Dear Life, can you take me back to some of these places?…

Dirty dirty NYC. So dirty, so chaotic, but I love it.

And then there’s Soho, which is not dirty or chaotic but I also love it. 

Central Park too because I think I’m a real hoot when I tweet a Friends reference.

World of Color in Disneyland so that I can cry tears of joy again and let my emotions run free among parked strollers. 

I would really love to go back to Lanikai because the first time I was there, I was stung by a jellyfish. I’m all about second chances.

And whatever beach this is, I don’t know. I was so beach overdosed I couldn’t keep track. 

Diamond Head too because I faked it the first time. I stopped here to take this picture then walked back down to get shaved ice. 

And lastly, Life, please take me back to another Jay-Z and Beyonce concert. AMAZING. 

ATTN all Nail Junkies

Heard of TopCoat…AKA Uber for your nails? TopCoat is an iOS app that lets you find the best nail artists in the city, book an appointment, choose your style, and pay within the app. Nail artists come to you, but lucky for you local San Franciscans (or SF worker bees who want to get your nails done during a lunch break), a TopCoat nail studio is located conveniently in the Financial District (also in Brooklyn and NYC). 

My experience was a good one—the app is very easy to use, my artist was sweet and did a great job, and the salon is modern and nicely decorated.

Download the app, follow the 4 step process and you will have the fanciest tips in all of the land.

How to do Disneyland as a big kid

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Being 20-something in Disneyland is legit. Here’s how to make it happen:

Plan your meals. Take the time to research popular places to eat in the park. There are a number of great restaurants in Disneyland, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney. You don’t have to settle for a $12 pretzel or hot dog. Carnation Cafe is great for breakfast, Storytellers Cafe for dinner, and be sure to grab coffee and beignets from Jazz Kitchen Express—a snack made for a fatty on vacay. 

Use Fastpasses. Learn what a fastpass is and how to use it. This will save you time in line at your favorite rides. Because the fastpass will schedule you to come back at a later time, you have the freedom to explore the park and appreciate the hidden Mickeys before returning at your ride time. 

Parades and firework shows are much cooler when you’re an adult. I’ve realized that as a kid, I really never gave a shit about theme park shows or parades. I wanted to conquer as many rides as possible and then do it all over again until I needed to vomit or pee myself. Now, take the time to find a seat with a good view for some of the amazing parades and shows that Disneyland/CA Adventure has to offer. I loved World of Color—MUST!!!

Sit down. I must have not realized there are about 955 benches in these parks until my back started aching. My youth was being stripped away, one pounding step at a time. Really, you do a ton of walking in Disneyland/CA Adventure that you really need to give yourself a rest. Little breaks to sit and people watch truly make a difference, especially with a churro in hand.

There is alcohol. Disneyland does not, but CA Adventure does have beer and margarita stands. YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THIS INFORMATION.

There are dance parties. Visit the Mad T Party, which is an Alice in Wonderland themed rave inside CA Adventure. Here you will see other adults wearing Mickey and Minnie ears dancing to Avicii and that’s when you realize: you’re in your twenties, in Disneyland, and that this shit is legit.  

Spam Musubi…I think?

Did I ever tell you guys about that one time I attempted to make spam musubi and it turned out pretty shitty? Well, one time, my niece had asked me to make spam musubi and it turned out pretty shitty. There.

Here’s what not to do:

  1. Do not wing it. 
  2. Do not buy your ingredients from Target. Spam musubi is an Asian snack, go to a damn Asian market.
  3. Do not buy seaweed snack packs (yes that’s a thing). Buy the real seaweed sheets…from the Asian market that you should have gone to. 
  4. Do not buy regular spam. Buy the “less sodium”option…whatever that means. This stuff is so salty it could literally clog your arteries as soon as you open the can. Yeah it comes out of a can btw…
  5. Do not roll your musubi free-hand. Use a bamboo mat or something that can guide the shape. You are not a sushi master…and this is not sushi so forget what I just said.
  6. Do not expect cleanliness. You will have rice stuck on your sleeves, your socks, and under your nails…for about 2 weeks. 

If you do the things I told you *not* to do…then expect your musubi to look like little spam blunts.

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Things your Invisalign brochure won’t tell you

Are you thinking of getting Invisalign? Are you doing your due diligence—Googling and thumbing through pamphlets? Well, because you are going to drop many G’s on a plastic grill, let me tell you some things your brochure won’t tell you. 

