"The days keep getting longer and those dog days of summer are getting closer and closer — which means we’ll happily drink anything involving a refreshing squeeze of lime. And yet, somewhere between our gazillionth Dark and Stormy and umpteenth Negroni, we realized we could use a break from the usual parade of summer cocktails.
The Bee's Pajamas
“This is the gin cocktail for the skeptical gin drinker,” Lowe says, “Fresh and sharp, it goes down easy at an early evening cocktail party. The mint and Chartreuse give it refreshing herbal notes, while the lemon and gin combination gives it the zing of citrus.”
1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Chartreuse
1/2 oz Mint Simple Syrup*
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dash Angostura Bitters
Mint Leaf Garnish
*Simple Syrup is just equal parts water and sugar (I cup of each) heated together until the sugar dissolves. Always let it cool to room temperature before using. Refrigerating over night is preferred. For mint/rosemary simple syrup, add 4-5 bunches of mint or rosemary to the syrup while hot and let steep for 2-3 hours.
“As the name implies, this is the ideal cocktail for winding down the weekend. The tart grapefruit and musty, savory notes from the rosemary compliment each perfectly...just like a Sunday afternoon and a mellow vodka cocktail.”
1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Rosemary Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
Rosemary Sprig Garnish
The Italian Swizzle
“This cocktail has a rustic and elegant feel to it,” says Lowe, “Punt e Mes is spicy and botanical and gives a pop to the rum/lime/sugar combination. A sophisticated, European poolside sipper.”
1 oz Rum
1/2 oz Punt e Mes Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Orange Peel Garnish
"The summer dress often becomes the one item in our closets that gets the most mileage. It brings us from afternoon outings to evening soirées, and maybe — in some cases — all the way back to work again the next morning. So, we don't mean to apply the pressure, but finding the right one matters.
Which is why we put together a simple guide to selecting the frock shape that best fits your frame. Ahead, meet your sartorial match that'll complement you so well, you'll spend the season together in love."
The Carrot — The trick to dressing your shape is thinking in contrasts. Since your legs are the most slender part of your body, this midi-length, flowing number will drape perfect over your gams. And, the fitted bodice will look killer on top, too.
Short Legs — If you're hoping to fake legs for days, the trick is to pick up the hem. A short shift dress that doesn't cling to your frame will help hide the line of your hips — and therefore, make your gams look
miles inches longer. This chic, colorblocked pattern helps trick the eye, as well.
Busty — Vertical prints are golden for minimizing a fuller bust. However, this ladylike shape will also cinch your midsection so that the dress will fit perfectly over all your proportions — not just the largest one. Also, be mindful of your straps: Pick a dress that allows for you to still wear your most supportive bras.
Ballerina Body — Summer is the perfect time to show off your long, lean limbs without having to cover up for fear of the chill. However, we say, pick one part at a time. Choose a sleeveless dress with an elongated hem that shows off your graceful arms. This standout vertical print will also help further accent your tall frame.
Short Torso — Similar to the short-legs advice, it's best to pick a dress in which you can't tell exactly where the line of your hips begin. This midi option, with large graphic print, will let your shorter torso and longer lower half meet in the middle. It's an instant way to balance proportions.
Petite & Compact — Because of your smaller stature, you may have to be cautious of embellishments and fabric details that swallow you up. So, skip the frills and pick a dress with a serious eye-catching print instead. This linear tropical option with a short hem will also help create an elongated line on your petite frame.
Hourglass — Peekaboo cutouts can be tricky, but not so much for you, hourglass. Accent your little middle with these side slits, which will show off all your natural curves. In case you're cautious of being a little too risqué, go for a maxi length that's sexy but not overly so.
Boyish — Draped and hanging silhouettes may not always work on your straight-edge frame, but this is a wonderful exception. With a few sleek cutouts, a drawstring waist that allows the dress to blouse a bit in the middle, and a flowy hem that creates some curves by your hips, this may be your feel-good, look-amazing dress of the season.
