Cold and Cozy Must-Haves

The time has come where Texas has started throwing us random cold fronts that come and go so fast we have began to slowly create a summer/winter hybrid closet. Great news though -- each cold front is one step closer to full-time sweater weather. With winter on the rise, we’ve slowly been trying to find what essentials are necessary to keep us fashionable but not freezing. We’ve come to realize that we can’t always get that new Free People jacket that taunts us in our emails. However, there are plenty of other affordable options that will keep you up to date with this year’s fall/winter trends: 

Fuzzy Coat: As much as we’d like to drop $200 on a fuzzy coat, it’s just not an option. Luckily, there are sites out there like Nordstrom Rack that understand these struggles and give us an out. This fuzzy bundle of joy will keep you warm, snuggly and snazzy for the cold nights to come!

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Little Black... Turtle Neck: This is a key element to getting through winter season. I mean, what DOESN’T a black turtle neck go with? Aside from being totally flattering and adorable, it can pair with just about any winter bottoms or coat. The best part - they are everywhere (meaning you don’t have to blow your money on it) and come in tons of colors. We think everyone should invest in black, white or grey (or all three). 

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Statement Booties: Wearing all black is always a great go-to, but why not throw in a little spice? A pair of bold booties is a great way to turn your simple outfit in to a statement. We’ve watched printed booties take over the fashion world and we are excited to jump on board. Give your feet a moment in the spotlight with these gorgeous (and affordable) boots. 

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  Agenda: Big Bend National Park  

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We’ve all heard of Big Bend, but did you know it’s a national park and not a state park? We think of this little corner of Texas as the best not-so-secret park and we are excited to add it to your bucket list. If you’re heading that way from ATX like we did, we’ve got the inside look on where to stay, what to do and what to bring.

 

If you’re planning to venture that way, we highly recommend a pit stop in one of the quirky towns on the way to rest your eyes so you can enter the park refreshed and ready to explore. This stop doesn’t have to take away from your adventure. In fact, it should add to it! Here’s where we stopped on the way back that made for an amazing experience:

 

Pit stop – El Cosmico in Marfa. Ever stayed in a Yurt? What about a restored 1960’s airstream? A Tepee? No? Neither have we, until we stopped at El Cosmico. This place is the perfect cozy, cute and quirky stop that leaves you feeling like you just walked straight out of a movie. Staying here leaves you with the chance to wake up bright and early and have a whole day at the park to get settled and still squeeze in a hike or two. Not to mention you can spend the day in the art town, Marfa, if you want to add a little extra vacation day on to your trip.

 

The Adventure – No question, if you’re going to Big Bend you HAVE to (not should) stay at the Chisos Basin camp site. The camp site is surrounded by magnificent red cliffs that catch fire when the sun rises and sets. It leaves you waking up and going to sleep mystified. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Lost Mines Trail, it’s roughly three miles and leads you up a mountain to an unforgettable view with the freshest and most pure air. If you’re up for a little drive, we highly recommend checking out the natural hot springs pool that’s about 30 minutes from your camp site known as the Boquillas Hot Springs.

 

Essentials – Besides the obvious camping supplies (tent, stove, boots etc.), there are a few things we often forget to bring that we believe are crucial. If you’re not accustomed to sleeping on rocky terrain, we highly recommend a cot. The last thing you want is to be restless all night and feel drained the next day for your adventures. Next, don’t forget your swim suit! Even if you don’t plan on visiting the Boquillas Hot Springs, El Cosmico has “starlight tubs” that are delivered to your doorstep for a little midnight dip under the stars.

 

Now get out there and start exploring!  

 

 

Tips for the perfect Friendsgiving  

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It’s almost that time of the year! Halloween has passed and our new holiday obsession has officially settled in. Thanksgiving is, of course, a time to celebrate the joys of family. However, we believe the celebration of friends is equally as important. Our friends are the chosen family that carry us through our everyday lives and see a side of us those distant relatives never get to. We believe this calls for a celebration! Here are a couple of ideas to get your party planning motors in motion and to help you be the best Friendsgiving host of 2017!

 

Décor – It’s hard sometimes to create that Pinterest-worthy party without blowing your budget. After a little research, we found an idea from Lemon Thistle that will help you create the warm, fun atmosphere that every Friendsgiving should have. All you need is some Kraft mailing paper, a friend who has mastered the art of cursive and some simple white candles! It an easy, affordable way to spice up your party and leave you worry free of ruining a new table cloth. Throw in some white pumpkins and some greenery and there ya go!

For more on our inspiration, visit https://www.lemonthistle.com/friendsgiving-2015-casual-and-organic/.  

 

Sips – What’s a party without some mimosas? Well, it’s still a party but mimosas are a huge plus. We must stay on theme though so we found the perfect compromise – Apple Cider Mimosas. We suggest heading to your local farmer’s market and grabbing some fresh cider, and don’t forget the champagne! Dip your rim with some cinnamon and top it with an apple wedge and your all set as seen at https://wholefully.com/two-ingredient-apple-cider-mimosas/.

