Branding and Social Media : Be True to Yourself

Beastie Boys quote found in the studio of Design Love Fest.  \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThere is one big struggle that I have recognized over my blogging career.  Being true to myself.  You can get so caught up in the business side of things that you forget to let your personal style come through.  Or you are afraid that the readers that you have built up so far won’t like the real you.  So I found it SO fitting, when I first walked in to the shared space of Design Love Fest‘s studio in Los Angeles last weekend, and saw this quote on the wall.  Boom.  Right there in my face.  ”Be true to yourself and you will never fall,” Beastie Boys.  I was there for Bri’s Social Media Class but I instantly knew it was going to be about more than that for me.  This is the first time I have seen Bri in person and she was charming and delightful.  She’s super funny and made learning about something as dry as social media enjoyable.  I can totally see why she has found big success with her other classes and workshops.  But Bri is the epitome of being true to who you are at all times, across all platforms.  And it is she who has really lead me down this path of self discovery.  Remember this post here where Bri came to me in a dream?  It’s like, how many times must she tell me to be myself?  I’m finding that is truly the way to discover what your brand is.  And branding and social media go hand in hand.

The @designlovefest studio is bright and gorgeous.  Duh.  \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis class came at a great time for me.  Last month I pretty much dropped most social media in favor of spending more time on my content.  And also because it can feel like a full-time job to make sure you are posting to every platform and see no real benefit.  Bri showed how often and where she posts to social media and it is totally manageable.  I don’t think I have to choose one or the other.  And while there was a lot of basic info, which was great since there was a wide variety of creative types in all stages of social media in the class, I also gained some new knowledge as well.  I also loved that even though the focus was on social media, it was also a lot about personal branding.  The crossover was very welcome and I came away with a new clarity.  I have a to-do list that I made for myself of things I want to clean up or edit.  I have an achievable social media plan, that demonstrates my brand.  And I have a renewed desire to put my whole self in to everything I do.

Donut Snob donuts and polka dots from the @designlovefest Social Media class.  \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI feel like my content in the last few weeks is getting closer to my style.  My numbers have dropped a little.  It can’t be all about the numbers and I won’t let it become about the numbers again.  The day before this class I had met with a gal who is going to be helping me with a new logo and look.  I’m excited for what is ahead.  And I look forward to taking more classes from Bri.  She’s legit.  My branding and social media feels more real to me right now than ever before.

Seriously, if she rolls out a new series of Social Media classes you NEED to take it.  OH HEY, SHE DID!   This is not sponsored in any way.  Although she did share these radtastic Donut Snob donuts with us.  These are my opinions and just so you know, I can’t be bought with donuts.

 

 

 

Birthday Gift Ideas

Someone buy these things for me okay? \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy birthday is this weekend!!  Yeah!!  I have no real plans at this point aside from a date night with my hubby.  This year doesn’t feel like it requires a crazy big celebration.  It does however, require a pedicure.  Here are some birthday gift ideas you all can buy for me.

Birthday Gift Ideas

A clutch that screams my name  .  a new sunbrella to keep me shady   .  cool shoes for my feet  .  this super fun picnic  basket/box  .  it’s time to start working on my summer wardrobe and this dress should be part of that  .  and this dress – I wear the heck out my other Novella Royale pieces and I love this print  .  and this fantastic gold tray wants to be in my house.

(You may notice that the link for the shoes is different from the shoe shown.  My husband explained that they change out their selection frequently.  And I’m too lazy to redo my collage.  And in fact I like the shoes in the link even better.)

See last year’s birthday post here.  It’s insightful.  I promise.

Eat the Ball Basketball Rolls

Sports themed bread!  How cool is this! How freaking insane are these basketball shaped rolls?!  I can’t get over them!  My husband brought these home because he thought the boys would get a kick out of them.  And they did.  But so did I.  I mean, how perfect are these for March Madness?!  They are by a company called Eat the Ball and they actually come in several other ball shapes as well.  So fun!

So perfect for any sport themed party! I have never heard of them before and am so excited to share them with you!  As a mom to two little boys, it just makes sense that they eat sandwiches on ball-shaped bread.

The coolest bread ever! How perfect would these be for a team party at the end of a season?  I’m pretty sure the kid’s heads would explode.  But be warned.  You totally want to throw these around.  This little guy and I couldn’t help but play a quick game of catch with the ball.

Look at these ingredients.  I know what all of them are.  That is awesome.  And the bread is cute too. These rolls can be found in the freezer section.  And just look at those ingredients?!  I know what all of those are!  Once you defrost the bread, you need to consume it within 24 hours.  I kind of love that.  This is some fresh stuff!  The ball rolls feel heavy and while they are a bit dense, they are not too bready.  They also have this really nice sweetness to them.  So not only are they adorable but the flavor is great too.

