On January 21st, 2017, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, over 4 million people in the US marched in the largest single-day protest in American history: the Women’s March. Happy one year anniversary, ladies.
I want to recognize how far we’ve come in a year – I get a little choked up thinking about it. What started as #ImWithHer, became #NotMyPresident, then the Weinstein Effect spurred #MeToo, and now… #TIMESUP. This weekend it’s time to break out our pussy hats and brilliantly crafted protest signs once again for the 2018 Women’s March.
At last year’s march, we discovered our collective power. This year’s march is all about harnessing that into political power.
This year’s Women’s March is themed “Power to the Polls”
Women’s March organizers decided to host the main anniversary event in Nevada because it’s a swing state with the potential to vote blue for the 2018 Senate election. The #PowerToThePolls event will kickoff a national voter registration and mobilization tour focusing on 10 swing states across America.
Vegas was also selected because of recent gun violence and sexual harassment. The 2018 Women’s March will address issues including “basic rights for women, immigrants, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, the religious and nonreligious, people of color, and even Mother Earth.” All genders and colored will stand together for equality, tolerance, and justice.
Whether you’re male, female, alien, black, white, or purple… you should be there to support this historical movement. As the Women’s March site reads, “We are the leaders we have been waiting for.”
The 2018 Women’s March: When & Where
This weekend, starting Saturday, January 20th, Women’s March events over 200 global locations. The events are also listed on Facebook. The events are free and RSVP is encouraged so organizers and police know what to expect.
Additional Women’s March events are scheduled for Sunday, January 21st – including the Las Vegas Power to the Polls kickoff event. The main Las Vegas event will also be live-streamed on the #PowerToThePolls website.
I want us all to shine here, people. Check Pinterest for inspiration. (Be sure to take photos and tag @brainsoverblonde and #flexyourfemale. I’m lit DYING to see what you come up with!)
Signs should be made of poster board, paper, or cardboard. You can’t use wooden or metal poles/handles – so if you want something to hold your sign with, make it out of a wrapping paper roll.
As my friend’s mom aptly warned her, “there will be signs with vaginas on them!” So don’t be afraid to get a lil frisky (I know I am).
Task batching (also known as batching, grouping, time blocking, batch processing) is literally going to change the way you get shit done and make you crazy productive. Listen up.
Me: I need to start being productive Also me: Hey look my chair spins
WTF is task batching?
Task batching is a time management system that maximizes concentration, productivity, creativity, and mental sharpness while minimizing distraction, stress, and fatigue. Do I have your attention?
Basically, task batching is where you group a long list of similar tasks together to complete during a dedicated time period with no interruptions. This cuts down on the time it takes for your brain to switch and refocus between different tasks.
Multi-tasking kills productivity
I’m always doing a million things at once and my mind moves like a fighter jet. I used to pride myself on my multi-tasking artistry. Taking a phone meeting while answering emails while online shopping while negotiating a deal was the norm. I’m super OCD about my calendar and to-do lists get me high. Multi-tasking got me pretty far, and I thought it’d come in handy as an entrepreneur. (Lol. Wrong.)
I’m insanely passionate about my company, so every task is urgent and I want it done yesterday. Before I started task batching, I’d switch from task to task in an exhausting, neverending loop. All of this switching comes at a cost. Your brain needs time to refocus on the task at hand – about 25min to be exact, and that shit adds up (think about how many times you get distracted in one day).
If you’re anything like me, distractions are everywhere. Our workflow is regularly interrupted by emails, meetings, fires, texts, calls, coffee breaks, driving, errands… life. We end up letting these distractions take priority over what we really want to get done.
Your brain needs time to catch up every time you move to a new task
Once your brain is focused on a certain type of task, capitalize on that focus until the task is complete. It’s the effort it takes our brain to switch between tasks that makes us tired, stressed, and unproductive… not the task itself. That’s why task batching is like therapy and meditation for your workflow.
