Baddie Workout Playlist

Need the energy to get you pumped for your workout? In honor of Women’s Month,I have created a good old girl mix playlist. This music highlights the new Hip Hop and R&B sound. Trap beats and loud bass to make you crush your gym goals and be ready for that sundress body. Click

  1. BITM: Leikeil47
  2. Ex For A Reason: Summer Walker, JT & City Girls
  3. Material Girl: Saucy Santana
  4. Bussin: Nicki Minaj & Lil Baby
  5. Rose Gold Stripper Pole : KenTheMan ft. 2 Chains
  6. PBC: Flo Milli
  7. Bet It: Cardi B
  8. Like That: Doja Cat ft. Gucci Mane
  9. Money: Rico Nasty ft. Flo Milli
  10. Poke: Rubi Rose
  11. Get It Girl: Saweetie
  12. The Assignment: Tay Money
  13. Roadside (+234 Remix): Mahalia ft. Rema
  14. Get Into It (Yuh)
  15. ALREADY: Beyonce
  16. Over You: RAY BLK ft. Stefflon Don
  17. Focused: Baby Tate
  18. MOOD 4 EVA: Beyonce
  19. Amazing: Mary J Blige ft DJ Khalad
  20. I Am: Baby Tate
  21. Lick: Shenseea & Megan Thee Stallion

Toxic Body Positivity

Toxic Positivity is destroying us!!!! Some people live in this facade of “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and Hakuna Matata… But you can’t throw positivity at every situation in life. It is okay to think some things just suck sometimes 

You cannot be positive 24/7 and if you are, well sis, the lie detector determined that that is a lie. Because Rachiiespeaks for damn sure ain’t happy all the time. 

Toxic positivity means that people are silencing all negative thoughts and creating alternative outlooks on situations to look on the bright side. IMPOSSIBLE; just like Whitney said in the Black version of Cinderella)

I used to be on this positivity wave, but I have learned that toxic positivity burned me the F OUT! I couldn’t stand to just look at the positive versions of everything in life. And that also went hand in hand with the movement of body positivity.  

People often think that body positivity is the answer to insecurities. Love yourself at all sizes, Love yourself in any style things don’t need to flatter you. Yes, you can do all those things, but it is fine to acknowledge the flaws that you see in you and want more for yourself. It is fine to have insecurities and not feel 100% confident all the time.

Do not put yourself on this pedestal. It is okay to not be okay with everything about you. For example, I can’t always have a love for the acne scars on my skin. And I for sure don’t have to like my saggy extra skin from my weight loss. Yes, there are days when I am feeling myself those days come often… I be feeling myself honey. But there are days where I feel like nothing looks right on me and that is okay. I try not to put too much pressure on me to hide behind an overly confident facade. 

It is hard to believe that ANYONE loves their body 100% of the time. Surgery, natural, sleeve, skinny, short, tall, fat. We all got insecurities and that is normal. We can embrace our bodies and still struggle with some of the parts of who we are that we don’t like and want a change. Stop thinking that the positivity movement will help you free your mind from how you feel. Masking your feelings with positivity can gaslight you to try to overcome insecurities that you have not fully processed yet.  You can love yourself but not like parts of yourself. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

From now on, I have Body Acceptance and not Body Positivity. I Accept my body for what is and what it has brought me through in my 30 years of life. But I also acknowledge and accept the fact that there are things about me that I will continue to struggle with. And that’s just human. 


The 2021 Goodbye

2021 was a pretty interesting chapter of my life. There were so many downs. In 2021, I found out that I suffer from anxiety panic disorder. While finding out, I suffer from panic disorder was a relief to how I’ve been feeling for years! However, it also made me worry more and second guess how I approach life’s obstacles. 

Let’s just say that while I had so many highs this year. There were so many lows. Imagine feeling like life is all falling into place but also having a rattling feeling that something bad is going to happen or if you do one thing wrong things will shift dramatically. I sometimes anticipate things going wrong to the point where when they do happen, I have no plan to pick the pieces back up because took too much for my energy planning for the wrong time to happen. Failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

To remedy the frustrations as I awaited failure, I would challenge that with my workouts, affirmations, toxic positivity. Though these cured my anxiety temporarily what ultimately was helpful for me facing my fears. To make changes in my spirit, my relationships, my family, my environment. 

2021 was a year of Hello and a year of Goodbye. I welcomed in positive energy and had to say goodbye to things that were a comfort for me but in hindsight no longer served me. 

I am a 3rd generation hoarder. I hoard old clothes, pictures, and birthday cards. (Yes, I still have a lot of my birthday cards from my sweet 16). But in a less literal way, I hoard relationships and experiences. I do what is comfortable to me. I stick to what I know out of fear. And in the back of my mind, I tend to beat myself up for giving in to that fear and not letting myself take on new experiences or blessings in my life. A lot of the reasons why I hold on to things connect to my battle with my anxiety, but my new passion for growth constantly is in battle with it. 

I am not abandoning my past, I am honoring my future.


Saying goodbye to my old position was one of the hardest things I had to do. I was entering new territory (literally). I have a higher role, a new apartment, and living with my partner full-time. I was excited about the change but it meant I was leaving so much behind. I did not want to leave my students, the relationships I have built. I felt like I was letting people down. 

But I had to understand that I was standing in the way of my own potential. Sometimes we unconsciously talk ourselves out of things because we are afraid to give up the comfort that we know and love. I wasn’t abandoning the team or my students, I was honoring myself and honoring the fact that I have the potential to do more with the tools that God has blessed me with. 

Sometimes I need to push past my anxiety to make changes in my life and I am so glad that I went outside of my comfort zone. 

Moving forward will lean into embracing the changes that are inevitable while holding on to the memories of the past. I am not abandoning my past, I am honoring my future. 

Picture of me spreading my arms! Freedom!

Uncomfortable Growth

A wise person once said to me, “You have to be uncomfortable to grow.”

Ending any friendship might have been the hardest thing I will ever do in the journey to find my voice. I usually just let things phase out when friendships end. Without closer or anything. 

While it was always hard for me to walk away. I try to make up and work it out, by keeping in touch.  The “Old Rachel” use to let friends put all the blame on her and cover her hurt to make accommodate others. 

I am no longer making accommodations for people in my life. 

Accommodating Rachel is gone! She will not replenish a friendship the way you want without you considering her feelings first. 

-Thank Management 

Too many times I blame myself for ruining a friendship but what I have learned from my relationship is that a partnership bears fruit when both are working towards it. Being the one that always has to apologize or ask if someone is okay, does not work. In the words of Fantasia: If you don’t want me then don’t talk to me

I used to stress myself over friendships. I hardly asked myself, if a friendship is worth fighting for. Because in my eyes,  they were always worth fighting for. Even if the friendship meant nothing anymore, I still tried to make it work. 

But I finally took a step to demand peace in my life. I have learned to hold people accountable for how they make me feel. This does not mean ending a friendship per se, but this means acknowledging when I am hurt and how something makes me feel. I often assume a friend knows how I feel or just doesn’t care. Well listen here, it’s over for that. You are gonna hear me and you are going to listen. 

I have begun to say how I feel and how things make me feel. And if that means losing friends over it, well, at least I said what I said.

This is a message for anyone who let’s their friends treat them any type of way:

If you allow anyone to treat you that way. You will be the only one hurting at the end of the day!


This is Why I Can’t Have Nice Things.

Are you a person who can’t receive compliments? Well, that’s me AF!

People at times perceive me as humble, but it is honestly a defense mechanism. Compliments have always been cringy to me because I am tough on myself. It is hard to accept praise when I do not believe it entirely.

For the past month, my therapist and I have uncovered that I live with the notion that I do not welcome the good in life because I am so used to expecting chaos and pain. For some strange reason, I equate talking about my wins as being too braggy. I use the words “I feel bad” “I don’t wanna do too much.” But, girl, why can’t you be happy for yourself?

Last month, I went wedding dress shopping. It took me a while to get into the moment because I didn’t want to look like I was “that Bride”. But in all actuality, I am so happy and excited about my wedding. I tried to hide my joy because I don’t want to think I’m doing the most.

I am accepting the good things in my life because at one time they were the things I hoped for.


I also psych myself out of my weight loss accomplishments. People will say to me, “You look so good,” “I am proud of you,” “You are so inspiring.”

All I can respond with is, “Oh, I didn’t notice”… Why is that my response?

Why do I think my happiness will affect people negatively? It is not my happiness that will affect people. It is how I share my joy in actuality. I need to keep remembering that using my voice also means sharing my wins. God uses all of us as vessels to share and inspire. I need to continue to keep sharing in positive ways. It is not bragging to share. It isn’t bragging about taking a compliment when someone offers one.

I need to continue to be bold in this world. Part of finding my voice is having confidence in who I am and the woman that I am becoming. I am growing and evolving and it is fine to shine as bright as I want to. I used to think I took too much space in this world. I thought I was too loud, too enthusiastic, too happy, but this is who I am. I am no longer going to stifle myself to make others feel better. I was created to be a positive energy in this world. I am accepting the good things in my life because at one time they were the things I hoped for.


Grow With Jo Workout Review

Lately, I have been switching up some of my workouts from my routine. I am big on doing my monthly challenges. Since I have been doing challenges for about a year since my surgery, I wanted to step out of my fitness comfort zone and try workouts that I had never done before. 

In my challenge group, one of my challenge-mates told me about the Grow With Jo Youtube Channel. Grow With Jo, also known as Johanna, is a fitness enthusiast who encourages her followers to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Her high-energy walking low impact workouts are what she is well known for. 

When I first saw Jo in the video, I thought her smile and buoyant personality were familiar. It was like looking in the mirror. I love seeing people who are just happy and peppy! It pumped me up and got me excited. I was thinking, “Okay, girl, I feel the vibes. Let’s do this!” 

So I started moving. Honestly, I started thinking the workout moves were pretty basic because the workouts are low impact. However, there are no breaks in between the activities. So as I started walking in place between each workout move, that’s when I began to break a sweat. The music is upbeat and techno, so walking in place still had me burning some good calories. 

