Think It Through

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Written By: RO

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“Don't make permanent decisions based on a temporary situation.” Heard this on the radio today. Can I get a hell yeah!? Too many times we get caught up in the moments and let the impulsive monster take over our emotions and logic and decision making. Take a freaking chill pill, and then just chill the fuck out. Think it through.

So you and your boo had a fight? Stop the I hate you forever speech and just take some time away from each other. You need to just let the wind hit you from a different direction. Let the wind bitch slap back to the times y’all were in love and continue on from that perspective. Don't break up over silly indifferences. I mean, fack, if Beyonce and Jay-Z can work through it, so can you. Think it through.

You gained some weight now you want to lipo it all out? Okay, THINK IT THROUGH! Ok, It's your body, correct, Amen to that sista! However, look at it this way...by the time you schedule a consultation, the procedure, post-op visits AND do the recovery period which involves eating healthy and small portions, that's at least three to four months. The same amount of time to lose a significant amount of weight or body fat.For free. Plus the cost of food. (Ha, that was so infomercial!) Think it through yo!

You finally decided to get some ink done? Time and time again, you will hear it from people with tats, make sure its it's what you want and you are certain you are ready..yup here it comes, think it through. Tattoos aren't like haircuts. Eventually hair will grow and in a few weeks you can have a do-over. Tats, is like drawing free hand with a marker instead of using a pencil first. Once it's done, it's done. Tattoos can be beautiful skin art or a dreadful bloody mess. Eventually you will be wrinkly..will that tattoo still look the same when you are 85? Remember tattoos are personalized and meant for you. Not for the significant other who may have been twice removed over the past 6 months.

Just think it all through lovies!

Xoxo


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You Are Enough

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Written By: Danielle James ~ @danielleeejames

It’s that time of year where everyone’s Instagram feed is cluttered with shiny new engagement rings and beautiful lace gowns and first look photos. Love is in the air and wedding season is in full swing. Witnessing your close friends and family fall in love and celebrate that love is a beautiful thing, but for those of us who are still single, it can be incredibly taxing.

There is nothing like a wedding to make you more aware of just how alone you are when you don’t have a significant other. And it’s not always that self-deprecating “I’m so alone” stuff. Sometimes it’s just a feeling that you’re behind everyone else because you’re not in a relationship.

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Your self-worth does not rest upon your relationship status. It doesn’t lie with the size of the engagement ring someone gives you or how much money you spend on a wedding or how quickly he pops the question after you two meet.

Love and relationships rest significantly on good timing. If you’re still working on loving yourself or building your dream career or just finding the time to balance work, a social life, and drinking enough water, it just might not be the time for you to enter into a long-term relationship. It can be hard to remember that a boyfriend could delay your goals when you’re surrounded by the perfect Instagram shot of that cushion diamond, but it’s so important to remind yourself that you are enough on your own.

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So go to the wedding. Celebrate the love of the people that you care about. Tear up that dance floor and enjoy that champagne. But at the end of the day, remember that one day, you’ll get your happily ever after, too. All in due time.


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Fill Your Own Cup First

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Written By: Alyssa Rogers ~ @honestlyhungry

When flying, we’re all familiar with the practice of applying our own oxygen mask first in case of an emergency. The rationale behind this is that if the pressurization in the cabin falls, you should breathe the oxygen that flows through the masks. In all video, audio, and print instructions for the masks, we are told to apply our own masks before helping other people.

This rationale should be common practice in our everyday lives as well. Most parents and caregivers know firsthand that taking care of themselves and someone else is challenging. There is a toxic glorification in our society of busyness and tiredness. Often, our health, happiness, and general well-being does not come first.  In reality, we do not always have the time or opportunity to put ourselves first, and that is unfortunate.

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This is why everyone should put themselves first. This sounds selfish, but hear me out. We should fill our own cups. We should eat more green things, take more naps, meditate daily, watch our favorite trashy television, and get more sunshine. In short, we should do more of what makes us happy and stop feeling guilty about it. Make it a habit. Make it a priority. Make it nonnegotiable.

Not only will the quality of life for you and those around you improve, but you’ll be happier and healthier - mentally and physically. When we are happier and healthier, those around us will be too because they feed off of our energy. We are better friends, partners, parents, and coworkers when we take care of ourselves first.

