WHY VINA IS PRO-SELFIE 📸

When I pitched this story, it was a little bit out of my own self interest. I personally love taking selfies and posting them all over social media, and I wish the remains of the stigma surrounding selfies would just disappear already. Am I just a huge narcissist? Maybe.

But as I continued to think about it, I realized there are a ton of real benefits to taking and posting selfies, especially if you’re doing it with your vinas. I did some serious soul-searching and some light insta-stalking and came up with 4 reasons why we should all be taking more selfies:

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“There is no wrong way to ‘human’. There is no wrong way to have a face. You simply have one or you don’t, and it’s better to have one than to not (; embrace the face” – @danceswithcircles

SELF-LOVE

Selfies are an expression of self-love. They allow yourself to accept that your face is your face, and you’re proud of that! It doesn’t have to be an entirely public form of expression, but it certainly can be. It’s both brave and NBD to post a selfie depending on how you look at it. Also, I love seeing pics of my vinas on social media when they’re feelin’ good about themselves.

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Say ‘Hey!” for representation! (📸: @dounia.t)

BODY-POSITIVITY

One of the biggest things that I love about the pro-selfie movement, especially on Instagram, is the body positivity. There are so many social media influencers who are advocating for it by posting unedited selfies of their real bodies. Not only does it give women the agency to decide how their bodies are portrayed on social media, but it puts real and beautifully imperfect bodies in the limelight for other women to see. This helps normalize unedited bodies. On social media, a lot of the representations of body and face are heavily Photoshopped.

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And you know, the drinks might help, too. (📸: @bellahadid)

BONDING

Let’s be real: a cute selfie is a great way to break down walls between you and a new vina. I love asking my vina dates to take a selfie with me. No other reason except that it’s fun. Even better if you add in a silly Snapchat filter.

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Our vinas Menaka and Fonda 💙

CELEBRATING OUR FRIENDSHIPS

With your current BFFs, selfies are important for documentation and celebration! You don’t want to forget all the good moments and fun times with your vinas, and selfies are definitely the best way to remember them.

(Featured image via macandbevents.com)

3 VINA-DATE IDEAS FOR ATHLETIC VINAS

You already know that being active is essential for stress relief, health, and even confidence! But doing the same old routine on your own can get boring after a while. Sometimes there are days where you choose donuts over deadlifts (ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!)

Why not shake things up a bit and make your next workout a vina date? Not only is working out with a friend more enjoyable (#girltalk), but it increases your accountability, your motivation, and ultimately your results! After all, you are way less likely to bail on your workout if you already committed to it with your gal.

Here are 3 ideas to make your next vina-date an active one:

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📸: @nagnata

TRY A NEW CLASS

I was recently on a vina-date with one of my new gal-pals (hey Anoo!), and she suggested that we try a trapeze class. At first I was skeptical, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought how cool it would be to try something totally different! One of the best parts about bonding with new vinas is being introduced to new/different activities that you wouldn’t normally try. Plus, who knows? Maybe I’ll be a natural trapeze artist… or fall flat on my face multiple times (the latter is more likely).

URBAN HIKE (+ BRUNCH..YUM!)

One of my favorite things to do with my vinas every Sunday is to map out an urban hike that leads to a fun brunch spot. To really feel like we earned those post-hike mimosas, we plan out a route that is at least 2 miles long and includes a coffee stop (or two), along the way. If you want to plan your own urban hike with your vinas, all you need to do is check out Yelp! Or Eater to find a fun, delicious brunch spot in your city that you and your vinas will like (make a rezzy if you can)! Decide on a meeting place, throw on your athleisure duds, and get hiking. Once you and your crew arrive to the brunch spot, enjoy it girl. #EarnedIt.

