All Articles Tagged "lifestyle"

Stopping To Smell The Roses: What I Learned When I Became Anti-Social

January 5th, 2016 - By Deja Jones
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

I lived independently in the city of Newark after graduating from college. In those years, I managed to build a life full of freedom, fun and established a name for myself in the city. Like most of us in our 20s, we reach a point of either social burnout or a financial burnout. Three months ago, I was hit with both, which forced me back to the other side of Jersey with my parents. After establishing a life where I was, I fought hard to maintain it from a distance, which meant weekend trips up north to party with friends between Newark, Jersey City, and New York City. But when funds started to dry up, I knew I had to cool it. So I slowly became a social hermit. During my period of isolation, I began to slow down and really smell the roses. In that time, I learned a lot about myself.

The Word “Friend” Shouldn’t Be Used Loosely

When I lived in Newark, my social hotline was always blinging. Monday through Sunday there was always a “wave,” whether it was a happy hour in the downtown area, coming home at the crack of dawn after a fun-filled weekend partying in New York City, or finding an art opening, brunch, dinner or house party because I knew the right people. But when the train rides became exhausting and I started to say no and decline invitations, phone calls started to come few and far between. There were no texts to check on me to see how I was handling the transition, no “Hey, how are you” messages. Nothing. That’s not to say my social circle was filled with shady people, but I have learned that outside of the social scene, we really didn’t have anything else in common that is beneficial.

Less Time Out Allows You To Focus On What’s Important

I didn’t realize how much my social life was a distraction to my work. When I had nowhere to go, I suddenly became more focused on my work. My productivity increased, and I accomplished a lot more in the day. When I became less social, I became more financially responsible and cautious of my spending. I was also able to hit the reset button and brainstorm how I was going to gain my independence again, from obtaining an affordable apartment to more writing opportunities and just knowing how I was going to do things differently.

You Need To Make Time To Rest 

Being away from all the hustle and bustle of the young, wild and free, and worrying less about trying to keep up, I found myself experiencing brighter mornings and less tiring evenings due to a night of staying in rather than staying out late after work. When you have a reputation for being a social butterfly, it can be hard at times (especially on your mind and body) to live up to that.

I Learned To Appreciate The Company Of My Family

Living in Newark, I was always too busy to catch the train to Trenton to visit my family. It was too much of a hassle for me. I missed birthdays, dinners and family gatherings, and for a time, it didn’t really bother me. I’ve become a better daughter, cousin and more to my family now that I am back home with them and focused less on my social life. I’ve even learned how to look beyond the differences in lifestyles between myself and my cousins, and invite them to hang with me sometimes, accepting them for who they are.

As I slowly transition myself back into the social scene, I have a plethora of lessons to take with me. Most important of them all, everything has a balance, but sometimes you have to play both sides of the scale in order to find that equilibrium.

When You’re Too Old For A Roommate

October 21st, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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bad roommates


If you want to get technical, I’ve had roommates all of my life. I went from living with my parents, then off to college where I had roommates. I’ve lived with my boyfriend, and as a single woman, I have lived in shared apartments with other women. There are some upsides to having a roommate, like splitting the cost of utilities, cable, Internet, and most importantly, rent. There’s an abundance of shared food unless you buy your absolute favorite things and make them off limits to others. There’s never a lonely moment because you always have someone to talk to, and it makes for a more lively environment. All these things sound good, but now that I’m in my mid-20s and not far from 30, I feel I am too old for roommates. Why? For the simple reason that there’s never a moment where I am truly alone. I am sharing space, which means that I have to compromise. I can’t decorate how I want, and I always have to consider someone else before I make household decisions. I’ve realized that there are a plethora of reasons why I am too old for flatmates, roomies, and/or bedfellows. Here’s why I need to ride solo.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I’m young, and I am on the market for dating, as is my roommate. Still, I respect my space enough not to bring men back with me. If things don’t work out, I don’t want them to know where I live. However, some people are a bit more free than others. Imagine waking up early in the morning to make a cup of coffee or tea. You still have crust in your eyes and last night’s makeup is smeared all over your face because you were either too lazy or too tired to wash it off. You only have a T-shirt on, and as you’re making your way down the stairs to the kitchen, you see a strange man sitting on the couch staring at you. He doesn’t speak or anything, and it is the most awkward five seconds of silence ever. You hurry up and make your tea, running back in your room where you stay for the remainder of the day.

Yes, this really happened.

