Tips for Digital Dating

Hey what’s up helloooo friends!

If you’ve been following me for a while (bless your heart, you’ve seen my crazy and you’re still here, LOVE YOU MEAN IT), then you know I’ve had more than my fair share of dating disasters. From gross/WAY over the line Bumble messages, to guys ghosting, to getting dumped after getting intimate, I’ve experienced it all. Don’t recall? See here and here for past posts on it (I HAVE RECEIPTS, FRIENDS).The start of 2018 was a real bitch for my dating life, I’ll tell you that much. There is comfort, though, in knowing that I’m not alone. Not that I want any of you lovelies to be miserable and crying into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s by yourself (what no that never happened to me…). It’s just that I know it can sometimes feel like you’re always playing defense when it comes to dating, and I think it’s time that we start learning some O-line plays, ya feel me?

I’ve thrown together some quick tips + tricks that I, along with some of you who submitted these to me, have found to be successful. May the odds be ever in your favor, babe.

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PS: Netflix & Chill IS NOT A GOOD FIRST DATE. Don’t fall into the trap.

  1. “Hey handsome”. I can’t give you the scientific reason behind why this works, other than that men love to be flattered. I mean, I don’t hate being called beautiful, so I imagine that it works both ways, right? This seems so dumb and simple, but hear me out. I met an ex on Bumble and in his profile it said something along the lines of, “don’t just say hey, I won’t respond”. So I spiced it up and did the LEAST I possibly could. Clearly it worked, because we dated for a year. You’re welcome.
  2. “Hey! So you’re really cute and tbh I wish I could think of something clever to make me stand out but I’m drawing blanks sooo hi haha.” – Again, I have no idea why this works but it does. I used to mass message this to guys and the response rate was through the roof. I told my friends about it and it worked for them too – try it out and tell me how it goes!
  3. STOP PUTTING SO MANY PICTURES WITH YOUR FRIENDS UP. I cannot stress this enough. At one point I was actually self conscious of my profile because it was only pictures of me and it seemed like all my girlfriends had pictures of them with friends up there. Did I seem friendless? Or did I seem like a narcissist? I threw my phone up to countless guy friends to have them look it over and they all said the same thing – it’s better when it’s just you. There’s nothing fun for a guy having to play a guessing game of which girl you actually are. And what if they match with you because they like a girl that’s not actually you?? Avoid the confusion.
  4. When it Comes to Your Profile, Be Honest. There’s nothing worse when it comes to dating than when you show up for a date and the guy looks absolutely nothing like he does on his profile. It’s actually the reason why I show up early to every first date, because I’m worried I won’t recognize the person and how awkward is that? Obv you should put up pictures of yourself that look cute and show you off in a positive light, but going overboard is unnecessary. Keep it light with the photoshops/filters, and be honest in your bio. Do you know how many times I had 
    guys freak out on dates because I told them I don’t enjoy drinking alcohol? Too many (I’m embarrassed for them). So I legit started including it in my profile so automatically weed out any potential alcoholics coming down the pipeline.

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    Throwback to when my mom FINALLY understood what a meme was and then used that as an opportunity to roast me for Bumble catfishers

