Blog

Why You Should Stop Seeking Validation Through Social Media

This isn’t about social media etiquette because I’m an advocate of free speech and support individuals expressing themselves in ways they see fit. This is about more effective ways to feel whole again and seek validation within.

sad phone
Photo via We Heart It
Likes and follows do not define your self-worth. Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms as I love to express myself with visuals and enjoy seeing others do the same. In a world of Instagram models and accounts with paid followers and likes, I can see how one would feel the need to measure up. In the grand scheme of things, unless you’re utilizing social media to promote your craft or business, your likes and follows have no real impact on your life, achievements, success, education or happiness. It may feel important at the time but Instagram is one very small fraction of your entire, amazing life. If you like it, that’s all that matters 🙂

Below is a video by Filmmaker Shea Glover posted by HuffPost in December 2015. It’s a two minute message about Shea’s #BreatheBeautiful campaign. Check it out!

Airing your dirty laundry will not resolve issues. In our generation, it can be hard to fight the urge to overshare the details of negative situations in our lives. In the moment, it may feel like venting will make things better but in the end, it could actually make things worse. Remember that not everyone you’re connected to on social media is your friend. There are, sadly, people rooting for you to fail, people who will gossip about you and people who just enjoy seeing others not doing so well. Don’t invite these bad vibes into your life. Take other avenues to improve your situation and mood. Which leads me to my next point.

Cries for help should be directed to someone close to you or a therapist. “Subtweeting” a friend, significant other or ex rarely results in the reaction you are seeking. You can be ignored or create even more conflict. Furthermore, if you’re legitimately crying, having an anxiety attack or going through a rough patch, rather than announcing this to your followers, reach out to a friend, family member or therapist and have a private conversation. They will offer the support you need to talk yourself down. What you might get is attention, which is not the same as support. You may also want to confront that individual head on. Speak to them directly about what’s been bothering you. This method has a better chance of producing good results and you get opportunity to get things off your chest.

The realization that this isn’t the route to go will come with age. I was discussing this subject with a group of  my college friends and one of them stated, “When you’re younger, you’re thinking about the one person want to read it. When you’re older, you’re thinking of thousands you don’t.” This statement definitely rang true for me as I just told my husband that my subliminal messages on social media are the past times I wish I could take back from my twenties. #Embarrassed

Attention is a drug. Like most drugs, being under the influence of it feels great at the time but this high will not last. If you’re feeling down or feeling badly about yourself or a certain situation, getting your ego stroked by your followers is a temporary fix. Responses flooding your notifications in reply to a sad status you put up won’t solve the issue, it will only distract you for a brief moment.

This also applies to sharing provocative or nude photos on social media and using the attention to somehow validate yourself. If your body is your art to share with the world, do it! It’s more about motive. Your body and sexuality is sacred and you’ll want to share them with a healthy mindset. If your intention is purely to receive attention because you’re feeling down and want a confidence boost from the social media world, refrain. It can make you feel worse or you may end up regretting it.

Your posts can follow you around forever. We all post things we regret but be mindful that it’s tough to run away from something that’s on the internet. Ask any public figure. Someone can dig this all up. Your photos and posts can be seen by hiring managers when applying for jobs, family members or even the admissions offices when applying for college. You don’t have to be a saint on social media but keep in mind that even if your pages aren’t public, it’s the internet and can be seen regardless. I actually personally know someone who was fired from their job due to Instagram posts.

Social media just doesn’t give you the support you deserve. When seeking validation, you’ll want to work on this within yourself and with people close to you who genuinely want to help you achieve this. Face-to-face communication, social media detoxes and refraining from comparing yourself to others through social media will be the keys to living a more comfortable, happy and confident life. ❤

-D.O. ❤

If You’re Not Watching ‘The Bold Type,’ What Are You Waiting For?

Watch it now!

The Bold Type is Freeform’s new summer show and I am addicted! I was under the assumption that this was going to be your typical young adult drama about privileged, attractive people in the fashion magazine world. I thought the editor-in-cheif, Jacqueline Carlyle, played by Melora Hardin, would be the Miranda Priestly type. I was thinking, “We’ve seen this all before.” I was immediately proven wrong and happy that I gave it a chance. I actually should have known I’d love it because Freeform never fails me; i.e. Pretty Little Liars and Famous in Love. What was I  even thinking?

AISHA DEE, KATIE STEVENS, MEGHANN FAHY

Now, I won’t give any spoilers but let’s meet the cast and their characters!

