Thursday, August 4, 2016

I think I realized why Instagram has "stories"

On August 2nd, 2016, an earthquake of confusion shook from all Instagram users. When I opened the photo-sharing app, the top was scattered with little circles with glowing usernames of people I follow under them. I figured that this was the not-so-long anticipated "Instagram story" I had heard about yesterday.

Paxton Mittleman, friend, student, social media marketer extraordinaire 

Basically every story followed the same script, give or take a few words:

What am I supposed to do with this?
Hi Snapchat, uh, I mean Instagram

Some people periled in the idea of another form of social media, questioning whether they have to do two stories now.  Most people, ended up going the self-promo route and plugged everyone to follow their snapchats.

But really... follow n_vergak on snapchat for self-deprecating humor

Some celebrities and brands are welcoming this with open arms, and I actually enjoyed their content. Some brands were even transparent with their dumbfounded-ness, and asked us what content we want to see on there. How interactive!

Instagram has become a feeder for jealousy, while Snapchat has become a feeder for intimacy. 

Snapchat and instagram obviously have their differences. Although Instagram technically did come first, it's been trying to be more and more like snapchat. Instagram added a "direct message" feature, where you can send images and text. Unlike Snapchat, however, it doesn't disappear immediately. 

Snapchat does miss the whole "uploading a picture to a feed and it staying there for forever - or at least until deleted", and the whole hashtag thing, but it does have its own benefits: temporariness, face-misshaping filters, and geofilters.

Te big difference between Instagram and Snapchat is the level of intimacy. Snapchat is where you can post unedited, raw content that not only takes minimal time to create (unless you're Shonduras, but you can reveal personal stories and antidotes that happen to you every day. Instagram has become known to pique people's jealousy, users scroll through questioning why their lives aren't as full of Brandy Melville dresses on Newport Beach, hikes at Yosemite, parties in SoHo, and so on like the people they follow. Instagram has become a feeder for jealousy, while Snapchat has become a feeder for intimacy. Maybe Instagram is onto something trying to be more intimate.

What team are you on? Snapchat - or Instagram? While you decide, here are my six takeaways from "Instagram stories".

1. Think about the dog accounts
Harlow and Sage and Marnie the dog are adorable in pictures. Imagine them in video now! You actually don't have to imagine anymore - the dream is a reality, and the still-life is now live action. It's basically like the account coming to life, and the second closest thing to actually holding the puppy in your hands.


2. You just gained 50 new Snapchat followers
Yes, everyone was using this to advertise their snapchats. Either that, or they resolved to just stick to the original 24-hour story app: Snapchat. If you're like any other social media user, however, you love getting new followers. Use this as an opportunity to grow your brand. Just what our egos need - more people following our every move on social media.

3. Another outlet for brands
I know that some people don't trust brands no matter how much they love their products or how transparent the brand is on social media. As a student of communications, however, I happen to always appreciate a brand's effort to explore social media territory. I can see how some are forced (I love a good  "Brands Saying Bae" Example), but I really appreciate it when it's done well. Social media is kinda my job, so I'm an optimist when it comes to new forms of social media. I'm excited to see how brands approach this.

4. You can reach an untapped audience in a more intimate way
I was scrolling through my "stories" feed, and I was seeing people I forgot I had even followed on Instagram (even some I'd like to forget).  Now, a whole other audience can see your daily life, and maybe bring them over to your snapchat for more. As a user, you can untap the intimate lives of people you forgot about on instagram.

5. Shaking the jealousy problem by tearing down the curtain
As stated before, this may be Instagram's way of being notorious for harvesting jealousy over filters and sushiritos. Now, we can see unfiltered, un-curated content from users that usually don't upload a picture unless the color follows a certain "instagram theme"

6. This could be fun
Think of how cross-platform this could be. Imagine a story that starts in snapchat and ends in instagram. You can drive followers to both accounts, and tell a multi-platform story.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

The Last Hurrah (In Many Respects), and #GOMO with Eventbrite

This weekend was my last before I start my full-time summer internship. It was my last weekend, my last hurrah. It wasn't quite an all-out bender, but I sure did have a lot of fun! I always say that my best plans are made last-minute, or on a whim. This couldn't be any truer about this weekend. 

When my friend texted me "wanna go to all three days of Boston Calling?", it seemed like a no-brainer to me. I was very willing to spend the money to have a mini vacation with a good friend before my new journey began.

I don't know if it's me, but when someone asks me to do anything that involves tickets, money, public transportation, and intense planning - I get discouraged at first. However, I didn't let myself have that discouragement this time. Eventbrite is getting everyone out of their anxious shells and into concert halls, hiking trails, airplanes, movie theaters, and more. They say that "GOMO" is the new "FOMO". They say, instead of having the much-feared "fear of missing out", they want to nurture people "going out more often". You can even host your own event if you want and ticket it right online

FOMO is even in the Oxford dictionary, defined as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.” Perhaps we can add a new word to the dictionary - "GOMO" defined as people spending their hard-earned cash on experiences instead of material things.

