Slay Your Independence While in a Relationship

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How many friends do you have that live in unhealthy, co-dependent relationships? You certainly have several couples like that around you, and even though it’s something that you see from time to time, it doesn’t mean it’s the right way to be in a relationship. Having your independence is a crucial factor for a healthy and steady romantic relationship, and if you don’t know how to achieve that, we’ve come up with several tips to help you. It’s very important to have a healthy relationship as it allows for both people to not only grow together, but also grow independently as people. So, what are the things that you have to bear in mind?

Don’t put pressure on your relationship

You probably never wished for your relationship to have more pressure, which means that this p-word is definitely not welcome in relationships. Having unrealistic expectations can lead to your relationship being in a trap. Moreover, since we live in a time where we are constantly under work pressure, a relationship should be the exact opposite. Never pressure your partner into anything, as it can backfire in unimaginable and catastrophic ways. Rather spend that time actually talking to them and seeing together what your goals and wishes are.

Don’t ask for your partner’s approval

Asking for your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s approval to do a certain thing is definitely a thing of the past, but it can find its way into the relationships of today. This becomes even more pronounced if you’re trying to survive a long distance relationship, which can be quite challenging. People who are in such relationships tend to ask for approval more often, probably due to the fact that misunderstandings are much more difficult to solve while the other person is miles away. The key to this is being honest and open, so that your partner believes you completely. Asking for approval will definitely not solve anything, nor will it make your relationship stronger.

Don’t forget your emotions

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Never underestimate your emotions, and work hard to learn to recognize them. Not to go all Marilyn Monroe on you, but your emotions are an essential part of you, and if somebody cannot handle them, it means that they are not worth it. However, there are certain instances where you will have to keep your emotions for yourself, but the important thing is that you feel them. Use meditation and yoga to help you deal with this, and always use a nice and kind approach when showing your emotions, as it will make you much more independent. However, if you are struggling to do it on your own, try finding yourself a life coach  - it will help you to accept things about yourself and your emotions that you already know, but much faster. Or you can even find some retreat program oriented to self-conscious and love conscious,

Take your partner’s point of view into account

One of the most important things for being independent while in a relationship is understanding and taking into account your significant other’s point of view. It’s completely normal for couples to have a different opinion on a certain topic and respecting that while still clinging to your own is crucial. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is also a step closer to achieving independence in your relationship. So regardless of how much your point of view differs from your partner’s, if you can’t change it even though you know he’s in the wrong, let it be. Understand it and respect it.

 

Support each other’s goals

 

Love is important, but so is respecting the life direction that your partner wants to take. This will show both him and yourself that you know how to be a good partner, and unless this direction is not one that you can follow, you should definitely support it. However, no matter how radical this direction might be, such as moving to a different city because of work, your job of a good partner is to support it, first of all, and then think about other possibilities and solutions. After all, you would definitely want him to support your life goals and to do these things for you.

Keep your passions

Another quite important factor for maintaining your independence in a relationship is keeping your passions and devoting yourself to them. Having a hobby is never a trivial thing, and having this one thing for yourself can be very healthy. First of all, it will keep you the person you actually are, and secondly, it will serve as some time off from your relationship, which is something that’s very much advisable. Even though you will share all of this with your partner, make sure not to lose touch with the things you love and the passions you have.

As you can see, you don’t have to be co-dependent to be in a healthy relationship. Actually, it’s up for discussion if co-dependent relationships are healthy or not – but no matter how much you love each other, always keep that small dose of independence as that is what makes you who you are.

Wait, Dating Is Now A Job?


Yes, dating has become a job. Your new typical 9-5 job.

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This past week at my actual workplace a few of my friends and I were discussing the trials and tribulations of dating. We all know these conversations that we all typically have at least a few times a month. 

In the middle of this discussion, one of my best friends said "we have to treat dating like a job."  

Honestly, I can say we all became silent because that shit was real.

I know I need to make an effort to date. I  work at a primarily female-dominated company, and the lack of men in the area low. Barely any options of men to flirt with at your local Starbucks. 

Yes, dating is a job. You are forced to make an effort to date in your adulthood. It is not like when you’re in school you easily are surrounded by potential significant others now we are adults. Another difficulty to add to the term “adulting.” 

We have to force ourselves to go out of our comfort zone. You have to make an effort to go out more, download dating apps, stalk your friends to set you up with someone,  go to more bars, etc. This process is considered the job search.

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Once you finally find some potential significant others in the job search phase, you have to do the interviewing. We all know any interviewing is horrible. You have to get to know the person, remember to be interesting, be charming and hide any craziness for a short time. Sounds like a job interview huh? Well, it is because you are interviewing each other. You are trying to figure out if this a good fit. 

After you passed the first part of the interview process, you now have the 90 day probation period. This probation period includes following up texts, daily upkeep of stimulating conversation and to look your best at all times. You can not pull the ‘sweatpants and chill with no makeup on’ just yet. 

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To date is a job. You have a job search, interview and the probation period. You have to make an effort to date.  

So welcome to your job, either you are job searching, interview, on probation or been with your job for a few years.

We see you. 

The Era of Women Entrepreneurs - How to Become One

If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman
— Margaret Thatcher

Never before have women had the power they do today; never have they been as carefully heard, believed, acknowledged, and respected as they are today. But things aren’t done with yet. The dialogue has changed and so has the climate; we’re seeing a deliberate, conscious move forward, and we live for the day when talking about women’s rights will stop altogether, and the rights will just be.

We live for the day when the gender prejudice will stop, and we’ll be appreciated for our individual capacities, divorced from our gender, age, origin, or any other, commonly (ab)used a parameter. Or, in the words of Susan B. Anthony: “Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.” And till that day comes we will continue to shine our brightest light, we will continue to empower our fellow sisters, we will continue to rise stronger, smarter, and wiser every day – both for ourselves and others.

For all of the women out there who are just starting out or have long been investing in their education and progress, in their truths, mindfulness, and growth hoping to become women bosses, here’s the list of the most important segments to consider:

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Forget about “You don’t have it in you”

 

Remember this: no one is born an entrepreneur, a business mogul, a boss; one becomes that. Change your mindset from “I can’t” to “I can”, and you’ll change your life; act on your idea, and you’ll win.

To get to the point where you don’t even need to introduce yourself because people know who you are, you’ll need to work a lot. Do know that success doesn’t come over night, not unless you are chasing temporary acclaim. Building an empire takes years, it takes wisdom and experience; it takes failure and potentially starting over a million times. But, you can do it. Prepare yourself mentally for the battle ahead, the one you may lose with yourself (and others) plenty of times, but the one that will pay off in the long run. Don’t let anyone catch you off guard and tell you that you are not cut out for this. Let your ambition, your intellect, your business plan and perseverance take you straight to success.

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Have a clear idea, and a proper plan

 

The fact that you like the IDEA of being your own boss, and actually BEING one are two different things. You need to have an ACTUAL IDEA for the business you want to run and a proper plan explaining the execution of that idea.

  • Lay out the idea and do the research on whether it already exists; if it does, find your way around launching it differently

  • Find someone experienced to help you out with building your business plan; an advisor is your best bet as they’ll help you make a realistic plan based on your budget, envisioned dynamics, etc.

  • Get mentally prepared for the fact that you won’t have a proper ROI for about two years from the moment you start

  • Find investors or silent partners willing to start the collaboration

  • Put your short-term and long-term goals on a list, and do your best to honor them

  • Take one sheet of a3 paper and write down previous five points; put them in the most visible place and update it every time you make a change in your plan.

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Decide on your managing style and stick to it

 

One thing’s for sure: your college/Uni education is the perfect base for your entrepreneurial endeavors but it is not the answer to everything. When you get into university and graduate, you are king; when you get into an office with no leadership style whatsoever, you are the weak link.
Entrepreneurship and working with people is like humanity itself: it keeps changing and evolving, it keeps challenging you – and, unless you get on with it, say goodbye to your empire. So, to keep things structured, decide on your managing style and the type of boss you want to be:

  • What’s going to be your relationship with the employees?

  • Do you plan on being tough or (too) friendly?

  • What will be your hiring/firing style?

  • Will you be a boss or a leader?

  • Will you adopt a male leadership style or embrace the female leadership approach?

These and similar questions are what you should think about.

