SXSW Fashion Brain Bar

I can't believe in all the years in I have been in radio and now in social media marketing, I haven't hauled my cookies to the infamous SXSW Conference, which is an annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, TX once a year. I think it may be because I would never want to leave, and that could be a slight problem.

So, instead I sit and watch it vicariously through sources such as Mashable and the SXSW website. While I was cursing on yet another year where I didn't just go..I came across the Darlynn conference if I ever did see one!

Fashion’s Collective hosted the first-ever Fashion Brain Bar on March 11, 2013, at SxSW. This was an uber cool discussion with the top professionals in the fashion industry.

Some of my favorites:







On Fashion's Collective website, there was an area to submit a question to one of the speakers. Guess which one I picked?? 

Cannon Hodge, Social Media Manager Bergdorf Goodman
Photo:Fashion's Collective

I follow a lot of PR fashion peeps on Twitter. One of my favorites besides @DKNYPR is whoever does the social media for Bergdorf Goodman. One of my favorite stores and a must stop on my NYC trips, whoever was behind the typing of their accounts humanized the legendary store and made it cool to us Tweeps...which is hard to do and separate when you have such an esteemed heritage brand. 

So I submitted the question I would like to ask anyone who has a high traffic account, what is your method of madness? Knowledge is power, right? I was hoping for some tricks from the trade of an account I respected so much.

My question was picked! Yay! AND for my time and trouble, they are sending me a little something from Swarovski!! Even Better!

Thank you Fashion's Collective, which is the resource for fashion + luxury brands covering all things digital through articles, storytelling workshops + innovation conferences. 

Subscribe to daily posts on Fashion's Collective here.

Here is the article with Cannon at the SXSW Fashion Bar. My question is the first one

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Vegan Secret Supper with Merida Anderson

I was happy to stumble upon an article from Brooklyn Magazine on Mérida Anderson-an accomplished vegan chef, artist, and musician who runs the blog

This month Merida has released her new book Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen. 

Since 2008, self-taught chef Mérida Anderson has been hosting Vegan Secret Suppers for diners in New York, Montreal, and Vancouver. Her celebrated events are sophisticated, multi-course, plant-based meals that playfully blend haute cuisine with the spirit of community eating and social dining.

At VSS, her celebrated events are modern, multi-course, plant-based meals that blend hip and playful haute cuisine with the spirit of community eating and social dining. In her new cookbook, as at VSS, Mérida creates sophisticated vegan dishes that prove spectacular dinner parties do not require the use of animal products.
Here in her first cookbook, Chef Mérida opens up her kitchen and pantry to present luscious, unforgettable recipes using seasonal fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains, all while eschewing processed "replacement" foods of any kind. Innovative flavor pairings, inspired menu planning, and artistic plating tips help readers create luxurious, even decadent multi-course suppers perfect for entertain.

Vegan Secret Supper includes 150 recipes for breads, appetizers, soups, entrées, desserts (including ice creams), as well as sparkling water and tea infusions. The book features mouthwatering full-colour food photography throughout and photographs from Vegan Secret Supper events.

As a healthy eater, I have been very interested in ways to embrace vegan recipes and lifestyle. Reading about Merida and her unique Supper Club was pretty cool. She has an amazing apartment in NYC and the concept just seemed so neat! Having a chance to grab her cookbook to bring a little piece of cool in my world was a no brainer. She weighs in on Spring and Summer favorites and pantry must haves below-

Q: For Spring and early Summer, what are some of your favorite (seasonal) ingredients and 
vegan recipes?

A: The warmer months are definitely the most exciting time for vegetables. Ramps (wild leeks) on the 
East Coast come for a short time in early spring, as well as asparagus. Cherries are one of my 
favorite summer fruits, as well as the berries that follow.

Q: What are your ten must-have, go-to favorite pantry items?

