When I moved to town to attend the University of Tampa, I could see the city's culture growing each year, but these days the swell of art, food, and more grows leaps and bounds every month. I love attending events like Bend and Brew, which was hosted by Hyde Park Village. This event included yoga at Snow Circle with a Lululemon Ambassador, light bites, a beer tasting by J.J. Taylor, flowers from Florist Fire, and even mini cupcakes from Sprinkles. Everyone that came out seemed much more relaxed after yoga practice and it was so fantastic to see new friendships forming. I love Tampa's affinity towards community and I can't wait to attend the next great, local event.
I've been enjoying wishing all who I come in contact with a Happy New Year or telling them I hope the year has been off to a great start for them. It's only a few days into the new year, but it makes sense to check in on your resolutions. I used to resolve to exercise more and eat better, and I still do, I but I've come to realize that this isn't something that should only come to mind during the new year. So while I try every day to be a bit responsible with my health, I've decided I need new, original resolutions. This is what I've come up with for 2017.
- Learn how to make English scones from scratch. This looks like a good recipe!
- Travel to a brand new place that my boyfriend and I have never been, like Spain or Iceland.
- Take a few workshops on topics that interest me.
- Volunteer once a month to help people in my community.
- Start a coffee meet up for women entrepreneurs.
I hope your 2017 is as delicious and exciting as mine sounds on paper. ;) I'm looking forward to having more fun and trying some new things. Cheers to a great year.
It's nearly Halloween and we're all watching movies like Rosemary's Baby, Hocus Pocus, Fright Night, and of course The Goonies. How many times do you think you've seen The Goonies... at least a dozen times, right? Me too! But even though the story might not be new, some of the messages might be renewed to you by re-watching the movie throughout your life.
While watching the scene in The Goonies where the kids are trying to escape and they all have to jump down a tunnel that looks like a water slide in a cave I was noticing the way that each character looked as they slid. Some of them screamed in terror the whole way down. Mikey started to smile and laugh midway though. In my life, I’d like to to be like Mikey in that tunnel. None of The Goonies knew where that tunnel was headed (much like all of us living our lives and working towards our goals), but some of them found a way to enjoy the ride.
There’s so much beauty in that sentiment and it’s one we can remind ourselves of often. Yes, the destination is important, but if we don’t enjoy the ride we won’t enjoy the destination. The unknown can sometimes be a scary thing, but let’s try to take comfort in the fact that we can do our best to enjoy and have an impact on the present journey in such a way that the destination is as fantastic as it should be. So never say die and enjoy the ride.
Follow me and more of my daily eurekas on Instagram.
What better to celebrate the end of a blistering hot summer and the beginning of pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING and gorgeous weather than with a #celebrateeveryday balloon session?!
Enjoy Fall! I'll be sipping Pumpkin Spice Lattes and making tasty holiday plans.
Follow my next balloon session on Instagram.
I've considered myself a runner ever since my first Cross Country practice in my Freshman year of high school. I improved quite a bit during the three years I was active on the team, but once I got busy with A.P. classes and more responsibilities in the community service club I was Vice President in, I ended up leaving the team and not replacing that active time with something equally active. This takes a toll on your body when you're used to eating chocolate muffins every day and not gaining an ounce because you're running 5 times a week. It's now been more than 10 years since I've been active on a consistent, challenging basis and boy is it difficult to get back into! However, suddenly I have a target to aim for-- a holiday 5k in November, where not only will I be directly participating, but I'll also be in charge of the Datz Restaurant Group's team. This work project is going to keep me accountable and focused in a way that getting in shape solely based on numbers on a scale never could. I need to finish the race strong because I'm representing my employer AND myself. And as Jennifer Lopez said in 'The Wedding Planner" when she faced the impossible: "I love a challenge! I'm a professional!" Technically it was slightly more adult wording than that, but we're gonna keep it PG. ;)
So, long story short, I'm going to kill two birds with one stone. I'm going to get healthier and exercise on a consistent basis and I'm going to kick butt in this holiday 5k. Wish me luck.
I’m wistfully looking back to our mini vacation to Gainesville, Florida in mid-August. Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, of course, but it’s also home to loads of beautiful historic buildings and beloved local businesses like Satchel’s Pizza, Maude’s Side Car Cafe, and so many more. My boyfriend James went to college here and we both like the city, so we come back on occasion. I decided to spend my spare (thank goodness!) Saturday morning on a drop-in Yoga class. I was super lucky to find out that your first class at Searchlight Yoga is free and I loved it so much that I will definitely be back for another “Foundations of Yoga” class the next time I’m in town and I’m really hoping to take another session with Karen, who was lovely and had a great way of explaining what was next and how to achieve your best practice.
