Cannabis and Freelancing

As of today, I have two new articles published in Boulder Weekly. The common thing between the two is Cannabis – living in Colorado, it’s on the forefront of entrepreneurship and coverage, both positive and negative.

Here are the links to each:

Marijuana Growing Practices: So, what exactly are you smoking?

http://inklinedllc.com/2014/09/25/marijuana-growing-practices/

Hemp Industry Overview: Inaugural year of regulation in Colorado

http://inklinedllc.com/2014/09/25/hemp-industry-overview/

 

Feedback is appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to read them!

Insights from an Editorial Intern

I posted this on my website www.inklinedllc.com as well.

Today is my last day as the Editorial Intern at BizWest Media.

For the past nine months, I have learned more about myself and this crazy world of journalism than I thought possible when I first started. Between the good, the bad and the blatantly ridiculous, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

20 lessons learned as the intern:

1) You will be known as ‘Intern’ and referred to as such when you’re not present until you do something worthwhile. If your fellow reporters start calling you by your real name, that’s a true compliment. Don’t mess it up.

2) Your office phone was previously someone else’s (and not necessarily a previous intern’s), so you will get phone calls, voicemails and requests that have absolutely nothing to do with your job. You will learn the phone list very quickly so that you can easily direct people to the correct sales staff, event coordinator, accountant, facilities manager, etc. You will be inundated with voicemails that you cannot begin to understand the nature of, or why they called your number in the first place. My favorite was a grandfather leaving a message to wish their grandchild a happy birthday…..

3) Your work load will range from very little to what-possessed-me-to-take-this-internship-again? You will be stressed. But, you will get it done. And, for the majority of assignments, they will turn out better than you thought they would.

4) 20 hours per week really means at least 30.

5) You will learn to rely on your fellow reporters. For sources, for information, for advice and for some good laughs. Thanks, Molly and Steve.

6) You will learn a lot about the company you work for and the people you work with. Sometimes a little too much.

7) Some of the people you work with will not know your name or who you are, even after spending nine months there.

8) Editors can sometimes be the voice of reason…and other times make you feel like you don’t even speak or understand English.

9) Confidence is key. With interviews, with writing and with asserting yourself as someone who knows what they’re doing….for the most part. When in doubt, ask questions. Confidently.

10) Some days, your writing will really, really suck and you will wonder why you ever decided to get in to this industry in the first place.

11) Some days, you’ll believe you can win a Pulitzer.

12) Afternoon office beer days are the best days.

13) Don’t tell anyone you’re the intern. When you’re on assignment or conducting an interview, you are not an intern. You are a reporter. (Interns are often seen lowly individuals with small skill sets who have practically no idea what they’re doing. Ok, maybe an exaggeration, but you get the point.)

14) You will get assignments you don’t understand. A few of my favorites were writing about a singles dating app (we had some fun in the newsroom viewing user profiles), outlining the most popular exercises for baby boomers, describing a new, oral-numbing nasal spray, and reporting in-depth about a local university using sheep for space research.

15) You will learn a lot about a multitude of different subjects, sectors, people and projects you report on. You will be a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to random information. This can come in handy in the future.

16) Make sure your name is spelled right on your bylines. Always.

17) Speak up when it comes to edits on your article. If something reads better the way you had it (factually correct and unbiased, of course), consult with the editor or copy editor about why they changed it. They might have a good reason, or they might not.

18) Be sure you can explain or describe anything you have in your article. If you cannot, you will look like an idiot. You may start to be referred to as ‘Intern’ again – JK.

19) You will show up early, you will stay late, and you will work on your assignments outside of your designated “20 hours” per week in order to meet your deadline. Always meet your deadline.

20) Never be the first one at the building. There’s a fine line between over-achiever and desperation. Also, you don’t have a key.

In all honesty, though, I have enjoyed my time working with the news team and will take with me the lessons, insights and knowledge I’ve gained and apply it to future endeavors. I have grown as a writer and reporter and am confident in the skills that I have to take me further as a journalist.

Thanks, BizWest. It’s been fun. ….I’m available for freelance work *hint hint*

reportersday

In the interim….and other excuses

I just wanted to say hi.

Hello.

Yes, I’m still here. And oh boy do I have lots to share with you.

But that will have to wait for another time (another time soon, though!).

You will get to read ALL about why I have so horribly neglected my blog for a while now.

Part of it has been *starting my own business* of independent, freelance writing and editing. Working on building up the clientele part of it, though. 

I named it Inklined. Ink-lined. Like writing…..Get it? You can find it at inklinedllc.com. Feedback is always appreciated as well!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I did not forget about you. With my crazy life, I kind of forgot about me. But I’ll discuss that later.

I have a ton of project ideas in mind and recipes that I want to try over the summer. Oh, and we just started planting in our garden again! So you’ll get to see a nauseating number of photos of that.

