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South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
South Beach- A Culinary Experience
Lifestyle, Travel

South Beach- A Culinary Experience

Let me make this clear – Miami is one of my favorite travel destinations. Granted, there are many places I haven’t visited, but Miami already has a special place in my heart. The weather, the mood, the beaches, the daiquiris, the food…it is everything I want in a vacation spot. Continue reading

Lifestyle

Summer Lovin’- Reflecting on Summer through Every Age

 

I love summer time. I am a summer baby and wait with bated breath for summer to come. Now that it’s here, I feel like I have blossomed. I feel like and really think I am the best version of myself during the summer months. I am grateful that at the beginning of this summer season, I have close to four weeks off. Yes. Four weeks, give or take. It’s a blessing and a curse. I can already tell I am not going to be a happy camper when I have to go back to work after sleeping in almost every day, but I refuse to live in that mindset. Live in the now right? This break also made me nostalgic about how my summers have changed throughout my life. As we age, summer takes on many different meanings and I thought it would be fun to reminisce. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?Continue reading

Community, Lifestyle

Juneteenth: The History and Its Importance to Our Community

June 19th. The day after my sister’s birthday. A reminder that summer is going by way too fast. For some, it is just another day. As of recently, it has garnered a little more significance within my life. Continue reading

Finances, Lifestyle

The Downgrade to Upgrade

 

I recently withdrew from my Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program because I did not know if it was the direction I wanted my career to go anymore. It was a difficult decision, but one that gave a sense of peace once I went through with it. A few weeks went by before the reality hit that my monstrous amount of student loan debt would be in repayment. During my undergraduate studies, I took out loans. Some I needed, some I could have gone without. I paid for my entire nursing license with student loans…so.many.student.loans. I attended a private school that had an accelerated direct entry master’s program for people with non-nursing degrees. I wanted to go the community college route and pay WAY less, but the admission process isn’t the best. So I went for my masters; something I knew I wanted anyway.

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Finances, Lifestyle

The Borrowed Life

 

Sometime last year, a friend said to me that I must be a great saver because of my future and recent travel plans. I remember smirking and telling her I actually wasn’t. I had a dirty little secret. I was living beyond my means and sadly living my best life on the excess money from my student loans. I knew that this was not the best financial decision. I knew that at some point I would have to pay back the money. I knew that I should have taken out just the amount I needed for tuition and nothing more. As you can see, the things we know we don’t always do.Continue reading

Lifestyle, Updates

5 Tips to Get Reacquainted with Your Home

The holidays can bring frequent travel. Packing, unpacking, and repacking can seem like all you’ve done the last two months. I know when I travel, I miss simple things like the natural sunlight that shines through my windows. I don’t realize how much I miss waking up in my own bed. It can surely feel like a treat. With all the time away, you may feel the need to get reacquainted with your home. Here are five tips I use to get back in the groove of being home and falling back in love with my place.

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Lifestyle, Updates

Last Minute Friendsgiving Tips!

In addition to Thanksgiving dinner, you are probably invited to a few Friendsgivings celebrations. These gatherings can usually be a little more fun and lighthearted. No explaining to your family why your still single or why you haven’t upgraded your entire life yet. Most Friendsgivings are potluck style and unless you are great in the kitchen, it can be hard to know what to bring. Here is a quick list of items that can be easily made or fairly inexpensive to buy.

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Lifestyle, Updates

Hello, I’m Your Dad

 

A few days ago, I received the sweetest text from my Dad and it warmed my heavy heart. Our relationship is still new and blossoming at its own pace. Relationships between adult children and parents can be difficult, especially if that parent has been absent. I come from a single parent household. It has been my mom and I for my entire life with brief interludes my men that didn’t go the distance. So last January, when my father reached out in an attempt to connect with me, I was shocked. I always thought I would be the one to find him; to reach out to him after all these years. Come to find out, he’s been trying to find me all over social media (as best he can, he’s an older guy). It was a surreal feeling talking on the phone with the man who had a hand in creating me for ALMOST 3 HOURS. Like one hour per decade he has been absent.  I went from only child, to 1 of 6. I went from the only girl, to 1 of 3. It is crazy to know that I am a part of a larger family; and that they know about my existence. They know my name. They have been waiting for their father, OUR father, to finally find me so that we can reunite. This is crazy and amazing all at the same time.

We met Christmas day in San Diego, CA. It was a quiet ride down. What would he look like? Will I see any of my features in him? Will we even like each other’s personalities? So many questions! All my questions, anxieties, fears melted away when my father embraced me for the first time. It was everything I needed in that moment. It was beautiful. We spent the next three hours talking about life, chatting about his childhood, and just having regular conversation. I even was able to meet my aunt! Extra, special bonus! What a blessing!

It has been almost a year since we met and we are still building our relationship. To be honest, I am still trying to remember that I have such easy access to my dad. It’s a difficult adjustment. I have talked to all my siblings, which is also an adjustment. They are all so sweet and I’m blessed to be able to call them all my siblings. I can’t wait to meet more of them face to face.

I am going to take this new chapter in my life one day at a time. I am going to keep my expectations low. I don’t want to get too excited and be disappointed. I am coming with an open heart and discernment. It’s going to be one heck of a ride people.

 

Have you ever reconnected with a long-lost relative or friend? Was your experience positive? Share your stories in the comments below.

 

xoxo, Panda

Lifestyle, Updates

Here We Go Again- Q4

Here we are again. October 1, 2017. The beginning of Q4. The last quarter of 2017. To say that time is FLYING by seems irrelevant now. That just seems to be what time does..zip by with no regard to what I have planned or want to do. So much has happened since my last blog post (a year ago- I know), and I won’t get into all the shenanigans I have been in throughout this year (let’s just say A LOT of travel and a pinch of heartbreak). I realized that though there are a lot of changes, one thing remains constant – my desire to be creative. This does not always equate to consistency and follow through on my part. I cannot make this blog or brand what it could be if I’m not consistent. I have many stories and lessons to share, so look out for more CONSISTENT content.

 

How do you stay consistent? What are some tricks you use to stay on track? Share them in the comments below.

 

Xoxo, Panda

 

PS: I have exciting news to share tomorrow! Can’t wait to share!

Lifestyle, Updates

Let’s Get To Work!

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As I sit in my living room avoiding doing my homework and studying, I can’t help up daydream about all the things I want to accomplish next year (I’ll do almost anything when I’m avoiding schoolwork. Haha). More traveling, heftier savings, grander goals.  I want to see it all manifest next year. 2016 has been good to me, but I am really trying to level up next year. October 1st marked the start of the fourth quarter of the year, and it was then I realized it was time to get to work. It will be very hard to accomplish my 2017 goals if I do not start preparing now.  What’s that saying, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”? So I have come up with some plans/ideas for myself to assist  with more efficient planning for next year so I can hit the ground running.Continue reading

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