Millennials Have High Expectations

28 Jan

The baby boomers generation doesn’t understand us millennials. They look at us as complainers, entitled children, and lacking in worth ethic. As a millennial, I am certainly biased, but I don’t agree with these notions. Most of the people I know, who are around my age, actually work very hard. It’s not that we’re afraid to work hard, it’s that we want to work smart.

What’s the point of working hard? What are we working towards really? To buy a house? Can’t do that because I’m drowning under student loans, so even with a decent salary that is above average, I’m still practically living paycheck to paycheck in my tiny little studio. Is it to get married? My boyfriend and I are both attorneys, and before you roll your eyes, let me let you in on a little secret – being an attorney does not equal riches. In fact, our salaries are unimpressive and rather low when considered against the effort it took to graduate law school and pass the bar exam in two states. As far as I know, he’s been saving up for a ring for months now and for me, while I focus on how important is it to have a person in my life whom I love with my entire being, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be posed that question, that so many countless girls cannot wait to hear, anytime soon.

So I ask again, what are we working towards? We’re breaking our backs working 50+ hours per week, barely making it by, and we’re expected to do this for the next 50 years? Meanwhile, we’re also expected to put a percentage of our paychecks away for retirement. Umm…how? And to add insult to injury, many law firms don’t even offer retirement benefits. Don’t even get me started on health insurance, where dental and vision is considered a luxury.

I get it, i’m complaining, but I’m doing so because I don’t understand. I don’t think humans were put on this earth to be mindless zombies answering emails day and night and having only 2 days a week to be the masters of their own time. What’s the point of killing ourselves in high school to get into good colleges, to take out loans because the costs of these colleges are so exorbitant that normal middle class parents don’t have the means to help out, scholarships are low, and the federal government only gives money to those literally living in poverty.  So we’re doing all this because eventually, based on the traditional path our parents took, we will find that great job where we will work for 30+ years, garner a nice retirement and eventually live off of it. But it doesn’t work like that anymore does it? The cost of a higher education is no longer a year’s salary, or even two, for most millennials their loans are so high that they will be paying them off for the next 25-30 years (like a mortgage, except at the end of the 30 years, you don’t have a house to show for it). Can you imagine setting aside around $1,500-$2,000 per month from your salary to pay off your loans (i’m using those numbers based on what I pay)? Think about that in proportion to your income. Sure, some of you might laugh and say oh please I spend that on a weekend partying, but I think the bulk of you would shudder at the thought of how long it will take to not only pay off those loans but somehow save enough to enjoy your life as well.

So what am I writing all this for? Because I feel stifled, completely stuck between the generation that had their problems but also had it pretty nice and the generation that was born into the technological boom and has a better understanding of the fields that actually matter in our ever-changing society. I’m tired of telling my parents that I don’t want to live to work. I’m tired of explaining to them that as humans, while we certainly were made to challenge ourselves and have jobs, those jobs should not come at the expense of our free time with our loved ones. Where are our priorities people?? How does it make sense to kill yourself for that paycheck so you can buy that shiny new car and the big house so that you could kill yourself for that paycheck so you can afford to keep that shiny new car and the big house. Do you see how vicious this cycle is?

I don’t want any part of it. And yet, what can I do? I feel as though if I want to keep a roof over my head and food in my belly, I have to put my head down and follow the heard. Of course, this is fear talking. I haven’t reached that point of self-actualization yet, where I can admit to myself that veering off “the path” might be ok, and the only reason I rationalize not doing based on potentially become homeless or not being able to afford food, is because I am scared of being different. We’re bred to be the same, to be employees. That’s what high school, college, society and our parents have taught us. Good grades in high school = college = job that pays. That’s the formula we all follow, is it not? But what happens after you acquire that job that pays. No one ever tells you what to do when you realize you don’t get any satisfaction from that job, or it doesn’t pay enough for how hard you work, or it doesn’t pay enough for you to enjoy your time on this earth that does not include sitting in an office and making your boss rich.

What’s the answer? I don’t know, but if we put our heads together as a generation, I’m positive we can figure it out. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to reading/listening to self-help books to control my anxiety about my job, my future, and whether I will have the opportunity to start the family I have always wanted.

TLDR: Being a millennial sucks and something’s gotta give.

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In the Market for Cap Toe Oxfords

29 Dec

Christmas came and went this year all too quickly as per usual but memories of what it feels like to see your loved ones eyes light up when they open my gifts will last forever, or maybe for at least another week.

