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Your Best Investment April 5, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Education, Finances, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I’ll be perfectly honest, for a long time I didn’t believe in college. I thought that I had gotten through life well enough doing my own thing, on my own path and I could do it all without wasting time and money on a degree. Sure, at some point everyone thinks that but for me, it was different. Many of you know I didn’t go to college until I was 22 because I was dancing professionally. It’s also true that many ballerinas don’t ever go to college because, after their careers, they don’t need to. However, I didn’t really value a college education until I realized I didn’t have one. When I was fifteen I told everyone I would get degree in marketing. I didn’t know how or when or where, but I knew that’s what I’d eventually do. Over ten years later, I did do just that, and that’s a great feeling. So, its pretty rough for me to hear about all the people out thee who think getting a college education is no big deal, like they can Cruz through life, and it’ll all just be okay for them.

Over this past year, I’ve listened to two speakers preach about how they didn’t go to college. I, better than anyone, know what forging your own path is like, but is dropping out really something to brag about? Sure, there’s Bill Gates, but the company he started revolutionized the world. What per take of the population actually does that? I think if you are able to get an education, financially, physically, mentally, wasting it is really a waste of your future. When you’re 18 and your parents are probably paying for most of your schooling, you’re just happy to be out of the house, and maybe you don’t take things as you should, maybe you take this degree for granted. When your going to school as an adult, everything is different. You’re more accountable, you see the worth, and most of all you are proud of what you have done. Don’t look us, any of us who have a degree, in the eye and tell us you dropped out and here is why it’s fabulous.

The first speaker I heard, her story went something like this: I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, so I just moved to this city and worked part-time jobs. Then I went into fashion, but I hated it, so I dropped out. Then I wanted to go into law, by I hated that and I dropped out. Then I moved again and got this job, and now im starting my own company. To be honest, it wasnt inspiring, it was frustrating. Why am I pay my way through college by your on a soap box, preaching about how great you are for never committing to anything you started. Isn’t it more inspiring to come past your obstacles, triumph adversity and achieve something you never knew you could…not simply giving use.

The next speaker I heard, this story went a little different. She never really out right said she didn’t go to school, instead she bent the truth. She told her audience that she did her undergrad in a major city,  so we all equally assumed she went to the state school there. She then told us she got her MBA at an  Ivey league, where she gained the tools to start her company. It was a great story! But it was just that, a story. During the lecture break, I was inspired, so I read her bio online. Turns out, she never went to that state school, she attended a small, local college 3 towns over, which she left before her junior year, and her Ivey league education was nothing more than a 3 week summer session. It was deflating to look up to this person and then have it all come crashing down.

To anyone out there who worked hard for a college education, frankly, it’s insulting. Whether you graduated when you were 22 or 65, this little piece of paper is an achievement, it’s something that no one can ever take away from you. It was an investment you made in your future. Everyone can be successful in many different ways, success is not necessarily measured by education, it’s measured by strength, perseverance, determination, achieving your goals and honesty, among other things. You should also encourage people to be their best self, to strive for things and work now so you don’t have to work later. Giving up, or being lazy, trying to find the “easy” path isn’t something to preach about

What I learned from these speakers wasn’t that there was an easy way out, and wasn’t that I was better than them, or that I was jealous of them, but it was this: if my life came crashing down tomorrow, if I lost everything, I would still have this. I will always have a building block to step on and move forward, and they won’t. I learned that I should never take education for granted,and I should always be a positive influence to others, I should never encourage dishonesty or giving up. Most of all, I learned that I should be proud of myself, because at least in this aspect of life, I made it, I am successful.

Anger is Awesome March 31, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in How To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Tips and Tricks.
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Have you ever felt like there was a very specific part about you, something you really value about your personality, something no one could take away from you, something that made you special, suddenly gone?

It’s pretty normal to change as we grow-up, but it’s a trial and error when it comes to which part of ourselves we want to change, and which parts are so “us” that we want them to never change. Some are easy – your bad habits, your juvenile qualities, the things about you that coulcute_angryd be better, or new things that you discover and want to create as part of you. Then there are the things that are so already awesome, that you want them to stick – drive, determination, passion, eye for design, ear for music, ability to take care of yourself. Along the way, lines get crossed, and it gets confusing about what we want to change and what we don’t and suddenly we’ve realized we lost a part of ourselves we never wanted to let go of.

