Spotlight on Demand with Reina Glenn

ReiReiLet’s get the basics nailed down first. Who are you and what do you do here? *Bonus points if you write in third-person!  

Challenge accepted…

Reina Glenn is the Associate Editor working in the Studio. She has a degree in English from UCLA, and is consequently a certified bookworm. She (not so sarcastically) calls herself a grandma, because she loves to bake and falls asleep far earlier than is acceptable for her age. Fun facts: she spent most of her adolescence onstage dancing and singing, she has a cat named Big Red, and she can beat box. 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.

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Change the Channel

ssssssssIt might sound absurd, and even harder to admit, but writing can sometimes feel stale. Considering all the forms of entertainment we have circumventing the web — videos of cats, animated gifs, breathtaking photography — standard text, all by itself on a plain piece of paper, appears … archaic. Purists will argue there’s no truer form of entertainment than reading a passage and embarking on an adventure using nothing but the imagination, which is fine. Truth be told I’m not here to counter argue that, as that ideology does make sense to me. After all, I love writing. However, as a creative individual looking to express myself in different ways, I ventured outside of traditional standard writing in order to find a different channel. That outlet? Photoshop.

What started out as a mere distraction has actually blossomed into a full-fledged hobby. Whereas some people utilize the software to enhance images, I’ve take a slightly different route: I like to alter pre-existing images floating around the web by adding effects. Not only does this practice help to channel my influx of creativity, but it also helps keep my mind sharp. While I enjoy writing, it’s equally as fun to work in this medium.

Here are a few of my favorite altered images. Granted, they aren’t perfect; I am still learning Photoshop’s many intricate tools. As I continually push myself to learn more, the process becomes more enjoyable, and easier. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Jenny Green

contribSchool: Open University (UK)
Degree: MA Literature
Approved Sections: Gardening, Pets, Science

Because you’re so enamored by Science Fiction, can you tell us what your favorite book from that genre is? Arghhh… that’s a hard question. My most recent favorites have been Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book.bloggerbooks Continue reading

Test Your Boundaries by Crossing Borders

Marseilles,-FranceTravel writing and writing while traveling are two distinct entities. The former — travel writing — entertains us. Writing while traveling trains us. I did it.

I left my beloved U.S. about 10 years ago, with nothing save a backpack, a passport and too many shirts. I have ridden the topside of a donkey in Morocco, making my way up the Rif. I have sat on the roof of terminal three at Tegel airport in Berlin to get a free Wi-Fi connection. I won’t bore you with the discomfort of details, but I know the ropes of the globe. And they do not make a noose — if you write. My ropes tied, and comforted me, with freelancing. Continue reading

Wheels Up, Words Down

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By: Bryn Bellamy

There’s an inherent difference between people who travel and people who don’t travel. It’s cliched to say travelers are restless, but I do think we crave variety in a way that other people crave routine. Not that there’s anything wrong with craving routine, but the traveler lives for the surprises, and perhaps even the dangers that come with stepping into the unknown. (I’m not an adrenaline junkie of the flying-squirrel-suit variety, but I do get a bit twitchy if I haven’t been on an airplane for a couple of months.) Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Karren Doll Tolliver

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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:

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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.

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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

Featured Contributor: Mary Avant

maSchool: UNC-Chapel Hill
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a concentration in Reporting and a minor in Russian Literature
Sections: Style & Beauty, Parenting & Motherhood, Business & Personal Finance

A day in the life of Mary, summarized in a Tweet:marytweet

Per your journalism pedigree: how far have you traveled to cover a story, and what story was it? I studied abroad in Ireland and worked for a magazine there, so I guess technically I’ve traveled overseas for stories (most of which were business-related, as I worked for Ireland’s biggest business publication). In the States, I’ve traveled as far as Montana to cover a story about a naturally raised cattle ranch; my life is so glamorous, right? Continue reading

Why You Need to Take a Vacation

In honor of the upcoming World Cup Games, Rio de Janiero is on our vacation wish list this summer. Image credit: www.fancyholidays.com

With the upcoming World Cup on the brain, Rio de Janeiro is on our vacation wish list this summer. Image credit: http://www.fancyholidays.com

Even though the three-month summer break is a thing of the past (for most of us anyway), you shouldn’t ignore the urge to drop everything and hop a flight to Brazil. Especially if you’re a soccer fan.

In fact, if you’ve been just lusting at pictures of sandy beaches and chic metropolis destinations on your desk instead of buying a ticket, you may be be stifling your productivity (and creative thinking for that matter) at work. Enter the numbers to back up this theory: An Intuit study showed that the majority — 82 percent to be exact — of small business owners who took a vacation saw a spike in their performance when they returned to work, so we learned in this Fast Company article.

Taking a vacation –we’re talking longer than a three-day weekend– can help you get a fresh perspective, recharge your batteries, stimulate your brain, go outside your comfort zone, and any other euphemism you can think of to describe self improvement. Check out the article to learn about the full benefits of checking out for a few days.

So don’t delay in planning that next break, whether it’s a whirlwind European tour, relaxation on pristine beaches in Southeast Asia or just a good ol’ U.S. road trip. And, since we did a bit of travel lusting after learning about how vital our vacation time really is, here are a few resources we found to help inspire our next trip. Bon Voyage!

Image credit: www.tlnt.com

Image credit: http://www.tlnt.com

If you can’t decide where to go….

Take a quiz!

Flip through a slideshow of the 27 best places to visit in 2014.

Listen to other Trip Advisor travelers, who rated the top 25 destinations in the world.

If you can’t decide what to pack….

First, figure out what not to pack.

Listen to the experts. World traveler and guidebook author Rick Steves who shared his personal packing list (And an adapted version for the ladies).

If you can’t decide what to read when you get there….

Here’s a list of 143 books to start with.

Or follow this flow chart that will route you to some classics:
The Summer Reading FlowchartHave a great trip planned? A destination you’ve always wanted to see? A great summer read? An entertaining travel tale? Do tell!