Page 1











Be Chauvinists?


Tips for Entertaining like a Badass



ANTI-DIET! Reasons I Won’t Get Married Display Until 12/22/14

FALL 2014



Be Fearless.

in this [issue] +on the cover 52

Meet Keltie Knight


The Rules of Sex in Public


What are #theMUSEdiaries?


>attitude 7 Signs It's a Quarter-Life Crisis


The Bully Myth


The Art of Living a Passionate Life


9 First Day of School Lessons to Apply Today


How to Feel Beautiful


Shed the Bullshit


Screw You! I Don't Need Your Support


Leave Room for Change


Train Your Inner Badass


Be Kind to Strange Women


Resting Bitch Face


How to Listen Vs. Giving Advice


5 Meet the Staff 6 Our Team 7 Sponsor Love 8 Our Last Issue 9 From the Editor 13 Popular on the Site 109 Poll: What Do Men Find Attractive in a Woman? 50 Quiz: What’s Your Social Style? 134 Indie Confessions 134

7 Signs It's a Quarter-Life Crisis

+Fall Special


The Many Colors of Abuse

10 A Very Special Thank You 12 Indiegogo Contributors


Can Lesbians Be Chauvinists?


The Art of Living a Passionate Life


Bad Mama-Jama 30 Minute Workout


The Anti-Diet

¬ 52

+in every issue

102 Reasons I Won't Get Married



in this [issue] >Beauty & Style Top Beauty Staples for Fall


Fashion Blogger Tanesha Awasthi


Meet the Muse Chiara Mazzucco

66 69


The Muse Diaries

The Anti-Diet


Finding Beauty in Your Strength


Bad Mama-Jama 30 Minute Workout


>Health & Fitness




>Love & Sex 5 Signs You're Not Ready to Date [Seriously]


How to Communicate with Men


How to Lose a Guy in One Tinder


Can Lesbians Be Chauvinists


Is He a Rebound?


6 Things You're Doing Wrong When Online Dating


The Rules of Having Sex in Public


The Many Colors of Abuse


Looking For Love? 5 Ways to Let It Find You


Why I Won't Get Married


Failure in Your Dating Life Is the New Success


The Flirt Guide


>Business Chick Don't Be a Wantrepreneur


Rock Your Professional Self by Building Buzz


The One-Two Punch to Success


>Lifestyle 118

Authentic Social Networking


Indie Dicks: Men Who Get Us


Featured Artist: Christina Perri


5 Badass Chicks to Be This Halloween


Cocktail Recipes


6 Tips for Entertaining like a Badass


DIY Fall Holiday Decorations






CEO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Chiara Mazzucco PRESIDENT, COO Chrystal Rose VICE PRESIDENT, SENIOR EDITOR Julie Zantopoulos ASSOCIATE EDITOR Michelle Oeltjen Danielle Kelley SUMMER ROCKSTAR INTERNS Genevieve Megan Cordery, Brian Kearney, Laquayle Agurs, Lisa Santeramo, Danielle Kelley, Eryn McCabe CONTRIBUTORS Tanesha Awasthi, Cheryl Aldip, Haute Street, The Fit Bottomed Girls, Erin Mullins Sanderson, Emily Miller, Joanne Spataro, Laurie Davis, Neely Steinberg, Katie Hellmuth Martin, Piper Punches, Mariena Mercer, Andy Hayes, Jacki Armes EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Chrystal Rose DESIGN Chiara Mazzucco MARKETING AND ADVERTISING Chrystal Rose PRINTED BY Shweiki Media


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(ISSN 2332-5216) Indie Chick is published by The Indie Chicks, Inc. Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any form without written consent from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Annual subscriptions available on Please send all inquiries or change of addresses to

Meet the [Staff]

Chiara Mazzucco

[CEO, Editor-in-Chief]

Chrystal Rose

[President, COO]

Julie Zantopoulos

Chiara got her start in the blogosphere by dishing out reality slaps on her dating and relationship blog. The brutal honesty that became her signature tone earned her the badass reputation she needed to get The Indie Chicks magazine up and running. She is also a web designer and author of

Chrystal is a serial entrepreneur and the author of the humorous memoir Unfaithfully Yours: Confessions of a Cheating Bitch. When she isn’t passionately brows deep in her work, she loves to travel, cook delicious food, create art, read and work on her novel. (She’s also slightly addicted to several HBO & Showtime series.) Her amazing and healthy relationship with her boyfriend, Jeff, inspires the sage advice she dishes and her dedication to bettering herself through health & fitness, makes her the ultimate workout buddy and motivator. She literally never stops, hardly ever sleeps and has zero problems telling it like it is. Chrystal believes with every cell in her body that you can create the life you want to live and true happiness for yourself. She’s dedicated to helping women and is extremely honored to serve as a mentor/advisor to young Indie Chicks trying to find their way.

The 9 Mirages of Love: How to Stop Chasing What Doesn’t Exist. Driven,

stubborn, and wildly ambitious, she won’t stop until she is the perfect, selfempowered role model for all of her readers. She dreams in shades of gray, has a terrible sweet tooth, and has embraced the fact that half of what she says during social interactions results in awkward silence. Her friends know her best for her intolerable addiction to all things 90’s, hair metal, chocolate and for her most public addiction of all: coffee. She's extremely accessible, give her a shout.






[VP, Senior Editor]

Julie is your classic Type A, detail oriented, list-making perfectionist who just happens to also be messy, forgetful, and whimsical. She finished college with a degree in Psychology but has always been a writer. She found a home in blogging and fell in love with sharing her writing and honing in on her skills for the novel she’s been working on. When not writing or working with over 100 guest contributors to perfect our content on The Indie Chicks, Julie loves to watch bad SyFy movies, listen to music, or do something crafty. She’s a proud aunt and godmother, so spending time with kids and her huge extended family, or friends, is something she will always make time for. Her journey to where she is today hasn’t always been easy but most of the strife, guilt, and fear she’s experienced was self-inflicted. It’s amazing how much lighter you feel when you realize that you aren’t a bad person for following your passions.













[Our] Team We couldn't do everything we do without the help of our incredible team. This semester's interns rocked more than their assignments; they also helped make us louder when we needed to reach more people for the crowdfunding campaign. One even took a 5am train into NYC to meet us for our Statement Walk. See page 10. We are proud of all of you for how far you've come this semester, and applaude you for your incredible work ethic. Thank you for having been a part of our team this summer - you're all going to achieve great things.

[Associate Editor]



Michelle hails from Nebraska and has a BA in Psychology, a Master's in Business and dual minored in English and Spanish. She is the published author of her memoir, Love, Lies & Lessons Learned, based on a personal tragedy that occurred on her 28th birthday when she was attacked and nearly killed by an ex. [Associate Editor, Intern]

Brian likes to think of himself as an influencer, storyteller, and strategist. He’s obsessed with social media, and runs on caffeine and the will to succeed. He tries to learn something new everyday. Brian is currently a senior at Rowan University majoring in public relations and advertising.



LaQuayle is a junior journalism major, English minor at Hampton University. She is the Associate Editor for her university's award winning student newspaper. In her spare time, she loves to write for her blog, The Bird Cage. She aspires to someday be an editor for a renowned women's magazine.

[Graphic Design Intern] This Jersey Girl never quits! Lisa works as a full time personal assistant and spends her free time freelancing in graphic design and social media marketing. She received her BA in Public Relations from Rowan University. She is highly motivated and loves to inspire people. Lisa’s dream is to travel the world and write a book about her adventures.

Dani will be graduating Spring 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Speech Communication and Psychology. Her goal after graduation is to live and work abroad. She loves to read, geek out on podcasts and drink way too much coffee.

[Editorial Intern]

[Public Relations Assistant, Intern]




[Social Media Intern] Genevieve Cordery is currently a senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is majoring in Mass Media Communications and double-minoring in both Journalism and Women & Gender Studies. In her spare time, Genevieve enjoys watching movies, scrapbooking, eating chocolate, experimenting with make-up, and dancing to good music.

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I write about life, love, the universe and stuff that makes me want to stand on my soapbox.

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what readers [say] “God, this magazine is so good. Raw. Real. No filter. It’s refreshing. I don’t subscribe to magazines because it’s all the same bullshit. I love their vision and I love what they’ve done to reach their goals with the magazine.” - Melanie

"Just when I gave up on magazines, I discovered YOU. My faith has been renewed. EXCELLENT STUFF, thank you!" - Martina Corley

"It was refreshing to see a magazine that had pictures of real women instead of celebrities and with a focus on female empowerment. Really refreshing.” - @alisaa_hrustic

"Although it is a chick magazine - it's probably one of the best looking magazines I've ever seen. Color, quality and content is way above average. I am not only thrilled for these women; I am also EXTREMELY impressed." - Rodney Lacroix "Totally love your magazine. It caught my eye instantly when I walked up to the magazine stand. I really thank you guys for coming up with something like this, something so amazing for all women, and I love it that everything you write is so real and down to earth. Keep up the GREAT work! "- Elia Davis

"Seriously though, the Indie Chick magazine is super uplifting and empowering without all the fluff of other magazines with relevant ads, too. I love it.” - @ebonirm "Thanks for the perfect reading material for my “me time”, Indie Chick!” - @MarlenaMerkt "Thank you, Chiara, Chrystal, and Julie, for creating a woman’s magazine that actually speaks about women as human beings.” -@teen_riderprobs "So pumped to read something that moves women forward." - @MischaelaAdvani


Summer 2014 Dear Indie Chicks, Being that I am a 19 year old transwoman, (I've had a lot of issues with sexuality and figuring things out, and now I'm realizing that it's not a sexuality "issue", but a gender issue.) a lot of times I find it hard to keep my head up and be truly me. Indie Chick however has given me a source of inspiration and hope that I can't even describe. I always have a hard time of seeing myself progressing in life. I just feel like I'm stuck most of the time and wonder if I'm ever going to be who I really feel like I am. This magazine though has made me feel as though I can do anything, be anything, and that no one can stop me. I really just wanted to say thank you. For everything. What you and the other Indie Chicks have given me is something I feel that can never be taken away. You serve as a source of inspiration to all women, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or what our journey in life may be. I've recommended your magazine and website to every friend I have and look forward to seeing your next issue! In closing, thank you again for showing me that I can be an Indie Chick just like any other woman, and that I can do anything. - JP, Kentucky

IG:samiiryan T: @samiiryan FB: bysamiiryan YT: samiidarling

Want to know more about our summer cover girl? Find the edgy, young entrepreneur online!

*We want your feedback! Tweet us or email us to be included in our next issue's What Readers Say.

From the [Editor] Doubt. If you're anything like me, the word alone terrifies you. It's one of those extremely intense emotions that, in the blink of an eye, has the power to undermine the hard work you've put into making something happen. Confidence that may have taken years to build, squashed by a mere whisper that says you're not good enough. That all consuming feeling can be as strong as the love you feel for a soulmate, and as ruthless as the hate you feel for an enemy. At any time, doubt can creep up and try to suffocate you from within. We live with such intense emotion, all of the time, that it's easy to feel alone and like no one could ever understand. Makes me wonder why we don't talk about it more.

the indie chicks is a community of badasses. Join the party! Take a selfie with this issue of Indie Chick and tag us on Twitter, facebook and Instagram by using #ICSelfie!

Chiara Mazzucco

Editor-in-Chief #themusediaries

Anyway, I could write you a letter about how amazing you are and tell you everything you’re capable of achieving. I could remind you that you’re strong. I could tell you that there is a whole world out there for you to explore and that you, alone, have the power to absorb all of its beauty. I could get you excited for the incredible content in this issue and all of the inspiring features we've included. I mean, I could probably even go on about why the leaves changing in Fall mean everything to me and why I loved the first day of every new semester. But I won’t. This time around, I chose to write you about something different. Life is not only made up of light, and I think we fail to recognize how much we grow from battles we fight in darkness. We ignore it because admitting you doubt yourself may come off as weakness. Not trusting someone in your life could make you look crazy. Not knowing you’re going to succeed at something you’ve invested years of your life in may be seen as failure. Doubt is dark. Talking about doubt and every other bit of darkness in our lives is the light we need to survive. We need to start talking more, in general. We're all different shapes and colors, and we believe in different things and enjoy loving different people. Things that set us apart from one another make us beautiful and unique - two qualities that must be celebrated. But now, it's time we come together and talk about what makes us the same - the light, the dark, and every shade in between. The moment we feel safe sharing the darkness that makes us whole, is the moment we can begin to heal from wounds, to accept ourselves, and to rally and change the world. Open up to let other women in. Trust them and don't assume the worst. Believe me, they understand darkness, too. If we can rise above, trust one another, and work together, we can allow ourselves to be each other's lights. Oh, and you're beautiful and strong, and you're going to love this issue.



A Very Special [Thank You]




On August 6th, we launched an Indiegogo campaign to keep Indie Chick Magazine on the shelves. You can learn more about it, see more pictures, and watch our video at


We wanted to share these pictures with you. This is us, wearing the labels that are placed on us by mainstream media. Headlines that tell us we're broken and that we need to be fixed and that remind us we need to change, not because we deserve self-improvement, but because we're just not good enough. We walked the streets of NYC to prove that there is a need for Indie Chick Magazine and that self-empowerment belongs on the shelves.

Oh hey, look! It's us in the paper. You can find our motivational selfies on our instagrams.


You are reading this issue because you decided it was worth reading. You contributed your hard-earned money, shared the campaign with your friends and family across all of your social media, and you made this happen. You raised us $20,000 to get this issue printed. None of this could be possible without you.

We are so grateful to have such an incredible community, and if you're a new reader, you're becoming part of something magical. The women (and men) here support each other and together, they have the power to make anything happen. Thank you from the bottom of our hard-working hearts. Thank you for believing in us and reminding us that what we're doing has the power to change lives. We are on a mission to change how women see themselves and you are helping us do just that. THEINDIECHICKS.COM | INDIE CHICK


A Very Special [Thank You]


contributors We would also like to thank the many contributors who chose to keep their support anonymous. We respect your wishes, but want to tell you that we love you anyway.

Bianca Kofman Crystal Leigh Watson Taara Stewart Jason Horton Tara Burke Calen Spindler Michelle Sedas Sarah Ruzanov Romy Stahl Kelsey Todd "Roxanne" Diana Esparza Laquayle Agurs Suzy Marie Total Mommy Fitness Marcos Gill Nanci Cernak Kimberley Jones Rafael Gamboa Cate Meighan Kelly Moore Jorge Farah Joyce Jackie DeAndra Drake Alain Glanzman Frank Mcnear Kelly Atchley Avant Garland Marr Bulls Bernadette Scarduzio Erica Johnson Becca Cord Catrin Lรถnn Andrea Moran Charles Maceachern Brent Olsavsky Ellen Ross Quanisha McGruder Monica Siembieda Meena Avery Sylvia Nasser Wendel Jamie Day Eddie Cabbage Vicki Lesage

Indy Rishi Singh Cameron Reid Kaila Spargo Joe Wadsworth Angie Miller Bookalicious Babe Michael Zosh Aurora Zucca Erin Stipp Carissa Nelson James Michael Sama Johnny Yan John Ables Julian Leuthhold Greg Newton Mira Johnson Karen Mchugh Marc Miller Bill Harper Jeff Brown Justin Hammin Stacey Kelly Rene Burcham Director Marty Thomas Ryan O'Sullivan Kim Hughes Bradley Griese Shawn Tobin Ryan Dalton Cora Carpenter Lauren Ritchie Shayna Waldman Greg Valdivieso Kelly Seal Emily Cummings Maggie Jankuloska Ted Scofield Kara Hochevar Nikolas Laney Dani Walker


Special thanks to Sarah Hart and Brett Carraway and everyone at Suite Charlotte for allowing us to use their beautiful venue for the fundraiser. We'd also like to thank Cam-Ranh Chandler for her performance, and all those in attendance who helped get us closer to our funding goal! Heather Helton, Graham Reay, Becca Lipps, D.J. Caibel, Mickey Kidwell, Holli Harrison, Kat Newman, Leigh Russel, Shannon Williams, Becca Younce, Kristin Credle, Kara Hochevar, Stephen Ellis, Cordero Hodges, Chris Matthews, Bobbi Cameron, Melissa Wong, Karen Chappell, Ashanti Ferguson, Reginald Dixon, Vanelle and more! Huge THANK YOU to all the sponsors of the event: Gl'amour Blowout Bar, Alison Macleod with Origami Owl, DogVacay, PoleFit Carolinas, Alynne Davis, Dolce Vita, Lindsay Wynne Photography, Metropolitan Clean, Queen City Q, Advanced Therapy and Bodywork and Wink Lash & Skin Studio.

Kelly Spore Dion Roberts Jessica Ehlenberger Clare Elise Shalagh Hogan Kristen McKee Casey Addinsall

Sarah del Rio Dawn Miller August McLaughlin Suzy Turner Gianfilippo De Rossi Todd Hicks Billy Fanning Jonathan Hagar Karla Chee-a-tow Tessa Shaffer Beth Goldflam Bethany Watson John Chybowski Lacey Richardson Scott Lundgren

Andrea Coulter Mina Vaughn Karen Little Aaron Hart Kevin Smith Jennifer Giglio Linda Cortez Temir Dabagov Larry & Jane Frederick Benjamin Giardullo Charity Miller Micky Candia Melanie Glassford Casey Gagliardi Mickey Kidwell Davida Sense Michelle Norman Sarah Tierney Leah McKendrick Kimmy Erin Kertes Chaka Jones Ed Bowles Jessica Press Richard Crump Stephen Worgan Angela Marguerite Cook Sarah Rossi John Julian Gallo Aussa Lorens Margaret Fredricks Elina Tserlin Joe Berger Beth-Ellen Keyes Michelle Oeltjen Verena-Katharina Adina Rivers Josh Ross Mia Benenate Craig Champion Vyvy Dao Olya Zahrebelny Nichet smith

Daniel Papesca HAUTE STREET Lonnie Moon Alexander Fernandez Carol Conquest DH John Chybowski Georgina Zantopoulos Michael Ellsberg Josh C. Kline Jeff Cordero Tuscookany-Cooking Vacations in Tuscany Kerisa Hatfield Debbie Ann Roberts Patrick Rice Matthew Wentz Hood Architecture Ashley Petersen Nancy Cullen Jean & Nicholas Zantopoulos Celia Schauble Steve Mendieta Keltie Knight Jim Clark Robert Scheff Sugar and Bruno Vitabath Justine Musk Amna Rashid AlMannai James L Payne Christina Perri David M. Kane Sandy Klein Tales of a Formerly Inadequate Fat Girl Michael John Jewelry Alana Zantopoulos David McMillan Bessie Zantopoulos Joseph Gonzalez Jesse Czajka Sara Kan

popular [on]

TheIndie Chicks.Com



With new articles published daily on our website, it’s no wonder a few have hit home with such a huge number of our readers. In fact, here are a few that have really been rolling since the very first day they went live.

SIGNS HE'S A CONTROLLING MAN: 9 RED FLAGS Sometimes the signs are in plain sight and we just don't want to see them. Learn to spot a controlling man.


DUMB RELATIONSHIP QUOTES WOMEN BELIEVE 24 SIGNS I'M A SLUT A RESPONSE What do you do when you find an article that lists arm hair as a sign a woman is a slut? You write a response to it, obviously.

7 SIGNS HE'S CHEATING (FROM A FORMER MISTRESS) A former mistress joins the writing team to share her experience and help women deal with infidelity.


Yes, contrary to popular belief, women get turned down for sex - and it hurts. How do you deal with the heartache?

9 REASONS MEN LOVE A BADASS CHICK Being a badass comes with many perks, most of which have to do with self-esteem. That said, we can't shake off how easy it is for a guy to be attracted to a badass. Find out why.



RULES OF CASUAL RELATIONSHIPS Times are changing and gone are the days where couples go steady and hop toward the picket fence. But how can you make these work?

Want more?

Check out our series!

▶ Indie Confessions, Sundays ▶ Blogger Link-ups, Saturdays ▶ Readers Help! Readers ask, readers help ▶ Motivation Monday, Mondays






Signs It's a Quarter-Life

[CRISIS] by: Julie Zantopoulos

Age and the passing of years can really play games with your head. But, how can you tell if what you’re feeling is normal or if you’ve gone off the quarter-life deep end? Here are some totally normal thoughts to be having and how you can calm them.


Given the fact that women are living to around 82, I don’t think this list is meant for 20 year olds. Maybe I should have called it the “after college crisis” list…because that is when a lot of this anxiety starts setting in. Regardless of when feelings like this hit you, the chances are that they will, so here’s how to handle them with grace.

You’re calling into question every life decision you ever made. Was college the right move? Now you’re up to your eyeballs in debt and stuck with a degree you’re not sure how to use. What the fuck are you going to do if you don’t get a job? You have to get a job. Why can’t you find a job!? Should you be renting your apartment or is it time to buy? Should you trade in your sports car for a family car even if you’re single? Should you try out the stock market or invest further in a 401k?

Crisis Averted: Calm the hell down, chica! You are making the best choices for yourself at the moment. Sure you have to consider the future, but you can’t map out what it holds. You have to breathe through this one and just take the problems as they come - don’t create them out of nothing. Thinking five decisions past the one in front of you will lead to so much indecision that you’ll just stop making any decision at all. Weigh the pros and cons and then take action!

Is this a job or a career? Can you do this until you retire? Do you even have a job? If you have settled in at a job, you might start questioning your sanity. Are there enough opportunities for advancement, promotions, and raises? Is this a company that you even want to grow in? Can you really tolerate this job for the rest of your adult life? Do they have an acceptable 401k plan, because you have to start planning for the future, obviously…



Crisis Averted: If you can’t back your company’s mission statement and the thought of growing within the company fills you with dread, then leave. If they don’t offer enough opportunities for learning, growth and advancement, leave then, too. There is nothing that says you have to stay there for your entire adult life, a 401k can carry over sweetie, but if the idea of growing within a business fills you with dread, it’s probably not the right one.

Suddenly finances become important and you panic over not having a financial advisor. Speaking of planning for the future suddenly you feel like a slouch because your savings account is embarrassing (if it exists at all) and fucking Lauren just bought her first condo. Which organs did that bitch sell to be able to afford that while you are drowning in college loans, car payments, and credit card bills? Crap, you need help! Crisis Averted: This crisis we can get behind—you should be planning for your


financial future. If you haven’t already met with a financial advisor (even if you have like, no money), you should. They can help you get/find/make some good financial choices.

Should I break up with this guy or is he the one? I’m single—I need a man! When it comes to a quarter life crisis everything seems so definite, like you should be on the absolute correct life path. So, if you’re with a guy when this panic sets in, you start looking at him through the lens of forever. Sure, the goal of most relationships is to determine if they’re your forever, but relationships still have to grow organically. If you start eyeballing your man’s receding hairline and wondering about your imaginary son’s chances of going bald early, you’re going to lose your damn mind. It’s also easy to get angry and frantic if you’re single. Because you always dreamed of a long engagement and if you don’t meet him in the next year, allow time to date, and that long engagement that means you won’t be getting

married until…OH MY GOD, 28 earliest! Then that means that your kids won’t be until your 30s because you want time just the two of you, and then that means that your last 2 pregnancies (cause you want 4) may be high risk because you’ll be over 35! And, and, and…and the future has never looked so bleak. Crisis Averted: Slow your roll! What good is coming from that kind of panic and pressure? My guess is absolutely none. It’s important to realize that with or without a man in your extended future you can still have a great life. Love will come (or it won’t) but it cannot be forced or you’re courting disaster. So you want to have kids, you can always adopt or be inseminated. Sure, it’s not how you saw things going down but the best things in life often aren’t planned. Don’t hold to the strict “this has to happen in this timeline” guidelines. It’s a surefire recipe for disappointment and dread. Let life happen, be active in steering it, but don’t force it against the current, breaking the hull and risking crewmembers’ lives. You’ll get there in your own time, by your own path, and no amount of tween journaling will tell you when or how you’ll get there.

You constantly reminisce about college and wish you could go back. Being an adult BLOWS. You try to party like you’re still in college and realize that it’s just not working. You look back on the last few years like they’re the best that life is ever going to get. You would die to have those years to do over, to appreciate more, and to not squander on hangovers and sleeping all day. Every single story you tell, every get together you have with your friends, all you can talk about is the stories from college or from your ‘party days’. You’re not interested in talking about work, or apartment hunting. It’s much more fun to look back and see that those were the times that mattered most. Crisis Averted: The romanticized version of the last 4-5 years of your life makes it seem like you were living in the Playboy mansion with lavish parties, pampering, and no cares in the

Your own expectations for life, and yourself, are your own worst enemy. Happily, you can change them, erase them, and start on a path to a better life right now.

world. Oh honey, they weren’t that good, not really. It’s okay to appreciate those years for the friendships and memories that they provided, and I know you think you’ll never have that much fun again. You know what? You may not have that much fun again. At least not in the same way. I can promise though that the years to come hold just as much awesome if you start paying attention. They may have less blackout drinking and raves but the high that comes from being an independent badass with goals you’re crushing is pretty awesome…if you let it be.

Nothing in your life is what you thought it would be when you were younger, and it feels like you’ll NEVER get there. Your friends are getting engaged, settling into first homes, and maybe even having kids and you’re still renting a one bedroom hovel and have no idea where you want to be next month, let alone in five years. Everyone else but you (yes everyone) has a plan, they have direction, they have purpose. You can’t figure out what the hell it is you are truly passionate about. You clearly suck at life and are destined to flounder through life forever. Do communes like in Wanderlust exist? You need to be somewhere you can hide from the world and the constant stream of good news coming from people in your life when you still have nothing to report. Crisis Averted: It’s okay to feel things out for a bit but if you hate where you are in life, change it. Sit down with a pen and

paper and write down all the things you love to do and then how you can make a career out of it. Write down the goals you have for your life and then attempt to map a road there. Your parents may roll their eyes and tell their friends you’re still finding yourself. But you know what? That’s exactly what you are doing and that’s okay!

Almost everything sends you into a downward spiral of tears and depression. No matter what happens: a TV show you love gets canceled, the restaurant you love closes, your ex-boyfriend gets engaged, your co-worker (who you actually like) gets promoted; doesn’t matter what it is, you lose your shit and have mini breakdowns with the ugly cry. It seems like anything can set you off and you start Googling “signs of early menopause” because your mood swings are all over the place. If you’re smiling and happy, it’s almost always a conscious and forced look. Resting Bitch Face should be your middle name. Crisis Averted: It will pass. I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, but this insane transitional time will pass and all will be okay in the world again. You aren’t a lost cause, you won’t be floating through things forever, and the puzzle pieces will eventually fit into place. It may not be as soon as you like, but with some attention to the things that matter, and a little more forced smiling, you will come out the other side. Have faith in yourself and in your ability to make the most of this life. You’re going to be fine. It can be hard to accept that your life isn’t going according to some pre-determined plan you had. The most important thing here is to throw away the plan and accept that life is a journey with side trips and meandering scenic routes. You’ll get there in the end but maybe not in the exact timetable you had set, maybe not by the same roads, but happiness will be yours. Make happiness the end goal and not the house with the white fence, the corner office, or the husband and 2.5 kids and you’re already well on your way to a happier you.■





I remember how my heart felt, racing violently against my chest. My entire body vibrated to the beat of my fast-paced breathing. I was terrified to take a step toward the school entrance. There I stood, across the front yard, facing a group of girls who were waiting for me, right where they said they’d be in the threatening messages I received the night before. As the bell rang, the teacher behind me hurried the last of us inside and I had no choice but to start moving. The moment I did, pennies immediately began flying at my head and before I could shield myself, I was hit by an unwrapped tuna sandwich. Last to walk through the school doors, I heard laughter disappear into classrooms as I made my way to the nearest bathroom to wash off. “You’re not allowed in here,” said a girl blocking the entrance, laughing, “now you know not to make eyes at my boyfriend again.” Long gone are the days we put people down to feel better about ourselves or to find some security in things we are afraid of. We’ve grown past putting kids in lockers to show ‘em who’s boss. We no longer call attention to everything wrong with someone else to make ourselves look better. How does that statement make you feel? How true is that statement for you? For your friends? We have the tendency to look back at our youth and blame a lot of the asshole behavior on growing up. That our social lives in school were just preparation for the real world and everything we went through contributed to some form of self-development. We hear the word bully and we think, kids will be kids. However, if that were the case, we wouldn’t see any of it in our adult life, would we? We wouldn’t see women trying to prove they’re hardcore by intimidating others. We wouldn’t see parents commenting on social media threads about how some skinny bitch needs to eat a sandwich or some fat bitch needs to hit the treadmill. We


wouldn’t see people with huge followings on the web posting status updates about women being whores and needing to fix themselves if they expect to be treated as equals. You see, bullying isn’t exclusive to adolescence and it sure as hell doesn’t stop being a crutch to getting what we want just because we hit puberty. So, I wonder, how are you still a bully?

THE TOUGH ASS BITCH You’re doing it wrong: In order to be a tough ass bitch, people need to be scared of you, and the only way to make people scared of you is to put them down and work off their weaknesses. A tough ass bitch walks in with a cigarette hanging loosely from her lip, wearing leather boots, and has her fists clenched tight, ready for a fight. She’s the girl in the group who doesn’t acknowledge your existence when you introduce yourself. She’s the girl at work who you do not want to cross because

by: Chiara Mazzucco you know things will get ugly. She’s the crazy ex-girlfriend who will make your life miserable for weeks at a time, every time you two cross paths. Being a tough ass means being respected, and she believes that respect is only given out of fear. But being a tough ass bitch has nothing to do with how scared people are of you. It has everything to do with how well you can hold your own and how well you can ‘do you’. You can still be a force to be reckoned with if someone screws you over. You can still smoke and wear leather boots, if that is what you choose. You can also make your ex-boyfriends new girlfriend’s life miserable by just existing and not doing anything to hurt her. You can still be a tough ass without being a bully. Bullies have something to prove and tough ass bitches already know they’re badass. You would be surprised to learn the amount of respect you get for just doing your thing and not bothering anyone else along the way. People are always watching, especially now with social media. There’s no need to pick another girl up by the back of her collar and bring her to Show and Tell.

THE COMMENT TROLL You’re doing it wrong: Social media is a huge bull pen for assholes to go play in, and we’re all guilty of it. Your favorite Facebook page posts a daily picture of something, or someone, to laugh at, and members of that page have at it in the comment section. What an idiot, forgetting to photoshop one boob and not the other. And look at her, she’s had so much work done she looks like a disgusting Donald Duck! The comments pile on and the more you add to the thread, the more you become desensitized to how much of a dick you’re being.



Ever heard about the difference between laughing at someone and laughing with someone? I bet the boob girl realized she uploaded the wrong picture to her MySpace after it went viral. Maybe Donald Duck has body dysmorphia and this is the only way she can live with the way she looks. You never know the story behind a picture, and you don’t have to use the comment section on Facebook to prove your wit. That being said, it’s okay to laugh at a photoshop fail or not find a reallife cartoon character attractive, and you don’t necessarily have to hold it in for the sake of not coming off like a jackass. It’s all about how you phrase things. If you choose to play the role of the class clown and you’re trying to get attention for putting others down, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re relying on cruelty as a crutch, you need to do better. Two terrible things could result from your cyber-bullying: 1)The person you’re making fun of will see it and react badly to it, or 2)You’re going to become some idiot’s role model and make him or her think it’s okay to freely diss people and say hateful things online. People like that become your supporting army and when they do, things could get dangerous.

THE INFLUENCER’S ROLE You’re doing it wrong: In a world often defined by follower count, we all know how hard it is to build an online presence. It takes immense amount of work for most of us, and for a select few, a random stroke of viral luck. Regardless, being a social media influencer comes with a lot of power. So when you finally get it, you choose to use it to put people down? When did it become your business to embarrass other women so you get a few extra likes on a post that's going to disappear into oblivion in 48hrs? Passive aggressive status updates and using your voice to put others down is the equivalent of making peasants dance naked for your entertainment. Grabbing a megaphone and bullying out into thin air doesn’t make it any less bullying, not with how social interaction is set up today.





Publicly slut shaming, body shaming, or any other kind of shaming is not okay and it doesn’t make you seem cooler to your followers, especially if the influencer brand you’ve built has nothing to do with you being an asshole. It doesn’t matter how you got to become an influencer, the fact that you are one doesn’t make you invincible and it doesn’t make you being an asshole okay. Sure, not everyone is built to be an inspirational leader and a defender for the average Joe, but as long as you don’t use the megaphone in your hand to spread hate, then don’t worry about fighting the good fight. Regardless, use your powers for good, people are listening.

