How to Know When to Move On

How to Know When to Move On

Whatever the situation, we’ve all been faced with this decision...Maybe you’ve just fought with your significant other about the same shit for the thousandth time and you’re genuinely concerned that you may end up on a real-life Orange is the New Black. Whatever the situation, a decision needs to be made and it’s probably to move on, but how? Your metaphorical suitcase may already be packed. But where are you going? What’s your plan? Maybe you’re still deciding. Well then, this, is for you.

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Coffee Talk: Let's Talk About Hobbies!

Hello Lovely,

I’m the kind of girl that loves to stay busy, but gets burnout very easily. But I can’t sit around and do nothing. Even in my tiredness, I still have to be doing something. I’ve learned long ago to chalk it up to my superhero complex and short attention span. So when things get a little stressful, I like to unwind with various activities to take my mind off of things for a while. I’ve picked up a lot of skills from these activities and the more I stick to it, the stronger I get. Some of these skills have proven useful in my career, and some are just for me to enjoy. Today we're gonna talk about the private ones (which means the obvious ones like photography and baking need not be mentioned). The ones that make life better and help me to decompress at the end of a long day.

1.     I’m not so secretly a Sims addict

My internship hasn’t left me with much time to play the sims, but as I’m nearing the end, I have more personal time again. One of the hobbies I’ve gone back to, is playing The Sims 4. Now when I say addict, I also mean collector. I have the Sims Complete Edition, every expansion pack made for Sims 2 – 4, as well as stuff packs and game packs. My custom content folder is 1.02 GB in size with 839 items. Not to mention the Sims 2 on PlayStation and the Sims 3 on Wii. I’m sure I’ve lost you somewhere in all of that bragging.

The point is, I enjoy playing the Sims because life is stressful and unpredictable, whereas in the Sims, it’s the only place I have complete control. I can create whatever fantasy life I want. I know it may sound a little sad, but this game really has its therapeutic aspects.

2.     I love to dance

Shake your bom bom! Anyone who knows me, knows I love to dance. Even at work, whenever they play music I really like, I jokingly go into hiding because I don’t want to risk losing my job by dancing in front of the kids. A few years ago, I learned how to salsa, bachata, meringue, and tango. In my mind, I could totally be a contestant on Dancing with The Stars (you know if I were a celebrity). Dancing makes me feel sexy and as long as I’m on the dance floor, nothing bothers me. I even did pole dancing for about 3 months and was getting pretty good at it!

3.     I’m trying to earn a green thumb

I’ll be the first to admit that everything I touch dies. Early this year, I was able to regrow rosemary and lettuce but they both died because I kept forgetting to water them. But this time, I plan on doing it right. I have planted Oregano, Sweet pepper and mint so far. I am also trying to regrow the rosemary. I bought Miracle Grow potting soil, I water once per day, keep my plants in the shade and wait. It’s really only been about a week, but I am hopeful this time around. I’ll feel so proud of myself if my veggies actually grow! My plan is to be self-sufficient for flowers, vegetables and herbs by the end of the year.

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4.     Painting is starting to become fun

I never thought of myself as a Picasso, but I’m starting to understand that this painting thing isn’t so hard. I don’t know why I was so afraid of it. I recently painted a wood pallet that I plan on turning into a bar for my patio. Up next is painting some more wood pallets that will then be the sofa. I’m also looking into ways to make my own wall art on a budget because canvases are so expensive. It’s so much fun to create my own work that would normally cost so much money.

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5.     I love fashion design but I’m not IN LOVE with it…

Once upon a time, I pursued fashion design. But once my Master’s degree began to consume my life, I just didn’t enjoy sewing any more. Even now, there are so many projects that inspire me but I’ll always find an excuse like the weather or I don’t want to ruin the fabric. I like being able to say, “I made this” but only time will tell if I ever return to this hobby.

Hobbies come and go over the years. I love the idea of always having a "current obsession". If you're in the market for a new hobby, here are a few tips to help you choose the right one for you…

1.     How much money will this hobby cost you?

No matter what, hobbies will cost you money at some point. Whether it’s the initial investment or continuing fees, ask yourself this, “Can I afford to do this?” Some DIY hobbies look cheap and easy, but depending on where you live, supplies and other resources can run a hefty bill. My suggestion. Try before you buy. If you're thinking you might like to try rock climbing, go with a friend and use their equipment before you dive in and commit to joining a gym or buying supplies. Use your mom's sewing machine and see if you like sewing before you buy your own. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I've definitely been guilty of making those impulse buys only to watch it later collect dust. Giving yourself freedom to explore different options is a great way to feel like you don't have to stick with something you end up not loving. Then there’s the time it would take to complete each project.

