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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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.

Get up and move already.

Motivation. Something I’ve been lacking lately as you could probably tell by the way Erin is slamming these blog posts out of the park while I, well I am just taking it all in. Well it’s time for me, dear readers, to be honest, transparent and get up and move already!

As some of you may know, I lost my job at the beginning of May. This is a very candid look at my journey the past few months. How do you deal with motivation ruts? How has your network supported you lately? How have you grown from an unemployment experience? Would love to hear your thoughts!

The beginning

  • My first reaction was fear and embarrassment. I was monetarily scared and socially embarrassed. My pride was shot. I had been secretly looking for other jobs, as my mother always told me “Arin, it’s easier to find a job when you already have one.” Unfortunately, the company was not able to hold out my position long enough for me to find my next adventure.
  • My next thought was “now what?” Do I try and start a business? Do I get a J-O-B to hold me over while I look for something? Do I freelance? It was exciting and scary at the same time. Luckily I had my upcoming wedding to keep me distracted.

Back to reality…oops there goes gravity 😉

  • After the honeymoon, it was back to my intimidating jobless reality. I had by this time at least resolved myself to the fact that I wanted a job. I wanted to work in marketing/PR in the Indianapolis market. I wanted to finally try my hand out in the career world outside New Castle.
  • I had several prospects and several interviews. Nothing. Frustration with myself started to set in. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting call backs. I was acing the interviews…or was I? Maybe they just found somebody better, more talented. My confidence was shaken and that wedding money could only hold us over for so long before adjustments would need to be made.

The breakdown

  • I immersed myself in housework, yard work, errands, cooking crazy dinners, making jokes…really anything that would take my mind off of the job search. Then I broke down. ME!?! JOBLESS!?! Cooking, cleaning, washing dishes- all that schooling and hard work for this!?!?! By this time I was just sad and angry. My poor new husband. I was getting a lot done around the house (and looking back it was a blessing in disguise right after the craziness of a wedding), but I was miserable.
  • I just wasn’t myself. Then, I decided in no uncertain terms…Screw This. I’m going to work on me, market me and do the best I can, knowing it would take patience, motivation and drive. And for those of you who don’t know me, patience is NOT my forte. I find my motivation in those things, people and places around me, meaning I had to get out. And I had to find my drive again, something I had never lost before.

The build up

  • I got a brilliant idea. I”ll start a blog. But, knowing myself, I would plan plan plan and have what I thought were kick ass ideas and never actually start the blog.
  • But by fate, chance or the heavens- I found a blogging buddy. I found some motivation to do this and in turn I rediscovered my drive. Now, let’s be clear, I still have to work to keep my motivation up and find that drive within myself to keep going…but it more than helps to have someone on your side, pushing you and keeping ideas afloat.

The turn around

  • The blog took off (much to my surprise)! We have had great response and a great social support system. It’s been a fun ride and great way to get my communications fill while job searching.
  • About a week and a half ago I got a phone call from the Henry County Hospital. I have a business friend/colleague from when I worked at the Chamber of Commerce who is the Marketing and PR director of the hospital. She called to offer me a contract marketing job. It is on a per project basis and the hours/money are better than anything I have ever been offered. Wow. That contact actually paid off!
  • I am also onto a second round interview for a marketing/pr job in Indy. I feel confident, excited and ready to rock! And if I don’t get it, I always have that contract job supplementing my husbands income and keeping me out of trouble. 🙂

And now…

I’m ready to get up and move already with these things I’ve got cookin’! I think all to easily we can give up, get frustrated or just lose motivation.  I want to be the first to say…you don’t have to make the mistakes I did. Just look around you, nurture your relationships. Ask for help. Be vulnerable. Be open. Be honest with yourself. Keep going.

Your future self will thank you for it.

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen

Until we meet again,

Arin

Big guitars and bigger hearts…

Alabama Tornado Relief Show....

We saw it on the news, heard about it on the radio, talked about it with our friends. The greater portion of the Midwest and South had one hell of an introduction to spring from the maddest mothers around, Mother Nature.

