Bloglikes - LifeStyle en-US Fri, 28 Feb 2020 05:43:25 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter How to Craft a Message That Job Seekers Respond To Article_HowToCraftaMessage-_1024x512
With the ever-increasing demand for top tier talent, job seekers’ inboxes are bombarded with messages from recruiters every day. As a recruiter, how do you craft a compelling message that potential candidates respond to? What will result in a reply instead of a banishment to the spam folder?

Follow these tips to improve your chances of getting responses from potential candidates:

1. Craft an interesting subject line

Just like all good pieces of writing, the most important part is the subject line or title. How is your message going to stand out compared to all the others? Is there something about a role that is unique and interesting? Does the company offer a one-of-a-kind benefit? Highlight this in the subject line to make it really eye-catching.

2. Know the technical job requirements

While job seekers don’t expect recruiters to know everything about their field, we do expect you to know the basics. Don’t get me started about every time a recruiter saw my experience in JavaScript, then proceeded to tell me about a role working with Java (they are vastly different!) Be prepared with some technical knowledge and don’t waste a job seeker’s time connecting them to roles that aren’t a good fit.

3. Broaden your role as a career advisor

Job seekers can sometimes feel like cattle being herded here and there. As a recruiter, go the extra mile and view your recruiting role as more of a career advisor. When reviewing a job seeker’s work history, help them see several years into the future and craft a career trajectory together. This builds trust instead of the unease that often comes with pushy recruiters who just want to fill a role quickly.

4. Be polite and use proper grammar and spelling

As a job seeker, receiving messages that are in ALL CAPS or have an unnecessary number of exclamation marks is usually a red flag. Yes, we get that you’re excited about a job listing, but this can come across as desperate. Also, be sure to double check for proper spelling and grammar.

5. Be discreet.

As a recruiter, you should protect a candidate’s job search with the utmost discretion. I once had a recruiter email me after being unable to reach me when calling my employer’s main telephone number. A colleague ended up answering her call and took a message. It was an awkward situation to say the least and I did not feel I could trust this recruiter to protect my privacy. Be cognizant of communication methods and frequency with candidates.

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

This article was written by Emily Chen.

Emily Chen is a consultant and entrepreneur who has over 10 years of experience in accounting, government, non-profit, and tech industries. She has worked as a CPA, auditor, diplomat, and software engineer. In her free time, Emily enjoys writing, piano, and rock climbing.

[Author: Julie Shenkman]

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 23:04:27 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Email Careers HR Candidates Job Search Recruitment Hiring Job Seekers Emily Recruitment Marketing Recruiter Recruitment Best Practices Recruitment Trends New Recruitment Tools Emily Chen Subject Line Julie Shenkman Nexxt Nexxt Inc Emily Chen Emily Chen
Tom Ford Throb & Synthetica Lip Sparks Reviews & Swatches Throb

Tom Ford Beauty Throb Lip Spark ($55.00 for 0.1 oz.) is a bright, light-medium orange with moderate, warm undertones and flecks of gold and pink sparkle throughout. It had a more glittery finish with a high-shine to it, but it wasn’t as glitter-packed as other shades in the formula.

The texture was lightweight, creamy, and had moderate slip, but there were a few areas where I felt like the sparkle/shimmer added and created slight unevenness in a few places, though not particularly noticeable in person (just in the close-up photo). It had semi-opaque coverage in a single layer that stayed on well for four and a half hours and felt hydrating while worn.

Top Dupes View Swatches View All Dupes View Swatches Formula Overview

$55.00/0.1 oz. - $550.00 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to "look" like "loose glitter on lips" with "uniform payoff" and "multidimensional color" paired with an "emollient" feel. The pigmentation varied from medium to semi-opaque that adhered evenly and fairly smoothly to my lips. The consistency varied from emollient without any grit/texture from the glittery bits to slightly noticeable during application but didn't feel gritty or rough to me while worn (for any of the shades).

The texture had slip but was lightweight and on the thinner side, so it did not feel slippery. Only one shade was problematic--Surge--which clumped up and was sheerer compared to the other shades. They lasted between four and six hours and were lightly hydrating over time. They had a hint of vanilla scent but no discernible taste.

Browse all of our Tom Ford Beauty Lip Spark swatches.


Polybutene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Polyethylene, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate, Octyldodecanol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Fragrance, Vanillin, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Alumina, Alcohol, Water, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Calcium Titanium Borosilicate, Tin Oxide, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Bronze Powder (Ci 77400), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 7 (Ci 15850), Red 22 Lake (Ci 45380), Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360), Copper Powder (Ci 77400), Carmine (Ci 75470), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492).

Throb P Permanent . $55.00. 4 0 B+ B+ 8.5 Product 9 Pigmentation 8.5 Texture 9 Longevity 4.5 Application 88% Total Quick Shop: , Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus Where to Buy Affiliate Links SephoraNordstromNeiman MarcusSaks More Retailers BarneysBergdorf GoodmanCosbarHarrodsSelfridgesTom FordViolet Grey Int'l Retailers House of Fraser (UK)John Lewis (UK)LookFantasticSephora (AU)Sephora (CA)Sephora (FR) doDisplay('div-gpt-ad-Leaderboard_5_728x90_300x250_320x50'); We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks! Ulta Nordstrom More Synthetica

Tom Ford Beauty Synthetica Lip Spark ($55.00 for 0.1 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark red with warm undertones and fine gold and pink pearl that gave it a shiny, metallic finish. Because it’s a little more muted, I’d also say it was like a very, very red-copper (but really isn’t as orange-toned as most copper-hues would be). The texture was smooth, emollient without being too slippery, and lightweight, which made it comfortable to apply and to wear.

It had nearly opaque coverage in a single layer, which applied evenly and had an even distribution of shimmer. There was a smidgen of product in my deepest lip line that I could just barely see in the close-up photo but wasn’t able to discern in person. It wore well for five hours and was moisturizing over time.

Top Dupes View Swatches View All Dupes View Swatches Formula Overview

$55.00/0.1 oz. - $550.00 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to "look" like "loose glitter on lips" with "uniform payoff" and "multidimensional color" paired with an "emollient" feel. The pigmentation varied from medium to semi-opaque that adhered evenly and fairly smoothly to my lips. The consistency varied from emollient without any grit/texture from the glittery bits to slightly noticeable during application but didn't feel gritty or rough to me while worn (for any of the shades).

The texture had slip but was lightweight and on the thinner side, so it did not feel slippery. Only one shade was problematic--Surge--which clumped up and was sheerer compared to the other shades. They lasted between four and six hours and were lightly hydrating over time. They had a hint of vanilla scent but no discernible taste.

Browse all of our Tom Ford Beauty Lip Spark swatches.


Polybutene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Polyethylene, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate, Octyldodecanol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Fragrance, Vanillin, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Alumina, Alcohol, Water, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Calcium Titanium Borosilicate, Tin Oxide, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Bronze Powder (Ci 77400), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 7 (Ci 15850), Red 22 Lake (Ci 45380), Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360), Copper Powder (Ci 77400), Carmine (Ci 75470), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492).

Synthetica P Permanent . $55.00. 7 0 A A 9.5 Product 9.5 Pigmentation 9 Texture 9.5 Longevity 5 Application 94% Total Quick Shop: , Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus Where to Buy Affiliate Links SephoraNordstromNeiman MarcusSaks More Retailers BarneysBergdorf GoodmanCosbarHarrodsSelfridgesTom FordViolet Grey Int'l Retailers House of Fraser (UK)John Lewis (UK)LookFantasticSephora (AU)Sephora (CA)Sephora (FR)

[Author: Christine]

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 23:02:07 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs UK John Lewis Beauty Lipstick Tom Ford Christine Pierce Lip Products Carmine CI Kat Von Pigmentation Temptalia Sephora Nordstrom Sephora Metallic Cherry FordViolet Grey Int l Retailers House of Fraser Spring 2020 Throb Tom Ford Beauty Throb Lip Spark Tom Ford Beauty Hiro Synthetica Tom Ford Beauty Synthetica Lip Spark
Being Creative vs. “a Creative” vs. Creativity Yellow_and_green_leaves_on_pink_brick_wall-scopio-d57c590d-3c2d-4c91-952f-f72f5ad1391c

I’ve been called creative, been “a Creative” in my career and like to think I was born with an innate ability to create (we all were).

But In the business world, especially in marketing where I spend the majority of my days, creativity can be a tricky topic...

-Creative: You might not get paid professionally to be this but you probably already are, especially if you’ve ever solved a problem unconventionally or applied your imagination to accomplishing a task.

-A Creative: Your professional role in an organization or position of self-employment that pays you to apply a level of creative craftsmanship to produce professional-quality output in the form of created deliverables.

-Creativity: The fuel behind “being creative”. When creativity levels are high, we are most creative. When they are low, we are the least creative. When someone says “my creative juices are flowing” they have high levels of creativity.

When I work with “Creatives” I always strive to appreciate their craft and role and respect both. When I work with “everyone else”, I try to stimulate creative problem-solving potential. Being creative can be a full-time job, a quality or a state of being, but it’s also a part of being human.

Because we’re not robots. Yet.

[Author: David Armano]

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 21:34:34 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Business Life David Armano
Le Monarque Collection: A Humble Review The Le Monarque creation history is exclusive and almost entirely made up of secrets. The owner's name is unknown, the art directors are unknown, the advertising descriptions and pyramids of the perfumes are unknown, as well as the points of sale, although among them there are Jovoy Paris and Moscow Aroma-teka. (We published an interview about the Le Monarque collection when it appeared in Russi...
Read full article: Le Monarque Collection: A Humble Review from Fragrantica Perfumes and Colognes Magazine.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 20:30:47 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Jovoy Paris Moscow Aroma Le Monarque Russi Read
How Sephora’s New Standards Are Changing The Way We Shop For CBD Skin Care beauty products, CBD's purported effects include soothing skin, reducing redness, and calming inflammation. However, in a space that's virtually unregulated, no one's holding brands accountable for actually delivering on anything that's printed on the label. Looking to help the average person navigate this rapidly-growing trend is Sephora, which today unveiled a new set of standards designed to help you shop CBD skin care with confidence.

In an exclusive interview with Byrdie, Cindy Deily, Sephora's vice president of merchandising, announced its CBD Standards, the retailer's new initiative that is setting specific regulations for CBD products. "Our new standards are the first for a national prestige retailer and set baseline parameters around CBD sourcing and testing, reinforcing Sephora’s commitment of being a trusted resource for our clients," Deily said.

Consisting of four criteria, Sephora's CBD Standards require that all products must be Clean at Sephora certified, made with only full- or broad-spectrum CBD from domestically grown hemp, independently tested at least three times for quality and purity, and accompanied by a certificate that verifies the CBD label claims.

Ahead, take a closer look at seven CBD products that you can find at Sephora right now.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Herbivore
Herbivore's take on CBD manifested itself in the form of Emerald, a hemp- and adaptogen-infused oil with a whopping 24,900 loves on Sephora.
Herbivore Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil, $, available at Sephora Prima
Sephora's newest CBD beauty brand, Prima, only launched in September 2019, but has quickly emerged as a clean brand to watch. "Purity, performance, and transparency are our top priority," says founder and CEO Christopher Gavigan.
PRIMA Skin Therapy Ultra-Rich CBD Body Butter, $, available at Sephora Saint Jane Beauty
With "luxury" in the hero product's name, Saint Jane's potent serum is truly as fancy as it gets. The bestselling bottle contains 500mg of CBD, plus a cocktail of botanical extracts to make your skin glow.
Saint Jane Beauty Luxury CBD Beauty Serum, $, available at Sephora Flora + Bast
Another Sephora newcomer is Venice, California-based Flora + Bast. Its farm-to-bottle face oil serum has accumulated an impressive amount of glowing reviews from dedicated fans.
Flora + Bast Age Adapting CBD Serum, $, available at Sephora Lord Jones
You may know it best for its fancy-pants gumdrops, but Lord Jones' body and face skin care (including the maximum strength Royal Oil, seen here) are among the most potent beauty products you can shop, making them a popular brand among CBD savants.
Lord Jones Royal Oil 1000mg Pure CBD Oil, $, available at Sephora Josie Maran
Model and beauty mogul Josie Maran launched CBD-infused argan oil last year and fans of the brands were immediately smitten with the two-ingredient formula. (Yep, it's literally comprised of 100% argan oil and 100mg of CBD.)
Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD, $, available at Sephora Briogeo
Scalp care is skin care, too. Briogeo's hair and skin oil is packed with CBD + arnica flower extract to help soothe irritation in a matter of drops.
Briogeo B.Well 100mg CBD + Arnica Flower Soothing Skin & Scalp Oil, $, available at Sephora

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Thu, 27 Feb 2020 18:21:55 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Jones Sephora Cbd Jane Venice California Prima Josie Maran Briogeo Christopher Gavigan Deily Byrdie Cindy Deily Sephora Sephora Prima Sephora Sephora Saint Jane Beauty With Sephora Flora Bast Another Sephora Flora Bast Lord Jones Royal Oil Sephora Josie Maran Model CBD Arnica Flower Soothing Skin Scalp Oil
Link Love: Wearing a Wristwatch in 2020 StyleCaster rounds up 6 watch trends you’ll be seeing more of in 2020.