Jane Sloan, played by Katie Stevens

tumblr_osc54wjmeb1r5dpsxo1_r2_540
Andie Anderson, is that you? 😮

You may recognize Katie from MTV’s Faking It! I loved her in that series and I love her even more in TBT. Jane was recently promoted to a writing position at Scarlet Magazine. We follow her journey in getting used to the new, exciting role, proving to Jacqueline that she made the right choice in promoting her and making a name for herself in the writing world. The series is only four episodes in and she’s already grown as a writer, met a new boy toy and has really “come” into her own. (You’ll see why I used quotation marks once you watch the show. That word just has a couple different meanings.) Jane is a great friend, a hard worker and this character can certainly serve as motivation and inspiration to young women in all fields.

Kat Edison, played by Aisha Dee

tumblr_ot2ze9spJr1tsjf3do6_540

Looks like Freeform, the artist formally know as ABC Family, loves Aisha because she co-starred in another one of their shows, Chasing Life. Her character, Kat, is the Social Media Director at Scarlet Magazine. What an awesome role! Jealous! Kat is extremely passionate and emotional, in a good way of course. After getting close to someone Scarlet Magazine did a story on, she starts to realize something about herself. She’s tough and stands up for what she believes in. The latest episode featured a scene of her completely kicking ass, literally. This character is definitely the type of friend you’d want in your corner.

Sutton Brady, played by Meghann Fahy

tumblr_otbfc5MXxk1w2yj85o1_500

Meghann is best know for her Broadway role in Next to Normal and a reoccurring role in the soap opera, One Live to Live. Her character, Sutton, actually has a background in Finance and is trying to break into the fashion world without having a fashion degree. She’s currently an assistant looking for a promotion, hoping her passion will get her there. She has a pretty steamy office romance with Richard Hunter, played by the extremely hot, Sam Page. This affair is kept under wraps as he is a member of the Board of Directors. Jane and Kat aren’t even in on the secret and her and Jane are roommates. Scandalous!

Jacqueline Carlyle, played by Melora Hardin

tumblr_osyilwheCo1w2yj85o1_500

I know Melora from The Office but she has had many roles in her career. As I mentioned before, Jacqueline is the Editor-in-Chief at Scarlet and is such a great leader. She’s tough and pushes people but she’s still respectful and actually believes in her staff. Her character is based on the real-life, former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, Joanna Coles, who also happens to be the Executive Producer of the show. You’ll start to see the similarities of Scarlet and Cosmo the more you watch. Jacqueline wants the magazine to empower young women and inform them of not only fashion but politics, relationships, sex and career. Again, sounds a lot like Cosmo! Her character is inspiring and empowering.

The Bold Type is fun, sexy and you may even learn a little something. You’ll wish you were a part of their crew. I know I do!

tumblr_opx0d9RN551r5dpsxo1_500

Watch the trailer below and binge on Hulu before next week’s new episode!

Let me know what you think 😉

-D.O. ❤

America Reacts To President Trump’s Tweet That He Will Ban Transgender People From Serving In The U.S. Military

President Donald Trump dropped a hell of bombshell on Twitter this morning. He announced his decision, made alongside generals and military experts, that the U.S. Government will be banning Transgender individuals from joining the armed forces.

ew

Naturally, I was immediately mortified. Why are we moving backwards? It takes a great deal of bravery and strength to risk one’s life and dedicate oneself to the military. Soldiers are patriots as they love their country so much that they are willing to die for it. Regardless what gender they identify as, the United States of America, the land of the free, should allow them to do so, if they meet all other requirements. I also despise his use of the “burdened”! Trans people are NOT a burden, Mr. President!

I was not alone in these feelings as many people, including celebrities, members of congress, veterans, civilians and Americans currently serving in the military, spoke out immediately against this decision.

Dems took to twitter:

Elizabeth Warren
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

 

Joe Biden
Joe Biden, Former VP of the United States
Sherrod Brown
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Ted Lieu
Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Tom Perez
Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee
Chuck Schumer
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Organizations chimed in:

Vote Vets
Vote Vets, organized as a progressive political action committee and non-profit
Women's March
Women’s March, a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists & organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events.

Celebrities also made statements:

Gina
Gina Rodriquez, Jane Virgin
Heather Marter
Heather Marter, MTV’s The Real World: Las Vegas
Janel
Janel Parrish, Pretty Little Liars
Kerry
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Tessa
Tessa Thompson, Westworld

Even Republicans spoke out:

“Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military — regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so — and should be treated as the patriots they are.” 

-Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

““Americans who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be afforded that opportunity.”

-Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

“I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them.”

-Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

One of my friends posted the below statement on Facebook:

img_5127-1

And my co-worker read me this Facebook post from a friend of hers who currently serves in the military:

img_5128

And let us not forget Kristen Beck, the Navy SEAL who was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for her time in the service. While she did not disclose at the time she served that she identified as female, she is transgender and she did what she was supposed to do and she did it well. She bravely said to Business Insider today, “Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy. Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service.”

We’ve made it too far as a nation to start backtracking and how dare he tweet such nonsense.

-D.O. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Priyanka Chopra

I finally decided to watch Quantico after Hulu’s numerous attempts to automatically play it after any show I completed. Hulu was onto something, though, because I fell in love with the series. I finished both seasons in just a couple of weeks! There are a total of about 44 episodes and I flew through them.

maxresdefault

The star of Quantico, Priyanka Chopra, is what sold it for me. I’ve watched her interviews on talk shows and have seen her absolutely kill it on the red carpet however, I just had to see her in action. I’m sure you’ve seen Priyanka while scrolling through your feeds or flicking through the channels but, here’s five reason why you should get to know her a little more.

Beautiful-Priyanka-Chopra-Wallpaper

The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education

Through her foundation, she supports numerous third party foundations that focus on female children. It also offers support in education and health to underprivileged children. Priyanka donates 10% of her income to fund this foundation and pays for the educational and medical expenses of 70 children in India.

She doesn’t just stop there, she’s also worked for UNICEF since 2006, being appointed the global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador last December. In addition, Chopra is a Brand Ambassador for NDTV Greenathon, an organization that supports eco-friendliness. On top of all of that, she donated ₹5 million, $78,000 USD, to Nanavati hospital to build a cancer ward named after her late father.

UNICEF's 70th Anniversary EventShe’s a writer

This one is near and dear, to me, as I love to write but her resume is impressive! She has written 50 columns for the Hindustan Times.  In August 2012, she wrote a column published in The Times of India titled “No woman in Mumbai feels safe any longer“, discussing the murder of 25-year-old Pallavi Purkayastha. In a July 2014 article published in The Guardian, she criticized female genital mutilation and child marriage. Chopra wrote an op-ed for The New York Times, in late 2014, titled “What Jane Austen Knew” about the importance of education for girls. Around that same time, she began writing a monthly column called “Pret-a-Priyanka” for “Elle.com”. In an article published in January 2015, she expressed her views on diversity and being a global citizen.

Priyanka doesn’t just write, she writes about subjects that matter and topics that diverse women like myself can relate to.

8c61255ee06bcc868ded91abaf19ab2e

She had, hands down, the most creative Met Gala gown this year. 

This dress was custom made for her by Ralph Lauren and she wore it so well. I don’t think anyone but her can pull off a trench coat look that extreme. She rocked an abbreviated version of it for the after party. (Look at that glorious top knot!)

priyanka-chopra_640x480_51493695245Priyanka-Chopra-Met-Gala-Afterparty-Dress-2017 She’s a singer

Seriously, what can’t Priyanka do? She had a hit single back in 2012 with Will.I.Am, “In My City!” It went 3x platinum and was the intro song to Thursday Night Football!

She’s an international award winner

Priyanka has starred in a long list of Indian and Bollywood films at the start of her career landing her nearly 30 awards from the International Indian Film Academy, Filmfare Awards, Kids’ Choice Awards, India, National Film Awards, India, Asian Film Awards, Apsara Film Producers Guild Awards and many more. She also scored two People’s Choice Awards in the U.S., Favorite Actress in a New TV Series in 2016 for her role as Alex Parrish in Quantico and Favorite Dramatic TV Actress this year.

in-2016-she-received-the-peoples-choice-award-for-favorite-actress-in-a-new-tv-series-for-her-role-in-quantico-making-her-the-fi

Priyanka Chopra is not only a gorgeous face. She is an activist, a philanthropist, a role model and an international superstar. She is both stunning and influential and that is why she is my #WCW! Not to mention she makes FBI gear look like the latest runway trend. Where can I cop this fit, though?

priyanka-chopra_843e0b82-6f54-11e5-8600-ad8872d9e6cf

-D.O. ❤

I Visited Cleveland City Hall Last Month And It Was Awesome!


A trip to City Hall may not seem like a fun way to spend an afternoon but with my new found passion for government, I was stoked to be there.

