Monday, February 16, 2015

What's Your Cocktail?

Everyone has one. Their favorite.
The one that makes them smile after the first sip.

It's satisfaction, feeling in your groove, all is good in that moment.

What is your cocktail? 

What if we think of "that perfect cocktail" as an intangible?
(bare with me, I won't take your glass away )

What if we think of our perfect cocktail as the mixology of everything that makes us great in any given moment?

What is the mix of awesomeness, that when shaken or stirred together make you feel amazing, makes you feel like a big girl.

My cocktail of Big Girlness
Time to workout daily & eat clean
Quiet moments to write and create
Real family time with my husband and baby
Live my entrepreneurial life
Connect with my ladies

If these happen regularly in my life, I'm golden. I'm in my "big girl" stride.

My goal : Despite the hecticness of life, keep ordering that drink and work on enjoying more than that first sip.

What's your cocktail?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sometimes you have to step back to move forward.

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted anything here. It feels good to be back. I’ve upped my "big girl” status the past two years – I became a momma to the sweetest girl ever. I also went back to work full time to a great agency as an ACD, working with an amazing team of creative rockstars.  Personally I also took some time to focus on my writing. For as full as those events have definitely made my life I’m thinking of Big Girl more and more. I’m finding more passion for her than I’ve ever had.

Setting Big Girl aside for a bit was a tough decision but a necessary one.. as all the working mommas out there know, there is but so many hours in a day – even if we want to pretend that we can wish for more and it will magically show. It doesn’t.

Stepping back from  Big Girl actually ended up being a great thing. It made me miss her, made me realize how much I want to see her succeed and becoming something amazing for me to share.

I learned sometimes you have to step back to move forward.

I was able to see more for her than just really great cocktails. During the next few weeks I’ll share where she’s headed. First stop on our new journey is giving a voice to women including myself.

I’ve started Big Girl Publish, a project that I’m launching with the release of my first book, Artist in B-School which is available on

I’m super excited for opportunity to engage with with other women this way…
of course a few good cocktails will always be in the mix.

Cheers and much love, Sam

Sunday, September 30, 2012

40 Thoughts about Turning 40

1. I'm the happiest I've ever been.

2. Married to the only man that tolerates my crazy and
cheers me on the way I need.

3. ...that only took 39 1/2 years to happen.

4. I waited to do it – and I'm so glad I did... several wrong men and even more great years by myself to figure out who I really am and what I really want.

5. We have a plan of world domination – he's just as driven as I am. It's one of the reasons why I married him.

6. We go out and party like we're 20 – I hope we can hold on to some of that,
no matter how old we get.

7. Attempting the kid thing – though you all really aren't selling it for me.

8. Though, I also can't wait to be a badass mom and make little monsters that will form into amazing people we really want to spend time with.

9. Gone from my career being everything to not giving a shit about it.

10. I'm at a happy medium now, with a great new job that actually fills me with purpose and a value of my craft: I'm finally making the world better instead of selling crap.

11. Am no longer interested in life balance, but chasing life's passions – so what if it's crazy most of the time.

12. I actually exactly know what I want for the rest of my life
– with a plan to do it.

13. Strategic has replaced reactionary as a personality trait.

14. I've realized a strength is something you feel stronger for doing.

15. I only do what makes me feel stronger – if it pains me in the pit of my stomach, I don't.

16. I'm starting a company that I have absolutely no idea how to run – but am figuring it out.

17. I decided I love to write.

18. I  finally finished my first book, have 3 behind it in the works. May start a small publishing company to set them all free.

19. At 40 I have more interests and passions than I have time for – that makes me happy and crazy at the same time.

20. I love that I'm still a live music junkie – Apparently at almost 40, I've randomly turned into a Mötley Crüe groupie. I think that's very funny.

21. I  love coaching –  I'm learning tons. Life coaching, entrepreneurial coaching, sales coaching, business coaching, writing coaching, relationship and interpersonal coaching, girl mojo coaching, image coaching,  trainer at the gym, nutritionist, colorist..... I need it all.

22. Have figured out my own secret sauce of success – do what I tell myself I'm going to do – no excuses and what I want will happen.

