Video: Dog on Trampoline

This may be the cutest (and funniest) video I have ever seen. I promise it will make you smile….and make your day!¬† I simply had to share ūüôā

One day I will get a dog : ) and that day will be soon!!

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A Hair Product That Has Changed My Life

Dove

For years, I was a supporter and loyal customer to Dove; they have great advertising campaigns and an inspiring social mission:

Inspire A Girl In Your Life

Anxiety about beauty begins at an early age, and can even keep girls from doing what they love. You can change that with a conversation. Reach out to the girl in your life and talk to her about beauty, confidence and self-esteem.

You can find the expert tips and real-world advice to get started on the Self-Esteem Wall below. Then, once you‚Äôve had ‚Äúthe talk,‚ÄĚ share your experience to help inspire other moms and mentors.

Even my past Posts, I expressed my love for and can‚Äôt-live-without Dove Dry-Shampoo. ¬†After all, the advertising does say ‚ÄúBetter style comes through better care. That’s why Dove¬ģ has reinvented its styling collection to nourish and protect hair for a long-lasting, beautiful style.‚ÄĚ

Well, I have finally opened my eyes and actually read the ingredients in this product.  The second ingredient listed is propane and it contains other horrific ingredients including butane.  I have been spraying PROPANE and BUTANE onto my head for years!

Propane is a by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining that is commonly used for engine fuel, torches, portable stoves and barbecues.  Both propane and butane are in a group of liquefied petroleum gases that are highly flammable and colorless…. should we even begin to talk about carbon monoxide poisoning, long term health effects and/or pollution to the environment?

I know one thing for sure, I will no longer let my health suffer because of my ignorance; I am now taking the time to read all the ingredients on all the products I use moving forward.  Yes, in small doses, these ingredients are probably ok; however a combined total of several hundreds of chemicals our bodies are exposed to could have serious long-term effects….but we don’t actually know the long-term effects yet because no legit studies have been done (that I can find).  Just to name a few daily products containing chemicals that seep into our bodies: toothpaste, deodorant, hair products, lotions, detergents, shaving cream, hand/body soaps, make-up, nail polish removers, and cleaning supplies.  And these products don’t even include environmental toxins and chemicals, not to mention the chemicals and preservatives in food products that go into our bodies.

I suppose the reality (dangers) of chemicals has finally set in for me; it’s depressing yet exciting because of my new found knowledge and motivation to change my current ways.  I have been researching the effects household chemicals have.  There has been very few studies done, but PBS has gathered tons of research which I have started sorting through…..very enlightening!  More to come on what I find!

Do you read the ingredients in products you use?  Do you normally use organic personal and household products?

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Melons and Mint

Despite the freezing cold weather that we have been getting, all the new spring colors are keeping me upbeat and looking forward to the warm weather coming! It’s also making me want to take a vacation to the Caribbean ūüôā

Melons and Mint1. Peplum Hem Dress in LOFT Scuba – $90
2. Zooey Dress Р$69
3. Eyelet Peplum Top Р$59
4. Ombre Cropped Skinny Jean Р$78
5. Easy Breezy Gauze Button-Down Р$49
6. Andes Shirt Tail Hem Blouse Р$194
7. Quilted Affair Р$425
8.  Licorice Pump Emerald Snake Р$328
9. Haniba Р$270

¬†I love all of these….I already went out and bought #1. ¬†I can’t wait to wear it this spring with my nude pumps and Stella and Dot jewelry. ¬†How do you feel about these spring colors?

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What is your love language?

‚ÄúLove is something we do for someone else. So often couples love one another but they aren’t connecting. They are sincere, but sincerity isn’t enough.”¬† – Dr. Gary Chapman

My first (and embarrassingly to admit, my only) language is English; English is how I verbally communicate with everyone.  My boyfriend speaks English as well, thus we are able to communicate easily.  As we all know, communication is key to all successful relationships. So, how do we communicate our love to one another?

Just like verbal languages, there are love languages; this is how we express our love to one another.¬† Since most couples do not share the same love language, this lack of communication can cause issues when the partners do not understand what is being communicated.¬† The key to a lasting relationship is having this deeper understanding (so I have read ūüôā ).

I read and learned of love languages in the book ‚ÄėThe Five Love Languages‚Äô by Gary Chapman (I highly recommend reading this book).¬† I was able to pretty much pinpoint my own love language; however, as I was going through the list, I was having difficulty determining my boyfriend‚Äôs primary love language.¬† After convincing him to take this QUIZ, I feel as if I understand him on a different level, and it‚Äôs already making our relationship even stronger!¬† I couldn‚Äôt be happier we took this quiz together and learned more about each other!

