23

Thoughts on my 23rd

As I enter into my 23rd year, I come with pure joy. A feeling I don’t believe I’ve ever truly felt before, until now. Joy from the grace God has given me and the patience He has shown me, specifically in my walk with Him. But also joy, because of how He has gently restored me, even though I don’t deserve it.

His patience to wait on me to buy into His goodness and understand His reckless and never-ending love that can be found nowhere else but in Him has meant everything to me. And because of that, I plan to remain faithful all my days and practice long-suffering until the day I see His face. Because kindness like this isn’t something, you forget. It changes you. It gives you peace. It’s something you tell and show the world because words simply aren’t enough.

It’s fruit.


Things I’ve Learned at 23

1. Plan

You can plan all you want, and still, God has the final say. Become comfortable with submitting your wants to Him, but also understand that when your plans don’t come to pass, the author and creator of your faith is overseeing your life. Things will work out as they should, and He has your best interest in mind.

2. You’ll Have Questions

Questions… that’s the polite way to say doubts. Whether you have questions about your purpose or your role here on Earth, there will always be things you think of that God hasn’t fully revealed to you.  The crazy thing is, some of those things might not be answered in this lifetime, and that’s okay. But one thing I will say is, meet your doubts with faith every time. Sometimes you won’t have all the answers, but if you had all the answers, it wouldn’t be faith. Let faith be the bridge between your doubts and God’s plans that you can’t see.

3. Pros & Cons

There are pros and cons to everything. I know this is a simple concept and yet it has taken me 23 years to understand. Every decision has a consequence whether good or bad, and once you are able to truly see the two in every decision, then you will make better and more informed ones.


Things I’m Thankful For at 23

1. Perspective

I never knew the power of perspective until recently. Perspective can have you feeling like the scum of the Earth or the luckiest and most blessed person in the world all while dealing with the same circumstance. Protect your mind, and keep your perspective in order. It’s so important, and I’m thankful for the change in perspective I’ve had this year.

2. Family

It’s funny, I feel like I always put this one, but it’s true. There isn’t a year that goes by where I’m not more thankful for my family than the last. You can’t choose family but God gave me a pretty good bunch, and they mean the world to me.

3. Chosen Family

In this year I’ve lost a lot of friends, I’ve gained a few, and I’ve kept a few as well. My support system (chosen family) has played a big role in my life this year as I’ve grown to understand the power of community. I’m thankful for the people in my life who put up with me, hold me together, encourage me and do life with me, daily.


Goals for 23

1. Continue to grow my faith.

2. Nurture the relationships in my life.

3. Better understand/find my purpose.


Twenty-two was an amazing year, and I’m VERY excited to see what 23 holds. Until next time, get up, get moving and be salt & light.

2017 was… My Year in a Blog Post

2017 was a lot of things…Empowering. Life changing. Crappy. Overwhelming. Heartbreaking. Devastating. Eye opening. A time for growing. A year of beginnings. A year of endings. A learning experience. Humbling. Confusing. Mind-blowing… I could go on. But here is my year in one post. Enjoy!

January-March

January to March was quite a blur, mainly because nothing really happened. I was in the middle of my final basketball season. But at the beginning of March, the game I’d played for 14 years was no longer a major part of my life; my season had come to an end. I was officially a retired college athlete… weird. 🙀 🤭 😔 So many mixed emotions but ultimately I felt as though it was a change for the better.

April-June In April, I honed my fitness, focused on me, and I took at 13-hour road trip by myself from Kansas to Georgia. At last, after 4 years of college, I was finally home! 🚗 May came, and I was feeling the travel bug. I “jetted”✈️(well… I few commercial) off to Europe to experience the wonderful country of Ireland. Being in such a different place and experiencing a culture different from my own allowed me to gain a greater appreciation for cultures out outside of my own. It’s always great to see life from other people’s perspective.

I also started making mini-documentary style videos. It was the beginning stages of Movers & Shakers.

July-September In July, I wrapped up my master’s classes and graduated! Two degrees!!!✏️📚🎓 I also started interning at CNN.