This year, finally having a job and all, I decided to really go all out for my honey. Now, it’s not easy buying for him because he’s actually very fashionable and picky. He likes what he likes and that’s that. He also tends to research the heck out of any purchase and lately, he’s been all about researching men’s dress shoes – the material, country of origin, how they’re made, how long they should normally last, you name it, he probably knows about it.

A few years back, when we first started dating I bought him his first pair of really nice professional dress shoes. They were a pair of Cole Haan’s that I spent a pretty penny on (at least relative to my income or lack thereof at the time). They were a pair of Cap toe Oxford’s, no brogues, nothing fancy, just regular black classy shoes that were nice enough for suits but could be dressed down for jeans.

He wore those things out like it was his job. He basically wore them everyday to work for the last 2 years, that’s a long time and certainly speaks to the quality of Cole Haan’s shoes. However, they were looking really scuffed up lately and I knew he had been looking into a pair of Allen Edmonds.

I had only seen Allen Edmonds stores in New York City and the display always showed gorgeous really upscale looking shoes. Well let me tell you, each pair of those puppies starts at $385 so they better look upscale. Anyway, I thought that as a Christmas treat I would get him a pair, knowing that he would never spend that kind of money on himself. That’s the point of gifts right? To get the person something they would never buy for themselves.

I started looking at different types of shoes with little swirlies that are called brogues apparently, and wing tip or not wing tip, derby, omg the amount of different styles was overwhelming. So I thought about it and I decided that he needed a new pair of Oxford’s to replace his current and old pair of Cole Haan’s. I chose not to be fancy and get him a shoe that would be only a once in a while sort of thing and instead get him Cap Toe Oxford’s, which he loves and actually desperately needs. I chose the Park Avenue model, which I think was his favorite and also the most practical for an everyday dress shoe.

We opened our respective gifts on the morning of Christmas Eve because we had plans with family on both Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day. When he opened the beautiful dark blue box with huge letters that read “Allen Edmonds” I could see the smile forming on his face. He could not believe I had actually bought him such an expensive but high quality shoe. He could not have been more grateful and I felt fantastic, what a win for me that was!

I highly recommend looking into this brand. The shoes are made in the US and the highest quality leather is used. Also, I learned that what separates a great shoe from a mediocre shoe is how the sole is attached. Apparently, cheaper shoes attach the sole by using glue, whereas Allen Edmonds stitches the sole on with a very thick thread. The sole itself is also very thick which offers durability and longetivity for the wearer. All in all, I did a great job.

Yesterday was my boyfriend’s first day back to work after the holidays, and you can guess that he has been wearing those cap toe Oxfords since then and will continue to do so for another 10 -12 years.

If you have a man in your life that needs a durable high quality dress shoe, I 100% recommend purchasing a pair of Allen Edmonds. If you’re lucky, like I was, you may even be able to snag a pair for $375 on Amazon vs. the regular $385.

All About Weightlifting, the Hip Thrust, and the Squat Sponge

15 Dec

Writing about weightlifting yesterday got me really amped up about fitness and the topic of weightlifting for women. So here’s another blog post about it – I hope you like it and if not, i’m sorry and I promise to return to normal fashion-related blog posts.

I’ve been weightlifting for over 2 years now. My boyfriend got me into it because he was tired of hearing me complaint hat all my hard work with cardio wasn’t giving me the results I was looking for. I won’t get into it all here, if you’re interested to hear in more detail the process of starting to lift, check out my blog post where I explain how I got into weightlifting.

When I first started, I did mostly what my boyfriend did, so I targeted arms, shoulders, and even traps…eek. One day, I thought to myself, what are my goals with weightlifting? What does my ideal body look like? Let me tell you, it didn’t look like my boyfriend!! He’s incredibly sexy, don’t get me wrong, his muscles are very built and he’s a big guy…but uhhh I don’t awnt to look like that!

So I started looking into fitness girls on Instagram and bodybuilding.com and I stumbled upon Jamie Eason’s Instagram account. I immediately fell in love. She’s sweet, bubbly, gives great advice and has an amazing physique. I embarked on her LiveFit training program and started to see some great results. Here I was with toned arms, non-jiggly legs, and my stomach was getting less flabby. And then…I hit a wall. My legs were looking great, albeit getting a little thick, but it didn’t both me. What did bother me was how disproportionate my tiny butt looked next to my newfound muscular thighs. My butt was non-existent, just flat and soft and I hated it!

