Today I’m sharing my favorites for the month of July, hence the title July Favorites! This has been a really exciting month and I’ve definitely gathered a few pieces that have quickly become my favorites. Not only do I want to talk about some of the favorite things I’ve bought, I’m sharing my favorite music, fave July memory, etc. There are links throughout so you can shop my favorites, too.

So to start, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. A million bloggers, YouTubers, cousins, aunties, erybody has been obsessing over this sale. It was only right to buy few things but TBH I was a bit underwhelmed. I ended up buying a swimsuit (not a part of the sale 😭), Topshop sandals (IDT they were a part of the sale either) and Zella leggings that I have been eyeing for sometime. Nordstrom can be a bit overpriced from my college budget but I’m happy with what I got. I lovvveee the Zella leggings and would definitely recommend them! I can see them easily becoming a favorite especially on lazy days.

Other retail buys that I loved this month are the Transport Tote and Danny wash jeans both from Madewell. I honestly have been in desperate need of jeans and have been eyeing this tote since last year. After I was done with my internship (more on that later) I decided to treat myself! I figured I can use the tote during grad school, travel, looking cute, etcetera. And the jeans are so soft, it’s stupid. I can literally run a mile in these jeans. Their a 10” high rise too, so they hug everything in. Both purchases get a YES from me 👍🏾! [Madewell also has a student discount and their things last forever so they’re worth the investment.]

In the month of July I have been loving podcasts.The one I’ve been listening to throughout the month is called Ear Hustle. It’s actually produced out of the San Quentin Prison in California. Listening to it is so eye opening about how messed up our legal system is and the inhumane conditions of prisons. It breaks my heart that these institutions have morphed into money machines and nothing about rehabilitation.

On a much lighter note, I’ve also been listening to H.E.R Volume 2 and SZA’s new album on repeat. I can’t pull myself away to listen to anything but these 2 artist on the train or in the gym. They both have such soothing voices and epitomize #blackgirlmagic!
 
My favorite memory this month was definitely my graduation/birthday celebration! I cannot remember the last time I had all of my family (aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, extended family) in one place. It was honestly so chill and relaxing to be around people who know and love me. When everyone grows up and starts their careers and other endeavors its gets harder to get everyone in one room. Having a reason for everyone to get together is always super special! I wore this Madewell maxi dress and honestly felt like Mylene Cruz from The Get Down (RIP to that show). But it was just so easy and cute and carefree. I LOVED it.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you’ll visit again!

      My Review on CORA Feminine Product Subscription

OK so it’s time for some GIRL TALK!!! I am a feminist through and through. There’s nothing better than being a woman in my opinion.  Butttttt… there is  also nothing worst than getting a period every month (Thank you Eve). Ever since I can remember, I have had the worst experiences with periods and pains. I usually am debilitated and out of it at least one (sometimes two) days that time of the month.

I am also a firm believer that the products we use and foods we eat contribute to our overall health and in turn period pain (or lack thereof). Very recently, I’ve been making an effort to be more conscious and aware of the products that I am using every month. In conventional feminine products, there is no regulation for companies making them. Because of this we don’t exactly know the chemicals used and the effects they have on our bodies.

CORA is a subscription service that sends organic tampons made with health in mind. I’ve used them for two months now and I can say that I’m in love with this company and their mission. CORA uses 100% organic cotton, their tampons are biodegradable, and have a super comfortable design to them. CORA also has a super meaningful cause. Each month they add up their total month’s sales and buy an equivalent amount of feminine products for girls in developing countries who otherwise don’t have access. In these countries, women often are not able to attend school or work because of a lack of hygiene products. In my mind, this cause is empowering women who often feel debilitated by their period.

You can select the amount, size and frequency you’d like to receive tampons. The prices are comparable to what you’d be paying at a local drug store so I would definitely recommend these! You know exactly what they’re composed of, they’re chemical free, and are making a positive impact to someone in need. To check out this amazing company, go to https://cora.life/. Use code shanique1400 for money off you first order! Let’s keep the conversation going… share what you use during that time of the month! If you like GIRL TALK, let me know and I’ll do more posts like these 💕

xo

Shanique

[All opinions are my own. This post is not sponsored.]

Finding your Happy Place and Peace in Solitude.

I’m introducing a new series called Self-Care Saturday’s! Self-care, love, and awareness are all super important especially in the world that we are living in. It is important to take note of how you are feeling throughout the day, weeks, months. And based on those feelings actively care for your mind, body, and spirit.

I want to touch on the topic of finding your happy place and learning to find peace in solitude. In the age of social media, it is very easy to experience “FOMO” or the fear of missing out. According to the trusty Urban Dictionary FOMO is “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.” How many times do you scroll down your Instagram feed and find yourself wanting to be traveling to this place, or going to this concert, or party? Because of social media its so easy to compare yourself to someone else based on what you see on social media. It’s easy to fall to the pressure of feeling that you are supposed to be something that may not feel true to yourself based on society’s standards.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3:1

I truly believe in the saying that everything happens for a reason. I also believe, that things do not happen for a reason, too. In our lives it is important to be aware of the season of life that you’re in and try to understand what life lessons you can take from that season. When I look back on seasons in my life, I learned something, I grew, and I became more wise.

The difficulty is learning to be happy when we haven’t advanced as much as we anticipated. This isn’t always easy, but this is where finding peace in solitude and trusting in God’s purpose for your life is important. Having that alone time with yourself and praying over your goals and life lends itself to clarity and you truly learn to rest on God’s promises. Enjoy whatever season you are in and do not compare your journey to anyone else. Comparison is truly to is steals your joy and ability to be present and grateful for the moment!

I hope you enjoy this post- leave me a comment and share a scripture or gem of advice that helps you enjoy life’s seasons!

xo,

Shanique

 

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