So, fill your own cup, whether it be with green tea, ice water, hot coffee, or La Croix (yep, I went there, don’t judge me). Fill your cup, sip and savor, and fill it up again.


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Dear Stress, I’ve Got To Let You Go

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Written By: Rosie Riott ~ @rosie_riott

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One in ten adults in America suffer from Depression and Anxiety. According to Harvard Medical studies, exercise can be just as effective as an all-natural alternative treatment to pharmaceutical drugs. In severe cases, exercise alone may not be enough, but it is definitely a start. Studies show that in high intensity workouts, our endorphins, you know, those “feel good” chemicals we make, flood our bodies and give us what we call the “runner’s high.” While that may seem great, the real magic starts with consistent exercise over time. Dr. Michael Craig Miller, assistant professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, states that exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, the region of our brain that regulates mood, improving nerve cell connections, which helps relieve depression.

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“The minute you stop moving, that’s when you die.” Ever hear that saying? Well, I sure have and to be honest, I’ve heard it more times than I could probably count. As we get older, so many things are being tossed our way, clouding our judgements, overwhelming us, causing stress on not only our minds, but throughout our bodies. You’d wonder, especially in this day and age, how does one possibly survive? And I’ll tell you, it may seem hard now, but there are things we can do to keep our stress levels and our temper tantrums to a minimum, keeping us feeling ten times more alive.

1. Go on a daily walk! Yes, a walk! Wake up, walk around the block, maybe take a quick stroll on your lunch break or even a little trot after dinner! Every step counts! Remember, when you are moving, your blood is flowing and your nerves are growing!

2. Do something you already love. Maybe you used to play a sport and wish you could get back to doing it. Don’t think you have time? Make time! Your interests shouldn't have to take a backseat to your all consuming life! You, too, are important! Don’t forget that!

3. Try something new! There has got to be at least one thing you’ve been dying to try, but for whatever reason, have been putting it off. From activities like skateboarding to roller skating to bicycle riding to yoga to playing horseshoes to even kicking a ball around and well, the list goes on! You get the picture! Just try SOMETHING and if that sucks, try something else! Life is all about trial and error!

Ever since I was a kid, I've enjoyed exercise. My family life had always been chaotic and exercise was one of the only things that got me by. I studied it religiously. It then became an outlet for me, to relieve my stress, to let out my anger. Throughout my years, I’ve tried new activities, hated some, but only learned what I liked and disliked because first, I decided to try. TRY IT ALL!
All in all, exercise can only help you. Why pass up the free help or the good mood? KEEP MOVING! You’ll thank me in 3months!

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Xo Rosie Riott


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No Retouching is Beautiful

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Written By: Kimberly Davis

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Since switching jobs, I do a lot of online shopping (I still prefer the mall though). In any case I was shopping for new bralettes from Aerie when I realized something new about their models: they have physical disabilities and illnesses and they are gorgeous! Aerie continues to be a leader in inclusivity ever since launching their first body positive campaign promising to use models of different body shapes, skin colors, and to never retouch their photos. But this campaign is major! Aerie is now shining a spotlight on 57 women of different backgrounds, ages, and body shapes.

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But they didn’t stop there. For the “Aerie Bras Make You Feel Real Good” campaign casting was done through social media, meaning all the women you see in this new campaign are not models but “regular people”. This campaign features women with vitiligo, insulin pumps, surgery scars, down syndrome, and fibromyalgia to name a few of the conditions and life experiences featured.

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I purchase Aerie bras because they’re inexpensive (see Victoria’s Secret $60 bras), comfortable, and it’s easier to purchase a bra or a pair of underwear if I know they’re designed to fit women of all shapes and sizes. Growing up with a much bigger chest than all of my friends was hard. And it doesn’t feel good when you walk into a lingerie store and all the lacy, pretty bras stop at a C cup. Plus no one has time for too tight bras, falling bra straps, or underwear that rides up every five seconds when they’re out smashing the patriarchy.
Have a great week ladies.

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College As An Adult

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Written By: Shauna Yanchuck

About two years ago I was at work as a nanny, scrubbing a floor with bits of chocolate melted onto the hardwood. As I scrubbed I wondered to myself, what happened? Didn’t I have big plans on being a successful journalist living in the big city? You know the type---the ones you see in movies, who are always wearing powerful pant suits and saying things like “I just can’t have a relationship right now, I’m just so busy with this deadline and this interview, where is my latte? TAXI!” That was supposed to be me. That was always my dream.

