Category Archives: The Good Side

The Good Side || Issue 03

July 6, 2018

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts! June was full of job applications and truthfully, a lot of stress and anxiety. My position is changing due to budget issues and so I’m on the hunt for a full time position at the moment. Life lately has looked like job applications before work and emails and phone calls to network after work is done for the day. The process is honestly really anxiety inducing and not fun, but I’m remaining confident that something good will pop up soon. What more can you do, really?

Good life events.

+ Last month one of my favorite things I did was to attend a free General Assembly class hosted by Molly Beck and Jen Glantz. I’ve known Molly for a number of years now from our previous lives on the east coast and last year I found out that she had moved to LA around the same time I did. It was my first time meeting Jen, but she was lovely. The class was about building your personal brand and taking one project and making it your own. I loved it. I’m scheduled to attend another GA class next week, this one about digital marketing.

+ I mentioned that I went to Santa Barbara to visit my friend Sarah last weekend. I went to school with her when I lived in Ireland in 2006, and we’ve seen each other a few times since then. The most recent time was in 2014, when I passed through Ireland on the way home from study abroad. She’s doing her PhD at USCB, so we finally pinned down a weekend for me to visit. I was only there for a night, but we had the best time visiting an outdoor brewery that serves 12 rotating flavors of 50 different cider options a night, walking around her campus, and catching up. It’s really weird and cool how life can unfold and you can suddenly find yourself living in the same area as an old friend!

+ I went to an orchestra performance of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the Hollywood Bowl last night! There was a live orchestra and they performed the music while the movie played. It was really incredible. I often work out at that venue on Saturday mornings, but it’s an entirely different atmosphere when it’s full of people. A friend posted yesterday that she had extra tickets, and I reached out to ask about them but they were too expensive for an impulse purchase. About an hour later another friend said (totally out of the blue) that she had a spare ticket, and fifteen minutes later the first friend reached out to say that she now had a free ticket. I’d planned on staying in, but it felt a bit like fate. I ended up going with the second friend (since she had asked first) and it was a blast.

Good reads.

+ I loved this interview with Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer at Hearst. It was nice to read that she prefers picking up the phone to emailing people because she can read their mood (in a work context) because I totally feel the same way.

+ I went through a phase of being obsessed with Refinery29’s Money Diaries series, and I just read this one by a young woman living in LA on a $43,500 yearly salary. My favorite thing about these diaries is that you can see what people spend their money on, whether they make a similar salary to you or way more.

+ I’m obsessed with this Mara Wilson interview. She talks a lot about creativity and how it often comes in forms different than people expect, and the romanticization of the creative process is often detrimental to people’s creativity. I also liked what she had to say about the process differing based on the medium in which she’s working.

+ I thought of my roommate as I read this Girlboss article on balancing your side hustle with your day job. My roommate has a full time day job and then comes home and works a lot more on her side hustle of freelancing. There’s a million articles like this out there, but I liked that this one is straightforward and to the point.

Good podcasts.

+ I started listening to Hysteria, the newest podcast from Crooked Media. It’s a rotating cast of co-hosts, all women, based in LA and NYC. They talk about politics from a woman’s perspective, which is obviously important. I think this one brings me to peak political podcast saturation, but I think it’s important to support this one, so another one might have to go to make room for it!

+ I mentioned Jen Glantz at the beginning of this podcast, and she has a podcast called You’re Not Getting Any Younger. It’s based off the idea that none of us are getting any younger, so we should start pursuing the cool thing we want to do already! She interviews a new person each episode, and she and her guest talk about what they do, what they want to do, and what advice they have for Jen’s listeners. So far I’ve listened to the episode with Hannah Brencher and the one with Gaby Dunn. I highly recommend them both.

Fast facts.

+ I just took four ebooks out of the library in the last week, so I’d say my resolution to use it more than buying books is definitely working out okay! Bonus: no late fees.

+ The three shows I’m watching right now are The Bold Type, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Bachelorette. The three could not be more different, and I love them all.

+ I will eventually do a full post on this, but for the better part of the last year I’ve been using You Need A Budget and it has saved my life. You can get a free trial at this link (that’s an affiliate link, which gives me a free month if you sign up for it!) and I just love it so much. For the first time in a long time, I finally feel in the know about where my money is going.

The Good Side || March 2018

April 8, 2018

My intention was to do these posts at the end of the month, but March was super busy for me and it fell to the wayside. Over the last week though, I’ve compiled a bunch of links I love, and I didn’t want to wait three weeks to share them. Most of these links are from April, but I’m just gonna call this the March guide anyway cause I do what I want. So maybe there will be another post at the end of the month, maybe there won’t. Maybe these will become “every six weeks” posts. Who knows.


