In Link Roundups on
January 28, 2018

easy like (quiet)

Good morning! It’s rainy and quiet here on my street in D.C. Given that they’re building an entirely new apartment block across the street, this is a blessing. I’m sipping coffee out of a Mizzou mug because yesterday, Mort Walker died, and many of you won’t care, but some of you will. There are days I miss my alma mater more than others, and I think today may be one of the harder days.

My week coming up is so busy that I don’t want to think about it, but today definitely feels like the calm before the storm. So if you’re in the same boat, let’s huddle up this morning and read something good. Here’s what I’ve got:

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In Link Roundups on
January 16, 2018

easy like (monday?)

good evening, pals. I started today a little hungover thanks to a friend’s birthday last evening, and I’m just now having a cup of coffee at 3:00 p.m. But it’s a holiday, and not just any holiday – it’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

It’s common for white communities to sing the praises of Dr. King today without acknowledging that he was a radical figure, not just killed but assassinated for his work, and that there is so much more work to be done today in terms of racial equality and justice. I thought that needed to be said, really quickly.

Anyway: I have a lot of links for you today – see below!

This Q&A about how small teams succeed at startups has really captured my heart – I loved working on small, dynamic teams in college. I often really miss that vibe now.

Really love this post about bringing wellness into your workspace. My hips always hurt from sitting so much at work!

Ditto with this post about being selfish in certain areas of your life. (And this one about getting back on the wagon with your goals! “Track your progress, not your process.”)

VERY curious about Supergoop’s new Unseen Suncreen – which claims to protect not just from UVA/UVB rays, but the blue light from computers as well. I just bought this and am working my way through it (physical sunscreens are much better for sensitive skin like mine than chemical sunscreens), but I’m curious about this product…

We’re forecasted to get snow in DC tomorrow evening (cue suspensful music – this is when everyone in DC starts to panic, I’ve realized), and this Mary Oliver poem takes me back to evenings in Chicago where the grass was thick and packed with snow for months on end. I miss that.

This list with the best 100 nonfiction books, ever. Obviously up for debate.

Danielle LaPorte on how to love your challenges that come with your good choices.

Hold onto your hats, friends – LUSH is discontinuing some of its iconic products in favor of new ones. Here’s the list.

11 new books by women of color to read.

LOVE these 8 ways to make the most of your career this year.

DesignLoveFest is one of my favorite creators and artists – and she teamed up with Target again to make furniture! I just purchased a new mattress/frame, so I’m out of commission for a while on furniture purchases, but I love all of the products, especially two of these corner chairs pushed together to make a love seat, and this chair.

NYT’s 52 Places List for 2018 is up! Meet their new 52 places reporter here!!

I am my worst enemy on this so: How to Stop Self-Criticism (the nasty kind).

Have a great short week my pals!

In Life on
December 31, 2017

love the journey

2017 was a weirder year than I planned. More emotional, too. I marked one year in a new home. I got promoted at my first job. I saw new friends move away, lost old friends, and met new ones. The news at times enraged and encouraged me, and I learned how to stop walking everywhere with my headphones in again.

I flew home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which was a blessing. And then I realized that being back in your childhood home gets more complicated when you’re halfway-settled somewhere else.

I kept my flexible definition of “faith,” and I urge everyone who may be a recovering Catholic like me to remember that faith can be funny, coincidental, and human. That your faith should guide how you walk through this life – and should never feel like a yoke too heavy to bear.

I accepted that this year was going to be a “growth” year, which means less boxes to check, less accomplishments in the bank – but it would allow for some deep questions and deeper answers about who I want to be and what I want for myself.

It led to the death of #relationshipgoals and more speaking my mind. Asking for what I want has always been a struggle, but this year I really seemed to get the hang of it – and that turned some friends off a bit.

This year, for me, has been about loving the journey, the in-between, the getting-settled-ness of life. I hope you’ll recognize these pieces of your life as well, and celebrate them.

Lots of love going into 2018, whatever your journey is.

In Style on
December 23, 2017

an ethical gift guide: donations

Late gift? Forget someone? Just want to do something nice? It’s never too late to donate to a great cause.

Another great way to show someone that you care is donating to a cause in their name. Of course, you could make like Mila Kunis and do this in Mike Pence’s name to Planned Parenthood to make a point and support a cause, but you can also do it for the holidays.

First, make sure you know the person well enough to know they’d value donations like this. Second, make sure you check out the organization on Charity Navigator. It’ll tell you about their financial information, and rate them on transparency and accountability. (Ironically: Charity Navigator is a charity too! So if you like them, donate!) Their main page has “hot topics” if you’re looking for recent events that have philanthropic needs.

Below are a few of my favorite causes; let me know if you have any to add to the list!

 

National Public Radio

If you’re like me, you listen to NPR podcasts almost daily. But it takes a lot of work to produce those podcasts, radio shows, and amazing reporting. You can support those reporters and that organization by donating to your local NPR affiliate. Find your affiliate here, and donate to the local Washington D.C. affiliate here.

 

The American Civil Liberties Union

You’ve probably read a lot about the ACLU this year, and if you haven’t, where have you been? The ACLU works to protect the rights guaranteed to American citizens, especially the freedom of speech and protest. Donate here!

 

Planned Parenthood

You’ve probably heard a lot about Planned Parenthood and abortions, but the truth is that the bulk of their work is providing safe, affordable healthcare and family planning support to communities that might not be served otherwise. You can donate here!

 

She Should Run

This organization is newly near and dear to me, but it gives women a network and a place to begin considering running for office. I think the biggest thing that intimidates me about running for any office ever is that I don’t know anyone who’s done it, and I don’t know anything about it. She Should Run provides that information in an encouraging community. Let’s get more women in politics so our Congress is truly representative of our population.

