I couldn't let my birthday happen without sharing a playlist for you guys!
Traveling can be a luxury but you can definitely go abroad without spending out of your means. There are plenty of sites that share low flight fares and Groupon is a great source for package deals. Last September I traveled to Eastern Europe, visiting Budapest, Prague and Vienna and I only spent less than $1200 for the entire trip. Here’s my breakdown.
I swear! I only paid $30 for the entire flight. I received a $1000 voucher from Delta Airlines due to an overbook flight. I took the offer and had to stay one evening in Atlanta, but it was worth it.
I spent 14 days in three different countries and decided the cheapest option would be to stay at Airbnb. I rented a room in each location and most were less than $80 a night. I also made sure every place I stayed offered breakfast so I eliminated purchasing one meal a day.
For 4 nights in Budapest - $284.94
1 night in Budapest - $75.00
4 nights in Prague - $202.95
4 nights in Vienna 142.95
To travel to each country, I opt to take trains to each destination. I also splurged and purchased first class seats for each train ride, but you can definitely purchase economy seating to keep your spending as low as possible.
For a 6 hour train from Budapest to Prague - $176
4 hour train ride from Prague to Vienna - $142
2 ½ hour ride from Vienna to Budapest - $93
Overall I spent $1146.79
Another way I cut cost of spending, I used public transportation instead of using taxis or shuttle buses. Most were $2 round trip, and many locals are happy to help you get around or your hosts at the Airbnb.
How are some ways you’ve been able to cut costs for traveling?
Phew! I am still exhausted from the non-stop week I had.
On Tuesday, after months of planning, CMSD and Channel 3 joined forces and kicked off our Untitled Black History Month project with the Digital Arts High School. To jump start the program, we chartered the students around Cleveland to prominent historical landmarks, including Garret A. Morgan Water Works, Karamu House, St. John’s Episcopal Church, etc. One interesting fact I learned during the tour, it took slaves an entire year to walk from the south to Ohio/St. John’s Episcopal Church. What an incredible and brave of them to endure to freedom.
The next few days were spent at the Council of Great City Schools where the largest urban school districts in the country come to together and share how to improve and enrich our scholars’ education. It was my second time attending but equally informative. This year, Cleveland hosted the conference. I have to say, CMSD and Cleveland did a fantastic job as hosts and really set the bar for next year’s hosts Baltimore.
We also had incredible speakers during the conference aside from our peers. Bill Gates opened the conference and in a big way by announcing he would donate 1.7 billion dollars to charter schools.
Rosario Dawson shared her journey as a daughter of a teen mom, growing up poor in the Lower East Side in Manhattan and how her mom advocated for her to have the best education. With her current platform she pays it forward by her involvement in Lower East Side Girls Club.
Van Jones closed the conference with an incredible speech on how we need to balance the left and right to have a working and powerful future. He also moderated our forum on equity in education with superintendents including CMSD’s Eric Gordon, and CMSD’s students and parents.
I skipped one of the conference dinner to attend the Milly fashion show at Saks.
Saturday night, we had our farewell celebration at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum, where the entire museum was open for the attendees to explore. Although I just visited the museum a few weeks ago, I was finally able to take in their Power of Rock Experience, a 15 minute video of some of the highlighted performances throughout the years of the Rock Hall’s induction ceremony in a surround sound theater. It was incredible and I recommend anyone to check it out if you’re in the area (as well as their Rolling Stone magazine anniversary exhibit).
I closed off the weekend and week by attending the first show of the Broadway Series at Playhouse Square, Waitress. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the musical when it was announced earlier this year during preview week, but I will say it’s one of the best musicals I have ever seen. As a proud Ice Princess, I wept at the end. It really made my cold heart melt for a few minutes. You know it’s good when it’s capable of doing that.
Overall, I had an eventful week. I wish I could say this week will be mellow but that's simply not the case. I'm heading back home to New York City for a few days this week. I cannot wait to go back to the city that never sleeps!
If you're following along, and read "Shake Up Your Work Attire" you'll know that I am in the process of changing up my work wardrobe. During the winter, I always end up wearing a uniform which consist of a black turtleneck and black slacks. Although I think it's great to wear a uniform once awhile, I did not want to get set in my old ways.
