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Footrr was created by my friend, fellow geek and fearless entrepreneur Kalob Taulien.  Kalob came into my world for Catalyst Creativ Week thanks to one of my best friends, the unstoppable Ingrid Schifer de Denis.  In addition to creating an innovative solution to monetize emails, Kalob shares my sarcastic sense of humor, love of all things downtown Las Vegas, and is on a mission to help your bottom line grow no matter who you are, what you do, or where you happen to be located.  If you are an entrepreneur, Kalob wants your business to boom thanks to his advertising solution and if you are an email user, Kalob wants you to make some money off emails you are going to send anyway.  How?  

Footrr.com is a radically new concept with a built-in profit sharing solution.  If you are one of the select few Footrr representatives, your bank account grows thanks to the passive revenue you make just by sending emails with sleek advertisements for preferred brands. You’re sending emails, so why not give some choice brands a little love while making money?  Total win-win.  Kalob and his team are on a mission to change the world one step at a time by giving everyone the opportunity to create their own income regardless of location and education.  

But does it work?  It’s new and currently in soft launch mode, but the numbers are impressive to say the least. The Footrr team announced that their ads have reached thousands and the click through rates are as high as 12.94%, which is about 1 in 8 people who see the advertisement actually have an interest and click on it to find out more information.  Just in case you aren’t a tech geek like me, those numbers are 647% higher than the average Google AdWords campaign.  The best part is that Kalob and his team have made sure customer service is their top priority, so you get affordable, effective exposure with a smile and genuine care that can only come from a founder who truly cares.  

Since I know you are going to want in on this, feel free to email Kalob directly at kalob@footrr.com or give them a follow on Twitter here.  

*Full disclosure: the only thing I got for raving about Kalob and his company was the photo of the cat. It’s a great cat photo, right?  LOL


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BossBabe

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You know I had to start with that headline because it was an amazing once in a lifetime experience thanks to the magical downtown community and Life is Beautiful team. As I was up there dancing, laughing, and savoring every last second, it hit me that we all have those moments where we don’t feel like we don’t belong. That feeling inside that you aren’t good enough? Those doubts that run through your head that you aren’t deserving?  That somehow people will discover the truth about you and- God forbid- discover that you aren’t cool.  Here’s the reality: you aren’t cool.  None of us are.  Even the coolest kids are merely the kids who embrace their weirdness and celebrate how different they are.  Up on that stage there was a motley crew of our community’s finest with one thing in common: a love of music and dancing.  All ages, all sizes, all backgrounds, and all connections to our community were all together enjoying the energy of music lovers coming together to celebrate the blood, sweat, and tears that the Life is Beautiful team puts into creating a once in a lifetime experience for our community each fall. Tickets went on sale this morning and if you haven’t bought yours yet, you gotta get on it before it sells out. Last night was an incredible experience, but the Life is Beautiful team goes above and beyond to make sure that all of us have a weekend overflowing with once in a lifetime experiences.  Buy your tickets here and fall in love with GirlTalk’s music here.  

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Last fall I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural Life Is Beautiful festival right that happened right in my back yard.  My favorite part was the Zappos sponsored VIP lounge at Commonwealth, where they had amazing hair stylists braiding your hair, offering fun lipsticks, delicious drinks, and free massages.  It was a delightful air conditioned reprieve from the heat.  Just this morning Life is Beautiful announced their headliners and they are even better than last year!  Kanye West, Foo Fighters, Outkast, Lionel Richie, oh my! If the music lineup doesn’t convince you tickets will be worth every penny then check out the culinary lineup, which includes new to Vegas chef Giada De Laurentiis.  A few tips: VIP is worth every penny.  Each stage has its’ own VIP seating and you can avoid the crushing crowds if you are VIP.  Also, you get into cool lounges like the one I enjoyed thanks to Zappos last year.  Embrace the prices. It’s like any festival, so just expect everything to be a little more expensive. Wear sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and don’t plan too far ahead. A huge part of the Life is Beautiful experience is just wandering around, soaking up the freshly painted murals, and letting your kids play in the fun kid areas.  Yes, you read that right- the entire festival is very kid friendly. My girls loved watching Capital Cities perform, putting their wishes into the metal heart that is now displayed at the Container Park, or painting a brick with their names.  If you missed out on the early bird general admission tickets you won’t want to miss the big ticket release this Thursday, June 26th or just click HERE. See you there my friends!  

