Thirty year old New Yorker. Blogger, Independent Scentsy Consultant, FitFluential Ambassador & lover of all things pink, chevron & pumpkin!
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How To Deal With A Vacation Destination You Don’t Love

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How To Deal With A Vacation Destination You Don’t Love

How To Deal With A Vacation Destination You Don’t Love

Vacation. Sometimes the word conjures up images of dipping red-polished toes in crashing waves, lounging next to tote bags full of steamy novels (and sand), and coconut-scented breezes.

Sometimes “vacation” makes me think passports and language translation apps and days planned from a.m. to p.m. with sightseeing and shopping and eating.

But sometimes “vacation” can be a dirty word. Sometimes your vacation destinations are out of your hands. How can that be, you ask? Well, maybe you’re 15 and your parents are in charge of your vacation destiny (which could mean anything from a trip to Grandma’s house to a tour of historic Civil War battlefields to a quick day trip to an amusement park).

Or, like me, you could have an event that determines where you’ll be spending some of your precious summer vacation days. I had an out-of-town wedding to attend this summer, so while someone else may have decided the destination of my vacation, I was determined to plan some of my own fun.

Luckily, the wedding was in a beautiful seaside location, so that made my job a little bit easier. (Though I’m sure there’s still fun to be found if you find yourself somewhere less appealing. It just means you may have to get a little more creative.) The most important thing is your attitude. Even if you’re not psyched to be where you are, try to make the best of it. There’s a quote I’ve seen all over Pinterest that says “There is always, always something to be thankful for.” I love that. So when you’re sulking by the pool of the Holiday Inn, wishing you were at the beach (or in NYC or Europe or wherever), try to find something good to focus on. Maybe it’s just that cute boy a few pool chairs over, or maybe it’s a new restaurant for dinner. Just find something.

Next, if you can, try to do some research before you go. You might be surprised at the cool stuff that’s nearby. And your research could help you convince your parents to stop by that cool bookstore you found, or take a slight detour to see the world’s largest ball of string. During my wedding vacation weekend, I made sure to look at the schedule of planned events and then plan around that. I knew how much time I had to walk to a local beach, or to check out the downtown shops. Being prepared will help you maximize your possibilities for fun.

And, if all else fails, get creative. Bring a notebook to record how epically terrible everything is. The weather, the company, the boring stuff you got dragged to, the 500th souvenir shop your little sister insisted on going in…at least you can get a good story from it. If writing’s not your thing (I’ll pretend I didn’t say that), bring a camera (or use your phone) to practice taking interesting/hilarious/random snapshots.

How would you deal with a vacation destination you didn’t choose?

Tweet me @StephSpitler

Featured Image via Shutterstock

The post How To Deal With A Vacation Destination You Don’t Love appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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lifeofvicki
1089 days ago
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Great read by @StephSpitler on @hellogiggles about how to deal with bad #vacation #destinations
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Why do blogs suck?

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First off:  I'm sorry, mom.  You see guys, my mom doesn't like it when I use the word "suck."  She likes the word "crummy" instead.  But we all know that "Why are blogs crummy?" does not carry nearly the same punch as "Why do blogs suck?" (Unrelated but semi interesting: Other fairly harmless words I was not allowed to say growing up: shut up, crappy, piss.)

But back to the title!  I've noticed lately that some of my favorite blogs kind of suck lately.  And I am wondering why?   I used to read some blogs every day no matter what, and now it's all I can do to check in once a month with them.  I can't exactly put a finger on why I stop reading them, I just stop feeling engaged or connected or something so I stop reading.
 

9 Reasons I May Possibly Stop Reading a Blog? 
(There are lots of question marks because these are all just educated guesses as to why I stop reading... it's honestly so hard to put a finger on it.)
 
 

1.  Too much gushy with the boy?  I get that you're in love, but sometimes this gets overplayed and I get kind of bored of it and want something more interesting?  Not that being in love isn't interesting, but I hardly think your significant other should be the most interesting thing about you.  I will generally disengage if I think a blogger talks about her significant other too much.

