How To Navigate Dating With A Busy Schedule

As a recent college graduate who is busting their butt full-time for nearly no money, finding balance sometimes seems impossible. Between work, friends, exercise, errands, and social events, who has time for meeting new people? Narrow down ‘new people’ to the dating pool and your prospects are looking pretty slim. This is especially true for people that work odd hours or travel frequently. Try telling the person you’re attempting to set up a date with that you’re only free on Friday at 10:00 a.m. for one hour and see where that gets you.

Committing to dating can seem like a waste of time when you’re as single as it gets and have limited free time, but putting in a little effort can go a long way. Set a goal of carving out time each week to allow for going out, being social, trying new things and finally going on a date. We all need to work to live, but all work and no play isn’t healthy.

If heading to a bar after a long day at work feels like an intimidating place to start, stop by your local coffee shop to do work once a week or join a local intramural team, rather than heading straight home. Getting yourself out there, whether you jump straight into dating or socialize with other locals, is the most effective way to jumpstart your dating life. (Unless you have a friend that is going to introduce you to Ryan Gosling, then you’re golden.)

Once you’ve finally found the time to date, next is the challenge of navigating the dating pool. Today’s technology allows users to have constant contact with anyone at the tip of their fingers. With the presence of texting, social media, calling, and internet stalking, getting around to an in person date can be a tricky task.

Television and movies constantly poke fun at the concept of unspoken rules of dating and technology. Rules like waiting a certain number of days to text someone back, only calling for specific reasons, and not responding too quickly as not to seem too eager. This is most particularly a millennial concern because we’re all addicted to our various devices.

As a millennial in the dating pool, I say screw the rules. If someone contacts you and you want to respond, wait however long you please or don’t. Who cares? The fear is that whoever is on the opposite end of the conversation cares, that they are judging your timing or texting etiquette. They must care that you took five minutes to respond instead of 45 right? In reality, they probably never noticed, so relax and know that after high school that stuff doesn’t really matter.

If you are lucky enough to find a common time in your busy schedule and the other person’s, set up a date! Make it happen before the opportunity slips away. Don’t let the unspoken technology rules of dating or even online dating prevent you from getting to spend time with someone face to face. That is the end goal after all!

Technology is tremendous; it has the ability to host interactions over great distances. It also has the ability to complicate interactions. This goes for work related tech too! Don’t allow your work email to prevent you from being fully present in person. You worked this hard to make the free time, socialize and meet the right person, so don’t waste your efforts. Dating is hard enough; don’t make it more difficult that it needs to be.

Despite your hectic work schedule and busy social life, aim to make time for dating and meeting new people. If you don’t make it a priority, finding the time and the right person becomes a daunting endeavor. Worst comes to worst and you’ll make some interesting new friends in the process! Put yourself out there and see what happens.


How To Make Your 2017 Bucket List

As I sat on my family’s comfy couch in my fleece Christmas pajamas contemplating my life choices, more particularly my hangover from the previous night’s festivities, I got to thinking about bucket lists and resolutions. The end of the year causes us to review our lives over the past 365 days as well as reevaluate and recalibrate for the upcoming year.

New Year’s Eve is a day that inspires the masses to most commonly set unreachable goals that are overly optimistic, resulting in a day or month long high, until said resolution comes crashing back into reality. Looking at 2016, it could be said that it sucked. Everyone from John Oliver to Reddit agreed. If the internet deems it so then it must be true, right? If you got through 2016 unscathed, consider yourself amongst the few lucky ones.

What I am wondering now is how do we avoid a massive mess like 2016 in 2017? Do we set more realistic goals? Should we consider it a fluke and keep moving forward? Or do we need to take a hard look at our life choices?

The best place to start is by considering what you want and what you need, because nobody ever checked everything off their bucket list without setting some priorities. If you want to travel the world but need to get that promotion to be able to move forward in your career, you must consider what your priorities are. This is not only reserved for what matters to you or doesn’t, but what matters most and what you need now rather than later. Also contemplate if you can hit two birds with one stone (metaphorically of course). If you want to travel the world and your career path provides traveling positions, then you have a greater chance at being able to have the best of both worlds. *Cue Hannah Montana theme song.*

If you’re reviewing your 2016 bucket list and feeling disappointed that you weren’t able to scratch off everything on it, evaluate what the common themes are of the resolutions you weren’t able to achieve this year. Are you setting the bar too high for the period of time allotted? Are your goals mostly long term? Are they possible or reasonable? Were there factors that were out of your control that prevented you from completing those goals?

Making resolutions and creating bucket lists are great methods to assist you in achieving your dreams, but setting too many goals that are out of your reach can lead to disappointment and failure. Unlike 2016, we don’t need anymore failure, so let’s fill 2017 with goals that are achievable, possible and bring us closer to our life long dreams. This means creating stepping stones to achieving long term goals in addition to setting smaller goals to fill in the gaps.

