5 Rules I Live By: Chuck Thompson

Chuck Thompson is a no-bullshit kinda guy, a travel writer, and my personal favorite author of the last few years.

Former Editor at Maxim and Travelocity, Thompson pulls back the curtain on the travel industry in his books Smile When You're Lying and To Hellholes and Back: Bribes, Lies, and the Art of Extreme Tourism, the tell-all travel stories that no other travel writer would dare write.  They're dead accurate; I've never read such brutal truth about the industry.  "A savagely funny act of revenge" says The New York Times.  He's a good old fashioned bad ass, and a nice guy.  

Smile When You're Lying and To Hellholes and Back are books I think everyone needs to read, whether you're a non stop traveler such as myself, or if you're someone who considers going to a Thai restaurant to be 'adventurous'.  If I were to recommend two books to anyone, this would be them.

Check out his official website, which includes some incredible photos, his take on the most overrated US Attractions, places that don't deserve their bad reputations, or read an excerpt on CNN.  He is currently writing a book about the American south, which hits shelves in 2012.



Chuck Thompson's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  The fastest way to make yourself feel better is to brush your teeth.


2.  Never ask anyone for anything without offering something in return.


3.  Have good taste in women and treat them right and everything in life will be easier.


4.  Never give away your work for free.


5.  Don’t take rules too seriously. Except the one about brushing your teeth. That one actually works.














5 Rules I Live By: Monica Cyrino

Dr. Monica Cyrino is the greatest example that one can be both extremely booksmart and extremely cool.  

 Originally from Huntington Beach, California, Monica got her PhD from Yale, and is the author of multiple books

 Her classes are nothing short of legendary; Class starts with a popular song playing over the speakers.  A few hilarious pop culture references, a shout-out or two to George Clooney, and the occasional surprise celebrity guest.  

Remember how your mother would get you to eat vegetables by disguising them in cheese or something tastier? Dr Cyrino does that with her classes.  She manages to make contemporary comparisons that can really make an idea click.  And I think her execution of this style of education is genius.  

What makes her most remarkable, however, is how humble she is.  She is very friendly, chatty, funny, and receptive.  One on one, you could chat with her about anything from reality shows, local gossip, to ancient mythology or astrology.  She's a whole crowd wrapped into one person.



Monica Cyrino's 5 Rules I Live By

1.  Be kind to children and animals, and support charities aimed at them.  As for adults, kick someone's ass every day.


2.  When you fall (fail), pick something up.  Everyone will think you did it on purpose to pick up what you dropped, and that way you'll remember why you were down there in the first place.


3.  Cultivate being smart and/or funny.  Pretty doesn't last and when it's gone you still want people to talk to you.


4.  Don't try to teach stupid, stubborn, self-righteous people.  Let evolution work.


5.  ALWAYS have an airline e-ticket (or two) in your inbox.





5 Rules I Live By: Rebecca Orchant

Rebecca Orchant is the reason I believe in love.

As someone who once had the same job and college degree as myself, I've always looked at Rebecca as a potential future version of me. Therefore, it excites me each time I see her work published.  But more importantly, I've watched with great admiration her relationship with her now-husband Sean; their wedding last summer in Cape Cod was the highlight of my year.  Never in my life have I ever seen such a perfect couple.  Sure, we all see people who are happy together and are really in love, but when you see these two together, it's abundantly clear that there actually is someone perfect for you out there.  Seeing them together is what made me believe in true love.

In addition to being a sweet girl with great style and funny jokes, Rebecca is a classic foodie.  She runs Chronicles of a Stomach Grumble, which not only makes me hungry every time I read it, but has inspired me to be more creative in how I eat.  It's definitely a site to add to your favorites.  And don't forget to creep her on Twitter.

Rebecca lives in Brooklyn, and works at CNN.


Rebecca Orchant's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Don't be a jerk.


