Second Glance

With all of the distractions that we face every single moment of these overly informed, visually over-saturated, social media/Internet-driven modern day lives, it’s hard to stay focused.

When it comes to creation of any kind– whether it’s art/writing/design/fashion/music…  I think a good rule of thumb is to attempt to make it worth the second read, a second glance, a second visit, a second listen– worth a second second in a world in which time is everything.

Personally, this theory translates to my everyday life decisions. Don’t do anything that’s just not worth your precious seconds. Here’s to staying true to yourself, and to having integrity in everything you do.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton

Image via: Tang Yau Hoong

Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Storyteller and Virgo

LA-based social media marketer and brand journalist Mani O’Brien spends her downtime raising a small human and ranting on this blog. Here you’ll find frequent cursing, a self-indulgent analysis of her 30-something existence as a wife, mother, Millennial, digital marketer and astrology-obsessed feminist.

More Stories

Second Glance

With all of the distractions that we face every single moment of these overly informed, visually over-saturated, social media/Internet-driven modern day lives, it’s hard to stay focused.

When it comes to creation of any kind– whether it’s art/writing/design/fashion/music…  I think a good rule of thumb is to attempt to make it worth the second read, a second glance, a second visit, a second listen– worth a second second in a world in which time is everything.

Personally, this theory translates to my everyday life decisions. Don’t do anything that’s just not worth your precious seconds. Here’s to staying true to yourself, and to having integrity in everything you do.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton

Image via: Tang Yau Hoong

read more

Another Year, Another Fucking Blog

I’ll admit that I’m a failed blogger. And yet I can’t help to do it, so here we are. I don’t know how in my 33 years of living (especially during the 17 of which was under the roof of my late-poet-father) I’ve never heard this quote by William Faulkner until recently – “If a story is in you it has to come out.”

The phrase sums up the reason I’m here, typing this. Writing literally haunts me. Call it compulsive or whatever. I’ve journaled consistently since I was eight years old and writing to me is the equivalent to my coffee or alcohol consumption. I suppose I could live without writing, but it would take a convulsive detoxing process. Just kidding about the alcohol thing (I think). The point is, I can’t help but write. It’s a bit of a curse, really.

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I was a Podcast Guest! Listen to me on Streddo’s Fashion Insiders

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by fellow lady bosses from Streddo– an LA-based consultant company that offers free resources for emerging brands and designers. Amazing! I’m so impressed with how this company supports up-and-coming brands.

Streddo’s podcast Fashion Insiders features a variety of experts who share advice for running a successful fashion brand, a MUST-LISTEN to every emerging and growing designer and fashion entrepreneur. “With an intelligent and fool-proof approach to all aspects of the industry, ranging from social media marketing to overseas manufacturing, each episode is led by seasoned fashion experts such as designers, manufacturers, buyers, stylists, technology experts, lawyers, photographers and much more,” describes the Streddo team. Legit.

I sat down with my gal pal Communications Operations Manager Claire Berngartt, Director for Brand Development & Ecommerce Lauren Franks and Streddo’s Creative Board Chairman Heidi Kujawa. We chatted about my experience as a graduate of FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising for a frank discussion about the choice to attend fashion college.

Full disclosure: I do work at FIDM and wouldn’t if I hadn’t loved my experience, so obviously my opinion is pretty biased and favorable toward FIDM. Secondarily, I should mention that this interview is not endorsed or promoted by FIDM– the opinions expressed herein are totally my own. Disclaimers aside– it was truly an honor to be in the presence of such well-spoken, intelligent, witty and driven women! And can’t wait to share a couple more episodes on the topic of social media best practices in the very near future.

This opportunity is truly a testament to the power of sharing your work with those nearest and dearest to you. Claire and I have spent time together here and there (our sig others went to college together), but this never would have come about had I not been sharing updates about my new site Social Media Republic on my personal social channels. Yay, networking via social media! And– thanks, Claire. 🙂

Check out the episode below– and leave a review on iTunes to help support the ‘cast. I think the Streddo team is even running a little contest for those who leave a review between now and February.

Subscribe to Streddo’s “Fashion Insiders” Podcast

Twenty years of fashion experience in 20 minutes.

Fashion Insiders on iTunes
Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Storyteller and Virgo

LA-based social media marketer and brand journalist Mani O’Brien spends her downtime raising a small human and ranting on this blog. Here you’ll find frequent cursing, a self-indulgent analysis of her 30-something existence as a wife, mother, Millennial, digital marketer and astrology-obsessed feminist.

