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Author: Madeline Beard (page 2 of 3)

I&H Spotlight: Locke Hughes

Meet Locke Hughes, 27, a Senior Editor at Greatist.com living in Manhattan. We picked her brain on how she turned her passion for health, fitness and journalism into a successful and fulfilling career.

locke_imgMaddie: What’s your day job and your responsibilities there?
Locke: I’m a senior editor at Greatist.com. We’re a health and wellness startup on a mission to help people think about health in a different way—namely, that healthy equals happy (no six-pack required). Our content is science-backed, expert-approved, and totally down-to-earth. You won’t find any talk about cleanses, crash diets, or soul-destroying workouts here (unless it’s to say how crazy they are). On a typical day, you’ll find me pitching new story ideas, assigning articles to freelancers, top editing articles, overseeing fitness photo shoots, and writing (the fun part!).

M: Tell me a little bit about your career trajectory. How did you end up as a Senior Editor at Greatist?
L: It’s probably a familiar story. After graduating from the University of Virginia with an English degree in 2010, I came to NYC, spent a month job searching while sleeping on a friend’s couch before I found a freelance position at O, The Oprah Magazine (and an apartment). Then I took another freelance role at Seventeen, and finally a legit job as an assistant to the editor-in-chief at Woman’s Day Magazine. After that (people move around a lot in the publishing world!) I moved to Shape to be an online assistant editor, where I eventually became the senior social media editor. Last year, my former boss from Shape approached me about coming to Greatist, where I am now. Moral of that story: Meet with anyone and everyone! I originally connected with my now-boss five years ago when I bought her a coffee when I first moved to NYC. I stayed in touch, and eventually she helped me get my job at Shape, then ended up hiring me at Greatist! You never know where a cup of coffee may take you.

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How to Host

If you live in a big city, you have likely held the position of “host” at some point or another. Whether it be friends or family, hosting can feel stressful; the unspoken expectation is that you serve as your city’s unofficial ambassador of fun. You’ve lived here for six months now, what do you mean you don’t know the best place to get Turkish food on a Wednesday? (Hold on, let me check Yelp…)

All this aside, if you love and care about the people that you’re hosting, you genuinely want to show them a good time. This past weekend I hosted one of my best friends from college, Colleen, for a quick 24-hour trip; here are the things I learned from her stay (along with the several other hosting duties I’ve had during my time in New York):

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Fall Favorites: NYC

As a habitual planner and goal setter, one season ending and another beginning sends me into a spiral of reflection and thought. I’m the sort of person who wholeheartedly embraces January 1st and the ritual of making new years resolutions, often documenting them visually.

So of course, with all the “so long summer” Instagrams and back-to-school promos, the thoughts started flooding my mind: What do I want to make of my fall? What sort of goals should I set? What have I been wanting to do but putting off?

I am always performing a balancing act between present and planning. While I love making plans, I also have to constantly remind myself to enjoy what I have in the present moment. So I’ve reframed my questions; rather than focusing on the big picture life changes the moment the days start getting shorter, I thought about the beautiful, simple things I love about the fall season. Here is what I came up with:

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I&H Playlist: Labor Day Weekend

Happy long weekend folks! We’ve compiled a playlist with all of our favorite new and new-to-us traveling tunes for your listening pleasure. Whether you’re voyaging by bus, train, car, plane, or subway, we’ve picked some jams that will make your holiday even sweeter:

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“Where are you from?”

A common question we get asked that I often have a hard time answering. My response is always pretty long winded: I grew up in Texas, my family resides in Las Vegas now, I went to school in DC, and now I live in New York City. Sometimes this will lead to a follow up question of “so where is home for you?” And to be honest, I still haven’t figured it out. New York feels like the obvious choice, but I usually resort to an open-ended “Well home for me isn’t linked so much to places, but more to feelings, emotions and memories. Home is my mom’s cooking. It’s my herb garden. It’s my best friends from college. It’s breakfast tacos.” It can’t be defined in a clear cut, obvious way.

In a similar sense, another hard-to-answer question we often face: “So what’s the deal with you and [insert fling/hook up buddy/romantic interests name here]?”

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Making Pies

Since writing my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot about making pies. But before I delve any further into an explanation, a song for the theme (one of my all time favorites, an homage to my mother and my Texas roots):

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Timelines

Sunday afternoon, I sat in my bed trying to finish several blog posts I’d started earlier in the week. As excited as I had been initially to write these posts, not a drop of inspiration was helping me to finish them. Part of the reason I love writing for Island & Hills is because everything that gets published are ideas that inspire me, feel timely and relevant. So sitting around with a bad case of writer’s block, I was forced to do some soul searching; if planned parenthood, career advice, or dating trends weren’t getting me in the mood, what would?

Over the past several months, I have observed a pattern that I’ve been wanting to write about. I, along with some of my close friends, have gone through different life-altering events: falling out of love with a romantic partner, losing a friend or family member, etc. As a way of dealing with these significant, difficult milestones, we often rely on timelines. In the days and weeks following, these sorts of statements become all too common:

“In a month, I’d like to be able to start dating again.”

“In two months, I won’t let myself cry about it anymore.”

“In three weeks, I want to be able to see them and be fine.”

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Love at First Listen: Florence + the Machine, Sylvan Esso & Lucius

I have always been a lover of the ELJ (empowered lady jams) and BBT (bad bitch tunes) genres of music. Yes, maybe I just invented those acronyms, but plenty of my all-time favorite artists fall under these categories. From my Spice Girls Craze of 1995 to my Haim Frenzy of 2013, it is pretty much guaranteed that I won’t go long without finding a new female artist or bad ass girl band to keep on heavy rotation. Today I have rounded up my current favorites — an assembly of new releases and new-to-me discoveries. PLUS, TWO BONUS TRACKS. Surprise! That’s right! If three full albums of melodic goodness wasn’t enough, I’ve included two more songs for you because it’s a Wednesday and you deserve all the good music you can get.

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I & H Spotlight: Kendall Breitman

With the first presidential debate happening tonight, we couldn’t imagine a better spotlight subject than Kendall Breitman. Kendall, 23, currently works as a political reporter in New York City.

kendall_imgMaddie: Tell me what you do.
Kendall: I’m a political reporter at Bloomberg Politics.

M: What made you want to get into journalism and reporting?
K: I didn’t originally think about doing journalism at all. I always liked writing, but I didn’t want to do creative writing, so I didn’t really know what else was on the table. I took a journalism class, and that opened up the whole world of journalism to me. I started editing arts and entertainment for my school’s newspaper (I thought that was what I wanted to do). I got an internship doing political journalism, ended up loving that, so it all came together out of different situations in my life.

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Just Have Fun

I have a pretty active imagination. Working in a creative field, this often works to my advantage. I love being a storyteller, someone who can dream up the crazy ideas and then make them happen. Unfortunately, this active imagination, paired with the Type-A side of my personality that loves to list and plan, does not do me any favors when it comes to dating.

Whether going out with someone I met IRL or online, if the first date goes well (e.g. an attraction, an initial curiosity, a “spark”), it’s at this point that my imagination/Type A combo starts to run amok. The rational part of me tries to keep my cool, keep my distance, keep my shit together; the insidious irrational part of me creeps in, making pro/con lists, trying to answer the “What ifs?”, making up stories when my mind least expects it. One minute I’m on the subway, figuring out what I’m going to make for dinner; the next, I’ve caught myself thinking about when/if I’m gonna see Justin Long again, and where we could go if we do see each other, and whether we should go to that new whiskey bar because he said he liked whiskey, but maybe it’ll be too loud and crowded…. You see where I’m going with this.

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