The one tip that will guarantee your most amazing workout ever

 

This one small change can make a world of difference in the way you break a sweat.

This one small change can make a world of difference in the way you break a sweat.

Give a girl the perfect shade of red lipstick and she can conquer the world. I don’t know why but there’s something about it that commands attention. It delivers confidence. It’s risky. It’s bold. And of course, it’s the perfect mix of sultry and sassy. – All things that almost every woman in America knows. I never believed it though. Despite, having to wear red lipstick for every dance recital or performance ever in life, I’ve never understood the lure of red lipstick. In fact, I hated it. I always found it’s bright red hue to be overly loud and obnoxious. Characteristics that I never found in myself.

The notion never stopped me from owning red lipstick though and mixing it with every other lipstick color I owned just so I could tone it down a bit . That is until one faithful  day when I was scheduled to teach a Zumba class I was dreading. I loved Zumba but I’m never quite sure if the participants love me. In fact, this class in particular has been pretty challenging – they hardly ever crack a smile, are very quiet and never answer any of my questions. In fact, it had gotten so bad and mind boggling that I debated quitting. Continue reading

How 57 Cents Became My Key to Paying off Student Loans

Few things make me happier than a good bargain. In fact, since my husband and I vowed to changequotelimit spending to necessities in order to pay off debt, a good bargain happens to be the easiest path to our shared high as of late. That means eating out is a no-no, random shopping sprees are forbidden and going to the movies is out of the question. Our quest to pay off student loans also meant that if an item wasn’t on sale, it wasn’t getting purchased. So if there’s not a coupon, or special pricing it’s not gonna happen. Hence, a lot of things get left on the shelves.

That’s why when IHOP announced it’s 57th anniversary sale of a short stack of pancakes for 57 cents, I was beyond ecstatic. In fact, I immediately called my patient husband to let him know that nothing else mattered on that day because we had a date at IHOP. For weeks, I fantasized about how the date was going to unfold. I pictured the welcoming host ushering us to a table  romantically set in the dim corner overlooking the garden outside the restaurant. I imagined my husband and I joining hands as we admired our color coordinating date night outfits. And finally, my smile grew and eyes twinkled as I fantasized about the ridiculously inexpensive check thanks to our splurge on those perfectly priced 57 cent buttermilk pancakes.

Just the thought of the cheap date made my heart smile. Who knew such a great splurge could make a bargain hunter so happy. That is until reality struck. And unfortunately that reality was that my planned date was a forbidden one. Why? Because it was a splurge. Inexpensive or not it wasn’t a necessity. Sure it was only 57 cents but it was 57 cents taken away from my student loans. My husband and I made an agreement that only necessities and career purchases would be made while focusing on a future of debt free lives. And even though an inexplicably cheap short stack at a favorite pancake eatery was good there was no way I could justify it as a necessity.

In fact no discount percentage on a splurge was worth my shifting focus away from the bigger picture of paying off those student loans. I realized that once I justified one splurge it would only be a matter of time before I justified another one. First it starts with a splurge of 57 cents on a shortstop of pancakes. Then leads to a splurge of $5.70 on some new pole dance gear. Then the next thing I know I’ll be justifying a splurge of $57 on a crazy sale at MAC cosmetics. No matter how good the sale is, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s money that should have been applied to paying off student loans. I was not about to let a 57 cent shortstack of pancakes be my gateway drug to irresponsible spending and a longer debt sentence.

So instead, I said goodbye to my dreams of cheap eats and revisited the pact we made reserving all expenses for necessities.  And with that, I sealed the deal by applying the 57 cents I would have spent on pancakes to one of my student loans. While disappointing to know that I soon wouldn’t be feasting on Ihop hotcakes I was proud of myself for standing my ground. Because if a splurge on 57 cent pancakes was the gateway drug to other inexcusable splurges, than resisting a tempting 57 cent bargain was the gateway to resisting even more unnecessary sales allowing me to get even closer to my debt free dreams. If I could say no to 57 cents, than I could say no to $5.00, $15, $150, $500 and more. With every no I say to an unbelievable sale I get even closer to being student debt free.

And to think it all started with 57 cents. It may not be a lot now, but has the potential to become much bigger than I ever imagined. 

