For the past few weeks I’ve been in a bit of a food rut. Most likely a nasty combination of moving, crazy work schedule and just a general lack of putting myself first. But now that things have settled down a bit I have no excuse for downing breakfast tacos daily and crushing a whole pizza by myself twice in one week. YES…that happened. (For the record, pizza is probably my favorite food. SO cliché, but it is just fucking delicious. Pineapple and mushroom…it’s weird, but it’s my jam.) To follow up that tangent; I’ve always been, in general, a very conscious and healthy eater. *Cue ironic moan and eye-rolling* But really; grocery stores, packaging and preservatives give me anxiety. I really hate eating things that have been processed and tinkered with. I was vegan for a year, but the amount of fake product I was consuming was disgusting. Remember, just because it’s ‘vegan’ does NOT instantly translate to healthy! I’m so excited for fall/winter because I love the produce and meals that comes into season. Who’s ready for soul-warming soups, pumpkin everything and left-overs!? <<insert raising-hand girl emoji here>>
But coming home after a super long work day and then having to prepare food and cook is NOT my idea of a good time. But I also know I perform so much better when I use food as fuel instead of a abusing it. So to save myself a ton of time (and money) during the week, I love preparing food and meals in bulk on Sundays! Example: I spent $74 at Trader Joe’s and bought food for the entire week (and that included a basil plant and hydrangeas!) and about 2 hours preparing my meals! This brings me to my first meal:
I love brussel sprouts, but NEVER cook them. I’ll only enjoy them when I’m out at restaurants…I’m still dreaming of the super crispy ones at Uchiko and the full-flavored ones last week at The Grove. Not only are these bad boys super healthy (health benefits of brussel sprouts), but they are filling and reheat beautifully. So you can read that as: lots of meal opportunities. This recipe has served me for 3 different meals this week. I also need to mention that the inspiration for this super easy fall recipe came from my best friend, the beautiful Mary Catherine.
I ate this solo one night, added it into my quinoa mix for lunch the next day and tonight for dinner I stuffed it into a Delicata squash (which is SO cute and delicious, recipe coming soon!) and had the most amazing meal! Boom, 3 days of meals less than $5 in under 25 minutes!
I will be posting a few of my other favorite healthy fall and winter recipes over the next few weeks. I love hacking recipes to make them healthier so I’d love to share them! What favorite healthy winter and fall recipes do you look forward to making?
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a fun blogger soiree hosted by Fab’rik in the Hill Country Galleria. A small group of us were invited out to preview some of the newest Fall denim they had just received.
They have these great new skinny grey Hudson’s. Hudson is going through a bit of a rebrand, moving away from their signature flap pocket for something a little flatter. I dig it. We saw a lot of great new styles and I even learned a new trick for taking care of denim.
They gifted each of us with a new pair of Spanx jeggings and I’m OBSESSED. I also had a chance to talk to Fab’rik owner Leslie for a while and she was a doll! She was an amazing host and we chatted about Fab’rik brands and what looks we were loving. Also good to know, Fab’rik has their own in-house design studio and buy entire bolts of fabric so you won’t find the same designs anywhere else.
A Shiner ruby redbird while shopping and trying on cute clothes? Count me IN! I wanted everything but I resisted and only scooped up this super cute black layered crop top and this flow-y high/low dress that I will be wearing out on our date night in Dallas later this week.
Let’s get back to these Spanx jeggings shall we? Ah-mazing. I will be living in these things this fall/winter, so don’t judge me. I paired them with the new crop top for a super chic and easy (did I mention comfy?) work outfit. I brought Chloe out to snap some pictures of the look when I got home from work.
They snuck in their signature red with a red snap on the back pockets. These bad boys are SUPER stretchy, soft, run xs-l and feature a great little front panel that keeps you all sucked in. They’re like a butt-lift in a box, seriously, can I get an amen!?
Chloe wanted to show off the fact she doesn’t need Spanx for her adorable doggie booty. Bitch. (just kidding, i love you Chloe-Einstein!!)