2.  Try it, you'll like it.


3.  Please, for the love of god, go down on each other.


4.  When you love someone, tell them immediately and often.


5.  Grammar is important.  Don't be a fucking philistine.




5 Rules I Live By: George Webster

In order to succeed in the entertainment industry, a person must have three qualities; talent, drive, and be crazy enough to believe they'll actually succeed.  I can count on one hand how many people I know who have all three; George Webster is one of them.

Although he may seem like your average eccentric film buff/geek/fan boy, George's knowledge of the industry extends beyond being able to name all the patrons at the Mos Eisley Cantina.  He grasps the concept of the industry as a whole, and also has a quality that is lacking from the vast majority of creative individuals that I know (including myself): Drive.  George is driven.  While the rest of us are sitting around playing with ideas in our heads, George is out in the field actually writing, filming, editing, and releasing work, which is especially impressive considering his relatively young age.  Because of this, I put my money on George Webster as a name to remember for very near-future reference.

An actor, writer, editor, and director, there's nothing he isn't good at.  He's done videos for our friends Lawson, and has done plenty of his own award-winning work, including his most recent, where he pulls off an impressive American accent.  Check out George Webster Films on Facebook.

George lives in Brighton, England.


George Webster's 5 Rules I Live By

1.  Don't live by a list a of rules.


2.  Dis-regard rule 1 when making a list of rules to live by.


3.  Live everyday as if it's your first, not your last. Because that would be a sad, sad day. 


4.  Don't listen to anyone.  Live your own story.  (Or something a little less Hollywood than that)  Even Jesus lived the way he wanted too, yet loads of people want to live like him, which is proper weird.


5.  Don't touch yourself while people are in your house.  Too much risk.




5 Rules I Live By: Margi Miranda

Of everyone I've ever met, Margi Miranda is the one person most deserving of their own action figure. 

I can say without hesitation that Margi is the person who inspired me the most in college.  She's an unintentional example of what a great person is.  When I first met her, she was running CE at UNM (A service, charity, and volunteer organization).  Her phenomenal work ethic, warm smile, bright colored clothing style, and immaculately detailed day planner not only made her stand out, but made me realize how much difference a single person can make in the world if they just tried.  It is by her example that I became such an involved person in college; I wanted to be just like her.  I owe a great deal of my inner confidence and multitasking ability to her.

For all her selfless acts, Margi is someone to be admired at an almost god-like status.  After graduation, she took on the most perfect job; working for Teach For America.  I can only imagine how many lives she's inspired in that time.

Margi is currently a High School English teacher in Chicago.


Margi Miranda's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Be kind.  If you think being kind is easy, then you don’t know anything about being kind.  Kindness is purposeful, not simply being polite. Kindness is selfless and far-reaching.  It encompasses something greater then why you woke up this morning.  It’s the least, and the greatest thing, you can do.

2.  Be curious.  Challenge your perspective.

3.  Laugh with your eyes closed.  If something is funny, if you have the giggles, if you are
uncomfortable and you want to laugh – do it.  So what if people think you’re crazy.  You are crazy.  Why hide it?  It doesn’t even make sense to want to tone down ones happiness.  The next time it comes over you, close your eyes and laugh from your belly, take a giant gasp air… hell… let out a good snort if you need to, as long as you mean it.  Laugh.

4.  Be your self.  Some of the worst advice I ever received was “…don’t smile till Christmas.”  As a teacher, asserting ones authority is kind of a big deal.  However, I can’t NOT smile till Christmas.  Just like I can’t wear my glasses to work, I can’t really match my clothes and I can’t dress in all black.  So I will be smiling.  Not only till Christmas, but long after.  And I’ll appreciate the victories that much more because I didn’t compromise who I am, who I want to be.

5.  Accept that you will love everyone one you meet.  I am not saying you need to be IN LOVE with everyone, but accept love as an emotion that is welcoming, necessary and ever present.  If you know you love your friends, they’ll know it too.  Even if one day that love turns in to a love to be away from the person… love is love.  It’s a good thing.  I love every one I keep close, why wouldn’t I?  If other people can’t accept your love, you don’t need them.  Remember, I simply said love, not in love.  Sure it might be awkward to know you love the person you are casually spending some time with, but if you didn’t love them in some way – what the hell are you doing?

