4 Reasons You Don't Need a New Year's Kiss

New Year's Eve is one of those holidays that you either love or hate, typically depending on how old you are and your lifestyle. In my life, New Year's Eve has never been that grand of an occasion, which is why I put very little emphasis on creating the perfect night or making sure my first few seconds into the new calendar year are absolutely perfect.

Even though I've had boyfriends throughout the years during this holiday, things have never seemed to line up to where we could both be in the same place at the same time. Whether because of conflicting holiday travel plans or work schedules, each year I ring in the new year kiss-less.

Thankfully, I've never really cared. For a holiday that emphasizes staying up till midnight when most of us rather be curled up in a blanket in bed, the idea of throwing on an itchy sparkly dress and too high of heels should be warning enough that everything will not go as planned. Instead of getting down on yourself as you scream 'happy new year' while avoiding the awkwardness of watching your friends make out with strangers, remind yourself of all the reasons why you are totally okay with saying hello to the new year without a kiss.

You will be disappointed. 

Don't believe me, believe science. Studies show that the more emphasis you place on something, such as New Year's night, the greater the likelihood that when revisiting the memory you will find you were less happy about the outcome compared to people who were less preoccupied with how much fun they could be having. Did that all make sense? Basically, the more work you put into having fun, the less fun you will have at the end of it all. The more pressure you put on dancing the night away and finding a boy to kiss, the more time you will spend thinking about it. Relax, enjoy the time, and don't let your fear of not having fun keep you from having some damn fun!

You don't need the stress. 

Everyone preaches about the new year welcoming new healthy habits, attitudes and goals. Meanwhile everyone spends the first few seconds of the year stressing about who they kissed, where their friends walked off to and if everyone around them is having more fun? Save yourself the drama and ring in the new year with friends, because there's no reason to start of the year worrying about something that so small and unimportant.

It's not romantic. 

The sweaty guy at the bar is not the John Cusack in the movie that is your life. Most likely he's been hovering around your group of friends trying to figure out which girl is also looking for a last minute kissing buddy. You never hear about people who met on New Year's Eve, kissed at midnight, and realized they were meant to be. Because things like that don't happen outside of a movie set! Kissing a random stranger out of desperation isn't something you would do any other night of the year, so don't lower your standards just because it's a holiday.

STD rates are rising. 

Yeah I said! Your story about spontaneously kissing someone at midnight will lose all its romantic details the moment you have to sit in a too lit doctors office to get tested for that thing you thought was a cold sore but just isn't going away. STDs don't simply target people who are sexually active, you can contract herpes by kissing and herpes if for life ya'll! If you don't know who you're kissing, you don't know who they've kissed. Before making out with a random guy ask yourself, is this all really worth it?

What's your opinion on needing a New Year's Eve kiss? Do you only participate if you have a significant other or are you determined to take part in the fun regardless of your relationship status?

Blog Goals for 2016

Blogging has been a part of my life since early 2012. Throughout college I spent my time brainstorming article ideas and falling in love with the feeling of my posts gaining recognition. I knew that after college I would no longer able to write for many of the websites I was featured on, which led me to start this blog the last semester of school.

Graduating college, moving across the country and entering the workforce were all major milestones in my life, all of which went undocumented on this space because of the overwhelming feeling of not knowing what the hell I was doing.

This past fall I realized I was really unhappy with my life, at least with certain pieces of it. My lack of friends in the city and busy work schedule were causing problems in my relationship, and after a year of taking the time to adjust to life on the east coast I was seriously considering packing up and moving home to California.

Instead I went back to the one thing that always lifted my spirits during those tough days in college, blogging.

By posting more consistently, being active on social media and reaching out to other people in my niche I was able to increase my pageviews, reader engagement and fall back in love with the feeling of hitting publish.

2016 is the year I want to take a passion I've had since I was 19 and turn it into something I am proud to bring up to total strangers. Currently none of my real life friends know I am blogging again, including my boyfriend. With so many failed attempts in the past to create an online space that helps other twenty somethings figure out life, this time I've decided to set goals to keep me motivated throughout the new year.

Reach 15,000 monthly pageviews. 

For the month of November I was able to increase my pageviews to 1208, followed by 6837 in December. With the growth I am experiencing on a weekly basis, my initial goal is to reach 15,000 pageviews in a month, and if reached, up that number to 20,000 by the end of the year.

Create an easy to navigate website. 

People judge your blog by their first visit, and I am definitely guilty of not wanting to read someone's post because of their font size or color choice. Having already purchased a new blog design that I believe will make finding content so much simpler, 2016 will be the year you know exactly what my blog has to offer the second the page loads.

Prepare content ahead of time. 

I consider myself a pretty organized person, at least when it comes to my blog. Where I'm lacking is staying on top of things during busy seasons, like the holidays or finals time. Ideally I would like to have a bank of posts that I can use during weeks when I'm too busy to write a new post but don't want to go days without publishing new content. Having the security of ready to publish posts during these busy periods will  keep me motivated and hopefully continue to increase my pageviews.