Some of the trends I’ve had my eye on:
Mid and high-wasted trumps low-rise (finally)
Wax-coatings and leather looks
Skinnies and boyfriends are still a go
Colors: Eggplant, hunter green and grey
What Fall denim trends are you most excited to sport?
I got an iphone 6 the day they came out. Not because I was standing outside an Apple for 24 hours, but I happened to walk into Target that morning and saw them on display. I was due for an upgrade, so bam! 30 minutes and $100 later I was out the door. Problem is, there aren’t too many stylish iphone 6 cases out there yet. I was going to hold off since the gold and white is so pretty, but it’s hard to hold and after watching this video, I figured it was time to get one. I settled on this Mint & Clear Case so I could still see the gold. Although, I think that white marble one is next one my list. Major swoon.
Sharing is caring. That’s why today I’m sharing some of my favorite marketing and social media blogs you need to know about. But I’m not going to give you the normal list of ‘top marketing experts’ like Gary Vaynerchuk, Jeff Bullas, Seth Godin…let’s throw a female in there shall we, Mari Smith...because that would be a snooze and too easy. Not to say the aforementioned figures aren’t amazing at what they do, I just want to throw a couple of names you may not have heard of, that I really trust and admire for different reasons.
I can’t say enough good things about Ted Rubin. I had the pleasure of meeting him two years ago during SXSW, where he gave me a signed copy of his book. This past SXSW we all met up one night on a whim via Twitter of course! And he then invited J and me to a panel that he was speaking on the next day. He is one of the nicest, most sincere people I have ever met and he knows his shit. This book put everything in perspective for me and severely changed my outlook of how I approach relationships both in real life and online. (In a good way of course!)
Ted is a Social Media strategist, keynote speaker, brand evangelist and acting CMO for Brand Innovators. Get a copy of this amazing book HERE and follow him at @tedrubin
Rebekah‘s blog stands out to me because it’s focused, easy to read and relatable. It’s also not all ‘me, me, me’. A lot of super popular blogs I’ve noticed are constantly trying to sell their products, services or selves to you while you’re simply trying to access their content. I get it, we all need to make a pretty penny, but that’s why I enjoy Rebekah’s blog. Yes, she has some banner ad’s promoting her products, but it’s not plastered all over. Super valuable and actionable posts as well.
Rebekah is a social media strategist, speakerand digital marketing specialist. As well as the Chief Experience Officer of Imagine WOW. You can read her blog here and follow her @RebekahRadice.
Curalate is one of my current favorites. I’m ALL about UGC (User-generated Content) and so are they. See, they even have a whole tab for UGC. I love how they present and layout their blog posts. They are a data and results-driven marketing product. This gives them the unique ability to gather TONS of useful data and insights from big brands that most of us wouldn’t normally have access to. The case studies are fascinating and their blog never disappoints.
Curalate is the world’s leading marketing and analytics suite for the visual web. They have GREAT webinars and are constantly offering free PDF’s so be sure to follow them! @Curalate.
A true Austinite; lover of breakfast tacos and marketing, Noah Kagan’s blog is super no frills and aptly titled, “OkDork”. What I love about Noah is that he lays it all out there, isn’t afraid to use his failures as good learning lessons and always is sure to inject a good amount of humor into his posts. I subscribe to his email newsletter and it’s great. He’s also always giving away useful/free marketing products! (Who doesn’t love the price of free?)
Noah is the Chief Sumo at AppSumo.com, where he promotes cool tools and content to help entrepreneurs kick more ass. Before that he was a ‘cubicle monkey’ at Intel, #30 at Facebook and #4 at Mint. Explore Noahs’ blog HERE and @NoahKagan
There are SO many more but there are just some of my favorite go-to’s. I’d love to hear what social media blogs I need to know about!
I haven’t done a DIY post in such a long time, so this makes me excited! I drive Jason crazy sometimes because I always throw out the line, “I could make that.” Now will I make it? No…probably not. But could I? Yes.
