Author Archives: Melissa Gerke

Melissa Gerke

About Melissa Gerke

A passion for art and design has influenced Melissa's life since grade school. In 2006, she earned her Master's degree in Commercial Art concentrating in Web and Graphic Design. Melissa then went on to pursue a full-time career in the advertising agency world and as an in-house web and graphic designer for AZ BIG Media. Currently, Melissa is using her experience and passion for clear design to effectively communicate various clients' messages across web, email marketing, and print projects.

A Day In The Internet

A Day In The Internet

The numbers are in the thousands, millions, even billions range. We all realize that the internet is important. But do you know exactly what happens in only one day? This infographic from shares the staggering numbers for just how much we use the internet.

Do these numbers surprise you? Or do you think they should be even larger? Let us know in the comments section.

Created by:

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Infographic Credits, courtesy of

Designed by: Unknown



Mastering Your Email Marketing Campaigns

How’s that inbox looking? The average user receives 147 emails per day. The majority of those emails are deleted or ignored. When we email, what words we choose and even how long it will take to process an email greatly impact the kind of response you will receive to your email marketing campaigns. This infographic from Mashable shares the truth about today’s inboxes.

Email Marketing Campaigns

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Infographic Credits, courtesy of Mashable:

Source: Mashable
Designed by:


What insights have you learned from sending and receiving email marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments section.

Memory Jar - DIY

DIY Of The Week: Memory Jar

A Memory Jar And A New Tradition

How many times have you thought, “Where has the time gone?” I love the beginning of new years — the time for fresh starts and new opportunities. This year feels especially promising. Maybe it’s because last year was so difficult for so many people. So let’s not lose track of time and instead make an effort to savor this year!

An easy and quick way to do this is to make a memory jar for the year. Grab some friends or family and decorate a simple mason jar, transforming it into something fabulous. Then, throughout the year write yourself little notes and reminders of all the events of this year — big and small. Even drop in movie ticket stubs, receipts or trinkets. On New Year’s Eve, gather everyone together again and share with each other your memories. I know I’m looking forward to this new tradition!

Here are some steps to create your own memory jar for 2012:

Tools and Materials:

Mason glass jar X-ACTO Knife
Magazines or fabric Scissors
Hot glue 
Modge Podge and
sponge brush

Scrapbooking decorations —
buttons, jewels, glitter, etc.


These are just the steps that I took to make my jar. Let your creativity take over! The key is to make a jar that YOU love.

Memory Jar - Step 11. Gather your magazines, newspaper or fabric, and pull together a color scheme. I prefer to tear scraps of paper rather than cut them out.
Memory Jar - Step 22. With the Modge Podge, paint a little bit directly on the glass. Then, quickly attach the first piece of paper.
3. You’ll want to paint more Modge Podge over the paper as well. Don’t worry if it looks messy, the Modge Podge will dry clear.
Memory Jar - Step 44. Repeat as many times as needed until your glass is covered. Sometimes, I found it easier to use my fingers to glue and move the paper to lay flat.
5. When you’re happy with the coverage, coat the entire jar with a layer of Modge Podge. No need to go too crazy, but anything that is not covered thoroughly will likely peel off later.
Memory Jar - Step 56. Once the glue is dry, embellish to your heart’s content! I added a ribbon and some scrapbooking decorations.
7. For the lid, hot glue the seal to the ring.
8. Lastly, clean up any excess glue or areas that you’d like to remain clear with the X-ACTO knife.

Memory JarAs you can see, just about anything could be done to decorate a memory jar. You could decoupage, sew a wrap or even stain the glass containers. Have fun with it.

Here’s to hoping that 2012 is a gloriously memorable year!

Have a few more jars hiding around? Here are some other DIY ideas using glass jars:

DIY Soap DispenserMason Jar Soap Dispenser

There will always be a need to wash your hands after tending the yard. This handy soap dispenser will fit right in on your potting bench.

