2018 Year in Review

Greetings Daizies,

As another year comes to an end and a new one just around the corner, it’s always great to reflect on the year and what became of it. For a few years now I have kept a journal and at the end of the year I read all of the journal entries. This year was the year I wrote the most, so reading them all back was like a story. I felt so many emotions, as life always presents you with ups, downs, twists and turns. I did a really great job at processing my thoughts through journaling. I was open with my thoughts and feelings, and took time to reflect on them and truly be honest with myself. Reflecting helps me to give thanks to what I’ve learned and move forward to a new year with a new mindset.

Goal setting

I set my goals in the themes: Career, Health, School, Business, Finances, Personal, Travel, Learning & Fun, Spirituality, and Relationships. This helped me organize my thoughts and ideas based on the different aspects of my life. I lost interest in some things I had wrote down, like getting a car or reaching 10K followers on Instagram and Youtube. And reshaped some important goals like the medium in which I launched Curl Calendar. What seemed like what was really important in January, could change based on my interest and energy. I like that. In my head there’s of course things that are more important than others. Graduating from college of course had more weight than going to Essence Fest. I’ll try again on a few things I didn’t meet, but overall I had some life changing moments in 2018.

Biggest Accomplishments

My biggest accomplishment in 2018 was graduating from college! This was a huge goal and it was the most exciting time of the year. I really enjoyed celebrating myself and with others of such a monumental moment in my life. I wanted this year to be filled with me enjoying accomplishing something amazing, having fun, and relaxing. For 5 months, I did just that. I had the spring and summer I hoped for, traveling to Vegas, Chicago, Texas, and Cali.

This year was filled with first and real adult moves in my life like getting my first apartment and starting my first job. Having a place to myself was everything I could’ve imagined. There’s nothing like coming to a place that is all yours and doing whatever you want. I was nervous about the start of my first job in my career and I am glad I am getting in the swing of things. I think the work is interesting and I am glad I am not working long hours. I am still learning and think I’ll have an amazing first year.

Reoccurring theme

One of the words I mentioned frequently throughout my journal was “priority”. With referring to where I stand in importance among others’ lives, I often was deeply affected this. It stood out a lot, which is why I like reading the entries all at once. I can see what was pulling at my heart and occupying my mind. I want to be thought of and shown as being a priority. Now I want to be thought of and shown to myself as a priority to ME. I think that could be something I can work on next year and just in general. Sometimes my idea of whether I’m important to someone could be based on fear, insecurity, miscommunication. Determining what’s negative self talk and what is actually happening was important with moving forward in certain situations. I know that I am sensitive to actions that in any way represent that I am not a priority or important in the way I think I should be. I reflected on this a few months ago and made a list of ways I can be a priority to myself and for myself. I look forward to putting those thoughts into action.

How can I have the confidence in myself to know I’m important no matter what?

Health

I think this year I was a lot more active. I walked more, I went to the YMCA as often as I could, and I did dance sessions in my living room. It’s been a full year of drinking one gallon of water. I’ve gotten sick a total of 3 times. You might not believe it but I used to get sick about twice about 5-6 times prior to increasing my water intake. Next year I’m shooting for never getting sick!

The most trying thing I’ve had to deal with health wise is my increasing sharp abdominal pain that happens daily. I’ve never mentioned it but who knows, there might be someone out there who needs to hear this. But if your stomach hurts every day, it’s not normal. Go get it checked out. Don’t let your doctor just say it’s acid reflux. Acid reflux isn’t the only diagnosis in the world. See a gastroenterologist. Thing is, I went to the hospital 3 times because of this incident and none of the original tests revealed anything. My doctor left my with no answers. I had to ASK for a specialist. Get the tests done. Don’t stop with an “I don’t know”. I did get answers though, and starting my journey to lower the inflammation experienced in my intestines. It’s frustrating and painful but I am glad I persevered. You are your biggest advocate when it comes to healthcare.