DROPPING THE VEIL ON BULLYING Bullying may be, in some ways, an evolutionary behavior to establish social dominance. We put the weaker people in their place so they know who to look up to. We show the world how great we are by proving how not-so-great everyone else is. We demonstrate what life would be like for you if you crossed us. The good news is, your troll comment about the girl who needs to eat a sandwich got 86 likes. The bad news? Bullying exposes the same truth now as it did then, when people like you put kids in lockers: you’re lame, you’re insecure, and we all know you’re waiting in fear that someone will call you out on your bullshit sooner than later. The saddest part is that social media has made it easy for adults to put on their old school uniforms and pick up bullying right where they left off. Hidden behind a screen, you can put anyone down and not worry about getting punched in the face. Everyone does it, from women in their 50s to trendy little tweens. We’ve evolved far passed putting kids in locker and have found refuge in the cyber world, creating and morphing new personas and not focusing on who we really are and how we’d feel if the tables were turned.■

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Art of Living a




by: Chrystal Rose

“A life without passion is like living without air - without it, suffocation is inevitable.” - Dawn Garcia


I first read that quote while walking through San Diego’s Artwalk in 2008. It was displayed across a mixed-media piece and it stopped me in my tracks. “Yesss…” I breathed. What is the point of living if it’s not fiercely passionate? Why love someone, have a job or do anything if it’s mediocre? Often times the things we are passionate about aren’t practical ways to make a living. So rather than pursue them even just on the side, we abandon them altogether and trudge through life feeling unfulfilled. Instead of refusing to settle for anything but mad, passionate love, we decide that since we may never find it that it’s better to not be alone, or to find someone that we simply get along with. We are no longer living, we are only surviving, we merely exist and we may not even realize it. Living a life filled with passion isn’t something to just dream about. It’s something you can achieve, and sooner than you think.


It starts small I love food. Eating is one of my favorite things and being Italian, good quality food is so important to me. I swear I can taste when something is made with love. At one point I decided that I would no longer eat something if it weren’t amazing. Suddenly, I was passing on donuts because they weren’t moist enough, pasta that wasn’t fresh, fruit that wasn’t ripe. If I put something in my mouth that tasted anything short of delicious, I set it down. I wanted to savor and enjoy the taste of food, and so I did. If you eat junk all the time, you are less discriminate about what you put in your mouth. If you eat bland all the time, eating becomes a habit and a mundane ritual. When I cook, I cook with a purpose. I am thoughtful with my ingredients. Even when I am making healthful creations, I always ensure it has great flavor, because if not—what’s the point?



Start small with your life. Look at the places where you didn’t realize you were settling for less, whether it be the lunch cart or the coffee you drink, and commit to higher standards.

Find what’s missing Do you love to paint but because your work doesn’t rival one of the greats you don’t make time for it? Do you enjoy dabbling with code, but know you aren’t good enough to build websites from scratch? Here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter how good you are. There are people that hit up the same karaoke bar every week because they love to sing. Sure, maybe they know they won’t hit it big time, but they love it so they do it.

"Not everyone is able to turn their passion into a viable career, but there’s always the possibility."


So what are you missing? What thing that brings you joy have you talked yourself out of? Whatever it is, get back to it. Hit the craft store, pick up the instrument, start splashing paint around. Being passionate about something doesn’t always have to equate to being good at it. And if you are good at it, or even great at it—that’s even more reason you should be doing it.

Embrace your work Unless you are somehow independently wealthy, whether you have won the lottery or are a trust fund baby, you need to work to pay the bills. Do you like/ love/enjoy your job? There are plenty of people that have jobs that some of us would find to be boring that others genuinely enjoy. So where are you at?

Don’t be afraid to give to others, offer what you can of yourself, and you will see that you don’t lose anything by doing so. In fact, you’ll always have more than you need.

Have a love affair After our first love fizzled out we have grown exceedingly more and more cautious with our choices. We date people who are “safe” and we refuse to let others beneath the superficial surface. We’re afraid to get hurt. We’re afraid it won’t work out. We’re afraid that we’ll care more than they do. So? So what if you get hurt? So what if it doesn’t work out? So what if you care more than they do? Every minute you’re on this planet and not loving at your max capacity you are doing yourself a great disservice. No, I’m not saying that you are nothing without a man, but if you’re going to be with a man (or a woman), don’t be with one you feel mediocre for. Don’t hold back from the one you feel wild about. If he’s not the right guy, you will know. Maybe he will hurt you, maybe he won’t care as much as you but you owe it to yourself to find these things out.

If your work isn’t bringing you some sort of joy, somehow, then think of what will. For some people, they are passionate about making money, and that’s good enough for them, others want to genuinely love what they do, and still some others might not love the actual work but love the results they produce. Everyone is different and it’s important to assess where you fit and what you want. Not everyone is able to turn their passion into a viable career, but there’s always the possibility. I am a huge advocate for chasing down your dreams and if there’s something more you see yourself doing, then go after it! You don’t have to be reckless about it either. If you can’t (or don’t want to) drop everything and start fresh tomorrow, start doing what you love on the side until it becomes a full-blown career. You will know when you’re ready.

Give to others For me, giving to others is something I’m very passionate about. There is nothing like seeing a smile on someone else’s face and knowing that you put it there. When you are living a passionate life, wanting to share and spread your passion becomes natural. Helping others to achieve their dreams or feel the way that you do about your life, feels good and can really become addicting.

Having passion isn’t about losing your head. If you fall for a jerk, shake him off, move on and open your heart just as wide for the next one. Revel in the experiences, allow the sex to consume you, shudder at the touch of their hand. Each passionate love will lead you to the next, and when you have your heart open, you have the chance to allow the right person in rather than holding back because of being burned in the past.

Love yourself This is probably going to be the toughest to accomplish, but also the most important key to a passionate life. And honestly, a constant work in progress. We are always harder on ourselves than we are with anyone else. What do you think it would look like to have a mad, passionate love affair with yourself? It could be treating yourself to your favorite meal just because, buying yourself flowers, going to that movie you’ve been dying to see that no one else wants to. It could be giving yourself a break when you need one, forgiving yourself for the stupid choices you’ve made, patting yourself on the back for the good ones and celebrating your accomplishments. Accepting who you are at your center and vowing to be the best possible version of you will set you on the path that you need to be on. The fun, slightly uneven path that most others don’t bother to venture down. That woman in the mirror loves you and wants you to live a life full of passion and happiness, so much that you forget about existing, and truly living becomes second nature. Living a passionate life is an art form, but you don’t need to color in the lines to achieve one. Just follow your heart and you’ll be well on your way.■






by: Chiara Mazzucco

How many of you would go back to school, knowing what you know now? With all the ways you’ve grown, would you do it all over again? Whether you look back on your high school years with fondness or wish they never happened, imagine how much you could do differently. If you could face your younger self with all your newfound life experience, what would you tell her? [26] INDIE CHICK | THEINDIECHICKS.COM

For some of us, freshman year of high school was one of the best years of our lives, and for most of us, it wasn’t. We walked away knowing exactly what we would have done differently, kicking ourselves for either having been too shy or for not taking advantage of certain opportunities. But what if I told you that it’s not too late? What if I told you everything you could have done differently still applies to who you are today, as an adult, and that in many ways, you could do it all again?

1. Sit up front

Where you sat in class said a lot about you, not only as a student, but also as a person. Were you in the back, secretly hoping to never get picked? Did you sit in the corner, setting up shop for late arrivals and bullshit excuses to dodge out early? Maybe you picked a seat in the center, knowing that positioning yourself right smack in the middle would ensure someone, from at least one direction, would notice you and start up a conversation. Sitting in the front was always the scariest place to sit, for more than one reason. First, you were exposed to the teacher, which meant you couldn’t pass notes, cheat, or try to hide a prior night’s partying. Secondly, you were made vulnerable to the rest of the class, because you were in plain sight for judgement. If you dyed your hair at home,

someone behind you would notice the big spot you missed in the back of your head. Although sitting up front made you the most vulnerable, it also resulted in the most benefits. You had direct access to the teacher, and without all those distractions, you were actually forced to pay attention. Regardless of your social standing in the popularity ladder, there were probably a few students who envied and respected you for sitting in the front. How to apply it today: In whatever environment you’re in, you should make yourself aware of your weaknesses. If you know you distract easily, position yourself in a manner where you are forcing those distractions to become inaccessible. If you want that promotion, like you wanted that A, get right up under your bosses nose and make sure he can see what you’re doing to earn it. Don’t worry about anyone sitting behind you, they have their own shit to worry about.

2. Introduce yourself

For many of us, the first day of school meant trying to blend into our locker so we could get a better sense of our surroundings. Who were the cool kids? Was that the guy you were going to end up crushing over, obsessively, for the rest of the school year? These observations did more


Introducing yourself at a social gathering isn’t any easier now than it was in high school, but you should have a few battle wounds under your belt to help push you toward that goal. than just categorize our peers; they helped categorize ourselves. If those were the cool kids, you weren’t standing with them. If that was the cute guy, you weren’t his girlfriend. Yet, instead of realizing these were just first day observations and that nothing had been set in stone, a big part of our minds accepted them as truth. Those are the cool kids and I am not standing with them, which means I am not cool. Why would that guy spend a second looking my way? He’s there, I’m here, and I am not his girlfriend. But did you ever introduce yourself? Because chances are, you simply accepted observations as truth and called it a day. What would it have meant for you, had you walked up to that group of cool kids and just introduced yourself, you know, without all the teenage self-esteem bullshit? I’m not saying cool automatically meant they were good people or that you would have even meshed as friends, but without even trying to introduce yourself, you put a label on your self-worth: if they were cool and you were not with them, you were the un-cool.

How to apply it today: Introducing yourself at a social gathering isn’t any easier now than it was in high school, but you should have a few battle wounds under your belt to help push you toward that goal. You may not be a thriving extrovert who is ready to barge into a group discussion to introduce yourself to new friends, but you can start small if it’s more your style. Let’s say you’re at a mandatory company shindig and you don’t know anyone there. Find an individual or a small group standing by and compliment them to start a conversation. Use that as a chance to introduce yourself.

3. Master flattery

Speaking of which, compliments are something you probably didn’t dish out enough in school. Back then, it was all about survival and survival usually meant putting our fists up in defense, more than it did being on the offensive. There was no way we could have been bothered by the delicate art of flattery back then, right? But do you ever wonder what it could have meant to have been able to actually master it so young?

No one likes a kiss ass, it comes off desperate and it does more harm to your reputation than it does good; and no one likes a Regina George who spits out ugly bracelet compliments just to make people like her. That said, we all have a deep-seeded need to be liked and accepted, and if done right, flattery is a perfect way to have that need work in your favor. How to apply it today: It doesn’t always have to be a means to getting what you want; complimenting someone has the power to turn someone’s otherwise shitty day into a smile. Get in the habit of throwing out even the smallest compliments, because flattery makes people happy and people like people who make them happy.

4. Be more observant

Adolescence was a very busy time for most of us; our social lives were probably pretty hectic, things were likely going on at home, and in general, we were just beginning to embark on a complex journey of selfdevelopment. Think back, did you ever stop



LET'S BE HONEST, NOTHING REALLY CHANGED AFTER WE LEFT SCHOOL. to really observe the world around you? Did you dissect behavior, identify strengths and weaknesses of those around you, and find ways to adapt to your surroundings? The answer is probably no, because as I mentioned before, whether we did so consciously or not, adolescence was a time for survival.

watch people walk by the cafe. At your next meeting, watch how your colleagues react to certain words. Instead of buying your partner socks for his or her birthday, take note of what really makes them happy.

But consider, for a second, the difference being more observant would have made for you. Would you have noticed how all the cool girls talked shit about each other, or how the boy whose name you would have tattooed on your ass was actually a pretty bad kid? Would the teacher’s hints about a certain chapter have made a difference in your final grade, had you just paid a bit more attention?

This is more like a part b to lesson #2. When you introduce yourself, do so as an equal. It’s no secret that much like the rest of the world, school has its own social hierarchy at play. But the first day of school should be fair game and unfortunately, it’s the moment we let insecurities decide our social standing before we even open our mouths.

How to apply it today: There is a whole world going on around us, and we hardly ever notice it. Back then it may have been band practice and school dances, today it’s your 9 to 5 and your kid’s dance recital. Life is always going to be busy, it’s up to you to pay closer attention. Put your phone away on your lunch break and just


5. Know you're an equal

What if, instead of walking into a crowd with your head held low without making eye contact, you actually introduced yourself as equal? Not as a peasant coming to pay his respects to his king, but rather, as another king from a neighboring land? How to apply it today: Something we know today, that we didn’t know then, is that confidence can make

or break you in this world. You walk into a room with a blank slate, but the second you position yourself as less knowledgeable, less social, less anything, is the moment you begin being treated as such. Assume that when you meet people, all they know about you is from what you tell them with the words you say and the way you behave. Walk in with your held held high, no matter the situation. Just remember, introducing yourself as an equal doesn’t mean walking up to someone in a higher position and slapping them on the ass to say hello. You have your own things that make you cool, but that doesn’t mean disrespecting someone for the work they’ve put into getting where they are today.

6. Be kind (but strong)

Now that you’re an adult, how does it make you feel to hear about a teenager committing suicide for being bullied? Because it makes my heart stop dead in its tracks and it makes me think back to school and wonder what kind of an effect I had on other people. See, you didn’t have to be a cool, popular kid to be cruel to someone else. In fact, cool, popular

kids experienced the backlash of gossip and backstabbing about the same amount as girls who were called sluts and smart kids who were pushed into lockers. Cruelty in school was everywhere, so it really doesn’t matter what role you played. How to apply it today: Kindness is not weakness and cruelty does not ensure survival, regardless of the hierarchy. Kindness is important and you have the opportunity to be kind every day. You can be kind to your coworkers, random strangers on the street, and to the people in your life who care about you, and it won’t make you weak, it’ll reinforce a support system for the next time you need it. People are drawn to kindness, and when you learn to show it while maintaining strength and not turning into a doormat, people will, in turn, be drawn to you.

7. Knowledge is power

While a good number of students were worried about their social lives in school, there was a select group who focused on their studies. Most of those students ended up going to great schools and doing great things with their lives, but that’s not the kind of power I’m referring to. Even if they were misguided into believing that a college education would result in a high paying career, they realized that education, in general, played a role in success. Imagine if you had really worried less about the quarterback and paid a little more attention to people in history who changed the world. Imagine all you could have absorbed then, that would have helped you now. How to apply it today: The good news is there is a bunch of stuff to learn and a whole lot of resources available to you today. Take an hour a day and get into the habit of reading. Sign up for classes online or attend night classes at a community college. Browse the web on your smart phone on your daily commute to work. The more you know, the more powerful you’ll be.

8. Don’t judge, don’t compare

We can’t help judging others and comparing ourselves to them, but if we’re mindful of it, we can definitely control it. High school was one of those complicated phases of our lives where we didn’t realize exactly how complicated it was while we were going through it. Judging others came just as natural to us then as it does now, and we compare ourselves to our peers today, exactly like we did back then.

But think back to being in school. Where, exactly, did all that judging and comparing get you? Did it do anything to propel you toward being a better person or was it just wasted time slashing at your self-esteem and isolating yourself from people you could have probably called friends? See, judging and comparing ourselves to others are passive activities; neither one does anything to make us better people. How to apply it today: You’re still doing it and you need to stop. Social media has made it easier than ever because seeing people’s updates every day gives you the illusion you know them well enough to pass judgement. Well, you don’t, and you need to direct your energies on active activities that bring the focus back to you. The only difference between you comparing yourself to others then and now is that now you should be wise enough to turn envy into motivation to improve yourself. But even then you neglect the very important process of learning to love yourself, so just stop doing it altogether.

9.The best version of yourself

For most of us, the first day of school meant a new outfit, new school supplies, and the neatest note-taking ever. How did all that look for you toward the end of the semester? There is a reason we relied on such a crisp routine for the first day: we needed it for confidence. As the time passed and we got more comfortable with our surroundings, material things became less of a necessary clutch for us. But imagine being able to replicate that feeling of having your shit together and having an entire semester ahead of you to prove it. Wouldn’t that do wonders for you today? How to apply it today: The person you walked into school as on that first day was not a lie, it was merely an example of what could be achieved - a beacon of hope, if you will. This may mean taking an extra 5 minutes to iron your shirt before work tomorrow morning, or to put those flattering workout pants on before heading to the gym. Whatever aid will help maximize your potential, don’t be ashamed to use it because it’ll give you a constant boost of confidence. — Every day can be a fresh start if you need it to be. The first day of sophomore year in high school wasn’t much different than the year before, but it was just as exciting. You could come back from summer vacation completely reinvented, so why not do that tomorrow? Because that’s what the first day of school was: just another day that represented a fresh start. Make today a fresh start.■

HOPE is what you hold onto when all else has left you. It's what will

pull you from the depths and float you through the highs. Your hope for a

better you and a better life deserves your energy.

The Indie Chicks


A man once asked me if I thought I was still single because I was overweight. I’ve had people my entire life tell me I have such a pretty face but I’d be prettier if…( fill in any form of weight loss statement here). I got used to people dropping their voice when they mention that I’m, you know… shhh…heavy. So when I was asked to write an article titled, “How to Feel Beautiful,” you’d think I’d shrink a little, but I didn’t.

W Beautiful HOW TO FEEL

Why not? Because, while I admit to my flaws and needing to be healthier, I don’t view myself as any less beautiful than anyone else. We are all uniquely beautiful. No matter your body type, crooked smile, or flat hair-- you are beautiful.

by: Julie Zantopoulos


You doubt it sometimes though, don’t you? Yeah, I think we all do. Those days where you’re overworked, have forgotten to shower, are bloated, breaking out, or have just been butchered at the hairdressers. They suck, but they pass. So here’s how to feel beautiful everyday.


If you’re trying to feel like your most beautiful self, chances are it doesn’t include a side pony and sweat pants (but if it does then baby, rock them). Get a few outfits that you know you kill in and keep them on hand.

Glam It Up Nothing, and I mean nothing, assures a good day for me like a face of makeup. It seems silly but I’m a lot less likely to break down and stress cry if I’m worried about mascara running and ruining what I know is a gorgeous neutral smoky eye. Give it a try and see for yourself! When in doubt, and short on the talents to do up your face (though every woman should have a go to look she can accomplish on her own), head to the makeup counter of your local department store and ask for a makeover. It’s what they’re there for and they know what they’re doing. Kudos to you if you can make it out of there without buying any of the products.

you are beautiful. IT STARTS WITHIN

If you’re looking to others, fishing for compliments, and basing your beauty on the opinion of others, you are looking in the wrong place. Beauty comes not just from within you, as in your personality, but from your mindset. You have to love yourself, accept yourself, and use positive inner dialogue with yourself.


One of the most toxic, deflating, and counter productive things you can do is to think negatively towards yourself. When you think positive and self-affirming thoughts, you fill yourself with positivity. Mentally pointing out a muffin top, a bump in the bridge of your nose, or a zit you obsess over will make your mood crappy. And look, it’s not okay for other people to bully you and point that shit out so why are you doing it to yourself? Stop it right now! If you can’t think positive and beautiful things about yourself, nobody else will either. Your doubt radiates through you. No amount of false bravado or confidence can hide the stench of self-loathing coming off of you. Make a change today.

The Only Judge that Matters

So you killed that presentation, knocked a minute off your mile, or finally saved enough for that purse you wanted. Congrats! If you

drop hints for compliments, look to your boss, trainer, or friends for approval and congratulations, then you are looking in the wrong place. Acknowledgement of your achievement from them is a bonus, but the only judge you should care about is you. When you value the thoughts and opinions of others over your own knowledge that you are beautiful, smart, and worthy, then you’re giving away power that you can’t afford to go without. To feel beautiful you have to be confident enough to do you, without fear that others may not agree or accept it. As long as you are happy and confident you’re going to radiate beauty. It’s really that simple.


Now that you’re rocking a sexy inner confidence and positive self-speech, you’re miles ahead of where most girls are! Celebrate it, baby. Head out and grab yourself some new clothes or look through your closet and pinpoint a few outfits that make you feel your absolute best.

Dress for It

When you feel a little blah, I find it helps to look your best. Nothing will boost your sense of feeling beautiful like knowing that you look great. A fitted suit, a flirty dress, a fabulous body-hugging pair of pants, or shoes that make your legs and ass look great can really change your day. We all know you carry yourself differently when you look good.

The same goes for a haircut, a manicure or pedicure and a new hair color. This isn’t news to you. You can always count on a bit of glam to have you holding your head a little higher and your shoulders back a bit. Chin up, shoulders back, and girls out. Rock it, lady!

Get Healthy

You will never feel sexier or more beautiful than when you feel your absolute best. That doesn’t mean being at your ideal weight or getting plastic surgery to fix your saggy boobs (unless it does, in which case, get it). This means that you are keeping yourself fit and healthy; you are eating well, you’re staying active - whether that means a 2 hour gym session 4 times a week or playing at the park and running after kids or pets. It means that you are aware of your physical health, you get regular check-ups, and you’re taking care of your body. When you feel good you are more beautiful. Whatever healthy is for you, make sure you’re doing it.


You look good, you feel good, and you know you’re beautiful: now own it! Feeling beautiful is a personal journey. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle, be proud to be you and be proud of the work you’ve put into yourself. ■




Let’s play a game. I want you to forget everything you’ve been told about right and wrong and only look deep into the realest part of yourself while you read this. The religion you grew up with, for the time being, does not exist. Your parents did not discipline you or teach you right from wrong. In this moment, you only have your innermost needs and desires to reflect on. Consider every emotion, and ignore what it may say about your character. Right now, it is just you, in an empty room, and it’s so silent that you can hear every detail of your breathing - from your chest rising, to your lips parting just enough to make room for each exhale. This is as naked as you’re going to get, completely stripped of all the bullshit that has stuck to you like glue over the years. You are completely alone, which means it is time to honestly reflect. Shed your titles and your obligations to your loved ones, forget your day job and your to-do list for the day. Strip down to your underwear, if you must. You need to be able to look yourself in the mirror as you are and, for the first time in a long time, you need to be honest with yourself.

We Live in Shades of Gray

Consider that every layer of bullshit you wear when you’re not in this room affects you on a day-to-day basis. For every role you play, there is a set of guidelines to follow; for every expectation others have for you, there is a list of obligations to meet. Every label you wear defines what’s right and wrong. What’s acceptable for a mother? How should a teacher behave when not in the classroom? Whether you like it or not, everything you shed at the beginning of the exercise has played a role in defining right and wrong for you. Religion introduced a sort of moral conduct. Your upbringing taught you the difference between behavior that is rewarded and behavior that is punished. The career you chose has a predefined path already paved, warning you that even the slightest hiccup could take you off course. The older you get, the more bullshit you wear, and the more rules you’re handed and expected to follow. It’s a social construct expected to produce a well behaved society. Anything out of the norm is pushed into a negative light, forcing the masses who identify with it to fight for its cause. You see, I believe humans are inherently gray. The delicate dance between right and wrong is the reason we’ve seen


Shed the Bullshit

(Accept Yourself in Every Shade of Gray) by: Chiara Mazzucco

revolutions flourish and change happen within our society. That deep-rooted need to give into temptation, the curiosity for the unknown, the hunger to question authority; it’s all there, inside of us, because we are not comprised of black and white.

So now that you’ve undressed and are standing in this empty room, in front of the mirror with nothing more than your true self, what do you see? No shade is better than another, as they all come with their own weight to carry. What shade of gray are you?

If you’re unable to shed the bullshit and look within yourself to find those shades of gray, then you’re not being honest with yourself and you’re never really working on self-development, you’re just floating through life as a lie. All you’re doing is piling more bullshit onto your outer layer to feel better about yourself and to feel like you’ve done life justice.

For the most part, you’ve led a pretty clean life. You carried good grades through school, cheated a couple of times, but never once did you lie to your parents. Everything you have, you’ve gotten honestly, and as far as everyone is concerned, you’ve done it all right.

The Lightest Gray

That’s an immense amount of pressure to live up to, is it not? It’s no wonder that the slightest bit of temptation has you running the opposite direction. I remember when one of my close friends told me he was gay. He said, “I’m not supposed to be gay, it wouldn’t make sense to anyone. Look at my parents and how religious they are and look at me, I don’t even look gay! And gay people don’t play sports. I play sports.” He could not make sense of how being gay was supposed to fit into his life, like a broken puzzle piece to the perfect puzzle. After a few failed attempts, it took him almost 2 years to officially come out of the closet. His biggest fear was that he didn’t want people to think he was a terrible, dirty person. Looking back, he now says he wishes he could talk some sense into his younger self, and that coming out was not a drop of darkness into his life, but rather, a drop of light. The seemingly whiter your life has been, the harder it can be to accept change. Just remember that change doesn’t have any patience and that life throws its curveballs no matter how you’ve lived your life.

Medium Gray

Maybe you’ve fucked up a few times in your life. You may have cheated on someone you loved who didn’t deserve it, or backstabbed a friend to get ahead when you knew it wasn’t right. Maybe you’ve spend the last half of your life running away from the person you were the first half. I bet most people don’t know any of that about you, do they? Behind closed doors, the majority of people hover over this medium shade of gray. For whatever the reason, they’re plagued by guilt for what they interpret as an inability to decipher right from wrong. You knew cheating wasn’t right, but you did it anyway. You knew that backstabbing someone who trusted you was going to have consequences, but you ignored all of it and moved ahead.

The Darkest Gray

Everything about you is bullshit and you probably don’t even know what it means to really look in the mirror and see yourself for who you truly are. These are people who find it easier to live life as a lie, than owning up to everything that makes them different, because people like what’s easy. These are likely people who don’t question anything, who blindly follow others, and filter their need for happiness into material things and superficial lifestyles. It’s easy to be dead inside when the alternative is admitting everything you’re living is a lie, but the truth always shines though, no matter how much bullshit you’re wearing. I dated a trust-fund baby once. So many of my friends couldn’t figure out why I liked him, especially because as a prideful waitress, I rarely let him buy me anything or take me out to anything fancy. Everyone wanted to be around him, even though he was, for the most part, a complete idiot. He had the money, every night out with him was a good time, and even lounging by the pool meant it was a party. From a distance, he looked like the happiest little rich kid Beverly Hills could create. From up close, if you paid attention, he was miserable. We didn’t date long but the closest he got to opening up was a night we spent alone by his pool with a bottle of expensive champagne. For no more than a minute, he told me he was actually a pretty shitty person, that he had no real friends and that he was miserable, and that sometimes it was hard to go to sleep knowing none of that money was really his. Once the 60 seconds were up and his friends walked in through the back gate, he went back to being the trust-fund baby everyone knew and loved. I never saw a glimpse of his real self again. The thing about bullshit is the more you wear it, the deeper it sets its roots. Admitting you aren’t happy with the life you’re living could mean

catastrophic things; it could mean that in order to be happy, you’d have to risk everything for change. But people like easy and they’d rather live a dark gray, simply defined life than take a leap into the complicated unknown.

The Bottom Line

Your life is not black and white, regardless of the shade you find when you learn to shed the bullshit and finally see yourself for who you are. The first step to acceptance is realizing you need to step away from the denial. My guy friend needed to admit he was gay, my girl friend needed to accept she had fucked up, and my ex needed to admit that all the money and the stupid lifestyle that he lived was not making him happy. The second step is realizing you’re not alone. You’re not the first to make mistakes because it’s part of growing up, for everyone. You’re not the only gay man who, by all assumed accounts, could never be gay. You’re not the first spoiled rich kid to wake up and realize you hate your life. The fact you’re not alone means that your shade of gray is a lot more normal that what you expect for a life in black and white. The last step is to be courageous. You have to look deep within that naked self to find your own definition of right and wrong, because it’s not a religion, it’s not an upbringing, and it’s not a career that decides it for you. You are the person that needs to sleep at night knowing you lived your day to the fullest. Once you can admit, and fully realize, your shade of gray, don’t be afraid to make a change for yourself. Remember that no matter who you are or what your life has been thus far, you deserve happiness and that you are the only one responsible for making it happen.

It’s okay, I promise. We’re all a little fucked up. That’s what makes us beautiful. ■

A beautiful friend of mine screwed up a few years back. (Note: I call her beautiful not because of her looks, though she was, but because of her soul). She had been going through a lot of personal shit: she lost a parent, had a dead-end job, and was wasting most of her nights high on cocaine on Sunset Blvd. She also had a very sweet boyfriend who lived about 7 hours away, and he wasn’t always there to talk to her when she’d hit her low points. One night, she got wasted at an after party and slept with a sleazy Hollywood promoter. When she told her boyfriend, he left her, and it wasn’t until a year later that she met someone she was genuinely drawn to. This new guy did everything to make things work with her, yet she would always find a way to sabotage their relationship. One night she called me, high on cocaine and smoking what seemed like an entire carton of cigarettes, and she told me she didn’t deserve love, just like her ex didn’t deserve to be cheated on. A year later and she had yet to forgive herself for fucking up. It’d be easy to throw the old, “We all make mistakes,” cliché into your face and call it a day, but the fact is, there’s a real reason it’s become a cliché: it’s because making mistakes is an inevitable part of growing up, and it doesn’t matter how old we get because we are always growing up.



SCREW YOU I Don't Need Your



by: Julie Zantopoulos

Without fail there will be people who tell you that your dreams aren’t valid, are a waste of time, or won’t pan out. There will be voices of doubt and it’s your job to block them. Screw them, you don’t need their support. [34] INDIE CHICK | THEINDIECHICKS.COM

If you’re not with me, you’re against me. If you can’t be happy for me, I don’t need you in my life. When you put me down, you fuel my fire.

Drastic statements, right? No one is an island. Nobody gets through this life totally alone. It’s in our nature to lean on others, to need the love, support, and compassion of others. On the flip side of that coin it’s absolutely delusional to assume that the entire world is going to be your cheerleader. So, what do you do when you’re faced with those people who don’t back you, won’t support you, and think you’re out of your mind for chasing your dreams? You succeed anyway. You succeed not to spite them, because that’s giving them way too much power. No, you succeed because you’re a badass and you’re not going to let anything stop you! Besides, naysayers can become a fantastic source of motivation.


You succeed because you're a badass and you're not going to let anything stop you." THEINDIECHICKS.COM | INDIE CHICK


Acknowledge the Hurt

Be Confident in Your Abilities

Screw You

It’s because the road to your goals is your own and if you look outside of yourself for motivation, validation, or confidence then you’ve already lost. If you aren’t already secure with yourself, confident that you’re on the right path and prepared to accept success (or failure) solely on your own, then you aren’t ready to start this journey anyway.

It sucks when people don’t support you in your dreams and passions. Let’s not pretend otherwise, okay? Denying yourself the right to feel hurt, angry, and betrayed is toxic. Let yourself feel the pain, and then allow yourself to move on. If you want tips on letting go, moving on, and acknowledging that sometimes people can’t back you, there is a great article online at called, "Find the Strength to Fight Ridicule".

Maybe it’s your parents, your boyfriend, your friends, or your obnoxious roommate, but no matter who it is that’s filling your head with negative thoughts and dreamkilling comments, squash them. Seriously, don’t be above doing the one eye closed, two fingers, squish their head move. You don’t need those voices of negativity while you’re chasing your goals. Purge them, ignore them, block them from your social media feeds, whatever it takes to stay on course and motivated, do it! It is okay to tell people that you have to distance yourself from them and surround yourself with positivity. It’s not selfish to ask people to either be happy for you or zip their doubt spewing lips. Besides, there is a certain amount of pride and badass selfesteem that comes from being able to stand on your own two feet and demand a little respect for you and your goals.

Be a Self-Starter

You can look outside yourself in a thousand different places and never get the support and encouragement that you can offer yourself. You should be your own cheerleader, your own champion. When you encourage your own dreams and future, you give them validity. Staunchly support your goals and others will fall in line, but never ever hinge your future on somebody else’s approval of your planthat’s just insane. Imagine where we would be if early automobile makers fell to the criticism of wagon makers who thought they were crazy? Every inventor or creative game changer has faced people who thought they were out of their minds. They knew that they were on to something important and didn’t let the opinions of others outweigh their own conviction; do the same.


Not a single quote on success or being successful that I’ve ever seen has mentioned that you have to have anyone else’s approval. Not a single one of those power mantras have said you should stop in the face of adversity. Those quotes are a lot of “you” and “I” and not a whole ton of “we” or “us.” Why is this?

