BESTIE TATTOOS WE’RE OBSESSED WITH

Ready to take your VINA-ship to the next level? Here are some of the very best, matching bestie tattoos. Which one will you choose?

A pinky promise and co-ordinates of where you first met your vina?

Perhaps brunch is your favourite kind of vina date?

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Now I just have a dope avocado tattoo.

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“One arrow alone can be easily broken but many arrows are indestructible…” sounds like a Hey! VINA friendship to me!

Are you the peanut butter or the jelly in your vina-ship?

Friends since school? These paper planes sure remind us of class.

Because finding a vina you click with is as valuable as finding a diamond.

Otterley adorable!

We love our best vina to the moon and back!

Matching converse? Check. Matching palm trees? Check!

Have you and your best vina gotten matching tattoos? Are you considering getting one? We would love to see them!

Check out Hey! VINA to start swiping on a future tattoo twin!

WHY I QUIT MY JOB AT NETFLIX TO PURSUE WRITING

I quit my job at Netflix. Not because it was awful (it wasn’t), or I hated the people (I love my team), or I had another job lined up (definitely don’t). So… **adjusts reading glasses **… why did I quit, then?

For the last year and a half, I’ve had an absolutely ridiculous dream job at Netflix. My job for the longest time was to build and oversee the social channels for @NetflixFilm. I got to travel to film festivals and watch movies… FOR MY JOB. I created really fun things, like this and this. I met filmmakers who’ve won actual awards and made videos with actors I have no business being in a room with. I worked at Netflix — the thing everyone loves to watch — had coworkers who are the smartest people I’ve met in my life, and was making more money than I’ve ever made.

Which is why it’s maybe the worst feeling in the world to wake up and know you have an incredible job, but also know you’re not meant to be doing it. How to explain this feeling? It’s a tough one. Especially because it’s less of a feeling and more of an inner voice (you know, the deep down authentic version of yourself who just tells it like it is, even if you don’t want to hear it).

And the thing that became clear was this: the problem wasn’t my job — obviously, my job was killer — it was me. I was the problem. Because I wasn’t listening to myself — to that inner voice. I didn’t want to hear my own thoughts, because they were scaring me; leave your job, you should be writing, you aren’t supposed to be here. Those were the last things in the world I wanted to hear. What I wanted was to thrive at Netflix. To build a life for myself there. And I really did try — so hard — but this stupid fucking voice kept popping up to remind me, you aren’t supposed to be here, this isn’t your purpose. I can’t tell you how much I wanted those thoughts to disappear. And if I’m being honest, I’ve had this inner voice for the last few years, I just always chose to ignore it.

Because the easier thing was to continue the course, ride it out, and just push those feelings down. I was being ridiculous. I needed to get over it. Only, I couldn’t. I tried therapy, acupuncture, I bought many bath pillows, y’all… Those offered some temporary relief. But then I’d spend the week at work, and I just kept feeling more and more miserable but didn’t know how to express those feelings. After all, I had a great job, made great money, and loved my coworkers — what’s the problem here? I was constantly complaining, and feeling exhausted, and I stopped liking who I was.

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Which is when I realized that the only way things would change is if I made a choice: I could choose to listen to my inner voice, or keep complaining until I turned into a sad, whiny prune (probably, very likely). My inner voice was telling me to write. To do the thing I’ve always wanted to do — spend a year just pursuing writing and see where it would lead me. This is one of those dreams I’ve had and put on a shelf next to other nice things I’d like to happen, like winning the lottery or moving to an island inhabited solely by cats. Especially because to take a year off to focus on writing sounds irresponsible and indulgent, and like the kind of thing people might judge me for (and I do care deeply about what other people think, I’m working on that). But I started saving money, and telling people I was thinking about making this leap, and the more I saved and was vulnerable, the more of a reality it actually felt like.

So on my birthday this year, I put in my notice at Netflix. I made the choice to quit my job. I’m going to be creative and curious and see where it leads me… ahhhhhhhh.

