Yes, we’re doing it all over again!

TheHelloSessionsSocial017_0017

Why, hello there! Yes, it’s been a very long time. Sorry about that. The Hello Sessions was absolutely incredible–it surpassed all of our expectations, thanks largely to the people who helped us put it together and the people who showed up. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people. In fact, they were so awesome that we immediately dove back into planning mode and have secured a date for our 2016 conference.

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If you want to read more about the conference, you can read the blog post I wrote immediately afterward. Or you can check out one of these great posts:

“This particular group of creatives, entrepreneurs, writers, and artists all had something in common: communityconnection, and {thinking of a ‘c’ word because I am all about the alliteration} COMMITMENT. Everyone there was open, ready to share their story, ready to listen to yours, and ready to shake it all up.”  — Jayme, Holly and Flora (There’s also a fabulous cocktail recipe in this post)

 

“A hello is all it takes. Really, that’s it. Through our day of activities, everyone was gracious and open to meeting each other, even the shy ones.” – Maggie, Eat Boutique (Loads of amazing photos from our post-conference wine pairing dinner)

 

“I felt an incredible sense of community during The Hello Sessions conference on Friday, but also throughout the city. People were very friendly, and businesses seemed to be very collaborative.” – Sami Jo, Poor and Pretty

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We’re about 98% certain of the location of our event and we’ll be working with brands on sponsorships in the next few months, but if you want first dibs on tickets definitely sign up for our newsletter! Melissa and I decided that 100 attendees was just about perfect, so we’re keeping it the same size in 2016.

Between my full-time job (and my 12+ hour/week commute), planning for The Hello Sessions, and life, I’m afraid Frock Files will remain somewhat neglected. But if you want to keep hearing from me, follow us on The Hello Sessions’ blog, where I’ll be writing just about every week, and on our Instagram feed, where I’m making every effort to post daily.

Big hugs,

Joy

The Hello Sessions photos taken by Linnea Paulina | Love Where You Live photos by Kelly Searle

 

Life Update: Gratitude Spin

Gratitude

If there’s anything I can admit freely, it’s that I’ve made a lot of mistakes this year.

As evidenced by the sparse posting I’ve done in 2015, my life has been a little chaotic. Aside from planning The Hello Sessions (which is happening in less than a month!), I started a new job in the springtime–and then, rather quickly, realized that I was absolutely the wrong person for the job.

There were a lot of reasons I was unhappy– reasons I won’t go into here. What I will say is that there’s a lot of career advice out there that says you absolutely need to stay in a job for at least a year, or that you definitely shouldn’t quit a job unless you’ve been made an offer, and in reality that’s all very relative. I held onto those rules and my health began to go downhill quickly. I developed a nasty case of eczema, a stress-induced eyelid twitch, and suffered from insomnia, all of which disappeared in the days after I made the decision to move on.

The funny thing is that opportunities arrive when you really need them to, when you’re ready for them. A position opened up at Bentley University, on a fantastic team in which I’ve been given a massive amount of freedom to be creative, build the community, and manage things as I see fit. And although my 10 second commute has turned into a 75 minute commute, as I begin each day I feel incredibly fortunate to have landed in a place that feels just right.

Speaking of commutes, I’m beginning to embrace mine. I’ve found a pretty, back roads route and I’ve become an Audible member. My most recent acquisition was The Gratitude Diaries, which has reminded me to look back on things not as mistakes but as lessons. To put a spin on the little annoyances (turning “Ugh, going to bed at 10pm is hard!” to “I’m so grateful that I can actually sleep again,”). To spend more time feeling lucky for all the good in my life, like James (who never once told me to please stop obsessing), and my family, and my career, and my friends (both old and new), and our lovely home, and our ability–even in those troublesome times–to laugh. A lot.

And now, on to autumn.

Love, Joy

These Days…

Yes, things have been a little quiet around here. Between my new job and The Hello Sessions, there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day! I know that, in our world, the word “busy” has become a bad word–but I am busy. I’m at this point where I’m figuring out what works and what doesn’t to help me juice as much as I can out of each day. So far it’s come down to this:

  • First thing in the morning, throw a load of laundry in the washer and then do a quickie workout
  • Work on The Hello Sessions for an hour
  • Begin the workday and–this is important–close all un-related browser windows
  • Go somewhere in the afternoons! I begin falling asleep after lunch, but working at a cafe always perks me up. I get so much more done.
  • Work on freelance projects or The Hello Sessions for an hour or two at night

“Testing” is a big thing at my new job, and I have to say that I’ve kind of fallen in love with it too. Every week, I’m tweaking things, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and I’m seeing the results in inching closer to my goals.

Since I’m not able to update Frock Files as frequently, you can find me over at The Hello Sessions’ blog each week, where I’m writing about more of these little ideas that make for big, happy changes in our lives.

Love, Joy

Life Update: I Have a New Job!

Frock Files: I Have a New Job!

