Inside the twisted mind of Gillian Flynn

by Jourdan Fairchild


I was thrilled to recently write a piece for Stylist, a British weekly women's magazine, on one of my favorite authors, Gillian Flynn. The magazine approached me out of the blue, and I hadn't done a sit-down interview in years. So I spent hours and hours preparing interesting, relevant questions. We met for an hour at a hotel in downtown Chicago, and I left the interview feeling all sorts of excitement and pride about what I knew would be a fun story to write. Read it here.

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Making stuff happen at Madewell + fall travel trends

by Jourdan Fairchild


It's been nearly one month since the release of Fly DIY, and I'm still pinching myself over the positive responses I've already received. Some of my favorite media outlets and blogs (Design*Sponge, Racked, Country Living, etc) have deemed it worthy of coverage, and people seem to really notice the effort I poured into every page. I could go on and on about how grateful I am for the support, but let's move on to something super exciting!

Madewell, one of my favorite places to shop, took notice of the book and offered their space for a launch party tomorrow night!! I can promise the following: 1) a chance to make your own clothesline bowl craft in fall colors 2) cocktails, duh 3) delicious treats from Bang Bang Pie 4) discounted shopping 5) another chance to buy my book! 

In preparation for the serious shopping I'll be doing, I pulled my favorite fall pieces from Madewell to wear while you travel: super comfy track trousers, a sweater that gives a shout-out to my first love, easy-to-slide-off snakeskin sneakers, a purse big enough for my magazines—plus a cool cuff and hat.

Come shop/sip/get crafty with me tomorrow night by RSVPing to rsvprushstreet@madewell.com. It's a do or DIY—so don't miss out!

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Big book news!

by Jourdan Fairchild


It's hard to believe that more than a month has passed since I returned from Malawi. As you can imagine, I have a bajillion thoughts, feelings, and reflections to share, but I'm saving them up for (hopefully!) a published story. My dream is that some publication/website will be so moved by my pitch email that they'll want to know more and share it with their readers.

It's all about patience and persistence, friends.

While I play this waiting game, I decided to do something more immediate for the families in Africa that I was honored to meet. At the encouragement of a few friends (hi Jessica and Dean!), I embarked on my own project with plans to give a portion of the proceeds to Watering Malawi. It's no secret that I love to craft—in particular, I love the idea generation part of it all. It's a skill I developed under the guidance of my former editor-in-chief, who had a crafty brain and the highest standards. Also, when you live on a permanent budget, knowing how to make your own stuff sure comes in handy.

Enter FLY DIY, an e-book full of projects inspired by my travels. Each of the 10 crafts I'm including is completely FRESH (ie, you won't see anything like it on Pinterest!), super CHEAP (I'm talking $1 you guys) and EASY. They're the perfect thing to do before you leave for a trip, and they're completely personal. The book will also feature some of my absolute favorite lady friends—all of whom happen to be successful independent business owners. I even convinced a fantastic local photographer to join forces with me. Check out some of her dreamy test photos below!

I'M SO EXCITED.

Is this terrifying to release my own e-book? YES. Do I worry that no one will buy it? OF COURSE. But I'm having the best time working on it. In the past, I used to wait for great opportunities to come my way. This time around, I'm trying to create the opportunities for myself. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support, and I can't wait to start sharing some of the projects exclusively with you. Sign up for regular updates (the box is below the photos) so you won't miss out!

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All creatures great and small

by Jourdan Fairchild in ,


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After the adventures of yesterday, I felt ready for anything. But what I saw today and last night was mesmerizing. Why? Animals! So many African animals! Last night, we went on a night safari in the Liwonde National Park that overlooks a stretch of the Shire River. I felt like we’d been dropped into one of the nature shows my husband loves to watch.From our jeep, we spotted nocturnal animals like porcupines, plus more rare sightings of three bush creatures: a bush baby, bush pig, and bush buck. So many of these species were totally new to me, and we were seeing them in their natural habitat, rather than at a zoo. It was a beautiful thing. Did I mention the hippo mama and baby we saw just 20 feet from our car? That was enough to make Colleen and GoGo jump (hippos can be incredibly dangerous). The night ended with a bang when Amanda killed this poisonous baboon spider in our mosquito netting. She saved me!The fun continued the next morning as I dragged myself out of bed just after the sun rose for a private nature walk (with an armed guard to protect us from charging elephants and hippos). On the way, I was greeted my hungry warthogs and adorable veret monkeys. My guide, Duncan, filled my brain with dozens and dozens of facts about the trees, flowers, and animals—even elephant dung (which can be collected and used to make paper, among many things) along our path. How about this sausage tree, named for the fruit that hangs from it? Hilarious!The leaves and bark from certain trees are believed to help with fertility, strength, and a host of other health issues. One tree, the Moringa tree, is known as the Miracle tree, and you can even find Moringa powder in local pharmacies. After my walk, we took a boat safari along the river, spotting hippos, crocodiles, and fish eagles.And then Duncan spotted the most magnificent animal I’ve ever seen, the African elephant. He was in the bush, so Duncan cut the motor as we quietly floated closer. This park is home to more than 800 elephants, but you’re never guaranteed a sighting. We patiently waited for him to make a move, and when he did, all I can say is WOW. He moved so slowly, gracefully, and softly as he munched on grasses while a bird perched on his back. He knew we were watching him, and he gave us a great show.How do you follow up such an awesome experience? With another giant, beautiful natural creation! We didn’t plan on this one either. Our driver, Willie, had mentioned that on the way to Blantyre, there’s a tree with a root system that doesn’t end. We had to see it to believe it. It’s the only Banyan tree in Malawi, and it’s located on the campus of an Anglican school, so luckily, it’s protected. I couldn’t quite capture the tree’s size and beauty in photos, but it measures the length of two football fields. I can just imagine local children running through it, climbing, swinging, and exclaiming.

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