WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR VINA BRINGS HER S/O EVERYWHERE

Friendships and romantic relationships have a long history of not getting along. The territory between the two can be tricky to navigate, especially if the relationship in question isn’t yours. While you are happy that your vina is happy, you’re sad that you are no longer her first choice when it comes to making plans. To make things worse, when you do make plans, you’re not alone – your vina’s partner is along for the ride. Here are some tips for addressing the problem without creating a bigger one:

TALK IT OUT

A little bit of honesty can go a long way. Talk to your friend about how the constant presence of her S/O makes you feel. The key here is to speak about your feelings without accusing her of causing them. Even if your friend seems like she is being oblivious to you and doesn’t care about the time you spend together, it is important to remember that love makes us blind. Instead of being accusatory, be exploratory. Use your voice to explore different ways you can include your friend’s significant other, and set boundaries for when it is simply vina time. You can’t be mad about your friend neglecting your wishes if you never share them with her!

WAIT IT OUT

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(Photo courtesy of Harli Marten) 

Especially if your vina is starting a new relationship, you might have to give her some time and space to figure out her priorities. Try to place yourself in your friend’s shoes and understand where she is coming from. You can be patient without being passive. Use your judgement to decide when to let her know it’s her turn to consider your feelings. Stray away from making her feel guilty, and attempt to make her empathetic to the position she has put you in by constantly having her significant other around. Being kind and conscious of how you handle the situation will help her see how her relationship is interfering with your friendship in a way that allows for constructive change.

GO WITHOUT

If your vina is still clueless after you have spoken your mind and been patient, it’s time to really give her the hint. Use this as an opportunity to strengthen other friendships and relations in your life, or to find new ones. It is no fun to be relying on a friend that is prioritizing their significant other. Your absence will tell her things that mere words cannot. 

THE BREAKUP

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(Photo courtesy of Kristopher Roller)

If the relationship ends in shambles, your initial reaction might be to say “I told you so.” While it is sometimes satisfying to be petty, it won’t make you or your vina feel any better. This is a time to be there for your vina while laying out the rules for the next relationship. Point out the ways that her attachment to her s/o could have contributed to their demise. Show her just how much she needs girl time, and why friends are more reliable than flings.

While your feelings may be hurt due to your friend’s lack of consideration, keeping open communication is the only way to maintain the friendship. If you don’t want to lose a friend over their lover, do all you can on your end to be real, patient, and a good vina. When your vina is no longer blinded by love, she will see that you were there for her the whole time, and will appreciate you putting up with her shit!

(Featured Image Courtesy of Hercampus.com)

WHY & HOW TO CELEBRATE A VINAVERSARY

Why reserve all of the love and fun of an anniversary to just your significant other? Show your vina just how much you love her by marking a day on your calendar to celebrate your friendship! Here are some ideas about how to plan a vinaversary for the books!

SET THE BAR HIGH

If you have never celebrated a vinaversary before, you’re going to have to do most of the planning.  Don’t remember the day you and your vina became friends? Pick one together! Once you have the date, you can get planning. For your first ever vinaversary, it’s important to set the stage for vinaversaries of the future. Want to go all out? Get some balloons, your vina’s favorite candy, and a playlist of your favorite songs to belt together. Prefer to keep it low-key and easy-going? Order your favorite takeout, or make reservations at your favorite restaurant. Set the bar high, and soon enough your vinaversary will be your favorite day of the year!

FOR FAR AWAY VINAS

If you can’t actually be with your vina on your vinaversary, never fear! You can still make their day special and show them how thankful you are for your friendship by sending flowers, or even just a nice post card with a sincere note. Make time to FaceTime on that day, and do something fun- like text everyone that will see them and ask all those people to tell them “happy vinaversary!”- super cute, right?

GIFT OR NAH?

For typical anniversaries with a s/o, the gift almost seems like the reason for the celebration. Friendship is a little different, but if you have the means and desire to get your friend a gift, by all means- treat them! A good rule to live by is to give without the expectation of receiving. If you don’t want to buy something, you can always search for a DIY project, or sign up for a class together. The point of the vinaversary is not to have another gift to worry about buying, but rather to celebrate your friendship and strengthen it at the same time. If it starts to feel stressful, you’re doing it wrong.

Have you been celebrating a vinaversary before you knew what it was called? Or have ideas on how to make it special? Let us know in the comments! 

