My Favorite Fonts

For a designer, there are few things as truly traumatic when leaving a job as leaving behind your carefully curated collection of fonts. As I’m spending time cleaning off my computer and making a list of the great ones I’ve found since I got here, I thought I’d share some of my faves!

fav fonts

Raleway / california harvest
Dolce Vita / Market Deco
Mermaid / Sacramento
Antrokasdemo / Nouvelle Vague
Baron Neue / Remachine Script
Rosewood STD / Southern Aire
English Essay / Mouse Deco
Governor / Alley Cat

Faves Around the Web

I shared some of my random favorites last week for #FavTotalSocial, but today I thought I’d share some of my fave things happening around the web. Great products, great blogs, great resources, and big dreams!

gobi gear hobo roll

GobiGear recently launched (and fully funded!) their Hobo Roll Kickstarter campaign. I’ve been totally intrigued by this product since I learned about it last fall because though it is primarily marketed toward outdoorsy camping types (which I am,) I also think it would be great for road dogs. Whenever I jump on the road for a few days, I get so disorganized so quickly (when we were up north, I literally could not find my running shorts for two days.) and Sixx, who is on tour full-time now, definitely needs to maximize organization. I’m very excited to review and check one of these out! Keep donating to the Kickstarter so they can add more great features, like shoulder straps!

NPR has been pushing out lots of interesting articles lately – many on stress (which are relevant to my interests) and HIV/AIDS. Their treatment of some of the AIDS coverage could be handled more delicately and less accusatory, but the Shots blog is a great place to lose some time right now.

I have been seriously, seriously considering buying an old Airstream or Avion trailer and living in it full time, so I’ve been reading a lot about the feasibility and cost of what that would mean, and god bless the internet for showing me that other people are out there doing it! Airstream Dreaming, Trailer Chic GirlsWhere Is Kyle Now, and even Tiny Little Teardrop have been great sources for research as I try to figure out if this is feasible.

airstream

And finally, TheSkimm. My girlfriend turned me on to this a few months ago and I’ve loved subscribing to it. It’s a newsletter that gets sent early in the morning, so you’re briefed on the important world events before you start your day. That way, if you get stuck next to your very worldly boss as you fuel up at the coffee maker, you can sound a little like you know what’s happening outside your world sphere.

FabFitFun Summer 2014 First Impressions

fabfitfun summer 2014

This summer I decided to splurge on my first two subscription boxes, and the first arrived while I was away in Michigan: the FabFitFun VIP box. To be honest, this one was a real impulse buy – I have been wanting the MustHave box, but found a better coupon for FabFitFun, so I ordered it. I thought I’d give a quick first impressions post since I probably won’t break open a lot of the products until after I move to prevent leaks. Off we go:

Sonya Dakar Flash Facial: At $95, this was the “big ticket” item in the box and nothing I would ever splurge on in real life. I won’t use this until I move, but I was almost out of my facial cleanser anyway, so it was a nice inclusion.

pur~lisse pur~protect SPF 30: Let’s first address how much I hate the use of the “~” in branding. Now that that’s taken care of, I have used this and do like it. It’s light enough to wear under makeup and kept my face from getting sunburned out on the lake. Again, I would never spend $55 on sunscreen (it’s hard enough for me to spend $10 on it,) but I liked getting another useful item.

Thursday Friday Away Mini Clutch/Makeup Bag: Here’s where things began to go off the rails for me. I have always thought these things were HORRIBLY tacky, and when this was one of the “revealed” products, I tried to cancel. However, the print I got is actually pretty cute, and they aren’t so offensive when they’re the small clutch style vs. a large tote. The retail here is $35, and we also got $30 gift cards for the Thursday Friday website. (Since it has to be used on a $35 purchase, I will likely not use this, or I’ll save it and use to knock a Christmas present out.)

Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil: I haven’t used this product yet either but I’m very excited to since my hair tends to frizz out a little. Happy with this inclusion since it has argan, jojoba, and tamanu oils and probably smells pretty fabulous – $25.

FabFitFun Water Infuser BPA-free Water Bottle: I have wanted an infusion bottle for awhile, so I was pretty pumped about this – except that the first time I tried to open this $15 bottle, I broke it. I was at least able to fix it, but I still sort of have a complaint: while the “Grab life by the gym balls” saying is cute enough, it’s not very work-appropriate.

Zoya Nail Polish: I’m a big fan of Zoya polish so I’m happy about this inclusion and the color. The color is very summery, but it seems like the box should have come in June instead of July, because now I feel like summer is mostly over. $9.