  5. It’s a Numbers Game. I live by the motto of, “swipe now, decide later”. If I’m unsure on if I think a guy is someone I’d for sure want to go out with, I swipe right anyway. There’s 3 things that can happen after that. 1) He doesn’t swipe you back, so this whole thing is moot anyways. 2) He swipes you back and you decide you don’t like him. Big deal, you just don’t message him. 3) He swipes you back and you DO like him and you guys message and go out. I feel like some of my friends are SO picky and it’s like uhmm sorry but Chris Hemsworth isn’t on Bumble so who exactly are you looking for???
  6. There are Apps Aside from Bumble. Ok yeah so I know Tinder still exists but like, it shouldn’t. It was fun in college when this was all brand new but now I feel like it’s just filled with the creepy leftovers who don’t get responded to on Bumble and it just gets weird. Idk, not for me. I do, however, like Hinge. A lot. I don’t love that the free version only gives you a few swipes per day, so I actually paid the $7 a month or whatever for unlimited swipes and I found that it was worth it. There’s more info on there, you can filter your potential matches by things like whether or not they smoke, if they want kids, their height, how often they drink, whatever. It seems like you’d find someone a bit more compatible that way. I’ve also tried out The League. I didn’t love it. Again, you only get like, 3-5 potential matches per day, and if you pay, it’s something like $30-$40 a month. And I’ve found that the guys on there tend to be cocky and full of themselves. I can find those guys just by walking down Wall Street or hitting up the Surf Lodge, I don’t need an app to help me with that. Pass.
  7. Actually Go Out On Dates. I’m not sure why this is such a foreign concept, but chances are that if you’re on a dating app, one would assume you actually want to go out on dates. I’m not looking for a pen pal here my guy, so tell me when we’re meeting up, or you’ll find yourself unmatched. Even if you go and don’t have the *best time ever*, it’s still a good way to throw some grease on the wheels and brush up on your dating skills.
  8. Have an Escape Route. I can count on ONE HAND the number of first dates I’ve been on where I didn’t have an escape route. What do I mean by this? I started 95% of my dates with, “I have XYZ to do in an hour and a half so I just need to make sure I pay attention to the clock”. Why is this so important? Have you ever been stuck on a first date that you hated and there was NO END IN SIGHT? Well I have, and it was UGLY. After that, I made sure to have an escape plan. And if it turned out things were going well, then guess what? Omg my plans were magically cancelled! Amazing!

 

It’s a tough world out there ladies, but I’m confident we can handle this. Do you have any tips/tricks for digital dating? Send them my way! xo, AJ

Tips for Getting and Staying Organized

Story time!

When I was younger, I was the least organized person of all time. I liked the idea of being organized (in the way that I would be pumped about going to Staples every August to get new school supplies – a binder and folder for every class, DUH), but I would never stay that way for long. Pretty soon after the school year started, I’d be shoving everything into one folder, my homework (if I even did it) would be crumpled up at the bottom of my backpack, and my once meticulously detailed planner would have weeks on end of no entries. It wasn’t just school – my home life was just as bad. My mom can attest to the fact that my room was a DISASTER area. It would get so bad that she’d give me one last warning of, “you better clean your room or I’m going through it with a garbage bag and whatever’s left on the floor is getting thrown out.” AND SHE ACTUALLY DID IT. TWICE. That woman was not playing games. Which is why I’m still bitter that my brothers are SLOBS and have zero repercussions. UGH.

Somewhere between high school and post-grad life, I became mildly obsessed with organizing. I love living by myself, because it means that I’m in total control of what my apartment looks like. And I LOVE a good list – bonus points if it’s color coded. That said, there are some really helpful tips I’ve come across that I wanted to share with you guys. I hope they help!


Tips for Staying Organized

 

Calendar Organization

Color coding your calendar and actual using it is GOLD, my friends. I recently started a new job, and I took about two hours to focus on my Google Calendar and create a bunch of mini calendars within it to organize my life. I have one for work-related things, one for blogging, one for working out, one for appointments, one for plans with my friends… the list goes on on and on. They’re all color coded, and all in once place. The reason I use my work account is because it’s always up on my desktop, so I can see everything I have planned out at a glance. No switching back and forth between several accounts – it’s all in a single location. SO easy!

 

 

To-Do Lists

Ok this seems really obvious, but I was recently floored to find out how many of my friends don’t actually make to-do lists. I live and die by mine! I actually get legit happy when I can cross something off that list. I feel so good about myself. Instead of writing it down on paper (which is what I used to do), I started using the Notes feature on my Mac. I can easily create new lists for different things such as ingredients I need to pick up from the Grocery store, reports I need to put together for clients, blog posts that I want to write out for the next month…. the limit does not exist! Don’t try to rely on your memory for the things you want to get done. If you’re anything like me, you’ll forget in 5 minutes and then spend the next 2 days trying to remember wtf you were so amped to get done in the first place.

