Category Archives: Life

End of Year Recap

2015 was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, I started my own business which was incredibly exciting, but also incredibly overwhelming. I consider this year to be a big “growing” year, where I learned a lot about myself, my relationships and how I want to continue down my career path.

Allie Fisher Marketing Freelance

Back in May I shared my initial thoughts of a being a freelancer, and now as I write this recap at the end of the year, I wanted to share my freelance perspective one full year in.

  • Clients (and those relationships) will come and go: Sometimes client relationships don’t go as planned, and that’s ok. People will come and go out of your life, and the ones that are truly meant to be there will be in it for the long haul. I have learned SO much from all of my working experiences this year, and wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Even those not-so-great moments.
  • Surround yourself with smart people: While this year may have been a bit of a roller coaster professionally, I truly feel like I have landed where I’m supposed to be. I’m currently working with some pretty intelligent and talented people and have learned so much in the past few months of working with them. I’m eagerly looking forward to becoming an even better marketer in 2016.
  • Time is money: I have always been on a salary wage so switching to hourly was a big change for me. I never realized how much I took having a salary job for granted until I I started hourly. If I’m not working, I don’t get paid, so I make sure to be as efficient as possible with my time every day.
  • Self-Employment taxes: The struggle is so real on this one. Gone are the days of having taxes automatically taken from your paycheck and instead budgeting and estimating your income each month. Add an extra self-employed tax on top of your state and federal taxes and you are in for a real party.
  • Make time for yourself: This one is big. One of the great things about working from home is well, you work from home, but it’s a double-edged sword. I found myself struggling to put work away at night and spent many weekends missing out on fun with friends because I was locked away in my office working. Emphasizing work/life balance is going to be a big priority for me for 2016.
  • It’s hard on your significant other too: I am so very lucky to have a wonderful and supportive husband, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my new career venture was hard on both of us. He was there for me through the ups and downs and some tears, and I’m grateful to have such a strong support system at home. But it’s a good reminder that when you work for yourself, those closest to you are affected as well.

Now that I have a year of working for myself under my belt, I’m feeling much more confident walking into 2016 with a solid foundation and ready to see what the new year has in store. 2016, bring it on.

Nakd Bars

When we were preparing for our trip to Europe last month, I made sure to pack all the snacks and paleo bars to get us through the 10 days we would be there.  But what I didn’t account for is the fact that I literally would not be able to eat anything on the flight over and that we would find ourselves in France on a National Holiday when everything was closed.  So needless to say, by the time we got to London, my trusty bag of snacks was gone.  Enter Nakd Bars.

Nakd BarsOne of the things the Englishman and I love to do when we travel is visit grocery stores.  In France, we spent a significant time in Carrefour and as soon as we arrived in London, we made a beeline for Tesco to stock up on goods for our Air BnB.  I was looking for some grain-free bars to replenish my stash and stumbled upon Nakd Bars.  Not only was the cheeky packaging great, the bars were made with minimal ingredients which is an automatic win in my book.  Plus, they had all sorts of fun flavors like Rhubarb and Custard and Cocoa Orange.

And I have to say, these bars are quite delicious!  They are lower in sugar than some of their American counterparts, and it was the perfect snack to keep me going through the remainder of our travels.  In fact, I bought a few more to get me through the flight home, and Virgin Atlantic surprised me by having a Nakd Bar in one of our snack boxes (which was much appreciated since I had just watched the Englishman eat a tasty ice cream bar an hour earlier).

nakd bar flavorsNaturally when I arrived home I immediately reached out to the Nakd Bars team to see if they had any distribution in the US.  While the bars aren’t in stores, you can order them online….OR you can win a sampler pack for yourself right now!

Nakd bars PackagingThe Nakd Bars team was kind enough to send me a box of bars to enjoy and are offering one lucky winner their own sampler box!  This will include their more traditional gluten-free bars as well as some of their “crunch” bars with soy protein.  And with so many delicious flavors offered, chances are you’ll fall in love with the bars as fast as I did. Word on the street is there’s a new Bakewell Tart flavor I can’t wait to try!

nakd wholefoods logoa Rafflecopter giveaway

  Offer open to U.S. residents only.  Ends 7/2/15.

Dinner at La Cave a Champagne

So I have one more France post that I feel I must share.  While in Epernay (my new favorite place), the Englishman and I had an amazing anniversary dinner at La Cave a Champagne at an insanely affordable price.  In fact, our dinner at La Cave a Champagne may rank as one of my top meals in LIFE.

