New Year versus This Year

Okay, ya’ll - Spring is officially in full force, Mercury is in retrograde, and our resolutions are… reso-lost? Fear not, they aren’t lost for good. When the “New Year high” as I like to call it wears off and reality sets back in, it’s easy to leave that new diet or side hustle in the dust along with 2017. It’s time to check back in to those resolutions and resurface your excitement for personal growth this year.

Why are resolutions important? Glad you asked ;) Resolutions, by definition, are a means to resolve. What you chose as your resolutions for this year are like a little love note from the “2017-you” on ways you can make this year better than the last – who can offer you better advice than YOU? Review your list and evaluate what you have been really doing (or not doing) to improve those areas of your life. For me, it’s digital organization. Did I organize the files on my computer? Nope. Should/Will I? Yup. Why? Because it’s a habit that I know will dramatically improve my life an increase productivity – who doesn’t need more of that?!

How do you reestablish resolution enthusiasm? Easy – revisit 2017. Painful, I know. What did you feel like? Look like? How was your work ethic? Home life? Social life?

*shines light in face and continues interrogation*

Kidding, but really, revisiting that time in your life is the only way to resurface the desire for change – or celebrate new changes. Take a mental note of last year compared to this one and see where you have improved and where you still need improvement. For me, I struggled with being able to create a relaxing atmosphere for myself when I desperately needed it. What did I do? Got a plant, some candles and decluttered my space so it became a place of rest not reminders of looming tasks. Improvement! Next stop, that digital organization I keep putting off.

What can you do right now? Take a you-moment and answer these questions.

1.     What resolutions have I thrown on the back-burner?

2.     What resolutions have I actively worked on?

3.     What areas of my life are causing me stress?

4.     What areas of my life offer me relief and joy?

5.     How can I incorporate my resolutions in to my daily routine?

6.     Why am I awesome? (Not related but you deserve to celebrate yourself *go you*)

Life is happening whether we like it or not folks. Why not make it as magical as possible? 

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Happy 182nd Anniversary, Texas!

Did January fly by for everyone else? AND February? We cannot believe how busy life has been. Not complaining, just pleasantly surprised. 

In other news, HAPPY TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY, YA'LL!

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Do you know our history? Over the last couple of years, we've come to thankfully learn more as we've celebrated this holiday with one of our own clients, ZiegenBock, a Houston-brewed and only available in Texas brew. Texas Independence Day is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. So this year is our 182nd anniversary! 

Want to know more? The Austin-American Statesman is sharing "Eight things every Texan should know on Texas Independence Day." I reckon you take a moment to read up and better understand this holiday. 

Want to celebrate somewhere? Austin Monthly has rounded up a few CELEBRATIONS around town. Be sure to check 'em out!

NEW YEAR, NEW NAME - CAPTION COMMUNICATIONS

Happy New Year, ya'll! Last year was a year for the books - both for our company and our personal lives. We've seen so many changes - from gaining some incredible client experience and partners, to Callie (me!) having my second baby in October.

What else is new already this year? NEW YEAR, NEW NAME ---- CAP Communications Group has had a facelift and we are now Caption Communications. We're here to caption your brand. 

Kicking off the year with our new name was one of many resolutions.  Another one of mine is being comfortable in my own skin. With that comes lots of face time - face behind the brand kinda stuff i.e. Insta stories!  I want you to get to know me. I am a typical PR girl where I LOVE being behind-the-scenes. But that isn't where PR is going these days...I need to step up and get out of my comfort zone and start the Story relationship. Get ready! What are some of your new years resolutions?

Here's to 2018 being bigger and better. Cheers!

- Callie

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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.