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the haps: friends get the news first!

WHOA! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since we last blogged. Jen is in the process of moving, team Robo Roku has been super busy, and I’ve been sick through it all. So much to share, let’s get into it!
working
I buried the lede on my personal Facebook page about this, but I’m just going to kick things off with the news, that you, our sweet blog readers are getting before we publicize on our Robo Roku social media pages. We got an agent!!
We went to Licensing Expo in hopes of getting deals, but our biggest hope was to get an agent. The very first person to our booth was an agent, and we had a few other agents interested, but this particular agent (we’ll announce the company 8/1, when our contract goes into effect) was on it. He was very professional, got right into the meat of things at the booth, and corresponded after the show right away. His company strictly deals with the Asian market, so we’re still looking for representation for the states and Europe, but being in the Asian market has been a dream of ours forever. We’re pretty over the moon, sadly, the day we got the deal I was super sick, and haven’t been able to do a happy dance, yet. As soon as I’m feeling better I will totally do a happy dance!

The breakdown…

WORKING ON:
Our new agent (squee!) asked for a character style guide, so we’ve been working hard on that, along with working on our licensing portfolio gallery for him to be able to pitch companies. Also, doing the taxes. We always file for an extension, because we can be lazy, but next year we’ll do it on time!

THINKING ABOUT:
What holiday shows we’re going to apply to, what to do for my birthday (8/15), how to reorganize the studio.

ANTICIPATING:
Taking down our tees. In the licensing world the apparel industry is toughest on not wanting designs to have been seen before, so we’re taking down 90% of our tees before our agency contract kicks in. Check out the site, if you want to grab a tee before they’re gone.
Robo Roku Tees Going Away

LISTENING TO:
My Donavon Frankenreiter Pandora station and the Nativiy 2: Danger in the Manger soundtrack. I’ve been singing Christmas tunes for weeks! I love Christmas music, and usually can be caught singing Christmas carols year round. Since I’ve been working on our holiday collection, Christmas movies and music seemed fitting atmosphere.

EATING:
Veggie tacos, fudgesicles (sp?), gummy worms, and ginger ale from Starbucks.
ginger ale

THANKFUL FOR:
My new pal Jupey from Jupey Krusho. I met him at Licensing Expo, and the two of us have been exchanging emails like whoa, helping each other out and giving each other advice on our follow ups.

PLANNING FOR:
A new way of doing business. The licensing world is pretty different than what I’m used to, and I need to work on making sure my multiple revenue streams don’t clash with one another.

WATCHING:
Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger on repeat, no joke. I’ve also peppered in continuing on my second time through House on Netflix.

Things have been pretty swirly again, but I’m happy about everything. This week is pretty exciting because Face Off and Project Runway start, too! I love that creative reality shows exist, they are so much more interesting to watch. Anything new on Netflix you’ve been into? I’d love some fresh suggestions. I’ll do a Licensing Expo recap post soon, I promise.

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motivational monday: do one thing…

Do One Thing
I love this quote, and think it is so important to live by it. Recently a friend of mine chuckled at a big goal I have, Josh thought it was rude until I reminded him that even last year he would have done the same thing. My goals and aspirations often bring about laughter or lead to people calling me crazy, and sadly, I’m used to that reaction. I used to get confused by people giggling at my goals, Josh used to do it a lot, so I started asking him why he was laughing. It took him awhile to really understand why he was laughing, and then he explained to me he just found my goals surprising, and hard to wrap his head around, so he’d laugh. That’s when it clicked!

People weren’t really laughing at me, they were just taken aback. If you talk to me long enough, you’ll see that I live out loud, and don’t let my fears or insecurities get in my way (for very long, at least). Everyone is afraid of something, we all have insecurities we have to deal with every single day. Our lives are just way too short for us to let our doubts keep us from trying to live a free life. A “free life” to me means a life free from fear of failing, fear of trying, fear of taking control of our lives. We all have responsibilities, but we can’t forget that our greatest responsibility is to take care of ourselves. If we sacrifice our happiness out of fear, then we are shells of ourselves. The best thing we can do is be ourselves, out loud, and inspire others to do the same. We all have something to offer, something the world needs, we just cant let fear keep us from sharing our best selves. Life should be about trying anything and everything you want.

