15 Scandalous Secrets from your favorite Reality Binge "Jersey Shore"

Originally published on The Things

It’s summer and who does it better than your favorite East Coast beach trash cast of “Jersey Shore.” The MTV show revolutionized how people think of summer. Are you grabbing your girlfriends and heading to daytime bars like J-Woww and Snooki? Or do you prefer to be a little meatball like Deena? Try to grind it up and fist pump as you spin tracks like DJ Pauly D. Getting hot and heavy with a new love like Sammi and Ronnie? Or better yet, maybe you’ll be spending your summer selling booty shorts like Mike “The Situation.” With a reunion set for August this year there’s no better time to delve into the most scandalous secrets of the show. We all know each reality star pursued various spin-off shows, book deals, and fashion labels. But what else really happened? These are the top 15 juiciest secrets of the addictive cultural phenomenon that is “Jersey Shore.” 

15. Snooki Wanted to be on Real World 

Snooki, aka Nicole Polizzi aka part 1 of the Meatball Twins, actually always idolized “Real World,” the MTV show that forged the trend of reality television. Snooki's personal hero was Johanna Both from “Real World: Boston.” According to Rolling Stone magazine, Snooki met Johanna at a club in Poughkeepsie, New York. “I almost cried,” Snooki said. 

“Real World” was the ultimate precursor of “Jersey Shore”— the show featured various average twentysomething strangers in a house together. The series was first broadcasted in 1992, inspired by the 1973 PBS documentary series “An American Family.” Of course, there was inevitably more beer and hooking up involved in “Real World” but the roots are still semi-respectable. Leave it to MTV to pimp out a PBS show. But “Real World” directly spawned a new generation of realbrities (reality celebrities). And this was definitely not lost on Jersey-queen Snooki. “Now when I do public appearances and people are like, ‘I’m your biggest fan,’ I know how they feel,” she explained. Maybe we’ll see her on TV once again on the next season of “Real World”? 

14. J-Woww Loves Cartoons 

The bombshell beauty has a soft spot for animated films. Jenni “J-Woww” Farley's childhood dream was to work for Disney as a cartoon animator. She actually interned at Disney, but after understanding how difficult it was, she instead opened a graphic design business. J-Woww's social scene transitioned more to a club atmosphere, and the artistic Farley pivoted to pursue clothing design instead, landing her on the radar of “Jersey Shore” casting agents. The rest is history. But J-Woww's love for all things Disney did not end at the “Shore”: in 2016 she debuted a sleeve tattoo featuring her favorite princesses—Belle, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. In an exclusive Inked magazine interview to discuss her bold new look, J-Woww explained that the ode to Disney was more along the lines of “happily never after,” as she described. “I took my four favorite Disney love stories and flipped them so they are more rooted in reality,” J-Woww said. “As you grow up you realize that relationships are hard work and that nobody’s life is going to be a Disney movie.” And “Jersey Shore” sure wasn’t!  

13. Our Cousin Vinny 

Lovable Vinny Guadagnino actually was planning on going to law school if acting didn’t work out. Thankfully the fresh-faced baby of the group brought his understated handsomeness to the “Shore” but who knows, he might return to law. Vinny had recently graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz before being cast in “Jersey Shore.” His coolheaded demeanor and overall calmness brought a much-needed maturity to the show. It’s no wonder he was debating whether or not to bring justice to the world. As the surprising breakout star of “Jersey Shore,” MTV gave Vinny his own talk show “The Show with Vinny” in 2013 with guests such as Mark Wahlberg, A$AP Rocky, Jenna Marbles, Lil Wayne, and Iggy Azalea. What can you say, people like Vinny. And most girls would let him decide if they’re guilty or not if you know what I’m saying.  

12. Surprise Daddy Pauly

D apparently stands for Daddy. Pauly D became a father unexpectedly when Vegas Hooters waitress Amanda Markert claimed he was the father of her daughter. The one-night stand with the famed DJ resulted in the birth of a little girl, but Markert didn’t tell Pauly until the child was a few months old. After some custody battles over child support, the reality star began co-raising his daughter Amabella Sophia. “I’m proud I’m a father,” Pauly D said in 2014. “I am excited to embark on this new part of my life.” However their current relationship is unclear. Today, Pauly D is still spinning tracks at casinos throughout the country while dating singer Audrey O'Day who he met through E! show “Famously Single”. The couple are based out of Las Vegas as well.  