With task batching you stay focused on a certain task and can achieve flow: a mental state where we get “in the zone,” distractions dissipate, and the work becomes easier. If, on the other hand, you check Insta every 5min and have The Kardashians streaming in the background, you’re not going to achieve flow. That’s where task batching comes in (yep, you can task-batch your reality tv binging, too!)
How to start tasking batching right now
Pull out your to-do list. (If you don’t already have one, get it together.)
Group similar tasks logically by their function (e.g. email, calls, meetings, housework, errands) and location (e.g. computer, downtown, car)
Split your day into segments and assign each task category a dedicated window of time
Here’s a real example of how I task batch my week:
See how I get all of my writing done in dedicated, uninterrupted periods? That’s because it takes a lot of focus and I need to spare my brain from all that switching. I’m task batching as I write this (I’ll write several articles today.)
You can batch tasks that use similar resources by day, week, monthly, quarterly, etc. For instance, I batch appointments (e.g. dentist, haircut, DMV) less frequently.
Task Batching Realness
I’m always going to be real with you. A few things you should know:
Life happens. Things come up, and I can’t always stick to my task batching calendar; you have to give yourself some wiggle room. If you need to adjust, just move that task to another timeslot and readjust your calendar. Don’t go back to multi-tasking!
Task batch planning takes time. So you’re going to need to task batch that too.
You might have to keep it on the DL. If you blab to everyone about your new task batching schedule, people might try to persuade you to make changes or wake up earlier to accommodate their calendar.
You need to do everything you can to minimize distractions. I turned off email alerts, and often put my phone in another room. It’s such a relief to not check my email and socials constantly – like a burden has been lifted. I make fewer careless mistakes. I feel in control rather than disoriented.
Here’s the bottom line: since I started task batching, I get more shit done that I actually care about. It’s not a perfect system (obvi, nothing is), but I’m more in control over how I spend my time.
Remember, we all have the same number of hours in a day as Beyoncé. And I bet Beyoncé task batches.
I love being right, so I came up with a few arguments that prove my own point.
7 Reasons “guys” is gender-neutral:
“Guys” can refer not only to mixed-gender groups, but also to groups of only women.
The English language has no good alternative for the plural of “you,” so “guys” became colloquial.
The intent is good. “You guys” isn’t meant to be offensive towards women.
“Guy” (singular) may be male, but the plural “guys” is generally accepted as vocative (meaning it refers to the person or people being addressed).
The terms “girls”, “women,” and “ladies” aren’t the opposite of “guys” and imply varying levels of formality and age. Plus, context matters – “girls,” “women,” and “ladies” are often used in a derogatory or condescending manner.
One of the cool things about language is that it changes over time. For instance, “awful” was originally defined as “awe-inspiring.” Now, it means the literal opposite. Even if “guys” used to refer to only men, we can change the definition by consensus.
I’m never going to say “folks” or “peeps.” It’s not going to happen.
Of course, if I knew “you guys” was offensive to someone, I wouldn’t use the phrase around them. But my v scientific Instagram study suggests that 20% of you are offended, and that’s kind of a lot.
It got me thinking. When I was growing up, “he” was a common gender-neutral pronoun. I learned that male is the default. I accepted that females (and other non-males) don’t require explicit mention.
Our language shapes how we see the world
Language rules our communication and thoughts. Male-centric language consistently reinforces the idea that women are an inferior subcategory of humankind (or as it’s often called, mankind.)
The male generic is pervasive, even when gender is irrelevant. Why can’t we all just be waiters and actors? Women get cutesy modifiers and are called waitresses and actresses.
What about people who are gender non-binary? Well, they’re at the bottom of the totem pole. Our language doesn’t have words for them at all.
This linguistic equation implies that non-males are inferior. The hierarchy is linguistically reinforced to us many times a day, every day, for our entire lives. And ya, we internalize that shit, it adds up, and we start to believe it. We see the world, and live our lives, through a male-centric lens.
What does gender-neutral even mean?
Not too long ago, pants weren’t gender neutral. Neither were suits. Nor short haircuts. These days, all of these things are considered “gender-neutral.”
