10 Random Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Me

Every few weeks or so I try to share a blog post with my readers on different things. Something I’ve noticed is that while I do share a good portion of my life happenings, I’m never really shared too much about me as a person. That promoted my idea of sharing 10 Facts my average reader won’t know about me!

My Mom stayed putting me in these extra ass dresses

  1. I was born with a broken hip: It’s hard for me to believe because I’ve never had hip problems *knocks on wood* but it’s true! My mom says I had a difficult birth and broke my hip on the way out. 
  2. I’m named after my dad and his beat friend (at the time): My birth name is JerMara and the Jer comes from my dad Jerome and the Mar comes from the name Marlin, who was my dad’s best friend when I was born. Apparently they don’t really talk anymore. A shame. I used to hate my name but it’s grown on me haha.  
  3. I started pre-school when I was 3 years old: I also almost skipped a grade when I was in kindergarten to go to 1st grade. I believe this is why I was overdue for a break from school when I graduated college haha. 
  4. I have oral allergies to MOST raw fruits: It always surprises people when I tell them I like veggies more than fruits but raw fruits give me soooo many problems! The only fruits I can feel completely eat raw are strawberries. I also like apples, peaches, mangoes (without the skin).
  5. I’m deeply terrified of snakes: I literally can’t even watch them on tv. Thanks to my family for letting me watch the movie anaconda at 3 years old. 
  6. I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was 13: Before I wanted to be a lawyer I wanted to be teacher and an author. I still want to write a book (or books) some day but as a substitute teacher now I know forsure I would never want to be a teacher (hug a teacher and give them money, they don’t get paid enough for what they do!)
  7. I’m so 16% fluent in spanish according to Duolingo: I should be way more fluent considering I took it 3 or 4 years in HS and one semester in college but just give me like 5 years! Haha.
  8. I don’t like puzzles: I also don’t like most board games. I might tell a story about why on instagram live one of these days. We’ll see. 
  9. I’ve been to 7 countries in Europe: For my college graduation I got a grad-trip that was two weeks long. I went to Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and The U.K. I loved Verona, Italy the most and Switzerland the least (our money is shit over there). 
  10.  At some point in my life I want to live in Washington DC and Italy for an extended period of time: I loved the cities I visited in Italy and want to live there. I also visited Washington DC in 2016 and fell in love. I feel like at some point I have to live in both those places, even if it’s just for 6 months to a year. I want to visit Ghana and I feel like it will also get added to my list of places I want to live once I do. I just have a feeling. 

Me in Verona, Italy under Juliet’s balcony

What’s something random nobody knows about you? Leave a comment and let me know! Xoxo

My First Color Run 5K Experience

At the end of last year I got this crazy idea to do twelve 5Ks in 2018 (one for each month of the year). It sounded like a good idea to have a way to keep me healthy and track my progress throughout the year. One of the 5Ks I’ve always wanted to run was The Color Run 5K. Not only would I be able to get covered in vibrant colors, I’d be able to get some fun cardio in and rewarded for my efforts with a unicorn medal. I was all for it and even got my best friend to agree to run it too (unicorns are one of her favorites). I was excited for my first ever Color Run and I couldn’t wait.

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The Day Before:

The week prior to The Color Run was a strange time in Vegas weather. It suddenly became even more cold and windy. This was something I had a hard time coming back to from my getaway to Florida the week before. I’m talking cloudy with a 100% chance of crazy winds and the next for more than a regular light jacket I was used to wearing. I had to pick up mu packet Friday after work and I felt that I was going to freeze to death in Container Park (okay, maybe not freeze to death but ya girl was cold!). I asked myself “what if it’s even colder at 8 in the morning? Do I really want to do this run this badly?” The answer was YES, of course! I need that unicorn medal and I had already paid for my packet. This Color Run was happening: rain, sleet, nor snow was going to stop me!

