middle of the street leaking oil. Making a quick decision, I teamed up with 3 other people and we took a taxi and to my surprise, the one girl in there even covered costs for me! Thank you so much!

I thought, I had gotten rid of any troubles, the procedure through the security gate went quickly without any disturbances, but it turned out, my flight was to be delayed for half an hour. Then a full hour. Two hours. More.

When I finally started to get impatient, due to the check-in closing times of the hostel, where I would stay, we got into the plane, where we still had to wait at least half an hour to finally get up in the air. To not waste any time, I took a taxi to the hostel and made it right in time for check-in shortly before 11 at night.

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The location was very easy to find the next morning, since I had already been close there during a holiday weekend with my friend in May. (Funny enough, it is close to where the Jack the Ripper murders happened. And also close to a cat cafe.)

I told the ladies from the conference my name, only to find out, that my name nor my company’s name was on the list! Using their wifi, I quickly contacted my manager. Having the probably best manager in the world, she took care of the problem and bought me a last minute spot. Thanks to her I could still make it!

But hold on, Misaki, what even is the Litmus Email conference?

Litmus itself is a company which provides a helpful platform for email testing, creating, helping with analytical tools and more. We use it to give our email code a first check up, how it behaves in different clients like Gmail or Yahoo Mail, before we live test it.

Once a year, Litmus hosts a two-day workshop conference in different cities like London, Boston and San Francisco this year, to bring the email community together, so we can learn from each other or share our pain with said clients. (Looking at you, Outlook!)

At the entrance we got little goodie-bags including business cards stating useful coding tips, buttons, a shirt and stickers and then headed to the workshop room for The Elements of Email Design. (There was another workshop about Progressive Enhancement and Interactive Emails.)

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Teaching a range from very inexperienced attendees to full-fledged newsletter designers, the workshop covered pretty much all the basics for designing a good, standard email and I felt proud, that my team already covered 95% of the presented things.

After that followed some very interesting talks like addressing how to take leadership over your design and rules to be morally correct when targeting subscribers. To round up the first day, a few people could submit their email code to get live feedback from the Litmus hosts and the audience about how to improve it.

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The first day ended around 5, I think, which left me with an evening to walk around London a little bit. Since my hostel is located close to Tower Bridge I made my way from there along the River Thames to Big Ben and back. If you are ever in London, try to do this walk as well, especially when the sun begins to set!

Not only are Big Ben and the London Eye beautifully illuminated at night, the trees along the path are decorated in fairy lights, every now and then a talented street musician showcases their skills (I witnessed a girl with an incredible rough, emotional voice and a guy stating he’s a lost wanderer and playing melancholic guitar tunes) and once it gets quieter you can hear the soft crashing of the waves against the tiny strip of beach along the water. It’s super romantic haha!

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The second day started with a nice breakfast in my hostel, after which I made my way back to the conference building. Unlike the first day, this time talks were divided between Marketing and Development, so you could choose which one to attend. A bit of a tough choice, since they all sounded so interesting, but thankfully each session got recorded, so we could watch them later.

My flight back to Dublin already went off in the afternoon, so I had to skip the last lecture and the farewell speech, but looking into the Twitter hashtag, everyone seemed to have had a blast.

All in all, I absolutely loved the event, from the little surprise gifts (Litmus socks anyone?!), the amazing food (Bento boxes for lunch and the tiniest ice-cream cone ever as dessert!) to the fun people (joking about dubious red light tinted hotel rooms with two Copenhageners).

If you are interested in learning more about Email Marketing and meeting like minded folks, this is your go-to conference!

Travel Throwback: Berlin

coverWie manche vielleicht schon von meinem Instagram Account wissen, habe ich Weihnachten und Neujahr dieses Jahr in Berlin verbracht. Eigentlich hatte ich nicht mal geplant, so lang vor Ort zu bleiben, aber als ich erfahren habe, dass in Dublin kein Feuerwerk gezündet werden darf, bin ich sofort zur airbnb-Seite gegangen um meinen Aufenthalt zu verlängern. Gebucht habe ich dann ein Apartment nahe der Oberbaumbrücke, von dort aus man das Feuerwerk gut beobachten können sollte.