An avid concert-goer myself, I usually spend between $15-$45 on concert tickets and I go to shows once or twice a month. During my time at Boston Calling, I saw Sia, The Front Bottoms, The Vaccines, HAIM, Elle King, and Disclosure. Sia tickets would've gone for $80 alone, so seeing all of those acts would've been way over $180 separately. 

Due to the insane crowds, I couldn't really see the stage for Sia. Just like a fellow concert-goer said, every song was so fire, it didn't matter that I was so far away. I also got to see Maddie from Dance Moms and Kristen Wiig dance for Sia on stage. If I didn't go out, I wouldn't be able to say that I shared air with Kristen Wiig.

After all, it was a great weekend to reconnect with friends and great music on the last weekend of summer. In the end, I'm glad I went out more often. 

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Friday, March 4, 2016

GUEST POST: Outfit of the Day; Looking Cute this Winter!

This is a guest post by China Barbie of My Peace and Love Blog!

I don't like wearing jeans; to me they're just boring, and you end up looking like everybody else. I prefer to wear shorts, skirts, and dresses. In the harsh and snowy winters of Ohio however, this can sometimes cause a dilemma! You fashionable dames out there living in cold climates can totally attest to this! 

So I am here to show you, a cute winter outfit, and prove once and for all, that you can still
look cute, even in the winter!

What to wear:

- An adorable Tee
This is my Bob Marley quarter sleeve length tee by Zion Rootswear.

-An adorable skirt
I wear mine high-waisted. I got this cute denim skirt for only $.25 at a thrift store!
It's by Pins and Needles.

These are the most important part of any cute winter outfit. It allows you to wear a
skirt, dress, or shorts, while keeping your legs from becoming popsicles! I got these
adorable galaxy leggings from Rue 21 for only $2!

-A sweater

I absolutely adore sweaters. The more old lady looking the better! I get all my sweaters
from thrift stores-they always have plenty, and in any color you need! Wearing a sweater
over your t-shirt makes certain your outfit won't be lost in an oversized hoody.

-Boots and fur leg warmers

Gotta have warm fuzzy boots to complete your warm and adorable winter outfit!
If your boots aren't long enough, never fear! Get yourself a pair of
fuzzy leg warmers, and place them over your boots. You can find any color and
length on Etsy. 

I got these great tiger gloves from Kohl's for under $4.00!
Thank you so much for reading, I am so happy to be guest blogging on this great blog!
Now go on out there and create your adorable winter outfit!

Jessica LaPinta (China Barbie) is the author of My Peace Love Life Blog ( She is a part time model, housewife, and crafter. Obsessed with goal writing, list making, and crossing things of her bucket list, she is always busy with one adventure or another. China Barbie is a globe-trotting flower child, with a pension for healthy living, changing the world, and making her own fashion statement.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Top 10 Healthy Items to Keep in the Kitchen

By: Katie Comer
This article was brought to you by modernize.

With the start of the new year, there’s no better time than now to get a head start with your resolutions. And if yours is to eat healthier for 2016, you’re in luck, because we’ve got some tips on stashing your fridge to ensure that every meal or snack you reach for will be good for you. Here are Modernize’s ten must-have foods for a healthy and productive week:

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are amazing for adding fiber and protein to your diet. You can mix them in your fruit and vegetable smoothies, or add them to eggs for extra vitamins and fiber. Chia seeds are a great addition to any meal. Instead of a high carb breakfast that will certainly make you feel bloated, try chia seed pudding with fruit. Mix a tablespoon of seeds per cup of coconut milk and let the pudding congeal overnight. Add fruits, like berries, for a quick and healthy breakfast you won’t regret eating throughout the week.


Avocado should be an item you pick up at the grocery store during every shopping trip. This tasty treat is packed with vitamins and is low in sugar. Avocados are packed with fiber, making you feel fuller longer. Avocado can also turn bland foods into delicious meals. Try adding avocado to your toast in the morning, or you may enjoy eating them plain. They are a perfect staple food to provide you with the energy you need to make it through a hectic week.


Berries are the healthiest fruit you can buy. They are filled with antioxidants, and also low in sugar. Goji berries, blueberries, and strawberries go together to create a perfect smoothie. Berries are also good to have available for a quick and healthy snack. They are filling, and are also quick to grab. Replacing unhealthy snacking with delicious berries will help you stay focused on your health throughout the week.

Almond Butter

Sometimes craving a sweet snack is inevitable. Instead of running for the chocolate bar stash, try almond butter on a piece of toast or an apple. Almond butter is sweet and provides a great addition to fruit, while helping you with cravings.


Everything's better with a squeeze of lemon. You can replace fatty sauces, like salad dressing, with lemon and herbs. You can add lemon to water to jumpstart your metabolism and add fresh flavoring. It's a perfect flavoring tool for a variety of foods.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is the best snack for a busy week. It is so easy to grab a yogurt on your way to work or to the gym. Greek yogurt also makes a great substitute to fatty condiments, like mayonnaise. Try adding diced chicken breast and curry to Greek yogurt for a tasty curry chicken salad. You can also toss in some almonds and grapes as additions for an even healthier chicken salad option.