More Stories

Second Glance

Second Glance

With all of the distractions that we face every single moment of these overly informed, visually over-saturated, social media/Internet-driven modern day lives, it’s hard to stay focused.

When it comes to creation of any kind– whether it’s art/writing/design/fashion/music…  I think a good rule of thumb is to attempt to make it worth the second read, a second glance, a second visit, a second listen– worth a second second in a world in which time is everything.

Personally, this theory translates to my everyday life decisions. Don’t do anything that’s just not worth your precious seconds. Here’s to staying true to yourself, and to having integrity in everything you do.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton

Image via: Tang Yau Hoong

read more
Another Year, Another Fucking Blog

Another Year, Another Fucking Blog

I’ll admit that I’m a failed blogger. And yet I can’t help to do it, so here we are. I don’t know how in my 33 years of living (especially during the 17 of which was under the roof of my late-poet-father) I’ve never heard this quote by William Faulkner until recently – “If a story is in you it has to come out.”

The phrase sums up the reason I’m here, typing this. Writing literally haunts me. Call it compulsive or whatever. I’ve journaled consistently since I was eight years old and writing to me is the equivalent to my coffee or alcohol consumption. I suppose I could live without writing, but it would take a convulsive detoxing process. Just kidding about the alcohol thing (I think). The point is, I can’t help but write. It’s a bit of a curse, really.

read more

10 Emotional Stages of Anyone Who’s Ever Had to Move

Congratulations! You’re moving into a brand new home. Let the decorating ideas begin. If you can survive the move first.

Stage 1: Inspiration 

Before you start your move, of course you’ll be inspired about your new home. Spiral into a Pinterest-induced decorating fantasy. Get lost in Yelp reviews while you cross-check Grubhub delivery options for your new digs. Enjoy the calm before the storm.
 

Stage 2: Purge

You’ve got to make room for all the new belongings you plan to acquire for your new space. Applaud yourself for embracing a minimalist mindset on par with the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up way of life.

Stage 3: Denial

Acquire a laughably inadequate number of “fancy” boxes for what you believe will suffice to pack your belongings. Later you will transport remaining objects in laundry baskets and garbage bags.
Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Storyteller and Virgo

LA-based social media marketer and brand journalist Mani O’Brien spends her downtime raising a small human and ranting on this blog. Here you’ll find frequent cursing, a self-indulgent analysis of her 30-something existence as a wife, mother, Millennial, digital marketer and astrology-obsessed feminist.

It's not too late to burn it all down.

Stage 4: Seduction

Convince your friends to help you with the task at hand with the promise of beers and pizza. Because testing the limits of your friendship requires a good meal.

Stage 5: Hunting

Curse yourself for not splurging on extra packing tape dispensers and Sharpie markers as you search high and low for your misplaced packing essentials.

Stage 6: Exasperation 

Let the arguing begin between you and your roommate/significant other/children/friends regarding how to pack/move/protect key belongings and which items to keep/toss. Insist that you know the best way to do everything.

Stage 7: Grief

Suddenly regret everything you’ve ever saved or purchased and your decision to not renew your lease. Realize that it’s too late to turn back. Use your hot, salty tears to scrub your bathtub.

Stage 8: Bargaining

Consider burning all remaining belongings and abandoning your conventional life. Google “How to live as a Buddhist monk” to determine viability of giving up all of your material belongings.
 

Stage 9: Acceptance

Suck it up and power through the transport of your remaining assets. Or, spend an obscene amount of money on moving and cleaning crews to help you put an end to the torment. Either way, swear to never again move for as long as you live.

Stage 10: Apologies

Mend relationships with a house-warming party. Swiftly forget the pain of moving until your next lease deadline.

 

All images courtesy of Giphy

More Stories

Second Glance

With all of the distractions that we face every single moment of these overly informed, visually over-saturated, social media/Internet-driven modern day lives, it’s hard to stay focused.

When it comes to creation of any kind– whether it’s art/writing/design/fashion/music…  I think a good rule of thumb is to attempt to make it worth the second read, a second glance, a second visit, a second listen– worth a second second in a world in which time is everything.

Personally, this theory translates to my everyday life decisions. Don’t do anything that’s just not worth your precious seconds. Here’s to staying true to yourself, and to having integrity in everything you do.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton

Image via: Tang Yau Hoong

read more

Another Year, Another Fucking Blog

I’ll admit that I’m a failed blogger. And yet I can’t help to do it, so here we are. I don’t know how in my 33 years of living (especially during the 17 of which was under the roof of my late-poet-father) I’ve never heard this quote by William Faulkner until recently – “If a story is in you it has to come out.”

