March Mood Board 2019: Spring Inspiration

March 16, 2019

Photo by Tom Grimbert ; Photo by Earth ; Photo by Paula Borowska ; Photo by Sérgio RolaPhoto by Bee Balogun 

Spring is right around the corner my friends. This past week was actually pretty nice. We saw some warmth and sunshine; it was exactly what I needed. Call me an optimist, but I truly think sping will come early for us this year, which is music to my ears because I'm dying to take my spring wardrobe out of storage!!! I've recently become obsessed with Fallon's wardrobe from the show Dynasty, and I want to emulate it. But I can't really wear blazers and miniskirts without stockings until the weather hits 60. Until then, I'm stuck dreaming of warmer weather and tropical destinations.

This spring, I want to focus on creating a life I'm actually excited about. And I finally realize that in order to achieve this life full of freedom and joy, I have to make a lot of temporary sacrifices. I don't want to work in a freaking cubicle for the next 40 years, and I don't want to worry about my finances. Both of these goals require a lot of hard work and a lot of saying "no". No to some (not all but some) social plans, no to spending extra money and no to fun distractions.

Although I understand that my life is about to become a lot more structured and full of discipline, I don't want to become so laser-focused on my goals that I neglect the other areas of my life. I'm planning to learn as I go and try to take things a lot less seriously. If you know me well, you know that I tend to take everything to the extreme. What can I say? I'm an extra af bitch. But I firmly believe that I have to learn to let go of the things I can't control in order to ascend into the life I desire. So cheers to learning how to go after our dreams while simultaneously swallowing a chill pill in order to avoid driving ourselves crazy.

What are 3 things that you realize you will have to temporarily sacrifice in order to level up in life? Write them down on a pretty piece of stationary and hang it on your wall. Or, share them in the comments below so we can be each other's accountability partners. Wishing you all the love and joy in the world. Thank you so much for taking a moment of your day to read this post. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate it. Until next time my friend.

Sunday Reads: Introducing The Shit Show Chronicles - Part 1

March 3, 2019

Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers 

Happy Sunday my friends. I'm glad that we survived another week in the office. Life has been... interesting as of late. I don't know about you, but I'm going through a pretty big transitional phase. And this has been my first chill and therapeutic weekend in about a month. I truly needed it. Because I live in the NYC area, I'm constantly pressuring myself to experience as much as possible and go, go, go! For the past month, I ignored how important it is to slow the hell down. I hope you carve out some time this evening to do just that. I also hope this post encourages you to create a serene atmosphere in your home this evening while you dive into the links below. And if you're interested, scroll to the bottom of this post to read about my shit show of a life. I guarantee it will make you feel better about your own.

  • Reading ListI don’t care that Black History Month is over - these are still great books to read 24/7 365
    • Here are a few more books I'm planning to read this year.
  • Love is a Battlefield - Watch this if you're trying to get over a guy (aka me this week), and watch this if you're ready to focus on yourself instead of desperately looking for love. Hey, we've all been there.
  • Turn that Frown Upside Down - Three simple ways to turn a bad day around.
  • Ladylike - I really want this posture correcting device after reading Grace's review! My posture is so freaking bad!
  • Pretty Little Things - I'm really digging this jewelry line! I might buy one or two necklaces this month.
  • Fashion Icon - I love these quotes from the late Karl Lagerfeld
  • I Wanna Get Away- I need a staycation ASAP! I want to check out these places.
    • I'm also intrigued by this IG account I recently found. Seems right up my alley.
  • Cookbook - I want to try this turmeric latte recipe like now.
  • Freelance Life - I want to check out all the places on this list this season! I love working from inspiring, cool coffee shops in the city.
  • Captain Planet - I never thought about the micro waste that we produce from washing our clothes that are made out of synthetic material... I am buying this little product asap.
  • Work Bitch - Some career advice from Grace, who I respect
  • Meme Me - Loving this meme account my friend Melody introduced me to!
  • Get That Money - I love Rickey and he speaks the TRUTH in this funny and inspiring video #chasebagsnotlove

Shit Show Chronicles - Part 1 

Weekly Highs and Lows 


So... I was quite far from my best this week/weekend. I have been borderline distraught for the past two weeks, so I did what all self-respecting adults do... I drank instead of dealing with my emotions. Ooops. I go through waves of wanting to embrace my emotions and wanting to run from them. Well, this week was a fine example of why I shouldn’t run from them. Not only did I put myself in physical danger by overdrinking, but I ignorantly threw myself at men who blatantly showed me that they do not value or respect me. Did I handle these situations with class and grace? You bet your sweet ass that I did not! I went into meltdown mode instead of Michelle Obama mode.  At least we live and we learn right?  

