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Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category


Most of us will be spending Thanksgiving, and possibly the whole weekend with our families. For many that is a treat, something to look forward to and relish every moment of. For some of us this is a mandatory family gathering filled with anxiety, awkward moments, and subject that cannot be discussed. Now if you think I’m being cynical you’re probably in that first category, but let’s be honest, countless movies have been made about how unpleasant family holidays can be and I know some of you are not looking forward to Turkey day. Here are some ways that entertainment can make the holidays run a little smoother.

5. A good book or magazine: So, if you aren’t a fan of football, thanksgiving can drag on and on as everybody else is completely sucked into whichever ball game is on TV. Well, maybe this year you should bring something to read. While everybody else is engrossed in the game you can settle down for some me time, while you slip into a turkey and potato related haze.

4. Your iPod: You can use your iPod to block out any thing or anybody you would rather avoid. Maybe you always get stuck cleaning up, listening to some tunes while you scrape the dishes clean always makes it more fun.  If your family likes music, you can plug in your iPod and become the house DJ, so you don’t get stuck listening to that Christmas album your mom puts on every year.

3. Christmas Movies on TV: For the next month It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story will be playing on a loop, but on Thanksgiving you probably haven’t seen any of these Christmas classics for at least eleven months, so enjoy them while you can, because by December 15th you will never want to hear the worlds Christmas, holiday or gift again.

2. Eat until you fall asleep: OK, eating and sleeping are not typically considered forms of entertainment, but a turkey induced nap can be as enjoyable as a good book or your favorite love song.

1. Go to the movies: In my family I am known as “Aunt Sonja who takes us to the movies.” The kids and I always seem to share the need to get out of the house during these family events, so we go check out what’s playing at the multiplex. This year you can take the little ones to see Bolt. Take the teen girls to Twilight, the teens boys to Transporter 3 or Quantum of Solace and for the grown up tastes Australia, Milk and Four Christmases all come out on Thanksgiving day.

So, enjoy the holidays, love the ones your with and take advantage of entertainment to get you out of any unpleasant situations!

Sonja Mereu



With Christmas being around the corner, most people are singing the holiday cheer while others cringe when the thought of seeing a Santa appears, knowing the annual family get-together follows. And since holiday family dinners reunite relatives to discuss their lives and shopping lists becoming more of a competition than being a gift of love, it’s easy to feel a little down when compared to others. If you ever find yourself in a situation where people start to criticize you or you start to become a little “green” (with envy) here are a few suggestions to remember.

1) Me, Myself and I. I’m not saying be conceited, but show yourself respect. Know that you are worthy of the best in life and your worth is not judged by material things. If you view yourself (whether its appearance, work ethic, popularity, etc.) in negative perspective, you will mostly attract negative people and pessimistic things will happen to you. Believing that you are “somebody”, an independent, self-sufficient, beautiful, successful woman will help generate positive energy.

2) Do You. Many people value their friends, family members and co-workers opinions on their lives. Much so that they’re not willing to listen to their inner voice. Living your life by someone else’s rules is an oxymoron. It’s your life; you are the one who controls what you can or can’t do.

3) My Life/Your Life. We all have fantasies of what our dream life would be and/or have goals (whether it’s academic or financial) to achieve. However, if you encounter that cousin who always beats you to punch in terms of life and career goals, be envious for a second, let it go and focus on accomplishing your life goals. Don’t listen to anyone who talks negatively about your accomplishments. If you’re happy with how your life is working (you have a great job, in a great relationship and on your way to finish your degree, etc.) don’t let other people’s opinions bring you down

Ashley-Nicole Weatherington


As I wrote in my last post, I am producing a music video for the song “It’s All About You,” starring the powerhouse duo of Alexander Sack and Leota Penney. We spent long, grueling, invigorating and exciting hours shooting this weekend. For all of you who are considering getting involved in the movie or music video business, here are a few more things to know. 

5. Know your role: As a producer I had a hands-on role in the video every step of the way (creating the story, choosing the locations, hiring actors, etc…). However, during production there is so much happening and so many people that it’s hard not to step on people’s toes. There were so many times that I wanted to micro-manage and put in my two cents, but I couldn’t. It’s important to know your role, who you can give orders to and who you take orders from.  

4. Feed your crew well: On a film set mealtime does not only provide nourishment, but it is also one of the only times that the crew gets to take a break from their work. I heard a story about one production that fed the crew spicy burritos for lunch. The burritos caused the cast and crew to make numerous and frantic trips to the bathroom. On a set the food needs to be plentiful, high quality and kind to the digestive system! 

3. Dress comfy: Have you ever noticed in those behind the scenes documentaries that the directors are usually wearing an old t-shirt, jeans and a baseball hat? Being comfortable on a set is far more important than being glamorous. Of course, I am not recommending dressing like a slob, but I also would avoid heels, skirts or anything that limits your movement and comfort. 

2. Be nice: Films are a perfect example of teamwork. Every person has an important job, that’s why there are hundreds of names in the credits. The best way to make the team run smoothly, always say please, thank you and show your appreciation.  

1. Be Flexible:  I don’t mean physically flexible, although yoga is a good way to keep your mind and body refreshed. I mean mentally and creatively flexible. Creative endeavors require that you see the big picture and be willing to modify your plans in the interest of making the best possible product. A line that you loved might sound cheesy coming out of an actor’s mouth. You must be able to let go of that line if it means saving the scene.  

The video is now in editing. Keep checking my blogs for info on the release date! 

Sonja Mereu


I’ll bet you’ve heard at least one person who has asked you to go green, whether it’s a classmate, friend or even watching Al Gore‘s “An Inconvenient Truth”. Now, with the economy at its worst, and global warming changing out natural weather climates (constant wild fires in California, low amounts of snow in the Northeast compared to the last decade), “going green” seems to be the best way to help the environment. Becoming more energy efficient in areas like (fashion, food and electricity) are beneficial, and your laundry is no exception. Here are a few tips that can help you become more energy efficient and save some money.

