Monday, April 20, 2015

True Story: I'm 31 + Living With My Parents

This is one of many True Story interviews in which we talk to people who have experienced interesting/challenging/amazing things. This is the story of Cait and her experience moving back in with her parents.




Tell us a bit about yourself! 
Hi! My Name is Cait and I am 31 years old and currently living in Upstate NY. I work for a not-for-profit Family & Child Agency as an assistant. For fun I enjoy playing with my dog and making costumes (True Story: I'm a Cosplayer! haha) and I also spend most weekends traveling with my boyfriend.

In your teens and twenties, what did you imagine life would look like at 30?
I imagined that I'd be married and have a couple of kids. Have my own house have a career... Basically, have my act together.

What were you doing three years ago?
3 years ago, I was living in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn with my previous boyfriend. I was working for a popular top 40 radio station doing promotional work, and also as counter help at a bakery in Manhattan.

What lead to you moving back in with your parents?
In the summer of 2012, my ex and I decided to move out of Brooklyn and go to (His native) Michigan. I figured that moving away from my family and friends was okay, because it really seemed like he was IT. That we were in it together. We found an apartment outside of Detroit and took our dog and put everything in a truck and drove out. Things were really good for a while. But there were always money issues and crappy jobs with conflicting schedules hanging over our heads and after almost 3.5 years, he felt the pressure (self imposed) to move forward or end it, and he chose to end it. Quite suddenly.

When you and your partner broke up, what other options did you​ consider before you called your parents?
I tried my hardest to hold things together, to suggest things that might help fix it all. But he had extremely low confidence that anything would help. So my options were to stay in the apartment we shared (I didn't have the money to move out) working as a temp and try to make it work in a place with very few friends of my own, or go home and be with my support system that I had missed so much. It kind of seemed obvious what I should do.

How did they react when you told them what happened?
I talked to my mom on the phone and she just kept saying how sad she was. She wanted things to work out for us, but I think deep down, she was a bit relieved that It was over. My dad was just mad at him.

My mom told me that I could come home and that I was welcome to bring our dog with me. I still told him that I'd stay if he wanted to work on things, but he didn't. So I took her up on the offer.



How did you feel on the day you moved back in?
I had been through a whirlwind few days. From Saturday and Sunday trying to convince him to change his mind, to packing and taking care of my affairs (including going to work, and cleaning out my desk, and saying goodbye) on Sunday night and Monday, and then loading up the rental truck with my parents on Tuesday (who drove out less than 24 hours after I told them I wanted to go home. They are the best.), to driving the 10 hours home on Wednesday.

When I finally got home, it all caught up with me and was really rough. Not only dealing with being without a person I thought would be around forever, but to being a single (doggie) mom, and being back in the house I swore I'd never move back into. It felt comforting to be back in a familiar place, but also awful, because I felt like I had failed at life. I had many moments in the first few weeks where all I wanted to do was hop in my car and drive back.

About a month after I came home, I found a new job at a fantastic and caring place, and from there, things started looking up.

Do the people in your life know that you're living with your parents?
Yes. Everyone is supportive. Most have said that they are really just happy to have me home. They all see it as a good opportunity for me to get myself back on my feet and functioning again.

How is your relationship with your parents? What are they like?
I'd classify it as somewhere between functional and really good depending on the day! My parents are both retired and have their own routines. They've always been really supportive of me, but mostly on their own terms. Which, is frustrating at times, but fair enough. They have hopes and dreams for me and just want to steer me in the direction that they think is best. They have made comments on how I seem much happier now and tell me that I can stay as long as I need (within reason, I think! haha), But I can tell that they are a bit anxious to have their empty house back.

What's it like living with them on a day-to-day basis?

Day to day it works out well. I get up in the morning, I let my dog out and make sure he's set for the morning and head to work. I'm gone from about 7:30am-5:30pm (I have an hour commute. Ugh.). While I'm gone, my dad takes my dog for a walk (along with his dog, they're besties!). When I get home, my mom is usually making dinner. I tend to spend the evening in my room and keep to myself. I'm usually away on the weekends, so they carry on with their days and will keep an eye on my dog for me.

