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When I first noticed Ginny Marvin’s post on how you can check changes in your AdWords metrics my initial thought was that it was too good to be true.
I was one of the early marketers to tweet excitingly about the first introduction of the comparison feature in AdWords and came to eat my words afterwards. It was largely a waste of time to sit and compare statistics in the graph. Google Analytics is far better at this and it most of all just seemed like a waste of interface space to include the comparison feature.
So I was understandably not very excited when I first saw Ginny’s post pop up on my Google+ profile mentioning that the comparison feature had been expanded upon. However, this time it was different. I could all of a sudden see the data changes directly in the tables and I could filter them to find the actual changes I was looking for.
I’m first tackling what to do when you’re seeing a decrease in conversions and what steps I take to find the culprit. The direct steps aren’t meant in any given order, but the order I’ve listed them is helpful to continue with.Noticing That You’re Getting Fewer Conversions
If you notice a decrease in conversions you need to find out if it was due to a change you made (which you can backtrack) or if it was due to a change in the environment that requires you to optimize your AdWords campaigns in order to regain your performance.Ad Position:
The solution is to increase your bidding subsequently if it makes sense from a ROI standpoint. If you’re already not making money from the keyword I suggest you not to chase the first page just to get more sales.
In some cases I’ve experienced ecommerce companies that have wrongfully chased the top spots because that was the only way they could generate a lot of conversions. They were losing a significant amount of money off each sale and they didn’t recover it from repeat customers until several years later.Impressions
If your Ad Position and CTR stayed the same, but the amount of impressions fell to such a degree that you noticed it in the amount of conversions coming in, you’re most likely in one of the two situations:
a) Search volume might just be down naturally. I see this quite frequently. Some weeks or even months at a time are just low season for some reason or another. This can be related to weather, buying patterns or in anticipation of a new product coming out in your industry.
If this is the case, try not to make too many changes in your account. You risk changing an otherwise successful campaign and never recover from that change.
This was a rather obvious choice, but don’t be fooled. I’ve seen this kind of problem a lot of times and it can often be quite hard to identify.Conversion Rate
Furthermore, I would recommend that you check the following aspects as well:
Ad message: Did you include a promotion that has now expired?
Is your ad up-to-date with your offerings? If a bunch of your products have been sold out it might be the wrong time to use words like huge selection or Now In Stock.
Landing page: Is your landing page working? Start by checking if it responds when you try to load it.
If your landing page is working then try to check if the filters are the same as before. Sometimes when using category pages as landing pages I set certain filters to ensure the best products will be appearing above the fold. Sometimes my Client will change a feature in his shop that will make the filters obsolete, which often results on lower conversion rates.
Check your competitors and see if they are running any promotions that you should consider matching. Our strategy is usually to try it out for a week and then make a decision about following the promotion or decreasing our bidding for a while to save money.
This is however not just an AdWords point of view. This is where you, as a business owner, need to set the strategy and how to act when competitors are creating insane promotions that are not just limited to AdWords.
However if you work in an agency like I do you might not be completely on top of your Clients’ competitors in order to notice a new one. To help me figuring out if I’m seeing a new competitor I like using the new Auction Insights feature:
If you’re seeing a new competitor in your live search as compared to this list you can perform further competitor research and find out why they’re outperforming you.You Need To Know When Changes Are Taking Place
No matter if you’re running a big AdWords campaign with more than 100 campaigns or if you’re running a single campaign, it’s crucial for you to know what’s going on with your account.
The first step is to organize your account in such a way that you can easily identify irregular fluctuations. However this is not always enough. Bigger accounts can be especially hard to keep track with and noticing that one campaign lost 25% in conversions within a week might not be that easy.
I therefore recommend you to set up certain rules or AdWords Scripts that notify you when your KPIs change. In my next post I will go more in-depth with how you can use rules and filters to better dissect a big AdWords account when trying to find out what parts you should focus on first.
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When it seemed like Tig Notaro’s life was falling apart, she turned it into a comedy routine. [ Read More ].
Smiling Through Adversity
Comedian Tig Notaro had a famously stressful year in 2012. Within months, she got pneumonia, Clostridium difficile (an intestinal infection spurred by antibiotic use), went through a breakup, her mom died unexpectedly, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It doesn’t exactly sound like comedy gold. But even before the shock had worn off, Notaro was airing her woes on a stage in Los Angeles. The now-legendary set killed. Popular Science recently caught up with Notaro to talk about finding the comedy in tragedy.
Popular Science: At what point did you decide to turn this distressing series of events into material, especially since the trauma was so fresh?
Tig Notaro: It wasn’t a hard decision. I didn’t feel like there was any other option. With everything that was on my mind, I couldn’t just stand up on stage and go into some weird topic that wasn’t true. I was really hoping they would laugh, and—I mean, it was a rough night. There wasn’t explosive, comfortable laughter start to finish. But there were also real belly laughs from the audience.
