HOW I DECIDED WHAT COMMUNITIES TO JOIN ON VINA

As an online community manager for an engineering company and for my own personal community, Vivi e impara, I strongly believe in the power of community to connect people and share knowledge. At VINA, this is something that can be done very well!

According to the State of Community Management 2018 Report, communities are impacting the way we live and the work around us. The research is compelling:

  1. Communities are change agents: Community programs impact multiple functions, stakeholders, and departments in organizations. They have immense potential to be agents of change by efficiently dispersing knowledge and information across organizations and their markets.
  2. Communities create transformational value: Community programs show an average ROI that exceeds 2,000%. They enable behavior changes that directly impact profitability and revenue generation, while also having an overwhelmingly positive impact on brand and cultural sentiment.
  3. Community teams are underfunded: Community professionals are burnt out due to increasing success and workloads without the accompanying increase in resources and support. This is limiting impact.

As a VINA Ambassador & VINA Society Writer, and an active member of The Community Roundtable network, I’ve used VINA to connect with women with similar interests as mine. I’m active in many communities, including bloggers, dog owners, foodies, and yoga, to name a few. While chatting with new vinas on the app, I’m able to find something in common with them. And if not, then I’ve met someone different from me that I can learn from.

Just this past week I connected with a fellow yogi. In the introduction on the app it says, “Share your favorite spot to shavasana! Then how about trying each other’s favorite yoga studios together?” This quick introduction not only helps new vinas find a cool new yoga studio, but also suggests an activity to bring women closer together based on mutual interests and understanding. Now, what’s better than that?

I’m grateful that VINA is supporting the diverse interests and skill sets that we as women represent. VINA challenges and recognizes us and celebrates what we have in common and what makes us different.

Download the Hey! VINA app today and find out for yourself! Join a few communities and realize just how beautiful it is to bring us all a little closer together. 

BECOMING AN EARLY BIRD

Whether you work the morning shift or like watching the sun rise, everyone can benefit from waking up at 6am. These are just the benefits that I personally have noticed, and I’m sure you’ll notice them once you stop hitting the snooze button!

Eat Breakfast

Getting up earlier will push you to eat breakfast first, which is, as many grandmas would say, the most important meal of the day! Breakfast it vital to our daily food intake, and it will stop you from feeling hungry and eating snacks throughout the day. This will also go hand and hand with the next benefit.

Boosted Metabolism

There’s no doubt that waking up early gets your gears moving a lot sooner in the day.  This means that your metabolism will be kickstarted. The morning time is when your metabolism is at it’s peak and it starts weakening later on in the day, so wake up to receive this natural benefit!

Body Healing

Waking up earlier for a slow start also means that you won’t be jumping right out of bed with an aching body. I personally always had lower back pain before letting my body gently wake up with the rest of the world. Adding yoga or pilates to your morning routine also stretches your body so you won’t pull anything or have stiff muscles all day.

Plan the Day

Since you have this extra time, you can plan your day, or go over your plans from the night before. If you don’t do much planning, you can check and make sure you don’t have any appointments set up. *I began using an iOS app named “One List” (Not sure about the availability on Android), and it has helped me a ton during my previous semester of college. To rid of ads and unlock all the themes, it’s $4.99, but very worth it in my opinion! If you want to go paperless, this app is very simplistic and helpful in sorting tasks and their level of difficulty.

More Productive

If you spend time planning your day, you’re more than likely going to follow it which makes you more productive. Even if this doesn’t apply, you’re going to do something when you wake up, no matter how big or small the task may be!

Improves Sleep

Since you will be waking up at 6am, your body will start getting tired earlier. You may find that you become tired around 8pm rather than 12am, and that’s a great thing! It’s easier to wake up early if you go to sleep earlier, which makes you feel like you had the best sleep. Many of us only feel fully rested when we go to bed and sleep in late. However, you can get the same feeling and more!

Energized

The energy in your body will be at an all time high when you give yourself a little time! Forget spending $3 a day on energy drinks and pulling all nighters. They leave you tired, unhealthy, and drains energy faster than you can drink it. If you want to save money and gain time, this is for you!

Easy 8am Classes/Morning Shift

This only applies for those who are in college or work an early morning shift, but nonetheless helpful. If you wake up at 6am, you have two free hours to do what you like. Whether you kick back and enjoy a Netflix show or spend the few hours studying for a test for your 8am course, it makes these early tasks simple.

