A collection of stories... some by me... some by friends.
MOLLY SONSTENG GIVES LIFE AND COCKTAILS A PLAYFUL TWIST
Fernet Branca started an online magazine about immersive experiences. Yeah, Fernet the liqueur. They asked me why play for grownups is so important. Red the full interview here.
Speaking with Molly Sonsteng, it’s impossible not to be put at ease. She focuses on projects that promote creativity, mindfulness, and, most importantly, play. Each venture under her Brooklyn-based production house Madcap Factory offers interactive elements for adults to partake in and either activities, classes, or products that remind people that it’s okay to actually enjoy life for a moment. More...
It’s Come To This: Procrastination Nannies Are Now A Thing
by David Zax
At a little before 9 a.m. on a Sunday in late March, a small group of people stood sheepishly eyeing each other in a lower Manhattan office building. Their friends, it’s safe to say, were sleeping in, sipping mimosas, and walking their dogs at this hour. Meanwhile, this group of bleary-eyed professionals—most in their twenties and thirties—would be spending the next eight hours hard at work. And they’d each paid $40 to do it. More...
What It's Like To Be A: Producer Of Play
The author of this interview did an excellent job of asking great questions and making me look good. Read the full interview here.
Molly Sonsteng designs experiences that encourage adults to embrace the absurd. Armed with abundant experience in the education sphere (Sonsteng has a Masters in Educational Leadership, ran a preschool, and helped developed Carnegie Hall's curriculum) this brainy Minneapolis beauty conjured up a new endeavor, founding Brooklyn-based production house Madcap Factory. Unsurprisingly, that first word is defined as "amusingly eccentric." More...
by Molly Sonsteng
Social media addiction. It's a real thing and I have it. I designed a strategy to kick my addiction. Read the full story here.
I’m obsessed with hearts. Couldn’t possibly love them more. Teeny tiny ones. Like not even a centimeter in size. Hearts and thumbs. If we’re being precise, hearts, thumbs and the word “views”… especially when quantified.
I’m a grown woman obsessed with social media. So fully absorbed by the meaningless validation created by these tiny little symbols. It’s nonsense. Child’s play, really. And I know I’m not alone in my digi addiction. More...
FACILITATION: IT'S NOT JUST FOR THE BOARDROOM
by Molly Sonsteng
I attended a facilitation bootcamp and wrote about the experience. May not be the spiciest subject, but it was a valuable course and I'm happy to share the takeaways. Read the full story here.
I spend a lot of time in groups of all different sizes—from as small as three or as big as 1,000. When you’re running the show for any sized group, you need to have the right tools to keep the show going. I know a few, but was on the hunt for more.
Enter The Design Gym’s Facilitation Bootcamp. More...
A BURNER PHONE & A PLOT TO TAKE DOWN TRUMP
by Sam Utne
Donald Trump was a 2016 presidential candidate. This is a story my husband wrote about an unconventional strategy to keep him from winning. Read the full story here.
‘Ms. Orlando’ was the only contact saved in the burner phone that had been anonymously left outside my front door on Christmas day. She didn’t answer when I called but the next day she sent me a text: “Hello?”
“Good Morning, Ms. Orlando.” I tapped out on the T9 keyboard.
“You know my name?”
“If your name is Ms. Orlando, than I guess I do.” I said, strangely proud of what in hindsight was not that cleaver a comment. More...
what can you do with 100 hours
by Dev Aujla & Molly Sonsteng
My pal Dev and I made an art project called 100 Hours Project that encourages you to spend your time doing more of what you love. We wrote a little description of it for Holstee. Read the full story here.
What would you do if you were given a hundred hours to do anything? What would you create? What would you learn?
An hour can seem long and memorable or it can be short and fade into the background of our busy lives. That four day trip you took years ago took just under 100 hours and yet every hour remains a memory and remains a story still. Compare this to those two weeks in November, working towards a deadline, time blurred unworthy of any story, yet also 100 hours long. More...
How I Became a Hoarder of Discontinued Makeup
For years, I was addicted to chapstick made for young girls. A friend wrote a story about what happens when your favorite products become discontinued. Read the full story here.
Two years ago, while testing makeup palettes for the Cut, I stumbled across my cosmetic soul mate: Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact in Nude, a solid “moisturizer” that functioned as a light cream foundation. It was silky and weightless, and matched my skin perfectly. I threw away every other foundation, powder, and concealer. All I needed was my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact. Everywhere I went, the TMC (as we loyalists call it) came with me. It didn’t even require a Ziploc to get through airport security! It was my miracle makeup.
And then Laura Mercier discontinued it. More...
Music School Killed My Dreams
by Molly Sonsteng
Music school doesn't always produce musicians who are encouraged and supported in their passions. Read the full story here.
Last summer while on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, I sat in a cramped room full of musicians ranging in age from six to 76. Half of them had accordions while the other half had harmonicas, violins or bones. Everyone was encouraged to contribute, even us newcomers. The host of the gathering created a unique space where performers and audience members alike were accepted and loved. I, however, panicked. Did I have to participate? What would I sing? What if I forgot the words? My heart raced. I couldn’t get myself to do it in spite of the welcoming environment. Later that night, I questioned where this deep and very real fear came from. More...
Why You Should Say Yes to Napping at Work
by Molly Sonsteng
I am a huge advocate of napping....especially in the work place. This short piece gives you tips on how to do just that. Read the full story here.
Sleep science comes in and out of popularity all the time. Articles surface showing the latest research on its newly found benefits. Usually, the results explain that we should all value sleep more than we do. Nothing revolutionary there. We’re all overworked, underslept and need to give more attention to our nighttime habits.
But in addition to sleep studies, stories on napping are popping up more and more. The art of the power nap is something you’ve probably dreamed of mastering. Yet you probably don’t take advantage of the quick catnap after lunch. What about your friends? Do they curl up under the conference table for a snooze? Why is it so hard to make use of this great productivity tool? Is it because you simply aren’t a napper? Or is it more that the culture at your company would disapprove of such behavior? More...
A Playful and Elegant Winter Wedding in Minneapolis
featured in Martha Stewart Weddings
My husband and I elected to get married in January. In Minneapolis. But trust me when I say there was a beautiful reason behind the date and location. We got married on the day we met (seven years later) in the place we met. So much intention and heart went into every detail of our wedding. It was colder in Minneapolis than it was on Mars. Seriously.
Martha Stewart Weddings featured the party captured by the ever talented Liz Banfield.
by Sam Utne
My husband wrote a story about my birthday gift to him. Read the full story here.
As I walked up to the hotel bar, I realized the only two available spots were on either side of a woman I assumed was a stunningly beautiful escort. She held my eye as I entered the room with a directness that felt like an agenda. This surprised me as I’m not used to women this lovely being quite so aggressive.
My friend had asked me to meet him for a drink but he hadn’t yet arrived, so I settled in at the bar for a cocktail while I waited. I sat down to her left and, keeping to myself, causally ordered a whiskey. After a short pause, she spoke. More...
Adults Need Play too!
by Molly Sonsteng
Adults can and should play. Read the full story here.
You may have heard of the importance of including play in our daily lives. It isn’t a revolutionary concept but once we grow up, we lose the kind of play we used to experience as kids. The kind that can be therapeutic and even meditative.
Playing can change our perspective, ignite creativity, and encourage us to bring that feeling of awe into our lives again. We may feel that we don't have the luxury of experiencing that kind of play anymore but I believe we have the capacity to find this space within ourselves again. More...