Girl / Power

Maybe it's because it's an election year, and we have a powerful female for potential candidate for (almost) the first time ever. (Shirley Chisholm actually ran for the Democratic presidential nominee in 1968, if you didn't know.)

It could be the post-blizzard, all-lady congress a few weeks ago. Maybe it's my new shirt because new things are exciting and particularly so when they manage to be cute and have a strong message you believe it.

It might be the very great reaction I got from a recent Nylon piece I wrote on feminist podcasts, and those very lady-led podcasts themselves. Maybe I've just been swept into the BeyHive, or maybe it's my current binge catch-up of "Broad City", or my recent binge of season 2 of "Transparent", which makes me feel like that as a society we are very slowly getting somewhere with gender rights, female equality, and the rest.

Either way, in these first two months of the new year I've felt crazy inspired by other women, #GirlBosses, non-#GirlBosses, and gals who are just doing what they want and getting it done. It's awesome, amazing, and kind of makes me feel like I can do anything. Know why? It's because I can. (Cue Bey.) 

I hope you're in the same place as I am and are feeling equally inspired. In case you're not, may I suggest that you first blare some empowering tunes, then check out a few of the pro-lady pieces of content plus products that have inspired me as of late. I realize that there's an unnameable amount of inspiring content out there, so please send me suggestions for this and I'll continue to update:

This awesome newsletter (that I was thrilled to be included in last week) // The Canadian prime minister on why feminism matters // The 24 Hour Woman Calendar // All things Jessamyn Stanley // Companies with women are more profitable // "We are leaning in" // An informative podcast // This 11-year-old's book drive // A campaign to give female filmmakers a greater spotlight // This Elizabeth Lever print // These supportive communities: Local Creative, Girl Gift Gather, Babe Vibes, all things Rookie // This manual

Another note – and this is something that gets overlooked – but I feel very lucky to be loved by men who are equal partners, family members, and friends – and who encourage me day in and day out. Of course, that's the way it should always be, but we all know that's not the way it is for far, far, far too many women, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars for having the men in my life that I do.

Cue Bey, again. Just because.

Shopping List: Valentine's Day For The Ladies

Valentine's Day is one of those days that causes some controversy. (Using the term 'controversy' very, very lightly here.)

I'm an old, married woman which means that ultimately I'm not too bothered about it either way. Still, there are certain aspects about this "holiday" that make me squirm – the pressure to couple up, the marketing campaigns aimed to convince that it's always better to be in a pair than on your own...that sort of thing. Though the marketing and messaging around Valentine's Day can be awful for lots of reasons, let's not let that spoil our feelings about the 14th of February. 

If you approach it properly, Valentine's Day can be pretty fun – fun because it's kind of ridiculous, fun because there's candy, fun because it involves nice feelings. There's also Galentine's Day on the 13th, and let's not forget the fact that Valentine's Day itself is a good excuse to gift yourself, your girlfriends, or a loved one something sweet. 

Cue Huckberry. As you may remember from posts past, these guys are the best when it comes to gifts for gals and guys alike. Whether you're searching for a gift for yourself or your best girlfriend, here are a few of my favorite Valentine's Day gift for the ladies:

Good Reads: 29 January 2016

The snow's been gone for just a few minutes and I miss it already. I always think that if it's going to be cold, it should snow. Cold, grey weather is a little boring.

This weekend will be pretty chill. There will be some some thrifting (see below on faux fur coat thoughts), some donut eating, some new product sampling (I'm having a big moment with skincare) and some all around, generally great hanging. 

Before it begins, there was some gold on the internet this week, so maybe check out the links below before you take off. Have a good one!

feeling pretty proud of this dude and his photography work. 

best thing i read this week. this was the second best.

saw this really beautiful, interesting movie this week. if you like miranda july-ish stuff, you'll like this.

official: we run this thing.

a gorgeous pre-fall collection

score 100 for mattel. (the foot thing – how is that just now being fixed?)

excited for this short film, the mission behind it, and the mission behind this awesome project.

on the hunt for a great faux fur coat. anyone have any leads for me?

almost died over these shoes this week.

thankful for the day i started following kanye on twitter. (#waves)

bread forever.

folks in the north carolina area, go to my very talented friend's store opening party on saturday!


a few new additions to the designer directory: sara barner / the stell / home-work / aeron / the great lakes goods  

more by me: how to start a feminist podcast / home tour: jordan grace owens

How To Maintain Your Energy

I almost constantly feel nervous.

