Eating Our Way Through Las Vegas

For my 30th birthday, my husband and I decided to jaunt off to Las Vegas. It was totally an impulse trip, which we have never really done before, so that was a lot of fun!

We've always said that we should have gotten married in Vegas (because honestly, weddings are just not really our thing), but I was 5 months pregnant at the time, so we didn't. BUT! For this big milestone birthday, it felt totally right.

The one thing I was most excited about was trying new restaurants, especially since I've been so bummed out about the lack of good food here in Madison lately.

With all the walking, I was pretty much SUPER HUNGRY the whole time. Here's where we ate:

 Breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi

Breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi

Mon Ami Gabi

I was afraid this was going to be totally lame and overhyped, especially being right on the Vegas Strip. BUT, I think this was the best meal we had the whole time we were there. We came here pretty early for breakfast (like 7 or 8am) and sat on the patio right next to the Strip. THE FOOD was bananas good. I had 3 eggs with date-glazed bacon, hashbrowns, and blistered tomatoes. Literally the best egg breakfast I've ever had. Eric went sweet and had the Blueberry Waffles. Literally the best waffles I've ever had and the homemade whipped cream was amazing and not overly sweet. Sitting out on the patio was fun because we got to see Vegas from a little different perspective and it's a totally different city at 7am than it is at 11pm.  HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

 Mon Ami Gabi

Mon Ami Gabi

 China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan

China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan

China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan

After researching basically every restaurant I could find, this was my choice for my birthday dinner. It's located in The Cosmopolitan, which is a super rad hotel with a lot of cool places to eat. China Poblano is a sort of fusion Mexican - Asian situation, except it's not fusion. It's just BOTH cuisines at one place. They have two kitchens for each one and your food just comes out as it's ready. Pretty rad if you ask me. We sat at the bar and were able to watch them make about a million tortillas, which was fun! We had a bunch of small dishes here, but the standout was 100% THE GUACAMOLE. Sometimes guacamole isn't worth what you paid, but this was DEFINITELY worth it and I dream of it every time we have mediocre guacamole now. YES PLEASE.

 The Cookie Shake at Black Tap

The Cookie Shake at Black Tap

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer

We had no idea where to eat lunch one day and we wanted something GOOD, but we didn't really know what. We considered Italian, but landed on Black Tap, which is located in The Venetian (this place is a MAZE). I really had no idea what to expect, except that I knew about their crazy milkshakes from the land of Instagram. We decided to share a giant milkshake and a burger -- The Cookie Shake and the Pizza Burger with onion rings. I would eat that Pizza Burger every single day. FUN EXPERIENCE.

 Breakfast at Hash House a Go Go

Breakfast at Hash House a Go Go

Hash House A Go Go

This is one place we decided to eat that I think is very overyhyped. The atmosphere here is 'meh' and the food is also 'meh.' It was fun to experience, knowing how popular it is and seeing how busy it is, but I don't recommend coming here.

 In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger

We had In-N-Out twice. I liked it, but I don't like it as much as Shake Shack. BUT ALSO, it was good. Like, it's good food for when you've been drinking or for when you're super hungry and just want to eat. It's a TOTAL ZOO in here - like, wild. You see all types and people get kind of rowdy and you have to get your hawk eyes out to get a table, but if you want to scarf down a burger and basket of fries in 10 minutes, I highly recommend coming here. After all, you'd go broke if you tried to eat somewhere fancy for every meal in Vegas.

 Grabbing some cold brew and a cookie at Bouchon Bakery

Grabbing some cold brew and a cookie at Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon Bakery

I had a cold brew and a macaroon here one day while I went out shopping and honestly, you can't really go wrong there? ;)

I'm trying to remember if we ate anywhere else, but I don't think so. We've decided that MAYBE we'll come back for Eric's next milestone birthday, but not gonna lie, we were exhausted. I would definitely hop a plane for a few of those dishes though, like the entire breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi and the guacamole at China Poblano.

Have you been to Vegas? What did you eat? 

5-Minute Everyday Clean Makeup Tutorial

IMG_8245.JPG

Like most other women I know, I don't have a ton of time to get ready in the morning. In between a workout, packing lunchboxes, early morning text messages from colleagues, and getting my mind ready for the day, I like to be able to get ready quickly, but still look presentable.

I also prefer to use as many clean products as possible, so that with my minimal makeup, I can feel good about what I'm wearing on my face all day.

Sidenote: Did you know the beauty industry in the United States is essentially unregulated? Beauty companies are not required to tell you what is in their products.

I don't know about you, but I prefer to know.

The other day I filmed this quick IGTV episode about my 5-minute makeup. You can find that in two parts here and here. I'm talking through and linking you to my products used below:

Foundation: I like a medium coverage that is hydrating and looks natural. That's why I've been loving the Beautycounter Tint Skin Foundation. I use the shade 'Sand' and use a Stippling brush to blend in effortlessly.

Concealer: I've been using Glossier Stretch Concealer for months now. It has a nice dewy finish and is easily applied with my fingers under my eyes and on any blemishes. I use the shade 'Medium.' 