PS: Do you find comedy to be therapeutic?
TN: In the beginning of my horrible time in 2012, I kind of lost my sense of humor. I didn’t identify with being a comedian. I felt very lost and confused. And it wasn’t until my cancer diagnosis that I got my sense of humor back. It seemed so over-the-top to be diagnosed with cancer when I didn’t have a mother or a girlfriend and I couldn’t eat food. It seemed so insane it made me laugh.
PS: You still talk about the cancer and subsequent treatment in your sets. How else has your comedy changed since 2012?
TN: I’ve allowed myself to be way more personal with the experiences I share. I’ve realized that—you know, it’s so obvious and cliché, but people connect most with someone when things get personal. It hits harder when you’re telling your own story.
PS: How does it feel to talk so openly about this stuff on stage?
TN: It carries a risk, and there is a wave of stress that comes over me. But that’s more excitement. I feel alive when I don’t know what’s happening. I think that is what being alive is. You have no idea what’s around the corner, and I think if you can embrace that, there’s no better feeling in the world.
Notaro’s upcoming documentary, Knock, Knock, It’s Tig Notaro, airs on Showtime on April 17. She also hosts the weekly podcast “Professor Blastoff.”
This article was originally published in the March 2023 issue of Popular Science, as part of our “Science of Stress” feature. To find out more about stress and how to beat it, read on.
You might find yourself browsing more than the shelves at your local store, if Facebook knows you’re there. It’s expanding a location-aware program that will let businesses pop information into the top of your news feed.
Place Tips lets brick-and-mortar stores send information to people’s News Feeds, by sensing where customers are through Bluetooth beacons. Facebook began piloting the program earlier this year among just a handful of businesses in New York; now the social network is opening it to small and midsize businesses across the U.S.
The program publishes content from the business’s Facebook page, and posts from users’ friends about the business, to the top of people’s News Feeds while they’re at the company’s location. The goal is to give customers more information about the place, or see what their friends think of it, while giving the business increased prominence in the popular app.
The Place Tips link at the top of your News Feed might read, “See photos and posts by your friends at Veselka.” Tap on it, and you’ll be led into a special feed of content related to the place.
The beacons used are diamond shaped devices about six centimeters wide that businesses can stick on a wall.
Tapping on the business’s Place Tips won’t post on Facebook or show other users where the person is, Facebook says.
For the content to appear on users’ phones, they must be sharing their location information with Facebook, with Bluetooth turned on, and have Place Tips enabled in their Facebook settings. Currently, the content only appears in Facebook’s iPhone app.
The feature also works at landmarks like New York’s Central Park and Times Square, without needing beacons, where Facebook users’ location can be determined using cellular networks, Wi-Fi and GPS.
Some participating businesses, however, aren’t entirely sure how well the program works for them.
Veselka, a restaurant serving Ukrainian food in the East Village of New York, has been using a Facebook beacon since last February. For them, the feature displays, among other content, a questionnaire seeking feedback from customers.
Facebook told the restaurant they would receive data on the level of engagement customers have had with the content, but they haven’t received anything yet, said Jason Birchard, a manager there. The restaurant does not know how often people see the Place Tips content, he said.
Not knowing whether the program had actually led to increased business, “is kind of the pitfall of this,” he said.
Strand Book Store, which specializes in rare and out-of-print books, has used a Facebook beacon to highlight their Page content and show upcoming in-store events. After installing the beacon, attendance at their events has risen, and they’ve received more Facebook check-ins and “likes,” said Brianne Sperber, marketing manager at the store.
Still, because they don’t yet have data about user activity within the feature, “We can’t say that this is certainly because of Place Tips, but we believe there is a correlation,” she said.
Facebook says the beacons send a one-way signal to users’ Facebook apps, and that they don’t collect information from people or change the location information Facebook already receives.
When Facebook employees were helping Birchard set up the beacon at Veselka, they were concerned that people might think “big brother” was watching, he said. “That’s the last thing they want. They want to make this something useful for Facebook users.”
Here’s What’s Going on Columbus Day Weekend Parades, shopping, and plenty of food on tap
Columbus Day, the first three-day weekend of the fall, is a great time to explore the city before the weather turns cold. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of events in and around the city over the next several days. Whether your passion is eating, shopping, being outdoors, or hitting a museum, we’ve got it all for you here.Friday, October 6
Music and social activism converge this weekend when more than two dozen activist street bands from around the country converge on Davis Square in Somerville for the 12th annual three-day Honk! Festival. It kicks off Friday with a lantern parade at Hodgkins Park in Davis Square at 7 p.m. (Lantern-making workshops will precede, from 4 to 6 p.m.) That will be followed with performances by some of the Honk bands at Once and Aeronaut Brewing Company, both in Somerville, from 8 to 11 p.m. On Saturday, from noon to 9 p.m., the bands will perform at venues in Davis Square. And on Sunday, local community groups will join the bands and march from Davis Square to Harvard Square along Mass Ave., at noon, to “reclaim the streets for horns, bikes, and feet.” The parade brings together community activists working on a range of social justice and environmental issues paired with bands based on shared interests. The parade arrives in Harvard Square at about 2 p.m., just in time for the bands at the annual Harvard Square Oktoberfest.
