Summer is coming and with it the opportunity for an epic summer vacay with your besties.  Here are a few unique options for your getaway:


If you don’t have a cap on your budget, and you want to learn something new like paddle boarding, fly-fishing, rock-climbing, or horseback riding, you’ll want to grab your vina and head north to Montana to settle in at The Resort at Paws Up.  Whether you rent a house, or take over a tent for a weekend, you’ll have 37,000 acres of fun at your fingertips.


via the Resort at Paws Up


Rent a convertible and hit the road. For an unforgettable time in the desert, set your GPS for Palm Springs. Stay at the Palm Mountain Resort and indulge in the Coconut Milk & Honey Body Polish Treatment at the spa while you are there. Explore the town on foot, and take the tram to the top of the mountain.  P.S. there’s an amazing shopping district just down the road in Palm Desert.


via Kelly Richardson


Just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on all the Bachelor/Bachelorette fun on TV.  Park yourselves at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder in Santa Fe and reserve the Governors Suite that hosted Bachelor Chris Soules in 2015, #fantasysuite anyone?  You’ll have vast views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and you won’t want to leave the opulent, bi-level suite that has a dining area, bar, soaking tub, three bathrooms, and a mini-bar.  If you dare leave your room, check out the multi-million dollar art collection that spans the property, hit the links for a round of golf, or try your hand in the casino.

When you are done basking in bachelor glory, spend a few days getting your art fix in downtown Santa Fe.  Stay at the amazing Hotel Santa Fe and contact Santa Fe Selection for a personally curated itinerary for you and your besties! My pick: a private art class with wine and chocolate at Mantecon Studios.


via Kelly Richardson



It’s bikini season, so why not grab your girlfriends and work out, Biggest Loser Style.  The Biggest Loser Resorts in California, New York, and Florida offer up a getaway complete with getting in shape, spa treatments, nutrition classes, wellness, and pool time!


If time and money aren’t relevant in your summer planning, cash in those airline miles and park yourself on the Grand Canal in Venice for a few days at the SINO Centurion Palace Hotel.  You’ll be steps away from the Guggenheim Museum.  #travelhack: Ask the hotel to arrange for a private tour guide to take you to St. Mark’s Basilica, you’ll skip the lines and get a personalized tour.  If you have time to explore the rest of Italy, make sure to contact Nektaria or Christina at Shefari, as well as Arianna at KMZero Tours for curated itineraries and guide services through Tuscany.


via Kelly Richardson


You can spend countless days exploring the city and all that it offers, but make sure to spend a few days at The Cavallo Point Lodge.  Take a cooking class, explore the art galleries, tour the historical buildings, or get a spa treatment.  This hotel is a short drive away from Sausalito, plus it has easy access into the bright lights of San Francisco.


Fitting in a quick summer trip to Napa and Sonoma with your girlfriends is the perfect choice.  If you’ve never stayed at a bed & breakfast, here’s your chance! The Inn on Randolph is definitely not your typical B&B, with updated rooms, and amazing bathtubs and amenities, you’ll have access to all of your favorite wineries and hot spots in the valley.  Spend a day exploring art and tasting wine at Hall Winery.

Want to avoid the summer-time crowds in Napa? Explore the Russian River area and stay at the Applewood Inn & Spa.


via Inn on Randolph


If basking in the heat is what you are feeling, nothing beats Vegas for some summer-time fun.  There’s more to do than gamble, check out the pool scene, shop, dine, hike Red Rock, and have fun at Fremont Street.


Ditch your cell phones and head up California’s infamous Highway 1, and land at the Timber Cove Resort.  With plenty to keep you busy, take an afternoon stroll along the beach or the redwoods. You can even grab a cocktail at the bar while you watch the waves roll in, or grab the yoga mat (there’s one in every room) and take a group session in on the porch of your suite.



Not sure where you want to go? Turn your budget and wishes over to Pack Up & Go and let them pick the perfect place for you to get away with your besties! This is the perfect option for you spontaneous vinas!


Now that you’ve got a group of options, grab a group of vinas and get planning! Summer’s a-comin’, so tell us in the comments which adventure you choose!






Although it’s difficult to define beauty, there still remains to be a typical, socially acceptable standard for it. Despite this, a number of women are saying f**k it to the dictionary definition of beauty and showing that beautiful can mean something different to everyone.