Consistency on social media. 

My relationship with social media can be described as on and off again. I'm either on it all the time, updating constantly and pushing out great content, or I haven't logged on in weeks and I may have forgotten my password again. Using the information I've learned about how to increase my Instagram following and gain blog readers through Twitter, my goal for 2016 is not only to be more active, but to develop a consistent brand with social media. There's nothing I love more than a blogger who is recognizable purely through her Instagrams, so without sticking to a "theme," I'd like to develop a personal style that I can carry throughout all my social media accounts.

Start monetizing. 

Even though I've read about everything there is to know about earning money through your blog, this is definitely my biggest and scariest goal. Even though I'm not trying to earn a full time income through my blog, I'd like to use this platform to earn money if possible. Because I have a job that I'm completely happy with, I want to only partner up with companies that I believe are beneficial to my audience, not just my bank statement. Once my pageviews reach ten thousand, I will begin the process of applying to groups that present bloggers with sponsored post opportunities.

I'd love to hear if you have any advice to help me reach my goals in 2016, plus share some of your own in the comments below!

How to Have a Fun New Year's Eve at Home

New Year's Eve has never been a big holiday in my life. My family celebrates minimally, meaning we stay awake until midnight, say 'happy new year' to one another, then all file into our bedrooms and fall asleep. Some years are extra ordinary and I find myself being the only one awake at midnight. In college nothing really changed, and now living on my own I just don't have much excitement for the holiday.

Being in my early twenties and living in a major city means I am bombarded with posters and invites to New Year's Eve club events, parties and balls. While events like these are great for people who typically flock towards large crowds and long nights out, I just cannot justify spending eighty dollars to enter a bar that I can typically visit for free.

With all of my friends living across the country I've found ways to celebrate life's big moments without the feeling that comes along with being alone. Don't let a lack of people or fear of missing out pressure you into committing to a night you aren't 100% pumped for. New Year's Eve can be fun whether you're out till 2 or number of people are your party total 2. Pets included obviously.

Invite over your closest friends and family.

If you're lucky enough to have friends and family nearby, spend the night with them! A small get together is so much more fun when you actually care and know everyone there. Huddling up in someone's house and waiting for the clock to hit midnight feels like less of a wait with good company around.

Cook some comfort food.

Food makes everything better, always. Spending the time finding an awesome recipe, gathering up the ingredients and taking the time to prepare something not only distracts you from the feeling that you could be out doing something better (which is not true), it also feels great to sit down and eat something you worked hard on. Whether you want to put together a full meal or just a dessert you've pinned one too many times, cooking something is an awesome way to spend your night doing something off the couch.

Dress up no matter your plans.

True story: my sophomore year of college I spent New Year's Eve totally alone. I had actually been alone for two weeks by that point because I made the weird decision to not go home that winter break. Instead of wallowing in my loneliness I dressed up, made myself a great meal, and tuned into my favorite New Year's Eve countdown. Trust me, dressing up is an instant mood booster.

Watch your favorite films.

Television around the holidays is a hit or miss. You either have so many great options or there's nothing but cheesy Christmas movies that you've already seen three times this holiday season. With things like Netflix and On Demand, there's no reason you cant put together a movie marathon that will leave you entertained throughout the day.

Watch a televised countdown.

My absolute favorite thing about New Year's Eve is watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin interact on their live New Year's Eve show on CNN. I've been watching it since my senior year of high school and try to never miss it. Find one you will enjoy, usually you can catch one that shows artists performing on a local channel. If you rather laugh and stay up to date on celebrations around the world, I definitely recommend tuning in to CNN's countdown.

Set goals for next year.

Am I the only one who has scrambled to make New Year's resolutions the afternoon of January 1st? While they don't need to be anything major or life changing, setting a few goals will give you something to work towards throughout the year and something to reflect upon come next December. Whether you just want to spend less time online or save for a vacation, take some time to think about what you'd like to accomplish in the new year.

Reflect on the past year.

Because I typically spend this holiday on my own I always make sure to make time to reflect on the past year. Setting aside a few moments to think about the year's highs and lows is a good reminder of everything you accomplished and gives you ideas for goals to set for the next year.

Avoid comparing your plans to others.

It's easy to pick up your phone and feel like everyone is having more fun than you. While everyone posts perfectly filtered Instagram photos and bombards you with loud Snapchats, don't forget that people only choose to share the most flattering moments of their life. Just because someone is wearing a sparkly dress and holding a champagne bottle in the air doesn't mean they're having a better time than you. Chances are half of those couples are arguing about something in the corner of the club and everyone there is stressing about who they can convince to kiss them at midnight.

How do you celebrate New Year's Eve? Do you usually go big or have more low key plans for the night? Let me know how you celebrate the night in the comments below!

The Best Posts of 2015

Two thousand fifteen was the year I found my place in the blogging world. When I first started it was pretty simple, write articles for college women about the college experience. With thousands of automatic readers and topics chosen for me, it was easy to stay motivated and come up with fresh new ideas. Then I graduated, entered the real world and realized I had no idea what I was doing, blogging or otherwise.