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Fight gender-based discrimination

 

Resist getting upset when you are objectified or discriminated based on your gender. Oh, it’ll happen. Although most business people have evolved past treating women like trash, some haven’t. Working with new people, trying to get new clients, sitting through numerous meetings, conferences and whatnot, you’ll definitely meet those who’ll still treat you with disrespect. From physically objectifying you to calling your decisions and actions “irrational, emotional, haste, hectic” (or any other similarly offensive, gender-based adjective), you’ll be the target of external stupidity on a number of occasions. The best way to stay on top of it? Take away it's only power – your attention. Be bigger than anyone’s narrow-mindedness and discrimination, and stay focused on your goal.


 

Dealing With 4 Problems Impeding Your Progress

Somewhere during our college education, the training wheels for life come off, and it’s time to face the music of the real world.

This is where all the panic and constant anxiety storm in, as if that’s the only way to adjust to the upcoming challenges of independence and growth – what happens when you start a family? Should you get a mortgage? Do you really need a car? How about a vacation?

The irony of it all is that we are stuck in the future we cannot accomplish due to our present setbacks, and in order to remove them, we need to reframe our thoughts of our self-created destiny. Much like the proverbial hamster in the wheel, you will only continue worrying unless you take a different approach to things in life that matter most to you and your existence.

 

Fear of failure

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The most common type of fear in life that affects your everyday decisions and choices is the dread that you will fail miserably at whatever you take on. Before you even consider tackling a challenge, you agonize over how well it will go, and if you will be able to meet everyone’s, including your own expectations. You don’t want to disappoint anyone, yourself included, and the fear of doing just that can be so overwhelming that you abandon some of your most essential stepping stones to growth.

It will take time, but you will need to shift your perspective of this little beast – failure is not your enemy, it’s your key to success. Rename it into a lesson, an experience, call it something positive instead of this hated word “failure”. Most importantly – fail on purpose! Build up your immunity by making less impactful mistakes in order to become more resilient when the time comes to learn from bigger mistakes in life.

 

Financial independence

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If there’s one future-related fear all of us, mere mortals, share, that would be the prospect of becoming a burden to a loved one, both emotionally and financially. However, while we’re waiting for that age-reversing magic pill, there is so much you can do to shape your own silver years.

It’s this very moment that will define your old age, so define your career path, think of alternative work you can do in case you need a contingency, take the age pension income test to learn about your earning ability based on your current finances, and research retirement homes in your neighborhood. That way, you can create and fund your own retirement plan as soon as you start working, and sit back and enjoy the ride, because life shouldn’t be a sum of worries, but creating memories.

 

Lack of control

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You know that wonderful serenity prayer: grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. We often walk through life learning none of the three, and we spend our days living with the illusion of control, until life takes it away, one way or the other.

Whether we like it or not, future is uncertain, despite all of our predictions and efforts to tame it. Just like with your fear of failure, you need to let go of control or the illusion or it. Take the occasional leap of faith, don’t expect certainties or guarantees, but do your best to enjoy life’s experiences as much as possible. You will get much further in life with the ability to recognize opportunities instead of constantly seeing potential threats.

 

Worrying about the outcome

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Goals are healthy, and an excellent growth tool when used correctly. However, sometimes we need to focus on taking baby steps and making smaller, short-term milestones happen, and take our eyes off the prize, so to speak.

If you focus too hard on the end result, you risk getting stuck in the future that still hasn’t happened at the cost of not living your present moment. Meditate, take a break, spend time with people you love, don’t cut out all pleasures in the rush to get somewhere, you might miss the most important lessons in life. In order to move forward in life, no matter the goal at hand, make sure you enjoy the journey as much as you look forward to the outcome, and growth will naturally occur.

How to Bring Out Your Inner Femme Fatale

Numbers are not an accurate depiction of your inner worth – the number on the scale, your bank account, birth certificate, among many others.

Defining your true allure lies in so much more than sheer quantity of your successful life conquests or your physical appearance, for that matter.

Still, while we’re bombarded with images of photo-shopped, seemingly perfect ladies on magazine covers, it’s no surprise that many girls struggle with low self-esteem and imposing unrealistic expectations on themselves. But there’s a Femme Fatale in each and every one of us just waiting to dazzle the world, and there are foolproof ways to unleash her and enjoy your refreshed confidence!

 

Authentic looks

You don’t have to wear a cocktail dress or high heels to suddenly transform yourself into a seductress with a captivating attitude. However, you can definitely use your wardrobe as a form of powerful self-expression. No matter if you prefer to keep it simple by wearing baggy pants or ripped jeans, combined with a pair of plain white sneakers or open-toed sandals, if you feel comfortable in your own skin and outfit, your attitude will reflect it.

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Have fun with your appearance! Experiment with different makeup to find out which colors and styles suit your complexion, and explore the endless varieties of trendy dresses, playsuits, and clothes in general. You don’t have to wear anything off-the-rack – you can also design your clothes, giving them a personal touch, or shop for unique items. Chose the hues and textures that flatter your figure and bring out your most attractive features!

 

Walk the Walk

If you are uncertain how to attract a man you like, you might be tempted to resort primarily to changing your looks. But that won’t keep him interested for long – men will notice if you are desperate for their attention and nothing drives a man away quite like a clingy, insecure woman. If your outfit is vibrant, wear it with pride and work on strengthening your confidence.

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Whatever the outcome of your man-hunt, their acceptance or rejection shouldn’t define you, and you should never question your self-worth. When on a love prowl, your self-assured attitude is your greatest asset. Nourish a positive mindset towards yourself, and others will pick up on that vibe, and you’ll find your match more easily.

 

Let your deeds do the talking

Self-confidence is not an isolated behavior or a situation-specific courage. It’s also not a complete lack of fear or imperfections, on the contrary, it’s your ability to embrace your flaws and continuously strive towards becoming a better, stronger person.

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Take it from the gorgeous, powerful Amber Heard whose generosity speaks volumes of her inner resilience, soulful substance and further empowers her allure. With her choices of actions and behavior, she defines herself against the odds of the over-sexualized industry, and presents a role model for women everywhere, letting us know that we can be attractive, wise, imperfect and generous at the same time.

 

Self-care comes first

Treating yourself as a top priority and your body as a temple, you immediately impose a high bar for those who wish to be a part of your life, romantically or otherwise. This by no means limits your ability to give, but those around you will understand they need to treat you with care and respect.

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Build your life around healthy choices, from a versatile diet, a well-designed fitness routine, to a skincare regime that will pamper and nourish your complexion for years to come. Guided by daily choices that safeguard your wellbeing, you will build up your confidence and simply glow with pride.

 

Show your smarts

Nurturing a wide selection of interests by staying in the loop with the latest events, continuously educating yourself on topics you care about, sharpening your communication skills and always staying open-minded towards change are just some of many ways to cultivate your intellect.

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A true femme fatale is everything but shallow or foolish – she is the master of character judging, sophisticated, self-aware and sharp. In the immortal words of Tom Jones, she’s a lady, in every sense of the word.

Enjoy this magnificent journey of self-empowerment and learn from Hollywood stars who boast not only the fatale looks but also a captivating intellect – and create your own killer combo that will knock your future man off his feet!

Amy | Contributor 

4 Things To Do When You Start Doubting Yourself

Am I doing this right? Am I good enough? What if it doesn't work?

We've all been at the point where we've hit a wall and start wondering if we've made the "right" decisions? When life seems to be handing you blow after blow and that inner voice starts creeping in to plant little seeds of doubt.

This happens to me when I've been working too much and too hard. Where I begin to feel overwhelmed by the endless amount of things that require my attention and my time. Followed by never feeling like I have enough of either.

When I'm this rundown, I'm at my weakest and sometimes my meanest when it comes to how I treat myself. These destructive thoughts start revealing themselves only to feed my self doubt.

When this starts happening here is what you can do to take back control over your own thoughts.

 

TURN THE TABLES ON YOURSELF

I actually learned this from my therapist and it's become a helpful tool to drown out the negative thoughts. I was telling her about how I bombed an audition and I wasn't feeling very good about myself, my capabilities, and started questioning if I should be doing this at all?

Her question to me, "What would you say to someone who said, 'Yeah, you're right, maybe you shouldn't be doing this. You gave it a shot and you just aren't good enough.' Would you believe them?" 