Better Mental Health

This is in no way inferring that all mental health issues will be eradicated. This just improves mental health and dealing with it. Better sleep and decreased stress are linked to a healthier mind. When you’re more productive and energized you feel great and that everyday is purposeful.

*not sponsored

Start swiping on Hey! VINA today to find a best girlfriend that will keep you accountable on your new goals!

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?

View this post on Instagram

Now I just have a dope avocado tattoo.

A post shared by Kyra קירה (@kyra_sfx) on

“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!

HOW TO BECOME A YOUTUBE STAR

Nowadays, we all use YouTube for one reason or another, whether it be to binge watch videos or find that tutorial on whatever it was we don’t know how to do. Either way, this site has become more than just an online video library. Now it’s a way for people to not only make their name known, but make money while doing so. Here’s what you need to know in order to start and sustain your very own successful YouTube channel.

1. WHAT’S THE GOAL OF YOUR VIDEOS/CHANNEL?

Before even thinking of picking up a camera and attempting to figure out how it works, you have to decide what exactly your content is going to be about. Do you want to help or inspire other vinas? Are you vlogging about your life? Or do you have a unique talent or skill that you would like to share with the world? In any case, if you know what your content will be about then you are more likely to capture and hold the attention of the audience you are trying to hit.

2. MAKE VIDEOS

When posting to and starting a channel it is obvious that you would need to post videos, but how often is key. In the beginning of your YouTube career you will have to be extra regular on when you post and how much you post. Beginner YouTubers have to post more videos and make sure they are posting everyday, or every week, or every month, to insure that their new content gets seen by viewers. As you gain more popularity you wont have to post as often, because by then you will have a regular group of followers, but until then post post post!

3. KEEP UP WITH YOUR GROWING AUDIENCE

It is VERY important that, not only in the beginning, but throughout your YouTube Career you are communicating and interacting with your followers. When they comment, take the opportunity to start a conversation. When they want more of something, be aware of it, and make more of what they like. Probably most important though, is to watch the behavior of your fans. Are they watching videos to the end? Are they liking or disliking videos? Which videos get the most views? Keeping up with the behavior of your viewers is crucial so that you are aware of what works and what doesn’t.

Following these tips can start you down the right path. As long as you’re willing to put in the work, it’ll pay off.

It’s always easier to do new things when you have a team to back you up, so find your vina team on Hey! VINA today!

5 MANTRAS TO SAY TO YOURSELF DAILY

WHAT IS A MANTRA?

It is a word, sound or sentence that is said over and over again to help with concentration or to provide positive affirmation.

HOW CAN A MANTRA HELP

It can help produce positive thoughts, feelings, and energies in your mind and body and help you de-stress.

DEVELOPING YOUR MANTRA

  • You want to find a quiet space with minimal distractions for yourself. Add candles, incense, or essential oils.
  • What is your intention? Peace, health, success, or a spiritual connection?
  • Sit in a comfortable position. Keep your back straight and upright.
  • Clear your mind, close your eyes, and breathe through your nose and out of your mouth.
  • Choose your mantra:
  1. I feel beautiful, I am beautiful
  2. I am free to be myself
  3. I am healthy and strong
  4. I have the power to create change
  5. I accept myself for who I am

Looking for friends to develop your mantra with? Start swiping on Hey! VINA today!

CAREER LESSONS FROM THE BOLD TYPE

The Bold Type is a Freeform TV show that follows three millennial women that work at a Cosmopolitan-type magazine called Scarlet. While the show has a few inaccuracies as to what it would be like working at a magazine of that size, the show has a number of moments that could be considered career lessons for the aspiring professional woman.

The Bold Type follows three best friends: Sutton, Jane, and Kat. The three girls couldn’t be more different in personalities and job titles. Sutton starts off as an assistant, Jane is a writer, and Kat is the Social Media Director. Each of the girls face unique career challenges when it comes to their positions and where they fit in with the rest of the staff. Here are a few things we could learn from Kat, Jane and Sutton:

**If you haven’t watched the show before, you might want to stop here because there are spoilers ahead** 

YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO ADVANCE IN YOUR CAREER

Kat is an excellent example to young women everywhere because she quickly advances to become Scarlet’s youngest director ever. It doesn’t matter that Kat was young, she excelled at her job and was recognized for it. Take a chance, you aren’t too young to make an impression. Your age shouldn’t matter.

