Blog Life + My Favorite Essentials.

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Zebra Pen. All writing is my own, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hello there, thanks for taking the time to read my blog post.

If you’re a new reader, let me fill you in real quick. I’ve been blogging for quite some time now. This year made 5 whole years since I’ve acquired this little space on the internet. I wanted to share this post about the realness behind blogging and my favorite essentials, with the hope it inspires you to get out there and start something you’ve always wanted to. Hopefully, it’s blogging, and you get inspired and just do it!

What is blogging life like?

“Blog life” is not as crazy as you think. Like everything in life, it requires a bit of consistency, dedication, passion for writing and sharing something you love, and an overall drive. Being a person who enjoys writing since I was a child, starting a blog seemed like the perfect fit for me, and using my Sarasa Grand Gel Retractable Pen keeps me always prepped and ready to write down everything.

When getting into the groove of starting a new blog post, I always make sure I have my favorite essentials that keep me organized and focused. I’ll chat about that in my next paragraph. One thing I can say that can be a little tough being a blogger is coming up with new fun titles for blog posts. I know, that should be so easy right? However, for me, I sometimes overthink it and struggle to come up with a catchy blog post title that would grab my readers’ attention! Hopefully, I did a good job with this title, because here you are reading! It must’ve grabbed your attention somehow!

My Favorite Essentials

Okay, so every blogger or writer has a list of things that they must have that get them organized and focused when they sit down to complete a task or blog post. For me, I have a couple of things that are always nearby when I start working on my blog. Do you want to know what they are? Don’t worry…I got you!

Water/Refreshing Drink

Having a beverage on hand is super important for me because I get dehydrated and have a dry throat very easily. When I’m writing I love a refreshing drink and I like to keep it fancy by adding a lemon or some type of fruit. My go-to’s are lemons, strawberries, blueberries and cucumbers. The sweetness of the drink also gives me the energy that I need to keep going!

Notebook

My notebook allows me to jot down ideas and new content for the future. As a blogger and content creator, planning out posts and staying super organized is number one for me, especially juggling so much throughout the week. I like using a notebook because I prefer writing on paper more than typing on a laptop or computer. Call me “old school” if you want but that is what works for me!

A Reliable Pen: The Sarasa Grand Gel Retractable Pen

My Sarasa Grand Pen from Zebra Pen is always near. This metal gel pen writes super smooth, it’s stylish, easy to grip, and has rapid dry ink (which is a plus because I tend to smudge ink easily sometimes). It is also refillable, and it has just the right amount of weight. You guys know how some pens are super light or super heavy? This one is JUST RIGHT! I also love that it comes only in black ink, because I’m a black ink lover! Only the metal barrels are available in another color.

I Choose Different by using the Sarasa Grand. This affordable but premium pen, made for savvy and confident professionals like myself, has changed the way I work, get inspired, and my overall goal-reaching attitude, all while still complementing my personal style. I use this pen to reach my goals while still maintaining a strong aesthetic. Although we live in a tech-savvy generation, it’s important to physically write while on and off the job.

Check out more information here on how you can Choose Different: https://bit.ly/3yHWCiD

Light snack

Next up is a light snack…I mean, a girl got to eat! I don’t know about you, but I’m a snacker and I’m proud of it! I try to eat a healthy snack when I sit down to write and prep my content, just to have a clear conscience! Do you like healthy snacks, because I’m a chewy bar type of girl.

Laptop

My laptop is my second notebook. I can use it to research things and find inspiration online. Although I prefer my notebook, having my laptop has saved me numerous times when it comes to finding inspiration for my posts!

Music

I love playing music, especially calm, soothing sounds because it keeps my mind at ease and in tune.

Clean environment

Last but certainly not least, my final essential is maintaining a clean environment. This is #1 for me. I cannot function in a mess, so a clean environment has to be the first thing I make sure I have.

So, there you have it. All my favorite essentials! What are your favorite essentials? If I had to choose, I might go with my Sarasa Grand Gel Retractable Pen and my notebook, because they are the basics for me.

Thank you, Zebra Pen for sponsoring this post!

