Friday Feels: Startups and HoneyCrisps

Friday Feels: Startups and HoneyCrisps

PREFACE: It is totally Thursday now, but these are my #FridayFeels from last week. WHOOPS! I didn’t get a chance to edit photos, which TBH can take the longest for me. So, here is the text… I’ll put up a new one tomorrow before I head out of town tomorrow…

Is there going to be a week that I don’t say, “Oh wow! What a busy week…” I’ve been working hard to make the most of my time through organization, but I’m struggling to find the perfect method, nevertheless, I’m making it work!

Twin Cities Startup Week. One of the main reasons that my time felt stretched is that I was bee-bopping between different events for #TwinCitiesStartupWeek. So many great networking opportunities, open bars, and entrepreneurial insights! Met a lot of cool folks pursuing their dreams, which is so motivating for me!

“Scrappy.” On that note, I’m playing with new personal branding to describe my consulting biz. That word is “scrappy.” Besides sharing 6 letters with the word “crappy,” and the rude dictionary definition, I gosh darn love it. It really epitomizes how I work to deliver the best for my clients by working in a creative and hardworking fashion.

Logically, LinkedIn. I’m leaning into LinkedIn hard. I think it is a great platform for what I’m trying to do to grow my freelance business. I am a networker at heart, so it makes so much sense for me to be there. Connect with my on LinkedIn HERE!

Colder weather biking. I am trying to continue to go on my rides with my bike Shirley as the weather gets colder. I am really confused about how to layer correctly…. I will check back in with learnings next week. I get way too hot when I wear pants and a hoodie, but I am WAYYY to cold where I wear shorts and no hoodie. That’s where I’m at so far…

2017 PSL. Big News! I had my ceremonial PSL from Starbucks this past Monday. Now I can officially be a part of fall festivities.

Honeycrisp apples. On that note, my favorite apples were on sale at Cub Foods by the tote bag load. So sweet and crunchy. They really sweeten up my morning green smoothie AND are a great vehicle for caramel sauce.

Song of the week: “Cigarettes and Cush.” I am obsessed with this song by Stormzy and Kehlani. I usually don’t gravitate towards grime artists ever, but this song is ON REPEAT this week (along with the new Fergie album still.) Here is the track:

Thank you for reading. Wishing y’all an amazing weekend.

 

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Friday Feels: On a Sunday….

Friday Feels: On a Sunday….

Beautiful internet folks… I am back. After a brief hiatus, I am back with some Friday Feels from the last couple of weeks. I know it is Sunday, but you know what they say… YOLO. Fall came all at once here in Minnesota, and it totally caught me off guard (Yeah, I’m gonna blame my break on the weather…. LOL). But for real, it’s been a busy few weeks. I will give the highlight starting now:

1. Closing up the trailer. My parents came up from Maryland last weekend. We ventured up to the North Woods of Wisconsin to do some reno on an ongoing trailer project. Maybe one day I’ll go into further detail, but here is just a taste of the progress done by 3 Fitzpatricks 🙂 (and the sign that my grandpa made):

Trailer feat. insulation and electricity

2. Zucchini Bread Endeavors. In the last week, I’ve made 5 loaves of zucchini bread…. I have a tough time following recipes in general, but I used two recipes for inspiration. One of the best rated ones that I could find online was HERE (except I added died cranberries and chocolate chips). Then there was this more decadent one from Two Peas and Their Pod HERE. Carbs Carbs Carbs!!

3. Bike Adventures. My back brake wasn’t really working on my bike, Shirley, so my new friends at The Alt Bike and Board helped with the issue. Right after it was fixed I took a long ride around Lake Calhoun and Cedar Lake. I got unfathomably lost but made it home in one piece!!

Shirley by the lake

4. CycleBar + Rihanna. Speaking of biking, I went to an awesome “Concert Ride” at CycleBar in Uptown Minneapolis yesterday. It was the Rihanna ride… so ALL RIHANNA songs. Way too much fun. The instructor, Robert, was just a ROCKSTAR (get it… Rihanna pun…)!

5. New Fergie on Repeat. If you haven’t listened to the new Fergie album, Double Dutchess, you’ve got to listen to it ASAP. So so so good. My favorite track is “You Already Know,” but the whole album is just excellent. Here is the link:

6. Jessie Reyez and Dej Loaf Concert. GO SHOW 9, sponsored by Go 95.3 (my favorite Twin Cities radio station), was this week. There were 5+ acts, a wonderful mix of local acts and bigger names. Highlight: Jessie Reyez blew me away — she has so much talent and such a powerful voice. I’m working on a post on going to concerts, so I’m not gonna spoil too much yet… But the concert was so memorable!

