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If You’re Having a Bad Day, Cheer Up Already!

8 Nov

No one likes having a bad day, but they happen to everyone from time-to-time. Yesterday (and well maybe Sunday too…) was one of those bad days in my world. My washing machine broke, I ripped my dress (twice) in a very noticeable way on the way to work, I fell off my diet bandwagon and felt like godzilla, and I could keep rambling with this stupidity, but I’ll stop there. I spent a good amount of time sulking, convinced that the universe hated me, until I finally just got sick of my own bad mood. I could either continue pouting like a flaming psycho or just surrender and let myself feel better. Thankfully I decided to behave like a sane individual and chose the latter.

You're not having a bad day, you're relaxing on a beach, (repeat).

Here’s some tips to help you cheer up when you’re just having a bad day:

Sulk a little. When you’re having a bad day, you need some time to pout it out. It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself for a while, just don’t do it for too long. There’s nothing more annoying than being upset and having someone tell you to get over it before you’ve had a chance to sort it out yourself. Don’t take too much time sorting though, no one likes a sad sack.

Read the news. I typically don’t spend much time reading the news, because I find it really depressing. If it’s not in the Page Six gossip column, I probably won’t find out about it. Well, a few minutes reading hard news yesterday was enough to snap me back into reality. My biggest “problem” of the day was having to wear a trench coat around the office to conceal the fact that half my dress had ripped open. Looking back, that’s actually pretty funny. Some people in the world have real problems, and taking a few minutes to read about those definitely put things into prospective for me.

Work it out. When I’m feeling super crazy, going to the gym always makes me feel better. A good hard workout is one of the best ways for me to cheer up and return to reality. And as an added bonus of sorts, the worse the day I’m having, the better the workout. Now, that’s something to smile about!

Phone a friend. Things always seem worse than they actually are when you keep your problems bottled up inside. Talking to a friend about whatever is it is that’s bothering you will definitely make you feel better. If you don’t want to discuss the details, you don’t have to, because simply being around a good friend will help to you to cheer up. For me, just spending a little time sitting on the couch watching tv with my boyfriend or having a lady date with my friends will always make me feel better if I’m having a bad day.

Don’t encourage bad behaviors. It’s weird how it works, but when something upsets us, we often keep going back for more. Don’t keep your bad day going by engaging in the very behavior that upset you in the first place. For example, if looking at pictures of your frenemy’s shiny new engagement ring on Facebook makes you depressed, stop doing it.

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Annoying Ways That People Break Cell Phone Etiquette

31 Aug

Follow proper cell phone etiquette when using your mobile.

Cell phones are fantastic. They make our lives so much easier that most of us have blocked out the dark ages when we used to have to share a landline with our entire family. Looking back that seems insane.  We were like cavemen.  The fabulousness of cell phones brings an added social responsibility that many people simply cannot handle. There’s a certain cell phone etiquette that one must follow when in possession of one of these devices. This is simple for most of us, but some people just don’t get it.

Examples of Bad Cell Phone Etiquette:

Mass Texting. When someone sends you a text message, you assume that they’re sending the message to you, not you and 15 other people. You know you’ve fallen victim at least once to a text from a friend saying “what’s going on tonight?” only to find out later that this person texted everyone in their phone, looking for the best response. It’s insulting to find out that you’ve been part of a phone book cattle call. Normal people don’t do this.

Walkie-Talkie Style. I still don’t understand this one. Why do people feel the need to walk around with their phones on speaker? You still have to hold your phone, so this does not free up your hands. No one else is with you, so you’re not making it easier for any willing parties to listen in. What is the point of it, besides causing noise pollution?!

Not Turning the Ringer Off. This happens to everyone sometimes, and the occasional slip up is not an issue. People who simply refuse to turn the ringer off at work, in movie theaters, during weddings, and at other inappropriate times to hear a cell phone blasting a “99 Problems But a B*tch A’int One” ringtone are a problem. It’s no wonder you’ve got no b*tch, with manners like that buddy.