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Iskra Lawrence, photo via Aerie

Iskra has a huge following, and not only because she’s beautiful, but because she’s a ray of sunshine. She models for Aerie’s #AerieREAL campaign, acts as a role model and is an ambassador for the National Eating Disorder Association. Beyond that, Iskra is committed to starring in only un-retouched campaigns. Love it!


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Winnie Harlow, photo via @winnieharlow

A Canadian fashion model, spokesperson, and activist, Winnie rose to fame on America’s Next Top Model and is distinctly recognizable for her rare skin condition, Vitiligo. Teased at school for the unusual white patterns on her skin, as an adult, Winnie has embraced her difference and quite literally changed the face of the modeling world.


After years of fighting against her own body by restricting her diet and exercising obsessively, Sabina left the “straight-size” modeling industry and returned in 2010 as an incredibly successful “plus-size” model. With fiery red curls and freckles across the bridge of her nose, Sabina is not one to be missed.


Back in 2014, Lea T became the first transgender model to front a global cosmetics brand for Redken, fronted the cover of LOVE magazine with Kate Moss, and even participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony. Lead the way Lea!✌


Once upon a time, Charli was told that at a size 6-8 she was ‘too big’ to model. In an open letter to her now ex-agency, Charli called the agency and the industry as a whole out for their damaging comments. Charli has channelled this fire into the ‘All Woman Project,’ a body positive movement that is changing attitudes around the world and celebrates the work of all models, regardless of size.


Have we missed any model vinas you love? Leave a comment below!

(Feature image via Aerie)


Starting a blog can be a bit daunting. I mean, who is going to read it? What will you write? Will it be any good? It’s hard to get past all the doubts!

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What you need is encouragement from fellow bloggers! The best way to accumulate an avid audience of readers, brainstorm new ideas, and get constructive feedback all in one is to start your own blogger club! Here are a few tips on getting started.


This is a great way to use Hey! VINA. Reach out and accumulate a group of friends who have the blogging bug and get started! You may need to be a bit persistent, but once you get into the swing of things, it’ll all be worth it.


Pencil in who is going to host each week or month, your call. If it’s your turn, bake some cookies, set up a comfy space, and prepare some brainstorming prompts and ice breakers. This keeps people accountable when it’s their turn, and everyone loves a party, especially a blogging one!


If you’re hosting, print out an article or two on how to be a great peer editor, how to cultivate a blog aesthetic, and promotion tactics. Do that research, vinas!


Take time at the end of each meeting to assign each other the task of reading someone elses post before it goes live! A tip for being a peer editor: try not to remove your vina’s voice, focus more on grammar and clean sentences. It’s nice to give feedback in the form of a compliment sandwich as well (compliment, constructive feedback, compliment).


Once your vinas’ articles go live, share them on Twitter and Facebook! Ask first if it is okay, but most of the time, especially if it is a public blog, it will be super appreciated!

Do you have any cool ideas for your blogger club? Tag a vina and comment below! 


Do you ever feel like you have a million things to do, but somehow spend all day thinking about them instead of doing them? I feel ya, vinas! Honestly, there are so many reasons to procrastinate—I can’t tell you how many papers I’ve written the night before they were due. The problem is that I always end up getting a good enough grade that I do the same thing when my next paper comes around! That kind of positive reinforcement is dangerous! On the other hand, I’ve definitely bombed enough midterms to know that the procrastinating must end. So here are some tips i’ve accumulated to help.


It’s overwhelming when you have a million things to do, right? Make sure to remind yourself that no one can get a million things done in a day, and zone in on the important tasks at hand. Try to prioritize based on the workload and the due date!


I love making lists—disclaimer for you hardcore procrastinators: do not spend all of your time making your list perfect. Seriously, the time you spend writing down what you have to do should detract from actually checking things off! To make this productive, only write down the not so easy tasks that have deadlines—it’s a waste of time to write down tasks that you know you’re going to get done.


It’s really hard these days to do anything without our laptops or tablets, especially if the tasks at hand relate to school or work. However, you really don’t need to be connected to Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook to get work done—so take a break from your phone and avoid the time-suck apps!


