KEEPING IT POSITIVE

It can be hard to keep it positive 24/7 especially when scrolling through Instagram and seeing friends lead seemingly perfect lives. While we’re stuffing our weeping faces full of Skinny Pop, wishing we could make more money, find love, and pursue our dreams,  they seem to have everything.

But wait! Before you go down this (very toxic) line of thinking, there are a couple important things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to remember that even the most “blessed” individuals have their own struggles. We must try to remind ourselves that our situation– while perhaps not as incandescently perfect as we would like it to be– could be much worse. Plus, room for improvement never hurt anyone.

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Lunghi ft. her pups

One way that I am reminded of the positive effects of leading a positive life is through Rachael Ann Lunghi’s Instagram. She married young, and through the wedding process, realized that she was truly skilled in the wedding/event planning department (specifically in styling and floral design). She grew an amazing blog and acquired quite a following. Although the marriage did not last, the brand she created since then has only thrived.

 

Lunghi shares her beautiful soul and the things she creates through her blog and instagram handle @laceandlikes. With 33.2K followers, she has a solid platform for sharing whatever messages she would like to portray. She continuously chooses love, positivity and friendship. Some days, she shares her heart and soul, and others a simple #ootd. She is known to hashtag her posts #novel when she really gets into it words-wise. A few reasons why the positive Lunghi is positively amazing are listed below:

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    How dope is that hair & cute lil rooster?

    She is beautiful, but in a totally real and genuine way.

  2. Her hair is hella cool.
  3. She drives up and down the west coast for work.
  4. Her ear-to-ear smile will instantly brighten your day.
  5. Her style is to die for.
  6. She loves herself.
  7. Her words always seems to find the positive side of any situation.
  8. Did I mention her pet chicken that wanders through the house and chills on her mustard velour couch?!

Here are some of my favorite posts where she keeps it positive:

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Promoting sisterhood.

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Love love love that paragraph! More from this post can be found here.

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More wise words from this post here.

We all need to mold our outlooks after Lunghi’s. Look for the brighter side, and love each other.

Follow Rachael Ann Lunghi, and comment below if you follow another amazingly positive vina on Insta. Download the Hey! VINA app to meet more loving and encouraging gals wherever you may be.

(All images via @laceandlikes)

 

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IS IT BETTER TO BE AN INTROVERT OR AN EXTROVERT?

Do you talk to strangers? I don’t. I would definitely describe myself as an introvert. Unless I’m around people with whom I am super comfortable (like family or friends I’ve had since the age of five), I am pretty reserved. Until I started college, I was never the type to raise my hand in class or volunteer to speak in front of a crowd.

Although I’m now a little more bold, a little more confident, I am still extremely reticent. Rather than joining in and making myself known, I prefer to sit back and observe whatever is happening in front of me. Very much the wallflower, I like to surveil the world around me. What are the perks of being a wallflower, you might ask? I am continually entertained by people-watching, I’m constantly learning and improving my people-reading skills, and I barely ever have to talk to anyone that I don’t want to talk to (just the way I like it).

When I am on a train or plane, I keep my relatively large nose inside my book for fear of making accidental eye contact with a stranger and being forced into a conversation with them. I would much rather eavesdrop on their dialogue with others or read their emails over their shoulder; that’s the kind of curious person that I am.

My friend Leah, on the other hand, is so outgoing that she can (and will) talk to literally anyone. She has this presence that makes other people feel so comfortable. Immediately upon making eye contact with her, they find themselves telling her their deepest thoughts, wishes, and fears.

One day, when we met up at the Strand Bookstore in Lower Manhattan, she introduced me to a friend she had made in Union Square Park. They became pals simply because they had made eye contact and consequently sparked up a conversation about the books they were reading.

Later that same day, Leah and I got two entire meals (and a chocolate bar) comped at this awesome vegan restaurant. That morning on the train, she had initiated a conversation with a random guy – because he was wearing a hat adorned with the logo of a vegan brand of chocolate bar she likes – who turned out to own the chocolate bar brand and associated vegan restaurant in the city.

Most of Leah’s life can be attributed to her specific personality and palpable aura; however, her curiosity almost never goes unanswered because she has the audacity to talk to other human beings. Mind boggling, is it not? The more people you talk to, the more unlikely friends you may make.

