The Spartan Super was super

Tiff, our friend Michelle and I participated in my second (their third) Spartan race a few weekends ago near Chicago. It was challenging but I was pleasantly surprised with how I did, especially since I hadn’t trained extensively for it.

We signed up to do another and complete our Trifecta in November at the Spartan Beast in South Carolina. My biggest worry with this one? The cold. I’m not a very good runner in the cold. I’m not a very good person when I’m cold. I hate being cold. And wet. Did I mention the pits of slushy mud we’ll be running through?

I think I’m more excited to stay in the cute cabin we’ve reserved and hanging out by the campfire afterward. I’ve ran a mini-marathon, but I’ve never ran a mini-marathon with 30 or so obstacles sprinkled here and there. Should be interesting to say the least, but knowing at the end of it that I get to hang out with Tiff and couple of friends around a campfire in the middle of the woods sounds pretty amazing. I damn near cried after the Spartan Super so I can’t even image what emotional state I’ll be in after this. Getting over the slippery wall without much trouble would make anyone emotional.


GenCon was amazing this year and as with most conventions and conferences I attend, left me completely inspired and exhausted. Wil Wheaton and I made eye contact while I was in line to buy 5 Gold and a Party t-shirts. I mean, how can I not feel some inspiration from just that experience.


Going to these events makes me want to create things. I often find myself struggling for motivation to create after work and on the weekends since I work in a creative field. Just ask my knitting basket brimming with a half finished scarf (and by scarf I mean mangled mess of double stitches and knots) and unused spools of yarn. The more my creative juices flow at work, the less I want to feel like letting them bubble at home. It’s not that I don’t want to finish knitting that scarf, I just can’t find the drive to do it. Conferences and and conventions give me that drive. It’s all about stepping out of the normal day to day grind.


GenCon made me realize how nerdy I have become/always been. This was our first year doing a 4-Day pass and we tried to make the most of it. We purchased a ton of games and I’m excited for an impending game day with our little group of gamer friends. The Titans Grave panel was great and has made me an appreciation for the creativity that goes into creating a story driven RPG that robust.


Some of the items we purchased:
Takenoko Chibis expansion (tile signed by the Antoine Bauza)
Cthulu Realms
Star Realms
Tesla vs Edison
TitansGrave book (signed by Chris Pramas)
5 Gold and a Party t-shirt
Fantasy Age book
King of Tokyo Halloween expansion
Eldritch Horror
Arkham Horror dice set
Escape from Innsmouth
Copious amounts of Bee Coffee
And dice, lots of dice (and more things I can’t remember)

Games demoed that were awesome:
Medieval Academy
Welcome to the Dungeon
A fun Kickstarter game (I don’t remember the name of) sort of like Cards Against Humanity but more creative
Creative Clash (also on Kickstarter)

Check out this happy GenCon customer.

Client Profile: Braxton Brewing Company

Braxton Brewing Company

I once wrote a blog post about NOT freelancing for friends or family. Well I’m eating my words, because lately, working with friends has not only been extremely rewarding but also super fun.

I recently wrapped up an email redesign project with Braxton Brewing Company based out of Cincinnati, OH. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will soon. They’re brewing up a lot of buzz about their brand, including new email templates.

Here were the project requirements:

  • One email template to accommodate newsletter content.
  • One email template to accommodate events/general information.
Deliverables included:
  • Design mockups
  • Responsive HTML/CSS templates
  • Implementation into MailChimp

These were pretty standard requirements and deliverables and I was really excited to do email design work for a brewery. Working with my friend and former colleague, Jonathan Gandolf, was also a major perk. We worked closely and collaborated from beginning to end to complete the project.  We laughed. We cried. We rejoiced when we figured out how to edit custom templates in MailChimp.

Overall it was a great learning experience and that’s what I love to get out of a project like this. Not only was it fun, I got to work with a friend but I also learned new skills I can carry with me to my next freelance project.

To learn more about Braxton Brewing Company, visit their website and connect with them on Twitter!

Running is good for me…right?

I used to HATE running. Running was a chore, right up there with cleaning the dog crap out my yard. I also hated runners, or I hated listening to them ramble on about how much they enjoyed it and really hated that I wasn’t one of those people. That’s what it boiled down to. Why didn’t I love waking up at 5 AM to run 7 miles?


With all these thoughts rattling around in my head, and a developing apathy towards working out, I did something super rational and signed up for a mini marathon! Smart, right? You get a free t-shirt, I had to do it.


While I love free t-shirts, I really signed up for the challenge. I usually let my head get in the way of my decision making, but this time I wanted to try something new that would force me to go above and beyond what I thought possible. I’m already making strides towards not melting into a pile of sweat and goo on race day. The training is tough but rewarding. The more miles I pack in the more accomplished and honestly, surprised I feel. Two months ago I could barely run a 5k.


I’m a very goal oriented person. When I have a large, daunting, likely horrible task ahead of me, I prepare. This mini is one of the greatest physical challenges I’ve undertaken, but I’m really enjoying the effort I’m putting in and how it makes me feel. I ran 5 miles today, for the second time in my life. This is a big step, people!


Moral of the story here is that I need to get out of my own head and out of my own way more often. When I signed up for this race, I weighed the pros and cons and eventually forgot all that and just hit submit.

Around the world in…lots of days

I’ve traveled more in May than I have in entire years. Some for work, mostly for pleasure, but all good for me. It’s nice to get out of dodge and jog the brain a bit. Here’s where I’ve been:


Austin, TX – Artifact Conference
New Mexico – Vacation
Las Vegas – General silliness


Travel makes me appreciate having roots somewhere. I LOVE coming home (and to my puppies) after being gone for a few days, but don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I’m in a place in my work and personal life that allows me to pack a bag and mosey elsewhere for a few days. Summer is upon us and I want to take the opportunity to travel more as the days get hotter. Kayaking, hiking, wandering around like a tourist in a new city…I’m there. It’s a good exercise for me to stuff the anxiety of not having a solidified plan in place and to just GO somewhere to explore. I always come back with new ideas for work and hobbies that I otherwise would have missed out on.


So, where have you been lately?