Find Support Elsewhere

Like we said earlier, you can do this on your own if you want to, but somebody to support you is a huge relief. When one person turns their back on you, another person will surprise you by showing up, if you’re open to it. It’s easy to shut down and assume that everyone will have something negative to say, but try not to. It’s a good idea to stay open to all avenues of support and encouragement when you’re starting a business, beginning a new life path, or struggling a little.

Feed the Fires

One of the greatest motivators for success is the desire to prove yourself to those who have doubted you. Of course you are fueled by your own drive, determination, and desire to be the best version of yourself but a little extra oomph never hurt anyone. If you can throw the negatives on your mental burning pile and use that heat to feed the engine that moves you towards your goal, then that is exactly what you should do.


There is nothing in this world sweeter than success and it only gets sweeter when you have to fight a little to get there. Everyone wants to know that their hard work will pay off and that they’re not struggling for nothing. Be that shining example of what success can look like. Do us a favor though and don’t go rubbing your success in everyone’s faces-that’s so tacky. Your success is reward enough and will speak for itself. They’ll see it, they’ll know it, and be choking on words of congrats. Let them deal with that, you just do you and look for that next big hurdle to overcome. Keep it up, badass.■





¬ Leave

Room for

CHANGE by: Chrystal Rose


Remember back when you had that ‘5 Year Plan’? You knew where you wanted to go and you set up all those little stepping-stones to get there? And then, life happened. We can’t always plan how things turn out and you can’t predict exactly how your wants and needs will change over time. So, instead of trying to force life into your mold, leave some wiggle room for change. 10 or so years ago I thought I had it all figured out. I didn’t think I needed college, I was going to be engaged by the time I was 22, married at 24 and considering children at 27. I figured I’d move like the wind for a few years and then settle down somewhere near my family.


Whelp. I went to college (better late than never right?). I was engaged at 22, called off the wedding by 25 and at 31 I’m not entirely sure I even want children. I did move around a lot and finally settled down somewhere near my family—until they moved away 2 years ago. Not only did my actual plan change, but I changed as well. My mind has changed on various topics, my priorities, my spending habits, my moral compass, my beliefs, my dreams, my patience, my taste in men…have all changed. My life is not even close to how I had planned, but I am more than okay with that. It seemed like with every plan I tossed out the window, better ones came into play. Every year has gotten better. I have learned more, loved more and accomplished more than I ever really thought I would. My point is, at one time I knew what I wanted my life to look like, but leaving room for change allowed life to happen.

to try something new. Don’t be afraid to drop old ways and ideas. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own way.

Sometimes change can be dark. When I was younger, I never thought I’d cheat on a significant other until I found myself walking the line between lies and the truth. Eventually, I teetered over that line and found myself in a web of lies. I was sneaky, I was selfish and I was a ball of stress because of it. Something about that life appealed to me. It was thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. I was hooked until I truly believed I was capable of changing into someone who was honest and loved herself enough not to put herself through it.


Plans are great, at least until they fall to shit.

Have you ever felt strongly about a point of view, and then the more you listened to others, the more you experienced life and learned things, the less you believed in your original opinion? Did you feel like you still had to stand by it for some reason?

Part of living and growing as a person is developing interests and tossing out what no longer works for you. If you used to love playing the piano, but hate it now—why keep playing? If you started out in love with your career path and are now bored to tears, why continue? No one is handing out medals for sticking with something (unless of course you’re an Olympic athlete) so if something no longer suits you, find what does and go for it. Our life experiences contribute to our mind changing. This is why it’s so important not to judge others, especially when you haven’t walked in their shoes. We do what we need to do in order to survive, to grow, to thrive and to get through life unscathed. There’s a difference between creating the life you want to live and trying to force it. When things aren’t working, take a step back and evaluate. Could you benefit from a pivot? Is there something you’ve latched on to that could possibly be getting in your way? Don’t be afraid


Maybe you’re perfectly happy with your life and don’t see a need for change at all. This is when you need it the most. It’s easy to get complacent and go through life without new experiences, but why would you want to? Learning, seeing new places and discovering new things about yourself are what contribute to you being an interesting person, to both yourself and others.

The person that emerged is someone I love very dearly. Because I know what it’s like on the dark side, I truly know what it took to overcome my weaknesses. I know myself better because I gave myself room for mistakes. Lots of them. I’m not telling you to go off on a lying, cheating spree. I’m saying that if you’ve made huge mistakes, if you’re living your life on a twisted path and aren’t sure how to stop, you can. You aren’t your mistakes, they are a part of you, but you do not need to succumb to them and live as though this is who you are. If you’ve made mistakes and have locked them somewhere so deep you refuse to acknowledge they ever happened, let them out to breathe. It’s okay. You’re okay and a few black marks do not paint an entire person. The best way to deal with those parts of yourself you’re not proud of is to acknowledge them, embrace them and get over them. Knowing that you can change is a powerful thing. There may be dreams and goals you’re too afraid to chase because you think you’re unable to change enough to accomplish them. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to run a marathon but you “just aren’t a motivated person.” Sure you are. You can start today. Push yourself past your limits and boundaries and you can make both great changes and accomplishments.

Ways to Make Room for Change


Allow yourself to be. Go with the flow of life. If a door shuts in your face, wait for the next one, or go create a new door yourself. Know that life is not linear; it’s an ever changing bag of ups and downs.


Don’t be set. Allow yourself to see the other side of things you feel strongly about. It's okay to have beliefs, but it's also okayto change your mind.


Feed your mind. Make a conscious effort to learn something new. Explore places you’ve never been. Allow yourself to soak up unfamiliar experiences.

4. 5.

Don’t be afraid to let go. If something no longer suits you: a job, a man, a lifestyle, a mindset—drop it and move on. Forgive yourself for the parts that you don’t like and your mistakes. Change can’t happen without them.

Had I stuck with my initial plan, I have no doubt that I would be insanely miserable right now. I allowed life to happen, I made room for change and I’m so grateful for every experience that’s made me who I am today.■



train your inner badass


Picture your inner badass as a tiny version of you who lives within your soul. She’s this fierce little warrior, wearing boxing gloves, hopping from one foot to the other, ready for a good fight. She’s strong, but can be stronger; she’s wise, but can be wiser; and she’s fearless, but she can be bolder. Your little warrior needs to keep growing. In the New Year 2014 issue I introduced you to her, and in the Summer 2014 issue, I made you challenge her. Now, it’s time to train her. Life will always creep up when you least expect it. You may lose your job, walk in on your lover screwing your sister, or wake up to find you’ve been backstabbed by a best friend. Yup, life happens. Shit happens. You are not expected to win all the battles, but you are expected to survive them. Why? Because that’s what badasses do - we survive. Survival is all in the prep work, but it can be hard to prepare for something without knowing what the curve ball is going to be. You don’t get a notification on your phone that tomorrow, the man you’re engaged to will sleep with your best friend. No fortune cookie popping up at dinner to warn you that you’re going to get pregnant with a one night stand this


by: Chiara Mazzucco

weekend. You just have to prepare for life in general and it can be a confusing road when everything is so vague and curveballs are so abstract. But life happens and we can survive if we are able to train ourselves to tackle anything.

What Muscles Will Need training? Things like courage, perseverance, and self-love are like workout tools; they’re your dumbbells, your jump ropes, and your ice baths to soothe your sore muscles. Before you begin to train each muscle, you need to identify what tools you’ll need for each routine. With a little digging, you’ll figure out what you’re lacking and what you wish you could change about yourself. For example, you may find you’re a bit of a pushover sometimes and that means you’ll have to train your inner badass to stand up for herself more. You’ll need courage. Take the time to really understand yourself and what areas of your life need improving. Maybe you pick the wrong men a lot and need to learn how to respect yourself more. Maybe you rely on a safe routine too much and need to learn how

to take more risks and think on your toes a bit, in case the rug is ever pulled from underneath you. The truth can be ugly or it can be something you’ve always known has needed improvement. Regardless, you need to pull yourself aside and really figure out what muscles need training before the storm hits.

Stretch it out and start small The prep work is always really important because it warms your muscles up. The last thing you need is for them to go into shock after impact, so stretching them out it’s a good way to get them ready to grow. Removing yourself from ugly situations is a good way to prepare. If you’re dating a sleaze you’re just waiting to find fucking a bridesmaid at your best friend’s wedding, aborting the mission doesn’t make you a coward, it makes you smart. Walking away from something requires as much strength as dealing with it once it turns sour. Learning to become aware of situations, rather than disappearing into some form of delusional thinking, is an important part of

the training process because it can get you out of shit before things get messy. Not to mention, you’ll have more of yourself to devote to those curveballs in life that you won’t see coming.

Interval Training You’ve stretched and warmed up your badass muscles and are now able to identify which situations you need to steer clear from and what muscles you need to train. Now it’s time to get stronger by switching up the speed in your training sessions. Let’s use fear as an example. You’ve come to terms with your need to be more courageous and know that working on being bold is going to help you deal with whatever life throws your way. How do you exercise that muscle? You put yourself through challenges you can control. For example, you may be scared of altercations, but you may also be afraid of roller coasters. Plan

a trip to your nearest theme park and wait longer to sit in the front of each ride. You may not want to start fights with people to build up your courage, so focusing on something you can control, like riding a roller coaster, may be an easier exercise. But do it in short bursts. A healthy balanced life is mixed with proactive adventure and passive experience. You benefit from a relaxing day at home reading your favorite book as much as you do forcing yourself to face your fear of heights. Switching from one to the other will ensure the maximum benefits from both.

Always Cool Down Training can get intense and the last thing you want is to become the super crazy obsessed chick who walks around with a constant forehead vein bulge. Take it easy and take the time to cool down. Evoking your inner badass can get pretty empowering, but remember

that you’re training her for a rainy day and that being hyper-focused on the shit storms that may or may not happen tomorrow, is a waste of a perfect day today. When you get home from the theme park, take a moment to absorb the exhilaration rushing through your veins. You did it! You’ve faced your fear of roller coasters, and after sitting way up in the front, the idea of telling your coworker she can take her crappy attitude and shove it up her ass doesn’t seem so bad. Life will always throw curveballs at you and some aren’t meant to be trained for. Sometimes we learn best when we’re thrown into the ring with no experience, scared shitless. Your inner badass is there to support you and be your warrior in times of need, but you’re still human, and that means that being able to accept yourself for your weakness is just as important as fighting to become the best version of yourself.■




Be Kind to Strange Women


How often do you reach out to talk to someone new? When you see a woman in the corner of a room, do you ignore her or walk over to say hello? A small act of kindness has the power to change someone's day and can genuinely make you a happier human being. So, when's the last time you made another woman's day?

by: Chrystal Rose

There’s something about receiving kindness from another woman that always hits harder than when it comes from a man. We expect this from men, whether it be for superficial reasons, or because we don’t ‘pose a threat’. When it comes from a woman, we can’t help but feel genuinely good about it. We're entering an era where women helping others, empowering each other, and genuinely being kind is less rare. It's a great shift from times where we were catty, cutthroat, and competitive - but we can still do better


My gym is rather cliquey. I go to a CrossFit gym where most of the people in the group classes are a little older. After numerous attempts to make conversation, I gave up. Of course the men in there regularly said hi to me, but catching a smile from a woman was few and far between. Rather than quit the gym entirely (um, I have goals people), I decided to quit the group classes. Now I go to open gym hours whenever I feel like it and my best friend there is Pandora Radio. While I planned to do my own thing

eventually outside of group classes, the cold shoulder I experienced simply sped up the process. The funny thing is that now the chicks at the gym talk to me more than they ever did before. Just like it’s hard for a guy to approach a chick that’s with a group of her friends, it’s equally difficult to make friends with other women who are glued to their friend’s sides. When you’re in an environment where you’ll be with a group of people like the gym, a class, a party or even work, there are bound to be some women left at the edge of your circle looking in. Branch away from your friends group and say hi to someone who is alone. When you are with a group, you come off as unapproachable and intimidating. The person on the outside may also feel like anything they offer to the conversation is blown off because they don’t really know any of you. Include her and you will experience some major gratitude.


With all the cases of Resting Bitch Face going around, it’s not shocking that women



don’t often smile at each other. I’m not telling you to walk around like you have a light bulb in your teeth, but it can really brighten up someone’s day to receive a smile for no reason. Be aware of your face and what your expression is giving off. Practice. Practice. Practice. If you’re passing by a random woman on the street, sharing an elevator, waiting in line—whatever—SMILE at her. And don’t just plaster on a fake for good measure, let the smile reach your eyes too.


Do you remember that drunk girl in the bathroom that was sooo nice to you? You know, the one that told you that you were so pretty you looked like a fairy princess and that she’d kill to own your shoes? She may have been hammered, but that didn’t stop you from smiling, did it? Nope. A compliment from another woman, no

matter her state of being, is a compliment. Not only can you make another woman feel good with a genuine compliment, but you can disarm her as well. Every time I walk into a party or am introduced to a female that clearly has her guard up, I smile and give her a compliment. More often than not, you will immediately see the relaxation in her body as she drops her guard and offers a smile, or maybe even a compliment in return.


We are so busy with our own lives sometimes we forget to include others that may not be so obvious. An invitation, while a small gesture, can mean so much more to the person invited. When an invitation is turned down repeatedly, it’s easy to give up and avoid asking altogether. But why? It doesn’t take much to invite, and whatever the other person’s reasoning for turning it down, it still makes them feel like you care enough to include them. The chick that works in your office and always

eats at her desk, maybe invite her next time you go to grab lunch. Ask the girl at the gym if she wants to work out together. Ask someone you work with if they want to grab a glass of wine for happy hour, or that girl in your class if she wants to join your study group. Making other women feel included isn’t the only reason to invite, it also opens you up to new opportunities, experiences and friends that you otherwise might miss out on.

Cheer On

We really don’t give each other (and ourselves) enough kudos for a job well done. When you’re working hard, whether it be at work, in the gym, or even volunteering, hearing praise for your efforts can be so invigorating. Why not do that for another woman? If you notice, or are impressed with, a job well done by another woman, tell her. It can be so discouraging to work really hard for something and not have anyone notice. So tell that chick at work that kicked ass at her presentation, the girl at the gym who crushed her personal record, and the woman who pulled the fundraiser together without a hitch—that she freaking rocks. Your appreciation will go incredibly far.

Be Kind

Sup, girl... wanna be friends?


We can learn so much from having positive female relationships and interactions. Being kind to strange women can formulate collaborations, diminish competition, and form bonds. Setting the example of kindness might become something those women will pay forward in their interactions. Maybe because you were kind to them, they will be kind to another woman that really needs it. You never know. If it’s not reciprocated: If your smile is met with a glare. If your invite is unwelcome. If your compliment is met with an eye roll. So what? Doing your part is what matters the most. There will always be a few bad eggs out there and some of your kindness will go misinterpreted, but as long as you know your intentions are pure, that’s all that truly matters. When women are kind to each other, the world truly is a better place.■




Resting Bitch Face break free, once and for all

by: Julie Zantopoulos

Resting bitch face is real and affects millions of women worldwide, but there are ways to break free. To break free of resting bitch face, (RBF) you first need to be aware that you are suffering from this social disease. We have an entire article dedicated to resting bitch face syndrome on the website so we’ll keep the run down here brief, but you really should read that if you, or a loved one, is suffering from RBF.


Resting Bitch Face is the facial affliction that makes you appear to be indifferent, irritated or down right pissed off when you are, in fact, not. This can happen in any variety of social situations: dating, workplace interactions, a party, a PTA meeting, a reunion, or dinner with your friends. It doesn’t matter where you are - if you suffer from RBF, then chances are you look to be absolutely miserable 90% of the time. The severity of one’s RBF syndrome can be as mild as indifference to what people are saying, that makes it look like you aren’t listening when they speak. It can also be as severe as a face that says, “I’m about to lose my ever loving shit…start running NOW!” when in fact you’re perfectly happy.



Now that we have addressed the outward signs of Resting Bitch Face it’s time to focus on how to break free of RBF. Here are some tips that are sure to “cure” you of Resting Bitch Face.


It won’t kill you, I promise. One of the fastest, and easiest, ways to assure people you won’t bite their heads off if they dare to say hello to you, is to smile at them. It costs you nothing, takes only a second, and is incredibly efficient at making you seem instantly friendlier and more approachable. A genuine smile, the kind that reaches your eyes, can be hard to fake, so don’t try. This ends up making you look like a

constipated twat that can hardly stand to be in the presence of such simple people. If you can’t muster up a genuine smile, just smirk and nod a bit. If at all possible work up some almost tears-the extra moisture in your eyes will make them shine and make a fake smile appear more “sparkling” and real. (Yeah, it’s cheating but it really works.)


Resting Bitch Face is easily confused with indifference, boredom, or general zoning out, so engaging in active conversation is key to a cure. It’s easy to get used to tuning out when your RBF makes it’s ‘acceptable’ to drift off and stop paying attention. If you find yourself drifting during conversation just grab hold of the last few sentences and find something to say about it. The ability

to latch on to the key point in a string of sentences is a great skill to have (whether or not you suffer from Resting Bitch Face). Everyone wants to feel heard and asking questions and nodding along during conversation effectively communicates two things: 1) You’ve heard and understand them and 2) You’re interested in what they have to say.

HOW TO TELL YOUR FRIEND SHE'S CAUGHT A CASE OF THE BITCH FACE The Bandaid: There’s no time to be gentle, she needs to know right now. “Girl, you have a serious case of resting bitch face!” is all that needs to be said. She’ll get it and then it’s up to her to change it. The Roundabout: “You know how you get a ton of interest on your online dating profiles and then they meet you in person and you never get a second date? Yeah, it’s 'cause your face, well it’s terrifying.” The Cushion: This is where you cushion the blow with positives. So start off with a few positive attributes, drop the hammer, and then follow up with letting her know there’s help out there for her. She’ll appreciate the honesty and the gentle delivery. The Cat: It seems silly, but when you are training a cat you often spray them with water when they do something wrong. Well, you’re going to let her know every time her face goes all bitchy. Have a key word, a motion (earlobe pull anyone?) or something that lets her know she needs to smile a little.


The nodding and asking questions we discussed earlier was a cover up for not actually paying attention, but learning to actively listen is important. When you suffer from Resting Bitch Face people assume that you aren’t present, or if you are, that you absolutely loathe them and wish they’d shut up and go away. That’s why it’s so important to not be lazy in your interactions. If you have RBF and check out halfway through their story then you don’t know when to smile, laugh or make sympathetic sounds. If you’re sporting your “I’ll kill you in your sleep” face while they tell you that they’re happily pregnant, they won’t be sharing good news with you again any time soon. So, it is important to stay present, engaged and really pay attention to their words. Don’t anticipate their next word, let the conversation go at their pace, smile, nod, ask questions, sigh, laugh, say ‘oh no’ and respond as appropriate. If you want to break free of Resting Bitch Face you really have to learn how to do this.


Maybe you tried the conventional treatments for your Resting Bitch Face but no matter how hard you try to smile you still come off angry. If so, good for you for trying in the first place, it shows you care and that’s important. In which case the best advice I can give you is to be up front with the people in your life.

Want more Resting Bitch Face? Visit! Resting Bitch Face isn’t that much different than being an addict; it’s something that happens beyond your control. If you start a conversation off with, “I want you to know I suffer from Resting Bitch Face, so I’m listening, and I care, and I’m happy. I just look like I want to kick a puppy…but I swear, I’m all good.” they’ll understand better. And if it’s a friend, a simple, “Heads up, the Resting Bitch Face is strong today,” will suffice. Being vocal about your mood can really help your conversation partner to better reconcile your face to your words. People with Resting Bitch Face are really hard to read and that makes them appear very socially awkward. Try telling people the kind of mood you are in; it just might help. Sure, it makes for an awkward opening to a conversation but it certainly helps prevent miscommunication later. When it comes down to it, Resting Bitch Face cock blocks you from being able to connect with people on a deeper, emotional level. It’s an unfortunate truth, but it can be treated. With these tips we know you’ll put people a bit more at ease and be able to build genuine relationships with people who aren’t in constant fear that you secretly hate them and wish they didn’t exist. You can turn your relationships around. You don’t have to ‘suffer from’ Resting Bitch Face anymore, you can thrive. ■

Got a sweet RBF? Take a selfie and tag us on Instagran so we can share it and help you through the struggle.

The Drop Kick: This one is not advisable as it is straightforward to the point of mean, but sometimes it’s what people need to wake up. This is where you point out all the places their life is falling apart and why their face is the cause. Ouch! The Hint: “Have you heard about that Resting Bitch Face thing? I mean, is that even real? Do you think anyone we know has it?” Let the conversation flow and then gently guide them towards realization. The Mirror: This isn’t a cute term for anything—literally, get a mirror. Let her see for herself what her resting face looks like. Just flash it at her whenever her face falls into Resting Bitch Face mode and she’ll have no choice but to be more aware of her facial expressions.



A How to Listen Vs. Giving Advice by: Chrystal Rose

You have your shit together. You know what’s up. You see your friends kind of struggling through life and you wish they’d just take your advice for a change. Every time they come to you and vent, you can’t help yourself and before they’re even finished with their first paragraph, you’re dishing out the goods. Stop. Listen. You don’t need to fix everyone. [48] INDIE CHICK | THEINDIECHICKS.COM


As someone who dishes out unsolicited advice as a job, people constantly come to me seeking my opinion. After a countless number of faces, family and friends, I’ve realized something: Most of the time people don’t want my actual advice, they just want me to validate their decision. Yes. People come to me with an idea already in their head, and when I validate it, they feel relief. When I tell them the opposite of what they want to hear, they go do what they were going to do anyway. The latter makes being an advice-giver pretty frustrating. My advice to you? Stop. Stop dishing out advice and start listening. People will only feel like you’re helping them when they feel heard by you, not because you’ve given them a piece of advice they’ve never considered before. Because most people have tossed around every possible option in their head before they seek out another human being to run it by.

Be Proud

First, take a moment and revel in the fact that someone has come to you seeking comfort. It doesn’t matter if they only have their cat to talk to; they have gone to several others before you or if they always come to you. The point is, for whatever reason, they trust you enough to share with you. Take a moment to feel good about that. Not only will this give you a little internal boost, but it also prepares you to look at the situation from a more caring perspective.

Calm Your Face

When someone is sharing personal feelings, emotions and experiences with you, the last thing they want is to feel judged. So try to keep your face neutral or in the realm of concerned, and resist dramatic facial expressions. Of course there are times when people will want a major reaction from you, like a gasp or something—resist. Until you find out what this person has already decided they are going to do, you run the risk of backing yourself into a judgmental corner. For example:

Bite That Tongue

As I said, this person is not so much coming to you for advice as they are coming to you for validation. Let them tell you their problem and listen. Shut that mouth, open those ears and listen. Do not speak unless you are asking a question to further understand something. Just listen. It’s so easy to hear someone’s problem and then just go off on an advice bender, because you can see so clearly what needs to happen. More than likely your friend is confused and their vision for what needs to happen is clouded. This is part of why they’re coming to you. You are their sounding board and their mirror for clarity.

sadness/frustration to you and stay in the same situation. Whatever it may be: listen.

Let Them Be

One of the best things about having friends is that they accept you for you. When your friend has very clearly (or not so clearly) made a decision, you need to support them in that. They have their own path to walk and you have yours. I know it’s frustrating and I’m not the type to sugarcoat either, but it’s not about telling them what they want to hear. It’s about accepting them for where they are.

Flip It

While you may not agree with their decisions, you can’t decide what’s best for them. You may feel compelled to tell them what you think. You may feel like if you don’t that you’re not being a good friend because you aren’t being honest with them. You can’t think of it that way. Their shoes are far different from your own and while you may feel comfortable walking a certain path—they may not even know where the road is.

“Do you think I should leave him?” “Should I quit my job?” “What should I do?”

A lot of times when we share our no holds barred opinion, we tend to push our friends away. If you tell them they should leave their significant other or quit their job, you might find yourself out in the cold when they don’t. Why? Because they feel like you don’t support them or their decisions and that you’re judging them.

Yes, they are going to want you to tell them what they should do. That part is inevitable. Unfortunately, they don’t want your real opinion, they want your validation that what they’re doing is the right thing. There’s a good chance that your thoughts and theirs are one in the same—but that also may not be the case.

This is where you open up your mouth and ask, “What do you think you should do?” Do not answer this question—it’s a trap. Trust me, they’ve already thought of the answer to this. Granted there are a whole lot of “I don’t knows” and “I’m not sures” thrown in, they already have a strong idea of which way they are leaning. Let them tell you what sort of validation they are seeking. They may be ready to take the plunge, and that’s awesome. Or they may just want to express their

Unless you are extremely worried about your friend’s safety, you need to ease up and let them make their own decisions. Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes and you will be there to celebrate their victories along the way. A good friend listens but a great friend supports.■

“…so then I found out he cheated on me!” Gasp! Later… “But I really want to work things out with him…” Feeding into their need for a reaction early on can turn into a foot in the mouth later. Remaining neutral and simply concerned will eliminate you from having to back peddle.






3. It's your birthday-- What's the perfect way to spend it and who do you spend it with? 1. It's 8:30pm and you get a frantic text from a friend, begging you to join her at some huge party. You're not prepared. What do you do? a) Text back and forth, but unless she shows up to dress you and drag you out, there's no way you'll actually go. b) Slap on some makeup and get dressed. You'd rather stay in but you'll never leave a friend hanging. c) Pause your DVR and get dressed, no questions asked. d) Ignore it. She should know better than to text you about a party, especially it being so last minute. You hate parties. 2. You’re in a room full of big players, what is your networking strategy?

a) With a few close friends at your favorite restaurant. You love intimate gatherings. b) Having your friends over for drinks and game night (that shit gets crazy). c) Make a whole night of it. Dinner, drinks, dancing and a messy sleepover to follow. d) Your dog/cat. They totally get you and won't steal your cake. 4. In one word how would you describe your social life? a) Balanced. b) Selective. c) Thriving. d) Nonexistent.

a) You skim their nametags until you find a correlation with someone or a business you know, then strike up a conversation. b) Swallow your nerves and start with smaller groups first to build up your confidence. You can do this! c) Walk up to the group and politely wait to introduce yourself- then give it everything you’ve got. d) Casually drop business cards on the bar, in the bathroom, and other surfaces but talk to no one.

5. You have free time, how do you spend it? a) With your significant other. You love your friends but he tends to be your priority when you get the time. b) Some serious me time that includes reading and a marathon of made for TV movies. c) Go out and get pampered or plan for a day’s outting with girlfriends. d) All your time is your own, what's the big deal?


+IndieQuiz 6. You spot some co-workers you don't know very well at a local hotspot. How do you approach?


You're most like Chrystal. While you enjoy the company of others, you have no problem skipping out on parties or not joining groups of people you don't know. You know what suits you and what doesn't. You make time for your girlfriends, family, boyfriend and yourself as needed and never feel guilty for any of it. You may not be the most socially active person, but you're always a good time when you are.

a) You catch their eyes from across the room and wave. If they want to come over and say hi, they know where you are. b) You head over to say hello, acknowledge that you saw them, chat for a few minutes and then excuse yourself back to your friends. No need to become besties. c) Walk right on over and say, “Here’s our chance to be best friends. Can I buy you a drink?” d) You don't. In fact you slink down into your chair and hope they didn't see you. 7. You are lead on a research project but now you have to give a presentation. How do you handle it? a) You'd much rather speak in front of people you don't know than have to speak with them so this is right up your alley. You've got this.


You're most like Julie. You still definitely crave down time but you wouldn't be happy if you couldn't be around your family and friends as much as possible. You hate seeing people uncomfortable so if making a fool of yourself helps the vibe in the room, you're totally down. You'd love to fly under the social radar most of the time, but you can shine with the best of them when the mood strikes.

b) You'd much prefer doing the research/writing but if you have to speak you can-after all you know the facts inside and out. c) You thrive when it comes to public speaking. You put on your rockstar hat and control the room the entire time. d) Refuse. You did your part of the project and this was NOT in the description. 8. It's a Saturday night and you feel like going out and letting your hair down. Who's your first call? a) A VIP host at the club you want to go to. If you're going out, you want to make sure you have your space. b) Your college bestie-that girl can drink and pull a crowd to her. You know it'll be a fun night.


You’re most like Chiara. While you cherish your alone time, you would rather be out with people, absorbing their energies, and thriving in social environments. You’re the firs to step foot onto an empty dance floor and are fearless when it comes to talking to people you don’t know. Hey, everyone’s a stranger until you say hello.

c) Mass text to your girlfriends. You’ll figure out where you’re going while you’re getting ready. d) Your mom, she knows how to haggle best at the indoor flea market. 9. You were planning on working late but then you get a text about a happy hour meet up-do you go? a) You make a brief appearance, make it clear you can't stay long, have one drink, announce your departure and get back to it. b) You compromise and work until you get to a natural stopping point then head over for the last drink or two. c) You work late every night so you tell yourself you deserve it and clear out your schedule the rest of the day. d) This account won't balance itself and you have your hummus and pretzels in the mini fridge. Stay the course. 10. Awkward silence is in the room, what do you do? a) Continue to talk to the person you've been talking to. You don't really care if others listen in. b) Make a witty comment and get people laughing. Laughter cures an awkward silence every time. c) Make a joke you know has the potential to be an epic fail. People will feel less awkward if they feel bad for you. d) Nothing. It's not your job to make sure other people are comfortable and you don't mind the silence.



Girl, unless you are an actual hermit this is unacceptable! It's totally fine to cherish your alone time, but you've taken it to a whole new level. You may not mind not having any real friends, but at some point it's going to take its toll on you. You're missing out on so much of what life has to offer! Start with some baby steps and accept a few invitations, invite yourself if that's what it takes. THEINDIECHICKS.COM | INDIE CHICK You're worth it!


+Meet Our [Cover Girl] Every now and then you meet a woman that just gets you, a total instant "chick click." When we met CBS's host of The Insider, Keltie Knight, we could tell she totally got us. An author, TV personality, former dancer and avid animal lover- Keltie is anything but one dimensional. Throughout our funding campaign for this issue, she rallied her friends and fans around our brand, and treated the magazine as though it were her own. Her unwavering support was just the tip of the iceberg of what makes this beautiful, kind hearted woman, so special and so very deserving of an Indie Chick cover. Make Up Amanda Bertram Photography Mike Rosenthal Styling Kimmy Erin Hair Anna Rose Kern


HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN WHAT YOU’RE DOING? WHAT WERE SOME CHALLENGES YOU FACED? After a childhood of ballet lessons and a decade as a professional dancer, my body was broken and I was searching for my next career. I had already been blogging for about 5 years at the time, so I started experimenting with YouTube videos on my blog, and from there started auditioning for hosting jobs around Los Angeles. I held a few pretty miserable, non-paying “jobs” and really struggled. Then, on a random Saturday, I met a woman who worked in TV. I had no idea how much that one meeting would change my life. We became friendly, and she introduced me to my first boss at CBS.


WHAT’S THE MESSAGE YOU’RE TRYING TO SEND TO THE GIRLS WHO LOOK UP TO YOU? I think my message is that you can be anything you want, but you have to create it yourself and there is going to be a long road of hard work before anything good happens. When I was first hired at my network I was working on the digital team for a tiny salary, and I did everything. I produced, filmed, edited, and wrote all my videos. I literally cold-called publicists and record labels begging them to allow me to interview their stars. It was tough, and there were many times I was frustrated and wanted to quit. But, I kept going, and now after many years, I have my dream job. Dreams don’t get presented on a silver platter, you have to work for them.


JACKET: Kayat BRA & SHIRT: Xirena PANTS: Single


HAS BEING IN THE SPOTLIGHT AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP? WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN LIKE YOU WHO ARE TRYING TO FIND A BALANCE BETWEEN THEIR CAREER AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP? I think what makes life extra hard for women is that we are expected to be good at everything. Be beautiful. Be stylish. Be skinny. Have a career. Have a family. Be smart. Be funny. Be a good friend. Have a stylish house. Be a good cook, and after all that have tons of energy to be super sexy and blow your partner's mind in bed. For me, I’ve learned that it’s okay to only be able to conquer one or two of those things each day. I can’t possibly be everything to everyone at all times, and I’m okay with that.


HOW DO YOU RELAX AND SHUT OUT THE NOISE? I am obsessed with Hot Yoga. I go to Modo Yoga in Los Angeles, and just taking that hour a few times a week to be in the studio, in the warmth, stretching, thinking and breathing, where no one can get at me, is extremely therapeutic. I also am a huge reader. I read each night before I go to sleep; it’s my personal time for 15-20 minutes each night where I just wind down and transport myself to another world.


