Weekly Reads


Living in a college town means an exciting buzz fills the air as students move in and the fall semester starts. And even as temperatures continue to soar beyond 90 degrees here, my mind begins to wander toward warm sweaters, pumpkins spice and bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils. I do my best to embrace what’s special about my city and the season I’m experiencing now. (Love these tips.) But it’s no wonder one of my top reads this week features nine things you probably didn’t know about Nora Ephron.

Beyond fall, Ephron’s movies get me thinking about life in my 30s. (A milestone that’s just about 6 months away.) After a visit with a financial planner recently, I feel confident I’m on track as far as retirement savings go. But sometimes I wonder what other life events I ought to be saving for. Should I start an investment account for a future down payment on a house? Or even fertility treatments?  I haven’t made any decisions about children yet and I want to keep my options open. But I know as I age fertility could become an issue and as this New York Magazine article explains, treatment is expensive.

Another of my top reads this week highlights the difficult, often frustrating, intersection of fashion and journalism. I’ve seen articles in which commenters question a woman’s ability to report on a serious subject if she has also written about fashion. In this case, the quality of a woman’s reporting is questioned based on her fashion choices.

Finally, to round out my Basic B post, I’d like everyone to know that I love Eat Pray Love and I think Elizabeth Gilbert is amazing. I’m inspired by her ability to boldly be herself and I wish her every happiness following her latest announcement.




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Weekly Reads


It’s been a busy, cloudy, exhausting few weeks. First an especially bad cold knocked me off my feet and out of service for a couple of days and kept me dragging for several more. Work piled up. So did dishes. Deadlines loomed.I ate fast food. I skipped my workouts. I focused on making it through. And now I’m here. The storm is clearing, the pressure is letting up, the deadlines are passing and even though I know the sun is coming, (Time planned with friends, a visit from a special cousin and a fun trip are all lined up!) I still feel a little cloudy here.

Sometimes those clouds make me wonder, could that mean I’m not on the right path? Shouldn’t the trail always be sunny–warm, kissing my skin in the late afternoon light? That brings me to my first recommended read this week. The Purpose of Clouds. Erin Loechner from Design for Mankind, a blogger I admire to her authenticity, explains the clouds are often there for a reason.

So this weekend I plan to settle into the clouds, let them give me the rest I need and wait for them break to reveal whatever might come next.

Here are a few more of my favorite articles this week:

Verity Vareé showcases the power and beauty of real women’s stories in through a series of interviews and photo shoots the site’s creators call “Reveals.” (Margaret’s story is one of my favorites.)

From Vv’s Kickstarter:

“When you see someone else courageously reveal her story, you start to see the worth, value, and unique properties of her person. And you begin to think, ‘Is my story beautiful too?'”

Thanks to Darling Magazine for introducing me to Vv.


I also love this collection of essays supporting another choice for women–the decision not to have children.

Thanks to  Cup of Joe for pointing me toward this collection.




Image credit: Aaron Burden



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Bear Hunting in Florida – A Behind the Story Look

Just a few weeks ago, Florida wrapped up its first bear hunt in decades. I wrote about the outcome here and here.  A few of my bear hunt stories aired nationally on NPR including this feature. I wrote it as officials were still working out the details of the plan.

I’ve been reflecting on the hunt and wanted to share with you a little bit about what it took to write that story for NPR’s Weekend Edition.

black bear

Working on this story while keeping up with my regular work at the station was exhausting. I spent days squeezing in early morning or late evening interviews and kept both a pair of boots and heels in my trunk so I could switch from a tramp through the woods to a stroll through the Capitol. But it was also so. much. fun.

I spent one day driving through some of the most beautiful parts of North Florida with a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist.


