Celebrating Houston Entrepreneurs: Fitness in the Loop

I first got connected to @FitnessInTheLoop last year when attending local Houston yoga events. When I first graduated Yoga Teacher Training, I was nervous to teach classes. I've had such wonderful teachers in my life, and was comparing my teaching to theirs. I decided to teach free classes in the park to build my confidence teaching before auditioning to teach in a studio. 

I was hoping for at least 5 people to show up for my first yoga class in the park, but would have been happy for more. Kyle from @FitnessInTheLoop reached out and asked if they could help promote my free class, since they are all about free fitness events inside the loop. I agreed and they were able to bring more people to the park to practice yoga. 

I've been partnering with @FitnessInTheLoop for the last 4 months and have taught classes for them at Spring Street Beer & Wine Garden as well as HTX Sports Creek. Both times have been incredible experiences that help people try yoga for the first time in a very casual setting. 

I'm highlighting @FitnessInTheLoop because their organization helps Houston live healthy lives without having to pay lots of money. Cofounder/Husband, Kyle (@SpaceCityVegan) is also a Cornell Certified Plant Based Nutrition Coach and cofounder/wife, Megan (@AccellLifestyle) founded a company revolutionizing athletic apparel through sweatproof/stink proof scientific technologies. She also won Houston's LiftOff Business Competition

Here are some of @FitnessInTheLoop's signature events*. 

*Check their website for more up to date information!

 

SUNDAYS

Yoga at HTX Sports Creek 10am
Yoga at Spring Street Beer & Wine Garden 11am
 

MONDAYS

Yoga at Joy Yoga Levy Park 6pm
Run Club at HTX Sports Creek 6:30pm
H.I.I.T. at The Preserve Gym 6:30pm
Pilates at Levy Park 7pm
 

THURSDAYS

H.I.I.T. / Bootcamp
 

SATURDAYS

Bootcamp at Levy Park 8:30am
H.I.I.T at Bagby Park in Midtown 9:30am
Yoga at Levy Park 10am
Yoga at Belle Station 10am
H.I.I.T. Training at HTX Sports Creek 11am

 

Where else for Free Fitness Events? 

@FitnessInTheLoop is great at promoting events that aren't only their signature events, but all free community events in Houston. Follow their instagram to find more events. If you know of any, or have suggestions for more, let me know in the comments! 

 

Concerts in Houston Spring 2018

I created a round up of some concerts I'm looking forward to this spring. If you want to trade 2 concerts tickets for some private yoga lessons or website consultation, here are some show's I'd love to go see. 

 
 

January

1/20 — Cactus
Londale

1/23 — Cactus
61 Ghosts

1/25 — Axelrad
Huslers Brass Band + Mexican Blackbird

1/25 — Continental Club
Grand Old Grizzly

1/26 — Axelrad
Adan Jodorowsky + Vodi + Nico

1/27 — Axelrad
Wepa Night w/ DJ Act Band

1/28 — Axelrad
Soulklave Quartet

1/31  — Axelrad
Jazz Wednesdays

 
 
