Entertainment // August 12, 2013

Twitter is great for a lot of things besides talking to yourself publicly – it’s also good for staying up-to-date on the latest craziness celebrities are putting out into the universe, seeing what topics are trending in different cities around the world, networking with contacts in your industry (or at least trying to), etc. My personal favorite use for Twitter, though, is getting a few laughs every day. I’ve made it my personal mission to seek out the funniest people on Twitter, because let’s face it: every last one of us could use a little more comedy in our lives. I started by following stand-up comedians and comedy writers, and then I took a look at the people they found funny enough to retweet and follow. Benefit from my extensive research, and make sure you follow these consistently hilarious people.

1. @robdelaney

There’s a reason Rob Delaney tops basically every “best of” list for Twitter. Rob is a stand-up comedian and writer who managed to get famous through Twitter.  

2. @michaelianblack

Michael Ian Black is an actor and comedian. You might recognize him from Wet Hot American Summer or his semi-recent stand-up special on Comedy Central.

3. @alisonagosti

Alison Agosti is a comedy writer and sketch performer at Upright Citizens Brigade in LA.  But I only know of her from her ridiculous Twitter feed.

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4. @chrissyteigen

Chrissy Teigen is a model who loves to eat (yes, apparently they exist). She’s also engaged to John Legend, smart, and goddamn funny.

5. @charstarlene

Charlene de Guzman frequently composes her tweets as if she’s writing a story. She’s a master of dark, wry humor.

6. @mrsrupertpupkin

Lauren Caltagirone is Twitter verified, but I can’t figure out what her claim to fame is.  My research shows she works in TV and writes....?  Whatever it is, she’s a riot. She takes the personality of a crazy cat lady desperate for a boyfriend, and she is a master.

7. @juliussharpe

Julius Sharpe is a writer for Family Guy. I can pretty much end my description there.

8. @bazecraze

Alex Baze is a head writer for SNL’s Weekend Update. The end.

Published in Entertainment
Monday, 20 May 2013 06:39

Letter From The Made Woman Mag Staff

Join The Conversation... 

Letter from our Assistant Editor & Social Media Manager, Amanda Szalasny-- May 20, 2013

I've been keeping a close eye on social media's evolution since I first started with Made Woman a few years ago, and it's been interesting to watch it develop into the behemoth it is now.  New networks continue to pop up, with many fading into obscurity while others catch on and become impossible to avoid.

There's no denying the power of Facebook and Twitter, and LinkedIn is becoming more and more valuable for making and staying connected to business contacts.  One of Made Woman's core functions is to connect with and help women grow and succeed in their chosen fields, and we encourage you to connect with us on all of these networks.  This won't only keep you up to date on Made Woman's latest news and features; it will also help us to help you!  Do you need a hand promoting a project?  Send us a message on Facebook.  Need help finding a designer to create your new logo?  Tweet us and we'll help spread the word.  Whatever you're working on, we want to support you.

We continue to work to grow and strengthen our network, and we are grateful to have so many amazing, intelligent women as a part of it.

Connect with us on:


Published in Current

Entertainment // May 6, 2013

Thanks to YouTube, anyone with a computer and an internet connection can upload a video of anything, anytime they want.  While this means the world has been inundated with cat videos, it has also revolutionized entertainment and launched some careers - I mean, Justin Bieber was discovered there. There is a lot of crap, but there are also some people who have perfected entertaining through their videos and have amassed a following.  While a lot of the YouTube heavyweights are males, there are a collection of female stars who have mastered the art of creating videos that people want to see. The next time you have some time to kill, check out these YouTube sensations:

Michelle Phan

Michelle is a beauty vlogger who is an amazing makeup artist. Seriously. She can make herself look like Angelina Jolie or Taylor Swift using makeup alone.  Michelle started her channel after she was rejected for a job at a makeup counter. But now, she is so popular that she is a spokesperson for Lancome and has developed her own skincare line, IQQU.  Next time you want to switch up your look, look no further than Michelle’s YouTube series.

Hannah Hart

Hannah maintains a series called “My Drunk Kitchen,” where she cooks while she gets hammered on various alcoholic beverages.  Yep, it’s that simple.  While her recipes are a drunken mess, people love her because of her humor. Her ability to make puns is unmatched. Hannah also has her own channel where she talks about her daily life. She recently held a fundraiser online to raise money so that she could tour the country and cook in people’s kitchens.  She exceeded her goal quickly, and expanded her tour to the international level. Hannah is no joke.