The Day of:

I should have known I was gonna be a struggle bus when I tried to apply the free tattoo they gave me in my packet and I forgot to take the plastic off before putting it on my skin and holding a wet paper towel on it. It stuck to the plastic and perfectly good golden lighting bolt tattoo was wasted. Oh well. Luckily for me the clouds were gone the next morning and it was somewhat warmer than the evening before. My best friend Dom picked me up at 7am and we were off to downtown Vegas for our race. We met Dom’s sorority sister Michelle and her friend in the parking lot and we went to put on the stuff we needed for the race (bibs, armbands/fanny packs for our phones, etc.). One problem, I had not realized the significance of the headband twisty thingy they had given us with our packets. It was obviously to keep me from getting colored powder in my mouth. Also, I couldn’t find my safety pins. Thankfully, Michelle had extra ones. We put on our bibs and headed to the start line.

The Color Run Starting Line

A picture at the starting line while I waited for the wave before us to go

We made it to the starting point and although it was warmer than the evening before it was still pretty cold. There was music playing so I started dancing to get warmed up because the thing I needed was to try and run with cold muscles. I was over the fact that I didn’t have the  bandanna for my mouth but I was kicking myself for not bringing it because I could have used it for my ears, they were cold as shit. I loved how everybody was dressed up in different costumes, tutus, and unicorn headbands. Me and Dom vowed we would go all out next year.

Finally, the countdown for us to start begins and we start jogging when they say “GO!” My nose was really stuffed from the day before and the wind messing with my allergies (damn playground duty at work) and from the cold. I couldn’t breathe through my nose so running was just a struggle.

My best friend and I got to the first color: PURPLE! The volunteers threw colored power at us from a squeegee bottle and we continued on to the rest of the race. As I mentioned I couldn’t breathe through my nose and had to stop often. I was determined to do my first mile in under 15 mins and I did…14:59 exactly hahaha.

One thing that caught me off guard about this run was that there wasn’t a water station until we got to mile 2. I felt really bad because I told my best friend she wouldn’t need to bring a water bottle because in my other 5Ks there was always a water station at mile 1 and mile 2. I don’t usually carry water bottles because I had have extra stuff to hold on to during my runs and I get a stomach cramp if I drink too much water. I will definitely bring a water pouch next year because ya girl did get thirsty before mile 2.

The Color Run 5K Finish Line

The Color Run 5K Finish Line

After about 45 mins my best friend and I finally reached the end tunnel before the finish line! To my surprise there will bubbles on the floor. We crossed the finish line, got our unicorn medals, and went to check out the tents while we waited for Michelle and her friend (they weren’t too far behind us).

I was not covered in colors from head to toe like I had thought I would be based on the instagram pictures I had seen but that is because they give everyone who crosses the finish a packet of color and you and your friends throw it on one another after your done. I thought this was a great way to keep up the fun of The Color Run after the race was over. We all through color all over each other, took our pictures and boomerangs, went to the area in front of the stage for a little bit, cleaned off, and went to brunch. We had a quite a fun morning.

All in all, I enjoyed my first Color Run even if it wasn’t what I was expecting. I have some tips for those who are thinking about doing it this year or next year and for myself:

  • If you get a packet, bring the bandanna thingy (even if you don’t think you’ll need it). It’s better to have something you don’t need then to need something you don’t have.
  • Bring a water pouch if you hate carrying water bottles. I’m not sure if each city is the same in water station set ups but I would have loved some water before I reached mile 2.
  • Get a phone that takes better pictures. Okay I know this sounds dumb but my best friend has the iPhone X and the pictures she took of the run and of us were amazing. Next year I want to be able to take some good pictures on my own!
  • Don’t focus on time and pace, focus of having FUN! The first mile I was worried about my time and even after I finished I was beating myself up about my time. What I didn’t realize was that The Color Run is not your typical 5K. You can’t run the whole way through if you want to be covered in the colors so just make sure you bring a buddy and have a good time!

