Beyond Thankful.

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I always look forward to Thanksgiving. It gives me a chance to slow down, spend time with family and savor the short but sweet moments at home. Thanksgiving often involves time for reflection and thoughts about how blessed we are to have our loving families, but also for the opportunities and friends who shape our lives throughout the year.

2016 has been tumultuous, but it was an incredible year for me personally. I learned so much, laughed to tears countless times, loved endlessly, and truly felt happy.

This year, I’m thankful for:

  • my parents, who put me through 15 and a half years of school and helped me chase my dreams.
  • my friends, who became my family when home was far away.
  • my bosses, who taught me so much and gave me confidence as I start my career.
  • my dog, who loves me unconditionally and greets me so enthusiastically, whether I was away for 2 months or 2 hours.

I have so much more to be thankful for, but I’m going to hold the rest close to my heart. Today, and every day, I am so full of love and happiness. Although today is a special time to reflect and be grateful, remember to take a minute each day and think of how lucky we all are, and what we can do to continue living our best lives.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

love yourself, and love others. hard.

I haven’t posted on here in awhile, but I needed to highlight something.

Suicide. 

It’s a real problem, and from my experience, I would honestly call it an epidemic, especially among young people.

Today I got word that another person from my high school community committed suicide. I didn’t know her personally, but I cheered with her older sister for three years. Her sister was always so welcoming, vibrant and loving, so I could only imagine that this girl was putting out the same image. From what I’ve heard, she was popular, smart, involved in everything, and seemed so happy.

And this is why I’m bringing attention to it. She seemed happy.

You never know what someone is going through, or what they’re thinking. This girl was struggling emotionally for the past year. Her parents knew, and they worked with the school to get her as many resources as she needed. But on the outside, she seemed fine.

I’m glad that my school took the steps to try and help her as much as they could, but it pains me to know that someone can be hurting so much, even with the help she was receiving.

Despite this case, suicide is obviously preventable. Reach out to your friends and family. Tell them how much you love them, and tell them often. Be aware of the things your loved ones say, and offer help when needed. Be there and just show up.

After hearing this kind of tragic news eight different times, one would think it gets easier or you become more dull to it. It doesn’t. Tonight’s news hit me like a giant wave. I actually felt my heart race, my vision became blurry, and I started physically shaking. I felt disabled and couldn’t do anything but text my friends and make sure they were okay.

Resilience is important at a time like this, but so is compassion. I’m mourning the loss of another young life, and feeling the heartache of my high school community from 3,000 miles away. My condolences go out to her family, and everyone who has lost someone important to them.

Although I haven’t struggled with mental health personally, it has touched too many of my close friends and family. It’s not fun for either side, but I can tell you, I promise you, suicide is never the answer. It gets better.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, here are a few resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK

TeenLine, an organization by teens to help teens in crisis: 310-855-4673

You can also text TEEN to 839863

Stay strong, stay resilient, but most importantly, look out for one another.

Onward,

Francesca

 

Pretty Fab

IMG_5776Top: Hera Tee by Fabletics | Bottoms: Salar Leggings in Goddess Print by Fabletics | Shoes: Adidas | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff | Sunglasses: Madewell

For those of you that follow me on social media, you know I’m spending this semester in Los Angeles. Life has been pretty amazing here. My school has a “study abroad” program in Los Angeles where we intern and take classes. It’s a great way to learn about the LA landscape and find your fit in the entertainment and/or fashion industry. One of my internships is at Fabletics, which is an athletic apparel brand cofounded by Kate Hudson.

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Kate recently released her lifestyle book, Pretty Happy. Let me tell you, although I’ve been working events around the book release all week, I finally sat down to read it today, and it is so amazing. Kate is such a genuine, real and nice person, and her personality shines through the pages on the book. I highly recommend! Even just a few pages in, I already felt inspired. IMG_5760

Yesterday, I worked a book signing with Kate at the Fabletics store in Woodland Hills. It was so fun to hear from her fans, meet the Fabletics customers, and obviously chat with Kate!

 

Anything But Boring

IMG_5216Hat: Francesca’s Collection | Blouse: Forever21 | Vest and Jacket: Zara | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

I’ve been a big fan of black and white lately, and I like the challenge of mixing different patterns and textures to create an interesting and dynamic look. I believe in the quote, “black is anything but boring.” By adding the right pieces, you can instantly elevate an outfit to become a standout look. In my case, I made a simple blouse more interesting by twisting the front instead of buttoning it straight down, and I had fun with the accessories.

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Interning at a large PR agency, as told by Buddy the Elf

This semester has been an absolute whirlwind. While I’m wrapping up my time in Boston this year, I reflected on my experience at Regan Communications Group. Working at a large agency has been so much fun and provided me with an excellent learning experience. From administrative work to PR 101, I picked up my fair share of lessons and skills.

