DON’T LET FRIENDSHIP FLY AWAY: KEEP IN TOUCH WITH TRAVELING BFFS

More and more these days, it seems like a vina is jetting off to the other side of the world. Whether your vina is set to roam across South America for a few weeks, work in a new country, bronze in Ibiza, or find herself in ashram in the East, it doesn’t mean you have to lose touch.

It’s easy to feel a little left out when you’re the one left behind. But rather, you should be happy for you vina and support her adventures. It’s scary to chart out on your own, and chances are there will be times when she will want nothing more than to get on a call with you and feel that anchor of security. So, here are a few ways you can show your best friend that you’re still there for her.

FOLLOW HER ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Whatever channel she uses (even if it’s not your go-to) will be one of the best ways to keep updated on her travels. It’s not always easy as the one on the move to keep people up to date. Social media is great way to stay in the loop and send her love now and then. This includes anything from the blog she writes to her Snaps.

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SCHEDULE A SKYPE DATE

These might be few and far between but Skype dates are an easy way to get all your chatting done. There is something wonderful about seeing a face you miss. Chances are she’s a little homesick anyway.

SEND A CARE PACKAGE

If you know where your vina is going to be at a certain time, like a check-in for a hotel, or if she’s going to be stationary for awhile, send a care package. This can be filled with things she might need like razors and Pepto or simply things she might miss, like domestic candy and a new book. Everyone loves getting mail, and a souvenir of home is always welcome.

WRITE LETTERS

Depending on the circumstance of her travel, handwritten letters might be possible. If not, take to the computer and draft some emails with real meat on them. Write it as if you were going to seal, stamp, and mail it off. Be specific and detailed, ask her questions, and send recommendations. Be as involved in your correspondence as you are over coffee. In fact, it can be a wonderful way to get to know each other all over again.

(Featured image by @sashaexeter)

CHEAP VS. TREAT: DINNER FOR TWO

This is Cheap vs. Treat, where we offer wallet-friendly and over-the-top vina-date ideas. Whether you’re itching to treat yo’self or wanting to be as thrifty as possible, there’s a vina-date for you. Have an idea for a Cheap vs. Treat? Tweet us @ilikevina!

For women entering a budding friendship, one of our favorite vina-dates to suggest is the fool-proof dinner date. Having dinner together gives you all the time in the world to get to know each other (or at least until the check comes). That’s why we chose this classic for our second installment of Cheap vs. Treat!

If you want to mix things up, you can do it by going super thrifty OR over-the-top extravagant. Here’s how:

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📸: Playbuzz

CHEAP

There’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ DIY dinner party for two. Splitting the cost of ingredients will not only make this a way less expensive affair than dining out, but you can have fun cooking together! Plus, you’ll be saving $$ on your lunch the next day if you have any leftovers. Alternatively, you could find a gallery opening, networking event, or take a trip to your local Costco to fuel up on free snacks and samples. It just depends on if you’re feeling homey or adventurous!

TREAT

Nothing says treat quite like a fancy buffet. Shell out the extra cash, and find the fanciest dinner buffet in your town – if you don’t live in Las Vegas, aka Buffet Central. A local high-end hotel probably has one. Put on your most food-baby-forgiving party dress, get dolled up and head to the fancy meal. Plan on eating your body weight in filet mignon, lobster, and decadent mac n’ cheese with your vina. Do us a favor and don’t forget the all-you-can-eat dessert!

Where would you go with your vina if you wanted a cheap or treat meal? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to tweet @ilikevina your Cheap Vs. Treat ideas! (Feature image via @claudiasulewski)

YOUR FIRST HEY! VINA DATE: PARIS

Whether you’re passing through (hey! tourists) or you’re a local Parisienne, these Paris vina date spots are sure to inspire your new friendship.

Whatever you fancy, we’ve got our top picks for you to explore.

🍷👯

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“Stylish sipping at The Broken Arm” 📸 : @miinzzi

Next to Square du Temple sits the Broken Arm, a coffee shop and fashion boutique duo known for its people watching and silky smooth espresso. Inside or outside, it’s a quiet place to enjoy that first moment of getting to know your new vina.

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“Beautiful bento at Nanashi” 📸 : @nicolassimoes

This Japanese joint serves up healthy and fresh bento in a beautiful Brooklyn-esque eatery. Vegetarians can find solace here, as well as meat lovers, so bring your new vina and slay that first lunch date!