2.     Is this hobby more for down time or time consuming?

Just because the girl on YouTube said this is an hour long project doesn’t mean that it will take YOU an hour to complete. She’s an expert, you’re new to the game. With practice you’ll eventually be able to do this faster, but ask yourself, is this something you can learn quickly? And once you get the hang of it, is this a once in a while thing or something that has to be done on a consistent basis? Look at your schedule and figure out how much time you realistically have to dedicate to a new hobby. We are all busy, especially during certain seasons of life. So be honest with yourself about what kind of time you have to devote to a hobby and don't over-commit or try something that you just realistically can't accomplish. A hobby is something you should do for you and should make you feel good about yourself, not constantly sad that you aren't achieving as much as you think you should or are unable to really enjoy it.

3.     Finally, “Do you, boo”

Your hobby should match your personality. If you know you’re lazy, who are kidding by suddenly investing in running gear? Your hobby is your “you time” to express yourself. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Your hobby should allow you to forget about that crappy day and give you a renewed feeling.

What about you? What hobbies are you in love with right now? What helps you relax?

XoX,

Currently: Dating

Hello Lovely,

I'm not ashamed to admit that after a little over two years I made the decision to end my relationship. It wasn't so much the distance as the differences I could no longer overlook. After a very heated argument that we've had more times than I can count, it's like a light switch went off in my head. I just couldn't do it anymore. It had nothing to do with whether or not I loved him. I loved him dearly, but it just wasn't working. We weren't working. And we weren't going to work either. In that moment, I knew for sure that had we gotten married, I would've divorced him. So I did what I had to do.

I was fine with my choice. I know I made the right decision. All I had to do was move on. So I did. And I'm proud to say that next month, I'll be making my final presentation for my master's degree. I can't believe this moment has finally come! It took a lot of sacrifice but I did it!

 While this is a personal blog, I am very cautious of what I write and share. But whenever I experience something I feel is worth sharing, I want to share that wisdom with others. I've compiled them into mini chapters, so to speak, all based on my personal experience with dating. So this is what 2 years of a long distance relationship coming to an end, culminated with 3 months of dating availability has taught me about dating and myself:

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1.     Picky is not necessarily a bad thing.

Any time a guy asks me what I look for in a partner, I always lead with, “I’m picky.” I’m not ashamed of this. My pickiness is not unrealistic; and by leading with what I want it lets the “unqualified” know not to bother. Why waste time with someone who only wants to waste your time? Letting someone know you have standards that are non-negotiable creates an opportunity for respect and allows you to weed out the undesirables. Only weak people are intimidated by standards.

2.     Forgiveness is important

OMG! Who am I for even saying this? I am the master of holding grudges! I recently started dating someone who acted unforgivably. We stopped talking and it actually hurt me. But last week he reached out to me to apologise. I’ll be honest, I was ready to forgive him so I felt relief after we talked it out and now we’re friends again. That’s because I had to accept the advice two of my best friends gave me:

3.     Nobody is perfect; including yourself

People are going to mess up; it’s a part of life. There are no perfect boyfriends, just real ones. It’s still up to you to decide how much imperfection you’re willing to deal with, but remember that you yourself are also a work in progress and there are going to be things your partner doesn’t like about you.

4.     Always date your best friend

But none of that would matter if you date your best friend. That was my biggest regret in my last relationship. We got into a relationship after only two weeks of knowing each other. Take the time to really get to know the person you’re about to spend the rest of your life (or the next three months) with. Loving your best friend is much easier than loving someone you’re still getting to know. You won’t know everything about your partner, but it’s much more fun when this person has unconditional respect for you before romantic relationships become a topic.

5.     Listen to the warning signs

I can’t stress this enough. There were so many red flags in my last relationship; as early as one month in. even when I met him, I didn’t feel the butterflies I thought I would but chose to ignore that. There will be warning signs in any kind of relationship, some are minor but you know when it’s a biggie. Listen to your heart. If something feels off, it probably is. Address these issues head on so that everyone is clear moving forward.

6.     Pick your battles

Not everything is worth fighting for. Sometimes you just know that something will end in an argument or worse a fight. The warning signs are there and in that moment you have a choice. Fully commit to this sinking ship or walk away? If you’ve already made it clear where you stand on something minor, no need to keep nagging your partner if they don’t get it right. For example: your partner getting stuck in traffic and being late to a date, vs. your partner always ignoring your requests to do something that makes you happy.

7.     Be intentional

Someone can’t give you what you want if you’re not clear about what you want. Be upfront, honest and intentional. Go for what you want and don’t be apologetic. As long as you’re true to yourself, no matter the outcome, rest in knowing you made your needs and wants clear with no crazy mixed signals.