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“Oh, hi, what’s the hard hitting news story today on Wall Street?”---Classic woman journalist in all movies.

But, instead of my cliche working woman dream, I was scrubbing floors as a nanny. There’s nothing wrong with being a nanny. But it wasn’t what I wanted. So I decided right then and there I was going back to school to get the degree I had quit on a few years earlier. I got off the floor and sat on a bed covered in Paw Patrol sheets and scoured the internet for schools to apply to.

Going to school as an adult is a different experience than going to school as an 18-year-old. Aside from the fact that as an adult you care less about which schools have the best parties, you also have to think about a concept most 18-year-olds don’t fully grasp; money. As an adult all I really cared about was going to a school where I wasn’t paying $309,503 a month (which might be a slight exaggeration) to attend classes. I also needed a school that I could do online. I worked full time and my boyfriend is in the Air Force, which means occasionally every few years he’s like “hey, we’re moving to a different state real quick, pack your bags and quit your life now,” so all physical locations for college weren’t going to work.

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Narrowing down which school to go based off of money and a credible online program was the easy part. The hard part was avoiding the several thousand phone calls a day from online schools who got a whiff of my interest. After shooing those unwanted schools off, I settled upon a school, rage filled out my FAFSA even though it’s a deeply irritating process, and soon enough I started classes.

Taking classes online is great. It gives you flexibility, it lets you work at your own pace, and you don’t have to be the girl who walks to class in her cream cheese stained sweatpants. Of course, there are some challenges to taking courses online. Occasionally I came across professors who made no sense on what the assignment directions were. There were times where after work I’d literally cry as I did my finals, the energy in my body slowly depleting like a balloon with a small hole in it. Throughout everything, even when I’d scream “I’m quitting school,” I had people around, reminding me that it would all someday be worth it.

And here I am now. One week away from graduation. I finally did it.

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The things you want most in life are never easy. You have to really want them. You have to work hard, and even when you’re tired of working hard, you have to keep---you guessed it---working hard. What I gained from going back to school was not just a degree...although, I’m hoping I’ll someday get a job that like...pays me well...and maybe offers health insurance so I can visit the dentist once a year. But, what I also gained was the discipline that going after what you want always works out for the best. Because even if you don’t get exactly what you planned for, you will always end up in a better place


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Lessons from my best friend

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Written BY: Chantel M. Rivera ~ @chanty_m

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My longest lasting adult relationship hasn’t been with a boyfriend, but with my best friend. All relationships take work in order to keep them together, along with compromise, communication, and forgiveness. The dynamic between a romantic relationship and a plutonic one clearly have differences, but the amount of effort is the same. Here’s why. My relationship with my best friend is far from shallow. She is my person, even being miles away. Throughout the past five years, she's taught me some hard lessons about myself without even realizing it.

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Communication

What is the first rule in relationships? Communicating! It is the key you know. Everyone believes, to some degree, they are an effective communicator, myself included. However, I’ve learned there is a difference in communicating with people who have similar views and communicating with someone who may not understand where you are coming from. It takes an extraordinary amount of patience and intentional listening before getting to the place where both parties are on the same page, but there’s nothing wrong or strange about the other person's view. Respect each other's opinions and know that just because you’re “best friends” doesn’t mean you have to be clones.

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Iron Sharpens Iron

The true test of any relationship is recovery. Can you recover from an argument or do you walk on eggshells keeping things nice and light? I’ve had some difficult conversations with my best friend and we have both hurt each other's feelings (although not intentionally of course). When I keep in mind to not take offense, acknowledge the source, and that the words spoken are coming from a place of love, then I am able to correct my actions and vice versa. Some of the most difficult and uncomfortable conversations I’ve had with my bestie have caused me to reflect and make a change. Sharpening requires friction.

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Love without conditions

There are times where we need people to be certain things for us. We wish they could be stronger, more confident, or able to express themselves in the ways we see fit. Yet the greatest lesson my best friend has taught me is to love people right where they’re at. No conditions, no strings attached. Believe me, you’d want them to do the same for you (no one’s perfect). Loving someone this way gives them the space to develop into the greatest version of themselves. Choosing to love someone unselfishly should mean wanting what is best for them and not about finding a reflection of yourself in them.