My love language is Quality Time.  What is yours?

LoveLanguageQT Quality Time
In Quality Time, nothing says ‚ÄúI love you‚ÄĚ like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there‚ÄĒwith the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby‚ÄĒmakes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

LoveLanguageWAWords of Affirmation
Actions don‚Äôt always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, ‚ÄúI love you,‚ÄĚ are important‚ÄĒhearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

LoveLanguageGReceiving Gifts
Don‚Äôt mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous‚ÄĒso would the absence of everyday gestures.

LoveLanguagePTPhysical Touch
A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm‚ÄĒthey can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

LoveLanguageSActs of Service
Can helping with homework really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an ‚ÄúActs of Service‚ÄĚ person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: ‚ÄúLet me do that for you.‚ÄĚ Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don‚Äôt matter.

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TGIF: Fun Friday Videos and Reads

After a busy work week, I am certainly looking forward to a relaxing weekend, which will include a dinner date and Zero Dark Thirty tonight (at the best AMC theater in the world Рit has large comfy recliners), maybe a trip to the driving range tomorrow and a birthday party tomorrow night.  What are you weekend plans?

Hope you have a great Friday and weekend!

This is HYSTERICAL and all the rage today….it’s a must watch!¬† Matt Damon hijacks Jimmy Kimmel last night, getting revenge after being the butt of a long running joke.¬† Hope you enjoy!


Best way to emerse yourself and learn a culture is eating your way through it

J.J. Abrams to direct new ‘Star War’s film

Be careful…..There’s a new stomach bug

Apps and other digital tools lend a hand to new mothers

A squatter in Florida won’t leave mansion….and it’s legal!

Here is a list of fights that every couple should have….do you agree?

Need a job?….these jobs have¬†top growth in 2013

Who cares about debt if we’re all dead in the long run?¬† Thought provoking article

A path to gauranteed happiness!

7 ways to destress in a minute or less:
1.  Take a deep breath
2.  Shout it out
3.  Visualize a peaceful place
4.  Turn on your favorite tune
5.  Peel an orange
6.  Pet your pooch
7.  Clean your desk

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Cheap Tips for Chapped Lips

Lips

Who doesn’t want soft kissable lips in the winters…especially when you are hibernating with your loved one?!  Unfortunately that has not been the case for me at all over the past week; ever since this chilling weather rolled in; my lips have been very dry and rough. Womp womp.

<Insert rocky music here>

So, I have been on a mission to remedy this not-so-attractive problem, and I have found a fantastic solution….that is cheap and easy!  Best part of all is that you already have these products in your home….so you can do this tonight!

All you need is three ingredients: a soft toothbrush, sugar and Vaseline  (the perk, it’s tasty too!)

Chapped Lips

Take a little bit of granulated sugar and mix it with a little vaseline in the palm of your hand.  Once mixed, spread on your lips as if you are putting on the vaseline.  Then take a soft toothbrush (I highly recommend a child’s toothbrush because the bristles are much softer than an adult toothbrush) and brush your lips, the same way you brush your front teeth.  All the dead skin will be exfoliated!

It’s so simple and it works!  If you don’t have Vaseline, you can always go the cheap route of spreading any lip balm on your lips and sticking sugar to them, then exfoliating with the toothbrush.  That also does the trick.

A few tips for generally avoiding chapped lips in the first place (obviously easier said than done):

  1. Avoid licking your lips when in the cold
  2. Always put on lip balm before bed and throughout the day (I recommend Vaseline or Carmen’s)
  3. If you have serious problem, get medicated lip balm and use a humidifier
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Vegetarian Chili

The only thing I crave more than a hot bowl of soup on a cold day is a big bowl of chili!¬† Nothing says comfort food more than chili. I know you might be thinking ‚Äėhow good can chili taste without meat,‚Äô but I promise, this recipe below will prove you wrong.¬† Besides that this meal fills you up for hours because of all the fiber, the hot and spicy aspect will keep your metabolism going as well.

