Since 2008 thanksgiving has been interesting for me. I end up not-so-secretly snacking on cheeses, dips and other pre-meal offerings. When it comes to the big meal, I’m left nibbling on sides. (I love side dishes so no hard feelings) But this is definitely not a holiday designed for non-meat eaters. Luckily, I choose to focus on the true ‘meaning’ of this holiday, giving thanks. And thankful I sure am!
WHAT I’M THANKFUL FOR THIS THANKSGIVING:
My beautiful & healthy family and friends. Everyone who impacts my life frequently and even non-frequently. Everyone matters.
Being gainfully employed and being able to provide for my family.
Having an amazing support system.
My dogs. They’re family, but I feel they need an extra shoutout because they are THAT amazing.
My health and wellness. I’ve always been blessed with a very healthy body and it has served me well and for that I’m so thankful.
Having a roof over my head and a table to sit around to enjoy this day with people I love. Millions of Americans don’t have this and this day means somethings completely different to them. And so the fact that I’m granted these luxuries, I’m thankful.
While I’m happy and thankful to be surrounded by my family and friends this holiday, my heart is still heavy for those suffering in Ferguson. I’m not one to put my personal beliefs/arguments on social media. Everyone has their own opinions, but my heart goes out to those families who’s lives have been forever affected by the events in Ferguson. The families of the victims, the protestors, the community, the business owners who lost everything…at the end of the day, people are people. Simple as that.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING Y’ALL!
Be sure to stop by tomorrow as I’ll be rounding up all the BEST Black Friday deals around the interwebs!
The weekend was a bit of a blur that I’m still recovering from (is a fashion hangover a real thing?) But alas I had so much fun. I put together the social media strategy for Fashion X Dallas, it was rewarding to watch it all play out and see the event come to life. Big shout out to Caplan Miller for producing such a beautiful event! For those of you who don’t know, Fashion X is a three night fashion event featuring the best emerging and independent designers in fashion. In addition to amazing runway shows there is a jewelry and accessories Gallery where you can meet designers and shop. It was hosted at the Fashion Industry Gallery (F.I.G) in the Dallas’ art district and I’m just in love with this venue! But enough banter, continue on as I share my experiences during the first two nights of Fashion X Dallas…
| #FXD 2014 Night One |
Not only was I in charge of making sure our social media was running smoothly, but I was wearing my startup hat too. We also had two of our Phox Charge secure phone charging boxes at the venue to keep everyone’s devices charged so no one would miss a moment! Jason joined me for night one since we (he) had to set up the charging stations. I decided to go a little fun and flirty for night one with my favorite floral print dress from ASOS. And paired this Short Cast Marquise Crystal Necklace with it.
One of our secure phone charging boxes in the VIP lounge.
My favorite shows from Night One included Mysterious by NPN, Curlee Bikini, and League of Rebels.
Mysterious by NPN
My absolute favorite look…
The Ross Bennett Collection
Backstage model huddle with Adrienne Yunger
| NIGHT TWO |
Friday night brought another round of amazing designers, including headliner, teenager fashion phenom, Isabella Rose Taylor. It was a super fun night and I was excited the weather wasn’t too chilly so I could rock this contrast crop top from ASOS, a fun black quilted midi skirt from Fabrik Boutique (Similar Here), Kendra Scott Ivy Bracelet, and Dolce Vita Lace Up Sandals.
The shows were pretty fabulous. My top picks had to be Emily Daccarett, M.E Shirley, Nine Muses, Ese Azenabor and of course, Isabella Rose Taylor.
Nine Muses Collection
Backstage with Ese Azenabor
Isabella Rose Taylor
yes…that is a guy skateboarding (actually it was two guys) kicking off the show. Literally, with kick-flips.
And on Wednesdays we wear Pink . wrong…on Wednesdays we wear Isabella Rose Taylor. This girl is on another level. #CoolKid #Respect
This first two nights of Fashion X Dallas were such a welcomed start to the weekend. I really didn’t know what to expect, but knew either way I was going to love it. (Spoiler Alert: I Did.) Minus a few hiccups only the event staff probably noticed, you wouldn’t have known this was their first year presenting a three-night fashion event of this scale in a new city. It felt like a seasoned event and it left me wanting more! Which luckily I was granted as we still had one more night of shows, featuring a heavy-hitting line up of Project Runway All-star designers. But unfortunately for you, I’ll be wrapping all that up in Part Two! So stay tuned! Who else attended FXD2014; Who were your favorite designers from the first two nights?
Life Lately 11.03: Starbucks Selfies and Sunday Soaks
By Lauren Martin
Happy Monday dolls! I spent the weekend helping to style a first birthday party for a set of twins and I’m exhausted. Unfortunately I don’t have time to rest as we are heading up to Dallas this weekend to enjoy Fashion X Dallas, a fun 3-night fashion event a client of ours is putting on. This sudden change in weather is throwing off my packing a bit, but I’m excited that it’s finally cool enough for jeans, long sleeves and hot coffees. (My Instagram feed has been blowing up with everyone’s Starbucks selfies #NoShameInTheGame right?)