Fast forward a full year of living in the city, and I feel as if I have finally figured out what I'm doing in regards to work, school and writing. These past few months I've found who my audience is and with that writing has become so much easier. When you realize that only 20 something females are reading you blog while on their cellphones, suddenly you stop worrying about things like using gender neutral pronouns and making sure the images don't push away my male audience. What male audience? Oh that's right, I don't have one, and that's perfectly cool with me.

Before the year is over, I wanted to compile a list of the best posts on the blog, both my favorite and a few top performers. Twenty sixteen will be even more focused than before, with my topics covering everything from career, college, adulthood and relationships, yet all tailored to fit the life of a twenty something woman.

Most Helpful

How to Make the Best Resume with 10 Easy Tips

11 Perfect Gift Ideas for Your Boyfriend's Parents

Most Relatable

All the Lies I Tell on Instagram

12 Important Lessons from 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' for Twenty Somethings

Lies People Tell You About Being in Your Twenties

Most Personal

That Time I Cried During a Job Interview

The Cost of Living the Dream

What did you accomplish in 2015? Let me know in the comments below what your plans for 2016 are!

10 Important Resolutions Every Twenty Something Should Make

The last time I accomplished all my New Year's resolutions was December 2012. In my defense, I think I worked hard enough that year to last me until now. In twenty twelve I somehow managed to get admitted into a university abroad, start my blogging journey and earn enough credits to allow me to participate in an internship program in Washington DC. Those three goals led me to where I am today, permanently living in DC and writing daily about my experience as a twenty something trying to figure out this whole adulthood thing. 

Resolutions are hard to accomplish for so many reasons. Work, school, family responsibilities and social lives prevent us from visiting the gym four times a week and finishing our reading lists. The joy that comes along with the holidays mixed with the allure that comes with a new calendar year leaves us optimistic about everything we can accomplish, and in the end all we have are gym memberships we can't get refunds for and piles of books gathering dust. 

Not every resolution has to be major though, and no one needs to have a resolution list as long as their contact list. Narrow down your resolutions, set goals for each, and create a timeline you'd like to follow. Breaking down big projects into smaller, more tangible steps allows you to remain motivated while making small progressive steps towards your ultimate goal. 

What are you to do if you know you want 2016 to rock but have no idea where to start? After spending some time thinking about what twenty somethings struggle with on a daily basis, I've rounded up some resolutions that would benefit everyone. Nothing too impossible, nothing that will leave you feel like a failure come springtime. 

Reevaluate who you want to include in your life.

Confession: every few months I go through the entire list of my Facebook friends and delete anyone who I don't want to see my updates or whose updates I'm not interested in reading. If you cant give someone ten seconds of your attention once a day, you probably aren't really friends. Cutting out people in your life who bring anything less than positivity and support allows you to grow closer to those you do have around. Trust me, no one really has 300 friends, so don't feel like you need to follow and friend everyone you meet.

Visit somewhere new.

I'm not insisting you grab your passport and blow all your savings, but take the time to go somewhere you've never explored before. Whether you want to finally visit Europe or take a cross country road trip with friends, start your planning for it early in the year to avoid last minute stress.

Be pickier about your social media presence.

This past year I took this resolution a little to the extreme, yet I don't regret not sharing every aspect of my life on social media. You can make a rule to only share what you would like to be reminded about a year from now or only what you'd be comfortable sharing at work. Being more aware of all the statuses you post will save you not only the time it takes to constantly be online, but keep your private life a little more private.

Unplug once a month.

My life consists of sitting at a computer all day at work, playing with my phone the bus ride home, then going home and either sitting with my laptop or watching TV. It's a lot, and it's turned what should be my fun electronics into feeling like more work. Once a month pull away from all electronics for a few hours, leave your phone at home and go do something for the sake of just enjoying it. Going out can be so much more fun when you aren't worried about capturing the perfect photo or replying to all your text messages.

Start saving money.

Whether you want to spend what you save on a trip or that item you've been eyeing is up to you, but saving something as small as $100 per month can leave you with enough money to spend one whole weekend doing anything you like. To make it easier on yourself open a separate savings account, that way you wont be lured into spending the money on something else halfway through the year.

Stick up for yourself.

This weekend I did something I've never done, I walked away from an argument I had no interest in having. Sticking up for yourself doesn't have to mean you fire back with insults, sometimes rising above and not allowing yourself to stand there and be insulted is all you need to do. Whether it's in your friendships or relationship, don't settle for anything less than love.

Learn a new skill.

Developing a new skill and starting a new hobby are great for those nights when you don't feel like going out but also don't want to stay home and watch TV. Learning something new can expose you to a whole new group of people, plus once you get good at it, it can totally become something you look forward to after a long day.

Work on your professional development.

Finding ways to boost your resume should always be a priority, especially when so many of us are stuck in jobs that are unrelated to our field of study. Volunteer, revise your resume or join a professional organization in your city. Doing something to increase your skills outside the office shows you're serious about your professional development.

Create and follow a budget.