WHAT’S A QUOTE YOU LIVE BY? “Baby girl, you can have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time.” -my father. I love this, I’m a perfectionist with zero patience and I was once complaining that I didn’t have everything I wanted in life, and my dad reminded me to focus on the good things I did have, and that there will be a season where something else comes off the wish list, but that no one will have it all, all the time.


WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR GIRLS WANTING TO ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS? There really isn’t a roadmap to making your dreams come true. If there were steps one through ten everyone would follow them! You have to decide what you want, and then figure out a way to make it happen. When I look at




the mega-success of my friends, like YouTuber Tyler Oakley or Nasty Gal’s Sophia Amoruso, I see incredibly motivated self-starters. Starting is JUST the beginning. You have to follow your dream everyday, even when you do not see immediate results, and that can be challenging. My advice would be: Go! Go! Go! and don’t give up!


HOW DO YOU EMBRACE YOUR INNER BADASS? TELL US ABOUT HER. Honestly, inside I am a complete nerd. I don’t see myself that way [badass] at all. But then, I look around and I watch what I do everyday translated on The Insider, and I kind of sit back and think…wow… I’m kinda badass! I’ve learned to realize that my badassery comes from working hard everyday, but doing it with a smile and a kind word, from supporting others, believing in the collective power of positive energy and trying to let other women know that it’s okay to be a mess sometimes, because we all are. My inner badass isn’t perfect but she’s really friendly.


ARE THERE ANY STRONG WOMEN YOU LOOK UP TO AND ADMIRE? SO many. My mom, of course, is the original power chick that has guided me through life. I’m obsessed with Oprah (one time a fan called me “rock n’ roll Oprah” and that’s still my favorite compliment ever). I love watching NCIS actress Pauley Perrette navigate Hollywood because she is on this megasuccessful TV show and still finds time to work with multiple charities. She’s actually the reason I started working with my favorite charities “To Write Love On Her Arms” and “The Beagle Freedom Project.” I also have a major girl crush on my boss and executive producer Monique Chenault. We start our day at 5:15 am and she always arrives in the office in a super stylish outfit while I arrive in jeans and a tee shirt. She navigates the pressure cooker of her job with grace and is so incredibly smart. I think sometimes women are forced to choose between being “smart” and “sexy,” and she’s both. I mean, 4-inch heels at 5 am. I wouldn’t dare!


WHERE DO YOU HOPE THIS JOURNEY TAKES YOU? WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM? You know, each December 31st my girlfriend and I write each other our “manifest lists.” We have done this for years. Then, throughout the year we try INDIE CHICK | THEINDIECHICKS.COM to make those dreams a reality. Crazy


as it sounds, having that list hang on my wall every morning while I brush my teeth has kept me incredibly focused and many of those dreams are now real! My ever changing list currently holds: competing on “Dancing with the Stars,” learning to speak Spanish, saving as many animals as possible from cosmetic testing, having one of my books adapted into a movie and seeing my family and friends more. But really, I love this journey and I’m okay not knowing the answers or where I will end up. I just try to live my life with compassion and purpose every day.


WHAT’S NEXT/IN THE WORKS FOR YOU? I’m having a blast. I’m working on launching a new lifestyle site collective, writing another book, of course my day job on The Insider, plus I have a few more TV shows in development. Mostly I’m looking forward to the next time I can take a nap.


YOU’RE OFFICIALLY AN INDIE CHICK NOW, WHAT DOES BEING AN INDIE CHICK MEAN TO YOU? I just love everything The Indie Chick brand stands for. I mean, as a flat-chested, short-haired, regular lady with small eyes and no butt it’s nice to find a magazine and a brand that empowers me instead of making me feel like I don’t stack up next to the Kim Kardashians of the world. There are enough reasons to feel bad about myself out there, and I feel like The Indie Chicks empower me to focus on the real stuff that matters and being beautiful on the inside, which gives me a confident glow that makes me even cuter on the outside!

HAT: Goorin Bros. NECKLACE: Delphine-Charlotte Parmentier NECKLACE: Debi Lynn Designs DRESS: BCBGeneration SHOES: Ivy Kirzhner CUFFS: Charles Albert



Beauty & Style


[TOP] BEAUTY STAPLES FOR FALL by: Julie Zantopoulos

It’s great to hear about products that people like, or random seasonal favorites, but what about the products that you have loved for so long that they’re staples in your collection? You know, the ones that you purchase over and over because you love them so much. Everyone has products that work awesome for them, their own Holy Grail. If you have something that works great for you, that’s awesome! Here are some I compiled that you can try out if you’re still looking for that perfect product.



Before you can apply any makeup you want to make sure you have a moisturized and primed canvas (aka your face). This not only ensures your makeup applies smoother but also that your skin is cared for and your pores look smaller. If you’re anything like me, you skipped this step for a long time, but I promise you, it makes a huge difference in how your makeup applies, so try them!

After your primer, a great foundation and dark circle or blemish concealers are essential building blocks to a fantastic face of makeup. Foundation can range from light to heavy coverage and concealers range from skin tone to color correcting tones. No matter what, there’s a great one for you! These are some Holy Grail products we think you should try.


1. Say Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Daily Calming Moisturizer by Yes To Company $14.99 2. Pacifica Youth Day & Night Face Cream $20 3. Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion $35


1. Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer $30 2. e.l.f. Mineral Primer $6 3. Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment $38


1. Real Techniques $6-$13 single brushes. Sets available. 2. e.l.f. $1-$6 single brushes. Sets available. 3. Eco Tools $3.99-$11.99 single brushes. Sets available.


1. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup $39 2. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour full coverage foundation $38 3. NYX Cosmetics HD Studio Photogenic Foundation $10.80


1. BH Studio Pro Matte Finish Pressed Powder $11.95 2. Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation $34 3. Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation $27


1. NYX HD Photogenic Concealor $3 2. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye $24 3. Pixi Peach Concealer Concentrate $12

CONTOURING Everyone is obsessed with contouring lately and I have to admit, I’m totally on board. As a fuller-faced woman I totally underestimated the power of a great contour. If you haven’t started yet, I suggest you try it. You don’t have to go to the level of Kim Kardashian right away, you can start off subtle and see what works best for you.


1. Too Faced Chocolate Soliel Matte Bronzer $30 2. e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzer Powder $3 3. Physicians Formula Bronze Glow Boosting Pressed Bronzer $14.95


1. The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer $24 2. e.l.f. Studio Blush in Gotta Glow $3 3. Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Tropic $9



EYE OF THE BEHOLDER Personally, I love playing up my eyes. For me, the eyes are a playground and no look is too crazy to rock. Here are my Holy Grail eye makeup products that I recommend you try.


POP OF COLOR Whether on your cheeks or your lips, a pop of color is always fun to bring focus to your face. Playing with color scares a lot of women, but be bold and experiment with it.


1. Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush $2.99 2. NYX- Powder & Cream Blush $5.99 & $6.99 3. Makeup Geek $9.99 to $12.99


1. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars $18 2. NYX Butter Gloss & Lipsticks $4.99 & $5.99-$6.99 3. Pacifica Coconut Kiss Creamy Lip Butter $10


1. Lime Crime $8 2. Zoya $9 3. Jesse’s Girl $3.99

1. Too Faced Shadow Insurance $20 2. Milani Eyeshadow Primer $6.49 3. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk $4.99


1. Makeup Geek Eyeshadow $5.99 2. Colour Pop Eyeshadow $5 3. Glamour Doll Eyes $1.25 (sample size) or $6 full size


1. Jordana Fabuliner Liquid $4.99 2. e.l.f. Essentials Liquid Eyeliner $1 3. Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Precision Longwear Liquid Eyeliners $20


1. Essence Gel Eyeliners $3.99 2. BH Cosmetics Gel Eyeliners $7.95 3. Makeup Geek Gel Liner $8.99


1. Milani Easy Liner $4.99 2. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil $20 3. Pacifica Natural Waterproof Eye Pencil $11


1. Makeup Geek Pigment $6.99 2. Jesse’s Girl ~ price varies but approx. $5 3. Just Pure Minerals $6.99


1. Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara $4.99 2. Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara $22 3. Jordana Best Lash Extreme $2.99





Fashion Blogger to Watch

TANESHA AWASTHI Something beautiful is happening on the web. Have you seen it? A wave of self-love and positive body image bloggers is taking the internet by storm, and we couldn't be happier about it. When we came across Tanesha's blog, we fell in love with her style and mission to empower women's self-esteem. Check out her 5 looks she chose to share with Indie Chick readers.

 I've always been a jeans and tee girl, but lately I've started pairing tees with skirts. I love how a tee can make a skirt look casual, but still put together.  This tee is the first from my new collection of Girl With Curves basics!  (Tee: Girl With Curves, Skirt: H&M, Shoes: DV by Dolce Vita, Bag: Michael Kors, Bracelets: India)


I rarely wear any type of pants other than jeans, but these are special. They're high-waisted and cropped at the ankle, which is ultra flattering because they highlight a small waist and look amazing with heels.  Paired with a casual turtleneck, I could go for dinner and drinks in this. (Top: Mossimo, Pants: Asos Curve, Shoes: Dolce Vita, Bag: Gucci, Watch: Michael Kors, Bracelets: India)

 

Tanesha Awasthi founded personal style blog Girl With Curves  in early 2011, on a mission to impact lives through fashion by encouraging positive body image and self-esteem. In just three years since inception, the Girl With Curves blog has become a top source of fashion inspiration for curvy women worldwide, as seen in Marie Claire, Cosmo, Elle, Vogue and more. Awasthi launched Girl With Curves clothing ( formerly Tanesha Awasthi clothing) in November 2013, offering accessible luxury in sizes 12 - 24.

Want more Tanesha? Blog:




I love a great pencil skirt made of stretch fabric. It's classic, but fitted and shows off curves in all the right places. This one is made of faux leather and has unique laser cut details- one of my current faves!  (Skirt & Top: Mynt 1792, Shoes: Nine West, Bag: Target, Bracelet: Tiffany & Co., Earrings: Antique, Bracelets: Gifted)

Swing dresses are my favorite warm weather go-to because they're loose, airy, unbelievably comfy, and who doesn't want to be comfy in the heat?! I wore this one during a recent vacation to Mexico and I wished I had one in every color to beat the 100% humidity. (Dress: Asos, Bag: BCBG, Shoes: Sam Edelman, Bracelets: Gifted, from India)

Midi skirts are my typical daily go-to. They're flattering on everyone, no matter what body type or size, and can be dressed up or down super easily. This one is special because of the sheer panels, which gives it a dressier feel. (Top & Skirt: Asos, Shoes: Nine West, Sunnies: Dior, Earrings: Antique & J. Crew)




meet the muse An exclusive interview with Haute Street's September Muse, Indie Chick's CEO and Editor in Chief, Chiara Mazzucco. [62] INDIE CHICK | THEINDIECHICKS.COM


HAUTE STREET: Tell us about yourself. Where you grew up, siblings, family, friends, dreams, traditions, etc. CHIARA MAZZUCCO: I grew up in a wonderfully open-minded household of doit-yourselfers. I woke up every morning being pushed to educate myself, question authority, and to never take life so seriously, most of which I’ve adopted as general life mantras. The majority of my life was spent in a magical little home in West Hollywood; a place filled with cats, dogs, and family friends coming for dinner, card games, and viewings of my dad’s movies. My brother and I moved here with my parents, while my older sister stayed in Italy to finish school. Now that my entire family moved back to Italy and I moved to New York, I treasure those memories and am so grateful they built such a foundation for my definition of happiness. I will accept nothing less than my household becoming a circus of laughter, creativity, and inspiration for every guest.

HS: When did you move to the states? Tell us about that experience. CM: I moved here February 20th, 1994. The first thing I remember was opening my eyes as we were leaving LAX and seeing a gigantic donut (courtesy of the iconic Randy’s Donuts). “This is America?” I asked my dad. “Yup, this is America.”


I had a bowl cut and a unibrow, wore leotards, and didn’t speak a word of English. Mean girls tried to get me to go into the boys bathroom, while assuring me that in America the color blue meant for girls, and I would go home frustrated with the English language. “Pretend you have a hamburger in your mouth. It’ll help the words not come out so crisp,” my dad would say.

HS: What is the hardest part about starting your life here in the states? CM: Being a kid is hard in general. Remove verbal communication and you’re left with hand signals and facial expressions, neither of which is well developed at the tender age of 7. Not only that, but the culture shock was unbelievable. Growing up in Milan I had made friends with the Nigerian man who sold bracelets on my corner, but aside from that I wasn’t used to seeing people that were much different than I was. I was also so young, I wasn’t really looking for it.

Photography by Marc Royce Instagram @marcroyce Styling by Joey Tierney Instagram @joeytierney Hair by Shannon Kim Instagram @shannonkimhair Make up by Jadyn Ngo Instagram @jadynngo

@hautestreet x #theMUSEdiaries

HS: What is a piece of advice that has kept you going and growing?

“No matter what you go through in life, you’re the only one guaranteed to be in it.”

CM: It’s helped me redirect the focus to me when I have most needed it. A broken heart can easily make you feel like your entire world is shattered for good, so what do you do? You remind yourself that even soul mates are just visitors on your path and that you alone walk it. Nurture yourself and direct the energy where it’s needed most.

Read the full interview on

Top and Shorts- MASON



HS: Can you tell us about a life changing moment that you've experienced? CM: I have had many life changing moments, but none have played as big of a role into my ‘today’ as the moment I was raped by my boyfriend when I was 15. Yes, it changed my life and my definition of sex and had, and continues to have, an impact on my relationships. However, it’s the reason I started blogging. It’s the reason I wrote a book. It’s the reason I went through the transformation I went through that led me to start The Indie Chicks and lead a movement of self-empowerment. So really, its impact was much greater, and better, than anything I could have ever imagined.

HS: How did that change you? CM: For the better. After him, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, and the two combined made me hide into an empty shell for the better part of my high school years. The day came I could no longer handle the darkness and I decided to change. I created an ideal version of myself - a badass, don’t you dare think you’re worthy of breaking me - and I devoted an entire year to becoming her. One day, I was her, and from that day on, she’s been the foundation of strength for every single struggle I have faced in my life.

HS: When and why did you decide to start The Indie Chicks? CM: The idea came up in February of 2012 and the site launched in May, so we’ve been up and running a little over 2 years. As a dating blogger, a lot of what I was writing on my personal blog was tailored to the individual and the concept of self-improvement and self-analysis came up a lot in my advice. I realized there was a real need to target the self and decided the best way to do so was to put together some of the best women writers on the web and start a movement.

HS: What has been one of your biggest challenges when starting a company like this?



CM: Anyone with an online presence knows how hard it is to get noticed. You may have a great idea for a website, but when you’re competing with big sites overpowering the web for a reader’s attention, it makes it pretty hard to get your site noticed. Gathering writers, doing brand outreach, hyping up the launch, and building something that would actually retain visitors was a lot to juggle with such a small team. Finding balance and learning to prioritize was definitely a start-up challenge.

HS: What has been your biggest motivation?


CM: Once we started getting positive feedback for the website, there was no going back. Every email that begins with, “Your website helped me…” or, “Because of you, I…” motivates me to keep going, be better, and give more. Building something I can tell my son I started building when he was a baby motivates me. My partners and my entire team motivate me. My reflection in the mirror motivates me. I can’t stop now. I have to keep going.

HS: What is a piece of advice you could give your 20 -year-old self ? CM: “Keep going, listen to yourself. You’re on the right path. Every bit of doubt you’re feeling is coming from the right place.” I was about 20 when I started giving in to the doubt that what I was told was supposed to be my life - college, husband, white picket fence and 2.5 kids- was actually not for me. I truly believe we’re a lot more self-aware at a much younger age than we give ourselves credit for. So my advice would be to give in to that selfawareness.

HS: What is a piece of advice you can give women who are starting their own companies? CM: Find mentorship in everyone you know. I think a big mistake we make is think we need to seek out mentorship specific to our field, but one thing I’ve learned is that mentors invest in people, not ‘concepts’ or ‘ideas’. Ask as many questions as you can, even if you’re outside sharing a cigarette at a party. The absorption of information from experienced individuals will get you further than any textbook can. Oh, and network, network, network.

HS: Where do you see The Indie Chicks 5 years from now? CM: Louder. I think we’re really on to something because we’re feeding into a woman’s real need. Our brand is about focusing on the inner sense of self. We’re about empowering the person you are those 5 seconds you first wake up in the morning, before you become someone’s mother, wife, lover, or business partner. We all have a core that needs to be nourished. We’re tapping into as many microphones as possible so we can get our message to more people. So in 5 years, I expect us to be bigger, better, and most of all, louder.



The Muses x INDIE CHICK photo by: Marc Royce

and seeing how people live. You don't have to travel to Africa to do so. There are people here in the US and in every country around the World that live uniquely and differently than you. Knowledge is power. And ignorance is not a muse-worthy trait. We have to be willing to understand one another, the community we live in, and give our best to appreciate the nuances of the World. That's my advice. I think it's invaluable.

ERICA DRISCOLL What is the hardest part about following your dream and thinking outside the box? I think the hardest part about following your dream is that there is no set path or way for you to get there, but that's also what makes it exciting. It’s all about figuring things out as you go and taking little steps everyday towards where you want to be.

Recently, along with my boyfriend, Jesse Metcalfe, I traveled to Africa with UNICEF. The experience is forever embedded in my mind. I gained a new appreciation and perspective on life that was humbling and motivating at the same time. After 36 hours of travel, we landed in Botswana, Africa where we spent the next 10 days traveling to villages in rural areas of the country where they didn’t have health care, meal supply, education and often times housing. Many of the people we met lived in squatter camps made of scrap metal, ate food they received after traveling to the nearest city or from animals they killed, didn't bathe, have never been to school and most shockingly, didn't even know their own age. I was struck when I met this beautiful mother of two, who was sitting in her filthy, modest village breast-feeding her infant. She was soft and kind, but scared and alert. I began talking to her with a translator. I asked her what she wished for most. I expected to hear something about money, food, to have a house. Instead, her eyes welled up immediately. She said, "to know how old I am". It hit me. This mother of two didn't know the most fundamental information about herself. No records of her life even existed! The government wasn't even aware of her. She was a nameless, faceless person in


a country filled with people. How can you be helped when you aren't even known? She was anonymous. It was at that moment I realized how for granted I had taken things in my life. Obviously, it's all relative. However, it changed my perspective on life in a way that I'm not sure I can even articulate. It was a moment, I will never forget. There shouldn't be a single sole that is forgotten or invisible. It's our responsibility to have them be seen. I'll remember this for the rest of my life. What's your advice to our readers? My advice to Muses and Indie Chicks is to experience the World. Be open to learning

photo by: Easton Schirra


What advice has kept you growing in your career and why? Break out of your comfort zone! I feel like some of the most rewarding things have happened when I was scared to do something and did it anyway. Take risks, challenge yourself, you’ll be amazed what you’re capable of.

NADIN NAUMANN What do the MUSE diaries mean to you? To me, the MUSE diaries is an amazing outlet where I can share my passions, goals and adventures. I hope that what I share

The Original Muse: Joey Tierney Be authentic in whatever you do and don’t be afraid to share it with the world!

through the diaries inspire other women. I've had some great experiences in my life but also some very tough ones, and I want other girls who are out there to see that not only are they not alone, but they can achieve anything they set their mind to. It's also given me the opportunity to meet other strong women from all over the world from different backgrounds and professions - all with a new kind of story to tell, and I love that!     What advice would you give to the future Indie Chicks of the world? There's really nothing you cannot do as long as you set your mind to it. The best things in life are often the hardest to achieve and take a lot of work, but the rewards are often amazing. So, don't ever give up! We all have the potential to be the best Indie Chick out there.  

ORIT GARBOURG Can you share a moment of life that was a hardship? How did you turn that into positive?

Some things in life can be difficult and overwhelming, but you can always push those things a little bit further. Bikram Yoga taught me that. Yoga has connected my mind, body and soul, and created deeply fulfilling change and growth on every level. With my commitment to regular practice, I am able to clear my mind and connect with my heart in a way that flows into my everyday life that brings me such joy. I have so much gratitude for my practice because it has given me back to myself and I have learned so much about who I am. None of this would have happened if on May of this year I didn’t have a tragic bicycle accident injuring both of my knees that prevented me from running, working, and even doing my daily routine. My energy was low, I was stressed and even a bit afraid I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent on time. My roommate Pat suggested I sign up with Bikram Yoga LES. I had heard good things about Bikram but weren’t sure if this was the right time to make a monetary commitment. Sometimes you have to take a risk; and I did, no regrets. I am a much better person today, fully recovered both physically and mentally and ready to boom! Oh yeah just remember, think positive, breath and keep a good balance. That’s how I roll.


WHAT INSPIRED HAUTE STREET X THE MUSE DIARIES? Being surrounded by fascinating women all of the time inspired us to create the muse diaries. The MUSE diaries is a platform for interesting, international women to tell their stories and inspire the people around them. MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE? Anything is possible. IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO ONE MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE - WHEN WOULD IT BE? I would love to be in Santorini with my husband. It was paradise. IF SOMEONE WAS WRITING A STORY ON YOUR LIFE, WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD CALL IT? They would call it … DIAMOND LIFE. :) WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL CONNECTION TO THE INDIE CHICKS AND WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT? I’ve known Chiara for many years and I’m so inspired by her and proud of what she has accomplished. The Indie Chicks are AWESOME! WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU? Usually by 7AM I’ve watched 2 episodes of Law & Order.

photo by: Cyle Suesz

TELL US ABOUT A MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE THAT “CHANGED” YOU. When I first moved into Olive Crest group home at the age of 14 - I knew I had a tough road ahead. The girls were not that friendly so I focused on school and the arts. I emancipated on my 18th birthday.



Health & Fitness

*From THE FIT BOTTOMED GIRLS ANTI-DIET. Š 2014 by Fit Bottomed Girls LLC. Reprinted by permission of Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a| THEINDIECHICKS.COM Penguin Random House company. INDIE CHICK


Hailed as a favorite website by Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and Time Magazine; is a one-stop shop for fitness fun and motivation for women of all shapes and sizes. Since the site’s launch in 2008, Fit Bottomed Girls has also added and, bringing a similar, sassy approach to parenting and cooking.Â


an excerpt from

The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet Jennipher Walters & Erin Whitehead, co-founders of

A Flawed Idea of Beauty “Nobody’s perfect.â€? We all know this, and yet we beat ourselves up for our lack of perfection. So here is our message to you, and listen up: Nobody is perfect, and no body is perfect, HLWKHU(YHU\RQHFDQSRLQWWRKHUĂ€DZV²HYHQ WKRVH ZKRP ZH SHUFHLYH DV EHLQJ Ă€DZOHVV Ask anyone, from supermodels to regular Fit Bottomed Girls, and we are willing to bet that every one of them can name something they’d change. Everyone is her own harshest critic. Those imperfections, though, are what make us unique. Just think of Cindy Crawford’s beauty mark, model Lauren Hutton’s gaptoothed grin, or Tina Fey’s scar. Those people wouldn’t quite be themselves without those signatures. 7KH GHÂżQLWLRQ RI EHDXW\ FKDQJHV RYHU WLPH just head to an art museum and you’ll see proof of how much our idea of beauty has shifted across cultures and centuries. Women depicted in art certainly don’t seem WRÂżWQHDWO\LQWRWRGD\ÂśVVWDQGDUGRIEHDXW\² imagine seeing Mona Lisa walk the runways at fashion week. And if you think about it, the standard of beauty in the Western world today is really unfair. Professional hair and makeup artists can hide anything, and the right lighting and perfect pose can go a really ORQJ ZD\ LQ Ă€DWWHULQJ WKH LPSHUIHFW :KHUH even makeup and lighting fail, airbrushing and technology can accomplish the rest. It’s a rare magazine cover that doesn’t Photoshop SHUFHLYHG Ă€DZV DQG Âż[ ÂłLPSHUIHFWLRQV´ Even though most of us are aware that these types of images are digitally edited, that still doesn’t mean we don’t compare ourselves to these “idealsâ€? of beauty. It’s hard not to, particularly because we’re bombarded with these images every day, from billboards to magazine ads to TV commercials. But

when even the likes of gorgeous actresses and models have to be Photoshopped to be considered worthy of a cover, what message is it sending to the rest of us?

A Flawed Idea of Body Weight

We’re not experts on eating disorders, but they are worth mentioning because media and outside pressures to be thin and beautiful can trigger unhealthy behaviors. While there is no single cause of eating disorders or body dissatisfaction— psychological, behavioral, biological, emotional, interpersonal, and social factors all play a role— research shows that the media do play a part. Studies have linked exposure to the thin ideal projected in the mass media to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among women. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re making changes for the right reasons. /RRNLQJ IDEXORXV LV D JUHDW VLGH H̆HFW RI eating well and working out, but it should never be the sole goal. Rather than focusing your mental energy on that bikini, your dress size, or looking like that cover model, shift \RXU WKLQNLQJ WR DOO RI WKH KHDOWK EHQH¿WV you’re getting from the good decisions you’re making. Concentrate on how balanced your nutrition is, and how much energy you have. A whole- health mentality will keep you focused well beyond swimsuit season.

The media’s generalization of thin as the beautiful ideal can also be harmful. It sets us up to believe that there is only one “rightâ€? way to look and to be healthy, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a wide range of KHDOWK\ZHLJKWVDQGWKHUHLVQRRQHVL]HÂżWV all formula. Likewise, believing you should be a certain pant size— especially if the last time you were that size was in toddlerhood— just messes with your mind. Some people will never be a size 6 or 10, no matter how much weight they lose, simply because their bone structure doesn’t match that size. Short of some seriously drastic surgery, it’s pretty tough to change your bones.

Beauty isn’t just about whether you’ve got a bikini body or the perfectly applied eyeliner. Beauty really does come from within. Just WKLQN RI SHRSOH ZKR GRQœW ¿W WKH WUDGLWLRQDO standard of beauty yet are found extremely attractive by the masses. They typically KDYH D FUD]\ FRQ¿GHQFH D VZDJJHU D VHQVH of humor, an amazing talent, a personality that’s larger than life. They are imperfect, but they highlight their positives so much that we see their true beauty. Think of that musician you want to make out with when you see him play the guitar or that comedian who is unconventionally pretty in a quirky way. Think of your best gal pals. Do you hang out While body mass index (BMI) charts can give with them because they’re super skinny and you a general range of healthy weights to hot? Nope. You hang out with them because VKRRWIRUWKH\œUHQRWJRLQJWREHDGH¿QLWLYH WKH\œUHVXSHUIXQFRQ¿GHQWDQGDEODVWWREH standard for everyone, either, as they don’t around. Beauty isn’t about looks alone, it’s a account for bone structure or muscle mass. package deal. No chart or online quiz is going to give you RQH VSHFL¿F QXPEHU WKDW LV \RXU SHUIHFW These are some of the reasons we started Fit weight. We’re all individuals, and everyone Bottomed Girls. We wanted women to know has her own ideal weight— and even her own that they could be healthy without being a range of what will work for her. Use BMI, VSHFL¿F QXPEHU RQ WKH VFDOH 7KH\ FRXOG EH standards for weight based on your height, ¿WDWDYDVWUDQJHRIZHLJKWV7KDWWKHUHLVQR and body fat percentage charts as guidelines one perfect standard because, as humans, we pointing you in the right direction, not as DUH DOO VR GL̆HUHQW :H ZDQWHG WR EH D VDQH measures of success or failure. Instead, aim voice in all of the incessant chatter to reassure IRUDERG\WKDWLVVWURQJÀH[LEOHDQGDOORZV women that they don’t need to restrict, or you to do the activities you want to do. Again, overexercise, or hit a number to be perfect. not a perfect body according to society, but They’re just right as they are. There is beauty one that supports the healthy and feel- good in a wide range of looks and most of it comes lifestyle that you want— and deserve. IURPZLWKLQ/LNHZHDOZD\VVD\¿WERWWRPV come in all shapes and sizes!Ŝ





I’ve always battled with my body image. In my mind, there was always this person I wanted to be. She was the epitome of perfection. Beautiful, thin and so stylish. I constantly berated myself for not being her, even when I wasn’t actively trying to do anything about my exterior. I lost myself in a pattern of self-loathing, crash dieting, gimmicks and tricks. Exhausted from the cycle, I stumbled upon the kind of inspiration that changed everything. 7KHVFDOHDQG,DUHÂżQDOO\VWDUWLQJWRJHWDORQJ:HOO more like I’ve stopped caring about what it says. That wasn’t always the case. For years I let that number rule me. I let it tell me that I wasn’t good enough on some days and that I better not get fat on others. Never once did the scale tell me I was doing great or on the right track. Instead, it always gave me something to be disappointed about. I’ve done some radical things to lose weight. I’ve ridden the yo-yo between strict discipline and “fuck it.â€? At one point I realized it had to be a lifestyle, but was pretty sure that the lifestyle had to be miserable. , ZRQGHUHG ZK\ LW VHHPHG VR H̆RUWOHVV IRU RWKHUV After trying what seemed like everything, I found myself at a loss. And then, it hit me: Fitness I know that seems obvious, but I never thought of ÂżWQHVVIRUZKDWLWZDV$OO,VDZZDVH[HUFLVLQJDQG RI FRXUVH GLHWLQJ %XW H[HUFLVLQJ DQG ÂżWQHVV DUH DFWXDOO\ SUHWW\ GL̆HUHQW , VWDUWHG IROORZLQJ ÂżWQHVV accounts on Twitter, which led me to reading articles


RQ ¿WQHVV DQG WKHQ HYHQWXDOO\ IROORZLQJ ³¿WVSRV´ RQ,QVWDJUDP:KLOHWKHUHZDVDWRQRIEHDXWLIXO¿W women on the social platform, there weren’t any I could identify with. Most of them had that look I’d always wanted, but found to be unattainable.

And then I discovered Ashley Horner Ashley is the ultimate badass Indie Chick of the ¿WQHVV ZRUOG 6KH GRHVQœW ORRN OLNH WKH NLQG RI chick who starves herself, or runs for an eternity on the treadmill. Her body is athletic, something I FDQ ¿QDOO\ LGHQWLI\ ZLWK 6KH ORRNV OLNH WKH NLQG RI ZRPDQZKRFDQÀLSRYHUDFDURQHPLQXWHDQGWKHQ toss on a dress and heels the next, completely owning her femininity. What I love about her even more than her look is her genuine kindness. She is a source of inspiration for thousands of women and she doesn’t take that responsibility lightly. She encourages women to be strong, to test and VXUSDVVWKHLUOLPLWVDQGPRVWRIDOOWR¿QGEHDXW\LQ their strength.

in your

Strength by: Chrystal Rose




My mindset began to shift as I thought about everything I had overcome mentally and emotionally over the course of my life. I am one strong chick. What would happen if I started to wear my strength on the outside? What would happen if instead of restricting myself, I ate to fuel myself and my workouts? What would happen if I focused more on challenges and being strong than the number on the scale? What if my strength told me I could, when the scale always told me that I could never?

Ashley Horner (now Cline) is a fitspiration to thousands of women and encourages their support of each other in a very active community. A mom of 2 (with one on the way) she inspires women to push their limits, get fit and to find the beauty in their strength.

There is a freeing feeling when things start to click. I have always worked to be the best possible version of myself on the inside and I thought I was trying to accomplish that on the outside as well. But all I was really doing was ¿QGLQJGL̆HUHQWZD\VWRQRWEHJRRGHQRXJK, didn’t realize that what I wanted to accomplish on the outside needed to start from within.

The Lies You Are Told

Carbs are bad for you They really aren’t. Carbs help to fuel your workouts, not to mention eating low carb or no carb diets can actually slow your metabolism.

• • • • •

Eating fat will make you fat False. You actually need fats to burn fat, keep your hormones in balance and they help you to absorb essential vitamins. Lifting weights will make you look manly/bulky ,WLVDFWXDOO\UHDOO\GL̇FXOWWRJHWELJDVD female. You have to try excessively hard to get big if that’s what you want. Lifting weights actually creates that “toned” look everyone keeps talking about. You need to watch your weight Watch your weight do what? If you aren’t obese your actual weight means very little. I weigh 5 pounds more than I did last year, only this year I’m considerably leaner. Muscle weighs more than fat At least people are trying with this one, though it always makes me crazy to hear it. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh exactly the same. Muscle is denser than fat, so having more muscle and less fat makes you look smaller—no matter your weight. &DUGLRLVWKHEHVWZD\WRJHW¿W &DUGLR LV ¿QH ,I FDUGLR LV \RXU WKLQJ² go for it. But lifting weights also burns calories and builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.


