Agency Life: Public Relations

Not until the end of my sophomore year did I figure out I wanted to major in public relations. I tried liberal arts- that was a no, I tried advertising- that was a no, but when I came around to taking a few PR classes, I liked being able to present in front of an audience (hello theatrical background!) and both technical and creative writing styles.

I quickly learned that if I wanted to land a job somewhere down the line, I needed to network like a crazy person. So I did. I went to every networking event I could, had countless people look over my resume, and kept hustling to get good grades while working long hours at Nordstrom. A few classes that really helped me understand what PR was all about was my campaigns class and my Chicago agencies class at DePaul. From learning in my classes, I started interning at a boutique firm, and when I say boutique, I mean a strong boss lady one woman show. I learned how to write a press release, what a media list was, and how to pitch media. After I graduated from DePaul, I later landed my first internship at Weber Shandwick, a global PR agency in the Hancock with 300+ employees. This was quite the culture shock let alone being able to comprehend how one agency can have so many clients. PR is all about work hard, play hard, and Weber knew how to have fun. At times you can feel a bit lost with so many people because we all want to stand out a little bit, don’t we? A lot of us interning were friends which was nice- we ate lunch together and went to happy hours after work.. living out our interning days in its best form. It was great to be able to work on reputable brands and feel like you were in the heart of corporate America straight out of college, but PR internships like to take you on a roller coaster ride, so I kept on networking and trying my best.

Then I interned at Olson: a 75 person mid-size agency with cool clients in a lofted space in west loop. Here I felt like everyone knew who each other was and could joke around the office. The work I was able to do was so hands on because the teams were smaller, so the more exposure for me the better! I decided after interning at Olson I liked the smaller office vibe. Everyone was friends, they had fun, and did great work.

We are almost there! Then I received a job offer at MSL. The coolest thing about MSL is it’s a global agency but with such a tight knit, boutique feel. There are about 35 employees in our office, and the best part is everyone is friends. I tell my work pals I count my blessings because I found great coworkers, and great friends too.. and sometimes those are hard to come by! Funny story: before I knew what PR or advertising was, I always envisioned myself working for Leo Burnett, not because I knew what I wanted, but because to me, Leo Burnett was the place to be if you wanted to be the catalyst of advertising (hello naive 20 year old self…). Little did I know a few years later I would be working in the Leo Burnett building, working with PR pros and advertising creatives and strategists in such an integrated way.

So I will say this, big or small, PR pros know how to have fun. I do think there is something to be said about being at a smaller agency: you are more hands on which only benefits you in the long run, and you get noticed pretty easily. It’s also cool to work at an agency where you have a mix of clients both national and local to Chicago. I did a round up of pros and cons for all agency sizes from my experiences- and I hope you find the perfect PR agency fit if you are looking to enter agency life!

Boutique Firm: 1-10 people. You will see every task from the beginning to end and you have to be willing to get down into the nitty gritty. Great way to learn about the industry quick if you are new to it! Very fast paced and sometimes overwhelming if you are new but don’t be afraid! Smaller clients and sometimes smaller budgets mean lots of creative thinking and workarounds. 🙂

Mid-Size Firm: 15-75 people. Great client exposure and great brand recognition with all the perks. Small enough to be noticed yet big enough to execute ideas that might be a little more costly.

Full Size Agency: 100+ people. Brands with budgets and great perks. What I found at large agencies is that it is a great place to network and maintain relationships. You never know who you might run into down the line. Sometimes you might feel lost in the mix, but easy solve because you can get your hustle on and do great work.

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Ask away!

XO.

Lex

Bone Broth: A Miracle For Your Health

Hi guys!! Remember me?! Finals are over and I am back.in.action. Similar to taking turmeric supplements, I have heard the words “bone broth” over and over again as a health “supplement” but my immediate reaction was “no thank you.” I am not a big soup person to begin with, and I literally choke down chicken soup when I am sick. If you read my friendly supplement guide a few weeks back, you know that I am very regimented about what I put in my body. Well GUESS WHAT…much to my surprise, that now includes a big cup of bone broth once a day.