2.  Too much sponsoring?  I think this one is pretty huge as I have watched several of my favorite blogs rise in popularity and then fall victim to the ubiquitous sponsoring demons.  I will say, though, that balancing blog and sponsorship/ blog "business" is an extremely difficult task so I'm certainly not blaming anyone.  When someone is offering you money/product to post about something it is hard to say no, because you know, bills...  Also most bloggers who are at the point to receive sponsorships have put in an absurd amount of hours to get there so maybe it feels good to finally receive a bit of compensation?  Still though, I believe that a blogger must maintain some balance.  I usually schedule two sponsored posts/giveaway/not authentic writing posts a week but am trying to take it down to one as lately I have felt my blog has been too "sponsory".   I can honestly say that I have stopped reading several blogs because it was never the blogger anymore, it was constantly someone else posting on the blog or a giveaway or review.  Now, I'm not going to come at the blogger because I know exactly how difficult the balance is and I respect the work they put into their blog.... I just might not read  anymore.

3.  Inauthentic feel?  This one is maybe more difficult to identify but I guess sometimes I just feel like a blogger isn't talk to me straight.  In real life I gravitate toward people who are straight forward and honest.  Or "real" as we may term it in the blogging world.  Likewise, I gravitate toward the same type of blogger.  I think a blog may start to become inauthentic for a lot of reasons.  Sponsorship certainly plays into it- I get tired of a blogger trying to sell me that I don't believe they themselves actually like that much.  I think more bloggers need to say no to endorsements they don't agree with or post a negative review of the product.  This summer for the first time I received two products that I refused to endorse because I would never recommend the product to a friend so I felt shady recommending it to readers.  It was pretty uncomfortable telling the sponsor (after I had received the product) that I wouldn't post about their product, but it felt better to me than trying to make up some crap to feed the people that read this blog.  People that I respect and am so completely grateful that read this blog.

It's not just the sponsorship thing though... sometimes I think a blogger may start to get inauthentic when they start gaining an audience just because they don't want to offend anyone.  Negative comments suck and people talking trash about you on the internet really does sting, so I think some people just stay on the "nice fence" to avoid offending anyone.  Unfortunately, to me at least, this is also boring.

4.  Too many baby pictures?  This kind of goes along with #1.  I think it's great when people have babies, but I don't think it should change the whole tone of the blog and I don't think what was once a fashion blog or a teaching blog or a recipe blog should become a baby blog.  It is interesting that you have a child, yes, but I don't think being a mom should now become the most interesting thing about you.  One of my favorite fashion bloggers who gained a huge following now just posts random, occasional pictures of her kid.  It's not interesting to me anymore and her outfit posts are few and far between.  I started following her for her outfits, not for her kid.

5.  No other hobbies/ work? This one is truly confusing to me as it seems to make absolutely no sense but sometimes I feel like the people who have the most time for blogging are the least interesting bloggers?  You would think that all the extra time to blog would lead to better content, but it doesn't seem to.  This is the case with me, too.  This summer I had huge plans to focus on the writing on my blog, learn something about taking pictures, pitch to a few sites that I want to write for.  Instead, my July traffic was the lowest its been in six months and I could barely bring myself to do anything with my blog- and I had all the time in the world.  On the contrary, once I started up school again and my life became every version of stressed and frantic possible- the quality of my writing picked up and so did my traffic.  It seems like the busier I am with life the busier I am with my blog and the more successful the blog is.  It's the worst kind of Catch-22 imaginable!  There have been a few blogs I have followed where the bloggers has been able to quit her job or stay at home with her kids and for whatever reason the blog just doesn't engage me anymore.

6. Too many pictures of  herself/ narcissistic?  I get that blogging by nature is a narcissistic pursuit, but I do think a blogger can be too into themselves.  I get it.  You're wearing a bracelet and heels.  I don't need twelve pictures of that and then fifteen pictures tomorrow of your different jeans.  Maybe this bothers me?  With some bloggers I don't seem to mind as much as with others, so there is nothing definitive here.  Help?

7.  "All I do is drink"?  I know I'm going to get some guff for this one, but if I'm blogging in the name of honesty here I will say that constantly drinking/talking about drinking/ posting pictures of drinks turns me off to a blog after awhile.  I don't care at all if bloggers drink, but I guess I could compare the way some bloggers talk about drinking to the way some bloggers talk about their kid.  We get it.  You like it.  Now talk about something else.  I certainly don't need to see a picture of your drink every single post just like I don't need to see a picture of your baby every single post.  If I feel like a post is too "drink heavy" I inevitably start to read less. There are more exciting things for me to read about than what a blogger drank Wednesday-Sunday night. 

