Entries Tagged as 'Work'

BuzzFeed: 21 Tips For Slaying At Work From Top Bosses

January 9, 2015

So inspiring! See them all here.

The week in review: Pinsanity

December 21, 2014

This week, I published my first big post for BuzzFeed: What Happened When I Lived According To The Pinterest Popular Page.

Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed

On Sunday, I was pretty anxious, knowing the piece was going live on Monday morning. But I’m really proud of how it turned out, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. (It made the #1 trending spot on BuzzFeed last week!) Also interesting: a few of the bloggers whose photos I used emailed me to say how much they liked it, and to say that they, too, have a lot of Feelings about Pinterest.

On Wednesday, I went on HLN to talk about the story (see the clip here), which was pretty exciting. (My grandma called me a few weeks ago to tell me to turn on GMA because my coworkers were on. I got to visit hair and makeup first (I’m pretty sure they did a little contouring, which seemed funny, given the context) and the combination of the look, the blurred blue background, and the bright lights all made me look So CNN on air.

Beyond that, it was just a very BuzzFeed-y week!

together sweater

Photo by Lauren Zaser, Together Sweater sent to us by TOMS and Target after I wrote about it last month.

Wednesday was a day filled with gifts and surprises at work, and our holiday party was that night.

The keychains were part of our holiday gift (the photo and the keychains are from Various Keytags). The 772 is the number of BuzzFeed employees worldwide. And there’s the Shruggie, because they know what we like.

Other highlights from this week…


21 Drunk Santas Who Will Ruin Your Childhood

21 Kids Who Were Better Dressed Than You In 2014

20 Truly Horrifying Vintage Holiday Recipes


Denied, Medium.

Notes on “Kim”, Medium.

Let’s Talk About That Wendy Davis Cover of ‘Texas Monthly’, RH Reality Check.

Shani O. Hilton on Building a Newsroom at BuzzFeed, NeimanReports.

19 Times “Family Feud” Contestants Spoke The Damn Truth, BuzzFeed.

The New Cosmopolitan & the Slow Climb Out of Lipstick-and-Lasagna Land, Jezebel.

A Rockette, Camille Styles.

Of Monsters and Truth, Design for Mankind.

Why won’t McCulloch charge Witness #40 with perjury? Time for a special prosecutor, new grand jury, Daily Kos.

SNL’s perfect Serial parody.

And the second and third books in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan book series!

The week ahead…

Starting our holiday travels and celebrating Christmas! And looking to this and this for inspiration on what to read over the holiday.

Small fish

October 26, 2014

I spent last week in New York, starting my new job at BuzzFeed!

NYC Oct 2014

New Balances | The Rewm

NYC Oct 2014

NYC Oct 2014

NYC Oct 2014

I really can’t say enough good things about BuzzFeed; everyone is incredibly nice and friendly, and the company takes really good care of their employees. I am SO excited to be a part of it all, but I was still pretty nervous last week. At my last two jobs, I’ve been the only writer at a very small startup, but now I’m in an organization with so many people, most of whom do the exact same thing I do (and do it very well). That’s not a bad thing at all (and I had a ton of wonderful Oh, these are my people! moments), but it’s still pretty intimidating.

But you know what experience actually best prepared me for this first week at BF? Greek life. (Yeah, remember this story the next time you hear reports of a fraternity buttchugging whilst wearing blackface!) There were so many times last week when I had the same overwhelmed/excited/intimidated/new girl feeling I had during my first year in Sigma Kappa; it’s a feeling of being proud that you were chosen…but then actually getting there and seeing exactly how many people are in the organization, and realizing that they all have these pre-established relationships, and not many of them know who you are or what you’re all about. The recurring thoughts of “Do I belong here?” “Yes, I surely belong here!” “But maybe I don’t!” coupled with the oddness of being around a ton of people who totally speak your language and all kind of dress alike…plus the onslaught of activities, information, new friends, new gear, and food (SO MUCH FOOD!)…was all just very, very familiar. And that familiarity was reassuring! Knowing that I became such a part of it all by my senior year at MSU was so helpful when I felt like a small fish in a big pond this week.

Despite my small fish feels, it was a pretty great week overall! I had a lot of fun with my new coworkers and published my first official BuzzFeed post. (On vintage vibrators, no less!) I think this job is going to be amazing, plus I got to see some of my old friends, and Eric arrived in NYC on Wednesday. He’s only been to New York once, on a class trip, more than 10 years ago. (Does that even count? I don’t think it does.) The weather was pretty nasty on Wednesday and Thursday and his days were really filled with interviews, which meant we couldn’t go out and do quite as much as I’d hoped. That said, I think we did OK!

