A New Chapter in Life and Blogging

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Well the time has finally come for this post. I have spent the majority of this relaxing break not really relaxing at all, but instead working on setting up a new blog along with making much larger plans for 2015. Yes, you heard that right, new blog. New-blog Lauren Jade LatelyOver the past few months I’ve felt a growing frustration towards blogging, my life in general and began to resent the content I was putting out. It lacked originality, quality and above all, passion. I just wasn’t truly in love with what I was writing about. About this time I was also introduced to the Tiny House Movement. I have already been kicking around the concepts of minimalism for a while and the ‘less is more’ mentality has always appealed to me. I’ve just continued to struggle to actually implement it into my life.

I took time to read through some of my older blog posts and while the visuals were lacking; the content was quality. The writing was honest and informative.The blog was an accurate representation of my creativity and life. But along the way, whether it was my competitive nature or yearning for something grand-er, I tried to morph my blog into something I thought I wanted it to be.

I also let my blogging intentions influence my real life in a negative capacity. My obsession with getting the perfect Instagram shot, making sure I was keeping up with every new product and my obsessive need to constantly check my devices was overwhelming. It has negativity impacted my life. I hit a super low point a few months ago and since then have been making huge strides to break the cycle. i’m slowly forming better, healthier habits. Even though my ADHD makes it incredibly tough, I’m focusing on intentionality and taking my time on tasks. Things as small as turning lights off, closing cabinets and putting my things away. Rather than rushing through life with a yearning to appreciate those little details but feeling too rushed, I plan on doing everything I can do slow down and minimize. It’s part of a bigger plan.

Jason and I are planning on designing, building and moving into a Tiny House in late 2015. For those of you who may not know what a ‘Tiny House’ is, the simple explanation is it’s a dwelling that on average is below 400 sq. ft. Most range between 250 sq.ft. and 150 sq.ft. This is something we both feel will help us finally get out of debt, receive more joy out of everyday life and grant us the ability to travel and explore. But you can read ALL about that and much more on the NEW BLOG

It is time to let Make it a Double go to little bloggy heaven.

And introduce my new blog and where you can find me in the future:

>> Lauren Jade Lately. <<

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Thank you for being apart of this journey with me and I look forward to seeing where this new adventure takes me!

Taking a Break and a New Direction For 2015

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When I first started blogging, I thought I knew what I wanted to write about. It was clear to me and I felt I had set myself up to blog passionately about all the things I loved doing. I’ve never had an issue talking about myself (I feel most lifestyle bloggers would agree that’s the case) and the first year I had my blog I did that. As I reflect back on my posts from 2013 and early 2014, they’re about starting a business, some DIY’S and just general ‘life stuff.’ I’d throw in an illustration every now and then. I changed my header 10 different times because I couldn’t decide on a creative direction. (This will mostly likely always be the case so I’ve come to accept it). But somewhere along the way I fell into the trap.

I began looking at other people… #Fail. I would write a post and then let it waste away in drafts because I either couldn’t find the inspiration to finish it or just thought it wasn’t worthy. I used to post almost every single day because I could. I worked from home, set my own schedule and was constantly inspired. But once I started thinking, ‘oh, well they’re all posting about this…’ I instantly put myself in the tiniest of boxes.

I don’t like being put in a box.i dont like being stuck in a box

See? It doesn’t suit me. My personality is one that really knows no bounds. I have a million interests. I’m blessed and cursed with being marginally good at a lot of things. I also suffer with major anxiety and ADD. So for me to focus my energies on just a small handful of things is tough. Until earlier this year I hadn’t addressed my anxiety. I thought I was just a fucking nut case. I couldn’t figure out why I would do the things I would do. The compulsions, habits and mind games I would play with myself. For my closest of friends who know me better than I probably know myself: I’m sorry.

Luckily I finally brought the issue up with those professional folk we call doctors and found something that for now works for me. Hopefully someday I can find a solution that doesn’t involve medication because I really don’t enjoy taking it. (Remembering to take it is a whole other can of worms) But for now it works. It’s who I am, I can’t change it and I’m just learning to embrace it.

Ok, so now that we’ve taken care of that…

| Why I’m Taking a Break and Going in a New Direction |

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No, not that type of New Direction. And it’s really not that much of a break as much as I’m going to be moving my blog at the start of the new year. I felt a list of reasons was the easiest way to go about explaining the new direction. (In no particular order):

=  I started Make it a Double when I was still a full-time bartender and was trying to start my company. I had not yet experienced the twenty-something curse of not being able to drink more than 2 drinks without catching a hangover and I don’t bartend any more. It just doesn’t fit my lifestyle anymore.

= I’m beginning to adopt new lifestyle choices which includes a MAJOR overhaul and inventory of my ‘stuff’. My new mantras are ‘less is more’ and ‘quality over quantity’. Make it a Double simply does not fit with this philosophy.