Now a headboard…I can do a headboard. We have a perfectly good bed, so why not do a little repurposing? J and I had planned a date night for one of our few nights together, but we decided to spend the $100 on this instead. We popped into Joann’s and we chose a slightly off white leather-looking vinyl. It was the perfect type of material for this project, but a thick linen or similar decorative fabric would work well too.
What You Need:
-Fabric (2 1/2 yards for a King)
-Flat, old headboard
-3″ Foam Padding
-Staple Gun and Scissors
-Nailhead trim, rope or individual nailheads
Upholstered Headboard DIY How-To:
1. Attach the foam to your headboard
I love this super 77 spray adhesive. It’s super tacky and dries quickly while working well on a variety of different materials. The foam was a little short but we lined it up with the top and it ended up being ok because our mattress comes up pretty high. If I were to do it again I probably would have bought two rolls of foam so I could have wrapped it over the top as well.
2. Attach your fabric
Lay your fabric wrong side up and then lay the headboard down on top of it, wrapping the fabric up and over. We began by stapling the top. I started in the middle and worked our way to the edges. I put a staple about every 1-2 inch. It was a lot of staples…
After the top, I wrapped the corners. This part was a little tricky, but think of it like wrapping a present. I tucked the extra in and did a little straight fold that lined up with the top edge.
After the two top corners, we worked our way down the sides. This was definitely a two person job. Make sure the fabric is tight and even. I cut off the excessive from the bottom and folded the bottom edges the same as I did the top.
The back of it once we finished stapling. Not too shabby!
3. Add your nailhead or trim
Ok, so this part was a doozie! We definitely had to pause for a glass of wine (it was date night after all!)
This part was really difficult and took some time. We didn’t take into account that we would need some slack in the fabric to account for the 3″ foam. Luckily the fabric had a bit of give and we hadn’t pulled it as tight as possible, but I think if I ever did a project like this again I might attach the nail-trim first, then finish upholstering. We used a measuring tape as we went to make sure we were staying straight, but it was difficult because the roll was not straight. Next time I might do individual nail heads. Jason hammered the nailhead while I measured and made sure it was straight. This part took us a good bit of time, but eventually found a rhythm. We were so nervous the whole time because there was no going back once we started!
A close up.
We both love how it turned out and it definitely brightens up the room. I’m still shopping around for new bedside tables and some jazz for the wall. The skull that we used to have above the bed got retired to the living room. I’m thinking a large sunburst mirror or something like that would look great above it. Suggestions are very welcomed!
If you are loving the upholstered headboard look, but don’t want to get your hands dirty:
Phew! Another Sunday is here and it will soon be gone. I am nursing a somewhat terrible hangover from a fun night out with some friends. I am going to a blogger dinner tonight at Fab’rik in the Hill Country Galleria. We’re going to be talking about Fall Denim Trends and trying on some new styles, so I’ll definitely be sharing that on the blog later this week.
Our apartment is really coming together and I’m so happy to finally have some order restored! J got the curtains hung up for me and I spent my Friday night assembling IKEA furniture. Which I actually enjoy because I love tinkering and building things. We got this glass table and clear chairs and I got a dress to get my closet together.
Once we have the funds I’ll be getting a faux cowhide rug to finish off this little nook. And speaking of building things, we got crafty and DIY-ed our old headboard. It turned out great so I’ll be doing a full post on that sometime this week.
In other exciting news from life lately would be upgrading to the iphone6! The nature of my job essentially requires me to work from my phone all day. I was due for an upgrade so I figured I’d treat myself.
I got the gold and white, obviously. Apple did a good job on this one. My favorite thing is the camera. SUCH a big improvement from the 5. Already loving the photo quality it is producing and makes me feel like I don’t even need to carry my point and shoot around anymore. Mashable did a bit of the leg work on this topic here. Anyone else make the switch already?
Well, time to pull myself together and get out the door to talk about some denim!
