A SINGLE VINA’S GUIDE TO KEEPING YOUR SANITY AT ALL THOSE SUMMER WEDDINGS

And just like that, it’s here again—the dreaded wedding season. Weddings are a great way to let loose, spend time with those you rarely see, and celebrate love. But sometimes, that last part can get exhausting, especially when you’re single (and maybe a little bitter).

Wedding after wedding, weekend after weekend, here are some tips on how to have fun without a plus one:

STAY POSITIVE ABOUT THE SINGLES TABLE

If you’re not usually the embodiment of “single and ready to mingle,” now’s the time to really try! Chances are you were invited to this wedding because you’re friends with the couple, so remind yourself their single friends are probably just as awesome as they are. You never know who you’re gonna meet.

MAKE YOUR OWN FUN

If you’re in the bridal party, come up with activities that not only you but everyone can look forward to during the reception. For example, suggest the bridesmaids break it down on the dance floor in a choreographed routine for the couple. Or throw out ideas like having a photo booth or yard games.

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ENJOY THE FREE FOOD AND DRINK

Long gone are the days of nasty, pre-selected banquet hall food. When it comes to tying the knot, people keep getting trendier and trendier. Now, many weddings have food trucks or local chefs cater the event. Take advantage because who doesn’t love a delicious, free meal?

ATTEND THE AFTER PARTY

Yeah, maybe the reception feels like a cute couple competition, but the after party sure won’t. Many times couples, especially those with children, opt out after the initial celebration is over. The after party is a chance to meet other singles, drink and dance a little longer, and most importantly, fully appreciate that you have no one to answer to.

TURN IT INTO A TRIP

If the event is out of town, take the opportunity to treat yo’ self. Consider renting a hotel room for an extra night and setting up a spa service or exploring the destination in those additional 24 hours. This weekend might not be about you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a little me time.

All the single ladies, how do you survive summer weddings? Want a new vina to vent to about it? Swipe here!

 

4 REASONS PETS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

If the saying “man’s best friend” implies that pets can’t also be “woman’s best friend,” we totally disagree. In fact, pets have proven to be beneficial to their owners in many of the same ways friends are. So if you need a pick-me-up and your vinas are busy and your S.O. isn’t replying, don’t fret; look to your pet! Here’s four reasons why they rock.

#1: PETS CAN BOOST YOUR SELF ESTEEM

According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, pet owners generally reported having higher self-esteem than non-owners. The explanation behind this is that pets who have a close relationship with their owners provide them “social support” in the same way human friends do.

#2: PETS CAN REDUCE STRESS.

Petting animals slows our heart rate, regulates our breathing, and relaxes our muscles. Plus, merely playing with your pup can reduce stress-related hormones at a faster rate than most medicines.

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#3: PETS CAN KEEP YOU FROM FEELING LONELY

Whether it’s from humans or animals, companionship is companionship. Taking care of a pet can help satisfy our human desire to feel needed and wanted. Not only that, but pets can help you pick up friends. Aside from the strangers on the street looking for some doggie smooches, pets can also introduce you to new friends via training classes, dog parks and online pet communities (like VINA’s Dog Owners community)!

#4: PETS CAN HELP YOU GET IN SHAPE

Yeah, your pet probably won’t go to that hot yoga class with you, but they’ll certainly get you up and moving. Pet owners reportedly have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as a decreased risk for cardiac issues based on the active lifestyle that comes along with having a furry friend. Grab a leash, and hit the streets!

Want to find a vina to go on pet playdates with? Start swiping!

 

15 SIGNS YOU’RE *REALLY* FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE

In your opinion, who counts as a “friend”?

Is it someone with whom you share your secrets? Someone you text when you’re having a bad day? Someone you have lunch or coffee with periodically?

Well, yeah, these are all swell and good criteria for discerning who your friends are. But I’m here to proffer some different qualifications, some of which are, perhaps, a little less polite but are 100 percent real, nonetheless.

Does your vina

  • check your crotch for period stains?
  • have enough hideous snapchats to blackmail you with eternally?
  • hang out with you when you look like crap? And then proceed to tell you that you look like crap?
  • know your drink order?
  • hold your hair when you’re vomiting from those same drinks?
  • smell any item of yours and say, “This smells like you”?
  • borrow your stuff? Without asking?
  • pop your hard-to-reach zits?
  • drive you to the airport at the a**crack of dawn?
  • perform bodily functions in front of you with no qualms?
  • smell your breath?
  • consult you prior to any purchase via Snapchat, FaceTime or any other visual form of communication?
  • know your phone number by heart?
  • sit in silence with you for, like, 30 minutes?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, congratulations! You’ve found yourself one valuable vina. Because, let’s be real, friendship’s not just about the coffee dates and the “what are you doing tonight?” texts.

