I can’t believe that I’m twenty five today! I’m truly grateful and blessed to see another year.
For months I was so nervous about turning twenty five. I was dreading it. I know that sounds terrible, because turning a year older is a blessing that everyone is not granted. However, I’m not going to lie and act like I was excited, because that definitely was not the case. I was a disappointed, because I thought I would be flourishing in my career, graduated with my Masters degree, and along with other things that I had planned.
I began to get excited about my birthday once I kicked the feeling of disappointment to the curb. Our thoughts are things that we tell ourselves along with feelings that we have during those moments. Feelings are not facts. Feelings are temporary not forever. I had to get out of my feelings!
Chilleeeee. God snatched my edges and gathered me all the way together. He reminded me that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. He challenged me to re-position my thoughts. I had to affirm that I would receive everything that He has promised me.
I’ve made plans as to how I want to execute and successfully complete my goals, but I’ve learned to not be so hard on myself in the process. I’m learning to give myself grace as I’m transitioning in a new season of my life. I understand that everything is not going to go as planned and I’m okay with that. I’ve learned the importance of being present and in the moment during my journey, because I know that I can never get time back. I’m not obsessing over everything going as planned nor focusing on what is next. It doesn’t mean that I’m not planning for what’s to come, but I’m enjoying and watching my destiny unfold.
Let peace reign in your life. Affirm good things! Good things attract us when we have a positive mindset. If you think positive then good things will attract you. Focus on what is good and let God handle the rest.
So, I am very grateful and excited about turning twenty five!
A few months ago I was browsing in Target not really looking for anything in particular! Of course you never go in Target looking for anything, but you always end up purchasing something! Anyways, I checked out the hair-care aisles when I came across these two products. They were on clearance for really good prices, so I decided to go ahead and purchase them. I had used other products by Curls and Carol’s Daughter just not these particular ones.
I initially decided to purchase these products because I noticed that both of them were hair refreshers, which I absolutely love for my hair. They are leave-in moisturizers in liquid form. Although I’m a fan of cream based leave-in moisturizers, but sometimes I like something a little lighter to put in my hair. These work perfectly plus they are very lightweight!
Curls – Lavish Curls Moisturizer (2nd Curl Refresher/Daily Leave In):
- I love using this on wet and dry hair! I always use it after my hair is freshly washed. This product helps my hair adsorb moisture perfectly!
- It smells amazing!
- It is formulated with certified organic ingredients.
- No sulfates, silicones, parabens, artificial oils, or fragrances.
Carols Daughter – Hair Milk Refresher Spray:
- I prefer using this on wet hair only! I put oil in my hair after it’s freshly washed then apply this. It makes my curls pop! Plus, I don’t have to apply a cream based moisturizer afterwards if I don’t want to when I style my hair.
- It doesn’t have a distinct scent. That is definitely a plus if you prefer products that don’t have a strong fragrance.
- Deeply moisturizes, improves softness, and prevents frizz.
So, if you’re looking for a really good liquid leave-in refresher these are definitely worth a try! Both of them are under $12! Very budget friendly and affordable. Please let me know if you purchase either of them. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I previously styled this cold shoulder sweater casually, but now I’m showing you how I easily switched this look by changing a few things around! It took little to no effort to seemingly transition this look from casual to dressy! I simply added a statement necklace along with a pair of heels.
Sometimes transitioning looks is about changing minor details such as adding accessories or switching shoes. This is perfect when switching from work attire to an evening look! You don’t have to always change your entire look for instances like that. Adding simple touches just as I did easily creates a new look!
Necklace (Similar) | Cold Shoulder Sweater | JeansNude Pumps (Similar)
Photography: Crystal Williams
I am faithful to red lipstick! I purchased my first red lipstick my freshman year of college and I’ve been obsessed ever since! I love all types of red lipstick, but mattes happen to be my favorite. I tried many after my first purchase and these are the ones that ended up working best for me.
All of these lipsticks are very budget friendly! If you’re looking for the perfect red lippie then I definitely got you covered!
