Posts in Life
Making Life Easier
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Taking one step at a time makes life much easier to navigate rather than always looking at the big picture.

These last few weeks I have been feeling extremely exhausted and overwhelmed. My agenda has been packed to the brim and life has been nothing short of slightly-organized-chaos to say the least.

I want to shed a little bit of light on owning your own biz and then we'll get right into today’s post 😃 (I'll try to keep this short + sweet. Edited to add — I definitely do not keep this sweet + short.)

It is very obvious that society glamorizes entrepreneurship and portrays small business ownership as always being aesthetically pleasing desks, brunch + champagne on a Wednesday morning with your gal pals and ultimately the most freeing endeavor you could ever take on. This is not the whole truth. ESPECIALLY, if / when you hold a full time corporate job AND run a full time business.

We know there are always two sides to the coin and although I will not get into every detail (that can be left for another day, another blog post), I'll just say this: owning + operating your very own business is extremely demanding and often resembles emotions that follow the tracks of a roller-coaster. It is HARD, it is NOT always glamorous and some days you will question, why the hell you even started said business in the first place.

This ^^ tidbit leads me to part 2 of this post.

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Last week I was having a legitimate pity party; really feeling sorry for myself. My phone would NOT stop buzzing from the moment I woke up to the time I laid down in bed. I was on the verge of being completely over it. Then one of my clients said some very kind words that shattered every ill feeling I had brewed up in my head in regards to my business. It was just what I needed just when I needed it. I think this is what they call as the beginning stages of “small business burn out”.

**please note: this post is not directed toward any of my clients! This post is about ME. I have been incredibly lucky to have such awesome + inspiring + caring clients who 9/10 become real-life friends. 

This is going to be a really ramble-y post so please bare with me if you haven’t already checked out!

Last Wednesday a few local small biz owners and I met at The Yoke Bar and Grill in downtown Coffeyville for a work night. We set up camp with our laptops and agendas / to-do lists in tow. One of the ladies that joined us is getting ready to start an online boutique and is in the midst of transitioning from a blog to an ecommerce site. We were just chatting and kind of outlining her next steps to prep for her launch. <— Business strategy + start up is something that really lights my ass up. I love + crave it.

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It was in those conversations that I had a revelation. I used to blog "just for fun" and because I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, it seems as if, when I felt like I *had* to blog or *had* to produce content is when it took all of the fun out of it. I completely recluse’d from the blogging scene because it didn't feel natural to me anymore--it always felt as if I need to have some kind of angle to every post. I don’t like that. Sometimes I just want to jump on and tell you guys how my week is going, the fun that I’m up to, or hell, even the stress I’m feeling and how I’m coping. I want to share about all of my woo-woo ideas and metaphysical obsessions. Sometimes, though, I just want to share things that are superficial, like the products I’m currently loving, the ULTA haul that cost me damn near a mortgage, flea market finds and all of that good rot. Now that I have Rad Maverix Republic (for all things biz development), I’m really hoping to get back to the roots of Rad Maverix, a life + style blog.

I wish I could explain in words how many blog posts I have started, just to be left in "draft". And how many video's I've recorded just to be left on my camera or half-ass edited in iMovie. I've been in a mega funk about blogging and I don't know how to explain it.

I have failed several times and I expect and plan to continue failing because honestly that’s how I learn. Failing helps me identify what I suck at, it helps me figure out a new plan but also helps me further identify my strengths. And obviously “GRACEFULLY HANDLING IT ALL” is not one of my strengths at the moment. You live, you learn + then you do better.

Another note. Which may come to your surprise. I don’t like being the center of attention and I don't like people looking at me. As a matter of fact, I loath the thought of being in the spotlight. And although I love to document what I’m up to, events I’m attending and new adventures I’m exploring – I do NOT like asking people (most of the time it's JF) to take my photo. And 90% of the time when I’m doing ^^ said “life” things, I love being in the moment and honestly...documenting for the sake of social media is not really on my mind. I have faced many hardships that most people don’t know about and I have (luckily) learned to appreciate and enjoy every moment on this beautiful earth. So I still need to learn that sweet spot of documenting but still living in the moment.

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With my schedule + sanity as it is, I can in no way, shape or form, promise a regular schedule of blog posts. I'm going to try and get on here and just write what’s on my mind, what I'm up to, what I'm obsessing over, maybe an occasional #ootd and all of the chaos that’s happening at the Rad Maverix HQ. And you know what, to be completely honest with you, after giving this a shot I might come to find that blogging doesn’t really serve me anymore. And if that’s the case, that’s okay too! No need to force something that doesn’t add value to my life or those around me. 

 

That’s it for today I think I’ve rambled on enough. Thanks for reading and following my journey.

If you're a long time blog “follower” &/or a member of the Rad Maverix Lifestyle FB Group, I have good news.