180214-pedrothelion-rockefellers-ig_orig.jpg

February

2/2/18 — White Oak Upstairs
Tessa Violet

2/2/18 — White Oak Downstairs
They Might Be Giants

2/2 — Cezanne
Adriano Santos Quartet

2/3/18 — White Oak Downstairs
Børns

2/3/18 — Toyota Center
Kid Rock

2/7 — White Oak Downstairs
Sleigh Bells 

2/8 — Walters
Wild Child

2/9  — Cezanne
Bruce Saunders Quartet

2/9 — Axelrad
Fat Tony + ill Faded

2/9 — Continental Club
The Nightowls

2/10 — Toyota
Lana Del Rey

2/10 — White Oak Downstairs
Silverstein

2/13 — House of Blues
Gin Blossoms

2/13 — Continental Club
Graham Wilkinson

2/14 — Rockefellers
Pedro The Lion

2/14 — Continental Club
Dylan Leblanc

2/15 — White Oak Upstairs
G. Love & Special Sauce

2/15 — White Oak Downstairs
The Expendables

2/15 — The Heights Theater
10,000 Maniacs

2/15/18 — House of Blues
Big Gigantic

2/16  — Cezanne
Woody Witt / Andrew Lienhard Quartet

2/16 — Heights Theater
Shovels & Rope

2/17 — The Big Barn (Spring, TX)
Don McLean

2/17 — White Oak Downstairs
Lights

2/18 — House of Blues
AJR

2/18 — White Oak Downstairs
Emancipator

2/22/18 — House of Blues
Rebelution 

2/22 — White Oak Upstairs
French Horn Rebellion

2/23 — Warehouse Live
Hippie Sabotage

2/23 — Cezanne
North Texas 4 plus 1

2/24 — Axelrad
The Cancas People

2/27 — White Oak Downstairs
Of Mice & Men

 

 

March

3/1 — Last Concert Cafe
Perpetual Groove

3/2 — House of Blues
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

3/2 — Retention
Steve Aoiki

3/2 — Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Leon Bridges

3/3 — House of Blue
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

3/9 — The Secret Group
Jeff Rosenstock

3/16 — The Heights Theater
Paul Thorn

3/19 — Toyota Center
Lorde

3/19 — White Oak Downstairs
Sylvan Esso

3/20 — House of Blues
Dashboard Confessional

3/21 — White Oak Upstairs
The Weeks

3/24 — House of Blues
 Led Zeppelin 2

3/24 — The Heights Theater
The Band of Heathens

3/25 — Eleanor Tinsley
In Bloom Music Festival

3/29 — The Heights Theater
Brian Fallon

3/29 — Mucky Duck
Whitney Rose

3/29 — Orange Show
Robert Ellis

3/30 — Continental Club
Southern Culture on the Skids

3/30  — Cezanne
Jazz Warriors Reunion

3/31 — House of Blues
Badfish

3/31 — Smart Financial Center (Sugar Land)
Chicago

 

April

4/8/17 — White Oak Downstairs
The Oh Hellos

4/13 — White Oak Downstairs
Matt and Kim

4/24-5/20 — Hobby Center
Hamilton

4/26 — White Oak Upstairs
Baths

4/26 — Woodlands Pavilion
Jack Johnson

 
 

Summer 

5/2 — Smart Financial Center
Jason Isbell

5/5 — Market Square
Los Skarnales

5/25 — White Oak Upstairs
Revered Horton Heat

6/2 — The Heights Theater
Josh Garrels

6/15 — Minute Maid Park
Eagles

 
 

 

Where Else to Catch Live Music? 

Where do you go for live music in Houston? Any local bars or venues that always have good live music? Let me know in the comments, and I'd love to add to this list if you know of other good shows that I've missed. 

 
Celebrating Houston Podcaster: TheH.US

I got into Podcasts a couple years ago while having a long commute to work in the suburbs every day. I really love listening to music in the car, but Podcasts give me a whole different experience while commuting. It passes the time quicker, and I always learn something interesting. 

My Podcast library basically only has 2 Podcasts in it, and I just added a 3rd: TheH. The is a podcast interviewing Houstonians that make Houston "Houston". 

I'm always a fan of creative branding, and really admire the work created so far by @TheHPodcast, Luke Brawner.

He just released his second season, and the first episode kicks off with an interview of native Houstonian, George Foreman. George is a World Heavy-Weight Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, and also grew up in 5th Ward, near this Mini Mural by Anat Ronan

One of my favorite things is to hear old Houston stories, and how Houston became the city I know today. It's great to watch the city grow, and even better to hear stories from local legends. 

Below is access to the podcast, and would love to know your thoughts!

MiniMurals Project

MiniMurals Houston

Project ideation, Marketing, Web Design, Social Media Strategy, Digital Strategy

  • Client: UP Art Studio
  • Timeline: June 2015 — current
  • Services: Web Design, Project Management, Social Media Strategy 

I walked into a big board room in Spring 2015 with a map of the City of Houston. The map included green, yellow, and red pens throughout Houston, with a green one down the street from my childhood home. I was immediately confused why MY neighborhood and street was highlighted on this map, and what it was symbolizing. It was the start to a city-wide art transformation, which I couldn’t be more proud of to create and support.

Website Designed by Gibson Hall.

Website Designed by Gibson Hall.

