Category Archives: Just for Fun

Wake Surfing: How to Get Up

Wake surfing is low impact, fun and something you can do for your entire life! It’s an awesome activity for your core, lower body and spirit. iGnite Leader and water sport extraordinaire, Kathleen Parker, demonstrates step one: how to get up on a wake surfer. Once you get up, you’ll be surfing in no time!


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Member Spotlight: Sydney Loyed

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Roots:
I grew up in Crested Butte, Colorado, and came to Austin in August of 2010 to attend the University of Texas at Austin. I graduated in May of 2014 and have been here ever since, so I’m going on 6 years of loving this city!

Family Life:
I am an only child, and my parents now live in Las Vegas, NV, so if you ever want to go to sin city, they love company! I have a boyfriend, Cameron, who works in the urban planning sector of Austin at RCLCO. We’ve been together for over 2 years now, and he is a good motivator for me to stay in shape because he loves to run and workout!

Work Life:
After graduation, I began working at JHL Company and have been here since January 2014 when I interned for the Mack, Jack & McConaughey event. We do a broad spectrum of public affairs, marketing, communications, event planning and fundraising. My role as Account Manager focuses on overall strategic communications, event logistics and execution for both private and non-profit clients, which I absolutely love!

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience:
While I’ve only been at iGnite for 2 months, I’ve loved every second of it from meeting tons of new friends to getting in better shape! The biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far is that hard workouts go hand-in-hand with personal improvement including making the time I work count so that I can have more time to relax and digitally disconnect, which is a challenge for me!

I’m most inspired by…
As cliche as this sounds, I am most inspired by my parents. They found a way to do something they love for a living – they have incorporated sports and their passion for giving back to the community into a career – all while managing to be wonderful parents and do things that they enjoy on a daily basis like playing tennis and grilling out!

In my free time…
I love to cook, take cooking classes, and I obsess over the Food Network, but more than that, I love to travel! My goal is to visit every state in the US, every country in Europe, and every continent at least once (although Antarctica might be a stretch!).

My guilty pleasure…
My guilty pleasure is definitely watching reality TV. I know it is a horrible habit, but I am a sucker for The Bachelorette and any/all Oxygen and Bravo shows like Below Deck and The Real Housewives!


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Our 2016 Summer Essentials

iGnite - Summer Essentials

It’s time to get into the summer state of mind – ready to face the sun, relax & spend time by the water with family & friends. When it comes to summer essentials, there are lots of things that come to mind: music, sunscreen, beach totes, cool drinks, flip flops and much more.

Here is our Summer Essentials guide to make sure you’re ready for your best summer ever:

Summer Essential Playlist

  1. Seven Years / Lukas Graham
  2. Sugar / Flo Rida featuring Wynter
  3. Work From Home / Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign
  4. Let’s Go / Calvin Harris
  5. Can’t Stop the Feeling / Justin Timberlake
  6. Peanut Butter Jelly / Galantis
  7. Cake by the Ocean / DNCE
  8. Boys of Summer / Don Henley
  9.  Sun Daze / Florida Georgia Line
  10. Summer Love / Justin Timberlake
  11. I Want You to Know / Zedd
  12. Hula Hoop / Omi
  13. Send My Love / Adele
  14. Just Like Fire / Pink
  15. Wasted Time / Keith Urban

Beauty Essentials

  1. Keep your nails looking fresh with our favorite nail polish colors: OPI Mod about You or Essie Bikini So Teeny
  2. To keep a bronze glow while protecting your skin, try these sunless tan products – Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Tinted Self Tanner and Clarins Self Tanning
  3. The best summer antiperspirant is Secret Clinical Strength Clear Gel in “Completely Clean” — it does not leave white marks and keeps you smelling fresh even after workouts!
  4. No time to shower?  Try GoodWipes Body Wipes — they are biodegradable, hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, Paraben-free, and have no added fragrance. Use them after workouts, while traveling, nights out…they truly make you feel like you just had a shower!
  5.  Go days without washing your hair with Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo – even after time outdoors and lots of sweating. This product actually adds body to your hair!
  6. Keep your summer hair looking great with Sun Bum 3 in 1 Beach Formula leave in hair treatment, it’s UV protecting, and smells great! Perfect for at the beach or long days at the pool or lake. Sold locally at Perri Berri.
  7. Another great idea for hair care is to get a Brazilian blowout treatment – leaves your hair sleek and easy to manage all summer. Try N salon on Lamar for a local blowout treatment.
  8. To keep your face feeling fresh and hydrated, put a pump of Shu Eumura oil on your face after swimming. The oil is a gentle cleanser and hydrates skin, giving it a nice feel and glow.

