This week Forbes reported Millennial Woman are burning out before 30, due to an inability to relax. Not only can starting out in the PR field be stressful and demanding, often times it can mean long hours for moderate to low wages. The last thing you need to worry about is stressing over how you are going to unwind without draining your bank account. Here are five ways to treat yourself for $5 or under!
- Stop into the salon for a quick and impromptu polish change for fun, not just to be polished for an event or date (try a daring shade you typically avoid – it’s only five bucks, why not?).
- Indulge in your favorite mid afternoon pick me up (whether it’s Pinkberry or your favorite seasonal Starbucks coffee).
- Shop the street vendors neon Ray-Ban knock offs or a fun accessory from H&M or Forever 21.
- Stretch it out for only $5 at Integral Yoga Institute of New York(227 W 13th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves). Beginners’ class are offered on Saturdays (6:15′“7:45pm), experienced beginners on Tuesdays (9:15′“10:45am) and advanced stretchers on Wednesdays (6:15′“7:45pm).
Take a moment and try to incorporate one of these small treats into your work day, not just unwinding on the weekend. Whether it’s stepping out for five minutes to get a cup of coffee or to breathe in the brisk fall air. Take a ten minute walk and remind yourself to just breathe and find time for you.
In honor of Thanksgiving fast approaching we wanted to share our go-to blogs for our favorite recipes. We have each had the opportunity to work with a food client at our current PR agencies and the experiences have definitely given us a new-found appreciation for the kitchen. Instead of secretly wishing my kitchen was additional closet space, these beautiful blogs and websites have helped me develop a fondness for cooking. Typically, I head to my favorite Epicurious page to satisfy a hankering. But with the holiday right around the corner, there are so many festive blogs and sites to help celebrate an entire day filled with cooking, food and giving thanks.
Here area few of our favorite food blogs:
The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond made a name for herself as the city gal turned country girl, who fell in love with a cowboy and traded LA glitz for Oklahoma cattle. Ree blogs at The Pioneer Woman on home schooling her four children, entertainment, home and garden, and most importantly cooking. Ree’s recipes are as delicious as they are well photographed and easy to prepare. Maybe it’s my southern roots, but I always feel at home scrolling through Ree’s blog. As a novice cook and baker, this blog has helped me take my first steps into honing my domestic skills.
Smitten Kitchen - Deb is my culinary crush. Not only do her recipes tempt my taste buds (and cooking skills), but she cooks all her recipes in her tiny NYC apartment. Now I have no excuse for considering cooking and baking a weekend hobby opposed to a daily necessity.
Cupcakes and Cashmere – Emily Schuman’s blog is more than just a pretty space. Her blog offers entertaining tips, interior design, how-to’s as and weekly recipes. Get tips for entertaining this Thanksgiving and scrumptious recipes to feature on your dining table. image via Pinterest.com
Before Pinterest took up most of my free time, I used to scour the Etsy shops online as if they were each a quaint boutique I was strolling in and out of on a lovely tree-lined street on a sunny afternoon day. I loved that I could use the convenience of online shopping to still procure original, creative and unique gifts for friends and myself. I realized I have been out of the Etsy game and with the holidays approaching wanted to get back in touch with this amazing community of small businesses whose mission is to bring heart to commerce and make the world more fair, more sustainable and more fun!
Here are my top three Etsy finds:
Personalized Wire Bridal Hangers – I admit it, I look at numerous wedding magazines, blogs, websites and scroll through hundred of wedding photos on a regular basis. I wish I could say my excuse was that I worked with bridal outlets for my client, but the truth is for the last two or three years I’ve had a close friend getting married. Therefore, because of my natural event planning skills, I’m always asked for my opinion on anything from color schemes to menu options.
So when I first spotted these personal wire hangers in a photographers blog a few months back, I fell in love. It’s such a creative and personal touch for the traditional wedding gown shot. A friend’s wedding this summer even incorporated these hangers as bridesmaid’s gifts, personalizing the wires to her maids first names. Two of my favorite things happen to be weddings and beautifully organized closets with wooden hangers, so no wonder I’m hooked on these beauties from Aressa’s Etsy shop, The Painted House and More.