MiniMurals started in 2015, when Noah and Elia Quiles of UP Art Studio approached me about helping with this project. We already worked together on several other large mural projects, and I played the role of the digital marketing strategist.

mini-murals-city-hall.jpg

Project Info

Art curators, Noah & Elia Quilies, were starting a project to paint traffic control boxes in the city of Houston, but needed marketing support to work with the right organizations to help fund this massive project (there’s over 700 boxes in Houston). 

Challenge

Painting these boxes is going against the City of Houston, so we needed special permission from the Mayor’s office and Public Works Department to even consider this project a reality. To our amazement, both organizations were in full support of the project. We had enough support to have 1 artist paint 1 box, and the kickoff to the MiniMurals project was highlighted by the Chronicle.

Work Involved

In 2015, I created the original MiniMurals.org website, including description of the project and galleries of the painted boxes. Since then, there have been over 180 boxes painted and have scaled the website to include an interactive map, allowing users to find boxes near their neighborhood and throughout hours.

N Main @ Brooks by W3R3ON3

N Main @ Brooks by W3R3ON3

Healthy Homemade Granola Bars
granola bar recipe.JPG
 

My Sundays are spent meal prepping. Taking the 2-3 hours on Sunday helps my week go well by not having to think what I want for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

My meal prep this week includes: 

Breakfast
Eggs + Cinnamon Toast
Yogurt + Berries

Lunch
Smoothies

Dinner
Lentil Pasta with Veggies & Ground Beef
Taco meat + corn + black beans
Chicken from Crock Pot + corn + beans

Snacks are a must.. as I tend to snack all the time. This week (and most every week), I make a batch of homemade healthy granola bars. 

These granola bars are high in protein, healthy fats, and calories, so they're filling. These are easy grab-and-go before yoga, or anytime I'm at work or home and just need a snack. 

 
All the ingredients that will go into today's granola bar recipe.

All the ingredients that will go into today's granola bar recipe.

 

Ingredients

  • Gluten Free Oats
  • Peanut Butter (or almond)
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Honey
  • Coconut Oil
  • Chia Seeds (optional)
  • Almonds (optional)
  • Chocolate chips (optional, but definitely)
 

Directions

  • I combine the dry ingredients in a blender (Ninja) and pulse a couple times to chop up the almonds and oats
  • I combine the wet ingredients (peanut butter, honey, vanilla, coconut oil) in a mug and heat the mug in the microwave for 30 minutes
  • I stir the heated wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until there is a nice consistency and no oats look dry 
 
Spread the granola out on Wax Paper, and then roll it out. 

Spread the granola out on Wax Paper, and then roll it out. 

 

Finishing Touches

After spreading out the granola on wax paper, I take another piece of wax paper and roll out the granola until it's a thin layer, about 1/2" thick. Leave the granola in the fridge overnight, and tomorrow you can cut it into bite size pieces, and enjoy!

I sometimes put granola bar in the freezer because it lasts longer (about 6 months) and I think it also tastes better. 

IMG_2057.JPG
 

Next Time

You can add/take away ingredients. When it was halloween, I added some marshmallows and candy corn. I have a sweet tooth, so that's why I add chocolate chips, even though it's totally optional. Let me know if you try this ingredient or have some suggestions for making my granola bar recipes even better! 

Chasing Frozen Waterfalls Near Cleveland Ohio
FullSizeRender.jpg

I’m spending the weekend in Ohio, visiting my grandma, family, and the snow. It’s currently -2°, which is a bit warmer than yesterday’s -4°.....if those 2° really make a difference. Either way, it’s dang cold.  

Since we don’t get much snow in Houston (except the other week), I’ve been taking advantage of having a white winter. The locals think I’m crazy for wanting to go on walks around the neighborhood and do handstands in the snow, but when in Ohio... am I right? 

Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip.  

FullSizeRender.jpg
ohio-beach-wintertime.JPG
The view from Cleveland’s Contemporary Art Museum.  

The view from Cleveland’s Contemporary Art Museum.  

Light house in the distance.  

Light house in the distance.  

The back side of the Rock Hall.

The back side of the Rock Hall.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, designed by I. M. Pei. 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, designed by I. M. Pei. 

