Wednesday, June 28, 2017

In Laws vs In Loves

I've decided to start writing more about what's around me. And right now, I've been consumed with my in-laws. Which are not actually connected to be by law but love. So maybe they're more my "in-loves". The reason they are in my life is because of my love for their family member. Get it?

For those who have in-laws, bless your heart child. Please tell me it gets better. My mom says that sometimes it does. Sometimes?? I guess I'll take it. It's actually crazy that love could make you join a union with people you would've never socialized with otherwise.When you think about it, it's kind of ridiculous. But we'd all do a lot because of love.

My in-loves aren't the worst but they hurt my head sometimes. My uncle said I shouldn't allow the situations to, and he's absolutely correct. I am the one who is allowing things to become a headache or big deal. It's not like my boyfriend's mom is trying to kill me in my sleep. If she were, then that would actually be a problem. It's not like she even dislikes me. Instead, she has traveled with me out of the country twice, fed me, let me partake in family functions and even reportedly defended me. So why so stressed with the topic of in-laws? Cause sometimes my partner's family hits my raw spots. I'm reading a book called "Hold me tight" and there is a part about raw spots. You're supposed to discuss them with your partner in an attempt to make each other aware of and sensitive to the others' feelings.

I've done this with my bf but not his family. A part of me feels like it's a defense mechanism to make sure no one now tries to intentionally hit my raw spots. Although I don't think they intentionally would, it's still a hard defense to break. Maybe being vulnerable with your new family is how you prevent too much headache. Let things roll right off of you. Or if something really hurts your feelings, speak up! Also, never take second-hand or third-hand info as fact or truth. Things like this better guard your heart and mind. You don't have to open up your full self (meaning every single part of you) but at least open your heart. Closing yourself makes you part to blame for not having a close relationship with your in-laws or in loves. Think about it.

Friday, June 16, 2017

New businesses

"Currently I am developing new business plans and figuring out what makes sense for me."

I wrote that line in a draft on December 13, 2015. Wow. I am still working on new ideas. New business models. New sources of income, as well as, new ways of using my brilliant mind. I have looked into "side-hustles" I would be interested in and I will share a few ideas I have used and friends have used.

1. Pet sitter- This has been an amazing way to earn some extra cash. I use the money for this one student loan I am trying to pay off. It's projected to take me 16 years to pay it off. I'm hoping with added payments, I can cut it down. Even if it is by half. You can do anything from boarding the pet, dropping in and checking on the pet, to dog walking, or day care service.

2. Cleaning service- I have a friend who was using an app to find places to clean nearby. She would do it on her lunch break from her full-time job or even on the weekend. Eventually, there were some issues with the app she was using and she decided to freelance on her own. But overall, it's a great idea. If you hate cleaning, this may not be the option for you, but if you don't mind it then I think it's an easy way to bring in a couple of hundred dollars a week.

3. Freelancing- As some of you know, I do freelance social media management from time to time. One client for me can be as low as $150/ month, but not any lower than that usually. Therefore one client can pay one to two bills that now is not coming directly from my paycheck. It's really awesome. I prefer using the money for student loans these days, but it's really up to the person. Maybe travel? :)

Honorable mention for getting a part-time job at a franchised business. I had an old co-worker who worked at a gym for a few months to save money for his trip to France. It was impressive how much he could blow on his trip because he had those extra savings.

My future plans for new business ventures I want to get into include, property management of my family home and t-shirt store. My grandparents own two homes and I think both can make more money for them. I'm developing a plan to make it another retirement fund. And as for the t-shirts, I think it will be a great "create it and then leave it" business. Low maintenance businesses are my fave businesses. In the future, I have my sights on a brick and mortar business but that's hush hush until it's a reality.

Here are more ideas you can look into: renting out your home, investing in someone else's business venture, selling items from your home, selling items you create, online tutoring, babysitting, lifeguarding, and more. Think... what would I do if I were 18 again but with all the technology that's available now?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Travel Tips Part Deux

Colosseo. Photo taken with Fujifilm x100t. 