You know what’s not considered gender-neutral? Dresses. Skirts. High heels. Bras. Barrettes. Braids.
My point is, even gender neutrality has a masculine tilt. And that’s not fair to men! Gender neutrality means neutrality in every direction.
So what do we do you guys humans?
Start greeting men with salutations like “Hey, ladies!” and refer to our entire species as womankind, duh.
Jk jk. (kinda)
I’ll be the first to admit that saying “you guys” will be a hard habit for me to break. When your president brags about grabbing women by the genitals and you read about the newest Harvey Weinstein in the news every single day, the impact of the phrase “you guys” feels minuscule.
Plus, a number of you reached out to me specifically to say that you LOVE the phrase “you guys,” and don’t want to let it go.
But sexism is systemic, and in order to achieve equality and respect for all genders, we have to change the male generic.
The change will be a process; it won’t happen overnight. I’m not perfect, but I am going to make an effort to get more creative with my language, y’all.
We’re smart humans – I KNOW we can figure this out.
What are your ideas for more inclusive linguistics? Share them below!
Call it narcism, but I never buy subscription boxes because I don’t think anyone can curate a collection of (usually v random sample sized things) better than I can for myself. I like my own taste best. Duh.
There might be one person that can do it better though – and that’s Rachel Zoe. When The Rachel Zoe Project first aired on Bravo in 2008, I got a wee bit obsessed with her. I wanted to raid her closet, wear her hair as a wig, and I started using her favorite phrase – “that’s BANANAS” – every chance I got.
I know not everyone cares about this stuff, but I appreciate beautiful branding and packaging. The Box of Style comes in a sleek square black box, and each item is individually wrapped in glimmering gold tissue paper. Respect.
1. Rachel Zoe for Box of Style Clutch
Screw “saving the best for last,” this clutch (designed by Rachel Zoe herself) is my fave item in the box. I absolutely adore it. The quality is great and the materials are beautiful. It’s perfect for a night out or an evening bag. I opted for the white color because I love the marbled texture and prefer gold hardware over silver.
2. House of Harlow 1960 Mesa Earrings
Rachel designed these gorgeous statement earrings in collaboration with her good friend Nicole Richie (casual). I’m into the bold style. The best part is that they’re super lightweight for such a large size – so they won’t wear out your poor lil earlobes.
3. Unreal Fur Faux Black Stole
I love fur stoles. If I didn’t live in LA, I’d prob be wearing one rn. Stoles are perfect to pair with coats, sweaters, and evening dresses. I’m feelin the pure black color of this one.
4. Tarte Sex Kitten Liquid Liner
Meh, not too excited about this. I’m not a big cat eye fan, and I feel like Sephora is handing these eyeliners out like candy. Not sure how this fits with the “luxurious” branding.
5. Osea Essential Hydrating Oil
I’ve heard amazing things about this product for a while. I used it today on my face today and it’s definitely hydrating – but I don’t like the herbal smell – it’s way too intense.
6. Sugar Paper The Agenda
V V V into this. Yes, I know we have phones these days. But personally, I still like to write things down – it keeps me organized. And scratching things off my to-do list gets me high. P.S. This planner is filled with quotes from badass women – love that.
If you know anything about Rachel Zoe, you know she has high standards – and that shows through in the Box of Style presentation and products.
That said, does the Box of Style really contain “over $400 of luxury items?” Unclear. Do I care? Not really. The box is absolutely worth $79. I don’t know of any other subscription box that offers such high quality, full-size items. I love four out of six of the products – and they’re worth more than $79 to me – so in that sense, it’s a steal. Finally… a subscription box I actually like.
It’s not too late to get your Winter Box of Style for $79 or annual subscription for $349! Don’t forget to use codes BOSWINTER20 and BOS20, respectively. (P.S. These also make FAB gifts. And if you get the annual subscription, they’ll think of you all year long!)