My reply, "Well first off who are they to tell me that? I've only been doing this for a brief period of time. This career choice takes a long time to see through. I'm working and competing with actors who have been at this a lot longer than me. Plus look at all I've accomplished in such a short amount of time!"

Turning the tables on yourself has squashed out many of my self-doubting tendencies and you can see why. The point of this is to think about how you would react if someone actually said to you all the mean things you are saying to yourself. I bet you start realizing the victories (even the small ones) you've managed to accomplish.

 

REMEMBER THERE ARE NO MISTAKES

I've always told myself I never want to live with the regret of knowing I had the opportunity to do something I wanted to do but didn't take it. In the same breath, I also remember saying I hope I'm not going to wake up at 50 years old and regret making the decisions I've made. A true contradiction I know, I'm only human.

When fear of making the "right" choice starts creeping into my head I remember another point cleverly made by my therapist.

"I've had more people come to me full of regret over what they didn't do verses what they did do. So trust me when I say you're doing it right."

Now if anyone is gonna know regret and how it effects people we know damn well it'll be a therapist

 

WHY DID YOU START?

When the road begins to get rough and you start loosing strength to keep yourself going remember why you started the journey to begin with. No matter where you are along the path to get to where you want to be you will be tested. You will fail, you will hit breaking points, you will start to loose your faith but if you remember why you started I guarantee you will find your momentum again.

Sometimes we all need a reminder why it's worth it.

 

SLEEP

Never underestimate the power of some good ole fashion SLEEP! I find after getting some much needed rest I'm able to easily push out the negative thoughts and feelings that arise when things get difficult. When you are rested you have the power and strength to see situations clearly without the "do or die" lens that an overworked mind sees.

The power of sleep isn't stressed enough. I know in today's society it's seen as a badge of honor that people operate off of less and less sleep but in all honesty it's proven that the less sleep you have the less productive you are. And trust me being productive is way more important than being busy.

I'm for sure guilty of being apart of Team No Sleep but I also notice that I don't operate as efficient as I do when I've gotten enough sleep. Getting enough sleep is still something I'm working on but we are making progress. 

 

 

Who is Cleo Wade?

The best thing about girl power is that over time it turns into woman power.
— Cleo Wade

Cleo Wade. The poet, author and artist. 

Well, we all seen her beautiful spoken words all over your Instagram, Pinterest and every social media outlet over the past few years. She’s been reposted by your favorite media outlets and your favorite celebrities. She has become the millennial voice affirmations on social media.  Her writing, accessible yet empowering, speaks to a greater future for all women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, preaching love, acceptance, justice, peace, equity and equality.

We have posted her powerful messages on So She Slays social media outlets. 

Born in New Orleans and is now based out of New York. She has made her journey with her words and passion for helping others.  Her words have given readers the okay to feel better. She has been featured on Ted Talk.

Cleo, was recently in San Francisco promoting her new book Heart Talk. Her presence is beautiful beyond words. Not just her outside appearance (simply gorgeous) but her spirit was welcoming, and her words flowed so beautifully. 

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I have been captivated by Cleo Wade. Her presence, voice and wise beyond her year's aura. She has become one of the important for voices for my generation. She has found a way to deliver a message of unity, self-love, and social action. 

The best advice I can give to you is to follow her Instagram.Her work is blended with “...empowering messages, blending simplicity with positivity, femininity and arresting honesty.”

 

 

Here are a few of my favorite: 

Have you been captivated by Cleo Wade? 

Share your favorite quotes below!

Here's What You Don't Know About Ice Cream

Everybody loves ice cream, but how much do you actually know about it?

Yes, we all know that it tastes heavenly, and for some, that’s all they need to know, right? Well just in case the taste isn't enough here are some fun facts that I bet you probably didn’t know before.

 

A BRIEF HISTORY

Love waffle cones? You might find it interesting that it was first used in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair, when an ice cream vendor ran out of cardboard dishes. A traveling salesman suggested that they use rolled waffles made by another nearby vendor, which they did, and their customers loved it. However, the edible ice cream cone was mentioned even before that, in the 1888 Mrs. Marshall’s Cookbook. The recipe stated that “the cornets were made with almonds and baked in the oven, not pressed between irons”.

Ice pops, on the other hand, came to be in 1923, but the inventor said that he created them even earlier, in 1905, when he accidentally left a glass of soda with a mixing stick in it on his porch during a very cold night.

No one really knows for sure who invented ice cream itself. Some say Emperor Nero is said to have enjoyed mixing fruit and honey with snow. Then, there is Marco Polo who is believed to had brought ice cream to Europe from China. And of course, the Chinese used to mix flavored snow with rice and milk in order to create this delicious dessert. Regardless of who came up with it, the one thing we can all agree on is that we are glad they did.

This might not come as a surprise but back in the day, ice cream used to be a rare and exotic treat only the rich could enjoy due to the price of the imported ingredients and the way of storing it. It stayed that way until the late 19th century when cheap refrigeration became more available.

When it comes to the sundaes, the name actually does have something to do with Sunday. Ice cream sodas used to be a very popular drink that could be bought at any soda shop. However, religious leaders forbid the stores to sell it on Sundays because drinking sodas on that day was considered immoral. So, naturally, the stores retaliated by using syrup instead of soda and changed the name to “sundae” to avoid upsetting the religious leaders even more.

 

THE FLAVORS

In terms of the flavors, the most popular ice cream flavor is...not chocolate. Believe it or not, it's vanilla that seems to be most people’s favorite flavor. Not a fan of either? Well there are plenty of unusual ones like raw horse flesh, salt, octopus, lobster, and even ghost pepper, which actually requires you to sign a waiver in order to try it, that might spark your interest.

Also, if you're allergic to some of ice cream's common ingredients but still want to enjoy this cold treat, there is a great ice cream store that offers many dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free options.

Fun fact, it might be expected that most people enjoy ice cream during summer, but in Canada, people actually buy more ice cream in winter! Yep, in Canada there’s no such thing as too cold for ice cream. Canada is also famous for making the biggest ice cream sundae ever, which weighed almost 25 tons and had 63 different flavors.

 

DIFFERENT TYPES

If you’re looking for something “less icy”, consider frying your ice cream. Yes, there is such a thing as a fried ice cream; it is made from a scoop of ice cream that is first rolled in cornflakes or cookie crumbs and then quickly deep-fried. This creates a warm, crispy shell while the ice cream in the middle stays nicely cold. There are many other ways of serving ice cream as well. Germany, for instance, has “spaghettieis” – an ice cream dish that looks like spaghetti.

 

Ice cream is much more than a delicious cold treat – it has a history, tradition, varieties of flavor, and many different ways of serving it. And now after learning all of these fun facts, you will surely enjoy it even more.

How dating has changed with the #MeToo movement

On January 7th, 2018 Oprah's Golden Globes speech gave us life. It wasn’t long into Oprah’s monologue that we were all crying with such overwhelmingly beautiful emotion, hopeful that, indeed, “a new day is on the horizon!”

This magnificent, powerful, bigger-than-life black woman reminded us why we should celebrate the awakening we are now living, why we should be proud of what we’ve achieved, how far we’ve come and what all we deserve. Her speech – so powerful and honest – made us put things into perspective, open our eyes before the absolute truth and see the injustice, disrespect, humiliation and lies we were victims of for decades.

In the manner of her standard intellectual and emotional magnitude, she celebrated the weak, the strong, the rich and poor, the brave, the unnamed and named, she celebrated the beauty of truth. She celebrated women “who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue”.

Once again, Oprah reminded us that tyrants, bullies and predators aren’t welcome in our realities, that we’re bigger and stronger and way more powerful than they are. “Their time is up!”, she chanted as the Hollywood glitterati, untied in the same thought and emotion, chanted along. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up!” She spoke, and the whole world cried with bittersweet optimism and strength. On January 7th, 2018 Oprah's Golden Globes speech gave us life. And, as Ellen DeGeneres so wholeheartedly observed, “George Washington may be the Father of our country but Oprah is the Mother of our country”. We can only move forward from here.

 

The fear

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Raised in a culture that was predominantly favorable to the male population, women have long been shunned away, disrespected, (ab)used, threatened and made quiet – verbally or with physical violence. For long, these same women were afraid to say “No” to men for a number of reasons: some were afraid of losing their jobs, their families, they were afraid of being judged by their immediate or external society circle, they were afraid of being thrown out in the street, or – ironically – they hoped things would change.