Invisalign is pretty visible. If you do not want people to know you have corrective gear on your face, then keep everyone at least 8 feet away from you at all times. The closer they get, the more clearly they will see a thick shiny plastic film over your teeth. Mind you, spit bubbles do get smushed between your teeth and the Invisalign tray and well, you really have to just let it be. Don’t get me wrong, I think Invisalign is great, very convenient actually—much better than braces. But don’t go into it thinking they will go completley unnoticed. 

You will have a lisp. It is bad at first, but as you get used to Invisalign, the lisp will fade. If you plan on being in a long meeting or giving a presentation, I thuggest you thake the Invithalign out (that’s lisp for I suggest you take the Invisalign out). 

Things get very slimy. There is no sexy way to take your Invisalign out, and you will discover this very quickly. There will be saliva strings, lots of slurping, and when you wake up in the morning, there will be a film of slobber layering over your trays. Allow yourself an extra 10 minutes in the morning to brush your Invisalign and soak them for a bit until they are goop free. 

Your teeth will hurt like a B. If you’ve had braces (then you shouldn’t have Invisalign because you would have worn your retainer after you got your braces removed but some people don’t…like me…and we have to learn the hard way), then you know how awful getting your braces tightened felt. Throughout the entire period of wearing your trays, you will be given new trays every 2-3 weeks. These trays are shaped tighter and straighter the further along you go to push/pull at your teeth to help the straightening process. When you get a new tray, it is like getting your braces tightened. It hurts and you just want to die in a bowl of Jello.

Your dentist will put little anchor things on your teeth. Before you get Invisalign, your dentist will glue small white “anchors” to your teeth mostly around the trouble areas. These serve kind of like braces brackets. They attach to the Invisalign tray and help with the shifting of your teeth to where they should be. However, these little anchor things are pretty noticeable. They look like chunks of cottage cheese stuck to your teeth. Be sure to brush these very well because if you drink wine or eat chocolate, they do stain sometimes. 

You won’t wear your Invasilgn as much as you think you will. Because you have to take your trays out before eating or drinking, you will almost never have your trays in. After your 9am cup of coffee, you’re going to say screw it because you’ll be eating lunch in a few hours anyway, right? That’s my logic. It’s bad logic. My teeth will be F’d forever. 

Not another twenty-something post

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This is not another typical what-I-learned-in-my-twenties post. I don’t like those. I don’t like semi-accomplished people telling me what I should and should not have done by the time I hit my mid-twenties.

Tomorrow is my birthday—I’ll be 25. I don’t really mind it. I actually have nothing to say about it and this is exactly what this post is about. You know what’s silly? What’s silly is someone calling 25 a “quarter-life crisis” because if you think about it, it’s kind of rare to live until you’re 100. So 25 is slightly more than a quarter of your life…which means your life is passing before your eyes. Calling it a crisis might be appropriate actually. 

Also, 25 is used as a shitty metric to determine what you have and have not yet accomplished. Twenty-something posts have a lot of say in traveling, dating, and being a vegan for a year before you turn 25. Traveling is traveling no matter how old you are. Dating sounds like the worst thing ever thanks to Tinder whether you are 21 or 37. And being vegan shouldn’t happen to anyone at any age.

I have nothing eye-opening to say about turning 25…except that life’s too short to not eat bacon. 

Really Good Lip Stuff

Easy and cheap! Let me rephrase that…Target products that work.

Brand: Sonia Kashuk

Price: $8.99

Color: Ravishing Rose, #33

Texture: Sticky and glossy

Pigment: Very pigmented. True to color.

When to wear it: Evening out. Subtle enough for a dinner or evening event. Not bold enough if you’re aiming for a bright lip but may be too much for an everyday look.

Brand: Revlon

Price: $6.49

Color: Raspberry Pie, #010

Texture: Lip balmy and smooth

Pigment: Noticeably tinted, color is not as bold as packaging. 

When to wear it: Anytime! The color isn’t obnoxious during the day yet pigmented enough for evening/night. 

Brand: Maybelline

Price: $4.99

Color: Made-it Mauve, #80

Texture: like chapstick

Pigment: Slightly tinted, not very pigmented.

When to wear it: Casual enough to wear daily. 

7 Valentine’s Day Things

1. Don’t be a Valentine’s grinch. If you are single, be quiet. You may not want to celebrate this day but there are people around you who want to enjoy it. Let them. 

2. It’s better to be safe than sorry. No man likes Valentine’s day but every man in a relationship, new or old, likes to stay clear of the shit list. You may have lucked out and agreed to a no-gifts rule this year but there’s a 90 percent chance your girlfriend’s office-mate will be getting flowers delivered to her from her beau and now you’re the thoughtless chump. So have your own back and get the damn flowers.

