August 13, 2017

How To Survive 8AM Classes In College


Ah, the dreaded 8AMs. As most people do, i have avoided early morning classes throughout my college journey like no other. That is, until I had to take a class this summer and my only options were to either register for the class at another campus which was farther than my regular commute, or take the class at 8am sharp at my usual campus.


Lord knows i looked for every alternatives in order to avoid the dreaded morning class, but in the end i had to give it up and take the 8am class. While sobbing of course (okay not really but i felt like it).


As someone who’s used to going to sleep late and waking up even later, the first week seemed like hell on earth. Peeling myself out of bed suddenly became the hardest task known to man. I probably had 27 alarms with 3 mins intervals because i could not wake up to save my life. I walked around campus like a zombie.


And then, slowly but surely, getting out of bed became a lot easier day by day.Having a bunch of alarms turned out to be more annoying than helpful, so i sized down to 3 alarms. My zombie look disappeared and sometimes i would catch myself singing my way to class!


I still don’t understand how i did it for 4 years in high school,yet the thought of attending a class that early in college was like asking me to climb mount kilimanjaro. Makes no sense.


Go to bed early!!
As a night owl, my bedtime hours typically ranged from midnight to 3am. So the first week of school, my genius self thought it was okay to still go to bed at these hours. Let me just tell you,  the STRUGGLE taking myself out of bed was very real. This is when i had to set up a million and one alarms along  with a live band to get me out of my covers.


Having to wake up a lot earlier than usual is already pretty hard enough. Learn from my mistakes and don’t make things worse. Breaking my habit of not going to bed until after midnight was not easy but it was definitely worth getting a couple more hours of sleep. A restless night is a recipe for a disastrous day.



Have your outfit ready the night before
Do this and thank me later. I seriously didn’t realize how long it took me to pick out an outfit until my 8am class started. It amazed me because i would take the longest time to choose an outfit, as though i was getting dressed to meet the queen. But after all that time, i would come up with the most basic outfit i could find. Yes, i took me 20 minutes to come up with jeans a shirt. Don’t ask how.


I saved close to an extra hour more of sleep for myself by simply taking  a shower and picking out an outfit the night before. Instead of waking up earlier the next the day to do all that jazz, all i had to do was wash my face and brush my teeth. This definitely helped improve my mood in the morning.


Also, do yourself a favor and have your bookbag ready to go the night before class. I used to leave all my stuff scattered on the table after studying and it would take me too long to put everything back in my bag before school. Especially if you’re rushing out the door.



Don’t skip breakfast
Guess what? “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” isn’t just something people say for the heck of it, it’s actually true! Even if you only have time to a grab a banana or a nutrition bar, do so. Eating a nutritious breakfast will give you the energy you’ll need to get through your class and the entire day.


Do your work during the day
The good thing about having morning classes is that it makes your day seem longer. After your class you still have a good amount of time to get some work done. This was definitely my favorite thing about having a morning class. I loved knowing that i still had the whole day ahead of me after getting out of class.This was great because i could get most of my work done after class instead of doing it in the evening and not going to bed until midnight and after like i used to. Getting myself out of bed in the morning became a lot easier to do, along with staying awake in class.
Set your alarm clock
I like to set my alarms  for an hour before i actually have to wake up. So let’s say i have to wake up at 6:00am, i will set up my alarm at 5:00am, then 5:30am, then 5:45am, then 5:55am and finally 6:00am. The way i see it, i’m slowly waking myself up so when the clock does reach 6:00am, getting up won’t be as brutal. I also have a couple alarms with 5 minutes intervals for when i lie to myself by saying that i’m only going to sleep for a couple more minutes then find myself sleeping for a whole hour more. This may seem like a lot, but my professor would not let you hear the end of it if you came late to class. I didn’t want to take any chances. It’s also a pretty good idea to set your phone away from you so you’ll force yourself to get up and turn off your alarm.


Have a positive attitude
This is may be the most important one of them all. A positive attitude makes some of the hardest things a little easier to deal with. Waking up early in the morning may be a big pain in the you know what but try to associate something positive with it and  watch what happens.

See? Morning classes aren’t THAT bad. You can totally pull it off as long as you discipline yourself. Good luck with your morning class!