Whenever we go to a new city, Eric always ends up with a little time to go what we call “urban hiking”—basically just walking around the city and exploring on his own. This time, he did that en route/in between to his interviews and he kiiiiiiiind of overdid it; according to his Fitbit, he walked more than 20 miles over the course of two days. (Even in the rain! Which: Is he crazy?!) The downside is that he wasn’t walking through the most charming/lovely parts of NYC, and it got dark so early that our evening adventures weren’t as good at giving you that “Oh, this is why people love New York City!” feeling. (The other downside is that he ended up with shin splints and blisters and is now basically immobile.)

Here were some of the non-work highlights (which, unsurprisingly, mostly involved food) from the trip…

– Drinks/foodstuffs/catching up with a friend at Parker & Quinn.

– One too many margaritas with a friend at Teqa. I experienced my hangover not the next morning, but between approximately midnight and 4 AM…I’m not sure if this is a better or worse way to do it? Ugh.

[A brief detour: the friend I had margaritas with was actually the friend who was the recipient of this email. And who, in 2012, texted me that he was hanging out with his friend who I didn’t know, but who had just been telling him about this funny blog she read—my blog!—and then they realized he knew me IRL. So then they were looking through my blog together and suddenly he texted me “Lesson #103…?” and I didn’t even have to check; I knew exactly what lesson he was reading BECAUSE OF COURSE HE CLICKED ON THE ONE THAT WAS ABOUT HIM. I texted back, “UM, BULLSHIT THAT YOU JUST ‘STUMBLED UPON THAT POST'” but he stood by his (OBVIOUSLY FAKE) story. Anyway, I saw him last fall for the first time in four years, and after a couple drinks, we addressed the elephant in the room and it was totally fine. Now I’m married, he’s engaged, we’re friends, and the moral here is that things have a way of working out, even after you confess your love to a friend, he responds by saying he thinks you’re really “fun” (Twice! He called me “fun” TWICE!) but he’s not feeling it, and then you tell the entire Internet about it.]

– Meeting up with one of Eric’s oldest (and funniest!) friends to watch the Royals game on Wednesday night.

– Taking a long walk through the city with Eric after we visited an apartment on Thursday night; it was way too far to walk back to the hotel, so eventually we hopped in a cab and then ate (delicious!) steak sandwiches from Tavern29 in bed when we got back.

– Lunch from Eataly (uh, twice).

– Having coffee with my former coworkers at the Ace Hotel.

– Having lunch with my new coworkers at CraftBar and drinks with them at 1200 Miles.

– Pizza with Eric and my friend/former NYC roommate at Motorino, which is actually just a few steps from our old apartment. This was probably the non-work highlight of the trip; dinner was so fun and Eric and I were able to walk there and back without getting drenched. It was the perfect way to end the trip.

Creating a buzz…

September 30, 2014

As was reported by multiple media outlets this summer, the website BuzzFeed is expanding several of its verticals, including its Life section…and I’m excited to announce that later this month, I’ll be joining the BuzzFeed team as a Senior Lifestyle Editor! Oh, and the position is in New York, which means I (we!) will be relocating to NYC later this year!

BuzzFeed win

I’ll share more details about all this in the next couple of weeks! In the meantime, I’ll just be over here freaking out/getting my life in order (and, um, purchasing the new shoes I told myself I could buy if I got the job).

Summer updates and goals

June 12, 2014


After our day at the pool on Sunday I was really tired, in the way that you get tired when you’ve either worked out really hard, or you’ve been out in the sun. I felt like I had been working out all day, but I had been doing the exact opposite and knowing this was keeping me from feeling totally smug about my tiredness. This didn’t sit well with me, so I decided to do some late-afternoon yoga. And while I was doing it, I got so motivated. Like, it’s-summer-and-I’m-gonna-do-yoga-every-morning motivated.

I have not done yoga every (or any) morning since. But! That summery motivation has stuck around.

I tend to dread summers here because of the heat, and because summers in Houston are nothing like the summers I’ve had in Michigan, Chicago, or New York. But in the past few weeks, I’ve been making some small changes to my lifestyle so that this summer is more fun and exciting than summers past. And realizing that those small changes (like going out for banana splits or finding a good pool) actually work made me feel really good. Like…I got this.

I recently saw this little goal tool on Design Love Fest, so I thought I’d use it as a jumping-off point for sharing what’s new around here and making some summer goals. 

