Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Monday, August 5, 2013

Verily Magazine Brunch & Being Real

I feel like I should cue a trumpeter to celebrate I'm actually writing something! But alas, I've made my way back to the blog. Here it goes:

About 5 weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a brunch for Verily magazine, a new print publication co-founded by an Indy native, Janet Sahm.

Janet and her co-founder, Kara, hosted the brunch as an introduction to the publication. I brought along my friend Melanie from Jada Beauty, and we were joined by an amazing mix of local creatives, bloggers, and entrepreneurs like Jessica Quirk of What I Wore, Leslie Bailey of The Adventures of Lesalina, and my fellow DePauw alum & Pattern editor/organizer Maria Dickman. While we gathered around an impeccably set table to eat scones at local coffee spot Hubbard & Cravens, we were asked to have a real conversation about what we want to see in a magazine.
Verily is focused on the lives women are actually leading, not just the ones we're supposed to lead. In today's media-saturated environment, it's hard to sort the reality from the fiction, and the group was quick to jump into action to point out just that. They talked about the need for real talk about marriage and relationships (not just the Cosmo-variety articles full of ridiculous tips) and finding professional lives with meaning. But the thing that stuck the most was the conversation about being real in the blogging world. Leslie tackled the myth of the West Elm Parsons desk being THE only desk of successful bloggers (and God bless her for it, because I kind of loathe that desk and its impracticality), while Jessica and other women discussed figuring out the balance between how much is too much when talking about their loved ones or the downsides to their lives.

In the Pinterest generation it's easy to get wrapped up in the beautiful and avoid the messy all together. Some bloggers only share and preach the perfection they've achieved--or at least the perceived perfection they want to present to their readers. But sometimes the sugar-coated pics of a spotless desk and perfect floral arrangements and a wardrobe that makes my wallet weep are too much to take on the reader's end. We're not all living well-organized lives with white picket fences and manicured lawns. Desks are messy, houses get cluttered, life gets hard. But we're brushing it under the rug.

I realized that when I started this blog I was leaning toward a non-authentic voice that didn't necessarily reflect my style and interests. And that's likely why I wasn't creating posts. I haven't decided exactly how I want to move forward in the blogging world, but I'm out to be real. Maybe you'll join me.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Morning Meeting: Stacie Grissom of Stars for Streetlights

I'm so excited that this month's Monday Morning Meeting feature is Stacie Grissom of Stars for Streetlights

Stacie and I went to DePauw together, where we were both in the Media Fellows program. She also lived across the hall from me our first year (seems like forever ago now, doesn't it?) and was my friend Katia's roommate. I've always admired her quirky yet pulled-together style, and her blog features an awesome mix of photography and DIY projects, including jewelry and home decor ideas.  She recently left the Hoosier state for NYC but took some time to answer these questions:

My job is... I manage The BarkPost for BarkBox in Chinatown, NYC! When I'm not ghostwriting for dogs, I troll around the interwebz looking for awesome pup content. I also manage the BarkBox social media. [Note: Here's a fun post Stacie just did about what it's like to work there.]

When I wake up on Monday morning, I... go on a run, drink a spinach smoothie, and balance those things with eating a hot dog... or Cheetos. #embarassingtruth

I can't make it through the day without... Veggies for physical health, a cookie for mental. ;)

My favorite work soundtrack is... Franki Valli, Bon Iver, Passion Pit

My must-have desk accessories are... I don't have the tidiest desk, but I always need a box or two to hide the clutter!

I never leave home without... Some type of camera. DSLR, Polaroid, Instax, iPhone, something. :)

I get style inspiration from... Blogs, my roommate, and walking around on the street!

My favorite subject to photograph is... Oh man. I love documenting things-- places I've been, things I've made, things I drink. I love looking through old photos that remind me of an uneventful day or night and then it becomes special.

My must-read blogs are... I love A Beautiful Mess, Craftgawker, and Buzzfeed.

My favorite things about blogging is... Blogging has gotten me jobs! I started my little blog in 2009 as a way to make myself a better photographer and document some of the things I made. As it turned out, my blog has helped me develop the skills I needed to get some awesome jobs and have a ton of fun at work creating content.

I daydream about... Haha. Crafts, sewing, running around outside, sitting in my PJs watching Mad Men and making a new necklace. I think I need to daydream higher.

If I could schedule a Monday Morning meeting with any person, it would be... Don Draper. Or Alexis Ohanian.

In 5 years... I want to have a Brussels Griffon dog. :) Or a Schnauzer. Or a Newfoundland.

The best advice I've received is... "Can't never did anything." --My mom

The quote that motivates me to keep going is... “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” --Dumbledore

Thanks for the great responses, Stacie! Get a dose of DIY and Stacie's New York adventures over on Stars for Streetlights.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday's Fancies: St. Patrick's Day Style

Pants | Sweater | Earrings | Necklace | Shoes
One of the fun things about Friday's Fancies is putting together things that I haven't tried in real life or have avoided because I didn't think I could pull them off. Today I did that with two things: colored skinny jeans and mixing prints.