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I am raising two little girls in the heart of downtown Las Vegas. Yup, give yourself a second there. You’re either impressed, gobsmacked, or judging that this is a terrible social experiment and probably more of a combination of all three.  The downtown Las Vegas community has been a great place for families since long before the Downtown Project moved into the area, but with the large influx of recent college graduates, tech entrepreneurs, and hipsters, often people think there isn’t any room for families with children.  So here it is my friends: the good, the bad and the not so green.  

GOOD:  Inspiration and free entertainment are endless.  Art walks through the Life is Beautiful art murals, inspiring stories shared at the Downtown Speaker series, or visiting Bud & Vine for a free lesson on cactus care are all excellent options.  Downtown is a very family friendly community, so you will find that even the trendiest tech hipster will be enthusiastic about sharing whatever project they are working on with you and your toddler. People in this community take a genuine interest and my girls are constantly learning from stand out characters that I can’t say would have worked their way into our lives outside of living here.  The girls have enjoyed rap lessons from rapper Zachg, meditation lessons from Allen Gaines, and were taught how to hoola hoop thanks to a Burning Man artist passing through.  Most restaurants have kids menus (La Comida and eat I am calling you out- get one soon please), all of them have enthusiastic staff that has always been friendly to my little ladies, and downtown businesses go out of their way to include children.  If it takes a community to raise a child, I am grateful that these girls are growing up in such an eclectic place.  


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BAD:  The worst part about downtown is that you can have two entirely different experiences if you don’t have a local tour guide to point you in the right direction. There just isn’t enough quite yet, so if you end up at the wrong venue or around the wrong group of people you can have a miserable time and never want to come back.  Now, on the flip side, if you bump into the right group of people at the Container Park on the right afternoon that you can fall so in love with this community that you’ll move.  Also, it can be easy to feel like an outsider if you aren’t outgoing. Forcing yourself to say hello, smile, and introduce yourself will go a long way to connecting to like minded downtown families. Make sure that you subscribe to the Downtown Project newsletter or use their handy application to make sure that you know what is going on and, when in doubt, double check that children are welcome. It can be expensive at some of the trendier, more tourist priced hot spots, so when in doubt spend some time at the always affordable and delicious Gold Spike playing with their free games for kids and adults.    

NOT SO GREEN:  There is a huge lack of green space in all metropolitan areas, but downtown Las Vegas certainly could use more than the Container Park to give children the ability to run off their boundless energy. We make a twice weekly trek out to the beautiful Desert Breeze community park, where the expansive soccer fields, three covered play areas, and covered picnic tables always deliver two exhausted ladies who are ready for an easy bed time.  


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Life is a roller coaster. We all experience the high highs, the low lows, and the not entirely memorable average days in between.  The past couple of months for me have fallen into the mostly low low category, though I have put on a brave face and a big smile for the sake of my two little ladies.  All of this culminated in my first ever obstacle course race thanks to one of my best friends, who happened to have extra tickets and insisted that all fitness levels would be welcome.  With less than a month in the gym, admittedly mostly to have a healthy outlet for my frustration at the dramatic changes in my life, I threw on workout gear and went all in on Memorial Day weekend for the Bad Ass Dash.  

