Flancake: the re-brand

Hi and hello! If you’re still with me after all this time, wow do I appreciate you. Some fun news: Flancake is moving to a new site, as a new business! The new Flancake embodies all of my favorite creative things that I have done in some way over the course of my career.

Please note that all the content on Flancake.org will remain, I will just be moving my interactions and efforts to the re-branded site. The re-brand is launching on 10/27 over on Flancake.me. Thanks again for following along all these years, I hope to see you soon over on Flancake.me.

room with a view 1/2

Finally all settled in, I’m sharing my new small space. Located in East Village, my roommate and I are loving our neighborhood – we’re a few blocks down from PDT, Yoga To the People, and Ave A’s thriving restaurant scene. Coming later to Flancake.co will be a guide to my favorite things to do in East Village, but for now it’s all about the new digs. This is the first of two postings, so stay with me.

East Village is one of the most eclectic scenes in Manhattan, and when decorating I kept that in mind. The entire time, ‘Urban Outfitters becomes an adult’ was the theme, and I think I nailed it. What I love most about decorating is incorporating small trinkets or items you treasure into your space. I’ve collected many small [some strange] things over the years. My most treasured items are things I’ve been given, and also happened across.

Top left, my statement bracelets are displayed on an old piece. I love displaying books I’ve read, since most of the time their covers are beautiful [sorry I judge my books by their cover]. Bottom left is another shelf from my book shelf/ladder from The Container Store. I also love showing my jewelry, so I used another old display piece, paired with glass lightbulbs from Hobby Lobby. I then added a personal touch with memories from Governors Ball last year, encased in a frame from Urban Outfitters. I’m all about good scents, so on a run to Trader Joe’s I grabbed some eucalyptus and hung it to dry [I also hung a bit in my shower, so when it gets steamy it smells fresh].


My trusty record player had to make the voyage up with me, although getting all of my records here was a trip [note–they are uber heavy and I recommend putting your back into it]. Another item from Urban Outfitters, this record player has lasted me for years now.

When I got to the city, I knew I had to get some plants to fill up my space so I went down the street and picked up some cacti, succulents, and this amazing hanging plant. It’s been fun to watch them grow as I’ve been in the city for two months now, and also watch one of them die [oops! there weren’t any care instructions…].

Funny thing about most New York apartments, most rooms don’t have overhead lighting. Getting a little creative, I strung up some bulb lights around my window and got a sconce for next to my bed–because my room is all white, the light bounces off quite nicely.

Hats are an obsession of mine, however it’s always been hard thinking of a way to display them. At my last apartment, the idea to hang them with command hooks came to me–you can’t see the tacky hooks, so the hats float perfectly. If you use heavy duty hooks, you can even hang your scarfs and bags on them as well.

As mentioned above, there’s something thrilling about finding unique, even strange treasures. While walking around East Village, Obscura Antiques & Oddities came across my path, the most interesting yet equally freaky place–the perfect spot in my eyes. The place is stocked with old medical supplies, animal heads [even a stuffed snake with two heads], history books from the 1800’s, clowns, miniature hands, everything. My favorite find was a constellation torn out of a 1950’s educational book. It’s beautiful, no pictures can ever do it justice. In my room it’s paired next to another great find, from 410 Vintage Market in Fayetteville, AR. This lullaby was kept in it’s original frame, with it’s original glass too. Above all these, from Target is a super cool [also super cheap] tapestry found a while back.

Part two will be coming shortly! Stay tuned.

Xx, Flancake

festival season // féria smokey pastel

It is finally spring, meaning the season of music festivals are upon us!! After going to Gov Ball last year, I’ve been completely consumed by all things related to festivals, especially the beauty aspect. I was so excited when Seventeen x L’Oréal Paris asked the social club and I to try out their new Féria Smokey Pastel hair color. Not only is it in the shade that I’ve been completely obsessed with for over a year now, but it’s actually such a beautiful color that I wanted to go out and get it as soon as possible.

I applied the color to my hair following the directions on the box [so easy, might I add], and then magic happened. I had my friend Taz snap a few photos to show you how cool the color is. [I washed my hair once before taking these photos, so you can see how it wears]


Taz Anderson Photo // Tumblr // Insta

Striped Top, Rag & Bone via Lola // Vest, Elizabeth and James via Lola

xxo, flancake

Girl em[Power]ment – Sarah Moshman

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.


Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the finishing profiles of the Girl em[Power]ment series, which has consisted of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but whom I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’re giving us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, sharing their advice for twenty-something’s, and touching on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.


This week’s profile is about a woman who inspired me to finish my series – the creator of The Empowerment Project. As I explained with last week’s influencer, I was able to go to a screening of The Empowerment Project, about a group of women who traveled across the US interviewing several different women about empowerment. I was able to speak with the creators of this amazing film after the event, and then they both said yes to being profiled!