Bronzer: After a full face of foundation and concealer, I'm craving a little bronze-y color. I love the W3LL PEOPLE Bio Bronzer Powder I sweep this under my cheekbones and around the frame of my face.

Blush: I follow the bronzer by the W3LL PEOPLE Nudist Multi-Use Color Duo for a little natural flush. I don't love TOO much pink on my cheeks, but there's something about a little peachy pink that makes you look a little more awake.

Brows: It wasn't until last year that I really started trying to do anything with my brows. I've used my fair share of pencils and other fill-in products, but I prefer a more natural, "fluffy" look to my brows. I use the Glossier Boy Brow religiously - in fact, I have it on a subscription delivered every other month and don't really leave the house without it.

Mascara: I've also been really loving the Glossier Lash Slick mascara. As a contacts-wearer, it can be difficult to find an effective mascara that doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes. This mascara is natural and super lengthening, giving this 'barely there lashes' girl something flirty to work with. ;) 

Lips: I finish off the whole look with a little lip balm at the beginning and a swipe of my Beautycounter Sheer Lipstick. I love that it's not too shiny, not too matte and feels really smooth. I've been loving the colors 'Terra' and 'Rose' lately, but I'm also excited to try Orchid and Currant for fall/winter shades. Plus, that gold packaging has me giving all the heart eyes.

Like I said, I like to wear a little bit of makeup on an everyday basis to make me feel alive and put-together. Working at home, it can be so easy to skip this step in my routine (which I do give myself the grace to do at least once a week), but something about getting yourself ready like you DO work in an office has a serious effect on productivity.

Tell me your fave clean beauty products in the comments below!

I joined Beautycounter in September 2018. The idea that a company could be so committed to clean beauty and help mobilize thousands of women to affect real legislative change is so inspiring and empowering. Plus, the idea that I can trust that all of the products from one company are safe is helpful for this busy bee.

Want to learn more about Beautycounter? Fill out this quick form and we'll chat! Or of course, DM me on Instagram! 

My Limiting Beliefs

ACS_0133.JPG

Often times as women on the Internet, I think we hide our insecurities. We hide what makes us feel 'less than' and what we're struggling with. We think it'll make us feel better if we just try to conform and act like everything is all good.

But I think this is really damaging to our culture as women and to the culture of the Internet.

If we just allow the "picture of perfection" to be the norm and we forget to have the tough conversations, we'll never be able to really feel real.

And if you know me in real life, you know there isn't anything I dislike more than FAKE.

Today I wanted to share MY limiting beliefs with you. These are stupid little things that hold me back every single day from doing the things that feel right in my heart. (Not cool, ya know?) These are things that I tell myself stories about and use as excuses as to why not.

So, here we go:

1. My couch

Literally, I have not done so many things I wanted to do because my couch isn't pretty enough. Never mind the fact that we should probably just buy a new couch - this couch is so ugly that it looks horrible in pictures and on video. As a visual person, I know this and I avoid sharing parts of my life on social media because of it. I avoid using my living room as a setting for filming even though I feel like it would be more personable to do so.

2. My fingernails

I have been a nail biter since I was three years old. I have struggled with this nasty habit my entire life. And when I say "nail biter," I don't mean it in the cute "I bite my nails just a little bit" kind of way. I mean, I bite them all the way down until there's barely a nail left and then I do it again and again and again. This stops me from sharing selfies in the mirror and sharing certain things because I'm afraid someone will see my nails and think it's gross and not take me seriously or unfollow me.

3. Where I Live

I don't live in some major creative blogger city. I live in a small town in Wisconsin, not even really in the city. That has meant for me that there are less "interesting" places to photograph and that I feel like I have less to share - that I'm not "cool enough."

4. My Unconventional Story

I didn't just go to college and then meet someone and then start a business and do it "like everybody else." Everything about my story feels different than "the norm." When I was 19, I was pregnant and by the age of 25, I had two kids and a Bachelor's Degree. While some may say that that's impressive, for me it's always meant that I don't even really know what it's like to be an adult without children. It's meant that I've always had to work harder to have people take me seriously. It's meant that I'm not always as comfortable sharing about my life for fear of being judged. 

I'm hoping that by starting this conversation, other people will feel free to share their limiting beliefs too and feel a sense of freedom when we are able to see others struggle with similar things or when we are just able to say them out loud. I'm not saying we have to do anything about these limiting beliefs except let them go out in the wild and see what happens.

So, there you go. Those are four of my main limiting beliefs. I have no doubt there are more. If you feel so inclined to share yours, will you send a link to me? Send it to my DMs at @jaimieemyers and we can stand strong together in making the Internet a less intimidating place to be. 

So, what am I gonna do about it? I'm going to start small. I'm going to try to get comfortable with sharing my life more openly despite all of these things that stop me from that.

Hold me accountable if you're reading this, friend. I'll always do the same for you.

Live Out Loud Live with Brooke Thomas

ACS_0130.JPG

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Palm Beach for a conference for work -- Burn Media Co. sponsored the event I was also in attendance at the Live Out Loud Live conference to do the live social media for the event and to speak!

I'll be honest, I went into this conference not really knowing what to expect! Even though I designed the programs and knew the itinerary, I had never been to a women's conference like this before, especially for 3 days!