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HIIT IT

HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is one of the most effective ways to torch a bunch of calories in a short amount of time. If you and your vina are looking for a quick, body sculpting workout that requires no equipment, I’ve got you covered. Check out this circuit I put together (above) just for busy vinas like you, who want to get the job done as efficiently as possible! Perform each exercise for 40 seconds and then rest for 20 seconds before moving to the next exercise. Do the circuit 4-5 times total, resting 1 minute between each full circuit. You’ve been warned, this circuit is not easy! Keep each other motivated and push each other to complete it as best you can!!

LEAN ON YOUR VINAS FOR MOTIVATION

Make it a habit to share your wellness goals with your vina so that you can motivate each other and keep each other accountable. It’s safe to say that in one way or another, we all have wellness goals.  Whether your goal is to eat a little healthier, bench press your bodyweight, or run a marathon, achieving your goal will be that much easier when you have a support system around you.

What are your fave exercises to do with your vinas? Tell us in the comments!

(Featured image via victoriassecret.com)

SAY AHHH… WITH THESE 4 RELAXING VINA-DATE IDEAS

We totally understand that life can get a little crazy sometimes, and the idea of adding socializing into the mix might seem impossible. We just think: if you need to unwind, why not do it with your vinas?

Here are four vina dates that require little more than sitting back, putting your feet up, and relaxing the day away.

HOST A GUIDED MEDITATION

It’s a proven fact that meditation can calm the mind. If you or vinas are new to the practice, a guided meditation is the perfect way to begin. You can find dozens of guided meditation tutorials for free on YouTube, or you can hire a local practicer to guide the group in person. As a host, all you’ll need is somewhere cozy to set up the group (like a living room or a backyard), and maybe add some light refreshments for afterwards. Clear your mind for a bit, and then sit back and enjoy the quiet with your guests.

ORDER IN

The creation of food delivery apps like Foodler, Caviar, and Uber Eats is truly a godsend. Don’t feel like cooking? Invite your vinas over for a night of ordering in and watching movies! Let the delivery men and women do the hard work for you, and all you have to do is decide on the type of cuisine.

BRING YOUR BOOK CLUB OUTSIDE

Whether it’s a calm day at the beach, park, or in your own backyard, you can relax and get some sun by bringing your bookclub into the outdoors. Don’t have a bookclub with your vinas? Use our tips to get one started and then have your first meeting out in the fresh air!

PAMPER YOURSELVES

Nothing screams (or whispers) relax like a good ol’ spa day with your gals. Stock up on the face masks, nail polish, and deep hair conditioning treatments, and spend the day pampering. You’ll all feel relaxed and refreshed in mind and body.

(Featured image via @_tianalewis)

ACCORDING TO SCIENCE (& GRANDMA), THIS IS THE KEY TO LIVING TO 💯

At 96, my grandmother had lived a long and colorful life. She had seen the beginning and end of modern wars and emerging technology (she had her own Facebook page), and she appreciated Usher and UFC in a non-ironic way. Her funeral had been a testament to the kind of life she had led. Hundreds of people came to say goodbye over the span of a week. There were wet eyes but more laughter and shared stories than anything else.

She was loved by an entire town of people, and it was her legacy to be the most popular woman in her hometown. According to research, that strong network of friends might have played a significant factor in her lifespan. While a healthy diet and an active lifestyle are given factors in longevity, regular social contact is as impactful as smoking or drinking habits.

If living to 100 is a major goal, take a page from Golden Girls and keep your friends close. A 2010 Australian study studied 188 centenarians (over the age 100) and confirmed that the majority had strong social ties with friends (59%), neighbors (62%), and family (72%). Across the board, anxiety and depression were nonexistent, and most reported a high quality of life.

From longevity to mental health, we are socially wired to thrive with positive social connections, so find a new vina to jog with and double up on your wellness habits. Lesson learned: friendships extend your life and improve its quality.

Grandma does know best.

(Featured image via advanced.style)

WHICH OLYMPIC VINAS WOULD WE SWIPE RIGHT FOR?