Honk! kicks off on Friday, October 6, at 7 p.m. with a lantern parade at Hodgkins Park in Davis Square, Somerville. Bands then perform at Once, 156 Highland Ave., Somerville, and at Aeronaut Brewing Company, 14 Tyler St., Somerville, from 8 to 11 p.m. On Saturday, the bands play throughout Davis Square from noon to 9 p.m. On Sunday, they parade from Davis Square to Harvard Square starting at noon. The bands perform at the Oktoberfest mainstage and on smaller stages from 2 to 6 p.m.
A complete schedule of events can be found here and a list of the bands in this year’s festival here. Take an MBTA Red Line train to Davis Square. All events are free and open to the public.Saturday, October 7 Holiday Sales
If it’s a federal holiday, you can bet there will be lots of sales going on all weekend. Along Newbury Street, Boston’s swankiest shopping destination, you’ll find retailers like AllSaints, NikeBoston, and Urban Outfitters, many offering holiday markdowns. At the nearby Shops at Prudential Center, browse among dozens of stores, including Ann Taylor, Vineyard Vines, and J.Crew. Be sure to grab a free PRUferred Card to make the most of your visit. Find a list of stores at the Pru offering student discounts here. And the adjacent Copley Place offers even more shopping options, including men’s and women’s chúng tôi stores, Barneys, Coach, Gap, and Neiman Marcus.
Prudential Center hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Copley Place hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Pick up a PRUferred card at thePrudential Center Desk customer service. Newbury Street retailer hours vary.Third Annual District Hall Brunch Battle
What millennial doesn’t love brunch? Head on down to District Hall in Boston’s Innovation District for the third annual Brunch Battle, from noon to 2 p.m. Competing restaurants will fight for your taste buds to be voted this year’s Brunch Battle Champion. Restaurants include Gather, Brownstone, Bond Resturant at the Langham, Hops N Scotch Bar, Row 34, and the Living Room. Tickets are $25 for admission and brunch samples. Drinks can be purchased at the bar. All proceeds benefit Community Servings, a local nonprofit food and nutrition program helping those with chronic illness. The event is 21+ and a valid ID is required.
The Third Annual Brunch Battle is at District Hall, 75 Northern Ave., Boston, from noon to 2 p.m. Purchase tickets here. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, a Red Line train to South Station, then a Silver Line Waterfront bus to Courthouse Station.
This new exhibition at the ICA is the first US survey of artist Mark Dion, a New Bedford, Mass. native, who for decades has been exploring how we collect, interpret, and display nature. The show examines the artist’s practice of using objects like books, birds, plants, photos, and more to deconstruct science- and museum-based rituals of collecting and exhibiting objects. Included are 20 of the artist’s most significant artworks, such as The N.Y. State Bureau of Tropical Conservation (1992), which displays natural specimens gathered from a Venezuelan rain forest, and Toys ’R’ U.S. (When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth) (1994), showcasing a child’s dinosaur-themed bedroom—a reflection on consumption, extinction, and the global environmental crisis. View a newly commissioned work, The Time Chamber, an interactive sculpture that blends prints, drawings, journals, and ephemera.Mark Rothko: Reflection at the Museum of Fine Arts
Mark Rothko, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, gets the star treatment in this new show at the Museum of Fine Arts. Included are 11 masterpieces on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The exhibition opens with one of Rothko’s earliest paintings, Thru the Window (1938), on public view for the first time in the United States, and spans Rothko’s career, tracing his evolution from his early years, when he explored a surrealist style, to his multiform compositions and his classic color field paintings. See firsthand how Rothko explored the use of color as a form of expression. Admission is free for students with a BU ID.
Mark Rothko: Reflection is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., through July 1, 2023. Find hours and admission prices here (free to BU students with ID). Find directions here.Sunday, October 8 Boston Columbus Day Parade
Boston’s annual Columbus Day Parade, now marking its 80th year, celebrates the titular explorer, as well as the city’s storied Italian heritage and Massachusetts military units. The spectacle includes a mix of marching bands, Duck Boats, representatives from local Italian-American organizations, politicians, vintage cars, and more. Always held the Sunday before Columbus Day, the parade’s path changes from year to year. In odd-numbered years like this one, the parade begins at Boston City Hall Plaza and make its way to the North End via Congress Street, State Street, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway to Atlantic Avenue, Hanover Street, and Endicott Street, before completing a loop back to Hanover Street. In even-numbered years, the parade begins in East Boston and ends at Maverick Square near the waterfront.