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Now that I finished my first Color Run I have two 5Ks down, 10 more to go for 2018! What are some goals you’ve accomplished so far as February winds down? If you’re s runner, what has one of your favorite FUN race been? Let me know in the comments below!

My Bucketlist for 2018

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I’m planner obsessed and love making list. I especially love making bucketlists. I believe that keeping a bucketlist is a good way to constantly find inspiration for getting out of your comfort zone. While I think it’s harder for me to keep an overall bucketlist, it is easy for me to keep a bucketlist of things I want to do before each year ends. I wrote one last year and I didn’t really get to accomplish half of it because I forgot about it until December due to my studying for the LSAT (no regrets though, I got a 160 and scored in the 80th percentile! Woot woot!). Well this year my bucketlist is a little longer (10 things instead of 6) but I want to at least make sure that I am doing one thing from my bucketlist each month. I feel this system will be more manageable and I will be able to tell that I haven’t gotten out of my comfort zone in a while. Here are the things I have on my 2018 Bucketlit. I’ve broken them down into categories because they’re easier to track that way.

Bucketlist For 2018 Blog

Blogging:

  • Have at least one of my posts go viral
  • Reach 100 subscribers

Bucketlist For 2018 Health and Fitness

Health and Fitness:

  • Take a kickboxing class (leftover from last year)
  • Run an ENTIRE 5K (leftover from last year)
  • Collect a 5K medal each month
  • Hike a new trail

Bucketlist For 2018 Travel

Travel:

  • Travel to a city I’ve never been to before
  • Sleep in a cabin in the mountains with snow and a fireplace

Bucketlist For 2018 Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas:

-Explore more of Las Vegas (shows, local restaurants, activites)

– Go to Seven Magic Mountains and have a photo shoot

Bucketlist For 2018 Misc

Miscellaneous:

  • Go to a shooting range (leftover from last year)
  • Eat at more vegan restaurants

 

These are just some things I hope to do before we are in the end of December 2018. I didn’t do any of these in January so one month I’m going to have to double up but I think that will be easy to do with some of these activities. This list gives me something to look forward to each month and will definitely be a way to add some excitement to my life as I start trekking through adulthood. Who knows? I might discover a new hobby I love, a new place to frequent, or even meet some new friends. Whatever happens I’m glad I have this lit to refer to when I need something new to do. You know if I do it I’m going to blog about it so look forward to some posts about my adventures!

Do you have a bucketlist? If so, what’s on it? Let me know in the comments below! 

3 Signs You’re The Toxic Person in Your Life and How To Fix It

I’m not one of those people who believe in “good vibes only” or only focusing on the positive things in life. Being a constantly positive person is hard and, in my opinion, impossible for most people. As humans we aren’t perfect and there are times when we’re going to have a shitty day and be in a shitty mood. This is fine. However, there is a difference between having a bad day or week and being the toxic person in your life or the lives of others. As someone who has gone through these moments at earlier times in my life, I’ve discovered 3 signs that will tell you if you are the toxic person and how to fix it if you are.

1. You are always angry/in a bad mood and take it out on others

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As I said earlier, it is perfectly okay to have a bad mood for a day or week. Some people even have bad months depending on what they are going through in life. What’s not okay is constantly being in a bad mood and taking this out on those around us. Nobody wants to be friends with the person who is always angry, never has anything nice to say, and acts like an asshole to most people around them. Even if you disguise it in constant sarcasm, slick comments, passive aggressive behavior, or whatever else, it’s annoying and toxic to others and yourself.

How to fix it: Find out why you are so angry

Unless you suffer from a disorder that makes your emotions not at your own will, most people experience another emotion before anger. Figure out what emotion(s) you’re trying to mask in anger. Are you sad? Are you hurting? Is there a trauma you don’t want to deal with? Ask yourself these questions and similar ones to find out the root of your anger. This is the only way you can address this anger and move on to a life not plagued by it.

