Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

09 August 2018

Dallas Road Trip || The Most Instagrammable Place for Photos in Oklahoma

I had no idea that the best place for your Instagram photos was just an hour and a half down the road from Dallas in Ardmore, Oklahoma. If you're looking for an easy day trip out of Dallas, grab your bestie (mine happens to be a bomb photographer for Sweet Sweet Dallas) and get your camera ready because this is the best place for photos in Oklahoma, and only a 90 minute drive from Dallas. Located about 1 minute off Interstate 35 east is the coolest hidden gem called Cloverleaf Antiques.

When you take exit 31B in Oklahoma, you'll drive about half a mile and find the pink Instagram Mecca you didn't realize you'd been searching for your whole life. The lawn is filled to the brim with Insta gold pink props. You'll find everything from ice cream cones, to flamingos, to a pink RV, to pink pigs to neon signs. 

Clearly this is not a drill.

True to the age old saying, if you build it, instagrammers will come. They should really put a sign on the door that says no photos unless you crave Instagram likes for internet validation. I say this with love, as I too crave Instagram likes.

I've always said if you have lions at the front of your driveway, you've made it in life. Can you imagine the wealth and notoriety you'll display with PINK LIONS?

I can't even wrap my mind around the accolades you must posses. I imagine there is a collection of Oscars for best costume design for some foreign film back in 1997 and potentially a plaque hanging in your home office awarding you for eating five molten lava coated hot wings from your local dive bar for you to have such an affluent lion marking your home. 


Photo by Alexandra Minton Photo

If you don't like rainbows, happiness and a substantial collection of bald eagles staring and judging you for eating cheese fries for breakfast, then Cloverleaf is probably not the place for you.

Additionally, if you have a penis interested in women, also probably not the place for you.

So for everyone else, you're welcome for the intro to your new favorite Instagram backdrop.

02 August 2018

How to Take Your Social Media Career to the Next Level

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DCCCD. The opinions and text are all mine.

So much has changed in my life since I started college back in 2004. Obviously life changes a lot in 14 years, but now I'm in a career that was not even offered as a major when I was in school. Although I think college was the most important 4 years of my life to shaping who I am today (read also, I was incredibly shy before college, painfully shy) I often think about the courses I really missed out on back then. Fast forward to today, I'd love to explore taking a few new classes at one of my local Dallas Community Colleges to help me out on my current career path with social media, a career that absolutely did not exist in 2004. 

I majored in Public Relations at The University of Tennessee, with a minor in business. I was 17 years old when I started school, that is a super young age to have to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life. I started as an advertising major, but was blown away with how much drawing was involved in that major. I could not draw AT ALL and I was struggling keeping up in those classes. So, I switched to PR. Here's the crazy part about PR though, I didn't want to work for a PR firm, I didn't want to be an event planner, I really just didn't know what I wanted to do with this major.

After working two jobs and running myself ragged for two years to barely get by, I finally caught a break and the owner of one of the companies gave me a shot at marketing. It was a small company, but I made it very clear I would work my butt off to learn everything I needed to know to kill it at that job. I had to teach myself graphic design and photoshop, but the creative ideas came naturally to me. It was cultivating the promotions, marketing campaigns and coming up with fun, original out of the box ideas that I adored. I also loved seeing my ideas come to life.

I continued to work in marketing for the next five years after I moved to Dallas. Then last year I made the jump into social media full time for The Adolphus hotel in downtown Dallas. I can credit getting this job entirely thanks to blogging for so many years, and having success from Dallas Love List. It's a new career for me, but I absolutely consider myself to be qualified for the position.

Like I said though, it is a new career. I didn't major in social media, I didn't major in photography. Photography is half of my job, and it's something I've had to teach myself over the years. I really want to explore the idea of taking some college courses to amp up my photography game.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to tour North Lake College, part of the Dallas Community Colleges system, and get a peek into their incredibly expansive photography department. Dallas Community Colleges can make dreams come true, with education for in-demand jobs and training to move you up in a career or get you into your dream career. For me, their photography courses could easily take me to that next step in content creation that I never would have been able to teach myself.

I was nothing short of BLOWN AWAY by their resources available to students. We're talking beautiful Mac computers with huge screens and the latest programming, photography equipment available to students including DSLR cameras, lenses and a dark room.

North Lake College has more photo programs than any other school. I thought this was really cool, the room shown below is specifically day-lit for photos!

All of the studio equipment all available to checkout, even MacBook Pros so students can tether as they shoot and see their photos right on the screen immediately. They told me that 75% of students don’t have cameras and couldn’t take the class without the rental capabilities that North Lake College provides. I toured during Summer session, when students are able check out equipment for the entire Summer. During regular semester, students can recheck weekly!

At North Lake College specifically they actually still teach antique process from 1830s to 1970s!

At the time of my tour one group of students was studying in HAWAII! WHAT! How cool is that?

Dallas Community Colleges of course offer a massive selection of courses, and tuition is only $177 for a three hour class. Can you believe that?? Check out their map of locations, seven in the DFW area, here.

The programs I'm currently checking out are of course Photography, Graphic Design, and managing and growing your small business.  There are also a few programs where graduates can make a high salary - Digital Forensics and Computer Information Technology - and programs areas in which there are a lot of available jobs for graduates here in Dallas - like accounting and health care programs.

If you are interested are ready to make your dreams a reality and take your career to the next level, or even completely changing your career path, APPLY HERE! You never know what is next for you, it's never too late!