La Cave a Champagne is a small, nondescript restaurant tucked away off a side street in the heart of Epernay.  In fact, we walked by it twice because we weren’t even sure it was open!  We saw someone else go inside so we quickly followed suit into the cozy restaurant that only seats about 30 people.

anniversary dinnerOnce we were seated we were presented with a variety of prix fixe three course menus ranging in price.  The Englishman and I both decided on one of the cheaper menus, which was three courses for roughly 25 euros a person.  It was also at this point I realized we were dining in a Michelin-star restaurant which was pretty exciting.  I should also note that all the pictures were taken with my cell phone camera since taking pictures of your food isn’t exactly the most popular thing to do in France.

We started our evening off with a glass of champagne, because when in Epernay, you drink champagne.  And of course it was delicious.

la cave a champagne champagneFor our first course, I had ordered the foie salad, and for some reason in my head I spaced out that “foie” means liver, but I actually really liked it!  The salad had chicken liver, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes and was dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette.  It was also my first time ever having chicken liver and I am pleased to report it did not disappoint.

foie saladThe Englishman ordered a seafood flan, which is exactly what it sounds like: seafood prepared in the same consistency as flan.  I’m used to traditional Mexican flan so this was a little strange for me, but the flavor was really good.

seafood flanFor the entrée course, I had to go with boeuf bourguignon, which came with some parsnip puree and potato gratin and it was outstanding.  I’m pretty sure I used my spoon to lap up every last bit of sauce.

beef burgundyThe Englishman went with salmon in a creamy sauce with lentils and potatoes.  We both shared bites of each other’s dishes and agreed they were fantastic.  But salmon is always a winner in my book so I knew I would like it.

salmon and lentilsThen it was time for dessert.  You can’t go to France and not indulge in the fromage, so naturally we ordered 3 different cheeses for dessert.  I’m pretty sure I housed the camembert all on my own.

fromageWe also ordered a trio of fresh fruit sorbet to go with our cheese.  It ended up being the perfect sweet and salty pairing and we found ourselves having bites of cheese followed quickly by a bite of sorbet.  Perfection.

sorbetI was beyond impressed with our dinner at La Cave a Champagne.  The food was top-notch and there wasn’t one dish we didn’t like.  We dined there on a Monday evening and by the time we left it was packed, which is just a true testament to how great the food is.

If you ever find yourself in Epernay, you MUST dine at this restaurant.  The quality of food and price can’t be beat.

Where have you had your most memorable meal aka where do I need to eat next?

Cooking with Sun Basket

It’s no secret that I like to cook.  I love creating healthy recipes and getting creative in the kitchen.  However there have been some times where I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut and just end up doing the same recipe over and over again.  When the team at Sun Basket reached out and asked if I would be interested in trying their service, I was intrigued.  So here’s my experience cooking with Sun Basket.

cooking with sun basketSun Basket is a meal delivery service that specializes in seasonal food from the Pacific coast.  All the ingredients in your delivery are from local farms and organic when possible.  Another cool thing about Sun Basket is you can choose your menu based on your dietary preferences.  I ended up going with the Paleo menu, but Sun Basket also offers a gluten-free and vegetarian menus, which are great for anyone with dietary restrictions.

cooking with sun basket bagsMy week came with 3 different meals and all the ingredients to prepare them.  The meals I ended up with were: Italian Sausage and Sauteed Kale, Chicken and Poached Eggs with Sweet Potato Hash and Vietnamese Fisherman’s Stew.

As promised, my delivery arrived with all of the ingredients already portioned out.  I also love how Sun Basket includes recipe cards for each meal.

sun basket bagFor our first dinner we went with the Italian sausage and sauteed kale and it was delicious! It was super easy to throw together and we had a delicious dinner in no time.

cooking with sun basket dishSince we had both worked out that day we also added a sweet potato for a little extra starch (per the recommendation on our recipe card) which was the perfect complement to the meal.  I also loved that the pork sausage came from Niman Ranch; it really shows how much Sun Basket prides itself on providing the best quality ingredients possible.

sun basket final mealFor the chicken and potato hash, the chicken was Mary’s organic and the cod provided in for the Vietnamese stew was organic as well which was great.  Each recipe took roughly a 1/2 hr to cook and there was plenty for two people.

So now here’s the fun stuff.  Sun Basket is offering one lucky reader a chance to win one FREE week of Sun Basket meals (that’s 3 meals for 2 people, a $60 value).  All you have to do is enter below (open to US residents only, sorry!).  And if you don’t win you can still get a pretty sweet 20% discount here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again to Sun Basket for hosting this giveaway and providing such delicious meals!  I’m already feeling more inspired in the kitchen!