Vegetable Chili

INGREDIENTS:
1 Cup each of red kidney beans, white kidney beans (cannellini) and black beans
1 Tbls EVOO
3 Carrots, peeled and diced
2 Medium onions, diced
1 Stalk celery, diced
1 Medium red pepper, diced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Jalapeno chili, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
¬Ĺ tsp ground coriander
1 Can (28 oz) tomatoes in puree
1 Chipotle chile, minced
2 tsp salt
¬ľ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 Pkg (10 oz) frozen corn
1 ¬ľ Cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Total time:
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 52 minutes

Vegetables

This is simple to make; first preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then rinse and drain all the beans and set aside.  In a large skillet, sauté all the veggies (carrots, onions, celery, red pepper, garlic, chili) in EVOO.  After about 10 minutes, add the cumin and coriander and let sit and immerse for about 2 minutes.  Transfer veggies over to a dutch-oven (using a dutch-oven is the secret to cooking great chili) with heat on medium-high.  Add Tomatoes, chipotle chili, salt, dried oregano and paprika.  After 10 minutes, pour in corn and stir.

Cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  After cooked, stir in cilantro.

Serve with cornbread or tostitos.  Enjoy!

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Geometric Jewelry

Since it’s the winter, and cold out,¬†I have been doing a lot of¬†shopping lately.¬† I love shopping for accessories, mainly because I loath changing clothes, trying on different sizes repeatedly¬†and¬†finding that most outfits just aren’t flattering.¬† I’d much rather shop, chit chat and drink my tea all at once…and the best way to accomplish all three, is to shop for accessories!

Apparently the new style for jewlery is geometric!  I love the artistic appeal and architecture that goes into these designs.

Geometric Jewelry

1.  Ann Taylor Zig Zag Geometric Stretch Bracelet  $40
2.  Noot Gold La Ruche Ring  $60
3.  KATE SPADE NEW YORK Locked In Stud Earrings $48
4.  Lizard Skin Horizontal Inset Thin Cuff  $135
5.  Geometric Stretch Bracelet $13
6.  Remsey Earrings  $50
7.  Artemis Cuff  $69
8.  Athena Ring  $49
9.  Rectangle Ring $175
10.  Bermuda Necklace  $120
11.  On the Mark $49

Which piece do you like the best?  Do you like geometric jewelry?

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New Year’s Resolution….Week 4

Happy Monday, MLK Day, Inaug Day…..so happy to have a day off work and be able to sit on the couch, watch the Today Show and blog!

I am still going strong on eating All-Natural! Although, I secretly have to admit that when I started this resolution, my secret plan of going gluten-free and all-natural was so it would become a lifestyle I would embrace.¬† I can honestly say….it has¬†worked thus far!¬† I naturally eat very healthy as it is, thus that change wasn’t hard.¬†¬†However, the point of the resolution was to encourage me to prepare more natural snacks so I would want to¬†stop eating the chips, candy, and cookies…..all the processed food that sits around my office all day.¬† Going gluten-free, which I have never tried before, basically has changed my life.¬† I am attributing my “lighter” feeling (less bloated and stuffed feeling all the time) to being gluten-free.¬† I¬†am now even more in tune to my¬†body, that¬†I can feel the negative affects of food I put into it (I think most people are so immune to how the processed foods and sugars affect a body, that they don’t truly know what it feels like to feel healthy).

Lately, I haven’t had any desire to eat anything gluten….I look at it and the thought of feeling gross the next day, overcomes any desire to want to eat it.¬† For instance, yesterday I was at a birthday party for my niece and I went to take a bite of a cupcake…and all I could think of was how crummy my stomach would feel the next day. Without hesitation, I just put the cupcake down.¬† Fortunately I was full from all the chips (real potato chips and corn chips are naturally gluten-free) and dip I had been eating ūüôā

This week, I am going to follow my food chart below. I have been following these charts fairly precisely, although I have replaced a few meals for other alternatives.  I have, however, stuck to my general rules for eating.

Food chart

How is your New Year’s Resolution coming along?

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What Will Michelle Obama Wear for the Inauguration Ball?

Michelle Obama has certainly paved a fashionable way for the every day woman.¬† Her style is simple, sophisticated and chic….at the every day prices we can actually¬†afford!¬† No matter where you stand on politics, I think we can all agree on that ūüôā¬† What and who do you think she will be wearing tomorrow?

Michelle1

Michelle2

Michelle3

All of these picture are from WWD

1.  Nicole Miller
2.  Nanette Lepore
3.  Alexis Mabille
4.  Monique Lhuillier
5. ¬†L’Wren Scott
6.  Tommy Hilfiger

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Get That Body Moving!

I love running. period.

However, running in the winter (this year in particular) has been particularly difficult for me. When I wake up in the morning, the thought of dragging myself out of my cozy, warm bed…..is just not appealing.¬† My laziness always seems to takeover (although, some may call it lazy, I call it selective participation).