11. Ambulance Angelina 

Angelina Pivarnick, the loudmouthed Staten Island native who appeared in seasons 1 and 2, is actually now working as an EMT in New York City since 2016. She’s probably good at her job and all, but boy is this a surprise. Angelina was not shy about getting in people’s faces, even having a violent outburst in season 2 at the Florida house. So now she’s the one fixing people instead of breaking them? This career change comes after her attempted singing career, most notably with her 2010 single “I’m Hot.” Definitely worth a YouTube click—it is amazingly hilarious. In the meantime, try not to end up in any ambulances in the Big Apple area. You never know if you’ll be face to face with the “Staten Island ferry.”  

10. Ronnie Wrestles

Ronnie wrestles, and not just over whether to stay with Sammi or not. The “Jersey Shore” alum was featured in TNA’s “Impact Wrestling” show on Spike TV in 2011. He appeared in two fights for the show and made some impressive body slams while in the ring (according to Bleacher Report…what do I know about wrestling?!). But Ronnie Ortiz-Magro prefers to still just GTL it—the famously buff star focuses instead on Xenadrine vitamin endorsements and his clothing line Jersey Laundry. We can only hope for drunk Ronnie to throw a few punches in this summer’s second season of E!’s show “Famously Single,” which Pauly D convinced him to try after Pauly's successful first season romance with O'Day.  

9. The Situation Chilled with Leo 

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino sure has his slew of fans. But who knew Leonardo DiCaprio was one of them? Mike told Rolling Stone magazine that the coolest effect of his “Jersey Shore” was when the Oscar winner told him “GTL all day” while on vacation. “This is the biggest freaking movie star in the world!” Mike said. “I was like ‘what’s up,’ gave him a pound and he pulls me aside and is like, ‘you’re doing awesome right now, I love that quote you said about hating being your occupation, I’m getting shirts made of that.” The Situation had a tough time on “Jersey Shore” after being pegged as the ‘villain’ in later seasons. It’s nice to know that at least someone—hello, it’s LEO!!!!!!–acknowledges the true beauty of Mike’s blunt narrations.  

8. Sammi’s Sweetheart Styles 

Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola continued her on-and-off relationship with Ronnie off-screen, but she also kept up her love for booty shorts. Sammi launched her own line of apparel line, Sweetheart Styles, in 2013. She even had guest appearances on “Project Runway” and “Makeover Manor” to promote her fashion brand. “Fashion is a way to share the real you with the outside world,” Sammi said, explaining her love for sewing her own clothes and styling outfits for friends. Her site sells everything from crop tops to activewear, sunglasses to dresses. And actually, some of it is surprisingly cute. The line focuses on cheap clothing (think crop top and shorts set for $39.99) while still being trendy. At least you won’t have to listen to her yell at Ronnie when shopping.

7. Fake Fights 

“Jersey Shore” was all about hooking up, clubbing, and of course, fighting. But what you don’t know is that some of the fights were actually staged. Yes, there are always rumors of reality shows being scripted and whatnot, but planned physical fights take it to a whole new level. 

During the third season, set in Italy, people witnessed Vinny and Pauly D publicly planning a fight scene at a restaurant. Along with camera crews and producers, the duo decided that the lighting was best under a street lamp and they began brawling. When “cut” was yelled, the two friends just walked away. Sketch. All we can hope for is that Mike’s diving into a wall wasn’t staged 'cause that was television gold. 

6. Professor Snooki

Life-of-the-party Snooki is now an official businesswoman. After “Jersey Shore” wrapped, she went on to release five books: novels A Shore Thing (2011), Confessions of a Guidette (2011), Gorilla Beach (2012), and memoirs Baby Bumps: From Party Girl to Proud Mama (2015) and bestselling Strong is the New Sexy (2015). But her prowess doesn’t stop there—Snooki also opened clothing store The Snooki Shop, hosts weekly podcast “Naturally Nicole,” and runs an Etsy craft boutique. 

OK so Snooki is successful. But would you really trust her to teach the nation’s youth? Rutgers University paid her $32,000 to speak to students about being a celebrity and what she finds important in school. A snippet of her advice: “study hard, but party harder.” Over 1,000 students attended the conference after selecting Snooki as their speaker. 

5. Deena Was There All Along 

Lovable Deena Nicole Cortese, aka part 2 of the meatball duo with Snooki, began her “Jersey Shore” career on season three. Or did she? Deena actually auditioned for the first season of the show with fellow meatball Nicole Polizzi. She was sadly rejected but her best friend Snooki was accepted. Then after unpopular Angelina left the show for the second time during season two after fighting with Snooki and Mike, the producers reached out to Deena to fill the void. And wow did that make a difference. Deena was the fun and reasonable sister on the show, caring about everyone and providing advice for each cast member. She was the true sweetheart of the bunch—Deena even was a bridesmaid in Snooki and J-Woww's weddings! Maybe the show should have picked her the first time around instead of whiny Angelina? 