2. You’re jealous of others and their accomplishments

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Being a hater is one of the most toxic things to your well-being. I don’t mean the haters everyone swore they had in high school but a genuine hater who hates to see others do well. A hater is someone who constantly hates on others’ magnificent accomplishments. Do you find yourself getting jealous of strangers or even worse…your “friends?” Do you hear about people’s new promotions at work or their new PR at the gym and find yourself looking for a way to cut them down or “humble them?” If you’re this type of person you’re toxic to yourself and others and people will definitely pick up on it even if you never say anything out loud. They will stop telling you the good things that happen to them because you’ll always be known as somebody who is a hater and has nothing good to say when people share their accomplishments.

How to fix it: Realize you are an adequate being and what is for you won’t pass you by

Many times when we try to dull someone else’s sparkle it’s because we are insecure about our own shine. As people we have insecurities or feelings of inadequacy sometimes. What’s important is that we don’t let these feelings consume us so much that we can’t be happy for the next person. Another reason people become haters is because they want what someone else has. There are very few things that are in such scarcity in the world that you need to covet those who have them. What is meant for you is FOR YOU so long as you take the steps needed to achieve it. Hating on the next person won’t get you any closer to your goals. Aspire to be inspired by those who are we’re you want to be and learn from them instead of wishing them bad.

3. You only call/text your friends to talk about yourself, your problems, or other people

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There is nothing that toxic people are better at than maintaining one-sided friendships that only benefit them. If you’re constantly reaching out to others with no intentions of seeing how they are doing, you might be the toxic friend. I’m using the term friend loosely here. But seriously, if you only think to hit people up when you’re going through some shit, they aren’t your friend…they are your therapist and honestly that’s not fair to them. This isn’t the same thing as a friendship where the energy and effort is mutual and you both help each other through hard times. This is you not checking in with someone unless you need something from them and they are helping you in some way…it’s toxic. If you only reach out to a friend to talk badly about other people that’s toxic as well and not good for either of you. Only equally toxic people want friends who never have anything good to say about others.

How To Fix It: Get a therapist and a journal

One way to make sure you’re not the friend who only keeps in contact to talk about the shit going on in your life is to have someone whose job it is to let you vent to them. Therapy is often looked down upon (especially in communities of color) but if you have this tendency you could probably use someone with the proper skills and knowledge to help you through these times. Another way to master your emotions and feelings is to write about them. I know I say this all the time but it works, okay? Ever since I’ve started journaling I have become better at dealing with my emotions. This can help you too. Also, if you find yourself consistently gossiping about others, you need to figure out what insecurities you are trying to hide by doing so. As I mentioned earlier everyone has insecurities and it’s okay but talking badly about others won’t make anything within ourselves better. Find the problems within yourself and handle them.


I believe that everyone goes through a phase or two where they are the toxic person in their own life as well as the lives of others. What’s important is being able to recognize this and taking the steps needed to check ourselves and deal with our problematic behaviors. The first step is awareness so if any of these signs rang true for you I hope you take my suggestions. Help yourself live a peaceful non-toxic life. You are in charge with how you deal with life so take the steps towards happiness not bitterness.

3 Books I’m Re-Reading For A More Fulfilling Year

One thing I have enjoyed in my post-grad life is the being able to go back to leisurely reading. When I was a kid I absolutely adored reading for fun. As I got older school started assigning me so many books that reading for fun just wasn’t a priority anymore. After I graduated I started reading more and I actually made it a goal to read 2 books a month in 2017. While I underestimated how difficult that would be working 2 jobs and studying for the LSAT I was able to read 10 new books! Some of these books had a greater impact on me than others so I decided I would re-read them this year to refresh myself on what they taught me or what I liked about them.

My current favorite genres are self-help/self-development and poetry so the books on this list will be fall into one of those categories.

