Inspiring

Run the World: Michelle, the Journalist

run-world_michelle3Michelle was the reason I started using the term “career badass.” Somewhere at my parent’s house, I have copies of the paper for which she wrote in high school. And here she is now, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, reporter at the Washington Post.

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Friday I’m In Love

National Park Service Centennial

Photography in Arches National Park, 1972. U.S. National Archives.

Yesterday, the National Park Service turned 100 years old! How lucky are we to have such beauty at our fingertips?! There are lots of ways you can get involved.

Go out and find your park this weekend! Visit one of our country’s beautiful 412 national parks to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service

More old National Park photos.

And a few unrelated links that caught my attention this week:

This is in Ithaca?! Gorges! (Gorgeous!) I must.

Have wanderlust like me? Some celebrity homes you can rent while you explore.

So sad, but interesting.

I have to admit, I kinda liked some of these terrible decorating trends from the past…

Another week down, another weekend to cherish. Whatever you’re up to this weekend, enjoy!

My Weird Week

Mansion on Delaware Ave

The Mansion on Delaware Avenue, where last week’s Creative Mornings was held

Everything got a little out of whack last week after losing Owen. I did a lot of ugly crying and was feeling less than inspired to write. Grief from the loss of a pet sure doesn’t compare to the overwhelming sorrow felt when losing a person you love, but damn, it still hit me hard.

A highlight that helped turn my week around was attending my first Creative Mornings talk on Friday morning. Creative Mornings, as described on their website, is “a breakfast lecture series for the creative community.” I heard about it a couple years ago, but I can’t recall how or where. I must’ve inadvertently signed up for their emails because my inbox was suddenly full of promos telling me all about these intriguing, inspirational talks coming up in cities too far from me, like Brooklyn, DC, and so forth. I unsubscribed from the email list at some point, probably out of jealousy that I couldn’t attend.

Then a few months back, I read that someone here in Buffalo started a local Creative Mornings chapter. Thrilled, I debated attending, but my social anxiety got the best of me, as it often does, and I chickened out of going by myself. Cue meeting Ashley from Morning Glory blog. We met a couple months ago, and she brought up how inspiring the Creative Mornings talks have been. She was going to be photographing the talk this month and reminded me to sign up. I’m so glad she did.

Mansion on Delaware Ave

The gorgeous Mansion on Delaware Avenue again

The speaker on Friday was 16-year-old Buffalo entrepreneur Zandra Cunningham. She started her own line of beauty products when she was just 9 years old. When she’s not in class at her high school, she’s working in her studio or touring the country speaking about entrepreneurship. Jokingly, but truthfully, Zandra admitted that if it’s not on Google calendar, it doesn’t happen—including going to the movies with her friends.

Everyone kept marveling at her age, but she was impressive regardless. Zandra’s talk was phenomenal; she nails public speaking. I was impressed with her story, the business she’s built, and how she carries herself. Talk about an inspiring woman!

At the end of the talk, during a Q&A session, someone asked about her next project or next idea. She hesitated, and then casually mentioned that she might want to start a fashion line. Or sell the business. A true entrepreneur.

This month’s theme for Creative Mornings was ‘weird.’ Something Zandra said near the end of her talk really resonated with me, shown below.

Zandra Cunningham Quote

Sometimes life is weird. It’s up to us to choose how we’ll handle it. To those I met at Creative Mornings, to Ashley, to Zandra, and especially to everyone who reached out to me last week—thank you for helping me to pick myself back up and embrace the weird.

 

Friday I’m In Love

US Olympian Aileen Riggin

U.S. Olympic Diving Champ Aileen Riggin, 1922, Library of Congress

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to read my first Run the World post on Wednesday, featuring the phenomenal Laura Metzler. Writing that post was the most fun project I’ve done for tracing paper so far, and I can’t wait to talk to more inspiring women. If there’s a badass career woman who you look up to, send her info my way!

Here are some things I’m loving this week, mostly related to the Olympics, officially underway tonight!

Speaking of inspiring women, this book is gold. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

Aileen Riggin, pictured above, was the youngest Olympic gold medalist when she first won gold at age 14.

