Inspo: Hawaii, real talk, and Real Simple


To be fair, I’ve been having Hawaii-inspiration as experienced by a Midwestern white person (I recognize that my “Hawaii” isn’t a complete picture of this land and its people).

Maybe it’s because it’s summer but probably mostly my interest is because a new Poke restaurant opened up near my apartment. Poke is a Hawaiian dish that means “fish salad,” which sounds disgusting but is the opposite. The restaurant near me has awesome branding. It’s subtle. Laid back. Surfer cool.

808 = Hawaii's area code.
808 = Hawaii’s area code.

Monday through Funday.

aloha funday aloha instagram

Just read it... ;)
Just read it… 😉

I’ve watched this documentary with an incredible ending. It’s on Netflix now.

“Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau”

I’ve been running along Lake Shore to The Ventures.

And yowza I am wasting the crap out of my time clicking through photos of Hawaiian life post-statehood (1959).


It’s fascinating how the two cultures (native Hawaiian and white American) converged — and how they didn’t. It’s a rich time capsule of imagery, depicting a way of life that’s now lost at sea. How many stories there must be in aging upper class memories from a time when the idea of vacation and leisure travel were taking off … of supper clubs and shrimp cocktails and real cocktails and luaus and forbidden loves and changing social construction under a tiki torch glow.


HOME Podcast’s “About Us” episode

I’ve been listening to Home Podcast for about six months. Holly and Laura are such a breath of fresh air to sobriety discussions. Their stories feel young and familiar (I am so very, very much a Holly), and they present sobriety as something that’s quite the opposite of deprivation. If you’re trying to get control of your life and want to open the door to possibility instead of Groundhog Day-ing through one of pain (regardless of what you want to be sober of), listen to every episode of Home. I can’t recommend the thing as a whole enough. However, this episode is one that was especially revelatory in terms of human emotion and relationships—beyond sobriety and modern spirituality. The girls talk about their friendship and what they struggle with personally in being the other’s friend. It’s such an honest and frank look at how real relationships are challenging and ever evolving but oh so absolutely worth it; I also love the nuances in here of having friendships that mostly happen via technology and how that influences the way we communicate as friends in the modern era. Any writers doing research for a book about female friendship set in 2016? This is full of wonderful, raw, brave material for you. I love these women for being so open. #friendcrushforreal

Real Simple’s article style

Any time a magazine finds a new way to present and idea or a story that’s been covered a million times before, I’m into it. Print journalists are particularly challenged because they can’t just have a book full of lazy listicles, which is what so many of The People presumably want nowadays. The Atlantic is one of my favorites for creative and innovative photo illustrations, and Real Simple is one of my favorites for presenting helpful but old information in new ways.

Recently, I was drawn to this article with a hook-and-heighten approach. Readers want to feel like you’re providing them with something useful. By highlighting what they already know and then delivering something they don’t know on that subject, the reader retains the information better and feels like they just learned something proactively (versus being talked at with information). This article’s impact wouldn’t be the same if it were just a list of the new facts.
real simple
This article inspired the format for a freelance piece I recently put together for a wedding magazine; I think the approach works particularly well in lifestyle categories, where readers or consumers already have a solid foundation of understanding about your content but want to learn more.
(An aside that this particular article conjures: I always say I must have missed the day in class where we learned about percentages because I’m 100% sure I do not understand how to use them. The same could be said about the lesson of why you take your shoes of in the house. There’s more than just mud or dirt on them—there’s probably poop and maybe e-coli and definitely other disgusting invisible things that you’re traipsing all over the floor that you’ll probably nap on in the next few days. WHOA?! I’m sure someone tried to teach me this basic element of sanitation but I wasn’t listening. I had other places to be in my brain; probably with an imaginary Hawaiian island loverboy… no one puts baby in a corner without her dancing shoes on.)

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