Be aware of 'Pinkwashing' during #BreastCancerAwareness Month

October is my favorite month of the year because I love fall, Halloween, pumpkins, football season in full gear and many more things. I also appreciate that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and do love seeing pink products, logos and even food everywhere.

While I fully support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there is, very unfortunately, something to be aware of during this month: pinkwashing. 

What is pinkwashing? It's when companies sell and promote pink items, but they may not actually donate any proceeds, may have a cap donation or may donate a significantly lower amount than originally thought toward breast cancer research and the betterment of those suffering from breast cancer. More than just that, it's also companies and organizations who claim to care about breast cancer producing, manufacturing and/or selling products linked to the disease.

Not every company selling pink products does this & awareness does matter. This is just something to be aware of during October!

Questions to think about before you buy the pink ribbon or any pink product, via Think Before You Pink:

Does any money from this purchase go to support breast cancer programs? How much?

What organization will get the money? What will they do with the funds? How do these programs make a difference for the breast cancer epidemic?

Is there a “cap” on the amount the company will donate? Has this maximum donation already been met? Can you tell? -- most popular thing for brands to do is have a maximum donation.

Does this purchase put you or someone you love at risk for exposure to toxins linked to breast cancer?

What is the company doing to ensure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

I'm not exactly here to call out various companies for doing this, but rather to raise awareness to you and others to be aware of what products you're buying and what that money actually goes to. Just one example (and you know I love football): the NFL goes pink every year and while they do a good job raising awareness, analysts estimate that only 8% of the money the NFL raises actually goes toward breast cancer research. 


A great organization to check out is Breast Cancer Action, mission: to achieve health justice for all women at risk of and living with breast cancer. 

They have a current campaign to demand companies stop pinkwashing and start protecting women's health by stop giving women, especially women in cancer treatment, cosmetics and products that are actually linked to increased cancer risk and interference with breast cancer treatment.

So be aware of all we could be doing for the breast cancer cause and make yourself more aware of where your money is actually going when you donate or buy pink products.

All of this raises an interesting question: is it really ethical to sell these products that promote breast cancer research and searching for a cure when so little of the money from the product goes toward the cause?

I know every little bit helps, but are companies more in it for the sales or the actual cause?

/Lauren Gray
breast cancer, breast cancer awareness, pinkwashing, brand causes, cause marketing, october
1 Comment

Your life's planned timeline doesn't always work

I was walking on the beach with a friend this past Saturday and, of course, we got to talking about our lives. "Did you ever think that at our age we would be where we are?" 

Nope, not at all.

When I was growing up and even when I was in college, I always thought my life would follow this successive timeline:
- long-term relationship stemming from high school or college
- graduate from college in 4 years
- work in my dream job, preferably in ATL or somewhere warm
- get engaged
- get married
- have kids

I did graduate from college in a long-term relationship, but it took me 5 years with me changing my degree from interior design to PR and with me taking on an additional semester to become the PRSSA National President. I have finally landed a dream job, though I didn't know how dream-like it was until I accepted. 

Now that I'm 26 and I've just accomplished two of those things, I have finally figured out there is no way to really plan out your life and things you thought were going to happen in a certain way never will. I never thought that at 26 I would be on my fourth job and living in Connecticut. I thought right out of college I would land the perfect job and be so happy to be at such a reputable PR firm. 

Reality set in and that firm was not for me, so I headed to another one. That one wasn't for me either. It took me a year and a half to figure out that working in NYC was not what I wanted and that it wasn't good for me. So I left to go join  another agency and ultimately stayed there for a year. By this point, it had taken me 2.5 years (over 3 if you count my agency as an intern in ATL) to figure out I was not an agency girl.

When I turned 25, I found my first gray hair. I had found it before Jarrett got home and when he walked in the door I dramatically burst into tears at this thought of aging and being old. I now have at least 5 that I've counted recently and, while it does still bother me, I've just accepted it lately.

I never thought that at 26 I would still be questioning everything. I sincerely thought I  would have it all figured out and I thought I would have experienced more. Unfortunately I didn't get to take my grand trip to  Spain and many other countries this summer, due to many unforeseen circumstances and a few changes, but I still hope to make that trip and see those countries at some point. 

I have also finally figured out that it's okay if things get quite messy along the way. Nothing is ever perfect. I used to so envy those that I knew who landed the job they wanted right out of college, are still in those jobs 3+ years later and don't plan to leave anytime soon.

That wasn't my journey and that's okay. Mine was completely different than anyone else's and that's okay too. Everyone is so different and our journeys are as well; don't try to compare yourselves to other because you'll only make yourself miserable and unsatisfied. You might even have to let go of an idea or a dream you had for so long to work on something else or go in a different direction.

