Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Best Car Commercials of 2012

When watching TV, I'm an avid channel changer and commercial-break hater. Surely I'm not the only one?! But sometimes commercials will surprise me and I'll fall in love with them. And yes, I'm one of those people who pretend to like the super bowl, but really I'm just there to check out the commercials, eat appetizers and hang out with boys.

Well so far this year, here are my favorite car commercials. They're funny and sentimental. When I first saw my no. 1 favorite, I literally laughed out loud, at the gym, by myself, on the treadmill; it was THAT funny. See for yourself:

(The videos are in a Prezi presentation, just press the right arrow to scroll through and watch the videos!)

Monday, October 22, 2012

4 Fun Tips to Relax and ‘Keep Calm’

It’s no secret: life is stressful. And we all have our own secret stress-relievers, like weekly trips to Nordstrom, running five miles a day, tanning, vacuuming, frequenting happy hours, watching reruns of Friends and The O.C., having a spa day or just catching up with loved-ones. Well if you still need some stress-relief tips, here are some of my favorite and fun tips to relax. (They help me, so I thought I would share!) 

Display Your Favorite Photos. There’s a reason why Target and Pier 1 have over 50 styles of photo frames: photos make you happy. A recent study even found that Instagram, the photo-sharing social network, now has more daily users than Twitter. (And yes, I love Instagramming too) Photos are fun. So keep your favorite photos around your apartment, office or phone. And speaking of Instagram… download the awesome app, Instastory, to make a music-slideshow of your favorite Instagrams. Here’s my latest Instastory titled Some of My Favorite Things

Read a magazine (in print). It seems like everything is digital nowadays. If I knew the total number of hours I spent online, on my phone or on anything digital, I would probably freak out. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting the New York Times iPhone app alerts, reading with my morning coffee and checking all my social media networks, but sometimes I need to read something in print. It seems like everything is on a screen. Just last week, Newsweek even announced that starting January 2013, they will be solely digital and no longer print their magazine! I hope other magazines don’t follow their footsteps because I love picking up the latest edition of Cosmo or Wired magazine and reading physical text on a page. It’s relaxing! Magazines are the perfect way to unwind. Whatever your hobbies or interests are, I guarantee there is a magazine out there you can relate to and enjoy! Some of my personal favorites: Cosmo, Self, Men’s Health (yes, while traveling this summer my sister and I discovered that the Men’s version is way more insightful!), The Dallas Observer and National Geographic.  

Plan outfits ahead of time. It helps, seriously. You know those stressful mornings before work or those Friday nights before meeting your friends, and you’re stuck in your closet with no idea what to wear? Yes, I hate those moments. That’s why you plan ahead! Before bed, after brushing your teeth and making sure your iPhone alarm is set, why not pick out your outfit for the next day (or those upcoming special events where you have to dress-to-impress). Need to relieve some stress? Put on some Rihanna and have a personal-fashion-show night. Have you’re upcoming outfits planned, mix & match different pieces and perfect your make-up. This helps eliminate morning stress and boosts confidence!

Continually Make Goals. In the midst of all life’s activities and stress, it’s easy to get stuck in a routine and forget where you are headed. That’s why it’s important (and stress-relieving) to constantly make goals for yourself. Whether it’s “have a home-cooked meal twice a week” or “accept a date you never thought you’d say yes to,” making goals keep you motivated, focused, and relieves stress. Here are some of my recent goals

How do you keep calm? 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Writing Pet Peeves (and one exception)

I love written communication. Whether it’s a news article with my morning coffee, a cute 140-character tweet, emails at work, the latest edition of Cosmo or a simple thinking-of-you text message, written communication is everywhere. There’s no escaping it.

But unfortunately, not all writing is pretty. Maybe it’s because of my journalism degree, but I get frustrated when I come across bad writing. I understand not everyone is a New York Times best-selling author, but that’s no excuse for bad writing. Writing needs to be clear, correct and intriguing. Let’s be real, no one is happy to receive a “wat u doin 2nite” text, or read a 900-word babbling article that could easily be said in 100.

So, here are some of my writing pet peeves:

Misleading Headlines and Subject Lines. There’s nothing more annoying than clicking on a headline that reads something like, “Best Colleges in the Country,” only to read that Baylor University is not on the list. OK, that was a joke, kind of. But misleading headlines are a huge pet peeve. We’ve all seen them, clicked on them and usually ended up disappointed. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing for a newspaper, sending an email or simply sharing a link on Facebook, headlines need to be a clear summary of your content. If you want to grab readers’ attention by being cute and witty, that’s great, just make sure it’s still directly related to the story. Writing headlines is an art and takes practice! Check out these annual headline contest winners from the American Copy Editors Society for a look at some of the best headline writers in the business!

Too many little dots… The over use of them hurts my head. As a reader, you don’t want to be interrupted by multiple and meaningless stops. I understand using them once or twice for emphasis after a joke or fun fact. Like the funny Saturday morning text message: “I just woke up on a half-eaten lean pocket…” or “I saw the most attractive person today… in the mirror.” You get the idea. But when those three little dots are used multiple times… throughout texts… or emails… or comments… for no apparent reason… I… loose… my mind… so think wisely before you use them…    

Those super-complex, look-how-smart-I-am words. OK, so you know the definition of unscrupulous, good for you. But no one cares. I used to see this all the time in school when we had to peer-review classmates’ essays; you could tell the ones who were just right-clicking the thesaurus option, praying to look smarter. Well it didn’t work then, and it’s not working now. The best message is written in the clearest, simplest form. Again, this is probably my news writing, journalism background talking, but the best writing is easy-to-read and precise (all while being informative and interesting). 

My secret exception to writing rules: Personality. I love reading an article, tweet, blog, email or Facebook status that has a real voice. People shouldn’t be afraid to show their self in their writing. Show enthusiasm. Reveal emotions. Sometimes, that perfectly placed exclamation mark, caring tone or wonderfully worded sentence can make all the difference!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

5 Great Songs That Every 20-Something Needs in Life

Can you imagine a world without music? What a horrible thought! 

Music gets me through everything. Whether I’m arguing with my car to “Play track: Lollipop” or dancing around my apartment blasting Rihanna, music is always on. Don’t ask me to pick a favorite song, artist or genre, because that’s impossible. Instead, here are five great songs I think every 20-something needs in life:

Drift Out (Jessie James, Avicii and Coldplay Mashup) – This is the ultimate song for us 20-somethings. We’re young, beautiful, carefree, fresh out of school, and ready to take on the world. And there’s nothing wrong with dancing under the moonlight while we do it.

Moves Like Jagger (Sex Ray Vision Remix) – If you could instantly gain confidence from listening to a single song, this would be it. I fell in love with this song when Adam Levine performed it at the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. So if you ever need some Victoria’s Secret Super Model confidence, turn it up and move like Jagger!

Reckless (Aaron Watson)
Everyone needs to get a little wild and reckless sometimes…      

Red Light  THIS song is perfect. Life is so fast; things happen; things end; people leave; opportunities pass you by; and sometimes you just need a good song to remind you to slow down. Life is also beautiful. 

Sexy and I Know It – With all of life’s craziness and stress, everyone can use a hang-out-of-the-sunroof, dance-like-crazy, rock-out-with-your-guac-out kind of song to jam out to. (Even my dad likes this song, it’s hilarious!)

OK, what songs are missing?