 

 

Style Essentials

  1. The most important piece of clothing in the summer – bathing suits! Check out the Maaji suits like this one – super comfy and reversible with mix & match styles. Available locally at Perri Berri and Nordstrom’s.
  2. Add a fun flare to any outfit with Statement Earrings like these Tassel Drop earrings from baublebar.com
  3. Keep cool and trendy with an Off-the-shoulder sundress like this one from The Find Auctions
  4. A soft scarf is a summer staple like the Lotus Scarf  from Lululemon- great for traveling or wrapping up on the beach in the evening
  5. Everyone needs a packable summer hat like this one from J. Crew – it flattens and folds for easy packing and has an extra-wide brim to keep you cool and protected.
  6. Our iGnite Shine Bright Tank is perfect for workouts or just to wear as a cover-up at the beach – it is soft, flattering, draped fit with a racerback
  7. A great pair of Tkees flip flops are a summer must – comfortable and lots of color options to brighten any outfit

 

 

Poolside/Beach Essentials

  1. How fun are these Life Factory wine glasses? They have a cute protective rubber covering so they are great for outdoors and summer parties! Sold locally at Perri Berri.
  2. Make your own Spa Water – In a two quart pitcher, add a cut up lemon, 1/2 cut up cucumber, fresh mint and sparkling (or regular) water. Chill overnight.
    Or use a pitcher like this one and place strawberries in the funnel of the pitcher lid, fill pitcher with sparkling water and fresh mint, refrigerate and enjoy!
  3. Dry off or lay out on the beach using this Shine Bright beach towel – it is so soft, absorbent and long – it’s 100% terry velour and measures 30″ x 60″
  4. The best goggles for lap swimming – Special Ops by TYR swim goggles –  they have soft cushions around the eyes, a super comfortable fit and are polarized.
  5. Don’t forget the sunscreen – our favorites are the Neutrogena ultra sheer dry-touch
    SPF 55 with helioplex – it has a lightweight clean feel or Alba botanicals very emollient SPF 45 pure Lavender – great if your skin is feeling dry.
  6. For even more protection for long days by the water throw on a stylish Rash guard like the Pacifica UPF 50+ from Athleta
  7. These Royal Standard totes are great for the pool or the beach and can be monogrammed. We also love this tassel straw beach bag from Target.
  8. Stay hydrated all through the day with this 32 oz, PBA free, wide mouth iGnite Shine Bright water bottle
  9. For the ultimate relaxing experience – delicious summer cocktails to sip poolside! Our favorite refreshing poolside drink is Deep Eddy Grapefruit vodka mixed with our Cranberry Water recipe and a splash of lime. Or try Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka with Fresca – yum!

 

 

Now get out there and ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!!


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Member Spotlight: Jana Harker

FullSizeRender-183Roots:
I’m originally from Houston (Sharpstown HS), went to school at UT, moved back to Houston, married and raised three kids in Bellaire and then moved back to Austin last Spring.

Family Life:
I’ve been married to Doug for almost 32 years! We met on my first day of work at at my first job as a banker in downtown Houston. He’s from Berkeley, CA, and hadn’t planned on staying long but then he met me. 😊 Our daughter, Courtney (29), got married last May and works at a nonprofit that assists victims of human trafficking in San Diego. Our son, Travis (27), is a chef in Houston and runs the kitchen at Battleground Golf Club. Our youngest son, Sam (22), is graduating from UT this month and will start an internship in operations with the PGA Tour in Atlanta.

Work Life: 
My first career in banking was quite brief. After meeting and marrying my husband, we started having kids pretty soon, and I “retired” to stay home full time. When our youngest was in grade school, I decided to get my Masters in education which led to my second career as a high school teacher. I taught Health and Media Literacy at a small public high school in Houston for eight years. Since moving to Austin, I have been working on a volunteer basis for several local youth serving nonprofits in health education.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
I’ve learned that there is nothing better than the feeling you have after a good workout especially if it is outside on a gorgeous day! Also, the iGniters with their friendly faces and welcome smiles have given me a sense of community I truly appreciate being new to Austin. ☺

The best advice I’ve been given…
I’m paraphrasing but it’s “think about what you want to leave behind when you leave this world. What will you regret not doing?” This was my inspiration for returning to school. I don’t remember where I heard this, but it was in the late nineties, so probably Oprah.

Something people may not know about me…
I went to UH grad school when I was in my forties!

Three words that describe me…
Playful, curious and thoughtful

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Summer Travel Inspiration & Advice

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Thinking about planning your summer vacation?  Look no further!  We asked 3 iGniters who are also experienced travel advisors for their favorite destinations as well as travel tips to get you on your way. These ladies specialize in customizing one-of-a-kind vacations and travel for individuals, families and large groups both near and far. When you are planning your next trip, keep this advice in mind and call on one of these traveler specialists for guidance. Happy trails!

