No…it isn’t New Year’s Eve.

A lot has changed for me in 2011.

Because when you wear silly hats, life becomes better.

Personally I made some incredibly hard decisions that have completely re-routed the course of my life. It left me scared, questioning myself and, at times, wondering if I made the right decision. Looking back, I am glad I made the decisions I have made and am moving toward a path that is unexpected, but very exciting and rewarding.

I have also made some friends in places I never imagined I would. Special friends I wouldn’t have come across in my day-to-day life, but have impacted me in ways I never would have predicted. I think (and hope) these people know who they are and realize that even though I may not have been as communicative with them in the past few weeks, I consider them to be a part of my life and that (fortunately, or unfortunately…depends on who you ask) is a forever commitment on my end.

The biggest announcement (it’s big for me) is I have made the move to a different position in my professional life. After fours years of learning, tears, frustration, happiness and excitement at my current job I have decided that it is time to move on.

It hasn’t been an easy decision for me. It’s hard to say goodbye to a place you have become so familiar with. It is hard to stop the routine you have been doing for four years and move on to an unfamiliar (but super exciting) setting where you are once again “the new kid on the block.” But with all that being said, I know in my heart that this is the best move for me right now and sometimes it’s best to just part ways.

I leave my dear Arin, whom I have known for a shorter time than what it feels.  I don’t think I can express how highly I think of her. And though it is with guilt and sadness that I am leaving her so soon in our professional partnership, I am confident that she will rock it out with the tenacity (it’s a good word, Arin be proud people use it to describe you), creativity and drive that will turn heads. I am glad to call her a colleague and even happier to call her a friend.

So for those who follow me on the Twitter stream, that is my good (and exciting) news. For those who have listened to me, mentored me and held out a helping hand along my path I give my sincerest and most humble thanks. I am excited to start this new adventure. Kapow.

XO,

 

 

 

 

 

Erin

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Beauty…

Well, hello dear audience. It has certainly been awhile. I promise these gaps in correspondence will be shorter moving forward. The E(A)rin’s have been busy changing the world of hardware and kicking butt in general.

Let’s be honest, sometimes life grabs you by the ear and takes you away from sitting down and writing out your thoughts. We’ve all been there and for that many apologies for no posts since August 1st.

Normally I try to stay away from serious subjects that involve the inner workings of my life, but this one is pretty important to me…especially on this day.

October 14th is my cousin Laura’s birthday. When I was little Laura was that glamorous older cousin that I couldn’t stop following around at family functions.

She was beautiful, smart, and funny. Laura always found a way for me, a very awkward and nerdy child with freakishly large glasses, to feel gorgeous. She introduced me to the Barenaked Ladies (before “One Week” came to the radio scene…they were actually pretty awesome and their songs had depth), taught me how to make necklaces out of hemp and heads from Bocaloca Beads (great bead store in Broad Ripple…rip) and was a constant sounding board during the peak of my awful middle school years.

We wrote letters. I decorated mine with stickers and doodles and she always wrote back faithfully (even when she was in the hospital) in her slanted and surprisingly boyish script.

Laura passed away about seven years ago after a long battle with anorexia and bulimia. Her death turned my world upside down during a time when I was struggling with my own body image issues. It’s hard losing someone to an often misunderstood and complicated disease like anorexia. On average, 1,000 women die from it yearly. It’s not a huge mass killer like other illnesses, however, it is one that can be prevented.

Beauty and weight is something we all struggle with. Why else would there be so many crash diets, so many diet pills, and so many procedures to make you have that ideal shape?

I’ll be honest I feel the pressure. I have my ugly days, my fat days and the days when I want to restrict myself from food. It’s not something I am proud of, but it is something that I deal with from time to time. We all do.

How do we, as a society, make women (and men) of all ages to feel beautiful? Is it through promoting healthy lifestyles and role models? Is it by stressing healthy activities and body weight? Is changing the Hollywood stereotype of beauty? Is it deeper than that?

Those answers I don’t know. But I do know that I miss Laura every day. I wish she was still here for me to talk to and receive the irreplaceable advice she was so good at giving. I wish she was able move forward in life’s amazing stages that we all take for granted. I struggle with the fact that she was just one year older than I am now when she passed. I can’t even imagine.

So today I challenge you, dear friends, to make someone’s day. Tell them they are beautiful and perfect the way they are, because God knows…it isn’t said nearly enough.

Peace out,

Erin

 

Listen. Love. Donate.

Today is about my friend, Ryan M. Brewer. The best friend my husband will ever have and the biggest pain in my ass there ever will be. One of the most talented songwriters I know. For those of you reading who don’t know Ryan, he describes himself as follows:

“my name is ryan. i play music quite well. i write catchy melodies upon which i float clever lyrics, and am rarely tolerable otherwise.”

Most would find this statement true. Ryan is the guy who will not hesitate to piss you off for the sake of comedy, argue for the sake of argument or tell you at your wedding (in which he is the best man) that he “guesses he has to love you now…you know because [you’re] marrying his best friend”. Ryan is the guy who doesn’t use capital letters and once fought a professor to the death over the principal that letter capitalization was mere preference. Ryan will never hesitate to eat your leftovers and leave your toilet seat up.

