International Podcast Day

In honor of International Podcast Day, here are some podcasts we listen to in the studio.

International Podcast Day Start Up

I love this podcast. It brings an honest perspective to the life and struggles of an entrepreneur. Season 2 follows a female led tech start-up who wants to become the “Uber of dating”.

Crazy Ambition

A podcast for mompreneurs like myself! I discovered this when Lisa interviewed me for an epoisode, and I haven’t missed a single episode since. It’s so relatable and features entrepreneurs like myself, learning as we go, bumbing along the way, and coming up with great systems. Check out the episode that I’m featured in from earlier this year.

Stuff Mom Never Told You

Kristen and Caroline get into the biology, psychology and sociology of gendered issues. This podcast is informative, approachable and always entertaining.

Planet Money

This short format podcast is a way to get a bite-sized look at the economy. Whether its a breaking story, or a look at history, it’s always good for the ol’ noggin.

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Between work and family, I sometimes miss the pop cultural going ons of today’s fast-paced world. PCHH keeps me up to date on movies, books and music. I loved the recent episode about the Toronto Film Festival and which movies to keep an eye out for in the upcoming year.

I would very much like to know what podcast you think that I (and my readers) may like.

Sustainable Development Summit and BRAC

This week, United Nations members and leaders in sustainable development initiatives met for the Sustainable Development Summit. The summit presented a set of 17 new sustainable development goals to address in the next 15 years. The goals outlined during the summit tackle income inequality, education, and food insecurity but what makes 2015’s summit different from previous years is its focus on climate change and (drumroll) gender equality!

This program is an integral part of Catherine Nicole’s mission and a driving force behind our business. Check out both BRAC’s and the Girl Effect program’s response to the new Sustainable Development Goals to find out more about where your money goes!

ACL and Festival Fashion


I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to music festival fashion, I air more on the side of practical prude than flower-child. More likely than not, I’m that girl in the unnecessarily large sunhat that looks like it came as part of a pruning shears value-pack, casting disapproving glances at the flurry of neon bra tops.

This year, though, I’m challenging myself and other festival fashion scoffers to keep an open mind when ACL rolls through this weekend and our city becomes a fringe-filled playground. Yes, we will see midriffs. Yes, we will wince at faux cowboy boots and other iterations of “western wear”. But rather than wondering why the festival-goers don’t just go back to California already, perhaps we can adapt a more tolerant approach to others’ choice of skirt length.

In fashion, we are so concerned with what’s new and “on trend”. We’re always looking for an original take, designer, accessory. Festival fashion, on the other hand has modeled Woodstock ever since the 60s became the early 2000s. Can we not, then, admire its stubborn rejection of the trends that shape of our daily clothing choices? Festival fashion refuses to adhere to style norms; it will forever be stuck in its version of a flower-powered Neverland (until we find another time-period to romanticize).

After months of reading fashion “don’t” lists,  is it any wonder that people fully embrace the few days of the year when they can wholeheartedly ignore the rules of style and play dress-up to their heart’s content? I, for one, take comfort in knowing that at a music festival, my shoes can never be “last season” and that I will, with almost absolute certainty, never be the most inappropriately dressed attendee. Festival fashion is a novelty in its own right, but one that seems less concerned with timeliness and mores than its oh-so-serious counterparts. Like that dinner guest who shows up three beers in, we may roll our eyes at her etiquette but admire her audacity.

The September Issue

Every time I step into a bookstore, I’m faced with the same predicament; to spend or not to spend $6.99 on that glossy magazine staring at me from its haughty place on the top-shelf? On the one hand, I’m interested in reading about the latest trends. On the other, women’s magazines are a not-so-subtle reflection of a billion dollar industry that profits off making women feel inadequate. We will always need more. Duh.

I’m most reminded of this when September rolls around and magazine racks bend under the weight of their notorious, phone-book sized issues. Crack one open and you’ll find ten pages of advertisements for every one page of content. And yet, these issues can be remarkably telling about our times. Uptick in economy? Welcome back fur and victorian-inspired decadence! Snowpocalyptic winters? Hello boots that could kick any blizzard’s arse.

In short, ladies magazines serve a purpose and provide substantial content – so long as you’re patient enough to wade through the fluff. Women have long acknowledged the unrealistic expectations these magazines sell, so much so that many of us are now skilled at filtering out the content that doesn’t apply to us and adapting that which does. So, as an homage to “The September Issue”, here’s a visual breakdown of what the magazines suggest – and our version.

Fall Fashion 2015
2015 Fall Fashion- Catherine Nicole

New York Fashion Week and Its Identity Crisis


September marks the beginning of a number of rituals, one of which you may have heard about through the clicking and clacking of heels and camera shutters. New York Fall Fashion Week is here (!) and like that other most intimidating of Fall traditions, Back-to-School, Fashion Week brings all the cool kids to the epicenter of social buzz. This year though, NYFW has ended its five year partnership with Lincoln Center and the event’s stomping grounds are noticeably smaller and more centralized.

Why the change? The internet rabbit hole provides many conclusions, the most resonant of which argue that Lincoln Center had become “an exploitative marketing hub”, with big-name designers deserting the official shows and its icky promotional clutter (hello red-bull charging stations) in favor of independent venues. Venue change, along with a more selective show line-up, is part of an effort by the organizers to win back the designers (and integrity, for that matter) that many believed they had lost in the past couple years. SXSW, take note.

Some fashion bloggers attribute these changes to convenience but perhaps this shift reflects a changing milieu in the fashion world. In her 2013 essay “The Circus of Fashion” critic Suzy Menkes, asks “If fashion is for everyone, is it really fashion?” This seems to be the question at the heart of 2015’s Fall Fashion Week.

But answers and solutions to this dilemma only seem to cause confusion. On the one hand, NYFW organizers attempt to reclaim the event’s exclusivity; on the other, designers open their shows to the instagram-ready public, encouraging them to tweet promotional hashtags like nobody’s (or everybody’s) business. Collections are no longer the outlandish creations of yore but must instead be consumer-ready. Catwalk to sidewalk.

With NYFW looking more and more like a Kanye West concert than a celebration of fashion, what then are we to believe when event representatives talk about scaling down? Where does the fashion industry stand on “selling out” when Hooters sponsors Alexander Wang’s after-party while performance artist Marina Abramovic designs an elaborate favela-inspired set replete with  llamas and Serbian folk singers for Givenchy. Is this high promotion or high art? Is Fashion Week for the public or for a selective fashion-conscious few who, like Suzy Menkes, believe that it should remain exclusive? Perhaps, like all those cool kids congregating in the middle of the playground, NYFW is in the middle of an identity crisis and the real question is what do you want to be? Or maybe they’ve already figured it out and we just have to catch up.



Elizabeth and James Jewelry Sale

Elizabeth and James Jewelry Sale! Get these stunning sieves while they last!Elizabeth and James Jewelry Sale

Elizabeth and James RingsElizabeth and James Windrose RingGold Windrose Ring – Was $95, Now $75


Elizabeth and James Windrose Cuff

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Elizabeth and James Velde RingVelde Ring – Was $125, Now $60


Elizabeth and James Gold Pave BangleGold Pave Bangle – Was $195, Now $98!



Elizabeth And James White Topaz Knuckle RingWhite Topaz Knuckle Ring – Was $95, Now $48



Elizabeth And James Bauhaus Knuckle RingBauhaus Knuckle Ring – Was $125, Now $58



Elizabeth and James 'Astral Ring'Northern Star Ring w/ White Topaz – Was $95, Now $65


($5 from every sale helps turn impoverished girls into
entrepreneurs. Shop now and a donation will be made from your purchase!)

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Labor Day Sales and Promos! Horray!!

Enjoy a long weekend and Labor Day sales galore, should you choose to shop the Labor Day weekend away.


And here are some Labor Day sales that I’ll be hitting up….

Frye Boots!

If you live here in Austin, Tx, here are some fun weekend activities.

Enjoy the Labor Day Sales, have a great weekend and try not to work!

The Capsule Wardrobe for Fall 2015

First it was Normcore and now The Capsule Wardrobe. As most of the world can tell you, this new trend of pairing down your wardrobe could also simply be called ‘Life without Expendable Income’. Nonetheless, I’m pleased with my industry’s ability to keep it real. Or as they might call it, Basic Bitch.

A capsule wardrobe, for the unititiated, means boiling down your wardrobe’s contents to what:
1. fits you CURRENTLY
2. is in season
3. is versatile

I jest at the irony of creating a trend from the plebeian reality of most global closets, but it’s actually a great idea. You don’t have to be a diva with a designer closet to need some Fall cleaning in there. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, just 20% of your clothes make it off the hanger for a day out.

Crucial note: Jewelry does not count as a number in your paired-down wardrobe (thankfully for me), nor does any other accessory, gym clothes, gowns, or undergarments (though we really just cycle through 2-3 bras anyway, right?).

Could you downsize to 10 tops & 5 bottoms? This is how I would do it…

The Capsule Wardrobe

Tops: (1) Plaid or chambray button-down, (2) striped boatneck (3) White blouse (4) Black blouse (5) White t-shirt.
Pants: (1) Blue skinny jeans (2) Black trousers (3) Neutral cargos (4) Black leggings (5) A-line skirt (6) long skirt (7) Pencil skirt
Outerwear: (1) Blaxer (2) Hoodie) (3) Jean jacket or bomber jacket (4) Trench (type) coat (5) Cozy warm sweater
Dress: (1) LBD (2) Casual weekend dress (3) Cocktail wrap dress
Shoes: (1) Booties (2) flats (3) tennis shoe (4) wedges (5) pump (6) sandles

Honesty, writing it all out, it seems like a lot of clothes. And if you see me around, I guarentee I’ll be in my skinny jeans, euro-sandles, top-of-the-day, and some sweet jewelry.

Birthstone Chart Galore and Gemstone Meanings

If you’ve ever been told your birthstone is different than what you thought it was, it’s because no one seems to agree on what they are. There’s an Ancient Birthstone Chart, a Modern Birthstone Chart, a Semi-Precious Birthstone Chart (think Turquoise and Coral), and a Precious Birthstone Chart (think Diamonds and Sapphires), a mystical one, an ayurvedic one, etc… The one thing all these birthstone charts tend to agree on is color.

For readers on the go, the first one is your incomprehenisve cheat sheet. Scroll on for a better understanding, more birthstone options to choose from (“no, honey, the ancients say my birthstone is diamond”), and for more attributes that will make you think something like this: “Oh, I AM loyal and courageous. No wonder!”

Birthstone Chart

January   Garnet   Emerald Garnet
February   Amethyst   Bloodstone Amethyst
March   Aquamarine   Jade Bloodstone
April   Diamond   Opal Diamond
May   Emerald   Sapphire Emerald
June   Pearl
  Moonstone Alexandrite
July   Ruby   Ruby Ruby
August   Peridot   Diamond Sardonyx
September   Sapphire   Agate Sapphire
October   Opal
  Jasper Tourmaline
November   Yellow Topaz
  Pearl Citrine
December   Blue Topaz
  Onyx Zircon
Lapis Lazuli


Birthstones of the Zodiac

Aquarius Jan. 21 – Feb.18   Garnet
Pisces Feb. 19 – Mar. 20   Amethyst
Aries Mar. 21 – Apr. 20   Bloodstone
Taurus Apr. 21 – May 21   Sapphire
Gemini May 22 – Jun. 21   Agate
Cancer Jun. 22 – Jul. 22   Emerald
Leo Jul. 23 – Aug. 23   Onyx
Virgo Aug. 24 – Sep.22   Carnelian
Libra Sep. 23 – Oct. 23   Chrysolite (Peridot)
Scorpio Oct. 24 – Nov. 22   Beryl
Sagittarius Nov. 23 – Dec. 21   Topaz
Capricorn Dec. 22 – Jan. 20   Ruby

Gemstones and Their Meaning

Buy agateConsidered a protective stone. It is believed to attract strength and offer protection from bad dreams, stress and the draining of energy. Agate is said to balance energies and awaken talents.
Buy amazoniteBelieved to have a soothing and calming effect. It accomplishes this by dispelling negative energy and allowing us to let go of sadness and grief.
Buy natural amethystCalms the emotions, encourages clarity of thought, and assists in attaining wisdom. Amethyst is a stone of the mind which brings calmness and clarity. Amethyst is said to attune its wearer with intuition, feelings and values. It has long been regarded as an aid to sobriety and is useful for combating alcohol, food and other addictions. It is also thought to ease obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Buy apatite from GemSelectA gemstone of communication. It is believed to help stuttering, hypertension and to assist its wearer in overcoming sadness and grief. Apatite is said to help fight viruses and promote the blending of old with new in one’s life.
Buy natural aquamarine at GemSelectAssociated with courage and the release of anxiety and fear. It is thought to soothe, calm, alleviate fear and to help relaxation on long journeys. Many believe that it protects sailors at sea, and prevents seasickness. Tradition holds that it gives insight and promotes mental clarity.
Buy aventurine from GemSelectA stone of opportunity that is believed to attract prosperity. Some advise to keep an aventurine in your left pocket when you are buying a lottery ticket or playing any game of chance.
Blue Topaz
Buy blue topaz from GemSelectAssociated with courage and overcoming fears and obstacles. It is a traditional stone for writers, scholars, artists and intellectuals, since it is used to encourage higher thinking. It is said to ease mental anguish and promote fidelity, friendship, gentleness and integrity.
Buy natural chalcedonyConsidered a sacred stone by the Native American Indians, chalcedony nurtures and promotes brotherhood and goodwill. Chalcedony is said to alleviate hostility, irritability and melancholy.
Buy natural citrineSaid to open the mind to new thoughts and balance impatience and restlessness. Citrine is thought to promote optimism. It also attracts abundance and is known as the “merchant’s stone”; it is often placed where business is conducted, not only to acquire wealth, but to maintain it. It is also good for mental focus, endurance and self-esteem.
Buy diamonds at GemSelectBelieved to absorb and amplify the thoughts of its user, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of other gems and their wearers. The ancients also used diamond for detoxification as it is said to protect from poison.
Buy natural chrome diopsideThought to be a cathartic stone that is believed by crystal healers to heal trauma by bringing forth cleansing tears. Diopside is believed to foster creativity, love and commitment.
Buy emerald from GemSelectTradition states that emerald aids fertility, improves eyesight and gives the wearer psychic powers. It is also believed to lift depression and relieve insomnia. Promotes self-knowledge, peaceful dreams and encourages balance and patience.
Shop for natural fluorite gemstonesThought to balance and stabilize intuition. Regarded as an aid for learning and lateral thinking. Fluorite is believed to improve the ability to concentrate.
Buy garnet gemstones at GemSelectRegarded as the stone of passionate devotion; toward family, friends, the self, and purpose in life. Believed to stimulate the senses, and increase vitality and stamina. Garnet is thought to attract good luck in business ventures.
Buy natural iolite gemsSaid to be the stone of inner vision. Believed to assist one in achieving a higher awareness level. Also thought to be useful for the elimination of debt and to increase financial responsibility.
Buy jade at GemSelectA stone of serenity. Thought to alleviate anxiety, fear and to promote good luck. Jade not only brings prosperity, but encourages its wearer to hold on to money. A traditional charm for gardeners, jade is said to ensure bountiful harvests.
Buy natural jasper gemsIs associated with relaxation, contentment, compassion, nurturing and consolation. Jasper is said to relieve mental stress and help to achieve balance in life.