IMG_2006

In August, I won a contest/sweepstakes! What are the chances? I won the opportunity to travel with Goose Island to Elk Mountain Farms in Bonners Ferry, Idaho and be a part of their Road to the Harvest event. I also got a chance to meet one of my favorite YouTubers, Erik Conover.

As someone who is not keen on beer, it was an awesome opportunity to better understand how beer is made, what goes into getting the IPA you’re drinking from the field to the table, and much more. All in all, while beer isn’t my drink of choice, because of this experience, when I do decide to drink beer, Goose Island will be my first choice. 🍺

In September, for the first time in four years, I was home to celebrate my moms birthday! I also visited New York for the first time ever and completely fell in love with the city. I loved the walking, the hustle, and bustle, but came to the conclusion that while many people get their start ruffing it in the city of opportunity, I’m just fine creating and taking hold of opportunities right where I am. It was here that I also gained a great appreciation for my hometown, both the city of Atlanta and the northern suburbs where I’m from.

NYC
@ Bethesda Terrace and Fountain

It was also my birthday month, and for some reason, turning 22 sparked some major changes in me. You can’t do the same things and expect different results. So long story short, I started to act and carry myself like more of an adult and let me tell you, adulting is hard.

November was a month for the books. I launched Movers & Shakers, Dad Hats Only (my apparel company that specialized in trendy dad hats), and landed my first real full-time adult job. The full-time adult job had been a long time coming. So many nights of crying, wondering why my friends have been hired and I hadn’t. Finally, all of that came to an end.

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 10.40.55 PM

I promptly started my grown-up and professional job in early December and haven’t looked back since. I also promptly closed my new business, Dad Hats Only. It’s comical how short the life of that business was, but it truly taught me a lot about running a business. Plus, I read somewhere that the percentage of businesses that actually succeed are so small, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

I also celebrated my brother’s birthday at home, then Christmas, and set off for DC to end 2017 and bring in the New Year with old friends. In particular, my best friend whom I hadn’t seen in 3.5 years.

All in all, 2017 was a pretty good year. Definitely, a year for growth and I’m excited to see what 2018 has to offer. It’s going to be a great one! Comment below some of your highlights from 2017! I’d love to hear them.

As always, if you enjoyed this blog post, please be sure to share it on social media, and subscribe so that you never miss a post.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!!

5 Ugly Christmas Sweaters Under $25

It’s that time of year where ugly Christmas sweaters re-appear, and honestly, there are so many to choose from. There are the “ugly” Christmas sweaters that don’t actually look ugly. There are the ones that are funny, and then the ones that leave you scratching your head.

Regardless of what your style is, this blog post has them all. Below are five ugly Christmas sweaters worth wearing and they are under $25.


Trump “Make Christmas Great Again” Ugly Christmas Sweater

I had to start out with this one because, politics aside, I thought it was pretty funny. Nothing screams “Merry Christmas,” like a make America… I mean Christmas Great Again ugly sweater. It’ll be a great conversation starter, and something tells me, this jumper will never really go out of style, even after 2020. It comes in black, brown, green, gray, navy, orange, royal blue and red. This is labeled as a men’s sweater and ranges between $18-$20 depending on where you buy it from.


Rudolph 3d Pom Pom Nose Ugly Christmas Sweater

Here is your typical ugly Christmas sweater with a twist. We all love Rudolph, but I think everyone loves Rudolph a little more when his nose is 3d. Yup, that’s right. His nose is a pom pom, which make the sweater that much more fun, and “ugly” I guess. This comes in red, green and black. It is labeled as women’s sweater, and it comes in various sizes. Finally, it ranges anywhere between $9-$15 without shipping and depending on what size you choose.


 Men/Women 3D Printed Ugly Christmas Sweater

Christmas time is generally a time for cold weather, heavy coats, and the extra 10lb you’re hiding under all the clothing you’re wearing. But who needs to worry about what your body looks like when your jumper basically shows off what should/could be underneath. You could win a Sexy Santa competition with one of these. This is great if your Christmas party gives out ugly sweater superlatives. There are also many awesome 3D printed sweaters (cat and dog 3D sweaters) connected to the Amazon link above. The price ranges from 22-$23.


