Web Time Wasters

Why isn’t this song famous???

How was your week, friends? Kenny and I had a two-night staycation at a lovely hotel here in Minneapolis and were, as always, amazed by how rejuvenating it can be to get out of your routine. Even when you’re only a few miles from home!

I spent the rest of the week working on wildly unsexy blog + business things. Eventually, they’ll help me create an online space that’s better, more useful, and more useful for all of us, but for now it’s 17-part Asana checklists and lots of Googling.

Links for you

I try realllllly hard not to give unsolicited advice (for the record: I’m not good at this, yet) but I loved Grace’s post about 5 pieces of unsolicited blogging advice she’s glad she ignored.
“You Should Really Get Married — Brands Will Feel You’re More Reliable.” I will never forget this statement. Ever. I remember where I was (Balthazar), what I was eating (Eggs Florentine), and the feeling of white hot anger that shot through my body like it was yesterday. I was having a friendly breakfast chat with a fellow blogger and he pointed out that if I was to get married (this was prior to my first marriage), I would see a huge change in ad support. This blogger had a feeling that I was coming off as “too young” and “too unsettled” for larger brands to want to invest in me.

I loooove DIYing house projects, but is it actually cheaper?

Ahem: Quit Your Terrible Job.
If “buck up and ignore it since there’s nothing you can do about it” worked as advice for anything, I and every member of the Advice Columnist Industrial Complex would be out of a job, so let’s skip that approach.

Related: How to quit your job without another one lined up 

Did you know that every winter, I lead retreats for my friend’s company? Yes! If you like luxury villas and working out (or just lounging by the pool and eating food prepared by a personal chef) you can join us in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, January 18 – 25th!

What happen when you attend an influencer event and most of them have smaller bodies and larger followings than you do?

Rephrase the questions you ask yourself.

Korean BBQ-inspired cauliflower? YES.

Just buy a different pair of jeans.

Related: If Beyoncé Finds It Hard To Love Her Body, No Wonder The Rest of Us Are Struggling
We’re constantly told that if we feel as though we’re failing, we must be more Bey. We have built an inconceivably high pedestal for her. As a result, I suspect that even Beyoncé doesn’t feel like Beyoncé every day. In the Guardian, Laura Snapes wrote ‘perhaps this is Beyoncé at her most human…to aspire to thinness is equated with fatphobia, lapsed feminism and shilling for the patriarchy…but so is feeling as if you don’t live up to society’s ideals.’

A sweet story from Jane Fonda about Greta Garbo

Literally 20 years after everyone else, I’m finally reading this and – spoiler alert! – there’s a reason it has 1,200+ 4.5 star reviews and is taught all over the country!

I made this apple pie recipe yesterday and it’s a) different than any other apple pie recipe I’ve ever seen b) amazing!

This Twitter thread is fuuuuuunny!

Hope you had a lovely week!

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? On Thursday, I was on Twin Cities Live talking about how to shop for your REAL life, not your fantasy life. Today, my 17-year-old niece is coming for a quick visit and I’m using my Graduate Hotels Hall Pass (not sponsored!) to spend the night in the Minneapolis Graduate Hotel. We’re going to poke around the U campus and grab breakfast at the famous Al’s Breakfast. Fun!

Links for you

A timely quote + how you can help

I tore through this novel in three days. SO GOOD. I hope someone has purchased the movie rights!

Reduce food waste + make a mean green Bloody Mary – win/win!

Did you know that most airlines charge $150 EXTRA PER WAY for unaccompanied minors? Here’s a round up of airlines that charge less.

Daaaaaang. 4 Things Brands Should Do For The Environment Instead Of Launching A New Sustainable Line.
Labels may think they need to reinvent a product to make it more sustainable, but they don’t. “Durability is something that brands overlook very often,” said Xavier Vital, a global service manager at environmental consultancy SGS. “It’s something where you can have the same product, just connect sustainability with quality, and make this product last longer.”

