C’est Ma Vie

Setting New Years Intentions

setting new years intentions

Photo: Claudia Hershner

The idea of New Year’s Resolutions has become a little outdated–let’s be real, it’s just too hard to stick to an ambitious diet and exercise regimen after years of enjoying smothered pork chops and excessive couch time. But setting goals and making plans to achieve them isn’t necessarily a bad thing, so I’m approaching 2017 with intentions (*buzzword alert*) to help me progress/improve/grow as a flawed human person who’s interested in being and doing better. Here’s what I have so far:

Eat 70% plants // I do a pretty decent job of eating fruits and vegetables because I actually like fruits and vegetables, but I also really like cake. And ice cream. And pizza. Honestly, I’ll eat pretty much anything you put in front of me. I don’t plan to eliminate any of those things completely, but I figure if I can increase my plant consumption to 70%, I only have 30% capacity remaining for the not-so-healthy goodies that make life worth living. A majority is a majority, no?

Make a Thing // I produce a lot of ephemeral creative stuff: photo shoots, websites, social media content. But none of that is tangible, and while that doesn’t mean it’s any less real, I’ve got a hankering to make something I can touch and see and pass around at parties. TBD on what The Thing is, but I’ll keep you posted.

Learn to apply eyeshadow // Like most makeup (oh hey, highlighter!) I like the idea of eye shadow, but am meh on the execution. I love the way it looks when my makeup is professionally done, so I feel like I should know how to properly apply it, and I have plenty of space between my eyelids and brows that seems like it’s just going to waste.

Philippines trip Poctoy Beach

The view from Poctoy Beach in the Philippines

See some world // I’ve always loved traveling (thanks Mom!) and I get restless when I’ve been in one place for too long. I learn so much about myself and humanity in general when I visit different parts of the world, and making connections with diverse people and distant places has always resulted in some of my best life experiences.

Flow and Sow // This sounds awfully woo-woo, but I’ve been researching the value of listening to your intuition and aligning with “the flow”. Action is essential too, so the idea is to listen to yourself, take action based on what your intuition is telling you, and “go with the flow” instead of trying to force a certain outcome. It’s a tough balance, and I’m not expecting perfection, but the intent is there.

What are your intentions for 2017?

Creative City Podcast is Back with the Scoop on the Style + Sustainability Gala!

creative city podcast cincinnati

Exciting news: Season 3 of the Creative City podcast is officially underway!

In episode 21, fellow stylist Jessie Cundiff and I chat about what it takes to build your portfolio, the importance of doing the work, and how to get started as a fashion stylist.

In episode 22, my friends Anh Tran and Catherine Richards of Hark+Hark talk about conceptual art, their jewelry line, and the upcoming Style + Sustainability Gala on October 1st.

Style + Sustainability is a fun fashion gala, complete with cocktails, a tea room, a skate park, food trucks, and greenery everywhere! 25 fashion designers and artists have created “living garments”–as in fashion that incorporates plants–to strut down a catwalk made out of moss in a renovated 100,000 square foot warehouse. Urban Blooms has built a fantastical sea of vertical gardens just for the event, which is the kickoff for the new Uptown Innovation Corridor.

style sustainability gala

I’ll be there behind the scenes, helping style and dress 30 models in 63 looks(!) and making sure everyone hits their cues. Get ready to explore, network, shop, eat and dance at the most sustainable and collaborative fashion experience Cincinnati has ever seen!

Modern Makers & Urban Blooms Style + Sustainability Gala, Saturday October 1st, 7-10pm. Get tickets here.

Podcast Season 2 + Upcoming Events!

Two fashion designers, a magazine publisher, a communications diva, a multi-purpose music studio founder, a furniture design outfit, a Copy Director, a design studio, an online sales mogul, and a Social Innovation Specialist later, and season two of the Creative City podcast is a wrap!

Season 3 starts September 21st, so sign up for the mailing list to stay ahead of the game. I really love talking to all these amazing folks about what makes them tick, and I think you will, too. Listen here or download on iTunes:


If you’re interested in talking about cool stuff live and in person, you should definitely check out these events next week:

Photo by Tim Bayer

Photo by Tim Bayer

Wedding Workshop, Wednesday Aug 17th 

When I was in 5th grade, I sold hand-lettered nametags to my classmates for extra lunch money, so clearly I’m a pro. Next week you’ll have the opportunity to learn hand lettering from actual professional illustrator Erin Barker (who designed The Frock‘s beautiful logo) at the Wedding Workshop! Plus I’ll be presenting a styled bridal show featuring gorgeous wedding and bridesmaids gowns for pretty princesses and boho babes alike. And it’s free!
RSVP here 

Downton Fashion a la Carte, Friday Aug 19th

If you haven’t been to the Taft Museum’s Dressing Downton exhibit yet, get thee to the manse next Friday! I’ll be there as part of a fashion panel discussing the show and the exhibit, and will likely be tipsy after a single Pimm’s cup (I’m a lightweight), but who cares? Velvet knickers and feathered headdresses await!
Tickets at dressingdowntoncincy.com

Black Family Reunion, Friday Aug 19th – Sunday Aug 21st

I’ve been going to the BFR since it started, back when Black Bart and Bebe’s Kids were all the rage. This year it’s back with a parade, live games of Family Feud, and a performance from Cameo (just try to get “Candy” out of your head now). I’m taking over the #BFRCincy Instagram and Twitter, so be sure to follow along and join the fun!
Visit www.myblackfamilyreunion.org for details

Untitled (How Does It Feel)

Photo: Tiernae Salley

Photo: Tiernae Salley

Last Friday was a weird day. After waking up to news of yet another violent tragedy for the third time in as many days, I was terminated. No, not in the futuristic cyborg assassination sense. As in my position was eliminated. I was fired.

