Tuesday, April 28, 2015

madam secretary.

So I am completely and totally in "I'm so ready to be done school and graduate" mode. How convenient was it that my best friend and I stumbled upon Madam Secretary?! Just what I needed to ensure that all my final homework and projects are complete by... tomorrow. CBS All Access reeled me in on a free week-long trial and I'm hoping that I'm able to catch up on the 20-something episodes in the next week so that I don't have to pay $5.99 for a month's worth of viewing. But, it's a $6.00 risk I am willing to take.

This. show. is. SO. good.

I'm only five episodes in right now, but I am obsessed with Tea Leoni as the lead. Her character, Secretary of State, "Madam Secretary" Elizabeth McCord is one hell of a kick ass woman. And if there's anything I love, it's a show that redefines the roles of women in power (Scandal, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt... ). Feminism has been at the forefront of my mind and the media's for quite some time now, and I am full on loving it. 

McCord is inspiring in the role. She takes on a Chief of Staff and President who don't always accept her opinions and courses of action. She even goes so far as to completely undermine the President in a certain situation and take it on her way-- and it works out swimmingly. In a field dominated by men, she's strikingly refreshing. She stands her ground, trusts herself, admits to her mistakes, and embodies everything that (by my definition anyway...) a power woman should be.

One of the best parts in my opinion? The relationship McCord has with her husband Henry. It's not every day you'll come across a man who's completely comfortable being with a highly successful woman. More often than not, it's a woman on a man's arm-- not the other way around. Henry is a professor at Georgetown in religion and ethics, and he supports his wife and his family in a proud and moving way. When McCord is busy dealing with national security crises, he's home consoling his 15-year old daughter who's boyfriend just broke up with her... via text. And when McCord and Henry stumble into their first fight of the series, the night following their fight she brings it up. He starts to say he forgives her, and she responds immediately by saying, "No I wasn't apologizing about that." And once all is forgiven, it's Henry who ends up saying, "If you're asking me to be the man beside the woman, I'm in."

Take a peek:

Just watch the first two episodes, and tell me you're not hooked! (p.s. If you can catch up on the series in a free trial of CBS All Access, I salute you.)


Monday, April 27, 2015

how to be happy with yourself.

The first year and a half of my twenties has probably been one of the more difficult times in my life. When you're in college, the stakes are high, the competition is higher, and all at the same time, you're tasked with trying to define who you want to be. I remember being 15 and thinking that by 21 I'd have it all figured out. I'd have graduated college, found a job, fallen in love with not just someone, but with myself and my life too. Two and a third of those things have happened, but like any twenty something would probably find, learning to love and be happy with yourself is one of the hardest things to do.

We live in a world where social media makes it so damn easy to compare. You can compare yourself to your peer who just got into a fancy Ivy League grad school; you can compare yourself to your classmate who has three job offers coming their way; you can compare yourself to the lucky bastard who's brave enough to go travel the world and defy societal pressure to get your shit together immediately following college. But, as I've known for some time, comparing yourself to others gets you nowhere. You can really only compare yourself to who you were a day ago or a month ago or a year ago-- and try to stay sane.

Which brings me to my three points. There are three things I try to remind myself when I'm having a "my god you suck at everything and anything" day. And trust me, they happen often!

how to be happy with yourself.

1. The only person you should ever compare yourself to, is you.

Like I said above, the only way to see how far you've come in your life is to look back on who you were in the past. Who were you before you went to college? Before you got your heart broken? Before your life turned upside down and you had no idea how to handle it? Recognize that there is no short cut to happiness. Like any relationship, you have to work for your happiness and nurture it. Do what makes you smile, spend time with who makes you laugh, and learn to be comfortable with who you are.