Every twenty something could benefit from this, especially me. I have a bad habit of walking into Target for a new deodorant and walking out with fifty less dollars in my bank account. Creating a budget not only makes you more aware of your spending habits, it allows for you to save money for things you most likely would much rather spend your money on, like that vacation we were talking about earlier. Break down what you earn monthly, what your necessities are and what you are able to save each month.

Go back and finish what you started!

Do you have a resolution that you never got around to in 2015? Finish it! This time make this resolution your number one priority, break it up into smaller goals and set deadlines for each goal. Giving yourself a milestone to reach will keep you motivated those days when you feel like nothing is progressing.

What are your resolutions for 2016? Are any of your past resolutions getting another chance in the new year?

6 Things No One Warns You About Winter on the East Coast

Growing up in California, winter to me meant school break and spending way too much time sitting in front of the television while my mom was at work. I spent my years in the stereotypical vision everyone has of California, by the beach, where the weather seems to always be in the sixties and seasons are a thing we just see in the movies.

My first time in the snow I almost lost my foot. Why? Because no one thought to warn me that maybe sandals aren't appropriate snow attire. Films always make snow look like this fluffy white stuff you can easily roll into giant balls and throw at one another, when in reality being hit with a snowball hurts, well, almost as much as making a snowball without gloves on hurts.

This December marks my second winter on the East Coast, and this time, I'm ready. Moving from a sunny beach town to the mid-Atlantic city last year left me clueless on how to prepare myself for temperatures I didn't even think were possible. Yes, I knew it got cold places during the winter, but I just assumed due to the hot summers that DC might be immune. Boy, was I wrong.

Now that I'm done unpacking my winter wear and stocking up on hand warmers, I'm ready to share with you the six things no one mentions about winter on the East Coast.

Black ice is dangerous, and it's everywhere.

The number of times I slipped and fell to ground last winter is embarrassing. The cause? Black ice. Coming from California meant I pay no attention to the ground below me. We don't have hundreds of year old brick roads or snow covered pavement beneath our feet. Last winter I continued to walk like an imbecile without paying attention to all the obstacles beneath me, only to leave me in pain and laying on the road cursing at myself. Don't be like me, walk slowly and carefully. And if you do fall, walk it off like nothing happened and save your crying for the bathroom stall.

Stores stop selling winter clothes in January.

Spending a few months working in Target taught me one important thing last year, stock up on winter clothes early. So many stores start making space for things like swimsuits in late December and January, which means they have to push out seasonal items like gloves and coats. Wait a few weeks then swoop in during early January to buy everything on clearance. Why they do this makes no sense since the real winter doesn't start until after the holidays.

Snow emergencies allow taxi cabs to rob you blind.

This one I learned the hard way. One night during a declared snow emergency my boyfriend and I decided it was way too cold to try walking home. We hailed a cab like usual and enjoyed the ride home away from the snow chunks and cold winds. When I sat in the cab I saw the meter read $15 dollars, but I hadn't even yet closed the door so I assumed that was the amount from the last trip. Wrong! In Washington DC taxicabs are allowed to charge $15 on top of the normal fare during a snow emergency. Check your city's  taxi fare policy before you decide you want to cab home the six blocks.

Snow days are awesome, and terrible, must mostly awesome.

Working at a nonprofit in the capital had one amazing perk, we closed just as often as the federal government closed. Which is like all the time in the winter. While not having to go to work feels like tons of fun when you first get up in the morning, you also have to remember that you're not getting paid for going to brunch on a Tuesday. Oh, and don't forget it's fucking freezing outside and cabs cost way more money.

Everyone loves to brag about winters where they come from. 

Why do people find joy in telling you how hot/cold/windy/foggy whatever town they come from is? I am all for one upping each other on cool things like how much money you saved at CVS or episodes of Friends you can watch in one sitting, but weather doesn't not qualify. I get it, it's cold in a lot of places. But can we not downplay how freezing I am just because once upon a time you went somewhere cold? Unfortunately I don't think this weird trend will ever stop, so just nod along and look interested as someone tells you just how cold it gets where they live.

You will never stop being fascinated by how beautiful snow makes everything look. 

How do you spot someone from California? They're always entertained by something as simple as the weather. Coming from a place that has the same climate all year long, it's hard to not jump for joy (literally) when small specks of snow start falling from the sky. A few weeks into it and the allure of it starts to fade, but nothing is more pretty than seeing your town covered in fresh white snow.

Where do you experience winter every year? Are you still fascinated by snow or is it just something that happens every year that makes getting to work a little more difficult?

Lies People Tell You About Being in Your Twenties

Being in your twenties sometimes feels a lot like the first time you're left home alone. You're excited for all this new found independence but at the same time, you have no idea what the hell to do with it all. Sure you can survive by cooking yourself some noodles and sitting yourself in front of the television, but it's hard to enjoy the moment when it seems as if everyone around you is talking about all the things you should be doing instead. 

