Cheap Publicity

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Let’s just get right down to it. I believe that the H&M ad was done intentionally to get people, in particular Pan Africans emotionally involved for publicity. It worked people are talking about it, hell I’m talking about it via social media, and now I’ve made it a blog. Of course they are going to have their PR team put together an apology about the “insensitive ad.”

Anyone who has ever listened to an elder, read a book, or taught anything about racism knows that racist White people compare Pan Africans to monkeys and call us monkeys! Should the situation be taken lightly? Absolutely not! However, we seem to be an easy mark because many of us don’t think it’s a big deal or don’t care because “we like H&M.” I guess ignorance really is bliss.

Think about that for a moment… Publicity at your expense because you don’t even take yourselves seriously…. I wanted to just remain silent o the issue but then I wouldn’t be true to who I am and the entire reason why I started this blog was to inform the uninformed! Know that the constant attacks on Pan-African people are deliberate. If you don’t stand for yourself and people like you who will?

I will not be posting the picture of the ad because I feel the the same way about that picture as I do about fight videos! I don’t want to see them therefore I’m not sharing the image (images). I’ve given that company too much light already..

Thanks for visiting LetsTalkRaeStyle.com

 

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Potty training blues

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Written by Katrina Hamilton

 

I was recently scrolling through my Facebook timeline and came across a post from a mom asking her followers for pointers on how to quickly get her daughter potty trained. Her comments section was filled with all kinds of pointers from physically disciplining the child, to bribing the child, to making the kid run around naked for an entire weekend, to taking time off work to get it done. My husband and I recently conquered the often dreaded potty training quest ourselves, and throughout the journey, I learned one important thing from it: Potty training your little one is much easier when you don’t try to force them to do it! I don’t even remember when I first started trying to potty train my daughter (yes, it took me so long that I lost track of how much time had passed!), but all I know is that I initially and unnecessarily caught the blues trying to potty train my daughter because she simply wasn’t ready.

I’m not a fan of forcing small children to do things they don’t want to do. I don’t believe in bribing them to do things to try and make them learn faster and I’m definitely not a believer in physically disciplining a child because they’re not learning at the pace that you want them to learn, so I just stopped forcing the issue. When I’d ask her if she wanted to use the potty and she said yes, I let her do it and I cheered her on. I squealed, clapped, made up songs, danced, and did everything else short of throwing a party for her to encourage her. When she didn’t want to use it, I didn’t press the issue. Because I chose this method, it took forever to get her trained! However, when she was ready, she pretty much trained herself. It literally only took her less than 2 days to go on a consistent basis! Now she even asks if she can sit on the toilet when she doesn’t even really have to go!

I said all of that to say this to all of my fellow potty training moms and dads: These stages of our babies lives are supposed to be fun, carefree, and stress free. At this age, learning is supposed to be fun for them (and us)! Every child learns at a different pace, and forcing them to do something that they’re not ready to do just adds stress to them. Also, if your child is anything like mine (who acts JUST like me), trying to force them to do something that they’re not ready to do or that they don’t want to do only makes them purposely prolong the process! Why put yourself through that?!
We as parents are already half crazy and stressed out about 85% of the time (Ok, Ok. About 95% of the time), so why not eliminate some of that stress when you can? I understand that as a proud parent, you want to be able to say that your child can keep up with everyone else’s, or even say that your child can do more at an earlier age than the average child, but is the stress on you and your little one really worth it?
My advice to those mommies and daddies who are in a hurry to rush your little ones along is this: Don’t do it! Sure you may be tired of paying $30 for a case of diapers or pull-ups every couple of weeks, and maybe you’re tired of feeling like other parents are forcing you and your child into some kind of competition with them and their children, but you owe it to your children (and your sanity) to just let them learn and grow at their own pace. These years go by lightning fast, so just relax, have fun, enjoy watching your babies grow up, and give the middle finger to anyone who tries to make you feel like you and your children aren’t keeping up!

Rake it up the re-up

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How much money did you spend on Christmas gifts? Did you add additional people to the list at the last-minute? Did you dip into your saved money to do some extra things over this holiday season? I know many people are still buying outfits for a big New Year Eve party or get together. Some of us got new outfits to sit in our families living room for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas is now over, and if you don’t have a New Year Eve outfit yet I wish you the best of luck out here. It’s important to start replenishing your cash!

