Maria Niles

Hi - I'm Maria, nice to meet you! I've been a Contributing Editor here at since 2006. I joined BlogHer as a full-time staff member after running my own consulting firm called ConsumerPop for five years. I am now working as Director of Project Management, Product Marketing, Client Services. I've written about a wide variety of topics from business to politics to pop culture for BlogHer and occasionally do the same at my personal blog PopConsumer. You can also find me and links to my various online homes at

I Loved Guest Host Kerry Washington but not Saturday Night Live

I watched Saturday Night Live this past weekend, eager to see the star of Scandal, Kerry Washington host. Though, on the heels of the conversation around the lack of Black women in the cast, it was entirely possible that expectations would be too high to make the show anything but a disappointment. The diversity discussion was addressed immediately in the cold open: ...more
Elisa Camahort Thanks for weighing in Elisa (and for thinking of me :) I cringed at that ...more

Taye Diggs' Message to the Ladies: You're Allowed a Purse

I love Taye Diggs. Which is why I was so disappointed when I saw a tweet from him today and clicked over to his blog. ...more

As described by Tina Fey in Bossypants, Amy Poehler had a moment early in her time on Saturday ...more

Hop on the Green Smoothie Love Train for Breakfast

Green smoothies are all the rage these days. And I, being a fan of rages, have fallen in love with the green smoothie. I was first inspired by the Healthy Librarian at her blog, Happy Healthy Long Life. Then, after some illnesses in my family and pleas from my sister for us to all eat well and stay healthy, I was primed to impulse buy a fancy blender on sale at Whole Foods while on my way to visit my mother in the hospital. I have been making the most of my impulse buy, however, and have been making green smoothies on the regular ever since. ...more
@Karen Ballum I store the leafy greens in a very large Tuperware type of container.  It keeps ...more

BlogHer | bet '11 Business: The Brand

Welcome to the BlogHer | bet ’11 liveblog of the Business Panel: The Brand. Moderator: Gina Garrubbo (GG), EVP of BlogHer Panelists: Liz Dolan (LD), EVP/Chief Marketing Officer of Fox International Channels and National Geographic Channel Analisa Barales (AB), CEO and Founder of Womensphere Janet Riccio (JR), EVP of Omnicom and Founder of their G23 subsidiary GG: What are the key elements that go into building a great brand? ...more

BlogHer | bet '11 Lunch Keynote: What Conveys Leadership in a Crowded Market?

Welcome to the BlogHer | bet ’11 liveblog of the Lunch Keynote: What Conveys Leadership in a Crowded Market? Moderator: Moira Forbes (MF), Publisher of ForbesWoman Panelists: Laurie Yoler (LY), Managing Partner of Growth Point Technology Partners Dana Mauriello (DM), Co-Founder and President of ProFounder Megan Smith (MS), VP of New Business Development and GM of MF:Purpose of today's panel how to develop the best pitch that represents you, who you are and to learn and grow from panel. ...more

Black History Month: Why I Identify as Black

Undercover Black Woman* is one of several potential names for my autobiography. It refers to the fact that I look white but identify as black. I say identify because race is not a fact of biology but a construct that varies across cultures, societies and nations. ...more
jaelithe Facing zero racism as you yourself admit to means you seriously lack the emotional ...more

Black History Month: Living American History Through My Family Tree

Like many, I grew up hearing stories about my family's history. I have a few ancestors whose stories live in history books and who are studied by scholars to this day. There are institutions and organizations named for them. These family stories provide a perfect example of how African American history is American history and another reason why Black History Month still matters. ...more

Thank you, HoboMama for your comment and kind words! William and Ellen were amazing - if their ...more

Choosing Surgery: Processing the End of My Reproductive Years

Like so many women I know, my insides are troubled. This week I'm having surgery to fix my bad lady plumbing. After years of controlling my heavy monthly bleeding with birth control pills, my gynecologist feels the risks are too high and it's time to stop the hormones and take another approach. Women in my family have landed in the emergency room and have had to have surgery as a result. I want to be proactive and chose what I will do before the decision is forced upon me. ...more

I had a hydrothermal ablation in 2006 and I had very bad burns externally and internally and I ...more

A Month of Side Dishes: My Easy, Guaranteed-to-Please Sausage and Rice

To the best of my knowledge, my mother concocted this dish years ago. Now it is possible that the recipe exists on a package somewhere but I doubt it. It's simply too simple. Despite the simplicity (or perhaps because of it), generations of my family members have fallen in love with this dish and it now makes regular appearances on menus in households across the country. This is a party, crowd, kid and all but the most ardent vegetarian, foodie, Kosher/Halal or otherwise dietary-restricted or non-pork-eating person pleaser. I guarantee! ...more

Wonderful, Sally! I'd love to hear how it turns out and I hope you create a new family ...more

A Month of Side Dishes: Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

One day a recipe from one the widgets on my home page caught my eye because the name was too intriguing to ignore. I immediately clicked on Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good. Impressed with not only the story that accompanied the recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table but also with the dozens of reader comments with variations on the basic recipe, I tucked it away as an idea to try with the cute tiny pie pumpkins I recently spotted at the grocery. (Be sure to use sugar or pie pumpkins, not decorative pumpkins meant for jack-o-lanterns.) ...more

That was my introduction to it (and OMG the filling was SO yummy the next day) so I went last ...more