(Feature image via pintrest)

3 EASY & BUDGET FRIENDLY DINNERS TO MAKE FOR YOUR VINAS

When you’re on a budget, eating out isn’t exactly a part of your menu. Rather than constantly rain-checking on dinner plans, here are some easy & cheap recipes for you to make for your vinas:

PESTO CHEESE LINGUINI

Start by cooking your favorite linguini or pasta (my fav is spinach and chive linguine from Trader Joe’s), enough for 2-2 people. then add:

  • 2 tbs of butter
  • 2/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 3-4 tbs of pesto sauce (or more for taste)
  • 1& 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese (again, more or less to your liking)
  • 1 bunch of broccoli- trim off the tops (should look like confetti)

Mix all of these ingredients in with the pasta with the heat on low until everything is melted. Put it in a bowl and enjoy!

GUACAMOLE

Might not sound like an entire meal, but add some rice and black beans on the side, and this guac is guaranteed to fill you up! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup of sweet corn (fresh)
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes (more/less to your liking)
  • 1/4 cup of red onion
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tsp of salt

Grab some chips and you have a healthy meal. Have some left over? Squeeze some extra lime and place the avocado seed in the center of the bowl. Cover with plastic, and the guacamole shouldn’t be brown the next day.

SHRIMP SALAD

Don’t read shrimp and get intimidated-–this is a delicious way to get your hands dirty. Get yourself about a pound of shrimp (feeds 2-3 people), peel, and rinse them. In a large sauce pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Add 1/2 cup of white onion, and 2 cloves of garlic. Sprinkle in some paprika, black pepper, and cumin. After 2 minutes, add the shrimp. When one side is pinkish, flip the shrimp until the other side is, too (about 2-3 minutes per side- longer if you like it crispy).

In another pan, head sunflower oil (or whatever oil you have in your cabinet). Sauté 2 cups of spinach, half of a yellow bell pepper, and half of a red one. Add some tomatoes and onions if you’d like. Throw all that on a plate and top it off with your shrimp. Dinner is served.

Stop bailing on your vinas and invite them over for dinner. Have any other easy recipes? Let us know or post the link in the comments! 

(Feature image via Pinterest)

CALLING ALL SENIORS: REAL LIFE IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER

I hope I’m not the first to tell you, but May is only a few days away. If your senioritis is quickly being cured by a hard dose of reality, it’s not too late to get your sh*t together. Here are some tips so you don’t have to hit the panic button just yet:

TAKE THE YEAR OFF

With “real life” right around the corner and potential panic setting in, the worst thing you can do is rush into something you haven’t had time to think about. At this point, you’ve probably been in school for the majority of your life — a year off to get your head straight might do you some good.

WATER THE SEEDS YOU ALREADY HAVE PLANTED

You may be taking some time off, but your after school vacation will wear off eventually. If you connected with people in your class or your professors (or, on Hey! VINA around campus), make sure you exchange emails that don’t end in “.edu”. If you do decide to pursue additional school in the future, or think you might eventually need a reference, you’ll want to make sure you still have a way to contact those useful connections.

SEE THE SIGNS

If you’re leaving school with a degree but still haven’t found your passion, perhaps it’s better not to rush into a career that you aren’t crazy about. Just remember, when you graduate, additional schooling and job opportunities will always be there. But, if you get yourself too deep into something you’re not excited about, you might regret the lost time later in life. When you aren’t sure what to do, take that as a signal that you should figure it out on your terms and on your watch. People may be pressuring you to get it together, but you’re the one who has to live with whatever life you throw together in a matter of months- make it one you love.

Have any advice for those on their way out of college with not a clue what to do? Let us know in the comments!

(Feature image via pinterest)

BEING THERE FOR A FRIEND IN NEED WITHOUT NEGLECTING YOURSELF

Whether your vina is crashing on your couch after a rough breakup, or is constantly calling and wanting to hang after losing her job, being a good friend means being there for her. But what happens when being a good friend interferes with being good to yourself? Here are some tips to take care of yourself while helping your vina get back on her feet:

STAY TRUE TO YOU

When a person goes through a big life change, they tend to act totally differently for a while. Maybe your friend who was in a controlling relationship suddenly wants to go out all of the time, or your friend who had an uptight job wants to do everything together after losing said job. The key to navigating this situation is not changing your lifestyle just because your vina is changing hers. “Being there” for someone is more important on an emotional level than a literal, physical level. You can continue to “do your thang” while your vina is redefining herself, but if you find that she is being really pushy to have you tag along, remind her of how things were before the big change happened in her life. If you never went out with her on Thursday nights, she shouldn’t be guilting you into going now. Don’t do things you don’t want to just because you think your friend will feel better- think of ways you can spend time together within your comfort zone.

