Saturday, June 29, 2013

Four years in New York City...

Today, exactly 4 years ago, was the day I hopped on a plane to New York City and never looked back. From modeling and living with 6 great girls who started off as strangers and became basically sisters, to working as a barista where I gained so many new friends and met the love of my life, to fulfilling my dream of becoming a magazine editor where I learned more about people, life and myself than ever before, to becoming a supervisor at an awesome TKRG bakery where I now stuff my face daily, I've gained more experience than I ever thought possible within this time frame. I've had my phone stolen (and chased it back down), received my NY Food Protection License, watched the ball drop in Times Square in real life, spent nights running around the beach at Coney Island, spent days reading in Union Square, saw a life-changing Florence & The Machine show at Terminal 5, killed my first (fifty) cockroach(es), got my first tattoo, and most importantly: Fell in love at 32nd Street & 2nd Avenue, got engaged overlooking Manhattan at the East River Park in Williamsburg, and heard the words "By the power vested in me by the laws of the great state of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife." I love this city.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

More Joan Harris (Holloway), please.

So far in Season 6 of Mad Men, Joan has basically appeared for only a couple of minutes (taking a gorgeous portrait in the premiere and perfectly insulting Herb in the last episode). They were wonderful moments, of course, but definitely not long enough. Therefore, during this absence of screen time, I feel the need to sum up why she's clearly the best, and why we should all be looking forward to more scenes with her in the upcoming episodes!

#1 She takes care of everything and everyone
Your wife wants to quit the company? Joan will handle it. Need TV scripts read? Joan's up for the challenge. Did your foot get run over by a lawnmower? Joan's ready to apply a tourniquet. Joan is prepared to solve all the problems and does not even need praise for her actions. In fact she has even said, "It's a very brave person that does something anonymously."

#2 Her confidence is off the charts
The way Joan carries herself is an obvious sign that she doesn't need anyone's approval to feel good about herself. With great poise and an even greater wardrobe, Ms. Harris uses her charm and sophisticated sass to impress men and women alike. When Peggy once fired at her, "You know you're not a stick," Joan quickly retorted, "And yet I never wonder what men think of me." I'm pretty sure we should all borrow her mentality in our insecure moments.

#3 She always has the last word
I think every viewer agrees that Greg Harris quickly joined the club of horrible husbands even before the pair got married. With his failed attempts at trying to control Joan or at least the conversations they have together, Joan has continued to win each argument with her wonderful zingers.

Greg: Joanie, I don't want to have a fight right now.
Joan: Then stop talking.

Joan: No, I want you to go and never come back.
Greg: Damn it, Joanie, they need me.
Joan: Well, then it works out because we don't.

And her attitude is not reserved solely for inconsiderate men. Do you think you'd be able to properly respond to: "You want to be taken seriously? Stop dressing like a little girl"? Yeah, me neither. Another point for Joan.

#4 She gives excellent advice
Joan is someone Peggy has always admired, whether she's liked it or not. While some of the tips Joan's provided may not have rubbed her the right way (being told "you're the new girl, and you're not much, so you might as well enjoy it while it lasts" about getting attention from men at the office isn't exactly a compliment), she's eased Peggy's mind on much more than one occasion. Worried that she was getting dumped, Joan explained to Peggy, "Men don't take the time to end things. They ignore you until you insist on a declaration of hate."

#5 Her version of an ad for a roommate rocks
“Fun-loving girl, responsible sometimes. Likes to laugh, lives to love seeks size six for city living and general galavanting. No dull moments or dull men tolerated.” 

So here's to more fits of throwing airplanes, more head-turning outfits, more unforgettable lines, and simply more Joan this season!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Resolutions For Every Girl's List

At the end of December, watching snow fall outside still has a magical element to it, hearts are still warm from spending the holidays with family, and there really is a sense of something brand new around the corner. You start thinking about New Year's Eve and not only what you're going to wear and who you're going to kiss, but what you're going to change about yourself and your life as you begin an entirely different year. "I'm totally going to start going to the gym", "I'll cut out the junk food and start eating healthy," "I just want to lose weight" are ubiquitous statements during this time, but there are definitely more ways to jump start better self-esteem and work on self-improvement. Here are some other items you may wish to add to your list besides the usual resolutions that are easy to break and forget about before you even try to begin:

Stop apologizing for everything!
I don't know about you, but "I'm sorry" comes out of my mouth multiple times a day and it's hardly ever said when I actually do something I feel any level of guilt about. Instead, I say it when someone bumps into me at the store, after a stranger says something I couldn't quite hear, during a conversation with a friend when they start venting, etc... "I'm sorry" is said out of politeness, but after a while, we may start to feel like we really are to blame, especially when the person we're saying it to does not correct us. I know I usually hate hearing "It's not YOUR fault" because I think, "Well, I wasn't really trying to say it was..." but when we get in the habit of saying those words, it starts to make us look and maybe even feel weaker than we really are. We may start saying it as an automatic response when we feel less than perfect. Let's say your boss is trying to teach you a new way of doing something and while you're learning, you mess up a little and say, "I'm sorry". That's not something you should have to apologize for. Instead, let them explain again and ask questions if you have them, and try again. There's no reason to belittle yourself, even if you think it's just a polite way to handle the situation. It's a way to hang your head and that's not very empowering at all!