This was also the first weekend that I've spent alone in over a year.  Since becoming single, I have purposely stayed busy. I was constantly out with friends and crashing at their places to avoid being alone.  So Friday night, I challenged myself to go home after my dance class and stay in for the night. Surprisingly, I had an amazing night to myself filled with Chick-Fil-A, journaling and binge-watching Sex and the City. I fell asleep extremely early (because I'm apparently an old maid now) and woke up feeling refreshed and on top of the world. 

Saturday night, I was not so lucky. This is when all of the self-deprecating thoughts came rushing into my mind. I fell into a little spiral and woke up a few times throughout the night, but I realize how much I needed time to be sad and process my emotions. I woke up in a negative headspace, but once I told myself "hey girl, this is just a temporary emotion and it will pass," I was able to move on with my day and have an amazing Sunday! I used to be in the place where I was terrified to be single again, but I'm soooo much happier than I was a few months ago because I know that I am strong enough to take care of myself now. Before, I was really bad at taking care of myself. 

Weekly Highs 

I learned 3 things about myself during this week's trials and tribulations... 

1. I CANNOT DRINK if I’m severely upset about something, and this week I was irrationally devastated over a guy and my career. Now I realize that if I drink before dealing with my issues, I will make bad decisions... every single damn time. Add a lack of sleep and additional hormones from my period to that equation and you get two manic episodes in the course of 5 days, featuring yours truly. I'm happy to report that I'm no longer beating myself up about these episodes; I’m actually quite relieved that I came to this conclusion. This is something I’ll probably deal with for the rest of my life. I now see what happens when I bottle everything up inside and then add alcohol on top of it. 

2. I also realize that there’s nothing wrong with being sad or upset from time to time. I’m so terrified of going back to the mental place I was in during 2015-2017, but I’ve significantly grown since then. I’ve made similar mistakes as that version of me, but I’m not bed-ridden over guilt or self-hate anymore. I totally contribute this new mental grit/strength to the therapy sessions I sought out during 2018. I also still want to prioritize therapy and figure out how to make it fit into my budget. Paying that hefty price sucks, but it’s critical for me to take care of my mindset in order to thrive. I thought I could do it alone and I can’t. I am fine admitting that now. 

3. My recent breakup is affecting me more than I thought it would. I have not used the past three weeks to focus on my dreams; instead, I’ve turned to men, alcohol and partying as a distraction from what I actually want in life! Why? Because I’m terrified that I’m going to fucking fail. The ironic part about this fear is, I'm allowing it to control my actions. Therefore, I'm acting like an immature, psychotic shit show. I’m not ok with that. I’m better than that. So now it's time for me to clean up my act.  And I'm fully confident that I am doing just that. Obviously, I'm going to still make mistakes, but I highly doubt I'll make the same ones again. 

Thank you so much for spending part of your day reading this post. I hope my messiness hopes you feel less alone if you've felt like a mess lately too. Sending you so much love and joy! Until next time my friend. 

Currently Coveting: What's In My Shopping Cart + A Life Update

February 10, 2019

Photo by Ella Jardim 

Wow, it has been one hell of a week. The extreme, contrasting thoughts and emotions I experienced this week were surprising. My romantic relationship came to an end last Sunday, and since then I have felt heart-break, depression, grief, anger and self-doubt. But I've also felt excited, liberated, energetic, confident and most importantly, I now feel blessed that I have an opportunity to prove to myself that the only way I will ever be happy is to find it within myself. I know, I almost just gagged a little bit and rolled my eye, but it's true.  I have ALWAYS looked for validation, acceptance, and love from external sources. It's a habit I still struggle with, but I'm a hell of a lot better at handling my emotions than I was a year ago or even six months ago.

