LIKE SRSLY

Last night I stayed up until 3am watching SRSLY, the web-series by Alexandra Fiber and Danielle Gibson. I know I'm late to the party, but SRSLY the show is my new obsession. It's a perfect marriage between HBO's Girls, and former web-series Broad City (recently acquired by Comedy Central)...except more relatable, less self deprecating, and condensed into digestible two minute episodes.

HEYY Girl, just calling to let you know that you can't afford groceries this week! xo  

I recently experienced a similar situation. Except it was my Mom calling to ask about my current financial situation. Rightfully so, because the only three places my transactions come from are Uber, Drybar, and Trader Joe's. Completely justifiable.

What's a SRSLY moment?

Any mini awkward moment that happens when you think you're being semi glamorous. It's like a good twitter account - short, sweet, and elicits a laugh out loud situation when you're alone in public. 

P.S. It's the weekend. Let's srsly go out.

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My Top 10 Networking Tips

A few months ago after I launched Boss & Tonic, I attended a networking event for bloggers. At the time I didn’t know any bloggers in the Boston area, and was a little intimidated. I was so nervous that I called my mom an hour before practically in the midst of a nervous breakdown. What did I have to offer to the many accomplished women attending the event? What was my elevator pitch?

I walked into the event, counted to three (keep reading to find out more about the 3 second rule), and headed straight for a group of girls who looked just as nervous as I was. By the end of the event I had met my first Bosslady. I still get nervous every time I go to an event by myself, but each time I do I leave feeling a little more confident, and usually end up with some great connections.

"Side Hustle" finalists at a Young Women in Digital event I recently attended. To find out more about YWD click the link.

Here are my top 10 tips for owning a networking event:

1. Smile: this is the hardest tip for me because I have chronic bitch face. This is quite the conundrum because I won a “Best Smile” superlative in high school (my biggest accomplishment to date) however, last night the deliveryman asked me why I was so upset, to which I replied, “this is just my face”. Through the hardships, I’ve learned that if you want to radiate positivity you don’t need to smile like someone has asked you to “say cheese” and take a photo, all you have to do is smile with your eyes (thanks Tyra). You will appear pleasant and approachable.

 2. The Three Second Rule: This is my favorite tip. It’s especially effective if you’re nervous. As soon as you walk into the event count to three and then immediately approach someone. That being said, it's difficult to work up the courage to approach someone at an event. If someone makes the effort to talk to you, show your respect and appreciation by fully engaging even if they aren’t necessarily someone you'd want to talk with all night.

3. Be the Best Version of Yourself: I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Hiring managers have told me in the past that they mostly want to hire someone who they would want to get a beer with after work. These people are going to have to spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with you. They probably want to work with someone who is competent, and fun. Seriously, be yourself. It sounds cliché, but no one wants to hang out with a perfect, borderline fake person. I guarantee you are much more interesting, smart, and unique than you think.

4. Develop a Firm Handshake & Make Eye Contact: These things are easy to achieve, and convey confidence and competence. First impressions are everything. If you can walk into a room with a smile, maintain eye contact during conversations, and deliver a firm handshake, you will be creating your best possible first impression.

5. Ask Plenty of Questions: People love to talk about themselves. It’s a fact. Take an interest in others and they will reciprocate.

6. It’s Not All About You: As you meet people, consider what you can do for them instead of what they can do for you. Instead of looking for an opportunity to advance your agenda, work to connect other people too. Referrals are a two way street and the more you give, the more you will get.

7. Be prepared: Know your elevator pitch, but don’t over think it. Find out who will be at the event and decide who you want to talk to beforehand so you can manage your time efficiently.

8. Strive to Be Uncomfortable: If you go to an event in a group, split up. It’s easy to stick with the people you already know but you will get nothing out of it. Get out of your comfort zone.

9. Follow Up: The most important part of a networking event doesn’t occur until after the event. Following up via email is how you’re going to build relationships. If you don’t intend on following up, save yourself the trouble because there’s really no reason you should be attending the event in the first place.