Here comes the tireless search to include glute activating workouts and exercise programs to build that booty! Squats and deadlifts, while amazing compound exercises, were just not enough. Enter Bret Contreras, Strong Curves, and getglutes.com. If you haven’t heard of Bret Contreras, today is your lucky day. You are welcome, in advance. Bret Contreras is the glute guy, the glute ninja, the glute expert, heck, even the glute god and he co-wrote the exercise for a booty glute handbook – Strong Curves. I obviously bought the book right away and was introduced to the holy grail of glute activating exercises – the Hip Thrust. Look it up online, on YouTube or something, please people don’t waste any more time without this exercise in your life!! And pictures will not do it justice, I want you to watch video! Here is a link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCm-70-9_XE I’ve literally taken all the work out for you, no excuses not to watch.

So did you watch? You can laugh. I know it looks awkward but I will trade an awkward few minutes a day for a bangin booty. I’ve been doing this for about a year and a half now and my booty is ever so grateful. I really want to get Bret Contreras’s hip thrust machine, the one he designed and built himself, but my studio apartment simply won’t allow the space for it :/ Anyway, you don’t need it to get great results. I usually do some form of a hip thrust every day that I work out, which is about 3-4 times per week. I set up using a regular barbell that I fit with the appropriate amount of weight. At first, you’ll start low with just the bar, but don’t feel sorry for yourself, you should quickly increase the weight to make sure that booty is on fire and being challenged.

After a year and a half of doing hip thrusts and engaging in progressive overload, I can now hip thrust 240 lbs (OMG?!) and my glutes show it. My boyfriend can’t get enough my bubble butt now, but that’s neither here nor there.

Ladies and gentlemen (because this exercise is a great accessory exercise for weightlifting for both genders) how did I manage to hip thrust such a ridiculous amount of weight without crushing my hip bone? Drum roll please…the Squat Sponge!!

The Squat Sponge was originally designed to be used during squats to protect the back from the barbell. Bret Contreras followers, including myself, now use the Squat Sponge as the perfect pillowy cushion between a heavy ass barbell and their hips/skin. It’s super durable and has yet to show any signs of wear and tear (I’ve had it for almost a year now). I think at a certain weight it may fail under pressure (see what I did there) but at my 240 lbs it’s not showing any signs of buckling. At least for your first 250 or so pounds of hip thrusting, you can rely 100% on the Squat Sponge. Once you go over that number, well first off – wow and second, you’re a lifting beast, you don’t need a fluffy sponge.

Anyone out there use the Squat Sponge? Or have the hip thrust machine by Bret Contreras?

Lifting Gloves for Women because Callouses are so last season

14 Dec

One of my interests is weightlifting. It’s an amazing way to stay in shape, eat a lot, and get strong. Strong is the new skinny right? No but really, it feels empowering to know that if I need something heavy lifted at home, I can do it myself rather than wait for my knight in shining armor to save the day. Just filling the brita pitcher up with water and holding it with one hand while doing so is an impressive and highly doable feat for me.

I got into lifting weights thanks to my boyfriend. I was always complaining about how much I hated cardio, was sick of restricting food and still didn’t see a difference in my body. The truth is, I’m very thin and always have been and in clothes I looked fine! But a bathing suit showed off all my soft parts, and my legs, despite being relatively small, jiggled. So my boyfriend offered to show me how to lift weights. My initial response was – OMG are you crazy?! I’m not trying to get bulky and huge. I just want to be “toned” – whatever that meant. He quickly convinced me that women have very little amounts of testosterone, making it rather difficult to put on muscle and certainly not at such a rate that I would wake up one day and realize I look like Starla from Napoleon Dynamite – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Starla

Anyway, I went with it for a little while and although difficult, I really enjoyed it, especially when I started getting strong and upping the weights. So where am I going with all of this… lifting gloves for women!

Lifting gloves for women are perfect to protect our dainty little hands from callouses. As part of my introductory care package into the world of weightlifting, my boyfriend bought me a pair of pink Harbinger lifting gloves for women. 2 years later and they’re so worn in that a hold has developed, yet it continues to protect my feminine little hands.

My boyfriend’s sister has been slowly exploring the world of weightlifting, so I thought the perfect Christmas gift would be a pair of Harbinger lifting gloves and I bought one for myself too because why not get a fresh pair?

Any lifting ladies who wear lifting gloves? Or how about those who don’t, any pros to not wearing them?

“Never Ask a Woman with Winged Eyeliner Why She’s Late”

12 Dec

I love that quote because it’s so true. So many days of the week I get to work by the skin of my teeth (what a disgusting expression, where did it even come from?) ONLY because I had to take that extra few minutes (ahem 20) to make my eyeliner juuuust right.

