The Big 100- “Reading Revival” Revisted.

Everyone loves a good Netflix binge. Like, who doesn’t want to watch hours of Stassi vs The World (clearly, I’m watching Vanderpump Rules right now). But, almost a year ago, I committed to refinding my love for reading. And this week, I’m reporting back to say I found it, celebrated it, and have held onto it. 

The number of books I’ve read throughout the summer and semester is probably pretty average. It ranges from 1-3 a month and yes, one of them is always the Girls’ Night In book club pick. At first, progress was slow and it took an effort to turn pages instead of pressing play, but over time, the value of reading started to really show itself. 

“Reflecting on the differences in the characters I was reading about lead me to develop an understanding of narratives from different perspectives. A kind of empathy I could bring to the real world.”

Something I’ve noticed is that in times of self-obsession, like extreme stress or mini-meltdowns, empathy with and an attachment to fictional characters can keep you sane. It’s a distraction without complete distance and isolation from all human emotion. It’s a connection without a charge attached. It’s simple and it’s a way to practice loving when you maybe don’t have all yourself to give. 

“There are other women out there that want to grow from the books they’re reading, too. They want to understand the relationships between characters and relate it to their own personal development.”

I read the best book about two weeks ago. It’s topping the charts and is this month’s GNI book. It’s called Educated, by Tara Westover. It’s about the education of a girl raised by a super religious Mormon family. The real kicker is that it’s a memoir. The other real kicker is that it’s impossible to put down. 

There’s a kind of excitement in realizing someone enjoyed the same thing as you. It’s uniting and powerful. All the women in my family had read the book, or are currently reading the book, and I feel so close to them when we talk about it. The differences in interpretation reveal how we differ but also all we share. I love hearing her favorite subplot or her least favorite chapter. I’m getting to jump into the brains of people I love and it’s all because of 300 pages of words. 

So, I’ll end the same way I did in February 2018.

“So to conclude, read a book. Not optional. Please and thank you.”

Find the original story of my Reading Revival here


Stuck in my head: Golden Age // Houndmouth
Snap it: current read: The Handmaid’s Tale featuring my doggie PJ pants

Cheesesteaks and Chokers: Week 8.

At this point, I’m hard-core missing the white stone pillars of my city and have faced the fact that my time in Philly definitely won’t include a cheesesteak. I’ve had an incredible time bouncing from must-see to must-see the past eight weeks, but it’s time to kick it up into full gear for the final two. It’s time for even more thrifting, munching, and binging bad Netflix movies with a bowl of cherries and a spoon of peanut butter. 

This week’s highlights: Amanda’s 21st Surprise Brunch in DC, the perfect swag bag from UO, an outdoor showing of Wonder Woman, bowling at a bar, and an impromptu girls weekend with my Carlie.

Dress code. IMG_8671IMG_8841IMG_8879IMG_8894IMG_9028IMG_9052

And the menu.

 

And the best moments.

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Stuck in my head: Off the Market // Age.Sex.Location Beachhouse
Snap it: UMD Shady Grove rooftop thanks to Julia + for Amanda

@urbn_internships Instagram Takeover

This summer is flying by faster than you can say “where’s the closest coffee shop?” I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what exactly I’m up to at URBN. Luckily, I’ve been given the chance to share the day to day of working with the food and bev team through an Instagram takeover of their internship recruitment profile.

The takeover is a part of a series of intern takeovers. They stretch across department, brand, and age range. And with all the creative energy on campus, they never disappoint. 

You can find my takeover live in the @urbn_internships feed, but I’ve also included it here for all my social media detoxers out there.

Pairs best with a kale, pizza, or whatever your stomach desires. 

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Hi, friends! I’m Jordan and I’m the URBN Food and Beverage Marketing Intern. I’m from outside Washington DC and I’m a junior marketing major at University of Maryland. Get ready to be hungry, this takeover may cause excessive pizza cravings. 

 

URBN owns a handful of restaurants across Philly, CT, DC, and CA. Each restaurant has its own personality with a focus on sourcing local, seasonal ingredients on their menus.. Swipe to explore them all: @pizzeriavetri @terraingardencafe @amistrattoria @bar_amis

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One of my main responsibilities is running the social media for @bar_amis, a URBN restaurant located in the Navy Yard. I’ve had experience with food photography in the past, but this is my first time owning the entire process. I get to do everything from scheduling shoots with the restaurant team to creating campaigns and collateral for events to purposing and posting the content.