 “Go, Jesus, it’s Your Birthday” Ugly Christmas Sweater

Nothing says “Remember the reason for the season,” quite like this jumper. Let’s just say it’s a modern twist on the traditional happy birthday song. This jumper comes in black, gray, green, pink and navy, comes in all sizes and is no more than $22.


 “Pizza on Earth” Ugly Christmas Sweater

Peace… I mean pizza on Earth and good will to men. Definitely, a “punny” ugly sweater that is sure to start a conversation or deliver a few laughs. Also, if you’re in college, the chances that there is pizza at your ugly Christmas sweater party is pretty high, so this pun may play right into your hands. This comes in only in navy, in a range of sizes, and is under $16.


As you might be able to tell if you clicked on the links provided, all of these wonderful sweaters can be found on Amazon for under $25 and many of them have Prime shipping. So if you need the sweater fast and you’re an Amazon Prime member, these sweaters could be at your doorstep within 24-hours of purchasing.

I hope this blog post gave you a few ideas for affordable ugly Christmas sweater, and hopefully made you laugh a few times.

As always, if you enjoyed this blog post, please be sure to share it on social media and subscribe to my blog so that you never miss a post.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life. Happy Holidays!

5 Tips For The Savvy Spender

Yes, yes, another blog post about finances… well, kind of. Recently, a lot of my posts have highlighted ways to save more, spend less, and things of that nature, but honestly, I think we can all use some of that advice as we enter into the holiday season where consumerism runs rampant.

Today’s blog post is not so much about what I do to save because I don’t take advantage of all of these opportunities. But, I do know about them and I think they’re worth sharing just in case they can help any of you guys.

From getting stuff for free to getting them at a significant discount, here are a few websites that can make your day-to-day life a lot easier.


1. Free Kids Meals – mykidseatfree.com

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 5.40.45 PM.png

If you have kids or regularly dine with anyone under the age of 12, then this website should be your best friend. Eating out, especially at dinner time can be kind of expensive.

Side note: Did you know that the price of dinners at restaurants compared to lunch can be as much as 50% more expensive?

So outside of just sticking to dining out at lunchtime instead of dinner, a way to cut costs is to go somewhere where kids can eat for free. If you take a look at mykidseatfree.com, the site looks ancient but don’t be fooled, you can find some valuable information over there. Just navigate to the top bar and click where it says, “start your search.” From there you can choose what state you’re in as well as the city and go from there. It will give you options of restaurants to choose from as well as their policies as to when kids can eat for free. (Usually, it’s with the purchase of an adult meal and only on certain days)


2. Free Audio Books – LibriVox.org

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 5.50.18 PM

If you’re big into reading, audiobooks or podcasts, I recommend you visit LibriVox.org. There, you can listen to audiobooks for free. My only caveat is that the latest books probably aren’t available on there. I mean, it is a free service people, you can only expect so much. But if you have no preference to what you read or listen to, or just like what may be considered classics, then you should definitely check this site out.


3. Free Stuff On Your Birthday – http://www.frugallivingnw.com/birthday-freebies/

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 6.12.48 PM.png

Your birthday only comes around once a year, and companies across the United States are more than willing to make your day a special one if you stop by their locations. Whether it’s $30 off your dinner at Benihana or a BOGO (buy one get one) at Cold Stone, apparently there is so much you’ve been missing out on over the years. Many of these perks are food related, but I’ve never been one to turn down free food.


4. Airbnb but better? It’s Couch Surfing. – CouchSurfing.org

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 6.01.56 PM.png

If you’re planning a trip, before you book your hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, you might want to check out couchsurfing.org. It can sound sketchy at first, but after looking over their site and reading some reviews, it seems like a viable option if you’re okay staying with people you just met.

