Just Me aghan

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thriving Around Thirty: A Day in the Life of An Editor

An inspiration for young writers and aspiring magazine editors, today's Thriving Around Thirty feature is Virginia Chamlee, Managing Editor of Jacksonville Magazine and all of it's sister publications (904, Home, Bride, Taste, YourHealth  and two annual sports publications). I had been following Virginia's blog and seen her name around ever since I started Just Me aghan a few years back. We finally met at a blogger event at Fab'rik and recently coordinated our busy schedules for coffee. Jumping right into it here's our interview. I hope it allows you to gain some useful information on life as an editor.

In a few sentences please tell me about your journey to becoming an editor.
I have always loved to read and write so, when it came time to declaring my major (English), it was an easy decision. I interned at Jacksonville Magazine in college and began freelancing shortly after.

My first job out of college was as a staff reporter for a legal publication. I worked there for almost two years and, since the job was remote, it afforded me a lot of free time. So I decided to apply for a journalism fellowship. I was selected, along with three others in Florida, as a political journalism fellow through the American Independent News Network. Eventually, that turned into a full-time position, so I left the legal reporting to write about politics and the environment.

Eventually, the company I worked for was bought out by a large media company in DC and the Florida site was shut down, so I did a bit of PR work while I looked for something else in journalism. The job at Jax Mag opened up and I’ve been there ever since.

Virginia Chamlee, Jacksonville Magazine Managing Editor

What does an average day look like for an editor like you? 
An average day for me looks pretty much like anyone else’s—lots of sitting in front of a computer and typing. Of course, there are some days that are more exciting than others. Starting the day with exercise (I am really into Orange Theory at the moment) is imperative for me, as I tend to have a lot running through my head. 

On any given day, I might be working on four different magazines (other than Jacksonville Magazine, we also publish 904, YourHealth, Bride, Home and Taste) and twenty different stories, so it’s important for me to have an extracurricular activity that takes my mind off work for at least an hour a day.

What is the biggest perk of being an editor?
The fun events I get to attend—restaurant openings, parties, that sort of thing. Also, press trips (which I don’t go on that often) are amazing and usually packed with delicious dinners and really fun activities.

Virginia Chamlee, Jacksonville Magazine Managing Editor

Many of my readers are other bloggers/writers, what is your biggest pet peeve when dealing with writers?
My biggest pet peeve when dealing with other writers is the assumption that the reader wants to hear what you (the writer) have to say. As a writer, particularly for a lifestyle publication, your job is to tell a story—someone else’s story. When writers submit pieces that are essentially opinion pieces, with no quotes or outside sources, I can tell they don’t fully understand that.

Do you have any advice for aspiring editors?
My advice for aspiring editors is to read. A lot. I am a voracious reader—of books, of blogs, of magazines, of newspapers. You can’t grow as a writer or an editor if you think you are the best writer in the room. There’s always room to grow and reading the work of others is a great way to do that. 

Virginia Chamlee, Jacksonville Magazine Managing Editor

How can someone dress like an editor? Are you into statement pieces, do you go by the rule of three, what is your secret?
“Dress like an editor” is a funny concept to me, because most local editors aren’t necessarily into fashion. My daily uniform depends on what I’m doing that day, but I always have a jacket and a pair of heels in the car. That way, you’re always ready if an important interview or lunch meeting comes up.

Personally, I am very much intro statement pieces. I love jewelry, especially vintage pieces, but shoes are my weakness. Right now, I’m really into a pair of Elyse Walker python espadrille flats. They meld beach with professional and they look great with a skirt or a pair of slacks.

Virginia Chamlee
Magazine Editor of: Jacksonville Magazine, and all of its sister publications (904, Home, Bride, Taste, YourHealth  and two annual sports publications).

Virginia's do it all attitude is energizing, I hope you can see that from this interview. Her intelligence and keen sense of style (her shoes are always on point!) are admirable and make her a definite role model for anyone looking to follow a similar career path. 

I will continue to bring you interviews with successful individuals 
under (I'm getting old) around the age of thirty. If you or someone you know might 
be interested in being featured in a Thriving under Thirty piece please email meaghanmae@gmail.com. 
Northeast Florida Creatives I'm talking to you!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Battling Frizz with Redken’s NEW Frizz Dismiss

Redken’s NEW Frizz Dismiss Haircare Collection is perfect for anyone living in Florida, or any other area prone to humidity. The smell is fresh and has a light scent that lasts a few hours after washing and styling your hair.

With my many fly-aways and everyday battles with frizz -- I love the assistance this product gives me. Frizz is the #1 complaint from women about their hair. Redken’s new Frizz Dismiss boasts 82% less frizz after one use of their Sufate-Free Shampoo, Conditioner and the Frizz Protection Factor (FPF) 30 Instant Deflate.

Ulta Beauty sent me 5 products from the line to try it out before it’s release this month. They also sent me a wheel to help pick which products to use based off of the humidity level each day.

