I boarded an airplane for the first time when I was around 14 years old and I remember how important it was to my parents to prepare for this trip. I was travelling with my mom and step dad at the time and being from the Caribbean meant extreme caution and seriousness when getting ready for this “event”. Passports - check! Bubble gum to relive ear popping - check, Overweight luggage filled with Jamaican delicacies - check! I remember constantly staring at the suitcases because older folks would tell you “don’t leave the suitcase unattended for even a minute as someone may place items in or worse, run off with your luggage”. Travelling was always a stressful experience because we had all these fears and myths about the process so we were always on our P’s and Q’s .
We had a waving gallery at the Norman Manley International airport where we would stand to see travelers off ; After your loved one had made it through security we had one last opportunity to see them as they walked across the warm asphalt path and slowly climbed each step towards the plane’s entrance. Every passenger travelling from Jamaica had one main thing in common - we were dressed to kill… or so we thought.
Airport fashion was always been high priority on our travel list and catching a flight would always require our “Sunday’s best” and nothing less. Our fashion included a wide variety of bright colors, new purse, matching shirt and sandals, We were only allowed to visit the hairdresser the day before travel to ensure not one stand of hair was out of place. We were heading somewhere super important and god forbid we wore something that was worn before. As I grew older, I still payed attention to airport fashion, and while few things changed, looking cute while travelling remained the same.
Today things are a little more laid back than it used to be , (yes we still love to wear bright colors). Our tickets are electronic, we travel light and most importantly we travel comfy!
below are some comfy airport must haves from ASOS for all my ladies getting “flewed out” .
Leggings, leggings, leggings! unless you wish to take off your belt going through TSA - you are welcomed.
This ribbed maxi and flip flops screams fashionable and functional.
A simple soft tee can be cute and casual.
A sassy sun dress is casual and dressy at the same time - arrive in style.
Shorts can be sporty and fun, I mean… less is more right? ;-)
A nice cardigan is ideal for when the cabin hits those chilly temperatures.
Don’t forget your backpack!
What is the one thing you would never hit the airport without? comment below.
A few months ago my business professor gave our class a lecture on corporate cultures, he went on to explain that the willingness to immerse yourself in the culture of your place of employment may impact how well you perform at your job. One specific story stood out to me in class that day; he explained that while having a conversation back in his younger days with a colleague about a new tie, the colleague began telling him a trick that he uses to appear more “likable” to his bosses and swears that this secret has worked wonders for him since he began working in corporate.
“I dress like my boss, if he wears a red tie I wear a red tie a few days later. If he wears a plaid shirt, I wear a plaid shirt a few days later”
The man then went on to describe how his choice of car as well as the neighborhood that he was residing in were directly affiliated with this “copy the boss” strategy.
I was speechless, “Do people really do this”? I blurted out involuntarily. But the answer was clear, the copy your boss strategy was not new it was clearly being used, and often. I used to hear the phrase “dress for the job you want, and not for the job you have” a lot, but I always thought that was funny because I would imagine myself doing a retail job but showing up everyday to work in a suit. Over all all this revealed one thing, appearance matters a lot more than I thought in the work field.
While I don’t recommend the copying of any one else’s style, I do believe you can find your own style that marries your jobs dress code policy, with your own personal style.
Here are my fave pieces that will have you looking like a boss while handling your daily duties and taking this challenging year by the balls.
I hope these work pieces strike your fancy and remember, If you look good, there’s an 80% chance that you’re going to feel good. ~
Facing disappointment in life falls into the same category as bills and death, its a certainty. People face disappointments daily for example, not making it to work on time, not losing as much weight after putting out great effort or someone not showing up to an event that you invited them to. It’s all pretty standard stuff, until its not, because every once in a while a disappointment comes along and it completely shatters your world, either someone disappoints you, or you disappoint yourself. I came across this meme on Instagram a week ago that said “It only hurts when I breathe” and I thought to myself, I have to add something on the blog addressing major disappointments.With our luck no one will be around to hold our hands and coach us through this battle but this post will highlight 5 key things to do when dealing with a huge disappointment.
