Venus Trapped in Mars

30 April 2015

A VTIM Exclusive Interview :: The Incredible Hulk Tells All

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AvengersUnite #CollectiveBias

With the movie MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron coming out tomorrow, May 1st, I have a very special treat for you today. I was able to land an exclusive, all-access interview with the movie's biggest star. Literally, the biggest star. That's right folks, Venus Trapped in Mars has the main man himself, here with us today. 
The Incredible Hulk Tells All 

Sarah: Hey Hulk! Welcome to VTIM, how are you doing today? 
Hulk: Good at the moment, a little hungry. 
Sarah: Oh well help yourself, I brought donuts just over there
Hulk: Thank you very much, Sarah. Don't mind if I do. 
Sarah: First of all, that is a really nice flower crown you're wearing. My readers would be very interested in hearing about the background story there. I'm not sure people would expect such a tough, and some might even go so far as to say angry guy, to be wearing a flower crown. 
Hulk:  (Chuckles) I'm glad you asked, Sarah. This is a common misconception. The character I play is just that, a character. Sure I have things that set me off during the day, who doesn't? But for the most part I'm just a normal, guy that is very in touch with his sensitive side. 
 
Sarah: I think that is lovely that you like flowers so much. I do too! You recently posted this photo to your Instagram page. Are these from your own garden at home? 
Hulk: Gosh what a sweetheart you are, yes they are from my own garden. I prefer to plant annuals, Marigolds in particular, because they are just so cheerful. I have a lot of drama in my life, (chuckles) heck, who doesn't? I tend to gravitate toward things, people and apparently even flowers that are generally sunny in disposition. 
Sarah: I hate to bring up a hot topic that you are famously known to be sensitive, maybe even a little shy about, but I've got to do it....
Hulk: It's ok Sarah, I knew you were going to ask. I don't mind, it's a part of who I am. I shouldn't be ashamed. Go ahead.
Sarah: Well, you mentioned you have things that set you off during the day. Can you give us an example of some of those things? 
Hulk: The things that set me off are very simple, probably even the same things that set you off. Like the other day I was making a lovely dinner... sirloin and asparagus. Yum!
I went to take a peek at the progress of the sirloin....
 And I realized I had left it in too long and it burned ....
I lost my temper a bit. I did a hulk smash that I am not too proud of. I flew off the handle and that is something I'm really working on, inside myself. (Chuckles) Joke was on me, the sirloin ended up pretty tasty! 
It is mostly just little things that drive me bananas. Like the other day I was running so so so late to meet my friend, Betty Ross, and I got in the car and realized I was out of gas. 
Yeah, I lost my cool again. I'm working on it though, I really am. 
Sarah: I recently stumbled across this picture and was excited to learn that you are a writer. What type of writing do you do?
Hulk:  Oh gosh, a writer? No no no. I just dabble. I enjoy trying my hand -- jokes, jokes, jokes, I know -- at Romantic Comedies. I'm a big fan of Ryan Gosling, it would be a dream of mine for him to play the lead in one of my Rom Coms one day!
 
Sarah: Are you excited about the red carpet event tonight?
Hulk: Excited? Yes, very. When you and the squad looking fresh you just be like...



 
Sarah: Before we finish, is there anything else you would like my readers to know? Anything we should do before we see MARVEL'S The Avengers: Age of Ultron tomorrow in theaters? 
Hulk: Actually yes! We just got our very own app! Big time, I know!  The Super Heroes Assemble app (which can be downloaded here for google play or here via iTunes) turns your phone into a portal for exclusive Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron content. Actually you can even scan the Avengers displays, featuring Kellogg's Fruit Snacks, Cheez-It, Hasboro, Dr. Pepper or Marvel, at Walmart and Walmart.com to become your favorite Avenger! Let me rephrase that, to become ME, obvi! 
Get this, if you scan any 12 packs of Dr. Pepper's Avengers or scan the in-store signage you'll unlock a digital comic book brought to you by Dr. Pepper! Here are some examples of both the Dr. Pepper Avengers packs, and some dress up gear available at Walmart

 
Sarah: Hulk, what a pleasure. I'm going to ask my readers to leave you comments in the comment section, should they have any questions. Would you mind sticking around and answer some reader mail? 
Hulk: Gosh, not at all. What a delight that would be. 
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27 April 2015

$125 Target Giveaway + Click It or Ticket

Howdy friends! Happy Monday! Today I've got my sidebar pals taking over with a meet and greet, plus this month's giveaway where you can win $125 to Target! Click it or ticket.
 