Are you nickeling your way to a student debt free life? What methods have you taken to pay it off?

TERRIfic Quips: Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is bringing you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

Why It’s Hard to Trust Your Gut and How to Start

moneyquoteAt 1 am one Thursday morning while I was sound asleep, I got a phone call from my husband who was at work. Normally, a phone call at this time will jerk anyone out of a peaceful sleep in fear that something was wrong. On any other day that probably would have been me. However, this night in particular I didn’t get the feeling that something had gone array. And I was right. As I sleepily answered the phone, my husband asked me a question about a topic I normally wouldn’t care about it. But this time was different.

“Guess who just got traded to the Sixers?”

Without hesitation, I excitedly yelled into the phone as though I wasn’t just sound a sleep, “Jason Thompson.”

See, this was a big deal to me. My husband and I went to school with Jason and since the day he was drafted to the Sacramento Kings several years ago, I told my husband that one day he would be playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. However, according to my husband and many other die hard basketball fans, that would never happened because the Sixers didn’t need a big man. However, I stuck to my gut despite what the naysayers said.

Many years went by and my gut never wavered in spite of my lack of sports knowledge and what the statistics dictated. So when I got the late night from my once skeptical husband announcing the news, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. People doubted me, questioned my reasoning and pointed to facts “proving” my speculation would be wrong. However, my gut didn’t care. I knew what was meant to be and I was right.

Moments after hanging up the phone with my husband while basking in my glory, I questioned why it was so easy to stick to my gut when it came to something that didn’t effect me at all.  Meanwhile, I can’t do the same when it comes to my future.

It’s easy to take a gamble when there’s nothing at risk. In my case, the worst that could happen would be the relentless teasing I’d get from my husband and brother who thought my prediction was outlandish. It wasn’t a real gamble. However, sticking to my gut when it comes to starting a new business venture, moving or other life altering change is a huge gamble – one that can affect my family, friends and entire livelihood.

So instead, I play it safe – ignore my gut and go left when everything in me tells me to go right. Why? Because it’s the tame thing to do. Just like when I listened to my gut in regards to Jason being traded – believed not trusting to my gut with big changes involved no risk. Of course, I couldn’t be more wrong.

As I looked back on different scenarios in life, I realized refusing to trust to my gut had been the riskiest thing I could do. Choosing to ignore my instinct, resulted in my entering a toxic friendship that later caused me heartache, a much smaller bank account and missed business opportunities. And of course, I can’t forget the guilt trip I put myself through once I realize I actually should have gone with my gut feeling. It usually begins with  beating myself up for a few hours, complaining to my husband and then second guessing every decision I make for the next week as I’m suddenly less in tune with my gut. In hindsight, the aftermath is always much riskier than the decision my gut was telling me to make.

It always seems to make so much sense after the fact. Meanwhile, at the time  you should be trusting that annoying feeling, it’s so unclear and scary for reasons that never make sense. And that’s just it. It’s so scary because it doesn’t make sense. We’re scared because the risk of trusting defies logic and we’re afraid of making the wrong decision.

So what’s stopping us from taking the risk of following our gut now? The fact that we made wrong decisions in the past? Is it because we have no way of predicting the outcome of following that gut feeling and being wrong? Well, here’s the funny thing. Even if it is the the wrong decision we have the power to turn it into the right decision later on. And when you think about it, that’s what life is all about. We are all a result of our bad decisions, which isn’t such a bad thing in hindsight. And at some point, even when the decision was wrong we found a way to amend it. And look at what great people we’ve become because of it!

But imagine if you trusted your gut. If it’s the right decision you’d be patting yourself on the back for a job well done. And even if your gut was the wrong decision, you wouldn’t be dealing with that nagging voice in your head asking, “What if did trust my gut?”

Why don’t just avoid all of that and just start trusting yourself. Of course, it’s easier said than done. But trusting yourself is a lot like trusting the person you intended to marry. If you want to begin following your gut more, I suggest building the type of trust you see in a spouse. How do you do that? Make a decision, stick to it and learn from the results. In time, you’ll see that the more decisions you make and stick to, the easier it will be for you to trust your gut when the time comes.

