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It’s no secret that I love food. I love cooking it and I especially love eating it. Lately I’ve also tried being more health conscious (you know, New Years resolutions…). So it got me thinking – are there foods you can eat to help with creativity? According to this article by 1st Web Designer, there are! The key is to eat foods that are good for your brain.

  1. 1. Berries: Rich in antioxidants, berries help to improve mental function and reverse signs of aging. Plus, they’re yummy!
  2. 2. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidants (twice as many as in strawberries!). Since it’s made from a plant, it contains many of the same health benefits as you’d get from vegetables. It’s better for you than milk chocolate because it’s more natural and has less additives. Dark chocolate covered berries, anyone?
  3. 3. Nuts: There are many great nutrients in nuts that help with insomnia, mental clarity, memory and brain function.
  4. 4. Salmon: Wild salmon contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of Omega-3 fatty acid that makes up the majority of polyunsaturated fats in the brain and retina. Our bodies can’t produce DHA, so eating salmon is a fantastic source!
  5. 5. Eggs: You should never skip breakfast, so why not make a couple eggs in the morning? The nutrients in eggs help with memory and cognitive function.
  6. 6. Coffee: Usually you don’t hear great things about drinking coffee but in addition to giving you a little mental boost, coffee may even help prevent high cholesterol.
  7. 7. Avocado: I have been obsessed with avocados this year. They are widely regarded as a superfood because of how high in nutrients they are. Folate in avocados helps with your brain function and memory. Here’s a great brain-healthy recipe: Baked eggs in avocados.
  8. 8. Broccoli: It’s just good for you.
  9. 9. Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain lycopene which is great for keeping your brain sharp. Lycopene has been shown to help dementia and possibly even prevent cancer.
  10. 10. Spinach: Another superfood, spinach also contains great nutrients for brain health and cancer prevention.

Being healthy doesn’t have to be dreadful – all of these foods are awesome for your brain AND delicious! The last diet suggestion for mental health: cheat days! I’m a strong believer in once-a-week cheat days. Allowing yourself bad foods occasionally can keep you sane. My favorite cheat food is pizza. What’s yours?

-Lenore 🙂

Ok – I’m no stranger to social media. The first thing I do in the morning is check my Facebook and many evenings are spent glued to Pinterest. From a personal standpoint I’ve found a great amount of benefits for social media – from finding inspiration, to keeping up with the news, to staying updated on people’s lives I haven’t spoken to in years. But what are the benefits for a business?

I have recently become more involved with social media campaign development in my office. I can see firsthand how good social media can help to improve a business. While doing some research, I found this interesting article about how to get freelance work through social media. I’ve also been looking at a lot of different Facebook pages to see how successful brands manage their social media pages. There are three very important characteristics when it comes to social media content – relevance, interactive, and personal.

Relevant content is a no-brainer – you want to share things that are relevant to your business but also interesting for your audience. Get to know who your target market is and their interests, then tailor your content to the things they want to receive from you. It’ll make them want to continue following your posts to see what awesome new information you have to share. Second is creating interactive content that allows you to connect directly with your followers. Interactive content could be anything from taking a poll to a fun game or contest. It should be something that invites your followers to want to post on your page. Finally, let your audience get to know you personally. You’d be surprised how much they like to get to know the real people behind an operation. It makes you seem friendlier and they will think of you when they need freelance services because you are just SOOOOO cool!

My freelance business so far has been word of mouth – family, friends, friends of friends. It would be great to get more business based on my portfolio and not just because I have a personal relationship with someone. I have Facebook and Twitter accounts solely dedicated to my graphic design business, but I never use them. I don’t use it because no one interacts, and no one interacts because I never use it – it’s an endless cycle. It’s time to stop the cycle and make social media work for me. I’m making it a goal to start using social media more often and effectively. Starting with this blog.

-Lenore 🙂

PS. Don’t forget to watch my new social media initiative by following me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn!

I’ve now been in the Bay area for 4 months, so needless to say there are some updates to be made!

I’m not going to lie – the first 3 months were rough. Every day was spent applying for tons of jobs and trying not to go crazy from boredom. It seemed like nothing was working out. I managed to land a couple of contract jobs – one with San Francisco’s SOMA Magazine for their July/August Film and Music Issue, and one with WJCT in Jacksonville. I did some fun work for them, but I was really searching for that full time job…

And I finally found one! I’m now a graphic designer at PBHS, a medical marketing agency. I’m responsible for logo and print design for various dental and medical clients. You can see my favorite project so far, Mountain Sky Dental, on my portfolio page! This also means I’ve moved about an hour north to Santa Rosa, right smack dab in the middle of Sonoma County. SO. MUCH. WINE!

Until next time, enjoy this little number by The Lucksmiths:

Winslow, AZ – Day 10

Winslow was intended to be our Sedona stop. It was an hour outside of Sedona and the hotels were infinitely cheaper, but the drive was exhausting and never actually made it to Sedona. We ended up exploring Winslow, and we discovered this little town’s claim to fame was a mention in The Eagles’ song, “Take It Easy” (SEE HERE!). They even have a park and statue dedicated to the song! Winslow was also located on the historic Route 66, which made for some fantastic memorabilia.

