It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… it was applying to grad school and taking the GMAT. Today, I’m sharing 5 ways to prepare for applying to grad school and taking the GMAT exam. I feel these tips can also be applied to the GRE. When I started on this journey, I turned to the internet in true millennial fashion and found tons of what sounded like admissions counselor writings. The articles I read of course were helpful, but none of them told the story of being a college senior, with several jobs, and minimal motivation second semester. (In case you’re wondering, that’s me!) So I’m sharing a couple of the things that I learned along the way by mean of trial and error…

  1. Start getting ready for grad school EARLY! This is the first tip and I cannot emphasize this enough. In my situation, I am an Accounting major and knew that I would be going to grad school early on in my college career. I need 150 credit hours to get a CPA and grad school is the best way to do it. But I did not anticipate the process being so time consuming.  Start researching programs that you would be interested in, the costs, the living situation, etcetera AT LEAST 6 months before the application deadline.
  2. Think of people who know you, (and I mean really, really know you) and of your accomplishments/capabilities to write your letter of recommendation(s). This is so important because your application and the information that you include is pretty standard but through your essay and recommendations, who you are as a person comes alive as corny as that may sound. I had several people including professors and past employers write recommendations and I was well aware of their writing capabilities, their knowledge that I do good work, and they expressed a willingness to writing a recommendation. Also ask well in advance. Sometimes people are busy and need advanced noticed and time to complete a well written recommendation.
  3. Now onto GMAT! 😐 I am still in process of studying for it and it’s no fun. Give yourself at least 2 months to prepare. I have the Kaplan test book that comes with online courses and resources and its super helpful. (Will keep you all posted on actually taking the test and how that goes!)
  4.  Be open and flexible! If you are doing all of this while being a student, things won’t always work out how you imagined. I had midterms when I wanted to take the GMAT, so had to reschedule. One of the programs I thought was perfect was way too much money. Someone who I wanted to write a recommendation, I could not track down. You just kind of have to go with the flow through this whole process. But have an end goal in mind!
  5. Take care of yourself through this process! It stressful, you’re moving onto being an adult, yes I know it’s difficult. But space out the process so you’re not feeling overwhelmed. But the grad school process and everything you put into it is a reflection of you. Definitely give it your best!

If you have any specific questions on anything I mentioned or did not mention, leave them in the comments. I’m a Pro at all of this now so I can try to help ya out! Thank you for reading… until next time 💕

xo,

Shanique

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For a while I have been trying to take steps towards a minimalist lifestyle and eliminating excess products is one of the steps I have been trying to tackle. A lot of conventional lotions and body butters contain ingredients that are not good for our body internally or topically.Today I’m sharing with y’all how I make my own DIY Organic Whipped Body Butter – it’s amazing and has nearly eliminated the use of conventional lotions in my daily routine.  This recipe is so easy to follow and the result in rich, creamy body butter that looks and feels like heaven. You also know every ingredient that went into it 😉

Prep time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:

Organic Shea Butter 

Benefit: Moisturizing, skin smoothing, and reduce inflammation.

Organic Cocoa Butter

Benefit: Antioxidant properties protect skin from external environment factors that can cause dryness and irritation.

Organic Cold Press Coconut Oil (I get this large quantity because I use it for other things)

Benefit: Prevents dryness and damage due to antioxidant properties- helps with cases of psoriasis, eczema, skin infections and dermatitis.

Organic Argan Oil

Benefit: Works to correct the signs of aging.It deeply conditions with powerful nutrients such as Vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid.

Rosehip Oil 

Benefit: Rose hip seed oil is known to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, fine lines and scars; firms the skin and keeps it hydrated and supple.

Source: organicfacts.net

What you’ll need:

Double boiler/ Pot and bowl

Mason Jar

Hand mixer

So first, you want to start with a pot of water. I only put about 1 3/4 in. of water and let it come to a nice boil. You can also use a double boiler but I didn’t have one soooo I had to get a little creative/ratchet (lol).

After your water has come to a boil, you’re going to place a bowl with all of the ingredients on top. Base the amount of ingredients based on how much you’d like to make. I didn’t take exact measurements but I would say 2-3 cups of the Coconut oil, Shea butter, and Cocoa butter would be sufficient. You would only need a few drops of the Argan and Rosehip oils.

You don’t have to worry much about mixing because the heat will allow it melt nicely. Also note that you don’t want these ingredients boiling too long – as soon as you notice they have melted, take the bowl away from the heat. You don’t want all the natural properties that are good for your skin to be affected by over melting.

This will be the result after all is done melting over the boil.

Next you’re going to place your bowl of melted goodness into the refrigerator. (Don’t mind my left over dinner lol). The purpose of this step is to create a solid that can be whipped into body butter. I went and did some errands while my oils were refrigerating but it shouldn’t take longer that 20-30 minutes to turn into a solid.