KISSTIXX Lip Balm: these are lip balms that come in pairs with flavours that are supposed to compliment each other, but my box only had one lipstick. Womp womp. The lemon flavor I got is very potent. The listed retail is $5.99, but I saw the two-pack on clearance at Kroger yesterday for $2.50. I do like that it has SPF and it holds up very well in heat – I had it by the pool in 100+ degree weather for two days in a row and it didn’t melt at all (that alone makes a purchase worth it for me.)

POPChips: I haven’t eaten these yet because I got the sea salt and vinegar flavor. Not a fan at all. Hopefully someone at family vaca will eat them.

Slimfast Have Your Cake Meal Bar: haven’t eaten yet. Supposed to taste like vanilla cake in a 180 cal bar.

Skintimate Travel Shave Gel: Another WTF item for me. I’ll use it I guess, but I don’t typically use shaving cream (I use coconut oil.)

Always Xtra Protection Liners: I don’t get periods soo… not useful.

fabfitfun summer 2014

Overall, I think the box was a good value, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by any of the items and I’ll probably cancel the subscription in lieu of the PopSugar box (which I am consistently impressed by.)

Here’s a special discount code for being one of my readers: use 1300656 to save $15 on the fall box!

blog management series / time management

time management Blogging is a great pastime for anyone, because you can devote as much time, money, and attention to it as you choose. If you just want a quick place on the web to share your study abroad journey with family back home – that’s great. A blog can be much easier to navigate (for you and your friends) than sharing your journey via facebook. They’re also a great way to chronicle weight loss, motherhood, wedding planning, or any other life event. But if you want to grow your blog and work with sponsors and brands, it’s a more time consuming hobby. After two years of blogging with a full time job, I think I have a pretty good system down. Below are some of my best tips and tricks for balancing blog time management with real life! chevronbreak600

  • I like to sit down with a 4×6 post-it and write down all the days throughout the month I’m going to post. Typically, I post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with two Tune Tuesday features every month. This becomes my “editorial calendar” and it lets me see what is being featured where, so I don’t have, say, six posts in a row about travelling, followed by eight about fitness, things like that. If you don’t take away any other tips, I plead with you to try this one! It helped my time management tenfold.
  • Scheduling posts (at least) a month at a time lets me sit down and get a lot of work done when I have the time, and that way when I’m much too busy to even think about writing, I know I’m covered and posts are scheduled to go. This might sound really overwhelming, especially if you are a day-by-day blogger, but I promise you that it’s worth it: print out a month-view calendar so you can see the whole month at once and make your editorial calendar. Go through it, week by week, and write in the topic you want to cover each day. This is helpful in planning for linkups you know are coming (Fan Fridays, What I Ate Wednesdays, etc.), sponsor ads you’d like to feature, and personal content you want to post.
  • Having a M/W/F posting schedule also works great for me because it allows two “unassigned” days per week where I can write on something that is time sensitive. If I get a limited time giveaway, I can post that. If I find a news article that strikes me, I can respond to it without a delay.
  • I also have a queue of “timeless” posts that are already written and can be posted at any time. If I haven’t had a chance to do my monthly calendar or fall behind for whatever reason, I can get one of these up, and my overall schedule doesn’t totally fall apart. There are tons of ideas for posts like these – 9 things you don’t know about me, what’s my favorite restaurant, your go-to recipe, a day in the life.. put some thought into these and hold onto them for a rainy day.
  • Utilize apps and plugins. They are your friends. I’ll be posting a more in-depth post about what I use and how I use them, but apps like dlvr.it, Hootsuite, and IFTT are MAJOR time savers.
  • Once a week, I preschedule tweets. Once a day I’ll tweet a link to one of my old posts and I try to queue up interesting articles and other bloggers. That way, if I get too bogged down during the week to share my favorite posts of that day, I’m still sharing great content.
  • Blogging with a full time job: I have a more-than-40-hour-a-week job, but thankfully, it’s a desk job that lets me have a lot of time to work on my blog. Work in time where you can find it – jot down post ideas by hand if you can’t don’t have access to a computer on your lunch break, download the WordPress app so you can post or draft on the go. Wake up 15 minutes early, set a timer, and write until the alarm goes off or do the same when you get home from work. If you really don’t have the time to work on building your blog outside of just writing, consider hiring a Content Creator to assist. (I’m available! ;))

What are your best time management tips for blogging?