I can safely say that as trivial as it was, my ability to stick to my gut in regards to Jason Thompson being traded to the Sixers has definitely boosted my confidence when it comes to trusting my gut when it comes to riskier decisions. And to think all this clarity came from a late night phone call.

Do you find it easy to trust your gut? In what ways have you learned to trust yourself?

TERRIfic Quip: There’s a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen

 

 

The Most Important Life Lesson You’ll Ever Learn

 

imporantlessonDuring my short 26 years on this earth I’ve been taught a lot of things.

I’ve learned the importance of manners.

I learned self-respect and self-love are the best gifts you can give yourself.

I learned having a budget is the key to financial security.

I learned that college is not always synonymous with education.

I’ve also experienced my fair share of disappointment. Continue reading

The Reason Why You Should Always Help the Competition

Want to be a success? Help the competition

Want to be a success? Help the competition

It’s no secret the job market these days is extremely small. And if you are unemployed, it seems as though the job pool is always shrinking by the minute. Throw in the desire to work in a highly coveted field such as journalism plus the fact that the field is constantly being wiped out by the internet and you’ve got yourself in what seems like an extremely complicated 5k with merciless racers and a finish line you just can’t seem to cross. And in that 5k race, the competition is truly ruthless as they trip you, lie, steal and keep secrets from you.

It’s a 5k I’m proud to say that I’ve come out on top. My blog reaches a decent amount of views a day, I’ve had my byline appear in national magazines, I’ve found a balance between my writing and dancing and I’m able to schedule my own hours as I work from the comfort of my home. I’ve certainly had my fair share of competition and have been fortunate enough to beat a few across the finish line. Continue reading

Motivational Monday: Are You Stuck in a Rut?

There’s something about Monday’s that make you not want to do anything remotely relating to work. Correction: There’s something about Monday’s that makes you not want to do anything at all. Throw in a the gentle rumble of some thunder and soothing rain and you’re almost guaranteed a day of non-productive activities of cuddling on the couch and watching your favorite movie. In fact, as I write this I’m fighting the urge to crawl into bed and play dead for the rest of the night. Could you blame me? There’s nothing more lethargic than a summer storm. It’s the perfect setting for putting you into pool of laziness.

Usually, that lazy, I’m-stuck-in-a-rut, don’t-even-think-about-talking-to-me, pissed at the world feeling lingers on into Monday. However, this Monday was different. I awoke this morning to 77 degree weather and a sun who’s warm kiss reminded that it was indeed the first full day of summer. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about summer that makes me feel inspired, motivated and imaginative. And then that feeling quickly vanishes as I realize, my summers will still be filled with work, bills and responsibility that once again settles me into that rut.  It’s not like it was when were kids when every new Monday meant a new adventure once school let out. Of course, it only took me a matter of seconds to realize that summer isn’t like it used to be  because I changed it to an excuse to fall even deeper into a rut.

As I listen to the kids giggling outside my window, I decided it’s time I look at each summer Monday through the eyes of a child – those eyes that knew every new day was an adventure waiting to be explored. And so,  I made a list of my summer adventures to break me out of my rut.   Rather than dread every Monday that comes your way, revisit your childhood and make a list of all the things that make you feel like a kid at heart. After all, summer is the perfect excuse to go an adventure.

TERRIfic Quip: It’s Monday. Don’t forget to be amazing.

50 Amazing Life changing Freebies You Must Take Advantage of Now

50 Amazing Life Changing Freebies You Must Take Advantage of Now

A good bargain is always right around the corner.

Well, it’s official. Memorial day weekend – time for honoring our fallen soldiers and celebrating their courage all while bringing in the unofficial start of summer – has officially ended. The huddling around the grill has ceased, the beer has dried up and the gas has run out. You might be thinking the money has run out too. After all, with the cost of gas, tolls and beach fees rising, Memorial Day celebrations could be a bit pricey. So obviously a boat load of people will be doing everything in their power to cut back anyway they can.

