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Skincare Faves For Dry Skin
Posted on February 11, 2018

Does your skin feel tight after washing your face? Do you get flaky in the fall and winter months? Have you tried organic ingredients in hopes of combatting the dryness and nothing works?  

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, join the club!

I decided to try high end skincare products for the first time in 2015 and my my skin has improved so much since then.

It's hard to figure out what works best for your dry skin when it seems like everything is geared towards the oily/combo girls. 

If you have dry skin and haven't been able to get a routine down that works, don't fret! Sometimes it may be the products you’re using or your routine needs to be tweaked. 

I bought my Foreo Luna Mini 2 and I'm so glad I did. If you're not into gadgets, an inexpensive face brush will do the trick. It's a must to make sure you're getting rid of dead skin and deep cleaning, especially if you wear makeup on a regular basis.

Start out with a simple lineup of products, then you can slowly begin to add and take away products depending on what's best for your skin. Using a gentle cleanser along with a good serum and moisturizer have been my saving grace. I also like to use a face mist, especially when wearing makeup. If you're afraid of toning, say no more! Try an essence instead. It helps to remove extra debris from the skin and keep it balanced. Caudalie's Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence has been my go-to for a few months and I love it. 

If you’re looking to try new skincare products, you can always ask for samples at Sephora or speak to a skincare expert.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, I highly recommend trying First Aid Beauty's products. It was the first high-end brand I tried and it did wonders for my skin.

P.S. I plan on doing a more in-depth post on ingredients to look for while skincare shopping. To my dry girls, hyaluronic acid will be your best friend! 

If you have dry skin and you've stumbled upon some awesome products, let me know in the comments. I'm always looking for new stuff to try.

In the meantime, check out my favorite dry skin approved products below!

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Countdown To Year 30
Posted on November 21, 2017

Well, today marks the countdown to 30. I'll be 30 in exactly six months and I'm ready. 

My last post was a little after my birthday and I've been through a lot in 2016 and 2017 and I just couldn't bring myself to dedicate time to this space once again. 

I wouldn't call my rut "writer's block". I'm extremely critical of myself and I get in my own way. I'll have an idea just to shut it down in the next breath because it's not good enough. I don't like to get too personal about my struggles online, but being stressed, depressed and sometimes anxious can really take a toll on you. You can have all the ambition in the world and plans to execute your vision, but those feelings can stop you dead in your tracks. I know I'm not alone and I don't want anyone else to feel like they're alone. 

I try not to blame my problems solely on being an adult. While that's part of the problem, I don't mind being an adult. Being a kid was cool, but I've gotten used to not having to answer to anybody. The problem is I became an adult at the wrong time. The recession happened in 2008 when I was 20. Fast forward a year later and print headquarters for magazines and newspapers are closing left and right. This wasn't good for journalists, or those of us going to school for journalism at the time. Fast forward to 2011 and I'm graduating from college. I knew it would be no walk in the park as far as finding writing jobs, but the workforce, in general, is a doozy. They either want you to have a degree with 5+ years of experience or they don't ask about your degree at all and will pay you $30K a year. 

I'm in no rush for homeownership, marriage or children. I figure it'll happen when or if it's supposed to. If I can't live comfortably right now at 29, childless with one income, what good would I be with a child I can't afford? I can't even afford to take a vacation. I have yet to use my degree and my salary is nowhere near the price of my degree and it's all very frustrating and stressful. 

I did all this ranting to say, I have to keep going. Even while I'm stressed out trying to pay bills and figure out how to pay for my 30th birthday trip in May. I have to do this. I talk myself out of writing, but once I do it, I feel so much better. I just want to be good to myself and stop putting things off because it's not "good enough" or I'm not "ready".  You'll never be ready if you don't start and I've wasted enough time.

I want to seek therapy (more on this later) to get clarity and resolve ongoing issues (see: breaking generational cycles). 

I just want to stay out of my own way and allow myself to grow with no interference and hope something good comes from it. That's all I want moving forward. 

10 Ways To Relieve Stress
Posted on May 30, 2017

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 currently. 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. Junk food is okay in moderation, which is why I try not to keep sweets in my house all the time. I have the worst 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

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

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

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, and a virtual collage of some awesome girlies, be sure to follow me on Tumblr. 

Letter To My Younger Self
Posted on August 13, 2016

August 13, 2006 (Age 18)

So you’re done with high school and you’re starting college in a week. I know you wanted to go away for school, but you have some maturing to do. You’ll get to leave, I promise. You may feel stagnant sometimes and things might get tough, but you’ll get through it. Besides, you’ll be busy as hell three years from now in a totally different environment. All of this is temporary. Just knock these prerequisites out and keep it moving.

August 13, 2011 (Age 23)

Well, you did it. You graduated from college. You thought the day would never come, but it’s here! You were a totally different person when you came to TSU at 20-years-old, but you’ve learned valuable lessons and made lifelong friends in the process. When you think of this place, think about what it took for you to get here and never take it for granted. You gained much more than a degree.

Even though you matured and learned a lot about yourself, college was still a safety net. It’s gonna be scary and stressful trying to figure out what’s next, but do yourself a favor and relax. Listen to Dad. He may sound insensitive now, but you need to go home. You didn’t have a plan mapped out for post-graduation so the best thing for you to do is go home. Go home and enjoy not having to do anything for the first time in five years. You’ll be able to eat home cooked meals again and the days of sleeping in an extra large twin bed and dragging your clothes to the laundry room to wash clothes are done! Appreciate the little things.

Be prepared for growing pains. Be prepared to feel lost. You’re gonna argue with Mom and Dad because parents don’t get it. Take everything as a lesson and apply it in the future so you know how to navigate it or help someone else navigate it. The same way you had to fight to get your degree, you’ll have to fight even harder to find your place in the "real world". Oh yeah, start a savings account. You'll need it. 

And last, but not least, do not put deadlines on your life. Don’t stress yourself out because you aren’t living in a condo in NYC by age 25. We’ve been trained to think we have to set all these unrealistic goals by a certain age in order to be “successful”. Five years from now, you won’t even wanna move to New York. It sounds crazy now, but trust me on this. Be thankful for the things you have and continue to work for the things you want.

Last thing, don’t become complacent, because that’s not who you are. Be good to yourself and stay encouraged.

Love, Jaida

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