That’s all from your neighborhood f+b intern! Thanks for following along on my takeover; hopefully you grabbed a snack (or two) along the way!


Stuck in my head: Take That // CRUISR
Snap it: URBN HQ

Cheesesteaks and Chokers: Weeks 6 and 7

Time keeps getting away from me. Week 6 was only 2 days long, thanks to Peru. But, week 7 returned with all the thrift store finds and Philadelphia sunshines to make up for it.

Here’s week 6 and 7. Highlights include a photo shoot at Pizzeria Vetri, a trip to the famous Philly Art Museum, and a new vintage baby doll maxi dress.

What I Wore

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What I Ate

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What I Loved


Stuck in my head: Beetle // Run River North
Snap it:

The Big 100: “Trading Words for Memories” Revisited.

The first post I want to highlight is this one, Trading Words For Memories, written for my family after my grandfather passed away in December of 2016. It was my first experience of loss, the first time I saw my Dad cry, and the first time I felt like my writing could make someone feel better. In reading the old post, I can hear myself struggle to find the right tone and words to express how I was feeling. 89 posts later, I have more to say. 

“There’s a part of me that wants to fill every hole he left in someone’s life– husband, father, grandfather, friend- but I think his memory and influence will do more good than an overemotional 18 year old trying to be her Dad’s dad.”

Something I’ve always struggled with is feeling guilt in relationships, and wanting to fix things for people, even when it’s not really possible. Experiencing this loss, I think that I wore my Dad’s heaviness more than my own. But through time and support, I learned how resilient people are, and that the best thing we can do is preserve in their memory.

“Staying true to my everything-happens-for-a-reason spirit, I know that all change comes with lessons and love. I am inspired to preserve my relationships with everyone, forgive and forget, because life is short but love lasts so long.”

And at the time, focusing on the positives in my life felt like the greatest takeaway. But since, I’ve started to honor my Grandfather’s memory not with personal lessons, but through questions about who he was. I started asking for stories, recounts of his best reactions, passions he chased throughout his life. Over a year out, I think I know who my Grandpa was even better than I did when he was alive. I feel like I’m reshaping the old, cookie-loving man I’d known into how my parents, cousins, friends of friends knew him. A true intellectual with a weakness for sweets. 

“But in all sincerity, I really believe that each person in your life shapes your character. Thank you for making me who I am today. I know you’re proud, and honestly, so am I.”

But the closing holds true, and I never stop thanking my lucky stars for the incredible role models in my life. 

Find the original moment of reflection here


Stuck in my head: Mission to Mars // RKS
Snap it: terrain cafe, PA

 

The Big 1.0.0.

This week I shared my 100th post and I didn’t even notice. Like talk about letting a big moment slip by. Come on, J, let’s get it together here.

I started my blog back in September of 2016 with this post about losing my blog-ginity and how I wanted to develop my personal edge through writing. The “OK, let’s do this now” came from my, at the time, favorite Instagrammer, and the name came from my love for my campus and my city. 

That’s when the creativity took off and I started to develop my voice. I shared about my internships with CAVA, Marriott, and GNI and started to try new things, like going vegan for a week. I dedicated posts to people that make me so happy and vacations that made me really feel like I was living fully. From burnout to pushing through the push-up pain, I’ve found a passion for writing for other people and become a much more reflective, self-actualized person.

In Summer 2017, I felt like I’d outgrown the image I’d created. I wanted to own my female experience and speak more to social media. That’s when The Next Classic was born, in 12 hours, from my parent’s beachside bedroom. The perspective matured, just as I had in freshman year. In this swap, I can hear a change in the way I saw, and now see, the world around me. 

This post is like bringing the cake to the party, it just felt necessary to round up some of my all-time favorite works and bring them back from the blog graveyard. To celebrate 100, I’m resharing two old posts with new insight.

The first one comes tomorrow.  

My blog has seen me grow professionally and personally and I’m proud of how my work and my character have evolved. It’s time to stop and smell the syntax, but not without a true, sincere thank you to everyone that’s helped me along the way. From Instagram DMs to comments on the site, my family and friends are really the ones who built this. I owe all my confidence, and probably a couple internships, to you. 

I’m still impressed with myself from the “stop and smell the syntax line,” so we’re going to end with that. Let’s stop and smell the syntax, friends. 


Stuck in my head: Butterfly // Delicate Steve
Snap it: Herald Square, 2016. It felt like time to bring this back.

Modern Day Time Machine.