Fierce females are dominating the Olympics in Rio – not only in medal count but in flawless performance and execution. While we have a thing or two to say about the caliber of broadcast commentary on female competitors (Refinery29 is a great mouthpiece for this), our focus is on celebrating these aspirational women, the many reasons we love them and daydreaming what their Hey! Vina 5 emojis might be.

Swiping right on these vinas:

SIMONE BILES – GYMNASTICS

What her 5 emojis might be: 🙌🏾💪🏾👯🏅💯

Commentators once called her the Serena Williams of gymnastics. Even the folks at Quartz philosophized whether engineered robots can outscore Simone Biles, since no competitor comes close. What we really love about this 17-year-old American prodigy is that she is a role model for a new generation of American girls who believe that gymnastics can be for anyone.

KERRI WALSH JENNINGS – BEACH VOLLEYBALL

What her 5 emojis might be: 🏐👋🏻🏖😎🇺🇸

Um, it took Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross only two sets and under 40 minutes to finish the game against China this week. As a three-time gold medalist at 37, this beach volleyball athlete doesn’t believe in slowing down. Kerri Walsh Jennings is the mentor vina to aspire to and learn from. She doesn’t allow for age to be a mental or physical limitation, which is dangerous in a sport dominated by 20-somethings.

IBTIHAJ MUHAMMAD – FENCING

What her emojis might be: 💅🏾🗡🕶🙏🏾👑

What’s not to love about Ibtihaj? As the no. 2 fencer in the U.S. and no. 12 in the world, her exceptional talent in the sport is a given, but she is redefining the Olympic identity as the first U.S. athlete to compete in a hijab. Plus, she has fenced with Michelle Obama (with foam sabers) and has a fierce nail game on Instagram.

MAYA DIRADO – SWIMMING

What her emojis might be: 😆🏊🏡💼💸

For those seeking a level-headed vina with a wide array of talents, Maya DiRado is your gal. Abundantly gifted with two medals in Rio at 23, she could have a long career in swimming, but is retiring after this year’s games. Maya is looking to pursue a life outside of the Olympic pool. With a job at consulting firm McKinsey and Company and a new home waiting for her in Atlanta, she is really good at making her dreams come true.

FLÁVIA SARAIVA – GYMNASTICS

What her emojis might be: 💃🌺🌼🙋🏽🔥

Our internet consumption lives and breathes gymnastics during Olympics season, so it felt appropriate to top off this list with a small and mighty vina who has won the hearts of a big host country. This 4’4” Brazilian gymnast is a powerhouse beam and floor performer whose spirited routines have made her a household name. Active on Instagram and Snapchat, the flower crown filter is a clear favorite –  but really, whose isn’t? Her mantra is nunca desista, or never give up.

(Featured image via si.com)

VINA BOOK CLUB: 5 AUGUST BOOKS TO SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Here in VINA HQ and beyond, vinas are reading the summer away – whether jetsetting to a new destination or commuting in for work everyday. The connection with a good book reminds us of the adventure of discovering a new friend. In today’s roundup, we have our top 5 August reads to share with your vinas. From your right-brain bestie who can’t put down Lean In to your extraverted BFF who is all over celebrity cookbooks, we have a book recommendation for every vina in your life:

1. FOR YOUR FOODIE VINA: CRAVINGS BY CHRISSY TEIGEN

Chrissy Teigen’s take on motherhood on Twitter is 140 characters of hilarity and #coolmom goals. Her cookbook is a delicious extension of that same homemade Chrissy Teigen brand – perfect for the vina who can’t get enough of celebrity gossip on Snapchat and has Google Alerts for the Kardashians. Another thing that we love about Cravings? It doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. Her recipe of French Toast Casserole with Salted Frosted Flakes recipe can be made by anyone, even our middle school selves.

2. FOR YOUR #WOKE VINA: WE WERE FEMINISTS ONCE BY ANDI ZEISLER

Founder of Bitch Magazine and the original zine queen, Andi Zeisler, charts the history of feminism and empowerment in consumer culture, from Lena Dunham to Beyoncé to selling underwear as a feminist choice. This isn’t your average history book, vinas – Zeisler’s wit is spot on, and We Were Feminists Once will have you looking at internet culture in a new light.

