How to Juggle Freelance Work and Parenting

futurefreelanceI didn’t always understand why my work priorities aren’t everyone’s priorities, especially when I managed nonprofit volunteers and needed them to meet their deadlines. Then I had a baby, and suddenly, I got it. Volunteers often had full-time jobs plus the best full-time volunteer opportunity of all: being a parent.

After leaving nonprofits and spending several years as a flower shop owner, I decided to stay home with my kids. That’s when I dived headfirst into freelancing. I thought it couldn’t be simpler than freelancing part-time while the kids played quietly.

Right. Continue reading

Nine Ways To Survive the Workday

Each day at the office is filled with its share of to-do lists, deadlines and stressful moments, so the last thing we need when attempting to stay on top of it all? Not having our heads on straight.

Life is all about balancing out challenges with the decision to remain upbeat, determined and poised. Happiness is a choice, after all. Here are nine daily routines that help me remain positive and energized.

1. Begin the day with exercise.


Continue reading

Thanksgiving Food: Tips & Tricks

peanutsThanksgiving is a wondrous time for family and friends to come together, give thanks, relish in fine company and … oh who are we kidding, it’s all about the food. With the most gluttonous holiday just days away, your brain’s likely zeroed in on one thing: lots and lots of gut-busting sustenance.

For some, it’s about the turkey, for others it’s the mountain of irresistible, carb-filled sides. Personally, I come from a family that houses more pies than people every Thanksgiving, so dessert is my true love (sorry everything else). Continue reading

Featured Contributor: J.C. Lewis


School: The University of Bristol (UK)
Degree: BSc Politics
Approved Sections: Arts and Crafts, Food and Drink, Travel, Style, Home, Home Decor, Social Science.

michaelscottHold the phone — you have a 2010 DMS contributor of the year award? Do you have a lot of trophies at home?  No, I don’t have any trophies at home, so my DMS award is very lonely. I have a couple of medals from 5Ks I ran in last year, but it wasn’t for winning or anything close to it, they gave them to everyone. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Paula Martinac


School: Hawthorn University
Degree: M.S., Health and Nutrition Education
Approved Sections: Nutrition, Science

kaleWhat’s your take on the phenomenon that is Kale? How do you prepare it? Kale truly is a superfood, that’s not hype. It’s packed with nutrients. But it’s not the most super superfood, and no single food will cure anything or make you skinny. My favorite kind of kale is lacinato or dinosaur kale, and I chop it up raw and mix it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, red pepper flakes and a little Parmesan or Romano cheese. Let it stand for about 30 minutes and you’ve got an amazing salad. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Lainie Petersen

tealady3(2)School: Dominican University, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Degree: Masters degrees in library science, divinity and theological studies.
Approved Sections: Career, Real Estate, Business, Education.

What was the last thing you Tweeted? Yikes, I mostly share other people’s content on Twitter, but my last exchange was about a great tea company and its wonderful products!

Oh that’s right, according to your bio you’re a tea expert. Explain yourself. I got into tea back in 2008. For awhile, I tweeted the teas I was drinking and people began to ask me to start a tea blog. So I started Lainie Sips, a blog focused on tea and tea reviews. Eventually I even got work doing consulting for tea shops, writing for other tea blogs, and eventually even got a job working in a tea shop. I love tea and am constantly amazed at the diversity of the online (and offline) tea community. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Fred Decker

Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer who has written and blogged on food-related topics since 2007. Previously he sold computers, insurance and mutual funds.
FD02School: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia Community College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Degree: Two-year culinary arts certification, no academic degree
Approved Sections: Food, Tech, Careers, Business/Personal Finance

instagramAs a Chef, do you cringe when you see people taking Instagram photos of their food? Not at all. I think it’s a compliment if people want to share/memorialize your food, or use it to make their friends jealous.

What are some of the ‘unusual’ things you’ve consumed/prepared as a Chef? I’m guessing things like testicles, eyeballsmonkey brains, feet

Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Karren Doll Tolliver


School: Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS
Degree: English
Approved Sections: Fitness & Well-being; Food & Drink; Garden; Technology; Travel

A day in the life of Karren, summarized in a Tweet:


Sounds busy! By the way, I’m digging your name, Karren Doll Tolliver. Did you have a nickname growing up? Well, first of all my middle name, Doll, is actually my maiden name. I really didn’t have a nickname growing up, but my college friends gave me the nickname Double-R because of the two R’s in my first name. There was another Karen in the group; she was Single-R. Continue reading

Top 6 Vacation Destinations (So Far) — Blake Guthrie

Blake Guthrie is a Studio contributor (writer). His articles have been featured in a variety of publications, including the “Atlanta Journal-Constitution” and “Creative Loafing.” He earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from Auburn University.


Blake Guthrie happens to be an accomplished traveler; his presence has graced many different parts of the world. The following 6 locales are Blake’s top picks, the cream of the crop. Each location includes a recommended place to stay, a must do and trivial fun facts! Continue reading

Make the Most of your Labor Day Weekend

hotairbaloonRejoice! Labor Day weekend has finally arrived. As summer winds down and comes to a close, for us working stiffs, a well-earned break couldn’t come at a better time. With that being said, what are your Labor Day weekend plans? Are you hitting the road and getting out of town, or are you partaking in the ritual of a staycation?  If you’re still on the fence about your weekend plans, or simply looking for some affordable activities to engage in, peruse our list of fun, savor-the-last-moments-of-the-season suggestions below. Continue reading