All posts tagged: featured

Top Tips for Working Remotely

If you work remotely or have considered it, you’ve most likely seen lots of advice about how to do it successfully, including how you should dress like you’re going into an office or have a whole room dedicated for your office space. And you know what? I don’t agree. I’ve worked remotely successfully for over two years now (currently: at Automattic for WordPress.com), and the secret is: Do what works best for you. Try lots of variations until you get the right combination, and then be willing to change it up once those things aren’t working as well for you anymore. Here are my top tips for how to work from home: Wear whatever you want! Take advantage of not having to go into an office and dress however you’re most comfortable while working. Do you need the structure of a business casual outfit to get in the right mindset? Fine. But if you don’t? Get cozy! My loungewear and sweatpants collection has expanded vastly over the past two years. When they became my work …

Five Top Tips for Reading More Books

I’m a big reader. I got off track logging my books as I read them in Goodreads this year to prove I met my goal of over 100, but I’m confident I did. No doubt about it, even without the proof, I know I’m well over it. So if you’ve been wishing you’d find a way to read more books, I’ve got the tips for you! (And no, I’m not going to tell you to stop watching television. I love TV too.) Last year I shared ideas for How to Read More Books in 2016, and I’m back today with five more top tips to help you along the way. I recommend reading the first post for the entry-level ideas to get started, and adding in these next five to level-up your reading habits. Give yourself a book budget. I don’t mean this as a way to decrease your book spending, but to increase it guilt-free. If you’ve set aside X dollars for books per month, it’s perfectly fine to spend the entire amount on …

My Year in Review: 2016

With 2016 coming to a close, I thought I’d share another recap (like in 2015). It was way easier last time because I blogged so much last year, so at the very least, writing this post was a good reminder that I’d like to document my life more. Good thing I’m starting a Bullet Journal right now. 😉 And I solemnly swear to post here at least 48 times in 2017. (Can you tell I’m watching Harry Potter?) Read on for my monthly recap and a list of the places I visited this year. Here’s a month-by-month recap of what I was up to (as far as I can remember): January: I visited Phoenix for a work team meetup, plus spent a few days of roadtripping around the state, including to Sedona and the Grand Canyon, with two teammates. Cold afternoon at the Grand Canyon. A post shared by Sarah Blackstock (@sarahblackstock) on Jan 15, 2016 at 6:07pm PST   February: We kicked off our master bathroom remodel. It got demolished (down to the studs and subfloor!), then …

Veronica Mars: Iconic Feminist Show and Girl Detective

Veronica Mars: Iconic Feminist Show and Teen Girl Detective

Veronica Mars is one of my favorite television shows, and the title character is a fantastic depiction of a smart, vulnerable, brave, fallible young woman. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend setting aside some time and watching the entire series. (If you’ve got Amazon Prime, it’s available for free there right now or it’s less than $20 per season.) Below I analyze a few episodes from the first season of Veronica Mars, in relation to feminist theory (and just because I love it). About the show In Veronica Mars, the main character, Veronica, attends school while moonlighting as a private investigator. (If you haven’t seen it yet, you may want to come back later, unless you’re one of those people who love spoilers.) Set in a fictional, affluent town called Neptune, California, Veronica Mars frequently covers issues of race and class division, and feminism is addressed through the struggles and triumphs of Veronica and her friends. Veronica is a cute, blonde, white girl from California who viewers may assume is more surfer girl or spoiled brat at first, …

A Visit to Ghent, Belgium

A Visit to Ghent, Belgium

Last year when we went to The Netherlands to visit family, we took a road trip down to Ghent, Belgium for a night and strolled around the city for two days. It reminded me of a miniature Amsterdam, without the modern touches the Dutch are so great at weaving into their charming, old cities. It was quite lovely, as you can see: Gravensteen Castle was built in 1180, and is right in the city center. At the time of my visit (last August) it was one of the oldest standing structure I’d ever visited. (However, I went to Rome shortly after my night in Ghent. America is such a young baby, yall.) Also, while in the castle, I saw a guillotine that had actually chopped off heads before. (Ahh!) I was working on organizing my photo archive tonight and these reminded me how thankful I am to have these experiences and not even need these photos to know what it’s like to stand in a place so old and fantastic. Life is good.

Single Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies

Single-Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes I really, really want homemade chocolate chip cookies, but lately two things have stopped me from having them: (1) our wall oven broke several months ago and we’re relying on a fancy toaster oven until we remodel our kitchen in a few more months, and (2) I’d love to eat a whole bunch of them but really probably shouldn’t. Well, problem solved! Because: (1) My toaster oven (the Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven) is actually really good at being an oven and handles all sorts of things (from these cookies to whole dinners) fantastically well, and (2) baking only two cookies at a time means they’re always fresh out of the oven when I eat one and also that there won’t be a pile of them sitting around ruining my attempt at eating remotely healthy on weekdays. These cookies will take you about a total of 15 minutes and one bowl, so they’re totally worth the tiny bit of trouble.