Category Archives: Lifestyle

Life: 7 Things To Remember

joyLife.

Such a precious gift, but it is often taken for granted. Or taken too seriously. Or is treated with apathy.  While things won’t always be sunshine and rainbows, it’s important to note that life can be enjoyable, and it all starts with how you approach it.

Here are 7 things to remember about life:

1.) The day you’re born is the only time when you’ll be “perfect.”

Nothing is more true than this! When you’re born, everything is pure: your mind, your body, your spirit, your soul. But in the days to follow, your environment will change that. Fact is, you won’t make it through life unscathed. You’ll get sick, you’ll lose people, you’ll be hurt physically, mentally and emotionally. But you know what? You’ll pick yourself back up and keep going. Everyone does it. And you’ll keep doing it over and over again.

2.) The things you worry most about may never happen.

So stop obsessing over a grand piano that may never fall out of the sky and on top of your head. A shark won’t eat you while you’re swimming in an ocean. You won’t flunk out of college. You won’t accidentally eat a poisonous berry. You don’t have ebola, and for the record, you may never get ebola. Oh, yeah: your car won’t break down in the middle of nowhere, either. And if it does, you’ll be fine.

Relax.

3.) It’s bigger than social media.

I’m not one to record my whole life on social media anyway, but you’ll drive yourself crazy “competing” with your friends to see who is having the most fun, or who has more adventures, or who has more popularity. That stuff doesn’t even matter, and all of these social sites will eventually become obsolete, just like MySpace.

4.) It’s not a competition.

Again, comparing yourself to others will drive you crazy. Everyone’s journey is different, and no one has a clue what the other person’s is about. At the end of the day, the only person you need to compete with is yourself. Yes, out-do yourself each and every day. Progress: be better, do better, act better and love better than you did the day before. Beat your old self.

5.) It’s relatively short.

Don’t waste time on trivial bullshit; it’s not worth it. At odds with someone? Fix that shit. Got something on your chest? Get it off. Have a long-term goal? Keep working until you reach it. Furthermore, forgive yourself for all of your faults, slip-ups and mishaps. What’s the point in regretting stuff when you still have more experiences coming your way? Plus, you’ll miss out on so many memories holding on to useless baggage. Let it go, because before you know it, your time will be up. Then you’ll really have something to regret.

6.) Love makes the world go ’round.

Not cash. Not men. Not women. It’s love that makes everything continue to grow, evolve and recreate. Love is what inspires; from love sprouts positivity and it feels good to live in an optimistic world, right? Even if THE world is full of strife and turmoil, make YOUR world a loving safe haven, and come up with ways to solve the problems you see around you. Keep the good karma going, and you’ll enjoy your life. I promise you.

7.) Life is what you make it.

Nuff said. 

So enjoy life as it is. You have a special, unique journey that is designed specifically for you, and you might as well enjoy it while you can!

Have a good one, y’all.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I know we’ve all heard this saying before and I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing it, but I just wanted to write a little something to give hope and reassurance to those that may be going through a long distance relationship.  I know from experience that absence really can make the heart grow fonder.  I grew up with my mom constantly going out of the country for work for months at a time and saw my parents’ relationship actually IMPROVE from it.  They fought less, they missed each other more, and their patience improved.  It made them both appreciate each other’s love more and learn the importance of what the other had to say and felt.

So for those of you doubting whether or not it can work between you and your significant other, just know that yes it will get frustrating and you may feel lonely at times, but you also will gain such a deeper appreciation for the other person.  Simple things like the sound of their voice or holding hands will seem like the best things in the world.  Here are a few tips to keep the love alive and the relationship strong:

  1. Have a mutual understanding of what you both want.  Reassuring one another that you have the same amount of love, care about each other equally, and are putting forth the same effort to make the relationship work will really enhance any relationship; especially a long distance one.  Feeling secure and knowing that you are both on the same page is extremely important.
  2. Don’t OVER communicate.  I know you’re probably thinking, “What is this girl talking about?!”, but seriously sometimes less is more.  Just because you don’t see each other doesn’t mean you need to compensate that by talking 24/7.  It will do more harm than good.  Just like when you see someone too often and can start to get super annoyed by their presence, the same goes for if you talk to someone too much.  You may think it is helping, but it is actually hurting the relationship.  Give yourselves a chance to miss each other.
  3. Keep the sexual attraction strong.  Don’t let the spark die or forget what it feels like to kiss and hold each other.  Set a night aside each week for you two to say how much you miss each other in both an emotional and physical way. Flirt a little!
  4. Communicate regularly.  You want to make sure you don’t NOT talk to each other.  Seeing a “good morning” and “good night” text lets the other know they are thinking about them and want to make the effort.  Sending photos is also a good way to remind your lover that you are trying to include them in your life.
  5. Be honest.  Trust will always be one of the most important things to have in order for a relationship to work.  Being in a long distance relationship makes it that much more valuable.  Once you lose trust, the relationship will have a hard time recovering, if it will at all.

