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Friday Style: Work to Happy Hour

22 Jun

It’s Friday! And the best part about that? Casual wear at work!

Luckily I work in a creative career that kind of encourages a more relaxed and casual atmosphere, but I love taking the opportunity to work the casual Friday look. I pulled together a style that goes perfectly from Casual Friday to Happy Hour, and I am sharing my secrets with you!

Colored Capris
$24.95 at Target
My newest addiction. I’ve bought too many pairs of colored capris, and I’ve been eyeing up these amazing Target ones lately too. I love colored and black jeans because they can look so cute dressed up, but they can go really casual too. And they are so unbelievably stupid comfortable.

Of course, me being too short to wear normal people clothes means capris are actually full-length pants, so I have to roll them up so they can actually serve their purpose, but I suggest trying a cuff anyway. It looks really cute!

Graphic Tee
$27.99 at Tilly’s
It took me a long time to work up the nerve to wear a graphic tee to work. In fact, today is the first day I’m doing it. I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate, or if I would look stupid. But when used in the right way I think they really work.

First of all, pick the right t-shirt. Don’t go throwing on a shirt with a band name, or some stupid logo, or a picture that might shock/offend/gross people out. And obviously nothing low cut, have some respect girl! I think if you can find the right balance that is more of an art print than a graphic then it can be pulled off really well.

Blazer
$175 at J Crew
The blazer is what makes this entire outfit work appropriate if you ask me. Jeans and a t-shirt are obviously not professional, but when you tie it in with a well-matched blazer it can definitely be done. Cuff the sleeves for a more casual three-quarter style and leave it unbuttoned to show off your shirt.

My blazer was the best buy I’ve made all year, and it may even be worth the splurge of buying something like the one pictured, because it can work in any situation.

Toms
$44.95 at Zumiez
I finally went for the commitment of buying Toms and I couldn’t be happier. They are so comfortable! I thought I would be grossed out wearing sneakers without socks, but they feel more like a pair of socks then an actual sneaker.  I like them for the summer because flip flops do get old, and you can’t go wearing flip flops to work. Plus, they actually help people when you buy them. I mean that’s enough of a reason to spend money for me.

Hoops
$3.80 at Forever 21
You could have rolled out of bed with two black eyes and a missing tooth and with a pair of hoops you instantly look better. They are classy without trying too hard.

If I had a big chunky gold bracelet I would throw that on too, but the search continues for that. These hoops, with a bun and some thick rimmed glasses (yeah I bought rimmed glasses and apparently turned into a hipster overnight. I’m alright with it) finish off the look I was going for perfectly. I feel so cool right now, but we all know the truth.

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RIP Avery

2 May

I recently read an article about a baby in Texas, Avery, born with SMA, or Spinal Muscular Atrophy. I had never heard of this disease either, but it is disease of the spinal cord and brain stem that kills more babies than any other genetic disease.

from Avery's Bucket List

Shortly after her birth Avery was only given a few months to live, so her parents decided to create Avery’s Bucket List for her, to accomplish some big moments in a person’s life before she lost hers. They fed her hard foods like cupcakes and lollipops, got her a drivers license,  even got her a first kiss, on the cheek by a little boy also with SMA.

Just about a week after first hearing about Avery I have learned that she’s passed away after going into cardiac arrest unexpectedly on April 30. Born on 11-11-11, she was only 5 and a half months old.

from Avery's Bucket List

There aren’t really words to describe how special the Canahuati family is. In the face of such pain they put their grief aside to provide everything they could for their little girl. I honestly don’t know if, when faced with such a painful situation, I wouldn’t just spend all day in bed crying. Her parents are two very, very strong people that pushed everything to the side when their daughter needed them. They were destined to be a family, because Avery needed two people as remarkable as her two parents to keep smiling.

I decided to donate to her organization, mainly because I was really touched by the family and their dedication to their adorable little girl, but also because every dollar donated will be matched to meet a $1,000,000 goal to launch an SMA Gene Therapy program.

I was amazed that a disease so deadly and so popular was foreign to me, and I’m lucky to have had the chance to read Avery’s story, even if for a short time, and learn more about this disease. What I am really grateful of, however, is the chance to have read about Avery and her family. They really set an example for me, and I admire them for that.

Click here to donate if you have the means, and no matter what, take today and try and live it a little bit more, for people like Avery who lived theirs to the fullest.

