Book Review: Keep Going

For every area of my life where I’ve needed to better myself, there’s a self-improvement book for it on my shelf. Fear and anxiety? I got a book for that. Boundaries? Books for that. At one point, I had to chill out because it started to feel like I was buying self-improvement books to avoid actually improving my life. But the other week, as I was scanning the shelves at a bookstore, my eyes gravitated to this vibrant, blue cover — Keep Going. Exactly what I needed to see.

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Acne Skincare Products That Won't Break The Bank.

In Dealing With Acne: How I Manage It, I talked about my struggles with acne throughout my teens and into adulthood. Throughout the years, I've tried over the counter products, Inactiv Proactiv, dermatologist regimens, and I’m sure the list goes on. The issue that I had with seeing a dermatologist was that each visit usually resulted in me being given an expensive and extensive regimen. Although insurance would cover my copay and cheapen the cost of some medications, my parents and I still ended up paying a pretty penny.

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5 Non-Coffee Beverages To Give You A Boost.

I first became hooked on coffee in 2014 when I landed a job as a barista. It was so easy to get a drink for little or no cost, so I consumed coffee like crazy. After realizing its effects on my mental health, I knew a change was needed. But did I have to give up enjoying a nice caffeinated beverage entirely?

I looked up a few drinks to make at home—that won’t give me the jitters— so I decided to share.

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Strip The Distractions.

More often than not, I’ve allowed myself to become fully consumed by stress like skin breaking out, barely eating — stressed out. While many of the circumstances in my life were beyond my control, I’ve come to realize that I was voluntarily holding onto things that brought out the worst in me. I was being unfair to myself by putting my problems first and my well-being last.

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Shear Love.

Early 2017:

Car rental employee:Excuse me, sir?

Me, in my head:I don’t see any ‘sirs’ around here, so I don’t know who she’s talking to.

“Sir? Oh my gosh, I am so sorry! I didn’t know.”

If this conversation had taken place 8 or 9 years ago, there’s a great chance that I would have cried.

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| Sweet Release by Raven Schley.

At the end of every day

There is only this:


And letting go.


This has been my greatest lesson so far as a budding adult and also as someone who is often very anxiety prone. I’ve found that my balance and stability come from reminding myself on a constant basis that all of these feelings, these thoughts, these challenges, and these moments of uncertainty are ephemeral. They may seem like they will last forever, but the bigger picture is that they won’t.  So instead of fighting against what is happening, I learn to make peace with it and go with the flow of what life hands me.

My current post-graduation experience has probably been the best example of this.  Like many others in my graduate program at The New School, I received my degree with excitement and set out into the world eager to make my mark. However, as I settled into my new post-grad routine, I realized that things do not always work out as seamlessly as we plan for them to.  While my head and heart were ready to blaze full speed ahead, I was greeted instead with stagnancy, which in many ways is one of my biggest fears. Stillness is not something that comes easily to me, but here I was anyway having to learn how to navigate this new pace of life.

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Dealing With Acne: How I Manage It.

'Ello, everyone!

In my most recent video posted above, I talked about my acne story and how I've struggled with it for over a decade. Below are the products that I currently use. Of course, I’m not a licensed professional and what may work for some may not work for others. I just wanted to provide a list of products that have been helpful!

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My Journey To Self-Love.

A few months ago while I was organizing my room, I discovered an old journal that I used to write in when I was younger.

Lawd, I was something else.

Many of my entries consisted of insecurities about my body: this wasn’t good enough, that definitely wasn’t good enough. I also wrote down the hurtful things that bullies said would say to me. Looking back to it now, it appeared as if I was a hypocrite—here I was complaining about bullies, but I was being one to myself. One of my features that I couldn’t accept was my hair. As a child, I would sit in front of the mirror with a fine-toothed comb, constantly running it through my long, kinky hair because I thought that it would straighten it. I couldn’t understand why my hair wasn’t straight and smooth like the other girls at school. I just wanted to fit in and feel pretty. I remember after much begging and pleading, my sisters and I finally convinced our mom to let us get perms. The day after I got my hair done, all of my classmates were shocked that my once-kinky mane was now straight and silky. That high only lasted a short while, however, because my virgin hair couldn’t take it and all of my hair broke off.

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Maine With The Mains: A Photo Diary.

I barely travel. Weeks or even months can go by and my usual routine would not be broken, not even once. Wanting a break from the ordinary, my family and I decided to take a trip Portland, Maine.

We’ve visited Maine a few times when my sisters and I were younger but I have more of an appreciation for it now. I can honestly say that it is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been and the people there are so kind. I am so accustomed to the city’s rushed energy that I will admit that I was slightly taken back at first when strangers would smile at me or strike up a conversation. 

I tried to refrain from using my phone and used the time to sharpen my photography skills instead (check out the depth of field, though). We explored downtown, did some shopping, ate lobster, and relaxed. We didn't set out to do anything spectacular; simply being in each other's presence in a different environment was all that we wanted/needed.

I told my family that when I'm ballin', I'm going to buy a condo there and find myself a guitarist bae who owns a coffee shop by the water. They laughed, but I didn't. 

I always hear the phrase, “Spend money on experiences and not things,” and now I finally understand it. I would often say that I’m jealous of people who spontaneously go on trips, but the reality is: I can as well. It really comes down to discipline and what I choose to spend my money on. 

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Flight 761 to West Palm.

February 1st will mark two years since I have moved back to New York. For those who don't know me too well, I am originally from New York but relocated with my family to South Florida in 2005. I returned north to further my education and because I just loveee the weather (I don't).

During this time, I started graduate school, got out of a relationship, lost my grandmother and uncle, sold my car, and gave my dog away—just to give a little insight. My life was changing rapidly, and because these situations were beyond my control, I became emotionally drained. At times, I could honestly say that I was depressed. I regretted moving back at one point in time, convincing myself that if I had stayed, most of it wouldn’t have happened. 

Trips to Florida became highly anticipated. I couldn’t wait to bask in the warm weather and not have to think about my problems for a moment. However, a couple of weeks ago, my problems followed me to paradise.

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