I hope these tips help any of you going through a long-distance relationship.  Whether it’s just for a month, 5 months, or for up to a year or more, these should help you maintain a strong trusting relationship.

Climbing: A Rising Sport in Georgia

Need an adrenaline rushing hobby that works both mind and body?  Climbing may be the sport for you.  With over hundreds of rock climbing gyms in the United States, the sport of climbing has taken off.  I myself first began climbing on Currahee Mountain, a northeast Georgia mountain located in Toccoa.  It was such a thrill topping my first climb and looking down to see how far I had come.

For lovers of climbing, indoor gyms were like a dream come true. Now we can climb every season of the year without freezing our butts off or scorching our hands.  I look around now and have seen so many indoor gyms pop up around Georgia. Everyone that I’ve introduced climbing to have loved it and continue to do it.  It’s a such mental and physical workout.  You’re having to plan each move strategically, while working muscles you never even knew you had.

I was so thrilled to hear that my college was building a climbing gym in our new student center.  With so many student-athletes at my college it will give them all a fun new way of working out.  For those of you who have never climbed before, get out there and give it a try!  I promise you won’t regret it.  And as long as you have an experienced climber with you who knows how to belay, trust me, you won’t fall!  Those of you who are natives to the climbing gyms, give a couple mountains a try!  It’s a totally different feel, but in a totally good way!

Things To Do: The First Five Days of August In Atlanta

August 1st – World Tiger Day

Head on over to Zoo Atlanta to celebrate all things tiger!  Learn all about the rarest tiger species in the world, the Sumatran tiger.

When: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm

Enjoy a tiger training demonstration at 2:00 pm!

August 2nd – 2015 Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival

Where: Fox Theatre

When: 1:00 pm

“Come celebrate 40 years of Fabulous Films!”

August 3rd – Kids Eat Free at the Georgia Aquarium

Valid through August 13th, kids eat free with a purchase of a $29.95 ticket and adult meal!

August 4th – National Night Out

When: 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Enjoy a block party filled with food trucks and music in Downtown Atlanta.  The block party is hosted by the Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU).

Visit their website for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1485797175046210/

August 5th – Clean Power for Georgia Celebration

#CleanPowerforGA

When: 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Where: Georgia State Capitol – Liberty Plaza, Corner of Capitol Ave & M.L.K. Jr. Drive

Show your support for a cleaner Atlanta!  The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan will create cleaner air, cleaner water, and more jobs for Georgian’s!

Today’s Black Women

How do we define America’s Black woman today?  What comes to mind when we say “Today’s Black Woman?  There are two perceptions of today’s Black woman; one very positive and the other very negative.  The positive perception of Black women clearly reveals that Black women are the backbone and champion of their family and the Black community in general.  They have made tremendous progress with respect to economic, business, entertainment and educational attainment.

In the realm of business ownership, Black women have made incredible gains with respect to business ownership.  Black women entrepreneurs make up the fastest-growing segment of business ownership in America.   According to a 2012 Center for American Progress “The State of Women of Color in the United States Report,” Black women are starting businesses at a rate that is three to five times the rate of the general population. The report also reveals that one half of all Black owned business are owned by women.  Sales that is generated by the business have more than doubled during the past decade and is estimated to be roughly $45 billion.

The gains achieved by Black entrepreneur women are essential to developing economic opportunities for other Black women. Studies show 1) Black women are the head od the household in a large number of single parent families; 2) that approximately 53.3 per of wives are the bread winners among Black married households. Thus, expansion of Black women owned business is crucial to the economic well-being of the Black community overall.

