Campus Taps

After Facebook’s worse than expected performance this week, I think everyone is a little more suspicious of internet websites and their valuation. However, I think we would all agree that even though Facebook’s stock has dropped 15 percent, their 80-90 billion dollar market value is definitely impressive. And while Mark Zuckerberg and I went to the same school, I am sad to report that I did not know him, the Winklevoss twins or anyone else involved with the creation of Facebook.

Believe me when I say, that is upsetting. While I was hanging out with my friends on the swim team, people were developing a multi-billion dollar website right next door. Well, I am not about to let that happened again – which is why I am happily promoting the newest college website out there: Campus Taps.

Matt and I both agree that the summer of 2010 was one of our best, as it was when we met the incredible Ryan Phillips. His most obvious contribution to our life are his unbelievable dance skills. In one fluid motion, he can turn a boring evening into a riotous dance battle. He gave us the gift of dance, first at Matt’s bachelor party and then during our wedding. Matt and I were so excited to share his skills with our closest friends and family!

However, while Ryan’s dance skills are impressive, we have realized very quickly that they are non-transferable (Although, he did give us a few VERY helpful pointers for our first dance; however, beyond a few spins and twirls, Matt and I are unable to replicate Ryan’s skills). But one thing that Matt has been able to replicate is Ryan’s sweet sense of style.

Ryan captured the “All American Gentleman” style with his Sperry boat shoes, J.Crew shorts and his croakies — apparently when you are a true gentleman you are always ready for yachting. Even in the middle of New York City. Matt’s (and Kinsella’s) sense of style has been fine-tuned as a result of their friendship.

And now, Ryan is applying his wealth of “bro” knowledge and sharing it with the world – while also providing a calendar of events for young “bros-in-training.”

Taken from their website, Campus Taps is described below:

“Campus Taps is a free online nightlife directory that provides access to bar events, bar and liquor store specials, and late night eats in the Baltimore-area. In addition, the site was created to be an open forum for students and young professionals to connect with their friends and favorite nightlife spots. The directory is free for businesses and users to join. Currently we are serving the greater Baltimore-area but we will be expanding to other major cities and college towns soon.”

The website had a soft launch this spring and hopes to expand to more bars and colleges next fall.

And who knows, maybe Mark will start reading Campus Taps — he really could use the advice, because let’s face it, while he may be a multi-billionaire, he is no bro. “Time to trade up those Adidas sandals for some Rainbows, bro!”


Stitch Fix

I recently learned about a new online site called Stitch Fix from my friend during my recent D.C. visit. Immediately, I was intrigued and gave it a try.

Stitch Fix is a personalized shopping service – all of which can be done from the comfort of your own keyboard. How’s how it works:

1. Request an account here – they are still in their Beta phase, so please be patient. They will reach out to you when they are ready for you.

2. After you receive your log in, fill out your style survey – indicating what style you are currently rocking, what style you really want to capture but don’t know how to pull off,  your pricing comfort zone for various articles of clothing and prefered color schemes.

3. Schedule your fix (i.e. monthly, 4 times a year, etc)

4. Receive your fix in the mail (Stitch Fix clients enjoy free shipping both ways as a benefit of membership!)

5. Be giddy as you open it and try on all the lovely designer brand clothing.

6. Decide what you want to keep and what you want to return.

7. Place any “I didn’t love it” items in the pre-paid USPS envelope and drop it off at the nearest mailbox.

8. Continue to build your style profile by providing feedback about the items online.

9. Wear your newest fashions around town and rave about your new personal styling service.

10. Repeat as often as possible.

The cost of this service in $20 dollars per fix; however, that fee is applied as a credit toward the purchase of anything in your Fix. So if you buy at least once thing over $20, you are essentially getting the styling service for free.

I am happy to report that I received my first fix last week and it was awesome. I tore open the package and tried on everything at once. While I only kept one of the five items I received, I was impressed with their selections. The stylist definitely got it right and if I had been more accurate with my sizing information, I probably would have kept a lot more! The top that I decided to keep was something I would NEVER buy myself, but something that I absolutely loved. I can’t wait to wear it. I honestly feel like I had Rachel Zoe right here in my apartment with me- only without the attitude and judgement at the fact that I am not a size 00 like her post-baby self.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So jump on the Stitch Fix bandwagon. I promise you – you won’t regret it.

The Power of Accountability

This year for my birthday Matt gave me a Garmin GPS running watch. I know what you are thinking, that doesn’t seem very romantic. I sort of thought the same thing.

However, when I opened the watch and realized that he purchased the version with the pink stripe and floral face, I knew I had married the most romantic guy ever.

I am a big believer that in order to feel good when you are working out, you should look good. That is why I occasionally allow myself to splurge on workout clothes from Lululemon and cute running skirts. When I was running the Disney Princess Half Marathon with my sister in celebration of her 30th Birthday, I almost leapt out with glee when I overheard another runner say “oh, that girl’s skirt is super cute.”

From that point forward, it didn’t matter if I got a person best time or even finished the race, in my mind, the race was already a success.

But back to my present – the fact Matt spent an extra second to pick out the pink watch truly warmed my heart. I think after 10 years of dating, he is finally starting to learn!

Since receiving this gift, Matt and I have gone on a few runs and I have been blown away with the results.  I now know, down to the hundredth of a mile, just how far I have run. I know my pace throughout the run, my pace per mile and my “real-time” pace during the run. I can track my heart rate and the elevation of the terrain. And with all of this data, I can adjust my pace accordingly and hopefully improve my running.

The watch holds me accountable. I no longer walk up the stairs that lead to the reservoir – I run them. I no longer get slower every mile – I aim to get faster. I no longer think I’ve run 4 miles, when in actuality I have only run 2.

I am pushing myself harder and I am getting faster. It is truly amazing what accountability does for performance.

Now, if only we could think of something like this that would help improve public education and teaching…

A Dress with Pockets

Over the holiday break, I was able to get a fair amount done for our wedding. As we coasted by our 6 months to do mark, I feel pretty confident with the state of our plans.

One thing that I was finally able to shore up, was the bridesmaid dress selection. After some unsuccessful searching, I finally decided on dress from the LulaKate line that is available at Bella Bridesmaid. From the start I knew that I wanted to give the girls various styles to choose from, all in the same color. Lula Kate was able to provide just that for me. Each girl selected a different style top and they had the choice of 4 different bottoms. Some of the bottoms came with pockets, which for me, ups the ante on any dress. Unfortunately, one of my bridemaids was not fully informed of the necessity of pockets before placing her order. See conversation below:

Me: blah blah… something about having a candy bar at the wedding… blah blah blah
Noelle:  candy bar???????? yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Me:  haha
Noelle:  I just told bobby (her husband) about the candy bar. He says, ”  Oh damn, That is going to be sweet”
Me: I am going to put those Easter candies  in it just for you 
Noelle:  yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Cadbury eggs! I’m totally going to hoard them. I wish our dresses had pockets
Me:  dude, your dress could have had pockets if you got the other skirt
Noelle:  I didn’t know there was going to be a candy bar

The painful lesson here is, when in doubt, get pockets.Whether it is your cell phone, chap stick or candy, there will undoubtedly be something worthwhile to put in them.