I reached out to a family friend, Councilman Zachary Reed of Cleveland’s Ward 2, because my good friend, Deemyi, needed to interview a local political figure for a class assignment. I also wanted to pick his brain a little since I’m looking into a Master’s in Political Science. He, luckily, got back to me that same day and scheduled a meeting with us at the end of March. Deemyi and I were so excited and so grateful.

We took a half-day from work, we’re co-workers as well, and walked over to City Hall in the rain. It was well worth the short, rainy journey as we got a lot of great content and we even ran into Mayor Frank Jackson.

Deemyi is currently studying to obtain her Master’s Degree in Health Education and Promotion. She asked Zachary about his thoughts on the HR 610 bill sponsored by Republican Congressman, Steve King. According to the official Congress website, “The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.”

Furthermore, unfortunately, “the bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs,” Congress.gov explains. This rule HR 610 would “repeal requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet children’s nutritional needs within their caloric requirements”. Deemyi does not support the bill for obvious reasons.

Councilman Reed, explained that the he and his colleagues wouldn’t actually be initially involved in finding solutions for the bill if it were to pass. In Cleveland, the CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District would be more involved than he would, personally, but he did mention his preference on the reach of the vouchers. He would prefer the vouchers be valid not only in private schools or for home schooling but in public schools in surrounding suburbs as well.

He then went on to talk about the importance of ensuring that every child is fed a nutritious meal during school hours as that could be their only balanced meal they receive that day due to their potential situations at home. He discussed after school programs and initiatives that even go as far as feeding some children dinner before they return home. I couldn’t help but feel sad that our federal government would want to take that away. Why? Because they personally have never experienced going without nor will their own children ever go without so, they just don’t care? That’s really upsetting.

I enjoyed listening to Deemyi and Zachary talk back and forth as it was a learning experience for me. I gained more understanding on the bill and had a chance to see how passionate they both are about children having access to a great education and the resources needed for healthy living.

A younger gentleman popped his head in the office we were talking in and invited the Councilman into a conference room to speak to a group of elementary students. Zachary and I still had a few things to discuss so he invited us to tag along with him to see the students. The kids were so excited to see him and he spoke to them with such kindness.

Mayor Frank Jackson walked into the conference room to speak to the children too. He took a few moments to speak with Deemyi, Zachary and I and even took photos with us. He expressed his concerns with HR 610, which was awesome for Deemyi to get a statement from the mayor for her assignment as well. He was friendly and so willing to chat with us.

On our way out, Councilman Reed gave me some much needed advice about my possible future in political science. He told me to focus on the issues are important to me and find a way to get involved. He said that people typically get into political science because they see a need for policy changes and want to help make those changes happen. I got to thinking and he was definitely right. With PoliSci, it’s not really a traditional career path where you start at the bottom and work your way up. It’s different than that and almost more difficult. I have a lot of planning and thinking to do but I haven’t even gotten through my prerequisites yet so I have plenty of time to find my purpose.

Councilman Reed formally announced that he is throwing his hat into the Cleveland mayoral race just yesterday! As he’s been a friend of the family since I was a child, I couldn’t be more proud of him and am ecstatic for his new journey. Mayor Frank Jackson is also running for re-election. I wish them both the best of luck! May the best man win! ❤

Thank you, Councilman Reed and Mayor Jackson for your time and your insight. Deemyi and I appreciate it more than you know.

img_2923-1
Zachary mailed me signed copies of our photos!

-D.O. ❤

A Peek Into My Workout Playlist


Music can get us through the toughest times; heartbreak, stress and even a dreadful, hour long workout (which, to me, is equivalent to heartbreak and stress). I never thought I’d be able do a combination of strength and cardio workouts for that long without wanting to give up, mostly due to boredom. I have been able to push through it with no problem for the past two months, thanks to my Spotify playlist.  Here are some of the jams that keep me going!

The Warm Up:

Yes, I am throwing it back to Aly & AJ! This song is perfect for intervals on the elliptical or treadmill as there are slower parts and faster parts. I let my speed reflect the speed of song.

I love “Issues” by Julia Michaels. It’s slower but up tempo enough to get warmed up for a great workout.

Who doesn’t love Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”? It’s sexy and fun. I actually got the idea to add this to my workout list because my Zumba class did a routine to it and it got me really excited to move!

Get Pumped Up:

This song literally says “Around The World” repeatedly to a techno beat but don’t underestimate it. Daft Punk knows how to get you pumped up for a workout.