If you couldn’t tell by that written scream, I’m terrified about what comes next. As of today, I’m officially unemployed. Here’s everything that is currently scaring the shit out of me:

  • My husband and I have a mortgage, and his jobs in TV are never a sure thing. So that’s… fun!
  • I’ve saved up enough money to take a year off… IF I can stick to the very tight, very lean budget I’ve set for myself.
  • I may not get paid at all this year. I might fail. I might not sell anything. That’s a reality.
  • I feel guilty. I don’t completely know why. It feels indulgent to pursue my passion.
  • And even though I’ve published two books (hey, help an unemployed girl out and buy them here and here), I don’t know that I fully deserve this. Have I earned the right to try and do this full-time? Maybe not!

So, I will be writing like it’s a job I’m getting paid for (though, I’m definitely not at this time), and feeling supremely uncomfortable about it. I’ll be working through ideas for books, TV scripts, features, plays… whatever sparks joy (thank you Netflix and Marie Kondo for teaching us this concept). In a year’s time, I may have very little to show for myself, and people might think this is crazy stupid of me to do. I truly can’t predict the future, and I’m not a person who does well with the unknown! What I do know is that I’m choosing to try and change my life. That’s my choice. I hope you can support it. It took me a long time to get to this place.

Maybe this is all a big mistake. Or maybe it’s not.

I do know that I’d never want to look back at my life and think about how I always wanted to take a year off to write but didn’t.

So I’m hurling myself into the great unknown.

Hoping I emerge with an inner voice that’s in a happier, more fulfilled place.

Thank you for reading this. Is there anything you’re curious about knowing, or want to hear more about? I’m happy to talk about how I made this happen through extreme saving (been doing my own nails since 2017, folks), or anything else! Let me know!

Xo

—Originally published on February 8, 2019 on erinlarosacreative.com. 

IMPRESS YOUR VINAS WITH THESE COCKTAIL-MAKING TIPS

Vina: bold, intelligent, badass. She’s the life of the party. She can mix a drink.

To help bring out that life-of-the-party vina that’s inside of you, I’ve compiled a tried-and-true list of cocktail-making tips so you can be that girl wherever you’ll be celebrating next.

Before I started following these five simple steps, not even my most beautiful glasses, stainless steel shakers, or a phone full of Pinterest recipes could save my drinks from coming out too strong, too sour, too much like juice, or too much like toxic waste. These tricks have helped me become more creative behind the bar and have given me a better understanding of how much alcohol each drink needs, all while keeping things simple, sweet, and cheap.


1. LESS IS MORE WHEN IT COMES TO INGREDIENTS

A good cocktail doesn’t need to be complicated. Many of the best cocktails have three or fewer ingredients. The important thing to know is what mixes well with what. Here are two of my favorite simple drinks that have less than three ingredients:

The Paloma: 1/4 cup of tequila, 1/4 cup grapefruit soda (like Fresca or Jarritos), served on the rocks with a lime wedge. Add a salted rim to feel like a real pro.

The Bellini: 2 ounces chilled fruit purée (traditionally peach), 3 ounces prosecco. Usually served in a champagne flute, start with the fruit puree on the bottom, then pour the prosecco over the top. Feel free to add a fragrant garnish to up your bar cred.

These and other gorgeous two-ingredient cocktails can be found at http://www.mydomaine.com/two-ingredient-cocktails

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WHEN IN DOUBT, STICK TO THE CLASSICS

Who’s ever turned down a whiskey and Coke or vodka and soda? These drinks are well known for a reason and are simple to make. The best part about their simplicity is that it makes them easy to customize and dress up. Put your own original spin on any of the classics with fresh herbs, splashes of fruit juice, or even a simple lime or lemon to impress your vinas.

