the latest

what it feels like when someone unfollows me

As a millennial, I’ve been engaged in most forms of popular social media since they entered the scene. I remember when Instagram was just a way to add filters to photos, not an engagement tool. I got a notification from Facebook last weekend that I joined the site ELEVEN years ago. (Chilling.) I remember when you could see other people’s top friends on Snapchat.

As a blogger and creative professional, I know how social media platforms are used to generate clicks which become monetized whether via advertisements (editorial) or direct sales (retail). I’ve used tools to track engagement and followers at work, and consequently applied the same practices to this blog and my personal pages.

For a while, I used a tool that notified me whenever someone unfollowed me on Instagram or Twitter. Instantly, my heart would sink.

Even as I checked out who the culprit was, I wondered why I cared so much. I tracked engagement for the Instagram page I run for this blog, which is less personal and more business-y to me, but getting the updates for my personal accounts was gut-wrenching. I wondered which tweet caused them to press that “unfollow” button, which photo on Instagram was so offensive that they couldn’t bear to see any more updates from me.

If it was someone I considered a “friend” or a mutual follower, this unfollow notice would hit me like a ton of bricks. To me, it was a statement that they were so disinterested in my life that I was no longer worth following. They deemed the very minimal engagement of seeing several posts a week from me as not worthwhile. I would quickly unfollow back. Why should I continue keeping up with them?

I think this bothered me so much because my social media platforms, especially Instagram, are carefully curated. While Twitter has turned into a different beast (mostly an outlet for me to complain and make observations about daily life), I work really hard to make sure my Instagram page consists of quality photos with witty captions. The selfies are rare. There are no #MCM posts. I don’t share something every day. I have never gone “Live.” All of the photos are in focus and well-filtered.

What was I doing wrong? Absolutely nothing.

When I got a new phone about a year ago, I decided not to re-download my follower tracking apps. I haven’t changed my Instagram practices. I love sharing photos not only to interact with my followers, but to keep a record of my life. I love being able to go back and see what I was up to a year ago. Or check out the name of the restaurant I went to on my second date.

My Instagram page captures the best parts of my everyday life…and even when I see my follower count go up and down, I remind myself that the people who really care about me will stick around through even the worst selfies. As long as you’re living your best life, who really gives a damn?!

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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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the latest

calories worth consuming

It’s no secret that I love to eat. I appreciate all kinds of food, whether it’s a super fancy pizza or an old standby, like a vanilla cone from Dairy Queen. A lot of times, I’d rather skip a snack or wait for something better instead of “wasting” calories on a food item not worth its value in flavor.

I gave up “sweets” for Lent, and though I’ve had a few pieces of banana bread (technically a breakfast food!!) and some dark chocolate (to scare off starvation in Iceland!), it’s been a challenge. I usually end each day with something sweet – often a scoop of frozen yogurt (Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food is a go-to) or something dipped in chocolate hummus. It’s gotten me thinking about the foods that are worth eating, no matter how much fat or sugar it contains. Here’s my definitive list.

Ice cream.

I only buy frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream to keep at home, so when I go “out” for ice cream, I want the good stuff. Full fat. Maybe a waffle cone. Maybe a sundae if I’m feeling famished.

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the best things in life are pistachio-flavored 🍩

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Wine.

Especially rosé. Especially in warm weather.

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Necessary. #humpday #rosé #repost @quaintrellebyab

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Pizza.

Again…the good stuff. Stringy mozz. Not-too-sweet tomato sauce. Lots of fresh basil. Maybe some kind of spicy pork product. Mike’s Hot Honey if you have it.

Doughnuts.

I probably have four doughnuts a year, so they need to be good to be worth eating. One of this allotment is reserved for an apple cider doughnut each fall. In January, I had a doughnut from Kane’s, a Boston icon that lived up to the hype.

Brunch.

Belgian waffles, pancakes, and allll the whipped cream. Plus maple syrup. And fresh berries. Nothing like a midday sugar high.

Good bread.

I told you I’m obsessed with carbs. Not sandwich bread, or pita bread, but real, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside bread. Preferably with lots of Kate’s butter and a little salt on top.

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places

travel vignettes: BROOKLYN

prospect park
pizza
summer
jewish
brownstones
barbecue
IKEA
backyard
bodega
bagels
wonder wheel
mckibbin
flea market
eastern parkway
BK.jpg

photo via allthebuildingsinnewyork.com

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boyfriend, the latest

things that are ruined for me because i shared them with boys

The best and worst part of dating someone is sharing your favorite things and places with them, thus building memories. But when the relationship ends, these moments aren’t so happy anymore and going to your favorite pizza place or watching something on Netflix just reminds you of them and makes you sad. Well, it makes ME sad.

“Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison

Used to be my favorite song to play while I was driving in the summer in convertible mode (all the windows down, sunroof open) in my high school car. Not anymore. Sigh.

My favorite restaurant (Lil’ Frankie’s)

My favorite place in the world. My late-night spot, my hangover helper, my joie de vivre. Carbohydrate Capital of NYC. I love you. I don’t love that I shared you with someone who didn’t love me.

My favorite TV show (The Office)

I’ve loved you for so long…why did I watch you with boys who didn’t text me back? I hate that we compared our favorite characters (Dwight, Meredith & Creed), preferred episodes (all the Christmas ones), and the cutest Jim & Pam moments.

My favorite tacos (Tacombi)

Yeah, there’s a lot of food on this list. But what can I say? I know how to eat.

 

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boyfriend, the latest

the (most important) men of ‘sex & the city,’ ranked by me

Thanks to a new Amazon Prime membership, I recently binge-watched all six seasons of Sex and the City. (No, I don’t have a life.) I’ve always been a fan of the show, but watched it rather sporadically, enjoying a re-run here and there instead of following it serially. Regardless, my recent bingeing and seasoned dating experience have given me a fresh perspective as to which men are worthy and which are trash.

1. Smith Jerrod

Smith did NOT get enough air time. Hotness aside, he was hands down the sweetest guy in all six seasons of SATC. He stuck by Samantha not just through cancer, but during a relapse with Richard (trash). Not to mention that he was totally unthreatened by Samantha’s success, didn’t care that tabloids thought he was gay, and worked super hard in his own career.

2. Steve Brady

Another under-appreciated gem is bartender Steve, who Miranda is literally so rude to until the last season. It was pretty inevitable that they would end up together, since they had a kid and all, but it’s impossible not to melt when Steve tells her that she’s “the one” at Brady’s birthday party. Also, Miranda totally dismissed him for wanting to be a career bartender, and in the meantime he opens his own super successful bar.

3. Harry Goldenblatt

I’ve always been a sucker for Harry – the reason for his mid-range rating is because he wouldn’t marry Charlotte unless she converted to Judaism. I believe in soulmates and true love, but that really might have been a deal breaker for me. Regardless, he’s super sweet to her, despite how embarrassed she is of him when they first start dating. I love an underdog, and Harry is the ultimate.

4. Aiden Shaw

I know everyone loves Aiden, but there were some red flags about him from day one. He wouldn’t date Carrie because she was a smoker, and TBH he was pretty rude about it. The relationship was a low point for Carrie as well, since she cheated on him, but I always thought Aiden was pretty immature. He was constantly threatened by Big (maybe rightfully so), which came off as petty and childish. Oh, and he nearly booted Carrie from her apartment.

5. Trey MacDougal

Pretty bad. He and his mother were both totally unsupportive of Charlotte’s reproductive challenges, and were annoyingly traditional. Also, he claimed he was a “non-sexual person” and wouldn’t sleep with his WIFE, who caught him getting off to a dirty magazine in their bathroom. The only reason he’s not at the bottom of this list is because he let Charlotte keep that amazing apartment.

6. Jack Berger

Berger is the wooooorst. Threatened by Carrie’s success, listened to frog sounds to fall asleep, and totally hung up on his ex. And he broke up with her on a fucking post-it. Bye.

7. Big

If you’re not a seasoned SATC viewer, you probably think Big and Carrie’s relationship is super romantic. After close and careful analysis, I can safely say that this relationship was damaging and draining for both parties, more so for Carrie. Big obviously had serious commitment issues, but cast Carrie aside to marry 27-year-old Natasha. The only reason he’s not last is that he always encouraged and supported Carrie’s writing career.

8. Aleksandr Petrovsky

Carrie should have kept him as a “lover” and stopped him from moving on to boyfriend status. She candidly told him that she didn’t want to rule out having kids, and he shut her down. He convinced her to go to Paris and left her wandering Chanel and the streets alone. He was rude to her friends, caused her to miss deadlines, and made her eat lunch alone with his ex-wife.

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pin-spiration

pin-spiration: dreamy bedrooms

My bedroom is important to me. I never shared a room until I went to college, and couldn’t wait to go back to having my own space when I graduated. I chose the Brooklyn apartment I lived in last summer because the bedroom was enormous, sunny, and under budget, and my current place because even though the bedroom is teeny tiny, there’s a large window and built-in shelving.

As a freelance writer, I do a lot of work from home. And since I also work 40 hours a week in an office, I don’t feel like I actually spend that much time in my room–so I value cozy mornings alone, powering through work on my bedroom floor. All this being said, I definitely am still dreaming about my perfect bedroom. Here’s some inspo c/o Pinterest.

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