My Time at Crush Brands

Personal branding happens with every post we ever make. No need to bullshit or exaggerate to our followers because transparency is key. We have to give our followers the real deal because we want people to know that we’re relatable, funny, and most importantly ahead of the curve! As our summer intern is getting ready to leave Crush Brands, she reflects on what this industry has taught her.

 You won’t get followers from sitting around and doing nothing:

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Unless you’re famous AF, you have to be proactive to get more followers! Post at smart times, take aesthetically pleasing pictures, and make people WANT to follow you for being something new in a sea of unending content. Take advantage of peak times to get the maximum amount of exposure. Managing social media accounts is a 24/7 job, so be on the lookout for the next greatest post—always.

Connect with important people:

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Get word out that you and your brand are important. It’s crucial to connect with your audience but also get yourself recognized by influencers. Relationship building is crucial, and Crush Brands works hard to achieve this. We’re always trying to stay up-to-date with what’s trending and connect with other like-minded accounts. Get your brand onto people’s radar.

Don’t post the boring because nobody cares:

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Be creative. Who wants to follow an account that posts the same content daily or posts information that puts us all to sleep?? Not us! One tip that we have is to see what competitors are doing and if it’s working for them or not. Get inspired by all that is online. Trending topics change daily, so keep up!

Did you know Facebook, Insta, and Snapchat were different??

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As a fan, why would you follow you on Facebook and Twitter if you were going to see the same content on both? Post different content on each platform because your users expect different content on each site. Each social media is its own channel. Its imperative for social media managers to take into consideration the audience, the style, the tone, and the successes (or epic failures) of previously posted content on each channel INDIVIDUALLY. 

Make Something from Nothing:

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Content curation is creating something meaningful out of all of the information on the Internet. This may sound simple, but it is definitely not. Unless your salad has diamond encrusted salad dressing that is also fat-free, don’t share an update about it. You’re trying to break through all of the social media noise, so make your content stand out. You have to discover new exciting information that not many people are aware of yet but would be interested in hearing about.

Videos are never going out of style:

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Have you noticed all of the videos on your Facebook newsfeed? You want to keep scrolling down the newsfeed, but for some reason you always end up watching video posts. From Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos to current events, videos dominate in the social media industry. If you see a video you like, you can recreate it for your brand! Make the products or message relevant to your business, but be sure to maintain the quality. The goal is not plagiarism but rather inspiration. Be open to be inspired. 

Make each follower feel like 1 in a million:

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With apps like Snapchat, Facebook Messenger etc., users have more of an opportunity to personalize their online presence. Yes, you want as many followers as possible, but you also want to have meaningful connections with each user. In the case of a celebrity, athlete, or person of high public interest, the real leverage comes from interaction with fans not from the number of followers. The interactions have to be real. Be transparent because the more relatable, the better.

Lighting and Editing are our best friends:

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FaceTune is great for the amateur editor but having a team capable of creating flawless Photoshop pictures is really important. We want our clients to be pleased with the results so creating the best possible lighting is essential. One of the most helpful lighting accessories has to be our ring light. It’s impossible to look bad in front of this! We work hard to make photo editing look unbelievably natural.

Got a secret, can you keep it?

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We work for many high-profile celebrities and athletes, which requires a confidentiality agreement. This clientele requires flawless editing and personalized posts. We have to always consider their privacy and post strategically. Their social media accounts are highly scrutinized, so every word counts on our end and every warped image from poor photo editing gets them in trouble!

Never too many #Hashtags

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Hashtags are absolutely crucial on social media, but are you using them correctly? We’re always after the greatest visibility without oversaturation. We never want to use too many hashtags or hashtags that are not completely relevant to our posts. To capture the audience we want, we MUST do our due diligence on strong and searchable hashtags.

 

 

Our advice:

What’s really worthy of a retweet or a share? You don’t want to make the mistake of retweeting or following an account that puts bad content out on the Internet. See if you agree with other content they post and if they are a reputable account. When’s the best time to post to social media? What’s the ideal amount of characters per post? These are just a few of the burning questions social media managers have to constantly assess and answer. Managing social media accounts is much more complicated than most people would imagine. To be successful, start by figuring out who your audience is and what your brand account is all about.