You can’t just get it back…it sounds silly, but it’s true. If you were once really passionate and interested in art history, you can’t just, one day, wake up and decide that you’re going to go take an art history class and suddenly the status quo is resorted. Things get in the way; scheduling, other commitments, time, effort, laziness, and so on. Then we start questioning if we even want to try to get that part of ourselves back, maybe it’s just easier to do it this way, this new way.

Well, after recent experiences, I’ll tell you what does work. Anger. It sounds so strange, so backwards, but once you get mad enough, it’s almost like a reset button, all the squares fall into the square holes, all the triangles fall into the triangle spaces. Things that are truly important to you return to you like a restart function. Let’s say you just went though a bad breakup, or you got in a huge fight with your parents, or your boss just screamed at you for not getting a report in on time. Your mind, body and soul will automatically retreat to what makes you happy, what releases your stress, and what takes you away from the world. We all need our time and our space and for many of us that alone time means doing something that makes us feel like our complete selves.

So, what if you want to get mad without actually being mad? Find your zone. Listen to empowering music, or songs with a really hard beat. Get yourself determined by blocking yourself off from the rest of the world. If you’re on your way to the gym, hide behind your sun glasses, put your music on and walk at a fast pace, with a purpose. If you’re trying to write a novel, focus; find a quiet place that’s comfortable for you, get a cup of tea, and turn off your phone. Anger isn’t just about being mad at all the world, all the time, it’s super intense focus and commitment to something you love or want to do.

It can be hard to find all the different puzzle pieces that make you you. Some are going to be new, some are going to be old, and many are going to be rediscovered. It’s a process that will change again, and again, and again, and again, as you get older but it will become more about small adjustments than drastic changes. Right now, while you’re in your twenties and discovering who you are, take advantage of being angry and channeling that anger in the best way possible.

The Crazy Chick March 23, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, GoodGuys File, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Relationships, Uncategorized, Women.
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The GoodGuys File

Here’s something that doesn’t happen to me often: I go out, I see a guy, I flirt, I have fun, I try to be cool, I show I’m a woman of power,  I get angry, I yell at a different guy, I make a scene, I order another drink, I keep talking to the cute guy, I go home numberless. And when I said “often” I meant it’s never once happened to me, ever, in my life.

Throughout my single years, I’d been in the club or bar plenty of times and heard the phrase “That chick over there is crazy!” or “I wouldn’t even go there, man.” I’ve had numerous guy friends tell me about those girls that are pretty, sweet and fun at first, and then either drink too much or turn like leaf in the wind and their “crazy” comes out. I didn’t know if it was insecurity or they just didn’t get it, but I never actually witnessed it myself, so I never really took the time to think about it, until recently.

Picture this, you’re out with a group of gal pals, and suddenly a friend of friend, who seemed really normal at first, starts yelling at a guy. And in the words of a very less DLIH me, “It’s like, ‘HELLO?! What is happening?!’ “. You turn around and all you can gather from the situation is the, very cute, guy she’s verbally assaulting asked her if she needed help getting through the crowd at the bar. To any normal human being that would either A. indicate someone is being very polite, or for more people, B. mean he’s trying to buy you a drink, because he likes you. However, in this scenario he was “sexist”, “condescending”, and she had been “getting her own drinks for years and didn’t need anybody’s help”. I guess that might be why you’re 35 and still single, but everyone is different (right?). While all the other girls in our group rushed over to calm her down and silently apologized to the man she just screamed at, I noticed a group of guys across the room, who stood staring, reminding me of all the faces my guys friends had made over the years, that “Bro, that’s the crazy one in the bar” face. What’s the worst part? It wasn’t that she was embarrassed, it wasn’t that the guy she yelled at totally lost all interest, it’s that for the rest of the night, all six of us were associated with the “crazy girl”. Even for those of us who weren’t single, it was a total downer, and most of us just wanted to go home after the incident.

Moral of the story? Don’t be crazy! Most girls don’t know that they’re doing it; so from experience and after collecting data from others, here’s the short track to “Are you the crazy girl?”

- When you meet people at a bar, are you trying to prove anything?

- Do you want guys to see you as a confident women, who doesn’t need a man to hold her hand through life?

- Do you pick a target and use a calculated or preconceived way to talk to them and/or get their interest?

- Do you try to play guys, make them feel small, or try to beat them at their own game when you actually really like them and want them to ask you for your number?