Letterpress Poster – I love letterpress. Letterpress greeting cards, posters and even wedding invitations. I search the Letterpress category on Etsy until I’m blue in the face. I have purchased a few items from different shops to add to my letterpress collage and I fear I need to stop my searches as my collection is running out of wall space in my modest NYC dwelling.
I purchased the letterpress Lemons piece above from Dear Colleen‘s Etsy shop, but encourage you to search Etsy’s letterpress selection as there are numerous adorable posters to fit your personality and add some charm to your home.
Chic Aprons – I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year with my sister at my Grandmama’s home in Chicago. We’ll be doing all the cooking and entertaining, as my Grandmama has put in her share of turkey time over the years. I wanted to find a small gift for my Grandmama as well as my Aunts who are traveling to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with us. Since this is pretty much an all female crowd aside from my brother and Uncle (they will be receiving these), I thought a chic, handmade apron would be the perfect gift for a holiday that is spent mostly in the kitchen.
Yesterday via Young House Love, I discovered the most adorably chic Etsy shop, City Chic Country Mouse. Owned by a mother and daughter duo, Jaime and Carmen, the daughter’s style is brought to life with the help of her mother’s sewing skills. They bring a sense of style and sophistication to even the most mundane of household items, like ironing boards. This beauty is going to make me rekindle my love of ironing.
Have you recently purchased a treasure from an Etsy shop, or do you own your own? We’d love to know!
Serendipity (serÉ™nËˆdipitÄ“), by definition, is the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”. However, one visit to Serendipity 3 (Located at 225 E 60th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Ave) and you will forever have a new meaning for the word.
John and Kate enjoying their own frozen hot chocolate
Made famous for their scene in the movie Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, Serendipity 3 is a frequent stop on the NYC to eat list. Therefore, expect a wait. On my first visit, I showed up about fifteen minutes after opening and had a minimal wait time. Their menu is American style featuring a variety of sandwiches, hamburgers, casseroles, pastas and even crepes and omelettes. I enjoyed the food, but you don’t visit Serendipity 3 for a hamburger, you go for the dessert.
The frozen hot chocolate is amazing. I highly recommend if you try anything it is the frozen hot chocolate. Not only is it delicious, but the portion is huge sizeable. Serendipity is synonymous with Frozen Hot Chocolate, at least for me. I hear the word serendipity and I am no longer reminded of fate, but tempting my taste buds with a chocolatey frozen treat.
So if you are planning a visit to NYC soon, stop by Serendipty 3, not only should this restaurant be on your bucket list for their tasty desserts, but they are located near Dylan’s Candy Bar ( candy store mecca) and Bloomingdale’s (shopping mecca) in the Upper East Side. Now, that location is definitely one happy accident.
Prior to moving to New York, my shoe collection consisted of flip-flops, sandals and wedges. I maybe had one pair of boots that I wore on the one slightly chilly day once a year. As my boot collection continues to grow there is one pair of boots in particular I could not live without, Hunter rain boots.
My first snow experience in the city I was in a pair of leather Cole Haan boots, trekking through the snow and the slush, thinking there had to be a better way. To say I was naive to dressing for snowmageddon would be an understatement. Leather boots were just so unpractical for snow, and rain boots. Really? Did I want to spend my entire winter slushing around in plastic rain deterrent material boots? That didn’t seem like it exuded the polished, chic NYC look I was trying to pull off.
Ashley Olsen sporting Hunter boots in signature Jimmy Choo crocodile print with gold buckle hardware
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for me to discover Hunter, the stylish alternative to the yellow rain boots of your childhood. Hunter rain boots come in a variety of vibrant and neutral colors that help you beat the winter weather while still looking pulled together.
After all, if you are going to have to wear a pair of rain boots all winter, it shouldn’t cramp your style. So if you are moving to NYC and experiencing city snow living for the first time, I highly recommend investing in a pair of Hunter boots!