How fitting is it that my last post was about Superwomen? In my life, I have been doing just that. The emergency oxygen masks haven't come down yet, but I am well aware that the "fasten seat belt" sign is on. That's what I've been dealing with for the past 6 months. And now I thought it was time to make a re-appearance. I miss you, ladies and gentlemen.

This post is not going to be about Superwomen though or my problems. I am going to move onto something more fun. Travel! A lot of people have asked about my recent trip to Europe. I spent 10 days in Rome, Venice, Barcelona and Lisbon. It was my first long vacation. Felt a little strange being away for so long, but I kinda loved it. Okay okay, I really loved it. There were a few things that I realized about "traveler" me. For example, by the time my boyfriend and I reached Barcelona, we needed a little break. Not like going our separate ways, but more so hanging with more people. Thankfully we met up with two friends in Barcelona. Got a chance to catch up with someone new and not bicker about how fast the other one is walking ahead of the other (Yes, that happened... a few times). 

I'm going to share pre-vacation tasks that really helped make most of our trip really smooth and really affordable. 

Image result for airbnb
1. Airbnb- I can't say it enough. I know my last travel tip post mentioned it, but I have to list it again. I like having Airbnb private rooms for my stays in foreign countries that I haven't been to before. We did this in Rome, Venice, and Barcelona. All of them had amazing hosts. The one I had in Rome was a gentleman who studied archaeology. As you can probably imagine, he had really unique suggestions of where to go in Rome. 

2. Camera- Buy a good one. Actually, buy a perfect fit for you. I recently purchased a Fujifilm x100T. Guys! Listen to me, I just went through my photos after being home for 2 weeks... I felt like I was reliving the trip. I'm a photographer; have been since I was about 8 years old. Therefore, maybe that's why this was so important to me. Even so, have a camera with you because you will want to remember your time away. Yes, you can use your cell phone but why??? 

3. Data Plan- I have the almighty T-mobile, who I believe kills it with international coverage. It's the best feeling when your phone works overseas. You get that oh so great message. 

If you plan on traveling a lot, get a carrier that is travel-friendly. I do not understand why you wouldn't. Alternatively, at least have the phone cracked. Really? (See what I did there?) Using wifi is the runner-up to not having an international data plan. If you're going to be in Europe, you will be fine. If you are in a rural area, at least make sure your Airbnb or hotel is equipped with it. 

4. Reviews- You're into the latest gossip but you can't go on a few websites and find out the "deets" about where you're staying, eating, or spending your money? If you are looking into package deals for ANYTHING, look up how it went for other people. If you are booking a flight months to a year before your trip, ask google for results of how it went for other travelers who did the same thing. And before you read them, decide what your criteria are. For example, I am the type of person that will dismiss reviews about restaurants that are not about the food. That means delivery, customer service, and crowds but not limited to those. Therefore decide for yourself what's a deal breaker. 

5. More homework- What I do in my home is watch a gazillion episodes of travel shows about the place I am traveling to. My cat and boyfriend are probably sick of it. For my last trip, I decided to add YouTube videos into the mix (why did I never think of that before). It was exactly what I needed. Everything from packing light for a 10 day vacation to travel hacks I may need. These videos actually made a huge difference in our travel. One topic I searched for a lot was "tips on pickpockets in Rome and Barcelona" (Thank you Wolters World). Read articles/blogs/books, watch videos/documentaries/TV shows, ask advice, listen to podcasts.... whatever you need for preparing. 

I should stop there. Save some for another post or even for my new travel blog idea with the boyfriend. Many things to come, just need to plan accordingly.

Next blog will be up soon. I promise!

Proofread a bit. Sorry if there are still mistakes. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Image result for claire underwood

As a woman in a romantic relationship, I have had a lot of obstacles. I’ve been single practically my whole life. Now I have a partner, who adores and loves me. We share thoughts, ambitions and weaknesses. A couple we aimed to be like was Frank and Claire Underwood. A true power couple. One that doesn’t allow love to be a thorn in their goals or agendas. I was a bit sad to see how they triumphed in Season 3, but overjoyed when they got their shit together in Season 4.