5.05.  If your best friend wants to tell you every year that you “ruined Christmas,” let him.




5 Rules I Live By: Adam Smock

Adam Smock is the embodiment of our generation.  He's a hybrid of America's polarized social philosophies.  Every different kind of person could get along with him famously.  He's an old fashioned guy who enjoys camping and hunting, but in the same breath might also dress up to have cocktails with close gay friends.  Instead of adopting a mindset, he's genuinely created his own. 

Smock's universal friendliness is his social skeleton key.  Everyone likes him because they can find something in common with him.  Whether you're in the mood to go fishing, barhopping, binge eating, exercising, tv marathonning, -you name it- Smock is always game, and that's why everyone appreciates his friendship.

He currently resides in Albuquerque.


Adam Smock's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Never start a battle that you don't intend to carry out-- Know which battle to fight, as there is no reason to fight and lose.

2.  Don't apologize for anything--  If you say and do what you believe, you have no reason to bend your opinion to those that don't share it.

3.  Validate yourself; read a book, and know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.

4.  Never go anywhere without a knife.  You can use it on a daily basis for menial tasks, but the one time you need it, you'll know.

5.  Don't impose rules on yourself.  Initiate a conversation with a stranger.  Read a book.  Admit to being a geek, crossing lines, or anything else that makes you, you.  Every trend follows another trend; don't let the social norm dictate what you do, say or feel.




5 Rules I Live By: Sean Gardner

Sean Gardner is the incredibly rare kind of person who actually lives up to the hype.

I know Sean through his wife.  Days after they first met, she talked my ear off about this amazing guy she'd met; he was perfect, tall, handsome, smart, funny, yada yada.  Yeah, I've heard that one hundreds of times from dozens of friends.

And then I actually met Sean.

This guy was cool.  He was everything she said he'd be, and more.  A real man, a complete gentleman, and a wonderful person to talk to.  Just the perfect guy, like something out of a fairy tale.  If only every girl (and some guys) could meet a person like Sean, the world would be a happier place.  They just don't make 'em like this any more.  Stalk this rare breed on Twitter.

Sean currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife, Rebecca.


Sean Gardner's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Don't live by rules.












5 Rules I Live By: Jamie Lewis

Jamie Lewis is one of the few people who 'has it down' while still in their 20's. 

If you're going to take shots with Jamie, it will look something like this

Jamie doesn't 'have' the hookup at bars; Jamie is the hookup.  Every bar I've been to with him, the bartenders know him.  Must have something to do with the quiff, or his endless generosity. 

If he has a BBQ, you can be assured that everything that has ever been at any BBQ will be there in full stock, prepped and cooked to perfection.  Jamie has a good grasp of the concept that if something is worth doing, it's worth doing right.

When Jamie calls you to invite you to anything, it's worth dropping everything without question.


A native of the now infamous Chesterfield, Jamie is a bartender in Sheffield.


Jamie Lewis' 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Say it with t-shirts.  Got something to say or a statement to make?  Find or make an appropriate tee.


2.  Do something original every day, nobody likes a photocopy!

3.  If you’re ever presented with fortune cookies take/buy the first one you pick up.  Don’t deliberate, it won’t come true.

4.  Avoid the number 4 at all costs, it’s everywhere; corners, seasons, weeks in a month etc.  Its always been bad luck for me and I don’t like the way it looks.  Just don’t give it the time of day!

5.  Don’t be tight; treat yourself, your family and your friends . You can’t take money with you, why save it for a rainy day when the hot, sunny and even snowy ones are much more fun?!





5 Rules I Live By: Jonathan Cornish

Try to imagine a real-life ultra-soft teddy bear that can drink you under the table.  Meet Jonathan Cornish.

Jonathan Cornish is one of those people that I met one day, and hung out with pretty much every day straight for the next few months.  There are some people you just 'get' from day one. 