The two-hour Columbus Day Parade starts at 1 p.m. To get to City Hall Plaza, take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Government Center or an MBTA Orange Line train to State Street.The 39th Annual Harvard Square Oktoberfest
This annual event dates back to 1978, and it has become one of the Boston area’s most popular fall festivals, drawing crowds of more than 200,000. Sponsored by the Harvard Square Business Association, the festival features food from around the globe, as well as arts, crafts, vintage goods, sidewalks sales, unique gifts, and free samples. There’s also live music. In addition to the bands from the Honk! Festival (see above), Harvard Square’s intimate music club, Passim, will have a special stage. And of course, it wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without beer: there will be six beer gardens throughout Harvard Square to help those 21+ slake their thirst.
The Harvard Square Oktoberfest is Sunday, October 8, from noon to 6 p.m., around Harvard Square. Admission is free and open to the public. Find more information here. Take an MBTA Red Line train to Harvard Square.Somerville Flea
At this open-air market, in the heart of Somerville’s Davis Square, you can find vintage clothing, furniture, and records as well as handcrafted jewelry, baked goods courtesy of Bye Bye Banana Bread, artwork, and more. The seasonal market, running from June through mid-October, also offers live music, starting at 1 p.m. This Sunday’s featured band is Spotted Tiger. Be sure to pick up some fresh produce from Dick’s Market Gardens and Greenhouses, based in Lunenburg, Mass.
The Somerville Flea is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays, from June through mid-October, at 52 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville. Take an MBTA Red Line train to Davis Square. Find a complete list of vendors here.Fall Foliage at the Arnold Arboretum
Looking to spend the holiday weekend outdoors? There’s no better place to be in the fall than the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain. Run by Harvard University, the arboretum is spread over 281 acres and has more than 4,000 trees, shrubs, and vines, making it easy to catch some fall foliage. This weekend is also the last chance to view the arboretum’s temporary exhibition The Evolution of an Urban Landscape: Recent Paintings of Forest Hills by Andrew Haines, which highlights the evolution of neighborhoods around the arboretum, like Forest Hills and Forest Park.
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year. The visitor center and the art exhibitions are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Wednesday. Admission is free. Take an MBTA Orange Line train to Forest Hills station.Monday, October 9 Zooarchaeology Laboratory Open House
Stop by Harvard’s fascinating Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology on Columbus Day to get a rare behind-the-scenes look at a major museum lab that helps archaeologists analyze and identify excavated animal bones. Researchers will be on hand to demonstrate the techniques they use to determine the age of a skeleton. The annual open house has become a popular draw for school-age children. Visitors are encouraged to bring any bones they may have uncovered in their own backyards and have them identified.
The Zooarchaeology Laboratory Open House at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, is Monday, October 9, from noon to 4 p.m. General admission is $12, $10 for students with a valid college ID and senior citizens, $8 for children ages one to three, and free for members and children under three. Take an MBTA Red Line train to Harvard Square and walk through Harvard Yard to Divinity Avenue.Christopher Columbus Park Fall Festival
The Friends of Christopher Columbus Park hosts its annual fall festival every Columbus Day. Sponsored by North End and Boston waterfront businesses, the family-friendly event kicks off with a children’s parade through the park. Expect to see magicians, storytellers, and games, as well as pumpkin- and face-painting. The event is free and open to the public, but guests are urged to bring donations of food items, such as whole-grain, low-sugar cereal, whole-wheat spaghetti, and tomato sauce to support a food drive for the Pine Street Inn.
The Columbus Park Fall Festival is Monday, October 9, at Christopher Columbus Park, 110 Atlantic Ave., from noon to 4 p.m. Find directions here.Fenway Alliance Opening Our Doors Day
Thanks to the nonprofit Fenway Alliance, Boston residents and guests will be treated on Columbus Day to a day of free cultural experiences throughout the five-mile Fenway neighborhood. Choose from among 80 events, such as musical and dance performances, walking tours of the Fenway neighborhood, and much more at the daylong event, which kicks off at 10 a.m. on the Christian Science Plaza, 235 Huntington Ave, and runs til 4 p.m. Free trolleys will shuttle visitors to key locations, including Evans Way Park and Northeastern’s Krentzman Quad. Among this year’s highlights are an interactive art installation at Evans Way Park titled American Therapy by Julie Ann Otis, painting and playing pianos at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Christina Science Plaza, and an interactive dry-erase mural by the nonprofit Art Resource Collaborative for Kids, also at the Christian Science Plaza.
