A guide to executing a life-cleanse

As a girl that took five months undergoing a life-cleanse, I learned quite a few things about how to execute one. (And it’s SO much more than shutting down Insta.)

This is coming from a girl that has been gone for nearly five months. That’s right, a blogger took 5 months away from her blog. I broke rule number one – stay consistent, and it was all for taking a life-cleanse.

For a while, I felt like I was in a rut in my life. I found myself stuck and lacking creativity. While my writing was where it was most visible, it wasn’t the only part of my life that suffered. I lacked creativity in the way I carried myself, the way my conversations flowed, and in my career. I knew I had to do something to do get back myself, and that meant taking a step back.

While I didn’t mean for it to extend this long, I took five months “off.” Five months spent reexamining my life. Five months figuring out who I was. Five months doing what I needed to do in order to be the best Kat I could be. After five months, I believe I can truthfully say, I’m back to me.

As a girl that took five months undergoing a life-cleanse, I learned quite a few things about how to execute one.

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Take a step back to examine yourself
In marketing, there’s a strategic planning technique, called a SWOT Analysis. The acronym SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You typically conduct this technique when planning a mode of action for a business. If you do decide to take a life-cleanse, it’s so important to give yourself an assessment. Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. From there, you can ask yourself what’s threatening you. It doesn’t necessarily mean physically, but what about mentally. Are there any opportunities for you to grow? When you’re answering these questions, be honest. I asked myself if I could truly say I was happy or if I enjoyed the person who I was becoming in the recent days. When I looked at myself in the mirror and said no, I knew that there needed to be an immediate change.

Find out what you need to change
After your personalized SWOT Analysis, you’re ready to take your first mode of action – finding out what needs to be changed. If you’re thinking about doing a life-cleanse, there’s undoubtedly something that needs to be changed in your life. Should you start making more time for yourself? Perhaps you need more time with family or friends? Find out what needs to be done for you to be happy. As I came to the realization that I wasn’t happy, I decided I needed to cut my stressors. While I welcome stress because it drives me to want to go harder, I found that I was stressed about everything – friends, family, finances, and my career. I realized that I took a lot of time from my day to agonize over each of these aspects, but never really took time to grab the reigns and take control of the various situations I was going through. I knew I needed to finally speak up and work through everything that was wrong.

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Close down Instagram
This step isn’t limited to Instagram alone. This step refers to anything that you define as a stressor in your life. Whatever it is – you need to shut it down. We all know social media while being such a gift, can also cause a lot of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. Already being at a point where I wasn’t the most confident in my work, I knew it was unhealthy for me to be exposed to so many people that seemed to have it all together. Because of that, I decided to close the app. As an avid Instagrammer, I thought that not posting for a week (let alone five months) would be the death of me. Surprisingly, I weened myself off and was able to free myself from the constant anxieties of if my feed was aesthetically pleasing or if I remembered to post a story.

Get a change of scenery
It’s been said that traveling makes you feel better and as one that recently traveled to the other side of the world, I can attest to this. According to Forbes, the benefits of travel are endless. While boosting creativity and happiness, it can help you reinvent yourself. I did just that when three friends and I traveled to Tokyo. I let myself forget worries back home and focused on living in the moment. It was such a wonderful experience that I’m so grateful for.

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Come back stronger than ever
Before leaving for Japan, I had some anxiety about coming back. I was worried that more things would pile up and I’d be even more stressed out then I was to start out with. While I have to say, I had a lot of work to come back to, coming back I felt more relaxed than I have in a long time. I came back refreshed and clear-minded. Tasks that worried me prior to leaving felt more attainable and it was all because I gave myself time to breathe. When I began taking care of myself and allowing myself, I felt rejuvenated and more efficient.

A life-cleanse is so much more than shutting down Instagram or doing yoga once a week. It has to do with changing your life from the inside out. It’s about learning and changing yourself from the inside to prepare yourself for outside changes. It can take as little as a week for some or even five months, like me. Either way, if you decide to execute a life-cleanse on your own, remember to be honest with yourself and only make room for growth in your future.

A Date with Caudalie, Tatcha and Fresh

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by this absurd winter weather. *Knocks over my Fenty foundation as I raise both hands.* Yeah. Me too.

I’m not sure where you live, but I’ll give you a brief rundown on Virginia weather. Last week it was snowing one day then nearly 70 degrees the next. And no. I am not exaggerating.