2. Don't sabotage yourself, be your own best friend.

I haven't met a girl who hasn't muttered the words, "I look like shit." And it's a fact of life. There will indeed be some days that you just look like shit, but I also strongly believe that how you feel about your appearance is a direct reflection of how you're feeling internally. Our minds are easy to manipulate, and they're not always as tough as we give them credit for. They're not immune to negative thoughts about your surroundings, your friends, your family, etc., and they're not immune to negative thoughts about yourself. Actually, most women tend to find they're privy to negative thoughts about themselves. Mistakes happen for everyone. Off days happen for everyone. One of the quickest ways to sabotage yourself emotionally is to ignore your emotions. You wouldn't ignore your best friend if she called you up upset about something, so don't ignore yourself either. Give yourself time to feel and honor your emotions, but don't let them control you. Counter negative thoughts with positive energy.

3. If you wouldn't say it to someone else, don't say it to yourself.

Have you seen this ad yet? You can watch it below, but it really hit home with me. I know for a fact that there are few people sassier than a frustrated or angry woman, but what scared me the most about this ad is that the things we would never say to another person we feel completely comfortable saying to ourselves. It's hard to look in the mirror every day and tell yourself you're beautiful when all you see is a pimple the size of Mount Everest forming on your chin or the slightest muffin top. We all have things we don't like about ourselves, but at the end of the day, we've only got ourselves. Our goal in life should be to empower who we are as individuals and as women, not to tear ourselves down because of an unattainable image we hold ourselves to. You don't have to look like the girls in magazines; not even the girls in magazines look like the girls in magazines! Think kind thoughts. If you wouldn't say it to somebody you love or even a perfect stranger, then don't say it to yourself.

This one's a good one too. Gotta love Dove.



Monday, April 6, 2015

carve your path.

As 20-somethings, we're all sort of inherently led to believe that we are nothing special. We've had internships that have made clear we're the bottom of the food chain, we've had arguments with our parents over our independence (because who knows anything better than we do?), our confidence more often than not comes off as ignorance, and our superiors look at us like we have so much to learn and not even a clue.

Senior year of college is a particularly difficult time for all of us "young adults." I've been referred to as a "young adult" since I was 15, and I'm starting to question when being a "young adult" really ends and being an "adult" begins. I suspect it's when you graduate college and get a real job, start working the 9-5, and save up the dough. But for those of us moving back in with our parents after graduation, actually for those of us in general, all of our crutches are not yet gone. Because of all these factors that contribute to the unending confusion and curiosity that plagues 20-somethings, the path we're supposed to embark on post-graduation is more unclear than ever.

I'm among the lucky ones with a job after graduation. Only, I prefer not to refer to my getting a job as luck (and I prefer that other people do the same), but as a reward for my hard work over nearly a year and a half at the company I work for. commando has been a part of my life for well over a year now, and what started out as a gig folding underwear/kind of being an intern turned into a full blown internship in sales and public relations, and has since turned into a job as a social media and digital marketing coordinator. I'm incredibly relieved and excited for what my future at the company holds.

I will say I am lucky in that I know the company I'm working for is one that I genuinely love, and it's filled with people that I genuinely enjoy working with. That, in itself, is another weight off my shoulders. But I was meeting with the COO of the company while discussing my offer, and I thanked her for being my support at the company over my time there. More specifically, I said, "This wouldn't have happened without you." And her reply? "No, I helped get you in here. You did the rest."

I know I've definitely had some help here and there along the way. If there's anything I've learned from my internship (and trust me, there's a lot), the biggest thing I've learned is how to take constructive criticism! Less than two months ago I had no idea what I was doing with my life. A part of me had always hoped that my internship would potentially lead to a job, but I never expected anything. I've realized over the past month that I've been carving my own path this whole time though. Hard work carves a path. Perseverance carves a path. And a little bit of faith also helps. There was never a clear path for what I wanted come post-grad, but in the middle of all the confusion and anxiety, I made one for myself. So if there's anything young graduates can rest easy knowing, it's that there's a 99% chance you're already carving your path, the right path for you. You just don't know it yet.