Introducing Sarah Moshman, documentary filmmaker.
Social Media:
@SarahMosh //twitter
@Sarahmoshman //instagram
Empowerment Documentary //facebook
Upcoming Documentary social:
Losing Sight of Shore //facebook
@LSOSFilm  //twitter
@losingsightofshore //instagram


Q: What is your current job title, and can you explain your career path?
A: I am a documentary filmmaker that is passionate about empowering women and girls through media! I grew up loving filmmaking and being behind the camera, I started making movies in middle school, then I went to film school and following that moved out to LA to pursue my dreams of working in TV and film professionally. I started out in reality TV, and worked as a field producer for shows on ABC, NBC, MTC, Lifetime, Bravo and The Food Network, but I missed telling stories that could really create impact. I made two short documentaries, [Girls Rock! Chicago, 2010 and Growing up Strong: Girls on the Run, 2012] then my first feature documentary was The Empowerment Project [watch trailer here] which is about inspirational women across the US and it has been screened all over the country and the world in schools, groups and organizations to start conversations about gender equality. Currently I’m directing my second feature doc called Losing Sight of Shore [watch trailer here] which follows the extraordinary journey of four women who set out to row the Pacific Ocean. I love telling stories about strong, inspirational women and I love my job.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: I went to the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL and I majored in Video-Film and Psychology.

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place, if at all?
A: I think as I’ve gotten older, I can better deal with moments of negativity in the workplace. When you’re first starting out, you are just happy to have the job and be able to pay your bills doing something you like doing. So often times there’s a fear of standing up for yourself and speaking out against discrimination or sexism. But when I would go home that evening, I would feel awful that I didn’t say anything and that I let it slide. It’s so important to let people know when they are making your work environment an unhealthy one, and to believe that if they knew they were upsetting you or someone else, they would hopefully stop that behavior. It’s tough, and every situation is different and every woman has to make that distinction when it comes up. We can all lead by example, and not take part in inappropriate behavior at work, and not allow those things to be done or said when we are the ones leading a team.

Q: Who are some of your role models or mentors, and why?
A: First and foremost my parents Diane and Harvey Moshman. My Dad is a filmmaker and TV producer as well so I have learned so much from him over the years about how to approach my career. He never made me feel like my gender would be an issue when working in this industry and that has empowered me in so many ways. My Mom worked as a chemical engineer and then switched careers to be a lawyer when I was a teenager. She always managed a great work-life balance and has been so encouraging to me.

I also admire Geena Davis and the tireless work she does for the way women are represented in the media. I admire women who stand up for what’s right, take chances in their career and who aren’t afraid to fail.

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t enough, and how did you overcome that?
A: All the time! It’s very difficult to be a filmmaker because a lot of times you feel isolated and that the weight of your project rests on your shoulders. Some days are incredible, and some days you just want to hide under the covers and think about what it would be like to have a “normal job”. I struggle to appreciate the hard work I put in to something as it’s happening because I have so much work ahead of me. When I have those moments I think about the bigger picture. That my films are not about me, they are about other people. That my films are not about me, they are about the people I am trying to inspire. Take a break, take a breath, and keep pushing. You’ll get there.

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interests] that you feel passionate about?
A: I host empowerment circles every month to get women together to support each other to thrive in our careers. It’s very powerful and fills up my soul every time. I also host an event twice a year called The F Word Event where amazing speakers and performers come together to celebrate and discuss feminism in many forms. It’s awesome. I love teaching, and meeting with other filmmakers to encourage them to go forward in their projects. I attend tons of networking events and panels about filmmakers and creators. I’m interested in empowering media in all forms.

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: I love working out – going to spin class, yoga, pilates, bootcamp, etc. And just hanging with my husband Ryan and our dog Kuma. I’m a total homebody and my ideal evening would be cooking dinner and drinking wine with Ryan and watching Netflix.

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty year old self?
A: I would say save as much money as you can, and don’t be worried about anyone else’s path. You are writing your own story, no one else can write it for you. Focus on what makes you feel alive, and pursue that passion with your whole heart.

 Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment and overall empowerment mean to you?
A: Empowerment means being able to motivate and encourage yourself to go after any dream you can conceive of. Having the confidence and experience to know that it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to fall down as long as you get back up and keep going. Empowerment means not needing anyone else’s approval to make you feel whole. Find your own happiness and help others find theirs too. May we all feel that way in our lives and in our careers and lift each other up in the process.