DIY - Lace LuminaryLace Luminaries

A sweetly vintage DIY candle holder — perfect for a ladies’ brunch table decoration or your own sitting room.

First Impressions on a Job Interview

First Impressions On A Job Interview

First impressions are important – especially when that first impression is a job interview. This infographic, by Classes and Careers, crunches the numbers on everything you wish you’d known before your job interview. Now you can learn from these tips and tricks, avoid the mistakes, and land that next job opportunity!

Do you agree or disagree? What is one thing that you’ve learned from your past job interviews?

job interview


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Infographic Credits, courtesy of Classes and Careers:

Source: Classes and Careers
Designed by: Unknown


Holiday Office Outlook

Holiday Office Outlook for 2011

Holiday Office Outlook for 2011

The holiday office outlook for 2011 is merry and bright! According to CareerBuilder’s infographic, most workers have bonuses, parties, gifts and even cash to enjoy this year. But, of course, don’t forget to pick up a special gift for your boss!

We want to hear from you! What is your company doing for the holidays?

Holiday Office Outlook

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Office Holiday Cheer Infographic Credits, courtesy of

Source: Published by: CareerBuilder
Designed by: Susan Moye


Fathoming – Its Unprecedented Growth

Seventeen years ago, Jeff Bezos founded as an online bookstore with inventory in his own garage. Now, Amazon serves 137 million customers a week from 25 million square feet of warehouse inventory. From the garage in Bellevue, Washington to the giant that it is today, here are nine things you need to know about its staggering growth.

These eye-opening facts were compiled and presented by Frugal Dad. Do you shop at If so, why is it your choice retailer?

Fathoming Amazon


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Fathoming Amazon Infographic Credits, courtesy of

Published by: Frugal Dad
Designed by: Unknown


Thanksgiving Day - Infographic courtesy of

Thanksgiving Day By The Numbers

Thanksgiving Day By The Numbers

Thanksgiving Day 2011 is in less than a week. As Americans enjoy Thanksgiving and its turkey, stuffing, cranberries, potatoes and pumpkin pies, Credit Donkey compiled the facts and figures about our national holiday.

But before the rush of the holidays begin, take some time to reflect on the bounty this country affords. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

Thanksgiving Day


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Thanksgiving Day Infographic Credits, courtesy of

Source: Published by: Credit Donkey
Designed by: Unknown


Fall Buying - Infographic courtesy of

Fall Buying: What Do You Purchase?

Fall Buying: What do you purchase?

From back-to-school shopping to pre-holiday shopping, the fall buying season is booming for retailers. This infographic, from Milo, explains which retail products see the biggest profit in seasonal fall buying, along with which retail products see a profit in the summer or winter.

What do you find yourself splurging on during the fall buying season? And why do you make the purchase? Is it for holiday gifts or for the unbeatable sales?

Fall Buying

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What Are People Buying In Fall? Infographic Credits, courtesy of

Published by: Milo
Designed by: Column Five Media




Infographic: Who Uses Twitter?

We all know that Facebook is popular, but what about Twitter?

In just one year, Twitter’s popularity has exploded. Television shows have integrated it into their programming, and businesses have discovered its a useful tool.

Nearly everyone has one, but the question is, “Who uses Twitter?”

Well, you’re in luck. Here are the stats and demographics, provided by the Pew Research Center:

Who's using Twitter in 2011


[stextbox id="grey"]Read more on Twitter’s demographics for 2010 & 2011.[/stextbox]

urban dare adventure race tempe arizona

Urban Dare Adventure Race In Tempe

It was the perfect, spring Saturday for an outdoor adventure. My good friend and I would be competing in the annual Urban Dare Adventure Race of Phoenix/Tempe.

The Urban Dare Adventure Race is a 5- to 7-mile race, similar to the “Amazing Race.”

First, we competed in the costume contest with our team name of the “MissFits.” We were then given a sheet of 12 clues with activities ranging from photo hunts, dares and physical challenges. All checkpoints had to be completed by either walking, running or using public transportation. We finished quite exhausted, but my friend and I both had a great experience. And I’m pretty sure we would do it again!

