What We Learned From Mindy Kaling & Kate Hudson at NYC’s POPSUGAR Play/Ground

By Elizabeth Roberts

Mindy Kaling and Kate Hudson are having the ultimate glow up year and POPSUGAR Play/Ground didn’t sleep on hearing their secrets to success. POPSUGAR’s inaugural wellness, lifestyle and empowerment convention, June 9-10, capitalized on what thankfully has become a growing trend: women owning their success and advocating for other women.PopSugar Playground_Six Degrees Society

Both actresses are juggling multiple projects, some of which are entirely new transitions. “The Mindy Project” ended but NBC picked up “Champions”, which Mindy produces, writes and acts in. She also shifted into movies, joining the badass female casts of A Wrinkle in Time” (Oprah, Reese Witherspoon) and “Ocean’s 8” (Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, etc.)

 

Kate Hudson’s Fabletics is continuing its upwards trajectory (i.e. hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue) and is currently working on Sia’s movie “Sister”. Kate said this may be her favorite role yet aside from when she played the iconic Penny Lane in “Almost Famous”. On top of their career success, Mindy just had her first baby and Kate has one on the way. Both actresses are known for their collaborations with other women and stepping away from Hollywood norms.

 

Mindy sat down with Elaine Welteroth, writer and former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, for a candid panel on how “Smart Girls Win” by embracing ambition.

Mindy Kaling_POPSUGAR
Photo by Katherine Roberts
  • Own your intelligence. “I found that being smart was the only thing going for me. I was largely ignored by boys my entire adolescence, being smart was my only choice to make my impression so I focused on my school work. No one was like, ‘She’s so beautiful her face could stop a clock.’”
  • Hollywood is listening to its viewers. “Before ‘The Office’, I saw literally no representation on TV unless you were going to have an accent and play an IT person. You start feeling helpless that this is the way it’s been and it’s never going to change. But now, tokens aren’t enough. You can’t have an all-male cast with one woman. And that woman doesn’t have to be a size zero.”
  • Your perspective can change (and that’s okay.) “’The Little Mermaid’ is a little problematic to me. I love the crab. Ursula is a cool sea witch. But Ariel left her family and friends in pursuit of a man and she’s 15-years-old. You don’t have to be mute to attract a man! Not all your enemies are older women who are threatened by your beauty! This is coming from someone who loves Disney, I’ve been in 3 Disney movies. But I’ll be teaching my daughter differently.”

    Photo by Katherine Roberts
  • “Having it all” doesn’t exist. “That concept is so exacerbated by social media. Some weeks are more fun than others (like being in the “Ocean’s 8” movie) but otherwise it [comes down to] FOMO and feeling you’re not doing it all. That’s the sickness of our time, it’s so fake.”
  • Your relationship to fear is adaptable. “I’m Indian but didn’t grow up learning any Indian languages. My “Ocean’s 8” character speaks Hindi for one long scene – and I was so scared of that. I felt like the people I care most about are young women and I didn’t want them to think I was fraudulent. I met with a dialect coach and I did it. I don’t think fear is my friend but it makes me prepared.”

 

Kate’s panel “Redefining The Pursuit Of Happiness” explored how happiness isn’t a quick-fix, it’s a personalized journey.

Photo by Katherine Roberts
  • Balance is in the eye of the beholder. “When you have kids, they’re the great barometer. You can see if you’re balancing correctly if your kids are in a solid place. I became a mom at 24 so I balanced kids with a professional life fairly early.”
  • Finding what makes you happy is a personal journey. “When you search for joy, it really is a search. It’s not something that just happens to you…ask yourself, ‘Where am I being the most authentic? Where do I feel the best?’”
  • Women aren’t naturally competitive. “We are programmed to be competitive. What happened in history (and Instagram) was a change in dynamics. You have to think, “Why do I not like her success [instead of achieving my own]?”
  • Transitioning from an actor to founder instills daily gratitude. “The reward is daily, it’s different. I have people come up to me every day with their Fabletics pants on. I like connecting with people so it’s something that puts us on the same level. What’s great about Fabletics is what it stands for and having messaging behind the company is something you’re proud of.”
  • Even celebrities have that, “Shouldn’t have drunk dialed my ex” moment. “There was one night in Ibiza…I woke up and I had FaceTimed 50 men from my past. It was like every man in my [phone] I had FaceTimed at 3 in the morning. One of them I had FaceTimed 15 times. Honestly, it was liberating, because I had never done anything like that before.”

 

Additional takeaway: The conference swag can make up the price of your admission ticket.