 

De-clutter Your Work Space

You know what’s really unnecessary? Having 15 photos of you and your friends and/or family on your desk at work, especially when you share that desk with someone else. It’s also necessary to have a ton of knickknacks in your work area. Why? Because it’s distracting and looks messy. At my old job, I was 100% guilty of this. I had photos taped to my monitors, post it notes hanging off of them, an entire jar of pens (even though I only used 1), a candy jar, and a plant all hanging out with me. Even though I had a person on either side of me sharing the desk space. WHAT. EVEN. I also had a large + spacious 3 drawer filing cabinet that was filled with everything but files. The top drawer was packed with random crap like lotion, chotchkis, cards, flash cards that I never used ONCE. The second drawer was filled with snack (ok, this is important). The last drawer was filled with all the “in case of emergency” stuff. To be fair, this was somewhat practical when working with all girls, because someone always needed something. But at one point, I had 4 cans of dry shampoo, a full makeup kit, brushes, hair spray, lotion, self tanner, mints, floss, tissues… it was ridiculous.

At my new job, I have a far less cluttered space. I have a single larger monitor + laptop, a small (fake) succulent from TjMaxx, my water bottle and my phone on my desk. In my filing cabinet, I have snacks in the first drawer, a few beauty necessities in the second drawer, and a completely bare third drawer. Seriously, it’s empty. And I feel lighter.

 

Consistently Clean Out Your Closets and Cabinets

I’m 100% not exaggerating when I say that I clean out my closets at least twice a month… sometimes even once a week. I feel SO accomplished whenever I do it, and I always get rid of a pile of useless things that for some reason, I thought I should hold on to the last 10 times I cleaned it out. There’s nothing worse than trying to find something and not being able to because it’s buried in a pile of your unorganized crap. Using bins to store things by category will keep your closets need + tidy, and even create additional space for you to store the rest of the stuff you don’t need in it. Hoarding… we all do it.

 

Don’t Go to Bed With a Messy Apartment

The easiest way to for messes to accumulate is to not take care of them in a timely manner. We’ve all been there – you just can’t figure out what to wear to work, so you try on 8 different outfit combos and then run out of time to put it away before you have to run to the subway. Then by the time you get home, you’re exhausted from work/going out to happy hour/getting in a sweat session at the gym, so you peel off your clothes, toss your shoes and bag to the side, hop in the shower and or/make yourself some food. It’s so easy to just leave the mess that’s accumulated during the day and say you’ll get to it tomorrow. THAT IS A TRAP. Because tomorrow, the cycle will repeat. And the mess will grow. And you will hate yourself for it. Personally, I have anxiety thinking about going to bed with my room a mess. I just can’t do it. I’ll drag myself out of bed if I know the dirty dishes are sitting in the sink, or that I have a pile of clothes on my couch and floor that I could put away. Just do your future self a favor and spend the 10 minutes (max) it will take to clean up. Your mind will be clearer and you’ll wake up to a clean, refreshing space.

*PRO TIP: Make your bed. EVERY morning. Just do it.

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What are some of your best tips for staying organized? Comment below or send me a DM! xo, AJ

Blogging In The Beginning

I get SO many questions about how I started blogging and what steps someone needs to take to start a blog, so I figured, “lightbulb!” Why not just write a blog post on it? Ik, I’m genius, no need to remind me. But feel free to anyway 🙂

The Planning:

