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al capone, 75 years of Buick history in one family + me

1 Oct

this morning i woke up at my usual time of 4:45am.  does that mean i’m getting old?

i like it anyway because i get so much done.  sometimes i tell myself (quite literally) to chill out and just read or something.  today, i pulled out a box of old photos and there was a folder on top.  it was a draft from an article my dad wrote (i helped) for a publication.

if you’re into cars, in the business or not, you might appreciate this.  i didn’t know my grandpa but he was a pretty cool dude including being Buick’s General Service Manager for the whole country but also when he was single, he fixed Al Capone’s henchman’s cars.  #badass

but the most fun for me today (already) was reading this.  most of all because i could hear my dad’s voice in this draft below.   he wrote this about my grandpa.  if you’ve ever had someone you love for years and years pass away and then read something they wrote and hear their voice in it – it’s like they are reaching out from the grave and talking to you.

here you go – it’s three pages.  this was published in a couple of car publications.  for those of you in the business that think i’m just another ad chick that doesn’t know anything about anything – know that at my very core i come from 75 years of very smart and passionate car people!  🙂

 

back to school

10 Aug

i miss going back to school.  not the school part, but the new clothes part.  my memories of back-to-school shopping are vivid and thinking back to that time makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

there are a few places in life where you feel totally yourself.  where it’s safe to be silly and maybe even a little bratty (if called for) and be surrounded by unconditional love.  back to school shopping with mom and my sister was one of those times.

starting in grade school and going pretty much into college, the three of us would designate a day in August to hit the stores and pull together outfits for the coming school year.  the excitement started in late july when the august issue of seventeen magazine was sent to the house.

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it was thick with serious knowledge and crisp pages of what we were to expect for style that season.  that magazine sat in its wrapper on the kitchen counter like a present i was too excited to open.  when the time was just right, i’d take it upstairs, close my door, lay on my bed (on my stomach), open it up and slowly review each ad and editorial.  only after i was done and i’d let some time pass would i let my little sister take a look.

we were totally spoiled.  i’ll admit that right now.  it was the one time of year where we just went crazy and stocked up on all the fall and winter clothes, shoes, bags – everything.  it was GIRL POWER all the way and dad always insisted on a fashion show once we got home.

so to understand the comment i made above about back-to-school shopping and being totally yourself – you have to know joan.  joan is my mom and you can read more about her here and here.

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my mom doesn’t mince words… at all.  she tells it how it is.  not one of those people that will say “looks so cute” and then say in her inside voice “not so much.”  her inside voice is her outside voice.  and the best part about that is she is my mom.  not someone who could be swayed by other intentions.  i know my mom has my best interest in mind.  so B-T-S shopping became this time of extreme family bonding. we laughed, joked and threw clothes over doors.  we tried on millions of clothes. the best was all three of us getting in one dressing room.  sometimes we laughed so hard that we had to gather ourselves together – wiping smeared mascara and tears from our eyes before exiting the stall. 

mom would sit on the little stool and direct:

“katie, give that top to amy, that color looks better on her.”

“amy, those pants are very slimming but the top is too short.”

“amy, stop standing on your tippy toes and making that silly face.” <laughter>  

“oooh  oooh, i like that!  that is cute, let me get more colors.”

together we went through the preppy phase where it was all about wide wale corduroys, button-down shirts and penny loafers. then we struggled through the grunge phase of ripped jeans.  we trampled through the limited and the limited express.  in high school, i ended up working at the limited because i knew their inventory better than they did.

we always had lunch at the food court and did a recap of our purchases and then hit it again.  at the end of the day, we got a diet coke at the mcdonalds drive through, went home and proceeded again to take inventory of our purchases by laying everything out by outfit on mom and dad’s bed.  only then did we start to think about which one would become the big FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL outfit but we had time for that.

my favorite part of the day was at dinner when at the urging of my mom, my dad would INSIST on seeing everything in the way of a fashion show where he would put on some duran duran or loverboy <whatever us kids listened to> and we’d parade up and down the stairs and into the family room, pivot, step up on the mantel and show off our goods while dad ooohed and ahhhed.  it made us laugh because we knew it wasn’t his cup of tea but he always played along.

how very blessed i was to be able to do that and have those clothes but most of all it’s the memories i cherish the most.

5 ways to get ready for guests

29 Jul

are you a planner?  if not, hosting out-of-town guests would be daunting.  even though they may be low maintenance, it never changes how special i want the time to be.

so i thought i’d write out how i plan since i’ve had several friends ask me for advice.

first, start a pinterest board for your event.  even if it is just a dinner.  make it private if you don’t want people to see.  or not.  pinterest is hands down one of the best places to get recipes, decoration ideas and thoughts on entertaining – everything!