As some may know from my Instagram, I’ve spent my Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Berlin this year. Originally I hadn’t planned to stay that long, but upon hearing, that there are no fireworks allowed in Dublin I rushed over to airbnb to search for an apartment to extend my stay. I booked one close to Oberbaumbrücke, where a good spot for watching fireworks was supposed to be. 

Einige Tage vor Weihnachten haben sich meine Eltern spontan dazu entschlossen mich auf meinem dreitägigen Abenteuer zu begleiten haha. Nachdem ich von meinen lieben Großeltern nach Strich und Faden verwöhnt und beköstigt worden war, bin ich am 29. Dezember in mein Apartment übergewechselt.

A few days before Christmas, my parents decided to join me on my three day adventure and booked an apartment for themselves as well haha. After being pampered and stuffed to no end by my lovely grandparents I moved into my short term apartment on the 29th of December. 

blog5Das Beste zu erst mal: Weihnachtsmärkte! Ich hatte Glück, denn einige der vielen Weihnachtsmärkte in Berlin blieben noch einige Tage nach dem Fest geöffnet, so dass wir noch durch die volle Pracht von Glitzer und Lichtern schlendern konnten.

First things first: Christmas markets! I was lucky, because some of the many Christmas markets in Berlin stayed open until a few days after the Holy Night, so we could still stroll through the full glory of glitter and lights.

blog6.jpgblog2.jpgblog7.jpgblog15.jpgblog16.jpgNachdem wir uns in einem Kartoffelrestaurant mit passender Dekoration gestärkt hatten, sind wir die Straßen entlang zum wahrscheinlich bekanntesten Shoppingcenter in Berlin gegangen – dem KaDeWe. Eigentlich wollten wir nur durch die (etwas hochpreisigen) Klamotten stöbern, aber wie es nun mal so ist, wenn ich einen Sonnenbrillenstand sehe, dann muss ich da auch Brillen aufsetzen. Und eine der Brillen sah dann überraschenderweise auch noch gut aus. Und zwar so gut, dass ich nach mehrmaligem Hin und Her mich dazu entschieden habe, sie tatsächlich zu kaufen. Jetzt bin ich stolze Besitzerin meiner ersten MiuMiu Brille und habe noch nie so viel Geld für ein Accessoire ausgegeben.

After we strengthened ourselves in a potato themed restaurant with fitting decorations, we walked along the streets to the probably most famous shopping center in Berlin – the KaDeWe. (Please pronounce the vowels longer, like KahDehWeh.) Our plan was to just browse through the (a little bit pricey) clothes, but as it had to be, if I see a display of sunglasses, I have to try glasses on. And then a pair of glasses actually looked good on me. Like, so good, that after a bit of back and forth I decided to buy them. Now I am proud owner of my first pair of MiuMiu sunglasses and I’ve never spent so much money on accessories before in my life.

blog3.jpgDen nächsten Tag haben wir eine Reihe von Sehenswürdigkeiten abgeklappert, inklusive dem tollen Aquarium-Fahrstuhl beim Radisson Blue Hotel. Leider kann man nur damit fahren, wenn man aus dem SeaLife herauskommt, daher blieb es nur beim Fotografieren.

We spent the next day checking out sights, including the amazing aquarium elevator at the Radisson Blue hotel. Unfortunately, you can only have a drive with it if you get out of SeaLife. That’s why I left it with just taking a picture.

Trotz der eisigen Kälte (Modetrend bei allen Berlinern: dicker Schal um Hals und Mund mit Wollmütze) hatten wir eine Menge Glück mit dem Wetter und so blieb es bis zum 31. Januar trocken und sonnig.