 The Lady Lawyer

Start Here ::: How To Write a Thank You Note The Right Way /// Office Desk Decor Makeover
Get Social ::: Bloglovin // Pinterest // Twitter

///  The Top 5 Favorite Cities Brittany Has Visited  ///

1. Charleston, SC: My soul-mate city. I could walk around King Street all the days of my life and never get bored. Eating my way through this city is my perfect vacation.

2. San Juan, Puerto Rico: This beautiful island makes you feel like you are in a tropical paradise but you also get all the perks of being in America!

3. Las Vegas, NV: My girlfriends and I can tear this city up! A weekend of dancing, gambling, and pool parties is just what the soul needs..but no more than a weekend :)

4. Naples, Italy: I was only here for a day during a cruise stop but I'm still dreaming of the buffalo mozzarella.

5. Asheville, NC: This little mountain town is full of surprises. Hippies, street music, and breweries upon breweries makes this a perfect weekend getaway.




 South to Southwest

Start Here ::: Dating Horror Stories /// How to Travel Luxuriously For Less
Get Social ::: Facebook /// Pinterest /// Instagram /// Bloglovin

 
///  The Top 5 Favorite Cities Erin Has Visited  ///

1. Pape'ete, Tahiti -- French Polynesians are super friendly, you're surrounded by crystal blue water, and in Pape'ete there is a giant food truck park with the BEST food. (Proof: http://southtosouthwest.com/papeete-tahiti/)

2. Atlanta, GA -- I lived there for 11 years, and I am so in love with ATL! It's foodie paradise and there are so many fun things to do there. It has a culture all its own.

3. Rome, Italy -- Rome was my favorite Italian city to visit. Everything is so ... OLD! Best pizza of my life, friendly people, and so many incredible things to see.

4. Paris, France -- The shopping, the Eiffel Tower, the crepes! I love Paris, even though a lot of people don't. It always charms the pants off me.

5. Denver, CO -- Denver is such a happy town. Seeing a concert at Red Rocks has been one of the highlights of my life, and there are lots of great day trips from Denver: Garden of the Gods, Aspen, and Stranahan's Whiskey tour to name a few. And of course, the common denominator in all my favorite cities: great food!

PS: Choosing only 5 is super tough!





 Soup of the Day

Start Here ::: Why I Live in the City /// Behind the Scenes Tour with HipPOPS
Get Social ::: Instagram /// Facebook /// Twitter

  
///  The Top 5 Favorite Cities Megan Has Visited  ///

1. Paris- Easily the most beautiful place I've ever visited and the best gelato!

2. London- I loved the history and the character hiding around every corner

3. New York City- The energy is electric in NYC and the food is GOOD!

4. Austin- The music scene was the best part. I don't think I stopped dancing!

5. Miami- HEAT! Both the temperature and the people!





 Brooke Meagan Jones

Start Here ::: What I Learned from Giving Up Alcohol for 21 Days /// You Wouldn't Like it Here Anyway

Get Social ::: Bloglovin /// Twitter /// Instagram /// Facebook

///  The Top 5 Favorite Cities Brooke Has Visited  ///

1. Paris, France: Because it was the first city with a language barrier that I traveled to solo..and it's Paris!

2. London, England: Because I lived just outside of London as a nanny for one year and that city will always hold a special place in my heart.

3. Rome, Italy: Because even though I got incredibly lost while having the worst allergic reaction of my life, I still want to go back. It's that amazing!

