10 tips for designing your own website (without having a breakdown)

When I’m not writing books in the wee hours of the morning, I’m a web designer. Actually, I am a web designer most of the time. It’s been my full-time day job for more than five years (and most recently, I designed this, this, and this).

A few weeks ago, someone asked me the best way to go about building a new website. It’s a question I get a lot—with so many awesome platforms out there, it can be totally overwhelming for a beginner. It’s a lot to keep track of: figuring out branding; deciding whether to use a template, create your own, or tweak someone else’s; wireframing; copywriting; finding or shooting beautiful stock images; styling your pages; learning SEO… got a headache yet?

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Top 10 books I read in 2018: mini-reviews

Well, it’s that time of year yet again. I can’t believe 2018 is already over, but welcome to the sixth annual mini-review-fest on this blog, where I write mini-reviews of the top 10 books I read this year. Das right, betches, we been at this since 2013 and also, every time I write one of these posts, it ages me seven years.


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New book, same routine: rejoining the Morning Writers' Club

Last week, I started writing in the mornings again.

Full transparency: I'm not posting about it to make anyone admire me or my dedication to The Craft (jk please shower me with lavish gifts of donuts and champagne), or really for any reason other to keep myself accountable. I'm really rusty. And I'm only doing this because if I don't, I know I won't write at all.

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Let's talk about (ethical) underwear

Like so many women I know (sadly), I've grown up with a whole complex with my body, and since high school I've tried to minimize my chest in particular. Mostly because I was self-conscious, to be honest, but also for the sake of physical comfort; if I don't strap the girls down with some heavy-duty underwire, it legitimately hurts to do casual life things like, I dunno, walking down stairs. 

But as I've gotten older and grown to have more body peace, I've started to look for bras and underwear that actually help me feel good about my body. But do you know how hard it is to find bras/underwear that 1.) actually support you, 2.) won't fall the frick apart in a few wears, and 3.) aren't made in sweatshops?

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Why I choose slow fashion

This whole thing started when I realized I was shopping to make myself feel better.

It's crazy to look back on it, because, like most things in my life, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. At the time, I was living on my own, and not in school or working a full-time job for the first time in several years, and I would spend long stretches of time alone in my apartment, becoming aware of some of my most bizarre habits. It wasn't long before I noticed that when I felt lonely or sad or bored, I'd find myself surfing Madewell's sale section on my phone or browsing Forever 21 online. (Shout out to my budget, hey girl.) 

Around this time, I'd also been thinking about an article I read about "fast fashion," and how compulsive buying is actually linked to the pace in which we live our lives. In particular, I kept coming back to one line in that article:

A “slow fashion” movement has emerged which emphasizes buying less clothing and sticking to garments made using sustainable, ethical practices.
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In memory of Ursula

Ursula Le Guin passed away on Monday of last week, and since then I've felt oddly like I have a hole in my chest.

The only time I can remember feeling similarly was when Nora Ephron left us, but my devastation over the loss of Nora felt more... obvious. That is to say, I'd unapologetically adored Nora's work for half my life, whereas I didn't read Ursula's books until college. It would follow, in my logical brain, that losing Nora would feel worse than losing Ursula. But that's never the case with grief, is it. Grief is weird and incomparable. If I've learned anything from celebrating the lives of these two women, that would be it.

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Top 10 books I read in 2017: mini-reviews

Aiight. Here it is. I've blogged exactly five times this year and I could leave it at that, but this isn't mothereffing 2016, year of the dumpster fire. This is 2017, year of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman and the Internet finally recognizing the downright majesty of Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

SO. I'm here to throw down and review 10 of the 30-something books I read this year. Hold onto your girdles, fam,  I have a giant mug of coffee and I'm running on like five hours of sleep so AWAY. WE. GOOOO.

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Farewell to Figment

I know I haven't been using this space very much recently, but I convinced myself that this was important enough to document online. Excuse me while I have a Very Important Emotion—

At the end of next month, Figment.com is shutting down.

It's okay if that means nothing to you, but I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that to a group of my friends and I, about seven years ago, it meant everything. 

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Women are gold

You guys, I have some incredibly special news today.

For the past several months, my dear friend Kara at McFarlane Photography and I have been working on a super secret project. At the beginning of this year, she introduced me to a retailer based in Cambodia called Penh Lenh - they employ female artisans overcoming trauma and working to build new lives for themselves and their families, and craft the most gorgeous handmade jewelry, apparel, and accessories.

I instantly fell in love with the hearts behind this business; it's so beautiful to me that such painful situations can be redeemed through sisterhood (the word penh lenh means "whole").

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