My favorite writers and bloggers are those who are transparent, genuine, and relatable — without desperately trying to be those things. I like people who can generally be self-deprecating and self-aware to a point where I’m like, “Yeah, you’re human, just like me. I appreciate you showing me that,” because most of the time, it’s a lot easier to hide behind a public, social media facade.

I think it exudes a certain amount of humility to lay it all out there, and humble is what I strive for, so I thought I’d offer up a few facts about yours truly today that aren’t common knowledge. This post might stem from the over-sharer in me — okay, fine, it definitely does (I once told a complete stranger in the line at Starbucks how I had just failed a Spanish test when he asked me how my day was… over-sharer problems) — but you know what? I want Freckles and Figs to be a place of raw honestly, so raw honesty is what you shall get.

(I know probably you didn’t sign up for any kind of raw anything by typing my website URL into your search browser, but stick with me and maybe you’ll like it around here? One can hope!)

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Last year on Valentine’s Day, all gifts, celebrations, and events paled in comparison to an infamous labor of love (emphasis on the word “labor”). They took three hours and about half my sanity to make, and they’re all I heard about for the following three weeks, maybe even three months.

Heck, I still hear about them to this day.

See, it started when I came across a picture of the sweetest looking heart-shaped cookies on Instagram a week or two before Valentine’s day last year, and immediately I knew I would make them for my cookie-loving boyfriend as part of his gift.

Part of it — meanwhile, I doubt either of us could tell you what the rest of the gift was, yet the cookies get commemorated every other day. (I’ve been asked at least a dozen times in the last year when I’ll be making these little devils again.) Little did I know they would become the bane of my existence.

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Reading has really become a top priority for me lately. I’d say it’s just above Vanderpump Rules, but just below yoga. That’s a significantly important spot on my list.

It has always been something I enjoy doing, but when I was in school I always felt I should be doing academic reading (especially as an English minor, which ensured literature aplenty to fill up my reading roster), and during my first couple years post-college, I was so overwhelmed with work and staring at a computer all day that the last thing I wanted to do was pick up a book at 7:30 p.m. on a Tuesday. Now, it’s about all I can wait to do nearly every day.

I have officially come full circle, back to my third grade self. Back to being nerdy and bookish, and I love it.

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The Irony in Getting What You Want

Once upon a time, I interned at a magazine in its editorial department. It was my senior year in college, which I like to think was just yesterday but, in reality, was nearly three years ago, and I was pretty sure I was winning at everything in life. I interviewed fun entrepreneurs and interesting professionals, wrote several articles a week, and was certain I was the next Diane Sawyer (print edition).

I wanted to work for the magazine more than anywhere else after I graduated — so badly that I even applied for the receptionist position, which made about no money and obviously had nothing to do with journalism. From my whopping seven hours a week spent in the office, I was positive the people and atmosphere were everything I could ever dream of in a first job environment. (Clearly seven weekly hours is enough to tell something like that, right?…)

It all seemed ideal, except for this one girl.

She was a full-time employee, and I worked with her on a couple fact checking assignments. I knew her job vaguely revolved around fact checking and data analysis within the editorial department, and I can clearly remember watching her walk down a hall one day with a sullen look on her face, a norm, and thinking to myself, I would hate to have her job.

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