GET CREATIVE WITH FRESH FRUIT AND KOMBUCHA

When you’re drinking, you ’re probably not drinking for the health benefits (unless you’re one of those red-wine-with-dinner people). Still, it’s nice to mix up a fun drink that ’s light on guilt sometimes. Fresh fruit, kombucha, and even Perrier can make awesome additions to classic drinks. (HINT: The Real Food Dietitians suggest replacing the ginger beer in the classic Moscow Mule with kombucha and adding fresh ginger, mint, and cucumbers.)

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CHEAT SHEETS ARE A VINA’S BEST FRIEND

Now that you have the inspiration, it ’s time to get technical. You don’t want to make your drinks too strong or watered down. To ensure that you pour just right every time, check out this amazing cheat sheet that explains the use of “parts” in drink recipes. You can always print it out and keep in your kitchen so you ’re ready for your next soirée.

USE THE TOOLS AVAILABLE

There are so many amazing resources where you can find easy drink recipes. Use them! There’s no shame in borrowing a few tips and tools from the pros. Here are two personal favorites:

Now that you know the tricks of the trade, I fully expect to see you giving back to the Vina community by hosting a meet and greet cocktail party with your new matches!

Find some new vinas to invite to your next cocktail party by downloading Hey! VINA on the App Store today! You’re new best friend could be just a swipe away! 👯📱

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO KEEP HEALTHY HABITS?

Remember when you signed up for the gym and vowed to go every day? How are you doing on your weight loss goal? Just this morning my sister texted me saying, “I’m going to try and eat clean this week. I can’t stand the way I’ve been feeling.” So why do we make plans to make HEALTHY changes to our habits and fall short on the follow-through?

On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic. Two months doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you are attempting to make a healthy habit a part of your daily living, it can feel like decades. As humans, we gravitate toward the familiar, and we enjoy the sense of security that the repetition of our habits give us. We dish out some steps to overcoming that obstacle and getting that healthy habit to stick:

BE CLEAR WITH YOUR HABIT CHANGE

When you’re trying to set up a new healthy habit, it is very necessary to be as clear as possible with what you are changing. When you are thinking of your habit, view it as something you are already including with your daily life. When you make the habit precise and already in progress, your mind will subconsciously make the habit take affect. For example, if you want to drink more water, you can say, “I am having a bottle of water with my spinach salad today” or “I will refill my 20 ounce water bottle two more times before I leave the office.”

BITE-SIZE PIECES TASTE JUST AS GOOD

I have found that the smaller the habit change, the easier it is to keep it. Smaller scales mean smaller measurements—literally, if you’re counting calories! I take the ultimate goal that will result from my health habit change, and I break it down into small pieces. Let’s say I want to lose 50 pounds. Instead of looking at the BIG picture, I simply set my standard to 5’s. I measure my success on five-pound increments, 230 pounds, 225 pounds, 220 pounds, and so on. Each five-pound loss is a success and, eventually, they will accumulate to my overall total.

ASK YOUR VINAS FOR SOME HELP

Holding yourself accountable can be difficult, but very well worth it. There are a lot of apps that help remind and track your habit changes. If your phone is stuck in your hand most of the day, what better way to get into your healthy habit than with a pesky notification reminding you? The tried-and-true method of paper tracking is still a great option for people that use planners and rely on them for their daily tasks.

One of the most effective ways of accountability is inviting a friend along. Choose a vina that you trust, can be honest with, and will have your best interest at heart. Leaving yourself open and vulnerable to hearing feedback from your vina will persuade you to make the right decisions and follow through with your healthy habits.

Habits are hard to break. The ones that we have already formed have been a part of our daily lives and have given us to comfort and solace that we are always seeking. Creating a new healthy habit out of an old one will take time, but once you see the change you expected, it will be worth it.

Join other vinas trying to keep healthy habits on Hey! VINA, hold each other to your goals, and, most importantly, support each other!