  1. Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

This book is one of the shorter books I read last year but make no mistake, it teaches you a lot in less than 200 pages. What I really enjoyed about Tracy’s book is that it does not have any fluff and gets straight the point. Often times in self-development books they take many many words to say something that could be effectively understood in less words. Tracy does this and that’s why I decided I must re-read this book again just because it was so good at teaching me something. I honestly couldn’t put the book down and finished it in only 2 days. It’s based on careers and business but you definitely can take the concepts and apply them to any area in life. If you need help to leave procrastinating as a thing in the past, check this book out!

2. Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

This was my favorite poetry book that I read this year. My only regret reading this book was that I hadn’t read it sooner. This book was on my wishlist for quit sometime and I barely got around to reading it sometime in the middle of last year. I was severely late to the Nayyirah Waheed party but now I have seen the light. Her style of writing is beautiful and I especially enjoy how her poems are simple yet contain so much emotion that we can feel as readers. The topics range from relationships to self-love and white supremacy and she tackles all of these artistically and with raw emotion. If you only have time to read one poetry book this year I would recommend Waheed’s Salt and I can’t wait to re-read it this year.  I’m also excited to pick up her other book, Nejma.

3. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

I really enjoyed reading this book. I think Sincero does a good job of making herself appealing to younger aged millennials like me by writing about self-help in a very relatable and basic lanuage. I found her book hilarious because she has a knack for cursing and anyone who knows me knows that’s my MO as well. I found this book a little bit more exciting than other books of its genre. Sincero is very good at narrating her life experiences and teaching concepts from them. While there were some parts of it that I didn’t necessarily agree with, (I do not like the way some modern self-help books discuss things like depression) the overall concepts of the book were extremely helpful for me during my post-grad journey last year. This is definitely a book to pick up if you want to get into self-help books and have a wild sense of humor!

Honorable Mentions of Books I Might Re-read

  • The Alchemist
  • The Four Agreements
  • The Fifth Agreement

These are books I would recommend for everyone. I will probably re-read The Alchemist and only skim through The Agreements Books, only because I re-read them last year and reading them once. Reading a good book can truly be therapeutic and good for the mind. Just because you aren’t in school anymore doesn’t mean that you can keep learning and expanding your mind. This year I hope to expand out of my self-help/self-development and poetry comfort zone and truly expand my horizons.

What are some books you are re-reading this year and highly recommend? What are some books you’ve never read before and plan to read this year? Let me know in the comments!

*This post contains affiliate links.

How I Chose My Word for 2018

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Now that we are a week into the New Year, we should be well aware if our New Year’s Resolutions are realistic or overwhelming. Everyone is different and I understand that. I had every intention of accomplishing all of my New Year’s Resolutions last year and honestly I only accomplished 2 or 3 of them, which is still good. The one way I was able to accomplish what I did accomplish was by choosing a word of the year. While the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions is common, that doesn’t mean that it is the most effective of achieving your goals. Another method I used to reach my goals last year was choosing a word to guide me throughout my various goals of the year. No lists, no action plans, just one simple word I could keep in mind. I believe this was one thing that really helped me reach more of my goals and tasks then previous year.

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My word for last year was MANIFEST. I thought long and hard about which word I was going to choose before I made my final decision. I chose the word Manifest because I was guilty of over-planning and not taking enough actions related to my plans in 2016. I had launched my blog but wasn’t making it a priority, I had started taking classes for the LSAT but wasn’t actually sure if I wanted to take it or not, thus wasting my money, I had wanted to do a bunch of things I planned but didn’t do. The word manifest is defined on Merriam Webster’s dictionary as “to make evident or certain by showing or displaying.” I wanted to make all of my goals certain by displaying behaviors that would allow me to achieve them. So that’s what I did. I studied diligently for the LSAT and got a 160 (in the 80th percentile) which is wayyy better than I thought I’d do. I started posting on my blog more and learning skills to take it to the next level in the next year through webinars and reading articles. I fell short in the area of weight loss, but I did gain the knowledge to allow me to achieve those goals this year.  I also was able to come up with my word of this year by figuring out what I was lacking last year that made me fall short in a couple of areas.

