Blogs

A gallery of Girl Crushes.

The blog
Girl Crush

What it is
Many, many profiles of fascinating and diverse women—complete with beautiful design and dreamy photography.

What it says
In a profile of Breast Surgical Oncologist, Helen Mabry: "She entered the examining room with a glow and ear-to-ear smile as if she couldn't wait to get her hands on my boobs. From that moment, I knew that Helen was a woman who loved her job, and I was thrilled that she would be the one taking care of my girls. . ."

Why it's brilliant
We at Brogan think girl crushes are imperative. There are so many dazzling, smart, cool, audacious women deserving of our starstruck admiration. In most media, it's only the stars—the celebrity actresses, rockers and such—who get profiled with fancy photo shoots. But in this blog by a woman who identifies herself only as Wendy, we see all manner of amazing women. A curator, a candy maker, and a creative entrepreneur, to name a few. There's also an autopsy technician, a bartender, and a flight nurse. Of course, there are a few stars, like the New York City Ballet's Wendy Whelan and then there are people identified only as "Supermom" or "Friend." The images that accompany each profile are gorgeous and the interviews are addictive reads. Such a gallery sends a message: every woman is fascinating, no matter what she does.

Honey, I'm home.

The blog
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

What it is
A multi-writer blog that covers nest-feathering in a multitude of delightful ways.

What it says
"Take a look at your space. I'm betting it's set up for when people come over. That's the way most of us decorate.... So move your couch to make room for your easel, push your dining room table to one side and put up a mirror so you can dance every day, find a place for your sewing machine and your mannequin, set up a workbench and a peg board to hold your tools. Because the muse will show up, if you make room for her. She'll camp out and make herself at home and spread out all over the house."

Why it's brilliant
This blog—devoted to every nook and cranny of life well-lived at home—was founded by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, who once billed himself as "the apartment therapist" and administered help to desperate New Yorkers living in tiny boxes. (He also, famously, set up house with his former wife and baby in a 265-square-foot apartment.) While the bloggers at AT have an appreciation for modern design, there's nothing austere or serious about their posts. The site is all about living creatively, colorfully, and joyfully, often in a small or challenging space. Toward that end, AT has a wonderful array of regular features: before-and-afters, house and room tours, contests for the "smallest, coolest home" or most colorful room and a blog-within-the-blog about cooking. AT's search engine will almost always turn up inspiring results if you're looking for something specific. But mostly, this site is like the best kind of house party: The surroundings are lovely but not offputtingly slick, the food is delicious, and the hosts always put you at ease with a great story. It's a place you'll want to stay a while.

It's a fact
83% of people believe platforms like Twitter and Facebook help them make new friends.
-The Social Skinny

Brazen Careerist.

The blogger
Penelope Trunk

Who she is
Founder of the career management tool Brazen Careerist; author of Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success and The New American Dream; farmer's wife; homeschool teacher; gadfly.

What she says
"Most women don't care about being right. They want to be liked. The majority of women have an F in their Myers Briggs score, which means they care more about feelings than ideas. I am not burdened with this F trait. In fact, like most entrepreneurs, I care more about being right than earning money. Which is why I can throw caution to the wind and continue writing about women. And maybe it's okay that I keep losing gigs because I write about women, because earning a lot of money makes you mean, and that's true for men as well as women."

Why she's brilliant
You want a collection of cute affirmations? Go read something glossy. If you want advice that you can really use in your career and home life, steel your self-esteem and start reading Penelope Trunk. Trunk isn't interested in being your BFF. She is very, very certain of her opinions and she doesn't care whether anybody agrees with them. Sometimes we find her infuriatingly narcissistic, sometimes we find her incredibly sympathetic, but we always find her readable. Her body of writing on women and work is voluminous. You can find just about anything you might want in her archives, from managing your resume to being your own boss, from office politics to working at home. Trunk's advice is of the reality-based (as in reality bites), tough love variety. For example: "You have a biological clock that does not pay attention to issues of social justice. You cannot control your biological clock and you cannot control the workplace. But you can control where you spend your time and energy, and you should look hard for a husband early on. Line up the marriage first, then the career." She puts her money where her mouth is by using anecdotes (some of them squirmingly revealing) from her own life. The hours one spends spooling through Trunk's thoughts on everything from Aspergers syndrome to abortion to authorship might occasionally be maddening, but they're also worthwhile. She gives professional women a boatload of things to think about, both in the office and out.