I coach people every day on career changes and job applications. I’ve answered every job search and resume question under the sun, but rarely do I get serious inquiries about how to write a killer cover letter.
This is a huge mistake.
FACT #1: Most companies and job application platforms require cover letters.
FACT #2: Most people hate writing cover letters.
FACT #3: Most cover letters suck.
My guess is at some point you’ve googled “cover letter template,” made a few tweaks, and used what I call the “spray and pray” method (sent it off to as many decent companies as you could find in the shortest amount of time).
Writing a legit, personalized cover letter takes more time and effort than personalizing a resume (where you might change a bullet point here and there). So a lot of people just “check the box” and mail it in. Trust me, hiring managers can tell… you’re not fooling anyone.
Cover letters are your opportunity to stand out
I’ve read a LOT of cover letters and let me tell you… the bar is low. So let’s use that to our advantage, shall we?
You’ll notice I didn’t create a cover letter template for you. This is intentional – I want you to write each cover letter from scratch using my guidelines below. I promise you you’ll get more interviews by writing five well-prepared cover letters than a hundred generic ones.
Make a strong first impression
Your job application (resume + cover letter) is your potential dream employer’s first impression of you. Your resume is your opportunity to showcase your professional experience and accomplishments. Your cover letter is your opportunity to advertise your unique personality, story, and passion.
Oh and by the way, you’re not the only one who’s sooo busy. Be respectful of the hiring manager’s time and write a concise letter that packs a ton of punch.
I trust you to use your discretion on cover letter length, but people always ask me for rules. So here you go: your cover letter should be 3 paragraphs.
The recipe for a killer cover letter
Formatting & Logistics
This is the boring stuff but it’s important so let’s just get it out in bullet form:
No spelling or grammar mistakes allowed. Period. Proofread. Have someone you trust proofread too. I use the Grammarly Chrome Extension to check my work.
No weird fonts. Everything needs to be easily legible. Keep this in mind if you use colors or images/logos as well. Get a second opinion to make sure they’re not distracting.
Be consistent. Use the same font, format, colors, and (optional) letterhead for your resume and cover letter.
Email or PDF attachment. If you’re applying via email, include your cover letter in the body of the email (even if you also attach a pdf along with your resume). This way if it gets forwarded around, your cover letter never gets lost. Oh, and ALWAYS use PDFs (and in general, NEVER use Microsoft Word… I beg you).
Use hyperlinks. The beauty of email and PDFs is that you can include links! (to your website, Linkedin, portfolio, interview, writing, video, etc.)
Voice, Style, & Tone
Your cover letter is your chance to show your personality, so I love a personable, informal tone. That said, take a cue from the job description. If the writing style is formal, chances are so is the company culture – so use a professional tone in your letter. Otherwise, be yourself. Talk like you’re talking to a friend. After I write the first draft of a letter, I like to read it out loud and make changes so it reads like I speak. Feel free to use contractions and personal anecdotes.
Humor (and self-depreciation) is a great tool if you’re actually funny. If you’re not sure, get a second opinion.
Make sure every word counts. Remove fillers, excess adverbs, and jargon like “I’m the perfect fit.” Don’t use passive language.
The Subject Line
If you’re inquiring via email, you don’t have to write a basic subject line. Subject lines like “Job Application” make me want to take a nap. Your subject line is an opportunity to make an eye-catching mini-pitch. How about “Top Sales Performer Seeking Account Management Position?”
Never kick your letter off with “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madame” – it’s awkward and outdated. Take five minutes to research who the hiring manager or recruiter is on Linkedin, and address them by name. You’ll be one of the only ones who does, and she’ll take note (people love to hear/read their name)! That said, you don’t want to use the wrong name, so if you’re not sure, just say “Dear [Company Name] Team” or “Dear Hiring Manager.”
Paragraph #1: WHO ARE YOU
Orient your reader. Quickly. (This paragraph is your elevator pitch. Grab her attention.) Extra snaps if you pull her in with a unique and memorable story or tell a (funny) joke. This paragraph should be short (2-3 sentences). If you have a common connection, here’s your chance to drop her name (but make sure you trust and respect her and she said it was ok. If she can warm intro you first – that’s even better!)