I have met so many amazing people in my life, and it always saddens me when I see them hiding their light. I think there would be more happiness in the world if more people would stand tall and say “this is me, take it or leave it” and just be who they are. Sometimes when I tell people this they respond with “you’re lucky”, or “you have it easy”, or “things just always work out for you”, but the thing is, I’m not lucky, I certainly don’t have it easy, and things absolutely don’t always work out for me. It can seem like things always work out me, only because when things don’t go the way I planned, I adapt. I don’t focus on what went wrong, I focus on what I can do better for next time, because as long as I’m still breathing, there will be a next time, and I will be ready for it. I have no deadline on my big dreams because I know they take time, so I just keep working toward them every day. As long as I don’t give up, there’s always hope. Just remember that and don’t give up. Keep trying every day and you’ll make it happen.

XO
-renée

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michael jackson one

MJ
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you know I was in Las Vegas last week for Licensing Expo, and took a night off to see the Cirque du Soleil show, Michael Jackson ONE.
I’m a pretty big MJ fan, since around five yrs old I would play 45s by The Jacksons, when I got the Thriller album I would tote it around and have tea parties with MJ. I once left my album cover outside in my fort and it rained, ruining the cover. I was so upset, that my mom bought me another record just so I could have a nice cover again. I even had an MJ poster in my closet that I would stare at, I was absolutely smitten. My love for MJ only ever grew from there.
MJ shoes

I didn’t even think about going to the Cirque show since I knew we would be busy, but Josh knows my love is deep and suggested it anyway. We got tickets for the last night we were there. Here are some tips if you are ever in Vegas and want to check it out:

1. Buy your tickets from the Mandalay Bay site, or in person there. They have more ticket price options, and cheaper ticket options, too!

2. The theater is small, if you can only afford the cheapest seats, don’t worry about it, your view should still be great. We were in the second row, and I think that was too close.

3. If they take your photo they’ll charge you $45 for them to take home. They put the photos in a nice photo book, so I think it’s reasonable. Just don’t buy more than one book, though, they’ll email you if you buy one and give you a cheaper option to buy digital pics.

4. Get there early to hit up the gift shop in peace. We got there an hour and 1/2 early to go through will call, and were able to shop in a fairly empty store before the first showing let out. After the show the place is packed.

Speaking of the gift shop… I wandered around looking for just the perfect souvenir, and was starting to feel like I wouldn’t find it when I stumbled upon this amazing red sweater. My fave color plus the design I’ve been wanting a tattoo of together on the softest sweater ever! I grabbed it off the shelf, pulled it close, and my eyes teared up. I put it on before the show started, and I wore it on the whole drive home. So in love.
MJ Sweater

About the show… I was expecting someone to be impersonating MJ and for me to be crying the whole time. It was a storyline having to do with MJ videos, so there was a lot of dancing, and very little impersonating…thankfully for me. I was so nervous to cry in front of strangers. I mentioned being in the second row, for someone as shy as me I was stressed the whole show that a performer was going to sit in the empty seat next to me, and was a little uncomfortable when the actors would make eye contact and smile at me. I don’t want to spoil the show for you, but I want to say, if you like MJ, go see it, it’s worth it. Here’s a preview:

Let me know if you see it!
XO
-renée

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makeup monday: rockin’ red and blue

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Hey, strangers! This is my first makeup post in awhile, and I’m excited to jump back into it with a classic look inspired by some handmade guitar pick earrings from a rad local designer. I received these Gemagery earrings, made by the lovely Pati Currie, in my very first BatBox (a new Austin-themed subscription box), and immediately I knew exactly what to wear with them.

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My lipstick is OCC Lip Tar in NSFW with NYX lip liner in Hot Red. On my eyes, I kept it clean and classy with a navy blue cat-eye. Instead of the usual black liquid liner, I used LORAC gel liner in Navy.

I chose a bold brow, enhanced with Anastasia Beverly Hills powder duo in Caramel, applied with an angled brush. On my face is Sephora liquid foundation, Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, and NARS blush in Orgasm. I used e.l.f. blush and contouring kit to emphasize my natural bone structure. (For tips on how to do this, search YouTube for contouring makeup technique. There are some amazing makeup artists specializing in this!)

