Author Archives: Michelle Jones


There’s Lots More Than Ashley Judd in More Magazine’s May Issue

more_magazine_subscription_may2011.jpgSure there’s always a celebrity, usually an actress, on the cover of More magazine, but there’s also so much more to the issue than that pretty face.

Here are other not-to-be-missed stories in the May issue, the one with Ashley Judd on the cover.

  • Just a Number: Every month More features a mini profile of a stunning “ordinary” woman; this time Nancy Jarecki shows off her very blond pixie cut and talks about how a hair appointment in Paris inspired her line of very personal dyes.

  • Just a Number?: Not when the aches, pangs, and hormonal and physical changes kick in–as hilariously conveyed in an essay by Melanie Gideon.
  • Just Do It: In another essay, Kathryn Stockett talks about the many, many rejections she got when shopping around her best-selling novel, “The Help.” She countered the negative vibes and pressed on with rewrites, even when she felt compelled to lie about what she was doing to save face. (No mention of the lawsuit from her brother’s nanny/housekeeper.)
  • Mother Love: Read this poignant essay about a mother’s heart-wrenching request to find out why the accompanying photograph of delicious peaches is the perfect illustration for the story.
  • Money Talks: MSNBC “Morning Joe” cohost Mika Brzezinski’s new book, “Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You Want,” grew out of her own negative experiences asking for a more equitable salary on the show. In this Q-&-A she discusses what she learned, and what others can learn from the women she quotes in the book.
  • Wonder Women: It’s not Women’s History Month, which makes it even cooler that More includes a 10-page “Fierce List” of women in its May issue. The listees include politicians, entertainers, survivors of all kinds, athletes, etc.

Five Real Estate and Property Tips From Money Magazine’s May Issue

money_magazine_subscription_may2011.jpgMoney magazine‘s May cover story is all about getting the most out of
your money. To that end, the magazine offers 100 suggestions on a variety of topics including travel,
investing, career and consumer habits. Two pages of the 16-page cover
package deal with real estate–and that’s what caught me eye.

you’re in the market for real estate, trying to sell real estate in this
market, or just trying to keep costs down around the house, you’ll find
plenty of information here.

  1. Outside Help:
    One of the more interesting stories takes investment strategies
    outdoors. Need to work on your garden? Be sure to plan, mix up your
    plantings, and re-evaluate the mix every now and then, just as you would
    your investment portfolio.

  2. Keep Cool: Before it gets too hot, hot, hot, read this story about lowering your A/C costs.
  3. Best Moves: In the cover package, you’ll find things to keep in mind when
    considering tenants, a quick look at the best markets for buying right
    now, and what to ask at an open house.

  4. Sell This House:
    Nine pages of ideas for selling your house in today’s tough market. Some
    are obvious–clear out, clean up, repair; others are more creative and
    innovative like offering gift cards to buyers, providing home inspection
    results, and emphasizing traditional sales vs. foreclosures or short sales. Staging and setting a realistic
    price are also stressed as key for enticing potential buyers.

  5. Wills and Ways:
    Money also talks about inherited property, reminding readers that
    sometimes keeping the lake house or homestead left by parents may turn
    out to be costlier than you might imagine.

Two Beautifully Illustrated Stories in Real Simple Magazine’s May Issue

real_simple_magazine_subscription_may2011.jpgThe giant flower on the cover is first thing you’ll likely notice about the May issue of your Real Simple magazine subscription. Yes, it was just a few months ago in January when the flower close-up concept heralded a cover package of stories about how to be happier in the new year.

This time the flower references a cover story about increasing your energy levels–and thus productivity–throughout the day by spiffing up your morning routine, infusing the day with energy boosts (and knowing when to take a break), and acknowledging that different people work better at different times of the day or night.

When the magazine ran another “Energize Your Life” story last
September, a drenched orange slice (also shot by photographer Stephen Lewis) was used
on the cover.

Meanwhile, once inside the May magazine, the flower imagery is gone, though the text is sprinkled with lots of color and, well, energetic, bits and bobs. Instead of flowers or orange slices, there are black-and-white riffs on clock faces stylishly shot by Rodney Smith. Some of the images recall surrealistic photographs taken by André Kértesz, Man Ray and others in the late-1920s and early-1930s, using a model’s body and/or arms as the hands on the clock, or looking at her through a large clock face. The different settings of the photographs reflect stages of the day, from first stretch of the morning to workday to sleep at the end.