When I re-watched the first season, as I approached episode 7, I realized that there was more to Frank and Claire. When I saw season 3, I wasn’t really thrilled at how it ended. Claire abandoned the team. Not just Frank. And it was disappointing.

I used to relate to Claire. Admire her. Then the Season 3 happened.

  1. She was way too empathetic. Had a bleeding heart.
  2. Let herself get overshadowed by her husband.
  3. Wasn’t completely open with her teammate.

Of course, if you saw the next season, she definitely restored my faith in her. Claire was more cunning, stealth and calculated. I appreciated seeing a woman find her way back to herself. Many may say it was finding her way back to her husband, but it’s not true. This character is complex as are many human beings. She felt like she was losing herself and blamed Frank. But the fact was, Claire was the one changing plans and herself, Frank stayed the same. And I can relate in a way.

One of my fears is becoming “a wife”. I love organization and planning, but I am not a “homemaker”. I never quite understood what that meant or how that was comfortable for many women. Of course I’d love to entertain guests in my home, or cook for my husband. I am more concerned with being only that. Being the only person who cleans the house because I have Mondays off. Or the only person that washes the communal items from the house cause I’m the only one who thinks to. And the only person who makes the grocery list because my spouse never thinks to. (Clearly these are things I'm hung up on.)

I never want to be in a relationship where my ambitions don’t matter. Growing up, I’ve heard about the moms who put aside their dream because they wanted to make sure their kids had someone at home. Or religiously makes sure dinner is ready for their husband when he gets home. I don’t want to be forced to be that woman. I want children, and maybe I will want a job position that allows me to pick up my children on time. And there are certainly times I love cooking feasts for my spouse. But I’m not into the idea of me being a mom or wife before a woman. No.

Back to Claire. I believe a lot of women have times like season 3. You want to support your husband, but you do not want to lose yourself. But as my boyfriend tells me constantly, “Stop making it up in your head that I’m trying to make you subservient”. And he’s not. In a way, neither was Frank. They had a plan, Claire was cool with it, but then once inside of the plan, she realized it wasn’t what she wanted. It’s okay to change your mind, you just have to include your spouse. That’s what being a team player is all about.

Image result for put your mask on before assisting others

Quick note to all those superwomen out there: I understand that you want to put everyone else first. Just remember, you can't put on everyone else's oxygen masks before putting yours on first. Got it?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Come Together

Saturday morning, my Uber driver and I got to talking about what's going on in America. Boonj told me that this is the first time he's seen something like this here. He even went on to say that he wants to make New York its own country. Surprisingly what I said to him resonated with him. "You can't hate people you don't know." He stopped and said to me, "You should write." Therefore I am. I did explain to him that I haven't written in a while but trying to get back into it. He also commended me on my speech, "I like how you speak."

I say you can't hate people you don't know, but as many of us know, people do. Hate is defined as "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger or sense of injury." So you could hate without knowing someone but that would make you fearfully ignorant. "Lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified." Am I wrong? I don't think so. 

I love the world, hence why I love to see it from all views. Although the whole world does not love me. My own prejudices growing up had me think that if I was lighter, I'd have nicer hair or a more handsome spouse or other ridiculous assumptions. The reality is that I am beautiful, have amazing but stubborn hair and have a future husband who is very handsome (he just walked into Starbucks and I checked him out).

I'm enlightened as well as intelligent. Persuasive when passionate or driven. Logical more than emotional when making decisions. And right now, I believe my country is lost. Struggling to grow up from its adolescence as many other countries have. Many times, people forget that the United States is relatively young. Not too long ago there were slaves and segregation. For goodness sake, there is still discussion and fights about civil issues in Palestine and Southern Africa.

Patience and kindness are needed. I've said it before, I will say it over and over. Be patient with one another. In the end of the day, you will meet people like Boonj who will randomly inspire you to write. And you'll thank him for the inspiration you desperately needed. That spark of creativity.

We need each one another to make our country great. 