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How to add a contact button on Instagram

Listen up business Instagram users! We’ve got the scoop on an incredibly useful new Instagram tool. But, in order to add this feature you have to have a business page. Allow people to contact you with the click of one button. And here’s how:FullSizeRender-1

1. Go into settings, click on switch to business profile. The image below will pop up for you to connect an Instagram account to Facebook.IMG_0072

2. The app will take you into Facebook, click on the ‘Page’ you want to connect. For us, we connected Crush Brands Facebook page and Instagram account. Next, you’ll want to enter in the information you want available on your Insta page. You can add a contact e-mail, phone number, and the location of your business. Click ‘done’ and you’ll be back on your updated business Instagram profile.

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As you can now see, there’s a contact button, which is super convenient for followers!

3. In case you didn’t know, here’s how you can check out your insights on Instagram. See how many impressions you have, what gender predominantly looks at your page, the average age range, location of your likers and more!

4. Now right from the Instagram app, you can get directions, call or e-mail us instead of following a link to our website.

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Expectations vs. Reality

Are you a whore for the likes? Well, we are.

Where would we be if we didn’t #DoItForTheGram?

The “We ❤ NYC” Shot

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What we’re trying to portray: Just roaming the streets during our lunch break! We love spending our free time on the calm NYC streets and avenues wandering around the fabulous city surrounded by beautiful tall buildings. Working in the city is so great. No need for subways or taxis; we’ll walk everywhere! #EmpireStateofMind

What’s really going on: Holy sh*t! These angry cab drivers seriously need to watch out. And yes, we chose to stop walking across the four-lane street so we could get this artsy AF Instagram shot, but so worth it because it will get so many likes. Do we care that everyone was yelling at us to get out of the way? No. It only took our entire lunch break to get the perfect angle—not too bad!

 

The “Did We or Didn’t We Eat That” Shot?

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What we’re trying to portray: Look at how cool our dessert looks OMG. We’re so trendy by posting this on Insta and who cares if it’s swimsuit season. #NoRegrets

What’s actually going on: Let’s be clear here: the cotton candy colors make the picture great but none of us actually ate it. You know we’re a social media company; we’re all about aesthetics. It took an hour for us to order because the restaurant was so crowded but still worth it. We found a clean black wall to take the pic and used our ring light to make this picture on point, which it totally is.

 

The “Too Cool” for a Selfie, Selfie

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What we’re trying to portray: Living the dream, looking amazing, and hanging out on the beach for sunset. Check out how good her collarbones look! Oh and the hair? All natural and flawless!! Thank you beach breeze!

What’s actually going on: The sun was setting, and the lighting was amazing. But, what you don’t see is how trashy this beach is. Someone should really clean up all of the seaweed and empty beer bottles. Best part of this photo is that you can’t see her wet hair/no makeup look. Appearance is everything and we captured as much as we could. You really thought we cut off her face to be artsy? Ha.

 

The Productivity Shot

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What we’re trying to portray: The sunrise is so calming. We love starting our day with a Starbucks skinny vanilla latte w/ 2 Splenda and fresh fruit. There’s nothing better than getting a head start on e-mails at the crack of dawn right before yoga. Namaste!

What’s actually going on: Ooh I hope someone brought donuts today….

 

The Sand-y/Summer-y Shot

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What we’re trying to portray: #BeachDay #BeachCasual! No complaints from the beach! Such a relaxing day laying out with a piña colada.

What’s actually going on: You don’t understand how hard it was to pose like this. Try to replicate it—we dare you. We saw this on Pinterest and tried to copy it, but it took forever. Nobody suns in a superman position as they drink a piña colada. Who even wears this much jewelry to a beach? Nobody. The messed up tan lines are worth this shot!

 

The Clean Eating Shot

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What we’re trying to portray: Healthy food and the gym are two of our fave things! These greens taste amazing and can energize us for a long day at work. Plating is essential, and if this industry doesn’t work out we could always become a catering company. Follow us for delicious looking food! We’ll post the recipes in our bio.

 

What’s actually going on: Come on, this was absolute shit. Who could honestly get full off of this? We’d be hungry within 10 minutes. And, who has the time to cut their vegetables that perfectly? Time for takeout.

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We all are guilty of posing, editing, or enhancing our pictures. We aren’t judging you! It takes some serious skill to make your real life look flawless and awesome. Just remember: try to not get caught!

 

Picture Perfect with These 9 Apps!