 

Bites – This recipe found its way to us one day when we were scrolling through our Facebook feed and has been a Friendsgiving inspiration ever since! Guests (friends) have a combo of many different diets, including gluten-free. How do you satisfy and meet all their needs? Crustless apple pies of course! It’s an easy, delicious way to contribute and still make everyone feel happy and welcome. Not to mention that is one less (of the many) carbs you will be consuming.

A favorite recipe found here: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a43894/crustless-apple-pies-recipe/.

 

 

 

Kelsey Chapman’s 5 Day Gramathon Challenge

 

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 Weren’t apart of the five day Gramathon challenge? Fear not, we were! Summarizing five full days of Instagram advice would be a little bit of an “information overload” for you, so we picked our top three favorites:

 

1.    Mindset Behind Influence by Kate Crocco

Kate Crocco is a Confidence and Mindset Coach for ambitious female entrepreneurs. Kate uses her clinical expertise as a trained psychotherapist, along with her experience of owning both a local and online business.” – Kelsey Chapman

She gave us advice on mindset and how that mindset can dramatically affect our Instagram success. Here are some quick tidbits from the positive guru herself:

·      Your mindset can either propel you forward or pull you back.

·      Our mindset’s usually pull us back because we limit our beliefs and how much influence we can have on others.

·      The more you go out there as YOU and talk about your mission, value and desires, the right people will be attracted to you and the wrong people will be repelled. 

·      Talk about your dreams and goals, why you’re out there and what you’re doing. 

·      The more you share about you and your journey the more confident you will be in showcasing your talents and profession.  

·      Being yourself attracts people like you and helps build your circle or “tribe.” 

·      Eventually being yourself and being confident in your content will make an impact on others.

·      Start today by choosing something small that pushes you a little out of your comfort zone.

 

2.    Branding Your Instagram Like a Boss by Michaela Jansen Jatavanha

“Michaela is a strategic web designer by day, beachside always. She is originally from Cape Town, South Africa and now lives in a seaside town in Brazil with her handsome husband and pups. She's been working with entrepreneurs for 8 years, and specializes in creating great client experiences that transform clients into ambassadors for your brand.” – Kelsey Chapman

Michaela gave us her top three tips on how to build an Instagram that’s effective and useful. Here are her three steps to creating a cohesive brand on Instagram: 

·      Write a bio that grabs attention.

o   Needs to answer what you do, why they should care and how they can learn more.  

o   Make the most out of your one link in your bio by using Linktree. This gives you the opportunity to direct users to more than one link.

·      Stick to your brand’s look and feel. 

o   Match your images to your brand’s tone, style and color scheme.

o   Use Planoly or ColorKuler to do a mini color audit to begin creating a tone and color scheme that perfect for your brand.

·      Stick to your brands voice. 

o   A large part of branding yourself is through the stories you tell. 

o   Create a cohesive feeling through not just your images but also the messages your relaying to the public.

 

3.    Networking With Instagram by Lauren Taylor.

“Lauren Taylor is a blogger and founding editor of The Letter.” – Kelsey Chapman

Lauren gave us some unforgettable advice on the importance of Networking on Instagram and four quick tips on the best way to start your Insta-networking journey:

·      Communicate on time. By being an effective communicator with a brand/client you are not only showing you care, but also prioritizing their business.

·      Exceed their expectations but don’t over commit. Putting in extra work and always keeping an eye out for fresh innovative new angles shows your commitment to your client and their potential.

·      Sometimes opportunity trumps money. When new opportunities arise, especially when your first getting started, make sure you think about it and if it’s beneficial for you and the brand. Choosing to involve yourself in new projects can open doors for even bigger opportunities.

·      Always stay genuine. You don’t want to work with a brand that has nothing to do with who you are. Stay upfront with brands as well and make sure a partnership with a new client is beneficial for both of you.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Three Goals You Should Have This Fall

 

A new season can come and go without us even noticing, until all of a sudden, we are swapping out our tank tops for sweaters. It’s hard to look at a new season as anything but a new work week – but are there benefits to these new seasons? The answer is yes. With each new season comes a new playing field of what people want/need in their lives. As a business professional, its important you’re actively cheering people, and yourself, on to the new possibilities that come with the changing of the leaves. Here are three goals to set for yourself this Autumn.

 

1.     Build and maintain three new relationships. I’m sure you already have your “squad” – but when did a new member (or three) ever hurt? Bringing a fresh new face and personality to your life can add a whole new set of values for you to admire and adopt. Why three? Because the more people you invest in, the more you’ll have in return and the wider your network becomes. Also, who doesn’t want a new happy hour cohort?

 

2.     Work out (?) many times a week. Yes, the question mark was on purpose and not an accidental type-o that was missed during revisions. The amount of physical activity you want is completely up to you. Setting a goal too high will just discourage you. Setting a goal too low will just bore you. Look at your schedule and figure out when you can squeeze in a hot yoga class or a long walk around the neighborhood. It will clear your mind and leave your body refreshed for your next move!