After refrigeration, this was the result- a nice solid that is ready to become body butter. 😁

This is my favorite part! So with a hand mixer, you just whip the mixture until you get a consistency that you like. It was a little difficult to break up the solid with the hand mixer but when it started to become creamy it got gradually easier. It looked and smelled so amazziinggg!! I mixed my batch until it got super creamy- almost like a thicker lotion and it stayed that way even when stored!!

And voilà!! You have super rich, thick, yummy body butter goodness. I promise you the ingredients and steps are fool proof, you’ll get it right every time you make it and I love that about this recipe. Everyone in my house loves this stuff and I ended up making a few more batches of this body butter. It’s also really nice to know what you’re putting on your body and also helping to reduce waste in the environment feels nice too!

If you try this out, let me know! Also share your results with me ❤️

Until next time….

xo, Shanique

 

 

277h

How does one find peace in chaos? How does one make sense of and grapple with uncertainty? How does one define what it means to be American? How does one protect their rights and hold on to their identities when they are being tested? In what direction is humanity going? Where can you look for answers?  I have been trying to answer these questions and more internally the few past weeks and am struggling to come with anything meaningful or coherent.  A professor of mine, who is also trying to make sense of the turbulent times we are in suggested I read Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild. Without delay, I purchased the ebook and began reading.

To provide a synopsis, Strangers in Their Own Land attempts to outline the Great Paradox within American culture and correlates the political stances to the deep stories of those in environmentally and economically tarnished Louisiana.  After reading the novel, I realized that the stories of these folks have glaring similarities to those who now feel the current national climate endangers their well being.

Even though the similarities are great, the polarization seems to be even greater. Being a part of a marginalized community, I am committed to being a watchdog, champion, and protector of the progress made over the decades. As members of the human race, it is so important to call for accountability and action; our communities, environment, future generations, brothers and sisters rely on our ability to understand and act on their behalf. Refraining from the negative and hate driven speech is key; my thoughts and responses to all I am seeing are driven in love. My dreams, my motivations, my aspirations have since changed. I now truly understand the meaning of [Godly] vision and purpose; action driven by love, to love other people, and to serve others. History does repeat itself but today, solidarity, unity, perseverance is what it means to be American; inclusivity is what it means to be American, progress and growth is what it means to be American. Everything else is background noise and blockades to progression.

This post was a little over the place, but necessary. Keep fighthing for love.

In solidarity,

Shanique

Moneymatters

Have your pockets been flat, flat? And your money on what’s th… alright, that was a failed Drake remake 😩 . But seriously, are you looking to start saving money?! I know how difficult that can be as a college student. As students, we’re almost expected to be broke- but here are a few tips to keep some money in your pockets this semester…

One. Create a budget and monitor your spending. A budget brings awareness to what you are bringing in and what you are spending. Budgeting holds you accountable and forces you to come face to face with your financials. I have found that when I budget, I am less likely to spend money wildly. Set aside time once a month (or whatever fits your lifestyle) to populate and review your budget. Monitoring your spending goes hand and hand with budgeting because you’re aware of your spending habits. Using my Bank of America and Mint money apps pin-point how much I spend on food, clothing, necessities, etc. and offers tips on where I can cut back to meet my savings goal.

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Two. Set a savings goal. When you have a goal in mind, it is something that you are actively working towards and want to achieve. Whether you are saving for this years Spring Break trip, the new Rihanna Creepers that just dropped, or just want the flexibility in your budget to eat out on the weekends, make that your goal! Subtract $10 or $100 (again whatever works for your lifestyle) from every check and put that in a separate savings account. Also, set a deadline for you to meet the said goal!

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Three. Get creative. As college students this is where we excel!!! Start selling your books on Amazon, your school’s Facebook group page, the dining hall, or anywhere that will give you more back than campus bookstores  😉.  Also look out for used books! If you are addicted to shopping online, shop online through eBates to get cash back, thrift, and look for things on sale. Milk student discounts at your favorite stores, movie theaters and online. Eat out 2 times a week instead of 3! Again get creative with this step.

P.S. Take my #free Budgeting Worksheet[TAKE ME and SAVE MONEY] to help you get started. Leave some of your money saving tips in the comments! Happy Saving 💸

xo, Shanique

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What’s up y’all!??! This is a super informal post… but, I am now on Bloglovin! Feel free to follow SoulCinders on there to keep up with my latest posts’. Of course you can always check out post via my site, but in cause you have the Bloglovin app and your in your Sociology class snoozing’ away this semester, SoulCinders can be a blog that comes up on your feed!! If you have a blog claimed on Bloglovin, leave it in the comments and I will follow you as well!