Frozen Lake Eerie.  

Frozen Lake Eerie.  

beach-cleveland-ohio.jpg
Walking around my Grandma's neighborhood.

Walking around my Grandma's neighborhood.

waterfall-near-cleveland-ohio.jpg
Cool, Unique, Fun Things Happening in Houston in January 2018
 
Parks & Rec Trivia nights at The Secret Group, starting January 8th.

Parks & Rec Trivia nights at The Secret Group, starting January 8th.

One of the best fiddlers in the world: Warren Hood Kym Warner on January 6th at The Mucky Duck.

One of the best fiddlers in the world: Warren Hood Kym Warner on January 6th at The Mucky Duck.

How to Start Ideating with Grace Rodriguez, January 16th at Station Houston.

How to Start Ideating with Grace Rodriguez, January 16th at Station Houston.

Willy Wonka is the midnight movie at River Oaks Theater January 19th-20th. 

Willy Wonka is the midnight movie at River Oaks Theater January 19th-20th

Tons of live music all month long at Cactus Records! Always served with free St. Arnolds beer. 

Tons of live music all month long at Cactus Records! Always served with free St. Arnolds beer. 

The Rock-Cats: Performing January 28-31 at The Heights Theater.

The Rock-Cats: Performing January 28-31 at The Heights Theater.

All Events in January

1/1/18 — Yoga
Black Swan Yoga Kirby Grand Opening! Free yoga all day. Go every day in January, and February is free! 

1/4/18
Rockets vs. Warriors

1/5/18 — Live Music
The Statesboro Revue at Mucky Duck 

1/6/18 — Live Music
David Bowie Birthday Event at Cactus Records at 1pm 

1/6/18 — Live Music
Big Freedia at White Oak Music Hall

1/6/18 — Live Music
Warren Hood + The Deer at Mucky Duck  

1/7/18 — Comedy Show
Standup at The Secret Group with 8th Wonder

1/8/18 — Live Theater
Tooth & Nail Theater Production 

1/8/18
Parks and Rec Trivia Night at The Secret Group  

1/10/18 — Workshop
Why Having a Scientist on Your Startup Team is Savvy?

1/11/18 — Live Music
Will Van Horn at MKT Bar 

1/11/18 — Performance Art
The PM Show (Poets & Musicians) at Rudyard's

1/12/18 — Live Music
Milky Chance at House of Blues

1/12/18 — Yoga
Kino MacGregor at BIG

1/12/18 — Art Show
WOW! Women of Winter Street Studios — over 30 artists

1/13/18 — Art Show
The Market at Sawyer Yards — Art Market

1/14/18 
Top Figure Skaters on the Ice at Discovery Green

1/15/18
Magical Unicorn Day at Honey Art Cafe

1/16/18 — Performance Art

BooTown Grown Up Storytime  

1/16/18 — Workshop
How to start Ideating w/ Grace Rodriguez 

1/18/18 — Workshop
Unfiltered Conversations at Station Houston

1/18/18
Rockets vs. Timberwolves

1/19-20/18
Willy Wonka at River Oaks Theater Midnight Movie

1/20/18 — Art Show
10"x10" Art Show at Hardy & Nance Studios

1/20/18 — Yoga
YogiSomm Saturday — wine and yoga at Yogaleena

1/21/18
Last day to Ice Skate at Discovery Green

1/20/18 — Live Music
Aimee Mann at The Heights Theater

1/20/18 — Live Music
Londale at Cactus for In-Store 1pm

1/20/18 — Live Music
Uncle Lucious at Mucky Duck 

1/20/18 — Live Music
Ashstock: Wild Moccasins, Buxston, B L A C K I E, Narcons, Young Mammals, Limbs

