Lifestyle

From Sequins & Suspenders to Oh, Eleanora: A RebRand That Captured R Attention

In 2014, Ellie Leeper started a San Antonio lifestyle blog with her fiancé Dan Morrison. At the time, she'd seen plenty of local ladies blogging, but there weren't many couples highlighting the enriching lifestyle that she felt our city had to offer. As a mutual hobby project, she and her now husband Dan started Sequins & Suspenders.

The blog was a fun way to document cultural events, life at Pearl, wedding planning and personal style. As she became more comfortable creating and maneuvering in the digital space, Ellie took over the blog’s content management while working full time during the day as the Public Relations Manager for a local nonprofit pediatric healthcare organization. But over the summer of 2016, she started wondering about her career direction and her passions in life. "I started having the what am I doing with my life thoughts," Ellie said.

Toward the end of the summer, the Universe seemed to send her the message she was asking for. However, she wasn’t expecting the way it was delivered: on a Friday afternoon in mid-September, her entire professional life changed unexpectedly, flipping her world completely upside down. Her company had a huge round of layoffs and Ellie was the first of the 30+ cut. She was fired. It was a devastating blow, but the timing couldn't have been more perfect. Ellie picked herself up by the bootstraps, and she took the rest of 2016 to explore where her heart actually wanted to be. She hadn't considered blogging as a career path, but the more she wrote, the more she started to realize that it was one area of her life that fulfilled her.

She'd been struggling to find herself after the firing. Feelings of inadequacy and questions of her professional worth had started to haunt her. She knew that in order to overcome this obstacle and turn her situation into a positive, she had to grow something of her own that was rooted in honesty and authenticity: a validation of her voice, her efforts and her talents. She needed to create the soul project that would get her back in the game- but in the right way. (She wrote an inspiring post about this time period, and how to overcome rejection and use it in your favor. We highly recommend reading it HERE.)

After some soul searching, Ellie decided to make a go of professional blogging toward the end of 2016. But she knew that her site needed a fresh perspective and the perfect personalized name. It was time for a rebRand

As a place to start this process, Ellie looked to her past for clues about her character and how others perceived her. After thinking about her personal relationships, she realized that many friends relied on her as both a confidant, and also the friend who influenced and motivated those around her to reach for their dreams. Ellie realized she was someone people liked to open up to, and it fulfilled her to be that person for her friends.
It was during the holidays last year, when she was around her extended family and most in-touch with who and what made her the person she is, when she realized that the new blog direction was going to be one with mission and focus. It would be quality content that encouraged her digital female friends to create the lives they wanted to lead.

Although undecided on the name, she knew she would be incorporating motivational and inspirational posts into her new brand as something that would set her apart from the typical style blogger. She wanted her new platform to be a source of encouragement for women who needed a cheerleader. It was what her friends and colleagues seemed to need. But deep down, it's what she needed too.

After returning from the holidays and getting back into her routine, it was now a New Year, and time to decide on the new name for her revamped blog. She thought about the times she felt most herself…the most natural. Ellie is known by those closest to her for her big and entertaining personality. As a child, she loved to be silly and funny and “perform” for her family. Every time she would show her joyful, theatrical, silly self, her mother and grandmother would lovingly say, "Oh, Eleanora." As soon as this memory surfaced, a light bulb went off in her head: Ellie knew that this had to be her personal bRand. Immediately, she went to work designing her new website.

The world knew her as Ellie, but family knew her as Eleanora. She was named after her great-grandmother, and Ellie felt a strong sense of self-identity in her full name. It was that feeling of belonging that really led her to her new brand.

Ellie was done trying to be what everyone else was, and do what everyone else was doing. Her new brand identity was born from a very real place. Her “why” revealed itself organically, authentically, and it was true to who she was inside.

Oh, Eleanora took off like lightning. Ellie added new editorial features, such as the popular Grit + Grace profiles, that are a public space for women’s inspiring stories to be celebrated and encouraged. "Why would women only want to read about me?" Ellie said. "There are so many ladies in my personal and professional networks who are doing amazing things. If I featured one per week, I would have editorial content for years."

And she was right. The greatest traffic on her site comes from these features of women leading the lives they love. She is passionate about highlighting the ways in which women can have it all, and all of the ways women can define what "it all" means to them.