And now I wonder if there is something seriously wrong with me for comparing having a child to drinking.  Surely they are nothing alike. Or are they?  I've never done either.

8.  Too rich for my blood?  I suppose this one has to do with money, but it also just has to do with the overall attitude of the blog.  Sometimes I get the feeling that a blogger is too "rich" for me.  Everything they wear is expensive and I would never be able to buy without first puking my guts out from pure guilt/ gluttony.  Even if a blogger isn't rich they sometimes start to "feel rich"- they don't return comments or emails or tweets or they look too cute all the time?  It's weird but I like to see my favorite bloggers looking less than stellar sometimes.  Maybe?  None of this makes sense.

9.  Too many sheep?  A lot of blogs are the same as other blogs.  I generally stop reading a blog if I don't feel like it is bringing anything new to the great blogging table.  A blog doesn't have to be edgy or controversial for me to read it, it just has to provoke me or stimulate my mind in a way that other blogs don't.  I guess in our age of "anyone can get rich off of a blog!" there are a lot of sheep blogs.  You know, bloggers who like to shop at Target and do DIY on the weekend and "I've got a great new recipe to share with you that I just found on someone else's blog!"  I guess if I don't see anything real original or fresh in a few month period I stop reading.

Alrighty.  I'm done.  I think?  What about y'all?  What has made you stop reading some of your faves?
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lifeofvicki
1089 days ago
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Yep. @thelifeofbon - I couldn't have said it better!
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You Don’t Have to Be Bullied

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You Don’t Have to Be Bullied

You Don’t Have to Be Bullied

Bullying has become a heavily debated topic, from the controversial and eye-opening documentary Bully and the punishments that school administrators have put in place (which vary from extreme to not enough at all) to the issue of just how much influence policy and lawmakers should have over the interactions teens participate in online. But in all the ruckus and the noise from the pundits and talking heads, it can be easy to forget the awful toll that this takes on children every single day. It can be easy to become numb to the reports of yet another teen taking their own life out of desperation and unimaginable pain. It starts to become easy to think that suicide as a result of bullying is just normal, just another challenge kids today need to brave.

But that’s not the case. No one needs to die out of desperation to escape bullying. That just isn’t a reality we should have to accept. And it’s an idea that many brave teens have been speaking out against, fighting to help others escape the pain that bullying can bring. Sinead Taylor was one of them, until she died at age fifteen, just a week ago.

Sinead had previously posted videos online to encourage teens suffering from bullying not to give up, and not to give in to self-destructive tendencies as a coping mechanism. She spoke about how constant bullying led her to self-harm, and her struggle to overcome that. Sinead told her viewers that “Self-harming doesn’t help. It just makes it worse. Committing suicide makes it worse. Doing anything to harm yourself is worse, and I have noticed that.” While encouraging other teens in June, when her video was posted, Sinead seemed optimistic about her future. Details about her death have not been released.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, almost twenty percent of teens have seriously considered killing themselves, with almost fifteen percent actually planning the act out, step by step. There are not exact numbers for how many of these teens were bullied, but reports indicate that it’s a huge problem, and only becoming bigger. LGBT (or questioning) teens are much more likely to commit suicide as a result of bullying.

As the movie Bully so chillingly documented, this isn’t just a problem among teens. It happens as early as elementary school. When I watched the film, it was very difficult for me to sit through. It brought me right back to my sixth grade year, when my best friend at the time sent out an email to all the other girls in our class that detailed their new plan to ice me out of their social circle because I was “weird” and didn’t dress like anyone else. She sent it to everyone in her address book, and that accidentally included me. After months of social torment, I told my mom I didn’t want to attend the twice-weekly homeschool co-op group anymore, and I left any sort of structured school environment for the next two years. I didn’t make new friends until I entered high school at fifteen. It left a lasting mark on how I thought about myself, and how I approached every relationship. Thinking about it now is still hard.

And that was just a few months. When I was twelve. This was before the real boom of social media. All I had to deal with was that one email, and the subsequent cold shoulders of all my former friends at school. I can’t imagine having to go through that if the kids who’d targeted me had Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr to use to their advantage. I can’t imagine the volume of that, or the toll it’d take on me, especially at such a young age.

