loner

I like doing things alone better.

I am an only child so that may make more sense… maybe?

Whatever the case may be I’ve never disliked being alone.

However, this is not the case for all.

Rather than asking why others dislike solitude, I thought about why I enjoy being alone!

‘ME TIME’

Don’t get me wrong — I like being social!

But I also enjoy spending time by myself.

Recharge yourself. It’s necessary.

I AM AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN

There is a certain satisfaction in doing something outside of the norm.

We all know it.

Being alone in public tends to be one of those taboo things.

So yeah, if I go to a happy hour alone to journal it is okay to feel confident in your difference!

Just follow through with what feels good for you.

You’ll be amazed by how awesome happiness feels!

APPRECIATE YOURSELF

Something I have learned overtime is that no will be will able to give you love you’re “looking for”.

You have to love yourself.
That’s the only way.
All that good (cliche) bullsh*t.

Hey, I don’t make the rules!

Think about all the joys of solitude, such as no one else to account for or answer to.

It is freeing!

Do you guys like having alone time?
Let me know in the comments below!

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

everyday makeup

Hey guys. I’ve gotten quite a few messages on Instagram asking about my everyday makeup routine. Well, ask and you shall receive! 

I’m using ‘everyday’ lightly. I definitely do not wear this look everyday.
But this is my go-to day look.

I tend to focus on my skin makeup and brows because they’re the most important part of the look for me. 

I use a mix of drugstore and high-end products. I’ve listed some budget-friendly alternatives too! 

I hope you’re able to find a new product (or two)! 😋

Your skin is the canvas. Makeup is the medium.

So taking proper care of your skin will result in better makeup application and wear. 

I’m in the middle of figuring out what skincare products my face likes so if you’re interested in a skincare routine in the future, let me know! 

While my skin is going through its phases I’ve been switching between two face primers.

THIS Ciate London primer is great for hydrating dry or dull skin. It has a very subtle fruity scent that dissipates soon after application. 

I like wearing this product when I’m having a relatively good skin day. 

THIS Peter Thomas Roth primer is great for those with oily skin like myself. 

I shine like no other, I swear!

For cheaper options of skin prep, I enjoy THIS Milani Prime + Correct Setting Spray. 

It’s a primer AND setting spray — two for one! 

You can grab Milani products at any drugstore. I think I got mine at Ulta

While my primer sets on my skin, I move to eye makeup. 

My go-to shadow is a bright shimmer color all over the lid with heavier application towards the tear duct and a neutral warm brown swept in the crease. 

I have been gravitating towards THIS neutral shimmer set from Mac Cosmetics and THIS warm neutral palette from Thrive Causemetics

The Mac glitter shadows do have a bit of fallout which is why I apply shadow before undereye concealer or foundation. 

Stars In My Pocket (champagne shade in Mac palette) packed on the inner lid.

Frida (terracotta brown shade from Thrive palette) and Let’s Roll (red bronze glitter shadow) blended in the crease.

I picked up THIS undereye brightener by Becca a few weeks ago and have been loving it. 

My under eyes tends to crease throughout the day resulting in an aged look. 

Not cute. 

I put some product on the back of my hand then use my ring finger to warm up and apply the brightener under my eyes, around my nose and any dark spots. 

The product is a little heavy so a little goes a long way! 

After the brightener, I go in with THIS concealer. 

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

The only other Bare Minerals product I have tried is THIS gel serum foundation.
I unearthed it from my collection and admittedly don’t like it as much as the concealer.

This concealer is incredibly lightweight and natural-looking while providing INSANE coverage!  

If you have more dry skin you may not need to set the Becca brightener.

However, I do have rather oily skin and find the concealer and brightener looks best when I set with a bit of translucent powder. 

There is some under eye settling throughout the day.
I just blend it out with my finger then I’m good to go!

THIS Maybelline dark circle treatment is a comparable holy-grail drugstore brightener! 

I’ve been using THIS loose drugstore powder. I also really like THIS compact. 

It’s made for oily skin and I do find my shine holds off longer when set with this! 

I was recommended THIS Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer towards the end of summer by a girlfriend of mine and have been using it since!

I start by using a bit of the bronzer on a small contour brush and follow the “three-technique”. 

If you’re unfamiliar, it’s when you sweep bronzer from your temples, accentuating the cheekbones and then along the jawline. Mimicking the number three with your brush strokes.  

