What Day One (at your own company) Feels Like

Day one of anything is a bit scary. It’s like walking up to the high dive when you’re little and knowing that you have to jump off the diving board otherwise you’ll be the silly girl who climbs down backwards off the ladder until she’s in a safe place. Been there. Getting outside of your comfort zone is no easy task. But, we’re ready! My business partners and I have been hustling the past few days and working harder than ever.

One of our newest clients is J and J Design Group – they are amazing interior designers, HGTV collaborators and fellow women entrepreneurs that kick butt at what they do. We are so excited to be working with fellow creatives and have already begun to pick which items in their shop we MUST have for our children’s rooms. If you haven’t already seen their work – check out their designed rooms here – and – oh my gosh, do check out their Modern Kids Rooms.

interiordesignkidrooms

interiordesignkidrooms

interiordesignkidrooms

interiordesigners_kitchen

interiordesigners_livingroom

All photos from JandJDesignGroup.com.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: SEE IT SIDEWAYS

As a mother, I have an obligation to steer my kids on the right path. This is especially true in business. As my daughter Kelsey grows into adulthood, she is going to be faced with challenges, triumph, and adversity. She’s going to have to make big decisions, take chances and follow her dreams. I can only hope that my work experiences help mold her into the successful business woman that she will become.

I say this next thing with mixed emotions.

Today is the day that I take my own motherly advice. Today is the day that I take a chance on following my dreams. After eight years working for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, I have decided to leave my job and open my own digital marketing agency, SEE IT SIDEWAYS, with two other VERY talented marketers from Starwood. I have spent the past few years commuting across town and across country and today I embark on a new chapter.

The story of how this decision came to be is a page-turner. Best told over a few cocktails. In fact, when we told someone how SEE IT SIDEWAYS came to be, their response was, “Well, now you’ve got a story! Every successful person has a story. And now you three have one heck of a story to tell.”

If you believe that everything happens for a reason, and if you really believe that hustle and heart will set you apart from anyone and anything that stands in your way, then you believe what we believe: faith, hard work and true talent is the recipe for success.

You can follow our journey through the SEE IT SIDEWAYS instagram page, through this blog or you can connect with me directly. For those who know me personally, thank you for the support and for your friendship. For those whom I just met through this blog … welcome to my life as a working mom. Hang on tight because it’s about to get real good.

seeitsideways_marketing

48 hours in New York

I tend to go to New York for small bits of time (seen here), one day I’ll make it for at least three-days because it would be nice to explore more areas of Manhattan and the other neighborhoods and landmarks that make this city so famous. That said, I was just in New York for the NewsCred Think Content marketing conference. It was a one day conference, so time was limited. In true Stephanie-needs-to-jam-pack-all-she-can-into-a-trip fashion, I was actually able to see and do a lot. My first Broadway play, for instance! What is it about this city that makes you light up inside? Not sure, but I’m so grateful to my job for allowing me to travel to great places.

w new york time square - mom blog

We stayed at the W New York – Times Square and I actually loved it. It was a great respite from the hustle and bustle of Times Square and located right in the center of it all. The rooms were spacious (that surprised me) and the staff were great! I would recommend this hotel if you like staying close to all of the action.

beauty and essex new york restaurant

DSC02619

beauty_essex_newyork_restaurant

Following a friend’s recommendation, we made reservations at Beauty & Essex (amazing food + you enter through a Pawn Shop, which was pretty cool) followed by cocktails back at W Hotel and a great cheese dish downstairs at their Mexican restaurant. You only get a free pass to eat an entire plate of melted cheese when you are at least 50 miles from your home. It’s a known rule.

newscred new york 2

many hats of a working mom blog

many hats of a working mom blog

The content marketing conference was great. Marketers from Airbnb, Google, New York Times, Instagram, Uber, SweetGreen and more graced the stage to share some of their content marketing tips and insights. After the conference, we had to hurry and catch a cab because we were going to see a Broadway play. I quickly realized that my hailing cab skills are horrible. One of my past New York friends told me to “only hail a cab when their light is on” – and then another told me (after the fact) that I need to take off my sunglasses and stare at them. Sheesh. So many rules. We tried Uber but it’s hard to catch one in the city (the rates get really high and then take forever to find your location). We finally got a cab, 10 minutes later, if you’re wondering.

she loves me musical new york

We saw our first Broadway play, “She Loves Me” at the historic Studio 54. Our seats were so close (row K) so we could literally see everything so clearly. During the first two minutes of the musical, this rude, rude, rude, rude, rude man yelled at the couple sitting behind us. “Are you going to talk the ENTIRE time!” he yelled. It was so loud, my boss, Melissa jumped in her seat. I gave him a really nasty look at intermission to which he just smirked. His nasty behavior aside, this musical was phenomenal. Truly remarkable and one that I would see again. I snapped a photo of Melissa before the play because she matched the sign. That calls for a photo opt, don’t you think?