Find more for real friends through the Hey! VINA app

HOW TO KILL IT AT FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Everyone has heard the expression, “You’ll never get a second chance at making a first impression.” Although it’s a groaner, there’s definitely some truth to it.

Sure, you can change your mind about someone and

vice versa, but that takes time and energy on both parties’ parts. So why not just slay it from the start? Whether it’s a first romantic date or a first vina date, nerves are totally normal. So here are some easy ways to succeed at sometimes not-so-easy first impressions:

BE YOURSELF

I know what you’re thinking: cliché much? But it’s true. If you’re trying to form a true connection with someone, the initial interaction cannot be filled with lies and false impressions. Your friends should like you for who you actually are, not who you think they want you to be.  Yes, be your best self, but still be yourself.

 

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PAY ATTENTION TO BODY LANGUAGE

It’s easy to say flowery things and woo with words, but why not keep this cliché trend alive and point out that actions speak louder than words. To truly appear engaged and interested in a conversation, you must be mindful of your posture, mannerisms, eye contact, etc. Plus, it’s proven that good posture boosts your confidence. It’s a win-win!

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GROOM!

This might seem superficial at first, but your clothing and hygiene can actually be a huge indicator of, frankly, how much you care. Your ensemble doesn’t need to be MET Gala material, but throw on a cute sundress or try out a fun up-do to show your potential new vina that this date is important.

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AVOID NARCISSISM

Known for Cady-Heron-style word vomiting? Try your best to keep it to a minimum when meeting someone for the first time. It can be so easy to babble on about yourself when you’re nervous, but instead fill the silence with genuine questions about the other person. They’ll leave feeling special, and you’ll leave feeling like you know if they’re friend material.

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FIND COMMON GROUND

However, it is acceptable to talk about yourself when it’s about something you two have in common. This could be about something as simple as both having binge watched Jane The Virgin or something much deeper and more personal, such as sharing the same faith.  With this connection comes rapport and ultimately, hopefully, a lasting relationship.

Get to making amazing first impressions ASAP! Sign up for the Hey! VINA app here

(Featured image via urbanoutfitters.com)

5 (ACTUALLY) FEMINIST BRANDS WE LOVE

Remember when Urban Outfitters tried to sell a shirt that said, “Eat Less,” and stole a necklace design from a female independent jewelry designer? Yikes. Or, more recently, when it came out that former Thinx SHE-eo, Miki Agrawal, was actually treating her employees like sh*t? Double yikes.

So if the companies that try to brand themselves as “feminist” can’t even manage to uphold the values of feminism, what’s a girl in need of clothes to do?

Have no fear! Because we have five actually feminist brands here:

BIRDSONG

What it sells: Everything your heart could possibly desire—bottoms, tops, coats, bags, jewelry, and more.

Mission: Birdsong makes it a priority to unite women by selling clothes exclusively produced by women’s groups. According to their website, they “work on a promise of no sweatshops & no photoshop” because women should never be made to feel sad about their bodies.

MODCLOTH

What it sells: Feminine, vintage-style clothing for women of all sizes

Mission: Modcloth believes “fashion is for everybody”—the reasoning behind their full range of sizing options. The company, started by high school sweethearts in a college dorm room, is dedicated to enabling its customers to dress expressively and uniquely.

LONELY

What it sells: Mainly swimwear and lingerie

Mission: While working to foster body positivity and freedom of expression, Lonely also ensures comfortable, unique, and custom designs for its customers. Designer Helen Morris says Lonely is for the women who “wear lingerie as a love letter to themselves.”

WILDFANG

What it sells: Liberated menswear

Mission: In its whimsical “About Us” statement, the members of Wildfang deem themselves,  “modern-day, female robin hoods raiding men’s closets and maniacally dispensing blazers, cardigans, wingtips and bowlers as we roam from town to town in these stolen styles of ours.”

THE OUTRAGE

What it sells: Known for its graphic tops and tanks often emblazoned with politically charged sentiments

Mission: Just open up The Outrage’s website, and the first thing you’ll see is, “Welcome. You can be outraged here.” The degree of the company’s dedication to political activism is made clear by the fact that it donates at least 15 percent of its proceeds to women’s rights organizations. Right now, 100 percent of the proceeds from the Science! collection will go to funding the March for Science on Earth Day!

Where do you shop ’til you drop? Do you want to find new vinas to shop with? Find them here!

(Featured image via qwearfashion.com)

5 TIPS ON HOW TO TACKLE THE MORNING

Although some of you probably live by the motto “early to bed, early to rise,” there are probably just as many of you who opt for “late to bed, late to rise.” At times, enjoying the morning can seem difficult if not impossible. For those mornings when sleeping in is not an option, here are some ideas on how to start your day the right way:

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TEXT A VINA

Send your bestie a quick text, like a “Good Morning” Bitmoji or a pic of your outfit. Make it a daily tradition. Having a quick convo with your bestie will surely put a smile on your face because it always does, even in the morning.