I could start with the obvious: It’s hard. But that would be no fun would it? That is somewhat of a given, but there are so many things I have discovered after starting a business that I would have never thought about. I have found Facebook to be pretty useless lately, but I stumbled upon this blog post that seemed like a must-read. And it did NOT disappoint. He hit the nail on the head. “How Quitting my Corporate Job For My Start-Up Dream F*cked My Life Up” by Ali Mese. it’s a long post but if you are an entrepreneur or are just venturing out on your own, or still thinking about ditching the 9-5 for ‘entrepreneurial freedom’, READ THIS POST.
1. Listen to everyone, but trust no one.
This sounds super pessimistic of me, but I swear this is the number one thing I wish someone had told me before we started working on Phox. When you have a good idea and everyone around you is offering up advice, insight, guidance etc. LISTEN. Everyone I surrounded myself with had years and years of experience on me. (Obviously, I was a 21 yr old bartender) So I listened, but what I should have never done was then blindly trust these people who: A) I barely knew B) At the end of the day, were still investors (read: own interests not yours) C) Might not be as credible as their paper resumes.
2. Since we’re talking about listening, listen to your gut.
As they say, ‘You can’t bullshit a bullshiter.’ When we were working on our original prototypes I had an off feeling about the man who told us he would essentially be our ‘project lead’ and help us get our units designed, prototyped and manufactured. Again, trust no one. He was a family member of one of our lead investors, so why shouldn’t we trust him? But from the beginning I just had that feeling in the pit of my stomach. We spent almost a year with this guy and WAY too much money.I remember one meeting J and I got in a huge fight because I wanted to drop him then and there because I knew he was lying (refer to my first statement), but we decided to take his word. I wish I had stuck to my guns and listened to my gut because 6 months later we were no further along and still bleeding money. Finally, I put my foot down, dropped him and cut our loses.
3. Be ok with missing out and not having a social life
In the beginning I loved sharing updates on our ‘little side venture’. It was exciting, it was my idea and it was going to ‘be huge!’ (like every startup right?) But as we started to take bad advice and break cardinal rules of starting a business (quitting our jobs before saving anything, not taking enough investment money blah blah) I began to dread talking to my friends, acquaintances and even family. Especially after our first failed launch that sent us back to the drawing board, I became a recluse. I’ve also spent years dealing with undiagnosed anxiety, so once I began treating that I no longer put pressure on myself to constantly be out and about. Once I was able to see the bigger picture and put into perspective how much more important my startup was to my future than a few drinks on the weekend. I was ok with missing out and severely reducing the size of my friend circle.
4. There is no definition of ‘success’ you must define it for yourself
I love the saying, ‘to each their own.’ I’m a pretty open-minded soul. Everyone’s definition of success and how they will achieve it is different, so ‘to each their own.’ I love how Ali explained it in his post which you can read here. I still haven’t achieved what I put in place for myself as ‘ultimate success’. But that is ok, because everything I’ve experienced so far is building up towards that.
4. Be a good communicator
I thought I was an ok communicator until I started a business. I am (was) a fucking terrible communicator. I attribute half of it to undiagnosed anxiety/ADHD but the other half to just never taking the time to learn or practice proper communication skills. I have become a much better communicator than I was 3 years ago, but I still have lots of practicing to do. The thing I need to most work on is effectively explaining my thoughts and ideas. Being in a relationship with my startup partner also gave me a LOT of communicating skills. But I’ll save that for another post. I just wish someone had told me earlier how important it would be to be an effective communicator.
There are so many things I’ve learned from starting a business. Maybe there is a reason nobody tells you things before starting a business. They are just lessons you HAVE to learn as you go. But hopefully this post helps even just one person avoid some of the things that lose me a lot of time, money and sanity.
Are you thinking about starting a business? Have you already, and experienced something (good or bad) that nobody bothered to tell you about? I want to know!
Sometimes I just love my job. On Wednesday I had the pleasure of taking a long lunch to pop into Neiman Marcus for a Fall fashion presentation hosted by Dallas fashion blogger Merritt Beck of The Style Scribe.