But, my friends, what you might not know is that Ryan is the most loyal friend my husband has ever had and he has a heart of gold (okay, maybe gold-plated brass…but he tries 😉 ). Some of you may be thinking at this point that this post is a bit strange. Why and how would I know so much about this fella? Well, he’s not only my husband’s best friend…he’s been my dear friend since I was 15 years old. You know, when we were wearing trucker hats, quoting Homestar Runner and Strongbad and having what we deemed as deep conversation in the field at church camp.

I could continue…but I don’t want to embarrass or taint Mr. Brewer’s reputation. So, I will get to the real point of this blog. Today, really isn’t about Ryan M. Brewer (sorry buddy!), but it is about the song he wrote for the victims of the Indianapolis State Fair. The song that he wrote in coordination with Alan Johnson at the Static Shack studios in the heart of Indy. The song that’s proceeds will be 100% donated to the victims and their families.

Today, dear readers, is the day I ask you to please have a listen, make a donation and create a little hope for these families. Below I have posted the song, its lyrics and direct buy/download button.

“we all prayed for rain and we all waited
but we weren’t ready the night it came.
the clouds they opened wide and
the rage of thunder filled the sky…
we stood hopeless with fearful eyes.

as you rode the clouds away.

we all prayed for faith and we all waited
but we just couldn’t make you stay.
the clouds they opened wide and
a flash of lightning filled the sky…
we stood watching with tearful eyes.

as you rode the clouds away…
as you rode the clouds away.

my heart, it skipped a beat.
desperation filled the streets,
but i watched strangers running back.
these heroes sprang to their feet,
helped the wounded up from their knees,
it was beauty and it was humanity…
but it was hard to go on breathing knowing

you rode the clouds away.
and you rode the clouds away…”

Thank you and as always…Until We Meet Again,

Arin

Utilities

Music. I don’t know about you, but it’s definitely something I turn to. Whether it be to escape, grab inspiration or remember how to feel. That last one is big for me. And, in light of the recent Indiana State Fair tragedy, I can’t tell you how often I fall into my routine, my day in day out just to look in the mirror and see a robot. Music tends to bring me back to that place where I feel again.

Today, friends, I feel inspired to share the lyrics below as they have been creeping in and out of my subconscious for the past week and I just can’t shake ’em.

I know I’m not perfect, but I tend to try pretty damn hard to be sometimes. And if your like me, it can be exhausting. Well thank you, Utilities, for reminding me that all I want is to be something somebody can use.  What inspires you? How do you pull yourself back to reality?

Utilities by The Weakerthans

got this feeling that today doesn’t like me
oh, the air tastes like flowers and paint.
there’s a sink full of bottles and cutlery
and the car has got a list of complaints.
i just wish i were a toothbrush or a solder gun
make me something somebody can use.
we can wish on the pop of a lightbulb
or those photos lying yellowed and curled.
lose some boxes near abandoned electronics
in the corners of the basements of the world.
guess our wishes don’t do dishes or break repairs
make them something somebody can use.

got a face full of ominous weather
smirking smile of a high pressure ridge
got more faults than the state of california
and the heart is a badly built bridge
seems the most i have to offer
doesn’t offer much
make it something somebody can use.
make this
something somebody
can use.

That’s all from me today, folks. Be inspired. And remember:

Don’t stop dreaming

Remember to think

and Dare to create something beautiful this week!

 

And to all you unsung State Fair heroes, thank you for being something somebody could use. Thank you.

 

Until We Meet Again,

Arin

 

Indiana.

The Indiana State Fair. What does it mean to you? For me, it has always meant driving with my Mom and older sister to the fairgrounds to see if our 4-H projects got the coveted blue ribbon. It meant gorging on elephant ears and lemon shake-ups. It meant sticking my fingers between the poles of the animals cages to, hopefully, pat the nose of the prize-winning steer. It meant summer was about to end, school was about to start and days at the fair were my last “hoorah” to have fun, be a kid and try not to throw-up on the Scrambler (which I never was able to do…I always got sick.)

In light of the recent tragedy that happened at the Indiana State Fair, it breaks my heart to relive the awful moments of the rigging being swept away by that powerful gust of wind. I will never be able to watch that footage without a tug in my heart and a gasp in my mouth. I have been avoiding the local news coverage and the finger pointing to keep my mind clear and remember what happened is less about “the fault of another” and more about honoring those innocent lives that were lost at my dear state fair.

Tragedies happen. They are never pretty and they are often the notion that keep us awake at night and reminds us to hold our friends and family closer than ever before. However, what isn’t tragic and is amazingly beautiful about what happened Saturday is the amount of people, without a second thought, who came running to aid those trapped and in desperate need of a helping hand.

Is this the Hoosier way? Definitely. Is it something I am proud of? Absolutely. Am I surprised? Absolutely not.

