Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Dating Chronicles – It’s Date Night!

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Ah, date night. Break out the wallets, and let the night’s festivities begin. Tried and true, dinner and a movie, a rousing round of mini golf, and a home cooked meal from your sweetie, are all great date night activities, but let’s be honest, if you’re always doing the same things, or develop a routine with them, your relationship’s bound to get boring … and expensive.

Date night should be one where you go beyond the usual how was your day, or how was your week conversation. The further you are into a relationship, the deeper you should be connecting with your man. A movie every so often is great, but as we all know, you won’t be having any type of meaningful conversation before it begins. There are plenty of date night activities that are going to give you both the opportunity to connect more, while not breaking the bank or taking place somewhere you don’t feel like you belong.

Watch a sunset – Cheesy sounding? Yes. Regrettable? No. One of the best dates I ever had with a guy was going to a nearby lake and watching the sunset over the water. It was quiet, there weren’t many people around, the view was gorgeous, and just waiting for the sun to disappear gave us more of an opportunity to talk. We actually ended up in such a deep conversation that the person responsible for closing the gate had to tell us to leave.

Go to a BYOB painting class – Groupon and Living Social have tons of these deals posted during any given week. And before you dismiss it because neither he nor you are overly artistic, know that you don’t have to be the next Picasso. A lot of these places will have the design traced out on your canvas, so you’re essentially doing a paint by numbers thing. It’s casual, relaxed, and did I mention, BYOB? C’mon, good times are sure to be had.

Get physical – Now, before your mind wanders too far down that path (although, you can do that too) I mean be active together. I know so many couples who work out together, whether it’s vigorous or a nice 30-minute post dinner stroll, the point is that you’re either going to be sharing a passion, or developing one together. Think about it, you can do just about anything from biking, walking, weight lifting, running, to maybe even some classes. Maybe one night you can go to his karate class, and then one night he’ll do an aerobics class with you. Most gyms and studios will have a drop in price for classes, or even a first class is free type of deal.

Go technology-free – I saw this one on Pinterest, and when I thought about it, loved all of the ideas that came to mind. I know it’s hard nowadays to even consider putting your cellphone somewhere out of reach, let alone shut it off, but it’s only for a few hours. Think about how romantic it’d be to lay under the stars without text messages, emails and Facebook notifications interrupting your date. And if you don’t want to go out, eat dinner by candlelight, then curl up and either read together, share stories, or just talk until you fall asleep.

Movie marathon – Pick a theme, then dig through your DVD or Blu-Ray collection, log in to Netflix or hit up a Redbox, and get started. If you’re both movie people anyway, then this is the perfect opportunity for you. It’s cheaper than going to a local theater and you’re in the comfort of your own place (Hello, sweatpants anyone?!). To prevent from always watching the same genre, write them on little pieces of paper and pick from a hat. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up watching something you would’ve never given the time of day, but then end up loving it.
*Unless you’re me, and the movie you get stuck watching is Clerks … I know, I know, there are a lot of Clerks fans out there, and I promise you, I really did try, but I just couldn’t get into it! I have to give my boyfriend at the time some serious props though, he watched The Exorcist, The Notebook, and I think I talked him into watching Titanic once when it was on TV. The only movie he asked me to watch was Clerks and at some point I just stopped paying attention.  Boyfriend 3 – Me 0 in the movie compromise department.

Now, these are just five suggestions. Pinterest has an entire date ideas section. There are some pretty creative things out there, give something new a try. If there’s something you and your honey love to do, share it in the comments section so others can give it a try too!

Peace, Love & Stories,
Alyssa


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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5 Tips Every PR Intern Should Follow this Summer

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Caroline is a PR intern at Ruby Media Group this summer as has some great words of wisdom for her fellow interns out there. {And, those of you who will be interning in the future!}

As an aspiring Public Relations professional, I want to get the most out of my internship this summer. Not only do internships look good on your resume, they are a great way to experience your future career path. My time as a PR intern has taught me not only valuable lessons but has given me a chance to get my hands dirty and actually learn something useful. So to all of my other aspiring PR professionals, make sure you take something away from every internship by utilizing my top five tips to help maximize your experience.  

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1.  Get to know your supervisor.

Remember that your supervisor isn’t just there to give you work or to watch you fail. He or she is your biggest advocate or supporter, and your supervisor wants you to succeed. Always remember, your company chose you for a reason and vice-versa.



2.  Remember- you are there to work.

Get to know your co-workers and take initiative for yourself. If you don’t feel like you’re being challenged enough, then ask for more work. Your supervisor and co-workers will appreciate your work and help around the office. Also, try to understand why you are working on the tedious work for a client instead of what needs to be done. This will help you understand the larger strategic picture and how your work ties into the communication strategy.