Creative

Since graduating with school in March, I wanted to invest more in my creative interests. I am so happy to see that DaibyDai received 3x as many views as in 2017. It’s a good sign, that with the same amount of blog posts my page still saw triple the amount of views. I also feel proud that I launched Curl Calendar last month. The year was almost over and I had almost run out of ideas as to how to get Curl Calendar ready for the next year. I thought I owed it to myself to not let another year pass with having all of my bright ideas stuck in a notebook, and so I went to work to make it come to life. I learned to just START. Not everything will be perfect the first time and I had to push myself to finally get an idea out there. I am really glad I did it and there’s no stopping now.

I’m still here. The new stages weren’t too fearful to bear. I made it another year and for that, I am thankful!

How was 2018 for you?

Happy New Year!

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Meanwhile in July

I love everything right now. I love not having to glance at my planner every day. The making of plans as I go. Being able to get up and go. Sleeping 12 hours. Traveling. Whether the trips are long or short, far or near. Just being. It’s a breath of fresh air. I just finished Americanah by Chimamanda Adicihie and I suddenly had this urge to write. I loved how the words added such unique detailed. Like without it, a certain essence of the character or the scene would’ve been lost. I would read for hours on end. Sometimes I  read till the birds started chirping. I previously never had the time to truly get lost in a book like that. I rediscovered my love of reading this past year. I love learning and relearning things about myself. This is the rest and fun I wanted for my break. I can do anything or I can do nothing at all. Everything is up to me. Now I have applied for an apartment. I keep imagining what it’s going to be like. A new neighborhood, a new routine. All in literally a month. What is it gonna feel like to be comfortable with the newness, for everything to be normal. I’ll go to work. An actual career. The one I wrote about on my vision list. It’s all happening just around the corner. A lot of my posts have some type of purpose and usually it’s planned. But not this one. I thought it would be nice to just reflect on the time in between one chapter and the next. Reflecting on this beautiful break I’ve had from the grind.The time of living life and having no responsibilities or deadlines to meet. I am on to new memories. One’s I’ll probably still talk about for years to come. This year has truly been one of my favorite. I am where I want to be.

As always,

-POP

 

Skincare Routine for Clear, Healthy Skin

Hey Daizies!

I hope everyone is enjoying their spring so far! The weather has been so beautiful lately! As the sun continues to shine, it’s always nice to have clear shining skin to glow along with it. My skin has minimal breakouts and is classified as balanced/”normal” skin.

Exfoliate/Deep Cleanse: African Black Soap

African Black Soap has been the most consistently beneficial product I’ve used this past year. I use this every other night or sometimes back to back if I wore a full face of makeup. What I love about black soap is that it really cleanses deep into the pores. It’s so important to make sure your face is clean and to get all of the makeup off your face before sleeping. Lathering black soap on my face after cleansing really ensures that my face is squeeky clean. It can be drying, so I only leave on for about 5 minutes or when my skin starts feeling tight. I immediately follow with shea butter as a moisturizer. I’m using the African Black Soap from my ghana trip last summer but you can purchase it on Amazon of course and at most beauty supply stores. I know Shea Moisture also has their own bar too.black soap.png

Cleanse: NOXZEMA ,Clean & Clear Oil-Free Deep Action Cream Facial Cleanser

On the days I’m not using African Black Soap, I use a gentler cleanser like NOXZEMA or Clean & Clear Cream Facial Cleanser . What I like about Noxzema is that it has a tingle and cooling feeling which is really relaxing to my skin. I purchase the original version which “tingles and refreshes”. Its goal is to cleans, moisturize, and soothe. One jar lasts me over 4 months, which is a really good deal considering it’s only about $5 at Walgreens.

With Clean and Clear’s Deep Action Cleanser, it’s kind of similar to Noxzema except I feel like Noxzema does a better job at getting all of the dirt from my face. I alternate between products just to switch it up a little bit. After using either product, I use a damp white towel to wipe the cream off and to see if there’s any dirt remaining. If so, I use the cream one more time or go for the African Black Soap for a one and done cleaning.


Makeup Remover: Coconut Oil

I used to use coconut oil to cleanse my face everyday but now I use it more like 1-2 times a week. It’s great as a makeup remover followed by one of the cleansing creams previously mentioned. I feel like I get more of a thorough cleanse when I pair the coconut oil with another product because often times when I use the towel to clean the coconut oil off, there’s still some residue of makeup/dirt left on my face. For moisturizing, coconut oil used by itself is best for days when I didn’t wear makeup or only light amount of makeup.