Redken's Frizz Dismiss Haircare Collection

First off is their sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner; these are standard to the line. As I said before the scent is great, it smells like a day of pampering at the salon. I really liked the conditioner because it didn’t weigh down my hair and easily washed out while leaving my hair smoother.

Redken’s NEW Frizz Dismiss Haircare Collection
My hair is medium to coarse so I have been using the FPF 20 and FPF 30 the most. The FPF 20 is for lower humidity days and is in a spray bottle. While the FPF 30 is a serum, I only use 2-3 pumps in all of my hair paying most attention to the ends (from about my ears down).

Redken’s NEW Frizz Dismiss Haircare Collection
Redken’s NEW Frizz Dismiss Haircare Collection
I always have to dry the from first - my cow-licks and waves are crazy up there!
Redken’s NEW Frizz Dismiss Haircare Collection
Split up your hair to make it more manageable to dry.  
Redken’s NEW Frizz Dismiss Haircare Collection
The FPF 10 is a nice finisher or touch up. They look like fabric sheets don’t they?! ☺ A fun new way to get rid of frizz and I have no problem sticking a couple in my purse since I know they aren’t going to leak or anything.

Redken’s NEW Frizz Dismiss Haircare Collection
Fly aways first.

Redken’s NEW Frizz Dismiss Haircare Collection
 When I use the Frizz Dismiss line I can wait 3 days before washing it destroying it with more heat tools. Normally I can only go 2 days. I’m not really a fan of blow-drying my hair straight. It’s time consuming, damaging, and I haven’t mastered blowing it straight with a brush at this length so less washes is definitely a good thing.
Redken's Frizz Dismiss Haircare Before and After FPF10
Before & After using the FPF 10 sheets. 95% or more decrease in fly aways!

I like to wear my hair wavy/curly a lot and this product helps me fight the frizz when styled that way as well. I will use the shampoo, conditioner, and FPF 20 if I’m going wavy.

Disclosure: This product was supplied to me by Ulta Beauty in exchange for this post. I wouldn’t have blogged about it if I didn’t enjoy it, these are my true opinions on the product.

Have you found a product that helps you in the ongoing 
battle against frizz? Share with us in the comments below. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sweet Sundays: Carrot Chia Coconut Muffin Drops

I bet you thought I forgot about Sunday Sweets, didn't you? Well It has definitely fallen off for a while, my husband brought this to my attention earlier this week. I.E. he said to me something along the lines of "you don't make dessert anymore, you don't love me..." wah wah wah!!

He's right though, I haven't. I guess I haven't been making desserts since I started eating meat again because I am getting more calories from beef and pork and I'm trying to be a little more conscious of my sweets intake now. Honestly, it kind of sucks, and doesn't really seem to be working out. Just because I don't bake desserts, doesn't mean I can't be persuaded into a late night bowl of ice cream or that crazy amazing "fork required" Reese's doughnut from Publix.

So... on a search for a somewhat healthy "dessert" I spent some time concocting these Carrot Chia Coconut Muffin Drops. I call them drops because they don't really rise too much. The shape that you put them in the muffin tin is will be the shape you have when they come out of the oven.


  • 1 c. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • scant 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 c. apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 t. cinnamon (less or more to taste)
  • 1/3 c. coconut oil (or vegetable oil, butter, or margarine)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut palm sugar
  • Juice & pulp from 3 medium sized carrots OR 2/3 c. carrot juice 2/3 c. finely grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl whisk together honey, apple sauce, eggs, milk, oil, carrot juice, and vanilla.

Stir the above 2 mixtures together. Add in the sugar, chia seeds, cinnamon, and carrot pulp.

Scoop batter 3/4 full into greased or lined muffin tins.

Bake for 25 minutes for regular sized muffins, or 15 minutes for mini muffins.

Immediately remove from tin and move to cooling rack.

I'm kind of proud of myself with these, this is the first recipe I've really made on my own. I looked at 4 or 5 recipes for different types of muffins to see the wet to dry ratio and went from there. They came out really good too! The energy from the chia seeds and antioxidant nutrients in the carrots will be a nice kick-start to your Monday morning.

What have you baked lately? Do you like these kinds of posts? Should I bring this column back to Just Me aghan? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fashion Friday: Floppy Hats in the Sun

Whether you're sitting on the beach, or under an umbrella eating fish tacos and sipping on a frozen cocktail a floppy hat is a definite must in the summer. It adds an air of sophistication to any outfit and protects your face from the scorching rays of the sun, double win!

From the Archives for the Surf Station's GND shop.
Here are a few of my current favorites how I would style them. The felt hats may be a little warm for the beach, but your can surely catch me strolling around the cobblestone streets of St. Augustine in them.
The "do not disturb" hat above made me laugh. I imagine sitting on the beach in my chair with the brim pulled low. Out of my price range though with a $440 price tag. (!)