But I’m not announcing until next week. 😁

 

Xx, Riss

LifeMerrissa
VEGAS: We Came, We Saw + We Conquered
Rad Maverix

Phew. What a whirlwind of a trip. Our annual outings to Las Vegas are always fun yet exhausting yet exciting yet tiring. As much as I love hitting the tarmac to Sin City I always equally, if not more, love hopping on that homebound flight. (This feels like a trend...I guess that’s what happens when you love to travel but are also a homebody!)

We landed in Vegas on Saturday, Dec 9th and kind of just chilled at the Casino for a bit. We always stay at the Golden Nugget mostly because we love that old school / classy style of Las Vegas and also because this is where JF’s family has traditionally stayed over the last several decades. Saturday night we hung out for a bit, gambled…ate…drank…this is a common theme for this trip… Eventually we headed to the South Point to hang out with some friends and watch the Aaron Watson concert. 

love notes

love notes

*Spray tan coming in clutch*

*Spray tan coming in clutch*

We didn’t get too wild Saturday night because I had a mini photoshoot with my good friend Tyler Bicknell (owner over at Tyler Bicknell Photography) Sunday morning.

When I say 7a came early, it came FREAKIN’ EARLY. Tyler met me at the Nugget and we jumped in an Uber to the nearest scenic place we could google, Springs Preserve.

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We walk in and start taking photos as if nothing is wrong besides the fact that I had not had any coffee yet. We get to the ticket window where we are kindly informed that professional photog’s are not allowed to shoot on the property without approval from the Spring Preserve’s Supervisor…………

*crickets*

So we turn around and walk towards the public street where we decided we’d just catch a few more shots on the way out and call it good. Then we see a security guard zoom by on his golf cart as if he were looking for 2 trespassers 😅. We were conveniently hidden in-between bushes / trees. LOL BUT I HAD TO GET IN JUST ONE MORE OUTFIT BUT THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE TO CHANGE. So we hop in the nearest elevator, I changed my clothes and I’m pretty sure Tyler saw more of me than she wanted to that morning.

We make it a quick shoot and get an Uber back to our hotels. Tyler had another shoot at the Miss Rodeo pageant and my group was heading to Cowboy Christmas to do some shopping. (When in reality all we shopped for was alcoholic drinks.)

Later that night we went to the Thomas & Mack to watch the NFR and then to Caesars Palace where I enjoyed a $19 (nineteen) mimosa; And I thought $11 was outrageous in the ATL! The gang gambled and I continued to get massages while sitting and watching JF play blackjack. When I started dozing off at the card table I decided it was time to hit the sack. 

Monday rolls around and it is the same story, gamble, eat, drink. However, the fun part started at dinner where I got to meet up with an old college friend, Kristina. I may or may not have talked her into going out to a bar and drinking one too many lemon drop shots …when she obviously had to be at work the next morning.

We started the night at the Golden Steer Steakhouse; it was good, although I must say the atmosphere and the service made the experience fun. And WE ended the night at the “western” bar, Gilley’s, inside of the Treasure Island. There was a lot of fun to be had, and honey, WE HAD IT.

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It was the next morning that I would swear I would *never drink again* for the 10,000th time in my life.

We eventually packed our bags and got the heck out of dodge and back to God’s country.

 

 

Rad Maverix + Brittany Coffee Photography
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Rad Maverix

 

Until next time,

Riss

LifeMerrissa
A Guide To Staying Rad During the Holidaze
Staying Rad During the Holidaze

My Christmas tree has been up for 3 weeks and I’ve been blaring Christmas music since November 1st.

You know, its kinda funny because I’m actually the type of person that waits to put their Christmas tree up last minute. But truth be told, I’m taking a different approach to the holiday season this year. Although the happiest time of the year, it is also the busiest time and I know my schedule picks up significantly after the middle of November. So putting up the Christmas tree when the time suited me was the perfect choice this year. Plus I get to enjoy the lights + cheer a bit longer than most.

(And no, it doesn't mean I'm trying to skip Thanksgiving.)

A few of my intentions this holiday season:

  • Prep + plan. No waiting until December 24th to stress out and start my Christmas shopping. As I mentioned above, I'm completing my holiday check list as time suits me. 

  • Be present in all family functions, this is an ongoing goal of mine. Put the damn phone down, chat with family + friends, get to know your family on a deeper level.

  • Give back more. A few weeks ago I did some work for one of my clients, Shelbie, owner over at ShelbieLFitness.com. She overpaid her invoice by 35% to show her gratitude for me and all I've done for her these last few months. At that moment I decided to take that extra $ and give back to a charity this holiday season. (#radgirltip: if money is a bit tight this year but you still want to give back, donate your time!)

  • Daily gratitude. Reflecting on the day I had and jotting down the small things that made me happy or grateful. (I included a 2 pg gratitude journal in the guide to staying rad during the holidaze!)