Ready, aim, focus, and snap! You’ve captured a picture perfect moment but something’s off—maybe the lighting or perhaps a blemish that needs to be removed. Thankfully, apps exist to save the day and of course, edit all of our photos and videos.

From the most basic editing to the advanced settings and tools, we’ve got the low down on the best apps to use for editing photos and videos.

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VSCO: An app for trendy photographers, great Insta pics and more!

VSCO is in all-in one camera, editing, and photo sharing app that offers high quality results. It’s suitable for beginners and advanced phone photographers depending on how much you choose to play around with the different app settings. Kylie Jenner even uses this app to post most of her photos! She loves the simple yet cute effects. What sets VSCO apart from all other apps is the available filters and the library grid. It allows you to upload all of your photos into a library grid, which is super helpful in planning out how you want to brand your Insta feed out! It gives you a visual idea of what your photos will look like when placed near each other.

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Facetune: Get ready for a makeover!

A mere $4 is a small price to pay for perfection. This app is capable of the impossible: flawless skin. You can erase blemishes, hide bags under your eyes, whiten your teeth, and make subtle thinning or reshaping tweaks if necessary. But, be sure to use the app in moderation! Beware of warping from over correcting because it may tip people off about where you edited! Overall, the app makes touch ups simple so anyone can reap its benefits! Perfect365 is a free similar app to Facetune, but we think perfection is worth the $4 price tag.

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Camera +: “The Camera+ app is like a high-quality SLR lens”-TIME Magazine

What made this app so great has to be the Clarity filter. It can fix anything from poor exposure to camera shake. The layout and accessibility is what sets Camera+ apart as one of the best photo editing apps available. You’ll really notice the quality difference between normal pictures and edited Camera+ pics—definitely worth the download.

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Photoshop Express: When it comes to photo editing software, Adobe always wins!

Fulfills all of the functions you need for picture editing and it’s free! The mobile version of the desktop software offers a smaller workspace than most apps, but it’s still one of the most capable after-effects programs out there. Popular Photoshop features such as layers, selection tools, and adjustments are all available.

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Birthday collages, anyone?

We love using this app over Pic Stitch because you can use way more pictures and aren’t restricted to certain layouts or borders around your collage. Photo Grid allows you to combine photos, texts, and stickers. All of the collages can be exported to any app on your phone including the Camera Roll.

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Vid Lab: Wow your friends and families with homemade videos that look far from homemade!

Create professional results through the app’s user-friendly tools. Add overlays, sound effects, music, video effects, text, and voice-overs! The app makes creativity as easy as possible producing incredible results. No prior experience necessary!

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Boomerang: The GIF creator for Insta

The app made for Insta videos creates a one-second burst of photos that play forwards and then reverses over and over in a loop. Great for blowing your followers a kiss or clinking some wine glasses together with your friends for a ‘cheers’!

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iMovie: A few taps, a few swipes, and you’re ready for your big movie premiere!

iMovie makes simple video editing easy. It’s great for beginners, just tap, drag, and pinch your way around the video clips. Shoot video from within the app or access your photo/video gallery afterwards. You’re able to start shooting from scratch or use one of their preexisting creative templates. You can edit at resolutions up to 4K on iPhone 6s and iPad Pro if that is the high quality you’re looking for! A notable advantage of the app is the accessibility of iMovie on phones and your Mac computer. Video editors can utilize more advanced tools on the computer to get the video ready for its primetime debut!

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Splice: Powerful edits made simple.

GoPro recently acquired this leading mobile video-editing app to deliver ultra convenient and powerful editing solutions to GoPro and smartphone users. Splice brings desktop editing software power to your mobile or tablet device without making it too complicated for users! You can pick transitions, trim video clips, add filters, show film in slo-mo, and add photos! Your video will sound great as well since Splice offers a large variety of free soundtracks, or you can pick a song from your iTunes library. Splice is free on the app store!

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With followers constantly assessing our online posts, we strive to produce the greatest pictures and videos. We want to have the best lighting and greatest filters, but it’s important to still maintain the sense of realness.

Our advice: enhance wisely! Make it difficult to discern between what is real and what is fake.

With Love From Italia: Why Italy Should Be Your Next Destination

Ever heard of Prada, or maybe Parmesan cheese? Italy is home to so many iconic fashion brands, sports cars, foods, wines and so much more. If the phrase “wine is cheaper than water” doesn’t convince you enough to hop on a plane to Italy, here’s a few of Italy’s top destinations that hopefully will!