You guys!  It is basketball shaped bread! How fun for March Madness?! He shoots, he scores!!

You can't watch pro basketball without a sandwich made on baskeball shaped bread. Cutest sandwich ever, am I right?  Take a look at their website to find out if they are found in your area.  They seem to be at most Bristol Farms and some other smaller farmer’s market type places.  I’m telling you, if you have little boys, you HAVE to get these!  They will think you are the coolest ever.

The coolest!! Eat the Ball makes sport ball shaped bread.  Which make the cutest, sportiest sandwiches ever. I just know all you party planning moms are going to freak out about these like I did.  These just took your sport’s themed parties to the next level.  You’re welcome.

 

March Loves

Reed's Ginger Candy is my fave! I don’t even remember where I found Reed’s Ginger Candy Chews but I am obsessed!  These are phenomenal.  They are a touch sweet, a bit spicy and have a real ginger flavor.  I spoke of my love for Reed’s Ginger Beer here so of course I had to try these.  Now I just need to track them down since I have only two left.  Two!

Jessica Alba is a rad business woman and mom.

I got a chance to read my newest Nylon the other day and every time I read an article on Jessica Alba, I like her a little more.  I loved learning more about her role in her company (Honest).  This article talks about how hands on she is in all aspects including choosing colors for make up.  I loved that she voiced her opinion on the lip colors not being right, which is due in part to the natural materials used to create them.  She’s not willing to put out a product that no one really wants to wear.  She’s the perfect mix of every woman (except she’s, like, extra gorgeous) and advocate for the health of our families.  And that is pretty cool.

My grandmother's costume jewelryA few weeks ago my mom brought over all of my grandmother’s old costume jewelry.  I finally took a few hours to sort through it all and it was amazing.  My grandmother was always put together with the perfect accessories.  And she loved to travel so there are several handmade items from many of the places she visited.  While I might not wear all of it (but trust, there are some AMAZEBALLS pieces), they will remain treasured memories of a lady I miss very much.

Earth Tu Face is freaking rad.  LOVE their line of products.My husband recently brought home some awesome Earth Tu Face products to try out.  You guys, this stuff is crazy natural and awesome.  It was started by two herbalists who make 100% natural skin care only using plant based products.  All of their packaging is recyclable, reusable and compostable.  And the smells!  While there are no added scents, the ingredients used create these amazing scents!  I’ve always been afraid to use an oil based cleanser since I have oily skin.  But I decided to give it a shot.  It has been great.  I’ve certainly not broken out like I thought I would and I feel like my forehead isn’t quite as shiny as it was before I started using the Earth Tu Face face wash. The Rosemary Salt lotion feels wonderful.  And I love the smell of rosemary so that is a win for sure.  I haven’t tried all of these products out yet but I plan to!  And I think you should too.

Obsessed with the Earth Tu Face balm stick for face, lips and more.  The smell is intoxicating! You may have seen my instagram post but this Skin Stick is my fave!  It is an all-purpose salve for wherever you need it.  I’ve mainly been using it on my lips so far but with the geranium and vetiver, I really should be rubbing this thing all over my face.  Geranium prevents and fades scarring (hello – dumb skin cancer scars, consider yourself warned!) and the vetiver promotes cellular healing.  Duh.  We could all use that.  And I don’t want to offend any hippies but when I wear this on my lips, it smells like a hippie is dancing on my face.  It’s musky and warm while being calming and hydrating.  I definitely have hippie tendencies and this totally appeals to them.  I keep this in the drawer next to my bed and put it on just before I go to sleep.  It is the perfect way to end the day.

sunglass collectionAnd I have to say that it doesn’t suck when your husband works for a sunglass company.  These are so fun to be able to mix and match with my outfits.  And since it is mostly sunny in California, year round, I need sunglasses.  All of these are by IVI Vision.

Color your own Whopper's Robin's eggs for EasterAnd have you guys seen these?!  I saw these Whoppers Easter Robin Eggs Decorate Your Own Eggs
at the grocery store and had to get them.  My boys love this kind of stuff.  They came with three edible markers and a bunch of plain white eggs.  This was a great little snack and craft for us one afternoon.  I picked them up at my local Albertson’s but haven’t seen them anywhere else.  I hope you can find them.  These were very well received by the kiddos.

 

The Shark Rocket is AWESOME!

*I received a Shark Rocket Vacuum for review.  All opinions are my own.

