WORKOUTS FOR VINAS WHO HATE WORKING OUT

Lazy girls raise your hands (unless you’re like me, too lazy for that too). Somewhere between one hundred-strap sports bras and workout gear that’s actually cute, 2016 was the year of yoga classes, Soul Cycle, and Instagam-able health foods. As we settle in for the new year, it’s time to figure out what routines we’ll (try to) stick to achieve our goals. It is easier if you have a gym buddy to insure you don’t any skip classes, so if you don’t have one, download the Hey! VINA app and find a vina who can rise you up out of bed and to that afternoon pilates class (wink wink).

BARRE CLASSES

Barre classes will having you feeling like a glamorous ballerina in no time (and if not, maybe just a little uncoordinated but still ballerina-esc). A creation inspired by ballet, yoga and pilates, the challenging workout targets and tones all the major muscle groups. You can take a barre class “mono a mono” or in a group. Either is ideal because in a one on one you get dedicated time to focus on your technique with the instructor; or in a group, your half-ass attempt may go unnoticed (both are wins in my book).

HOT YOGA

Yeah, yeah, hot yoga’s been hot for a while now, but it’s for good reason. And we don’t see it fading during 2017. It may be a little uncomfortable your first go around, but each time you go you’ll find yourself liking it a little more. Obviously, if you have any medical conditions like POTS or have been advised to steer clear of anything too hot…. steer clear. But if you are well and able bodied, nothing beats the cool air on your skin when you leave the studio, right?

DANCE CARDIO

These aren’t the dance cardio classes from your mom’s old 80s VCRs. Dance cardio is a workout that gets your heart rate up and blasts through calories; all while teaching you and your vinas some hilarious dance moves to break out at the club. Take some friends you can laugh with, and your class won’t even feel like a workout.

BOXING

Boxing is the best way to feel like a badass after every workout, every time. Celeb vinas like Gina Rodriguez, Gigi Hadid, and Karlie Kloss swear by it. It’s a good way to get your sweat on and your cardio up and kick literal a$$ (including your own). Boxing is also great because it teaches you selfdefense tactics to use if you are ever in a dangerous situation. And even if you are never in the position to need to use these boxing skills, feeling powerful, capable and independent never hurt anyone.

(Feature image via @aerie)

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HOW TO BE MORE CAREER-ORIENTED IN COLLEGE

Sophomore, junior, senior–we all freak out from time to time that we’ll end up without our dream job. Struggling to pay off student debt. Regretting the day we signed up to even go to college. Why didn’t I join the circus right out of high school? Oh right, I’m not qualified for that either.

No one can guarantee that things will always work out as planned, but we can take steps to make sure we are doing everything we can to get where we want to be someday.

MAKE A PORTFOLIO

There are a few fields where this may not be the best option, but a physical and/or digital portfolio is becoming a hot commodity today. Whether or not you have an abundance to put put in it, if you start building your professional portfolio now, you’ll find yourself wanting to do more to fill it up and enhance it. These little enhancements will start adding up until suddenly you’ve grown and learned dozens more skills than you started with. You will thank yourself (and me) later.

MEET WITH A PROFESSOR TO TALK ABOUT GOALS

The professors/advisors in your area of study are some of the best resources you could hope for. They are people who (usually) have already been in your shoes, know the ins and outs of working in a similar field, and have tons of advice for you to help you reach your goals. And it’s literally their job to help you, so don’t be shy!

EXPLORE YOUR MAJOR

Nearly every college, university or trade school offers a variety of student organizations; many of these are career-focused. Spend some time visiting a few of the clubs that match your interests. They can teach you a lot about your field of study and the options you have after graduation. Helping you to get a jump-start in terms of networking and preparing for your future.

FIND PEOPLE YOU APSIRE TO BE LIKE

Let’s talk motivation. Start looking, whether on LinkedIn, social media, friends/family irl. Go to some conferences and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself (bring your card if you’d like). I’ve found some of my biggest media influences via Twitter, and have reached out. Now I not only have a role model, but a network connection to boot! If that feels outside of your comfort zone, no worries. It’s still motivating to find someone’s work you admire and a lifestyle you can strive towards.