Neither way of life is considerably better than the other. A combination of the two would be ideal. So maybe when you’re finding yourself stuck looking at a strangers pictures from a trip they took to Bora Bora two years ago all because you said hello to them, ask yourself: what would Brooklyn do in this situation? Conversely, if you see someone on the train or in a park that peaks your interest, ask yourself: what would Leah do in this situation?

 

 

Have you downloaded the Hey! VINA app yet? If so, which did you pick on your profile: Introvert, extrovert, or ambivert? Comment below and tell us!

(Feature image via @belletriste)

 

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THE SUMMER I FOUND OUT I WAS A VINA

This summer working at VINA in an office sans walls was über weird. What with a handful of other people talking, typing, chewing, breathing, etc, it was sometimes hard to concentrate, but I managed. In fact, I grew to take advantage of and love the collaborative atmosphere— which, at times, could be quite productive. I felt more inclined to eavesdrop and ask questions; although, I can’t deny there were occasions on which I messaged Emma on slack instead of walking across the room to her desk, but that can be contributed to my sheer laziness if nothing else. I do still prefer to write within the confines of my covers, in a pitch-black room in the dead of night, but I learned I can function in a real working environment, too.

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Although I took a lot away from this summer internship, what has stuck in my mind the most are the vinas I worked with, and their individual styles. While there is one dude (and two anatomically male dogs) in the office, I can honestly say that I worked around a majority of vinas in different capacities.

 

My editor, Emma Olswing, is young and relatively fresh out of college; however, she holds a pretty prominent position at an equally prominent startup, and I had the opportunity to learn from her directly. She and her cute choppy bangs successfully taught me how to write multiple pieces in one afternoon and edit about a billion society members’ posts in the time remaining. And with all that, she still finds the time to date, have a ton of friends, and go to multiple music shows a week! She is definitely living her best life.

Maggie does design-y stuff, which is in accordance with her inherent, effortless, cool-girl style. From my first day and onward, I was healthily obsessed with her style (in both her fashion choices and personality) and intent on finding her Instagram. I need to follow beautifully creative people on social media for the daily dose of inspiration they bring to my feed, or I’ll die. When cyber-stalking failed me, I found her handle in a very peculiar way: I asked her… out loud… in real English words! I was not disappointed. I will never forget the cream chunky sweater she wore over a men’s oversized light grey thermal. This outfit perfectly personified the look I am constantly striving towards, and I will forever be trying to emulate the relaxed and uncomplicated elegance that she possess.

P.S. Maggie, if you’re reading this, please don’t be creeped out.

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And of course, I can’t forget the badass boss lady and founder of VINA, Olivia June Poole. Right before I started, she chopped off her bleach-blonde locks, and it makes her look strikingly similar to Scarlett Johansson (except better, believe it or not). She runs the entire company, and she still found time to squeeze in one-on-one dates with each and every intern in order to answer any questions we may have had and remind us that her knowledge and experience is totally at our disposal, now and in the future.

My writing is a lot more passionate and gregarious than the personality I present to the world. I have yet to determine whether this is due to personality disorder or just the level of comfort that writing brings me. While writing for VINA, it has been really fun to explore my own writing competency and try slightly different styles while attempting to maintain my own voice within the work. I was given the opportunity to write about relevant things and present them to vinas of all ages around the world. Instead of simply writing about my feelings and reviewing movies, like I do on my personal blog, I got the chance to write about more important things, like self-esteem and embracing aging, as well as trendier stuff like impressive celebrities and the art of being an “extra” pet parent.

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Writing is totally cathartic, and I hardly ever have the time to do it. I loved that it was my actual job this summer because it reminded me that the main reason I want to be a writer is not because I’m necessarily exceptionally good at it, but because I genuinely love it. Even when I have writer’s block or lack all motivation, (usually) once I get started, I get into a groove, and I think it makes me a better/happier human.

Hopefully the experience obtained, connections made, and pieces published at VINA will help me even more whenever I am ready to jump into the real world. For now, I am going to keep living life cozied up to the bosom that is college, a safe-haven for knowledge-obsessed nerds like me.