  1. Florence, Italy: The city of gold and leather

With the great summer weather, this city tends to fill up with tourists. Avoid the long lines by getting tickets in advance, starting your days early, and prioritizing places/attractions you want to see most. Make a general schedule so you stay on track and get to take advantage of all that Florence has to offer!

Restaurant Suggestions:

-Osteria delle Tres Panche: Four cheese truffle ravioli, and their spicy maccheroni pasta are to DIE FOR! They have incredible lemon chicken, meatballs, and cheesecake! There are only 3 benches in the entire place, and this is a GREAT place to avoid the tourist frenzy since its mostly locals eating here!

*MUST make reservations in advance!

-Gusta Pizza: Incredible Neapolitan style pizzas. They have a special pesto pizza, but only available if you ask for it!

-Al Antico Vinaio: Stop in here for a quick sandwich when you’re on the go! You can either create your own sandwich or trust the men behind the counter to create one for you.

*TIP: Don’t go at peak lunch hours or you will have a line. Go around 11 am or 2/3 pm.

-13 Gobbi: -Great for a typical Tuscan meal at very reasonable prices. Pictured above is their famous rigatoni with red sauce and lots of cheese. Looks simple but tastes phenomenal!

*Make a reservation! This place is always busy.

-Sesto at the Westin: Go to the restaurant, Sesto, at sunset for an amazing view of Florence along the river with delicious appertivo (Italian version of happy hour)!

 

Tourist Attractions:

-Piazzale Michelangelo: Skip the steep climb to the top of the Duomo (the Cathedral) and hike up to the top of this Piazzale! The Duomo climb of 400 stairs is pretty claustrophobic, and there is almost always a line. Instead, cross over the River and see the entirety of Florence from this great lookout.

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Our recommendation: Take a bottle of wine with you and watch the sunset up here!

-Galleria dell’Accademia: Home to Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, the David. Go early or get your tickets ahead of time. Otherwise, you will be waiting in line for a while!

-Ponte Vecchio: Famous bridge over the Arno River lined with jewelry stores. Beware: some of the vendors are selling inauthentic pieces so be cautious!

 

Day Trips: It’s super easy to take a day trip from Florence by train or even bus departing out of Santa Maria Novella train station!

-Cinque Terre: travel here by bus or train to hike between 5 cliff side towns on the coast. Pesto was first created here!

-Milan: The fashion capital of the world is only an hour and a half train ride from Florence!

-Pisa: less than an hour away by bus. **FYI, there’s nothing to do here besides the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

-Bologna: 30 minutes away by train, great for pasta Bolognese and shopping.

-Venice and the gondolas are a short train ride away!

 

Shopping:

-The San Lorenzo Leather Market: very negotiable prices for all things leather! This outdoor market is next to the Central Market, so you can grab a quick bite to eat during your shopping spree. This area is very touristy, so watch out for pick-pocketers and know that you can easily bargain!

-Cross over the Ponte Vecchio towards Pitti Palace, and there are a lot of higher end leather stores for nice jackets, purses, gloves, and more. A few personal faves were Madova (for gloves), Anna’s, and Parri’s (for leather jackets and purses). These stores line the main street so you can’t miss them!

 

  1. Tuscany, Italy: A Wine Tour a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away

Sit back, relax, and enjoy Tuscany’s best vino! Tuscany is famous for producing Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. Enjoy wine tastings at these world-renowned vineyards with a magnificent view.

If you have time, take a cooking class and learn about traditional Tuscan cooking. Traditional foods include ribollita (a thick vegetable soup), bruschetta, and biscotti!

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Beware: Tuscans do not use salt in their bread! Tasted pretty bland to us, but this is a longstanding tradition of the region.

 

  1. Positano, Italy: Life’s a climb, but the view is great

Positano, a vertical town along the Amalfi Coast, is known for its colorful houses, fashionable boutiques, delicious restaurants, luxurious hotels, and breathtaking views. Oh yeah, and the crazy amount of stairs! To get to most places, you have to climb stairs, as cars are limited to the one and only main road.

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This small town nestled in the cliffs is a MUST see. The main season to visit starts in May and goes until the end of October, otherwise most of the restaurants and activities are shut down for the off-season. Our recommendation is to go in mid-May or September/August to avoid the large tourist groups that take over during the summer!

