Day 2: Good Morning, Alabama!

Yesterday was my orientation at Southern Living. I can’t even describe the splendor of this building – imagine every great thing you’d want in a house packed into a five-story mirrored glass building with a creek running through it and a waterfall outside the door. And, the Cooking Light test kitchen made the whole place smell like shortbread.

We sat in on a panel with some of the top Time Inc. execs, met our managers, and were thrown into the craziness of magazine editorial work. Here are some photos I snapped from the building tour.

Southern Living Test Kitchen


Oh, unlimited cooking utensils? No big.


There are shelves upon shelves of antique and handcrafted bowls that are organized by color. Literally rows of beautiful cake plates waiting to be photographed.

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Pretty nice view, eh?

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Today was my second day at Southern Living but my first official full-blown work day! What a whirlwind!

As my first big-girl task, I got to shadow my boss, Associate Editor Ashley Williams, as she spoke on the Good Morning Alabama newscast about Southern Living’s best Father’s Day gift ideas. Check out these unique twists on Father’s Day here. Apparently, adulthood includes some early mornings and some afternoon yawns.

However, this early morning came with an incredible view.

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After the news segment, I got to check out a style shoot. Who would’ve thought that I would get to have stickies with tasks like these?! Be on the lookout for these pants in a few months…

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Until next time,


The Lone Explorer

Day 1 in Birmingham, Alabama.

First thought: No one would know if I died.

Today I decided to go on a little adventure. This adventure was the equivalent of me finding the location of all the places I will hope to visit in the future: the Riverchase Galleria, Wal-Mart, a few gyms, the downtown, and, of course, the fastest route to the Southern Progress building, home of Southern Living magazine.


Place 1: My new place of habitation! I will be staying with a couple (both marketing gurus and former Southern Living employees) in the Hoover neighborhood of Birmingham. Aside from the unbearable humidity, I’m loving the closet size of my new room.

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Place 2: My lifelong dream. A few jokes have been shared lately about the Canadian taking up residence in the editorial department of Southern Living… but this Can-American is ready to turn full Southern belle. I am so excited to work in this MASSIVE building (hidden away like a top-secret government hideout, as per Josh…) that houses multiple magazines on a 28-acre campus next to Samford University. Tomorrow, my fellowship begins!

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Place 3: Downtown Birmingham. This historically and culturally-rich city has a mix of ethnically diverse restaurants (including African, India, Italian and Mediterranean), gorgeous steel skyscrapers, high-rises covered in mirrored glass windows, an old railroad yard turned playground/walking park, a minor-league baseball field and the University of Alabama at Birmingham – complete with student parking, a huge children’s hospital, multiple housing complexes and a university bookstore. Downtown Birmingham is to be continued, as per the adventures that are to come!

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Place 4: The Riverchase Galleria. This mall is no Cool Springs, but definitely has the largest Forever 21 I’ve ever seen. It’s one of those stores where you walk in, feel immediately overwhelmed that there is an entire section devoted to shoes (those of you familiar with good ol’ 21 know that they’re usually grouped in with the necklaces!), take 45 minutes just walking in a circle not knowing which part to go through first, and then leave empty handed when you realize that there is no chance you have it together enough to limit yourself to only going through 1/50 of the store.

As more exploring arises, more details will be shared. Until next time!

The “A” Word

We always talk about adventure as being this wonderful, soul-quenching feeling that fills your heart with joy and wonder.

This week, I graduated from university. My next “adventure” will be moving down to Birmingham, Alabama, living with strangers, and working with one of the most well-known magazines in the South. We call it an adventure when it’s something new, exciting or unusual. What about the other end of change?

It’s so easy to say you want to do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. On paper, it sounds great. We look up to people who travel around and move to new places. In reality, it’s not fun. It’s scary, it makes your stomach hurt and it makes you really uncomfortable. I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious in my life.

On my graduation cap, I wrote, “Not all who wander are lost.” On one hand, this is very true in my life. Wandering – whether in spirit or adventure – sounds exciting. It is something that brings experience, growth and character. It enriches your cultural awareness and allows you to meet new people. What it doesn’t say, however, is, “Most who wander are terrified.”

A friend of mine recently pulled this type of “adventure” and moved out to the West Coast alone. When I asked her how she did it, her advice was to not be afraid to do things alone. She said that it will certainly be uncomfortable, but you have to explore alone, not be afraid to talk to strangers (sorry, Mom!) and go places by yourself. I imagine myself sitting at Sunday Brunch for one. We will see.