Grace Helbig

Better known as Daily Grace (named after her YouTube show), Grace maintains a channel where she uploads a new video every damn WEEKDAY.  Every day has a theme (Sexy Friday, Review Wednesdays), and she basically just sits there and lets things fly out of her mouth. For example, on “Sexy Fridays,” she will ask her fans what kind of love, sex and dating topics they want her to give advice on. She then answers a bunch of questions in that day’s video. I use the term advice loosely. Her response to someone asking how to get a guy out of the apartment the next morning was to lock the bathroom door so they’d be forced to leave to take their morning s*&t. She acts a little awkward and does this funny sing-song thing with her voice, and that sh*t works for her.  She manages to make the most inane-seeming things sound interesting. In my opinion, this is definitely a talent. Just watch a video -- you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Jenna Marbles

This list wouldn’t even be valid without including Jenna. Chances are, you already know this chick. She’s got 8.5 million subscribers on YouTube, and her collection of videos have over 1 BILLION views. Jenna is popular because she’s hilarious, she swears a lot, and she’s hot.  My personal favorites are her videos about gender differences. She is great at pointing out  -- and making fun of -- how different men and women are. Confession: I lowkey want to stalk her and be her best friend. She’s just that awesome. How she hasn’t been given her own TV show yet, I don’t know. But I’m going to put it out there now that eventually, it’s going to happen.

Justine Ezarik

Better known as iJustine, this girl makes videos about everything. Her everyday life, her thoughts - essentially whatever she wants. Case in point: one of her biggest videos was her ranting about wanting a cheeseburger at a restaurant that was out of them. She’s known as a “lifecaster” - which I never heard before putting this article together - which apparently means that she broadcasts her life. Duh. Justine also occasionally acts and hosts TV shows. If you take a look at her, you can see why. Her appearance is pretty much flawless. Justine is smart and fun to watch, and she’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.

What may seem like frivolous videos to some, has created big fame and big profits for these ladies. They make ridiculous amounts of revenue from the ads on their videos. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Ugh, why don’t I have a video series again? These YouTubers are some of my personal favorites, but this is far from a complete list of all the great people on the site. Let me know who your favorite YouTubers are, and what videos I should watch in the comments below!

Published in Entertainment
Friday, 05 April 2013 22:31

Letter From The Made Woman Mag Staff

Letter from our Assistant Editor & Social Media Manager, Amanda Szalasny -- April 8, 2013

I still remember when Made Woman's Editor-In-Chief, Serena Watson, asked if she could take me to lunch and discuss her new project with me. She knew that I had always liked writing, and she thought I might be interested in getting involved in a magazine that she and her friend, Lindsey Day, wanted to launch.  As she filled me in on Made Woman's mission to help connect professional young women in a positive, productive and supportive environment, I practically tripped over myself to tell her that I was all in. That was three years ago.

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Since then, I've been thrilled to have a hand in Made Woman's burgeoning success. I started as a writer and copy editor, but eventually moved toward being the social media manager. It's been an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. I couldn't be more honored to work with such dedicated, intelligent, and forward-thinking young women. I look forward to Made Woman's continued success, and the ongoing opportunity to provide you, our loyal readers, with a platform to help make your own dreams a reality.

Published in Current
Friday, 22 March 2013 22:31

Letter From The Made Woman Mag Staff

Something for Everyone...

Letter from our Editor-in-Chief, Serena Watson -- March 25, 2013

The 34th issue of Made Woman Magazine features content from some of our superstars. Assistant Editor Amanda Szalasny provides tips to help job hunters keep up with the changing job market. Courteney Kay dishes on tips for online dating, and Beth Livesay debates the importance of attending your high school reunion. In need of a mid-day entertainment fix? Read Marni Epstein's review of the new show, Bates Motel.

We offer a wide range of topics for today’s professional woman, and for those of you in Los Angeles we offer “MW Local,” our reviews of businesses and venues in the greater Los Angeles area. Recently, Business Manager Lindsey Day and I checked out The Broot hair salon and shared our experience. The Broot boasts new, all natural hair treatments and is getting some major buzz. Start here and then read the rest of our all new issue!

Published in Current
Friday, 15 March 2013 21:33

Job Hunting | Revamping Your Job Search

Job Hunting // March 25, 2013 

If you’re searching for a job, here’s something you already know: it sucks.  There’s nothing fun about going through hundreds of job listings, tailoring your resume to each one and firing it off into the abyss, not knowing if it’s ever even going to be viewed by a recruiter.  Looking for employment is a job in itself, and it sucks up time, energy, patience, and probably a lot of your sanity.