As PR girls, there are some skills we just acquire naturally. One of which is throwing a fabulous event or party. With November upon us, the holidays will be here before we know it. I’m hosting my first Thanksgiving this year, and I took the opportunity this past Halloween weekend to polish up on my home entertaining skills. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when entertaining guests this holiday season:
Menu – I love cooking, but only when it’s for other people. When making dinner for just myself, I don’t make it past the microwave. However, tell me I’m cooking for my family or friends and I channel my inner Julia Child. When planning your menu, think of meals you can prepare in stages. Have a cheese spread or light appetizers guests can nibble on before the main meal. If you are serving heavy appetizers, have fun with your menu. Think mini mac and cheese and lasagna cups, meals that would ordinarily be served as main courses can me served in bite sized portions as appetizers. And alwasy, when featuring a menu be aware of your guests food allergies and dietary restrictions.
Personalize/Theme – Let the party reflect your taste. Whether you are throwing a holiday or seasonal bash, you can incorporate more festive items than just decor. Be creative and have fun with your party elements. My favorite way to personalize a dinner party is by making a signature cocktail for the evening. Our go to resource for fabulous signature adult beverages are our friends at Fashionably Bombed. This sister duo knows how to whip up a signature cocktail for any occasion. Check out their candy infused vodkas and specialty cocktails. I can’t wait to see what they mix up for the holidays!
Decor – Of course decor will play into your theme. For instance this past weekend, I kept my decor simple and fall inspired with gourds and mums. In keeping with a rustic autumn feel, my guests beverages were all severed in mason jars. Don’t over do the decorative nick knacks at the sake of space and ambiance. Include small touches and unscented candles to set an intimate atmosphere.
Playlist – Create a custom playlist for your guests that reflects the parties mood. Be certain to keep the volume at a level that still allows for guests to mingle and speak without having to shout over the speakers.
Keep it simple – Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner with your boyfriend’s parents or throwing an intimate girls brunch, keep it simple. Low key elements and meals that are easily prepared and eaten guarantee you and your guests will enjoy the real highlight of the party – the festive company of one another.
Halloween is a bizarre holiday when you think about it, but I typically don’t question any holiday that involves candy. Part of the fun of Halloween, for me, has always been thinking of a creative and fun costume to wear for an evening (or two). When I was younger this typically involved my mom making handmade costumes or repurposing her old bridesmaid dress into a preteen’s purple princess dream dress. Anything I dressed up as in my youth revolved around an excuse to wear makeup or glitter.
Our ideas of dress up have evolved as adults, but there is still a nostalgia in Halloween that lets your inner child come out to trick or treat play. Use your creative PR girl skills to think of a costume you may even have already in your closet or be creative and create your own. After all, PR girls naturally turn heads and Halloween should be no different.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind for your Halloween Costume this weekend:
(This look is a definite do, props if you can pull of this Black Swan eye makeup on your own)
Amanda Knox or Casey Anthony- These ladies have had enough media attention for the year, do they really need another night?
Sexy Nurse/Vampire/Disney Character/Nun- I can understand, you prefer to look sultry over scary this Halloween. Be creative and have fun, don’t default to fishnets and a tight, poorly made (and over priced) generic ensemble.
Snooki - or any Jersey Shore Cast member for that matter. We adore the shore, but once Snooki costumes became prepackaged it was time to shelf this costume idea.
Lady Gaga as Joe Calderone – If your love for Gaga just can’t let you miss an opportunity to walk in her skin for a night, go as the newly debuted Joe Calderone this year.
Black Swan – We loved Natalie Portman as Nina and I’m thinking this will be the costume of the year. You just have to ask yourself, white swan or black swan?
Idioms - I love this idea! A friend told me this week she is attending an Idiomatic Halloween Costume Party. She and another party goer are going as “Peace and Quiet”. One is dressing like a Hippie (peace) and the other a Mime (quiet).
Holly Golightlyor other NYC inspired characters – pay homage to NYC this year if you are partying in the city that never sleeps by dressing up as your favorite New Yorker. Walk Fifth Ave channeling Audrey Hepburn as Holly or put on your best Marilyn Monroe and stand over the infamous subway grate.
Couple Costumes – I’m a sucker for couple and group costumes. Be creative and have fun with your friends, dressing as characters from the same film, fairy tale or even nightmare.