The Apple — Go for a babydoll waist that nips in beneath your bust, and a skirt that swings (not clings) around your midsection. Plus, an all-over print — like this gorgeous Mara Hoffman number — will camouflage and create a general slimming effect.
Boticelli Babe — Ah, the wrap dress. The eternally flattering shape that makes anyone lookva-voom. However, this one is particularly perfect for the woman with serious curves. The wrapped effect will show off your assets, while minimizing your middle. Again, the bold pattern and above-the-knee hem will also help define your knockout shape.
Small Chested — This sheer, cutout dress is practically made for a smaller bust. With the beautiful, ornate detailing, you'll be able to feel sexy but not showy. And, of course, if you're up for it, just ditch the bra all together.
The Pear — To best flatter your derrière, opt for flared skirts with a bit of movement, instead of too-tight body-cons. You'll feel comfortable and balance the overall proportions of your frame. Plus, this fitted halter will also instantly draw eyes up, instead of soley focusing on you-know-where.
Lucky for us, Los Angeles is blessed with that not-too-hot, not-too-cold weather that makes getting dressed a breeze. But, those ocean winds and pesky bursts of A.C. keep us reaching for layers, even as summertime descends upon our fair city. Our go-to topper? The classic jean jacket, of course! It's a serious wardrobe workhorse that always looks effortless; whether it’s lending some edge to a girly look or adding structure to something whimsical.
But, to ensure the old faithful doesn’t just translate as, well, old — we enlisted three local bloggers to share their fresh takes on the classic fave. Trust, these blue-jean babes will have you whipping out those denim duds in no time.
Neon and sequins are an attention-grabber's M.O., but don't underestimate the power of — get ready for it — pastel! Pairing powder-blue jeans with a white denim jacket makes a statement in its own right (pale Canadian tuxedo anyone?), but Good, Bad, and Fab’s Jenny adds punches of color with her accessories to make the whole thing pop. Step it up with bright wedge sneaks (see what we did there?), while a low-slung satchel keeps things from getting boyish. Top it off with a cap that shows your L.A. pride and protects your peepers. Go Doyers!
All Saints Cole Denim Jacket, $160, available at All Saints; J Brand Allegra Cropped Jeans, $416, available at My Theresa;Joie Risa Top, $98, available at Joie; Nike Dunk High iD, $135, available at Nike; Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Clean Up Hat, $19.99, available at Lids; Diane von Furstenberg On-the-Go Metallic Tote Bag, $425, available at Cusp.
Whether you’re headed to the farmer’s market or preparing to stake out a spot on the sand, sun-filled days beg for leggy looks. To keep some skin hidden from the rays, Trinkets and Trends blogger Lexi topped her sweet romper with a breezy denim jacket. The moto-style piece injects a little edge into the outfit, balancing the feminine vibe. The kicker? Fun pinstripes add an eye-catching detail and a little extra oomph to keep it non-fussy.
Topshop MOTO Blue Denim Biker Jacket, $110, available at Topshop; Mango Crossed Back Crochet Jumpsuit, $59.99, available at Mango; Ray-Ban 58mm Aviator Sunglasses, $185, available at Nordstrom; Jules Smith Surf Bangles, $105, available at Shopbop; Zara Sandal with Metal Detail, $89.90, available at Zara.
The general consensus is that if you have killer arms — we'll defer to Madonna or Michelle Obama — you should show them off at every possible opportunity. Enocha of Locks and Trinkets falls into this category, so it makes total sense that she wears her denim, sans sleeves. Layering a long vest over a staple LBD keeps the look more casual and happy hour-friendly, but cinching it at the waist and adding an armful of studded accessories makes it anything but boring.
Miss Selfridge Cami Corset Bodycon Dress, $38, available at Miss Selfridge; Rag & Bone Norfolk Shirt Dress, $198, available at La Garçonne; KORS Michael Kors Ava Sandal, $229.99, available at Lord & Taylor; Warehouse Metal Sections Stretch Belt, $30.55, available at ASOS; Lanvin Wide Brim Hat, $663, available at farfetch.com.