It's not as horrible as it sounds, though. Instead it's more like a low-level current that runs through me almost constantly. Because I have this hum of energy that vibrates through me and drives most everything I do, I probably appear more extroverted than I am.

Take speaking in crowds, for instance. I hate it, as lots of people do, but that low-level nervous energy of mine is so great that I'll force myself to make a self depreciating joke or speak first in a meeting, just to get my inner self out there. It's partly because of my fear that if I don't say something quickly or do something to make everyone feel comfortable, I may not say anything at all. 

That energy – the one that keeps my brain constantly ticking, thinking, analyzing, creating – it drives me, pushes me to work harder, meet people, tackle that next project – and it, obviously, makes me who I am. But it can be tiring. Other introverts, those of us with sensitive and active minds that require greater periods of rest, will understand.

All of this is fine and good on an everyday level, but when it comes to special days – holidays and vacations – it can be difficult. Spend a day touring a city with a group friends, attend a series of highly-social activities, or even change your diet for a few weeks, and those energy levels can start to slip. 

Luckily, as this creature of habit and homebody with a true love for travel has learned, there are ways to maintain that energy in a healthy and sane way when you're off your routine. This allows you to keep up that big energy throughout long work days, and travel successfully with friends and family alike.

Here's how it's done:

1. When possible, surround yourself with people who "get" you

There's a saying that traveling with someone for a few days will teach you more about that person than knowing them for several years. I'd say that's true, and while finding yourself in the (often professional) situation of traveling through a new city or country with strangers can be a very positive thing, when at all possible try to travel with people who know and "get" you. People who understand that after five hours of tourist-ing, you may need to be alone in your room with a book for an hour-ish. 

If the people with you on a vacation or holiday "get" your energy levels, they'll know and understand that you just need some time alone, thanks. No misunderstandings, no hurt feelings.


2. Take an abbreviated time out

Let's say you're visiting friends or family, or are just in the middle of a very long, taxing work day and you don't quite have the ability to go sit alone and let your brain breathe. Instead, find activities and rituals that will help you "recharge" your batteries even on a micro-level. For example, put on headphones and listen to music that chills you out, or maybe walk to a nearby coffee shop and grab a tea. Do something that will take you outside of your element, even for a moment, and you'll feel better.


3. Go to bed early

Don't feel the need to "take advantage" of your holiday or vacation by staying up late if that doesn't feel good for you. If you're socially or physically drained, let yourself slink off to bed to read, write, or think. Stretch, light a candle, and just hang. It'll make all the difference in the world and give you the energy needed to get you through that next day of socializing or travel.


4. Stick to a routine 

Perhaps most importantly, hold on to your routine for dear life – on holidays, vacations, and even on the weekends. Eat the same foods when you can, and when you travel bring your favorite sweats or comfy socks – anything that makes you feel yourself and grounded on the outside will help to do the same to your mind on the inside. I promise.


Any thoughts on maintaining energy when you're out of your element? It's not easy for any of us, and especially not for introverts. Tips and shared experiences are always welcome!

Good Reads: 15 January 2016


I'm not over it, even in the slightest. Has anyone else been hit as surprisingly hard about this as I am? He seemed like someone that would never die, and I don't really want to believe that he did.

As I have been all week, I plan to spend the weekend listening to Bowie playlists. Otherwise, I'll be catching up Oscar noms and getting rid of some of that remaining holiday and winter clutter accumulation. (Adulting, as its finest.)

A few favorite links of the week are below for some reading before you check out on Friday. Whatever you're up to, I hope you have a good one!

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn

leslie jones, showing us all how it should be done.

just when i thought transparent couldn't get any better – there was season two.

what to do if you win the lottery.

this very smart post may be holiday themed, but it can be applied to any weekend or vacation. routine = key.

an inspiring interview with refinery29's christene barberich.

"life should be fun and full of girls who inspire each and every day." liking this new site.

adding to my "to read" list.

all about that simple, geometric jewelry. betsy & iya just launched their unu collection and it's a total winner. 

a beautiful, heartbreaking read.

with the onset of some actual winter weather, this blanket is starting to feel like a good idea. (don't judge)

by this point, i'm sure you've seen "making a murderer", right? (confession: i'm a #stranger)


david bowie, class act.