GET SOME EXPERIENCE

I know… easier said than done. But it doesn’t have to be a job, or even an internship. We all know those are had to come by. Start by volunteering, freelancing (for free if necessary), whatever, until you’ve built up enough experience to fill up your resume and make you more marketable in your field. Then, prepare to move on to bigger things, because that’s where you’re headed!

What’s the best pre-career advice you’ve ever been given? Share below, and join us on Hey! VINA app to meet new vinas in your neighborhood. 

(Feature image via Bloguettes)

YOU CAN TALK TO ANYONE— YES, ANYONE! HERE’S HOW

This one’s for all of you introverts out there! We all know a few people who can kill it at small talk anytime, anywhere, but not all of us are so lucky. It takes years of practice for a lot of us, and even then, small talk with new people can feel painfully uncomfortable.

Fortunately, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips we have to talk to seriously anyone. Small talk defeated!

ASK QUESTIONS

Here’s the ultimate secret: People like to talk about themselves. Duh, right? Once you realize this, you can really use it to your convo-starter advantage. The key to a flowing convo is just plain letting the other person talk about themselves. Usually, once you get them started, they’re good to go, and if you’re lucky, they’ll ask a few questions back, too.

LISTEN

To go with the former, you can’t ask great questions without sounding like a cold unfeeling robot if you aren’t listening. Take the time to hear and reflect on what the other person is saying so that you can respond with heart. There’s nothing worse than talking to someone who you can tell is waiting for you to stop talking so they can add their take.

AVOID THE WEATHER

The first two are your go-to tips. This is a personal preference: try not to talk about the weather, unless it’s, A.) a legitimately stellar day, unlike anything you’ve ever seen, or, B.) there’s a literal blizzard/hurricane/etc. happening, in which case, your convo should be about getting out of there, girl!  Otherwise, talking about the weather is just so cliché that it really does nothing to bridge the gap between you and another person: it comes off as plastic and unattached. Asking questions and getting to know the person you’re talking to is the best way to get a conversation flowing!

What are your tips for small talk? Leave them in the comments below, and put your skills to the test meeting new friends on Hey! VINA!

(Feature image via @hayet.rida)

🎶 THE ULTIMATE SUMMER ROAD TRIP PLAYLIST 🎶

Finally, am I right? It seems like summer takes ages to arrive, and once it’s here, it’s gone way too soon – so we’ve got to enjoy what we can. Whether you’re traveling 22 hours to get to a warm, sunny vacay, or stay-cationing all the way and making day trips to the outlet mall, summer calls for a seriously boss road trip playlist. And we’ve got you covered.

The playlist has it all: the oldies, the classic on-the-road jams, and especially, the songs you just have to sing at the top of your lungs. Enjoy!

What are you favorite road trip songs? Leave them in the comments below and join us on Hey! VINA on the app store!

ADD SOME DIVERSITY OF EXPERIENCE TO YOUR READING LIST WITH THESE 6 NOVELS

Throughout history, black women have been writing and prose-ing and creating literature that can only be described as art. While some are occasionally celebrated, they each truly deserve more praise and recognition than they receive. So, let’s get started:

31WSE0JP7QL.jpgSULA BY TONI MORRISON

Morrison is a classic American writer, and her books Beloved and The Bluest Eye are among her most popular. If you’re ready to try another book by her, we recommend Morrison’s second novel, about a friendship between two women. The perfect read for a vina book club!

51lUe1aK-dL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgAND STILL I RISE BY MAYA ANGELOU

Angelou was a poet, civil rights activist, playwright, performer, dancer, and much, much more. In fact, she was the first black woman to direct in Hollywood. Her words were, and are, filled with power and truth. And Still I Rise is Angelou’s beloved and moving third book of poetry about life and hardship.

a raisin in the sun.jpgA RAISIN IN THE SUN BY LORRAINE HANSBERRY

Based on the Langston Hughes poem “A Dream Deferred” (which is also a fantastic read), A Raisin in the Sun is a play about the American dream and the societal hoops discrimination puts a black family through only to have the dream just out of reach. Get ready for a read that will make you think hard about the ramifications then and in our present day.