When we came back from Hawaii a few weeks ago, things had changed. Yes, we were browner and more relaxed and a few pounds heavier, but there was one other thing, too. While we were traveling, I received a job offer that was so good and exciting and wonderful that there was no way I could walk away. So I said yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Leaving my current role at the university isn’t easy because I have loved working there. I’ve formed awesome relationships with my coworkers and our award-winning team. They’re just the best, smartest, most talented people around. I’ve nurtured the school’s social media presence–we call it my baby, which is what it feels like. And I have great pride in the university, which has risen up from its underdog days to become an awesome research institution. I’ll miss it, and I’ll be forever grateful that my team gave me the chance to prove myself there. We have done incredible things together.

All that said, I’m so ridiculously excited about what’s ahead in my new role. I’ll be handling social media and community engagement for a company that helps people to find their dream jobs, to negotiate better, to essentially become better, more confident versions of themselves. For years, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but their materials helped me to figure it out and even to land my job at the university! I have to admit, it was a little odd to interview with the company that taught me how to interview. But because the materials are all about being an authentic, high performing individual, the impact is universal. I’m thrilled that I’ll get to be part of this impressive, growing team of rock stars.

My new job is completely remote, which means I’ll be spending a lot more time here in my home office. Way back when, I painted it dark grey, and while I’ve enjoyed my little cave, I’m beginning to feel like it might not do for 40+ hours each week. So another change is on the way–a white washed, sunny office (to match our white washed, sunny bedroom!).

If you see me and I have paint splatters all over myself, it’s because it’s going to take a LOT of primer to cover up my previous paint job. But I know that once it’s done, it will feel like a fresh start. Like spring.

 

Local’s Guide to Visiting Oahu

Local's Guide to Visiting Oahu

My dear friend Sarah Khandjian of Sarah Hearts will be visiting Oahu for the first time in May, so she asked for a few recommendations. Since we just got back from there (where my entire family still lives), everything was fresh in my mind–and I may have gotten a little carried away! If you’re looking for awesome places to eat, play, and shop that both locals and visitors enjoy, this is the post for you.

Honolulu: By Honolulu, I don’t mean Waikiki. I really don’t like to go to Waikiki because it’s such a weird place full of other people’s ideas of what they think Hawaii is supposed to be like. It’s fun for a couple of days and then it gets old. Here are a few places we love that are just outside of Waikiki, in the parts of Honolulu that locals actually go to

Kaimuki: A warning that this neighborhood isn’t very pretty but is chock full of great little gems. My sister lives around here, so we’ve done our fair share of exploring! Most of the things we love are food related. You can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Town (so delicious!), coffee at Coffee Talk, or dim sum at Happy Days. I adore the Sugarcane boutique. You can also drive up the road to Kahala Mall where there are more boutiques, a Whole Foods (if you want to stock up for your hotel/condo/cottage), and some good restaurants.

Hawaii Kai: Just past Kaimuki and Kahala is Hawaii Kai, home to beautiful beaches. If you like to snorkel, head to Hanauma Bay. You might even see some turtles there!

Local's Guide to Visiting Oahu

Chinatown: Eat lunch or dinner at The Pig and the Lady, visit the authentic lei stands (that locals actually go to!), and if you can, catch a show at the historic Hawaii Theatre.

Local's Guide to Visiting Oahu

The Windward Side: We always stay in Kailua, even though it’s not really near anyone we know, because it’s so beautiful. The drive in and out of the Windward side always makes us feel like we’re heading into Jurassic Park. If you’re in the market for accommodations, there are lots of good ones out here–usually $150 or less, with a kitchenette and free parking. This one has been our favorite. Here are some other things we love in this laid back area:

Ho’omaluhia Botanical GardensI’ll pause here to say that I’m not really a botanical gardens kind of person, but this place is so magical and breathtaking that we make an effort to go every time we’re in Hawaii. It’s tranquil and lush. There are lots of places to sit and enjoy the atmosphere, so it’s a great place to bring a picnic.

Valley of the TemplesWe like to go here because it’s a little like popping into some gorgeous part of Japan for an hour or so. You can ring the gong, enjoy the koi, visit the big Buddha, and take some incredible photos.

Lanikai Beach

Boots & Kimo’s and Cinnamon’s are both Kailua institutions for breakfast or brunch. You’ll need a nap after eating at either!

 

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North Shore: You can drive from Kailua to the North Shore along Kamehameha Highway, which is very scenic. The route takes you along the perimeter of the island, through some VERY down home country towns. When we did it last week, we saw a bunch of signs that said things like, “Keep the country country!” Which probably sounds really southern, but actually means that they don’t want any strip malls on their beachfront properties.

Waimea Bay: Basically all you could ever hope for in a beach in Hawaii. I like to try to get there on the earlier side or else it can be difficult to find parking.

Hale’iwa Town: This is a little surf town and I just love it! If you only visit one of the places from this email, I think it should be Hale’iwa. It’s just so charming. We like Papoku’s for lunch (a real, Hawaii style plate lunch), Matsumoto’s for shave ice, and all of the little stores that line the streets.

Oh, now I’m homesick all over again!

P.S. Previous Oahu recommendations: Part 1 and Part 2

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