8.     Games are for kids

This ties in with the above note. No one likes the guy at the bar who takes your number then takes a week to call. And worse, he doesn’t call back for another 3 weeks and the only reason he did call was because you initiated a drop call to get his attention. While I already counted three strikes against him from the initial meeting (my friends though I was too harsh) it turns out I was right about him so it didn’t hurt me. No one has time for games so I simply didn’t make time for him.

9.     The ring didn't mean a thing

Last year when I went to St. Croix to meet his mother, I told him bluntly that I could spend over $600 on airfare to meet his mother and still leave him if I continued to be unhappy. When we did eventually break up, he threw in my face that I was throwing away two years of blah blah blah. While this may have been my longest relationship ever, no matter how long you’ve been with your partner, dissatisfaction in one area will lead to dissatisfaction in other areas of your life. You don’t have to stay if your needs aren’t being met intentionally. There’s only so much anyone can put up with.

10.  Change is good but don't change too much.

Everyone changes in some way during a relationship. Your partner can encourage you to be the best you possible but remember no matter what changes you make in life, don’t lose who you truly are. Don’t change so much to make someone happy that you can’t remember what makes you happy.

There are days when it really hits me that my long-distance relationship is over and for a few seconds, I get an empty feeling. I’ve never been a fan of the dating process because there are so many jerks out there. But with friends that are more like family, I feel more confident in getting back on the dating scene.

I hope my experiences help with whatever decision you’re facing or need to face. What is the best dating advice you’ve ever gotten? Share it in the comment section below.

XoX

How To Be a Boss Without Being a Bitch

Hello Lovely,

I’ve never thought of myself as a boss. Sure I see myself as a leader, but I never liked the title “boss”. It could’ve been due to the narrative I heard as a child that “bossy girls” are bad and no one likes them. Another part of it is I believe that leaders are meant to inspire, while bosses simply order you around without concern for your wellbeing. Lately I’ve been loving how women have reclaimed the boss title and now many women are proud to be called a “Girl Boss.” However, being a girl boss means that sometimes you’re going to have to say or do some tough stuff that may rub some people the wrong way. Yesterday was one of those days for me. As the creative producer in my church, I had to give some tough feedback to fellow volunteers. If you ever find yourself having to make hard-hitting decisions regarding employees, co-workers etc. here are 3 tips to help you to be a boss without being a bitch.

1.      Revise your language

The way you word a sentence marks a clear distinction between boss and bitch. You want to make a point, not alienate a crowd. Now is the time to be direct without being overly critical. Your tone should be even, not harsh; so that the person knows you’re coming from a good place and not on a Prozac withdrawal.

2.      Be constructive, not destructive

Okay, so they messed up. Like really messed up. And maybe you’ve tried to help them in the past but they’re insubordinate and insist on going off script. This is where your language can either help or hurt. Body language plays a role in this too; watch how you hold yourself. That lets the person know what you think about them. Remember you want to inspire them to do better, not kick them while they’re down. If there are any strengths you can point out, include that. Maybe their performance is being affected by personal struggles. Give them some pointers so they’ll know how to improve. If this is the last straw for you and there’s no room for improvement, let them know what it was about their performance that was so disappointing for you and how it has affected the team and the company. Even if you’re terminating this relationship, the constructive criticism will help them in future positions (if they take anything you say to heart).

3.      Learn how to trust

I added this point for myself. This is an area I am genuinely struggling in. If I know something needs to be done, I tend to not tell someone else in detail because I assume they won’t do it the way I want it done. I always struggle with letting go of control and trusting that my team really can do the job. The best way to ensure your vision is brought to fruition is to train those around; this will eliminate the need to micro-manage and correct anyone.

Being a Girl Boss is all about being true to yourself. We all have struggles and we all have moments where we cross that fine line into bitchland. The key is to know when to reel it all back in, re-evaluate and always knowing how to accept when you yourself have messed up. Because no matter how important what you have to say is, no one is going to hear you if it comes out wrong.

XoX,

VANILLA CLOVE DIY BODY OIL SPRAY

Hello Lovely,

I always thought it would be cool to make my own scent. When I went to the VIVA conference, I did that but forgot to take a particular ingredient out and it ended up tainting the entire scent making it useless. But when I did make it, it was a delicious spice scent that kind of reminded me of cookies baking while you admire a fresh pot of flowers. (Weird combination I know). So after that epic fail, I decided to try again with simpler ingredients that anyone could find in their kitchen pantry (minus the sweet almond oil base).