My favorite workouts are the ones she has with weights or lower ab workouts. As a VSG girl, I need to get some good toning in to keep my skin from getting too loose. My lower pouch is my most extensive problem area, so I try to work out my lower abs at least twice a week! 

Overall, if you are looking for a fun low impact workout to help you burn calories, I believe Grow with Jo is a great place to start. She has helpful moves, and you can get a good workout right in your living room! 

Here’s a couple of some videos that you might enjoy below! 


On Di Road

Still not trying to be outside for Carnival? No worries. I got you with a Soca Playlist to make you feel like you are “on di road”. Soca has magical powers it makes you wanna dance and move all night. Labor Day weekend you can find all Caribbean people on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. This playlist is dedicated to the Soca Lovers!


VSG & Skin Don’t Mix

One of the most common stresses in the Bariatric or Major Weight Loss Community is the issue of skin. Excessive skin or hanging skin is a result of rapid weight loss. When you lose a lot of weight the collagen and elastic fibers are usually damaged which results in your skin not reverting back to normal. 

A lot of people ask me if I have extra skin. To be honest, this was one of the things that I was worried about. I actually still have a bit of body image issues because of some of the extra skin. 

At first, I thought I did not have any excess skin, however, once I lost my first 50 lbs I started to notice a change in my body. My inner thighs shake a little more and the skin there is softer than usual and my pouch is still really soft and I still got a little bump at the bottom. I am not too worried about those two issues. People have bellies, so that’s normal to me. I don’t like that my thighs shake so much, honestly could be a lot worse. I am happy with what I have, however, there are some insecurities that I do have after my surgery. 

My boobs have changed dramastictically (that’s dramatically and drastically put together, it’s a word I made up)! I used to be a 40 DDD and now I am down to a 34 DD. I struggle to find bras and good swimsuits because my boobs no longer have any volume at the top. And my skin DID NOT snap back. It makes me feel like a grandma because I feel youthful because of it. Currently what I do is wear pushup bras and padded bras to make up for the volume in my chest. 

People usually ask if I would like a more permanent solution to this issue.

I am thinking of getting breast lifts (with no implants). I do not want implants because I am fine with my current size. I just want to have my boobs look my age (I am not sure why that made me chuckle) I still feel confident in my body because I worked my ass off to get to where I am, but I do have insecurities. It is fine to not be 100% confident, no one is. 

I am trying to be nicer to myself and not tear myself down. I wouldn’t say that I am body positive, I feel like I am more body tolerant. I like my body some days but other days I feel a little insecure. Weight loss doesn’t change your insecurities, your insecurities are what they are. It is up to you to get up each day and still feel comfortable despite your insecurities.


Should You Van Gogh?

I felt like I was walking into the paintings. That’s how I felt in the Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience Exhibit. 

Van Gogh put his soul into his work but also talks about losing his mind in the process. This immersive experience sheds light on the journey of Van Gogh as an artist while also shedding light on his mental health. 

The Van Gogh: Immersive Experience is open in NY until October 2021. Tickets are $36.50 for adults but $54.50 for adult VIP. I know people are wondering if it is worth it; here is a rundown of my experience. 

Is it Safe/Covid-friendly?

Yes, All attendees are required to wear masks throughout the duration of the exhibit. Guests are required to social distance, and all seats are separated more than 6 feet apart. 

Noteworthy Locations in the Exhibit. 

360 Degree Room w/ 15,000 ft Screens: The room we walked into tells a story about its works of art. The music, quotes, and narrations put you inside the paintings and the mind of Van Gogh. 

Social Distanced while also enjoying the amazing view

The VR Experience: will give you a deeper dive into the experience. You walk into Van Gogh’s room, and it keeps opening doors to different paintings as you feel what. I really enjoyed those pieces of the 

VR Experience

Paint Like Van Gogh: was cool because you got to color a blank copy of Van Gogh’s pieces with the crayons they provided and then you get to upload your work on the wall. I felt like a real artist because your art was displayed for everyone to see! Here’s a picture of my artwork. 

My artwork from Paint like Van Gogh

The rest of the experience is an elevated museum version with artwork timelines and a deeper dive into his art. 

My Rating

I would rate the experiences a 7/10. While I really enjoyed the experience, I feel like the experience could be a bit longer. I got the VIP ticket which gave me access to the VR experience and a free Van Gogh Poster of one of his artworks. I think I could have gotten a little more with my tickets.


Choosing Joy

Choose Joy. I choose to find joy in my life. I used to be like Mary J Blige, “ All I really want is to be happyyyy… “ Sing along if you know the song! But I realized happiness felt temporary. I would tend to find happy moments. 

I am now on a journey to find joy. I am trying to find new things and a new lifestyle that creates more joy in my life. This journey might mean changing my job, changing the way I show up as a friend and a family member. It’s in the way that I affirm myself. 

To me, there is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness shows up in the face while Joy is found in the heart. It takes heart work to get to a sense of joy in your life. Happiness you find in small moments, but joy is connected to your soul. I don’t want to smile just because I want my whole being to smile. 

The Journey to Joy means practice and practicing things that make me feel joy—changing habits and creating new lifestyle choices. If something ain’t working out in my life, change it. 

Joy is in the inside while happiness can only be seen in a smile… Choose Joy.

One thing that I changed was my mornings. I wake up earlier. 6 am I wake up, pray, stretch, and work out. Then I shower and turn on my affirmation group on Clubhouse (Yes, on Clubhouse. There are healthy communities on Clubhouse). Shoutout to my Affirmation Aunties crew. As I listen to the affirmation group, I get ready for work and make my breakfast for the day. This routine has made me have more productive days. 

What happens when I deviate from this plan? I feel more stressed. I missed an essential part of my mornings. Choosing joy is a practice. I need to wake up committed to joy. 

I no longer choose to chase temporary highs of happiness cue Snoh Aalegra. Those things no longer work for me. I will instead be on this journey to find joy. When you have joy you can withstand the trials and tribulations in life with strides. I want to feel a sense of stillness during obstacles; I no longer want my anxiety to get the best of me. I want to be okay sitting in my trails because I know that joy will give me a sense of peace through it all. 

There is a reason why joy is repeated in the bible so much. God wants joy for us and not just happiness. I hope joy finds you, and I wish joy upon all of us.


Road to 100


Cheers to me! I am so happy that I did it. VSG has turned my life around. But most of all I am proud of my willpower. The sleeve only works as hard as you work. And let me tell you, I worked my ASS off. I workout 5 times a week, eat as clean as possible, and get my proteins in daily.

This road has been tough but way more rewarding. I am so proud of my body. I have pushed my body to do workouts that I never thought of in my wildest dreams. When I first started working out I couldn’t even jump to the floor to do a burpee. Now, I can do a good 5 in a row without stopping. (That doesn’t sound like much but it’s a lot of progress for me) I can do a plank for more than a minute. I used to not even be able to do it for more than 10 seconds. I am so proud of the work that I accomplished.

100 lbs. WOW! I Can’t even fathom! The hard work that I did was not alone. I had friends and family pushing me to keep going. I felt so motivated and empowered by everyone’s kind words and well wishes. And to all that helped support me THANK YOU!

VSG Before & After Wear the same set

What is most important is continuing the path of trying to have healthy relationships with food and wellness. Exercising puts me in higher spirits. Eating better has helped my headaches. I am more alert and confident because I can get more done.

Though I loved my old body and acknowledge how much I appreciate it, I still understand that I was not at my best at that time. I am still not at my best. I am constantly working on the outside and the inside to elevate into the woman God meant for me to be in this season of my life.

To celebrate my 100 lbs weight loss I will be doing a giveaway. I will be giving away a water bottle and booty bands from TeamLashae.com. Please look out for a later blogpost for more information!


I Am Not Your Secret

“You’re my little secret, and that’s how we should keep it.” How about, NO! 

While I love X-scape and the song, I am not feeling that message in real life. I do not think relationships or situationships should be put in secret. We can have a level of privacy, which is fine, but as someone who was only good enough to be a man’s secret, you learn that you need more respect than that.

This was a trend in past romantic relationships for me. I thought it was okay, but I realized I was shrinking in the process. From high school into my early twenties, guys I talked to never saw me as someone that they could see walking with hand in hand. I always thought it was because of that whole quote, “what is understood does not need to be explained… WRONG”

I always wondered why it wouldn’t happen for me. Why was I good enough to spend time with you when no one was around? I knew part of it was because of my size. A bigger girl was never seen as someone who wasn’t “desirable enough” to date. On top of that, a girl with my goofy personality, (which I now OWN), was not seen as “girlfriend material”. 

I never spoke up and asked questions about where I stood in a relationship out of fear. I was so afraid to ask the truth or to give an ultimatum. All the while, I was hurting inside. I was fighting back my feelings and needs from my so-called partners. I knew that I did not want to be in love alone. I wanted so desperately for the guy to want me as I wanted them. Secret or not. 

Things changed once I started to tap into my dopeness. Everyone got a lil dopeness in them, we just sometimes are scared to let it shine. We tend to shrink ourselves for others to shine, fear of being judged. Once I started to see how great I was (still am) I got to the point that if a man couldn’t see how valuable I was THEY DIDN’T DESERVE MY PRESENCE. This meant in public and behind closed doors. 

I started to expect more and use my words. I was no longer afraid of their response because I knew I would be fine if I walked away. I knew I would find better and I needed to save my energy and time for a man who would love all parts of my being and want to share who I am with others. 

In my current relationship with my fiancé, I am more vocal. This came with growth, comfortability, and communication. I shared my past and reservations about starting new in a relationship. As time went on in our relationship his consistency and reassurance made me feel more secure in our relationship. His embracing all parts of me is far better than any public display of affection online. 

I wasn’t asking to be posted all day on IG. I just an acknowledgment of my dopeness. Keeping a relationship in private is fine, however, there is a difference between privacy for protection and privacy for shame. 