Related: The Life Changing Magic Of Making Do
Making do is a deeply pragmatic philosophy. It means asking of our things the only question we should ever ask of them: “Can you fulfill your intended use for me?” The answer – if we can be honest, and resist a moment of discomfort, inconvenience or boredom – is, extraordinarily often, yes. Making do is about taming the reflex to discard, replace or upgrade; it’s about using things well, and using them until they are used up. Taken literally, it simply means making something perform – making it do what it ought to do.

Also somewhat related: 21 next-level DIY paint ideas (read: maybe you don’t need to gut your kitchen and bathroom.)

And under the heading of ‘making do’ – here are a few products that help everything in my life last longer + look better. As a side note, I’m not particularly handy or crafty, so rest assured that if I use these, you can, too!

  1. Bulk generic magic erasers
  2. Fabric shaver (de-pill everything you own!)
  3. Sewing kit
  4. Iron on patches
  5. Stitch Witchery (for ‘hemming’ things)
  6. Mineral oil – to make all the wooden things you own look nice

I loved this interview with Billie Eilish.

Bookmarking this recipe for tomato season!

High five! Starbucks offers expanded benefits for trans people!

Somewhat related: an update on the woman who inadvertently ‘invented’ the gender reveal party.

Most of the podcasts I listen to are about psychology, self-development, etc etc etc. Listening to So Obsessed was such a breath of fresh air and I scream laughed at least three times. Go listen!

This also made me laugh.

A tiny pep talk.

Hope you had a great week, friends!

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? On Monday, I ran The Get What You Want Workshop  live and people loved it!

It was so fun to try a different format, after hearing that so many people found six-week courses overwhelming. I re-filmed the whole thing in small chunks (and without my cat yowling in the background) so people can buy it, watch it, and choose the sections they want to revisit – without wading through one giant, two-hour video. If you wanted to take part and were afraid you missed out, you can start watching and downloading here!

Links for you

In our Money & Happy Facebook group, we talked about our favorite budget-friendly beauty products and I will not stop shouting about coconut oil + these microfiber wash cloths to remove my makeup. And they’re black so they won’t look grimy with your eyeliner smeared all over them! They’re $8 for 3 and they last forever – so much better than disposable makeup wipes!

If you live in MSP and you or someone you love is about to give birth and you want support, Gather Birth Collective looks amazing!

Also for MSP-ers: if you’re interested in becoming a better ally to the black community (and earning community education credits if you’re a social worker) this workshop presented by Humanize My Hoodie is for you.

I loved this ‘Beauty Uniform’ interview with a 60-something American woman who moved to a tiny fishing village to England to take care of her mom. She has a great attitude about everything!
I always feel really happy when I’m doing something fun and adventurous. I used to be really worried about swimming the cold sea. I don’t like being cold, and it’s VERY cold in England. But then I thought, I can cope with this. And I swam for half an hour! It’s such a shock when you first jump in, AHHH!!! Now my sixty-something friends and I jump off the rocks and swim to the beach. We chatter all the way there and all the way back. It’s really invigorating. Apparently cold water makes you toughen up.

I am EXTREMELY team Elizabeth Warren, but I love that Cardi B is partnering up with Bernie Sanders to get more young people voting.

Why is this birthday card so cute?!!

The truth about being a successful creative freelancer.

Multiple times a week, I get spammy emails from companies who want to pay me $50 to put links to their site in my blog posts. I LOVE how Paul is dealing with this!

Cow BFFs.

I really appreciate when home decor blogs highlight rented spaces – not everyone owns a 2,000 square foot house in LA! – so I loved this post about a renter’s DIY-filled entryway.

A lovely essay about going home again + if you can/should stay.
Trips back home are like this. They’ll always be like this: frantic races to see family and friends, sleep-deprived, hungover and nostalgia-drunk, fighting off exhaustion with a steady stream of Dutch Brothers iced coffee and #400s with extra pepperoncinis from Phil’s 1500 Subs. Between reunions and goodbyes, I sit in traffic in Southeast Portland and drive too fast on the back roads in North Plains. I track the time that’s passed between my visits by the wrinkles on my great aunt’s face and the trees my brother planted in the yard next to the chicken coop. 