4. Havana, Cuba: Because I fell in love with the architecture, people, energy, and rich history. Oh, and the rum too!

5. Halifax, Canada: Because that's where I live and I love it. Everyone should come visit now!


------

 
Magen /// Brittany /// Kippy
Sarah /// Brooke
Erin ///  Kate


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8 Reasons I'm An Adult Destroyer of Clothes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RadiantLaundry #CollectiveBias

Although I have skin that is so pale it is an odd shade of blue right now, I have a fairly normal skin type. It'll occasionally get dry, but nothing a good slab of lotion can't fix. So it came as a very odd surprise when I had my very first ever allergic reaction 20 years into my life. One day in college I borrowed my roomie Magen's laundry detergent to wash my sheets. I put the sheets on my bed, and laid down for a nice long 20 minute power nap, because hello, power naps are how you survive college. I woke up and was covered head-to-toe in these bright red, itchy splotches. As someone who doesn't suffer from many sicknesses or allergies, I totally (and maybe a little over-dramatically) freaked out. 

In true-to-Sarah dramatic fashion, let's just say I learned the hard way that CB used this same type of detergent, and had to convert him too. 

So what is my go-to, will freak out if anyone uses anything else, laundry detergent? all. I've always been an all user, so when I found out they had a new product called all Radiant, I wasn't at all hesitant, no pun intended, to switch from their pod packs that I was previously using.

My clothes certainly take a beating. People act like children are this terrible wrecking force that come through and cause a nightmare on white whites and bright colors. Well, go ahead and group me in that terrible wrecking force. I prefer to think that I just live hard / live life to the most extreme! 

The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? I, Sarah Webb, am a human destroyer of clothing. Things that I do that destroy my laundry include, but are not limited to:



1. Spray Tans - I am an avid spray tanner. I have a whole post that is full of my tips, if you've never had a spray tan before.  What is one thing you will learn very quickly once you begin spray tanning? LOL at white sheets. I have to have a great detergent during the Spring and Summer spray tan season. 

2. The hole in my lip - There is a giant hole in my bottom lip that randomly opens when I least expect it, causing the beverage I'm consuming to fall right through and splatter on whatever top I'm wearing. Generally, said top is white and said beverage is brown. 

3. Ketchup - I love ketchup, like, more than a friend. When restaurants see me coming, they're like, BRB gotta call the ketchup delivery guy real quick. We are going to need a new shipment when Sarah is done. 

4. Sporting events - When eating is mixed with spontaneous jumping out of your seat to scream for the home team, you're in trouble. 

5. Sweat - You know that shirt that says, "I don't sweat, I sparkle"? Yeah, that isn't me, at all. I am always hot. I could be visiting Canada in January and I guarantee I will be sweating at some point during the trip. I still have no idea how I've survived 2.5 Texas Summers. 

6. I keep things for a very, very long time - I still have things in my closet from high school that I wear regularly. My favorite pair of workout shorts say Midlothian High School 2000 Lady Trojans Softball. For those without a calculator nearby, that would make these shorts 15 years old.

7. Cheap Clothing Stores - This is my favorite store. I do not invest in nice pieces very often because I'd rather have 10 things for $100 than one thing for $100. Guilty as charged. 

8. General and Veenie - This requires no further explanation.

So as you can see, not only do I need a laundry detergent that won't send me into a red splotchy outbreak (red just isn't my color), I need a detergent that can clean the torture I inflict on my wardrobe. The new all Radiant laundry detergent is up for the job. It restores whites and protects colors. Fading clothes and stains are regular occurrences for me, and this detergent is able to revive my white sheets, remove my I-eat-too-much ketchup stains in the first wash, and keep my favorite team's colors bright and vibrant with its patented fiber shield technology. 





Keep an eye out for a Cartwheel Offer at Target from 5/3 to 5/9. Here is the aisle I was able to find all Radiant. 

 

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24 April 2015

Reasons to Love Houston

Happy Friday errrrybody! Although it has nothing to do with today's post, I very much enjoy this picture CB took on the way to the ACM festival last Friday. I'm ridin round and I'm gettin it. 

#DropTheMic .... errrr .... I mean, #DropTheWaterBottle 
Now, on to the post du jour! Mmm that sounds good I'll have that.

 Yup, that's right, I'm doing it again because there might be an important playoff game tonight. Now, I've only been to Houston once, but that is 100% more times than I've been to both Iowa and Detroit combined, and I managed to come up with things to love about both of those places!  

Sooooooo....

