I’ll admit that coffee is my vice. I drink way too much of it on a regular basis. My day just feels different if I’ve had a cup of coffee. I normally feel inspired after a cup of joe in the morning. While I try to drink it when I need it (most weekdays), I still consume more coffee than I should. Because of that, I often drink it black to reduce the calories and sugar.
Since I drink black coffee most days, I figure I deserve to treat myself every once in a while. That’s why this past weekend I splurged on a French Press. Although it’s on the cheaper end of French Press offerings, I’m still happy with it. After having made a few cups with it, I’m pleased that I splurged for a Target brand French Press.
It’s been surprisingly easy to use. So far none of the grounds have come through the filter. The coffee also tastes better than ever since I’m more involved with the process. As I continue to use the French Press, I think I’ll try something new with my coffee each month. For me, it’s worth spending a little extra time to make my coffee in the morning.
What are your coffee hacks? Is there a blend you can’t resist? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Dreaming about returning to Ireland.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about travel. It’s all I seem to want to do. To hop aboard a train, fly in a plane or drive to a brand new location. At this point in my life, I’m all about the experiences.
However, since I’m starting a new grad program, I know I’ll be in Georgia for at least the next year and a half. Any excursions I make beyond the Peach State will be limited to a few days. That makes me wonder where I’ll want to live next.
I’ve lived in Georgia my whole life. It’s a great state, no doubt. But I want to try out something different. It doesn’t have to be far away. It just has to be new (and have a thriving community for PR professionals). I’ve made a little list of cities I’d be up for trying. I’m hoping that my next location will either be one of these or someplace similar.
Potential Someday Homes
- Chicago, Illinois
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Portland, Oregon
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Austin, Texas
- Fort Collins, Colorado
- Phoenix, Arizona
Conferences are crucial for PR and communications professionals. They allow us to network and learn alongside other leaders in the industry. Below are just a few of the upcoming PR conferences for 2014. I encourage you to attend if you can!
-PR Writing Summit, 8/7. Held in Chicago, this summits allows attendees to improve PR copy and begin writing engaging content for their audiences! Conference is presented by PRSA and Ragan’s PR Daily.
-Social Media Summit, 8/12. Held in San Francisco, the Social Media Summit offers opportunities to learn from successful brands and communicators. Attendees will learn social strategies and tactics that are invaluable to communicators.
-International Conference, 10/12-14. Held in Washington D.C., the conference focuses on ROI. Communicators can gain practical insight into the value of their work. Professionals can also network with PR professionals of all backgrounds.
-Advanced School of Marketing Research, 11/3-7. Based in Atlanta, this conference offers insight into professional firms who are using advanced and innovative marketing techniques. This week-long experience allows attendees to learn from the experts.
This summer I’ve been interning for a company in Atlanta. As part of my internship, I’ve been working on a summer-long project. It all culminates tomorrow into a final presentation. As the end nears, I’ve been reflecting on what the experience has taught me.
This kind of project has been brand new for me. I’ve had semester-long projects before, but never anything as structured and collaborative as what I’m working on now. In many ways I’m thankful for this experience. I used to be more of an independent spirit, but now I think of myself as team player! I learned to love collaboration for a number of reasons. Below I list the top 3 pros of working on a project together!
1. Opportunity for bonding. If you’re working on a project for work or school, you’re working with your peers. A project allows you to grow closer to them by working towards a common goal.
2. Learning to be adaptable. You may think your way is the best way. In a group, it can be hard to reach an agreed-upon idea. Try to think of your ideas from a different perspective. It will be a humbling and beneficial approach!
3. Going outside your comfort zone. It can be difficult to push yourself outside of your routine ways. Believe me, it will be for the better.
For writers, allotting time for writing may be the most difficult task. Writers and creatives can brainstorm all they’d like. But if they want to see their ideas come to fruition, they have to be written down. Many struggle with the process of brain to paper.
I certainly struggle with finding time for writing. Stories are always on my mind, and yet I don’t write down half of my ideas. As I work through each day, from driving to work to making dinner, I’m constantly thinking about writing. I’ll imagine an article I want to write or a book I’d like to read. I thrive on these creative ideas from 8 to 5.
Unfortunately for me, I’m too drained to write when I get home. Instead of writing, I look for a passive activity to unwind after working. This means that at the end of a tiring day, I may find myself feeling unaccomplished. When I don’t write (at least a little bit) each day, I’m letting myself down.
So how can this problem be solved? The eternal struggle of work and creative writing projects? There is no simple and easy answer. Instead, you have to set aside a time and commit to it. For me, I work best writing immediately before or after work. If I wait too long, I won’t get to writing.
Here’s my advice to fellow writers: Take the plunge. Don’t let your thoughts prevent you from writing. The sooner you sit down and write, the easier the process will be. And who knows? Maybe that’ll put you on the path to writing your dream book.