My best friend, Karen, describes the Bad Ass Dash as a quick, fun way to spend a Saturday morning with a 5 mile run and 40 fun obstacles. For this curvy girl it was the physical embodiment of all of the challenges that I have faced over the last couple of months. The jog through the horse pens with intermittent push up stops represented the daily struggle just to keep moving forward one step at a time. Every time that I would think that I could not get through it or that I might not make it, I forced myself to keep my eyes on the future and focus on the three hard core friends who were waiting for me at the end of each obstacle. The somersaults- something that was incredibly easy when I was a kid- left me dizzy and unable to focus, which reminded me that just because something used to be easy doesn’t mean it always will be. Running stairs reminded me that there is always a mountain in your life to climb and that even if I was climbing each painstaking stair at a snails pace, it was my pace and that I would get there. One of the final obstacles was an almost endless amount of cattle gates that I had to crawl over and there was no skipping. By this time I was almost two hours in, drenched in sweat, black and blue, scraped up, and losing the spirited fire that had kept me going for most of the race.  If someone had offered me an option to quit, I confess that I would have. Frankly, it was the best thing that there was no option. My only option was to keep going forward. To haul my big booty over each and every one of those cattle gates. Those gates represented that even when you want to quit, sometimes quitting isn’t even an option, so you just have to haul your ass over the obstacle in front of you no matter how much pain you are in.  At the end of it all I was more physically sore, beaten up, and proud than I had been in the previous two months. I had to kick my own ass to uncover that I really was a bad ass. 

The Social Media show was created by Sam Dever, a stand out character who can be found in a pink gorilla suit or salivating over kale.  Sam is an excellent videographer, marketing genius, and all around community minded leader.  The lovely lady interviewing me is talented hostess, model, actress, and all around fabulous human being Asia Jade.  I love talking social media, but I especially love talking about it with these two.  Enjoy!

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I screw up. Like daily. Today I let the cat out of the bag and I don’t know that I should count it as today’s screw up or Monday’s because it really hit the public then, but was noticed today. Hell, let’s call it even and credit Tuesday. Yes, I blame that one on Tuesday. Sounds fair. Here’s the reality check my friends: you screw up daily, too. Even the most cautious among you, the risk averse safety one who refuses to jay walk, who follows all the safe rules, or who dares not drive even a mile over the speed limit. The biggest screw up you are doing each day is playing it safe rather than digging in and getting messy in this life.  

Last Saturday I went out in this fabulous sexy new dress with my girlfriends and, as we were crossing Las Vegas Boulevard in my ridiculous sexy heels I fell flat on my ass, having rolled an ankle. My best friend, Kat, says it “looked like a minor slip up you recovered well from,” but it felt like the normal girl equivalent of Naomi Campbell falling on her face in the middle of a Fashion Week runway. A homeless gentleman was kind enough to laugh hysterically and then remember as we walked back by later that evening. I was mortified. Falling flat on your ass in a fabulous dress, wether physically, emotionally, or professionally, teaches you more than being adored ever will in this life. Lessons I learned that night? My girlfriends will pick me up when I fall, I have the ability to smile through even the least glamorous moments in my life, and margaritas are as effective on rolled ankle pain as Tylenol.

How often do you hold back daring to take a chance or be bold in your daily life? You worry what people will think or you worry what will happen. The truth of the matter is that you are really afraid of the amazing things that could happen if you dared to live so boldly. The dream guy, the dream job, the dream investor- if you want to live the dream you dream about, it will demand that you set aside your fears and get on with living your best life. Everyone falls flat on their ass at some point.  Oprah Winfrey struggled with her television network after decades of record setting success.  Every actress who hits the big screen had to go through a hundred auditions she didn’t get before she got the role of a lifetime. Each entrepreneur that was an “overnight success” spent years failing forward just to achieve what appears to have happened in a flash.  

I used to spend my days worrying. I worried about the story that others would tell about me. I worried about the people who didn’t like me. I could call them haters, but let’s be honest, not everyone in this world is going to understand you and, frankly, some just aren’t going to like you. That’s cool because life is a quality over quantity game and the people you click with- the ones who must have been family in another life- will appreciate you, celebrate you, and invest in you enough to justify a lifetime of joy. It always surprises me when I hear that someone from my past is still focused on me and how I spend my days. I am sincerely too busy raising two beautiful little lady leaders and improving myself to give you a second thought. Whatever you focus on grows, so focus on investing in the people who feed your soul. Focus on being bold, taking the chances, and getting messy in this life by truly living it.  Everything you want is on the other side of fear and worry.  


Recently the hilarious Mack Holiday set about creating a video about why our DTLV (downtown Las Vegas) community is so happy and my youngest daughter, Mia, and I had the opportunity to be in it.  Our family loves living, working, and playing in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, so this was a great opportunity to share it with all of you.  Check it out and let me know what you think. Be happy!  