FOMO is a term that didn't exist a year ago, at least not in my life. Fear of missing out is leading twenty somethings to make decisions based on not wanting to feel left out or stray too far from the crowd. With articles telling twenty somethings all about the things they should do before graduating college, starting their first job and getting married, it can weigh on someone who just wants to live life without comparing every one of their moments to another's.

After reading way too many articles on all the reasons I should quit my job right now and why I don't need a boyfriend, I've rounded up the eight most popular lies twenty somethings are told on a daily basis. Don't worry about it, in reality we all sometimes just want to sit at home with out pet and binge watch a TV show we're not even sure we like all that much.

You should be dating lots of people. 

Just like with everything in life, people today prefer lots of options. Whether they're choosing a new conditioner or new boyfriend, we've grown used to having a variety of ones to pick from. Dating apps have made this incredibly easy, but at the same time, cheapened what it means to go on a date. Gone are the days of dinner and a movie, all you're left with is grabbing a drink or meeting up somewhere. Dating lots of people is anyone way of saying you yourself are just one of many, and suddenly it doesn't sound so appealing anymore, does it?

Nobody is looking for a serious relationship. 

Lies! It's all lies! I know it can feel like every guy out there is just looking to hook up and move on, but what can you expect when the sole reason why the two of you met was because you were impressed by the few photos they uploaded to an app? People in their twenties are capable of a serious relationship, what they need to be is willing to stay committed in that relationship. It's easy to say you're happier single because there's less drama, and trust me, I miss that feeling too sometimes. But don't be afraid to put yourself out there because so far every guy you've met has been an ass. They were an ass, but I promise, there's one out there that won't be. 

Most people don't have a clue what they're doing. 

Yes and no. While most people don't know what they want to do for the rest of their life, many know what interests them and have an idea of where they'd like to see themselves in the future. While there is no shame in exploring multiple interests, don't allow that curiosity to hold you back from committing to something you care about. You don't have to know what you're doing, but at least have an idea of what you rather not do. 

You need to start your career. 

Very few people land their dream job in their twenties. This past semester I took a course on career counseling and development where we learned all about the factors that play a role in someone's profesisonal development, career choices and the reasons why things like midlife career changes happen. Don't worry if the job you are currently working isn't something you want to do for the rest of your life. As long as it is a stepping stone to where you want to be, embrace the progression towards finding the job role that will leave you feeling accomplished every day. 

Spend these years traveling the world. 

Why does every blog targeted towards twenty somethings push the idea that we need to spend all our money and time traveling? Don't get me wrong, I love to travel. I myself spent five weeks backpacking through Europe, but that doesn't mean I am any more ahead of the game than my friends who haven't crossed an ocean. Travelling is fun when you're young, but it can also be a whole lot more fun when you can afford to sleep in actual hotels instead of on bunk beds in a room full of strangers. Don't be discouraged if you aren't spending a week in Paris, you have your whole life to travel, your passport is revoked when you hit 30.

You shouldn't rely on your parents anymore. 

Definitely don't rely on them to pay your rent or cover your monthly grocery costs, but it's perfectly fine to count on your mom to help you with all those things you haven't yet figured out, like taxes the proper way to send a thank you note. Just because you're out of the house doesn't mean you suddenly know the answers to everything, so go ahead and call your mom to ask her for that recipe for the millionth time this year. 

You have to accomplish 'x' amount of things during your twenties. 

While having goals during your twenties is important, remember that nobody can set them for you. After college graduation I was convinced that I had to finish grad school within two years. I quickly realized this was impossible if I also planned to rent my own place and move to the city. Ignore all the milestones people put pressure on you to meet and focus on making progress on your own terms. As long as you're moving forward, it doesn't matter if it takes a bit longer to reach your goal.

These are the best years of your life. 

Maybe they are, but most likely not. This is a thing everyone says no matter your age, remember when people used to tell you your high school years were the best years of your life? Sure our twenties are fun and exciting, but there's got to be something better than spending weekend nights standing out in the cold waiting to get inside a club or at home with a pizza and Netflix being guilted for not going out. Our twenties are supposed to be confusing and stressful, but I've got a feeling it's the next decade where we can start spending our money on all those trips everyone's been telling us we should go on.

What's one big lie you've heard about being in your twenties? Let me know what impossible standard you're failing to meet in the comments below.

All the Lies I Tell on Instagram

Remember a few weeks ago when some Instagram model decided that all of social media was a lie and she was going to close \her accounts? Me neither, because it was ridiculous and in my opinion a cry for more attention. I didn't read any of the articles on it mostly because there are much more important things going on than some girl who has decided all of the sudden to clear up all the lies people tell on Instagram. People like her that make normal seventeen year olds feel ashamed of their bodies, lifestyle and frankly, bank accounts.

Yeah, we all know you're being paid to wear that waist cincher and that you don't actually spend your days sitting by the pool. We're not morons, so spare us the story of how you're addicted to social media while also going back and updating your old posts for more attention.

Months ago, before this girl decided to condemn the apps that keep us from losing our minds while standing in line at the DMV, I wrote a post about the lies I tell on Instagram. It sat in my drafts folder for a long time, honestly because I was too lazy to embed all the pictures.