 

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Sally May

I have been in the business for… almost 19 years

How I got in the travel business… I was asked by the owner of Gay Gillen Travel to open the adventure travel division of her company since she knew I enjoyed hiking, skiing and cycling. I was a personal trainer at the time and juggled both jobs for 10 years.

I specialize in… experiential travel around the world.

INDIA BHUTAN Feb 2014 432My best travel advice… use a travel advisor and PLEASE don’t over plan your itinerary!

My favorite international travel destination for the summer months… any place with cooler weather including South Africa, Australia, Galapagos Islands and Canada

My favorite domestic travel destination for the summer months… the Rocky Mountains

Contact information:

Sally May 512-477-3405
sally@sallymaytravel.com


 

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Sam McClure

I have been in the business for… 18 years

How I got in the travel business… I started out life in Brussels, Belgium, then moved to the Philippines and spent most of my childhood in London. Growing up as a gypsy traveling the world with my family, instilled a curiosity and love for exploring new cultures and destinations. I started traveling with my own children when they were just babies, and at the request of friends and families, began to help them with their family travels. Small World Travel Family Adventures grew organically from that desire to help other families educate their children through travel.

Serengeti-1I specialize in… multi-generational family travel as well as around-the-world trips for families who take their children out of school for 6-12 months to use the world as the classroom. We create the journey and curriculum.

My best travel advice… Come up with a long-range plan of places to visit and when (best ages of the children and time of year) to go. Before you know it your children are graduating from college and it gets more and more difficult to get away as a family! My Small World guinea pigs, Madison and Ian, traveled to all 7 continents by the age of 12, and share my love for travel. Madison graduates from college this month and we will celebrate with her 8th trip to Africa, this time to Madagascar.

Kalahari-1My favorite international travel destination for the summer months… Africa – I love Africa any time of year, but love sending families in the summer because they have more time to really immerse themselves in the nature and culture of one of the 53 counties in this continent. Very popular with our clients is the Galapagos Islands, combined with Peru, although this is a year-round destination due its temperate climate. Iceland is our most popular European destination this summer.

My favorite domestic travel destination for the summer months… Private camping in the national parks, a houseboat on Lake Mead or a dude ranch out west – there is so much beauty here at home!

Contact information:

Sam McClure Small World Travel
Sam@SmallWorld.Travel
512-495-9495
http://www.smallworldtraveler.com


 

Merrill Head shot

Merrill Laguarta

I have been in the business for… 6 years

How I got in the travel business… Growing up, Gay Gillen planned our family trips. During the summer between my Junior and Senior year of college when I was looking for a job, my dad recommended I contact Gay for an internship. Little did I know after that internship, travel would become my passion. A few years later while my husband and I were living in Santiago, we found out we were pregnant with our first child and moved back to Austin. Once home I ran into Gay at a Brownell Travel night, where my passion for all things travel was rekindled. I worked with her until this past January, when I launched my own business, Travel with Merrill.

I specialize in… As I mentioned, I have a passion for all travel. I enjoy booking everything from a customized trip to romantic or family getaway which include: cruises, ski packages, beach and so much more. Most importantly I like to develop relationships with my clients, working to send them and their families to places that fit their interests and travel style.

IMG_0002-1My best travel advice…I would say do not over book your days, make sure to see the highlights but leave enough time to experience your destination…walk the streets, meet the locals, enjoy the markets.

My favorite international travel destination for the summer months… It is constantly changing but right now the Baltics. Getting to experience Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Russia, which was my favorite! The best way to travel in the baltics is by sea, which means you unpack once and wake up in a new country every day! Not to mention the scenery is breath taking!

MerrillMy favorite domestic travel destination for the summer months… Last summer we took our girls (now ages 5,3,1) to Jackson Hole and got to explore Grand Teton National Park, I was blown away by the beauty and size. I am now convinced every family should explore our national parks! For the summer months pick parks that will give you a break from the Texas heat.

Contact Information:

Merrill Laguarta
512.413.8682
M@travelwithmerrill.com
Instagram: Travelwithmerrill


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Member Spotlight: Molly Frances Denham

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Roots:
I was born and raised into a family of five kids in Austin, four girls and one boy — lucky him. 🙂 I met my husband, Joe (Nebraska native), at Baylor. We graduated in 2013, married in 2014 and moved to the “Big City” (Dallas). We recently moved back to Austin for Joe’s new job. It has been a blast living about 1 mile from my parents. Don’t worry, my husband agrees…I think. I currently manage a Facebook Auction (clothing boutique) called “The Find Auctions”.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my iGnite experience…
One of my favorite things about moving back to Austin is getting back into iGnite. I started iGnite in high school. Neissa (hail the queen) taught me the importance of resistance training, consistency and that exercise can be fun (you can find me at Betty’s Dance Fit class every Tuesday — talk about FUN!). iGnite is where my love for exercise truly began.

