tinder*: you’re doing it wrong.

*Or whatever app the kids are swiping right on these days.

(And yes, I’m fairly certain that romance is dead.)

Beautiful babes, it’s been a minute. In the mean time, I’ve moved twice, both office and apartment, learned to drive(ish), and become really, really single. Sure, I’ve been single for years, but now I’ve sort of accepted this as an intermediary fate. I may be in a slump, or a phase, or have already unwittingly peaked, plateaued, and am now on the slow and steady descent to menopause. Who can really say?

So I’m reading and going to the gym and brown bagging my lunch. It’s very, very dull. I watch TNT marathons on Saturday nights. Sometimes while playing minesweeper, and sometimes while browsing a dating app like Tinder. Sure, it’s stupid, and is very unlikely to lead anywhere, but it gives me an ego boost from the comfort of my own flannel pajamas.

Maybe that’s why I haven’t written in oh so long – nothing really to report. But here I am now, with the ups and downs of the vaguely embarrassing** world of dating apps and sites. And like any scientifically minded person, I like to do my research. So I’ve tried ‘em all. Match. Jdate. OkCupid. Coffee Meets Bagel. Hinge. And, most addictive and aggravating of all, Tinder. In my time in the online dating trenches, I’ve noticed that there is a trend of items that will, at a cursory glance, completely turn me off from wanting to get to know someone who may otherwise be a fun, attractive person. And what kind of half-ass blogger would I be if I didn’t share them all with you?

**I realize that basically every single person from 18-32 with a smartphone is doing this. What’s with the stigma?

So, without further ado, here is one girl’s opinion of the Top Tinder Mistakes:

Captioning.
Let’s talk about “your” versus “you’re.” With your grammatical choice, you’ve just failed a self-administered intelligence test. You may be thinking that’s way harsh, it’s a dating app, not a scholarly publication, and you’re right. But this is a numbers game, and first round cuts are made with broad strokes.

Another instant, and perhaps more important cause for dismissal? Being a dick. Real life examples include: “If you like [insert totally normal interest here], don’t bother swiping right,” and; “No fat chicks.” You are arrogant, rude, and your inner high school bully is showing. And to you, sir, I bid adieu.

The First Photo.
Because you only get one chance to make a first impression. My number one photo-no-go would be a shirtless selfie of your abs. Not that your abs aren’t great. I know you know they are, otherwise you wouldn’t be leading with them. Is that really the card you wanna play? That tells me exactly what you’re looking for, and I’m gonna go ahead and say a polite “no, thank you.”

So what would I like to see? A clear, non-selfie photo of you, smiling, engaging in a hobby that isn’t Beer Olympics, or maybe with a puppy, as long as it’s not your ex-girlfriend’s. Then, in your following photos, if you’re just dying to show off that physique, maybe a picture at the beach with your friends. This tells me that you have friends, and that we both like beaches. Hooray! A shared interest!

Money Talks, or Dolla Dolla Bill, Y’all.
This pet peeve operates under the very large assumption that we match, and actually start a conversation, text or otherwise. It may seem oddly specific, and it requires background information…

I want you to know that I appreciate fiscal responsibility. There is certainly no need for you to make it rain, as it were. That’s just wasteful. That being said, I think it’s important to enjoy spending the money you work hard to earn, on whatever little luxuries or vices are important to you. I don’t smoke, or gamble, or go on luxurious vacations, or dye my hair, or play any sports with expensive equipment, or hold season tickets to anything. My underwear is from Target and my comforter is from 1987.

But I fucking love Starbucks.

So, in this hypothetical conversation, when we are talking about our work days, if I happen to mention my morning chai latte, don’t comment on how pricey it is. First off, it’s tacky. And by letting me know that you think my pre-work caffeination is outrageously expensive, and not letting it drop, you are telling me these three things:

1. You’re cheap as hell. That’s your call, dude, but budgetarily, we may not jibe. If you don’t like my $5 coffee habit, you’re really gonna hate my $30 lipstick. But guess what? I like Sephora way more than I like you. Byyyyye.

2. You’re too cool for school. Maybe you think it’s so “mainstream.” You know what? Some things are popular for a reason. The people at Starbucks are nice, and welcoming, and don’t roll their eyes when I ask them to heat up my almond croissant. I cannot say the same for the folks at your hip coffee house, where I feel judged for adding milk and sugar, and people in oversized glasses stake out tables for hours with their laptops, working on their dissertations. (And probably blogs. Irony not lost.)

3. You’re judgmental. This is the real problem. And this more comes into play when you just. Won’t. Drop. It. This has happened to me more than once, where a guy will not let the subject change with my “agree to disagree” or “don’t knock ’til you’ve tried it.” He simply cannot accept that someone would shell out $4.23 with tax for a hot beverage. But obviously I’m not the only one who thinks it’s worth it. Cue up Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Woman,” because how I spend the money I earn is actually none of your goddamn business. I think we’re through here.

Lots of love & luck in the dating game. It’s a madhouse out there.

xoxo Molly

beauty rules.

Happy Momma’s Day! I am forever grateful to my mother, and all the amazing women in my life, for teaching me to be comfortable in my own skin, and that beauty and fashion and food are things that we should have fun with and that should bring us joy, not cause us immense anxiety. Not that I’m a Beauty Guru, but I sure am working on it. Here are some lessons I’ve learned from Wise Women along the way. The abridged version? You are just fine the way you.