Paragraph #2: WHY THIS COMPANY & JOB
The first step here is to DO YOUR RESEARCH. You should know this company inside and out (Who are the founders? What’s the mission? How do they make money? Have they been in the news lately?) How did you first learn about this company (the news? a friend? a podcast?). Mention an article or interview you read, and why it resonated with you. If it’s possible for you to use their product or service, try it out! Then talk about your experience.
As for the role itself, what’s intriguing about it to you? (Hint: The answer is NOT “it popped up on Linkedin” or “I’m looking for something new.”) Why are you seeking out this opportunity in particular? What about this role excites and motivates you?
Paragraph #3: WHY YOU
Here we go – this is your chance to SELL yourself. And NOT by regurgitating your resume. Create a narrative that contextualizes your experience. SHOW (rather than TELL) who you are with a compelling story.
Remember to focus on how YOU can bring value to their company – not how THEY can bring value to you. Demonstrate your passion, but stay humble.
Close the deal. Make the ask for a phone conversation or interview at their convenience (make it EASY for them to say YES!) Include a simple signoff like “Regards” or “Best,” and end with your name and contact information.
Your Cover letter is your story, in your voice
Your cover letter is like a mini ad campaign for yourself. It should SHOW (not tell) who you are. If you copy and paste the same cover letter over and over, you’re going to fall flat. So tell a unique story so the hiring team can’t WAIT to meet you.
In a couple of days it will officially be socially acceptable play nonstop Christmas music (but no judgment if you’ve been doing that for months). Make the most of this week’s sales and get your holiday gifts ready for the merry merry men in your life. Here are some gift ideas that won’t get returned:
Ray-Bans are classic, timeless, and every guy should have a pair or five. They have great Black Friday / Cyber Week deals, and you can even customize your own design and engrave a message. I’ve gotten a few pairs for Tracy over the years and they’ve been major hits – just sayin.
3. Vineyard Vines Shirts
Men look srsly so handsome in these shirts; I love the colors. These were also a major hit with Tracy.
4. Fun Socks
Dudes love socks. Ties.com has so many fun sock patterns (along ties and pocket squares).
5. L.L Bean Slippers
Tbh my entire family lives in these. They’re the comfiest, and far more durable than other similar slipper brands.
6. Portable Speakers
For the music lover who’s looks down his nose at the Jambox.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: The color burgundy is everything to me rn. I have a serious color crush… and not just bc it’s the color of wine. I pretty much treat burgundy as a neutral and wear it with everything.
If burgundy isn’t a MAJOR part of your Fall and Winter wardrobe, we need to change that. You can go burgundy head to toe, or use it as a single pop of color (so chic). Here are my fave burgundy picks – I promise they’ll spice up your life:
I have online dating to thank for my hot af fiancé. Outfit details below. Photo by Victoria Johannson
No brag, but I like to consider myself a bit of an online dating expert. Even though I’ve been out of the game for a while, I’m fascinated by the industry. Not only did my fiancé Tracy and I meet online, but I also did my MBA internship at the dating app The League, and even worked as a professional matchmaker. I love to dish out online dating advice to my single friends, and now I’m going to share it with all of you.
Here’s my online dating playbook
Your dating profile and messages are like an advertisement to the world, but most people don’t understand what they’re broadcasting. I’ve analyzed thousands of profiles to get to the core of what makes some profiles irresistible and leaves others matchless.
Pro Tip #1: Perfect Your Pics
No selfies. Just don’t. This goes double for mirror selfies. Some people will disregard any profile that has one.
Don’t make me guess what you look like. Your first photo should be of you and you alone. Limit the number of pics with sunglasses and goggles. A few group photos are fine, as long as they can tell which one is you. I know people who have sent messages asking for the “hot one” in the group shot.