One of my first questions about bone broth was “how is it different than normal chicken soup??” Bone broth is not a “new trend” as many websites and every fitness blogger and their mom will boast: those who follow a paleo diet have reaped the nutrients for quite some time. Essentially bone broth is exactly what it sounds like: stock made with plenty of animal bones and boiled for a much longer time than traditional stock.

I will let The Today Show break it down for you:

“Bone broth calls for a greater number of birds (or beef parts) than traditional stock, though, which increases the protein content, explains Ben Hummel, a brand manager for Pacific Foods. For example, a batch of one  broth calls for two turkeys, 40 pounds of beef shin and 15 hens, all cooked in a massive stockpot. After a serious simmer — as long as 24 hours — the collagen and connective tissue break down, helping boost the protein also, explains Hummel. “It takes many hours of simmering to break the connective tissues down into useable form, but the result is a broth with a high amount of bioavailable protein,” he says, adding that Pacific’s bone broths have as much as nine times more protein than traditional store-bought ones. “

Essentially, bone broth is extremely nutrient rich and seen as a detoxing beverage for our body. Depending on your personal problems (as I have said before, I am not a doctor but go off of my research, my team of doctors, and my personal experiences) bone broth can help alleviate joint pain, improve skin, aid in weight loss and most importantly help gut issues.

*Side note: have you ever noticed that after you have a heavy meal or eat a candy bar your brain gets a little “foggy?” That’s because our gut is linked directly to our brain and when we do not treat our gut right, it has an effect on our brain. If you want to learn more, please read this post by Twist Of Lemons.

After allll of the above, if you want to try adding bone broth into your diet yourself whether for serious health deficiencies or you simply want to see shiny hair and better skin, I have just the recipe for you. This recipe is directly from my mom (hi mom!) It is flavorful and I add a little bit of pink Himalayan sea-salt to my cup when consuming. You can use this within a week or freeze up to 3 months.

WHAT YOU NEED:
• 4 pounds chicken necks/feet/wings
• 3 carrots, chopped
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• 2 medium onions, peel on, sliced in half lengthwise and quartered
• 4 garlic cloves, peel on and smashed
• 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
• 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
• 5-6 sprigs parsley
• 18-20 cups water

HOW TO MAKE IT:

Place all ingredients in a 10 quart capacity crock-pot/stock pot
2. Add water.
3. Simmer for 12 hours, skimming fat occasionally.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard solids and strain remainder in a bowl through a colander. Let stock cool to room temperature, cover and chill.

This is what your bone broth will look like!

 

Please let me know if you try this out! If you have any other health recommendations, I would love to hear them! If there is anything you would like me to talk about in an upcoming post, please leave me a comment!

<3 Al

 

 

Major Key: Vital Proteins

You may have seen coworkers or friends put this magical powder in their coffee or smoothie and wondered, what does it actually do? I am all for making sure my body gets the right nutrients it needs, so when I learned more about Vital Proteins and then tried it for myself, I was really impressed by the results. Vital Proteins is grass-fed collagen peptides and for those of you who might not know what collagen is, it’s a protein found in our bodies most abundantly in our bones, skin, muscles and tendons. Cool, Lex. So what? SO our bodies might not have as much collagen in our body as we would like and that’s where Vital Proteins comes in to save the day. It helps with hair growth, skin, nails, bones and joints. Where did I see the most significant results? Hair growth and healthy hair for sure. My hair grows relatively quick to begin with, but my hair SPRUNG after a month of using a scoop of VP in my coffee or smoothie everyday… not to mention it has a super smooth texture and shine to it. One morning I had to do an awkward double take in the mirror because my eye lashes looked abnormally long and I didn’t even put mascara on yet! So all in all, it works and it tastes good too. I like the vanilla and coconut water flavor but they do have unflavored options too! I usually use the vanilla and coconut water flavor in my coffee during the week and beauty greens coconut vanilla flavor in my smoothies on the weekend.

Vital Proteins is such an easy add in to my daily routine that now I’m at the point where something is off if I don’t have it in my coffee or smoothie! There are so many recipes that you can mix it in yummy goodies too.. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. As for now, I am taking this amazing find as a major key to help jump start my day and overall health and wellness.