As far as chores go, I help out when needed, but I'm in charge of keeping my space clean. I have "temporary" use of the 2 guest rooms and hall bathroom. "Temporary" means that I can't decorate anything, or use my own bed spread, or set up my own furniture. I'm still living out of boxes and suitcases and most of my stuff is in a storage unit about 10 miles away.

I'll occasionally spend time with my parents. Watch TV with them downstairs, or sit and chat. Sometimes they invite me out to events or dinners with them. But mostly we all do our own thing.

My Friends are always welcome to come over and my parents are very accommodating to them. I do have a relatively new boyfriend, who they love and are okay with staying over some weekends. But that's not ideal when you're in your 30's, so it doesn't happen often.


Do you have an exit strategy?
Right now I'm working as hard as I can to save as much as I can and pay off my credit cards. When I moved, I had just enough money to pay the minimum payments on my bills for a month.
I just managed to surpass my debt with my savings (I'm super pumped about that!)! I already know where I'm going to move, I just have to save up enough to feel 100% secure, which should be sometime in the next few months!

I'm sure going through a serious breakup and moving back across the country is a very, very emotionally challenging experience. How are you taking care of yourself? What are you doing to keep your spirits up?
At first, it was very jarring to be home. I didn't have any time to mentally prepare myself. I just left my life behind. It was a big adjustment. But I figured it all out (much faster than I thought!). I realized that I hadn't been very happy in a long time and it was better this way. I felt like myself again, I could smile again, I laughed so hard, I cried. I felt 100% comfortable in my own skin.

Now, I make sure that I see my friends as often as I can, and I try to be there for them when they need me, because while I was gone, I couldn't do that. I'm spending as much time as I can doing what makes me happy. I have no time for anything else. I'm traveling the world and coming up with exciting things that I want to do with my life. I'm making sure to make good decisions and to have fun.

What advice would you give to anyone else who's going through something similar?
As far as living with your parents, just do your best to make it work. They are (most likely) doing you a big favor and you need to remember that (I sometimes have trouble).
Also, have a plan, and stick to it. It's much easier to deal with things when you have a light at the end of the tunnel. Whenever I need a little motivation, I just look at home goods and dream of outfitting my own place someday soon!

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Cait. I'm sure it's a lot more common than we'd expect. Have any of your guys moved back in with your families as adults?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Web Time Wasters


How was your week, guys? My BFF is in town from Santa Fe so we've been eating and drinking and gossiping up a storm. And I signed a lease for a new place! With hexagon tiles in the bathroom, a farm sink, AND A TIKI BAR IN THE BACKYARD! So I guess this is the last time I'll ever move.

Links for you!

We Are The Youth is such an important site; it shares the stories of LGBTQ youth in America.
Even since coming out, I am still more conservative than a lot of college students about sex and sex acts. I had a phase where I experimented, but I’d never say it was whorish or slutty. I had to think, it’s not legal for me to get married, so what is marriage for us? I decided it’s when two people are completely devoted to each other. It’s completely exclusive. I plan on not having serious sexual relations with someone until I get to that point. I think this cuts down on the drama and makes emotional detachment a lot easier, and I think it makes sex more special. My grandmother always raised me to be a Southern gentleman. She kept pennies in her purse and anytime I said “yes, ma’am” or “no, ma’am” or held a door, she gave me a penny. I am a gentleman, and I think that intimidates some guys.

A great was to explain sexual consent.

Let's all make lemon broccoli pasta! Also: organic, raw coconut macaroons made here in MSP? Into it.

I usually prefer cooking over baking; I'm resentful about having to follow a recipe so closely! But I loved Joy's tips about how to be a better baker.

A pretty printable to help us manage that work/life balance we're always chasing!

A pretty clutch.

A hotel room turned gooooorgeous efficiency apartment.

I loved Sarah's honest post about her desire to be alone in a house of toddlers.

As though we needed another reason to love Robyn! She's launching a festival to promote women in technology. Here's hoping the festival also includes her famous 'Call Your Girlfriend' backwards somersault.