Inspiration exists all around us, and I am always on the lookout for exciting color and pattern. Subscribe so you don’t miss my next makeup post when inspiration strikes again!

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life changing charts and positive thoughts

adriennevita_mantras
art by adrienne vita

Last Sunday I was able to have brunch with the lovely, and amazingly talented Adrienne Vita. She’s a fellow artist that has been on the Renegade Craft Fair circuit like us, and is looking into licensing, like we are. We are kindred spirits. We’ve been exchanging tweets and emails sharing craft show and licensing info back and forth. It’s so fun knowing someone with a similar journey.

Adrienne did a reading with me, giving me my numerology chart, and everything she said to me blew my mind and made me super excited about life.

One thing she asked me that stuck with me, was “what do you want?” (she was referring to my life/career), my answer was a list of things I don’t want. She totally called me out on that and said you just gave me a list of things you don’t want, that’s a negative focus, you’re sending negative thoughts into the universe, and that can be confusing. I told her what I want, and she wrote it down, and told me to focus on that and keep sending it out into the universe. Which I’ve been doing every day since. I left brunch feeling high on life and ready to shed the self sabotaging habit that I have, that again she called me out on. I like being called out on stuff, because it only helps you be a better person. I’m all about always evolving.

She told me that whatever new thing I did in 2012 was something that was going to be in my life for the next nine years. I kept trying to figure out what new thing I did, and when I got home I scrolled through my FB feed to find hints of something. I was so excited to find that 2012 was the year we had our first licensing deal. EEP! That’s a good sign! What I loved most about our chat was that she kept emphasizing the importance of having positive thoughts and gratitude. Which I try to do. I definitely think everything happens for a reason, but I also tend to be more sharing of things I hate, than love. Twitter has actually helped me curb that, but only online. I often want to post when I hate a movie or a band, and well, no one wants to read that. I’m going to work on changing that habit in person, too.

I just read an article today that said only 23% of women in the United States have a career plan, and almost 40 percent of women report they are “winging it” when it comes to their career. That’s shocking to me, but also explains why many women are not as satisfied with their careers as men are. I’m a firm believer in having life plans. I’m not really a “wing it” person. I have to have goals to aim for. Whether you have a plan or not, I highly recommend you getting a reading from Adrienne, she will totally get you excited about life, and get you on a positive path.

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under the covers

When someone covers a song I truly love, I have a hard time letting myself like it. Sometimes when I like a cover a lot I feel a little guilty, like I’m betraying the original artist. I often wonder what it must feel like to have your song covered. I imagine writing songs is super personal, and for someone who doesn’t have your experiences to come along and sing something that could mean a lot to you could feel really creepy. I’m not a songwriter, so I don’t know, but I know when people have copied my work/style I’ve felt violated, even when it’s been done in honor. All that said, I really like the following covers, and I wanted to share them with you…

I saw a different version of this cover on television, and immediately recorded it because I didn’t understand what was going on. I like the original of this song by Capital Cities (also played in a car commercial), but this take is a little sweeter.

It was neat to realize that KHS was behind this because I have enjoyed his cover work before. I learned about Kurt a few years ago when I had an obsession with Sam Tsui. I posted a few videos of Sam’s before. Here’s another…


If you liked Pitch Perfect, you may want to check this out, too.

I did not expect to like this at all. Kate Bush is one of my music heroes, she’s so incredible. It is rare to find a female vocalist cover her well. They usually try too hard to sound like her, and just don’t have the range. This version of Running Up That Hill is quite lovely.

Cloudbusting is my fave Kate Bush song, please take in the original before listening to the cover…

Gemma Hayes covering Cloudbusting…

I KNOW I’ve posted this cover before, but since I went to the A/V Club well, I couldn’t leave without drinking this goodie up again. I only like two songs by The Lemonheads songs, and this is one of them (here’s the other one). I played the original of Confetti on repeat for days when I first got the CD. Like said in the video, this version is a little sadder than the original.

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these (if not all), and maybe even learned of someone new to you. It has been awhile since I’ve done a Music Monday post, so I thought it would be fun to share a collections of songs with you.

XO
-renée

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