I had always been into androgynous looks, the way a woman can wear menswear and make it sexy, has always been GOALS! Some of my favorite fashion icons are capable of making that look work, including Tracee Ellis Ross, Diane Keaton, and Grace Jones. I decided to buy my first suit set, and not the Hillary Clinton kind, one that would get me excited when I throw it on for work.
This Fall I am completely obsessed with all things velvet and my favorite color is black. When I came across this suit on ASOS, I not only gagged but I also knew I had to have it in my life.
I wish I could wear nothing but black, but a splash of color doesn't hurt. I paired the outfit with pearls and my gorgeous black and white Gx by Gwen Stefani pumps.
Roommates, you either love 'em or you hate 'em. If you live in a high rent city, chances are you have several people living with you. Some people are lucky enough that they've never had a moment where they wanted to strangle the person they're living with - those people cannot be trusted. Here are some personal stories from women and their experiences, both good and bad, when it comes to living with roommates.
What’s the worst incidents you’ve experience with a roommate?
"I'll be honest, I'm not good with living with other people and I have several horror stories. I think my last year of college living with the group of girls was by far the worst. I had been living with them for about three years but their ticks were getting under my skin my senior year. It was 5 of us living together in the house and it started out with just one cat...by the time I graduated we had 3, and almost had 4. My one housemate was an extreme hoarder who just couldn't allow certain things to live on the street. We had pointless furniture taking up open spaces, she brought home a giant plant from the student center, the list just kept going. There were fur balls everywhere, dirty dishes galore, and just general clutter everywhere." - Brittny
"I've had a roommate share a house with me twice. I live in Baltimore and the rent in the city is just way too high to afford by yourself on your average millennial salary. My first roommate was my best friend, she already stayed with me all the time so I figured we'd be great roommates, boy was I wrong. A week after moving into the house she had her new boyfriend staying with us 6 out of 7 nights of the week, and if that wasn't bad enough, she ended our lease 9 months early after only living together for 3 months, to move to California with her boyfriend (the one she'd only been dating for 3 months), we lost our security deposit and she made off with a few of my things as well, safe to say that friendship was over. My last roommate was the absolute worst though, she suffered from a lot of anxiety and OCD issues (but who doesn't these days?) and after a few months of living together it got out of control. If I changed the thermostat or had the TV volume on an uneven number she lost her mind, you would think it was the end of the world. Her dog chewed up my shoes, and all of my underwear because she let her roam freely through the house (which included my downstairs bedroom) and then would blame it on the dog having "anxiety". The worst however was how many of my things "mysteriously" disappeared. She would borrow my clothes and not return them, then claim she had no idea where they were...that was until I'd find them hidden in her room or other random spots, she even took my Manny Machado bobble heads I scored at the Orioles game and hid them in a random box in the basement. To this day I have no idea if she was doing things unconsciously and literally didn't remember, or if she was that spiteful, but needless to say, I'll never live with someone else again!" - Catrina
“My college roommate got pregnant while living in our dorm. I was literally feet away from them fooling around. I slept with earplugs in so I'd miss most of it (thank god). They ended up getting married and are living the life though! I hate having roommates. I've been married/living with someone for a long time and since my husband left it's amazing to have time to watch what I want, clean when I want, etc”. – Erika
"I have to say the worst incident I inflicted on my poor college roommate was bringing home a guy into my bottom bunk bed while she was sleeping on the top bunk. Let's just say there's no way she could have slept through the impending events. I still cringe thinking about this night, and I should definitely send out in the universe my condolences to my dignity." - Kristin
"I lived in a house with two guys my sophomore year of college and to say one of them was messy, is an understatement. He would leave dirty dishes and plates of half eaten food everywhere. Glasses were left out for weeks with old, smelly, beer. My other roommate (he was a great deal more considerate/organized) and I started piling his dishes up at his closed door hoping he would clean up. He would just open his door and step over them, NOT EVEN NOTICING THEM! Then we ran out of dishes and glasses. I bought paper plates just so he would get the message that I was not going to clean up for him. We then moved the dirty plates to his bed and that finally got him to realize how bad it was." - Sarah