I hope to sip my coffee (+ hot cocoa!) a little slower and enjoy the smallest of joys this Christmas.

What are your intentions + desires this holiday season? If you're like me and wanting to make the best of it, download my short guide to surviving the holidaze! Make sure and catch up with us in the Rad Maverix Lifestyle Facebook group and let us know what you're up to and how you're staying rad this holiday season. 

 

PS - ShelbieLFitness and I have collaborated on a small giving back project this year.

You can purchase the tee below for $30 and 100% of the proceeds will be given to families in need this holiday season.

this is a pre-sale and if you order by sunday, december 3rd, you can score free shipping by using code "freeship".

 

xx,

Riss

Life, Beauty + WellnessMerrissa
Dining: Samantha's - Bartlesville, Okla

It’s the perfect blend of a southern steakhouse and a chic Parisian bistro. We sat outside by a prominent fireplace, under a canopy, a string of porch lights and soft-playing music. We were in Oklahoma but the atmosphere felt like a quaint café in Paris. The vibe was just right.

Rad Maverix - Samantha's Bartlesville, OK
Rad Maverix - Samantha's Bartlesville, OK

We started the evening off with mimosas, martinis and an appetizer of roasted red pepper hummus, toasted crostini’s (warm toast for the simple folk), celery + carrots. The hummus was not your typical store-bought bean dip. It was creamy with bits of red pepper and drizzles of oil for good measure. The hummus appetizer was quite a bit of food, I’d say it could suit 4-5 people but the two of us pretty much devoured it. Other appetizers on Samantha’s menu that I would like to try sometime include their crab cakes, bacon wrapped jalapeños and the bruschetta…because #carbs.

After a couple of drinks and demolishing the appetizer we were feeling a bit full so we decided to share an entree. The special Friday night was a ribeye topped with grilled shrimp and sides of roasted veggies and garlic + rosemary potatoes. I was actually blown away by the quality of the meat and seafood. We asked for a medium rare cooked steak and if you eat meat / steak, you’ve probably witnessed that not all medium-rare steaks are the same. However, this one was cooked perfectly with a warm red center.

We finished the evening with good conversation and a Crème brûlée. 

Samantha's is a great place to host dinner parties or grab a light lunch. They have a variety of sitting areas ranging from under a gazebo, on the deck, at the bar or your traditional indoor seating. Next time you're looking for a place to host a celebration make sure to check Samantha's out! 

Rad Maverix - Samantha's Bartlesville, OK
Rad Maverix - Samantha's Bartlesville, OK

 

 

Samantha's is located in Downtown Bartlesville on the corner of 4th and Shawnee.

 

Make a Reservation

TELEPHONE

918.876.1591

HOURS

LUNCH: Tuesday - Friday, 11a - 2p

DINNER: Tuesday - Saturday, 5p - ?

 

Until next time.

 

xx, Riss

Life, Food + DrinkMerrissa
Seagrove Beach, FL Recap
Rad Maverix

As much as I love traveling I always love pulling into the driveway of our home after a week of exploring just as much...if not more. Last week we flew down to Florida to celebrate the wedding of JF’s sister and new brother-in-law. The wedding was beyond picture perfect, with a light breeze and the beautiful gulf shores behind the ceremony; it really could have been something straight out of a fairy-tale.

We flew out at 6am.

This is what happens when you ask your significant other what time they’d prefer to fly out and you get no response or… “I don’t care”. You book the earliest flight available and start vacation at the crack ass of dawn.

We decided to get a hotel room at the Hardrock and head down to Tulsa the night before our flight so we wouldn’t have to drive as far in the morning to get to the TUL INT’L Airport. 3:15am came mighty early. So there we were, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed leaving our vehicle at the airport valet because…who wants to walk 2 miles at 4:30 in the morning with 50+ lbs of luggage. While checking our bags, the receptionist gladly informed us that our luggage was 6 lbs overweight and we would need to pay an add’l $100 for the extra 6 lbs…………….

There I was, chucking clothes into my carryon bag like I was robbing a bank. Of course you feel like everyone in line is staring and judging like ‘omg, is this their first time flying’. LOL, no Gerald, I just like to be prepared—who knows if I’ll want to wear a cute romper or yoga pants on Sunday? 

After making it through security we run to the nearest coffee shop and I scarf down a bagel, fresh fruit cup and a large black coffee—don’t judge me, I like my coffee like I like my clothes—blacker than black.

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We arrive in the ATL and have a couple of hours to spare before our next flight so we hit up the TGIFriday’s and grab a couple appetizers and mimosas. If you ever want to try an $11 mimosa, go to TGIFriday’s. That shit better have been Cristal.

Sooner or later we arrive at the Panama City Airport, the tiniest airport I’ve ever seen. I think there were only like 4 terminals. I call for an Uber and we enjoy one more adult beverage—because #vaca. We finally arrive at the house we’re staying at and literally all I wanted to do is sleep. The house we stayed in was a 3 story home with 3 different units. It was beautiful, the top floor was it's own unit and the bottom and second floor were both split level units; all 3 units had their own kitchens / full bathrooms and entry doors. 

