Octagon Digital, as seen on Mashable.com

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MasterCard’s #PricelessSurprises campaign was in full swing at the 2014 SXSW. A free-standing vending machine was the star of the Mashable house when conference goers realized that simply by tweeting (something they were already doing in excess) could get them an iPod, Beats by Dr. Dre or a trip to London. Now THAT’S a priceless surprise. 

Congrats to Octagon’s Digital team for this brain child and the MasterCard account team who just hit it out of the park!

12 Things That Happen When The First Leaf Hits The Ground

Ahhhh it’s that time of year again! Hollowed-out pumpkins replace flowerpots, ovens replace grills and only having a carry-on is impossible… I mean have you seen how bulky that boyfriend sweater is compared to my bikini? Whether you live on the east coast and four seasons actually exist or you are in SoCal and The Four Seasons is your hotel of choice, the leaves are changing somewhere and life as you know makes some expected and unexpected alterations to cope. Here are 12 things that happen when the first leaf hits the pavement…

1. Fall becomes everyone’s favorite month(!?)

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2. Starbucks stops serving coffee and starts serving pumpkin.

3. Thermometers stop working. It may say 88 degrees and sunny but what it really means is sweaters and UGG boots.

4. You get excited when you are invited to a party because it’s the perfect excuse to test out your new salted caramel recipes.

5. Pumpkin becomes something you add to every recipe like other everyday ingredients such as water, salt, flour and butter.

6. L.L.Bean equals out its losses from the summer months.

7. You can easily convince yourself that the 10 lbs you lost for summer MUST be added back on for warmth and good circulation.

8. Standards lower in the dating world because curling up in front of a fireplace with hot chocolate is not really that romantic by yourself.

9. Shorter days are to blame for mood swings. Seasonal depression is a real thing, people!

10. Deciding on a Halloween costume becomes one of the greatest daily struggles… to dress with the group or go rogue? That is the question.

11.  Suddenly the ability to craft elevates your social status. “Let’s be friends with her. She can make ugly sweaters for our Christmas party can’t she?”

12. Selfies take longer to post as you have to either use your computer with photo booth or ask someone to take a photo of you (gasp) because you need both hands to cold your coffee mug.

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The Unofficial Guide To Being A Woman

The hand that The Unofficial Goldman Sacks Guide To Being A Man holds!

After reading a very thoughtful and (for us single ladies) truthful article written by @GSElevator and John Carney (@Carney) I thought I owed it to the ladies out there to give (in my opinion) guidelines to being a real, kick-ass, confident and successful women. Below are not things I believe I am, but things I strive to be, advise from women I admire and just plain common sense I have learned in my short 24-years on this earth. And so I write…