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“Wine and dine at Les Enfants Perdu” 📸 : @calarun

With its traditional-with-a-twist French cuisine and top notch wine selection, it makes the perfect dinner spot to take a new friend. Once you finish your meal, head into the back to chill on their couch-like banquettes and spill all your secrets over another glass of 🍷🍷🍷.

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“Park it like it’s haute at Les Buttes Chaumont” 📸 : @le_bonbon

This fairytale-inspired park situated in the 19th never disappoints. Whether you’re looking to spread blankets and drink wine or take a stroll through some fall foliage, les Buttes Chaumont is the perfect place to get insta-worthy first vina date pics with your (hopefully) new bestie!

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“3, 2, 1! Dance at Le Zéro Zéro”

If you and your vina want to dance, you’ll find it here. Near Bastille, this graffitied bar gets packed with people moving and grooving to a mix of house, hip-hop, and funk. You might just find your new go-to spot for Friday nights or your go-to gal to shake it with.

Where are your favorite places to hang with your vinas in Paris? Tell us in the comments!

(Featured image by We The People)

10 PLACES EVERY VINA SHOULD VISIT AT LEAST ONCE

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Commuting to work, paying the bills, doing laundry on a Sunday… it’s too easy to get caught up in the mundanity of our everyday routines and forget that there’s a big world out there waiting to be explored and experienced.

Traveling doesn’t and shouldn’t just mean sitting by the pool and taking hotdog-leg pics for the ‘gram. Even though every vina deserves to clock out from reality and relax, sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone. Travel can be a way to open our minds to new experiences and cultures, it can both humble and empower, and teach us things about ourselves and others that we simply won’t learn by sitting at home.

Ready to pack your bags, grab your best vinas and sail away from the safe harbour? Here are 10 places every vina should visit at least once:

1. WEST COAST, IRELAND

A road trip along The Wild Atlantic Way just might be the best thing you ever do – with rugged mountains, grey skies that almost always mean rain (pack a raincoat!), and wild Connemara ponies running along the beaches, the West Coast of Ireland is one of the few places left in the world that is still so untouched and raw – and the few people you do come across will no doubt be the friendliest you have ever met!

2. KYOTO, JAPAN

Once the capital of Japan, Kyoto is known for its ancient architecture, scenic gardens and tranquil spirit. More subtle than most cities, Kyoto is a place to truly find your zen as you get lost in the Bamboo forest, follow the rules of the local ryokan, indulge in green-tea ice cream, stare in awe at the Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, and maybe even catch sight of a Geisha.

3. CAPRI, ITALY

A short boat ride away from the Italian coast sits the tiny island of Capri. Once you’ve had your fill of sweet bread, zingy fresh oranges that are local to the island, and the creamiest gelato ever, venture down to the shore and bargain with a local boatman to take you to Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) – a magical underwater cave where the water shines bright like a diamond.

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This vina knows what’s up in Kreuzberg (via @meganhuisman)

4. KREUZBERG, GERMANY

Berlin is the definition of “cool” right now, particularly it’s bohemian neighborhood Kreuzberg (fondly referred to as Xberg). Founded on anti-establishment values (brush up on your history of the Berlin Wall before visiting), Kreuzberg is literally an outdoor art exhibition – one that refuses to lose its rebellious and gritty nature. Don’t leave without trying a Döner Kebab!

5. BARCELONA, SPAIN

Known as the avant-garde capital of Spain, this architecturally fascinating and historical Catalunya city is the place to visit if you want a laid-back trip that includes long lunches spent by the sea, even longer afternoon siestas, and late nights spent wandering the winding roads of the Gothic Quarter until you stumble upon a hidden tapas bar.

6. MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

Have you ever sat on a roof terrace and sipped sweet mint tea whilst the skies above turned from clear blue to dusky orange? Or how about getting lost in a souk, searching for traditional Moroccan slippers, and bumping into a snake charmer? If not, get yourself to Marrakech – the delightfully exotic city in western Morocco that will win you over with its luxurious riads and stunning mosques.

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Try exploring Iceland in the winter! Brrrrr! (via @anne_amor)

7. REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND

As the most sparsely populated country in Europe, Iceland was a mostly undiscovered gem until recently – now it’s normal to spot your favourite blogger or Kardashian sister taking a dip in the country’s medicinal Blue Lagoon, surrounded by ice and snow. Once you’ve ticked that off your list, there are hundreds of volcanos, glacier lagoons, black-sand beaches and waterfalls to explore and don’t forget to keep your eyes on the skies as the Northern Lights are something you don’t want to miss.