51VlEaAQjTL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgWHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS BY HELEN OYEYEMI

Oyeyemi combines the real world with fantastical elements in this novel for an epic romp in magical realism. For those of you who enjoy being swept away by a good fantasy book (a genre not often dominated by black women authors!), we highly recommend.

17824877.jpgWARRIORS DON’T CRY BY MELBA PATTILLO BEALS

Warriors Don’t Cry is a memoir of Beals’ life as a part of the Little Rock Nine; aka, the first students integrated into the all-white Central high school in Little Rock. She tells the horrific story of her experiences vividly and with her moving command of language. As if you need more incentive to read, Beals is a woman of powerful success. She went on to earn a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and became a reporter for NBC. Talk about #bossbabe, am I right?

51GpIPXGToL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgHIDDEN FIGURES BY MARGOT LEE SHETTERLY

In light of the success of the recent Oscar-nominated movie, we can’t forget to mention Hidden Figures, the true story of three black women who encountered hatred, racism, and sexism in their highly successful careers at NASA during the space race. On the side, Shetterly is working on the Human Computer project, a research compilation in search of all the women working as mathematicians, computers, engineers, and scientists at NASA and the NACA from 1930-1980. Basically, all of the women who got us into space and didn’t get any credit.

What are your favorite books by black women? Celebrate them down below, and join the vina community at Hey! VINA on the app store. 

(Feature image via Mariana Vusiatytska)

EMBRACING YOUR OWN BEAUTY STANDARD

Growing up as a young girl with big, frizzy, curly hair (the result of my beautiful interracial family), I always felt I stood out. My curly hair was a magnet for eyes, comments like, “Have you tried straightening it?” and fingers reaching out to touch.

At school, I would look enviously at the girls with long, shiny, straight hair that fell perfectly into place. As typical for many young girls, there weren’t girls at my school or in my sphere of influence – T.V., toys, and movies – that looked like me. Even my look-alike American Girl doll had bone straight hair that I’d brush forlornly. Back at home, I’d look in the mirror, pull my hair straight as I could and bend my knees to see what I’d look a few inches shorter. Why couldn’t I just look like everyone else?

And this was all before I turned eleven.

In seventh grade, my grandma offered to take me to her hair salon, where the stylist gave me my first relaxer. When she spun the chair around and I was face-to-face with myself, I was speechless. Where once was my triangle-esque corkscrew hair, I now had softly waved, smooth hair. I was hooked. 

Years of relaxers, Brazilian blowouts, and at-home straightening ensued. I’d run over my hair four or five times with the iron, leaving damaged, sad remains where my curls used to be. I loved every minute of it.

Or I did, until my roots would grow out, leaving me with wild, curly roots and bone straight ends. Not a great look, let me tell ya. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I stumbled upon beauty vloggers like AndreasChoice and SunKissAlba, loving everything about their hair that I realized what I was destroying.

Slowly, I started to learn to take care of my hair, appreciate it, and admire every single wonky strand. Unfortunately, it has not been an one-and-done battle. Up until a year and a half ago, I’ve gone through phases of itching for that perfect beauty standard (curse, you, LOB, for being so trendy and SO cute!), straightening to fit in and blaming my hair for rejections and mean boys.

But today, I’m starting to find worth in my curls, and in myself. So I decided to write them a love letter.

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Dear curls,

I’ve spent so much of my life despising you, so much time wishing to be “more beautiful,” and so much time hating myself for something so woefully out of my control.

I just want to say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being afraid my peers were judging how big my hair was, and feeling self-conscious that the people behind me in class couldn’t see around my “birds nest.” I’m sorry for blaming you when that cute boy wasn’t interested in me, but in the blue-eyed blonde girl next to me. I’m sorry for shoving you down and shutting you up while I forced myself to conform to white-washed European standards of beauty that I will never mold into.

I also want to say thank you. Thank you for projecting an attitude of self-assurance and confidence when I feel too low to take on the world. Thank you for providing a hiding space when I just really don’t want to talk today. Thanks for looking good and springing back to life after so much mistreatment from me and my junior-high hot tools.

