Monthly Archives: May 2013

Link Love: 5.23.13

link love

link love

Source: Emily Shur for Paper Magazine

• Are you charging enough for your services?

• Curious about how notable places and streets in San Francisco got their names? You’ll love this site.

• I keep hearing about the Fascination Advantage Test and Breanna Rose piqued my interest further to take it.

• Hitting the road this summer? Kate Spade has a fantastic series of city guides.

• I love reading about people’s perceptions of wealth and money. This interview with a man who made 570K last year and is still worried about income (!!!) was fascinating.

• Here’s the difference between price and value.

• 10 things you don’t want your yoga instructor to say to you!

• I love this aerial photography of scenes from around the world by Katrin Korfmann.

• How to piss off every New Yorker in 36 seconds.

• The top 10 questions that millennials ask the internet.

• 8 successful entrepreneurs give themselves lessons they wish they would have known.

• I like Jasmine Star’s advice on how to get interaction on a Facebook fan page.

• Have you ever received a ludicrously large tip? Did these thoughts run through your head? 

• 100 abandoned houses.

Brushing Up On The Basics: The Ultimate Small Business Guide

The Ultimate Small Business Guide

As any small business owner knows, running a company isn’t always pretty. Yet blogs and social media tend to gloss over a lot of the most unflattering aspects.

Back in December, I picked up The Ultimate Small Business Guide, hellbent on brushing up on the basics before the new year hit. I had good intentions but as projects began to pile up, I pushed it off to the side…until this week.

In truth, this was partly because I tend to gravitate towards more light-hearted, philosophical quick reads when it comes to business and productivity (my favorites are Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite and It’s Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be, both by Paul Arden). But I kicked myself into gear because I realized that I was lacking a solid book of business basics in my personal library. I wanted a source I could depend on outside of endless googling (and questionable results).

I’m not gonna lie, this book is a heavy read; it’s solidly informational and not something you can just fly right through. But if you’re wondering if you have what it really takes to run a business, if you already have a business but need to create brand awareness, if you are curious about the basics when it comes to staff planning and employment law and if you’re interested in brushing up on trademarks and intellectual property, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s covered in fine detail in this book.

Too often, we get excited and jump too quickly into a new business without really stepping back and doing the proper research so I particularly loved that this book starts out with a chapter quizzing you on if you really have the drive to be an entrepreneur. Instead of building you up, The Ultimate Small Business Guide makes sure you’re faced with the cold, hard truth and then takes you through the process of understanding everything you’ll be responsible for. It’s all this un-fun stuff that often gets overlooked in the pursuit of the perceived glamour of being your own boss.

At the end of each section, there’s a column dedicated to what to avoid. Once again, it digs into the sticky situations we can find ourselves in if we’re uninformed. It’s important to keep it real, even when the real can be scary.

The book ends with something we’d rather not think about: how to properly wind down a business and put it to bed. Once again, this is a topic that’s not on a lot of small business owners’ minds when they’re full of passion in the beginning.

The Ultimate Small Business Guide won’t be for everyone but it is an enlightening look into what it takes to be a responsible business owner. I’m so glad this book covers the good, the bad and the ugly because it’s good to know what you’re in for and how to handle those really difficult decisions. The more informed you are moving forward, the easier the whole process will feel.

I’m on the hunt for some more solidly informative business books. Any favorites you’d recommend?

The Typofiles #125: Crazy for Neenah Paper Books!

Typofiles Neenah Paper Books

The more time we spend camped out in front of computers, the more obsessed we get with the tangible. Or, at least I do. I’ve confessed my undying love for magazine subscriptions (even when they pile up in the corner of my office), I love piecing together a real life mood board and I also have a little obsession with paper sample books.

Typofiles Neenah Paper Books

Books of paper samples used to be lurking everywhere. And, they still are if you look hard enough but not in the same quantity they once were. So when I see a really well designed one, I want to absorb every little detail and Neenah Paper has taken it to a whole new level with their latest batch.

Typofiles Neenah Paper Books

Handed out as a “brick” that then snapped into four smaller sample books (!!!), each page is meticulously designed over their different paper offerings. A lot of the designs have a throwback 90s feel (the best of the 90s, not the garish, pixelated stuff) and it’s really inspiring. I didn’t want to keep this goodness only to myself so I sat on my floor, scanning tiny page after page to give you a glimpse of the awesomeness covering these pages.

Typofiles Neenah Paper Books

Inspiration is everywhere. Even in paper sample books. Bravo to Neenah Paper for taking it to a whole new level.

View even more Typofiles columns here.

Coffee at Home? Yes! My New Routine

Coffee at Home: Delonghi KMix

Coffee at home. What a novel idea! Not. Sadly, for me it was. I knew how expensive espresso machines were and I kept using that as an excuse to not own one. Yet, when I looked at my bank statement every month and realized how much I was forking over at local coffee shops, I knew that in a few short months, the machine and accessories would come close to the same cost. It was time to take the leap, once and for all.