1/20/18 — Live Music
The Dark Woods at The Continental Club

1/23/18 — Live Music
Ghosts at Cactus Records 5:30pm 

1/24/18 — Performance Art
Welcome to 2018 Poetry Showcase at The Improve

1/25/18 — Live Music
Rhett Miller at Heights Theater 

1/25/18 — Live Music
Honey Dew Drops at Mucky Duck 

1/26/18 — Workshop
Creative Mornings - Guest Speaker: Stephanie Wittels Wachs

1/26/18 — Live Music
Jazz Night at Cezanne’s 

1/28 — Yoga
Yoga N Da Hood to DJ Screw 

1/28/18 — Art
Last day to see Oscar De La Rent at MFAH

1/28/18 — Yoga
Yoga with The Rockets at Toyota Center by Yoga One

1/28-2/18/18 — Live Theater
Holes at MATCH

1/28-1/31/18 — Live Theater
Acro-cats at MATCH 

1/29
Movie Night at Axelrad: Coming to America

1/30/18 Workshop
Book Binding Class at Honey Art Cafe

1/30-2/14/18 — Live Theater
School of Rock The Musical at The Hobby Center

 

Some other options?

If you still are out of ideas to do in January (serious, wtf?), then maybe you can do some of these things that are good to do all year long: 

  • Visit a warm coffee shop (like one of these)
  • Walk, run, or bike (if you have one) along Buffalo Bayou
  • Visit Urban Harvest Farmers Market on Saturday mornings
  • People watch at Discovery Green
  • Take a stroll through nature at the Arboretum and say hi to the turtles
  • Catch a movie at River Oaks Theater 
  • Go shopping at Caninos Produce
  • Roll down the hill at Hermann Park
  • Catch a light show during sunset at Rice University's Turrell Light Exhibit
  • Visit the Contemporary Arts Museum
  • Go to The Menil Collection
  • Go on a Street Art Tour
  • Visit the Water Wall
  • Visit the Zen Gardens next to the Zoo
  • Free Yoga every Sunday at Spring Street Beer & Wine Garden
 

Did some event get missed?

If there is an event that you think should be included on this January list, let me know in the comments or send me an email at gibhall@gmail.com. I'd gladly consider adding it to the list and helping promote it! Follow my blog to stay up to date and looking forward to sharing more ideas next month!

Best Houston Coffee Shops For You to Stay Warm

I've been exploring coffee shops lately to find some that help patrons stay warm. Since it's hot (or what we call "normal") for the majority of the year, it doesn't make sense for places which serve Hot Drinks to also have a hot environment with fireplaces, heaters, and anything else people in the north have to stay warm. 

I was surprised to not really find many places in Houston which offer fireplaces + coffee. How strange is that? There was only 1 place I found which offered both coffee + a fireplace (Backstreet Cafe), but I hardly call it a coffee shop, even though I recommend it to everybody reading this article. 

I created this list based on: do they serve coffee, is the space big enough so you won't freeze every time someone new walks inside, and the place must not have the initials SB. 

If you have warm places for me to visit this week, please let me know in the comments!

 
Photo by @BrasilHouston

Photo by @BrasilHouston

 
 
 
Photo by @a2ndCup

Photo by @a2ndCup

This list is in no particular order. However, if you haven't been to one of these places, I highly recommend adding it to your Houston Bucket List!

Cafe Brasil
This is one of my favorite places in town and their backyard is one of my favorite hidden gems in Houston (even though it's not the season nor the post for that). I recommend getting Hot Cocoa and some tamales if you're hungry. There are a few corners where you can avoid the outside... but typically this place is best when it's a bit warmer out. 

Common Bond
Another very tasty place. I'm not sure I recommend going here so quickly after New Years Resolutions are made because it's nearly impossible to go through the line without ordering a cookie. So if you're there, do yourself a favor and order a dang cookie. Any of their lattes are delicious and I usually get mine with almond milk because I'm a hippy. 

Red Dessert
Located in the Heights off Studemont, this place always pops up in my Instagram feed because of their beautiful latte-art-master-pieces. It's not the biggest place in town, but it'll warm you up as soon as you walk inside. 

Agora
If Cafe Brasil is a little too chilly for you, (quickly) make your way across the street to Agora. Agora is 2 stories, and since we all know hot air moves up, I'd advise finding a cute little seat upstairs. This location is also great for people watching. I'd recommend just getting the drip coffee here since it's free refills and their espresso isn't really anything to write home about. You'll definitely be warm inside Agora. 