So, with all of this finicky weather, my skin has been having a complete meltdown. That’s why I was so grateful to be invited by the lovely Laura to go visit the Sephora in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City for another skincare event. This time featuring Caudalie, Fresh and Tatcha.

My first stop was with Fresh Beauty, where I got to try out two masks. The first was the Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask, which I might pick up later. It contains lotus seeds, seaweed flakes and red algae. I noticed that it gave my face a beautiful radiance, without a greasy feeling. The best thing–it only takes 5 minutes to work its magic.

The second mask we used was one of my favorites–the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. This was another hydrating mask because my skin has been feeling pretty dry recently. The “cool” thing about this mask is the fact that it has a cooling effect to it. (I have to admit that it freaked me out the first time I used it.) I found that I noticed clearer skin after using it as well. That was the case this time around as well!

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Picture taken by Laura Arzate

Next, I got pampered by the wonderful Amanda Lefaive from Tatcha, who taught me all about the brand. Did you know that all the products were inspired by ancient Japanese beauty rituals of geishas? You should know that geishas take much time to maintain the quality of their skin.

They have six steps to achieving their youthful glowing skin. These include purifying, polishing, brightening, nourishing, blotting and drinking Sake. The latter of which is optional, which means, I’ll be grabbing my glass of wine.

This heavily inspired products like the Rice Enzyme Powder. It’s an innovative powder product is actually a cleanser. It’s a powder that is activated by water. When you work it into your skin, it transforms into a beautiful lather that gently exfoliates your skin. After rinsing off, I felt clean and hydrated.

For moisturizing and treatment, I got to sit with the lovely Amy Schaeffer at Caudalie. Before starting, she had me give a brief rundown on some of my skin concerns. After going on and on about how shocked I was to learn that I had combination skin with some dry patches, she was able to give me some recommendations.

We started with the Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum. It was a perfect choice for my skin. While it contains hydrating ingredients like, Hyaluronic Acid and grape water, I didn’t feel like it left a greasy layer over my skin. My skin just felt plump and hydrated.

Next, we hydrated with the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet. This is another interesting product from Caudalie. It starts off as a gel and as you work it into your skin, it melts almost into water. The Vinosource line is really amazing because it all really sinks into your skin, without leaving you feel greasy or sticky.

We wrapped everything up with the Premier Cru Eye Cream, which she described as the “crème de la crème” of eye creams. She wasn’t lying. I have dark circles under my eyes, both hereditary and from lack of sleep. When we applied the cream,  I noticed that everything looked a bit brighter. I’ve been using it ever since.

What I love so much about these events is the fact that each of the reps of each brand are so knowledgable about their products. It’s so important to make sure you understand the products and ingredients you’re putting into your skin, which is why these events are so important. I even had some good friends of mine join in on the fun and they said they felt the same.

If you want to join Laura for a Skin Soirée, a little birdie told me she’ll be in Short Pump this Saturday, January 27th.

What are your thoughts on the Skin Soirées? What about your favorite products from these brands? Let me know in the comments!

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Everything I’m Ready for This Fall

The fall trends that I’m super excited for.

It’s finally that time of the year again. The temperature is about to drop, PSL have taken over and the leaves are changing. I decided that the best way to jump into the new season was to make a post of all the things I’m so excited for.

Sweater Weather

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If there’s one thing that you should know about me, it’s that I love sweaters. Possibly a little too much if you ask my mother. She’s actually tried to ban me from buying any more sweaters. (Which undoubtedly failed.) I just ended up taking her sweaters, which she has started to hide from me.

Sweaters are an absolute must, especially for fall. There have been thousands of articles published on sweater weather so I won’t delve too deep into it. Just be prepared for several new sweaters to be featured on the blog. (Just don’t tell my mom!)

Fall Makeup Trends

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Recently, I’ve spent a lot more than I probably should have on makeup in Sephora, but it’s only because I’m so excited to get back on trend. I love the look of a smoked out lid, paired with vampy lips, much like I did here. Fall is the time to pull out your metallics and sultry tones, so rest assured to see me rocking these a lot. Some other trends you should look out for are fresh face with bold lips, monochrome looks and burgundy lids.

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To get this look, I used my Huda Beauty Eyeshadow Palette – Rose Gold Edition. “Dubai” is the perfect fall lid color. My lip is the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in “Infatuation.” It’s super creamy and comfortable to wear!

Scarves

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Even though it might not look like it, scarves come in at a close second to my sweater collection. They add a finishing touch to any look, while keeping you warm and cozy during those cool, fall night outings with friends. I’m a big fan of blanket scarves because I can easily drape it around my shoulders for a poncho effect.

