Monthly Archives

June 2015

Bruges, Belgium

June 30, 2015

Northwest of Brussels and about an hour by train is the city of Brugge. If you’re under 26 and willing to sit in a second-class train car the price tag is 12 Euro roundtrip- it was my broke post-grad dream.

IMG_1822So, last Sunday morning Alayna and I woke up with no plan but to get ourselves back to Brussels-Zuid (or was it Brussels-Midi?) in pursuit of the canals, cobbled streets and medieval architecture of Brugge. As it would have it we slipped into a first class cabin without really knowing it and settled in to watch the Belgian countryside pass us by. The ticket collector pretended not to notice that we were supposed to be in a second-class car and we saw two cows galloping side by side (I was beside myself about this and have been telling everyone, because, have you ever seen cows gallop)?

Even with the sky a bit weepy when we arrived, all that we knew about the city was immediately evident: it is beautiful. Its beautiful in its novelty, in the way that stores and restaurants are tucked into buildings that were first built in the 1600’s and in the way that canals brush up against ivy clinging to medieval walls. It was enchanting. It didn’t matter that it was raining.

This time we had no map, but it didn’t seem to matter. Bridges and squares and side streets cobbled and uneven seemed to put us right back to where we began. We walked along the canals. We window shopped at open-aired stalls. We got stuck in Canadian tour group at least six times (their Canadian identity only evident in the maple leaf tags hanging off all of their backpacks).

Brugges 4

And then the sun came out and my green jacket came off for the first time since getting to Belgium. We ate a waffle and then we found our way to the center of the city, Market Square, with the Provincial Courts and the Belfry holding court over a mass of restaurants differentiated only by the changing color of tables clothes. It was warm and the square was buzzing with people and we thought that raspberry beer and people watching was the natural answer to the question mark filling the rest of the day’s agenda. We sat for hours chatting about everything that had filled the spaces since we had last seen each other, face to face in a New Jersey mall some time in January.

It was just catching up in a foreign country.

Eventually we got hungry and shared half a roasted chicken and some Belgian frites, got on a train and found ourselves back in Brussels. I was sunburnt. We were both a bit tired. And, admittedly, a bit hungry again.

On a Sunday night at 11 pm, not much is open in Brussels.

The front desk staff of our hotel pointed us towards the only open restaurant close enough to walk; I was wearing a men’s flannel shirt and boyfriend jeans, Alayna had taken out her contacts and wiped off her makeup. This is what we looked like when we found ourselves at a fancy Italian restaurant ordering Minestrone soup and laughing about how no plan always turns out to be the best plan.


Brugges 7

Brugges 5



brugges 3

Brugges 1

Brugges 6

brugges 2


Month One Emilie

June 24, 2015

Month One Emilie



post grad day 38, employed and falling on her face

Maybe the funniest thing about postgrad life is that I’ve discovered that I’m still an idiot.

I mean, my graduation hat was on backwards for most of the weekend’s activities because I decorated the cap upside down. Keep an eye out for the scrunched elastic of wait-are-we-sure-that-girl-was-really-supposed-to-graduate across my forehead rather than the smooth pointy lines that frame the face of someone more familiar with the proper orientation of baccalaureate headgear.

But in all seriousness, it was a pretty great week amid the hesitant air of nostalgia we were all reluctant to embrace – my parents paid for my pitcher(s) of margaritas and a couple of my Instagrams got triple digit likes, so it’s safe to say I got what I needed out of Commencement Weekend 2015… #RaiseHigh.

As for postgrad life, the concept of “new apartment rooftop living” has quickly devolved from my initial hopes of casual nights sipping homemade cocktails and laughing appropriately with my friends as the evening breeze attractively ruffles our hair. In reality, it’s of a bunch of half-dressed twenty-two year olds huddled over a six pack of almost hipster beers, wiping the infamous DC summer humidity off of ourselves and hoping we won’t get kicked off the roof because it’s past midnight.

All in all, the proverbial “Real World” hasn’t been so bad. I have an apartment. I have a job. I bought fresh produce at the grocery store. The pressure of foods with increasingly shorter shelf lives is almost too much to handle – sell by versus best by? What if I don’t care if the food is at its best? Can I let it go another few days before I’m faced with the decision of consume or bust?