"By far the worst was my first roommate in Austin. I moved here not knowing anyone and moved in with a chick who was in my graduate program. She left the key for me and my mom moved me into her house. She found a book in the living room called something like How to Be an Obedient Christian Wife: Submitting and Providing to You Husband. I hadn't physically met her yet and my mom screamed to me, "This isn't gonna work!" She was right! I also lived with an acquaintance after a breakup and her and her roommate got super messed up during SXSW, let my cat out and I could hear him crying for a few days straight. Everyone gets messed up during SXSW but...come on. I had friends in town and we finally found him days later sandwiched behind a washer in our neighbor's garage. Tragic." - Rachel
"My roommates were leaving one summer to go study abroad and to offset the cost of rent while they were gone they found someone through a friend to sublet their room to. Turns out the person was someone the friend had partied with during Freshman year but had no real connection to. At first he seemed fine, was courteous, hung out and socialized but then towards the end his behavior became erratic and manic. He would go on weird rambling tangents about the drugs he was doing and the people he would be hanging out with. He would create elaborate stories that made little sense and were clearly fabricated. One time I came home to hear arguing upstairs and the sound of a taser going off - his friend was trying to tase him! We had to threaten to call the cops to dispel the tense situation. The end came when one day he started slipping notes under one of the roommates door writing that he thought we were all actors spying on him and that there were cameras everywhere filming him. Terrified, my roommate, locked the door only to have him try to kick it down repeatedly. He was eventually taken away to a psychiatric facility for evaluation. We later realized he may be suffering from Truman Show delusion (not officially listed in the DSM). He was clearly having a psychotic breakdown of sorts. It was an unfortunate situation all around." - Helena
What is the best thing about having a roommate?
"The best thing about a roommate is always having someone to socialize with. Once I moved off my college campus, my roommate and I were forever watching dvds in bed drinking wine. Our particular favorite was Sex and The City (my former roommate teases me to this day about my love for the show). Parties are great, but nothing beat relaxing with a friend laughing until our stomachs hurt." - Kristin
"The built in community that comes with having someone present for all the moments - good, bad and everything in between. If you have a good roommate then you've got a great friend. Having access to their clothes is also a plus, with permission of course " - Helena
“I think the best is coming home to a group of people you enjoy being around and being able to watch movies or comfort one another during difficult times. I remember our Britney Spears parties, our horror movie nights, and celebrating Halloween together.” – Brittny
"I lived with my best friend for 3 years and we love almost all the same movies, music, tv, etc...so I loved that. The best thing about a random roommate would be some company when you're younger and single. " - Rachel
Funniest story while living with your current/former roommate?
“I will never forget waking up on a Friday morning to a knock on my door when my roommate tells me she has something to tell me. She had lost her front tooth and had no idea how it happened. The entire house bonded together, took her to the dentist, created a story to tell her family and the dentist as the reasoning for the missing tooth. Through detective work, we were able to trace her steps and figure out how it all went down…she fell trying to piggy back off of a guy’s back. The sweet part was...the guy returned her tooth.” - Brittny
"One of my former roommates used to bring home guys all the time (more power to her!), but would never admit to hooking up. One night, we could clearly hear some business going on at about 3AM, and asked her about it the next day. She claimed that her and her date decided to do "burpees" (some exercise move) at 3AM. " - Kristin
How do you initiate a problem you have with a roommate?
"I am usually very passive aggressive but with a roommate it gets to a certain point and then I blow up because you can't avoid them. Sometimes I write a letter or note explaining that I am upset and these are the reasons why.... Then we talk it over face to face. If I tried to speak with them about my complaints/concerns without writing it out first, it did not go well and I just would end up looking like the crazy one." - Sarah
"I try to hit it head on depending on our relationship. If I wasn't really friends with them, I'll send an email or note, talk face to face as little as possible. If it's a friend, face to face ALWAYS." - Rachel
"I always used my typical coping mechanism of pretending nothing happened and then just letting my anger percolate. This is why I am a terrible roommate." - Kristin
It's officially fall but I haven't concluded #SummerofBrittny. This has been the first time I'm truly heartbroken that the seasons are changing because it ones of the best summers of my life. It was a summer of endless adventures, meeting new friends, creating memories with friends and family-- most of which I will never forget.