Do you use TripAdvisor? (I'm more of a Roadtrippers girl when it comes to domestic travel) but there's no denying the power of that site. Can you trust the reviews
Mount McKinley, Alaska
(5 bubbles) "An excellent mountain. Beautiful and majestic."
"Loved the pure beauty, the surrounding glaciers, mountain ranges and heaps of snow. Nothing to dislike unless you do not like snow or beauty."
(3 bubbles) "Denali Park big disappointment."
"I was expecting animals running around everywhere.... Not going to happen. When you do see them you will usually need binoculars.... You can sit in your home and see much more on a TV screen [than] you will ever see there."

I'm weirdly into maintaining my cutting boards and wooden spoons. A recipe for 'board butter.'

What's it like to have a squirrel as a pet?

Related: felt cat toys that look like junk food.

Let's add Josephine Baker to our list of Women In History I Wish I'd Known.
During World War II, Baker was recruited by French Military Intelligence and worked as a honorable correspondent who collected information she could about German troop locations from officials she met at parties that she would be write in invisible ink on her sheet music! She was adamant about not performing in countries that didn't support Free France or remained neutral, even if it meant giving up major billings.

SO INSANELY HELPFUL! Photo jargon explained.

Do you guys have an official Date Night? Every Thursday my guy and I do something 'special' (previous date nights have included bingo, roller skating, a miniature train museum.) I loved Anna's post about 24 Date Night ideas that are all under $10!

And if you appreciate my taste in links, I'm always sharing good ones (different than what you see here) over on Twitter - let's be friends!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Coconut french toast + kitten art + creative freedom

It's Saturday! The day for poking around some of this month's sponsors best posts!



Favorite stuff:
Let's be friends!



Favorite things:
Let's be friends!



Favorite posts:

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Friday, April 17, 2015

How To Add Fascinating, Engaging Personality To Your Blog


A giant disclaimer:  I don't think I'm particularly fascinating. I do, however, think you are fascinating and when I can see your personality in your writing? I think that's pretty dang engaging.

With that said, one of the sweetest things I hear about my writing is “I feel like I know you!” or “I feel like you’re just talking to me – it doesn’t feel like reading!”

(I think that says more about my propensity for parenthesis and usage of the word “like,” but I’m choosing to view it as a compliment.)

Annnnyway. If you'd like to add more personality to your posts - even if you're writing about a/b split testing or photo formatting - you might enjoy this post over on my small business blog

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How To Give People A Watered Down, Exhausted Version Of Yourself


Seven years ago, before blogging was even a proverbial twinkle in my eye, I was an ESL teacher. And I looooooved it. I was that teacher who came early and stayed late and brought in themed snacks to match the books we were reading. I sang songs about colors with exaggerated gestures and those facial expressions unique to teachers who are trying to get people to sing along. 

I come from a long line of teachers (education is the family business) and we’re all equally committed. I remember my dad creating all his own worksheets for his Social Studies class and my mom’s holiday-themed clothes that kept her second graders endlessly entertained. (Christmas tree earrings, FTW.)

Like many passion professions, teaching expands to fill the space you give it. You’re never ‘done.’ You never look around your classroom and think “Welp, that’s it! I can go home and stop thinking about work because I’m finished.” You can easily spend every evening and weekend poring over the curriculum, planning new units, fussing with bulletin boards.

And I frequently did. Slowly but surely, like so many teachers before me, I started to burn out. I’d check my email while my students practiced their keyboarding skills. I’d assign “silent reading" while I silently read my most recent issue of Real Simple.

This wasn't who I wanted to be! Disappointed and overwhelmed, I called a huddle with my veteran teacher parents. I was hoping for some time management tips or a pep talk that would return me to my high-energy, super-engaged self. 

But what they told me was a lot more realistic and a lot more useful.

“Well, of course, you can always do more. But if you do too much, you’re not giving them your best. You’re giving them a watered-down, exhausted version of your best. They don’t deserve that and neither do you.” 

This applies to just about every area of our lives, doesn't it? 