What it means to wear a watch in the era of mobile phones. The Guardian’s Eva Wiseman writes about how it feels to start wearing a watch again after going without one for years. “It took a week to remember to use it to tell the time, the action of lifting my left wrist so foreign to me that my hand felt weighted, yet I was deeply aware of it, as a statement, a sign.”

I also enjoyed this 2017 essay by Gary Shteyngart about his (and many others’) infatuation with (vintage) watches in a world where most people just use their phone to tell time.

Fab Links from Our Members

Nuancedream has always loved Judith’s collection of hats, but never knew she had an entire scarf room that is an accessories lover’s paradise.

She also wanted to share this article: “I think many of us already know about the magic of tailoring but the crux of the article is contained in the last three paragraphs.”

Shevia thought this a very good summary of the quality vs cost issue.

Susan posted about the influence of her parents on her sense of self and how it has had an impact on her style. Runcarla says: “I am also ‘of a certain age’ and grew up in a home where both parents had issues around food and weight, and where my mother still feels compelled to comment on my appearance and that of my sister.”

Rachylou found this article about made-to-order fast fashion quite interesting.

Amelia Earhart designed her own fashion line. Fashintern adds: “It sounds like her priorities were just what I look for.”

Vildy wanted to share two articles that seem to play off each other and off the theme of who are you dressing for: All Career Advice for Women Is a Form of Gaslighting, and .

Angie thought it was nice to see women over 60 sitting front row at Fall 2020 Fashion Week: “Sad that I have to draw attention to it because women of ALL ages should be sitting front row — full stop! I’m inspired by Maye Musk who is wearing blinding brights with neon and looking as chic as ever. I want to do just that when I grow up! Love her silver short hair too.”

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 17:57:56 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Amelia Earhart Susan Angie Judith Eva Wiseman Gary Shteyngart Link Love Maye Musk Vildy Rachylou Runcarla
A First Look At JW Anderson X Uniqlo’s Latest Collection

Designer Jonathan Anderson has got to be the busiest guy in the business. Just two weeks ago, the Northern-Irish designer was in London, presenting his “Nouveau chic” fall ‘20 collection for JW Anderson to the likes of Charli XCX, Billy Porter, and Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa on the final day of London Fashion Week. Tomorrow morning, he’ll take a bow at the end of the Loewe show in Paris. But even with two luxury collections on his plate, the 36-year-old designer still manages to find time to create fashion for the people.

Today, Uniqlo announced the arrival of its fifth JW Anderson collaboration. The 65-piece womenswear collection, which Anderson’s themed “British Country Style,” contains all of the pieces we’ve come to expect from him: bold but clean prints and colors; classic-with-a-twist outerwear, including trenches, anoraks, and parkas; and enough gingham for the entire family. Also included are 71 menswear pieces, including the collab’s signature clashing stripe tees, “pocketable” coats, and linen button-downs, as well as 27 unisex accessories ranging from Teva-like sandals to color-blocked mid-calf socks. 

Additionally, the collection will include fashion for kids, making this the first time you can get Anderson’s designs in miniature sizes. The pieces include worker jeans, pleated mini skirts, picnic dresses, and denim button-ups. 

The collection will be available globally online and in select stores (including New York’s Soho, 5th Ave, and 34th St. locations; Chicago’s Michigan Ave. store; and L.A.’s location at the Beverly Center) on March 12th, giving you two weeks to plan all the ways in which you’re going to style it. Trust us, you’ll need the time!

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Thu, 27 Feb 2020 17:50:45 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music New York London Chicago Paris Sex Education Anderson Loewe Teva JW Anderson Michigan Ave Jonathan Anderson Beverly Center Ncuti Gatwa JW Anderson x Uniqlo Charli XCX Billy Porter London Fashion Week Tomorrow Soho 5th Ave
Amber From Love Is Blind Just Dyed Her Hair Blonde Ahead Of The Reunion

Just when we thought we couldn’t get any more excited about the Love Is Blind finale — which is dropping on Netflix tonight — we also found out there will be a reunion special, too. On March 5th, the entire cast, including the couples that made it to the alter (and those that didn’t), will be sitting down together to rehash the season and give fans an update on where their relationships stand today. Spoiler alert: Amber Pike and Matt Barnett are seemingly still together — but you might not recognize one of them.

The pair recently filmed a video interview with Entertainment Tonight, which just aired on the platform’s Youtube channel, and from the thumbnail alone, fans can see that post filming, Pike dyed her hair bright blonde.

“Yep, it’s new,” Pike laughs, referencing her freshly-highlighted hair, a drastic change from the natural chestnut-brown color fans are used to. “She’s going through a lot of life changes right now,” Barnett teased, an apt segue into the rest of the interview, in which the couple talks about their experience as guinea pigs in the blind-love experiment that has now become a pop-culture phenomenon.

An Instagram dive proves that Pike actually dyed her hair a few weeks ago, according to her Instagram timestamp. “Oh hello blonde,” Pike captioned her public reveal.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Amber Pike (@atypicalamber) on Feb 12, 2020 at 5:25pm PST

In the photo, Pike credited her colorist, Atlanta-based hairstylist Mylee Quach-Stankowitz, who posted a dramatic before-and-after on her own Instagram page and confirmed that the brown was in fact Pike’s natural hair color. “Thanks for letting take your hair-ginity,” Quach-Stankowitz captioned the color transformation.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mylee Quach-Stankowitz (@lifewithmyleeqs) on Jan 30, 2020 at 4:57pm PST

For now, the color change is just fueling our anticipation for tonight’s finale and next week’s reunion special, where we’ll see Pike’s new look and maybe gain more insight into the existential question: Is love blind? Or really, really blonde?

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Ariel Winter Is A Redhead Once Again

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Thu, 27 Feb 2020 17:42:49 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Instagram Atlanta Netflix Barnett Pike Matt Barnett Mylee Quach Stankowitz Quach Stankowitz
11 Stunning Natural Hair Moments From Paris Fashion Week New York Fashion Week. First, we need to revamp our red lipstick stash. Second, a few highlights never hurt anybody. And, finally, Black hair is truly magical. On the streets of the Big Apple, fashion show attendees put the versatility of textured hair on display with an array of dreamy styles, from bobs to box braids. But the best part was that it didn't stop there.

In Paris, showgoers continued to represent the range of Black hair with stunning looks. Curly Afros were in rotation, while braids and twists made the rounds. Meanwhile, tapered fros were present and buzzcuts of different colors were also booming, demonstrating that Black hair does it all. 

Ahead, find our favorite hair moments from Paris Fashion Week. Indira Scott hit the streets of Paris with her trademark braids pulled back into pigtails. Photographed by Hannan Saleh. On its own, a buzzcut is already fly. Throw a platinum double-process hair color in there and you have street style gold. Photographed by Hannan Saleh. We're screenshotting these chestnut curls to show our colorist. Photographed by Hannan Saleh. We're still trying to decide what we love more: these jumbo Senegalese twists or this graphic red eyeliner. Photographed by Hannan Saleh. PSA: Senegalese twists look great on long hair, but they work just as well on a chin-length bob. Photographed by Hannan Saleh. A tapered fro is the perfect low-maintenance cut that's equal parts cool and convenient, especially if you're transitioning to natural or need a break from styling your hair. Photographed by Hannan Saleh. Let this fresh face and cropped fade be all the encouragement you need to ask your stylist for a buzzcut. Photographed by Hannan Saleh. Straight-back braids will always be stylish, but even more so with a beret. C'est chic! Photographed by Hannan Saleh. Let these pastel pink box braids serve as a friendly reminder that spring is near, so start planning those colorful protective looks now. Photographed by Hannan Saleh. Whoever said curly hair and bangs don't mix hasn't seen this heavenly Afro. Photographed by Hannan Saleh. Photographic proof that few styles come close to being more fashion-forward than a center-parted bob. Photographed by Hannan Saleh.

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Thu, 27 Feb 2020 17:39:10 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music New York Paris Black Big Apple Indira Scott Hannan Saleh Hannan Saleh Whoever Hannan Saleh Photographic Hannan Saleh Like
Lori Loughlin’s Attorneys Make Explosive Claim About FBI’s Treatment Of College Scam BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 27: Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, behind her at left, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on Aug. 27, 2019. A judge says actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, can continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California. The couple appeared in Boston federal court on Tuesday to settle a dispute over their choice of lawyers in a sweeping college admissions bribery case. Prosecutors had said their lawyers pose a potential conflict of interest. Loughlin and Giannulli say the firms work for USC was unrelated to the admissions case and was handled by different lawyers. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

With trials underway in the ongoing college admissions saga, attorneys for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have filed a motion to have the trial date postponed in the bribery case. Loughlin and her husband, along with six other parents, are expected to stand trial starting on October 5

In a new court filing on Wednesday, shocking new details emerged for Loughlin and others involved in the case. According to documents filed by lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli, college scam leader Rick Singer was allegedly told to lie about Loughlin’s knowledge of the college admissions bribery. Details obtained by People include conversations that Singer allegedly had with the FBI. Attorneys for the couple claim the government withheld information found in Singer’s notes during the discovery process. Further, the court documents allege that the agency directed him to lie to his clients in order to incriminate them. 

“Singer’s notes indicate that FBI agents yelled at him and instructed him to lie by saying that he told his clients who participated in the alleged ‘side door’ scheme that their payments were bribes, rather than legitimate donations that went to the schools,” Loughlin and Giannulli’s attorney Sean M. Berkowitz stated in the filing. 

The filing further states that agents may have bullied Singer into lying to his clients about the donations because the notes demonstrate “the Government’s desire to ‘nail’ one of the defendants ‘at all costs.’” According to Singer’s notes, the FBI allegedly contacted him on several separate occasions asking him to “tell a fib” to his clients, the filing states. “Essentially they are asking me to bend the truth,” Singer wrote in one of the notes.

Attorneys for the couple say the government withheld the information found in Singer’s iPhone notes while also rushing the case to trial. Berkowitz will now have to verify whether or not Singer told his clients that their donations were bribes, or donations to the school.

Earlier this week, Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janavs was sentenced to five months in prison for her role in the scam. Janavs pleaded guilty on charges of fraud and money laundering, and will pay a fine of $250,000 in addition to completing 200 hours of community service. 

Loughlin and Giannulli have been charged with three counts of conspiracy, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud; conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery; and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The couple allegedly paid $500,000 as part of Singer’s college admissions scheme to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California crew team. 

The couple could spend up to 50 years in prison and face millions of dollars in fines if convicted. They have pleaded not guilty to all counts. 

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Thu, 27 Feb 2020 17:28:15 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Boston Fbi Usc University Of Southern California Berkowitz Loughlin Lori Loughlin Mossimo Giannulli Rick Singer Giannulli Michelle Janavs Janavs John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse Treatment Of College Scam Loughlin and Giannulli John Tlumacki The Boston Globe Sean M Berkowitz
Four Women In Tech On How Digital Voice Assistants Would Be Different If They Were Designed By Women

If your Amazon Echo’s Alexa weren’t gendered, would you speak to your device differently? According to this 2019 UN study, the answer, for many, is yes. The paper posits that voice assistants, most of which are gendered female, perpetuate problematic stereotypes of subservience and biases against women — even at an unconscious level.

But what if women were the ones designing the voice assistants to begin with? Do factors like gender impact the way the products themselves are brought to market?

To answer this question, we asked four women who work in tech how they think putting women at the helm would change the way digital voice assistants are built.

Donna Lamar, Global Executive Creative Director at Twitter

“If digital assistants were designed by women, I wouldn’t have to repeat myself. Or, instead of being so insistent when I opt to change directions en route, it would compliment me for being savvy enough to make my own decisions based on real-time traffic I see. If digital assistants were designed by women, mood could be determined by tone of voice and the DA could respond with what’s actually needed — patience, soothing or seething. Finally, I wouldn’t have to repeat myself. Have I said that?”