I was just like you.  Applying to every job that even remotely related to my skillset and going months without so much as a “you’re useless” email in response.  I had basically the same framework for a resume my entire time job hunting, but I only started getting hits for interviews in the past few months.  So what changed?  After a lot of trial and error, and rewriting my resume every single time I sent it out, I finally got it to a good place…started getting calls for interviews — a victory in itself in the overcrowded job market — and just recently accepted a job offer (hurray!). I spent a year tirelessly searching for a new opportunity, and if there’s some sort of instant, miracle advice to land the perfect job, I certainly don’t know it.  But what I can tell you is that there definitely are some ways to get yourself noticed.  Here’s how I got there:

1. Fix that resume… over and over.

Do NOT just make up one standard resume and send it out for every job.  A generic resume  that can apply to all sorts of jobs is not going to convince anyone that you’re a good fit for the job in question.  You need to put in that time to read the job description and illustrate how your skills apply to it.  Be specific.  You should go so far as taking keywords in the description and literally putting them in your resume.  Recruiters get hundreds upon hundreds of applicants for each job listing.  Their eyes are going to skim over each application and look for the most critical skills.  Anything that doesn’t have them?  Trash!

2.  Think about changing the layout/format of your resume.

I added a line at the very top of my resume that specifically mentioned the job I was applying to, and then listed several sentences underneath it about how I am that person.  It doesn’t matter that my current job is something different; I can be that person you’re looking for and here are x, y, z reasons why.  Your first sentence should be compelling and confident.  For example, mine is: “Driven, efficient and customer service-oriented marketing professional with experience managing the social media presence of an online magazine.”  I was mostly applying for jobs in marketing or social media related fields.  This opening sentence flat out states exactly who I am and what I do.  When I changed this sentence from what it was before, suddenly I started getting calls.

3.  Network your face off.

There’s a reason networking gets mentioned all the time.  The more people that you talk to and let know that you’re looking for new opportunities, the more likely someone might actually refer you somewhere.  Bring it up to everyone you talk to.  Seriously!  If you work in a big company, take advantage of it and try to set up informational interviews with people in fields you are interested in.  Most execs are more than happy to talk about what they do and how they got there.  You’ll get valuable insight, and they might also keep you in mind should something open up in their department.  It’s good to have friends in high places, y’all.

4. Google yourself and change things that need changing.

Google is a beautiful thing: it makes finding things ridiculously easy. This can also come back to bite you in the arse.  I Googled myself not long ago and was shocked to see that an essay I wrote in 6TH GRADE is actually online somewhere.  When an employer Googles me, they get to read “What The American Flag Means To Me” by a 12 year old version of myself.  Lucky them.  My point is, you need to know what is out there about yourself.  If you have a public Facebook or Twitter page, you’d better believe that you’re going to be judged by it.  Either protect your accounts, or make sure that you don’t have anything up that might raise eyebrows.

5. Promote yourself!

You have talents and skills — show them off!  Buy your own website under your full name and think about starting a blog.  You don’t need to be considered an “expert” to do this.  You can write or tweet about your thoughts on things relevant to your field.  It will make you appear more credible and competent.  If writing really isn’t your thing, you can also just buy some webspace and post your bio/resume on it.  That way if people Google you (and they will), it will be one of the first things they see.  It’s worth the investment of your time, and it’s really not as hard as you may think.

And there you have it!  None of these are magic keys to a new job, but if you utilize all of them, you’re definitely going to increase your chances of meeting your goals.

Let me know if I missed any great tips that have helped you.  And happy hunting!

Published in Job Hunting

Lifestyle // February 10, 2013

I adopted a dog about a year and a half ago and quickly found out that they are barking, shedding, biting, needy, nosy, drooling little things that will pee all over your living quarters and possibly your favorite pair of platform heels. They’re also the most loving, trusting, happy, wiggling, funny, cuddly and loyal creatures you’ll ever find. If visions of puppies are dancing in your head and you’re thinking of adopting (and I DO urge you to adopt if you’re considering getting a dog – you’ll be saving a life), there are a lot of things to consider before you take the plunge. Countless people bring a dog home only to return it a week later when they realize the sh*tstorm of adjustment that comes with it. Don’t be that girl. Before you even set foot into a shelter, you should know what you’re in for.  