WORK ON A PROJECT

According to some of the greats, right after you wake up is when your creative juices are most freely flowing. Try working on an activity like journaling or drawing in the morning. You’ll leave feeling productive and inspired.

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EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST

There’s a reason eggs and toast are breakfast staples. Dietician and nutritionist Elisa Zied says a healthy serving of proteins and carbs will satisfy your hunger and give you that quick, much needed energy boost.

GET AMPED IN ADVANCE

The night before, make a mental note of all the happy things awaiting you the next day. It can be as minor as the thought of your name being called out by the Starbucks barista. Getting out of bed will hardly feel like a chore.

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WAKE UP TO WHAT YOU WANT

The urgency of alarm clocks rouses some people out of sleep immediately. Some people favor music or radio talk shows to ease them out of their slumber. Even though you can’t necessarily wake up when you want, you should at least be able to wake up how you want.

Mastered the mornings? Let us know how!

(Featured image via @lauren-woodstra)

 

WTF IS CULTURAL APPROPRIATION?

Music festival season is upon us, which means it’s time to brace ourselves for the onslaught of photos of white girls wearing bindis and Native headdresses, bombarding our feeds and causing totally avoidable indignation. Although these are slightly more blatant forms of cultural appropriation, this offensive phenomenon is practiced everyday, constantly and in much subtler ways.

Everyone from Taylor Swift to the Kardashians to Katy Perry has been accused of cultural appropriation, so what is it exactly, and how can we avoid doing it?

Cultural appropriation is essentially when a person of a privileged group temporarily adopts the role of an “exotic other,” while obviously maintaining the ability to skirt the daily discrimination and systematic oppression the members of the marginalized group face. Historically, everything from slang, hairstyles, clothing, music and more have been appropriated from their rightful cultural owners.

Many people respond to accusations of cultural appropriation with, “What about all the people of color who appropriate our (i.e. white) culture?”

First, many would argue that there is nothing that specifically belongs in the “white culture” category; therefore, there is nothing to appropriate. But for the means of answering this question, the appropriate response would be that people of marginalized groups are often forced to adopt the culture of the dominant group out of necessity not recreation. Considering black women have been fired from their jobs for wearing their natural hair, it makes sense that some would opt to fashion their hair in a way that mimics white women’s. To contrast, when the dominant group adopts a marginalized group’s culture, it’s for fun.

Some offenses that occur continuously each summer are the vinas who get cornrows during their family vacation to Mexico or the Caribbean. Or those Halloween costumes that amount to “sexy” Native American.

Now before you are wracked with guilt about the sushi you ate for lunch, know there is a such thing as cultural appreciation, but the lines are blurry. An article in Everyday Feminism boils the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation down to two things: respect and mutual understanding. There is a meme going around the inter-web right now comparing Angelina Jolie’s appreciation of Muslim culture vs. the Kardashian/Disic’s notorious appropriation.

 

The best thing to do is for women in the dominant group, particularly white women, is to listen to our peers of color. If something you’re doing is making them uncomfortable or upset, respect their feelings. It is not your place to tell them they should not be offended. Because, at the end of the day, it’s not our culture to take.

Share this with your vinas, so you can avoid appropriation! And download the Hey! VINA app to meet other kind, respectful and openminded vinas in your area.

(Featured image via The Fightline)

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2000’S TRENDS WE HOPE WILL MAKE A COMEBACK

The fact that we’d totally wear all of Rachel Green’s outfits is proof that when it comes to fashion, what goes around really does come around. But there are some trends that haven’t managed their way back into the mainstream quite yet, and we’re pretty bummed about it.

BLAZERS OVER HOODIES

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image via complex.com

Ah yes, the outfit version of a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back—this look would be perfect for when you need to hit your exercise class directly after work!

CHUNKY HIGHLIGHTS

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image via newbeauty.com

Imagine how much time you could save by not having to look for a good hairdresser because with this look, a botched dye job was desired. Buh-bye, balayage!

JUICY TRACKSUITS

This terrycloth track wear was an absolute must-have, and for obvious reasons. Thankfully, word on the street is that #trackisback, but I’m not totally convinced yet. Fingers crossed.

NECKTIES AS BELTS

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image via imgur.com

Tbh, I can’t afford a nice leather belt, and this seems like the next best thing. If I can steal a tie from my dad’s closet, shoddily wrap it around my waist, and call it fashion, I’m all for it.

SHRUGS

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image via buzzfeed.com

Shrugs were the sh*t, and there’s absolutely no reason why they aren’t still. Vests keep your torso warm but your arms cold, and shrugs do the opposite, so why are vests still around and shrugs aren’t?! I need answers.

