26 Reflections on Turning 26

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It’s my birthday today. Woohoo!
I’ve never been one to worry about aging. I am a huge fan of birthdays and I look at it as a celebration. 26 feels different. I feel different. Like I’m supposed to be wiser or something. I always think something major is going to happen once my birthday arrives. As if I will undergo some sort of personal transformation or something. Not this time. I’m just me. I’ve realized that personal growth doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

1. Trust your instincts. Learn to trust yourself because that voice inside you know’s what’s up.
2. Cherish your loved ones. We shouldn’t let our busy lives get in the way of picking up the phone and calling your grandma or cousin who lives far away just to say hii.
3. Your family and friends are your support system. The people in your life now are chosen by YOU for a reason so make sure you lean on them for support when needed. You can’t be Superwoman alone.
4. The past is exactly that. Stop thinking “woulda coulda shoulda” because what is done is done. Focus on the present and how you are going to make today better than yesterday.
5. People will always have something to say. I have slowly grown out of my people pleasing ways. That is also a process in progress. If you don’t do what you know will make you happy, you will grow to be resentful and that sucks. As Dr. Seuss said “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.”
6. Stop being so hard on yourself. Everyone leads different paths. Do what works for you. No one is perfect so acknowledge all you’ve accomplished.
7. If you want something done, get up and do it already. Procrastination leads to discontentment.
8. Organize!!! A clearly coordinated closet is a happy girl in the morning.
9. Relationships (romantical ones) teach you a lot about yourself. The standards you set for yourself determine how you will be treated. Self esteem plays a BIG part.
10. Be nice. At the end of the day, you want to go home feeling good about yourself knowing you didn’t hurt someone intentionally with your words.
11. Nip it in the butt. If you let issues fester, they will only explode in your face leaving you with a wth expression on your face.
12. Read a lot. Or cook, dance, sing, play sports….do whatever the heck floats your boat because you need it to live a life full of joy. It will keep you from pulling your hair out at your job.
13. Your personal space reflects you. Whenever my house has random piles everywhere, you know I am not having a great week. Your mood is linked to your environment. Even if you aren’t feeling peachy, take the time to declutter. It really helps.
14. stop stressing about money. Bills will Always be there. Does that mean you should devote 99% of your time dwelling on why you can’t get a much needed manicure because you have to pay rent, buy food, clean laundry, etc? NO.
15. Develop your personal style. You will feel more confident and ready to take on the world if you wear colors and textures that scream YOU.
16. Education doesn’t always equal big bucks. Ask anyone seeking employment with a college degree. Enough said.
17. Life is hard stuff. On an average salary, I’d like to know how twenties people are supposed to pay rent, cook healthy meals, maintain a grown up wardrobe, pay bills, pay off credit card or school loans and still save money for a house.
18. Spend your time wisely. If you ask me which I’d rather do: Go out partying all night or stay home watching my shows or reading? Best believe I’m choosing my shows. I don’t care if it makes me sound old but I have a lot to do and I NEED my R&R.
19. Tell your people you love them. Don’t let life pass without letting the people in your life who make you feel special that you think the world of them. It’s just not cool.
20. Stop committing to long lists. Look I did 20 and it’s just too much. Thanks for reading.

Share your wise words below.

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Read This If You Want To Be A Valuable Friend

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We all have that friend who has no filter, is cheap when the bill comes, judges when her/his life is just as in shambles as yours. We tolerate that person for whatever reason but do we really want them around? I’ve been thinking about rules of etiquette regarding friendship. Here are a few I think are vital to continue receiving phone calls, invites and other friendly gestures.

Boundaries. We all need them. Boundaries maintain a clear line of respect. When I think back to my past, most relationships were broken because boundaries were not established. It’s up to you to let people know what your limits are. You can’t make everyone happy.

Cheer your friend on! I don’t know about you but if my girly tells me she is making a life change like moving in with her guy, contemplating marriage, applying for a new job, whatever, I will ask two questions: are you truly happy with the situation? What does your gut tell you? Depending on the situation, I will listen, be supportive and offer my advice if wanted. It’s important not to make your friend feel like talking to you was a mistake. Also, try to keep the negativity to a minimum. No one wants to be burdened with senseless complaints about life. Be mindful of your language. Keep it positive.

Compromise. Listen, we all have busy lives. However, we need to make time for the people we care about. Yes, you may be tired from work but if your friend can only do dinner on a Tuesday night after work then you should do it.

Keep secrets. If A friend trusts you with something, you better keep it in the vault or a wall can build between you. Most people value trust. No one wants to go to a friend who babbles everyone’s business.

Encourage your circle!!!!!!!! I can’t say this enough. If you call me for help, I will be there with whatever u need: a bat, words of wisdom, kick in the ass, an ear to listen, whatever. I expect the same in return.