4. Magic Mike

It’s no wonder that Mike “The Situation” had all the moves. In the club or in the house, Mike always broke it down. The father of the group actually used to work as an exotic dancer for troupe All American Male, and even freelanced at bachelorette parties. Just think how crazy those gigs would be—it’s Mike! I’d throw some dollars on him, just saying. 

But The Situation’s dancing skills don’t end there. During the final season of “Jersey Shore,” he actually competed simultaneously on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. Unfortunately he was eliminated during the fourth week of the show. But at least we know what part of his body he can really move. 

3. MTV Loves Art 

Ever wonder how the cast of “Jersey Shore” traveled around Italy so seamlessly? In one of the final Italy trip episodes, Vinny suggests (quite heavy-handedly….producers anyone?) visiting a museum. Yeah, not a typical outing for the fist-pumping gang. And that is pretty obvious as cameras show Mike sitting on the floor and Ronnie zoning out while a tour guide points at historical artifacts. Just wait for when Snooki comments on a statue’s member. So how exactly did this cultural outing come to be? 

Originally—and understandably—Florence mayor Matteo Renzi refused taping inside the city’s famed museums. Even Italian Parliament member Alessandra Mussolini (yes, granddaughter of THAT Mussolini) expressed her anger of allowing “tamarri” aka guido Italians into historical sites. However, in showbiz there is always a way. In order for cameras to get access to the cast’s museum visit, MTV was asked to donate a hefty sum to the Florentine Cultural Fund. Who knew MTV actually appreciated art? 

2. Pauly D is a Legit DJ 

Pauly is crushing it. During “Jersey Shore,” he reportedly made $150,000 per episode. He was one of the first cast members to acquire his own spin-off show “The Pauly D Project.” But his real money comes from DJing, with Pauly holding an estimated $20 million. Pauly D, the spiky-haired jokester, has a record deal with 50 Cent’s G-Unit Records. “When Pauly came by to see me, they had options,” 50 Cent told Rolling Stone. “I saw the opportunities we could have moving forward, with brand extension and packaging the music.” 50 Cent’s protégé has lofty goals, hoping to become a DJ Khaled or David Guetta, according to G-Unit Records. Pauly has even opened for Britney Spears on the Femme Fatale tour. It doesn’t get much bigger than that. 

15. Mike Turned into Mario 

The Situation has a real situation on his hands. In 2014, Mike Sorrentino was indicted on tax fraud along with his brother. They were both charged with not paying taxes on $8.9 million of income. Along with rehabs and reality shows (“The Sorrentinos“ and “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars”), it seems like Mike gave into his age. The handsome buff macho man that once stormed the Jersey boardwalk now has become the most famous Italian of all: Mario. Come on, he creepily looks like Nintendo’s Mario. Just throw on a little mustache and red cap and you have the videogame icon. The swollen face and squinty eyes scream middle-aged man and that is not a sexy situation. Poor Mike. Let’s just hope some of Mario’s franchise success rubs off on his new doppelganger.  

Hopefully some of these “Jersey Shore” secrets were surprises to you. The classic gang will always be one of our favorite shows ever.

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15 Ridiculously Creative Ways to Get Out of a Date

Originally published on The Things (long, but worth it. Also I picked all of the amazing images and GIFs) 

We've all been there. When you vaguely know the guy who sits next to you in class, the girl who eagerly says hi when you enter the office. But what do you do when you are confronted with the most awkward question: "want to go out sometime?" There's no blueprint for these situations and you can't just scream 'NO'. You have to pretend you're actually entertaining the idea for a second while still uttering an apologetic yet firm and polite 'no'. It's a delicate procedure. And nowadays the old "I don't want it to ruin our friendship" has more holes than ever. So take a deep breath and practice these excuses. Let's be proactive (don't worry, we'll still help you out if you find yourself bored AF on a date too).

15. Your bunny died

Ok yes this sounds ridiculous. But hear us out: you don't want to pick a pet that everyone has. For example dogs are a more sensitive subject that they can relate to. You don't want to get stuck hearing their sob story of Fritz getting hit by a car when they were 14. Cats are less emotional: do you really mourn if a cat dies? Plus, pet rabbits are totally a thing now so you're covered there. It's no longer just a hippie pet for people who live on farms.  Not only does this bring an emotional element into the mix but it adds logistical problems that limit your availability. Who has time when a pet passes? Let's face it: you have a funeral to plan and a bunny to bury so drinks will have to wait.

