Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter Playlist

Birthday shout out to my co-blogger Jasmine!

Ok. So. The two playlist posts I've done so far have been pretty well received and sooo much fun to write. I really get into them, especially because I let the songs play while I write. Unnecessary, but true fact. So, I decided to add a winter playlist to the mix. It's labelled "Obsessions" in iTunes, which may or may not give you an idea of how I feel about the songs. 


"We Come Running" by Youngblood Hawke. This is my favorite song right now. I used to hear it while I drove, and I became so obsessed that I eventually had to download it and listen to it about 100 times everyday. It's upbeat and fun. For the optimal music experience, blast this to full volume. ALSO! One day while I was going somewhere with my sister, I was listening to this song with my headphones in. "Don't You Worry Child" came on the radio, and I decided that someone needed to make a mashup of the two songs. The issue? I'm musically inept. So. PSA. If you or someone you know can make this happen for me, I'd be so, so happy. Is "I'll love you forever" sufficient incentive?

"If It Wasn't For You" by Various Cruelties. I know, the song title is grammatically incorrect. But this song is eleven different kinds of perfect. You may have heard it on the Zales Christmas commercials. I know, I know, usually commercials ruin songs for me (ahem, Passion Pit and Taco Bell...shameful), but this one is so good. It has a kind of old time-y sound and it's really sweet and sentimental and about love...things I know nothing about. Kidding. But really. 

"This Momentary" by Delphic. I'm kind of a sucker for really excellent movie soundtracks. Even if I don't like the movie, if it has a good soundtrack, I'll watch it until my eyes bleed. Luckily, I like the movie that this song is featured in. Its electro-rock sound makes this one of my stranger choices, but apparently, it is equally strange that "The Art of Getting By" is one of my favorite movies. It's the second installment in my all too often played friend-zone movie marathon, and this song makes it just so perfect. 

"Sweet Disposition" by Temper Trap. This song comes from movie number one in my friend-zone movie marathon, "500 Days of Summer." It's just such an amazing, can't-stop-listening kind of song that is also made infinitely better when blasted at a too loud volume. 

"Gimme Twice" by The Royal Concept. I think I gushed enough about this band in my last post. If Phoenix and the Strokes had a baby, the product would be these four adorable and talented Swedes. This song is just too good. I've been listening to it since September and I haven't gotten tired of it yet, which must be a new record for me.

"I Follow Rivers" by Lykke Li. All of Lykke Li's music could be described as a strange mix of dire and happy. Somehow it works wonders when I have to write, or sleep, or focus, and that fact makes me endlessly happy. You might start listening and think, "What the hell is this?" but I promise you, it's so good. Unless of course, you don't like my taste in which case I'd like to ask: How did you manage to make it this far into my post? 

This list is significantly shorter than the others, but I thought it was worth a share. Good luck getting ready for the upcoming semester, or getting through internship/job applications, or whatever you may be facing this winter!



P.S. Do you love or hate the new iTunes? 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from your girls under PRessure!

We hope your holidays are merry and filled with joy. Take a few days to spend time with your family and appreciate all you've been given. We'll be thinking about and appreciating
  • Family and friends
  • New internship opportunities
  • Home-cooked meals!
  • This mild Michigan winter (Well, Elise will. Jasmine's a cold weather kinda girl)
  • Good health
  • Education
  • And whatever the new year brings!
What will you be thinking about during the holiday season? Remember, celebrate safely and enjoy your downtime.

Your Girls Under PRessure

Friday, December 21, 2012

Clean Up for the New Year

Yay! It's over! It's finally over! Elise and I survived two weeks of intense finals. I can't speak for Elise, but I was on the verge of breaking point a few times, including the first Thursday when I thought I was losing my mind because I thought I lost my wallet and my iPod. Crazypants.

But now it's onto the holiday break. Although it's not as wonderful for all us as one might think. For me, I'm already back to the grind: I have two internships to keep up with and have to write a research proposal as well. Ahh, the joys of college honors.

While I'm gearing up for next semester, and a new year, I also do a little cleaning house. Mainly on my electronics. So, I figured I would share a few of my organization tips that can help you gear up for the new year and semester.

1. Email
I've been told Android phones are already setup for this, and iPhone 5s probably are too (I'm still rocking a iPhone 4!), but do yourself a favor and change your email settings so your phone automatically updates your inbox. I have mine set to "push new data" every hour, but 15 and 30 minutes are both options on the iPhone 4. Of course, a newer phone probably gives you more options, or let's you pick your own time.

2. Schedule Sync
Sync your phone and computer calendars and do this often. And by often, I mean daily. If you can't do it daily then, at the very least, weekly. My schedule definitely has to be updated daily. I have not had any major mishaps but I've had a few instances when an updated calendar would've helped.

