The inspiration for this blog post came about a year ago, when I spied a tweet lamenting the fact that “Best of…” blog lists often neglect to include women bloggers. Perhaps some writers don’t read the plethora of smart and savvy women bloggers out there, but this list will rectify the problem.
This list is compiled from my own feed, suggestions from my colleagues and those of you that left comments on the last post. I have personally vetted each of these and didn’t add any blog I don’t read myself. Of course, this is by no means a comprehensive list, just a starting point.
If you have thoughts or suggestions, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter
, or leave a comment under the post with more names you’d like to see added to the list. Enjoy!
– Conversation Agent
– Valeria helps businesses understand the way that consumers and their communities have changed the conversation.
– Ries’ Pieces
– Widely considered to be a branding expert, she blogs infrequently, but her posts are meaty with plenty of observations to digest.
– White Hot Truth
– I’m putting Danielle under branding because she has such a highly evolved sense of her own brand. She’s positive, slightly spiritual, avant, and fully facing the possibility of every day, which is probably why so many people turn to her for guidance on how they can expand their brands, their campaigns, their work, and their minds.
Kristien Del Ferraro
– Brand Flakes For Breakfast
– Kristien delivers bite-sized morsels of brandy goodness each and every day on her blog. Her saucy tidbits highlight various tacks that brands are taking at the rate of a few a day. Enough to keep you from getting hungry, but keep you craving more.
Julie, Janet, Francesca, & Sarah
is actually a collection of female friends with a collectively congruous design and decorating sensibility, which they share on this blog. From high-end to reclaimed, they have brilliant suggestions that are less about making a home the perfect space, and mostly about making it your space.
– Design Sponge
– Before creating the eye candy factory that is Design Sponge
, Grace worked as a contributing editor for some of the biggest magazines in the industry. In addition to keeping her blog untarnished by the usual ladymag ridiculousness (e.g. 10 Ways To Get Rid of Neck Fat, ZOMG!!!!), her carefully curated stash of goodness demonstrates her exceptional taste.
Tina Roth Eisenberg
– Swiss Miss
– Tina calls her blog Swiss Miss
for the obvious reason – because she grew up in Switzerland – but I like the name because reading it is like drinking a cup of hot chocolate. It’s smooth, rich, and flavored with just the right amount of sweet in the way of aesthetics. She’s a mixed media kind of gal, so there’s plenty here to curb every craving.
Danielle de Lange
– Style Files
– The reason Style Files
feels like opening up Danielle’s personal scrapbook of visual delights is because her blog began as a way to compile her visual discoveries. Her impeccable curation includes decor and nesting inspired ideas, a dose of textiles, architecture, furniture, and even peeks at the personal space she shares with her partner and baby named Kick!
– Grassroots Modern
– Although Capree claims her vocation is photography and her avocation is blogging, they fuse together in one seamless feed of her fresh, clean, and colorful picks. She takes a practical approach as well, selecting items with style that can be bought at an affordable price, ensuring that even us frugal shoppers can enjoy the pieces she selects.
Fashion & Style
Heather & Jessica
– Go Fug Yourself
– Slightly snarky, witty, but most importantly dead-on fashion bloggers Heather & Jessica have been critiquing celebrity couture with sass for quite some time now. Though they aren’t your mother’s polite fashion bloggers, they always manage to tell the truth without being blatantly nasty, making for a wholesomely entertaining read.
– Julia Roy
– As the former Senior Manager of New Media at Coach
, not only is Julia Roy a serious fashionista, she’s also quite the clever media minx. She uses her personable blogging style to highlight how she’s fusing cutting edge social tactics with creative vision in all her newest ventures.
Ariel Meadow Stallings
– Offbeat Bride
– As a departure from the typical, cheesy fashion trappings of weddings, Ariel launched Offbeat Bride
to showcase the special days of those with flair, fortitude, and a D.I.Y. attitude. She carefully curates the big days of some of the most offbeat brides, with on-point commentary that will remind you DO love weddings, after all.
– Fashion Intel
– As a Women’s Studies major, Natalie’s blog explores the intersection of fashion, politics, and feminism, perspectives often ignored when trying to distill fashion down to it’s most superficial form. Her posts are insightful, always with her head cocked for what is on the bleeding edge, and she’s got a preternatural ability to call the trends and fixations before they ever breathe their first lungful of LA air.