You can donate here!

 

Girls Who Code

This organization is working to close the gender gap in tech one girl at a time. I love that they’re providing computing skills and education to girls in the belief that they’ll be vital to their professional growth, and that girls are picking up coding at such a young age (I’m still struggling to teach myself!). You can donate here!

 

Let me know if I missed any organizations! Leave them in the comments below!

Please note: I sometimes interact with nonprofits on behalf of my PR clients at work (I’m a PR superhero by day). I’ve left off any organizations that I personally support but may also be affected by my partnerships work at my day job, for full disclosure. It’s important to me to separate professional support and personal support.

In Link Roundups on
December 10, 2017

easy like (SNOW!)

It snowed here yesterday! ALL DAY! We got maybe 2.5 inches max of snow, but it’s 2.5 inches more than last year! I don’t pretend to believe that D.C. will ever fulfill my super snowy winter dreams, but it’s nice to be surprised every once in a while, right? I got to see lots of friends this weekend, and had lots of fun seasonal holiday times.

I woke up with what seems to be a seasonal cold this morning, so I’m doing my best to get better in one day so I can work my last full week before X-mas vacation! We’ll see – if I’ve learned anything from the health issues this fall, it’s listening to your body, and self-compassion. I exercise, I eat right – sometimes I can’t control when I get sick.

Here’s what I was reading this week:

This account of the first woman to swim the English Channel is super badass

Love these fresh interior design trends for 2018

Cool read from FiveThirtyEight: what the last winter olympics would have looked like without Russia (as this year’s will be).

Super interested in LUSH’s solid shampoo bars and solid conditioners – if I try them out, I’ll let you know what I think!

I’m…kind of…shook at how great Abercrombie suddenly is?

Okay, short list because I’m gonna kick this thing, I know it.

Have a great week!

 

In Style on
December 5, 2017

an ethical holiday gift guide: the little market

This is part 4 in a series of ethical holiday gift guides – let me know if there’s an ethical brand you’d like featured! Click on the images for links to the products shown – and all photos are credited to The Little Market. I did not take any of them. 

I learned about The Little Market because I was a deeply devoted fan of The Hills, and am embarassed to admit that I followed Lauren Conrad’s career pretty closely after the show. She opened The Little Market with Hannah Skvarla a few years later, and it’s remained open as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The store sells handmade gifts from artisans all over the world, and the money from profits go to the artisans making them, generating meaningful income.

Soy Blend Candle – Falalalala / $26.00 / Prosperity Candle

Each product has a bio about the organization or company that produces the products, as well as who they are, as well as the country they’re from and information about what “fair trade” means. This holiday candle, which is so cute AND soy-based i.e. better for the environment, is made by Prosperity Candle, which invests in women entrepreneurs to end poverty. Many of the women at Prosperity Candle have recently resettled from refugee camps to the United States.

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In Link Roundups on
December 5, 2017

easy like (december)

How are you this weekend? I’m a little jumbled, I’ll admit. December really snuck up on me. I’m scrambling to get christmas gifts ordered in time, and I’m also eyeing up some Ikea mattresses (a co-worker waxed poetic about hers and now I’m completely sold). Do any of you have a mattress you totally love? Tell me about it!

Other than that, I love the holiday season. I’ve got all my decorations up (Target for the win), and I’m anxiously awaiting my first snowfall (probably when I spend X-mas in Chicago, tbh). Here’s what I’m reading this week:
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In Style on
November 30, 2017

an ethical holiday gift guide: LUSH

This is part 3 in a series of ethical holiday gift guides – let me know if there’s an ethical brand you’d like featured! Click on the images for links to the products shown – and all photos are credited to LUSH. I did not take any of them. 

If you’re like me, you discovered the potent LUSH store in high school and fell deeply in love with their signature bath bombs. But LUSH makes products aside from their bath products, and most of them are very, very good.

LUSH commits to ethical buying practices, organic and safe synthetic ingredients, with little to no preservatives or packaging. The packaging they do make is recyclable and can be used for other things. Additionally, LUSH frequently donates proceeds from products to other causes, ranging from ending animal cruelty to protecting the environment.

Christmas Sweater Bath Bomb // $7.95 // LUSH

Thundersnow Bath Bomb // $6.95 // LUSH

LUSH’s bath bombs are classics and their holiday selection does not disappoint! Make a set for a friend; with prices like these, they’re super affordable.

Santa’s Belly Shower Jelly // $7.95 // LUSH

Roots Hair Treatment // $22.95 // LUSH

Roots is an iconic LUSH product for thin or fine hair – but if that doesn’t sound like you, treat yourself or a friend with a selection of their new oil treatments, too.

Mask of Magnaminty Face Mask // $14.95 // LUSH

Who doesn’t love a good face mask? This used to be a holy grail product for me, until I realized you couldn’t order it online and my local LUSH was always out. But now you can order it!!

Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask // $12.95 // LUSH

Hottie Massage Bar // $12.95 // LUSH

Got a gym junkie on your list? This massage bar is great for sore muscles – melt it directly onto skin, and the shape goes to work on knots.

Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub // $9.95 // LUSH

The best thing about this sugar scrub? Not only does it exfoliate your lips, but you can lick off the excess. Genius.

Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite LUSH products! Dying to try new ones.

In Link Roundups on
November 27, 2017

easy like (x-mas music!!)

YES it’s finally allowed. I don’t let myself play christmas music until RIGHT after Thanksgiving. Did you have a great holiday? Mine was perfectly calm, and that’s the way I needed it. Now I’m back in D.C., stressin’ about work before the holidays, and how I’m going to see all the people I want to see and do all the things I want to do before leaving for Chicago again.

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