Monday, March 30, 2015

rebuilding burned bridges

Once upon a time I wrote about making the cut. I wrote about how to get rid of toxic relationships, of people who no longer made you a better person. And I think I may have been a bit pre-emptive in writing that. I will always stand by the idea that one should surround themselves with people who inspire them, challenge them, and help mold them into a better person. But it's dawned on me recently that maybe I've put too many people on my "cut" list.

I'm not one to give many chances. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I'm not one to trust easily either. I keep my inner circle limited and I don't warm to people easily. It takes months and months. Even years in some cases. But I've found the small number of friendships I've fostered over the past six or seven years have been the best ones of my life. They still are to this day.

Then something major happened for me at the end of last week. Something amazing and exciting and all that I could have hoped for (more on that later...), and I had my family to tell, and my best friends (the majority of which happen to live out of state), and then it kind of dawned on me that I didn't really have anybody to celebrate with. I don't have a go-to here anymore. My go-to moved away recently. My roommates are my best friends and they're each other's go-to's. And that is more than okay! All my go-tos just happened to move away for college, and I see them often enough.

But what happens when your go-tos aren't picking up their phones? 
And your best friends are all at work?
You're kind of just... alone.

I'm rescinding what I said earlier about making the cut. You have to give people chances, lots of chances. I think of all the times I've screwed up and all the chances I've been given to make things right, and how I haven't allowed that for other people. And it makes me sad. My best friends standing next to me on graduation day will be the same girls who stood next to me at high school graduation, and there is something so special in that. I consider myself lucky, and I cherish how lucky I am to still have them in my life. But they're all I have here right now. Them and a few other lucky people! But it doesn't hurt to have a lot of friends either. People need all different kinds of people for different points in their lives, and I've always been so reserved that it never really dawned on me that maybe I was doing myself some harm by keeping my inner circle so limited.

Don't push people away. Give them the same courtesies you'd want to be given if you messed up. Don't let one stupid fight ruin a friendship. Everyone goes through weird things, especially in our early 20s, but that's why we all have to help each other! As Taylor Swift said, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." And I'll be the first to say that just because you assume a bridge has been burned, doesn't mean it can't be built again.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015


After much contemplation, and random posts here and there, I finally realized the issue I was having. I've realized I've been experiencing what I can only call a blogger identity crisis. Class & Sass was great for the time in my life when I created it, but I created it out of pure hope that it would give me some source of inspiration or motivation (for what, I'm not sure..). Then, as the year progressed and I grew, I realized that my blog, while I LOVED it, was not necessarily the most accurate representation of myself. 


This is Life, Lemons & Vodka, and it's my new baby. And I also have a feeling that it's a blog that's going to stick. I was talking with a few people (the ones who know me extremely, extremely well) about how I was feeling. I didn't know if it was time to let go of Class & Sass, but I knew deep down that it wasn't me anymore. I'm classy, but I definitely err on the sassier side more. I curse like a sailor, I drink far more wine than I should, and I can't put a face on if I try. If I'm annoyed you're going to hear about it, and if I'm happy you're going to hear about it. I will never be a "prepster" and I hate the thought that for even a minute I thought it best to identify myself that way. 

Another thing I've come to realize? I would definitely recognize my absence as a hiatus now. I was in denial that Class & Sass wasn't the right blog for me to be writing anymore. Then I ran into someone  I barely knew (at a bar of all places) who walked up to me and asked if I was still writing. His mom's a reader and he copped up to have reading before, and it just made me remember how much I love this little corner of the internet. It's my little corner of the internet, and a sort of safe haven. As I embark on my journey into the real world in the next two months, I couldn't see a better way to cope than by writing.

Life, Lemons & Vodka has seemed more like me than Class & Sass from the moment I thought of it. And while I've kept my old posts active, things around here will be changing a bit. I never want to ditch Class & Sass completely, it started my blogging career after all-- but it was time to move on. It's like a relationship. When it ends, you're (hopefully) thankful for it, you've (definitely) grown from it, and you're over it.