Wednesday, July 29, 2015

8 of the Most Inspiring Quotes from Her Conference 2015

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While attending Her Conference 2015 I had the privilege to listen to many influential women speak, women who empower and strive toward their goals everyday. These women are leaders. They are real people with honest advice who I truly feel are here to help advance the world toward the greater good.

Here are the top quotes I collected from my experience at Her Conference 2015. Enjoy! I hope they inspire you as much as they have me-

1. "Trust what got you here." - Michelle Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen Magazine

2. "You deserve to earn everything." Neha Gandhi, VP of Editorial Strategy at Refinery29

3. "Take big risks. Fail forward." - Neha Gandhi, VP of Editorial Strategy at Refinery29

4. "We're going to make it." - Nessa, Girl Code Star and Radio Personality

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5. "It's not fair to you to try and be perfect. You are perfectly
imperfect." - Nessa, Girl Code Star and Radio Personality

6. "If you don't fail, you won't succeed." - a Her Campus 

7. "Just be human." - Michelle Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen Magazine

8. " Stop being average at everything and be a rock star at one thing." Hilary Rushford‪#‎GIRLBOSS‬ and Instagram Influencer

Monday, July 27, 2015

Be Perfectly Imperfect

Be Perfectly Imperfect
I was afraid I wouldn't be able to attend Her Conference 2015 because I was sick the day before, but I managed to power up early in the morning, get on a bus to New York and sit through what could probably be named the best seven hours I've had in New York to date.

I knew I could rest on Sunday, and I didn't want to miss this opportunity on Saturday, July 25 to attend the conference, where I learned more about social media, leadership and the publishing industry from ultra-inspiring and influential women.

What I experienced was so motivating. I was inspired to aspire to be better in all I do, but, at the same time, and with much appreciation, I was resolved with the fact that I am perfectly imperfect.

I was lucky enough to attend a panel with Girl Code stars Carly Aquino and Nessa, plus Dr. Diana E. Ramos, MD, MPH and FACOG, at the beginning of the conference.

They told me just what I needed to hear, that it's not fair of oneself to strive for perfection, in fact, it's exhausting and might be annoying for friends to watch and be a part of. "Relax," Nessa said, "We all get there somehow. We're going to make it." We must accept ourselves the way we are and fail forward; if plan A doesn't go as planned, there's always a plan B.

That said, a large part of the discussion was also about Plan B, which you may know as the morning after pill. Throughout the discussion, many misconceptions were addressed and the panelists identified myths about the pill.

The first statistic that struck me was that 76% of women admitted to lying to loved ones in order to appear perfect. While this statistic could apply to a number of situations, the panelists decrypted several other statistics I was surprised by.

Some of you may not know that you don't have to wait to take the morning after pill until the actual morning after. In fact, the sooner you take it, the better. You have 72 hours to take it after your "oops" moment, as it was so called during the panel discussion.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dear Me, Just Do You
I haven't written a personal note in a while, mostly because I'm unsure what to say. There are a lot of things I am figuring out: things I can't believe I have to figure out, things I want to figure out and things I'd rather let fall to the leeway.

So here's a quick letter, for you and I both-

"Adulthood" is nothing I expected. I am growing everyday in different ways, but who I am in my core has not changed. I didn't expect anything of being an "adult," so there you go. You never can really know what to expect- of life, of yourself, of others- It's a mystery. Settling with the fact that life is a grand mystery is unsettling to me.

As a person with type 1 diabetes, my life has always been about control and management. Being out of control is not ideal for me for this reason. There are some things I'm able to play puppet master to, and I am becoming more resolved with the fact that some things don't need a puppet master. I am an easy-going person at the end of the day. I am a flexible worker. Knowing that about myself has made moving across the country less difficult, but, to be honest, I am still trying to figure out who I am in this new place. New adventures are ahead. I don't know what they are and I accept that.

Life can be a fog, but I think I will daylight will clear the way sooner rather than later. Figuring life out as a post-grad is nothing a Bachelor's degree can prepare you for. Education is important, and experience is simply vital. I cannot stress that enough. You will never understand yourself fully until you're stationed in new surroundings.

I'm not 100% sure who I am here yet, but, if I'm being honest with you and myself, I know I trust me- I trust my dreams, my goals and my ambition. Moving here was saying yes to me, and I think that's the reason I've been feeling conflict lately, that I'm finding my place and am identifying "the new me" as I go. I will not let my life pass me by without meaningful circumstance. This life and these experiences I am having matter so much, both the struggles and happy moments. You will never realize how happy those happy moments are without experiencing the bad ones.