-Yvanne

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July 6, 2017

5 Ways Positive Thinking Can Increase Your Productivity

"In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact." -Les Brown


If you want to be more productive but haven’t been able to do so, your attitude might have something to do with it. We have all heard of the saying “you get what you put in.” Which pretty much means, you can’t go into a situation with a negative mind and expect to get anything more than just that, in return.

Studies have shown that student's attitude towards math will actually affect their success. The simple fact of going to your math class with a negative attitude will truly help you fail. Not because you’re not intelligent, but for the fact that you’re constantly expressing your discontentment of math and whatnot. I wasn’t aware of this study until recently, but my performance in my math classes make a lot of sense now.

Having a great work ethic is an important component of productivity, but so is a positive attitude. Here are 5 five ways a positive mindset will help you be more productive:
1. You avoid the complaints club.
Not only will you be saving time, you’ll also be saving energy because let’s face it - constant complains are exhausting. Especially when they don’t amount to anything. If you’re performing a difficult task, you are more likely to waste time writing an entire book on the many ways this task is annoying.
Whereas, performing the same task with a positive attitude will encourage you to figure out a more efficient way to complete the task at hand. You will even be able to detect and prevent problems before they arise, which also saves any more time that would have been spent solving the problem. They don’t say “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure” for nothing.
2. You aren’t as stressed

It is no secret that most people don’t perform well under stressful conditions. When stressed, you’re worrying about however many different things you have to take care of, while barely paying attention to the task you’re currently performing.

When performing a task with a positive attitude, your mind is at ease and you’re able to remain focused. Your productivity significantly increases because your mind isn’t clouded and overwhelmed by stressors.
3. You work better in teams

No one likes to be around people who constantly complain. I don’t know about you, but i try to steer clear of negative people as much as i can. Especially when i’m doing a group project at school, i avoid that individual like the plague. My end goal is an A and complaining is definitely NOT going to get me there.

Just as they ( don’t ask me who “they” is) say a smile is contagious, the same could be said about a positive attitude. Not only is it easier to work with others, but everyone is able to work efficiently. People tend to be a lot more productive when they’re in a positive working environment. Negativity often drags tasks way longer than they should have originally taken and seems to make them a lot more tedious.



4. You have more energy

Cheerful people tend to be more energetic. If you’re full of energy, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be more proactive than someone who isn’t. Negative people tend to look at the more gloomy side of things and inadvertently deplete their energy. Because those with a positive mindset prefer to look at the brighter side of things, their job performance consequently tends to be better.

5. You’re more likely to make good decisions

Negative thinking clouds your judgement and often leads to poor decision making. Have you ever made a decision and then later wondered what in the world you were thinking? Yeah same. Chances are, your mindset at the time wasn’t the best.

A positive mindset strengthens your problem solving skills and rids you of the distractions brought by negative thinking. Instead of reacting to problems with your emotions, you will be able to take the appropriate steps needed to resolve the problem accordingly. Plus, a positive minds makes way for creativity, which is always very helpful when solving problems.

How To Be More Positive

Now that we understand the immense impact a positive attitude has on productivity, you might be wondering “well, how do i go about being more positive ?” Wonder no more, i got you covered. Being more positive doesn’t mean you have to be in la-la land all the time, all it takes is some effort.

  • Surround yourself with positive people: You may not realize it, but your environment plays a crucial role in determining your outlook on life. If you constantly confine yourself with people who spread nothing but negativity, chances are you’ll do the exact same thing.  Those you hang out with the most can either uplift you or drag you down with them.
  • Make a conscious effort to smile: Smile right now. Yes, for no reason. Doesn’t matter if you’re in a good mood or not. Just smile. Most of us believe that we smile when we’re happy. This is correct, but so is the opposite. We can feel happy because we’re smiling. This basically means that you can force a smile at any time and trick your brain into thinking that you’re genuinely happy. Not only will you better your mood, but you’ll also reduce stress.
  • Meditate:  Practicing mindful meditation is a great way to relieve stress. When you take time to settle your mind from all the worries of life, you’re able to focus on what really matters.

Next time you have to tackle that do-to list of yours, make sure you to do with a positive mindset.