I’ve written before about my dark years. AKA: the eight years that Taylor Swift played on a loop and her picture was plastered on every and any open space within a mile radius of me. At the time, I thought I was *musically living,* now I know I was really just missing out on a whole world of different sounds.

No worries, I was eventually cultured. Enter Spotify, which, not to be dramatic, changed the soundtrack of my future. And now, my favorite compliment to get is “you look like you listen to indie music.” Houndmouth, HAIM, and Hippocampus describe my life better than any pop, country crossover track.

But, as I danced in my nosebleed seat at the Taylor Swift Reputation tour, I couldn’t help crying (and singing) along as she played some of her classics. And I started thinking about the power of music to take you back to such a specific moment, or feeling. The thought has stuck with me, and no matter how many times I sit down to write about it, it’s still hard for me to put into words. It feels almost like a modern day time machine.

And in all of this, I started to think about how it’s not just memories and feelings, but the people you share music with, too. It’s why we avoid certain songs that remind us of certain heartbreaks and make playlists dedicated to people we love. There’s so much life tied into something that we just have to press play to experience.

I wasn’t expecting to be so emotional at the concert. I didn’t even think to wear waterproof mascara; most of Swift’s current songs are more sass and less sob. But, when she played tracks from her first couple albums, it brought me back to long car rides with the best of friends, fifty chairs in a circle around a campfire, and a time of my life when my biggest worry was how I was going to fit more magazine cutouts of Taylor into my shrine. Simpler times, to say the least. It wasn’t a sad, depressing cry. More of a, “wow, things are so different now and I’m so different now” moment.

Change is always confusing. Realizing things aren’t the same always makes us more reminiscent of the past. I love where I am now, but part of me misses where I was when the Red album hit iTunes. It’s okay, life goes on and it keeps getting better, but sometimes it’s nice to be brought back to who you used to be. 


Stuck in my head: Long Live // Taylor Swift
Snap it: Rep Tour!

 

 

All To Do With Peru.

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve walked with the llamas. Stood at the Sungate. And been left breathless by countless flights of stone stairs. Peru was a travelers dream, my Mom’s dream specifically, and we went for the bucket list. Hiked one day of the Inca trail, held a baby alpaca, and saw maaaany guinea pigs on sticks.

I originally wanted to create a post about Peru travel hacks, but I slowly realized the only hacks I have for you are: bring Pepto because altitude sickness is real, a Bluetooth speaker can turn a seven-hour hike into a seven-hour sing-along, and peanut butter is an American hiker’s best friend. 

Peru was definitely a “this is so insanely cool” style vacation. And no surprise, Inca walls are now my new favorite aesthetic. See proof below. 

Here’s my photo diary. Peru edition.

 

 


Stuck in my head: Hostage // Billie Eilish
Snap it: Pisac, Peru (Mitch was very winded post this photo bomb)

Cheesesteaks and Chokers: Week Four

It’s crazy to think I’ve been roaming Rittenhouse for almost a month now. Keeping it short and sweet. Loving every moment. Taking every picture. Here are the outfits, munchies, and happy faces from this week.

Dress up

Fill up

Remember it all


Stuck in my head: Listening In // Dr. Dog

Snap it: Navy Yard

IGTV Translated.

Instagram, the center of the social media-verse, has upgraded. And by upgraded I mean it’s moved from Comcast to Fios in a retro, “taking things you loved and bringing them back in a new way” kinda way. Instagram has recently added a streaming component to the platform called, IGTV. But you already knew that. It’s not like you live under a rock.

Buuut, for those who aren’t quite as tech-savvy, IGTV is a feature in which Instagram celebrities, aka middle schoolers and trendsetters that have thousands to millions of followers, can create and share long-form videos. The feature lives inside the Instagram app, but also is its own separate app for download. Very Facebook Messenger of you, Facebook.

When opened, IGTV automatically pulls up videos of the influencers you’re following, videos you’re expected to enjoy (hi, algorithm), and the most popular videos of the moment. All the content is created vertically, optimizing screen space and “watchability.” Essentially, it’s streaming created specifically for smartphone viewership.

The marketing landscape has changed drastically since Instagram’s surge to the scene. Microinfluencers, Instagram users with between five and ten thousand followers, are the new craze because of their high engagement and niche audiences. Sponsored content is almost more common than organic. And users are generating more digital talk than companies really ever knew they needed. Not to mention, we live in an age where everyone is an ambassador for something.

When you have a platform shift like IGTV, it’s key to think about how companies are going to take advantage to push their messaging. It gives marketers another avenue to showcase brands but now in longer form, more tailored pushes to consumers. They can work with highly followed Instagrammers to better reach their target markets: the users that are constantly streaming the videos created by specific influencers. The possibilities are endless for creativity, but it wouldn’t be surprising if more regulation around sponsored and paid ad content pops up soon. #SPONSORED

As for what IGTV means for the average Insta-lover? More ways to digest content. More binge-watching and trend-following. Users also have the ability to create their own channels to share their own work. So, if you’ve ever wanted to for viral for a talent, this might be your best shot. And, while you’re at it, be sure to check out what your favorite Instagrammers are up to. Some of my go-to influencers, like Chinae Alexander and Aimee Song, are sharing their secrets and creating series.

It’ll be interesting to see how the landscape changes with IGTV’s rise. It’s direct competition to Youtube, and it changes the preexisting orientation that most content is created in (goodbye, horizontal), making it harder for marketers to repurpose old material for new views. And for the plain Janes of the feed, who knows, it might never even catch on. Guess we’ll have to scroll and see. 

Catch Insta’s share of the new feature here and learn how to make your own channel here.


Stuck in my head: Modern Love // Houndmouth
Snap it:

Cheesesteaks and Chokers: Week Three.

My motto of the summer: “the weeks go like days and the days go like weeks.” It’s crazy to think my summer with Philly is almost halfway over, but it’s not fake news. It’s the truth. Cruel. Real. Truth. 

It has definitely been an adjustment to learn the hacks of real.life.city-living, but I think I’m just starting to get the hang of it. Work-wise, I’m starting to work on longer term, higher impact projects at work. Exploring-wise, I’m FINALLY able to take better advantage of what the city has to offer. AKA, I’m not scared to hop on the subway with a tentative plan and Google Maps anymore. The slew of one-way streets is starting to be more endearing and less annoying… but still annoying. While my heart keeps missing DC, I’m happily taking in everything PHL has to offer. 

And with that, let’s kickoff week three’s outfit, food, and moments recap.

Dress To Impress.

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Feeling Munchy?

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Other Seconds of the Day.

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Stuck in my head: If You’re Over Me // Years & Years
Snap it: Spurrito (Spring Roll Burrito!!), Night Market

Patterned and Ready To Go.

I’ve always loved getting dressed in the morning. Won “Best Dressed” senior year not because I was actually best dressed (that rightfully belonged to a different fashionista), but because every morning, since seventh grade, I put thoughtfully composed outfits on my body. You can imagine me laying my clothes out the night before, only to change it in the morning because of a vision that had come to me in a dream. Honestly, this is still my routine. I’ve just traded Pacsun fashion finds for Forever 21 ones. 

I’ve always been a basic trend follower. I loved my Sketchers, then my Converse, then my Vans, now my Adidas. I was never drawn to pushing the boundaries of what was considered cute. Whatever was on the models at Zara or on one of my friends seemed like the perfect inspiration. When asked about my fashion sense, my go-to answer is that I’m really good at dressing inside the lines. 

And then I experienced my first day wearing a silk bandana. Now, my wardrobe will never be the same.

All of sudden, a world of colorful accessories, different textures, and conflicting patterns existed in a way I hadn’t ever seen before. Everyone was taking some kind of risk and even when it didn’t work, they did. One silk scarf showed me how a little addition can up the stakes and make a more dynamic composition.

This summer, I’ve challenged myself to get a little outside my fashion comfort zone. Wear patterns. Invest in colors. Hats with everything. Walking the streets of Philly or the halls of my office, my goal is to make someone think “hm, I think I like it,” instead of “I think I saw that on another 19-year old last week.” No more “better safe than a fashion disaster. ”

While none of my outfits are revolutionary, or even begin to touch the flawlessness of some of the people who work at URBN, it feels good to be proud of a look and want to share it. It’s not about feeling pretty, it’s about trying to funnel my creative energy into what I put together. Denim on denim has always been one of my staples, but now it’s about denim on denim on a neon pink sneaker and a vintage clutch.  

Still no style queen, I would never claim to be, but I’m one step closer to being more original and taking more risks. To see some of my favorite looks from this summer, check out my Philly dairies from Week One and Week Two.

And the best part of looking and feeling good? All the mirror selfies that come with it. Enjoy my collection. 

 


Stuck in my head: Butterfly // Delicate Steve
Snap it: Fishtown Flea

You can clearly see my go-to pose.