This semester has taught me a very valuable lesson: give yourself grace. This semester has been full of immense pressure as I think about life after college. I have had many sleepless nights and many emotional breakdowns. One thing I know for sure is that it will be okay (I am mostly saying this for myself).
Life is so hectic and it’s easy to think we need to be doing more and achieving greater heights. While evolving is important, it’s also important to recognize that life is about balance. I love spending time with my friends, and getting my nails done. These simple moments remind me that it is so important to breathe. My friends uplift me and make me cut myself some slack.
It is so easy to be hard on yourself, but give yourself a little grace today because you’re doing amazing sweetie (Kris Jenner please don’t sue me)!
Today I stopped by The Potter’s House. It is a non profit organization with books and meeting rooms. It is a place where you can grab a cup of coffee while staying engaged in the community. I had a vanilla latte.
Being in a bookstore always gets me excited! I have always loved reading ever since I read my first chapter book, Junie B. Jones. I am so grateful that the people who I grew up with made reading cool and stressed the importance of staying informed. Books made me think critically and question the status quo. They have encouraged me to dream big dreams. While the books I read now have changed, my thirst for knowledge and a good story remains the same.
This year I read a very transformative book.
The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay was one of the best books I’ve read for 20 somethings. She gives real tangible advice grounded in her experience as a Psychologist to 20 somethings. I am so grateful that I came across that book because it transformed how I think about money, relationships, and the most defining decade of my life: my 20s.
Today I stopped by The Cup We All Race For Coffee Shop. It’s a cute little shop located inside The Line Hotel. The place is known for being trendy and chic. I had a chai latte (I NEED A BREAK). I have had so much coffee these past few weeks, I needed to stop and pace myself.
This break from coffee inspired me to think about other things in my life that I need a break from. I never realized how many bad habits I have normalized in my life. We all need breaks, literally and metaphorically, and I think that now is the perfect time to take them!
I have compiled the things I will be taking a break from (yay for lists!).
Social Media (I care way too much about Keeping Up With the Kardashians)
Shopping (I made a budget and I’m sticking to it!)
Stressing (I will find a job and life will be fine!)
Stuffing my emotions with food (carbs will not get me down!)
I hope my break inspires you to take a break from whatever it is that is keeping you from being great!
Today I stopped by Songbyrd Cafe in Adams Morgan. I loved the energy in the place! The coffee wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but the vibes made up for it (almost!).
Music is one thing we as humans have in common. No matter race, age, religion, or geography, we all need music. My first introduction to jazz music was in 5th grade when I began playing the alto saxophone after trying 3 other instruments. Then I joined the jazz band in high school, and my band teacher Mr. Keith Oxman made me passionate about the genre. Sadly, I haven’t picked up my saxophone since I graduated high school 4 years ago, but I will always remember listening, and attempting to play, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and Moanin’ by Charles Mingus.
I wanted to share some of my favorite tunes at the moment!
-Ugh, Those Feels Again by Snoh Aalegra
The Lion King: The Gift by Beyoncé
Everywhere by Chloe x Halle
Cuz I Love You by Lizzo
Could’ve Been by H.E.R feat. Bryson Tiller
Share your favorite songs and let me know your first introduction to music.
Today I stopped by Philz Coffee in Adams Morgan. Philz is a unique coffee experience for sure. I had the Philtered Soul medium roast coffee blend. It had notes of hazelnut and chocolate. Smelled great and tasted even better. Philz caters to all your coffee drinking needs. Stop by and let them know I sent you!
While I was walking I came across this mural. It reminded me of the importance of stopping and checking in with yourself. It is the middle of the semester and I am checking in to see how ya’ll are doing. I am tired! Whoever said senior year would be a breeze, lied to me. Balancing 22 credits, finding a job, hanging with friends, mental sanity, and life has been quite the challenge. I can’t believe it’s already October. Three more months until the year is over, and I am reclaiming my time.
Take time to check in with yourself and those around you. Life gets hectic and it is so easy to let things slip through the cracks. Take a pulse of your mental health and your calendar. Honor yourselves and treat yourselves well!
Today I stopped by The Coffee Bar on S Street, and let me tell you something: I have never had a better vanilla latte! It’s beginning to look like fall here in the DMV, and I couldn’t be more excited. Howard University Homecoming is rapidly approaching and the whole D.C. area will be shut down. I will definitely be drinking a lot more coffee in the coming days.