If I want more a more defined look I will follow up with THIS deeper bronzer by Becca in Bronzed Bondi

Clearly I need a makeup shopping spree

I’ve just about run out of THIS NYX WonderStick in Light but I was loving it while using it! 

Super blendable. The primers I mentioned for sure help the product glide but even alone this contour stick is awesome! 

If you’re willing to invest a bit more in a cream bronzer, I would recommend THIS one by MILK Cosmetics.

I am rather pale and do not find the shade to be too dark or muddy for my complexion.
Another incredibly creamy, blendable product!

My go-to powder blush recently has been THIS darker mauve shade, Truffle by The Body Shop.

This winter I’ve been really into cream blushes. THIS Lip + Cheek Stick by MILK Cosmetics brings such a youthful, glowy look to the skin. Shade Werk.

For highlighter, I’ve been sticking with my tried and true layering duo.

The label has completely worn off but the highlighter I use is very similar to THIS Clinique cream one.


It’s a really pretty pink, pearly shade. It reminds me of Benefit High Beam which I used to death in high school.

I apply the cream product to the back of my hand, then using a damp makeup sponge dab the product onto the high points of my face. 

Cheekbones, brow bones, the tip of the nose, and cupids bow. 

Get nuts with it! 

Then using my ring finger, I layer THIS Mac Mineralized Skin Finish in Lightscapade over the areas I applied cream highlighter. 

BROWS 

I’ve been getting my eyebrows threaded at Zara Brow Bar for about four years now. 

I love the way my brows have transformed and I’m super pleased to not have to put a ton of work into them! 

My brows aren’t super thick so I prefer a thinner style crayon/pencil to give a more natural look. 

I used THIS definer crayon/pencil in Brunette or Dark Brown for a while. 

But recently I switched up to an old favorite. 

THIS $10 micro brow pencil by NYX. When I take my time to use this, my brows look BOMB!

LASHES + LINER

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper has been my eyeliner of choice for about four and a half years. 

There was a stint of time — about 2 years — I wore winged eyeliner every day. 

I really like makeup! And I really wanted to perfect wings. 

Which I did. 

I would typically wing it out but I’ve been trying to perfect baby wings. 

That’s my new passion project. 

For my lashes, I was really loving THIS Tarte mini I picked up at Sephora but the fallout was too much. 

It was settling on my undereye area and irritating my contact lenses. 😔

I grabbed an old favorite on a recent trip to Sephora.
Another MILK Cosmetics product.

THIS mascara is worth the hype!

LIPS

L’OREAL Infalliable Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Dose of Cocoa; L’OREAL Infalliable Pro-Matte Gloss in Statement Nude; Sephora #LIPSTORIES in #9; Bite Beauty Amuse Bouchie Lipstick in Chai; Milani Lipstick in Naked; MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Twig. (left to right then down)

Variation of mauve/rosey mixes.

Spritz my face with Milani Setting Spray. 

I’m good to go. 

I always wash my hands immediately after because I wear a lot of dark clothes and touch a lot of product.

That’s it! Talk to y’all soon, 

Alex 

one for me

This post was inspired by THIS song.
Great listen. I would highly recommend.

A day can make a whole world of difference in life.

Imagine a day something incredibly impactful happened to you.

Those few seconds of processing the information made a difference.

Now scale that to a year!
Time changes a lot of things, as I’m sure we are all well aware.

On Valentines Day I crafted an Instagram feed post and stories sponsored by Saxbys. This is something I could have never envisioned myself doing!

Saturday marked one year since I moved in with my aunt.

Tuesday I attended the media party opening of the new Dim Sum House in Rittenhouse Square hosted by the public relations company I used to work for.

Although these things may not sound incredibly crazy or important, they are huge milestones for me.

I’m not one to be sensitive but while reflecting on challenges I faced in 2019 I’ve been nostalgic! I am incredibly proud of the woman I have and continue to become, the emotional and mental progress I have made, and the professional growth I have achieved.

At this point last year I was in the process of expanding my world.
Previously the lens through which I viewed life was incredibly distorted. I believed I was fighting all of my battles alone. Everyone and everything was against me.

I didn’t realize it at the time but I was a baby bird with broken wings.

At the start of 2019, I was still enrolled at Drexel University and the new quarter was about to begin.