  • Don’t go out with wet hair- it’s bad for your health and it screams “lazy”
  • He isn’t holding the door because he thinks you physically can’t, he is holding it because he wants to show courtesy… thank him.
  • A smile is the sexiest thing you can put on- unless you are Giselle, THIS Versace suit is the sexiest thing you can put on
  • If you don’t like sports, that’s fine… but enjoy the company, friends and food that come along with the “game”
  • Don’t complain
  • If you have hit any age past 21 stop using “daddy” and “momma/mommy”
  • It’s ok to have a one-night stand… but if you do and he doesn’t ask you to dinner the next day don’t act surprised
  • Dress codes are less black/white with women; play it safe and if you want to be “funky or fashionable” add a necklace…
  • Speaking of dress code… leggings are NOT pants and shouldn’t be treated as such.
  • Act like a lady and think like a BOSS!
  • Don’t date a friend’s ex
  • Your Facebook friends aren’t your real friends so don’t spend more time on them than on your real life friends.
  • The sorority pose was for when you were an active sister. If you have your diploma you can stand up straight now.
  • Find a charity you love and volunteer, donate and help spread the word.
  • Watch what you do on social media. Your boss is watching.
  • Don’t write sh*t like this.
  • Gravity and time aren’t your friends… invest in a good moisturizer, go to the gym and get your namaste on!
  • There is only one Ryan Gosling and he is taken so give someone else a chance to sweep you off your feet
  • Do NOT have an end-zone dance… act like you have scored before and often
  • Be on time. It’s cute to be fashionably late with it’s your five-year-old birthday party but no one wants to sit at a restaurant or at the theatre alone waiting for you.
  • Contrary to popular belief women can be successful without having to fit into either “the bitch” or “the flirt” stereotype in a work environment.
  • Don’t be a flake. If you promise to attend something put it in your calendar in sharpie and don’t over schedule.
  • You have one bullet with acquaintances so if you need something make sure that it’s important because they won’t owe you another favor.
  • If it’s crowded have a go-to drink to order. If it’s not let the bartender make you something special but give an alcohol preference.
  • Tequila does’t make your clothes fall off; not eating and having five tequila shots does… plan accordingly.
  • Start a card collection so when a birthday or baby shower slips your mind you are covered
  • Invest in your shoes; bare feet, bandaids, blisters & bitchy attitudes weren’t invited to the party.
  • You should know more about Syria than you do about twerking
  • Let him/her look into your eyes and not at the top of your head. Put your phone away when you are having conversations with other people (this is a work in progress for me)
  • If you wake up in a random hotel room somewhere leave in a limo or town car… it makes the pain and shame manageable.
  • Don’t hashtag #firstworldproblems #whitegirlproblems … those were made by men making fun of women. They don’t need any more material.
  • Don’t claim to be a guru or expert, be a researcher and a critical thinker.
  • You can have more than one best friend. Having 3-5 people in your life that you can lean on and that can lean on you is crucial during all stages of your life. Playing favorites is to monkey bars as expanding friendships is to adulthood.
  • Do not talk negatively about people. It will get back to them. I promise.
  • Learn to negotiate in all aspects of life. Timidness and door mats are not words/phrases that describe women of power. Be able to negotiate with honesty and sincerity to put yourself and those around you in a position to flourish.
  • Second chances should be earned and not handed for all wrong-doers
  • Learn to play golf.
  • Stop talking about how fat you are or the diets you are on. If you need to get your body in shape do it on your own and reap the benefits of walking into a room where people notice the difference without having to be told.
  • Accept 95% of the date invitations that you get and truly give the person a chance; you may be surprised.
  • We will all look the same at 80 years old so find someone who challenges you intellectually and can carry a conversation with strangers in public settings.
  • Have high standards and keep them there.
  • Get rid of credit card debt by your 30th birthday
  • No one looks good saying the “f” word… keep the swearing to the sailors.
  • Read things that don’t just have glossy pages and pictures.
  • Be able to complete a crossword puzzle in more places than your college newspaper
  • Give yourself a break. We live in a world where we compare ourselves to other women more than we check out the hot men at the bar. Find yourself, allow yourself to evolve and change and learn to be content with never feeling comfortable.
  • Say “hello beautiful” in the mirror every morning
  • Invest in a power suit. See Victoria Beckham for assistance
  • The more people in your selfies the better… 😉
  • Everyone has a story; find out what theirs is before you tell what yours is. Aka listen twice as much as you speak.
  • Save money now and celebrate in your thirties and forties.
  • “Ignore the boos. They usually come from the cheap seats” – John Carney

My heart is bursting at the seams

It’s funny how meeting friends happens and magical how meeting best friends happens. You love not only the time you spend with your friend but also the time you spend with their family, their significant other, their pets. You start to speak like them and try to look like them because in your eyes they are perfect. As you get older with this friend you start to understand where their perfection and selflessness radiates from. She becomes a mirrored reflection of her mother. The strength of 50 men couldn’t compare to Syl, models don’t have a lick on her beauty and Shakespeare would have hired her to teach Juliet a thing or two about love. Our hearts aren’t any less now that she is Home but they are bursting at the seams because she gave each of us a piece of her. My love for this woman and her family, her daughter and her legacy can’t be measured. I can’t write it and I’m not even sure the most decorated authors could help me express it but what I do know is that four of the most beautiful, successful and sincerely kind children will live life to the fullest for her and through each of their friendships, like mine with Andrea, their friends will too live a better life knowing them, as they are a piece of Syl. Rest like the goddess you are, Syl.