Your eyebrows are sisters, not twins. As humans, we are not perfect. And we are not perfectly symmetrical. This is okay. I am somewhat obsessed with eyebrows – I love a full, natural brow with a little clean up (my unibrow is just a little too natural for me). Upkeep is important, but they are certainly not identical. The woman at the Benefit counter who waxed my eyebrows when I was 16 told me this tidbit, and it has stuck with me ever since.

You don’t draw a woman with straight lines. So this is actually a lesson from a (somewhat scary) art professor I had. I say this to remind myself that it is okay to be soft. My thighs touch. This is normal. No matter how much yoga/cardio/whatever I do, I will always have my hips. Those babies aren’t going anywhere. That’s just my body. But I also don’t like when people say “real women have curves.” Skinny women are real women, too. No need to put other people down while boosting others up. More on this thought later.

NTLHsobFind a Beauty Role Model. I read this in an article with Bobbi Brown when I was maybe 12. You know what’s tough? Being super short, or “too” flat, or “too” curvy, or “too” dark-haired, dark-eyed, dark-skinned, pale-skinned, freckly, curly, or anything different or interesting, and seeing nobody like you in the spotlight who you think is beautiful and also identify with. We can’t all be tall, busty, blonde California girls. And that’s totally fine. So look for the gorgeous, amazing women who aren’t that either. That doesn’t mean I can’t still have a purely superficial girl crush on Blake Lively, but she isn’t my Beauty Inspiration. Your Beauty Role Model(s) should look a bit like you in terms of coloring, and/or have the same hair type, and you should also like their style when it comes to hair and makeup. You can definitely have more than one, and look to them for different things. They can be real women in your life, too (hi, Mom!). For example, my celeb Beauty Role Model is Emmy Rossum. A sometimes-curly-haired brunette with dark eyes and full brows. Bam.

We need to stop calling women “brave” for wearing crop tops that show just a hint of belly. Thank you for this one, Mindy Kaling. I would like to point out that this is offensive on multiple levels. One, it is offensive to the “normal” sized people wearing them. I’d be like “What do you mean brave?! F**k you – I thought I looked really cute.” I love that these skirt and crop top matching combos are now a thing, and an acceptable alternative to a dress. I think they are SO adorable. They are just a sliver of a crop, and are high-waisted and high-necked and look cool and just a little different. Awesome. Two, this is offensive to every woman (and man) who does things that are actually brave. You know what’s brave? Donating a kidney. Joining the armed forces. Rescuing animals from hoarders. Quitting your job and moving across the country to pursue your dreams. There are a million ways to be brave. Wearing a goddamned crop top isn’t one of them. I think if you want to, you should wear it. And I think if you want to, you should do something brave. They are just not going to be accomplished in the same act. The words we say may be well-intended, but they do have power. So let’s stop making women feel like shit about their bodies, and let’s appreciate the people in this world who do bold, brave, amazing things.

That is all I have for you today. Go give your mom (and all mom-like people) a hug. xoxo

dear kate, thanks for making me feel super cute today.

I LOVE getting mail. Postcards, letters, presents. So I was super psyched when I came home from work to find this pretty little gift from my friends at Dear Kate.

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If you are one of my three gentleman readers (hi, Dad!), this may be a good place for you to stop. ‘Cause it’s about to be about period underwear.

I am one of those people who has a carefully organized undies drawer, sorted by style. At the way, way back lurks period underwear. They are full coverage, and they do not make me feel cute. Some of them have cute things on them, like tiny cartoon penguins, because I have owned them since I was a teenager. I am about to be 24. That is too long.

Enter Dear Kate. They combine a few of my very favorite things, pretty and practical, along with a strong sense of Girl Code. Count me in. I have a general philosophy that when I am feeling not-so-hot or having a crummy day, that is when I should dress nicely. I think the same logic can be applied to undies. I will let you find out all about the cool technology on their page, but let me tell ya, it works.

They were kind enough to send a pair of the Vera Hipster Minis my way. I borrowed the pics below from their shop page. They are super cute while still covering enough. The pop of color and the mesh backing keep them fun and completely non-grandmotherly….

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Lots of love and cute underthings,

xoxo Molly

macarons and more.

Hello friends,

I hope everyone is getting to take in the amazing sunshine this weekend! I feel like I’m finally coming out of my winter hermit status. And this morning I got an awesome surprise when I got off the bus and spied a pink food truck. That sells macarons. And they are awesome. Seriously. I couldn’t decide which of Cameo Macaron‘s flavors sounded most amazing, so I got six (for sharing… kinda). I love all things raspberry, and the lemon tart was yummy, too. And vanilla is a staple for a reason. The PB&J may be my personal fave, but it is a close call!

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photo 2 copyAfter that, I got to spend a lovely Saturday strolling around the South End, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill (yes, my little legs are super duper tired) with my bestie Jessie, just taking it all in. Of course we did a little shopping, and some lying about in the park, and a fair amount of eating. Besides finishing off the macarons, we made stops at Thinking Cup and Flour. It was totally perfect.

I often spend a portion of late February and early March wondering why we, as people in general, decided to ever settle in New England. Days like these I remember why it is absolutely worth it.

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Wishing you love & sunshine,

xoxo Molly