Zion National Park, UT – Day 11-12

This was by far our most anticipated stop and turned out to be the highlight of the trip. Zion is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. The land formations were so fantastic it was hard to believe it was real! After our first night camping, we got up at 6am to hike Angel’s Peak. While the park’s most famous hike, it is also one of the most strenuous and dangerous (people have died). It took us six hours to hike (more physically fit people can probably make it in four, but I needed a good number of breaks). Essentially you are climbing a mountain, uphill almost the entire way and some of the areas can get as narrow as 2 feet with 1500 foot drops to either side. All you have to hold on to at those steep spots is a chain. I thought the heights would be terrifying, but instead I found it fascinating! The views were INCREDIBLE! I couldn’t stop taking photos, and those photos don’t do it’s beauty justice. I have never felt as accomplished as I did when I reached the top. I was red and completely beat, but I had just CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN! The rest of our time there was spent cursing the dry heat and trying to cool off in the river, but I’m fairly certain that our hike up Angel’s Landing will be a memory to last a lifetime.

Las Vegas, NV – Day 13-14

We stopped in Vegas for my birthday and after 2 days of unbearable heat, dirt, long hikes, and no showers, we couldn’t wait to get cleaned off and relax with modern luxuries for a couple of days. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino where we lounged by the pool and caught up on some much needed sleep. We had a long day ahead of us to prepare for – our longest stretch of driving to our final destination…

ARRIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO – MAY 31, 2013

The adventure has only begun and I am so excited for all the fantastic things to come! Watch out, SF, because Lenore has arrived!

Houston, TX – Day 5

I’m not saying much about Houston because I didn’t enjoy it, AT ALL. Though it’s hard to tell if it’s actually because of the city or because of the horrible streak of bad luck I had while staying there.

Austin, TX – Day 6-8

After Houston, we headed to the much more enjoyable city of Manchaca (right outside of Austin) where we stayed for three nights. This was also the first place I’ve ever encountered scorpions… shiver. On our first night, we went to Moontower Saloon, a cute little bar with a big outside area filled with string lights and picnic tables. This seems to be a common theme in Texas, as we saw many places in Houston and Austin with really nice outside areas. We watched the Miami Heat game on TV and socialized as we enjoyed the cool, dry Texas air. We even received some free shots and drinks for taking a photo with the Jim Beam girl (see pic above).

Our second day in Austin was spent thrifting (I got the most awesome poncho that is perfect for SF) and visiting some local eateries. We had dinner at Home Slice Pizza. We did take-out because we were too hungry to wait half an hour at the restaurant, and it was just as nice! The take-out area is a separate little store (Home Slice More) that has its own seating. It was packed, but we managed to gather three stools. I got a slice of the white pie (olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms, and giant globs of ricotta cheese) and it was honestly one of the best slices of pizza I’ve ever had. The crust was thin and flavorful, and the ricotta cheese just hit the spot. I wish I had ordered more than one slice! I definitely would recommend it – charming, fun, and yummy! We spent the rest of our night at the coffee shop Flipnotics sipping coffee and playing rummy until the wee hours of the night. I really love that game…

Our last day was meant to be spent kayaking, but due to bad thunderstorms all day we ended up watching Law & Order: SVU on Netflix for about 5 hours. We eventually made our way to a little BBQ restaurant, bought postcards at a cute little gift shop, and picked up ice cream at Amy’s. Overall a very nice, relaxing stay and made a few new friends! I’ll come back here one day to do some more touristy, Austin sightseeing.

El Paso, TX – Day 9

Next stop: El Paso! This was really just a stop to break up the drive, but traveling in West Texas was where the landscape really began to change. Florida is flat and there isn’t much to see on the long drives, so I’m really fascinated by all the new environments we’ve been traveling through. The mountains had perfect highway-sized slices cut out of them, and we would drive right between the big walls of rocks. I have wayyyy too many pictures of desert and mountains, but at the time I was so excited by them (by now I am very sick of the desert). The lights of the city at night are beautiful, and you can see them all from the WalMart on Gateway Blvd.

For the very few fans I have following this blog (OK, maybe just one. Hi Mommy!), you probably know by now that I haven’t been the best at posting regularly. Inspired by my blog-tastic travel buddy, Sara Zhang, I realized that our cross-country road trip to San Francisco is the perfect opportunity to blog my little heart out.

We started in Miami and are taking a full two weeks to explore, stopping in 9 cities before we reach the Bay. Over the next couple of posts, I hope to fill these empty pages with heart-racing tales of our daring adventures! That and reviews of restaurants because really, food is my absolute favorite part of traveling.

Tallahassee, FL – Days 1-3

While not very exciting since it was my home for the past 7 years, our first stop was Tallahassee. We spent a weekend finishing business and saying our bittersweet goodbyes. I was able to fit in some last minute Tallahassee bucket list items. The highlight was eating lunch at Paisley Cafe right before our departure. Paisley Cafe is all about maximizing quality with fewer ingredients. It was recommended highly by a friend, so I had to go before I left.