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The one I have on here is a blanket scarf from Forever 21 and it’s only nine bucks! Thank goodness for their deals! (Similar)

The Decor

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I know this may seem a little silly, but I’m obsessed with every item that remotely resembles fall. I’m so ready to bring out all my mugs, filling them to the brim with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Believe me when I say, starting today, I’m gearing up to drink at least one cup of cocoa a day. Add a little cinnamon and nutmeg for a touch of spice. Even if I’m actually drinking water in this picture. It’s all smoke and mirrors, guys.

Leather

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It’s now socially acceptable to wear leather jackets and you better believer, I’m so prepared! They add a little edge to every outfit, like this. I tied my shirt and paired it with high waisted pants and cut out ankle booties. Leather and faux-leather jackets are so accessible that you can find them at every price point.

What trends are you excited for this fall? I’d love to know so please leave a comment below.

Continue reading “Everything I’m Ready for This Fall”

BeautyCon NYC 2017

I had the amazing opportunity to go to BeautyCon NYC last week with my sister. I decided to bring my camera along to create this vlog for you all who may have missed it.

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I had the amazing opportunity to go to BeautyCon NYC last week with my sister. I decided to bring my camera along to create this vlog for you all who may have missed it.

I had such a great time visiting Brooklyn and learning more about brands, such as FLOWER, Milk, Double Dare, Kiss and so much more! I’ll be doing a blog post soon about all the items I got during the weekend. Bare with me because there were a ton of things that I got my hands on!

Also make sure you follow my sister, Linda P, on YouTube. She’s hilarious and absolutely adorable. You can watch her vlog of the event here!

Thanks so much for watching! Please let me know what you think and if I should continue to do more vlogs!

Here are some pictures from the event!

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My sister and I decided to get the Social Package tickets, where we got to meet different beauty gurus, as well as have our very own social lounge! It was super cozy and we got some fabulous pink bean bag chairs.

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I went to the Revlon booth and managed to meet ItsMyRaeRae and snag a really beautiful lip color from their new collection!

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The Soap and Glory booth was so cute! I got to get a couple of samples of their Sexy Mother Plucker lip glosses. They felt nice for the time I wore it!

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Pop Beauty was also super sweet and took some photos of us at their booth. I accidentally walked away with the props though! Whoops!


🎧 MUSIC USED 🎧
Prince de Balard – Stay


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How to Style | TAILOR Palazzo Pants

Have you ever been inspired to do something that you become obsessed with it and you can’t stop until you’ve completed it? That happened to me when I first purchased a pair of pants from TAILOR during RVA Fashion Week. I’d been watching Desi Perkins’ lookbooks for quite sometime and when I got these pants, I knew I wanted to show them off. I wanted to do something a little different and give you a How to Style.

I recently purchased these olive palazzo pants and I’m absolutely in love with everything there! You can find the pants (Which are on sale for $22!) on the TAILOR website. They also have a red in stock!

Here are some other helpful links!

White Crop Top (Similar)

Victoria’s Secret PINK Bralette (Similar)

Black Crop Top (Similar)

Forever 21 Open-Shoulder Pleated Top

If I don’t have anything linked here that you want to find, please let me know! Also let me know your favorite outfit. Mine is the “Flowy Goddess!” 🙂

Continue reading “How to Style | TAILOR Palazzo Pants”

A Lunch Break Escape

D.C. spot for coffee, gelato and atmosphere.

I’m a creature of habit. I have a general routine that I tend to stick by. 

Wake up at 5:30. Shower, dress and be out the door by 6:45. Get to work by 8:30, come home, sleep and repeat.

With that said, it’s safe to assume that I go to the same restaurant everyday. It’s actually a problem. The employees know me and the chain follows me on Twitter. So essentially what this means is that everything about my behavior is methodical. One day, I found myself upset about how predictable I was that I found myself heading in the opposite direction for lunch.

With some inspiration from the Wandering Washingtonians, I found myself in Dolcezza Gelato on 14th and P. 


As soon as I stepped foot inside, I fell in love. I snapped a couple of pictures (probably to the dismay of patrons) and got excited to test the drinks.


I’m going to admit that what I was anticipating the most was the Instagram-worthy latte designs. I even double checked with the barista to ensure it came topped with an aesthetically pleasing one, to which he chuckled as he confirmed it.