3.  Do the tedious work.

It may not seem like the most crucial element in the overall scheme of things, but in the end it will be worth it. Remember to be patient. As your supervisor trusts you more, they will assign you more challenging tasks. Make sure you put in the hours needed to make your work high quality, and you will be rewarded.  When you get positive feedback especially from the CEO, there is no better feeling.



4.  It’s OK to ask questions.

As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as stupid questions.” It’s encouraged to ask questions especially if you are working on important client initiatives. It shows you’re curious and eager to learn about the industry.  Most importantly it shows you want to do your job correctly and send out your best work possible. Since the PR industry is 24/7, don’t forget the most crucial question to ask, “When is this assignment due?” Deadlines are crucial; don’t let one creep up on you.



5.  Keep writing.

Being a good writer is critical in the PR industry. Always keep up with correct grammar, and do not rely on spell-check. This is a skill that people easily slack off on. Instead, try to keep a blog, ask to draft a pitch and practice strong email writing. You will be helping yourself in the end!




Caroline Arnold is a PR Intern at Ruby Media Group and a Strategic Communications Major at Elon University.

{Image courtesy of Ruby Media Group.}


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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

4 Looks for the 4th of July

              4 Outfits for the 4th of July from Scarves.com

4 Looks for July 4th:

1. Denim Shorts, One Teaspoon
2. Rustic American Flag Scarf, Scarves.com
3. Sunglasses,  Tom Ford
4. Suede Booties, Steve Madden
5. Lace Top, Nasty Gal

4 Looks for July 4th:
1. Silk Cami, Anthropologie
2. Tasha Bracelet, Nordstrom’s
3. Scalloped Lace Shorts, Nasty Gal
4. Red Carnival Stripe Scarf, Scarves.com
5. Slingback Peeptoe Heels, Urban Outfitter’s
6. Wantage Clutch, Aldo

4 Looks for July 4th:
1. Dress, Forever 21
2. Perforated Loafers, ModCloth
3. Cuff Bracelet, Tory Burch
4. Star Stud Earrings, J. Crew
5. Star Spangled Neckerchief, Scarves.com

4 Looks for July 4th:
1. Starfish Scarf, Scarves.com
2. Bikini, Billabong
3. Totebag, Forever 21
4. Classic Fox Sunglasses, Wildfox
5. Sandals, ModCloth
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Dating Chronicles: *Cough, Cough!* It's Toxic

Have you ever sat there wondering why you're still single? Why you can never seem to find someone who turns into more than a hookup or late night booty call? Why it seems that everyone around you has someone but you?

I know I have, and I'll tell you what, I still don't have the foggiest idea why, other than it's just part of the dating game.

I'm serious.

The way our dating culture has morphed into games and deceptions has created one toxic, undesirable medium that isn't going to give any of us the happy ending we want. Granted, I know there are plenty of 20-somethings, and actually people of any age group, who are blissfully happy in their current relationships, but there are still droves us "outsiders" looking in other's happiness, wanting desperately for it to be ours.

Well, here's the thing, if you want it - go get it!

 
Five Ways to Escape the Toxic Dating Game

1. Go get your man! Ladies, it's a brand new day. I know rejection hurts, but if you like someone, don't just sit there waiting for him to pursue you. There are some smooth criminals out there, but if you're crushing on that bookwork you see in the library every week, or that brooding guy who's the friend of a friend, but barely says two words when the group is together, chances are they're not going to make the move you want them to. Say "hi!" and just see where the conversation goes. Take control!

2. The past should stay there! There's a reason, if not many, that your past relationships didn't workout. But don't automatically assume that every potential one will end up the same way. Putting that kind of thinking out into the universe will only attract that back to you; keep a positive attitude and you'll be far more likely to find someone who's more compatible than any of your exes.

3. Slow it down! There is no rule out there that says you have to sleep with someone on your first date. There's nothing wrong with it, but since TDC is about honesty, I'm telling you here and now that it's only going to complicate things. It's easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment, but you have the power to resist. Use it and wait until you trust and understand your new partner more to take your relationship to that vulnerable and intimate level.

4. Be yourself! If you try being someone you're not from day one, when you finally let your new man see who you really are, he's going to wonder where the "you" he met went, and that's sure to spell disaster. So whether you're a complete Harry Potter nerd, ave a crocheting date every Wednesday with your grandmother or are a total adrenaline junkie, tell him! If you're honest with him, he'll be honest with you. Before you know it, you'll discover that you have more in common than you originally thought.