The greatest advice Ellie has for a successful rebRand is to find your "why," and then commit it to action. The more Ellie discovers who she is and how to use her voice for the benefit of others, the higher her success continues to climb. Now people across the country see her shining from deep in the heart of Texas, and we can collectively say with admiration, "Oh Eleanora!"

 

Written By Crystal Henry, R national pitcher all photos are credited to Oh Eleanora blog


Where we R weaRing floweR cRowns in Texas

Fiesta! AKA excuses for all the flowers and flower crowns is upon us, and there’s no shortage of celebrations. But at RPR we like to do things a little differently. Here are R top picks for the best places to wear a Flower Crown in SA during Fiesta!2017.

JOYRIDE TEXAS

Fiesta Rides, Flower Crowns Encouraged
210.228.0797
www.joyridestudio.com
Date: April 22, 2017 at 9:30am - 12:00pm
JoyRide at Alon: 10003 NW Military Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78231JoyRide is getting in the Fiesta! spirit with Flower Crown Rides and Flour Tortillas. Joyride at Alon and the restaurant El Mirasol are coming together for an exciting party. Come celebrate Fiesta the best way we know how: by enjoying breakfast tacos from El Mirasol after a rewarding and worthwhile workout.
Bonus: Shop the Social Clothing Shoppe for some fun Fiesta! leggings for the tots, tweens and teens in your life in need of pizazz on their bottoms to go with their flower crowns on top.

SMART BARRE
210.822.0584
www.smartbarrebody.com
Date: April 23, 2017 at 1:30pm
Smart Barre Alamo Heights: 6426 N. New Braunfels San Antonio, TX 78209
Smart Barre Alon: 10003 NW Military Hwy, Ste 3103 San Antonio, TX 78231
Smart Barre Stone Oak: 427 N. Loop 1604 W., Suite 206 San Antonio, TX 78232
Looking for more fitness meets Fiesta! then head to Smart Barre, where they are offering a FIESTA! inspired class complete with flower crowns and sangria from El Jarro de Arturo.

 

BAMBINOS
999 E. Basse Rd. Ste. 196
San Antonio, TX 78209
210-824-7676
www.bambinosboutique.com
info@bambinosboutique.com
Babies need flower crowns too. Bambinos is celebrating Fiesta! with the launch of their new Pima play clothes label and the Love Gift Shoppe, a store within the store filled with gifts to personalize for tot to tween. Stop by in the afternoon for monogram specials, sweet treats and to get your little ones outfitted with their own fabulous Fiesta! threads.

 

SUKEBAN
210.562.3231
IG: @sukebansushi
1420 S Alamo St. San Antonio, TX
Price: $10 - $12
Sukeban celebrates Fiesta! like no other, with great Japanese-Mexican infused cocktails bringing the best of both worlds into one. From its yuzu margarita to its charred orange tequila cocktail, these cocktails adorned with edible flours will have you celebrating Fiesta! all month long.

 

(photo credit: Kody Melton)

BITE
1012 S. Presa Street
San Antonio, TX 78204
210.532.255
IG: @biterestaurantsa
www.biterestaurantsa.com
Fiesta! just got a twist of lime behind the bar at Bite this month. Bartender April Cook is the freshest face mixing up fabulous cocktails like the peachy watermelon summer in a glass called The Lotus. Or practice your French, but good luck keeping your flower crown on after you order a Bite Violet (pronounced vee-oh-lay). It’s a grown-up grape cool-aid with grape liqueur, strawberry vodka and a PopRocks rim. Because it’s not a Fiesta! party without a fabulous cocktail from Bite.

 

Written by R content director, Crystal Henry


R is for Rolls, Sushi in San Antonio

Outrageous Sushi Rolls in San Antonio
Let’s talk sushi, shall we? Everyone enjoys the classic California Roll or Avocado

Roll, but what about when you’re looking for something a little more exotic to

have on your plate? We’ve compiled a list of the most outrageous rolls in town,

so you can keep your San Antonio sushi game strong from Monday to Sunday.


Sukeban is known for its eye-catching décor and artwork, but it also has some

interesting rolls that shouldn’t be overlooked. The Cowboy Bebop Roll is stuffed

with avocado, asparagus, carrot, Sriracha and rib-eye. Yeah, that’s right, we said

ribeye! And don’t gloss over the Bossgirl Roll, which is filled with tuna, white tuna,

strawberries, goat cheese and cucumber. This roll will surprise your taste buds in

the best way possible.