Tbt GIF by The Bold Type - Find & Share on GIPHY
Via GIPHY

IF YOU’RE UNHAPPY WHERE YOU ARE, MOVE ON

Sutton’s transformation in The Bold Type is something to aspire to. She starts out as a green-juice fetching assistant but has a deep passion for fashion. She recognized that she was unhappy in her current position and took a major leap to put herself out there and she ended up making the move to the fashion department. It didn’t happen overnight, but she knew what she wanted and she went for it… and it paid off! Now she’s living her best life and killing it as a fashion assistant.

Tbt GIF by The Bold Type - Find & Share on GIPHY
via GIPHY

SOMETIMES FAILURE IS THE BEST THING FOR YOU

In season two, Jane takes a leap of her own and leaves her comfortable niche at Scarlet to write for a cutting-edge online news source. It ends up being a disaster and Scarlet won’t take her back. Instead of letting this failure consume her, she becomes a badass freelance writer and makes a name for herself on her own. If you can, try to turn the bad into the good. If you let it, failure can often lead you to where you’re supposed to be.

Season 2 GIF by The Bold Type - Find & Share on GIPHY
Via GIPHY

LOOK TO YOUR SUPERIORS FOR GUIDANCE

The trio of best friends has an oddly close relationship with the editor-in-chief, Jacqueline. Unlike Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, Jacqueline is approachable and kind to her staff members. The girls make a point to lean on Jacqueline and look to her for guidance when they need it. It almost never hurts to ask a superior for advice. It can help you advance your career and you can end up building a relationship with them.

via GIPHY

WHY THE BOLD TYPE IS IMPORTANT

Even though television shows like The Bold Type and Younger are cute and fun, they are extremely important for our generation. These shows highlight badass women who are focused on their careers while balancing a social and dating life. No longer are female characters required to chase boys and make poor decisions while putting their aspirations on the back burner.

Times are changing.

FIND YOUR GIRL SQUAD ON VINA

Want to find your own Jane, Sutton and Kat? Swipe on Hey! VINA and make some new connections today. Your girl-squad is waiting for you!

https://giphy.com/embed/3ohs4wL0EtChmUNJfO

via GIPHY

VIVA LA VEGAN!

WHAT IS VEGANISM?

Vegan is defined as abstaining from all animal products in your daily diet. In other words, any bi-product of an animal such as milk, cheese or chicken. So I’m sorry vinas, no more half & half in your iced coffees or butter filled croissants from the local bakery.

BACKGROUND

Countless studies and documentaries have been produced to convey to the public why intaking certain foods and drinks on an everyday basis is unhealthy. For example, “What the Health” is a documentary on Netflix that addresses how the meat industry lies about how and where animals are raised. Not to mention either how the bi-product of the animal is altered. Thinking about how poorly chickens are raised is concerning and quite disturbing. Not all baby chicks are running freely in grass and consuming natural nourishment, but instead trapped in tight cages. Considering even a small amount of knowledge regarding the food industry and major food corporations can open eyes and mouths to what is really nourishing for our bodies.

WHY GO VEGAN?

Going vegan and reducing the amount of animal product intake can help with heart problems, tiredness, and overall health. Dairy is especially fattening and can cause stomach issues to some. For example, lactose intolerance is no longer uncommon and rather more apparent than ever. In addition, getting the proper nutrition you need from protein and healthy fats can come from many alternatives to meat and dairy. Below are some suggestions.

WHAT TO EAT

Here’s a very short list of items you can still enjoy while being vegan! Always remember to check labels and keep your eyes peeled for yummy treats in the grocery store, at local markets, or in the latest newsletter from your favorite place to shop!

FOOD

Tofu, tempeh, pasta, rice, beans, lettuce, chips, potatoes, fruit, veggies, nuts, dark chocolate, vegan cake and cookies

DRINKS

Milk (almond, coconut, nut, cashew, rice, soy), coffee (hallelujah!), juice, kombucha

OVERVIEW

Contrary to popular belief, going vegan is very affordable and easy. Fruits and vegetables are a comfortable price while tofu and tempeh are significantly cheaper than red steak or chicken drumsticks. There are always ways to spice things up and switch tastes around by adding, for example, different sauces to your tofu. Don’t get discouraged about running out of recipes or ideas. With plenty of resources online and convenient videos, making vegan dishes can be very fun, while also tasting yummy without maxing out your credit card.