“I’m so sorry I can’t stay longer,” I say, but really what I mean is, “I’m so sorry I left.”

Funny, funny.

If you appreciate my taste in links, we should be friends on Pinterest. I pin TONS of great stuff there on the daily – travel, self-development, money stuff. Follow along here!

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, internet friends o’ mine? Some buddies and I checked out Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists at MIA and it is so good! My fellow MSPers: you should go!  I also continued on my quest to find the best hashbrowns in the Twin Cities by visiting Grandview Grill and had one of my favorite summer friend-dates: walking around Lake Nokomis.

Links for you!

Remember: On Monday, I’m running The Get What You Want Workshop in the much-requested two-hour format instead of a six-week course nobody can finish! Click here to grab your spot. I hope to see you there!

I was on the You Are Infinitely Loved podcast this week, talking about making decisions that align with our values. Are you doing that? You can listen here!

Yup. Same.

I’m reading this book and it is SO good! It confirms what I’ve always suspected and it’s a great addition to your happiness tool kit.

A pyramid of transformation.

What a kitchen remodel!

I take the art of conversation weirdly seriously so I loved these tips from our collective Cool Aunt Terry Gross.

Vaguely related: have you heard this old Childish Gamino track Sunshine? It includes the line “Terry Gross on the mic, I’m the talk of the nation.”

A beautiful essay about loss and inherited laptop.
I blinked. “Endings are like little deaths,” she’d written in her notes on the Bridges book. “We forget that they can be entrances to the beginning of a new life.” The computer began to bleat, a rumble of distress. The screen flickered, blindingly white, and then faded to black, and so, it embarrasses me to say, did I.

Captain Awkward says what we’re all thinking: “Dear What’s Wrong With Me,
What if nothing is wrong with you and the problem is you’re married to an asshole?
That’s it, that’s my whole answer.”

Adding these Mango “Burrito” Bowls to my to-make list!

Also: vegan ‘Parmesan’ cheese?

Not sure why there are protests in Hawaii? Here’s a good explanation.

Hope to see you on Monday!

How To Use Envy As A Tool (Yes, For Real)

How can you use envy as a tool? If you're looking for motivation tips or productivity advice, you might find it in envy. Click through to read more! #motivation #selfhelp

 

I’m scrolling through Instagram as I wait for my coffee to brew when I’m hit by a wave of envy – mouth twisting, eye-narrowing, I-should-click-away envy.

I stare at my screen, fantasizing about the day I can do what this woman does. I feel weak just imagining it. I give myself over to daydreaming about what life would be like if I could do this, too.

What was it that filled me with envy, that morning as I stood in my kitchen?

It was my friend’s Instagram bio. 

“Founder of ______. Dog mom, cheese-eater, carry-on only traveler.” And then her IG feed was fun random photos of her dog and her vacations! No carefully curated, on-brand photos. No push to watch her webinar. No sales pitches. No ‘calls to action.’

She just shared photos of stuff she liked and that was it. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE????

And until that moment, I hadn’t even realized that was something I wanted – to ‘just’ be a business owner, without the pressure of selling and strategizing and monetizing and sharing everything, ever.

(I’m working on it.)

And this epiphany was brought to you by envy – an emotion that gets a bad rap and we all try to avoid. We view envy as weakness or insecurity or a character flaw.
What if we used our envy to learn more about ourselves, what we really want, and what’s possible? Click To Tweet

View Envy as an educator

One of the most common things I hear from students and clients is “I don’t know how to get what I want because I, uh, don’t know what I want.”

To which I say “Good news! One of the fastest ways to figure out what you want is to look at who + what makes you feel envious.” (If you need help figuring out what makes you happy, this free workbook will help!)