If you’re not a procrastinator in every single possible way like me, and you’re just putting off that one big task or project, break it down. If you tackle the task in pieces, you won’t feel as intimidated or overwhelmed. And as you get closer to your end-game, you won’t want to stop ‘til your there! #goals!


Like I said, I’m like the ultimate procrastinator—so much so that I can’t totally rely on my own tips! So, I tell everyone around me about my goals. Once I’ve made a big fuss about everything I have to do, it’s pretty ridiculous and embarrassing when friends ask about it and I’ve made no progress. Yes, vinas—I encourage my friends to publicly shame me. It’s a little unconventional, maybe even unhealthy, but hey procrastinators gotta do what we gotta do!


Are you a recovering procrastinator? Share some of your tips on how you get stuff done below!


K, I’m about to sound like a bad person— but I am not a kid person. And to be totally honest, I’ve never really thought I’m going to have kids of my own. This isn’t because I hate children and am a miserable person—it’s just that the whole “mom” thing really doesn’t appeal to me. But what’s the saying? ‘People can change’?

One of my close friends, Allie had a beautiful, baby girl a few years ago—she was 19. I couldn’t believe while I was failing at community college, my friend was about to bring another human into this world! Three years later, I still can’t believe that I stress about my life, while Allie, my hero, juggles work, school and mom-hood. Being close to someone who is responsible for another life has seriously given me some perspective.


Alright, that’s debatable—but getting to understand what motherhood is like, especially in the beginning has really opened my eyes to how much I frikin’ complain and take for granted! Like sleep! Yes, I’m a college student with a couple jobs blah blah, but I’ma be honest—I get a lot of naps in. Allie hasn’t had a nap in three years, or maybe it’s that she hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in three years and survives only on naps. Either way, I have no idea how she does it. Not only does she never get enough rest, but she has like no free time. And here I am debating whether to spend my Friday night socializing with my cats or other humans.


Having grown up with a single mom who worked nonstop to take care of four kids, I’ve always been profoundly grateful for my amazing mom. But being friends with a mom has given me a further understanding of moms in general. Allie is such an awesome mom, but on top of that she’s a wonderful friend, an artist, a goofball and a total weirdo. I get to know her as all these things in addition to knowing her as a mom, so I’ve realized I want to know my own mom as everything she is, aside from being my mother.


Not that I was always glass-half-empty-type of chick, but I’ve definitely always been a realist. But there’s something about seeing your good friend raise a little human that restores all faith in humanity or the universe or something. It doesn’t just make you realize superheroes are real ahem MOMS, but that little humans sure make you believe anything is possible.

Know any superhero moms in real life? Tell us about them below!

Featured image via @blackgirlinom





If you think uni is hard, I’m sorry to tell you that the time after your graduation is no walk in the park either.

Especially as an international student, finding a job can be difficult. You might have improved your language skills and adjust to the new culture, but you don’t have the advantage of moving back to your parent’s place while applying for jobs. This means, you have to find a job before your money runs out – no pressure.

Here are a few things I wish I had known before starting a career after my international studies:


Competition doesn’t sleep and neither should you. It’s easy to push things to tomorrow, but the sooner you start applying for jobs, the better. Some students start applying for jobs as early as February or even sooner than that. Don’t miss a chance on a job because you’re at the bottom of the CV pile. If you want to have a job after your graduation, a good time to start applying is around April. That’s the time companies are filling positions for summer.


The most important thing is that you apply for jobs. Don’t overdo it with the amount of applications you write. It’s about quality, not quantity. You can start to send one application per week. It helps you get used to the process.


Employers are looking to hire a person that shows determination and skills. If, for example, you studied a creative subject, and your portfolio only exists of uni projects, you got some work to do! Companies don’t hire people who do the bare minimum. Do some extra projects and show them what you’re made of.


OK, now, with “improve,” I’m not talking about removing all spelling mistakes and making it look good–that should be a given. I’m talking about actually doing some work experience that will make your CV stand out.

One of the things you can do is voluntary work at your university. Or, you can create or join a society at your students union to improve your language and social skills.

The local city council might have some paid work for you, like translation jobs, which also allows you to earn some money on the side.