To round out this quintessentially DC yopro post, I’m going to end it with a bottomless brunch metaphor from this past Saturday. As I tentatively considered my fifth third mimosa, my surprisingly aggressive waiter returned, pitcher in hand. The look of disappointment on his face was overwhelming. “I can’t do it!” I apologized. “You have to,” he shrugged. He was right – I didn’t really have a choice. I came, I chugged, I conquered.

So to my fellow postgrads out there who don’t think you can do it: Well, you have to. And most of the time it ends up working out and you have a great time, though you might lose a credit card and some dignity along the way.

So to my fellow postgrads out there who don’t think you can do it: Well, you have to.

Author’s note: In the middle of writing this, I was called into a meeting in my boss’s office… a meeting at which I Leaned In (Sheryl Sandberg anyone?) too hard and fell face first out of my chair. Happy Wednesday!

Brussels, Belgium

June 24, 2015

Buying a map seemed necessary. My little, Alayna and I had just gotten in a cab to be told only minutes later that we didn’t need to be in said cab; our hotel was “just around the other side of the train station.” But the other side of Brussels-Zuid and Brussels-Midi, two names for conceivably the same train station, wasn’t as easily navigated as our cab driver would have led us to believe. Rue De Hollande or Rue De Modenstraat? Was that French or Dutch? So, after walking around the train station more than once we decided that finding the information desk back inside would most likely be the best move. It was there, listening to a woman try and explain directions that were surely a cab-ride away,  that we bought the 1 Euro map that would usher us around Brussels, Belgium for the next three days.

Palais De Justice

Its serendipitous that our hotel’s location in the city ensured that we had to reach Palais De Justice before ascending Brussel’s hills to get to the touristy spots in the city (read: french fries, 1 Euro waffles, moules frites). Our first glance of the city’s reaches came from the lookout set in front of the golden-domed court as the clouds hung low and grey over the tops of houses and apartments that married eastern Europe to the west- dark concrete with light roof tiles. The wind was whipping up and around our acceptable London attire (we would soon learn that Brussels was pants and sweaters only) and a guy in a leather jacket, holding a beer and smoking a cigarette placed his hand on the railing and gracefully swung himself over and landed in a portrait of urban freedom, swinging his legs over Brussels beneath him.

I can’t say we ever looked as edgy as him in the hours and days that followed, but as we got lost in the cobbled streets that sat underneath the lookout, I felt pretty damn cool.

Palais de Justice

Palais de Justice

Palais de Justice

Palais de Justice

Grande Place

On the first day we left Palais de Justice and descended past Mont de Arts, where we got a bit of a cultural education from the large hordes of Bavarian dancers warming up to the choral accompaniments of a middle-aged, co-ed choir. So,we hovered for a bit, taking in the six foot tall men prancing around with much smaller female counterparts and the manicured gardens that flanked them.

Burssels 5

We didn’t stay long though; we had gotten in from London only a few hours before and we were hungry, a little cold and on the search for sustenance. We found said sustenance (I ordered a Croque Monsieur but I ate a ham and cheese sandwich) and then found our way to the center of tourist Brussels- Grande Place.

It was less the square itself, ordained with guildhalls from the 17th century, and more the network of streets by which we got lost and turned around and somehow deposited back into its center for the next three hours that left the Grande Place feeling so magical to me. We walked down streets, narrow from their centuries old origins, and stacked now with awnings and outdoor seating of restaurants called Chez (insert name here) and Place de (insert name here) promising the cheapest, no the best (!) moules frites in all of Brussels! It was a tourist trap; Alayna and I acknowledged this to each other out loud and yet we didn’t mind. It was the first night. We would eat moules frites and split a bottle of wine at Chez Louis- the best moules frites in Bruxelles! 

And then it was night and the cobble stone streets led us back to the center once more, where at 10:30 pm the sky had just gone a milky dark blue. The tower of Brussels Town Hall glowed white above the square where teenagers and 20-somethings sat in circles on the cobble stones with bottles of wine and guitars, making noise and making Brussels feel less touristy and more like there was a fabric of life below the 1 Euro waffles and Belgian Frites.

We went and ate a waffle and promised to be less touristy the next day.