“No” has long been an unacceptable answer from a woman (to a man)… and men? They were getting comfortable with having it their way, always. However, now that women are finally breaking free, and their anguish and difficult truths are being acknowledged by the public (and – the bullies are being punished), the males are getting confused. The world is no longer their dominion, it’s everyones. Now, everyone has the right to be, to live free of fear, to be appreciated and respected. The “No” has become final.

 

The fault in our generalization

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Not all men are abusers, nor are all women victims – and opting for a generalization so strong and underserved can only do us harm – both men and women. Not all men are the enemy, some men are. And those some men are the reason of our #metoo.

The men we (used to) fear, the men that (used to) make us feel disposable, invaluable, vulnerable, unworthy. Those same men who may have sisters, and wives and daughters, and potentially treat them with the same disgusting disrespect they humiliated us with. THOSE are the men who should suffer the consequences of our decades-lasting anger, our embarrassment and hurt hearts. For us and those other women that have been victims of either verbal or physical abuse, for our sisters, we raise a voice in hope things will change and there’ll finally be an end put to this disgrace.

As for the good men – the men who deserve our absolute respect, love and support – let’s leave them out of the equation. All the wonderful husbands and fathers, the brave and fearless men of the military, the great doctors and field workers, the honest teachers and help workers…. let’s leave them be the heroes of our everyday, and continually prove they are rightfully worthy of our respect.

 

The dating

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The dating scene is already as complicated as it is, and the #metoo movement seems to have made it even more complicated (if possible).

Now that the mood has changed, the dialogue needs to change, too. Although couple counseling, honesty and open communication are the first communication tools we should go to in these times of change, what we all need, above everything else, is the collective willingness to change. In past few years popularization of neuro-linguistic programming is inevitable, because of this one thing - we need to learn how to talk to each other again.

On one hand, as the final days of male absolutism approach, the climate is shifting from “She’s rejecting me ‘cos she likes the chase” to a “She’s rejecting me, so I guess I should back off”, and men are gradually (and finally!) learning the seriousness of a woman’s “No”.

On the other hand, women seem very angry for having to put up with being humiliated, abused and ill-treated for as long as they have, so they are screaming a “No” at the top of their lungs both when called and uncalled for, which is creating a very unsettling dating climate.

Sitting in a bar, men are thinking: “I like her so much, but should I go over there and risk being accused of making sexual advances after putting my hand around her waist or complimenting her hair?”; looking at the men around, at that same bar, women are thinking “I look great tonight… why isn’t anyone coming over?”. Everyone’s afraid of what next is going to happen. Women are afraid they’ll be taken advantage of (even when men aren’t targeting it), and men are afraid of being accused of taking advantage of someone (even when they never intended it).

,Adjusting to this shift will take time and education: for men, to believe a woman when she says “No”, and for women – not to abuse the power of their “No”.

 

Final thoughts

Men, don’t be the disgusting examples of why #metoo movement had to happen in the first place. Women, don’t be girls who cried wolf and managed to trivialize everything #metoo essentially stands for. Let’s all evolve in the right direction and be the “leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'me too' again.”

Supermodel Chanel Iman Weds Sterling Shepard

 Source: Amy and Stuart Photography/ Brides

Source: Amy and Stuart Photography/ Brides

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Among newer supermodels Gigi Hadid, Jourdan Dunn and Joan Smalls there is Chanel Iman, the girl of the 2000s. With a name like Chanel Iman, it’s hard not to become someone in the world of fashion. So we can say she was destined! Well, this past weekend she wed New York Giant's Sterling Shepard in a star-studded wedding at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Chanel Iman wore a Zuhair Murad gown adorned with floral appliques from her Fall 2018 collection. Iman appeared on my radar in 2009 while appearing on the Tyra Banks show. After Tyra Banks, famed Victoria’s Secret model said she was retiring from modeling Chanel Iman was supposed to take her reign in the world of Victoria’s Secret.

Ever since the age of 13 Chanel Iman has been storming the modeling scene both in the United States and overseas. Her debut as a runway model wasn’t until 2006 when her modeling career took off unexpectedly. She was the top choice for many designers and major fashion houses in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. The list of designers including Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Phillip Lim, Valentino, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, John Galliano, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Hermes, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Ralph Lauren, Micheal Kors, Oscar De La Renta, and Givenchy are among some of the fashion houses that dressed her for shows each season. After her first couple of seasons, Chanel Iman and icon would later on become synonymous.

Chanel Iman has hit major milestones that many models her age and older have never made. In Spring 2009, Chanel was the first African American model in 8 years to walk for Gucci. Also in 2007 Chanel was selected by the famous Anna Wintour as one of 10 girls to be featured on the cover “world's next top models” naming her the youngest (16) and the third African American to grace the cover of Vogue.

With all the cover shoots Chanel Iman has done for magazines all over the world, including Teen Vogue (twice), TIME, i-D, Muse, POP, Lula, Elle (UK)(Italy), Flare (Italy)(Canada) she is most proud of Vogue (Korea) because of the history and her ancestral background.

Amongst her much deserved success becoming an “Angel “ for Victoria’s Secret, successful advertisement campaigns with fashion houses, being photographed by the top fashion photographers and numerous editorials, she has also shared in discrimination. She like many models of color who have come before her has paved the way for more models of diversity on the runways. Her dream is for advertisers to see the value in booking "color."

With Chanel Iman’s fresh face, smile, style and effervescent personality, I don’t see her stopping anytime soon! She makes you want to know the woman behind the clothes and that is the very essence of Chanel Iman.

We wish Chanel and Sterling nothing, but bliss and happiness in their marriage!

5 Tips to Organize Your Workspace and Stay Productive

Did you know that the condition of your workspace affects your productivity? Well, working in a messy and cluttered space can negatively affect your work, keep you distracted and even create a negative vibe.

Some people say that they work best when surrounded by a “creative mess”, but most of the time, they are just too lazy to tidy up. So, don’t let your files, papers, office supplies and empty cups of coffee take a hold of your workspace, but take a look at these five easy tips that will help you become and stay organized and productive.

 

Declutter

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The first step to keeping your office clean is very simple: just don’t keep too many things inside! However, this is often easier said than done and is especially hard for people who love to be surrounded by things. But, forget about your hoarding habits and take a good look around your office. Take each thing and ask yourself: “Does this absolutely need to be here?” Pay special attention to books, magazines, decoration, photos, supplies, food and drink. If an item is not essential to your office, remove it for good. Another great tip for keeping your office clean is to have a trash can at hand and place it in a spot where you can easily and quickly reach it.

 

Minimize the flood of paper

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If every inch of your desk is covered in paper, it’s time to minimize the incoming paper flood as much as possible. The best way to start is to cancel all unnecessary subscriptions and stop using that many memos and paper reports. Every time you can, opt for doing work without a hard copy. Another way to clean piles of paper is to get a scanner and turn everything into digital data.

 

Create work zones

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One pro way to improve your office organization is to divide your office into different work zones. For instance, sometimes you just need to change things up a bit to spark the productivity and creativity. So, if you have enough space in your office, try to create two separate stations—one for computer work and one for non-computer work. This works because you can keep distractions away and achieve better organization. Don’t clutter your computer area with papers, envelopes and stamps, and make sure to keep gadgets away from your non-computer area.

 

Organize your desk and computer

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Probably the best way to be more productive and focused is to keep your work desk organized. Your desk is constantly in front of your eyes and it’s something you can’t really turn your back to and ignore. So, make sure to organize everything in your files, trays and stationeries. This is where the plastic and storage organizers come into play. You don’t need an expensive stationery tray to organize your ballpoint pens. Simply take some plain storage boxes (both big and small), beautify them and use them to your advantage. Your computer should also be organized. Start by deleting all folders, documents, pictures and programs you don’t use and need. Then, organize the things you actually need into different (clearly labeled) folders and use digital calendars and reminders to help you stay organized and productive.  

Stay on track

Once you clean out and organize your office, make sure to never let it become cluttered again. The best way to do so is to clean up a little every day. Set aside five minutes at the end of the day to tidy up and throw away the garbage. This will signal your brain that the work day is over and tomorrow, you’ll come to a clean and organized office.

A clean and decluttered office will certainly make you more productive, focused and creative. So, roll up your sleeves, start cleaning up and do something good for yourself and your business.