Here's the last run down of #SummerofBrittny
I went to the Bachelor audition that were held in Cleveland. My boss is a super fan and convinced me to try out. I personally believe I would have been an amazing addition to the show but during the audition, the producer I had my interview with was such a dull and that turned my energy down which probably made the casting directors believe I wasn't a great fit. Too bad, they missed out on a great gem. I mean, I just had dongs all over the world! How many contestants can say that?
I finally tried the famous Sokolowski for the first time since I've moved here. It was AH MAZE ZING, but I needed to be rolled out of the restaurant because I was so stuffed.
Attended a Tribe game against the Yanks. I of course rooted for MY home team, the New York Yankees and wore my Aaron Judge jersey. Although the Yankees lost the first game of the series, I had an amazing time with my friend Sarah.
I launched this wonderful place, Pierre into My Life that has done incredibly well and brought so much joy into my life. I never thought so many people would enjoy this little safe space where I could write my thoughts, but I am thankful for those riding with me on this journey.
Danced and sang my little heart out at the Coldplay concert with my friend Joseph. My first time seeing them live and they have easily become a top 5 best show I have ever seen. Joseph and his brother, John, came from Columbus to have a weekend with me. #Blessed.
I stumbled upon Green Day having an altercation with a Browns fan on my way home. I walked into it shortly after it all started and I had headphones on so I missed what created the issues. All I know is the Browns fan told Green Day to get out of his city. What has Green Day ever done to Cleveland?
Attended She in the CLE's 2nd Anniversary and met other amazing Cleveland bloggers at the shindig. (My Jay Z piece was published on She in the CLE this month as well.) It was such a nice mixer to help celebrate an amazing platform for women. From left to right, me, Kate of Greatest Escapist, Brittney of According to Brittney, and Katie of Soul Connect Tribe.
I also lost 15 lbs this summer. Finally shedding some of the Midwest weight I've gained since moving out here. I was super proud of myself for the pounds I have lost and now I'm trying to gain a little more muscle for the winter.
Welp, it's time to say goodbye to the eventful #SummerofBrittny. Pour one out for the end of a great summer.
August was an interesting month for those who are into astrology. Not only did we experience a solar eclipse but it also happened during the mercury being in retrograde. If the last few weeks you’ve been experiencing a lot of miscommunication, you are not alone and it’s probably because of the power of the planets. During this planetary alignment is when a lot of relationships fall apart (so they say), and I thought for the first installment of the Girl Talk series, we could discuss breakups. I gathered my girl squad to open up about their toughest breakups, how they handle their own heartbreaks, and the best advice they can offer to Pierre into My Life. The Girl Talk series is where I bring ladies together to discuss an array of topics and share their experiences. One of my favorite college professors told us, “The greatest agency a woman has is to share her story with other women.” I always remembered that quote and wanted to one day create a space where women could share their stories, which became the birth of Girl Talk.
Pour yourself a glass a wine and let's dig into this discussion.
What’s your toughest breakup you have experienced?
“My first break up experience was easily my worst. I'd always feared that I would never be desirable to another and to have those fears 'realized' made the ground under me just crumble. The feeling of inadequacy made me think that I could never measure up to anyone in someone's past. It was just a perfect storm of low self esteem on my end and emotional abuse (that I didn't recognize until later) on his end.” – Suz
"It happened about 2 years ago. It wasn't even my longest relationship by any means but I was completely unprepared and the breakup was a shock. We had been dating for about 5 months and everything was going really well. We had a great emotional connection and physically it was amazing (for him as well as for me), but then he went away for a weekend and something just changed. He didn't respond to texts as quickly and didn't answer the phone. I tried not to worry and tried to just back off figuring he was busy on his boys trip and I didn't want to be "that girl" that was needy and annoying. I also went by the "everything is fine until I am told otherwise" motto, which turned out to be dumb. He got back into town and still there was not a lot of communication and he cancelled plans last minute for a date night. Finally a couple nights after he got back he came over to pick me up for dinner, he walked in the door, kissed me and we went to sit on the couch and have a glass of wine before leaving. I snuggled up to him and told him I missed him and he got quiet. He asked if I was ready to go to dinner and I told him I wanted to talk and make sure we are on same page going forward (meaning I wanted a relationship with him and wanted to hear from him the same).