For example, I have a friend who owns a gorgeous apartment in a doormanned building in Manhattan. Not envious.

I have another friend who lives in Tulum, has a double-take worthy body and an Instagram following of 95k. 100% not envious.

But my friend who runs a successful company without being on ANY social media? So envious I could weep.

The friends who bought a house on the water, in a Minneapolis suburb, for less than $300,000? Teeth-gnashing envy.

So what does this tell me? It tells me that I want to step away from social media and live on the water. I want to get a good deal on a house. I don’t want to live on the beach or wear my swimsuit all day, every day. I never need to live in NYC.

These might strike you as rather obvious epiphanies, but until I examined my envy, I didn’t realize these things about myself. 

I could very easily have spent years chasing an apartment-in-New York dream or a live-on-the-beach-in-Mexico dream. But when I noticed that my friends had those very things and I didn’t particularly care, I gained insight into the things I truly want.

View Envy as evidence of what’s possible

When we see something that makes us green with envy, it’s easy to think “They got it now I’ll never have it I HATE EVERYTHING.”

What if we viewed envy – and the things that make us feel envious – as evidence of what’s possible?

The fact that Alex can run a very successful writing business from a small town in Hawaii, while being on zero social media platforms is evidence that such a thing is possible. Finding clients, working from a far off time zone, without a funnel or webinars or optimized blog posts? It can be done!

My friends found a house with great bones, at the end of a cul de sac, overlooking a lake, in a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis for $270,000? Sure, they got lucky and they’ve done some work on said house but the fact that such a house was even on the market? Makes me hopeful we can find our dream house. 

Instead of “they have something I want and now I can’t have it” we can view someone else’s success as “they have something I want and now I know that someday I can have it, too.” Click To Tweet

I’d love to hear about your relationship with envy! Do you struggle with it? Resist it? Use it to figure out what you want?

P.S. Hope to see you at The Get What You Want Workshop on Monday!

Web Time Wasters

via hello sunshine

How was your week, friends? I spent Monday – Wednesday on DIY writing retreat (aka holed up in a hotel writing till my hands cramped.)

I’m working on an idea that
a) very much aligns with my values + interests
b) has almost nothing to do with anything I’ve written about here

It’ll be a minute before there’s a website and whatnot, but I’m excited for a totally new, totally different thing.

Links for you!

Ticket for The Get What You Want Workshop are available! When I asked what format you like to learn in I was bowled over with responses that everybody’s sick of/overwhelmed by huge, six and eight-week courses. So we’re doing a two-hour workshop that’s actually digestible and actionable! Click here to grab your ticket + your workbook.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of a DIY writing retreat, here’s how I do mine!

Recommended reading if you know or love someone who was adopted from Korea.

How are detained children treated in other countries?
It takes a lot of money to do this. We’re talking about seven hundred and fifty to seven hundred and seventy-five dollars per day, per child. That’s a lot of money that could be used to do something else. We know that the other options—such as to place them with other family members, in foster-care facilities, in child facilities that are, in fact, living up to court orders or U.S. government settlement agreements—are cheaper.

Related: questions to ask yourself when you’re outraged.

A photo tour of ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ around the U.S.

(audible squeal of joy!!!!)

More joyful squealing.

In the world of online marketing I have soooooo much respect for Melyssa Griffin and how she makes her life about more than selling online courses or making as much money as possible. She’s volunteer teaching business classes at a men’s maximum security prison.

This feels like a plot line from a Pixar movie.

An apartment tour that isn’t just white subway tile and open kitchen shelving!

These family photos made me laaaaaugh!

As someone who very much enjoyed living alone, I loved this essay: Living Alone Is a Revolutionary Act

As we all KonMari our way through our clutter, a good read from my friends at Break The Twitch: Why You Should Stop Donating Your Stuff (and Do This First)
Selling off your items one by one is a conscious act and reminder to be more intentional with future items you bring into your life. Dropping a bunch of things off at the donation center really just makes your clutter someone else’s problem.

Hope you had a great week!