He's that guy that you can look into his eyes, and know he's a good person through and through.  The kind of person no one misunderstands, the kind of person that everyone loves.  He's the ultimate friend.

On top of that, he's quite funny, and has a deep understanding of how social dynamics work, which is probably part of why everyone loves him.  He's the first person you'd want to go to the bar to have a few drinks with.

A native of Newcastle, Jonathan is the best pianist I've ever met.


Jonathan Cornish's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Don't turn down opportunities!  Looking back on life, it's normally quite rare for people to say "I wish I hadn't done that."  It's more a case of "I wish I'd done that!"  Mistakes aren't the biggest regrets, missed opportunities are.  When something presents itself, be aware of it and TAKE IT.

2.  Have no fear.  This relates to the first one... don't let fear get in the way of taking opportunities in life.

3.  Have confidence.  Big one! And relates to 1 and 2.  Find a way to have confidence in yourself.  Know your values, talents and identity, and be proud of them.

4.  Don't let anyone knock your self esteem.  Especially when it comes down to your passion in life.  Never let anyone tell you that you cant do something.  If they do, use it as fuel and don't self destruct.

5.  Know how to CAIN.  Know your own specific way to let steam off.  Go out and get smashed... meet new people, listen to them, make a fool of yourself... the sooner you lose certain inhibitions, the better.




5 Rules I Live By: Andrew Lam

Andrew Lam is a very strange person. 

On the surface, he may vocalize a certain dark perception of the world around him, yet he seems to never stop laughing.  If God has a sense of humor, Andrew thinks it's hilarious.

Originally from Kodiak Island, Alaska, I met Andrew when he was a manager at Hollister. 

A rare person any way you cut it, Andrew's time has been spent on everything from Dance to Science. 

To be able to pinpoint Andrew or put a title on him is to miss the point of him completely.

Instead of trying to get inside this guy's head, it's much more enjoyable to sit back and hear all the funny things he has to say.



Andrew Lam's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Can't is a terrible word.  If you limit yourself by saying you can’t do something, you’ve defeated yourself before you get started.  The inability to master a skill or complete a task should fuel you to work that much harder.  It’s all a matter of practice and persistence.

2.  Make fun of yourself as much as you possibly can.  Nobody likes someone that makes an effort to appear perfect.  Absolutely no one is perfect so there’s no use in pretending that you are. People enjoy hearing the stupid and embarrassing things you’ve done because it’s relatable and they’ll respect you for owning up to your idiocy.

3.  Keep your conversations as inappropriate as possible.  Typically, the more inappropriate the conversation, the more entertaining it is for all participants.  My favorite topics include hookers, turning tricks, drunken mishaps, various bodily functions, and any combination thereof.

4.  Unless something is life altering, let it go.  Most people are complete idiots and aren’t worth the time. Let the petty things go because there’s no point in holding onto something that truly doesn’t matter and won’t affect the rest of your life.

5.  Be honest in all aspects of your life.  For example, the phrase ‘people watching’ is entirely inaccurate.  It’s ‘people judging’ and I thoroughly enjoy it.




5 Rules I Live By: Carli Chavez

Carli Mills-Chavez is the textbook definition of quirky.  Eccentric, a little hyper, and always giddy.

If there's a crazy hat in the room, Carli will be the first to put it on.

Aside from her reputation as being 'out there', Carli has social balls of steel.  She'd go up to any person in public and spark a conversation.  She has a talent for breaking the ice extremely fast.


Additionally, she's much more creative and fashionable  than people give her credit for, as evident in her Tumblr


She currently resides in Albuquerque.