A: Tahini and sesame oil. I use these in many, many dishes, and sesame is packed with omegas 
and protein

Tamari. I use wheat-free
Coconut oil. My baking essential
Raw cashews. For desserts and fermenting
Good quality dark chocolate
Coconut milk
Balsamic vinegar
Nutritional yeast
Garam masala

Below is one of my favorite recipes from Vegan Secret Supper cookbook-Enjoy! 

Split Pea Bisque

1 whole garlic bulb (top 1/4 in [6 mm] 
trimmed to expose cloves)
3 tbsp grapeseed oil, for roasting garlic
1 tbsp grapeseed oil, for sautéing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp smoked salt or sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white wine
2 cups green split peas, rinsed
6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 tsp white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 450˚F (230˚C). 

In a garlic roaster or wrapped in foil, pour 3 tbsp oil over garlic and roast for 25 minutes, until garlic is soft and fragrant. Reserve oil for making croutons.In a large soup pot on medium-high heat, sauté onions in 1 tbsp oil until translucent. Remove garlic cloves from skins and add to pot. Add salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Add wine and sauté for 2 minutes. Add split peas, stock, bay leaf, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until peas are soft. Discard bay leaf. In a blender, or with an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. (Be careful when blending hot liquids.)

Find our more about Merida and Vegan Secret Supper on her website and Facebook or buy her book here!

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Socially Acceptable-NEW Kate Spade Saturday Tech Accessories

Last week Kate Spade Saturday has launched!!! Kate Spade Saturday has been created to channel the spirit of Saturday seven days a week. 

I am so excited. As much as I save for my Kate Spade luxuries, having a new brand that is a little laid back and affordable makes me very very excited! 

The new multi-category brand will offer apparel (including dresses, jackets, denim, t-shirts, sweaters, and swimwear) and accessories (including handbags, small leather goods, jewelry, watches, footwear, eyewear, and tech accessories), as well as beauty, tabletop, and home decor items. The approximate average retail pricing for all categories are expected to be as follows: apparel ($90), eyewear ($55), fashion accessories ($40), handbags ($130), home ($25), jewelry ($30), shoes ($85), small goods ($45), swim ($50), and watches ($50).

The tech division is especially exciting for this nerd!! They start at only $30! 

Some of my favorites below!!

iPhone 4 Case  in Fine Fellow

Fantastic Elastic iPad Case in Signature Zig Zag


The brand is now launched exclusively online at in the United States. You can follow them on Twitter here.

About Kate Spade Saturday   
Kate Spade Saturday is a new global lifestyle brand created to channel the spirit of Saturday seven days a week. This younger, more accessible sister to kate spade new york shares the same DNA: it's colorful, optimistic and bold, but it expresses these values in a more casual way. Saturday offers simple shapes and go-anywhere silhouettes. Functionality and utility are key. The collection is crafted with honest materials like crisp cotton, canvas and natural vachetta, brightened with bold colors and strong prints. The line includes apparel, handbags, accessories and items for the home. The Saturday flagship shop is planned to open in February 2013 in Tokyo's Omotesando neighborhood along with an e-commerce site (, the exclusive distribution point in the United States, is expected to launch in Spring 2013. Kate Spade Saturday is owned by Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (NYSE: FNP).
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Purell Helps Keep You Healthy During This Crazy Weather

In Florida, I am waking up to 63 degree weather this morning. Last week, it was 85...earlier in the week, we were running the heat with frost warnings and later today is going to rain. This has the country in an uproar, they even are thinking about indicting Punxsutawney Phil for fraud! . While I am incredibly grateful that I am not in Denver today shoveling snow (or on any day that matter)-what I am most concerned about, is how damaging this is to my poor immunity system. All this "can't change your mind" weather makes us very sickly indeed! I am doing whatever I can to keep me and my family healthy!

I am very thankful for the Power of Purell!! Especially since they have released the new Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer, which is a new formula that offers a superior solution to germ kill. PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer, a scientific breakthrough in germ-fighting protection. The new formulation offers superior germ-killing protection that outperforms other hand sanitizers – just one squirt of PURELL Advanced kills as many germs as two squirts of any other national brand.