You know when people ask you about that one beauty item you just have to have with you if you’re trapped on a desert island? Well for me, it’s eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner to be exact and NARS Eyeliner Stylo, Carpates, if we’re going to be very specific. I discovered it about a year and a half ago – on my boyfriends’ cousins eyelid…sorry for that weird image. This girl is always a 10, hair perfect, makeup flawless and outfit to die for. And then there’s me. Now don’t get me wrong, I have my sh*t together as well but I don’t have a steady hand and never could work those liquid liners the way Adele can.

Adele Liner

Naturally, I asked my eyeliner role model what liner she used and I got the holy grail of information – Nars Stylo. So what did I do? Immediately make my way to the nearest Sephora and buy myself the very same eyeliner.

Since then, i’ve only had to replace the eyeliner once – that’s how long it last. My current stylo, did you know that means “pen” in french, is starting to run low but from day 1 to day empty, the eyeliner is consistent and always flawless. I think the pen design is what makes it so easy to apply, it’s much steadier and the liner just glides on your eye. I don’t see myself making a switch any time soon.

Nars Stylo Eyeliner

Ladies, if your liquid eyeliner skills are less than impressive – try out the Nars Stylo eyeliner, I highly recommend it and I doubt you will be disappointed. If you do, let me know how you like it!

I Found the Perfect iPhone 6 Phone Case

11 Dec

I’m not a pioneer in technology whatsoever, so i change phones when I need to, read as – when they break. Well, my Blue Apple iPhone 5c finally croaked about a month ago and I sprang for…gasp, no surprise, another iPhone! The iPhone 6 to be exact!

So I bought the 64 GB Apple iPhone 6 because I was tired of that message that told me I was running out of memory. Those 16GB’s just don’t cut it anymore.

Anyway, I’m holding my new, shiny, scratch-free iPhone in my hand and thinking, what kind of phone case should I get? No way to the OtterBox. No offense of course, I know plenty of people who love their Otterbox phone cases for durability, but I’m dainty and I didn’t want a bulky phone case.

Back in the day, my boyfriend’s sister had gotten a phone case from J.Crew that was kind of like a book. Inside the cover there were even slots for credit cards and a pocket to hide a stash of dollar bills. I guess it was like a wallet case. Although even to this day I dream about that phone case, I’ve never been able to find it. However, the idea, or should I say, obsession, of getting a phone case that was like a book/wallet stuck with me.

Finally, by the grace of god I found this Lockwood iPhone 6 Case
. This was exactly what I had been looking for and it only took 2 months of near heart-attacks every time I dropped my iPhone in its flimsy plastic cover to find it. Isn’t it cute? Small, yet functional and can I say – incredibly cost-effective!

81o0-qB1PjL._SL1500_

If you’ve been looking for something similar, check them out on Amazon. They come in different colors and options. How about you? Any other recommendations for similar iPhone 6 book/wallet phone cases? I am always open to switching it up especially with prices like these!

It’s Been a While…..

13 Oct

I know I have been MIA for a loong time but lately i’ve had the urge to come back. I’m not sure how yet, but for now, here is something I wrote long ago, so long that the experience has all but been forgotten, except for this little window into what once was.

The Tangled Web

I am no one special. I’ve done nothing great. But I have these memories. Memories that are more

like secrets. These secrets are known to very few, spread out in the minds of various people who

happened to cross my path at the right time. My secrets, my lies, my memories will cause pain,

but my heart is exploding. I can feel the memories knocking on the inner walls of my heart

aching to get out, bleeding through cracks as each day passes. My heart is always pounding and

crying. It is suffocating from the firm grip these secrets hold on it. I must let them out. I have to

open the flood gates and let them all pour out, for the fear of hurting my loved ones is

overpowered by the fear of holding hostage these memories. My loved ones will forgive me,

they love me, they must. But my soul will never be able to forgive for the emptiness created if

those memories fade away. With each rise of the sun and ring of my alarm clock, those

experiences, sensations, memories begin to slowly become paler until one day they will be lost

forever in absolute darkness. I refuse to let this happen and that is why I have finally decided to

let my heart breathe. I have decided to put those thoughts and secrets to rest on paper, where they

can be read and relived with each spoken phrase. By doing so, I can assure myself that I will

never forget the happiness, the sadness, the laughter, the pain, and the indifference that I

experienced that year…..