Advice for developing yourself, your style and your life


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Hi, I'm Colleen. I'm a freelance writer and minimalist-in-training with a full-time career as an organizational effectiveness consultant. I'm addicted to self-help books and obsessed with finding ways to make better use of my time and resources. This blog is how I share what I've learned along the way.

Here, you'll find easy, practical ideas for developing your style, growing your career, improving your health, and expanding your thinking.

There will be some good (like this postthis post, and maybe this one too), there will be bad, and there will be very bad. Take what you want, and leave the rest!

Still reading, are you? Well, since you've decided to visit this page and already invested this much time, here is a huge list of facts about me:

1. I have five siblings (three sisters and two brothers) who have done a really great job keeping me honest about my strengths and weaknesses over the years. Although they are currently scattered around the country, my mom and I have a secret strategy to woo them back to Chicago (and by strategy, we're really just trying to inspire FOMO with Snapchat... mixed results to date).

2. I'm married to a Southerner named Wes who is my perfect match. Except when it comes to laundry, tactics for avoiding jet lag, who has funnier jokes (he does, but I'll never admit that), appropriate timing to depart for the airport, level of spiciness for Thai takeout, etc. He is my biggest supporter, best friend, and the reason for any success I've had in life since age 24. The first year of marriage was, as they warned us, really kind of rough, but we slowly got better at it and now I dole out marriage advice like I am a 75-year-old woman. More to come on that...

3. There is a 35-lb boxer mix named Sophie that sleeps in my bed, eats my food, pees on my feet when she gets excited. She calls all the shots in the Bordeaux house, and usually outwits me at keep-away. I like to talk about her until I see peoples' eyes glaze over, then go on for five more minutes.

4. In my real job working as a management consultant, I travel Monday through Thursday which means that I'm an obsessive light packer and kind of a big deal at the Marriott. I also spend hours every week on planes reading my aforementioned self-help books on my well-stocked Kindle.

5. Bikram yoga changed my life, for real. I've been practicing for more than 6 years and it tones down my intense personality and also tones my body in general (in all seriousness, it's a great way to stay fit and I dare all you yoga-haters like my husband to try it and weep).

6. My friends are really amazing and am so thankful to each and every one of them. If you're my friend, there is a 100% chance that you are a closeted weirdo because those are the people I attract. You are also charming, witty, have a distaste for Lilly Pulitzer for inexplicable reasons, and are changing the world in your own way.

7. There are several alternate career paths that I contemplate on a regular basis: freelance writer, interior designer, Bikram yoga instructor, behavioral psychologist, or entrepreneur for one of my million-dollar ideas that many of my above-mentioned friends have told me already exist. (Haters gonna hate, right?)

8. Writing is something that I really love, and I am extremely thankful to a number of editors who went out on a limb for me and my pretty bad writing samples. The confidence I now have in my writing skills is owed to Refinery 29, the Washingtonian and Chicago's Sun Times News Group.

9. I've been very prolific in writing about my love of interior décor, and decided to launch a separate blog for those ideas. What can I say, I love to compartmentalize. And blogs are free, so why not have two?

10. Photography, PhotoShop, HTML, SEO, and other skills involved in running a successful website still elude me. But there are many people who have helped me scrape by and get to a point where I can make some passable posts and to them, I am forever indebted.

If you made it this far, you're probably my mom. (For the record, her name is Mary Lou and she is the most wonderful woman ever.) Hope you enjoy the blog!

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