Five Ways to Use Your Free Ticket to the Universe

It really exists. There are multiple locations. It can save you thousands of dollars. And it really is free.

I’m talking about your local library and the amazing thing that is the library card.

If you don’t have a library card, you need to get one, and you need to use it.


Language Learning

Have you seen this? Have you heard about this? The library here in Austin uses Mango languages, and so far I love it. Your library may have something different, but most libraries I’ve found use one of the myriad of expensive programs, and nearly all of them offer apps. Free.

The Virtual Library

This is perhaps my favorite perk of all. You can get access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks that can be read using your Kindle, the Kindle app or an app called Overdrive. Gone are the days of late fees and running back and forth to the library to return books and pick up holds.

An extension of the virtual library in Austin are emagazines using an app called Zinio. I get Mental Floss, Astronomy Magazine, The Writer and several of others sent straight to my iPad. I absolutely love niche publications because they usually cover really interesting things you don’t usually see scrolling through other media.


The Austin Library provides access to, which is a huge database of independent films.


Libraries are always hosting workshops for on so many different topics. I’ve seen them for coding, resumes building, graphic design, writing and so many more.

Endless Resources

There are also many resources to help you do research and find answers to just about anything. Academic databases, archived newspapers and other publications, genealogy resources and public records, and live humans, also known as librarians, to help you find what you need.

All of these things seem so underutilized, especially by my generation. But these are services and tools that people pay a lot of money for when it’s all right there, free of charge (or for the low, low cost of a few tax dollars, if you’re looking at it that way).

Editing Posts on Facebook

Way back when, when I frequented many online forums, the most requested feature was the ability to edit threads. In and of itself, it can be a very useful tool. We all make mistakes, hit enter too soon or remember details we want to add after we post. In forums, you couldn’t see the history of edits, and it would often lead to huge holes in conversations because people would back-pedal, rather than committing the cardinal sin of deleting their comments and threads.

One thing Facebook got right with their edit feature was the ability to edit while keeping the history of edits available for anyone to view.

Here’s a little trick using an example conversation that I use to make that feature even better, and keep my posts honest and transparent.

I make my post, and then, if I realize I want to make an edit, I hit edit. If it’s a lengthy edit, I draft it first. Then, I add: “Edited to add:” and hit enter.

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I then hit edit again, delete “Edited to add:” and add what I want to add.

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Your edit history will then look like this:

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Of course you don’t have to do the last step, but I don’t like leaving “Edited to add:” in the middle of a paragraph, so I do.

When it’s a quick edit, like I left off a period or transposed letters, I don’t do this. But if I don’t want to clutter up a thread with additional clarifications, but have more information to add to a thread or comment, I do this. To me, it just leaves no room for people wanting to point out. While I don’t do much political debating on Facebook these days, I see enough of it to know that people love covertly editing their threads hoping nobody will notice, and then get mad when they are called out on it. This is a simple fix that takes a few seconds and keeps discussions honest.

New Year, New Habits

Goal 1: Record more memories.

Goal 2: Get organized. …see below.

Goal 3: Say hello to the people I love more often.

Goal 4: Have a healthier relationship with technology.

Every year, the limbo between Christmas and New Year’s Day puts me in a very hopeful mood. The festivities are over. I’ve spent tons of time with people I love. And now I have a whole week where I can just focus on goals and think about moving forward. Whether I had a great year or a not-so-great year, there is something about the shift from one year to the next that, for me, helps me become centered again.

So far, I’ve purged old documents, set some key goals for myself, and developed a few systems to help streamline my life.

Here are a few of the things I put together to get my life in order and more organized. In an effort to stop relying on my phone so much, I’m reverting back to hard copies. Too many times it’s died halfway through the trip anyway. I had them laminated and got some wet erase markers so they can be reused!

Here are the PDF files of each list so you can print them, too!

Reusable Grocery Shopping List

Reusable Costco Shopping List

Reusable Cleaning Checklist

What are you doing to better yourself in the upcoming year?