I've learned from my mistakes and successes and though things didn't line up the way I thought or wanted, I'm continuing to roll on with what I have and what I can currently do. Some things are out of my control, but some are in my control and I'm doing the best I can with what I have.


Happiness isn't always 100% guaranteed right off the bat; it does take hard work and time sometimes! Keep going and keep moving. Don't let your past or struggles hold you down or keep you down! 

Keep going. Keep working. Keep dreaming.

/Lauren Gray
Work and Life

Brands + Public Figures Celebrating #MarriageEquality Ruling! #LoveWins!

What an amazing day to be an American! SCOTUS ruled everyone has the right to marry in all states and marriage equality lives on! It's truly a dream, to quote by best friend Chris Piedmont, and I'm so happy to be able to see this dream come true!!

Rainbows EVERYWHERE! Same-sex marriage is legal and recognized nationwide!

/Lauren Gray
#LoveWins, marriage equality, same-sex rights, same-sex marriage, gay marriage, scotus

Corporate vs. Agency Observations After One Week

*Keep in mind this is just from one week of working at PepsiCo and like everything, every agency and corporation are different. Not every experience will be the same.

Image via PepsiCo

Image via PepsiCo

This week was my first week at PepsiCo, and I must say it's been pretty fantastic. I've worked at four different agencies from internships to full-time jobs and, I must say, there is a stark difference between working at an agency vs. corporation.

I'm very thankful for my agency experience and what I learned from my time at the various agencies in which I worked. I gained invaluable experience from my agency time and got to work on so many great projects for a wide array of clients like 3M, Verizon,, Hyundai, Dos Equis, Avion Tequila, Altos Tequila, Desperados and more. That experience is very relevant and helpful to my job today in a corporation. The people I've met here at PepsiCo value that experience and know I will do a good job here because of where I've worked. I've really appreciated that a lot. 

From my own perspective from the agency side, everything was very fast-paced and there were always multiple projects for multiple clients at a time. Everything is to-do ASAP and the hours were long. There were a couple of unspoken rules that you needed to come early and/or stay late and "pay your dues." I had anxiety if I was away from my phone because, another unsaid rule, I felt I had to be reachable at any time and always checking emails to see what was going on or if I needed to do extra work on the weekends, over holidays or while on vacation. 

It's been a great first week here at PepsiCo! Everyone is extremely friendly, welcoming and (overall) more relaxed and calm. There isn't that driving sense of super urgency (yet), and I really appreciate that right now. I know the crises and hard deadlines will come, but there is a different feeling to it. Right off the bat, I was told how important work/life balance is and I've seen that belief in practice with everyone already. People have also taken the time to have coffee meetings with me, lunch meetings and general welcome meetings with me. It's been great to meet so many people and learn from them!

Other general things I love about PepsiCo already:

  • Sense of pride in the company and all the brands
  • The comradery amongst coworkers and how nice and helpful everyone is
  • Company events (Mountain Dew event next week!) and the baby shower yesterday for 5 people!
  • Learning so much about PepsiCo and all the brands
  • Work / life balance is a high priority: work from 9 to 5 every day. Summer hours = half day Fridays every week!
  • Cafeteria has great food and is very reasonable priced
  • Free Starbucks coffee all day (a real dream come true)
  • Free fountain sodas all day (I have to be careful about this)
  • PepsiCo store
  • Gym downstairs + the classes they offer
  • Health and wellness center with a staffed nurse

I've been trying to find my place and where I fit for a little while now, and I finally think I've found it. I genuinely love this atmosphere and the ways of working within PepsiCo. Can't wait to move to the beautiful global HQ next month when it reopens after the complete overhaul! 

/Lauren Gray
Work and Life

Why Ben and Jerry's Is My New Favorite Brand

I'm adding a very important brand to my list of favorite brands: Ben & Jerry's

And it's not because they're a stereotypical great go-to for breakups or even that they have the best tasting ice cream. It's because their stances on the most important issues of our culture today and the fact they take a stand on those issues. They also have facts, reasons they support or are against a certain issue and ways to take action.

I personally love that brands are getting more political and I think Ben and Jerry's makes a great example and case study of the proper way to do this.

1. They're pro-equal marriage and make this very clear.

I love that they don't only show their support, but they explain the case, what's at stake and what the possible outcomes may be on their website. They are educating consumers on equal marriage and the actual Supreme Court case instead of making a blanket statement.


2. They believe in climate change and have a full post on their website on their climate position from CEO Jostein Solheim. 

