Monday Reading

silverridgestudioMondays are tough! Especially in the summer when every day and weekend feels like vacation because of the soaring temps and long evenings packed full of fun. Over the past couple weeks, I have attended family barbecues, gone cherry picking, watched outdoor movies, spent time at the seaport for an outdoor music festival, engaged in some night skyline photography, and mini-golfed. Here’s what I’ve been reading in my downtime!

If Disney movies were honest with their titles. This hilarity would ensue.

Just in case you’re tempted to write an article overgeneralizing about millenials, maybe you should read this post first?

It can’t be true that guys hate every kind of comfortable shoes that ladies wear, right? Are only stilettos acceptable?

I wish I had discovered this hilarious (if full of profanity) recipe site sooner.

Facts about girls for guys.

Though I am a big fan of happy playlists to boost my mood, it turns out that sad songs might not make you sad.

Just another reason to go hard at the gym.

The 10 worst people on the subway. Personally, 4, 5, and 6 really drive me nuts.

Be more like Martha Stewart, just don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.

I am so happy I discovered this and this delicious recipe.

I love pretty much all of the paintings in this etsy shop.

What have you been up to?

Positive Thinking = More Possibilities + More Skills

pinwheelsEveryone cringes when they see articles titled things like, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” It seems cheesy and false to say that simply thinking good thoughts can actually change your life, and people who insist on always seeing the silver lining can be slightly annoying, especially when you’re feeling down in the dumps. But time and time again, research has proved that positive thinking can make you happier, and now it is starting to show that it not only allows you to see more possibilities in your life, but also builds skills that will help you attain more long term happiness. Negative feelings tend to shut you down. They close off your ability to see the other options and feelings in the world around you. Happy thoughts do just the opposite, they allow you to see more opportunities. They also enhance your ability to build skills that you can use later in life. Many times people equate happiness with achieving a certain goal. While goals do provide happiness, it is temporary, as once attained, you set a new goal to chase after. However, when you think positively, you are constantly seeing new opportunities that lead to you broadening and building your skill set. These skills will allow positive thinkers to more easily achieve their next goal, and the next, constantly pulling in more happiness.

So how do you do it? Researchers recommend engaging in activities that make you feel joy, contentment, and love. You can spend time doing things you like, with people you care about. Additionally, meditation, writing about positive experiences, and setting aside time to play, explore and experiment (just like you would schedule a dentist appointment) all lead to an increased ability to think positively.

An Excuse to Crank Your AC


With the summer heat wave sticking around NYC, no one needed to tell me to put my air conditioning on before bed. However, now I have an excuse to blast the temperatures even cooler. A study conducted by the National Institute of Health Clinical Center (that I read about on Women’s Health The Scoop) found that sleeping in a colder room (to the tune of 66 degrees) burned more calories while they slept than those who slept in a 75 degree room. Researchers suspect that the extra 7% of calories torched in the cold room sleepers were the body’s effort to keep internal temps at 98.6 degrees. This could lead to an extra 100 calories burned after 24 hours of sleep, the little extra leeway you might need in the season of ice cream sundaes and barbecues.

Hashtag Abusers


I love social media as much as the next iPhone owner, but I have to agree with this spot-on article from NY Mag, The Cut that the little tool known as the hashtag may have gotten a little out of control. Previously used as a media tag to group together tweets of a common theme, it has exploded into verbal conversation (you know you have a friend who says hashtag out loud before making a witty comment), facebook posts, and of course instagram. The author goes into the main 7 ways that people abuse hashtags, and friends? I have seen every single one pop up in my feeds.

There’s the hashtag stuffer, who adds a hashtag to about 20 random words with each post, and the aforementioned verbal hashtagger who uses the word out loud, in public. Then comes the HashtagStringer who is known for making funny comments into one long run on tag- funny? Yes. Gets old? Sure. There are the hack-taggers, who coopt company created hashtags (like #McDStories) for their own ironic use – typically in opposition to its original intent. Or there is the friend known as the hash-swagger who hashtags just to let you know they are at an event cooler than one you will ever attend like #cannes or #aspen. Finally, the hashtag is used as a self-expression crutch. It’s the new parenthetical reference that clarifies what you wanted to say with a little addendum to what you actually said. All in all, there are so many ways that hashtags are used outside of the way they were originally intended that will make you laugh, and cringe.

What’s the most common way you see hashtags used (or abused)?

Skip the Poolside Margarita to Save Your Skin


If a margarita, bloody mary, or lemon drop is your favorite pool side drink, you may want to reconsider your choice to save your skin. The juice of certain fruits (limes, lemons and celery in particular) contains chemicals that react with the sun, and can cause phytophotodermatitis, or sun induced chemical burns when present on your skin. Using lemon juice to lighten your hair, or drinking cocktails with these garnishes can put you at risk. If you notice redness, hyperpigmentation, or blistering, try hydrocortisone cream to reduce irritation, or see your doctor for a skin tone evener. Or, more simply, just avoid fruits and herbs containing these chemicals that are also found in parsley, parsnips and dill. Swap out your margarita for a daiquiri, and be sure to wash your hands/skin with soap and water after handling any garnishes to eliminate any residue on your skin.

Summer Classics

4thAs I was reading my latest set of summer magazines, while there was a whole set of new articles (even one about the epidemic of sexting in Marie Claire now that snapchat is so popular!), I noticed echoes of summers gone by in the products they featured. I read about combs from Ricky’s that smooth your hair, root touch up powders for people who are too busy going to the beach to get their hair done, and how to maintain your diet during a sea of summer bbqs. These are all things we’ve read about before, right?

So in honor of summer, and the impending long weekend for my United States readers, I have rounded up my favorite summer posts of yore for your reading pleasure.

What are you up to for Independence Day?

Janice’s Summer Guide 2013

summerI still remember the first summer I had to spend in NYC after college. I felt deprived of my mom’s backyard pool, the 5 lakes surrounding the area I grew up in, my canoe! Coincidentally, I was also somewhat broke. So, I took Vanity Fair’s summer guide, and decided to make it the best, cheapest summer ever by going to as many of the things in it I could fit in/twist people’s arms into going to with me. Since then, it has become somewhat of a tradition. I sift through the free movies in the park, outdoor concerts, and new restaurants/bars and send out a list of events I would like to attend to all my friends. Then I put them on my google calendar, and make that summer fun happen. This year, Vanity Fair is slacking off, and hasn’t put out a summer guide, so I made my own!

Free (mostly) and Outdoor Concerts

Free Outdoor Movies

Other Fun Things to Do Outside

New Places to Try Out

Old Outdoor Favorites

And if you’re still looking for something to do? Make sangria and bring it along to a park with a picnic. Head on over to Coney Island and check out Luna Park’s new rides. Go to the beach! Many are walkable from public transit. Check out an exhibit at the Met and go for a cocktail on the roof.