Related Post: All the Ways My Boyfriend Uses Instagram Wrong

Now that time has passed and everyone has all but forgotten about the girl who used to get paid to wear clothes that according to her she couldn't leave the house in, I'd like to share with you all the lies I tell on Instagram, except way less glamorous and I don't get a damn cent off of any of it.

As your typical twenty something living in the city, my time is spent watching cable that is way too expensive in my opinion and petting dogs on the street because I cant have one of my own. Basically my Instagram is basic as fuck, so I like to spruce it up with a few white lies.

Almost all of my Instagram photos are actually Latergrams, as in I posted it hours (sometimes days) after it actually happened.

This day wasn't sunny at all, it was cloudy and gross. I filtered the crap out of this photo.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

See this perfect angle? I spent 10 minutes trying to find it.

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This gelato sucks, and I know it sucks. I just went here to take a photo of the cute cup.

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For every one cat photo I post, there are twenty more saved on my phone.

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They look cute and cuddly, but in real life my boyfriend kicks me in his sleep and my cat likes to sit on my face. Jerks.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

Look at us we're so crafty. Not picture is the argument we had over who was nitpicking who which led to me finishing it by myself.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

Chicken strips, funny seeing you here. This is the only thing I order at a restaurant, seriously.

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Look at me, I support local bookstores. *Secretly prays my ex-boyfriend will see this photo and wish he never left me!*

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This isn't even my dog.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

Or this one.

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Nope, not my dog either.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

I stole this idea from someone else. Sorry not sorry.

Oh, and this isn't my cat.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

Or this one.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

Look at me, world traveler over here! Just kidding I live here and it sucks cause the rent is too damn high.

I came here with the sole purpose of taking this photo.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

This stuff just happened to fall on the table like this. Okay, this isn't even a table, it's just a piece of cardboard on the ground.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

I'm freezing and I may have lost a toe.

A photo posted by Rubi (@whenlifegivesyourubi) on

You know what no one ever mentions about backpacking? How they haven't had the chance to brush their teeth in two days.

Are you guilty of telling any lies on Instagram? Share in the comments one way you aren't 100% truthful on social media. 

10 Unexpected Useful Things Your Boyfriend Can Do For You

Last month marked a year together for my boyfriend and I. After months of badgering him about wanting to be swept off my feet for our anniversary, the boy pulled through with a pretty awesome anniversary date. And to make things better, a minor hostage situation gave me the entire day off. Don't worry, nobody was hurt or anything, it was less hostage-y, more of a distressed employee.

After months of spending every single day with the same person, there are times when him just sneezing makes me want to punch myself in the face. You saw that going somewhere else didn't you? Well it didn't, because long term relationships aren't all about romantic dinners and nights spent snuggling. There are times when I seriously find myself arguing with him and he's not even home, it's mostly just me fussing by myself. But hey, I have my reasons.

Boyfriends aren't all bad though, I promise. Finding someone who can put up with my abnormally squeaky voice and tendency to spill when eating has its perks. Sure he doesn't share my love for reality TV or frozen yogurt, but I have my reasons for not letting him go.

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Carry home all your heavy groceries.

Anyone with a cat knows the pain of having to carry a 20 pound bucket of kitty litter home. I have literally pulled muscles carrying those tubs of sand up my driveway. Thank the boyfriend gods that guys just love to show off how many heavy things they can carry.

Turn off all those lights you "forgot" about.

I have a bad habit of forgetting to turn off lights, and by forgetting, I mean I saw it but couldn't be bothered to get out of bed to do it. I live in a tiny studio apartment, which means the light switch is only three steps away. But still, can you get that babe, I totally spaced out and forgot.

Keep track of all those items you lost.

If you're sort of blind like me, a working pair of eyes around the house is more helpful than you can imagine. Having another person to let me know where I set down my glasses, remote or metro card saves me so much time every morning.

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Help you with your...personal dilemmas.

I have white hairs okay?! There I said it! They grow way faster than my normal black hair and can't even be called gray hairs, they are as white as snow falling. While I'm proud of them most of the time, there are days when I need the help of my boyfriend to yank one that is being a bit of an overachiever.

Give you money.

I'm kidding! Sort of. I'm just really terrible at remembering to reload my commuter card so sometimes I need $1.75 to get myself to work. It's not like we have joint bank accounts or anything, but I know I can count on him to toss me a few coins. Seven quarters to be exact.

Steal your phone.

For the purpose of helping you focus on whatever you need to get done. While my boyfriend does have a strange fascination with my Instagram feed, he is great at "accidentally" sitting on my phone until I finish whatever needs to be completed.

Watch the most boring thing on TV.

While usually I would complain about the channel needing to be changed, when I have a deadline to meet, my boyfriend has full control of the remote. I know I can count on him to put on a show so boring it makes my assignment feel like the most interesting thing I could be doing.

Be a part time photographer.