Happy Friday!

XO.
Lex

This post included complimentary product. 

Beauty Products You Should Know About

Usually when I find a beauty product I like, I remain a loyal user for years on end. Lately I have been feeling more adventurous and expanding my beauty horizons with new beauty products that I am excited to share! Overnight creams, concealers and face polishes. There are so many to choose from so how do you know which one is best for you? I am always a little hesitant in trying products because I do not want to irritate my skin, but so far so good! You will find throughout the reviews that all really do a great job on moisture, which to me is one of my skin’s top priority to maintain.

What beauty product do you swear by? Comment below and let me know!

XO.

Lex

TULA Multi-Spectrum Overnight Skin Rescue Treatment

Having dry skin, I focus a lot on moisture and how long the product keeps my skin hydrated. I have used TULA for about a month and I wake up with a fresh face that is ready for a days work. It contains probiotics and peptides which helps lock in moisture for extended periods of time. If you are willing to splurge on a night cream, I would definitely recommend this product!

C.O. Bigelow Sugar Crystal Face Polish

I always leave the bathroom with a little glow to my complexion and feel so fresh after using this face polish. I use this product around 2 times a week and it helps scrub away dead skin cells and dirt from my skin.. which is always a plus after a long day at work, the gym, or outside! I love the strawberry seeds that help serve as a scrub too! Versatile much?! I think yes.

 

MALLY Beauty H3 Concealer

Again, I use concealers with caution in fear of causing dryness over time but this concealer actually helps with hydration and gives the same glow all day! I use LIGHT and whenever I use it, it doesn’t move at all.

 

Shop these products here

Palm Springs Fashion

Success! I actually got a bit of color from my vacation and didn’t get burned!  It was so nice being able to relax and have more than one lazy day by the pool. Not to mention yummy coffee, cocktails and more. I wanted to do a quick round up of a few of the outfits I wore while I was in Palm Springs, and it’s making me more and more excited for summer time in Chicago as I type!

Does anyone have a few travel adventures planned in the coming weeks?! I am getting excited to see my girl Ella (MOD MED BLOG) in Birmingham, Alabama in later August! But I am sticking around Chicago for a bit and enjoying all that it has to offer.

XO.

Lex

 

Romper: Heavenly Couture (Similar HERE) // Glasses: RAEN // Sandals: Target (Similar HERE)

Dress: Urban Outfitters (Similar HERE) // Sunglasses: Wavvse

Bathing Suit: Free People // Hat: Akira (similar and on SALE HERE) // Glasses: QUAY

Bathing Suit: Maaji

The two I have are HERE and HERE 🙂

Supplements To Improve Your Body That ACTUALLY Work

When I was in high school and college, I took my daily multivitamin but never gave supplements another thought. I have always made a conscious effort to eat my greens and colorful veggies, thinking I would get my nutrients through my meals.

I was seeing one of my Lyme Disease specialists yesterday and she dropped a mind blowing fact: you would need to eat 75 oranges to get the nutrients of an original orange that was grown many, many years ago. Our soil is so depleted that we no longer get the nutrients our bodies need: giving us low energy and brittle hair, skin and nails.

When I started taking my ten million supplements to help my body fight my disease, I noticed a major unexpected benefit: my hair started growing rapidly, my nails were longer and stronger than ever and my skin was no longer constantly broken out. I have friends and my Insta-friends send me messages asking me what supplements I take because they want to follow along, and while my intensive routine cannot be followed by everyone, there are some general vitamins and supplements that might help you kick that 3pm fatigue or help your hair to be a little bit more shiny!

*Obviously- I am not a doctor! I have a team of FOUR doctors AND a nutritionist telling me what to take, eat, do…etc! This is not meant to cure, treat, etc anything! But if you want to live a little bit healthier or understand what vitamins are great for your body, this is for you! If you are wondering why I am not linking to direct supplement brands here, it is because I take special supplements that are stronger than the normal “healthy” person should. Here is an interesting article on what vitamin/supplement brands actually do the job they claim to on the bottle, and which to avoid.