So here's to the good, the bad, the ugly, the mystery that is this life. You, me and the neighbors we bother for plumbing services- we'll all figure it out in the end, at least, that's what we'll envision for ourselves and aspire toward.

Here's to going for it! May the force of your own nature be with you, always.

Miss Trend She

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

5 Daily Deals on my Summer Wishlist

*This post is sponsored by eBay but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

My summer wishlist isn't just full of experiences in New York City, but fashion to make those experiences feel even more memorable. Plus, some beauty products to complement the perfect summer night's dream, looking over the Hudson River at the beautifully lit Manhattan cityscape.

Thanks to eBay deals, I won't have to worry as much about the cost of a ferry ticket or lunch at Potbelly's. The last thing I want to think about when I'm eating a sandwich chock full of hummus and veggies is whether or not I'll be able to afford my next fill-up at the gas station. eBay is going to keep me in check this summer with their daily deals. I've discovered 5 in particular that make my summer most-wanted wishlist achievable.

1. Ballet Flats
Because every woman needs a good pair of these in her closet, for $10.99 you can't go wrong. I found Pierina Ballet Flats Womens Loafers Shoes Genuine Leather Lined by Alpine Swiss on eBay deals. Usually, I'm apprehensive about buying shoes online because my feet have such a funny shape, but I feel pretty comfortable about purchasing these. Ballet flats are an easy-on, easy-off shoe, and for a price that won't turn my post-grad bank account into a deep depression, I'm happy to invest. I'm eyeing the black pair to match easily with any outfit.

2. Toms Shoes
I adore this line, not just because their shoes are so stinkin' cute, but because of their valuable mission to send shoes to people who need them across the world. I found TOMS Classic Canvas shoes that are almost out of stock on eBay Deals, because they're such a hot item. For the price of $29.99, 33% off the original $45 value, these shoes are an easy "yes"! I have my eye on the olive tone, the perfect fall statement color.

3. Burberry by Burberry
Burberry is one of my favorite smelling fragrances. One of my first great friends in college wore this perfume, and I have always admired the smell. Usually, when I see this brand in stores, it's quite a bit more expensive. I find when you need a strong perfume for the right price, you usually spend your money driving around to find it. On eBay Deals, I'm one click away from this 3.3/3.4 oz. bottle of Eau De Parfum Spray for Women for  $24.99, 57% off their original value of $45.01, in the comfort of my pajamas.

4. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
If you haven't tried SK-II Facial Essence, now's the time- Seriously, the best toner of my life! Before trying SK-II Facial Treatment Essence I hadn't considered a need or desire to purchase this type of beauty product, but now, whenever I see it on sale, I jump at the opportunity to re-own it. This product changed my skin, and I am ever grateful to its wondrous powers. It may sound like an exaggeration, but trust me as a previous skeptic when I say, you will thank yourself and your skin will thank you too. This product totally makes my summer wishlist thanks to eBay Deals that has it marked at $84.99 for a 5-piece set. This is 50% off its original price, so it beats buying it from the company website too.

5. Makeup Brushes
I am so bad at changing my makeup brushes. It's hard to find a quality set that satisfies the need for new ones. The Natural Bamboo Handles I found on eBay Deals are an 11-piece set for $10.79. That's less than $1 a brush! For that good of a deal, I won't feel too bad about failing to wash my brushes in-between morning makeup applications.

Since moving to the East coast, I have loved shopping online. It's a lot easier for me to do, so when I find good deals, I'm even more inclined to be leisurely and enjoy my lazy Sundays. Though today is Tuesday and work is just around the hour, eBay deals has me feeling that much closer to those happy weekend vibes.

Thank you to eBay for sponsoring today's post and inspiring me to try their Daily Deals!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

New Jersey, New Look

Miss Trend She Makeover #NoFilter
Sometimes, in order to find yourself, you must get lost. Yesterday, I found myself somewhere between the promise of Forever 21 and sips of a Starbucks Venti Medium Roast Iced-Coffee with two pumps of sugar-free Hazelnut Syrup and whipped cream on top. There was no Forever 21, but there was a mall and delicious coffee, which was more than enough to make me giddy about the stores that were there.