– Frankie Hearts Fashion
– When it comes to fashion, I love photos, especially when there’s enough for me to nosh on daily. Nicole showcases her enviable and carefully curated wardrobe, along with some of the tones in trendsetting she spots before they’re spattered all over the glossies. Fresh and inspiring, a little caffeine kick for your closet.
– Cup of Jo
– As a writer by trade, Joanna already knows the ins and outs of compelling content, but her blog also shows off her inspired style eye. It’s one of my favorite places to swing by for a dose of pretty and positive, since her posts are a sweet, sweet confection of both.
– Jane Has a Job
– Because her name sounds like a superheroine, I like to think of Emma Chase as the Wonder Woman of career, lifestyle, and fashion. It’s difficult to put her in any category, because her blog encompasses all aspects of the life of a 20-something working woman (*ahem* like moi). It’s smart, stylish, and filled with sophisticated prose and is a reminder of a how well-rounded we really are.
– Style Me Pretty
– Okay, yes, I KNOW IT’S A WEDDING BLOG, but Abby writes about more than just weddings. She, being the one-woman juggernaut that she is, blogs about being an entrepreneur, finding tools that help her to run the company, innovating, staying balanced AND weddings. She’s got a lovely take on the whole shebang, and even if you’re not in the market for a bouquet, that still smells pretty sweet.
Fitness & Body
Charlotte Hilton Andersen
– The Great Fitness Experiment
– While you’re reading those glossy fitness magazines and wondering if those techniques actually work for anyone, Charlotte is already hitting the gym, getting sweaty to test them out and make sure they do. She blogs honestly about the best and the worst in fitness, and she isn’t one to mince words. Her honesty is what is so appealing, outlining the truth in a path to better total fitness.
Gail, Carol, & Laura
– Shrinking Sisters
– These women aren’t actual sisters, but they are good friends and moms who openly share their fitness stories on the Shrinking Sisters
blog. The best part about this blog, aside from the great typography and fun Wordless Wednesday photos, is their honesty. They tell it like it is, making theirs an infinitely relatable blog.
– She has a pretty inspiring story – from eating disorder sufferer to advocate for a fit, healthy lifestyle, she’s turned her whole life into a blog about what it means to be the total health package. She recently submitted a video for the OWN network’s Search for the Next TV Star which garnered over 9.4 million votes. Now that is fierce.
Lisa Creech Bledsoe
– The Glowing Edge
– I’m putting Lisa’s blog under Fitness, although it really should stand in its own category of Ass Kicking. She’s a boxer, a digital nerd, and a mom, all of which she writes about in her blog, but it’s her inspired pow-pow boxing posts that keep me coming back for more. If you didn’t realize that a woman boxing makes a rad analogy for life, then stop missing out.
– Eat the Damn Cake
– Kate is brave. She takes on topics about body image and dieting openly and completely honestly. She faces some of the most difficult questions and conversations and manages to write with unwavering grace. Even when tackling difficult truths, she does it without either crumpling into self-pity or jagging her edges with defensiveness. She’s a better woman than I, and I love to read her blog.
– The Pioneer Woman
– I cannot even begin to explain how charming this self-proclaimed spoiled city girl turned domestic country wife is. And I’m not the only one – her readership has grown exponentially over the past year, thanks in part to her easy, yet filling family recipes that are practically dripping with homey-ness.
– Chez Pim
– Back in 2005, Chez Pim quit her Silicon Valley job to follow her passion – food. And follow it she did, right into becoming one of the Times of London’s top 50 food blogs in the world. Her innovative yet accessible cuisine is fun to try and even more fun to see with the delicious photos that decorate her blog.
– Slow Like Honey
– Aside from the fact that Amanda is a vivid imagerist (yes, I made that word up), what with all of those lollipop-lensed photos and such, she also knows how to infuse her writing with taste. Her food poetry is good enough to eat just like everything she cooks up and shares on this blog.
– The Smitten Kitchen
– I love Deb because she is unafraid to boldly suggest that we eat comfort food, that we partake in the deliciousness of real desserts and enjoy them, as well as the real-life stories behind them. Plus, her recipes are impressive but accessible, which is a bloody relief for those of us tired of feeling inadequate in the kitchen. Deb is a food revolutionary, bringing mastery to the masses!