Matte red lipsticks:
MAC – Ruby Woo:
- Ruby Woo has been around for years! Some consider it a little drying, but I never had that issue with it. I think it’s pretty long-lasting, but if you want to reapply it’s best to take all of it off and start fresh. This was the first red lipstick that I ever purchased!
Fenty Beauty – Stunna Lip Paint (Uncensored):
- As soon as it was available for purchase I immediately purchased one for myself and my mom! Not only is it a beautiful shade of red, but the packaging is super cute. It is very long-lasting, but it transfers a little but other than that I love it!
Milani – Devotion:
- This is one of the best drugstore liquid lipsticks that I have ever used! The formula is amazing! You can reapply without taking it completely off too.
Stila – Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (Beso and Fiery):
- These are my absolute favorite liquid lipsticks! They are amazing! They aren’t drying nor do they crack. Very long-lasting too! You can wear them ALL day long without having to touch up or reapply it to your lips. Definitely worth every penny!
I’m faithful to wearing my hair in a slicked back bun whenever I need a quick and easy hairstyle! I only like doing this style on stretched or blown out hair, because it makes the process so much easier. I prefer wearing a middle part when I wear this style rather than a side part. This hairstyle is perfect for any occasion, because it is super chic and stylish! It takes less than 10 minutes to do this style!
I always use the same products to achieve this look and my hair always comes out great! All of the products are very affordable and can be found just about anywhere.
- I split my hair down the middle to section it off, then I spray it with a little bit of water to detangle it. Your hair must be detangled very well in order for it to slick down smoothly. I prefer doing this style on somewhat damp hair, because it makes the products hold better.
- I work on one section at a time instead of applying the products all over my head, because my hair slicks down better that way.
- I then apply Garnier’s Leave-In Conditioning Cream, because it helps with frizz and humidity. Using this product first is a must!
- I apply Gorilla Snot Gel to slick down my edges and the front of my hair. A little bit goes a long way! Seriously, you don’t need a lot of it.
- I apply a good handful of Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel to the entire section of my hair, except for the ends of my hair. I seal them with oil and a little more of the leave-in cream.
- I use a Brush Strokes Two-Sided Bristle Brush to smooth and lay my hair down. I prefer using the firm side because it smooths the hair down better.
- I put that section in a small ponytail by securing it with a Scunci No Damage Hair Tie.
- I repeat those same steps on the other section.
- Once both sections are secured in ponytails I then apply another hair tie to form one ponytail.
- I then apply the faux ponytail around my real hair, which I made using Motown Tress (Nubian Twist Braid) hair.
- I then put the faux ponytail in a in a big twist.
- After that I begin wrapping the faux ponytail around to form it into a bun, while securing it with bobby pins.
- I then use my favorite LottaBody silk scarf to tie my hair down to make sure that it lays down perfectly. I keep the scarf on for at least 15 minutes.
I know it’s a lot of steps but explaining it takes longer than the actual process! I promise this style takes less than 10 minutes to do!
My hair always feels super soft and not hard nor flaky. To maintain this style, at night I tie it down using the LottaBody silk scarf and putting a bonnet on top. My hair usually lasts up to a week and I never have to reapply more products.
Life can get pretty hectic between work and various things that I have going on! However, I’ve learned that sticking to my routine makes a huge difference! It seriously helps with not feeling overwhelmed and all over the place. Creating a routine and sticking to it can enhance your life in so many ways.
- Use one day of the weekend to plan out your week! — Every Sunday evening I spend at least an hour planning my week out and writing all my tasks down in my planners. I know exactly what I have to do each day without going into the week blind. This is one of the best things that I’ve ever done! It’s helped alleviate any unnecessary stress due to not planning properly. — I talked about how to purposefully use planners here!
- Prepare for your mornings the night before! Do things such as: Preparing your lunch, choosing an outfit (ironing it too), already having your work essentials together, and a host of other things. Getting those tasks done at night can allow your mornings to go a lot smoother.