Want to spend your fall semester interning at VINA? Apply here!: http://jobs.vina.io/ . And don’t forget to download the Hey! VINA app 🙂

WHY YOUR BESTIE SHOULD BE YOUR EDITOR

I like to call myself a writer, but that doesn’t mean I have perfectly mastered the arts of diction, articulation or deliverance. If you’re lazy like me, after you’ve finished writing your college essays, you despise the editing process. We habitually procrastinate, then try to whip it out in an hour and hurriedly click submit. It is understandably hard to force our eyes to slow down as we read back through the work because we already know the intention of the message. We speed right past those glaringly obvious mistakes.

I am lucky enough to have my mom (an excellent writer herself) to proofread and edit practically (ok, literally) all my college essays. It can be such a grind in college, with five to ten page papers due at every corner; so it is helpful to have someone close to you edit your work. The more comfortable you are with the person, the more honest they can be. They can press you to expand more in one area, or to entirely omit something else without the fear of hurting your feelings. Being a pretty avid reader (like Belle was before the Beast) and a pretty decent writer myself, I always offer up my editing services to my vinas. If there is something that we excel in, it is only right and just to share it with others.

I’m not saying you have to be a bad writer to necessitate an editor. As I previously stated, I don’t think I’ll ever feel confident enough in my writing (rightly so) that I won’t need a friend (or my mom) to “fix” nearly everything I write… and I’m an english major!

I recently proofread my friend’s twenty-page paper on the privatization of the prison system. It was so well-written, I hardly needed to suggest any editing. Despite her distinct expertise in writing and her knowledge of the subject (far surpassing mine), it was helpful for her to have an extra set of eyes; someone to encourage her about the validity of her argument and all the effort she had already put into it. Literally everyone should have a friend who can read and refine their work before they submit it.

If you need a friend like this, start asking those friends of yours whom you are sure are capable. And if you don’t think you have one of these, download the Hey! VINA app and start looking for friends near you. I would suggest joining the bookworm community within the app to find vinas who are willing and able to read your papers.

As for those of you who are english majors, bookworms, or have a bomb blog: help your vinas edit their papers. It doesn’t take long– certainly not as long as it took them to write it– and it can be extremely helpful. Your extra set of eyes will find those uncomplicated grammatical errors that theirs were too tired to pinpoint; you may think of an anecdote that could easily be integrated into the piece and that would mesh well with their overall theme; you may determine that the whole essay would flow exceedingly better by simply rearranging the order of a couple sentences or paragraphs. These seemingly minor adjustments could be the difference between an A and a B.

If you love to read and love to help your vinas even more, start offering up your services, even if they are unsolicited. I’m sure they will appreciate the offer– in fact, they will probably be relieved to have some help.

I feel as though this is apparent, but maybe I should specify that I am not, by any means, encouraging you to charge for your assistance. Please do so out of the kindness of your heart, or in exchange for a gratifying, friendly embrace.

So… calling all writers: help your friends edit their essays!

Comment below if you’re ready to edit your vinas’ essays, or if you already do!

(Feature image via @atishapaulson)

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5 BEST APPS FOR PREGNANCY

My sources tell me that there is a lot to learn when you’re having a baby… not only in the realm of preparation for the baby, but in the knowledge about its growth inside you, and stuff like that. Here are the hands-down best apps to download for you pregnant vinas!

THE BUMP

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 1.07.32 PMThis app is #1 for first-time mamas. It gives you fun facts about your babies health in and out of the womb, busts myths you may be worrying over, gives tips for having your best pregnancy, and tracks your baby’s growth in relation to fun foods like poppyseed or a papaya. But it isn’t just for the currently pregnant— it also helps track ovulation periods in order to best optimize your body’s internal clock while trying to get pregnant. And you can continue tracking milestones after your babe’s birth, such as immunizations, nursing, age, etc.

BABY BUMP

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 12.59.42 PMSimilar to The Bump, BabyBump can track your baby’s growth and provide helpful tips and hacks for pregnancy. They have a team that answers all of your baby-related questions. You can also track your tummy’s growth with your very own pictures on a timeline within the app! In addition, you can keep track of your favorite baby names and find the best ways to spell them, based on your own styles and preferences. And the app tells you new things about yourself, your pregnancy, and your baby every day.