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second, having a game plan is key.  it’s funny how this spilled into my work as well.  i’ve seemed to become a stickler on timing and i’m like that at home too.  it’s not enough to have a couple recipes printed out and the ingredients.  ROF and i found that out the hard way when we made boeuf bourguignon with my sister.  we found out that the mushrooms had to marinate for like 8 hours and the beef had to cook for 4.  we ate at 2am in the morning (and after 3+ bottles of wine) – so timing is everything.

be crazy about it.  i keep my game plan in an app called evernote.  that way i can replicate it.

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I have a notebook called visitors itineraries, then inside it is the event like “christmas 2017” and then inside that i have folders for grocery list, menu/recipes and game plan.  the plan tells me exactly when to do something and that way i can plan ahead and make sure food gets hot to the table on time.  i am very literal – kind of like an idiot talking to herself…-

“take meat out of fridge at 3pm”

“put meat in marinade at 3:30pm, preheat oven 400”

“meat in oven at 4pm”

“cook at …..”  you get the picture.

third, do as much as humanly possible in advance.  make the salad dressing, trim the veggies, bake the cake – anything at all that can be done in advance – do it.  this is something my mentor (from a distance), the barefoot contessa, has said many times.  make it in advance.  in fact, her new cookbook is all about doing just that.  unless the cooking can be a fun group activity and you’ve got some casual, hang-around-the-house-time, limit what you’re doing while your guests are there.  of course, this depends on the guests you’re having.  if it’s family or close friends – have them join in and help – no biggie.  if it’s more formal, don’t be chopping the veggies while your guests feel helpless staring at you!

51hcOrWFjQL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_fourth, set up a bar away from the kitchen.  it’s where everyone congregates and if you’re trying to get food prepared, it can be challenging to work around everyone.  don’t feel as if you have to have a fancy bar.  anything can become a bar.    the more quirky, the more fun it is.

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get a big basket and fill it with basic booze, couple bottles of wine, already open, glasses an ice bucket and some lemon/lime wedges – there you go!

fifth –just work your plan.  when i have guests for a couple of days, just extend the itinerary and the plan.  i typically have a lot of fun with our guests…ha… and can forget that i’m supposed to make the breakfast casserole for tomorrow!

hope this helps!  please add any tips you have.

the community tree of remembrance

30 Nov

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i’m on the board of an organization called Faith & Grief Ministries, Inc.   it’s a ministry of compassion and connection.  it is non-denominational because grief knows no denomination. it just hurts.

during the holidays, it is especially harder than usual to work through the loss of a child, a husband, a wife, a mom, a friend – any loved one.  it’s a season of contradictory sensory feelings.  your eyes see a beautiful lit tree but your heart hurts.  your nose smells cinnamon and sugar breakfast smells and your body feels the welcome chill in the air but your mind remembers being with your loved one during this time.

Faith & Grief Ministries, Inc. was launched in 2008 and it’s near to my heart for two reasons: first, i grieve my dad’s death in 2005 and one of the wonderful women that started the organization married ROF and me: fran shelton.  it started by hosting luncheons for those hurting over the loss of a loved one to share and heal together.  to date, there are more than 700 individuals have benefited from these events.

this year, the organization wanted to help those in dallas that are grieving.  they are placing a tree of remembrance in thanksgiving square in downtown dallas and from december 1st – december 21st you can sign a ribbon with the name of your departed loved one or one in honor of first responders on july 7th and other events close to you.

on december 1st, a multi-faith service of remembrance will be held at thanksgiving square and the Community Tree of Remembrance will be lit.  on december 21st, the longest day of the year, another service will be held at 6pm.  get more information here.

here is a news story that was recently on FOX NEWS:

if you have lost a loved one, you could benefit from this organization.  i spoke at one of their luncheons a long time ago and while it’s a room full of extremely sad and hurting people there was a feeling i couldn’t put my finger on.  i felt shared compassion, hope and relief. for all of us to be strangers but share this common journey that many of our other friends don’t understand is oddly comforting.  i urge you to check out the resources here.

i can speak with certainty that God is working through my dear friend fran as i’ve never met someone with so much passion to help others grieving.  if you’re in dallas, i hope you take advantage of these services and the ribbons honoring your loved one.  if you’re not in dallas, i hope you find some comfort in your community during this holiday season or use this non-profit’s resources.

hustle and hit it in august

1 Aug

thanks gary vee for an inspiring message this morning – the 1st of august. 

Inspirational Gary Vaynerchuk Quotes

Wake up before everybody else and work into the night. Hustle” 

“Skills are cheap. Passion is priceless.” 

“No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.” 

“Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life…do that.”

“There’s no reason in 2016, to do shit you hate. NONE.” 

“The truth is that finding happiness in what you do every day is so imperative.” 

“You didn’t grow up driving…you figured it out.” 

“All your ideas may be solid or even good .. But you have to Actually EXECUTE on them for them to matter.” 

“Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” 

“I’m just always looking forwards. I spend very little time, looking backwards” 

“Effort is grossly underrated.” 

“Live your passion. What does that mean, anyway? It means that when you get up for work every morning, every single morning, you are pumped because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most in the world. You don’t live for vacations because you don’t need a break from what you’re doing—working, playing, and relaxing are one and the same. You don’t even pay attention to how many hours you’re working because to you, it’s not really work. You’re making money, but you’d do whatever it is you’re doing for free.” 

“I put zero weight into anyone’s opinion about me because I know exactly who I am. Can you say the same? When” 

“I failed all my classes and that’s why I’m winning. In hindsight, the fact that I was considered a failure for the first 18 years of my life has become the foundation of my success.”

“Stop focusing on dumb shit. Don’t be afraid to break things. Don’t be romantic. Don’t take the time to breathe. Don’t aim for perfect. And whatever you do, keep moving. Reread this a few times . . .”

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the 5 best reads in the morning

23 Jul

this sounds ridiculously optimistic, but i can’t wait to wake up in the morning.  not because i can’t wait to run on the treadmill or make my first cup of coffee (nepresso, yum) but it’s because i can’t wait to dive into the 45 minutes i give myself to read in the morning.  here are the 5 best things.

this is my morning routine for reading articles and news (books are for night time reading) and i can’t wait to share.

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TWITTER.
i’m a twitter lover.  the best way to get a hold of someone – really anyone.  i’ve given entire talks on the positive attributes of twitter.  i skim it first thing in the morning and look at the trending hashtags to quickly see if i missed anything overnight.  sometimes it’s scary because a hashtag takes you right to the people involved in whatever is going on and you get this much bigger sense of what is happening versus just watching a newscast.  i’ve gotten to know some great thought leaders via twitter just by reading them and retweeting.  they see that i forwarded their work on and then check me out.

twitter

i could go on but we have four more apps to read…

FLIPBOARD.

flipboard was designed to read holding your phone in your one hand.  you use your thumb to flip through the stories and click to read more.  you can follow thousands of topics and people – friends and writers.  you can organize categories for yourself and it’s easy to share articles and quotes.  i read a ton of stuff on productivity and leadership here. i find that INC has the best stuff to read .

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THIS IS HOW I HAVE IT ORGANIZED ON MY PHONE…ha ha

my mind

MEDIUM.

oh my goodness.  my newest favorite obsession.  i can’t wait to start writing here but reading is just too much fun.  for example, just read this article here that i found – SO GOOD.  people are so f*ing cool!  i consume this content like peanut butter on the tip of my dogs tongue.

mediumHIGHBROW. 

this is a website that you can sign up to get little “bite sized” lessons every day from a short-lived subject of your choice.  i just started a SEO “class”.  you get this delivered into your in-box every day at a time you choose.

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FEEDLY.

some people watch tv shows, i read my feedly rss app religiously.  this is all fun stuff – nothing too deep.  i follow hundreds of my favorite bloggers for interior and graphic design, beauty and fashion (you don’t think i know how to dress this fashionably on my own, do you?) and recipes and food.  it’s like a little present waiting for me every morning.

sometimes i get so excited to read it that i put it off – so i have something to look forward too… i’m so stupid.  love it!

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TEXTURE.

you know how much i obsess over magazines, right?  if not, read here.  oh, or here.  and i am blown away how awesome reading magazines is with this great ipad app.  it not only gives you hundreds of magazines monthly at or before they are on the news stand but they summarize the top reads from most of them and puts them in a highlights section for you.  AND (this is best) you can search across ALL MAGAZINES.  yes, i get all in a wad over this.  i can search CHICKEN and anything written about chicken across not only all the magazines but…wait for it…. all issues of magazines.  like a GAZILLION recipes on chicken come up.

that’s it!  gotta go read!

3 apps, 3 podcasts + 3 instagrams

10 Jul

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three apps

remember:  this app automatically populates where you are via GPS.  just enter the person or thing you want to remember and when you return to that place, the “remember” app sends you a notification with what you had entered.

use it:

  • when you want to remember a bartender or waitstaff person’s name at a new or favorite restaurant.  the app will send a notification when you walk back into that bar.
  • when you meet someone new.  while you may not be going back to that conference again, you might remember that you met the person there.  so the app remembers that person’s name and information and stores it under the conference name so you can grab it.  “who was that SVP we met at the IMG conference…”

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medium:  thanks lori for introducing me to this one.  it’s one i read every morning.  the app describes itself better than i could:

At Medium, we are creating a network that enables people to make an impression on others. To make them think or change their minds. To teach them something or connect emotionally. Where the quality of the idea matters, not the author’s qualifications. A place where conversation pushes ideas forward and words still matter.