When we have eight social commitments each week, it’s difficult to really be there for our BFF when she’s blindsided by a breakup. When we take on a zillion projects at work, it’s hard to give our passion projects the attention they deserve. When we post seven times a week, it’s hard to create the meaningful, longer pieces we’re really proud of.*

Being exhausted and overwhelmed serves no one. It’s better to be great at two things than shitty at seven. You deserve to actually enjoy your job and relationships; they deserve the best you have to offer. 

Are you guilty of taking on too much and then doing a less-than-amazing job on all of it? Where could you cut back? If you've stopped overdoing it - what did you stop doing? 

* If you haven’t noticed, posting has been and will probably continue to be a bit lighter here on Yes & Yes. I know which types of posts you guys like best (posts like these!) and I want to give them the time and thought they deserve, so I’m moving to a slightly lighter editorial calendar. As always, thank you so, so much for reading and for making Yes & Yes part of your online life.

photo by Zoetnet // cc

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Good Idea: Baby Shower 'Thank-You' Text Messages

This is an occasional post series I'm trying out! Short and sweet, sharing clever ideas I've picked up from my ridiculously smart and well-mannered friends.

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When you enter your thirties, everyone you've ever met will begin to have babies. You will become well-versed in Facebook pregnancy reveals (my favorite was a runner friend who changed her profile photo to include a tiny pair of running shoes next to hers!) and you'll spend every Saturday afternoon at baby showers.

Common etiquette tells us that when we give someone a significant gift - especially a baby or wedding gift - we can/should expect a thank-you note. But when someone is preparing their life for a loud, sleep-depriving new human? Those thank-you notes are probably low on their priority list.

And then they might feel guilty. And you might feel annoyed.

So let's all steal my friend Laura's idea: instead of that new mom spending her limited free time handwriting thank-you notes that you'll immediately recycle, how about she texts you a photo of her baby using the gift you gave her? 

It's way easier and lots more fun. Just have someone take notes on who gave her what and their phone number so she can photograph and text at her leisure!

If you've got any tips for making baby or bridal showers easier or more fun, I'd love to hear them!

photo by Vanessa Kay // cc

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How To Fake An Entryway When You Absolutely Don't Have One

This guest post come from our DIY/design contributor Thalita of The Learner Observer. Thalita writes about easy, cheap ways we can all make our small, rental spaces even cuter. Follow along with her on Twitter or Instagram!

Hello again! I'm back this month to share something near and dear to my heart - creating an entryway when you have none to speak of. Yes, my friends, I share your pain. I happen to have a makeshift hallway as an "entry" and if more than one person is standing in it, we have a major traffic jam. So let's see what some of your best solutions might be if you suffer from this major first world problem!

Paint it on

Yes, I am serious. If you have such a small space that furniture isn't even an option, get real creating and paint some on your walls. Of course, add in some real elements with it (like the hooks and shelving here).

painted entry 1

And if the modern look isn't your thing, go more traditional with a painted console table - though there are bigger pieces of furniture here, you can see the potential for a smaller space.

painted entry 2

Benches are your friend

It's true. You can sit on them, you can put things on them, and some of them even look damn good in the process!

bench entry

Opt for thin ones if you have a narrow hallway space like mine, or go for something deeper but narrower if you only have a small corner of space to work with.

small bench

For Pete's sake, don't forget to make use of the space under your BFF - the bench, of course. Use baskets, boot trays, or just throw your stuff under it. Either way, use the space!

white entry hall

Hooked on phonics hooks!

The last image is also a great example of this. Line up some inexpensive hooks and make yourself a mini mudroom of sorts. And the image below also uses benches extremely well. Hooks and benches are kind of a killer combo for an entryway.