We waited for a few people to fly in and just hung out on the deck and caught up with old friends. 

Come Friday morning we got up, some walked down to the beach to watch the dolphins and others enjoyed the plush pillows + soft sheets. 

The guys made a liquor run and the girls all headed down to the beach to catch some rays. It was the perfect afternoon; friends, pina colada's and mexican food on the beach. 

Rad Maverix
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That evening we had the rehearsal dinner and the groom's family rental. This home was literally something out of an HGTV magazine. It was a modern home with a slight touche of Joanna + Chip.

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Saturday morning comes and all of the bridesmaids shack up in the Bride's room to get hair & makeup done. Of course we snacked on cheese + fruit platters and sipped on Mimosa's.

When I tell you Jessie looked like a Model out of the Oklahoma Bridal Magazine— I am not exaggerating in the least bit. She looked absolutely stunning. So did the entire bridal party; what a great looking group of people 😉

Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
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After the wedding ceremony + photos, we all headed back up to the house where we held the reception / after party. We had Nick N' Jim's BBQ and all kinds of adult beverages on tap. 

Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix

I don't think Jessie + Billy could have picked a better location. Everything about their wedding was beautiful and magical in the most simplest of terms. 

Photo by Sarah &amp; Paul Photography

Photo by Sarah & Paul Photography

Photo by Sarah &amp; Paul Photography&nbsp;

Photo by Sarah & Paul Photography 

Day 4 rolls around and the guys (graciously) woke up early to pick up the decorations and clean up a bit. I considered this our 'chill day', all of the anxiety and worrisome of pulling off a destination wedding was finally lifted off of everyone's shoulders. We all sat on the beach, soaked up the sun and enjoyed each others company.

Sunday night we went out to dinner at 723 Whiskey Bravo; I think there were nearly 30 of us so they sat us all in our own little room. The food was so good. We ordered fried mac and cheese sticks with a chipotle aioli sauce and a smoked gouda cheese dip topped with ground beef and tortilla chips for appetizers. I ordered the shrimp pasta + JF ordered the filet. It was all so so good. 

We hit the sack at a decent time Sunday evening because our flight left Panama City at 9:45 the next morning and that was at least a 40 min drive from the house. I could barely sleep Sunday night because I was so scared we wouldn't be able to find an Uber at 7am. Luckily we did! 

Our friends, Bekah, her husband Cody and Shannon were on the same flights back home so when our first flight landed in the ATL, we stopped at the Carrabba's and had a bite to eat to pass time until our next flight to Tulsa.

We make it to Bartlesville to pick up the dogs from Grandma's house and we finally opened the gates to our house about 6p. It felt so good to be home. I lit ALL of my fall-scented candles, jumped in my chair, cuddled with my dogs and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I am already looking at my calendar and trying to figure out when I can get back to Seagrove Beach. I'm hoping Jessie takes us on their anniversary trip next year 😉

 

Until next time.

xx

Riss

Rad Maverix
LifeMerrissa
Cain's + Mother's Day

Now, I can’t promise these weekend recaps every week because let’s be honest, my weekend life is pretty much low-key 99% of the time. I AIN’T LYING.

On Friday, JF and I were debating (JF couldn’t decide if he wanted to go...) on whether or not we were going to a concert in Tulsa or stay home. Long story short, we hitched a ride down to Tulsa with his Aunt + Uncle (they’re the cool/hip aunt and uncle in the family) and then planned on riding back with JF’s cousins so we didn’t have to get a hotel room or drive. Nine times out of ten when we go out in Tulsa we will get a hotel room so we can have fun and just uber back to the hotel instead of worrying about a DD or how we're going to get home. Unfortunately, (cough - JF - cough) waited too long to decide if he wanted to go and the hotel we prefer to stay at was sold out.

When we arrived to Tulsa we were a bit early so we ate dinner at the Mexicali Border Café, I had the wet burrito (sounds disgusting but tastes like heaven) and a margarita. After dinner we stopped for drinks at the Inner Circle Vodka Bar to meet up with the rest of his family. You guys! The Inner Circle Vodka Bar is what dreams are made of, it is SO cool. They have these badass old storage containers (think train car storage) they turned into cabanas and beer pong that is actually played with trash barrels and volleyballs instead of red solo cups and a ping pong ball. It was fabulous & I wish I could have stayed a bit longer.

 

Photo by  @katiea44

Photo by @katiea44

We strolled over to Cain’s where the Flatland Cavalry and William Clark Green were playing. It was way too much fun. Plus I got to see a lot of friends that I had no idea would be there.


