the latest

what to do if you have the winter blues

I’m not a doctor, but I get especially gloomy as soon as the days get shorter, colder, and darker. I’ve never been diagnosed with SAD, but WebMD says I probably have it. Here’s what I do on particularly blue days.

go somewhere warm.

Tanning bed, sauna, bath tub, hot yoga (currently very into Sculpt at CorePower), or a tropical escape if you can spring for it. Find somewhere you can sweat out all those feelings and forget about your chapped knuckles.

laugh a little.

Yeah, I’ve seen every episode of The Office at least seven times, but I’m not stopping anytime soon. Watch a rom-com, favorite TV show, or stand-up special from the comfort of your cozy bed.

leave the house.

Though I definitely consider myself a homebody, I quickly start to feel cooped up during the winter months. Whether you bundle up and head to the nail salon, a pottery class, the book store, or a restaurant, it always feels great to get dressed and be a person.

make something good.

Winter is the perfect season to spend in the kitchen. From soups to sweets, the oven will warm your kitchen and the food will warm your heart.

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the latest

how to get out of a slump

I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I hit a slump. Sometimes it’s a productive one, where I can’t focus on anything and feel brain-dead. Sometimes it’s emotional, when my anxiety is at an all-time high and I’m psychoanalyzing things that don’t need to be psychoanalyzed. Here’s how I bring myself back to earth.

Scroll through Tumblr.

I freaking loved Tumblr in high school and my early years of college, but now I mostly use it when I need to relax and regroup. Something about scrolling past photos that appear in no order but still speak to me is very cathartic.

Exercise.

Can’t get a text back from the guy I like? Head to spin class. Feeling stressed or unfocused? Let’s pedal it out. Endorphins are real, you guys.

Shop.

Not online shop, but in-person. Like at Target or Whole Foods, preferably when they’re not crowded. Push a cart through the aisles and breathe in the organized-ness.

Have a snack.

Not an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s or a whole pizza (trust me, I know it’s hard), but something nourishing that your mom would approve of. Like an apple with peanut butter, or a grilled cheese sandwich. You know – one of the classics.

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people, the latest

a woman’s place is in…wherever she chooses

You might have noticed that yesterday was International Women’s Day. While I think women should be celebrated, respected, and appreciated every day of the year, it’s nice that there’s a day devoted to US.

It took me a long time to realize that it’s ok for me to take up space in the world – that I shouldn’t have to shrink or dumb myself down. I am so grateful that I’m a woman in this generation. So many things have happened in the last few years to unite women of all ages and races, and I’m inspired daily by amazing ladies who are doing the most in the world. Here are some female-driven platforms and brands that continuously amaze me.

Man Repeller

I love Man Repeller. It is my dream to write for them or work for them. I’d literally live in my car and intern for free – seriously. I have so much respect for the platform that Leandra Medine has built from the ground up. Though the site started as a fashion blog, MR covers all kinds of pop culture and political issues, and features personal narratives and comical round-ups. Seeing how much MR has grown is what inspires me to keep blogging and creating content.

Hill House Home

I started following Nell Diamond on Instagram after I saw a feature about her on Man Repeller. She started Hill House Home, a luxury bedding company (those custom pillowcases are high on my wishlist), and though her personal and brand styles are highly feminine, she’s definitely a badass.

Rudy Jude

This organic children’s clothing brand is another Instagram find, and I follow founder Julie O’Rourke. She lives a beautifully rustic life on an island in Maine, and I love seeing the photos of her travels and family. She’s expanding the Rudy Jude collection to adult sizes soon!!

Dear Frances

Shoes I dream about. Literally. In addition to being designed by women and made from sustainable materials, Dear Frances donates a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair sold.

View this post on Instagram

Fawn SPIRIT Boots | dearfrances.com

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places

my no-fail packing list

One of my resolutions for 2018 was to travel more, so I’m super excited to already have two trips planned. Both are long weekend adventures, so I’ll be squeezing everything into my carry-on suitcase. In addition to the basics like passports and tickets, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for making traveling as comfortable as possible.