 

Fun Things to Do:

-Relax on the volcanic sandy beach in Positano! Cute boutiques, the domed church, and many restaurants serving fresh seafood, homemade pastas, and delicious limoncello all surround the beach.

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-Take a day trip to Capri to see the Blue Grottos. It’s super easy to take a boat from Positano, and the view is incredible! There’s nothing better than being on those bright blue waters.

-On your way back to the train or airport in Naples, stop in the town of Herculaneum to see ruins from the Mt. Vesuvius volcanic eruption. In our opinion, much more preserved than Pompeii!

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General Tips about Italy :

-Learn to take the trains: You can get almost everywhere via train. They’re super easy to figure out and relatively inexpensive!

-Italians eat three-course meals typically, but don’t worry because these meals are much lighter than the American version of Italian food!

  1. Antipasta (appetizer)
  2. Primo (pasta)
  3. Secondo (meat or fish)

-Tipping isn’t always customary. You can tip someone if they go above and beyond what’s necessary!

Useful phrases:

Hello and Goodbye: Ciao

Thank you: Grazie

You’re welcome: Prego

Bathroom: Bagno

Piazza: Square

Red wine/white wine: Vino Rosso/ Vino Bianco

Beer: Birra

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Whether you’re going to Italy for a few days or studying abroad for 4 months (like our new intern Haley), there will never be a shortage of things to do or eat in Italy. Each city is filled with its own unique history, making the country a MUST-SEE!

 

With that in mind, we hope you have a great trip! Or as the Italians say, Buon Viaggio!

Crushing Hard on our New Intern!

Born in the Big Apple, Raised in Houston, Texas. This girl has just returned from her worldly travels and is back in America settling down with CB this summer in Dallas, Texas!

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CB: What have you been up to for the past few months?

Haley: I just got back from studying abroad in Florence, Italy for 4 months. While I was here I got to travel all over Europe and the UK.

 

Fave TV Shows:

Suits and Scandal

 

 Do you have any siblings?

One younger brother, but people always think he’s older since I have a baby face! I’m 5’1 and he’s 5’8.

 

What’s your go-to Starbucks drink?

Depends on the season, but I love my skinny vanilla lattes all year round! My winter go-to is a skinny peppermint mocha.

 

Food Addictions:

I’m a HUGE snacker! Honeycrisp apples and Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn are two of my favorite snacks.

 

Fave Social Media Platform:

I’m always checking Instagram and Snapchat. However, Snapchat is my favorite because it’s more raw and in the moment than Instagram. I also love the new Snapchat filter that makes my cheeks look flawless!!

 

Instagram accounts you love:

I love looking at Food accounts, but they always make me so hungry. My favorites are @newforkcity and @austinmymouth (since I go to school at the University of Texas at Austin). @drinksintheair is also super entertaining and has awesome backdrops.

 

Guilty Pleasures:

Warm chocolate chip cookies are definitely my weakness. I also am obsessed with Prosecco! For my birthday, I had a cake in the shape of a Prosecco bottle.

 

Name one thing you want to do before you die:

I really want to go Skydiving but have always been way too scared. This past semester I went paragliding in Switzerland, so I’m starting to get over my fear of heights!

 

Hobbies:

I love to workout and am super into fitness classes. I recently learned how to cook, so I’m always searching Pinterest for cool new recipes. I love to travel and hang with my family and friends.

 

Something Embarrassing About Yourself:

I used to be terrified of getting shots at a Doctor’s office, so I would run around the entire office crying hysterically! It was super mortifying for my mom to deal with.

 

Quotes you disagree with:

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving,”-Albert Einstein. I personally don’t know how to ride a bike so don’t know if I could apply this to my life so easily…

 

Favorite Animal:

My dogs: Frisbee and Max. Frisbee is a Bichon Frisee and Max is a chubby miniature golden doodle. They’re basically my parent’s favorite children.

 

Who is your celeb style inspiration?

Blake Lively, aka Serena Van der Woodson, can seriously pull off any outfit. Her hubby is pretty good looking himself!

 

Biggest Pet Peeve:

I can’t stand when people crack their knuckles. The sound is cringe-worthy!

 

What can you not leave the house without?

A Diet Coke bottle—I’m seriously addicted. I had the hardest time in Italy because they don’t have Diet Coke there!

