10 Great Business Books You Should Be Reading

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After a recent wine-buzzed Saturday night trip to Half-Priced Books with my pal Courtney, (we’re officially old) I have a new stack of great business books to start digging into. It got my thinking of how many great business books I’ve read over the past 5+ years. A few weeks ago I posted about 4 great marketing bloggers you needed to follow and got great feedback from it. So i figured sharing some of the great business books I’ve stumbled upon would be a nice gesture. So let’s get to it!

10 great business books you should be reading| HAVE READ | 

It’s Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be

I love this book, It’s my most recent read. It’s super short, but is filled with such great take-aways. I love motivating, quick-reads like this one. Would make a great stocking-stuff for any go-getter or creative.

Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

Oh, Richard Branson. What a life this man has had and is living. His brain and business intuition is on another level. Many of his earlier life experiences are so relatable and he just tells it like it is.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Tim Ferris is all about systems. Why? Because they WORK. If you are trying to grow your business, but you’re lacking efficiency and productivity, then this book is for you!

The Lean Startup

I won’t lie I still have not made it all the way through this book because every time I start reading it my brain starts working too much and I get distracted. But this is an Entrepreneur-101 book. ie: A Must Read

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days

Life lessons are invaluable. I truly believe the only way to become very successful is to make your fair share of mistakes before finding something that works. I love picking successful people’s brains and asking about their experiences (which is essentially what this book does). 99% of them tell anecdotes of the time they almost went bankrupt or told a few white lies just to keep their business a float. It’s all about the hustle.

Damn Good Advice for People With Talent

This book was given to me last Christmas. It’s another short, yet motivating read. I love books that speak purely to my creative side, as I feel like many books focus more on strategies, analytics and management. This is all about you and how to thrive as a creative. Hells ya!

| WANT/NEED TO READ |

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

While school wasn’t really my thing I absolutely LOVE learning. Psychology plays such a pivot role (probably the important role) in marketing and effectively communicating with your customers (or potential customers). As a strategic marketing director, I obsessively analyze my client’s customers digital behaviors and habits. I think the whole landscape of social media and digital marketing is fascinating. Definitely next on my read list.

Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster

Oh data. You beautiful, number-driven beast. I used to hate (still do) math, But I LOVE data, analytics and spreadsheets. I think that comes from being a super-competitive athlete for 10+ years. We were constantly looking at stat sheets with our coaches; using those percentages, averages, and benchmarks to improve our game and learn from our mistakes or successes. I now do this daily for my startup and my clients. Could I get better at it? OF COURSE, thus I want to read this book.

Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works

After becoming the poster child of how to NOT run a lean startup (although, compared to many failed startups, we didn’t do that bad) I think this book would be very useful to reference in the future. If you are still pre-funding/pre-revenue and still in idea form, I’d recommend learning as much as you can about Quickly Validating Your Business Model  [ Tweet this Content ] and making sure your ‘amazing idea’ will actually make you money! (Because while ‘following your passion’ is admirable, going to go broke doing it makes it much, much less appealing.) 

How to Win Friends & Influence People

Again, back to the topic of psychology. Marketing, blogging, social media, real life social/business interactions (which unfortunately are becoming rather scarce) is all a brain game. I’m pretty no bullshit when it comes to people. This is mostly due to a self-diagnosis of resting-bitch face. I also suffer from ADHD and a recent onset of moderate to severe anxiety. (All lovely right?!) Unfortunately, my job requires a LOT of interacting, people-pleasing and influencing (this is something, luckily I naturally excel in) But again, I can always be better.

There are SO many more amazing reads out there that deserve a mention. Am I miss a MUST-READ off my list? If so be sure to tell me below. Happy Reading! Like this list? Click Here to Easily Share it with Your Twitter Followers! 

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Date Night at aRoma Austin with Citygram

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A few weeks ago something happened to me that NEVER happens. I won a contest. I never win contests, giveaways, raffles…it just doesn’t happen. But thanks to a girlfriend who entered me in one via Instagram…I WON! And it was the most perfect prize for me. A night of pizza making and eating. Say whhhaaat!? *Does a happy dance* The inner fat kid in me was just.so.happy.