ImageAll my love, B.

5 Facebook Photo Keeping You Single

 

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NoFilter #JustKitten

 

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Not Pictured: Snow White, Pink Power Ranger, Goofy, Grumpy, Prince Charming, Beast, Sneezy

 

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Worst day ever. I look so awful and just can’t live with this face anymore… what do you all think?

 

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Picked out the ring, the dress and color. Just need to find the man. #OnTheHunt #CouldBeBigger

 

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Found Snow White, Pink Power Ranger, Goofy, Grumpy, Prince Charming, Beast, Sneezy

The Best Filter is the One Your Sunglasses Make

I was digging through my “holiday” box and while trying to untangle my slinky-like bouncy red, white and blue star headband antenas I took a moment (the 17 minutes it took me to get the two antenas apart) and thought about how versatile our country is, our heroes are and our beliefs are. It’s astonishing. We are all created equal, created in the same way (hold on your political views) yet we all turn out differently. We have people fighting in other countries for our freedom and how do I use that freedom? I buy Starbucks twice a day? I walk home at night in the dark (without mace), I complain when it’s too hott and bitch when it’s too cold?

Vomit.

At the point where my fingers started to get red from the coils I decided that this Fourth of July I wasn’t going to to eat my first (yes first) cupcake with an American Flag on it, I wasn’t going to channel my inner Toby Keith and put my boot where the sun don’t shine, but I was going to read stories about our American heroes, be present at events and finally put my phone down; because a real life handshake and thank you last a lot longer than a Facebook post. I want the world to know the stories of Kari MillerSgt. Jerrod Fields, understand what WCAP means and realize the tough times that welcome our loved ones from war.

By the time I realized the LED light didn’t work in my headband anymore (about 15 minutes in) I had opened up my computer and emailed Chris Spatola, CBS basketball analyst super star and moderated numero uno in Google’s #HeroesHangout. I had to get our third episode in the works. The connections between who we idolize in sports and our military service men and women are endless. Analysts like Chris, coaches like Mike Krzyzewski, Paralympic medalists like Kari Miller and track stars like Jerrod Fields all served (Jerrod currently serving) and have deep roots to the U.S. Military. There is something about leadership and being a team player that attracts these five-star, inspirational and just freaking awesome humans to do what’s right in the moment.

I’m bad at that. I think too much about me.

Again, vomit.

I want to use this Fourth of July to thank the teams, coaches and athletes who recognize our real heroes. I want to thank those like Jeremy Lin who joined military men and women in our second episode of #HeroesHangout who ended the add, “basketball doesn’t really compare to all the things that you guys are doing in your day-to-day jobs but teamwork is still really important.” I want to thank those athletes who faced extreme adversity, lost pieces of their soul and body and continue to wear camo, continue to play for their country and continue to show us that life goes on. I would like to thank the children, wives, husbands and friends who allow their loved ones to leave the safe haven of their arms to put their training to the test for those they have never met. I would like to thank the police, fire and special units of the United States who respond at a moments notice to calls and without hesitation put themselves on the front lines to ensure the safety of those who may not have done the same back.

(untangled)

I want to use this long weekend to thank all of those who have the “act now” and “do what’s right in the moment” mentality.  And in honor of all of those people I am going to work on my mind set. I will think less of what I will get out of a situation and more about those my actions affect. As the memes, gifs and hashtags circle the web this weekend I hope I don’t see any until Monday morning. I hope I am away from my computer and I hope you are too. I hope my photos can wait to be posted and I hope that I can’t sum up my weekend in 140 characters.

Remember: there is no better filter than the one your sunglasses make; the best use of the # sign is when dialing your family members to tell them the party has started; show your neighbors, friends and veterans that you like them by sharing the view of those sparkly fireworks.

Have a wonderful, safe and memorable Fourth of July and be sure to neatly put away your decoration because 17 minutes untangling a dead headband is 17 minutes you are losing in the sun!