Step 1. Accept
Yes, it happened and its not a bad dream. Coming to terms quickly and being honest about what has transpired aids with the “moving forward flow”. This step is important because the sooner that you can come to terms with the disappointment is the sooner that you can evaluate and identify your real feelings about the state that you are in. Acceptance is an important step but also the hardest step of the five because of control. We live our lives everyday believing that we control almost everything when in reality we only control two things 1- what we do and 2- how we think.
Step 2. Take off your clothes
No, not literally but figuratively. Take off your old clothes, the clothes that has been drenched with regret, sadness, shame and disappointment. We have learned how to carry negative emotions so well that it has become the norm to “tuck it away” as opposed to dealing with it head on. We don’t sleep, eat or start our day in dirty clothes so why start your day in these “dirty emotions”. Take off those burdensome feelings even for 20 minutes, take a long bath (yes you can cry) as you undress you may associate each article of clothing with something you would like to let go of. Begin the process of forgiveness; offer forgiveness to the disappointment and more importantly forgiveness to yourself.
Step 3. Dig and Indulge
Now that you are clean and vulnerable, It is time to Dig and indulge, but not into food. Open your memory and dig; dig for the happiest memories that you can find and indulge in them. Where was your favorite childhood place or memory? Your favorite snack in high school? your favorite park? your favorite song? favorite fragrance? Or maybe you can try to find a long lost friend. Take a step back, Pamper yourself and indulge. Whenever you feel lost or insufficient, indulge in your memories.
Step 4. Dress up
Often times when dealing with challenging situations we ignore our outward appearance because we spend so much time in our own heads. We shower then drag on any old cloth in arms reach, and were out! At this point we say to ourselves, it doesn’t matter what other people think about how I look because I am dealing with a crisis! wrong move, this is actually the time that you should take the time to put yourself together, treat yourself with care. Wear things that are comfortable, things that make you feel your best. Dressing up will give you a positive presence, and people will respond to you positively and this will help your overall mood.
Step 5. Time
Time is mandatory when you are trying to heal from a huge let down. Time is how we allow ourselves to heal. Think about a falling and hurting your knees, does it heal immediately? No it doesn’t, you will have to wash and disinfect and add a Band-Aid, the final step is allowing it to heal. Allow your heart to heal and your mind to be at peace. The only job you have in the “Time” process is to be patient. I like to reminisce about the time that I believed my life was at its worse, I use that moment to compare to the current crisis. I ask myself is it as bad as “that bad time” 98% of the time the answer is no and this means you will make it out ok. As for that other 2% where the crisis is so major that you feel helpless and there is no comparison - you live each day by putting one foot in front of the other slowly but consistently. Follow these 5 steps and it will become a little easier every day.
I have recently found myself in awe of all these different groups of women connecting in support of women rights. Don’t get me wrong, I was always in favor of women being treated fairly, being honored and respected as much as their male counterparts but this time things felt different. I felt pride, an immense amount of pride whenever I was in the presence of anyone supporting women’s rights. But with my newly found pride came a dark realization.
Women’s rights are human rights, so why are women still fighting for change? and how was I contributing to this fight? was being proud relevant? was being proud sufficient? All these questions came rushing to me and began thinking how I can make small changes within myself to make a big impact on my future and the future of young girls who will eventually be a part of this fight in the future.
It is thought that the women’s movement became popular around 1980s. A few of the issues that the women’s movement was trying to tackle included
Women were not given the choice to vote
Women had to adhere to laws that they had no control over
Most jobs did not hire women and if women were hired they would make only a fraction of what men earned
Women were not allowed to study medicine or law
Women had no way of getting higher education since colleges and universities would not accept women students
Women were made to be totally dependent on men
Fast forward to 2019 where women are still fighting the same fight.
