As a new mom of twin girls (yup, two babies), the hardest thing — besides the sleep deprivation — is keeping up with my paid and passion writing projects. I’m still learning the ropes of how to do this, but I found that finding another writer mom has been super helpful. I asked my friend Melissa Sarno to be my writing partner. This is how it works: Every time we finish a chunk of writing time, even if it’s just 15 minutes, we text each other, “DONE!” The other writes back, “Way to go!” or something along those lines. During the month of May, we challenged each other to write for at least 20 minutes a day (with 3 freebie days), and we both stuck to it.
This exercise came out of an important lesson from a writing teacher I admire (Psst … look up UPOD Academy and take classes with David Hochman). When I told him that I wanted to finish revising my YA novel but was terrified that being a new mom would zap all my time, he said, “Carve out 15 minutes a day. You can find 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at what you can do.” And he’s right. I’m slowly but surely churning out these revisions. I look at it this way. Fifteen minutes a day is better than 0 minutes a day.
If you’re a mama who writes, please share your tips for carving out that creative time while managing your kiddos!
I’m SUPER excited to share that in the July 2016 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine, you’ll see a picture of me in the contributors section of the magazine. Woo hoo! I wrote a story about Patrice Banks, the wonderful female auto mechanic who is opening her own auto body shop in Philadelphia called Girls Auto Clinic.
O is one of my fave magazines and it’s so thrilling to be featured in the magazine, alongside Elizabeth Gilbert! A dream come true for me.
Paid family leave in the US is a hot topic, and deservedly so. As a new mom, I wish the US was more progressive and offered what some other countries give new families.
Back in February 2016, a fellow freelance writer interviewed me for a Fast Company article on How Freelancers Can Plan for Parental Leave.
Recently, a radio producer at SoCal Public Radio KPCC’s Take Two contacted me to talk about paid family leave based on my comments in that article. Here’s a link to the full interview.
Hopefully, this ongoing conversation will lead to bigger changes for new mothers and fathers and anyone caring for a family member!
I’m excited to share that my first published piece for one of my favorite magazines, Real Simple, is out on newsstands now. I interviewed workplace expert and author of Work Simply Carson Tate about how to use your productivity personality to figure out exactly how you best work.
Real Simple is one of the magazines on my bucket list and I’m thrilled to have a byline in the April 2016 issue. After five years of pitching (yes, five years), I FINALLY wrote for Real Simple. Woo hoo!
One of the very first pieces I ever wrote was for Bust magazine back in 2007 about young women who wanted to become nuns. It’s one of my favorite independent magazines and I always enjoy writing for them. In the Feb/March 2016 issue with The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams on the cover, I wrote a short piece about CatLadyBox, a subscription service geared toward cat ladies. If you’re crazy about cats or have a friend who is, check out CatLadyBox. It’s super cute!
His music is iconic and timeless, but as a kid, I’ll always remember when my friend Meg and I watched Labyrinth a million times and LOVED when Bowie said, “Forget about the baby, Sarah.” That movie was magical, strange, and unforgettable. Artists will never die as long as we have their art.
On Wednesday, I got some writing news that was good but meant I’d have to challenge myself to face a major revision of a project-in-progress. While facing impending motherhood. And working on paid projects. Fear definitely set in. That night, I watched an older episode of the Daily Show and Trevor Noah said some kind words about David Bowie with a video clip of Bowie saying this:
“The other thing I would say is that if you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
It was the perfect piece of artistic advice I needed. Thank you to the Goblin King. I hope it helps you too.
Hello, loyal readers! I’m excited to share some new vegan finds from my latest Costco trip. There are some new goodies that I spotted and wanted to pass them along to you. Hopefully, you can find them in your local Costco.
1. Saffron Road Sea Salt Crunch Chickpeas ($8.79)
I’m always searching for healthy snacks and I love that these chickpeas only contain 3 ingredients (chickpeas, salt, olive oil). Normally, I make my own roasted chickpeas with different spices, but on busy days, this is great as a simple bite or an addition to salads.
2. Essential Living Superfoods Organic Superfood Mix
($9.79 On Sale, Normally $12.79)
3. Popcornopolis Salt & Pepper Organic Popcorn ($4.99)
I love popcorn as a snack while watching a movie at home. This giant bag is super yummy and I love the addition of salt and pepper. I am a black pepper addict so this is my ultimate flavor combo.
4. Nature’s Path Love Crunch Organic Granola
($4.99 On Sale, Normally $6.75)
I am in LOVE with this granola so when I saw it at Costco, I snagged two giant bags. With dark chocolate chips, dried strawberries, and dried raspberries, this granola is more like dessert. I pair it with chocolate almond milk for the best treat. And at $xx, this is a total steal. I’ve seen much smaller bags for the same price at health food stores.
5. Harvest Stone Brown Rice & Chickpea Crackers ($8.69)
I will admit that I’m not a huge fan of gluten-free products except for crackers. I really love the crunch and taste of these crackers. I dip them in hummus or pair them with vegan cheese. Totally delicious!
6. Gardein Meatless Classic Meatballs ($9.49)
If you’ve read my previous vegan Costco blog posts, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with Gardein. My current obsession is the giant bag of meatless meatballs. They are so damn good. I add them to soups, marinara sauces, and sandwiches.
7. Explore Asia Organic Edamame Spaghetti ($9.79)
I’m always looking for extra protein sources and this organic edamame spaghetti boasts 24 grams of protein for every serving (I accidentally cut off the “2” in “24” in the pic). I haven’t tried this pasta yet, but I’m hoping it tastes great.
Have you spotted any awesome vegan products at your local Costco? Let me know in the comments!
I’m excited to share that a piece I wrote in the January 2016 issue of Good Housekeeping is out on newsstands right now. I interviewed Patrice Banks, a fascinating woman who is set to launch a mostly female-run mechanic shop called Girls Auto Clinic. Her story is in the Real Life section, and I’m really proud of how it turned out.
If you happen to be a newsstand or subscribe to Texture (the Netflix of magazines), it’s the pretty pink cover with the Makeover Issue on it, please check it out.
Have a wonderful holiday season and a warm and happy new year!
Every holiday season, I send editors and anyone I’ve worked with a holiday gift along with a thank you note. In the handwritten note, I thank them for choosing to work with me. This year, I decided to order custom pencils from my friend Jenna’s Etsy shop, LZ Pencils. I ordered one custom set of Parks & Recreation pencils for my VegNews colleague and art director who absolutely loved them. And who wouldn’t? They are awesome sauce.
For the editors I’ve worked with all year long who help make my writing shine, I ordered different pretty notebooks from Chronicle Books and requested Jenna make these “Write It Down, Make It Happen” pencils that I taped with gold washi tape to the front of the notebooks. I thought these would be fun gifts for editor types who are always brainstorming and writing things down.
I used to send cookies to my editors, but quickly realized that not everyone wants more sweets during the holiday season. The notebooks and pencils make ideal gifts instead.
Whether you’re a freelancer or not, I highly suggest buying some pretty holiday cards and dropping a note to your colleagues or bosses to thank them for that promotion, the encouragement, or anything else that they’ve done for you this year. It’s a nice way to spread cheer to those you want to work with again and again.