1.     Paying for your puppy...it’s gonna cost ya.

Oh GOD is it going to cost you. The adoption itself doesn’t cost much -- usually around $100 or so – but chances are your dog is going to need to go to the vet for a check-up and will have some sort of puppy problem that is now your responsibility. It’s not uncommon for puppies to leave a shelter with worms, fleas, or other infections after sharing space with a lot of other animals. And if you do decide to get a dog from a pet store (please don’t), a lot of those dogs have genetic problems due to inbreeding. Dogs that appear perfectly healthy at adoption can come home with you and exhibit symptoms of sickness days later. My seemingly healthy dog contracted parvovirus in a shelter and I didn’t know it until three days after he’d settled in at home. Treatment cost me a couple thousand dollars and he almost died. My experience was a total worst case scenario, and most dogs won’t have problems that serious, but it’s a scenario you need to be prepared for. Bringing a dog to the vet is like a human going to the doctor without insurance. Most visits rob me of around $100-$200, at least.  Pricey, right?  Even if Rover isn’t sick, you have to think about routine shots, spaying/neutering, preventive flea treatments, food, toys, supplies (leash, dog bowls, dog shampoo, collars, treats), etc. Can you handle the financial burden a dog brings?

2.     Training a dog will work nerves you didn’t even know you had.

Unless you want your dog tearing your house apart and flinging poo at the walls, you’re going to have to train his behind. And woooo, housebreaking can damn near break a human being’s spirit into a zillion pieces. Are you prepared to take your little ball of fur for walks to pee and have him stare up at you confusedly for 20 minutes, only to pee all over the floor immediately when you go back in the house? Well, get prepared, lady. You are going to have to channel the patience of Mother Teresa to not lose your ever-loving mind when your dog takes a dump in your kitchen in the middle of dinner. Same thing goes for training Bongo (what? it could be a name) how to sit, lay down, stay, etc. The good news is, your little guy wants to please you. Seriously, he lives for it, he just doesn’t know what the hell you want. Prepare to put in some work learning housebreaking methods and how to communicate in ways they understand (check out Cesar Milan’s website for tips), and you’ll be on your way to Dog Whisperer status.  

3.     Sayonara, social life.

Puppy bladders aren’t able to hold it for more than a couple hours, so you have to account for their needs when planning your schedule. If you work a full-time job and have no one to let him out during the day, that’s about 8 hours your dog will be alone, crossing its puppy legs. Do you have someone that can let him out? Can you come home at lunchtime for a quick stroll around the block? Can you afford doggy day care or hire a neighbor to stop by? Once your dog is 8-12 months old, he should be able to hold it all day while you’re at work, but you’re still going to need to put happy hour on hold and make a pitstop after work to take him out and feed him. But that’s not all. Thinking about going on vacation?  Not so fast, Jenny Jetsetter. On top of trip details, you have to find a pet facility to board him, or tie down a super reliable friend that can watch him while you’re gone. Having  friends over or a man friend coming for a sleepover? Get ready to deal with him jumping on strangers and barking at your bedroom door when he hears strange noises coming from mom’s room. Things you wouldn’t even think of are now going to revolve around Mr. Piddles.

4.     Dogs can be d***s sometimes.

Dogs can develop some weird ass quirks. On top of having separation anxiety and preferring to spend most of his time trying to live in my lap, my dog is a submissive urinator. That means he pees to show that he’s subservient and I’m the boss. Not sure why the dog brain thinks peeing=peace, but I didn’t make the rules. And this isn’t a unique thing to my dog – submissive urination is a habit that overly sensitive/anxious dogs can acquire, and there’s no clear cut way to train them out of it. He’s also territorial and has to jump up and examine anyone who walks into our apartment. I have a friend whose dog has a shoe chewing fetish. Another friend’s dog barks at every passing noise. Some dogs refuse to get along with other dogs no matter what. Just like people aren’t perfect and can be total a**holes, same goes for dogs. Generally they are awesome, and 9 times out of 10 any bad habits Bark Wahlberg picks up are a failure in your training methods. Raising them in the most patient way possible will mostly ensure overall dog spectacularness, but no one’s perfect. I found myself screaming to the heavens in frustration more often than I’d like to admit, but I have grown to deal with my dog’s oddball issues.

Contrary to how this might sound, I am NOT trying to talk you out of getting a dog. I am putting the truth about the work that comes with dog ownership out there so you know all the possible downsides. For me, the positives far outweigh the work that comes along with it. Dogs are wonderful. They love you no matter how ugly you look in the morning, they are loyal companions who will lick your face when you’re crying over that asshole ex-boyfriend, and they pretty much worship the ground you walk on. They are happy, adorable, wonderful creatures that will provide you with unwavering companionship. But a lot of people only think about these things and ignore the responsibility that comes along with it. If you can honestly deal with all of the factors I’ve mentioned, you are ready to get out there and find your new best friend. And if you do, please share pictures with us. WE EFFIN LOVE PUPPIES.