23. I like my hair dark – what resulted in a dye job worse than anything I did at 16, it's apart of my new mojo: my wedding hair, my wifey/momma "biggirl" hair.

24. Or I'll decide to go blonde again.

25. I wear red lipstick. I wore it for the first time at our wedding, it works on me. It reminds me of our friend Claire. She had the most beautiful smile  – when I first met her she wore red lipstick, I thought it was so sweet, playful and fun. I wear it to remember her.

26. I have noticed a big wrinkle forming in my forehead – we may send him packing – or become friends, there's a lot I went through to earn him.

27. I have a new interest in skincare, it's becoming a bit of an obsession. I'm more than happy to put down some mula to have some of my 16 yr old glow back – we took that for granted.

28. I actually have my MBA  – Ha!

29. I've run 4 consecutive marathons and over 30 half marathons, I've lost count  – I'm letting myself take a break from running and I'm ok with it.

30. I spin. I love the crazy that happens when I run on the bike  – I feel like I could ride right over any mountain.

31. Actually embracing waking up early. I love how much i'm getting done before I start my day.

32. I can fit into my jr prom dress that I wore when I was 15.

33. I really need to stop drinking bullets. Really Paolo, stop insisting.

34. I have the most eclectic group of friends. I kinda love that they all may not get along. It shows my many personalities as an adult. It humors me.

35. I'm sweetly amused by the glassware obsession past down to me by my grandmother – and her obsession with shoes, purses, anything fashion, entertainment or cocktail related  – all the proper concerns for a lady.

36. Speaking of my Granzie - I've started putting "my face" on first thing in the morning, before the man gets up. It may be very un-feminist, but that's fine with me.

37. The things I want seem unreasonable – but that makes me want them more.

38. Starting a whole new decade of marriage, family, career, entrepreneurship, writing projects, self improvement, crazy parties, life changing moments –  bring it on... all of it!

39. I can look back at 40 years experience and now appreciate that it got me where I am today –  and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

40. I'm not sure what 40 is supposed to feel like  –  for me it's  kinda like 20 but way, way better!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Getting back momentum - "on the side"

After I got my MBA last year, I  hit the ground running.

I knocked out my first book, was in the process of starting 2 companies, consulting with freelance clients… living the entrepreneurial dream that I fantasized over while I was in grad school.

Then came our wedding…

I now have an extraordinary amount of respect for anyone who plans a wedding on their own. It's quite the challenge. It was the biggest party we'll ever throw – 150 people, invitations, ceremony, music, food, seating charts, decorations, flowers, photographers.. family and out of town guests – keeping to my strict budget, firing the caterer, becoming the caterer, finding new food, hiring new help, making centerpieces, signs, place cards, flower arrangements, and dozens of other wedding craft projects.. and spending way too much time at Party City.  It actually all turned out great.

I have a good friend who told me it was okay if I took a break from my life (writing and my company) while I handled this massive undertaking - I was going to need the energy and the time. She was so right.

I figured out something amazing. Not only could I take a break from my life to get married, but I could give myself permission to take the following 2 months as well. I was tired…  diy wedding, trying to keep up with our life and my projects, and try to pay for it all, was a lot even for me.

I know I did it to myself, it's what I do. I actually apologized for it in my wedding vows. "I apologize in advance for the fact that I'm not really happy unless I have 100 things going on at once".

I sometimes am my own worst enemy.

So now it's two months later, all thank you notes are sent, the wedding explosion that covered every room in our home is now cleared.. I've had some time to digest it all.. it's time to get back to life again.

Post wedding life has a bit of a shift… I got a steady – a 9 to 5 job. In all the flurry of the wedding and our upcoming life as married people, including starting a family, we realized we should probably have a steady. I'm very happy I found an amazing new job working at a great agency that focuses on non-profit work. I can earn a good living and add something valuable to the world.. and my husband can focus on building company number 1.

So where does that leave me and my 2 loves (writing and BigGirl)? I've been looking for the momentum to get going again. The good thing about the break I took, is that if someone asked me about my book or BigGirl and how they are doing – I'd get all excited again… which is a great sign. I'm still passionate about what I want to do with my time (write and build my company) it's just a matter of getting my momentum back with my new life (married with a steady) where my personal time is evenings and weekends.