Find more information about this year’s Fenway Alliance Opening Our Doors Day and a complete schedule of events here.
Alex Pena (COM’19) can be reached at [email protected].
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There are so many things to consider when choosing new flooring. It can be pretty overwhelming when you’re starting the process of shopping for new floors. Here’s some flooring considerations to think over.
You might also like this post on planning a room makeover.
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We recently replaced 90% of the flooring in our new home and we learned so much in the process.
Our home had a mix of carpet and laminate flooring throughout the home. While the laminate looked pretty good in most places, it wasn’t what we wanted for many reasons.
We ended up choosing this luxury vinyl plank for most of the house and carpet for the bedrooms.
We’re so happy with our decisions. The luxury vinyl plank is so easy to take care of. And I love how soft the carpet is.Flooring Considerations
There are many things to think about when choosing flooring for your home.DIY VS Hire It Out
The first thing to think about is should you DIY your floor or pay someone else to do it? I love DIY, but it’s not always the right choice.
We paid to have our flooring installed throughout the home and I’m so happy with the decision.Your Skill Level
Consider your skill level when deciding whether or not it’s a DIY job. Here are some things to ask yourself.
Have you installed this type of flooring before?
Does it seem easy?
Do you need special tools?
The next important question to ask yourself is if you like installing the floor? We installed luxury vinyl plank flooring and although it’s technically easy, I hate installing it and find it very frustrating.
Installing tile on the other hand requires special tools, but I enjoy it more. Installing carpet doesn’t seem like a DIY job to me though.Size of Project
Are you replacing the flooring in your entire home or just one room?
One room is an easy DIY project usually. An entire home can be daunting though.Your Budget
Your budget is the most important thing to consider. Hiring it out costs a lot more.
For reference, we paid about the same for installation as the cost of the materials. So double the price of the flooring to get an estimate.
The carpet installation was about 1/3 the cost. Technically the installation was free, but the cost for the carpet padding gets placed in that category when you pay.
At Lowes, projects costing over a certain amount sometimes qualify for other discounts. (You can also save 10% with a MyLowes card if you’re on active duty or a veteran.) This isn’t sponsored, I’m just a huge fan.
Installation includes removing the old materials, as well as moving furniture. They might charge extra for large furniture like a bunk bed though.Your Time
Hiring out the flooring installation will save you so much time. The carpet was installed in about 3 hours for 4 bedrooms. The vinyl flooring took about a day.
We patched a small spot of vinyl in my office where we removed some cabinets and it took us several hours to install a few square feet. It would have taken us weeks to install over 1000 sq feet for the rest of the house.
Not to mention figuring out all of the tricky angles around the walls and cabinets.
It did take about a month before they were able to install it, so I suppose it can be faster if you DIY. (With shipping delays and a high volume of people moving to this area, I think it took longer than usual.)Moving Your Furniture and Belongings
When you hire it out, everything needs to be removed from the room. They will move furniture, but all of your decor items need to be boxed up and moved somewhere else.
BEFORE the new floors
And you still need somewhere for the furniture to go while they work.
If you DIY your flooring, you can work on one room at a time and move what’s necessary instead of your entire home.Location of Home
We live in Florida and have a pool, so that means we need flooring that is waterproof. (It seems that most of the flooring here is at least water-resistant though.)
This also means that we want flooring that isn’t slippery. Tile and laminate flooring feel really dangerous when your feet are wet. The vinyl we chose has a slight texture that makes the floor a lot safer.
If you live in a snowy area, wood flooring probably isn’t the best choice for you. (Trust me, in my last house, the salt destroyed the finish on the floor.)
A warm floor versus a cooler floor is another thing to consider. Here in Florida, tile floors are pretty common, but it would be a horrible choice for a colder environment.
A house in the city is also different from a house in the country. In my last house, we were always tracking in mud, so carpet would have been a bad choice.
We’re in the suburbs now and there’s no mud here. Aside from a bit of sand, it’s much easier to clean.Location in Home
Some rooms are better suited to certain flooring types. Remember the carpet in the bathrooms in the 1970s and 80s? Gross.
Carpet is not the trendiest choice right now, but it’s a great choice in the bedrooms where you want a warm surface on your bare feet.
Waterproof flooring is great for rooms where water damage can occur, like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.Pets
We have a dog, so we wanted pet-friendly flooring. Vinyl doesn’t scratch like hardwoods, so that was our choice. It’s also less slippery for her.
Our dog also dictated color choices. She has black fur and sheds a lot, so I wanted flooring that would do a good job of disguising her fur.
The laminate flooring was light-colored and it showed every single hair that she shed, which drove me crazy. A darker color is necessary for my sanity.
The same goes for carpet color. Instead of that really light-colored carpet that is so popular, I chose a slightly speckled color. It does a great job disguising her dog hair and I’m always shocked when I vacuum.