Yah. You’re doing it wrong if you said yes to, really, any of those. Dating is so easy! I don’t mean meeting someone, I don’t mean being in a relationship, I mean the whole damn thing! Girl likes boy, boy likes girl, boy and girl meet, boy asks girl out, girl accepts. Where in that transaction does showing someone your “guns” fit in? Ladies, how much do we hate it when guys try to make us feel like we’re delicate, little, porcelain creatures or try to prove to us how manly, strong and superior they are? It’s so unattractive. So, why is it okay for you to do that? Showing that you “don’t need a man” isn’t going to make a guy think “Oh yeah, that’s one to bring home to mom”. Likewise, a girl screaming and making a scene at a bar is the same as a guy who throws a chair or gets in a fight, it’s not the guy you want to go after.

The good thing is, we all make mistakes, and we grow strong from those mistakes. So, perhaps you have been the looney chick, that’s okay. Here’s a golden opportunity for your to correct your mistakes and just chill out a little. If you’re friends with the crazy lady, give her a dose of reality (or send her to this post!) and reevaluate if this is someone you want to associate yourself with when you’re out at the bar. Meeting people, whether to date or just to make friends, is only going to happen when you’re being yourself, fun, and normal. Change you’re brain, it’s not about “getting” someone, it’s just about have a great night out.

The Routine March 17, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Health and Fitness, How To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Tips and Tricks.
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“Keep walking…just keep walking.”

Probably not a saying, phrase, sentence, or slogan you’d associate with the morning. Something like “Open your eyes”, or “Rise and shine” Might seem more appropriate, but if you’re like me, simple pleasantries are not the thing that’s going to work for you in the morning. When it comes to desk organization, scheduling, and lists, I am a master at all, but there are two things I’ve never been able to get down pat – my morning and evening routines.

The older I get, the less I can wake up fifteen minutes before I’m out the door, do my makeup on the train or at work, and have a Starbucks muffin for breakfast. I feel like when I was twenty-two it was so easy and it didn’t affect me too much, but now; Now? If I’m even the slightest bit off in the morning, I feel it, I’m sluggish, my body won’t wake up, and then I can’t fall back into my seven am wake-up call routine the rest of the week. It’s a killer. I’ve tried everything…and I mean EVERYTHING short of this: 95768_v1

So, instead, I’ve invented the “keep walking method”. I place my alarm about five feet from my bed (yes, I know what you’re thinking, it doesn’t work, you just get back in bed. Keep reading.), and then when I get up to turn it off, I start saying to myself “just keep walking, just keep walking…” and slowly, I’ve made it to the bathroom. Once I wash my face and brush my teeth, the thought of getting back in bed is gone from my mind. BAM! Not to say I’m not tired, not to say I don’t want to curl back up into the warmness of the covers, but let’s be honest, the hardest part about waking up is waking up. Once you’re up, once you’ve brushed your teeth and are on your way to get your cup of coffee, the entire processes starts to flow. If you can just get yourself out of bed, the rest will follow.

Much the same for my evening routine, I pick a time, and no matter what, I get my butt up off the couch and take my make-up off, put my PJ’s on, shutdown my laptop and put my phone on silent. If I don’t do this, it’s magically midnight and my droopy eyes have surrendered to the comforts of the coach. While the morning routine has never been easy for me, the evening routine is the one I never liked. I still have a little bit of that ten-year old me, the one who would keep delaying brushing her teeth in an effort to stay up longer. So, if I don’t force myself to start the routine, it’ll never happen. Plan and simple, some things are just about discipline.

The best way to get into a routine? Start by not having one. Take the weekend, or a few days and let yourself go: eat what you want, hang out on the couch, sleep in, relinquish yourself of all routine, but then, set a finite line of when this “vacation” from the norm will end. Believe me, one too many hours being a couch potato and you’ll be excited for your routine! Make a checklist, (Yes, I know it sounds juvenile but what we’re dealing with here are a bunch of babies who can’t get up in the morning), sometimes making yourself visibly accountable will force you to get things done, no one likes to see failure on paper. No matter what you do, don’t give up on yourself, if you fall off your schedule one night, don’t call the rest of the week a wash, just keep going, pick back up where you fell off.

Creating a routine is like a marathon; you may need to stop and walk, or take a rest, or need a drink of water, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get your stride back. The more you do it, the easier it will become, and eventually, it will be just that – a routine.