-Chantel M. Rivera


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Jenna Dewan is Giving My Summer Blues a Pick Me Up

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Written By: Jill Warwick // @girlwiththejoplinglasses

I’m not going to lie, this heat has got me down and I have had no clue what to write about. I have missed my normal deadline and have hated every draft I have started over the last two days.

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To get my mind off my laziness, I scrolled through Instagram and saw a post about Jenna Dewan, bare-skinned and beautiful in a new interview for Women’s Health Magazine.

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I mean…can you say #FineFriday? #WomanCrushEVERYday?

Bless her for bringing me inspiration and a smile to my face.

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And these photos right now…OMG (swoons onto a lounge chair)

Admittedly, I crushed HARD on her former husband for the entirety of my teen years and …well; I’m not over him, if I’m honest.

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But I have also grown to love her since “Step Up”, “Witches of East End” (which never should have been cancelled), following her profile online, and watching “World of Dance” (which makes me cry EVERY TIME…is that just me?).

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When she and Channing Tatum announced their split a couple months ago, I kept getting tagged in memes about how “we got a chance, ladies!” because I was not shy about my one-sided love, but seeing two people who I really looked up to not stay together was a bummer.

Also, no. We don’t have a chance. Sorry not sorry.

Dewan shares some great insights in this article that I wanted to share with all of you and she shows a lot of grace in an emotionally tough situation, that I really wish I had just an ounce of in my own life.

Below are my top 3 favorite quotes from the article. You can read the full article here.

  1. “Women are so much stronger and more powerful, and living in our goddess energy, when we come together to lift each other up rather than tear each other down.”

  2. “I think there’s nothing sexier than becoming a mother. You give life. It’s everything. And you don’t change who you are inside just because you have a kid.”

  3. “It’s okay for a relationship to change into a new form that is actually better for both people involved, and I think that’s maybe what shocked everyone so much—that it can be a positive thing,”

Let us know on Instagram what your favorite quote is!

*Photos from Women’s Health Magazine

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Dare To Be Soft

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Written By: Lacy Bundy

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My girl tribe is a beautiful concoction of empowered females on totally different paths. They are mothers, wives, girlfriends, business owners, artists, grad students and even doctors. While they may not all be in the same places in their lives, some still hustling their asses off to reach their goals, others already fulfilling their dreams, they all have two things in common.

Fierce strength and untouchable softness. I like to call them, gentle warriors.

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We as women have been duped into believing that softness means you’re weak, fragile or docile. That you can’t be a feminist or be independent if you’re soft. I’m calling society’s bluff.  It is the softness of these women that draws me to them. Their gentleness and sensitivity, that is so lost in much of the world nowadays, is the EXACT reason why they are such strong women.

They’ve felt heartbreak.

They’ve been told no.

They’ve had doors slammed in their faces.

They’ve heard they won’t succeed.

They’ve experienced trauma.

They’ve felt alone.

They’ve dealt with mental illness.

They’ve experienced loss.

But they’re not broken by it. They still believe in the beauty of this world. Still wake up every morning passionate about their lives. When life throws them curveballs, they continue to be open and vulnerable. The calluses of life haven’t harden them. These women, my girl tribe, don’t let the ugly in this world make them bitter and spiteful, they take it and become fearless in their pursuits. But how do we let our softness be our strength?

Be Vulnerable: It’s ok to be scared! I know, I know. The very thought of being rejected or told no is about as pleasant as a pap smear, but know your worth, honey! You are worthy of that promotion or the date with the hot guy you’ve been crushing on. And if it doesn’t happen? Learn from it and let it guide for the next time.

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Be Understanding: Yes, we all have those days when everything and everyone annoys the living Hell out of us and that is totally fine. Just remember before you snap or get over the top intense, other people may be having the same kind of day. Instead, break the circle of negativity and be kind and empathetic. Who knows, your kind-heartedness may even turn another person’s day around too.

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Be Supportive: Whether it’s sharing what you’ve learned during your darkest days or just simply being a cheerleader for the women in your life. Give yourself unselfishly to others. There is nothing stronger than woman full of love and altruism, no matter what.

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There is extraordinary strength in softness and just remember even a soft girl can lead a pack of wolves.