I am re-focusing my efforts away from ‘style’, although my blog was never intended to be a ‘fashion or style’ blog, I let myself slip into the curse of ‘keeping up with the jones’s’. While I think I have pretty great personal style, there are enough style bloggers out there. I’ll let them take care of that.

I’m not inspired. This one is simple. Lately, every time I would sit down to write I simply couldn’t. I feel the confusion I’ve been having with my blog’s brand is a large reason why.

I want to enjoy the holiday and my family.

I’m a naturally thrifty and frugal person. In the beginning I felt my blog reflected that, but again, playing the comparison game I noticed myself frivolously buying things I didn’t need or honestly even want. Like, I’d buy things thinking, ‘oh this would look great in a styled shoot with 7 white stallions running through a field while I stand there holding a Starbucks and laughing with my boyfriend.” Those things still have price tags on them. Excessive consumerism and mindless consumption fuels my anxiety and that is not fun.

My brain hurts. I need to recharge.

For the past year it’s bothered me all my social channels were my name and not my blog name. It’s somewhat confusing. This is a minor reason, but still a reason.

I want to blog about entrepreneurship, personal finances, our journey building a tiny house and generally things that interest me more than ‘just stuff’. The blog is gonna get real y’all.

So, until I’m ready to announce the new website, name and branding, I’ll leave y’all with a little holiday cheer!

 Merry-Christmas

I am planning to launch my new site and re-brand in the next week or so. I will have a new blog post on here announcing it with links, so stay tuned.

Thank you for all the love and support. The community of bloggers I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with has been so awesome. I can’t see what’s in store for 2015!

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Austin Local Love Giveaway

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I have been MIA and I apologize. But it’s been for good reason and tomorrow’s post will have more details on what is in store for my blogging space in 2015 and just a general life update. But today is about giving. More specifically, a giveaway. Tis the season right?austinites locals only giveaway

I’m all about supporting local businesses and the community. I thought what could possibly be better than a giveaway featuring some of the best things that Austin has to offer? So I’ve put together a pretty SWEET giveaway bundle for all my lovely readers and friends. It’s essentially a perfectly curated selection of a few of my favorite things. And you are going to LOVE them! (And after all the gifting buying don’t you think you deserve to treat yourself?!)

When I pick the winner for this giveaway it’s gonna be like……

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it’s that awesome. (Or at least I think so!) 

| The Local Love Giveaway Includes |

1. Michael Kors Bella Sunglasses (very similar style here) from local Austin company, Frames Direct. They’re 100% Sunday Brunch approved sunnies, your hangover will agree. Frames Direct is also having some mega sales if you don’t win the giveaway and are looking to stock up on sunnies before summer hits again.Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 11.44.13 PM

2. An Austin Passbook. Local lifestyle blogger, Lee Ann Benjamin recently launched this awesome new concept and it doesn’t disappoint. Collect stamps in your passbook for lots of 2 for 1 deals around town. Food, drinks and experiences! Learn more at Austin Passbook.Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 12.06.16 AM

3. $25 Gift Card to the best bars on Rainey Street: Bar 96, Container Bar and Clive. Because nothing is more Austin than sipping a Moscow mule on Rainey Street right? Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 12.12.26 AM

4. 1 Pair of Turquoise Danielle Kendra Scott Earrings. A signature Austin jewelry staple. If you have a vagina and live in Austin, these are kind of a requirement.danielle-earrings-blue-turqoise

5. A custom illustration drawing done by yours truly. You give me something to paint and I’ll turn it into a masterpiece. Because I’m nuts and I love you guys!

Coffee Run with Roger the Westie

Awesome right? This giveaway is valued at over $280 and it’s SO easy to enter:

| HOW TO ENTER |

 

1. Follow myself @laurenjadeatx @framesdirect and @austinpassbook on Instagram.

2. Tell me what your favorite thing about living in Austin is on either Instagram or in the comments below! Don’t live in Austin, but still love our great city, that’s ok! You can still enter.

Contest ends 12/24 and I’ll be announcing the winner Christmas Day, because why the hell not!? I want to play Santa!

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10 Things I’ve Learned From Working In Social Media For A Year

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When I tell people i work in social media I get a variety of responses. Some are obnoxious, “So all you do is tweet all day?”  to “wow, I would hate that.” (yea…me too sometimes.) Not all are negative. Many people are impressed that I’m able to remember 100 passwords and juggle 50 accounts aka “keep it together”. (This is not true, I’m really a hot mess) But I have learned a whole hell of a lot from working with 20+ brands over the past year. And I would like to impart some of my short-lived wisdom regarding my experiences upon you.

10-things-ive-learned-from-working-in-social-media-for-a-year| 10 Things I’ve Learned From Working In Social Media For a Year |

1. People are Funny

calm tits

Like….SO funny. (that’s one of my favorite memes) Social media is an incredible gateway for people to express themselves. I’m mostly impressed by those that have enough time to create the enormous amount of completely useless yet hilarious content that is floating around the internet. It blows my mind, but I’m thankful as hell for it.

