Friday, December 30, 2016

Bring on the New Year

It's the end of 2016 and—like everyone else—I am spending this week looking back.

Aside from the tragic celebrity deaths, the overwhelming election season and your typical life issues, it's been a pretty good year. I started my current job on Jan. 4, 2016, and I am approaching the one-year mark. I've learned a lot and have had many accomplishments, as well as a few to-be-expected mistakes. It's all part of the growing process, and I'm happy with how I've grown. Our magazines look great and the content is top-notch. I look forward to continuing to improve them into 2017. We are working on two winter issues now, which will be out in late February.

My favorite thing about 2016 was all of the weddings we attended. Sure it was expensive and time-consuming, but I was so glad to be able to share in the love and happiness of so many people. My husband and I were in two of our best friends' weddings, respectively, two weeks apart, which brought us to the Outer Banks and Connecticut. We had a great time. We also had a few other weddings, including two of his cousins—one in Center City Philadelphia and one in Ocean City NJ. Always fun to celebrate with the family.

For 2017, I want to make a few goals that I actually plan to accomplish:

  • Buy a house. We are looking now, and plan on purchasing int he spring. Super excited about this. We have an apartment now and I am dreaming of more space.
  • Set a five-year plan. Once we're in the house I would like to make some concrete plans for the future with respect to my career and family.
  • Stay healthy. I'm pretty good about going to the gym and eating healthy, but I'd like to get better. Trying new workouts, healthier meals. Also want to look into more alternative medicine: massages, acupuncture, herbs.
  • Keep up with this blog. I know I say it all the time, and then it gets away from me. Writing is therapeutic and fun for me so I want to continue. I'd like to write a post at least once per week.
  • Be more appreciative of what I have. I really have a fantastic life and I tend to become negative and forget what really matters. I want to focus more on the positive. 
That's the gist of my upcoming year plans—I hope it's a good one, for me and for you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Finding Purpose in a Post-election World

Hi all. It's been a busy season but I wanted to check in and write a bit about what's going on. I'm not going to get into politics but I do want to encourage everyone to look at the current cultural landscape and think about what you can do to make our world a better place. We truly need some positivity.

I used to volunteer at an animal shelter and I'm looking into doing that again. I prefer to donate time rather than money to organizations because I like to see the impact I make, and you never know where the money really goes. I am the editor of a corporate social responsibility magazine, and I feel it's my duty to represent that, and give back.

"Doing good" for others provides people with a sense of purpose. Here are some ideas of what to do to give back and better your soul; especially important at this time of year!

  • Volunteer at an animal shelter/hospital/nursing home/school
  • Buy gifts for those in need this season
  • Write letters to military members overseas
  • Join a community volunteerism group
  • Give someone a compliment 
  • Help a student with their homework
  • Spend quality time with your own family members
Follow me on Twitter @BelindaSharr or Instagram @belindesign and let me know what you're up to this holiday!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Pray For [Insert Next City Here]

I'm going to take a break from my originally planned postings to talk about the world we live in.

The point of this blog is to be a fun space where I can talk about fashion, design, art, my writings, etc. But lately all of that seems kind of frivolous to me when there are so many other important and devastating things going on around us.

I tend to be a pretty sensitive person. For example, when someone tells me of a hardship I physically feel for them. I feel like I soak up pain like a sponge. I'm a crier - even commercials get me sometimes. I have to turn Sarah McLaughlin off. So when terrible things happen they really get me down.

Another attack happened last night in Nice, France. It is so upsetting that these tragedies seem to keep happening in escalating numbers. Why is there so much hate in the world? I don't believe it's one religion, or one race, that causes problems. I just think there are too many bad people. The good people need to come out in full force and do good to make up for the bad.

I feel like it was yesterday we were saying "pray for Orlando... Brussels... Paris... Boston.... Newtown... Aurora..." etc. etc. etc. We wonder, who's next? Because there will be a next. We have all been in public places and thought to ourselves - if someone pulls a gun right now, what will I do? Because it could happen. It may happen. It WILL happen, somewhere.

Please respect your fellow humans. We are all on this earth for a reason and have very different paths to take. But humanity is universal and we need to appreciate that. You don't know the struggle of someone else, so stop judging them and let them live.

I have more particular feelings about specific racial, religious, and gender issues lately, but I will refrain, for now (a hint though - I am a liberal Democrat). I think the overall thing I want to focus on here is us just being better. And I expect more out of the media, I really do. As I said in my last post, journalism is such an important industry, and today it's abused and used to sensationalize things and get clicks. Clicks are meaningless when you have lives on the line.

I have no answers. I just had to put my thoughts out there. But I can say this -- if you can do something, do anything. Donate blood. Volunteer. Smile at people. We have to make this world a better place.

I think this often. Does anyone else feel the same?

Monday, July 11, 2016

What I Do and What to Do

The life of a journalist is never dull. These part few weeks have been crazy busy, and I'm trying to stay on top of all my obligations and deadlines.

I am currently the editor of two b2b publications based in Center City, Philadelphia. I love my job, and the topics I write about are very interesting and important in today's society. I don't want to go into too much detail about myself and what I do, but I feel it's important to speak out on societal issues, and be as unbiased and responsible as possible, especially when discussing the news.

I worked as a news reporter for years, and it's unfortunate "the media" has gotten such a bad image lately. Being professionally trained in the medium causes me to look at it from an insider's perspective. I know how newsrooms operate. It's so important to get the information to the public without bias; yet today we are bombarded with sensationalism everywhere. I admit I do prefer the more liberal news sources, but I'm not sure where the responsible journalism of my past has gone.

With this position I currently hold, which I started in January of this year, my goal is to provide the reader with the best information that truly matters. My magazine covers the ethical business field, and I am learning so much about things I never previously thought about. Currently I am writing about sustainable water supply and efforts against human trafficking - both extremely important issues today. So please join me in learning more and helping out where you can - with awareness, volunteerism, or donations to causes. The world is a scary place lately and society needs your help, as well as mine.

On a bit of a lighter note, I am also putting together the summer issues of both magazines, which is taking up a large part of my work time. When not at work, I am trying to get this blog up and running again, with topics that will probably be all over the place! I have too many interests - fashion, design, music, cats, food, travel, etc. etc. I also have a ton of extracurricular stuff this summer - wedding mainly. This is wedding season and we have so many to attend! Which is fun and busy - two of my most favorite things to be!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Back at it

Hi all,

As you can see below, it's been years since I last wrote. I have a hard time committing to extracurricular writing. I do so much in my work life that I usually just want to take a break when I leave.

However. I plan to stick with it this time. I also don't want to be the typical cookie-cutter 'look at me' blogger you see everywhere either. I want this to be fun for me, and for the reader too. And also GOMI approved, hah. We'll see.

So here we go, again. Looking to provide you with some entertainment and valuable posts. Thanks for reading!