Thomas Hynes

    • Member Type(s):
    • Title:Manager, Blogger Relations
    • Organization:PR Newswire
    • Area of Expertise:Media relations within social media

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    A Brief Blog Profile: Don't Quit Your Day Job

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 3:13 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    In their own words, Don't Quit Your Day Job is a "resource for people who wish to discuss personal finance, economics, politics and investing with other individuals of a curious persuasion."  The site is written by three guys originally from Boston. And in case you were wondering, they all still hold day jobs. They're apparently practicing what they preach.  Also, since they're from Boston, they call their readers 'chief.' Now THAT is genuine Boston!

    And really this whole blog is pretty genuine. Today, at the top of the page, there's a post that debates whether one should get a degree or drive a truck. I read that headline, think about mounting debt, diminishing job opportunities and think to myself: Now that's an interesting question. And I'm immediately compelled to read more. Like the bulk of the content found on Don't Quit Your Day Job, it's a funny post backed up with solid and informed evidence. There are even charts!

    There's also a look at the failing debt committee and the bigger problems we face. They examine the best credit card spending strategy. There's even a post on what ages are best for financial prowess. (Hint: it's 45-49.) There's even a post where one of the writers turns his attention inward and dissects his own spending habits. After all, these guys aren't technically experts. They haven't quit their day jobs. Neither should you.

    A Brief Blog Profile: Smart on Money

    Monday, December 5, 2011, 1:32 PM [General]
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    Launched in 2010, Smart on Money is a blog focused on personal finance, investing, taxes and a variety of other topics.  The blog is not written by a financial expert, but rather a father, husband and lover of not only money matters, but also flag football and tennis. Mostly, he loves to write and help readers make sound decsisions. In short, he's a regular guy, who like Snoop Dogg, has his mind on his money, and his money on his mind.

    Ok, that's not entirely true. Money really isn't everything to Smart on Money. Like I said, he's a father and a husband, and you get the feeling these two roles are far more important to him than that of blogger. (I just wanted to quote Snoop, ok?) In fact, on the blog today, you'll see a post encouraging people to appreciate what they have. We live in a material, get rich or die trying kind of world. It is seriously so refreshing to see anybody (let alone a finance blog!) espouse contentment. Plus, the video clip of Louis CK talking aboout this very subject on Conan. It's probably one of my favorite clips ever, and a clear indication that whoever is writing this blog is someone I understand.

    And that's probably just it. Being smart about money probably means not spending it frivolously all the time. Contemptment, appreciation and satisfaction will not only leave you happier, but also with more money in your account. That's not just smart. It's genius.

    A Brief Blog Profile: The Oblivious Investor

    Friday, December 2, 2011, 1:24 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    The word oblivious in the name of the financial blog Oblivious Investor might sound like a bad thing. At first glance, it implies a lack of knowledge or awareness. But at this blog, being oblivious is not a bad thing at all. Rather the author's goal is to direct readers attention away from the day to day obsessions of the market. Be oblivious to that, and you'll be ok. Or better yet, follow that rule, and two others (diversify your portfolio and minimize costs) and you'll be even better off.

    The Oblivious Investor is written by Mike Piper. He is a "fairly young" man who lives in St. Louis. He's married. For years, Mike worked in the investment game, but now makes his living writing books to help people like, well at least me, invest their money wisely. One of my favorite parts of the Oblivious Investor is that Mike seems to care for his readers. Often times, the blog posts are him answering direct questions. There's even a (free!) newsletter to provide readers with "tips on simple, low-maintenance investing."

    I really love the name of this blog. Most people wouldn't want to be described as oblivious. I know I wouldn't want to be. (Though, I'm betting I probably am described that way from time to time.) But I think it might be worse to have no will and be susceptible to the market's every whim. I'd say in that case, it pays to be oblivious.

    A Brief Blog Profile: Ecouterre

    Thursday, December 1, 2011, 12:48 PM [General]
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    I'll be honest. When I think of green fashion, I think of Birkenstock sandals. I think of clothes made out of hemp. And if I close my eyes, I can almost catch the faintest hint of patchouli oil. But that's pretty narrow minded of me. Fashion and sustainability are by no means mutually exclusive. To think that you have to dress like you just got back from Woodstock (or Burning Man) in order to be eco-conscious is a misconception the blog, Ecouterre, is here to tear to shreds.