If you know an incredible woman you think should be featured on the Girl Em[Power]ment series, email flannerylyle@gmail.com

Stay tuned for next week’s influencer, and thanks for following along!

xxo, flancake

Girl em[Power]ment – Dr. Ro Di Brezzo, pt. 1

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the finishing profiles of the  Girl em[Power]ment series, which has consisted of in person interviews with several women of all ages in different stages of their career and life, all in the North West Arkansas Area. These are women my peers and I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women are making a difference in several different areas, from being business owners, to changing their career paths, and embracing motherhood to the fullest. They’re giving us an inside look into what their occupation is like, how they got there, sharing their advice for twenty-somethings, and touching on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

To start the finishing of the series, I thought it was best to start with a woman I was able to meet while going to The Empowerment Project event, and whom I got to listen to speak. This woman was one of the women who single handedly inspired me to not only finish my series, but to also to really go out of my way to find incredible women in my community.

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Dr. Di Brezzo for an inperson interview-something I thought would take about 30 minutes, but actually lasted for over an hour because we had so much to talk about and share. She is not only inspirational, but her great character and non-appologetic attitude really draws you in. I’m so, so excited to share with you all Dr. Di Brezzo’s Girl Em[Power]ment interview.

Introducing Dr. Ro Di Brezzo, Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Enhancement

Q: What is your current job title and can you please explain your career path?
A: I’m Vice Provost for Faculty Development, which is a relatively new position on this campus, I was Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and one of the things I did in that position was for faculty initiatives, and it became pretty imperative that that was a full time job and we needed someone to do more for the faculty, so they created this position, and I’m learning while I’m going – since no one had the job before me.

In terms of how I got here, I am an incidental administrator. I never planned to be in administration and quite frankly I never wanted to be in administration. I have found that my whole life if you work hard, sometimes opportunities just come. Life has to be about a little bit of luck. That doesn’t mean that you don’t prepare yourself and talk to people, that you don’t plant seeds – but I think for the most part if you plan too much then you may miss other opportunities. I worked very closely with the provost during my two years on the faculty senate, and then it opened up and the provost opened up and asked me to take this position.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: So it’s kind of interesting because I went to twelve years of catholic school, and I realize now that going to an all girls catholic high school probably served me in a lot of ways. All the leadership roles were taken by women, so suddenly you were getting these messages early on that you could do anything you wanted. I went from a lot of structure to no structure [transitioning from catholic school to public universities]. I was not a very good undergraduate student if we’re being honest – I went to school to play ball, so that’s what I did, and when I got close to graduation I didn’t know what I was going to do so I wound up at Indiana University to get my masters degree. Then I coached for several years, and then got my doctorate at Texas Women’s University.

Q: Have you had any role models or mentors in your life?
A: Growing up I think I had a lot [of mentors], since I grew up in a traditional Italian family. Pretty much everybody follows the same script-but it just didn’t feel the same for me. My parents were probably afraid but didn’t voice it a lot, and thought ‘oh she’s the baby she’ll grow up different’. Growing up I played basketball and I wanted to be Roy Russell when I grew up – he’s a big tall black guy that played for the Boston Southerners. There was no part of me that could become him, but there were no women playing so I just liked him. I was lucky during my program that I had some really good professors that gave me some things to think about. Mostly though, I think it came from living with the people in my everyday life that. I don’t think I’m very bright, and so I know that my greatest asset is to learn from other people. For me, it’s not so much role models, it’s more of everyday looking at something and thinking how neat it was that they handled a situation. It’s really more of everyday people doing extraordinary things.

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or that you weren’t enough, and how did you overcome that.
A: Oh, a lot. Even in my job, because so many bright people surround me. Sometimes I didn’t say things that I could’ve or I said things not as well as I wished. I think the only way to get through that though is to keep showing up. I just try and bounce back and not beat myself up. It also helps to have a sense of humor, and I work hard to find humor in all situations. It’s just the way you have to handles some things.

Q: What are other things, hobbies or interests, that you feel passionate about?
A: I love the outdoors, period. I do anything and everything I can to be outside. What I’ll do when I get overwhelmed is to remove stimulus – get things out of my head. I like to read, and I love to eat, so I hang out with people that like to cook. I just got a puppy, an Irish setter so that’s taking a lot of my time.

Q: Is there anyone you think that is making a difference in women’s empowerment that you think we should all know about?
A: There are some faculties on our campus that I think are making a difference. We have a couple of faculty that are such good teachers and care so much about the kids, and they would see themselves as very ordinary. For example, and this is just one – we have a faculty member named Lorraine Brewer who teachers chemistry – and it’s a tough course. She is so good with the students; I think she puts the kids at ease. She wouldn’t see herself as a hero, but she’s pretty terrific. There are so many of these people on our campus that don’t aspire to have some grand title.

Q: What career/life advice would you give to your twenty-year old self?
A: Cast a broad net. I think you grow up thinking ‘I could be anything’, and I mean it was pretty limited really.