And on that note… imma let that marinate.


Rachiie… SPEAK!

The mission for my blog is to give a voice to the voiceless. I found it vital for me to make a platform for women like me who had problems using their voices to speak their truth. Now seven months after starting this blog, I have learned that I have ways to go. I still have trouble asserting myself and telling people how I feel. 

We do not want to use our voices for fear of rejection or causing more problems. But as a 30-year-old woman, I am now starting to realize that there is value in my voice, and it is okay if people disagree. I always would bite my tongue because I would worry about how others would feel or how I would be perceived. Sometimes I felt like avoiding an argument made more sense than being combative. 

What happens when you speak? 

I often play out in my mind what happens if I just say how I feel. Through therapy (and this blog), I have learned that I like to sort out my feelings through writing. If I need to unpack some things, I write. Sometimes the words don’t come out as naturally speaking overwriting with pen and paper. I tend to filter on something if I just talk naturally because my brain tells me to sugar coat things to avoid any problems. 

Not speaking ends up hurting me in the process. When there are times I let things left unsaid or questions unanswered, my thoughts run wild. I makeup perceptions that may or may not be accurate. 

What happens when you speak?

When I speak, I feel freer. When I tell people how I think, we have an opportunity to talk things out. I can’t control how someone feels when I speak my truth, but I can say my piece and feel better that I said something. 

On this journey to be a better version of myself. I find little moments to speak my truth. Whether it be at work, in my relationships, or even this blog. There is value in what I have to say. And there is value in your experiences as well. Let’s learn to speak together! 


Stop Degree Shaming!

It is graduation time! It’s the time of the year when scholars are excited to celebrate their accomplishments. However, I feel like each time during this year I see the same thing that infuriates me. This is the time when you hear people reposting their old college pics saying “College didn’t teach me anything, a degree will not save you”. 


Is college or getting a degree for everyone? Absolutely, not! But do people benefit from a degree? Absolutely! It all goes down to this, not everyone will have the same path to success. Your path will be different from my path. You do not need to go around telling people that their investment in their education was a waste. Do not impose your own personal experiences on someone else because you have no clue what their end result will be.

Think about it like this. People go to university to be teachers, nurses, lawyers, engineers, etc. They learn skills and tools to keep them current and understand common trends in their field. Youtube University can get you far but it will not teach you how to perform heart surgery. 

When I got my Bachelors at LIU Brooklyn

College also teaches you how to network. This is also one of those big debates. You often hear people complain about the fact that they did not get or find any meaningful connections during college. That they did not make any valuable networks. It all depends on what you do with your network. Either if you are in college or not, if you are not utilizing the people in your network wisely, you will always fail. If you are not creating meaningful exchanges or connections that benefit both parties it will not build any significant connections. People will not just see your value or talents, you have to share them with others and learn from those around you.  Colleges and universities have this platform but it is ultimately up to you to make it meaningful. 

Let’s be clear you can create community anywhere. But try and make sure wherever you are building your network that you also make it a mutual benefit for all involved. As you help others people should be helping you. It is not just what someone can do for you. 

When I received my Masters at Stony Brook University

On top of that, if you were in college and say you didn’t utilize your networks, did you go to any events from your career center? Did you know that as an alumnus you in most cases still have access to those services? Use them, because it is not a waste of money, these groups were created to help you longggg after you graduate honey! Do your diligence and reach out to your alma mater and see what services they have for you as an alumnus. 

As a student affairs professional, this truly bugs me because I end up every year with students at my desk telling me their fears of graduating because of all the negative connotations they see or hear about life after college. It is unfair to impose your feelings of self-doubt onto these newly graduated minds. 

This message is for the Class of 2021. Congrats! You did it! Do not let people dim your light or your accomplishment. Block them out! You have struggled long nights and early mornings to get your cap and gown. You have done the work and no one can take that away from you. Do not let the bitterness of others cloud that happiness. Shine your light graduate, wave that degree in the air like you just don’t care! Your future is bright and you are in control of your destiny.


Get the Strap! SheFit Bra Review

When I started working out, guess what the hardest thing to figure out was. Yep, that’s right, SPORTS BRAS. When you have a smaller chest, you don’t have to think about how bulletproof your bra is. But for us bigger chested girls, it is a struggggleeee to find the right sports bra, and sometimes we still have to double bra it! 

She fit bra in left hand picture

For years, I would wear two bras and a tight shirt over it so nothing would fall out. The tight shirts were to make sure I didn’t have any accidents in the gym. It is also very painful when the girls move around a lot, especially during a high-impact cardio workout. 

Shefit bra (retrieved from shefit.com)

I tried a lot of different bras, and nothing worked. It wasn’t until I kept seeing this Instagram ad about the SHEFIT bra. The ad has these women doing hardcore exercises and then adjusting the bra with the velcro straps. STRAPS?!. Adjustments??? I NEED! 

Of course, like many other people who get distracted by IG ads, I clicked to find out more about it. I started looking at how excellent the bras are and how they are adjustable. Then I realized… OH, 65 BUCKS! Hell Nah to the Nah Nah. 

So for a year and a half, I gave up the dream of having a perfect sports bra and continued on my double bra regiment for workouts. Remember, this time, my workouts were few and far between, so it didn’t bother me too much. 

After taking workouts seriously, a year later, I knew I needed something of more quality. After all, I was working out every day. So I circled back to SHEFIT Bra. and when I tell you, GIRL, I sat on that page for like an hour convincing my cheap ass to buy it. You know you CHEAP when you have to give yourself a pep talk to purchase something. Remember y’all; I don’t have a job at the moment.  I AM BROKE BABYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

After an hour, I bit the bullet and got the bra, but I used Afterpay! I wasn’t willing to see all that money come out all at once, haha! 

Now, when I got the bra, it felt like a dream. I opened the packaging, and I swear I heard the angels singing a song to me. 

Praise the LORD! The bra felt so good on! I don’t shake too much. Gone are the days when I have to wear two bras (except for the laundry day). The bra feels nice; you can tailor your fit with the velcro straps on the shoulders and the strap around your rib cage. 

It fits as snug or loose as you want it to be. 

Another thing I noticed was the hooks before you zip the front of the bra. These hooks also help keep “the girls” in place! When I tell you you are strapped in, you are strapped in!

You have to try it! Now I am not saying to spend all your little coin on this if you can’t do it, girl, don’t. (they got Afterpay thoughhhhhhhhh) But these are the ONLY sports bras that have worked for me. If you do have any good big boob-friendly sports bras, let me know. 

Sidebar Glamourise bras did not work for your girl. They were garbage! That’s my own opinion, though.


Bittersweet 16

I planned my Sweet 16 for MONTHS! I was so excited to turn 16, and I wanted to make it a production. I hassled my mom for hours, telling my mother my vision about my Sweet 16. I wanted it to be a fairytale. And it was. My mom worked so hard to make it memorable, and I had such a good time. However, I never knew that my special day would cause such a scandal afterward. 


The day of my birthday party was busy. I had a lot of running around to do. I had to complete my chocolate mold party favors, get my hair done, do my makeup, anddddd help set up. Not to mention my mom and her friends were cooking all day. 

Cutting my Cake at my Sweet 16

When I got to my party, I felt so relieved and excited. I couldn’t wait to party with my friends! As the party started, I celebrated with all my friends. It was full of life PINK & SILVER princess-themed Sweet 16 (very original Rachel). My halter top Jessica McClintock dress fit me perfectly!

As the music started to play, we sang along to the tune and did the typical Crack Soulja Boy type line dances. As each it’s going down, one-two-step, reverse-reverse, dwindled down, the lights turn low. If you are from NY or are Caribbean, you know when the lights turned low in the Early 00s that means reggae/ dancehall would play soon. So you know what time it is: Teenage Hormones Activated. 

As soon as the reggae started to play, people started to grind and slow whine. But I notice it wasn’t all my friends. It was just a few. Many of my friends were shocked by the dances that some of the moves  (mainly because my parents were there).

I had mixed some of my friends from school and some of my friends from church. Ouuuuu, what a mistake. Some of my church friends had strict parents, so this type of dancing wouldn’t work for them. 

Although I didn’t like the change of musical genres, I still danced along. I love dancing, so I moved to the music, hamming it up for my friends. Of course, I was hamming it up, (Your girl loves to dance!)

I jumped and waved my arms to the beat. I suddenly saw two parents’ shadow figures in the corner of the room. They weren’t my parents or the friends they invited as the lights started to clear. I realized that it was a parent from the church who was looking at the teens in disapproval. They were shaking their heads and whispering. Though it was dark, I felt their judgment. I began to get nervous. 

As they scooped up their daughters. I knew that this was not going to be the end of this. That I was in for a lot of issues later down the line.

The party went on, and people continued their whining, grinding, and pop lock and dropping. The next song that played was one of the newer reggae songs. So, of course, people were trying to get their grind on and try to “break” the guy they were dancing on. 

As people started to dance and grind, the party suddenly comes to a screeching halt.  Another mother came in and snatched her out of the arms of the guy she was dancing on. The mom yelled and scolded her. This was another church friend. She was so embarassed, and I felt so bad for her. I also realized that this would cause more problems.


I enjoyed my party though there was drama, it was still a magical night. Little did I know the drama was far from over. 


It was almost a week since my birthday party. Friday evenings, we went to church to open Sabbath and have choir rehearsal. When I got to church, I went to the bathroom to do my hair. And an older woman at church stopped and looked me up and down in the bathroom. What did she want from me?

She turned and looked at me up and down and asked, “Are you, Rachel?”

I look at her, shocked because she did not know my name, but we’ve been in the same church for over ten years. I knew hers, so it made me very confused she did not know who I am. This made me feel small and invisible in my own church. But, I remained cheerful so she would not see me sweat. 

“Yes,” I say in a happy voice swallowing my feelings and trying to be polite. 

“You are a bad influence!” she exclaimed.  

