Part of the healing process for my depression and anxiety involves repeating affirmations that remind me I’m worthy. Reading quotes from my favorite vinas inspires me to be optimistic and determined. Send these quotes to your vina the next time she’s not feeling her best (or just as a way to say hello):

dope, fly, amazing quote.png

“I would tell my 20-year-old self, ‘You were fly, dope and amazing from birth. From the second you took your first breath you were worthwhile and valid and you have to find other ways to feel good about yourself that have nothing to do with being chosen by a man.'”
-Gabrielle Union

“I want to be awake. I want to choose kindness, live and let live. I want joy, gratitude, and peace today.”
-Tracee Ellis Ross


“Give the world your best, and it may never be enough. Do your best anyway.”
-Mother Teresa

“Sometimes life has to get really ugly before it gets pretty.”
-Shay Mitchell


“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”
-Diane Mariechild

“In the morning, instead of saying to yourself, ‘I HAVE to wake up,’ say, ‘I GET to wake up!'”
-Erykah Badu


“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

“Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head.”
-Meryl Streep


“Put forth the effort to improve and create things that will make a difference.” -Kate Hudson

“He’s very dreamy. But he is not the Sun. YOU ARE.” -Cristina Yang

What are some quotes that you and your vinas love to share? Tell us below! (All images by Emma Olswing)


Hey, teachers of the world! From all of us here at VINA HQ, happy World Teacher Day. We are giving shoutouts to all our favorite teachers who have played a part in mentoring and molding us into the women we are today.


“My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Walker, saw potential in me and really pushed me to do more in school. She went so far as to submit my writing to a children’s anthology and got a short story of mine published in a book. It was really special to have a teacher go out of her way to help me reach my dreams. Thanks, Mrs. Walker!”


“To Miss Compton from St. Catherine’s in East Flatbush, Brooklyn — some gratitude poetry to let you know that I made it:

I struggled with words,
You knew that, but your
faith in me was the seed
that flowered and wrapped
around their doubts.
I learned to speak, but
More so, I learned how
little girls can build
worlds out of words.


“To Ito-sensei from Uni High in Urbana, Illinois: thank you for being so kind and welcoming from Day 1. I knew I HAD to take your class, which resulted in a year-long adventure that shaped my young adult life. You taught your students language fundamentals but left plenty of time for singing and fun. You showed me that not all learning is academic and that we don’t need to be fully prepared to jump into the unknown with confidence.”


“There aren’t many teachers who I remember in high school, but there is one lady that I will never forget – Mrs. Spin. Although she wasn’t a teacher, Mrs. Spin worked on campus as an attendance technician. On my first day of high school, she was the person who calmed my nerves. A simple ‘hello!’ and big bold smile from her was a big enough confidence booster to begin my day. Mrs. Spin showed a lot interest in all of the students, not just myself.

I’m still in contact with the vibrant Mrs. Spin via Facebook. Till this day, she consistently reaches out to past graduates by asking them how their kids are, congratulating them on their job promotions, and sending words of encouragement if you’re feeling down. She is the QUEEN of maintaining lasting relationships, and I admire and adore her so much for that. Through her, I have learned that there is power in kindness and friendliness. A small gesture can go a long way.”


“Thank you, Ms. Jansen from Lowell High School in San Francisco, for encouraging my artistic growth and expression as a young woman. I wouldn’t have ever been able to consider myself an artist if it wasn’t for your classes. Happy World Teacher Day!”

(Feature image via NCTSN)


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 #TalkingTaboos and we’ll get talkin’!

Having an anxiety disorder is never easy. One of the hardest things about it can be talking to other people about your illness. Talking about it – or even thinking about talking about it – can be just another source of anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle. However, part of being vulnerable with your vinas is being open and honest, even about mental illness.

When I first told one of my vinas that I often struggle with anxiety, it was over text. The conversation was flowing, and I was really feeling like I could trust her. Of course, I was nervous for how she would respond, but I let out a major sigh of relief when her response was a compassionate one. Not only was she both sympathetic and understanding, she admitted to her own struggles with anxiety. We started swapping our anxiety horror stories and bonded over our experiences.