Eating / Mostly healthy things! Eric and I have been eating healthier for the past few weeks after a month of eating a lot of garbage. (Whatever, though. Rice Krispie (style) treats made with Fruity Pebbles are a GIFT from God. And Doritos? When you don’t have them very often and then suddenly remember they exist? SO GOOD.) So we’ve been having omelets for breakfast and lots of salads and I feel a lot better.

Drinking / Iced tea. How did I forget about iced tea until a couple weeks ago?! Lipton Cold Brew (which brews in three minutes) is my go-to.

Practicing / Yoga (even though I hate calling it “practicing”). My goal for the summer is two weekday sessions plus one weekend session every week.

Mastering / Omelets. I’m getting a little better at them each time we make them!  

Learning / To work more efficiently. Harder and smarter. I know if I can get into a solid groove with a few things, I can be more productive/be better at my job/spend less hours working. 

Trying / To take a walk each day. It’s going well thus far; I have actually delayed writing this post for three days because I’ve been walking with Eric each morning. Now I just need to get him to walk a little faster. 

Playing / With flowers. Flowers have become my favorite thing to photograph and learn about this year, and I’ve been working on some new floral projects in the past couple weeks…and buying peonies regularly, like every other twentysomething yuppie woman with an Instagram.

Finishing / Putting things away. There are rooms in my house with a lot of boxes of things. These things need to be put away before summer is over. 

Reading / I just finished reading Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest, which took me way longer than it should have because I was reading the Internet too much. I know I want to read The Goldfinch this summer, but I’m actually bumping some books by James Baldwin to the top of my summer reading list.

Remembering / To stand more throughout the day. After reading this article about how standing is killing us all, I’m trying to stand up and move around more throughout the day.  

Wearing / Clothes that make me feel like an adult, even when it’s 95 degrees outside. Ugh, summer clothes are such a struggle for me. It’s too much to get into here, so the short answer is: sleeveless button-front blouses, shorts with a 5-inch inseam (so as to not strangle my crotch whilst sitting), flats or boat shoes, and red or dark pink lipstick. 

Cooking / Very little. It’s getting too hot to want to cook; lately I’m all about salads with perfect chicken or grilled steak, pasta salads, and Greek yogurt. Summers are for grilling and food assembly, not cooking. 

Working / On being in touch with my closest friends more. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the friends who were at our wedding, and how much that meant to me. It reminded me what good people my friends are, and how much their friendships matter to me. I want to make the distance between us feel smaller. 

Traveling / To Chicago and to the Ozarks. I’m heading to Chicago for my friend Jordan’s wedding. And we weren’t originally planning to go to the Ozarks this summer, but I felt like having that to look forward to would be really good for morale this summer. Knowing Eric and I will get to see both family and friends in the month of July has me in a good mood already.

Wanting / To have my best summer in Houston so far! 

SXSW Essentials

March 7, 2014

I’m leaving this afternoon for SXSW (I’m mentoring again) and I started packing this morning. If you’re still throwing things into your suitcase (or you’ve just arrived and have a little down time when you can run to Target), here are the items I definitely recommend having for the weekend!

SXSW Essentials

Business cards. Yeah, seems like the most obvious thing to take to a conference, but I often don’t remember I need new business cards until the last second. If you’re in that boat now, it’s too late…but keep Moo in mind for next year—they have cute designs and deliver right to SXSW. Also, actually remember to pack them; last year, I didn’t pack extras and only had the few cards I had in my wallet. Which I’m sure made me look totally hireable. 

A water bottle. Since a bottle of water in the conference center costs about $4, you can save a little bit of money by filling up at your hotel in the morning, or, really, whenever you get the chance for some free water. 

rain coatsmall umbrella, and rain boots. It rained so hard my first year at SXSW, I went and bought all these items at Target so I didn’t have to spend the entire conference freezing and soaked. They are predicting rain again this weekend, but this time I’ll be ready for it! 

A backup charger. This is something I need to pick up on my way out of town today…then again, I say that every time I travel and then get annoyed about the price when I go to buy one. But seriously! 

Other than that, I recommend packing comfortable shoes and a tote that can easily hold all your gear (and all the free T-shirts you pick up throughout the day) and that you wouldn’t mind carrying into a bar in the evening. I’ve found that you’re usually out and about all day without much time to change or drop things off at your hotel, so tote accordingly! 


A Practical Wedding: What Lies Beneath

January 7, 2014


As promised, my post exploring root, my 2014 verb, is now live on A Practical Wedding. Re-reading it, I honestly felt a little overwhelmed; I have a lot of work to do this year.