I don't even think I've tried on a pair of skinny jeans, and colored jeans just aren't my thing. But for some reason this green pair spoke to me. It's such a lovely spring-y shade and perfect for an Irish celebration. Since I certainly don't think you should go green overboard, I turned to navy, one of my favorite green pairing colors, for the top. This striped cardigan from J. Crew is very traditional prep and a great pairing with the pants. It comes complete with anchor buttons and a name Mrs. Kennedy herself would approve of: The Jackie Cardigan.

Even though mixing prints terrifies me in real life, when I saw these shoes I couldn't resist pairing them with this outfit! In high school I went on a big Ked's kick and loved my solid navy pair. But these polka dots with the tan rims seem a step in a more stylish and sophisticated direction. Basically: I'm in love. Serious love. Like I may need to go try some on this weekend love.

The gold earrings and anchor necklace--couldn't be nautical prep without it--round out the look.

How are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day? And better yet, what will you be wearing?

Monday, March 11, 2013

March Good Tunes

Happy March! I know, I know, I'm a week behind. But the days have been getting away from me lately.

Now that we've survived the time change and the daylight is extending longer into the evening, it's beginning to feel like winter drear is being kicked to the curb by spring. The shifts in seasons call for some changes in music.

I have a tendency to like sad music--I'm weird, I know--so spring feels like a good time to introduce some lighter choices of songs into the mix--or least make a gradual stride in that direction.

I first heard "Age of Consent" in the Marie Antionette trailer and haven't gotten it out of my head since. I always associate it with that movie, the gorgeous costumes, and the times I played it during the radio show I hosted with my friend Ellen during college.

"Answering Bell" was introduced to me in Bridesmaids and I'm obsessed. "Big Jet Plane" comes from a recent artist obsession, Angus and Julia Stone, and I've currently been listening to the Of Monsters and Men and Grouplove albums on repeat.

This weekend I watched Sleepless in Seattle for probably the 500th time (Nora Ephron is a personal hero), and was reminded of the wonderful soundtrack. "Wink and Smile" by Harry Connick, Jr. is so happy and infectious. I love it, as well as all of the other classic picks featured in the film (Joe Cocker's version of "Bye Bye Blackbird" is amazing).

Those are my March Good Tunes picks (I hope to introduce a little mix of songs every month). What's on your playlist right now?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Etsy Find: Boris Loved Natasha

Last December I worked a fantastic gift fair that included a really great mix of local vendors. One of those vendors was Holli of Boris Loved Natasha, whose booth was right next to mine.

Holli's line of fun and colorful bags feature mixed-and-matched fabrics--often re-purposed from clothing and items she finds at thrift stores--and these adorable tags featuring her logo.

I snagged this fun nautical-inspired bag, which I used to house my Kindle for its first few months. I'm a sucker for blue and orange is my current color love, so I kind of couldn't resist.

Her bags also feature pretty cotton linings in various prints and bright zippers that add to the fun and uniqueness. 

Other designs feature clutches and coin pouches, some featuring adorable applique cutouts like owls and elephants. You can head over to her Etsy shop to see some of her other products. She takes listings down the days she has shows, so if you venture there to find an Etsy shop, don't fret; they'll be back soon.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday's Fancies: Etsy Bling Edition

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

I love jewelry. I probably love jewelry more than clothes, having started my extensive earring collection when I got my ears pierced in 4th grade. This week's Bling Friday's Fancies theme was therefore right up my alley.

Since getting my Etsy account I've been hoarding jewelry in my favorites, so it was easy to throw together some beautiful and fun picks. My personal favorite is probably the "Write" necklace, though that's certainly not shocking! Can't wait to see what some of the other picks are this week. I'll try to keep myself from buying anything new...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Emails & Organization

I've gradually been working on trying to get things more neat and organized, especially when it comes to my desk and my online life. Lately 2013 has felt like the year of the email. I'm constantly trying to stay on top of my inbox, and just when I think I've tackled all of my owed responses three more pop up. It's a vicious cycle.

One evening I was feeling particularly overwhelmed when a Twitter acquaintance tweeted to me, "If it's email, it's not dire." And you know what? He's right. So while I certainly respond to my emails, I've been trying to stop bending over backwards to get a response to everything ASAP--unless, of course, the subject matter warrants it.

A few weeks ago on The Zesty Digest, Sweet Lemon Magazine's blog where I contribute weekly, I ended up writing about tackling email overwhelm. You can read more of my tips here. I also designed this snazzy "To Email" list sheet as a free printable, but--my fault--it didn't get posted as a PDF download. I didn't want you to miss out, so I'm including it here. Click here to access and download the PDF, then organize away!