The rumors are true. I’m ditching work on Thursday to jet off to Santa Barbara for a MUCH needed extended weekend to catch up with my long lost best friend. August is going to be a crazy work month for me. I have a lot of exciting things pipelined, all of which will keep me uber busy, but they’ve got me doing red dress dance girl emoji all over the place. I love the anticipation and unpredictability when traveling. We can get so caught up in our daily dramas and stresses, it can be easy to forget how refreshing it is to step away from your routine to just go with the flow. And I can’t think of any better place to step towards than the beach in SB!
I snagged some new items for trip including this ah-mazing cloth & stone dress, a mini-mac bag from Rebecca Minkoff and these sandals that were on sale at Target. So comfy I might go get another pair (and they were only $13! Happy feet. Happy wallet) I also picked up a super affordable Panama Hat from TJmaxx, because I think I look bad in hats. Therefore, I’m scared to make a real investment in them. But I am crushing on this one from J.Crew! That lime green ribbon just makes my heart sing.
Have you seen these Flash Tattoos yet?! I want to try and make it over to Everything But Water before I leave, but I don’t know if I’ll have enough time! They are just such a perfect glam treat for the beach! I’m obsessed.
This Kickstarter campaign for The Coolest Cooler…Not only is this guy a badass for raising $6.8 mil in a month, (he was originally trying to only raise $50k!), but his product is PERFECTION! I know first-hand how difficult designing a product ready for mass production and the complexities behind volume manufacturing. And this won’t be ready for a while. I will definitely be purchasing one when it hits the shelves, but until then this monogrammed sleek soft-wall ice cooler with speakers will have to do.
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Follow me on my weekend romp around Santa Barbara via my Instagram!
Mondays can be rough for some people after a weekend of cheat meals, late nights, and too much dancing up in the club. (not that I would know as I spent my Saturday drinking boxed wine while building a website and watching Pretty Woman…alone. But my 21 year-old self remembers) So sadly I don’t think we give Mondays enough credit. They are our fresh start on the week. Monday brings an opportunity to press the reset button and begin the week a purpose; a clean slate. (unless you’re super hungover, then you need to clean sunglasses, advil and some of these remedies) Everyone’s will be different (Mondays purpose, not the hangovers), but for me it is working towards my long term financial goals and professional aspirations. This means I conscientiously work at becoming an expert at my job, while figuring out how to get my startup off the ground and building my personal brand. Those are just a few ways I set my intention for the day.
I’ll leave you with these words to consider as you go forth to kick Mondays butt! Click to Tweet this to inspire your followers!
I’m always a lover of a good entrepreneurial success story and Rent The Runway is definitely one of them. Talk about disrupting an industry. But that’s not what I’m posting about today. No, No. This morning I discovered via Twitter and this Fortune.com article that RTR is launching a new subscription service for designer accessories, bags, jewelry and more called Unlimited.
Yes, it’s true! And they are currently signing up Beta users for the sweet price of $75/month. ‘But Lauren, I’m a broke twenty-something that doesn’t have an extra $75/month to spend.’ False. You do, you just have to find it. I, for instance cancelled my yoga membership and will be combining my lunch and dinners for the next year. (just kidding on the last one, but I really did cancel my $40 yoga that i NEVER went to) This is WORTH it.
“The average American buys 64 new garments each year, regardless of income, writes the author Elizabeth L. Cline in her book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. With Unlimited, Rent The Runway hopes to replace the wasteful consumption of low-quality goods with high-quality designer rentals.”
It’s super simple, think Netflix, but obviously way better. Let’s walk through it real quick shall we:
Oh this is fun! I went through and selected all my favorite pieces…
Fancy shiny things, check.
New bags that I could NOT afford right now, check.
And accessories, check. So once I built my original queue, I had to actually sign up. Check. They aren’t charging anyone until they actually begin shipping out packages. This is so perfect for me as I’m constantly at war with my closet. Full of clothes with nothing to wear. Being my type-A self, I get bored easily. I often get mad at myself when I impulse shop and those items get either worn once or sit sad and lonely in my closet until its’ donation time. What a waste! I’m notorious for one-night stands with my accessories and clothes. RTR has now made it possible for me to have such one-nighters without all the guilt and shame.
Do yourself and your closet a favor by get on the waiting list for this fashion forward service by signing up here! I can’t wait for my first package to ship!
Found Media Group officially has a new home on the Eastside. But, as is the case with all new spaces, it is a blank canvas. And ya’ll know how much I love those. I immediately began rattling off decor that needed to be purchased ASAP: cowhide rug, throw pillows, baskets, fun prints….etc. You know, to spruce it up!