Him: Well I just think there is something missing and I don't want to force anything. I think you are great but there is just something missing. I don't want to force it.
Me: Ok..... thank you for your honesty and I really liked you and I do wish you well.
Him: I don't want to force anything, and something is just missing.
So he kissed me on the cheek and walked out the door.
A couple months go by and he got a new girlfriend and they got serious quickly. I guess nothing was missing and it wasn't "forced" because they are in love and everything is just amazing for them." - Sarah
“Definitely my first breakup. I was 17, dating this really popular, cool, incredibly smart Senior when I was a Junior. He got accepted into Dartmouth and dumped me on his graduation day. I made this gift for him where I got letters from all his friends and family, and placed them in a box with an Ansel Adams road print image that I placed on it. I got all pretty and waited at my house for him to pick me up and he took hours, then he drove me to this park and broke up with me. My parents loved him, too, because he was in my youth group and basically perfect, so they couldn't believe that he could be an insensitive jerk. As cliche as it is, the first time really is the worst!” – Rachel
“The recent one was the hardest so far but mainly because I felt it had ended hastily and felt very unfinished. I had a lot of anger and resentment towards the other person. I had invested a lot into that relationship and I felt like it had been tossed out the window.’ – Natalia
“The toughest breakup I have ever experienced was with my high school boyfriend. When we went to college we stayed together for a semester and then he decided to take a semester off of school and go live in the woods. Since he didn't have a phone we had to resort to letter writing. We kind of broke up before he left and I stopped writing him because I was trying to move on. His mom then called me and asked me to write because he was so worried about me. I wrote to him and kind of fell back into the relationship and was planning a welcome home party with all of his friends at my house for his return and then the day before he got back I received a letter from him dumping me. He then proceeded to immediately start dating a girl from two grades below me who was the freaking worst and he told her that I had never loved him which then spread through the town and got back to me. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because while he was living the woods life he stopped believing in deodorant and like clocks. The resounding image I have of the breakup in my head is opening a letter on my front porch and reading it and then just lying there crying my eyes out. I found out later that when I wrote him my last few letters, which were extremely personal and intimate, he would sometimes read them aloud to the whole group he was camping with and ask for advice. He really is a nut and I didn't see him for years until my five-year high school reunion and he has a full mountain man beard and long hair and he said we should catch up sometime and have coffee which I would be totally down for because I will always have a soft spot for him. I Facebook messaged him to try to make it happen and he didn't respond which is kind of classic.” – Austin
“After a decade of dealing with fuckbois and dating games it's easy to forget how heartbreaking it is to lose your first love. Due to strict parents and no interest in dating, my first boyfriend came at the ripe old age of 19 (I also discovered vodka around the same time which does not mix well with first love). We had an extremely toxic relationship with me being verbally & mentally abusive and him returning the favor by lying and cheating. Even with our unhealthy dynamic, I was completely caught off guard when he broke up with me. It unlocked some dark abandonment issues and I ended up going on an all-inclusive trip to the psych ward. I had no coping mechanism in place to process the pain I was feeling, no hobbies to retreat to and shut out the world, and no dating history to build up to this monumental heartbreak. But I did have a Lindsay. She marched into the hospital loaded with Taco Bell and immediately began begging the nurses to let her spend the night in the psych ward. They had never gotten that request before. That first night she made me laugh so hard I cried which is quite the feat considering I was surrounded by the scariest cast of characters you can imagine and shaking with fear. Every evening when visiting hours began she was the first one there and the last to leave. She let me stay with her when I got out and devoted every moment to my well-being. She took me on walks and made me talk about difficult subjects when I didn't even want to talk about the weather. She made me dress up and go clubbing when I could barely brush my teeth. She brought me to church at a time I hated God. When she got worn out from my self-pity we would watch serial killer documentaries - it's hard to complain after watching one. I grew stronger and stronger but it wasn't because of medication, exercise, a hobby, or even my own doing. It was Lindsay. Life is so hard and so cruel, everybody needs a Lindsay for the darkest of days.” – Liz
How do you cope when you’re going through a breakup?