We ended up staying with Jake’s sister + her fiancé in their hotel room at the Fairfield Marriot. There were 7 of us in one hotel room. Three people to a bed and one on the floor. You didn’t catch me complaining though I was just happy to see a bed! We woke up earlyish and headed back home after we received a call about one of our heifers struggling to deliver twins.

We got back to town, checked on the heifer, showered, met Jake’s cousins for lunch and then I *had* to nap before I did anything else. I swear, home girl can’t hang like she used too. I’m pretty sure that was the best nap of my life. That evening we drove over to Cherryvale to JF’s soon-to-be brother-in-law’s graduation party; hung out for a bit, shoved my face with more food and headed back home.

Sunday Morning I woke up early and drove over to the lake to spend time with my mom / queen / favorite goddess. The guys did most of the work, they cooked us lunch and we sat around and enjoyed mimosas. It was such a relaxing day and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.

 

How was your Mother's Day Weekend? 

 

xx, Riss

 

 

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LifeMerrissa
A Solid 10 Out Of 10 WKND
Rad Maverix

I had the best (read: relaxing) weekend I have had in a long time. I think the exhaustion from moving out of our old home has finally moved on.

Friday Night (Cinco De Mayo) JF and I played a round of golf and enjoyed fajitas and too much chips + salsa. BUT this wasn’t until I had successfully smashed my finger in the gate of a stock trailer. Where we are currently living is right on the highway so when I leave I like to put our adopted dog, Jig, in one of the half top trailers so he doesn’t get ran over on the highway. He has separation anxiety and feels the need to follow my vehicle until he can’t keep up. Anyways - I was hurriedly trying to close the gate and got ahead of myself. Fortunately, I have acrylic/fake nails on and the pressure of the smash first split the acrylic half way down and then split my natural nail right down the middle. I may have said a few cuss words. :)

Saturday morning I woke up early and headed down to Owasso for lunch with Momma J. We sat out on the patio of Red Robin; I had the Avo-Cobb-O salad and we shared onion strings. Holy shit, it was so good.

Red Robin's Avo-Cobb-O Salad

Red Robin's Avo-Cobb-O Salad

Scored a vintage Christian Dior Walking Umbrella at Southern Magnolias

Scored a vintage Christian Dior Walking Umbrella at Southern Magnolias

Then we went on down to the Rose District, a shopping neighborhood in the heart of Broken Arrow. If you’re localish and have not made it yet, I highly suggest making a trip! We stopped in several of the shops which included a variety of different styles from antiques / junk to modern day apparel + decor. My two favorite stores have to be the American Hatfield and On The Corner. American Hatfield is an old school camping / adventure + overall All-American kinda store ;). It was right up my alley & I didn’t want to leave...I might have asked if I could move in. The On The Corner store is more of a vendor-supplied store where individuals set up their own booths. I bought some Finchberry soap (a handcrafted Vegan soap) that is TO DIE FOR in the flavor Citizen's A-Rest and a couple stationary items.

Southern Magnolia's

Southern Magnolia's

The Heath Brownie + Coconut Chocolate Chip Macarons at Roll-O's Bakery

The Heath Brownie + Coconut Chocolate Chip Macarons at Roll-O's Bakery

American Hatfield

American Hatfield

American Hatfield

American Hatfield

American Hatfield

American Hatfield

After we meandered around the district we made our way to The Rooftop, an open-air hangout with gourmet pizza + house made sangria. We watched the traffic of the thriving downtown community and shared the Top Shelf Margarita Pizza and each had a mango + original frozen margarita.

I finished Saturday night off with a trip to Target and a spray tan because I’m that basic.

I woke up at 6:50 Sunday morning and took the dogs outside to play fetch. Deets (our puppy, pictured below) has a knack for waking you up just to play fetch. We played for a while and then we napped until 10am and then went back outside to play and get some good ole Vitamin D. Sunday afternoon I helped my friend Katie set up for her son’s 4th birthday party. The theme was Cowboys + Indians and it turned out fabulously. We ended Sunday hanging out with friends/family and an almost failed attempt at a game of baseball. I only got to run around the bases once but my glutes are killing me today. I almost forgot. Remember how I said Deets likes to play fetch? Well, he decided he wanted to play while we were playing baseball...the bases were loaded and my team hit a grounder, Deets snatched the ball up and ran away from the opposing team allowing all of us to score a run. I have never laughed so hard in my life. Deets just pranced up to me like he was so proud. I wish we had it recorded...it surely would have won the grand prize on America's Funniest Home Videos ;). 

 

All in all, definitely a solid 10 out of 10 weekend. I'm leaving you with a couple photos of the kids. 

 

Deets

Deets

Gus

Gus

Clara

Clara

Until next time, Riss

 

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LifeMerrissaJournal
Back in Black + 10 Inspiring Springtime Quotes
Rad Maverix

 

And she's back. Back in Black.