They. Were. Not. Amused.
They decided remote-controlled helicopters were more importanté to discuss and flat-out vetoed a cowhide rug…(aca-cuse me?!) But the one battle I am definitely winning is my white office chair and the rest of my corner. So I guess my cute/fancy/uber-chic office fantasies will be put on hold a little bit longer. And while I don’t have ‘the corner office’ yet, I have ‘Acorner of an office’…and I think that’s good enough for now.
I’m all about proper energy, ambiance and comfort. Now that I have a dedicated work space, I want to be able to work efficiently while still allowing my creativity to do its thing. And for me to do those things…I NEED a white office chair!
I feel a little left out….the wireless fitness tracker, Fitbit, just announced a collaboration with Tory Burch! And you see the thing is, my lovely boyfriend bought me a Jawbone for my birthday two years ago, which was great. But now HE has a Fitbit. If you haven’t heard of these magical little devices yet, they are pretty rad. It’s pretty simple: you wear them, they vibrate and flash at you, then they sync up to your phone to show you all the stuff you did through out the day and night. Both have their own dedicated apps that track a variety of things, including sleep. You can also log your meals, calories, exercise, mood etc. It was great for my 24 day challenge as it really kept me disciplined and served as a good reminder. I’ve always been happy with my Jawbone, but now that this tech meets fashion situation has presented itself I might be looking for a trade sooner than later. I mean, this pendant is legit! They’re taking pre-orders now and I’m positive they will sell out fast.
I think this is just the beginning of designer collab’s with wearables. So kudos to Tory and Fitbit for blazing the trail!
Where is the first place you go to look up information or try to contact a company, brand or product? The phone book right?! Just kidding, I’d say a majority hop on Google first, but that probably leads you to Facebook, Twitter or a handful of relevant social platforms. So why do you think social media and digital marketing doesn’t apply to your business or brand? If you’re putting off creating a home for your brand online, because it makes you feel uncomfortable or think it doesn’t apply to your industry, stop. You’re shooting yourself in the foot. If you don’t care about your feet, then DO care about the potential customers your losing to your competitors who ARE making an effort in social media space. I work with a variety of clients in a wide spread range of industries and when I introduce their brand to a new platform they always are hesitant. They qualify their reservations with, ‘well our customers don’t really use social media’ or ‘none of our competitors are on there’. A) yes they do B) yes they are and if they aren’t GREAT! You’re already beating them! Here are my 5 reasons why your brand needs a cohesive social presence now!
I had a client once say his company didn’t need a Facebook page because of the industry they were in (financial/investments) and that none of his competitors did either. Well, false. Because I quickly typed in the name of their main competitor on Facebook and they had a page full of community photos of recent projects they had funded, fun facts and a super engaged community. Now, millennials and active social media users (remember, 98% of people 18-24 and 1.4 billion on FB) are trending heavily towards using social media as their source for making buying decisions. Those buying decisions include which financial planning and investment firm to use. Example: If my friend Sally invests with Company B who is sharing all this great stuff on Facebook, she tags them in a status update about how great Frank at Company B is and says she’s made X dollars with them…I probably won’t even think about Company A.
3. Solve More Of Your Customers Problems Quickly And Efficiently
Twitter is my go-to for customer service (Pinterest, I’m looking at you and your LACK of customer service right now) and it’s quickly becoming a very useful tools for brands to quickly solve their customer problems. It’s a win-win It’s also more efficient. Instead of a lengthy, drawn out email about your customers life story, they get 140 characters to tell you whats wrong. Isn’t that nice! And customers aren’t waiting around for your lone CS rep to answer that email. It also greats a opportunity to show potential customers how awesome you are when your shit isn’t quite working. A win-win-win!
4. Instantly Makes You More Sharable
This goes back to what I said about Sally earlier tagging her Company B on Facebook. This goes for every single platform. Even if you aren’t super active on every platform, which you don’t need to be. Having a cohesive presence: same logo, voice, description, etc. helps build credibility, personality (which I’ll get to in a second) and makes it super easy for your customers to share your brand with your friends. Free marketing is the best marketing right?
5. Sets The Tone and Gives Your Brand a Voice and Personality
Maybe your website is out of date (if it is, you should hire us to get you into 2014 with a pretty responsive site, like this one) and doesn’t really reflect your operations, beliefs or mission. Maybe you are doing a brand refresh or moving in a completely new direction. Creating a strong cohesive brand identity across multiple platforms helps breathe life into your company. Social media provides a free and 24/7 direct line to your customers; to share and speak to them in a way your ‘traditional business’ methods could not. Being able to quickly share updates about a exciting new contract, upcoming product launches or simply just sharing worthy content helps build ethos while also creating a long-lasting digital footprint.