Try mixing in goals which don’t require you to rely heavily on others in addition to ones that do. Setting goals that require others to participate just like you would have a higher possibility of complication than ones you can achieve without the assistance of others. By setting both types of goals, you can receive the satisfaction of doing something on your own while continuing to pursue goals with your friends, coworkers, family, etc.

This applies to setting resolutions of varying sizes, too. Rather than making a bucket list full of ten lofty and incredibly challenging goals, sprinkle in some smaller goals that will help to boost your confidence, keep you going and motivate you to achieve some of your larger milestones. This could be anything from finally buying that new coffee maker to working out three days a week. Setting a goal of becoming the CEO of your company is wonderful, but if you’re 25 and working an entry level position at your workplace, setting that as a goal for 2017 alone is not entirely reasonable. What do I know though? Maybe you’re the unicorn of your job field and will rise to über success in only a year. Only time will tell.

Whatever the items on your bucket list, don’t forget to have fun! We tend to be so goal oriented and achievement driven that sometimes we forget to set some personal goals. If fifteen of your bucket list items are work related, toss in five that are fun ones, like learning how to surf, going skydiving or traveling to a new city. Successful people create a manageable balance between work life and personal time, so after you get that big promotion for all of your hard work, scratch off another bucket list item, but this time make it a fun goal!

Go forth and create inspiring bucket lists that would put Oprah’s lists to shame! This year is almost over, so let’s dive right into 2017 and put 2016 in the past, right where it belongs.

10 Ways To Travel Like A Boss This Winter

Whether you’re going home for the holidays or to a beach far away from the cold, I would recommend the later, traveling can be stressful during “the most wonderful time of year.” No matter if you’re trying to escape the chill or visit family, when everybody else is also traveling, getting stuck in the traffic jam isn’t fun.

If only we could make Christmas in July be our current weather reality. The Aussie’s have it good- no winter flurries and weather storm delays, plus Christmas in the summer time, but alas we are here, where it’s as cold as your ex’s heart.

Here are 10 tips for traveling like a boss without losing your cool, because we only have so much patience when the Starbucks line is 40 minutes long, there are screaming children everywhere and the only food option around is McDonalds.

1. Bring headphones

We are all as calm as Buddha until we hear that first baby begin to scream and suddenly it seems like there are ten other crying kids. Make like Bubble Boy and retreat into your favorite playlist or podcast. Download your playlists and movies ahead of time in case the seemingly four million people around you on the wifi make it impossible to access your content online. Nothing is more infuriating than having planned ahead and having something as minimal as wifi access ruin your musical oasis.

2. Leave early

We all like to think that we’ll get there in the nick of time, but that is rarely the case during the holidays. Anticipate delays and traffic so you’re not left sitting on I10 ready to pull your hair out because you’re going to miss your flight or exit. Plan for the worst and at the best you’ll have a little extra time when you get there to wait in the coffee line that is presumably going to be wrapped around the corner.

3. Stash healthy snacks in your carry on

Airport food and road trip restaurants alike tend to provide an array of sodium filled, overpriced options that leave diners dissatisfied or feeling less than great. The best way to combat becoming hangry (here’s urban dictionary if you have no idea what that means) is to bring your own snacks for when desperation meets hanger. Don’t be that person, Snicker’s commercial style, that becomes a jerk when they’re hungry. Holiday travel is stressful for all and nobody needs to deal with your hungry, non-caffeinated mood swings.

4. Buy a portable charger

For when you get stuck in a six hour layover due to an unexpected snow storm, have all of your chargers at the ready. Bonus points if you have a portable charger, because everyone in your terminal will also be scrambling to get to the chargers and open outlets. This is especially the case for road trips! If you run out of things to talk about eight hours into your 14 hour drive, having your phone charged up will allow you ample time to troll social media or avoid topics with your fellow riders that you’d rather avoid.

5. Take advantage of online shortcuts

Most airlines have online sites or apps to download your boarding pass prior to arriving at the airport, so take advantage! There is no reason to wait in line just to have someone do something you could have done yourself in half the time. There are also expedited options for getting fast tracked including TSA Precheck and Global Entry for fliers, or road apps like Waze which avoid traffic for drivers.

6. Layer to stay warm

Even if you’re that person that thinks 50 degrees is warm, traveling is the perfect storm for being stressed, exhausted, hungry and cold all day long. Layering is the best way to ensure that no matter the chilly temperature of your terminal or car, that you will be comfortable. Rather than bringing your thickest coat that can be bulky and heavy to carry around, go for slightly thinner layers like sweaters and scarves that you can easily take off and put in your bag after you sprint to your gate to make it to your flight on time.