In short, the company allows travelers to connect with locals who are more than willing to lend their couch for a night or for a few, and possibly show their guests around when they get to their city. For free you have access to finding a host, hosting others and learning about free travel events across the globe. For a fee you can become a verified member were you gain access to an ad-free website and mobile app, getting SMS and address verified, and much more. From what I understand it’s a free service or at least very cheap, so if you frequently travel, like meeting locals when you do, or just want a different experience than ones you’ve had before, couchsurfing.org is for you.


5. Exchange Your Time For Services – timebanks.org

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 7.06.03 PM.png

We all know what it looks like to exchange time for money. That’s what makes the world go round currently, but what if it’s not the only way? What if you could spend two hours teaching someone a skill you’re good at (i.e., sewing, basketball, playing an instrument), and in exchange for giving your time someone gives you theres? It makes sense to me. Not only do you give, but you receive as well and have the opportunity to foster relationships with the people in your community. If this is something you’re interested in, head to timebanks.org and find a community near you that is participating in this time sharing movement.


Those are all the savvy spender tips I have for today, but if you’re looking for more, I highly recommend you read the book, The Cheapskate Next Door by Jeff Yeager. I got the majority of my tips from his book, and though a little out of date, many of his savvy money-saving tips still stand true to this day.

If you found this blog post to be helpful and informative, please share it on social media and subscribe so that you never miss a post.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!

**This post contains one affiliate link.**

5 Things I’ve Learned at 22

Hello beautiful people! Today is my 22nd birthday, so I am bringing you 5 things I’ve learned at the age of 22. Normally, when people do blogs like these, it’s, “22 things they’ve learned at 22” or “18 things they’ve learned at 18,” but I wanted to spare you all the fluff. Also, let’s be honest, I’m only 22, I’m not that wise. So instead here’s five.

1. Keep Your Circle Close

You’ve heard this spiel before, so I’ll keep this one short. When it comes to your inner circle and support system, quality is better than quantity. Period. Choose wisely…

2. Lofty Timelines Don’t Matter

You know when you’re younger, and you say, “I’ll be doing ______ by whatever age?” Yeah, how well is that working out for you? For me, it hasn’t worked out at all. Stop putting pressure on yourself, and just live your life. If you thought by now you would have accomplished something and you haven’t, and maybe your friends have, remember, we’re all on our own journeys. Timelines don’t matter. You’ll get to where you need to be when you need to be there. But more importantly, God has you right where He wants you to be. Trust in Him!

3. Health Is A Journey, Not A Sprint

Eventually, I’ll get around to dedicating a full blog post to this, but this year has definitely taught me that health and wellness is a journey, not a sprint. Some days, weeks and months you’ll be completely bought into your healthy lifestyle, other times, you’ll let yourself go a little. Regardless of where you are, scolding yourself into discouragement isn’t productive. The goal is to work your way to equilibrium. Eat cake, workout, drink wine, hydrate, go to bed late, eat plant-based, the list goes on. You don’t have to feel like you’re giving up things to live your healthy lifestyle. You just have to find out what works for you and stick with that. It’s not about what everyone else thinks healthy should look like, it’s about what you think it should look like. Healthy comes in many forms, find yours.

4. You Make Time For What’s Important To You

The saying, “You make time for what’s important to you,” still reigns true. We are all busy, so the question isn’t if you have time, it’s if you’ll make time. Not everything is worth carving out time for or putting on your priorities list, but never make the excuse of “I didn’t have time.” It simply wasn’t a priority.

5. Done Is Better Than Perfect

I dedicated a whole blog post to this topic, so if you want to read about it, you can find it here. But for the spark notes version, as a creator, it’s often better to complete something, than to slave over the details that don’t really matter and won’t make a difference. The creative gap, the space between the idea you have in your head and what you actually create, is real and can be daunting. When things don’t turn out as you have them planned, just remember that the act of creating anything at all was the victory. So finishing it and moving on to something that you can make even better is greater than stressing over the minute details.

All in all, 21 was an awesome year of growth and learning, and I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful opportunities and blessings 22 has in store.

If you liked this blog post, please share it on social media and subscribe to my blog so that you never miss a post.

I’m changing up my blogging schedule a bit, so now instead of posts every Tuesday and Thursday, I will not post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. One more blog post a week! Yayyy!