Better Sleep With Bearaby

Guys, my sleep patterns have shifted, yep I admit it. Since my baby girl has arrived, I find myself sleeping later hours than usual. I’m talking wee hours in the a.m. I mean, that’s part of it (I know I know, newborn life). The thing about me though, I was an owl even before baby was conceived, so the late night sleeping don’t affect me as much as it would for my husband. I wanted to find a way to fall asleep faster when I put the baby down, instead of being up scrolling through my socials or texting friends. Bearaby weighted blankets was exactly what I needed to help with my problem.

Have you ever tried sleeping with a weighted blanket before? If no, keep reading (if yes too haha). Weighted blankets benefits the body in three ways: better sleep, feelings of calmness, and less stress.

HOW IT WORKS: Deep touch pressure, serotonin (hormones that stabilizes our mood/feelings) and melatonin (hormone the brain produce in response to darkness aka helps with sleep), and cortisol. I bet you didn’t know that. To be fair, neither did I before I got it.

Here’s My Honest Review…

The weighted blanket I used was the Tree Napper in Almond, weighing 20 lbs. The packaging it came is was 10/10 aesthetically pleasing. The quality of this blanket is amazing 10/10. I used it over my comforter every night for a week and it gave me a cozy and warm feel as mentioned before. In terms of falling asleep faster, it didn’t work instantly like I imagined, but it did help tremendously. I love to feel cozy and cuddly at night so this worked really well for me. I think I could have gotten the 15 lbs instead for a tad bit lighter feel, but the 20 lbs was not bad at all. Sidenote: on the website they have a guide to help you figure out what weight is best for you. What I love about the blanket also is that it kind of comforts to your body, in a really snuggle-like formfitting way and that is truly a plus when it’s a bit chilly in my room! If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, I’d totally recommend this product 8/10, only because I should have went down to 15 lbs.

Check out Bearaby.com for more weighted blankets! It comes in sizes for kids as well! xoxo MJ

SPRING HAS SPRUNG INTO LESSONS TO SHARE.

Spring has sprung in NYC and everyone’s mood has been lifted. It’s something about seeing the sun shining through your window onto your skin that sits well with me. With this whole pandemic lasting a whole year now, it’s great to feel a little bit normal like pre-covid times. Although I won’t be dining in restaurants or traveling to another country any time soon, I’ll be taking lots of walks and getting as much fresh air (cautiously) as possible. What’s your spring plans (that’s if you have any)? Share them in the comments.

I’ve realized I haven’t been putting much energy into my blog like I used to. I mean, I didn’t even renew my blog subscription this year and I only realized it last week. My life has been BUSY OKAY, so I need to give myself credit for bringing a whole baby into the world. Yes baby girl has ARRIVED! It’s so crazy because I should’ve been wrote up a blog post to fill you guys in and share my experiences and things I’m learning so far. In due time I will get around to it. If your’e NEW here, welcome! I had a baby during a pandemic. She is healthy, beautiful, full of personality and I’m obsessed with her little face. She was born on January 18, 2021, 3 days earlier than her due date. In case you were wondering, I did film my birth story! Here’s the LINKS for both part 1 & 2. Enjoy + subscribe to my youtube channel!

My Birth Story: Labor & Delivery Part One

My Birth Story: Labor & Delivery Part Two *lengthy but worth it, trust me*

Okay guys, back to the title of this post “Spring has sprung into lessons to share” and why I chose it. So I’ve been learning life lessons since this pandemic started last year March 2020 and I wanted to share it with you all. I’m so grateful for them and the clarity it has brought to my life.