Educate yourself, take time to see what foods are out there, and get to shopping! Mix up your life with adding a splash of coconut milk to your coffee while saving one precious cow at a time. Now that’s what I call a-moo-zing!

xo,

Mia Costa

To find your fellow vegan vinas, join the Vegetarian and Vegan Community on Hey! VINA. Swap recipes and plan some vegan dinner nights in or out with the girlies today!

HAPPY NATIONAL WOMEN’S HEALTH WEEK!

woman getting her pulse checked

The United States Women’s National Health Week is from May 12th through the 18th this year! Here are a few ways to keep your health in check so that you can continue being the most badass version of yourself:

GET YOUR WELL WOMAN CHECKUP ASAP!

If you haven’t already gone in for your annual checkup, now’s the time to get it scheduled! I don’t know about you, but I’m a borderline hypochondriac so I’ll do anything that’ll reassure me that I’m not nine-months pregnant or that I have a rare, incurable disease. A thorough well-woman checkup will include preventative screenings such as breast examinations and pap smears.

START MOVIN’ AND GROOVIN’

Woman's silhouette running against the sunrise

According to World Health Organization, one in four adults live a sedentary lifestyle. This leaves you susceptible to common diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. The good news is that it’s never too late to adopt a more active lifestyle.

Just recently I started seeing a personal trainer and I’ve never felt so strong in my life. Now, I’m not saying you suddenly have to start doing SoulCycle every week or become a yoga guru, but even just incorporating brisk 15-minute walks into your routine could make all the difference.

ADOPT A HEALTHIER DIET

Did you know your gut can tell you more about your current health state than any other part of your body? Think about it; how often do you deal with bloat or constipation or fatigue? It can even affect your sleep and weight! Bad gut health is a result of consistent bad eating habits (along with a few other factors such as stress levels and hydration). That means the best way to get your gut in check is to have a well-balanced diet. Try to cut back on foods with a high sugar or trans fat content and replace them with more fibrous foods. Maybe even get tested for subtle food allergies you might have.

Be warned though. Your doctor might tell you that you’re allergic to garlic and you’ll question everything you know about yourself – not that I’m projecting or anything.

Long story short vinas, a better balanced diet = happy gut = happy you.

KEEP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN CHECK

A girl reading poetry with a cup of tea

According to Women’s Health, one in five women in the United States (I’m sure it’s similar in other parts of the world) have experienced a mental health condition. Thankfully it’s becoming more acceptable to be open and honest about mental health issues in the workplace, in schools, and even between loved ones.

I personally struggle with depression and anxiety. It’s been a long road getting to a place where I can manage it better, but I still have a long way to go.

So here’s your reminder to be kind to and patient with yourselves vinas. Treat yourself to some “me days” accompanied with some wine (or coffee or tea) and a good book (or your favorite T.V. show). Of course these should not be in placement of treatments provided by a licensed therapist if you choose to seek one.

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

Here’s my last one for you vinas, and it’s an important one. Be sure to practice safe behaviors such as quitting smoking (or not starting), not texting while driving (I ain’t a saint, I struggle with this one too), wearing your seat belts, and using protection.

I want to end on a high note and remind all of you vinas that the first step to loving yourself is taking care of yourself, so please keep these tips in mind year-round.

Even better download the Hey! VINA app today and share these tips with some new life-long friends.

WHY MY MOM IS MY BEST VINA

The shops are now filled with beautiful floral arrangements, unique mug designs are on the shelves and pamper packages are a dime a dozen. Yep, it’s time for Mother’s Day!

Yes, many people say, ‘you shouldn’t just tell your mom how much you love her once a year,’ (kind of like the Valentine’s Day critics), and I do agree to some extent. However, now everything is mom-themed and for a change it’s not hard to find a key ring that says ‘World’s Best Mom’. That’s what I aim to show my mom this year, that not only is she my world’s BEST MOM, but she’s also my best vina. What follow are 5 reasons why my mom is my best vina, so here they are:

DISTANCE, WHO CARES? NOTHING CHANGES

Candice and her mom
Me and my mom 🙂

In a world today where young adults aim to travel and experience the world, we often find ourselves away from home for long periods of time. In my case, I moved around the country, but not once would my mom miss a thing. When we talk, she doesn’t miss a single beat. It was as if she’d been staying next door to me the entire time, and I just sat in her lounge and unwound after the crazy days at the office.