7. Start packing in advance

Starting the packing process days before your trip will help ensure that you aren’t already in transit when you remember that your winter coat is still sitting in your closet at home, right next to your sister’s Christmas present. Avoid the packing panic by making a list and tossing a few items in your suitcase each day. This will also help to prevent getting to the night before and realizing you still haven’t washed the jeans you need for your trip, so now you have to stay up an extra two hours to do so.

8. Pack smarter 

Whether we admit it or not, we all have a small tendency of overpacking. Do you really need to bring that sweater in both red and black? Consider items that serve multiple functions or clothing that can be paired to make several different outfits. This way you can save enough space for all of the Christmas presents you’re inevitably going to be stuffing in your suitcase along with your winter outerwear. Shipping gifts or ordering their delivery to your destination rather than your home is also a efficient suitcase space saver. Plus it’s a great way to prevent opening your suitcase to damaged gifts upon arrival.

9. Stay in the know

Use your smart phone, because everyone today owns one, to get alerts about traffic, delays, cancelled flights and more. Apps and websites such as Google maps, airline apps like Southwest, and Weather Channel alerts will help keep you informed, calm and collected. Knowing what is happening as it is occurring immediately negates extra unnecessary stress. Sometimes things go awry that we cannot prevent, but dealing with information that your flight was delayed for two hours due to a snow storm can prevent you from rushing to the airport just to sit there and wait.

10. Breathe

Keep your destination in mind when you’re traveling during “the most wonderful time of year.” Traveling during the holidays has a way of making us forget that this time of year is supposed to be wonderful; it can be stressful, especially when factors out of your control come into play. Focus on where you’re going and the people you’re soon going to be spending time with. After all, your travel day will soon be over and before long you’ll be celebrating at your destination.

Happy holidays and safe travels!

10 Budget Friendly Things To Do During the Holidays

For the peppermint mocha obsessed, snow day wishing, fuzzy sock wearing, “Elf” movie watching, sweater weather loving, holiday fanatics, this article is for you. This article is also for the budget conscious but holiday loving lot of you too!

The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but when you’re on a tight budget they can feel like the most stressful time of year. If you’re broke AF, trying to save up or simply hate spending your hard earned “dolla dolla bills,” this one goes out to you.raw.gif

10 Things To Do During The Holidays On A Budget:

1. Throw an ugly sweater party!

There never seems to be enough time to get together with all of your friends individually over the holidays, so why not see them all in one place? Host a potluck style party with yummy treats, festive drinks, and snacks galore. Not only can you get some much needed quality bonding time with your buddies at home, you’ll also be doing your budget a big favor by having everyone pitch in.

2. Netflix and freeze… I mean chill. 

With the plethora of wonderful holiday classics it’s nearly impossible to open Netflix, HBO or turn on the television without “Elf” or “The 25 Days of Christmas” popping across the screen. Get some hot cocoa, stir in a few marshmallows with a candy cane and snuggle up with your pets on the couch. (Because who needs people when you have pets?)


3. Bake a Pinterest recipe. 

Pinterest has holiday recipes for days, ranging from simple and easy, to “Cake Boss” levels of challenging. This means you’ve got options to satisfy everyone from the self proclaimed pastry chef in your life, to your slightly inept sister who can barely make toast. Find a sweet treat that’s best for your family and if it doesn’t turn out quite like Pinterest promised, you’ll have a good story to tell. You’ll also have some awesome bonding time with the family. Plus you’ll need some cookies for your Netflix holiday movie marathon.

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4. Check out the local Christmas lights.

Most cities have a zoo or park event that features a decked out light display with motion effects and holiday tunes galore. If the city you’re going home to this holiday season is less robust in their festivities, drive around and check out the decorations in your neighborhood. If you do a DIY trip of driving around the neighborhood, the plus side is that you can always bring the goodies you made earlier on & blast your own personal favorite holiday jams.


5. Organize a secret santa.

Depending on where you are from this is also known as “white elephant.” Here’s how it works… you set a reasonable price limit according to your group of friends or family, draw names out of a hat and get matched with someone in the group. You then have until Christmas time to shop for that person and anonymously give them their gift. This exchange ensures that everyone gets a gift without breaking the bank. You can also get together and reveal the gifts if that’s more your style.


6. Get outside and play!

Rather than throwing down money to go skiing at a big resort, get your friends together and make your own outdoorsy game day. Since it doesn’t snow everywhere (as us southerners and west coasters know all too well) you might have to adjust your idea of a sled day for the climate you’re in. If you are lacking snow for a snow day, host a flag football or kickball tournament in a nearby park. Invite all of your friends, get your blood flowing and work off all of those cookies you’ve been wolfing down all winter long.