Trying To Find A Balance In the Morning

The morning rush for work is now a part of my daily life. I can wake up early but hit the snooze button at least a few more times before I force myself out of bed.  

Before you judge me, my alarm goes off around 5:40 am because I have a long commute.  So I need to leave for work early. I wish I could be the girl who could wake up early and go to the gym. Every night I tell myself I will go workout in the morning, but that's in Gods Plan, so I force myself to go after work. 

Over the past few years, I have gotten it down to a science on how I can get up and make some moves to work. I do not want to feel pressure in the morning, so I keep my routine at a minimal. 

 

Night time routine:

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  • Gym, Shower, Dinner
  • Pack my gym bag
  • Write in my Passion Planner to schedule my daily tasks, goals and meetings
  • Stretch and check blog emails, post on social media outlets--while having my diffuser on to relax 
  • Pass out 
 

Morning Routine

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  • Roll out of bed and make it up. Yes, I have to make up my bed before I leave the house. (Shout- out to my mom for making that habit). 
  • Jump in the shower and thinking about my outfit for work. 
  • Watch the Golden Girls while getting dressed (secret obsession) 
  • Make a quick smoothie 

Out the door! I have become a multitasker and can get out the house in less than 40 mins. My nighttime routine helps me feel better about the next day goals, and I won't feel rush. I do not want to feel pressure in the morning, so I keep my routine at a minimal.

What are the routines that help you?! 
 

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It's said that in the body of every woman “there is always room for a cradle”.


Nevertheless, beyond the poetic beauty of the statement, for many women, the physical suffering of gestation, the danger of childbirth, and the commitment to motherhood are an unbearable idea, in some ways alienating, because it cyclically demands great sacrifice and sometimes strong self-denial. On the other hand, this commitment produces so many repercussions, regarding an individual, family, and collective impact; which admittedly could go far beyond human understanding.


Then, as women directly involved in this hard task, what can we do to stretch our view and earn more physical strength and inner peace while handling this challenge?
In the very nature of living substances, their specific characteristics testify exactly the purpose for which they exist.

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Motherhood is not only a forced use of time and energy, which may appear like a limitation. As sacred function, it is above all the commitment of important core values, which produces a series of disturbing questions.  Despite the serious nature of the event, why do so many women perceive themselves as objects bound to suffer the harshness and pain of pregnancy and childbirth, rather than finding pride in their role of creators?


Why have they not aligned this innate and extraordinary creative power to other forms of creativity? Why do they not broadcast the very meaning of their full humanity, but remain trapped in fear of boredom, in the obsessive repetition and sedentary lifestyle of their role? In the cyclic order of existence, the dominance of all things is held by what produces life and movement, not by what destroys and immobilizes it. It's in the recreation and renewal of the self that women can find their highest qualification in understanding that motherhood corresponds to the most important, strategic and challenging sector of work present on Earth. By proposing diverse and complex female values alongside the masculine ones, and wanting to imitate or duplicate them, these women accept getting catalogued and managed from the outside, giving up their only real autonomy. Their devaluation takes place not just at the hands of men, but from themselves, as they begin to undervalue the sacredness of the nature of creation and its high purpose, replacing it with nothing but mocked version of freedom and happiness.

No anatomical differences have reason to create male privilege and female disability. But the most surprising of all is in the real centre of the female body. If we stop looking at us and start looking inside, thinking more deeply, and keeping calm, everything can become clear. The woman, represents Nature, a myth which bestows her with mysterious powers which can vex even men: the belly that grows in pregnancy continues to arouse wonder and a sense of reverence, against which every sentiment, voiced or not, cannot, in any case, be of indifference.
Simply, because this belly is the chosen site of the miracle of life.

Why my grandma slays

Say what you will, but our grandmas are the most amazing women in the world. At least mine is.

And when I think about my childhood, my role models, the values I cherish, things that have modeled me into a person I am today, I think of her. To me, there’s no one more loving, honest and loveable than she is, and – there’s nothing she can do to make me think differently.

My Nana is 83 years old, and looks phenomenal for her age! The woman’s quick as a cat, I’ll tell you – and usually, she’s got more life in her than some people my age do!

Even though she’s been through both WWI and WWII, and was almost killed two times by the troops, she’s stayed strong and lively. I never see her sad or nagging. She’s seen riches and she’s seen poverty; her family was one of the richest people in town but the ruling party confiscated their property, so she had to start over. Several times.

She met my granddad after WWII and they built a happy home out of nothing, together. They loved and respected each other until his last breath, for over 60 years. Since I’ve known her, she’s been the one to keep our home alive, happy and thriving. Rarely without a smile on her face, she’s always been wonderful to talk to, go to for advice, ask for help or just chill with. And that hasn’t changed to this day.

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She is incredibly active

I can’t honor my three times at the gym weekly but this woman can do everything! From taking the stairs a million times in a day to going down town or to the market a few times in a day – nothing’s a big deal for her. I’ve never heard her say “I can’t”! She’s always the first to offer me help if I need something and she isn’t the one to lazy it out. No idea where she finds the energy, but she’s killing it!

She’s sharp, witty and quick

Apart from remembering every single thing that happened then and there (she even knows times of the day when stuff happened!), give her a situation with your friend, parents, boyfriend or just a random topic to discuss and she’ll give you the most mindful, clever, on-point and wise advice ever. She doesn’t talk much but when she does – there’s plenty to hear. Almost every talk with her is a lesson to learn and remember.

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Her humor is incredible


I honestly think that only intelligent people have the capacity for quality humor, and she’ll make you laugh to tears! Although not a regular joker, she’ll hit you with something so ironic, so fabulously dry that you’ll pee your pants! I love it, it’s never dull with her!

She’s a multitasker like no other


Sure, I get all stressed when I’ve got three reports due, but she can manage a home, herself, her kids (my mum and uncle), their families (me, and my cousins) and everything else in between.  My mom told me that, when they were little, Nana used to be the one to paint and ornament the house, sew the clothes for them, cook, clean, manage the home budget, manage family investments, run their family business, mind the employees, and everything in between.

Apart from managing the household perfectly, she would never fail to find the time to read something from their library collection. AND – these days – apart from the family business and painting the house, she’s still doing all that and finds the time to go see some of her friends in retirement villages. Woah.

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Her style and sense of self-care are impeccable

Never obsessed with moisturizers, beauty routines, contouring and other stuff that consume most of our time these days, she never fails to look great! Her beauty routine is simple: a mild face wash in the morning and before bed, a little crème on the face, brush out the eyebrows and voila!

If we’re going to a family gathering, she’ll put some reddish rouge on her lips and cheek bones using just her fingers to blend; then, she’ll fix her do (that had curlers in a few hours before), put on her best fitting dress and a beret. The shoes are always comfy and the bag – elegant.

Her sense of style is to envy, and her motto is that people pick up on what YOU let them see. She’s got such inspiring dignity that I rarely find in people these days. Heck, she even dresses up if she’s going to the market! She’ll quickly change into a neater outfit because “she can’t leave the house like this”, fix her hair and face and be ready in a few seconds!

I honestly hope I’ll end up being as self-disciplined as she is. My days of going to the store in my pajamas definitely need to end soon.

I could really go on and on, and the list would probably never end. But these above were just a few of my reasons to say that my Nana slays better than anyone else I know!

Wait have you seen Black Panther?

"Wakanda forever!" 

If you have not seen this EVERYWHERE over this past weekend, you literally have been hiding underneath a rock.  

Finally the highly anticipated movie Black Panther was released, and all you need to know is get up and watch it now. You don't even need to finish the rest of this article -- I rather you just get up and watch this dope masterpiece.  

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The director Bay-Area born and raised  Ryan Coogler has broken down barriers. He accomplished a masterpiece. He became the first Black director to be given a 200+ million dollar budget from a studio to make Black Panther.

All you need to know is when the opening scene says Oakland, no would could contain their excitement and to know the director was born and raised in Oakland just hyped up everyone even more. 

Chadwick Boseman IS the Black Panther--he embodies everything that a king is with class and charm. You will walk out of the theatre knowing no one else could play this role. 

Michael B Jordan -- well damn the villain but so damn good looking and brilliant. He made you want to hate him and nurture him all at once. He was made to play this role of Erik "Killmonger" Stevens.

Lupita Nyong'o Danai Gurira Letitia Wright and the icon Angela Bassett are warriors, brilliant, powerful af and empowering. Their essence in the film showcased the power of a woman. 