– Pastry Break
– One thing I adore about food blogs is the plethora of gorgeous photos, and Pastry Break does not disappoint. Not only does she bake and share some of the most elegant pastry recipes I’ve ever seen, her plating is like art. The dollops and drops and scoops are arranged so precisely, that just looking at them brings me instant happiness.
– Retro Housewife Goes Green
– Oklahoma doesn’t seem like the most obvious place to find a green activist, but it’s home to Lisa Sharp, whose visible passion is all things environmental. Her blog is part reading-a-letter-from-a-friend and part rad giveaways consisting of things us greenies truly love.
(aka Ecofashionista) – Fashion Takes Action
– When Kelly Drennan started her campaign, there weren’t any great resources for the sustainability movement in the fashion industry. She quickly changed all that by providing a fashionable view on greening up the industry, and lots of ideas, explanations, and community for us laywomen.
Manda Aufochs Gillespie
– The Green Mama
– Manda’s blog posts are always so great to read, because she’s not a hysterical greeniac. She’s not the kind of person who flails and hollers about our impending doom because of antibiotic-filled meat. No, Manda’s Green Mama
blog is full of practical and friendly advice for how to be a better ecophile. No judgement, just good green juju.
– Green LA Girl
– Siel is an environmental writer and an activist, and although her blog is called Green LA Girl
, I think it’s applicable to any sagacious lady trying to navigate an urban landscape. She’s inventive and adventurous, trying new recipes and reporting on them, reading and reviewing books, and bringing honest dispatches from a woman trying to live mindfully.
– My Plastic-free Life
– Back in 2007, Beth set out on a mission to de-plasticize her life, mindfully and methodically. Now she’s down to a mere fraction of what the average American consumes in plastic products, and her blog is a thorough resource for testing and helping the rest of us find solid plastic alternatives.
– As a former Chiropractor, Karen has already made the connection between a healthy environment and a healthy body, so helping us all navigate the eco-friendly lifestyle is really just something she does out of benevolence. From recipes, to how-to’s, to giveaways, Karen makes being eco-friendly seem attainable.
– Dear Coke Talk
– Acerbic wit and a caustic dose of reality are what define Dear Coke Talk
’s refreshingly honest advice column of sorts. A small warning: don’t venture over to this blog unless you are prepared for a brand of truth-telling where nothing is off limits. She does not refrain from bitch-slapping her readers.
– The Bloggess
– If you are offended by salty language, then do not visit Jenny’s blog. However, I can confirm that you will be missing out on some seriously funny shiz. From parenting, to pets, to petting, no topic is left unturned, scrutinized, commented on, and made hilarious via the irreverent humor of The Bloggess
– I Am Bossy
– I happen to be a big fan of sassy folk who are constantly referring to themselves in 3rd person; therefore, this blog is my jam. Georgia’s got what might be lovingly referred to as a stream-of-consciousness style of writing that is peppered with weather reports, expletives, and illustrations done in MSPaint. And I, for one, cannot get enough.
Margaret & Helen
– Margaret & Helen
– Nothing gets me right in the heart like when two adorable octogenarian ladies (who also happen to be best friends since college) come together and write a blog that is peppered with naughty words and the heavy doses of entitled opinion that come from having lived it all. I love these two ladies and their lively commentary, and apparently I’m not the only one, since the last post has received 841 comments.
– Hyperbole and a Half
– There is little more to be said about Allie Brosh than if we lived in the same zipcode, I would force my friendship upon her. She makes me laugh in ways that garner odd glances whilst reading her blog in coffee shops. She writes funny, draws funny, and tweets funny. What more could you possibly want from such a talented woman?
– Marketing Roadmaps
– A smart marketing blog with its attention focused on results.
Lisa Barone – Outspoken Media –
Lisa’s honest observations are a “call-it-like-I-see-it” take on the industry.
– Harvard Business Review Blog Network
– As a Columbia Business School professor, Rita’s analysis of strategy and entrepreneurship goes beyond just an academic perspective to sketch a holistic profile.
– Working with a premium sports brand has given Martina an insider perspective on integrated marketing, and she’s willing to share!
– Nettie Hartsock
– She’s a journalist and a digital strategist, which you can tell by her easily read and understood blog posts.