14. The Old 'Not Feeling Well' 

You have a triple headache on all sides of your brain. Work was tough. You suffer from chronic I-don't-want-to-date-you. Grab a box of Kleenex and start sniffling. Thank God if it's allergy season, but if not, hunker down on your acting skills. Or else claim diarrhea. No one wants to deal with that so you're golden! No one can argue with how you're feeling. It's the best excuse and covers you from all obligations. Who knows, maybe you're even contagious. Simply tell them that you would love to do that sometime in the future, just not for the next few months since your (insert illness that isn't too gross) is acting up. Hopefully they'll move on during that time. Maybe even milk it for a day off work? Hey, you need a break too.

13. Set Them Up 

There is no better way to slyly say no to someone than to tell whoever's asking you out that they would be perfect with someone else. Make up a friend--let's say Stephanie--who is super cool and has all the same interests they do (cosplay and pimples, anyone?). Stay away from specifics about where they live or work: they're just GREAT, don't worry about it. Continue the common interests until they can't not meet this mysteriously perfect friend of yours. They will be so excited and impressed by how well you know them that they'll eagerly pass on a date with you. Then lie and say you'll get them together sometime. It's probably the best way to let someone down easy. You guys are still buds, right?

12. Friend Needs Help 

We all know the trick of faking a phone call from a friend in the middle of a date. But what if that call happened before the date even started? The best excuse is to blame your lack of time on someone else. Your best friend needs you—immediately. Pick any friend-related problem: they're moving, their parent is sick, they just went through a breakup. You're now busy every night helping them. Want to go have cocktails? Nope, sorry, can't. You have to help your friend through this traumatizing life-changing time. This is a brilliant move: you seem like a fantastically selfless person and great friend, all while indirectly turning someone down. Tell them you'll let them know when your schedule clears up, but spoiler-- it won't.

11. Fake Insanity

Jump right into being an emotional mess. They want to go out with you? Oh my gosh that is almost too much to bear. Remember when you went out with Steve who was the greatest guy ever and then he didn't want you anymore? You just broke up with someone and boy, did it break you. Feel the tears swelling and cling onto them as you cry about dying alone. They'll try to comfort you at first, but as your snot ruins their shirt, they will slowly back away. Who wants to go out with a head case? Maybe throw in that you have a dozen cats and they make you feel more alive and loved than anyone ever can. It might help if you wear nurse-esque white Vans and blue dresses that mimic hospital gowns. Get your crazy on. 

10. You're Disgusting

This requires dedication but keep your head in the game and it works like a charm. Tell them that you'll maybe go out. Act excited and count down the days aloud in the office so they can hear. But here's the twist—you then go full on hoarder. Don't shower for a week, wear the grossest clothes you can find, and start slurping soup for lunch every day. Try to spill a little on your sweater too. They'll soon second guess their decision to ask you out as you accumulate flies in your cubicle. Think "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" but more garbage and less deodorant. Maybe sleep outside for a few days and bring your new possum friend to work and keep him in the lunchroom. Yes it's drastic, but better yet, it's effective.

9. Broken Phone

You'd love to spend an evening with them but you have no way of getting in contact with them to schedule something. What a dilemma! You dropped your phone in the toilet yesterday or stepped it so hard that it doesn't work anymore. Yes, they'll offer to take you directly from work or wherever you know them from but you unfortunately already have plans. And yes email would work in theory but you can't access it on the go. A broken phone complicates things more than you can imagine. Milk our dependency on tech and have a slight panic attack about how you're going to function even for an hour without your cell. Just be sure to hide your phone whenever they're around.

8. Already Dating Someone

This seems like a natural way to say no but making people believe you have a pretend lover oddly takes a lot more finesse than you'd expect. Let's think this through: the person would have to live somewhere else, not have social media, and also be insanely attractive because they're dating you. It's doable. Just say you travel most weekends to visit them, they're older than you and don't have Facebook, and they are very private because *wink wink* they're super wealthy and hot. Maybe even print out a Google image photo to keep on your desk or in your wallet. Not creepy at all. The guy or girl asking you out will immediately feel threatened and inadequate, plus you're taken anyway so they can't keep trying. Just try to keep your girls night out photos with random guys down to a minimum.