I’m Most Inspired by…
One of my biggest inspirations is my mom, Kelly Glasgow. If you know her, you agree. She raised five children while maintaining friendships, her health/mental sanity, volunteer obligations and dinner on the table. Her car was her home for about 16 years, carting her kids from school, to sports, to piano lessons, etc. I think my oldest sister’s 16th birthday was the best and scariest day of her life. She always had her calendar, snacks and a spanking spoon on hand. She is loving, loyal, kind and a whole lot of fun! (Shout out to my Cardio Blast gal pals! They inspire me every Wednesday.)

Something you may not know about me…
I have two different colored eyes.

My guilty pleasure… 
Chips & queso/salsa. If you ever need a date to Maudie’s, I am your girl!

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8 Christmas Gifting Opportunities that Give Back

 

Looking for a more meaningful way to give this year?

Check out our team’s favorite socially-conscious companies to buy from and charities to give to this holiday season:

Raven + Lily

Raven + Lily“The whole mission of this beautiful jewelry, clothing and home goods line is to ’empower women through design.’  I have many of their pieces of jewelry and clothing, and I LOVE to give them as gifts because they’re not only beautiful but support such an incredible cause and an unbelievable organization — that way, everyone that gets one of their items then looks into what they’re doing and sees the big picture 🙂 Check it out at http://www.ravenandlily.com
-Catherine Sanderson

Teen and Family Services

Teen & Family Services“The charity of my choice this Christmas season is Teen and Family Services, a Texas-based nonprofit that fills such an important gap for families searching for answers.  It’s a peer-based recovery support program for adolescents and their families who are suffering from the harmful effects of teen substance abuse.  You can donate or learn more about their holistic approach at teenandfamilyservices.org.”
Betty Cunningham

Marbridge Ranch

Marbridge“My favorite charity is Marbridge Ranch, because it’s just a happy place, filled with kind people —  staff, residents and volunteers. It offers a safe and comfortable home for many cognitively-challenged adults, and the programs at Marbridge enrich lives daily, by providing activities, skills training for jobs, and community. It is the place where you go to give, and you leave filled up…they turn it around, and you become the recipient of warm welcomes, friendly hellos and hugs, and just the most contagious, amazing smiles that will absolutely light you up. I love the place, and I love to support it! To support Marbridge Ranch during the holidays you can donate or become a short or long term volunteer.  You can find these opportunities at www.marbridge.org
Cary Fyfe

Lush

Lush-Logo“I also like Lush for great handmade skin care and body products and they have wonderful project called “Charity Pot,” 100% of the proceeds from sales of this cream is donated to small, grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights. Learn more about this great product at www.lushusa.com.”
Alli Phillips

Buy Fair Trade

“Buying “Fair Trade” products and gifts (chocolate, coffee, wine, etc.) means that the workers and artisans around the world that grew/created/manufactured the food, goods, or gift items you purchase were paid a fair “living wage.” This is why “fair trade” goods are sometimes more expensive, but also why it’s so important to support these companies.  Just look for “Fair Trade” signage as you shop around this holiday season.”
Alli Phillips

Altar’d State

altard-state“I love this store for three reasons:  1).  They have super cute clothes  2) . They have affordable clothes  3).  They are service-oriented, and they donate 1% of all sales to local and international charities. They sponsor high-risk children in Peru, and they support their employees by sponsoring volunteer hours.  To date, they have volunteered over 1600 hours! Check out their clothing and their mission at  www.altardstate.com.
Neissa Springmann

Victory School Uganda

kamukamaLogo“My good friends and Austin natives, Jeanne and Lew Little, founded the Victory School upon traveling to Uganda and witnessing first-hand the poverty and absolute practical and educational needs of the children in a remote village in Western Uganda. They founded the Kumakuma Foundation as a means to partner with the Victory School in Uganda and help provide the children with a quality education and a bright future.  What I love about the Victory School is that for just $25 a month, I am able to sponsor a child, which provides tuition, books, supplies, a uniform, 2 meals a day, access to clean water and life skills.  As a sponsor, I receive pictures and letters from my child and am able to write him as well.  Find out more about this beautiful foundation at www.victoryschooluganda.org.”
Neissa Springmann

Trinity Center Austin

TRINITY CENTER-LOGO“The Trinity Center is an incredible faith-based organization that loves on the homeless and provides them with emotional, spiritual and physical needs.  From socks, underwear to tennis shoes, they provide it for these sweet people living in downtown Austin. To learn more and  donate visit www.trinitycenteraustin.org/.”
Neissa Springmann

 

Want some more great gift-giving ideas?  Check out our
“give back” lists from previous years here and here

Compiled by Delaine Teeple

Compiled by Delaine Teeple


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