In October We Wear Pink

“On October 3rd, he asked me what day it was.

“And on Wednesdays we wear Pink.” 

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We all know these famous lines from the classic Mean Girls. 

I love that movie, but I will forever have mixed emotions about this day. The day I almost felt like I lost my best friend or the day that saved her life.

On October 3rd, 2012 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I will always remember that day.

You never want to hear someone that you love to say "I have cancer."

That day my life changed. I still can't put into words all the emotions I felt. The wrench in my heart, my faith, the idea of possibly losing my best friend is still a confusing time for me even to speak on. 

My mom has been cancer free for over 6 years. She went thru, surgery, chemo, lost of hair and radiation. She is the strongest person I will ever know. I always like to say that my mom did the whole cancer thing like Samantha from Sex & The City. Just fabulous.

Sadly, we all have been touched by breast cancer in some form in our lives. We all have known someone, a family member, a teacher or even a friends parent we saw love have to fight this disease and some have lost the battle.

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Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, affecting about 1 in 8 women.

Real Talk: The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. They can even be painful. For this reason, it is essential to have any new breast mass, lump, or breast change checked by a health care professional experienced in diagnosing breast diseases.

Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)

  • Skin irritation or dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)

  • Breast or nipple pain

  • Nipple retraction (turning inward)

  • Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin

  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)

We need to find a cure.

We need to come together and save our loved ones from this disease that has torn families apart. 

Wear your Pink Ribbon. Donate. Walk. Support. Volunteer. Or simply just give someone a hug and say I am with you. We will fight this together.

If you’re looking to support breast cancer research, prevention or awareness.       

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It's A Contract: 4 Reasons Marriage Is Like A Business Deal

Marriage: you either love it, hate it or it scares the sh*t out of you. I fall into the last category.

I like to think this is because marriage is something I take extremely seriously and not so much my dad's choice words of, "your life will be over," echoing in my head.

I've never been one to rush or jump into something as life altering as marriage. Although my dad's warning may be dramatic, he does have a point.

Marriage is life-changing. Now, not having been married... ever, it's hard for me to tell you exactly how it changes, but this is something friends and family who are married (or have been married) can all agree on.

When speaking about or deciding to get married, I often wonder why people aren't more diplomatic about the choice.

Sure, love is wonderful and fulfilling, but it can also be an illogical emotion that sometimes leads us to make decisions we wouldn't necessarily make on our own accord.

If marriage is viewed as a business deal, might it be easier to fully examine your relationship and its potential?

Love is a tricky and complicated business, so it should be treated like one.

Here are my reasons why marriage should be seen as a business deal:

 

1. MARRIAGE IS A MERGER

Essentially, when considering marriage, you are considering a merger between two people.

In any business merger, it's expected to fully examine the other business' history, direction and any other influencing factors that may affect the both companies before they agree to anything. When speaking of relationships, the same principle can be applied.

Marriage is often expensive and can be loaded with potential problems if everything isn't taken into account: families, careers, kids, future goals, money — the list could go on and on.

It's important to know exactly why you want to get married and what you expect from it.

Everyone's vision of "happily ever after" is different and finding someone who shares your vision will only strengthen the merger.

There is such a thing as going overboard with the list of wants and expectations and becoming way too focused on details, especially with relationships.

What I'm suggesting is determining your most curial, must-haves in order to make a marriage work. Remember, no one is absolutely perfect.

 

2. LAYING EVERYTHING OUT ON THE TABLE

Clear and concise communication is a huge factor in any business deal and in a marriage. This is where both parties make their wants and expectations known to each other.

In doing so, both parties become fully aware of what they are getting into if they decide to go through with the merger.

I think when considering marriage, this is the part where things can get hazy. Lets face it: Not all of us are great at communicating and some of us are too afraid of what may happen or what our significant others will think after everything is put out there.

If the latter part of that sentence plays a part in your reasoning for not being completely open... well, I would really think hard about whether you're ready for marriage.

For the most part, a lot communication fails fall into the category of, "well I thought you knew." Never assume.