10. Be Type A: I am the furthest thing from a Type A person that you can imagine, but when it comes to networking I try to stay extremely organized. Create a spreadsheet with names, emails, phone numbers, twitter handles, and notes on how you met, what you discussed, etc. When you need to contact someone in the future you won’t have to fumble through old business cards that you’ve collected. This will help your network grow exponentially, and you’ll have a visual record of how much progress you’ve made.

What are your favorite networking tips? Share in the comments below.

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Home

I’m back! Over the last two weeks I took a hiatus from posting on Boss & Tonic because I was enjoying being back at home in Laguna Beach, CA.

Google’s definition of ‘home’ is:

n. a place where something flourishes ie. Piedmont is the home of Italy’s finest red wines.

Which leads me to believe that Google is stalking me, but I digress.

Home is a universal concept, but the word evokes different emotions for everyone. For me home has been feeling grateful, inadequate, loved, betrayed, serene, and every sensation in between. Sometimes all at once.

When people used to ask me, “where’s home?” I would reply Laguna Beach. Now I’m not so sure what the answer to that question is. As I’m growing up, and getting out on my own I'm realizing that I’m no longer as defined by where I grew up. Since I left for college half a decade ago, I’ve experienced a lot outside of the confines of said home.

During college my suitcase was my closet. In other words, I moved around a lot. Between transferring after my freshmen year, to internships in NYC, to studying abroad, I was a busy girl.

This is what my path looked like: Laguna Beach, CA - Boulder, CO - Laguna Beach, CA - Boston, MA - New York, NY - Boston, MA - New York, NY - Laguna Beach, CA - Queensland, AUS - Boston, MA.

I’m exhausted after typing that.

Having recently graduated from college I feel the pressure to move again. It seems that everyone moves after college either back home, to a new city for a job, or even abroad to teach English to small Asian children. I don’t want to leave Boston just yet. I feel like I finally have time to breathe, get comfortable, and establish my roots. However, a part of me is averse to this comfort. It's hard to grow if your environment stays the same.

I often find myself growing homesick for a place that I'm not sure even exists. Then I realize that all of my homes, connections, memories, and experiences, have something in common: me. Home isn’t inherent in any of it, I am. I don’t have to seek anything outside myself for fulfillment. This haven is something I never have to leave and that is a truth worth discovering.

What does home mean to you?

My DVF Journey of a Dress

As a woman, dressing for work can be tricky. In the past I’ve struggled with trying to look professional, while also wanting to show off my personal style and feel comfortable. I am averse to wearing a traditional pant or skirt suit to work. I find them so uninteresting, and unflattering on my body. In the future I will be posting outfit photos that I hope will inspire you to dress more creatively in the workplace.

I was first introduced to the Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress after my freshmen year of college. I began working during the summers in corporate office settings and was completely lost when it came to getting dressed for work in the morning. My mother works in commercial real estate and always looks put together and stylish at the office. I decided to start borrowing outfits from her closet. When I came across one of her DVF wrap dresses I had found the answers to all my corporate wardrobe problems. How could one dress flatter both a 19-year-old college student, and a 50-year-old business woman? Magic.

The DVF wrap dress is iconic. It has been in style since its inception 40 years ago. It's suitable for every woman and transcends boundaries of age, body type, and profession. When you put on a DVF dress you instantly exude confidence, and appear on trend whether you are headed to the office or happy hour. My favorite thing about the DVF wrap dress is that it doesn’t wrinkle. I can literally roll it up in the corner of my suitcase; it takes up minimal space, and will still look great when I go to wear it later. It's also fairly lightweight, so it's easy to wear in hot and humid summer weather.

In 1972, Diane Von Furstenberg launched her fashion empire with the simple slogan, “Feel like a woman. Wear a dress!”

Today I decided to recreate the iconic photo. Unfortunately I didn’t have a box to sit on for the shoot, however I did have some leftover pizza boxes from dinner the night before so I had to make do. 

I decided to keep the accessorizing to a minimum for this shoot because in my opinion the best accessories are a 3 day old Drybar blowout (get this girl some dry shampoo), and giant Karen Walker sunnies to hide your shame at happy hour when the bartender remembers your drink order. Also, is planking still a thing? Should I delete?