Jen Chan, Creators Product Lead at Pinterest

“As a mom, I’m always looking for spare hands to help carry groceries, entertain the baby, or put away laundry.  If digital assistants were predominantly designed by women, I’d like to think that the form factor would be a lot different. Instead of a nondescript device sitting on a shelf, it’d be a customizable, voice-activated helper on wheels that could maneuver around the house and pitch in wherever needed (think Rosie from The Jetsons with less metal). Additionally, I juggle a lot of mental load for my family like making doctor and dentist appointments or filling out forms for daycare. It would be great if I could just forward the email to my digital assistant and then have it actively remind me or my husband when important deadlines are approaching. We’ve definitely missed a few between two jobs and two kids!”

Leslie Witt, VP of Design at Intuit

“If women were fully in charge of designing the world, they’d lean into the communal and the actual — start with observation and empathy, and then query the crowd for their creativity, needs and inspiration. Digital assistants would be relational, context-aware, anticipatory, and boundary-less. They would have a partnership mindset, not limiting themselves to influence within the constraints of their platform of origin (think Google, Amazon, Apple). Their ability to deliver would be based on the connections they made across divides, communicating and developing relationships with ‘other’ assistants, working together toward common goals. Credit would go to the assist. They’d focus on masterminding logistics, reinforcing routine, and shepherding emotional needs. They’d measure themselves by the things they’d aided in getting done – the number of items crossed off to-do lists, the anticipated, avoided and resolved conflicts, the ease and joy they’d helped bring to all of our dinner-tables. They’d use their ever-listening presence to ensure our lives had been made both easier and better.”

Bethany Bongiorno, CEO of Humane, Inc. 

“When a team lacks diversity they are at risk of assuming that their collective experience represents that of all humans. If that team does not include women, by default they are at risk of not building for the human experience of 50% of the world’s population — and, by extension, potentially 50% of their customer base. The industry is chasing a vision of a digital assistant that is deeply personal — one that understands, anticipates, adapts, and is innately human. We won’t have a shot at this unless we start with diverse teams — inclusive of gender, race, experience, and perspective. Having more women as part of the design process for things like digital assistants will bring us one step closer to building the right solution for humanity overall.”

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Meet The Founders Of Black Women Talk Tech

Why Digital Assistants Shouldn't Only Be Women

How You Speak To Siri Matters – Here's Why

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 17:12:17 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Pinterest Un Intuit Amazon Echo Alexa Rosie Google Amazon Leslie Witt Donna Lamar Jen Chan Bethany Bongiorno Humane Inc
UOMA Beauty Launched a Collection Inspired By Carnival, and OMG, the Glitter Lipsticks

Black-owned beauty brand UOMA Beauty just launched an all-new collection inspired by inspired by Carnival celebrations from around the world. The Black Magic Carnival Collection officially launched on Feb. 27, and it's a range of eight items all named after a location where the iconic festival takes place. The collection includes two glitter-infused lipsticks named "Bahia" and "Trinidad," two bronzing highlighters called "Notting Hill" and "Barbados," three pairs of lashes, and a 10-shade eye shadow palette.

The products all range from $16 to $44, and you can even buy them in "Carnival Kits" that were personally put together by beauty gurus Jackie Aina and Patrick Starrr, who are the faces of the collection. Read ahead to check out all the products and to shop.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:44:02 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Makeup Beauty Collections Trinidad Bahia Barbados Notting Hill Beauty News Beauty Shopping Patrick Starrr Jackie Aina UOMA Beauty Glitter Lipsticks
Keeping It Real: How to master the art of execution Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:41:43 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Opinion Goals Lifestyle Goal Setting Validation Action Radio Fear Agent Winning Execution Columns Expectations Night Routine Prospect Setting Goals Prospecting Keeping It Real Follow Through Select Morning Routine Losing Peter Lorimer Show Up Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham got married, but some family didn’t attend—guess why? ]]> Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:40:51 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Lifestyle Weddings Queerty Matthew Mitcham Queerty Ever After Queerty Ever After News Gay Olympians 10 Exfoliating Toners That Make Getting Glowy Skin Shockingly Easy

Picking a favorite skincare product is like being forced to pick a favorite child, but whenever someone asks me the one I can't live without, I almost always say exfoliating toner. It wasn't until I started recommending one to every friend who would ask what their skincare routine was missing did I realize how much I loved them. Now, I use an exfoliating toner on a daily basis before bed to keep my combination skin in check. The result: a glowier, smoother, and softer complexion.

Years ago, toners were primarily formulated as an astringent, with dehydrating alcohol as the hero ingredient. Eventually, the industry evolved and split the toner category into two branches: toners that hydrate and soften, and toners that exfoliate. The latter does so using a family of active acids, like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and polyhydroxy acids (PHAs). While each family functions differently (lactic acid, an AHA, smooths out the surface of the skin by promoting cell turnover; salicylic acid, a BHA, can cut through oil and bacteria hiding deep inside your pores; gluconolactone, a PHA, resurfaces skin and helps other skincare ingredient penetrate deeper) the main goal for each one is singular: to promote a brighter, radiant complexion.

Before you find the best exfoliating toner for you, there are a few things you should know. First, too much daily exfoliation can be, well, too much. How often you use an exfoliating toner in your routine totally depends on the formulation and your skin's sensitivity. If a toner includes a lot of AHAs, using it every other day will suffice, while BHAs are known to be of a gentler nature so they can be used daily. The best method is to introduce any new skincare product with active ingredients slowly and avoid using in tandem with other exfoliating tools or product, like a physical scrub, acid serum, or cleansing brush - and don't forget to wear sunscreen. Acids can make your skin more reactive to the sun, so protection is key.

Bottom line: listen to your skin as you go; pain or tingling isn't an immediate sign that something is "working." If a product consistently causes discomfort, it may be too powerful for your skin and that means it's time move on to the next. Luckily, I have a lot of favorite exfoliating toners that are compatible for every skin type and texture out there, so you've got options.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:30:09 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Beauty Skin Care Bha Toner Beauty Trends Exfoliator
Freddie Mercury Close street sign unveiled where the World Zoroastrian Organisation’s HQ is located

A short secluded section of Hanworth Road, starting outside World Zoroastrian House (WZH) in Feltham has been renamed after one of its most famous residents. ‘Freddie Mercury Close’ was officially unveiled today (Monday 24 February 2020) by Freddie’s sister, Kashmira Bulsara, and the Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow, Councillor Tony Louki.

At a ceremony, on a very damp morning, surrounded by friends, family, residents and fans of the great singer and all the UK Committee members and supporters of the World Zoroastrian Organisation (WZO), Kashmira pulled back the special cover to reveal the new street name.  The sign is placed outside the WZO’s head office, a Faith Group into which Freddie was born and remained up until his death.  The WZO is now housed at 1 Freddie Mercury Close.

The street name change came about after a conversation between the Mayor and Darayus S Motivala, Joint Honorary. Secretary of WZO, at an Inter Faith event at WZH last July when a number of guests were delayed as they could not find the venue.  Darayus mentioned to the Mayor that other visitors to the building were having the same problem and asked if this mainly private section of the road could be given a unique name and postcode.  When the Mayor asked what name should be used, Darayus instantly suggested Freddie Mercury Close for very obvious reasons.

After the street unveiling, the guests were welcomed into WZO’s Communal hall by Darayus Motivala and introduced some of the dignitaries who had taken time off to attend the ceremony. They included Lord Karan Bilimoria of Chelsea, Seema Malhotra the local Labour MP, Shahpur Captain, Chairman of WZO and of course the Mayor and Kashmira Bulsara. Ervad Jimmy Madon, WZO’s Youth Co-Ordinator, started the proceedings with a minute’s silence for Ervad Rustam Bhedwar and Ervad Marazban Dastur followed by a short prayer with 3 other young priests. He then briefly outlined the principles of Zoroastrianism and gave an introduction to WZO.

Jacky Smith who manages the Official International Queen Fan Club spoke about Freddie Mercury describing him as a warm and funny man. Tony Louki, then talked about the diversity in the Borough of Hounslow and mentioned how he enjoyed the Boi ceremony when he first visited the centre last July, particularly the smell of the sandalwood and the serenity of the prayers. Lord Karan Bilimoria then spoke about the remarkable achievements of the Zoroastrians in India, Britain and around the world. He remarked that it is in the spirit of Zoroastrianism to put in the hard work and be at the top of the game. How else could such a miniscule community achieve so much. He thanked WZO for its work and said “Wow, what an address to have for a Zoroastrian organisation”. He then quoted from two of Freddie’s songs, “We are the champions of the world” and “Don’t stop me now”.

Sammy Bhiwandiwalla, President of WZO gave an interesting audio-visual presentation on the notable Zoroastrian in India in the performing arts who were influenced by the western culture from the British. Amongst others, he talked and in some cases, showed video extracts about the composer-pianist Kaikhosru Shahpurji Sorabji, the conductor Zubin Mehta, the contemporary dancer Astad Deboo and Freddie Mercury. He then went on to talk about the next generation of stars who have been sponsored by WZO. These include the Coloratura Soprano Farah Ghadiali, the two sisters who are accomplished ballet and modern dancers, Pia and Tara Sutaria and the Bansuri player Jessica Mistry who has played at a number of WZO events and was present at the ceremony.

Shahpur Captain then presented souvenir medallions depicting the World Zoroastrian House to all the speakers and to Angela Parton who has been working tirelessly for many years in Feltham preserving and enhancing the town’s memorial to Freddie Mercury. It is planned to turn this into a memorial garden with a bust of Freddie.

After the presentations, some of the guests went to the Satayesh Gah to witness a Boi ceremony performed by WZO’s resident priest, Fali Madon and his brother, Jimmy. A number of these guests including Lord Karan remarked on the openness of this room with a lot of natural light.

Although Freddie was born in Zanzibar (a part Tanzania) under his family name of Farrokh Bulsara, he moved to Feltham along with his family to a house at 22 Gladstone Avenue. After first studying art at Isleworth Polytechnic, now West Thames College, Mercury studied graphic art and design at Ealing Art College, now a part of University of West London, from where he graduated with a diploma in 1969, a year before he formed the band with whom he will forever be associated, Queen.

Councillor Tony Louki, Mayor of Hounslow said: ‘We are delighted to be here today further commemorating this talented star and adopted son, someone who entertained so many people during his lifetime. Although Freddie Mercury died in 1991, his legacy lives on through his wonderful music as well as his being fondly remembered by fans worldwide that especially visit this town. A blue plaque has been placed at the house he lived in at Gladstone Avenue. Freddie is also graciously honoured by the Friends of Feltham Pond, residents led by Angela Parton, who also maintain and tend the recently refurbished memorial space around the now thriving tree on Feltham High Street planted by the late Jer Bulsara, his Mother.  I must thank The World Zoroastrian Organisation for organising today’s event and salute its now most appropriate and unique address of 1 Freddie Mercury Close, Feltham, Middlesex, TW13 5DF”.

Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Parks and Leisure said: “I am so pleased to be here today to see the unveiling of Freddie Mercury Close, which just adds to the wonderful cultural aspects of Feltham and the borough as a whole. Personally, I have always been a huge fan of Queen – who can forget their powerful performance at Live Aid in July 1985 just six years before he died.  It was also a great pleasure to meet Kashmira, his sister so a big thanks is due to her for coming here today and helping ensure that Freddie’s legacy lives on.”

The Chairman of WZO said: “The World Zoroastrian Organisation offers its sincere thanks to the Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow and the staff working in the various departments who have helped to name this street ‘Freddie Mercury Close’ in a very short time.  It is therefore very fitting that the Mayor and Freddie’s sister, Kashmira Bulsara, are unveiling the street sign today in the presence of so many dignitaries including Lord Karan Bilimoria of Chelsea and the local MP, Seema Malhotra.  Freddie was born into the Zoroastrian faith and had a home in Feltham.  He is a one of a number of Zoroastrian who have excelled themselves in the world of arts as in other fields.

WZO set up its HQ and Community Centre in Feltham a few years ago and we have been made very welcome by the local Councillors, the Inter-Faith groups and other local groups and associations.  WZO will play its part in working with the local community.”

WZO Background

The World Zoroastrian Organisation is a faith-based charity, founded in 1980. It has a worldwide membership with associated organisations set up in India, USA, Canada and New Zealand.  It is funded entirely by donations from individuals and other charitable trusts in the UK and abroad.  Its charity giving is mainly for medical, educational and poverty-relief causes on a worldwide basis.  Each applicant is considered on a case-by-case basis.   It partakes in local Inter-Faith activities.  The Community Centre has a Communal hall and a Satayesh Gah which are open to all.