WHAT IT MEANS TO INVEST IN YOURSELF

You’ve heard it countless times—take time for yourself and secure your future. But what does that really mean and how do you about it? Essentially, investing in yourself works the same way like putting money in the bank. The more you put in, the more you’ll reap. We can get so caught up in everyday life, we forget that the most important investment we’ll ever make is the time we give ourselves in order to flourish.

The month of January calls for a fresh start and new healthy habits! Here are some ways you can invest in your wellbeing and get more out of life.

GET MORE OUT OF YOUR DAY

For a good part of my young adult life, I always believed I was a night owl. I thought it was just in my genetics to go to bed at 3 or 4 a.m. and wake up until noon. This was the least productive habit I ever adopted. You don’t need to wake up at 5 a.m. every day, but getting a head start definitely helps. If you’re a writer, get up earlier to write. If you like to read, do it in the morning. Whatever you enjoy doing and never have enough time for, getting up a bit earlier to do it will make you feel so much better!

INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH

Fitness is the first step I took when I decided to invest more in myself (and I saw results!) I enjoyed ending a long day by going to the gym. An hour of working out gave me the alone time I craved after a busy day socializing at my day job or with friends. It allowed me to unwind, and I felt so much better afterward. Over time, I saw results and learned so much more about my body and overall health.

INDULGE IN YOUR INTERESTS

If you’re struggling with this one, don’t worry—I did too. If you don’t currently have an interest you’re passionate about, then start with an idea. I would look at water-coloring tutorials but never trying it out myself. One day, I bought a starter kit and followed a video and made a cute work of art! The process was very therapeutic, and now it’s a fun hobby I get to share with others. If there is anything you’d like to try out, then try it! You’ll be amazed at what comes from just attempting a new hobby—plus you’ll feel good about yourself. What an accomplishment!

These are just a few ways you can invest in yourself day-to-day. It’s going to be different for everyone. These are just a few things that worked for me! Looking after yourself, learning a new skill and taking a break from all the hustle and bustle is more important than you think. The first step to being good to others means being good to yourself!

Looking to have a support group to motivate you into taking care of yourself? Join our communities on Hey! VINA to find the squad you need. 

SURE-FIRE WAYS TO START BUILDING ROOTS IN A NEW CITY

Being thrown into a new place can be extremely scary. Think back to when you were the new vina in 2nd grade, or even when you were the newbie in the office. You don’t have much knowledge of where things are, what there is to do for fun, and chances are you may not even have anyone to grab coffee with! ☕️

Well fellow vinas, I have been there. Almost two years ago, my husband and I packed up all of our belongings in our first little home in Michigan and moved across the country to Alabama due to him receiving a promotion at work. I had to quit my job, say goodbye to all of my friends and, to top it all off, I was pregnant! So, that meant moving away from my family during a new and scary time of my life. I spent my hot, southern summer days sitting by the pool alone. After days on end of being lonely, I decided that it was time for me to branch out and make my mark in my new city.

Below are the five tips that helped me to build a support system, meet new friends and find a badass job all while being in a new city:

GET A JOB

I decided that I was going to change my whole career while I was here, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done! I went from a suit-and-heels banker to managing pilates studios. While at work, I got to meet like-minded people and engage in interesting conversations. I also got invited to tailgate, go to mommy sales and even got invited out to lunch. Plus having an extra paycheck doesn’t hurt either.💰

VOLUNTEER

Back in Michigan, I was under the impression that I had NO time to spare in my life. So my days usually consisted of work, exercise class and then sleeping. I’m not sure if it’s the southern sunshine, but I felt the urge while pregnant and working to volunteer, and I don’t regret my busy schedule for one second! Volunteering helped me to meet successful people in the community, attend upscale events, and I even met my workout buddy from volunteering. Besides meeting people, volunteering also helped to reduce my newbie anxiety by helping me to put my life into perspective. There are a lot people in the world who have larger challenges, so I knew that making roots was something that was achievable.