I’m a thrift store kind of person. I can’t resist a good antique or vintage piece of clothing. I’ve always shopped at places like Goodwill, Plato’s Closet and Rag-O-Rama. Somebody’s donation ends up being my treasure.
Luckily I’ve found a new outlet to suit my thrift store sensibility. That company is Twice Clothing, a brand-name used and secondhand clothing shop. They buy and sell already-loved clothing for discounted prices at www.liketwice.com.
I stumbled on the website through a friend’s referral. After searching through it, I found a number of Talbots and Ann Taylor Loft pieces, all for ridiculously good prices. Twice is like a sifter of Goodwill. It takes the second-hand brands you’re looking for and puts them all in one place. Although some of the choices were limited or out of supply, I was still able to find good deals. I ordered two new dresses, a sweater and a skirt from brands I know and trust.
My new Ann Taylor dress from Twice!
Two days later, my Twice package arrived at my door. And it was free. Through a friend’s referral, and a 40 percent off promo code, I got my new clothes for no charge at all. I even have $15 worth of credits left on my account. What Twice lacks in merchandise options, it makes up for in promotions. Check Twice out for yourself!
Happy Monday, readers! It’s time to return to the office and get back to work. For communication professionals, that means pitching to media, writing press releases and monitoring social media. An engaging new week starts here!
Typically communicators stay busy all the time. In fact, most of them thrive on a full work load. Before diving into this week, PR pros and communicators should take these thoughts into mind. They’ll help PR worker bees tackle the week positively.
- Go ahead and get that fancy cup of coffee. Treat yourself before heading into work. Be nice to yourself and start this week with a caffeine kick.
- Whatever’s stressing you out, it’s not the end of the world. This week will come and go, just like last week.
- Turn on some music. Plug in your headphones and listen to Pandora radio. Find your pump-up station and get ready for work!
- Prioritize your workload. If you feel like you have too much work, determine what needs to get done first. Make a list and work downwards. Some things can wait.
- Work towards a goal. Don’t have weekend plans? Dream up a new adventure. Your adventure will motivate you to work hard this week.
It’s Friday! My favorite day of the week. You can get work done and have fun. I’m determined to make this a great day, so I’ve included a short playlist below. Play it if you’re in a cheerful, tired, melancholy or normal mood. Sometimes music can change your whole day.
“I Wanna Get Better”, Bleachers
“Til I Hear It From You”, Gin Blossoms
“Fever”, The Black Keys
“Mayor of Simpleton”, XTC
“Veronica”, Elvis Costello
I didn’t know much about Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, before picking up #GirlBoss. After reading her memoir/advice book, I’ve developed a high level of respect for her. It also helps that she’s super likable!
As a bit of background, Amoruso is a self-made millionaire and owner of Nasty Gal vintage clothing. She found success through an unusual route and shares her journey candidly. Amoruso didn’t go down the straight and narrow path of other business owners. Because of her rebellious spirit, she skipped college and worked a number of odd jobs.
While working as an ID checker, she began selling clothes online. She’d buy designer clothes from thrift stores and mark up the prices on her eBay account. She also made a MySpace to promote her little shop. Through MySpace she connected with fans and brought hundreds of women to her online store weekly. Her business soon began expanding, eventually growing to its own company based out of Los Angeles.
Amoruso openly shares her shortcomings and strengths in the book. She includes simple advice and personal chapters, broken up by photos and drawings that relate to her journey. She bent a few rules to grow her company, but she no doubt worked hard in the process. Now at 30 years old, she runs a successful company by herself.
While not quite the same as Facebook COO’s Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, the book offers a similar message. It promotes female empowerment in the workforce, letting girls know that they can be successful if they work hard. Sure, #GirlBoss isn’t as formal as Lean In, but it’s still a great read. It appeals to younger women, especially as they’re starting out in their jobs. #GirlBoss isn’t a formula for professional success, but it does offer invaluable encouragement to readers. With working women on the rise, who can say no to this inspiring read?
Hi readers! If you love Twitter chats, I have a fun opportunity for you. Lately I’ve been assisting Pink & Black Magazine’s Twitter. I write, retweet and promote on Pink & Black’s official account.
For those that aren’t familiar with the publication, Pink & Black is a digital lifestyle magazine geared towards women ages 18-25. The magazine’s upbeat and positive, offering women career advice and fun entertainment options. The magazine used to host regular Twitter chats to discuss the theme for each month. However it took a hiatus a few months ago.
I’m pleased to say that the chat will return this Thursday! This month P&B focuses on the theme of health. Tomorrow night we will cover diet and nutrition as it relates to young twenty-somethings. Any readers are encouraged to participate. As an added bonus, the best tweets will be featured on the site on Friday.
Tune in Thursday 7/17 at 8 p.m. EST for #PABgirltalk. Just look up the hashtag and join in the fun! I’ll be curating the discussion from @PinkandBlackMag. See you online!