7. Make a DIY gift. 

I am now realizing I might have an addiction to Pinterest… there are worse things.

The internet is there for you this holiday season, abound with ideas for do-it-yourself gifts for everyone in your life. Crafting something by hand is not only a great way to save money, it is a lovely way to show your loved ones how special they are to you. Taking the time and effort to make something will help get those creative juices flowing, is a great way to keep your younger cousins or kids distracted, and is a sure fire way to prevent being called the Grinch this Christmas.


8. Volunteer and give back to the community.

During the holiday season it can be easy to get swept up in the grandeur and festivities, but not everyone is so lucky. Taking a few hours out of your day to donate some extra cash, your time or your services to those in need is one of the best ways to spend a few extra hours; because Netflix will be waiting for you when you get home. Your time and donations mean the world to people who may not get to see their families or can’t afford basic things like winter coats.


9. Host a dinner party. 

Going out to dinner can get pricey especially during the holidays. Throw pricey boozy beverages on top of that bill and you’re looking a pretty barren wallet for the rest of your trip. Instead of hitting the town every night, encourage your friends to come over and cook dinner together. You can sit around the table, listen to your favorite holiday Spotify playlist, swap stories and catch up, all while sticking to your budget.


10. Decorate!

Whether you have tons of decorations, a tree at home, or you are college student levels of broke, there are tons of ways to decorate this holiday season. Decking the tree with homemade ornaments, making gingerbread houses and icing cookies are all budget saving, festive ways to deck the halls this December.


Enjoying yourself during the holidays doesn’t require that you break the bank. So take a cue from the budget savvy without turning into the Grinch. Happy holidays to all and to all, a good night!


Fa La La La La, La La La La! 


Building Blocks

Remind yourself that you’re not sucking at life as much as you think.

Everyone knows that starting out in any career is hard. Life in general is tough. Some careers are more difficult in the beginning than others, especially in your 20s.

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No matter what career or lifestyle you’re pursuing, creating the foundation upon which the rest of your adult years will rest on can be overwhelming, confusing, maddening and lonely.

Rest assured that this feeling is not permanent.

I’m telling you this mostly because I needed to hear it. Reminding myself on a regular basis that what I am experiencing currently doesn’t have to be permanent is what is getting me through. Feeling unsure, indecisive, afraid of a misstep or making changes are all part of the challenge you’ve taken on.


Starting off in the film industry is just as hard as a million other fields of work, so I won’t pretend like I am different or special, just simply overwhelmed by life. Similarly to most of my piers, I am freaking out on a regular basis, stressed, broke, a little lost, and telling myself that the beginning is always the hardest part.


Here are some tips that are holding my sanity in tact. They just might work for you too.

  1. You don’t have all of the answers. 

This one was difficult for me. I like to think I have handle on my life most times, when in reality nobody in their 20s really does. We’re all faking it a little bit. In the beginning it’s easy once we get past the first few hills to think that we’ve figured some stuff out. Though we aren’t as new and naive as we were initially, we still don’t know it all.


     2.  It’s okay to ask for help.

Sometimes we feel now that we are professionals and adults that we should know exactly what we’re doing and be able to do it on our own. This isn’t the case 100 percent of the time. Though we ought to try to be self sufficient that doesn’t exclude the guidance and assistance from people who have been where we have before. A huge piece of advice I receive on a regular basis from my mentors is to seek out advice earlier on.

Asking for help or advice is a good way to try to avoid mistakes that can be prevented.

Finding a friend to confide in or a mentor who can help guide you when you don’t know it all is a great way to avoid becoming an island. When you isolate yourself by thinking you can do it all alone, you’re ignoring some incredible advice from outside sources that can help you make more informed decisions.

     3. Find positive and inspiring role models.

The same way that finding mentors to help guide you can help to more efficiently navigate your career and life path, finding people who you look up to is a great way to stay on track. Keeping goals in mind can seem exponentially easier when you remember that someone else has already achieved the same, or a similar thing that you want. It’s totally possible for you to do so too!

Following the lead of successful entrepreneurs is a wonderful way to find inspiration for your own success. 


    4. Set goals. 

Getting off track is easier than ever in this technology age. We spend time doing everything other than what we are supposed to be doing, like trolling our ex on Instagram or Snapchatting until four in the morning. Then we realize once we are too far down the rabbit hole that we are completely off track.

Setting goals and timelines for when you would like to achieve those goals is a solid start to staying on track. If you suck at remembering things or planning ahead, put calendar reminders in your phone or weekly reminders to get things done.

That’s exactly how I keep writing this blog, by my lord and savior- iCalendar. Praise be. 