1420 South Alamo Street, Suite 101


Sushi Zushi offers some of the most unique combinations of rolls on its menu; it’s

difficult to decide which roll to try first. The sushi chain rolls up just about

anything, from fried chicken, to fried crawfish, spicy octopus and even roast beef.

Come hungry because this lengthy menu will make you want to order one of

each.

999 E Basse @ Broadway
https://www.sushizushi.com/
Goro’s Sushi whips up the most intense rolls you’ll ever set your eyes on. Stuffed

to the max and piled high, Goro’s is a must-try. We recommend the outrageous

UT roll, which is an inside-out roll with tuna, salmon, cream cheese and avocado

wrapped with shrimp and topped with shredded crab and shrimp, then mixed in a

special sauce. Wow, take a breath, that was a mouthful (literally). And its happy

hour is one of the best in town – three pieces of certain rolls for $1.25.

2619 Mossrock, San Antonio, TX 78230
http://gorossushisa.com/starters


When the restaurant has “Fruit Rolls” has a category on its menu and the first roll

listed is called the “Exotic Roll,” you know you’re in for a treat. Posh Sushi is

known for its unique and exotic rolls, and once you take a glance at its menu,

you’ll know why. It even has a list of “low calorie” rolls that are wrapped in rice

paper and stuffed with veggies.

22211 W Interstate 10.
http://poshsushi.com/?list-menus=rolls-menu
Don’t settle for average sushi rolls any longer. Next time you’re craving salty soy

sauce, spicy wasabi, and fluffy rice, remember this list R is for Rolls.

 

Post by R intern, Lauren

 


Where to Wine and Dine your Valentine/Galentine Without Reservations

(photo credit: sukeban sushi)

It’s almost 5pm and you and your SO are still not sure if you want to look into each others eyes over the open fire and bottle of pinot noir or go out with the masses … but, oh no, you forgot to make reservations a month ago? Either that or you and your gal pals have no dates and want to wine and dine each other, and you have no reservations. Let us help..

Here are 5 things you can do tonight after 5pm without reservations…

1. Sukeban Sushi is taking first come first serve seating all night long, and it has a paired dinner with rosé. Who needs roses when you have sparkling bottles and sushi flowing like a river.

(photo credit: Joyride Texas)

2. Joyride Texas, get your sweat on at both locations! You can check out Leah’s class at 5:30pm on Broadway or head over to the Alon location- there are 2 classes and your first class is free. Bring your sweetie and try something different together.

3. Kimura: Nothing says I love you like slurping some noodles with your lover. It's free parking today for Downtown Tuesday, so you can spend some extra dough on a specialty cocktail. May we suggest the Ginger Geisha? It’s incredible.

(photo credit: punch drink)

4. Drinks: Just say I love you with a liquid diet at The Last Word, which is hosting a dessert and cocktail tasting starting at 8pm.

5. Il Forno: Go for the pizza and stay for the cozy atmosphere without the hoopla.  You won’t find white tablecloths, but you will find some of the best pizza in town, and the fire will be blazing, that is for sure.

(photo credit: il forno)


What the pho?! Top pho places in San Antonio

What the pho?! Top pho places in SA

by R Intern, Lauren Patterson

So what is pho and how do you even say it? Pho, pronounced fuh, is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat. It is essentially like ramen, but technically speaking, pho is the type of white rice flour noodle used in the dish, while ramen is a dish of Chinese origin that uses Chinese-style ramen noodles. We’ve compiled a list of our four favorite pho and pho-ish restaurants in San Antonio along with some of our favorite activities to do before or after enjoying a meal.

First off, we have Pho Kim Long. Funny name, serious pho. Located at 4230 McCullough Avenue, 78212, Pho Kim Long offers superb, traditional pho for a great price. May we also recommend the spring rolls? They won’t disappoint. After you enjoy your meal, hop on over to Meadow, a local boutique in Olmos Park with high-end fashion and jewelry. Now if that’s not a fantastic Girls Night Out, we don’t know what is.