Before you write off a conference because it seems too expensive, know that conventions (especially ones targeted toward millennials) are full of free stuff. Look for brand activations that want to give you complimentary items in exchange for a 10-second elevator pitch about their product or a hashtag on Insta. Arriving early to the conference meant a complimentary S’well bottle ($35), a morning workout with Kayla Itsines (who even knows how expensive a personal training session with her would be!) and her trademark pink SWEAT yoga mat ($37). Hungry per usual after working out, I grabbed a free Berry Burst Chicken Salad ($7) from Wendy’s.

 

Victoria’s Secret advertised their fitness line (Victoria Sport) with a pink locker room pop-up that took you right back to gym class – except this time when opening an assigned locker, you’re greeted with a free tank, bra, leggings or socks ($10-$60). Kohl’s even had a “Wheel of Fortune”-esque activity to spin for Kohl’s Cash – my spin won $50 and went directly to my “furnishing new apartment” fund. All of this is in addition to the complimentary beauty tutorials, snack samples and boutique studio classes. Noting the crowd, I wouldn’t be surprised if POPSUGAR embarks on a second year of Play/Ground with more panels on embracing ambition and happiness, as well as, (let’s be honest here) lots of opportunities for free beauty and wellness products.

 

Our Roundup Of The Best Books To Read Summer 2018

Books For The Summer

With summer coming in hot, it’s time to find your next beach read, book for a flight or the perfect read for a rainy day. So fill your Kindle/bag with these hottest reads. All books are brought to you by Penguin Random House. 

Check our roundup of the best summer reads for summer 2018!

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS

by Lisa Wingate

Best Summer Reads 2018

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

EDUCATED

by Tara Westover

Memoir_Educated_2018 Reads

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

ALL THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS

by Elizabeth Church

Summer 2018 Must Reads

A powerful novel about a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas—and finds unexpected fortune, friendship, and love.

It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could ease her grief. Dancing proves to be Lily’s only solace, and eventually she receives a “scholarship” to a local dance academy—courtesy of a mysterious benefactor.

Grown and ready to leave home for good, Lily changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to Las Vegas to be a troupe dancer, but her sensual beauty and voluptuous figure land her work instead as a showgirl performing everywhere from Les Folies Bergere at the Tropicana to the Stardust’s Lido de Paris. Wearing sky-high headdresses, five-inch heels, and costumes dripping with feathers and rhinestones, Ruby may have all the looks of a Sin City success story, but she still must learn to navigate the world of men—and figure out what real love looks like.

A LADY’S GUIDE TO SELLING OUT

by Sally Franson

Fun Summer Reads 2018

Casey Pendergast is losing her way. Once a book-loving English major, Casey lands a job at a top ad agency that highly values her ability to tell a good story. Her best friend thinks she’s a sellout, but Casey tells herself that she’s just paying the bills—and she can’t help that she has champagne taste.

When her hard-to-please boss assigns her to a top-secret campaign that pairs literary authors with corporations hungry for upmarket cachet, Casey is both excited and skeptical. But as she crisscrosses America, wooing her former idols, she’s shocked at how quickly they compromise their integrity: A short-story writer leaves academia to craft campaigns for a plus-size clothing chain, a reclusive nature writer signs away her life’s work to a manufacturer of granola bars.

When she falls in love with one of her authors, Casey can no longer ignore her own nagging doubts about the human cost of her success. By the time the year’s biggest book festival rolls around in Las Vegas, it will take every ounce of Casey’s moxie to undo the damage—and, hopefully, save her own soul.

ALL WE EVER WANTED

by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin_ Beach Reads

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton.

Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

YOU THINK IT, I’LL SAY IT

by Curtis Sittenfeld

Best Summer Books_2018

A suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie. A high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. A shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life.

Curtis Sittenfeld has established a reputation as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. Now, with this first collection of short fiction, her “astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads” (The Washington Post) is showcased like never before. Throughout the ten stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.

With moving insight and uncanny precision, Curtis Sittenfeld pinpoints the questionable decisions, missed connections, and sometimes extraordinary coincidences that make up a life. Indeed, she writes what we’re all thinking—if only we could express it with the wit of a master satirist, the storytelling gifts of an old-fashioned raconteur, and the vision of an American original.

For more great reads, check out Penguin Random House.

The 5 Most Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Co-working Space

5 coworking factors

Not sure what co-working space is home? Consider these five important factors to evaluate before you commit long term.

Working with coworking and productivity app, Croissant, I find that exploring new coworking spaces and options is a fun part of my of day-to-day. I even like to break up my week with different coworking spaces around the city, because each one has its own community and vibe.

Here are a few considerations that I think make a great coworking space.

Private vs. Public Spaces:

For private areas, I usually mean phone booths or areas that might be more conducive to making a call or taking a quick client meeting. Depending on my day, I usually just need a good spot and an outlet to get work done, but when I have phone calls, need to video chat someone, or maybe take a lunch break to myself, I like to know that there’s a good spot in my coworking space for those moments.