BOOTCUT JEANS

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image via blog.sfgate.com

Skinny jeans? Too constraining. Flare jeans? Too spacious. Bootcut jeans allowed your ankles the perfect amount of breathing room. A bedazzled pair was especially nice for when you wanted to add some sparkle to your ensemble.

GAUCHOS

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image via buzzfeed.com

Gauchos — the less controversial leggings. No one tried to argue that gauchos aren’t “real pants” like they do with leggings, yet they are equally as comfy! Sounds like a win-win to me.

Think these styles should come back, or should the past stay in the past? Let us know in the comments.

(Featured image via minq.com)

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF EMOJIS

They need to start offering Emoji courses because, truthfully, it’s a millennial language all its own (think eggplant 🍆 and peach 🍑 Emoji ). In this hilarious video, a news anchor attempts to decode the ~true~ meaning behind some of Apple’s different symbols, and let’s just say we’re inspired by his, uh, ingenuity. So here’s a compilation of some fresh, new ways to put the latest Emojis to work:

PREGNANT LADY = FOOD BABY

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Tbh, we’ve all looked just like this woman after a hearty meal, so I’m not convinced she’s only intended to be used in the context of pregnancy. You cradle that food baby, Karen.

“CALL ME HAND” = COWABUNGA

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This is giving me flashbacks to the high-fiving hands versus praying hands debate of 2014. Apple is trying to claim this says, “Call me,” but I think it says, “I’m about to go catch some gnarly waves.” Up to you.

EGG = BEAUTY BLENDER

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Continue confusing men with the concept of beauty blenders while texting them by alternating between using the egg Emoji in reference to actual eggs and the ambiguous foundation applicators.

TUMBLER GLASS = BIG OL’ CUP OF LIPTON TEA

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It’s not a coincidence that this new “tumbler glass” looks just like the one our friend Kermit the Frog is drinking out of in his infamous Lipton Tea ad. Pair this with the frog Emoji to throw shade with that much more accuracy.

POTATO = A MORE ACCURATE SELF PORTRAIT

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Tired of using the female Emoji who looks nothing like you when describing yourself? Apple has created the potato Emoji to solve this dilemma because face it, you’ve felt (and probably looked) exactly like this starchy, tuberous crop at one point or another.

Do you and your vinas have any special Emoji codes? Let us know in the comments!

(Featured image via pr0crasti-nation.tumblr.com)

5 TV BFFS WE WISH WE HAD

Each friendship is nuanced, made special by its history, secrets, and traditions. But this doesn’t mean you and your bestie can’t still learn a thing or two from famous TV friends to better your bond. Here are five on-screen friendships worth emulating:

THE ANN TO YOUR LESLIE – PARKS AND RECREATION

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Leslie is famous for her quirky compliments about Ann ( I’ve been known to use land-mermaid à la Leslie), but this friendship wasn’t totally one-sided. You’d be hard pressed to find a more supportive, loving pair of pals on TV. Right from the get-go, they’re loyal, honest, and non-judgmental with each other. Take notes!

THE LANE TO YOUR RORY – GILMORE GIRLS

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Rory and Lane’s friendship is proof that two women with completely different lives can still be best friends. Even from the start, Lane and Rory grew up in virtually opposite households and attended different high schools. By the end, Rory was a single, budding journalist and Lane was a married mother of two, pursuing a career in music. But their relationships remained. There’s some #inspo for you and your vina at different stages in life.

THE PEYTON TO YOUR BROOKE – ONE TREE HILL

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Before you come at me, no, I did not forget the fighting, backstabbery and all-around pettiness by these two. But the important thing is that they prevailed. Not many real life friends can say their relationship has endured despite multiple love triangles, the death of a parent, a run-in with a vengeful stalker, and more. Although I’d never wish these trials upon you and your bestie, you can still admire their ability to forgive and forget.

THE JESS TO YOUR CECE – NEW GIRL

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Some things change, but some things stay the same—the anthem of Jess and Cece’s relationship. The two have been friends since elementary school, and despite leading completely different lives, much like Rory and Lane, they remain inseparable. Even as a newlywed, Cece is sure to look out for Jess and include her in her new life, a task that’s not always easy to do. Whatever you’ve got going on in your life, you should always make time for your vinas.

CARRIE, MIRANDA, CHARLOTTE & SAMANTHA – SEX AND THE CITY

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According to these women, they are more than best friends; in fact, they are soul mates. Even in the hustle and bustle of New York City, they remained constant priorities in one another’s lives. Whether it was a pregnant Miranda supporting Charlotte in her fertility struggles or Charlotte loaning Carrie money for an apartment, these four were always there. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha serve as reminders that your friends come first. Always.

Find a TV-worthy friendship on the Hey! VINA app. Download it here.

(Featured image via ianxcarlos.tumblr.com)