- Wake up on time! Hitting the snooze button is so satisfying just to get those extra minutes of sleep. However, rushing in the morning is not fun! Getting ready in the morning without having to rush is such a good feeling. Give yourself more than enough time to get ready along with including your commute to work.
- Stick to your nightly routine! Create a set time to start wining down. Doing things such as: showering, journaling, reading a devotional, meditating, etc. This plays a major role in how you will sleep for the night. — I prepare for bed an hour before I plan to lay down. When I shower at night I like to use Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy line in the scent Vanilla Lavender or Lavender & Cedarwood, which is specifically for helping you get a peaceful rest. Also, I usually try to drink sleepytime tea at night as well.
- Carve out a set time to work on your goals, side hustle, or other things when you get home from work at least a couple times per week. Finding time to work on those things is important too! If you want them to happen then you have to put in the work! — I work full-time job in addition to blogging. However, I have a set time each day to work on content and goals in the evenings. When I get home from work sometimes I’m tired, but I still push through to work on them. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t give myself a break as sometimes because they are needed.
More importantly, sticking to your routine is all about planning properly! Life can get crazy sometimes, but you can ease the load by creating and sticking to your routine!
Listen, in order the slay your year and actually get things done you must be organized! The key to staying organized is to be consistent and plan things out. Planning properly and writing my tasks down not only makes my life easier, but I’m also not left feeling overwhelmed and in shambles.
I use three planners for different specific reasons. Each planner differentiates between: personal, blogging, and a mini personal one. I tried using one planner for everything that I had going on numerous times, but it became too much for me. I had things written all over the place and it caused me more anxiety than actually getting things done.
On Sunday evenings I spend at least an hour writing down my tasks and planning for the week in my planners.
- Having a planner solely for blogging purposes has been such a lifesaver! I’ve been able to effectively plan content, get tasks done, and overall become a better blogger. At the beginning of each month I create a list of content ideas in the goals section of my planner. Afterwards, I choose three topics for each week of the month and write out in detail how to execute them. I use Sundays as my content planning day to get prepared for whatever I’m working on the upcoming week. Creating this process for myself made the relaunching of my blog so much easier!
- I have two personal planners! One is notebook-sized that I always keep at home unless I am carrying a tote bag. The other is a mini-sized one that I keep in my purse with me at all times.
- In the notebook-sized planner I write everything out in detail such as appointments, payday, bills, goals for savings money, to-do lists, and many more things. No matter how big or small my tasks are I make sure that they are written down.
- In the mini-sized planner it’s an overview of what I written down in the notebook-size one, but not as in depth. It’s perfect for being on the go! I never take it out of my purse!
Hopefully my tips on utilizing planners for different reasons helps you! Even if you decide that using one planner works best for you, just do whatever it takes to stay organized and get things done! Staying organized helps the process of accomplishing various things a lot easier. Choose to get and stay organized!
As someone who wears makeup quite often, I use five foundations that are my go to holy grail products! I rarely stray away from them because they work best for me! That doesn’t mean that I don’t try new foundations though. However, when you find foundations that not only match you perfectly, but work great for your skin type it’s like hitting the lottery!
I have oily skin, which makes it hard finding foundations that work for me sometimes. So, when I find a good foundation that doesn’t leave me looking like you can fry a piece of chicken off my forehead at the end of the day it, makes me so happy! I’m sure if you have oily skin then you can totally relate to what to what I’m saying! Out of these five foundations three of them are matte and the others are not, but they still work great for me.
I think the prices of these foundations are very affordable, but I’m also a fan of finding products that fit within your budget. They can be purchased from drugstores, Sephora, ULTA, or MAC. The prices vary depending on where you purchase them from.
My top five foundations:
L’Oreal – Infalliable Pro-Matte (112 – Cocoa):
- I’ve been using this foundation faithfully for two years! I wear it throughout the year and I’ve never had any problems with it. I swear by this foundation! When you first apply it might look a little orange, but it oxidizes a couple of minutes after you blend it in. I’d choose this foundation over any high-end brand any day!