Grand Place

Grand Place

Grand Place

Grand Place


The next morning at a balmy 55 degrees we got up to make the trek to another Brussels landmark (read: you’ve seen this on Instagram 100 times): The Atomium. So, the story goes that this 335 foot tall structure made to look like the unit cell of an iron crystal went up in 1958 for the Brussels World Fair, and has been a Belgian landmark ever since. My little, whom seemed to be the only one of us to do actual research before getting to this fair Belgian city, explained this to me ever so eloquently on our Metro ride from Louiza-Plein to Heysel, the home of the Atomium, Mini Europe and the greenhouses Alayna had read about on the Internet.

The Atomium


The Atomium couldn’t be missed. It was the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, commissioned by King Leopold II in the 1870’s that proved to be far more elusive. They weren’t on our trusty map. Although our trusty map did say that we were in Parc de Laeken- that meant something positive, right? For your reference, Parc de Laeken is very large. So, we learned (much later) that while, yes, being in the park that shared the name of the greenhouses was surely an indicator that we were in the right place, the right place was about 3 miles away from where we were flailing about. This information came to us in the form of a middle-aged lawyer and his seven year old son who’s face was painted to look like batman. When we finally got to the right place we found out the greenhouses were closed, and no, you could not see anything other than the tops just peeking over the wall of the palace.

Brussels 17

The Atomium

The Atomium

Marche Aux Poissons

When we got back to the city center after Heysel (and a quick pit stop at the Palais Royal, the Gardens and a serendipitous meeting with the Mannekin Pis and some french fries for lunch) we somehow found ourselves past Place Ste. Katherine and into Marche Aux Poissons. This is a place that I can only accurately describe as the Belgian SOHO. It had the same fabric of Brussels-life that we had gotten a peek of at the Grand Place late the night before. Cafe tables spilled onto the sidewalk and the street, as people all different ages alternately speaking in Dutch and French, filled them with noise and beer and charcuterie boards. Alayna and I placed ourselves on one side of a small cafe table and ordered a bottle of red wine, some bread, Dutch cheese and meat and launched into another two hour walking reprieve that we had taken so often over the course of the weekend. We settled into Brussels here, talking of people and things back in the US, but somehow melting into the background of a place that felt so truly Belgian. Well, perhaps we didn’t melt, the 18 year old boys pounding mojitos next to us were pretty fascinated by our being American, but they were harmless in the end.

And then after a bottle of red and some subsequent raspberry beers we ran home though the rain, stopping only for a waffle with Nutella and banana.

Brussels 21

Belgium 1

Brussels 20


Brussels 22


For more up to date photos of #PostGradPassport, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

Weekend fling is hot & greasy

A photo posted by Kelly Brand (@kell_brand) on

On My Mind, London’s Calling (And Brussels and Bruge and a few other places too)

June 16, 2015

Somehow my trip to Europe snuck up on me. Not in that, I know its coming because its in the back of my mind way, but in a pop-out-from-behind-a-door-and-scare-you-half-to-death-way. I guess I’ve been so focused on finding a job, interviewing, going into the city for networking and moving my friends into their first apartments that June somehow became the middle of June somehow became the day before I leave a month-long jaunt across the pond. So here’s what’s on my mind (a day late) and a 24 hours before I jet off:

1. post grad passport (an extension of #ThePostGradDiaries)

When I tell people that I’m unemployed they almost always come back at me with the same response: take this time, enjoy this time, do something with this free time. So, I’m taking this time, pairing it with the little strain of regret that I have for not going abroad, and adding a little dimension to #ThePostGradDiarie. While seeing Brussels and Bruge may not seem like the typical post-grad path, its my take on #funemployed and I figured I would need to share it with all of you. So for the next month I’ll be running the mini-series titled, Post Grad Passport (you can find it under the Post Grad Diaries heading) where you can hear what I’m up to and what stamps I’ve earned for the pages of my real-life passport.

2. packing

Organized and well thought out packing really takes quite a hit when your trip sneaks up on you as mine did. No, I’m lying to you; I never ever pack in advance. The fact that I’m even contemplating packing today rather than tomorrow is a miracle in itself. While I may not be executing the actual packing I am thinking about how I’ll need to be prepared for rainy UK weather all the way across the spectrum to hot, Mediterranean weather. Wish me luck.

3. a hat

I feel the inclination to get a very cool hat before I go. I don’t have much more to say about that.