Q: Do you think certain gender roles we learn when we’re children affect our self-confidence as we get older?
A: Of course. I think all of us – it’s what we’ve been exposed to. Exposing kids, particularly girls, to more things – there’s more possibilities. They can see themselves in those positions. Of course now it’s easier to be exposed with Google and smartphones – you just type in what you want to know. Exposing people to different things is very important. You don’t know kindness unless you’ve been exposed to kindness. You don’t know true love unless you’ve been with someone. It’s not just images; it’s the whole attitude that we need to adapt.

Q: What does Girl Em[Power]ment mean to you?
A: The complete and utter sense, and confidence, that you are okay and good right now. You don’t have to add anything to your life. Right now, you’re good enough. If we could just convince girls that it’s not about kicking this soccer ball into the goal or you don’t have to go to this party, you don’t have to have a boyfriend – right now you’re good, good enough.


To read the complete interview with Dr. Di Brezzo and Part 2, click here
[she really dives into some great feministic topics-it’s worth the read]

If you know an incredible woman you think should be featured on the Girl Em[Power]ment series, email flannerylyle@gmail.com

Check back next week to hear from another powerful influencer and business owner.

Xo, Flancake


Girl em[Power]ment – Dr. Ro Di Brezzo, pt. 2

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

a continuation of Dr. Ro Di Brezzo’s profile, with extended and off-the-record questions.

Q: Did you see a difference living in the different areas of the country of how people in general acted towards women?
A: While at Indiana University I had a cork board, and right in the middle was a picture of a man, from the New York paper, walking down wall street completely nude-wearing nothing but black socks and black dress shoes. The thing that was so crazy about the picture was not that this guy was nude walking down the street, but that all the people weren’t even looking at him. In New York, no one cares. So I grew up around that culture. There were so many differences, that nothing was different. At some level it encourages a higher tolerance, because people don’t look the same. They don’t act the same. You just realize that there’s a lot of ways to live.

When I moved to the Midwest I noticed there was no ethnic differences. But people were connected different in smaller cities than they are in New York. In NY, you’re connected in a sense that everyone values everyone’s privacy. So you don’t take a lot of time when talking to people or take up a lot of space. In these other cities, there’s a different sense of community. The people in NY rally around politics or sports, or something local that’s happening. In smaller communities, it’s tighter at some level but they do talk about each other.


Q: I remember at The Empowerment Project, you said you had written in a few publications, could you talk about that a little bit?
A: While on faculty, you can’t get tenure if you don’t write. And I was always interested in women, physiologically and mechanically, and when you read the literature – especially years ago, there was not much written about women. If there was, it was always about college-aged kids – and we would give them extra points-but life goes on after college, and I was interested in what happens after that. I’ve written a couple chapters in books, I’ve written quite a bit of research articles. During my career I found myself getting more and more interested in older women. It’s interesting because it’s “not cool” to get old if you’re an American, in every other culture, getting old is something that’s really valued. But in the American culture, we do a lot to look and act and sound younger. It’s kind of unfortunate, I think. I think we’re afraid of getting old – I think we’re afraid of looking old, we’re afraid of dying-a whole lot of things. But I’m intrigued. For me, it’s really fascinating how some people grow old cynically while some people grow old gracefully. Trying to figure that out is actually fascinating! It really is interesting how some people get old with this grace and wisdom about them, while others get old angrily.


Q: Do you feel like in other countries, getting older for women is viewed as something that has to do with gaining wisdom, as opposed to the American way?
A: Oh yes for sure. I have white hair, and throughout the years people have commented about my hair-and I suspect that if I colored it I would look younger, and people that do color their hair do look good, but for me it’s just-do I want to do that every 6 weeks for two weeks? And inevitably I wouldn’t plan [my appointments] and then my roots would be all over the place-so I just didn’t do it. It’s just interesting how people comment about it, and how it’s one of the things we do to look young. As opposed to looking healthy and happy, people worry about looking young. And in our culture-where are our old people – where are they on TV? In the media? They’re not around. Even when we sell products to older people, the people buying the products aren’t really the ones on TV. They’re not the ones who’ve actually fallen down and can’t get up.

During my other job, I worked with physically impaired individuals, and that’s another aspect that isn’t represented in the media. We’ve been at war for a long time now, and have had so many veterans that are coming back, and we see so many veterans with one leg or some kind of prosthesis. But before that, you didn’t really see people that were a-typical. Yet we know they’re there, so it’s an interesting culture-it’s almost like we feel bad if we see someone who looks different. We have a tendency to where we don’t want to stare but we kind of do want to stare, and I think that’s more American. I don’t think that’s as common in other cultures, where people are integrated better. In the absence of seeing it, it’s hard to see what it’s like-or to know it or live it if it’s not in front of you. I think that’s why it’s so hard for women and girls. They grow up thinking of these models-they know that they’re airbrushed, kids know it-but it doesn’t mean anything, because they’re not seeing them airbrushed. They know intellectually that they’re doing makeup and covering up imperfections, but they still see perfection-therefore thinking that they should be perfect. We’re starting to see shows like The Voice, where they don’t see the person’s appearance at first-and maybe because that’s such a hit and the message is so powerful maybe others will follow, little by little. It’s hard.


