Monday, August 21, 2017

"Monday" - I don't hate you as much as I used to.

Image Source: Pinterest.com

I HATED Mondays! Seriously, I am not the least bit of a morning person and Monday's seemed like one big ole morning (YES, the whole day). I was on Garfield's side for the longest (don't sleep on him, under all that petty is a pretty smart feline!!) It wasn't until recently when I started to embrace how truly special Mondays are. Mondays force you to change your perspective, to shift from weekend mode to weekday mode. They are a fresh start to the (work)week and an opportunity for greatness.



Considering that I have more on my plate than a buffet connoisseur, I definitely needed to shift my perspective from having a serious case of the Mondays (every Monday!) to looking forward to accomplishing some real sh!+ for the week. So how did I go from hating/despising/cursing to the high heavens Monday, and now singing its praises?



Well it took WEEKS of routine and change, motivation and determination, and a kick in the a$$ by my boss (because - I am THAT person, who is always 15 minutes LATE to everything!). Oh, and these tip:
  1. Use a Planner. As I said in the previous post, the use of a planner not only helps you plan out your time, but helps you see what you've been doing and motivates you to keep up the momentum. Use some of that free time over the weekend  (or those last 30 mins on Friday,  - lets be serious there is NO work being done the last 45 minutes of Friday!), to review for the week ahead and avoid the Monday rush of trying to plan your week while your week is subsequently happening. 
  2. Get in routine. I now spend my Sunday evenings primping and prepping for the next day and the week ahead. Face masks, ironing of outfits, touching up of nails and hair, etc. I also have a set bed time (by 11:00 pm) but trust me, this was hardest of all to get used to (all the good shows come on Sunday nights, but I digress!!!). However, once I (and my body's internal clock) got in line, it actually helps me move through my days (and weeks) a lot smoother. I don't feel as tired and I am more able to crises  All to start Monday looking and feeling my best, which helps me tackle Monday, #likeaboss.
  3. Maintain Balance. unless you work weekends, keep WORK out of your weekends. Don't answer those emails or calls - in fact if you aren't on call TURN THE WORK PHONE OFF!!!!!!! Not just for your own sanity (and to avoid resentment) but the sanity of your friends and loved ones. Its also a great way to keep your weekend to yourself. Remember the WORK-WEEK is for WORK. You'll feel refreshed and hold less animosity and resentment towards your work, because you would have had a real break, a separation from it for a few days. You'll come into work with fresh eyes, which is helps you solve problems and accomplish task more efficiently.
  4. Make Monday something to look forward to! Wear a new outfit, try a new hairstyle, get your weekly mani/pedi, or treat yourself to your favorite lunch. Changing the atmosphere and your perception of Mondays into something to look forward to instead of dread, shapes the rest of your week. Positive thinking breeds a Positive environment!

Do you LOVE Mondays? What are some of your tips and tricks? Share 'em below or on our Facebook & Twitter 

~LB

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Balancing the "Dynamic Trinity"

All of my adult life, I've balanced work, school, and familial responsibilities. With a great support system (I see you, FAM!), and a goal to leave something meaningful behind for my children, I managed to obtain both my Bachelor and Master degrees while balancing the "dynamic trinity". It's been exhausting, exciting, stressful, and motivating all at the same time. And it's been worth it. Each degree earned meant personal & professional advancement and an opportunity to relate determination and hard work to my children.  Hence why I am returning to school once again - this time Law School, because  I aspire to have an alphabet soup of letter behind my name😄😄, showing the world that #blackgirlmagic is REAL.

Photo Source: CampusClipper.com

Why call this balancing act the Dynamic Trinity, well it takes a certain kind of individual to take on the responsibilities and obligations that entails managing a family, progressing along the career ladder, and embarking on a journey of knowledge, all at the same time. It takes tenacity, determination, resilience, confidence and faith to juggle these three very heavy containers. I mean have you watched a juggler, that skill is dynamic.


Photo Source: DegreeQuery.com

The thing is balancing the Dynamic Trinity seems normal to me. And its actually the norm for so many of us - single dads, working the mid level position while attending online classes for that MBA; the 20-something sister who helps her older sister out with childcare, while attending GED/CNA classes 4 afternoons a week; or the at her prime, career shifter, who decides to go back to school and get that degree in Interior Design because she always aspired to have her own design boutique. The list goes on.

Photo Source: Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education

So how can WE successfully balance the Dynamic Trinity? Several colleges and universities offer their students handbooks and brochures on balancing work, life, and school. These are good place to start, because they offer you information specific and relevant to you.  If you're already in school, check with your school's student affairs office.

Photo Source: University of Wisconsin @ Green Bay

Here are a few tips, gained from experience:
  1. First & foremost, you need to identify your support system. This is the group of individuals who understand, support, motivate, and are rooting for your success. They can be your family, your friends, fellow classmates, co-workers, professors & supervisors, anyone that can offer you genuine support. Trust me, you CAN'T do this alone. Remember, to take time to thank your team, keep them in the loop (your schedule, career and school plans) and spread the love. 
  2. Time Management is a MUST! I'm not the most routine individual, so a planner (both print and online) definitely saved me from forgetting parent-teacher conferences, monthly staff meetings, and deadlines for school assignments. Schedule time for you to study, to spend time with family, and some time for yourself. It might seem odd, scheduling your life but being aware of your schedule, whether weekly or daily, helps you stay on top of everything, which decreases stress. The less stress, the better you'll feel and able to tackle everything on your plate.
  3. Listen to your body. If you're feeling tired, overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed, etc., take time out to center yourself. If that means taking a "mental health day" and staying in bed, DO IT, you've earned it. While the journey is long and at times rough, there is no need to overwork yourself. You have to be at your best if you're gonna make it to graduation! 
  4. Set realistic goals, then be flexible. It took me an extra year to get my undergrad degree due to taking time off due to a high risk pregnancy. When I returned, I had a new job and gained experience from a brief stint in AmeriCorps. I was actually better prepared that last year. If I'd let that time off knock me off track, I probably wouldn't be where I am today. Don't let setbacks derail you! Life happens, better to change with it. The end game is the same, the journey doesn't have to be. 
  5. Look at all the options. Is it possible to take hybrid (online classes with some face-to-face days) or online only classes? Is your employer flexible regarding time/schedule or even book or tuition reimbursement? Does your school offer child care services? Explore every opportunity to better support your goals, accepting help and advocating for yourself is one of the main aspects that will get you through the journey. 
I have no doubt that ya'll are out there doing the damn thing, getting those grades, passing those classes, taking your seats at the table, and making those family memories while living life. I'm rooting for you, you amazing DYNAMIC juggler!