WZO’s three principle objectives are:

  • Charitable donations, mainly for medical, educational and poverty-relief causes.  It will also considers applications for preserving the Zoroastrian heritage.
  • Dissemination of information on Zoroastrians and Zoroastrianism through publication, seminars and Inter-Faith groups.
  • Preserving the rights of Zoroastrians to practise their faith.

For further information, please contact:

Darayus S Motivala, WZO at or +44 7944 488318.

Mike McGann, LB of Hounslow at or +44 7976 877642

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:10:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs UK London News Life India Labour Chelsea New Zealand Freddie Mercury Tanzania Parks Zanzibar BOI Jimmy PIA Freddie Inter Faith Hounslow Zubin Mehta Feltham Karan Astad Deboo India Britain Kashmira Farrokh Bulsara Karan Bilimoria University of West London Tara Sutaria Jacky Smith Darayus WZO Faith Group World Zoroastrian Organisation Community Centre Feltham High Street Jer Bulsara World Zoroastrian Organisation 's HQ Hanworth Road Kashmira Bulsara Tony Louki World Zoroastrian Organisation WZO Kashmira Darayus Motivala Chelsea Seema Malhotra Kashmira Bulsara Ervad Jimmy Madon Youth Co Ordinator Ervad Rustam Bhedwar Ervad Marazban Dastur Official International Queen Fan Club Sammy Bhiwandiwalla Kaikhosru Shahpurji Sorabji Farah Ghadiali Bansuri Jessica Mistry World Zoroastrian House Angela Parton Satayesh Gah Fali Madon Isleworth Polytechnic West Thames College Mercury Ealing Art College Tony Louki Mayor Gladstone Avenue Freddie Feltham Pond Freddie Mercury Close Feltham Middlesex Samia Chaudhary Freddie Mercury Close The World Zoroastrian Organisation Seema Malhotra Freddie India USA Canada Mike McGann Mike McGann@hounslow
5 Spring Hair Color Trends That Will Have You Dialing Your Salon ASAP

Somehow we're already almost three months into 2020. If you missed the "new year, new me" phase, we're happy to report that you're just in time for the beauty equivalent of Spring cleaning: changing up your look. And what better way to do it than with a new hair color?

Sure, you can try a new eyeliner technique or lipstick shade, but the best way to shed the old and celebrate the new is with a fresh hairstyle. Whether you're after a subtle tweak or bold transformation, there are plenty of Spring hair color trends to choose from this year.

"Things are going to be a lot more fun for hair this Spring," colorist and Matrix brand ambassador George Papanikolas said. "There will be brighter blonds, vivid colors, and dimensional brunettes. The mood in Spring is always lighter, brighter, and more fun."

Ahead, Papanikolas and Chicago-based colorist Karissa Schaudt shared their biggest hair color trend predictions for Spring 2020 - you may want to book your salon appointment now.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:00:10 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Chicago Beauty Spring Hair Hair Color Beauty Trends Hair Trends Spring Beauty George Papanikolas Karissa Schaudt
I’m 28, I Travel Full-Time & This Is How Much I Spent On My Trip To Paros, Greece

Welcome to Travel Diaries, a Refinery29 series where we tag along as real women embark on trips around the world and track their travel expenses down to the last cent. Here, we offer a detailed, intimate account of when, where, and how our peers spend their vacation days and disposable income: all the meals, adventures, indulgences, setbacks, and surprises.

This week’s travel diary: A 28-year-old PR consultant who travels full-time, shares a glimpse into her week in Paros, Greece, working and exploring with a group of fellow digital nomads.

For questions, feedback, or if you’re interested in tracking your travel expenses during an upcoming trip email us at

Age: 28
Occupation: Public Relations Consultant 
Salary: I’m a consultant with a handful of different clients at any given time, so my income varies substantially from month to month, with a minimum of $5,000 per month. I’m on track to make somewhere between $65,000 and $80,000 this year.
Travel Companion: I’m meeting up with a group of friends – 20 of us in total. We’ve all met through traveling and are excited for a big reunion in Greece. 
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Trip Location: Paros, Greece
Trip Length: 7 Nights
Annual # Of Vacation Days: I work remotely and can travel when I choose, but I am working while I travel.
Companion’s # of Vacation Days: Ditto for my travel companions.

Costs: I’m flying from Milan to Paros, with a layover in Athens. The first flight is on Aegean Air, and the second on Sky Express, for a total of $297.57. I leave at 11:00 a.m. and land at 7:10 p.m. with a one hour time difference. After Paros, I’m heading to another nearby Greek island called Naxos.  Naxos and Paros are part of the Cyclades (the most famous group of Greek Islands which also include Santorini and Mykonos) – any islands within this group are very easy to ferry between, so I wanted to take advantage and see more islands while in the area. The ferry from Paros to Naxos leaves at 2:00 p.m. and takes under an hour.

Total: $297.57

Costs: I’m staying at Naoussa Bay Villas in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom villa with three of my friends. The property has four more villas all situated around two pools, and our friends have booked some of the other villas so we can all hang out as a large group (but still have a bit of privacy). For the week, I paid $545 for a private room and a shared bathroom with one other girl. Our villa complex has a total of 20 bedrooms (four bedrooms per house), so we’re splitting the cost of the place based on room size (those with private room and bathroom paying the most; private room and shared bathroom the middle; shared room and shared bathroom paying the least).  All other costs (food, flights, etc) are totally separate.  

Total: $545

Day One

7:45 a.m. – Prior to Greece, I was working remotely from Milan for a few weeks, and Portugal before that.  I’ve been working remotely and traveling full time for a few years now, and love the location-independent lifestyle. It has allowed me to see the world while continuing to grow my business, which is the best of both worlds! On my way into Milan, I learned the hard way that a cab from the airport to the city center costs about $115, so on the way back to the airport, I’m taking the train. I use the My Taxi app to call a cab to the train at 7:45 a.m. so that I don’t have to drag my luggage for the 15-minute walk. $14.92

8:10 a.m. – My cab took the long way and drove at a glacial pace, so instead of having time to get a ticket and a coffee at the train station, I sprint straight to the platform. Thankfully I make it.

9:10 a.m. – I get lucky and the train conductor never checks the car that I am in, so my train ride to the airport is free! Check-in at the airport is quick and easy, and although my checked suitcase is a few kilos overweight, the counter attendant lets me shift weight into my carry-on and check the second bag for free instead of paying an additional overweight fee. $39.00

9:45 a.m. – In the past few years of travel, I’ve realized I much prefer showing up at the airport early. Travel is supposed to be fun, so I try to reduce as much stress from transit days as possible. My Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card gets me free lounge access, so after security I hang out there, fill up my S’well bottle, make cappuccino, and have some hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. I throw an apple into my bag for later, too.  

12:30 p.m. – During my layover in Athens I have to get my bags from baggage claim and recheck them since I’m flying a different airline to Paros. The check-in line is hectic, almost all flights are delayed, and clearly their systems are not very organized because the woman at the counter has no record of whether I’ve paid for baggage or not. Thankfully, she let me check my suitcase for free since it’s her system that is faulty. I’m winning with my bags today! 

1:00 p.m. – Another airport means another lounge. I make myself comfortable with another coffee and some spanakopita while I get a head start on work for the upcoming week.  

7:30 p.m. – I’ve landed in Paros and thankfully my accommodation was able to arrange a cab to pick me up from the airport. It was a full flight but surprisingly there are no other cabs in the area, so calling ahead was a smart move. $27.86

8:30 p.m. – One of my friends who’s staying in my villa has already arrived and is waiting for me when I get in; we haven’t seen each other in a few months so it’s great to have some time to catch up one-on-one before the whole group gets together. Since all I’ve eaten is lounge snacks, I’m starving; we head immediately out to dinner. For the first night in Greece, we go to a nearby waterfront taverna at the recommendation of the villa. Our waiter raves about the zucchini balls and feta with honey, so we order those alongside a seafood platter, and one cocktail each. My friend surprises me and picks up the tab.  

11:30 p.m. – As a thank you for dinner, I decide that drinks are on me for the evening. We post up at The Bar (aptly named) and sit outside, enjoying the warm summer breeze. We each have two of their specialty cocktails before calling it a night. $49.00

Daily Total: $130.78

Day Two 

9:15 a.m. – The rest of our friends got in over the course of the previous evening and this morning, so for our first day as a group, we’ve planned a big boat day to get the party started.  We have a private sailboat for nine hours of sailing, snorkeling, and exploring, with food and alcohol included ($61.29 per person). While it was organized in advance, one friend put it on his credit card and lets us all pay him back upon arrival.  Another one of my friends organized a van to get us to and from the boat, so all logistics for the day are taken care of ($11.14 per person). $72.43

1:00 p.m. – Greece is even more stunning than I remember! The water is such a vibrant shade of blue, and it’s the perfect weather to be out on a boat. We’ve already stopped for one swimming break, and by the time they bring out lunch, we’re all starving. The spread includes greek salad, pasta salad, tzatziki, bread, grilled veggies, and grilled chicken; it’s delicious and exactly what we need. Greek wine is also flowing!

5:30 p.m. – We spend the rest of the day swimming, dancing, laughing, and catching up, and by the end of the day we’re exhausted. It was the perfect start to this trip! The van is waiting for us at the port when we dock, and we head back to the villas sunburnt and smiling.  

7:00 p.m. – After a shower and change of clothes I feel like a new person. We’re all getting hungry again, and a group of eight of us head into the nearby town of Naousa to grab a bite to eat at Barbarossa. We sit at one of the long outdoor tables, perfect for group dining, and order white wine, sparkling water, and tzatziki for the table. A friend and I split a seafood risotto and garden pasta for our mains. The worst part of big group dinners is dealing with the check, but all of the mains are similarly priced so we agree to split the bill evenly.  $41.23

9:30 p.m. – While it would be fun to go out for our first night together, the collective is beat.  We walk back to the villas and call it a night.   

Daily Total: $113.66

Day Three 

11:00 a.m. – I slept for a full twelve hours last night – clearly I needed the rest. When I finally get up and make my way to the kitchen the rest of my roommates are sitting around chatting. It’s great to wake up to your close friends hanging out, plus, they’ve made coffee.  

12:45 p.m. – Just after noon, my roommates and I take a leisurely walk into town, which takes about 20 minutes. There are so many people zipping around the island on ATVs and scooters that we’re thinking of renting some for the week to avoid walking on the sidewalk-less roads.  

1:15 p.m. – One of our friends recommended a quaint indoor/outdoor café for brunch called Sousouro. I order a mango turmeric smoothie, a cappuccino, egg and avocado toast, and sparkling water.  It is more food than I needed but it is great. Since all of us are working while we travel, we’re always scoping out cafés with strong wifi where you can sit for a few hours at a time on a laptop without being in the way – this is perfect for that. I’m lucky that I’ve met so many incredible friends in the past few years traveling, all of whom have at least some ability to work remotely (ranging from 1-2 months at a time to full-time remote), which is how we’re all able to meet up in Greece.  $23.40

3:15 p.m. – Since it’s a holiday we have the rest of the day to relax and explore instead of needing to work. The town of Naousa is exactly what I picture when I think of Greece – small winding alleyways shaped by white buildings with blue accents. Tiny cafés, shops, and bars are everywhere, but since this island is relatively small it doesn’t feel over-crowded or cheesily touristy. One friend and I spend the rest of the day walking around and shopping. I get a blue and white Ikat print tank from one store ($38.13), and a new bikini ($167.09) that’s reversible and a gold and white wrap top ($50.46) from our favorite store, White in Paros. There’s another bikini I’m considering, but I hold off since it’s only our first day in town. I don’t shop very often since I live out of a suitcase, so these new additions to my wardrobe feel special. $255.68

5:00 p.m. – Shopping is exhausting! My roommate and I take a seat at café Karino for an Aperol Spritz. $11.14 

5:45 p.m. – We finish our Spritzes and stop at a grocery store on our way home for bottled water, wine, coffee, milk, cereal, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and sunscreen. We split the cost evenly since we’re sharing a bathroom and can use all the same products. $20.13

6:00 p.m. – Back at home we grab two more friends for a workout. Thankfully there’s a lot of outdoor space at the property, so we pick a spot out of view of the rest of our friends to blast music and do a HIIT workout. I’ve had the Kayla Itsines PDF on my phone for years and it’s been a wonderful way to stay in shape when you don’t have a gym. In 28 minutes we’re all dripping in sweat.  