Friends Help Friends Move (and other concerns)

June 11, 2015

DAY 25

Ok, I should probably be more specific: friends help friends move when they have nothing better to do as a way to get out of their house and project what it may look and feel like when they eventually get a job and move into the city they’ve been striving towards for the last 10 years. 

Now that we have that succinct theme for this piece, I’ll tell you how this all came together.

My cousin (well my father’s best friend/frat brother’s son to be exact. You met him for the first time here) got a job in the city roughly around the same time as one of my best guy friends from college (you met him here, when I promised to push him down the Exorcist steps). They were both looking for a roommate and both text me about it on the same day. Serendipitous, right? Right. So, I got them in contact with one another and the next thing I know they’re signing a lease and setting their move in date for June 10th.

The first thing I did was call the couch.

And because I figured that there would be a lot of nights that I somehow finagled my staying at their apartment in the East Village, I thought that I would help do move-in. And by help, I mean solidify my connection to this apartment by witnessing its birth, give my opinion on if the rug was centered or not, laugh at Matt and his Ikea furniture, find the best place for phone service in their dead-zone apartment and locate the taco place for dinner.

I washed some dishes too. And then I made them take pictures against their will for this blog post.

But somewhere in the middle of the day, while I was watching Matt pull a dolly of every single one his dress shirts through their new apartment complex, I realized that these boys are starting their lives. They are employed apartment holders. I was excited for them and I was unabashedly jealous of them because no matter how many weekend nights or random Tuesdays I crawl onto their couch, there will be a lot of nights that I can’t be there because, well, I don’t pay rent. And then I had this realization that right now, I’m Mindy Kaling; people are having an employment/living on their own party without me.

But, I bought the boys a twelve-pack in hopes that they won’t realize that I’m already coming back tonight.

Matt and Greg



Month One Chelsea

June 10, 2015

The First Years Chelsea


post grad day 24, actively seeking employment

Hello hello! I’m very excited and #blessed to share my first year experience with all of you. Here’s how it began:

My final day in DC was a shock to my system; I literally shocked myself on a toaster while attempting to make breakfast. After I was assured that I wasn’t going to die by the six different people I had texted “help” to, my brain shifted and I realized “today is the day.” It was a sentence I had repeated approximately 50 times over the last month of school where every activity was tinged with the feeling that it could be my last time doing it: my last peaceful walk through Georgetown, my last delicious GW Deli bagel, my last sweaty crowded night at Sign of the Whale (not all were good “lasts”). After my near death experience and my last breakfast in DC I realized it wouldn’t be easy leaving.

Now, after too many goodbyes and shedding more tears than I am comfortable admitting, I successfully got through my first interview for a real big girl job, my first week of a long distance relationship (technically two- one with Kelly and one with my boyfriend), and unpacked my 10 large boxes that I had to ship home.


Before graduation, my image of this yopro phase of my life was filled with trendy happy hours and rooftop bars, well paying jobs with people who would soon be my new besties, and a beautifully decorated apartment. However, I’m writing this post in a light blue bedroom, in a bed covered in cheetah print sheets. No, this is not my current style-I’m in my childhood bedroom.

As an LA native, it’s been my dream for way too long to move back to my 75 degrees and sunny home. Throughout my four years at GW I experienced the same question, “why did you leave?” My answer was always the same. I wanted something different, but I knew I would always return to my favorite place. I am openly and admittedly a Mama’s AND Daddy’s girl. Leaving home as a young and terrified freshman left me with an overwhelming need to come back again one day. Now though, with four years under my belt,  my final return home has been much more bittersweet than I ever expected. The interview process while unpacking 10 large shipping boxes hasn’t exactly made it any easier.

 The Interview Outfit

The shipping boxes have been the pimple on my normally put together entryway. Every time I went down my staircase or came through my front door, the boxes were the first terrifying things I saw. To avoid the monstrosity as long as possible, instead of going to my usual choice of business casual outfits I snuck into my mothers closet to pick out the outfit that would hopefully say “give me a job, I’m super qualified and nice.” Four shirts and three cups of coffee later, I got in my car and made the 20-minute journey to the office that could potentially hold my future (nbd). The stress filled my imagination with absurd scenarios almost the entire drive, including one where I forgot how to speak and then passed out. After shaking my brain of the hopefully absurd situations and making my way through the worlds most confusing parking structure and office lobby, I arrived 30 minutes early. 35 minutes and one office tour later, I was released back into the lobby feeling relieved and excited for what’s to come.