Have any tips? Questions? Interested in taking the Dynamic Trinity on? Hit us up, we got you!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Keep Grinding"

The last two weeks have been CRAZY! I was accepted into Law School (and the joint MPA program!), increased responsibility at work (I asked for it!), and I've been in a Duke's of Hazzard type situation with my local post office (like, come on guys, you have one JOB - deliver the mail!). Through all this, I'm happy to keep going, to keep doing the damn thing, to keep grinding. Like my grandpops used to say, "When you stop moving, stop striving, You die!"

Image source: WeHeartIt

Life is about progression. To live is to be in a constant state of movement, of change. The things that drive you, your passions, your goals and dreams need you to keep pushing and striving for them. That's the grind! Dictionary.com defines "grinding" as "working or studying laboriously". It's SO much more than that.


It's getting up everyday, whether your working two jobs while going to school, so you can get your foot in that door; or taking on more responsibility at work due to staff shortage, with little experience but a heart full of faith; or taking that leap of faith and taking your hobby of photography full time and quitting that sure thing of job that you hate. It doing what YOU need to do to get to WHERE you want to be.

Now the journey won't be easy, baby. There will be bumps, detours, and straight catastrophic events, but you'll get through them - that's the grind! Resilience, determination, and perseverance is what will get you through it, help you while on the grind. You have to keep going, achieve those dreams, simply SUCCEED! I'm rooting for you, luv!


Whatever your hopes, dreams, or passions are, NEVER stop striving towards them. Wake up everyday with a purpose to get just one step closer to that goal. Pound the pavement, knock on those doors, stay home to study and miss the 3rd "party of the year". Trust me, when you're sitting on that throne, that stage, that seat at the head of the table the journey, "the GRIND" would be well worth it!


LB


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer '17!!!!!!!



RE-POST!!!!!!!!!!

Summer '17 has OFFICIALLY started fam! Longer days, hotter nights, and good times to be had all around. LET'S GET IT!!!!!



We're working on bringing you new posts, reviews, GIVEAWAYS, and content - including videos,  guest bloggers, and recipes (Yasssss, you know we're foodies, check the IGs!!!!); and a little bit into the world of the Admins..


While you wait, check out some sites that offer some legit advice on career, relationships, finances, and parenting. Hit us up if there's a topic that you're interested in, have any questions, or just want to say Hi! We're here!

Seriously, ya'll send us your ideas, videos, inspirations. We want to give you what you want to see!


One a final note, Thank You! for sticking it out with us, We Appreciate You!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Know Your Worth


image source: DaisyDaisyxxo.co.uk

This week I caught up with a few members of my tribe and over drinks and tacos we discussed how hard it is to truly know and appreciate your worth or value. Too many of us don't realize how much we actually bring to the table, whether in our personal or professional lives. We tend to ignore the gains, losses, and lessons that shape up and guide us. We allow other's perceptions of us define us; we revert into the "victim" when things don't go right; we take the blame for things outside our control. Making it happen in life requires resiliency, determination, drive, and self-awareness - all things that are internally motivated. Qualities that only you can nurture.

image source: quotesgram.com

Knowing your worth is more than being fairly and adequately paid for your work. Its being respected by all people in your life, its being appreciated & supported by your partner; respected & loved by your children; and trusted & adored by your friends. Its having faith and confidence in YOURSELF!

image source: PrePary.com

Unfortunately, for me, it took obtaining a bachelor's degree, 4 years in an entry level Human Services position and a promotion to realize I have a lot to offer. I gained a new respect for my journey, my experiences, and my failures, the things that shaped me and brought me to the place of total respect of myself. That newfound respect translated into confidence and assertiveness. Qualities that have helped me move further, better accept and move on from obstacles, and work toward the goals I set forth for myself. Its FREEDOM!


How you see yourself, translates into how other people treat you. If you have negative thoughts, a lack of faith, or an overall ambivalence about yourself then others will treat you as less than deserving of respect, consideration or overall acknowledgment. The manner in which you carry yourself, shapes other's perspective of you. YOU own that narrative, it's your STORY!  Write it as you see fit and people will play along. Value yourself and others will follow suit.


Appreciating your experiences, your qualities and personality traits, passions and drives; the people in your life; everything that "make you, you" is the first step in realizing your worth. There is value in knowing, loving and appreciating WHO you are. That self love translates into everything aspect of your life - it guides how others perceive you, how they respond and respect to you; it guides your determination  and your drive. Its shapes you & your environment! So take a moment and determine your value, decide what you will and won't accept from others, from life. Make a decision to LOVE yourself and get ALL that you deserve.

image source: pinterest.com

When did you determine "YOUR WORTH"?