IKEA entryway

Your guests will thank you and you won't have to awkwardly hang people's coats on the stair banister anymore.

coastal entry

Even if your space is teeny tiny like this one, hooks are probably my number 1 thing on the list of things you need in a small entryway. Or any entryway, really. So convenient!

small entry

Nifty shoe storage

I'm bringing back the word 'nifty'. It's happening. It's so the next "fetch." Ok back on topic...show storage like this is really just dreamy. These definitely do double duty as storage and as a surface for catching your keys and sunglasses.

shoe cabinet entry

Yes, some of them attach right onto the wall, so you can make them any height you want. Bonus. Don't forget to always include a mirror: they make almost any space appear larger and you can make sure your butt looks hot in those jeans. No, I have never ever done that...

corner entry

Think outside the box

Go a little crazy (as if painting your entryway on wasn't crazy enough) and try some different things, like some old crates that you can change up whenever you want!

crate entry

And if you happen to have a larger space to work with, and maybe it's just a little awkward, give yourself some storage by using a dresser - yes, a dresser - as a console table, and rethink the rectangular mirror and opt for something that doubles as artwork.

mirrored entry

Did you notice almost every single image I showed you had hooks? I'm telling you, once you put some up on your walls, you'll never want to go back to throwing your coat on the first piece of furniture you see or going down the hall/into the next room to hang up your things!

I hope you found this useful, and maybe even a little entertaining? Have you created an entry way out of nothing? Share your tips in the comments!
P.S. Storage ideas for tiny bedrooms 

Sources: 1. Modern painted entry // 2. Painted console table // 3. Entry with rustic bench // 4. Small entry with white bench // 5. Long entry with two benches // 6. Bench and hooks entryway // 7. Nautical hooks // 8. Small entry with white hooks // 9. Shoe storage #1 // 10. Shoe storage #2 // 11. Crates in entryway // 12. Dresser and mirrored entry

Monday, April 13, 2015

True Story: I'm A Recovering Asshole

This is one of many True Story interviews in which we talk to people who have experienced interesting, challenging, amazing things. This is the story my friend Jina and how she went from an angry, self-medicating asshole to a happy, centered human.



Tell us a bit about yourself! 
My name is Jina. I’m 34 and I’m a recovering asshole. This is an anonymous meeting... right? No? Okay, double-knot those laces, I’m going for it anyway. 

I’m originally from a really small town (population 700) in central Minnesota. Currently I live in Minneapolis with my forever guy and my sassy wiener dog. For fun I like to go out on dates, eat tasty food, listen to music, watch soap operas, and wander around my neighborhood as my wiener dog sniffs everything at a snail’s pace.

For work I write on my blog The Happy Healthy Truth, publicly speak on getting happier and healthier, hold Lifestyle Design Camps with my biz BFF Katie Lee, and I have online programs for meditation and creating intuition about food choices and motivation. 

I'm sure we've all got our own definition of 'asshole.' What's yours?
An asshole is someone who brings down the crowd with their words (complaints, judging, shit-talking, blaming), with their actions (throwing a beer bottle across the bar) or just their energetic vibration (you know those people who just walk into a room and bring down the mood).

What were some of your more asshole-y behaviors?
Growing up, if I saw someone picking on another person, I would go after the person doing the picking. In elementary school, I would organize a small group of friends to hold down a bully and I’d punch them over and over. As I grew older I would confront people (usually the initiator in typical mean girl stuff) and I would rip into them with my words.

If we had a substitute teacher in junior high or high school, it was my goal to see if I could break them into tears by the end of the class time. Insults, pranks, lipping off... anything to get under their skin. I was usually successful. 

I’d bust the chops of the high school principal if I felt like anyone was preferential treatment. I’d call him out in front of a crowd of people whenever I could to make a bigger impact.

On graduation day that principal came up to me to me and said, “Change your attitude or you’ll never go anywhere in life.” I was speechless - probably for the first time in my life. 

In college, I did all the cliche things like lying, cheating, stealing, and then I’d drink beer and laugh it off.

Why did you do these things or behave this way?
Like years of therapy will tell anyone, I did all of these things because I was unhappy. 

I grew up in an abusive home. My dad beat up mom and us kids learned that wild form of communication well. That minor issue (sarcasm), along with other family issues that my parents were dealing with, trickled down and gave me quite the asshole complex. 

Deep down, I never felt good enough or wanted. As you can imagine, truly feeling this way causes heavy sadness. I’ve learned along my journey that anger is the mask for sadness. I completely agree and see it in my own past.

Of course, back then I never thought I was sad. I only felt angry.