I was stunned. She started to scold me about my party how I should have never played the type of music that played. She even went as far as saying I am not representing the church, and I shouldn’t lead the good kids to a dark path. 

I was devastated; I felt like I was cut off from the church that I was dirty, no longer worthy of God or his love. 

My friends then said they couldn’t be as cool with me anymore because I was “a bad influence,” my reputation changed from something I did not do. And even if I did dance like that, this is not how an adult should speak to a 16-year-old child. 

For a while, I felt isolated from my church. I felt as if people turned their nose up at me and who I was. It did not make it better that my parents were in different churches and I went to church with my grandparents. They thought I was a little heathen. I felt as if I had a scarlet letter on my chest. 

Months went by, and I wanted to go to church less and less. There was no place for me there anymore. I felt such shame, and I felt so unwelcomed

One day my cousin asked me why I was so sad lately. I started to tell her about the whole Sweet 16 fiasco. I do not know what she did, but a lot of things changed. 

Parents raised an eye at me, but they were more accepting. But there was still something missing. I was still so ashamed of the response from the members of the church. I was never able to feel genuinely safe at church after that.. I was seen as Public Enemy #1 to some people in my church. 

But I had the understanding that it was not my fault and I was worthy of God’s love. I had not understood the church did not validate my relationship with God I do. I learned never to let someone minimize who you are. Stand tall and command space in the room. 

The ones who will make me feel isolated did not break me. I know who I was, and I was not going to let them call me names, especially the did not know me! 

The song that got me through this time was Mariah Carey’s Theme, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”. 

They can say anything they want to say

Try to bring me down

But I will not allow anyone to succeed

Hanging clouds over me

And they can try hard to make me feel

That I don’t matter at all

But I refuse to falter doing what I believe

Or lose faith in my dreams

‘Cause there’s, there’s a light in me

That shines brightly

They can try

But they can’t take that away from me

Whenever you feel like people are trying to bring you down, remember the light that makes you unique. People talk and let them talk. As long as you know who you are and your pure intentions, they cant take that away from you.


Remembering X

I was seven years old, and my mom got her hair done at a family friend’s house. As my mom got her hair done upstairs and got the latest gossip, my sister and I were downstairs with my friend’s daughter. We passed the time by playing and watching music videos, an activity that I still find so much fun. As we watched the music videos on MTV, singing and dancing to the songs, I heard an unfamiliar song from a strange voice. This man had a rasp to his tone. It sounded like he was growling. His tempo would change rhythmically like he was spitting poetry. I heard his hurt and power all at once.

As the song kept going, I started to look deeper at the screen. A bald head man, skin but with cut muscles singing from in what looked like a ditch. I was intrigued by the video. What is this? Who is this?

It was DMX. His sound and his music would then be something that I enjoyed so much throughout the years. You can often find my boyfriend and I singing to What these B**** Want in the car at the top of our lungs.

His passion, cadence, his energy, and sound just works. It is like nothing anyone has heard or can be duplicated. His music spoke to all of us because we all have high points and low points in our lives.

DMX is anointed his prayers brought chills because you can feel the relationship that he has with the Lord. DMX’s faiith and anointing can not be faked. It is a natural energy that is nurtured through building a relationship.

This playlist is for X and his memory. Thank you for gracing us with your music and your art. Thank you for showing us that God loves all of us no matter what we’ve been through. Thank you for your voice!


Spring Cleaning

I am under construction. I am working on a rebirth of Rachel. I am learning to speak out more and tell my truth. I am learning to set clear boundaries with loved ones. Most importantly I am learning to be more content with who I am becoming. In less than 30 days, I will be turning 30! I am so excited!

When we talk about Spring Cleaning, we often talk about letting go of old clothes, shredding papers, and putting away our old winter items. For me, I am focusing more on myself! Selfish, I know, but it is highly needed. Many people comment on the outward changes in my life, like my weight loss, but there are so much more things I want to work on. I want to clean all the crap in my life and replace it with good things for my body and soul.

I want to replace my negative thoughts with scripture and prayer. I want to pray more and read my word. Replenishing my relationship with God will help restore my outlook on life. It will help me think more positively. It will also hold me accountable for some of the pessimistic sides of me.

I want to clean up my relationship with fear. I lived in fear for a lot of my life—the fear of rejection, failure, tragedy. I tend to be on edge when my mind thinks about 100 ways something can go wrong before it even happens.

I psych myself out of taking giant leaps. This year, I have worked to do things out of my comfort zone to help combat my fear and anxiety issues. So far, it has been working out. However, I am a work and progress. With each blog, workout video, and live, I am working towards small steps to become more fearless.

I also want to clean out the clutter in my head. One thing about me, I got a million lists swirling through my head at one time. It makes it super hard for me to focus on one task. I get distracted easily and can hop from one job to the next in seconds. I want to start being more intentional with my meditation. Meditation makes me clear my mind, but I want to be more disciplined by planning and meditating before completing my task more often.

Finally, I want to clean up my emotional baggage. For years, I have told myself that I wanted to get into therapy. It took a while for me to pull the trigger and find one, but I did it! I found myself an excellent therapist who is a black woman who can understand some of the things I go through daily. I now have someone professional that I can help sort out my emotional baggage.

I want to continue to work on a better me. Not just for me but for the people who are in my close circle. I want to be a better partner, sister, daughter, and friend.

It’s springtime; what’s on your cleaning list?


I’m a Bad Friend

“You’re a bad friend” those words once rang in my head like sirens blaring. I never thought I would hear that phrase from such a close friend. It broke me down. You can think you did all you could do for a friendship, but someone can perceive it in a whole different way. I learned some serious lessons about friendship. And the main one is that I am not always a victim. Sometimes I am the problem. Sometimes I am a bad friend. It was a tough pill to swallow, and it took losing a friend to learn this about me.

She was one of my closest friends throughout high school and college. We had so many memories and inside jokes. We would literally FIGHT ANYONE FOR EACH OTHER! However, we ain’t really know how to fight nor did we actually throw hands. (We weren’t trying to get suspended. She was my shoulder to cry on and so was I for her. There was one time she literally yelled at a guy that she thought broke my heart lol! And that’s GANG!

When she transferred to the same college like me, I thought it was going to be a great time. The dynamic duo was back at it again!

After a while, we stopped to see each other as much. And we talked less and less. I hit her up after months and no answer. It was strange… I always thought it was because of her relationship. I was single, my junior year of undergrad and I wanted to be sensitive to the fact that she wanted to spend more time with her boyfriend. I took time to do my own thing and would check on her less and less.

To be a good friend you need to show and prove not post to prove your friendship


As the friendship dwindled, I didn’t think anything of it. I would text and she didn’t answer. I went out with some other friends from high school one day and my close friend came up in conversation. When I asked how she was doing, my other friend told me she wasn’t speaking to me anymore. When I asked why she replied. She said you are a bad friend your not supportive.

That crushed me so hard. I immediately got defensive and started cutting so deep with insults. She wasn’t even at the table. I’ll be honest, I was hurt. I couldn’t believe that she would say that I was not a good friend. I listed in my head all the things that were wrong with her and how amazing I WAS AS A FRIEND. (HOW VAIN OF ME! I can admit that now)

Many times, we think about when we were hurt by a friend. Sometimes we need to call ourselves out. What did we do? We are not always the one who was wronged. Never think that you can be the only one hurt in a situation. It took a lot of honest conversations with myself to understand that I needed to do better as a friend.

Did I fail after that? Absolutely! I am extremely self-aware and not naive enough to think I am a perfect friend. I am someone who struggles to keep close relationships bat bay because I am forgetful. I literally have to Google Calendar in check-ins with friends. Gaining self-awareness since my falling out with my close friend helped me get on track. While I still struggle, I had to look inside myself and say: Hey, I was not there for my friend as I should have been.

This was one of the hardest pills to swallow! Before that, I thought I was a great friend. I thought I was so supportive. I often would complain to other friends about our falling out thinking that she was to blame because she did not come to me with her issues. But how many times do people address us and we simply ignore the needs they have because our egos are ringing louder than their voices in our head? Sometimes our shit stinks and we can fix it.

In the world of IG, Facebook, TIKTOK, & Twitter we have to not just be friends for show but we have to be friends in real life. Reposts and birthday shoutouts don’t mean anything. To be a good friend you need to show and prove not post to prove your friendship. Show up when your friend really needs it. Be there how they need you to be there for them not how you want them to be there for you. Friendships are a very selfless experience. You have to shed your own ego and pride when that person really needs you.

Though our relationship has run its course, I am old enough to acknowledge my part in the situation and do better. If someone pops in my head I reach out at that moment. I speak life into my friend now, and if I have a problem I address it head-on. But, I also do my best to take the time out to fully understand the needs of my friends. If they confront me with something I validate their experience and try my best to correct my behaviors. It’s all about growing into a better version of your friend. To be a better friend you need to be self-aware.


Workout With Me! LIVE

For this #FitnessFriday, I am happy to announce that I will be hosting my first live on my Instagram @rachiiespeaks! I am so excited to share one of my favorite Dance Tabata workouts with you all!

For months now, people have reached out to me asking me to let them know when I workout. My schedule varies depending on the day. I wanted to finally take the time out to give people a new exercise routine. These exercises literally were the start of my fitness journey and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

If you are interested in working out with me. I will be working out on IG LIVE March 19th 5:30 pm EST to this video below.


Skool Daze Playlist

College days and college parties were always a enjoyable time in my life. It was one of those times in life were you had fun with your friend or Sorors. We were care free and made lasting memories with these songs. This playlist is dedicated to all those good times I had with my friends, Sorors, and other Greeks on the yard. Sit back and reminisce on those good ol’ days.


Finding Your Village

As Black Professionals, we at times find it challenging to come as our authentic selves in the workplace. We sometimes put a protective barrier to ensure that we won’t have to continually explain who we are. Or why we do the things we do. For example, I have friends who dread coming to work with a new hairstyle because they hate hearing, “Oh my gosh, I hardly recognized you.” Like sis, my face is the same. The style is different.