You’ve taught me some hard lessons about self-love, and you’ll teach me many more, I’m sure. I hope our friendship gets better with age.

Love,

Me

How have you overcome society’s expectations for your beauty? Share in the comments below, and join the community of supportive #bossbabes at Hey! VINA on the app store. 

(Feature image via @mydevacurl)

BFFS FROM OUR FORMATIVE YEARS THAT TAUGHT US EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT FRIENDSHIP

Everyone loves a good throwback, especially to something as integral to your formative years as the television shows you used to watch as a kid. Kid’s TV is great because it’s almost always centered around friendship! Here are the shows that totally got us through the trials and tribulations of young friendship:

THE POWERPUFF GIRLS

Girl, how could these ladies not make it on the list? Guilty pleasure or no, we all watched a little Powerpuff Girls back in the day (and we all knew exactly which Powerpuff we wanted to be!). They were sisters and BFFs who taught us how to stick together to fight the forces of evil!

LILO AND STITCH

Whether you were a kid, moody teen, or adult when this movie came out, it’s pretty safe to say that this movie made you laugh and cry. In all of their outsider, trouble-making glory, Lilo and Stitch are the type of have-your-back, family-till-the end friends we all want to have. Whether you were a young outsider yourself, or befriended one, everyone can relate to their story of love and acceptance.

RON STOPPABLE, KIM POSSIBLE, AND RUFUS

In danger or trouble… they’re always there for one another. Yeah, Rufus is technically a naked mole rat, but that doesn’t make him any less of a BFF in this team. Ron and Kim were always there for each other, and we all need that friend we can call or beep, and they’ll be there.

ELIZA THORNBERRY AND DARWIN

Who wouldn’t want a monkey as a best friend? I’m convinced this show is what first gave me a taste of FOMO as a child – the Thornberrys travel basically everywhere and the Eliza/Darwin duo are there to do it all, together.

THE RUGRATS

OK, so age rules don’t apply here, obviously. Everyone knows that the Rugrats were easily the most #squadgoals group of friends on television. They had their fights, but you always knew they’d be friends in no time, even Angelica. Don’t even get me started on the Rugrats in Paris movie, or there’ll be tears for real.

What are some of your favorite squads from your childhood TV shows? Leave some in the comments below, and join the community of besties at Hey! VINA on the app store. 

(Feature image via @cillascrafts)

DIYS THAT WON’T END UP ON PINTEREST FAILS…PROBABLY

If we’re being truly honest, most of us have Pinterest-failed once or twice (or more!). It can be frustrating and disappointing when your project doesn’t turn out as planned.

The best part about a Pinterest vina date, though, is that no one’s expecting you to be perfect! It’s all about having a good time and sharing some laughs with great friends. So next time you and your vinas are feeling a little crafty, try out some of these DIYs (which are relatively easy.

FOR THE ORGANIZED VINAS

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For a fun, colorful bedroom staple – try this paint sample calendar DIY!

FOR THE BOOKWORMS

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Tons of easy DIY ideas, like these cute AF pom-pom bookmarks!

FOR THE MAKE-UP LOVERS

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DIY make-up organizers and other make-up related DIYs that are sooo easy and will make your life 100x times easier when you’re trying to get ready in the morning.

FOR THE FREE-SPIRITS

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If you like a hippy or rustic vibe to your living space, check out these super simple home decor upgrades you can do yourself!

FOR THE ADVANCED VINAS

paper-flower-bouquet-hero.jpg

“A floral arrangement can really do wonders when it comes to cheering up just about any room. We’re big fans of the fresh kinds, but not so much when it comes to their short lifespans. Lengthen the stay of these floral pick-me-ups and keep them lasting season after season with a cut paper flower bouquet.” – 4 steps to a flower bouquet 

(Feature image: @ohbabyitskaren)

5 SMALL CHANGES TO GET YOU FEELING ORGANIZED AF

For us college gals, it’s starting to get to finals time, and for you vinas out there IRL, it’s almost five months post the naïve promises of New Year’s day, which means: we could all use some organization tips, like, yesterday. It’s easy to look around and think you’re the only who’s life isn’t perfectly put-together. Want in on a secret? Most of us are scrambling around, just trying to get through our days.