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My best friend from Canada, the unstoppable Katharina Hueggenberg, has been visiting me in downtown Las Vegas for the first time over the last week.  Part of her visit has been experiencing all of my favorite places: checking in at Gold Spike, sunning at the Ogden pool, and enjoying all of the delicious food at restaurants like eat.  On Saturday we heard about the ridiculous 40-80% off sale at my favorite boutique in downtown, the ever eclectic, always inspired coterie.  I love this retail gem located in the heart of the Fremont East district in a former check cashing spot and was thrilled to see that it recently went through a much needed expansion to be able to offer even more of their unique items. This divine boutique is the perfect place to find a unique t shirt from one of the Downtown Project businesses as a souvenir, to splurge on a great ensemble for a special event, or just to find a fabulous accessory.  I love that you can find pieces for $20 all the way up to luxury pieces that go into the hundreds of dollars, but each carefully curated to ensure beautiful manufacturing and maximum style.  

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Count on my best friend to find the perfect dress right there on the coterie rack.  This beautiful Bailey44 dress in a delicious stretchy cotton with stripes going in all the right directions was absolutely perfect.  Cinching in my waist, emphasizing my curves, and as comfortable as a well worn t shirt, it demanded a ladies night out.  So we did just that!  A charity date auction with delicious wine surrounded by three of my favorite friends was just what Saturday night demanded and it was absolutely perfect. When you look great, you feel great and great things happen.  All the more reason to get on in to coterie to find your perfect piece!

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I am the child of immigrants.  My father was born in Japan and my mother was born in Canada, so I spent the first 18 years of my life hearing about how I could truly be anything I wanted to be when I grew up- even President of the United States- just because I was born in the United States of America.  Both of my grandfathers are retired military veterans who served their country proudly and I have spent the last 15 years on social media posting about how Veterans Day means more than an extra day off school and work. It is with absolutely no excuse that I confess: at 34 years old I just voted for the first time.  I wish I could tell you it was because I didn’t live in the country (ok for 5 years that was the case) or that I didn’t have a vocal opinion (nah, come on people, you’ve met me), but my excuses for the 16 years of voting throughout my adult life that I missed out on are pathetic.  There’s the career I was always working non stop to build only to bail for the free wheelin’ life of an entrepreneur, then there were the workaholic tendencies as an entrepreneur, and, finally (and most pathetically) there was the lamest excuse of all that I did not know how to register to vote. Because, I book international flights on line, am raising two children, and operate a motor vehicle, but googling registering to vote never made it onto my radar.  Seriously, I’m a sad case over here.  Rather than focus on how a 34 year old American woman gets here, let’s talk about what kicked my ass to change things.  

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It’s all about this guy.  I met Jose and Olga Padilla at a political fundraising dinner that I really didn’t want to be at.  For those of you who know me, you know I hate any dinner that involves dressing up and sharing why you think you are important in a room of other important people, but this was for the benefit of a charity that I passionately believe in, so attending with my cheerleader smile on in full force was not negotiable.  Jose and Olga had recently relocated to the Las Vegas valley and, on top of being ridiculously good looking, they are just the nicest, most humble people.  Jose is so humble that he dove head first into the political shark tank of Nevada politics with a determined heart to cause real change for our community. All of his campaign literature will tell you about how he is a child of immigrant parents, the first in his family to graduate college, and a kick ass legal eagle. All of that sounds great, but I’d like to share fun facts about Jose Padilla that you won’t find in any of that literature. First, he is the first Harvard grad that I’ve ever met who is absolutely not a douche bag.  He doesn’t even lead with the Ivy league connection and proudly shares the story of being a fish out of water when he attended. Second, he has a technology background and believes in innovation, entrepreneurism, and changing the world. Yup, he’s just crazy enough to believe that the crazy people like me will make the world a better place.  Finally, he is about as hands on as they come.  He made sure that I got registered (remarkably easy and entirely painless), celebrated when I got my butt into the poles for the first time ever, and has made a point of checking on my girls and I as we have transitioned to being a single parent family.  I don’t know if he’s going to win, but if his ability to get me voting for the first time at the age of 34 is any indication of his ability to cause change in our community, I sure as hell hope he does.