KEEP IT REAL

When a friend has been hurt, it can be easy to want to make her feel better in any way. While you want her to snap out of her funk, you shouldn’t just tell her what she wants to hear. Sometimes she just needs to hear the harsh truth. What are friends for, right? So when your friend is sulking for days about how much she misses her shitty ex, remind her that it wasn’t a good relationship and she shouldn’t be so eager to crawl back. Tough love might be hard to give, but it is the first step to healing. Don’t mistake this advice as instructions on how to tell your friend what to do. At the end of the day, all decisions are hers to make, but those decisions need to be informed by the truth of a situation, rather than just some BS that will make her temporarily feel better.

SEE CONFLICT AS CONSTRUCTIVE

If in the midst of “being there” for your friend you start to crash heads, keep it cool. It can be easy to simply cut someone off when it feels like they aren’t appreciating everything you’re doing for them or they aren’t listening to you. In times when it feels easier to just let her deal with it on her own, remember what your vina is going through. This does not mean accommodating her every desire or avoiding making her sad or angry, but rather drawing her attention to where you feel she isn’t treating you fairly. Talking things over calmly is much more effective than a yelling match, because your vina will be forced to hear you out and see the error of her ways (who knows, maybe you’ll see the error of yours too). When things get heated, people get defensive, and once walls are up, it’s very hard to bring them down to see the heart of the conflict for what it truly is. Keep the paths of conversation open, and soon you will not only have helped your vina get back on her feet, but you might even improve your friendship.

Have you ever helped your vina through a tough time? Let us know what worked (or what didn’t) in the comments! 

(Feature image via Jenavieve Belair)

 

THE OTHER ISM

Thanks to the current political climate, most of us are well aware of the existence of the “isms”: racism, sexism, heterosexism. While these isms are often interconnected, there is one that is rarely addressed: classism.

In order to address this ism and what happens to those whose daily lives are affected by it, we need to bring classism into our conversations about injustice, just like the other isms. Read below to find out what it is, how it works, and what you can do:

WHAT IS IT?

Classism is defined as a prejudice or discrimination against or in favor of people based on their social class-–aka we treat some people better, and others worse based on their economic position within society.

In the US, the ideologies of capitalism and individualism associate wealth with success and hard work. This ignores the fact that not everyone is born with the same opportunities. Initial inequalities are not easy to overcome, yet ideas like “The American Dream” and the false promise that it is equally available to everyone, works to invalidate the experiences of people who have to work twice as hard for the same results. When a lack of money is blamed on individuals rather than the social systems that perpetuate the huge income gaps, responsibility is taken off of society and placed onto the person.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Classism emerges all throughout our social lives. In the workplace, classism can be seen in the dress code that does not account for people who cannot afford “professional” clothing. At schools and universities, classism is apparent when it comes to “activity fees,” in this case linking networking opportunities to one’s ability to afford being a part of a club or greek life (for more on classism in universities check out this podcast).

In our social circles, classism emerges under assumptions that everyone is able to meet for drinks or brunch, and often goes under the radar due to embarrassment of bringing up $$ issues. Social media idolizes the lives of the rich and famous, and many people perform in accordance with what they think looks cool, chic, and successful.

All of the examples above work to marginalize the voices of people who are in lower-middle classes. Instead of working on ways to be inclusive of these voices and experiences, we say the only “cure” for the feelings associated with poverty is hard work towards standards that are not possible for everyone to achieve.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The first step to understanding any “ism” is realizing that while they may be carried out by individuals, the isms are a result social systems. Social systems work to build and protect privilege in many ways, whether it be based on gender, race, sexuality, or class. When we switch our mindsets from blaming individuals to blaming social systems, we must take on a new kind social responsibility, for social systems do not function without our participation in them.

It is so important to get educated–enter the internet. Some key players in the fight to change systems of oppression are bell hooks, Judith Butler, and Barbara Jensen just to name a few. Once you do some “research”, start talking. Have conversations in your friend groups, make links to classism and other isms, and be aware of who you praise and why. Taking a look at ourselves and how we contribute to classism is a huge step in validating the experiences of the lower-middle class. Understanding intersectionality and multi-vocality is not an easy feat, but it is one worth going after. Get together with a group of vinas and talk about what you know, and what you need to know more about.