Fellini
This seems to be one of the favorite places for people living in West U/Rice University area. Is it because there aren't other good places south of 59? If there's a good place near the area that isn't Fellini, please let me know! If you do make it to Fellini, I recommend the Hot Cocoa. Also, I'm definitely not discouraging you from going to this area, I just hardly travel that far south :P

*Update: The Museum of Fine Arts is South of 59 and also offers tasty coffee! (but still no fire place).

Revival Market
This place is small, so not exactly toasty if you're near a door. However, this place is usually packed, and therefore you should be able to stay warm easily. Everything from here is great, but when in doubt, just ask for "a taco and flat white". You'll be full, hydrated, and hopefully, still warm. 

Catalina
It's definitely not the computers keeping the place warm, since they don't offer public wi-fi, but the location is cozy and coffee is (sorry-if-you-don't-agree) THE BEST IN TOWN. If you haven't been to Catalina, put it on your bucket list. 

Tout Suite
You love it, you hate it, or you've never been. You cannot be indifferent towards this coffee shop. They supply @GreenwayCoffee and have tons of great food and pastry options. You can go for lunch and get a sandwich and coffee, or dinner and get some protein and a beer or wine. There's plenty of seating so you don't need to worry about feeling the cold breeze whenever people walk inside. 

Backstreet Cafe
This is one of my favorite brunch spots in town and on the list not only because of their all-star Chef, Hugo Ortego, but also because they have a fireplace upstairs! It's the only spot in town I was able to find a fireplace inside and also enjoy some coffee. 

 

If you know of any warm coffee shops in Houston, or another with a fireplace, can you please let me know in the comments?!

 
 
 
 
Photo by @TheHoneymoonHTX

Photo by @TheHoneymoonHTX

 
Photo by @ericozco

Photo by @ericozco

Black Swan Yoga Kirby Opens Today!

It's Official: The New Black Swan Yoga opens today at 5310 Kirby Dr. Ste. #101. It's between Einstein Bagels and Verizon Wireless, on Kirby, just south of Bissonnet. 

While the studio has been open for a couple months, January 1, 2018 is the official grand opening party. Black Swan is celebrating by offering free yoga classes all day!

Also, if you go to Black Swan 31 times in January, your membership in February is free!

If you can't make it out today, maybe you can still join my yoga class Tuesday morning at 6am or 7:30am at Black Swan Yoga Houston - Kirby. 

Namaste.

Photo by @BlackSwanYogaHouston

Photo by @BlackSwanYogaHouston

Recap of the year: Gibson's Best of 2017

Thank you, 2017

2017 was an incredible year for the city of Houston and I am happy to be a part of the history that took place this past year. My year was filled with many trips, changing living situations, getting a big promotion, graduating from Yoga teacher training, making lots of friends, and I can’t wait to see what all 2018 has in store. 

This is the first photo I took this year: January 3, 2017 along Buffalo Bayou.

This is the first photo I took this year: January 3, 2017 along Buffalo Bayou.

 

January 

The first trip I took in 2017 was to Cleveland Ohio. It was a father-son trip to visit my grandma and cousins in Ohio. We were able to see some snow, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (pictured in the background), and eat some really good pizza. 

IMG_3031 2.jpg
colorado-20.jpg

January (con'd)

Following Cleveland, I spent a week in Colorado and skied for the first time! It was a lot more fun than I could have ever imagined and I can’t wait to go back in 2018!

houston-superbowl.JPG
 

January Super Bowl

Super Bowl 51 was no doubt the biggest event happening in Houston in January. Several restaurants and hotels opened just days before the Super Bowl, and the city was a wonderful host for the big game. 

 

houston-rainbow.jpg
 

February 

I moved from EaDo to the Buffalo Bayou area and upgraded the view big time. I've caught so many sun rises, sun sets, rainbows, floods, snow, and have loved the new perspective on Houston. 

 

Snapseed 18.jpg

March

I came back to Colorado! I couldn’t stay away… and coming back soon. 


 

April

After 2+ years working for one of the biggest retailers, Academy Sports + Outdoors, it's time that I say goodbye because my new job is just around the corner.. 

academy-ux.JPG

ghp.jpg

 

 

June

I was invited to be the featured speaker at the Greater Houston Partnership's luncheon. My topic was on User Experience and how every business can benefit from listening to their customers. The talk awarded me with plenty of cool job opportunities. 

