Browsing Category: Life

Meditation 101

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I don’t know about you, but meditation has always been one of those “things” that every one who is in tune and successful in their life practice, but has always seemed a little too time consuming to me.

In the past, I would look at meditation as a waste of time. I mean, why not take that 15-30 of sitting on the floor, quietly breathing and use that time to actually get things done.  However, after test driving meditation for myself, I have found that it has completely helped transform my life, including the way I look at doing things all together.

Aside from breakfast and exercise, meditation is one the best things you can do at the beginning of your day to help you attain a peaceful and fulfilling day.

Quick steps to meditating:

  1. find a quiet and relaxing space that encompasses things that are calming to you (i.e. candles/incense, streaming water, sounds of nature)
  2. sit in a comfortable, upright pose while sitting on your legs crossed and avoid slumping.
  3. sit still, while deeply breathing in and out
  4. focus on clearing your mind. Hard to do? Try the counting method.

There are many benefits of meditating, even for as little as 15 minutes a day. So, I would like to share a few of my favorite benefits that I’ve noticed in myself since I’ve started to meditate on a regular basis.

  • Reduces Stress – Stress is one of the gateway emotions to an unhealthy life. So, anything that helps you eliminate that demonic presence from your life should be added to your daily regimen.
  • Increases Energy – My lack of energy is one of the main reasons I looked into meditation. I do so much running around for myself and others that I usually don’t have enough time to relax and get a decent night of sleep. So, meditation has helped me relax more, which, in return, increased my energy.
  • Increases Happiness – I’m a happiness encourager. So, anything that encourages happiness, I’m all in. I think that meditating helps increase happiness, because it also helps to reduce and omit stress from your life. Life – Stress = HAPPINESS!
  • Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle – Healthy lifestyle starts from within and the act of clearing your mind, eliminating stressful entities, and increased energy brought on from meditation can motivate you to look into other healthy lifestyle adjustments.
  • Increases Productivity – No extra and unnecessary things on my your mind makes room for more positive things to do and/or things that you have been putting off to finally get done.

If you are looking for more in-depth information about meditation, including breathing, benefits, and resources check out this link. Namaste’.

Stay Stylish!

 

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The Return of the Accountability Advocate

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In case you can’t tell from the lack of daily posts, I’ve been having the hardest time getting back into the swing of things, online and offline, so far this year. Regular posting on the blog and social media has been hard to climb back on board and even my usually daily/weekly activities have evaporated. To give you an example of just how extreme my lack of motivation, I haven’t stepped into a Target since before Christmas. Yes, almost a month and that’s even scary to type considering I would go to Target no less than 1-2 times a week. Whoa, I just got chills after taking in this revelation.

It’s really weird, because even though I have a few legit reasons to explain this lacking moment in my life, this isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this type of “life blockage”. However, this is the first time that it has taken this long to get out of it. I’ve been a nonchalant person for as long as I can remember, which has allow me to not sweat small stuff and push ahead after a quick breather. Unfortunately, this breather has turned into a full on coma.

Well, maybe coma isn’t the right word considering that my sleep pattern is off the charts. I either go to bed early and get a nice, long 8 hour night of sleep or force myself to fall asleep around midnight after spending an hour playing around on my phone ONLY to wake up in 5-6 hours for no other reason other than my body is used to waking up early.

I like that I have an inner alarm clock (most of the time). However, I used to spend that early morning time working on blog posts, stretching, and/or relaxing in bed to get up in a peaceful and calming matter. The past few weeks? I’m either waking up late or when I do wake up early, I lay in bed…on my phone…browsing Instagram or playing my new game obsessions of Words and Trivia Crack.

I’m seriously over this, for lack of better words, lazy lifestyle that I’ve stumbled upon and there is no one to blame other than myself. I’m holding myself accountable, as usual, for this unfortunate change in my life. I’m so annoyed with myself that I would allow myself to get into this abyss, let alone at the beginning of a new year! I’ve always looked at the beginning of a new year as a breath of fresh air and blank canvas to create a new year long adventure.