Be brutally honest; know what you want and make it known. If everything is out in the open, there is less room for miscommunication.

 

3. NEGOTIATION

Now that both parties are aware of what the other wants, it's time to reflect on what is being offered to you and if it matches what you are offering.

I know this sounds completely harsh and practical, but who wants to be in a marriage where there is only one person bending over backward to make it work.

When this happens, it's a serious recipe for disaster. The weight of the relationship falls on one person, which often leads to feeling taken for granted or unappreciated.

In a marriage, you want to have an equal partnership, not someone who doesn't pull his or her weight.

When negotiating, weighing your pros and cons and voicing your concerns are the only ways to reach a compromise.

Knowing what you want only makes things easier when it comes to determining what you are willing to compromise on and what you can't.

However, don't become solely focused on just yourself instead trying to find a way to satisfy both of your needs together.

 

4. SIGNING THE CONTRACT

This is when all terms are agreed upon, all concerns have been addressed and compromises have been reached.

In other words, you get to say, "I do," during which cheerful couples refer to as the happiest day of their lives.

There is absolutely no foolproof plan for a successful marriage. Everyone is different, as is every relationship. But, knowing each other's expectations of a marriage from the very beginning can only help.

Love of course plays a big part in all of this - no one wants a loveless marriage. What I'm saying is that if you treat or view marriage as a business deal you can put your love aside for a second and be matter of fact and honest about everything else.

 

Article initially appeared on Elite Daily written by Heather Young. 

The Best Dos & Don'ts To Sending Wedding Invites

Although I've always been a bridesmaid and never a bride that doesn't mean I haven't heard my fair share of the complexities that come with sending invites.

From the guest list, to the color scheme, to the RSVPs, and the pressure of making the invitations absolutely perfect all while still remaining original is a lot to deal with. Not to mention all the wedding invitation etiquette that comes along with this whole process! I'm getting anxiety just thinking about it.

So to help those that are planning their wedding or are like me and have lots of friends that are recently engaged we thought we would team up with Basic Invite, an amazing website that lets you customize your own wedding invitations, to bring you the Do's and Don'ts of sending out the best wedding invites.

 

DO STAY TRUE TO YOU

Your wedding invitation should give your guests the feeling of what your wedding will be like. Whether it be a casual affair, cocktail attire, or a black tie it's very important that your invitation reflects what your guests can expect while also staying true to who you are as a couple. Basic Invite is one of the very few websites that has an almost unlimited amount of colors to choose from and you can also preview instantly what the color combos will look like online to make sure you're getting the one of a kind design you like.

 

DON'T PUT YOUR REGISTRY ON YOUR INVITATION

Just don't plain and simple. It's tacky and honestly that is information you can save for your awesome wedding website. If you want put your website link on the invitation that way guests will know where to go to get extra information including pictures, maps, wedding details, and even your registry. Since we all know weddings can be very expensive the fact that Basic Invite provides a FREE wedding website is amazing! With up to 180 different colors you can customize your website to look like your invite. Plus it's mobile friendly because honestly most of us use our phones to look up everything now a days.

 

DO PUT POSTAGE ON YOUR RSVP

I know this seems like a super small detail to fret over but trust me it just makes it easier. Sometimes getting the RSVPs back can be one of the hardest things. So in my eyes if you can make it easier for people to send you those bad boys DO IT! Plus, if you take advantage of the Seal & Send Wedding Invitations through Basic Invite you get the all-in-one invitation with a tear-of RSVP postcard. Meaning your RSVPs will already have the guest's address on it and all they have to do is fill out the card and drop it in the mail, no envelope required!

 

DON'T DECIDE WITHOUT SEEING THE REAL THING

Ordering things like invites online can be a little scary especially if you've never done it before or you're like me and you have to actually hold the real thing in your hands before you make a decision. With Basic Invite you can get custom samples printed of your invitation before you ever place the final order. This means you can see exactly how the invite will print as well as the paper quality, which is huge because not a lot of websites allow you to do this.