Even my brother admitted that he liked the smell of this and he generally ignores my existence. So I think we have a winner!

I plan on gifting this to my sister-in-law as a thank you for everything she's done to help me out these past two years. I also plan on buying more sweet almond oil from Whole Foods so that I can make more of this over the holidays to bring back for friends. Here's how you can make your own.

CAUTION: You just might attract that special someone to meet you under the mistletoe if you wear this!

Vanilla Clove DIY Body Oil Spray

  • 1/4 cup almond oil (walnut or jojoba oil would also work)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. You can also use vanilla essential oil.
  • 2-3 drops clove oil or 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • A small spray bottle

Combine all of the ingredients. I prefer to let the whole cloves sit in the mixture for about 5 minutes, just to infuse the scent. Remove the cloves and pour into a small spray bottle (you should definitely use a funnel for this, I ended up spilling some of mine). If you’re not smelling enough vanilla, go ahead and add a 1/2 teaspoon more.

My hand was a little heavy on the vanilla extract, so this smells very vanilla-y. I hope that's not a problem for her. If you go heavy on the vanilla, use the spray sparingly because a little goes a long way, trust me! I was really tempted to keep this one for myself. Who would you gift this to? Share with us in the comment section below!

Weekend Recap: How I Spent Cinco de Mayo

Hello Lovely,

THIS WEEKEND WAS LIT!!!!!! I had the best weekend of my life! I went to a concert with two close friends of mine on Cino de Mayo for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. We saw a lot of amazing artists like Visage, Bunji Garlin, Faye Ann Lyons and most importantly MACHEL MONTANO! That's right folks. I FINALLY got to see the lengendary man in the flesh! And he is just as sexy as ever!

There was a moment where I doubted if I would actually get to or not after the rain came down. But I was determined! I stood in the rain during and after Bunji and Faye's performance waiting. And guess what, they shut down the whole thing. Lights turned off, speakers, lights and other equiment was covered and sheltered from the rain and most of the crowd scattered. Some people went home, but again, I was determined. I waited under a tent. Just waited. Machel couldn't let me know. I knew he would somehow sense my desire to see him just once in concert (let me know if I'm getting overly dramatic with this).

And after about 10 minutes of waiting, Bodine Johnson the host came back out and said, "Are you guys ready for Machel? I NEVER RAN SO FAST IN MY LIFE! I actually left my friends behind and ran off in one direction while they went in another. I sprinted to the front and witnessed what I believe to be a miracle (again let me know if I'm getting overly dramatic with this).

There is something so liberating about dancing in the rain! I enjoyed every minute of it. Singing and chanting with the crowd awoke a spirit of fun in me that had been surpressed by the burdens of adulthood.

I rested on Saturday, then Sunday was my Cinco de Mayo dinner with my best friends. We turned up with sangria, margaritas, nachos and great music! My best friends are like family to me so it's always a good time when we're together. We played with the Charades and Dinner Party Conversation Cards and heard some really awkward answers that'll make anyone blush. The night totally made up for my failed attempt to catch a beach soccer game this weekend, but all in all, this was definitely the best weekend ever!

Apple Cheese Wraps

Hello Lovely

File this recipe under my all time favourite snack! Ever since I was a kid, my mum would peel and dice apples for me to eat as a snack because I never liked the skin. She couldn't understand how I claimed that I couldn't swallow the skin on the apple. I don't know what to say. I would chew and chew, but it just wouldn't go down. Like lettuce. But I digress.

Over the past year I became obsessed with cheese and crackers. Diced apples or cream crackers and cheddar cheese always satisfies me when I need to snack on something. So why not combine them? 

Do you remember eating Lunchables as a kid? I never liked them. I liked the idea behind it but it always tasted fake (not to mention my parents complained about the price). If you have kids who love Lunchables, why not save money by making it yourself? It's so easy and so much healthier because you'll know exactly what's in it. This snack covers all of the critical food groups with fibre, protein and good carbs. The best part? It's fully customisable. Add nuts or grapes or whatever else you like for added health benefits. 

 

Apple Cheese Wraps (serves 4 )

Prep Time: 2 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese, cut in half
  • 2 slices pre-sliced deli turkey or ham, cut in half

Preparation

1. Slice the apple into 1/2 inch thick slices. Rub the apple with the lemon wedge to prevent from going brown.

2. Slice the cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch wide slices and the ham in 1/2 or in 1/4 (the ham needs to be large enough to wrap around the apple). 

3. Place an apple slice and a cheese slice on top of the deli meat and fold over deli meat to wrap.

4. Serves with crackers and a dip of your choice for a satisfying on the go snack.