Now for the official smart stuff! According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, proper hand hygiene is the single best way to prevent infection and illness. When soap and water are not available, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is recommended to reduce the spread of germs that may cause illness. The CDC also recommends sneezing and coughing into the crux of your elbow, or using a tissue, and keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to help prevent the spread of germs.

PURELL Advanced kills 99.99 percent of the most common germs that may cause illness, and is the
brand used most by hospitals. Enhanced with four nourishing skin-conditioning agents, PURELL
Advanced is a skin-friendly formulation that’s mild on hands but highly effective on germs.

The PURELL Advanced is available at major mass, food and drug locations in a convenient 8 fl oz and portable 1 and 2 fl oz pumps and these really cute flip tops (pictured). For more information about where germs lurk, the importance of proper hand hygiene and how hand sanitizers work, visit, or find PURELL on Facebook and Twitter.

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Monday Musing

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Cinco Waits For No One-A pre-party with Daily's Cocktails and Wholly Guacamole

As mentioned once or twice, I am getting married in May! It is a really busy crazy time to prepare a wedding but I am loving every minute of it! However, I am gonna have to start thinking about what I need to do NOW to make up for what I am missing in May as it will be incredibly busy for me! 

Actually, if we are being honest, I am just giving myself full permission to start the Cinco process early and drink Margaritas and Guacamole all day and not feel guilty! Being that I will be very busy, my Cinco celebration starts today!! Its Monday after all! I have decided to throw a Pre Cinco Party and will be serving Daily's Cocktails and Wholly Guacamole! 

I am a little geeked out at the (sad, I am so late) recent discovery of Daily's Cocktails, especially the low calorie pouches. Obviously, I am watching my waistline during this pre-wedding process and this fits right in! Daily's Light Original Frozen Pouches are just right for me. No-fuss no-hassle cocktails, pre-mixed and in convenient portable pouches. It's fun… done easy!

I love them all, but my absolute favorite Light Mango Passion Fruit Daiquiri- The cool thing about Daily's Pre-mixed pouches is that they deliver no-hassle Frozen Margaritas that taste like they're just out of the blender.  I am stocking my freezer this Spring and Summer with tasty Daily's Frozen Margaritas and I will always be ready for an impromptu fiesta. All I have to do is freeze and squeeze to enjoy with your favorite chips and guacamole.

SPEAKING of guacamole!!!! No secret of my love and adoration for Wholly Guacamole!! So, no party especially Mexican related is complete without them!! Their website is insane with great recipes and I found this one which looked healthy and DELICIOUS!! 

1 head of iceberg lettuce
8 shrimp peeled and deveined
2 tomatoes, diced
1 large white onion, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz low-fat sour cream
7 oz Wholly Guacamole® Classic dip
2 tablespoons queso fresco Mexican cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Click here for the rest of the recipe

Daily's Cocktails on 

Wholly Guacamole on 

How about if we give you a chance to start your own party on Wholly Guacamole and Daily's Cocktails? Enter the giveaway for your own Prize Pack!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway The opinions expressed above are 100% my own. I received product in exchange for this review and post. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." Pin It

Drybar Products Now At Sephora and QVC!

Oh! So exciting for the lovlies at Drybar! Their first product line is here!! I yearn for a Drybar in my town ever since I went to the NYC in August. But, I am getting really excited that I now can go buy the tools that will help recreate their awesomeness in my very own bathroom.  

This week, I got a very exciting email!!!

Woo Hoo Indeed!!!

Hair styling salon Drybar is launching its first product line to be sold at Sephora, QVC and Drybar locations nationwide beginning in March. I am very excited about the Drybar announcement because among many things the whole concept is a women entrepreneurs worship idol for me.

New York-based Drybar said its founder, Alli Webb, a longtime professional stylist, spent several years developing a complete line of styling products and tools with Drybar stylists to help achieve the perfect blowout.

"After trying nearly every existing product line," Webb said in a press release, "I just couldn't find what we were looking for to meet our very specific styling needs. So I partnered with some of the best labs in the world to create exactly what we needed at Drybar."