8:00 p.m. – Three of us head back into town for a quiet dinner (it is a Monday, after all) and stumble upon Safran. We split a quinoa salad and chickpeas to start, and automatically know this was a good decision. The baked chickpeas have a comforting quality that makes you wish you were eating them in front of a fireplace on a cold day in the mountains – we would return for the chickpeas alone, they were that delicious. For mains, I get a grilled salmon with a side of spinach, and my friends each order chicken skewers. We opt for sparkling water instead of wine and split the bill evenly. $26.35 

Daily Total: $336.70

Day Four 

11:00 a.m. – I’m loving this schedule of sleeping in, and again I wake up to my roommates having coffee in our living room. I grab a cup and make myself a bowl of cereal for breakfast.  

12:30 p.m. – After walking to town and back a few times we’ve decided that an ATV is definitely the right call, and we’ve found a place that rents pink ones. It’s my Barbie car dreams from childhood come to life! For the next five days, an ATV is $225 with insurance and helmets, so my roommate and I split one. $112.50

1:15 p.m. – Of course they give us the ATV with an empty tank of gas. We head straight to the nearest station and fill up, guessing one tank will get us through the week. $16.70

2:30 p.m. – Since Naousa is a pretty small town, we bump into four more of our friends after getting the ATV. They’re headed to lunch at Taverna Glafkos and we join them. The view from the restaurant’s back patio is incredible – we’re looking over crystal clear water that’s sparkling in shades of blue and green, with white Grecian-style buildings in the background. It truly looks like a postcard. The food doesn’t disappoint either: we split tzatziki and sparkling water for the table, and I order a salad that is huge, fresh and filling, topped with pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and local cheese. My friends order salads, pasta, and fresh fish and every single plate is essentially licked clean by the end of the meal (one was literally licked clean). We each pay for what we ordered since some people got beers and the dishes were priced differently. $23.00

3:30 p.m. – It’s a workday today, so one roommate and I take our ATV to a nearby bakery to get an early start on work. I don’t technically need to be online until 9 a.m. West Coast time, which is 7:00 p.m. in Greece, but I like getting a head start at the beginning of the week to set myself up for success. This is my favorite time zone for work because I have the entire day to do whatever I want. Beach all day, then work in the evening? Yes, please! And working until midnight isn’t that challenging when you can sleep as late as you want in the morning. We order iced lattes and waters, and my roommate picks up the tab since I got gas for our ATV.  

5:30 p.m. – We are thrilled to drive back to the villas with our pink ATV, and meet our friends outside for another Kayla workout. I find it way more motivating to work out with friends, so I’m grateful that this group is happy to join me.  

6:30 p.m. – Back to work! There’s a big group of people sitting at the table with laptops, so I join them and keep on my productive streak for the day. Our careers range from writers, content creators, digital marketers, photographers, graphic designers, IT specialists, HR recruiters, project managers, web developers, and more – it’s amazing to see how many jobs are branching out to allow remote work. We’ve all met within the past few years, primarily getting introduced through friends of friends, ultimately forming a larger digital nomad network. Our ages span early twenties to late forties (and a few beyond), all originally from a range of countries, though the group is primarily native English speakers from the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. I love that this group of travelers is composed of “yes” people  – someone can suggest a trip and before you know it there are more than two dozen people on board!  

8:45 p.m. – Tonight we’ve planned a family dinner at the villas to get everyone together. A few people (not me!) volunteer to cook, and they make salads, pasta, cauliflower steaks, and chicken breasts. We all chip in for groceries, and everyone brings their own wine. I’m happy I got a head start on work because it allowed me to take part in dinner, which is during my prime working hours. I keep my laptop open to respond to emails throughout the meal, as do about half of my friends, which isn’t a weird sight for a group of digital nomads. We all stay around the pool chatting and laughing until about 1 a.m. $9.00

Daily Total: $161.20

Day Five 

10:00 a.m. – I stick with my normal breakfast routine of coffee and cereal at home, but a bit less leisurely than the prior mornings since we have plans to go explore today.

11:15 a.m. – Five of us hop on our ATVs and are off to explore Paros. About 20 minutes away there’s a marble cave where they’ve harvested a lot of the marble that has been used in historical structures around Greece like the Acropolis. Some estimate that as much as 75% of all the sculptures created in the Aegean islands were made out of the marble from Paros. It’s a beautiful drive and feels great to have the sun on our backs and the wind in our hair as we make our way around the island. It feels much safer than riding ATVs in Mykonos because the roads are pretty quiet, and we frequently go for minutes at a time without seeing any other vehicles.  

11:35 a.m. – The caves are far from a typical tourist destination, with a sign that says enter at your own risk and no map, guide, lighting, or even a proper entrance. Thankfully a couple is walking out as we walk in, and they advise us to take the first right because it will lead us back out, and the rest of the turns appeared to be dead ends. We have the lights from our phones to guide us as we venture into the pitch-black cave.  

12:35 p.m. – It takes about 40 minutes to get through the cave, and my mind is going back and forth between being extremely impressed with the otherworldly surroundings, and scared of the fact that we were in the middle of nowhere in an abandoned cave with no visible light and very slick terrain. At first glance, using the limited light from our iPhones, it looks like a regular cave, with stalagmites and stalactites, but upon closer inspection, you can see the wave of marble in the walls. Other than the sound of my friends chatting and drips falling off the stalactites, the cave is completely silent, though I’m sure it houses dozens if not hundreds of (thankfully) sleeping bats.  We all make it out unharmed, and I go back to focusing on how incredible it is instead of the intense feeling of claustrophobia. Word to the wise: wear sneakers and bring a headlamp.  

1:15 p.m. – After our cave exploration it’s time for a snack! We drive to the nearby town of Lefkes, which is a village in the middle of the mountains. Our first stop is a beer and meze at a small outdoor café facing the main church where we toast our (slightly) adventurous morning.  $4.45 

2:45 p.m. – Now that we’ve had a bit of a snack we proceed to wander through the winding streets, impressed with the beauty of this town’s white walls and vibrant flowers. We run into two more friends, and all sit down to lunch at a local taverna. I order shrimp and orzo, a Greek coffee, and a large sparkling water. $24.49

4:00 p.m. – On our way home, we stop at a beach – we could all use a dip after wandering in the heat all day. We decided on day one in Paros to never leave the house without a swimsuit, so we’re all prepped for a beach stop. We climb over rock structures to find a small beach and the water is wonderfully refreshing.  

6:00 p.m. – Another evening Kayla, but our friends are dropping like flies. I only have one workout buddy today.  

7:00 p.m. – A lot of the group convened by the pool to share stories of their explorations from the day, and it’s clear (in my mind) that our day was the winner. A large group heads into town for dinner, but I stay back, along with the others who work US hours, to get some work done and eat leftovers from family dinner. We all sit on the patio and work until about midnight when the exhaustion from being in the sun all day takes over.  

Daily Total: $28.94

Day Six

11:00 a.m. – Another leisurely morning at home, I take my coffee and Kindle by the pool. I recently listened to a podcast that featured Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani and it inspired me to buy her book Brave Not Perfect. 

12:30 p.m. – A friend and I hop on our ATVs and head to a beachfront taverna for lunch. Inspired by the chickpeas from Safran we order them again, along with with shrimp souvlaki, a Greek salad, a large water, and a carafe of rosé. We split the bill evenly since we shared everything. $18.72 

1:45 p.m. – My friend has to head back to the villas to work, so I’m happy that I took my own ATV because a few other friends are at a nearby beach. I join them and have never been happier jumping off a dock into Greece’s incredible water (it’s hot!). Since we’re here at the end of May, which is the early side of the tourist season, they aren’t charging for beach chairs yet, so we enjoy the seats and umbrellas at no cost. June gets a bit busier, but July and August are prime time in the Greek islands.

4:30 p.m. – We thought a few hours of sun were enough for the day, but as soon as we ATV back to the villas we change our minds and hop into the pool. We alternate jumping in the water then letting the sun dry us off for about an hour, before another Kayla workout. Since this isn’t a vacation, it’s important to me to keep a regular workout schedule; I’m pretty pleased with my dedication in Greece.  

7:00 p.m. – The US hours crew assembles at our normal outdoor table to begin our workday. It’s so nice having other people working the same hours – it’s like the comradery you get from going into the office, but without the stress or monotony of a regular desk job. We all appreciate the fact that we’ve worked hard to find careers that work with our lifestyle, and do not take for granted the fact that we’re able to be in Greece and call it a “normal workweek.”

9:00 p.m. – Work is in full force but the group starts to get hungry, so a friend offers to drive into town and pick up food. I order a Greek salad.  $6.50 

12:00 p.m. – Done for the day! As much as I want to join some of our group in town at one of the bars, I know I’m better off getting sleep now and joining all of the last day festivities tomorrow.  

Daily Total: $25.22

Day Seven 

10:00 a.m. – Coffee and cereal at home – no surprise here.  

11:00 a.m. – For our last day in Paros we are spending the day exploring more of the island’s beaches. Our ATV biker gang of five head out for the farthest beach on our list first, with another four planning to join us after they visit the marble caves that we saw the other day.  

11:30 a.m. – We arrive at Golden Beach and the bartender confirms that today is the last day of free beach chairs before they start charging for the season. We consider this to be a win and celebrate with a local Mythos beer. $4.00

1:00 p.m. – We walk around the beach, climb up some rocks for a view, and lounge in our beach chairs for an hour and a half before getting hungry for lunch. The nearby town of Piso Livadi is our lunch destination of choice, and we pick the portside restaurant Markakis. Between five of us, we split tzatziki, spicy cheese dip, fresh fish, Greek salads, and sparkling water. We haven’t had a bad or even a mediocre meal since we’ve been on the island, and this is no exception. $18.73

3:00 p.m. – Our other friends experienced a bit of technical difficulties with one of their ATVs, but they are back up and running and agree to meet us at Punda Beach. Since it’s a proper beach club we pay for the chairs ($6) and order a round of Aperol Spritzes ($10). $16.00

5:30 p.m. – It’s been such a fun afternoon at the beach club, but sadly it’s time to head back since some people still have to get to work. Those who didn’t participate in Spritz hour drive us home.  

7:30 p.m. – For our last night, we have a group wine tasting at a local winery called Moraitis. We order a glass to accompany us on the tour, and then have a tasting with six varietals included. Greek wine isn’t typically my favorite, but I really like one of the whites and one of the rosés. My table gets a bit peckish and also orders two cheese plates. We’re all in good spirits leaving, and a few friends and I opt to split a bottle for our walk back into town (no ATVs tonight!). $36.05

10:00 p.m. – Back in town, the whole group sits at Itria Cocktail Bar, and we discover that they make delicious espresso martinis. I pay for three of them ($37.20 for three) on my card and then friends pay me back in cash. $12.40

11:00 p.m. – One friend has made friends with the bartenders, and before we know it there is a free pizza on our table. What a win!

11:30 p.m. – From Itria we walk to another bar with music so we can dance the night away. I have a gin and tonic to end the night, and put a friend’s Aperol Spritz on my card ($26.98 for two) and she pays me cash again. $13.49 

1:30 a.m. – Danced out, we begin the walk home.  It was a perfect last night as a whole group, and I’m in full denial that we need to say goodbyes in the morning.  

Daily Total: $100.67

Day Eight 

9:30 a.m. – Sadly, it’s our last day in Paros. I left packing for the last minute, but thankfully packing cubes make it way easier. I don’t unpack each cube, instead, I put the unzipped cubes (which are organized by item type) in my drawers, so all I have to do is zip them up and put them back in my suitcase. I’m packed, showered, and ready to go in less than an hour, and conveniently so are my roommates, so we make a pot of coffee and grilled cheese sandwiches from the leftover ingredients in our fridge before our cab to the ferry port. Carbs and cheese are necessary after a late night out.  