Fenty Beauty – Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear (430 – Neutral):
- Listen, when I first tried this foundation I was shook! It matched me perfectly and it didn’t even look like I had makeup on! I absolutely love this foundation! It’s so bomb! If you haven’t tried it yet go ahead and purchase it! It’s worth every penny. Rihanna was not playing any games when she created this makeup line! She created a wide range of shades for women of all skin tones and I really loved that. If you’re curious about my initial thoughts on it you can watch it here!
Maybelline – Fit Me Matte + Poreless (355 – Coconut):
- This is one of my favorite drugstore foundations! I’ve been wearing it faithfully for over four years! This is one of the main foundations that I wore throughout college. If Maybelline ever discontinued this line I’d have a fit! It’s the best!
NYX – Total Control Drop (TCD19 – Mocha):
- This foundation is perfect! It’s very light weight but gives you total coverage. This shade is a little too dark for me, but the shade before it was too light. However, I make it work by mixing it with one of the foundations that I’ve listed and it works great!
MAC – Studio Fix Fliud (NC50):
- I’m sure many of you have heard about or worn this foundation! I started wearing it my freshman year of college and I’ve been faithful to it ever since. This is one of my favorite matte foundations because it isn’t drying. I especially love it because it has an SPF 15 in it! — So important!
As my style evolves, I’ve found the importance of buying clothing that help me maximize my wardrobe. Now, I focus on quality over quantity when it comes to purchasing clothes, which is how you build a long-lasting wardrobe! I’m all about having clothing that seemingly transition from one occasion to another! It has alleviated having tons of items in my closet that I’m not wearing. — I’ll be sharing how to create a long-lasting wardrobe soon!
This cold shoulder sweater is perfect because it can be styled for several ways. For a casual look, it made perfect sense to pair this sweater with jeans and printed mules. Jeans are always great for casual looks, plus mules are my jam right now! I’ve purchased several of them because they are so versatile and they’ll never go out of style! As far as accessories, I kept it simple with hoop earrings and an arm party of Alex and Ani bracelets.
Cold Shoulder Sweater | Jeans
Photography: Crystal Williams
After being one year post-grad I learned a few things along the way that I think will help others on their post-grad journey! I talked about my post-grad journey previously here!
- Take time off if you need it! Don’t feel obligated to immediately start your job search, grad school, or whatever else after graduation. It’s okay to take a break! — I took a year off after graduation and it was the best decision ever!
- It’s okay to not have everything figured out! If you’ve changed your mind about what you want to do that’s completely fine. There is nothing wrong with that! Give yourself some grace.
- We’ve all been blessed with a gift or talent! Nurture your gifts. Practice with them daily. — Read books, attend workshops, and many more things to cultivate and enhance your gift. More importantly, work on being the best at them. Never stop learning and being a student!
- Don’t listen to everyone’s unsolicited advice. After you graduate people will feel the need to give you advice based upon their experiences or try to shove their opinions on you. They’ll also have an opinion about your goals and what you’re planning to do. That is NOT okay. Don’t feel obligated to take their advice. Basically, tell people to mind their business if it’s necessary. They might not like it, but who cares! — Personally, my first couple of months post-grad I was very sensitive when it came to advice. I was constantly bombarded with people telling me what I should do and I got sick of it!
- It’s a good idea to get a mentor or seek help from someone in your field! — I formed three relationships with women in my field while I was in college from internships and a shadowing experience. They have impacted my life in so many ways by giving me honest advice and being a phone call away whenever I need them.
- Attend events that are catered to your field! They are a great way to network! — Always get an email address if possible to follow up with someone! I know we live in a world where sliding in DMs is an easy way to communicate, but it’s not professional in some cases.
- Take risks! Don’t be afraid! Try it out! Whatever happens, happens. Even if things don’t work out at least you can say that you got the experience.
- Lastly, do whatever makes YOU happy! Your happiness should always come first. Everyone will not understand your journey and that is okay, because everything you do is not for everyone.
Photography by: Crystal Williams