"thank you, mr. bowie. you changed our lives."


a few new additions to the designer directory :

penny sagereality studio / heart heart heart / away / sunday supply / sophie monet

Good Reads: 18 December 2015

And suddenly, we're already on our way back to the U.K.

Where did December go? (But for real – where did it go?)

I'll be in London for the next two weeks seeing friends and family for the holiday, and I'm definitely looking forward to it. It's been almost six months since we moved back to the States but it feels like an entire lifetime ago.

It's funny how the second you move your old life seems completely out of reach, and when you think back to that life you once lived, it feels like watching a movie. But, I know that as soon as we're back in the city it'll all come whooshing back and that's something I'm looking forward to.

Though I'll be working on and off during the holidays, the main place I'll be on the internet is Instagram so let's plan to hang out there, shall we?

A few favorite links and additions to the Independent Designer Directory are below. And otherwise, here's wishing you and yours a very happy holiday indeed.

love knit wit and the very idea of cool, modern lady crafting, and equally love this piece they recently contributed to clementine daily.

a fascinating piece about the role twitter played in this woman's life.

if you're in north carolina, might i recommend you pay a visit to my friend ana maria's beautiful new store

currently dreaming of these.

would love to discuss this in greater depth, but in the beginning of gloria steinem's "my life on the road" (which i'm currently reading) she makes a fascinating comparison to our love for media of all kinds to our natural longing to escape. as in, maybe as humans we're not supposed to "settle down" at all and we're fighting some deep rooted natural inclination when we do, which is why we so often turn to media to escape, even on a micro level. mind blown, right? but let's come back to this later – there's much more to be said.

more on name changing.

feeling a lot of love for this incredible group for young girls, which i learned about thanks to episode 5 of this podcast.


recently from me: tribe alive / an independent holiday gift guide / networking for introverts / home decor gift picks / how to have a stress free holiday / an ode to ugly shoes / talking with engineer-turned-fashion designer and lovely lady, julie sygiel


independent designer/retailer finds of the week: day space night / solid state goods / tusk / charlotte chesnais / starch slides / people of 2morrow / m. grace jewelry / you're welcome / see sun 

How To Get Your Finances In Check

A post about financial health written by a freelance creative feels a little, you might even say.

But as a professional lady who's worked full time, part time, freelance, and remotely, I've learned a few things over the course of my career about the realities of being financially smart in ways that say, someone who's had a full time job at a single company for years and never moved between cities and countries, might not have learned or had to deal with.

While I'm certainly still no expert (like at all – at all, at all), I've picked up a few tips that have helped along the way. In hopes of paying it forward (har), I've jotted down some insights into keeping your personal finances in check, from one saver and do-er, to another:

Ignoring financial concerns won't make them go away

Don't believe me? Just ask Robin Reetz, West Village resident and publishing industry entry-level salary earner, age 22. If you're feeling stressed or a little uncertain about your finances, avoiding your bank statement or credit card balance will not make those concerns go away. Charging things to a card and then trying to forget about them will only hurt you, as (hopefully) most of us have learned by now. Similar to your real insecurities, confronting your financial insecurities and forcing yourself to deal with them will only do good things for your wallet, and for your sleeping patterns. Trust.


Educate yourself

Feeling unfamiliar and uncomfortable about where to start with your financial health? Turn to an expert. Even if it's something as basic as signing up for a weekly, financially-focused newsletter, make yourself open that newsletter when it comes through your inbox, at least skim it, and take in some of the advice. Great, non-scary resources include Workable Wealth, LearnVest, and Bottom Line. (There are a million more, so tell me which ones you love! I'd like to know.)


Know what you're willing to sacrifice – in life, finances, and all things – and what you're not

No matter how much money you earn, pretty much everyone in the world is working within a budget of some kind, and the way that budget is structured depends on the ways in which we live our lives. You can't do and afford everything (sorry), so it's super important to prioritize in little and big ways. Maybe you're spending less on monthly transportation and more on organic foods, or more on travel (me!) but going out less at home, or buying nicer things but fewer of them (also me). It's just about figuring out what's important to you, then working your life and budget around those priorities.


So, financial responsibility – maybe not that hard after all? Regardless, I'm still learning and changing my patterns on a regular basis so I'm all up for hearing about any experiences, resources, or tips you'd like to share. Please and thank you!


Photo by D Watterson III