In the Elevator. The average elevator ride takes less than a minute. That’s one minute of the day that you can’t talk on your cell phone. Really doesn’t seem that difficult, does it? Well apparently to many people it is. I find myself in the elevator with someone on the phone at least once a day and it’s just plain awkward. Regardless of how desperately you do not want to hear their conversation, you’re absolutely forced to listen. Perhaps are consciously aware that you have to listen and the like it, like some sort of weirdo ear exhibitionists?

Late Night. In college late night texting was cool, expected and a normal part of life. After you graduate college, it is no longer funny. Many people use their cell phones as alarm clocks and have to leave the ringer on all night. Therefore it is highly unappreciated to get a 2am drunk text on a Tuesday night from your jobless wonder of a friend. It’s even more unappreciated to get many drunken texts from said jobless wonder on a Tuesday night.

Selling Things on eBay is a Pain

29 Aug

Selling things on eBay can make you want to bit your keyboard off.

 

I’m really cheap and I hate clutter, so selling things on eBay or even selling on Amazon seemed like the perfect idea for me. If I get a gift I don’t like, that I have no idea where it came from, this allows me to still profit from the deal. Or, if I have some easily shippable items in my house that I’m trying to get rid of, why not try to make some money, instead of simply donating them?

 

The reason why I advise you to think twice about selling things on eBay or Amazon is of course the rare looney tune buyer that will be a royal pain in your arse. From my experience, these instances are few and far between, but when one happens to you it leaves its mark.

 

I’ve only had two negative experiences selling things on eBay, and they’ve both been on sales of one certain brand (to be left unnamed for a number of very good reasons). This is not shocking when I consider the type of people who support this brand, think women who wear tennis shoes with skirts and get super excited about eating cake.

 

I don’t offer returns when selling things on eBay because I’m not Wal-Mart. I write very clear descriptions of the goods that I’m selling and provide accurate pictures. As a result there is no good reason for a return, unless the buyer is either an idiot or dishonest. That said, I had to break my policy and refund the two eBay sales mentioned above, because if you don’t they buyers will give you awful reviews, sink your seller rating, and as a result no one will ever want to buy from you again.

 

As far as selling on Amazon goes, I’ve only had to deal with one problem buyer. I was selling a textbook for a friend, and the buyer claimed to have never received the book. Good one buyer, good one. After a few weeks of back-and-forth emails with this lovely buyer, she was eventually forced to give the moron a refund. So she basically had to pay this idiot to steal her book. Where is the fairness in this?!

 

The moral of this tale is, it is much better to be a buyer on eBay or Amazon than to be a seller. If you sell someone a product that doesn’t live up to the description you wrote on the site, you will (and should) have to refund them. But if the buyer gets their product, realizes it’s ugly and doesn’t want it, they can damage it, claim it came that way and then you have to refund them for damaging your product!! Or in my friend’s experience with selling on Amazon, the buyer can claim they never received your package and demand a refund, even if they did in fact receive it. So you end up paying them to buy your product! SHEER OUTRAGE.

Get in the Closet and Organize It

26 Aug

Closet organization is fabulous.

I’m positively obsessed with keeping my house clutter-free and spotless at all times (well almost all the time), but one area I’m kind of a slacker is the closet. Everytime I look through the closet and try to get rid of old clothes and shoes, I always second guess myself. “I haven’t worn this in a year, but maybe I’ll need it sometime.” Or “This looks terrible on me, but I’ve had it forever and I can’t bare to part with it.” Then I’m left to choose, do I want the satisfactory bliss of closet organization or to eventually be put on A&E’s Hoarders?

Thankfully I’m much more inclined to choose closet organization and force myself to part with old items, than actually allow the closet to get messy. I’ve managed to learn a few tips throughout the years that definitely help when trying to decide which items to get rid of and which are
worth keeping.