 

Dream kiss?

Justin Bieber, of course. For my 16th birthday party, I had a life-size cut out of him!

 

One thing in your closet you can’t live without:

Rompers: so comfy and amazing for almost any occasion.

 

You’ve traded numbers, who makes the first move…you or him?

Your move… I’m super shy when I first meet people, so I’d have to say he would have to make the first move and text me. After the first move, I’m fair game.

 

We’re so excited to have Haley back in the States and joining our CB family! Stay tuned to see what she’ll do next!

From Beginning to End with Celiac Disease

Our newest member to the Crush Brands team, Emily, tells about her experience with Celiac Disease.

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First of all, I never chose to have this disease, like many others in the world I struggled getting a diagnosis for over a decade. I’d also like to clarify that although I don’t absolutely have to be gluten free, I’d rather not die a slow painful death caused by dying intestines….

Gluten killed the villi in my intestines, which are the little absorbing mechanisms that give your body the nutrition it needs from the food you eat.

To every waitress and confused health nut, this is not because I’m a hippie or because I’m super trendy! & although I won’t die upon consumption, it will sure feel like it to my insides.

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To tell you the truth, it’s been a long and stressful journey. For years I sought out doctor after doctor, leaving only with words like “we will have to run more tests” or “try this medicine for a month and see if that helps.” With my only symptoms being extremely painful and relentless Restless Leg Syndrome(RLS) and occasional hives.

The medicinal world is great for most people, but waiting more than 10 years to finally realize what was dragging me down was honestly the worst part. (and yes I mean worse than giving up ALL my favorite foods within a 2 hour period.)

My parents have always been extremely supportive of my life, and I had seen doctors throughout childhood to try and understand my various symptoms, but the results were always the same. “She’ll grow out of it.” Well I didn’t. When I turned 18 I decided I have to start researching doctors and finally get to the bottom of this. Thousands of dollars and dozens of tests later I was still at ground zero. My doctors thought I was drug seeking or maybe just crazy. My parents were starting to think so too.

Frustrated, I literally gave up. I stayed on the medicine prescribed and told myself I just have to live with the pain seeping from my legs every night.

FFWD to age 21.

My RLS has become worse than ever, especially with added stress of being a senior in college. Someone suggested I see a hematologist, this blood doctor was apparently the end all be all to my diagnosis issues. Why on earth did none of those dozens of other doctors suggest a blood doctor? I took plenty of blood tests for everyone else, why not see someone who specializes in blood?

I’m glad I listened, because I had given up and settled.

They drew blood and I met the doctor. Within THREE MINUTES…. THREE WHOLE MINUTES of sitting in his office he was able to tell me “I believe you have Celiac Disease” proceeding to tell me that my iron has been at or just above the anemia threshold for god knows how long… and there are more tests to confirm. This time was different, within one dreadfully long and excruciating week I was able to stare my diagnosis in the face and say goodbye to gluten forever.

Goodbye to sandwiches, pizza, chinese food, beer, pasta, garlic bread, chicken wings, pancakes and waffles and most other AMAZING FOODS.

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Day 1 of Gluten Free Diet: Depression

Day 14 of Gluten Free Diet: Anxiety

Day 21 of Gluten Free Diet: Guilt

I was getting more depressed by the day finding out more and more foods that I couldn’t eat. I was anxious because I now had to read EVERY SINGLE FOOD LABEL ON EVERYTHING I INGEST.

Ask anyone… its horribly intimidating.

Then guilt, not only do I have to be gluten free but family dinners, date nights, restaurant choices, recipe books, grocery stores, and state fairs, EVERYTHING WAS DIFFERENT. I honestly struggled with the idea of having to be gluten free around the people I love every day, even when they weren’t.

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Day 45 of Gluten Free Diet: Relief

Finally I saw the light when I met my nutritionist and she opened my eyes to a world of gluten free goodies, tips and tricks and easy things I can do to change. I’m going to share some of those with you today, just incase you hate gluten or maybe it hates you… Either way these things saved me and brought me back to life.

1st: 1 to 1 Gluten Free flour! This is a 100% substitute for any recipe calling for flour. My favorite is in the green box at Walmart in the Gluten Free section. Although it’s much finer than traditional flour it has been the best mix I have found to date. Also you can try Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1, it is more expensive and it has 2/3 the amount of the brand I referred to earlier – also an amazing thing to keep on hand.