"Ben & Jerry’s has been a business with social mission since day one, advocating for a spectrum of causes, from marriage equality to GMO labeling. As a company, we took a long hard look at these numbers and realized that if we don’t act on climate change right now, there’s not going to be a future for any of the issues we’re involved in."

3. They're not afraid to tackle the issue that companies should disclose their political spending. Even calling out the President! 

Corporate spending in politics is out of control.

4. They're not afraid to talk about marijuana and 4/20. They even released the Brrr-ito ice cream burrito on 4/20! Many brands are afraid to go to this level to even acknowledge this day or marijuana in general. They're even down with creating a cannabis-infused ice cream.

Their tweets on 4/20 were pretty awesome.

5. Their values, which are really the most important.

Every company should have this page on their website:

Transparency is important for everyone and, I personally believe, consumers like seeing this kind of information and clear statements and positioning.

Courtesy of:

Courtesy of:


So those are my five reasons Ben and Jerry's is one of my new favorite brands. There are countless more reasons, but those are my top ones.

Now, do I have any data that shows their political involvement has increased sales? No, I do not. I would really be interested in seeing if they have any data that shows their stances and beliefs correlate to sales and advocacy. Who knows, maybe they will release that data or make a case themselves later?


What do you think about brands being involved in political issues?

/Lauren Gray
politics, political brands, Ben & Jerry's social media, Ben & Jerry's, equal marriage, equal rights, marriage equality, brand values, company reputations, company values, climate change

Social Good Spotlight: The Shoe That Grows

One thing I love about Imgur  is that I take away something from the site and learn something new and connect with new ideas and causes every day. Today I found this newer cause: The Shoe That Grows Kenton Less has invented a show that can grow up to 5 sizes in 5 years, meaning children in impoverished nations and families with little income will not have to grow up without shoes or shoes that fit properly.

According to The Shoe That Grows, “There are over 300 million children who do not have shoes.  And countless more with shoes that do not fit.” Children without shoes are susceptible to injuries and parasites that infect humans through our feet. The problem with ordinary shoe donations is that they are soon outgrown, which is exactly the problem that these new shoes would fix (via BoredPanda).

adjustable-sandal-poor-children-the-shoe-that-grows-kenton-lee-1 adjustable-sandal-poor-children-the-shoe-that-grows-kenton-lee-3 adjustable-sandal-poor-children-the-shoe-that-grows-kenton-lee-2

The shoe comes in two sizes: Small and Large.  Each size grows 5 sizes and lasts at least 5 years. Small = Grows 5 sizes – From Kindergarten to 4th Grade Large = Grows 5 sizes – From 5th Grade to 9th Grade.

How you can help:

Donate $10 to help fill a duffle with 50 pairs of shoes that go to different parts of the world.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 11.33.05 AM


/Lauren Gray
#socialgood, charity, click to give, give back, shoes that grow, social good, the shoe that grows
Social Good

What I learned from my 25th year

What i learned Turning 25 last year actually made me sad and made me feel old, yes I know that seems crazy, but now looking back at this past year it doesn't seem so old and I feel more like an adult now than ever. Does it seem like a miracle I've lived to be almost 26 now? Some days it does!! What's crazy is I still have many more years to go.

I've been compiling this list of things I've learned and how my life has changed since becoming 25.

My confidence improved

With my history of battling depression and anxiety, this was a surprise to me. I've never been extremely confident in myself and I always seek reassurance from others whether I'm picking out a new outfit or making a business decision. I like to talk things over with others and, although that hasn't changed, I've started to believe in myself and my decisions more. I trust myself more and I hope my confidence continues to grow. I'll never be super arrogant, but believing in myself and my decisions is extremely important to me.

I started wearing makeup

This is a weird one. I have never worn makeup and I've never seen the point of it. However, this year I did discover that some tinted moisturizer, lovely blush, neutral eyeshadow and eye roller concealer does absolute wonders. I started this winter when I literally looked like a ghost and had a talk with some new friends, who then took me to a local shop where my eyes were (literally) opened to how simple makeup can be and how it can make you look a little more prepared for the day. Do I wear makeup every day? Nope and I probably never will, but I do like the way I look when I wear it and it can be fun! Favorite simple products: Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller Concealer (THE BEST), Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream from bareMinerals and dandelion face powder from benefit cosmetics. Hydration and SPF for your face is VERY important so even when I'm not wearing makeup I wear Aveeno's daily moisturizer with SPF. Invest!

I have figured out working in the city isn't for me

I do love visiting NYC, but working in a big city and living in a big city just isn't for me. I love driving to work every day and I never have to take the subway! I still visit NYC and have several client meetings there, but the best part is that I get to leave later in the day.