I started The Laughing Blonde because I felt like I needed some sort of creative outlet. There are a few bloggers that I had been following on Instagram before, and it seemed so cool to me to get to travel and have new experiences and get paid to do it! I’ve always had a creative side to me, and I found it difficult to stay excited about my day job as a media planner, which is less creative and more strategic. There was just one night in late January when I got a little burst of energy and decided to actually go for it! I spent about two hours trying to come up with a name, which seemed impossible because literally every single one I came up with was taken already. Do you know how infuriating it is to come up with a genius name for your blog, only to see that some asshole has already claimed it and hasn’t posted a photo since 2013? UGHH. So once I finally found a name that was available both on Instagram and as a website domain, I was ready to go. To be clear, I had ZERO experience designing a blog. The last time I “designed” a website was when I was 12 and a psycho about customizing my MySpace page. Side note- remember when we all thought we were little mini Mark Zuckerbergs (before he was even a thing) because we would figure out how to slightly alter our profile codes on MySpace and made them look really badass? SAME. So anyway, here I am at 24 years old, feeling like an 82 year old who can’t figure out how to turn her cell phone on AKA feeling VERY FREAKING LOST. I picked a super basic layout and wrote my first post, and then published my photo on Instagram. It was truly about as bare bones as you can get. From other people that I’ve talked to, I’ve heard that people stress for MONTHS over perfecting their SEO strategy, or write like, 20 pieces of content before they even make their site public. For me, I just wanted to get something published so that I wasn’t putting so much pressure for perfection on myself. To be clear, I don’t feel like there’s one perfect way to do any of this – I just didn’t want to give myself an excuse to prolong it anymore!

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Followers:

Ahh, follower count. One of the biggest stress-inducing things in the blogger world. Gaining followers, especially in the beginning, is tough because you really have no content (so what are people following you for?) and because it’s unlikely that people are going to want to follow an Instagram page that only has 2 posts and 37 followers – there’s strength in numbers, and at the beginning it’s the struggle bus all the way. The key is to get support from the people you know first. At first I wanted to keep the blog separate from my personal life, which is why I have both two Instagram accounts – one is personal, one is strictly for the blog. I was slightly embarrassed that I had even started a blog, and didn’t feel like I wanted to be judged by my friends, colleagues or even old peers from high school for what I was writing about – especially because I knew there would be times when I would post things that were really personal and sensitive to me. I mean, if you’ve been reading my stuff for the last 6 months then you probably already know what kinds of things I’m talking about. I’m pretty deep sometimes- who knew!? But as I started writing more and more content, I realized that my close friends were going to see it anyway, and honestly, wtf do I care what the guy I had a crush on in 9th grade thought of me anymore? I mean TBH yeah I care a little bit – EW BYE – but not enough to keep me from proudly posting my content. Don’t like it? Don’t look!

So I built a base of followers around the people who knew me and would be at least minutely interested in hearing what I had to say. From there, I did the ~controversial~ move of the classic follow/unfollow. Depending on who you ask, this is either the best or worst way to get Instagram followers. I guarantee you that every single person reading this knows what I’m talking about – it’s the random follow you get from an account you’ve never heard of and you’re like, huh? How did they even find me? Let me tell you: they found you from going to an Instagram account that they like and following the accounts that follow that page. It’s truly a numbers game at first. And it’s a pain in the butt as well, because you can only follow like, 150 a day before Instagram blocks you. So building up your audience is NOT easy, and it takes time. I’ve also found that I need to be better about letting go of the people who unfollow me. It’s nothing personal, they’re just trying to keep their follower:following ratio on point, and for one reason or another The Laughing Blonde didn’t make the cut. It happens.

What I do NOT recommend is buying followers. It’s clear as day when a follower is bought, because they’re have little to no content on their page, have 7 followers and be following 52, 985 people. Don’t waste your money, babe.