3. File Condense and Purge
This one of my favorite things do. I go through all my computer files from the last semester and decide if I should purge or keep a file. My general rule of thumb is to keep any papers, stories or articles I've written, and do update them with whatever edits your professor made to the graded version. And I make sure to get rid of all the drafts and keep only the final. Also, I sort my files into folders by class, so I know why I wrote it

What ways to you digitally clean house? Any iPhone or Android phone tips you want to share? Drop us an email, leave a comment or send us a tweet!

Until next time,

Rock out, kiddies!
- J

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Who Are You? Building Your Brand With A Platform


Being you and having a strong personality or sense of self is an incredible start to building a brand for yourself. But let's face it, we live in a digital world and it's more important than ever to use your social or online platforms to build a brand. So, what do you do and how do you start? Follow these steps:

1. Analyze your social profiles: Go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever else you leave your online fingerprints. Take a look at the things you post and decide whether or not it's appropriate for the image you're trying to project. I'm not saying that everything needs to be super professional or "buttoned up," but make sure you're showcasing your fun side and personality in a way that is positive.

2. Streamline: If at all possible, make your links or handles or account names have a bit of continuity. For example, my Twitter handle and Instagram username are both esabak, as is the link to my Facebook and my email address. Keeping everything similar if it cannot be the same makes people trying to find you or connect with you that much simpler. This is especially important for people who are trying to garner an online presence.

3. Be Important: This tip is geared particularly toward Twitter and maybe even Instagram. Make the items you post have some sort of importance. If you are building your brand based on the fact that you're a fashionista, post fashion related news. If you're a sports aficionado, live tweet games. Just make sure you aren't over-doing it with the posts. And controversy doesn't hurt either, just be careful with how you go about posting.

4. Make Connections: Follow or "like" people, pages, and brands that you hope to interact with, work with, or emulate. You may be able to connect with people who are willing to help you out or even offer you a job or internship.

5. Have fun with it: As important as it is to project professionalism, it's equally as necessary to inject your personality in posts and social or online profiles. Let your friends, family, future employers, colleagues, and contacts get an idea of who you really are. Be as quirky or funny or awkward or hopelessly cool as you want. This is what will set you apart from others!

There you have it, five tips for building your brand with social platforms. Use one or all or just a few. These ideas will hopefully help you curate an online presence that will benefit you while you work toward your career.

Good Luck!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Over the Boards: Rink Stories

Tales from interning in major junior hockey because the best stories happen at the rink.

I'm not sure if everyone knows but I've been interning with a major-junior hockey team on top of my radio gig. It's a major stop on the road to becoming a PR princess in the NHL.

Monday, December 10, 2012


When I was twelve years old, I was painfully awkward. Like, hard to look at and talk to. And then one day, during my layover on the way to Lebanon, I discovered Teen Vogue. To say it completely revolutionized my life would be both completely shallow and true. But it did. And then one day I decided that I wanted to be an editor just like the glamorous, genius, and hardworking women (and men!) behind all of our favorite glossies. Eight years and several career paths later, I finally put myself on a track that would hopefully land me the job of my dreams. And then, the first week of December, I realized that I wouldn't have to wait. I can start and edit my own online magazine right now, if I wanted to. The best part? So can you. Welcome to the world of Glossi, my PR lovelies. Let's all get acquainted.

Glossi, as of now, is a members only deal. But fret not, you guys, because you can request an invite. If this doesn't already remind you of my beloved (sense the sarcasm?) Pinterest, then the site's layout might, a little.

Even before you're a member you can flip through other glossies (get it? Such a fitting site name!) and get some ideas. With the primary "type" being fashion, the site's a style treasure trove. But, once you're a member, you can create your own magazine. All control goes to you. It's the online embodiment of perfection.

So what does this mean for the magazine world? Digital competition, obviously. But it also means people who have brilliant ideas sans resources for publishing have the opportunity to get themselves noticed online. This is an idea near and dear to my heart (I did an independent study this semester on the benefits of writing for new media...I think it's something of a gem, but I might be a little biased).

And, now, the all important question that you as a PR student or regular student, or avid reader of this blog must be asking: how is this going to help me in the future?

Good writing skills are beneficial for pretty much any venture. Editing skills, also amazing. Having a creative outlet like this is something that can be added to resumes and portfolios. And, in the instance your online glossy garners a huge following, you could get discovered by your dream gig. It might be tough, but nothing's impossible.'s a great way to build your own brand.

I say give it a stab, and once my first issue is done I'll be sure to give you all a head's up.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Coffee Talk

This is a series that pops up every time we have a second to hang out and grab a coffee. An exclusive look into our brains and everyday occurrences, we hope this series is as fun to you as these outings are for us!