Since you can’t bring liquids through airport security, I definitely suggest bringing an empty water bottle with you. Fill it up in the bathroom before you board, and keep track of it during the whole trip – paying for water is my biggest pet peeve, and unless you’re going somewhere where the tap water is undrinkable, keeping that bottle in your purse will save you lots of $$$.

Sunglasses are the #1 thing I ALWAYS forget, so those are usually the first thing on my packing list. Painkillers, like Advil, are another thing that is super annoying to spend money on when you’re supposed to be on vacation. Bring a small bottle with you along with your prescription meds.

What are some things that are always on your packing lists? Comment below!

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P.S. Pin this handy graphic to your travel-inspired Pinterest board for quick reference!

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places, Uncategorized

no fail* travel tips

I’m not going to try to sell myself as a cool, hip globetrotter. You may or may not know that I spent a semester abroad my junior year and managed to visit 8 countries in ~5 months, and I’ve been to like 40 states in America (including Alaska and Hawaii, so THERE) thanks to my parents’ shared passion for domestic travel and national parks.

In my 22 years of traveling, I like to think I’ve picked up a few (almost) no fail tips and tricks for making every journey a success–whether you’re with your family or your drinking buddies.

1. For the love of God, don’t get on a tour bus.

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Ok, ok, that was a little dramatic. I’ve done my fair share of bus tours on family trips, and they definitely come with pros and cons. If you’re in a foreign country (where you don’t speak the language) for a limited amount of time, a tour bus could be a good option. You won’t have to spend time trying to understand the local public transit system, and if it’s a “hop on, hop off” kind of deal, it’s basically a free shuttle around the city. But OH MY GOD do not take one in New York. I don’t understand why anyone would come to NYC, look at all the traffic, and decide to hop on a freaking bus. Take the subway, rent a bike, or take a city bus.

2. Go where the Anthropologie is.

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This is a rule of thumb I have for finding cute shopping neighborhoods in large cities. And it doesn’t have to be Anthropologie (if you’re in Amsterdam, try Dille & Kamille), but looking up boutique-y stores like this will usually land you in a trendy, non-commercialized shopping district. Just make sure it’s not far from the city center, because then you’ll probably end up at a mall. Not the worst thing, but you know.

3. STAY! TOGETHER!!

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This is especially important if you’re abroad and can only iMessage/WhatsApp over WiFi! Organize your schedule ahead of time so everyone gets to see what they want without getting separated. And if you must split up, agree on a very specific meeting place. Not “outside of the Louvre” but “in front of the rightmost table at the outdoor cafe on the right side of the third pyramid at the Louvre.” Got it?

4. Back it up.

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My phone is constantly out of storage. Literally twice a week, I’ll try to take a picture and my phone won’t let me. To avoid this problem when traveling, be thorough and back up your whole phone to your iCloud/laptop/hard drive/whatever before a big trip, and then delete the photos form your actual phone so it has room for all your selfies!

Happy trails!!

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people, Uncategorized

10 reasons why tyra banks is the og role model

During middle school and some of high school, my after school ritual was going home to watch The Tyra Show. It was on every day at 4pm, and I’d watch it on the couch while doing tedious homework and eating popcorn. This show was a blessing–we never had anything besides basic cable, and this was one of the non-primetime shows I actually enjoyed. Tyra taught me more about confidence and career than anyone else did in my early teens. Here is why she’s a pioneer role model–and someone else who doesn’t get enough credit.

1. First of all, she invented the smize.

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2. She hosted a reality show for TWENTY TWO seasons. Like, before America was even obsessed with reality television.

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3. She won two Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Talk Show, Informative. And boy, was it informative.

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4. She does it all–the girl can act, model, sing, and write.

 

5. Tyra founded her own production company.

6. She completed a management program at Harvard Business School, and was a guest lecturer at Stanford. Oh, s-nap.

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7. One of her most impressive feats is the TZONE program, which Banks launched to empower young women to be leaders. She also created a scholarship fund at her Catholic high school.