Why Lush Went Too Far

27 Apr

Three years ago (wow I can’t believe it’s been that long) while backpacking through Italy with my friend, Lizz, I ran out of shampoo. This was a serious, serious problem as, after almost a month of travelling with the same duffle bag of clothes, that was about the only thing keeping me from not smelling like a moldy ball of sweat and grime. I was gross.

While walking around Rome one day Lizz and I stumbled on a store called Lush, a cosmetic store with only all-natural, organic, handmade products. They also had shampoo bars, which was beyond necessary (and traveled better than liquid shampoo, FYI!).  That was my first experience with the store, but since then Lush shops have been popping up everywhere, including in the mall right by me.

I really do like their products, they smell and feel amazing, but I can’t quite say that I like Lush anymore. This week, in the front window of Lush’s Regent Street (London) shop, they decided to put on a performance as an attempt to put an end to animal testing on cosmetic products. They stuck a 24-year-old performance artist in a nude leotard on a table, then streamed a 10-hour long series (before clicking that link please be aware that it includes a very graphic video of the performance) of torturous procedures, depicting what animals go through during one day at an animal testing lab. A “doctor” in a white lab lab coat and mask stretched the woman’s mouth open, choking her with lotions and creams, sprayed contact solution in her eyes, even shaved her head. It was long, graphic and in my opinion extremely unnecessary.

Obviously I’m against animal testing for cosmetics or any other product, because I’m not a heartless monster. Obviously I don’t want to subject animals to pain or poison them or stick them in cages to be used as basically live bait. Obviously. And I don’t know anyone that agrees to animal testing either. But this bizarre and brutal performance does not help curb animal testing, it just displays really terrifying and disturbing images to innocent civilians. It puts a fear in children that stumbled across it while walking past the shop or looking online. It harms human beings and does nothing to end animal cruelty.

It was a cheap and poorly-planned publicity stunt for the company. I don’t know if I’ll ever shop at Lush again, because I’m really offended that they would subject a human being to such pain and their customers to such offenses all to prove an already-obvious point. They could have asked people to sign a petition and people would have signed it without that performance, because animal testing is wrong regardless of that.

If you want to make a difference when it comes to animal testing, check out this list (after the jump) of brands that still test products on animals and don’t buy them. It’s that simple. Hit them where it hurts, in the wallet, and don’t terrify others who don’t have their hand in what goes on with these companies. Keep this list in your wallet, and next time you go shopping skip over the bad guys. It’s as easy as that.

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Invisible Children Haters? Really?

8 Mar

So it’s barely the second day since the Kony 2012 video has hit the Internet, and it’s already met with those obnoxious Internet pessimists that feel the need to smash anyone’s unique idea before it has the opportunity to get started…

Phew, okay, sorry I’m just very annoyed.

An accurate depiction of the professional blogger.

How can people be so hateful that they have to find a way to dislike a charitable organization? They fluff themselves up with numbers and percentages and try to make them look bad. Really? What are you going to do next, take a toddler’s ice cream cone? Come on, people.

It’s situations like this that make me lose total faith in humanity. Oh you’ve read one article that is a blatant attempt at tarnishing an organization? That must make you a professional on the entire situation in Uganda! These guys that spend half of their lives over in the actual country with their hands on the pulse of the people don’t know squat!

Here’s the bottom line: No matter what, Invisible Children and its team have devoted their lives to saving the child soldiers of Uganda. Of course 100 percent of the profits can’t go over to the cause, these people need to pay for transportation costs, film costs (remember: they’re creating an Internet sensation through media, so they have to produce the best quality projects they can) and simply living and feeding their family. But the money that does reach Uganda helps people. It feeds them and provides medicine and saves lives. It makes a difference. And they are people that care, unlike these angry bloggers that are so dedicated on crushing their cause.

I’m choosing to ignore these people that think because they did some Googling they automatically know everything about Uganda. I’m also choosing to be proactive and do my homework and learn the best way to help. Who knows, I might find a better organization to work with that isn’t Invisible Children, but in the end the Kony 2012 video has opened my eyes up and made me want to change and help. That should be more important than percentages.