Before I delve even further into the negatives, let me gas my own head for a minute with a few positives (hopefully to egg me on to achieve some of my goals)

  • Relationships – Friendships and personal relationships are going great. I’ve even joined/help form a new group that geared improving our health with natural elements. So, I’m happy and excited about that!
  • Car – I got a “new” car finally. Even though I was forced to do so, because I totaled my car, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do and planned to do in 2015. So, I was actually able to scratch that off my to-do list.
  • Paid Off Some Debt – I’m not done, more on that to come, but even the smallest of debts removed from my credit report is encouraging.

So, now on the real. I will say that I’ve had plenty of ideas and goals pop in my mind, but never fully pulled the trigger on them. Yep, that’s about to change….NOW!

I’m a firm believer that when you write tasks and goals down, you have a better chance of actually doing them.

Don’t just think it….INK IT!

So, here are some things I’m going to work on this year and in no particular order:

  • Become a teacher – This has been an aspiration of mine for the past couple of years and I was going to get on the road to becoming one last year, but my mom got sick and was in and out of the hospital and other stuff which halted my plans. However, 2015 is the year!
  • Post quality content at least 3-4x a week – Although I do love reading on other blog and writing on this one those quick “look at this cute dress” and “you need this awesome moisturizer” posts, I feel most happiest and inspire when I not only come up with a great idea, but to actually write, edit, and post makes me feel accomplished and proud. Even if only 10 people read it, I feel inspired to want to do more. So, I’m cooking up some post and investing in some new tools to help me out.
  • Read at least 1 book a month – I feel like I am the queen of having random tables in my house stacked with books I’ve intended to read for years or books I read whenever I feel like it. I used to be able to read a book from start to finish within 2 days while I was a full-time college student and/or employee. I miss them!
  • Get my credit score well over 700 – This might be one of the easiest right now, because I’m pretty much there, but I want to get it super high by the end of the year. House hunting by 2016. Wait on it.
  • Increase secondary income – Hustler ambitions. I have them. I’ve used them, but I need to bring them out again. I love and highly recommend side hustles, be it an Etsy site, tutoring, braiding hair or *clears throat* blogging. I recommend everyone adds a hustle to regimen this year….preferably legal, peeps. You know what I mean.
  • Go on a legit vacay – Vacation! Ugh, just typing it out made me feel a little more relaxed. Actually, my sister/roommate and I have been talking about going on a cruise this year. We’re leaning toward Christmas time, but not sure yet. However, we are going to a travel agent this week to plan something. Yippee!

I guess I’m off to a decent start since I’ve already begun a couple of these. *pats self on the back*

Stay Stylish!

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My 2014: The Year My Life Changed Forever

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Since the new year pretty much on the other side of the door, I guess this would be a perfect time to reflect on this past year of 2014. A year ago, I definitely didn’t think much would change in my life by the end of the year. Even though I wanted more, I can honestly say that I didn’t think much would change, including my job, relationships, and people in my life. Boy, was I wrong.

*Deep breath”

For the rest of my life, I will always remember 2014 as the year that I lost my mom. Even as I typed those four small words, my eyes just burst into tears. She passed away on September 17, over 3 months ago and I’m okay, just like I know that after a small stroke, followed by a heart surgery and an amputation and countless of rehab before ultimately transitioning, she is now finally okay.

Although I think about her every single day (with more than an occasional outburst of waterworks from my eyes) and miss her from the deepest depth of my soul, I’m not sad. I’m actually happy, because she’s at peace which has put my brother, sister, and I at peace, as well. Between the beginning of April until her death, we as individuals were going through a lot.

A month before all my mom’s illness issues popped up,  my sister/roommate lost her job, which left me to cover all of our joint bills. Luckily, I was blessed enough to be able to do, but still it was stressful, for both of us. Two months after that, my brother and his ever-loving and supportive wife had just begun the life changing journey of entering the fostering/ adopting program and received their child. Due to other other things with my siblings, I was left to handle all my mom’s business, meaning making sure her bills were paid, going to doctor’s appointments, and filling out countless paperwork while working a full-time.

However, all that stuff is a blur and doesn’t matter anymore. I just miss my mom.

*Dries tears*

Despite that, 2014 is also the year I acquired a new mindset on just being happy. So, simple, yet so hard to do at times. I started to do what made me happy. If it meant laying on the sofa all day watching movies saved on my DVR and indulging in guilt/sugar/fat-filled snacking, I did it, but not that much. I especially embraced this new philosophy after the death of my mom.

