Spreading the Wealth

For many of us, starting that first job out of college can be quite a milestone. Even more so,  getting your hands on that first paycheck is that real, true symbolization of all of your hard work thus far, built into one little slip of paper. Whether you’re splurging on an extravagant meal, treatin’ yo self to that venti pumpkin-spiced Starbucks mocha latte, or trying to impress your friends to an unaffordable (and regrettable) extent, there’s no guiltier pleasure than cashing that first check.

For Houston Texan rookie football player Deshaun Watson, however, that first paycheck meant everything to him and even more to someone else. Paycheck in hand, he walked right through the Houston stadium’s cafeteria and gifted his hard earned money to three very grateful cafeteria ladies, all of whom were hit by Hurricane Harvey and significantly impacted by its destruction.


Source: Twitter 

No, Deshaun was not concerned with flaunting his first cut from the NFL, but he took it to who needed it most. For most 22 year-olds that come out of a Division 1 school and actually make it to the pros, it may never be a thought (let alone reality) for them to donate their first ‘trophy’ paycheck. After helping to generate millions of dollars for Clemson University’s football program, Deshaun never saw a penny of it back. Yes, I’m aware that he will eventually accumulate many paychecks with each day that goes by as an NFL football player. Although, you can only receive your first ever paycheck once, and Deshaun gave it to the people that needed it more.

Relatively speaking, I could have technically afforded to donate my first paycheck, but I didn’t. It’s overwhelmingly joyful to see the impact that others are making, especially in the wake of horrible reoccurring natural disasters. Look at Deshaun’s fellow teammate JJ Watt; his original Harvey fundraising goal was set to $200,000 before quickly burying that and raising the whopping amount of $37+ MILLION.

It’s refreshing to see acts of kindness constantly happening all over the world. From donating money, volunteering, or even simply holding the door for a stranger, you may never realize how far your kindness can go.

Posted by Olivia

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Expectations vs. Reality: The Racist Bus Driver

I recently had a run in with a racist MBTA bus driver. I won’t go into detail about exactly what happened, partly because I’m tired of rehashing it and partly because my blood pressure is already rising as I’m typing this blog post. What was shocking to me wasn’t the fact that he felt so emboldened as to point out my ethnicity as the sole reason for me not understanding him, but the fact that I immediately took the situation to an 11 rather than try to de-escalate and take the higher ground.

Sometimes, this thought goes through my head: “If a racist stranger on the street decides to berate me, I’m definitely going to be graceful and eloquent and well-spoken. I’ll explain that racism is founded in fear and ignorance; we just need a little understanding for others. We’re all here on this earth striving for the same thing. The human experience, success and happiness don’t have to be a zero-sum game exclusive to one group of people. I’d really change their world view.”

So in the moment, what did I actually say? Well, to be honest I don’t completely remember. But in my instantaneously adrenaline-induced rage, there were certainly some vulgarities thrown about. I’m not proud. While it’s totally admirable of my past self (“past self” meaning myself from about a month ago) to have thought this way, I’m learning that it’s easier said than done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With my own rose-colored world view, I forgot a pretty significant factor in all of this – me! Emotions run high and it’s hard to know when you need to be on guard when you’re going about your day, ready for the next time someone says something rude to you. It’s exhausting, and most times these kinds of hateful interactions blindside you at the most unexpected times (like when you’re trying to get on the bus in the morning to go to work). I’ll still strive to be the bigger person whenever I can, but hopefully now my expectations have been tempered a bit to include the biggest reality in any situation – myself.

Posted by Mike

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#Influencertakeover

On 9/25/17, influencer Arielle Charnas of @SomethingNavy released her first clothing collection with department store Nordstrom. The pieces (which ranged in clothing, shoes and accessories) were supposed to be available at 9AM EST. After some technical difficulties, the collection was released at 12PM EST. According to Arielle’s husband, Brandon Charnas (@bcharnas), the collection was sold out at 1pm EST.

Rachel Strugatz of WWD discusses influencer marketing in her piece, Digital Download: The Power of Influencer Referrals. According to Strugatz, four out of every five of Nordstrom.com’s mobile web visits come from referral traffic driven by an influencer. Brands have made it easier and easier to shop with tools like rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it where consumers can easily purchase what they’re seeing on Instagram by simply ‘swiping up.’ With every ‘swipe up,’ influencers make $ and with every swipe that leads to shoppers entering their apple ID to pay (or simply placing their thumb on the home button), they make even more $$$.