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June 25, 2017

My Favorite Inspirational Talks


I watch motivational Ted Talks and spoken word YouTube videos whenever I get the chance. I find them to be very inspiring. Though once we get inspired, we must act on our inspiration! I’ve put together some of my favorite videos and I hope you like them just as much as I do!
One of my all-time favorite Ted Talks is Brene Browns the power of vulnerability. This is something most of us struggle with.  There is
Brene Brown breaks being vulnerable into these next four things. “Letting ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen”- let people see what you may think as the bad things in your life, as well as the good. “Loving with our whole heart, even though there is no guarantee”-;“Practice gratitude and joy”- learning to appreciate everything in life, the good and bad, is so important. “Believe that you are enough”- because you are enough, your worth is in Jesus.
This is one of my favorite Ted Talks, because body language is important. The way you carry yourself says a lot about you and the kind of person you are. She talks about how if you change your posture for two minutes, into a more powerful posture, you will feel better. Your posture depicts your mood. So, if you want to change your mood, change your posture. I often find myself doing the power pose without even thinking about and it actually works! Its become natural for me, haha!

This video leaves me speechless every time I watch it!! In this video, Prince EA talks about how people can get to the end of their life and regret not doing the things they wanted to do when they were younger! This video truly makes you think. We know everyone is going to die, but are you truly living the life you are intended to be living. What passion did Jesus give you? If you aren’t living it out, why aren’t you?
Clayton Jennings: Where Are You Going?
Clayton Jennings is one of my favorite spoken word YouTubers! I am sharing this video because it is one of the first I watched by him a couple years ago. relationship with rather than religion. His question in this video is “where are you going?” He lays it out very simply for us, at the end of our life we are either going to heaven or hell. Where you are going depends on your relationship with Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not, what matters is your relationship with God. When people say they are religious it makes them feel good, they think they are doing something right. When in reality all the Jesus wants us to do is recognize Him for all He has done for us.

I hope you check out my favorite inspirational talks! Thanks Yvanne for collaborating with me!!

About the blogger in her own words: "I want for my blog to create a community for girls and women alike to find their true beauty! I do not want for anyone to go a day and not know that are unique; because God made us this way!! I hope that I am not only an inspiration to you, but that you are an inspiration to me as well."

Thanks, Airriaunte for this great post! I'm currently watching these talks and loving them! Make sure you check out her blog and follow her on social media at @coffeewithtae 



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June 20, 2017

DIY No Sew T-Shirt Tote Bag

I was cleaning out my closet the other day and noticed that i had a lot of old T-shirts i barely wear anymore. Instead of letting them sit in my closet with no purpose, i thought i would re-purpose some of them.

diy t-shirt tote bag

As per usual, I went on Pinterest and typed of bunch of stuff until i came across a couple no sew DIYs which looked easy enough. I decided to try the t-shirt tote bag and i think it turned out okay. Plus it only took about 10 mins to make.

If you would like to recycle an old t-shirt into a cute tote bag, here's how:

What we'll need:

- One t-shirt (preferably a thicker fabric) 
-A pair of scissors
-A marker (optional)

Instructions:

#1- Cut the sleeves off your t-shirt.



#2- Cut the bottom of the shirt however long you want them. Mine was cut about the length of my index finger, maybe more.




#4- Stretch each strips down



#5- Cut the neck line a little deeper. You can use a marker to mark where you're going to cut so your curve isn't disproportional like mine is.



#6- Tie the front and back strips twice. After tying each pair, you will probably notice the small holes in-between the pairs.  What i did to close those gaps, was to tie the left and right strips between those holes in double knots.

diy t-shirt tote bag


#7- Now you have a homemade tote bag you can use to the beach or the grocery store.

diy t-shirt tote bag

-Yvanne



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May 25, 2017

Easy 4 Ingredients Mango Banana Green Smoothie

My attempt at blogging during this semester was laughable and I clearly need to come up with a new and improved blogging strategy before school begins again. If you’re a blogger and you have any tips for me, feel free to leave them in the comment section.

energizing mango banana green smoothie

Anyway, who’s excited for summer!? It felt amazing turning off every single one of my 27 morning alarms the day after my last final. Don’t ask me why, but for as long as I can remember, my morning alarm song has been Yeah! By Usher. I seriously don't when and why i chose that song and i just don't have the will power to change it. I’ve come to associate it with having to cut my sleep short which has kind of made me hate the song (sorry Usher).

energizing mango banana green smoothie

It’s been a blast getting to sleep as late as I can without being yelled at to wake up by Usher but I think I’ve slightly abused my freedom. So, I might (scratch that WILL) have to enable some of those alarms again so I can force myself to start being productive before the afternoon.  I’m going to need to do this after I start working anyway, so why not start now?