I mean, we’re grown, we date, it’s a part of life. But it’s also common courtesy to let your roommate know when you will have a guest over who will be occupying public spaces. It would also help so you’ll know whether to wear headphones to prevent yourself from hearing the morning delights taking place in the adjacent room. Having a roommate, you have to consider these things. It’s liberating living away from your parents, but when you have a roommate, there are still a few restrictions. Same goes for walking around in your birthday suit. Even in terms of dating and getting serious with someone, you want to be able to navigate those intimate spaces with that person, but you have to keep in mind that you aren’t the only person occupying your place of residence.

The Weakest Link

We joke about how we always have that one broke friend who always want to go out and do stuff. Well, it’s funny until they become that broke roommate who can never pay their expenses on time. And depending on whose name these bills are in, it could mean some pretty hostile situations. Again, the upside to having a roommate is supposed to be the splitting of utilities, cable, Internet and most importantly, rent. But the downside is splitting these expenses with people who are struggling financially. My landlord once told me that if for some reason you feel like you can’t afford something then you shouldn’t get it. And I know that it’s time for me to go after having to continuously get utilities and other apartment expenses put in my name. I figure if I can afford to pay my rent and pick up someone else’s slack then why not just live alone?

Pet Peeves

When having a roommate, there are just shared responsibilities that people need to be aware of. For example, washing the dishes or taking out the garbage and cleaning the public spaces are just things you should both do. I’ve learned that everyone has a different cleaning style. Some clean as they go, some pick a day or time to devote to cleaning and some just don’t clean at all. I realized I was too old for a roommate when I started to clash with one because of our different cleaning styles.

I also like having and entertaining guests, but I also love my alone time, which involves peace and quiet. I can’t always get that, and I can’t really get too mad about it because that’s what happens when you live with someone. And just as I have the freedom and choice to be quiet, my former roommate had the choice and freedom to be loud.

All in all, I could go on for days sharing nightmare stories about living with people, but these are the things that helped me realize I am too old for this s–t and better off living on my own. What did it take for you to get proactive and move out on your own? Do you have any nightmare roommate stories?



You Can Do It: 4 Easy Steps To Create A Vision Board For Your Life

September 23rd, 2015 - By Karen Taylor Bass
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Do you feel stuck in your relationship, finances, career and life? Worry no more. It’s time to channel your inner Oprah and create your best life now. If you’re a stay-at-home mom CEO or seeking career change/positioning and individuals, I can help.

As a PR Expert/Brand Mom, I have created strategies and vision for A-list celebrities, athletes, corporate executives and most importantly, self. You see, my life was in turmoil seven years ago. From being 40 pounds overweight to being unemployed, I had to follow my own sage wisdom and envision a better life.

Every day is about living your best life no matter what. Will it be easy? No. But if you are willing to fight for your vision and commit, then you will see results.

Right now: take a moment to exhale, get still, tap into your inner child and allow your imagination to go bold with can-do thoughts. Now think about your immediate short-term goals (30 days) and your long-term (1-10 years). What would you like to see happen for yourself? What are your biggest dreams? How do you want to feel everyday? What do you want your legacy to be?

Create a vision board.

1. The sky is the limit. Unleash your creative side and start with a scrapbook, journal or vision board (get a large mounting board, cut out images from photos/magazines and paste them up). Set-up categories on the board: Spirituality, love, heath, hair, finance, career, relationship, family, inspiration, celebrity crush, etc.

2. Stay focused. Put the vision board in a prominent place you can see each day.

3. Reminder. Make a mini version of your vision board, put it in a journal and take it with you each day.

4. Do the work. Consistency and practice makes the dream and vision real.


Karen Taylor Bass is a best-selling author and PR Expert who understands that life only gets better when you press RESET. Follow her @thebrandnewmom

Let’s Just Be Honest: Why New Millennials Stay Broke

August 19th, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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If we’re keeping it 100, a big part of why new millennials are broke is that we often live beyond our means. Trust me, I’ve done it too. We go to brunch with friends when we know we don’t have the money to do so. Endless mimosas, buffet-style brunches…it’s all fun and games until a bill shows up in your mailbox and you can’t afford to pay it. We’ve adopted the model that our 20s are our fun years. It’s the time to explore, be adventurous and be fully alive, which is why we have such a hard time saying no to invitations to things that are going to end up costing us in ways that we know we shouldn’t be spending our money. We’ve followed the happy hour crowd Monday through Friday to the bar, spending money on drinks and running up tabs. But yet we carry on being financially irresponsible while struggling to keep our heads above water and money in the bank. Yes, for some of us, being broke is a result of poor budgeting. But for others, it’s from a lack of stability and opportunities.