PREGNANCY EXERCISE

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 1.21.19 PMThis one is perfect for staying healthy and fit for yourself and the baby! The app gives you personalized workouts that are super safe for you both. With videos you can exercise along to, tracking capabilities, and a place to keep your “favorites,” this app will ensure that you keep a healthy mind and body through the ups and downs of your trimesters.

 

MY BABY’S BEAT

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 1.35.42 PMThis one isn’t free… but it’s definitely worth it. It allows you to listen to the tiny heartbeat in your belly outside of the doctor’s office! Now you can hear their strong flutters from bed when you are suffering from insomnia, on bed rest, or are just plain bored.

FULL TERM

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 1.45.27 PMAs your pregnancy comes to full term, download this app. You can track your contractions’ frequency, severity, and length. Set a timer so you are less likely to miscalculate duration; therefore, you’re less likely to freak out and rush to the hospital when it’s not time to freak yet. You can set requirements and contraction alerts, so that when you’ve reached your ideal frequency, you can race to your nearest hospital.

 

Comment below if you use any of these apps! And after you download the rest, don’t forget to download the Hey! VINA so you can meet other vinas (pregnant or not) in your area!

(All app icons via iTunes. Feature image via @pregnantandperfect)

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HOW TO BE AN ADVOCATE FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN

No matter your political, economic, or social standpoints, it is important to speak up for what you believe in. A self-possessed and resolution-oriented person makes for a strong and powerful vina. Those days of sitting back and letting others speak for us are over. Join the conversation; join the fight! Here are few tips on how to be an advocate and make a difference.

ATTEND MARCHES

Marching in a group (no matter the size) is empowering, and reminds us that we are not the only ones that feel the way we do. The march itself reminds the world and community that there is a problem worth noticing. For instance, the Women’s Marches in January gained worldwide attention, due to huge participation in major cities in countries across the globe (such as France, India, Australia, to name a few). I for one marched in NYC, and it was the most amazing experience of my life. So many people came together for different reasons but a collective goal: to raise awareness for an extremely important cause.

UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA

Do not be afraid to share your ideas on social media. Unless, of course, those ideas are directly malicious or hurtful in anyway to a specific person or group of people. Not much is worth a Twitter war over, but creating a discussion is imperative. If your followers disagree with your ideals, hopefully they are openminded enough to listen to your side of the argument, or agree to disagree. And if they aren’t, they can unfollow you because you don’t need that negativity in your social space anyways.

ENLIGHTEN YOUR ELDERS

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via SNL

People over the age of forty can be really stuck in their ways. Sometimes, it feels like a waste of energy to fight a battle that is sure to end in a draw. However, that doesn’t stop me and my sister from letting my grandfather know that FOX should not be his only news source, and making it abundantly clear when something he says could potentially come across as racist/ignorant. You never know what info you have that could be the the last straw to break the camel’s back; to convince them to open their minds a little more. Avoid being disrespectful (or too sassy), and if the discussion get too heated, start playing Adele.

FIND ORGANIZATIONS IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Clubs don’t have to disappear after high school graduation. There are community clubs and organizations for literally anything you could imagine. Anything from environmental clubs, gun control groups, charities fighting hunger or homelessness, intersectional feminism groups, bible studies, groups to aid the cause to end drug abuse in lower-income neighborhoods, and so many more. Marches are actually great places for meeting others with similar interests, and networking to spread awareness for your cause. And if you can’t find the perfect organization near you, start one! That may sound like an impossible task to undertake, but it doesn’t have to be. Download the Hey! VINA app if you want to meets some other vinas in your area who may want to help you. Start by attending city hall meetings in order to make it known you are forming an organization, and talk to others about how they got started.

It’s never too soon or too late to get started. Now is the time, because if you don’t, there is no guarantee that someone else will!

Comment below if you have attended a march or rally to fight for a cause that you believe in!

(Feature image via The New York Times)

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THIS GAL IS A QUADRUPLE THREAT

Want to feel empowered this summer? Wonder Woman is a must see. With a spin on the classic comic book character, this feminist icon created by Charles Marston in 1941, has only gotten more kick-ass in the twenty-first century.