7. Get Lost

You are cornered and can't say no or any other great creative excuse. So look at it like a free meal but have a plan. Immediately following dinner or drinks or appetizers or whatever it is that they asked you to, go to a crowded bar. Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, and then get lost in the crowd. Don't return to the table. Seems harsh, but you have a reason: your phone/purse was stolen while you were in the restroom. You panicked and looked for them but it was so busy you couldn't find them at the bar or dance floor. Text them a few days later explaining what happened. You had to get a new phone, but same number, so that explains that. They'll feel bad for you but you still got out of it so it's a win.

6. Family Emergency 

Agree to go out but then cancel 24 hours before the date. Your great-great aunt just had a stroke and your family needs to be together. You might even have to travel so you'll be occupied even longer than expected. Don't worry-- they probably won't follow up on it since it's such a distant relative. Sad, but true-- not many can relate to a great-great aunt. But more importantly they will give you your space as you deal with this family emergency. They might a shoulder for you to cry on or someone to call if you're feeling down, which is nice of them. But that does not mean you have to be in their presence, especially since you have something so important to tend to. Voila-- no more date!

5. TV Show

In a world of cult hits (think "Breaking Bad" and "The Sopranos") where finales are all-out historic events, it's OK to duck out of a date to watch TV. Art is important to you and television is art. Or just something cool to watch. Capitalize on the raging fandom of "Game of Thrones" or "True Detective" and say you can't miss your favorite TV show. Yes, you have OnDemand and can record it, but that's not the same as witnessing it live as it airs. Plus the Internet will be crawling with spoilers so why even miss it in the first place? Maybe even throw in a horror story about how you found out who won "The Voice" online because you missed the finale due to a date. They'll understand....maybe. If not, who cares? It's still an excuse.

4. Wedding Party

Your second cousin twice removed is getting married and you are in the wedding. You have to organize so much, from bachelor parties to napkins, and you just don't have time to yourself at all. Tell them your evening will be spent making Pinterest boards of wedding inspirations (yes that does sound kind of fun but play up the fact that you'll be alone and sad and whatever). You're so swamped with work and school and party planning that you really won't be free until after the wedding. Seriously, can you even look at any more flower arrangements? Plus half the bridesmaids hate their dress-- what are you going to do? Let the pressure and tension rise. Casually mention that it's six months away, and you just bought yourself half a year of freedom.

3. Your Family is in Town

Everyone from aunts to sisters are visiting you. It's a madhouse, utter mayhem. You're booked every night with family dinners and weekend trips. You don't want to do it-- if you had a choice, you would totally go out with whoever's asking you-- but it's an obligation. You have to do the right thing.

The one issue with this excuse is that they might ask (gulp) to meet your family. First of all, WHAT?! You're not dating this person so why would you introduce them to your parents? Just laugh it off and say that no, you're saving them a lot of trouble by keeping your family to yourself. And if they persist, drop a truth bomb that you don't really feel comfortable doing that.

2. You're Moving

Your lease just expired and you're moving to a new place. Simple, excusable, and most importantly, time-consuming. Your days are full of bubble wrap and boxes as you pack up all of your belongings. You're basically in a transitional period and don't have time for anyone else other than moving men. You may even exaggerate further and say you are still apartment searching which adds a whole new level of stress to the situation. They'll understand: everyone has been there. But you'll get a solid few weeks of freedom because a) you have to pack, b) you have to move the boxes, and c) you have to unpack. That's surprisingly a lot of work. Sure they might ask if you need help but you don't-- you're an independent person who don't need no partner.

1. Say Yes

Ok this is a curveball. But who knows? You might actually have a good time. Maybe Jeff from accounting is actually super funny, or Tiffany from English class is oddly chill. It never hurts to find out and learn more about others. Could be a great way to tell your kids how you met (ok that might be a little over the top). At least it's a free meal, so that's always a plus. Worst case scenario the date is awkward and terrible, but even then you still have a great story to tell your friends next happy hour....or a great reason to say no next time someone you don't want to go out with asks you on a date.

So there you have it-- a complete guide to getting out of any unwanted dinner date. You're welcome.


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My publisher called me "selfish" for wanting to write about abortion

Originally published on The Tab

Sadly, he embodies the stigma so many women feel

I’m 22. It’s an odd age: trying to be taken seriously, get as many career opportunities as possible, and of course embody that “fun and wild and careless” twenty-something that Cosmo keeps talking about.

But we have to deal with a lot. What happens when that fun turns into something life-changing? When I got the opportunity to write a rant piece for a prolific magazine, I knew I wanted to use the platform to make a statement that was meaningful to me.

I chose to write about my rights– reproductive rights and my right to choose. I’ve had my scares, as many have. But when it comes to making THAT decision, what if it’s out of your hands, what if it’s already made for you?