You probably used your credit card too. Watch out for those interest rates. I know you still want to go to brunch on a Sunday or two after the holiday. I’m also sure you want something to eat other than holiday food. I didn’t even take any leftovers home. I can’t eat them after day 2 anyway. If you’re one of those people that don’t need to replenish any funds be it regular spending money, savings, or savings for Christmas funds next year then bravo to you! The tips I provided are not for you, but maybe you know someone that may be interested.

Below I’ve have 10 tips on revamping your stash. It’s all about discipline.

1. Go over the amount of money spent over the holidays.

2. Decide how much you want to save or replace per pay cycle.

3. Create a budget for groceries, toiletries, and gas to last you until your next pay. STICK TO THE BUDGET!

4. Don’t dine out unless someone is treating you. You’ll save so much money by eating at home.

5. You don’t have to go to every single event you’re invited to. Instead invite people over for a game or movie night.

6. Stop yourself from ordering merchandise online. You don’t need it because you’re not doing that much hanging out, remember? Refer to number 5.

7. When shopping for your toiletries get them from a store that you don’t like to be in for long periods of time like Walmart. It’ll be beneficial to get what you need, and get out of there!

8. See if there are extra hours available for you at work. If you have your own business big or small run a sale on some items or services that you provide.

9. With the money you have remaining from your pay cycle you can pay more toward your credit card balance if you used your credit card, and the rest you can stash in your savings.

10. Repeat the cycle until you are back on track with your dollars.

Happy Savings!

Meditation Stimulation

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It seems like more and more people are interested in learning the art of meditation, or just trying to relax their minds. To some folks meditation is just a fad, I mean it has become very popular and mentioned in every day discussions. For me meditation is my solitude. Meditation is my way of relaxing, connecting with the Universe, changing my reality, recharging my positive thoughts and energy, as well as a form of prayer. I began to meditate in or around 2013. It started off pretty rough for me because I have a hard time quieting my brain, and I wasn’t consistent with it. I secretly had a meditation mentor (Mashonda), so I would ask her questions and listen to the feed back that she provided others. As of today I am much better at meditating, but still not a master. I’ve even meditating with someone before.

Although I am a regular sometimes there are people and noises around my house, which takes me a little longer to get to the level in which I seek in meditation. The level that I like to achieve is the feeling of floating (astral journey/projection). I actually read that it’s recommended to readjust and realign oneself when meditating if you begin to have this experience. It’s described as an out-of-body experience, which is not encouraged. Those that teach meditation approach is to connect a person with their inner feelings, and to discover the Universe within. Sort of igniting your spirit within yourself.

So, meditation experts feel that the out-of-body experience is mentally beyond meditation. Since I don’t feel disconnected in that moment I don’t see it as an issue for me. Although I must admit I was a little blown away by myself the first time I felt the feeling of floating. It’s as if you have no body weight, and you’re being lifted in the air. I don’t always reach that level, but it’s certainly my goal.

Since there are only 4 more days left in this year, meditating is a perfect way to closeout the year. You can get rid of all of the negative feelings, sadness, pain, anxiety, and fear that may be lingering in your mind and heart through meditation. I have put together a list of 10 suggestions to help beginners or maybe even regulars meditate.

1. Focus on your breathing. Regular deep breaths: Inhaling and exhaling.

2. As you are trying to clear your mind random things will come to your mind don’t focus on pushing them out. It’s natural, and the more you focus on your breathing those thoughts will go away.

3. I have aphorisms and/or affirmations that I repeat in my mind as I am meditating. I suppose you could call this a mantra. You should create your own and repeat them in your mind.

4. If your background noises are distracting to you I suggest you plug your ear buds into your phone and put them in your ears. I listen to the album “Meditation music Collection New Age.” It’s super relaxing.

5. I usually sit in the dark Native American style or I lay flat on my back (In the bed or on the floor. It’s up to you.)

6. Know and understand that meditation takes time and patience.

7. You might fall asleep. That’s just how relaxed you’ll be. Don’t let that discourage you, it happens. Either keep going or go to sleep.