What I did in Austin today


After a very successful trip to the dentist and getting lunch at Torchy’s, we did what we should have done much sooner — we got our ticket to the greatest place on earth!

After spending some time at the library, we headed to The Thinkery, Austin’s children’s museum, where we got free ice cream from National Geographic’s travelling ice cream truck!

IMG_2540It was a long, fun day, and I’m excited to find more stuff to explore tomorrow!

#PRSSA: Leadership and Legacies

Hannah Giles:

Great post!

Originally posted on Lauren K. Gray:

One of the first things Nick Lucido, the then Immediate Past President, told my first National Committee for 2011-2012 when I was the vice president of public relations was “this year will go by quickly and you only have one year to make a difference. That’s all you get so you have to make the most of it.”

MemoriesThree years later and three National Committees later, it’s been a crazy, fun, interesting, exciting ride. I didn’t know I would have a chance to serve three National Committees and I’m extremely glad I did. Each of the Committees were extremely different from the one before and I got to work with many different leaders and personalities.

One of the things we talked about at this National Assembly in Charleston, SC (my last PRSSA event) was the impact we leave on people’s lives. No matter if we meet someone for a minute…

View original 341 more words

22 Facts About Me

Oh, look, I’m 22 years old today! I’ve taken 22 trips around the sun, and I find that to be pretty overwhelming when I really think about it. It’s hard to recap so many years, but here’s a fact for every year I’ve survived!

  1. I’ve been with the same person for seven awesome years. That’s about 32 percent of my whole life.
  2. I became a mom when I was 17. She is the cutest, smartest, tiny human I know.
  3. I am a natural red head. It took me most of my life to appreciate my hair color, but I now I love it so much that I can’t believe I ever doubted it.
  4. I want to work for Nintendo. Yes, THE Nintendo. Unfortunately I would have to learn Japanese, which I have not even started on.. yet.
  5. I get overwhelmed at the thought of Space. I saw this picture the Mars Rover took of Earth and literally had to catch my breath. I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s a real source of anxiety for me.
  6. I love to sing. My original life goal was to move to NYC and pursue a career on Broadway, ultimately landing a role as Velma Kelly in Chicago.
  7. My drink of choice at Starbucks is an Iced Venti Caramel Macchiatto with an extra shot of espresso.
  8. I grew up on a tiny little piece of Earth called Eudora, Mississippi.
  9. The first cell phone I remember was my grandma’s Nokia, and my first cell phone was a Nokia.
  10. The first video game I ever remember playing is Frogger on an old tabletop arcade game. Others include Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., and Sonic on the Sega Genesis.
  11. The feel of most paper makes my skin crawl.
  12. I have a very deep and undying love for the Legend of Zelda, and when a new game comes out, you can bet I will spend no less than 10 hours a day playing it (on the weekend, of course!)
  13. I’ve read every Harry Potter book at least 4 times, but the earlier books even more than that.
  14. I collect coffee table books.
  15. I’ve never been to Disney World, which is almost depressing for me to think about.
  16. I am an Apple product loyalist, though I despise the Apple Store.
  17. I love biscuit dough. My grandma always used to save a little bit of dough for me to eat.
  18. I greet most people that I see every day. I love to talk to others and ask them how their day is going!
  19. My childhood pet was a full-blooded lab named Max. He lived for 14 years.
  20. In high school I watched Toy Story every single night to go to sleep… literally. Every once in a while I would mix it up with Toy Story 2.
  21. I fell in love with gardening last year.
  22. I am exactly where I want to be.

My Handwriting as a Font

I pinned this forever ago and finally did it. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?! It was super easy and now I’m a little obsessed. It took me a few tries and some of the spacing is still a little off, but this will definitely not be the last font I make. Just go to and follow the instructions!

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Now show me yours! Respond in the comments or tweet me at @hannahrgiles if you try it!