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Hello Loves,

Mondays are hard, and the possibility of surviving yet another week feel very impossible on a cold, dreary Monday morning and that’s why I keep my trusty morning rituals in check.

There’s so much beauty in morning rituals but I barely ever have time to do anything intricate or lengthy. Something as simple as my morning coffee and some good music works perfectly. It makes me feel alive, in control, I feel good, and I’m ready to face my week. Music is a HUGE part of my mornings and I had to share this beautiful playlist from the beautiful voices of Aretha, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Etta James and many more. If you love some oldies you’ll fall in love with this! I hope this playlist uplifts you and helps you think of the endless possibilities of the beginning of a new week!

Happy Listening!

Love, imani

The post Move-it-Monday: My Spotify playlist appeared first on Just.Imani.

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Happy falling,

Love, Imani.

The post Fall Activities: A photo diary appeared first on Just.Imani.

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I always say, Kombucha is basically a soda alternative with drastically less calories and way more benefits. I don’t remember when or how I started drinking Kombucha but I did and I fell in love, not at first though. It was definitely an acquired taste for me and I find that some brands taste better than others. My favorite brands are Humm and GT’S and I would definitely love to try Health Aide! Favorite flavors from Humm are the Pomegranate lemonade and the coconut Lime and their seasonal flavors are amazing too. From GT’S, their fall seasonal one is giving me so much life right now but I love their multi green one, their mystic mango and gingerade one. I love places that offer it on tap too like Crisp and Green because they have such unique flavors; I recently had a lime cayenne one there and it was amazing! A lot of people want to know though, is it worth the hype? I personally think Kombucha is worth the hype and I’m a little mad that I didn’t jump on this bandwagon soon enough. Let’s start with the basics and then i’ll explain why I’m in love.

What is Kombucha? it’s basically fermented black tea full of good bacteria.

How is it made?  It generally involves feeding a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), or mother culture, a sugary tea mixture.  The bacteria then eats the sugar leaving behind some really good bacteria and….yes I thought it was a little weird at first too! But then I learnt about the benefits of all this bacteria left behind and thought it might be worth a try.

Some benefits that really matter to me include:

Probiotics 

Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria and this helps with your digestion. More probiotic benefits include preventing skin conditions, like eczema, rosacea, helps with urinary and vaginal health, helps to prevent allergies and colds and so much more! I love that Kombucha is  such an easy way to get some much needed probiotics into my diet.

Improved digestion and detoxification 

One of my friends has a horrible digestive system and she’s very sensitive to diet changes. She just started drinking Kombucha recently( Lol after Peter Kavinsky said he drinks Kombucha) and she says she’s seen a change in how she feels after drinking it, it helps keep her system in check. It’s been said that it interacts with the enzymes in your body to improve your digestive tract.

It just makes me feel good 

I love drinks that make me feel healthy and like I’m on a clean diet and Kombucha is definitely one of them. I get to enjoy all the amazing flavors while knowing that I’m getting some health benefits from it too and I ain’t mad about that. There’s way more benefits than these but these are the ones that keep me going back, it keeps me feeling good, skin glowing and I am here for it!

You can find some more scientific facts behind Kombucha here, here and here! I hope this was helpful and that you will go out and try some Kombucha if you aren’t on this bandwagon yet.

*Images from the Free People blog

Happy Kombucha drinking loves!

Love, Imani.

The post Why I won’t stop drinking Kombucha appeared first on Just.Imani.

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I love going back to my school schedule. I hate the tests. But I love falling back into patterns. Class at 10, meeting  at 1, another meeting at 4, coffee date at 5, study till 1am. I feel purposeful, sleep deprived, tired, stressed but, coffee infused and semi-happy. I love to stay busy. Something that keeps this momentum going for me and keeps me motivated is listening to podcasts during my commutes. I’m very picky with who I choose to listen to because I love to get the most out of the 20 minutes or so that I listen in. Here are some of my most recent faves:

  1. Modern love podcast: This ones my absolute favorite. Such beautifully constructed stories about love, loss, and redemption. Such amazing music landscaping that captivates all your senses and keeps you constantly engaged. Definitely a new fave that you need to tune into if you love love.
  2. Code switch: I tune into this one for conversations about politics, culture, and life in general.
  3. NPR politics One of my biggest life advances is to stay present and updated on modern day issues and the political landscape. I love this podcast because it delivers the most recent happenings to me in about 15 minutes. #stayingwoke2018

This is a super short list of my new go to’s that you have to tune into!