My piece was rife with what I thought of as funny jokes and witty wordplay, trying to make light of a polarizing topic. My new editor, though, found it little amusing. Instead, he (yes, the HE part is important) with a pompous British accent simply said, “Why don’t you talk about how selfish abortion is?”

Um, what? For a publication that is literally for women, especially millennials, how can the editor be so narrow-minded? What would their readers think?

I was so infuriated, I stomped the thirty blocks back to my apartment. This was not OK.

Of course, everyone can have their own moral opinion. And yes to some degree, with abortion this is a question of life and death. I personally haven’t had to make that decision, but a lot of my friends have struggled with the idea. So when I was mentioning such a personal feminine choice, my editor’s cold response seemed like a direct attack to all women.

But what’s the opposite of selfish? Self-less. Let’s say you’re self-less and have the kid. What then? You struggle through learning how to parent, financially supporting someone other than yourself, trying to follow your dreams to set an example for your child, all while adhering to even more criticism about how you’re parenting. On top of that, you’re trying to finish college to create a better future for both of you. Where is the child in all of this, is it really ‘self-less’ to open them up to potential neglect?

The freedom of choice means more to a woman than men can imagine. This is about exercising your individual rights, nothing more. I’m not saying that getting an abortion is the “right” choice, that’s entirely up to the individual, which is the whole point. Women should be able to make this decision for themselves.

In an era where human rights are being threatened from all angles, you inherently have to determine what means the most to you.  From that moment, staring at my editor with my tongue bleeding from slamming my teeth into it so violently, I realized how important reproductive rights were to me. And I wanted that to be known. Is that selfish? Sure. But the ability to discuss an option, to choose no matter what someone else thinks, cannot be called selfish.

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Fashion's Favorite Island

Originally published on Trend Prive

Come for the pink sand beaches, stay for the style. Harbour Island, the first capital of the Bahamas, is home to luxury resort Coral Sands, a family-run hotel that has hosted fashion designers and honeymooners alike.

Harbour Island, a car-less Bahamian paradise, is only accessible by boat. The picturesque view is characterized by three miles of pink sand beaches. Coral Sands, named after said beaches, has been featured in a variety of fashion spreads and film shoots, as well as visited personally by those in the high-fashion industry.

Designer Wes Gordon hosted his 29th birthday party at the resort in 2015, praising the beauty of both the hotel and island itself. “Harbour Island’s blend of colonial style with island culture creates a unique Slim Aarons vibrancy,” Gordon captioned an Instagram shot. “The iconic Coral Sands hotel is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach I have ever seen.”

Coral Sands owners Tim and Silma Sherman maintain a hands-on approach to the hotel, making it more of a “wonderful old friend’s beautiful beach house” as Gordon described. Coral Sands specializes in privacy, with cottages on the pink sand the hotel was named for. The resort was founded by actor Brett “Buzz” King and was opened in 1968. The Shermans purchased the resort in 2004, and recently completed renovations on the historic boutique hotel. Updates include touches by famed interior designer Guillermo de Yavorsky, Italian-imported furniture, and all natural wooden features.

“Our new renovation invites guests to come as they are, sand between toes included,” co-owner Silma Sherman said.

Dubbed “barefoot luxury,” Harbour Island has become a modern destination for tourists seeking a quieter retreat. This sense of comfortable exclusivity makes the island perfect for celebrities.

Designer Jonathan Simkhai chose Coral Sands precisely for its elegant laid-back vibe to launch his 40-piece sporty chic resort swimwear collection last December. Simkhai hosted a two-day party for stylists, tastemakers, and models, cruising the turquoise sea to dancing in the pink sand to private concerts. Guests included graphic designer Julia Resoin-Roitfeld, Instagram icon and model Caroline Vreeland (yes, great-granddaughter to THAT Vreeland), founder of The Fashion Guitar Charlotte Groeneveld, and Hugo Boss stylist Tom Van Thorpe.

Although Coral Sands is the hotel of the moment, don’t fret– the family-run charm will not be departing anytime soon. But in the mean time, why not live the model’s life and escape to the most fashionable destination of the summer?

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The Pregnancy Pause: Mother's Day Every Day

Originally published on Trend Prive

Oh, baby. Women have dealt with a lot in the business world, from pay gaps to harassment. But when it comes to raising another human being, that’s the mother of all jobs. Yet there is no acknowledgement on a resume; instead, women are left with gaps in their work history once trying to return to the economy.