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg $365, Shoes: Zara $50, Sunglasses: Karen Walker $280, Blowout: Drybar 

Below is a list of similar styles that I've curated using Tisket. Happy shopping!

If I Were 22: What I Wish I Knew Last Year

A Response to LinkedIn's Series "If I Were 22"

I'm 23, but if I were 22 I would tell myself to spend less time choosing an Instagram filter, and more time doing things that are worthy of a picture in the first place #nofilter.

Stop waiting. Start committing. Just because you’re still in college doesn’t mean that you have to wait for the rest of your life to begin.

Me, like a month ago, when I was 22. I call this picture, "A Metaphor". So deep, right?

I can recall a few instances when I had intentions of making a commitment: To volunteer for Big Sister and the Girl Scouts, to learn to code, to get certified as a fitness instructor, to travel to Africa to volunteer at a school for Girls. But I waited. I wasn’t sure if these things would fit into my “5-year plan". Would I get a job in a different state? Would I miss out on another, better opportunity if I took this one? When I was 22 I waited to see what would happen. Guess what? Nothing ever really did because instead of grabbing opportunities, I watched as they passed by. To my 22 year old self I would say, "Wake up! Not much is going to fit into your 5-year plan if you don’t start that plan."

I would tell myself, don’t be afraid to choose. When I was 22, what I feared most was my immense potential. What I feared most was all of the options and opportunities knocking at my door. I knew I would be good at whatever I chose to do, but I didn’t know what the right choice was. As an older and wiser 23 year old, I would say that I don't know if there necessarily is a “right choice”. I think the choice is to start. The choice is to work hard, and never stop reaching for your goals whatever they may be.

To quote Marianne Williamson or Nelson Mandela, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be so brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure around you.”

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This post was inspired by LinkedIn’s series “If I Were 22”. Below are 3 of my favorite quotes from the series:

“Follow your passion. Great breakthroughs don’t happen when you’re half-hearted. They require people who are emotionally and intellectually invested in what they’re doing…A Harvard Business Review study interviewed 125 leaders of all ages and asked what they thought was the most important capability for leaders to develop. The one essential trait agreed on wasn’t decisiveness, assertiveness, great communications skills, or team building. It was self-awareness and being true to who you are.”

-Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE

“Learn what you’re good, and not good at. Being able to acknowledge your weaknesses is a key component of success. When you identify your shortcomings, you are empowered to ask for help and pair with others who will lend a hand while also benefitting from your strengths.”

-Rachel Zoe, CEO of Rachel Zoe Inc.

“Part of being human is wanting to fit in with the group, or at least a group. There’s a reason that intrepid venture capitalists all cluster together on Sand Hill Road, and that hipster kids who want to be defined by their differences all flock to Williamsburg and dress like one another. But the worst mistakes I made in work and in friendship were because I was seduced by the idea of belonging.”

-Bethany McLean, Journalist

 

How one word can just ruin your credibility

Last week in the midst of a brow wax, to make small talk my esthetician asked me, "What do you do?" I replied, "I’m just a nanny."

What she told me will probably stick with me for the rest of my life. She said, “Never say you’re just anything. You’re a nanny. Never present yourself as anything less than what you are, because everyone else will do it for you.”

She was right. In the past whenever someone has asked me what I do, I’ve replied ‘I’m just a student, just an intern, or just an assistant.’ Deep down I know that I shouldn’t do this, but for some reason it always comes out. Like word vomit.

When you use the word “just” before a statement it often diminishes, and even apologizes for what follows. We often use the word "just" to relieve pressure or force from a question or statement. For instance:

“It’s just my opinion, but…”

“I just wanted to ask you…”

Sound familiar?

For me, using the word "just" has been my way of letting others know that whatever I’m doing at the moment isn’t my end game. I have bigger aspirations for myself. Unfortunately it never comes off positively. By saying the word “just” it suggests that I don’t respect my accomplishments. I dumb myself down, during a time in my life where I most certainly need to be building myself up.