I took Introduction to Western Philosophy which I accredit largely to enlightening me on the larger picture of life. I forget the professor’s name but he was cool as hell.

Many of the belief systems and norms of Western cultures I was introduced to intrigued me. I was a great student for this course.
I did most of the readings, participated in class, thoroughly completed the homework. I really enjoyed the course!

I was already familiar with the concept of self-reflection, or introspective thinking, but this class piqued my interest further.

Mindfulness, a state of awareness or consciousness, can be achieved through enough reflection and practice. This is a state of mind in which you’re able to truly think clearly.

It’s not a one and done kinda thing sadly.
You have to learn about various methods and see which work best for you.

If you would have told me a year ago I would be preaching about the importance of mindfulness through meditation and self-reflection I would not believe you.

But ya know,
🎶 What a difference a day makes… 🎶

We must experience discomfort to grow.

My Pattern, an astrology app which I follow as religiously as Co-Star Astrology, has been telling me that I attract wild experiences.

I have indeed had some crazy life experiences thrown my way but to say I draw them to me is insane. However, sis isn’t usually wrong…

So I’ve been working on my methods of leadership to be able to control my life!

I cannot control what happens to me but I can control how I react to it.

Thanks Aunt Leen for saying that to me repeatedly until it eventually made sense!

Here’s to 2020! A year full of positivity, love, and growth for all!

Think about where you came from.
Embrace where you are now.

Talk soon,
Alex

recent reads

One of my goals entering the new year is to read a new book every month.

I set aside time to read. This is a way I prioritize myself.

I’ve always liked reading.

As a kid I would crush teen romance books.

Now that I’ve matured mentally I’m able to comprehend material heavier than The Fault in Our Stars. I love absorbing knowledge and viewing topics through different lenses.

But wait, let me guess…
“I want to read more but I don’t have the time,”

We’ve all got the same 24 hours.

If you really are driven to do it, you will make the time. It’s simple as that.

The average person has allotments of time throughout the day spent scrolling on their phone. You could read.

I spend a lot of time on public transit. Rather than shuffle through songs until I find one I want to listen to for half the ride, I read.

I made a list of some good stuff I’ve been reading lately for those of you who are interested in expanding your mind. However, while reading these books you must keep an open mind.

These are not your average bedside reads. Well, unless you’re someone like me.

The order of this list is not representative of anything.

MALCOLM GLADWELL IS MY BOY!

During my senior year of high school, I participated in a dual-enrollment program with a local college. During the fall semester, I took Introduction to Sociology.

A reading requirement for the course was Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. This book was my gateway to self-improvement, business-oriented, entrepreneurial reading.

Gladwell’s writing style is easy to read. It’s casual while still maintaining structure.

If you like reading my writing, you’ll probably enjoy his. I take inspiration from his style, as well as a few other authors later mentioned.

OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS
A ‘self-made’ success story is all-encompassing.

In this book, Gladwell explores the background of successful moguls such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Why do some people soar and others fail?

Did you know a Canadian male born in early January is much more likely to become a professional hockey player than a male born during the latter portion of the year?

If not, now you do. For other cool and obscure knowledge, read Outliers.

BLINK: THE POWER OF THINKING WITHOUT THINKING
You’re more equipped than you think you are.

This Gladwell piece dives into “thin-slicing,” better known as a gut feeling.

We have a conscious and subconscious mind both of which are tapped into during the decision making process. What many of us often forget is that our subconscious knows a lot.

More than we realize.

I’m sure you’ve experienced intuitive feelings regarding the character of a person or the elements of a situation that have immediately rubbed you the wrong way. Were you right?

If you’re interested in learning more about how crucial your subconscious is when it comes to quick reactions and decision making I would highly recommend Blink.

TALKING TO STRANGERS:
WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE DON’T KNOW…

I have not finished this one yet. I am about a quarter of the way through and I’ve enjoyed it so far. Admittedly I’m not as hooked on this one as I have been on other Gladwell works. However, I started it during a rather hectic time so I do not have a vivid memory of it. I plan to restart the book sometime in the next few months to look at it with a fresh set of eyes.

13 THINGS MENTALLY STRONG PEOPLE DON’T DO by AMY MORIN
Sometimes seemingly self-explanatory information must be reiterated in order for it to fully resonate with you.