I'm slowly figuring out what I want to do

I have a few plans and ideas, but my ideal jobs would involve PR/marketing/advertising/social media combined with farming/growing my own things and giving back to charity, running for local offices to make a difference in the community and advocating on behalf of women around the world. So even though I'm not there now, that's where I'm hopefully headed and I know I'll get there one day. Flexibility is really important to me and a true work/life balance is something I hope to find and achieve. I'll never be the person who lives to work, and I'll always know I'm supposed to work to live.

I'm giving myself time to breathe

I love volunteering, giving back and being super busy, but at some point I realized I was involved in enough things. This past year I decided to better dedicate myself to the few things I truly care about rather than spreading myself so thin. I'm able to dedicate more time and attention to a few things rather than little time to many things. It's been GREAT.

I'm going after what I want

I used to talk myself out of things and never give myself a chance to go after something or take risks, but I'm going after what i want now. Do the risks always pay off? Nope, but I learn from them and I'm giving myself chances.

I'm letting my bad decisions from the past go

Let me tell you, I have made some horrible decisions in the past. I'm not perfect and I never will be. I used to sometimes let those decisions and mistakes eat me up, but I'm growing past them and really letting them go. There's nothing I can do about what happened, but I can continue to move forward and make sure I don't make those same mistakes again. Boy have I learned A LOT!

I'm making decisions for me now

I let my high school boyfriend decide what color prom dress I would wear to my senior prom AND let him pick out our college (do not do this). Jarrett ultimately decided we were moving to Connecticut (which has turned out well). This year, I started to make decisions for me and really let myself go after what I wanted. Is that selfish? I don't see it that way. I give so much of myself to others that I wanted to start to take time to do things for me. I didn't get to do a study abroad program in college because I didn't have the funds or confidence to go away to London for a semester, even though I was accepted into London Metropolitan University.

Traveling is my favorite thing to do. And I love getting out of the country even more. So for me, and just for me, I decided to take 6 weeks to go live in Spain from June through the end of July. I'll be teaching English programs in the morning and participating in an au pair program with a family I'm already in love with, and I could NOT be more excited! This is just for me and I can't wait to get to know myself even better. After I leave Spain, Jarrett is coming to meet me in Milan and we're traveling through Italy and Greece then spending a little time in Dubai before heading back. It's going to be life changing and it frankly couldn't come at a better time for me!


I turn 26 on June 13 and I can't wait to see what the next year holds and what develops. Stay tuned!

/Lauren Gray
adventure, growing pains, growing up, life adventure, PR life, travel, traveling, turning 25, work and life, work life balance
Truth Talk

3 new job hunt apps reinventing the job search

Whether you're currently unemployed and looking for a new job or currently at a job looking to switch, job hunting overall can be a pretty daunting task. "Job hunting is a job in itself" is something you often here. These three new startups are changing the job hunt landscape, and they're pretty awesome.


Switch app

What's interesting about Switch is that it applies the Tinder "swipe" model to job hunting. You post a profile then swipe through available positions with a yes or a no. If you get a yes offer, you can connect with the hiring manager over LinkedIn. Great social application tool.

It also helps that this is an anonymous job search so it leaves no traces for your current employer.


Motto is "make career moves without submitting a single application."

Poacht App

While Poacht is similar as it connects applicants through LinkedIn, this app works for you in the background to connect you to people who match what you're looking for. You'll get a notification when a match is appropriate and employers will send you an interview request.


This one is probably my favorite because it has a very different approach: encouraging job seekers to interview companies before applying. I believe this is the most important step in your job search, learning all you can about the company instead of just accepting a job because of status.

Craft App

With this app you can:

  • Filter companies by industry and other key parameters
  • Compare companies by size and overall growth
  • See how the company is arranged in teams and divisions
  • And much more!


Would these apps change the way you approach your job hunt?

/Lauren Gray
anonymous job hunt, help with job hunt, job apps, job hunt, job hunt app, job hunting, looking for a job, the job hunt, where to start looking for a job
How to's, Job Hunting

My plans to #GetGutsy in 2015

A lot of things and decisions I've made in my life have revolved around someone else. Choosing to go to WCU because my high school boyfriend/first true love wanted me to (huge mistake, do not do this), trying to rush a sorority because that's what "I'm supposed to do," choosing a job because so and so... and evening moving to Connecticut so I wouldn't have to do long distance with my boyfriend, Jarrett. The list goes on. Did I make the final decision? Yes. Are those things on me? Yes.

Getting Gusty

This year I've finally decided to start making decisions for myself. At 25 years old... it's about damn time. I want this year to be for me and about me. It's not selfish. I will do things I want to do and I will live fearlessly this year (read more about my words for 2015 here). To me, getting gutsy means letting go of my fears and doubts and not being afraid to go after what I really want. Confidence is beautiful and I want to embody that every single day.