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Content:

I’ll keep it simple with this one: Post content that you actually enjoy writing about. You shouldn’t have to force yourself to write a piece when the enjoyment isn’t behind it. It’s all about writing what you know. Hands down, the content that performs the best for me is always the stuff where I’m being really vulnerable and honest about who I am and what I’m going through. Yes, I also like writing about cool restaurants to check out and what makeup I wear, but if you look back at my stuff, you’ll notice that I’ve cut back on those kinds of pieces recently because people don’t care about them as much. They’re reading your blog because they care about YOU. If they wanted recommendations for dinner, they’d just go to Yelp.

Another thing I’ve learned is that writing in my own voice is what allows my readers relate to me so much. I can’t tell you how many times my friends have texted me saying how hard they’re laughing because they can picture me saying the words out loud to them – that’s such a huge compliment! I try to keep it as real as I possibly can – that means sharing my accomplishments, as well as my failures. You’d be surprised how supportive someone you don’t even know can be! Click here for my favorite post to date!

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Photos:

I get photos from all over the place. A lot of times I re-post things I love from other bloggers. Sometimes I use content I’ve shot myself, and other times I work with local photographers who are looking to build up their portfolios. I’m not a Rockafeller over and here and (sadly) I don’t come from oil money either. You don’t need to work with hardcore professionals to get the shots you need. Two of my favorite people I’ve worked with are 1: my friend Kira who works at Travel + Leisure and helped me out massively for my first shoot and 2: my new friend Kelsey (@styledinthestreet) who reached out to me on Instagram to set something up and was AMAZING! I highly recommend working with her if you’re in the area and get the chance. It’s all about making sure you feel totally comfortable with the person you’re working with, otherwise you probably won’t get the shots you want.

I’ve also realized that I get the most engagement when I utilize the My Story feature on Instagram – so many of my followers send me DMs after I’ve posted something, and it’s awesome to know that they’re following along and feel like they’re getting to know me!

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Do you have any tips + tricks to share with me? I’m still so new at this myself, I would love to hear what works for you guys! Post a comment or send me a message 🙂 xo, AJ

Oh, the Places They’ll Go!

Damnnn Laughing Blonde, back at it again with the gift guides! It’s that time again, guys – time to be broke. Honestly, it’s like everyone conspired together to try and make me as poor as possible. Can someone please explain why Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Wedding Szn and Graduation Szn all fall within the same 4 months? It’s rude af. All these people out there getting married and getting degrees and I’m over here like, yeah sure, no prob, here’s $100 I was planning to frivolously spend on like, my electricity bill but nah fam, you take it and get yourself a nice panini maker, it’s all good. It’s summer in NYC, so what would I possibly need electricity for? Air conditioning? All set, thanks!

My little sister is graduating from high school next month and you know what she’s getting from me? A freaking trip to Nashville. Wanna know what my own MOTHER got me for my high school graduation? Absolutely nothing. She didn’t even wanna go because in her words, “there’s really nothing special about graduating high school. You showed up to a school for 4 years and participated just enough for them to pass you on to the next phase of life. You literally didn’t have a choice to not go.” It sounds harsh, but when I think about it, I literally did the bare minimum in high school so she’s like, not wrong. She was kinda bitchy about it, for sure, but not wrong. My sister on the other hand, she’s a low-key genius. All AP classes, #4 in her class, already has a year of college credits under her belt and she’s gotten a full academic ride to the school she’ll be attending in the fall, so I figured I’d throw her a bone, ya know? Reward the little Einstein by agreeing to sneak her into a bar and then hand her the Advil and Gatorade the next morning as she suffers from her first hangover.

Anyway, grad season is upon us, and it’s time to look for gifts that speak to the soul. After all, I’m out here tryna’ break glass ceilings, not bank accounts. Before you check out the gift guide gallery below, take a look at some of the deals + steals I have for you!

Framebridge

The 411: Framebridge is a company that frames your art, but doesn’t require you to liquidate all of your assets to do so. Reasonably priced + very high-quality. Either upload your own photo, or send in what you want to have framed (they can even do shadow boxes)! And they’re quick- it only takes about a week from order to delivery.

The Deal: Use the code “laughingblonde15” to get 15% off of your first purchase!