Although I said the order of the books is arbitrary, this book, in particular, I would recommend the most. 😋

I may be biased because this was the first self-improvement genre book I dabbled in. Outliers is categorized as business.

Nonetheless, this book quite literally changed my life. Thank you, Amy Morin. I started reading in February 2019 and did not complete it until late May (??) 2019. Something like that. My copy is beat up.

Of all the reads this one took the longest for me. Oh but it’s less than 300 pages…

Yes, part of it is that I get lazy with reading. But also this book is dense with information!

After reading into one of the concepts I would take a break from the book to work on implementing the change in my life.

Although some of the concepts seem self-explanatory, there is something about reading it that makes it resonate and become applicable to you. Once I began to notice improvements, which sometimes took a while because not everyone is perfect, I would begin to dive into the next chapter.

ESSENTIALISM: THE DISCIPLINED PURSUIT OF LESS by GREG McKEOWN
Figure out what core talents you have. Hone them.

As someone who has always prided themselves on their ability to do many things well this read made me rethink strategies.

I, along with others I have recommended the book to, believe the theory of essentialism would only exist in a flawless society where every individual acted highly selfish. ‘Selfish’ meaning they always prioritize themselves.
But we all know that person who cannot say no. Maybe you are that person.

A truly essentialist society, on a large scale, is off the table. However, there are practices within the theories of Essentialism that when applied externally lead to a positive result.

THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK by MARK MANSON
Focus on what matters to you.

While I love Mark Manson’s writing style and delivery, I do not completely agree with all his ides. That being said, the man can argue his point well.

The overall theme of the book is to not give a f*ck about anything more than you have to.

Essentially figuring out what aligns with your personal values and goals then pursuing that life.

Sounds lovely! However, not always practical.

If you’re able to get a bit creative in applying the concepts, there are some really valuable lessons to take away from this read! If you’re into sarcasm, cringe humor and a blunt delivery, check out Manson’s blog or other published works!

Next on the reading list is The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel Levitin. I started it Tuesday and I’m enjoying it so far.

Baby is thicc.

After that in the queue is Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi.

Let me know if you guys read, or have read, any of the books I mentioned in the comments below! What are you reading next??

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

01.2020 fashion favorites

DISCLAIMER: Most stuff is from Nordstrom Rack. I am not sponsored. But I should be.

Hey guys! At the start of the month, I picked up new fashion accessories! I also received some stuff over the holidays. 

Thank you to everyone. I love you all. 😌

Needless to say, this month I have had a fun time trying out all sorts of new (to me) products! 

staple basics

I have a worn-to-death pair of black high-waisted Topshop jeans with slits in the knees. Super cute. Love them. 

Those babies were worth every penny! I’ve worn them to death for the past 3 years.

However, they’re ready for retirement. 

But ladies, we all know how difficult is it to find those perfect jeans…

After the holidays, during the killer sales, I went on the hunt for a new pair. 

‘In the Black’ Levi Mile High Super Skinny Denim

I stumbled upon Levi Mile High Super Skinny distressed black jeans. They are super flattering with the perfect stretch/structure ratio. They feature a chic single-knee slit and raw hem ankles, adding a little sass! 😉

They fit true to size. Andddd if you eat a little too much you can hide your open top button with a belt super easily! 😋

Retail price of $98.00. (They’re on sale on Levi’s site for $69.00 currently through the link above!)
I snagged them at Century 21 for $29.99. Yup! – over 60% off.

Over the summer I picked up a cute v-neck crop top by Free People in white. I wore it to death. It is very similar to this one available at Urban Outfitters by Out From Under.

Absolute repurchase!  

In late December when Urban Outfitters was running a sale on bralettes I picked up three new ones. All are seamless material and I am obsessed! 

I love layering them under shirts or sweaters in place of a bra! The seamless material is fitted so it holds your body in place. 

They are easy to wear on days when you’re busy running around and want to be comfortable without looking sloppy. 

10/10 would recommend.

shoes

I picked up these versatile Jeffrey Campbell Hydra Platform Waterproof Chelsea Boots in matte black. I wear them just about every day. 

I truly feel like I can conquer the world in these shoes. 

That feeling is amplified by my being able to walk in the rain.  

Their retail value is $55.00 – 60.00.
I paid $34.00!