Know any “must read” authors for those who are new to understanding this ism? Post them below in the comments!

(Feature image via pintrest)

 

WHAT 4/20 PERSONA ARE YOU?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (in states where weed is legal)! Get in the spirit of 4/20 by checking below to see which 4/20 persona describes you and your vinas best:

THE MUNCHER

If just the smell o weed has your stomach growling, you’re the muncher. You know just where to go when the munchies hit. If anyone is looking for the largest amount of greasy food for the cheapest price, you’re the one to call. Pizzas are meant to be enjoyed solo, right?

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THE PHILOSOPHER

23bThere’s something about the herb that connects you to the earth and universe. While you may feel like you’ve figured out the secret to life, this temporary wisdom will wear off as soon as the high does. Hopefully one of your friends wrote down all of your epiphanies to laugh about later.

 

SCAREDY CAT

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“Was that a cop?” you say as you friend’s phone rings. “She totally knows we’re high” you observe about the total stranger that just walked past you (who totally doesn’t know you’re high). While it may suck for you to feel so paranoid, it’s always good to have someone who’s on their toes!

 

THE GIGGLER

You’ve been laughing for five minutes straight but can’t remember the joke… or better yet- you couldn’t even share the joke because you started laughing so hard. Your uncontrollable laughter is funnier than any joke, and is contagious to other stoners while confusing to the sobers.

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LONER STONER

“Me, myself, and high” is your motto. For you, the high life is better lived solo. You prefer to do your own thing, and the best part- all the weed to yourself. Whether practicing introspection or spending hours watching netflix, you realize that weed is the only company you need to keep.

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SLEEPING BEAUTY

There’s no shame in puff, puff, passing out. However, keep in mind that most people have phones with cameras that can turn your beauty sleep into eternal blackmail. Not everyone looks as cute as Rihanna when the weed coma hits, so try to take refuge in a comfy blanket whenever possible.

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Get in the spirit and share this with your stoner vinas! Did we fail to capture your persona? Let us know what we missed in the comments! 

 

FOREVER YOUNG: CLASSIC SLEEPOVER GAMES TO BRING BACK WITH YOUR VINAS

Growing older doesn’t have to mean growing out of sleepovers. In fact, having a sleepover with your vinas can be a great way to feel young and rejuvenated. Here are some classic sleepover games that are bound to strengthen the bond between you and your vinas:

TRUTH OR DARE

This might seem pointless when you aren’t on a bus full of kids daring one of them to eat a piece of gum from under the seat (or was that just me…?). While we might never run out of “truths”, it seems harder to come up with dares as we age- or maybe we aren’t getting creative enough! Depending on how brave (or crazy) you’re feeling, you can dare your vina to dye her hair platinum blonde, or to clear her weekend calendar and take a road trip! You could of course keep it classic and dare her to call her crush, or text her ex. Even if the game is short lived, it is bound to bring up old memories and spark some new ones!

WOULD YOU RATHER

This game never gets old no matter how old you get. There is always something to choose between (even when there isn’t necessarily a better choice). The harder the decision, the better the question. Having a hard time thinking of what to ask? There are plenty of free apps that are full of user submitted content (some people come up with messed up stuff, so consider yourself warned). You are guaranteed to make your friends uncomfortable, but laugh your ass off at the same time.

NEVER HAVE I EVER

The best part about this game is that now it can double as a drinking game! Get a bottle of wine and get ready to inadvertently confess your deepest, darkest secrets. Ever wondered what your vina did during her semester abroad? Now’s the time to find out! Be forewarned: some of the stuff you hear might be TMI, but nothing strengthens a friendship like sharing a secret.

CHARADES

Old school charades can still be fun, but it’s 2017! Do yourself a favor and download  Heads Up! from the app store (the best $0.99 you will ever spend). From humming songs to acting out movie titles, this new and fun spin on the game will have you and your vinas occupied for hours.

APPLES AGAINST HUMANITY

Who would have thought thinking of nouns to fit an adjective would ever be fun? Not me–and yet Apples to Apples is still my favorite game. This one can also be turned into a drinking game for the vinas over 21; anytime someone gains a green card, that person takes a sip! Still sounds too tame? Cards Against Humanity is the same premise of Apples to Apples, but is not for the faint of heart. These inappropriate prompts will bring out a side of your vinas you have never seen. Both are fun ways to combine laughter and competition in a never-ending night of guessing who put down which card.