So what am I doing this year?

I'm going to go live in Spain for 4-5 weeks starting in June! This is the first time I've really announced it, but it's happening! I'll be doing an au pair program so I'll be helping a family with kids and I'll be teaching English! I can't even tell you how excited I am about this. I REALLY miss traveling and giving back in my own way. This will be the first time I've traveled anywhere extensively by myself and it's going to be quite an adventure.

I'm looking forward to really spending time by myself and for myself. This will be for me and it's going to be crazy! It may be a quarter-life crisis.... but I'm okay with it. More details to come later once I've ironed everything out.

What else will be going on?

My plans this year also include to get more tone and healthy. I want to get back in shape and really take care of myself. It's more important now than ever. I need to continue to build my motivation and stamina, something I'm focused on now. I'm going to the gym at least 2-3 times a week and plan to start yoga soon too! I know this will all help improve my daily live, my motivation, my confidence, my energy and my health.

This is all a part of my plan to improve myself for me this year! This is all for me and by me. I'm really proud of myself for taking these steps and acknowledging what I need and want to do.

So here's to 2015 and getting gusty this year!


Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.

/Lauren Gray
#GetGutsy, changes for 2015, confidence, getting gutsy, Spain, travel
Beginning, Truth Talk

Three words for 2015

STARTI don't really make new year's resolutions anymore as I want and need to stay focused on the big picture this year. Many things will change and happen throughout this year, and I feel more ready than ever to take them on. Thank you to Jessica Lawlor for inspiring me to do this last year and this year. For 2014 my words were: simplify, intention and calm. I even made a Pinterest board around these words.

Words I would like to focus on this year and guide me through 2015:

1. Fearless. I know I need and want a few big changes to come this year, I just have to allow myself to let go of my fears and doubts and go after what I want. Sometimes I am afraid of change and taking risks as they haven't always panned out in the past, but I don't want those reminders to hinder me from taking other risks and really going after what I want to do. I want to believe in myself more and erase doubts. This plays into my next word.

2. Strength. I want to focus on this word in two ways: metal strength and physical strength. If you've read any of my past posts, you may know that I struggle with anxiety and occasional depression. What depression means for me is sometimes I fully doubt everything about myself, I lose motivation and I seclude myself. I've always been a very anxious person, but, thanks to my new therapist and psychiatrist I met last year, things are starting to get much better. I also want to focus on physical strength. What this means for me is losing body fat and gaining more muscle. I want to tone up, decrease my cholesterol and eat more healthy, focused foods.

3. Efficient. Similar to my word intention last year, I chose the word efficient for 2015 because I want to spend and save my time and money efficiently. Intention is one of my favorite words and I live by it daily, but I wanted to add efficient this year to go hand-in-hand with being intentional. Shopping is one of my favorite things to do, but I need to save more this year and not spend so much on trivial things and things I don't really need. I also need to spend my time more efficiently. I want to focus my time on things and people that really matter instead of wasting time on things and projects I don't feel fully connected to. In sum: I want to spend time and money on people, friends, causes and jobs I truly value.

So cheers to 2015, I know with a clear and focused outlook on this year that it will be better than 2014. Thank you to everyone who empowers me, strengthens me and keeps me focused!


/Lauren Gray
2015 goals, be fearless, blog goals, blog guidance, empowerment, new in 2015, new years, resolutions
Truth Talk, Work and Life

This ONE fact will change my coffee order forever

Yes I understand the title is a bit dramatic, but my mind has been blown while ordering my coffee this morning! The barista and I know each other well (we see each other almost every day) and he said "the usual?" and I said "yes! I need a lot of caffeine today."

He then proceeded to tell me to get the blonde roast instead this morning.... because LIGHT ROASTS HAVE MORE CAFFEINE.

How have I not known this before? Why has no one ever told me this? It didn't make any sense to me as I always though lighter coffees had less caffeine and weren't as strong.

The Huffington Post says:

Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts. A strong, rich flavor might seem to indicate an extra dose of caffeine, but the truth is that light roasts actually pack more of a jolt than dark roasts.

From the Livestrong website:

When you peruse coffee labels, you will likely see a roast type: light, medium or dark. This is an indicator of flavor strength, with the dark roasts having the boldest tastes. The darker the beans, the longer they have been roasted. While a stronger dark roast might seemingly have a higher caffeine content, this is not true based on the roasting process. The longer coffee beans are roasted, the more caffeine is burned off. Light roasts aren’t as strong, but they pack the most caffeine.

