Browsing Category: Career

What I Learned From Taking A Staycation

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Aside from this blog and side hustles associated with blogging, I have a full-time 9-6 job. You read that right. Yes, I’m expected to sit at a desk in a cubicle in front of 2 monitors, 9am – 6pm, Monday thru Friday. Not only that, but I’ve been doing that for 4 years. So, to celebrate this wonderful anniversary, I decided to use five out of my 10 allotted vacation days and treat my self to a nice staycation.

FYI, a ‘staycation’ is pretty much taking time off from work and staying home and doing things locally, including possibly staying at a hotel.

For my staycation, I opted to just lounged around my own home and do what I want, when I want, and however I wanted to do them…and it was awesome! However, during this week off from the typical grind from the place that pays for the majority of my health insurance, I did explore ideas I’ve been putting off and even ventured off to a festival and plenty of resturaunts.

In the end, I realized that my staycation helped me appreciate a few things I either forgot about or didn’t think to do. Here a few things I learned recently from taking a staycation.

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Cocktails for lunch are great – This lovely cocktail consisted Sugarland Moonshine, topped with lemonade and Sprite and twist of lime. It was so refreshing and the star of my day.

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Pizza on the grill should be the norm – Well, cooking barbeque pizza on grill should be the norm. It takes a little longer than in the oven, but authentic smoky flavor just can’t be beat. These pizzas were Papa Murphy’s new BBQ pizza. I had the steak one and I still can’t get over how amazing it was after cooked in the smoked grill. So much so, that there may or may not be a pizza cooked on my grill on Memorial Day. I’m just saying.

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I’m Addicted to House Plants – Drawing was my life when I was a child and just recently, I started sketching and drawing again. I’m really into creating and playing around with shapes, graphic prints, and using different mediums. Colorful graphic pens and Sharpies are so nice to have and to hold on a rainy afternoon.

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New foundations make me feel better – This Tarte foundation was on my “Need To Try List” for a while. So, while I decided to pick it up while doing a couple of laps around Ulta. It’s full-coverage, which is just what I wanted so I could do spot applications. I’m using it like a concealer, except a really amped up concealer. I’m cutting back on full face makeup all over. It’s just too hot for a full face a glam, no matter how natural.

A boring 9-5 is not for me – …and definitely 9-6 is not for me, which is what I have. I’m very appreciative of having a secure job, but I’m over it and I’m over being over it. After spending a week off and having the pleasure of enjoying life how I want and when I want was exonerating. Although I was off from my “benefits job”, I found the time to stir up some things for my freelance eCommerce consulting and Social Media Marketing business, which has been great. I’m not saying giving up a having a 9-5 ever, just having one that allows me to explore other things I enjoy, at my time and pace.

*Honorable Mention – Refreshing your resume’ isn’t the most fun to have while on vacation, but it needed to be done!

Stay Stylish!

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How To Learn Anything…Anywhere

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Practically any and every thing is available to you, via a click on your computer or a couple of taps on phone, which is awesome.

Like most people, when I want to find out how to do something really fast (i.e get a stain of carpet or hair tutorial) I hit up YouTube and for fast facts or info, there’s always my BFF, Google.

However, there are some skills and knowledge that aren’t so quick or beneficial to absorb instantly and requires dedicated time. In the past, when you’ve had the urge to learn a new skill, you signed up for classes at a local college/university or online classes.

Those options are still great, but the latest thing to help you learn, sharpen, or advance yourself in new skills are websites that offer online video courses. Not only are the courses in video format, but most of these sites offer a wide range of subjects for business or hobby. Plus, unlike online course via an online university, you have the option and convenience to complete these courses at your own pace, time, and location and for the fraction of the cost.

So, if you are looking to further your knowledge on business skills, software, or a hobby you’ve been meaning to take up, then try one of the sites below that will show you how to learn anything and anywhere.