Published in Lifestyle
Sunday, 23 September 2012 23:55

Lifestyle | How to Come Out of Your Shell

September 24, 2012 

If you had invited me to a party a couple years ago, I’d have told you I had to wash my hair.  Or my stomach hurt.  Or my head exploded into a migraine.  Or my face melted off.  You name it, I’d use it as an excuse.  Unless I knew everyone at said party, I wanted nothing to do with it.  People I don’t know well make me…squirmy.  I grew up in a tiny town and graduated high school with a whopping 20 other people – I never learned how to meet new friends because I never HAD to.  

My lack of outgoing-ness doesn’t mean that I don’t have friends or that I don’t like to go out and have a good time (I can find a few bartenders to vouch for that), but the situation has to be “just so” before I’m down to do it.  The problem with that, obviously, is that it’s not exactly conducive to making new friends or starting new relationships.  

If any of this sounds sort of like you, and you want to do something about it, I have some good news for you: you can change.  I made the decision to start pushing myself outside of my comfort zone a while ago; and while yes, it can still be pretty uncomfortable, the situations you force yourself into are usually nowhere near as bad as you imagine.  So how can you put yourself out there more and start acting like a functioning, normal member of society?  I’ll let you know how I did it.

Just Say Yes

Seriously, stop with the excuses.  If someone invites you somewhere and you feel yourself fumbling for a way to say no--quit it.  Say yes, dammit!  If you have no other plans, there’s NO reason for you to not go to that party, networking event, girls' night out with some people you’ve never met, etc.  You are not going to find a date or a new friend by sitting on your couch stuffing take-out pizza into your face.  The more people you know, the stronger your social network is…and that can lead to all sorts of potential benefits.  Force yourself to say yes, and follow through.  It may feel weird and it may produce a little anxiety, but you can do it and you’ll most likely be glad you did.

Do Something New

A cooking class was offered to employees at my new job not too long ago.  The old me would have thought, “I don’t really know many of my coworkers yet, I can’t even cook a Hot Pocket, who am I going to talk to? Will I end up standing in a corner alone hiding behind a skillet?”, etc. etc.   The new me pushed those thoughts out of my head and focused on the fact that I’d be getting free food and wine--at the very least--and at the most, making some new connections.   If your work offers group activities, sign up for a couple.  If there’s a gym in your neighborhood, go take a class.  If you’ve always been interested in sailing, take a lesson.  Do not let that little voice in your head telling you to avoid new, potentially uncomfortable situations, win.  This is about taking control of your fear/anxiety and forcing yourself to think about social situations differently.  You have to put yourself out there or nothing is ever going to happen to you!

Let Down Your Guard.

When I go out with my girlfriends, at least one of them usually ends up talking to a guy.  Me?  Not so much.  I’m the girl who’d rather go off and dance by myself than have some random dude in my face asking me what my sign is.  I’m instantly on guard with guys and it only starts coming down when I’m familiar with someone.  But how do you get familiar with a new person unless you…ya know, talk to him?  So now I at least exchange a few sentences before I make an exit.  You never know who you might meet unless you give them a chance, and if they’re a creep, there’s always that emergency, “Excuse me, I have to go to the restroom!” excuse.

Be Approachable

When I was younger, I was told several times by people that when they first met me, they thought I didn’t like them.  Or that I was probably a bitch.  I would always feel a little stunned by this, but then it dawned on me.  I never really smiled, I pretty much would just give short hellos at work and go about my business, I didn’t make a ton of eye contact; or if I did catch a glance, I’d usually look away.  These things all communicate disinterest.  It wasn’t because I was a mean person – I was just unsure of myself and let’s be honest, was a bit socially retarded.  Once I was aware of how I was coming off, I made a conscious effort to look people in the eye and smile when I walked by them, to say hello to that random stranger in the elevator, to not walk around with my head down and to ask coworkers questions just to make conversation (anything involving weekend plans, i.e .“how was your weekend?” on Monday and “any plans for the weekend?” on Friday is a good start).  Everyone is more attracted to a person who has a smile and a friendly “hello” ready.  

Listen, if you’ve never been extroverted and it feels completely unnatural to you to chat up strangers all the time, you may never be considered a social butterfly… but you don’t need to be!  Everyone is different.  I still have my days where I revert to my more withdrawn self, but the important thing is that I put forth the effort to make little changes here and there.  I’ve definitely made more friends and connections in the process, and people who’ve only known me for a year or two are always surprised when I tell them how painfully shy I used to be.  It’s an ongoing work in progress, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Published in Lifestyle