While Yoga isn’t going to replace my usual cardio or weight workouts, it’s definitely something I want to continue doing from time to time because not only is it great for my flexibility and toning my core, but it’s also really great for my mind. I feel relaxed the entire duration of the class and leave feeling resolved of my previous anxieties (which I have many, all the time) and am then free to move onto whatever is next in my day.
Yoga’s teachings make me a better, happier person, which in turn makes me a better creative, and here’s why.
Live in the Present. During a class, your whole goal is to focus on the current tasks that you’re doing. Which is breathing, a specific pose, or both of those things. It pares your needs down from work, family, goals, bills, and anything else you have going on and forces you to work only on your breathing. It cuts out all other noise and coaxes you into living in the present. If I asked you where you live, would you say the name of a city or state? Or would it be something more like ‘my past’ or ‘the future’? Many people catch themselves focusing on the past or future rather than what’s in front of them because we have so many choices and worries in our lives, but if we can train ourselves to be more self aware and to focus only on our breathing and a set of specific poses for an hour on a regular basis, then we can train ourselves to focus on the present even when we’re not actively practicing Yoga. We can live in the present while we’re building our businesses and brands, while we’re spending time with friends and family, and even while we’re running errands and commuting to work. There’s beauty in all aspects of our lives, we just have to actively realize it.
Reach Towards Organic Growth. During each class I’ve taken, I’ve heard the instructor offer a few options for modifying a pose. There aren’t a lot of other activities that offer this kind of option, but it’s such an encouraging and realistic approach to learning something new and to life in general. We’re all different and require our own space and time to accomplish our goals and Yoga gives you that time and space. It’s not a competition and it allows your to be as selfish as you need to be. Not quite able to do a pose fully? Take your time. Modify. Is this pose one of your stronger ones and you’re able to hold Warrior 2 as long as the instructor asks you to? Celebrate. Yoga understands that you can’t be the best overnight, but it encourages you to be YOUR best. In Yoga and in business, hard work and persistence are rewarded.
Know the Rules to Conquer Them. Your teachers will show you what the pose should look like and describe what it should feel like so you know exactly what you’re aiming for. You know that your hard work of holding that pose a little longer each time, focusing on your breath, modifying when needed, that you are going to hit the mark. Yoga teaches you that if you know what you’re aiming for, you’re gonna take names.
As a new Yoga student, I’m still learning with each class, but even in just the dozen classes I’ve taken I can feel that Yoga is more than just a relaxing activity or a way to exercise, but it’s also a way of life that can help improve all aspects of myself as a person. I’m always looking for metaphors and stories to hold onto and make myself better with, but Yoga has really helped to bridge so many ideas together that to me equate to success.
Good luck in finding some meaning and peace in your day today and I hope we’ll get to enjoy some Yoga together one day.
For those of you creatives who haven’t been to Florida, it’s known for 2 things— its hot, hot heat and it’s size. You could drive for hours in any direction and STILL be in the same state. But it does have a lot of rustic charm and quirky cities to explore— like Gainesville.
I’ve been to Gainesville a handful of times because my boyfriend James went to college there and he likes to revisit every once in a while. I like this city because the drive out there is very green with plenty of cows and little farm-like houses to peek at and the city’s downtown is super cute. There are always people out walking, eating, and enjoying their city.
Here’s what I did with my 48 hours in G-ville when we visited in mid-August!
I love exploring cities that aren’t my own, and I thought taking a drop-in Yoga class would feel really good AND help me to feel like a part of the city while I’m here since I’d be headed to a local studio filled with people who have made Gainesville their home. Visit Searchlight Yoga if you get a chance. Definitely try and take a class with Karen! She’s great.
With an iced vanilla coffee in tow, I caught up with an old friend via email, played around on Zillow for a while and drafted a few blogs on the patio at Maude’s Side Car Cafe. Maude’s is not only a fantastic place to have coffee and a slice of cake, but it’s also a small business champion, if you will. Years ago, a Starbucks opened its doors right next to Maude’s, a small locally-owned coffee shop. For the average shop, this would’ve killed their business, but Maude’s has prevailed. I stop in for a cuppa whenever I can. Also, their playlist is great (“Friday I’m in Love”, anyone?) and they’re wifi passwords will make you smile. This time the password was davidbowie. Yeah, I told ya. I see you smiling!
Grabbed a Slice (or Two!)