Call up your vinas, pull out your sleeping bags, and pop some popcorn-–these games call for a sleepover! What are some of your favorite games to play at sleepovers? Let us know in the comments! 

(Feature image via Pinterest)

IT TAKES A VILLAGE: HOW TO FIND YOURS WHEN YOU’RE A MOM IN A NEW CITY

We’ve all heard the saying “it takes a village” when it comes to raising a child, but  finding/creating your own can be hard when you’re new in town. Here are some tips to help you find the support you need in order to take some of the stress off of being a parent in a new city:

HEAD TO THE PARK

A general rule of thumb is where there are kids, there are moms. Round up your munchkins and take them to the local park, pool, or museum. You’re bound to bump into some other moms in need of social contract with humans over the age of 10. Don’t be shy–a great ice breaker is the fact that you’re new to the area.

LET THE KIDS DO THE WORK

Sometimes, it can be awkward approaching fellow adults out of the blue, but if your kid wants a playdate, that’s a different story. Insist on meeting your child’s playmate’s parents. Kids are smart, and chances are if they like the kid, you might like the person who raised her.

GET INVOLVED AT SCHOOL

PTA meetings, fundraisers, and sporting events are a great way to be involved in your child’s education, but also a great way to meet other moms with similar values. Not only will your child benefit from the support of having your involvement, but you can find the support you need from other moms through friendship.

HEY! VINA

You’re already on the website-–why not get on the app? Hey! VINA was designed for women looking for friendship. Select from one of the communities, like stay at home moms or working moms, and find other women looking to expand their village!

The key to the village is connecting all the villagers, so if you meet a few moms in different circles, work on ways to bring them together. Host a biweekly book club, throw a monthly barbecue, or always go to the same park on the same day. Chances are other moms in your group are in need of the same support you’re looking for, so be creative in getting them all together! 

Be active and proactive, and you’ll have your village in no time! Have any advice for moms in a new city? Let us know in the comments!

(Feature image via Pinterest)

 

CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE WITH MORE GRATITUDE

Gratitude (noun): a feeling of appreciation or thanks; the state of being grateful

If you’re in a slump, or things just don’t seem to be going your way, it’s hard to imagine being grateful for the situation. We might not like to admit it, but it’s sometimes easier to wallow in self pity than to actually change the things that put us in the pit of despair to begin with. Luckily, although you might now be able to change a situation, you can change how you are situated mentally. The simple act of thinking of & focusing on being thankful and appreciative can change your life! Still sounds out of this world? Here are some tips to bring you back to earth and outside of your own experiences:

DIVE IN

On your next day off- or better yet, on your next busy morning- wake up ready to give. I don’t mean money, or food, or even time- I’m talking attention. Be present in every interaction. Smile at strangers, ask the barista how she’s doing, look the bus driver in the eyes and say “thank you” as you get off. These seemingly simple gestures can brighten some one else’s day (so long as the gestures are genuine). Dedicating thought and energy into how you influence the lives of others just by being thankful for their presence is a great first step to forming a new outlook on life.

USE YOUR WORDS

All too often, we assume people know that we are grateful for them. In fact- it rarely even crosses out mind to let them know since we think it’s so obvious. Chances are they are unaware of how much they really mean to you, so why not let them know? Call up your parent and thank her/him for putting so much time into raising you. Send your vina a text letting her know how grateful you are to have her in your life. Stop a coworker just to say you’re happy to work with someone who does their job so well. You never know how much a person needs your words of encouragement and appreciation.

WRITE IT DOWN

If you don’t have a journal because you’re unsure of what you would put in it, here’s your chance to go buy that cute little notebook from your local book store. Start your entries every day for just one week with three things you are thankful for- this could be anything from the time you spent with your vina, to a gift someone gave you, or maybe you just saw something beautiful that brightened your day. At the end of the week, you will notice that you no longer even need to think  of three “thankful things”- you’ll just immediately appreciate them when they appear.

GET YOUR VINAS ON BOARD

It’s hard to change your attitude and appreciate life if you are surrounded by complainers. Let your vinas, family, and other members of your circle know what you’re up to, and encourage them to also reflect on their lives. By reframing life and experiences as something to be thankful for, you could change the very dynamic of your relationships.

What are you waiting for?? It’s never too late to appreciate! Let us know what you’re thankful for in the comments! 

(Feature image via pinterest)