4 Podcasts You Need to Listen to Right Now

Long ago the only option for a commute to work or listening to something on your down time was the radio. Now, we live in a world where there are many different things you can listen to on your drive. One thing that has been gaining popularity is podcasts! In case you don’t know what a podcast is, a podcast Is basically a radio show mixed with a television series (only without the visual aspect, so maybe not a television series haha). Anyways, listeners can subscribe to them and download them on their devices. In this post I will be talking about some of my most favorite podcasts, why I listen to them, and what is my favorite episode.

1. Behind The Brilliance—Lisa Nicole Bell

image3

I love this podcast very much! I believe it might have been the second or third podcast I ever listened to in my life. I’m not going to lie and tell you I have listened to EVERY episode (I mean, she has over a 100!) but EVERY episode I have listened to I have learned something new and informational. One thing I admire about this podcast is the Lisa (who is a well accomplished genius in her own right) also interviews other amazing and accomplished professionals in various fields for many of her episodes. She describes Behind The Brilliance as “a weekly podcast featuring funny and smart conversations with accomplished innovators, fascinating creative, and mission-driven entrepreneurs.” Her solo episodes are always a great listen as she talks about new things she’s tried, books she’s read, and sometimes even gives advice in Q+A’s. While the reason I was drawn to this podcast is because Lisa is a fellow Black Woman, her guests range in ages, races, professions, and everything else! There is literally many episodes that everyone can learn from. My current favorite episode is Episode: 8 for 2018. This really helped me get myself ready to go into 2018  working towards my goals. However, I must note it was really hard for me to choose a favorite episode because all of the ones I have listened to are great. Give Behind The Brilliance a listen now on iTunes!

2. ANGCODE

image1

While I do love a good motivational podcast, sometimes I like to listen to podcasts that will have me cracking up. ANGCODE is that podcast. It does not matter what episode I tune into  guarantee Ang and her guests will have me damn near crying laughing. On ANGCODE she addresses various topics in pop culture, as well as women and their sexualities, double standards in society, self-confidence, and more while also never forgetting incorporate her naturally hilarious opinions on these topics. Ang holds no punches and isn’t afraid to get real with her guests or her listeners. She has a segment where she takes questions from her listeners via an anonymous curiouscat (sometimes, some very WILD questions) and her and her guests answer them, no matter HOW crazy the question is. If you need a good laugh go check out ANGCODE like RIGHT NOW. My favorite episode is: Episode 21: Ladies Night- Sliding into DMs, Body Shaming & Spirituality. P.S. Did I mention Ang is my sorority sister? Make sure you listen and rate the podcast on iTunes, like right this minute!

3. Think N Grow Chick Podcast—Courtney Sanders

image2

The Think N Grow Chick podcast was the first podcast I ever listened to. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was cleaning dorm rooms at my old job one summer when I got tired of listening to music. Now don’t get me wrong, ya girl loves music but this was before I had any streaming service and was rockin’ with Pandora and I ran out of skips and I was like, hmmm let’s give the podcast thing a listen. I googled “black women podcasts” (representation is important for me sometimes, y’all) and she appeared on a few lists of must listens for Black Women). I played one episode and I was hooked! Courtney has an amazing story about how she went from being kicked out of college and in debt to being a successful entrepreneur (she was also recently featured in Forbes: check it out here!) She shares her own personal life tips as well as tips for being an entrepreneur and she is always dropping gems. My favorite episode is: Are You REALLY About This Life? The 3 Keys to Programming Your Mind for Success

4. The PlotTwist Podcast

FinalPlotTwistLogo.png

I can admit I have a preference to listen to podcasts hosted by women; The PlotTwist Podcast is an exception to the rule. Hosted by Daniel Coronado, PlotTwist is a podcast that has a little bit of everything! The topics range from serious topics like the Rescinding of DACA and Self-Care to more light hearted things like the worst date Daniel and his fraternity brothers have ever been on. I like PlotTwist because I never know what to expect when I press play, which I’m sure is one of the reasons the title makes so much sense. While many of the topics are serious, Daniel has a naturally funny and rambunctious personality that gives and interesting spin to the discussions of the show. Daniel and I have been friends for 7 years now and each year he gets more and more hilarious. Go check out PlotTwist! My favorite episode is: S. 1 Episode 5: Toothbrushing, Our Daily Purpose, Staying In Your Lane, & THE SEX TALK. Hurry and give PlotTwist a listen on iTunes.

These are 4 podcasts that I love to listen to right now! If you are in need of a new podcast, check these out. You will discover some major life tips, good books to read for self-development, catch up on pop culture, hear about social justice topics, and much more.

I’m always looking for new podcasts to check out. Are there any that you love to listen to? Drop the names of them in the comments!

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.

My Subscription to The Planner Addict Box: February Edition

Last Month I reviewed January’s Box on my blog and since I’m somebody who is aiming to make consistency a theme in my life this year and STILL a planner addict, I have to review this month’s box as well!

