When you Give Your Editorial Calendar the Middle Finger

Friday, December 4, 2015

When you Give Your Editorial Calendar the Middle Finger

Remember back in October when I ditched my editorial calendar? Being my usual organizational freak of nature self, I was very curious to see how this one aspect of my life would function without any planning whatsoever. The results? First, I did not blog for a month. Second, any stress, anxiety or guilt from not blogging went out the window with my plan.

I gave my editorial calendar the middle finger and ended up with a guilt-free creative outlet.

There's no specific science or reason behind it, but freeing myself up from the confines of a schedule — at least within a passion project — did me good. More importantly, the whole experiment really got me thinking about my stance on planning and goal-setting.

This time of year, planning is usually top of mind for me — goals, resolutions and whatever else. I'm bubbling over with big ideas for the New Year, but fighting the urge to block out the next 12 months right away. In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about that over here. It's sort of a default... But does it need to be? Lately, I'm more interested in finding the happy balance between zero forethought and a blacked out calendar.

Obviously I'm not going to apply this "throw shit against the wall" strategy to the rest of my life. The idea puts me into a cold sweat. But I can also see that there isn't just one way to do this. I love the "planner free" approach for a personal blog, but it definitely wouldn't fly in a full-time agency job or a business. I still use an editorial calendar for my business blog — and get pathetically excited when I can map out posts for a new month. Scheduling out projects works just fine, but letting others take a natural flow also works. Different processes for different projects, you know?

Planning will always be my default — I just bought my first Day Designer for goodness' sake. But as it turns out, letting go of a little control can bring an immense amount of joy. Right now, I'm just proud of myself for experimenting. Baby steps, you guys.

Baggy, Unflattering and Totally Content

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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When I first saw these photos, "baggy" and "unflattering" were the words that came to mind. Guess it's a fair place to start when describing an over-sized dress and droopy cardigan to match. But if it was so unflattering, why did I bother? I had to remind myself why I even wanted photos of the outfit at all.

The day I actually wore this outfit, it was "cozy" and "comfortable." What's even better is that I was completely and totally content with it. It was less about the look, and more about the feel.

My philosophy on clothing and personal style has changed so much since college. I treated my walks to class like a fashion show. I was the girl who wore heels in the student union and a blazer during final exams. I loved the concept of "dressing to impress."

But these days? I want comfort, simplicity and no fuss. I want to focus on my clients and work, rather than keeping my outfit in place.

Dressing up in college used to give me confidence. But I think there's a whole new sort of confidence that comes from feeling comfortable and at home in the clothes I'm wearing. In post-grad life, I'm swapping my heels for flats, and my blazers for cozy sweaters. This LBD might not have been the most flatting thing hanging in my closet, but dammit, it is one of the most comfortable.

Outfit Details: Dress: Old Navy; Cardigan: Old Navy; Boots: Steve Madden.

Something Called The Whole30

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Starting the Whole30

I started the Whole30 on Friday. Heard of it?

Now before you call me crazy, let me explain. We can skip the discussion of weight loss and trendy Paleo culture. To be honest, I never would have looked twice at this program before. But three weeks ago, a routine doctor visit turned into blood tests and a serious talk about the digestive and stomach issues I'd been "tolerating" for the last 10 years.

We've been down the list of possibilities, everything from Crones to ulcers. But the one thing that never got discussed? Food allergies and food sensitivities. You want to talk about an "oh duh" moment? This was one of them.

These days, there's a fancy little blood test that can take all the guess work out of it. I'll spare you the gory details of it all, but I went for it. Essentially, my body hates 70 percent of the things I was putting into it — including all the old favorites like cheese, bread and more cheese.

That's how me and the Whole30 became acquainted. I needed a serious introduction to wholesome, healthy food, and the Whole30 had the goods. The program focuses on a clean and balanced diet for — you guessed it — 30 days. That means plenty of meats, fruits, veggies and anything else from this list. However, sugar, grains, dairy and alcohol get booted.

My personal health and nutrition just aren't topics I usually blog about. I'm always happy to highlight the copious amounts of coffee I consume, but rarely the bad food choices I make on the daily. But I'm finally ready to press the "restart" button on my eating habits. Not for the numbers of the scale, but for how I'm feeling each day. I owe my body at least 30 days — and it's worth documenting.

Day 1

Starting out the first day was almost exciting... even though I drove to the grocery store twice; my soul died a little when I couldn't find bacon without added sugar; and I'm still reeling from spending $10 on a bag of flaxseed. But the scariest thing? I'm already feeling it. Founders Melissa and Dallas talk about the "hangover" period that happens 2-3 days in... Expect my body definitely skipped ahead. This paragraph was typed between hot flashes and big yawns.

Day 2

There's no doubt my body is definitely feeling the starts of Whole30 — came in the form of an demanding grogginess throughout the day. Breakfast was a overflowing bowl of fruit with flaxseed. Lunch was a big helping of eggs, potatoes and this fancy organic Portland ketchup. I've been snacking on apples, almond butter and lemon water all day. Plenty of food, but not my usual carb-loaded meals. Thank goodness there's still coffee to combat the urge to curl back up in bed.

Have you every tried Whole30? I'd love any words of wisdom (or favorite recipes) you might have — leave a comment below!