Like this? Why don’t you Tweet About It? Or tweet this handy cheat sheet just by clicking on it!
We move into our new office space today! So that means heavy-lifting, decorating, and bar cart stocking! So obviously I’m excited and a little busy. But this illustration is one of my recent favorites. I just love dogs and coffee so much. Speaking of dogs, have you guys ever seen Dancing Nathan?! I stumbled across him on Facebook one day, and as a lover of all dogs, especially awkward ones, he just melts my heart! He’s got moves! If you need some heartwarming giggles, this should do it.
I’m a HUGE fan of salsa. It’s kind of hard not to be right? But I hate all the crap they add to salsa in the stores to make it more ‘consumer friendly’ and when I say that I mean sugar, preservatives and all the shit that makes your body hate you. I’ve been making my own salsa for over a year now and it just trumps any salsa I’ve ever bought. And J is half-Mexican he says it’s his favorite as well. (and he’s not at all biased.)
No…that’s not talenti gelato, but they do make excellent containers! So if you’re in the market for gelato and want to make this salsa later, go for talenti. Anywhoo…while I go for organic because almost all the ingredients you throw in skin and all, you don’t have to. But hint, organic really isn’t that much more than normal produce.
3 fresh organic Roma Tomatoes, largely cubed
Fresh Organic Cilantro, a solid handful, (pick the stems off)
1/2 jalapeno pepper, half and de-seed
1/2 fresh squeezed organic lime juice
1/4 red onion, sliced and largely diced
1/4 cup frozen organic pineapple bits
pinch of sea salt
sprinkle of black pepper
How To Make White girl Salsa
Oh, this is so easy. Grab your food processor, if you don’t have one…GET ONE! I don’t know why it took me so long to get one, but it has changed my life in the kitchen. I got this KitchenAid one from Target.
It’s super affordable and gets the job done. And it comes in a bunch of super fun colors online! Ya! Ok, so are you ready?
Add all the ingredients into your food processor and chop, chop, chop. And voilá! Your very own white girl salsa! Now, this is just my favorite combination of goodies, but what is great about this recipe is that if you take out the pineapple you have a great base to get creative! Try subbing mango or peach for the pineapple. Or get crazy with the peppers. And obviously season to taste, some love their salsa super limey or super spicy. I find this combination is just the perfect combo of spice, fresh and cool.
Now, while this salsa is SUPER healthy on its own….the chips are what sneak up on you. So take the time to check out the back of those bags when you snagging some dipping utensils. Trader Joe’s has a great blue corn baked variety that only has 2 grams of fat per serving. Most groceries stories now carry more health conscious chip options. Baked > Fried. Corn, Quinoa, Whole Grain, Veggie > Flour. You get where I’m going with this.
So, that’s that! Go forth my friends, impress your peers and whip up some homemade fresh salsa and,
It feels so good to be back blogging more regularly. It’s funny how hard it can be to work on my own content because I’m constantly producing, scheduling and editing content for my clients. My creative brain just gets burnt out. But we’ve finally had a little time to breathe which means back to blogging and I love it! Summer has me all kinds of happy and this season I’ve been super drawn to rich blues. Catalina, Cerulean, Capri, Cobalt…doesn’t matter, I’m digging it.
Maybe I’m obsessing over blue because I’ve been dreaming of a quick beach getaway ever since we got back from San Diego. Luckily, I pulled my usual impulse flight purchasing and I’m heading to Santa Barbara in two short weeks to visit my high school bestie. It will be the perfect weekend trip before I have to hold down the Found Media fort solo for August, while boss man adventures around Australia.Until then….Santa Barbara here I come!
Whenever I try to answer the “So what do you do?” question, I always get stuck. It seems to be one that I have to pick and choose my battles: Am I in the mood to dive right into the full list of all the random-ass shit I seem to somehow cram into my day? Or do I just pick one and pretend all the other things don’t exist for sake of simplicity? I’m confident many entrepreneurs have this same problem. The more I connect with like-minded people reaffirms my belief that this level of crazy, erratic behavior most entrepreneurs exhibit, is in fact acceptable when we do it on behalf of the good of our business. So many hats, yet so little time. But being an entrepreneur is more than just a title, it’s a different way of thinking. Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what drew me to wanting to take this path that I’m on. But the more I think about it and analyze my parents, my upbringing, my creativity and athletic background it’s starting to come together for me. They, (I think unintentionally) raised me to be fiercely independent while still providing support and love. Which helped me open my eyes to opportunities and experiences outside of the little bubble I was raised in. I love that infographic above via the Grasshopper Group because it demonstrates so well what I believe to be true about ‘us’ entrepreneurs. I for one, know the ‘Richard Branson Envy Nodule’ is definitely there because I have his book sitting on my bedside table. And anyone that knows my educational background knows that the ‘Fuhgettaboutit’ definitely rings true. At Found Media Group Matt and I are always grinding, it what we are, grinders. In our line of work you kind of have to be because social media and the internet never sleeps. (although I sometimes really wish it would just take a nap.) So is it really just our brains or is a combo of both our noodles and our personalities?