Intro To…Being Alone March 12, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Health and Fitness, How To, Intro To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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Intro To…

As an only child, I like to think I’ve mastered a strange art, the art of being alone. While, at first, the title may seem strange, it’s actually something quite hard that I’ve become very good at over the years, while also learning to loathe. Being alone isn’t easy, perhaps this is the reason most people don’t like it, even when you’re good at it, You’re good at if by default: to cope, to exist, to get by, not necessarily because it’s something you enjoy.

Step 1: The first few hours of being alone are awesome, the world is your oyster. Whether you have the place to yourself for a night, a solo road trip, or you’ve come to work on a Saturday and everyone else is gone. This is lust. Do not confuse it for love. Being alone comes with a glass of freedom on the rocks, it’s a release, after all, you can do anything, say anything, be anyone, even dance in your underpants. 3-4 hours in, you’ll feel very different. Enjoy your new found freedom, but don’t be naive about it.

Step 2: plan. As previously mentioned, you’ll feel so free and relaxed you’ll be overwhelmed with the possibilities. What to do first, where to go, what to wear or make or buy, this will result in a weird chaos in your mind and in your actions and then what will occur is liquid time. Liquid time is the term used for time that is simply melting, rather than moving. You’ve gone through all the fun things you wanted to do and now you’re bored, or trying to think of the next fun thing and only a couple hours have gone by. Oops. Planning will spread out the activities over time and in an organized way so that you aren’t left staring at the clock wondering what to do.

Step 3: take a deep breath. Being alone isn’t easy, but it’s healthy. For some people, being alone comes very easy, for others, it’s more of a challenge. Some people grew up around other people so they like company, or contrary, they want to be alone. Others are the opposite, know that the way you react to being alone does not equal or compare to how someone else may feel about it. Enjoy your time alone, or learn to enjoy it. In the end, it will be an experience you value. 20140307-233004.jpg

Step 4: don’t let yourself get away with anything and everything. Being alone you are only accountable to you and for you. When others are around you are responsible for keeping yourself together and being organized. When no one is around it’s easy to stop cleaning, start wearing pajamas, stop doing things you know you should be doing and making excuses that TV is important right now because “you need your rest”. Make a list of things you have to do, for yourself and others, and switch between fun, easy tasks, and tasks you continue to put off…and off…and off.

***Insert giant asterisks here. Being alone can be many things and with many variations. No matter what kind of all you are, all the above apply. Ever meet a person who jumps from relationship to relationship, never being single for more than a week or so? The mom who is with her kids 24/7 and needs a spa day? The athlete who has been pushing themselves and working themselves, all for the team, and isn’t accustomed to spending the day practicing by themselves, or traveling without the group? Or maybe, it’s just you, you at home with a pile of dishes in the sink; you on a trip in a place you’ve never been and you’re just trying to find your way to the hotel; you, dancing on the dance floor all alone! Being alone is many things.

Step 5: don’t panic. Panic and them stop panicking. If you’re not one who enjoys being on their lonesome for some time, this is going to be hard. Even when you think you’re okay, you’re probably not, even when you think you’ve got it under control, suddenly, you won’t. If you need to scream or cry or just punch something, do so, and then pick yourself back up and tell yourself you will do this. Don’t panic.

Whatever you do, use this time as your own. Let your mind wander and think for yourself. Whether you like this time or resent it, you may not know when you’ll have it again.

- SK

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SK: On Being a Grown-Up March 8, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, How To, Humor, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Traveling, Uncategorized.
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Here you are, 20-something, you’ve got your life together or just about and for the first time, in a long time, everything is going relatively smoothly. You’ve adjusted to the bumps in the road, and you’ve found the coping techniques to manage your work/life balance, so now you’re just waiting for the next big thing.

…and then you have a day like this.

The frying pan filled with eggs fell; the check engine light in your car won’t turn off; someone stole your debit card and drained you bank account; you just locked yourself out of your apartment, and your cell phone is inside. And you think, “What the $#@*! I THOUGHT I WAS PASSED ALL THIS!?” When it rains, it pours, and you also spill your coffee all over your new boss.