Our client, Fashion X Dallas, is the newest event from the Austin Fashion Week brand. It will be a fun, fashion-filled 3 day event in Dallas this November. If you live in Texas and love fashion, it will be a must attend sort of affair, you can view all the designers and buy tickets here. We were treated to champagne sips and little nibbles while we mixed and mingled before the preview started.
I love events like this because Austin is still such a small city. I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Austin blogger, Liz of Liz The Austinite. And Miró of Dose of Dash, who does marketing for Consuela, a brand who will be showing at FXD as well. We ended up realizing we already knew each other via previous blogging events and of course, Instagram. Love it. We then spent 20 minutes viewing fall trends and oo-ing & ahh-ing over the cozy/chic looks. Can it just get cold already?!
What We Saw For Fall
-Unexpected pairings: Pastels for fall (LOVE this!) and crop tops over delicate blouses
-Strappy heels and caged booties
-Tassels are trending
-Leggings and lots of leather
-Electric blues, hunter greens and shades of grey
SHOP THE FALL FASHION TRENDS
We’re making an IKEA run today for some closet organizing essentials. Once I get my closet in order, I’ll be doing some ‘Fall cleaning’ and stocking up on these essentials for sure. I definitely see myself working some crop tops and pastels into my winter wardrobe!
Fact: I love wine. Is there anything I don’t like about wine? No…not really, except as soon as you pop that sweet cork (oh, that sounds dirty) it starts to go bad. Which explains why I often feel compelled to finish the whole bottle in one evening. While enjoyable as that may be, it isn’t great for my wallet or waistline. So when I discovered VinEdge, my heart skipped a beat.
VinEdge is just like any other wine preserver tool…but ten times better.
It’s super easy to use and the concept is pretty simple. It is a No Pump Wine Preserver. There are two main components, the pour spout and the disposable ‘air bags’. You simply attach an air bag to the pour spout and insert the folded bag into the bottle of wine. Attach the spout to the bottle…and pour.
The spout is engineered to let air into the bag, inflating it as wine leaves the bottle. This creates a vacuum effect and seals the wine so your wine stays oh so fresh! Genius right?!
This is a great tool if you have a really nice bottle of wine that you are enjoying slowly and don’t want it to spoil. I was so pleasantly surprised by this nifty tool and can’t believe I had never heard of it before. The only thing I didn’t love about it is the wine pours a bit slower than normal (this obviously isn’t the end of the world)
Another thing that sold me on VinEdge is the fact the founders are from Austin. You know I love a good entrepreneurial venture! The idea for VinEdge came from watching fellow wine drinkers repeatedly receive a glass of wine that was past its prime. (this has happened to me both as a customer and bartender. Nothing more annoying that receiving or serving wine that has gone bad) It took the founders over 3 years to develop this product and finally bring it to market, something I can COMPLETELY relate to!
You can see as the bag inflates it seals against the sides of the bottle to keep any air from coming into contact with the wine. I tested it with 3 different bottles of wine over the last month and half to make sure their claims weren’t full of air. (pun very intended) And they’re solid. It kicked my traditional pump preserver’s BUTT! I even left one bottle for two weeks and it still tasted the same from when I first opened it. We call that a Wine Win!
As we move into the gift-giving holiday season, this would make a GREAT gift for any wine lover!
Today mark’s another busy work week and I’m hitting the ground running. After years of late nights and lazy days being a bartender, I’ve had to train my body clock to accept ‘normal people’ hours. Now, I can spring out of bed at 6:30am and get through the work day (most days) like a seasoned pro and still have energy to get a workout in (sometimes). I always like to start Monday’s off on a good note. Here are some things I’ve found to help me have a very productive Monday:
1. Have a relaxing Sunday
I used to want to maximize my Sundays and get as much done as possible. Now I embrace the art of doing less and it leaves me excited for Monday. I’ll pick 1 or 2 things on my to-do list to get done and then leave the rest of the day unplanned. Brunching is also a nice activity for Sundays.