After a whole day of work, there was nothing more that I wanted to do that nosh on some handmade (by me!) pizza. J joined in and we got busy learning all about the necessary requirements to become a certified neapolitan pizzeria. YES. That is a real thing.

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There is apparently a lot that goes into becoming a qualified DOC-certified Neapolitan Pizzeria:

1. Wood-burning oven: The real Neapolitan pizza must be cooked in a wood-fired dome oven operating at a temperature of about 900 F.

2. Proper Ingredients: wheat flour type “00, Fresh tomatoes, Canned Peeled tomatoes, Mozzarella, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Fresh Basil Only, Grated Hard cheese must be used, Origano, Sea salt, Compressed yeast, All types of fat must be excluded from the dough

3. Proper technique for the preparation of the dough: Hand-worked or low speed mixer (fork or spiral). No planetary or vertical mixers are allowed.

4. Proper technique for the preparation of the pizza: Opening the dough only by hand and slapping on the working surface, transfer of the pizza on a peel by hand and adjusting the shape, cooking on an oven with a temperature of not less than 900° F for a time not exceeding the 90 seconds.

5. Proper Equipment: A proper work surface (usually a marble slab), a wood or aluminum pizza peel to introduce the pizza into the oven and a long handle metal round peel to turn and remove the pizza from the oven.

6. Final Product: Pizza Napoletana must be not larger than 11 inches with a raised edge crust of about 1 inch and a thin center.

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That wood burning oven is custom-made direct from Italy. I spy our pizzas getting all hot and bothered! It only took them 90 seconds those bad boys…so good to note: If you are not a patient pizza orderer, neapolitan pizzas are for you!

By the time J and I had taken the kitchen tour, made our pizzas I only had the patience to take one Instagram worthy shot, before I finished inhaling it.

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I’m so thankful to Citygram for choosing me as one of the winners. It was such a fun, unexpected evening. I’ll definitely be back to aRoma soon (possibly for their happy hour or 25% off Wine Wednesday!) 

Here is a short list of some of my favorite pizza places in Austin and some I’m still wanting to try:

Due Forni (downtown) 

Pieous (W 71)

Austin Pizza Garden (multiple)

House Pizzeria (airport blvd)

Eat Side Pies (eastside…duh)

Spartan Pizza (eastside, truck…so good)

Dying to Try:

St.Phiilip 

Bufalina

Via313

Well, there you have it. You know all know how much I love bread with melted cheese and toppings. The first step is admitting you have a problem right?!

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*I was not compensated nor asked to write this post by Citygram or aRoma. I just really fucking love pizza and wanted to share. Let me know if I’m missing a Austin pizza gem!)

How To Create a Great Blog Post in Less Than 10 Minutes

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Over the weekend I read It’s Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be, by Paul Arden. It’s a short, yet powerful read. I highly recommend it to any self-starter, creative or entrepreneur. We’re all busy people and sometimes it can feel impossible to constantly create and produce high-quality content. Not to mention then promoting and sharing that content on all our social various channels. That’s why people pay me to do it for them. (Although, then they seem to forget how much time and energy goes into it and try to say our job is ‘easy’ or that they could do a better job. But…that’s a post for another day) One thing I come across a lot is how much knowledge, experience and wisdom my client’s possess, but they aren’t properly leveraging it to promote their services, brand or business. Creating and maintaining a blog can seem daunting for many business owners, but with the right systems, it can be done. Here’s my system to create a great blog post in less than 10 minutes. 

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See? That’s not so hard now is it. Now, if you install the editorial calendar plugin and produce just 3 blog posts a week, you’ve put just 30 minutes into creating and scheduling highly valuable content. Tweet This Quote This content that can be dissected, pinned, shared, tweeted, re-blogged (you get the idea) for months after you’ve posted it. Violá! You’ve got yourself a great blog for your business/self! Not too shabby for a Monday!

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Can I Have That? 10.17

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10-16-14 


 

After a week of not so fun work, I’m welcoming the weekend with open arms! I’ve been self-medicating with lots of wine, chocolate & retail therapy though, which has helped easy the pain of difficult clients and technology snafus. I’ll be sharing my finds with you next week because I’m majorly excited about them. Especially this floral print peplum hem dress I scored from ASOS for only $40! I’ve been gravitating towards everything black & white and of course, gold. It just makes me so happy.