Photo by Katherine O’Brien

Crafting in 2013

January 2, 2014

rwm camera

I’ve always been a resolution kind of a gal, but for the past few years, I’ve chosen a verb for the new year instead of a resolution. Verbs push me to take action and they help me set goals throughout the year. My 2013 verb was craft. As I wrote at the beginning of 2013:

Over the past year, I’ve thought a lot about home improvement, self-improvement, and when to not improve. I don’t want or expect to be good at DIY-ing All The Things, but there are a few specific things I’d like to be able to do for myself. I chose ‘craft,’ not only because it implies creating things, but also because ‘craft,’ the noun, is about endeavors—often creative ones—that require skills that can be taught, practiced, and refined. After pushing myself with my writing in 2012, I wanted to develop certain skills that will ultimately enhance what I do as a writer.

The main area where I planned to focus my crafting efforts was photography. Beyond that, I wanted to learn to use Photoshop, learn to write code, and learn to sew. I didn’t achieve all of those goals—getting the hang of photography took way more time than I had expected, and I had a lot of writing opportunities that I felt were more important than learning to write code or sew—but I still feel like I crafted the hell out of 2013.

Crafting is quiet work; I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily lonely, but it is something you do mostly alone, or with the help of one or two teachers. For me, it involved a ton of researching, reading, thinking, attempting, failing, and attempting again…and again…and again. That was how I learned to use a camera, but that process also (unexpectedly) became a huge part of my writing in 2013. I had no problem with spending my time on solitary endeavors creating work I was really proud of, but in world that is currently dominated by social, being somewhat anti-social felt strange. I’ve spent the last few years broadcasting so much of what I’m thinking and experiencing online; to really craft this year, I had to do far more listening than talking, and I threw away more than I ever published. I had a lot on my mind, but I wasn’t sharing as much as I felt I should be, and I was sharing it in a very different way than I had in the past; after writing like a motherfucker in 2012, that felt strange. Speaking and being heard is a core part of my identity, and I had mixed feelings about the fact that I was doing it in a very different way than I was used to. But with this quiet year behind me, I can say that I’m happy with this shift, and that I’m proud to be heading into 2014 as a full-time professional writer who can also take a decent photo (given good lighting conditions and an hour to spare).

While I’ve been crafting away quietly this year, I’ve realized there are a lot of things that I want and need to start digging into. I’ll be writing more about this on A Practical Wedding next week, but my verb for 2014 is root. Root is, to me, about family, history, journalism, race, and so many more things that are on my mind these days. I think 2014 is going to be my year for both building something strong and tearing things apart.

A week of travel by the numbers

August 26, 2013


3: hours of sleep the night I set out on a road trip with Eric and our dogs to his aunt and uncle’s house in the Ozarks.

12: number of hours Google Maps said the trip from Houston to Camdenton, MO would take.

10: number of hours Eric said the trip would take.

100: number of miles too late we realized we’d missed our chance to take the route Eric wanted to take.

10:00 PM: approximate time when the detour we were sent down on the dark and insanely foggy back roads of Missouri caused us to get lost.

10:15 PM: approximate time I became convinced we were going to die out there.

10:17 PM: approximate time when Google Maps sent us down a country road that looked more like a driveway — the sort of driveway that a homeowner might come out to defend with a shotgun — and Eric threw it in reverse so fast, map app be damned.

11:00 PM: time we finally got to the house.

4: number of dogs that were there for the weekend.

2: hours I spent listening to them bark at each other on Saturday.

45: rounds of golf Eric played.

12: number of hours I worked while in the Ozarks (which was totally fine by me).

84: hottest it got while we were there; it felt amazing.

mini bottles

$1: cost of the mini bottles of vodka in the checkout bins at the Wal-Mart in Camdenton, MO.

1: days we delayed driving home because we just could not handle the idea of getting back in the car, especially not after Eric had spent a half-day golfing (which was our original plan for Sunday).

9: number of hours Eric said the trip would take on the way back because this time we were definitely going to take the right route.

4: number of hours into the trip when I realized there was no way we were doing this trip in 9 hours.

12: number of hours the trip home actually took…just like Google Maps said it would.

18: how many chapters in Middlesex we listened to while in the car.

1400: number of miles we covered in the car over the course of a four-day weekend.

6:00: time we arrived home on Monday night.

6:30: time I left for the airport on Tuesday morning.

new york trip

30: time I spent walking around Chelsea on Wednesday morning for some exercise.

1: how many times I changed my dress before I went into the office for the first time.

5: minutes it took me to walk from my hotel to the Lover.ly offices.