Be Creative/Clever - Let your personality and creativity shine through! image via Pinterest.com
Thousands of press releases are distributed over the wire each day, how is your release going to stand out in comparison? Editors are receiving hundreds of press releases and pitches, many of which they will never read. Aside from avoiding buzzwords, here are a few questions you should ask yourself when writing a press release:
Is this News? The first question you need to ask yourself, is this newsworthy? Editors are quick to disregard any release that is more an advertisement than news. Make your brand news stand out in an attention grabbing, visual introduction along with the who, what, when, where, why and how of the story in the first paragraph of your release.
Would I read it? Many of my colleagues majored in journalism and I know a few journalists who are making the switch to public relations. These two professions are extremely similar. You know what is newsworthy and, lets face it, could practically write for the publications your monitor and pitch. So ask yourself, would I find this release relevant? Is this new product or campaign something I would feature? Your answer had better be a resounding yes!
Remember to Edit! And then re-edit and edit again! You can never be too cautious when editing a release. Have someone outside of your direct team read over the release. All too often your brand’s language and key messages become as familiar to you as the national anthem. It helps to get an outside set of eyes, someone who is not as familiar with your language or the program details. Another great editing tip – read your release backwards. This way if something sounds off, you will be more inclined to catch it. If there is an error that you miss, don’t stress. Once the error is caught advise the distributor and they can edit or re-release the news if needed. At a price. image via Pinterest.com
Even the word, buzzword, has become a buzzword in and of itself. ‘œBuzzwords and industry jargon are a form of shorthand used by people within a particular company or profession, but they can be confusing or even seem exclusionary to individuals outside of that field,’ said Max Messmer, author of Job Hunting For Dummies ® (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). ‘œWhen these words are overused, they can lose their impact altogether.’
That is when a buzzword turns into a major buzz kill. The overuse of these words impacts your message. It may be easier to throw out a buzzword to announce in a press release that your product or brand is the “best” or “innovative”. Ask yourself, do these buzzwords truly communicate your message? Probably not. Instead, use clear and concise sentences with relevant information when writing a press release. Your strong writing and content will be all the buzz you need to hook the press. Innovative and best are just a few of the hundreds of buzzwords that are sent across the wire on a daily basis.
PR strategist Adam Sherk determined the top 100 most overused buzzwords through PRFilter, a website from Real Wire that aggregates press releases. Ranked on usage in press release, here are the top twenty:
I moved to New York City almost two years ago, hardly knowing anyone. It had never dawned on me at the time of my move how difficult it could be to meet people post college and in a new city. I have to admit, when I boarded that one way flight from Tampa to New York all I could think about was starting my love affair with the city. However, that feeling did not last long.
We are lucky that we live in a city that is better company than most people I know. Half the fun of the NYC experience though, is finding someone to experience it with you. I lucked out after landing my dream job in finding some amazing colleagues who became friends. However, not everyone is so lucky. The beauty of New York is that you will not be loving this city alone for long. There is always someone else who boarded a one way flight to pursue their dream of city living and it doesn’t take long to find them. If you need a little help, here are some organizations that offer you the opportunity to meet new friends who share more than just your love for New York.
Meetup – Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. More than 2,000 groups get together in local communities each day. It took me months to finally break down and give Meetup a try. I was intimidated at first with the intense selection of groups that are available. With everything from Book Clubs to Belly Dancing, you are certain to find a group that shares your interest, no matter how diverse.
ZogSports – This co-ed social sports league for young professionals makes it easy to meet new people and enjoy your favorite sport regardless of skill level. Best part, you get to meet new people and have all the fun while ZogSports donates 10% of all profits, and 100% of Happy Hour bar contributions to charity. They also hold charity events, give you chances to volunteer, and donate to the schools, parks and fields where you play. You don’t have to be an olympic athlete to participate, the skill levels vary and you can sign up for anything from bowling to wiffle ball.
Volunteer – I’ve mentioned volunteering before, and I’ll mention it again. Not only is it a great way to meet people who share a common interest and passion for a specific volunteer organization, but you are giving back to an amazing city. Typically, I’ve found that individuals who share the same passion for a specific cause or charity have had similar life experiences or share the same ideals. Even if you are not uber passionate about saving the rainforest, that is okay. You don’t have to save the planet, but you can at least save your social life.