8. Many meditation sites suggest that you meditate during a certain time of the day to make it part of your routine. I am not suggesting that. When you’ve meditated about 3 times, everything in you will tell you when you need to meditate.

9. You may want to create an ambiance. If so go ahead and light some candles.

10. Don’t be afraid of the process. This is for your wellbeing.

I hope this helps. Enjoy your meditation session!

1st of the month

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It’s the first of the month! Time to set new goals! How much holiday food did you eat? I had more macaroni and cheese than I’d like to admit to eating. It’s back to the workout grind! Especially if you slowed down or didnt workout at all while you enjoyed those days off for Thanksgiving.

The beginning of the month is a great time to start new fitness goals! I’m starting a new eating plan today. Afterall losing weight is 80% of what you eat and 20% of working out. So, if you’re one of those people that hate to workout switch up the amount that you are putting on your plate. Eating on a saucer helps. If it can’t fit on the saucer it’s too much.

The meal plan I’ve created for myself is very little to no carbs/starch, little to no dairy, and I can only have something sweet (sugary) one day out the week. I’m going to go as long as I can without sweets. I’m somewhat addicted to them! Statistically it’s better to adjust the amount of your intake rather than completely removing certain foods drastically. It’s all mind over matter.

However, so many people associate food with emotions, and special occasions it makes healthy eating challenging. Every little bit counts! If you’re looking for a workout plan contact A&D Fitness, and they’ll get you together. Here is their Facebook page link➡️https://www.facebook.com/AanDFitness/ I have a great workout regimen from them that I do in my living room! You’ll definitely sweat!

Email me TheAshleyRaeBrand@gmail.com or leave a comment to let me know if you have any health goals this month. We can check each others progress and motivate each other.

Happy beginning of the month!

 

Drew Barrymore

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Random Rant: I wasn’t suppose to post this blog until December 1st, but I just heard that SZA was nominated for 5 Grammys! I’m so excited for her that I just could not wait! It makes my heart happy that someone could articulate so many different stages of growth that has affected so many people.

 

I began listening to SZA’s album “CTRL” a few months back. I hadn’t even heard her popular track “Love Galore” on the radio yet. I saw some people talking about her music on Twitter. Then I remembered hearing her on Rihanna’s album.  I always listen to new albums and artist the same way from beginning to end.

I had just arrived at the gym and climbed onto the stair climber and hit play on my IPhone. I listened to every song and interlude during my workout and finished the rest of the album on my way home. The next day I did the same thing. By the end of that week I had reviewed the lyrics and selected my favorite songs. Sza does an excellent job of boldly stating the thought and feelings that women often have when dealing with love, or what we think is love. The first track is called “Supermodel,” the very first verse sticks out tremendously. SZA sings “I’m writing this letter to let you know I’m really leaving And no, I’m not keeping your shit. Heard you got some new homies, got some new homies, even a new hoe too.” The verse may seem awkward to read, but trust me it’s quite catchy when singing.

It’s almost like Sza read the world her diary with a beat behind the words. I admire her raspy yet sultry R&B sound. Sza has been receiving tons of praise and love for her album. However, it has come to my attention that so many people are concerned about her track titled “The Weekend.” The Weekend describes Sza being in a love triangle with a man who has a woman. Her exact words are “You’re like 9-5 and I’m the weekend.”

She describes wanting him to do certain sexual things with her etc. Of course you have women on their high horse speaking negatively about the song and Sza for creating the song. In reality all Sza’s doing is telling a story that many women are familiar with. It doesn’t matter if you knew at the beginning of the situationship, or if you found out as it ended. Either way, you were still in the situation!

The topic of this song is bothersome to me because I am sick of women attacking other women, and also because there are so many other songs on the CTRL (control) album that deserve our attention! There are so many songs on the album that expresses other scenarios, feelings, and insecurities that women experience while trying to grow, find themselves, and find love that we should be highlighting and discussing! I mean that from track number 1, which is “Supermodel”all the way down to track number 14, which is titled “20 Something.” Everything in between is soul touching.