I could tell by the very first few minutes that I got there that I was in the right place. I was welcomed with hugs and smiles and lots to do! I was certainly kept *very* busy during this event.

It's hard to describe this event to other people because it's not quite a conference and not quite a party. It's got the best of both worlds. We danced, we learned, we empowered each other and we heard from incredible speakers like Tiffany Smiley, Marshawn Evans Daniels, and Lisa Bevere, among others. I was seriously BLOWN AWAY by how confident and strong these women were on stage. I definitely aspire to get my speaking skills to this level.

I cried many times. Happy tears. Nervous tears. Sad tears. Honestly, all the tears.

There were several fleeting moments that hit me right in the gut.

I was sure to dip my toes in the sand, enjoy the chocolates left on my pillow, and indulge in a little bit of room service, and even a lunch alone (I highly recommend everyone do this once in a while - how nice it is to just eat at your own pace and live with your own thoughts).

I left The Breakers feeling like I had a lot of heavy on my heart, but in the good way. The good way where you know something good is bubbling up. When you know that you're going to need to reflect, write it out, and then act.

And that's why I'm writing this. Because I need to write and exercise creativity. Even though I am often able to do this in my everyday "j-o-b", I need to do it just for me. And I need to use what I know to help others express their creativity. I need an outlet. Where that outlet will take me, I don't know, but I've put off having a personal space like this for far too long.

It's funny - I was just talking to my husband about this - how when I went into journalism, I had decided to enter that school because I wanted to be a "travel writer." That quickly changed because they don't really teach you how to do that in college. They teach you how to write press releases and buy media. I hope that the tides are changing and that journalism professionals start really focusing on teaching skills for the wide range of career options for young journalists, including social media and blogging! These are real careers now!

Anyway, I digress. I got away from my passions a little bit and that happens in life, but I want to make sure that I'm fulfilling this part of me too, so that's why I'm blogging again.

I hope that this blog will be interesting to you too! I'll be writing about my everyday life, favorite things, places I go, things I eat.. basically, you'll get a glimpse into my life and I hope it will help you to live a healthier, happier, more fun life!

Staying at The Breakers Palm Beach

ACS_0107.JPG

Staying at The Breakers Palm Beach was truly a dream. I wasn't quite prepared for how much I would love it. After all, I'm a pretty simple girl with relatively simple tastes. Sure, I like expensive things, but I'm quite happy with what I have and I don't ever really yearn for luxury.

That may be changing after my stay at The Breakers. ;)

From the moment I got out of my Lyft at The Breakers, I knew that I was hitting a whole new level of luxury that I had never experienced before. The door was opened for me upon arrival, and I was given incredible attention at check-in. I was in awe of the absolutely stunning lobby, filled with ornate details.

ACS_0128.JPG

When I got up to my room and opened the door, my jaw hit the floor. I think I literally say "Wow!" out loud! (I seriously told my husband when I got home that I want to model our future master bedroom after this room). My favorite part of the room was the swinging doors into the bathroom - I just thought that little touch was so fun and made it really feel like you were at home.

Of course the artwork and gorgeous white linens and pops of colors were also dreamy.

ACS_0129.JPG

After I checked in, I was sure to just walk around and enjoy the property. With 5 pools, several restaurants, ballrooms, and the beach right at your toes, there was a lot to take in.

After I walked around and just breathed in the Florida air for a little while, I decided to grab some lunch (after a long day of travel, I was definitely hungry!) at The Beach Club restaurant. I was of course super impressed with the service and was excited to get to sit right out on the patio overlooking the ocean.

I ordered a glass of rose (of course, always) and the Thai Noodle Salad and I ate every single bite. I only regret not grabbing dessert because they sounded ahhh-mazing. Next time. ;)

ACS_0102.JPG

One thing that I was super impressed with that I had never experienced before at a hotel was the attention to detail with housekeeping. After a night working at the Live Out Loud conference, I was surprised to come back to a room where my toiletries had been organized for me, my shutters were closed, my bed freshly made (again!), and chocolates on my pillow (which I received and ate every single night - okay, I brought home the last box for the kiddos).

On my second day, in lieu of lunch, I decided to grab a quick snack and head down to the beach. There I was met with impeccable service yet again and was definitely not used to the idea of someone helping pick out a beach chair for you, and set out a towel. If I wasn't working, I might have grabbed a cocktail down there too, but I just soaked in the salty air for a good hour instead.

I slept like a dream in the beds here, and I seriously felt like I was at home.

They also have great coffee in the sundries shop, and I was able to enjoy the Baked Alaska dessert on my last night with my new friend, Elizabeth de Moraes, at HMF (very swanky).

ACS_0106.JPG

There are plenty more amenities to be enjoyed at The Breakers that I wasn't able to take advantage of, such as all the pools (I want to swim next time!), a spa, gym, shops, and more. I guess I'll just have to go back because my kiddos already want to go (really just based on the chocolates - haha!).

If you're headed to Palm Beach and want to live in the lap of absolute luxury, I highly recommend The Breakers.

ACS_0101.JPG
ACS_0105.JPG