I do know that there’s hope at the end of that mess, and that there are people who want to help anyone going through it. The Bully Project, sparked by the movie, has a list of resources for students and for parents, as does StopBullying.gov. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always available for those in need, and the Trevor Project specifically helps teens who’ve been bullied for their sexuality. As despicable and damaging as bullying is, there is help, and there is hope. Sinead’s story is tragic and heart-breaking, but it doesn’t have to be the story of any other teen.

Featured image via Shutterstock.

The post You Don’t Have to Be Bullied appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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lifeofvicki
1089 days ago
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You don't have to be bullied - @hellogiggles Thanks for this #nobullying
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10 Reasons I Could Never Be a New Yorker

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Occasionally I have the pleasure of working from our New York office. Every time I see the New York City skyline, it takes my breath away. It's a feeling in my stomach, like magic. It's endless possibilities.  It's kind of indescribable unless you've experienced it but there really is nothing like it.

But I could never be a New Yorker. Here's why:

1. When you smile at people they look at you like you're crazy. I smile too much.

2. If I bump into someone, I apologize. And I mean it.

3. I have a crazy fear of being crushed to death by a falling air conditioning unit.

4. I can never figure out if I'm getting on an express train or not. Or what that even means. All I know is that I always wind up way past where I thought I was going. And that, my friends, is God's way of telling you that you shoulda walked.

5. I'm no Carrie Bradshaw. I refuse to wear heels while walking around the city. Jorts, t-shirts, and sandals, thank you. But I'm pretty sure that outfit screams "I'm from the burbs!"

6. But on that note, it gives me a constant feeling of inferiority. Is this outfit not "New York" enough? Does everything I do scream "I'm not from here!"?

7. I'm cheap. A friend of mine lives in Manhattan. She has a studio apartment that has been converted into a three bedroom. Each bedroom is the size of a queen size mattress and they pay almost a grand each. Woof.

8. I'm still fearful. It's the greatest city in the world and no doubt, America's most loved city. That will probably always make it a target.

9. Archie. Manhattan isn't made for big dogs. And I'll never live anywhere that he doesn't. After all, who would sleep on my pillow, cover me with love (in the form of dog hair), and constantly invade my personal space?

10. I'm a good driver. Every New Yorker will hate me for this one (including the New Yorker I live with. Sorry N!) but it's true. I'm aggressive when appropriate, not all the freaking time.

But I'll give credit where credit is due, New York does have its perks:

1. The mani-pedi's there are half the price of anywhere else. I have no idea why, given the fact that everything else in New York is double the price. Whatever, I'll take it.

2. Public Transportation. Look, I might have train schedule issues but if I lived there, I'd figure it out. And I'd get everywhere in half the time and it would effing rule.

3. Every single kind of food. YES. Get in my mouth.

4.  Investment bankers. Hey, if that's what you're looking for, New York is the place to be. Want a guy who is in his mid-twenties, makes 6 figures, and works 80 hours a week? Get your booty to New York.

5. The end of boredom. Remember last week when I got bored, freaked out, and bought a plane ticket? Yeah, that probably wouldn't have happened if I lived in NYC. Why? Because there is always something to do.

I'm sure there are a million other reasons why living in New York would be super awesome and would suck, sometimes simultaneously. Still, I have to tip my hat to you, New York. You still give me those butterflies that no other city ever will. So for now, I'll keep crushing on you from a distance.

Could YOU be a New Yorker? What do you love about the city?

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lifeofvicki
1125 days ago
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As a girl from #nyc this post from @backeastblonde made me LOL a few times!
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Cookie Cutter Crazy

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I'm going to put this out into the universe. Maybe if I see the words on screen, say them to you all, my ever loyal readers, I'll actually hear them, and absorb them, and take them to heart.

I really need to stop eating.


I'm not binging, no. Not really. But I am certainly eating badly, and I am definitely eating more than I need to be. And I have been for quite some time, since my Whole30, really, off and on. But binging, no, I won't call it that. So that's good, right?

You know what I think it is? Despite the fact that things are going mostly well for me right now, teacher training and new boys and fun times, I'm feeling so...unfulfilled. Unsatisfied. I want more of something, and I don't know what, and I'm using food to try to fill whatever this void is inside me. Instead of eating well and nourishing my body and nurturing my soul and making myself happier in the way I know works best, I'm stuffing my feelings down with all this crap I know I don't need, and I'm just carving that void bigger and bigger. Because I don't want to be happy, apparently.