January’s box was definitely a tough act to follow! I loved the pink, gold, and sparkles that last month’s box contained and I was waiting for February’s Box from the moment my calendar read February 1st. Okay, I may be being a bit dramatic but I was highly anticipating February’s box after loving January’s Box so much.

fullsizerender-4

Overall Review: This month’s box was a good box, but I definitely think I loved January’s Box a tad bit more. I think that’s just due to my own hang-ups on Month’s and their respective Holiday’s. I would have love to see more pink and red but then again I can respect TPAB for not giving us the typical cliché February theme. This month’s theme was “Planner Love” and they most certainly delivered on that aspect. I think my problem with this month’s box is that it had quite a few things I can’t personally see myself using but I can see how they would be useful to other planner addicts.  This month’s TPAB included: Journaling Cards, Sticker Mini Kit, Washi Tapes, Stamps, Pen, Planner Stencils, and a BONUS: Planner Tips Card

When it comes to my planner, I’m all about stickers and washi tape for the most part. Things like stamps and stencils don’t particularly interest me because for one, I don’t own an ink pad, and for two I don’t have the patience to use stencils. However, that doesn’t mean that somebody somewhere won’t love them. While I wasn’t all in love with everything in February’s box, I do believe that TPAB does an excellent job of trying to accommodate to the different types of planner enthusiasts there are in the world. My personal favorite this month were the two washi tapes, the sticker mini kit, and the bonus item: planner tips card. I also thought the pen was realllly cute because it was pink and gold, which are seemingly my colors of 2017.

I appreciated one of the washi tapes because although it wasn’t red and pink Valentine’s Day themed, it was heart-themed and I can always get behind that for the month of February. The other washi tape felt kinda similar to one of the one’s from last month so I wasn’t all googly-eyed over it.

I liked the stickers because like always they matched the two washi tapes provided and when it comes to a cohesive monthly spread or weekly spread, having a sticker to match that is great. They have definitely gotten the “functional sticker” part of planning down and each month I consider adding a sticker addict box to my planner addict box. I probably will once I start working but I’m not sure because I have two sticker booklets from Michael’s with over 2,000 stickers! What can I say, I’m a sticker addict too.

My final thing I loved about this month was the Planner tips they included. While many of them seem like common sense, I really liked them because the card served as a reminder to me to check my planner more often. I can’t count how many times in the past I have decked out my weekly spread only to let a day or two go past without even glancing at the thing (that may also be because I was unemployed and didn’t really have a strict schedule to adhere to but still). By keeping the tips visible on my desk I was reminded how to use my planner more effectively every day.

All in all, I liked this month’s box and will definitely put everything I loved to use. After this month’s box I’ve decided I’m going to start picking random people to send my unwanted items from the box to (if I don’t feel like taking the effort to utilize them ever). Stay tuned for a potential giveaway!

What is your favorite way to decorate your planner? Are you obsessed with washi-tape and stickers or are stencils and stamps more in your lane? Answer in the comments!

Things Mara Loves: Shameless

I was on twitter one day minding my business when one of my sorority sisters asked me if I watched Shameless. At the time I was trying to study for the LSAT in December so I had been purposely avoiding Netflix because once I find a show I like I can’t have peace until I watch every episode of every season. I decided to watch it and I was hooked. I could not stop watching it and shortly finished the first four seasons within a couple of weeks. I was an unapologetic member the Shameless fan club!

Image result for shameless us
Shameless is a show about the Gallagher family and their crazy ass lives in Chicago, Illinois. Frank Gallagher, the father of the bunch is an alcoholic drug abuser who comes and goes as his pleases leaving his daughter Fiona to take care of her 5 younger siblings. Fiona doesn’t do it alone. She also has the help of her neighbors, her best friend V and V’s boyfriend Kevin. They help Fiona out when they can. The show takes us through Frank’s never ending antics that fuck up his children’s lives due to his own drug and alcohol problems and his problems with their mother Monica, Fiona’s love life (one that makes me feel particularly relieved for my own) and struggles of raising her siblings, Lip and his struggles being an douche-bag genius with self-destructive tendencies, Ian and his struggles with his sexuality, Debbie and her desperate need for feelings of love and acceptance, Carl and his bad ass (seriously this little guy will burn up all your shit) and his growth, and Liam with his average of 2 lines a season (luckily in the final season they give the little guy some more to say, and Veronica and Kevin’s life as a couple.

Image result for shameless us

The reason I love this show is because it is sooooo different from any show I’ve ever watched and from most of the shows I usually obsessed over like Gossip Girl and shows of that nature. Shameless is refreshingly real life look at living in what others consider to be a “bad neighborhood” and poverty and all the things that come with that. Even in its sometimes emotionally heavy story lines it often offers comedic relief to its viewers through the characters and their personalities and how they cope. If you pay close attention to the show you notice it touches on issues in society such as mental illnesses, drug and alcohol abuse, homosexuality, toxic masculinity, gentrification, the prison/parole system, LGBTQ issues, polyamory and so much more all while being the one of the most non-glamorous straight-in-your-face shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. I loved it so much after I finished all the seasons on Netflix I downloaded a free trial of the Showtime app and binged watched season 7 which is not on Netflix yet because it just finished sometime in December or so.