– Vision. Voice. Value.
– Adept at helping brands find their voice in the social space, Shelly’s own voice stands out as personable and knowledgeable without using dozens of cheap buzzwords.
– One Woman Marketing
– Kelly is a self-confessed former marketing hater. She was a creative type, not interested in being shilly or pushy to promote her own work. But when she started her own freelance business, her livelihood depended on her ability to self-promote, and thus her happy medium was born. Her blog is an honest account of honing that medium while still managing to be an authentic person.
Marketing to Women
– Learned on Women
– With a concentration on marketing to women, Andrea’s posts hone in on what we can learn about all consumers and campaigns by focusing on women in the marketplace.
– Stephanie’s charmingly witty observations about the mistakes made when marketing to women will have you both entertained and careful not to wind up on that list.
– Wonder Branding
– With such a diverse resume, Michele is the ideal candidate to speak to large brands, but she’s also cheeky and honest, which is why she is the perfect candidate to speak to everyone.
– Marketing to Women Online
– You can tell that Holly has experience as both a copywriter and creative director because she tends to focus on the important of reception, rather than only presentation.
– Market Like A Chick
– Thoughtful, in depth, and most importantly, topical. Coree doesn’t miss an opportunity to take on even controversial subjects in marketing.
– I Am Lotus aka Sarcastic Mom
– Sarcastic Mom
is known to be a lil’ bit saucy on occasion, but mostly I find her blog uplifting, honest, funny, with a serious helping of eye candy. I’m a sucker for photos, and on that count Sarcastic Mom
delivers more than a teenage Dominos’ driver. Also noteworthy are her weekly photography picks, crowdsourced and gorgeous.
– Hipster Mom
– As the founder of Missbehave Magazine
, Samantha can definitely claim authority over the hipster mom moniker. She chronicles her adventures as an inked up mom, entrepreneur, and all-around fly Brooklyn lady, with humor, edge, and honesty. Her blog is a place to reassure those of us that even when we march to the beat of a dubstep drummer, motherhood can still be for us.
– Ashley’s Closet
– When it comes to mom blogs, honesty seems to be the best policy these days. Gone are the days of pretending to love every minute of the Dirty Diaper Show, and enter the truth-telling of women like Ashley Frankly. Sass, crass, and class are all over the posts of this beloved mom blogger as we follow her through the stickiness and sunshine of mom-dom.
– Simply Modern Mom
– Crafty as she is, Tiffany started her blog as a place to share all of her craft projects, but she came to the realization that most modern moms have one need in common: simplicity. So, she turned her focus to that, filling her blog with easy craft projects, pretty photos, innovative suggestions, and her signature sweet writing style.
– Raising My Rainbow
– CJ’s Mom is busy raising a gender creative son, one who loves Disney princesses and general fabulosity. She writes this brave blog about the challenges they both face with wit, grace, and aplomb, and reminds us all that being different is a gift, and one worth throwing some elbows to protect.
– Studio Notes
– The co-founder of b5media, Inc
, Shai is intimately acquainted with both print and online media. And it’s no surprise she’s packing a Psych Master’s Degree, because she gets what it is that drives readers.
– Pop 17
– Sarah’s entertaining posts are both thought provoking and relevant while still being charming. Think the girl you sat next to in art class meets a successful online presence.
– I used to read Gina’s posts religiously when she was a more active writer on Lifehacker, but these days I’m loving her more personal take on desks, family, tech news, and all the app goodness that I crave. I’m a sucker for a non-compartmentalized life (and blog), so I’m thrilled to get to know Gina in her new incarnation.
– Emergent By Design
– Saying that Venessa’s writing is “smart” is too superficial. Of course it’s smart, but there’s a deeply anthropological undercurrent that charges each of her posts. Her insightful vision highlights progress and responsibility, which is a nice change from all those “what’s hot in tech” posts on the interwebs.
– New media was the best category fit I could find for Danah, but her blog covers facets of social media, privacy, identity, and the public/private spheres. It’s an absolutely fascinating read, but it’s also conceptual enough to get you thinking, and practical enough to get you talking.
– Beth’s Blog
– With an arsenal of non-profit experience, Beth tracks and blogs about social strategies that work for non-profits on a mission.