Casual, candid moments don't just capture themselves, you know? Don't feel bad for him, most of the time my boyfriend insists on taking a photo of something when all I'm trying to do is enjoy the moment. This would be great if his photography skills didn't mimic one of a 10 year old.

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Be your best friend of the night.

All of my friends live on the opposite side of the country, which means sometimes I need someone to fill the role of standing by my side as I scream at the top of my lungs. I'm talking about the fact that this summer my boyfriend surprised me with tickets to the Taylor Swift concert. Yeah, it was pretty epic. While he likes Taylor Swift and puts up with me playing the CD all the time, I had no idea he knew as many lyrics as he did. While he didn't cry at least once, he was a perfectly good substitute for the night.

Keep you fed and hydrated.

True story, sometimes I forget to eat for so long that I eventually just faint. It's weird and I don't know why I do it but it happens. Or I should say, it used to happen. My boyfriend and I like to joke that the reason we ended up together is because he made me fall in love with him by buying me snacks from the vending machine at work, which is partially true. Ever since we first met he's been showering me with snacks to pack for work and buying me sodas at the bar to help me feel less awkward about not having a drink in my hand. He may just be buying me Cokes and gummy worms, but it's the small things that count, isn't it?

Are there any things your boyfriend does for you that you never imagined he would agree to? Let me know in the comments below!

All the Important Things My First Year of Grad School Taught Me

The night before my 23rd birthday I gave my final presentation as a first year graduate student. That night my boyfriend and I celebrated the last moments of me being 22, finishing my first year of school and the fact that I earned $5 in extrabucks at CVS.

As a senior in college, it felt like everyone was talking about what they were going to do after graduation. Those who were admittedly too scared of the idea of jumping into the workforce filled out grad school applications faster than they could create a login profile.

My original plan was to take a year off to gain experience, but two months of living at home gave me the motivations I needed to accept an admissions offer. Also, my mom prefers orange juice with extra pulp, which I had a hard time coping with.

Moving across the country to begin my master’s coursework left me feeling like a fish out of water, but now approaching the beginning of my second year, I can reflect on all the lessons that first year taught me.

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1. You will be just as confused as a first year graduate student as when you were a first year undergraduate. Except this time there will be no welcome rally or RA to show you how to navigate the campus.

2. Making friends is a lot more difficult when you don’t share a hallway with sixty people and most of your classmates are a lot older than you.

3. Every year gets more expensive, not including all the bills that come with entering adulthood.

4. You can’t hide in the back of class anymore, and if you want to, you’re might not be in the right field.

5. It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by people who all want to do the exact same thing as you.

6. Once you start school, no one will care where your former school ranked or who went where.

7. Working and going to school full time requires a lot of time management, and ziplocs filled with snacks.

8. You will eventually get overwhelmed and break down. Sometimes when home alone, sometimes when riding the subway after a long day.

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9. Professors don’t seem as intimidating anymore, you might even enjoy coming to class early to talk to them.

10. You won’t miss things like homecoming and campus concerts as much as you thought you would.

11. Yes they were fun, but there’s something different about painting yourself in your school colors when you were 18 vs 23.

12. While you feel completely naïve in your field, you also just cannot relate to undergraduates.

13. Milestones in undergrad meant turning 21 and landing an awesome internship. Milestones in grad school are more about making your monthly student loan payments on time and finally being able to afford to live on your own.

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14. College parties are a thing of the past, now they’re called happy hours and you go with the intention to “network.”

15. The whole you-must-graduate-in-two-years is just at thing people who aren’t in graduate school say. Doesn’t matter if it takes two or four years, as long as you finish.

16. It doesn’t matter where your school ranks, everywhere has its benefits.

17. Did I mention making friends is hard? Because it deserves another mention. Busy schedules will leave you wanting to do nothing more than go home after a long day.

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Graduate school was a thing I kind of just jumped into. I was sure I had picked a great school, I was a bit nervous about the cross country move with no saving or friends/family to fall back on. Unlike my freshmen year of college though, there were no welcome rallies or mentors to show me the ropes. Living off campus and working full time led to me take a full year to learn some basic things, like how to figure out the campus internet portal and the importance of keeping in touch with your financial aid adviser.

If you’re deciding whether or not to go for it right after college or wait a few year, just do it! Yes you can always go back to school, but why not get it done while also gaining work experience? Going into my second year I am now finally becoming comfortable with the idea that I’ve somehow managed to find my passion so young, a thing that takes some people a lifetime. Graduate school won’t the same for everyone, graduate school isn’t for everyone, but for those of us who love to learn, it’s the place you can sit in a room full of like minded people and share with one another all the lessons you’ve learned and the goals you hope to one day accomplish. 

Do you have any words of advice for anyone looking to attend grad school? What's the biggest thing you learned outside the classroom? 

12 Important Lessons from 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' for Twenty Somethings

Dr.Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is my all time favorite movie, and not in a it's-my-favorite-holiday-movie kind of way. I mean, I can watch Jim Carrey covered in green fuzz whether it's Christmas Eve or Fourth of July. There has never been a time when I've seen the movie on TV and not dropped everything I was doing to watch it.