7. Time-blocking and the Like. I’m attempting to find a bit more order in my life. My latest attempt has been with the Best Self Journal. I’m only a couple days in, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the thought process behind the journal’s design. I’ll keep you updated if I’m still using it in a week.

8. Jack in the Kitchen. On a work-life balance related note, I am working to burn through stress in positive ways. Recently, one for me has been cooking. This past Friday I posted up in the kitchen for four or five hours. I made 2 loaves of zucchini bread, veggie stalk, roasted vegetable crostini, and a vegan pumpkin chili. It totally helped me reset my mood. I have lots to say on this one, so I may turn it into another lengthier post.

I think that is all for this post. It is a beautiful day in MPLS today, and I’m going to hop on the bike and go for a ride. Hope y’all have an amazing week!

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Professional Jack

Professional Jack

I went to a fun blogger event a couple of weeks ago, and I was asked one question that I found so interesting is: “What is your day job?” That got me thinking, maybe I should chit chat about what I do for a living on the blog. It might spur a column where I talk about myself more… because we all need more of that, right? riiiiight….

This post is part of an effort to be a little more thorough on LivingNimbly… Also, I think that this would be good for me in general to get down a couple of pages down on what the business side of my life looks right now as of Fall 2017 as a bit of a time capsule.

Photo Credit: Paul Markert

First off, I am seriously digging my current work situation, but I usually have a tough time articulating what I actually do. I’ve gotten a little too used used to saying: “I do communication work.” That says a whole lot of nothing… so I usually have to break it down.

My business card calls me a “Social Media and Marketing Strategist.” Fancy title right? I know, I wrote it! In a nutshell, I use communication strategy to build brands and foster relationships.

Reader at home: “Jack, I’m still confused. How did you get into this kind of role? Do people actually pay you for this? What do you mean relationships? Like online dating? What are you talking about?”

Let’s start a couple of years ago… In college, I studied Public Communication, which, for me, provided me with a holistic view of public relations as well as a firm understanding of a bunch of different communication and marketing strategies/tactics. During my time at American University in Washington, D.C., I took all of those strategies and put them into action with local businesses from managing the social media presence of a family owned chain of olive oil stores to crafting E-Newsletters for a craft liquor distributor. I also worked on planning and implementing events in the city for my university and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

You may be wondering why I was jumping around so much in my roles and responsibilities. Well, there was a common thread that tied all of these experiences together: using communication to build and strengthen community, whether it was within a group of university students or olive oil lovers.

Photo Credit: Andy Lalwani

Okay, flash forward to now! I’ve continued this trend of working with communities in my post graduate work. Let my give a little breakdown of what I do now that I relocated to the Twin Cities:

General Mills Big G Cereal. I am a communication contractor on the influencer marketing team. I work with online influencers and bloggers in to promote General Mills Big G Cereal. I build relationships with these influencers online and at in-person events. Day to day, I create mailers to be sent out to our friends and plan/execute cereal-filled events. I also have the best coworkers, which is a GIANT cherry on top!

What is super cool and something that I didn’t expect to love that much is that I am a part-time employee. I work an average of 25 hours a week. During busy weeks (like earlier this month) I hit and exceed 40 hours a week. When I am traveling, diving into a new freelance project, enjoying a little R&R, I may dip down to around a dozen hours.

Straight out of college, I felt this immense pressure to get a full time job, but I am so grateful that I ended up where I did. I am provided with the flexibility to pursue other endeavors, feeding my entrepreneurial spirit in addition to working in a corporate setting.

Photo Credit: Paul Markert

Freelance Communication Work. I also work with a variety of small businesses to craft their brands through a variety of tactics. I manage social media accounts, write press releases, craft strategic communication plans, and take the lead on other tasks to help my clients shape their businesses. It keeps my weeks varied and ever-changing. Sometimes, I am even do speaking engagements.

LivingNimbly (duh, you are already here). My latest endeavor, which is a true exercise for me in community building for my own personal brand. Especially moving to a new city, it has been great to start to find community of writers and creators here. Added bonus, having a blog means that I am writing on several different platforms on any given day, keeping my writing up to snuff!

Eventually, I may find a way to push this from a hobby into something more profitable. But for right now, the time I am setting aside for self-exploration, networking, and creativity is so worthwhile.

Photo Credit: Paul Markert

So that’s an overview of the work I do, but what does that actually look like on a day to day level. Well… I spend a lot of time working on my laptop in coffee shops. I write all of the time. I am a small business owner. I am always tracking down my corporate ID badge. I juggle multiple timelines and clients on a weekly basis. I have busy weeks. I have slow weeks. I send out invoices and checks usually come back. It’s definitely a mixed bag, but it provides me with a lifestyle that I’m enjoying!!