In Wakanda, showcases the true nature of a woman. This is the film that every young woman should watch to see how powerful we are as women. Women are own warriors, a technology genius and no need for a man to save us. Lets be honest, we are saving them. 

For little black or brown girls she will feel pride to see that all type of hairstyles and rich dark skin are celebrated. Our hair is just on point. Black is beautiful. It doesn’t matter to me what you do with your hair — if you wear it straight, or curly, or nappy, or a weave, or an Afro. We’re all beautiful. 

Not only is this film one of the best Marvel movies in their franchise but this is a movie for the culture. I have never seen so many of us show up and show out at a movie theatre. 

Black Excellence. Wearing our crowns, and dashikis, looking like we are extras from the legendary comedy Coming to America. 

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Hands down this is a cultural impact for the black community. We’ve broken records, exceed expectations, proved critics wrong that a cast prominently of black actors and actresses can do this without being typecast as a gangster, pimps, slaves or maids.

We are out here, and we are brilliant. 

Black Panther showcased the beauty, flaws, style and in-depth essence of the black community.

Without giving any spoilers- we see the turmoil between families and the black community. It provides the in-depth look at about how we define Black Excellence. We see the fight over the crown and how it affects from where you are from and where you are raised.

We all know that people classify us as either “whitewashed” or “ghetto”’; depending on how you speak, dress or raised. This movie shows insight into our prejudices within our community. 

 

This movie provides insight for everyone and anyone.

Black Panther isn't just another superhero movie, but it's a movie where a superhero is black. This films is for all kids from different ethnic backgrounds to watch a  film and be proud of this young man who journeys now is to save the universe with the Avengers. 
 

Tracee Ellis Ross, Told Me Its Okay To Be Single

Well, today is the day that love is spread across mountains or you are shouting happy single awareness day. Either way, you are living your best life. 

We all get caught up in what society tells us how our lives should be at a certain age. I used to struggle this with this a lot and let's be honest I slipped into that motion of wandering am I on the “right” path? 

Yes, I am a newly 30-year-old and single and a lot of my friends are in committed relationships, married or have kids. But guess what I am a HAPPY AF. I can honestly say I am actually happy being single right now. I now know all the bullshit I dealt with in my 20s is no longer on the menu in my life. 

We as women are told to have “everything” we need to fulfill our natural desire to be married, have a child and a career, which is all possible. (Only in the movies- when you are the CEO of your own company, your husband worships you, and your kids are perfect angels 24/7-- lies just lies). 

Let's also discuss how you are label into categories, 

  • I am a wife and mother and I am truly happy
  • I am single and ready to mingle
  • I am sleeping my way around the world and beds
  • I am the career-focused friend
  • I am alone and bitter af
  • I am a wife and mother but I wished… 

These are the categories you or your friends have secretly put you in or maybe two categories. I can honestly say I am the career focus friend, but I am so excited to be a wife and mother in the next few years. But I know I always wanted to have felt safe in my career before depending on anyone else. (side note-which this is still fine too if someone else can pay your bills- I support it all- do what works for you) 

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The best speech I recently had to chance to hear was by my best friend (in my head) Tracee Ellis Ross discuss her womanhood and being happily single. Besides being an Golden Globe winner, fashion icon, Hollywood royalty, real and dope af-- she is our newest life coach. 

Can she just be our life coach? She was flourishing and was insightful af. She called out all the social norms and bias that women face in society. If you need daily inspiration by her follow her Instagram.

 

Here is the speech and tell me you aren't about to give her a standing ovation. 

Slay your life ladies all day every day, married, committed, single, working 9-5, with babies and all. 

 

5 strategies that will SLAY those negative voices in your life

Have you ever noticed when you have a new idea – something that totally excites you – for a brief moment you are in the glory of possibility – and then a voice comes up and quickly and shuts it down - in the form of : It’s too risky… I wouldn’t know how… I couldn’t because I’m just a (girl from a small town.. have no qualification, work in admin, no one would take me seriously…).

DOUBT enters your head and quickly runs around screaming at opportunity, hope and possibility down to where they can barely whisper. I see it all the time – in my life and in my clients.

Doubt is a bigger dream killer - it kills more dreams then failure ever will.

I get it, I have been there, and I know how scary it is when you are doing something new - but it's important to know what is really driving your decisions (or lack of) when it comes to going in a different direction or starting something new.

When I started my own business, the hardest part wasn’t actually the logistic side. It was slaying the negative voices in my head that were keeping me from taking action.

These 5 strategies helped me go from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I did’ – and can help you stop negative voices that are holding you back from taking awesome action and in your life and career.

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1. Ask what if instead of why not?  It is SO much easier to come up with reasons why we shouldn’t do something – why we shouldn’t go for that job, or apply for that promotion or decide to make that move, write that book, join the gym, start that course (or even go to an event that you know would be good for your goals but you don’t want to go). Start with the ‘What If?’. What if… you smashed it? What if, you got the job? What if, it was a YES instead of a no? The 'what if' will allow you to see into opportunity and explore the feelings and thoughts behind it… Most people start off with why they can’t – which is why they stay stuck and comfortable. When a new opportunity comes up, they respond with fear in the form of 20 reasons why it 'probably won't work' instead of thinking about how it could.

2. Replace EVERY negative thought with an opposite thought. You can and MUST re-train your brain. Mel Robbins’ 5 second rule was a game changer for me – especially in my thought life. WE have between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day – which is about 35 thoughts per minute. Just because a thought ENTERS your head doesn’t mean you have to focus on it. DISMISS it like you would a bad fortune cookie. And replace it with something that is true, inspiring and in line with your life vision. Your thought life IS your life. So take no prisoners when it comes to winning the war in your head.

3. Mediate on inspiration daily. Instead of waiting for inspiration or to meet up with some high vibe colleagues – create a success habit every day for yourself. Read an inspirational book or article EVERY DAY. Follow role models who inspire you. If you take 30 minutes a day and read / watch / meditate on inspirational content, your mind starts to take in your environment. We are a product of our environment – but the good news is you get to change that environment ANY time you want.

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4. Remove yourself from ALL external negative influences. This isn’t always easy but if you are constantly around people who drain you, complain and just talk about how bad life is without doing anything about it, it will keep you stuck.  I once had a work colleague who complained constantly, so I started using headphones and played high vibe music to get me in a different zone. John Rohn says ‘you are the average of the 5 people you spend time with’ AND studies show that you earn the average  SALARY of the 5 people who spend the most time with. You want more money? Get around people who MAKE more money. You want more positive thoughts? Get around people who talk about goals, success and life – and you’ll find yourself focussing on similar things.

 

5. Exercise while repeating awesome affirmations: When you move your body and speak out your vision and goals, it is like an elixir to your brain. You are training your brain and your body that what you are speaking is true  -and your movements literally propel you mentally for these affirmations. When you combine movement with mantras, it’s a powerful combination.

Khalil Ghibran said: 'Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms'. When you attach fear to anything in your life, it will be restricted, limiting, and keep you handcuffed to comfortable - which for me is the biggest failure of all.

You can literally be ONE thought away from a totally different life. So, what will you decide to think about today? It can be a game changer. 

Be Your Own Valentine

One day I decided I was gonna choose me. I haven’t looked back ever since
— Claire

It’s a bit sad, isn’t it? That we’re putting that much thought into Valentine’s Day, I mean.

When you think about it, there’s something very discomforting about the fact that posts like these (i.e. posts of self-love and encouragement) are written only in the midst of preparations for the “love holidays”, such as Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s and probably our birthdays when – essentially – we should be loving and encouraging ourselves throughout the entire year, and our entire lives, no matter the date.  

The Valentine’s bubble

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If we’re to be absolutely honest, Valentine’s is one of those random, capitalist holidays they’ve come up with to lure those in love into expensive restaurants, buying expensive gifts and making up for not being thoughtful with each other on other days. No, we’re not bitter – we’re telling it like it is. Love, devotion, gifts and treating those you love (and yourself) right shouldn’t have a date, a time frame or an occasion; this should be a continual impulse to make someone happy, to feel their joy and remember how blessed you are to have a partner as wonderful. So, should we really care about Valentine’s? I should say not. Should we let having a date define whether we deserve or don’t deserve to be loved? Not in a million years. But, should we love ourselves daily? Yes, 100%.