The phrase sums up the reason I’m here, typing this. Writing literally haunts me. Call it compulsive or whatever. I’ve journaled consistently since I was eight years old and writing to me is the equivalent to my coffee or alcohol consumption. I suppose I could live without writing, but it would take a convulsive detoxing process. Just kidding about the alcohol thing (I think). The point is, I can’t help but write. It’s a bit of a curse, really.

read more

Thank You, President Obama

Thank you for making me feel like anything is possible, Barack Obama. I’ll never forget how inspired I felt the night you were elected. The feeling that I could do anything. If someone who looked like me– who had the audacity to be optimistic and inclusive– could hold the highest office in this country, maybe I could pursue my dreams, too. The same month Obama was inaugurated, I risked everything to move to the city of angels to pursue my dreams. Best decision I ever made (although not totally due in part to him, obviously).

I believe he did the best he could with what he was given– the worst economic crisis our country has faced since The Great Depression , a war “on terror” and an onslaught of racially-charged criticism that he addressed with grace and integrity. I believe later we will look back and recognize him for taking us forward in healthcare reform, human rights reform, and for helping the U.S. to recover from an economic nightmare. Not to mention his humor, charisma, compassion and style– a true role model as a father and husband and world leader.  

You don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Thank you so much, Barack Obama. I can’t even articulate the positive impact you’ve had on me the last 8 years. I took it for granted. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 🙏🏼✌🏼️🇺🇸
Written November 4, 2008. 

“Today is an absolutely monumental day in American history. Barack Obama was elected into the role of President of the United States. It seems weird to be writing about politics, but I feel so inspired.

I am in completed disbelief that he is our leader. He represents so much that I stand for. He’s positive and forward-thinking and new-age-y. I feel like perhaps our culture is on the verge of a spiritual revolution. We are stepping away from our cynical and defeatist attitudes and values and have begun to have the courage and HOPE to believe in amazing things. I look at this man– a minority– and I believe that he truly understands me and my perspective as a minority. It’s unbelievable that he has accomplished such an incredible feat.

If he can do this, I feel like I can do anything.

I feel like I respect what he has to say. His message is so, so inspiring.

Yes, we can.

I’m surprised at how moved I am… I guess I just had to write it down.”

So, so different from what I feel today. But, let’s see how this goes.

More Stories

Second Glance

Second Glance

With all of the distractions that we face every single moment of these overly informed, visually over-saturated, social media/Internet-driven modern day lives, it’s hard to stay focused.

When it comes to creation of any kind– whether it’s art/writing/design/fashion/music…  I think a good rule of thumb is to attempt to make it worth the second read, a second glance, a second visit, a second listen– worth a second second in a world in which time is everything.

Personally, this theory translates to my everyday life decisions. Don’t do anything that’s just not worth your precious seconds. Here’s to staying true to yourself, and to having integrity in everything you do.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton

Image via: Tang Yau Hoong

read more
Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Storyteller and Virgo

LA-based social media marketer and brand journalist Mani O’Brien spends her downtime raising a small human and ranting on this blog. Here you’ll find frequent cursing, a self-indulgent analysis of her 30-something existence as a wife, mother, Millennial, digital marketer and astrology-obsessed feminist.

8 Essential LA Survival Skills (for my 8-Year LA-versary)

No, I don't want to go to the Walk of Fame with you.
This month marks my eight year anniversary of moving to Los Angeles, or my LAversary, if you will. Below are some of the amusing and unusual unspoken rules of this incredible place I now call home.

 

On Planning

8 Essential LA Survival Skills

Coachella is an Angeleno state holiday.

Coachella is basically a state holiday during which the SoCal youth all get out of town during two blissful weekends in April, making it a great time to visit all the places you’d normally avoid due to traffic/parking/crowds. Same goes with Thanksgiving and especially Christmas. Nearly all-the-LA-people are transplants who depart for the holidays so it’s a great time to pretend like you live in a quasi-populated city rather than the bustling metropolis.

On Commuting

8 Essential LA Survival Skills

Leave 45 minutes before you think you need to.

Always, always have cash with you and leave for your destination 45 minutes before you think you need to. Cash will help you pay for parking – either valet, parking attendants or paid meters. And Google Maps’ estimated arrival time is a lie! Trust in Waze to get anywhere in this town.