When I sat down to drink my latte, (and snap some pictures of said-latte) I was utterly relaxed, listening to music, softly playing overhead. The large windows also make it perfect to people-watch.


I was looking for good vibes and coffee and I definitely found it. I can’t wait for my next break to drink more lattes and capture some Insta-treasures.

A Beauties Beholder Birthday

A birthday getaway to Tysons Corner.

I completely intended to spend my 22nd birthday by myself. 

And before I get the sympathetic condolences, I was content with the idea of it. Happy even. Being alone on your birthday isn’t a taboo. In fact, to an introvert, such as myself, it could even be welcome. Time alone on your birthday really allows you to make the day all about yourself. 

But I digress. 

My day was filled with unscheduled fun. Don’t get me wrong, in my mind, I had a basic idea of what I would like to do, which was shop until I dropped. 

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What better place to do that than the fabulous Tysons Corner?

My Tysons Corner birthday getaway began with lunch. My sister asked to go for a lunch date. I, of course, accepted and sat down for a sushi date, where I ate my weight in shrimp tempura and shrimp nigiri.


My little getaway didn’t end there. I enjoyed a quick trip to the NYX Store, where I met the newest member of my foundation collection, the Total Control Drop Foundation. A lovely sales associate with perfect liner helped me fine my perfect shade and even recommended a new setting spray. (I’ve been using this foundation for about a week now and I have to say that I’m really loving it. Great coverage and great wear.)


I, then, made my way over to LUSH, where I picked up the heart eye emoji Bubble Bar! (If you haven’t tried a LUSH Bubble Bar, you’re missing out on the best bubble baths of your life.) I also picked up a new hand lotion because with this ever changing weather, my hands have been incredibly dry. I decided on the Handy Gurugu. It’s like a drink of water for my skin. Super hydrating!


Then, because I have a serious makeup addiction, I found myself in Sephora. After much deliberation and the reassurance of several sales associates, I caved and picked up the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette. Initially, I was wary of the scent, but since having it for a week, I’m absolutely content with my purchase.


I also ended up grabbing some sweets from Olivia Macaron. The person at the table was incredibly sweet and when he learned that it was my birthday, he gave me some macaroni for free! If you’ve never had a macaron, I highly suggest trying one immediately. They’re so light and airy, which makes it hard to eat only one. 


Staying on the sweets train, I told myself it was time for me to indulge in some from Sugarfina. I ended up getting three kinds. If it’s your birthday, definitely head over to the store, they give you a box for free. Also, if you’re not sure about what you should try, I recommend the Rosé All Day gummy bears!

To top it all off, I went to go see Beauty and the Beast at the theaters inside the mall. It was such a good movie if you haven’t seen it yet.


Tysons Corner is already such a great place to shop the hottest brands on a regular day, but on your birthday, it turns into a magical shopping destination. Thanks Tysons for making my birthday wonderful! 

2017 Southern Women’s Show Recap

I had an amazing time at the Southern Women’s Show!

I was so incredibly excited when Jennifer Pullinger reached out to me to join a several other bloggers for the Southern Women’s Show Blogger Preview Night this past weekend. At the Blogger Preview Night, my friend, Hailey, (Follow her on her Instagram! @h.viley) and I had the opportunity to sit in on mini-fashion shows, makeup tutorials, and demos as we sipped champagne and hung out with other amazing Richmond bloggers. We also got to watch some brief runway walks from CEO Magazine, and much more. All of this was in preparation for the 2017 Southern Women’s Show, which was March 17th through the 19th.

