Every year before my birthday I get inexplicably anxious. It’s not that I don’t like getting older, or that I fear aging; I am genuinely excited for my forties and each year I feel I become a little more myself. But birthdays do give me that deer-in-the-headlights feeling.

I fret…


Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

How designers can be better managers right out of the gate.

Being a designer and being a manager are more similar than different, so when new design managers (or designers considering management) ask me for advice, I believe they already have most of the skills they need to be a great manager.

  • Do you know how to listen, how to get…

Little girl in a Wonder Woman costume blowing out candles on cupcakes. Mom in a shiny red wig crouched beside her, looking on

A tale of turning four and the parents who managed a party.

The day is done. Our just-turned-four-year-old is asleep upstairs clutching an overstuffed, poorly-sewn orange woolen cat, a gift chosen by her sister from Etsy’s “handmade” and “under $20” filters. I stuff my Poison Ivy wig and my green velvet leotard, along with my husband’s plated abs (he was the Dark…


Illustration of two circles, one above water with an upturned smile, the other a reflection in waves with a down-turned smile

How managers can help in truly difficult times

At an early morning call for a Slack group I help admin, my friend Avery suggested we prompt the community for ways to help parents through their stress and isolation during this never-ending pandemic. I bat my eyes exactly two beats before they welled with tears and a lump lodged…


Photo by ROOM on Unsplash

A few straightforward ways to improve hiring practices for a better applicant experience

I’ve recently re-entered the jobseeker’s market after six years on the lam and though I’m older and wiser and slightly less hire-able, I’ve managed to secure an amazing new position (more on that soon!). Before I forget the pain of the hiring process I wanted to capture a few obvious…


Photo by Dylan McLeod on Unsplash

A final family day trip before our daughter starts school

we sit the four of us
on a bench in Port Colborne
facing the Welland Canal
eight feet off a four-legged bench
watching a ship come near

the bridge has already
lifted the road on its pulleys
a cyclist waits behind red and white
striped gates, his concrete path
well above his head…


On remembering the people you loved while letting go of what they left behind

Photos courtesy of the author

First, begin by remembering the house in its heyday. Skip-Bo games prompting shouts of victory or loss, the front door clapping with entries and exits, onions and green peppers sizzling in cast-iron frying pans, and the comforting smells of buttermilk pie drifting from the still-warm oven.


As we find ourselves in dark times, it’s up to us to shine a light on the next phase of the internet

Photo: Brian Caissie/Getty Images

I embraced social media early and indiscriminately. With ardent curiosity beginning with Twitter in 2007, I collected profile pages like trophies, staking my user name and avatar into every new social territory I could find.

I did this like it was my job. In a way it was: I figured…


Ethel on her porch in Cross Plains, TX (Image by Author)

A eulogy for a lost generation of west Texas relatives

When I was five or six I remember getting ready for bed with Ethel at Great Grandma Ames’ house in Cross Plains. We were standing together at the bathroom sink in our nightgowns when she popped out her teeth to clean them. I’m sure my eyes went as big as…

Cassie McDaniel

Words, design, community. Leading w/ kindness. Product Design manager @ Webflow. Prev. Glitch, Mozilla, Adobe, Women&&Tech, Jane & Jury. cassiemcdaniel.com

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