Carli Mills-Chavez's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Sountracking: Music is a large part of my life.  I love attaching a song to a memory and I make it a point to do just that.  No one knows sadness better than, Chet Baker’s “Everything Happens To Me”.  Or happiness paired with Magic Kids “Summer”.  And when I can’t find fireworks for the first kiss then the least I can do is put on Miniature Tigers “Bullfighter Jacket”.  Oh and sex.  Sex most importantly requires synchronization something that can be lacking if he’s still sorta drunk and I’m growing more tired so most stripper music (basically the kind of music you would here in a strip club) usually has strong bass lines creating a subconscious rhythm we can both follow and how can you go wrong with Kanye’s “All Of The Lights.”  A “good night mix” is always a win-win.

2.  Say What You Mean But Don’t Be Mean When You Say it: Most important thing my mom ever told me was that, “you can’t expect people to change unless you tell them what’s wrong".  Communication is key in any relationship and finessing effective and direct communication is challenging at times but has proven to be an invaluable tool.

3.  Whatever Happens Is The Only Thing That Can Happen:  I used to live my life on coulda, woulda, shoulda’s especially in matters of the heart.  If something didn’t work out it would devastate me and I would harp on it endlessly.  Within the past year I started accepting things as they come and as they go.  My heart and tear ducts have never been so happy.

4.  Three deep breaths:  I know I know, I can feel the mental eye-roll but I do this before any:  test, date, airplane take-off, or any other event where a bottle of wine is not readily available or where tipsiness would be off putting.  Nothing is more calming.  Sometimes when I’m feeling especially new age-y I do positive reassertions with a breath-in and I get rid of the negative with the breath-out.

5.  Little Luxuries:  The perfect lamp that I don’t really need but is 75% off, marathon of Law & Order SVU, hangover breakfast with friends, a good music find, or smile from some dreamboat across the bar.  When I’m burnt out or having an off-day it’s the little joys that bring me back to the present and remind me that everything is exactly the way it’s meant to be.




5 Rules I Live By: Joel Peat

Joel Peat is the guy who always says what everyone is thinking.  If I were naive or elderly, I'd probably call him vulgar.  Instead, I'm gonna deem him honest. 

While many people choose to have a distant relationship with reality, Joel is the complete opposite.  Among all your friends, Joel will be the first to give you a reality check when you need it.  I find that kind of friend to be refreshing, and needed.

Originally from Nottingham, Joel is now the guitarist for the band Lawson.  He is the fourth and final member of the band to contribute a Top 5, following Andy Brown, Ryan Fletcher, and Adam Pitts

Follow Joel on Twitter, or check out his band on Facebook.


Joel Peat's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Be brutally honest with people, so they know where they stand.


2.  Family is the most single most important thing.


3.  Try and do whatever makes you happiest.


4.  Smile don't pout.


5.  Don't introduce Andy Brown, Ryan Fletcher, or Adam Pitts to any girl you're interested in.




5 Rules I Live By: Murisa W

Murisa is special for many reasons.  First and foremost, she's my sister.  But it's not by default that she's the coolest person I know. 

She's the epitome of winning.  She's been #1 at everything for as long as I can remember.  She was never the member of a group: she was always the leader. 

She has this commanding presence that others follow.  And it works; she is now the marketing director of an upscale clothing company favored by the likes of the Obama family. 

You can tell we are related when the 'work hard' part becomes the 'party harder' part.  It's good to have someone else in the world who thinks like I do.

She currently resides in Denver with Princess and Harley, her Corgis.  Oh and her husband, too.




Murisa Westgate's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Shorts on women are NEVER flattering.  Don't even wear them to work out in, Ladies.


2.  Remember people's names and use them often.  Connections, Connections; it really is a small world.




4.  Don't be a hater- give compliments to friends and strangers, and most of all, other women.


5.  I want to make the world dance- FORGET ABOUT THE PRICE TAG!  Money is money, and I can make more of it, so lets PARTY!




5 Rules I Live By: Andy Brown

Andy Brown is one of those people I sort of met in passing, and then actually met years later.  Long story short, I was tagging along with my friend Ryan at a group audition for musicians, and in my eavesdropping, I heard Andy introduce himself, and I went so far as to save his name in a memo on my phone, because I just knew I'd hear of him again.  I was right.