3. FOR THE ADRENALINE JUNKIE VINA: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS

Paula Hawkins’ psychological thriller is for the vina in your life who was absolutely “Gone, Girl” for Gone Girl, the best-selling novel and film. This novel and upcoming movie adaptation are made of the same stuff: the common themes of unreliable narrators and the aftermath of infidelity.

4. FOR YOUR GO-GETTER VINA: THE UPSIDE OF STRESS BY KELLY MCGONIGAL

Stress makes you better, faster, stronger. According to Stanford psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, this thing called stress can be perceived as a good thing, not just the unspeakable reason why we go to yoga class. Pass it along to your vina who is trying to take over the world with an Olympic body and as the perfect mother – all before noon.

5. FOR YOUR VINA WHO UNABASHEDLY LOVES TWILIGHT: ME BEFORE YOU BY JOJO MOYES

Yes, another book-turned-movie adaptation (it’s almost like we exclusively watch our books). It was just too hard to resist recommending Jojo Moyes’ love story on the power and limitations of falling in love. Grab some Kleenex – you and your vina will need it.

What’s your favorite book of the summer? Sharing is caring, vinas.

(Featured image via bloglovin.com)

HOW TO TURN POKÉMON GO INTO A WORKOUT WITH VINAS

If you ever notice an uncommonly large group of Millennial vinas on their phones in a public space at an odd hour, chances are they are playing Pokémon Go. Pokémon Go is the augmented reality app that allows you to “catch ‘em all” (Pokémon) as you move about the world IRL. Since the only way to find new varieties of Pokémon is to actually go out and walk to places of interest, this hot new app is giving us another way to get active and an opportunity to meet new vinas.

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Via FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Here are three ways to catch ‘em all while catching a sweat with a friend:

1. INCUBATE AND HATCH YOUR EGGS AT THE SAME TIME.

Aside from Pokémon, you can find a good assortment of goodies at every Pokéstop, including eggs. Eggs contain both common and rare Pokemon, but can only be incubated and hatched when you walk a certain number of kilometers. Plan a vina date around incubating your 10km eggs together. You can even name your hatched Pokémon after each other!

2. GO ON ROUTINE WALKS TO WATCH POKÉMON TOGETHER.

If you have a favorite route with the maximum amount of Pokéstops in your neighborhood, share the journey with a vina. After a brisk walk, be sure to stop the ice cream parlor that doubles as a Pokémon gym. #TreatYourselves

3. USE THESE AUGMENTED REALITY SCREENSHOTS TO PRACTICE YOUR YOGA POSES.

One of the best parts of Pokémon Go is that you can take a picture of your catch with AR screenshots. Have fun practicing your yoga form by snapping your sun salutations next to Pikachu. Tap into your inner child’s pose!

Can’t get enough of catching ’em all? Share your favorite Pokémon Go tips!

(Featured image via vanityfair.it)

FINALLY, THE PERFECT GIFT FOR YOUR WINE-LOVING VINA

If wine varieties were vinas, Rosé is without a doubt the social butterfly vina in any summer event. She reminds us that life is better at a picnic lunch with friends, especially when celebrating a fellow vina’s promotion or engagement. Rosé wants to bask in the brighter things in life and reminds us that bad days are better on a yacht. (Or in your apartment as you stare at a photo of a yacht.)

While it’s not news that we love rosé, we weren’t prepared for our deep well of feels when we found out about rosé wine-flavored chocolate. It’s almost like the magical feeling you get when meeting a new vina for the first time and realizing you’ve found your soul sister.

Los Angeles-based gourmet chocolatier Compartés has officially lit our wine-loving souls on fire with their new “Roses & Rosé” bar, a luxe blend of white chocolate and rosé with a sprinkle of edible crystalized rose petals. Yes, it’s the Marie Antoinette of chocolate, and we are unabashedly obsessed with it.