Coffee talk number two. @esabak

So, Saturday (12/1! Can you believe it's already December?!) we went for coffee (It was actually lunch, but that's ok) and had a very interesting, very sporadic, conversation. It had more to do with warding off the impending doom of final exams/papers/projects than PR, and for that we apologize (a little). It went like this:

  • Facebook is the gateway drug to social media.
  • Twitter meltdowns. They happen. A lot.
  • Elise likes depressing things, especially heartbreak.
  • Hockey.
  • Alexander Wang at Balenciaga. We think he's going to do a really good job.
  • Elise goes to Starbucks because they never forget to put coffee in her latte (*cough*Panera*cough*). 
  • Big girl lessons: Do not be scared to tell salespeople they got the order wrong.
  • MARINA MARINA MARINAAAAA. We're obsessed with her. Every song is a good song. Especially on Electra Heart.
  • While on the music tangent, we discussed the excellence that is Cascada's Christmas album. No, that wasn't sarcastic at all. 
  • Skylar Astin. He is beautiful. And talented. And beautiful.
  • The best stories happen at the hockey rink. Like, really the best. 
  • Sometimes, even after four months, your fellow interns do not know your name.
  • Happy peppermint mocha season.
  • Finally, why people feel the sick compulsion to wear sparkly Uggs eludes us. Like, WHY, teenie-boppers next to us?

As you can tell, we have super deep and substantial conversations at these outings. And since it's been a minute since we've had one of these, it kind of makes sense that our minds are all over the place. Also like we said, it's almost finals, so there's that.


Girls Under PRessure

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gilty Pleasures

Whether or not you know me well, it's probably beyond obvious to you (so through my writing, feature choices, or just seeing me around) that I am not into "loud" things. I'm kind of a lot shy and into understated everything: all black, being the brains behind an operation, you get the idea. But it's the holiday season, a time for parties and glamour and people in glitzy clothes. And as much as I'm insistent that that's totally not my thing, I have a soft spot for glitter kind of the same way I have a compulsion to watch the classless, tactless program that is Keeping up with the Kardashians. And now that I've admitted that, and my cheeks are burning red with shame, I'll get to the point of this post. We're about to go on a gilt trip. Not the kind we get from our Sittos (grandmas, for my non-Arabs), but a little peek into the world of Elise's shiny, glitzy, and flashy gilty pleasures.

This dress would be perfect in a world where I was a glamazon. But we just don't live in that world. And that's ok, because I could never get away with wearing this to work, or a party, or anywhere, for that matter. It's still really cool, and from ASOS which also makes it perfect.

Remember that time when everyone had that huge obsession with those sparkly Louboutins? Even months (years?) later, I can't help but love these. And I'd love them heaps more if they were all red and I could click my heels like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and be magical, or something.

This ring. If I owned it, I don't know if I'd ever wear it. But I want it just to add to my growing jewelry collection (would you believe me if I told you I only owned three pairs of earrings and two bracelets? Also, do detachable collars count?). I don't own any rings, and to be perfectly honest, I'd rather have a simple and chic tennis bracelet than a ring when I get engaged. But this is like a little Swarovski disco ball for my hand, and I don't hate it.

Ever since Gossip Girl premiered, I wanted to be Blair Waldorf. I had the headbands with bows, the plaid uniform, and the fantastic case of bitchface. But most important were the headbands, an accessory I adore to this day. And that's why this sparkly bit of brilliance is my gilty pleasure number four.

My favorite gilty pleasure is crazy shiny nail polish. Especially if it's gold. This Sephora by O.P.I. pick is perfect for the holidays or some other special occasion where flashiness is permitted.

So there you have it. My top five gilty pleasures. After the holidays I pinky swear I'll be back to the basics. But I'm going to enjoy the sparkles when I can, in the confines of my house. Where nobody will see me geeking over glitter. Let's keep this our secret?



P.S. Happy December, happy peppermint mocha season, and happy (almost) finals week.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Constructive Distraction: Laws of Modern Man (and Woman)

Procrastination doesn't have to be a total waste of time. This monthly post highlights websites to make your time avoiding research papers and textbooks productive.

Whoa! It's December already! Elise and I are about to partake in Hell Week, aka: finals week. Though, it doesn't technically start for another week, it's really a two-week production.

This week, we'll be finishing up monstrous-length papers, printing exam study guides and tracking down the textbooks we never bought. Then, next week, we'll be pulling all-nighters, cramming for exams and rushing to get things solidified for next semester.

And then, we get to enjoy a small slice heaven: a week and a half off before it's 2013 and we're back to the grind.

Ahh, the joys of college.

Anyway, to keep things light and inspirational, I'd like to introduce this month's Constructive Distraction. Drum roll, please...

Laws of Modern Man

This Tumblog is a compilation of great quotes, proverbs and thoughts to live by. If you're interested, Laws of Modern Man has a sister site: Laws of Modern Woman. While, some of the content is the same because it's not necessarily gender specific, enough is different you will want click the link and check it out.

Good luck on your papers and final exams! Please remember to feed yourself and, at the very least, brush your teeth before classes for the next two weeks. The kid sitting next to you will highly appreciate it. Go forth and conquer!

Rock out, kiddies!
Your Girls  Under PRessure