So just in time for Mother’s Day, New York creative agency Mother has launched The Pregnancy Pause, a new program to de-stigmatize the concept of maternity leave. As Mother says, “whether it’s 12 weeks or 12 years, it’s not a vacation.” The Pregnancy Pause assists both mothers re-entering the workplace and educate employers on the real roles of moms. The goal of The Pregnancy Pause is to change maternity leave policies among American companies– many of which are only 12 weeks unpaid leave.

Mother Chief Creative Officer, Corinna Falusi, perfectly summarized the purpose of The Pregnancy Pause. “New mothers in the U.S. often feel forced to quit their jobs due to a lack of adequate maternity leave policies, which leaves them penalized for the subsequent gaps in their resumes,” Falusi said, a mother herself. “We wanted to give working mothers in the U.S. a simple tool, and make it easier for them to own maternity leave as the full-time job it truly is.”

The Pregnancy Pause is listed as a company on LinkedIn, appearing on members’ online resumes. It asks for women to input their experience as a mother, listing their qualifications and skills learned. A downloadable kit for women include sample resumes listing “Mom” as a job title, and even includes The Pregnancy Pause reference number for employers with any questions.

The Pregnancy Pause explains the gap in resumes that can deter employers from hiring mothers. “The only reason anybody should have a gap in their resume is if they’re quitting their job to pursue a dream like finally starting a death metal band, travel the world to pitch that new app idea of yours or [something] similar. Not for choosing to have children,” Mother Creative Director Erik Norin said.

So if you are being celebrated tomorrow–as all mothers should be–carry it year-round with this inspiring career tool for working women, and press play instead of pause.


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Be Your (Safer) Beautiful: How Beautycounter Changed the Industry

Originally published on Trend Prive

You are putting 20 chemicals on your face every day. And your skin absorbs all of it. Decades of studies have determined that thousands of cosmetic ingredients are toxic, causing health issues such as asthma, cancer, and infertility. The European Union has banned over 1,300 ingredients for personal care, reflecting the results of these studies. In contrast, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not updated their cosmetic safety regulations since 1938. The U.S. as a whole has only banned 30 ingredients, allowing a majority of toxic chemicals into cosmetics and lotions.

California mother and entrepreneur, Gregg Renfrew was horrified to learn of the silent toxins permeating her every day life after watching “An Inconvenient Truth.” Soon, Renfrew began investigating just how many elements of her routine were tainted.

“People are so concerned with avoiding pesticides in their food by eating organic, yet they slather chemical-ridden lotions all over their bodies,” Renfrew told Huffington Post.

Worried about the safety of her skin and her childrens’, Renfrew founded Beautycounter in 2013 to promote and create eco-friendly all-natural healthy skincare.

All Beautycounter products are holistically produced, offering lipstick to diaper rash cream. The company promotes a “never” list of ingredients to stay away from, including animal fat, usually found in soap and shaving products; benzophenone, the base for sunscreen and nail polish; and formaldehyde, in shampoo and body wash. (Just a note: benzophenone and formaldehyde are used to preserve dead bodies. No thanks). Instead, Beautycounter prints all of their natural ingredients on the respective product labels.

With slick products dubbed as “addictive” by Vogue, Beautycounter has quickly risen to the top of the cosmetic game, selling over 2.5 million products in the U.S. alone. “The assumption is always that because it’s safer, it doesn’t perform. I think we are a true testament that you can have beautiful, luxurious products,” Renfrew told blog Beautyeditor. “We set out feeling that women were always being asked to compromise on either efficacy or safety, and we’re saying it doesn’t need to be that way.”

Beautycounter has partnered with J.Crew and Target for retail locations, selling out instantly. The company has become more than just a product line, but rather a brand.

Yet, Renfrew cites the main effort of Beautycounter as education. This is completed by the independent business model of Beautycounter expert representatives. These sales representatives, similar to Avon girls of past, reach out to their local communities for both sales and government action towards legislation banning chemical use. “We believe our story is best told person to person. We want to build a company that’s financially successful, but we are a social mission,” Renfrew said to The Huffington Post.

Simultaneously, the Beautycounter business model promotes female empowerment and self-love, reminding women to “be your beautiful.”

“We are allowing women to build businesses on a platform that’s been created to allow entrepreneurism without all the risks—women who are looking for an economic opportunity, but want flexibility in their lives,” Renfrew said.

As the Beautycounter website states,” women deserve better products and better legislation”– and Renfrew and Beautycounter will continue until progress is made. “I will not rest until we see a day where our children and future generations of children don’t have to worry about reading the labels of the products they are putting on their bodies every single day,” Renfrew said. “We are creating a movement for safer beauty. Just like someone advocated for seat belts, and car seats for infants, and no smoking on airplanes, we can be that catalyst for change.”