 

DO LOOK FOR INVITATION SETS

Planning a wedding is already intense so it's important to streamline certain processes to make things easier. If you look for wedding invitation sets that include everything from save the dates to wedding inviations, enclosure cards, menus, wedding programs, and matching thank you cards you can get everything you need in one shot. Basic Invite has over 900 wedding invitation sets so there is no way you won't be able to find the perfect set just for you.

Overall rules of thumb when sending out your wedding invites: send your Save the Date six months before the wedding, send your actual wedding invite five to six weeks before the wedding, and send your Thank You cards out ASAP or no later than two months after your wedding.

 

 

Slay or Nay? Crazy Rich Asians

For a community starving for representation in Hollywood Crazy Rich Asians (CRA) delivers.

It won't be the first or the last time you'll ever hear me or someone else of Asian American descent say when it comes to film and television our stories sometimes exist but we as a people hardly ever do.

Growing up I remember I had two women I could look to if I wanted to see any resemblance of myself in movies or on TV, the Disney character Mulan, and the Yellow Ranger from the Power Rangers (we won't even talk about how racist that is - but it is.) To say there was slim pickings be would be a definite understatement.

This is why Crazy Rich Asians is such a BIG DEAL for Asian Americans.

To this day there isn't an "A List" Asian American actor in Hollywood. And if you ask any non Asian American to name you a handful of Asian American actors I bet you 90% of them couldn't do it.

With movies like CRA being made and backed by entertainment giants like Warner Brothers it only breeds hope that more opportunities for the underrepresented minority will follow. However, it also brings the sad reality that if this movie doesn't do well it could possibly set Asian Americans in Hollywood back.

For that reason I say Crazy Rich Asians SLAYS!

Now as for the movie, if you're a lover of RomComs and enjoy watching others living lavishly while secretly wishing that could be you, you should definitely go see this movie.

I had the privilege of attending a special screening of CRA before it's official release in thereaters on August 15th and here's what I thought. 

1. It's the Asian version of Cinderella.

I say this because the character Rachel Chu, an economics professor, is dating Nick Young, the only son in his family and heir to their fortune, sounds like Cinderella. However, the display of Asian culture, food, and family dynamics makes this very traditional story unique and oh so true for anyone who has ever brought a significant other home to meet the family. Side note all the aunties will definitely remind you of some of your own.

2. Where the eff did they find these beautiful Asian men?

Okay, so whoever found these men um, I gonna need to speak to you. There is one scene in the movie that involves a shower and a very good looking naked man. I straight up said, "Ooo excuse me" out loud in the middle of the damn theater it was that good. Not only were the men beautiful, the women were too. I believe I now have a girl crush on Gemma Chan who plays Astrid Leong. She walked on screen and all I could think was, "Wow she's gorgeous."

3. All the female characters are represented as strong women.

I love that all the female characters are incredibly relatable but also fight against the ridiculous stereotype of a submissive, obedient, sexy, Asian, whatever that is so often portrayed in entertainment. All of these women kick ass in their own way. I found myself cheering on the sarcastic comebacks, rooting for the underdog, relating to the struggles and sorrows of relationships, as well as understanding the protective nature of family. What can I say I laughed, I cried, I went through all the emotions.

4. I think Awkwafina and I should be friends.

Holy shit does she kill it as Goh Peik Lin. She is so freaking funny in this movie, her comedic timing is just spot on. Her comebacks, reactions, and they way she is there for her friend, Rachel Chu makes her character the absolute best. Everyone should have a bestie like that in their lives. Plus I feel like if her and I were ever friends I would one, have the time of my life, two probably get into a lot of trouble all at the same time.

5. Take away all the pressure of what this movie represents and it's still a good movie.

I will be the first one to admit that I love RomComs, not all but certainly enough. There is a formula to how this genera of movie works so if you're looking for this movie to hold some deeper meaning than what a usual RomCom does you're not going to get it. What I can say is, if you take away the fact that this is huge for the Asian American community and that this is the first film to have an all Asian cast in 25 years you still have a good movie because it's a good story. I went to this screening with a bunch of non RomCom lovers who just came out to help support the Asian community and even they found it to be a cute story.