Despite the icy cold temperatures (fashion trend of Berlin people: thick scarf around neck and mouth and a woolen hat) we had a lot of luck with the Weather and it stayed sunny until the 31th January. 

blog8.jpgblog9blog11blog14blog12Das Feuerwerk auf der Oberbaumbrücke zu erleben war definitiv ein Abenteuer und großer Spaß. Da es an dem Tag viel geregnet hatte, konnten wir leider nicht so weit sehen, aber die Leute um uns herum haben uns mit ihren eigenen Feuerwerken in Stimmung gebracht, das Jahr mit einem tollen Gefühl zu starten. Seitdem bin ich motiviert 2016 mein bestes Jahr zu machen und meinen Weg mit erhobenem Kopf zu gehen.

Watching fireworks from the Oberbaumbrücke was definitely an adventure and a lot of fun. Since it had rained that day, we couldn’t see that far across the river, but people firing their own fireworks easily got us in the right mood to start the new year with positive feelings and intentions. Since then, I am motivated to make 2016 the best year and go my way with my head held high. 

blog13blog17blog18Wie war das neue Jahr für euch so bis jetzt?

How was your new year so far? 

Wishing you all the best.

So far, see you next time. Bis zum nächsten Mal.

Personal Monday

w3Gedanken/Thoughts:

Es gab zwei Dinge, an die ich mich letzte Woche wieder erinnert habe. Zum einen das, obwohl wir im Grunde dieselben Menschen bleiben, wir uns ständig weiterentwickeln und Teile von uns neu finden oder loslassen. An etwas festzuhalten, nur weil es uns schon eine Weile begleitet hat, bringt uns nicht weiter. Daher ist es gut, ab und an innezuhalten und Platz zu schaffen, sei es in unserem Verhalten, der Wohnung oder zwischenmenschlichen Beziehungen.

There were two things I remembered last week. For one, even though we kinda stay the same people, our personality and self always keeps evolving. We either find new traits or let go of old ones. It doesn’t help us to hold onto something only because it was part of us for a while. Therefore I think it’s important to stop from time to time and clear up some space, be it parts of our behavior, our flat or people which surround us.

Zum anderen, das es okay ist, an sich selbst und die eigene Leistung zu glauben. Ich muss zugeben, dass ich mich für ein paar Tage gefragt habe, ob meine Arbeit wirklich von nutzen ist und ob es sich überhaupt lohnt. Während unseres Firmen-Abendessens letzten Freitag allerdings habe ich durch meine Teamleiterin dann erfahren, das wir erstaunliche Fortschritte machen konnten und wir als Team sehr stolz auf uns sein können.

The other thing is, that it is okay to believe in oneself and your own efforts. I have to say, the last days I questioned myself, if what I am doing is any good. During our company dinner last friday my team leader then told us, that we hauled in amazing achievements and that we can be very proud of us as a team.

w1.jpgWeihnachten/Christmas:

Es sind nur noch 5 Wochen bis Weihnachten! Darüber darf ich gar nicht nachdenken, dieses Jahr ging unglaublich schnell vorbei, nicht? Die Lichtinstallationen in Dublin sind mittlerweile alle am funkeln und leuchten, etwas, was ich in München nicht in den Ausmaßen hatte. Schaut es euch irgendwann einmal an, okay?

Only 5 weeks left until christmas! I shouldn’t think about it, this year went by in the blink of an eye, didn’t it? The light installations in Dublin are all sparkling and glittering by now. That’s something I didn’t get to see to this extend in Munich. Be sure to come visit one day, okay?

Musik/Music:

Schon erstaunlich, als ich noch in Deutschland gelebt habe, hat mich deutsche Musik nie interessiert. In letzter Zeit hab ich mir dann doch mal ein Paar Lieder von früher wieder angehört und gemerkt, dass da doch ein paar wirklich intelligente Texte zu finden sind.

Fun thing, while I still lived in Germany, I never really cared about german music. Somehow, these last days I got interested and listened to some songs from back then and noticed, that there are a lot with quite some smart lyrics.

With this, hope to see you next time again!

My Sweet Escape Garden

botanic garden dublinIt is good to get to know the city you are living in. This is something that easily gets forgotten, when we are living our daily lives. We are going to work and once it’s time to go home, we just feel the need to relax in our four walls, especially when the weather is not as nice as we wish it to be.