There is so much misunderstanding about mental illness due to its social stigma.
If you’re talking about it with someone who has never experienced bad anxiety, it can be hard to know where to begin. Confiding in someone with your diagnosis can help your vinas better understand what you’re going through. Here are some tips for women struggling with an anxiety disorder and for the vinas who support them:

1. Both should remember that anxiety is a mental illness and is never personal. Having anxiety is neither your fault, nor the fault of your vinas, family members, or significant other.

2. Talking about any type of mental illness requires complete openness and a non-judgmental approach. Be open to learning and know that it’s okay if you can’t sympathize. On the other side, remember it’s okay if you can’t explain your anxiety perfectly.

3. Be patient. For those with anxiety and those without, patience and understanding when discussing mental illness is key. Try not to become frustrated if it’s hard to talk about and be supportive of each other.

4. Anxiety cannot be automatically turned off. It may hit when you or your vina is least expecting it. Learn how to help your vina by asking her when she isn’t feeling anxious what will help in that moment. For vinas with anxiety, be communicative about your needs when you can be.

Remember, being honest is the most important thing in any friendship. When talking about mental illness, being open and non-judgmental will make the conversation much smoother. Do you or your vinas struggle with anxiety? Let us know how you deal in the comments below. Also, if you have an idea for another Taboo Topic Tuesday, tweet @ilikevina using the hashtag #TalkingTaboos and let us know!

(Feature illustration by Bing Nguyen)


One of the best parts about work is that you are probably (hopefully) exposed to awesome, successful, hard-working women. In terms of networking, women tend to become friends first before connecting on a professional level. So developing work friends is not only good for the soul – it could also be good for your career.

Here are 4 tips on making friends in the workplace:


This one’s easy. The vinas at the same level as you career-wise are the ones you’ll have the most in common with and are most likely to spend time with at the office (lunch buddies anyone?). Put yourself out there! Collaborating on projects can be a great place to start bonding, and don’t be afraid to ask a coworker for post-work drinks if you think they could be your new bestie.


Whether she’s your direct superior or not, this is the trickiest of workplace friendships. You should probably go into this thinking more in terms of developing a mentoring relationship than a friendship, especially if this woman is your boss. Regardless, try to find some things you have in common and run with it. Ask for advice, ask her about how she got where she is now professionally, ask her everything! Most women will be more than happy to impart their wisdom, and this is a great stepping stone to a successful working relationship with a superior.


We bet #ladyboss LC knows how to perfectly balance her work relationships (📸: Lauren Conrad)


On the flip side of the mentor/mentee coin: if your new work bud is your employee, you have to be equally as careful not to cross the very fine line into an inappropriate personal relationship. True friendship with an employee can be tough, but offering support as a professional mentor is a great way to be friendly while maintaining an appropriate distance from each other’s personal lives.


Maybe someone introduced you two or you met at an event? That’s great! Like we said, studies have shown that women network by forming friendships before using their connections for professional purposes. So go ahead like you would with any new friend and get to know your new connection as a new vina! Worry about leveraging your career-boosting connection after you established a sound friendship.

Are you friends with the women in your workplace? How do those relationships pan out? Let us know in the comments! (Feature image via IMDB)


I’m a big believer that when it comes to working out, not having equipment or enough time is not an excuse! After all, exercise & movement are critical components to living a balanced lifestyle and taking care of ourselves #selflove. But— we don’t always have access to “traditional” fitness equipment. Ok I know, the post title gave it away… so I’m just going to get right to it:

Here is a little circuit you can do from the comfort of your own home,  all you need is a couple bottles of wine and your best gal pals because really, working out with your vinas is SO much more fun than doing it alone . No wine bottles handy? Any household item will do so long as it’s easy to hold onto and about 1-3 lb.

This routine is meant to be done as one big circuit meaning that you will perform each exercise for 10-12 repetitions then move on to the next exercise without stopping. Once the circuit is complete, rest for 1-3 minutes and repeat 1-2 times.

I’ve put links with the corresponding exercise should you need a bit more guidance, (just picture the person in the video using wine bottles for weights instead of dumbbells).