If you have light-colored pets, lighter flooring is probably the better choice for you.Children
If you have small kids (or you are prone to dropping things) you probably don’t want tile.
Kids fall a lot, so you want something a little more gentle for them. (Or at least rugs.)
Kids are also messy, so keep that in mind when choosing your floor color.Noise
Softer flooring like carpet can also be quieter, which is important when you’re trying to get young kids to sleep.
Tile floors can be a lot louder.
Harder flooring can also create echoes which might be important if you do Zoom calls from home or record videos or podcasts.
If your home has more than one floor, carpet does a great job of dampening the noise.Style
Your style will probably dictate much of your choices.
Just keep in mind that today’s trend is tomorrow’s avocado-colored appliances. I would stay away from anything new and trendy and go for a classic look instead.
Neutral colors are always a good choice. (We just removed so much blue carpet.)
AFTER new flooringMaintenance
Keep maintenance in mind when you choose flooring (especially colors.)
Are you the type of person who likes to spend time cleaning or do you clean only when company is coming over?
Some flooring types are easier to clean and keep looking good than others. However, some materials need more frequent upkeep and maintenance.
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Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…
Celebrating Patriots Day Weekend Running of the 120th Boston Marathon and much more
Each year on the third Monday of April, Massachusetts celebrates the statewide holiday known as Patriots Day, commemorating the April 19, 1775, battles of Lexington and Concord, the first of the Revolutionary War. The annual Boston Marathon, which marks its 120th anniversary this year, is run the same day.
It’s the last long weekend of the academic year, so we’ve put together a list of events on and off campus—from a fashion show to a film festival to dance, theater, and art events—as well as Monday’s race details. Know of other events this weekend? Post them in the Comment section below.Friday, April 15 10th Annual Cambridge Science Festival
If you’re feeling intellectually curious, hop across the river for the 10-day (April 15 to 24) Cambridge Science Festival, which kicks off Friday. This annual “celebration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math” aims to make science accessible through a variety of performances, discussions, workshops, and activities. Find out what science might look like in 2026 from professors, science journalists, and Governor Charlie Baker at the Big Ideas for Busy People discussion tonight, April 15. On Saturday, the expo-style Science Carnival and Robot Zoo gives kids and adults more than 100 opportunities to learn and build things.
The 10th annual Cambridge Science Festival runs Friday, April 15, through Sunday, April 24, at venues in Cambridge and a few outside the city. Find a map of the venues here. Most events are free; some cost $10 to $20. Find a full schedule and tickets here.
Big Ideas for Busy People is Friday, April 15, at the First Parish Church, 1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Purchase tickets at $10 here. The Carnival and Robot Zoo, free and open to the public, is Saturday, April 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Cambridge Rindge & Latin Field House at the Cambridge Public Library, Broadway and Ellery Streets, Cambridge.Pals on the BU Beach
Here’s a chance to help support a great cause. BU’s Pre-Vet & Animal Lovers Society is holding its first fundraiser, to support the Brown Dog Coalition, a local nonprofit that finds Boston area homes for dogs from the island of Jamaica. There will be lawn games, a raffle, and prizes like two tickets to the New England Aquarium and a $25 gift card to Veggie Galaxy. WTBU DJs will provide the music (expect several plays of “Who Let the Dogs Out”). Best of all, there will be dogs on hand to play with.
Pals on the BU Beach, free and open to the public, is at the BU Beach, behind Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Ave., Friday, April 15, from noon to 4 p.m.Pavement Comedy Night: Spring Has Sprung
This campus coffee shop presents its monthly comedy show tonight. It’s titled Spring Has Sprung, Sean Sullivan of Comedy Central’s Live in Gotham headlines, and there are sets from Steve Macone of Last Comic Standing along with six other comedians. So order one of Pavement’s Spanish lattes or a fun seasonal special and enjoy the best jokes in these comedians’ arsenal.
Pavement Comedy Night is at Pavement Coffeehouse, 736 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, on Friday, April 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available online until they sell out or two hours before the show begins. A limited number of tickets is available at the door. It’s best to get there early if you want a seat.Women Rock! 2023 Fundraiser for BU’s Center for Gender, Sexuality & Activism
The student-run Center for Gender, Sexuality & Activism hosts its annual benefit concert, Women Rock! 2023, tonight, featuring performances by four local, woman-identified artists. From the provocative spoken word pieces exploring issues of race and religion of Chelsea Roberts (COM’14) to the playful DJ mixes of Dee;Diggs, BU student Danica Daniels (COM’16), the night should be both fun and reflective.