Go check out Crazy Rich Asians in theaters everywhere on August 15th! Bring your parents, your significant others, friends and or your girls! Come out, represent, support, and help make sure diversity is something that is sought after in Hollywood. Check out the full trailer here!

 

Ranna Bigdely Slays

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I met Ranna Bigdely in November of 2017. I spent a month getting to know her, then my partner accepted a job in another state and we relocated. Although I had been looking forward to this potential relocation for a number of months, I found myself disappointed and experiencing a feeling of loss over a very new friendship that would be left unexplored. Social media is a great thing and has allowed us to remain connected but Ranna’s friendship does not manifest itself primarily in the abstract. Her love and her intentions create a tangible experience. Ranna’s communicates beautifully with her words but where she is an artist is in her food

Ranna Bigdely is an Iranian American entreprenuer. On the surface, she is a café owner. Spend your lunch break with her and you will find she is also an educator and has a vision for how she wants to integrate that into her business model. With knowledge inherited from her Persian grandmothers, she is working to help others empower themselves over their health and become the experts on what they put in their bodies.

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To understand Ranna, you must delve into her family history. On Ranna’s father’s side, they were orcharders. His mother was a professional healer and midwife, and she was paid for her work in chickens, spices, and fabric. She cured ailments, turned breached babies, assisted women through every step of the childrearing process, coached women through lactation difficulties, and aided infertility issues. Ranna spoke especially on the topic of turning a breached baby saying, “she could turn a breech baby from the outside…she used a fabric to perform the procedure. It almost always worked and was uncomfortable but not an especially painful process, which made her even more desirable as a midwife.” Physicians today would refer to this method as an external cephalic version (ECV). Modern physicians using this technique may find their patients experience quite a bit more discomfort than those who sought Ranna’s grandmother’s services. Just ask Kim K. (http://www.health.com/pregnancy/kim-kardashian-breech-baby-procedure).

Ranna’s people on her mother’s side were nomadic. Nomadic people are the original minimalists, though their lifestyle has been perfected to an art-form as opposed to a pop-cultural movement. Their way of life was not an experiment or an escape from a materialistic world. It was the only foreseeable option for many born into that lifestyle and their practices, particularly their homeopathic practices, were necessities. Her grandmother eventually moved to a village but she retained her healing wisdom that brought other villagers to her for health advice.

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Ranna’s mother was outspoken and rebellious. Prior to the 1978 Regime change (the Iranian Revolution which replaced a pro-western monarchy with an anti-western theocracy), her mother worked for a literacy corp, which was created by the Shah. As the regime changed, the world she knew became more conservative…as did the uniform. She refused to comply with the newly enforced dress code and also refused to keep her opinions on the new government to herself. She had been paid with a living stipend which included coupons for groceries, and leaders in her community began to punish her by withholding her coupons and docking her pay. One evening, the Imam came to dinner and warned her that there were plans in motion for her to be made an example of. He warned her that she and her husband needed to flee the area.

That is what they did. Her mother and father sold the house in two days. They fled to the United States and began their new life in Oklahoma because it offered the most affordable international student tuition. Ranna’s father attended Langston University and Oklahoma State University. Her mother began college but left after giving birth to Ranna’s older brother. She later held positions as a nursing assistant and secretary.

Ranna was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma is well known for it’s poor health statistics.In the United States, many of the leading causes of death are preventable (https://www.cdc.gov/healthreport/publications/compendium.pdf).

In discussing her inspiration, Ranna said, “I realized in my mid 20’s that I came from people that had babies in the dirt and cured their own illnesses. Grew medicine, grew food. And I knew how to do none of that. And I thought…shit….don’t put that in there.”

“Can I please?”

“Okay, Well shit is what I felt so yes.”

She recalled a time when she was 6 and visited Iran.