As always our TGIF sale starts tonight at midnight and all through Friday just in time for you to snag the perfect outfit for those Summer pool parties. Don't miss out on receiving the promo code! Make sure to sign up to our newsletter. You can find that on the home page, last tab at the top reading "Newsletter" :) Then patiently wait as we send you an email containing the information you'll need to get your discount.
By now, you've got the summer SPF routine on lock — but what about your hair? After all, summer's beach-and-sun, rinse 'n repeat activities can be a little harsh on those tresses, leaving them feeling less than shampoo-ad ready. Well, no more. Ahead, the same stylists who help our fave celebs shine bright dish tips on scoring your healthiest hair, ever. Go on, step up your mane game!
Curly girls know that when the humidity creeps in, soft waves can quickly become one fuzzy headache. The most important way to keep those curls manageable, according to Nine Zero One Salon’s Nicole Leal, is the good ol' fashioned trick of using the proper shampoo and conditioner. Her favorite pick for summer is Oribe Brilliance and Shine shampoo and conditioner, which have the added bonus of being color safe. And, a helpful PSA for those of us who plan to be parking it poolside for hours: “If you are going to be out in the sun, bring along Wella Enrich treatment mask and apply to dry hair. This will keep your ends healthy and is similar to an in-salon deep treatment,” says the stylist at the J.Lo-approved WeHo salon. (For those keeping count, that makes two celebrity stylists who are on the Wella Enrich train!) Lastly, for those living in fear of frizz, consider Unite’s 7 Seconds Detangling Spray your new summer crush.
Oribe Shampoo for Brilliance and Shine, $45, available at Barneys New York; Oribe Conditioner for Brilliance & Shine, $47, available at Net-a-Porter; Unite 7 Seconds Condition Leave-In Detangler, $26, available at Amazon.
Andy LeCompte is the mastermind behind Nicole Richie’s enviable locks. To keep chemically-processed hair looking healthy in the heat, the owner of West Hollywood’s Andy LeCompte Salon
stresses the importance of hydration. For that, Andy recommends Wella Professionals line of Enrich products which nourish the hair, giving it just the pick-me-up needed after exposure to chlorine and heavy rays. For a boost of moisture, the stylist prescribes a few drops of Rodin Olio Lusso’s body oil, applied to the tresses. Another hint: Pre-pool party, spritz on some leave-in conditioner — it’s a bit more subtle than donning a swim cap, but it will protect your strands all the same.
Wella Enrich Moisturizing Shampoo, $13 for 10.1 oz., available at Ulta; Wella Enrich Moisturizing Conditioner , $14 for 8.4 oz., available at Ulta; Wella Enrich Moisturizing Leave In Balm, $12, available at Ulta;Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Body Oil, $110, available atBarneys New York.
Strong rays can zap the color from highlighted hair, meaning carefree romps on the beach are harder on highlighted hair. Luckily, Rona O’Connor has you covered — the woman who tends to Blake Lively’s locks says the trick is using products that keep your style shiny and texturized to show off the colors, while also protecting delicate hair. On the Lukaro Salon
owner’s must-have list: “Goldwell Dual Senses Fade Stop Shampoo and Extra Rich Color Conditioner, and once every third washing, the 60 Second Mask for Blondes and Highlights [which] delivers nourishing, hydrating, and shine-enhancing results in no time.” (It’s especially great for girls on the go who need extra conditioning.) For a little extra sparkle without the greasy aftermath, apply a weightless gel cream like Goldwell’s Style Sign Spun Shine Gloss.
Goldwell Dual Senses Color Extra Rich Fade Stop Shampoo, $34.99 for 25.4 oz., available at Ulta;Goldwell Dual Senses Color Extra Rich Detangling Conditioner, $39.99 for 25.4 oz., available at Ulta;Goldwell Dual Senses Blondes & Highlights 60 Second Treatment, $18.99, available at Ulta; Goldwell Style Sign Spun Shine Gloss, $15, available at Amazon.