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Gadot and director, Patty Jenkins

Every vina that I have spoken to who has seen Wonder Woman raves about how strong and powerful they felt when leaving the theater. Ordered to stay away from Earth, Diana (aka Wonder Woman) disobeys her queen in order to save mankind from supremacy, war, and overall injustice. All of which couldn’t feel more relevant in today’s political and social climate. And the gal (see what I did there?) who portrays this amazonian princess is a great role model IRL as well.

Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress/model, and her resume and character define female empowerment. Standing at five foot ten, she herself is practically an amazon. At the age of eighteen, she was crowned Miss Israel. Then just two years later, she served as a combat trainer in the Israeli army.

She gained popularity in the movie business when she earned a role in one of the Fast & Furious movies (which she maintained in the following two films). In her role as Gisele, to many, she represents a sort of sex symbol. I have heard people assert that they will not see Wonder Woman because they feel that Gadot cannot properly portray such a strong woman, as her reputation is too befuddled by her other “sexier” roles.

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Pregnant Gadot and her husband

I disagree so strongly with this sentiment. First of all, Wonder Woman herself has, historically, represented a symbol for the ultimate sexy woman. And since when is it acceptable or feminist to shame physical expression? This is a modern world in which feminism encompasses all beauty, in all people who identify as female. We should celebrate all the different kinds of sexy and keep in mind that we are all beautiful in our own way. So, I do not think it is possible for Gadot’s reputation to be too muddled; she is the absolute perfect woman to fill this role.

To top it all off, she’s a mother of two! She was actually five months pregnant while filming Wonder Woman. She felt compelled to hide her pregnancy while filming for fear of anyone’s conduct with her being altered. She didn’t want people babying her because she had a baby in her. She knew her limit, and she took care of herself well.

Gadot and her character Diana are encouraging girls (of all ages) around the world to be proud of themselves, to fight for love, for their values and for other women.

Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? Comment below, and tell us what you loved most about it. If you haven’t seen it, download the Hey! VINA app to find a friend to see it with you. 

(Feature image via Marie Claire, all other images via @gal_gadot)

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EMBRACING AGING

No matter how young, it seems as though everyone is afraid of aging. Starting at about twenty years old– and in some cases, even younger– we vinas start doing everything in our power to look as young as possible for as long as possible. And that’s totally okay! Staying out of the sun or wearing SPF is taking care of your body and preventing all sorts of evil things (not just wrinkles). Skincare cremes, serums, and masks that are retinol rich, gorged with glycol, or chock-ful of cellifirm will do wonders for your skin and taking care to keep your skin plump and healthy will do no harm.

However, when those creases do begin to appear on your forehead, and when those cute chubby cheeks start to succumb to gravity, or when your friends start pointing out your sprouting grey hairs… fear not! Accept them, embrace them, learn to love them. We all know by now that confidence is the key to looking great! Here are a few things you can do to either love the inevitable effects of aging, or keep them hidden for a little while longer. How to age gracefully, sans botox.

CUT BANGS

It’s the first rule for the aging Parisienne. Find your favorite celebrity style, i.e. Bridget Bardeaux, Zooey Deschanel, Anne Hathaway (circa The Devil Wears Prada); either, do it yourself or head to the salon. Bangs automatically take ten years off of your life (in appearance, not in actuality). Take my aunt for example; she is not old by any means (almost thirty-eight) and she recently cut her bangs. Best decision ever! They hide the grey hairs that have been settling in her hairline for the last seven years or so. With bangs, it is safe to leave the house with just a simple blow-dry to the bangs (no other prep necessary) because your hair now has a definable “style,” and the bangs are so blunt that they have a way of distracting the world from the rest of your face. Not to mention the veil it has created for all the forehead and eye wrinkles that you may not be all that excited about.

GOING GREY

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Joan Didion via Vogue

With grey hair being so trendy within the millennial crowd throughout last few years, going grey has become more and more “acceptable.” In fact, many women are excited about going grey because it looks so cool. My grandma has been coloring her hair for at least fifteen years, and she finally feels inspired to grow out her natural color. And the best part, everyone’s grey is different! Some tend to lean more towards silver, some peppery, and some almost bleach blonde. You will simultaneously look both edgier and more elegant!