Image result for shameless us

Do yourself a favor and watch Shameless if you’re looking for a new show to binge watch on Netflix. You won’t regret it!

What are you currently indulging in on Netflix? What are you top 3 shows you love to watch on Netflix? Gimme some suggestions in the comments! 

My Subscription to The Planner Addict Box: January Edition 

The concept of a Subscription Box has always been so interesting to me! For those of you reading who might be unfamiliar with them, it’s basically like a magazine subscription but instead of an issue of Cosmo or Vogue arriving in your mailbox once a month, you get a box full of goodies to enjoy. It’s like a monthly mini-Christmas and I, for one, am totally here for it. When I moved back home I discovered that my mom was subscribed to Graze and would receive a box of 100 calorie snacks at her job every month. I was telling her how back in undergrad I had wanted to subscribe to a box titled “The Planner Addict Box” which I believed to have been made specifically for ME but I was too broke. I left the living room to go do something else and thought nothing of the conversation. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am obsesssssed with my planner and the box literally was meant to be with me. Well my mother knows me very well and she decided to gift me a monthly subscription to the Planner Addict Box (isn’t she the sweetest?)

I don’t know if it has been conveyed enough in the posts I currently have on my blog but I’m truly a Planner Addict. I obsess over my planner. I like planning, decorating, writing, drawing, washi tape, post-its, pretty pens you nameeeee it! I’m in multiple Facebook groups dedicated to planning and my Passion Planner. Anyone who knows me well would not be surprised to find out I had a subscription to “The Planner Addict Box.”  Needless to say, I was anxiously waiting for my first delivery. The idea of getting more washi tape alone was enough to get me excited. So far I have received four boxes.I got my October Box and November Box while I was in Ohio and my December and January boxes in Vegas, where I will be getting the rest of them.

img_0182

I will admit when I first got my October Box I was a tad bit underwhelmed. I was cursed due to my expectations from seeing previous boxes on Instagram. This box didn’t look as nice as those and one of the sticker sheets had been printed on regular paper. The company later fixed the issue by sending me two sheets of the stickers instead of one which made me happy but it did delay my planner decorating. However, the box did have some decent items. I decided not to cancel my subscription and see what was in store for the following. Luckily for me, the November Box was amazing and definitely reassured me that subscribing to “The Planner Addict Box” would not be something I felt bad about. The December box was great as well. Now for the Box I will be reviewing!

fullsizerender

This is my January Edition of My “The Planner Addict Box” (being referred to as TPAB from here on out) and the first box of the new year! Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m going to review the box overall and then list my favorite items from this month’s delivery.

Overall Review: I loved this month’s box! The theme was “Let’s Party” in honor of the New Year and I think the people over at TPAB did an excellent job of putting it together. By using colors like pink and gold, this box was quite beautiful to look at and even more fun to use. It included: die cuts, a sticker mini-kit, TWO washi tapes, a golden paperclip that reads “YAY!”, a pen, and mini-calender sheets for the first 6 months of the year. Without a doubt I can see myself using every single one of the items in the box for many months to come. I especially love how they changed the color and shape if the boxes because the new boxes are so cute. Another thing they added that I appreciate is a card with a list of everything that is in the box. Without further ado I will be talking about what I enjoyed the most this month.

Here are some of my favorites from this month’s delivery:

Black and White Polka Dot Pen w/ Gold and Giant “Diamond”: As soon as I opened the box I was obsessed with this pen! I love how it looks and how it incorporates many of my favorite colors and my birthstone. I have been told that I’m “extra” more times than I can count and I feel that this pen is as extra as I amimg_2503The Stickers: I really enjoyed these stickers more than I expected myself to. My favorite ones were the To-Do List heart shaped ones. I didn’t realize I needed so many functional stickers in my life until I started my TPAB subscription boxes. The color scheme of this month stickers was beautiful and included light pink, pink, golden yellow, dark blue, and white!

3. Washi Tapes: Okay so it’s not a surprise this made it on the list because my washi-tape addiction goes hand in hand with my planner addiction. I really liked this month’s patterns and will more than likely use them more than I’d like to admit in the upcoming months. This is the first time in my time receiving TPAB that we received two washi tapes instead of one and I was so excited about that! One was pink and white with gold splatter and the other was a confetti pattern. The confetti pattern one would totally be perfect for outlining birthdays in my monthly spreads or at the top of someone’s birthday in my weekly spread.

I’m happy that my mom decided to gift me a subscription to TPAB. It has taught me a lot about myself as someone in the planner community; I have learned that I need to step my planner game up before I take to posting it on Instagram and using hashtags. I will be reviewing next month’s box right when I get it so stay tuned!

Are you subscribed to any subscription boxes? If yes, which ones? If no, which ones do you wish you were subscribed to? Answer in the comments!