Closet Organization Tips:

  • If you’re unsure of an item that has been sitting in your closet, force yourself to wear it. If after wearing it for an entire day you still like it, then keep it. If you’re ready to go home and change by lunchtime, it’s time to get rid of it.
  • Organize the closet so you know what you have. If your clothes are all randomly thrown in your closet, with no order whatsoever, you’re not going to be able to see what you already have. Enact a method of closet organization such as diving items by color, material, sleeve length, etc; whatever makes sense to you.
  • Don’t outgrow the space you already have. If you’re recently finding that your dresser drawers are at capacity, and you can’t fit another item in your closet, it’s time to do some cleaning. Don’t solve this problem by purchasing another dresser or renting space in your roommate’s closet. Just get rid of some of the things that you already have, because chances are you don’t even know what you have.
  • Inspect items at the end of the season or at the beginning of a new one. We often don’t notice how worn items that we wear a lot really appear. For example, before you’re ready to wear last year’s fall boots, take them out of the closet and examine them. Are they in bad shape? Should you surrender and invest in a new pair before the season starts? It’s a lot easier to do this in the beginning of the season than after you’ve gotten back into the groove of wearing them daily and no longer notice that they’re old and grimy looking.
  • Give it the time test. If an entire season has past by and you haven’t worn an item, you probably don’t like it very much. Instead of letting it collect dust in the closet, sell it to a thrift store or donate to a local charity, because your old sweater is definitely someone else’s favorite new item.

How to Survive Public Transportation

25 Aug

Cabs are public transportation for the privledged.

If you take public transportation to work, or even if you don’t, you know that it isn’t the most desirable way to get around. Besides the college kids and the commuters trying to save a bit of time and money, the city bus is full of whack jobs that are too crazy to get a driver’s license. Taking public transportation to and from work is typically the nastiest part of any normal person’s day, but at least it brings us great stories to tell our non-city bus riding friends.

Tips for surviving public transportation: 

  • Don’t talk to strangers. You might think the crazy guy wearing paint-splattered shorts over sweat pants is talking to you, but listen carefully, he’s actually having a conversation with himself. Be polite and don’t interrupt.
  • Avoid making eye contact with anyone. Yes, there is a man sitting on the steps wearing a giant wooden cross. Although it’s tempting to stare, because really how can you not, do your best to face forward and pretend that this behavior is normal. If he catches you looking at him, he might actually talk to you and trust me, you don’t want that.
  • Carry hand sanitizer with you at all times. You might be able to get away without touching anything, but if you can’t, you need to come prepared.
  • Change clothes immediately upon arriving home. Do not sit on the couch, do not lay down on the bed, get those grimy clothes into the laundry basket immediately! Who knows what you may have just sat in on the city bus, or at the very least who may have been sitting there before you. You don’t want to know, you don’t want to think about it, but you do need to wash those pants.
  • Wear headphones. This is your excuse to ignore anyone who tries to creep on you. So when the guy sitting next to you starts complimenting your feet, you’re not being rude by not responding, you simply “can’t hear him.”
  • Don’t stuff yourself into the middle seat between two people who cannot fit into their own designated seats. While it may not seem fair that they’re taking up 1.5 seats and you’re left to stand for half an hour, you’ll be grateful to have made this sacrifice. When the city bus hits a bump, they will fall on you and you will feel their meaty skin on yours. You don’t want that.
  • Do listen to crazy people’s cell phone conversations. They’re pretty hilarious and they make for some really great stories.Plus you can learn a few things. I mean it’s not everyday you get to hear a woman beg her jobless ex-boyfriend who has recently been released from prison to take her back. If she’s talking so loud that you have learned this information from her phone call, she’s actually asking you to listen. This is a cultural educational experience and you need to share your newfound knowledge with your friends and co-workers.

First Time Massage Tips

16 Aug

Read these massage tips if you're unsure of what to expect from your first experience.

I’ve always wanted to get a massage, but since I’ve never done it, I was nervous. Instead of doing the logical thing and just asking someone for first time massage tips, I kept putting it off until this past weekend. Yes, I finally mustered up the courage to get a massage and it was fabulous!