Growing up, my parents were early adopters of at-home espresso machines. In the late 80s, at least in Portland, they weren’t common at all but my mom just happened to be a gourmet food buyer and had some connections (I think their original Gaggia is still buried in my dad’s shed somewhere!) but their at-home routine never rubbed off on me.

Coffee at Home: Delonghi KMix

I never liked espresso, or coffee at all for that matter. Maybe that’s because the first time I had the chance to drink coffee as a legit adult was at my suburban office job where I’d spend my summer breaks from college in the accounting department, catching up their very lax filing (the worst!). The coffee maker was in the warehouse and I’d watch my coworkers, 30 years my senior, chain-smoking and guzzling their black coffee every morning. It had that terrible burnt smell and as you can imagine, was so unappealing.

Coffee at Home: Delonghi KMix

Things slowly shifted for me at my first agency job. When you have a delivery of fresh Stumptown beans every week and often work late into the night, coffee quickly becomes your new best friend, whether you really like it or not. Over time, I got used to the taste. And walking to coffee shops with friends became a nice social activity and an excuse to take a break from the computer. Still, I was aware that I was racking up a small fortune with every swipe of my debit card. It’s only mildly funny when you log into your checking account and realize that half of the expenses can be attributed to coffee shops.

Coffee at Home: Delonghi KMix

Over the holidays, I started researching espresso machines and landed on the DeLonghi KMix ones. I’ve been around cheaply made, mostly plastic machines and they never held up for more than a year of regular use. I am a fan of saving up and buying what you want in the first place and being really satisfied versus buying something cheaper and then pining away, wishing you’d bought your first choice…and then getting it down the road anyway.

Coffee at Home: Delonghi KMix

The Delonghi model I settled on had solid reviews overall (realistically, I don’t think any espresso machine under a grand has perfect reviews — crazy but true) and came in a selection of appealingly bold colors. Joey loves making espresso (I got really lucky in the dude department!) so I put him in charge and surprisingly, I actually like his coffee better than almost all the shops around town.

We keep Torani vanilla syrup on hand and usually pick up a bag of pre-ground beans at Trader Joe’s that easily lasts us two weeks. I like either skim or vanilla soy milk in my coffee and really, the whole process couldn’t be simpler.

Coffee at Home: Delonghi KMix

These are a few of my favorite things in our little setup: 1. Avril Paint Chip Table Runner in blue or green (mine is sold out), 2. Torani Vanilla Syrup, 3. Saturday Morning Mug in Windowpane, 4. Saturday Morning Mug in Yellow, 5. DeLonghi Espresso Maker, 6. KRUPS Frothing Pitcher, 7. Stainless Steel Coffee Mug Holder and 8. Crate & Barrel Espresso Cups (sadly out of stock!).

I still love the social aspect of going out for coffee but overall, I’ve cut those trips down to less than half. That’s not only a huge savings but it’s good for the environment (coffee cups mugs versus to-go cups). I’d like to continue to make a conscious effort to cut back on going out for coffee and two months in, we’re still using the machine nearly every day. So far, so good!

I want to know, do you make coffee at home?

The Week In Pictures: 5.17.13

The Week In Pictures

This desktop clutter is fairly representative of my life lately — I’ve been gathering up a lot of fun print materials here, there and well, everywhere as I work through a few big editorial projects. What does your desktop clutter say about you? Haha. Really though, this week has been about tough love of the best possible kind. I’ve become a better listener over time and instead of getting defensive about feedback on business endeavors and projects, I can now step back and ask myself what I can do better. There’s always room to improve. Maybe that’s something that’s easier learned with age.

The Week In Pictures

As I was strolling through the West Hills over the weekend, I spotted what appeared to be spiderweb windows from a block away. How had I never seen this house before?! As I got closer, there were many webbed windows on one of the most oddly beautiful houses I’d ever seen. I couldn’t get the home out of my mind and after doing a little research, I realized that it’s the famed JO Frye House, by the very, very eccentric architect of the same name who also built the Canterbury Castle right down the road (now sadly demolished). I have a soft spot for eccentric old houses…probably because my house is one of them. It has some major quirks as well and sat vacant for a full year before we bought it.

The Week In Pictures

I am still totally head over heels (ha) for this duo of vases which now welcome visitors in our living room window. Inviting, huh?

The Week In Pictures

A little while back, Joey put in our new front lawn and it’s so lush and thick now that it’s bordering on carpet-like. Rocky would lay in it all day if he could. And as you know, I am all for eccentric shoes. Sometimes you need that extra kick in your step and that extra boost of confidence. I remember the time I found these, lonely and hanging out on the sale rack at 70% off and thought, “Ahhh, why not?!” They’ve served me well since.

The Week In Pictures

Here’s another peek at the stunning JO Frye house. I imagine someone like Gala being right at home here with that intriguing mix of beauty and spookiness.

The Week In Pictures

I hope you have a weekend full of exploration and relaxation — we’re still in full-on home repair mode over here (does it ever end???) and in between that, I’ll be knocking out those previously mentioned editorial projects and booking some plane tickets. Have a great one!