1) The Laundromat is available. If you wash your clothes at home, why not try going to the local Laundromat. Although it’s basically going from one washer machine to the next, according to Planet Green, com, it definitely helps, “Commercial washers and dryers tend to be more efficient than domestic versions, so taking your bundle to the neighborhood ‘mat may use less energy.”

2) Use A Line. Once washing your clothes in a washer mine, do you use the dryer afterwards? Next time, try hanging a clothes on a line, whether in your home or outside. It will help decrease the amount the energy that dryers use and save you a couple bucks.

3) Dry-cleaning can be hazardous. According to Planet Green.com dry cleaning business have a chemical they use, percholoroethylene that can cause harm to your health. “Exposure to this chemical has been linked to increased risks of bladder, esophageal, and cervical cancer; eye, nose, throat and skin irritation; and reduced fertility; among other effects.”


Ashley-Nicole Weatherington


And this portion tops it all off:

5. Cultural events: This means art gallery exhibitions and openings, operas, theatrical plays, food tastings, embassy events (in the DC area), etc…If a man can go to these events alone or with a few friends, he is either really into being a renaissance man or is trying to pick up the ladies. Either way, at least he’s learned something new and you can actually have a conversation with him about it. Just keep your pimp antenna on—we hate to admit it, but we know a pimp when we meet one…we just talk ourselves out of it and let the fool have his way anyway….

6. Good ol’ church: Nowadays, women greatly outnumber men in the church, so you have to praise the Lord in the most distinguishable way possible. I know that the Lord wants you to look your best for Him, and so does that future potential date…..and, at least you know that man either has some guidance in his life or is looking for some. That’s where I met my hubby…but watch out–there are pimps in church just like there are pimps in the club. The only difference is that they are shouting “Oh, Lord” at entirely different times…..or maybe at the same times…just keep your eyes on the Lord and you should be aight…

DISCLAIMER: I take no responsibility for the type of man you find, date, or bring home from any of these places. I am only informing you of where you may have a better probability of finding a man who has a touch of style, class, and taste…and good credit. Warning: don’t let the package fool you and don’t ignore your intuition..if you get “he’s a fool” feelings in your gut–go with them. I’m just saying……


Yours in style,


I am producing a music video for a song called “It’s All About You,” written by Tom Bernath and Alexander Sack. The incredible Alexander and Leota Penney perform it. You probably haven’t heard of these artists YET, but if this video and the surrounding promotion go as planned you will soon. On this project I have learned a lot about producing a film. For all of you who are considering getting involved in the movie or music video business, there are a lot of things to know. 

5. Always hype the money people: At first I told our financier that I wanted the money, and he said No Problem! Well, there actually was a problem. Out of nowhere he decided he had no interest in financing the project anymore. Since I don’t give up, the director and I kept reworking the script and making improvements. On a whim I called the financier and told him that I loved the project and was going to do the video either way. To my surprise he called me back 5 minutes later and said he would fund half of it. I continued to hype him up over the next week, and eventually got all the money I needed. 

4. Hiring actresses is hard: We auditioned a few actresses, and although the choice was obvious the nice side of me wanted to hire them all. How could I disappoint all these sweet, young girls? Casting requires a strong resolve and a cold heart! 

3. Work with what you have: The song talks about driving a Mercedes and eating in fancy restaurants. We couldn’t afford those things, so we designed our story around things we already had. We have access to a gorgeous theater and my house has a picturesque backyard, so those became sets. You may not even know you have so many resources until you have to get creative! 

2. Find a director that you can work with: Some directors, no matter how talented, are impossible to collaborate with. Luckily, my college friend David Chiu is an incredible director and a really cool guy. Our collaboration as producer/director has been artistically satisfying and fun. I can guarantee it’s not always like that. 

1. Keep in touch with all your contacts: Everybody is working for FREE. Make sure you stay on good terms with all the industry people you meet, because you never know when you’ll need to call in a favor.  

The video shoots this weekend – look for part 2 next week.

Sonja Mereu


With the recession in full swing, the odds of finding a job now are slim to none. However, if you’re stuck in a 9 to 5 and striving for something more but not sure what, maybe a career change is needed. Too often people, women especially, choose to work in a profession that their parents want them too or choose to work at a job that is in high-demand, to provide for their families. But life is about doing what’s best for you.

Regardless of whether you’re a recent college grad looking for that first job or a mom working at a thankless job only for the salary. If you’re not happy at you’re current work situation and want a change of scenery, it’s your duty to leave. Too often people who stay at jobs they dislike can result in unwanted stress, pessimistic thinking and negative effects on their selves as well as friends and families. I’m not saying quit your current job ASAP, by all means, if you need the money, stay. But you can look for a career while working. Finding that special career can be difficult, but here a few suggestions that may help.

1) What is your favorite activity? Are you a craftswoman at heart? Do you go to the local lounge on freestyle nights to showcase your singing talents? If there is something you have a passion for, find a way to make it into a career. Let’s say, you like working with children and teens and their discussing their current problems while being a motivator but being a teacher is not your forte. Becoming a guidance counselor or social worker would be right up your alley.

2)  If that doesn’t help, think about talents that you are good at and combine them with a favorite past time. Like, if you’re a fashion fanatic but you don’t desire to design clothes or write about the latest trends in a fashion magazine. However, you make weekly visits to the mall & local boutiques and always provide the best style advice to your friends. Combine your love of fashion and shopping and becoming a personal shopper is a great career move.

Ashley-Nicole Weatherington