// Reasons Why I like Absolutely Freaking Love Houston and You Should Too //

1. Craig Biggio's helmet
(yeah, something is wrong with me if that is the first thing I thought of
 
2. Beyonce

3. They help people with problems
(get it get it??? Houston we have a problem????? meh.)

4. The New York Times calls it "One of the Most Exciting Places to Eat"
(BUT -- The NY Times clearly has never been to Medieval Times

5. The Houston Rodeo
(yee haw!)

6.  The Astros often take the last spot in the AL West so the Rangers don't have to

7. Patrick Swayze 

8. Whitney Houston
(she's actually from NJ but she's a reason to love the name "Houston")
(and yes I'm reaching, I don't know much about Houston)

9. Jennifer Garner, my sorority sister, was born there

10. 1/3 of the city is provided 24 hour shade by James Harden's beard

11. You live in constant fear of JJ Watt eating you
(wait, maybe that is a con...)

12. There is a house completely made out of beer cans. “Some people say this is sculpture but I didn't go to no expensive school to get these crazy notions.” –John Milkovisch 
(That is a quote from the beer man house creator, himself. So eloquently put, sir.)

13. One item in one of their museum is a 27-and-a-half foot intestine 
(YuckAnything longer than 27, and I'm grossed out)

14. They have a mascot cemetery
 (   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  )

15. They are home to the National Museum of Funeral History
(wtf Houston?? Side note: I wonder if Phaedra know this info?)

16. They have a 7 mile underground tunnel downtown.
(I really dig that.........)

17. They are the most awarded female artist of all time 
(Oh wait, that's Whitney again, my bad)

18. I went there once, for one night
(was cool)

19. Sir Mix A Lot once spotted two bad ass girls in a tercel, 
then u-turned because they were going to Houston
(really reachin here. reeeeeeeally reachin

There you have it. 19 reasons I love Houston and you should too. That should do the trick. 


Venus Trapped in Mars


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23 April 2015

Free Blogger Blog Pre-Made Templates

It appears that I totally suck at pimping out my own services and products. I have a line of t-shirts I've designed on spreadshirt, but do you see a link to that shop anywhere on my blog? Nope. I have my own blog design studio, do I ever really talk about it? Nope. My main goal right now is to sell the pre-made templates I've made, all of which include installation free of charge, but do I even do so much as to alert you guys when I've made a new one? Nope. I want to walk a fine line between gently reminding everyone my services exist, and shoving my services down your throat with every passing blog post. Instead what do I do? I make it totally unaccessible and never talk about any of it, ever. LOLZZZ!



So here is the deal.... I'm going to make this very simple. I want to increase the awareness of my blogger templates, you want a new blog design. You scratch my back, I scratch yours, how does that sound? 

I'm going to give away 2 of my blogger templates to 2 bloggers
***All templates include complimentary installation, and all colors are customizable***

To Win One of My Templates 
Simply complete the following 4 simple steps via the Rafflecopter below:

1. Like this post via Bloglovin
2. Follow Me on Bloglovin
3. Favorite my Etsy Shop
4. Pin one of my templates below

The giveaway will run until Sunday at midnight. 
I will pick both winners on Monday morning. 
Important note- if you would like to buy at template right now, but are worried you might win one of the free ones, I will refund your money, should you win! Voila! Easy right? 



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You Can Sit With Me If You Want To



I'm very sorry, this post is very long.  
-Management

You know what I stand for? Kindness, friendship and acceptance. I like to think that I have a personality that meshes with tons of different groups of people. The friends I made over the years are vastly different and I treasure every one of them. I am blissfully happy when I'm surrounded by friends, and am a firm believer you can never have too many. So it may come as no surprise that I'm very against the concept of "you can't sit with us.

My hatred, no that's too harsh, we will say disapproval, of anyone that uses and/or whose actions portray the phrase "you can't sit with us" stems from two specific times in my life: high school and my first two years in Dallas. I attended the cliquiest of cliquey high schools. There were distinct groups, and I didn't belong to a single one of them. Certainly not the popular kids, not the jocks, not the drama people, not the smart people, I didn't fit in anywhere. That messes with a kid when you don't have a group to associate yourself with. I had a long-term boyfriend, and pretty much just put all my eggs in that basket. 