Running

Fortunately, I do love working out, so whether it’s in the morning or the evening, I typically always find time to workout during the day because I genuinely enjoy it and look forward to it.¬† Though I will say, that having the proper accessories always makes it more enjoyable….plus, it gives me even more motivation than normal.¬†¬† And by “accessories” I mean, cute clothes (lulemon :), comfy shoes, tasty gels/gummies/drinks and most importantly….energizing music.¬† Whether outside or on the treadmill, the below songs have been on the top of my playlist recently.¬†¬† Without fail, they pump me up and get me excited to keep on keeping on!

CURRENT RUNNING PLAYLIST:

  • Nicki Minaj — “Va Va Voom”¬†3:03 min
  • Icona Pop & Charli XCX – “I Love It”¬†2:37 min
  • Pitbull & TJR — “Don’t Stop the Party” 3:26 min
  • The Wanted — “Chasing the Sun (Danny Verde Remix)” 3:15 min
  • Will.I.Am & Britney Spears — “Scream & Shout” 4:44 min
  • One Direction — “Live While We’re Young (Dave Aude Remix)” 5:40¬†min
  • Swedish House Mafia — “Don’t you worry child”¬† 3:32 min
  • Justin Bieber — “Beauty and a Beat (feat. Nicki Minaj)”¬† 3:47 min
  • Flo Rida — “I cry”¬† 3:43 min
  • Ke$ha¬†— “Die Young” 3:31 min

Perfect playlist…..that’s 35 minutes of music for 4 miles!¬† Enjoy your run!

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Friday Reads

Inauguration parties, MLK Day, Superbow playoffs….three day weekend…lots going on….T.G.I.F!¬†¬†It’s going to be a¬†fantastic one!

Hope you enjoy these morning reads to end the work week…and hopefully this video will make you laugh and get you pumped for the weekend (and the rest of the day!):

Review of Oprahs’ Interview with Lance.….everyone is talking about it, so you might as well too ūüôā
What can Lance’s scandal teach the nation?

That ‘Loving Feeling’ takes a lot of work

6 ways to be happier every day

Michelle Obama gets new BANGS just in time for the inauguration

Sundance Film Festival – half the films featured were made by women!

What’s going on in Mali….and how will it affect you?¬† CNN explains it all in this article

Study finds, some with autism can overcome their symptoms

Would you get botox?  Kelly Ripa does in her eyes and armpits

Next, Made-in-China Boom: College Graduates

What it’s like hanging on to life when in debt?

Kim Kardashian’s sex photo shoot photos

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Fighting for a Cause: Education and Gender Violence

When Abigail was six years old, she was left to become a prostitute on the streets of West Point, Liberia to access food and water.   A life and education were not an option for Abigail; she was just trying to survive.

Then she met the founder of More Than Me, Katie Meyler, an organization dedicated to getting girls off the streets and into schools. They became friends, and More Than Me raised money to take Abigail off the streets and put her through school.

Abigail

Why am I Abigail?    Abigail is part of our community, where we coexist together.  Abigail could be anyone we come in contact with on a day-to-day basis.  Abigail is the girl passing you on the street, sitting next to you on the subway, driving past you in traffic….Abigail could be anyone.  Abigail is everyone.

Educating one girl changes everything:

  • When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
  • An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
  • When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
  • Check out the girl effect¬†video!

I find this story and organization to be tremendously moving for two reasons:  I believe education solves everything and I think gender violence (ie. rape, prostitution, sex trafficking, etc. ) is horrific.   Nicholas Kristof just wrote a fantastic article addressing gender violence (Kristof is one of the biggest advocates for human rights abuses and social injustices, such as human trafficking and the Darfur conflict) that reaffirmed my feelings on this subject.  In his article he writes:

‚ÄúGender violence is one of the world‚Äôs most common human rights abuses. Women worldwide ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war and traffic accidents combined. The World Health Organization has found that domestic and sexual violence affects 30 to 60 percent of women in most countries.‚ÄĚ

This is heartbreaking to read and comprehend, but it‚Äôs something we should all be aware of so we can support the movement.¬†¬† If you¬†don’t have¬†the time or not sure how to get involved¬†in any movement you feel passionate about, try donating money.¬† Donating anything to organizations, such as More Than Me, will make such a difference.¬† I fount this great image on their site…it emphazies how a little money can truly go a long way:

Changing Lives
I am completely inspired to make a difference!
Be INFORMED, be INVOLVED, be PASSIONATE 

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Apple Chips and Chocolate-Dipped Clementines

Since I have been into eating all-natural lately (which is turning into a lifestyle that I love….more on that later), I have been experimenting a lot with food and snacks. The only “trick” that helps you eat this way is being prepared. Since I have discovered this time and time again, I have been starting to prepare a lot more snacks in the evenings to bring to work the next day. Two delicious snacks that I have been making at night are apple chips and chocolate dipped clementines. They are surprisingly easy, but I have to be cautious of the quantity that I am eating, as to not completely overeat: yesterday I ate two apples in the matter of minutes while having a conversation at my desk. All of a sudden I looked into my tupperware, and the apples were all gone!