Now that I'm not in a romantic relationship, I'm dedicating more energy to the things I've always loved but have been slacking on recently. I'm going to the gym more, pushing myself more than ever in my dance and pole classes, challenging myself to be more independent, seeing my friends more and having more fun dressing up each day!

Two of my biggest confidence boosters come from giving my all in a dance/pole class or wearing an outfit that makes me feel empowered. Although I am passionate about dancing, fashion is something I interact with 24/7; therefore, it has a higher impact on my life. I've always had a deep connection to fashion and find it invigorating. If you're reading this post, I'm guessing you have some type of connection to the beauty/fashion world too. You most likely believe, like I do, that a fun lipstick shade or cute outfit can help you feel even more amazing about yourself. That's why I'm sharing my recent favorite pieces down below. Some of these items I already have, own something similar or plan on adding it to my wardrobe in a financially responsible manner. I only buy items that "spark joy" in my life now thanks to Marie Kondo. I hope these pieces bring you a little bit of confidence and joy too. Until next time my friend, and thank you so much for spending a little time today to support my site. Your time and love mean the world to me.

Animal Print
Ok, so it's safe to say that I'm obsessed with cheata print and snake skin print. I can't help it. I just woke up one day and needed all of it in my life.

Gearing Up For Spring
I'm OBSESSED with the colors Riviera Blue and pink for spring. You already know I'm going to wear these colors head to toe in a monochromatic looks. Think Fallon-eque outfits from Dynasty. I'm talking all the blazer dresses or blazers with mini skirts you can imagine. Ah!! I'm so excited

Camel Everything
I finally have a camel coat and camel plaid scarf. I feel like a true New Yorker now.

Happy Shopping! Let's pray that spring comes quickly!

Weekly Reads: Cheers to a Fresh Start

January 27, 2019

Photo by Nicolette Meade 

Hope your day is off to a great start! I'm currently writing this post from a coffee shop in my neighborhood. I haven't worked from a coffee shop in a while, and I almost forgot how much I love this ritual! It's so blissful to take two hours for myself and block out the surrounding world. I used to fear to be alone with my thoughts because I didn't know how to be kind to myself, but now alone time feels like a luxury. I hope you can sneak in a little alone time this weekend as well. It truly is quite refreshing. I also hope you find the links below to be helpful, entertaining or inspiring. I know I do! If you have any links you want to share in the comments below, I'd love to know what meme, article or video has put a smile on your face this weekend. 

Weekend TV Guide: 10 Documentaries every woman in their 20s should watch  
BYOB restaurants in NYC - Because we all need to save money this year
BYO food bars in NYC - Great for all my friends who are on special diets 
Terrible People: Ew!!! NEVER eat here! I hope this manager got fired for being so sexist! 
Self Love - What you should focus on instead of focusing on finding the “love of your life” 
Beauty Bar: I’m intrigued by this new beauty trend  
Fashion Nerd: This is so interesting! I’m excited about this new fashion/psychology series. I’ve always been fascinated with psychology and have a deep connection to fashion. Here’s one I’m excited to read this weekend. 
HBIC: An interesting resume tip 
Black Girl Magic!!! Time to celebrate these amazing black women 
Get It Together - This inspiring closet organization article plus the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix is going to help me feel more put together. 

Weekly Highs:

This week was a whirlwind! A lot of stressful incidents happened over the past 7 days. But oddly, I’m in a much better mood than I’ve experienced earlier in the month. I guess a lot of shitty things happening all at once helped me re-adjust my perspective and focus on what truly matters and why gratitude is so important. The best part of this week was the fact that I proved to myself how resilient I can be. 

Yes, I cried a lot. Yes, I let 95% of my weekly to-do list fall through the cracks and beat myself up about it. Yes, I have a loving boyfriend who comforted me and told me everything was going to be ok. Yes, I called my best friend Kendra to help cheer me up. I know I am blessed to have their love and support, but at the end of the day, we have to depend on ourselves in order to see the light again. Words of comfort from other people are nice, but they don’t magically change your mindset. Only you have the power to focus on the positive side of things. And unfortunately, that’s a skill that we all have to work at every single day if we want a sustainable positivity. I’m just grateful that all of my loved ones are safe and sound, I have a source of income in my dream industry and I can start planning to redecorate my apartment for the spring. 

Weekly Lows:

I want to keep this part short and sweet because: 
a.) I don’t want to sound like a whiny little punk and 
b.)listening to me complain won’t help you on your path to success. 