I love getting my nails done. When I was younger my mom promised that if I stopped biting my nails she would take me to get a manicure. After my first mani-pedi I was hooked for life. Getting our nails done together has been a tradition for as long as I can remember, we even started including my grandfather in the fun while he was alive. Even now as I am away from home, I enjoy getting my nails done. Self care takes on many different forms, and for me, getting my nails done is a necessity.
You know I love lists, so I have put together a list of the best nail salons in the DMV area. You’re welcome!
For me, getting my nails done is the ultimate treat! What is your favorite self care activity? Comment and let me know!
I always love when I find great coffee shops in my neighborhood. It makes getting a quick cup easy and convenient. I stopped by Compass Coffee on 8th Street NW. I had a dirty chai, which is just a chai tea latte with 2 shots of espresso. It is one of my favorite drinks during fall. I love the spiciness of the chai, and I of course love the energy boost. Check out a dirty chai at Compass Coffee, and tell them I sent you!
As I mentioned a few blogs ago, I love to shop. However, there have been some things that I have bought and now regret.
My leather backpack and tote from Madewell. Now I absolutely love my backpack and tote, and I love Madewell. I wish I would have known how much maintenance goes into keeping leather clean and nice. The maintenance cost is definitely something you should consider with any purchase.
This summer in New York, my friend and I stumbled upon a pop up shop, Amanu, that specializes in handmade sandals. My shoes are the coolest thing ever and I get so many compliments, but they were EXPENSIVE! In hindsight I should’ve gone to Target.
Now this one might seem counter intuitive, but please do not buy textbooks. I have spent so much money buying textbooks that are in PDF form or that we never used in class. Triple check the internet before purchasing books because chances are you can find the material you need for free!
Make sure what you buy is feasible. Other wise you’ll be stuck with some regrets.
Hello world! I have enjoyed searching DC for the best of the best, and I have found some real gems. At Emissary I had a Mint Mojito Iced Coffee. It was minty and delicious, and the closest thing I’ll be having to a mojito until my 21st birthday in a month! I loved the vibe in the place, and could feel the good energy. There are so many things I love about coffee shops, but my favorite is the community that is built.
For one of my classes I interviewed an entrepreneur to see what its like building a business from the ground up. When talking to my classmates about their projects, I learned about so many amazing black owned businesses in the DC area. People of color have been denied access to property and money for centuries, so I think it is super inspiring to see so many men and women of color own businesses.
I have compiled a list of some black owned businesses. Support them and show them some love! It takes quite a lot to be an entrepreneur.
Calabash Tea Bar, 1847 7th St NW
Here’s The Scoop!, 2824 Georgia Ave NW
The Spice Suite, 6902 4th St NW
Ben’s Chilli Bowl, 1213 U St NW
Khepera Wellness, 100 Michigan Ave NE
Coffy Cafe, 3310 14th St NW
Puddin’, 1309 5th St NE
Lettie Gooch, 1921 8th St NW #110
This isn’t all the black owned businesses in DC, but its a list to get you started. We must support each other, or no one will.
Hello! Today I stopped by Bourbon Coffee. Bourbon Coffee opened its door in Kigali, Rwanda in 2007, and now has coffee shops in DC and Cambridge, MA. Bourbon Coffee is the first coffee chain to originate from Africa. They believe in producing coffee naturally crop to cup. It was a beautiful space where I felt uplifted and joyous. I enjoyed the Virunga roast. The Virunga roast is sweet and vibrant, with a pecan nuttiness and a smooth clover-honey finish (bourboncoffeeusa.com). It was a delightful cup of coffee, and I could tell the beans were grown and harvested with love.
As I was sitting and waiting for my coffee, I thought about our world. We have the luxury of living on such a beautiful, majestic planet, and I feel like we have completely taken it for granted. My mind kept thinking: we’ve got to heal our world. Not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
Being a college student makes sustainable living quite difficult, but I am going to challenge myself to cut down on my plastic use and my overall consumption. I am also going to try and shop with businesses that are taking care of our planet.
I stumbled upon a cool athletic clothing company. Girlfriend Collective takes plastic water bottles and fishing line, and makes athletic workout gear. I think that its ingenious to take something so destructive like plastic water bottles, and use them to make clothing. A great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Check them out, and let them know I sent ya! 😉