Q: Do you think other countries have a better handle on women’s portrayal in the media?
A: Of course it’s a dilemma all over the world, but in other countries grandparents are so involved with the family. You see grandparents a lot more-in America some people see their grandparents and some don’t. You don’t see that as much in Europe. Houses tend to stay in families for generations. There’s more of intergenerational stuff, and when there’s more intergenerational stuff you see people more realistically. Here, media is so powerful – and I suspect it is in other places, but just not as much. It’s so commercialized.


Q: Have you dealt with any negativity in the workplace because you are a woman?
A: I think when discrimination is over; it’s painful – but the only advantage is that it’s in your face. In my situation, I think more times than not, the subtleness of how people react to a women, it’s even more insidious – it’s even more dangerous. You’re always sitting there wondering if you got this promotion because I’m a woman, or was I added to this conversation because I’m a woman? Sometimes the problem isn’t men, sometimes the problem is we as women – is our expectation for these men. We obviously say different things to boys than we say to girls – we expect them to be strong, and we’re comforted when they take over a situation – but we’re frustrated when they do take over that situation. I think the conversations have to be parallel. We need to be talking to our little boys as much as we’re talking to our little girls.

I think we have to make it safe for both of them to come a little closer to the middle. If we have a boy that doesn’t want to play sports-the world is not going to come to the end. I think the conversations have to change so that it’s ok for our boys not to always have it all together. And then the other point is that we really have to teach people to find the inner “I’m going to be okay”. When the whole world goes to hell and a hand basket, we’ve got to have that little voice inside that says “this is a feeling and it’s going to pass and tomorrows going to be a good day”.

When we need external reinforcement, we’re doomed to fail. We need external feedback, but that’s different than external reinforcement. Girls shouldn’t ‘tell me I’m okay’; I need to know that I’m okay.


Q: Do you feel like social media and media in general is bad for younger girls?
A: Social media always has and always will have a responsibility. We used to think smoking was glamorous-it was in every movie, everyone looked sexy while they were doing it. When we realized how bad it was for us, it was a conscious decision to pull back from that. With that being said, I’m frustrated with how when something happens-and you listen to it on the media on two different news channels, how different the same event or quote will be reported. How can that be? It’s their job to report what happened – not to editorialize. We’ll have a debate – say the president makes a state of the union address, and then we listen to TV where the guy tells us what he just said. You don’t have to tell me what he just said, I just listened to this?

I think we keep waiting for things to get more and more digestible. If something happens and it takes an hour, I want you to tell me in twelve seconds or less. Make it palatable; make it understandable – and then what’s the new story. They’ll take a sentence from a political candidate, and then you’ll see it on the TV over and over again. But there’s a whole story on this sentence, so can they not report the whole story for why they said that? People don’t have any patience for that anymore. We’re all hurting and I don’t understand where we’re going, because we’re not going to get there any faster.

This is what I love about getting older, people talk about the meaning of life – and don’t think I’m going to say something profound. What I do know is that what we’re doing right now in the moment! It’s sort of like we’re all waiting for something big to come, and this is it, today! There is never enough, and it took me a really long time to figure that out. You don’t even realize you’re doing it. I had a really good friend that was in the doctoral program with me who was a few years younger than me, and almost overnight we found out she had stage four cancer and lasted two months. Here we are just working our asses off in the doctoral program – it’s all about when we get out, when, when, when. Then a few years ago, my brother’s son was killed in a car accident. He was a junior engineering student – a bright kid, he played the sax, was a surfer. When I did the eulogy, which was one of the hardest things I ever did, I just looked out in the crowd and said some people are not meant to be on this earth a very long time. So you really don’t have any of these guarantees. Anytime something traumatic happens we slow up for a day, maybe a week-and then we get back into it. It’s crazy, because this is it-have a good time today.

So it’s that time of year again when March Madness is happening. Instead of thinking about the destination, which would be winning, why don’t we think about the journey it took to get there? Or for spring break – you’ll drive 20 hours to get somewhere. Shouldn’t that be part of the destination also? People drive really fast to get there, we should enjoy the journey.


Check back next Sunday for another Girl em[Power]ment profile!

Xx, Flancake



The Empowerment Project

I think it’s so incredible when a local group can bring together people for a message that needs to be heard nationwide-and this week I had the opportunity to go to one of these inspiring events.

Carson Ronketto, one of the women I profiled for my Girl Em[Power]ent series invited me to this event called The Empowerment Project, put on by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and The Power of the Purse. The event was basically a screening of the documentary created by Sarah Moshman and Dana Cook, which was incredible.