I honestly had no idea. I don't know if I'm the last person to find this out (my office didn't know this as well), but I thought this gold nugget of information should be shared. I'll definitely be ordering light roast coffees from now on!


P.S. would love for you to comment if you also didn't know this!!

Click image for source.




/Lauren Gray
caffeine, caffeine content, coffee, coffee beans, coffee caffeine levels, dark roast, does light roast have more caffeine than dark roast, light roast has more caffeine, light roasts, light roasts vs dark roasts, starbucks, starbucks blonde roast
Truth Talk

5 Links I Loved This Week

When I find great posts, I just have to share them so others can learn from them too. 1. 5 Reasons Why I Vote (And You Should Too) by Lena Dunham

Let me just start by saying I love Lena Dunham and I'm obsessed with her. She's a very strong woman and I love her political involvement. Voting is the process that makes a difference and it boils MY blood when people don't vote. Read this post to view Lena's opinions AND make sure you vote this November in these VERY important elections!

Image via Planned Parenthood

2. An intimate side of the Ebola crisis, taken via Instagram via

We've all heard of the Ebola crisis, but for some it didn't seem real until it hit the US. I read the Hot Zone in 8th grade... so I'm very familiar with Ebola and the terrible destruction it brings and just how truly awful it is. If you haven't read up on it or the signs, get informed. These photos are just a couple of different looks at the current Ebola crisis.

3. People Went Crazy When Steve Jobs Demonstrated How Wi-Fi Works Back In 1999 via Business Insider

I love anything and everything to do with Apple and Steve Jobs. It was a real treat to travel back to 1999 when people really didn't know what Wi-Fi was! Crazy to think, but crazier to see. Take a look!

4. Making a big change via Clarity On Fire

One of my favorite blogs to read! Sometimes I feel like a huge failure and it does spiral out of control. This post talks about how we should STOP unconsciously allowing one failure to say something about who you are as a person.

5. Good Lessons From a Bad Boss by Jeff Perkins

I've had some TERRIBLE bosses... and sometimes I learned more from them, and how I never want to treat people, over my awesome bosses. In this post, Jeff discusses the same things. Bad bosses don't last forever and there are things you can learn from them along the way. Hang in there!

Anyone else find any good reads this week?

/Lauren Gray
ebola, ebola crisis, elections, job hunt help, Lena Dunham, lessons from bad bosses, november election, planned parenthood, politics, reasons to vote, Steve Jobs, VOTE, what is ebola, what to do about a bad boss

Three Inspiring Posts to Read for the Start of Fall

I don't know about you, but when I'm having a rough week or need a pep talk I can always find some inspiration in my Twitter feed and email subscriptions. I came across these three posts that were just too good not to share. Read them and I hope you feel just as inspired and hopeful as I feel now:

Click image for source.

1. Three Reasons Fall Is the Perfect Time to Turn Over a New Leaf by Jessica Lawlor

  • A new look at how fall can be the perfect time to gain new momentum for new goals and to look at older goals
  • Find inspiration from the outdoors and all the changing colors and feel of the outside air!
  • Though summer is my favorite, I'm so excited for sweaters and boots too! Time for some new shopping!


2. Read this before you quit your job via Clarity on Fire from two amazing ladies Kristen and Rachel

  • If you're having ANY doubts about your job, feel bored, want to quit every day or feel unfulfilled by your job, Clarity on Fire is the place to go. Trust me, these ladies will work with you to get you to discover your true passions and get you on the right path.
  • I've jumped around a few times, everyone knows that, and I still have no idea what I want to do with my life. This post was a great reminder that some jobs are just a bridge, not just another route to failure.
  • Tips on how to shift your focus away from how much you hate your job + what to do about it

3. Here's All The Ways You Can Celebrate National Voter Registration Day via The Huffington Post

  • I absolutely love election season and I love politics. Everyone has a right to vote and it's a right more Americans should activate.
  • Some things you can do today: make sure your voter registration info is up to date (re-register if you've moved!), get your friends and family to register and spread the word!
  • Make sure you vote in this year's elections for the House of Representatives and dozens of US Senate and Governor races as they are VERY important for the 2016 elections!
  • National Voter Registration website


/Lauren Gray
career coaching, career help, clarity on fire, First day of fall, get gutsy, happy fall, Help with job, how to quit your job, inspiration, inspiration for fall, jessica lawlorg, national voter registration day, quitting your job
Extra Posts, Work and Life

#SuicideAwarenessDay: Let's Talk About It

BxKINqQIcAAJeAGAs today is Suicide Awareness Day, and it's one I fear doesn't always get enough attention and it seems taboo (to some) to talk about suicide, depression and mental health. Everyone has their own story, so choose your words wisely as you never know what someone else is going through and how your words and actions can affect them. Today: wear something yellow or write ‘love’ on your wrist in memory of those that have left this world too soon because of suicide, but also for those who are struggling with suicide thoughts.