Nordstrom Rack is the shit!
HOLLA! 😎

accessories

Aside from rings, I have never been a big jewelry gal. When I was in high school and early college, I had a necklace and rings I wore all day, every day. 

However, now I like earrings. ☺️😋

This month I’ve been wearing mini sterling silver hoops constantly. 

I’ve taken notice of a lot of others wearing hoops so it must be a trend at the moment. Feed into fast fashion and grab yourself a set!
I got mine for around $19.00 at Target.  

I dislike cold weather greatly. 

For years I have been telling my grandmom I plan to move somewhere that doesn’t experience frigid winters. However, I still have a degree to complete in Philadelphia so I made the rational decision to invest in quality cold-weather accessories.

Free People makes a scarf blanket. Unfortunately it’s sold out on Nordstrom Rack at the moment but you can check out other colors here.
Yes, a blanket that is socially acceptable to wear in public, guys! 

It’s 100% wool and incredibly warm. I love it! 

It retails for $48.00. I paid $21.00 at Nordstrom Rack.

activewear

I was gifted a black pair of Lingswallow leggings from Amazon for Christmas by my lovely aunt. ☺️

These leggings are amazing! They are double banded and keep you feeling very secure. I was shocked by how well they perform during workouts!

I hate the feeling of loose-fitting leggings that make you self conscious while doing burpees at the gym, ya know? Not these. And they’re affordable! 

I ordered myself another pair in a dark purpley-gray color. I plan to order more soon! 

I tried out a bunch of beauty products and everyday essentials I wanted to share but this post will be way too long! Another time. 😉

What are your January fashion favorites? Let me know in the comments! 

Thank y’all for reading! 

Talk soon, 
Alex

what’s good, my people?

Hey guys! January has been the longest month ever.

We’re in a new year, new things are happening, moves are being made — all that good stuff! 

This week I wanted to update y’all about what’s happening in my life because I’m sure you are all just dying to know. 

Phase I

For the first few weeks of January I’ve been putting myself out there applying for influencer campaigns, freelance writing opportunities, networking events, etc. Essentially just getting all my sh*t together before classes start for Spring.

Phase II

Classes have begun as of Monday. I’m happy to say I am looking forward to my courses this semester. 

Knock on wood.

I was slightly worried about my workload in tandem with all the opportunities I applied myself to. However, I am feeling secure in my time management capabilities. (For now.) ☺️


**drumroll**


I have been offered a position as a Saxbys Partner for the spring semester! Yay!! 

I am very excited to work with a company I have been a fan of for so long! I cannot wait to see what other doors this opportunity will open.

This is super fresh information to me, so look out on Instagram for further details soon.

Published Writer??

I have been approved as a freelance writer for Philadelphia Weekly, which is gnarly. I pitched them my first story idea on Monday and they loved it. They’re looking for gritty, laugh out loud funny writing. 

Give me a beer or two. I’m the gal full of wild stories. 

Luckily I’m a decent writer too. 😋

Ask more, talk less. 

Enough said. 

I talk a lot. I could talk to a wall. This is both an asset and a hindrance. Over the years I have tamed my ruthless gift of gab. However, I have made it a priority in the new year to speak less and listen more. 

I am also working on becoming more comfortable with asking questions.

It is okay to not know everything.  

I’ve realized the importance of allowing others to share their entire thought before formulating and sharing my own response or rebuttal. 

It’s also imperative to remember you are never too old to learn. Each and every person has knowledge to share.  

Keep on keeping on. 

I’m going to do my thing for the remainder of January. See where February brings me after implementing a stable routine (fitness, academic, work). I tend to do best when following structure. 

Fingers crossed.

I hope your 2020 is off to a spectacular start and will keep on getting better. 

Talk soon, 
Alex  

morning routine – winter 2020

Hello everyone! Welcome to another post where I talk about myself.

hehe ☺️ –>

Recently while doing brand research (exciting things coming) I came across a quote by online marketing guru, Neil Patel which read,

“Building a brand isn’t about feeding your ego. It’s about giving yourself more opportunities to help and connect with people in your industry.” 

“Hell yeah it is,” was the immediate thought that came to mind. 
This dude put my thoughts into the words I haven’t been able to gather!