Spanning from Texas and Missouri to Indiana and Georgia, communities across the country saw one of the most active and destructive Tornado seasons in history. Towns were wiped off the map; communities, families, houses and cities were completely destroyed and one of the hardest hit areas was Alabama. With a final death toll being close to 200 and estimated damages reaching $2 billion, many areas of Alabama are in need of active relief.

Hoosier hospitality

I have always been amazed by the sheer generosity and genuine care folks in Indiana have for those in need. It always seems we are ready, willing and able to give a helping hand when it is needed. The following is one of my favorite examples.

This Friday, (July 8th ) Lazy Hawk Promotions is putting together a fantastic benefit concert to help raise money for those affected by the Alabama tornado outbreak. With a goal to raise over $1,000 dollars for the cause, Lazy Hawk Promotions has teamed up with local businesses, radio stations and artists to help out those in need. For more details on the benefit, check this link out.

More than a kick ass band

Indianapolis band, The Holland Account (www.thehollandaccount.com) is one of five bands (find out who else is playing here) who are prepped and ready to melt the faces off the greater Indy area. And it is all in the name of doing great things.

The Holland Account...\m/

Why they are the “Rocky Balboas” of the Indy scene

The Holland Account has more benefit concerts on their show listings than any other local band I have seen.

Last week they did a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, in a few weeks they will be playing a benefit for Papacal at Visions and, of course, this Friday they are playing the Alabama Tornado Relief Show.

At the end of the day, the gentlemen of The Holland Account are about being fighters. “If there is a cause that needs a fighter, we try to add a soundtrack,” says vocal lyricist and powerhouse Nick Ramey of The Holland Account.

Parting words

What impresses me the most about the guys of The Holland Account is the immense amount of humble gratitude they show toward their fans and their
community. Not only are they fantastic guys to chill with, but they have big hearts to go with their rockin’ music and badass attitudes.

When asked to say something to the readers of this blog, here is what they had to say:

“We appreciate the continued support from our fans, friends, and family. This is going to be a great show for people that really need the help. Come out and prove that Indy has a big heart! We will continue to fight for those in need, not only outside, but also in our own communities.

And thanks to you and your blog for helping spread the word, not only about this show, but also for helping expose our sound to the masses. You might not think you are huge, but you are so huge to us and we appreciate you!”

Alabama Tornado Benefit Event Details:
Friday, July 8, 2011
7:00pm – $5.00 Cover Charge – 21+

Where
Vollrath Tavern
118 E Palmer St
Indianapolis, IN 46225

We love it. So get out there and show your support, Indy. Hope to see you there!

XOXO,

Ducks fly together…

Let's hear it..."it's the eye of the tiger..."

This may one of my briefer posts on here, but I think it’s worthy one. Arin and I have been discussing the next few topics we’d like to cover on this fantastic amalgamation of thoughts we like to call our blog. Stemming from Arin came this idea that can be only described in one word…champion. Confused by the ambiguity? Let me explain…

What is a champion?

I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word “champion” is a major pop-culture reference. He’s the perfect depiction of the underdog, the ultimate fighter. Ladies and gents, the champion I think of is….Mr. Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa. Nothing screams champion like that single fist pumped into the air. You know I am right.

"And when the roosters are crowing and the cows are doing circles in the pasture!"

The second thing that comes to mind is the almighty Mighty Ducks (ducks fly together…quack…quack…quack). Talk about another example of overcoming the odds (Mighty Ducks 2, anyone?). And though we are not Gordon Bombay, Arin and I like to think of ourselves as champions, but perhaps in a different way.

You + Us =Champion…We love what you do.

As marketing and PR professionals, Arin and I love to spread, amplify and (ultimately) get that amazing thing called “word of mouth” started on those things we love and are passionate about. Supporting the local Indy community, local music, businesses, benefits and charities are one of those “things” we want to be champions of. Put plainly, we love what you do, Indy. So help us, help you.

