Recently, I shared my new desktop background on my Instagram stories, and I was happy to see that many of my friends are just as into organized desktops as I am!

I threw together a few less specific versions. I didn’t spend tons of time on them, so they all use the same family of swatches and typefaces. Each is formatted for a traditional widescreen, at 1920 x 1080.

Who knows? Maybe this pandemic will inspire me to create more? In the meantime, here are five options …

(Click on any image to open it. Then, right-click and select Save image as …)

Desktop background 1
To Do, To Avoid
With Etc.
Days of the I Give Up
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There’s a reason the phrase “Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays!” from Office Space sticks around. If there anything harder than going to work after a gloriously relaxing/fun/productive weekend?

Even when I am 100% psyched to get started on my week, there is still a small part of me that wishes I could stay in bed with my dogs. (To be fair, have you seen my pups? They are adorable and excellent cuddlers.)

To help ease my way back into the week, I have a few tried-and-true tricks, (some of which are backed up by a recent Real Simple article):

Caffeine + sugar – Never underestimate the power of a treat! For me, it’s a latte from a coffeeshop (Why does it always taste better when someone else makes it for me?) and/or a blueberry old-fashioned from Greenbush Bakery. The pleasures may be simple, but they’re enough to get me through parking on-campus!

Breaks with friends – Most Mondays, I get to head out for a lunch break on Monroe Street with friends. A delicious lunch at Pizza Brutta, followed by a quick trip to Trader Joe’s for essentials gives me a chance to get up from my desk, catch up on weekend news and plan my lunches for the week!

Make a list on Friday – Speaking of planning my week, I absolutely love making a list right before I leave the office on a Friday. It is a wonderful period on the week and sets me up for success on Monday. Bonus: it gives me an excuse to use my ridiculous stack of office supplies.

One step from the Real Simple article I hadn’t considered making a habit was completing an act of kindness. I can’t think of a better way to start my (and hopefully someone else’s) week off right! Surprising a stranger with something nice is so fun. I can’t wait to buy a donut, latte or overpriced stationery for the next person in line after me!

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“Life in the Cube” doesn’t really fit since I now have an office (complete with a capitol view)! My series of posts about office life will now be filed under “Behind Closed Doors” to celebrate that rarefied privilege: an office with a door that closes.

My commute to work varies by season and when I get up. Depending on the day, I might be driving, car-pooling or riding a bus. No matter the transportation, there’s always an audio component.

On the way into work, I am a faithful Morning Edition listener. But, my commute home is rarely at the same time, so instead of relying on NPR, I usually listen to podcasts. My commute is only about 25 minutes long, but podcasts are on heavy rotation when I drive home to Kansas, too, so I have quite a collection.

Recently, I was asked which podcasts I listen to, and in true Lori style, I got really into it and provided an in-depth, long list. Then, not one, but two friends asked the same question on social media. Since podcasts are on the brain, I thought I’d share some of my favorites:

  • Slate Political Gabfest – This was the very first podcast I ever listened to. David Plotz, Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson kept me company as I learned the roads of Wisconsin as a sales rep, and I always enjoy it, even if I am vehemently disagreeing (usually with Plotz). Most importantly, although it’s a political podcast, there is absolutely no shouting. It’s a classic and is incredibly popular for a reason!
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour – Three regulars and a guest or two discuss two pop culture topics, as well as “What’s Making Us Happy.” I enjoy the personalities, chemistry and  camaraderie on this show, and their takes on pop culture are witty and smart.
  • Inside The New York Times Book Review – It’s the audio version of The New York Times Book Review! There are interviews based on what’s in the paper, a rundown of the best-seller list and publishing news. (They were all over Harper Lee publishing a new book.) It’s calming, but not boring, and I always have books to add to my Goodreads list after listening to this one.
  • Invisibilia – So far, there is only one season, and I can’t wait for the next one! This podcast takes a deep dive into all things, well, invisible. It’s hard to explain, but it’s brain science + human behavior + psychology, all with a This American Life flavor. How to Become Batman is a great first episode to try.
  • Whistlestop (Slate) – I’ve already sung the praises of John Dickerson on Political Gabfest, but he’s also a talented story-teller. Whistlestop is a wide-ranging collection of stories about historical Presidential campaigns. One week, you’re listening to Reagan, and the next, it’s a Taft tidbit. It’s a wonderful blend of history and politics. Unlike current politics, it’s not frustrating — all of the outcomes are already decided!
  • Can I Pet Your Dog? – This is a new addition. It’s pretty simple: listen to the theme song. If you like it, you’ll enjoy this podcast. If it’s too silly or weird for you, you’re probably not enough of a dog person for this one!

I listen to many more, but those are on heavy rotation on my phone. What are you listening to?

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Since I work at a university now, I guess we can call my long absence a blog sabbatical. Yikes! Since my last post, I have been up to a lot:

Continue reading

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IMG_0106In case you didn’t get the gist from my previous post, I took an unforgettable trip to the UK in April. I thought I’d share my view of London and beyond through random photos I took. Most of these wouldn’t make it in a travel book. Instead, they’re what caught my eye as I roamed the city. Continue reading

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Last month, I was lucky enough to travel to the UK for 16 days. I went to visit a dear friend I’ve known since we were 11 and had a wonderful time in London, Bath and Windsor.

I managed to cram most of my “Absolutely Must Do/See/Experience” list into the time I was abroad, which means there are entirely too many things to list here. However, here’s a quick rundown of my favorites: Continue reading

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Oy! Where has the spring gone? I would like to say my posts were washed away with all the rain Madison has gotten, but in reality, blogging was derailed by many adventures: Continue reading

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Oh boy, I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided to add materials to my online portfolio. By the end of my update, I had: Continue reading

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I consider myself both left- and right-brained. (For this post, we’ll ignore the fact that it seems to be pretty much a myth.) While I love design, color and all things creative, I also thrive on logic, organization and … data. Continue reading

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I had a meeting today that made me realize just how little of my portfolio is online. Sure, I have some recent work, but what about all of those categories under DESIGN that are waiting for content? Continue reading

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