How to Start Finding the Beauty in Your Strength Challenge Yourself I’m all about mental and emotional challenges, but it wasn’t until last year when I ran a Spartan race that I realized how amazing a physical challenge could make me feel, both mentally and physically. This year I plan to run a Tough Mudder, to take it to another level. Stumbling upon Ashley gave me an opportunity to admire someone who may be in incredible shape, but still constantly challenges herself. She’s not just some gym bunny, running like a hamster on a treadmill, she’s an athlete. She sees an obstacle and tears it down. She sees a challenge and takes it on with a smile. When you challenge yourself physically, you start to be able to do things you never before thought you could do. The small and large accomplishments will give you a boost and you’ll start to challenge yourself even more.

Numbers that Matter Rather than worrying about what the scale says, start concerning yourself with the numbers that coincide with your accomplishments. Did you make better time on your run today than you did last week? Or did you run further this time? Are you able to lift heavier weight or complete more reps? Even if the improvement is small, it’s something worth noting. The better you get at something the more accomplished you’ll feel.

Strength is Beauty The scars you have, on the outside as well as on the inside, are a part of you. You’ve battled, scratched and clawed through some seemingly impossible moments. Some things have left you damaged in some type of way, but you’re here. You’re still standing and the mere fact that you’ve endured-- makes you beautiful. Your strength on the inside can be worn on the outside DV D UHÀHFWLRQ RI DOO WKH KDUG ZRUN you’ve put in. So why not start WU\LQJ WR ¿QG WKH EHDXW\ LQ \RXU strength?Ŷ




•Want more of Erin and her kick ass motivation? Follow her on Instagram and like her Facebook page (FitRockerChick)


Mama-Jama! The Best 30 Minute Workout: Strength Intervals by: Erin Mullins Sanderson

You'll need: A pair of dumbbells (1015lbs)

Warm Up: Do jumping jacks or light jump rope for 30 seconds, then easy alternating lunges for 45 seconds. Repeat three times. After the warm-up, do each exercise for 1 minute in order, alternating cardio with strength. Repeat the entire circuit (moves 1 through 6) four times.

You want to know the real secret to getting a rockin' bod? Intensity in training. Period. You can spend an hour on the treadmill and you'll never get the rock solid body you want…sorry. Not gonna happen. But I won’t leave you hanging. I come in peace, and bearing good news! You don't need to spend more than 30 minutes working out - in fact, I never workout for more than 30 minutes! When I hit the gym, I hit it hard and I'm out. Short bursts of intense work are the key, and you should always be progressing, not in time spent or endurance, but in strength. I want to share with you one of my favorite workouts. I've done it at home, on the road, outside, in hotel rooms... almost everywhere. It's hard, you'll sweat, it might suck for a minute, but it gets the job DONE! You'll be out in 30 minutes and you'll have the rockin' bod you want in no time! 

1. PRISONER SQUAT WITH A JUMP: CARDIO Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed out towards the corner of the room, and fingers clasped behind your head. Lower your body down until your legs are parallel with the floor, then POWER up, leaping off the ground. Remember to land softly and maintain a straight back.


Don't forget to cool down and stretch after you complete your workout. It's so easy to skip it, but it helps to prevent injury and helps you to continue to being a bad ass!

2. OVERHEAD WEIGHTED LUNGES (FORWARD/BACKWARD): STRENGTH Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell overhead, arms extended. Take a big step forward with your left foot and lower into a lunge. With all the weight in the heel of your forward foot, press off and take a big step back with the same foot. Repeat forward and backward lunges.

02817$,1&/,0%(56b&$5',2 Get in push-up or plank position with your arms straight underneath your armpits and your core tight. Raise your right knee toward your chest, return to plank and repeat with your left leg. That’s one rep. Alternate as quickly as possible while maintaining form.

photos by: WyndPaisleyco




With a pair of dumbbells, lean forward hinging at the waist. With a straight back balance on one foot, while kicking the opposite leg out. Lift back up keeping the weight in your grounded foot and squeezing the glutes. Without letting the lifted foot touch the ground, raise the knee and finish with a bicep curl.Â

5. SKATERS: CARDIO Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides. Hop to the right, landing on right foot while sweeping left foot diagonally behind right leg and swinging left arm across body and right arm behind back. Jump to left, switching legs and arms to complete one rep. Repeat as quickly as possible while maintaining balance and form.

A 3-part movement, begin with arms overhead (standing shoulder press) and one knee lifted. Drop your weights to the side as you lunge to the side. Once you have lunged down, press up through your heel and return to the starting position of standing shoulder press with knee lift.Â


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Love & Sex


5 Signs You're NOT READY to Date [Seriously] by: Chiara Mazzucco

Do you hear the time ticking? There’s a faint sound of wedding invitation envelopes being ripped open. Your ovaries explode a little every time you hear a baby giggle. Every tinder right swipe holds the key to the potential love of your life. Time is ticking, isn’t it? There is love to be felt, relationships to be had, and families to be built. You’re not getting any younger, baby, but there are reasons you shouldn’t jump the gun to settle down and here’s why.


Times have changed. Women are putting WKHLUFDUHHUV¿UVWWKH\œUHWDNLQJELUWKFRQWURO and they’re signing divorce papers and abandoning tradition for the sake of their own happiness. Women are being smart(er) about their romantic next steps and yet, for some reason, they still suck at making the right call when it comes to settling down. They either boyfriend-jump to ease the intermediate pain between relationships, or they run away from potential bliss out of fear of commitment. Where do you stand in the spectrum? Are you a good judge when it comes to deciding whether or not you’re ready to date seriously?

You’re fresh out of another relationship

You promised yourself some me time When something huge happens in our lives and it drains us down to the core, turning LQZDUG FDQ EH DQ H̆HFWLYH IRUP RI KHDOLQJ 0D\EH\RXVSHQWDVLJQL¿FDQWDPRXQWRIWLPH devoting yourself to caring for someone else and it left you feeling like a scorned step-child, or maybe you just buried yourself in a new job and emerged only to realize you had neglected your health and your well-being along the way. Regardless of what sucked you dry, you have nothing left of yourself to give to a new relationship.

Not to mention, a promise to yourself needs to be a sacred thing. You’re granted a few ,SXWWKLV¿UVWEHFDXVHLWœVWKHPRVWFRPPRQ exceptions in life, but it’s important that As soon as our hearts break, we immediately you get into the habit of making promises to rush to new love to cover up the wounds. yourself and then following through. If you We rely on the hope of a fresh, new, out-of- don’t, how are others supposed to follow the-box relationship to erase the pain from through with promises they make to you? WKH ODVW 7KLV LV WKH ELJJHVW UHG ÀDJ ZKHQ LW comes to seriously dating someone new and regardless of your stance on rebounds, it’s a recipe for yet another broken heart.

You just started pursuing a dream To have a dream for yourself is wonderful, and to begin pursuit of it is nothing short of courageous. You should pat yourself on the back for being bold enough to take the leap because most dreams are hard to chase. It probably ZDVQ WHDV\ZDONLQJDZD\IURPDVHFXUH paycheck to launch a new business. I bet taking night classes to educate yourself LQDQHZÂżHOGLVUHDOO\GUDLQLQJRQ\RXU day. :KHQ \RX ÂżQG VRPHWKLQJ \RX ZDQW WR achieve and you begin the journey to get there, you owe it to yourself to follow through because making dreams come WUXH XVXDOO\ UHTXLUHV PDNLQJ VDFULÂżFHV You know what else usually requires VRPHIRUPRIVDFULÂżFH"$UHODWLRQVKLS,I \RX VDFULÂżFH \RXUVHOI IRU ERWK \RXÂśOO EH left with nothing.

You’re in the middle of a huge life transition Life throws curveballs and some people just wake up one day to realize they want to move to a new city and completely start fresh. You can wake up on a random Monday, walk into a meeting



7 Signs youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re wasting your time 1. <RXÂżQG\RXUVHOI going out with the weirdest guys because, eh, you never know.

2. You feel alone, even if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing someone.

3. DQG JHW ÂżUHG /LIHÂśV GRXEOHHGJHG VZRUG LV KRZ unpredictable and equally tumultuous it can be. In the span of your life, you will have a handful of turning points that will require you to be present in order to move past them. Focusing on a new relationship is not the right place to focus your energies.

Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re unable to answer questions about yourself This one is hard and mostly relatable for women who have the tendency to jump from relationship to relationship. Being alone between relationships is a really important time for self-development. You need to absorb the lessons from your last relationship and you need to allow yourself to grow from it. You also need to put yourself in situations where your independence is tested. Are you able to survive on your own? Are you able to deal with problems without relying on others to solve them for you? You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t answer those questions if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re constantly with someone else. Yes, you learn a lot about yourself being in a healthy relationship, but you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t learn everything. There are certain lessons we need to learn all on our own and if there are questions about yourself that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t answer and that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t learn from your partner, you have no business being in a relationship.


Be a Good Judge Does any of this mean you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a successful relationship if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going through any of these 5 VLJQV"'HÂżQLWHO\QRW$KHDOWK\UHODWLRQVKLSPLJKW be just what the doctor ordered, because if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real ORYHLWFRXOGDFWXDOO\RĚ&#x2020;HUWKHNLQGRIVXSSRUW\RX need to make it through. That said, you have to ÂżUVW JHW LQWR WKH UHODWLRQVKLS WR UHDOL]H LI LWÂśV WUXH ORYH RU D SDVVLQJ Ă&#x20AC;LQJ DQG LWÂśV XVXDOO\ WKH ODWWHU 6RDVN\RXUVHOIFDQ\RXDĚ&#x2020;RUGWKHWULDODQGHUURU" Could this guy actually be the one? Be honest with yourself. 7KHUHÂśVDOVRDGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQFHEHWZHHQEHLQJRQDKXQW for a relationship and considering a relationship ZLWK VRPHRQH VSHFLÂżF WKDW \RXÂśYH IRXQG \RXUVHOI drawn to. I have heard so many women say they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to be single anymore and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s usually a warning sign that you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be getting into a new relationships for the right reasons. When you hunt for a relationship, you create expectations for the guy you end up with before you even know him, and that can set you up for major problems down the road. Ultimately, you know yourself better than anyone else, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve just gotten really good at lying to yourself and justifying your decisions. You know whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready to date and you know if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing it for the right reasons. Yes, there is a ticking clock and time is precious, so when you dedicate time to love, do so with a conscious heart. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t waste time on something when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not right, and ZRUU\DERXW\RXUVHOIÂżUVWHYHU\WKLQJHOVHZLOOIDOO into place.Ĺś

You make excuses for the guy youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re dating because you think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the best youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to get.

4. You secretly envy women who are fearless, single, and completely independent.

5. You also secretly envy women in happy, fairytale-like relationships.

6. You wish you could travel, alone.

7. You feel empty and dating boys doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do the trick.


by: Chrystal Rose


The struggle for men and women to understand each other is nothing new. :H DUH VR GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQW IURP HDFK RWKHU LQ VR many ways; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wonder weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re of the same species. Nothing is more frustrating than being in love with someone and constantly IHHOLQJPLVXQGHUVWRRG3HUVRQDOO\,ÂżQGLW to be the loneliest feeling. Communication is the key element to any relationship and you both must be dedicated to it. However, there are far too many times you attempt to communicate and end up going around in circles. Sometimes for hours. How is this getting you anywhere? This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t to say that men donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play their own role in this, of course they do. I have said so many times that when it comes to our relationships, more often than not, women are the catalyst. We are proactive and men are reactive to us. If we make a change in our behavior, they will follow suit. As an Indie Chick, sometimes you need to be the one to step up and make changes; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

not about him winning or you having to do the hard work. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about being the one to set the changes in motion, for the greater good of the relationship.

HEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NOT A MIND READER Look girl, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t roll your eyes at me. If you are upset with someone itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your responsibility to tell them why youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re upsetâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not make them guess. I know that when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re feeling the mix of emotions, you think he should have some grasp of what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done to cause it. This is far less true than you can realize. 9 times out of 10 heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to have zero clue what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re upset about. Chances are if he has an idea what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re upset about, he may still not understand why. Why not tell him? Do you enjoy the chaos that misunderstanding brings to your relationship? Do you enjoy watching him be XQFRPIRUWDEOHDQGWU\WRÂżJXUHRXWZKDWKH did to upset you?



DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T ACCUSE If you want to sink your ship quickly, going LQ ZLWK JXQV EOD]LQJ DQG DFFXVDWLRQV Ă&#x20AC;\LQJ is a sure way to do it. Sometimes, when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m pissed, I have already created my own story of what went down and suddenly becomes very GLĚ&#x2021;FXOW WR OLVWHQ WR DQ\WKLQJ RWKHUZLVH DQG by the time things are hashed out, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m the one that needs to do some apologizing. 6KRRWLQJ ÂżUVW DQG DVNLQJ TXHVWLRQV ODWHU never helped anyone, and it certainly isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to get you on common ground. Ask TXHVWLRQVÂżQGWKHWUXWKDQGJLYHWKHEHQHÂżW of the doubt. You both deserve that.

DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T HINT To men, hints are like invisible ninjas. They QHYHUVHHWKHPĂ&#x20AC;\E\DQGIUHTXHQWO\JHWWKHLU asses kicked by them. Hints do not work. Subtle hints, strong hints, obvious hintsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; none of them work. If you want something you need to come right out and tell him. Save yourself the time and energy spent by dropping hints and then being upset he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pick up on your needs or wants. They arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind readers or detectives; it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to EHWKDWGLĚ&#x2021;FXOW-XVWWHOOWKHP

DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T REHASH Leave games for the people in toxic relationships and let him in on what upset you. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be amazed at how much quicker you can come to a solution and move forward together.

SEPARATE YOUR FEELINGS FROM HIS ACTIONS Sometimes our emotions get the best of us and when someone does something that hurts us, we tend to have a wave of feelings surrounding it. Sometimes these emotions can cloud reality. Unless youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re dating a jerk or have some sort of childish, hurtful relationship, your guy shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be saying or doing things intentionally to hurt you. So letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s say he did something. It hurt you. He didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean for it to hurt you. What then? Do you punish him for it? I can assure you the majority of men hate being the cause of our pain. So take a step back and think what it was that he did or said that hurt youâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and then tell him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you said you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care whether or not I came with you, it made me feel like you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t


care whether or not you had my company. It hurt my feelings because I want you to want me with you.â&#x20AC;? I know. That all seemed incredibly transparent and honest, but telling him how something he said made you feel will show him that while he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do something wrong, his actions or words made you feel a certain way. If he knows how to make it better, he will most likely try to do so.

TAKE SOME TIME In the heat of the moment we both have the ability to make everything worse. You get upset, he gets defensive. Before you know it youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re arguing about the way you said something or how he answered a question rather than the issue at hand. Before you approach, try to take a step back WRSURFHVV,WÂśVVRHDV\WRGLYHLQWRDÂżJKWRU discussion without calmly thinking about LW ÂżUVW 3URGXFWLYH GLVFXVVLRQV UDUHO\ RFFXU when either party is upset, so do yourself a favor here. Taking some time, remaining calm and a less emotional approach is for HYHU\RQHÂśVEHQHÂżW

Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing more frustrating than thinking an issue has been resolved, only to have it tossed in your face later as ammo. Better communication means truly resolving each issue as they come. If you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite over something, be honest about it. Take the time you need without hanging it over WKHLU KHDG 7KHQ ÂżJXUH RXW KRZ \RX FDQ JHW past it and move on. Do not use each new circumstance as a plate to pile on past issues. If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a recurring issue, address it, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just rehash old news for the sake of it.

TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT These tips donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just have to be applied to misunderstandings, arguments and ÂżJKWV 0DNLQJ PRUH RI DQ HĚ&#x2020;RUW WR honestly communicate can open all kind of communication doorways in your relationship. Sharing your wants, desires and needs will JLYH KLP DQ RSSRUWXQLW\ WR IXOÂżOO WKHP DQG as a result, make you happy. Learning to communicate properly with your man creates a safe space for him to communicate back with you. Once the lines are free and open, as a couple, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no stopping you.Ĺś

How to Lose a Guy in One Tinder This hilarious girl is taking the Tinder world by storm, one douchebag at a time. We absolutely love how she flips the script when a guy gets creepy with her. Sure, it'd be great if the dating world was creep-free, but let's face it, if this is our only defense, we'll take it. For more hilarious conversations, visit Emily's blog,

QA & What made you decide to start messing with dudes on Tinder?

When I started the blog, I was unemployed, so I had plenty of time to sit on my phone for hours and talk to horny dudes (lucky me!). How to Lose a Guy in One Tinder came about from trying to make meaningful love connections happen with strangers on a brand new iPhone app, and all I got were dick pics. So... clearly I gave up on virtual love and started a blog.


, GRQ W NQRZ ZK\ WKLV RQH LV VWLFNLQJ RXW over others, but the one where I talked about collecting jizz and the reaction I got back. He was so grumpy.


Probably not! I feel like there have been moments where I talk to someone and think, "wow, this could really be something special." Then they write "show me ur tits," and then I cry and drink wine by myself.


I have heard of a few (very, very few) romantic success stories on Tinder, so if \RX UH ORRNLQJ IRU VRPHWKLQJ VXEVWDQWLDO look elsewhere. But if you just want to JHW VRPH RU MXVW VD\ UHDOO\ ZHLUG VWXĚ&#x2020; WR strangers when you show up wayyyy too early for drunk brunch, then all I have to say is: happy swiping! Get it girl.Ĺś.

Emily lives in NYC with her cactus, Spike. Her spirit animal is a hybrid of a baby sloth and Liz Lemon. She jams out on her acoustic guitar and has plans to write more about her weird dating stories in the very near future. Get excited. @millahhighlife



Can Lesbians Be Chauvinists?


by: Joanne Spataro

Joanne Spataro is a host, story curator and writer living in Charlotte, N.C. She focuses on LGBT issues with a dose of her irreverent humor. She has written for The Advocate, The Huffington Post, Creative Loafing, and The Charlotte Observer. A host of the kitschy, fresh web series Pillow Talk with Joanne, she takes a fluffy pink bed out on the streets of Charlotte to do interviews with local personalities, politicians and people. She recently co-hosted Charlotte Pride with drag queen Roxy C. Moorecox and burlesque performer Big Mamma D at Charlotte Pride in 2014, which attracted over 100,000 people



It was about 10pm when I decided to attend the tent party at a local lesbian bar. I had spent all day being my out-and-proud lesbian self as a host at Charlotte Pride 2014. My red polyester jumpsuit was holding up well, considering how I spent most of the day running from my trailer to the stage in the hot sun. My jumpsuit and I stepped into the tent party, which promised glitter, girls and a wet t-shirt contest. The only thing that seemed all wet, in a bad way, was me. The outdoor patio was a sea of worn black tank tops, which made me the brightlycolored life preserver. There were a few dresses, but no jumpsuits. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even bother ordering my signature Cosmopolitan. Great, then I would be holding a fruity cocktail while everyone else drank a beer, and even if I had a beer, I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to hold it in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;coolâ&#x20AC;? way. I talked to one woman there. I left after an hour. The next day, that same woman from the tent party messaged me. I told her I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t dance to the monotonous hip-hop when my jumpsuit craved disco or dance music. The next thing she said made me gasp, like a real one from my mouth. Not an emoticon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would have asked you to dance if you had been wearing a skirt,â&#x20AC;? she said. I had to assume it was a serious answer. It was not followed by a smiley face or the cheeky Ă&#x20AC;LUWDWLRQ RI D ZLQN\ IDFH , GRXEOH FKHFNHG WKH SURÂżOH SKRWR 1R VKH KDG QRW WXUQHG LQWR D ZKLWH PLGGOHDJHG PDQ ZLWKLQ WKH ODVW ÂżYH minutes. Her comment was rooted in male chauvinism. If I removed the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;male,â&#x20AC;? I was left with chauvinism, which means the feeling of entitlement and superiority in thinking to someone else or a group of people. If I put â&#x20AC;&#x153;femaleâ&#x20AC;? in front of that word, it seemed to describe my situation. ,VRUWHGWKURXJKP\IHHOLQJVDV\RXPLJKWVKXĚ&#x2C6;H a deck of cards. Unexpected faces came up. If I wanted to get treated like a piece of meat, I thought, I could call up this guy I once dated. He used to text and ask me what kind of underwear I wore each day. I always answered truthfully. Leopard one day, red the next. Sometimes Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d intentionally wear boring underwear so he could anticipate tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more exciting ones. When I got bored with the answers I was giving â&#x20AC;&#x201C; yes, black again, but with scalloped lace this time â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

I bought new underwear. It would have been cheaper to lie. Then I realized I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even need to compare female chauvinism to only traditional male chauvinism. Many women who love women assume that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m straight, which is just one form of chauvinism within the lesbian community. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the erasure of women who present in a feminine way and bisexual erasure, where lesbians discount women who date men and women. One lesbian told me sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never date a bisexual woman because she â&#x20AC;&#x153;couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t trust her.â&#x20AC;? This coming from a woman who was by QRPHDQVDJROGVWDUWKHGHÂżQLWLRQRIDZRPDQ who has never had intercourse with a man. I ZDVWKHJROGVWDUKHUHEXW,ÂżJXUHGWHOOLQJKHU my underwear texting story would be enough to ZULWHPHRĚ&#x2020;WKHOHVELDQ&KULVWPDVFDUGOLVW Then I came to the personal root of my sadness; more than the skirt comment, more than someone saying they couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t trust bisexual people. My ex-love used to insist I wear tampons LQVWHDG RI PD[L SDGV DQG ORRNHG PLĚ&#x2020;HG when I said I only used tampons when I went swimming. She would say in a patronizing voice that life would be so much easier for me if I used tampons all the time. This was not a helpful hint. Her words were tinged with superiority and narcissism. When I told her about Martha Stewartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tip on proper deodorant application, DVDFRQYHUVDWLRQVWDUWHUVKHVFRĚ&#x2020;HGDWPHDQG said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are you really telling me what to do?â&#x20AC;? No, I wanted to say, but you are. If she were my boyfriend, I would have had every right to smack her. But I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, because she was DZRPDQDQGWKLVFRXOGEHSOD\HGRĚ&#x2020;DVDUXQRI WKHPLOOÂżJKW,WZDVQÂśW,WZDVVRPHRQHWU\LQJWR assert themselves over another person to make WKHP IHHO VPDOO 7KH GHÂżQLWLRQ RI FKDXYLQLVP when you take gender out of the phrase. You should be doing it this way and I know what you need more than what you know you need for yourself. I dictate the rules and you need to follow them because I am superior. So it boils down to this: People can be pigs whether they are a woman or man. Find someone who respects you. Period. When someone holds you, promises not to break your heart and will dance with you whether you are in a jumpsuit, skirt or a burlap sack, hold on to that person. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good one.Ĺś



IS HE A REBOUND? by: Chiara Mazzucco

A rebound is a new relationship you dive head first into as way to get over your last. It could be nothing more than a fling, but chances are, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re rebounding, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re clinging to it hard enough to hope itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll fill some existing void.


You may be holding on to it and pretending LW VEHĆ&#x201D;HUWKDQLWLV You may also just feel EHĆ&#x201D;HUNHHSLQJKLP around, even if you GRQ WFDUHDERXWKLP Either way, you're doing it to not be DORQH


You never thought the relationship with your ex would ever end. The two of you were perfect for each other, as your grandmother often told you, and you were sure you were meant to be together forever. After everything the two of you went through, there was no way that a relationship that involved, so deeply woven, could come undone. But it did, and whether you realize it or not, it probably left you empty. Cue the new dude. There you are, feeling like D ZRUWKOHVV ORVHU ZKR ZLOO QHYHU ÂżQG ORYH again, and you meet someone whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s able to spark something inside you. One thing leads to another and before you know it, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re spending a lot of time with him because, get this, he makes you feel better. Suddenly,

that worthless loser is no where to be seen and you, new and improved and now newly loved, are happier than ever. 6R KRZ FDQ \RX WHOO WKH GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQFH EHWZHHQ a rebound and true love? Is it possible that this new dude actually gets you and that the happiness you feel is real? Could it be PRUHWKDQKLPÂżOOLQJVRPHYRLGOHIWE\\RXU broken heart, or is this just a way for you to put a Band-Aid on the slash marks that have your heart bleeding out inside you?

The Basics 7R ÂżJXUH RXW LI WKH QHZ GXGHÂśV D UHERXQG you have to ask yourself the basic questions.

How long has been since you broke up? Did you get the closure you needed? Could there still be feelings for your ex that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re clearly having trouble dealing with? Is your new dude an exact replica of your old dude? There are the basics, and they must be answered ZKHWKHU\RX UHUHDG\RUQRW

Is he a rebound?

There are some broken hearts that could never be healed with time and need the evidence of new true love to bring it out of darkness. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no shame in letting new love heal wounds that felt like they would never heal. And as many wise women will tell you, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also no shame in getting over someone by getting under How long has it been? (YHU\SHUVRQDQGHYHU\EUHDNXSLVGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQW someone else. We heal how we heal and we Some relationships, typically the longer ones, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to make apologies for it, as long as require months and months of hibernation weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not hurting anyone in the process. to recuperate, while others may only need a few weeks. So when you ask this question, In some way, all relationships are a little bit you have to be honest with yourself when rebound, regardless of whether or not youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve you answer it. If you were together for a year had closure and have had enough time to heal. and you broke up last week, it really hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Every time we fall in love, we give a little bit been long, and chances are you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had of our hearts away. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the void you feel time to heal. If you were together a month WKDW \RX WU\ VR KDUG WR ÂżOO EXW LWÂśV QRW PHDQW DQG\RXEURNHXSODVWZHHNWKDWÂśVDGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQW WR EH ÂżOOHG <RXÂśUH PHDQW WR ZDON DZD\ IURP relationships and appreciate them for what discussion - maybe. they were, the good and the bad, and everything you learned from them.

Did you get any closure?

The answer to this is probably no because most couples donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hash things out and meet IRU FRĚ&#x2020;HH WR GLVFXVV WKH HSLF IDLOXUH RI WKHLU relationship. It usually takes years to reconnect with an ex on terms good enough to ask, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why did you fuck me over, by the way?â&#x20AC;? So holding out for closure before moving on doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make much sense, but if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really still hung up RQZKDWKDSSHQHGLWZLOOÂżQGDZD\WRFUHHS up to you in your new relationship and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll push you closer to the new dude to make the pain from the last dude disappear.

So, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not hurting anyone in the process, who cares if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a rebound? Be honest about your past, without divulging unnecessary details, and be honest with yourself. As long as youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not trying to skip out of the necessary phase of healing after a break up, go ahead and rebound and do what you have to do to be happy. However, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re lying yourself into a clean bill of health, you need to stop. If the new person youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re with has no idea how damaged your last relationship left you, he needs to know. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not fair to show up to a new relationship holding baggage from your last and expecting this person to deal with it for you. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also not fair to you because if this guy is a rebound, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not giving the relationship a fair shot, when it could have otherwise blossomed into your next great love. At the end of the day, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a big girl and you know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing. Drop the veil, look in the mirror, and ask yourself why youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re with this new guy. If the answer makes you cringe, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not in it for the right reasons and you need to call it quits before someone, including yourself, gets hurt.Ĺś

Still have feelings for your ex? I hate this question because the answer is usually yes. Emotions donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just come to a standstill when you break up with someone, especially if you had a heavy relationship. So the better question is, how strong are those feelings? Do you randomly drop into a daydream about your ex while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re out ZLWK\RXUQHZJX\"'R\RXGLVFUHWHO\VQLĚ&#x2020;WKH secret stash of clothes he left behind before you go to bed? Wait, you have a secret stash of his clothes? You have to identify how intense your feelings for your ex are before you can even begin to dissect your new relationship.

Is he a replica of your ex? If you're going to be with him, it's only fair that you're with KLPIRUWKHULJKWUHDVRQV Someone is bound the get KXUWLI\RX UHXVLQJKLPWRĆ&#x2030;[ DEURNHQKHDUW


By exact replica I mean, does he look the same? Talk the same? Behave and treat you the same? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one thing to go for the same type of guy every round, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s another to hunt down someone who could literally be a body double for your ex. We all have a type, but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a line that should never be crossed, and when it LVLWLVDFOHDUUHERXQGUHGĂ&#x20AC;DJ



Laurie Davis is the author of Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating and founder of eFlirt Expert, a company that helps singles date online and develop relationships offline. Her advice has been featured in The New York Times, Good Morning America, Elle and 500+. Visit




by: Laurie Davis

The online scene is sometimes more crowded than the bar scene, so I help people navigate LW E\ ZULWLQJ WKHLU SURÂżOHV VHOHFWLQJ WKHLU matches, and coaching them as they get RĚ&#x2C6;LQH:KHQWHFKQRORJ\LVLQYROYHGLQ\RXU love life, you need to be strategic, but mindful â&#x20AC;&#x201D; stand out and optimize your accounts while staying conscious with an open heart. Easier said than done. To help you with both, below are the biggest mistakes I notice women make while searching for their right click.

want to make your match do is play Whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Waldo in a group photo, trying to identify which pretty lady you are.



It may seem logical to post photos in social situations because it shows that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re fun (and you know, have friends). But there are other ways to convey this, like in what you write. Your photos are not the place to highlight others in your life.

Naturally, everyone has their preferences, but online theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re heightened. You can search by height, age, and even hair color. In real life, if you met someone who was 35 instead of 34, it might not be an issue, but online, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to ÂżOWHU\HDUROGJX\VRXW$OOWKHLQWDQJLEOHV become tangible, too. The way someone ZRUGV WKHLU SURÂżOH FDQ PDNH \RX TXHVWLRQ WKHLUFRQÂżGHQFHRUHYHQWKHLULQWHJULW\

Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the deal: people look for a reason to say no to a match. As someone who sits next WRVLQJOHVDVWKH\YLHZSURÂżOHV,FDQWHOO\RX this with certainty. And when you post photos with others, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re allowing matches the opportunity to judge you further. They think, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Maybe thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s her ex.â&#x20AC;? Or instead, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wow, her friend is hotter than her.â&#x20AC;? The last thing you


Keeping the focus on you and deleting GHWUDFWRUV IURP \RXU SURÂżOH JHWV WKH EHVW UHVXOWV:HÂżQGWKDWXSORDGLQJIRXUWRVHYHQ photos works best â&#x20AC;&#x201D; mix some close-up shots with at least one full body image, and add an action shot or two to show a sense of your lifestyle.

Self-selecting matches is hard. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so hard that when we search on clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; behalves, they nearly always end up in a relationship with someone they would have never picked for him or herself. In some cases, I actually

needed to convince the client just to go on that ÂżUVWGDWH:LWKWKDWVDLGWKHSHRSOHZHVHOHFW for clients arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t completely outside of their comfort zone, but instead, are on the fringe of their preferences. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re searching for yourself, you can do this by staying conscious of every decision you make. Why are you saying yes or no to a match? Forcing yourself to think this way will help you determine not just which matches are perfect on paper but those who lie on the outskirts as well. If you think â&#x20AC;&#x153;maybe,â&#x20AC;? say â&#x20AC;&#x153;yes!â&#x20AC;?

YOU TEXT FOR TOO LONG ON TINDER. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in favor of any/all dating technology â&#x20AC;&#x201D; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all tools for your love life. But for most singles the challenge with apps is getting RĚ&#x2C6;LQHDQGDFWXDOO\GDWLQJLQUHDOOLIH,WÂśVHDV\ to swipe right a bunch, but conversations with mutual matches often donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t begin â&#x20AC;Ś or go on and on forever. Your Tinder matches arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pen pals! Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why it happens: When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on a dating site, you have a lot of information about your match, like common interests DQG VLPLODU YDOXHV <RX PHHW XS WR ÂżQG LI chemistry exists. The opposite is true when

you meet at a bar. You lead with chemistry â&#x20AC;&#x201D; body language and sparks. Because of that, you meet up again to learn the information and see if you sync on those levels, too. On Tinder, you have neither information nor chemistry! (No, thinking the other person is hot doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t count as chemistry when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not in 3D.)

weekend and by Sunday, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready for their dating life to change. But after no dates or bad dates, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also typically feeling emotional about your love life â&#x20AC;&#x201D; hopeless and helpless. When thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your mindset, all rationale is gone, which means you will make emotional decisions. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when so many things with online dating can go wrong.