3. Just celebrate it. So what, you don’t have plans. There are people around you who do so instead of hating everything that’s happening in America, take this as an opportunity to celebrate and treat yourself. Go shopping, go to a nice dinner with a friend, rent a $5 movie OnDemand and give the bootlegs a rest for the night.

4. It’s not always about romance. It’s about love. You have a lot of people in your life to love so let them know it. And don’t bull shit about you already telling your loved ones you love them everyday because you don’t. Use this day as a chance to do something out of the ordinary. Send your mom a card in the mail or do a quick flowers & candy drop off at your sister’s house. 

5. Don’t watch any Valentine’s Day movies. They’re all bad.

6. Corny Valentine’s are okay for first timers. If you’re in a new relationship, okay buy the teddy bear but don’t let it happen again. Nobody wants a Hallmark stuffed animal with a locket of your initials every year…or ever. 

7. A successful Valentine’s Day is about the experience. See #6. After that, spend on experiences. Candies and cards are disgustingly marked up during this time of year so if you really want to do something thoughtful for your B or G, spend your money on an activity—something that you can experience together and look back on and think “oh yeah, this was way better than the bear with the locket.” 

Don’t be That Girl: A Pledge to 2014

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I’ve never been one to make a resolution and stick to it only because I forget about it come February. So instead of declaring a single resolution that I will commit to half ass-ly (yes…half ass-ly), I have decided to make a pledge to 2014 that will help myself and some of you to be better women next year and then some. In 2014, I pledge to not be that girl.

Don’t be that girl who never has time. I know—it’s really hard to muster up the energy to meet up a few friends after a long work day but stop being the girl who always says “no.” A few more hours away from Netflix might be good for you. Good friends are hard to come by and great friends will always be there, so cherish them—a 12 hour day and a few martinis won’t kill you.

Don’t be that girl who talks bad about her body. There’s a 90 percent chance you’ve already made a resolution to eat better and workout more. You’ll probably end up following through to an extent, so why put yourself down? You’re putting in the effort and though results may appear more slowly than you’d like, you’re still physically changing for the better. Now work on the mental change. 

Don’t be that girl who wears leggings as pants. It’s never going to happen. Just stop it now. 

Don’t be that girl who hates men. If you’ve had bad experiences with your share of men, maybe there’s something you need to change. There are a lot of men that are really stupid (like, a lot of them) but not all men suck. You’re only scarring yourself and preventing what could potentially be great relationships and experiences.

Don’t be that girl who wears her hair down at the gym. If you’re committing to working out, buy some damn scrunchies. 

Don’t be that girl who thinks everything from Trader Joe’s is healthy. I like TJ’s— it’s unique, most things are organic, some things are imported, it’s nice. But just because it is a privately owned chain doesn’t mean its products have less calories. Pretzels at Safeway have the same amount of calories as Pretzel Sticks from TJ’s. Just sayin’…

Don’t be that girl who is mad at the world. You are only allowed to consistently complain for 7 days straight once a month. Other than that, don’t be the girl who is sour about everything. Everyone is entitled to their dislikes but there is nothing worse than declaring your hatred for something over and over or trying to round the troops for your hater bandwagon. 

Don’t be that girl who spends too much time getting ready. Wear less makeup, do less weird things to your hair. Get ready faster, go out, have fun, enjoy your life. Be simple. 

Don’t be that girl who loses things. Stop losing your phone, your keys, and your friends. 

Don’t be that girl who diets but then drinks too much. Yeah you can eat lettuce all week long, but when the weekend comes around, those Long Islands will get the best of you calorie-wise. And I don’t think twerking at the club burns as many calories as you think.

#VSFashionShow and our dumb thoughts about it

I am not anti-model or anti-fashion show or anti-Victoria’s Secret—they actually make a great seamless panty that keeps me wedgie free all day. I’m a supporter. I think the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is extravagant and entertaining and I do appreciate high fashion from time to time.

I decided to follow #VSFashionShow on Twitter last night and saw nothing more or less than what I expected, which was a bunch of sad girl tweets. A lot of 18-30 year olds “joking” about how they’re going to eat a leaf for lunch the next day or how they are going straight to the gym afterwards. Meanwhile in penis land, there were the usual #wifey tweets claiming dibs on models these men will never ever in a million years if they were the only men left on this planet or even Jupiter…..meet.

So now we have a population of women whose confidence has plummeted and an overabundance of men who are delusional.

