Reading & Watching

Mad Max

July 1, 2015




When I was a kid there were a handful of movies we watched on repeat in my family. Those were: Labyrinth, (Little Orphan) Annie, The Princess Bride, India Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. In fact, just like in Mad Max, when we’d “break a deal” in our household we had to face the wheel – but unlike the movie our wheel was made out of a paper plate and the while the punishments ranged from creative challenges to mundane chores, we were never sent out into the post-apocalyptic desert with no water. As a kid this movie unlocked my imagination, and inspired me to be the kind of kid that could live in the desert and create my own religion based on story and faith. And without a doubt the post-apocalyptic aesthetic in Mad Max has shaped my own sense of fashion – as a kid and even now as a grown-up. Basically, if my outfit wouldn’t make sense in the post-apocalypse I’m not wearing it.

So, Fury Road captured my imagination and re-inspired me all over again. But now as a grown up I’m connecting with Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, and all her feminist badassery. You could write an entire essay on the deeper meaning of this movie and analyze all the points (and many intellectual movie buffs have). You could speculate on the characters, how they’re related to those in the Mad Max movies that precede Fury Road, and anticipate what’s next (and many fanboys have). But me? I’m just ready to overhaul my wardrobe, work out a little harder, drive a little faster, and be grateful I have water on tap.

Being Boss

January 6, 2015


You guys. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this creatively charged. I feel like I have a little extra electricity running through my body. That’s because today I launched the first episode of my new podcast with my dear friend and creative colleague Emily Thompson called Being Boss. (I felt so creatively jazzed about it that I told my sister and business partner Tara that this is the year we will finally write our Braid book. She took a deep breath and said “fine.”)

Starting a podcast is something that has been on my radar for a while – but I knew I couldn’t do it alone. So when Emily pitched me on partnering up to do a podcast I said YES. It made sense. She first approached me on the podcast idea just two weeks before Christmas – followed up with a “Oh yeah, and I think we should launch in the beginning of January.” We spent the next few weeks naming, designing, branding, logistic-ing, recording, coding, editing, and birthing this little project – and now it’s here. And I’m proud of it.

After we recorded the first episode I almost chickened out. I wanted to tell Emily that maybe we should reconsider or hold off until everything is perfect – but that’s not how either of us roll and nothing is ever perfect. So here we are. Later this week I’m going to be approaching some really big deals and request interviews – creative powerhouses and people you will most definitely want to hear from – but first I need to go put on my big girl undies.

You can listen to Being Boss and read our show notes at or on SoundCloud. We’re working on getting it up and running on iTunes but keep running into technical snafus. Sign up for our newsletter if you want to be updated on episodes as they are released.

I Know You Care

December 2, 2014


I had a good, long holiday weekend that involved lots of delicious food, buying and decorating a real tree, and kissing my babes under the mistletoe. And Beyoncé. On repeat. It started with the new video Beyoncé just came out with. I’m pretty sure she filmed it on her iPhone and edited it herself in iMovie. Watch it here if you haven’t already.

If you listen to enough Beyoncé you already know that Beyoncé knows that it’s pretty good to be Beyoncé. I know it’s dangerous to assume someone else has the perfect life, especially when the picture of their perfect life comes with a team of makeup artists, producers, art directors, choreographers, backup dancers, drivers, and personal chefs – but who doesn’t want to be Beyoncé? Sometimes I’m in the shower and shamed into shaving my legs because I bet Beyoncé would never go a whole month without shaving her legs. She’s also probably really diligent about moisturizing and flossing and all the other little details that add up to making a person perfect.

But then Beyoncé comes out with this candid selfie video and shatters the curated illusion. The first time I watched the video I didn’t even really notice how much fun Beyoncé was having because I was too busy analyzing the contents on her messy bathroom counter. Are those sliders next to her sink? Do you think she’s going to eat those? And wow, check out all that makeup! And look at that pile of laundry on her bedroom floor. What a mess! Maybe Beyoncé doesn’t shave her legs everyday after all!