If you’ve either never heard “She Wants To Move” by N.E.R.D. or have forgotten it exists, throw it back with me! This song is so fun! When I hear it…I just want to move! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I feel like Imagine Dragons designed “Radioactive” to grace everyone’s workout playlist with it’s presence. I really wish Spotify had their collaboration with Kendrick Lamar from the 2014 Grammy’s. That would be AWESOME!

Most people wouldn’t associate Coldplay with getting pumped up at the gym. Add in the Chainsmokers, though, and we have ourselves a great gym track, ladies and gentlemen!

Le Cinema:

Soundtrack songs are always fun! They bring me back to specific scenes in my favorite movies, which always puts me in a good mood.

Who remembers Ryan Phillippe basically walking to his death toward the end of Cruel Intentions? This is obviously a sad scene but The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” is a genius song that will always be one of my favs!

While watching Fifty Shades Darker, I couldn’t help but notice how awesome the soundtrack is. I love almost all of the tracks but “Pray” is my favorite one to work on my fitness to.

“Letters From The Sky” by Civil Twilight plays at the end of I Am Number Four. It went so well with the ending and got me so excited for a sequel that is now never going to happen. So disappointing but at least I have this awesome song to hold onto.

It’s Britney Bitch:

Britney has too many good gym tracks but I went with these two gems. What better jam to squat to than “Up N’ Down”? And “Freakshow” hits so hard. Working out with Britney is always a good time.

The Cool Down:

I like to cool down to longer, slower songs. The longer the song the better because it keeps me going right when I’m ready to give up. The Weeknd’s “The Party & The After Party” is over seven minutes long. It’s a great way to get almost 10 more minutes in when I’ve almost convinced myself to stop! The song is SO good.

The late, great George Michael has so many awesome hits but I like to end with “Father Figure” sometimes because it’s chill, relaxing and is over five minutes long which is the perfect cool down time.

Dear Spotify, Add These Two Tracks!

Two of my favorite workout/party songs are not on Spotify which is so devastating so, I purchased them on iTunes and am forced to switch apps, ugh! Inconvenient but so worth it! “Fergalicious” by Fergie for obvious reasons and “Vivrant Thing” by Q-Tip.

You can take some of my suggestions or build you own list, of course. I highly recommend strategically putting together a list as opposed to throwing on just any old list because great music is an awesome motivator to get moving and it makes us look forward to working out even if it’s not our cup of tea!


Happy list building and I hope you have an amazing workout!

❤ D.O.

Life Is Hectic! Get Organized!

If your life is anything like mine, you have a TON of things to pencil into your weekly calendar. This can get super stressful and exhausting, resulting in a total meltdown. My best advice is to stop stressing and complaining, be optimistic and add more organization into your life. Here’s my new method of balancing all of my many responsibilities and obligations.


Work

This one is easy because I have a set schedule and there’s no room for negotiation. I work 8:30am – 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. My position does not require me to take work home or be connected through email or company cell phone so no organization of my schedule is needed, I just need to stay on top of my workload during the day.

Economics Class

As some of my readers may know, I recently started a Microeconomics course which is needed as a prerequisite for the Master’s program I’ll be applying to soon. Now, because my work schedule is non-negotiable, I opted to take this course online as there were no classes available after my work shift or on weekends. Because I am taking the class online, I have to schedule time myself for studying and watching the course videos. This, in my opinion, is more difficult than attending a scheduled class because there’s a higher level of autonomy. I time out how many weeks I have until the next exam and divide that by the amount of chapters covered in that exam. That is how much I’ll read each week and I watch the videos whenever I have a moment. I even listen to them on my headphones at work as opposed to listening to music. I have to watch them again at home but the lessons sound familiar to me because I’ve heard them before. This method clearly works for me since I got nearly a perfect score on my first Econ exam *dusts shoulders off* 🙂 You don’t have to use my method but any organized schedule should work.