Be bold!
For all those people who felt like the world would end on the 21st (you sillies), you should treat this year as a second chance and quit overthinking what you really feel like doing! See a cute guy at the cafe? Flash him a smile (and make TSwift's "Begin Again" your new theme song)! Want to wear more eccentric clothing? (I'm looking at you, Anne Hathaway!) Don't spend time worrying about what people think! The right people will appreciate your personality and your actions. Take risks and if they don't work out, you've at least gained experiences that will help you in the future and if they do work out, you receive unexplainable personal satisfaction and know you're capable of reaching even higher next time. Sounds pretty good to me!

Don't turn Facebook into a soap opera, please.
"What's going on?" or "How's it going?" is what the status bar asks you 24/7 on Facebook. That does NOT mean you have to spill to the world how upset you are over a breakup or use it as a way to vent about friends or complain about your newborn baby. Please invest in a journal (and no, I don't mean a very public Tumblr account where you write about how much you hate your BFF's mom and wish you were more attracted to your own boyfriend).
Also, if you're having serious relationship problems, this is not the time to post super-happy pictures of you and your man online. It's one thing if you're trying to make it work and you genuinely like the photo and want to share it...but it's another thing to try and fool your hundreds of FB friends into thinking you're so happy that they wouldn't be surprised if you got engaged soon, when really, your guy makes you feel like absolute crap and you know a breakup is around the corner. Your real friends who know the truth will most likely get very annoyed. Plus, if you like getting the attention from the growing "likes" and sweet comments about how perfect you two are on the photo, it's not going to make changing your relationship status to "Single" any easier, as superficial as that sounds.
It's easy to feel a sense of freedom as you express your thoughts in a location where you're not physically in front of everyone, but that's why caution is so important. Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with people and look back on some really great times...get excited to look through your "2013 Year in Review" and grin at the positive, awesome things you said and did throughout the months ahead.

Put effort into your friendships!
We've all been victims of the half-annoying-half-funny game of Phone Tag, which proves that yes, both you and your friend do have crazy schedules, but yes, you both really do want to find a way to finally catch up. It's difficult to check in on your buds even when they live 20 minutes from you, not to mention checking in on friends who live hundreds of miles away. If you want to do something quick and easy just to let them know you're thinking of them, try a "grand gesture" like sending them a gift from their favorite website or ordering food online to have delivered to their place (tried that once...first make sure they're definitely home!). It's nice to have that instant-on connection with friends when you don't see them for a while and can still pick back up exactly where you left off, but don't rely on that and Facebook to keep your relationship strong. Make this year a year where you become the friend you would love to have and not only will karma have your back, but you might inspire your BFFs to step it up a notch, too!

Say goodbye to settling!
Unfortunately, it's easy to fall into a routine of settling. Maybe your job has left you feeling uninspired and stressed and all you want is to try another career path, but you're too afraid of change, so you settle. Maybe your best friend from elementary school has been drifting for a long time and only makes time for you when she needs something in return, but you don't want to throw away such a long friendship, so you continue being used by her over and over again. Maybe your boyfriend has made it clear he doesn't want to work on the issues you have been bringing up to him and he'd rather hide things from you than put in the effort. You know you're not happy and deserve better, but you hate the idea of being alone, so you continue settling and hoping it gets better. "Life is short" is a popular saying, but sometimes it seems like people take it as "So keeping dealing with the same crap because it will be over soon!" instead of "So do what makes you happy and have no regrets!" If you're taking courses for a certain major your family has been pushing you towards and you'd really rather pursue a different field, don't worry about upsetting them...think about where you'll be in 10 years and if you'll be genuinely happy with the path you're currently taking. Settling is the worst and it's an acceptance within yourself that you're choosing to give up the possibility of something better...and that's not what 2013 is going to be about. This year is about really finding yourself and doing that by holding on to your goals, values, and passions with more conviction than you ever have before.

So, now that the parties have passed and the infamous ball drop in Times Square has come and gone, let's plan on making this our year of empowerment, spreading love, and staying positive. Wear sparkly dresses, smile from ear to ear, remember that actions speak louder than words, and YOU can make this year your very best one yet!

Photo source