One thing that helped me as a professional was building a village of Black friends at work who I can relate to. It has given me the space to share stories and ask for advice from peers that I can trust. It is refreshing to have someone validate those feelings of Imposter Syndrome. Or even have someone relate to you when you notice microaggressions in the workplace. You will always have someone in your corner.

I am so blessed to have created a community at work where I had a space to share my feelings. I got so much valuable advice from people who came before and after me at work. It gave me a whole new perspective. They helped me find my voice in the workplace. I learned how to speak up for myself and learn to say “No.” I also learned how to set someone straight (professionally) if they try and come for me!

If one wins, we all win!


When you find your village at work, it makes your working experience more enjoyable. You know you have someone that has your back no matter what. Even if you mess up, your village will have your back. But don’t be fooled, your village will respectfully slap you in the back of the head and tell you to SNAP THE HELL OUT OF IT! (That’s only if you have good friends like mine)

Your village will challenge your thinking and push you to work harder. Whether it’s just someone to laugh at how stupid a new policy is at work or sharing some helpful tools to get the job done.
You always need someone to tell you the truth. But it has to be the right type of village. You have to surround yourself with people you can trust. People that are willing to teach you but also learn from you. Your village has to want to see you win. Because if one wins, we all win! As black professionals, especially in Higher Education at a PWI, you need support. You may face different roadblocks or situations where we need to vent or get advice. You also might just need someone to go to the beauty supply store or Caribbean food spot during your break.

This post is for the “Committee.” Because of you, I am a better friend. Because of you, I am a better professional. Because of you, we are forever bonded. Thank you for always being there. I will forever be there for you too!


Your Hair Feels Like My Dog

It was after a Pop Warner football game. I was waiting for my ride to pick me up and wait with a few the cheerleaders on my squad. As we stayed with coach, waiting for parents, I started talking with my teammates.

I started complaining about my head hurting. My white teammates asked me why my head was hurting. I told the girls that it was because my hair was done too tightly.


At the time, my hair was in a high puff. As a cheerleader for games we had to put our hair in a high ponytail. I hated the hot comb during pre-teen years. So I decided I would only hot comb my hair straight for competition season only.


I decided to let my hair free because I could not take how tight I pulled my hair back to do my puff. When I took out my hair, my puff turned into a full blown afro. It blew in the wind with all its glory. I felt so free. I felt the air breezing through my scalp and luscious thick strands. There’s something about that free feeling you get after taking out your hair. It makes you feel a sense of relief and power.

But that power was quickly taken away from me as I felt a strand a hand go through my fro and get caught.

I quickly snap my head and turn around. I grab the hand and rip it from out my hair.
“What are you doing?”, I say with an attitude to one of my white teammates (lets call her Jane)
Jane says, “ Your hair feels like my dogs hair”.

I rolled my eye. Was she serious? Dog hair? I know my hair does not feel like no damn dog hair.

If you’re thinking about touching my hair… Think again!


“It actually does not feel like a dog it feels like my hair” I roll my eyes then give her the death stare.

“It’s not a big deal, Rachel. Relax”, Jane replies in frustration.

My blood started boiling. So now it’s not a big deal that you got into my personal bubble and touch me? Oh honey, it’s a very big deal. Don’t touch my hair.

“Just, don’t ever touch my hair”, I walk away so that Jane can know that there was no more discussion after that.

I felt so violated in such a short moment in time. I felt so free letting my hair out and she ruined me embracing that feeling of setting my curls and kinks free.

I decided from that point on to put my hair in a full bun and not let my hair out for ANYONE TO TOUCH!

I NEVER wanted to feel that feeling again. But as I got older I realized how much I loved having my hair out in an afro, twist out or braid out. I want to rock my hair how I want. I want to release my inhibitions and let my hair down in all my glory. I no longer hide my fro but there are some things some people need to understand:

Black hair is beautiful and unique, but we are not your museum. I am not your experiment. I am not a lab rat waiting for you to analyze my every move. My hair is for me to embrace and work with. My hair is my linage and power. Do not ruin its beauty by putting your DIRTY hands in it.
If you’re thinking about asking to touch my hair… Think again!


If No One Claps For You, Clap For Yourself!

“If no one claps for you, clap for yourself,” I heard TD Jakes say this to Tamar Braxton on the episode of the Braxton Family Values. This quote stood out to me because TD Jakes wasn’t talking about Tamar being cocky or boastful. He was talking about other people’s inability to be happy for us. 

How many times have you shared the good news with a friend or even a family member, and they did not share your excitement. Not everyone is going to be happy for you. We need to learn that. Sometimes we need to take time out to uplift and appreciate ourselves. No one is going to be more happy for you than you! Why not do something to treat yourself or celebrate your accomplishments?

Be aware of the reactions of others when you share good news. It is an eye-opener. Some people will display their own insecurities, or automatically get negative. Or my favorite, people may even miniamize your success. “Oh congrats on your ‘little’ project.” Beware of them people that add that ‘little’ in they compliments. Because its CAP!

I have learned to protect my peace. There was a time I used to share EVERYTHING with all friends and family. Some people would be happy for me, while others would put their fears, concerns, and insecurities on me. There would even be some people that brushed off my success and did not care. Once I became more aware of people’s reactions, I started to approach things differently. I take my time before I share something. I just would celebrate myself first before telling other people. 

It is fair to keep things from people for a while. Enjoy your moment. Take some time to clap for yourself. Celebrate your achievements with the person you love most. YOU! This will boost you up so much that even someone’s negativity can’t bring you down. Because you already clapped for yourself. 

I am not saying you have to stop sharing things. I think it’s great to have someone to share and celebrate successes with. If someone does not share your excitement, make sure you take the time to congratulate your triumphs! No matter what, you know you have done something to praise your hard work and thank God for bringing you through. Don’t expect people to be happy for you but be okay with celebrating something on your own. Validation is not required by others when you already validate yourself.


Big Yourself Up!

Sometimes you need to big yourself up! That means getting in the mindset that you are the ISH! Receiving outward validation is overrated, it is okay to hype yourself up. Here are some songs that help recharge my energy when I am down on myself. Listen to these songs and know you got it going on!

And in the words of Ru Paul, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”.


Creating Vision

Goals are great, but sometimes you need to visualize your road map to success. I started doing vision board parties about four years ago. It is an annual party I do to manifest what you want to see in my future. But even before I do my vision board party. I like to evaluate the year before. I think about my year, accomplishments, and obstacles. As I reflect, I usually go back to my personal journal entries. I like to think back on my obstacles and my accomplishments. 

Picture of me at my friend’s vision board party

What I value the most about the vision board party is to affirm and encourage my friends on their goals. It allows me and my friends to have a shared vision. We can use that as a spark to champion each other to push through and get the things they’ve always wanted (tangible and not tangible). Vision board parties are the best way to set the tone for positivity and hope at the beginning of the year. At the end of the year, I love looking at my board and see what I accomplished and what I still need to work on. I seldom get discouraged about what I did not get done because I know I have the potential to get it done.

This year, I did not host my own vision board party. Luckily my friend had very nice intimate party for us to share our vision boards. During the get-together, we enjoyed drinks, laughs, stories, aspirations,and new ideas. We affirmed each other and had quality time. 

Are you planning on having a vision board party? Here are some tips on having a successful vision board party? I compiled these tips from my own parties and my friends recent party. 

Picture from one of my past vision board parties
  1. Set the Scene: The vibe always has to be on! You need to get some excellent libations! I always do a little mimosa bar and maybe a rum punch. I like nice little finger foods, most likely something simple I can find at BJ’s or Costco. They have great finger foods you can just pop in the oven. 
  2. Get Materials: You, of course will need magazines, scissors, glue, and paper. But I also lie to get the cheerful quote stickers you often find in Michael’s planner section. 
  3. Make it Positive: When it’s time to share boards with everyone. Make sure you positively validate your friends. Show them that you support them by cheering them on. Speak life in them at that moment. It will make them feel more motivated to get those goals done.
  4. Don’t Let the Boards Stop There: Keep your board up where you can see it each day. The more you see it, the less likely you are to forget your goals for the year. You gotta keep your eyes on the prize, sis! But you also got to help your friends stay on track as well. Keep supporting your friends. If you see them working towards stuff on their vision board. 
Beautiful spread made by my friend for her vision board party.

Enjoy your Vision Board Party! You can still do a virtual vision board party or have a small gathering with two or three friends. Remember, you can achieve anything if you work hard!


I Chilled 2020 & That’s Okay!

Like many of you, 2020 has brought many twists and turns in my life. This has been one of my most challenging years I have experienced. Though I have lost a lot, I am grateful to have my life, health. I am thankful for those who are still with me and showering me with love. 

In one year, I got a major surgery, lost 70+ pounds, ended a 5-year contract at my job, and moved back home. This year tested my patience, my positivity, and my mental health. There were times when I felt like giving up! But I prayed and kept going. There were times I would be depressed and laid in bed. And to me, that is fine. I am so happy I had time to just rest and be at peace with myself. 

Lately, I have seen on IG that if you did not do something this year to grow your business, you do not have a hustling spirit. There is a whole pandemic babyyyy? What did you want people to do? You have every right to be in PJs every day during 2020! We all deserve a medal for just being ALIVE during 2020! People have lost so much this year; people are hurting and suffering. Instead of judging people and asking them what they have done, try to send positivity their way. 

If people are saying this to you, PROTECT YOUR ENERGY and walk away! Just tell them you ain’t feeling it and you need to exit stage left! You should not waste a single breath justifying what you have done during a pandemic. People have lost jobs, homes, and, most importantly, loved ones. There is more to life than building your brand. 

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

-Proverb 4:23

Through this year, I have learned that I need to protect my heart, space, and mind to function and thrive. I AM good when I AM GOOD! I need to take care of myself. So many times, I worried about what I was doing, how I was helping others. 2020 I learned to use my voice even more. I have learned where my line is. I have used this time doing “nothing” to take care of myself and be happy with Rachel’s essence. 