Sarah and Dana, along with their all women film crew traveled across the US for a month, interviewing 17 women in powerful and interesting roles, asking what they thought should be done about empowering women. It was so interesting to see how different each woman was, yet how they all wanted to achieve the same goal-to empower women and men.

The event was really thought provoking also, as after the documentary screening, several women doing great things at the university were brought on stage for a discussion panel, as well as Sarah and Dana. It was so neat seeing the goal of the film play out in real life-as the creators wanted the documentary to start a conversation about empowerment, and really get the audience thinking. I especially loved this message-to have the film screened in large events, as opposed to sitting t home by yourself, so that a discussion could be had, and you would use your mind and think.

After leaving the event, I felt so empowered-like I could literally take on the world. With my Girl Empowerment series, I was able to profile women of all different ages and in different careers, not only in the NWA area, but all over the US. It is so important for young women and all women alike to see ladies they can identify with and relate to, So many women growing up didn’t have women that looked like them, or talked like them-and now that there is more diversity, I think we should really be shining a light on this so that girls don’t get discouraged and give up. I think it’s essential to really talk to women in different careers with different goals and views, because that’s when you really discover that all women are reaching for the same goal no matter what-to be empowered and empower others, but also not bring others down.

With that said, I am starting up my Girl Empowerment series again in a few weeks, finishing with a few women I think should be know, and that are doing great things. I hope you’ll keep following along!

xo, flancake


[for how to how to host a screening of The Empowerment Project, look here]



Fun Fearless Weekend

First off let me preface with how terribly late this post is.
A few months back, Ellie and I ventured up to NY for the weekend. It was set to be a short trip, so we were already a tad sad about that but it was still a fabulous weekend no less. The entire weekend was centered on Cosmopolitan magazine’s Fun Fearless Life conference that was on Saturday that I was able to attended last year – it was so incredible that I told several friends about the event in hopes that they would also come.



Friday we were up way early. Ellie and I were out and about by 3.30am, catching the red eye flight. After we landed, we went straight to the hotel for an early check-in. We were both starving so we ventured to one of my favorite places in the city [the amount of times that I’ve written about it – you would think that I was being endorsed to do so!], Cafeteria in Chelsea. It has been a favorite of mine for several years now, as I visit it every time I’m in the city. We split a delicious chicken and waffle meal, them had a little while to kill before visiting the gals at Lulu Frost, so we went to another one of my favorite places in the city – Citi Pups, the puppy store that has French bulldogs [eek!]. After saying hi to the Lulu Frost gals, I took Ellie to another one of my favorites – ABC Carpet and Home. ABC is essentially an Anthropologie, but with actual artists creating the incredible goods. We browsed the amazing Christmas selection, and then headed back to the hotel. We really needed to recharge, so we took a moment to just chiiiiiill. We then headed to another favorite, Rosemary’s, for dinner with my NY roommate, Frances, from two summer’s ago. I had fabulous ravioli, while the other girls got a salad and yummy tasting pasta. We then met up with a friend from the China trip I took a few years back, then headed to Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bar. We split some amazing s’mores along with a delectable cake. Of course a chocolate martini was in order as well. After a while we were all worn out, so we headed back to the room to prepare for the intense but also amazing day ahead.


Saturday was another early one, as we wanted to get out the door as quick as we could for Fun Fearless Life! When we strolled in, we were greeted by the incredible Hearst escalators I was able to ride up every day during my Seventeen internship. The first person we talked to was an amazing women I met last year [be on the lookout for her Girl em[Power]ment profile in a few months]. Next we talked to a few fashion editors about our BFF jackets – they were quite the talking point! After some chitchat we headed upstairs to the 42nd floor for the main event!!! [drumroll please]


Our keynote speaker was the equally funny and smart Chelsea Handler. I was honestly so impressed hearing from her – she talked everything from politics to running her own brand/business. What I really loved and also took away from her was a quote in regards to trying to get a job and it being the right fit. Her words of wisdom, “if they want you, they’re going to want you no matter what, and they’ll pay you. Like a hooker!” It’s Chelsea Handler, what do you expect. She also touched on how if you’re ever down in the dumps that it’s important to get moving, which I’ve tried to apply to my life these last few weeks, and so far it has been amazing how much it helps to simply get moving.


The next speaker was one of my favorites, Aliza Litch – former DKNY PR Girl. She spoke about how to establish and keep up with your own brand identity. What I got from her speaking was that it’s important to have your own brand DNA as well as a particular filter for your social media outlets. She touched on how it is important to figure out what you stand for, figure out what describes your brand, and think about what makes sense for you to speak about – and ignore on your blog or branded website. In regards to content, she reminded us to think about if what you’re writing adds value to your brand, and to always voice the best version of yourself. What is your brand message really giving off, she asked. She touched on making a statement – a visual identity about what your brand stands for.