I designed that graphic last year after watching the movie Jobs. His story is just so inspiring on so many levels and also just helped me realize what I was doing was ok. It’s my most re-pinned graphic on Pinterest, at over 1800 repins, so obviously others feel the same way.
Entrepreneur Magazine examined the possibility that our brains are just wired differently. Which if you look at some of the decisions we make is most definitely true. Most people with normal jobs think they choices we make are bat-shit crazy. But hey….if it were normal then everyone would do it right? But I think it’s definitely a combination of both. And it’s not like we’re just born entrepreneurs. You become one. You shape your life to embrace the lifestyle. What I love is that it’s also not a one size fits all. I know many of my friends are seeing what I do and want to chase their passions as well. And I think without even knowing it they are adopting an entrepreneurial mind-set. But it’s their upbringings and personalities that are slowing them down. The influences that shaped them are slowly fading while their new influences are beginning to take hold. And that is a great thing, we need to have the ability to let our passions become our path. I met a girl during SxSw who’s startup speaks directly to this and I love the concept. It’s actually called Influences and I can’t wait to download it. It sends you just 2 videos a day that inspire you, keep you motivated and obviously, will help positively influence you. You go girl!
So, to all those entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-in-training, keep it up, block out the haters, grind, work hard, and chase whatever seemingly crazy ideas you may have,
It’s obviously no secret I love to drink wine. I just feel deep down in my heart that wine is seriously just the perfect solution to every situation.
Best friend gets engaged?…giggle and drink wine.
Break up with your boyfriend?….cry and drink wine.
Date night?…look hot and drink wine.
Night alone?…wear sweatpants and drink wine.
See, every situation. I have perfected the art of polishing off a good bottle, I’ve been doing my ‘No Bull^t wine reviews’ for a while now and feel like I’m in a place where I am comfortable spilling my most deepest and darkest wine-drinking secrets with you all.
| 1. Corkcicle |
Truth, I actually don’t own one of these because I’m a habitual red drinker so I don’t often find myself needing to keep anything chilled, BUT it makes a great gift for any wine drinker, especially in these hot summer months. On the rare occasion I do want to keep my wine chilly, I always keep some frozen green or red grapes handy! They’ll keep your wine cold without watering it down!
| 2. Vinturi Aerator |
This is probably the best christmas gift I’ve ever received from my brother! I never really gave much thought to aerating my wine before, but now that I have this, Wowza!! What a difference it makes! It’s perfect for when I don’t want to use my decanter and It also just makes the whole pouring experience more fun! Bubbles!
| 3. A Stylish Decanter |
Another big girl purchase I made a while back was a good looking decanter. You can find them pretty much everywhere. Crate and Barrel’s swoon decanter is a beautiful choice and they always have them at places like Home Goods or Marshalls. They just add a bit of elegance at the dinner table. Perfect for a date night or when you want to trick your parents into thinking you have your shit together during family dinner at your place! (and here’s a quick read ‘Why Decant’ so you don’t look like an idiot when they ask why you’re using it!) You’re welcome.
| 4. Club W |
Where do I start? Personally, I’m not a fan of the subscription box model, just because most of the time they are cheap samples, repetitive and I just can’t see the value in them (except Dollar Shave club, thumbs up to them) BUT Club W is my jam! I think they hit the nail on the head. It’s like a wine of the month club for the cool kids. You fill out a taste profile and they curate a box of 3 or more wines for you each month! It’s no frills, cancel anytime you want or edit your box whenever. I also love that they put so much work in making their whole site a really awesome experience. They make a video for every wine and even recommend dishes to accompany them!