The first female U.S. Olympic athletes to win gold in each sport.

All of the things I wanted to say regarding the Rio Olympics, but way better than I could ever say them.

Google takes us inside Rio de Janeiro to introduce us to the city and people hosting this year’s Olympics. Though a little bit heartbreaking at times, it’s a beautiful breath of fresh air from all the negative publicity.

What’re your weekend plans? Tonight, I’ll be ordering a pizza and watching the opening ceremony. Both things are sure to get me emotional.

Run the World: Laura, the Photographer

Laura Metzler

Career day was always one of my favorite days of school growing up. I’m still fascinated to hear about what people do. What motivates them? How did they choose their career paths? How do they spend their days? Whether we like them or not, our professions define us in a lot of ways. After all, most Americans spend about half of their waking hours at work, if not more, according to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I’m particularly inspired by women in the workforce as of late. That may be in part because of the recent historic nomination of the first woman president, or maybe just because women are career badasses in general. I won’t get into the disgrace that is the gender pay gap (it’s 2016!), but I know, or have read about, countless hardworking, intelligent, deserving, and creative women who deserve recognition. I wanted to share some of their inspiring stories with you here.

Laura Metzler Photo

I’m starting with Laura Metzler, a DC-based photographer who took the gorgeous photos of me for my blog. I never feel beautiful in pictures, and she nailed it.

I met Laura on my first day of classes at RIT. We had the same class schedule, and she declared that day that we’d be best friends. That’s exactly what happened. Since college, we’ve not only maintained our friendship, but we’ve become even closer, despite living about 6 or 7 hours apart. She has been so supportive of me in life and career, and I try to be a support for her as well. And let me tell you, the girl is rocking it. I’m extremely proud of the business she is growing. I don’t even think I’m biased, she’s just killin’ it! (West Elm thinks so too!)

I recently sat down with Laura to ask her some questions about her career and business.

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Friday I’m In Love

harbor

It’s my sister’s bridal shower and bachelorette weekend!! I couldn’t be more excited; this is once-in-a-lifetime. I have one sibling, so I plan to make the most of this experience. We’re throwing her a brunch shower tomorrow, complete with mimosas of course. Then we’ll be headed to Cleveland on a limo bus for her bachelorette party. Once it’s all over, I’ll nap for the rest of the weekend. The party hasn’t even started, and I’m already exhausted from all the cooking, preparation, and planning. But my sister has already expressed her appreciation for all the hard work my mom and I have put into her weekend. It’s all totally worth it. I’m so happy for her.

Do you have any fun bachelorette games or ideas that we have to try? This article is a few years old, but I like some of these ideas, even if it’s a little too late to use them.

I don’t think I can get down with this wedding trend.

Discrimination against cancer survivors is a thing. How awful!

An interesting take on confronting and overcoming your fears.

Mmmm…cake batter truffles.

A quiz to find your spirit decor if you are so inclined. I’m Modern Colonial, what are you?

What’re you up to this weekend? Enjoy!

Friday I’m In Love

napa sunrise

Napa, California

Friday already? Yeeee! I love short work weeks. What’s going on this weekend? I’ve got a long to-do list waiting for me. First up, buying a new fridge. Oh, adulthood, you sure are fun.

Does anyone have any insight on fridge buying? We looked at a bunch of them last weekend, and all brands seemed to be pretty much the same. I’ve been told over and over again that they only last about 7-10 years now too. My fridge is from 1985, which is a couple years before I was even born, so…why are we getting a new one again? It’s all about the style update. We’ll keep the old fridge in the basement, and I can’t help but wonder if it’ll outlive the new one.

Enough adult stuff. Here are some of my favorite links from this week (none to appliances I promise).

One thing I won’t be doing in this space is talking politics, but my friend Michelle has that on lock. Check out the insightful work she and her colleagues have been doing about the Clinton email scandal. Scroll to the bottom for the latest.

Here are a ton of outrageous Donald Trump fact-checks too.

I found this article last week through one of my favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo, and I just love this concept of casual gratitude. Plus, we could all strive to be a little more like Tami Taylor.

Between my sister and me, we had at least 75% of these Barbies.