Chelsea's Closet

Chelsea Interview Outsit

On My Mind, When You Have Very Little To Do

June 8, 2015

I am afflicted with two very real, very chronic responses to lulls in my life. When I’m bored with what I’m doing for an extended period of time I either 1. want to chop my hair off or 2. buy a whole new wardrobe. These afflictions were fine and good when I was relying on my parents fully during a more socially acceptable time in my life, but now a whole new wardrobe just doesn’t seem to be an option. On My Mind this week has a lot to do with a hair cut, one piece of clothing that I can’t go on without, books I need to get my hands on and my #TheLastYearSeries getting some pitching content.

1. anna kendrick’s h&m mini, glamour

This month Anna Kendrick poses on the front of Glamour in a printed Gucci dress, but its an outfit that she wears in her spread that really caught my eye. For obvious reasons my pining for the Gucci dress must go on being ignored, but the H&M Mini Kendrick dons may not have to be. Its $34.95 at H&M (I have 34 bucks right?) and one of those perfect pieces to mix and match across seasons. It can be dressed up or down. Do I sound like a girl in love? With an impending jaunt to Europe, I’d say this mini will have to pull me out of my boring-life-lull while simultaneously putting some new life into my wardrobe.


2. cutting my hair, a possibility

I know all of my long-haired friends just tossed up some yellow flags for a hair foul (you know who you are), but I’m not thinking about getting my locks chopped, just semi-chopped. Is it so bad to be on the quest for the perfect mid-length that compliments my round face? I think not. What I am thinking is two inches, maybe three in an attempt to get that freshly chopped look to wear with my new mini. We shall have to see, I may have talked myself out of it by next week.

3. books

Did you all know that there are books out there that don’t talk about framing, journalism theory and the media cycle? Oh, you did. Well it seems that over the past four years, when time for leisurely reading was nothing but a figment of my imagination, I forgot what a beautiful feeling it is to slip into a good read. Right now I’m struggling through Amy Tan’s In the Valley of Amazement, which is depressing because I’ve always loved Tan’s work. On the horizon is The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North, How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz and The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman. Inadvertently I think I may be doing this: Why I’m Only Reading Books By Female Authors This Summer. (A great read by Kelsey Manning!)


4. pitching

You heard it here first, this week was reserved for pitching stories. Be sure to be on the lookout this week for a #PostGradDiaries about my first attempt to freelance!


The Post Grad Diaries

June 5, 2015

DAY 19

Its been 13 days since I moved back to the burbs. Those 13 days feel like an eternity, not because I hate living in my childhood home where my the average light’s out is around 11:30 pm, but because I’ve (surprisingly) done so many things since getting here. Almost all of those things have to do with my attempt to turn in my post-grad identity, newly minted as it is, for a yopro identity.

I had a meeting at Condé Nast (swoon), an interview, I got my online portfolio up and running, I’ve tweaked my resumé no less than 27 times, spent too many hours on NJ Transit, sent in a handful of applications, read at least 976 magazines that I didn’t have time for during the school year, had dinner with a freelancer (and a fellow Villa gorilla) who’s showing me the ropes, and made a couple coffee dates for next week. Oh, and I went out one night and was home by 10, and also maybe got a little tipsy on a glass and a half of red wine at dinner the other night, but who’s judging?

Undoubtedly though, the most stress-inducing, nerve-wracking part of last week’s to-do list was: picking the interview outfit.

The Outfit

It was the first thing I thought about after getting an email asking me to come in for an interview. What was I going to wear? Would my penchant for leather have a home in my interview wardrobe? Could I pull off chic, sophisticated and savvy with the wardrobe I have- the one that hasn’t evolved as quickly as my personal style has?

Luckily, I’m living at home because when I went to my mother with these grievances she was the first to agree that my personal style had taken new form and we had a little shopping to do if it was going to be presented in all the right ways.

And since J Crew, as Jenna Lyon’s androgynous yet chic baby has evolved too, I went back to where my personal style began.


