Wednesday, June 26, 2013

BabyBird Guide & Other Ventures...

One of my most favorite things in the whole world is when a friend starts new venture.  Entrepreneurship is such an amazing experience, and to watch my friends start, grow, and succeed... well there just isn't much better.

BabyBird GuideMy super smart, creative, and motivated friend Tanya just launched BabyBird Guide.  From her site: BabyBird Guide, Knowledge in Bite-Sized Pieces, offers practical guides to life from business to travel, from wine to changing your life. It's like Cole's or CliffsNotes...but for life! 

I have loved offering advice when she asked, but now I am excited because I am going to write my very own BabyBird Guide! More details coming soon...  In the meantime, if the itch to go like her Facebook page gets you, I'd sure appreciate it. Or even better, buy one of her books.  I'm a big believer in supporting others, because all of that support comes back to you when you need it. 

Speaking of entrepreneurial friends, I will be spending a weekend with three of my closest friends since I was a kid.
Rachel + Annie + Erin + Jenna, Los Angeles circa 2004
Each one of them has her own business, too!! Since I'm about to spend four days with them, I thought a shout out to each of their ventures is appropriate.

Meet Rachel, owner of Bliss Event in San Diego. 


Next comes Jenna, owner of the Mommy Pendant.
Push Present

What's a Mommy Pendant? It's the perfect push present for a new mommy... gorgeous, huh?
Single Stone Pendant Push Present

And lastly, Annie is the owner of Villager Yoga in Birmingham. 

Seriously, my friends are entrepreneurial bad-asses.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Work Week

After talking a big game about blogging more, I went missing for the past week. Doh! But I have a good excuse... I went back to work for the week!

Before I headed back to Dallas, I spent a lovely weekend with Joe and his family by the pool.  All the swimming managed to wear both Joe & Sam out!

Sunday afternoon I headed to Dallas so I could take my dad out for Father's Day.  The next morning we went to his showroom so that I could do what I love best: clean and organize! I went to town on his office, which was incredibly fun for me. Here is just a sampling of things I threw out.
Another advantage of working in my dad's showroom is that I get access to all of his samples. This is why our kitchen is so well stocked, by the way. There are definitely benefits of growing up in the housewares industry!

For the rest of the week, I helped out with the June show, which is where buyers from across the country come to purchase items for their store(s). I have worked these shows off and on since my undergrad days, and it's always fun to reconnect with the various sales managers, employees, and customers during market.
Ever wonder where stores shop? Wonder no more!

I also got to assist my dad with a wine tasting on Thursday night.  It's a rough job, but someone's gotta do it!

I was lucky enough to do two social type things while in Dallas. I had breakfast with my friend Kenny at Oddfellow's on Saturday morning, and I went to my friend Shane's "Welcome to Dallas" party on Saturday night.  Other than that, I was at the Dallas Market Center and remember what it is like to actually work.  I must admit, I enjoyed having something productive to do and it's always nice to help out my family.

For my final picture, I wanted to share an example of how Joe keeps me connected to home. Pictures like this are definitely highlights of my days working outside Austin.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Date Night with Melissa

Blurry Selfie!
Background: This lovely lady is Melissa, one of those people I am honored hangs out with me. I met her nearly seven years ago when she pitched her PR firm to an organization I was in. Luckily we hit it off and have been friends ever since.  She accompanied me to the Texas Business Hall of Fame dinner last October, and I accompanied her to the Leadership Austin Awards ceremony last night.

It was so wonderful to get back into "Austin" after two years of feeling disconnected.  In addition to seeing some people I haven't seen in ages, I was totally inspired by the award winners.  It reminded me of my bucket list item of being recognized for some grand achievements. The twist is that none of the winners "wanted" to win awards; rather they were just serving the community in the best ways they could. I really appreciate that mentality and will keep it in mind as I move forward in life.

Anyway, I had a blast at the event and I'm excited to follow up on some opportunities from it. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

It Arrived!

Look what arrived on my doorstep this afternoon.

I have to admit, seeing the official document is pretty cool. Two years of my life are represented in this piece of paper.  All of the assignments, exams, class hours, team meetings, info sessions, interviews, travels, organizations, projects, networking, mentoring, TA positions, new friends, new adventures, tears, doubt, fear, and triumph.

I feel proud. I earned that piece of paper.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Swim Swam Swum

Today's picture is brought to you by my friend Kevin, who is enabling my renewed love of swimming. I know it's nothing too crazy, but I'm back to a mile/workout. And most importantly, I find swimming to be a ton of fun these days. Yesterday I even rode my bike (gasp) to the pool and back. How's that for crazy? Too bad I can't bring Sam to this pool with me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Scuba + Turkey Creek

Per my last post, I am trying to blog interesting things I do every day. I thought it might keep me motivated to do interesting things, but I'm not sure that's going to work. Luckily I had interesting things on my calendar anyway for this week.

My picture from yesterday: Official Open Water Diver cards!!
We are official!!
My pictures from today: Awesome hike at Turkey Creek with the dogs and Marisa
June willingly got into the water!

