This post was inspired byTHIS 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.
I have two ways I will order this depending on what my coffee vibe is at the time.
If I’m feeling average I will opt for the iced espresso and add a splash of almond milk.
I also love cinnamon so if I’m feeling ~spicy~ I’ll mix in cinnamon powder!
If I’m feeling a coffee but not looking for the heaviness of milk or want something a little different I will get the espresso with coconut water.
It might sound strange but it’s good.
Don’t knock it til ya try it.
TIP I always ask for espresso drinks in the smallest cup.
CHAI COLD BREW
I love chai scent, flavor, Pantone color — all of it!
When Saxbys launched the cold brew line I was super excited to try this one.
Love at first sip. The keyword being first.
It was a tad too sweet for my liking.
Then I tried it dirty (added shot of espresso) and I was obsessed.
But if you’re looking to keep costs low this isn’t the option.
However, I recently discovered the half-sweet option which keeps the sweetness at bay while delivering just the right amount of caffeine at a decent price.
So if I’m looking for a pick-me-up I’ll get a small chai cold brew half sweet with little almond milk!
I mentioned in this older post that I am “spending the semester with Saxbys” as a Campus Partner! Saxbys is a bit pricey if you’re accustomed to getting huuuuge low quality iced coffee from other more accessible places. However, the quality of Saxbys is worth it! I want to help you get the best deals, dawg! I’ve taken it upon myself to sample the menu (food, drinks, snacks, etc.) and let you know what’s worth getting. 🙂
If you download the Saxbys app here you’ll get $3 off your first order! That’s a free double shot, y’all.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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. ☺️
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.
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
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.
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. ☺️
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.
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.
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.
Hey there everyone! I want to share an idea that was conveyed to me through a book I read this week, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Lessby Greg McKeown. The theory is that we, as humans, do not prioritize enough time to allow our minds to “escape.” During these periods of creativity and/or rest, the brain activates synapses outside its typical radius, allowing the individual’s conscious mindset to expand. Yes; rest, because sleep is amazing!! McKeown mentions “Sleep Is the New Status Symbol,” an article in The New York Times highlighting that the most successful people in the world get 8+ hours of sleep. (both awesome reads)
McKeown hasinspired me to make a few lifestyle changes as we transition into the new year — 2020! I am feeling amazing about ending this final month of the decade and entering a new period of life. The remained of 2019, I am prioritizing creating space for uninterrupted thought in my daily life. Proudly I can say I have done this every day of December and plan to continue until it becomes a seamless habit.
During this 5 or 10 minutes, I will journal or meditate.
Yes, it sounds lame — I know. Just give it a shot. Allowing yourself time alone with your thoughts can seem daunting, but remember you are in control. During this time it is important to be aware of your breathing. Being in control of your breath is the most important aspect of being present.
When I am taking my time to escape, I spend a few moments working any stress out of my neck or anywhere else I may feel tense. Then I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I am always astonished at the capacity of the lungs. Feeling the expansion within my chest brings my attention to the shallowness of average breathing. Each inhale fills my chest with air, like helium in a balloon, with each exhale releasing some helium.
The goal here is for the balloon… (you)… to float… (relax). And while this works for me, this may not work for you.
Try at your own risk. I also make sure to set an alarm because sometimes I fall asleep. 😋
Yeah, I wanted to keep this week’s post short and sweet. Remember to be present at the moment and focus on the now. I have found taking control of my breathing to be incredibly helpful in centering myself.
As always, thank you for reading.
Talk to y’all soon!