Leafy Greens

Spinach, lettuce, and kale should always be in your refrigerator. These vitamin-packed veggies should be added to almost every meal. Use leafy greens on top of your bagel, or make a tasty salad for lunch. Try adding greens to your dinner to ensure you are getting enough vitamins to make it through a busy week.


If you need a healthy protein that is easy to cook, eggs are the perfect food. They are inexpensive, and they provide so many nutrients to your diet. They can be added to chopped salad for protein, or eaten plain. They are a perfect food for those who don't have a ton of time to spend on making meals. Add herbs, like basil, to your eggs for flavoring.


Carbs provide you energy and are very important in a diet. A healthy carb option is a tortilla. They can be added to protein for an easy dinner, or used to make a breakfast burrito. They are delicious and easy to add to recipes to replace bread.


Hummus makes for a great snack, and it comes in a variety of flavor options. Hummus can be added to sandwiches or used to dip veggies. It's the perfect healthy addition to any meal. It is a natural food, so you don't have to feel guilty about snacking on this tasty snack.

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Monday, January 18, 2016


I may seem hypocritical because I just made a post about how not to resolve to be healthier. However, it's not that. My post says to resolve to be healthier for the right reasons. Most of the reason I eat healthy is because I love trying new foods and seeing how I can make heathy substitutions. That's why I asked for a juicer for Christmas. I got the Bella 13690 High Power Juicer.

image credit: Amazon
I was looking into the Ninja Juicer, but I already have a blender so the combination juicer/blender wouldn't be necessary. I stumbled upon this brand. I loved the price and the brand's dedication to the light and healthy lifestyle. So far, this juicer has worked great: it's extracted lots of juice with minimal pulp. The disassembling, cleaning and reassembling process is simple.

Here are two juices I've experimented with so far. These are great beginner juices because they're tasty and easy to make.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


As a busy college student, Annie's Mac n Cheese is a godsend. There's something about toiling over research papers and planning programming for a student-run radio station and a public relations student group that makes me crave pasta. However, I want to stay as healthy as possible, of course. That's where Annie's comes in. It's organic, nutritious and delicious. 

However, part of healthy eating is variety. You can eat fruit your whole life, however you need some form of protein. You can eat PB&J your whole life, but you need vitamins and minerals. That's why I leverage the easy-to-make Annies and mix it with beans, tomatoes, fresh veggies, and protein to stretch one box into at least two meals.

Today I'll show you how I spice up the organic shells & real aged cheddar.

Chicken, spinach, and pasta are some of my favorite things to eat. The other day, I actually had spanakopita for breakfast, a broth bowl with spinach in it for lunch, and spinach and beans topped with scallops for dinner. I may actually turn into spinach.

I combined this pasta with spinach and ground chicken. In a pan, I sauteed the ground chicken with some Mrs. Dash until it browned. I simultaneously had water boiling. When the water came to a boil, I added the pasta. Once the chicken was browned, I added a handful of spinach in the pan and let it wilt. By that time, the pasta was cooked so I combined the cheese mix, milk, and butter as according to the package. After it sit and absorbed, I added the chicken and spinach. Voila!

This will make enough for two meals: one for now, one for later.

Here, I added tomatoes and pinto beans into the Organic Shells & White Cheddar mix.

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Monday, January 11, 2016


Right before Christmas, my mother and I went to see the Boston Pops. The Symphony Halls is located in the back bay area of Boston. Here's a little historical note: the back bay wasn't originally a part of Boston land-wise, it was build using sediment. It's located right near the State House, Boston Common, and the theatre district. Boston is a small city with a lot of history, culture, and goings-on.

The back bay is home to many restaurants ranging from Italian, taquerias, cafes, and sea food. We ate at Lucca Back Bay. Some reasons we chose to eat here were because this restaurant was one of many in the area that offered valet for free if you were seeing a show at the hall, and who doesn't want Italian?

Lucca was an upscale restaurant that offered a mix of modern and classic Italian food. From the bread, to the appetizer, to the salad, to the entree, to the desert, it was delicious. If you ever go to Lucca, bring your appetite.

These were our salads:

This was my mother's ceasar: winter romaine, traditional Caesar dressing, Parmigiano Reggiano, white anchovy, crostini.


My delicious green salad had organic winter greens, black grapes, ricotta salata, spiced grape vinaigrette, candied pecans. 

My chicken was exactly what I needed that cold night. Warm, crispy yet moist statler chicken baby carrots, green apple, pearl onions, parsnip, carrot-tops.  All of the flavors lingered together and married so well. The veggies were great alone or with the chicken, however the onions and the chicken made the perfect bite.

Whipped sweet potatoes, pancetta & maple sciroppo, sage were a perfect accompaniment. The sweetness of the maple made these sweet potatoes indulgently sweet. I wanted to order a gallon if it to to go.

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