So, in the spirit of what’s been written above, we’ll talk a little about how to treat yourself on February 14th, even though we don’t care about Valentine’s. What we care about is self-love, and – if that love comes wrapped in a Valentine’s gift – we’ll take it.

 

Take the day off

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February 14th is Wednesday, and unless you want to rot the day away at the office, ask for a day off. Hey, you’ve been working hard enough as it is, you deserve it! Organize the entire day around pampering yourself – from that first cup of coffee in the morning, to the extravagant lunch or a shopping spree. Yes, even staying in your jammies the entire day, watching Love Actually is super cool if that’s what will make you happy. The key to a day off is to actually make it about you – limit social media usage (texting, emailing, Instagramming, etc.) and use this time for more human contact – whether it’s with your family, best friends, new people you meet or yourself. Remember the thing that used to relax you and go do it the entire day! For me, it’s long walks around the city and writing in my journal if I feel like it. It helps me clear my head and detox from everyday stuff. Go back to yours, and do it.

 

Treat yourself

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Making yourself happy in every way possible is key to being happy every day. Use this Valentine’s Day as a perfect opportunity to splurge a little bit and treat yourself like the Queen you are. Book a pampering session at your favorite salon and let the staff spoil you; take yourself out to lunch afterwards and treat yourself to a shopping spree you won’t regret. Whether it’s shopping for those luxury bags, designer pieces such as kaftans online or adding a few new pieces to your wardrobe, the idea is to remind yourself you deserve the best!

 

Repeat positive affirmations

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Photo by Matthew Brodeur on Unsplash

A positive affirmation a day can change your entire life. Telling yourself “You are great”/”You are beautiful”/”You are worthy”/etc. is helping your inner-self shine. Dedicate Valentine’s to nurturing the love in you. Self-love should be your driving force, your mantra and your light in the darkest of nights. No, loving yourself isn’t the same thing as selfishness. Yes, learning how to love yourself is a never-ending process, and one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. And why exactly does loving yourself and being comfortable with yourself matter? Because only in appreciating who you are in all of your complexity do you become capable of creating a healthy basis for knowing how to love someone else without turning that same love into a form of pathological obsessiveness whose primary goal is nothing but mending your own emptiness.

 

Give back

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Believe it or not, sharing your love with the world is one of the best ways to feel loved: give your time, resources, money, etc. to a cause that means a lot to you or choose to spend this day with a person you adore (your parent, grandparent, best friend, etc.). The Universe feels the love you invest, and it bounces it right back to you. Be selfless in giving love and you’ll get it ten times more.

Enjoy your journey to self-love and don’t ever let it slip your fingers again – Valentine’s or no Valentine’s. Okay? After all, self-love costs nothing, and you gain everything.

Black His(er)story Month

Don't mean to gripe, but every February 1st there are quite a few black people who all sudden have pride in #theculture. But where were you the rest of the year? Far too many people forget to support, educate and be proud everyday not just in February. Here are a few black owned (some female) small businesses to support and show you that love our history and melanin everyday.

 

 

Enamel Pins

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Radical Dreams' enamel pin "I'm rooting for everyone Black." -Issa Rae, $8

 
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Coloring Pins' play on Pantone is giving this all shades of melatone enamel pin, $11

 

Tees

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Tee Spring's Still Inspired tee of the millennial generation, $25 

 
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Tees in the Trap knows that Maxine Waters is truly a maverick, $30

 
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DynaSmiles' classic smile collection will brighten anyones day with this golden tee, $35

 

Accessories

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Cee Cee's Closet Nubia Short Wrap will be sure to add a dose of color and culture to any look, $22

 
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Reflections by Zana, LLC. Blue Green Gradient with a Zana Afro Bun Tote will carry all your essentials, $31.99

 

Home Decor

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Pardon My Fro's Squad Canvas defines #squadgoals, $55

 
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Izzy & Liv knows the all the couples we love and this pillow is the perfect addition to your living room, $40

 

Make sure you also check out www.webuyblack.com, they host a slew of small black owned businesses selling anywhere from clothes to decor to accessories and more. It's important that we support each other, help each other thrive and celebrate our history and triumphs everyday, not just in February.

Let us know what your favorites are and which ones we should know about and try.

Slay or Nay? Winchester Movie

Deciding whether or not to spend the money to see the Winchester movie? Read this first.

So I love historical movies especially if they are based off of or inspired by true events. I've always found spooky places to be pretty intriguing. That could be why I've been to the Winchester Mansion a good three to four times. If you haven't been you should definitely go. If you wanna get a little freaked out try the night tours!

Any who, so when I first saw the trailer to this movie I was super excited because one Helen Mirren is an amazing actress two, the movie was about the Winchester Mansion...need I say more. So I went to check it out the day after it was released and here are my thoughts.

 

IT'S NOT A HORROR MOVIE

So don't expect it to be. Does it have scary movie elements? For sure! But the level of scary is about a 6 out of 10. Mostly what it is are jumpy moments when things are not what they seem or shit pops up outta nowhere. No lie I jumped quite a few times during the movie then turned around and laughed at myself for being scared. This movie is not super scary so don't worry if you're a big scaredy cat like me when it comes to horror movies.

 

PILOT LINE IS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED

Good news right! There is a lot more too it than just ghosts and a hunted house of a crazy lady that own a gun company. The pilot line is different in that there are a few twist and turns that I for sure didn't see coming. I enjoyed the way the movie ended as it made me say out loud in the theater, "Oh hell no." If you're the type of person that tends to figure out the pilot to movies easily this one is fairly easy to figure out. You can decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing. However, if you're me and you like to enjoy the ride the movie takes you on it's good for that too.

 

ACTING BOMB. SPECIAL EFFECTS DECENT.

So this is for those that enjoy how movies are made and those that are in the industry themselves. The acting was pretty freakin' amazing, Helen Mirren, psshhh love her that's all I gotta say about that. The rest of the cast did quite well too but I have a bias towards Helen...sorry not sorry. As for the special effects, well the ghosts were cool but technically overdone in my opinion and there is a certain scene at the end of the movie where you can see the rebuilding of the Winchester Mansion but it looks fake. Like I was sitting there as thinking, "y'all could've done that one better."

 

OVERALL OPINION

On the SLAY SCALE I say this movie is a 7 out of 10. If you love the story of the Winchester Mansion I feel like you're more inclined to want to see this movie. I do wish that they touched on Mrs. Winchester's character more and told me more about her or maybe had more of a story based on truth verses inspired by the truth. I understand making things entertaining and this was just that but the storyline did take a turn into the cliche a number of times.  All in all, I didn't hate it, I felt like it was worth my $13 and I got a few laughs out of it from the jumpy parts.

 

Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think about it!

 

The biggest misconceptions about (un)successful women

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”… it certainly is, at least for women.

On one hand (and on the surface of things) we’re given everything; but, when you dig a little deeper, things aren’t as glorious as they appear to be. It’s a contradiction, really - this whole gender thing. What we are currently living isn’t feminism in its absolute… it’s an active oppression of the female role in the male-run society.

 

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“For mad I may be, but I will never be convenient.” 

― Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution

 

The core of every healthy feminist approach isn’t to be better than the man, fear the man or prove the man wrong. It certainly isn’t to exhaust yourself to a point you’ll be your own demise just to prove yourself worthy to a society that doesn’t – and may never – see you as worthy. The core concept of feminism is equality. Equality in emotion, thought and opportunity. Equality in living and breathing, and fighting the same battles as men, the battles that bless you with a certain social standing, a chance at life you dream of and love you hope to find. It isn’t necessarily about women chopping woods or men wearing eyeliners, either. It’s about the possibility and the opportunity to choose. To choose life, in all its beauty. To live freely and speak – unprejudiced or judged. To be respected for your thoughts. To be a person, not a weak gender link. Men, do understand this: we have never aimed to beat you at anything. What we have always wanted was to just play alongside you.

 

A woman is a woman is a woman

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“Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.”