Definitions from

Human Rights Watch

Monday, October 24, 2016

Note from Jamie Lee to America

It's been a while since I've posted any material. Jamie Lee reached to me and asked if I was interested in something she wrote about the election and I quickly said, "YES". I love having material on here that isn't just mine. Having all types of views and opinions is what makes this world fascinating.

Now I pass it on to Jamie Lee:

I have kept my opinions mostly to myself on social media, as I tend to find most discussions uninformed and argumentative which is not my way.... but no more, this has gone far enough.

#imwithher ....I don't care if you like #Clinton or not, please #read a book, read the #newspaper, #educate yourself and discover for yourself - #DonaldTrump is nothing short of a dangerous choice for our country.

#Voters: let's examine Trump's "policies", if of course you could manage to find the time when he speaks in depth regarding his positions on...uhm... anything. As opposed to utilizing diversion tactics such as putting a wife's husband's mistress in the audience as a petty attempt to distract Senator Clinton, or speaking ill of Former President Clinton or President Obama (I must have missed when they were added to the ticket and running for the 2016 election). Or lastly is too busy using his (mostly stolen) speaking time throughout the debates to threaten to arrest Senator Clinton (FYI Donald, that's not the job - you may want to reference a description before spewing out such uninformed threats, or you know...applying). Etc... etc. 

Take a moment to read and listen to how he speaks to and of women. Do we want the leader of the free world to be a man who speaks about our #women in such a derogatory fashion? This #country fought for women's rights for decades. Now we are considering #VOTING for a man, into the highest office in the land, who feels this way about our nation's hard working women?  Our mothers, daughters, nieces, granddaughters, who are CEO's, business owners, authors, actors, doctors, nurses, and etc? Donald Trump outwardly treats women in such a belittling and disgusting manner. Let us not forget, this man is a husband, father of two beautiful daughters, and grandfather to a granddaughter. 

Voters answer me this, "Is this the American way?" Is this how we want our potential future President to speak and feel about of 47% (and growing) of the United States work force? Do you find that to be acceptable?

Our nation is considering electing a Commander in Chief, who filed bankruptcy only two weeks after he threw a lavish multi-million dollar wedding on his private island. This is a fact. Is this the candidate who will fix our countries finances? Our national debt? We are an intelligent nation of people. Do not make an uneducated uninformed decision. Let alone one so important to our future. 

Ladies and gentleman, no one is asking you to read the Wall Street Journal front to back... for goodness sake just GOOGLE!

We have not even touched on the fact that we are a country based on #immigrants coming to America in the hopes of creating a life in this beautiful #free land. Not only did Donald Trump's own family come to The United States at a point in history, but two of his wives are immigrants. And that's not to throw a low blow (I typically find it in poor taste) but facts are facts. One of Trump's wives may or may not have hinted at😉...working in America illegally for some time. 

Not every #immigrant is #illegal - let alone unworthy of a life here in #America. THERE IS A BETTER WAY TO ESTABLISH BORDER CONTROL and TO STABILIZE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. A WISER WAY, A MORE HUMANE WAY. AND WAY IS ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, NOT A WALL! Is this 1961? Have we learned nothing from our world's history?

This "man", this CANDIDATE, believes and stands for NOTHING that this #beautiful land of hope and freedom was built on. His rallies do nothing more than spread inaccuracies, stimulate hatred and rile up the #American people based on chatter that is far from the truth.

VOTE!!! Vote #smart. Vote educated and most crucially vote as a human being. For you, your family, your #children, your grandchildren and our #future.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


The gum chewing in between distracted me most of the speech. 

Let's talk about this. The hype around Jesse Williams' speech is still much present. I came back from my vacation to find there were insulting remarks made to Justin Timberlake. Completely understand the perspective and argument but maybe we shouldn't attack white people who agree with the cause. That's like I never quite understand how racial minorities can be homophobic. You can not (although many do) fight for equal rights and still exclude people. It's incorrect. Absolutely incorrect. Equal rights itself knows no color, sexuality, or religion. It knows no difference from one person to another. Equal rights knows generosity and civil actions towards one another.