2nd: Udi’s Gluten Free bread! This bread is the closest I can get to real bread these days, partially because I have been too lazy to make GF bread myself. Udi’s is freezer bread, I just pop it in a gluten free toaster (designated toaster that has never had gluten in it) or in the oven on broil for a brief period of time. Toast it to taste, soft or crunchy…and I’m back to bread loving for a quick and easy meal.

3rd: Gluten free pasta! This pasta tastes absolutely NO different than regular pasta, unless you eat it plain. My favorite is the yellow box of Ronzoni I use it as a replacement at family dinners, family gatherings and no one can even tell. It truly is a win for me because I can eat it, and a win for whoever I’m with.

4th: Gluten free soy sauce! Don’t spring for the cheap kind, Kikkoman is the best brand & the price is hardly any different. I’ve made plenty of Chinese food recipes at home and they have turned out amazing!

5th: Find me Gluten Free! This app is a life saver when traveling! Seriously, you should download it now. It tells you which restaurants have GF options and which are celiac friendly. Good users like myself typically leave reviews about the experience to help the app and other people who choose to be or have to be gluten free.

Naming a few other favorite brands and restaurants: Snyder’s gluten free pretzels, Chex Cereal, Frito Lay (most of their chips are corn based, double check ingredient list for wheat), Local Oven bakery (100% GF facility), The Cheesecake Factory, BJ’s Brewhouse, Mellow Mushroom, Live – G Free, and Bob’s Red Mill.

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*TIP* Some restaurants in Texas carry GF Local Oven Bakery bread like Smashburger and Great Outdoors, you just have to ask!

*TIP* be on the look out for beauty and healthcare products that contain hidden gluten… Pfizer does not have a gluten free facility and the drug manufacturer told me to stay clear of all of their products and medicines. + steer clear of Cheerios, Annie’s, Ian’s, and GF Goldfish.

Tweet us @CrushBrands – always happy to connect with other fellow celiac’s, or if its your choice that’s cool too!

New Crush Brands Headquarters

After many months of anticipation, stress and a million disasters thwarted, we are finally moved into our new office in North Dallas.

5232 Forest Lane, Suite #170, Dallas, Texas 75244

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Crush Brands is settling in nicely. Our immediate neighbors to the right, who keep us looking young and beautiful, Enlighten, and to our left, Dr. David Feinstein’s medical practice – Diabetes and Endocrinology. Our CB owner and founder, Lauren Feinstein has found a nice synergistic groove between businesses owned by her father (Dr. David Feinstein) and sisters (Kari Ceitlin, owner of Enlighten and Abby Bates, a senior technician at Enlighten). It is truly a family affair!

The atmosphere is contagious; it is such a productive and calm inviting space.

To give credit where credit is due, Kari lead the charge of pushing us all to discontinue paying rent and create our own space. It is her fearless thought process that inspired the whole team to take this leap. Kari has always been unafraid of hard work and dreaming big. Kari is is a busy mom of 3 young boys and is wife to Jay Ceitlin, a highly respected and well know real estate juggernaut who is also a business owner at Shop Co’s – a multi-service retail real estate firm. #PowerCouple

http://www.enlightenmd.com/

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Yes, Kari lead the charge, however, none of this would have been possible without Dr. David Feinstein. He is ranked on the global directory of “Who’s Who,” listed in “Best Doctors in Dallas” since 1992, a national speaker for some of the worlds biggest pharmaceutical companies, a national thought leader in Endocrinology, a clinical professor of internal medicine at Southwestern Medical School (since 1990), and on the advisory board of the American Diabetes Association. As a metabolic and hormone specialist, his practice lent itself perfectly to the inception of Enlighten which began as laser hair removal company for many “hormonally dysfunctional patients” and has since progressed multi fold, now offering hundreds of services. #LifeSaver

http://www.drdavidf.com/physician_bio.htm

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Enlighten is a professional medical spa that helps patients attain the most youthful and beautiful look possible. Boasting non-invasive youth seeking procedures like: Photofacials, Fraxel, Ultherapy, Botox, Voluma, Jevederm, Thermage, Clear & Brilliant, MicroDermal Infusion, Chemical Peels, and of course, laser hair removal.

One of the best perks of being smack in the middle of all of this, we will never get wrinkles or be in need of insulin.

