Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Film: Stuck in Love

I really enjoy watching tv shows on Netflix. It's a perfect way to take a break and get my mind off of things for a while. However, I am in search of a new show and haven't had any luck (if you have a recommendation please leave it in the comments below!). I decided to try and find a movie and hit the jackpot with Stuck in Love.

It is a funny, and at moments deep, film which I greatly enjoyed! The fact that the family who is chronicled are writers just made it that much better. I don't want to give anything away so suffice to say I highly recommend this film which is on Netflix now. Also, the soundtrack is stellar, so there's that...

-Alyssa J Freitas

Monday, September 29, 2014

Having It All

As I am writing this I am up an hour earlier than I need to be with a lot on my mind. I am fortunate to be happy with so many areas of my life (my job, my academics, my clubs, my friends) however, I am lacking in one area and have been focusing on it's sad state for a while now.

A few summers ago I was shadowing an attorney and we talked about how there is an obsession today with women trying to have it all. The perfect job and social network, the perfect husband and children, the perfect home and wardrobe...the list goes on. What she said to me during that conversation really made an impact: "You can have it all, just not at once."

image source; modified by Alyssa J Freitas

Whoa. Game changer. 

This is such a different perspective than what is promoted in the media and among my peers. We're bombarded with the message that you have to have it all together and you must tackle everything you are faced with as though it is just a walk in the park. Don't get flustered or overwhelmed; just smile and take on another project.

I've noticed this especially in the blogging world. Bloggers are always trying to put their best foot forward and create an idealized version of their life to share with followers. Recently I've seen some really great posts where bloggers share the 'true story' behind their Instagram photos (check out Bess' and Katie's). I think this is so great because it shows that although someone might appear to have it all, in actuality everyone has things going on behind the lens.

Now all of this is great to know, but much harder to actually accept. I will probably never stop my quest to have it all (and to have it all at once) but I can prevent this desire from distracting me from what I do have. It is in my nature to actively go after what I want, however I will make every effort not to go crazy in the attempt.

Have you ever suffered from going nuts trying to get it all? What do you do to calm down? Do you agree that you can have it all, just not at once?

-Alyssa J Freitas 


Friday, September 26, 2014

SLAM!: The Tour

I had the absolute best night of my life this past Saturday. The. Best. Night.

Ok, so you know how I'm crazy about Bollywood? Well this was the ultimate Bollywood night. I got tickets for my mother and I to go and see SLAM!: The Tour at the IZOD Center in New Jersey. The headlining performer was Shahrukh Khan (aka the biggest movie star in the world aka the most amazing Bollywood star of all time aka the love of my life) and along with him was Deepika Padukone (who is the most beautiful woman in the world), Abhishek Bachchan, Farah Khan, Malaika Arora Khan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah and singers Kanika Kapoor and Yo Yo Honey Singh.

Seeing as the concert was 20 minutes away from my house I made my mother leave 2 hours in advance (because you never know with the traffic, right...?). When we arrived there was already quite the crowd. All of the patrons were Indian, or Afghani, or Pakistani, or Bengali which meant that my mother and I were basically the only people of European descent there, and my mother was the only blond. Most people were really dressed up; a lot of the women were wearing beautiful saris and salwar kameezes.

We got in the queue of people who were all very, very crowded together. At the front there was a man filming for an Indian television station. Some people pushed past us to try and get on the camera, but then wouldn't you know it the man who was filming came over to me! I was interviewed for a good five minutes. I talked about how excited I was to see Shahrukh Khan and how I love everything about him. The interviewer asked if I could dance so I did and then he asked if I could do the lungi dance (which you can watch below) so of course I started to do it and then got the crowd to do it with me! It was like I was living a real Bollywood movie, complete with synchronized dancing.

After that my mother took a picture of me with the IZOD center in the background so I could tweet it at Shahrukh Khan to let him know how excited I was (he can't really respond to his fans often because so many people tweet at him. I was just hoping that he might glance at it).

Once we got inside of the center I became best friends with the people sitting on either side of us. They seemed quite fascinated that my mother and I were there since we were in the vast, vast minority. They were really very lovely and one woman invited us to her diwali party!

The concert began over an hour and a half late so my mother and I were quite taken aback but apparently that is not uncommon for Indian events (or so we were told).

While we were waiting I glanced down at my phone and what should I see but A TWEET FROM SHAHRUKH KAHN TO ME!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot over emphasize how excited I was/am and what a huge deal this is. The biggest movie star in the world chose to talk to little old me. The tweets we exchanged ended up getting hundreds of favorites and retweets and I got so many new followers just because of that interaction. The funniest thing was that people started tweeting about where they were in relation to me. I've never had such an experience before.

When the concert finally began I was in heaven. The music was great, the stars gave a phenomenal performance and seeing them in the flesh was surreal. We had good seats but I brought binoculars so that I could see every little detail.

My favorite part was when Shahrukh came out of the audience for his grand entrance. He was lifted above us and then flown onto the stage in true over-the-top Bollywood style. My heart melted seeing him.

I was slightly disappointed with the level of the dancing performance by the backup performers since I have seen some fabulous live Bollywood dance shows, but the stars exceeded expectations. It was a dream come true sort of night. The ending song was India Waale, but they changed it to New Jersey Waale which was so fun!

As we were leaving a guy came running up to me and said, "Oh my god, you're the girl from Twitter aren't you?" Between what happened on Twitter and my interview I'm convinced that I am now famous in India = my life is complete.

-Alyssa J Freitas 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Etiquette: Awesome Etiquette Podcast

It should be fairly obvious by now that I am fascinated with etiquette. Every time that I open my inbox and see that there is an email from the Emily Post Institute I am so excited! In the most recent newsletter they announced a new podcast called Awesome Etiquette. It is a question and answer format with Dan and Lizzie Post who are cousins and experts of all things proper. There is also a segment about traditional/historical etiquette rules which is especially interesting. Lastly, they have an etiquette salute which brings positivity to the show rather than keeping the focus on all the things people are doing wrong.

I'm not a podcast person as a general rule so this was a fun initiation into the genre. What's really great is that Dan and Lizzie have different perspectives on some questions which makes it even more entertaining to listen to. I highly encourage you to check it out!

Do you have any podcast recommendations?

-Alyssa J Freitas

Monday, September 22, 2014

Saavn Radio

Sooo, in case you didn't know I have a thing for Bollywood. When I did a comparison of Pandora v Spotify one of my complaints about both was the lack of Bollywood music. Well, I have now found a great solution to this problem: Saavan Radio.
image source; modified by Alyssa J Freitas
Saavan Radio allows you to listen to nearly any Bollywood song as well as a huge selection of Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, Gujarati songs and so many more! With a free account (for both your phone and on the web) you can create playlists to listen to whenever you want as well as listen to curated playlists based on a number of categories. I really like listening to the song of the day and getting a surprise playlist from Saavan editors.

When I did this post about what is on my iPhone I mentioned using ErosNow to listen to Bollywood music but I am completely converted to Saavan! If you enjoy Bollywood tunes or just want to try something new go to Saavan right now!

-Alyssa J Freitas
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