I walked around the mall with a smile up to my ears. I was so happy to be exploring what I consider my home-turf and excited people were walking around shopping, supposedly, doing the same- they just weren't wearing as dorky of a smile as mine, but I didn't care.

Friday marked the beginning of my weekend and a day of transformation, independence from an old look and a signed declaration of freedom onto a new, my order confirmation page. It was time for a change. I decided to color my hair with ESalon, an online service that customizes your dye based on your skin tone, eye color, previous dye jobs, natural hair color and desired hair color.

I discovered ESalon through reading several fashion magazines like Allure, Lucky and Instyle. After reading these rave reviews, I was eager to give the service a try.

ESalon Custom Kit
Originally, I thought I wanted to just try a darker shade of brunette, but after speaking to my ESalon representative, I quickly changed my mind. She asked me if I would ever try red to complement my "fiery personality." Flattered by her word choice, I picked a dark mahogany tone.

I had dabbled on the idea in the past, but this is the first time my hair has truly been touched by embers. The color turned out darker than I expected, but I am still very satisfied with the results. The price is perfect for the service provided, and the color you purchase is saved in your profile, so when you want to re-color, you already know your dye number. If you want to try a new color, I'd imagine the process is just as easy to re-assess.

The color I have is a refreshing and inviting hue. On top of new color, my hair now lies somewhere around my collar bone. It had fallen mid-back this past Thursday, but TGIF called for something more drastic. Still, the cut is a subtle style, but noticeably different. All together, I'm feeling more me in my new city, new apartment, new job and, well- new life.

Here's to hoping you find freedom in new places and within yourself this Independence Day. Safe travels!

Happy Fourth of July!

Miss Trend She

Monday, June 29, 2015

The White Rainbow Project Announces 2nd Annual Designer Sari Challenge

"Widows Wave," The White Rainbow Project, Image Courtesy of Michelle Lucas Photography
As Founder and Executive Director of the White Rainbow Project, Linda Mandrayar has learned more about the world outside her own than most people strive to. Through her work, she hopes to encourage communities to understand global cultures and care for them, by reaching out to struggling peoples.

Mandrayar first learned of the plight of Indian Widows in 2003 after her son had taken home a reading assignment, a book called "Homeless Bird" that told the story of a 13-year-old Indian girl who was widowed and abandoned by her mother-in-law.

"My husband was born and raised in India and was unaware of the city of the widows, so we did research and found out thousands of widows are abandoned there every year," Mandrayar said. "In Indian society, a widow is deemed to have bad karma and many are blamed for the death of their husbands."

Mandrayar was surprised to learn about the widows, so she and her husband set on a course to bring awareness to the issue. Because of her film-making background, Mandrayar decided to make a film that would tell the story of what a widow's life is like in modern-day India.

"Of course, we faced much opposition, as Indians are very sensitive to any criticism of their deeply held traditions," she said. "At first the film was held up by censors in India, but was eventually released in 2005."

Since then, the film, fittingly called "White Rainbow," has been screened at various international film festivals and universities.

The First Annual Designer Sari Challenge, The White Rainbow Project
Image Courtesy of Michelle Lucas Photography
"We were fortunate to be able to show it to a large audience of members of parliament in India," Mandrayar said.

The White Rainbow Project officially began years later, in 2010, when Mandrayar and several of her friends from church got together to discuss the importance of their physical presence in India.

"Unless you actually physically go there and impact real women, your job is only half done," Mandrayar said. "I have developed so much by personally going and being with the widows. It's one thing to read about their plight and to go about and raise awareness through making a film and speaking to people about the issue, and it is quite another thing to actually go there, visit with the widows and share life with them."

Camille Akin, Marketing Director of The White Rainbow Project, began working with the organization after the First Annual Designer Sari Challenge was held. At the time, Akin had already committed herself to a two-week trip to Southern India with a team of 11 women from North San Diego to start a micro-enterprise for 50 Indian women. It made sense to combine forces to help empower the widows.

"We taught the women how to re-purpose used saris and make marketable goods that would be sold here in the U.S.," Akin said. "Our team of 12, myself included, were determined to continue the efforts of the micro-enterprise and we teamed with the White Rainbow Project to host this larger fundraiser, The Designer Sari Challenge."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sandison Sees the 'Sugar Linings,' Aims to Spread Hope

Image Courtesy of Sierra Sandison
When asked what inspired her to write Sugar Linings: Finding the Bright Side of Type 1 Diabetes, Sierra Sandison, also Miss Idaho 2014, quoted Napoleon Hill who said, "every adversity holds the seed of an equal or greater benefit."