It’s important because it lets me break up my work day without worry— ie: I do not have to worry about where to go when I have to jump on a call last minute. It also polices the people in the space to be more considerate. If you’re in a communal area where everyone’s tapping away on their laptops, you might want a nice nook, phone booth, or even a conference room I can book to meet with a client.

Variety:

I love spaces that have different seating to choose from. Coming from working in a traditional 9 to 5 in an office environment, I always found myself needing to mix up my day by sitting in the kitchen, or my desk, or on the floor near my desk— I think in odd places, okay— to keep my day interesting. I always look for coworking spaces that have different options of seats, like a quiet area for focusing, a lounge area for meeting with potential partners, or a kitchen area where we can chat with others in the space without bothering anyone.

Fun Factors:

It’s not necessary but I always feel like fun elements can really add to the personality to the space. Maybe there are colorful murals on the walls, or a nap room, or an onsite cafe. I’ve seen walls covered in jars of snacks, a yoga studio, and a recording studio in different spaces, and I always think it makes it that more inviting and gets people pumped to start working there.

A Great Community Manager:

Whatever the space’s floor plan or fun factors, I think that a great community manager can make a difference. They’re the ones who can make each member feel supported and comfortable in the environment, and they attend to everyone’s needs and keep the peace of the space, so to speak.

All of those fun, interesting events and happy hours that happen in the space are run by the community manager too. So if you have ideas, they’re always open.

Finding the right co-working space that works best for you can really take your business and focus to the next level. Just see what settings you work best in and get to coworking!

By: Georgette Eva, she is the Community & Events Manager of Croissant, the app that gives access to coworking spaces on demand and makes the world your office.

Check out a few of our favorite coworking spaces.

6 TV Shows You Should Binge Watch This Summer 2018

Bingeworthy tv shows

Summer brings great joys like 3 day weekends, summer Fridays and vacation! Here is our roundup of the most binge-worthy shows on Netflix and Hulu this summer! Now cozy up with some snacks, you will need them for non-stop watching.

Our Guide To 6 Shows You Should Binge Watch This Summer 2018

A mixture of Suspense, Comedy, and Drama! 

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu): The second season of this dystopian show based on Margaret Atwood’s 1980s best seller is 6 episodes in, get watching! The show follows the story of Offred (or Of Fred, the commander she belongs), a Handmaid living in Gilead– a place without women’s rights, and a falling birth-rate. Get ready to be amazed by the cinematography, enjoy the music and cry about humanity.

Jane The Virgin (CW & Netflix): The 4th season of this American telenovela just dropped on Netflix. You have 4 seasons to binge as you enjoy the ups and downs of Jane Villanueva’s accidental artificial insemination, her romance(s), her tight-knit family. Season 5 is reported to return January 2019. We have so many questions.

The Good Place (NBC & Hulu & Netflix): These 30-minute episodes should only take up half your day. With 2 seasons down, this show starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson starts off with Kristen’s character accidentally landing in Heaven or the “Good Place” when she’s really destined for “The Bad Place”. But is The Good Place really what it says it is?

The Arrangement (E!): “Loosely” based on the Tom-Kat relationship shadowed by Scientology. This show follows the relationship of Hollywood’s hottest star and his relationship with his fiancee and his loyalty to a Scientology like place called the Institute of The Higher Mind.

The Imposters (Bravo & Netflix): This two season series follows a trio of exes that have been jilted by the same woman— the only catch is that she played a different person with each of them. After being robbed of everything they own, they make it their quest to find out who their wife really is.

Younger (TV Land): With season 5 starting June 5th we get reunited with Liza and friends as she straddles living in the 26 year old world and keeping the secret in her 40 year old world. Plus she has to choose between all of her love interests.

Knowing Your Options: Putting Your Fertility On Hold (Or Not)

You’ve spent the majority of your adult life trying not to get pregnant yet now as you enter 30+ years old you’re being told that you should start thinking about when you get pregnant. And before you go shack up with your next fling, it’s important to know your options.

Egg Freezing:

The process of extracting eggs from your ovaries and cryogenically freezing them. It’s basically an IVF cycle for yourself at a younger age – you have to inject hormones for around 2 weeks, undergo a procedure to remove the eggs, and they are frozen, waiting until a time that you’re ready. The good news is, your eggs will remain the age at which you froze them.  A 25 year old egg is obviously much younger than a 40 year old egg, which means you are giving yourself more options. This process is costly, averaging at $6k+.