– Clare Boothe Lucе

The prejudice is real, for women at least. While we have progressed and made things work for us in every aspect possible (at least the ones we could have had any influence on), we are still boxed in and categorized to fit the expectations of the patriarchy – have children, cook, clean and be a good wife. Sure, if you want to be the CEO, be the CEO but make sure you are also “a woman”. Even though most women have managed to distance themselves from the stock expectations and formed a reality that agrees with their sensibilities (i.e. built careers but haven’t produced children or vice versa), a sense of being not good enough (for the patriarchy) still lingers about. This is why actively critiqued and judged for their lifestyle choices, most women often experience various stages of anxiety and depression, significantly lowering the quality of their lives. Luckily, professionals established online counseling focused on providing mental and emotional counseling for women in need, depending on the problems they are facing as well as the types of their personalities. We are strong, but we do need a breather and an objective perspective from time to time.

 

The weak link

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“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

– Katharine Hepburn

With the current state of things, everyone’s confused. Men are no longer sole providers or husbands whose income conditions their partner’s lives. Women can do all that, alone. In a technical sense of a word, it’s become evident that men have grown obsolete. This, along with plenty of other facts, brought about a very unsettling climate - not only in terms of gender roles but relationships altogether. We get it: you don’t know where you stand, so you attack. But, listen to this: while we no longer need you to change the bulb, we do need you to love us, give us families and share our happiness – just as much as you need us to do the same for you.

Here’s an idea: instead of judging us, support us. Embrace our strength and turn it to your advantage. Don’t be scared we’ll love you less if we earn more because we won’t. We’ll love and appreciate you for having chosen a strong woman over your (strong) ego. Work with us, not against us. We, as strong as we are, are the reason you can sleep rested at night, knowing your home will never be without an income. Growing this strong we’ve made your lives easier, don’t you get it? You can finally just… be, be liberated from the expectations the society has burdened YOU with, too. So, let just be for a second, together and united. We are on the same side. We are one.

Top Coffee Trends in 2018

Coffee is definitely one of the most popular beverages in the world, and we’re sure that everyone has tried it at least once in their life.

Some people consider it a bare necessity they can’t function without, while others think of coffee just as a matter of a trend. No matter which group you belong to, you should stay with us and keep on reading. Here’s something useful you can learn about the culture of coffee drinking and some trends we’ll love in 2018, so check them out!

The culture of coffee drinking – is it a trend or a way of life

Even though the culture of coffee drinking has been widely spread all across the world, the truth is that many people actually enjoy this extraordinary brewed drink just because they think that it’s a matter of current trends. Of course, there have always been folks who really take pleasure in every single sip, without paying too much attention to what’s hot and what’s not. Coffee drinking is a way of life for these people, and they couldn’t possibly imagine their lives without at least one cup of coffee – especially in the morning. Remember Friends, a TV show centered around a coffee shop called Central Perk which shows up in almost every episode? If you do, you surely know what we’re talking about. However, there are still a lot of people who love to experiment with the latest trends in the coffee industry, which is why brands simply have to keep up with their wishes and appetites and always work on something new.

What are the top coffee trends in 2018?

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The year 2018 will be a year of the hottest coffee trends you’ve ever encountered, and there are so many places where you can find the best coffee beans to give them a try in the comfort of your own home. Here are the most prominent trends you’ll love in 2018:

 

  • Coffee cocktails on the rise

According to people who predict trends in the coffee industry, coffee cocktails will be a major hit this year. This can be explained thanks to a millennials’ desire to socialize more and find their next big thing, which in this case includes a brand new palette of flavors no one before them could have tried. Like it or not, such flavor combos are truly unique and we believe that they are tailored for millennials’ specific taste, which is why innovative cocktail recipes will be on the rise in 2018.

 

  • Specialty drinks like nitro coffee will blow your mind

The craft brewing craze has resulted in one mind-blowing coffee trend you’ll absolutely adore – nitro coffee. Basically, it’s based on infusing coffee with nitrogen gas, which gives your favorite drink carbonation similar to stouts and porters, while providing it with creamy and rich texture your palate will adore. Nitro coffee is often sold in cans, so that you get it in a grocery store or a gas station, which makes it really practical and easy to transport.

 

  • Rainbow lattes

Even though this may sound a bit silly and childish, rainbow lattes are gaining momentum these days for a couple of important reasons. First of all, these are highly Instagrammable, which means that they look more than fabulous in photos. Besides that, they look stunning in real life as well, so that people often feel sorry for taking a sip and ruining their perfect cup of latte. No matter how you feel about these, the fact is that they provide a lovely touch of baristas’ skill and passion for coffee, as they were the ones who started adding different food colorings to coffee. However, one thing is certain – a lot of rainbow lattes will be served in 2018, without any doubt!

 

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  • The super delicious coffee cone

No, we aren’t talking about coffee ice cream – but about your favorite coffee served in a sweet cone. Yes, you heard it right! We agree that it sounds a bit unfeasible, but the truth is that there are cones designed specifically for coffee, so that they don’t fall apart as soon as you pour hot beverage into them. These sweet cones are usually lined with chocolate, which makes them even more attractive and delicious. However, you should bear in mind that the chocolate will melt and the cone will become quite soggy if you leave it for too long, so make sure you drink the coffee within five minutes tops.

 

As you can see, there are a lot of fantastic coffee trends that will be huge this year, so watch out for them and give your favorite one a try. These are all about having fun and enjoying new flavors and textures, so don’t be afraid to experiment and you’ll see that these trends are totally worth all the hype

Life can be mute. Never allow it!

I am a woman—I do not wish to be adored. I am the sum of my decisions, my errors and my achievements. No one can define that but me. I am enough the way I am.

Centuries ago, someone in the crowd of a chaotic street market raised his voice above all that din and dared to announce "Woman is lost!"

The phrase rumbled like a thunderbolt. For a while, the noise around lowered, too, then, go back to its prior volume. Some mocked him, calling him a madman. Very few assented with a serious and worried expression. Most passed by completely indifferent.

Did that visionary maybe perceive what would happen in the times to come? We might never know.

Certainly, "the feminine matter" has been addressed in most societies in the world along two opposing viewpoints: the “female slave” and the “liberated woman”. The “female slave” states she is subjugated by the arrogance of masculinity that dominates much of the world, while the “liberated woman” claims their rights through struggle and rebellion.

Even though these conditions are real, neither of them led to a solution of well-being for women, men, family, nor society as a whole. Too often, the role of women has become blurred to the point of being pretty unrecognizable.  

Over the years, women seem to have had few victorious battles in their exhausting war against a male-dominated world, and the future sees them more and more as a substantial part of society.
But, paradoxically, as soon as they “emancipate themselves,” the rest of society disintegrates. The relationship between the sexes becomes a struggle. Their obtained freedom can be seen as a negative or even risky aspect of society, not entirely void of any further obstacles.

Despite the victories obtained in modern societies, women's multiple tasks seem often more demanding for them than for men. Marriage, maternity, education, house management, and career don't leave them with much time and rest. Plus, their profession in society requires additional time devoted to the care of their appearance and an additional waste of energy. Maybe even more stress?

That's my point: when slavery is overcome (as it MUST be!), let's stop pushing in the opposite direction. Don't be over-busy with hundreds of commitments at the same time, don't feel overwhelmed and, as a consequence, aggressive like some stupid men.

Femininity is not muscles, nor passivity, it's not dominion, nor dependency, it's not fighting, nor renunciation, it's not arrogance nor distrust. Femininity is rather a collection of wonderful virtues such as kindness, elegance, integrity, spirituality, maternal feeling, faith, action, independence, self-reliance, courage, and self-esteem.  

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It is not true that being at the same level of men means resembling them in thoughts and actions. In order to avoid undergoing this completely unsolicited and superfluous placement test, or rite of acceptance, women must be aware that differences, not similarities, make things more desirable, as Nature requires. Women must bring of the feminine what there is in a woman, such as "something else", an extraordinary, specific and personal value added to what men don't have. They must bring what is complementary, not competitive. A man and a woman who freely meet are not in a boxing match, but in a natural union of talents and in a potentiality of balance, order, and happiness.

Let's take care of ourselves!

To have a stable position in the world as women, we have to live by taking destiny in our own hands and trusting in men who know the value of our intelligence, culture, personality, and professionalism.

Talent, education, health, sport, social life, and profession are not in contrast with marriage, motherhood, and career. It's only an issue of timing, balance, and priorities.

A lot of work, I know, but it's worth it. For growing in happiness.

Being a woman is not some kind of cosmic gaffe by some clumsy creator—as many distinguished thinkers have joked during the centuries.

It's not a casualty.

It's a divine plan!

This masterpiece has sacred reasons which are inviolable.