The atmosphere was absolutely ADORABLE! It’s very small, hidden behind some storefronts, but when you find it you feel like you’ve found an oasis in the middle of the desert. A cute white fence and gate surround a little garden patio, which is filled with people enjoying their meals. The inside is small and eclectic but just as cute. Unique knick-knacks fill both areas. One of the nicest things I encountered was that when I had a question, the owner was right there to answer it for me! She was at the counter, handing out menus and mingling with the guests. Extremely kind and hospitable, she made me feel right at home. I ordered the Roasted Vegetable Panini which was delicious, but they come a la carte so if you’re coming with a big appetite, order a side or one of their desserts (maybe a slutty browny?). I didn’t get the opportunity to try it, but they even make their own soda!

New Orleans, LA – Day 4

We had both spent time in New Orleans before, so we only came for a night and some friends met us there. We stayed in a quaint little inn that was walking distance from the French Quarter (Olde Town Inn). After a short time relaxing in the room, we headed to Frenchmen Street which is lined with restaurants and bars booming with jazz music from the various performers you can find there any night of the week. We found ourself in Maison, where we had a quick bite to eat and to listen to some tunes. We all shared a variety of foods to give us a full New Orleans sampler – crawfish and alligator bites, turkey and alligator gumbo, and jambalaya.

After dinner, we walked over to Bourbon Street where I had the goal of visiting Bar Rescue and said it was a blast. Unfortunately, I was only able to stop in long enough to quickly take in the environment and order myself a Resurrection to go. It was pretty empty on a Tuesday night, but the dueling pianos were jamming like they were in front of a whole arena! Overall the environment was nice, the service was good, and my drink was spicy (jalepeño!). After some bull riding and shoe stealing (it’s a long story), we made it back to the hotel where we got some much needed shut eye. We enjoyed a continental breakfast in the courtyard of our hotel, grabbed some coffee and beignets at Café Du Monde, then hit the road to Houston!

Hey there, long time no talk! I’ve been very busy preparing for the big move to the bay, but it seems to all be falling into place. A few weeks ago, I took another trip there and I’ll post some pictures for you to see very soon!

As for the latest haps, last week we held our end-of-the-year staff luncheon. At the end of the year we like to recognize our student employees and designers for their great work throughout the school year. This usually involves awards, which this year we decided to create in the form of merit badges. Each of these plays toward one of our student’s strengths and accomplishments or has a fun little design pun. I updated my portfolio with a few highlighted pieces, but I wanted to share all of them with you here. I hope you enjoy!

While it may seem soon to redo my website (being that I debuted it only a month or so ago), I was really frustrated with it and felt that I needed something more professional and to-the-point. So, here it is! LenoreMessler.com 2.0! I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

As for updates, I have been applying to west coast jobs like crazy! It really is time consuming and at moments disheartening, but I push on. I’ve also been experimenting with some hand typography. It’s been a lot of fun and I hope I’ll have a related project to share with you all soon!

In a few days I will be heading back to San Francisco (hopefully with interviews) with a short stop in New York City. Stay tuned for pictures and stories from my travels!

It’s been a little while since I’ve made a post. I had an amazing trip to California and was able to visit Los Angeles, San Diego and, of course, San Francisco. I also used the trip as an opportunity to gather lots of information about moving and finding a job in the bay area. I’m wrapping up my print portfolio and uploading the last few pieces to this site so that within the next couple of weeks I can start submitting job applications!

I’m going to keep this post short, so here are a few photos from my trip. My favorite moment? Grabbing a latté from Dolores Park Café and sitting on the bench in the far corner, starting at the beautiful view. Oh, and the food. ALL THE FOOD!!!

…”on such a winter’s day.” The song always reminds me of car rides with my friends as a teenager, belting it out at the top of our lungs (Side note: we actually were much more “safe and warm” in our little town in South Florida, it’s much colder in California). But more importantly was the fact that at 13 I was already dreaming of California.

Thirteen was the age where my dreams of being an artist blossomed into the desire to become a graphic designer, and of moving to California where Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, and all the major animation companies were located. Over time these dreams grew into a love of one place in particular – San Francisco.

There’s just something about San Francisco that feels like it’s calling me there. I just love the city, the people, the attitude. Or maybe it’s the location on the complete opposite side of the country from where I grew up. Since I was younger I’ve felt the need to fly away; even going to college I went as far away from home as I could go without having to pay out-of-state tuition. The idea of moving to San Francisco after graduation has almost become an obsession, already looking at apartments and driving routes from here to there. If I make it to San Francisco (and I will), I will know that I have succeeded.

Next month, I’ll be taking a trip to California and will be visiting San Francisco again. I’m so excited for the trip that I decided to write a blog post about it! The featured image for this post is a travel poster created by my dear friend, Erin Hollen. I have a framed copy and it will be the first thing on my wall when I make it to the City by the Bay.

* Make sure to check out Erin’s other works at erinhollen.com!