Many months later, he found Ryan, and started the band Lawson.  The point is that Andy carries a presence to him that can't be missed.  He simply stands out.  I can't really explain it any better than that, other than that he gives off a vibe that's undeniable. 

A native of Liverpool with a very interesting backstory, Brown is the epitome of a front man.  Plus he's a damn good singer.  Check him out on Twitter, or his band YouTube.



Andy Brown's 5 Rules I Live By 


[Editor's Note: A "sniper" is a thieving person who sets out to hook up with people that have already been spotted out by a friend of theirs.]


1.  Only Sniper a Sniper - It is fair to do this, coz you know they would do the same thing to you.  However, ex girlfriends the sniper is still in love with, is out of bounds.


2.  Points mean Prizes - If theres a point to be had, take it, coz someone will be sniffing after it somewhere.


3.  Make up the words as you go along then record them, thats usually my rule when i'm writing a song, unless the song means something to you then "dig deeper".


4.  Protect your ears; I am deaf in one ear.  I wear ear plugs (plug) wherever I go now, even if it's a night club, otherwise you'll be deaf when your 40.


5.  Eye contact.  I'm a firm believer in strong eye contact, that can tell you a lot you need to know about a person.  There's nothing better than eye contact with a new girl, sparks flying everywhere.




5 Rules I Live By: Crystal Marshall

Crystal Marshall, or The Boxer Bride as she will come to be known, is the girl who could beat Rosie the riveter down to a pulp.  She's the one girl who would stand her ground if it meant her own death. 

Interestingly enough, Crystal is the most loving person I know.  She is living proof that one can fight for peace.  She's a lover by means of being a fighter.  Her value of love and friendship is so strong, that I've seen her charge at haters, fistful of someone else's hair, to defend herself and her friends. She's the ultimate person to have on 'your side'.

Currently living in Albuquerque, Crystal is the general manager of LA Boxing, where she teaches boxing and kickboxing classes, and she is also getting married this summer. 



 Crystal Marshall's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Never forget where you came from.
- Maybe your childhood wasn’t one of playdates, the tooth fairy and My Little Pony’s.  Maybe your teenage years weren’t all glitz and glammor and staying out late.  Maybe today your life isn’t a last minute trip to California with unlimited funds for Coach purses or tiny expensive dogs to carry around in a “tote.”  Whatever your experiences, whatever you past, it put you here today, in this exact moment.  Your past is your future.  It molded you then and is still molding you now.  Never forget where you came from.  Its made you who you are right this very second.  Be thankful for who you are and where you came from.  Every second of every day.


2.  All relationships are to be created equal.
- This goes for friendships, love interests, dating and serious relationships.  Do not put more into a relationship then what you are getting back.  If it’s not equal – it’s not happening.  You will one day find the people in your life who are willing to go all out for you and who you will be willing to make 100% effort for.  The others will just pass you by.  And you’ll most likely be glad they did.


3.  Take the Good from the Bad (and always remember the pain).
- Don’t wallow in your sorrow…  Dig deep within yourself and find what your bad experiences have taught you and rebuild yourself with these in mind.  Remember the pain you went through during your experience and let it remind you not to allow a repeat.  You learned the hard way for a reason, don’t duplicate your situation.


4.  Don’t let anyone walk all over you. Ever.
- Stand up for yourself people.  We are all independent people with feelings and amazing, individual qualities.  Flaunt your individuality throughout your days.  To everyone.  And pride yourself on being who you are.  If someone doesn’t like you, your personality, you mood, your qualities – don’t change yourself – keep it real and fire back!  Look… I’d rather be known as the bitch who stood up for herself, then the ‘nice’ girl who got walked all over.  Grow a pair and use them to defend yourself and the amazing individuality that sets you aside from the nearly 7 billion people in this world!