Squat and press: Grab a wine bottle in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms by your side. Slowly hinge at the hips and bend down into a squat position. As you squat down, bend your elbows at 90 degrees. As you come out of the squat and rise up, raise your arms up and over head for the “press”.

Bent over rows: Stand up nice and tall and hold a wine bottle in each hand. Slowly hinge forward at your hips and engage your core. Lift the dumbbells to your side and keep the elbows close to your body. At the top of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades together and contract your back muscles. Slowly release your arms down and repeat for a total of 10-12 reps.

Lateral Shoulder Raise: Grab your wine bottles and hold them in the center. Stand up tall with your arms by your side, your shoulders pulled back and abs engaged. Slowly raise your arms up so that they are parallel to the floor, do not let them go further than your shoulders. Slowly bring your arms back down. This is one rep, complete for total of 10-12.

Russian twist: Hold one wine bottle horizontally or hold two bottles towards the bottom. Sit down on the floor or on your mat with your knees bent (imagine being in a V shape). Raise your legs up off of the floor and twist your torso side to side while engaging your core. One rep = 1 twist to either side.


Don’t forget to refuel! Right after your workout make sure to get in some quality protein and carbohydrates (i.e. a protein smoothie with a banana) to help your muscles repair & restore. Ok ok and yes, have a glass of wine too 😉!

Try our wine bottle workout with your vinas and then let us know how you liked it in the comments below! (Feature image via Reebok on Youtube)


Women entrepreneurship is a cause near and dear to our hearts. Gender equity requires pioneering women to lead and build a world that fully realizes the power of ladies with vision. We are proud to partner with our local friends, director Nora Poggi and documentary producer Insiyah Saeed, to give away 5 pairs of tickets to our San Francisco Bay Area Hey! VINA community to attend the film screening of SHE STARTED IT at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Shot in Silicon Valley, Europe, Vietnam, and NYC within the past three years, She Started It follows the lives of five exceptional young women on their journey to startup success. If you don’t want to take your chances on the sweepstakes, secure your ticket for the premiere event on Saturday, October 8 at the prestigious Mill Valley Film festival here: http://bit.ly/2cIQhN8.

The successful entrepreneurs featured in the film – Stacey FerreiraThuy TruongBrienne Ghafourifar, and Sheena Allen – will be in attendance, including some other stellar women founders, investors, and the greater team from the film.

She Started It 
and VINA will be giving away five pairs of tickets. Each winner will receive (2) tickets, so take this inspiring opportunity to invite a vina date and bask in the glow of powerful women. Shine, vina, shine!
Enter by commenting below or sharing this blog post to social media – remember to tag @ilikevina!


Hey! VINA makes it super duper easy to find new people to connect with, but after you connect, how do you turn a friend fling into a deep, meaningful friendship?

We want to make the entire friendship process easier for you, so today we’re tackling the topic of relationship growth. We’ve written in the past about some of the key things that can help you deepen your bonds with your vinas, but as always there’s more to learn.

The planting and growth of a tree is the perfect metaphor for friendship. Planting the seed on Hey! VINA is sending the first message to meet up. After your first vina-date, you’ve got a little seedling of a relationship starting to grow. There are some things you can do to help ensure your budding friendship will develop deep roots.


We LOVE that vinas are making the effort to organize groups from the app and are taking them offline. That’s a great way to meet a ton of vinas at once. As you realize who you click with and who may just be a friend-fling, you should start hanging out one-on-one with the vinas who you think are BFF material. It’s only then you can really start  getting to know your vina on a deeper level, which brings us to our next points…


You can have fun hanging out with acquaintances even if you don’t have much in common, but to develop a deeper friendship you have to have similarities in your core beliefs. While we believe you can be friends with anyone, we also know that truly deep and meaningful friendships come with those you agree with on essential points. Keep getting to know your vina, and you’ll soon start to discover all the things you agree on and disagree on. You’ll know you’ve found a new bestie when your important things align with hers.


Along the same lines of the last tip, science shows that getting deep and being vulnerable is the best way to form lasting bonds. Being honest, open, and candid about your issues, beliefs, and hopes will create a bridge of trust between you and your vina. Vulnerability and trust are key to any lasting friendship! She’ll be the Ilana to your Abby in no time.