I don't know how anyone could ever get tired of wearing black. My favorite colors include black, dark black, light black, pastel black, faded black, neutral black and pitch black. Even in the spring and summer I tend to gravitate towards black. I'm sharing a simple #ootd and my favorite springtime quotes to inspire you to live a little more this springtime.

Spring has always been a reset button or a re-birthing of some sort for me. The flowers start coming back to life, you actually want to be outside and we can't forget about the cleansing affect from the thunderstorms that Mother Nature tends to bring us. 

 


springtime challenge

I challenge you to check one thing off of your bucket list (or create a list!) this spring. Go to your local zoo, have a picnic, go pick fresh fruit at a local farm or plant your very own garden! Visit all of the best flea markets or create a sassy flower crown. Don't forget to open your house/car windows and enjoy the fresh breeze!

10 inspiring springtime quotes

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush." - Doug Larson

"With the coming of spring, I am calm again." - Gustav Mahler

"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep the Spring from coming." - Pablo Neruda

"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" - Robin Williams

"I believe in process. I believe in four seasons. I believe that winter's tough, but spring's coming. I believe that there's a growing season. And I think that you realize that in life, you grow. You get better." - Steve Southerland

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade." - Charles Dickens

"An optimist is the human personification of spring." - Susan J. Bissonette

"I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen." - Anne Lamott

"Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day." - W. Earl Hall

"The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently." - Gary Zukav

Rad Maverix Springtime

#ootd

Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix

Photos by Kaci Jo Bute Photography

 

Big plans for spring? I'm planning to spend as much time outside as possible. 

 

xx, Riss

 


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Style, LifeMerrissaOOTD
How to Start a Blog: Part 2 (Choosing the Best Blog Platform)
How to Start a Blog - Rad Maverix

This is part 2 of the How to Start a Blog Series and it may be the most overwhelming; choosing the best blogging platform FOR YOU. If you’re new to blogging then you’re probably asking yourself, “What even is a platform”? A blogging platform is the software or service that you will use to publish your content onto the internet in the form of a blog / website. It is simply a content management system.

Please note, I've seen people get really sensitive + defensive about their respective blogging platform. At the end of the day, you need to choose what fits best for YOU! Do your research if you're not 110% confident on which platform to use! The opinions in this article are just that...my opinions + experiences. 

A little history on the Rad Maverix website:

Rad Maverix originally started on the (free) Wordpress.com platform. Wordpress.com is great for beginner bloggers who don’t want the commitment of the monthly / annual fee of having a website but still would like to add a SMALL bit of customization to their blog. I emphasis SMALL BIT because you are pretty limited on the customization's available on the free software.

After a few months on Wordpress.com I felt a bit restricted on the design/customization side of things so I switched over to the self-hosted software, Wordpress.org. Both versions of WP, the .com and .org’s have essentially the same dashboard. So there was not a huge learning curve besides stepping into the shark pool I like to call the “Hosting biz”. When using the Wordpress.org software you have to provide your own hosting. Which means you have to do all of the maintaining on the back-end or contract it out. EW. I was on the .org for a couple of years and eventually got so tired of the maintaining / fixing / 'site not found' / 'bandwidth exceeded' bull that I didn’t even want to look at my website. I was spending SO much time maintaining and working on the back-end of Radmaverix.com that I felt discouraged and didn’t even have the time or energy to work on providing actual blog content! I have to add this disclosure, it may have been partially my chosen hosting company's fault that left such a bad taste in my mouth in regards to WP.org. Although the customer service was incredible I kept "exceeding bandwidth" and my site kept "going down" even though my traffic was not super high. 

Not to mention, while my blog was on Wordpress.org my actual Rad Maverix Shop was being hosted on Shopify. So I was losing A LOT of SEO optimization / google rank because I was sending my blog readers and shoppers to 2 different websites! YUCK! I only suggest Shopify to retailers / shop owners who don't plan to blog or don't really care to have a lot of customization on their blog. Shopify is an EXCELLENT software for shop owners and I 100,000% support it!

Fast forward to Jan 2016 and I finally made the leap to Squarespace. The only thing I can say, is I wish I had done it sooner. Now, my blog + shop is housed under one really pretty + polished tin roof. The only thing that stopped me from moving to SS sooner was the fact that (at the time) SS did not integrate with Paypal and a lot of my customers used Paypal at checkout when buying tees + tanks. I was scared to death that I could potentially lose a lot of customers because Paypal would no longer be an option at checkout. THEN, SS decided to jump on the bandwagon and integrate with Paypal late 2016. YAY! 

I've been on Squarespace for over a year now and it is still one of the best decisions I've made in my business to date.

 
This is a very short version of the Rad Maverix platform history. I don't want to bore you with the details but please know that I have spent many late nights fixing / crying / cussing and feeling super frustrated because my website JUST WOULDN'T WORK. I have had experience with Blogger (blogspot) as well and although a great platform for beginner bloggers, I've found a lot of blogspot.com users end up moving to Squarespace or Wordpress.org for better control and design options.
 