When you message, lead with information DQGJHWWLQJRĚ&#x2C6;LQHZLOOVHHPVLPSOHU,QVWHDG of texting your match with one line (â&#x20AC;&#x153;How was your weekend?â&#x20AC;?) include two. Say something like, â&#x20AC;&#x153;How was your weekend? Just took a yoga class in Central Park.â&#x20AC;? Now there are multiple topics of conversation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; yoga, Central Park, or the weekend. Without the second line, matches are more likely to respond with one word, like â&#x20AC;&#x153;good.â&#x20AC;? But when \RXDGGVSHFLÂżFVIURP\RXURZQOLIHWKH\ÂśOOEH more likely to share information from theirs and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get to know one another faster.

When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re viewing a screen, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s distance from your matches both physically and emotionally. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know them, making it easy for snap judgments to become a habit. But on Sunday night â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or any night youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re feeling particularly down on your dating life â&#x20AC;&#x201C;youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re emotionally charged meaning you do it much more. I once had a female client decide not to message a match simply because he said he liked red ZLQH LQ KLV SURÂżOH 6KH VDZ KLV SURÂżOH DIWHU Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day, which was obviously a factor in her mindset and decision-making process. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s obviously an extreme case, but logging in when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re feeling sensitive about your dating life can lead to completely irrational decisions, whether theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re large or small. So if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re feeling emo, shut down the laptop. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better to focus on online dating when you FDQSXW\RXUKHDUWÂżUVW

YOU LOG IN WHEN YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RE EMOTIONAL. 6WDWLVWLFDOO\ VSHDNLQJ WKH KLJKHVW WUDĚ&#x2021;F day for online dating is Sunday night. My hypothesis is that this happens because singles have bad dates (or no dates) over the

YOU THINK GENDER RULES APPLY So many of my clients are afraid to message PHQÂżUVWDVNWKHPRXWRQGDWHVRUWDNHDQ\ action with any part of the relationship that they believe is a manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role. When we grew up, online dating didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist â&#x20AC;&#x201C; these â&#x20AC;&#x153;rulesâ&#x20AC;? existed because technology did not. When you include tech in the equation of love, WKLQJVEHFRPHPRUHFRPSOLFDWHGVSHFLÂżFDOO\ logistics. If heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not asking you out, he simply might not know that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to, or even know how to ask. I guarantee that his dad didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t teach him the digital signs a woman gives when she wants to meet up because â&#x20AC;&#x153;digitalâ&#x20AC;? wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t coded yet back then. Technology can also get in your way when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re dating online. Your match might be on the same site as you, but if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s searching WKURXJK WKH ÂżUVW ÂżYH SDJHV DQG \RXÂśUH RQ page 10, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll miss each other. So donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let logistics get in your way. Go DKHDGDQGVHQGKLPDPHVVDJHÂżUVWDVNKLP out, be bold. Nearly always, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll take over the situation once youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re face-to-face. Remember that â&#x20AC;&#x153;indieâ&#x20AC;? stands for independent â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to embody it in your love life, too.Ĺś



Sometimes when you’re out and about, the mood can strike without warning. Sometimes you won’t be in the privacy of your own home for a while. Sometimes you just want to get down and dirty…in public. [90] INDIE CHICK | THEINDIECHICKS.COM


Dos & Don'ts of Sex in

Public T

by: Chrystal Rose

Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something exhilarating about the possibility of someone walking in on you while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting it on. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also something pretty mortifying about it, too. Walking this line can be pretty hot, and with the weather turning from the heat of summer to the chill of the winter, you may have to get a bit more creative with your opportunities. Sex in public isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to happen daily (unless of course youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a total adrenaline MXQNLH VRLI\RXÂżQG\RXUVHOIFDXJKW XSLQWKHPRPHQWKHUHDUHDIHZGR V and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ts to keep in mind.



Sex in public can be a really good time if you do it right. If not, it can be really embarrassing. Utilize these Do's and Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ts, pick your locations, partners and timing wisely and most of all, have fun!




Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something super sexy about doing it in a vehicle. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inconvenient, uncomfortable and yet so hot the same time. Not having walls or shades to shield you, the windows leave you exposed, should someone come along.

The movies have always had an undertone of public sex about them. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dark, sometimes almost empty and it can get boring sitting in the same spot for two hours. Groping almost becomes second nature when you can move the armrests out of the way.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pull over on the side of even a remotely busy road. You are just asking to have a cop knock on your window. Do ensure the locale you choose is truly deserted. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t attempt sex while one of you is driving. This is stupid and dangerousâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;no matter what it looks like in the movies.

Do make sure the movie youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in is for more mature audiences. Attempting this DWD3L[DURU'LVQH\Ă&#x20AC;LFNLVMXVWUXGH Do make sure no one sits behind you, (so the last row is really ideal) this way you can make sure no one is getting a free show.

Do utilize the recline feature.

Do utilize your vehicle at this time if a room doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to be an option. Sneaking RXWVLGHVKRXOGQÂśWEHDOOWKDWGLĚ&#x2021;FXOWLIWKH rest of the guests are distracted.

Got an awesome story for us? Tell our readers about a time you had sex in public! Visit us at

A HOTEL A couples getaway generally means youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be stocking up on the sex while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re there, but no one said you have to keep it in your room.

Do utilize a dock, boat or pier. If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not your boat or at least your rental, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d advise against the whole trespassing thing.


Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disrespect someone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bed. I would seriously freak out if someone had sex in my bed. Try to keep it a little classy and either use the bed to prop yourself up while KHÂśVEHKLQG\RXRUWKHĂ&#x20AC;RRULI\RXZDQWWR get completely horizontal.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lean on or use the toiletâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;for any reason. Ew.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do it on the beach. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an awesome idea in theory, but in reality you will inevitably get sand in places no one should ever have sand in.

Do make sure youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re parked in the very back of a drive-in. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to end up the sideshow.

Do make sure doors are locked. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to be getting it on in someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bedroom, bathroom, closet or laundry room DQGKDYHWKHGRRUĂ&#x20AC;XQJRSHQRQ\RX

Do opt for the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s room. They tend to KDYHOHVVWUDĚ&#x2021;FDQGLI\RXXVHDVWDOOWKH XULQDOVFDQIHQGRĚ&#x2020;DQ\RQHZKRHQWHUV after you.

Do utilize your balcony. Some places have balconies that can shield your entire body while standing up. It makes a great leaning spot and the outside air will feel good on your skin.

Do be discreet if there are others in the vehicle, and maybe keep it to just hands. However, if you happen to be in a limo, put up the divider and have at it. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what those things are for.

Sometimes the mood strikes at a social soirĂŠe and you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite ready to leave the party just yet. The more people in attendance, the easier it is to duck into a room and have a quickie before anyone is the wiser.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget to check the locks. Sometimes youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get lucky and the main door will have a lock on it. Use it. Now you can use the sink if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like. If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a single use restroomâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;even better.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do it in the hot tub. Another â&#x20AC;&#x153;better in theoryâ&#x20AC;? idea.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit in the front row, even if the theatre is empty. If anyone walks in, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get caught with your pants down. Literally.

RESTROOMS Now and then excusing yourself and meeting up in the bathroom can be an exciting way to spice things up. Your KHDUWZLOOGHÂżQLWHO\EHSRXQGLQJZLWK the thought someone could catch you, or at the very least, know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been up to. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave the table together. This couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be anymore obvious! Do utilize text to make sure the coast is clear.

Do go for it in an outdoor shower. Some resorts have private rock showers, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost impossible to use one without attempting sex.

SOME MAJOR DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;TS Public Transportationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gross enough as it is. Airplane Bathrooms- The Mile High Club isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even real and anyone thinking getting laid in one of those things is hot, is crazy. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no room, they usually smell and HYHU\Ă&#x20AC;LJKWDWWHQGDQW,ÂśYHHYHUPHWZDWFKHV them like a hawk. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bother trying. Playgrounds or Schoolsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Unless you ZDQWWRKDYHWRUHJLVWHUDVDVH[RĚ&#x2020;HQGHULQ the future, keep your sex sessions far away from any designated school zones.Ĺś




“He is not abusive. He’s never hit me and he’s never forced himself on me. I can tell he loves me by the words he uses, by the effort he makes to make this work, and by how he shows he can’t live without me. He is not abusive. I am not being abused.”



LQWKHVDPHPDQQHUE\ZKLFKZHGH¿QHHYHU\WKLQJ else: by what we know. It’s how we categorize things in a seemingly manageable system, one we can access and reference when things get confusing. There is, after all, so much to absorb in this world, so the more we can answer in black and white, the easier it is for us to go about our day.

The Many Colors of Abuse

by: Chiara Mazzucco

But abuse is one of those things that needs to EH GH¿QHG WR LWV YHU\ FRUH ,W LV QRW DQ DQVZHU comprised of either black or white, but rather a complex spectrum of colors we fail to recognize DV UHOHYDQW WR LWV FRUH GH¿QLWLRQ $EXVH FDQ EH D blow to the face, but it can also be a single word, a single action, and even the manipulation of a single emotion. Before you get out and before you can even gauge the damage abuse has done to you in a relationship, you must identify it - in every color.



Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d know sexual and physical abuse if it happened to you, right? Getting dragged by your hair at a party when you refuse to leave? Being told to spread your legs and take it, even if you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to? Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen the movies and too many of us have experienced the visible bruises of both, but what about the colors in between? A friend once swore to me her boyfriend never hurt her, which went against everything I assumed about their relationship, having seen them together in public. Whenever we were out, it just screamed abuse behind closed doors. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be times sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d open her

mouth just to be silenced by his heavy glare or the whisper of her name. One day, he hit her. I got DNQRFNRQP\GRRUDWR FORFNLQWKHPRUQLQJ and after an hour of trying to calm her down and ice her jaw, she told me their entire story. She told me how it started with him throwing plates DFURVVWKHURRPRUFRUQHULQJKHUGXULQJDÂżJKW She told me how he used to punch the wall a mere few inches from her face and how he told her she was lucky he loved her because otherwise he may not have had such self-control. Soon after, he began spitting at her and then started pushing her down onto the couch when sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be begging him to leave. But to her, he had never abused her before that night and even once her jaw was iced and the story was told, she stood by the fact he had always been a good man.


Sexual and Physical Abuse

You may not realize it and you may assume your situation doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fall under the textbook GHÂżQLWLRQ RI SK\VLFDO DEXVH EXW \RX DUH VWLOO being mistreated - you are being abused.

6H[XDODEXVHLVDOVRVRPHWKLQJZHÂżQGWREHEODFN RUZKLWHDQGLWDOOFRPHVGRZQWRKRZZHGHÂżQH it. Sexual abuse is anything that makes someone do something sexual that he or she does not want to GR6XFKDEURDGGHÂżQLWLRQPHDQVWKHUHKDYHWREH more colors in the spectrum. , ZDV RQO\  ZKHQ P\ ER\IULHQG ÂżQDOO\ UDSHG PH , VD\ ÂżQDOO\ EHFDXVH XQEHNQRZQVW WR PH KH had been sexually abusing me long before he went through with it that night. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d grope me in public and when I complained about it, he told me he was doing it to claim me so that other boys knew I was his. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d try to guilt me into sleeping with me by telling me I owed it to him for all the nice things he did for me. During sex, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d force me into positions I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to be in. The list goes on, but I never labeled any of it abuse because I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know any better, and still didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize what was being done to me until the night he forced himself on me.

Just because the bruises aren't visible, doesn't mean you're not in pain. Don't be afraid to leave. You deserve to be loved and treated like the amazing person you are. [96] INDIE CHICK | THEINDIECHICKS.COM

Sex can be a beautiful, intimate, empowering thing. We are slaves to the pleasure and the promise of intimacy that it brings, but that love can make things very dangerous, as we can become slaves to the people weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re having it with, rather than the act itself.

The Invisible Colors Verbal and emotional abuse are very real and a lot more common than any of us admit. This is just as dangerous as a blow to face. Just because the bruises donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t show doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not there. Verbal Bruises When your partner calls you degrading names, yells at you, or insults you, you are being verbally abused. On the surface, they are just words, but the reality is that each word comes with force behind it, and where there is force, there is impact. Every time a word is thrown your way, your self-esteem takes a hit. When you are yelled at, you are belittled.

When you are insulted, your self-worth is thrown out the window. Verbal abuse is like a hammer repeatedly hitting a nail into place, with the same force, making it smaller and smaller with each hit. Manipulation and Guilt Emotional abuse can be the hardest color spectrum to expose, as most of it is done behind closed doors. When we fall in love, we make ourselves vulnerable and expose weaknesses. Emotional abuse is when those weaknesses are used against you. It can be in form of guilt or manipulation, it can target your self-esteem, and it can even result in you feeling like you did something wrong and that any mistreatment is your fault. In fact, guilt is an extremely powerful weapon. A couple I once knew were in a pretty crappy, but common situation. They had gotten pregnant after only a month or two of dating and had decided to keep the baby and co-parent, despite making the decision to break up. They didn’t mesh well, as she was an extreme, soft spoken introvert and he was an equally extreme loud extrovert. He was very arrogant and believed he was owed a lot for having made the decision to give up his life to help raise the baby. He used that against her every chance he got, and blamed every failure at starting a new life on her. He’d yell at her so loudly that she once had a panic attack and had to go to the hospital. With the help of a therapist, she was able to stand up for herself, but once she did he began pulling her close and telling her how much he needed her. One of the last things she said to me before we parted ways was the she felt like she had built herself a cage and she knew he was terrible and that she cried every day, but she couldn’t see how things could ever change. He had learned every single one of her weaknesses and when one stopped working, he’d move on to the next. Being emotionally manipulated by your partner can be as strong of a hold as if you were pressed up against a wall with two hands wrapped tightly around your neck. You are still being mistreated, it’s just done through your heart, mind, and soul.

What Abuse Does Not Look Like To be clear, abuse can come from either side. Both men and women are guilty of abuse, in every color. A woman slapping her partner is not okay. A woman threatening, belittling, or embarrassing her partner in any way, shape or form, is not okay. Though she may not be physically dominant in stature to her partner, a woman forcing herself onto her partner is not okay. A relationship is two people (or more, depending on KRZ \RX GH¿QH WKH ZRUG  WKDW KDYH GHFLGHG WR VKDUH D part of their lives with one another. It’s healthy and safe, and it brings out the best in both of you. It pushes you to EHFRPH WKH EHVW YHUVLRQ RI \RXUVHOI DQG R̆HUV VXSSRUW through your journey in life. In a healthy relationship, you are valued as an equal and you are respected and treated as such.


Because the moment you start FIGHTING for your happiness is the

moment you let others know it's



You may need to take some time to reevaluate your relationship and you may need to learn to identify FRORUV\RXPD\KDYHQRWEHHQWUDLQHGWRVHH7KH¿UVW step to being in the right relationship is being able to recognize the one you’re in is not it. You owe it to yourself because no one else is going to step up and ¿JKWWKDWEDWWOHIRU\RX Believe you are worth it and that real love is out there. This is not the best you can do. This is not the kind of relationship you want to bring children into, or if you already have them, that you want to expose them to.Ŷ




Looking for Love?



by: Chrystal Rose




â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find love when~you least expect it.â&#x20AC;? -Every person that has found love

Look, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not telling you to be passive in any area of your life and still expect great things to happen. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not telling you that if you hide in your house, love is going to jump out at you. What Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m telling you is that when you are actively searching for love, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s similar to chasing your own shadow. When you chase, it runs DZD\EXWZKHQ\RXÂśUHRĚ&#x2020;PLQGLQJ\RXURZQEXVLQHVVLWIROORZV you.


/HWWLQJ ORYH ÂżQG \RX LVQÂśW SDVVLYH²LWÂśV DFWLYH LQ WKH VHQVH WKDW ZKLOH \RXÂśUH RĚ&#x2020; GRLQJ RWKHU WKLQJV DQG EXLOGLQJ D KDSS\ OLIH youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re simultaneously creating a person with a higher level of consciousness. This person wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pay any mind to the type of people that arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t good for them and will begin to attract higher quality and emotionally ready (stable) potential partners. So when the right person and real love comes along, you genuinely wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect it because youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been too busy to pine for someone.


will draw people in without even realize youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really quite sexy.

Being open to love is not the same as looking for it. When you are open to possibilities, you understand that love can come in many forms. It may not look like what you thought it would. You see, we all have in our mind what the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with looks like, but looks are irrelevant here. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why they call them â&#x20AC;&#x153;soulmatesâ&#x20AC;? and not â&#x20AC;&#x153;perfect facial structure mates.â&#x20AC;? The right SHUVRQIRU\RXKDVDOOWKHTXDOLWLHVWKDWÂżW you, within their soul.

When I met my boyfriend it was very clear to me how passionate he was about his job, and I freaking loved it. His eyes even light up when he talks about his hobbies. He throws himself into them and thoroughly enjoys himself. More people should do that. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so boring and unattractive when someone doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like what they do. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even more boring and unattractive when people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have a hobby or a side gig that they love.

You may meet the right person at a seemingly â&#x20AC;&#x153;wrongâ&#x20AC;? place. It happens. Counting someone out because you met them somewhere you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;relationship materialâ&#x20AC;? location is something you need to get over. Paths cross at random times, in random places. Trust in serendipity and go with it. Most of all, be open to the possibility that it could happen. Telling yourself that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want a relationship or that you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to meet the right guy is futile. The EHVW KHDGVSDFH WR EH LQ ZKHQ ORYH ÂżQGV you is the one where you are open to a relationship, but perfectly okay without one.

2. CLOSE DOORS You might really like a guy but something doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit right. You might go on a great ÂżUVW GDWH EXW QRW IHHO OLNH JRLQJ RXW ZLWK him again. This is totally okay. All too often we keep seeing someone weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not really into, because we feel like we need to be dating someone.

Bring passion into your life and I guarantee LW ZLOO NHHS RQ Ă&#x20AC;RZLQJ LQ PRUH ZD\V WKDQ one.

4. BE BUSY When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re busy, the last thing on your PLQG LV ÂżQGLQJ D PDWH :KR HYHQ KDV time for that? A full work schedule, social FDOHQGDUÂżWQHVVUHJLPHVDQGSKLODQWKURSLF DGYHQWXUHVFDQPDNHWLPHĂ&#x20AC;\E\<RXUOLIH will not only appear to be full, it genuinely will be full. Being busy will also keep you from going on dates with people you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t interested in (come on, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all done it). You might think to yourself that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re too busy for love, and of course this is when love XVXDOO\WHQGVWRÂżQGXVDWWKHYHU\PRVW inconvenient time possible. No matter how busy you are, you can always make time for the right person. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just how it works.


This is an exorbitant waste of time. How LV ORYH VXSSRVHG WR ÂżQG \RX ZKHQ \RXÂśUH spending all your time with people you feel â&#x20AC;&#x153;mehâ&#x20AC;? about? Instead, take the time to dedicate to your friendships, your family and to activities you enjoy.

We will never be perfect and there will always be more to learn, more to do and more to strive for. Just when you think youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re done, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always more to do. We can always be better than we were yesterday.

This goes for exes too. Love is not going WR ÂżQG \RX WKHUH 3DVW UHODWLRQVKLSV DUH broken futures. Close that door, seal it and move on. That is one door love is most GHÂżQLWHO\QRWZDLWLQJEHKLQG

A great relationship is one that pushes you both to be better people, naturally. Starting out trying to be the best person you can be is going to attract other high quality people like yourself. The happiest, healthiest version of you is bound to attract the same in a counterpart.

3. FIND A PASSION When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re passionate about something there is a glow about you. Passion and love tend to go hand in hand, and when you have a passion for life and immerse yourself into something you greatly enjoy, it emanates from you like pheromone perfume. You

/RYH LV VRPHWKLQJ \RX QHHG WR ÂżQG LQ \RXUVHOI EHIRUH WUXH RXWVLGH ORYH FDQ ÂżQG you. And when the time is right, regardless of what you think, it could happen at anytime, especially when you least expect it.Ĺś



by: Julie Zantopoulos


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh look, another feminist who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to get married!" You probably think I'm just jaded and don't believe in love. But it's actually quite the opposite, I assure you.


My reasons for not w wanting to get married arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t some ome grand gesture o of female empowerment and ÂżJKWLQJ DJDLQVW WUDG WUDGLWLRQ ,WÂśV QRW D VWDWHPHQW or a thumb up the ass a of tradition; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not that spiteful. Iff you ffollow ll my articles i l at then you already know I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want children, so maybe it comes as no surprise to you that the white dress wedding isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t something that I want for myself. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had people tell me to do a justice of the peace, have a backyard wedding, or even to elope, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not what I want either. Well thanks for your suggestion, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just not interested in marriage.

Census I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be the only one who is bothered by the legalities of marriage, can I? You have to pay to have your marriage acknowledged by the courts. You have to pay to legally be somebodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partner. <RXKDYHWRÂżOHSDSHUZRUNEHIRUHYHUPDUNHGDV a â&#x20AC;&#x153;spouseâ&#x20AC;? and change your damn name (most times). Call me crazy but why is the government getting involved in my love life? So Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m now a legal part of a pair and everything I do, every box, every form, every tax return; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not an individual anymore. Something about that just doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit right with me at my core.

Money Making Machine Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m all for job creation but does anyone else think that weddings are getting out of control? The makeup, the dress, the shoes, the hair, the bridal party gifts, the favors, the food, the drinks, the cake, the venue, the rehearsal dinner, that legal license price, the tux, the church rental, the limo, the photographer, the list goes on and on. The overwhelming cost of a wedding has become this giant booming industry where womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dreams are exploited every day. I choose to not throw my money down a one-day drain.

Equality Without getting into a moral or political rant I honestly believe that nobody should be getting married until everyone who wants to get married can. Enough said on that.

One Love for All Time While weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on the topic of loving whomever you want, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discuss monogamy for a second. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not saying letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all engage in orgies and be SRO\DPRURXV WKRXJK LI \RX UHDG RXU ÂżUVW SULQW magazine you know that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re awfully happy people). What Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m saying is that I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe there is one person, and one person only, for us in the world. I also donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think that every single thing you want from a relationship or lover is found in one person. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get me wrong, sometimes it is, but more often than not I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think it is. If the increasing number of swingers, partner VZDSSHUV LQÂżGHOLW\ DQG RSHQ UHODWLRQVKLSV DUH any proof, then Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not the only one who feels this way.

Divorce No, this isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a rant about the statistics of a marriage ending in divorce (though seriously the odds are not in your favor) because we all know that already. This is about another way that the government exploits and controls love. People fall out of love. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heartbreaking, but it happens. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it bad enough that your marriage, and potentially your family, is hurting and that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve decided to divorce? Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it bad enough without having to get lawyers, judges, and courts and paying for it? Even the most amicable of divorces still have fees associated with them. 'R\RXNQRZKRZPDQ\SHRSOHDUHSURÂżWLQJRQ \RXUSDLQ"$ORW.QRZKRZPDQ\SHRSOHSURÂżW RĚ&#x2020; RI \RX LI \RX OLYH ZLWK VRPHERG\ GHHSO\ LQ love and committed, and then decide it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ZRUNDQ\PRUH"-XVW\RX<RXSURÂżWIURPPRYLQJ RQEXWQRERG\PDNHVDGDPQOLYLQJRĚ&#x2020;RILW

The Rebel in Me A part of me really does like the idea of living with a man for the rest of my life without getting married and making my family insane. A part of me smiles every time I imagine all the exasperated


comments: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been together 10 years why not just tie the knot?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;You just bought a house together, why canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you commit to marriage?â&#x20AC;? I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lie and say that I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enjoy going against the grain because I really do. I enjoy doing things GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQW OLYLQJ E\ P\ RZQ UXOHV DQG D SDUW RI me giggles when the thought of these questions popping up comes to mind.

All You Need is Love Despite all those other reasons the only reason that really matters, the real reason I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to, and never will get married, is that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just not necessary! If I love somebody then love is enough. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need a wedding to spend my life with somebody. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to make it a legally binding contract from which we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t walk away. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not love if you have to lock somebody into a contract, not for me at least. I am a romantic; a hopeful, sappy kind of romantic. I happen to think that the power of love is enough to keep people together without a legally binding marriage. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ever want to use, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re marriedâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not that easy, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re marriedâ&#x20AC;? as an excuse to stay with my spouse, and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want them using it either. When two people decide to spend their lives together it should be about love and the second it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, the second it changes to a toxic relationship where problems canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be worked out, then itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to move on. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not to say I believe relationships donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t require work, because they do of course, but ,WKLQNZHDOONQRZWKHUHÂśVDSRLQWZKHUHÂżJKWLQJ to stay in something that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t healthy is less brave than leaving. So, no, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to get married. I prefer to believe that love is enough to bond me to another, free from the regulations of government and the debt to our parents (or ourselves) for an extravagant wedding. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy that I am FRQÂżGHQWHQRXJKLQP\\HWWREHPHWGUHDPERDW and our commitment to each other, to not need marriage. That, my friends, is why I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to get married.Ĺś

I am a romantic; a hopeful, sappy kind of romantic. I happen to think that the power of love is enough to keep people together without a legally binding marriage. THEINDIECHICKS.COM | INDIE CHICK [103]


You may know a woman who (seemingly) had a perfect path to love. No dating disappointments, wrong turns or setbacks. Perhaps she met her sweetheart in high school or college or soon after graduation. You, on the other hand, have been slogging away on the dating scene, encountering a neverending slew of bad dates, failed relationships, and disappearing men. Many women tolerate this kind of failure in their dating lives but refuse to see the silver lining in their experiences. They attempt to avoid further pain and vulnerability by, consciously or unconsciously, erecting walls, enacting defense mechanisms, or selfsabotaging. They might even shrink from dating entirely.

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU? In the words of Dr. Phil: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Howâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that workinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; out for ya?â&#x20AC;? Is this strategy and mindset empowering you to create what you want in your love life?


in your

SUCCESS by: Neely Steinberg


What if you could start to view failure in your GDWLQJDQGORYHOLIHGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWO\LQDZD\WKDW it could work for you not against you? What if you could learn how to embrace failureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; past, present, and futureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in your dating life instead of fearing it? What if your dating failures and wrong turns could lead you to dating success? To all the badass Indie Chicks out there, here are three powerful ways that you can start looking at failure in your dating and love life GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWO\

ITERATIONS NOT FAILURES Women who frame their disappointing experiences in the dating world purely as â&#x20AC;&#x153;failuresâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;mistakes,â&#x20AC;? who refuse to learn from and see value in their experiences and their experimentation, are resigning themselves to a powerless fate. When you reframe your failures as a series of iterations, you choose to see yourself as a changemaker in your life rather than a victim, your mistakes as opportunities and assets rather than burdens.

Neely Steinberg is a dating coach and founder of her multi-service dating coaching company The Love TREP. She teaches women how to become the CEO, founder, and enTREPreneur of their dating lives. She lives in Boston with her husband. Get your free dating guide at:


Thinking in this way empowers you to have a growth mindsetâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;I can grow from my dating H[SHULHQFHV , FDQ PRYH LQ D GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQW GLUHFWLRQ based on my experiencesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;versus a destiny PLQGVHW²0\ SDWK WR ORYH LV Âż[HG VR QR QHHG for learning and growth. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just waiting for that perfect person to come into my life. Seeing your dating life as a series of iterations, a series of trial and error steps along the way to success, makes it easier for you to risk â&#x20AC;&#x153;failureâ&#x20AC;? moving forward, because you understand that whatever happens is an opportunity to gain some sort of useful knowledge and apply that knowledge purposefully moving forward. For example, maybe youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve spent a lot of time dating emotionally unavailable, wishy-washy men before you realize and understand the role youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re playing, in attracting these men into your life. This knowledge can help you iterate; it can HPSRZHU\RXWRPDNHGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWFKRLFHVLQWHUPV of the type of men you allow into your life. Instead of cursing the day you met these men, you are thankful to them because they are gifting you the NQRZOHGJH\RXQHHGWRSXW\RXUVHOIRQDGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQW path.

just happen naturally. But after years of not meeting anyone, she eventually pivoted and signed up. All of a sudden, men were clamoring to go out with her, and she realized how much her former rigid mindset had held her back. By learning how to adapt and pivot in your dating life when things donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t measure up exactly as youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d always thought they should, E\OHDUQLQJWREHĂ&#x20AC;H[LEOH\RXEHJLQWRVHH that failure has merely disguised itself in the form of new ideas and possibilities.

TAKE NECESSARY RISKS ...and avoid unneccesary risks. There is unavoidable risk inherent in the dating processâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that goes without saying. You will most likely get hurt, feel confused, and want to pull your hair out at times. There are many things about dating you FDQÂśW FRQWURO %XW WKHUH LV D GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQFH between engaging in unnecessary risk and necessary risk.

Engaging in unnecessary risk repeatedly without learning from your actions, without ÂżJXULQJRXWKRZWREUHDNWKHF\FOHWRJRLQ In your dating life, it helps to be open to the idea new directions, and conversely, refusing RISLYRWLQJZKLFKPHDQVEHLQJĂ&#x20AC;H[LEOHZKHQQHZ to take risks at all are both unproductive strategies for your dating life. ideas and possibilities present themselves.


To illustrate this concept, consider the following woman: Naomi does not enjoy having casual sex but still has it repeatedly with men she is newly dating before establishing the status of the relationship, in the hope that he will commit to her. She is trading sex for love. When the man disappears, Naomi is hurt; her cynicism about men becomes entrenched each time this happens. Naomi is engaging in unnecessary risk, over and over again. On WKH Ă&#x20AC;LS VLGH LI VKH SD\V DWWHQWLRQ WR KHU needs, deciding to wait to have sex until a mature conversation has been had about where things are headed, and the man still disappears on her, she can be certain that she engaged in a smart, necessary risk. The manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vanishing may have caused disappointment, and it may have felt scary opening up, but it was a necessary risk IRU1DRPLWRWDNHWRIHHOFRQÂżGHQWDQGLQ charge of her love life. Over time, a woman learns that she can engage in selective risk-taking in her dating and love lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that is, she can risk while derisking. --In your dating life, your failures are your greatest assets, ladies. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t shun past IDLOXUHVDQGGRQÂśWEHVRWHUULÂżHGRIIDLOLQJ in the futureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;you never know where your wrong turns will lead you. Ĺś

A 36-year-old client of mine was adamant about not dating a man who had children from a previous marriage or relationship. She was stuck on this idea that she couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t possibly ÂżQG ORYH ZLWK D VLQJOH GDG , HQFRXUDJHG KHU to let go of such strict ideas of who could make a great partner for her, to let go of the fantasy ideals sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d dreamed up in her head and give single dads a chance. The fact was my client was 36, and a decent amount of the men looking to meet 36-year-old women were divorced men with young children. Although my clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideal partner was a man without kids, she embraced the reality of her situation and pivotedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; she broadened her ideas of who could make a good partner and agreed to pivot accordingly when she met a single dad online or out and about. As she started accepting dates from men with kids, she slowly began to understand that a connection and shared values was more important than the fact that a man happened to be a dad. Another client in her mid-thirties was dead-set against online dating; she felt that she shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t KDYHWRZRUNVRKDUGWRÂżQGORYHWKDWLWVKRXOG




Flirt Guide

¬ by: Julie Zantopoulos


Wouldn’t you kill to know the inside scoop on flirting, the info that puts you ahead of everyone else out there in the market looking to land a keeper? The Internet is full of articles telling you to not call, to use cold spoons on his balls during blowjobs, or acting like you just love his drooling dog. Well, we’re not going to tell you that because that’s pure bullshit. So listen up for the real Do’s and Don’ts of flirting, the tips and tricks you need to know and the red flags to watch out for.