8. HAVANA, CUBA

Another place that is quickly becoming popular is Havana, Cuba’s capital. Famous for many reasons, one being that the entire island seems to be trapped in a time-warp, people are clambering to visit this vibrant city before the vintage cars vanish from the streets, the pastel Spanish Colonial buildings are replaced by pastel boutique hotels, and free WIFI becomes the norm. That said, the music, the sensuality, and the Cuban people are reason enough to visit even if everyone else is.

9. CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

If the buzzing, urban sprawl of Bangkok doesn’t appeal to you then consider visiting the northern capital, Chiang Mai. From the Elephant Nature Park hidden within the mountains to the dozens of temples and street markets, this is a place where you can completely immerse yourself in the mix of regional cultures, customs, and peoples.

photo-1446160657592-4782fb76fb99.jpg10. YOUR OWN CITY

When was the last time you pretended to be a tourist in your own city? Everywhere has it’s own charms and quirks so take a day or two to explore your surroundings, jump on the local tour bus, visit that new brunch spot, and see your city through fresh eyes. Sometimes, adventure is right on our own doorstep…

What places are on your bucket list? Tell us in the comments! (Feature image via @ceciliablack)

HOW TO GIVE TOUGH LOVE WHEN YOUR FRIENDS NEED IT

Friendship is a glorious thing, and most of the time it’s full of happiness, laughter, and fabulous selfies. But sometimes being a good vina means that you can’t be nice. It’s our job as vinas to be honest and protect those that we care about. And sometimes that requires a little bit (or a lot) of tough love. But how do you do it? And when? How do you know what situations require real tough love and which can be solved with a text (maybe using the new LOUD setting on iOS 10)? Let’s go over some tips on when to give your vina that tough love and how to do it without messing with your friendship.

Firstly, tough love is not a synonym for “be a b*tch”. Giving a vina tough love doesn’t mean you should lecture them or purposely make them feel bad about something that they’re doing. In essence, don’t be mean. You can be tough and give your vina a kick in the pants without making them feel horrible! Remember, the goal is to help your vina, not hurt them.

SO, WHAT KIND OF THINGS REQUIRE TOUGH LOVE?

  • If your vina is acting in a way that is destructive to themselves of those around them.
  • If your vina is in a relationship that is unhealthy.
  • If your vina is treating herself in a way that is unhealthy.
  • If your vina is doing something that you know she shouldn’t be doing.

I know these are all pretty vague, but all vinas and friendships are extremely different, so it’s almost impossible to write an all encompassing list. But how do we give tough love to vinas? How do we approach these topics without putting a heavy burden on our friendship?

I’m big fan of what I call the bittersweet method. You’ve never heard of it because I literally just made up the name (ta-da!), but it’s always been the most effective way for me to give a vina necessary tough love, without the day ending in tears.

SO WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO GIVING TOUGH LOVE?

  1. Ask your vina to set aside some time for you, perhaps doing something that she loves to do. You want to shoot for a place or activity that is relatively private, so the two of you can have an honest and open discussion.
  2. Try not to warn your vina in an over the top way. This has been one of my biggest issues. When someone tells you, “we need to talk” it automatically makes you want to run for the hills! So don’t be afraid to just go right into it.
  3. Once the two of you are comfortable and doing something that is enjoyable for the two of you (I recommend something artistic, like painting) bring up the topic. Don’t tip toe around it, just tell your vina the truth.
  4. Make sure that you’re not getting too mad. No-one likes being yelled at, and it’s natural for vinas to get defensive when they feel they’re being attacked.
  5. Realize that you can only do so much. All you can do is try your best to help. If your vina doesn’t want to listen to you, it may be frustrating, but it isn’t on you. People will only change when they’re ready to do it.

So there you have it! Have you had any experiences with giving vinas tough love? How have they worked out for you? Let me know in the comments! (Feature image via @uosandiego)

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH A NEEDY FRIEND

Sometimes, our vinas can be high maintenance with our friendship. In all honesty, it can come off as downright needy. We find ourselves wanting to establish boundaries so that both parties don’t end up feeling hurt. A needy friend can make us feel guilty for not expending what she perceives as the right amount of attention on her. It can result in everyone feeling under-appreciated and burned out. It’s no good either way!

Communication is key to a healthy and supportive friendship. There are ways to approach this uncomfortable situation without hurting your vina’s feelings.

TELL HER HOW MUCH YOU LOVE HER

Start off by telling your vina how much you love and appreciate her. Like I mentioned before, neediness or clinginess often spread from feeling under-appreciated. So before you go all “I need space” on your vina, remember where she’s coming from and remind her how much you enjoy your friendship with her. You may not even have to tell her you need some space if you just give your relationship a little extra TLC every once in a while.

