25 Tiny, Amazing Things

pink-white-flowers

Reminders to believe in the universe don't need to be earth-shattering or hugely consequential.

  1. Draft lattes.
  2. Dog yawns.
  3. Really fizzy seltzer water.
  4. Getting into bed exhausted knowing you can sleep in the next morning.
  5. Warm bread.
  6. The smell of garlic cooking in butter.
  7. Paying for something with exact change.
  8. Ice cream sandwiches.
  9. Drying off in the sun after swimming.
  10. An empty movie theater.
  11. When you discover a crazy-delicious new neighborhood brunch place (not necessarily new, but new to you).
  12. Hot pot.
  13. An ice-cold IPA.
  14. An ice-cold glass of white wine.
  15. Anything sun-dappled.
  16. An epic skyline view.
  17. Crossing something off your bucket list.
  18. Campfire smell.
  19. New book smell.
  20. Cell service on the subway.
  21. Surprise packages.
  22. A really great pen.
  23. Selina Meyer.
  24. Photo booths.
  25. Latkes.

10 Non-Cliche, Inspiring Quotes For When You Need a Kick In The Ass

photographer-framing-shot

Quotes have become such a thing online. There are websites, Twitter accounts, wikis, and Tumblrs all devoted to quotations.

That's because they're powerful. When you're suffering, or you're frustrated, or you're in love, or you're unmotivated, or you don't know how to express something, or you're craving a laugh, or you just feel stuck — sometimes reading a choice quote that somehow captures precisely your thoughts or feelings in a way you haven't been able to articulate is exactly what your brain needs.

It's that feeling of "YES — that's just it!" that a poignant quote offers, a mini-euphoria unavailable from other remedial pursuits like eating, drinking, watching TV, working out, or doing something stupid or risky. 

Anyway. If you're in a situation in which you need some hardcore inspiration, give these 10 inspiring quotes a browse — they've each helped me in the past:

Don’t focus on the future. Focus on what you can do right now that will be good no matter what the future brings. — Leo Babauta, Zen Habits 
If they ask you to stand still, you should dance. — Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin
So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard. — Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr
Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world. — Archimedes
You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control. — Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ― Jack London, The Call of the Wild and White Fang
Who would want a static life anyway? Particularly in our age of flux, standing still leads to obsolescence. — Robert Safian, "From The Editor," Fast Company July/August 2014
Do something everyday to remind this city why the hell you’re here. WRDSMTH
Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up. — Anonymous
Unawesome? Unacceptable. — Scott Stratten, The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome

In search of more solid soundbites? Searching #QOTD on Twitter usually does the trick.

Book Looks: Liz Bennet in Curtis Sittenfeld's "Eligible"

I loved the two other Curtis Sittenfeld books I read (SisterlandPrep), and Eligible was no exception.

As cliche as it is, I'm a big Jane Austen fan (is any female English major not?) and I found it even more fun than expected to experience this modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

Podcast Interview: All The Social Ladies with Carrie Kerpen

carrie-kerpen-all-the-social-ladies

If you don't know Carrie Kerpen, let me give you a moment: carriekerpen.com.

Carrie is CEO and co-founder of Likeable Media, an award-winning digital content studio. She’s also a regular keynote speaker, columnist for Inc. and Forbes — AND she has a badass podcast about women in tech and social media called All The Social Ladies

I had the huge privilege recently of participating in the podcast, a weekly interview series that asks women of all ages and stages to share how they they've built their careers, and how they've used social media along the way.

Thanks again to Carrie, and let me know what you think of the episode!

carrie-kerpen-all-the-social-ladies-allison-stadd

5 Inexpensive Ideas for Organizing Your Tech

No matter how into geeky stuff like gadgets and electronics you are, you could likely stand to invest a little more elbow grease into organizing your technology. 

If your cords and plugs aren't jumbled or tangled, maybe you can never find that extra charger or USB cable. If it doesn't take you five minutes to unwrap your headphones from the contents of your purse, maybe your iPad's always out of juice. 

Thankfully there are loads of easy ways to inject some order into your tech collection. Five inexpensive ideas:

1. Quirky Cordies to organize your desktop cables:

quirky-cordies

2. "This Is Ground" Cord Tacos to keep your chargers and headphones orderly on-the-go:

cord-tacos

3. G.U.S. Bamboo Charging Station to charge your phone, iPad, and laptop at the same time:

G.U.S. Bamboo Charging Station

4. Labeled ziplocs to categorize tech-cessories:

organize-electronics-ziplocs

5. Grid-It! Organizer to secure your phone, camera, SD cards, chargers, and more:

Grid-It! Organizer

The Simple, 1-Step Guide to Being a Good Person

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If you're into self-improvement like I am — you read blogs and books on the subject, dog-ear pages, type notes in your phone, even give yourself an annual performance review — it can get overwhelming figuring out how to navigate your path to bettering yourself. 

Should you set annual goals, or monthly goals, or both? Should you plot out time on your calendar each week for One Big Thing, or block out each day into chunks devoted to the different areas of your life? Should you record, at bedtime, three things you're grateful for or three things that went well that day?

Here's what I think. First of all, any practices or tactics you try out in your quest to be your best self are great. Adopt them at your leisure, and don't feel pressured to incorporate a new habit into your life that doesn't resonate. Hate meditation, after trying it for a few months? Don't meditate. Can't get into journaling? No need to force yourself. 

There's really just one guiding principle that's simple to remember, and to serve as your north star in living your life in a fulfilling way. When you're feeling confused or unclear on what changes to make to your routine, just remember this:

Behave with others as you want them to behave with you.

Manage your direct reports at work the way you want your boss to manage you. Treat your sister the way you want her to treat you. Conduct yourself with the people standing among you on the subway the way you wish they would with you. Talk to your wife as you'd want her to talk to you. 

You can't change other people, so it's not about trying to magic-wand everyone around you into being kind or patient or understanding. It's about living your life in a way that makes you deeply certain you're doing your best. 

They don't call it the Golden Rule for nothing.

Experiment with whatever other self-improvement exercises you want — give one thing away every day, smile at a stranger on the street each morning — but let this simple step be your north star.

10 Websites to Find Incredible Creative Work

I'm always seeking out websites that feature amazing graphic design, street art, photography, illustration, advertising campaigns, or other mind-boggling visual inspiration.

Whether it's to find links to feature in my weekly newsletter or queue up in Buffer, to get brain juice for an article or project I'm working on, or just to ogle at some eye candy, I like to have a go-to list of sites to browse through when the need arises. 

10 of my favorites:

Behance

Behance-homepage
DesignTAXI-homepage
It's-Nice-That-homepage
Booooooom-homepage
HYPEBEAST-homepage
Quipsologies-homepage
NOTCOT-homepage
Cool-Hunting-homepage
Dribbble-homepage
Design*Sponge-homepage

What would you add to the list? I'm listening on Twitter @AllisonStadd.

Four Quick, Unexpected Things to Do When You're in a Funk

You know when you get some bad news, or you haven't been sleeping well, or stress is high at work, or whatever else—and you're feeling low? You're not depressed, or dejected, or incapacitated. Just kind of blue.