This looks like a successful adventure to me.
This is a pretty busy week with lots of social commitments. I'm glad for that, because we all know I find it near impossible to sit still.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Weekend Things

In an effort to continue my blogging momentum from the first part of this year, I am going to try and post every day with a little update about my summer.  However, since I just thought of this today, I didn't do an adequate job of taking pictures all weekend. But really, I'm not planning on posting any ridiculous wetsuit scuba pictures anyway.

Friday I woke up bright and early to sit with Lauren as movers packed her apartment away, and she then headed off to Houston.  This part of the MBA program - the part where the great friends I've made over the past two years are all scattering across the world - kinda blows. Austin is feeling more and more empty as each new friend takes off.  On the bright side, I will have more people to visit now.  Bye, bye Lauren. Thanks for being one of my closest friends at Texas!
Don't be fooled by our smiles. I am crying deep inside that Lauren is leaving.
After saying goodbye to Lauren, I went to the dive shop to pick up gear for the weekend, picked up my just-been-tuned bike, went to CG bootcamp, popped in a Spanish DVD, and promptly slept the afternoon away.

Saturday morning was day one of open water certification. My class met at 7:30am at the Comal River, which made for another early morning. We suited ourselves up and proceeded to do three dives before the tubers took over the river. I was excited that visibility was good and we saw lots of fish.  [Also important: I didn't drown. Win!] Joe and spent the rest of the day being pretty low-key, and the highlight for me was setting a high score in DOTS and reading "Sister Wendy's History of Painting" in the backyard. We topped off the evening watching the last episodes of Arrested Development Season IV.

Sunday morning was day two of open water certification, which meant we had to be at Lake Travis by 8:00am. We were all suited up and ready to dive when the storms hit, and we had to sit out for an hour praying the rain (and potential lightening) would clear. It was rather funny to see 15 people in wetsuits sitting on park benches in the pouring rain.  Luckily it cleared and I was able to do two dives in the lake. For the record, these dives were not fun whatsoever, as visibility was horrible and I was in constant panic of losing my dive master.  However, I made it and am now scuba certified. Summer Mission One: Accomplished!!!

Not wanting to be lazy for another afternoon, I met Mike on Town Lake and we kayaked around for about three hours and had a great time.  When I came home, I promptly jumped in the pool before showering off just to make sure I covered all potential water experiences I could have today. 

Great views of the dogs at Auditorium Shores
Spotted on Town Lake: The infamous swan boat!
So there was my weekend. I have a very busy week ahead, and I'm excited to keep blogging about what I'm up to.  I feel challenged to do something blog-worthy every day!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Hairy Love Bundle

After I posted about my summer vacation - i.e. all of my worries that I am not doing as much as I could - I plopped down next to Joe to play with my pups. 
Really, who wouldn't feel better with this double bundle of love? Crisis averted!


Random Poem Alert.

My intercambio friend from Barcelona sent me this poem by A. Machado in April. 

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace el camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar.

He described me as neither a student nor a tourist, but a traveler. I love it.


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Irons in the Fire

Where is the time going??!!

I knew this would happen. I would have all this empty time on my calendar, with goals of learning a new language, maxing out Excel, and getting incredibly fit. I think I might have been a little ambitious.

This morning Dallas, my CG coach/former trainer, stood laughing at me as I tried to muster up some strength to laugh at his jokes. 

"What's wrong with you? What time did you get home last night?" 


"Why? You are done with school, you should be taking it easy!"

"I didn't get out done with scuba class until after 10:30!"

Laughing. "That's my girl Erin - always gotta have irons in the fire."

I'm doing pretty well at accomplishing my goals so far. I should be scuba certified by Sunday night. I'm back into a great workout routine of Camp Gladiator and swimming.  I've cleaned the house, made multiple Goodwill runs, whittled down my to-do list, and picked up numerous resources for Spanish and Excel. (Who loves the library? I love the library!)

More importantly, I am finally getting to reconnect with my friends - most of whom I have barely seen in the last two years.  And most importantly I am getting some (but not enough yet) quality time with Joe, Sam, and June. 

This blog post is inspired by an email I received from my uber-impressive friend Kevin, who is volunteering in Cambodia for a month. He is spending 12 hours a day helping kids, starting organizations, teaching English, and doing things like finding drinking water for communities! He is amazing, and reading his email makes me wonder if I am really spending my time as well as I should be.  To be honest, I don't know that I had it in me to spend more time away from home right now. So I will instead continue to be happy with my own irons in the fire while also supporting him as best I can. (Kevin - you are incredible! I don't want one guilty word out of you!)

I digress... I am not perfect. I am not an impressive volunteering awesome person like Kevin. But, I am still happy with my summer and don't regret my decision not to travel right now.  I'm writing myself off the ledge of guilt and back into the realm of gratitude for the things I am capable of doing.

And with that, I am off to meet uber-impressive Dionn and Meredith! Seriously I hang out with awesome people... Yep, I'm doing what I needed to do.