It’s time to step up our game

7 Mar

Ever since I was young I’ve tried hard to be as involved in the conflicts of Africa as I could. In high school my Literature of the Holocaust class raised over $5,000 to help provide the refugee camps of Darfur with clean drinking water. Entering college and being preoccupied with being in college definitely distracted me from something that used to be very important to me, and having very little money for the last decade has made it more difficult to donate.

This video made me remember that while I was busy sleeping in and drinking, children were dying at the hands of monsters. The world is a scary place when we take the time to step outside of our bubble, but we can help!

This grassroots movement aims to arrest Joseph Kony by the end of 2012 and help put an end to child soldiers in Uganda. It’s driven entirely by us, the people with a voice, and by social media.

Check out the video, and most importantly share it! You may be as broke as I am, but we can let those that influence our media hear this message and help do something to stop it. So let’s use the sites that we are already glued to all day, every day to save lives!

Half-Staff for Whitney?

16 Feb

My state’s mayor, Chris Christie, can be kind of a nut job. He doesn’t put up with crap from anyone, which can kind of be awesome in the world of politics, but it can also be frustrating when he won’t budge on really serious and irrational issues- gay rights, for example. The guys priorities can be totally out-of-wack… which brings me to my issue.

As we all know, Whitney Houston passed away this weekend. Of course I’m sad about the death of one of my favorite musicians, but I still find it a little bit unreasonable that Gov. Christie has decided to keep the flag at half-staff on the day of Whitney Houston’s funeral. That’s right, Chris Christie announced today that in honor of Whitney Houston, the U.S. flag will fly at half-staff in New Jersey on Saturday.

While the flag in New Jersey can legally be lowered at half-staff in honor of a respected state official or citizen, and while Whitney Houston is a New Jersey native, I don’t know if this situation is fitting for the honor. Growing up I was taught that a flag at half-staff was to honor Presidents, Senators, war heroes. People that have helped shape our country, keep us safe, and protect our freedoms. I just don’t see how Whitney Houston fits into the mix of that idea.

Listen, I’m a Whitney girl through-and-through, but I think a half-staff flag should be a sign of honor that is taken very seriously and used rarely. If every celebrity that passed away got the flag at half-staff it would lose it’s meaning and it’s value, and most importantly it’s honor.

What do you think?

The Gang Kick’s Some Serious A

26 Jan

Mac’s Tavern
On a Wednesday

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the best shows on television. First of all it’s in Philly, the best city in the world. Second of all, the characters and their lives … well they just rock. It’s a genuinely hilarious, completely absurd pile of crazy that has somehow managed to translate into the best TV out there.

Every Sunny fan wants to go to Paddy’s Pub. Of course a place as disgusting and poorly managed could never exist, but the show’s Rob McElhenny has come up with a bangin’ alternative: Mac’s Tavern.

Mac’s Tavern kicks some serious ass. It takes classic meals, like meatball hoagies (keyword: HOAGIE) or mac and cheese with friggin crab meat, and turns them absolutely delicious. The beer selection rocks too. You can’t not love this place, it’s impossible.

You can hate crappy customers, though. Like the group of ladies that walked out of Mac’s last night without paying for their meals or drinks. Now I only dabble primarily in Bird Law, but I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. I’ve never been a server, but a lot of my friends are, and I know how important tips are. What kind of middle aged women steal food? Really? Who has that little care about other people and their business?

If I was the server that got screwed out of this order, I would have called up my boyfriend, cried and used every curse in my arsenal. If I was the owner, I would have done the same, likely without any crying because I feel like an owner of a bar has to be a little ballsier than that. But that’s about it. Mac’s on the other hand, went America all over everybody’s asses.

The three uggo ladies in the middle of the shot are the thieves

Mac’s posted a series of photos from their security cameras, like the one here, on their Facebook page, basically demanding what is rightfully theirs. They said that if they handed over the cash that was due that the photos wouldn’t be spread across the city. So who has the upper hand now, you thieving broads?

I can’t help but absolutely love this. Too many times in the business world companies are afraid to kick butt, out of fear of losing customers or causing a commotion. Mac’s deserves to be super mad, and they aren’t staying quiet about something that is wrong and horrible in so many ways. Their strategy has been received very well, as you can see by the fan page comments, and the bar has definitely earned a ton of respect from me (I know, I know, that’s a big deal).

There are bad people in the world that will just continue being jerks, and they need to be told to shut up and to stop acting like a bunch of boners. Let’s hope that some people manage to get these clowns and get what they deserve.