5. Make mistakes! We're young and while we might dread making mistakes, the fact is that somewhere along the way, they're unavoidable. When it comes to relationships, nobody is perfect. Those that claim there isn't a thing wrong are lying through their teeth. While we hate the feelings that accompany mistakes, the simple fact is that they are necessary. How else will we learn? Mistakes happen, don't let them drag you down and keep moving forward.

Finally, this last extra piece of advice is something I know I struggle with, so I'm sure some of you do, too. It's OK to be alone. I know writing that made me cringe a litle, but it's the truth. We can't force relationships, if we do they're sure to fail. So, while we may be unhappy in the Kingdom of Singlehood, the truth is that sometimes, it's the best place for us.

{Guest Post by Alyssa Romeo}

{Image via MomGonePaleo}

Monday, June 23, 2014

Make the Most of Your Summer Internship

Summer internships are in full swing and you want to make sure you are getting the most from your experience with whatever agency or firm you are working with. 

I reached out to some of my favorite PR gals (interns and pros) and got an overwhelming response of FANTASTIC advice for you interns out there. 

Take it from these ladies - I promise you, they know what they're talking about!

I would also recommend you check out @nycprgirls's recent blog post >> The Five Questions Every Intern Should Ask. It's a great post and couldn't have come into my inbox at a better time! (It came the day I started working on this post!)


@dianalbri Become a sponge! Soak up knowledge form everyone from the doorman to the CEO of the company. Get to know your work surroundings and understand the culture of sub-culture of your environment so that you can navigate effectively.

@jenniferfcrowe Be hungry for it. Always go the extra mile, ask questions, and deliver to the best of your ability. Let your passion shine through and be pro-active about what you're working on. Think outside the box!

@emilyvontom There is always something to do! If you finish a project and think you can sit back and relax, think again. Always ask for something new, something more. Be a go getter - it doesn't go unnoticed.

@VivaLaLindsay Always offer to stay late or help out at client events that aren't required of you - not only will this convey your dedication to your agency, but I can guarantee that you'll also garner valuable one-on-one time with your boss!

@step_onmyknee The best way to make the most of a summer internship is to be a sponge. Soak up everything you can and make the most of your time there.

@RedStilettoPR The extent to which your internship experience enhances your professional value depends upon the extent to which you invest your efforts in your internship experience.

@shayna19 It's easy during the summer to get into a more laid-back mentality, which is understandable! However, I definitely recommend making daily and weekly schedules, task outlines, and to-do lists to stay on top of things, even if your supervisor isn't providing these for you.

@cmroman Get to know your coworkers one-on-one by inviting them to lunch or coffee. You'll feel more comfortable in the office and these people will hopefully advocate on your behalf during and after your internship.

@exPRessionPR Don't forget to network! Introduce yourself to all of your coworkers. You never know who could open a new door of opportunity for you.

@esabak Remember that the team of company you're interning for has a vision and is trusting you to help carry it out. Try to be as proactive and helpful as possible, and think about what type of help you would want if the roles were reversed. 

@AlyssaNRomeo Don't be afraid to approach people higher up the chain than you. If there's something you really want to learn or try your hand at, first speak to your supervisor and see how to go about getting in touch with the right people. This not only shows the company you're interested in different aspects of what they do, but the more people you network with, the more likely they are to remember you upon your graduation.

@OliviaAdamsPR For summer interns who feel like they aren't getting enough out of their internship, they need to speak up to their manager. You internship is your education and you need to soak up every skill and experience that you can. If you feel like you're not challenged enough or want more relevant assignments to your field, voice your needs to your boss.

Take advantage of every opportunity and learning experience that comes your way. For example, if your manager attends monthly PRSA meetings, see if you can come along. There are endless ways for you to gain industry experience outside of your summer internship!
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Using Summer to Help With Your Job Search

A lot of people graduated from college this spring with bachelor's degrees in marketing or public relations. Communications or journalism. Business or English. And while several lucky duckies were able to land their first job already, a lot of other duckies weren't able to do so...yet.

So, what's a girl to do when she's over working as a waitress at the local Applebee's and can't wait to get her foot into her first entry-level job? There are plenty of things that you can do to ensure that you land your first job in no time, especially since it's summer and there are a lot of great opportunities to be had everywhere!



1 // Keep your job. I know, I know - working at Applebee's or Target isn't the most glamorous way to spend your summer, but you want to be able to pay your bills right? If you have to go from 40 hours a week to 25 in order to work on getting than first real job, then by all means do it! But make sure you can still support yourself!

