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10 Ways To Relieve Stress
Posted on May 30, 2017
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I can't stand my job. The thought of being there stresses me out once Sunday night rolls around or an extended weekend is coming to an end. Since this month is Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share some of the things I do to relieve stress in hopes of helping someone else. 

Take a personal day.  My mom calls them, "mental health days". I keep my PTO stacked for days when I just don't feel like being there. I like to extend my weekends when we have paid holidays too. There's nothing wrong with taking a day off to sleep in or get things done that you normally wouldn't have time to do. I had a mini meltdown a few weeks ago on a Sunday night and I made the executive decision to call in that Monday. I just needed an extra day to gather my thoughts and relax. Working a full-time job is already stressful, but working a job that you don't like or having to work overtime can be taxing. Save up that PTO for a rainy day!  


Color. They have adult coloring books with more intricate illustrations or you can keep it simple and buy a kids coloring book for nostalgia’s sake.

Take a bath. Showers are quick and more convenient during the week when you’re trying to get ready for work or go to bed, but every now and then I like to take a bath and use one of my Lush bath bombs. I turn on some music and chill for a little bit.

Music. Music can make you feel a million things. Create a playlist of relaxing songs or inspirational songs.

Write. I don’t write as often as I should, but when I pull out the journal, I feel better. Sometimes I like to vent without talking to an actual person. I don’t always want feedback and I don’t like bothering people with my problems all the time, so journaling helps me release my feelings with no worries. It’s also a great way to look back on how I felt back then and now I feel now. I still have a diary from the fifth grade and it’s hilarious every time I read it.

Clean Up. I’ve noticed that when my house is messy, I’m more stressed and overwhelmed if there’s clutter. When you get some free time, make sure you vacuum, wipe down your counters and put away those clothes that have been in the hamper for two weeks. A clean space makes a huge difference.

Fresh air. Take a walk or a drive. When the weather is nice, I love opening my windows to let fresh air into the house. I do the same when I’m driving. If you’ve got sunshine and a breeze, girl take in some of that fresh air!

Healthy Eating. Drinking water and healthy eating habits improve my mood. There’s nothing wrong with having a few Oreos or a bag of chips in moderation, but healthy eating is better in the long run. Junky food is great in moderation, which is why I try not to keep sweets in my house all the time. I have a  terrible sweet tooth.

Pleasant Scents. I love candles. I can’t tell you how much money White Barn/Bath & Body Works has gotten out of me. Burning candles are very relaxing. If candles aren’t your thing, you can burn your favorite incense or add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to an oil diffuser.  For oils that will energize and uplift, check them out here. For more calming and relaxing oils, click here.  Candles are great, but I definitely plan on investing in a diffuser soon so I can reap the benefits of natural oils. Essential oils can also be mixed into soaps, body butters, etc. so they’re an excellent investment.

Unplug from social media. Social media is great, but it can also be a hinderance. It's good to go off the grid and unplug from time to time. Don't announce that you're taking a break. Just don't log in. I find that I'm more active on Twitter during the week, but I go missing on the weekends. Between the news updates on our "president" and the great $200 date debate, all of it wears me low and that's when I know it's time to go missing. 


What are some healthy ways you like to unwind and relax? I’d love to hear about them below!

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Year 29.
Posted on May 21, 2017
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Today marks the last year of my 20s and I’m still trying to figure out where the time went.

Yesterday morning I didn’t want to be bothered or go out. After reflecting on my last eight birthdays, I felt like I had squandered them away. I haven’t had any extravagant birthday bashes or trips, but I’ve grown a lot over the last eight years. Looking back on my 20th birthday all the way up to today reminds me how far I’ve come. 2008 seems so long ago, but it feels like I just turned 25.

After being in my feelings, I had to remind myself that there’s no timeline on life. You won’t have it “together” at age 25 and you won’t have it all figured out at 29 either.

I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I have another chance to work towards it. Extravagant birthdays are nice, but lessons are great too. I went into my birthday weekend thinking it was gonna suck because of the rainy weather and it ended up being sunny today. I’m grateful for all my friends and family who sent love my way today.


The last year of my 20s will be about me trying to become a better version of myself as always. Eating more veggies, taking my ass to the gym, not renewing a library book five times, ya know, little things.


So here’s to another year of growth, discovery and more life 🌺. Sorry, I had to do it. I love Drake and he just gets it. Deal

Anyway, here’s to Year 29!

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I'm Not A Procreation Machine
Posted on April 1, 2017
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Five years ago, I was at my best friend's baby shower and one of our high school friends asked, "Jaida, when are you having kids?" My response was, "No time soon." She dismissed my answer and replied, "Girl, that's what I said too." She was about three months pregnant at the time. That was in 2011 and I was fresh out of college (three months, to be exact). Fast forward six years later and my feelings haven’t changed.


We’ve been conditioned to think we’re “supposed” to get a college degree, get married and have babies by age XX. I don’t want to have kids right now and I’m not going to pretend I do because society says I should.