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During the Blogger Preview Night, bloggers were able to sit through live demos with Dior and Clinique. In fact, we got to learn about the newest edition to the Dior family, the Laquer Stick, which just launched on the 17th.
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I even managed to get a quick workout with Tiramisu for Breakfast, and several other bloggers during a PowerHoopz tutorial. The hoops are weighted, which made it especially easy for us to hula hoop. It also helps to slim your waist. Hello curves!
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Not pictured: Me dropping the hoop halfway through the demo because my abs started to hurt. #NoAbs.
The lovely Hailey and I walked around the venue a bit and we stopped by the vendor, LulaRoe, where she was able to name all of the pieces with just one look. (I’m not kidding. She named out at least six styles, pulling out her favorites.)
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And I couldn’t walk away empty-handed, so I I went over to the Let’s Talk Towels booth. Let’s Talk Towels has an array of 100% cotton Turkish Towels. There, I bought myself a beautiful towel that I’m wearing as I write this. Fun Fact: The owner’s daughter is Rebecca Piersol, from The Crystal Press. (AKA My idol.)
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The wonderful hosts from the show were also so kind to also provide us with fun-filled goodie bags during the Blogger Preview Night.
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I returned to the show that Saturday with my mother and sister,  where we went on a shopping spree. As you can see, my mother really enjoyed herself. She ended up purchasing a couple of statement pieces that she found around the venue.
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Our first stop was the Let’s Talk Towels booth, here I got to see Rebecca Piersol yet again. (I was mentally jumping up and down.) We picked up some more towels and a couple hand towels. They’re all so beautiful.
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Being the beauty addict I am, I had to stop by the Dior booth to pick up the Lacquer Stick.
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I got the shade 420, which is the perfect mauve-y nude. I got to test out the Lacquer Stick and also the Lip Glow with the help of Counter Manager for Dior at Dillards in Stony Point, Kaitlyn. If you go there, definitely ask for Kaitlyn, she was so nice and helpful! (She also had one of the best smokey eyes I’ve seen in a while!) P.S. Kaitlyn, I’m coming back for the Lip Glow!
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I also fueled my makeup obsession at the Salt Soothers booth. They had an array of bath bombs, salts and scrubs to try out. I ended up getting a demo of the Blue Lagoon Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub. (Which smells amazing!) 
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The salts are combined with a mixture of oils that exfoliate the dead skin while leaving your skin nourished with the oils.
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There were so many wonderful vendors that were there and I’m so sad that I wasn’t able to stop by them all!. Nonetheless, I had such a fantastic time. If you weren’t able to come this year, you should mark your calendars for next year because you don’t want to miss out again!
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Thank you again to Jennifer for inviting me to join in on all the fun during the Blogger Preview Night! It was such a wonderful time and I can’t wait to go again next year’s! Make sure to mark your calendars! It’s going to be March 16-18 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.
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Winter Reading List 2017

Winter is the perfect time to incorporate hygge into your daily life. If you’re wondering what hygge is, it is a Danish concept that defines the feeling of warm, cozy comfort. (You can read more about it in this article I wrote on Womanitely.com a while back.)

With that being said, my favorite way to incorporate hygge into my life is by taking the time to grab a cup of tea, throw on some fuzzy socks and read an interesting book. Here are some of the books that I’ve had my nose in these winter months.

  • Adulting is a Myth by Sarah Scribbles
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    Sarah Scribbles literally draws out what it truly means to be an adult in a comical way that leave you laughing at how true it is. I received this as a gift from Her Campus for my graduation. So, if you know anyone graduating, this is the perfect gift!
  • Capture Your Style by Aimee Song
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    Are you addicted to Instagram? Do you want to improve your aesthetic? Do you love Aimee Song? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to grab a copy of Capture Your Style. Song goes in-depth of how to really lock in your own personal style, using Instagram. I’m so glad to have gotten this from the lovely Christina from Tiramisu for Breakfast. Definitely check her out!
  • Facts by Bernhardino Pierre
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    Before I really go into this book, I have to disclose that my cousin actually wrote it. However, I have to say that if you like poetry and someone really laying in the facts to you, this is an amazing ebook to read. If you’re looking for a book with advice on love, life and happiness, I highly recommend this. You can find the ebook here.
  • Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
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    If you haven’t heard of Sweetbitter before, I would probably think that you were lying. It’s been on the New York Times list of bestsellers. I’ve just started this book but the style of writing is utterly beautiful. It’s a coming-of-age novel that follows a girl, Tess, who just moved to NYC and finds herself at a job in a restaurant. If you’ve read this, I beg you, don’t give me any spoilers!
  • The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
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    True Issa Rae fans unite! I was so excited to open up a gift from my sister to find this. Before Insecure, Issa Rae created the YouTube show, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The show followed the life of “J” who is the epitome of an awkward black girl. I don’t want to give too much away so I’m just going to to say that her new ABC show, Insecure is loosely based off of the YouTube show.
  • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
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    This was another present from my sister for Christmas. I actually haven’t started this one, but as you can tell from the title, it’s a self-help book that looks into helping you from self-doubting yourself. I’m so thankful to have received this book because I definitely am one to self doubt myself. Hopefully, I can get some pointers from Jen Sincero.

If you’re reading anything interesting, I’d love to get some recommendations to add to my bookshelf So go forth and practice hygge, and don’t forget to grab yourself a cup of tea!