Job discrimination and pay inequality
Less leadership roles in society
The struggle to control reproductive rights
As a young teen growing up in the Caribbean, I was taught that women need to learn how to cook and clean. These skills were highly promoted in my culture as “wife skills”, not necessarily life skills. You will never get a good husband unless you know how to cook and clean. Although a large amount of the women I grew up with carried themselves very independently, the idea of what a “woman’s place” was reiterated consistently and mostly by other women. I have attended church where women were not allowed to wear pants or shorts, other churches where women were not allowed to preach, basically women were not “allowed” to do a lot of things, it just seemed as if there were all these rules that weren’t even made by women that only applied to women.
As a young adult I continued to learn more as I came in contact with women from other cultures that women that had a lot less rights and freedom than I did. I watched the news as women were allowed to drive freely for the first time in June of 2018 in Saudi Arabia, I’ve read spine chilling tales about female genital mutilation in Africa, this procedure was even practiced on girls younger that fifteen years of age and to top this all off, there are places that young girls are still not allowed to attend school.
What people need to know:
“when women succeed, nations are more safe, secure and prosperous” - Barack Obama
How can we start?
Empowering women starts at home and in your community. Let the women in your life know how much you care and how much they are appreciated. Offer a seat to a pregnant, elderly or woman carrying a young child.
Compliment women - create a system of support for women and encourage other people to do the same.
Speak up for women - Whenever there is discrimination or violence against women, men and other women are afraid to speak out, and ironically the more people that witness these injustices means the less likely they are to speak up about it since everyone is waiting for someone else to do something about it.
Protect our young girls - The young ladies in society today are responsible for shaping our future, they will become parents of the new generation. It is our responsibility to protect them, and show them love and forgiveness when necessary. Do not dismiss their concerns, they are dealing with a different version of society than we did. Instead of passing judgement, show them how to move forward in challenging times - Be a role model.
Additionally, you can also empower women by supporting Women owned businesses, Support women leaders, and advocate for equal pay for work of equal value.
~We understand that things are not the way we would like them to be as women, but things can change if we all do our part.
While embarking on a weight loss journey most people will ask themselves, “what can I eat that will be delicious, healthy and easy to make?” Not knowing what to eat is a big part of why these journeys fail.
A smoothie is one of the best ways to get a variety of vitamins and nutrients in one meal; think about it as a shot of health and goodness to your body. Smoothies offer multiple benefits including fiber and antioxidants, research has also proven that healthy smoothies help to fight inflammation in the body.
Here are 10 smoothies that only contains only a few ingredients that you can whip up in a jiffy.
Please note that Smoothies can be high in sugar, you can either add more veggies than fruit to your smoothie or limit how often you drink these smoothies if you like to have more fruits than vegetables.
Please feel free to comment if you like these recipes or if you have recipes that you would like to share!
With a new year comes new efforts, we have all started to organize the next 365 days so we can get the most out of 2019. We are planning to work out, we are planning to be more organized, we are planning to save money, We are planning to do better and be better. The one thing I have not heard much planning about is self-care.
Self-care is the practice of taking action to improve or preserve ones mental, physical, emotional health. While everyone is busy scheduling their life away, self-care often takes a back seat. We have to learn how to be proactive about taking care of ourselves without restrictions. Here are ten ways to indulge in self-care this year.
Take more days off
I can hear all the work obsessed people going “oh nooooo, we can’t do this”. Yes, you can and you will. How many times have you been so stressed that the tension in your neck or back becomes unbearable? How many times have you been in a stressful situation and came down with a random cold or felt flu-like symptoms after working long hard hours? We all make the same promise when we have to take the day to recover - “Wow I really need to relax more often” then you return to the same sad cycle. Schedule your days off, you can start with one every 2 months. This day should be yours to relax and do the things that you want to do, not to do the things that you have to do. Things you want to do include: visiting a museum, making your favorite soup, heading to your favorite coffee shop, catching up on your favorite shows or getting your hair washed, calling or visiting family or friends or simply just sleeping. This day should not be used for running errands or doctor’s appointments.