Kivi Leroux Miller
– Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog
– As a do-it-yourself nonprofit marketer, Kivi has a whole arsenal of suggestions for how to market when your organization struggles with a lack of funds and time.
– Lotus Media
– An activist and a developer, Ruby finds time to blog about the intersection of social spaces and doing good, especially on a local level. Her experienced-based posts are rich reads, and occasional new baby pics are just icing on the blog cake.
– Getting To The Point
– With all of that Network For Good experience under her belt, Katya’s personal blog is full of advice on what she calls “Robin Hood Marketing” – the idea of stealing corporate savvy to sell just causes. Her personal passion fuses with her professional expertise for a read that is both applicable and compelling.
– The Causemopolitan
– The mantra of Sloane’s blog is “Cause-filled Living,” which makes complete sense if you follow her wanderings for awhile. Her consultancy focuses on cause-based campaigns, and her efforts include everything from malaria prevention to community rebuilding. Her blog is an inspiring and exhilarating read.
Sara K. Smith
– Following in the grand tradition of the original Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox, Sara blogs snarky and sassy about all things politics.
– Jack & Jill Politics
– Situated at the intersection of race and politics, Cheryl Contee aka Jill Tubman keeps a close watch on goings-on and calls it like she sees it.
– A smart and fearless blog about race and pop culture in a world that thinks we don’t necessarily need to discuss race and pop culture anymore. Latoya is fearless and articulate, writing and curating posts that will get you thinking and even, on occasion, laughing.
A bevvy of moms!
– There is certainly a time and place for well-balanced political blogs that deliver unbiased news. However, there is also a time for fiercely written political blogs, where mothers passionately deliver poignant soliloquies about the state of our union. MOMocrats
is the time and place for just that.
– As a recovering attorney living in Washington D.C., Joanne’s got politics distilled into her drinking water. Good thing she’s around to decipher it for the rest of us. She is hilarious, her biting wit a welcome departure from what can sometimes be a dry and stiff conversation.
– As the Director of Community at Radian6
, you can be pretty sure that Amber has seen it all when it comes to engagement and metrics. Maybe that’s why her blog is full of actionable suggestions for a better social experience.
– Marketing Roadhouse
– Beth is an industry professional that has experience in both the client facing and technical sides of social media and marketing. This means that her blog posts are a well-rounded mix of why, how, and for whom, with a dash of personal opinion to keep you from going astray.
– Very Official Blog
– Shannon focuses on the successful integration of social media with PR and marketing campaigns.
– Aside from being the Community & Marketing Manager over at Mashable
, Tamar has been all up in social interactions for the better part of 15 years. Though she looks far too young to have all of that meaty experience, her blog posts will satiate with concentrated insight and glimpses into her personal experiences of everything social.
– You might know her as the founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs
network, but Deb has a different passion she attends to on this blog – social media. She offers a great deal of practical advice that is incredibly relevant in the nascent world of social media. My most recent favorite example – her posts on how to make sure kids are using social responsibly
– I <3 Social Media
– As a Social Media Strategist for Porter Novelli
, Marta spends plenty of time playing around in the social media sandbox. Her blog is a source for entertaining quick bites of infographics and palatable blog posts that can be snacked on in transit. An iPhone read that saves you from doing the dirty work.
– Itty Biz
– Naomi’s hilariously tart commentary on scrappy marketing tactics for companies without a marketing department.
– The Huffington Post
– A veteran angel investor, Esther has first-hand experience helping to do the delicate work of nuturing a start-up. Her trademark candidness only further convinces you that what she’s saying is the real deal.
– Women Grow Business
– As editor of Women Grow Business and head of her own consulting agency, Shonali Burke is the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit. She tackles topics that sometimes speak to the unique issues that women face, but mostly her insight is invaluable across the board.
– Rise of the Innerpreneur
– I put Tara under my “Start Ups” section because her blog should be an immediate read for anyone with an entrepreneurial jones. She explores what she calls “meaningful capitalism,” which means discovering your own business passion, and bringing it into the world in a mindful way. And it’s highly inspiring.
– Brazen Careerist
– The founder of 3 start-ups, Penelope has logged more than enough experience to dish out advice, but her blog is more than just a formulaic “You can do it!” entrepreneurial cheer. She very honestly exposes the more trying aspects of living your career, and loving your life.