SHE’S SEEN IT ALL

Being with my mom, I get to be my most natural self. No being the ‘perfect wife’ or the ‘star employee.’ When I’m with her I get to be my introverted self, with dreams of a simpler life. I can share my true feelings, emotions and thoughts with her and I can tell her all my secrets, knowing it won’t be circling through a few other ears a week later. Plus she’s seen it all. Every phase I have ever gone through, every colour I’ve died my hair and every broken memory. (OMG… I’m trying not to cry here!)

SHE UNDERSTANDS

Another reason my mom is my best vina is the judgement-free zone that she and I have with each other. Like I mentioned before, she knows the deepest secrets I have. She listens to me when I need to rant or cry over an argument with my husband, and she never passes judgement on me or anyone. (Except she obviously takes my side deep down…)

MOM’S ADVICE IS PROBABLY THE BEST ADVICE

Candice, her mom, and her brother
Christmas gang

When we’re young, we don’t always want to admit that mom knows best, but when we get older we learn that it is indeed so. When we do ask mom for advice, she is also most likely to give you the best outsider perceptive as she probably understands your background, history and why it is that you’re having a dilemma in the first place.

MOM IS MY NUMBER ONE FAN

 I could decide tomorrow that I was packing up my life as we know it and am going to travel the world as a backpacker or go live off the grid in a small deserted town, and one thing will always be for sure is that she will support me in whatever I decide to put my mind to. She would obviously question everything, but it is only out of love and to make sure I am doing it with the right mind and for the right reasons.

No relationship is perfect, but if it were, just imagine how boring life would be…

HOW TO BE THE BEST FREAKING BRIDESMAID EVER

Stand in line ladies!! The bride-to-be just made her decision about who is going to stand next to her on her big day, and you’re gonna be in it!

How exciting! Congratulations to the happy couple. But your job is a lot tougher than you think.  Yes, yes, the bride and groom have flowers and chapels and food to sort out, but your job is firstly,  to make sure your bride has the best bachelorette party ever, and secondly, to make sure that her wedding day goes on without a hitch.

The first thing you need to understand is that while you do get to help her plan, it is NOT your day. Know when to back off. Know your place. Especially if you’re not the maid of honor.

Run ideas past, her but don’t overwhelm her with unnecessary details. Give her options to choose from but don’t make it impossible.

It’s easy to get stressed out about the details, but remember, she’s probably stressed with this and other things already.  Take it easy.  Bring her a glass of wine at every opportunity you get.

If there are a few of you, make sure that you’re all on the same page with everything. Communication is key. Everyone needs to know everything at all times. Try to keep bitchiness to the bare minimum. We all know that sometimes some people can push you to your limits. Take it from us, it’s not worth it. Just take a deep breath, smile and keep your cool. If things become a little overwhelming, take a deep breath (do you see where I’m going with this?), smile and brave-face through it.

The best part of being a bridesmaid is not the big day, it’s the bachelorette party. And planning the perfect day for her is going to be epic.

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  1. Know the bride well enough to know what her favourite things were as a child. Maybe you might not know but one of the other ladies might. If that doesn’t work, contact a family member.
  2. You already know what her favourite things are now.
  3. Mix that up with some Magic Mike action, and you’re set to go.
  4. Stay in contact with all the other people in the bridal party. It’s good to be on top of things.
  5. Help the bride with whatever she needs for the night. Be it lip gloss or a ride home.
  6. Be consistent. Nobody likes wishy-washy.
  7. Stay in your lane. If it wasn’t your job, don’t try to do it better.
  8. Notify her husband-to-be and his best man of your plans. We know you’ve got this, but they need to know that they are on stand-by (if they are) if you need them.
  9. Arrange keepsakes for the night for all the guests and one in particular for the bride. A photo collage or a memory book works great.
  10. Don’t be boring. Show up, show off and have the best freaking night of your lives.

With these tips, we know you’re going to be the best bridesmaids ever, vinas!

If you’re in need of some vinas to throw some big day ideas off of, find your next wedding planning crew on Hey! VINA today!