It's a fact
When it comes to cause marketing, 44 percent of women will first choose a brand that makes an instant donation to a charity.
-The Integer Group

Girl of a certain age.

The blogger
Kim France

Who she is
Kim France was Lucky magazine's editor in chief for a decade. She's also worked at Elle and New York. But for our purposes, France will forever be one of the famous scribes of Sassy, the brief-lived 1990s teen magazine that still enjoys a cult following—at least among girls of a certain age.

What she says
"Girls of a Certain Age don't mind calling themselves feminists. They think the whole idea that people are still fighting over whether a woman can be smart and obsess over cute little tops at the same time is as boring as watching a clock tick."

Why she's brilliant
Sassy magazine alums have created their own online oeuvre, including Andrea Linett's I Want To Be Her and Jane Pratt's XOJane. France's blog is our favorite because it's the one that seems to have grown up along with the rest of Sassy's devoted readers. It's sleek and sophisticated and all that mod white space in the design is so soothing to our now-nearsighted eyes! But France's voice is just as clever, quippy, and current as always. Her every paragraph is truly entertaining. (Tags, for instance, include Pricey-but-I-Want, Badasses, and world gone mad.) France's words are also infused with the wisdom of years in her field. She knows that trends come and go. She reveres those who choose the path less traveled. She trusts her own badass, feminist, shoe-craving self. And thus, we do, too.

It's a fact
14% of all American mothers blog about parenting or turn to blogs for advice.
-Scarborough Research

A blogger's blog.

The site
http://kikolani.com/

What it is
Marketing consultant Kristi Hines' blog is all about managing your social media. In other words, it's a blog about blogging. And Tweeting and Facebooking and Tumblring and. . .

What it says
"Your blog can go away. Your Twitter account can go away. Even your other social media outlets can go away. But a list of email subscribers will be yours as long as you want them." (From guest blogger, Christine Brady)

Why it's brilliant
When we're looking for entertainment, we love a cute, whimsical, happy-go-lucky kind of blog. But if your business depends on the savvy use of social media, you want news you can use. Kristi Hines and a host of great guest bloggers give you that, and they give it to you straight up. They preach the gospel of ROI and SEO. They give tips on managing your social media time, monetizing your online activity, or courting subscribers. Every "Fetching Friday," Hines hands you the fruits of her surfing labor so you don't have to hunt down good social media articles yourself. Simply put (just the way Hines likes it) if you're in the business of blogging, you need to put Kikolani into your reading rotation.

A happy heave Ho or queen of pop.

The blogger:
Cassey Ho
http://blogilates.com
http://www.ogorgeous.com/

Who she is:
Ho is a budding lifestyle guru with a blooming cult following. She uses her pink-and-pretty blog to post motivational musings about healthy living, recipes, and workout bags of her own design. But mostly, she kills you with cuteness while she whips you into shape with dozens of free "POP Pilates" and cardio videos.

What she says:
"Even fitness professionals can lose it. You focus on others so much that you forget about yourself, so I want to thank you for being here for me. You are my community of support. So remember what I always say about falling down? You gotta get back up. It's called RESILIENCE people and it is what shows your strength and character."