    5. Chill out and enjoy the ride.

I can’t tell you how many people tell me to chill out on a regular basis. Some of us have the curse of always planning ahead and we forget to look around in the moment. Starting out is crappy at times and yes, it is easy to want to keep your head down and get through the hard times. I employ this method more often than not.

A mentor of mine recently pointed out that you can’t forget to have fun every once in a while or else you’ll get burnt out. Being burnt out doesn’t lead to achieving goals, productivity or success. It leads to a lack of sleep, stress and again, making yourself into an island. raw-1.gif

Having a work-life balance is absolutely essential to success.

No matter how difficult I personally think it is to follow the aforementioned advice, I will continue to strive to chill the frick out and remember that this period in my life won’t last forever. Whatever you’re going through now is temporary and if you want to see it change, keep working at it and in time it will.

Remember that you are building the foundation for your future and it will be worth it.

Your hard work will pay off eventually. There is no guarantee that things will go exactly as you’ve planned, since life has a way of messing with even the best laid plans, but hard work always pays off in the long run.


Move Along

With the holidays flying in it’s hard not to get nostalgic. We warmly recall things like wreaths, cookies, lit trees, thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin spice, scented candles and festive parties galore. That’s right I called out the pumpkin spice lovers; we can admit to being basic bitches.

I’m more of a peppermint mocha fan myself, but that is besides the point. *Hint hint.*

Then there are the more sentimentally intimate things like family bonding, spending time with your friends, memories made with your significant other, cuddling with a pet and holiday parties.


Nostalgia can be helpful when it aids us in recalling cherished memories and the good times. It recreates events that brought us joy. It also helps us to deal with pain, loss and lonliness. Recalling positive memories and events can also trigger painful emotions and negative reactions.  For example, thinking of a relationship that you were in last holiday season, but not this one. Thinking of the relationship and your memories together brings you happiness, but thinking about how it is not a part of your life anymore can make you somber, even if it was for the best.

With everything that goes on during the holiday season, schedules can get so busy that keeping emotions in check can be difficult, especially if things don’t go our way. Sometimes we can be left feeling overly nostalgic and dwell in the past.

The holidays can be a stressful time of year.

This I’m sure isn’t news to anyone. It’s hard not to think about all of the things you meant to accomplish in your year that never happened or to feel like this holiday season won’t stack up to years past. We tend to feel nostalgia creep in especially when we are feeling failure, lack of value or purpose, are in need of comfort, or we are lonely, according to Psychology Today.


Not everything about being nostalgic is bad news bears though. Reminiscing can help motivate you and act as a potential mood booster according to Loyola psychologist Fred Bryant.

But there’s a time when nostalgia keeps you from moving on. 


There is a fine line between recalling positive memories and refusing to move on from them. When we become stuck in a state of nostalgia we can block new experiences from occurring, therefore preventing new memories from forming.


At what point must we force ourselves to continue to make new experiences for ourselves and not dwell in the past?

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California at Riverside, says it’s all about focus. Where you place your focus can entirely determine how positively or negatively recalling memories goes. When you think of an excellent promotion you got years ago, rather than feeling inadequate for not having achieved something even better in the present, let it motivate you to achieve your current goals.

Studies show that people who are able to be positively nostalgic on a regular basis are less prone to depression and are more likely to be happier than people who do not have this skill.

So remember to stay aware and present this holiday season, because for all you know your best memories have yet to come! 


Activism: Creating Positive Change

Before we get started, let me say that this article is a neutral article about making the world a better place for all people, supporting inclusion and equality. No matter your beliefs, feel free to proceed…

This election has been a particularly difficult one, polarizing and even isolating. With present day media, Americans have the freedom to only surround themselves with the media sources that support their current beliefs, cutting themselves off from the rest of the country that has a different view point than their own.

Unfortunately this works on both sides of the equation. 

No matter what you believe, exclusively surrounding yourself with things you want to hear as opposed to reality is a dangerous path to take. This is what led many people to vote for Trump in the first place and led so many liberals to be shocked by the outcome of the election this past Tuesday.


Yes that is a Dumb and Dumber gif. It seemed to fit the current mood. Telling your social media friends or real life social interactions to get away from you with their beliefs is just one step closer to entering an isolationist bubble. I’m not suggesting you necessarily stay BBFLs with them, but blocking them out isn’t always the right move either.


We do not live in a perfectly inclusive, progressive society like many of us thought.

America is imperfect and we have seen this demonstrated with the backlash post-election this week, from both parties. Separating yourself from ideas that are different, and people that are polar opposite from you will make your life easier, that is the truth. It won’t help you to understand reality though and it most definitely will not help to create progressive change. 

Nobody said creating positive change was easy.


If you believe that cutting people out of your life will help to create change, take a step back and consider actual moves to affect positive change. Rather than telling someone that they are simply wrong, have a discussion and try to understand why they believe what they do and who knows, you just might see some people change a view point or two.