I had a mega tough workout on Friday and my muscles hated me on Sunday. So I made the wise decision to draw a bath and soak for a bit. Best decision of my life. I’m pretty sure these Sunday soaks are going to become a ritual, because it was amazing. I drank my butter coffee, caught up on literature (Harper’s and Health count right?) and chilled the fuck out.
It was awesome.
// candles from Anthropolgie (go get yo’ self some stat! They are simply the best) //
Now it’s time for me to G.S.D. and kick this week’s butt! What are plans/goals do you have this week?
Date Night at aRoma Austin with Citygram
By Lauren Martin
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.
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 900Â° 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.
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.
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:
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?!
*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!)
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:
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.
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!
I beg you to just give these just one shot and see if you don’t ditch the boxed stuff!
Cheers to Chocolate!
Life Lately 9.21
By Lauren Martin
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.
I still just love my IKEA-hacked Vittsjo bookcase although I do miss the dalmatian wall though.
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!
Champagne and Fall Fashion for Lunch
By Lauren Martin
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!
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
This cooler weather has me thinking about Fall Denim Trends.
Check out the anatomy of a great blog post.
These frat guys are shakin’ it off. T-swift would be proud.
If these 50/50 Stuart Weitzman boots don’t fit your budget, these $40 Target ones are a FAB alternative!
If you use Pinterest and Instagram for business you’ll want to watch this Webinar by Piqora.
16 dogs that are better at photobombing than you. (Number 9 and 13…I.Cant.Stop.Laughing)
This Snake Chain strand necklace from Baublebar will be mine.
I’m so thankful for this weekend. I’m slowly but surely making my way through the unpacking and re-decorating process. I have yet to even begin my closet or bathroom so it’s pure madness.
This time of year always ignites a fair bit of excitement, anticipation and general state of happiness for me. It marks the beginnings of New York Fashion Week; which calls for some major Instagram stalking and a habitual state of Fashion #FOMO for the next week or so. (But is is really ‘FOMO’ if I wasn’t invited? It’s probably more of a case of ‘You Can’t Sit With Us’…sad.) Anyway, luckily they hooked it up with a live feed of the shows and WhoWhatWear tells us 7 reasons why we don’t have to feel Fashion #FOMO. It’s a super inspired and creative time for me, so I totally dig it and love the energy that surrounds this time of year.
An inked sketched look inspired by Harper’s Bazaar September Issue. See more of my work here.
The new apartment is fab. I love having two rooms and bathrooms again. The yard is next level, but the dogs don’t quite get the drill yet. They are definitely spoiled apartment dogs at this point. So we bought a pallet of grass and going to glam it up back there so they’re more comfortable. (the things we do for our dogs/kids/significants).
As you might recall, I had my dalmatian wall in my old apartment which I was just obsessed with. I don’t think I’ll be carrying it over to the dining room in the new place, but the second bedroom might get a little dalmatian wall love soon.
There are a few wish list items we’re trying to get ordered to really pull this new place together. I have been drooling over this West Elm Rug, but I was able to find this gem at Rugs USA for a steal. And since I have a dog that insists on throwing up (Weimaraner’s are notorious for stomach issues) every other morning, we can’t have nice things. This coffee table is on the queue to be scooped up, as well as this dining table set from Ikea.
I’m hoping to get everything put away so I can have some space to knock out some new illustrations as well. I’ve been experiencing a bit of a creative block in both art and blogging. But I feel this move to a new space was just the change I needed to get my creativity back. It feels so good to have that sense of inspiration, clarity and motivation to create. I want to give this blog a little (big) makeover, possibility even a name change but the jury is still out on that one. I have a ton of DIY projects I want to complete for this new apartment. and I’m probably going to start with upholstering the headboard and some new art for the walls.
Well…here’s to new apartments and creative beginnings! Hope everyone has a relaxing and inspired weekend.
Sweet Sunday Blogging Nights with my Intel 2in1
By Lauren Martin
Today was the first day I felt a small bit of order return to my life. I seized the opportunity to go the gym, made myself 3 real meals (ok truth…after dinner I had a bowl of Cheerio’s, but they were organic so that makes it ok right?) and gave myself some much needed time to catch up on the blog.
We’ve been busy all weekend laying grass, fixing up the yard and continuing to chip away at unpacking boxes. So it was nice to have a ME day. I took advantage of the slightly cooler weather and headed outside this afternoon for a little blogging al fresco! I was recently asked to do a fun fashion inspired nail art blog post and my Intel 2 in 1 came in very handy for working on it!
Now that I have gotten the hang of it, I LOVE the split screen feature. It’s really nice to have two tasks going at the same time, especially for someone who is as ADD as me. I scrolled through inspiration while taking notes right in WordPress!
Writing up posts is so easy since I do have the full keyboard, but when it came time to focus on the fashion and art, I flipped it over and utilized the touchscreen capability. (Another one of my favorite features) The one I have is the Dell Inspiron 11.6-Inch 2 in 1 so the screen is a great size to work with too.