This year it was okay to rest. We all deserve it. We did not need to build eight business! Take some time to thank yourself for getting through 2020! Because it was not easy! Cheers to you!


A Rachiie Speaks Christmas Story

Christmas was always magical for me. I enjoyed every minute of preparing my list, visiting Santa, and taking pictures with him. I would wait for the Big Toys R Us Book to come in the newspaper to organize my list with my sister.

One year, my father came home with the newspaper early Sunday Morning. He let out a big roar that it was here! My sister and I both knew that meant the Big Toys R Us Book was here.
We ran to the front of the house and wrestled back and forth to take a peak first. Our father lifted the booklet up in the air and told us that we needed to share the book. We nodded and agreed to look at the booklet together in our playroom.

My Sarcastic Christmas Face at 7 yrs old

Our eyes lit up as we flipped through the pages. We saw all the cool new toys and electronics that were coming out this year. Our possibilities seemed endless. My sister then came up with the idea to circle all the items we wanted. She took a blue pen, and I took black to indicate who wanted what. We took Christmas seriously. We had a whole system mapped out.

This year we knew we were both excellent, so we knew Santa would give us all the fantastic toys we wanted. We as we handed the book to our parents a week later, my mom looked very overwhelmed. What was her problem? It’s not like she was going to get all this stuff for us. Was Santa about to hold us down right? WRONG!

She questioned us and asked if we wanted to scale down our wish list. We both agreed that the list was great, and we did not need to look over it again.

My mom slams down the magazine, close it, and say in frustration, “That’s it. Make your list smaller. Santa is your father and me!”

What! How could this be? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I argue that what she was saying was not the truth! But she rebuttals back, giving me facts.

Heartbroken and taken back by the news, my face starts to become hot. My face wells up with tears, and I run to my playroom and begin to cry.

I felt like the magic of Christmas was ruined for me. How could my parents lie to me after all this time? I loved that feeling that Santa was able to deliver all these presents across the world.

Eventually, as all children do, I would get over it, and the holiday’s remained an amazing time for me. We would get great gifts, enjoy Christmas music, and have a wonderful dinner made by my mother. My father would usually buy a Buche de Noel from a french patisserie for us to have for dessert. YUMMY.

But what I love most about this holiday is the enthusiasm and cheer that it brings to my family. We watch movies like A Christmas Story. We listen to Christmas music and have a cheerful spirit celebrating the birth of Christ.

The memories of Christmas will always be positive ones for me.


Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

After Maya Angelou wrote several books and receiving accolades, she still had internal feelings that she did deserve all of her accomplishments. Can you believe MAYA ANGELOU thinking she was not deserving of all of her fantastic work? To be honest, I can. Because I have felt that same way. Hell. I feel like that still at times, but I have been learning to check myself. Imposter Syndrome is the feeling of not deserving something is a psychological pattern in which individuals doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments and have a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”

When I got my first full-time professional position, I felt like a full-time FRAUD. Though I was ready for this first step in my career, I often thought I was bound to fail or wasn’t good enough for my role. I would work harder and longer hours to prove to myself. I wanted to prove that I belonged at my job, and I earned it. However, I would continue to have a nagging feeling that my best wasn’t enough. I felt like I wasn’t even meant to have this position in the first place. 

I used to think that my lack of a Master’s Degree meant that I was not smart enough to produce great work. I felt like it revealed a level of unfitness and unprofessionalism on my end. It was a constant battlefield in my mind. I would hear my peers and colleagues congratulated me on a job well done, and I would downplay it in my mind!

This happens to so many people, but it is one of the hardest things to admit to yourself and others. Mindset is everything, and I knew it was time to get my mind right. It started with me being honest with myself. I had to be honest about what I was feeling and do the work to change my mindset by doing a few tasks. 

Here are a few tips to help you through Imposter Syndrome (especially in the workplace): 

  1. Read Your Resume. Take some time to read your most recent resume. You will be impressed by all you have already accomplished. Your resume does not only show an employer that you’re qualified for the job. It also proves to YOU that YOU are here for a reason. 
  2. Reflect. At times, we can be consumed by the day-to-day work that we do not sit and think about all the work we already achieved. Take a seat and start writing what you completed at work for the past couple of months, weeks, or even days. You will be surprised by all the things you have done. 
  3. Share. After reflecting, share it with someone who is already proud of you. This can be a partner, close friends, or family. Share your success; people will be proud of you and validate you in your role. While validation is not a need for everyone, it might be for others. 
  4. Self-Talk. Continue to affirm yourself. Try to talk yourself through the doubts in your mind. I often tell myself,” You got this, Rachel. You are capable.” This helps me change the negative thoughts in my mind. Tell yourself that you have everything you need to succeed! 
  5. Ask for Help. It’s okay not to know everything; that is the point of teamwork. It is okay to ask for help; you are not week if you ask someone for support. You never know when that person will also need your help. 

Remember, you are not alone in this. Many people are dealing with imposter syndrome but just have difficulty talking about it. Talk to friends about your feeling, and you’ll be surprised how much they can relate. Let’s share our stories of Imposter Syndrome in the comment section.


Mariah’s Christmas Playlist

I think a lot of you who know me personally know that this was coming. But if you don’t know me personally. Allow me to reintroduce myself, I AM HUGE MARIAH CAREY Fan! So what better way of celebrating the holidays than putting together a Mariah Carey Christmas Playlist! I hope you enjoy!

Me in Mariah Carey Pajamas!

Black-Owned Business Holiday Gift Guide

Yes, I am very aware that there are many Holiday Gift Guides out here in these streets. Most of the gift guides have to do with electronics and items that everyone always gets. This year why not support black businesses. What is better than supporting our people?
For this gift guide, I am going to highlight some of my favorite Black Businesses. These are Black Businesses that I enjoy, and I have personally purchased these items or plan on buying from. I wanted to give you something from the heart! Some of these businesses are owned by people I know and can speak to their work quality. What’s better than first-hand recommendations?
Please take a look at my gift guide, and I hope you find some good inspiration. But if you have any Black Business gift ideas, please let me know. I would love to continue to share and support our people!


Nae2Curly Apparel, Black is My Superpower, God Is Dope, Mess in a Bottle

Nae2Curly Apparel: Nae2Curly, is a Natural Hair YouTuber that I have watched for a few years. She has empowered her viewers to embrace their curls no matter what hair type they are. In her clothing line, her most popular sweatshirt is her “Hair Type: Poppin’” Sweatshirt. This is a nod to the question she regularly gets about her hair type. Her items are of excellent quality and will have you making a stylish statement.
Instagram: @Nae2curlyapparel
Website: Nae2curlyapparel.com

God Is Dope: Now, you may have seen these ads pop up a lot on your Instagram feed. I know I have, but one thing I can say, I love God Is Dope; it’s a simple yet powerful message. I know in my friend group we often see a sale come up from the God is Dope IG Page. They even hold apparel as low as $5.99! I have two shirts and a hat from God is Dope.
Instagram: @Godisdope
Website: Godisdope.com

Mess in a Bottle: Yes, there is a running theme. I LOVE shirts with a message! These cool shirts get packaged into a bottle; how cool is that? They have compelling statements and sayings. I first learned about this brand from Luvvie Ajayi, one of my favorite podcasters. My favorite Mess in a Bottle shirt is “Torn Between eating a snack and being a snack.” When I first read that shirt, I said OWWWW out loud. This is an excellent brand for your friend that enjoys humor in a shirt.
Instagram: @messinabottle
Website: Messinabottle.com

Black is My Superpower: Black is My Superpower is a clothing brand, but I also love their home accessories. The brand is owned by a perfect friend and soror of mine and carries a bold statement. BLACK IS MY SUPERPOWER, and who can argue with that? It is a statement that empowers the essence of who we are as black people. I have the beautiful mug. I plan to buy a nice throw pillow for my new apartment that I am currently manifesting as we speak. She also sells shirts, hats, shirt-dresses, masks, sweatshirts, and even baby onesies! Let’s give a friend the gift of being unapologetically black! The Black Friday sale is extended. She is offering 20% will be applied to your cart at checkout.
Instagram: @Blackismysuperpower
Website: black-is-my-superpower.myshopify.com


GBead Adornment, Fearless Jewelry, Grace Eleyae, Eye Whitney, Coloring Pins

GBead Adornments: I started wearing waist beads for about two months, and honestly… I feel like a baddie! I love wearing waist beads, and I love the foundational meaning of waist beads. GBead Adornments have to be my favorite place to get my beads. Gabrielle, the owner, and my friend create custom waist beads. She works full time but still focuses on producing quality work for her customers. You can also grab some bracelets for your friends. But beautiful waist beads are a great gift to get your friends.
Instagram: @gbeadadornments

Fearless Jewelry: Livin’ Fearless is another YouTuber I’ve recently started watching. I enjoy her style and how she accessorizes her outfits with her jewelry. I realized that she makes her jewelry, and it’s timeless! She sells gorgeous necklaces and stackable bracelet sets. All her metals are gold filled and will not rust or tarnish. When I am telling you her items are quality, girl, they are quality! And they are handmade. Nothing is better than gifting beautiful black-owned jewelry to a loved one.
Instagram: @fearless_jewelry
Website: Shoplivinfearless.com

Grace Eleyae: Recently Grace Eleyae placed on Oprah’s favorite things. I have loved Grace Eleyae for their satin-lined baseball caps. These satin-lined accessories are great to hair prevent breakage, and I often wear my hat during a workout. Grace Eleyae also sells fedoras, winter hats, scrunchies, and fashionable headbands. And you guessed it; they are all satin-lined. The perfect gift to have someone looking fashionable while also protecting their hair. They have 10% off of orders $95 or above. Some items are also 50% off!
Instagram: @Graceeleyae
Website: Graceeleyae.com