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I’m only going to compare a few of the platforms I have had experience with but will provide you with a more extensive list of possible platforms if you’d like to do further research.


pros / cons


wordpress.org

Pros

  • The software is free and super easy to use ONCE you learn how to maneuver the Wordpress dashboard

  • You are in complete control + essentially own your data

  • You can upload and use plugins (more plugins = more customization's)

  • You can buy and install REALLY cute themes (ETSY!) and modify theme files

  • You can make money from it by using your own ads!

  • Custom Analytics and Tracking

Cons

  • Web hosting. This bit will cost you money somewhere from around $3 – $11 per month (as your site grows, your hosting costs will too as you are limited on traffic / space on your website).

  • You are responsible for updates / backups and preventing SPAM. There are, however, plugins to help with these tasks.

 

 

wordpress.com

pros

  • It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that you will have to pay for space ($19.95 per year for 5GB) or ($289.97 per year for 100GB).

  • They make regular backups of your site.

Cons

  • They place ads on all free websites.

  • You cannot sell ads on your site unless you have over 25k page views / month

  • Cannot use plugins

  • Cannot use custom themes

  • Your site can be deleted at any time if they think it violates their Terms + Services

  • Analytics are limited.

 

 

squarespace

pros

  • Flexible pricing plans with a 14 day free trial period

  • Self-hosted (you don't need to pay for hosting)

  • Beautiful themes that are responsive to mobile devices.

  • Drag + drop web design / extensive styling options

  • SEO optimized

  • All plans are AD-FREE

  • No bandwidth or storage limit

Cons

  • There is not a free option

  • Harder to learn how to use other than other web builders

  • Integrations are limited to a select few services and tools

  • The Personal plan limits you on # of pages, 1 blog + 2 contributors

 

 

Points to consider before choosing a platform:

What is your monthly / annual budget?
What exactly do you need your blog / website for?
Will you have a shop? or blog only?
Do you want to sell ads?
How much control do you want?
How much customization do you want?

Does your brain hurt yet? I hope not! Although, it can feel a bit scary and overwhelming try not to worry too much about which platform to start out with. You can always test it out and move to a different platform at a later date. There are gobs of resources on the WWW that will help you move your content from one platform to another if you decided to ever change service providers (literally step-by-step guides!).

 

Here is a list of other blogging platforms to look into:

  • Blogger

  • Tumblr

  • Medium

  • Wix

  • Joomla

  • Ghost

  • Weebly

 
How to Start a Blog // Part 2 (Choosing a Blog Platform)

What is your preferred platform?

 

Riss

Weekend Vlog + Mini ULTA Haul

Rise + Shine my loves.

YAY for a new YouTube Video!!  Last weekend we got a chance to get away from the Rockin' JF Ranch and do a little shopping, eating + relaxing in Tulsa. We enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Los Cabos and did a bit of shopping at Golf Galaxy, ULTA & Best Buy. Follow along in the vlog below!

 

Are you subscribed to my channel?

Style, LifeMerrissaYouTube, Vlog
Neutrals on Neutrals on Neutrals

I have a hard time incorporating color into my wardrobe. I didn't really come to this realization until a friend asked if they could raid my closet because they needed something black to wear to a funeral. Although I probably ought to be making a conscious effort to add more color to my closet it's just so dang hard!! GIVE ME ALL THE BLACK CLOTHES IN THE WORLD.

But, can we just talk about this gorgeous tooled bag? A few months ago my dad sent me a text with a photo of this clutch asking if I wanted it or could use it. I thought he was teasing me because he knew I would love to add it to my collection. I jokingly replied, "LOL shut up are you serious". Turns out he was serious and I've been in love ever since! My dad's friend, Don, handmade this bag over 40 years ago. The craftsmanship + condition is impeccable and I must say, it easily steals the show. Don has been a (very) longtime friend of our family and I am incredibly grateful for his kindness and generosity. 

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Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix

Shop the Look:

dress, similar

Cardigan (sold out, similar)

Shoes, similar

Hat

 

Until next time,

Merrissa

 

LifeMerrissaOOTD
Setting Badass Intentions
Rad Maverix

 

I’ve been fighting with my heart lately and I can’t help but feel like it’s all a part of this self-proclaimed soul searching journey. Or at least telling myself that makes me feel a little bit less insane. The last few months I have been going in and out of these dazes and it seems as though as the time goes by that these feelings and urges keep getting stronger and stronger.

It all started last year when I was eating dinner at Olive Garden with my family. I glanced up, saw my (older) sister drinking a lemon martini and, for some reason, I felt the need to ask her how old she was. But why? In my head I knew exactly how old she was but it felt like I had stepped out of my body and was looking at the scene from the outside in. She promptly and obviously, a bit surprised, asks me, “Ugh, WHY?!!!”… Urging for some kind of comforting answer, I asked her again. Then I cried. That’s how it happened, folks. I had a quarter-life crisis right there at the damn Olive Garden. At least I had pasta + wine to cry over and give me comfort.

