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.
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.
Stuck in my head: Modern Love // Houndmouth
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.
Other Seconds of the Day.
Stuck in my head: If You’re Over Me // Years & Years
Snap it: Spurrito (Spring Roll Burrito!!), Night Market
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.
Time to add some new combos to the “can’t re-wear without being an outfit repeater.”
Week two was even better than week one. I found more thrift shops, learned some new recipes (hello, homemade peanut sauce on sweet potatoes and chicken), and photographed some pretty awesome places. Overall, the past seven days were a win win win.
Here are the looks, meals, and moments I want to share.
did someone say clothes?
replace my hands with forks, please.
those in-between moments.
Stuck in my head: What Am I Becoming?
Snap it: South St
Growing up near DC, I tend to take ownership of it. When people ask me where I’m from, I’ll happily say “a suburb outside of DC” until they press me for more information and I have to admit I’m from Maryland (which I also love, but just a little less). My summer move to Philadelphia has been overwhelming and exciting. One challenge, though, has been figuring out all I need to do, see, and eat before I leave. While I’m still in the process of learning the ropes, here are some helpful tips for all my fellow transplants trying to find the who, what, when, and where.
1. Start An Instagram Collection
People will LOVE to let you know what should be at the top of your to-do list. I’ve gotten so many restaurant suggestions my pant size is already starting to expand at the thought of all the future meals. It can be really overwhelming and hard to remember the suggestions so as people give them to you, start a note in your phone to keep track. Later, look up the places on Instagram to get a feel for if you’d enjoy it. If yes, add it to a collection in your saved Instagram images so you can easily remember, find, and identify it based on photos! Also, don’t be afraid to skip suggestions that don’t feel you. Fancy Asain food restaurants, no matter how high they’re rated on Yelp!, will never make it onto my Musts list.
2. Research the Neighborhoods
For most big cities, there are almost little micro-cities inside, each characterized by individual personalities and activities to do there. Put a little time into getting to know what the best things from each neighborhood are and try to figure out where they are in comparison to each other. I truly believe the only way to get to know a city is by foot, so lace up your Adidas and hit the streets. This weekend, I walked over 10 miles through the city (half because Ubers were too expensive, half because adventure vibes). It can be really cool to see some of the things you’ve seen online or learned about in school while you walk.
3. Ask for Help
A lot of people strongly identify and love where they live. Don’t be afraid to ask people for directions, suggestions, and advice as you explore. For public transport, Google Maps is a great guide, but it’s not always the easiest. Consider popping into a store, stopping a pedestrian, or asking the subway stop workers for the easiest, best, safest way to get from A to B. Also, take advantage of those around you! I make sure to ask for weekend tips at work and events happening in the area. So far, I have a DIY Skyline Night at the Philadelphia Art Museum and a nighttime trip to Boathouse Row on my list. If you’re with other transplants or use social media, see what people in your network suggest. I’ve found they’re an awesome resource for food and fun reccs.
This past weekend started with a spin class and ended with a dairy-free froyo run. Don’t worry there was a ton of thrifting, pride parading, flea market hunting, and park visiting in there, too. Can’t wait to keep learning this city’s grid and sharing all the secrets.
And obviously send me any Philly musts immediately. Contact via DM. Open to all suggestions. Extra open to all trendy, Instagram-ready, coffee serving suggestions.
Stuck in my head: Mission to Mars // RKS
Snap it: The Gayborhood, PHIL
Welcome to my Philly Summer. With week one coming to a close, I think there’s no better way to honor the fashion, food, and fun I’ve lived than through a photo diary. In this series, you’ll find my top looks, bites, and adventures from the week. Grab your Eagles jersey and buy your SEPTA ticket. This is Cheesesteaks and Chokers: Week One.
Stuck in my head: Off She Goes // Bad Suns
Snap it: A beautiful little corner of Philly
I recently guest wrote for a new blog startup called Old Soul Wednesdays. The creator contacted me after a takeover I did on the Girls’ Night In Instagram about incorporating exercise in my self-care routine. Here’s my response to their open-ended prompt about movement in self-care.
Stuck in my head: White Rabbit // Jefferson Airplane
Snap it: Fishtown, Philadelphia (before work… because I kept forgetting to take pictures to accompany the piece… this workout outfit has never seen the gym…)
Special thanks to Larissa from Old Soul for the feature. It was a dream and a half to work together.
Back in January, I wrote a blog post about my application process to URBN as an Urban Outfitter’s Social Media Intern. It was the standard “girl gets rejected from the summer internship, but still remains positive” kind of sob story. I shared my application project, a series of mock Instagram posts I’d shot in DC, and promised I’d be back next fall ready to try again.
About two hours after that post went live, I got a call from URBN’s HQ where they asked me to come in for an interview with their Food and Beverage division, instead of for the position I’d originally applied for. So naturally, I packed my Herschel, cued a couple podcasts, and took my first ever train ride to Philly. Obviously, I instantly fell in love with the URBN corporate campus (think Anthro meets FP meets Urban meets every hipster nook and cranny/meal you could ever dream of) and had an awesome time chatting with the team.