Find the vina you can unapologetically yourself with (📸: @troprouge)

We hope these insights help you begin the awesome journey of deepening your relationships with our vinas. What else have you found in your personal life that has helped you maintain and deepen bonds within your friendships? Tell us in the comments, we can’t wait to hear!

(Feature image via @jamie_baratta)



Without a doubt, proximity cultivates a certain kind of friendship. Naturally, you spend a ton of time together when your best friend lives nearby—not just parties and dinners but the in-betweens: sweatpants on Saturdays and hungover burritos runs. So, when your bestie moves away, it means changes for everyone.

It doesn’t mean the end of you bond, but there is new territory to navigate and some adjustments to be made. When someone goes from on the regular to out of the loop, it can be a little scary. All of a sudden, there is a big vina-sized hole where they once sat on your couch, a faint wine stain from one of your Friday nights.

We’ve got some tips for you on how to make sure both you and your friendship survive:


Take up a new hobby. Hanging out is a hobby. Yes, we swear by it. Instead of dwelling on how much time you suddenly have on your hands, keep busy with something new: yoga, ceramics, pickling.

You can’t replace her, but you can use this as an opportunity to invite someone new into your life. Um, it’s a good thing someone invented an app that helps you make new friends!


Just because she isn’t around the corner doesn’t mean that your council and love aren’t essential to her and her new life stage. In fact, she will probably need you more than ever.


Pop open that laptop and a bottle of wine, and watch a movie together or just hang.


This is a great time to get back to you. We so often jam pack our schedule with outings and people we love, which is wonderful. However, there is goodness in spending time with you!


While new friendships will form, there is no reason to cast the role ASAP. Give yourself time to adjust and for something fulfilling to bloom in the space.


Knowing when you’re going to see each other again will keep both of your spirits up and remind both of you that she certainly isn’t gone from your life. We recommend you visiting her new life for your first get-together as a sign of total support.




Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival and celebration of Bavarian culture. The official Oktoberfest in Munich ends on October 3rd, so we’ve only got a few more days to take part in the celebrations with our vinas. If you’re not lucky enough to be in Munich for the festival of brews, we’ve rounded up some local spots you can visit to grab a pint (or three) with your vinas. So dust off your lederhosen and get drinking!


If you haven’t been to Biergarten in Hayes Valley, you’re missing out on yummy (and authentic) German eats. It’s a beer garden (obvs), but it also boasts delicious German-style bar food. Top tip: the grilled pretzel dumplings are to die for, but they sell out fast!

WILDFOX FW 13 photographed by Steven Meiers / The Cobrasnake

📸: WildFox


The Little Bear Gastropub in the LA Arts District is technically a Belgian beer bar, but we won’t tell the Germans if you won’t. Bring your vinas here for their 17 beers on tap and 50 bottles that they keep in rotation (or check out weekend brunch – be prepared to wait a while for a table).


Home-brewer Jason Sehler has turned his at-home hobby into a legitimate brewery. Strong Rope Brewery is anything but amateur. The craft brewery offers tours and hosts a weekly game night! Take your vinas for some brewskis and test out your trivia chops at this Brooklyn spot.


For our neighbors across the pond, you gotta check out Bierschenke, the self-proclaimed only authentic “Munich Bierkeller” ✨ aka German beer bar ✨ in the city of London. With a name like that, no doubt it will provide an authentic Oktoberfest experience. Expect large beer steins and the best (*cough* only) Bavarian Oompah band for the night’s entertainment.


Beermiscuous in Lakeview is the place to be if you’re looking for a cold brew in the windy city. They serve local beers at their bar, or you can also grab a six-pack to go. On Wednesdays, food trucks camp out right in front, so you and your vinas can snack while you drink!


Bratwurst anyone? (📸: Southern Living)


Bier Markt is an eclectic bar that is part authentic German beer house, part sports bar, and part music venue. There’s something here for every vina whether she’s more into watching sports or listening to live music (or just really, really into beer). Plus, you can enjoy delish poutine with candied bacon while you slurp down your German ale!