But I will briefly list all the poo things that happened in my life this week so you know how unperfect my life is. This way, you don’t feel so alone when poo things happen to you.

  • Lost my Chanel wallet in a cab 
  • Was overcharged $152 by the terrible restaurant/bar Tijuana Picnic in the LES (which refused to answer the phone, return my email or speak to a manager when I went back to the bar). 
  • One of my immediate family members in Georgia was rushed to the hospital (this emergency made all of my other problems seem very small)

As you can see, my life is messy. I think our social media society has caused us all to compare and desire the lives of others. I don’t want to portray that my life is better than yours. I want us all to work together so we all live the lives of our dreams. Thank you so much for stopping by my site to read this post. I hope this article helped you smile. Until next time my friend! 

My Detailed 2019 Planning Process: How I reset my mindset and set my intentions for the year!

January 13, 2019

Photo by Plush Design Studio 

Hi Gang,

I don't know about you, but with the start of a new year, I always have an intense urge to go into "Life Clean Up" mode and figure out how to level up from where I currently am. 2018 didn't go exactly as planned. I constantly made new goals for myself and set exceptionally high expectations for myself. Although I didn't meet a lot of my goals, I made some AMAZING improvements in my life... mainly in the space of mental wellness and self-care. I guess 2018 was the first year I dedicated a lot of time, energy and money (therapy in NYC, even after insurance, is just as high as the skyscrapers those therapy sessions are held in) to healing, and I plan to continue that trend.

One thing I noticed about myself in 2018 is that I can make goals all F***ing day long, but those goals will never propel me forward if I don't start from the right mental place, ie) I have to fix my process! I failed to follow through on a lot of actions and a to-do list I made for myself (like a lot of them), and it took until now for me to figure out exactly why...thanks to two new wellness and business podcasts I've started listening to. She Did It Her Way and The Life Coach School! Don't let the names fool you. I'll list the two fundamental episodes I listened to that led to revelations and have convinced me that I need to set aside a little of time to reflect and think before I create any type of intention or plan for myself for 2019.

So without further ado, here is the detailed outline of my new and improved planning process. Just a heads up, this process is meant to be spread out over the course of a week or a weekend. Don't try to do it all at once (unless you really want to block out an entire day or something like that. I like to do this process over the course of a few days so I can get clear on what I really want.  Some of these techniques have worked for me in the past, prior to my self-confidence meltdown, so I know they work when my head is in the right space. This 2.0 version is meant to serve us in this new chapter of life. After all, we can't expect the things that served us years ago to continue working in the same manner. As we change and experience more in life, our process to handle new chapters has to change as well. I believe that's how we grow.

Action Steps 1 and 2: Tackle feeling overwhelmed and reflect on the previous year!

To be completely honest, I've avoided reflecting on 2018 in a detailed manner because I've felt overwhelmed. Reflecting on the previous year is essential in order to move forward. I cannot keep climbing the stairway to my version (emphasis on the word my) of success if I have a ton of baggage weighing me down. I've tried blocking out the past, and it caught up with me big time in 2016/2017. Also, when I block out the bad from the past, I forget about a lot of the good too. Reflecting on 2018 should include the highs, lows and some ice cream because if you're like me, you're going to cry and feel a slew of emotions during this exercise.

Another reason why I have to overcome my feelings of overwhelm is so I can focus on what I actually want to do in 2019 and what I want out of life! How the hell am I supposed to create a clear vision of where I want to go if my head is spiraling because of all the negative thoughts I'm telling myself.

So now the real question is... how the hell do we actually stop feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated or hopeless? I'll tell you. It's not a fun activity, but it's a necessary one. You have to take a seat, grab a notebook, a pretty colored pen, and write down every thought that's stopping you from taking action or making you feel like a bag of poo. Here are a few of mine:

  • I'm never going to make enough money this year to pay off my credit cards 
  • What's the point in creating a business plan? The economy is going to collapse and all my effort will have been for nothing 
  • I can't actually handle the pressure of being the head of a company so accept that I'm going to be a slave to the corporate world until I'm old and grey.
These are just a few of my thoughts. I have a lot of other negative stories I have to stop listening to. Why? Because they are a freaking lie! Our possibilities in this life are infinite, as long as we never give up on our aspirations. These thoughts are in my head to keep me safe; but at the end of the day, I'm not going to spontaneously combust if I don't pay off my remaining credit cards this year, create a successful business or stay in corporate America for a few more years! I'm telling myself a story that these harmful thoughts are sealed by faith and I'm spiraling out of control by creating a worst-case scenario in my mind instead of focusing on changing my thoughts. 