Family Time

I have a husband and child at home so I have to make sure I spend quality time with them. My husband is not my son’s biological father so my son spends a couple of days a week with his father. While, of course, I miss my little man, this actually helps me fit in time for studying, chores and working out. This also frees up some time to have date nights with my very busy husband. On the flip side, since I don’t have my son everyday, I make sure that we do something fun together every other weekend when he’s with me and in the evenings, I set aside time to look over his homework and make sure he’s organized for school, bathed and fed. We live in a bungalow so almost all of the rooms are on one floor so we are always in close proximity with one another and I love it for the sole purpose that I have my loves close to me at all times ❤


Working Out

I just started a gym schedule this week because summer is sneaking up on me pretty quickly. I’m really trying to live in a crop top all summer so gym time is essential :-p So this week, I woke up at 5:45am and hit the gym before work on Monday. My gym has classes so Tuesday, I went to Zumba in the evening. I took Wednesday off and went back to the gym on Thursday evening. I’m taking Friday off and going back for a class on Saturday. My schedule wont always look like this as I have to accommodate when I have someone to babysit for me. My plan is to know by Sunday what days I’ll be working out that week and actually writing it down in my planner. I luckily have my husband who will cook dinner for me when I go to the gym in the evenings so that is a HUGE help.

Housework

This has to be my least favorite because I hate cleaning!! But, I make sure that I thoroughly clean the house and do laundry either every Saturday or Sunday.Since I’m off work on those days, I have hours to dedicate to this project. Throughout the week, my husband and I alternate doing the dishes and straightening up. Nothing makes me happier than coming home from work and seeing that my husband already did this! I literally want to hug him immediately and worship him at his feet. This means I only have to shower and then go straight to studying! Score! It pays to have a partner.

Paying Bills

I swear all my bills are due on all random days. It’s so frustrating and hard to keep up with so I only pay bills on pay days. I pay whatever bill is due closest to each pay day. I even write the hard to remember ones in my planner. Bills are my least favorite part of pay days because I can’t get too excited about it when I know I’m also using that money to pay bills. Such a downer! Then I go to Target and cheer myself up with at least one thing! 🙂

Grocery Shopping

I try to shop on Sundays but I get a case of the lazies on Sundays so often times shop after work on Mondays. We don’t eat frozen foods, really, so we do have to shop weekly since fresher foods expire quickly. I need to push myself to shop on Sundays more so I can go straight home from work during the week but that’s easier said than done. 😦

Social Life

I don’t schedule social events because I think it’s fun when social outings are more spontaneous and plans don’t tend to work out the way you plan them for some reason anyway. I really only schedule birthday outings and weekly TGIT viewing parties with two of my best friends. If someone asks me to go somewhere or I have the urge to hit the town, I gauge what I have going on at the time, measure my level of tiredness and just make a decision to go or not. Whatever you do, make sure you pencil some fun into your weekly schedule or you’ll go nuts! I love date nights and girls nights!

It’s good to be busy but without organization, there’s room for error and a cause for going insane. Don’t be afraid to pick up extra hobbies, don’t talk yourself out of that degree you want to earn and don’t set aside family time for work. Simply come up with a plan and try your best to stick with it. Life is entirely too short to be stressed all the time! Happy scheduling, loves!

-D.O. ❤

WCW: Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle has grown to be quite popular in the media because of her relationship with Prince Harry. She was even crowned The Most Googled Actress of 2016! However, as a fan of USA’s dramedies, I’ve been an admirer of hers for quite some time. I’ve seen headlines that describe her as “Prince Harry’s New Girlfriend,” and it bothered me so much because there’s more to her than just that. Here’s a few things you may not know about Meghan Markle.


She plays Rachel Zane on USA’s Suits

If you’ve never seen Suits, I suggest you start binging right now on Amazon Prime. The season six finale comes on tonight so you have plenty of time to catch up before season seven premieres. Since you may not have seen the show, I won’t spoil anything for you. Rachel Zane is a strong paralegal with impeccable work ethic, amazing office style (she can rock the button down shirt tucked into a knee-length pencil skirt better than ANYONE) and determination to attend law school in order to enhance her career.

While this a fictional character, Markle plays the role so well that it’s believable. The acting skills of the entire cast are impressive as she works alongside Gina Torres, Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Rick Hoffman and many other notable actors. I am a firm believer of using characters in shows and movies as inspiration. They can be quite the motivators!


She’s college educated

Meghan graduated in 2003 from Northwestern University with a double major in theater and international relations. Both of her majors are from very different ends of the spectrum which is pretty impressive. As someone who is looking to get a Master’s degree in Global Interactions, she is definitely a girl after my own heart. I’ve always respected actors and actresses with college degrees. Higher education has always been important to me.

She’s a humanitarian

Just last year, Meghan became the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada which gave her the opportunity to travel to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign. She has also worked with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women as an Advocate. In addition, she was a counselor for the international charity, One Young World. She spoke at the annual One Young World summit in Dublin on the topics of gender equality and modern-day slavery back in 2014. Sheesh! She’s a busy bee. I really need to get more involved.

