A New Beginning

For over 2.5 years, The Modern Austen has been my home.

My digital scrapbook.
My personal stylebook.
My own unique community.
My side business.

It has been the most wonderful and rewarding learning experience, one that has changed everything for me, both personally and professionally. I didn’t realize when I signed up for a free WordPress.com account in May 2012 that I was embarking on the journey of a lifetime, but now I know that it was woven into my plan all along. I have loved every second of the journey–even the periods of burnout–because it has stretched and pushed me to become a better person: a better writer, a better marketer, a better creative, and, most of all, a better friend.

Though The Modern Austen hosts numerous embarrassing posts and lots of fluff, I am extremely proud of several gems that I published over the years. Nearing the end of 2014, I began feeling the itch for change. In the past, that often meant switching up the design, introducing a new feature, kicking it up a notch in my community. But this time felt different. As much as I adore the brand behind The Modern Austen and still feel its message is relevant to me, I knew that it was time for a more drastic change.

After several months of daydreaming, planning, designing, collaborating, doubting, brainstorming, reinventing, organizing, and writing, I am FINALLY ready to announce my latest creative venture.

Introducing Ampersand Creative.

A lot of soul searching led me to one major conclusion: it was time to narrow my focus. I dug through the echelons of my brain and mindmapped my way to discover my real passions that could simultaneously serve others: creativity, entrepreneurship, and blogging. It is my aim to help millennial bloggers and young professionals identify and achieve a fulfilling creative lifestyle. You’ll find musings on the side hustle, discussions about navigating the job search, insight into other creative individual’s projects, how-tos to get your schemes up-and-running, and whatever else strikes my fancy that might be of use to others.

Before I leave you to go and explore my lovely new site (designed by the incredible Sam Bell Creative), I want to say thank you. Thank you for sticking with me, for being such a supporter over the last three years, for being so flexible no matter what direction I took the blog, for getting to know the girl behind the blog, for reading, for commenting and emailing, for challenging me. I am eternally grateful. I know this new direction won’t be for everyone and I understand if you choose to turn down another path. But please know that you have made a difference in my life and I appreciate you. Here’s to new beginnings!


Life Lately

I’ve been away from this space for quite some time and I have to say, I miss it. I know I’ve been alluding to a brand new venture I’ve been working on and I am indeed plugging away at it (and SO very excited about it), but I miss the familiarity of this space from time to time. Most of all, I miss all of you, lovely readers of mine.

Instagram Collage Life Lately


Life has been a bit of a whirlwind recently. I’ve been traveling for work, dancing, working on side projects, balancing time with friends and family, and supporting my mom through some difficulties. While there have been some bumps and bruises here and there, I am overall very content and excited for the future. I feel encouraged and motivated by the many driven people around me and am anxious to see what opportunities lie ahead in the next few months.

As of yesterday, I have been back in Pittsburgh for an entire year. The decision to move back home was a difficult one, but I can’t believe how much that one choice has affected everything. Where and who I was then is miles and miles away from where and who I am today. I knew that I would one day be “on the other side,” and I am humbled and thrilled to finally be there and only going up from there.

I’ll be posting some hints here and there on social media of things to come, so stay tuned for that, BUT what I want to know is: What are you working on? What’s keeping you motivated and giving you that excited feeling in your stomach? Let me know in the comments and share a link so I can ooh and ahh over your brilliance!

Accutane for Mild but Persistent Acne: Final Update

After eight long months, I can finally say: I’M DONE WITH ACCUTANE! If you’ve been following along my journey, you’ll know why I decided to take Accutane (or Zenatane, to be more specific) for my mild but persistent acne, and how I felt about it a few months into the experience. I had originally filmed a seven-month update, but for some reason, it got flagged on YouTube. Say what? *shrugs* Who knows? Anyway, I am so glad I finally got around to filming and uploading my final thoughts on the whole process! I was on the prescription from May-December 2014, even though I was originally supposed to take it for about six months. The two additional months were necessary, however, and I’m glad I stuck with it.

Though to most people around me, the results are not all that noticeable, to me, they are definitely significant. I can’t believe that not even a year ago, I had cystic-like acne, especially on my chin, and blemishes that never really seemed to go away no matter what I tried. No amount of makeup seemed to make a difference. I only wish I hadn’t waited so long to give Isotretinoin a try. Of course, it’s certainly not for everyone, but for me, it was a good and worthwhile treatment.

Fingers crossed that for the long-term, this treatment continues to be a more permanent solution. I know I’ll still have blemishes here and there and that I can still work on improving the quality of my skin, but CHEERS for overall clear skin and confidence! Thank you to all who stuck around and supported me through the long (and annoying) process.

Better Serving Bloggers and Creatives in 2015

As I pursue some new creative ventures this year, I have been spending a lot of time talking with bloggers and creativepreneurs about their individual questions, struggles, passions, and goals. It has been inspiring to hear the amazing things people want to accomplish, but also enlightening to understand what obstacles they face and what information they want to know more about (and definitely lets me know that I’m not alone in my own struggles!). One of my goals in 2015 is to better serve these bloggers and creatives and you’ll be hearing more about this as we move forward. But in order to do this, I need to know more.

Here’s where you come in, my dear readers and friends. 

I put together a quick, but very useful survey that will help me better understand what kind of tools and information you are seeking to pursue your creative goals, big and small. The more feedback I receive, the better I can learn from you!


If you have a minute or two, would you click here to fill out this questionnaire for me? As a thank you for your efforts, I will be choosing one survey participant to win a $10 gift card to the store of his or her choice! I’ll be selecting a winner on Tuesday, January 13th.

Fill out this survey for a chance to win!

Thank you so much in advance for your help! Also, thanks so much for your patience as I make some changes around these parts :)