5.  Live as much of your life as you can dressed in a cute pair of sweatpants, ditch the make up, tie up your hair, grab a bottle (or two) of wine, your favorite people and ENJOY your life.
- The best moments in life are those that you spend feeling most comfortable in your own skin.  When I’m 80 I may look back and remember the good times at the karaoke bar or the night out with the ladies downtown but I’ll savor the moments that I was 100% completely MYSELF – relaxed, comfortable, happy and enjoying my life in one completely messy-hairdo moment with the best family, fiancé and friends anyone could ask for.  Moments like these are what I consider LIVING.




5 Rules I Live By: Adam Pitts

Adam Pitts is a rare example of a person to whom my opinion of has evolved as I've gotten to know him.  Although I always liked him, it wasn't until a few months after I'd met him that we had an alcohol induced heart-to-heart conversation, at which point I was surprised to discover a quiet wisdom and perceptiveness that he hides well.  I don't take advice from many people, but I've made important personal decisions based on his words.  So if you ever get the chance, sit him down some time and get his opinion.

Hailing from Brighton, Adam is the second member of Lawson to contribute a 5 Rules; he is the drummer.  The band recently toured across the UK with The Wanted.

He can be stalked on Twitter, and if you're really in the mood to lurk, check out photos from a Lawson day in his home town.


Adam Pitt's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Never ever give up on what your 10 year old self wanted to be when they grew up.


2.  School only teaches you the boring things, so watch National Geographic and Qi to find out the stuff you really need to know.


3.  Find good friends and keep them.


4.  If Andy Brown offers you a HobNob, never eat it.


5.  It's ok to snipe when points mean prizes.




5 Rules I Live By: Jessica Bernal

Jes Bernal is the one person I've managed to consistently see and maintain a close friendship over the last four years.  No small accomplishment, as we've spent much of that time living hundreds, if not thousands of miles apart. 

On top of being quite quirky, Jes is that one person who you can always rely on-- a true friend.  She's the kind of person that would do anything for a friend.  I can't count the number of times she's given me a ride or done a favor for me.  I'm lucky to have her as my transcontinental BFF. 

Of all the people I've met, I can relate to Jes better than anyone, because we have such similar stories.  Originally from the States, Jes moved to London, essentially on a whim, to get a Masters Degree in London. 

Still living in London, Jes works for Exposure PR, a cutting edge PR and Marketing company.



Jessica Bernal's 5 Rules I Live By


I would like to preface by saying that I make up rules to live by on a daily basis so this was quite difficult to choose, but these are the ones that I find to be my most important and longest standing.  Also, apologies, I had to have 6.... I don't like to be like everyone else ;)


1.  Cupcakes are MAGICAL.  Seriously, I dare anyone to try and eat a cupcake without feeling instantly better.  Next time you or someone close to you is having a bad day, reach for a cupcake you will soon see that all the happiness in the world lives inside of them.


2.  I WANT TO BELIEVE.  Yes, I am referring to Sasquatch, UFOs and LOVE (you did not misread that).  Whether its the elusive ape-like woodland creature we are looking for, love from someone special, or the believing in our dreams, believing is what will get you through the times when you can't see the light.


3.  HEELS.  If you can't do it in HEELS, you just can't do it.


4.  Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.  Pretty sure I stole this from someone, some movie or some country song, but these are the three words you should avoid... You are here, in this situation-- deal with it.


5.  Happy, YES.  Content, NO...  There is nothing more cringe-worthy than when I hear people say they are 'Content'.  The last thing I ever want to be is content, what does that even mean?  You forgot to achieve your goal and so you are settling for what your life is now?  Don't be the lazy bastard that made it half way and stayed there.


6.  Forgive yourself (I know it sounds corny).  I did something terrible, some 8 years ago, and have spent the last 7 of those 8 years punishing and hating myself over something I did when I was 17.  Allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn from them is the only way you can grow as a person.




5 Rules I Live By: Ryan Fletcher

The person whom I consider my best friend, Ryan Fletcher is a person who leads by example. 

He set out a goal, didn't bother with a backup plan or safety net, and just went for it.  He succeeded because he was crazy enough to think he would, and that's wisdom we should all live by. 