What are some of you faves?

Happy Self Care Sunday!

Love, Imani

The post Podcasts I love: An update  appeared first on Just.Imani.

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Happy Fall everyone! The air is crisp, the mood is shifting, our playlists are changing, it’s getting harder and harder to maintain focus. It’s about that time of the year when SAD creeps up on a lot of us and as a person who grew up in beautiful all-year-round tropical weather, I hate this time of the year. Over the four winters that I have been in Minnesota, I have found ways to combat the low points in winter and I’m constantly working at being my best and healthy self all year round. So as I do best, I came up with a list of things I do at this time of the year to make me more motivated and present. We hear about these things all the time but I am here to tell you that they actually work, at least they do for me and you can find ways to incorporate them into your life.

1. Stay active!

This one’s a little hard, I won’t lie. The worst time to tell someone to go workout is when they feel the least motivated. I’m horrible at staying active during the winter, I mean technically isn’t this the season of hibernation? But I’m working at it this winter and in the past three weeks I have been successful. I drag my self to the gym for an hour right after class Monday, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s and if I need that extra workout I go cycling Saturday morning. This is a game changer to be honest and I feel my best self so far. I find that this boosts my confidence and helps me de-stress in major ways. 10/10 recommend this!

2. Yoga

This is along  the lines of staying active. I started practicing yoga in high school and the first time I did yoga was out of curiosity and then I fell in love. Its such n amazing way to stay active, do a lot of breathing exercises and a way to find such immense clarity and calm. I find yoga super calming on days when I am very anxious about something, and I am by no means an expert nor do I practice for hours. i just do a quick 10-15 minute sequence on Monday mornings to calm my self and I have found this super helpful. It did feel weird at first but I got used to practicing and it’s honestly the best thing. Best place to start is with Yoga with Adriene! 

3. Journalling

I’ve been made fun of of this one but there’s no better way to track your growth and how you feel than by journalling! Ive been doing this for years and one of my favorite things to do is pick up my journals from high school and read through them. It’s the most beautiful thing to see growth right in front of me and to have it with me for years to come. It calms me to see my old problems that are history now but knowing that I dealt with them makes me feel stronger. Try it! Again, it’s probably going to feel super weird at first but just go with it.

4. Positive self- affirmations

I’ll start with you are your biggest cheerleader and your best friend before anyone else and the things that you tell yourself count. This happens subconsciously but if you constantly tell yourself that you suck at something, you will believe it more and more each day. If you practice self affirmations every single day, be gracious to yourself, treat yourself with the same level of tenderness and respect that you would a friend, then you will strengthen the confidence you have in yourself. Slowly but surely you will be firmer in who you are as a person and you will start to believe in your self worth. A challenge: Look into the mirror each day or even as you do your yoga sequence, proclaim things: I’m smart, I’m worthy, I’m beautiful, and I can do this. Pick an affirmation and get at it!

5. Surround yourself with people that bring out the best in you.

This last one isn’t an activity but is a practice that I find so important in my life. When I have negativity around me I tend to soak it up and let it affect my mood and this is typical of a lot of people. Now I evaluate who is in my life e and whether they are uplifting me or bringing me down and the latter, I try to stay away from.

6. Enjoy the very little things

I love to find joy in the most unconventional places, especially when its so dark around me and there’s no potent source of joy. Joy to me is that warm cup of coffee in the morning, the most random smile from a cute stranger, an occasional treat, an amazing workout, a small accomplishment. Anything that makes you smile throughout a dreary day, cherish that, relish it, dwell in it for a moment and remember that it’s not all dark, there are still traces of joy around you.