I titled this article “Drew Barrymore,” because I love Drew Barrymore as an actress and it’s one of my favorite songs on Sza’s album that deserves our attention and discussion. Sza named this particular track Drew Barrymore because she said the lyrics would be perfect for a role the actress Drew Barrymore played in such movies as “Poison Ivy,” “Boys on the side,”  and Never Been kissed!”

 

The album in its entirety is about self-worth and self-love. We discuss showing self-worth and self-love, but we often dismiss the feelings that we have about ourselves that demonstrate the lack of self-worth and love. On the CTRL album Sza openly talks about those negative thoughts, and the overactive consciousness of our brains that often trick us into untruths about ourselves, and others. It even highlights how we’re afraid to lose control even though there is nothing we can do about certain situations. Which, creates the art of letting go!

Listen to the CTRL album for yourself. If you’ve already listened to it,  listen to it again! Listen with less judgement on what you claim your morals and standards are! Listen with open ears, an open mind, and an open heart.

 

Thanks for visiting LetsTalkRaeStyle.com

I Didn’t Always Love My Fro

Lil Fro's Blog

By Anna Antwi


When I was young I didn’t always like my hair. I didn’t want to embrace my kinky-coily afro. Instead, I wished for long straight hair like my classmates.

I didn’t really pay attention to the texture of my hair until I moved out of London to a small town in Sussex with my family. I had moved from a very diverse environment to a place where I was the only black girl in my class. This affected me as I grew up because I always felt like the odd one out.

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Beauty with Destiny.

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Destiny(Photo of Destiny with makeup applied by Destiny.)

Hello Beauty lovers! I’m Destiny and I’ll be bringing you beauty tips and techniques. Let me tell you a little about myself! I’m a professional Makeup artist and cosmetologist. I attended and graduated from Paul Mitchell Cosmetology school in Sterling Heights, MI. As a cosmetologist, I specialize in slaying faces A.K.A. applying makeup!

Honestly, I never thought that I would work in the beauty industry: Even though beauty has never been shy of my childhood. I’m not sure where I inherited this gift or interest from, because my Mom’s one of those women who can’t do anything as far as beauty for herself. However, I use to watch my Grandmother get ready with her fancy clothes, wigs, and makeup.

Just watching her transform was always so fascinating to me. Not to mention she would purposely let me play in my aunts black lipstick that she hated so much lol. As I got older I began experimenting with makeup, and experimenting with my look. I played mostly with eye shadow and lipstick. By the time I was 16 I had tons of eyeshadow pallets, from gifts to my grandmothers old pallets.

I remember having my grandfather help me put dye in my hair for the first time,  and it was BLONDE! I was so scared I kept asking him so many questions to the point where he screamed and said “I don’t know any more than what the box says, Destiny!” My mom came home in complete shock. I put her through a lot with my experimenting! Our house would often smell like a 24/7 salon. 

I started my own business after high school called Sweet Cake Nails, where I would go to little girls party’s, and give them manicures with cartoon nail art. I guess you could say I always dabbled in beauty! However, attending Paul Mitchell molded me into the professional I’ve become today. After all Paul Mitchell is known as “The cosmetology school” of all cosmetology schools! I remember when I thought I’d never have clients and now everyday I wake up there is someone booking with me,  or asking me about makeup. At 23 I am definitely still growing in this industry, and I’m enjoying the experience of it all. 

 

I’ve been doing makeup professionally for a few years now, and I learn something new almost everyday. Makeup artist Should be perfecting their craft daily. I’m aspiring to be that person to help you with your makeup journey. I also create wigs and I can do nails! I’m all things beauty wrapped up in one! However, makeup is my love!

Below are some of my favorite inexpensive products that can be found at your local Drug store, and beauty supply. You can achieve bomb makeup looks with products listed.

1. Milani Conceal & Perfect 2-in-1 foundation,

2. Maybelline FIT ME. The Maybelline fit me concealer is a good product also.

3. LA girl concealer and it’s about $5 cheaper than the Maybelline!

4. Black Opal is great setting powder. Black Opal has amazing products for black women. It has good pigmentation and doesn’t leave that Casper the friendly ghost flashback we all hate.