 

July

I started as Creative Director at Decode Digital, a traditional + digital advertising agency based in Montrose. I help oversee the developers, designers, and creatives at this booming agency and love the people I'm getting to work with!

IMG_7407 2.JPG
IMG_6530.JPG

IMG_7756.JPG
 

August

We learned what #HoustonStrong meant when Hurricane Harvey flooded our city. 

 

IMG_8060.JPG
 

August

This group of 31 fellow swans helped me live my fullest life this summer, participating in 200 hours of yoga teacher training. Love to all of these people. 

 

September

I turned 30 years old and celebrated with family and friends. I also started teaching yoga at Buffalo Bayou Park, Spring Street Beer and Wine Garden, and Black Swan yoga.

 
 

27004816_Unknown.JPG

October

The Astros are World Series Champions and the city has a a huge smile after a rough summer with the hurricane. #HoustonStrong


IMG_1902.JPG

December 

Closing out the year with snow... The first time I've seen this much snow in Houston, so I build a little snow man. 

 

I'm looking forward to 2018 and can't wait to see what all it brings!

HoustonGibson HallComment
Kerrville for Christmas & Visiting Stonehedge II
IMG_5254.JPG
stonehedge-ii.JPG

 

 

My Grandma lives in a beautiful small town an hour west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country called Kerrville. I've been to Kerrville dozens of times, and if there's one thing I've learned: Go to Mamacitas. 

 

 

This time was also spent visiting Stonehedge II, a replica of the original Stonehedge. This version is in a small town next to Kerville called Ingram. 

 

We also got plenty of family time in during the holidays in Kerrville. 

Kirby Icehouse's Website is Now Live! Go check it out!

Kirby Ice House is one of Houston's largest bars (over 1 acre) and has a huge selection of top quality beers, wines, and liquors, but in 2017 was lacking a website. Their Instagram account had over 1,000 followers and their bar was PACKED during the World Series and just about every other day of the week. 

Not having a website didn't prevent patrons from visiting their establishment, but created a big bottleneck when it came to running the business. Kirby Icehouse's owners were constantly being asked for party reservations for small groups of people that would have plenty of options once arriving to the bar with more than 1 acre of seating space. 

Gibson designed and created Kirby-Icehouse.com to help patrons and future visitors know bar specials, special event information, make reservations online, and view the environment through virtual tours and drone videography. 

The result is a beautiful website, friendly for customers, and easy for the business to update. 

PortfolioGibson Hall
It was a Winter Wonderland in Houston, TX
 

There really aren't many days Houstonians can claim that it snowed. I remember a photo my dad had at the house growing up when he was able to write his name in the snow (ice) on the back of his 1985 RX-7 way back in the day. 

There was another time on Christmas Eve 2003 that it snowed just enough that we could collect snow from the back of pickup trucks in the church parking lot and throw some tiny snowballs. But this year, to cap off an epic year for Houston, it finally snowed!

I woke up early in the morning, discovered snow outside my house, and immediately went for a walk along the bayou. Here are some of my favorite shots for the day. 

 
HoustonGibson HallComment
A Beginners Guide to Getting a Website Up in 2018

Let's face it, everybody knows somebody that can make you a website. From your weird neighbor down the street to blaring TV commercials, it's now easier than ever to get your website up and running. WRONG. With so many options, it's hard to even begin. This guide is meant to guide you through everything you need to know to get a website up and running in 2018. 

 

PICK YOUR GOAL

What is the reason you are building your website? Is it to gain social media followers, sell products, get people into your shop, or something else? Defining your goal will make everything else much easier. 

 

PICK A CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS)

There are many CMS options available that allow a beginner to get everything they need from the beginning. The only CMS's I recommend to people without any prior skills: 

  • WordPress.org — this is made primarily for bloggers. You have lots of content, plan to post often, and don't plan to sell very many goods. This is great for people trying to increase their social media presence as well. 
  • SquareSpace — this option is great for small businesses that need to share content. You don't have as much fresh content as a blog, but do need to share some crucial information with potential or current customers. You can sell some products on here, but not looking to open a full Ecommerce store. 
  • Shopify: this is THE only option for people looking to create a store with more than 20 products. If you have less, you can get away with other CMS options. If you're looking to grow your store over the next year, I highly recommend starting with Shopify.