Keeping naturally textured hair healthy is Kim Kimble’s forte. The owner of Kimble Hair Salon
and star of WE’s L.A. Hair
has developed her own line of products to keep clients like Kerry Washington and Rihanna in hair-care heaven. Her advice? Avoid heavy-wax products and opt for sulfate-free shampoos, leave-in conditioners, and hot-oil treatments. Another pro trick: Sleep in a silk bonnet to keep strands from drying out in the summer heat. And, if you’re truly devoted to keeping your hair in check this season, take a page from Washington’s book and lob off some locks. Kim recommends trading a blunt cut for a textured crop, because long layers will add controlled volume.
Kimble Hair Care Brazilian Nut & Acai Berry Shampoo, $13.99, available at Kimble Beauty; Kimble Hair CareBrazilian Nut & Acai Berry Conditioning Masque, $12.99, available at Kimble Beauty; Kimble Hair CareBrazilian Nut & Acai Berry Leave-in Conditioner, $14.99, available at Kimble Beauty; Kimble Hair Care Bounce Back Curl Revitalizer, $15.99, available at Kimble Beauty and Target stores.
To keep fine locks from going limp, Byron Williams’ motto is “less is more.” According to the owner of his eponymous salon
in Beverly Hills, adding too much voluminizing or thickening product to thin hair will actually weigh it down. His solution? “A little bit of dry shampoo. It gives the hair a feeling of fullness.” The stylist also recommends that fine-haired ladies (like his client Michelle Williams) wash their tresses more often in the summer, when strands tend to be oilier. And, if your hair is on the frizzier side, add a dose of Living Proof’s Nourishing Cream to your hair routine. Just what the doctor, erm, stylist ordered.
Living Proof Nourishing Cream, $26 for 4 oz., available at Sephora; Evo Water Killer Dry Shampoo, $25, available at Evo.
"Summertime is practically synonymous with bursting-from-the-seams fun. And sure, concerts and cookouts already pepper our iCals, but sometimes, that roll call of activities could use a little shake-up. Thankfully, L.A. really is a crazy-fun sprawl of a city — and all the more if you're clued in to all its must-hit happenings. So, that's where we come in. Ahead, we map out a whole season's fill of to-dos, so you keep bopping along like a happy camper all summer long."
Jubilee Music & Arts Festival
Musicians, authors, and comedians will be invading the downtown Arts District on June 7 and 8. The Drums and the Black Lips are headlining, with tons of smaller, local bands with serious chops playing, too. Gourmet food trucks and a bounty of art exhibitions are sure to keep you busy between acts. At $50 a pop, tickets for the two-day fest are a super reasonable, so book 'em now!
When: June 7 and 8
Where: 590 South Santa Fe Street (near East 6th Street); 800-514-3849.
Prices range, see more and purchase here
June 15 Re-Opening of the Echo Park Lake Redesign
After a nearly two-year makeover, the Echo Park Lake is looking downright sparkly once again. The City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works deserves serious praise here, because the before and after photos are pretty inspiring: We spy a new boardwalk with seating area (outdoor concerts, anyone?), a boathouse ripe for a cafe opening, and new wetlands with soon-to-be bloomin' lotus flowers. Be there for the June 15 community opening, or simply take a leisurely after-work stroll around the lily pad-dotted lake. A mighty fine way to unwind, if you ask us. Learn more here
When: Opening Event, Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m.