 

WELCOME THE WRINKLES

In Native American culture, age symbolizes experience and wisdom. We regard our elders as dignified and wise, but at a certain point that stops. Because we fear death so greatly, we try to ignore signs of aging in others and consequently ignore them. This is so wrong! The people in our lives with the most wrinkles are the ones with the most to share with us! Wrinkles do not mean certain death; they are beautiful because they represent a long and full life. Especially in American society, we spend way to much time, money, and emotional energy on botox, chemical peels, and la prairie!

The other day, I saw a woman covered in both tattoos and wrinkles, and she looked awesome! She was struttin’-her-stuff in shorts and a tank top, and couldn’t be more confident in her skin. I now idolize this stranger, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget her.

DEVELOP A STAND-OUT STYLE

Another tactic to distract the world (and yourself) from fixating on your physical appearance is to refocus the attention to your clothes. Wardrobe can be the everyday form of our inner selves. Today I was feeling frilly, so I wore my pink “shower curtain” shirt and some heels. Tomorrow I’ll probably feel lazy (working from home) so I’ll wear comfy pajamas. Some of the most fashionable women on the Internet right now are upwards of sixty. So wear that kaftan with a kitten heal and some Céline sunglasses; add as many accessories as Iris Apfel would; buy that outfit that your husband or adult child told you is too crazy. Who knows? Maybe you’ll become Instagram famous.

Love the body you’re in; never stop wearing a bikini to the beach and do not go under the knife (or botox needle) unless you really want to. No matter what our society may try to lead you to believe, age is a beautiful fact of life, so don’t fight it. That body that you live in has been through a lot, and there is no reason to hide that. And if all else fails, gain a little weight and watch the wrinkles dissipate as your face gets a little rounder.

Download the Hey! VINA app to meet some friends of all ages. Tag us in a selfie on Instagram and add the #VINAlove.

(Feature image via Goop)

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VINA BOOK CLUB: GREY GARDENS

For the latest installment of the VINA book club, we’re actually watching a movie! HBO’s rendition of the lives of the infamous mother/daughter duo, the Edith Bouvier Beales. In addition to sharing a name, they practically shared their entire lives. Referred to as Big Edie and Little Edie, they were the aunt and cousin of the beloved Bouvier, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and were definitely the most eccentric women in the Hamptons.

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Beales and Maysles via IMDb

The two lived together at the great family estate, Grey Gardens. Little Edie did not want to get married because she didn’t want a man to make her give up her singing career like her father did her mother (and then he left her). However, Little Edie’s mother kept her away from the spotlight anyways. Big Edie was mentally-unstable and an emotional manipulator; therefore, Little Edie was forever by her mother’s side. They grew old together, in isolation, both continuing to dream of their future lives and alternate realities, as their current ones were going to waste. When the Maysles asked to film a movie about the Beale women, Little Edie loved the idea of the chance to “relaunch her career.” The filming of that documentary could have easily been the most exciting experience of their collective lives.

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Little Edie via Vogue

Their interesting lives makes for a great biopic because they had so much to offer. Their deep mother/daughter connection was sometimes endearing, but mostly strange. Their story is one of those sad ones that we romanticize because of its tragic beauty, as the reality is that the Grey Gardens estate was brimming with garbage, newspapers older than you and me, and a pet raccoon. The Edies were the ultimate shut-ins, hoarders, and unintentional misanthropes. Somehow, life passed them by without their consent.

In 1975, the Maysles brothers made the trek out to Grey Gardens in order to film a documentary about the Bouvier Beales. Grey Gardens became the first of many Edie-themed creative endeavors of artists of all media. This documentary is in part what prompted writer Lois Wright to share her time at the gardens in her book, My Life at Grey Gardens. In 2006, yet another documentary was released: The Beales of Grey Gardens. And finally, in 2009, HBO made their own movie, which was focused around the making of the original Maysles brothers’ documentary.

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Lange and Barrymore via InStyle

The fashion in HBO’s film is to die for. Costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas did an excellent job of representing everything from the Edie’s 40s style to the old-lady aesthetic they acquired over the years. Little Edie looks fabulous adorned with luxurious scarves covering her bald head (due to alopecia totalis), and takes great pride in the versatility of her wardrobe.