Black women are also making their mark on America’ culture. Most noteworthy, of course, is Michelle Obama, first lady of the United States. She is a lawyer and writer and the wife of Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States.  She gives hope to young Black women.  Other accomplished Black women include 1) Candalezza Rice, former Secretary of State of the United States.  She was the first Black woman appointed this prestigious position. 2) Susan Rice, U. S ambassador. 3) Leah Ward Sears, the first Black woman and the youngest person appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court. 4) Denise Young Smith Human Resource Director at Apple Software, 5) Kimberly Stone, founder and CEO of Poshglam.co, 6) Erica Nicole, founder and CEO of YFS (Young, Black, and Self-employed) Magazine, 7) Twenty-six year old Corvida Raven, creator of ShwGeeks.com, 8) Ajilli Hardy, first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 9) Oprah Winfrey, 10) Beyoncé, Scandal’s very sensuous  star Kerry Washington and many others.

However, the media have played and will continue to play a compelling role in the way Black women are perceived and portrayed.  To some, the welfare queen stereotype still dominates mainstream perception of Black women. This is the image many young Black women are accustomed to and the image that is constantly depicted in the media, be it on reality television or in music videos.  The media focuses on the negative things Black women are depicted as being involved with: drug, crime, violence, etc.   They are often described as an obnoxious, angry, finger snapping and head rolling beast who is only concerned with today…what’s happening now.   They seek attention, approval and validation in all the wrong places. This image is chosen from many and is consistently used to perpetuate a stereotype that tend to go on and affect an entire group.

The reality is Black women are strong, compassionate, intelligent and creative.  Lorraine O’Grady, Black feminist theorist and artist writes, “To name ourselves rather than be named, we must first see ourselves.”  The challenge for some Black women is “How can we bridge the gap between how we are perceived and how we perceive ourselves?”  It is often said perception is reality.  Hopefully, by the time they mature, they will begin to realize how important and how powerful a positive perception can be.

Things To Do Over Winter Break

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Winter break is a time to relax and forget about all the stress from the fall     semester. Although the free time is very much appreciated, it’s easy to find yourself bored. Here are a few things to do to avoid the winter break blues!

  1. Catch up with old friends! During the school semester it’s hard to meet up with high school friends. Now that everyone is home spend some time together.
  2. Have a movie day! There’s nothing wrong with having a day in watching Netflix. Grab a blanket and some snacks and you’re good to go.
  3. Workout! You’ve probably made so many excuses during the semester as to why you can’t workout because of school. Now you have a free schedule to get into shape before spring semester.
  4. Have a baking day! Yes, this does sort of contradict my last suggestion but hey, it’s the holidays! Bake some cookies or yummy cupcakes to get into the holiday spirit.
  5. Organize! Prepare yourself for a fresh start into the new year and organize all the clutter that is going on in your life.

If you ever find yourself needing something to do, take a look at this list. With these ideas, it should be no problem finding something to do and keeping busy.

Become an Instant Chef for Turkey Day

Are you the person who comes to Thanksgiving dinner, but does not actually contribute to Thanksgiving dinner? You are not the only one! This year, try something different and actually bring a dish to dinner instead of just taking dishes to-go. You may not be the best cook, but that can be solved easily. All you need is a simple dish and an easy-to-read recipe. Here are a few ideas that you can use to add to this year’s Thanksgiving menu.

Try a lighter side for the weight-watchers in the family; salad. Now, salad may not be a common Thanksgiving dish, but it is simple to make and healthy. Show your family that you can be a “clean-eater” even on Turkey Day!

Recipe: Mix lettuce and any toppings that you desire; easy as pie! Don’t forget to bring a variety of salad dressings.

green-bean-salad_300  If the tossed salad is not fancy enough for your taste, create a green bean salad. This salad is a great alternative for the typical green bean dish. This side only requires you to mix simple ingredients together.

Recipe: Toss together cooked green beans, walnuts, fennel, and goat cheese. Serve warm. 

Add a spin to sweet potatoes by making spiced sweet potato wedges. Spiced sweet potato wedges are a fun and modern dish to add to your Thanksgiving meal.roast-sweet-potatoes_300

Recipe: Cut and season the sweet potatoes with your preferred season up to 2 hours before cooking. Serve warm.

If all else fails, you can never go wrong with cranberry sauce. This recipe calls for a quick trip to the nearest grocery store so you can pick up a few cans of everyone’s favorite side. Sounds easy, right?

As you see, it is okay not being the chef of the family. Quick and easy additions to a meal are just as important as the main course. Bring one of these dishes and surprise your family for a change!

Michaela C., Associate Editor