    This is a real fashion blog. There's even a link about a runway show at New York's Fashion Week.  I'm assuming the catwalk is made of recycled materials, but it's a catwalk nonetheless.  There's also some practical items, like this messenger bag with a built-in bike map. On Ecouterre, they refer to this item as 'genius', and I'd agree. There's even a piece on recycling Halloween candy wrappers into jewelry.

    Ecouterre looks to promote designers who "not only contemplate cut, form, and drape, but also a garment’s social and environmental impact." After looking around the site, it's clear you could fill your closet with a wonderful wardrobe. And you could do so knowing you didn't get dressed at the expense of the environment. You can look good in what you wear AND feel good about where it came from, too.

    A Brief Blog Profile: The Greenists

    Monday, November 28, 2011, 11:00 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    The Greenists are a collection of writers looking to find the right balance of an environmentally-conscious modern life. Their aim is to help readers make green decisions with regards to their pets, their homes, their food and their cosmetics.  They want us to consider a product's origins, where it'll end up, its impact. These choices shouldn't be taken lightly. The Greenists are here to ensure we weigh all the factors before purchasing. They're here to help us know the true costs.

    For instance, they'll go so far as to tell us the 5 ways we can recycle our underwear. I didn't know you could recycle underwear one way, let alone five! But you can. You can also stay green in the snow.  You can even put sweet potatoes in a burrito as part of Meatless Mondays. There's very little 'can't' on The Greenists. And that's probably what I love most about it.

    There's also just a lot of valuable information on here, too. You can learn how to compost, the value of conserving water and the benefits of hemp. There's actually a tip of the day feature. They want  to help. They want to make us the greenest we can be. And with a blog like this, and a little creativity, we can change our habits. We can change the way we consume. And ideally, we can change the way we affect our ecosystem

    A Brief Blog Profile: Ecopolitan Bride

    Friday, November 18, 2011, 11:19 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    I hear a lot of people talking about being green. And I often say to myself, "well they seem to talk about being green, but how committed are they?' I would imagine that most people wouldn't think green when they're planning, say, their wedding. They're probably thinking about the rings, and the seating arrangements, and hors d'ouevere. But for those who really want to kick their eco-game up another notch, while truthfully not sacrificing anything in the elegance department, then Ecopolitan Bride is the blog for you. 

    And now look, I didn't mean to sound so suspicious in the above paragraph. It's just, I have two married sisters. And while they may be green in spirit and typical practice, I wasn't necessarily dying to talk carbon footprint with them on their big day. So I guess what I'm saying is, Ecopolitan Bride has their work cut out for them to even have this conversation. But it's a good conversation to have! 

    One conversation they're having which I love is on the case of wedding rings. In fact, they have posts on thinking 'beyond diamonds.'  This alone is a worthy cause to champion, and it's only one of the eco-friendly causes on this blog's roster. And if you really have your heart set on diamonds, why not consider  previously-owned rings? After all, vintage is all the rage. Kind of gives new meaning to the term something borrowed.

    A Brief Blog Profile: Gardening Nude

    Thursday, November 17, 2011, 1:29 PM [General]
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    I know what you're thinking. You see a blog name like Gardening Nude and you're thinking: 'Watch out for the hedge clippers!' Then you might next say something along the lines of: 'Hide the garden shears!" At which point, I'd have to tell you A) this isn't that kind of website, and B) grow up. Gardening Nude is a green blog. The nudity in question refers to living simply. Or better yet, it's a metaphor for a cleaner, less encumbered way of living. Still, be warned. If you're going to google "Gardening Nude" make sure it's not set to return images. Seriously. 

    Gardening Nude is run by Shawna Coronado.  Today, she speaks at events and writes books. She also still maintains this blog, too. And on the blog, you'll find tips on eco travel, money saving tips, green family issues, and lots more. In her own words, she says, "Gardening nude means to live more simply. When you choose 'Gardening Nude' you choose sustainability over wastefulness."