The first time I saw the HBO version, starring Jessica Lange (before we all became obsessed with her on American Horror Story) and Drew Barrymore, my imagination ran wild. I had this overwhelming vision of my mother and sister becoming the next Beales. This image is not too far out-there, for not only were my mother and sister conjoined at the hip, my mother was totally obsessed with the beautiful, sad mess that was the Grey Gardens estate. I could see in her eyes, she was imagining the same future (only she wasn’t afraid of it). I doubt this will really happen, but only time will tell.

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Little Edie via GIPHY

Watch the movie(s), or read the book, or do it all! Post about it using the #VINAbookclub. Download the Hey! VINA app and tell all your new friends to join our book/movie club.

(Feature image via InStyle)

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10 SIGNS YOU’RE AN “EXTRA” PET PARENT

I think it’s safe to say that everyone loves puppies (and if you know someone who doesn’t, they’re probably/definitely inhuman). We can get a little excessive when it comes to expressing our love for our little furry friends, understandably so. Here are ten signs that say you’re an “extra” pet owner. Don’t worry, no judgements here!

YOU HAVE A DOG WALKER

You worry that your dog will get too lonely while you’re busy being a working parent (and we can’t all take our dogs to work); you hire a nanny for your pup to come walk ’em during the day. In my case, it’s my grandma; but if she isn’t available, there are a few backups on standby to race over and make sure my dog isn’t too lonely.

OUTFITS

How many ensembles do they have? My dog, Skeeter, just has a bowtie (he wears it most every day), a red knitted scarf (we live in CA, so he really doesn’t need it), and a holiday sweater (only worn once). I’m not too bad; how many outfits does your pet have?

SEPARATE INSTAGRAMS

You bombard us with pictures of the, not only on your own Instagram, but there’s more. They have their own separate account, where they are personified as thinking (speaking) beings. It’s really cute, but definitely extra. I follow my fair share of famous Instagram pets. Who are your favorite celebrity animals?

YOU CELEBRATE THEIR BIRTHDAY

puppy party

via Rover

With a party, cake, and pictures, their special day is jam-packed full of fun. They have no clue what’s happening; we all know the celebration is really for your benefit. But who’s going to complain about another excuse to eat cake and party? Not I.

FRIDAY NIGHTS INCLUDE:

Binge watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, talking to your pet (out loud), imagining their response, live-tweeting what they say (whatever you imagined it to be), and cracking up about it. Not to mention all the ice cream you’ll share; it’s true love. May or may not be based on personal experience.

YOU ONLY EVER TALK ABOUT THE ‘BABY’

Passerby’s and eavesdroppers are bound to be confused when they overhear your conversations with friends. They think, “wow, her body bounced back quickly” – although, why do bodies need to bounce back? That body just grew another in it and then pushed it out. Be proud of all the change that accompanies it… end mini rant– but they really are the only baby you have ever had, so it’s understandable.

CAMERA ROLL

Your phone is 1% selfie, 96% pictures of the ‘baby’ and 4% screenshots of memes (of other animals). It would almost be embarrassing if someone were to scroll through your camera roll, but you can’t help it; your little guy looks so cute in every picture. It’s totally justified!

SPECIAL MEALS

You cook more for your pet than you do for yourself. “They have a sensitive tummy,” you say, “kibble is too hard for their teeth.” Whatever the reason, you slave away, grilling chicken, squash and rice for the little royal highness– so bougie. Next they’ll be sitting in a chair, fine dining avec toi. 

 

DOGGIE DECOR

tipi2

via ishine365

This goes beyond the outfits. Your space is overrun by their toys and tipis (a custom tipi is being designed for my Skeeter to lounge in). Your friends come by and wonder if the apartment is yours or the dog’s.

PHOTOSHOOTS

puppy pregnancy

via People

Backdrops, props and hired photographers. You document milestones like birthdays, adoption anniversaries, and even pregnancies. Yes, the dog’s pregnancy. It’s really curious, really cute and now it’s something you’re secretly wanting to do.

If you want to continue talking about your pet 24/7, download the Hey! VINA app to meet similarly “extra” pet owners in your neighborhood.

(Feature image via @marte_marie_forsberg)

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