This is not a steadfast rule, for some people will not be changing their minds anytime soon.

I will not pretend like the ‘talking things out patiently method’ works on everyone, but it is a good start for some. Rather than preach about inclusion and understanding, for those of you that are past the point of opening discussions or temperance, I understand completely. It is not an easy path or the right path for everyone, no matter what your beliefs are.

Instead of punching a wall, crying or ranting to your two hundred Facebook friends, try taking out your feelings in ways that expend your energy and create positive change. Here are a few ways you can put that energy to good use:  


Support LGTBQ groups.

Back organizations on social media or online, such as The Happy Hippie Foundation which Miley Cyrus founded in order to fight injustice for homeless LGBTQ youth. If you’re looking for a national organization to align with the Human Rights Campaign is “the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization,” and packs some serious punch. To get more focused in one aspect of this broad spectrum, there is the Global Action for Trans Equality which defends the rights of transgender people. If you’re searching for a more media driven way to get involved, GLAAD works to help shape the media narrative in favor of inclusiveness for the LGBTQ community.

Help to not only envision a world where LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community, but fight to make it happen.

Even if you’re not personally part of the LGBTQ community don’t be afraid to get involved, allies are always welcome too!

Engage with civil rights and anti-racism groups.

Start with larger national organizations such as the ACLU which works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, working across the board for many of the groups mentioned in this article. The NAACP ensures the equality of rights of all persons and works to eliminate race-based discrimination. If the current refugee crisis hits home for you, look into Aid Refugees which assists refugees in assimilating to life in the states. Funders for Racial Justice lists out organizations you can join to fight for racial justice and police accountability, if any of the aforementioned don’t seem quite right for you.

Join environmental and conservationist groups.

Become a part of organizations like the Sierra Club, which is the oldest conservation group in existence, or World Wildlife Fund which promotes balancing human needs being in harmony with nature and its’ creatures. You can also check out Green Peace which fights for global environmental issues peacefully. If the environment cooperating with our countries’ energy needs is more your focus, check out Co-op America/Green America that looks to harness economic power to create an environmentally sustainable society.

Get involved in women’s equality and health.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) has received so much positive attention post election that they had to set up an additional portal for supporting their grassroots organization. NOW defends the equality of women, seeks to limit violence to women and ensures that we have access to reproductive healthcare. If you feel passionate about working with the younger generation, Girls Inc. focuses specifically on female youth inspiring them to grow up to be educated, independent, strong and healthy. If involvement in policy is more your speed, Women Impacting Public Policy, Inc (WIPP) is a national nonpartisan public policy organization that advocates for and on behalf of women business owners in the legislative processes of our nation. And lastly, if working on a national/global scale seems exciting to you, try out the Global Fund for Women which defends women’s right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage.

Hopefully this is just a starting place and will inspire you to get involved in the community in numerous ways. You can create positive change any way you see fit. Bettering America is not one organizations’ duty to fulfill.

If you are feeling inspired by a group or cause that isn’t on this list, post it in the comments below and spread the word!

These groups fight for equality, justice and basic human rights of people, no matter their race, orientation, origin or gender. So get involved, support, donate if you can afford to do so or help spread the word, because nobody is telling you to stop or start bitching, but we must take action. Let your voices be heard, because every voice counts and you can make a difference.

Nasty Women of the World Unite. Peacefully fight for positive change. 

Changing Your Life Path

We all have that one friend that talks about how much they hate their job. They clearly are miserable and talk about doing something else on a regular basis. Maybe they hate the city they live in and have talked about moving for the last five years, but still haven’t done it. Maybe you are that friend.


So what do you do when you’re seemingly stuck on a life path you no longer want to be on?

Self help and career advice articles everywhere give you the steps to achieving change in terms of concrete ideas and execution, but few address the planning and personal stress you will incur when you flip your world upside down. As brave as we all are, or like to think we are, changing your entire life circumstances is stressful even if it’s what you wanted all along.

If you are that friend that is making a major life change, the first thing you have to do is mentally prepare. f7adb707b4caecaec627d0275ac8021b24a07a96a93e521c1117fb60a6197288.jpg

This sounds self explanatory but the amount of people that begin to take action before considering what they actually want is greater than you would think. Let’s say you’re considering switching careers or moving to a new city. These are all huge events that determine our life path. If you fail to consider obstacles you may encounter it will be impossible to accurately be aware of the challenges ahead of you. As challenging as clearing the upcoming hurdles will be, it’s a lot tougher when you don’t see the hurdles coming. tumblr_myfo0kIZbH1s4ip2qo1_500.gif

When it comes to making a major situational change in your life, also consider what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you aren’t thrilled with harsh winters, moving to New York City probably isn’t the best idea if you have other options of cities to live in. If you are an incredible theatre performer but love working in film L.A. and NYC are both options, but so are some smaller cities like Chicago, Atlanta or New Orleans.