Fashion influencers are driving sales like crazy. Chriselle Lim is behind the blog, Thechrisellefactor.com, which is the fourth highest traffic driver in e-commerce — reportedly on track to hit $1 billion in retail sales this year, Strugatz writes:

 

“Influencers don’t only show off their Gucci loafers and Celine bags, but they let followers into their personal lives which creates a connection with their audience. Charnas posts photos of her adorable toddler, Ruby, daily while Laura Eurdolian not only shares stories of herself opening beauty packages but she also recently showcased her best friend’s wedding, where she was the best man. Strategic moves of letting people into their everyday, personal lives somehow works – and consumers follow, like, comment, DM and just like that become obsessed.”

I’m guilty of it too. Following Arielle Charnas on IG stories is my favorite past time and with her growing number of followers and brand collaborations, we (the audience) are not going anywhere, at least not anytime soon.

Posted by Lana

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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice?

Fall is upon us, and what better to mark the season of cozy sweaters and leggings, apple picking and haunted houses than pumpkin spice.. in everything. While some things are well suited for the pumpkin spice flavor/scent (like the #PSL, of course, which started the trend), it’s safe to say that most products created around the trend are just plain wrong.

So, here you are, readers: some of the worst pumpkin spice products I have come across so far this year.

Pumpkin Spice Cooking Spray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Simply Beyond

As if there aren’t enough pumpkin spice foods around this time of year, here is Pumpkin Spice Spray by Simply Beyond to make it easier to make everything taste like pumpkin spice. This one extends beyond fall, as Gingerbread and Cinnamon flavors are also available.

Pumpkin Spice Deodorant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Native

Natural deodorant company Native released a deodorant “inspired by the PSL.” I will say this: “subtle notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove” is absolutely not the worst thing for your pits to smell like.

Pumpkin Spice Pringles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Image source Amazon

Just… no.

Pumpkin Spice Vodka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

My hatred for this one could come from the fact that I swore off flavored Burnett’s after freshman year of college…

Pumpkin Spice Peeps

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Thrillist

Come on, Peeps, know your place. You are only good around Easter.

Pumpkin Spice Toothpaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Buzzfeed

Okay, this one doesn’t really exist, but it had me fooled for a hot second.

So, when will the pumpkin spice craze end? Safe to say it will not be in my lifetime. Stay tuned for next year’s installment, because it’s only going downhill from here.

Posted by Erin D.

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Is it Coffee or is it Coke?

In high school, it was a common occurrence for my friends to walk in with an extra-large $1 Diet Coke from good ol’ Mickey D’s to get their day going. I’m more of a coffee person, but will occasionally drink a Coke if I need an afternoon pick-me-up.

Well apparently I can now mix my coffee with Coke. Coca-Cola Coffee Plus, which is unfortunately only available in Japan, just debuted and has double the amount of caffeine in a regular can of Coke. Talk about caffeine addiction!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source Food & Wine

Now, any of you m.blog readers know someone in Japan who can send a few cans to 38 Chauncy Street in Boston???

Posted by Christina V.

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The Magical Land of Nambia

Nambia is…

  1. Related to Narnia, a fantasy word
  2. A facial cream
  3. A country in Africa that has great healthcare
  4. None of the above

The correct answer: D. Nambia is not a thing. But, if you ask our leader, Donald J. Trump, he’ll say that it is, indeed, an African country.

In a recent speech to African leaders during the UN conference, Trump botched the name of Namibia, praising the nonexistent Nambia and its wonderful healthcare. Check out my favorite silver fox, Anderson Cooper, skewer this mistake:

But sexy newsman is right – if Cooper can learn how to say Psilocybin, Trump should be expected to correctly pronounce countries’ names, especially in front of leaders from those countries. Another day, another Trump fail.

Posted by Kat

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The Sean Spicer Apology Tour

I’ve written about celebrity apology tours on the m.blog in the past (ahem, looking at your Bieber) and how it’s almost insulting how obvious and self-serving they are (well, at least to PR pros!).

In case you’ve been under a rock lately, we’ve been experiencing another type of apology tour, except this time we’re not trying to clean up a bad image of DUIs and illegal foreign monkeys. Instead, we are talking about Sean Spicer trying to save face from his time as the White House Press Secretary.