As I mentioned I was doing research on branding, which is what led me to this quote. A key point I have learned through my journey is that to be your best self you have to invest in yourself

Each person has a unique set of needs that are critical to thriving in life. These needs link back to Abraham Maslow’s psychological theory, Hierarchy of Needs

Essentially the theory entertains the idea that each person must meet their specific needs to operate optimally. 

One of my needs is stimulation. These needs can be met in infinite ways. 

To meet my need for stimulation there are goals I set to achieve each day. These small, attainable goals build confidence and are proven to encourage people to achieve more goals. 

Getting in at least 30 minutes of activity (walking, lifting, running, shopping, etc).

 Completing at least one personal task (journaling, reading, meditating, etc). 

Interacting with individuals who push me to think outside the box. 

There are a lot of things I set out to do in a day. That is because I know prioritizing my time properly will benefit me in infinite ways. 

In the past (and even sometime now) I spent many, many days running around (both literally and figuratively) like a crazy person. Yet at the end of the day, I completed nothing. I may have worked a bit on quite a few tasks, but nothing is finished.

The determining factor is how we choose to delegate our 24 hours. 
We all have the same 1440 minutes to be our best selves daily. 

Time management to the minute can be incredibly helpful for planning your day. Especially if you’re new to actually following a schedule, like me. ☺️

MORNING ROUTINE

4:40am – 5:10am

I know this is early and that sucks. But something that makes it a bit more enticing is pairing the thing you dislike (waking up early) with something you enjoy (ex. coffee)!

Another help has been an app I downloaded in December called Sleep Cycle. The app runs overnight and monitors your sleep cycle (duuh). It is able to track the various levels of sleep (REM sleep, light sleep) and wakes you up while you’re in your lightest sleep level.

This is meant to promote a more satisfying, refreshing and pleasant morning.  Which I can attest to.

5:15am – 5:20am

Depending upon when I am in my lightest level of sleep I have woken up, made my bed and am brewing a cup of coffee by 5:15am. While my coffee is brewing I check in with my physical self to see if I’m hungry. If so, I will snack on a few rice cakes with PB or a mini bowl of granola with my morning coffee.

5:30am

how does activewear NOT get wrinkled???

Once my caffeine supply is restocked, I go back to my room and get ready for the gym, or whatever workout, I have planned. 

I lay out my gym attire the evening before so that in the morning I just have to go through the motions. There are quite a few articles I came across which encourage sleeping in your gym clothes. It allows you to spend the least amount of time getting ready in the AM. Interesting.

5:30am – 6:05am

This is my time. I spend this time doing something I enjoy, whether that be reading, journaling or meditating. 

I do my best to ensure I do those three things each day. However, framing my morning with enjoyment leads to a better mindset for the day. 

6:05am – 6:10am

During this time I prep to leave for the gym. Brush my teeth. Gather my lifting gloves. Tie my shoes. All that good stuff. 

6:10am – 8:00am

GET SWOLE

swole, adjective: fit, muscular

I don’t work out this entire time. It is also factoring in the commute to and from the gym. 

My workout for the day will be something like a strength training circuit, a group class or yoga stretching — whatever gets me moving.

8:05am – 8:20am

By this point in the morning, I am back home and sipping on a vegan protein shake. Right now I’m enjoying ON Gold Standard Plant-Based Protein in vanilla. 

Since I have a newfound spirituality, I read over my astrological data for the day during this time. I find it to be an amazing way to get myself into a clear mindset for the day to come. 

After I’m done reading my witchcraft mumbo-jumbo, I jump in the shower.

Depending on what the rest of my day is structured like I will do my hair and makeup accordingly. A day at work is going to require a bit more aesthetic prep than a brainstorming day. 

By the time my meetings, classes, phone calls or whatever else begins I have devoted a solid few hours to things that make me happy. 

Do you guys have a morning routine? 
Let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks for reading. Talk soon. 
Alex

regression is easier than progression

Welcome to 2020 people! I hope you all had an amazing time ringing in the new year. I spent mine, very lavishly, chowing down on house lo mein from my favorite Chinese restaurant, while snuggled up in bed. The life of a 21-year old gal living in the city! 

This past week I reconnected with a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while over coffee. Funny enough, we have both been spending a lot of time reading; similar books within the same genre, if not by the same author! We got into conversation about Donald Miller’s, Building a Storybrand, which breaks down the framework of how to successfully convey a message. It’s a great read and I would highly recommend everyone check it out. 