2 // Volunteer. There are a ton of places all over the place who could use your help this summer. Volunteer at the local children's hospital, spend some time doing social media for your local Red Cross. Want to be more social? Volunteer at local music festivals or art fairs! If possible, volunteer to do marketing, social media, PR or anything else related to what you want to do in life.

3 // Be proactive. Is there an agency or organization you'd give anything to work for in your area? Keep up with them via social media, or, better yet set up a tour, job shadowing opportunity or informational interview. Show the agency how much you'd love to work for them and how great you are!

4 // Stay updated. Make sure you've updated your resume since graduation. Add in any missing information about internships - dates, description, etc. Make sure your email is one you can access still. Some universities deactivate emails of students within three or six months of graduation. Make sure you have a good email address and that it's on your resume. I prefer Gmail, but others like Yahoo.

5 // Get an internship. Right, I know, you've already had five and you just want a real job now. But there is never such a thing has having too many internships. Sometimes you can find a summer internship that a company or agency treats more like a job. Kayla Hollatz of expression PR isn't graduating until next year, but she found a part-time position for the summer that allows her to get experience. 

"Summer jobs and internships sharpen your skills and allow you to keep growing as a professional," says Kayla. "There is only so much you can learn in a classroom. Getting a degree is so important, but it's what you do with that degree that will define the professional you will become."

And, you never know, this part-time summer job or internship may lead to a real full-time job!

6 // Take a class. I'm sure the last thing you want to do after you graduate is take a class, but who said it had to be a class class. Take a fun class - graphic design, photography or web design - at your local community college. There's also this cool online global learning community called SkillShare that offers "classes."

7 // Freelance. Freelancing is a great way to get experience and make a little bit of side money, too. Plus, you never know, if you freelance for an agency or company, they might hire you full time!

{Guest post by Emily Vontom.}

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Dating Chronicles - R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

There’s been something bugging me for the past couple of weeks, and I just need to talk (or write) about it.

An acquaintance of mine posted a Facebook status about how he didn’t understand the value of, "teach your daughter to shoot, because a restraining order is just a piece of paper." He went on to say that we should teach our daughters to make better decisions about whom they date.

The backlash was swift.

To his credit, I understood what he was trying to say, and I don’t agree with a lot of the criticism he received, but I disagree with the generalization he made about how teaching girls how to “spot the bad guy” would solve most of the problems when it comes to dealing with Mr. Wrong (or several) in the dating game.

I believe his heart was in the right place when he went on to try to explain that it all begins with how a girl is raised; that if she’s brought up in a stable environment, and is taught the value of respect for herself and others, has positive male and female role models, etc. then she should be able to avoid the wrong guys when she starts dating. 


 Now, before you assume that he didn’t address single parent homes, he did, and his assessment was pretty much the same – it doesn’t matter which parent you’re living with, they have a responsibility to teach you the difference between right and wrong. 

Like I said, I understood his assertions, but I disagree with his overall point, and here’s why...

I was raised in a two-parent household. My father treated, and continues to treat my mother, sister, and I with the utmost respect, and I was able to form a list of certain qualities I wanted in a man based on how my dad acted. To make a long story short, I learned the difference between right and wrong, as well as what was acceptable behavior when it came to men.

Yet, despite all of that, I still keep finding the “bad” ones.  And I think part of the problem for many of us, is that we don’t realize they’re bad when we first meet them; the guy who went ghost on me threw me for a loop, and for probably the first time in the 21st Century, I was stood up two weeks ago by a guy who picked the date, time, and place.  

In the words of one of my very best friends, “Who the **** does that nowadays?” Then there was the one, who after two months, all of a sudden didn’t want to start anything serious, then three days later declared himself in a relationship with another girl…I could go on, but all that would prove is that in spite of my parent’s best efforts, I still can’t seem to recognize the bad guy early enough. 

Now, ladies, we are not just the victims in these scenarios. I’ve seen and heard of plenty of guys getting burned by girls in similar fashions. The difference is that while it’s perfectly acceptable for us to cry over what happened, guys are expected to “man up” and move on. No, I’m sorry, pain is pain, and sadness is sadness, they don’t differentiate based on gender. 

I’ll also add that my acquaintance did state that parents/guardians/etc. also had an obligation to teach boys how to be men, and the lack of said education only contributes to the problem of guys and girls not being able to recognize what counts as good behavior, and who you should stay away from. 

 How about we all just treat one another with the respect we deserve? #FoodForThought

{Guest post by Alyssa Romeo.}

Monday, June 9, 2014

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day is this weekend! Do you know what your getting that special guy? There are some many ideas from music memorabilia, grilling or golf accessories, man cave decor, tickets for a fun day together at an event he would love.. etc. 









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