My Staycation Essentials

It’s Monday and I woke up this morning in total bliss knowing that it wasn’t 4AM, and I wasn’t rushing to the train station to Newark for work. I have the entire week off from work and I’ve decided to use this time to spend less money, stay idle, relax and catch up on my own projects. So I’ve decided to make this a staycation. In the comfort of my home, but here are some essentials to make it a relaxing…and possibly lazy week.

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Who am I kidding? Only two of these things are realistic at this point in my life and that’s tea and cereal. Blah, but IF I had a boo and a puppy that would be my entire day and since I’m not one to waste a day my first essential for a staycation are:

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BooksBooksBooks

To know me is to know that I have a serious book addiction. Unlike Starbucks or Uber rides, books fill up my entire bank statement. I should probably get help for that, but I can’t help that fact that books are a very inexpensive vacation for me. I am currently finishing up Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. I’ve had the book since January, but because of work and grad school haven’t had much time to read for pleasure, so you can imagine the amount of unopened books just lying around my room. Seriously, my room is a literary mess.

img_1417Spa Essentials

The perfect way to relax is to pamper yourself because when you look good, you feel good. I love to pamper myself by giving myself a manicure and pedicure. My favorite fresh face essential is fresh rose mask and toner kit. I am a sucker for Lush products and cosmetics that aren’t harsh on the skin and sometimes I’d rather soak in some essential oils like Lavender instead of taking a quick shower.

img_0138Charged Laptop

I don’t watch a lot of television even though I’ve managed to get sucked into This Is Us (seriously, Sterling K. Brown is bae), but I do Netflix and Hulu like crazy whether it’s catching up on The Mindy Project, Broad City, or Stranger Things, but when I feel like getting a little work done, I need my charged laptop to work on my manuscript too. I have the week off from work and some deadlines to meet by the end of the month. What are some projects you currently have?

SNACKS! 

Seriously, my personal trainer will probably kill me because of this, but what’s a day in without some snacks? I mean it’s popcorn and pretzels, not cake and cookies, but still…snacks in moderation can’t be too harmful right? Right?!

So whether you’re chilling at your house, grandma’s house, bae’s house, your parent’s house for a staycation these are some must haves to keep near. Enjoy your day and if you are lucky like me to work in education and have the week off…turn off those email notifications, social media alerts, slack alerts and enjoy your week!

xoxo

 

Fiction Series | “Voodoo Man”

You ever “meet” someone on social media and they become your best friend…in your mind? Like you just love that person’s entire life and wish that you could pull up a chair with them and collaborate on something…anything! Well, that happened me to. Amazing author, lyricist and educator Erica Buddington, formerly known as RivaFlowz launched a #BlogToBook Guest Author series where she selected a few aspiring authors to use her platform to get their work published. Through guidance and editing expertise, the aim is to help writers self-publish a body of fiction. So I went out on a limb and decided why  not pitch my story idea and I was excited to see that I was selected.

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Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3

Synopsis: What if it were possible to create the perfect man? June had life all planned out. She excelled in her career, she had a nice apartment in Harlem and longevity in her relationship until he threw her for a loop days before a couple’s vacation to New Orleans. Lonely and heartbroken, June learns what it means to be chosen by the magic of NOLA. Given a wish, she sets out to create the perfect man, but soon learns that black magic always comes with a price. 

6 Times I Got My Life Reading “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Today was the perfect day for some much needed R&R (reading and relaxation) time. So after watching a few episodes of Bob’s Burger on Netflix, I decided to disconnect and tackle the books that I had gotten in a recent book haul on Amazon. I finished the final chapter of the mystery book that took me a month to read and decided that I would dive into some of the great works Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I read Half of a Yellow Sun a few years ago and hadn’t had the opportunity to read any of her work since so I was excited when I got my hands on a copy of “We Should All Be Feminist” that was originally adapted from one of her famous TEDTalks.

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So I found me an awesome sun spot in my room, made me a huge cup of warm chai and prepared to have my life handed to me. Although, I do wish it were a longer read, her words did pack a powerful punch and it was really interesting to see how “feminism” showed itself in so many different ways culturally whether in America or in Nigeria. So in between sips of chai, I found myself with a bulk of yellow stickies making notes and sticking them in between the pages I wanted to read over and over again. Here are six times I got my life, snapped my fingers and let out a “yaaaaasssss” as I read along. Had I been at her TEDTalk, I’d have probably been that one black woman doing that.

“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likeable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.”

“But by far the worst thing we do to males–by making them feel they have to be hard–is that we leave them with very fragile egos. The harder a man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is. And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.”

“A Nigerian acquaintance once asked me if I was worried that men would be intimidated by me. I was not worried at all–it had not even occurred to me to be worried, because a man who would be intimidated by me is exactly the kind of man I would have no interest in.”

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“We use the word respect for something a woman shows a man, but not often for something a man shows a woman. Both men and women will say ‘I did it for peace in my marriage.’ When men say it, it is usually about something they should not be doing anyway. Something they say to their friends in a fondly exasperated way, something that ultimately proves to them their masculinity–‘Oh, my wife said I can’t go to the club every night, so now, for peace in my marriage, I go only on weekends.’ When women say ‘I did it for peace in my marriage,’ it is usually because they have given up a job, a career goal, a dream. We teach females that in relationships, compromise is what a woman is more likely to do.”

“Some people ask why the word ‘feminist?’ Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that? Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general– but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human. For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem that should acknowledge that.”

“Some men feel threatened by the idea of feminism. This comes, I think, from the insecurity triggered by how boys are brought up, how their sense of self-worth is diminished if they are not ‘naturally’ in charge as men.”

If you didn’t get your life after reading those quotes, or if you weren’t prompted to get your own copy then I don’t know what else to tell you, but it sparked something in me. She made it a point to make feminism a universal cause. We should literally all be feminist just as we should all read this book!

Next Up: “Americanah”