You're probably wondering why I'm focusing so much on the importance of changing our thought patterns in the first place? I'll tell you why! It's because thoughts become things. I've believed this for many years. And this is how our thoughts become our reality: 

Our thoughts create our emotions. Our emotions lead to our actions. And our actions cause the results/situations that we exeperince. 

Now, this is only true for the things we can actually control, but we control way more of our lives than we think we do! We control what job offers we take, the food we put in our bodies, the amount of debt we go into, the amount of money we put towards said debt (yeah, that $40 we spend on brunch could have gone towards a credit card bill), the clothes we wear, what time we go to bed, how well we treat our bodies. You get the picture. Of course, there will always be outside forces that influence or impact our choices or make us feel stuck, but we are still in control at the end of the day. 

So our challenge for part one of this 7 step planning process is to write down all of our limiting beliefs and then write down every reason why those thoughts are based on fear instead of truth. Next, we have to write down how we'd eradicate those problems if they did become true. Fair warning, just because you do this exercise once doesn't mean you'll never battle these exact same thoughts again. They are going ot pop up in our minds all the time. And we will have to say "huh, I hear you brain, but I'm not listening to you because you're not telling me the truth. You're just telling me a story that's driven by fear. 

Here are two questions to ask yourself during this exercise: 
1. What do I want/need? 
2. Why do I think I can't have it?
3. What would it take to get it? 

There you go, that's the longwinded process of step one. The good news is, this is the hardest part, or at least for me it is. But reward yourself after completing this step. You will certainly deserve it!!! 

Time to Reflect
This is the second hardest step because you're probably going to experience a lot of unpleasant emotions. This is how I reflect:

  • I write a list of all the things I failed at in 2018
  • then I write a list of all the things I achieved in 2018 
  • then I write a list of all the good things and bad things that I experienced during the year. 
I use these templates that came with my happiness planner. But I also found some free ones for you to try. 
Action Step 3. Brain Dump Time!

This is when I write down everything that's swirling around in my mind. Everything that I want to accomplish this year or anything that I want to improve on over the course of my life. I usually just grab a few sheets of paper and make a bulleted list. Nothing fancy, nothing neat; there's time to make this list pretty later. And more importantly, no judgment! I'm not allowed to judge myself for anything I put on these pages. For now, we are just meant to chuck everything we are thinking about onto the pieces of paper. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but all the good things in life come with a big ass side of hard work. There's no way around it.

Action Step 4. Prioritize and organize my brain dump.

Aka create a rough draft of my 2019 plan. I take my braindump, a highlighter, and a pen and start numbering everything in order of importance, organizing things by category and figuring out what I can outsource/ what I need help to accomplish. I also like to add deadlines to each of my goals during the step!  Here are the categories I'm including in my 2019 plan:

  • business (my baby)
  • work (day job)
  • physical health 
  • pole & dance
  • relationships 
  • finances 
  • mental health& self-care 
  • exploration & travel

Action Step5: Seek out inspiration.

This is where I research what the women I admire are including in their 2019 plans! They are the drivers in the industry I plan to break into so it only makes sense to adopt parts of their plans that serve me. I take notes on things I can implement into my yearly plan and leave what doesn't serve me.

Action Step 6: Revise and make a neat copy of my plan.

I love creating neat, formatted documents. I am in my most creative state when I have a structured document guiding me along my path. Clearly, things never going exactly according to plan, but at least I feel more secure in my actions when I can visualize what I need to do each day, month and quarter during the year in order to get where I want to go.

I probably have too much fun with this step, but what can I say? I am who I am. If I'm feeling really feisty, I print and bind the first quarter of my life/business plan for 2019 (yeah, my yearly intentions  are going to be broken up into 4 quarters (3 months in a quarter) because I've come to realize that I have to plan my goals out over a long timeframe in order to not feel overwhelmed. Slow and steady really does win the race sometimes.