Each product was tested and tweaked with the assistance of more than 1,000 Drybar stylists and developed in collaboration with Drybar investor and board member, Janet Gurwitch, who is also the founder and former CEO of Laura Mercier Cosmetics.

"Alli's vision and passion has been impressive to watch," said,Gurwitch. "She has identified a real niche in the market and the performance of these products is truly like nothing I've ever experienced in hair styling."
From the press release: The products, which are available online already, include nine styling products ranging from shampoos and conditioner to hairspray and mousse, as well as seven styling tools including blow dryers, curling irons and brushes. Prices for the styling products range from $20 for dry shampoo to $35 for smoothing oil, while its Buttercup blow dryer will cost $190 and 3-Day Bender curling iron retails for $125.

Style Blazer did a great job breaking the products down, be sure to check out all that they have to offer!

Drybar specializes in blow dry hair styles, or blowouts, costing $35-40, depending on location. It currently has 25 locations throughout the country, and I SO hope they look to open one in Daytona Beach, (or even Orlando) soon! But, I sure have some products now to keep me occupied in the meantime!

Press Release Source

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28K Wedding is the Average? How!

This week on the Today Show there was an article announcing that the average price of a wedding goes up to $28K. How is this humanely possible that people aren't being more budget conscious in the modern world of DIY blogs and Pinterest?? 

I would be interested to see the ages on the groom and bride on this study. I think it is a little different when Mommy and Daddy are paying. I don't say this to be condescending but since I am in my late (!) thirties, there is no parental dowdy waiting for me to feast my hungry bridal planning hands on! We are paying cash for our wedding, and I am coming in probably at 10K and trust me....there are NO corners cut because of lack of funds. I am just being very logistical in my thoughts on what needs to be paid for and what can be not a part of the process. I also am pulling this wedding off in five months doing most of the planning (by my choice) on my own. 

Some quick easy ways to keep your costs down-

Size of Cake-
At the end of the day, even tho my friend Erum dramatically disagrees people are gonna remember you, your wedding and the fun time...the cake?? Yes, maybe how pretty it is but unless you are having a non alcoholic wedding and this may be the focus (no judgement) yourself a lot of hassle and get a smaller two-three tier cake and have your caterer have a sheet cake in the back to be cut. Smart, huh! 

Let Etsy be your friend-Oh Etsy, how I love you so! I had my invitations designed and personalized for near pennies! It was so worth it to take the time and do it this way! I have invites that people have never seen and the initial reaction (they went out this week). The time save having them addressed also is worth every penny.

No Champagne toast, what are you on Real Housewives? I got a great tip from my friend who has been catering for over two decades. And it comes in seven words: 

Ladies and Gentleman, please raise your glass

From My Pinterest File
Notice, I didn't say put up the champagne, bitches! (Oh, how I wish someone would say that!) If you think about it, how many people  boys really love champagne? In a puny glass that is flimsy and plastic? For a couple of sips, you will save hundreds of dollars by having champagne on hand but train your speechers to say Raise Your Glass

Get your booty on Pinterest- Dear God, what did we do before Pinterest? Single Ladies, dont feel guilty for having a fake wedding file for years! Pin away all the ideas you see that you like when your prince will come. Because when the day comes and the guilt of having this collection washes will see a theme for your wedding and oodles of ideas you may never have remembered otherwise. And the DIY projects will save you quite the buck! 

Please feel free to leave your bridal money saving ideas in the comments

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Smirnoff Debuts Root Beer Vodka

My love for flavored vodka is endless. It is honestly one of the  best ways to drink a cocktail if you are watching your weight. Drinking any of the great Smirnoff flavors with water is delicious and low calorie. Also, as you are drinking water, you are hydrating thus lessening chance of a dreaded hangover. Genius, right??

I was still celebrating last year's launch of Smirnoff's Iced Cake and Kissed Caramel flavors and when I saw this post of their Facebook, I was instantly hooked! 