“I became violently ill—I know now it was my body being exposed to different microbes my gut flora wasn’t accustomed to, and our bodies do not react well to that adjustment. To help make me better, my grandmother made me a tea. And it was putrid. She sweetened it but it was still vile. Thick and yellow. I don’t know what was in it because she was illiterate and nothing was written down, but I drank it. She had me sleep on my stomach and I woke up feeling so much better.

“Modern medicine made her methods common—peasant-like. Proper people went to the hospital. People were still coming to her until the day she died, but not like they did before her village became what some would call—civilized.

The way people lived—it was trying, it was challenging—but it was self-sustaining. They could hunt and gather, feed themselves, prepare their food. They lived off the earth. They didn’t eat the garbage that has become synonymous with the American diet. And, they handled stressors better because of the type of work they did every day. They moved around—none of this sedentary lifestyle that’s engulfed us today. They lived how people should live.”

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Ranna preaches about balance, about the natural order of things. Eating food when it’s in season, understanding what herbs can do for your body. Wellness isn’t from the outside in—it comes from inside then makes its journey outward. If you are physically healthy, it will usually manifest itself in your emotions, lifestyle, and relationships. About 18% of adults in the USA have some type of anxiety disorder, and around 30% of them seek professional treatment. What if we can take control of some of that by being healthier?

I asked Ranna about seeking medical services. “I am not saying to neglect your kid. Take your kid to the doctor, take your kid to the hospital if it is an emergency! But if there isn’t a medical reason that you’re sleepy every day at 4:00 p.m., or can’t go to the bathroom, if you don’t have a sex drive…often these problems can be explained by what is or isn’t in your pantry.”

She is, like most of us, the product of a line of forgotten women, whose names are not the names you will find when searching the Internet for inspiration, but their footprints remain. To keep them alive, we must treasure those pieces of wisdom that survived generations prior to the world of social media. We are more connected than ever, but Ranna made me realize that many of us are missing something. She’s inspiring because she is on a mission to find it. She’s tapping back into her roots,

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“Why are we unhappy in America? Why are we unhealthy? Okay, that happens, but why are we SOOOO unhappy and unhealthy? Why were people living simple lives happier and healthier than us.

This began my journey. I’ve put the word out so my parent's people know that I’m looking for information. Any memories or information or remedies, or food that no one eats anymore, I want it. I want to know everything. At first, it was slow going but bit by bit my collection has grown.”

Ranna gave me some insight on one of her biggest pet peeves in modern health remedies. “All these lovely people beside themselves with pain and discomfort and taking 6 turmeric pills a day. In healthy pursuits, they are bastardizing and destroying good benefits. Cook it! You would not eat an avocado pill, would you? Tumeric is best consumed with fat, black pepper and heat. Not in a gelatin or hypromellose capsule.”

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How is Ranna encouraging wellness through what you eat in her community and empowering others to take charge of their life and their body? She went to an underground pop-up dinner and realized she wanted to do that. She realized she would need a commercial kitchen and found someone willing to rent their restaurant out to her at night. She cooked multiple courses of food, primarily Persian. She provided a little bit of food education including the history of the foods and the recipes she used. She’s taught classes at several venues including Whole Foods. One of the more recent events she put on was for 42 individuals at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in OKC. This led to her current role as an owner of the Paisley Café, a library café in Norman, OK. The Pioneer Library System recently received a government grant to combat food-related illness. Ranna was the obvious choice for one of their educators.

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Ranna is in the process of starting her own teaching kitchen. One thing that will not be on the menu? Smoothies. Ranna calls smoothies pre-chewed food and a fad. She wants you to throw away the concept of a diet, stay away from food fads, and stop worrying so much about carbs. Eat mindfully, eat informed and eat with the intention to nourish yourself.

Ranna’s Inflammation Fighting Bone Broth

-Farmer's chicken or at least free range chicken if you don’t know a local farmer.

-Use Scraps. Like turkey carcass from Thanksgiving (save it) and make soup out of it. Or bones. Chicken wings. Buy a package of wings with skin, bones, joints, etc. I avoid beef because to get the joint of a cow bone it’s too large so they cut it into pieces and you miss out on the joint which has the marrow but missing on the collagen and gelatin.