There’s another beautifully illustrated story in Real Simple’s May issue: This one is about how to prune your closet as well as your clothes shopping methods. Readers are guided through a series of questions designed to get to the heart of one’s personal style, best fit, etc., to eliminate the kind of shopping that results in a closet stuffed with rarely or never worn clothes.

The piece is illustrated with Laurie Rosenwald’s simple, colorful renderings of various items of clothing paired with ink sketches of a woman pondering items, receiving feedback from friends (love the expressions), etc. You’ve probably seen Rosenwald’s work before; her clients include a number of magazines, as well as ad agencies, TV networks and IKEA.

With Rosenwald’s illustrations and writer Sarah Stebbins’ tips, you may find yourself actually looking forward to tackling your closet. Yet again.


April Magazine Subscriptions Go Green for Earth Day and Everyday

o_the_oprah_magazine_subscription_april2011.jpgHappy Earth Day! Of course, the best way to celebrate is not to focus all of your environmentally conscious efforts on today but to try to be greener everyday. Fittingly, you’ll find tips for doing so in your April magazine subscriptions.

  • Redbook magazine suggests 10 ways to be greener, including reducing the amount you drive, recycling cell phones and chargers, and installing a low-flow aerator on your kitchen faucet.

  • O, the Oprah Magazine presents a special green edition of the “Live Your Best Life” section found at the beginning of each issue. The stories include mini profiles of Shinique Smith, an artist who recycles clothing into colorful sculpture and installations; and Darren Saravis’ Solarflora, a combination of public sculpture and solar-powered charging station. Later in the magazine there are two examples of eco-friendly fashion.
  • Good Housekeeping magazine shares a different way of recycling black-and-white newspaper pages–using them to polish dark-colored leather shoes. There are also speed-cleaning tips for keeping recycling bins clean and smelling fresh.


This Old House Magazine Heads Outdoors in May

this_old_house_magazine_subscription_may2011.jpgThis Old House magazine focuses on the outside in May with numerous stories about everything from prepping the grill for the season to repairing patchy spots in the lawn to growing fruit and vegetables.

One of the most exciting features in the issue compares different patio surfaces. Several ways of using concrete (textured veneer stamped to resemble cut bluestone is gorgeous), gravel and brick (mortared mottled brick is lovely and traditional) are compared, with information on the best choice to suit climate, expense and maintenance parameters.

This Old House also talks about lighting outdoor spaces in the May issue. The four-page feature describes various kinds of lights and what they are used for and explains how to accomplish five lighting effects. The story also reminds readers to consider their neighbors when making outdoor lighting plans.

Because this is This Old House, there are plenty of other DIY projects and tips for all over the house.

Meanwhile, House Beautiful magazine also draws inspiration from the outdoors in May. “Amazing outdoor rooms” are blurbed on the cover and include some that are actually outside (a kitchen, a garden space), while others showcase fabrics, draperies or wall coverings filled with leafy patterns. There are also rooms that bridge the inside and outside.


Forbes Magazine Focuses on Retirement–and “Un-Retirement”–Issues This Month

forbes_magazine_subscription_20110411.jpgIn yesterday’s post, we looked at SmartMoney magazine’s coverage of retirement issues in its April issue. That magazine isn’t the only place to find a package of retirement-focused stories in personal finance magazine subscriptions this month. The bi-weekly Forbes magazine also covers
retirement in one of its April issues.

The package starts off with a
story dubbed the “Un-Retirement Guide” because it deals with
transitioning into a new career in retirement–from museum curator to art appraiser, for example. Other stories include investment strategies, and how to check up on your pension benefits–especially if your company changes hands. And here’s something to note: The magazine advises saving paperwork, as in actual paper.

One particularly pertinent story in Forbes advises readers to take measures to protect financial passwords, including determining a way to provide access to electronic accounts and files in case you’re out of commission, incapacitated or worse.

A four-page fold-out section (wrapped in an ad) compares the best and worst places in the country to retire based on taxes, volunteer opportunities, etc. Pros and cons of each city are also mentioned, including factors like crime, humid summers and frigid weather.