EXPLAIN YOUR COMMUNICATION STYLE

Let her know that if you don’t respond to her texts or calls right away, it’s because you’re unavailable at that moment – not because you don’t care! If she’s aware of your communication style, she’s less likely to feel ignored. If you haven’t been able to hang out for a while, explain why. Transparency about these things is important in any friendship. If your vina is feeling especially neglected, just be honest about your current situation so she knows what’s up.

Remember, neediness stems partly from your friend’s insecurity and partly from your dismissal of your friend’s feelings (even if it’s accidental). Try to be supportive, yet firm, and always kind. How do you deal with a needy friend?

(Feature image via @mlk-hny)

BEST FALL DRINKS TO SHARE WITH YOUR VINAS

Even though I’m 100% summer person and very much dislike cold, there’s something magical about Fall. Cuddling under the blankets watching HGTV or binging Netflix  while sipping something DELISH. So, for all you vinas like me, I’ve gathered some delicious fall drinks to make for your friends (or, you know, enjoy by yourself too):

APPLE CIDER MIMOSAS

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 cup apple cider

1 bottle champagne

On a small plate, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip champagne flutes in water to wet the rims, then dip in cinnamon sugar mixture. Fill champagne flutes 1/4 full with apple cider, then top off with champagne.

CARAMEL APPLE MARTINI

1 cup apple cider

1/2 cup caramel vodka

1/4 cup butterscotch schnapps

Sliced fresh apple, caramel, and / or cinnamon sugar for garnish.

Rim your martini glass with caramel or cinnamon sugar, or both. To get the cinnamon sugar to stick to the glass, dip the rim in a little apple cider first. Combine the apple cider, caramel vodka, and butterscotch schnapps in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into the rimmed martini glass and garnish with a thin slice of apple.

CRANBERRY MARGARITAS:

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice

3/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup tequila

1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur (Cointreau or Triple Sec)

Stir all ingredients together until blended. Serve over ice in sugar- or salt rimmed glasses. Garnish with fresh cranberries and lime wedges.

PUMPKIN PIE COCKTAIL

1 cup Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice

1/2 cup hazelnut liqueur

1/2 cup coconut milk (canned, heavy)

1 tbsp pumpkin puree

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake to combine, and then pour into glass.

What are your fave fall cocktails? Tell us in the comments! (Feature image via Domino)

TABOO TOPICS TUESDAY: REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

This is Taboo Topic Tuesday, a weekly series that tackles a “taboo” subject and gives tips on how to talk about it with your vinas (sans judgement). Have an idea for a topic? Tweet us @ilikevina using the hashtag #Talking Taboos, and we’ll get talkin’!

TODAY: At 3pm EST we’ll be #TalkingTaboos on Twitter! Wanna join the conversation? RSVP here and share with your friends!

Periods, pregnancies, birth control, gynecologist visits…oh my! It can be difficult dealing with all of these things as a woman, so it’s nice to have vinas to relate to. But wait, why would anyone ever want to talk about bodily functions and fluids with another person, much less one you might not know too well?

Talking about reproductive health with someone else can be awkward and uncomfortable, no matter who it is with. However, if the subject comes up naturally, heart-to-heart talks about lady parts and hormones may actually deepen our relationships with our vinas. After all, who else in our lives is also going through a menstrual cycle and getting Pap smears?

The topic of reproductive health is very sensitive and should be approached with caution and great care. Here are a few simple do’s and don’t to keep in mind when having “the talk” with your vinas.

DO BE OPEN-MINDED

This is important in any conversation, and is a definite must when tackling personal issues. The topic of reproductive health can be TMI, yet it shouldn’t feel that way. Know that you and your vina may feel uncomfortable when talking about a taboo topic in-person, and that’s okay. Be all ears and all mind.

DON’T BE JUDGEMENTAL

Though you and your vinas may relate to some things when it comes to health, there are bound to be some differences too. No body is built the same, and everyone has different beliefs and thoughts on medicine, contraception, choice, and other aspects of women’s health. Even if you don’t agree with them, be respectful of your vinas’ opinions and experiences and that respect will be returned.

pexels-photo-118033DO OFFER RESOURCES

Sometimes there might be an “a-ha!” moment in a conversation and your knowledge might come in handy. If you know a lovely doctor or clinic that has helped you out or are loving an app or website related to reproductive health, definitely tell your vinas! Sharing is caring.

DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO SHARE EVERYTHING

There may be some things you only want to share with a medical professional and keep to yourself. It’s totally fine to set your own limits and share only the things you want to share with someone else. If your vina asks a question that makes you feel iffy, kindly let them know that you’d rather keep your answer private. Likewise, if you happen to be the inquisitive vina, be respectful of the other person’s wishes and move on in your conversation.

DO BE SUPPORTIVE

Reproductive health issues are extremely varied across the board. Some can be as annoying as menstrual cramps and PMS. Many others can be very heavy-hitting like diseases, cancer, and infertility. It can be difficult for some people to open up about these experiences and others. If a vina chooses to share her personal stories and thoughts with you, offer support by listening and with kind words. Reproductive issues can take a physical and emotional toll on anyone, so a little bit of vina love can really go a long way.

How do you approach difficult conversations with your friends? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to use the hashtag #TalkingTaboos and tag @ilikevina on Twitter to let us know which Taboo Topic you’d like to see next! (Feature image via @judithshalva)

MEET OUR VINA: ASHLEIGH

A 5’2” ray of sunshine recently joined the team at VINA as our new Operations Manager and Executive Assistant to the CEO. We are more than happy to introduce Ashleigh. San Francisco vinas, swipe right on her if you love Birkenstocks, going to concerts as vina dates, and keeping up with the Kardashians.

Starting off with a good one. Favorite thing about yourself?

My willingness to forgive. Oh, and my ability to make people smile. I’m basically a personal cheerleader.
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Let’s be honest, we all have guilty pleasures. What are yours?

Wearing my Birkenstocks with socks. Saying the phrase razor blades, but pronouncing it “rise up lights” over and over as if I had an Australian accent.

Which famous ladies – from history or pop culture – would you swipe right for?

Hudda Kattan, RiRi, and Solange because #GOALS.

We are all about building empires and dreams with connections. What is the most valuable friendship you have?

I can’t say that I have just one. I have multiple. A lot of my hometown friends live far away. I’m fortunate that we stay in touch on a regular basis – no matter how distant we are from one another. I am excited to make more friends in San Francisco via Hey! VINA and explore the beautiful city with them. If you see me, swipe right! 😉

Show off your vina date skills. Describe your perfect VINA date!

Two words: Drake concert.

 

Fun fact that your vina would find out about you on the third date?

I know how to play “Habits” by Tove Lo and various “The Legend of Zelda” songs on my clarinet.

What 5 emojis describe you best?

😜🎧💄🙏🍾


We’ve just gone global. Why do you think women everywhere need VINA?

It’s important to have friends. Having a gal pal can enrich your physical and emotional life. So whether you’re traveling, moved to a new location (like myself), shy, or all your girlfriends are getting married and having babies (AGAIN like me), you can use Hey! VINA to find a new friend to hang with.

Which famous best friend pair represent #bestiegoals?

Obvi, Scott Disick and Khloe Kardashian.

WOMEN IN THE NEWSFEED WE WOULD SWIPE RIGHT FOR

We are about all-inclusive representation of womanhood in the media and in real life. We believe that vinas comes in all shapes, sizes, gender expressions, cultures, and life stages.

Positive coverage of women in Trending Topics and in the Newsfeed is important for any change to happen in anywhere: from leadership and policy to media and society. If the public is a safe space for women, we can create a kinder world for vinas – present and future. It all starts with media representation, so here’s to celebrating women in our Newsfeed! 🎉

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1. HILLARY CLINTON

No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, you have to give Hillary some brownie points for this common boss babe behavior: showing up for work instead of throwing in the towel. Pneumonia is no common cold, so kudos to Hillary for a tenacious commitment to her #careergoals.

2. H&M’S NEW AUTUMN COLLECTION AD

Okay, so this fast fashion retailer is not technically a woman, but their commercial for the new Autumn Collection is very swipe-worthy. Not only does it feature alt rock-and-roll LIONBABE singer, Jillian Hervey, but the ad also spotlights all-inclusive expressions of womanhood. From plus size beauties flaunting their lingerie pieces to strong body types sporting evening wear, this ad celebrates many facets of being a lady.

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3. KERRY WASHINGTON AT THE 2016 EMMYS

The 2016 Emmys had a lot of big wins in terms of diversity on television (hello, Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany), but the red carpet reflects the visibility of beauty standards on a viral stage. In her original Brandon Maxwell cutout gown, she embraces the beauty of motherhood and natural hair that makes us want to clap back.

(Featured image by Female Collective)