Guy friendships vs. girl friendships are so different but that’s another post entirely. What I love about some bromances is they encourage each other. Whether its to talk to a girl or finding a new job, they aren’t in competition like women are. That sucks. I see so many women tearing each other down instead of lifting one another. Do not forget your friends go to you because they need support. Most of the time, you are your own worst critic so when you are feeling crummy or you want to share amazing news, you are not looking for criticism. You are looking for your friend.

What do you think makes a valuable friend?
Thanks for reading 🙂

Charisma’s Corner

Marilyn Monroe reading and writing, Marilyn Monroe pose, Black and white outfit

I’ve been thinking a lot about what this blog means to me and what I want to do with it. I’ve realized in order for this blog (and myself) to grow I need to put the same dedication, if not more, into this as I do my other (9-5) job.

Not to toot my own horn or anything but I have a good work ethic. I assess what needs to be done and make it happen. I learned the importance of work ethic from my dad. He taught me that your work, whatever it may be, is what molds your reputation. In all fields, your reputation speaks volumes of what you are capable of delivering in the future.

Back to Blogging…I need to be more organized here at Charisma in Bklyn. I’ve decided to create an editorial calendar. I guess I am a little behind but better late than never, right? Don’t know what an editorial calendar is? Read this.

In honor of getting organized, I am creating a new series on the blog called Charisma’s Corner. It will feature a few of my favorite articles & other things to inspire you to build the best life you can. Here is my first batch:

My awesome friend Ingrid shared this with me: What To Know When You Are 25ish

Sally Hope is pretty Awesome. Her blog makes you want to get your life together.

Read about one of Gala’s latest Adventures while pursuing her Radical Self Love Project

Find your perfect shade of red Here.

Quotes by Independent women.

How being Positive can change your life.

Ashley from Dramatis Personae post about Sex & the City and relationships

Glamour’s Dos & Don’ts for Summer Cocktails

Daytime Leather

Leather in the summer? No way. Fashion is not about breaking the rules. It’s about bending them to your advantage. If you have the urge to wear leather in the summer, do it! IFB’s Project# 106 inspired this post.

There is something alluring and badass about leather. I remember fantasizing about wearing a leather outfit in my Buffy days (see photo below) but I couldn’t pull it off cause I’m a “nice girl”. The look below changed my mind. There is an appropriate way to wear leather without feeling like you are wearing a costume and I am going to tell you how.

Rules for leather (in the summer):
1. Keep it classy, boo. Balance out the sexy aspect of leather with a casual piece. A chunky sweater works well in the Autumn. In the summer you want to turn to your favorite white tee. If you are showing your legs in a skirt or shorts, a simple top will keep the look classy. If you are wearing a leather peplum top then wearing a silky skirt will tone down the biker chick vibe. Unless that’s what you are going fo 😉

2. Color. Color. Color. Black leather can be a bit harsh for daytime. Trying mustard yellow or green gives leather a fun twist. If you are going the color route, don’t forget to keep accessories simple. You want your leather piece to be the focal point of your outfit.

3. Confidence is key. Leave the doubts at home and rock your leather outfit. You deserve to shine! If leather clothes is too much then start off with accessories!

Leather in the Summer

Buffy days: Sophisticated Bad Ass. She rocked it!
Buffy Summers, Buffy the vampire slayer, Buffy in leather pants, buffy in leather, sarah michelle gellar, buffy, wearing leather in the summer, red leather jacket, leather pants,

What do you look for in a Friend?

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I like The Free Dictionary by Farlex’s definition: A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts; person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause.

I am very big on vibes. Chemistry is important in a friendship. Someone can have qualities you desire in a friend but if you don’t click the friendship will fizzle out. I can get along with almost anyone but when I meet a person I am intrigued by I try to learn more about them. Sometimes, that curiosity turns into a promising friendship.

Friendships can be tricky. You want to be supportive without being a pushover. You want to be honest without sounding like a bully. Even if your opinions differ (a good thing), there should always be mutual respect. You should be able to feel vulnerable around a true friend without feeling threatened.

Growing up without siblings, I always enjoyed having a lot of friends. That yearning led me astray sometimes. I chose friends for the wrong reasons. We’ve all been there. 25 years later, I can finally say I know what I want in a friend. I know that being around negative people takes a toll on me. Now, I choose wisely. I prefer having less than a handful of friends I feel great around than a bunch of questionable leeches disguised with good intentions.