When I got home, I glanced over to my shelf and focused on Miller’s book. I noticed the corner of a loose paper peeking out and decided to revisit the notes I had taken while reading the book sometime over the summer. The loose page was scribbled with notes. 

“You must signal change,” stood out of me. My mental wheels began to turn, thinking of all the ways I want to better myself entering the new year. One of them is spending more time with people who challenge my mind and push me to think outside of the box. However, when you are so accustomed to one way of living, making a major change is not going to be easy. 

Falling into old habits is easy. Much easier than establishing new habits. To live your most impactful life, you must ensure you are happy!

As I have touched on in other posts, the way to be happy is to understand your individual needs and meet them. For me, I have to be active daily. Whether that be stretching, going to a workout class, strength training or walking around the city! If I don’t get my daily sweat in, I begin to feel “off.” By this, I mean a minor irritation which can build up to become a major irritation. Small things add up. 

When I get into these moods, I feel unmotivated or unhappy or some other negative feeling. Being able to identify these needs and why you are feeling this way is key to being your best, most productive self.

Once I have identified what I’m lacking, I work towards correcting it. Like many others, my regression tends to have a domino effect. Why? Because falling into old habits is easy! 

Hitting the snooze button repeatedly on my alarm, rather than waking up to have coffee and read is a very easy thing to slip back into. Especially when it’s so cozy and dark in the morning. BUT this is not a productive way to do things. I know once I take off the blanket, I will be up. The more times you break your old habit and replace it with the new one (sitting up and putting your feet on the floor after your alarm goes off), the easier to becomes to retrain your brain to have an automated response. Yay for minimal brain-power required to perform habit loops!

Although breaking the habit is difficult, when we pair the disliked thing (waking up early) with something we enjoy (morning coffee), the brain is even more likely to create the new automated response. It’s similar to a reward system in the way that we do something we don’t like, then get a treat for doing it. Our brains like that. 

While I am by no means able to provide a specific method for which to follow, I hope to have at least planted an idea to help further your growth. ☺️

Talk soon, 
Alex

entering the closing of a decade

Please see the above. Middle row, far left.

I hope you all had a wonderful December 25th, whether you celebrate the commercial scam that is Christmas or not! 😊 This is my final post of 2019, which I am floored by — where is the time going?? 

I was debating closing the year with a summary of what I learned in 2019. Then I started writing it out for the first six months of the year, and already had a seven-page document…

Rather, in the spirit of moving forward and continuing along the path of personal growth, I am going to mention a bit of what 2020 has in store! I’ve come to realize all the drama and nonsense of this year was the necessary “grunt work” for 2020 to be smooth…ish. I am incredibly excited to close 2019 and start with a clean slate. So if you want to hear about the #goals I’m achieving this new year, read on. 

I am grateful to have the peace of mind that: a roof will remain over my head, I will have a solid support system to fall back on if need be, and I will not go hungry. Not everyone can say that.
Knowing I have these things allows me to focus on being a student. I have discovered I am a lifelong learner. I’m curious — always have been. Since I could talk I have asked questions and wanted to expand my mind. However, there was a point in time that I was solely supporting myself and I had to prioritize shifts at work to pay bills over doing homework assignments or studying. 
I intend to continue my prioritization of knowledge in 2020. As you may be aware, I started this fall semester at a new university, and I am proud to say I’m happy with my performance! The amount of knowledge I have absorbed and the ways in which I have gotten to know myself is truly astounding. Something I will be doing next semester is going to professor’s office hours and making more in-depth connections. The individuals I have met are some of the most authentic, genuine and intelligent people I know. Creating another support system is important, especially when it comes to education. You never know who knows who. 

2020 has tons of exciting stuff happening through my pursuit of personal branding. For the first time in my college career, I have a winter break (which is insanely long)! I’m taking advantage of it by preplanning a bunch of content (blog posts, social media, campaigns, etc.) I have also created a relationship with the founder of In Between Rivers, Briana. She is an awesome boss lady who I am going to be working with a bunch in the next few weeks. Looking forward to some awesome content (Briana is an amazing photographer) and exciting networking opportunities!!

How ironic this is the final point I touch on, but in 2020 I am going to prioritize myself. 
The year is packed with super awesome stuff, and I have to make sure I am promoting my best self throughout the process. What help are you to others if you can’t even help yourself? 