When I was younger I was fascinated with Jim Carrey and all the strange looking Whos in Whoville. During my teens I soaked up how amazing the set design was and now in my twenties I'm realizing that I may or may not have grown into a real life version of the Grinch. Except less hairy and much more stressed about holidays like Valentine's Day. 

This weekend I realized I went as far as to name my cat Max, just like the lovable sidekick dog. After way too many hours spent watching a film that just gets better with time, I sat myself down and wrote out all the lessons you can learn from this movie, except they're not about togetherness or holiday cheer, cause that's way too commercial you know?

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Self awareness is important. 

How many of you look back at a point in your life and wonder how stupid you had to be to put up with something or someone? Pay attention to how things and people in your environment are making you feel. If something or someone ruins your day every time you come in contact, get rid of that stressor. Also, if all your friends hate someone, and I mean all of them, take that hint. 

Some nights you just need to stay home and singer a power ballad.

I'm not the only girl who has secret home alone behaviors, am I? Ever since I was a preteen I have lived for those few hours when you're home alone and there's no chance of anyone walking through the front door and disturbing your peace. After a long week in the office, sometimes all I wanna do is run home, take off my pants and sing some Taylor Swift songs while deep cleaning my apartment.

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You don't have to be friends with everyone. 

Sophomore year of college is when I realized I didn't have to be friends with absolutely everyone, and my life has been so much better since. I'm not saying be rude to people, but there's no need to learn everything about a person just because a friend of a friend brought them to your night out. When you stop trying to be best friends with everyone you meet you'll be surprised how much closer you grow to the people you genuinely care about.

Don't get too preoccupied with things.

Listen up, our twenties are the years we're meant to be broke while trying to still look fabulous. If you know a person who always has the newest gadget and is taking trips all over the place, chances are they are lacking somewhere else. So yeah, I am still rocking my iPhone 4s, but that's just cause all my money goes to my fabulous apartment in the city.

Progress is progress, no matter how small. 

Whether you're trying to lose some pounds or boost your GPA (or pageviews for the bloggers reading this), don't discount your progress because it isn't major. Nobody gets famous overnight, unless you post something really offensive on Facebook and it gets shared thousands of times. But nevertheless, keep working towards your goals, and hold onto that motivation you had when you first set them. 

Be your own biggest fan.

Everyone needs a squad to remind them how awesome they are for passing their classes, getting that new job or just making it a week without contacting their ex. But what's a girl to do when all her friends are way too far away? Be your own damn fan! I'm not saying become totally self involved, but there's no shame in telling yourself how awesome you are for meeting that deadline and taking out the garbage before it smelled. 

You're not alone in hating the Christmas music in October.

This is especially true if you work in retail. Christmas is a great time of year, totally on board with the happiness, presents and togetherness it promotes. But when Christmas starts clashing with Halloween, oh no no no. The holidays can already be lonely when you're trying to be a successful adult away from home, so can we save the jolly tunes till December?

Ignore the trends, wear what makes you confident.

Raise your hand if the scene with the Grinch trying on multiple outfits totally touched you on a personal level. (*raises hand) I'm sorry, but crop tops don't look good on me. Not because I feel I'm too large for them or have an abnormal looking belly button, it's because I'm twenty freaking three and have no business wearing bralets with oversized cardigans. Ignore the trends and wear what looks good on you, or better yet, whatever outfit makes you walk down the street like you're on your way to steal someones man. But don't don't that, cause that's a terrible thing to do in actuality.

We all grow feeling for boys who don't deserve them. 

Boys are like bras, you never know if they're worth the investment till you've brought it home and decided to wear the next day. That's when they decide to be a total pain in your side and you literally rather walk around sans either than be totally miserable for a moment longer. Don't waste time on boys or bras that don't make you feel 1000% more confident. 

All those feel good articles about roommates are lies. 

You don't know the joy of coming home after a long day until you come home and find there's no one there. No seriously, I know it sounds depressing but it's not. Roommates can be great, except when you're tired and they wanna tell you all about this thing that happened in the office that you could not care any less about. Trust me, the moment you can afford it, get your own place ASAP.

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Pets are the perfect companion.

Just because you should enjoy a roommate free existence doesn't mean you have to be alone though! Pets are the perfect way to help you feel less lonely without intruding on your space. Unless you also happened to adopt a cat who has no respect for personal space between the hours of 1-7am. Pets not only provide company, but also serve as a way to be responsible for something that does nothing but love you back. Even when you forget to buy more food on the way home. 

Make time for yourself. 

So many of us juggle work, school and hopefully a personal life. With deadlines at school that are impossible to meet when you work forty or more hours a week, it can be hard to sit yourself down and relax. And I don't mean watching Netflix while stressing about how you're wasting time watching that episode of The Office for the seventh time, cause that is not relaxation! Do something for you whether it's taking a walk or buying that expensive face mask you've been eyeing at Target. Treat yo'self!

Are there any lessons I missed? Leave me a note with your favorite movie (Christmas or otherwise) and why it beats all others in the comments below!