Do your research. 58860780

Evaluate all of your options before making a decision. For example, rather than assuming NYC is the only city for you, consider which other cities offer opportunities that benefit you most, such as the bustling life of New Orleans, Atlanta or Houston. You never know what you will uncover. Evaluating your options also requires considering things like your budget, will you have roommates, do you enjoy the types of job positions available locally? Ask the questions.

Consider what you want and why you want it.


Once you have seen what your options are, have a clear picture of what you want. Having a vision that is concise and predetermined will help to avoid frustration, disappointment and dissatisfaction down the road. Are you frustrated with your current job or just having a rough week? Do you hate your career path or is it the current company your working for that isn’t working for you? Knowing what you want and why that is will help instill confidence and encourage you to persevere through this time of considerable change.

There’s no time like the present. 



Remember that many life decisions aren’t permanent, so take the leap, test it out and if you hate it, make a change. Trying it out and realizing what you changed wasn’t for you can be better than staying in a situation where you feel trapped. Life is short, so don’t get stuck somewhere you don’t want to be.


Our entire lives we have been prepped for greatness, constantly striving to reach short term goals. We are told that we are capable of doing anything we set our minds to and that everything is possible if we try hard enough.

Nobody talks about failure. Not the kind of failure that a speaker at your high school graduation ceremony mentioned that is temporary, fleeting. The kind of failure that prevents us from reaching our goals, that sets into our decision making long-term.


In our formative years leading into our 20s we are told that we can have it all.

We literally spend years in school preparing for this incredible life we are supposed to have once we enter the real world. Magazines, blogs, celebrity news articles, media outlets tell us how we can have it all; the perfect body, friends, social life, relationship, education and job can be ours. Our brains are trained to expect the best of everything and when we can’t achieve perfect scores in every category we start to become overwhelmed.

In our 20s, or once we start to experience real life failure, fear begins to creep into our decision making. Instead of asking ourselves the best approach to a task, we also consider what could go wrong. Rather than go to a party because we want to be social, we go because we fear missing out.


A prime example is the existence of the phrase FOMO. It literally means fear of missing out. We aren’t doing things out of desire, bravery, passion or inspiration.

We are participating solely out of fear for the consequences.

You didn’t tell that cute guy at the party you liked him because you thought he was incredible, you made a move because you pictured him being with someone else. You didn’t get the fancy dress you wore to the party because you felt stellar in it, you bought it because it’s super trendy and you wanted to fit in. Acceptance and fear of rejection go hand in hand. If we put ourselves out there, there is a possibility of getting burned.

There are so many reasons we create in order not to do things- money, time, desire, laziness, you name it. raw.gif

The most noticeable excuse for not doing something though is fear. Fear can be positive. It prevents you from forgetting about the ramen on the stove and burning your house down. Fear can be negative too.

Fear keeps us from doing things we want to do to in hopes of preventing pain, disappointment, rejection or failure.

Following our instincts, taking risks, and being courageous are all things we like to do ideally, but when it comes to putting words into action, sometimes we hit a wall. Sometimes the wall is due to our own self doubt. We create barriers and make things harder than they need to be in order to make reaching our goal an impossible feat. Other times the barriers are in place because of the people we surround ourselves with. They talk us out of doing things we want to do, make it harder or create problems.

Here’s the thing, the only one truly stopping you is YOU. 

We can choose to listen to the people in our lives telling us what to or not to do. We can choose to ignore the voice in our heads encouraging fear and inaction. We can choose to take action and accomplish our goals. It may not be the case that any and everything is possible, but if you want something, chase after it. How will you know it’s possible until you try? Failure is only an option if you’ve tried and that’s a greater mark of success than apathetically not trying at all.


The next time a challenge or opportunity arises think about the potential for success, a good time or any positive outcomes, rather than what could go wrong. Just don’t be like this guy from “We’re The Millers” and use spell check.

You’ll be amazed how your outlook on life changes when you embrace your strengths and opportunities and ignore fear when it creeps in.

Say My Name, Say My Name

As a marketing media professional I receive questions about advertising, personal branding, plus social media management on a regular basis and felt that it was time I write a blog post about the subject. Though I’m an actor and filmmaker full-time I like to avoid starvation to death by way of broke actor-dom mainly via media freelance work.


My grandiose college plan was to get degrees in advertising and journalism, then work for some media/entertainment companies so that I would know what the heck was up and of course, be able to pay my rent. Being an actor is hard enough especially if you don’t know how to market yourself or what your brand is.

