Career

Live in the Grey: New Website Inspires

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A poster came in the mail the other day from a new website (and philosophy), LiveintheGrey.com, which pretty much sums up exactly how I have to, want to and strive to live my life: with balance.

I instagrammed a portion of the poster and tacked it right up onto the most prominent wall in my office. I plan to look at it when I’m feeling down, overwhelmed, confused, enraged, bored, empty and uninspired. When I feel these emotions — down, overwhelmed, confused, enraged, bored, empty and uninspired — my first instinct is to reach for the highest of the highs, the polar opposite of my state of mind, the other end of the spectrum… But I’m realizing that’s not always the best approach.

I’m so excited someone created this site, which is a compilation and curation of inspiring ideas and stories — both original and from around the web — though I kind of wish I was thought of it. It’s definitely what the Buzzfeed-obsessed internet needs right now.

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Style

My I-Hope-They-Last-Forever Flats from Forever 21

forever21-flatsWhen you find a pair of shoes that are equal parts cute, comfy and versatile, you buy double. And the best part is, these City-Girl Colorblocked D’Orsay Flats were only $22.80 at Forever 21. I have been wearing pair #1 for practically three weeks straight now. The only days I didn’t wear them were on my wedding day (obvi!) and while on vacation because I had no choice but to wear flip flops poolside. When (if?) pair #1 fall apart, I’ll break out pair #2.

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News

My Reaction to Two Varying Opinions About Getting Married and a Woman’s Journey Through Adulthood (Plus, My Own Theory on the Matter)

I first read this post: “Life Before Marriage: Why You’re Not an Adult Until You Tie the Knot.” (Full disclosure: I worked with Kristin Koch at the bridal magazine she speaks of.) Kristin writes about her blissful years with then-boyfriend (now-fiance) sans that itch most some women get whereby they are hopeful, hint, ask, pressure or force boyfriends to put a ring on it. She says her life was transformed the minute she became engaged, citing that co-workers respected her more, wives of her soon-to-be groom’s friends suddenly liked her, and she felt more like an adult. And that’s when the comments section on the Huffington Post piece exploded, with comments like:

• “My brain hurts…”

• “Make no mistake about it, you are just as bad as anyone who judged you for not being married…”

• “I don’t know if you sold out or not, but you sure make it sound like you did. It sounds like you chose to get engaged to get the hounds off your back, which, in my opinion, isn’t a good reason to do anything…”

Then, I read the rebuttal on Cosmopolitan.com by Rose Surnow, who must be a comedian because she had me on the floor laughing. She titled her piece, “Spoiler Alert: Everyone Thinks You Should Be Married” and theorized Kristin must live in a small town without a mall.

Well, she doesn’t. And neither do I. So, which team am I on? While I do agree with Rose that “it’s totally cavalier to say that marriage is the marker of adulthood” — because, hell, you’re an adult the minute you start to face adult problems and pay adult bills — (and if you don’t, f*ck you), I am on Kristin’s side about this overnight transition that happens the minute you become engaged. I was proposed to last summer by my two-year-strong boyfriend who I adore, and I felt the change too. I am not going to say that people respected or liked me more, but the tides turned.

Now, I have a theory that it’s not merely about the fact that you’re engaged — that’s not why people all of a sudden realize you’re an adult. I’d like to think that people around you, especially those who have hired you to do a job and trusted you with responsibilities, have always seen you as a grownup. Plain and simple, the reason your colleagues and acquaintances suddenly have a new interest in you has to do with familiarity, vulnerability and confidence.

The people that gravitate towards you after you announce your engagement are those who have been there, done that. Suddenly, they have something to talk to you about, from wedding vendors they used to wedding planning tricks they can pass along. Finally, there’s something you can discuss! People love to hear themselves talk; they love to give advice. Now they know something you didn’t and they can offer up their wisdom.

And by the same token, you’ve opened yourself up. When you were single, you weren’t going around telling people about your dating escapades, no. You weren’t announcing things like, “Oh, I am single and loving it, how about that…” Getting engaged, getting married, becoming parents — these are the most personal and yet very public announcements you can share with people. When you start revealing personal things about yourself to strangers, they tend to just gravitate towards you more and feel more comfortable to tell you things.

