robot with heart

Valentine’s Day: Not Just for Sweethearts

Every year, my dad sends my sister and I Valentine cards. Inside is a message about how Valentine’s Day is a manufactured holiday created by card companies and we shouldn’t place any importance on how we actually feel on that day because it’s a capitalist trick, not an authentic holiday. […]

pink house birmingham

Could We Save Birmingham’s Secret Garden?

My friend Kelly keeps telling me a story about a house. It’s petal pink, with wide stone steps leading up to a front porch set off by three archways overgrown with vines. Set in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood, it’s almost hidden, set back from the sidewalk and […]

sweaty girl

On (Finally) Finding My Way at the Gym

I’m not a natural athlete. I don’t usually like exercise, and I’m not usually good at it. I’m very self-conscious, have bad spatial awareness, and dislike any competition that I don’t stand a chance at winning. However, there are lots of things we hated as children that we embrace as […]

good things don't come from comfort zones quote

Weight Watchers: ’80s Throwback or Magical Health Portal?

Earlier this week, I wrote about losing 40 pounds with Weight Watchers (which is now called WW), and I hadn’t planned on writing about any specifics. But that was a little bit stupid, because it turns out lots of people have questions about the program. I don’t want to become […]

chopped sweet potatoes

Life Lessons I Learned from Losing 40 Pounds

This month, I’m writing about successful resolutions, and my 2014 resolution was definitely a classic: Lose Weight. I’d made the resolution before, but five years ago, I actually kept it — I joined Weight Watchers, lost 40 pounds and have kept it off (more or less), ever since. There’s no […]

sugar packet

Giving Up Sugar: How to Do It and Why Anyone Would Want to

There are lots of reasons to give up sugar — to name a few, it’s a health disaster, it creates cravings that are arguably as strong as those to illegal drugs, and it can cause anxiety and insomnia. There are also a lot of reasons not to give up sugar […]

post it note reading konmari q & a

Konmari Q&A: Your Questions

It’s been really fun writing about konmari this week, especially since it seems like the whole world is watching Tidying up with Marie Kondo and posting pictures of discarded piles of clothes on Instagram. That’s not a judgment — I really do like seeing it, and I think the fact […]

I Love Resolutions … but I Don’t Love Writing about Them

A New Year’s resolution literally changed my life: My decision to buy only from local stores from one year and to blog about it grew into my publishing a book, opening a bookstore, going on a bookstore tour, and ultimately meeting my husband (kind of). I love resolutions, and I […]

Choose Your Discomfort: Risk or Settle for Less

Recently, I put myself out on a limb professionally to help someone else. I’m in a good position to be able to do it, and if it works out, we’ll both benefit. But if it doesn’t work out — and there’s a chance that it won’t — I might lose […]

girl with book no plot no problem

Nanowrimo 2017: Tips that Make National Novel Writing Month More Fun

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t write a draft of a book until after college. Until then, it was melodramatic short stories, a lot of embarrassing poetry and a decent chunk of features stories published in city papers. I didn’t […]

no plot no problem daily rituals books

My Favorite Books on Writing

If all you want to do is dream of being a writer, there are enough books about writing available to keep you pretty busy dreaming. Big bookstores and libraries have entire sections on the stuff. But honestly, the best books on writing generally boil down to this: Read a lot. […]