Visit for more information and to see other cities where the race is being held.

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Alfresco Dining Like a True Arizonan

Spring is almost here! What better way to enjoy such nice weather than to have a delicious, reasonably priced meal outdoors. Here are some fabulous restaurants with equally fabulous patios.

El Zocalo Mexican Grille - Chandler AZ


El Zocalo Mexican Grille – Chandler

Cozy tables, candlelight, fountains and plenty of shade trees allow for private conversation while enjoying a gourmet Mexican meal.

Visit El Zocalo’s website >>

Boulders on Broadway in Tempe Arizona


Boulders On Broadway – Tempe

Now this is a fun pizza place! Be sure to order the famous pizza nachos for your appetizer.

Visit Boulders’ website >>

Caffe Boa uses all organic natural ingredients


Caffe Boa – Tempe

With a seasonally inspired menu and local, organic ingredients, Caffe Boa in the Mill Avenue District will not disappoint.

Visit Caffe Boa’s website >>

Phoenicia Cafe Mediterranean meals in Tempe


Phoenicia Cafe – Tempe

Delicious and authentic Mediterranean dishes that you’ll crave again and again.

Visit Phoenicia Cafe’s website >>

The Cider Mill in Old Town Scottsdale


The Cider Mill – Scottsdale

Located in Old Town, this sandwich shop and market offers fresh soups and sandwiches. They also have hand-crafted root beer, cream soda and cider.

Visit The Cider Mill’s website >>

Of course, these are just a few of the many places to enjoy dining alfresco in Phoenix. Do you have a favorite spot for patio dining? Share with us!

Relifing - AZRE Magazine November/December 2009

The Cost Of Relifing A Building During The Age Of Environmental Thrift

The Cost Of Relifing A Building During The Age Of Environmental Thrift

Breath of Life – Relifing

Difficult financial times teach us that it is possible to do more with less, but also that doing more with less takes both thought and effort.

In 1965, Adlai Stevenson, then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, notably said, “We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil.” This phrase alerted the world to the necessity to preserve Earth’s natural assets and resources. However, it is only in recent times — with the discussion of climate change — that serious attention has been paid widely to the question of the use of scarce natural resources and the effect of that use on the environment. The world has entered an era in which using natural resources sparsely has become critical, perhaps even a cause célèbre — this is The Age of Environmental Thrift.

The construction industry has been making serious efforts to catch up by adopting sustainable design practices represented by the LEED certification system. However, traditionally there has been no systematically adopted, mathematical approach to test whether an existing building could be successfully “relifed” instead of being demolished. Clearly, relifing an existing building saves natural resources — it does more with less.

Life Options

For all building owners — especially those with large sophisticated healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, etc. — it should be natural to start by asking the question, “Can we economically extend the life of our existing building by 5, 10 or 20 years instead of demolishing?”

The difficulty in the past was that there was no simple, definitive, mathematical way to determine a solution to this question. However, when the state of Arizona adopted the concept of studying relifing options through building life extension studies, it broke new ground in managing taxpayer funds. These studies have been conducted on many buildings, including laboratories and state hospital buildings, with good success.

A relifing study determines the “useful life” of a building by analyzing the cost and service life of its various components:

  • structure
  • external cladding
  • internal fit-out
  • building systems

From these components, a life expectancy may be calculated. The study then analyzes and prices recommendations for maintenance, upgrades, renovation and replacement of various building components necessary to extend the building’s life to certain milestones. When the analysis is compared with the cost of building a new structure, owners have a quantitative tool to determine which option will make the best use of their functional and financial resources.

Private sector clients would be well advised to follow the state’s lead. By measuring and analyzing the service life possibilities of each building and relifing those that can be saved, millions of dollars and thousands of cubic yards of natural resources can be saved. With more thought, more can often be done with less.

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2009