Find time to be alone
Sometimes life gets hectic, and when we attempt to meet all the demands of the outside world it can leave us feeling frustrated, drained and insufficient. Finding the time to be alone will help with realigning your ideas and putting you back on the right path. I have read a few online articles that state that the best ideas will come first thing in the morning when the mind is fresh or they may come at night right before you fall asleep. My ideas show up when I take long showers and I have never made the connection until recently that its not about the time, its more about your surroundings. Being alone allows your mind to think flourishing thoughts without distraction because even the sight of someone can be a distraction. You can use alone time to plan your day, you can also use this time to find a solution to a major problem that you have tried to tackle before. You can also use this time to just breathe, before you send that angry email to your colleague or friend. Feel free to take at least 10 minutes per day to be alone with your thoughts.
Observe your happiness
One of the things that saves us daily is our baseline happiness. We wake up and face the world and this is not always a positive process, our happiness does a lot for us, it keeps us grounded and sets our minds at ease even if for just a few minutes. We need to practice how to observe and give recognition to our happy moments by replaying those moments in our heads and be thankful for such moments. If someone is being kind or thoughtful towards you, remember to be present and appreciative. Be mindful when you have a moment of pure bliss, enjoy and be protective of it. Here’s a secret that I’ve learnt, don’t be afraid to use other people’s happiness as your own for example, if someone gets a a raise or promotion at work, just focus on how happy they are and how happy you are for them to have that opportunity.
Find a hobby
Hobbies seem to have become a thing of the past, maybe because people can hardly find spare time to do anything (apart from scrolling through feeds on social media). Re-establishing your hobby or finding one is an ideal step towards self-care. Remember how fun it was when we were younger and almost everything was interesting? I used to make throw pillow covers and I loved the satisfaction that I felt when I had completed a pair. I would name them based on the color of the fabric, even if it wasn’t the best pair in the world, it was my best. I would remain super focused until the job was done, it was hard work but it was also relaxing at the same time.
The fear of Pampering
I have discussed pampering in a previous post and was surprised to hear how many people wanted to try but felt guilty for pampering themselves. It then occurred to me that getting people to pamper themselves meant addressing the fear to pamper which is also the fear of what will someone else think. We live in this weird world where everyone is obsessed with sharing bad news. It seems that if bad things are happening to us and to other people and as well we are in some form of fraternity of resilience where we continuously share trials and hyped up stories about how we have persevered. God forbid someone says how was your day, and we reply by saying “I am having a great day, went to the spa yesterday and I feel rejuvenated”. Most of the times we try to mirror the issues of others and this has to be stopped. You have the right to treat yourself well, visit the spa, have a manicure AND pedicure, have a facial, and tell others. Get fancy with your body, its the only one you have.
Try something new
Recently I have been going through Groupon with a fine tooth comb because I want new experiences in 2019 for cheap. Life is short and if you have long and short term goals but no bucket list then your list is incomplete. What’s on your list? travelling? you do know that getting in a cab is travelling right? Look, lets jazz this up! let’s do some Hot air balloon rides, Horseback riding, sign up for a Kick boxing class, buy tickets to a concert with the best line up you have ever seen (not Fyrefestival), get a dog or a cat or both, try a wheel throwing class or a glass blowing class or sky diving. There’s such a wide variety of things to try, don’t miss out because you’re stressed about work.
Shop - a little
We all know what a little shopping can do for the soul. Retail therapy (within reason) can be considered self-care. Go ahead and pick out a nice outfit that would look chic early Monday morning. Pick up a candle or two, a new body wash, or ingredients for your favorite meal. Once you have identified what makes you happy, go ahead and use these items whenever you need to put a pep in your step.