Eye Whitney: Now, I did not buy anything from Eye Whitney yet! But they are on my wish list of things I want for Christmas. (HINT: BOYFRIEND) I have had my eye on some of her beautiful gold-filled pieces for a while. Whitney Roberts is another YouTuber I watch to follow her VSG story. But I quickly fell in love with her handmade jewelry. I want her Prime Evil Necklace. Once I make my weight goal, I plan on getting the Gold Flat Waist Chained.
Instagram: @Eye_Whitney
Website: Eyewhitney.com

Coloring Pins: I loved to jazz up my professional outfits with a pin that showed my personality. Coloring pins gives you quality melanin inspired pins. My favorite pin is the Zaria pin, the black version of Daria’s cartoon character. (If you know me, that’s one of my favorite shows of all time). They also have very New York pins like a metro card that says FACTS or a New York License Plate that says “Yerrrr.” You can get these styles in pins, key chains, or charms for your crocs! There is still a sale going on for buy one get one 50%, charms not included.
Instagram: @Coloringpins
Website: Coloringpins.com


Blushing Lotus Creative, Forvr Mood

Blushing Lotus Creative: It’s always good to have a lovely personalized mug or tumbler. Blushing Lotus Creative offers cups, tumblers, and wine glass. Her hand made snow-globe tumblers are perfect for your loved one who is an avid Starbucks drinker. She also makes shirts and trinket dishes. What makes these products unique is that a nurse handcrafts them. What’s more impressive than ordering a product from an essential Black worker?
Instagram: @Blushinglotuscreative
Website: Etsy.com/shop/BlushingLotusByT

FORVR MOOD: Do you have a friend that loves a good candle? Let them get on this lux candle vibe. The lovely YouTuber Jackie Aina created this luxury candle brand to develop a mood in someone’s home. These candles have a compelling yet beautiful scent, creating a wonderful experience in someone’s home. Set those discount Marshall’s candles to the side and get on this vibe, chile!
Instagram: @Forvrmood
Website: Forvrmood.com

Beauty & Skincare

K’Cheyenn’e Beauty, Noire Beaute Bar, Bevel

K’Cheyenn’e Beauty: What to have poppin’ skin? Want some flawless makeup? Look no further. My friend and sorority sister K’Cheyenn’e got you covered. She has highly pigmented lipsticks, lip glosses, eyeshadows, and highlighters. She’s also got you with excellent body care for your face and after Brazilian care. These products make for great gifts for your loved ones who are makeup and skincare junkies. Stop wasting your money at Sephora and get something from my good sis! And if you are in Connecticut, you can always book an appointment for her many spa services. She has fantastic customer service and fast shipping!
Instagram: @k.cheyenne.beauty
Website: kcheyenne.com

Noire Beauté Bar: This all-natural skin company will have your melanin poppin’. Give your loved ones the gift of soft and supple skin. They have both skin and body care items that will leave someone feeling smooth, even in the coldest of winters. My favorite product is the Blue Moon Whipped Scrub because it is super moisturizing. I also want to try their Turmeric & Honey Complexion Booster Cleansing Bar, to give my face the glow from within look that I love. All first-time buyers get 15% off!
Instagram: @Noirebeautebar
Website: Noirebeautebar.com

Bevel: This grooming company focuses on skincare for the black man. This is a great way to show the man in your life that you care. They have affordable high-end shaving sets. For men with beards, they also carry beard care sets. There are many bundle items to choose from. You can even pick up their items online, at CVS, Target, Amazon, and Walmart.
Instagram: @Bevel
Website: Getbevel.com


Rhyme Antics, What Jazz Has, McBride Sister, Caribbrew, Original Flava

Caribbrew: This one is for my Coffee Lovers! This is a great way to help your loved one save their money by ordering that 5 dollar coffee each day before work. This is Black-owned coffee brewed from my motherland HAITI! These are rich coffees come in beans, grounds, and even K-Cups. Each item is packaged with the most beautiful Haitian artwork. They even have moisturizing coffee scrubs, if you want to throw in extra body care treats for your friends. They are also doing free shipping if you spend $50+.
Instagram: @Caribbrew
Website: Caribbrew.com

What Jazz Has: Give the gift of LIGHT! Ornaments are always great stocking stuffers for family members. These handmade ornaments literally light up any Christmas tree. They also can add some extra interest to a tree that needs something different.
Instagram: @What.jazz.has

Rhyme Antics Game: I do not know if y’all know yet, but I am a rapper. I’ve been about this trap life for a minute. I love to prove my skills with this game. Rhyme antics is a fun vocabulary game where you make rhymes based on the word. It is a great way to help support your friend’s rap career or at least have friendly fun in a game. The trick is to buy a game you like and give it to a friend so that they bring it to their game night! It’s a win for all! You can buy Rhyme Antics on the site, Amazon, or even at any Black-owned game store.
Instagram: @Rhymeantics
Website: Rhymeantics.com

Original Flava: Cookbooks are always a good gift for friends that enjoy or are learning to cook. One thing I was doing a lot during this pandemic was cooking new recipes. I love learning to cook new Caribbean dishes (of course, with a healthy twist). This is a great gift to give a friend. There are endless recipes to choose from in this cookbook! The McAnuff brothers created a great book to have you drooling just by flipping through the pages.
Instagram: @Originalflavas
Website: Originalflava.com

McBride Sisters: To stay on the topic of siblings, let’s pop some bottles the black-owned way! With the McBride Sisters! ! Order some Black Girl Magic Wine or Champagne from McBride Sisters Wine. I have had this wine before, and it tastes terrific. My favorite is the Red Blend. I love me some red wine! People love to pop a bottle for the holidays, so why not come correct!
Instagram: @McBrideSisters
Website: Mcbridesisters.com



I love Trap music! It makes you want to dance and spit a clean 16! (But I’m not a rapper) I think it is hilarious that there are so many trap like songs for the Christmas Season! I HAD to give you this wonderful playlist that will make you twerk for the Holiday. Let me know in the comment section if you think I should ad some songs!


Holiday R&B Hit List

Did somebody say Holiday Content? Well let’s hit this thing off right with some beautiful music. R&B Holiday Music has got to be my favorite. It’s those melodic tones that just get you in the spirit. Feels like a big warm hug from MAMA! Get cozy and get into the spirit with my Holiday R&B Hit List!


VSG Story Part 2 (Surgery Day)

“I don’t think I am ready to do this,” a tear runs down my eye as I look at my boyfriend. I said it in a whisper so my mom couldn’t hear. I didn’t want her to know I was scared because she didn’t want me to do it in the first place.
“You got this, babe; you’re gonna be okay. God is with you. I am here for you, so is your mom. We got you,” my boyfriend tries to assure me. He wipes the tear off my face.
I take a deep breath. And continue getting ready for bed. Tomorrow was the day I get surgery. I had second thoughts because I had never had surgery before getting my wisdom teeth pulled. I was so scared of what could go wrong. I knew I wanted to get the surgery, but I didn’t know if I was truly prepared for recovery or complications.
The next morning I felt a little better. I got up and took a shower with the special soap they gave me at my pre-op visit. I put my sweats on and walked into the kitchen. My mom was already up praying. Travis was still sleeping, so I woke him up. We got ourselves together to head to the hospital. I lived very close to the hospital, so it didn’t take too long to get there. Travis couldn’t go in with my mom, and it made me sad, but I was glad I had my mom was able to come though. Because of COVID, there were a lot of different protocols that kept me from having the desired number of guests with me during my stay.
As we pull into the short-term stay surgery entrance, my heart started beating, but I did not want to show fear. I took of my necklace and handed it to my boyfriend, I told him to hold it for me so I didn’t lose it. He gave it to me for our first Christmas together. I’ve worn it every day ever since. I know it hurt him to have to hold it while I left for surgery.
I started to prep for surgery, putting on my hospital gown on but still shaking and nervous. my mom started praying with me after I was dressed in the gown. She took her bible out, put her Dolly, and started praying. Another tear went down my face as my mother began to pray in Creole. I know she was scared. As my mom completes the prayer, the first nurse walks in.
She starts my IV for my arm. Looking at the nurse, I was a little creeped out by her appearance; sis had a stain on her scrubs. It looked like a food stain; her fair was messy. And she was a bit clumsy. I was like, oh no, this is a bad start. She had difficulty getting the needle in my arm. Even worse. I still have a small scar from where she put the IV. SMH! LIKE WHY LORD WHY!
That scared the shit outta me, but the rest of the day went fine. I then took some sort of pill to help me get ready to go under before the surgery. Right after, the Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, and their associates came in to talk to me about how the surgery will go. I felt safer because I have been in contact with the doctor for almost a year now. We had a rapport, so it gave me some relief.
As he walked away, I felt more ready. Moments later, the nurses and transporters came in to wheel me into surgery. I kissed my mom goodbye because she had to leave the hospital during the surgery due to COVID protocol. She was allowed to come back after I was in my recovering room.



As they wheeled me into the hospital room, I felt a sense of peace. The anesthesiologist came in and dosed me up with (to be honest, I don’t know what it was, but It made me sleep). I went to sleep and when I woke up… I was thirsty!
“WATER WATER!” I try to say with a parched throat.
The nurse came and said, you can’t have water yet. We have to wait for 5 minutes.
In my mind, I could only think that I was thirsty, and I was happy that I came out on the other side of this surgery. PRAISE GOD, I MADE IT!
Look out for part 3 of my recovery from the hospital story.


Affirming Myself

How you talk yourself through situations is how you will perform through adversity. So Rachel, “Talk to me, NICE!” Oh yea, I am talking to myself. I believe that it’s essential that I speak life into myself, the more optimistic I am. The more concentrated I am and have more willingness to GET SHIT DONE!

Before practicing positive affirmations, I would doubt myself a lot. I often quit and give up. I would question my abilities and avoid accomplishing my goals like the plague. I was so afraid of failure that I would tell myself I can’t before I even started.