This is also the step where I add tactics (also known as actionable to-do items) to my plan. This helps me take my goals from mere daydreams to plausible realities.

Action Step 7: Create my vision board!

My favorite step! I usually turn to Pinterest for this task. Basically, a vision board is a visual, yearly plan to keep you encouraged throughout your journey. I love having a visiual reminder of the things that inspire, energize and excite me on my wall. To create an inspired and fun atmosphere, I put on an uplifting show or movie I've seen a thousand times, grab sparking water or wine and start cutting and pasting these photos on my vision board. I'm literally so excited to do this step! It's even more fun if you do this with a group of friends. Have a vision board party. Then you and your crew will be more likely to keep each other accountable to your goals.

Pro Tip: Print your photos on glossy photo paper! It will make your vision board look more like a piece of art and less like a middle school project. If you need a visual example of a vision board, here is a chic example of one. This is how I plan to organize my vision board this year!

And that's it! Now you have the tools you need to get really clear on what you want to do this year. Next, we'll tackle how to follow through with them.

I can never say this enough, thank you so much for spending a part of your day reading this post. I hope you find it helpful. I'm extremely grateful for a platform that allows me to write and share my thoughts. I hope that you find something that energizes you just as much as writing does for me... especially if I have a glass of wine nearby. Wishing you a prosperous and joy-filled year! Please leave a comment below sharing what your planning process is. We are all here to learn from each other

She Did It Her Way Episode 311: 4 Mindsets to Cultivate in the New Year to Help you Ditch Your 9-5!

The Life Coach School Podcast Episode 1: Why You Aren't Taking Action

My 2019 F*** It List: All the things I'm telling to F*** off & let go of this year

January 2, 2019

Photo: Nia Washington

We are blessed to ring in the new year and I’m so grateful that I have a source of income, a loving partner, loyal friends and to still have my mom and brother despite the rough year they both had with their health. I’m a firm believer in positive thinking, setting intentions and making moves to have the lives we want... but sometimes you might need a break from being positive. I know I’ve been in a very angry and frustrated place lately, so before I reflect on the lessons I learned in 2018 and figure out what steps I should take in 2019 to get closer to my goals, I’m writing a fuck it list. Why? Because I am taking more control in my life, fighting for what I want and letting go of the rest. So without further ado, here is a list of everything I’m saying “fuck that shit” to in 2019:

F*** being forced to do shit that I shouldn't be doing.
F*** overspending money on clothes and products I don’t need as a form of retail therapy. 
F*** putting poor quality food in my body that leaves me feeling sluggish and disgusting.
F*** making excuses for skipping the gym.
F*** letting micro managers steal my joy and control my emotions.
F*** stressing out about my family’s health because I’m not Jesus, and no matter how much I agonize over it, my fear won’t magically make them better.
F*** ignoring my own health issues and avoiding the doctor.
F*** these panic attacks. I don't need to have my life picture perfect so why am I putting so much pressure on myself? 
F*** being a little brat and not making extra money on the side of work. 
F*** letting my job suck all of my energy away. 
F*** binge drinking and feeling like crap the next day. 
F*** beating myself up for giving myself a rest day.
F*** stressing out about the economy because the next recession will come when it comes. 
F*** telling myself that I don’t have the skills to have the career of my dreams or a higher paying job. 
F*** letting nasty peoples' energy consume me and drag me down with them. 
F*** being disrespected by others - it’s time to take a self-Defense class (ps my boyfriend is the most respectful person I’ve ever met so this is a comment for all the men who catcall or curse us out after we reject them).
F*** living in a cluttered space with things I never use. 
F*** being financially irresponsible so I can live with who I want and where I want. 
F*** letting the annoying people in my life get the best of me. 

Honestly, this list could go on and on but I know you don’t have all day. I feel so much better after shedding off the dark emotional layers I've been carrying recently. Now it’s your turn to make a fuck it list. Share at least 3 things you're letting go of in the new year. Think of this like a non-PC spiritual cleanse. You’ll feel soooooooooo much better once you do. Now let’s go forth and get to freaking work. Because we’re done being miserable. Not today Satan, not today. 

Thanks so much for reading my message. I hope you feel as liberated after this exercise as I do. Until next time my friend. 

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