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li.st: i’m having fun discovering new content with this app.  i especially like following mindy kaling and bj novak on this app. here is what it is in their own words:

With li.st, you can:
  • Get inspired by travel recommendations, reading lists, recipes, and life musings.
  • Share your experiences and opinions through richly formatted lists with text, photos, and locations.
  • Request lists from your friends and your favorite musicians, athletes, and public figures.
  • Find the most popular, exciting, and useful lists from around the globe.
  • Search the topics that matter most to you and save lists for quick access.
  • Stay informed and up-to-date with news summaries, film and music reviews, TV highlights and more from top publications.

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3 podcasts

podcasts have gotten so much better lately.  maybe because serial was so successful.  it sure makes doing anything – walking, driving, trying to fall asleep… more fun.  here are some podcasts i like:

dear sugar: plain and simple, it’s an advice program.  people email real life and relatable situations and cheryl strayed and steve almond respond.  it’s entertaining and i love the research they do to answer the question. they will bring someone else on the show that has been through that particular situation and give their 2 cents.  pick any of these that strike your fancy.

embedded: another great offering from npr.  this podcast takes a story from the news and digs much deeper.  listen to it from the start, to “the house.”  you can listen in here.

this is your life with michael hyatt: 10 million listeners can’t be wrong.  michael hyatt is a best selling author and the founder of a leadership development company. he covers topics like how to be more productive, how to merchandise your blog and yourself and many other topics.  the free content he puts out is amazing.  he is your virtual mentor.   i recently bought his latest book and loved it.  it’s about coming up with a plan for your life.  i’m all about planning and this was right up my alley.  check it out.

3 instagrams

here are three outstanding instagram accounts to follow.  why?  because i like them.

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if you like sushi and new york, you’ll love following bond st.  the best sushi restaurant i’ve ever had the pleasure of dining.  check out this fish!

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so much fun.

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do not follow if you’re hungry.  best snaps ever.

 

over and out!

favorite instagrammers

8 Apr

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for me, instagram started out to be just an app to run a filter through my photographs.  i didn’t pay attention to the fact that other people could see them.

IMG_1578but that was 6 years ago and now instagram is a tremendous marketing tool.  like they say, a picture says 1000 words!  and people are sooooo creative.  here are just a handful of people i love to follow:

CHRYSTAL PEARL

her instagram is so inspiring.  even though i plan to eat a cinnamon bun as big as my face that ROF got me from bucky’s, i love to stay connected to her.

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PARIS IN FOUR MONTHS

carin olsson has the most beautiful photos of paris.  my heart skips a beat looking at them.  i’d love to go there again.  live there?  in a hot minute!

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OVERHEARDLA

ha.  they just post stuff they overhear at bars and cafes all over LA.  or they take submissions.  pretty funny stuff.

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BONDST

best sushi in the united states of america.  hands down.  if you are ever in NYC – eat here!  but they also have a very creative instagram feed.  i’m drooling.

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100LAYERCAKE

amanda dawson, co-founder and CD of 100 layer cake in los angeles has an awesome feed.  i want to jump right into any of her photos.

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what are your favorite instagram feeds?

routines, escalators and long goodbyes

22 May

so i actually haven’t ever really counted, but i think i have seen this view below at least 762 times in the last four and a half years.

you’ve seen it too, haven’t you?

do you think it’s odd that i took a picture of it?  well, i also took a picture of our parking garage at agency 720 because i don’t want to ever forget.  these stairs are so routine,  as is much of our daily life.  right?  that is until something disrupts our routine.

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as soon as i know my routine is going to be disrupted, because sometimes you know and sometimes you don’t, right?  i start to take snaps so i don’t ever forget.  when i look at these stairs i remember all the great supportive people at agency 720 that brought social media to their clients.

i remember all the dealer meetings – the THOUSANDS of dealer meetings i had with chevy and the excitement i had for teaching new avenues of marketing with social media.  the best part of my job was working with car dealers.  i loved being a resource to them.  they are entrepreneurs, no bullshit, smart people.  dealer meetings from new york to dallas to cleveland to minneapolis – all over!

no, i take that back. 

the best part of my job was all the wonderful people i worked with at the agency.  it started at the top and flowed all the way down.  i loved shooting vine videos with harold and dani doing the michael jackson slide throughout the agency before a long weekend, i loved going on new business pitches and staying up late going through it again and again.  i loved my friday status meetings with my boss.  I liked my routine.  but i believe it’s important to keep growing and moving forward – so my routine must be broken!

oh, i could go on.

but i won’t bore you with my long, drawn out goodbye (too late) but i do hope we stay in touch.  i can’t wait to continue to build + create + learn.

this dog is going to learn new tricks.

did i just call myself a dog?  i leave you with some of the crazy photos I’ve taken through the years.

 

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i’m digging this!

17 Apr

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here are some things i’m currently digging:

happy friday y’all!

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