Your favorite – SK Story Time: I got my license at 18, while I wouldn’t say I am the most experienced driver, having lived without a car off and on, I also would say I’m a really good driver with good instincts and have driven my fair share of roads, interstates, and highways. So, when you know how to do something, and you’ve been doing it for years, nothing is going to make you feel like less on an independent women like all of it falling apart in one day. First, the headlights weren’t working right, when they said they were on, they seemed to be my high beams, when I switched them to high beams, another symbol on the dash I’ve never seen before came on. Then, there was no USB charger in the car, and my phone was on the verge of technology suicide, without my GoogleMaps, I’ll have no idea how to get home. Then, it seemed like every single car on the road was about to propel themselves into my trunk, despite the fact that I was going 70 on an interstate. Finally, time to get gas, and I tell you I looked everywhere and all over for the gas cap release, there was a line of cars behind me, probably looking at me like I was a total idiot. When I finally figured it out, the pump wasn’t working, the gas would not flow, and when did it decide to work? right as I began to pull it out to reset the whole thing, resulting in gas all over my feet and all over my car, and embarrassment, all over my face. So, if the day wasn’t over yet, I had to find parking, and with the help of total strangers who were being total idiots, I got gridlocked in an alley I’ve never driven down before because they came head on, and from behind. Needless to say, by the end of the day I was super upset, and then upset for being upset.Gasoline Shortage Baltimore & Maryland. 15 June 1979. Pat Sullivan, Frustrated

As an adult you feel like you can handle situations, and if you can’t, you feel like you should have the know-how to figure out how to handle them. So, when you can’t, or you don’t, it’s defeating and it’s embarrassing, mostly to you. You’ve already conquered so much and then something as simple as a day out with the car turns you into a fifteen year-old who doesn’t know the first thing about how the world functions. It’s frustrating. I think we can all infer that by the time I got home, I not only, needed a few minutes alone but I also had a good cry. Plus, my suede boots smelled like gasoline. So, that’s awesome.

What I learned from this experience? Two things, the first being that it’s still okay to have a bad day, it’s still okay to need help, and it’s still okay to learn new things. I’d never had the gas pump not work before, I later learned that it’s actually quite common, just not something I had ever experienced. It’s okay to not be equipped to take on Superman’s job by the time you’re twenty-four or twenty-eight. As long as you’re okay with not always being okay, then you’ll do just fine. The second thing I learned, when we’re at the tipping point, between having everything we wanted before thirty, but also not quite being out of the “twenties” clear yet, we like to resort to our former coping strategies. Getting home and needing a minute was the right thing to do. Ugh, cursing at the gas cap and banging my head against the headrest when the lights didn’t work probably isn’t as mature as I’d like to believe I am.

In short, not every day is going to be a good day. The choice is to deal with it as best as possible. If you feel like you’re a grown-up human being with your life together, then make the conscious choice to act like one. There is nothing wrong with regretting your mistakes, as long as you learn something from them.

Saying No! March 3, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Family, Finances, Friendships, Health and Fitness, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Uncategorized.
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When I was nineteen, someone taught me the law of Yes. Yes is the answer to everything when you’re young, for many reasons. In order to discover life, be successful, and have experiences to help develop the person you want to be, you have to take risks. Risks involve the word, “Yes”.

“Can you work on Saturday?” – YES!

“Do you want to start a bank account?” – YES!

“Should we take a spontaneous road trip to a city we’ve never been to before?” – YES!

“Are you available to take these boxes to the other office?” -YES!

Yes is the key to growing up. Yes teaches you that you aren’t better than anyone else, that no task is too small, or too below you. It teaches you that things you thought were below your pay grade may actually be harder than you assumed, and it gives you respect for them. It also makes you stronger, saying yes when you really want to say no. Yes helps you step outside your comfort zone, to experience new things and become a stronger, well-rounded, and open-minded human being. Yes forces you to battle things that are scary, and make them not so scary anymore. Yes grows your career, it makes you reliable, dependable, a hard worker, and someone who is willing to do a little extra to earn their way. The law of Yes is what will get you what you want.

….and then you have to learn to say no.

Dr-SeussYou spend the majority of your new adult life learning how to accept things, make choices, and open yourself up to opportunities and while all these are valuable in your early twenties, the purpose of them is to help you grow. If you never said yes to the guy at the bar, you wouldn’t be married to him now! If you never said yes to your boss, you would have never gotten a promotion which eventually landed you your dream job! And, if you never told your friend you’d totally stay out all night when she was going through her break-up, then you’d never have the amazing story to tell! However, when you’re past these things, you learn the rule of saying No.