  1. At a large agency, you wear many hats for many clients. I drafted press releases and media advisories, posted calendar listings, clipped press coverage, worked at events…the list goes on. One minute, I might be pushing out a media advisory about an upcoming fundraiser, while hours later, you could find me staffing a themed event in the Seaport District surrounded by puppies (it’s happened before)! Needless to say I’ve gotten fairly good at juggling! Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.32.08 PM
  2. Before interning at Regan, I was slightly terrified to make ~professional~ phone calls. I used to screen callers at a previous internship, but here, I was playing the big leagues and talking to journalists and publishers. Dialing all those digits definitely helped me gain more confidence in my phone etiquette. Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.39.27 PM
  3. I even got to spend a few days running around Boston to take photos, pick up products, and run errands. With the large range of tasks I did around the city, I have Boston’s streets memorized like the back of my hand. Also, I may or may not have developed “excellent” pedestrian skills… Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.47.47 PM
  4. When staffing events, I learned to be a friendly face as I was the first person that welcomed guests to the venue and got them settled. (This wasn’t hard, obviously, since our events were always fun!)Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.54.21 PM
  5. After events, the team would occasionally get dinner together, so I also made sure to polish up my dining etiquette. Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.57.33 PM

 

Honestly, the list of things I learned could go on for days. I originally did not plan on interning this semester because of my academic schedule, but I am beyond glad that I did. My most important and meaningful takeaway from working at Regan was the affirmation of the way I feel about public relations: Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 4.02.08 PM

 

Crazy Dog Lady (but, this has a point)

If you’ve talked to me for at least 10 minutes, you’ll know I have a dog. You will also probably be pretty sure that I am obsessed with said dog. What you won’t know, however, is that she’s only been mine for about six months.

This is Lexie. Lexie is a two year-old chihuahua Jack Russell terrier mix who I adopted from the Peninsula Humane Society this past summer. Although I’ve only had her for six months (and because of college, physically with her for three), I feel like she has been a lifelong best friend.

Although small, Lexie has one of the biggest hearts and biggest personalities I’ve ever experienced (humans included). She’s sassy, smart and loving. I know all dog owners say that, but I think she’s special…and I shamelessly express that about every three hours.

The point of this blog post isn’t just to express my love for my dog. Here’s some background: Lexie was found in January 2015, tied to a pole with a short rope and no food or shelter. Nobody knows how long she was left alone, but she was six pounds when they found her (today she’s at a normal weight of 12 pounds). The shelter took her in, nursed her back to good health, and she was ready to be adopted about two weeks later. You would think that with such a good temperament and adorable face, she’d get adopted in no time.

Fast forward to late May 2015, Lexie was still in the shelter. My dad and I stopped in one afternoon to just look around and ~consider~ getting a dog. I found a shy dog snuggled up in the corner of a room full of yappy, jumpy chihuahuas. She had the same markings as my best friend’s dog and my Big’s cat, so I asked to see her out of curiosity. We fell in love and brought her home that same day.

From day 1, Lexie approached me with unconditional love, enthusiasm, and trust. To be honest, that’s the way she greets almost every human. From the way I’ve seen her react to certain situations, I can tell she was abused in the past. She went through so many traumatic experiences, from abuse to abandonment to almost six months in a shelter.But what I find remarkable is the unwavering resilience and trust she has in people. And this isn’t true for just Lexie. I’ve seen the same characteristic in every shelter dog I’ve met.

Shelter dogs have an unbelievable about of trust, forgiveness and resilience to them that is so inspiring. And to top that, all they want from people is a little love and attention. I know that dogs are on so many wish lists this holiday season, but before jumping at anything, please stop by your local shelter and consider adopting a best friend.

Brunch Time: Bees Knees Supply Company

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First of all, major props to anyone who can make Allston look this classy and trendy. Bees Knees is a cafe and mini-grocery located in Allston, MA that serves great food, keeps up with the latest coffee culture and supports local businesses. It makes for a great casual brunch spot on the weekends, or a cool study place during the week.

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My friends and I take our breakfast sandwiches very seriously, and Bees Knees didn’t disappoint. I had the Lobster McMuffin, which had lobster, egg, arugula and lemon malaise on an english muffin. My friends had the bacon egg and cheese McMuffin, which had exactly that. While both were great, we did all decide that the bacon egg and cheese was our favorite. The three of us also got pumpkin lattes (because fall, duh), which were absolutely amazing. They were a perfect balance of pumpkin and espresso, and surprisingly were not overbearingly sweet.

Overall: I recommend coming here at least once. I definitely want to come again and try their other brunch items and drinks. (Tip: they have cold-brew nitro coffee!) If not for the food, come for the atmosphere. I am obsessed with West Village in New York, and this shop definitely made me feel like a cool New Yorker.