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SET UP VINA DATES

Hello?! Why wouldn’t you use Hey! Vina to meet new friends? The app allows you to locate other vinas in your area and event set up events. I’ve set up walks in my area and even asked another vina on a wine night. 🥂

DON’T BE AFRAID TO JUMP IN

I used to be very shy when it came to casually inviting myself into other people’s plans, but not anymore! I’m not saying to be pushy, but if you overhear people talking about going to a concert, let them know you are interested, or if someone has a cute outfit on let that vina know, because when you have common ground it’s easier to make friendshipsand friends = coffee and wine sidekicks.

EXPLORE

Get out there, it’s a big universe! I would literally drive around different parts of the city to learn street names, restaurants and different attractions. This helped me to be able to make recommendations when I finally did get friends, so I always had the deets on all of the cool places to go. I knew the 411 on all of the hot spots for date night, and when my family and friends came to visit, I felt well adjusted and proud of my new home.

As I previously stated, being new can be hard work, but it doesn’t have to be! Use these five tips to start making roots in your new home ASAP! Home isn’t a place, it’s where your heart is.

To take a leap of faith and start meeting new vinas, download Hey! VINA on the App Store today! You’ll never know what budding friendship might be just a swipe away 👯📱

UGH! I’VE GAINED BACK ALL THE WEIGHT. NOW WHAT?

We’ve all had the “girl, you are 10 pounds heavier, WTF” conversation with ourselves.  Regrets, self-doubt, self-hate etc. etc. It’s a viscous cycle. You’ve taken care of yourself,  you’ve been doing so so good until one day it all just stops. Before you know it, you are right back where you started. It’s a harrowing feeling, but thankfully, change is possible and we don’t have to punish ourselves for falling of the fitness wagon every now and again!

There are several things linked to subconscious weight gain. One of which is emotions. Jon Gabriel wrote in this article“Emotional turmoil and stress caused from not being fulfilled emotionally can activate a chemistry in the body that causes weight gain.” Right?? I mean we all know that some comfort food goes a long way when we are feeling a little under the weather, but that emotional stress could actually trigger a part of your brain that shuts down the metabolism.

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Gabriel goes on to say that our insecurities act like a chronic stress that spikes our cortisol levels and tells our bodies to store fat. Cortisol is a hormone that our bodies release during moments of stress. For example, when you get an adrenaline rush during a fight or flight response, this is the hormone responsible for that feeling. Now that we have established a possible cause, let’s look at some solutions.

REDEFINE FITNESS

If you are not an extremely physical person, you can try Tai Chi, Yoga or Pilates. These exercises are not necessarily easier than any other workout regimes, but they may work more effectively for someone who doesn’t enjoy weight training or high intensity fitness.  These exercises are also great for stress relief. A couple of minutes during a stressful situation, or perhaps worked into your daily routine will do you a world of good. If you are more physical, exercises like dancing, boxing, and spinning are proven to help relieve stress. For those of us who like to dance-it-out (thank you Meredith Grey), try Daybreaker!

REDEFINE YOUR SCHEDULE

If your weight gain is not related to emotional stress, it could be related to a busy schedule, and not enough time to take proper care of yourself. There are a number of books and scholarly articles about habit forming behavior, and a lot of them deal with how to break unhealthy habits, how habits are formed, which behaviors to avoid, and most importantly, how to create new habits. It only takes 3 weeks, 21 days to make a new habit, or break a bad one. It actually is possible to fit everything into one day, including eating healthy and exercising.

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Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

These are just two examples of what could possibly be the reason for your weight gain.  If you believe something more serious is going on, please consult a trained medical professional. The important thing to remember is that if it bothers you, or if it is a health concern, then it is a problem. If it doesn’t, and it’s not, don’t make a big deal out of it. It will only cause you more tension.

Fun fact: Did you know that the average person over 35 gains 1 pound every year without changing anything specific?