If you love wine and have trouble making decisions, let someone else do it for you! The best part is I get it delivered to the office, a wine win! If you do give it a go, use this referral code 9864735121and you get a FREE bottle! Bam, a double wine win!
| 5. Houdini Wine Preserver |
Don’t you hate when you grab that half bottle of wine, snuggle up and get all comfy just to discover your wine has gone bad? Well I do. Skunked wine is not sexy so this super affordable wine preserver helps keep that wine fresh and tasty!
| 6. A Fab Bottle Stopper |
For those times when you know you won’t be needing the houdini (aka you’ll be finishing the bottle) a cute bottle stopper is paramount to successful wine drinking. I could probably do a whole post on them (so I probably will now) Like this little gnome with a perfect gold cap! He’s perfection!
| 7. A simple set of wine glasses |
I found these Riedel wine glasses at Target and I think they look really sharp without a crazy price tag. They have a lot of affordable and quality wine glass sets. I’m in love with the look of stemless, but I recently bought a set of Marquis by Waterford tall-stemmed red wine glasses and I really love them too. My point is you just can never have too many wine glasses.
About a month or so ago her boyfriend texted me asking for a close friends number, who just happens to be a photographer. I instantly put 2 and 2 together, I mean, why else would he be texting me right?! So of course I lost it and got WAY too excited. They are such an awesome couple and have been together for years. It was just time. The best part was he wanted us to help with the proposal by taking photos of the entire thing, which was obviously going to be a secret because this girl is impossible to surprise. She sniffs out surprises like a bloodhound..but nope, not this time girlfriend!
He went above and beyond, with everything planned to perfection. If you need help planning a pretty stellar proposal, I can now recommend Cam. He rocked. Since they live in different cities they don’t often get date nights, so he suggested they head out to her favorite winery in Florence, Texas. (Because she studied abroad and Florence was her favorite, see what he did there?) It was beyond romantic and I’m so happy we were able to capture the moment so perfectly. He surprised her again by taking her to a house that their families had rented for the weekend so they could all celebrate. THEN, we hit them ALL with this…
This video was a last minute addition to the surprises that only Cam, Katie and I knew about. We played it for everyone when we got to the house. It pulled all the events of the day together, let the parents see the proposal and helped Whitney to understand how the hell Cam was able to pull it all off! She was totally fooled and it was great! It was SO hard to keep all this a secret for almost a month, but we did it! I can’t say enough great things about Whitney, she is my best friend, just a lovely soul and best of all…Cameron is just perfect for her.
The ring is beyond. Every chance I get I take a photo of it…Exhibit A) Milkshakes at the baseball game.
I am so happy I got to make this video for such an amazing best friend and deserving couple. Katie did such an amazing job with the photography, even when we were crawling in the grass to sneak up on them! I’m glad I don’t have to keep it a secret anymore, so I can begin to focus on planning even more important things…like the bachelorette party because,
When you get invited to a fabric store to pick out some free fabric to do DIY with…
you. do. not. say. no.
Bolt Fabrics in Austin, TX
So when lovely Sara who manages Bolt Fabric‘s social media and PR invited me to check the place out and do a little shopping, I was more than willing. We grabbed coffees and made our way to the little shop located in the heart of South Austin’s on South Lamar. The location is perfection and inside is just heavenly. Don’t let the lack of square footage deceive you…this place is FULL of the most interesting and amazing fabrics, ribbons and details.
I spent at least 30 minutes just making laps being sure to handle every single fabric as I went. Cowboys, cowhide, faux leathers, metallic giraffe they had it all. The ladies were beyond sweet and I had a difficult time choosing a fabric to work with! I finally settled on a great summery aztec-inspired print.
I originally wanted to make an oversized tote to pack all my Blues On The Green and Greenbelt essentials in for the summer months. But when I got home and saw these ratty throw pillows my mother had lovingly made for me over 4 years ago, I knew that they were getting a makeover.
Chloe, of course played assistant for the night. We measured, chopped and stitched. (And of course drank some wine)
And before long, we had some pretty badass new throw pillows for the dining room. I LOVE how they turned out! And since I got hooked up with 2 yards I still have enough to make that summer tote (another DIY coming soon, don’t worry) I’m a bit of a pillow addict. I just think they are such a fun, inexpensive (if you are able to sew) way to quickly freshen up your space. These add a little pop of color and are exactly what I was looking for to finish off the dining room. What do you guys think!?
If you’re in the Austin area and are looking for fabric, a trip to Bolt Fabrics is a MUST. It beats any other commercial fabric store by a mile. It’s locally owned so you’re dollar is going right back into our community, their prices are SO reasonable, and they host upholstery classes and more!
I special ordered some blue guitar fabric to spruce up our living room pillows next! Sewing is such a valuable skill to have, I gotta shout out to the mama for teaching me that one!
Be sure to follow Bolt Fabrics on Facebook and Twitter as they are always running fab deals and discounts!