The next morning, our flight didn’t leave until noon so we woke up and hurried our way over to The St. Regis New York for breakfast. It’s one of our most legendary hotels (built in 1904 and the first St. Regis hotel) and Melissa had never been inside so we’ll call this “work related research”. On our way over, it was raining so we had these massive W hotel umbrellas. We wanted coffee so we started walking towards one of my favorite bakeries. As we approached Bouchon Bakery we caught a glimpse of Luke Bryan playing a Today Show Summer Concert. Melissa swore it was Coldplay (hello? totally different sound) but then she saw this cute country boy and was assured Chris Martin was not in the building.

luke bryan today show concert

Here are a few more photos from the morning.

st regis new york hotels - travel mom blog

st regis new york hotels - travel mom blog

st regis new york hotels - travel mom blog

Still a little wet from the rain, we found ourselves eating breakfast outside of the notorious King Cole Bar at the St. Regis New York hotel. The food was amazing and I couldn’t stop staring at the gorgeous architecture and subtle details throughout the restaurant. Fun fact: There was a $100 omelette on the menu, if you can believe that. Clearly, I opted for something a little less extravagant, but equally pleasing to the palate, I’m sure. Next up, we strolled through Central Park, did some window shopping at Tiffany’s, bought some cute gifts for the kids at The Plaza Shops and then started the walk back to the hotel.

new york - many hats of a mom blog

new york - many hats of a mom blog

central park mom blog

new york - many hats of a mom blog

new york - many hats of a mom blog

new york - many hats of a mom blog

new york - many hats of a mom blog

new york - many hats of a mom blog

This was another great work trip for the books. I was really happy to be home and, surprisingly, back in the chaos of every day life as a mother of three. Don’t feel too sorry for my husband, he spent the next four days in Orlando on a work trip so he got his payback on me for skipping town for a few days.

As always, thank you for following my blog and allowing me to relive some of my favorite memories through photographs. And a special thank you to anyone and everyone that finds themselves on a work trip, or just next to me when I’m in camera snapping mode. My work friends call this “photo shoot time” when they are around me. Thanks to them for humoring me every time we hit the road. xo

Winter in Aspen

On Tuesday, I flew to Aspen for business meetings. I was only in town 24 hours before driving to Steamboat Springs to meet with another hotel. Even though my trip was short, it was truly one of the most scenic business trips I have experienced.

I’ve been to Aspen before, except last time I visited in the fall. The town is so different in the winter months. It’s full of activity, adventure, skiing, fur coats, chilly nights, and some of the whitest snow and brightest blue skies that I have seen. .

the st regis aspen colorado - many hats of a mom blog

After the longest-shortest flight of my life (the flight from Denver to Aspen was 27 minutes, but we spent over 2 hours total on the tarmac and another hour waiting at baggage claim), I arrived at The St. Regis Aspen Resort. This was a monumental feeling. I had arrived!

st regis aspen travel blog

st regis aspen travel blog

st regis aspen travel blog

st regis aspen travel blog

The perfect magazine to describe this resort, it was BEYOND beautiful.

the st regis aspen colorado - many hats of a mom blog

the st regis aspen colorado - many hats of a mom blog

Once I arrived in Aspen I met up with my colleague, Andrea. She loves to ski (and doesn’t have three kids) so she arrived on Saturday and got some time on the mountain. It was our first work trip together and I can’t tell you how much fun we had! It’s all about the people you work with, wouldn’t you agree?

aspen mountain family blogger

aspen mountain family blogger

aspen mountain family blogger

As we were walking to Justice Snow’s for dinner, we spotted this cute little donut cart. I mean … and yes, we did take one dozen donuts into the restaurant and devoured them before actually ordering dinner. They had peanut butter and jelly donuts, maple & bacon donuts, powdered sugar … see what I mean.

aspen mountain family blogger

the st regis aspen colorado - many hats of a mom blog

the st regis aspen colorado - many hats of a mom blog

If you think the St. Regis Aspen lights up at night, you should see her in the morning. Just before sunrise, I woke up and looked out my window to see the most beautiful shade of gold shining through the resort’s windows. The town was so quiet; the only sound I could hear was a light breeze and snow falling off of the trees. What a great way to wake up. And so … after a morning of meetings, Andrea and I walked around downtown to get one last look at this magical town.