The rest is history. And by history, I mean a food-loving-Instagrammer’s dream come true.
This position is different than anything I’ve ever done before. While a lot of it will be marketing based, doing things like running social media accounts, learning the ropes of PR, and doing some website optimization, I’ll also have the opportunity to explore deeper into F+B and take part in the growth of a new department, Urban Hospitality.
Flash forward to now, I’ve officially traded Union Market for Reading Terminal and am slowly learning how to navigate the SEPTA. I’ve got my neighborhood hot yoga studio and am even debating actually trying a cheesesteak. I said “debating.”
Exciting things are ahead. I can practically see the future Instagram Stories now.
Stuck in my head: Giants // Bear Hands
Snap it: NAVY YARD AKA MY NEW HOME.
Internship season is upon us. From engineering to marketing to art to research, a lot of students will get the chance to work with amazing companies and take steps to discovering their ~professional~ calling. It can be intimidating to be the youngest in the office or the most novice on the job. As I gear up for my own summer adventure, I want to share some tips I’ve learned on how to leave your mark on your summer position and get the most out of your experience.
1. Ask Questions
It’s perfectly normal not to know things in a new position. It can be frustrating to feel behind or unprepared, but by being proactive and asking about what you don’t understand, you can come away with more than just you’re already comfortable with. Whether it’s an informational interview to learn more about a colleague’s career path or asking for help on a project because you can’t figure out where to start, being curious can be your fastest route to success. Just make sure your questions are purposeful and not easily answered by Google!
2. Become An Office Journaler
One of my favorite ways to track internship accomplishments is by keeping an active journal of what you’re working on, what the feedback you’re receiving on it is, and what the outcomes are. This way, in both meetings with your managers and on your resume post-position, you can easily speak to your experience. Bonus points for asking your manager for some metrics on your projects towards the end of the summer. Think big numbers, actions, and outcomes.
3. Speak the Lingo + Know the News
For a lot of careers, there are specific terms that are key to understanding. In marketing, I’ve found that knowing the lingo to talk about different types of business goals in relation to social media (ex: awareness, engagement, reach) can make or break how a professional sees my credibility. You can keep your Intern-Cred in tiptop shape by utilizing your BFF, @theinternet, to get a step up and a better understanding of the scene you’re walking into. Similarly, staying on top of the news in your general industry is important, too. I live on my Feedly board for SEO, social media, fast-casual, and hospitality news updates. Okay, and I have a board for celebrity and reality TV news, but that’s not internship-success related, so hush.
4. Show A Little Co-Worker Lovin’
Networking is such a huge benefit of working at a company. Make an effort to form connections with your co-workers that are genuine. This feels super duper obvious and stupid to say, BUT BE NICE TO EVERYONE. You never know who will become who in the game of promotions, CEOs, and future jobs. If you’re like me and your memory is already in the garbage like last week’s Sweetgreen salad, keep a notebook where you jot down notes post-peer conversations. It may feel silly but Sandy, your imaginary cubicle buddy, will appreciate if you remember her daughter’s name or her love of Pinterest.
5. Going Old School– Pen and Paper
It’s so easy to depend on technology as your communication and note-taking tool. When in meetings, it’s best practice to trade your tech for a journal and blue, or black, pen to demonstrate your concentration vibes. A meeting is a great opportunity to channel your inner adulting and earn brownie-points from your co-workers. As an intern, most teams won’t expect you to have a huge input in the conversation, but if you are going to speak up in a meeting, make sure to add value with your comments. In the words of my mom, a trusty real-life-working-woman, “don’t just talk to talk.” At my last summer internship, I tended to use meetings as a chance to take note of things I didn’t know, didn’t understand, or wanted to learn more about. Then I would ask my manager about them post-meeting.
No matter where you work, what you do, or what resume bullets you come away with, there’s, undoubtedly, something to learn in every experience. But, by leaving your mark on your summer position, you can open up doors to the next big thing. It’s all about creating connections, seeing the value in every project, and giving your all to take the most away.
I guess all that’s left to say is happy interning!
Stuck in my head: Swim // Fickle Friends
Snap it: Seyou (BAKERY HEAVEN), Washington DC
Welcome to my newest obsession: STATIONARY STORES.
Lately, my Instagram feed has been flooded with pictures of cute poofy pens, greeting cards, stickers, and day planners. And I hate to say it, but I’ve become a sucker for an enamel pin. There’s something so satisfying about ordering all things you need to #adult, and then not #adulting. Here are my go-to photo ready shops for all the stationary goods you didn’t know you needed in life.
photo from @shopbando
photo from @packedparty
Things to check out: all the glitter you’ll ever need + “Guac This Way” skinny doormat
photo by @sunshine_jo
Things to check out: Allllllll the pins (especially this avocado toast one)!