And with that, I’ll leave you. But I’ll be back soon.

excuses

 

Home Spa – DIY Style

Because I enjoy seeing just exactly how close I can come to giving myself an anxiety attack, I waited one week until Christmas to make my gifts for everyone. And in my brilliance, I decided to make not just one, but FOUR gifts per person for a home spa kit. …my friends better love me.

In my frenzy, I turned the kitchen in to what resembled an apothecary of sorts run by none other than the Tasmanian Devil – you know, the cartoon character that spins around and turns everything in to shambles and disarray. My very patient roommates did their best to turn a blind eye to the  disaster area that used to be the kitchen until I was finished. Not an easy thing to do.

With the exception of maybe one or two ingredients, everything I used to make my products was natural and organic. And I made them barefoot. With bell bottoms, flowers in my hair, and ‘groovy’ on the tip of my tongue the entire time. Jk. Mostly…

In each spa kit, I included: homemade lip balm, whipped body butter, bath salts, and a sugar scrub.

Peppermint/Rosemary Lip Dressing: For the lip balm, I used the same recipe and procedure as my Lip Dressing that I have made previously. For whatever reason, this batch turned out much better than the first. It yielded 38 tubes of chapstick, which means plenty left over for yours truly. Or you, if you’d like.

Orange Dreamsicle Sugar Scrub: Next, I made the sugar scrub. I found my inspiration for the scrub here. I liked that it had limited ingredients and was very easy to make….if you follow the directions right. Unlike I did. It essentially takes only two ingredients: sugar and almond oil. Pretty straightforward. About two cups of sugar to 1/4-1/3 cup of almond oil. Unless you misread the instructions and haphazardly use 1 1/3 cups of almond oil. Then it takes a WHOLE lotta sugar to make up the consistency. You want the mixture to be soft but not too oily. -I have never before used a sugar scrub and was constantly asking my roommates if my mixture looked or seemed right-

Sugar scrub ingredientsCombining almond oil with sugarSugar and almond oil mixture

If you want to stop there, you can! I can’t ever make anything easy, so I decided to add essential oils for scent and color for effect. I went with orange for the scent, because I figured it would be different and fun. I then divided the sugar into two bowls, one of which I dyed orange.

Plain and orange sugar scrub Orange Sugar Scrub

In small containers, I layered the colors. I gently padded down each layer with the bottom of a shot glass, because I’m innovative. The final product turned out a little something like this:

Orange Dreamsicle Sugar Scrub

Whipped Body Butter: The body butter was probably the most ‘labor-intensive’ process out of everything. That being said, it still wasn’t that hard. And I asked all of my giftees what scent they would like so that I could customize it for them. I found the original recipe for it here. I made a few small adjustments, but followed it for the most part. You essentially need 2 cups total of grease/oil, but I doubled the recipe. I used what I had: 2 cups shea butter, 1 cup coconut oil, 1 cup almond oil. I added the essential oils after for scent depending on what people wanted. I did not color/dye any of the lotion, but that is an option as well (just be cautious of staining skin….or don’t if that’s what you’re going after).

Shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil

Using a double boiler – or one you make yourself from a pot and a glass bowl, melt all the ingredients together, stirring constantly. Let it cool for a few minutes on the counter and then put in the refrigerator until it’s firm, but not solid. Mine took about 2.5 hours to cool.

Butter and oil on double burnerMelted butter and oils

Using a hand mixer, whip the body butter at a high speed for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fluffy. Add your essential oils for scent. Or, if you’re making several different scents, divide into separate containers and whip personalized oils in.

Whipping the Body ButterWhipping the Body ButterWhipped Body Butter

Spoon body butter into containers without packing down or spreading out. This keeps the ‘whipped’ illusion.

Whipped Body Butter

I kept one for myself, and let me tell you, it feels absolutely AMAZING. It’s a little heavy, so I put it on right before bed. The body butter is extremely nourishing and makes my skin very soft. I will definitely be making this bad boy again.

Aromatic Bath Salts: This was by far the easiest thing to make. I found several ‘recipes’ online, but ultimately went with my own. I combined 3 parts Epsom salt with 2 parts sea salt and 1 part baking soda. The baking soda is a skin softener. I added essential oils for scent – lavender and tea tree oil. Put everything into a big mixing bowl, and, well, mix! Like magic, you have aromatic bath salts. So easy, and people are SUPER impressed.

Aromatic Bath SaltsAromatic Bath Salts

 

If you have the time, you can make labels for everything. I was pretty pressed, so I simply included a note with the gift explaining what each jar contained. The entire gift-making process was more enjoyable than I thought it would be, and everything turned out better than I thought it would. There were a few hiccups along the way, but with me that’s pretty inevitable.

Home Spa Kit

Last year, I crocheted everyone infinity scarves. This year, home spa kits.

Next year….gift certificates. 😉