And that is my very short list of things that are currently keeping me sane as it gets dreary and harder to keep focus. What do you do to beat the winter blues? I would love to know!

Happy Falling

Love, Imani.

The post Beat the winter blues appeared first on Just.Imani.

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October is here

The air is crisp

The leaves are falling

Our moods are shifting

Our Spotify playlists have changed to some very emo music ( at least for me it has)

I’m drinking at least five cups of coffee a day

The semester is looking rougher than ever

Winter is coming and

Fall is heavily upon us.

And ironically even after all my complaining, I love this weather, it’s perfect.

I have been gone for a good minute and I attribute that to wanting a rebranding of JustImani.com. So what have I really been up to? I’ll start with comparison is the thieve of joy and go from there. About two month ago I literally stopped and wondered what in the world I was doing with blogging and I just couldn’t figure out which direction to go. I felt very insecure about my work, about myself and felt the need to disappear from my photos and be a ‘behind the lens’ type personality.  I got into my head a little too much and couldn’t create anything anymore without constant comparison and not feeling like what I was doing was good enough. So I just completely stopped taking photos, looking at my analytics, posting 4-5 times a week, posting on my blog, I stopped it all. It was such a breath of fresh air especially since I completely went off Instagram for about three weeks straight in August. It was amazing for me to step away and just have some time to restructure my thoughts and take care of me and try to figure my life out.

I find it so important to have moments of seeking clarity, especially since we can get so caught up in patterns and we keep doing things and not knowing why we are doing them. I sought to find something that would fulfill me, something deeper than the clothes, shoes, and glamour. Maybe I am yet to find it or maybe now that I have taken the time to think about it, I’ll move towards it subconsciously. The inevitability of change in my way of thought and in my life overall is creeping up on me and I’m receptive, I’m here to welcome these changes with open arms and can’t wait to see what the next few months hold for me.

So here’s an October challenge for you:
  1. Look into your life, why do you do the things that you do?
  2. Be receptive to change, welcome the future you with open arms and
  3. Be gracious to yourself.

Happy Falling.

Love, Imani.

The post Why I stopped blogging. appeared first on Just.Imani.

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A short message to Christine Blasey Ford

We believe you

At this very time as we struggle to exist in a system that isn’t for us,

as we wait to see what this patriarchy will impose on us next,

as we continue to work at the eradication of rape culture,

as we gear up to go to the polls and fight for what we want,

I find it important to state that I believe you,

We believe you.

No matter the outcome we validate your claims and we are with you in this.

Love, Imani

Illustration via @Witanddelight and @Kateworum

The post I believe you, We believe you appeared first on Just.Imani.

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Happy Sunday and welcome to another Self Care Sunday post! Today my self care Sunday involves acknowledging your worst fears and realizing that it all be alright. I get such random bursts of fear at times. I’ll be fine one second and the next I have the sudden realization that I’m basically an adult, I have a shit ton of loans, I’m still single, I need to somehow find my purpose, my skin care routine is still trash, I’m still broke, and that somehow I’m left in this world to carve out my own path all alone. It’s such moment of weakness where all your faults and fears surface and come at you all at once. It’s crippling, at least a lot of time it is, and I always have to talk myself off the ledge.

Does this happen to anyone else? A while ago I was planning for my fall semester and thinking about my next steps after my internship, that resulted into me changing my major by the way. This was happening at about three AM and I was in the dark clutching onto my knees with the crippling thought that I had no idea what the fuck I wanted out of life. Talking my self out of my deepest fears always starts with my most positive self- affirmation (you’re smart, you’re fearless, you’re beautiful, you’re a bad bitch).I actually repeat my self affirmation about thirty times and then I’m calm enough to realize I can handle it. I have to go back and remind myself that I’ve done so much before and that whatever is ahead of me is something that I can deal with. I have to remind my self that I do in fact know what I want out of life and as much as the future’s a little bleak right now, I’ll be good. So lesson of the day, in the words of Kendrick we’ll be alright.

