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Blog(ger)

One of my favorite things I learned in journalism school is that you must always have a topic as well as an angle. It’s never enough to write about something; you must have something to say.

Of course, I was voted Most Opinionated in high school …

However, as I’ve been leading the charge on the Infinity Marketing blog, this mantra has come up again and again. It’s not enough to say you are going to write a blog post about “diversity” — what are you going to say about it? What’s your angle?

Push yourself. Lazy blog writing — just like lazy journalism, lazy marketing or lazy photography — will only get you so far.

native advertising
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Content Marketing

Our stories. Their profit. Share wisely.

Native advertising is all the rage these days — from John Oliver’s takedown on Last Week Tonight to Netflix’s controversial “paid post” cleverly disguised as an article on women in prison in the New York Times — a little bump for “Orange is the New Black,” — everyone seems to be rediscovering and talking about native advertising.

At The Millions, writer Tracy O’Neill has one interesting perspective and maybe a damn important takeaway about the dangers of everyone becoming a source of free content generation for brands.

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In Which We Repaint Furniture For The First Time

My parents gave us this beautiful Howard Miller mantel clock for our wedding, and when we got it home, we had no place to put it. I felt like the cheap black of all of our bookshelves wouldn’t do it any justice.

So we decided to paint one of them.

Cheap Walmart IKEA bookshelf before painting

This is a cheap Walmart/IKEA bookshelf — plywood with a cardboard backing. Here’s how we did it:

Step 1: Sand off as much black laminate as possible from the bookshelf.

Step 2: Prime the bookshelf. We used a Shellac-based primer (B.I.N. by Zinsser) based on an Apartment Therapy “reader intelligence report” I found. The guy at Home Depot confirmed this primer would be a good fit for this kind of project, but BE WARNED. We tried to use those stupid inexpensive foam brushes with the Shellac, which was a disaster. (Rollers and paint brushes work fine, but the Shellac basically ate foam.)

Step 3: Sand down the first coat of primer and repaint.

Sanding Zisser primer for second coat bookshelf furniture do it yourself painting

Step 4: Sand down the second coat of primer, and apply the first coat of pigment paint. Rinse and repeat.

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Creighton thought that primer was simply white paint, but here’s the truth: it’s not. Primer gives the paint something to adhere onto, and it’s made up of a different chemical composition than paint. Paint has pigment and is oil- or water-based. Primer, like this one, can be based on a few different materials and can play nicely with different types of paint.

Also, repainting/refurnishing furniture, especially cheap furniture, is not easy. I had read that priming is an essential step to getting an optimal look, so we took the time and effort to do it well.

Step 5: Profit.

Behr Surfer paint color medium base white primer bookshelf repainting refurnishing before after

teal bookshelf IKEA repainted pop of color

Euphoria Greenville SC Tapas and Tinis Traffic Jam #tapas2014
frugality FEELS
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Shopping Smart

“It’s about developing strategies to limit your purchases to things you really like, so that your bank account will be happier, AND you’ll wind up with things you’ll be satisfied with for years to come.”

In a beautiful blend of my favorite things to think about, Apartment Therapy wrote this awesome post about not buying everything so you can enjoy the things you have and buy the things you actually want/need.

Pair with: Becoming Minimalist’s post about the peacefulness and liberation that comes with learning to recognize “enough.”

I’m trying to learn the physicality of “enough”: of being fit enough, eating healthy enough, being thin enough; of lifting enough weights and doing enough cardio. Of getting enough sleep and sun. Of following all the rules “right” enough. But that’s a work in progress.

perfect microwave eggs in two minutes

On Microwaving Eggs

Everyone in my office seems fascinated when I crack some raw eggs into a bowl and whip up some delicious, fluffy professional-looking scrambled eggs in two minutes flat. Hard-boiled (or hard-baked) eggs are a delicious protein-dense snack, but making and then peeling them can be such a pain in the ass, and who has time to make breakfast in the morning?

Breakfast or 4 p.m. treat, microwaved eggs are pretty much perfect either way, and you can add some salt, pepper, cheese …

I almost prefer them to real homemade scrambled eggs, which I somehow manage to bungle every time.