All Time Favorite Moisturizer: Shea Butter

As of now, shea butter is really the only moisturizer I use for my face. I opt for only using shea butter on my face now instead of lotion. It’s all natural and leaves a balanced amount of shine and moisture. After every shower, and when I rinse my face in the morning, I follow with shea butter. I’m still using the shea butter I brought from Ghana which is the best thing I’ve ever bought when traveling. I’d highly invest in shea butter, it’s purposes for hair and skin are endlessly beneficial.

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The gallon on the left is what I took back with me!

Last but not least, of course drink lots of water! The more water I drink, the less breakouts I have.

Some of my favorite glowing skin photos below:

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xoxo,

-POP

Mission Accomplished | I Graduated from College!

Greetings Daizies,

Two weeks ago I finished my last final, walked out of school and became a free woman ready to enter the real world. My last blog post I wrote about my feelings regarding my upcoming departure of school and I thought I would miss it. But let me tell you, I have never felt more relaxed and chill in all of my 4 years of college. I actually don’t miss school lol. The days leading up to my last final, I was just so excited. I worked so hard each and every quarter, so to finally get to the point of reaching my goal felt well deserved and like a huge relief. My overall feeling is relaxed and accomplished.

I have about 2 months until my actual graduation ceremony. I’m so excited to finally have this experience. It seemed like 2018 was so far away but these last few months flew buy and it’s finally my time to shine and celebration graduation season. I have quite some time between now and when I start working so I’m fully taking in my extended time off with some planned travels and also going with the flow, taking it day by day. I’m still carrying on with not planning every single thing of my life which continues to bring me peace and comfort in knowing everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.

I’ll be writing a seperate blog post about my trip to Las Vegas, Nevada.

In my spare time, I started a new Instagram blog called FroAndTravel dedicated to the beauty of natural hair while being flawless abroad. I hope this wonderful break will bring out my best creative juices and I’m excited to have more time to put my energy towards things I love.

Here’s some pics of me living my best life 🙂

Shirt: H&M $7

Shoes: Payless $15

Pants: Forever 21 $18

Photo cred: Martha Girma

 

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-POP

3 Liter Water Challenge|3 Month Review Expectations vs. Reality

A few months ago after getting back from Ghana, I made it a point to keep up with drinking the same amount of water I did in the humidity of the summer. I drank 3 liters of water, sometimes more, with no problem. I went on amazon and purchased a pink 3 liter water jug and I was so excited to begin my new increased water intake journey.

Expectations: My expected outcomes for drinking more water was to boost my immune system, give me more energy and to have clearer skin. Here’s how things turned out:

Week One:

Carrying 3 liters everyday to school was a nuisance. I had to make sure I sat on the isles for quicker access for my hourly bathroom runs. I would start the day off strong with continuous sips of water but lag off as the day went on and find myself with about a quarter left with bedtime around the corner. I really got tired of the taste of water by day 3. I took a picture a couple of days into my challenge so I could compare skin changes.

Week Two:

After the first week I figured out a time frame as to how far through my jug I should be during the day. At 5pm I should be at the halfway mark. I figured out it’s best to finish my water before 10pm, so that I won’t constantly have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The weekends or days when I’m mostly in the house, were the hardest to reach my goal. I didn’t have the weight of 100 ounces to remind me to drink water when I’m in bed watching Netflix all day. I would often just chug as much as I could when chill days arrived. By the second week, I felt pretty adjusted to drinking 3 liters daily.

Week Three:

I wondered how I ever went without drinking this amount of water. I really carried my jug everywhere I went and loved that I had made it apart of my lifestyle.

Week Four:

Drinking 3 liters is just the way I go about life at this point. I have to pee about every other hour but I just got used to that. I have to try harder on the inactive days but I still managed to get through the amount. There were a few days where I had about 16 ounces left by the end of the night but it would be too late to drink that amount without throwing off my sleeping schedule with several trips of the bathroom. I would end up drinking that amount in the morning and continuing with 3 liters for the day.