5. Airspun. You have to be careful with this if too much is applied, you won’t need help finding Casper that night.

6. Lastly, Setting Spray Elf & Nyx Cosmetics are my top favorite for any drugstore setting spray.

Those are just a few for the face, I will have more of my favorite products listed on this site and, I’ll also provide tips, take suggestions, & answer questions, etc! You can also subscribe to my Youtube channel to watch tutorials, ask questions, and interact with me as well! 

Stay tuned for more beauty with Destiny on LetsTalkRaeStyle.com

Subscribe to my Youtube channel- http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_m7uaDJKWwiTMXz42lWlvA

Follow me on Instagram- @MakeupDestiny

Raphael Wright: For the Culture.

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28 year old Raphael Wright is making major play moves and noise in the city of Detroit. If you haven’t heard of him, let me give you some insight. Raphael Wright is a Detroit Native who was born, raised, and still resides in Detroit today. He’s the CEO and co- founder of Urban Plug L3C. He also has his own company called Plug’d media, which is a hip hop media outlet that distributes and publishes books, music, art, film, apparel, and interactive media. Wright decided to launch a go fund me project to purchase and open a Black owned and operated Grocery store on the Eastside of Detroit a little under a year ago. His goal is to rebuild the Black economy, and as he stated, in order to do so we (Black people) must invest in our needs. “Every community needs a grocery store and to see most of our communities in Detroit without a viable grocery store is driving my passion.”
 Wright isn’t only an Activist, Father, Entrepreneur, and CEO with a plan for a local grocery store, but he’s also a well read author. Wright’s favorite authors are Robert Greene and Nicolo Machiavelli. Wright wrote a book titled “How 2 hustle,” and he also has a new book titled “Wealth.” His passion for teaching the black community how to become financially stable and wealthy is due to his experiences around other cultures and how money is obtained and operated between them. Wright is making it his duty to give Black people the financial game.
It’s always interesting to know how far people have grown and developed as far as their mindset from youth to adulthood. Raphael is no different. He stated that in his youth, he was all about himself, because that is what he was taught- much like most of us. As he began to learn and experience more, he realized that what affects one of us affects all of us. He has been strengthening and building the community ever since then. He stated “As time and life happened, I realized the power of unity and community strength.” When asked about his struggles, he explained that he struggles with changing the culture and indulging in the vices of the current culture. He wants to find a balance between the two. Wright is supported by many, and finds his strength when struggling from within himself. It sounds to me like Wright is in touch with multiple levels of consciousness.
Even though Wright has a busy schedule, he still finds the time and energy to continue to work with Detroit’s male youth. He plans on creating more formal programs to continue his leadership work. In the words of Wright: “Leaders have to build leaders.”
I asked Mr. Wright who his favorite Black activist was, and if he could hold a conversation with one Activist from the past or present who would that person be? It didn’t surprise me that a young Black man with so much drive, resilience, and knowledge selected Malcolm X as his favorite Activist and Marcus Garvey as the Activist to hold a conversation with. In our history those are two very important figures that made their stance clear and concise, yet don’t get the credit they deserve.
It’s very rewarding to be able to come in contact with people like Raphael Wright. He has goals and plans for the community that he is putting into action all while remaining human. He didn’t mind telling Let’s Talk Rae Style about his struggles with our current culture while teaching and living within a new culture. We all indulge in some things that may be frowned upon, but it’s always important to remember that we created a culture because our original culture was stripped from us. So, it’s perfectly okay to blend the current with the new. We as an ethnic group are constantly growing, changing, developing, setting new standards, and breaking barriers.
Let’s Talk Rae Style would like to thank Raphael Wright for his interview and for his contributions to the culture and community.
To learn more about Mr. Wright and his publications please visit his site www.rafawright.com and to contribute to his Go Fund Me account visit www.gofundme.com/starting-a-community-grocery-store
                             ORIGINAL INTERVIEW Q&A ARE LISTED BELOW

Ashley Rae: You launched your go fund me account a few months shy of a year ago for a Black owned and operated grocery store. At what point in your life did you realize the community’s lack of governing our own food source was a problem?

Raphael: I realized how important us controlling our own food was when I dedicated myself to social entrepreneurship. We as a people will never build an economy without investing in our needs (food, banking, medicine). Every community needs a grocery store and to see most of our communities in Detroit without a viable grocery store is driving my passion.