I’m not into the idea of anyone in the suburbs touching me, so I ventured back to the Massage Envy in Squirrel Hill. There are a few different Massage Envy locations in Pittsburgh, but I had already been to the one in Squirrel Hill one for a facial a few months back, and was impressed, so
I made my triumphant return.

I can’t speak for any of the other Massage Envy locations, as I’ve only ever been to the Squirrel Hill branch, but it is definitely nice. The rooms are super clean, they’re lit with a soothingly dim lighting, and relaxing classical music plays through the speakers.  I mean if you’re used to a high-end spa, you might not love it, as much as I do, but if you’re that fancy, you’re probably not reading this blog for massage recommendations…

I’ve always wanted to get a massage, but have been a bit intimidated, because I didn’t really know what to expect. Here’s some massage tips for all of you first-timers who want to know how the process works:

  • Strip at your own discretion. You don’t have to strip down if you don’t want to. The therapist leaves this up to you.
  • You choose where they touch you. They give you a questionnaire when you’re sitting in the waiting room where you check “yes — touch me” or “no— don’t touch me” in the boxes next to a number of specified areas.
  • You lay under a towel at all times during the massage.
  • You can leave your hair down and it still looks perfect after they’re done! (I don’t know why I was expecting my hair to be slopped up with massage oil afterwards, but that did not happen. Ohh the strange things I worry myself about…)
  • You can choose whether you want a male or female therapist (well at least at any of the Massage Envy locations you can. This probably varies according to each business.)

Fun Fact: The therapists can guess your work environment based on your “problem areas.” Apparently it was ragingly obvious that I spend 40 hours a week hunched over a computer in a cubicle.

Suburbia Survival Skills

5 Aug

I grew up in the suburbs, and it was great, but I instantly fell in love with the city when I moved there for college. I quickly became a ‘city girl,’ staying there for a number of years after college. I developed a disdain for the suburbs, and as any good city dweller does, judged anyone who lived in there.

When I was 24 I decided that I had to buy a condo, and it had to be in the ‘right’ part of the city. I applaud myself for my intentions, but any idiot can tell you how realistic this one was on the salary of a 24 year old marketing specialist. So the next year, with my desire to own real estate still raging on, I surrendered and bought my cute little house in suburbia.

Suburbia is notorious for it's wide variety of strip malls.

I’ve been happily living in suburbia for more than a year now, thanks to these survival skills I’ve learned along the way:

1.)    Don’t Befriend Your Neighbors. It’s fine to be nice to your neighbors, in fact you should be nice to your neighbors. Being nice and hanging out playing board games on Saturday nights are two different things. If you’re too friendly with the neighborhood crew, you’re bound to start spending wayyy too much time inside the confines of your suburban area, where you will soon become another suburban robot.

2.)    Visit the City Often. If you work there, this sort of counts, but not really. Head to the city on the weekend, instead of settling for suburban activities. Go to street fairs, museums, and see plays at the theater. This will keep you culturally balanced, so that you remain interesting.

3.)    Don’t Get Stuck in the Chain Restaurant Trap. Applebee’s and TGI Fridays are not nice restaurants, you know better. There’s a reason that places like these are typically only found in suburban areas. Look for locally-owned restaurants that will actually serve good food. Of course, you should also head to the city, visit your old favorites, and stay on top of the hot new restaurants too.

4.)    Drive a Normal Car. Do not get a mini-van, maxi-van, or a station wagon. If you’ll notice, there’s not many of these cars on the road anymore. This is because they are ugly, dated, and unstylish. If you need a big car, get an SUV, don’t channel the 90’s in a giant predator van.

5.)    Avoid Taking Up “Suburban” Hobbies. Regardless of how you want to argue this, scrapbooking and card club groups are not cool. This is non-negotiable. Instead, try cooking classes, book clubs, tennis lessons, yoga or blogging. These will keep you from becoming a boring suburban person, and instead evolving into an interesting person who happens to live in suburbia.