Recently I’ve interviewed a lot of women that I truly respect. Looking back on these interviews I’ve realized that these successful women have experienced quite a few bumps in the road. Yet the way they've presented their flaws makes all the difference. I've never viewed their setbacks negatively; instead their indirect path inspires me. Presentation is key.

I’m going to stop undermining my credibility by using this four letter word. If I don’t take myself seriously, why should anyone else?

Is Wearing a Crop Top considered an Ab workout?

They say do something that scares you everyday. If wearing a crop top qualifies as scary, count me in.

Although the crop top trend has been on my fashion radar for the past few years, I finally mustered up the courage to dabble in its glory. Last Friday I wore a crop top out on the town.

When I entered the Institute of Contemporary Art “First Friday” Exhibition I was a trendy Karli Kloss. When I exited the dive bar that I ended up at later that night, I was Britney Spears circa 2007. Truth be told the crop top is somewhat tricky to pull off after a few drinks, but if you engage your core and believe in yourself you can go the distance. 

The crop top trend walks a fine line between tacky and chic. To make sure you fall under the chic category I would suggest pairing a crop top with a high waisted skirt, or pants that cover your belly button. It is also important to make sure you are covering enough skin. So if you're crop is a tank either pair it with a blazer or make sure your bottom half is covered by pants, or even a midi skirt.

Crop tops have been claiming their territory on the fashion scene since Jasmine wore a midriff revealing turquoise ensemble in the movie Aladdin. The crop was later tested on humans in the early 80’s when Madonna took on the trend. In the 90’s, the Spice Girls, our girl Britney, and TLC followed suit. Over the past few years’ midriffs have thrived on the runway thanks to the likes of Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Theyskens Theory, Dior, and Calvin Klein.

On May 5th, much to my delight, the crop top graced the red carpet at this years Met Gala.

Have you been brave enough to rock a crop?

For the Thrill of It

Once upon a time (2012), I studied abroad in Australia. While there I wrote a blog called, 'The Things That Happened'. I reread it tonight, and was pretty intrigued by this post that my 21 year old self wrote:

When you wake up in the morning, and you look to your nightstand only to find a near empty glass of water. And the stamps on your wrists from the clubs have faded, along with your dignity. And inside your brain is pounding as you think to yourself: “what are we doing tonight?”

It’s the same thing over and over again. Nothing changes. We go out every night with the same intentions as we did when we had our first drink in high school. I can’t remember many nights that were that different from the last. Sure we went to a new bar, or wore a cuter outfit, but the outcome was generally the same. Yet we crave these nights, like the greasy leftover pizza we will come home to later as some kind of a reward for making it back to our beds.

I’m wondering when it stops. When do we become mature? When will that pivotal moment be? When do we stop seeking adventure and have to get on with our lives?

Does it suck?

That’s essentially what “going out” is, right? Some sort of adventure? It’s like going out into the great unknown, as we stumble into the blackness that is night. Hoping that something crazy will happen. Whatever crazy is.

Today, I’m seeking adventure that isn’t found at the bottom of a tequila bottle. There’s a first time for everything!

I’m going skydiving with a handful of my friends today and am so ecstatic.

But then again, I can’t help but wonder what kind of an accomplishment it is to pay $300+ to be a part of some kind of tourist attraction? More or less. Yet it still manages to make the bucket list. Wait, am I a cynic? Anyways. 

I’m not really too nervous. People think skydiving is such a great feat. Because I think everyone automatically assumes that they’re going to die. I guess, yeah I could die. But I could also die in the car ride on the way there, or crossing the street, or choking on a popcorn kernel. That’s my perspective.

However, my perspective will probably (definitely) shift in a few hours when I am dangling out of a plane and reciting the lords prayer repeatedly as insurance, but until then we can pretend that I’m brave!

Anyways, it was nice knowing you guys. A real pleasure. Cheeeers!" 

As I'm about to graduate this post resonates with me. I'm not going skydiving this time, but I am taking a leap into the unknown. My entire existence has been structured by education and societal expectations, now it's time to make my own decisions. I have to figure out what comes next. For the first time in my life, I feel in control of my life. I am liberated and paralyzed all at once.

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My story is a series of jumps from one great expectation to the next. Is this not the epitome of life?