Please take note that I offer advice as a fellow woman who loses her way sometimes. I am not a doctor or an expert and my comments are based strictly off of my own opinions and research.

Download Hey! VINA to meet other vinas who wanna get their fit on and lose the weight! You can join the Athletes or Yogis Communities and make some exercise plans together.✌️

SOCIAL LIFE HACKS: WAYS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR SOCIAL LIFE

Is your social life in need of a boost? Is life all work and no play? Would you like to boost your chances of meeting more like-minded vinas? I don’t know about you, but keeping up with old vinas can be a challenging enough, never mind getting out to meet new vinas. Then you throw in the frenzied pace of modern life and schedules that never seem to fit–eek! So just for you lovely vinas, I’ve put together a little alternative inspiration; some simple but easy to implement ideas that might just help add that sparkle back into your social life. Yes, it’s time to set that sweet (but dormant) social butterfly a flutter!

COLOR THERAPY

Any excuse to revamp that wardrobe or splash some new paint on the walls, right? Choose bright and uplifting colors to lift the energy and create an air of optimism and positivity around you. Select shades of yellow, orange, peach and pink for decorations and accessories around the areas of the home where you’d like to encourage gatherings. Choose to wear these colors to bring out an air of creativity and warmth which will draw new vinas towards you.

CANDLE MAGIC

A simple candle magic spell can help to put you on the right path to improving your social life. Choose an orange colored candle to symbolize positivity, and to help you picture the kinds of situations that you’d like to be in, with the like-minded people who you’d like to be around. Make a list of what you would like from your social life, and light the candle, whilst practicing mindfulness and welcoming new experiences into your life.

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FENG SHUI

In Feng Shui, fame, reputation and social life area is located on the very center of the back wall of the property you live in. This sector is ruled by the “fire” element, which is symbolized by the sun, and represented by the colors red and orange. If you can’t redecorate this area, try placing red or orange colored objects in and around this area, or including images of happy vinas doing the kind of things you’d like your social life to be bustling with. Tip: magazine cut-outs work fine!

CRYSTAL HEALING

Red Jasper is known as the ‘supreme nurturer’ and is the stone of empowerment, helping to remind you that you can bring joy and substance to others. It’s important to be able to recognize your own qualities and abilities (indulging in a little self-love) before looking for new social opportunities. If you find you have little time for your vinas but you’d like to help them out more, meditate and focus on your goals whilst holding this stone. Carry your crystal with you when you are out and about at social gatherings with vinas, or other events where like-minded people may be hanging out.

Along with these social life-hacks, download the Hey! VINA app to boost your social life even more! 

 

 

HOW TO PUT THE BEST IN BEST FRIEND

Despite the saying, “friends come and go but family is forever,” there’s a reason BFF is short for best friend forever, not best family forever. Think of it like this–everyone has a soulmate, right? Well, that doesn’t just stop at significant others, spouses and partners. We all have people out there that are so close to our hearts and souls that they’re permanently a part of us. We all have them and they usually come in the form of best friends–the forever kind.

These friends are the ones we’d do anything for, our “ride-or-dies.” As best friends, we want more than anything for them to be happy, and whatever we can do to make that happen is one of our major priorities. Here are some ways to put the “best” in best friend and be the best vina you can be.

TRUTH ABOVE ALL

Everyone lies. Our parents, our family, our friends, strangers, everyone. Without a doubt, we’ve all lied to the ones we love, but it’s important that we adhere to the truth as much as we can in all situations. If we can’t be true to the ones we love then we are, in a sense, saying they aren’t worth it (and they definitely are). They love us no matter what, no conditions and no exceptions; lying isn’t needed and it isn’t worth it. We can fake it until we make it all we want to the amalgam of strangers that surround us, but for the ones we love we should bare all and trust that they will be there through thick and thin.