#sponsored The Shark Rocket vacuum is amazing for homes with hard floors and area rugs.Something is terribly wrong with me.  I irrationally love this Shark Rocket vacuum.  I hate cleaning.  Especially the floors.  So I was really shocked to find that I LOVED this vacuum.  I am familiar with the Shark brand having owned one of their steam cleaner mops.  My mom had turned me on to it and it was perfect for my tile floors.  But I’ve never been happy with how I clean the rest of my floors.  We have a hardwood laminate through most of the house with several area rugs.  A big heavy vacuum will ruin the laminate but a light micro fleece sweeper won’t do anything for the carpets.  I got the chance to learn about the Shark Rocket at Alt Summit and thought it might be just what I needed.  And I can’t believe I am talking to you all about a vacuum!  But I truly love it.  If they had sent it to me to try out and then taken it back (they would have been jerks – just kidding) but I would have gone out and bought one for myself.  That is how much I think this vacuum is perfect for my home.

Vacuuming is a great chore for my 7 year old. And I’m not the only one who thinks so.  As soon as I took it out of the box, my oldest son became really interested.  He had to check out each and every piece and know how they all worked.  I certainly wasn’t going to say no to that.  This vacuum is crazy.  And kind of like a transformer.  The Shark Rocket is a traditional vacuum, albeit light weight, but also comes with attachments for cleaning hard floors and you can make it in to a handheld vacuum with several different heads.  It can do anything!  And the attachments are super easy to change.  I found a huge mess of crumbs in our pantry cupboard the other day – your know like pretzel salt and crackers bits.  I just popped on the wand that you can see in the photo above and sucked all that gross stuff right off the shelf.  So easy!  And since it was out, I took it for a quick clean up of my bathroom floor where a new round brush had basically exploded after the first use and sent bristles all over the floor.  This thing is seriously so easy to use.

The Shark Rocket is super versatile. #sponsored.As you can see, the size and weight of the waste container is not overwhelming.  And the cord is really long which I LOVE!  I used to have to start and stop just to move the plug around the house to vacuum the different rooms.  This makes it easier to just power through the house.

Sometimes kids like to do housework.  Take advantage of it when that happens. As you can see, my son chose vacuuming over making a couch fort with his brother and a neighbor.  Who’s kid is this?!  He was dead set on using one of the handheld attachments.  But the wand and micro fleece cover would have been my choice.  He’s still young.  He won’t be sore from vacuuming like some of us.  Not that that has happened to me.  Often.

A light weight vacuum is perfect for houses with hard floors and area rugs. Then another crazy thing happened.  I made a girlfriend try it out when she came over.  What?!  Welcome to my home, now won’t you please vacuum it?  That is how much I love it.  My last vacuum never got these carpets clean.  I could always see little pieces of fuzz still on it even when I just finished vacuuming.  But the Shark gets it super clean!  And it almost pulled me along behind it.  That is how powerful it felt.  So I made her try it out.  I know sometimes it is hard to tell if a blogger is being sincere about a review.  I am totally weirded out by myself for how much I have been wanting to get this post done so I could share my love of it with you.  Wait, is this a sign of severe exhaustion?  Where do the starlets go when they get “exhausted’?  Is someone going to check me in somewhere?

#sponsored The Shark Rocket is amazing.  I never thought I would be so excited about a vacuum.  I fear I've turned the corner to crazy.If you have been thinking about buying a vacuum, I think this would be a great option.  Especially if you have a similar set up like mine with hard floors and area rugs.  There are two changes I would make to the vacuum.  First, the hook to wrap the cord around is on the regular vacuum base.  But I use the hard floor base more frequently which does not have a hook for the cord.  So in order to store the vacuum nice and tidy I have to swap the bases.  Which is really no big deal but I’m lazy.  The other thing is that it doesn’t really stand on its own.  It does come with a plate that you can screw in to the wall and then hang the vacuum on.  But since we are renting and I don’t really want to hang a vacuum in my kitchen in plain sight, this kind of leans in a corner.  I will be making its permanent home in the garage as soon as I organize a bit so sometimes it is in a corner and sometimes it lays on the floor.  Not ideal but not a deal breaker for me either.

The other day I came across an infomercial on TV for this vacuum.  And I stopped to watch it.  Not all of it, just a few minutes.  I learned even more great things about this vacuum and its power.  I can’t wait to vacuum my couch and mattress.  So bizarre to hear that come out of me.  I am truly a fan of this vacuum.

*I was sent this Shark Rocket vacuum to try out.  All opinions are mine.  And I freaking love this vacuum.