Failure sometimes is inevitable, but it’s about how you pivot. That didn’t work, so what’s next! I started to release old mindsets that I once had by using affirmations and self-talk. When I started coaching myself through obstacles, I realized my energy shifted. I was less tired throughout the day. I changed my “I can’t” to “one day I will.”

While I still struggle with those negative thoughts in my head, I now have the tools to change my views over time. I use music, an affirmation wall, prayer, essential oils, and meditation to get my mind right. I need a whole vibe to get me together!

And if all else fails, take my ass to bed and try to start again after a nap! Sometimes I’m just cranky, chile!

I want to share the affirmations that I used to create my affirmation wall. Below you will find a YouTube that I used when I first started reciting affirmations. I took the words from this video and put it on a nice poster next to my mirror and repeat it when I am down on myself.

Affirmation video that I used to create my affirmation wall

What are some of your words of affirmation? Write them in the comment section so we can share them!

And remember ladies:


Fat Shamed By A Family Member

I have been fat-shamed for most of my life, and I hardly remember most of the stories vividly. (I tend to block that shit out). The words I remember the most were when it was from family members shaming me. 

It was a Saturday morning, and I was getting ready for church. Now in my life, I would gain weight gradually. It was enough where people started to notice and point it out, of course. That day I wanted to wear one of my favorite purple skirts with an exposed zipper in front. I wrestled with the garment for 5 minutes. Squeeze. Push. Suck in my gut. Zip. Squeeze. GASP! Lawd, that skirt was a struggle, but I loved it so much. 

The skirt was tight, but I was in denial of my weight gain, and I still thought I looked good, until. Of course, a COMMENT from someone who puts their OWN insecurities on you. 

The family member looks at me for about a minute. They tilt their head to the side, and questions, “You are seriously gonna wear that skirt. It doesn’t fit you anymore.” 

“So what do you expect me to wear? I think I look good,” I snapback. Clearlyyyyy, I was with the shits that day. It was after multiple people commented on my weight gain the past month. (So your girl was over the damn comments at that point.)

The family member responds, “Well if you wear this to church, I bet you are gonna have to go back home. Because I know the skirt WILL rip on you. You got bigger; that outfit is not for you.” 

OHHHHHHH, so not only does the dress not fit, you are trying to say I look like shit. I immediately got heated and was ready to go off. But you know me, I respect my elders. I decided to think to filter my response. My brain was sifting all the curses and clapbacks at the speed of lighting to curate a reply. 

“I think it’ll be fine. You might think I look bad, but I like what I am wearing,” my filtered response exits my body. (Good move, Rachiie) 

Later, my favorite cousin came to pick me up for church. On the way to church, I started to replay all the other family members said about my skirt and outfit. I began to imagine the skirt ripping to shreds in the middle of the church service. I was so worried. I could tell that my favorite cousin sensed that something was off about me. While she tried to keep me engaged in the car, I kept hiding my worries by giving concise responses. All the while, the possibility of my skirt ripping and me looking bad kept shouting in my head. 

When we got to the church, I felt a little bit calmer, but the family member’s words lightly lingered in the back of my head. As we walked up the church steps, I hear it. RIP! The skirt split down the middle. My worse fear now has come true. I immediately felt a warm sensation rushing through my body. It was the feeling of embarrassment. I grabbed my bag to hide the back of the skirt while starting to cry as whisked away to the bathroom. My cousin quickly followed after me. 

“What’s wrong? What happened,” she was so concerned. 

I couldn’t control my tears; none of the words I said made sense I was. I couldn’t speak; I was so hysterical. I felt so defeated. Like the person who said that to me won a battle against me, I was down on the ropes of the boxing match I had with them. 

If you feel confident, if you are happy, then don’t let people make you feel inferior. 


After two full minutes of not being able to control my emotions. I finally told my family what happened. She was pissed that this happened to me. She empathized because she knows how are family gets about weight.  She got me another skirt to wear from her car. 

When she returned, she told me, “Don’t let anyone steal your joy.” 

People will say about anything to put you down and question yourself. But it’s how you allow it to affect your day. They can’t steal the happiness you have because they have nothing better to do but cloud other people’s day. Do not let others win. If you feel confident, if you are happy, then don’t let people make you feel inferior. 

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Breathe. A notification I often get on my Apple Watch lately. These past few weeks, I started reflecting on why this kept happening. I love listing and planning. I always have endless lists that I write down or in my head. I continuously work to get better or make new challenges for myself each day. I am driven and passionate. It can burn me out pretty quickly if I let it. 

I got to remember to breathe, breathing, and being aware of my breath helps me acknowledge there is always time to slow down and chill. I know in my culture, it is instilled in us to work hard, have no days off, and keep grinding. But that can affect your mental health. Sometimes you need to be still. 

Resting is important. Relaxing your mind helps you reconnect with your thoughts. This week, I am dedicated to pressing the “Reset” button in my mind. I am reminding myself how much meditation is essential to my daily life. Suffering from anxiety, I can be in my head A LOT. And meditation makes me get out of that headspace and breathe. 

Each day this week, I have done different breathing exercises to help me remember to breathe. They have helped me reduce stress levels, lower my heart rate, lower my blood pressure, improve my mood, regulate my body’s reaction to stress and fatigue, a mitigate my feelings of burnout. Here are some of the breathing exercises I am trying: 

Mindful breathing. You are aware of your breathing and are focusing on it. You do not change your breathing. You stay focused on how you breathe. 

Mantra breathing. This type of breathing is where you focus on your breath and a word or phrase that helps you slow your mind down. 

Belly breathing. I love this type of breathing because you can do this in bed before waking up or going to bed. You lie down on the bed or floor, placing your hands on your stomach. As you inhale and exhale slowly, you can feel your stomach rise and fall.  
Square breathing. It uses visualization to help you focus. As you inhale, you visualize drawing one side of the square. Then exhale while visualizing the next side of the square, and keep repeating until you finish making multiple squares.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Breathe. A notification I often get on my Apple Watch lately. These past few weeks, I started reflecting on why this kept happening. I love listing and planning. I always have endless lists that I write down or in my head. I continuously work to get better or make new challenges for myself each day. I am driven and passionate. It can burn me out pretty quickly if I let it. 

I got to remember to breathe, breathing, and being aware of my breath helps me acknowledge there is always time to slow down and chill. I know in my culture, it is instilled in us to work hard, have no days off, and keep grinding. But that can affect your mental health. Sometimes you need to be still. 

Resting is important. Relaxing your mind helps you reconnect with your thoughts. This week, I am dedicated to press the “Reset” button in my mind. I am reminding myself how much meditation is essential to my daily life. Suffering from anxiety, I can be in my head A LOT. And meditation makes me get out of that headspace and breathe. 

Each day this week, I have done different breathing exercises to help me remember to breathe. They have helped me reduce stress levels, lower my heart rate, lower my blood pressure, improve my mood, regulate my body’s reaction to stress and fatigue, a mitigate my feelings of burnout. Here are some of the breathing exercises I am trying: 

Mindful breathing. You are aware of your breathing and are focusing on it. You do not change your breathing. You stay focused on how you breathe. 

Mantra breathing. This type of breathing is where you focus on your breath and a word or phrase that helps you slow your mind down. 

Belly breathing. I love this type of breathing because you can do this in bed before waking up or going to bed. You lie down on the bed or floor, placing your hands on your stomach. As you inhale and exhale slowly, you can feel your stomach rise and fall.  
Square breathing. It uses visualization to help you focus. As you inhale, you visualize drawing one side of the square. Then exhale while visualizing the next side of the square, and you keep repeating until you finish making multiple squares.

RHOvember Playlist

It’s that time again sorors. We are on the road to celebrating Founders’ Day. I am a member of the illustrious Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., founded November 12, 1922, at Butler University. I am so happy to continue this sorority’s legacy.

This playlist brings me back to my favorite songs to stroll to in undergrad. These songs are staples for my sorors.

Celebrating Founders’ Day in 2014

This playlist is dedicated to the Educated, Motivated, Skin-Tight, Mo’ Hype, Hardworking, Blood Sweating, All up in Your Wold Recking Ladies of SGRHO!


Every few months, The Girls find a new way for us to snatch our waists. I know you all have seen the new waist wraps. They have been all over IG & TIKTOK, and it seems like those ads pop up every 5 seconds.

Now, I was pretty skeptical at first. I have had multiple waist snatcher belts, drip belts, waist trainers, and sweatbands because I will do whatever it takes to flatten this fupa, honey. But now this Ultimate Waist Wrap has really got me feeling #SNATCHEDANDTOGETHER.

I bought my Ultimate Waist Wrap from TeamLashae.com. On the site, these are some of the claims and specifics:

  • Watch your waist shrink before your own eyes in a matter of seconds!
  • Adjustable stretch wrapping for ALL sizes
  • Wear underneath your clothes or on top.
  • No bones, what do ever!!! Comfortable fit so you can wear it for long periods at a time
  • Great back support, which helps with better posture

I’ve been using the Waist Wrap for about a month now and girllllllll, let me tell you. THIS. THING. GOT. ME. FEELING. GOOD. It smoothed out my lower belly so much that I felt like a new woman. What waist? No waist. It made my flab into a flat-flat, completely flattening my lower abdomen, which is my main problem area.

For my workouts, I have also added a layer of saran wrap under the garment, and it helped me get a good sweat in. It torched my mid-section but in a great way.

As far as comfortability, because there is no boning on the wrap, you can adjust your wrap to your comfort. If it’s too tight, you can loosen it up; if you want it tighter, you can stretch the wrap closer to your body for a more secure fit.

The wrap is machine washable, so you can just throw it into in wash between workouts. I also plan on wearing my wrap-under clothes to give me that smooth look.

Please check out my affiliate link and order the belt for yourself if you want to try it! Also, check out my reel on IG with me trying on the wait belt!

Fall Vibez

Fall Vibez is a playlist I created that has some new R&B Songs that I recently came across. These are my new favorites along with some noteworthy artists that not many people know about.

Who’s are you listening to this Fall?

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