Tonight my girl Erin from Austin Fashion Week (btw, have you heard of their newest event: Fashion X Dallas? Because if you haven’t..you need to!) invited me to the private grand opening party for Found Austin. Found is a new stylish and chic boutique opening it’s bright magenta door on W.5th street & Oakland. And after checking out their Insta….

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(Um, these champagne bells are in the dressing rooms?! Kill me now. I fucking love it.) 

I’m just so giddy and excited to check it out. For once I feel like letting my hair down and going out rather than curling up on the couch. So I need to take full advantage before I change my mind! Be sure to catch me on Instagram or Twitter to see what crafts and other semi-interesting things I get into this weekend!

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Better Bites: Black Bean Brownies

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I love chocolate. I love wine, chocolate, my dogs and maybe like 3 people. I also love pizza, but that’s for another blog post. I won’t bore you with the story of how I came to loving chocolate because ironically when I was younger I despised it and now I can’t live without it. At least 70% organic chocolate goodness is my jam. Does my body and love handles love it though? No…not so much. I also love desserts, my figure also doesn’t care for desserts. So when I came across this recipe for black bean avocado brownies. I drank the kool-aid and gave it a go. I’m always down for crazy recipes like this. I am always fudging with recipes to make them healthier (read in Jason’s words; ruining them) but these bad boys were Ah-mazing. Please examine Exhibit A below:

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These brownies were the real deal. When I come across something I just truly love, I think it’s just rude if I don’t share. Also, if you are nervous or ‘grossed out’ about using black beans or a ‘weird stuff’ in your brownies instead of flour and other crap. Get over it. Just think about all the disgusting/unknown things they put in packaged food/fast food (gag, P.Terry’s you get a pass though. You’re delicious)Watch this trailer for Fed Up and consider making the switch to whole, real foods like these brownies from Ambitious Kitchen. I love these because you’re getting protein, they’re easy to make (you just throw everything in a blender/processor, then put in a pan and bake!) and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating them.

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They’re vegan, gluten-free and not loaded with oil or sugar. I adapted it a bit, using a little less brown sugar and a touch of agave. I would also make these again and consider adding a bit of cayenne pepper for a kick! (And to give that metabolism a friendly boost) As busy as I am, I can’t afford to eat crappy food. I notice it affects so many aspects of my life; My mood/blood sugar, focus, skin, energy…everything suffers if I get off track from eating real food. Click the picture below to get the whole recipe! black bean brownies vegan gluten free healthy

I beg you to just give these just one shot and see if you don’t ditch the boxed stuff!

Cheers to Chocolate!

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What is LikeToKnow.It and How Does it Work?

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As a marketing and social media professional, I geek out a bit when it comes to new digital tools. Especially ones that are useful, well-designed and highly-demanded. Many of you might be familiar with a company called RewardStyle. In their words,

“EMPOWERING THE WORLD’S PUBLISHERS & RETAILERS TO MAXIMIZE MARKET POTENTIAL BY PROVIDING AN ECOSYSTEM OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY & STRATEGIC CONSULTING.”

I could write about RewardStyle all day. The co-founder is a rockstar, Amber Venz Box, of the blog Venzedits. But anyways, LikeToKnow.it was built off the RewardStyle model after realizing a major player was being left out of the publishing equation for bloggers.

Instagram.

Instagram as we all know, is exploding. I put all my clients on Instagram, even if they don’t understand or think that they need it. (That’s what they’re paying me for right?) I adore Instagram for business and personal use. And so do bloggers. It’s essentially a visual micro-extension of your blog and gives you the ability to add another layer of personality and depth to your brand. Many bloggers use it as their primary source to connect with their readers and promote their content. And that’s where LiketoKnow.it stepped in. LikeitKnow.it monetization platform for Instagram

How many times have you commented on your favorite blogger’s Instagrams and asked, “Where did you get ___fill in the blank___ from?” A lot right? Or at least a few times.