Where: Echo Park Lake
LA Street Food Fest - Fourth Annual Summer Tasting Event
This is one crazy-amazing event you'll want to get on your calendar immediately
– after all, if history bears repeating, it's a shoe-in to sell out. The L.A. Street Food Fest, now in its fourth year, is a Los Angeles event through and through, dreamed up by two best friend Angelenos and featuring the edible concoctions of over 85 participating
local food trucks, stands, and pop-ups. An "adventure park for foodies," once you pay your admission to this fest, you're set for all-you-can-eat (and drink, too! There will be beer gardens, cocktail bars, and a tequila tent. Nom)! You should most definitely plan to eat a light dinner on Friday, so that your stomach is rearing for the goods come Saturday morning. Food comas, we're comin' for you!
When: Saturday, June 29, general admission 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive
$50 general admission, VIP early admission $75. Purchase here
Vineland Drive-In Movie Theater
The drive-in movie theater — as nostalgically American as apple pie. Perfect for a family outing, date night, or throwback shindig with friends, you'll want to catch at least one flick at Vineland this summer. It beats the sticky floors and little-to-no legroom at traditional theaters! Check out the Vineland website
for an updated screening schedule.
When: Daily, 7 p.m.
Where: Vineland Drive-In Movie Theater, 443 North Vineland Ave (near West Nielson Avenue); 626-961-9262.
Views and brews are the name of the game at The Standard's rooftop beer garden. Wash down your pretzels, weiners, and strudels with a cold one while enjoying sweeping vistas of DTLA. Picnic tables and greenery abound at this hot spot, just about perfect for an after-work gathering that reaches into some early morning hours — dirndls and lederhosen optional.
When: Daily, 12 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Where: The Standard, 550 South Flower Street (near West 6th Street); 213-892-8080.
Saturdays Off The 405
Much like PB&J and Brangelina, art and music is just one winning combo. And, Saturdays Off the 405 is bringing them together all season long for free. Jam to awesome artists like Robert DeLong and Geographer or peruse The Getty Center’s newest exhibitions while you take in awe-inspiring views of our beloved city from one of this city’s gems. You can also chow down on yummy fare and sip beer and wine throughout these culture-filled evenings. L.A. has pretty perfect summer nights—why not take full advantage?
When: Select Saturdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive (near Beverly Park Drive); 310-440-7300
Beach Yoga With Brad
Come summertime’s warm rays, we start becoming a little unconvinced that hitting the gym is the best way to stay active. Why be inside when you can get physical in the great outdoors? Man-of-all-trades Brad Keimach offers weekend yoga classes at the Pacific Ocean’s edge that have inspired a bevy of devoted followers, and we’re looking to get in on the seaside fun. For just ten bucks, you can perfect your downward dog on Santa Monica beach, so just don’t forget your mat and some SPF protection! We’re already anticipating all thoseoms in such a blissful setting.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Where: Santa Monica Beach, Lifeguard Station #29, Marine Street (at Barnard Way); 310-826-6958.
Jazz Fridays at LACMA
Why not spice things up this summer, with LACMA's jazz nights! It's a perfect, alternative date night, where music lovers can spread blankets (or take a seat in front of the stage) and sip BYO wine while taking in soothing sounds from local talent. Sound amazing? We thought so! The architecturally stunning museum and starry night sky serve as the backdrop every week for this Friday night event. And, we're saving the best bit for last: It's totally free.
When: Every Friday Through November, 6 p.m.
Where: LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard (near South Fairfax Avenue); 323-857-6000.
"The truth is, sometimes the most basic closet staples are the hardest to style. If we're challenged with something out of left field (like a patterned pencil skirt), we'll barely break a sweat after hitting that home run. But, toss us a curveball like the classic white tank and suddenly our game's thrown off.
So, we're here to rewrite the playbook (okay, we'll cool it with the baseball references!). From the boardroom to the black-tie event, here are three fresh (exciting!) ways to style that plain-Jane piece. Step up to the plate...(sorry, we couldn't resist)."
Snagged an invite with "black-tie optional" engraved at the bottom? Look no further than this fresh take on evening attire. Matched with a floor-grazing skirt and pretty-meets-punk accessories, this white tank takes it to a whole other level. A sleek leather jacket is the icing on the cake — just don't forget to reapply your pink lipstick after taking a bite of the actual dessert!