Luckily, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks from the gals in my life who just get sh*t done.

WAKE UP EARLY ENOUGH TO GIVE YOURSELF TIME

Yeah, I know, this one seems like a no-brainer. But it’s easy to push that snooze but just one too many times, and then suddenly you’re rushing around to get ready in twenty minutes and throwing your shoes on as you’re walking out the door.

Instead, try to go to bed at a realistic time, especially if you don’t usually get some z’s until 2 or 3 a.m. Aim to be sleeping, phone locked, by at the latest, midnight. The more sleep you get, the less stressful your mornings will be.

SCHEDULE OUT YOUR DAYS BEFORE THE DAY BEGINS

If you’re a to-do list kinda girl, this tip is for you. I’ve heard stories of extreme success from women who simply take 5-10 minutes each night to organize their next day. Create some goals for yourself and try to accomplish at least 75% of them. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do it perfectly the first few weeks.

When you’re done with the day, check off what you accomplished. There’s something so satisfying of getting to make that little check mark.

Bonus tip! Try bullet journaling – I wrote a post about that here.

CLEAN & REARRANGE YOUR DESK

Sometimes all you really need is a clean, organized desk space. Take some time to “research” desk inspiration – my favorite places are Instagram and Pinterest. Design your own little space that helps you to feel inspired and motivated.

ANSWER EMAILS WHILE YOU EAT BREAKFAST

I’ll never understand why, but answering emails really sucks.

Alright, so if you’re a momma and/or breakfast is your special time with your S.O., this might not work out for you, but for those of us that are single AF and anti-morning, this could actually work.

By answering your emails first thing in the morning, you’ve allowed yourself to get one of the most tedious parts the morning done, and created more time to get started on things you actually like to do. Try it a few times to see if it works for you.

SCHEDULE BREAK TIMES (OR NAP TIMES!)

Even the brainiest among us have a hard time thinking clearly for hours on end. Schedule out a few times a day (even if it’s just for a few minutes!) where you can focus on yourself, clear your head, and watch some funny dog videos.

What do you do to stay organized? Leave your tips in the comments below, and join the community for more like this by downloading Hey! VINA on the app store. 

(Feature image via @aupaysdesmerveillesblog)

HOW TO BE THE ULTIMATE MOTIVATOR

Everyone loves a motivator. You know who I’m talking about. The friend you have that is always in your corner, cheering you on, gassing you up, and empowering you to your best self.

Life can be crazy, but there are truly few things in this life more valuable than the joy and fulfillment that comes from being a motivator in someone’s life. And ultimately, when you put those vibes out, they’re bound to return to you, whether that’s by another vina building you up or smiles and kind compliments from strangers.

Consider this your swearing in to the motivator club.

NOTICE THE EFFORTS OF THOSE AROUND YOU

Is your vina putting more work into their passions than usual? Send them a little text saying  you’re inspired by them and proud of their effort. The sentiment will go far and will encourage your vina to keep working hard.

BE ONE WITH THE TREES

Okay, so not exactly one with the trees, but take note: be a strong support system, stand tall, and lead with the confidence you want your friends to have. Bonus: the more you act like an oak tree–strong, unwavering, and calm in a storm– the more you begin to feel that way.

BUILD UP, DON’T GIVE UP

The key to the motivator is consistency. It’s not always a  bundle of fun, and making the effort can be downright exhausting. It takes time to work and harness the motivator skill, but with time, it’ll get easier and become second nature.

GIVE YOURSELF SOME LOVE

In all of your motivation, don’t forget yourself. You need some love too! Hopefully those around you have learned from you and are becoming motivators as well, but it’s important to spend some time giving your own spirit some r&r, too. Treat, appreciate, and empower yourself, especially when you aren’t feeling confident in your life’s path.

And that’s it. Go out and throw kindness and compliments around like confetti, y’all!

Who has been a motivator in your life? Share how they helped you out below to inspire us all!

(Feature image via @krissy)(Feature image via @krissy)