I switched it up with my #SCS today because Self Care can be repurposed in so many different ways, it’s not always going to be about pedicures and matcha, It could be about battling our daily anxieties and insecurities. So keep calm and #SelfCareSunday.

The post We’ll be alright…#SCS appeared first on Just.Imani.

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I lost sight.

I lost sight in so many ways, I lost sight of my blogging, of my intentions, of my dreams, of my goals, of the way I use social media, of why I began doing the things that I do, of literally everything and I just stood here confused and dazed. I lost sight and so I thought I did, but what occurred to me is that I really wasn’t losing sight. If anything I was taking greater strides towards clarity and really pushing for it so I felt a little off balance. I have to constantly remind myself that so many things are changing all at once and that it doesn’t have to be figured out just yet. I need to remind myself that losing sight is only the beginning of finding that clarity. I have to remind myself that I’m not the first one to walk through this and that so many people have come before me and have gone through it all. The confusion, the panic, the need for instant success, the thirst for purpose, the want for clarity.

I call these the dazing twenties if you will where I constantly have a whirlwind of ideas, an overflowing stream of thoughts, which I don’t really mind being that I am naturally a brooder. At times they’ll be happy thoughts,  at times they’re hopeless but I just get dazed at the beauty of it all. I’m finally realizing that so much to life than the black and white I’ve grown very well accustomed to. Now all I see if the gray and all that’s in between and I think it’s so beautiful. But don’t people say their twenties are some of the most beautiful and self defining times of our lives? I am most definitely here for it.

Love, Imani.

The post Losing sight is finding clarity appeared first on Just.Imani.

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Have you ever had one of these months where you’re doing great, your skin is flourishing, you’re happy that it’s flourishing because you have a wedding/social commitment to be at in a few days. You finally think the stars are lining up for you and people will see you at your best with your flawless, flourishing skin. Then five minutes before the social commitment, you have a massive breakout and you just don’t get it? Your world is spinning off the axis, it’s a disaster  and no remedies will work quick enough to fix it, so you end up cancelling and avoiding any form of human interaction until it’s cleared? Cause me too! This happens to me a little too much that I’ve started expecting it. I get happy when I get good skin for about three weeks but I try not to get attached to the idea of good skin because I know it will go away as fast as it came. And yeah that was a very far-fetched analogy but you’d be shocked by how many people relate to this.

It wasn’t until very recently that I was introduced to the notion of constant, healthy, good skin. I’ve gone through so many skin care products and frankly, I am sick of the entire process of finding my perfect skin care routine so I decided to be very minimalistic with my skin care. This helps me really pay attention to what works well for my skin and helps me decide what products to stick with; It makes the elimination process so much smoother.

So for a cleanser, I went for a gentle, cruelty-free, vegan Face wash from Pacifica Beauty. It’s the smoothest product on my skin, not harsh at all, smells good and it only cost me $10. For a toner I started using Thayer’s Witch Hazel which I got on the low from JC Penney! It smells amazing, leaves my skin feels super refreshed and clean, and I could see visible change after using it for a few days. Apparently everyone was on this bandwagon and no one invited me on it??#Wherestheloyalty?

Another product that is saving my entire existence is Rosehip oil! I used this a while back and once I ran out I got too lazy to order a new bottle? Yep! Worst decision I ever made especially since it’s such an amazing product. It’s lightweight and therefore absorbs very fast into your skin, has a yellow tint, some rosy notes, and a slight fishy smell (its nothing too strong by the way, just an indicator that it’s authentic reship oil). It’s also known to get rid of dark spots over time and its my absolute favorite! These have been stocked and restocked on my beauty shelf and I have seen such a major difference in how my skin looks. Yes! I still get occasional breakouts but that’s just normal.

This is my skin care routine, whats yours?

Comment below a product from your skin care routine that you can’t live without!

Links of all the products are below:

Reach out to me with any skin care questions and recommendations!

Pacifica Face wash that I use

Rose witch hazel

Rosehip Oil

Love, Imani.

The post My three step skin care routine appeared first on Just.Imani.

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