Her parents aren’t just your average Joes
Thomas W. Markle, her father, is Emmy Award winning Cinematographer. He was nominated for eight Daytime Emmy’s and won two; Outstanding Achievement in Design Excellence for a Daytime Drama Series and Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series for General Hospital.

Her mother isn’t in the entertainment industry but she is a clinical therapist with a master’s degree in social work.

She’s been fighting for women’s rights since she was a child

When Meghan was just 11 years old, she wrote a letter to then First Lady, Hillary Clinton, and a few other prominent individuals stating that a soap opera advertisement implied women belonged in the kitchen. The advertisement was altered by force after her complaint.


She has a blog

Of course, I am all about this! The Tig is Meghan’s website which discusses so many subjects including; food, travel, fashion, living, beauty and influencers.I highly recommend following it ASAP! Readers can learn more about Meghan, discover recipes, get vacation ideas and read her Tig Talk interviews with other inspiring women.

She’s candid

She wrote an essay for Elle UK titled “Meghan Markle: I’m More Than An ‘Other'”. In this essay, Markle opens up about finding her way as a mixed race woman in society. Meghan writes about her experience in her middle school English class where she had to choose her race on a mandatory census form. Being mixed, myself, I understand how confusing it was to identify oneself prior to the very recent addition of bi-racial options on these forms. She stated, “My teacher told me to check the box for Caucasian. ‘Because that’s how you look, Meghan.'” She then said, “I put down my pen.” Markled explained, “I couldn’t bring myself to do that…” She said, “so, I didn’t tick a box. I left my identity blank – a question mark, an absolute incomplete – much like how I felt.” This hit home for me.

When she went home, she told her dad what happened and what he said made my heart smile, although she said he was furious. He told her, “if that happens again, you draw your own box.” Preach, Dad!

Meghan also talked about her experience with her roommate in the first week of her college career. Her roommate asked her, “you said your mom is black and your dad is white, right?” She confirmed. Her roommate then asked a follow-up question, “and they’re divorced?” Meghan confirmed, yes. Her roommate’s final comment was,”Oh, well that makes sense.” Hmmm. I’m  just as confused as Meghan was with this interaction.

She also goes into her experience witnessing her mom being called the ‘N’ word in LA while she was on a break from college. She comforted her very hurt mother. I couldn’t even imagine how they both must have felt.

Meghan mentioned something else in this essay that I could relate to, “I wasn’t black enough for the black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.” Now I’m not an actress but this precisely explained my experience trying to make friends as a child and even in my college years.

Luckily for Meghan, Suits thought she was “just right”. She explained her character, Rachel Zane as “…beautiful and confident with an encyclopedic knowledge of the law. ‘Dream girl’ in Hollywood terms had always been that quintessential blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty – that was the face that launched a thousand ships, not the mixed one. But the show’s producers weren’t looking for someone mixed, nor someone white or black for that matter. They were simply looking for Rachel.” I love this and I appreciate the Suits team for their outlook on this.

The essay has so much more than what I’ve detailed. It’s worth the read.

As you can see, she’s so much more than the arm candy of a prince. She’s her own person, her own type of royalty and an inspiration to all women.

-D.O. ❤

15 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Turn Your Back On The Media

There’s a few reasons why you may be questioning if you should trust the media or not. It’s possible that you’ve read few misleading articles. Maybe the news, in general, stresses you out and I certainly can’t fault you on those feelings. I get a little overwhelmed myself. Our president has even gone as far as saying that the media is the enemy of the American people. I, respectfully, disagree and not only because I have always been obsessed with magazines and have looked up to journalists my entire life. I respect the craft of journalism and I appreciate and understand their purpose in society.

If you’re thinking about calling it quits with the media, I urge you to reconsider your breakup. Here’s 15 reasons to work it out!