Of course, I’ve been living in the frugal side of life and cutting back way before Memorial Day. As you may recall, I am aggressively working towards paying off my student loans. Like most people, I believe living debt free will change my life immensely. That means splurging on shoes, eating out, makeup hauls and random samples sales are a big no-no. As a of matter fact, spending money on anything at all is frowned upon until I get my student loan balance down to $0. I’ve been actively hunting down any deals, coupons and any bargains imaginable.  On my quest to spend no money ever, I’ve realized that it’s almost impossible.  Continue reading

Why 3pm will be the most important minute of your life this Memorial Day

It’s finally here. Memorial day – the unofficial start to summer. It’s the day 80 percent of us are too busy sitting in traffic heading to the beach, babysitting the barbecue grill and throwing back a beer to recognize all the fallen soldiers have done for us. Meanwhile, the other 20 percent recognize what  their fallen soldier has fought for, but struggle to remember that he or she is no longer there. Sounds crazy? Well, it’s not.

Time and time again it’s the survivors of the fallen that repeatedly tell me that remembering isn’t the problem; it’s the forgetting they aren’t there that’s the most painful. It’s never hard to remember what rights the soldier fought for. However, it’s the days you absent-mindedly set a plate at the family cookout only to remember your love won’t be joining that is hard. It’s the moment your grandkids say the silliest thing and you pick up the phone to excitedly call their grandmother forgetting that the call will go unanswered. The survivors will always remember the selfless act their fallen hero did for Americans. But they will forgot their presence can longer be physically felt from time to time. Meanwhile, 80 percent of us are too oblivious to notice their pain.

Thats why congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance act to honor those fallen heroes in another way. At 3:00 pm today, we are urged to stop everything for one minute to pay respects to those who served our country in such an honorable way. That means thinking about the major sacrifice soldier took when leaving their family, the sense of uncertainly they felt while on the battle lines and those they left behind who are hurting during those times they forget their loved ones are gone. At 3:00 pm today, you are urged to remember them, pray for them and thank them. It’s because of their selfless act that we are able to enjoy this unofficial start to summer.

And once the clock strikes 3:01 or anytime after that, make a conscience effort to support the widows, the children and other loved ones of the fallen as they continue to make sense of life without their family hero.

How to deal when people intentionally hurt you

 

mage courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hurt people hurt people. It’s a  popular quote most people know when referencing painful relationships. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be any catchy quotes for dealing with hurt from that person you trusted. I know because I looked and failed. And it happened at a time I needed it most.

Just two weeks ago I was forced to deal with someone whom  I thought was a friend intentionally hurt me all over a misunderstanding. She questioned my character, belittled me and shamed me publicly on social media. And to make matters worse, she made it known that I was no longer welcome at a place I loved. If that isn’t called hurting you intentionally – I don’t know what is. Rather than doing what she did  – attack her character and publicly shame her on social media- I did what comes naturally to most Cancer women (or anyone for that matter). I cried. I cried for days wondering how this person I thought would be a life long friend could treat me so poorly. I cried for hours mourning the friendship and chapter of my life that had come to an end.  I cried for days wondering where I went wrong and blamed myself for this girl’s callous actions towards me.  And as the tears subsided I wondered how I would make the hurt end.

I’d be lying if I said that it still didn’t hurt sometimes. While hurting her just as bad as she hurt me would’ve made me feel better temporarily, I knew I had to find way to deal that had more impact. Luckily, all I had to do was look towards the people I admire most to realize the steps that I needed to take. I only hope the below help you as much as they helped me deal with someone who tried to hurt me intentionally.  Continue reading

Motivational Monday: Have You Given Thanks?

It’s almost 10:30 am. Have you given thanks as yet? I’m not talking about praying…. although praying in the morning isn’t a bad idea either. But what I’m talking about is giving thanks to those people in your life that help make life worth living and bliss. When was the last time you showed your mom how appreciative of her you are when it wasn’t mother’s day or her birthday? Or how about the last time you gave your doctor a shout out for her amazing bed side manner? No, covering the difference in your copay doesn’t count. Birthday or not, holiday or plain ole Monday, people like to feel appreciated. What better way is there to start the week than by showing your love to someone else just because it’s Monday? And I don’t mean just an “I Love You” text or “Thanks for being you,” email. I’m talking about a physically handwritten letter with your favorite pen on a piece of paper you carefully selected. Continue reading