I guess this is nostalgia week. ALL MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE.

Would you eat at a Golden Girls themed cafe? I would totally meet you there for coffee.

This is nuts! A new way to travel from Maine to Florida and everywhere in between.

Oh sure, let me just get right to buying a castle

Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday I’m In Love: 4th of July

summer twist cone

4th of July is one of my favorite times of year—picnics, fireworks, sparklers, cold beers. There’s a parade on the 4th in my hometown and, while it’s nothing extraordinary, I always loved it. I haven’t been in years, but I attended or participated in it every year during my childhood until I graduated high school. Even though we’d been out of school for almost a month at that point, the 4th embodied summer and felt like a beginning of sorts; sunny days ahead filled with adventure. Boy, do I miss that nostalgic feeling of naivety and freedom. I’m setting a goal to have a carefree, fun-filled holiday weekend. I hope you’re able to do the same!

There are so. many. sales. happening this weekend. Here are a few that I’ll be perusing.

Loft: 50% off everything sitewide (sales like this one are the best; no limitations or exceptions, or “up to” percents off!)

Old Navy: Up to 60% off entire store

Rifle Paper Co.: Up to 20% off (definitely taking advantage of this one!)

Joss & Main: Extra 15% off of 4th of July deals

Dot & Bo: Stars and Stripes Event with new items each day up to 90% off

Wayfair: 4th of July Extravaganza, up to 70% off

And here are some other 4th of July ideas as you go into this long weekend.

Cutting fruit into star shapes with cookie cutters? Great idea for a festive fruit salad!

I love fruit, but swapping fruit with chocolate? Sold.

Lovin’ these patriotic outfit ideas. Great alternative to the Old Navy flag tee.

Cocktails by the pool? Ok, if I have to.

If you’re lucky enough to live in one of these cities or are feeling spontaneous and wanna travel, go check out one of America’s best firework displays!

Have a happy, safe, and relaxing 4th of July!

Friday I’m In Love

bowdon england

Bowdon, Greater Manchester, England

Another Friday is here! This week was a long one. I feel like I live for the weekends anymore, even if just to sleep in ten minutes longer. What are you up to this weekend? I’m heading to Ohio to hang with LeBron visit my family and work on some projects for my sister’s wedding.

It’s been a busy week, causing me to be MIA, but I promise there will be more to come next week! Here are some things that caught my attention during this crazy week.

That fireplace in the first picture! And this fireplace too!

Having been born and raised in Northeast Ohio, I love this.

The shower part made me lol because I TOTALLY FEEL THAT WAY EVERY DAY. Showering is hard. Ok, maybe the shower part isn’t that hard, but the having to style my hair again part sure is.

This can’t be real life. No more peanut butter?!

As soon as I step outside, I get eaten alive. Mosquitos love me. I need to get planting!

I’ve been (sort of embarrassingly) watching The Bachelor for almost a decade. How many hours of my life have I wasted? I don’t wanna know. How many more hours of my life am I going to waste on Ben and Lauren’s new spinoff series? Only time will tell…

Have a good weekend!

Friday I’m In Love

light will shine out of darkness

TGIF; what a tragic week it’s been. My heart goes out to everyone affected in Orlando. I’ve read terrible stories about fear, panic, and loss. But then, stories of bravery, heroism, and compassion have emerged to restore our faith in humanity and kindness.

Here are some things that are lifting my spirits on this Friday:

Beer desserts. For Father’s Day or anytime, really.

Speaking of dessert, have you ever had Trader’s Joe’s Brownie Crisp?! I’m a newbie as of two days ago, and am obsessed. I’ll take 20 bags, please. And 20 more tomorrow.

From brownies to brows…this stuff came in my June Birchbox yesterday. I’m a closet product junkie and can’t wait to try it out this weekend. If you’ve ever tried it, let me know what you thought!

Mary-Kate and Ashley turned 30 this week, what the what! My love for them ran deep growing up. Prettyyyy sure I followed, or unsuccessfully tried to follow, all of these trends.

Have a happy, healthy, safe weekend everybody. Happy Father’s Day, especially to my dad.