Women Rock! 2023 is Friday, April 15, in the Photonics Center Colloquium Room, ninth floor, 8 St Mary’s St., from 7 to 9 p.m. Find a full lineup here. Tickets are $5 to $10 (sliding scale) at the door.Spring 2023 Fashion Show: Hollywood Glam
Couldn’t make it to New York for fashion week last month? Don’t worry. BU’s Fashion and Retail Association, or FAB (Fashion at BU), is throwing its biannual fashion show at the GSU, with the theme of Hollywood glam. Watch BU models show off collections by 11 BU students, as well as clothing from local menswear store Ministry of Supply and women’s boutique Mint Julep. A cappella group Chordially Yours will serenade during intermission, and there will be raffles, giveaways, and great glam style.
The BU Fashion and Retail Association’s Spring 2023 Fashion how is Friday, April 15, in the George Sherman Union Metcalf Hall, 775 Commonwealth Ave., from 8 to 10 p.m. (doors open at 7). Purchase $10 tickets here.Megacities Asia at the Museum of Fine Arts
Megacities—defined as those with a population of more than 10 million—are sprouting up in Asia faster than anywhere else in the world. A mesmerizing new exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts titled Megacities Asia addresses the continent’s rapid expansion and the social, environmental, and political changes that have resulted. Featuring work by 11 artists from Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Seoul, many using everyday objects in unexpected ways, the provocative show reflects the sprawl of megacities. The objects in the exhibition are scattered throughout the museum, outside the building’s main Huntington Avenue entrance, and as far away as Faneuil Hall.
Megacities Asia is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, through July 17. The museum is open Friday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.; admission is free from 4 to 10 p.m. in honor of the city’s second annual One Boston Day. Any donations made Friday after 4 p.m. benefit the MFA’s Artful Healing program, which offers free art activities to children in Boston-area hospitals. The museum is open Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; closed Monday, April 18. Admission is free for members or students with a BU ID; $25 for adults; $23 for seniors and students 18 and over; free for children ages 6 and under; free for youth 7 to 17 on weekdays after 3 p.m., on weekends, and Boston public school holidays (otherwise $10); and free to the public on Wednesday evenings.Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, BU Theatre
Benjamin Britten’s opera A Midsummer’s Night Dream is at the BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston, Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 17, at 2 p.m. Purchase tickets online, at 617-266-0800, or at the box office. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for BU alumni, WGBH members, and Huntington Theatre Company subscribers, $5 for students (under 25) with ID. BU community members (ID required) can get two free tickets at the door on the day of performance.Saturday, April 16 John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo
Runners will want to check out the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo at the Hynes Convention Center. More than 200 exhibitors will showcase new fitness products, services, and events. The expo, free and open to the public, is where the 30,000 Boston Marathon runners will pick up their bibs.
The John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo is on Friday, April 15, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. A full schedule of runner times and weekend-long events is available here. Take a MBTA Green Line trolley to Hynes Convention Center.Crafter’s Carnival
Looking for a unique gift or something special to spice up your dorm or apartment? Students from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) and 30 local artists will be selling their works during this one-day art sale and exhibition. There will also be a panel with three professional artists speaking on how to connect with an audience and sell your work. For sale will be handmade jewelry, functional paper sculptures, illustrated vases, and more.
The Crafter’s Carnival is Saturday, April 16, at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 621 Huntington Ave., in the Pozen Center North building, facing Evan’s Way, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; free and open to the public. The panel discussion starts at 2 p.m. Take an MBTA Green Line B train to Arlington and transfer to a Green Line E trolley to Longwood.14th Annual Boston International Film Festival
Not in the mood for one of the current Hollywood blockbusters? Check out the 14th Annual Boston International Film Festival. The five-day festival will present 80 feature and short films from 35 countries over the course of 10 days.South Campus Open Mic Night
If you’ve been hankering to show off your musical talent, here’s your chance. The South Campus Residence Hall Association’s open mic night, in the 40 Buswell Street basement, offers a showcase for students of all musical stripes. Despite the title, this is an acoustic event: no amps or microphones. There is a piano, however, and those who have acoustic instruments are encouraged to bring them. Free food will be provided.
South Campus Open Mic Night is Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the 40 Buswell Street basement, free and open to BU students. If you are interested in performing, email [email protected].Boston Beer Summit
National Beer Day has come and gone, but if you missed it, you can still check out the annual Boston Beer Summit, the annual craft beer tasting now celebrating its 17th year. Visitors can sample from more than 200 beers from over 50 regional, national, and international breweries, among them Bent Water Brewing Company of Lynn, Mass., and Brouwerij Van Steenberge from Belgium. There will also be food and live music to enjoy while you sample your way through all those brews.