While there are several things I’m still trying to figure out on the 2in1, overall my experiences have been pleasant. I have figured out it’s great for flipping through blogs/tiles, note taking and social media! All are things I do pretty darn frequently. So it makes my blogging life a little easier!
#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.
So, lets see…somehow it became August and no one told me.
But seriously, now it’s almost the end of August and I’m still confused. Where did this month/summer/year go? I’m scared to blink because then I’ll be wrapped up in a sweater choosing what bow to put on what present. I am so mad at myself because I have about 2 pages of blog prompts, ideas and things I want to accomplish with the blog. But right now my clients, work, the startup and my sanity have to come first. But I have some great posts lined up. I’m especially excited for my review of VinEdge, because it blows my mind and it’s pretty freakin’ awesome! What is it?! You’ll just have to visit their site or wait and read my post.
By the end of the day though my brain hurts…it literally hurts to think. I’ve been really strict with myself over the past month since I didn’t handle my anxiety well at all. A few things I put in place was earlier bed time (anything before midnight), No technology on the couch or bedroom, and in the morning I don’t check my work email until I get to work. The other piece of my crazy puzzle is we move in less than 2 weeks. We actually just switched units and scored one with a yard for the pups! So now I’m double-pumped up about moving because they will finally have a place to run around and be happy! I’ve been mentally re-decorating and planning the new floor plan, as well using my early mornings to pin inspiration like crazy.
We’re getting the keys a few days before the movers bring everything in, so it gives me a chance to go a bit paint crazy, (because you know I can’t help myself) I just HATE standard apartment wall treatments. It might be the most tragic thing ever in the dwelling world. Why can’t they paint them all white? I always get stuck with the ambiguous taupey-sand color that looks good with….nothing.
In unrelated travel news, if you follow me on Instagram or are friends with me on the fB, you’ll know I took a spontaneous trip to Vegas for a night last week. And by night I mean I had 15 hours on the ground and bought my ticket at 8pm the night before I left. It was definitely an adventure and had been on my bucket list forever. I was straight up Dora The Explorer style. Everything I needed for a great night out in Vegas in my trust backpack, hair spray and mini deep eddy’s included.
I think I’ll do a blog post on how to survive Vegas with just a backpack because I survived and everything went according to plan. The only thing I didn’t plan for was how long my hangover would last.
We are notoriously bad of getting photos together. It’s on my list of things to get better at. This was the only picture we got all night and I was too busy dancing to play tourist. Next time Vegas, next time.
But seriously, about that hangover…it makes me think that this hilarious blog-post about Going Out in Your Early 20’s v Late 20’s is on to something,
Example, when choosing drinks: Early 20’s
(Just to clarify: while I love wine…I am also a cheerleader of Vodka, Rum, Gin and other assorted liquors and alcoholic beverages, I don’t discriminate)
Lessons and Notes From Santa Barbara
By Lauren Martin
Santa Barbara was everything and more. Reconnecting and catching up with my childhood best friend was exactly what I needed. We haven’t been together in so many years, but it was as if no time had passed. It was hysterical to reminisce while comparing our lives now. The theme of the week was, “ewe we’re old now.” As we sipped our wine and decided to turn in early every night.
I grew up in Northern California so whenever I get a chance to get back into my home state I embrace it. I just love it. I love my friends, the beach, the air and just the vibe. It will always be my home. I used to turn my nose up at Southern California like any true Nor Cal-er would, but it has most definitely grown on me and I could definitely picture myself there in a few years.
It’s so interesting how traveling gives you such a fresh perspective.
It’s almost indescribable how much I needed this trip, but I’ll do my best to elaborate. I left last week with a bad attitude about everything. I was just having one of those weeks. Stress, anxiety, tiredness, frustration it was all kicking in. Client work was kicking our butts (I almost missed my flight because I was so focused on getting a project done while waiting for my flight! They had to call my name over the loud-speaker…muy embarassanté!) But doing the course of my trip I got good sleep, laughed, relaxed on the beach, turned notifications off on my phone and allowed my mind & body to repair itself. I also encouraged myself to try new things. For instance I sampled ceviche (and subsequently loved it). Hopped on a paddleboard tandem style with Tres…with a kayak paddle (don’t ask) to hang out with dolphins (life-changing). And tasted shrimp (not sold, but I gave it a go.) OH and went sailing (I have anxiety about the open sea). All of them produced a healthy dose of fear mixed with excitement and nervousness. I didn’t die, although if I was allergic to shrimp it would have been my first time going to anaphylactic shock and that would have been a story!
But I’m fine. I survived and I now have a new list of things I enjoy and can at least say that I’ve tried. I’m currently reading How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams who created the Dilbert cartoons. I’m only a few chapters into it, but for someone like myself who puts a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect or feels as though they have to do it ALL; it’s a great read. I used to be SO scared of failing or not being able to do something it was almost paralyzing. He talks about overcoming certain adversities he’s faced and how his failed ventures led him to where he is today. I was so overwhelmed and disappointed in myself before I left for the trip…
But by the end of the trip I was like,
Moral of my weekend vacation…try new things and drink good wine. (obviously.)
Fitbit X Tory Burch
By Lauren Martin
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!