Satchel’s is a Gainesville institution and a Florida foodie icon. Not only is the pizza completely awesome, but Satchel’s is also (maybe even more so) known for its Americana art-filled walls and room full of vintage toys and gadgets for you to take home if you please. You’ll leave Satchel’s full of handcrafted pizza and inspiration.
Hit the Bricks
It’s no secret I have a thing for coffee, balloons, and street art. I snapped a few fun photos in front of some gorgeous spots off Main Street. It’s was pretty toasty outside (my iced coffee wasn’t iced for long!) but it was worth it.
I had been dreaming about doing Folklore for over a year before it materialized. I missed doing interviews and loved doing events, so I combined the two and produced the very first one on March 2, 2016 at Tempus Projects, an amazing art gallery in Seminole Heights. My interviewees were Chef Ferrell Alvarez of Rooster & the Till and Sarah Howard, Curator of Public Art and Social Practice at USF Institute for Research in Art.
I'm so grateful to these talented individuals for taking the time to share their struggles, successes, advice, hopes for Tampa, and more with us and I can't wait until the next Folklore on June 1!
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook at #folkloretampa and check out photos and past interviews here.
P.S. The project that Folklore is produced under is called Vessel Collective, and we're about to celebrate 6 years of storytelling & community!!! Stay tuned for birthday details.
One of the events that I'm the proudest of didn't have the biggest budget or the most attendees-- it had the best details, the sweetest people, and the best CAKE.
In December of 2015, Dough co-produced an event with Oh Hello Events as part of a monthly event series for wedding vendors in Tampa Bay and surrounding cities called the Creative Collective. We had holiday cocktails, decorated naked cakes, hammed it up in the photo booth, and had the best time! Every single photo in the album is my favorite, but I was able to select a few to include as a preview below. Special thanks to Regina as the Photographer for the stunning images. Cheers!
In March of 2016 we hosted and co-produced a recipe competition at Datz with Tampa Bay Bloggers and Organicgirl. This is by far the healthiest event I've ever coordinated. I'm not a pretty big Organicgirl aficionado. Sweet Pea lettuce, anyone??
There were 3 competitors with original recipes and 6 judges, including Datz's Executive Chef Keith Williamson; Studio 10's hosts, Stephanie Webb and Michael Clayton; Food Blogger Carlos Hernandez; Organicgirl Representative Julie Vanacker; and guest judge Jamie who won an Instagram contest hosted by Tampa Bay Bloggers.
My biggest challenge with this event was the difference in structure. I had never hosted a contest with a judges panel before. Previous competitions I'd been a part of involved a voting process by the attendees, so this was a little bit more complex. Overall, it was a really nice, intimate event with lots of familiar faces and cheering along as the bloggers worked hard to finish crafting their recipes in the time allotted. The photos were captured by Regina as the Photographer. Enjoy!
January 28, 2016 was Datz's 7th birthday. What better way to celebrate than starting a national foodie holiday-- National Cheat Day! We learned that Datz was commonly known as a place that locals come to "cheat" on their diets or health plans. Turning the idea of being into a cheat destination into something playful was so much fun. When National Doughnut Day, National Bacon Day, or National Pumpkin Pie Day comes around, foodies take part by enjoying those foods and talking about them on social media. We sought the create the same type of social media-based event.
I'm so proud to have been able to create and produce this this event. We trended locally in Tampa on Twitter with over 1,500 tweets, had 125 Instagram photos tagged to National Cheat Day, the FB event page received 19K impressions, and we received a proclamation from the City of Tampa's foodie mayor, Bob Buckhorn. We built a solid foundation for National Cheat Day with the support of 30 local media outlets and bloggers. I am very much looking forward to seeing what we can do with National Cheat Day's second year in 2017.
I've never adored something so much. Enjoy, and happy Tuesday. ⚡️
2015 was a year of career changes, road trips, amazing food, the return of an old friend, and so much more. To ring in the new year, my boyfriend and I hosted 14 of our closest friends for a night of food, drinks, puppies*, and gold confetti. I spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest and a LOT of time at West Elm, Target, Homegoods, and Party City selecting the right pieces for the party and am really excited about what I put together! Behold— here are photos of the food and drinks table from the party as well as a group of photos from a mini styling session in my kitchen where I grouped all of the decor elements together. I wish you a wonderful new year and hope you’ll let me know what you think of the party’s decor in the comments below!
P.S. I’m behind in creating my 2016 bucket list but stayed tuned! To see more of my favorite ways to style a party or special event, check out my Pinterest here.
*The evening’s puppies included my Lab mix, Beaumont, my co-worker’s Dachshund/Corgi mix, and his six week old Chihuahua/Shih Tzu mix. Swoon!