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pretty/creative by aes

The 411: pretty/creative by aesis an Etsy shop based out of NYC, but ships all over the country! 100% custom totes, makeup bags, travel cases + stainless steel waterbottles, all right at your fingertips, and the pricepoint is fab – $20!

The Deal: We’re giving y’all a giveaway! Any purchase made between now and 6/15 will automatically enter you into a giveaway – the winner will be able to select one item from the shop, as well as receive a $50 Visa gift card! Use the code “LBGRAD” at check-out, and you’re automatically entered! And PS- any purchase you make using that code will give you a 15% discount at check out!

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Where to Buy:

Almost Adulting – Amazon, $13

Meal in a Mug – Amazon, $17

Bachelor Quote Pencils – Etsy, $17.95

Mindy Project Quote Pencils- Etsy, $19.95

I Just Graduated.. Now What? – Urban Outfitters, $20

Bartending Glass Set – Amazon, $20

Y’all Pennant – Etsy, $25

Meryl Streep Pillow – Etsy, $25

Wearsafe – Amazon, $30

Verrier Handcrafted Print – $35

Instagram Framing – Framebridge, $39

Portable PingPong Set – Uncommon Goods, $40

Custom Passport Holder – Etsy, $49

Diana Camera – Uncommon Goods, $49

Custom Gift Krate (Women’s) – Lemon Krate, $50

Six-Pack Bike Bag – Amazon, $60

Custom Gift Krate (Men’s) – Lemon Krate, $98

Polaroid Camera – Amazon, $97

Mini Plus Brewing System – Keurig, $100

Beats Solo Wireless Headphones – Amazon, $229

What’s in my bag?

Are you a clutch type of lady, or more of a tote bag girl? In lamens terms, are you cool with getting around town with just your headphones, wallet, sunnies and a single lipgloss, or do you prefer to also have 50+ extra items, ya know, “just in case”?

Personally, I fall somewhere in between. My bags are usually on the larger side, but a full on tote is often slightly overwhelming and frankly, encourages the poor hoarding behavior that I’m trying to avoid. But this girl likes to be prepared – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cleaned out my bag and then the next day, been in desperate need of whatever it is I decided I would literally never use. Because Murphy’s Law works like that.

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Jokes aside, carrying an over-stuffed, heavy bag can actually damage your health (don’t worry, I talk about that more below). Being a woman for 24.5 years on this earth will teach you a lot, and I’m ready to bless you all with my purse wisdom. It’s not a perfect science (yet), but here’s what’s in my bag:

The Essentials:

Whether your bag fits in one hand or practically doubles as a duffle, every girl must have the absolute bare essentials. If I’m using a really small cross-body, I use a phone case that allows me to put 2 credit cards and an ID into the back of it so that I can leave the wallet at home. I’ll stick a $20 in my bag, my keys and breath mints and I’m good to go. You never know when your bank will turn against you. Say you’re on a health kick and haven’t gone within 100 yards of a pizza place in the last 3 months (LOL unless you live in NYC, bc that’s impossible). You go out with the girls and then decide you’re craving a buffchick pie, so you throw your Chase card down (#payday). Your bank is all, “that’s not Jessica, she would never cheat on her diet!!! Identity Theft!!” Well then. #1) RUDE. #2) Thank God you brought that $20, amiright? Yes, I am. Also, hand sanitizer. Just do it. You never know who was hanging on to the subway pole before you. Ignorance is bliss, but hand sanitizer saves lives.