For new millennials who have accepted the fact that we can’t afford the lifestyle we want, saving isn’t even a priority, especially when the bills keep piling up. Although jobs are being created to combat the unemployment rate, they aren’t necessarily jobs that we qualify for. So these days you’re either overqualified for the retail position or underqualified for the entry-level job.

Over some drinks, a group of friends and I were talking about how no matter how much we try to save, there’s always a bill blasting our accounts. One bill gets paid just for us to be faced with another hefty one. Thorough grocery shopping has become a luxury and it’s a wonder if your fridge and cabinets have food in them throughout the week. Trying to balance our budgets leaves hardly any room for a social life if activities aren’t free. And contributing to the national debt in student loans, we’ve cried about how life would be so much easier if our salaries matched that of our student loan debt. But truth be told, it is nowhere near what we owe, and while we plead with Sallie Mae and Navient each month when we don’t have money to pay them, they remain relentless.

Even with bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, certifications, and credentials, the only full-time job some of us have been able to land is the full-time hours that we place into searching for a gig. While this may sound depressing, it’s a story that a lot of new millennials share. It’s the reason why many of us have pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and have created our own way, starting our own businesses and creating our own platforms. But even in creating our own way, we need the money to fund it. It’s the never-ending cycle of broke.

I recently saw a meme that read “Livin La Vida Broka” and I almost lost it in laughter. But after associating it with the Ricky Martin song, I realized that, yes, we new millennials are some broke asses. But like those before us, we sure know how to find and make a way.


Taking A Perfume And Baby Wipe Shower And Other Hilarious Confessions Of Gross Things Women Do

July 24th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Twitter

Image Source: Twitter

Have you seen the Foul Bachelorette Frog meme? Ladies all over the Internet have been spilling tea on all the secretly foul things they do from time to time. Let’s have a real talk, y’all. Share one of your confessions in the comments.

Fair-Weather Friends, Shrinking Boobs And More Things No One Tells You About Losing Weight

July 1st, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

When you lose a significant amount of weight, a lot more changes than just the numbers on the scale. While the rewards are fantastic, it’s not all roses along the way.

A Friend With Benefits, Pepper Spray And A Few More Things Every Woman In Her 30s Needs

June 15th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Spanx and a growing bank account are a good start, but if you want to rule in your 30s like you rocked in your 20s, there are a few more things that you will need.

Vodka Is Good To Drink And Clean With: 15 Life Hacks That Will Save You Money

June 3rd, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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15 LifeHacks

Image Source: Shutterstock

Whether you’re in college, in between jobs or simply working a job that doesn’t pay enough, you know that being broke sucks.  You’re forced to make some major compromises just to afford food and bills. Using your friend’s Netflix account, sneaking snacks into movies, and dodging bill collectors is a full-time job in itself. But no worries, we have 15 life hacks that will save you time and money. Let’s take a look!

15 Reasons Your Family Should Be Laughing More

May 13th, 2015 - By Rich
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In the words of Charlie Chaplin “a day without laughter is a day wasted.”

When you laugh, you’re doing more good for your body than you think. In the recently released book Stress Free Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in Children by Lori Lite–she suggests using laughter as a tool to deal with stress as a family. The book also mentions that studies have shown that laughing more can add eight years to your life! If you’re not convinced yet that your family should be doing more laughing, Stress Free Kids lists several more reasons to get your giggle on. Click continue!

15 Reasons Your Family Should Be Laughing More

15 Stunning Wall Mural Ideas for Your Bedroom

May 6th, 2015 - By Rich
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There’s nothing more rewarding than returning home to your bedroom and having the decor influence your mood. When deciding on a design, it’s important to remember to think outside the box, get creative and be bold in transforming your bedroom into magic. Wallpapers reminiscent of nature seem to have one of the best calming effects–scenic designs with trees, grass and clouds are very popular.

You’ll be spending a lot of time in your bedroom, so why not put the extra time and money into creating the perfect zen wall mural? When you click continue, we’ve gleaned some interesting designs from the web that may give you an idea of what you’ll want for your walls. The big challenge is finding a Muralist that can capture your vision. Websites like Find A Muralist are a good place to start, or you can seek out the right artist through your own network of friends. Check out these stunning, bold and unique designs!

15 Stunning Wall Mural Ideas for Your Bedroom