People don’t tend to help you unless you ask for it. Ask your friends or lecturers if they have connections to the companies you’re interested in. If they know someone, ask them to introduce you. And if they can’t provide you with the right connections, you can always ask them to leave a nice comment on your LinkedIn profile.

If your friends or lecturers can’t help you out, go to your university’s career advice center. They help you by checking your CV for spelling mistakes and relevance.

Also remember to maintain the relationships you have with your uni friends and lecturers. You never know where they will end up in the future and if they can help you then. And also, always return the favor if someone else has helped you out. Invite them for a coffee, or, if they got you the connections to a dream job, take them out for dinner.


When you’re new to a country, things will work differently than at home. Many times, you have to get thing sorted before you can begin a new job.

For example, I didn’t know that you need a national insurance number to work in the UK. I just assumed as a EU citizen, I could start to work straight away. It wasn’t difficult to get my NINO, but if I had known that I needed it, I would have applied for one before I went to an interview. It shows your employer that you’re ready to start ASAP.

There are a lot of websites that can help you out with these things. Start by looking at the government websites from the country you’re looking to stay in.


In modern day times, you can be sure that employers will google you. It can be quite easy to find you on all kinds of social media. Make sure that the embarrassing party pics on Facebook are hidden from public, so that your future employer can’t see it.

Keep your LinkedIn account up to date. Tweet about things related to the career you’re aiming for. If you want to start a career in finance, show that you’re up to date with all the things that impact the market. If you’re trying to get into advertising, post some creative work.


I’ve seen loads of my friends apply for their dream jobs straight out of uni. They apply for the big companies, which must get thousands of applications every day.

I’m not saying that these friends wouldn’t be able to do the jobs they applied for, but big companies tend to hire people with more experience, in comparison to smaller companies which don’t have as many applicants to choose from.

Once you have some work experience at these companies, it will be much easier for you to step up a ladder and get a job in one of the companies you really like.


Never think a job will just come to you.. unless you’re someone’s famous kid, maybe.


Aaah being the “therapist friend”—isn’t it tough being so wise and calm and all knowing? Lol JK. Ever wonder how it is that every single one of your friends comes to you for advice and guidance? Whether you’re the self-proclaimed therapist or the great responsibility of giving advice was bestowed upon you by the friendship gods, being that friend can get stressful.

Of course, you are always happy to be there for your friends—that’s why they come to you! But it’s important not to internalize this role too much. Allow me to elaborate.


You know how you can always give the best advice, almost effortlessly to others but you can never seem to listen to your own words? This also goes for encouragement and positivity.

You, the therapist of the group can always make your friends feel better and empowered, but you just can’t do it for yourself. Well—duh!

Yes, it’s important to believe in yourself but you can’t always only rely on yourself, which is what we advice-givers do! I don’t know what it is, but it’s really hard to ask for help and advice sometimes. Personally, I’ll often find myself keeping my problems to myself. For some reason, when you’re the one everyone goes to with their problems, those problems not only add up, but they seem much more important than your own!

Vinas, please don’t minimize your own problems because that is how you start to bottle things up, which leads to way more stress than is necessary!

Since you are the person everyone in the group goes to, you’re probably really good at giving positive vibes and encouragement to everyone but yourself! You know it’s true! Your vina is stressing about life and it’s second nature for you to immediately remind them of how amazing they are and how much they do! Then, you look in the mirror and wonder when you’ll get your own life together.

It’s natural to feel down on yourself sometimes, but being the therapist friend often makes you think you should be able to pull yourself out of your own funk. But sometimes you need someone else to encourage and advise you! That’s why you should really try to communicate with your friends about your problems, so they can provide you with much needed advice and encouragement!

Are you the therapist friend in the group? Don’r know? Then take our quiz and let us know in the comments!


Okay this may come off a teeny tiny bit hypocritical considering I’ve literally been contemplating getting my nose pierced for a year now, but hear me out! You know how you’ve always wanted to dye your hair pastel pink or beautiful lavender or electric blue? Or how you’ve definitely thought about chopping off almost all of your hair? Or how you’ve had like a million tattoos pinned on your Ink Board, but still haven’t managed to bite the bullet? Well I just want to offer some words of encouragement.

Okay, so yeah—I still haven’t made the appointment to get that shiny stud pierced into my nose, but I’m honestly slowing down when it comes to major style decisions.