Look 2: The Good Sport
There's no shame if last night's black-tie affair lasted until the wee hours of the morn. And, what better way to relive the magic of the previous evening than by recycling the main attraction? Pair it with casual cut-offs and a floral tote. Just don't forget the most important hangover curve of all: an easy sweater and some bright shine.
Look 3: Summer Friday Special
While most office employees reserve the white tank for layering, we're wearing our's with pride — while still being work appropriate, of course. Just toss on a blazer and matching trousers, and you're ready for that big presentation. Plus, this meeting-appropriate look is also happy hour-worthy — just throw on some festive ear candy and a neon belt.
Is work starting to feel a little too hamster-on-the-wheel? Make a clean getaway with these career-boosting and soul-saving strategies.
Little Change: Take A Vocation Vacation
At least, that’s what Dorie Clark calls it. She’s talking about taking time to apprentice with someone in a field other than your own. It’s extremely helpful for people who are feeling uninspired by their jobs and may be looking to transition into a new field. (Not to mention a hell of a lot safer than bailing on your job without a plan or inkling of what it’s really like to make chocolates for six hours straight.)
“It’s always a good idea to take a test drive before you launch a new career or business venture,” she says. “If there are opportunities for you to do volunteering, interning, or apprenticing under another business owner so that you can see what it’s really like, that is incredibly valuable. You can sign up for almost any occupation and shadow a professional — and find out whether it would be appealing to you in the concrete reality, rather than just the idea of it.”
Big Change: Get Yourself A Mentor
Now, getting a mentor might not seem like a massive change, but in her book, Clark notes that autogenerated workplace mentorship isn’t what it used to be. Since people don’t stay at the same company for decades anymore, the natural infrastructure of older generations helping younger ones in a work environment isn’t guaranteed.
In short, you have to seek out your own mentor. (“It’s very rare that a mentor will just fall in your lap these days," Clark says.) First, redefine what a mentor looks like in your mind (older, successful, admires your spunk, and can’t wait to nurture you along). Clark says that mentors can be younger than us, or specialize in a different field altogether. Cast a wide net, and ask yourself: ‘Who do I admire, and what can I learn from this person?’
Further, Clark says to reconfigure your understanding of mentorship. "Instead of looking for one perfect person who can teach you, look to an array of people that you admire," she says. "You might have a friend who is really smart about how she uses social media, or another friend who is terrific at networking, and another who is fantastic at business. You can think of those people as your personal board of directors. Take them out to coffee once a month or find a way to keep in touch with them.” And, she adds, be mindful that you can help and add value totheir lives as well.
When’s the last time you did something just for the fun of it? Between work, family, staying up on your laundry, and getting to the gym, it’s easy to think, “I just don’t have time for fun.” But, a recent North Carolina State University study showed that seniors who play video games have a better sense of well-being. Other research shows that play has a transformative effect on adults. So, go ahead — inject a little fun into your life. Because even way back in the day, Plato recognized the power of fun, writing, "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
Big Change: Travel To Another Country
Traveling to a far-flung place can be almost as exciting as hopping into a time machine — it’s easy to break free from your cell phone, media stream, and the rigors of everyday life. Much as when you were a kid, this simpler lifestyle demands unscheduled playtime. And, according to Bernstein, that sense of play and exploration is greatly beneficial: “It’s important to always have a new, heightened awareness of the world that supports you as a well-rounded person.”
Little Change: Get In The Game
Of course, reclaiming a sense of play doesn’t require a passport and accrued vacation days. A game of pickup basketball or Parcheesi is a great way to laugh and feel free. If games don’t float your boat, find an activity that feels fun, then carve out a little bit of time to let loose.
What’s a great way to get into the flow? Fine-tune your environment. Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi, a Claremont Graduate University psychology and management professor who has studied highly effective creative types for more than 30 years, says that a sense of control helps trigger focus. And, in an increasingly chaotic world, our homes and offices provide environments we can control.