Energy

I didn’t really feel a change in the amount of energy I had. I think the seasonal change and my lack of vitamin D also has something to do with that. I expected drinking more water to really make me feel a lot more awake but when it gets dark at 4pm it’s like my body can’t help but feel like going back to bed lol.

Reality on Skin, Energy, and Immune System

Skin

Prior to drinking 3 liters a day, my average intake was about 64 ounces. I was always adamant about drinking water and had a healthy intake before. Drinking 64 ounces is what is considered the amount a person should drink each day. I have normal skin with few breakouts so going from 64 ounces to 100 ounces didn’t drastically improve my skin’s appearance. I think drinking more than 64 ounces is like the point of diminishing returns. Drinking 200 ounces probably wouldn’t do anything more than drinking 64 ounces did. So i didn’t see any changes with my skin over these past few months. My skin behaved like it normally would, super clear some days and a few pimples here and there. There’s obvious lighting differences between the photo on the left and right. One was taken in late September and the next in October.

 

Immune System/Overall Health

The main pros come in at my overall health and immune system.Every year I get a cold almost every other month. It’s particularly harsh during the fall season and especially when I have a demanding school schedule usually near midterms and finals. It was always annoying to have to battle a cold and find the energy to study when all I wanted to do was lay in bed and get better. Drinking 3 liters of water has helped me stay healthy even during the weeks of having multiple interviews in a week and a midterm week when I had 2 exams on one day. I felt intense stress and pressure during trying to prepare for 2 final interviews and 3 exams that fell in the same week but I was able to avoid getting sick.

I’ve also noticed that I rarely have headaches. I always had to reach for Tylenol or advil probably at least once a week but I’ve noticed I’ve probably only had a headache 1-2 times in the past months. A boost in immune system and preventing headaches were listed in the benefits of drinking 3 liters of water in the article I read by Health Fitness Revolution. It was found that

“drinking water ensures that your blood will carry plenty of oxygen throughout the cells in your body. Your immune system uses something called lymph to carry water and nutrients to your blood cells.”

My body was far from dehydrated which decreased my chance of getting headaches. I think extra intake of water added an extra shield to my immune system that otherwise had been easily shaken during stressful demands of school and life.

I plan on continuing drinking 3 liters a day in the future. The immune system results alone are enough to keep me going. I’ll probably have some fun with purchasing new water jugs and there are an assortment of colors on amazon. I’ll include the link below.

Have you ever tried a water intake challenge?

-POP

 

 

Self Care Trip 2017 | I Think Things Will Be Okay

Greetings Daizies,

I was on a roll in August with frequent uploads until I went to Ghana. It was a jam packed program and I’ve basically written tons of posts in my head lol. It’s crazy that it’s almost October and I’ll be starting my final year of college. Right now I’m in Portugal on a well needed self care trip. I needed a buffer between Ghana and going straight home. When I study abroad, I find it hard to go straight from an active, adventurous, and fun program filled with exploring to the rigorous demands of school, life, and rainy Seattle. It can truly be depressing. My intentions with these 3 days in Portugal is for reflection, rest, and to get into the right mindset to go back home.

I could feel myself getting anxious during my last week in Ghana. I would wake up with my heart beating fast and feeling like I wanted to cry. I had literally just woken up and nothing had happened yet. That’s how I knew I was just generally nervous and anxious, when I was just waking up and already sad. I strongly related to Solange’s ‘Cranes in the Sky’ when she said “I tried to run it away
Thought then my head be feeling clearer
I traveled 70 states
Thought moving round make me feel better” because when I’m away from home I can just leave my worries, problems, responsibilities, people, anything really at home. I feel free and I’m learning when I’m gone. But the sudden reality that this was my last study abroad program and around the corner was real life, kept running through my mind. Everything is different regarding a lot of things in my life compared to coming back abroad from Italy and the UK. I just don’t know what life is going to be like with the change of dynamics in personal relationships. The closer my departure came, the more anxious I became. I didn’t want to necessarily stay but I knew I didn’t want to go home just yet. This is what my trip to Portugal is for.