As Press Secretary, basically everyone hated Spicey from the moment he spoke his first word from behind that podium (which just so happened to be a lie, so ya know, there’s that). It never really got better throughout his tenure, except for that one time that Gronk interrupted his press briefing and the fact that it birthed Melissa McCartney’s SNL impression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Boston Magazine

When he eventually resigned to make way for The Mooch, Spicer went radio silence and likely spent a lot of time drinking and/or in therapy to get over the experience (at least, that’s what I’d do). Now, fast forward a month or so and he decides he’s finally ready to put this White House behind him, officially beginning the Spicey Apology Tour 2K17.

First order of business was to sit down with Jimmy Kimmel to share his experience in a light-hearted softball situation where he could make a case for why he shouldn’t be hated by making a few jokes and laughing at himself.

Not a bad interview and Jimmy gets plenty of “WTF was that” jabs in there. I’d say general feedback was relatively neutral to very slightly positive, which probably gave Spicey some optimism. Not even a week later, I guess he was feeling REAL confident and made a surprise appearance at the Emmy’s.

 

Image Source: Vulture

Boy was he wrong! Feedback this time was NOT GOOD. I guess he missed that sign on the stage door that said “abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” Lots of people are outraged that he is making light of the situation and joking about perpetuating lies. Time to go back into hibernation for Mr. Spicer, I suppose.

Posted by Tracy

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Swoooooon  

With all the devastation from Irma, Maria, Harvey, Jose, the earthquakes in Mexico…and that was just in the last month or so…it’s hard to see a silver lining. So when a bunch of good lookin’ first responders posted a selfie with caption, “Officers Norman, Hamill and Rengering…part of the night crew getting ready to do some work. #Irma.” Ladies around the nation swooned…and they swooned hard.

I mean….how could you not, look at these handsome devils! (Sorry, Jim.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Facebook

I’m not talking about middle school crush; ladies are ready to commit crimes (joking…right?!) to encounter these dashing men. Over 127,000 women (I’m sure some men too…) commented on the post including Mrs. Erika Green who joked (?), “I’m a happily married woman. I’m a happy married woman…who has no business in Gainesville…robbing banks…in broad daylight…”Oh, Erika, I’ll join you in the task…your husband will bail us out…right? Right…?!

Luci Kane commented, “I can’t believe how many women are objectifying these poor, fine, young, strong, handsome, brave, sexy, delicious, virile, ovulation-inducing, mouth-watering, beefy…I can’t remember where I was going with this…”

 

The humble men in blue replied with the following update.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Facebook

These dudes are good looking, selfless heroes AND they have a sense of humor…someone fan me off…

Okay, all jokes aside, these guys have taken their recent attention and brought it to good with a calendar to raise funds for Hurricane Irma – I mean how could you not swoon over these men? I’ll take twenty. For Florida…

Posted by Christina B.

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Art Inducing Inspiration!

I’m going to be honest: nowadays it takes A LOT for me to stop scrolling through my mind numbing FB newsfeed to read an article, let alone, watch a video in. its. entirety! But the video below not only did just that but completely had me mesmerized and inspired by the sheer talent of this artist.

Source: youtube

Meet Turkish Ebru artist, Garip Ay. In this video he recreates Van Gough’s famous Starry Night painting on dark water. Ebru is the traditional Turkish art of creating colorful patterns by sprinkling and brushing color pigments onto a pan of oily water and then transferring the patterns to paper. Also known as “marbling,” this art form is commonly used for decoration in the traditional art of bookbinding.

I could literally watch this and Garip’s other videos on repeat. I also find this art technique oddly quite calming! To learn more about Garip and to see more videos, click here. You’ll be glad you did!

Posted by Rebecca

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Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Diamonds

Losing a loved one is never easy; grieving the physical finality of a life and coming to grips with the fact that you will not see that person again is a tough road to travel. Most people keep the memories alive with pictures, burial sites and/or holding on to their loved one’s personal belongings. But, Rinaldo Willy, founder of Algordanza diamonds, has taken an unexpected approach to memorializing those who have passed.

After he lost his father, he came up with the idea of turning the ashes into precious diamonds. The process begins with the chemical extraction of carbon from the cremated ashes. This carbon is then heated and converted into graphite. That graphite is then subjected to intense sustained pressure that results in the creation of a diamond, which is then cut and polished according to the client’s request.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Algordanza

Prices begin at 4,259 Swiss Francs ($4,313 USD) for a small diamond, and colors range from white to dark blue based on the boron content of the ashes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Algordanza

As someone who has always dreamt of leaving either a mark on this world or something behind that would last forever, I’d settle for immortality as an indestructible precious stone—less work on my end!

Posted by Zein

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