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My word for 2018 is DISCIPLINE. After reflecting on what did and didn’t accomplish this in 2017, I realize that the thing that helped me do well on the LSAT and what I was lacking to reach the levels I wanted to for my blog and weight loss journey was all the same thing, DISCIPLINE. I can plan all I want but if I don’t have the discipline to do what I’ve planned or said I’m going to do then it won’t work out. I changed my phone screensaver to a quote I found on google that reads “discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it” and I feel that was one of my biggest weaknesses last year. I only did things when I wanted to do or when they were convenient and that is no way to take anything to the next level.

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This doesn’t have to be the way you choose your word. I was telling one of my coworkers about this practice and she chose the word Patience because she decided that would be a guiding principle that would help her the most in this upcoming year. What’s important is that YOUR WORD is chosen by YOU after reflecting on your principles, values, and goals for this year. Once you do this you can take out the sense of overwhelm with long lists and just ask yourself “does this action align with my guiding word for this year or bring me closer to my goals?” If it doesn’t, you know you might need to make a better decision. It won’t be easy at first, but it might be easier for you than keeping a laundry list of resolutions and things you don’t want to do this year.

So get out there, reflect, and choose your guiding word for 2018!

Did you have a word or two in mind when you read this? Leave your word(s) in the comments and tell me why you chose it!

 

 

My First Time Running A 5K

When I was in college one of the annual events my sorority would do was the Breast Cancer 5K walk/run and we always walked it as a group that would eventually spilt up into smaller groups due to different paces of we all walked. I always wanted to try to run it but I was never in good shape enough shape (so I thought) until maybe my last semester of college when the 5K had already passed. I also have a sorority sister who was runs 5K, 10K, Half Marathons, and everything else. Seeing her train for these and reach her goals inspired me even more and this year I added “run an entire 5K” to my bucketlist. 


My first 5K was pretty cool! The 5K I chose was the Sugar Rush. When I was picking a 5K to run in December (because the LSAT would have my attention until Dec 2nd) it was between this one and the Resolution 5K. Sugar Rush just happened to be really close to where I live and I was familiar with the location so I went with that one. I’m glad I did! While I didn’t run the whole thing (I definitely walked/jogged more than I ran), I never stopped moving and I can say that is a big step up for where I have been health and fitness wise throughout these past years. 


The Sugar Rush 5K was cute because some enthusiastic runners dressed up as different candy-themed costumes. Lowkey, they were #RunningGoals. I decided if I do this one next year I want to dress up too. The thing I loved about the pre-race and post-race is that everybody was in such a good mood. I mean I know exercise creates endorphins but still…I haven’t that many people happy all at once as far back as I can remember. I even made a new friend after the race. Eveybody was just there to handle their 5K and enjoy themselves.


I originally wanted to run with someone but I have this thing about not liking to run or hike in partners/groups when I’m out of shape. I hate feeling like people have to wait on me when I need a break. That being said, I ran it by myself. Running by myself was actually quite therapeutic. It allowed me to have me-time and engage with nature. One challenge of running by myself is I could have totally walked the whole thing if I wanted to and nobody would know. I’m a woman of integrity so I did run whenever I could but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted haha. The race was quite interesting because at each mile we were given a full-sized chocolate bar and water. I left with a Twix, Reeses, and collected my medal after crossing the finish line and being given chocolate covered pretzels, one mini-donut, a chewy bar, and a candy cane. I didn’t eat it all but instead saved some of it for my family. 


All and all, I’m happy I was able to do this 5K even if I didn’t run the entire thing. I now know that if I can do it without training, I will only get better as I train for next year. I have now made it a goal to run one 5k every month of 2018. I will be tracking my progress on instagram with my hashtag #MaraRunsMoreThanHerMouth so keep an eye out for my posts on there. 
What are some health + fitness goals you have for 2018? Let’s talk about em in the comments below!