Are you a hat person more so in the warmer months? 
Other than SPF how do you protect yourself from the sun?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thriving Under Thirty: Jessica Sutton, Self-Employed Personal Trainer

Jessica Sutton, a local personal trainer in St. Augustine is the feature for today's Thriving Under Thirty post.  A fellow Flagler College alumna, Jessica is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and currently self-employed. She spends between 8 and 10 hours a day training clients one-on-one, two-on-one, and in small groups. Jessica took some time to provide tips on working out and to explain what it's like to be a trainer.

St. Augustine Personal Trainer, Jessica Sutton
“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”
What attracted you to personal training? 

I was graduating from Flagler College with a Business and Finance Degree when Brandon Rahe owner of GO HQ, gave me an opportunity. Brandon became my mentor and largely contributed to my success as a trainer. I was able to gain the knowledge needed and also find personal growth/strength to adequately train a variety of clients through being a part of GO for my first three years as a trainer.

What is an average day like for you?

I work a split shift, meaning I have clients 6-noon and then have a break and return in the afternoon for clients from 4-7pm (estimates).

Training myself is sporadic at best. I tend to take the occasional opportunity to train if a client cancels last minute in the middle of my shift but I have more time in the middle of the day before I go back for my second shift. In an ideal world, I would train early in the morning -it's the best way to start your day in my opinion!

People in the gym are always surprised to see me working out and like to comment: "Oh, the trainer is training herself!" I like to show people that I am human too...just because I am trainer doesn't mean anything is 'easy' for me!

I think an important part of training and even life in general is figuring out what you are bad at. I have found out (the hard way -through trial and error) that I am not great at the nutrition portion of my own training and since it's such an important part, I have found a solution to my problem: I order pre-packaged/pre portioned meals to help keep me on track. Nutrition is extremely specific to each individual person therefore I would recommend hiring a certified Nutritionist/Dietician for specific meal planning.

Personal Trainer, St. Augustine

What do you like most about personal training?

The 'personal' part of personal training is definitely my favorite. I have developed so many long lasting relationships with my clients who I always refer to as my friends if not even as my extended family!

Each client is so individually different and that makes the challenge even more rewarding to help each client accomplish the specific goals they are looking for. One of my biggest career successes thus far is helping a business owner/wife/mother of five! lose 130 pounds to gain back her quality of life.

ALL of the other significant achievements each of my clients accomplishes add up to make every day rewarding for us. Crossing the finish line at their first running race, the look of awe when they do a set of push ups from their toes or even just showing up to their appointments ready and willing to be trained.

st augustine, women who work out

What is your favorite motivational quote?

“Do the best you can until you know better. And then when you know better do better.” –Maya Angelou

If a reader is trying to establish a new habit of training, what is the best piece of advice you could give them?

You cannot drive a car without an engine. Before you start stressing over supplements, if you have the newest glitter speckled Lululemon leggings... have you even sweated yet today? Start (overly) basic. Get moving!

And as with anything in life, be willing to ask for help! Remember: fitness is ever evolving!

You don’t have to figure it out all once but you must be willing to continue to keep putting forth constant, intentional effort to reach your goals. And if you ever deviate –jump right back in and try again.

How do you promote your services?

The best advertisement in a small town is word of mouth. I am thankful to have my 'regulars' (I still train my first ever one-on-one client) and am constantly being referred clients or recommended to new clients. Also spending 40(+) hours in a gym a week, I get random run-ins at local places: 'Hey, aren't you the trainer at the gym?'

Is there a certain type of workout you focus on with your clients?

Each workout is so individual to the specific client but the concepts all stay the same. I tend to focus on functional movements for most clients.

I whole-heartedly believe that you should never miss out on an experience just because you feel like you weren't ready in relation to your fitness level. You should strive for a life of balance and level of fitness that always makes it possible to go do the things you love or things you have always wanted to do.

Pink Up the Pace, Jessica Sutton

What is the hardest part of running your own business?

I always say I wish I could clone myself. I am sure my clients would beg to differ, but there just aren't enough hours in the day!

When you do what you love, the stresses and obstacles seem smaller and more manageable to accomplish the tasks associated. Things always seem to have a way of working themselves out when you are positive and secure in knowing you are doing things the best way (for you) possible.

Other than working out, what do you like to do in your free time?

Yoga definitely counts as working out but I have been spending a lot of my free time practicing Bikram Yoga at BYSA. I think it's a very humbling experience to be quiet and focus on only your self in a mirror for 90 minutes. I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of taking the time to focus on inner peace and flexibility.

Jessica Sutton, Saint Augustine, FL

Jessica Sutton
Personal Trainer
If you are located in St. Augustine and looking for a trainer to help motivate you for bikini season (which is pretty much starting this month!) contact Jessica. Her positive attitude, lenient scheduling options, and drive to help others achieve their goals will surely be a major help in realizing your own.

I will continue to bring you interviews with successful individuals 
under  (I'm getting old) around the age of thirty. If you or someone you know might 
be interested in being featured in a Thriving under Thirty piece please email meaghanmae@gmail.com. 
St. Augustine Creatives I'm talking to you!!