 

3.     Treat yo’ self.  By that I mean, go shopping. Yes, I’m actually telling you to take a break from work in the name of new shoes. It’s important to switch up your wardrobe because it creates a fresh new look for your clients, but most importantly yourself. Look good, feel good is our mantra. Keep your individuality alive and start a new season as a fresh, new you. 

What I Learned from a Summer with CAP Communications Group  

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As the “new girl” on the CAP Communications Group team, I still have a lot to learn about what it means to work in the ever-changing field of Public Relations. Prior to being the personal assistant to boss babe, Callie Neatherlin, I had close to zero hands-on experience with PR, so jumping in to CAP working with Bud Light this summer rocked my world to say the least. I watched one of the most noteworthy events in ATX unfold from behind-the-scenes and learned a lot about myself as a business professional in the process. With that being said, here’s my advice to you if you’re like I was and are about to embark on your first professional adventure…

 

Trial and error is your closest confidant – Don’t let that discourage you, though. If your anything like me, you will probably send in your first assignment in a pink trendy font thinking it’s the most business-professional option (lesson learned). At the time, these small failures may seem discouraging but they are the most beneficial aspect to your growth. Every mistake opens a door for improvement!

 

If someone you trust trusts you, trust yourself – I know, what the heck does that even mean? In other words, if your boss gives you an opportunity to prove that you can do something on your own – take it. It’s nerve-racking writing up your first press release or contacting your first media professional, I get it. However, if someone is willing to entrust you with a task, it’s more times than not because they know you are capable of doing it, and doing it right.

 

Every opportunity is one worth taking – Say what you want about how cheesy that line is (I’m cringing myself) but I can’t stress it enough. Not only are you immersing yourself more in a professional atmosphere but your surrounding yourself with people who can motivate you to be better than you are. I get it, life picks up and it’s hard to take every opportunity sometimes. However, the more time you spend with successful, inspirational people the more you can envision yourself as one.

 

Thanks CAP Communications Group, and Callie, for the best summer of my life!

 

Cheers,

Anna 

Random Acts of Discipline  

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We’ve all heard the saying “random acts of kindness,” but just recently I learned from a fortune cookie that there are more renditions of “random acts of…” out there that we should really be investing in. In this case, random acts of discipline. At first, it was something I blew off (and went straight to the cookie) like we do with most cliché-sounding one liners found in desserts. Mid-cookie though, my brain had finally processed that what I just read was pure gold.

 

So, what does it even mean? Why is it worth reading a whole blog of blab over? To me, at least, it was a soft but necessary reminder that a large goal cannot be fulfilled without the completion of your small goals (and those small goals can’t be achieved without even smaller goals). In other words, you can’t make it to the big leagues without some serious practice – make sense? This little bit of wisdom is now something I carry with me every day and creeps up in the back of my mind every time I’m too lazy to make the bed, wash the dishes or even throw a gum in my purse versus throwing it away. These are random acts of discipline – things that don’t necessarily change the course of your day on surface level, but have a huge impact on your frame of mind.

 

In the long run these acts of discipline will create a more efficient life as you train your mind to want to accomplish things that better yourself, even if just in minimal ways. Think big leagues, remember? With that being said, find those moments you slack in and improve them because you get one life and you might as well work to improve it in every way possible. When you catch yourself putting something out of place, or taking the easy way out, back track and do it right.

 

How can you start now?

1.     Watch this video I saw this morning when I was too lazy to get out of bed (I’m now out of bed and 3 goals deep).

2.     Make your bed.

3.     Recognize negative thoughts you have daily and replace them with positive ones that drive you.

4.     Eat more fortune cookies (wink wink).

5.     If you left a sock on the floor, pick it up (before it becomes 20 socks on the floor).

 

These are just examples in my own life I work on, everyone’s are different. What are yours? It’s time to find out! 

Our August Obsessions

Every now and then it’s necessary to broaden your horizons whether it be your style, music, literature etc. - change is always refreshing. We decided to dive in to some new things this August as a tribute to the end of summer and the start to a new season of work. Here's what we've been dig'n this August…

 

Music

The album Blossom by Milky Chance is one we stumbled upon at Montreal, Canada music festival, Osheaga, and have been listening non-stop ever since. (check out a personal fav, Firebird)

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Style

Jumpsuits. We know, it's nothing new or up and coming, but it’s definitely something we've been throwing on a lot more than usual. It's a classic, easy and simple way to look good and still be comfortable. Here's one we've had my eyes on recently… 

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Movie

"Why Him?" Strictly for comic relief (which is always necessary). We came across this movie on a flight back to Texas and were in tears the whole way home. Probably not a family movie night choice, but definitely something to watch after a long day’s work with the girlfriends to stare at James Franco’s hotness. 

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