As we all know Instagram doesn’t play the hyperlink game. (Read: Pain in the butt) The only spot for a clickable url is in our profiles. So before LiketoKnow.it, bloggers would just have to direct people to the profile link to either search their blogs to hunt down product links or just divulge where they got it from and miss out on a commission. Which is a bummer when a blogger spends hours putting outfits together, writing the blog posts and spending the time to publish great content for her readers.

LiketoKnow.it now enables bloggers to create shop-able Instagram photos for their readers. This is a blessing for both publishers and readers.

The best part about LiketoKnow.it is it is SIMPLE! Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.30.52 PM

See? SO simple. You can even customize how often the emails get sent to you. I get mine sent ASAP, because when I want something…I want it now. It’s really nice because you are able to instantly shop the looks that your favorite bloggers are posting without the frustration of having to hunt down links or wait for a response. Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 12.12.27 AM

Above is an example of one of my recent ‘shop-able’ posts. The products I selected to be included with this post are shown below. They link directly to their product page. Example: That necklace, it’s a stunner AND is 40% off. I had two people comment and ask where it was from. Solution: LiketoKnow.it!

I think one of my favorite features, is that it saves all your Liked ‘grams in one easy feed that you can go back to at any time to check out the products. So if you see an outfit or product you love, but have to hold off on buying it till that next paycheck rolls in, then you can simply double tap that photo and go back to your LiketoKnow.it account later to shop!

As a blogger, consumer and a social media manager, I think this tool is the tits. Yes, the tits. There are several other tools out there, but so far I’ve seen this one gaining to most traction. Instagram is still growing and is still fairly untapped in terms of marketing/monetization. Brands are quickly catching on as Facebook works to recoup the money they spent buying the platform. They’re currently testing sponsored ads (which people are complaining about, but I honestly think the ads are the least disruptive/obnoxious of any current SM platform. And if you see one you don’t like you just hide it and it learns what to show you.)

Are you using LiketoKnow.it already? If not, be sure to sign up at LiketoKnow.it and follow my feed to easily shop my posts!

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Tackle The Trend: Glittery Glam Pumpkins

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This time of year is so exciting; there is just something in the air. The anticipation of the holiday season distracts me from mourning the loss of my summer tan. I’ve been busy swapping out my beloved cut-off’s for cozy leggings and savoring warm cups of coffee while snuggled in mounds of blankets. Today though, we’re decorating some mini pumpkins! glam-pump-cover

Disclaimer: This is more of an inspiration post rather than a true ‘how-to’ because really, you can’t go wrong with glitter and sequins. Ever. These were such a blast to create and the possibilities are endless!

|  SUGGESTED SUPPLIES |

Lots of mini pumpkins…get more than you think you’ll want because it’s addicting!

  • Glitter…lots of glitter
  • Pearls, ribbons, sequins etc.
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Mod Podge & Tacky Glue

 

 

| GLAM PUMPKIN IDEAS |

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Chanel Pumpkin: Using white acrylic paint, paint 2 coats over entire pumpkin. Paint stem gold. Trace or hand-draw Chanel Logo, fill-in using black acrylic paint. Using tacky glue, apply small pearly beads around stem. Coat with thin layer of Mod Podge gloss to seal and shine.

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Black and White Stripe Pumpkin

Glittering Gold Stripes

A Simple Black Stem

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| MORE INSPIRATION |

Glitter Guide: Glammed-up No Carve Pumpkin How-to

Spray Paint & Chardonnay: Sequined Pumpkin

Unoriginal MomGlitter Monogrammed Pumpkin

Stone Gable: Knob-top Pumpkins (super original!)

And I took the liberty of illustrating 6 fashion-designer inspired pumpkins because I thought they might be super cute and guess what? They are….ta-da!!

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Love it? Good! Because I’m giving this original watercolor illustration away! Just comment below with what your favorite thing about Fall is.