You have a great job, you’re in a good relationship, you’re saving up for a home you’ll love, and you have wonderful friends; you need to create a work life balance. Staying late at work shows dedication and hard-work but staying late every other day sets precedent that you’re okay with this. No matter how amazing your boss is, you have to tell yourself that somedays you’re going to go home at 5, no matter what, and that’s how it is. When your friends invite you to an all-night bar hop, maybe you realize this is something you no longer enjoy; you want to see them, but you really aren’t in the frame of mind to dance to “Shots”, nor do seven of them. You also know what you deserve at this point, you can say no to a salary that’s lower than your previous; you can say no to your friends who have planned an off-the-cuff trip and need to borrow your couch; you can say no to little indulgences you once didn’t mind, like buying new shoes every month, or spending every night eating hot pockets in bed while watching Hulu. So, no isn’t always a bad thing. It can be taking a stand, knowing that you need to spend time with family, or go to the gym, but it’s also about knowing your worth both when other people don’t recognize it, and when you know you need to take better care of yourself.

Saying yes is hard, reversing the processing to saying no is even harder! You learned once, you can learn again!

The Fifteen Items a 20-something Should Own February 27, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Cooking, Fashion/Clothes, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Shopping.
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Inspired by this article, the DLIH 15 Items a 20-Something Should Own:

A Watch:
We live in a world where we use our cell phone for everything, from telling time to following recipes. While this handy (pun, totally, intended) device is definitely a lifesaver, it’s also sucking away at our minds and our reputations. Imagine your Born Pretty Watch 4absolute idol asking you for the time on the street, you could just look down at your watch, or you could shuffle through your bag or pocket to find your phone. By the time you’ve found it, your superstar is gone, or has already gotten the answer. More importantly, being at a job interview, in front of the boss, on an important date, or other defining life moments, having a watch says that you are responsible and care about, not only, your time but other’s. It also doesn’t look half bad.

A Sewing Kit:
The mom’s are long gone friends. Whether you’ve been stitching all your life or simply need to learn how to put a button back on, a small sewing kit with the essentials will help you exponentially. It’s time to be grown-ups. It also doesn’t hurt when someone you’ve got thing for needs some sewing assistance, and you’re their to offer.

A Coffee Machine:
In the amount of time and money you spend at Starbucks, you could have bought 80 coffee machines. Let’s start saving our money for things we need or deserve and stop leaving home fifteen minutes early to stand in line at our nearest Coffee Bean. A coffee machine also serves as something for others, when you have company or overnight guests. You don’t want to be caught with a caffeine addict sleepover and no java to offer them!

A Passport:
A passport opens doors; literally and figuratively. Even if you don’t have any trips planned outside of the country, being prepared never hurts. Owning your passport will not only make you feel like a citizen of the US (and the world!) but open the door to traveling at the flick of a wrist. It can also be a convenient employment document so you don’t risk losing your social security card.

Books:
Kindles are amazing…but they’re not books. There is something beautiful about starting your own library. Invest in your favorite books, or books you have great respect for. You don’t need to read them over and over, but collecting literature and having the option to read it offers a new level of intelligence, conversation, and curiosity. Also, get a library card, it will help you in your adventure to building your own collection.

A Photo Album:
The most fun you can have is reminiscing about old times. NO one is going to reminisce over an iPhone screen. Building a photo album is like building a little home for your past; you won’t look through your albums often, but when you do it can kill hours of time! Remembering where you took each photo, how you felt, and the fun you had, with the people there. Think of your parents, when they wanted to show you their memories, they didn’t pull out a computer, they pulled out an old book of photos.

Board Games:
board gamesNothing is more exciting than pulling out the best board games of your childhood and
playing them with friends during a rainstorm. With every generation, new trends are made, protect the trends you know and love by buying a few! Everyone has their five or six games that they remember fondly!

A Bar Set:
A bar set is a special gift a 20-something can give themselves. A bar set can be anything from a shaker, strainer and the whole shebang, to just a small corner of wine and liquor and some glasses. Invest in nice wine glasses (Pier 1 Import sells them for $1!) and a good cork screw; and if you’re feeling adventurous buy a cocktail book (Bed, Bath & Beyond sells books and sets)

Address Book/Phone Book:
Going back to our anti-technology theme, how many phone numbers do you know by heart? How many addresses? What would happen should you be on vacation and your phone suicides itself into the pool? Now what? Having important numbers and addresses written down not only makes them memorable and easy to find, but also prevents the embarrassing “Hi Guys, phone is dead. If you need me, get me on here” Facebook post. Not to mention, it gives you an excuse to buy a really beautiful, old school, phone book. Your phone should only have immediate contacts; for those people you need to know, but don’t necessarily need to know everyday, you’ve got your phonebook.