The Good Side is my attempt to share the good things over the last month: good reads, good songs, and good things that have happened. It’s my attempt to share some positivity and spread some knowledge. Hopefully there’s something for you in here. Find last month’s guide here.


Good pop culture.

Sandra Oh’s Been Waiting 30 Years for a Show Like Killing Eve.
I loved Sandra Oh on Grey’s Anatomy, and I enjoyed reading this Vanity Fair piece about her struggle as an Asian actress searching for the right role. I saw a billboard for Killing Eve, her new show, yesterday, and this article has convinced me to check it out. Also, that picture of her parents with the billboard is so sweet.

“What about the Breakfast Club?”: Revisiting the movies of my youth in the age of #MeToo.
I really enjoyed reading Molly Ringwald’s reflection of the John Hughes films she did as a teenager in light of the more widespread acknowledgement of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace and certainly in Hollywood. I found it very thoughtful and definitely worth a read. Her main takeaway: “It’s hard for me to understand how John was able to write with so much sensitivity, and also have such a glaring blind spot.” Well said.

Good heart reads.

One year of weekly counseling: the battles, victories, and lessons learned.
I know from experience that the decision to go to counseling can be a scary one, but twice now I’ve seen its immense value in my life. I don’t think I would have moved to Los Angeles if I hadn’t seen a counselor back home, and I recently started seeing one here just to have someone to talk to. But taking that step is still scary every time I go. I really loved how thorough Rachel’s post about her journey so far is. She answers a lot of questions people might have, and her one year counseling anniversary is the same day as my moving anniversary, which I thought was fun.

Reading lately: kick-ass women.
I’m a little bit ashamed to say I haven’t read a single one of the books on Anne’s list of books by kick-ass women to read. I do have a copy of Shrill because I saw Lindy West speak at last year’s LA Times Festival of Books, and I’m sure I could find the others at the library. I loved the diversity of books here.

The writing folder.
As someone who is in theory working on a novel but hasn’t touched it in over a year, I loved Rachel’s post about revisiting her old writing. I too have a folder of (seemingly random) snippets of writing, and lots of them aren’t good, but like she found, there may also be a diamond in the rough. It’s likely worth giving them a second look.

Good career tips.

You can’t change careers when you’re sitting behind a desk; here’s why.
Looking for a new job is probably one of the most dreaded tasks I can ever imagine. ‘Task’ isn’t even really the right word for it; it’s more like climbing Mount Everest. Figuring out what you want to do with your life seems so difficult. I really like that this article suggests putting yourself out there and meeting people (‘finding people, not jobs’ is their phrase) and even advocates for admitting your uncertainty in that process. “Opt for vulnerability over trying to be someone more certain or more expert than you really are.”

How I found freedom in throwing out my 5-year plan.
I am the very definition of a planner. I like to have everything in my life planned out and organized, and I like everything to go according to that plan. The problem is that life doesn’t work that way, and things go haywire when the plan inevitably doesn’t line up as I expect. I loved Sarah’s article on relaxing your life timeline a bit and giving yourself more freedom to be open to how life unfolds. “I found that if I was willing to slowly let go of my expectations, I was able to enjoy what life was giving me at the moment. Instead of worrying about the next step or falling behind in my eyes, I was free to live day-by-day.”

Good songs.

I’ve been on a huge kick of making my own playlists lately, all of them with really specific themes (playlists are linked, as are YouTube videos for each specific song). Here’s three songs that gave me feelings lately:

‘the great escape.’ playlist:
Million Bucks – Smallpools.
I used to be a skeptic non-believer
But now it’s changed, you’re worth your weight in gold
The richest love ain’t growing on the trees out here
But confidently, I can say I’m sold

‘unrequited love.’ playlist:
My Thoughts on You – The Band CAMINO.
Give me ’til twenty-three, I need another year for this
Trying to teach my common sense to not waver with my confidence
Traded my soul to free my mind, carmex to help me pass the time
Can I go back to being blind, asked myself why one too many times

‘cheerful spring.’ playlist:
Ring the Bells – Johnnyswim and Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors.
I got faith to move a mountain, and to watch that mountain move
It’s time for words to fall like thunder, sound of justice breaking through
If all is fair in love and war, then what the hell is loving even for?
The world laughs and the martyrs sing, but love breaks through the cavalry

Good productivity.