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Shop the Sales: My Picks

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This weekend is going to be a doozie. We’ve got another weekend of ACL festival, the Texas v. OU game, a 3-day weekend; Oh, and a whole lot of pretty great sales. My wallet is going to hurt a little bit, but I’ve put a side a little shopping budget to rebuild my wardrobe with some much needed essentials and what better time than during the first of the early holiday sales? What’s on my list? Well…

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| SHOP THE POST |


I already nabbed the black suede contrast booties from Old Navy because I got a brown pair from them last season and wore them constantly! I’m obsessed with these  bar stack rings I bought from Madewell last weekend and ever since I’ve just been day dreaming about the rest of their jewelry, so with 30% off…I’m tempted…very tempted.

| Don’t Miss All The Steals & Deals This Weekend|

J.Crew Factory- 50% off entire site ends 10.12

Piperlime- 20% off with code FALL20 ends 10.13

Madewell- 30% off with code: OHFALL ends 10.13

Old Navy- Up to 50% on sale items and 15% off everything else with code: ONSAVENOW ends 10.13

Loft- Extra 50% off all sale styles! no code needed

Forever 21- 30% off with code: TAKE30 ends 10.19

Macy’s- 30% off with code: FALL  ends 10.13

Gap- 40% off with code: NEWOUTFIT ends 10.13

 

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Can I Have That? 10.09

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I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather this week. Which might explain the lack of blog posts. I also have several clients with large events coming up including an election and a 3-night fashion show within days of one another, so my brain and body has been working overtime. I’m sure many of you can relate to pushing yourself too hard, trying to do it all and then suffering the consequences. This past year I’ve tried to do a much better job of ‘self-care’ and making sure I do the little things to ensure I’m ready to kick ass everyday. I’ve been just craving solid night sleeps, warm cups of coffee with grass-fed organic butter (What?! You crazy bitch you’re going to get fat. Yes I’m crazy, but no I’m not going to get fat and here’s why I’m trying it) amazing candles and a much needed spa day. This week’s ‘Can I Have That?’ is all about pampering and treating yourself to some little luxuries.Can I Have That? Spoil yourself with these little luxuries

 

Ever since I took that bath last week at Hotel Zaza, I’m craving more. Lollia makes some incredible products and their bubble bath makes me want to cry. In a happy way. Speaking of crying, I feel like lately every YouTube video I watch gets the tears flowing, like this one about the girl who has a terminal brain injury and has decided when she wants to die. Ah-mah-gad, talk about learning to appreciate life and your loved ones. So the peepers are craving some good eye-mask action.

I popped into Anthropologie over the weekend (can you ever really just ‘pop in’ to Anthro? No, not really..) while helping Whitney find an engagement shoot dress and took my time perusing the candle selection. I decided on this pumpkin soufflé by Illume, but the Fir & Firewood by Capri Blue is next on my list once it gets a little cooler.

I’ve already started hinting to the bossman that I will be taking a personal day around the end of the month to prepare for the mountain of client events we have at the beginning of November. For all my lovely Austinites, the Away Spa at the W offers a local’s discount Monday through Thursday. 30% off any treatment. You also can go early or stay late and just chill by the pool with cocktails. Or hang out in the lounge, take a steam shower, drink pretty water etc. J and I have made full days out of this in the past and it is one of the most spiritually rejuvenating things ever. I would HIGHLY recommend for anyone who is go-go-go. Just take a day, put the phone away and CHILL! This is my little piece of heaven, so you’re welcome that I just spilled the beans on this great deal.

 

 | SHOP THE POST |


 

Oh, and the coffee? Well, check this out and get back to me. I’m trying it because I’m a nut and totally dig stuff like this. Have a happy and pampered day!

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The Art of Entrepreneurial Perseverance and Staying Positive

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Hello from Dallas! Yesterday was an exciting day for our startup business, Phox Charge! I’m proud to announce you can now safely charge your phone at Kung Fu Saloon in Uptown Dallas. This work-cation has been short, but so great and much needed. Jason has what I call ‘people mojo’ and somehow scored us a sweet room upgrade. IMG_0375

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And by sweet I mean suite. I got my scallop fix at Ocean Prime Steakhouse and stopped by Kung Fu on the way home to check on the unit to make sure everything was ok. While we were checking on it, we had our first person come up needing to use it! Bam! IMG_0380
Back in our room, we took a minute to reflect on life and everything we have accomplished to date. I suffer with anxiety and all that comes with that, so it can be hard to see the silver linings. Having the ability to look past the obstacles and let downs when good things happen, and relish them can be difficult, especially when it comes to business. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others and lose sight of all the hard work and dedication you’ve put in. Jason always does an amazing job of persevering and staying calm under pressure. That’s why today I’ve invited him to co-write this post with me. So without further ado…I pass it off to Jason! (because I’m going to make full use of this $1,500/night room and go take a bubble bath before they kick us out!) IMG_0385