Aspen Mountain

the st regis aspen colorado - many hats of a mom blog

the st regis aspen colorado - many hats of a mom blog

This doggie in the window! I couldn’t resist.

the st regis aspen colorado - many hats of a mom blog

aspen mom blog

aspen mountain family blogger

aspen mountain travel blog

aspen mom blog

aspen

Aspen Mountain

On the drive to Steamboat Springs, we saw deer EVERYWHERE. Our friend, colleague and driver (thanks, Brian!) kept pointing out the animals to me the entire drive. It was like I was a toddler or something. I got so excited to see these amazing creatures. The fact that some people hunt them … well, that’s for a different post.

steamboat springs sunset

This was my view of the sunset in Steamboat Springs, Colorado at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort. The resort has ski-in/ski-out access so you really can’t get much closer than this. Until next time, Colorado …

Travel Inspiration for your Wednesday

My friend has a serious case of Wanderlust. She loves to travel, explore, embark on new adventures and invest in new experiences. Recently, she convinced her husband to pack up their life and travel through Southeast Asia for six months. Here’s a peek at their travel route. They covered so much ground!

tings-travel-route-28-12-10 (1)

Even though she is now in Central America on another adventure, she took time to write an article for me on spgweekends.com, a site that inspires travel. The article (click here to read it) is about her six months trip. It includes the most commonly asked questions she was asked – How did you afford this? Why did you do it? Did you quit your job? It’s a must-read if you’re looking for a little travel inspiration (or if you have a case of Wanderlust yourself).

Enjoy!

After Work, You Just Wanna Relax

Am I right? After a long day at the office, you and your hubbie just want to relax. Maybe sip on a glass of wine, take in the nightly news, put your feet up, take a walk around the neighborhood or simply soak in the silence.

Well, as we know … when you’re a parent those days are over. Instead, your weeknight looks something like this.

many hats of a mom blog
Your husband is bent over in the background picking up dog poop, your son is jumping off the slide instead of calmly sitting down and your daughter is giving you everything but a smile. You’re about ten seconds away from pulling your hair out, before it’s time for the bedtime routine (bath, teeth, books, bed, preparing for tomorrow).

In a household with two full-time working parents, you just have to find your own time to distress from the day. Ryan finds his at 4:45am. He gets up and works out. Bonus points for him. I’m trying to find my time in traffic. Yes, traffic. It’s the only 90 minutes I get a day where I’m alone. I’m thinking of taking up a pod cast or something to make the time driving home more enjoyable. Do you have any podcasts that you would recommend?

Thank goodness it’s finally the weekend!

SIP Coffee and a Starwood Video Sneak Peek

The last few days have been a whirlwind. I was working with Full Lock Media (and some other extremely talented vendors and friends) to create a wedding short film to promote SPG Weddings. The past couple of days have been long, but I have enjoyed every second of the creative process. I now understand why they call it a ‘production’ – it takes a village. A very talented village to create a video.

spgweddingsvideo

One of the scenes called for our couple to meet at a coffee shop. My friend Teri (whose company helped create the script) found this really cool coffee shop in south Scottsdale called, SIP Coffee & Beer House. We had such a blast filming at this location.

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee is fairly new to Arizona (about 6 months) and is one of those coffee shops you go to in the morning and want to just camp out all day. I guess that’s a good thing, because SIP is also a Beer House, serving up live music and brews in the afternoon.

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP has great coffee (provided by Cartel Coffee) breakfast sandwiches that I’m still thinking about and a really cool, eclectic vibe. My favorite nook in the coffee house is an area right when you walk in … it reminds me of “Central Perk” in Friends.

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

Well done, SIP. You have created a very cool, downtown coffee shop that leaves everyone feeling like they are enjoying a cup of joe with familiar faces in a neighborhood hot spot.

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

Please enjoy this little photo tour of SIP and a behind-the-scenes glance into one scene from our SPG Weddings video shoot. I can’t wait to share the finished project with you!

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

True story. When Kapil, Jameson and Lee were not looking, I ate part of their breakfast sandwich. What? We were all close friends by this point and it looked so tempting. Plus, they were busy.

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

SIP Coffee and Beer House | Scottsdale Coffee Shop

Ironic that the guys huddled around this particular sign? They act like they didn’t plan it, but I think they had an idea. What a day this was! Special thanks to Full Lock Media for always being so professional, collected, creative, and such a joy to work with!

From Designing Websites to Designer Dresses

wedding

One day you’re building websites for Starwood hotels and the next you are trying on wedding dresses. That’s how Dani and Allison’s day went yesterday. Together with a few of my co-workers, we visited a local bridal boutique to pull some looks for an upcoming wedding film we are doing for work.

wedding

wedding

Dani and Allison were both models for the day, they took one for the team and tried on dresses for us to choose from (I guess that’s the drawback to being a perfect sample size).

Weddings

Dani was the lucky one and quickly found herself in a bridesmaid and a wedding dress. I don’t care how old you are, or how many years you have been married (or not), you always find yourself twirling around and acting like a princess while wearing a poufy dress. No seriously, Dani actually swirled around and said, “Hold on. (insert twirl) I’m having a bridal moment.”

I just love how girls will be girls, no matter what age.