I’ve been in Lisbon for just a day and I can say I haven’t felt anxious or sad. I took a long nap when I arrived and then explored the area until I found live music and some food. Along the way I went shopping and bought a couple of cute pieces for my new fall wardrobe. Going solo travel is so fun because I’m on my own time and can literally do whatever I want and go off schedule depending on my mood. Most of the time, people want to just go go go as soon as they land. It’s like every minute needs to be occupied or its considered wasting time. But when its just me, myself, and I things are planned according to my mood and interests. A 3 hour nap was needed and some shopping in between occurred just because I wanted it to. And right now, I’m just blogging and have a  general idea of what time I want to leave the house, but there’s no set time or another person I have to be mindful of. It’s just what I needed right now after a whole month of organized activity and being with a group.

I know that this won’t be forever but I want my relaxed mindset to last a while. I’m going to do some sincere journaling to brainstorm solutions to problems I can control and ways I can be at peace with things I have no control over. I know I would rather be happy than sad. But there’s just days where I don’t know how to start my day because my mind is overwhelmed with every possible problem and challenging scenario in the world. It always seems to happen when I’m about to start a brand new day or go out somewhere. But when I get moving and start my day, I don’t have time to think about the reasons why I felt numb waking up. I want to work through whatever that is and not just keeping myself busy an avoiding it. I know I briefly looked into therapy but I put it on hold since I was about to travel. I might resume that search when I get back. Maybe it’ll be a rewarding experience. I’ve heard it’s lit lol.

I’m going straight into my career search when I get back home. It’s crazy to think this entire chapter of undergrad is about to come to an end. I think the idea of being in a full-time job is scary because it’s not just a 2 or 3 month internship, but you’re really there…every weekday…forever basically.  I think for a while I tried avoided this reality because I know my overall goal is to have my own business. I would have thought that I would already be a business owner right now at 21 and that hasn’t happened yet. Not being where I want with my goal as an entrepreneur was very stressful probably earlier this summer but now I’m in a different place. When I look at the age 21 typed right now it actually is quite young lol. I guess I’m saying this to just reflect on an ongoing reality that I’ve put myself at ease with so that I can help myself realize that I can make peace with my current problems as well. I know going on dozens of interviews is nerve-wracking but I’ve been on dozens before and I just want to get this done and secure this bag. I won’t loose sight of having a business and I will continue to build my brand, take action on my ideas, and make progress step by step (and daibydai).

By now I have almost devoured an entire box of grapes. Grapes were so rare in Ghana an d just 10 large grapes were equivalent to $3 USD. So you can guess that I refrained from eating grapes. On today’s agenda I plan to go to the Castelo de S. Jorge, Museu Colecao Berado and Bario Alto. We shall see how the day goes. And at night, I will be doing some sincere journaling, reflecting, and slowly getting into the productive mode of facing my responsibilities.

When I look at my life now, I know that I am exactly where I wanted to be 5 years ago. I’ve actually gone to so many places I dreamed of. I made it into my major. I’ve passed all those classes that I thought I wouldn’t. I made it through back to back interviews and had some interesting internships. I finally have the fro I always wanted. I think I’m doing just fine and I’ve made it so far. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with the reality I’ve been so reluctant to face but right now I’m just thinking to myself and I think I will be okay.

 

View from the Castello S. Jorge

 

 

-POP

Journey to Italy|First Day Nervousness and Excitement

I am here!!!!!!!!!

After months of thinking about this day, I am finally here in Milan. I am currently wide awake and flipping through multiple tabs on my computer. It is nearly 3 am lol! I took a long 7 1/2 hour “nap” after arriving to my dorm. I was feeling very exhausted, physically and mentally overwhelmed from the basically 24 hour travelling and emotional departure leaving home. I have pretty much been in my room ever since arriving. Unpacked most things and made lots of phone calls to keep myself company. I am looking forward to starting my journey tomorrow as I will be making my way to the school to pick up my student ID and register for some walking tours. I am just ready to have fun already and have friends. I need to be patient, clearly, considering I literally just arrived. I just want to be acclimated and used to everything already. I remember feeling this way on the first night I arrived to London. I was so ready to have the fun everyone said I would have. Ready to experience what I was hoping for and to have fun people to make memories with. Well it’s the same right now. There isn’t much to do on the first night when it’s literally the middle of the night and I haven’t been around many students to even initiate friendships, and that’s okay. The right people will come.