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So here goes nothing! Hi Jason here, Lauren’s boyfriend and business partner. I have been involved in Lauren’s post (who do you think holds the camera?) a number of times but this is the first time I’m actually writing. Usually I’m waiting not so patiently to eat my food, finish a project or just relax while Lauren takes a picture or “frames” the shot…I still love you!

Where to begin?  Lauren has written a lot about startups and the stresses of being an entrepreneur but I want to touch on the ability to persevere and stay positive in business and in life.  Often times we are faced with hurdles that seem to high to jump and how you react to that will often times lead to better situations.  Lets just say we were dead in the water a few months ago!  We had just visited with a manufacturer that found numerous design flaws with our original Phox Box and brought to our attention that we were going to need a lot more money.  While sitting on the beach in Huntington Beach, CA we were going through the tough decision to fold up shop or figure out a way to get it done.  I absolutely hate losing, Lauren beats me all the time, but I still hate losing.IMG_0379

Exhibit a. Lauren beating me 4 times in a row at Mario Kart…I was Mario, She was Toad. 

 This was a no lose situation and by simply working through the problem we figured out a solution.  We partnered with a small company that was already manufacturing a product that was identical to what we were trying to do. They had the product we wanted but not a big enough reach to get into new markets. We wanted to manufacture our own product but in reality, what were we thinking!! Manufacturing is not our core business and is not in our wheel house of things we are good at.

(Our ‘Ya! We’re going to Dallas’ selfie) IMG_0374
So here we are almost 6 months later having just installed a unit in Dallas. This might not seem like a huge accomplishment to most, but for us it’s huge. The point I am trying to make and eventually get to is that it’s all about perspective and staying positive. When things are going south it often feels like the world is against you. Whether it’s business or just life it’s never as bad as it seems. I don’t know how or why, but I have always been able to take a step back and look at the big picture. It’s all about the perspective you take! You can look at the Mona Lisa and think it is the worst painting you have ever seen, but if you change your perspective and look at what is actually accomplished in that painting you might change your views. Life and business truly correlate on many levels.  It’s all about perseverance and perspective.IMG_0383
(I didn’t look twice at these books in our hotel room, but once Lauren took this picture, it changed my perspective.)

So when things just don’t quite work out as planned, take a look from a different angle and you might just find the solution. That’s all from me for now!

Uh, ok…I’ll just go ahead and give my blog to Jason permanently. How great was that? Almost better than that bubble bath I just took. We have worked together on both Phox, in the bars, on our relationship and other projects together for over 3 years now and I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from him! He’ll definitely be invited back to guest post again I guess! Now… to finish our breakfast in bed!IMG_0384

signature-miad with help from Jason

You can follow our business adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! We love making new friends!

Quick and Easy Healthy Fall Recipes

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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 Catherinebest fall recipe: roasted brussel sprouts with almonds and cranberries! perfect for winter!

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?

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My Favorite Fall Denim Trends

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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.fall-denim-trends

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. 

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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. IMG_0117

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. spanx-29

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.

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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!?

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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!!)

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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?

SHOP MY FAVORITE FALL DENIM TRENDS


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Dress Your Tech: The Most Stylish iphone 6 Cases

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  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.

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SHOP THE POST (top to bottom)

For the Interior Designer: ‘Real Marble’ Case | Society6 $35.99

For the Socialite: Two-Toned Black&Gold Case | Spigen $16.99

For the Minimalist: Mint & Clear Case | Spigen $8.99

For the Sweetheart: Black Stripes with Gold Hearts Case | Nordstrom $35.99

For the Fashionista: Snake Print Tough Case | Rebecca Minkoff for CaseMate $38.99

For the Rebel: I’m Not Doing Shit Today Case | Light In The Box $10

For the Girl On The Go: ‘Stripe Autumn’ Case | Sonix $35.00

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