The Boston Beer Summit is at the Park Plaza Castle, 130 Columbus Ave., Boston. There are three sessions: Friday, April 15, 6 to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 16, 12:30 to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m. Purchase tickets, $56 for each session, here. Tickets include entrance, entertainment, tasting mug, and beer samples. A full list of breweries is here. This event is 21+. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Arlington.Companhia Urbana de Dança at the Institute of Contemporary Art
Lovers of contemporary dance will want to head over to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston this weekend. Renowned Brazilian-based hip-hop dance troupe Companhia Urbana de Dança, known for combining urban street styles and contemporary dance, makes its Boston debut. The San Francisco Chronicle calls the company “a marvel of gritty physical energy.” Performances are Friday and Saturday. After Friday’s show there is a free postperformance Q&A with the company.
Companhia Urbana de Dança performs at the Barbara Lee Theatre at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. Performances are Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m. Purchase tickets, $36 for ICA & World Music/CRASHarts members and $40 for nonmembers, here up to two hours before most programs or at 617-478-3103. Walk-up sales begin two hours before a program. There are Free preperformance talks with Boston Dance Alliance executive director Debra Cash are held in the ICA lobby both days 30 minutes before curtain.Sunday, April 17 Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has delighted audiences for 38 years, and this weekend the acclaimed contemporary dance company brings its original choreography to Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center’s Shubert Theatre as part of its Celebrities Series. These talented dancers will enthrall with their diverse repertoire.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is at the Citi Performing Arts Center, Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston, Friday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 17, at 3 p.m. Purchase tickets, $35 to $75, here. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Boylston Street.Huntington Theatre Company’s Can You Forgive Her? at Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
In this dark comedy by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Gina Gionfriddo, a young woman is offered shelter and a drink by a charismatic stranger on Halloween night. What happens next? You’ll have to see to find out. Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company and directed by Huntington artistic director Peter Dubois, this biting, darkly comedic play wrestles with big issues like love and money.
Can You Forgive Her? runs at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston, through April 24. Purchase tickets online, at 617-266-0800, or at the BU Theatre box office, 264 Huntington Ave., or at the Calderwood Pavilion BCA box office. Patrons 35 and younger may purchase $25 tickets (ID required) for any production, and there is a $5 discount for seniors. Military personnel can purchase tickets for $15, and student rush tickets are also available for $15. Members of the BU community get $10 off (ID required) and are also eligible for a special subscribers discount rate.Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic
If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, cross the Charles to Cambridge for what’s billed as “the largest puppet shadow play ever performed.” Titled Feathers of Fire, this breathtaking piece is the story of star-crossed lovers Zaul and Rudabeh and is based on the 10th-century Persian epic Shahnameh (The Book of Kings). Conceived, designed, and directed by Hamid Rahmanian, it has more than 140 colorful shadow puppets, performers decked out in elaborate costumes and masks, and 138 digitally animated backgrounds, all projected onto a 30-foot screen for an immersive “live animation” experience. Feathers of Fire sold out in Brooklyn and San Francisco earlier this year, so get tickets while you can.
Feathers of Fire, sponsored by the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies, is at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Fitzgerald Theatre, 459 Broadway, Cambridge. Performances of the 70-minute show are at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17. Purchase tickets, $40 general admission, $30 students and seniors, $25 with a Harvard ID, and $15 children 12 and under, here. Rahmanian gives a behind-the-scenes look at the production’s technical aspects after each performance. Take a MBTA Red Line train to Harvard Square and walk.
True Lies and False Facts: A Questionable Tour of Boston
April Fool’s Day has come and gone, but you can still get your fill of tricks with Boston By Foot’s special tour honoring the annual day of pranks. While walking through Jamaica Plain, one of Boston’s most vibrant neighborhoods, tour guides will regale you with plenty of crazy stories about Boston’s past, some true others not. After your questionable tour, you’ll enjoy some grub at Doyle’s Café, the fabled local watering hole beloved by local politicians. There the group will set about separating truth from fiction. Those who guess correctly will have a chance to win some great prizes.Monday, April 18 (Marathon Monday) The 120th Boston Marathon
Launched in 1897, the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and the most watched sporting event in New England, drawing annual crowds of approximately one million people. This year, an estimated 30,000 runners are expected to run the race, which begins in Hopkinton, Mass., and ends 26.2 miles later in Copley Square. With a forecast calling for sunny skies and temperatures around 70 degrees, it should be an enjoyable spring day to watch the Marathon as you end your holiday weekend.
Note: Security will be extremely tight because of the 2013 Marathon bombings. Spectators are asked to carry personal items in clear plastic bags. They should be prepared to pass through security checkpoints and have their bags and other items inspected. Find a list of discouraged items and more security information here.
The Boston Marathon is Monday, April 18; it begins at about 8:50 a.m. on Main Street in Hopkinton and passes through Kenmore Square on Commonwealth Avenue to the finish line on Boylston Street in Copley Square. A course map is available here. A list of optimal viewing times and locations is available here.
Kylie Obermeier can be reached at [email protected]; follow her on Twitter at @kyliekobermeier.
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