  1. Making the decision to forgive and still not feel any different. This was a big one for me because I consciously and intentionally would forgive people, but still feel the same feelings. What I had to realize was that I have to let God do the rest and heal my emotions. My devotional I read called “Promises for your everyday life” by Joyce Meyers has really given me prospective on this.
  2. Pray until something happens Pray for something once and wait for God to answer. We often pray for things and keep praying for that same thing over and over. No, pray once and let God do the rest. He heard it the first time and he’s working on His time.
  3. I’ve learned and I’m still learning the importance of being content in every situation life throws at me. This means being okay if you don’t get the job, get laid of that job, lost a friend/family member, missed out on a brand deal, didn’t get chosen for a position etc. I’ve learned that choosing contentment in my every day can bring about real peace and happiness. Letting go of that burden and leveling up to a fearless way of life.
  4. Comparison is definitely the ultimate thief of joy. I’m not a person who compares themselves to others, but last year I was at a point where I found myself comparing my situation to others. That was a complete shift for me and I guess being pregnant (my early pregnancy stages) brought some negative thoughts on giving birth. That was before I was fully educated on giving birth…
  5. This leads me to #5 lesson which is Education is the key to understanding, knowing and doing. If it wasn’t thanks to my husband and I getting doulas and taking birth classes, those fears of birth would have never been subsided. I learned to always educate myself on things before completely judging it.
  6. Life won’t always give you roses, sometimes you get thorns. That’s a hard lesson to learn, especially being a Christian. As christians we (me) often times you think nothing bad or trials won’t come walking your way, but that’s a lie that needs to be chopped by it’s roots. Things will happen, thorns will grow, but what counts is how you handle it. Giving up isn’t an option with christ.

I hope these lessons I learned has helped you in some way. I just wanted to share things I’ve overcame in case you may be going through something similar. Remember that life is like a plant, water it and it’ll grow, but leave it dry and it will dwindle right before your eyes. Keep nourishing and feeding your souls. Live a life of love, joy, happiness & growth. -MJ

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January Check In: Let’s Dive In!

Hey guys, it’s 2021! How are we feeling? Blessed, exhausted, renewed, ready or over it? So many feelings about the new year, but the ultimate one for me is blessed.

My first post for the year has to be about prayer because guess what, it changes the game in so many unexpected ways. We often associate prayer with wanting something from God, but it’s also about being thankful to Him for what He does for us and through us. In terms of my prayer life, it has elevated throughout my pregnancy. I have seen God work and show me so much favor throughout this journey and I wanted to share that little testimony with you guys because I have so much!

Disclaimer: So for the sake of transparency, I do plan to do a youtube video surrounding my entire pregnancy journey and also have a Q&A segment in case you guys have questions for me and husbae! So, make sure you go subscribe to my youtube channel so you don’t miss the upcoming videos I have for you guys. Subscribe HERE!

My pregnancy journey has been the smoothest thing ever. I have not experienced the terrible side that most women experience and I honestly think it has a lot to do with me speaking into existence what I wanted it to be like and praying about it from the start. WORDS HOLD POWER. Please remember that. I’m a living testimony of that. I took photos documenting my journey and I’m constantly looking at them in awe that pregnancy has been so good to me. I’m not going to lie to you guys, there was a few things that I did not enjoy about being pregnant. Those things were: side sleeping at night with a big belly (the absolute worst thing for me because I’m a belly sleeper lol), having to remember to grease and rub my belly every morning and night, lack of independency haha. Let’s get into that last one. I’m usually a do-it-yourself type of gal, but while pregnant I couldn’t always do it all like I used to. Things like rearranging my living room, climbing on chairs to hang or stuck things up, tying my shoes (this one I didn’t mind because husband was a gem haha) etc.

Things I didn’t experience:

  • No morning sickness
  • No diarrhea
  • No heartburn
  • No swollen feet (only like twice when I sat for too long i one spot)

Can you imagine that? God really came through for me. I prayed for this and he delivered. The one thing that did happen was my blood levels being low because I was iron deficient, so I had iron treatments for that in five doses (through an IV). Talk about a drag because I absolutely HATE needles! I’ll cover this more in-depth in my video so I’ll stop here.

BIG NEWS BIG NEWS BIG NEWS BIG

So for those of you who are content creators, you know the importance and significance of reaching 10K on instagram. If you don’t know why…it is because of the “swipe up” link you get when you hit 10K followers. I so happened to finally reach that milestone and I’m so proud of myself for it! The reason being is that when brands see that you surpass 10K and have the swipe up link in your stories, it makes you more marketable and that brand would want to work with you even more. This is how we content creators, bloggers, influencers make money doing what we love to do. Check out my next blog post where I give some helpful tips on how I made it to 10K followers + I give some instagram hacks on how to get more engagement! READ UP!