 

Open a Word Document

Content is one of the most difficult and time consuming parts of creating a website. I recommend opening a blank Word document, and allow your content to pour out. Make a bullet list of the pages you want on your website (Home, About, Services, Contact) and then type up text for each page and section. If you need to include case studies, type those in this document as well. 

 

Create a new Folder and Move Photos in It

If you have photos already, you can move these to the folder for quicker access when building the website. 

 

Create Pages

Based on the bullet list you created, start building pages by added content and photos. Don't forget to proof read your content after hitting save. 

 

Share with Your Friends

The best part of creating a website is sharing it with the community. Get feedback, make updates to your website, and keep growing it. The more practice you have with your website, the better it will be. 

 

Call Gibson

If, at any point, you get a headache, frustrated, can't finish reading this article, send me a message! I am happy to help you from wherever you leave off. 

EntrepreneurshipGibson Hall
Hidden Gem in Houston: BAPS
Snapseed 15.jpg
BAPS_houston_temple.JPG

If you're wondering how to find peace on a Saturday morning in Houston, do yourself a favor and take a trip to BAPS: a traditional Hindu temple in Southwest Houston, near Stafford. The building is made of hand-carved Italian marble and limestone. 

Pictures can't do this place justice, and they actually do not allow for photos inside of the temple. 

If it's your first time visiting BAPS, it's good to know you must wear clothing that covers knees (no skits for the ladies), and you have to take off your shoes before entering the temple, so you might want to wear socks. They have a shoe room next to the temple where you and your boo can separate to store your shoes before entering the temple. 

Before leaving, check out the gift shop. There are many books about Hinduism for less than a couple dollars, and also lots of food to eat or take home to make. 

 
IMG_0161.JPG
Do a Digital Audit on Yourself

The new year is always filled with resolutions: eat better, exercise more, complain less, and be a better person. But, what are you doing to improve your digital self? After all, your online profile is likely where any potential employer or even suitor (Hello, @Bumble) will find you and that will be their first impression. 

Not only should you be cautious about what you're telling the digital world about yourself, but you should be aware of the information you are feeding it. Take 30 minutes to improve your digital presence in 2018 by doing the following: 

  1. From an Incognito (private) browser winder, Google yourself. Find your Facebook page, Twitter page, Instagram, or any other social media profile you have out in the wild. Take inventory about what people see whenever they search your name. 
  2. Look at the public information you are giving on Facebook and your social media websites. Maybe there is a photo of you from college that you no longer want people to see, or maybe you're still in a relationship even though you meant to click single! Whatever is wrong, take a couple minutes to update it. 
  3. Use Unroll.me to unsubscribe from unwanted email newsletters. You sign up for plenty of things with your email address throughout the year, and chances are, your email address has also been shared a few times. Take a couple minutes to unsubscribe from all of the news letters you no longer need to read. 
  4. Update all of your passwords. You've probably been using the same password for the last couple of years, and it probably wasn't safe then and is definitely not safe right now. Take some time to update your password for key accounts, and then consider investing in 1Password.com. Passwords aren't going anywhere in 2018, so might as well make it easier on yourself. 
  5. Clean our unwanted apps. This is probably easiest and perhaps most fun to do. Open your phone and go screen by screen looking at the apps you've downloaded. If there's some app you have that you didn't use in 2017, chances are you can live without it in 2018. Not only will removing the apps give you less information while looking at your phone, it'll also save some battery power. 

What else are you doing to ensure your digital presence is set up for success in 2018? Let me know in the comments below. 

 

EntrepreneurshipGibson Hall
Explore Houston's Newest Street Art during Hue Mural Fest
hue-mural-fest-royal.JPG

Organizer of Hue Mural Fest, Gonzo247

#HueMuralFest is in its second year painting the streets of EaDo, Houston. There are so many great photo opportunities with all of the new murals. If you find more that aren't listed here, feel free to leave a comment below because I'd love to see more! 

#HueMuralFest goes on for the next week! 

hue-mural-fest-walken.JPG
Gibson Hall