Laughter is good for your overall health; over the years I have heard multiple people refer to laughter as the best medicine. As children we had great imaginations and almost everything was considered fun and funny but as adults, we tend to be very selective regarding what makes us laugh. I understand that life can be stressful and there is no joke in that however, laughing relaxes your body and relives stress. Laughter reduces anger by releasing endorphins and improving our overall mood. Laughing at yourself will allow you to move past negative situations quickly.
Pampering yourself is imperative, but can be way more fun if you pamper with others. Other people encounter tough times and get burned out as often as you do, share your wealth by inviting them to pamper themselves as well, this way your self-care process can be a more memorable one. Reaching out to someone to someone can help them or you put difficult things into perspective because it allows you to share your thoughts in a relaxed atmosphere; and since both parties are calm, it will help your listening skills as well as your ability to receive and process feedback effectively.
Being able to care less about anything at all was always seen as negative. You have to care, you have to care about the environment, you have to care about global warming, you have to care about what you coworkers think, you have to care about what your spouse thinks, you have to care about what your boss thinks, what your kids think and before you know it, you care about so many things that you don’t even know who you are and how you got there. In order to be more, you have to care less. have confidence in yourself, as well as your ability to make great decisions. No one is perfect and if mistakes are made, be strong enough to accept and move forward. When you obsess about an issue it has the potential to consume you, and why would you want that? Just care less and live, not everything that happens deserve your full attention. Be selfish with your caring, reserve it for the really important issues in your life.
Stress affects your health even when you are unaware. Common symptoms of stress are Headache
Muscle tension or pain
Lack of motivation or focus
Overeating or under-eating
If you are currently encountering these symptoms, along with these ten tips please consider seeing a professional counselor or therapist, who can help you identify stressors and learn new coping tools.
Remember, you can’t be the best if you are not at your best~
Winter is our skin’s worst enemy however, the cold is not an excuse to allow bad skin or bad make up. Below are a few of our favorite MILK products to help you to GLAM up your make up routine this season.
Click on image to shop
Watermelon Brightening solid serum.
This serum is the perfect glow weapon especially in the winter months. The serum works to perfect your skin which guarantees a flawless makeup application.
2. Solid Facial Oil
This beautiful oil easily absorbs into the skin. Say bye bye to rough and dry skin and holla at a glam dewy glow.
3. Long Wear Gel Eyeliner
Eyeliner gives your eyes a bold look. You can opt for clean and classic lines or a smudged smokey look for more drama.
4. Lip Vinyl - A moisturizing lipstick-gloss hybrid
Your lips have some of the softest skin that exists on your body and unfortunately they are constantly exposed to all the elements. Treat them to a moisturizing and colorful lipstick to give your face a classy and chic look.
5. Holographic highlighting powder
Always include a highlighter in your daily routine to give your face a fine glow, especially in the harsh winter months.
You’ve been doing well all year long, don’t be afraid to keep the glam going this holiday season ~
Whether you believe this or not this is your year, your year to succeed and blossom, happy new year to new you. We should also be conscious of the fact that this is also the season that most people make promises to themselves that they usually don’t keep “I will be better at _______”.
Most times its not about not wanting to keep these promises but most people are not prepared to keep these promises which often leaves us feeling lost, stagnant and insufficient. The promises we make to ourselves are our goals and if we are not prepared to keep the ones we have made on January first then we are already heading towards catastrophe.
Goals are pretty common or can be unique to each individual, but all goals share one common foundation which is the idea that we can feel accomplished by doing something we have never done or getting better at something that we are unsatisfied with.
For years goals have remained elusive, tiresome and sometimes strait up unattainable, until now.
Its time to get SMART with your goals! SMART goals was introduced to me during my business management course in college. (yes I’m using this info in the real world)
S is for specific: Be clear on what you want to achieve don’t dance around your ideas and write it down. Example of what not to do - “I want to lose weight” | Example of what to do - “I want to lose 10 pounds”. don’t be afraid to say it out loud, if you want to achieve your goals you have to be direct, no bull.