15: number of hours spent working with the Lover.ly team in person.

1: approximate number of bagels I ate on Wednesday in NYC.

3: approximate number of bagels I ate on Thursday in NYC.

180: minutes my flight out of NYC on Thursday was delayed.

25: minutes by which I missed my connecting flight from ATL to HOU.

$54: cost to stay in a Country Inn & Suites for six hours.

11:00: time I finally got home to Houston on Friday morning.

0: number of bags I will be checking in the future because after being stuck in jeans and a not-very-comfortable bra for more than 24 hours, I’m keeping everything close to me the next time I travel.

1: number of yoga sessions I did over the course of the week.

54, 389: number of steps I took over the course of the week.

11: number of days Eric and I are doing a Whole30-style of eating. We had planned to wait until after we get back from MI in September to do this, but after eating nothing but carbs and dairy for a week (after eight weeks of being pretty lax), I feel awful and decided to turn things around sooner rather than later.

9:00 time I slept in until on Saturday and Sunday, two hours past my normal weekend wake-up time.

8: episodes of Scandal I watched this weekend.

Lost track: of the number of times Eric or I shouted some variation of “No means no, Mr. President!” at the television while watching Scandal.

I’m back in my normal routine now and definitely feeling like myself again! How was your week/weekend?


So Loverly!

August 15, 2013

I’ve been getting some questions lately with regard to how much wedding writing I’ve been doing, and whether I plan to keep it up after my wedding. And the answer is…totally.

winter flowers

Photo by: Karen Wise on The Brides Cafe via Lover.ly

First, aside from my intern posts on APW, I rarely write about my own wedding, so it’s not like I’m going to run out of material in six months. But even if I were writing about my wedding, I try to be as strategic as possible with the work I take; I wouldn’t go all-in with something for a year if it weren’t something I could see myself doing for a while. And writing about weddings is absolutely something I can see myself doing for a long time. I found weddings pretty interesting even before I was engaged because they combine a lot of things I really like thinking, talking, reading, writing about: beauty, accessories, family, traditions, creativity, societal expectations, self-image, goals, the dynamics of all kinds of relationships, gender roles, and pretty stationery. Of course I can write about those topics for a while! To be honest, I actually think I am a better writer when I am writing to an audience slightly younger (or just a bit less experienced in a particular area) than I am, so it makes sense that this is a role I’ll really grow into in the coming years.

And that’s probably a good thing because yesterday I accepted a new role: Editorial Director for Loverly!

wedding shoes

Photo by: Ahmetze on The Brides Cafe via Lover.ly

To say I’m thrilled right now would be a huge understatement. I’m not going to lie: I really wanted this. While my stint as a full-time freelancer had its pros and cons, working for myself full-time was never really my goal and I would much rather work with a team and go all-in with one brand than split my time and mental energy between several different projects. (Also, the security of knowing a regular paycheck will be deposited into your bank account every two weeks cannot be overstated.) For me, wanting to be part of a team was really about wanting to find the right team, and the more time I spent freelancing for Loverly, the more I realized that the company was exactly what I was looking for. And the more I got to know Kellee, Loverly’s CEO, and learn more about how she got to where she is now and her thoughts on the wedding industry, the more I wanted to work for her full-time.

My new role will be a lot of what I’ve been doing for Loverly already (lots of writing!), but I’ll also have many exciting new responsibilities and the ability to play a big part in where the company is heading. Much of what I’ve been working on with regard to the new role is still in progress so I don’t have anything big to show off today, but the next couple of months are looking to be pretty good! I really do like working for a startup, and I’m excited to be working for one that’s aligned with my personal interests and is filled with so many talented people. I feel like I am going to learn so much from everyone on this team!

Now that this is official, I’ll definitely be reducing the amount of freelancing I’m doing elsewhere, though not entirely. As for the blog, I’m sure it will be business as usual, though I may actually have more time to blog since I won’t be filling my mornings, evenings, and weekends with so much freelance work. That said, in general, I’ve just had less to say here for the past couple of years and figuring out what I want my personal blog to be is an ongoing challenge. Lately I’ve enjoyed using it for lifecasting since I’m getting my mindcasting fix elsewhere. I’ve been thinking a lot about just switching over to Tumblr and using that in conjunction with a new professional website, but I haven’t really decided and probably won’t for a few more months. In the meantime, I’ve just been trying not to overthink blogging and to just go with the flow instead of stressing about it.

Because for now, I have lots of other things to do. The next few weeks are sure to be busy, but I’m not going to lie — life feels damn pretty pink and sparkly right now!

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