Now, you and your vina can live out your French royalty goals and lounge around on chaise chairs, sharing chocolate fit for two queens. Say YAS to another feel good Friday and swipe right for a new vina and some rosé-flavored chocolate.

(Featured image via thelondoner.me)

FIND YOUR NEW BFF WHILE WORKING UP A SWEAT 💪👟

No one needs to tell us once again how important it is to get our bodies up and moving. Sometimes, though, we need a little bit of motivation. And the best motivation is a workout buddy. A vina who will get you off your butt when all you want to do is stay at home and binge-watch your favorite reality TV show is key to a healthy lifestyle.

Our current lady squad can enable our more unhealthy habits (don’t worry – we’re guilty, too), and we may need to find some #fitspo vinas to add to our social circle. We’re a fan of using the Hey! VINA app to easily find a new friend for that new workout class, but we have a few tips on how to find friends IRL!

Here’s how to find your new BFF while working out:

TRY A NEW CLASS

This advice works for all walks of life, but is especially true to the gym: the best way to find new friends is to try a new class. You’ll meet tons of new people and develop a sense of camaraderie when you’re all getting your butts kicked by that seemingly impossible HIIT workout. Don’t know what to say to break the ice? Try some of our fool-proof friend pick-up lines!

BEFRIEND YOUR PERSONAL TRAILER

No one would make a better motivator than the girl who literally works out for a living. You can learn a lot from her, too – from proper stretching technique to the cutest workout clothing stores! Plus, in my experience, these women are so friendly and open to making friends. They work one-on-one with people all day so you know they’re going to be kind and charismatic. Don’t be afraid to suggest grabbing a coffee or tea with your trainer next week!  ☕️🍵

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BRING SNACKS 🍌🍊🍏

Everyone wants to be friends with the girl with all the yummy, healthy, post-workout treats.  Snacking together is a great way to socialize after a workout! Share healthy recipes, snacking favorites, and fave “cheat” foods with your new friends. Trust me, you’ll be the most popular vina in your yoga class, bootcamp, or walking group if you provide the noms.

(Featured image via shop.lululemon.com)

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR VINA NEEDS A BOOST

We all get in a funk every once in a while, and sometimes our vinas need a little help to boost their moods. Whether it’s work, a relationship, or just life that’s kicking our butts, a little encouragement and reassurance from a fellow vina can go a long way.

SURPRISE PICK-ME-UP

There’s no better way to boost your vina’s mood (and energy) than with a surprise coffee first thing in the morning or during the dreaded afternoon slump. Hand-delivering the java would be a special treat to give your BFF some face-to-face lovin’, but if you’re stuck at work, almost anything can be delivered these days. Try delivery apps like Caviar or Postmates to send your gal a cup o’ joe!

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SWEET TREAT

Along the same lines, sending or delivering a yummy sweet treat during the day is a great way to let your vina know you’re thinking of her. Got a gal pal with a particularly sweet tooth? Make her day with a dozen donuts, a box of cupcakes, or a big bag of candy!  If you have some extra time, make the treats even more special by baking up some homemade chocolate chip cookies to inspire some cheer.

NEXT: SEND A TEXT!

Sometimes, a simple text message can go a long way. When stress or bad vibes run rampant, it can be easy to forget about all the love and light surrounding us. A short and sweet message can be a nice little reminder. If your vina’s down in the dumps, show your support by shooting her a quick message about how much you love and care for her!

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FLOWER POWER

Show you’re thinking of your vina by sending her a bouquet of flowers. Sending flowers is an incredible gesture that’s extremely under-used (they’re not just for Valentine’s Day)! A pretty bouquet can brighten up any space, especially a murky head-space. They are sure to cheer her up!

The most important thing is that your vinas know you love and support them no matter what!  Material gifts aren’t necessary, but they are a nice way to show you care 👯💕✨