11:15 a.m. – Organized the night before by our villa host, a van picks up a group of us to drive us to the ferry port.  In true “digital nomad” style one person is taking a work call from the van. Split between eight of us, the van is very affordable and we pay the driver in cash with the leftover Euros from each of our wallets.  $6.00

12:00 p.m. – We have extra time at the port for lunch, and pick the best of the questionable options that are within walking distance (with luggage) from the boat. The whole area is comprised of high-volume, low-quality spots focused on turning tourists that need a quick bite before the ferry, so our expectations are limited. I have one last plate of tzatziki and a beet salad. An Aperol Spritz sounds like the perfect hair of the dog, but since they didn’t have Aperol, we improvised and asked them to make it with Limoncello instead. FYI, Aperol Spritz is the widely consumed version for a reason. $9.15

2:00 p.m. – We pay for the ferry and are on our way. Paros, you’re amazing and I will definitely be back. $23.00

Daily Total: $38.15

How did you prepare for this trip?
For every trip I take, I try to look at a balance of travel sites (CNTraveler, Travel + Leisure, New York Times, and The Telegraph as my typical go-to’s), mixed with recommendations from friends or things I’ve saved on Instagram. Since a lot of my friends also travel full time it’s pretty rare to go somewhere and not have at least one recommendation from someone I know.

Did you use credit card points/miles to pay for parts of this trip? If so, please explain further:
While I didn’t use points for this trip, I’m a huge advocate of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card! You get three times the points on travel and dining which makes up for the card fee tenfold, not to mention lounge access and no foreign transaction fees. In the past year, points from this card have gotten me round trip flights to Cape Town (twice!), round trip flights plus a week’s accommodation in Rio, weekend accommodations in London and New York, and more! On the topic of cards, I also highly recommend the Charles Schwab debit card. It reimburses you for all ATM fees at the end of each month, which makes a big difference when you’re consistently withdrawing cash from foreign ATMs. 

When did you book the flight? Do you think you got a good deal? 
I booked the flight about seven weeks ahead of the trip. Since Paros has such a small airport, I am happy with this deal. The long layover gives me plenty of time to collect and re-check my bags, and get ahead on work for the upcoming week. A lot of my friends ended up flying into Athens and taking a ferry because they weren’t able to find flight deals that were reasonable (either in terms of duration or price).

Do you have credit card debt as a result of booking this vacation? If so, how much?
Nope – just how most people stick to a fixed monthly rent, I stick to a fixed monthly travel budget that I won’t let myself surpass. Balancing more expensive weeks (like this one) with less expensive locations helps a lot, as do credit card points from my Chase Sapphire Reserve. This trip stayed within my budget.

What was your favorite part of the trip? 
The boat day! It was nice to have a private boat with just our group of friends, and it was such a beautiful way to see and experience the island. The food was delicious, too!

What was the best meal or food you ate while you were there?
The chickpea dish at Safran is definitely one of the best, with everything at Glafkos also very high on the list. But as I mentioned, we never had a bad meal the whole week! 

Is there a tourist trap you wish you had avoided?
Paros isn’t a very touristy island (or at least not when I was there) so it felt way more authentic than some of the more “noteworthy” islands like Santorini or Mykonos.  

What advice would you give someone who is traveling to the same location?
Definitely rent ATVs and go explore. The town of Naoussa is amazing, but there is also so much else to see and do from stunning secluded beaches to adorable little towns.  

Is there anything about your trip you would do differently in retrospect?
Stay longer! It would be great to have a few more days to keep driving around the island to more small towns and secluded beaches, as these were some of the most picturesque spots on the island.

Would you stay at your villa again?
Absolutely! It wasn’t five-star luxury by any means, but this property was perfect for a large group and the host was extremely friendly.  

Where were you located in the specific city and would you recommend staying in that part of town?
Naoussa Bay Villas is about a 20-minute walk from the heart of the town center. I don’t typically mind walking, but the roads don’t have sidewalks and get a bit hilly, so without an ATV it gets somewhat tiresome. With an ATV I thought it was perfect – nice to have a larger property with tons of communal space for a group of our size.  

Is there anything you wished you had time to do, but didn’t?
There are so many more restaurants I wanted to try!  Everything we ate was delicious, fresh, and (relatively) healthy.  

Do you feel like you were there for the right length of time? Would you have come home sooner or stayed longer given the chance?
I would love to stay in Paros longer! Next year, I’m thinking of spending an entire month on the island. For people on vacation, you can do it in a few days, but I always like to stay in places as long as I can to experience as much as I can (while balancing work).

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This Is How Much My Trip To New England Cost

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Thu, 27 Feb 2020 15:47:36 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music New York Milan London Greece Australia US Chicago Portugal Athens Cape Town Greek Islands West Coast New England Rio Paros Mykonos Naxos Santorini Aegean Charles Schwab Travel Companion Kayla Aperol Safran Markakis US UK Canada Spritz Bay Villas Reshma Saujani Golden Beach Chase Sapphire Reserve Aperol Spritz Piso Livadi Sky Express Naoussa Itria Paros Greece Aegean Air Naoussa Bay Villas My Chase Sapphire Reserve Naousa Karino Kayla Itsines PDF Taverna Glafkos Lefkes Punda Beach Since Itria Cocktail Bar CNTraveler Travel Leisure New York Times Glafkos
Mango’s Spring ‘20 Campaign Collection Has The ‘70s Vests & Suits You’ve Been Looking For (But For Way Less $$)
This morning, Mango launched the latest installment of its . Among a selection of floral maxi dresses, crochet bell pants, and lace-up gladiator sandals are some of the best — and affordable — suit options that I’ve seen to date. 

Mango’s been an underrated player in the tailoring department for quite some time now, offering chocolate-brown suits and short-suit sets before any of its competitors. But after perusing the spring ‘20 lookbook, which shows Rebecca Leigh Longendyke, Anna Ewers, Kit Butler, Hamid Onifade, and Vittoria Ceretti gallivanting around Merida and Valladolid in Mexico, it’s clear that its latest selection is a step above.

This season’s suits are reminiscent of the three-piece Mick Jagger suits from the ‘70s: extra-tailored, with high-waisted, slightly flared trousers, with trim vests, that retail for $140. There’s even a denim option, and before you ask, yes, it also comes with a five-button vest (or as Mango and Harry Styles call it, a waistcoat). 

This Mango collection hits during a peak ‘70s moment. Retro fringe flourished in Milan, with Jil Sander, Prada, and Bottega Veneta all presenting their fair share, while more other trends like boho shapes, big flares, and smart prints could be spotted at Victor Glemaud and Moncler x Richard Quinn. But unlike those collections, which won’t be available for another four months, you can shop Mango’s spring ‘20 assortment right now. 

The collection also marks a big step for the Spanish fast-fashion brand, as all 38 pieces will have been made with natural materials like sustainable cotton and recycled fibers. This advancement follows the recent news that Mango had joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an organization that aims to promote sustainable practices in the textile industry, and their announcement to use strictly sustainable cotton by 2025. “The company also plans to increase the use of recycled polyester in its garments to 50% by 2025, and for 100% of the cellulose fibers it uses to be of controlled origin by 2030,” according to a press release.

Shop Mango’s suits, as well as other items from its stylish and sustainable collection by clicking through the slideshow ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Mango Denim Dark Vest, $, available at Mango
Mango Wide Leg High Waist Jeans, $, available at Mango
Mango Linen blend vest, $, available at Mango
Mango Floral Flowy Shirt, $, available at Mango
Mango Linen High-Waist Pants, $, available at Mango
Mango Linen blend vest, $, available at Mango
Mango Ruched Sleeve Floral Dress, $, available at Mango
Mango Structured Suit Blazer, $, available at Mango
Mango Ruffle Neckline Blouse, $, available at Mango
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Mango Structured Linen Jacket, $, available at Mango
Mango Pleated Bermuda shorts, $, available at Mango
Mango Floral Puffed Sleeves Dress, $, available at Mango
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Mango Openwork Sweater, $, available at Mango
Mango Wide Leg High Waist Jeans, $, available at Mango
Mango Linen blend vest, $, available at Mango
Mango Pocket Flowy Shirt, $, available at Mango
Mango Linen high-waist pants, $, available at Mango

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Thu, 27 Feb 2020 15:42:05 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Milan Mexico Mick Jagger Zara Mango Merida Bottega Veneta Valladolid Tibi Richard Quinn Vittoria Ceretti Victor Glemaud Mango Mango Linen Gabriela Hearst Peter Do Jil Sander Prada Sustainable Apparel Coalition SAC MangoMango Floral Flowy Shirt MangoMango Cotton Palazzo Pants MangoMango Pleated Bermuda Mango Mango Floral Puffed Sleeves Dress MangoMango Linen
Unexpected moves cost Americans an average of $2,300 Thu, 27 Feb 2020 15:06:50 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Lifestyle Radio Moving Homeowners Moving Costs Renters Relocating Financial Burden Of Moving Financial Burdens Hire A Helper Sudden Relocation The Surprising Value Of “Bad” Dates, According To Real People Remember that one date with the “method actor” who didn’t believe in tipping? The one with the stand-up comedian who insisted on recording your back-and-forth for material? The one where your counterpart arrived 27 minutes late, wearing just one flip-flop? Naturally, the list goes on.

But here’s a hot take: These dates, albeit “unsuccessful,” have their merit, too. Whether we’re pursuing eternal love, great sex, or solid banter over negronis, our sub-par dates can be just as formative as our objectively good ones. And there’s a case to be made for celebrating them for all their influence. Maybe you discovered a new favorite restaurant, learned to pronounce “amuse-bouche” correctly, found out that orange wine is not actually made with oranges. Perhaps you made a solid, platonic friend. Inevitably, you whittled away at what you are (and aren’t) looking for in a partner — which is profoundly valuable, even when it doesn’t conclude with a wedding hashtag.

So, in the interest of imbuing our imperfect romantic encounters with a little added joie de vivre, we reached out to 10 modern daters about their most memorable meetups and the unexpected takeaways that came in tow — among them, a Bumble devotee networking her way to her first book deal, a woman re-learning her sexual preferences, and a serial dater coming to terms with his cat allergy. Read ahead, and see if their stories help you reassess your definition of a “bad date.”


“I generally date in pursuit of a relationship, so I can be a little stringent about my prospects — and judging by his app profile, this particular man was not my type. He was objectively sloppy, between jobs, and presumably too busy for complete sentences. All the same, something about him appealed to me. So, with two hours notice — that’s this guy’s M.O. — I somehow found myself on a barstool next to him, totally leaned in, one night after work. 

“He told me how he’d just left his desk job and purchased a one-way ticket to Central America. He was going alone with plans only to learn to surf and meet people. A real adventure. I like to think I’m all about authentic travel, but without fail, my trips feature a reliable friend and an embarrassingly detailed itinerary. Of course I wasn’t going to end up with this guy — he wasn’t looking for anything serious in any aspect of his life — but the date was enough to convince me that a little instability might be good for me…at least in my next adventure.”

—Cate S.

“I once went on a first date with someone who told me he didn’t vote in the 2016 election. I left immediately — it was the shortest date I’ve ever been on. But on the flip side, it underscored the fact that this was a true non-negotiable for me in a partner.

“Now, I tend to tell that very story as an icebreaker on most of my first app dates. It gives me the perfect segue to ask someone about the last time they voted and if their registration is up to date.”

—Jordan T.

“When I travel, I use dating apps to meet people in new places. Once, while in Vancouver, I matched with someone on Bumble who worked nearby, and was up for having lunch. I don’t normally match with guys 6’4” or taller (I’m only 5’3”), or guys below 35 (I’m in my mid 40’s). This guy was 6’4″ and in his early 30s…but it was ‘just lunch,’ so I agreed to go. And we actually had a fantastic conversation. We talked politics and careers and general life stuff.

“After we said goodbye, I realized something important: None of my standard dating app ‘deal breakers’ were written in stone. People can always surprise you, if you allow them to do so. I’d had a lovely time with someone who didn’t fit my normal criteria. It was a real eye-opener.

“Now, I’ve been using Bumble for a few years, and I sometimes wonder if I should delete it and put myself out there in other ways. But part of me feels like, if I did, I would be losing this portal…to possibilities, future connections, and genuine human laughter. In a way, I’ve made peace with the fact this app isn’t necessarily the place where I’ll meet a long-term partner, but in an increasingly disconnected world, it introduces me to people I wouldn’t normally meet. And for that I’m grateful.”

—Etienne W.

“After SEVERAL dates with this one guy I met through an app, we decided we had no real chemistry. We hadn’t had sex; neither of us really seemed to want to. It was a strange in-between. But in figuring out our next steps, we came to the conclusion that we got along great. We just weren’t well-matched romantically. Now, he’s one of my closest friends. He actually just came over last night to watch a movie with me and my roommates.”

—Tristan R.

“Last year, my boyfriend of two years and I broke up, so I downloaded dating apps to ‘bounce back.’ My ex and I had a really consistent sex life. Like, a routine. Nothing changed much. Then, this new guy — who I never saw again, by the way — came home with me after our first date. When we slept together, he asked me all these questions about what I wanted, what I liked, what I didn’t like. I know this sounds insane, but in literally two years of dating someone, I really hadn’t been asked those questions. 