A Good Pen:
Growing up means doing grow-up things, it also means having grown-up gifts. When I was little, I didn’t understand why my dad had one really nice pen that he always used during really important moments. Now I get it, there is something about having one beautiful, expensive pen that you whip out during important meetings or check writing that makes you feel like you’ve made it in life…at least a little bit.

A Recipe Book:
Every single recipe comes from online, your head, or your mom. Every time you forget how to make Lasagna you have to re-find the bookmark on your computer, then post it up somewhere “safe” in the kitchen, or waste paper printing it out. I once heard a story about a mother who gave her new daughter-in-law a book of recipes. She said “So you can learn to make my son all his favorite dishes, so they can become your family dishes like they were our family dishes”. I not only thought this was a great idea, but how symbolic, a passing of the torch. Recipes on the internet will come and go, but a recipe book is something you can have and hold forever.

Stationery:
Whether it is something you buy, or something you get custom printed, stationery is old school. It tells people you’re serious, you’re personable, and you go the extra il_fullxfull.184108110mile. It also provides a greeting card anytime you need one without the added expense, and gets you away from the computer and informal, speedy e-mails. It’s romantic but still practical and fun.

Business Card Holder:
The coolest thing in the world, when you’re in your twenties is getting your first real business cards! But then…where to store them? Taking them out of your wallet or pocket looks awful and unprofessional. Even if you don’t have business cards yet, having something in your sight can motivate and inspire you to get that job you want, or get through school.

Most People DON’T Meet Online February 23, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Dating, GoodGuys File, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Online Dating, Real World, Relationships, Women.
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The GoodGuys File

There is a stigma about meeting someone online…and that’s okay.

I didn’t know how to get my follower’s attention without this title or without that first line. Ten years ago, something happened in our world, online dating. At first, it was a place for creepers to meet other creeps, then it was a place for people to meet people, which turned into an area of life that everyone was into because it was fun, exciting and alleviated boredom. Now, it’s a function of wanting to meet the right person, or just a person for now. There are a lot of people who have met online and are happy, but there are a lot of people who think it’s still abnormal, unnatural, or not romantic. And that’s okay.

While at first, there was a stigma about meeting online, today, it seems like there is a stigma for people who aren’t cool with meeting people online.  It feels like every tenth commercial on TV is for some dating site, with couples telling you how happy they are, and it’s being stuffed in our face like whipped cream at a pie throwing contest. When people tell you they’ve met online, you’re expected to smile and nod like it’s totally normal, and there are these insane statistics being read about how online is the #1 place to meet your soulmate. Who knows what, if any, of that is true or false, I sure don’t! Who is to say what’s normal and what’s not? Not me! The point is, we shouldn’t have to believe things one way or the other. I know people who have met online, and they are very happy, likewise I know people who met in all sorts of “more common” situations and are equally as happy. However, I know lots of relationships that came from online or in life that ended horrendously. Still, for those of us who might be more traditional, saying “Oh, we met at work and ended up breaking off our engagement” comes with more shock then “We met on a dating site and decided to not get married”. There are a  lot of people out there who are not on board with online dating, and this is a message to them – as long as you accept that other people are cool with it, and you don’t discount their relationships, then, it’s okay not to be on board, it’s not for you.

lady-and-the-tramp.jpg?w=300&h=225Online dating works for two types of people: People who are very open-minded; people who believe in it. DLIH story time: I met a great guy online once. He was as real as sliced bread! (which, if you love carbs the way I do, sliced bread is pretty real!). We had a lot of fun together and a lot in common and our first date lasted about an extra 4 hours longer than planned. We talked everyday, all day. And then we broke up. Neither of us believed in online dating. If you asked us why we were on the site, we’d both tell you we didn’t know. Maybe it was curiosity? Maybe it was a symptom of being lonely? Maybe it was a function of having one bad day and signing up? He told me he liked me, but he couldn’t live knowing that, if we worked out, we met online. He wanted that “I looked across the bar and I saw her” moment, and I wanted that to. We were raised old fashion and our parents both met in romantic and unexpected ways. Online dating wasn’t for us. We missed each other, but it just was what it was. Our relationship didn’t go anywhere because we didn’t want it to. Maybe this sounds silly to some people, after all, if it was working out we should have seen it through, but that’s the purpose of this GGFile. For people who are totally, 100% cool with online dating, this is how the mind of someone who isn’t works. It was THAT important to us to have not met our soulmate online, so important, we ended it.