Apple Chips

Ingredients: Apples¬† (that’s it!)

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.¬† Dice the apples into thin slices (below is two apples).¬† On the first try, I made them as thin as I could possibly get them, but that is not necessary since they shrivel and flatten as they cook.¬† If you have a mandolin slicer, I envy you ūüėČ

Apple Chips1
Next, spread the slices onto two cookies sheets while making sure to not overlap.  I actually prefer my apple chips to be plain, however you can always sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over them if you want.

Pop them in the oven!  After 1 hour, flip all the apple slices to cook both sides.  Once you flip them, you will need to cook for another 30 minutes to an hour depending on how thin the slices are.  After 1.5 hours, I would begin to frequently check them; apples can burn.

Apple Chips2

And the clementine treat is even more simple!

Ingredients:  Chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup) and clementines (about 6 clementines)

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave save bowl for about 1.5 minutes.¬†¬†Stir the chocolate and dip one end of the clementine, refrigerate over night.¬† TIP: place¬†the dipped clementines on wax¬†paper; if you place them directly on a plate, the¬†melted chocolate will stick to the plate and not the clementine.¬† However, I prefer to only dip 1/4 of the clementine with chocolate, as I find that¬†both sides of the half is too much chocolate (for example, what you see below is where the chocolate is; chocolate is not sticking to the plate so it’s only¬† on “1/4” of the clementines).
Chocolate and Oranges
Beware: these are delicious and easy to eat quickly!

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Sex and the City: Then and Now

I love Sex and the City as much as the next woman, if not more.  I have seen every episode about five times and have every infamous one-liner memorized.  I was there for the launch of the series and I was there for the very last episodes (although, I saw each of the last few episodes a week late because I was living in London at the time and had to have each episode snail-mailed to me).  None-the-less, I was/am a very loyal viewer (how come us loyal SATC viewers never got nicknames like Gleeks or Trekkies?).

SATC hit home to all woman; the conversation topics were real and weren’t afraid to cross boundaries; this show opened many doors for woman regarding topics that were semi-taboo to discuss at the time.  In my opinion, this is the one show that woman will always be able to relate to.…or will they?

As I was watching reruns on TBS this past week (I loathe watching them on TBS, but of course I still sit through them), I started to realize, this show is old!¬† After all, it did end in Spring 2004 ‚Äď which was 9 years ago!¬† Thus, as I watched a few episodes, it occurred to me that several topics aren‚Äôt even discussed (anything related to dating and social media) and there are several physical attributes to the show that are now comical (lack of cell phones) and show the Shows’ age (Miranda‚Äôs suits in the first couple seasons).

So, I compiled a list.  If SATC were on today, here are some things that would be different; they are small, yet so big:

SATC10. Burger would have never broke-up with Carrie on a post-it; he would have broke-up over a text, whatsapp, gchat, facebook status change, etc.

satc19.¬† Not only are self-help books trendy now, but Charlotte would not have gotten such anxiety over purchasing ‚ÄėStarting Over Yet Again‚Äô because she could have downloaded it on her kindle.

satc58.  Carrie would not have taught a seminar on how to find a date and it wouldn’t have been
so difficult to find one; the girls would have been on match.com and eharmony….
and Charlotte would have been on jdate.

satc4

7.  It would not have mattered when Carrie’s computer crashed, everything would have
been on the cloud.

satc66.¬† ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and Magic Mike would have been a topic of conversation. Period.

satc75.¬† Miranda would¬† have DVR‚Äôd ‚ÄėJules and Mimi‚Äô or would have watched it on Netflix or OnDemand.

satc11

4.  Samantha would not have resort to manual labor to take down an ex; she would have
tweeted, updated her status, sent mass texts and emails, etc.

satc93.  Carrie would have never touched a New York City payphone.

satc82.  Cell phone etiquette would have been declared on this show.

satc10

1.  Carrie would have been a BLOGGER!

Will the conversations SATC hit on remain the everyday female topics or will that change along with technology and social media?  What current shows are changing our culture with young woman the way SATC did with our generation?

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