When it feels daunting, getting my book published and starting a company while working, I take comfort knowing it's not just me, that's how most writers and entrepreneurs have to swing it – after the steady. I heard someone call it "on the side" like an order of fries and a shake.. I'm a Sr. Art Director with a book and a cocktail company on the side. The goal is still to make them the main dish.. I just need to get cooking again.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Defining a BigGirl

I've been working on the business plan for Big Girl Cocktails for a while now... or I should say re-working.. for the nth time. It's the official, professional narrative of Big Girl Cocktails, the product and what I think I can create with it – also a lot of financial requirements, projections, strategic plans and other fabulous storytelling I learned in business school.

I read somewhere that the beauty of having your own business is you can re-work and re-invent it as much as you want... this I now appreciate.

I may not have mentioned before, but I'm also writing a book – Artist in B-School.. a bit of a memoir of my experience getting an MBA. It's funny that working on this plan is a lot like editing my book. The more I read and edit, the more the story evolves... the more I want to do with it. The same opportunity is occurring with Big Girl Cocktails. The more I work on the story/business plan of Big Girl, the more intricate it becomes, the more ideas I get of where it could go.

Defining Big Girl Cocktails has definitely become so much more than coming up with a couple drink recipes and some cook packaging design... It's become my next great story.. a tale of celebrating womanhood I'm really enjoying crafting – one page of my business plan at a time.

- Cheers to all those creating their next tale to tell.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Since I finished school last year, I've been getting back into running. It's been a great way to get back in shape and to keep my crazy busy life in check. It's the time I think through everything we have going on between Kelly's company, my book I have coming out, planning our wedding and "my baby" – Big Girl Cocktails.

Some days I run an easy 3 to 4 miles and when I'm training for an event, my mileage jumps up to a regular 5 to 6 miles a day with longer 8 to 10 mile runs on the weekend. Outside of clearing my mind and getting as healthy as I can, it's been a goal of mine to get my old time back, which is a 1:45 for the half marathon. So far I've run 3 races since I've started training again back in July of last year. I've taken almost 30 minutes off my first race back in the fall, which is wonderful.

I've realized attaining the goal of getting my 1:45 is a long term commitment. It may take me a year or more to get my time back, but its worth it. I had the realization the other day while I was out on one of my long runs, that Big Girl Cocktails is kinda like that 1:45 race time. It's not something I can achieve overnight. Starting this company is a commitment for the long haul. I need to pace myself. Just as with running, I need to slowly work on increasing my speed. I have created a "big list" of everything I can do on my own, with out investors or a partner.. both I would love to have in the future.

But for now, just like with running, if I continue to train regularly, I'll get there.

- Cheers to all those who are pacing themselves to achieve great things.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The big girl cocktail moment - dress episode

I finally went wedding dress shopping. One of my dear friends (lovely, wonderful, bridesmaid) suggested a "wedding dress tailgate".. as I laughed at the awesomeness of her idea, it immediately became a plan. It was one of my most amazing days ever – having my ladies with me, minus my sisters and other dear friends, including one of my bridesmaids who was out of town. We went to a persnickety bridal shop near Melrose, which I'm happy to say at 39, that I'm mature enough to not let bother me.

They tried to force dresses on me I didn't want, tried to force sales that weren't working.. a nightmare episode of "say yes to the dress" but still like big girls, we took it all in stride, said no thank you and went outside, where we proceeded to tailgate in their parking lot.


We had champagne and cheese.. (sparkling cider for my maid-of-honor, who will be delivering my nephew #2 in March) Laughing at the wrongness of the situation, we partied in the parking lot like it was the playoffs.. and it was! – my playoffs of womanhood, heading to the big game – "the wedding". That's when I realized.. damn.. this is THE Big Girl Cocktail moment, though I loved the champagne, what a moment for women to share – shopping for their wedding dress with their best friends.. and what a GREAT moment this would be for a Big Girl Cocktail – one of those amazing "women moments" my company is meant for.

Not quiet there yet, I happily settled for champagne.

I did end up getting "the dress" later on that day. What a day it was!

- Cheers to all the best friends, that are there to share the amazing moments in our lives... even if it's drinking in a parking lot in a crappy LA bridal shop.