True Story: I’m A Prop Stylist

How do you become a prop stylist? What does an average day look like? Click through for great advice on styling photos and tips to improve your Instagram flatlays!

Do you ever encounter people with jobs that make you angry that life is too short to have 75 different careers? That’s how I felt when I saw Janelle’s website BECAUSE I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I WANTED TO BE A PROP STYLIST UNTIL NOW! Today, she’s telling us how she became a prop stylist, where she finds her best props, and how we can all set up better Instagram vignettes. 


Web Time Wasters

How was your week, guys? I lunched with out-of-town friends, brunched with in-town friends, crossed ‘Go bird watching‘ off my New Things List and advised some very lovely people about increasing their newsletter open rates. As you read this, Kenny and I are in the midst of a long weekend in Decorah, Iowa which is adooooorable.

Links for you!

This week I was on the Jumpstart Your Joy podcast talking about doing things that come naturally, how I’ve grown my blog, and heaps of other things!

I’ve heard these are life phone-saving.

Welp, this is painfully accurate.

Adding this to my bucket list: Africa’s Most Luxurious Train.

Related: 9 train travel tips (which you can use on Amtrak which is a million times cheaper)

Fascinating! Have you heard of ‘temptation bundling‘? It’s a clever term for “combining a highly enjoyable, low beneficial activity with a less enjoyable, but highly beneficial activity.” Like watching your favorite tv show ONLY at the gym.

Ohhhhh! Such a good kitchen remodel!

If you’re planning a roadtrip this summer (my favorite form of travel) this checklist will make things sooooo much easier! 15,000+ miles of knowledge in there!

And this will help if you’re planning a solo roadtrip.

Random product recommendation: I loooove Darn Tough Socks. They’re made in the US and last month I had a chance to take them up on that lifetime guarantee. I mailed off my socks with a hole and a week later, they mailed me a brand new pair, no questions asked. #customerforlyfe

I’m at least partially co-signed on this: It’s Insane That Anyone Goes Camping.
Camping gear — how much does that cost? A lot, it seems like. A tent. Sleeping bag. Whatever else you need, flashlights, etc. Batteries. Something to keep the food in so a BEAR doesn’t get it. A bear! Spending money to sleep outside where you have to protect your food from a bear. You know you already pay for an apartment?

Interesting and important: My Father Spent 30 Years In Prison. Now He’s Out.
I’d seen my dad approximately four times over 30 years, but I only remembered two of them: a visit when I was 12 years old, and one when I was 25. When I thought of visiting my father, I pictured the beige rooms, the beige uniforms, and how everything seemed to be nailed down. I always brought bags of change to use at the vending machines. I knew he had a sweet tooth, and I wanted to buy him something sweet. He always got reprimanded by guards for holding my hands too long.

Related: True Story: My father’s in prison for 16 years on child pornography charges.

THIS IS SO GOOD AND SO IMPORTANT. Advice to a woman whose friend hits women.
A) You don’t have to be “fair” when you choose your friends. Your opinion, your preferences, your subjective wants and needs are enough to say “I’d like to be friends with that person” or “I’m not interested in being friends with that person.”

B) Your opinion and your decisions about who to associate with don’t have the same burden of proof as a court of law. If people try to argue with you or challenge you to prove it (and nothing brings out the armchair experts on “fairness” and “burden of proof” and “we don’t know all the facts” apologists like a man accused of abusing a woman, so, be ready), remember this: You don’t have to prove your case, you only have to make your choice and stand by it. “I’m not a prosecutor and I don’t have to be. It’s come up enough that I believe it’s true, and I can decide not to be friends with someone anymore.”

If Seinfeld were set in the Midwest. (I think this is a bit idealized. There’d probably be a lot more passive aggressive comments about something being “interesting.”)

So sweet! Ways you can compliment little girls in your life that don’t include “you look so pretty!”

Hope you had a great week, guys!

5 Sneaky Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More Readable + Awesome

Want to make your blog posts more readable? Reduce your bounce rate and increase engagement? Making your blog posts easier to read is surprisingly easy - click through and start now!

I had really great intentions when I clicked on the quippy, clever link to that blog post. I meant to pore over it like a Steinbeck novel, rolling each adjective around on my tongue/mind. I was planning to nod along, take notes, learn something. Maybe click that ‘share’ button at the bottom.

But then it was boring and poorly formatted so I didn’t. 

Buuuuuuuurn! The harsh truth is people who read things on the internet (like you and me) have short attention spans and wondering eyes. We like our writing in bite-size pieces with bullet points and reaction gifs, plz.

The good news is, it’s not hard to make your blog posts more readable! In fact, it might even make your writing process easier!

5 ways to make your blog posts more readable (more…)

‘Better’ Probably Takes Less Time Than You Think

Want to stop rushing around everywhere? Want more time to 'do better'? Welp, better might actually take less time than you think. Click through to find out how to rescue wasted time and find more time to do life better!

It’s Monday morning and I’m grumping and tugging the dog down the street, speed walking through the neighborhood. I smear on my makeup with my fingers, slick on some mascara and call it good enough. I eat my breakfast standing over the sink.

Crumbs of granola rain down onto a pile of dirty dishes as I eat and check email simultaneously. I’m out the door at 8:00 am and I arrive at my meeting 15 minutes early, frazzled and unpleasant.


The dog and I meander around the block. I let her smell trees while I make small talk with my neighbors and pinch the mint growing on the boulevard. I paint on my eyebrows and eyeliner – two things that make me a) feel beautiful b) look less like a beige thumb.

I arrange my yogurt, granola, and fruit into a pleasing, pretty mound and tuck into it at the table. I duck out the door at 8:06 and arrive at my meeting looking and feeling damn near flawless.

Did you catch that, friends?

The difference between these two mornings? Six minutes. SIX MINUTES.


True Story: I’m A Suspense Writer

What’s it like to work as a suspense writer? Like, your whole job is thinking creepy thoughts, putting them on paper, and then sharing them with people? I, for one, think that sounds amazing.

Luckily for us, my friend J.H. is telling us about her work today!


Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? I mean besides the, uh, slow-motion coup we appear to be witnessing? I spent the week calling and faxing a million politicians, trying virtual reality games for the first time (fun!), meeting friends for lunch picnics and OF COURSE watching the new Netflix Anne Of Green Gables.

A few things from my awesome sponsors:

Are you a birth photographer, a doula, a lactation consultant, or any other sort of birth worker? Traditional business advice probably doesn’t apply to you! This does! Also: thoughts on due dates, mortality, and infants’ emotional needs.

Oh, Christy. WHY IS YOUR STUFF ALWAYS SO GOOD? The art of the staycation and the difference between intentions and goals.