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Top 5 Summer Jobs for a Sexy Summer

Originally published on Her Campus UNC-CH

So summer is great and all -- the dresses, the ice cream, the music festivals, the trips to the beach, the hot shirtless guys….But who pays for all that? (Ok maybe no one pays for the guys. Unless you want to go all “Magic Mike” and pull out some $1 bills. No judgment.) Basically, if you’re like me and want to try out the whole “being an adult thing” PLUS earn some extra cash for all those fun concerts or beach weekends, you’re probably looking for a job for this summer. Behold your list of greatest summer jobs, ranked by the best working environment, aka $$ + hot guys + air-conditioning. 

5. Fro-yo shop

It’s hot outside. And if you live in North Carolina, definitely humid. There are going to be a lot of people looking for a way to cool off by means of food. Thankfully, fro-yo is mainly self-serve so all you have to do is sit near the cash register and weigh whatever the customer picks out. Plus at SweetFrog you get a free serving while you work. Pretty sweet. 

4. Babysitter

Yes, I know, you totally babysat when you were in 7th grade and all, but the job still pays well (and no taxes!). Most kids are still cute, and most homes have air conditioning. Think about it. 

3. Lifeguard

The quintessential summer job. The only reason this is not ranked #1 is that usually the job actually consists of watching little kids try not to pee in the pool. And you can get awful sunburns. But there are still the occasional shirtless guys (it is a pool, of course), and on your break you can go for a swim. Plus work on your tan, sunscreen applied. 

2. Men’s clothing store

No one considers this and yet it is actually a great gig. You get to dress up, stand in an air-conditioned building, and assist men with their outfits. Not only are you doing a charitable service (very few guys know that polka dots do not go with plaid), you also have your wide selection of men to choose from. Pick a store that caters to your type-- you like preppy frat guys? J.Crew. How about sensible kind quiet dudes? Gap. Pre-meds or pre-law students? Banana Republic. Rough hipsters? Urban Outfitters. It’s simple, it’s fun, and you literally are (un)dressing guys for a living. 

1. Sports bar

If you’re like me and not 21, don’t fret. You can still work at a bar and serve alcohol, even if you can’t legally drink it. Plus, you’ll meet enthusiastic guys, be surrounded by food all day, and even get to catch a baseball game or two. It’s a fun gig and you’ll get great stories. 

And there you have it: the basic guide to summer jobs. Select carefully, and have fun.


A History Lesson in Hotness: A Blast of Bad Boys from the Past

Originally published on Her Campus UNC-CH

You know Ryan Gosling. You’ve taped a picture of a shirtless Adam Levine to your dorm room wall. And please tell me you’re familiar with Zac Efron’s abs. But what about the original bad boys? It’s time to put down the textbooks for that history midterm and get tutored in past hunks. 

1. James Dean

There’s a reason he’s a legend. James Dean defined a generation just with one brooding, knowing stare. 
Movie to watch: “Rebel Without a Cause” 

2. Judd Nelson

This “Breakfast Club” babe is the definition of a sensitive bad boy. Call your mom and tell her you agree: you’d spend a Saturday in the library with this hottie any time. 
Movie to watch: “The Breakfast Club” 

3. Mickey Rourke

Before drugs and an anxiety-driven retirement from acting, Mickey Rourke made women swoon. Watch “Diner” and you’ll understand. Or if you’re feeling really kinky, turn on “9 ½ Weeks,” the original 50 Shades of Grey. He knows what he’s doing and it feels so good. 
Movie to watch: “Diner” 

4. Jared Leto

Before Zac Efron reached puberty, this blue-eyed stud came onto the scene. Actor, musician, foul-mouthed sex fiend….the ‘90s knew what was happening. 
Song to hear: “Up in the Air” by Thirty Seconds to Mars

5. Jim Morrison

This musician frontman can open my Door any day. This photo hung in many 1970s girl’s rooms, lighting fires everywhere. 
Song to hear: “Light My Fire” by the Doors

6. Johnny Depp

Before he was a pirate, Johnny Depp epitomized quiet dominance. Plus he drove a motorcycle. Ahh. 
Movie to watch: “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”

7. Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Woody Allen’s take on Crime and Punishment made Russian literature sexy, which is hard to do. Jonathan Rhys Meyer made it a whole lot easier. Oh, and did I mention that he has an accent? 
Movie to watch: “Match Point” 

8. Robert Downey Jr.

We know him as Iron Man. Our moms knew him as that guy everyone wanted to date. 
Movie to watch: “Only You” 

Alright now back to studying. Try to focus.

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