Mapping my weeks: my current favorite productivity hack.
There are few things I love to read about more than people’s productivity hacks + systems. Therefore it’s no surprise that I loved Hannah’s post about mapping out her weeks. I love the idea of keeping the list to two pages and not ranking tasks in order of size – basically, if it’s important to make the list, it’s important enough to get done.

A little life saving: starting the day over.
I can’t remember how I found Hannah Van Dyk, but she’s one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram. She doesn’t know this, but she’s one of those people who I think I would be great IRL friends with if we lived in the same place! Anyway, she just started a series about things that are saving her life, and the one about starting the day over is really good. I really like the idea of saying “okay, I get 10 minutes to wallow in this and then I’m starting over.”

Good life events.

The coolest thing that happened since my last edition of this post is that Carly Heitlinger mentioned me on her blog! She and I have been Facebook friends for a long time (I would imagine at least since I met her at the Smart Girls Group Summit four years ago) and the link to my one year anniversary post appeared on her feed at some point. I got more traffic than I’ve ever seen, and a whole bunch of people texted me to tell me they’d seen it on her blog. It was super cool. It was also validating because I’d been so nervous to share that post. The fact that someone else thought it was worth sharing meant a lot to me.

I started Project Life again, which I’ve been wanting to do for months. Project Life is a pocket scrapbooking system for memory keeping, and I spent a LOT of time before my move scrapbooking years of my life. I went through all my supplies while I was sick this week, and I have SO MANY arts & crafts supplies. I’ve documented through March, and once my pages are finished I’m going to photograph them and share them here!

Last night I made a meal plan for the week after going through the contents of my fridge and freezer. I made a grocery list, and challenged myself to spend less than $30 on new items. I told myself that I could get ice cream if I spent less than that (including the ice cream). I used my phone calculator while shopping, made some good choices, and I was thrilled to get to the register and find out that my total was $24.75 including the ice cream! Just call me a budgeting queen.


If you find any good links or resources I should include in the next edition of this guide, leave a comment or send me a message! I love finding new resources.

The Good Side || February 2018

March 1, 2018

I’m starting a new series featuring all the things that made my life better in recent weeks. (I totally got this format idea from Hannah Brencher, though I’d been searching for a way to compile links like this!) I’m working on being more grateful, and I’m hoping that looking at the good side of things will help with that.


Good quotes.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

“You have to learn how to say no without you feeling like you’re being mean. Setting boundaries is how you see who does and doesn’t respect you, your time, or your emotional well-being. Anyone who sees your boundaries and thinks your being mean or tries to push that boundaries is not a person you owe your time or attention.”

“Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.” – Richard Siken

“You should remember you are equally beautiful and kind and generous and even though you feel lonely, your heart is never alone.” – a friend I love a lot.

Good podcasts.

Song Exploder.
“You think you’re such a mess but what you don’t realize until you move into better phases of your life is being that messed up or lost is also a great freedom, kinda cower to go but up. Because all that side aside, everything was wide open.” – Jack Antonoff, on Song Exploder.
My friend Bri introduced me to this podcast, which invites an artist to break down one of their songs and talk about how it came into being. I absolutely love learning about peoples’ creative processes, and this hits that mark straight on. Favorite episodes: The Killers (this one made me cry), Lorde, The Lumineers.

Happier in Hollywood.
In January, I went to a meet up for this podcast, which describes itself as telling you how to be happier, healthier, saner, more creative, more successful, and more productive in a back-biting, superficial, chaotic, unpredictable, and fundamentally insane world. It’s hosted by two television writers based in Hollywood, but you absolutely don’t need to be in Los Angeles to listen to it.

Good watches.

I was convinced by some friends to see Black Panther, and I absolutely loved it. I’m not much of a superhero movies person, but I wanted the film to do well and once I saw a few trailers I had to admit it looked good. I absolutely did not disappoint, and it’s made me emotional to hear about how important the black representation has been for people. This video of Chadwick Boseman surprising fans while they thank him is the best.

I’m late to the game but I’ve become obsessed with This is Us in recent weeks. I’m only a few episodes behind what’s currently airing, and I almost don’t want to catch up just because I know it’s going to break my heart. But man, what a great show. It’s also exacerbating my complicated feelings about getting older (I turn 25 on Sunday) but in a good way, which makes sense only in my head.


And that’s what I’ve got for The Good Side this time around. I’ve been keeping a list of good quotes all year with the intention of sharing them on the blog, but I’m excited to expand that into a more comprehensive list to share at the end of each month. If there’s anything in particular that’s making your life better, leave a comment!