Photo by @the.wing
Things to check out: (while not necessarily a stationary shop, what has stickers and pins counts for me) “Girls Doing Whatever The Fuck They Want 2018” Stickers + “Bag Lady” canvas tote
photo by @peopleiveloved
The Shop That Needs To Exist, But Doesn’t Yet
photo from @americandreamhouse
Things to check out: the killer Instagram graphics for now- ULTIMATE ROOM ACCESSORIES COMING THIS SUMMER
Stuck in my head: Animals // Coast Modern
Snap it: Dormify pop-up in Montgomery Mall (good place to shop for your next dorm decor splurge)
Well, it’s all finished. The stress, the pressure, the moments of absolute pure fun in between. This year was full of all kinds of things, and while I took a blogging break, I was still capturing my favorite moments by doing what I do best. Photos.
Sophomore year, you were the worst. But you brought some of the best people and memories into my life and for that, I am so grateful.
Fall 2017-Spring 2018: we’ll call you The Sophomore Album.
Stuck in my head: Giants // Bear Hands
Snap it: 19th Birthday Brunch, Bistro Bohem, Shaw
Yesterday was my last day working as the Audience Engagement and Social Media Intern for Girls’ Night In. I feel like I didn’t take the opportunity to share much about what I worked on with GNI this semester, but here’s a link to my LinkedIn, go catch up.
If you follow me on social media or have even spent a millisecond talking to me in the past three months, you know how much I fell in love with the company, team, and mission of GNI. The self-care themed newsletter and community for millennial women in DC meant more to me than my Ky-lighter (french vanilla shade obvi), spin classes, and Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning combined. Okay, maybe an exaggeration, but still… Enamored with it.
I think one reason that I hold this internship experience so close to my heart is that before it, I didn’t understand the concept of self-indulging. I’m an extremely type-A person; I like control, order, and all the Google Calendar reminders along the way. It’s always been extremely hard for me to take time for myself or admit that I am on the path to burnout. Self-awareness is only so productive when you lack the resources to save yourself from over-work.
Girls’ Night In’s focus on bringing self-care to women, letting them slow down and face-mask it out, changed my own wellness philosophy. Over the course of the semester, I’ve learned to push what feels urgent to the side for a necessary second and give myself permission to not be productive 24/7.
And, because sharing is caring: here are three parts of self-care that I now cherish, celebrate, and skip many social events in the name of.
1. Always Have A Book By The Bedside
Don’t fret, a full list of this semesters’ reads is coming (and it’s a good one), but I made it a priority to always be in the middle of a book. From celebrity memoirs to mysteries that are impossible to put down (no matter when your accounting homework is due), I let books be an escape from both bad and good days. One of my favorite things to do is kill off a “bad vibes day” by stepping away for an hour and entering a different, fictional world. It brings new light to once overwhelming problems in a way that mindless Netflix binging can’t. #bookwormstatus
2. Diversify How You Digest Wellness
It’s easy to follow a fitness blogger on Instagram for work-out inspiration and call it a day, but this semester I challenged myself to move deeper into the world of wellness media. I started by connecting with Instagram Influencers that add to my own wellness journey. Some accounts are focused on body positive content or daily affirmations, like Chinae Alexander and Alex Elle, while others serve the purpose of welcoming more art to my feed, like watercolorist extraordinaire, Riley Sheeney, and illustrator, Marian Andrews.
I also unfollowed purposeless accounts and went for more pro-women powerhouses, like the Founder + Chief Creative Officer of Band.o, Jen Gotch (who also happens to be an iconic mental-health advocate + all-around total girl crush of mine). Other ways to explore wellness off social media, podcasts like GirlBoss Radio, Call Your Girlfriend, and That’s So Retrograde.
3. YOU CAN SAY NO TO PLANS- IT’S OK.
Guys, I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this, BUT LIKE, YOU CAN SAY NO TO MAKING PLANS WITH PEOPLE WITH NO REASON OTHER THAN, “I want time alone, today.” This is my new guiding philosophy, and let me tell you, pre-internship Homebody-ness aside, it has changed me. I am a go-getter and never-let-them-downer, and now I know that turning down plans isn’t the tragic, “you’re going to lose all your friends,” situation I always thought it was.
I can watch Parks and Rec in bed on a Friday night. I can put on a face mask instead of going to a dinner party. And, I really have Alisha Ramos and Girls’ Night In to thank for that newfound, self-love. As long as I’m putting effort into the relationships I want to maintain, saying “no” because you don’t have room on your plate doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it means you’re realistic about your time.
Self- care is a hard concept to grasp. To learn more, subscribe to Girls’ Night In’s weekly newsletter (Fridays will never be the same) and check out their content. And while you’re at it, follow them on Instagram. And Twitter. Okay, and Facebook. And buy tickets to the book club.
Thank you to Alisha and the GNI team for all they’ve taught me. Definitely owe them all a tall mug of green tea sometime.
Stuck in my head: Pictures of Girls // Wallows
Snap it: Colada Shop, 14th St, DC