Who doesn't love Root Beer Floats? A great way to take a piece of your childhood into the grownup world. Don't forget that in a month and a half is the Kentucky Derby, and here is a very cool spin using their new Root Beer Float flavor:

Root Beer Julep

1 oz. Smirnoff® Root Beer Float flavored vodka
.5 oz. Bulliet® Bourbon
.25 oz Maple Syrup

Muddle mint in Maple syrup, add vodka, bourbon, and crushed ice.  
Garnish with Mint Sprig Bouquet.

SMIRNOFF Root Beer Float Flavored Vodka is the newest member of the brand’s robust, number-one
selling flavored vodka portfolio, which includes Kissed Caramel, Iced Cake, Whipped Cream, Marshmallow,Peach, Watermelon, Passion Fruit, Strawberry, Cranberry, Vanilla, Raspberry, Citrus, Orange, Blueberry,Lime, Melon, Pear, Pineapple, White Grape, Cherry, Espresso, Root Beer, Pomegranate and Green Apple.

Also, coming up that I can't wait to try is the three flavors were introduced this week that are perfect for a bride like me that is watching her waistline. SMIRNOFF Sorbet Light!!!

The new cocktails: lemon, raspberry pomegranates and mango passion fruit are advertised as "a reduced-calorie, natural flavor, and refreshingly light tasting." This new line of vodka specialties is 78 calories per 1.5 oz. serving and creates scrumptious, light-tasting cocktails.

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Insomnia, Insanity and DIY Wedding Planning

I give mad props to all that have the time to have a wedding blog...I mean, you amaze me and I bow down to you. This blog means so much to me...I always say, I run a social media marketing agency but this blog is what keeps me motivated and yet I haven't had one second to tell you all the exciting things that have happened in my world. 

I am knee deep in wedding planning! I am a DIY fool! I don't even DIY and I am DIYing everything!! Do you want to see?? OK!!! 

A confession, that I don't like flowers, they make me sneeze. Thanks to my girl Katie at the fabulous She likes Ruffles, I have started an entire movement of coffee filter flowers. They are gonna be so awesome and I am gonna be sad when I dont have to make any more. 

Check out my Vine-(@littleblogdress) on how to make them in six seconds, but be sure to click on Katie's link above how to get all details. 

Then, I have been raiding every thrift store I can find to get glassware of all shapes and sizes to bring to my most amazing almost sister in law so she can generously figure out how to paint them cream colored. I have visons, and I have ideas of crazy and she is very good at making them a reality! 

The finished product will be the base of all the coffee filter flowers which will be spray painted in my colors. 

Certainly this is not the end of all the centerpieces, Oh No! I am too much of a masochist! Said famous almost sister in law is also helping me cover and paint mailing tubes and crepe myrtle branches to come up with actual amazing centerpieces.

Finally, I have just completed the most obsessive compulsive task to date...picking out invitations. I have a new love affair with Etsy and with the help from Alexandra from Delight Ink and Melissa who addressed my envelopes to perfection. Let me assure you, the best money you will EVER spend is paying someone to make your envelopes beautiful! Think of the time it will save you! 

I can't keep a secret to save my life, I really wanted to wait for the oh wow factor for my invites but here is a sneak peek:

So , that is what I have been up to...I tell people that I am not stressed planning a wedding in five months but my body is telling me different. I am sleeping very little and had to go to the ER for kidney stones.

Listen to your body, its no joke! 

Did you DIY for your wedding?? How did you handle the stress?
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Foodie Pen Pal Reveal for February (One Day Late)

Where did the month go?? This month I got a great foodie pen pal in Lyndi...warning her blog is awesome!

I get really excited when my package came this month and I have been devouring everything in it. I can't stop eating the salt and pepper pistachios, I want to marry the blueberry oatmeal, the Amy's soups are my favorite and you already know of my love of guacamole!!  

My Foodie Pen pal was Ashley, who had a little Post Office mishap! But hope she liked my prizes!

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE ( to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by February 4th as pairings will be emailed on February 5th!

*If you're from Europe, please CLICK HERE ( to signup.

The Lean Green Bean
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