M is for measurable: Ensure that you can accurately assess how the goal will be carried out. Example of what not to do- “I want to lose 10 pounds by summer” | Example of what to do - I will try to lose one pound per week in order to accomplish my 10-pound goal. Keep it measurable and keep it reasonable.
A is for Achievable: Your goals have to be realistic. You have to be able to see yourself in the near or far future accomplishing this goal, there has to be an understanding of how the goal will be accomplished. Example of what not to do- there’s an event around the corner and I hope to lose 50 pounds by next week. | Example of what to do, there is an event next week, I will work out and eat properly to feel my best.
R is for Relevant: If the goal is not important to you then you will not achieve it. The goal needs purpose before it can be manifested. For Example, if you go to the gym just for fun it will be unlikely that you will accomplish anything productive as opposed to if you go to the gym because you would like to embark on a new healthy lifestyle with plans of losing weight or getting toned.
T is for Time sensitive: Setting a time line for yourself establishes urgency. Arriving at the end of your goal is the aim of the game, imagine if you had no finish line to your goals, how motivated would you be to pursue anything?
Regarding that one tool that you need to kick butt in 2019? Its a 2019 Planner (if you haven’t figure it out by now ) and you’re in luck because Amazon has lots of them. Click pic to buy
Be reminded that even though you are getting tough on your goals this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy the process.
My weekly morning routine is usually pretty standard, hair, shower, dress then make up. As simple as it sounds, it takes me roughly an hour to get through the routine. One specific morning it took me a lot longer to get myself together. While combing my hair back into a bun (my signature do) I found my first official grey strand of hair. I stared at it for 5 minutes, then I began talking to it, “why are you here” I asked. “Look, I’m not ready, you can stay but tell your friends to not show up because this is not a party”. I frantically sent out a group message to my sister circle to announce the distress about my newly found friend, but the replies were clear and unanimous - relax they all said, grey hair symbolizes wisdom. But what is wisdom? and did it come with the hair or was the hair the reward for being wise?
A few weeks prior, my business management professor covered the topic of emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence called EI or EQ for short can be described as a person’s ability to be aware of their own emotions, and with this knowledge has the ability to control their emotions as well as the emotions of others, I was intrigued. About a year ago I remember having a challenging experience at work in which someone took me to the side and told me, “its ok to be mad but you don’t have to show them that you are mad”. That bit of advice was the first step towards learning about EI and I had no idea the message would come full circle a year later.
Here are a few actions that will help you to master your EI
Evaluate your feelings
What is your current mood? why are you feeling that way? Do you have the ability to adjust your feelings? Do you know your emotional strengths and weaknesses? These questions are extremely important to become more emotionally aware. If you learn how to identify your feelings, you can learn to control them.
I think it’s safe to say that if you are unable to understand your own emotions, it will be almost impossible for you to understand the emotions of others. Empathy is the ability to understand how other people are feeling and the ability to use this connection to put yourself in their position to understand their point of view.
Develop the ability to identify emotional manipulation
This is a tricky one, since emotional manipulation can be very subtle. This may occur in the form of peer pressure or even “constructive criticism”. The important thing to do is ask yourself who and why. Who is addressing you? and why are they addressing you. Do they have anything to gain by influencing you? Are they having a bad day, a bad week or a bad life? Obviously you will not address everyone in this manner but if you listen to your gut, you will know when to start evaluating.
Inspire yourself and others
It is usually hard to stay motivated in everyday life. Someone who understands EI knows how to tap into that power reserve and use it to break through stagnation. If you are self-aware, then you know the things that motivate you, whether its a video, song, book or a specific person. Once you have created this wave of encouragement for yourself, it will be easy for people to be inspired by you.
Improve your social skills
If you find it hard, or have a limit to how social you can be EI can help you to improve your social skills. People with good social skills are approachable and great team players.