Turmeric: Turmeric is a “trendy” health supplement right now- and with all of the benefits it reaps, it should be here to stay. Turmeric is comprised of curcumin- a chemical that is mostly known for being anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that turmeric is very effective in fighting pain and inflammation- better than Motrin or Tylenol. In addition to being anti-inflammatory (this is the reason I take turmeric- it has massively helped the inflammation in my joints) Turmeric is known to fend off heart attacks, delay diabetes, and protect the brain. If you are curious, here are two (1, 2) good references.


Vitamin D: Essentially, vitamin D keeps our bones healthy and regulates our immune system! While vitamin C tends to steal all the spotlight, vitamin D should not be neglected due to it’s help in absorbing calcium and phosphorous (this keeps our bones stronger.) Vitamin D also helps fight risk of disease and is a serious mood booster. Believe it or not, a vitamin D deficiency can cause serious headaches. Learn more here.


Vitamin B-12: Personally I take vitamin B-12 in two forms for energy: a tablet every morning and a B-12 shot once a week. After I get a B-12 shot I am noticeably perkier for 4-5 days after. B-12 is an amazing source of energy due to it’s ability to break down  carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and use them more efficiently in your body throughout the day. While this is not the main benefit of taking B-12, it is also linked to aiding in speeding up your metabolism, healthier hair, skin and nails. Read more, here.


Magnesium: Magnesium is not a supplement we typically run to the grocery store to buy. I was introduced to magnesium after my doctors found that my heart was not pumping blood properly, and I began taking magnesium to strengthen my heart and help my blood flow easier. So needless to say, magnesium is great for your heart, but also has many added benefits! Magnesium aids in keeping your energeti, as well as in enzyme production AKA helping your body digest your food with ease. If you are an avid gym goer, magnesium helps build muscle safely. Read more, here.


 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!

 

<3 Al

Beauty and Travel Guide: Palm Springs

It’s been awhile since my last post! Some might think of Palm Springs as the center of Coachella festivities, while others like myself grew up knowing Palm Springs as a place of hot weather, lots of golfing, and retirement. The last few years, I have taken a vacation with my family and developed a new perspective on Palm Springs and love that it is becoming such a youthful and vibrant city!

That being said, I am excited to share my travel guide for Palm Springs, both what to do and what beauty products to travel with. Being a California native, writing this post makes me even more excited and I hope it gives you some ideas if you travel to the desert.

See below for a few of my travel musts when it comes to beauty products and places I am going to stop by over the holiday weekend!

Do you have any travel plans for Memorial Day Weekend? Please think positive thoughts as I hope to come back a bronzed warrior and not a red lobster.

Beauty Product Travel Necessities

Tula Multi-Spectrum Overnight Skin Rescue Treatment : I am going to be LIVING in the sun all day for the next week, so this is essential to make sure my skin is getting the moisture it needs at night. This cream is SO moisturizing and I wake up with bright, rejuvenated skin in the morning!

KORRES Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil: My one and only oil love that serves as my serum before I use my moisturizer and foundation!

KORRES Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturising and Brightening Cream: This moisturizer pairs so well with the Wild Rose Brightening Oil and it really lasts all day. My face never gets dry and has never irritated my skin since using it!

St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse 1.6 oz: I mean let’s face it, I am rather fair skinned, so I love using St. Tropez as a base before being out in the sun! It doesn’t streak, looks natural, and stays on for a few days before I have to reapply.

Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint – Ivory: I have always used the same liquid foundation so I am so glad I tried a sample of this from Sephora and ended up purchasing it! It is an all Vegan product with no oils or random ingredients. It gives me a bright ivory glow and has SPF too!

Travel Guide: Palm Springs

Like I mentioned, we know Palm Springs for being the Disneyland of Coachella weekend. But what else is worth checking out? See below for a few hot spots *no pun intended.*

Ice Cream & Shoppe

@icecreamandshop

DesertX: Mirage by Doug Aitken

@bk_kimm

The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five

@townepalmsprings

The Saguaro Palm Springs

@thecraftedlife

Your hopeful soon to be bronzed warrior,

Lex

Other Products that I love: