girl boss

Why Girl's Night is More than Just an Excuse To Get a Drink.

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

We've all been there - it's been a ridiculous week and it's only Tuesday - or maybe its a night you've scheduled for awhile because if you don't put "Girl's Night" on the calendar with thick red marker it will never happen. Whatever the reason we are here to assure you that Girl's Night is more than just an excuse to get a drink but can be a cathartic release of all that negativity that's been weighing you down. 

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

One of our favorite places to grab a drink in Downtown Raleigh is The Haymaker - from the cool speakeasy vibe, the amazing signature cocktails, the bubbles and Gin & Juice on draft, and the view of the skyline from the windows give this place all the best vibes, especially for a girls night out.

(Joanna's favorite part is the cup of goldfish they leave out for those overly imbibe while Jessica loves the Biggie wallpaper in the bathroom) 

Since we've gotten older and are perpetually busy we usually get in around 4-5 before the crowds come in and find a seat with the best view. 

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

So what goes down on a typical girls night? 

First we vent about work - I mean saying that you're not going to talk about work is completely ridiculous - it's basically our lives and when you work for yourself you have no co-workers to complain to so it's nice to finally get all that off your chest. 

Next of course we talk goals - ways to improve morals - things we are looking forward to - and all the positive aspects of our lives. Basically trying to rationalize on how truly we love our jobs and wouldn't trade our lives for the world. 

Then lastly of course we dish about boys because well - we all have boyfriends/husbands and we have to remind ourselves we actually have personal lives outside of work!

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

But why is this helpful? 

You see when you keep things bottled up inside, stress - relationship drama - work problems - anything that's weighing you down it creates a layer of anxiety in everything you do. Your day to day activities become overshadowed by the fact that you're stepping on eggshells to not have a mental breakdown and that's just not healthy. 

This release of talking to someone, letting it out, and giving yourself a good 30 minutes to an hour of not touching your phone, not checking emails allows you to recenter yourself and get motivated. 

I can't tell you how many times talking to Joanna has made me create a major to-do list, or crank out a handful of blog posts in an afternoon. There's just something about pushing each other and voicing the negative thoughts that has been filling your head and have someone else offer clarity, perspective and a time to empty and reset that allows you to move forward and grow. 

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

So the next time you're in need of a decompression or a release of all that stress that's been building inside of you - invite a friend out for a drink. If you don't drink that's cool too - invite them for coffee or infused water or a raw juice bar. Whatever the beverage we're sure you'll feel so much better after dishing it out with your fellow creatives. 

Interested in grabbing a drink with us?

We'd love to start a Girls Night Club at The Haymaker one weeknight a month. Let us know if you'd be interested by commenting below. Til then we'll be sipping on Gin & Juice (or in Joanna's case eating goldfish crackers).  

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

The Importance of Self Care with Amber from Kneading Therapeutic Massage

raleigh massage therapist - women in business - women business owners - creative community


Meet Amber: She is the owner and girl boss of Kneading Therapeutic Massage. Her amazing massage techniques have been wondrous for my photographer's back (it's totally a thing) and my mental health. 
Today she's sharing some of her words of wisdom of why self care isn't something to neglect. 

If you're interested in booking with Amber or learning more about her massage therapies - visit her website here. 



Have you ever just done too much & you get burnt out? Whether it’s with work (let’s be honest it usually is), over committing to everything- friends, events, more work, etc- we all get a little burnt out from time to time. Did you know it’s okay to take some time for YOU?! Actually, it’s pretty crucial that you do. Burning yourself out by doing the most all the time is down right unhealthy. 2018 I’ve seen a lot of people focusing more on “self care." 

As a massage therapist & also someone who needs a reminder of this often too, it makes me so happy! What does self care mean to you? These are a few things that come to mind when I think self care …


1. Get Physical 

 The gym is my number one escape no matter how busy I get I tend to always make time for the gym. It’s my favorite “me” time & my favorite way to let out some stress. Not to mention I always feel so much better. Stretching & working out can really do the body good. It’s really important to maintain a sense of happiness with yourself, too. Try it out!


small business owner - women in business - raleigh massage therapist

2. Stop Planning

Overcommitting is something you would think I studied in college. I’ll say yes to everything. Work, events, birthday parties, helping a friend out, etc. Sometimes I have to remind myself that saying “no” is okay too. Going with the flow isn’t all bad sometimes. Saying “yes” & somehow having to plan out how theres enough hours in a day to make it all happen can really drive you crazy. Practice saying “no” more often! 


3. Feel Pretty 

Even for guys- whether your thing is getting a manicure, your hair done, a facial, or buying new clothes. Whatever it may be, take some time to do that for yourself. Like I said, it truly is important to maintain a sense of happiness with yourself. Feeling down about yourself while feeling overwhelmed & overworked can do more harm than you think. It’s nice to feel good about yourself, so always keep that a priority, too. And, no it is not selfish or a waste of time to do this. 


small business owner - women in business - raleigh massage therapist

4. Treat Yo Self

In the words of Donna and Tom it's always important to "Treat Yo Self."  and why not choose  a massage. I know it’s the massage therapist coming out in me, but do you blame me? MOST people love a good massage. While some do see it as a treat, others truly see it as necessity. Regular massage isn’t only relaxing it can do more than you think. Massage therapy helps to reduce stress, reduce anxiety, lowers blood pressure, promotes relaxation, improves sleep, reduces muscle tension, & so so much more. Not to mention it forces you to some “me” time & you really can’t help but relax during a massage. 


5. Sleep

Making sure you allow yourself to go to bed at a decent time & getting your full nights rest is really important. Sleep deprivation isn’t only exhausting but it puts a damper on your attitude & not to mention your immune system, too. Sometimes free time doesn’t need to be filled up with other things. Practice your “saying no” & have a night in relaxing & catching up on sleep. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that! 


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Everyone sees self care in a different way, & whatever yours may be just keep in mind that it is truly essential that you allow this time for yourself. Feeling burnt out doesn’t only effect you but it truly does effect the people around you to. So take some time for yourself, relax, & let’s all practice putting out the good vibes! Happy self caring everyone! 

Overcoming Obstacles: The Summer I Thought My Career Was Over

As many of you know, two days after my birthday I broke my leg (in 3 places). 

One minute I was standing in my backyard, letting the dogs out, getting my grocery list together, making sure I had everything I needed for two back to back meetings before suddenly I was struck by my dog and on the ground with a broken leg. To this day the whole scenario is still surreal and when I replay it in my mind it happens in slow motion. 

Before this I had never had anything bad happen to me. I had never been to the hospital, I rarely went to the doctor, and it usually took 4 orderlies to hold me down to administer a shot. So there I was in the back of an EMS ride ride that I knew cost a few hundred dollars trying to decide between an IV or a series of pain numbing shots. I decided for the IV since the paramedic assured me this would be a better pain reliever. Next thing I know I'm in a hospital bed hearing the words "surgery" "long recovery" and "2-3 months til weight bearing." 

Now while these are things no one wants to hear its definitely not what a wedding photographer who has her first of 8 weddings in a row coming up in under 3 weeks. The only thing I could think was that my career was over. This was supposed to be my defining summer, half of my entire wedding season in 3 months, not to mention the fact that my phone was ringing off the hook from my full time job about all my missed appointments. I was definitely sinking into the black abyss of depression. 

For two weeks I was totally unable to see the bright side, the possibility that this could be done and done well. I shot my first wedding with Joanna basically taking my place and my second shooter Sarah. I was equipped with crutches, a wheelchair, and a plethora of cameras and pain pills. If I can give anyone advice on what to do if you have to work 2 weeks post-op - EAT! I definitely had my first bout of "I'm about to pass out" 

But I made it - I finished an 8 hour wedding - with stairs - huge distances between shoots - and oh yeah it was in the mountains! But I did it - and I thought it was pretty damn magical. 

Wedding Photography with a Broken Leg
how to photograph a wedding with a broken leg
photographer with a broken leg

I was also surprised to find how little information there was online for working as a photographer with a broken leg or really any injury. (For the record when you Google Photographer/Broken Leg all you get is Hitchcock's "Rear Window" ) So I had no real guide of how to do what I was doing, but I knew that I had to do my best and work with what I had if I was going to not only be successful but give my clients top notch photos. 

The following weekend I had 2 weddings BACK TO BACK - which allowed me to start gaining a rhythm for how to shoot a wedding effectively while taking care of myself which included having an assistant to help hold my bags, make sure I didn't fall (which I only did once - which Sarah has twice and she has two good legs so I felt like I was doing pretty good), and hand me water. 

photographing a wedding with a broken leg : overcoming obstacles of small business
photographing a wedding with a broken leg : overcoming obstacles of small business

By the time I was on wedding 4 I was feeling better, my appetite was back, I had been going to physical therapy which had been working wonders for mobility even though I still couldn't walk on my foot, I had now dealt with rain, sand, mountainous terrain, and I was feeling pretty confident about the rest of my wedding season on the broken leg. 

One positive about being stuck at home is the fact that I had tons of time to edit - getting full wedding albums to my clients in only a few days. (Which also created an even stronger motivation inside of me to get full time as fast as possible) 

photographing a wedding with a broken leg : overcoming obstacles of small business
photographing a wedding with a broken leg : overcoming obstacles of small business
photographing a wedding with a broken leg : overcoming obstacles of small business
photographing a wedding with a broken leg : overcoming obstacles of small business

Today I'm 7 weeks post break and 1 week away from learning if I can ditch these pesky crutches (although my upper body strength is 100 now) And with 3 weddings to go I'm ready to tackle them head on - even if two are in different states. 

While I still have a long road ahead - learning to walk and put pressure on my foot again, build muscle, try to return to my regular routine I can finally see the bright side, and even though I'm anxious to literally hit the ground running, I understand I have to take my time and do things the right way. 

Final Note: Breaking a bone, injuring yourself in any way that makes your job harder or almost impossible is not easy, it's tough and it has a lot to do with mental strength than physical to get yourself back up. If it wasn't for dedication and the support of Joanna & Sarah and my other friends I would probably have sold my business and just laid in that bed forever. So if you're in a similar situation and you think it's not possible just know that's normal but you're totally wrong and you can do it! You got this! 

As someone who doesn't like asking for help and doing everything myself this has definitely been a learning experience on trust and dependance. But that has just made my relationships stronger with my clients, friends, and co-workers. 

If you need any advice on how to overcome a tough situation feel free to leave a comment below or shoot us an email - we'd be happy to help in any way we can.