I packed up my desk in a daze. I called my mom. I cried. Like any relationship, even if it’s one that’s not working anymore, leaving hurts. Especially when it’s not by choice.

Once home, I tried not to panic. I asked for advice from the Being Boss Facebook group. I watched this video of Oprah “tha Gawd” Winfrey at least 10 times. I made lists of things to do/try/learn. I wrote down the scraps and fragments of thoughts that would eventually become this post.

In a way, getting terminated was a relief. I’d been feeling trapped by the amount of time I was required to spend at the office, frustrated by the 9-5 timeframe that didn’t take into account when I’m most productive. I’d been annoyed that I wasn’t able to do things to further my personal and professional skills because they occurred during work hours. I felt extremely guilty about not being as happy and fulfilled as I thought I should be doing what was, for all intents and purposes, my dream job. So many people would love this job, I thought. Who am I to be so unappreciative? How greedy must I be?

The thing is, I do appreciate the time I spent at the magazine. I learned a lot about writing, design, and creative direction from my super talented coworkers. I made some awesome contacts with photographers, fellow stylists, and business owners that I hope to work with again someday. I learned that I’m happiest and most fulfilled when I have complete autonomy over my time and energy, which ultimately translates to working for myself.

Something inside me–the thing that that led me to sell calligraphy to my friends in elementary school, to start a blog and accompanying magazine on a whim, to create a podcast when I had no idea how to create a podcast–has been planting the seeds of entrepreneurship for as long as I can remember. I’d been trying to hold out for security’s sake, but the universe clearly grew tired of my procrastination.

So yeah, this little birdie got kicked out of the nest. But I’m gonna learn to fly.

CLOSED Giveaway // Inspired by Women with a Vision (Sponsored)

Photo: Claudia Hershner

Photo: Claudia Hershner

My first encounter with feminism came via a Fabulous Five book I read in elementary school. The main character (Jana) notes that her friend Katie is deep into the “women’s movement,” which sent me scurrying to my mother to ask what that meant. I don’t remember exactly what she told me, but I know that it wasn’t until years later, when I did a mental rewind and remembered that book, that I understood what Jana was saying: Katie was awesome because feminism is awesome because women are awesome.

Honestly, women never cease to amaze me. I’m surrounded by friends and family and influencers I admire for their humor, intellect, compassion, and vision.
It took vision for Oprah to build a media empire focused on teaching people to live their best lives.

It took vision for my friend Leah Spurrier to recognize the best way to nurture her talent and grow a home-based business into design and lifestyle brand HighStreet.

It took vision for Beyonce to persistently push the concept of a visual album, progressing from B’Day to Beyonce to the visually and emotionally arresting Lemonade.

It took vision for Zim Ugochukwu to conceive a network and life-changing cultural experiences for underserved travelers of color via Travel Noire.

It took vision for my friend Amy Scalia to create online magazine Cincy Chic when hyper-local digital publications were a relatively new idea.

It took vision for Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo to create an online home for independent designers, their products, and their stories.

It took vision for all of the women I highlight on the Creative City podcast and in the Curated Creatives newsletter – to the point where I’m actually having to seek out men doing cool stuff – to fiercely and passionately pursue doing the thing they love.

Photo: Claudia Hershner

Photo: Claudia Hershner

I learn something from all of the women around me, and I’m constantly inspired by their work, their advice, and their willingness to share their shortcomings and accomplishments. They’re all pursuing a vision, and their example encourages me to work on my own – both intellectually and physically.

As a longtime four-eyes (since 4th grade, woot!), I’m happy to partner with Zenni Optical to recognize the positive impact women make in all our lives. We honor their strength through stylish and affordable eyewear so that everyone can see and appreciate their achievements and talents clearly. To that end, I’m giving away a gift card for one pair of glasses up to $150! See how cute their glasses are?

Photo: Claudia Hershner

Photo: Claudia Hershner

To be eligible to win, leave a comment about the women who inspire you, or post a link to your favorite pair of Zenni frames. I got these awesome square frames in tortoiseshell (for when I’m feeling classic) and marbled ombre (for when I’m feeling trendy). The giveaway ends on 6/2/16, so enter below now! UPDATED: Congrats to the winner, Jayedee!
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This is a sponsored post and compensation was provided by Zenni Optical. Words and opinions expressed are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Zenni.

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