On Traveling

8 Essential LA Survival Skills

“I’d love to take you to the airport,” said no one, ever.

Travel from Burbank, if you can… unless you really can’t risk a canceled flight (learned this the hard way one time trying to travel to Europe). Also, keep your Angeleno friends and take an Uber because no one actually wants to drive your ass to the airport.

On Apartment-Hunting

8 Essential LA Survival Skills

Refrigerator not included.

Driving around the neighborhoods you like and talking to your friends are the best ways to find unlisted vacant apartments. Westside Rentals is also worth the cost (and most Angelenos have had one so if you’ve made some friends, borrow the login). If moving to LA for the first time, keep in mind that you probably need to purchase your own refrigerator– and washer/dryer hookup options are a luxury. ALWAYS confirm your parking situation before you commit to a new place.

On Making a First Impression…

8 Essential LA Survival Skills

Barista today, leading actor tomorrow.

Don’t lead with ‘what do you do for a living as an icebreaker question. You may as well ask someone what religion they practice. Everyone in LA is either 1) Successful and doesn’t want to tell you what they do for fear that you’re going to ask them for a favor or 2) Striving for success as an actor/model/designer/artist and therefore, hustling around their full-time gig as a server. Therefore, no one knows how to articulate a response to this question in a comfortable manner until you know each other a bit better.

Other Unspoken Etiquette Rules

8 Essential LA Survival Skills

Blasphemy against the Disney shall not be forgiven.

Bad-mouthing or making bad jokes about any of the following is basically a cardinal sin:

  • Dogs
  • Vegans
  • Fine Roast Coffee
  • The Environment
  • Disney (the corporation or the Land)
  • Hiking
  • Kale
  • Bloggers
  • People’s Sexual Orientation or Gender Identification Preferences
  • Yoga
  • The Dodgers or Lakers (Kings, too… I guess)
  • The Kardashians

Some language tips:

8 Essential LA Survival Skills

It’s CaliFORNIA.

  • Freeway Speak is really a thing (it’s not 405, it’s The 405).
  • Don’t refer to this glorious state as Cali.

On Avoiding Tickets:

So. Wait. Can I park here or nah? #LAParking

A photo posted by Ryan Seacrest (@ryanseacrest) on

The Golden Rule

8 Essential LA Survival Skills

Living More Than Three Miles Away From Someone = Deal Breaker

West Side Boy Meets East Side Girl is a doomed relationship (unless you move in together– which happens more quickly here than in other cities). Los Angeles Magazine cited “Living more than three miles away from each other” first on its round-up of odd dating deal-breakers in a recent article.  It’s for the same reason that despite the “short” distance, visiting The Beach is a Day Trip, not a quick stop. The moral of the story is, once you cross the 405, say farewell to your friends on the other side.

 

I’m so grateful to call this crazy, impossibly busy, surprising, eccentric place home.

About

Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Storyteller and Virgo

LA-based social media marketer and brand journalist Mani O’Brien spends her downtime raising a small human and ranting on this blog. Here you’ll find frequent cursing, a self-indulgent analysis of her 30-something existence as a wife, mother, Millennial, digital marketer and astrology-obsessed feminist.

More Stories

Second Glance

With all of the distractions that we face every single moment of these overly informed, visually over-saturated, social media/Internet-driven modern day lives, it’s hard to stay focused.

When it comes to creation of any kind– whether it’s art/writing/design/fashion/music…  I think a good rule of thumb is to attempt to make it worth the second read, a second glance, a second visit, a second listen– worth a second second in a world in which time is everything.

Personally, this theory translates to my everyday life decisions. Don’t do anything that’s just not worth your precious seconds. Here’s to staying true to yourself, and to having integrity in everything you do.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton

Image via: Tang Yau Hoong

read more

Another Year, Another Fucking Blog

I’ll admit that I’m a failed blogger. And yet I can’t help to do it, so here we are. I don’t know how in my 33 years of living (especially during the 17 of which was under the roof of my late-poet-father) I’ve never heard this quote by William Faulkner until recently – “If a story is in you it has to come out.”

The phrase sums up the reason I’m here, typing this. Writing literally haunts me. Call it compulsive or whatever. I’ve journaled consistently since I was eight years old and writing to me is the equivalent to my coffee or alcohol consumption. I suppose I could live without writing, but it would take a convulsive detoxing process. Just kidding about the alcohol thing (I think). The point is, I can’t help but write. It’s a bit of a curse, really.

read more

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