There will be thousands of articles telling you how to Ă&#x20AC;LUWZLWKPHQ6RPHRIWKHWLSVZLOOEHRYHUWKHWRSDQG others so juvenile that they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worth mentioning, EXWQRWRXUV+HUHDUHVRPHRIRXUĂ&#x20AC;LUWLQJPXVWV Keep some mystery. In other words donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t vomit your whole life history all over him. Maintain your own circle of friends/ social circle. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ditch who you are hanging out with at the bar for just some dude. Do walk away. As stated above you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t DEDQGRQ \RXU JURXS <RX FDQ FKDW Ă&#x20AC;LUW DQG then return to your friends. If he wants to continue he can come to you. Create a little supply and demand. Send body language and verbal cues that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re into him. Guys hate the whole guessing game so touching him, telling him \RXÂśGORYHWRNHHSLQWRXFKDQGĂ&#x20AC;DWRXWWHOOLQJ KLP\RXÂżQGKLPDWWUDFWLYHDUHJUHDWZD\V to avoid miscommunication and ensure he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t misread your interest levels. Do approach him. There is nothing, in any modern day rulebook, that says you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t approach a man you are interested in getting to know better. Do laugh, touch him, and angle your body towards him.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play mind games. The push-and-pull RIĂ&#x20AC;LUWLQJLVDVH[\SRZHUSOD\EXWNHHSLWZLWKLQ reason. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give out fake names and numbers. If you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t interested in them just say so. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no reason to start a cycle of lying, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all grown-ups here. Speaking of fake names, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pretend to be somebody you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just to entice him. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wearing a soccer shirt and you prefer hockey or he tells you heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a collector of a certain artists, do yourself a favor and admit you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like or NQRZWKHP6WDUWLQJRĚ&#x2020;DĂ&#x20AC;LUWDWLRQWKDWFRXOG turn relationship on a lie is a bad decision. Plus maintaining that is going to be exhausting. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t insult or dig at a guy as a way to get his attention. Schoolyard teasing isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cute when it FRPHVWRDGXOWĂ&#x20AC;LUWDWLRQ Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t accept drinks or free things from a guy who stands no shot of getting your number or a date. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just rude and shows a lack of class. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come on so strong that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already considering taking out a restraining order. If \RXUĂ&#x20AC;LUWLQJLQYROYHVWHOOLQJKLPKRZDGRUDEOH\RXU children will be, you need to tone it down. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t laugh like a hyena and grope him. There is a balance to the whole laugh, smile, and touch thing. Moderation is key.



Tips & 7ULFNV Sure you can buy him a drink, or start randomly dancing with him on the dance Ă&#x20AC;RRUEXWWKRVHDUHDOOSUHWW\SDVVLYHZD\V of hitting on a guy. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t start a conversation, they leave the ball in his court, and we know you can do better.

Go Solo

5HMHFWLRQ,VD0DĆ&#x201D;HURI3HUVSHFWLYH A ton of women reading this will shake their head and say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do that!â&#x20AC;? Why? Because we fear rejection and to that I sayâ&#x20AC;Śso the fuck what? Rejection is not that big of a deal. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t die of rejection. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not rejecting you, not really, because they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know you. Maybe theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in a relationship already. 0D\EHWKH\MXVWJRWRXWRIRQHDQGDUHQÂśWLQDSODFHWRVWDUWĂ&#x20AC;LUWLQJRUGDWLQJ\HW Or maybe theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really just not attracted to you. Guess what? Tons of people every day arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t attracted to you, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s okay because youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not attracted to all the people you see either. You will live if he shoots you down, but can you live with never knowing what could have happened if you took the risk? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d put money on it that rejection stings a lot less (and shorter) than wondering what could have been.

Red Flags of Flirting :KHQ\RXDUHĂ&#x20AC;LUWLQJLWUHDOO\LVDFDVHRIDQ\WKLQJJRHV,I\RXDUHFRPIRUWDEOH with it, and as long as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not on our Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t list then you have a green light. There are certain warning signs that you should be on the lookout for, signs that PD\EH\RXVKRXOGFXW\RXUĂ&#x20AC;LUWLQJVKRUW He calls you by the wrong name. Honestly, this is a no brainer. Whether in live conversation or in text message, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rarely a slip of the tongue or a mistakenly sent text. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talking to enough women that he canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get yours straight. All his text messages are late night or weekends. This means that you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t in his thoughts when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s with friends, family, or othersâ&#x20AC;Śbut rather when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s alone, lonely, drunk, or feeling down. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s constantly asking where you are and who you are with. Flirting is great but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supposed to be fun. If heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s getting possessive and jealous this early on itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to cut and run. <RXÂżQG\RXUVHOIHGLWLQJ\RXUVHOIWRÂżWZKRKHVHHPVWRZDQW\RXWREH,I\RXDUH changing your likes or hiding your dislikes to please him, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a problem. Flirting should free you to be yourself, fun, vibrant, and sensual. You have a hard time deciphering whether or not some of the things he says are compliments or insults. Nobody needs passive aggressive insults from somebody youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re supposed to be having fun with. +LVĂ&#x20AC;LUWLQJWXUQVDJJUHVVLYHVH[XDOO\RUYHUEDOO\


,NQRZLWFDQEHGLĚ&#x2021;FXOWEXWJRRXWVROR Not with your group of single girlfriends all looking for the same thing--hello instant competition. Though, you can go out with some paired up girlfriends if you want, they make great wingwomen. But, the easiest way to meet guys is to go out alone. Why? One woman alone isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as intimidating to approach. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really that simple.

Put Away Your Phone Your phone is a social crutch. You pick LW XS LQVWHDG RI ÂżGJHWLQJ <RX XVH LW WR feel less alone or nervous. While you are looking down heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s looking around the room and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to make eye contact with a woman who is glued to Facebook. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the secretâ&#x20AC;Śmost other women will be looking at their phone still, so when you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re immediately FDSWLYDWLQJ <RXÂśUH FRQÂżGHQW GRQÂśW need the crutch, and are looking for actual human interaction. You just beat out every chick in the place that is DGGLQJ ÂżOWHUV WR WKHLU EDWKURRP VHOÂżH Congratulations!

Compliment a Stranger Recently I had a male friend of mine tell me that he made a promise to himself to tell one woman a day she was beautiful and strike up a conversation. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s naturally outgoing so this wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t too far outside his comfort zone but more of a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let an opportunity pass you byâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; type of vow. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have agreed more! Why not make one for yourself? Promise yourself to talk to one new guy a GD\:DONXSWRDJX\\RXÂżQGDWWUDFWLYH and tell him, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had to come over because I made a promise to myself to talk to the most attractive guy I saw today."

What would you rather? 5% A woman who stays at home 16% She cleans and does your laundry 21% She cooks and packs your meals 21% She earns more than you 36% She works outside the house

Favorite eye color? 2% Black 7% Grey 10% Brown 16% Hazel 32% Green 34% Blue

What color hair do you love? 9% other, multicolored 15% Black 17% Red 26% Blonde 33% Brown

Poll: What do men find attractive in a attractive What body type turns you on? woman? What do youinfind the bedroom? 10% Who cares as long as sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s healthy 19% Average 19% Slender 20% Curvy 32% Athletic

What do you prefer she wear? 15% Yoga pants and tank tops 21% Dresses or skirts, please 22% Jeans and t-shirts 42% It genuinely doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter to me

How do you like her lips? 8% Color! The darker or brighter the better 23% Lip-gloss is cute 29% Nothing at all 40% So long as sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kissing me, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care

What's your favorite body part on a woman? 1% Arms 10% Tummy 14% Legs 21% Boobs 25% Eyes/Face 29% Butt

Would you rather she... *RZLWKWKHĂ&#x20AC;RZZLWKRXWFRPSODLQW 27% Push you to be a better man 29% Push herself to try new things 33% Stand up for herself

Favorite hair? 4% Short 7% Curly 19% Wavy 22% Medium length 22% Straight 27% Long

5% Dominance 7% A woman who is submissive 9% A woman willing to guide you 14% A freak in the sheets 29% A woman who is vocal about her wants and desires 36% A woman who is secure in her body and talents

You want her to be... 3% Patient 7% Independent 14% Supportive 15% Witty &RQÂżGHQW 17% Honest 27% Intelligent

What about sensuality? 11% She oozes sex and knows it +DLUĂ&#x20AC;LSSLQJDUPWRXFKLQJDQG lots of laughs $QDWXUDOĂ&#x20AC;LUWLVVRIXQ 6KHĂ&#x20AC;LUWVEXWRQO\ZLWK\RX 30% Sassy and quick with a comeback

What about eye makeup? 3% Colorful and crazy 8% Dramatic: dark shadow, liner, and lashes 24% No makeup at all 27% Whatever she feels comfortable wearing 39% Classic: neutral colors and mascara

What kind of social life is attractive? 12% She usually just wants to stay in, with or without you 15% She only socializes with her family 17% Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather spend all her time with you 20% She belongs to several groups/volunteers and is usually busy 36% She goes out with friends regularly

Does this match up with what you think men like about women? Tweet us to let us know! @TheIndieChicks



Business Chick

Don't Be a Wantrepren


There is a thin line that separates dreamers from doers, and that is the act of doing. Wanting something isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t good enough. In order to have what you want, you need to go after it.

neurTake the Leap! by: Chrystal Rose

If thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a trend Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m starting to notice, it would be the diminishment of a solid work ethic. I see people everywhere totally complacent with their jobs, not feeling the need to try harder, put in extra time or go above and beyond. 7KLV LV WRWDOO\ ÂżQH LI \RXÂśUH KDSS\ However, with most of these people thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a collective desire for more. That desire tends to be overshadowed by fear, lack of knowledge and zero motivation to pursue whatever that more may be.


You may be scared and you may be lazy, but when you look back years from now, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to wish you had started already.

Educate If you want to start your own business or launch a product, you need to start by educating yourself. If you already KDYH D ÂżUP JUDVS DQGRU H[SHULHQFH in the industry youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to pursue, then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re already mostly there. For some people, simply Googling isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to be enough. You may need to take a couple of courses, be someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apprentice or even survey groups of people. If you want to be taken seriously, understanding the market landscape, your future customers and the barriers to entry are all a top priority.

Find out what you need to know in order to make the process easier on yourself. Learning as you go is naturally going to be something that happens and we can all learn from our mistakes, but the fewer lessons you learn while screwing up, the better.

Where to Start So many people are paralyzed when it comes to pursuing their dreams because they have no clue where to start. This is where my prior point, education, largely comes into play. The most important thing about startingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; is to get started. Period. Once you really dive into educating yourself about what it will take, various starting points will manifest. 10 years ago after starting work as a promotional model, I knew I someday wanted to own my own promo company. Rather than relying on just working in the industry alone, I decided to go to school for marketing. I wanted to learn all the LQV DQG RXWV DQG GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQW IDFHWV RI the industry so when I made the leap, I would have a better grip on what I needed to do. There is no wrong place to start. Trust me, if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the correct place or you QHHG WR ÂżJXUH PRUH WKLQJV RXW WKDW will come in time. Just start.




No Excuses In the business world, excuses arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going WRĂ&#x20AC;\6XFFHVVGRHVQÂśWFDUHLI\RXDUHVLFN,W GRHVQÂśWFDUHLI\RXWRRNWLPHRĚ&#x2020;WRSDUW\ZLWK your friends. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care that you â&#x20AC;&#x153;just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel like it today.â&#x20AC;? Success isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to hold the door for you while you dick around. Figure out what needs to be done and execute. Allow yourself time for breaks and sanity, but do not blame a lack of success on anything but you. You are the one who determines that.

Stand by Your Decisions Now and then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to make really stupid fucking decisions. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to suck and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to be mad at yourself. Guess what? It happens to all of us. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the end of the world and you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let it break you. Standing by your decisions doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean that if you make a bad one, you have to ride that wave until it dies. It simply means that you made it, and you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t unmake it. So use this time to learn from what you did wrong, and ensure you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make the same mistake twice. There are few people in the world of business that get through making zero mistakes.

Find Your Own Measure Find a Mentor


Mentors donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily need to be made RĚ&#x2021;FLDO ,WÂśV DFWXDOO\ NLQG RI DZNZDUG DVNLQJ someone to be your mentor. Mentors can also change in time with your needs, their VFKHGXOHVHWF%DVLFDOO\LWÂśVLPSRUWDQWWRÂżQG someone you admire, who is successful (itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imperative that they are successful, the chick in the next cubicle over is most certainly not an appropriate mentor), who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind \RX ERXQFLQJ LGHDV RĚ&#x2020; RI WKHP DQG ZKR LV going to be completely honest with you.

Money is almost always an issue when pursuing an entrepreneurial dream. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need it right away, at some point you will. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best to understand what sort of monetary investment will need to go into your business. You also need money to live and maintain your current lifestyle. So no, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t suggest you quit your job right away. It may take a time period of straddling your current job while you start building your dream job brick by brick. Setting some money aside during this time period is a great idea.

There are so many times that I wish I had someone when I was just getting started to smack me around a bit and tell me what I was doing right (and what I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t). Luckily, I now have a handful of people that I routinely ask their opinion. Understand that even though they may give you some really solid advice, their word is not law. You have to be able to make decisions for yourself, and sometimes youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to be the only one who believes in you. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just how it is.


Investors are always an option, but again you need to be educated. No matter how amazing your idea is, you must be prepared if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to ask an outside entity for money. Financial projections are going to be very important here so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crucial you understand what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting into. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d also advise against allowing your mentor WRLQYHVW2QFHPRQH\LVLQYROYHGLWÂśVGLĚ&#x2021;FXOW to separate your best interests from theirs. If you do decide to allow an investment from \RXUPHQWRULWÂśVWLPHWRÂżQG\RXUVHOIDQHZ one.

:HDOOPHDVXUHVXFFHVVGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWO\VRUHIUDLQ from comparing yourself to others. Some people want to be millionaires and some are content making a decent living while doing what they love. Some people will measure their success by how many lives they can change and people they help. Whatever your measurement for success, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s yours and only yours. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let anyone tell you what your vision for your life is supposed to look like.

You Will Fail Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inevitable but failure is a relative term. Sometimes failing at one thing opens the door to another. Failure is the best learning tool out there, and the sting of failure doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean you suck. It means you tried. It means that when everyone doubted you, you tried your hardest and for whatever reason, came up short. The experience youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gained is invaluable, and this one failure may be what puts you on the track to success. Maybe \RXÂśUHVXFFHVVIXORĚ&#x2020;WKHEDWDQGWKHQIDLOZLWK something else. Either way, you no longer are a wantrepreneur, you made the leap, and now thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no looking back.Ĺś



by: Katie Hellmuth Martin




Whether you're a 9-5er or an entrepreneur, laying the foundation of your greatness is the key to success, key to getting a promotion, and the key to living beyond your business. If you don't build your best self online, you're not only at a disadvantage to your competitors, but you may not even exist.


Katie Hellmuth Martin is the co-founder of Tin Shingle (, the online resource and destination for small businesses who are building big buzz for their brands.




Social networks are fun and addicting, but OHWÂśV IDFH LW WKH\ FDQ EH DQQR\LQJ WR ÂżJXUH RXW LI \RXÂśUH QRW Ă&#x20AC;XHQW LQ WKHP \HW 7KH\ DOO EHKDYH GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWO\ KDYH GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQW SXUSRVHV KDYHGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWUHDGHUVWKXVPDNLQJLWVRWKDW \RXQHHGWRZULWHLQGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWWRQHVLI\RXDUH marketing something or building a brand. ,I \RX KDYHQ W WKRXJKW WKDW PXFK DERXW LW chosing to "think about that tomorrow" but tomorrow never comes. Your LinkedIn has a generic blue head for your account, and \RX YHJRWQRWKLQJLQWKHIRUPRID7ZLWWHURU Instagram presence. Do a little digging, and your competition may run very deep in these networks, celebrating their style in several pictures and clever comments that lock in what they are all about. If you are faced with the day when you must look for another job quickly, or maybe you realized you were overdue for a promotion, you want to be sure your social assets are well-stocked. Building them takes time as you reach out to make new connections, and populate your accounts with your tone in published updates and visual style in photos. Which social networks should you have? This will depend on your industry, but LinkedIn is a must, Twitter would be great, and get in on the Instagram fun.

FACEBOOK AND CRICKETS Telling your Facebook friends about a great professional accomplishment is very important. But Facebook is weird and socially selective, so not all of your friends are

DFWXDOO\VHHLQJWKHVHXSGDWHV,W VQRWOLNH Twitter where an update gets a fair shot DWWKHWRSRI\RXUIROORZHU VQHZVIHHGDQG trickles down as the day wears on. No, )DFHERRN KLGHV XSGDWHV LW GRHVQ W WKLQN are important or worth your time. So if \RX YH EHHQ VKDULQJ \RXU JUHDWQHVV WR \RXU IULHQGV RQ )DFHERRN WKDW V D JRRG ÂżUVW VWHS EHFDXVH \RX DUH EXLOGLQJ \RXU authentic and trusted audience. But, you QHHGWRWDNHLWRXWVLGHRI)DFHERRN VZDOOV to where more people can read about your accomplishments.

KEEP UP WITH INDUSTRY CHANGES Even though you are a trusted authority LQ\RXUÂżHOGWHFKQRORJ\FKDQJHVTXLFNO\ and before you know it, the rules of the game have changed. If a disruptive technology is brewing in your industry, NHHSLWRQ\RXUUDGDU,ILWGRHVQ WJRDZD\ investigate full force by going to seminars and events to mingle with others so you FDQOHDUQPRUHDERXWLW(YHQLI\RXGRQ W DJUHH ZLWK ZKDW WKH FKDQJH LV RĚ&#x2020;HULQJ FKDQFHVDUHLW VJRLQJWRPDNHDELJLPSDFW on your profession. For example, I used to design websites. We were a custom shop who built to suit. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You dream it we build it.â&#x20AC;? I ignored all RIWKHZHEVLWHSODWIRUPVWKDWRĚ&#x2020;HUHGIUHH templates that boasted of being so easy to VWDUWZLWKQRFRGHQHHGHG:KHQ,ÂżQDOO\ closed the doors of my website business in

order to run my next business Tin Shingle, full time, my eyes opened to the amazing opportunities for small businesses to create beautiful websites in just a few FOLFNV7KHÂżHOGRIZHEGHVLJQFKDQJHGDV did client expectations for ease of use and even pricing.

LOCKED UP IN YOUR TOWER :KHWKHU \RX UH RZQLQJ LW LQ \RXU FDUHHU for other companies, or you run your own business, you need to stay front and center. Often times, business owners hide behind their business, letting their brand identity do the talking. But what if WKHFRPSDQ\Âż]]OHVRXWRUDSDUWQHUVKLS JRHVEDGDQG\RXVSOLWZD\V"<RX OOQHHG to start over again and it would be most convenient if your personal Twitter account had been chirping for you the entire time, rather than resurrecting from dust in the corner. The same applies to your big shot position at your job. You PD\ EH LQ WKH FRUQHU RĚ&#x2021;FH DW ZRUN EXW if you need to change jobs or prove your LQĂ&#x20AC;XHQFHWR\RXUERVVRUIXWXUHERVV\RX want to let your social handles do the talking rather than relying on an email to translate your accomplishments.




The One-Two Punch to Success


3 steps to getting where you want to be by: Chiara Mazzucco

It really doesn’t matter what career path you chose, the end goal should always be the same: success. You may be taking a more passive approach, hoping that doing your best will result in some kind of victory, or you may be on the hunt for a secret combination to unlock your own potential. Success is also a relative term, and in industries with a glass ceiling it may mean more to you on a personal level than it does climbing some sort of ladder. Regardless of what success means to you, there is a universal combination that will help get you where you need to be.

The One: Adaptation Adapting to your environment is key, and it’s arguably the most overlooked step to success. We are taught that in order to succeed, one must stand out and get noticed. That getting too comfortable or complacent may inhibit you from making any substantial progress. In many ways, that’s absolutely correct. You have


"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley fall into a leadership role naturally that way because when people arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worried DERXW WKHLU HJRV WKLQJV MXVW Ă&#x20AC;RZ PRUH naturally. Coming into a new environment with a smile on your face means you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about people questioning your intentions so you can focus on more important things.

The Two: Absorption Now that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve settled in, the real work begins. Put on your investigative hat and start digging. Chances are, whatever goal youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to reach will take time. This is when you want to start asking questions: How do I get there? Who and what do I need to know? How did that person get to that position? This part is of the process is all about learning and gathering as much information as possible, from as many GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWUHVRXUFHVDYDLODEOH

WRSURYH\RX UHEHWWHUWKDQ\RXUFRPSHWLWRUVDQG you constantly have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to improve. But that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen until later. First, you must adapt. First, \RXPXVWOD\DÂżUPIRXQGDWLRQ Every industry, every environment has a way of doing things thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been set in stone long before your arrival. Even the entrepreneur has a certain structure to follow. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not necessarily a good or bad thing, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just the way things work. 6RWKHÂżUVWWKLQJ\RXKDYHWRGRLVDGDSW%OHQG in to get an understanding of how things work. If no one wears jeans on Monday, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wear jeans. If thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a process to setting up a meeting with your boss, follow it. Adaptation doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t raise hell later, or that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re VDFULÂżFLQJ \RXU LQGLYLGXDOLW\ LW MXVW PHDQV youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting comfortable enough to not be a threat to anyone, including to yourself. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not seen as a threat, people around you have the tendency to open up more and show you the way things really work. You may also

Maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something as simple as going above and beyond on an assigned project. Maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something a little more interesting like the fact that anyone who ever got promoted happened to be on good terms with the executive assistant. Little nuggets of value are everywhere, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just waiting to be found. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re often afraid to ask questions because ZH WKLQN WKH\ ZLOO PDNH XV FRPH RĚ&#x2020; DV stupid and not right for the job, and while Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not one to promote an avalanche of TXHVWLRQV RQ \RXU ÂżUVW GD\ , GR EHOLHYH how you ask questions is just as important as what kind of questions you ask. Try not WR FRPH RĚ&#x2020; DV LQFRPSHWHQW EXW UDWKHU IURP D SODFH QHHGLQJ FODULÂżFDWLRQ )RU example, I took a break from bartending for a while and when I started at a new place, I completely forgot how to make a certain cocktail. Instead of twirling my hair DURXQG P\ ÂżQJHU DQG JRLQJ FURVV H\HG , asked how they made it at that restaurant because every place I worked at made it GLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWO\ 7KDW PD\ QRW DSSO\ WR \RXU

situation, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an example of thinking on your toes and by wording my question DOLWWOHGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWO\,GLGQÂśWFRPHRĚ&#x2020;DVWKH new chick behind the bar who couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make a margarita. ,WDOVRKHOSVWRWU\WRÂżJXUHRXWWKHVRFLDO hierarchy in your new environment. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean you necessarily have to take shit from the cool kids, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good to know who they are and exactly how much power they have. Observe your surroundings. People watch. Pay attention to everything going on around you. Remember that the more you know and the more you absorb, the stronger youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be when you make a beeline for success.

The Punch: Conquer The point of the one-two-punch process is that you begin working behind the scenes, when no one suspects it. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re smart, you PRYHTXLFNO\DQGHĚ&#x2021;FLHQWO\EXW\RXGRVR carefully. When you really want something, you have to put a plan of attack together and you have to keep that plan of attack close to your heart. Greatness takes work and the stronger the strategy, the easier itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be for you to reach your goal. Laying a foundation for success is important, which means you have to do the prep work ahead of time, you have to be aware of your surroundings, and you have to know your weaknesses and the hurdles youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll encounter before you begin your journey. Remember, it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter what career path youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on because success is a relative term. It also doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter how far along you are on that path because every day can be a fresh start. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important is for you WRÂżJXUHRXWZKDWPDWWHUVDQGZKDWJRDOV you want to achieve. Make a plan, stick to it, and make a beeline for your dreams.Ĺś




by: Piper Punches

Authentic Social Networking [ finding friendship in the real world] [118] INDIE CHICK | THEINDIECHICKS.COM

Piper is the author of mainstream, human interest fiction, The Waiting Room, Missing Girl, and 60 Days (Available late 2014). She is a habitual truth-bender turned novelist and enjoys connecting with other amazingly awesome writers and readers. Stop by her website or connect via social media.



Beginning a friendship when you were a child was relatively stress-free. All you had to do was sit next to a new person at the lunch table, realize you both loved the color purple, despised bologna and cheese and voila you were on your way to sharing your deepest darkest secrets (okay, maybe just sharing your secret crush for the day and a fruit roll-up). Throughout the ÂżUVW SDUW RI PRVW HYHU\RQH V OLYHV ÂżQGLQJ IULHQGV LV easy, but once you embark on adulthood, developing meaningful friendships that make you happy and nourish your spirit can seem virtually impossible.

Why Is It So Hard to Develop Adult Friendships?

Once we enter adulthood there are a number of competing factors that make it increasingly challenging to cultivate meaningful relationships. Between juggling career expectations, dealing with unexpected relocations, managing relationships with VLJQLÂżFDQWRWKHUVDQGUDLVLQJNLGVLWFDQEHH[KDXVWLQJ WRHYHQWKLQNDERXWSXWWLQJ\RXUVHOIRXWWKHUHWRÂżQG friendships. 7KHWUXWKLVWKDWÂżQGLQJIULHQGVLQDGXOWKRRGLVDORWOLNH dating. It is a trial and error process that is sometimes fun, but mostly disappointing as your realize that the VSHFLDO VRPHRQH \RX FDQ FRXQW RQ IRU D ZHHNO\ JLUOV  night out and meaningless texts throughout the day is

QRWDVHDV\DVLWORRNV$QGOHW VEHKRQHVWRQFH\RX DUHDERQDÂżGHDGXOW\RXUHDOO\GRQ WKDYHWLPHWRMXVW hang out with a group of maybe-friends. You have better things to do with your time.

Female Friendships Are Important Regardless of how agonizing it may be to foster female friendships, and how lonely it can feel at times when you have gone on too many "friendship dates" with the wrong person, it is important to keep searching. Female friendships allow us to let our guard down and be ourselves. To express ourselves in ways that we may QRW IHHO FRPIRUWDEOH LQ IURQW RI RXU VLJQLÂżFDQW RWKHU family members, and co-workers. They help us develop our identities as we change and grow, but most importantly they accept us for who we are â&#x20AC;&#x201C; bad hair days and all. These friendships provide VXSSRUW UHGXFH VWUHVV DQG RĚ&#x2020;HU HQFRXUDJHPHQW when we need it the most. They essentially create the foundation that all of our other relationships are built on.

Create a Personal Inventory Once you no longer have a built-in social group like you GLG GXULQJ KLJK VFKRRO RU FROOHJH ÂżQGLQJ IULHQGVKLS UHTXLUHVDELWRISHUVRQDOUHĂ&#x20AC;HFWLRQ,WLVYHU\HDV\DV our daily agendas become cluttered with obligations to



Toxic Relationships to Avoid The Imposter

This is the friend that only likes you for the company you keep. Ashley B., 24 of St. Louis, remembers all too well how upsetting it was when she discovered a co-worker she thought was a friend was only after a hook-up. "The only time she was able to hang out with me outside of work was on my birthday and the only reason she was there was for a guy she was interested in and used me to get close to him." These friends will never have your back. Expose their true colors and walk away.

The Dead Weight

:H YHDOOKDGDQH[SHULHQFHZLWKRQH of these gal pals. They bring you down DQGQHYHUOLIW\RXXS7KH\ OOEXUGHQ you with their problems, but when you need a shoulder to cry on they are out the door faster than a one-night stand. Protect your sanity and avoid these disasters just waiting to happen.

The Charity Case lower our standards. To accept people into our lives that may not bring out the best in us just so we feel a little less lonely when the kids are asleep, WKHZRUNGD\KDVHQGHGRU\RXUVLJQLÂżFDQWRWKHU is otherwise occupied. This is why it is important to take a personal inventory of what qualities in a female friendship DUH QRQQHJRWLDEOH  :KHQ \RX ÂżQG \RXUVHOI without that certain someone in your life, take a breath and consider what you value in a friendship. By having a deeper understanding RI ZKDW PDNHV \RX KDSS\ DQG IXOÂżOOHG \RX ZLOO QDWXUDOO\ JUDYLWDWH WRZDUGV ZRPHQ WKDW ZLOO ÂżW nicely within your life.

Toxic Relationships Like a romantic relationship, friendships can VWDUWRĚ&#x2020;ZRQGHUIXOO\EXWTXLFNO\IDOODSDUW7KH\ can even become downright abusive. Sometimes women may feel like they have no other so-called friends in their lives and choose to continue to participate in the unhealthy relationship because WKH\ GRQ W NQRZ KRZ WR HQG LW RU DUH DIUDLG RI being alone. 7R[LF IULHQGVKLSV DUH QRW VSHFLÂżF WR DQ\ RQH age group. Although we may only think of backstabbing, cattiness, and general bad EHKDYLRUDVSDUWRIDWHHQDJHU VOLIHLWFDQKDSSHQ well into adulthood, too. No relationship is worth


pursuing if it makes you feel unworthy or used. If you feel you are in a toxic relationship consider taking the following steps to untangle yourself from its lethal web: â&#x20AC;˘Reduce contact with the person â&#x20AC;˘Surround yourself with people that exude positivity â&#x20AC;˘Avoid creating drama and never talk about the person to mutual friends â&#x20AC;˘Make a clean break

Maintaining Your Friendships Whether you develop a singular relationship or ÂżQGDFORVHNQLWJURXSRIIULHQGVWKDWDGGYDOXHWR your life, it is crucial to uphold the relationship to make sure it continues to grow. The friendships you create in your mid-twenties are naturally going to change as you move through your thirties and beyond. While you may not be able to get together often, keep each other informed RI WKH PDMRU HYHQWV LQ \RXU OLIH 'RQ W OHW VRFLDO media consume you. Make plans for weekly, monthly, even yearly get-togethers (if you have a long distant relationship) to stay connected DQGDSDUWRIHDFKRWKHU VOLYHV)ULHQGVKLSVWKDW Ă&#x20AC;RXULVK FDQ KHOS \RX QDYLJDWH OLIH DQG DOO WKH potholes that are ahead. Never underestimate WKH YDOXH RI ÂżQGLQJ IULHQGV WKDW OLIW \RX XS DQG support you through it all.Ĺś

When a friend expects you to be their KRXUKRWOLQHLW VWLPHWRKLW(QG Call." Jamie H., a 38-year-old behavioral health specialist, also from St. Louis, has struggled with these types of friends LQWKHSDVW,RIWHQZDQWWR³¿[´WKLQJV for people- but I do that at work and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to feel like I have to do that in friendships, too. I will still be friendly . . . but I am not going to go out of my way to engage them in activities."

The Challenger

Nothing is more toxic to a friendship than competition. When one person in a friendship feels the need to constantly challenge and compete to one up her IULHQGLW VWLPHWRVHULRXVO\HYDOXDWHWKH friendship. Healthy relationships are EDODQFHG,QDFDVHOLNHWKLVLW VEHVWWR walk away before you trip and fall.

The Impersonator Imitation may be considered by VRPHWREHWKHKLJKHVWIRUPRIĂ&#x20AC;DWWHU\ EXWZKHQ\RXUIULHQGLVULSSLQJRĚ&#x2020;\RXU style and trying to be a version of you it can be downright creepy. Friendships DUHDFHOHEUDWLRQRIHYHU\RQH V XQLTXHQHVV:KHQ\RXÂżQG\RXUVHOI FRQVWDQWO\ÂżQGLQJ\RXUVHOIVWDULQJLQWR DPLUURULPDJHRI\RXLWLVGHÂżQLWHO\ time to put up your defenses and quite possibly consider a restraining order.



DICKS [Men Who Get Us]

You know, Dick like Richard! Duh.

Indie Dick: Any man who recognizes the beauty of strong, independent and empowered women. He is confident, capable, and supports Indie Chick values.




Contrary to popular belief, man-hating isn’t synonymous with feminism and here at The Indie Chicks, we love men. Not only does our team have plenty of male followers and readers, but we also have men that we look up to, admire and utilize as advisors. So we decided to hand select men that not only inspire us, but are helping others with what they do, (and they aren’t half bad to look at either!)

What makes it different/unique? I have my own story, my own vision, and my own passions. I don’t try to fit into a mold of who I’m supposed to be (as a consultant, speaker, online marketing professional or a professional athlete). I have so many interests and I continue to explore, grow, and evolve.  

Why do you love what you do?

Lewis Howes Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Founder School of Greatness

Why did you start your business? I was a pro-athlete on track to become a professional NFL player, but a career-ending wrist injury left me in a cast on my sister’s couch with no money, business experience, or confidence in how I was going to build the life of my dreams. It’s always been important to live a life I’m passionate about; a life where I’m not constrained by the limits of my job. I consider myself a “Lifestyle Entrepreneur,” which means I do work I’m passionate about, and structure that around the lifestyle I want to be living, not the other way around.

Scott Dinsmore Founder & CEO Live Your Legend

Why did you start your business? I took all the 'right' career advice and ended up in a job I couldn't stand that was totally misaligned with who I was. I found out that as many as 80% of people don't like the work they do. So I quit and set out to figure out what the other 20% had in common. I then built Live Your Legend as a way to provide the tools and community to help people find and do work they love, make their impact and surround themselves with the people that make it possible. 