Last year, I decided I wanted to dye my hair purple—like a beautiful, dark, rich, eggplant-y purple. So I made the appointment after about a week of contemplation. $350 and a generous tip later, I walked out of the salon with an electric blue do that I explicitly said I didn’t want. I cried when I got home. Fast forward a week, I asked the salon to fix it because it was exactly what I didn’t want (I swear I’m not the worst customer ever, I just wanted a specific color and I’m impulsive AF). The girl at the salon did what she could, and I walked out of there with like really, really red hair—it wasn’t purple, but I was just glad it wasn’t blue! Fast forward about a month and I realized that my hair was grossly damaged—cue impulsive decision. I had my friend chop off like eight inches of the bleach-damaged mop on my head. The lesson from the whole hair debacle is that I took a risk and, while it didn’t end up being exactly what I wanted, it led me to do something I definitely would not have done—chop off most of my hair. And let me just say I love my shorter hair! For all you vinas who want a crazy change, make sure to be really specific, but go for it! Life is too short to contemplate whether you can pull off pastel, because you can!

Fast forward to this year. Remember how I said I’m impulsive AF? Yeah, so a couple months ago I decided I wanted another tattoo—I really don’t wanna bore you with the whole thing, but long story short: the same thing that happened with my hair happened with the tattoo I got on my arm! It wasn’t what I wanted (and this one was kind of my fault for not being more specific), but I left the tattoo parlor with a big ole piece that I hated. The story’s not exactly the same, I mean I didn’t chop my arm off after this debacle but I immediately called another artist for a coverup! The second guy I went to did a beautiful piece that I absolutely love, and gave me an additional baby tat for free! People are always so worried about tattoos that they might regret, and I totally feel them. But vinas, if you’ve been wanting some ink for like a year or more, just pull the trigger already! And take it from me, you can always get a coverup!

I know my experiences sound like a sh*t show (because they were), but here’s my profound truth: YOLO! Seriously, it’s fun to be impulsive! Haven’t you heard the whole you only regret the things you don’t do thing? So vinas, whatever you’ve been contemplating or considering for the past year or longer, just do it! The lesson here is that even if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it (which it most likely will) it may be for the best!


Sometimes you just need a little push to do what you really wanna do! So vinas what is it that you’ve been dying to do? Tell us in the comments!


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:


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.


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.


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.


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)


We’re all a little scared of rejection. Some of us are a lot scared. It doesn’t help that culturally, we’re taught to see rejection as a personal failure, where in fact, rejection happens to everyone, every single day. It happens when we don’t get a smile back on the street, when someone avoids eye contact or brushes us off during a conversation.

Most of the time, the person doing the rejecting has other stuff they are focusing on: really, it’s not us, it’s them. But it’s one thing to to logically understand this, and another to feel it. Many of us refrain from putting ourselves out there for fear of being shot down. So, how can we train ourselves to be desensitized to rejection, and begin to live more vibrant and fearless lives? Here are some exposure therapy steps to push you in the right direction.


Start by smiling at people on the street, especially people whose perception you may care about. Instead of walking past cooly in an attempt to maintain a façade, make eye contact, nod, smile. For some of us this will be terrifying at first. Sometimes, you won’t get a smile back, and that’s okay! Over time you will stop feeling personally hurt. And when some do smile back, that may just make your day.


Next, it’s time to go up to people. Make a pact with yourself that you will talk to three people the next time you head out to a bar or other social setting with your vinas. These people have to be strangers, or not-so-close-acquaintances. Start off with people who don’t make you so nervous. They may brush you off, they may not. Remember, the idea is to actually get rejected a few times so that you understand that the world does not end when you do, and realize your capacity to pick yourself back up. After a few nights out, try talking to people who make you nervous. But don’t push yourself too fast. Baby steps!


A lot of us feel like asking for something, whether it be a raise or a date or even respect, will reflect badly upon our character in the eyes of another. What most of us don’t realize is that oftentimes what you think will be a “no” is really a “yes!” It’s important to remember that if someone has a negative reaction to you it will probably be temporary, whereas your happiness and confidence is much more permanent. Besides, admiration is usually the primary reaction to those who ask for what they need!

What are some steps you can take towards facing your fear of rejection? Ask a vina and comment below!