Xoxo Lacy


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Ladies First

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Written By: Emma Grosskopf

I think that twenty-something-year-old women are an interesting demographic. Some of us are in school, some of us are working. Some of us have families of our own, and some of us still live with our parents. Some of us have already bought cars, some of us are on the way to having our dream job and some of us still can’t figure out how to open a can of pears correctly. Some of us take Buzzfeed quizzes in our spare time, some of us take A LOT of Buzzfeed quizzes in our spare time, and some of us have no spare time.

Whatever the case may be, society pressures us to be the same on at least one very important front: men.

The propaganda is everywhere. We’re young! We should be dating lots of people! We should be playing the field and having fun! No need to be tied down!

Or we have the polar opposite thrown at us: ads for wedding dresses and décor and Cosmo articles titled, “How to Keep Your Man Satisfied in Bed” or “What Does Your Zodiac Sign Say About When You’ll Get Engaged.”

It’s always something. What people don’t understand is that for many young women, IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE MEN. Some of us don’t ACTUALLY care about when we’re going to be engaged if we are a Libra. Some of us are too preoccupied with our schooling or jobs to worry about our future with a man. Some of us aren’t thinking about men at all.

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Instead, we’re thinking about ourselves.

A novel concept, I know. How absurd that some young women in our society today are unbothered by men and the prospect of relationships.

It’s the time of year for family vacations and cookouts. That means it’s also the time of year for pointed, nosy questions about our love lives. “So, are you seeing anyone?” “What ever happened with what’s-his-name?” and my personal favorite: “I have this great guy that you’d love, what if I set you two up?”

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As in, questions from family members that you wish you could respond with an equally pointed “mind your own damn business.”

Times have changed, and just because our older family members had dating and marriage on their minds when they were in their twenties doesn’t mean we have to. We are a different group of strong young women, and it’s up to us what we focus on, and we’re finally at a point in history where we can proudly say that we are more concerned with ourselves than with any man.

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There’s a reason why people say “Ladies first.”


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Dancing My Cares Away?

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Written By: Emma Grasskopf

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Any time I am in a bad mood, I have the immediate cure.

I watch a 80s dance movie.

The Holy Trinity of 80s dance films (Flashdance, Footloose and Dirty Dancing, OBVIOUSLY) have the power to raise me out of whatever funk I’m in (and lately, I’ve just sort of been feeling very funky as a person) and put me in a mood good enough to handle whatever is coming my way.

And why is that?

1. Hot male leads. This isn’t as much true for Flashdance (since Alex’s beau was her kinda-creepy older boss), but Kevin Bacon and Patrick Swayze get endless points for SHAKIN’ THEIR THANG in tight pants and t-shirts. Everybody loves a guy with rhythm.

2. Inspirational underdog stories. All of our 80s heroes and heroines from these films had to overcome judgement and societal stigmas, and it’s just so damn inspiring. Who can’t get behind a character named “Baby” who learns how to dance like a champ in less than a week? Just like I said: in-fricking-spiring.

3. Great fashion. I’ve never seen denim shorts rocked harder than in Dirty Dancing, prom fashion as killer as in Footloose, and in Flashdance? It’s just one iconic leotard look right after the other. 11/10.

4. The soundtracks. Come on, do I even have to explain this one? We’re looking at “Holding Out for a Hero”, “Hungry Eyes”, “Maniac”, and “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”, as well as, like, 15 other BANGERS, honestly. Some of the most quintessential 80s songs come from these movies. Any of these songs have the power to singlehandedly lift me out of whatever bad mood I’m in, and anyone that wants to fight me on that can make their way to Roanoke College and find me.

5. The hair. 80s hair. I don’t really have to say any more, do I?

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6. THAT ONE SCENE FROM DIRTY DANCING. You know the one I mean. When she goes into Patrick Swayze’s cabin and puts her mouth on him? Yeah, that one. I love it. I am emotionally compromised from the second she knocks on his door with a timid little, “can I come in?”

I think my point is made. I’m in the most stressful part of my semester currently (though, to be honest, I’ve been stressed since the semester began in January), and my method of choice to blow off steam and destress in the final weeks before summer is going to be watching these cheesy gems and pretending that I, too, am an exotic dancer from Pittsburgh, or a rebellious kid from Chicago, or a privileged girl with the misfortune of being called “Baby” who falls in love with Patrick Swayze and his tight t-shirts.

Sigh.