I am very guilty of this. After spending 3 months in Dublin now, a certain routine has set in and I often find myself staying in front of the computer all night instead of going out.

botanic garden dublinThat’s why, a few weeks ago, when it was warm and sunny, I decided to overcome my laziness and spend my time exploring my new home a bit. Out of all the things to do, I liked the idea of being surrounded by nature the most. But a lot of my favorite points of interest were located too far outside of Dublin city and I didn’t want to go by train all by myself. (I enjoy day-trips the most with friends.)

So, after a bit of research, the best option was to hop onto a bus and drive to the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. From our center it is about an half an hour ride. (I took bus number 83, but number 4 and 9 also get you there. For more information, click here.)

The entry to the Botanic Garden is completely free, except if you wish to attend a guided group tour.

They have several glasshouses with different themes, but the palm house was my favorite. It’s warm and very humid in there, but look at these big purple blossoms hanging from the walls amidst all the big green leafs. ♥

botanic garden dublinbotanic garden dublinbotanic garden dublinbotanic garden dublinNonetheless, the outdoor gardens are also nothing to sneeze at. You can easily get lost following all these little paths, taking you to small birch forests or fields with local flora and fauna.

botanic garden dublinThe only slightly sad thing was, that most roses in the rose garden weren’t fully opened yet, although all other bushes and plants bloomed like crazy. After spending the next 20 minutes following and watching squirrels hopping through daisies and meadow, I reached this beautiful hangout.

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I wish, I could have sat there for a longer time, surrounded by pastel purple blossoms, but it was getting colder and more cloudy, so I hurried up to finish my visit before the big rain clouds would come.

I recommend everyone, who is tired from seeing nothing but city buildings or hearing the noise of the streets, to go to the Botanical Gardens. It is a truly inspiring, mood-lifting and refreshing experience. ★

With this, so long and see you next time!

A Journey Over The Vast Sea

030814-1Hello again.

My blog has been on a hiatus for quite a long time, so I am thankful for everyone who still follows me. Thank you.
A lot of things happenend in the meantime. I thought a lot about my blog and which direction it should take. In the future this will be less of a lifestyle blog, but featuring more posts about Design, Tips and Tricks around being a Graphic Designer and a bit of personal Style. Naturally there will be a few changes in the look itself, but please see for yourself.

On the other hand, a month ago I’ve been on a cruise with my parents.
030814-2The route went from Hamburg over Lerwick to Akureyri, Isafjodur, Reykjavik, Kirkwall and finally Amsterdam.

The ship itself had a very luxurious ambiente, with things such as a Tiger Bar (which had tigerstipe patterned rugs and seats everywhere), a crystal staircase in front of a piano and golden elevators. Our suite were located on the outside, so we had a wonderful view on the sea all the time. Dreamy!
030814-4Personally I would recommend to take enough thermo underwear with you, if you ever visit this island and don’t want to freeze as much as I did. I knew it would be cold in Iceland, but I wasn’t enough prepared for it to be THIS cold, so I had to wear several layers of thighs and shirts to not become an ice-cube, haha.
030814-5Most of the time busses organized by our ship drove us from place to place. At each stop-over we had around 30 minutes to explore and take pictures until we had to get back and drove to our next location. Seriously, it was a bit stressful with so little time. I am more the selforganized travel-type, where I decide when to leave.
030814-14Nonetheless, like this we had the oppurtunity to see a lot of beautiful places each day.
When being in Iceland check out the thermal baths with their incredible healthy water, tinted in mysterious light blue. Most famous and very expensive is the Blue Lagoon.
Funny thing, we were allowed to go inside and take pictures, while other guests around us took a bath.
030814-10030814-9The weather in Iceland changes really quickly from sunshine to rain to sunshine, so I recommend to always carry an umbrella and sunglasses with you to be fully prepared.

Whoever deeply loves being surrounded by nature and enjoys the simple lifestyle should definitly take a tour around this beautiful island.
030814-15I will soon post more about my cruise trip, featuring red telephone booths in Kirkwall, my new cat-bag and stunning houses in Amsterdam.

So long,
Hope to see you next time!