Here’s some never before seen footage of me and my friends:

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The Beauty Bag

Since I usually carry a medium-size bag, I also put a small makeup bag in there tokeep things organized. Absolutely nothing is more annoying than when I’m looking for something in there and I feel like freaking Mary Poppins pulling out 14 different items first (including a kitchen spoon during a meeting a few months back, that was a really nice surprise).marry poppins

Any of the beauty-related things I have in my bag go in here. I usually carry around at least 2 different lip shades, because you never know if you’ll be in a pink mood or a ~nude~ one. My two current favorites are Maybeline’s Vivid Matte Liquid in either Grey Envy or Twisted Tuplip (only $6.99 at Target), or my Lipsense kit. Speaking of, if you’ve never tried Lipsense but you’re super tired of catching yourself in the mirror at 3pm and seeing that 83% of your lip color is gone, you might want to try this. There’s like, 20+ colors and it seriously lasts you the WHOLE day! You need to be careful about re-applying the gloss every few hours so your lips don’t dry out but other than that, I’m convinced it’s worth the investment. My friend Mandy is a distributor, and you can contact her on Insta at @everbelipsbymandy.

At any given time, my hair can be a real nightmare to deal with (as you may have read in several of my earlier posts). It tangles easily, it gets in the way during Zumba and it sometimes betrays me by looking greasy on same day washes!! That’s why I always carry around 3 hair essentials: My Milk & Sass Macaron hair brush, Milk & Sass Sugar Twists and a mini bottle of Batiste dry shampoo. The brush + hair ties are designed to protect my hair from breakage, and the dry shampoo clears up any oily spots on demand. #MajorKey. The Macaron brush also has a mirror on the cap, so I’ve been able to remove the compact mirror I used to keep in my bag and swap in this lil cutie. Kills 2 birds with 1 stone, and I have one less thing to schlep around with me.

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The final beauty bits are crucial, especially as the weather starts to get warmer out. In just a few short months, we’ll all be trying to mask the sweat stains that formed while we were waiting 12 minutes for the delayed Q train to arrive. Fun Fact about New Yorkers- most of us suffer through subway commutes that force us to stand on top of each other while waiting in underground stations that are 20 degrees hotter than the already-blazing summer temps raging above ground. LOL summer is fun. As a wise lady (probably) once said, you can’t force yourself to not sweat, but you can def make sure you don’t stink from it! Ta-da! I give you the mini Marc Jacobs Daisy Sorbet perfume. It’s so cute and smells amazing. I got mine for $20 at CVS, and I get compliments on it all the time. If Daisy Sorbet isn’t for you, there’s tons of other options. Most major perfume brands sell mini versions of their scents, so check out Ulta or Duane Reade or Sephora.

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When I Feel Like Being Extra

Generally speaking, if I know I’m going some place where I won’t be in total control of my surroundings, I’m extra af. I’m a notorious over-packer, but it’s simply because I don’t want to be in a position later on where I wanna kick myself for not bringing the thing I KNEW I should’ve brought. Don’t believe me? Here’s what I dumped out of my tote the last time I went somewhere for longer than 12 hours:

  • Water bottle / snacks (obv)
  • Extra phone battery
  • Extra underwear (TMI, IK)
  • Dairy pills (I’m lactose intolerant)
  • 2 books for the subway
  • Extra contact lenses
  • Eye drops

The list goes on, but I don’t think I need to bore you with the details….


The Bottom Line

Over-packing and constantly carrying heavy bags on your shoulders could end up doing permanent damage to your body. Carrying a heavy bag on one side of your body consistently could lead to muscle spasms and pain in your neck/shoulders/lower back. Even if you’re consciously leveling it out as you walk, you could be doing even more damage! It can cause pain in your hips and oblique muscles on the side you carry your bag on, and neck strain on the opposite side caused by your body trying to level out your shoulders.

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Here’s what you can do to save your poor body:

  • Use a backpack (I know, I LOLd too, but there are some pretty cute leather ones out there – try TJMAXX or the outlets!)
  • Switch shoulders
  • Use a second bag (one purse for your essentials, a second tote for your workout clothes) – this helps distribute the weight more evenly
  • Avoid wearing heels when you’re carrying a heavy bag, because heels alter your gait which emphasizes the issues you’re already having.

 

xo, AJ