“It caused this whole spiral for me: I didn’t know what I wanted sexually — or how to ask for it. And I was an adult woman. This one dude was the reason I was like, Priya, it’s your job to figure this out. You need to know your own preferences sexually, and you need to advocate for them. I have him to thank for that. Though I’m not actually sure I remember his name…”

—Priya C.

“I started doing the dating app thing earlier this year, purely out of loneliness. I talked to a bunch of people, but I wasn’t coming across many who excited me enough to actually wanna meet up with them. Finally, I made myself, because I felt like it was what I was supposed to be doing. But then, after like 20 minutes at drinks with this guy, I was like, Wait…I don’t wanna do this. I don’t have to go on dates. Now, I meet people when it feels natural, but I’m not putting pressure on myself to get out there if I don’t feel up for it.”

Ella P. 

“After using Bumble for a little over a month, I found a guy who seemed to be ‘perfect’ for me. We talked through the app and via text message for months before we finally pulled the trigger and decided to meet IRL. Our first date was at a Mexican restaurant in the Financial District. I thought it was destined to fail because I generally hate Mexican food…and upon meeting him, I found that I wasn’t really attracted to him in person. 

“On the other hand, his personality was incredible. I had so much fun talking to him. And better yet, the sex was AMAZING. So, we continued to see each other somewhat frequently. After starting to get closer, I told him that I was writing a novel and wanted to have it published. As it turned out, his best friend was an editor at a publishing company. He connected us…which resulted in my first book deal for $100,000! 

“In the end, the two of us didn’t work out romantically. We just weren’t right for each other. But he and I have remained really close friends!”

—Victoria L.

“This is kind of a crazy story, but a few years ago, I met a girl for a first date in a café in downtown Austin. She had a friendly relationship with the wait staff and we chatted with them. I was looking for work at the time, and one of them mentioned they had an opening. I ended up working there for like two years, and the people became some of my closest friends in Austin. The girl who actually took me there? We’re friendly! But it didn’t work out between us.”

—Anya A. 

“I slept at a girl’s house recently and she had two cats. Apparently, I’m extremely allergic — somehow, I didn’t know. Literally thought I was going to die. I guess I’d never been around cats in such close proximity before? Obviously, it wasn’t going to work out between us…because of the cats. But that actually turned out to be incredibly important information, being that I was planning on moving in with a dude with a cat when my lease ran out.”

—Mike N.

“After ending a relationship I’d been in for nine years (read: my entire adult life), I turned to Bumble to take on the single world. I wanted to meet people, go on dates, have one-night stands!

“The first guy I met, however, was amazing. We had an incredible first date, and our sexual chemistry was insane. I felt the connection instantly but didn’t want to get caught up in it, since I was so new to single-hood.

“I went on several more dates after that — probably a few a week. But all the while, I couldn’t get the first guy out of my head. Even after dates that seemed to be going super well, I found myself going over to his place at the end of the night rather than finishing the evening with the person I was actually out with.

“And, well, what can I say? Three weeks later, we were seeing each other pretty steadily. Now, a year later, we’re still together. And in part, I owe it to all those dates that didn’t work out. They were the ones that confirmed for me that I really did want to be with him. It wasn’t a fleeting thing. No matter how good the date, nobody else could compare.”

—Francesca M.

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My Acne-Prone Skin Finally Stopped Breaking Out When I Switched to This Popular Cleanser

I've suffered from hormonal acne for over a decade; the amount of products that don't work for me is endless and frustrating. Throughout the years, however, I've gotten my skincare routine down to a science. I always had my favorite cleanser, toner, and hydrating serum on lock. I recently started getting facials every few months and my esthetician noticed it looked like I was over-exfoliating. I told her for years I've used a drugstore scrub cleanser with beads, and her face filled with horror. She couldn't believe that I "have a great routine" that involves that. She explained that even though my skin looked fine, this type of product was far too harsh for my sensitive skin, especially because I exfoliate in other ways, too.

In an effort to follow her advice, I went on a mission to find a new cleanser, something gentle that would keep my skin clear. After months of turbulent trials and constant breakouts, I was ready to give up. Then someone told me I should try the celeb-favorite line Dr. Barbara Sturm and this top-rated Dr. Barbara Sturm Cleanser ($70). Honestly, I took one look at the price and second guessed it, because I'm used to spending just $10. Then I remembered something important: it's my face!

My face is clear, smooth, and hydrated, and my overall skin tone looks much more evened out.

If I'm willing to spend $200 on a facial every six weeks to combat my breakouts, then why not $70 on a cleanser that lasts me for months? So I gave it a try, and within the first few washes, I knew I finally found something that works for me.

My face is clear, smooth, and hydrated, and my overall skin tone looks much more evened out. My old cleanser often left my skin feeling stripped of its natural moisture. I found myself having to apply toner immediately after to relieve it from a dried-out sensation. However, this product makes me feel moisturized and doesn't disturb my natural pH balance. The formula is made with purslane, which is a strong antioxidant that supports skin health, and aloe vera leaf juice, which soothes irritation.

Since falling in love with the cleanser, I have tried a few other products from the brand and am sold on them all, because they are clean and make me feel fresh. If your skin is also sensitive to products and you easily break out, you might want to consider this line. The popular brand is known for its nontoxic ingredients that are powered by science to promote your best skin ever. Keep reading to see its whole line of cleansers and find the one that's best for you. I promise, you won't regret it.

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My Tumultuous Journey To Pregnancy At Age 40  Welcome to Refinery29’s Fertility Diaries, where people chronicle their joyous, painful, and sometimes complicated paths to parenthood.

History:  Until recently, I never thought I’d have trouble getting pregnant. Somewhat ironically, I spent the last 20 years of my single life trying to avoid it. But my husband and I are newlyweds who found each other later in life — he’s 48, and I’m 40 — and conceiving has been trickier than I anticipated. 

Age: 40
Location: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Medical Research Administrator
Household Income: $310K

April 2019

We’re lowkey “trying”

My family is extremely religious, so it’s been drilled into my head since childhood that babies come after marriage. But I buck my upbringing, and I convince (beg) my fiancé to start trying casually before the wedding. When he agrees, I go a little past “casual.” I start tracking my cycle, buy ovulation strips and pregnancy tests, and start posting cute maternity photos on my Pinterest page. 

At 48 years old, my fiancé isn’t particularly concerned with having children. He says he’s totally content for us to enjoy life as we are right now. It’s been an ongoing discussion throughout the course of our relationship, but I’ve always made it clear to him how important motherhood is to me. He promises he’s willing to try for one child. He wants to make me happy and I’m grateful for that. 

We decide to stop using the “pull-out method.”

Cost: $16 for the ovulation strips; $18 for a pack of three pregnancy tests.

June 7, 2019

Getting hitched

My wedding day is finally here and it’s everything I hoped it would be. Although it’s a small ceremony, it feels intimate and special. I cannot wait to start a new life and family with my man.

July 26, 2019 

Meeting with my OB/GYN

I was supposed to have my annual gynecological exam at the end of August. But for the first time in my life, my periods have become irregular; they used to be like clockwork. After unexpectedly bleeding at work for the second time in a month, I call my OB/GYN’s office to move up my appointment. 

When I go in, I ask about the bleeding, and for advice on how to conceive as soon as possible.

I’m given a long to-do list for the coming weeks that includes extensive blood work, genetic testing, and an ultrasound to determine the cause of the bleeding. While this sounds like a lot to get done, I want to stay positive. I do my first round of blood tests on the same day. These are to determine my hormone levels, detect any vitamin deficiencies, and identify any genetic diseases I may carry. I’m not too concerned about the hormones or vitamin levels, but thinking about genetic diseases is new territory for me.

Cost: Luckily, my insurance covers the appointment, so it’s just a $20 copay. 

August 6, 2019


Today I went in for an ultrasound to figure out the cause of the irregular bleeding — they say a cyst or polyp may be the culprit. They do abdominal and vaginal ultrasounds. I’m looking forward to getting some answers. In the back of my mind, I wonder if stressing out about getting pregnant is what’s actually causing these issues.

Cost: $0. The ultrasound is covered by my insurance. 

August 12, 2019 

Husband gets his semen analysis

My doctor suggests that my husband have a semen analysis to determine whether his “boys” are still decent swimmers.

I’ve been trying to deal with the baby anxiety relatively quietly, without stressing my husband out. I’m honestly not comfortable letting out all of the emotions and insecurities that I’m feeling because part of me feels grateful that he’s even willing to try for a baby. I’m a little worried he’ll freak out and change his mind, since he’s said he’d be fine without a child. I also don’t want to do or say anything that could damage my new marriage. I just had hoped this process would be easier for the both of us.

Cost: $200. This cost isn’t covered by our insurance. 

August 13, 2019 

Ultrasound results

The doctor’s office calls me with the ultrasound results. Unfortunately, they couldn’t really see what they were looking for and still can’t determine why I’ve been bleeding. I will need to come back in for something called a sonohysterogram — this involves inserting liquid into the uterus to get a better look at the inside of it. 

My doctor also reminds me that the issue could be stress-related. This isn’t such a surprise, given the year I’ve had. In addition getting engaged, planning a wedding, and getting married, my husband and I moved in together (my first time living with a man). He also got a big promotion at his job and now has to travel regularly, at least once or twice a month. Now, with all the pressure I’m feeling to get pregnant, I’m worried my body and my psyche has reached a breaking point. 

August 19, 2019

I discover my egg reserve is low

My recent lab work included a follicle stimulating hormone test (FSH). The results are in and they reveal that my egg reserve is low, something I’ve been silently dreading. “It’s not the lowest I’ve ever seen,” my doctor says — but it’s definitely low. Basically, I have fewer eggs than I should have at my age, and there really isn’t anything I can do about it. I automatically feel panicked, guilty, and helpless, all at the same time. Based on the results, she suggests that I see a fertility specialist as soon as possible.

The FSH results have made all my deep-seated fears about not being able to have a baby come to the surface. I know that seeing a specialist will be stressful and expensive. Up to this point, I’ve tried to keep a brave face, hoping things would happen naturally. 

I’ve also been trying to be mindful about the fact that parenthood is more my dream than my partner’s. My hubby is out of town and I don’t want to talk to him about all of this until I know what I feel about it. I frantically search the web for helpful information about fertility, and read up on IVF. There are plenty of articles, but most assume that both partners want to start a family with equal urgency. Is there nobody out there in my situation?

I make a number of teary calls to my insurance company to figure out how to be seen by a specialist. I’m able to get a referral authorization for one visit with a specialist and one ultrasound. The authorization ensures that the services will be covered. Any subsequent visits with the specialist will require their own authorizations and will be covered at 50%. IVF is not covered at all, and I’ve read it can cost up to $20,000 a pop.

This all also sounds so expensive. We have a fair amount of savings, but we were hoping to use the money for a down-payment on a house. Plus, I still have student loans from grad school hanging over my head. I don’t want to add more debt to this situation. 

Tears of frustration start to flow and they don’t stop for hours. Maybe it’s a good thing that my husband is traveling and I have our apartment to myself for a while. I don’t sleep well tonight. 

Cost: $0 — for now. 

August 20, 2019

Sonohysterogram appointment

This morning, my OB/GYN is supposed to do an imaging study of my uterus, which is called a sonohysterogram. 

As soon as I check in for the appointment, the receptionist hands me a clipboard with a payment request for over a thousand bucks, since it’s a “fertility-related” procedure. My jaw — and spirit — just drop. 

I’m really not comfortable paying that amount without any notice (and without knowing that the procedure is absolutely necessary). I hand back the clipboard and walk out of the office. On my way home, I feel embarrassed and angry. I call my husband and completely fall apart on the phone. I can tell he’s caught off guard as he has no clue how difficult the last 24 hours have been for me. But I decide to let it all out. He says that we can pay the $1,200, no problem. I remind him of the real issue and source of my distress: This bill could just be the tip of the iceberg. The first in a slew of big expenses that will come our way if we move forward with fertility treatments. He tries his best to comfort me, saying that we should take the situation one day at a time. But it’s hard for me to see it that way. I tearfully tell him about what it could cost in the long run — tens of thousands of dollars, based on my research. With no guarantee of success.

Even after hearing what all of this might cost, my husband seems focused on my wellbeing. I can tell in his voice that he is really worried about my emotional state. When he finally gets home that night after a long flight delay, he crawls in bed with me and holds me tight.