“I try and spend time with myself and really become in tune with my mind and my body. I give myself time to go through all the emotions one goes through during a breakup, the tears, the anger, the sadness, the loneliness…all of these emotions are important and you should allow yourself to go through them. After I feel I am getting back to my old self, I begin to go out with my friends, treat myself to massages, manicure and pedicures, see a movie alone etc. It’s important for me to try and keep my mental health on track, which means I try to attend as many therapy sessions I can afford, also talk with God and attend church. Exercise was a great way to get my frustration out and to feel better about myself.” – Brittny
“Try to keep as busy as possible (even wanting to work more), lean on my friends for support. Exercise more. Sometimes obsess about the things said or done in the relationship, ruminate, get angry. Talk to myself in my head about it (I become my own therapist 😩)" -Natalia
“Go on a Netflix binge. Get a haircut, get your nails done, talk to your friends. Talk to someone on a therapy app (like 7 cups of tea). I always think about the activities I WANTED to do with him and just found some girlfriends or family members to do it with instead. You own your life, he doesn't (obviously my answers are going to be based on a heterosexual pov).” – Suz
“I actually isolate myself quite a bit because I don't want to cry in front of people and I don't want to be "that girl" who can't get over someone. I watch movies and TV, I eat whatever I want and I don't make plans because I can't control my emotions and if someone asks me about the breakup I fall apart. I have gotten better about not worrying that I am "that girl" because maybe I am and it's okay. Once I find the right guy I won't be so terrified to be "that girl" because he will respond and want to spend time with me as much as I want to spend time with him. I don't want to play games and pretend I don't care when I actually care quite a bit.” –Sarah
"I take time to grieve but after a few mopey weekends watching Netflix, eating some bad food and going to boozy brunches with friends, I reestablish what I want. In my last breakup, I did all these things for about a month and then I got back on dating sites. I got my hair done, new clothes, worked out, read empowering non fiction memoirs (I love Julie Klausner's I Don't Care About Your Band), listened to new music, whatever made myself feel like my best self and then just threw myself into dating again. I've been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years now and he meets all the qualities I wrote down on my list of what I wanted in a partner.” – Rachel
What’s the best advice to give to readers of Pierre into My Life who might be going through a breakup?
“Treat it like a death. Allow yourself to grieve and go through the steps. Don't bottle up your feelings but allow yourself to feel entirely. If this means crumbling into a ball and crying yourself into a frenzy do it. This doesn't mean to wallow but you have to give yourself time to heal. All I wanted to do was skip to the end of this and "feel better" but I couldn't do that without letting my feelings out.” – Suz
“My advice is focus on yourself and self care. What do you want out of your next relationship? What did you not like about the previous partner? Make a list of qualities you want in a new partner. I think that writing those qualities down and also the ones you do not want is very helpful. My mom is recently remarried and she did this. Her new husband is basically all of the things she wanted.” – Rachel
“Going through a breakup reminds me a lot of the process of grieving (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance). You mourn the life of a relationship as opposed to the life of a person. You have to go through the process and not skip steps or you'll be held back from fully moving forward.” – Natalia
“You don't want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't want to be in a relationship with you. You deserve someone who wants you and now you have learned more about what you want and what you don't want.” – Sarah
“First off, delete them from all social media. Delete their number, their text threads--delete, delete, delete. I call it spring cleaning. Get all the junk out of your life. Everything takes time. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s taking longer than you had intended. Remember to treat yourself well and find the best way to stay afloat. This is also a great time to renew yourself, try new hobbies, check out a new restaurant, travel etc. Most importantly make sure to find the best partner for you in the next relationship.” – Brittny
“Try to remember who you are at your core and stand strong in that. Listen to your gut.”- Erika
What are your thoughts on breakups? What's the best way to get over someone? Drop a line in the comments
In June's roundup I explained how and why I decided to declare this summer as the #SummeofBrittny. Here are some of my favorite moments throughout the month of July!
