Friday five


1.  Ingenious way to sip fruit infused H2O on the go…the brainchild of a 15-year-old entrepreneur // Define Bottle

2.  The prettiest, and oh-so-chic way to serve doughnuts  // Glitter Guide

3.  One of my favorite bloggers/cookbook authors wrote a cookbook (I’ve made many of her recipes) and now she’s started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project // The Yellow Table via Kickstarter

4.  Jell-O shots using a hulled strawberry as the serving vessel.  Stop it!  // Popsugar/Yumsugar

5.  In case you missed it…Jim Carrey & Jeff Daniels do Real People, Fake Arms on The Tonight Show // Mashable

Have a great weekend!

What does your profile picture say about you?


In a previous post I talk about tips and tactics for helping to make a good first impression.  That got me thinking.  In our crazy, social network driven culture, what does our profile picture (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, etc.) say about us and are we making a good “virtual” first impression?  You can’t deny it, everyone, including myself, has a tiny obsession with how we look online.  Mine started nearly a decade ago when I signed up for my MySpace account.  It doesn’t stop there, I’ve been known to untag a few particularly unflattering Facebook photos of myself from time to time.  No one needs to see those photos from Atlantic City where we danced onstage alongside a relatively obscure 80’s cover band!  Turns out, paying close attention to your virtual identity isn’t vain, it’s kind of a big deal.

I just read an article the other day on this subject.  Researchers from Princeton and Columbia University are actually studying the profile picture phenomenon.  In their study, 800 participants were instructed to record their instinctual reactions to a series of straight-on headshots of 20 individuals making a number of expressions.  Researchers found that participants developed completely different opinions of each person depending upon the specific expression they had on their face in a particular photo. [Side note: again, another  reason to be aware of your BRF!]  What’s more is the respondents reactions changed when they were told how the picture would be used (i.e. different photos were preferred for a Tinder profile pic, versus a campaign photo for a potential politico…duh, obvi!).

In the end, this isn’t earth-shattering new stuff.  Moral of the story, choose your profile pic wisely and monitor your virtual presence.  Here’s a great article from the WSJ with some things to keep in mind when selecting your LinkedIn profile picture – a completely different beast than your other “personal” social networks.


Friday five


1.  Free doughnuts…it’s National Doughnut Day // Delish

2.  The loveliest pair of strappy sandals // South Moon Under

3.  The Veggetti – the most fun, gimmicky kitchen gadget for making veggie pasta // Kitchen & Company

4.  Ina’s recipe for how to recreate steakhouse steaks at home // Food Network

5.  The best drugstore find //

First impressions

Photo: maya_on_the_move via Instagram

Do you make a good first impression?  In my opinion, it’s one of those life skills that you don’t really master until you’re well within adulthood.  They don’t teach this stuff in college.   Do you remember that episode of Friends where Monica and Chandler return from their honeymoon, having made friends with another couple on the flight home, only to discover that the phone number the couple gave them is wrong, and they begin to wonder if they didn’t make a good impression?

Chandler: I just don’t get it. We didn’t do anything wrong!
Monica: I know. Although you did tell an awful lot of jokes.
Chandler: I thought you said those jokes were funny! Joke, joke, joke, joke!
Monica: Joke, joke, blah, blah!
Chandler: Well maybe it was all of your questions.
Monica: What was wrong with my questions?
Chandler:The sheer volume. It was like flying with The Riddler.
Monica: I’m sorry, was that another joke?
Chandler: Was that another question?

Over the years, I’ve been coached on how to make a good first impression.  Here are some of the tips and tactics I’ve learned.

1.  Stop talking.  During a first encounter you may find yourself spewing out endless amounts of information while the listener politely nods, smiles, and asks a few relevant questions.  You walk away from the conversation feeling like an all-star, while the listener can’t seem to run away fast enough.  While the conversation was going well for you, you didn’t make any attempt for the listener to feel affirmed or appreciated.  Make sure you’re also thinking of ways to make the other person feel good – it could be as simple as asking about his/her day.

2.  Say their name.  Repeat.  People innately like to hear their own names.  It makes them feel special.  Don’t stop there – learn the names of spouses, children, and pets – then mention them in a follow-up e-mail or conversation.  Asking, “How was Katie’s dance recital?”

3.  Look interested and be conscious of your body language.  I’ve heard that a slight head tilt powerfully conveys the message that you’re sincerely interested in the what the other person is saying.  When meeting someone for the fist time, it’s crucial to keep your BRF (b*tchy resting face) under control! 

4.  Avoid bad days.  If you go to a cocktail party/networking event after having a bad day, chances are you’ll continue to have a bad day.  A bad mood is difficult to hide and most likely others will pick up on it via facial cues or body movements.  If you’re having a really bad day, avoid these types of events or make sure you have a fool-proof way to snap out of your gloomy mood.

Friday five


1.  Cantaloupe meets bagel, odd combo, can’t wait to try this! // Tasting Table

2.  On my summer must-read list // NY Mag

3.  Lobster chic.  I saw a girl wearing a similar sweater at a bar last night, and I really liked it! // Elle

4.  Philly goes big-time!  Shake Shack/Vetri collaboration. // FooBooz

5.  No-bake key lime pie, yes please! // Domino

Have a great weekend!


3 etiquette tips I just learned

Full disclosure: I am not an etiquette expert. I just stumbled upon these three interesting etiquette tips and thought they were worth sharing.



Making an Introduction:

When introducing someone, you should always say their name first and their relationship to you second.  That way, you spotlight the person–not their connection to you.

Wrong: “This is my husband, Jay.”
Right: “This is Jay, my husband.”

Wine Etiquette:

While taking a sip, you should politely look into your glass. (And not at another person, if you’re in the middle of a conversation.)

Dinner Etiquette:

When you are finished with your meal, your knife and fork should be placed on your plate diagonally from upper left to lower right (11 to 5 if you imagine your plate as a clock face). This is a secret code to the waiter (or host) that you’re finished.



Happy trails to you, until we meet again…it’s Friday

If you’re a blog aficionado, then I’m guessing today’s post will probably look familiar to you.  I’m starting a new series called “Friday Five”.  As a news junkie and communications choreographer (thanks Lindsay A. for allowing me to borrow this moniker) I’m constantly scouring the web for interesting, informative and thought-provoking content to add to my arsenal of conversation starters.  Here are some of the cool stories I’m reading today.  Have a nice weekend!


1.  3 Easy Water Infused Recipes // A Beautiful Mess

2.  11 Things You Didn’t Know About Lucky Charms // Thrillist

3.  Best Airport Food Across the U.S. // Delish/Food & Wine

4.  Red Velvet Cake: A Classic, Not a Gimmick // New York Times

5.  How to Win Reservations and Influence Waiters by David Chang // GQ


What are you reading today?