I've never seen him shy away from anything, or consider anything to be a bad idea.  He has a "why not?" way of thinking.  In other news, he always has a one-of-a-kind hair style.  On more than one occasion, I've seen people stop him on the street to ask for a picture with him, based on his hair or ridiculous style of clothing.  And that was before his band took off.

Ryan is the bassist for the band Lawson, who just finished a tour supporting The Wanted.  He currently resides in London.

Check out his band here, or stalk him on Twitter.


Ryan Fletcher's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  Only message girls with friends in common with you on Facebook.  Otherwise, there isn't much of an opening gambit to throw at them.  Only make exceptions if they are too hot to pass up on, and in these cases, take the risk.


2.  Love as much as possible.  I get carried away with myself and fall for people far too easily, heart on my sleeve and all that... (Brian knows this more than anyone as he is always the one picking up the pieces of me after she's gone)  Lots of people criticise this... But I wouldn't change it for the world.


3.  This sounds obvious, but people always seem to just "put it off until next year"...  Go and visit the places you'd love to visit!  For me it's New York that's next on the list... I  think I'll go next year...


4.  As cliche as this sounds, always be yourself.


5.  Genuinely believe you can do what you want to do, and if you are actually serious about making it happen, no matter what it is, you will.  Reach for the stars so if you fall, you'll land on a cloud.





5 Rules I Live By: Sean Alkire

Sean Alkire is someone I can describe by saying he is the classic Cool Cat. 

He gives off this vibe of comfort and self-knowledge that many would call an 'old soul'.  He carries an inward style, a boldness of character that I envy. 

5 Rules' second person from Albuquerque, Sean is a UNM alumni and a photographer. 


His band, Jenny Invert (which I highly recommend) is a folk-rock group with a dash of Seattle indie. 

They can be stalked here, or heard here.  Their self-titled debut was released last month.



 Sean Alkire's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  If you feel like wearing a dress... wear a dress.


2.  Love.


3.  I have found that sticking to your guns is not always a good idea.  It can make you look stubborn.  Allow yourself to change.  Consider other possibilities.


4.  Make sure that aesthetics are in balance with concept... you will always be cool.  Uh, this is just a good art tip that I was thinking about the other day.


5.  I find it more satisfying to learn from my own mistakes rather than others.  It makes for a great story in the future.




5 Rules I Live By: Jordana Gailard


Jordi is one of those people I can rely on to be up to date with any element of pop culture. 

If it was something off last night's Real Housewives, an animal Hoarder, or celebrity arrest, I don't even have to ask if she's heard about it-- because she already knows more than I do.

A former Red Bull girl and notorious cougar, Jordi's personal niche has always been music.  Concerts, DJ's, events, etc, she's the go-to girl for music and pop culture. 

A native to Albuquerque, Jordi is one of the few UNM graduates to have a steady job; at PR Newswire.




Jordana Gailard's 5 Rules I Live By


1.  No one is necessarily going to die from your mistakes of the day so... relax.  Shitty days happen and sometimes you are going to do things wrong because you are human.  You don't need to hold on to it.  Just take a breath, learn from it, and move on.


2.  Take the time to write snail mail at least once a month.  With the creation of Facebook/Skype/Twitter (...myspace? is that still real?) it is easy to forget how nice it is to receive a letter in your mailbox that isn't a bill.  Trust me, you'll make someone smile.


3.  Listen to a song that makes you want to get funky and just makes you feel good first thing when you wake up.  If you start your day positive you are going to attract that positivity to you.


4.  Don't forget your friends when you are in a relationship.  This is uber cliché but it really is amazing to see how many people actually lose touch with those around them when they are having relationship tunnel vision.  When things don't work out it will be your friends that show up with a "ready… set... recover!!!" mix CD and a pint of Ben and Jerry's.  ...Followed by dragging your whiny ass to a bar where they force everyone to buy you pity booze.   (side note: do not recover with Tokyo Tea)


5.  Enjoy the art of a good mack session.