Ashley Rae: What made you decide to focus on uplifting and informing the Black community financially?

Raphael: I’ve been exposed to so much when it comes to money while engaging with so many groups of people that I know our race is hustling backwards. So, I’m making it my duty to give our people the game.

Ashley Rae: Who’s your favorite writer/author and favorite Black activist?

Raphael: My favorite authors are Nicolo Machiavelli and Robert Greene. My favorite black activist is Malcolm X.

Ashley Rae: Do you feel like our parents’ generation dropped the ball in some ways? Particularly on informing us about how the world really operates, how we’re viewed as Black people, and on the matter of finances. Do you think they lacked the knowledge as well?

Raphael: I don’t think our parents had the knowledge or tools to teach us how to become wealthy and maintain our wealth. Our generation was taught to play it safe, that entrepreneurship was for dummies because school was more important, and that we shouldn’t support one another. We now know the real because we’ve experienced things these past 10+ years that’s showing us what direction we need to go in.

Ashley Rae: Have you always had the desire to bring love and unity into the community or did it progress over time?

Raphael: In the past, I only worried about myself because that was the mentality I was taught. As time and life happened, I realized the power of unity and community strength. There can’t be only one man on top. The community has to be on top.

Ashley Rae: We all have ups and downs especially as artists. Who do you call on other than God when you need to be motivated and recharged?

Raphael: Most of my motivation comes from within or indirectly from me watching other people win, especially from an entrepreneurial sense. When I see people I know winning, it automatically pulls me in place when I’m down.

Ashley Rae: Who’s your number one supporter?

Raphael: I don’t know! I get love from a lot of places. Plus, there’s too many people who will say they’re my number one supporter so I’ll exercise my fifth amendment right.

Ashley Rae: When you were a kid, did you need someone like the adult version of you to speak with for guidance?

Raphael: No. The closest mentor I had was my older brother but that was all indirect. Nobody really pulled me in as a child or teenager.

Ashley Rae: What struggles are you or have you faced on your journey to serve the greater good, and as a writer? Have you always been as woke as you are today?

Raphael: I’m stuck between changing the culture and indulging in the vices of the culture. I’m woke being that I know the game but I’m human enough to admit I’m still with much of the ratchetness that we embrace. My struggle is finding a balance where it all makes sense.

Ashley Rae: Have you ever considered starting a program for young Black men in an initiative to help them progress and develop in life and also within the careers of their choice?

Raphael: I work directly with the youth, particularly males all the time. I’ve created a few formal programs in the past and have plans on continuing that work. Leaders have to build other leaders so that’s one of my real passions.

Ashley Rae: If you could have a conversation with one Activist past or present who would it be and why?

Raphael: I would love to speak to Marcus Garvey because he’s the first person that comes to mind when it comes to unapologetic blackness. I would love that conversation.

Treat yourself

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Every now and then I feel like the work that I’m doing isn’t enough. I find new ways to become more productive. I get a little lazy sometimes and put things off. I have a corporate job, run and write my own blog site, I’m a business writer (Business Service Solutions), and I’m in the middle of writing my second book.

The last 3 months have been hectic! I’ve been working nonstop. There has been constant brain storming, collaborating with other wtiters, working out, and my regular social gatherings. I can’t seem to actually go to sleep until 4am, and I have to get up around 7:30am. I’m a night owl anyway, but I typically try to get to sleep around 2am.

I really do try to sleep. I forgot to mention that I’m managing 3 Instagram pages and 4 Facebook pages. Needless to say I’m tired, and it’s hard to admit it! On my Business Service Solutions (@Business_Service_Solutions) Instagram page, I give a business tip every week. This week’s business tip is take a vacation!

It’s so important to take care of yourself, and put everything else on hold. Although I have technically had 3 vacations this year, I didn’t leave the state and I still worked all of my businesses. The only thing I didn’t do was work my 9-5. Today I’m taking a mini vacation. I have about 4 or 5 days off, and I’m flying out.

I’m going to try not to answer any emails or go to bed thinking about my next and/or current projects.

Treat yourself!