Want to know what spurred the cry-fest? Honestly, I think my heart was feeling conflicted. I have several personalities (emphasis on the "several") and at that exact moment I felt like I had failed miserably on exploring all of my personalities throughout my life by only living the ones that have been the main "stars" of my lifetime. The bubbly personality, the kind personality, the loyal personality, the compassionate personality, the HBIC personality, the stubborn and steadfast personality. All good traits but what about the others..the ones that don't shine so bright? Does that make sense? Like a fine wine, with age we get better...and sweeter, right? As we evolve, we learn to explore ourselves on a deeper + more terrifying level. We learn new activities / hobbies and acquire new interests, we go through our very own evolution's.

 

Here's what I'm saying:

  • I love a good designer purse but I also love power tools and making something out of nothing.

  • I love and adore décor but I’m a huge fan of blank space.

  • I love keeping a cushion in my savings account but I also live for the phrase YOLO.

  • I love stability but I crave spontaneity.

  • I love being outdoors and getting my hands dirty but I also love upscale restaurants and dressing up.

  • I love knickknacks but I love the art of minimalism.

  • I love steadiness but desire freedom.

  • I love owning my very own business but some days I prefer to not be bothered by any responsibilities. #YOGAPANTSARELIFE


Rad Girl's Guide to SetTING Badass Intentions

But how does one go about having it all? Living the wild + free but stable life? First, I believe it all starts with the right intentions and letting go of the need for societal validation. I know a lot of people (myself included) who have missed out on so many adventures and opportunities because they were too afraid of what others would think about them or the decisions made. Ditching the need for approval doesn't happen overnight. It's something that grows and gets better the more we feel self-assured + confident with ourselves and our decisions. 

So what's an intention, anyways? An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to be, live, and show up in the world. What matters most to you? Your answer to this can craft a powerful intention that will help you align your actions as you go about your day.

 

How to set badass intentions:

  1. Make sure your intentions can evolve. If you stick with the same intention week after week your mind will get bored. Think about that brand new perfume you bought. It smells fabulous for the first week or 2 but after that the scent is not as stout / fragrant.

  2. Keep that shit positive. Think about what you want not what you don't want. Example: do say, "My intention is to invite peace and calmness within myself." don't say, My intention is to not be a hot freakin' mess."

  3. Create goals with soul with sub-intentions. This year, one of my main goals is to hike more and complain less. So my sub-intention could be: "My intention for this week is to hike Turkey Mountain three times and practice gratitude twice a day." My intention has room to grow and evolve throughout the year while still fulfilling my main goal.

  4. Let the universe have your back. Setting goals with soul and powerful intentions set the infinite organizing power of the Universe in motion. Don't listen to that pesky inner mean girl that says you have to be in charge and that your obsessive control is the only way to get anything done. The outcome that you're trying so hard to force may not be as good as the one that comes organically. Release your intentions with purity and then let them flourish when the season is right for you.

Example Intentions:

  • My intention is to feel great in my own skin.

  • My intention is to implement a realistic, healthful lifestyle that helps me attain my weight goals.

  • My intention is to radiate good vibes for myself and others.

  • My intention is to live a balanced life.

  • My intention is to learn to skills and activities to prosper in my career.

  • My intention is to feel love and give love.

  • My intention is to empower and be empowered.

  • My intention is to feel comfortable with money and my spending habits.

  • My intention is to create work that is soul-satisfying.

  • My intention is to feel secure.

 

Still need help? Think about these questions to spark a heart-felt intention:

  • What are you grateful for?

  • What matters most to YOU?

  • What word(s) would you like to align yourself with? (brave, courage, kind, passion, etc)

  • What would you like to build, create, or nurture in your life? A business? A family? Your career?

  • What would you like to let go of?

  • Who would you like to forgive in your life? Maybe it's yourself.

  • How do you feel when you are your happiest self?

  • What makes you proud to be YOU?

  • What fears would you like to release? (divorce, past investments ["debt"], insecurities, loneliness)

 

Go ahead! Create a badass intention now! You deserve it.

 

By the way, I find this quote to be comforting, I hope you do too:

“There is no statute of limitations on starting over. Re-invent yourself every day. Be the girl who walks barefoot and listens to the blues. Tomorrow, wear a trench coat and speak fierce truths. Be a phoenix. Be ashes. Burn down. Resurrect. Let go of the idea that you must always be who you have always been.”

 


2017 Goals with soul


Give back to this beautiful Earth

Beef up my savings

Positively impact a life or two

Hike more

be gracious

Own less, live more

More spontaneity + less control

 

What are your intentions for 2017? How is this year going to be better than 2016?

 

xx

 

Riss