  1. They have inside sources that give them information we could never find ourselves.
  2. It’s their job to investigate questions a majority of us have and they’ll do it a heck of a lot better than regular civilians would.
  3. They have a press pass that gives them access to events, speaking engagements, press conferences and even crime investigations. Without them, we’d have no idea what’s going on in the White House, award shows, red carpets, protests, sporting events, etc.
  4. They get you up-to-speed in the political world so you’ll know who your votes will go to every two and four years.
  5. Even competitors band together like family when their character, profession and craft are attacked.
  6. When networking and interviewing for jobs, it’s always a good idea to be informed on a few current events just in case the subject comes up.
  7. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to the fate of the country, safety issues in your neighborhood or even something like product recalls. The media makes it a point to learn about these issues and pass that knowledge onto their readers.
  8. Not all journalists are scummy. While you may have the stereotype that journalists will do anything to get the story out first, regardless of truth, or can be a little pushy and heartless, a lot of them really seem to care about their audience.
  9. The news never sleeps so journalists are literally busting their asses sometimes all night to get the information to the people. Last week, I was up late studying economics and just so happened to open twitter. I caught Ezra Klein, Editor-in-Chief of Vox, tweeting around 12:30am about Michael Flynn’s resignation as National Security Advisor. I see Ezra posting on social media all hours of the day and night. That kind of dedication is common in the journalism world and it’s very admirable.
  10. The media bases their material on what their target audience wants to read about. With this in mind, you can find a media outlet that talks about things you want to know. There’s outlets for every demographic. Teen Vogue is my favorite example because they talk fashion, sex, relationships, celebrities, music and even politics in a way that teenagers can understand. There’s always going to be an publication that fits your needs and interests.
  11. The media’s work ethic and perfectionism is unmatched. Journalist go through each story with a fine tooth comb. Articles need to have sources and the fact checks need to be fact checked. It’s serious business!
  12.  Who else is going to correct the lies told to us by public figures and politicians?
  13. Guess who doesn’t have tickets to Fashion Week? Us! Guess who does? THE MEDIA! Without them, we don’t get to see any of it! 😦
  14. Did anyone else wonder what lipstick shades Dakota Johnson was wearing in Fifty Shades Darker? I was dying to know and guess who had our backs? The media! 🙂ana
  15. They have more secrets than Gretchen Wieners and they crack faster that she does. Yes, they do it to make money and a name for themselves, but they also do it so that we’re in on the secrets and not left in the dark.gretchen

I am begging you to please give the media a chance. Without them, we wouldn’t know a large percentage of the information we have. After all, hearsay isn’t trustworthy and textbooks are selective and outdated. Facts are facts and a majority of these facts were first told to us by a journalist, in one way or another. Find a publication that speaks to you, take the time to fact check and put your trust in the media. Don’t let a few bad bloggers and salty politicians deter you from getting informed 🙂

-D.O. ❤

 

Carbs, I Do Adore

I’m pretty sure that when you’re looking to slim down, limiting carbs is essential. Easy peasy, right? In the words of our new president, “WRONG”! It’s hard because they’re SO delicious!

I LOVE Texas Roadhouse solely because of their unlimited rolls and cinnamon butter. Literally heaven in a basket! Olive Garden also has endless bread, bread sticks, to be exact, and they are garlic-y and addicting AF. I can’t even go there anymore because I’ll eat too many of those and then eat all of my pasta. Carb overload!

When someone walks into the office with donuts for everyone, I get an overwhelming feeling of joy. I’m not sure if America actually runs on Dunkin but I know I do! Donuts are life and have you heard of donuts’ tastier distant relatives, beingets? They’re deep-fried dough in the shape of a fluffy pillow, covered in powdered sugar. I ate beignets every day of my trip to New Orleans. EVERY DAY! If we had a Cafe Du Monde here in Cleveland, I would be done for.

Mexican food is another weakness of mine and what’s a Mexican meal without nacho chips and tortilla shells? That’s basically a salad! 😦 And let’s  not even go into too much detail about PIZZA. Pizza is both convenient and yummy! You cannot do a carb-less pizza! That’s just not even right.

So, how can we cut back on the carbs? I can only offer a few tips because I’m struggling with my own carb demons but hopefully these will help;

  1. Burgers without buns are still delicious.
  2.  Mixed vegetables are a great replacement side dish for french fries.
  3. Whole grain bread, noodles and tortillas are a little healthier than the regular stuff.
  4. Chipotle has brown rice…and it’s not bad!
  5. Just don’t even go to Texas Roadhouse or Olive Garden. Pretend they don’t even exist because you will not pass up the bread. It’s physically impossible.
  6. Eat pizza in moderation (Maybe throw some veggies on it so at least feel healthy. 😉 )
  7. Don’t visit New Orleans 😉
  8. And if someone walks into the office with donuts….I’m not sure what to tell you. I’d love to tell you to just say no but I’d be a total hypocrite. I have yet to resist the urge to eat at least one.

If you guys have any other tips or tasty carb replacements, PLEASE leave them in the comments. (preferably a donut replacement because I’d love to kick that habit 😉 )

-D.O. ❤