Lauren Feinstein founded Crush Brands in 2010, before anyone even really knew what a social media manager was. With almost 6 years of experience, Lauren is considered to be a veteran in this new age industry. Crush Brands has grown to be as full service digital marketing company, primarily representing clients who are people of high public interest (athletes, celebrities, politicians) and luxury brands. www.crushbrands.com Because of the nature of this business we do not disclose who our clients are, but we will say this, many are household names.

#CrushingtheSocialMediaGame

Come on by and check out our new space. We can help with your health, beauty, and digital marketing ALL UNDER ONE ROOF!

 

New CB Member Alert!

We are so excited that Emily Heidt has joined the CB team! Get to know her in this fun Q & A!

Be sure to follow her on Instagram: @emz993

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  1. Where did you go to college:  University of North Texas
  2. What is your degree in:  Marketing and Business-to-Business Professional Selling.
  3. Favorite Animal:  My dog Scooby Doo, and also my hedgehog, Spike!!
  4. Do you have any siblings?  Two slightly older brothers Andrew and Daniel (who even knows their mental age), and my stepsister, Sam!
  5. Favorite TV show?  The Walking Dead! Even though I’m horrified of zombies!
  6. Have you ever been out of the country:  I lived in London for a couple years for my Dad’s job and traveled around Europe when I was growing up!
  7. PC or Mac:  Mac & one of each please!!!
  8.  Your most recent life challenge to overcome:  I found out about a year ago that I have Celiac Disease, which means I have to say goodbye to gluten and to all my favorite foods. The upside is, I love to cook and find new recipes and I’m glad I don’t have to be sick all the time anymore.
  9. What do you order at Starbucks:  On occasion I’ll drink a White Mocha Carmel Frappuccino, but I’m super into their gluten free marshmallow dream bars!
  10. One random talent that most wouldn’t know you have:   I can actually beat box pretty well; I can also solve a rubix cube in 2 minutes flat.
  11. Favorite Song:  This changes all the time. But currently: What Do You Mean by Justin Bieber.
  12. Guilty Pleasures:  I have a big problem always crafting cakes and desserts that are gluten free, which end up being super delicious!
  13. Name one food you cant live without?  Sushi, specifically Simon Sushi in Plano, Texas! I’ve been going to this sushi place since I was born, it seriously has the best quality you can find in DFW.
  14. An embarrassing moment that still makes you cringe?  I tripped and fell flat on my face during one of the most important interviews of my life; I literally just got up and laughed it off. Also: One time my friend and I wrote this super catchy song and contacted Snoop Dog’s oldest son on Instagram and he actually loved it, and wanted to help us with it!
  15. Name one thing you want to do before you die?  Have an awesome tree house built by Pete Nelson in the mountains somewhere and live out my retirement.
  16. Hobbies you have:  I love Photography and outdoorsy activities, like camping, kayaking and hiking! I also love working out outside! I most recently completed a sprint triathlon; I’m big into swimming, biking, running, rollerblading and long boarding.
  17. What are three things still left on your bucket list?  Go to Harry Potter World, have a show on Food Network, and have a closet the size of my living room!
  18. Favorite social media platform?  Instagram! I have 3 different accounts, one for gluten free food, my personal, and one for my photography!
  19. Best prank you have ever pulled on someone?  High School, Senior Prank we had a flash rave in the cafeteria and had all the lights turned out and music blaring through the whole school, not too long after we finished dancing we had a huge food fight!
  20. Biggest Pet Peeve?  Smacking your mouth while chewing. Literally the worst sound ever.
  21. You can play the starring role in one TV show that’s already aired, what would it be?  I would be Robin on HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother) I seriously love her and Ted!
  22. You’ve traded numbers, who makes the first move…you or him?  I’m definitely not afraid to make the first move but seeing as I have more traditional dating views, he’ll probably make the first move since I would wait several months. It’s also been a while since I’ve exchanged numbers with a guy considering I’ve been living with my boyfriend Brandon for 4+ years!Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.46.50 AM
  23. What 3 songs would be included in the soundtrack to your life?  Drops of Jupiter – Train; Peanut Butter & Jelly – Cadillac Don; The Thrill – Wiz Khalifa
  24. Favorite Quote:  I don’t know who said it, but “Live life like a Bow & Arrow, if you feel like you are being dragged backwards in life, don’t worry, because chances are you will be launched into something much better.”