IF YOU WANT TO GROW ON INSTAGRAM, FOLLOW MY ACCOUNT FOR MORE TIPS!

Okay, thanks for reading guys. Have a great week! xoxo MJ

Things To Leave Behind In 2020.

I just wanted to make a list for you guys of some things you should consider leaving behind in 2020.

Let’s remember that this year we were faced with probably the most trials, but ask yourself this question:

“Why is it that this year showed me it’s worst, yet still I found a way to triumph?” – What response did you have? (Leave it in the comment section. I’m curious.

Here’s the short list:

  1. Doubt. Too many times you may have found yourself on the self-doubt train asking yourself “why is this not happening for me?” or “what am I doing wrong?”. What you need to understand is things won’t always go as planned. Honestly “planned” events are overrated, I can attest to that. Majority of the things in my life never went as planned and it has been the most enjoyable, blessed moments of my life. So instead of beating yourself up and second guessing your greatness, own it and control it!
  2. Boundaries that are unclear. We are all getting too old to have unclear boundaries with others, especially where one party has to second guess or figure out how the other is feeling. Set clearer boundaries and be direct about what you are going to accept and what you aren’t.
  3. Fear of failure or fear of not being enough. This one gets real, real quick. You have to let yourself You have to allow yourself to grow out of the mindset that fear is in control. Be open and committed to learning your value and your worth.
  4. Not celebrating yourself and your accomplishments. Many people feel guilty when they accomplish something and celebrate themselves. DON’T. You worked hard. You put in work. You had long days and night. You never gave up. Do not feel like you have to tippy toe around others who have not yet accomplished anything. If they are truly in your corner, they will be completely happy for you & will even want to celebrate with you.
  5. Settling. That word is gross. Why settle? You were made to be more than the average joe. Allow yourself to take steps intentionally in the right direction where you will prosper.
  6. Gaining approvals from people. I struggled with this. Understand that you do not need anyone’s approval to do YOU. Please please please leave this behind! You owe it to yourself to be your own biggest cheerleader. You do not need to get “okayed’ by anyone.
  7. Joy killers. We all know of these kinds of people. Let them go. Anyone who can interrupt your joy and happiness need not to be a part of your life. Period.

I hope this was helpful. As we go into a new year in a couple weeks, let’s remember to take things that will only bring us joy, peace and love.

Have a great week! xoxo MJ.

Do you want to be POPULAR or IMPACTFUL?

I saw this question somewhere and I was immediately in deep thought. The realness of this question deserved a written post because I have some things to share that might benefit someone reading this today.

In the world today, many strive to be popular, whether it’s in the work they create/produce, the number of people who “follow them”, or from any other content they decide to let the world see. That’s nice for a moment, but when it all starts to fade, will we remember you (or it)? That’s where being impactful & intentional comes in. The time is now to think about the impact your are leaving in the footprints you leave behind. Is it positive or negative? Have you given your all for a purpose or just for praise? Was your work valued? Did you use your time wisely or foolishly? All these questions are what you should be pondering on, as you read this.

For me, I want to be impactful. I want every word written, every photo taken, every video recorded, every tip shared to be valued. Back in 2016, when I started my blog it was intentional and still is now. My love for writing is one of my passions in this life and I one day will push forward to higher heights reaching more people daily. What is your passion? Do you have any?

It is especially important to me to not just be “popular”, but to be impactful for my daughter because she needs to see what she can become and more. That sets my purpose in action.

It is our duty as human beings to live our lives to the fullest and endure all the experiences that come with it. Popularity is only for a moment, but having an impact on someone last for an eternity. Think about teachers you’ve had in the past when you were a youth, the good and the bad, what impact did they leave on your life? I can ask 10 people that question and each of them would have at-least one thing they remember their teacher did for them. As an educator, this is my goal also, to leave an imprint on my scholars so that they can be great in whatever they desire.

In whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. Let your light shine and work with a purpose. Let that be your legacy.

Thanks for reading. I hope this post left you in deep thought and actively ready to make a change in your life. Be sure to show some love or leave a comment AND follow me on my socials to KEEP UP WITH MJ!

~Written with love and with baby miller in mind. xoxo MJ!~