Shop for natural kyaniteA calming stone, it helps to quiet the mind, dissolving emotional or spiritual confusion. Kyanite is said to be particularly good at dissolving anger and frustration.
Lapis Lazuli
Buy lapis lazuli gems from GemSelectAn ancient stone said to represent friendship and truth. Lapis is believed to help bring about harmony in relationships. It is a stone of wisdom and awareness.
Buy natural moonstonesEncourages communication by promoting clear thinking, inspiration and receptivity. Also assists in the fulfillment of one’s destiny. Long regarded as the gemstone for psychic abilities, wish fulfillment and balancing the emotions, moonstone is said to help in wish fulfillment, and is thought to work better on things that are needed rather than things that are just wanted.
Buy onyx gems at GemSelectBlack onyx is said to repel negativity and deflect the negativity of others. It is a gem thought to enhance determination and perseverance.
Buy opal at GemSelectRegarded as a stone strongly associated with the emotions, including love and passion. It is also thought to promote spontaneity, imagination, dreams and healing.
Buy natural peridot from GemSelectThought to strengthen life, bring about prosperity, growth and increase openness. Peridot is also believed to help one understand relationships, and to alleviate depression, anger, fear, jealousy and anxiety.
Buy prehnite gems at GemSelectA gem with a mystical aura, prehnite is said to be the stone of remembered dreams, meditation and prophecy.
Rose Quartz
Buy natural rose quartzKnown as the stone of “gentle love”, rose quartz brings peace and calm to relationships. Excellent for healing emotional wounds, removing negativity and restoring harmony after conflict. Promotes appreciation of the arts.
Buy natural ruby gems at GemSelectFamous as a protector from misfortune and bad health, ruby is also used to open the heart and promote love. Given as a gift, ruby is a symbol of friendship and love. The ruby is also a symbol of vitality and royalty.
Rutile Quartz
Buy rutile quartzSaid to intensify the power of quartz crystal, rutile quartz is thought to assist one in getting to the root of a problem.
Buy natural sapphireLong associated with peace and happiness, and believed to help with communication, insight, intuition, inspiration and prayer. The ancients believed that sapphires could help them to predict the future.
Smoky Quartz
Buy smoky quartz from GemSelectBelieved to be nature’s stone of endurance, fostering serenity, calmness and positive thoughts.
Buy natural spinel at GemSelectSince spinel was confused with ruby for centuries, it has not acquired the richness of meaning associated with other important gems. But it is said that spinel is helpful for relaxation and releasing worry. Since spinel is one of the very few singly refractive gems, it has a purity of color that may be the basis for its symbolic meaning.
Buy tanzanite at GemSelectA recently discovered gemstone, but said to be connected with the traditions of the Masai tribe, who believe that it has healing properties. The Masai give tanzanite to newborn children, since it is thought to represent life.
Tiger’s Eye
Buy tiger's eye at GemSelectSaid to help convert anxiety and fear into practical logic and action. Believed to promote balance and strength in difficult times, and to relieve doubt.
Buy natural topaz from GemSelectThought to calm a bad temper and give strength. Topaz is said to improve mental clarity, focus and to increase confidence. It is also recommended for mood swings, insomnia, worry, fear, depression and exhaustion.
Buy natural tourmaline from GemSelectTourmaline is said to strengthen both body and spirit. It is believed to attract inspiration, aid concentration, encourage balance and promote understanding. It is also thought to calm nerves, sooth grief, promote balance and build self-confidence.
Buy turquoiseBelieved to attract money, success and love, turquoise is a stone of friendship in many cultures. Native Americans associated the colors of turquoise with the blue sky and the green earth. It is still seen by many today as being symbolic of our roots in nature.
Buy natural zircon gemstones at GemSelectSince the Middle Ages, zircon has been believed to encourage spiritual growth and the promotion of wisdom. It is said that those who wear zircon will find beauty and peace.
Source for gemstone meaning chart.

I would sure appreciate you sharing!