Big Change: Redecorate Your Place
It’s difficult to enjoy your home or work space if you can’t stand its water-stained ceiling, unforgiving lighting, or clinical wall color. Beautifying your surroundings and making the space work for you (like lowering a table that's too tall to be comfortable) won’t just improve aesthetics; it will boost other aspects of your life as well. “Having a healthy home and work space is crucial to creating new deals, creating opportunities, and having energy flow around your work space so you can be energized throughout the day,” Bernstein says.
Little Change: Straighten Up
Mess and chaos can block more than your physical walkway from your door to your desk. “If you have a messy wallet, you’re blocking abundance. If you have a messy desk, you’re blocking new opportunities,” Bernstein says. “Clearing out desk drawers can really help you bring in new business. And, if you have a wildly messy closet, then you’re not actually dressing well, because you’re not finding what it is that you like.”
Maybe things aren’t what they once were with your partner of six years. Perhaps the hottie that you’re knockin’ boots with leaves you feeling all, “Psh, whatever,” when you aren’t in the sack. Either way, your relationship needs an attention infusion.
Big Change: Recognize Whether It's Worth Keeping
So, you’ve got yourself a girl or a guy. Whether you have yet to have labeled it a “relationship,” or you think that the person you’re dating may be “the one” (or one of the ones, anyway), it’s important to take inventory and determine whether it's a healthy relationship. The answer, says Bernstein, is surprisingly straightforward: “If it’s making you feel energized or happy, then it’s healthy.” And, if your relationship isn’t satisfying those two vital criteria? Work on the relationship. If you’d rather call it quits, Bernstein advises asking yourself, "What did I learn from this experience?"
Little Change: Swap Negligence For Negligees
On Tuesdays, your partner makes tacos for two, and on Wednesdays, you do laundry. That’s nice and all, but that predictability is not the least bit exciting. What’s worse, not only do you expect these things from one another, but you rarely say “thank you.”
“I think it’s naive to say that we don’t have to 'water the plant,'” Bernstein says. “You always have to be mindful of how your relationship is moving forward, and you always have to be mindful of the energy that you bring to it. If you stop watering the plant, then it will not grow.”
To make sure you’re not letting your most intimate relationship die on the vine, challenge yourself to do little things on a weekly or daily basis to surprise your love interest. Leave a funny drawing in the medicine cabinet, or text a picture that triggers a great memory of the two of you. Your partner will likely want to reciprocate (though if that doesn't happen, don’t suppress your disappointment — vocalize your needs instead).
Developing your inner self is the most dangerous aspect of life to forgo. It’s also the easiest. While making your spirit feel whole is vitally important to how you carry yourself in all other aspects of life, it’s also something that requires confronting core bad habits—which is not only difficult, but something that others likely won’t call you out on (until it severely cracks the façade) — plus, it can’t be farmed out to someone else. Only you can make it a priority and do the work.
Little Change: Talk To Yourself (And Be Nice)
“Everything you say is an affirmation," Bernstein says. "Either you’re affirming positivity into your life, or you’re affirming more chaos.” By being mindful of what our inner voice says (as well as what we voice verbally), you are directing both the way in which you interpret the world and your sense of personal well-being.
“There’s energy in the words. If you are saying something like, ‘I can’t get a job,’ redirect that to ‘I am open to creative opportunities in my career path,’” Bernstein says. Just don’t lie to yourself or set yourself up for failure. “The most important thing is this: Make sure you believe in whatever you’re affirming. If you redirect ‘I can’t get a job,’ to say ‘I’m a millionaire,’ your mind is going to say ‘I don’t believe that.’ You want to reach for a positive thought that you actually believe in,” Bernstein says.