After much vacillation between navy pull-ons with a a racer stripe down the side and a pink silk blouse, it was decided that the silk jumpsuit and white linen blazer was the pairing to beat.  Not only because it looked good, but it made me feel good. It was the perfect power suit; I was ready for the interview because the navy silk on my skin made me feel ready for anything.



The Shoes

I’ve always found shoes to be the hardest part of any outfit. It may have a lot to do with my feeling most comfortable in my Tory Burch Black Patent Leather Sneakers, but it also may have a lot to do with never taking myself seriously enough to be a heel wearer. Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to strut down Madison Ave in high heels? Its just about getting to the point of thinking you belong to the heel wearing class walking through Midtown Manhattan.

For this outfit and this industry, the heels were a necessity that I couldn’t afford to chicken out on. So, I jumped right in. Instead of playing it safe with a classic nude pump I found a shoe with an open back and an accent.




When I left the interview, I walked through Koreatown past tourists groups holding flags, menu stands promising crab legs and fresh fish, but I didn’t stop to throw on the sandals that I had come into the city wearing. Instead, I left my shoes on and thought about how someday it wouldn’t feel like I was faking.

Welcome to the Post Grad Diaries.

Month One Taylor

June 3, 2015

Taylor First Year Photo Taylor Name Plate
   post grad life day: 17, unemployed

Hello all! As an avid P&S fan and even bigger Kelly fan, I am so very excited to finally be a little slice of this larger, delicious virtual literary pie. And on the eve of my life as a young professional – a “yo-pro” as the kids we call it – what better time than now to reflect on the future?

“Young professional.” Two words, five syllables, seventeen letters, an infinitely a loaded term. Upon entering university, I used to look upon the poised and practiced graduates and real-life-first-years from the crowded corners of dive bars that accepted my fake ID as I sipped on my watered-down cranberry-vodka with envy, anxious for the time when I could finally wear a white button down, pencil skirt and heels without looking like I had dressed up for a CEOs and Office Hoes themed frat party. The binary reaction to this memory, now that I am one of those graduates and a real-life first year myself, would be to say that I wish I could go back. But I don’t. I enjoy my muddled cucumber gin and tonics in all their dry, fruitless glory. I enjoy my pointy-toed stilettos despite the blisters they impose on my feet. I enjoy the fact that having to flirt my way past the bouncer is no longer a thing (though I sometimes revert back to this tactic just for the nostalgic thrill).

However, my complacency with today is not at all a suggestion that now is any easier than four years ago was, or four semesters ago, or four months, weeks, or even days. Now is terrifying. Now is the first time in my life in which I sincerely have no idea what’s next: a job? A career? A boyfriend? A business venture? A wild trip around the world? A tormented yet erotic relationship with a mysterious businessman whom shrouds a Red Room in his apartment? Wait…

Here is what I do know: I am young. And despite my lack of a secure position or paid salary, I am already a professional in a few fields: guessing candle scents with my eyes closed, the Spanglish language, bagelry (it’s a thing), Kristen Wiig character impersonations, and believing in myself. No, I’m not sure where I’m going just yet, or what’s coming for me either, but in-between the communication theories and chemical equations, college taught me the most important lesson yet: how to be confident.

Here is what I do know: I am young

I am confident that my unwavering determination to eventually move out of my home in Connecticut and into my own apartment in the city before I kill my whole family. I am confident that my staunch willingness to take risks, learn, succeed, fail, succeed, fail again, and then succeed again will shoot me all the way to the stars, to the pinnacle of professional and personal excellence. It may take some time to get there, but I have no doubt that it will be worth the trip.


Introducing ‘The First Years’

June 2, 2015

the first years
I am thrilled to introduce the P&S First Years (#thefirstyears)! Over the next year we’ll have the opportunity to see what post grad looks like to them. They’ve landed in cities up and down the east coast and west coast; we’re going to get yopro stories from La La Land to the District, from San Francisco to the Tri-state. They’re engineers, political communications junkies, masters students, unemployed geniuses and pursuing PR positions. They have picked up from one coast and relocated to another. They are forging new lives in new cities with only their scrappy intuition, first month’s salary and the promise that this crossroad in life will lead them to something new, exciting and inspiring.

Now, let’s meet The First Years.



The First Years Chelsea DONEThe First Years, Emilie to usealix