When you were in the thick of it, did you realize that you were acting like a jerk?
There were a few times where I felt like I had gone too far, but I would justify it away with all the reasons why acting like an asshole was okay in that moment. At that time it was everybody’s fault but my own!

After I started working to get happier and healthier, I would see myself acting like an asshole and that helped me check in and think about what I could do differently to deal with this difficult person or situation the next time I ran into it. 

How did your behavior affect the rest of your life? 
Like I said, at the root I was really sad. However, because I didn’t know or believe that, I was focused on external things to give me hits of happiness. Actually, I say “hits” of happiness now, but back then I thought they were the key to my happiness. You know, it’s the, “I’ll be happy when…”

When I get that new job, find a better place to live, move to another state, buy that shirt or those jeans, get that cute SUV, find someone better to date, or change the colors of my walls or rearrange my furniture to make me feel better at home.

All of these things cost a lot of money. And the happiness they give is temporary. Sadness and blame are expensive habits!

Not to mention the energy that goes into finding the next guy to date, interviewing for the next job, test driving cars, shopping for jeans (ugh), painting, rearranging… Phew! 

When did you realize that you didn't want to be an asshole anymore? 
It was definitely a gradual dawning. I started to see a common theme to my job switching, car buying, dating, and time in the dressing room. I was the common denominator in everything in my life that I didn’t like.

ME.

Around that time I had also read somewhere that if you want to change your life you need to take ownership over everything in your life - the good and the bad. Taking ownership means no longer blaming anyone for anything.

So I took ownership and started researching how to become happier and more peaceful. 

Once you decided to change, what changes did you make? Where there any tools/books/epiphanies that really helped you in your process?
The biggest change for me was studying yoga. Yoga wasn’t my complete answer, but it opened many doors alone my journey. In 2005, I started training to be a yoga teacher. A suggested reading of one of the courses I took was Growing the Positive Mind by William Kent Larkin. It taught me the science behind feeling happiness and gave me specific exercises to increase the happiness I felt on a regular basis. 

I kept reading on happiness, spirituality, and anything else that could change my perception to become more joyful and peaceful. I learned how to eat to balance brain chemistry for better emotional health. I started meditating. I saw a therapist (a few of them). I had neurological chiropractic work done. I recited affirmations. I journaled. I did chakra work and Reiki. I cleansed my aura and kept healing crystals close. Most recently I’ve done hypnosis and past life regression. Some of these practices worked better than others. Some I still use today.

How did the people in your life react to the changes you made?
There are some people who naturally faded away as I become happier and less destructive. Some people were interested in trying the methods I used to create positive changes. And, of course, there have been some tough conversations with people that go something like, “You’re gonna have to clean up your shit. I can't deal with it anymore.” Like that, but a little more loving or laughable depending on who is on the receiving end. 

What's your life like now? What do you think your 20-year-old self would say if she could see you now?
My life is f*cking amazing. Really. I’ve worked hard to get here and I’ll never be done with the effort to grow and have a positive outlook. Which is just fine, because the work pays off 100 fold.

Having a solid relationship rooted in love and compassion, a job with killer returns in money and joy, a great place to live, and supportive and fun friends is not an accident. I am the other half of every good thing in my life. If I get lazy, stop being mindful, avoid tough conversations and don’t put in the work, the entire thing would fall apart.

Sure, it takes effort, but it feels better to act like the person who deserves this life. 

The old me? Outwardly she’d act like she didn’t care. Secretly she’d be a little intimidated. Overall she’d be really proud.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Jina. Do you guys have any questions for her? Have any of you moved past self-destructive, asshole-y behaviors? 

P.S. Why you should hang out with + date people you admire and How to get over your mistakes

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Web Time Wasters



How was your week guys? My guy and I continued our quest to eat at every supper club in Minnesota/Wisconsin (and Jensen's was awesome, for the record.) On Friday, some friends and I roadtripped deep into Southeastern Minnesota for an amazing bluegrass concert. It was held above a general store in a town of 200 people - totally magical!

Links for you!