We have different friends for different reasons. There is the gal pal you drink some wine with while chatting for hours. When you are having a sucky day, you call that person you count on to make you crack up laughing until your tummy muscles hurt. There’s also the friend who challenges you to go beyond your comfort zone. And there is the friend who will remain by your side no matter what. If you have each of these friends or one with all of these characteristics, cherish them! I am proud to say the people I choose to surround myself with are my true friends. Shout out to Ny, third grade line! 🙂 I have a handful of special people that influence and inspire me and may not even realize it. Thanks, guys (and ladies).

Good friends are the key to a fun life. These are the people you share your great (and not so great) experiences with. Who else can you call at 7 in the morning for life advice? Or in my case, listen to me ramble until I feel sane again.

On Facebook, I asked what everyone looks for in a friend. Here are some of the responses:

-Some one who is supportive, non judgmental, respectful, love you for you

-Someone who is loyal… always there for you, doesn’t judge… is your friend through the good & bad

-“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks for your responses!! Truly appreciated.

Friendship articles you may find interesting:

6 qualities to look for in a friend, or partner

Friendship In Adulthood: What Do You Look For?

Summer Survival 101

summer essentials, bb cream, dr. jart, bright lipstick, leopard sunglasses, fun, chambray dress, necessities, staying cool in summer heat, fun, lifestyle, spontaneous quotes, attitudeSummer is brutal in New York City. There I’ve said it. I am not a big fan of the humidity and I am not afraid to admit that Summer is not my favorite season. Not even second favorite. However, I must admit there is something whimsical about summer. Even if you have a 9-5 job or attend summer school, you are enticed to spend your days full of laughter without a care in the world.

Wearing dresses is my absolute favorite thing about summer. They are simple, comfortable and have the ability to make you look like a sun goddess without much effort.

Here a few of my summer must haves. Wherever you are, I hope these essentials help keep you stay cool and comfy during those unbearable summer days.

1. Bright Lipstick – you can not go wrong with a bright lip during summer. It brightens your complexion with little to no effort.

2. Summer time calls for as little clothing as possible to avoid sweaty bras and sticky thighs (we’ve all been there!). How can you look summer cute when you want to avoid as much material possible? You could wear shorts and a tee but that is boring. Opt for a chambray dress like the one above. You can dress it up for work or keep it simple for weekend shenanigans. If you don’t like wearing dresses, find what makes you happy while sticking to breathable fabrics.

3. Fun glasses. Leopard shades are my ultimate favorite. They are fun and pair well with everything. Also, try to find shades that block 100% UVA and UVB rays to protect your beautiful eyes.

4. BB Cream. I like makeup but I tend to keep it simple. BB creams have many advantages. It’s like a tinted moisturizer with added benefits. My summer beauty routine usually consists of Cetaphil, Neutrogena Naturals Multi Vitamin Moisturizer and Dr. Jart’s BB Cream. I’ve tried many BB creams from both drugstores and department stores. Dr. Jart’s is worth it. It is light weight, gives sheer to medium coverage and perfect for my combination skin. Of all BB creams I’ve tried, this one has not made me break out.

5. Last and definitely not least, a spontaneous attitude is vital to enjoying a fun, memorable summer. Summer is full of opportunity. You have to be open minded and  jump in! 🙂

WHAT GETS YOU THROUGH SUMMER? IS IT YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?

5 ways to incorporate flowers into your life this summer

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Flowers are colorful, vibrant and generally represent all things beautiful. I love that there are so many different types of flowers and meanings. A daisy represents innocence, hope. Lilacs symbolize joy of youth. Zinnias signify thoughts of absent friends which I found most interesting.

Why don’t you figure out what your favorite flower means and find a way to incorporate it into your life? You can read more about the meanings of flowers here.

Here are five ways you can use flower magic to dd some zest into your summer adventures.

Wear a floral dress! This one from Forever 21 is fabulous. And it’s only $29.80

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Plant a garden.

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According to Hawaiian tradition, wearing a flower in your hair alerts others of your romantic status. If you wear the flower to your left it means you are taken or married! On the right…you are single andloving it.

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Add flowers to your food recipes. I know, it sounded weird to me at first. Certain flowers are actually healthy for your diet. They have high amounts of vitamins A and C. I’m not saying to pluck a few roses from your garden and eat raw. Read this for more information on flowers nutritional value and cultural history. The site even has a yummy recipe for Dandelion tea.

Last and definitely not least, get a flowery, colorful manicure or pedicure, if your work environment frowns upon bright manis.

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purple flowernails

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This list post was created to enter in IFB’s Project #100. Read more about it here. I have to thank IFB for always coming up with cool projects. This is the third time I enter a post for one of their projects. Congrats to reaching 100 posts! I was included in one of their project roundups that won me free entry to their September 2012 IFBCON. That was the highlight of my month. Check out my IFBCON 2012 posts. It was my first taste of seeing what being a blogger really is. P.S. You leave there with mad inspiration!

 

xoxo,

Kay