Many out-of-state people scoff at the notion of Indiana. Born and raised in this state, I will always embrace my Indiana roots. I know what all four H’s of 4H are (if you don’t know…look it up). My family comes from a long line of farmers and I have spent many summers shucking corn and snapping beans. I know all the words to “Back Home Again in Indiana.” I went to Purdue and the IU rivalry runs deep in my heart. I miss the corn in July if it isn’t around me. I have experienced tornadoes in January and droughts in August. I love the excitement of May and have been to every Indianapolis 500 (except for a couple) since I was in elementary school. I know what “Hoosier Hospitality” means and I try to live up to that notion every day of my life.

Whether you were born in Indiana or are a brand new resident, whether you have been here for 50 years or a a few months, I think one thing is very obvious to the nation and to everyone that knows the pleasure of living in this great state/city… Hoosiers are about helping and holding up the community when tragedy strikes.

Let’s keep this in mind and remember to honor those that are no longer with us. Stop the finger pointing and keep their memories alive…it’s the Hoosier way.

Until next time,

 

 

 

 

 

Erin

Local cognition…ya dig?

And I always promised myself I'd never be the aunt that pinched cheeks. I was wrong. Dead wrong.

My niece, the divine Miss O, is six months old.

O is at that “o, how cute” age when everything is a first for her. Laughing, tasting bananas (loves) and peas (hates), swinging and grabbing glasses (mine in particular), getting her teeth and figuring out how to hold herself up on her own…it’s all a part of her day-to-day education in life and by golly, it is amazing.

The whole idea of learning is fascinating. Where, when and how do we learn to love certain things? In the same vein, where, when and how do we learn to hate certain things?

And though I am no Piaget, cognition seems to be such an insanely intricate process that involves nature, nurture, the right time, the right place, age and is (at times) purely circumstantial, that it feels like we can never “unlearn” what we have already learned in the beginning. Basically, bad habits die hard.

Wrong.

Over the weekend I attended Rickyleepotts.com’ Presents: Six4Six. Six4Six was a fantastic event held locally that included six local Indy bands all for six bucks (hello, the name says it all).

If you have been a loyal reader from the beginning, you know that Arin and I are deeply passionate about the local Indy music scene. I won’t go into too much detail about the music aspect of it (but I strongly suggest you check out the Six4Six line-up here…they are all flipping amazing), but what I will discuss is the awesome buzz of excitement that was in the air at Birdy’s.

Eyes On Fire rocking it out at Six4Six. Check them out: Facebook.com/EOFmusic

From the folks at DoItIndy, Local Music Only, to our favorite boys from Holland, The Holland Account, there was a fantastic showing of local sponsors and bands supporting the local movement in Indy. So what does this have to do with cognition and me?

Local cognition

I will be the first to admit that when it’s convenient I shop the big box, big corporation retail outlets. Who doesn’t? However, I want to make a change in myself. I want to work on my “local cognition.” What I mean by local cognition is this; I want to learn about the great local businesses in Indianapolis.

I want to shove the food of the best local restaurants down my gullet. I want to wear the local jewelers’ pretty baubles and rock the latest duds from the best local clothing boutique. I want to clank glasses with my friends at the most happening local pubs and run my ass off at a local community center that knows my name.

Why? Because it is exciting. Because there is nothing better than supporting your local entrepreneur, musician, artist and event. Because at the end of the day, you are helping your neighbor and nothing is better than owning and being a part of something special. How would you stack up your local cognition?

Until next time!

XO,

Erin

PS-Have we met on Twitter? Follow me: @ErinCouch.

Business Buzzzzzz

By now you have realized that Erin and I like to be champions…of ourselves, our friends and the things we believe in. Today, I want to take a minute to champion you, my fellow social media marketers and friends. What do you think you could learn from the people in your network if you just asked? What exciting things should we be championing for each other? How can we help you? How can you help us? This is just a small reminder: Don’t forget to ask. Don’t forget to listen. And most of all, don’t forget to nurture the relationships you build.

Here at E=A(rin)² we are about to officially launch the Friday Business Buzz! Hope you are ready for this enhanced “follow friday” of sorts.

How it works

Every Friday we will release a post summing up the things we learn from our friends in the twitterverse that week. So be sure to tell us what you have going on! New employee? Let us know! New business? Tell us! Exciting client project you want to share? Hit us up! New job? You know what to do.

We are firm believers in the power of supporting each other through word of mouth (or type of finger in this case) so give us all you got!

Do we mean you?

Duh. Of course we do! Nothing is too big or too small for us. Whether  you want to get the word out about a fundraising benefit or tell the world about your new promotion- This is your chance!

When do we need your info?

We will take and scout info until 10 am Friday morning. After that all kick ass news will have to wait until the next week.

How do we want your info?

Message us! DM us! Email us! Whatever you prefer! All contact information is on our new contact page!

Ready…go!

And now to kick things off this week…

Did you know?

Elizabeth Lenzi (@happyfish103) has started a new company, Marachino Events (@MaraschinoEvent). The company focuses on events for & involving local Indy businesses.

Drew Larison (@MrDrewLarison) is working with a new start-up in Indy that makes Mobile sites and apps. Drew tells me they are really focusing on mixing social with mobile for companies.

 

Have a great weekend everyone and remember we can’t wait to hear from you!

Arin