Egg Donation:

Like egg freezing, egg donation is the same procedure. The caveat is that your eggs are being used to help create a baby for someone else, and it’s important to understand the process and the fact that you’re letting go of your genetics to another family.  Not everyone is comfortable with that. Average egg donation compensation can be $10k+ for the healthy candidates between 21 and 30. There are companies like Donor Concierge that help intended parents match with young women who have similar qualities to them.  Gail Sexton Anderson, the founder of the company, told us how hard it is for some couples to find a donor that feels like family to them.

Now imagine you can’t get pregnant and IVF just didn’t work and adoption was another expensive and long journey. This is just what happened to a young ambitious power couple.  They had a fairytale wedding, looking forward to a life together and creating their future family. Our intended mother sadly had to undergo grueling treatment for an aggressive cancer, robbing her of her fertility and her dream of having her own children.

Gail Sexton Anderson, Edm CEO  & Founder of Donor Concierge, says issues like cancer and infertility aren’t usually on the minds of younger women, and she advocates for everyone to have regular fertility check-ups just as they would have their eyes tested, or a regular physical.

“I really feel for this couple”, Gail says, “and they’re typical of many people who we work with but much younger.  This is a couple that values academic and athletic achievement, and a curiosity of life. They love travel, art, and culture. But ultimately, family is their most cherished attribute and having a child of their own, their ultimate desire.”

Unusually for many couples turning to egg donation, this couple has a desire to also give back to their donor, both financially (they’re offering $30k) and by covering the cost of preserving her own fertility.  So it’s a win-win! Interested? Check out Donor Concierge to find out more.

Reasons Why Sleep Is So Important To Your Career

Reasons Why Sleep Is So Important To Your Career | sixdegreessociety.com

We all know how important a good night’s sleep is. There is not a single person on the planet that does not recognize the delightful sensation of feeling refreshed in the morning and gushing with enthusiasm to seize the day after some quality shuteye. Why is that?

Quality sleep in the recommended duration of between seven and nine hours a night refills our batteries. The mind has the time and peacefulness to operate at a more reduced pace, organizing the day’s activities. Muscles relax, and the heart rate decreases, lowering blood pressure and stress levels. In other words, sleep is when the body is on standby. We operate at lower energy levels, recalibrating and charging for the next day.

How does all of this play out in our careers? In a big way! The above should have been enough information to convince anybody not to forfeit sleep for more time because ultimately sleep creates time through efficiency. But for thoroughness, this text aims to look at the nitty-gritty of why the right amount of sleep is paramount for your work.

Quality ZZZ’s boost and support the immune system

No company appreciates the employee that is consistently off sick. Not getting enough rest at night weakens the immune system making us more susceptible to viruses and bacterial infections.

Sleep and your level of alertness are linked

Say you operate complex machinery or a plane, and you don’t get enough sleep. You are putting other people and yourself at risk. Here’s a small indicator to convince you of the dangers of a lack of sleep: it is a fact that people who do not get enough shut-eye are as dangerous behind the wheel of a car as someone under the influence of alcohol.

A lack impedes your level of concentration                

When you feel tired, you will most likely feel a lack of motivation and drive to improve your skill set and learn new things. Also, you will lack the concentration to pay attention during meetings and you will take far longer to complete regular tasks.

So, the next time when you think you are doing your career a favor by staying up late to work, don’t. Quality is better than quantity.

Sleep affects your overall mental disposition.

When we sleep, conduits are created between neurons in our brains, helping us remember the things we’ve learned. Sleep deficiency exhausts the mind, delaying the signals it sends and consequently reducing your coordination skills and worse still our emotional state.

Not only do we no longer operate efficiently, but also we might feel more impatient, moody and generally morose – a prolonged period of sleep deprivation can sometimes lead to depression. No one needs to tell you what that means for your career not to mention your life.

It’s difficult to get the right amount of quality sleep in our hyper-connected society. Stress, long hours at the office, electronic devices, and family responsibilities and more constantly keep us on edge, making it difficult to fall asleep. Also, we tend to sacrifice sleep in the hope that more time will even out the risks.

 

Here are some simple, healthy sleep hacks to help you if you are not getting enough sleep.

  • Purchase the right mattress – Websites like MattressMatchers.com provide some pretty good information that will aid you in the buying process.
  • Unwind and prepare for bedtime at least an hour before. There’s no use heading into the bedroom when you are all charged up with the day’s events. Meditate, take a hot shower, have some warm milk and honey, anything to shut down. This must become a nightly routine so that the brain can associate the time of the day with sleep.
  • Watch what you eat and drink and when – Try and avoid heavy foods in the evenings. Also, try not to snack at least one hour and a half before bed. Beware of what you drink and how much. Reduce water intake before sleeping and cease all alcohol consumption at least one hour before bedtime.

If you notice that you are struggling at work, it’s time to take action!