-A pound of the chicken with bones and joints and skin.

- 1 c. chopped celery.

- 1 c. chopped carrot.

-1. c. diced onion.

-1 tbsp minced garlic. (4 cloves)

- 2 bay leaves

-1 tsp peppercorn

-1 tbsp Tumeric

-1 tsp salt

- 1 tsp of dried thyme or half fresh thyme.

- Cover with water plus inches

- Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer for 4 hours.

After done, strain all of it out. Save the broth. You can freeze it, but it will last up to a week in the fridge. Drink it when you’re sick, fasting, or incorporate it into your daily menu.  

If anyone is interested in learning more or setting up a consultation with Ranna please email her at: rannabigdely@aol.com

Jobs in Which Women Slay

Even though most jobs can be done by both men and women, there are jobs that women just seem to be better at. After all, we can all agree that there are many clear differences between men and women, including the way they think and solve problems, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that some jobs are simply more suitable for one sex than the other. If you’re wondering which jobs we are talking about, here are a few jobs that women excel at doing.

Secretary

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Whether we are talking about personal secretary or the company one, ladies usually do much better in this field of work. It might be due to being better at multitasking, but women are also better at being detailed and well organized. Moreover, the ability to listen and type at the same time can be invaluable to a secretary. Plus, the secretary is often one of the first people you would see if you were to enter a company building. This is why women’s natural charm is another reason for them slaying at this job.

Driver

Contrary to the popular belief, the fact is that men are not better drivers regardless of how many of them think they are. When it comes to driving, men are more prone to making risky moves like speeding or drunk driving, and thus, putting themselves and everybody around them in danger. They are also more easily distracted by their environment, which can be dangerous, since research has shown that about 8% of all driving accidents happen when the driver gets distracted. This is why no matter how much men love their cars, women will still be better at driving them.

Teacher

Nobody can deny that men can be amazing teachers. However, women are naturally more sensitive, patient, caring, affectionate, and supportive, which are essential qualities when it comes to working with children. Most men lack the tolerance and patience necessary for the job, and children can be quite a handful. Although it may be true that men are less likely to venture into this field of work due to social pressure and stereotypes, even if that weren’t the case, women would still be better at it due to their nature.

 

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Manager

Just like they are great at being secretaries thanks to their multitasking skills and tendency to be detailed, women are also great at being managers. Men are less likely to provide regular feedback to their employees and more likely to compete and focus on their own progress instead of making decisions that would benefit their entire team. They also have a hard time dealing with failures and accepting their own mistakes, while women are more patient and willing to listen and learn from experience.

Finally, women are better at investing money, because testosterone makes men more likely to hold on to their stocks and risk everything. Women, on the other hand, choose to play safe most of the time, which is why studies have shown that they have nearly twice the return as men. Speaking of finances, if you want to improve your knowledge, getting a certificate IV in finance and mortgage broking might be just the thing you need to improve your  financial game.

Fitness instructor

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Being a fitness instructor requires patience, meditation, breath control, the right posture, and the ability to relax. The benefits of fitness are not tied to either sex, but the female body often tends to be more flexible than that of a man. Moreover, men tend to get embarrassed and uncomfortable when required to do certain movements. These are just a few reasons why women are often better at being fitness instructors than men.

 

Counselor

Research has shown that women are more likely to yawn when somebody else does than men are – which shows that they have a higher sense of empathy. They feel more affected by the feelings of the person they are talking to, which makes them great counselors. Plus, with their nurturing nature and the ability to listen, they are better at creating the right kind of connection with the person who needs their help. Also, women are generally thought to be more trustworthy than men, which is extremely important for jobs that are based on trust. All of these qualities can help the person seeking counseling open up, which helps the counselor do their job more successfully.

 

These are just some of the jobs that are generally better done by women than men. They rule these job positions and will probably keep slaying at them for a long time.


 

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.