BE THEIR LIGHT IN THE DARK

Our best friends are the ones we rely on the most, besides our family and our significant others (maybe even more than those). We expect them as our best friends to pick us up when everything else is pushing us down. They’re our light in the dark, like a lighthouse calling us home from the abyss of the sea. If we expect anything from them we have to give just as much. Being a best friend is more than just knowing all of each other’s grossest habits and having inside jokes; it’s about supporting each other in the of ups and downs of life.

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ACCEPTANCE WITHOUT CONDITION

Empathy and compassion are what make us human, and we lend them most to those closest to us. Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days (sorry, not sorry for the Hannah Montana reference) and a best friend takes it all, the good and the bad, no matter what. We all have character flaws and they don’t only impact us; they can spread to our loved ones and affect them negatively. However, as William Faulkner wisely proposed, we don’t only love because, we also love despite. Those who love us most will love us despite our flaws. A best friend will always understand and always forgive. Sometimes we feel the need to judge others and project our sense of right and wrong onto them, but friendship doesn’t thrive when we try to control and change the other. If we accept the ones we love for their entire selves and forgive them no matter how screwed up things get, we inspire a love that will last a lifetime and forever after.

The most important thing to remember is that a relationship takes effort on both parts. It won’t always be easy, but if everything were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. Finding your best friend and keeping them close is one of the most important things a person can do. Friends make life worth living and they’re more than worth the effort it takes to be the best friend you could be, day in and day out.

Find your best friend forever on Hey! VINA today! Download it, join communities and start swiping and meeting!

 

 

SEPTEMBER BOOK CLUB: NEW BOOKS YOU HAVE TO READ

It’s that time of year again where you begin to change things up in your wardrobe, swap your morning iced coffee for a pumpkin spice latte, and get in the groove of a whole new season that is upon us. Something else that is perfect to switch up at this time, too, is your bookshelf. With a new season comes new books! Here are some books that should be added to your must-read list this fall.

SEA PRAYER BY KHALED HOSSEINI

A short story inspired by the events of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian refugee who drown in an attempt to reach safety–Khaled Hosseini made a tribute to those who lost their lives during the Syrian War and those families who were displaced and compelled to face the sea. A story of a father talking to his son before crossing the ocean, this tale will have you reflecting upon the ones you love and just how lucky you truly are.

WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU BY ARIEL KAPLAN

As the school year begins, it’s high stress time for those of you who finishing up high school and thinking about attending college in the upcoming year. And for those of you just starting post-secondary schooling, this one may be all too relatable. This is a story about Mischa, a straight-A student, who finds herself rejected from every school she applied to. Coping with the idea of trying your best (especially when you’re under pressure!), but still failing, may be the best coming of age story to read this month.

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WHAT THE WOODS KEEP BY KATYA DE BECERRA

An intense page-turner full of mystery, fantasy and sci-fi, this whirlwind of a story will keep you captivated until the end. On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits the home she grew up in, only on the basis that she must uncover the darkest secrets within it. Even though she has tried to cover it all up until this point in her life, it inevitably catches up to her.

WHEN: THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF PERFECT TIMING BY DANIEL PINK

A treasure of a how-to book, Daniel Pink dives into ways we can improve our life at work and at home through the concept of time. For instance, did you know there’s an ideal time during the day to schedule surgery? Or that there is a good time to take a nap or coffee break to boost productivity? This is a great book for everyone, whether you’re beginning a new school year this month, starting a new project or just looking for ways to motivate yourself, this book gives you the ultimate tools to maximize your time and create a fresh start for yourself.

WHISKEY IN A TEACUP: WHAT GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE, LOVE & BAKING BISCUITS BY REESE WITHERSPOON

Ever wonder what it would be like to be BFFs with Reese Witherspoon? Her part-lifestyle and part-cookbook can bring you just a little closer to that! A charming book about her Southern roots, it delves into how her heritage has shaped her into the woman we know today. From entertaining her guests to her grandmother’s most divine recipes, you can bring a bit of a Southern touch to you life. What, like, it’s hard?

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