Ya girl is going to make time for an awesome skincare routine and morning meditations. I am going to push myself to read and workout more. I forgot how much I love doing those things because I stopped prioritizing them. Life happens! We are all guilty of falling off and struggling to get back on. I have been saying it, but this time I’m doing it — time to get back on my bullshit. 

I hope you guys are as excited about the new year as I am! In the spirit of manifestation, comment a goal you will achieve in 2020. ☺️💫

As always, thank you for reading. Have an amazing close of the year with the best projection of your future. 

Talk soon, 
Alex

finding the silver lining

Call me a hopeless romantic — or a person who took control of their life — but I love finding silver linings. Having the ability to accept that certain situations in life are outside of your control is the key to inner peace and true happiness. Or so I’ve found. My worldview used to be much different than it is now. I largely attribute this positive change to my ability to search for whatever positivity lies in a heap of negativity. Even if you have difficulty finding something, you maintain the hope that something will be found.

The concept of “silver linings” has always been present in my mind. I have developed the ability to look at something that can be perceived so poorly by others, find the hope within and do my best to strive towards it. This was not always the case — I have chosen to view life this way.

Silver lining graphic

Perception differs from person to person. Two individuals can experience the exact same event, yet exhibit completely different responses. This is because external factors play a large role in the development of our perception. However, what is important to remember is that perception and reality do not always coincide.

David Eagleman explains this disconnect between perception and reality in the simplest way. Look in the mirror. Move your eyes to the left, to the right, then back to the left. You never see your eyes move.

Although there is no evidence of gaps in your perception, critical parts of the experience have been edited out such as the visual experience of your eyes moving side to side.

An individual’s perception of the world is composed of previous experiences, expectations, context clues and other outside stimuli. Although these external factors are able to influence the way an individual views a situation, it is not the determining factor. Perception is able to be altered.

Not to toot my own horn, but I’m doing pretty well for where I’ve been. Early on in life, I was repeatedly faced with incredibly trying circumstances that many other people in my situation may have let consume them. Being an angsty and misunderstood youth, I often wondered why this — for lack of better term — BULLSHIT was assigned to me.

I stole a bobblehead from pre-K once and I returned it the next day, okay! WTF, world?!

I am not attempting to compare tragedies in life, but just to give you a synopsis of a few major ones so you know I’m not bullshitting this post…
I am legally an orphan in the state of Pennsylvania. I spent a portion of my childhood living in an unstable, toxic home environment. I have less than five immediate family members. And I was displaced from my childhood home, allowed only a few hours to gather my belongs, losing most of my irreplaceable childhood memories, aside from what I could fit into a cardboard box. And, fun fact, that home is now a settlement used to facilitate the re-integration of individuals with criminal backgrounds.

I think it goes without saying, but that shit SUCKED. However, here I am — still standing! Despite December trying to kill me. Much of my sanity I attribute to humor. In life, you must be able to laugh at yourself and the situations you encounter. Otherwise, you will be miserable and bitter. Believe me, I’ve been there. This is where searching for the silver lining will help you maintain your mental facilities! Seeing as I do not know what is plaguing you, I am going to tell you about the positive aspects I have found from the sucky circumstances I mentioned above.

Although it sucks not having your biological parents on this earth to see you flourish into the best version of yourself, I WOULD NOT be who I am without what I have experienced. I know I would not have been able to: attend my (at the time) dream school; have such a compelling personal essay topic; or apply to seven colleges and universities for free. Another positive aspect that is rather f*cked up but true is that whoever has the ~honor~ of ending up with me won’t have to deal with in-laws! Plus because of my incredibly small (relevant) family, when I eventually write and publish my book there won’t be many people to offend!☺️☺️☺️

These events also taught me crucial life skills some people do not develop until much later in life, if at all, such as: dealing with loss, becoming accountable for yourself, facilitating communication, and altering perspective.

If there is one thing you take away from my tangent here, look for the positive aspects in negative situations. It’s going to be hard at first, and I am not going to lie and say it becomes easier — you just become better at finding the needle in the haystack of nonsense. Remember to laugh at your failures, shortcomings and unfortunate situations! Do not fixate on or become consumed with negativity. For more tips on that, check out an older post of mine, eliminating negativity.

As always, thank you for reading.

Talk to yall soon,
Alex