If online dating works for you, it’s going to be the best thing! You might even meet your wifey or the man of your dreams! However, it’s totally okay if it’s not! There is nothing to be embarrassed of either way! It feels like, at first, online dating was something to hide, now, meeting someone organically and traditionally is shadowed by algorithms and statistics, which is equally as dumb. You don’t find love because someone told you there is a 28% higher chance if you do it “this way”. Next, finding love will mean throwing yourself into an alligator pit and people will pay $64.50 a year for this privilege.

How you meet someone is arbitrary, the point is that you met them, and they make you happy, and it’s a story you can’t wait to tell everyone…it’s a story you want to shout from the rooftops. 

America is Beautiful, and So Are We February 17, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Causes, Family, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships.
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For as long as I can remember, I have been American. I’ve lived here, grown up here, gone to school here. What makes America great is that it has so many people, from so many countries, and I am proud to be one of them. Little known SK fact, I wasn’t born here, and no, it wasn’t because my pregnant mother decided to go to Bora Bora when 9 months preggers. My entire family had to earn their citizenship, so other cultures, other languages, other types of people never fazed me. For as long as I can remember I’ve been American, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by people who are not.

This is a double-edged sword; Why? It’s such a uniqueness to be different, even if you are born here, your parents bring you up with traditions that are different, special, and something you embrace as a child into your adult life. It’s a warm nostalgia you can only share with people of your culture. It also makes you very open, and not as ignorant. You are used to having to adjust, do things different ways, speak different languages, so when you meet other’s who are different or need to make a change to assimilate, it’s not something that bothers you. However, being a little different also makes you just that, different. As if finding yourself in your twenties isn’t hard enough, some of us have this entire other side of our lives to take into account. Do we want to decorate our homes with some traditional objects? How will we raise our kids? Do we want adult friends who share our culture? How can we stay connected to who we are once we’re out from under our parents roof? Not to mention, the moment you meet someone who isn’t open to other cultures you take it personally, even though, as far as the eye can see, you’re as Yankee as they come.

Young adults who are multi-cultural also have problems they never thought they’d face – people want documentation of your birthplace, an explanation as to how you become a US citizen, your parents proof of residency if they travel home, and so on. All these things that many of our peers can’t relate to….how many people do you know who have their birth certification translated and notarized, and irreplaceable? It can be a very frustrating thing, as a kid, no one told you these are the things you’d have to battle. Sure, they told you life wouldn’t be easy; Sure, they warned you of all the things we all face; but no, they didn’t tell you someone would deny you health insurance because you don’t know your former green card number, from when you were a 2-year old. It’s a real slap in the face, feeling like you’re so American (or any culture, for that matter!) and being told that you’re kind-of, sorta, not really. “Well, this is the only national anthem I know, so, don’t tell me I don’t belong here!”

When life isn’t throwing you for a loop, sometimes other people are. For those of us who are multi-cultural, we all know the feeling of walking into a conversation of the most closed minded person in the world. They don’t know by the way you talk, dress, look, or behave that you might not be 100% born and bred American, so they don’t know they’re insulting you, but they do. What do you do? Do you take a stance? Do you keep your mouth shut? Do you silently wonder what method of torture they’d use on this person in the motherland? When I saw the Coca-Cola Superbowl commercial, I almost cried; it’s so meaningful to me that American is a land of many cultures, that embraces all types of people. The criticism of this commercial stung deep, it made me feel like my peers didn’t respect me, my parents, my family. People will tell you “oh, I don’t mean you!” but what they don’t understand is that is who you are, whether they like it or not.

From Youtube, Coca-Cola:

So…now that I’ve made is sound incredibly frustrating to not have great-great-great-great- grandparents who were born here, let me set your worries aside, it’s not. It’s great! It’s such a gift, and something that will always make me (or us!) a little bit special, a little bit different, a little bit more adventurous. It can be hard, but it gives us strength and perseverance. It can be frustrating, but this makes us wiser. It can make us enraged sometimes, but it also teaches us patience and reaffirms why we are who we are. It’s pretty much the best thing ever. While it may not always be easy to figure out how our culture fits in with our American lifestyle, or how we fit in with one group or another, but at least we always know who we are, and where we came from. When we see the commercials for Ancestry.com, we can smile, because we know who are ancestors are, and we know their story, and we can live it out in this new, modern world. So, if you’re like me, appreciate it and if you’re just a friend who is as American as they come, know that we don’t judge you, we just want you to get where we’re coming from, and be cool with it. If you’re nice, maybe we’ll say something in another language ;)

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