Variety. Your photos should have diversity in all ways. Show a mix of activities and interests. Balance face versus full body shots. Each pic is an opportunity to show off a different reason why you’re awesome. It’s not about any one individual photo, it’s about the whole compilation together.
No weird angles. If your face is posed at the same angle in every pic, I’m gonna assume you have a bad side.
Recent pics. All your photos should be from the past year. Maybe two years if it’s an amazing photo and your appearance hasn’t changed much. If you use a pic from five years ago, people feel misled when they meet you in person. Also, because phone photography has advanced so much in the past few years, people can sniff out an old photo because the quality isn’t as good. Online daters are the best detectives.
One swimsuit photo. If you have a hot bod, show it off. But more than one photo looks vain.
Don’t try too hard. One modeling or professional photo is fine. But unless you’re an actual model, end it there. If you are a model, you should still consider limiting the professional shots; you’ll be more relatable.
Pro Tip #2: A Simple About Me
Short and sweet. Most people don’t spend much time reading these, so don’t kill yourself over it. You have more to lose by making it overly verbose, so keep it short. Write the way you speak (so they get a sense of your personality), and throw in your fave emoji.
Make them laugh. People like funny people. Little quips and (appropriate) witty jokes are a good bet.
Don’t be generic. If you’re going to list off your interests, fine, but make them unique to you. Rather than saying “podcasts and wine tasting,” mention your favorite podcast and a winery you want to visit. This provides a conversation starting point, and could even lead to date ideas.
Baseball stats. People are going to Google you. They’re looking for key pieces of information (ie. school, job, where you’re from, height). Not all dating sites list this information, so consider laying it out there for efficiency’s sake. If something is especially important to you (i.e. religion or that you have a kid), save time by laying it out there. If your Instagram and Twitter are public and represent who you are, consider listing them.
Proofread. Nothing kills intrest lik grammar mistakes and misspelllings.
Don’t be mean. Or negative. Don’t say “I’m embarrassed to be on here.” Or any version of that. It will make others feel bad and no one will want to talk to you.
No lying. You will get caught, and it will be awkward.
Pro Tip #3: Killer Conversation
Start the conversation. Everyone wants to know who should send the first message. Duh, anyone can and should. A good rule of thumb is the person that’s online now, or the person that swiped and got the match first. If you leave it hanging and a conversation never starts, what’s the point?
Don’t write an essay. It’s overwhelming. Women in particular respond at lower rates to super long messages.
Make it personal. Make the message specific to that person, not something you copy and paste to everyone. You don’t have to be Shakespeare or a smooth operator. All you have to do is put in a little thought and make it personal, genuine, and different. Show you noticed them. Mention something from their profile.
Don’t ask them out in the first message. It feels abrupt. Engage in some witty banter, and then ask to meet in person after a few messages. No one wants to be chatting on a dating app forever.
Humor. Laughter always works. Be light, be playful.
Pro Tip #4: Make It a Date
No creeps. Don’t go on a date with anyone sketchy. Always meet in a public place.
Drinks over dinner. You don’t need to commit to a long or expensive dinner on the first date. Meet for a drink, and extend the date if you’re both enjoying yourselves. If not, it’s easy to part ways after an hour.
If you don’t drink, share an interest. Try something active like a hike. No coffee dates. Coffee is a superhighway to the friend zone.
The key to online dating is to be real
I’m not a “rules” person, but in my experience, these are safe guidelines to abide by. The key is to represent who you are in the real world, not to be someone you’re not. If your ideal person comes along, you want them to understand who you are. Don’t fake anything, you won’t fool anyone in real life.
Most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
People can smell insecurity and desperation from a mile away. Dating should be fun. Even if one of you isn’t interested, the worst that can happen is you spend an hour getting to know someone new. If you expect much more than this, dating becomes exhausting. If instead, you keep your expectations in check, you just might be pleasantly surprised!
Outfit details from this post (no joke the bracelet is $800 off and the earrings are $170 off!)
Share this post with your single friends and comment with your most brutal or romantic online dating stories below!