I am all for living healthy and being fit but I’m also about being realistic. The women we see on TV have jobs and their jobs are to look good. They are paid to be skinny and to have really shiny hair and legs and teeth and eyeballs. Everything f-ing shines. If we did not have to go to work everyday and someone paid us millions to eat lettuce and to do 9 hour of Pilates a day, I’m sure we’d all be wearing rhinestone bikinis like it’s no big deal. Keep that in mind.

Let’s also keep in mind that the men who are so vocal about their “future baby mama” on TV are: 
A) Overweight/Scrawny
B) Making lemonade stand salaries
C) Not funny
D) Not intelligent 
E) Insecure
F) Driving shitty cars
G) Single
H) All of the above 

So while it’s things like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that makes women feel they need to drastically improve themselves (and they shouldn’t), men should be feeling a lot worse (and they really should).

3 Things You should Do This Year

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Write hand written Holiday cards. I know it’s tempting to crop your friends’ faces onto dancing elves and mass email everyone for a good laugh, but that needs to be a one time thing. You don’t want to be the friend who sends dancing elf emails year after year. This year, buy a box of Holiday cards and a book of stamps and send your friends some mail (like real mail in envelopes from a mailman). 

Make care packages for those in need. It’s always a nice gesture to pack up your unused clothes and drop off a few bags at the Salvation Army. But this year, try something different—Instead of abandoning your trash bags full of clothes for someone else to hand out, make small care packages and hand them out yourself. Pack individual shopping bags with a few sweaters, a blanket, and socks, and wish people a Merry Christmas. I’m pretty sure that your care package will be one of the only gifts personally handed to them. 

Have more patience than ever. You will be stuck in traffic and will have to wait in some pretty horrendous lines at one point or another this month. There is NOTHING you can do about it. Being an asshole will not allow you to jump 5 spaces—this isn’t Candyland (that probably doesn’t even in work in Candyland anyway). The best thing you can do in these inevitable situations this time of year is to be patient. You’re most likely in traffic because you’re on your way to a Holiday party or in line buying gifts for your family and friends. It could be a lot worse—be glad you have places to go and loved ones to buy for. 

Things I’ve Learned From My Big Girl Job

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Today marks one whole year of wearing my big girl pants and working full-time. This is my first job out of college, where I graduated with a degree in zero relevance to what I’m doing now. Anyhow, working is hard, it’s fun, it’s scary, and I’m going to have to do it for a really long time. 

Here are some things I’ve learned in the past 365 days from my big girl job:

Benefits are a lot of fun. Graduating from college is scary only because you’re not under your parents health insurance plan any longer. That day you are eligible for full benefits from your own employer is like winning the Super Lotto. I seriously just wanted to get my teeth cleaned everyday for 2 weeks straight. 

Not working for a startup after college doesn’t mean your job won’t be cool. I admit it—I had my heart set on working for a really cool startup in downtown San Francisco, some place that would let me wear toe socks with flip flops to work (not that I would). But I’ve learned that culture is everything, regardless of if you’re in corporate America or coding on a beer pong table. The culture specific to your office and your team is what keeps you coming back the next day.

Dry-cleaning sucks. Don’t throw your blouses in the washing machine, not even on the “delicate” cycle. Dry-cleaning is expensive and you’ll forget to pick your clothes up for weeks, but you’ll be glad you did it when your blouse is still flowy and not shriveled up like intestines.

Bed time is at 10pm. Do not watch TV. Do not read a book. Do not Instagram. Just go to sleep.

Good leadership is hard to come by. Appreciate your managers who value your input, who let you work from home when you’re on your period, and who understand your strengths and help you improve your weaknesses.

Money will go into your Savings account…and then come right back out. Once you realize how much money you saved, you will spend it on something expensive. Don’t look at your savings—just trust that good things are happening in there.

'Finder's keepers' doesn't apply to the good pens. The inky Bic pen is not yours. If you find it, it’s rightful owner will find you. Give it time. 

You are competing everyday to be the best. You will be besties with the people you work with and that’s fine. It’s encouraged actually because you spend more time with them than you do your family and significant others. But always keep your focus and your eyes on the prize. Your work besties will be doing the same.

Eating at your desk is unproductive. On days you pretend to be busy and decide to eat at your desk are the days you eat at your desk and click around on already read emails. And that’s it. 

#DIY Flower Pens

I did it guys, I made flower pens. I am officially a woman!