I'm at a place in my life where I'm still trying to figure things out for myself. All of that goes out of the window once you become a parent. I’ve literally been with my mother her entire adult life. She had me at 22 and my sister at 25 so she had to figure things out pretty quickly. My parents didn’t have a chance to fully focus on themselves until we were grown.

A lot of young people jump into parenthood when they’re not ready and it ends up affecting them and their children. I wouldn’t want that for anybody. Not only that, but I wasn’t put on earth just to become a mother. That isn’t my purpose.

I’m having a hard enough time trying to figure my life out alone. I couldn’t imagine throwing children in the mix. These are my years to be selfish. I don’t have anybody depending on me. I don’t have to take childcare and school districts into account when deciding where I’ll move next. As a single, childless woman, I’m stable for the most part. Besides, there are plenty of children in my life whom I can spoil and love on before sending them back to their parents.

Women are not obligated to have babies. Stop asking women when and if they’re going to have children. Some women do not want children. Some women can’t have children. Stop forcing that responsibility on us. I’m lucky to have parents who haven’t pressed the issue of wanting grandchildren. They understand where I’m at in my life and they respect it. If you want random women to have children so bad, go adopt a child in need of a loving home.


People don’t have to become parents due to some imaginary deadline. Leave people alone and mind your business.

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International Women's Day
Posted on March 8, 2017
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March 8th is our day on the calendar, but I make it a point to celebrate us year-around. We're a force to be reckoned with. Continue to shine. Continue to make your dreams come true. Don't let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. Be fierce. Be soft. Be hard. Fight for what you want. Cheers to some of the women that I love and aspire to be like: Beyoncé, Solange, Viola Davis, Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janelle Monáe, Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Aja Naomi King, Ciara, Cardi B, Jourdan Dunn, Jackie Aina, Jessica Lewis, Whitney White and many, many, many more! Girls are everything. Women are everything. I love us and you should too. If you want to see non-stop girl power, be sure to follow me on Tumblr. 







First Time Renter's Guide
Posted on September 5, 2016
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I moved into my first apartment almost five months ago and I wanted to share the things I learned along the way.  If you’re moving out on your own for the first time and you’re not sure where to start, I hope this provides you with some insight to make your transition smoother.


·       First and foremost, create a budget. Be mindful of your monthly income and go from there. Be sure to include your current bills along with your future bills (cable, utilities, etc.) 

      Save. Save. Save.  If you don’t already have a savings account, now would be the time to start one. Most banks only require $25 to open an account. Open an account and deposit $25 (or whatever you can afford) into your savings once a month. 

Do your research. You can check out sites like ApartmentGuide.com, Apartments.com, ForRent.com and of course good ol’ fashioned Google, which is how I found my apartment complex.
·       
      Be sure to schedule an appointment to tour your prospective place.

While you’re on your tour, be sure to ask about your desired amenities. Will water, trash and sewage be included in the rent? Are there fees for having a pet or using the carport and garages on the property?

Ask about cable bundles that may be mandatory.  Some complexes may have an agreement with your local cable provider.

If you want a pool, gym, fireplace or any other amenities, be sure to inquire about those things during your tour.


·       Read the fine print before turning in your application.

The first complex I applied to wouldn’t refund my security deposit after I canceled the move-in date when I got approved for my first choice. That could’ve been $150 back in my pocket, but I was on a tight deadline to find a place and didn’t read the fine print thoroughly. Even if you think the rental office explained everything to you, be sure you read over everything for yourself and ask any questions before you submit your application.


·       Be persistent. My complex doesn’t have a waiting list so everything is first come, first serve. They weren’t able to tell me when a unit would be available right away, so I literally had to call, email and drive to the rental office to make sure I had first dibs on a place by my desired move-in date and I got in!

·       Inspect your future haven. If there’s any damage to the place (i.e. dirty carpet, chipped paint, etc.), be sure to take pictures and inform your rental office before you sign the lease so you’re not held responsible when you move out. You wanna be able to get that security deposit back, girl!

Hire a moving company. If you’ve saved a decent amount of money and you don’t want the hassle of having to round up family and friends to help you move, hire movers. I was only moving my bedroom furniture so I used You Move Me. They were reasonable, friendly, and quick. They even gave me a plant as a housewarming gift! You can always research other moving companies in your area. Most companies charge by the hour and may also charge based on distance, so keep that in mind.

Do not procrastinate! Moving little things from Point A to Point B was a pain towards the end because I was just ready to get it over with. Not to mention, we were moving off the third floor. Any small things such as clothes bins, etc. that can be moved by the company you hire, have them throw it on the truck and save yourself some time and energy. If you get your keys before your actual move-in date, take things to your new place little by little to lighten your load towards the end.

Last, but not least, enjoy your new home! Make it your own and make it a place you can’t wait to come back to after a long day.






Just a 20-somethin' trying to find my way and be great.
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