Why she's brilliant:
Ho is young, adorable, and peppily passionate. She proselytizes about "eating clean," adjusting attitudes, and doing lots and lots of Pilates (while wearing cute workout togs). Accordingly, a devoted community of "POPsters" has formed around Blogilates. Ho's followers virtually sweat, diet, and hang together—at home and at any odd hour they please. The pep-talking is a two-way street, with Ho urging her followers to push through tough workouts by thinking of her, and her commenters sympathizing when Ho shares a humanizing vent. Plenty of famous fitness experts can help you shape up. But Ho is also a sweet girlfriend—as lovable as she is ripped. She could make the crankiest couch potato want to snap on some booty shorts and commence with the fat‑blasting.

It's a fact:
Only 28 percent of worldwide consumers think that companies are doing enough to address the world's major social and environmental problems. -Havas Media

Suit up.

The blogger:
Kat Griffin

Who she is:
A former Wall Street litigator, Griffin shares intel about fashion and lifestyle with "women lawyers, bankers, MBAs, consultants and otherwise overachieving chicks."

What she says:
"Will people make judgments about you and your life based on what your ring looks like? Absolutely. Small ring? She must have married for love. Ginormous ring, particularly on the hand of a coworker who doesn't seem that invested in the job? Future soccer mom. Women who wear plain bands have a certain cache about them also — I always think that they send a vibe of competence, of 'I can't be bothered to wear a diamond ring on a daily basis because I'm too busy Doing Important Work and Not Thinking About Sparkly Things.'"

Why she's brilliant:
Griffin wittily and sympathetically navigates the murky, maddening terrain of What To Wear to Work. She and her readers debate the wisdom of the high ponytail; of bare legs in winter; and of bringing your Birkin bag to an interview for an internship. She also sources plenty of goodies, from beautiful suits to cute business card carriers to the perfect wear-all-day heel. While Corporette acknowledges the true importance of a professional woman's appearance, it also delves deeper with posts about the politics of pregnancy in the workplace, battling burnout, and the sexism inherent in a limp male-to-female handshake. Many of Corporette's questioners and commenters note that they work in offices dominated by men. That's why this blog is a worthy addiction. For some working women, Corporette may be the only place they can get the advice they really need.

Young house love—what's not to love?

The blogger:
John and Sherry Petersik

Who they are:

  • Budget-minded DIYers who renovate their own home (they're currently on their second Virginia ranch house) and blog about it, all while raising their baby daughter and a very expressive chihuahua
  • Authors of a home project book, to be published by Artisan/Workman later this year.

What they say:
"We're not experts, just DIY dorks who like learning as we go and sharing our adventures and misadventures with the world."

Why they're brilliant:
The Petersiks give hope to the legion DDDs (Disappointed by the Dooce Divorce) moping about the blogosphere right now. Though renovation is a famous marital wedge, it only seems to add to this couple's happiness. Their voices are so addictively adorkable, they even make hanging tile sound fun. Not to mention doable. We love their methodical, yet somehow entertaining, tutorials. They're thrifty tastemakers you can trust (they don't accept freebies) and their quirky/mod/ceramic-animal-strewn style is quickly becoming a brand.

Everyone wants to hang out with Mindy Kaling.

The blogger:
Mindy Kaling

Who she is:

  • Writer for and actor on The Office. (OMG, she's Kelly Kapoor!)
  • Author of the breakout memoir Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).
  • Healthy Choice spokesmodel.
  • Blogger. Now the sole proprietress of The Concerns of Mindy Kaling, Kaling used to contribute to Things I've Bought that I Love.

What she says:
"I'd rather look back at photos of myself and say, 'Why did I wear that fringed suede vest? I look like Shaggy from Scooby Doo,' than, 'Oh superb, I always looked perfectly acceptable my whole life. Time to die now.'"

Why she is brilliant:
Kaling is your dry-witted best friend — part Valley girl, part Indian princess — with an impeccable sense of Fashion Right and Fashion Wrong.

Take this Rachel Roy jumpsuit on her blog. Looks risky, right? But when short, curvy, self-deprecating Kaling tells you you will love this jumpsuit, you just know you will love this jumpsuit.

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