What I bought and where I bought them:

  • 2 bouquets of fake flowers from Michael’s — fall arrangements are discounted right now! I purchased 2 full size bouquets for $1.99 each.
  • 2 packs of Bic pens from Walgreens — Bic pens are recommended for Flower Pens because the ends pop off really easily.
  • Green Floral Tape from Beverly’s. I tried a few different brands and ended up tossing them because they sucked. For these pens, I used Panacea tape and LOVED it. I was only able to find it at Beverly’s. It’s very tacky and stretchy, which gives the pens a more realistic appearance.

Common mistakes (I made):

  • Attempting to use green Duct tape or electrical tape. This is stupid, just don’t do it. It looks shiny and cheap and you’re gonna be the one girl who f*cked up making flower pens.
  • Taping the stem outside of the pen. I’ve seen some flower pens made this way but it looks way better if you pop the end of the pen off and slide the stem through the inside.
  • Not stretching the floral tape. Floral tape is made to have a realistic look-and-feel so make sure as you are wrapping the tape around the pen, that you are stretching the tape too.

The Steps:

  1. Trim the bouquets so that each flower has a stem that is about 2-3 inches.
  2. Remove the caps and the ends of the pens. It is easy to remove the ends with scissors but some pens can be stubborn so I did have to use pliers at times.
  3. One pen at a time, drop a dab of glue (I used Super Glue because I don’t play around when it comes to flower pens) at the end of the inside of the pen. Tilt the pen so that the drop glides down creating a faint stream of glue. This is to stabilize the flower stem.
  4. Slide the flower stem along the glue stream and hold it in place for a few seconds. 
  5. Put another dab of glue at the end of the outside of the pen to secure the start of the floral tape. Hold the tape here for a few seconds before wrapping.
  6. Start to wrap the tape around the pen at a downward angle. Don’t forget to stretch the tape. Stretching the tape increases the stickiness and as I mentioned it gives it a natural look. 
  7. Once you get to the tip of the pen, wrap it around a few times to secure the end and then continue wrapping diagonally upward. 
  8. Once you reach the end of the pen where the flower petals are, cut the tape and glue the end down. 
  9. Put a clothes pin on the end to secure it while it dries. It should be dry in a minute or two
  10. Repeat!

With two bouquets, I made about 10 pens (and still have plenty of tape left!). I gave some pens out at work hoping to build a few allies so I can snag some paper towels and batteries for home without any of them ratting me out. I’m in the clear so far. Flower pens are pretty powerful, use them wisely.

Things I can’t post on Instagram because I’ve already made fun of other people for doing it

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Me and my big mouth. I’ve come to realize that I’ve limited the diversity of my Instagram content to photos of my dog, my cat, myself, and scenic outdoor views. This is because the minute you publicly make fun of someone for something they post on Instagram, you are not allowed to mimic it even in a more tasteful way. 

The following are things I’d like to post on Instagram maybe once, maybe twice, but cannot because I think I’m a comedian and have already made fun of someone else for doing it. 

Photos of my iOS7 lock screen. Yeah, I wanna do it too. I have already publicly declared that everyone has been over indulgent with posting pictures of their new lock screens to Instagram, but only until I updated my software. Damn it, it is so beautiful.

Photos of my healthy lunch. I post foodie pics sometimes. But it’s the rare foodie pics of real good food…food with grease, food with sustenance. Those make really nice pictures. But hey, I am not the fat ass you think I am. I eat quinoa okay? And I have pictures to prove it.

Photos of my freshly did nails. I have made many comments about the manicure claw. I still think it’s horrific and would never gesture my hand in such a way. I would, however, like my followers to see that I own good nail polish. I buy the expensive kind…when it’s buy-2-get-one-free but that’s not the point so let’s move on. 

Photos of my favorite quotes. I’m philosophical sometimes. I’m a deep thinker. But because of my constant plea for girls to stop posting Marilyn Monroe quotes, I am now hesitant to post a quote of any sort. I set myself up for that one.

Photos of my Stair Master summary. People talk about me being petite like it happened because my parents are wizards and performed an anti-obesity spell on me. No everyone, I make love to the Stair Master. I make love to it. 

Photos of notifications that a famous person followed me on Twitter. I’ve always thought it was ridiculous when people post pictures of “famous people” (famous meaning dropped out of college and started a t-shirt line and has 5k followers on Instagram) who’ve requested to be their follower like it’s an accomplishment. Just so everyone is aware, Mancini’s Sleepworld follows me on Twitter. Beat that. 

Photo collage of my entire vacation. Okay, I understand why people make collages. I get it. It’s a good idea, just don’t make it hideous. Collages should have a 4 picture maximum and should be symmetric. Collages should not look like a jacked up Rubik’s cube. That’s all I ask for.