2. People are Mean/Dumb/Not Funny/Lame

I know I just said people are funny. Some are, but there are a lot of people out there that only use social media as a weapon and it’s gross. It’s really unfortunate. That’s technically Anti-social media and I don’t approve. If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all… or better yet,

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3. It’s About Psychology and Sociology social media quote

I feel like this now is pretty obvious, but it took me a while to fully grasp the concept. I spend a large majority of my day analyzing people’s behaviors, responses and actions on social media. It’s not just about the surface likes, retweets and shares. I’ve learned that you must take time to understand your community and their behaviors to better serve them. Always be asking why in order to deliver better content to your customers.

4. Don’t Drink and Tweet

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You know what’s not fun? Losing your job because you didn’t toggle twitter accounts and you went on a drunk tweeting spree across your client’s account. #oopsie

5. You Have To Be Authentic

One of my all-time favorite social media/marketing experts is Ted Rubin. I’ve blogged about him before, but I buy in 100% to his #RonR philosophy. Or ‘Return on Relationship.’ I believe relationships boil down to authenticity. Not only being real with the people you engage with, but also yourself.

6. Animals Win the Internet…Always

If you haven’t already noticed, animals and the internet are gold. They were made for each other. Just look at Grumpy Cat, she’s netted her owner $100 mill in just 2 years or just google search, ‘funny animals’. If you’re looking to quickly up your engagement stats, try throwing in some relevant animal memes or gifs into your content rotation. The results will speak for themselves. Just make sure it makes sense for your brand.

 Funny-animals

7. Track and Measure Everything, Prove Your ROI

When I first started at Found Media, we didn’t have many systems in place for tracking follower growth or setting goals for engagement. When you only manage one brand it’s easy to track, but you have to remember to analyze the numbers. but when you’re a manager toggling between 10+ brands keeping up with it all can be rough. Utilize all the tracking resources out there; twitonomy, social bro, hootsuite, iconosquare…the list goes on and on. We are constantly reporting on these numbers and adjusting our strategies accordingly. It helps keep everything really transparent and also proves our value.

8. You Can’t Make Everyone Happy

Don’t take it personally. It is impossible to make everyone happy. As long as you are delivering the services promised, work your butt off and apologize for mistakes. At the end of the day you just have to realize that some people are irrational, ignorant and generally unhappy people. So….10 things i've learned working in social media for a year

9. Budget Your Time Wisely10 things I've learned working in social media for the past year

One of my resolutions for 2015 is to stop saying, “I don’t have enough time.” I have the time, I just don’t manage it effectively for things I want to do. This past year I’ve become a MUCH better time manager. Social Media can be a HUGE time suck if you can’t manage it effectively. Properly budgeting your tiime comes down to planning. I know, womp womp. Painstaking, but it’s true. Find a system that works for you, budget your time for both work and personal. For work, break down even the smallest of tasks and set time limits. We use Harvest Time Tracking to track how long we take on each task. You’ll prevent burn-out, stay creative and feel much more productive. Ya!

10. Be Flexible and Decisive

Finally, I’ve learned you just have to be flexible and you definitely don’t have time to be indecisive. The landscape of social media is constantly changing to better meet the demands of it’s users. It’s nonstop and FAST. On top of that, clients change their minds…a lot. Just go with it and make it work.

Well, there you have it. Just some of the most important things I’ve learned from working in social media for the past year. I love what I do, it fascinates me and it’s never boring. It definitely has it’s days though, just like any job.

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Gift Guide 04: For The Guys

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Oh boys! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Today’s gift guide is all about that special Mr. in your life. Whether it be your dad, brother, hubbie or man-friend…scoring the right Christmas present is a must. I’ve rounded up a selection of my top picks for those mighty males:

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Buying a gift for a guy can be frustrating. They aren’t great at dropping hints and definitely don’t have their Pinterest game together. So I’ve come up with a pretty solid set of questions to ask yourself to help determine if the gift is just right:

1. Can he drink it? If the answer is yes, he’ll like it.

2. Will it make him drunk? If the answer is yes, he’ll love it.

3. Can he plug it into something? If the answer is yes, he’ll like it.

4. Can he drive it, play it or smash it? If the answer is yes, he’ll like it.

5. Can he wear it? If the answer is yes, he’ll put it on and say he loves it. (this is good enough) 

6. Did you make it? If the answer is yes, he’ll be disappointed and pretend he loves it. (this is a risky option. Only do it if you’re making something super badass.)

I hope this helps you all on your quest for the perfect gift for him!

| SHOP ALL MY TOP GIFTS FOR THE GUYS |


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>> And if you haven’t already be sure to enter THIS GIVEAWAY to win a pair of Fortress of Inca booties AND a $150 Gift Card to Nordstrom! <<

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