My next favorite speaker was Adam Rosante, who is the resident fitness guru for Cosmopolitan. He got everyone up and out of their seats for a quick one-minute jog in place to get our blood pumping [this was real fun in my 3 inch heels, let me just tell you.] Adam talked about when thinking about goals or things you are doing in your life to remember two things. 1 – be crystal clear on your core values and big picture values. 2 – master the art of saying no. He discussed how these two things are linked in a very important way, and why when you are clear on these, everything else gets filtered out. A favorite quote from Adam was to “cut through the bullsh*t and make room for the good sh*t”


My next favorite speaker was the amazing Ivanka Trunk. Honestly, I wasn’t extremely looking forward to hearing her speak simply because I didn’t know much about her. However my opinion quickly changed! Ivanka not only spoke with such grace and elegance, but she spoke with such honesty and truth about her work which I really respected and appreciated. She also gave such great advice about being a woman in a man’s business world and how she didn’t let that affect her work.


Among the other speakers were Stacy London, Laverne Cox, Christian Siriano, Elizabeth Gore [Dell Entrepreneur], Opal Tometi [Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter], Hannah Bronfman [DJ and Digital Personality], and Fifth Harmony and Rachel Platten were also both in attendance.

Throughout the entire day we got to sneak downstairs and take part in several of the fun activities Cosmo had for us like a GIF photobooth, fashion illustrators who created [way better] illustrated versions of yourself, a red carpet to take photos on, and a photobooth that created a Cosmopolitan cover with your picture on the front.



Also after the event Cosmo hosted a cocktail party to mingle with editors and other Fun Fearless attendees. Ellie and I chatted the night away, met some great women and men, and then headed out to enjoy our last night in the city.


The next day was a rather short one, but we were able to grab brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda and then walk around Washington Square Park for a bit. We walked around that area for a while before heading back to the hotel to grab our bags and also go catch our flight home.


Overall the weekend was an incredible one. Ellie and I really met some amazing women, along with hearing incredible advice on life, career, and love. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event!


Xo, Flancake

I made this.

for one of my apparel classes, we were tasked to create something [literally anything] out of denim. I chose to deconstruct a button up and make it into a tunic–as you can see.

The denim was rather structured, so I cut off the collar, buttons, and sleeves–washed & dried to create the fray, then it was sewn back together. I found a great black stretch fabric and raw cut the hem to create the fun, flowing bottom.

get this:: faux leather leggins, Spanx // beaded clutch, vintage // booties, Cynthia Rowley // lipstick, Nars Velvet Matte in Cruella // photo credit:: Nyck Renard

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Xo, Flancake

Girl em[Power]ment – Anna E. Cottrell

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them .

[be sure to follow along on insta – @girlempowerment]

I’ve been waiting to share today’s influencer for a long time now, as she was one of the original women who inspired the series. I first met Anna in person forever ago at a fashion event, but I had been following her and her blog for much longer. Our paths finally crossed when I decided that I wanted to somehow get involved in what she was doing with Lola last year. Fast forward – she has now been my lady boss for almost a year now [insert a happy eek here!] and I’ve learned SO much under her fabulous wings. She’s taught myself and the others around her what perseverance looks like – that it you want something you’ve got to not only hustle to get it, but also put forth a positive attitude and be kind to get it. Anna is always open to new ideas [even when I think she’ll think I’m cray-cray], and even if she’s not totally into, she’ll help you to make it bigger and better. She is always looking to uplift those around her, she is always teaching myself and the other Lola gals that although perfection isn’t real – being the absolute best you can is absolutely attainable. Oh, and along with all that she’s accomplished so much in her career, and is more than happy to share advice daily.

Introducing Anna E. Cottrell, owner of Lola and Tulip Louise.
Website + Blog: ShopLola.comTulip Louise.com
Insta: @lolaboutique + @tuliplouise 

Q: What is your current job title and can you please explain your career path?
A: First off, hi flannery!  Thank you so much for having me.  My name is Anna and I am the owner of Lola.  I always knew that I wanted to be in the fashion world from a very young age– it was just in my blood.  I have vivid memories of when mom would take me ‘back to school shopping’ before the start of a new year and I would get home as quickly as I could with my new loot and a simple spiral notebook.  From there, I would work to stretch my new clothes into as many different outfits as possible, try them on [down to the accessories], and jot down every detail of my final look.  Once I wore it, I would mark it out in my little notebook.  As it turns out this is eerily similar to what I do for personal styling appointments now!  I digress.  