I'm so stereotypical.

I just want. All the time. I want to be happier, but I don't want to do the work. I want more attention, and more validation, and more success, but I don't think I deserve any of it, and I again, don't want to work for it. I want to be thinner and prettier and better and smarter, I want to be more than I am, but I don't know how. I just want want want.


And right now, I really want a cookie.
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lifeofvicki
1131 days ago
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This post by @freakoutincolor articulates EXACTLY how I've been feeling lately. #weightwatchers
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Later is Better

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Remember back when Jessica wrote this post about what she learned in her early twenties? All sound advice. Later in the year I'll be turning the ripe age of 29. Age ain't nothin' but a number to me. However, thirty is officially on the horizon and I am super excited.
 
My 20s haven't been as fun as they should have been. Things happened, bad choices were made, trouble occurred and I've been paying for it ever since - literally.
But 30. Thirty is clean, shiny and new and I'm ready to show it off to the world.
 
The twenties haven't come and gone without a few life lessons though, and today I'm sharing a few things I've learned in the past decade.
 
Love your thighs
Somewhere around 25 I had an epiphany. Or maybe I just stopped caring. I have thick thighs. Always have, always will. Instead of being concerned that they were too fat in my shorts I said fuck it and I just wear my shorts. Not the kind where my lady bits are chowing down, but just comfortable shorts. The same goes for my bathing suit. If they're jiggling a bit, I just don't care anymore.

via
 
 Not all trends are trendy
This is something I'm always mindful of. Thanks to my mother, I always remember one simple sentence: Just because it comes in your size doesn't mean you should wear it. Of course I can find a bubble skirt that fits me but I can't guarantee you won't get an eye full of cheek. Or I can wear a bustier top with a pair of high waisted shorts. I can promise it will look like hell.
 
 
Drink the Kool-Aid water 
I have seen many a drinking partner take after Humpty Dumpty halfway through the night because they couldn't pace. Strangely enough, my M.O. seems to be drinking on an empty stomach. I also don't advise this. You'll probably end up sleeping in a puddle... or on a bathroom floor.
 
 
Mom is usually right
I think there comes a point when we all realize this. I will admit that I had an inkling in my early 20s when I realized the prom dress she picked was SO MUCH better than the one I ended up getting. But I wasn't ready to concede. Now, Mom is always usually right.
 
 
Live alone
I've been out of my parents house since April '03 and it's been a glorious, scary, fun, bad time. I've lived with boyfriends, friends, and roommates from heaven and hell. Until this summer, I'd been living alone since 2009. It has been...so many things. Killing a bottle of wine while I dance around in my underwear to classic 80s? Yup! Not doing the dishes for a whole week because I don't feel like it? You bet. Living alone is an amazing learning experience. And so much fun. Do it. If you're already shacked up with the S.O., kick him/her out for a weekend.


Check the expiration
We all know the saying about how people come into your life for a reason or a season, etc. Sure this can be true, but what I think is even more important is being able to know when a friendship it past its prime and be able to let it go. I have no problem walking away from someone who no longer benefits me or adds to my life. As bad as that sounds what I mean is that you need to know when to cut the leeches out of your life. If a friend is an emotional or financial leech, walk away. If they're 24/7 Debbie Downer... walk away. Why would you want to be surrounded with negativity?

via
 
Collect....money
I know this seems all über responsible and adult like but it's insane how much it matters. If you think about the big picture, 10 years is a long time. Say you set aside $20 from every check. Just put it away and leave it. In 10 years that's 10 grand. This is definitely something I still need to work on.
 
 
Buy the shoes
I think we can all agree here, right? You're going to need them eventually.
 


via

 Why so serious?
Don't you hate when someone can't take a joke? That's a HUGE pet peeve and relationship killer to me. I'm sarcastic, I joke, and I can find humor in almost every situation. Life is hard enough as it is without being driven 100% of the time. Be spontaneous. Take the trip, date that person, blow the budget. The point is to HAVE FUN!
What's something you've learned in the last 10 years?


On that note, today is my Friday! I'll be enjoying a little 4 day stay-cation with K. Fun things are planned so I'll see you all on Monday!


 
 

 

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lifeofvicki
1158 days ago
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This post by @Just_Zoshin is amazing!!!! Some important lessons in there!
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