    Gardening Nude has a ton of everyday, practical tips. For instance, you can save water (and money) by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. There's also this piece about how eating organically is good for your health, the environment and your wallet. These are real things that people can do immediately to start living greener. And the site's full of dozens of more posts just like these. The site's got a lot to offer.... Just don't expect any nudity.

    A Brief Blog Profile: EcoStreet

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 1:55 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    EcoStreet is a blog dedicated to helping its readers 'walk the walk' of green living. But the site is by no means a bully pulpit for the greener than thou among us. On the contrary, they 'strive to inspire simplicity and creativity.' Living green doesn't have to be about 'self-denial and abstinence.' The idea is that you can still live well. IAdditionally, the generations that follow can live well, too. It's not about sacrifice, necessarily. It's about sustainability.

    On the blog, you'll find information on how to check the air pollution where you live with Google Maps as well as how to use electricity more efficiently. And there's also tips on how to make handmade recycled gifts for the holidays or this post on re-imagining uses for an empty soda can. Those soda can pieces are probably my favorite item from EcoStreet. But really, there's a lot to love about this site.

    For instance, EcoStreet does a pretty great job of promoting other green blogs. Any blog that's 'environmentally-friendly' can join the directory for free. It's not just about their blog. It's about being green. They're pretty serious about that. They're walking the walk.

    A Brief Blog Profile: Everything Everywhere

    Monday, November 14, 2011, 1:25 PM [General]
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    Everything Everywhere is a travel blog created by Gary Arndt. Gary grew up in Wisconsin and didn't even see salt water until he was 21 years old. But, boy would that change. In 2007, he sold his house and went to see the world. In that time, he has visited over 100 countries, 49 US States, 100 US National Parks and over 150 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First off, I didn't know there were that many National Parks in the U.S. And secondly, I'm jealous. Take a look around the blog and you'll quickly see why.

     Like I said, the guy's been everywhere. Bungee jumping in New Zealand? Check. New Year's party in Thailand? Check. Spelunking in Borneo? Oh, you know he has. But it's not all glamorous. There's also this post on how to deal with the loneliness of travel. That's a refreshingly honest angle on this whole 'sell everything, see the world' narrative.

    Gary has traveled by plane, train, boat, car, bus, motorcycle, tuk tuk, bicycle, camel, elephant, horse, hot air balloon, and helicopter. And wherever he's gone, he's blogged about it. And like I said, he's been a lot of places. But then there's a post like this one, describing 13 places he'd love to see next. My first thought is: there are places you haven't been? And my second thought is: I bet those aren't the top 13 places he'd like to see. They're probably the only 13 places left he hasn't seen.

    A Brief Blog Profile: Almost Fearless

    Friday, November 11, 2011, 9:59 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Almost Fearless is one of those blogs that's about what it's about, but it's really also about so much more. Ok, that was confusing. Hear me out. It's a travel blog. The author, Christine, lives abroad. Her and her husband (and their baby, Cole) are constantly traveling. So, yeah, it's a travel blog. But it's a lot more than that. Or, anyway, that doesn't tell it all.

    Almost Fearless is the story of a woman who quit her corporate job and sold everything to be with her man overseas. She actually sold her stuff. I love that! People talk a big game about wanting to sell everything and see the world. And by people, I of course mean myself. I wish I had the nerve to do something like that. (Don't you?) Well, Christine has done that. She is, as they say, living the dream. Now, look, this is a serious travel blog, too. Here are posts on the Thai Flying Lantern Festival and Backpacking Through SE Asia With a Toddler if you don't believe me. But I'm more interested in the post about how her husband lost his job and the fear they felt at the prospect of his lost income, while simultaneously embracing the uncertainty of what lay ahead for them and their family. That's not unique to the travel industry. That's something everyone encounters at one point or another. And that's what sets this blog apart.

    Also, I really love the name of this blog, and all that it implies. It's ok to be almost fearless. We can move incrementally away from that which restricts us. We can do this in parts. It doesn't have to be all at once. Almost is ok. It's a baby step; an inch closer to a more perfect life, or at least, the life we want.

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