[Focus, Anna] Career path.  I interned at Findings Showroom in New York for my college internship, which is when I first fell in love with the pace of the city– even though I was filing, faxing, getting coffee, wheeling massive trunks to the Javits Center for market, etc… I couldn’t have been more energized x this was when I paid my dues.  First job out of college was with the e-commerce division at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas.  Having zero background in .com at the time, this was a major leap of faith [on both parts!] that I accepted as a learning experience and [quite frankly] for the chance to add a powerhouse of a company to my résumé.  So small-minded. While the cubicle life didn’t turn out to be my jam, I learned endless lessons about workplace professionalism and company protocol within a corporate environment [i.e. e-mail etiquette, managing an editorial calendar, balancing workload, etc . ].   Honestly, just to be a fly on the wall and learn how the “big dogs” communicated was a major turning point for me , for instance the opportunity to sit in on calls with David Yurman about  new products that needed to be uploaded by a certain holiday deadline .  It was fun to be a point person between the buying office, graphic designers, copywriters, marketing department, and vendors– this opened my eyes to many different avenues within the fashion industry, and also the importance of everyone having a niche x working together for a bigger goal. Pretty cool now that I think about it.  

Hitting your first career stride out of college is kind of like having your first love– there’s nothing that can compare to the growth you experience, and you find yourself eternally grateful because it taught you so much about yourself. 

When I was in Dallas, I became even more interested in learning about the arts–spending weekends over wine + french film, gallery openings or the Nasher Sculpture Museum [still a favorite].  When I moved back home to Northwest Arkansas, it was to be the Web Director at a local boutique.  Note: I said “Web Director” as if there was an existing site, but there wasn’t.  However! This was an amazing opportunity to enter into a small business and try to make a big difference with an e-commerce site, by utilizing what I had learned at NM.COM— it was a fabulous time in my career.  

A couple of years later, I decided to turn what was then a hobby of blogging x styling, into my full-time gig… Enter: Tulip Louise.  This was a life of hustle. It was creatively stimulating because I was shooting with talented photographers x makeup artists for the blog non-stop, getting endorsed / written up, started covering backstage at New York Fashion Week for Revlon every season + getting some publicity, rubbing shoulders with some of the greats, and then brands started sending me things to wear.  Before I knew it, all of my shoots were subtly endorsing things that I hadn’t hand-selected for myself, which is when blogging began to lose it’s luster for me.  I needed to take a break and press the reset button on it.  Fast forward a couple of years, and I’m living back in New York as a freelance Art Director… but on the weekends shooting blog photos eating / endorsing a new Wendy’s frosty [huh?] — I guess it paid the rent, ladies.

In 2013, I returned home to my native Northwest Arkansas as owner, buyer, and creative director of Lola.  I remember telling my now business partner that I felt that my experiences in the industry [showroom, e-commerce, marketing, blogger, stylist, business owner] had melded together to help best prepare me for this peak opportunity!  Now, only a mere two years later, Lola has a beautiful e-commerce site x will be opening the doors to a third storefront this month.  Whirlwind, but none of the growth we’ve experienced would ever have been possible without the tremendous x inspiring team we have [including you, Flannery!]

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: I studied fashion x marketing at the University of Arkansas. 

Q: How/or do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place? 
A: You know, Flannery, there was a time in my life when I would have had time to dwell or deal with negative people x thoughts, but I just don’t anymore.  I was telling someone recently that something shifted when I turned 30– ha — unless someone [or something] is additive to my life x what happiness I’m working towards, it has to go. We only get so many days on this planet, and I have less and less tolerance for toxicity. I know it sounds harsh, but it truly just isn’t worth the energy– I’d rather spend that priceless time with people that I love, or working to build something great… instead of devoting energy to anything negative. It is a conscious effort I make every day.  If you knew me a couple of years ago, you’d know this is a new lease on life for me!

Q: Who are three of your role models or mentors, and why?
A1: My mom, Jill.  If you’ve ever met her, you’re lucky enough to know why she is a great role model. She is unbelievably kind x thoughtful x warm.  Family and  faith is everything to her, and I would be lucky to become half the woman she is.

A2: Jeannette Balleza Collins.  This woman is a powerhouse.  She is so eloquent, as business savvy as they come, and has a pure heart of gold.  Just an overall lovely human, that makes me want to be better.

A3: Jade Terminella. She is the perfect no nonsense counterpart. A woman with a strong moral compass, get sh*t done work ethic, and gentle soul.

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”?
A: Oh, of course!  Some days are harder than others, which is why we have to encourage women in our network.  Life is hard… but really beautiful.

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: Photography, art, travel.  I used to be really into music — would like to get back to that.

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: When I get the chance, I honestly live for a spa moment; manicure, pedicure, facial, or massage?  Sign me up.  Totally the way to my heart.

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty year old self?
A: 1- Always go the extra mile– it is so worth it.  2- Life can be very tricky, but keep your chin up– one day, all of those little twists x turns will make sense.  

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed Anna’s profile. She’s an incredible driven woman with such a drive for what she does! Hopefully we can all catch a bit of this spirit.
Stay tuned for Sunday’s profile – you won’t want to miss it!

Xo, Flancake