August 21, 2019

Semen analysis results

Finally some good news — my husband’s semen analysis results are in and he has “normal and healthy” levels. We both feel some relief about this and it gives us incentive to keep trying. Also, now that he’s clued in to everything that’s been happening with me, we’re able to talk about the fertility stuff much more easily. 

August 28, 2019


I do some research and find an acupuncturist with great reviews who accepts my insurance. I’ll be coming in once a week. Maybe a little Eastern medicine can make the difference in fertility? It’s worth a try. 

The first appointment goes very smoothly with minimal discomfort. The needles are tiny and most of the treatment is painless. It’s a bonus that the acupuncturist says she has worked with many women who have struggled with conceiving, but who eventually got pregnant. I leave with renewed peace of mind. I’m feeling happy and hopeful. 

Cost: $20 copay. 

September 4, 2019

First meeting with my fertility specialist 

I head to a fertility specialist for an ultrasound, where he looks at my ovaries. Then the doctor lays out a plan of action with the precision of a military sergeant. I totally dig this vibe.

He says that once my next cycle passes, I can come in for an HSG, which he also calls the “ink test.” As he explains it, they take X-ray images while pushing colored ink through my fallopian tubes and into my uterus to spot any blockages that may be preventing fertilization. The test doesn’t sound fun at all. In fact, it sounds terrible, but I don’t have much choice. If the results come back the way I hope they do, we’ll try some IUIs (the turkey baster method) — up to three rounds, before exploring IVF, which is much more costly and complicated. 

At this point it’s surreal to think that I could be pregnant in a matter of months. Just the thought makes me incredibly happy.

Cost: $0. I’m able to get this visit and ultrasound covered by my insurance. I asked the doctor about the potential bills, and he assures me that their administrative coordinator will thoroughly review all of the prospective treatments and associated costs with me beforehand. This is good news, but I’m still uneasy about it.

September 6, 2019

More test results

My fertility specialist gets some of my test results back, and they’re not as great as he’d like them to be. My AMH (Anti-Müllerian hormone, another test to assess my ovarian reserve) is a bit low, which is no surprise based on my previous FSH test. It’s further confirmation that I likely don’t have a ton of eggs left. He says this means we need to “move quickly” and schedule the HSG as soon as my next cycle passes.

Cost: $0

September 18, 2019

Hysterosalpingography (HSG)

I wish I could say otherwise, but the HSG is an extremely painful experience. As I lie on the exam table, my doctor is definitely trying to make me feel comfortable, playing upbeat music (even Taylor Swift bops!), and making some small talk. At a certain point though, his tone starts to change. I can tell it’s not going well when he says, “Hmmm, I don’t see anything coming out.” He keeps going but I know that’s bad, because it means the ink is not moving through my fallopian tubes, which is the whole point of the test. Afterwards, he explains that my tubes appear to be blocked and even with the increased pressure he used trying to push the ink through (ouch!), they would not open up enough for it to pass through to my uterus. This most likely explains why I’ve had no luck getting pregnant so far. I ask him what this means. “It means we’ll have to do IVF,” he answers. Great. 

I feel a combination of shock, sadness, and disappointment. The doctor can clearly see that I’m upset. Tears start streaming down my face. It’s the last thing I wanted to hear today. IVF is an intimidating prospect for me. I was hoping it would be a last resort that I never had to deal with.

I call my husband on my way home from the doctor and tell him the news. I can hear on the phone that he’s genuinely concerned about me. He offers to leave work and take me home, but I decline. I just need some time to myself to reflect on this news.

Cost: $0. With a pre-authorization from my insurance company, it’s covered.  

September 25, 2019

Meeting with the fertility doctor to discuss IVF

Today my husband and I visit the specialist who performed my HSG to further discuss IVF. We’re good candidates for the process because I’m generally healthy, my uterus is in good shape, and my hubby’s sperm looks good. But there’s still a lot to consider. The doctor can’t determine how healthy my eggs are (or aren’t) until the retrieval part of the IVF process. The success rate for women my age is only 20% to 30%. The cost depends on a number of factors but he says we should expect to spend $17,000 to $22,000 per cycle for the procedure and medications.

This is a lot of information to take in, so my hubby and I decide to think about it for a few days. We’ve already confirmed that neither of our insurance plans will cover any of it so cost is definitely a consideration. For me, the most daunting part is the fact that there is no guarantee this will work. I absolutely want a baby and I always have. But with IVF, the cost seems so high — and we’re only buying a slim chance of making it happen. What if it doesn’t work and I’m left with nothing? At the same time, I’m terrified that I’ll have regrets if I don’t do it. Right now I don’t know what the right answer is.

Cost: $0. This is an IVF consultation and it’s free of charge.

October 1, 2019

IVF planning and prep starts

I do some research on adoption and discover that costs for private domestic adoption rivals that of IVF. Sometimes, they’re more. I’m surprised and a little disappointed, but in many ways this reconfirms my commitment to try having a child with my own genetics. After much discussion, my husband and I decide to do IVF, but agree that we’ll only do one cycle. It’s the best compromise for our relationship. We still want to buy a house in the next year, and don’t want to take any money out of our savings. So we’ll put $10,000 down, and finance the rest with a loan.

When I inform my doctor that we want to move forward with this, he recommends a lender that works exclusively with IVF patients. We fill out a loan application based on our financial history, and get pre-approved to finance the remaining balance for the procedure. I’m now on the schedule to start IVF in early November. Since It has to coincide with my menstrual cycle, the doctor can’t give me a specific start date, but it will definitely be next month. I can’t believe I could be pregnant by the end of the year! The anticipation is so exciting.

Cost: $75 application fee for financing.

October 2, 2019

IVF Medication Workshop

This evening, I attend a training at my fertility doctor’s office on how to administer IVF medications. If I didn’t realize it before, I definitely know it now — IVF is a serious commitment. The amount of medication, shots, and doctor visits is mind-boggling. I’m not really afraid of the pain of getting the shots, but some of the side effects sound really unpleasant. It’s basically like PMS on steroids. I have a new appreciation for how strong women are. 

Cost: $0

October 9, 2019

Taking another test

Now that my IVF is scheduled and I’m done with all the testing, I’ve been in a different headspace. My constant worrying is finally starting to subside. 

Then, oddly, my period is late. I’ve loved rolling on the “no worries” wave, but this makes me concerned that I’m still stressing out too much and it’s affecting my cycle. Although it’s strange that I’m late, at first I feel no urgency to take a pregnancy test. It makes me sad just thinking about seeing another negative result, and I want to stay positive. 

On the other hand, even though I know it’s totally unlikely, I feel a spark of hope inside. So ultimately I pick up a single pregnancy test while I’m out running errands. I put off using it for a while after I get home. Eventually, of course, I decide to pee on the stick. In the past, I used to look away and try to keep myself busy for the two to three minutes it takes to get the results. Today though, I stare intently at the test the whole time. I just want to get it over with so I can get on with my day. I’m laser focused on the test, and I begin to see a faint second line start to appear in a matter of seconds. I squeeze shut my eyes to say a prayer. I hope I’m not seeing things. When I look again, the second line is still there. And it’s much darker this time. There’s no mistake — that means I’m PREGNANT. I immediately tear up, get on my knees, and start saying a “thank you” prayer. I’m overcome with joy and gratitude. This is one of the sweetest moments of my life.

Cost: $15 for pregnancy test

October 10, 2019


The next 72 hours are a mix of happiness, hugs, and doctor’s appointments to confirm that it is actually happening. It is! I’m definitely expecting, and my doctor is just as shocked as I am. Maybe even more so. He proposes that maybe the HSG somehow unblocked my tubes temporarily. In my heart, I truly believe it’s more than that. I think it’s a combination of my faith, prayers, and positive thinking that made this happen. I’m overjoyed. 

Cost: $0. The fertility doctor didn’t charge me to come in and confirm the pregnancy, or for a subsequent visit to check that my hormone levels were properly rising. I don’t know if he billed my insurance for these visits or not, but I’m so grateful for his generosity.

Total Cost: $484, including weekly acupuncture co-pays. The single greatest expense was the semen analysis. I was able to get authorizations for all of my fertility specialist visits and procedures. Doing so required some pre-planning with my insurance provider, but was well worth it. Of course, bypassing the sonohysterogram made a big difference in the overall costs incurred but not having to do IVF was by far the most tremendous financial relief. While I would have happily paid for the chance to carry a child, part of me still wonders how it would have felt if the IVF didn’t work. Would I have regret for spending so much and not getting the result that I wanted? Would I regret it more if I didn’t even try? I don’t think there is a right answer. But I know my decision would have been much easier if my insurance had covered any part of the IVF costs.

Reflection: Now, I’m a few months along in my pregnancy. When I look back on my fertility journey, I still feel so many emotions. My struggle to conceive lasted less than a year, which is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to what many other women go through. Nevertheless, it was significant and I learned a lot about myself and my relationship — mostly that anything is possible and you should never, ever give up. I also wish I gave my husband more credit instead of trying to shield him from the stress I was feeling. Although parenthood was more my desire than his, when I needed him, he was always there to support me. We are stronger for having gone through this together.

Recently, I’ve met a number of women who are struggling with some kind of fertility issue and I always tell them: If you want it, keep trying, keep praying, and keep making plans to become the mother you want to be. I believe that God is listening and I’m proof that miracles definitely do happen.

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14 of Your Favorite Beauty Brands That Are Run by Badass Women

In anticipation of International Women's Day on March 8, we're taking a look at some of our favorite beauty brands that are completely owned and run by women. There are brands from every sector of the beauty industry - from makeup to skin care and hair care - that are owned and run by women.

The women at the helm of these brands have defied the odds and created legacies of brands that are loved by beauty enthusiasts all over the world. If you're looking for female-owned beauty brands to support on International Women's Day, here are a few of our favorites.

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College professor & LA City Council candidate Loraine Lundquist has come under fire by her campaign rival for teaching at a college that did not allow queer students, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The charges come from Lundquist’s campaign rival, City Councilman John Lee, who has accused her of enforcing discriminatory practices. “Lundquist made a conscious decision as an adult to teach at and cash a paycheck from a school with a discriminatory policy,” the Lee campaign alleged in a statement.

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Ludquist, an astrophysics professor, once taught the subject at her Alma Matter, Principa College in Illionis. The school labels itself as a “Christian Science community of practice.” A school newspaper article has since revealed that while she studied and taught at Principa, the school enforced “an unwritten agreement among admissions and the administration” to not allow queer students.

Lundquist, for her part, denies the charges, calling them “shockingly misleading.” This is not the first time she’s come under scrutiny for her time at Principa College. Last year, the Stonewall Democratic Club raised questions about her involvement at Principa before ultimately endorsing the candidate.

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Concrete Proof That Rose Gold Is Still the Perfect Rainbow Hair Hue

If you've yet to dye your hair a rainbow color, we have to ask: what are you waiting for? There are so many dreamy options to choose from, from shades inspired by denim jeans to the aurora borealis. But perhaps our hands-down favorite hair color is rose gold.

The color is surprisingly subtle, soft, versatile - after all, metallics are a form of neutral. Plus, it looks stunning on a wide range of hair textures and skin tones. We've rounded up some seriously breathtaking rose gold hair color inspiration ahead, so keep reading to check them out.

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Taylor Swift's Step-by-Step Transformation For "The Man" Video Is Truly Wild to Watch

Despite fully expecting Taylor Swift to pop up in "The Man" music video with a more masculine look, I still wasn't 100-percent positive the video's star was actually her the first time watched it - well, until the big reveal at the end, that is. The song addresses issues of male privilege, and with the help of some heavy prosthetics and makeup, the singer transformed herself into "the man" for the music video in order to parody the double standards faced by women in our culture.

I spent most of my viewing time marveling at Taylor's look, pausing the clip and squinting at my phone screen. Luckily, at the end of the video, we get a glimpse of the work that went into her very Wolf of Wall Street-esque style. Prosthetics, color contacts, a wig, and fake facial hair contributed to the overall effect, and even diehard Swifties found themselves doing a double take.

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Esxence Exhibition in Milan Postponed to End of May Equipe Exhibit informs us that due to the national (Italy) and international health situation, Esxence - the annual art perfumery event in Milan - has been postponed to the following dates: May 30th - June 2nd 2020 It is confirmed that the venue will be the same: the MiCo, Milano Convention Center -City Life district. "Since 2009, Esxence – The Art Perfumery Event is the leading internationa...
Read full article: Esxence Exhibition in Milan Postponed to End of May from Fragrantica Perfumes and Colognes Magazine.

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