I had deemed myself a guy's girl, until I moved to another state for college, joined a sorority and my whole life changed. People can hate on the greek system all they want,  I will always come to its rescue. The girl that never felt part of a group, never felt like she was a part of anything or felt important to any of her peers, immediately, and I do mean immediately felt accepted, wanted, welcomed and appreciated in Pi Beta Phi. Heck, even people who weren't part of our sorority were embraced with open arms, and dubbed honorary Pi Phis. Everyone totally got that sorority life wasn't for everyone, but meaningful, important friendships were. We accepted and befriended anyone who we enjoyed being around, and who enjoyed being around us, greek or non-greek. It was simple, it was lovely, it was shockingly mature. I'm still proud to have my name associated with this organization. 

This three paragraph rant is leading up to something not totally unrelated, but unrelated. I was having a difficult time writing this post without the backstory of why I'm so irritated. Ok pretend you read those first three paragraphs in yesterday's post. Let's start fresh. *you're killing me over here, Sarah* I know, I know I'm sorry. 

I have 3 specific issues with this Reward Style, Like To Know It, and their conference. Reward Style is an affiliate link system for fashion bloggers to make money off items they recommend to their readers. The Reward Style Conference is taking place right now, just a few blocks from my hood, in Downtown Dallas. You can follow on insta using #RSthecon. 

Issue #1- The reason for my first three paragraphs, is the insane level of "You Can't Sit With Us" associated with this conference. I'm not talking about the girls in attendance, but rather the conference specifically. Please tell me why anyone that has been approved for Reward Style, and wants to pay for it, can't attend? I'm trying to think of another blogger conference out there that accepts/rejects bloggers from attending, and I can't think of one. A conference is to improve your craft, by learning from peers that have been successful. Who better to attend a fashion blogging conference, than an eager, smaller fashion blogger, looking to grow?

If they only accept the top 200 earners, and please correct me if I'm wrong which I very well could be misinformed, what do the best of the best get out of a conference, exactly? 

Why can't anyone attend? I have deep seeded issues with a You Can't Sit With Us vibe, and I do not like it at all. 

Issue #2- Like To Know It. 

        Issue #2 Part A: When I "like to know it" on an image, with hopes of learning where I can purchase the one glaringly obvious item that is the focal point of the image. But then I get the email and said item isn't included. 

That would be like me posting this picture, and not linking to my boots in the email!!



        Issue #2 Part B: When you ask a question about where someone got something and you get an answer back about signing up for like to know it. Now I will say, I don't do this. I just watch and observe.

Maybe it's just me, but "don't bite the hand that feeds you" comes into my mind here.

        Issue #2 Part C: Suggested items for people on a budget. Helene brought this up to me this morning and I couldn't agree more. I will gladly follow my friends who have like to know it, and will like their image if they are linking to things I can afford. But when someone deems something as "suitable for those on a budget", I click like and it turns out to be a $150 top, I get angry all over again.

        Issue #2 Part D: It's rare that stuff I can afford is showcased, because that doesn't bring in the money.

Issue #3- First, why do lifestyle bloggers get berated for doing sponsored posts and trying to make a buck? I put more effort into some of my sponsored posts, and even have more fun writing them than I do regular posts, yet I still find myself feeling like I'm doing something wrong. Secondly, why do I have to disclose at the very tippy top, before I can even say hello, that this post is sponsored by X company, and then include in every social share the word #ad?

How come Reward Style doesn't require disclosure on every post, and the word #ad in every social share? That honestly bothers me.

It bothers me because every time I insta something that requires the hashtag #ad, I feel like a giant sellout. But I shouldn't, you know why? Because the MLB campaign, I just got to do, for example, was THE BOMB. I couldn't get over how perfect that campaign opportunity was for my blog. I was beyond excited about it, then found myself feeling sheepish as I typed #ad into my Instagram caption, and mentally calculated the readers I lost as I put a disclosure at the very top of my post.

I love clothes, like I love them, and I very much support the fashion blogger. I just don't support the way Reward Style goes about doing things, particularly this conference, and I wanted to get it all off my chest.  I'm not always right, and sometimes I let my issues from my past interfere with my feelings on certain topics, so I also want to open a discussion, for those that disagree or agree with me. If you feel I'm way off, educate me, seeing as I'm not a fashion blogger! This is officially an open forum!

And for those that do have RS, but weren't invited to the conference, you have an open invitation to come party with me in Deep Ellum. It's way more fun than Downtown Dallas, and that I know is for certain.


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