Bienvenidos a Miami
After weeks of just Netflix and Chill at the end of June, I decided on a whim to visit my friend Natalia in Miami for the forth of July weekend and it was the best decision ever.
The food. The weather. The company! All worth it.
Natalia took me to Wynwood, the art district in Miami. Everywhere you looked was covered in beautiful artwork.
"TRAP Karaoke is like going to church…but instead of 'Amazing Grace,' you’re singing ‘Back That Azz Up.'" - anonymous. There is no other way to describe the experience of Trap Karaoke. My girlfriends and I watched several Clevelanders get on stage and rap like they were 2 Chainz and we had the time of our lives.
You couldn't go through the month of July and not gather your girl squad to see the hilarious film Girl Trip. We laughed until we cried, we swooned over Malik, and cried over Ryan's keynote speech. Truly a special moment with your girlfriends.
In two short weeks, I will be heading to Europe for 14 days, and I have already begun mentally preparing myself for the 9 hour flight to Budapest. As I have gotten older, and started traveling and flying more frequently, I have learned what helps to keep anxiety down, while en route to your destination.
1. Facial Wipes and Baby Wipes
For most international flights, you will depart early evening and arrive to your destination in the morning. In case you’re not aware, there are no showers on the flights. I recommend packing travel size baby wipes or facial/makeup wipes, and heading to the bathroom 30 minutes before you arrival to clean your face to help take off any excess dirt your face has produced while on the flight. Once you arrive to your destination, head to the restroom and use the baby wipes to give yourself a bird bath. Hey, you do the same with babies, why can’t you do it as an adult?
2. Bring an Extra Pair a Clothes in Your Carry On.
I like to dress comfortably for long flights which normally means leggings, baggy shirt and a sweatshirt. But once I arrive to my destination (after my bird bath), I change into something more stylish.
Keeping yourself hydrated is key. Bring an empty bottle with you to the airport and fill the bottle up at a fountain while you’re heading to your gate. It’s easy to lose water weight while on your flight, so occasionally have some water to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking/swallowing frequently can also help when your ears begin to pop!
4. Sleep Essentials
Some airlines will provide you with eye masks and a pillow, but to be on the safe side, carry an eye mask, a travel size pillow, and even ear plugs to drown out any unwanted sounds. If you’re like me, I need complete darkness and silence to get a good amount of restful sleep, and I always have the best luck when it comes to sitting next to someone who needs to keep the overhead light on for the entire flight (grr, hate those people!).
I’m not into purchasing in flight Wi-Fi, because it’s nice to be disconnected for a few hours, but I definitely need something to occupy my time. International flights normally have a wide array of films and TV shows, but I get anxious and can never settle on what to watch. Instead, I plan ahead and make sure my iPhone has everything I need to keep me entertained. I create a playlist on Spotify with about 500 songs (enough tracks to skip through and not repeat any songs), and I download about 2-3 episodes of my favorite podcasts to listen to.
My favorite portion to prepare for any travel is to pick out snacks to eat on the journey. Sometimes I will purchase junk food at the local drug store the day before and pack it in my backpack, but if I slack, I will splurge and buy all the goodies at Hudson News. I also always make sure to get ginger ale just in case I get motion sickness on the flights, because my stomach never matured with my body.
If you’re like any normal millennial and glued to your mobile devices, then you already know how important chargers are. Make sure to pack your charger in your carry on and also charge up your external battery as well. You can purchase a portable charger that works with any USB port on Amazon for just a few bucks. Most international flights have outlets for you to charge your phone, but again with my luck, I have definitely sat at one where my outlet didn’t work.
It may sound weird, but if you’re sitting in one spot for 8+ hours, it’s a good idea to get up periodically to keep your blood flowing. Every few hours get up and walk the aisle, go to the back of the plane and flex your legs. Personally I like to do squats and stretch my legs. Flight attendants have probably seen way worse, so no need to be bashful, get that blood flowing!