If you are interested in connecting and/or doing business together, just give me a shout on the blog or message me on LinkedIn.

Edit: I completely forgot to include this amazing picture by my wonderful coworker, Kim Harbinson. 🙂

Photo Credit: Kim Harbinson
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Friday Feels: 90 Degree Shenanigans

Friday Feels: 90 Degree Shenanigans

Happy Friday! I just wanted to drop in quickly with a couple of feels from this week before I get back to enjoying this 90 degree first day of fall (how odd… right?)

1. Bikes. One of my oldest and best friends in the world, Kurt, came into town to visit for an extended weekend, and we are having a blast. Last night we rode bikes around the lake and ate ice cream on the porch. What could be better than that. Next week, I’ll be sure to update you on all of the shenanigans of this visit.

Sunset Over Uptown MPLS

2. Smoothie time. I am back on a smoothie for breakfast kick. Check out my go-to recipe from a couple of months ago HERE.

3. Late summer veg. I can’t handle how pretty they are AND how great they taste.

The Beauty of Summer Produce

4. Photo shoot. Finally had a headshot session with Chara through her photography business, Art de la Photographie. I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks, and it was such an enjoyable experience. I will write up a post all about it in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

5. Ballers. I can’t stop watching HBO’s Ballers. Such a good show, but way too easy to binge watch. I’m finally all caught up and excited for the season finale this weekend. I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again… Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a ROCKSTAR!

6. Apple Music. Just when I think I know everything about my go to streaming service, I fall in love with a new feature. The “For You” personalized playlists have really been giving me life this week. My most recent “Chill Mix” had such great flow, I couldn’t even handle it. I really want to know how Apple knows me so well…

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

 

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Friday Feels: *Phew*

Friday Feels: *Phew*

What a whirlwind of a week. Ohmygosh. It is a little late in the day but it is still Friday, so I am going to share some #FridayFeels.

“Busiest Week of the Year.” This past week was likely my busiest work week of the year with my work at General Mills. We were hosting over a dozen of AMAZING new blogger friends in Minneapolis, and I spent most of the week preparing and then introducing them the city once they got here (If you are confused… I am almost done with the what Jack does for a living post… stay tuned for that next week).

The biggest boxes on the smallest dolly

Kicked sickness in the butt. On Monday I was pretty sick… Like total sneezefest sick. But as this was such a busy week, my brain had a word with my body and said, “Body, you have GOT to pull this together for Jack… it is his busiest week of the year. c’mon.” That conversation was met with hot tea (with lemon and honey), a big batch of chicken/pork/veggie soup, like 4 Emergen-C packets, time spent power relaxing on the couch, and lots of positive thinking, I was better by the time our guests arrived on Wednesday evening.

Season 4 of BoJack Horseman. What did I do during my time on the couch? CRUSHED the new season of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman. If you haven’t watched it yet, it is an excellent program. So whimsical with amazing art and writing. And the new season did NOT disappoint one bit.

Caramel apples. I was talking to my friend, Annie, while I was at the grocery store when I was picking up a few things to get better, and she said “Jack, if something makes you happy and makes you feel good, it will make you better.” SO, I bought a caramel apple coated in peanuts and it was delish, and there are vitamins in apples (and caramel… right?)

Pattypan squash. In other food related news, I cooked a Pattypan squash just like a steak and served it with eggs. SO YUMMY!

Pattypan Squash and Eggs

Vikings debut. SKOL Vikings! We were looking GOOD on Monday Night Football this week against the Saints. In other news, I lost at fantasy football this week…

Great times with friends. Went to a housewarming/game night last weekend with some wonderful friends, and played Cash N’ Guns (did I actually just link to BoardGameGeek.com… amazing). Super fun game paired with tasty Indian food.

Ross Makes Art. I saw the coolest piece of art in the Sencha Tea Bar in Uptown and had to share. It is by a local artist, Ross Makes Art. Share some love if you love it too.

“Be Excellent” by Ross Makes Art.

Last weeks of summer. It’s still summer because I am totally not falling for that whole “Fall is here” thing. And guess who agrees with me? Mother Nature. It was hot hot hot this week. 90 degrees on Thursday. Take that Starbucks! (But, it is almost time for my yearly PSL!)

Thank you for being awesome readers. Stay tuned for more posts next week and keep up with me on the gram HERE. Have an AMAZING weekend folks!

 

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