Big Change: Tackle A Recurring Problem
Maybe your relationship with your dad is messed up. (Still.) Or, maybe you can’t seem to shake that passive-aggressive behavior. Whatever the case, if an issue has bugged you for longer than you can remember, it might be time to work though the problem once and for all. Team up with a professional — be it a therapist, life coach, or some other trained expert — and make a dedicated effort to address the issue. Why? We want to be defined by our greatness, not the things that weigh us down. Making the effort, time, and financial commitment to get the monkey (or daddy issues) off your back is a bold, whole-hearted move that means business, and ultimately, a better self.
Before you can tackle your debt, you have to get real with it — and that means facing it head-on and adding up every last cent. As terrifying as that stack of overdue bills may be, you can't create a plan of attack without understanding how much you actually owe.
First, identify all of your outstanding debts — car notes, student loans, credit card debts, and personal IOUs. Next, write down the interest rate for each debt, plus the payback terms. Scary stuff, we know, but we'll show you how to tame that monster.
Armed with these details, make a payback priority list. Then, pay as much as you can toward your debt. One option is to pay back your debt by tackling the highest interest rates first. The higher the rate, the greater priority it should be to pay this back. This is the financially smarter strategy, since you pay less in interest to your creditors.
As an alternative, you can tackle your debt in order of balance (in other words, how much you owe). Knock out small balances first, and tackle the bigger debts later. This is the emotionally happier strategy, since you feel better when you close out debts completely.
Don't stress about choosing the "right" one. Either strategy is better than no strategy, since ignoring your debt problem makes it worse.
If there were ever a time to go above and beyond, this is it. Make sure your strategy includes paying more than just the minimum on your credit card debt. For instance, let's say you have $10,000 in debt at 20% interest. If you pay only the minimum, you will get out of this debt in 67 years...after paying $46,168 in interest. See what this means for your real-life situation by using theFederal Reserve’s minimum payment calculator.
To help speed up your payoff and pay less in interest, use these two tricks:
1. Make your payments early in the billing cycle — waiting till the due date costs you more in interest. If you can’t afford to make the whole payment early, make multiple smaller payments throughout the month, such as half-payments twice a month.
2. Pay a constant amount, even as your balance and minimum required payments decline. This speeds up your debt payoff considerably — even more than the first trick.
So...what if you're seriously
in debt? If your total outstanding debt (not including mortgages) is multiples of your annual income, or you cannot afford even the minimum payments on all of your debt, try working with a credit counselor. (Check the National Foundation for Credit Counseling
for certified counselors and agencies.) A counselor can help you with a debt management plan, or even filing for bankruptcy. Keep in mind, bankruptcy filings stay on your credit report for 10 years — impacting your ability to get loans, and even jobs or apartments — so, use this only as a last resort.
Oh, and those commercials and newspaper ads that promise "easy" debt relief? Skip them. A lot of scam artists operate in this field. If the process sounds quick and easy, it's probably a scam.
Start by creating a realistic budget that allows for some splurges while still keeping expenses below your income. Just as you tracked every cent that you used to owe, plan out your monthly budget down to the last dollar. (It's fine to leave some "mad money" that can be used just for fun.)
And, once you've paid down your debt, the next challenge is to improve your credit. (More on this in May!) Start by using credit cards for small purchases, then paying off the balance in full each month. If you consider taking out future loans, be aggressive in seeking out those with low interest rates (and don't take out more than you'll be able to pay back comfortably). Little steps like this will go a long way toward building a stellar credit score — and proving that you canbe a money badass, no matter your financial past.
Hey Closet Freaks! Hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend and took advantage of our sale we had going on. Anyways! Last week we had our one year anniversary at Qloak LA. Closet Freak has been in business for one year ya'll! And we hope to see many more years. We would like to thank the time to thank all of you guys as supporters. Whether it was morally or physically. Our sales raise each week and it's so exciting to see that. Thank you for the love, we see you. We can't wait for many more years of making sick vintage pieces for ya'll! xoxoxo
So check out some pictures from our anniversary party, and hopefully we'll see you at our 5 year. ;)