– The Cynical Girl
– Formerly the blogging brains behind Punk Rock HR, Laurie has a long-standing tradition of openly discussing the pitfalls and tough spots of career and business. An expert in the field of human capital management, she’s not one to sugarcoat with corporate speak, but she does have a wicked sense of humor while telling it like it is.
– The Successful Soloist
– Marla is a life and business coach who helps entrepreneurs shape up and become the proud owners of successful companies. Her blog addresses the gamut of issues you might be struggling to address if you were one person trying to do the job of 10 – read: an entrepreneur.
– Veronica Belmont
– Mostly tech and gaming focused, Veronica writes with infectious, geeky enthusiasm about what’s brand new.
– Fast Wonder
– Using a combination of her technical and business expertise, Dawn educates companies on how to get business value from being a part of online communities…without boring us to death.
– The New York Times Bits Blog
– Before writing for The New York Times
, Jenna was a culture and technology writer for Wired, and it shows. Her pieces generally focus on smartly outlining digital culture, while simultaneously showing how people are putting new technologies to use in their lives and businesses.
– Xeni Jardin
– Xeni is a stylish and well-known tech culture journalist who watches the industry with both an aesthetic and functional eye. Find her on Boing Boing.
– Corvida vets and blogs about useful tech services and tools with an eye to what is going to make your online journey less noisy and more interesting.
– But You’re A Girl
called her blog fresh for a reason, because Adria takes on tech – and life – with vibrant and energetic posts.
– A Wandering Sole
– As you can tell by the cute pun in the title, Laura does a lot of walking. She’s got a self-confessed itch from that travel bug, and ultimately her posts are meant to inspire others to do what she did – take off and see the world. Using lots of gorgeous photo montages, she takes us with her on her travels and continues on her mission to expose the commonality underneath all our differences.
– Adventurous Kate
– If you’ve ever been a woman attempting to plan a solo trip to various parts of the world, it can be intimidating. But Kate is determined to show all of us that a solo traveling gal can be safe, have fun, and do it on the cheap. And her blog seems to prove it, with lots of dispatches and anecdotes from locations around the globe. Even if you can’t leave the country, Kate’s blog is an easy read for a little mental escapism.
– The Neon Jungle Princess
– Abby is one of those brave travelers that has the gift of conveying what was so enticing about her journey. Far from the dozens of photos you’re forced to sit through when your friends return from a week in South America, Abby is able to hone in and speak to the soul of a trip. She also rounds-up spots to eat, stay, and even throws in a dose of international politics for good measure.
– Unbrave Girl
– People are often daunted by the idea of traveling, unsure of how to leave their home behind, even if they want to. Sally’s blog is reinforcement for those people – she honestly relates her fears and obstacles, and keeps on trekking anyway. An inspiring read for all those vicarious travelers jonesing to book a one-way ticket.
– Thursday Bram
– Lots of blogs discuss writing, Thursday’s blog gets down to the logistics of writing for a living, nitty gritty included.
Meryl K. Evans
– With a strong tech background, Meryl’s understanding of how to write both accurately and engagingly for new media makes her blog an invaluable resource.
– Amanda Hocking’s Blog
– If you haven’t heard of Amanda Hocking, and you’re into writing, then you’re missing out. She writes what are deemed “paranormal romance young-adult fiction” stories, and her creative writing style and alternative distribution have helped build her formidable career WITHOUT a publishing deal. You’ll appreciate her fortitude and keep coming back for the fiction.
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
– Debbie is both a writer and an illustrator, which explains why her blog works so well – she can catch your eye and keep your attention. As a writer herself, she’s able to offer insight and industry-specific help, like compiling a list of literary folks on Google+, for example. Useful and unique, this is a necessary daily read for writers.
– The Communicatrix
– The thing that I love about Colleen, aside from her wry and sailor-y writing style, is her consistency. She blogs with commitment, and as a writer teaching others the craft, that means something. Her lessons from the pulpit are actionable and fun, and I hope to someday practice exactly what she preaches.
– Soul of a Word
– Denise is the author of a book called Uncommon Genius
, which is all about how great ideas are born, and her blog builds on that concept. But it’s not a clinical study into what sparks ideas that turn into words – while she has actionable suggestions, much of her writing is as honest and lyrical as you’d strive to be after taking her well-researched advice.