Second on the list is Berni Vietnamese Restaurant at 8742 Wurzbach Road, 78240. From beef to chicken to even meatballs, Berni delivers when it comes to pho. Our favorite is the original Berni Pho, which is a combination of rare steak, brisket, tripe, tendon and meatballs. Whoa, talk about a loaded pho. And only four minutes up the road is Wurzbach Ice House, which is a fun-atmosphere bar with indoor and outdoor games, perfect for any post-pho date night.

photo credit: Savor.tooth

Next up is one of our personal favorites, Kimura. Located at 152 E. Pecan Street, Suite 102 (on the corner of E. Pecan and St. Mary's), Kimura serves up some of the best Japanese dishes and is one of San Antonio’s best izakayas, or Japanese pubs. Now, technically Kimura serves ramen, not pho, but it just had to make the list because it’s that good. We suggest the Tonkotsu with pork belly. And after dinner, how about a walk along the River Walk to end the night?

photo credit: cook and kate

Last but surly not least is Viva Pho, located at 2114 NW Military Highway, 78213. Its menu is extensive and the pho is off the chain. And what’s more perfect to pair with your pho than a boba tea drink? Make sure to try out the milk green tea with boba and jelly, yum! But wait, before you dive into that big, warm bowl of pho, we suggest driving a few more minutes north and taking an indoor cycling class at JoyRide Texas at Alon, a high-intensity workout studio that is sure to get you good and hungry for all of that yummy Vietnamese food.

In its origin, pho is eaten as a breakfast food, like cereal for us. But we won’t judge you if you devour it at night. So go get your pho on.


Top 5 Coffee Spots in San Antonio

 

As much as we love R office, sometimes we need a change in scenery. Here are five of our favorite spots around San Antonio to get our caffeine fix while also getting some serious work done.

Photo by: Ruben Aaron Verastigui

LOCAL COFFEE: Six locations, localcoffeesa.com

We R all about the keep it local vibe. Local Coffee owner, Robby Grubbs, was one of the first to bring good coffee to San Antonio, and obviously it has stuck since Local now has six locations. While each location has a different vibe and some spots are more crowded than others, the overall aesthetic is the same — comfy and cozy with varied seating options. Go here to enjoy locally roasted beans — Merit Roasting Co. — and to work to the hum of conversation, steaming milk and pulled espresso.

Photo by: Brown Coffee

The Brown Coffee Co.
1800 Broadway, Ste 113, San Antonio, TX 78215

The Brown Coffee Co. opened in 2005 and definitely jump-started San Antonio’s third wave coffee scene. If you have time, be sure to chat with owner Aaron Blanco. He’s passionate about his coffee and will give you a great little mini lesson on his coffee beans, which he travels the world to find and then roasts in town. Brown’s scene is very minimalist, so if you’re easily distracted by your surroundings, this is the place to focus.

 

Photo by: Commonwealth

CommonWealth Coffeehouse & Bakery
118 Davis Ct, San Antonio, TX 78209

While the coffee here is good, we keep coming back for the food and ambiance. The inside of the place is beautiful and the croissants and other baked goods are to die for. Best part? If you’re having one of those work days where you have to bring your kid along, lots of sugary sweet French goodies to entice good behavior bribing. The back patio at CommonWealth is perfect for keeping a kid penned in and occupied — and if he’s naughty, you can always lock him in the chicken coop. Just kidding, sort of.

Rosella Coffee
203 E Jones Ave #101, San Antonio, TX 78215

TV news anchor Charles Gonzalez opened up Rosella and named it after his two daughters, Olivia Rose and Ella Sofia. Adorable, right? Rosella roasts its own beans, which is always a plus, and the food menu is so good. We can never visit without also grabbing lunch, especially the avocado toast, which is a local favorite, even if we’ve just come from lunch. Best part: If you work a long day, you can reward yourself with a glass of wine or a beer from the small, curated menu, or meet friends at The Luxury, which is right next to Rosella and is one of R very favorite spots to eat and drink al fresco.

Photo by: Claire Zinnicker

Revolucion Coffee + Juice
7959 Broadway Street, Ste # 500, San Antonio, TX 78209

Had a long weekend with too little sleep and maybe a bit too much booze? Revolucion will have you feeling back to normal in no time. Not only does the shop sell espresso drinks, it specializes in cold-pressed juice and lots of uber-healthy snacks. Plus, the vibe is very clean and fresh — perfect for focusing and centering yourself.