As did blogging, yoga also took a back seat during this semester and I’m trying to redeem myself this summer. I honestly missed it so much! I missed practicing with, Yoga with Adrienne more than I realized.

BUT, I’m so proud to say that I have successfully added yoga back into my morning routine and I have only missed about two days! How about that! I feel very basic using that sentence now that it’s gone viral but I can’t think of another sentence right now.

I love making myself a nice cold energizing smoothie after killing it on the yoga mat, and I thought I would share one of my favorite recipe with you all.

energizing mango banana green smoothie

If I’m being honest, I make most of my smoothies with whatever I find in my fridge and more times than not, they end up tasting pretty good, other times…let’s just say my face looked like that gif of Chrissy Teigen at the Oscars. Don’t worry though, the recipe I’m about to share actually tasted pretty good!

Alright enough blabbing for today. All you'll need for this energy boosting smoothie is, mango, banana, fresh spinach and some almond milk. 

easy mango banana green smoothie

Blend until you get a nice creamy texture.

easy mango banana green  smoothie

Total Time
-         5 minutes

Ingredients
-         1 chopped mango / a cup of frozen mango
-         1 chopped banana / a cup of frozen banana
-         1 cup of spinach leaves
-         ¾ cup of Almond milk
-         1 cup of ice (if you’re not using frozen fruits)

easy mango banana green smoothie
This recipe will give you one large smoothie or two average size cups. 

Enjoy! and let me know if you tried this recipe.

-Yvanne


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April 12, 2017

Why I became a vegetarian (Do I miss eating meat?)


If you had told me a year or two ago that I will be writing a blog post about becoming a vegetarian, I would have laughed at your face so hard! I was one of those people who thought vegetarian/vegans were weird and always tried to make you feel like they were better than you. In fact, let me give a few reasons why back then, omitting meat from my diet would have never crossed my mind.

     1. This is going to sound super stereotypical, but I used to LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE chicken. I can’t remember a day when I was offered chicken and said no. If there was a world where chicken was the only meat available, I would have had no problem eating it on a daily basis.
     2.  In cases you didn’t know, I’m African. And in a typical African household it is virtually unheard of to not eat meat. Basically if the food doesn’t have meat in it, it won’t be as enjoyable as if it did. Think of it as having spaghetti and meatballs without the meatballs. The chances of us eating spaghetti with no meat balls are virtually non-existent. Out of every meal we eat, I would say at least 8/10 times it has some kind of meat in it. 
     3. I was uneducated. When I thought of non-meat eaters, I thought of hardcore animal lovers who would get upset with you for accidentally stepping on an ant and I simply could never relate. Ever since a dog took a bite out me when I was little, animals and I haven’t been the best of friends. I’m not a fan of them, and they aren’t of me. I’m okay with us co-existing and all but I’m not about to dedicate my life to saving them (do I sound heartless?).

Things quickly changed when I finally got a Netflix subscription and quickly developed a love for documentaries. After binge-watching too many documentaries to keep count, I finally stumbled on a documentary called FOOD, INC.  It was as if I had been blinded for years, and the movie basically removed my blindfold. I was completely flabbergasted by what I was watching. I never really paid any mind to how the food I was buying got to the grocery store, where it was made, and how?



FOOD INC. opened doors to many other documentaries just like it and before I knew it, I had watched Cowspiracy, Fork over Knives, Plant Pure Nation, Vegucated, and countless YouTube videos. With every documentary and video that I watched, it became apparent that I couldn’t allow myself to indulge in animal flesh any longer. The chicken I liked so much spent most of its days in an overcrowded room, away from sunlight and pumped with so many hormones to make it grow faster that it couldn’t even walk. The chickens’ legs will often give out because they couldn’t handle the abnormal weight of their bodies. Watching that and many more like it honestly made me want to puke.

