December 2017 Updates

December 2017 Recap

Well, this year just came and went in a flash…didn’t it?!

From starting grad school to kicking off my podcast to shifting work responsibilities, 2017 gave me ample time for growth and experimentation. The path I’m on today is nowhere in relation to where it used to be and I’m completely okay with that.

I managed to get a number of product reviews completed being the clock struck midnight, so here’s what I have to share with you all this month:


American Botanics: First Impressions
ColourPop Haul Swatches: Brow Gels & Eyeliner Gels
ColourPop Haul Swatches: Lippie Stix & Blow Me Away Palette
COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid: First Impressions
Dealing with Adult Acne
Drop Bottle: First Impressions
Melt Cosmetics Rust Stack: First Impressions
Memebox “It’s My Cushion”: First Impressions

Pop Culture

Unveiled Beauty Book: First Impressions


LAMOU Table: First Impressions
Samsung Gear VR: Unboxing & First Impressions
Tesla Amazing Magnetic Notes: First Impressions


Product Review Policy

So yes, I’m back. Let’s great 2018 with sincere determination and I’ll see you next update!


Kickstarter Alert: The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about a Kickstarter project! Now, I want to disclose this before you read any further—I do know the author personally. While I’m going to do my best to discuss this campaign fairly, there is going to be a natural bias. I still think it’s worth sharing all the same. Valerie is someone I’m proud to have in my life and she has such a beautiful way in how she speaks with children.


While the discussions of race and inclusivity have been hot button topics for some time, I love when the conversation is packaged in a way that children can understand. Because loving yourself and growing a thick skin as you are exposed to the world is an essential skill in every child’s life.

My current career focuses heavily on women and children. I truly believe that equality can only come around when we prep every person, regardless of gender or race, for the ugliness that will cross their path. Although that can be painful, it’s so important that we come from a place of positivity and encouragement.

“The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy” is a vividly illustrated, history-based children’s book that brings to life Roy, a joyful Black boy. Roy will take your sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, class on a biopic journey of joy with some of the world’s most notable Black men – who, lest we forget – were all at one time young Black boys.”

Will you deny that seeing someone like you in a role of success make a dream seem that much more attainable?

I learned from a local Chicago business that “in 2014, only 5% of children’s books featured children of color“. It’s astounding when you think about it. I’m so glad more initiatives are receiving the financial support to change that fact. There should never be a limit in this genre. I will never stop enjoying the expansiveness that is being created for children.

When this project was brought to my attention, I couldn’t help but think of my brother. He’s a phenomenal man who is now a firefighter. I remember when we were kids and hanging out at the library with our mother. She did her best to expose us to all the authors she could. Knowledge was treated as the greatest power in our hand. I’m sure many of you had similar experiences with the important adults in your life.

My brother had a mix of role models, both for paths he should and should not go down—but there was someone there all the same. I’m forever grateful for those special friends of his that always had his back. They worked together to achieve their dreams—regardless of when the destination changed.

And then I think of the children that can’t say that. The children who don’t have that person in their mind as a compass for how high they can work towards. Who are repeatedly told “no” before the thoughts ever escaped their lips. You can’t. Why try? You aren’t good enough.

Because why would you reach for the stars if no one in your life has ever made it off the ground?

It’s a soreness in the soul…

The Campaign

This campaign kicks off today and the goal is a humble $7500. The money raised will help with printing so that it can put in public schools and retailers (brick and mortar as well as digital). As you read through the pledge levels, note the historical black men highlighted. And depending on what level you choose, your receiving a copy of the book yourself as well as providing an applicable amount to schools.

The project has been worked on for two years and will be fulfilled by September of this year. So no long wait for your rewards to arrive. I know the burn of funded campaigns that go silent or never reach fulfillment. Of course, I also adore the fact that this is based in Chicago (even if I’m a West Coast native).



April & May 2017 Recap

These last two months have completely altered my schedule—for both good and bad reasons. From a serious illness that wiped me out for weeks and now my new adventure as a grad student…it’s been quite the ride! Isn’t it funny how life does that to you? I was so sure in my expectations and yet this is the new path I’m on.

Let me know how this last month has been for you! I’m hoping it’s been great.

Career Outlook

Just for my privacy, I’m not going to share too many specifics about where I’m attending/my major. However, I’ll definitely be sharing my journey. It was sort of funny because I had done some digging on YouTube. Pretty sure that’s a norm these days…

But I was looking for blogs about the grad school life and most videos I came across were from women of color working on their doctorates! Hats off to everyone taking that on. I’m sticking with the master’s program for now. FYI: Reddit and The Grad Cafe are both great online resources for anyone else looking to take on graduate studies.