Doing a benefit concert? Putting together a fundraiser? Walking to help find a cure for cancer? Starting a new business? Let us know! Give us your story behind what you are doing and let us be your champion.

What do you say, my dear readers? Ducks fly together.

Until next time,

Erin

Listen up, Indy

Listen up, Indy! I’ve got a challenge for you…

If you’ve been with this blog from the beginning (our existence hasn’t been too long), you have quickly realized how much music means to both me and Arin. For me, music is much more than listening…it’s an experience.

The Glass Identity Crisis interview for Local Music Only

Case in point, almost all of my major life moments and memories can be attached to a song. Even more, a simple song can bring back the smells, the scenes, the sounds and the moments of times long forgotten.

When I am sad, I listen to music. When I am happy, I listen to music. When I am angry, frustrated, bored, content, working out, reading, writing, driving…I am listening to music. It is literally all around me.

But even further than listening, being a part of the music obsessed club is taking part in the act of supporting, growing and being a champion of music and the bands you love. I take this to heart. If there is a new band that I can’t stop listening to (and yes, I do get obsessive and oftentimes listen to a favorite artist over and over again), I am the first person to pass that information to anyone I know that would enjoy that particular artist.

Ryan M. Brewer at the Sounds that Matter Couch Sessions

So, what does this have to do with Indianapolis? Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure to attend a lot of really cool musical events. From sitting on the floor and watching a “Couch Session” for a fantastic website called, Sounds That Matter, to interviewing some of the best local bands in Indy and asking on who they are, what they do and where they are going for a website called Local Music Only, I have been immersed into an exciting culture where talent and drive run rampant. Simply put, it is invigorating, exciting and inspiring.

One of my favorite questions was, “what do you like and how would you improve the local Indy music scene?” More often than not the same answer is given in some way, shape or form. The community isn’t where it needs to be. And by community that is more than just the fans, it’s the musicians, the local venues, local radio, local papers and local music champions/enthusiasts. It’s got to be LOCAL. Right now we’ve got the foundation. Radio stations X103 and 92.3 do a fantastic job of reaching out to the local musicians and becoming their champion. I love that as a listener and I love that as a resident of Indianapolis.

The Last Good Year interview for Local Music Only

This brings me to my final thought, a challenge to my fellow music lovers and musicians in Indianapolis. What’s stopping us? What’s stopping us from being the next Nashville, Austin, Omaha and Detroit? Surely it isn’t that we don’t lack the passion, the fire and drive to support our local musicians? We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the fans. We’ve got the drive. So let’s make it happen! It starts with us…

Check out the folks that are already starting the movement:

Local Music Only
Sounds that Matter
Six4Six
X103

The local bands that you need to check out:

The Last Good Year
Ryan M. Brewer
The Glass Identity Crisis
The Holland Account
Grace@Arms
Goliathon

Until next time…rock out!

Erin

Picture proof of me geeking out. Sad trombone.

PS-It is with great joy to say that over the weekend, I turned from confident rockstar into babbling tweenager after meeting one of my favorite Indy dj’s, Deuce from X103.

The Three B’s.

A blonde, a brunette and a blog.

Erin here and if there is one thing you need to take away from this post it would be that I love alliteration.

I love it so much that I can even describe myself in an amazing alliterative phrase: A bitchy, brazen and brainy bottle-blonde bent on beer, books and blogs.

The alarmingly awesome and awe inspiring Arin and I will be serving up the best of the best of what we think you should know about: music, marketing (it’s what we do…we are obsessed) clothes, food, cupcakes, books, antiques, vintage, bad etiquette, rock n’ roll and whatever else we feel like saying.

Guaranteed you’ll laugh, learn and be crying out for more, more, more (Billy Idol…the original brazen blonde).

So grab a beer (I suggest a fantastic local favorite called the Hubbard & Cravens Porter by the Thr3e Wise Men Brewery ) or a crown on the rocks (whiskey makes the world better and much more entertaining) and enjoy the ride because you’re about to get rocked!

Hasta luego rockstars,

Erin