Not only is Animal agriculture unsustainable but it is also a huge contributor to climate change among other things. One thing I learned that absolutely baffled is the fact that we could very well feed the millions of people who go hungry every day with the grains we reserve for livestock.  Learning facts such as these further reinforced my decision to stop eating meat.
And so after years of being a proud carnivore, at the beginning of this year I decided that it was time for me to break up with meat. I slowly removed meat from my meals and before I knew it, the sight of chicken I used to drool over made me nauseous. I will admit that at the beginning of my journey, I sometimes missed eating meat. Not so much the taste of it, but more so just seeing it on my plate. I’m not the biggest fan of change, so I think I probably missed the routine or familiarity of always eating my meals with a piece of meat on the side. Like I said earlier, in our household there wasn’t much we cooked that didn’t include meat.

Now that I am four months in, I can’t possibly imagine myself ever eating animal flesh again. My chipotle order now, actually costs less than before and that’s with guacamole! I walk by a chick-fil-a almost every day to get to school and I barely look at it whereas before all it took was the smell of chicken nuggets to get me through the door.
I eventually plan on transitioning to a vegan diet in the future, but as of right now, I’m having lots of fun trying vegetarian recipes and making vegetarian versions of foods that I used to eat with meat.


I’ve been really careful not to reinforce the belief I previously had about meat-free eaters when I get asked questions (even ones that are…challenging to answer to say the least). I always felt as though they were condescending towards carnivores which is why I was so quick not to show any type of interest in their lifestyles. I’m definitely not trying to tell anyone how to live their lives but I do believe that sharing what I learned with others could possibly encourage them to do their own research and take whatever action they see fit. I know I probably would have become a vegetarian sooner if I had been informed. With that said, here are some of the videos/movies I watched that helped me decide to become a vegetarian.


FOOD INC. (Netflix)
Forks over Knives (Netflix)
Cowspiracy (Netflix)
Plant Pure Nation (Netflix)



-Yvanne


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March 17, 2017

5 Great Yoga Videos For Complete Beginners on Youtube


I recently talked about beginning my yoga journey and in case you were wondering how that's been going, i'm happy to announce that so far, it's been amazing! I'm so glad i was able to successfully incorporate it into my daily routine and stick to it. I refer to yoga as my daily cup of coffee because It's amazing how rejuvenated and energetic i feel after every sequence.

February 26, 2017

What To Do If You Missed Class in College

The good thing about college classes is that your professors will most likely not take attendance which means they probably won’t notice if you’re not there. Especially if you’re in a large lecture class. 


missing a college class


BUT...

It’s all fun and games until it’s two days until your midterm and you have no idea as to what you’re going to be tested on. YIKES.

Missing class in college is definitely not the end of the world It’s fine if you had a family emergency or you were really sick. it’s more of what you do after being absent from class that really matters. If you go about your day as if nothing happened and expect your professor to come up to you the next class to hand you notes from the lesson you missed, you’re playing yourself. It’s your responsibility to go above and beyond to try to catch up on whatever you missed. Here’s how to go about it:

January 29, 2017

A Student's Guide to Surviving Long Lecture Classes

Let’s all give a round of applause to the genius who thought three-hour lectures were a good idea.


My first ever lecture class in college was surprisingly quite interesting. I actually looked forward to the class and barely noticed how long it was. I thought “this isn’t bad at all. I don’t know what all the fuss is about.” Turns out, I spoke too fast. The next semester I had to take another lecture class and this time I did understand what the fuss was about.

January 18, 2017

Starting My Yoga Journey

I used to be one of those people who thought yogis were some weird hippies who talk about their auras all the time and do alien-like shapes. 

beginning my yoga journey

Well...obviously my mind-set has changed.
I had been thinking about doing yoga for a few months but I was really intimidated by all the other yogis. When I looked at all the poses everyone else was doing, it was hard to believe that I could ever come close to achieving anything like it.

A couple weeks ago, I finally took the plunge and never looked back. I’ve been following a few beginner videos on YouTube and loving them. My first practice was one heck of a roller coaster. At first I thought “well this isn’t too hard” but before I knew it, I was begging to be back in child’s pose every two minutes. I was super sore afterwards but after a few more practice, my body actually started cooperating. I’m still not able to do the downward facing dog right, but i'm getting there.