I can already tell that being a full-time working while attending grad school part-time will an adventure. I’m just finally excited to be in the right situation to allow for it.

Pop Culture

I’ve been on a South Korean variety show kick. My current favorites include: Knowing Brother, I Can See Your Voice and Fantastic Duo. Also, the last season of Orphan Black starts in June. Keep an eye out for my regular live tweets. I apologize in advances for the feeds I know will be flooded.

Music Recommendations

Whenever I take a break from podcasts, Spotify is my next sources for inspiring music. Regardless of the source, the rule is simply that it has to be a track that keeps me in an energetic mood. These are recent songs I adore:

“Wanli” by HYUKOH
“Rumor” by K.A.R.D.
“I Luv It” by PSY
“New Face” by PSY
“Telepathic” by STARSET
“Knocking Knocking” by The RAMPAGE from EXILE TRIBE

Spring Feature Image

March 2017 Recap

I can honestly say I’m glad March has come to a close. I unfortunately spent most of the month rather sick, so today’s list is rather brief. However, I don’t believe in leaving anything on a bad note. There were still a number of projects completed and/or started last month.

Lifestyle & Beauty

Memebox is running a great sale now. Per the last email announcement, there will be a new relaunch in April. You need to use your Memepoints by the 30th before they’re removed. I scored the 70 Mask Bonviviant set, but wasn’t able to order my other two this weekend before it sold out. I’m now on a daily masking schedule and have my current AM/PM routine set in stone. I’ll post more about that in the future.

One of my personal missions this year is getting down my “signature makeup look”. So I started of by purchasing the RCMA Shinto 5 Part Palette, along with the Foundation Adjuster Palette. The brand has always had a great reputation and I love that I’ll always receive the same shades. The adjuster palette will be useful for 1) custom color correction shades and 2) one the spot mixing once the Shinto palette is out and I’m waiting to receive more.

My coworker Jacqueline is the reason I’m now a huge Melt Cosmetics fan. My email alert came in last week for the restock of the Rust Stack and the next moment I remember is my confirmation of order. lol. It’s a matte neutral palette—which is my new fashion theme. It swatches beautifully and blends like a charm. Definitely keep an eye out for a post this month.

And yes…I did make another Colourpop haul. The Nectar monochromatic palette (and collection) is delicious. I also purchased a number of the ultra satin lip colors.

I’m been much more intentional about managing my health this year, both in terms of diet and exercise. One common excuse for neglecting to work out is a lack of time. Well, this article highlights just why that doesn’t have to be the case.


I’m continuing to update this Useful Marketing Resources spreadsheet with best practice articles I come across daily. Let me know if there’s a particular category you’d like to see more coverage of.

If you’re like me and am always on the hunt for more printing services, I highly recommend Next Day Flyers. The turnaround time is fantastic and they offer a number of non-standard sizes. That’s actually how I first came across them. My supervisor wanted a specific trifold size and the company was one of the top mentions during my search. They have offices on both coasts and we had them within 24 hours of printing.

Adobe put together a great article on stationery best practices. As I’m working on two of my personal brands, this is a subject I’m trying to get better at. The included examples are very precise and helpful.

Trying to wrap your head around Google Analytics? Did you know that Google offers a free online course? Seriously.

As much as I rip on the IoT lifestyle, I find myself using some features more than expected. If you haven’t played around with the IFTTT website—try it out and let me know what you think.

Music Recommendations (video links)

Dreamcatcher – “Good Night”
BgA – “Who’s It Gonna Be”
Versus Me – “EXP”
BiSH – “Nevermind”
Firstborn – “Sidewards”
Tokio Hotel – “Dream Machine”

February 2017 Recap

It’s that time again. Below, you’ll find my posting recap for February. What was your favorite part of this month?

Lifestyle & Beauty:

ColourPop Haul Swatches: Ultra-Matte Lips
Lifestyle Changes: Diet


Locking Down the Strategy
Window Shopping Hacks (aka Shopping Before You Shop)

Product Reviews:

Eat Well Be Well Influenster VoxBox

Music Recommendations:
Guardian OST (South Korean drama)
BILLY – “Not Over You”
Suzy – “Yes No Maybe”
Katy Perry – “Chained to the Rhythm”
K.A.R.D. – “Don’t Recall”
Tokio Hotel – “Something New”

Podcast Recommendations:

YShop with Purpose Podcast (via my job)