I read over Jason Mollica's post on depression and suicide and his journey and felt like I could talk about it too. It's hard to get out of a state of depression when you're so low, and that's something I know very well. After I lost my dad at a young age, I went through depression for years and attempted to take my own life. I'm fortunate that I was unsuccessful.

Fortunately I had friends and other family members who saw the signs and I got help immediately and started to slowly improve. My doctors were amazing and I was thankful for the support I received from others. It's hard to talk about, but it's important to talk about and I always fear people will treat me differently or look at me differently because of it.

From time to time, I still sink back down as depression is something that returns, but I'm always honest about it and continue to seek help. Even the most cheerful person every day could be suffering in ways you do not know.

Educate yourself, your kids and your friends about suicide prevention. Become aware of the alarming statistics. Learn the warning signs and learn how you can get help if you are a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Suicide Facts from

  • Nearly 40,000 Americans die from suicide each year.
  • Many of those individuals that commit suicide have not reached out for professional care.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds.
  • According to the CDC, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the USA.
  • One person dies from suicide every 13.3 minutes.
  • 80% of people who seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.


If you need help, seek out help from local healthcare providers, talk to anyone at all who can help you and always know you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

Thanks for reading.


/Lauren Gray
#SuicideAwarenessDay, depression, Save-org, suicide awareness, Suicide prevention, to write love on her arms
Truth Talk

Low phone battery? Starbucks to the rescue with wireless chargers in stores!

As soon as my phone hits 49% battery, I start to feel a little uneasy. Then it slowly gets worse and you see the 20% low battery alert, THEN the even more alarming 10% battery alert. It's not even a surprise to me that Starbucks is coming to the rescue.


Starting this week, Starbucks will begin to equip all stores with Duracell Powermat wireless chargers across the U.S. This is a win-win in three different ways:

  1. Starbucks becomes the automatic go-to spot for anyone whose phone is dying
  2. Millions of Starbucks customers will be exposed to Duracell Powermat wireless chargers
  3. Users don't have to let their phones die (and added bonus of free wi-fi)

The 'Powermat Spots' will be areas on tables and counters that charge compatible phones and tablets without wires.

"We had this vision… do with Starbucks what they did with Wi-Fi," said Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine.

It's an all-out war on wires around here.

"Just like Wi-Fi is expected to be available… cords should be eliminated." - Poliakine

There is a catch though: you won't see it in your local Starbucks until next year (most likely). The rollout is starting out in Silicon Valley and is expected in other major markets in 2015. Their ultimate plan is to have every Starbucks store equipped with wireless charging.


More information via Entrepreneur.

/Lauren Gray
battery alert, Duracell Powermat, Duracell Powermat wireless charger, go wireless, starbucks, Starbucks technology, Starbucks wi-fi, Starbucks wireless charging, Starbucks wireless charging mats, technology news, war on wires, wireless phone charger
1 Comment

Recap: President Obama's First-Ever Tumblr Q&A

In case you missed it, President Obama did a Tumblr Q&A with Tumblr founder David Karp yesterday via and you can watch the event here:

A few of my favorite highlights from this historic social media event:

  • President Obama sharing the difficulties of trying to change a culture in which school shootings are commonplace:

"People ask me what I’m proudest of and what are my biggest frustrations as President. My biggest frustration is that this society hasn’t been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do damage. We’re the only developed country where this happens. And it happens weekly. Our levels of gun violence are off the charts."

  • On legislation to prevent gun violence:

"If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change."

  • On education, college afforadability and careers:
"Ultimately, you are going to do best at something you care deeply for. But you still have to grind it out. You can get into the mindset where the effort and sweat you put in doesn’t feel like a burden. Your career isn’t always a straight line. Sometimes you have to take a job to pay the bills. And sometimes you take a big risk, like building something called Tumblr."
  • On the executive order Obama signed to cap student loan payments at 10% of a person’s monthly income and the the fact that Senate will vote on a bill this week that would allow those with debt to refinance their loans at lower interest rates.
“I hope the Tumblr community helps spread the word. … Everybody on Tumblr should be contacting their senators and finding out where they stand on the issue,” Obama said.

Image via Fast Company.

Just a note:


Since the Newtown, Connecticut shooting in December 2012, there have been 74 instances of gun violence on school campuses in the United States.


President Obama's comments on gun violence [2 min clip]

/Lauren Gray
education, gun control, gun violence, Obama Q&A, president obama, President Obama Q&A, Social Media, student loan, student loan debt, Tumblr Q&A
Digital, Political

The one security app everyone needs!