Acne has been a major struggle for me since I was in the 5th grade. I have tried every medication, tested out different routines, etc and it can be very frustrating seeking clear skin. This summer and Pierre into My Life is a journey for not only myself but my readers to find ways to improve their lives with self-love and self-care. I was fortunate enough to speak with YouTube beauty guru Cassandra Bankson, who has been open with her issues with acne on her YouTube page. Cassandra is speaking with Pierre into My Life on the best ways to find beauty in yourself while you strive for clear skin.
Here are 3 Tips for Living Your Best Life While Having Acne
1. Begin With Finding Examples of Appreciating Yourself
“Often we talk to ourselves negatively and our internal dialogue is ‘oh my god I have so many pimples,’ or ‘oh my god I am so ugly.’ When you have those thoughts everyday it doesn’t set you up for success or even allow you to concentrate on the world around you. One of the most productive things that I have done was to find things about myself that I love and things about myself that I cherish. I accept and respect my body and skin. Self love can lead into a decrease in stress which actually can show a physical reduction in breakouts. So maybe it can be your eyes you could compliment, your height or something about your body or the way you dress. Or the fact you’re an eloquent speaker.
Start bringing yourself up instead of bringing yourself down. It’s hard but there are actually scientific facts neuroplasticity in the brain which is a big fancy word in psychology and medicine which means brain can rewire and itself. If you’re wired to think negatively, you can rewire to think positively which will definitely have an outcome on your stress and the positivity of your life.”
2. Cover Up Mirrors
“Tape up different mirrors. I would find that mirrors were really triggering to me because I would judge myself or I would find myself picking at my skin which was a nervous self-destructive habit. Especially when my acne was at its worst, if I just put papers on top of mirrors and it stopped myself from looking at them and put a positive affirmational on them, it helped me realize to not judge yourself. It’s okay to be you. This is only temporary and that mirror does not dictate your self worth. What you have to offer the world is more than just an image and that paper on the mirror represents that. That got me out of my own head and gave me the opportunity to think about how I can be a benefit to others or how I can do less damage to the world around me instead of having the world circulate around me and my insecurities.”
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
“Unfortunately girls are prone to comparison which is definitely difficult and I always found myself comparing myself to others whether it was my skin, my acne, or my body, or my hair type. I found celebrities that I looked up to who faced the same problems that I did. For instance I saw a Proactiv commercial with Katy Perry and I never knew Katy Perry dealt with acne and I respect her. So many celebrities that we idolize, that we deemed as perfect and then you realize, ‘oh my god, they’re humans too.’ The singer Lorde recently said 'stop photo shopping my acne it’s a part of me.' Seeing other people living by examples almost gives us permission to do the same as well. For me I found that extraordinarily helpful.”
One Major Pro Tip to Help With Clearing Your Skin:
“Education is key. Everyone’s skin is different, everyone’s acne is different.”
On Friday, August 11th, I gathered with some of my closest friends and family at Nail Mimi to celebrate the launch of my site.
While munching on wine and cheese, my guests were able to mingle and catch up with old friends, read some of my favorite articles I've written for numerous publications and write some interesting facts to help me write my "About Me".
Over all It was a great turnout where I was able to celebrate my new accomplishment with some of my favorite people.
I created Pierre into my Life when I drunkenly went on Facebook and declared the warm months would be considered the #SummerOfBrittny. #SummerOfBrittny would be where I focused on myself, learning to love who I am, doing the things I love, and of course, dating lots of boys. Eventually it caught on to my friends and even some lovely strangers who loved the hashtag. I was constantly being asked to give updates on what was happening during #SummerOfBrittny, where was I traveling? Did I have any funny dating stories? etc. That's when I began to brainstorm on creating a platform around my life and the things I love, including pop culture, music, fashion and travel.
I hope my readers join me on this journey to explore all things #Brittny, I promise to entertain with my wanderlust, several funny antidotes, relationship woes (trust me, there are a lot) and many more.
I'm excited to see where this takes us!