2. Give yourself an extra 30 minutes
I set my alarm earlier than normal to enjoy a cup of coffee and embrace the calm of the early morning. My routine is feeding the dogs, making a good cup of coffee and reading a few of my favorite blogs to get inspired before I ever leave the house. Sometimes I’ll even use the time for quick run or workout if I’m feeling really frisky.
3. Eat a good Breakfast
This is one thing that I never skip on. Food is fuel people. My go-to ‘power breakfast’ is hummus toast with an egg on top. Get fancy with your bread and be ok with paying more for it, it’s worth it nutritionally. I love the sprouted wheat berry bread from Sprouts. (If you want to know why I would ALWAYS choose sprouted wheat bread over anything else…) If you don’t like hummus (shame on you), try avocado toast instead or a delicious green smoothie.
4. Wear a ‘power outfit’
I recently began a new experiment of only wearing black or white to work to simplify and streamline my work days. But I’ve also been trending more to throwing a few wedges/heels into my week. It just jogs my brain into thinking, ‘Oh, it’s time to get shit done.’ Maybe it’s because a bit of height forces you to walk like a fucking boss. Whatever makes you feel like that…wear that. Except sweats, don’t ever where sweats if you plan on trying to be productive. That shit will never work.
5. Plan out your day the night before
I always seem to think of the 100 things I have to do the next day right before my head hits the pillow. So I’ll keep my weekly planner bedside so I can quickly jot down my schedule of to do’s for the next day. I also like to review my day ahead so I can wake up with a clear plan of action. I suffer with anxiety so this is one thing I do that definitely helps reduce my stress surrounding future plans and time management. (Now, do I always stick to the plan? Hell No, but I take comfort in knowing it’s there if I need it!)
The weather is finally cooling down and we’re getting some much needed rain. Texas plays UCLA today…and this is me not caring. Instead, I’m making the most of this cozy Saturday by catching up on some blogging and taking some much needed me time. Last night we attended MOD at the LBJ Museum and it was so fun playing a little dress up. You can find my dress here.
If you’re like me and haven’t made any plans to get out of your pajamas this weekend, you might enjoy a few of these links from around the inter-webs
Side Note: Tonight I’m attending an event for our new client, Austin Fashion Week. It’s called MOD: A Modern Take on 60’s Fashion. Several local designers were asked to create a look inspired by pieces from Lady Bird Johnson’s closet. Her fashion from her husband’s time in office has been archived and stored in the vaults at the LBJ Library. This is the first time the public will be seeing them so it will be a really fun event! I’ll be Instagramming from their account and mine so be sure to follow, or say hi if you are attending!
This week has been incredibly productive for me. I got a ton of work accomplished and the decorating of our new place is definitely coming along. Our new rug gets delivered soon, inspired by this one. I’ve been largely inspired by heavily neutrals, mixing metallics and black lately. I’m also experimenting with only wearing black and white to work to simplify my mornings and so far it’s working well. (More to come on that later) I’m finally feeling inspired again, I was experiencing a bit of a creative rut for a bit. But I’m out of it and I feel fantastic!
The last three years of trying to “make it” have been difficult, exhausting and at many times, down right miserable. Like, fucking terrible. I won’t sugar coat it. When we first started, Jason and I were just bartenders with a crazy (good) idea. I’ve had such a unique journey in comparison to so many of my peers. While there were times it was difficult to see the silver lining; having someone by my side to weather the storm made all the difference for me.
I absolutely love this post on WeWork, “Life or Death Survival Lessons For Entrepreneurs“. It’s well written, insight and just so honest. I couldn’t have said it better myself. So I’m not going to. Instead, read it and see for yourself. If you don’t have time (though, you should really make some, it’s a really good post) here are the main points:
1. Keep the big goal in perspective, no matter how unattainable
2. Plan for adversity
3. Fixate on incremental progress
What struggles or obstacles have you had to overcome? How did you do it?