This is just one of the ways Sandison describes her condition. Sandison is smart, beautiful and giving to her support system that includes a large fan base, which amplified in size after she walked the Miss Idaho 2014 stage about this time last year with an insulin pump attached to her bikini bottoms.

Sandison said readers can expect her book to illustrate the good things that come from being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, not just the struggles. This ideology is explained by her book title.

"A sugar lining is something beneficial that comes from an adversity," Sandison said. "Diabetes has made me a stronger, more resilient person. It has introduced me to others going through the same thing I am, and I have formed priceless friendships with many people that I wouldn't trade for the world. It has given me a passion and purpose: to serve the diabetes community, and empower others to love the things that make them different."

At first, as she was traveling to speak at numerous diabetes conferences across the nation this past year, Sandison was unsure what to tell people who would ask her about having type 1 diabetes. After thinking back to her diagnosis and asking herself what advice she would give to her 18-year-old self, the words flowed.

"I know the pain that comes along with being judged and dealing with misinformed and hurtful questions," Sandison said. "I understand the feeling of failure- even when I try my best, my blood sugars still sometimes don't cooperate."

Sandison is a role model for people with type 1 diabetes. She said her experiences managing the condition have strengthened her feelings of empathy and compassion for others.

"These experiences help me relate, not only to my fellow diabetics, but to anyone who is facing a difficult time in life," she said. "I may not have been in their shoes, but I have a taste of their pain."

Sandison is not clouded by judgment and feels she understands and accepts people better because of her type 1 diabetes.

"With my book, I aim to bring hope to those struggling with diabetes, or any other challenge, by bringing light to the sugar linings they will find if they decide to look for them," Sandison said. "A diabetes diagnosis, or other difficult situations, may seem bleak and hopeless, and I hope to make their forecast a little less unknown, and a lot more bright and promising."

Sandison was disciplined while writing her book, setting aside a certain amount of time per day to make sure she kept an efficient track toward completion.

"I gave myself a strict publishing deadline: the day after I handed down my crown," she said. "I learned that, when I want something done, I can really put some hustle and work into it. Having proven that to myself will definitely give me the confidence in achieving future goals that pop into my life, and hopefully, at least one of those will be writing another book."

Sandison will soon have to face turning down her crown to Miss Idaho 2015. Though she admits to feeling bittersweet about it, Sandison is mostly excited she won't ever have to give up her "#showmeyourpump" reign.

"It's bitter because this has been an amazing year, and I hate to see it come to a close," she said. "Usually, Miss Idahos say that their sweet part is that they are exhausted from how hard they have worked all year, and, while they are sad, they say they are excited for a new chapter. My sweet side is that I won't have to stop! I won't be the current Miss Idaho, but I will always be 'the queen of #showmeyourpump.'"

Sandison said she will not offer readers many diabetes management tips, but tips about how to deal with the emotional burdens of managing the condition. Sandison will reflect upon her experiences in hopes to help others deal with their own circumstances.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

DŌ's Organic Growth Hints at Sweet Future for Tomlan

Image Courtesy of Kristen Tomlan
Cookie DŌ NYC began with a woman's love for baking, especially cookies. After finding she was sneaking cookie dough from the bowl, rather than letting it bake, she wondered if there was a way to create a product as delicious, but safe, for people to eat.

Kristen Tomlan, Founder of DŌ, concocted a delicious idea that has been getting rave reviews as NYC's freshest and most delicious foodie-lovers must-have.

"I had this idea and started testing recipes, working on a business plan and came up with this idea for the brand," Kristen said. "I started developing it and did a 'soft launch' online to friends, family and co-workers, and it really took off."

By way of social media and through word-of-mouth, Kristen's brand grew quickly and in her own words, "organically."

"I was surprised by how quickly it took off, but at the same time, I'm reinventing a nostalgic item- Who doesn't like cookies?" she said. "We take the classic American dessert and put a new, modern twist on it. Customers really like to share our product and brand, both physically and socially."

Initially, DŌ began with just Kristen and her husband as the business' unshakable foundation.

"We bootstrapped the business from the ground up and did every single aspect ourselves, while both juggling full-time jobs," she said. "My husband was the mastermind behind the financials and the detailed spreadsheets, cost analysis, budgets, logistics, timelines, all that 'not so fun' stuff."