As for the notion that your co-workers and bosses start to take you more seriously when you get engaged or married, there might be something there. It might have to do with that ring on your finger, sure. But there is another factor at play — you. If you feel more like a grownup because you’re engaged, you likely are acting like it, too. If you start to take yourself seriously, others will also. It’s not a one-way street. You didn’t, all of a sudden, get more respect because a man asked you to marry him. A strong sense of self is really powerful, and for some women — not all — having a man who truly loves you gives you confidence.
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News

Today, I Was the Live Blogger on the Set of “Anderson Live”

Blogging from the “Anderson Live” audience was such a treat. Check out the live blog here on AllYou.com with the minute-by-minute updates, including a funny story about Anderson going ballistic on a woman in the street (she tried to discard a banana peel into a mailbox!).

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News

My Reaction to Bringing Your Kids to Occupy Wall Street

I can’t say I completely agree with Occupy Wall Street. (Sorry, folks, don’t crucify me.) I realize they have a great cause to fight for that could also benefit me if they succeed. No, I’m not wealthy; yes, I could use better tax breaks and of course, the environmental pollution is affecting me. But on the other hand, I don’t fully understand why they’re lounging around parks and demonstrating the way they are. I just don’t get it.I read today from my good old friends at iVillage that the site’s community director brought her daughter to an Occupy Wall Street spot. I stopped in my tracks and had to do a double-take at my computer screen. What?! Did I read that tweet right? Why would anyone bring their four-year-old to see the demonstrations?

I immediately wanted to @ reply on Twitter: “Why?!” Then, I stopped and remembered — when I was six years old, my parents brought me to a protest.

It was the People Power Revolution (also known as the Philippine Revolution of 1986), which included a series of demonstrations in the Philippines campaigning against regime violence and electoral fraud. The civil resistance eventually led to the departure of Ferdinand Marcos from his presidency and restored my home country’s democracy after roughly three years of a deteriorating economy which plunged the country’s government into debt.

Suddenly, Occupy Wall Street is sounding very familiar.

Since I was only six, my memory is a little hazy. I do recall my mom dressing me in yellow (the color of the revolution) and holding my hand as we walked through the crowd. Although the scene felt kind of like a festival, I knew deep down it was so much more than that.

My dad says he and my mom brought my sister and I to the protest that day because for one, they were afraid to leave us home during a time of chaos. But more importantly, he wanted us to see and experience change.

Looking back, I realized the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations — as pointless as some people might think they are — are incredibly meaningful. To this day, I still have so much pride for my country — I still hold a Philippine passport, in fact. I’m grateful my parents included me in something so significant — because that day, I learned what it means to believe in something.

Photo: An iconic photo of the EDSA Revolution in the Philippines in February 1986 showing hundreds of thousands of people filling up Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). (KI Media)

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World of Fourcraft Turns New York City into a Giant Game of Risk (and Me Into an Analyst, Kind Of)

world-of-fourcraftYou’re probably familiar with the game, Risk, where the object of the game is to take over the world.

Now imagine that game played on a board of New York City’s five boroughs…

I’m a big fan of generalizations, so let’s study the interesting anomalies (I mean, deduce stereotypical conclusions) on the World of Fourcraft map.

As of today, the (fun) generalizations we can make are:

  • Staten Islanders seem to frequent West Brighton in Brooklyn more than those who actually live in Brooklyn.
  • Manhattanites visit Clinton Hill, Dumbo and Greenpoint in Brooklyn more than Brooklyn residents, as well as Murray Hill and Jamaica, Queens with respect to folks who live in Queens.
  • You’ll find Brooklyn residents in the Upper West Side, Chelsea/Flatiron District and SoHo, but rarely anywhere else – they don’t really go to Queens, the Bronx or Staten Island much, as it turns out.
  • In fact, no one goes to Staten Island at all – except for those who actually live on Staten Island. Hmmm, that checks out.

Note: the Fourcraft board also points out “waste lands” where virtually no one (or at least, no one who’s signed on World of Fourcraft) goes. Those towns include Staten Island’s South Beach area, Turtle Bay and Murray Hill in Manhattan and Williamsburg in Brooklyn. (That last one is likely an oversight.)

Currently, there are 100 members participating – me included. Where are you hanging out these days?

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Food

Our New Tumblr: Food We Consumed

There’s no question — my boyfriend (Jesse) and I love to eat. From the moment we met, we pretty much couldn’t stop. Whether it’s fine dining or simple street food, if it looks delicious, we order it.

It only makes sense to start blogging about our meal exploits. After all, we’ve been snapping photos of our dishes since our very first date. It’s about time we share ‘em.

So check out our new food blog at FoodWeConsumed.Tumblr.com. We hope you enjoy all the food porn (and visit some of our favorite restaurants in the process).

P.S. We’ll be updating the blog retroactively with all of the worthy food pics in our archives. Plus, we’re going to add our ratings!

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