Browsing Facebook yesterday, I saw this story:

A man allegedly stole a smartphone at a gas station in Hillsborough County. What he didn't know is after failing to unlock the victim's phone, an app automatically snapped two photos of him and forwarded them to the victim's email address.

Automatically I wanted to download this app! So what is it? Lookout. It's free on iOS, Kindle and Google Play and it's a MUST download.


  • Notifies you of security flaws and vulnerabilities on your device
  • Control which apps can access your location
  • Find your iPhone map SO quickly, faster than Find My iPhone
  • Backs up your contacts

Right now I have the free version, but I am upgrading to premium so I receive the theft alerts.

I downloaded it yesterday after the story and I already feel more secure. I leave my phone everywhere... I get so distracted by other things I put my stuff down and forget it. I've left my phone in the H&M in Times Square, on a grocery store shelf, in a taxi, etc.

Hopefully the next time this inevitably happens, Lookout will have my back!

photo3 (1)  photo4 (1)

/Lauren Gray
Android apps, app to help with security, iPhone apps, Kindle apps, Lookout app, privacy apps, security apps, theft protection app
Apps I Love

Last day as IPP, last day in #PRSSA

Terms for the incoming National Committee for 2014-15 start June 1, so today is my last day as PRSSA Immediate Past President and my last day in PRSSA. It's truly bittersweet and it's still surprising it is all over! It's a very strange feeling so I had to write about it. I've been in PRSSA since 2009 and have changed so much and have so much to be grateful for thanks to this organization. It's not a club, it's a pre-professional organization! I've also had points taken off papers for always capitalizing Chapter without even thinking about it.

So many of my closest friends like Amy Bishop, Catherine Koonce, Tara Rosenbaum and Chris Piedmont I met through PRSSA and I have countless more friendships and connections through PRSSA as well. I know I have so much to thank PRSSA for, I really do.

I've already written about my experience on three National Committees, but I can't even describe what it's like to work with such talented people who just want to serve and give back. It's very rare to work with such people and I've been blessed.

Although it will be different to not be in PRSSA, I look forward to everything to come with PRSA and giving back there. I've already learned a lot by serving PRSA New York and serving the PRSA New Professionals Section; I know this will only grow.

I hope to still be involved in PRSSA in some ways in the future and will always be a resource as a past member, Chapter President and National President. This organization means a lot to me and it always will.

Thank you to all the people I had the chance to serve with and for all you did for me and the Society. It was truly an honor to get to know and serve with so many!

I know our PRSSA leaders now and in the future will continue to advance the profession and the future professional. Hope to see all of you in PRSA in the future or giving back in another way!




/Lauren Gray
giving back, leadership, PRSA, PRSA New Professionals, PRSSA, PRSSA leadership, Public Relations, public relations student society, service

Why I deleted my Klout account

We all talk trash about Klout all the time and I still honestly believe it is not a valid form of measurement. I've heard this repeated at almost every conference and have heard this sentiment from the top leaders in social media, PR and marketing. So I decided to do something about it.

I deleted my Klout account permanently because:

1. I refuse to be a number. What does that number even mean? Nothing. Real influence is based on what kind of audience you can move. Klout measures the wrong thing: It was and will not be a valid form of actual influence any time soon.

2. I talked trash about it, but still took free incentives. I did not feel good about this. I never valued it and only used it for free perks that were never that valuable for me. I don't need a bunch of free stuff. I wanted to be more ethical about saying one thing and actually following another.

3. I never actually used it. I think what they're trying to do with their scheduling platform and content is okay, but I was not about to actually use it either.

So it's all gone now (or at least it will be in their 48 hour account deletion process) and it's one less thing I have to "worry" about and claim.

My good friend, Ben Butler, also has the same sentiments and is deleting his account as well.

Where Klout misses the mark is its ability to measure the "real" quality of created content. It presents a shallow evaluation of the influence of individuals and brands and isn't something that anyone should be rating performance by. There are other more effective ways that take a more qualitative approach. 

Klout is very tricky about deleting your account and it's not where you think it would be. I didn't really appreciate that, but I also don't like the platform either.

If you find you don't want your Klout account and want to delete your account too, here's how to do so:

1. Go to Settings > Privacy

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 10.38.03 AM2. Go through the "opt out" messaging

3. Select that you still want to go through with deleting your account even after their messaging that tempts you to keep it

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 10.39.21 AM4. DELETE

5. Enjoy your number-free life without Klout


/Lauren Gray
delete klout, how to delete klout, Klout, klout accuracy, klout influence, klout measurement, klout vs kred, measure of influence, social media influence