What makes it different/unique? At Live Your Legend, everything starts with getting the right people in your corner. We don't just focus on tools for selfdiscovery, business and making a career change. We've found that the most important ingredient for making progress is almost always your surroundings and community. You could have the best career tools in the world but if the people around you tell you you're stupid for using them, then they'll never work. Same goes for any personal or professional goal. The fastest way to do the things you don't think can be done is to hang around people already do them. That's also why we have in-person LYL Local communities in over one hundred cities and countries around the world. Environment is everything. We take that very seriously. And the beauty is it's 100% in your control.

Every day I get to live out my life mission to serve 100 million people and help them make a living doing what makes their heart sing and create a legendary, love-filled life. I am so lucky to have a great team that supports and helps me live out that mission every day.

Why do you love what you do?

Give us one piece of advice:

Give us one piece of advice:

Take action on your dreams. Every day you have the choice to create a life you love, so follow your passion and make the decision to live a life of purpose.

What is the one thing you admire most in women? I’m going to get more specific-- I can’t speak to women everywhere, but what I admire most about the women in my life (mother, sisters, friends, and my amazing assistant) is their unconditional love and support, both in who I am and what I do. They empower me every day and without their love, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Because people are capable of so much more than they often give themselves credit for, and I get to see that potential and possibility actually come to life and the ripple it creates. They do the real work - I just get to witness the magic unfold. So fun!

Choose your friends very wisely. As Jim Rohn says, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." There's no time for toxic friends. Make a conscious effort to hang around the people who make the impossible not only seem possible, but normal.

What is the one thing you admire most in women? What I love most about the women close to me are the small, endearing touches they seem to add to everything to make it more personal, welcoming and warm. And the one woman I spend all my time with always manages to have fresh flowers in the house - and this bubbly happiness that's incredibly contagious. Readers can find our free Passionate Work Toolkit here:



Why did you start your business? I had to start  Mythic Bridge.   It’s a physical manifestation of my core being, representing the two most important elements of my life: filmmaking and  teen empowerment. Like so many others, I had a difficult time as an adolescent. I made bad choices and I put my future at risk. Luckily for me, my downfall was derailed when I discovered my passion for performing and creation, and  I was able to  ’shape up’ as you will.  I’ve gone forth and made a great life  for myself, and I want to return that favor by providing other teens with access to discovering his or her own passion. At Mythic Bridge we do that using the art of filmmaking, which is really a team-based art form. That collaborative element is huge for us. We are building a community here where we not only teach these kids the “nuts & bolts” of the filmmaking process, but we also teach them invaluable life skills such as group collaboration,  communication, time  management and creative problem solving.  I  know that none of these kids will be 'experts' upon completing our workshops, but if any of them are able to discover a passion for this kind of storytelling, then they are one step closer to creating a productive life for themselves and we have bridged that gap between dream and reality.  What makes it different/unique?   Mythic Bridge is unique because of the personal backstories of the two founders, Don Klein and myself. Both of us took the tragedy we faced in our lives and transformed it into creative possibility. We realize that we are who we are because of everything we’ve gone through, not in spite NYC/BROOKLYN, NY

of it. We are open and truthful about our personal stories, which allows our community to feel comfortable to open up to us about theirs and thus eliminating the cycle of shame and fear. We are peers in our community and we trust each other and because of that we are able to accomplish great things together. Plus, we are bringing the fun and creativity to a suffocating film business. Since we are not profit driven, the kids have free reign to create whatever their hearts desire. And who doesn’t wish for a little more of that?! Why do you love what you do? I love what I do because at Mythic Bridge I am my own boss and I get to do my favorite things: create and inspire. This community was just a dream that we willed into existence but it has grown to become bigger than any of us individually. We are here for each other, supporting one another to achieve our collective dreams, and that is the ideal workplace for me. Our drama is kept to the pages and our successes are celebrated by all. We are a family and I can’t think of any other way I would want to spend my time and energy. What is the one thing you admire most in women? Only one thing?! I admire that they have the magic of life within them, which one day my wife Jill, will gift me with.  I admire their enduring patience dealing with a world that is too often crude and vain and shallow, and I admire the way they can change that world with a warm look and a smile.  I admire their grace and power on the dance floor and their tender ferocity in romance. I admire that there is a universal feeling of responsibility to protect them and an outrage when that doesn’t happen. I admire that women are the mothers of all things and are loved for being so. Mythic Bridge - a non profit organization that provides free, hands-on, narrative film making education to adolescents dealing with financial, emotional or situational hardships.

Cage Cass Woodle Co-Founder/Executive Director Mythic Bridge INDIE CHICK | THEINDIECHICKS.COM



Mike McCandless Owner, Scivation Owner, Primaforce Why did you start your business? Originally, I started a nutrition store in 2001 because I was passionate about health and nutrition. I also wanted to help consumers make smart choices and not get taken advantage of. In 2002 I opened up an Internet mail order business and sold it in 2006. The sports nutrition companies I have now were started in 2004.   What makes it different/unique?   The sports nutrition industry is negatively featured in the media on a regular basis.  Our goal is to go against the grain and show that there are a lot of positive aspects to sports nutrition.  What makes us different in our industry is research.  We use our profits to fund groundbreaking cancer metabolism research.   By the end of 2015 Scivation will have funded close to 1 million dollars in research.   Why do you love what you do? During the past 3 years, the heart of the company has been formed.  We’re creating a company culture of helping people by funding research to show how diet and supplements can impact metastasized cancer tumors. Cancer touches all of us. We all know someone who has been impacted by it. To know we are funding research that has never been done before-- is amazing.  This research hasn’t been done prior because it’s difficult to get patented, which is a big deterrent for corporate America. What’s the purpose in making money if you don’t do something worthwhile with it? To know we may impact someone’s life, how can you not love that? Give us one piece of advice: Don’t be afraid to give 100% and fail. You have to put full effort into decisions.  As a business owner you will be faced with countless choices. You don’t know what the right decision will be, so you make it the right one. You put your full effort and resources behind a decision. If that decision turns out to be wrong, you’ll know it. If you give 50% effort post decision, did you really learn anything? Don’t find yourself making the statement: If we would have tried harder.  Making the wrong decision is not a mistake. A mistake is repeating that decision a 2nd time. Which is possible if you didn’t give it 100% the first time. This applies to many aspects of life.   What is the one thing you admire most in women? I think women are hitting their stride in the business world. We rag on social media for its superficial nature, but there are a lot of positive role models. Women that want to seek information about other successful women, can find it.  I admire the support network that women provide to each other.  I believe women truly want to see other women succeed. Social media is allowing these women to band together, share ideas and speak about their personal journeys.

photos by: Yu Tsai

Featured Artist

+ Badass We Love

Christina Perri

When we saw Christina Perri's name pop up on our funding campaign as a Muse contributor, we were pretty excited (okay we'll admit there was a tiny bit of fangirling going on). From her very first hit Jar of Hearts that we all played on repeat to her new album, Head or Heart, her music is something we can't get enough of. When it comes to being an Indie Chick, Christina is the whole package, mainly because she walks to the beat of her own drum, doesn't fit into a specific mold and has worked her ass off to live her dream.



We love your tattoos (we all love tattoos over here). How many do you have, and which is your favorite? (We know, it’s like choosing a favorite child.) ,KDYHDERXWLW VVRKDUGWRSLFNDIDYRULWH My top three are probably the "ti amo" on my neck, the line around my left arm and the cheeseburger emoji on my wrist.

Do you ever have lows? And if you do, how do you power through them? I go through lows probably as often as everyone. I surround myself with people that I love, I eat chocolate and I move out of my own way. It’s normally always me sitting in the pain, rather then moving on past it. I feel like WKHUH VDOZD\VWKHFKRLFHWRIHHOEHWWHU

What drew you to The Indie Chicks? My best friend Keltie Knight sent me to you guys and I immediately related and wanted to be a part of it!

I remember when Jar of Hearts exploded onto the scene. What I loved most about you at the time was how humble and grateful you were. How do you carry that feeling with you and remain grounded despite all your stardom? I always remember where I came from. I always think about how fortunate I am and how grateful I am to be doing this. It naturally NHHSVPHJURXQGHG,DOVRGRQ W WDNHP\VHOIWRRVHULRXVO\,¿QG the fun in everything and it keeps me bright.

What makes you feel really good about yourself? Taking care of myself. It’s so hard to do this on the road and away from home and when so many people depend on you. I often put myself last, so the days I don’t and I get exactly what I need physically and emotionally, are my favorite days.

What is one question you’ve never been asked in an interview but are dying to share? If I could have a dinner with 5 people living or dead who would they be? 1. John Lennon 2. Julie Andrews 3. Dean Martin -DPHV*DQGRO¿QL 5. Karen Carpenter

Name 3 guilty pleasures. Anything Disney Anything Broadway Anything cheeseburger

Tell us about your Inner Badass. What makes you feel beautiful? Working out and eating right naturally makes me feel good about myself. I spin on my soul cycle bike and drink green smoothies every show day so when I’m taking care of my body I feel good about myself.

Best advice you’ve ever been given? That I am enough just the way I am.

I have lots of inner badass. I used to think it was my tattoos or my leather jackets but I realize now it’s when I do something I’m afraid to do, or when I succeed at something I didn’t think I could. I know it’s when I include people in my life and joy rather than pushing people away. It’s when I stick up for the broken ones and when I wake up and be 100% myself no matter how many people are trying to change me. That’s badass to me.

<RX¶UHṘFLDOO\DQ,QGLH&KLFN now—what does being an Indie Chick mean to you? Being an Indie Chick to me means celebrating how unique I am :)

Favorite quote? 7KHJUHDWHVWWKLQJ\RX OOHYHU learn is just to love and be loved in return."


What’s next? Touring, touring and touring the whole world for the next 2 years. See you there!

catch Christina on tour!

Demi World Tour with Demi Lovato Oct 10 - Sioux Falls, SD Oct 11 - Moline, IL Oct 14 - Chicago, IL Oct 15 - Louisville, KY Oct 17 - Uncasville, CT Oct 19 - Montreal, Canada Oct 20, Hamilton, Canada Oct 22, Manchester, NH Oct 24 - Hershey, PA Oct 25 - Newark, NJ Oct 27 - Brooklyn, NY Nov 19 - Dublin, Ireland Olympia Theatre Nov 20 - Glasgow, UK O2 ABC Glasgow Nov 22 - Manchester, UK Ritz Manchester Nov 24 - London Koko



¿YH Badass

Tag us in your Halloween pics so we can share your badass outfits with all of our readers!

Chicks to be this

Halloween Need a little Halloween inspiration? We’re here with some of the costume ideas that we love. If you want to find costume inspiration in your own closet visit, otherwise let’s get started on some more involved, but super fun, costume ideas.


by: Julie Zantopoulos

Daenerys Targaryen, aka the Mother of Dragons. Khaleesi is strong, beautiful, and knows how to utilize both to her advantage. She looks stunning with her white blonde hair, her blue dresses, and her simple makeup. Add a little gold jewelry and hair held back with a few thin braids and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got her down. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also the soot covered hottie emerging from the ashes naked-but you could put on a grey skirt and shirt that are torn, tattered, and have burn marks as well. With Dany showing EHOO\LVQRWDQLVVXHVRLI\RXKDYHLWĂ&#x20AC;DXQWLW


Game of Thrones Women There are a ton of badass Indie Chick worthy women in the Game of Thrones series. Personally, I adore Arya but who wants to FXW RĚ&#x2020; DOO WKHLU KDLU KDYH DQ LGHQWLW\ FULVLV and walk around with a sword mumbling the name of all the people you want to kill? Sansa went from simpering idiot to a young woman who uses what she has to get what VKHGRHVQÂśW6KHÂśVJRWDORWRIGLĚ&#x2020;HUHQWORRNV you can work with, so almost any ornate dress will do if you have red hair in intricate braids. Honestly, her hair is always awesome. Ygritte is a badass wildling, and all you need for her costume is some red hair, a large warm coat and a bow to carry. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a total badass. But, my choice would beâ&#x20AC;Ś

If you saw the movie, chances are you loved it. I know I did. Anything Disney usually has me hooked, but taking a deeper look at the â&#x20AC;&#x153;villainsâ&#x20AC;? is a great twist. I loved Angelina -ROLHDV0DOHÂżFHQWDQGWKHUHDUHDORWRIJUHDW ways to recreate her look for Halloween and make it your own. A great black dress will be a staple, a black cape with a popped collar, a black choker necklace (black ribbon will work) a pop of color with a purple pump will do for her signature look too.

about Iggy is that her look screams Halloween IXQ 6KH W\SLFDOO\ KDV Ă&#x20AC;DZOHVV VNLQ ZLWK the exception of her moles, and bright fun lipstick with simplistic eye makeup. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the RXWÂżWVWKDWPDNHKHUDEODVW6KHÂśVXVXDOO\RQ the edge of fashion, wearing brightly colored unitards, cut out tops, and anything that VKRZV RĚ&#x2020; WKDW JUHDW DVV RI KHUV +HU EORQGH hair can be in a sleek ponytail, straight, curled a bit, or in an elegant up-do. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing WKDW ,JJ\ FDQÂśW SXOO RĚ&#x2020; RQ VWDJH RU RQ KHU body. Have fun with it and be sure to add an Australian accent and impromptu rapping to the costume for an added bonus.


The real clincher for this look is her makeup! <RX GHÂżQLWHO\ QHHG IRXQGDWLRQ D IHZ shades lighter than your skin tone, bronzer, highlighter, green colored contacts (the ones used were a goat slit type-but just green will work), and her signature red lips. Her softly smoked eyeshadow and lashes are a signature look as well. For more tips on how to perfect this look check out the tutorial by Kandee Johnson on her YouTube Channel. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to make a headpiece, too. Grab a +DOORZHHQ PDVN ZLWK KRUQV DQG FXW LW WR ÂżW like hers, then spray paint it black. You can DOVR ÂżQG 0DOHÂżFHQW KHDGSLHFHV RQ $PD]RQ DQGRQOLQH SUHWW\ HDVLO\ +RZ \RX ÂżJXUHRXW each piece is up to you, but you have to have them.

2UDQJHLVWKH1HZ%ODFN Marisol â&#x20AC;&#x153;Flacaâ&#x20AC;? Gonzales is probably one of the most fun inmates to recreate, in my opinion. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quirky, gothic, and loves her 80â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s indie rock music. With some dark lips, heavy bangs, heavy eyeliner, and her signature inner corner teardrops youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re pretty much good to go. Grab yourself a jumpsuit, add a Latino accent and if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the one to serve the food, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re taking it to a whole new level.

,JĆ?O\$]DOHD Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have to be living in a radio-less cave to not know the name Iggy Azalea. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a rapping phenomenon that is slated to push 1LFNL 0LQDM RĚ&#x2020; WKH FKDUWV 7KH JUHDW WKLQJ

If you are anywhere as addicted to The Walking Dead as I am then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re likely in love with the katana-wielding Michonne. This badass is kicking ass and taking heads with her katana strapped to her back. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about makeup, and you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have to shower, which is a win for most people. You just need a giant katana, boots, a tank top, pants and a bandana to hold back your dreads. Acting like you have a chip on your shoulder, pulling your katana on people who look at you funny, and scowling is icing on the cake. No mater what you decide to pull out of your closet or imagination and rock this Halloween, have fun with it. Remember that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the one night of the year that everyone expects you to let your hair down and get a little crazy. Let your inner badass out to play, ladies!Ĺś



OH HEY, BARTENDER The holidays present many opportunities to entertain and since everyone loves a new cocktail, we've enlisted the help of the chief mixologist at the world renowned Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to share her favorite cocktail recipies. These drinks and alcoholic treats are sure to blow your guests away - no matter the occasion.

THE INFINITE PLAYLIST Ingredients: 2 oz El Dorado 12 year Rum ½ oz Ancho Chai Masala Tea Syrup ½ oz Amaro Meletti 2 dashes Xocatl Mole Bitters Muddled orange slice and cherry Glass/Ice: Old Fashioned/Cube Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherry and orange swath 3UHS 3URFHGXUH Add cherry, orange, and syrup to mixing glass. Strain over fresh ice. 6HQVLWLYLW\ 7DVWLQJ1RWHV: A variation of the classic cocktail, The Old Fashioned. A 12 year aged Rum as the EDVHDJHGLQERXUERQEDUUHOVPDUU\LQJWKHWRĚ&#x2020;HHDQGRDN with vanilla undertones. Sleek, modern luxury in a glass.

SHE'S MY CHERRY PIE Ingredients: 4 cups Coconut Cream *LĚ&#x2020;DUG&XSV2UJHDW 4 Cups Morello Cherry Puree 4 oz Luxardo Morlacco Cherry Chopped Luxardo cherries 6 gelatin sheets 3UHS 3URFHGXUH Mix all ingredients. Place in freezer until frozen. To garnish, dip end of pop in the V\UXSDQGFRDWZLWKWRDVWHGFRFRQXWĂ&#x20AC;DNHV 6HQVLWLYLW\ 7DVWLQJ1RWHV A play on the Cherry Pie.


GRAPES OF WRATH SANGRIA Ingredients: 1 bottle of Riesling 1 clamshell of Raspberries 1 clamshell of (quartered) Strawberries 1 Red apple (diced) 1 container of Lavendar Mint ½ bottle of St Germain 1 cup (halved)Green Grapes 6 oz of Lemongrass syrup Glass/Ice: Wine/Cube 3UHS 3URFHGXUHPour over ice. Stir. Add soda ZDWHULIHĚ&#x2020;HUYHVFHQFHLVSUHIHUUHG 6HQVLWLYLW\ 7DVWLQJ1RWHV A fruit foreword Sangria that is both light and savory.

PLANET OF THE GRAPES Ingredients: 1 oz Pavaan ½ oz Hangar One Mandarin Blossom 1 oz Citrus Chammomile Syrup ½ oz Lemon Juice Top with Prosecco

Glass/Ice: Flute/none Garnish: Edible Flower 3UHS 3URFHGXUHAssemble all ingredients. Shake with ice for 20 seconds, strain. Top with Prosecco 6HQVLWLYLW\ 7DVWLQJ1RWHV$Ă&#x20AC;RUDOSOD\RQ the mimosa for the morning crowd.

As Chief Mixologist, Mariena Mercer oversees the cocktail creation for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which is the largest fresh scale beverage program in the world. Operations include operating a beverage production kitchen where syrups, purees, and bitters are made in-house for the fourteen bars Mercer oversees and continually designs for. Mercer is a ten-year veteran of the industry with a background in Environmental Chemistry, and was just recently nominated as one of the “Top 5 Female Bartenders” in the world.

SOPHIE LOREN Ingredients: 1 oz Hendricks Gin 1 oz Lilet Rose 1 oz Combier Pampelmousse Rose Glass/Ice: Collins/none Garnish: Grapefruit Zest 3UHS 3URFHGXUHAssemble all ingredients. Stir for 20 seconds, strain over fresh ice. 6HQVLWLYLW\ 7DVWLQJ1RWHV A feminine play on the Negroni that, like Sophia, has that “je ne sais quoi” appeal.

AMERICAN GOTHIC Ingredients: ¾ oz Ancho Reyes ¾ oz Chai Masala Syrup ¾ oz Woodford Reserve ¾ oz Amaro Meletti Dash aztec Chocolate and Firewater bitters


Glass/Ice: OF/Cube Garnish: Star of Anise


3UHS 3URFHGXUHAssemble all ingredients. Shake with ice for 20 seconds, strain. Top with Prosecco. 6HQVLWLYLW\ 7DVWLQJ1RWHV A spiced cocktail that juxtaposes the ÀDYRUSUR¿OHVRIWKHQHZ³$PHULFDQD´ standard.

1 quart water: 1 quart Sugar: 1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder: ½ cup Chai Masala Tea (Mighty Leaf) or any chai tai. Cook on medium heat for 20 min. Strain and chill. 1 month shelf life


1 quart water: 1 quart Sugar: 1 cup quartered strawberries : 1 cup Rhubarb (frozen works, year round and can be purchased in any supermarket): 1 tsp. Rosewater. Cook on medium heat for 20 min. Strain and chill. 1 month shelf life


1 quart water: 1 quart Sugar: 4 chamomile citrus teabags: zest of 1 grapefruit. Cook on medium heat for 20 min. Strain and chill. 1 month shelf life


1 quart water: 1 quart Sugar: 6 cleaned lemongrass hearts. Cook on medium heat for 20 min. Strain and chill. 1 month shelf life




Tips for Entertaining Like a


Entertaining, whether it be a birthday party or a dinner party, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always feel as easy as it looks on TV. Conversational faux pas and recipe mishaps have left me feeling more like Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m the clown instead of the host with the most, and I know Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not alone.


Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one on holida holiday that seems to the Mount Everest Eve of entertaining occasions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Thanksgiving. ksgi F For a start, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no breathing athing room â&#x20AC;&#x201C; everyone converges on a single day, god help you if you need to pick up a â&#x20AC;&#x153;few last minute itemsâ&#x20AC;? the night before at the grocery store. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a day we express gratitude with an onlyin-America oversized feast of items to prepare, preferably handmade according to grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s handed down recipes. And to top LWDOORĚ&#x2020;7KDQNVJLYLQJODFNVWKHGLVWUDFWLRQV that keep family arguments from brewing, like unwrapping Christmas presents or the big champagne toast at midnight on New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let Thanksgiving be such a drag â&#x20AC;&#x201C; here are 6 tips for entertaining at Thanksgiving like the Martha Stewart-esque badass we know you really are.

Send out invitations. I am not encouraging you to spend your precious dollars on printed letterpress invitations, save that money for your wine budget. Instead, do digital invitations, but do it right. Tell people the key pieces of info: what time they are expected, what time dinner (or lunch) will be served, what


Andy Hayes is the founder and chief creative producer at Plum Deluxe, the website that helps you create moments that matter. From dinner party guides and ideas to creative kitchen recipes, Plum Deluxe wants you to live a life you love.


time the party ends, what they should bring, and any other important details (you have a FDWDOOHUJ\VXĚ&#x2020;HUHUVEHZDUHGLQQHULVRQWKH patio, so bring a jacket).

Delegate like a badass. Sometimes the adage â&#x20AC;&#x153;get it done right, do it \RXUVHOI´LVÂżWWLQJEXWQRWWRGD\7RGD\\RX want to delegate tasks when it makes sense. Do you always burn the pie and tear the crust? Let the perfect pie maker in the family handle that (and if her name is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lisa from the Grocery Bakeryâ&#x20AC;? I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tell a soul). Feeling stretched for time? Ask someone just driving across WRZQ WR VWRS IRU Ă&#x20AC;RZHUV IRU WKH WDEOH VHWWLQJ %HVSHFLÂżFDQGGHOHJDWHZLWKLQWHQWLRQÂą\RX donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to delegate the turkey to the person who is always late and may be inclined pick up something from a fast food chain.

Stick with recipes you know. I strongly, strongly encourage you to have at least tried a recipe at least once before making it for the main event, even if this means your November consists of giving away pies at work and hardcore cardio sessions at the gym every evening. Indulge yourself a little. If your entertaining repertoire doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have that many traditional Thanksgiving staples, here are a few easy starter dishes to try: -Roasted Sweet Potatoes 6LPSOH6WXĚ&#x2021;QJ -Easy Mashed Potatoes By the way, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to stick with traditional dishes; if you want to have French onion soup, or macaroni & cheese, or birthday cake for your meal, you get to choose. Just try to stick with a theme or have a story about why you chose everything, so your guests will know you for the badass you really are.

End your meal on a high note. Most of us tend to best remember the last thing ZHHDWDWDPHDODVRSSRVHGWRWKHÂżUVWWKLQJ So, end your meal with a dazzling dessert to impress. If you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t good at pies, try your hand at a berry crumble. Or make your own ice cream. Pop your own vanilla salted caramel corn. Dish up a trio of chocolate tastings. Arrange for a top-shelf international cheese platter of biblical proportions.

An easy tweak for any pastry or sweet creations is to make your own whipped cream - easy if you chill the bowl - and everyone loves fresh whipped cream.

Plan a diversion. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve noticed that when family folk have a few drinks and then are left to their own GHYLFHVVRPHRQHHQGVXSJHWWLQJRĚ&#x2020;HQGHG Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave your guests to chance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you need to have something to keep them occupied, especially at â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;slowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; points in the festivities. A couple of examples: -Have snacks out and waiting on arrival, DORQJZLWKKDOIÂżQLVKHGSX]]OHVRUDFWLYLWLHV to distract while meal preparations are ÂżQLVKHG -Force everyone to play an after-dinner JDPH VHUYHG DORQJVLGH WHD DQG FRĚ&#x2020;HH RU digestive cocktails

By the way, everyone says they hate games â&#x20AC;&#x201C; actually, most people love games and hate the idea of looking foolish or childlike. Do it anyway â&#x20AC;&#x201C; lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s short, play a little.

You are not in charge of everyone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happiness. Last, but not least: you are the master of ceremonies, your attention to detail is Ă&#x20AC;DZOHVV DQG \RXU SUHSDUDWLRQ SODQ ZDV impeccable. But, you are not in charge of your guestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happiness. Some people will have decided they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to have a good time at your party, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s their problem, QRW \RXUV  6PLOH NHHS WKH ZLQH Ă&#x20AC;RZLQJ ODXJK RĚ&#x2020; WKH PLVKDSV DQG EH WKDQNIXO IRU the opportunity to gather and celebrate. As the badass hostess, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your job.Ĺś



Fall Holiday Decorations by: Julie Zantopoulos and Jacki Armes

What do you get when you mix two best friends, two bottles of wine (one red and one white of course) and a night of crafts? You get some fantastic DIY projects that everyone can do! Grab your friends, grab your supplies, and let’s start DIY’ing like badasses. When it comes to decorations, Halloween and Christmas are huge holidays, but personally we love decorating for Halloween! So, here’s some quick, inexpensive, and super easy decorating ideas that will make even the most novice crafter look like a pro.


¬ Psst!

Share your DIY projects with us on social media so we can show you off !

BOO 6SRRN\$SRWKHFDU\ What says Halloween like a witch’s den full of potions or a mad scientist’s lab full of medicine? These bottles are a great way to spice up any drink table or centerpiece.

SUPPLIES: Empty apothecary or green/weathered bottles Labels Marker Distress ink/stamp

STEPS: Time to distress your fancy new labels –yup, ruin them and make them look old. The distress ink can be brushed over the label and then left to dry. Once the labels are dry you can place them on your bottle, add a cork in the top, and you’re DOOGRQH7KHVHFDQEH¿OOHGZLWKIXQOLTXLGVRUFDQG\WRDGG VRPHÀDUH We printed out our labels, already distressed looking, from a craft site with free downloads. Hello, super cute and easy. Inside our bottles is tea we brewed and left to cool…oh and some limoncello.


Nothing says Halloween like ghosts and ghouls, and this BOO sign is a great way to spice up any door, wall, or space. Not only is it easy, but it’s something you can keep and use year after year—budget win!

SUPPLIES: Letters from craft store –wood ones will work best. Straw twine Burlap Bow or Halloween Ribbon (with wire) Optional: Decorations-ghosts, spiders, and witches hats (scrapbooking embellishments work great) Paint (orange, purple, black) Glitter

STEPS: Paint your letters orange and let them dry completely. Swirl glue on your letters and then sprinkle with glitter of your choice. Decorate with your Halloween cut outs. String them together using the twine or ribbon and add your bow to the top and you’re ready to hang it and enjoy. We used wooden letters that were already black so all we had to do was attach the letters with twine and then cover that with ribbon. After that we attached our metal glitter bow at the top. We love it!

Candy Corns Candy corn is a traditional Halloween treat and an iconic color palette to play around with. These bottles make a great addition to any table or mantle.

SUPPLIES: White, Orange, and Yellow spray paint Empty Wine Bottles (by now youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been crafting and have some empties, right?) Ribbon (optional)

STEPS: Again this couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get any easier! This is a matter of taking things in stages DQGDOORZLQJWLPHWRGU\6WDUWRĚ&#x2020;ZLWKWKH\HOORZRQWKHERWWRPVSUD\WKH white on the top and then the orange in the middle to merge them. Let each layer dry between paintings. Once itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dryâ&#x20AC;Śyouâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re done! Add some ribbon if you want and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re good to go. See, you can craft; it really is simple. Thanksgiving When the family comes together, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to make them feel welcome and warm. These simple decorations will really spice up your home and add a Fall feel to any get together.


Festive Centerpiece I love having a unique and rustic centerpiece on a table. As much as I love Pier 1 and their cute pumpkins and cornucopias, we know you can create something at home that looks just as great. After all, we did.

SUPPLIES: Mason jar Filling of choice: fall leaves, corn, acorns, cranberries, etc Burlap ribbon Ribbon with wire in it

%H7KDQNIXO Thanksgiving is all about reminding ourselves what we are thankful for in our lives, and if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re as lucky as we are, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot. This is a fantastic way to showcase all the things we are grateful for in an easy way.



8x10 (or larger) frame with glass in Craft paper cut to size or collaged Dry Erase Markers



Wrap a piece of burlap around the jar (a thicker band than your ribbon) and glue together (hot glue works best but a strong crafting glue will do as well). We wrapped a thinner ribbon around the jar as well to add color and layering. We then used crafting wire with little red buds on it and wrapped it twice around WKHMDUJOXLQJLWWRWKHEDFNDVZHOO7KHÂżQLVKHGUHVXOWLVDJUHDWFHQWHUSLHFH that everyone will love.

Arrange your craft paper in the frame. Make sure itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not so busy that is disrupts being able to read print over it. Close up the back of the frame, display the frame somewhere central to the gathering and leave dry erase markers nearby. A great way to encourage others to chime in is to VWDUWWKHPRĚ&#x2020;ZLWKDOLWWOHVRPHWKLQJ Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it! Super simple, and reusable every year, just wipe clean with Windex and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready for next year.

The other half of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;best friends duoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is Jacki Armes, lifelong friend to Julie and crafter extraordinaire. Find all her caffeinated crafty endeavors, from needlework to scrapbooking at her blog awholelottalatte. or at @ JackiArmes29 on both Twitter and Instagram.



+Reader [Confessions] Each week, readers come to to confess anything and everything they feel they ULLK[VNL[Vќ[OLPYJOLZ[ anonymously. When the JVUMLZZPVUZJVTLPU YLHKLYZÅVJR[VYLHKHUK YLSH[LHZ[OL`YLHSPaL[OH[ many of their struggles are not as uncommon as [OL`[OV\NO[HUK[OH[[OL` weren’t alone in the feelings they were having and the mistakes they were making. (M[LYHSS^L»YLHSSO\THU aren’t we? See if you can YLSH[L[V[OLZLYLHKLYZHUK if you’re ever in the mood [VNL[HU`[OPUNVќ`V\Y V^UJOLZ[THRLZ\YL`V\ stop by our website’s Indie Confessional!

ssed ConfeAnonymously



“i've been seeing the same guy for like 7 months now and i guess it's serious. we've been sleeping together and everything seemed normal until 2 nights ago when he asked me if i had a strap-on we could play with. i really don't know what to do. ew?"

“Lately my boyfriend has started speaking for me and I hate it. He says stupid shit like “oh we don’t like that”. Uh, yes I do! I told him I hated it and to stop and he laughed at me and asked if I was on my period. I’m going to shave him bald in his sleep…because we like bald guys! GRRRRRR!!!

look y hate my best friend of 20 years. sometimes i'll ly etel rete “I secr s it's easier at her and wonder how we're still friends. I gues g to clean up the mess of such a long friendship.” ng avin ha than havi

“My ‘start off as friends’ keeps fucking me over. I always start these friendships with guys I’m interested in and then end up helping them with their girl troubles. I’m such a damn doormat. I hate it."

"i have a crush on my step-brother and don't know who to tell. his mom and my dad married when i was 13 and now i'm 19 and he's 23 and i still have these feelings. I know it's gross because we're family now but i can't make the thoughts go away.”

After my husband passed away a little over a year ago,I figured I would never meet or date anyone again. I recently met a man who is fun to talk to and spend time with but he lives out of town. We slept together recently and it opened up confidence I never thought I had. We've talked and fantasized about our next meeting. I don't think this will ever be more than a casual relationship but right now that's all I really want."

“I recently came out as a lesbian to my family and friends. I was so nervous about it, but my family and friends were fantastic about it, for the most part. Unfortunately, one of my best friends couldn’t handle the news and decided that she had to part ways with me. I’m crushed that she couldn’t accept me for who I am but I know I’m lucky to have the support I do from everyone else." THEINDIECHICKS.COM | INDIE CHICK



Indie Chick  

Fall 2014

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