I surprisingly found myself agreeing with Jesse on a lot. Some things were best said because he in fact has been present, when black people talk about white people, and vice versa. His perspective is broad. "He's not 'that black person'. He's Jesse," I'm sure a lot of his friends think or say. I personally don't identify with being black often, but in regards to my race, Yes I am for sure black. Otherwise, I'm Panamanian Haitian American and I am very proud to be so. But when I thought about how white my day job is... I had to think. Is he right? My ideas are used but I don't get promoted but my supervisor does. The one director who was black in my department just left. Now everyone, who is black, in any sort of management role is primarily in a manager position. And I don't want to make this only about black managers, let me be clear, there are no minorities in any roles above a manager level. Interesting.

One would ask if anyone qualifies to be promoted or hired into a management role, and the answer is yes. Myself and a co-teammate of mine have applied to be managers before. We were told how amazing we were but weren't given a chance. I've been classified as a leader numerous times but I haven't been offered a position in an actual management role. Many would ask but I haven't, is it because we are both other minorities? My answer, I don't know.

I understand that competition in the work place is strong, but as a resident in East Harlem said to me once, "Girl, you have a Masters?! What you doing out here?" I explained my reasons and he went on to say, "While you're being all noble, everyone else is making money". And he is 100% correct. What the fuck am I doing? What the fuck are we doing? I tell my clients in these undeserved communities all the time, "Stand up for yourself. There are resources and ways to help yourself." I need to take my own advice. I don't need to be happy that I just have a job. I need to excel, have a position that fully appreciates my genius and opinion. There is no need to hold myself back. But then again, my day job is not my end game. I'm an entrepreneur and have businesses I want to pursue. Cause when I'm in the Power Seat, I will make sure that everyone who works hard is compensated for all their hard work. Whether it is with me or somewhere else.

I'm not done.

Black lives do matter. I believe that wholeheartedly. Again, I want to emphasize that as Americans and humans in general, we need to learn compassion and understanding. Black lives, LGBT lives, Hispanic lives, poor lives... Lives matter.

There have been many disgusting acts of hate that unfolded in the last two months. At some points, once again, I had to think. Am I naive to believe that all people in America should be treated with equal respect? I don't think so. I believe that people are angry. They deserve to be. Cops are scared, and they deserve to be. What doesn't deserve to happen... black men being gunned down in the street. There is no excuse for that. At the same time, I believe many of us are waiting to hear a different type of black man to be murdered by the police.

"...a black lawyer who just finished working out at the gym, walking to his car with his duffel bag"

And I can't disagree. As a friend of mine pointed out, it will never happen. There is a scene I remembered from House of Lies. Don Cheadle got beaten up by the cops while taking a jog. Was it his fault? No. If you think it was, maybe it was because he argued with the cops. Do white people ever yell at the cops? Hmm I think so. So why exactly would it be his specific actions that warranted a beat down?

The Civil Rights movement wasn't even 50 years ago. We still have much to learn. Yes, we had a black president but that means absolutely nothing. The people of America need to change what happens next, not our leaders. The people. There are still people, who spewed hate less than 50 years ago about minorities, that are alive. My hope is that, as many of them die off, so will their beliefs about "porch monkeys" and "Spics". (And side note, Latinos also need to stop the race game too. A drop of European doesn't mean you're white. Your hair gets curly too.You know who you are.)

At the same time, it's been almost 100 years since women had to "stop" fighting for their equal rights. And still they push on every year. Getting a say in what they do with their bodies. Demanding the same pay for their roles in movies or even at more conventional jobs. Asking their men to stay home with the children instead. Becoming CEO's, entrepreneurs, millionaires and overall independent! Women have fought for their rights every single year and decade, for a hundred years.

There will be no end, but constant development. Be as strong as the women are and make that shit happen. Make everyone listen. Don't just isolate yourself from others, make others involved as well. No more conversations, instead more actions. We are all strong and capable. Let's push on for another 50 years and make shit happen. Don't get angry, get determined.

And THAT'S what I took away from all of this. Thank You.