 

8. She’s been an advocate for body positivity before it was trendy.

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9. Tyra talked openly on her show about walking away from abusive relationships

10. Her beauty start-up makes a lipstick shade called “Ask for a Raise.” Like, how f***ing badass?

“My mom never taught me to be waiting for some prince on a white horse to swipe me off my feet.”

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Uncategorized

5 things i learned after 5 months of freelancing

Even though I have a regular 9-5 job working at a magazine I’ve always admired, my side hustle has been especially lucrative lately. I’ve been doing a lot of freelance writing, simultaneously bulking up my portfolio as a writer and making some extra spending money. There’s something wonderfully appealing about freelancing…you can work from home (or anywhere in the world with an Internet connection), have flexibility with deadlines, and get to write about things that interest you.

I know some people do this full time–I’m not sure I ever could, since the money varies month to month, but so far it’s been a great way for me to profit from something I’m passionate about–and something I’d literally be doing for free, anyway (cue: this blog). Here are five things I’ve learned since stepping up my freelance game in June.

1. It will take forever to get paid.

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Between waiting for invoices to be approved and checks to go in the mail, expect to wait a month until you see payment for your story.

2. Keep track of EVERYTHING.

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I write for multiple sites, and it quickly became difficult to keep track of who had paid me and who I still needed to send invoices to. I use Google Sheets to keep track of every story I sell, and note within this document which pieces have been invoiced and paid.

3. Follow up.

follow-up

Editors are busy–you’re probably one of many writers they deal with, so if you don’t hear back for a few days, don’t take it personally. Don’t be afraid to follow up…especially if they owe you money.

4. Use a dedicated workspace.

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Some people are good at working from home, and while I like the idea very much, I’m not one of them–though that may change once it gets colder and I don’t want to leave my apartment. If I have an overwhelming amount of work to do, I take my laptop to a local coffee shop and stay there until the battery dies.

5. Pitch as many ideas as you have.

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I send dozens of pitches a week, knowing that only a handful will get picked up. I’ve learned that I have a better chance of getting more stories picked up if I pitch more in the first place!

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the latest

interning 101

I’ve previously talked about how important my internship experiences were—I learned so much, and in addition to beefing up my resume, the jobs themselves were invaluable.

I got my first internship after my first year of college, when I still thought I was going to major in Art History. I emailed a local gallery in my hometown essentially offering to be their intern/provide free labor, and they took me on one day a week. Looking back, this was not a valuable use of my time—this position isn’t even listed on my resume because aside from being irrelevant to my career field, I didn’t learn or do much.

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One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my experience as an intern is that the quality of your experience largely depends on your supervisor—how willing are they to give you work? Are they going to teach you how to do new things? Will they trust you to do more than stick stamps on 400 postcards? Regardless, from my various internship experiences I’ve picked up several tips and learned a few unspoken rules that all interns should follow.

Take notes.

If a co-worker asks if you can help them with something, write down what they’re asking you. Try to ask all of your questions while they’re showing you how to do something or giving you instructions for a task so you’re not emailing them from the Duane Reade to confirm what size bottle of liquigel Advil they want. This is especially important if you have an editorial internship—why would you ever not have a pen and notepad in your hands at all times?!

That being said, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I’ve always naturally been a bit introverted and shy, but I can guarantee that your boss would rather you ask five questions and do a perfect job than ask no questions and make five mistakes.

Be confident.

If you wrote a cover letter, had an interview (or two or three), and did an edit test or some equivalent to prove your worth, you deserve to be there. It’s kind of crazy how many people are fighting for the same unpaid internship, so when you get that offer you should feel pretty proud of yourself and know that you have a right to be there, and your boss clearly thinks highly enough of you to want to see you everyday.

Be on time.

I think this goes without saying.

Ask for what you want.

At the end of my final college internship, I didn’t want to leave. I spoke with my boss about the possibility of getting a real, grown-up job there, but unfortunately, the timing just wasn’t right. Even though I didn’t get what I asked for, I expressed how much I loved working there and I think it strengthened my relationships with my supervisors and coworkers long after I left.

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