Until next time, get up get moving, and live your best life!

8 Reasons Why Fall is the Best Season

Let’s be honest, many of us began celebrating fall on September 1st or the day following Labor Day, but I am happy to say that the time we’ve all been waiting for is just one day away!

There are so many reasons to love fall: pretty leaves, cool weather, limited seasonal allergies, great, and I mean GREAT, fashion, the list goes on. With that said, in this post, I’ll explain the many reasons why I find fall to be the best season ever and maybe you’ll agree.


1. The Leave 🍂
There is something oddly satisfying about walking over a pile of leaves and hearing them crunch underneath my feet. It makes me so happy! Not to mention how beautiful their changing colors are. I mean, what’s not to love?

2. Cool Weather 🌬
If you’re anything like me, you get hot really quickly and tend to sweat whenever that happens. During the summer I can’t leave my house without wearing a DryFit t-shirt, and ultimately that’s summer’s biggest downfall in my eyes. But when fall rolls around I don’t have to worry about overheating anymore. Instead, I’m all about the sweatpants, sweaters/jumpers, scarfs and boots.

3. (Almost) No Pollen
Spring, I love you, but fall has you beat when it comes to pollen and allergies. Spring is my second favorite season, but allergies make it hard to enjoy. I’m not saying there is no pollen floating around during the fall, because contrary to popular belief, some plants are still in bloom. But the pollen is barely noticeable, and my always stuffy nose and extremely watery eyes are extremely thankful.

4. Fashion 💁🏾
“Do you even fashun? “Well, usually I don’t, but in the fall I feel like I can, or at least I try. It’s a lot easier to look put together in the fall because you can layer without having to throw a big parka over your outfit. Also, unlike the summer where my options are limited due to overheating, fall gives me the opportunity and freedom to dress as I please.

5. Warm & Basic Drinks 
Even the most boujee of us become basic around this time of year when Starbucks delivers with their famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. While I try to be frugal and not spend on what I can make at home, I do have my annual Pumpkin Spice Latte on the first day of fall every year like clockwork. It really helps to bring in the season. True fall lovers know what I mean!

6. Pumpkin 🎃
All things pumpkin are on trend and can be found anywhere… need I say more. Pumpkin, cinnamon and all the spices fill the air and shelves, and I love it. But here is a fun fact about me, I’m allergic to pumpkin seeds. I know, it’s so random! But funny enough, I’m only allergic to the seed. That means I can eat the pumpkin itself, so most pumpkin flavored things are still on the table for me. 😁

7. Start of the Holiday Season 🦃🌽🍗 🎁
Halloween is definitely a staple in the fall, and while I haven’t really celebrated the holiday in the past, I’m slowly starting to get into it. I could care less about the candy, but choosing and wearing creative costumes and hanging out with friends is always a good time. Then there is Thanksgiving! I find it hard to choose my favorite holiday, but between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years it’s a toss up. I love Thanksgiving because gratitude is in the air, I’m around great friends and family, and of course the food is amazing!

8. Fall Scents 👃🏾
Candles, essential oils, aromatherapy, etc. If you watch any beauty/lifestyle blogger videos on YouTube, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t feature a fall scented candle, and honestly, I can’t blame them. They smell so good! Making my room smell like cinnamon, pumpkin, and the wonderful fall spices is a beloved past time of mine and definitely one of the reasons I love fall the most.

Bonus Reason
9. My Birthday😁🎁🎈🎉🎊
Finally, not that this point matter to many of you, but my birthday is in the fall and outside of the many wonderful reasons I gave you as to why fall is the best, I think this one takes the cake for me (lol you see what I did there? Corny, I know.). But with my birthday being so early in the fall, it gives me the happy, festive, holiday vibes a bit early.

t tha>

For all you fall lovers out there, please comment below some of the reasons why you love fall and any other reasons I might have missed.

If you liked

fall

this blog post, please be sure to share it on social media and subscribe to my blog so that you never miss a post. I have big things coming this October and I don’t want you to miss it!
Until next time, get up, get moving and live your best life!