I also got to take an AMAZING tour of the Tallahassee museum. Besides being close enough to a massive black bear to get a little bear snot on my mic, I also got to pet a sloth and hop into the enclosure with this guy:


Some of the most interesting facts I learned:

  • Florida bears have a sweet tooth. While wildlife specialists in other states use old beaver skins to attract and count or monitor bears. Florida officials lure bears with honey buns.
  • Black bears are smart, have good memories and can see color well. Many  waste management companies offer bear proof trashcans in a different color from the non-bear-proof variety. Wildlife officials say bears can see that, remember they can’t open them and often don’t even bother stopping to check them out.
  • But they’ll try a few of those differently colored cans before they learn. And they check back every now and then to be sure nothing has changed. On my tour around Franklin County FWC biologist Kaitlin Goode, showed me dozens of trashcans with bite and claw marks. She says bears turn trashcans over and jump on them to try to explode them open. And the bears are strong enough to bend thinner metal lids on some dumpsters if the lid is only secured in one place.
  • Most of the year food is the biggest motivation for bears. That’s why the smell of garbage brings them out of the woods and into backyards. Human food is full of calories, which is good news for bears who are stuck otherwise trying to take in 15-thousand calories of acorns.

Image 1  |  Image 2 R&W  |  Image 3 R&W

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Weekend Scoop


Happy Monday! I hope all of you had wonderful weekends. E and I spent our weekend making plans for a few upcoming get-aways, playing board games with friends and hunting for the super moon eclipse. This week is starting off with a rainy Monday that’s putting me in the mood for soup and couch snuggling. I’m hoping to parlay that into a week of healthy self care — cooking good food, reading books that make me think and maybe a little yoga.

Image Credit: Negative Space

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Weekly Reads


It’s still warm here in Florida, but I can feel the fall weather coming. And while E and I are planning a trip to the coast to see the lunar eclipse Sunday, I’ve got a bit of an itch to curl up on the couch with some good reads. Here are a few articles I’m looking forward to.

I remember seeing Carly Fiorina speak when I was just a freshman in high school. I was really impressed by her then. What made the biggest impression on me was probably that she had majored in medieval studies, and had worked her way up to run a major company. I think I saw her as role model for women and also proof that hard work and critical thinking could lead to success. I haven’t followed her much since then and I’m not ready to comment on her politics. But I am excited to watch her campaign. Which is why this New York Times article is on the top of my reading this list weekend.

I think this Washington Post story about how children are used to send political messages is really well done.

I love to host people in my home for small parties or get-togethers, but my boyfriend and I sometimes wonder why our friend group so often lands at our house. This story from the New York Times might provide some insight.

And finally, I can’t get enough of the current pope. NPR gives us eight quotes from his U.N. speech.

What about you? What are your plans for the weekend? Any not-to-be-missed stories?

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Weekly Reads


The Florida legislature started its second special session of the year this week. It has one more special session to go after that. Committee weeks will follow soon after and the 2016 regular lawmaking will be starting, this time in January. And the legislature isn’t all that will be keeping me busy this fall. E and I have a few fun trips planned.

So this weekend I’m hoping to take some time to recharge. Hopefully that means sleeping in, taking a few evening walks and catching up on a little reading. Here are a few of top choices on my reading list:

Have you heard about the new way to get to Sesame Street? It’s through HBO! Read the surprising story here.

This story about how marmosets learn to communicate is both hilarious and adorable.

I’m looking forward to reading this article. I want to live a life that puts less focus on buying and more focus on cherishing.

This post is full of gorgeous photos from an Australian astrophotographer. Looking at the stars always helps me put my life in perspective.

And once I get all that perspective in order, I’m looking forward to this read from Mindy Kaling on how to have killer confidence.

What are about you? What are you reading this weekend?

Image Credit: Luke Pamer

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Weekend Scoop

girl sitting in sun beam

It’s hot in Florida, like really hot. I thought I’d adjusted to the sunshine state’s sometimes brutal summers, but after a record breaking spring, it seems like our heat indexes top 100 degrees every day lately. It makes me want to hide inside, lying in the dark under the ceiling fan. But E and I are both fighting that urge.

This weekend our friend moved back into town after a stint at grad school in New Orleans. Our friends threw him a house warming party complete with some amazing guac. It prompted a conversation on the New York Times guacamole recipe. Where do you stand on the peas or no peas issue?

E got some exciting news that we celebrated this weekend with few tasty drinks at our favorite bar followed by a scoop of really good ice cream.

In fact, we used the weather as an excuse for more than one serving of ice cream this weekend. We also did a little organizing at home and recovering after our trip to the Smokey Mountains. (I hope to tell you about that soon.)

How about you? What did you do this weekend?

Image Credit: Julia Caesar 

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