Who would’ve thought you could get authentic German fare in Hotlanta? Well, you can at Der Biergarten, Atlanta’s premier German beer bar. If you live in this city, you and your vinas have more time to get your Oktoberfest drank on because Der Biergarten is doing festival celebrations all the way until October 22nd!


If you’re looking for a cool place to grab a pint in Sydney, look no further than Stone & Wood Brewery in Byron Bay. Boasting a hip atmosphere an awesome selection of local craft beers, it’s the perfect place to take your vinas for a cold one.

Of course, these are only a small portion of VINA cities. Where is the best place to grab a brew with your vinas in YOUR city? Tell us in the comments below!

(Feature image via @jillsahner)



Guess what, Portland vinas? It’s your turn! Portland is a city of bridges, beer, coffee, donuts, and just about anything you could imagine. With so many options, how do you pick the perfect place for your vina-date? Don’t worry – I did all of the work for you!


Portland is filled with coffee shops. So many that it can sometimes get overwhelming. But you know what vina? Sometimes I get a little tired of the standard hip coffee shop. I mean how many Instagram photos can you take of the standard “minimal” cafe? Never Coffee Lab offers something different. Not only do they have some of the best coffee around (trust me, I’m a connoisseur) but the cafe is also colorful and fun!


Raise your hand if you’re tired of waiting a minimum of 45 minutes to get a table at brunch! Me too, vina, me too. Still want an amazing brunch, great atmosphere, and one (or three) mimosas? Cheryl’s on 12th is for you. I’ve never had to wait more than 15 minutes for a table, and they make some dang good food. I highly recommend the Portuguese fried rice. Bonus point? They also serve fresh (and free!) beignets for every table. Does it get better than that? Nope.


Look vinas, I’m gonna get real with y’all for a second. Standard cocktails are a dime a dozen. At most places they taste exactly the same. So what do you look for when you want to grab a nice, classy drink? Atmosphere. Multnomah Whiskey Library is expensive, exclusive, and really, really cool. Not only does it have the most extensive whiskey collection in Portland, it gives off a really rad old fashioned feel. Need a drink recommendation? My sources tell me it has the best old fashioned in town.


I really hate to go cliché here, but it really doesn’t get any better than Papa Haydn. Not only do they serve up some of the most delicious dessert I’ve ever had, they also plate the dishes- meaning the things your order arrive at your table looking beautiful. Wanna make this a really killer vina date? Get dressed up and make it a “fancy” girl’s night out. Don’t forget to snap a pic for Instagram!


As a college student, I’m basically perpetually broke. So I’m a big fan of doing things that cost zero $$$, and I’m always looking for more activities to add to that list. So wheN Tilikum Crossing (finally) opened I was super excited. A bridge? With no cars? For walking? Add to this the fact that it’s free and perfect for an aesthetic as hell Instagram photo, and it makes for the perfect date with your vina. If walking isn’t quite your speed, rent a couple of bikes from the new Biketown stations and take a trip across the bridge and around the city!


According to rumor, these underground Portland tunnels have been witness to some pretty creepy things. Some even say that they’re one of the most haunted places in America! Though some super lame people claim that these are simply tourist traps, I refused to believe them. This stuff is terrifying in the best possible way. Read up on some creepy history of The Shanghai Tunnels (also known as the Portland Underground) and then go on a ghost tour with your vina! Nothing is more bonding that being absolutely terrified together. (Sorry for the lack of pictures – but they’re all super blurry or super creepy, so I thought I’d leave images out for this one. Guess you’ve have to go see the spookiness for yourself!)

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 10.49.29 AM.png

📸: @seahawks


Ahhhhhhh Pittock Mansion. Beautiful view, beautiful house, perfect vina date. I know that it’s mostly a tourist spot, but sometimes tourists just get it right. But if you want to visit the mansion is true Portland style, do the Pittock Mansion hike! This way you get to experience both the outdoorsy side of the Pacific Northwest and check out an incredibly beautiful piece of the city’s history! If you’re feeling too muddy after your hike to go into the mansion the grounds are totally free to walk around- and they’re probably the most beautiful part!

Have a place you love and we haven’t included on this list? Let us know in the comments! (Feature image and major PDX #squadgoals via @tigurrliliy)