Meanwhile, Kristen pursued the design, social media, marketing, website development, recipe creation, customer interaction, day-to-day processes, and, of course, baking.

"We had friends and family that surrounded us with a lot of support and help as we grew," Kristen said. "Once the business really took off, I left my full-time job, hired a full-time pastry chef, and now have five interns. It's great!"

Image Courtesy of Kristen Tomlan
Coming from a design background, Kristen envisioned a company logo that was simple, unique and memorable, while emanating fun, playfulness, sophistication and elegance all at the same time.

"We take making cookie dough really seriously, but we're not a serious brand," she said. "I wanted to have fun with it, and translate that fun through the design so our customers could experience it as well. That drives everything we do, from the puns in our Instagram captions to the polka dots on our containers. Our mission is to make every day more like a Friday afternoon."

Before DŌ, Kristen had spent the past five years working as a consultant, specializing in global strategy and design branding where she helped top brands innovate their customer experience. The combination of her experiences in retail design, graphic design, marketing, advertisement, trend research, among other things, helped Kristen solidify what she wanted DŌ to be.

"These experiences really helped me think about my brand holistically, and create something that customers would like, and could come back to time and time again," she said.

Kristen's original idea was to create DŌ as a "cookie dough meets Coldstone Creamery" where customers would be able to visit a storefront, pick a cookie dough base, add mix-ins and decide how they want to eat it, whether that be mixing it into ice cream or baking it into a cookie.

For now, DŌ is just online. Kristen finds it's easy to suggest combinations to customers through the website and promote specials, but customers can also customize their dough just about any way they want.

Image Courtesy of Kristen Tomlan
"A lot of people make special requests to add this in, or leave this out," Kristen said. "We're able to accommodate, which allows us to maintain that initial vision. It doesn't cost extra to customize because I really want people to eat cookie dough, and cookies, exactly how they crave it."

Customers can choose original, gluten-free or vegan cookie dough and sizes between 16 oz. and 32 oz. DŌ's most popular items are the four and six multi-packs that give customers the ability to order a variety of flavors at once.

"It's so hard for people to choose just one," Kristen said. "It's also the perfect gift-giving item."

Kristen credits her mother as being her inspiration, who she grew up watching cook and bake delicious foods. Being gluten-free has also helped Kristen be more understanding, patient and empathetic of her customers' needs.

"I can relate to people that aren't able to eat certain foods, and are missing out on that experience, especially when it comes to sweets," Kristen said. "I wanted to create a brand that had a little bit of something that everyone can enjoy regardless of their dietary restrictions and lifestyle choices."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Blue Apron Delivers
I would say puns aside, but I just couldn't resist, because Blue Apron delivers twice over. 

Blue Apron is a food service that delivers fresh ingredients to your doorstep through a subscription you sign up for at Once there, you provide Blue Apron details about how many people are in your household and what your nutrition plan is. That way, they know what to send you and how much.

They cater to single living or families. Whatever you want or need to satisfy a substantial weekly meal plan, Blue Apron is a customizable service that is bound to satisfy. I was satisfied, anyway.

Being the picky eater I am, I was unsure I would enjoy Blue Apron. I tend to lean toward a box of crackers and jar of peanut butter for suppertime. I enjoy a good meal, certainly I do, but I tend to be impatient during the preparation process, which is why I generally look to my cupboard instead of my stove-top or oven. I've disappointingly fallen into being one of those people who "doesn't have the time" to cook lately.

Miss Trend She
MBlue Apron has forced me to cook, and I am indebted to the delicious and fresh foods they have provided. The flavors that have filled my kitchen as I cooked throughout the week have revived my desire to be nutritious and eat deliciously and healthily. These natural aromas will help you fool yourself into thinking you're a chef. Let yourself be impressed as you indulge in the quality meals you make.

To make matters better, I didn't need to drive anywhere to get the food or call any delivery service numbers. Plus, the package of food I came home to around 6:40 p.m. was still chilled, proving Blue Apron is a sanitary and well-executed service. It's one of the best and most practical online subscriptions I've ever signed up for.

I am no chef, but I managed to put the ingredients together thanks to the step-by-step directions Blue Apron provided. These meals were indulgent and healthy. Making the food was mostly easy too. I didn't feel the need or want to order takeout the whole time I was standing in my kitchen.

In fact, I was excited I was the one preparing the meal for myself. Blue Apron has offered me a true welcome into adulthood.