I’m going to carry this personal pursuit of happiness from this year into next and set my goals. Well, not necessarily “goals”, but things I’m striving to do this year.

  • Become certified to become a teacher – This was something I considered back in February 2014, but fell to waist side so I can help my mom. Now, I’m prepping to take the certification test within in the next couple of months. Yes, the person who never wanted kids and didn’t think kids would like her has come to realization that it’s not true. Well, the latter anyway. Still,wish me luck.
  • Continue paying off debt – I did pretty good at this in 2014 by being meticulous with paying bills and stalking my credit score like ex on Facebook. I’m going up the ante in 2015. I’m aiming to pay off almost half my debt this year. I’m knocking off the smaller, but still diabolical ones first and cutting back on some unnecessary expenses. Crazy how paying off bills instead of buying new clothes makes me feel so happy. I guess that’s part of being an adult.
  • Nurture strong AND true relationships –  Despite the emotional personal year I had, I somehow met and built a couple of great friendships while also learning to let some go.  It’s hard coming to realization that some people you truly care and/or really like just can’t reciprocate that back to you and eventually you have to realize that it really is you and not them. They were showing me who they are, but I wasn’t paying attention. However, once I started to do a life cleansing and removing the people and things that didn’t make me happy, I noticed that the number of numbers in my contact list had shrunk. Hmm….and I’m okay with that!

So, I’m very optimistic for the new year and the journey I’m about to embark. I’ll see back here on January 5th and have a Happy New Year!

Stay Stylish!

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Candles Are Awesome

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I love candles. Well, most people do, which is why they are usually my go-to last minute gift. Seriously, a nice and fragrant candle is a great gift to receive. So, I tend to load up on them.

Although, I’m a fan of most candles, I’ve recently become fond of soy candles. One brand that has been burning around my house is the Fall harvest trio from Old Factory. The trio included Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry, Autumn Leaves, which were all very fragrant WITHOUT being to overwhelming. Even my sister-in-law who is sensitive to most candles, because of the strong scent applauded these candles.

Old Factory candles are hand-poured in the USA with natural soy wax, self-trimming cotton candle wicks, and premium fragrance oils. The Old Factory Candle Gift Sets each contain 3 different scented candles. Each candle burns clean and even for 20 hours.

Aside from the Fall Harvest collection, they offer 11 other collections including 2 I really want to try; Fresh & Clean and Spa Day. Other than the holiday season, I tend to stick to clean scents. So, those two collections are next on my list once the holiday season is wrapped.

Each set is themed around a group of related fragrances. So everyone is sure to find something perfect for every occasion, every room in the house, and all the special someones in your life. Old Factory Candle Gift Sets are sold exclusively on Amazon.

I suggest you might want to stock up on a few of these gift sets, because they make awesome gifts anytime and for anyone…including you!

Stay Stylish!

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WEEKEND AT HOME: Starbucks ‘Coldbuster’ Tea

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It’s definitely flu season, because my sister and I have blowing our noses repeatedly all week. So, this weekend, we plan to lounge on the sofa and watch Christmas movies all day to rest ourselves.

Luckily, all my issues have been just ‘nasal’, but I felt my throat getting a little itchy and knew that was body’s way of telling me I need to put on my boxing gloves and fight off a cold. Well, I knew I needed to soothe my throat and the best way I know to do this is with a big warm cup of tea. However, my laziness made me wondered did Starbucks have a tea that was good for soothing an itchy throat other than my usual go-to Zen green tea.

After a quick Google search, I was introduced to Starbucks’ ‘The Coldbuster’ tea which combines peppermint, chamomile, and steamed lemonade. As soon as I sipped this tea, my body instantly felt calm, soothe, and oddly refreshed (Thanks, Peppermint). Also, my sister who was feeling worse than me, felt the same afterwards, too. Aside for the feels, the tea even tastes awesome!

If it wasn’t for the fact that the instructions for the barista a little tedious to give over the drive-thru intercom, I would order this almost everyday.

So, the next time you are dealing with a cold or feel one coming on, might a suggest you run this recipe to your nearest barista.

  • Venti Cup w/ a bag of Refresh Tea (mint) and a bag of Calm Tea (chamomile)
  • Add half hot water and half steamed lemonade
  • Add a little honey for its anti-microbial effects
  • Optional: Add a pump of peppermint

Stay Stylish!

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