  • Lynda.com – A membership based site that offers thousands of online video courses in everything from business skills, technology, and software that’s available from your computer and their app that’s available from iOS and Android.
  • Skillshare.com – Like Lynda.com, Skillshare is another membership based site with  online video course. However, Skillshare focuses on creative courses including photography, DIY, and even Entrepreneurship.
  • Udemy.com – Udemy, like Lynda.com, offers thousands of course in a wide range of subjects from computer programming to yoga. However, this site isn’t membership based. You pay for individual courses that you can learn at your pace, time, and location.

I’m really looking into perfecting my graphic design skills, since I haven’t used them in awhile and I’ve been into photography. So, I think I’m going to sign up for SkillShare. Are you thinking about taking some online video courses to work on somethings and further yourself, personally and professionally?

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Finding Your Strength

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In my current journey to living the life I want and destined to have, I’ve been focused on my unearthing my passion and strengths. Some people tend to focus more on their weaknesses, by either trying to strengthen it or dwell in it. Even I’m guilty of doing this myself, deep in my heart and mind, I knew that wasn’t the right area to focus. However, I didn’t know how to find, focus and increase my strengths.

So, when I saw Strength Finder 2.0, it instantly spoke to me and urged me to  buy it.

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths.

Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying and finding your strengths, the book is set up as follow:

    StrengthsFinder: The Next Generation
    (A short introduction explaining the need for the enhanced edition of the test based upon new thinking and research in strengths psychology)

  • I: Finding Your Strengths
    (A 30-page overview of strengths psychology and how the Gallup system works)

  • II. The StrengthsFinder (www.StrengthFinder.com)
    (If you haven’t taken it before, the code to take the test is provided in a packet inside the book. You actually have to buy the book to take the test)

  • III: Applying Your Strengths
    (After getting the results from your online assessment, there are 150 pages outlining each of the 34 themes including what people with that strength look like, how to manage them, and ideas for action if you have that strength).

    This book is an easy read with informative and information that creates a guiding light to the path you need to find and focus on your personal strengths to, ultimately, lead you to the life you want and deserve.

    Stay Stylish!

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5 Quick Tips To Have A Productive Day

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Productive days are awesome! I feel so accomplished by being able to get things done efficiently and with ease. Well, I recently did a (or a few) mini experiment to explore some tips that helped give me the result of a perfectly productive day.

If I miss or skip one of these tips, I usually can still rally in the fourth quarter to come up with a win. However, if I omit at least 2 of theses tips, I have found it hard to end my day on a high note and/or feeling.

So, I thought I would share my formula, which continuously helps me achieve and productive day.

  1. Prepare – I like to shave minutes off of my morning, mainly because I don’t like to rush, especially in the morning. A rushed body leads to a rushed mind. I like to have a clear and fresh mind in the morning. So, before I go to bed the night before, I spend 30-45 minutes preparing what I’m going to wear, preparing lunch, and preparing everything I need to have on me when I leave (i.e laptop, planner, etc.) Those 30 minutes help immensely.
  2. MeditateMeditation helps you relax and clear your mind, which helps you with the next tip.
  3. List – Creating lists are one of my hobbies, because I love them so much. The feeling I get when I finish a task and cross it off of my to-do list is exhilarating and motivates me to want to finish another task so I can scratch that off and so forth.
  4. Exercise – Cardio, yoga, or 30 minutes of deep stretching to warm your muscles up and alert your body that it’s time to move will be much appreciated; instantly and in the long run.
  5. Eat – A classic cup of coffee is nice, but your body needs more than that, preferably something with fiber and protein. My favorite breakfast is granola, almond milk, and bananas and wash it down with some lemon water; hot or cold. That’s my go-to breakfast. Fast and fulfilling.

There you go, my favorite tips to help you start a productive day. They are so quick and easy to add to any daily regimen.

Do you have any tips and tricks that you use to start your day off? Please share below or tweet me!

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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