Anyways, McDonald’s is truly on my mind. I can only imagine how fancy it must taste in Milan haha. I am so glad I brought a bag of snacks filled with bagels, jello cups, pop-tarts, fruit snacks, and an apple. Those snacks really came in handy during the plane ride and now seeing as how I was too tired to find a grocery store here. I was very delighted that my airline provided dinner AND breakfast. I was like “look at God!”. I had a more pleasant experience flying this long journey. Last year I felt dizzy and a little nauseated by the flying motion and the flight just seem EXTREMELY long. This time around I at least slept 2-3 hours on each flight. I had the chance to watch The Intern, a few episodes of Fresh Prince, and Person of Interest. I then listened to some podcasts, The Read and Another Round, to make me laugh and keep me in good spirits.

I know these last couple of days have been very exhausting for me. I cried so many times just preparing to leave. It’s scary leaving home and going all the way across the world. Will I have fun? Will I be homesick too much?  Will living in the dorm be a hassle or should I have just gotten an apartment? Is this still a good decision?  I can’t speak Italian lol how will I get by?  Will I make friends I can be myself with? These are all things that were and still are running through my mind. I literally don’t know the answer to these things which is why I want to be adjusted already and find out the answers lol. I’m trying my best to just relax and take things one day at a time. I will look back at this like haha why in the world was I so worried? It was starting to feel like my fears and anxiety were taking over the more I thought about how this is the boldest move I’ve ever made. But I overcame it. I may have cried and did a lot of overthinking, but at the end of the day I got my butt on that plane and I’m here right now. It’s okay to feel nervous. I know how I am and I am still learning how to not worry and to tend to my own emotions when I am feeling anxious about something.

I discovered my favorite scripture about 5 years ago when I was a freshman in high school. I was worried about something and came across Matthew 6:34 which says “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. That whole chapter describes how much God cares about even the birds in the air and how those birds ain’t worried about a thing so why should I? Worrying doesn’t add a single hour to my life. So after I’m done worrying… the situation is literally still there but only hours of stress have passed. Then in the end, it’s like all taken care of. I’m gonna have to go reread that chapter honestly. It’s good to just reread things and get it through my head again. Thinking back to times like this when I didn’t know the future but it felt like a really huge deal. Getting into UW, leaving home for college, whether I would pass ECON 200, leaving the country for the first time to the UK,  and the entire admissions process to the Foster School. Each different experiences that required acknowledging my fears and putting my trust in the Lord. Looking at each thing I typed out and being on the other side of those events, everything turned out okay. The same feelings were behind them whether it was just feeling overwhelmed, anxious, helpless, stressed, or like it was the most important decision in the world. I got accepted to UW which was my top choice, I ended up really enjoying being in college and living in Seattle. I know I barely passed ECON 200 with an acceptable grade and was looking at about 4 back-up majors once I saw my grade, but with even that I was accepted into business school. Look at God! No seriously, look at him. And we all know how much I loved London so that’s self explanatory lol. This is a brand new experience and I know it will turn out great just like the rest of the things I was excited or nervous about.

This post is longer than I expected but it was a good chance for me to get everything written out and release the rest of my worries. I freed up some space on my phone so I can take some fire pictures tomorrow. I recorded my travels through airports and will make it into a travel vlog soon. I also have a DIY honey and olive oil deep conditioning video I plan on uploading to Youtube. Don’t worry, I will still keep my Youtube videos coming!

Time to walk in my destiny! I’m putting into the atmosphere that this will be one of the best experiences of my life. I will learn more about myself and grow tremendously as a person. I attract great people and form amazing friendships. I will remain safe and healthy throughout this entire trip. I will laugh, not worry, dance, eat, save money and have the time of my life!

Taking it step by step and Dai by Dai 😉