I have seen marketing in many fields working for companies like NBCUniversal Bravo Network’s Emerging Media Group, Fox, The House of Blues and Smart Clinic App.

What I noticed is that the majority of individuals and small businesses in America do not know how to effectively create a brand name or execute marketing strategy.


This is a huge detriment in terms of generating revenue, creating awareness, inspiring interactions and engagement. The amount of missed opportunities in marketing and spreading the word are just overwhelming, most noticeably the free ones. No matter your field of work or study knowing your brand (or your companies’ brand) is paramount. Without a definitive brand image to attach to a product or name, you cannot determine a target market.

This means that you don’t know exactly what you’re selling, or to whom you’re selling to. who-are-you-again.gif

What you’re selling doesn’t have to necessarily be a physical product on the market/for sale such as a toaster; it can be an idea, a person’s image or a feeling. Every thing and person from celebrities to politicians to cell phones to home goods stores need a brand identity or image.

How is a brand image/identity defined?

According to the Business Dictionary brand image is, “the impression in the consumers’ mind of a brand’s total personality (real and imaginary qualities and shortcomings). Brand image is developed over time through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme, and is authenticated through the consumers’ direct experience.”

Consistency of your brand is also vital to the consumers’ direct experience. Without consistency we go from marketing Miley Cyrus, circa Hannah Montana days to tweens, to Wrecking Ball Miley. There’s a big difference folks.


Reliability in the eyes of your audience and recognizability are also huge factors for success. Recognizability ties right in with consistency. When you think of Walter White from Breaking Bad you don’t think of your partying buddy from college, because he stands for and represents something completely different. His brand identity changes and evolves throughout the show, as did Miley Cyrus throughout her career. When you think of both of these people, they have very clear brand personalities and are marketed to audiences that are receptive to what they are selling or representing.

A brand can have multiple facets, but there need to be certain qualities that come together to create one total personality for the brand to be associated with the name. This also means knowing what a brand is not. 


Once you have determined the brand identity of whatever your are selling or bringing attention to, then you must determine your target audience. Without a target audience you are going to spin your wheels telling everyone on the planet about something that is not meant for every single person on the planet. I.e. you wouldn’t first market your edgy new web series to your Grandma and her friends; you would create awareness amongst people your age or the millennial bracket.

Novels upon textbooks have been written about determining your target audience. It’s a tough subject for many companies and people so do your research. This is only the surface level of marketing and still may be dense for non-communications career folks. A clear starting point can be determining your personal brand. You can start with what you are or aren’t, then determine who would or wouldn’t be receptive to those qualities.

Knowing your target audience will not only increase response rates and interactions, it will eliminate unnecessary or wasted time marketing something to a group of people who clearly do not fall into your target audience.

Once you have determined your target audience you need to create a system for connecting to them. Connections equal things like eventual financial backing, support and free marketing. The same way that you wouldn’t market a children’s movie in a college bar, you wouldn’t want to post an article to Facebook that could be ill-received by your viewers or followers. They have become a fan of your brand for what you represent and if that changes in great strides, so will your audience.

Engaging your audience, building relationships to the brand and inspire sharing is the goal.

What do I mean by sharing? Not the kind when your boyfriend or girlfriend asks to share your delicious dessert… back away from the cake.


It’s the good kind of sharing that makes your target audience want to go tell ten friends about your brand that they love, then their friends will go tell ten friends. Sharing in today’s social media driven space makes a world of difference.

There’s a reason Instagram and Youtube stars exist… dang good marketing.

Once we’ve determined our target market we need to consider metrics. This is important because it requires that you create your own content, which is incredibly beneficial to creating an online brand for yourself. It’s also within your control since you are creating what is going out onto the web.

Creating your own content can positively impact your career! 

Most social media outlets and web hosting sites allow you to view basic forms of media metrics. This means that if you host your own website, like mine (, then you can go into the back end and see how many people for example view your blog posts, on what date, what time of day is most popular and what posts are doing the best. This makes it easy as can be to tell what content and posts are working versus what’s not. Simple hosting can be done at a cost efficient price point though sites like Wix and WordPress. This can also be done with your social media accounts on the back end. See what kind of content is working and what isn’t.

After reading all of this, if your head is spinning a great place to start is by Googling yourself. 13128058.gif

See what type of content comes up and if it matches with the idea you have of yourself. Consider your image, personality and how much that lines up with what other’s impressions of you are. Nobody is telling you to change a thing about yourself, but if all the posts and search results that pop up are of your wild partying days, when you want people to take you seriously for the work you’ve accomplished in your career, consider increasing your shared content about your achievements and projects.

If you liked this article and want to see more like it, or similar content, feel free to reach out or comment below.

Creating a personal brand can be challenging, but by reading articles like this you’re already making progress!