A super interesting read about race, fashion, class, and labels.
My mother is a child of poverty; I am a child of the working-class struggle. She needs her talismans, her high-end upmarket logos, to make her feel as if she is of worth. I was taught to fear them, to believe that obtaining them would bring about financial ruin. I’ve jokingly told many friends that I’m glad I grew up working-class instead of rich, middle class, or poor because it has made me so paranoid about money that I’ll never purchase designer labels.

A fascinating interview with bikini bodybuilders.

A cute wall hanging DIY. (I think mine would say "Stop refreshing Twitter and go outside.")

Things to cook/bake/eat/drink: vegan bbq lentils with millet 'polenta,' jalapeno ginger lime spritzers, roasted veggie pitas with avocado dip.

Are you watching Empire? (Dur, YES.) Just like everyone, I love Jamal and Cookie and I'm so enjoying all the Shakespearean references. If you're dorking out over it too, you'll like this article: 
Everyone Keeps Comparing Empire to King Lear, But The Lion in Winter Is Its True Predecessor

Oh, goodness I love this necklace.

I looooove Airbnb. If you've never used it before and aren't sure how, my friend Kristin's post will help.

I can't even stand how awesome this cat t-shirt is.

A song that's stuck in my head - and those lyrics! Ooof!

Brunch weddings? YES PLEASE.

New fancy life goal: own a "pied-a-terre" (a little apartment in the city to complement your big house in the country). I'd take this one to start.

A pretty, Spring-y dress.

And I love how vintage-y this skirt looks.

Tim Gunn belongs on my short list of celebrities I'd give a kidney to (other members of that list are Dolly Parton and Richard Simmons). I loved this piece about Mr. Gunn's Sunday rituals, a day he devotes to "healing and repair."

McSweeney's takes on the wage gap.
Oh, you do have kids? Well, we’re concerned about your ability to balance everything and you look really tired all the time and I feel guilty asking you to stay late so I just ask good old Tom who’s a great guy and simple and easy to talk to.

A sweet, candid photo.

Could you give up your car? An interview with a young family who did!

Do you work in the corporate world? Here's a ribbon for you.

And a few Yes & Yes posts you might have missed: True Story: I'm a roadie, 7 Totally Amazing Magazines We Should All Be Reading, You're Probably Not The Exception To The Rule (And That's Totally Okay)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Blogging Conference For People Who'd Prefer To Stay At Home In Their Yoga Pants

This post is brought to you by a better blog, more money, painless networking, and the Maker Mentors conference.


A bit of real talk, friends.

I've been to exactly one blogging conference (and that's because it was in my city and I was speaking at it.) I've signed up for exactly two online courses (and that's because they were affordable and run by friends of mine.)

I've never been to Alt Summit or BlogHer or SXSW ... and I'm not sure I ever will. I like to keep my travel pleasure-based and my learning online or in books. I just don't want to pay for a flight and a hotel and wander around with a name tag, making awkward small talk, you know?

If you're nodding along (and you're also wearing sweats and cuddling a cat) you might want to know about Maker Mentors. It's a conference for artists and makers AND IT'S ALL ONLINE SO YOU NEVER HAVE TO PUT ON REAL PANTS. And you can access the content after the conference is over!


Of course, I might be biased. On the last day of the conference, I'm talking about building community through content. But there's so much good stuff! And so many big people! Tara Gentile! Molly Maher! Lisa Congdon!

And they're talking about things like 'Business Models for Artist Entrepreneurs' and 'Landing a Book Deal for Your Creative Business' and 'Optimizing Your Day for Creativity.'

If you're interested, use the code 'YESANDYESVIP' and save $50 off registration. Here's what you get with that registration:
- Ask questions in our live chat room at the end of each session
- Lifetime access to recorded sessions to re-watch at any time
- Discuss sessions with other conference attendees in our forums
- One 20 minute consultation session with one of our mentors

All from the comfort of your living room, in sweats. 

I do two sponsored posts each month. If you'd like to see your stuff here - in front of 12,000+ people - I'd love to help! Check out my rates and info here or drop me a line at sarah (at) yesandyes (dot) org. 

photos by John Tyler // Martie Swart // cc