But then after my fifth or sixth time of watching this video I concluded that Beyoncé is still perfection. Because even in her messy bathroom she’s still having a really great time. It’s obvious that Beyoncé loves being Beyoncé even without the big budget and perfect lighting. Beyoncé’s confidence – the fact that she can rock it amongst the clutter and use her foot as a phone… well, I think she’s redefined perfection.


May 14, 2014


Have you been watching Cosmos?

This is pretty much the question I begin every conversation with these days. I’m not quite old enough to remember the original series created by Carl Sagan – but I’m really digging the revival brought to us by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and the talent that brings us Family Guy Seth MacFarlane. (An odd coupling if you ask me … but it works.) Cosmos uses the scientific method to break down big questions of the universe and the true nature of reality. And if you’re open to it, it will blow your mind with perspective.

But first, can we talk about how amazing Neil deGrasse Tyson is? He’s probably the kindest and most personable astrophysicist there ever was. He’s wicked smart, clearly, but he’s also kind. And he almost ventures into Mr. Rogers territory when he takes us on the “Ship of the Imagination” to explore the depths of ocean and the far corners of the universe. It’s obvious after watching a few episodes that deGrasse Tyson is not only passionate about his own career in astrophysics but he’s passionate about fostering the potential in the future scientists and curious minds who might be watching his show. In fact, I can’t help but think of Fox one day finding inspiration in deGrasse Tyson’s infectious enthusiasm. I also love how science is spiritual for Tyson. I feel the same.

But back to Cosmos being a bit mind blowing. The universe is huge, y’all. I know that’s a given but in an episode of Cosmos that made it visual I left one episode feeling like a tiny, insignificant speck of dust. I considered not even getting out of bed the next day. Then in the very next episode Cosmos explored our existence down to the tiniest molecule and I felt lucky to be alive and ready to take on the world. So, if we’re just a bunch of molecules bound together by what feels like luck in a universe that is larger than comprehension we might as well love hard and take risks, right? Right.

So, watch Cosmos. It airs weekly on Fox and National Geographic.

Let’s TED

March 26, 2014


I have to spend about 20 minutes a day pumping breast milk while my baby is at daycare – this means I have a good amount of time on my hands where well… I can’t use my hands. (I know they make those hands-free pumping bras but the inconvenience of changing into one of those does not outweigh the convenience it provides.) Enough about boobies. The point is this time gives me the perfect opportunity to catch up on all the videos I never seem to find time for.

So the other day I asked my Twitter friends what their favorite TED talk is. There are some gems in here for sure:

Want to be happy? Be grateful. David Steindl-Rast
The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.
Recommended by Natalie

The key to success? Grit. Angela Lee Duckworth
Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.
Recommended by Elleonce

How great leaders inspire action. Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers …
Recommended by Mike

Before Avatar … A curious boy. James Cameron
James Cameron’s big-budget (and even bigger-grossing) films create unreal worlds all their own. In this personal talk, he reveals his childhood fascination with the fantastic — from reading science fiction to deep-sea diving — and how it ultimately drove the success of his blockbuster hits “Aliens,” “The Terminator,” “Titanic” and “Avatar.”
Recommeded by Liz

Normal: Joli Talusan Vega
Joli Talusan Vega is a 10-year-old with a message. She is a survivor of childhood retinoblastoma, a very rare pediatric cancer of the eye which has left her with a prosthetic right eye. As a result of her cancer and subsequent vision disability, Joli has developed a deep sense of compassion, care, and justice. She has a kind heart and a mature perspective on what it means to be a good friend and a caring person; she sees the beauty in what makes us different.
Recommended by Olivia

The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance. Shawn Achor
In Shawn’s TEDxBloomington presentation, he says that most modern research focuses on the average, but that “if we focus on the average, we will remain merely average.” He wants to study the positive outliers, and learn how not only to bring people up to the average, but to move the entire average up.
Recommended by Jose

Your Elusive Creative Genius. Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
Recommended by Jensen and Danielle

The Power of Vulnerability. Brené Brown
Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.
Recommended by Alexandra. I can also pipe in and say this one changed my life.

So now I want to hear from you – which TED talks (or any other videos!) would you recommend? 

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