Personally I haven’t found the perfect balance to life and work, but I’ve found the right balance for my current living and working situation. In my quest to find balance, I realized that you have to first assess your situation.
My current situation includes not only work, but school and taking care of my ailing mother. I also have a little brother, whose work schedule I have to consider in case one of the family cars is not available for him to go to work so that I can step in and take him.
Finding these steps to balance may not be easy but what can make it simple is first, being prepared to make new steps and second, understanding that life happens. Unexpected events can easily throw a wrench in your routine and change it.
Here are several steps I take to help me balance life and work as a minimum wage employee, student and young adult.
Order of Importance: What’s more important? School, Family, or Money? At this day and age all three right? Right! School will better your future, money will better your present and family, well family is family.
Inform: Make not only your managers aware of your current situation, but your professors and family as well. With family, schedules can collide and you’re much more dependable if you tell someone as and when they cannot depend on you so they can find another solution. School and work is a little bit trickier, not being dependable can cause low grades and even job termination. As a minimum wage worker, when my class schedule changes or very important class work is due, I let my manager know that I will need extra time off to focus on my studies. I also let my professors know, not in depth, but in summary, that this personal situation is happening at home and I do have to work, not only to continue my education but to take care of my family. Only rarely, has this sharing of information been ignored or rejected by professors and even jobs.
Personal Planner: Write down your schedule. Whether it’s handwritten or on your smartphone, having a reminder of your school and work schedule can help you balance life. It’s one of the easiest ways to remember things and also not double book. Add in homework, appointments and important information and your daily goals.
Set Goals: After you make your schedule, the only thing left to do is to set goals, both daily and weekly. A list of short term goals are much easier to accomplish than a list of long term goals. A weekly goal could be finishing that term paper and a daily goal could be that dentist appointment you’ve been putting off. Try to make your long term goals, short term. For example, instead of trying to save $1,000 this year, say you would like to put aside $20 each week. By setting short term goals you’ll accomplish your long term ones faster.
Not everyone can follow the exact same steps, but here’s a start. Tweak them to fit your life and schedule and in no time you’ll easily have the right balance for your situation!
October is filled with scary snacks, creepy eats and sweet treats. Sweet treats that don’t have to land your children or you in the dentist office before Thanksgiving and Christmas treats hit the table. Here are four wallet-friendly snacks that’ll have a monstrous effect on your taste buds. These party favorites are a treat for kids and not a trick on pockets!
1. BOOlogna Snackers
– Kraft Singles
– Ketchup and or Mustard
Layer bread and Kraft singles, cut into any Halloween inspired shapes and decorate with ketchup and or mustard.
2. Cheesy Mummy Wrapped Dogs
– 1 8oz can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
– Kraft Singles
– Oscar Myers Beef Franks
Heat oven to 375 degrees, unroll crescents into 8 triangles. Place Kraft Singles and franks at short end of triangles, roll up. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown.
3. Ghostly Pudding Milk Shake
– Bakers Semi Chocolate
– 3 Cups Cold Milk
– 1 Pkg. Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
– 1/2 Cup Thawed Cool Whip
Melt chocolate in microwavable bowl on high for 1 min. stirring after 30 sec. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Use clean small paint brush to paint a ghost face on the inside of each clear cup with melted chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to use. Place milk and dry pudding in 1 pitcher with tight lid and cover. Shake vigorously for 1 min. or until well blended. pour into prepared glasses and top with cool whip. Serve immediately.
4. Ghoulish Punch
– 2 Cups Boiling Water
– 1 Pkg. Jell-O Lime Flavor Gelatin
– 2 Cups Cold Orange Juice
– 1 bottle Seltzer Water, Chilled
– Ice Cubes
– 1 Pt Orange Sherbet, Softened
– 1 Thinly Sliced Orange
– 1 Thinly Sliced Lime
Stir boiling water into gelatin in a large bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in juice, cool to room temperature. Pour into punch bowl just before severing. Add seltzer and ice; stir. Add scoops of sherbet and fruit slices.
All of these recipes and more, including recipe substitutions can be found at Kraft.com.
We caught up with one of Mississippi’s well known artists and voices, Mr. Brad “Kamikaze” Franklin, to learn more about how he got started in the music game, what it means to be a Mississippian and what we can expect from him in the upcoming months.
Check out our Q&A with him below!
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Where are you from? BRAD FRANKLIN: Jackson, Mississippi
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: How long have you been performing? BF: I have been an artist for about 15 or 16 years now.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: How did you get your start? BF: I pretty much started like most artists started. My first introduction into the music business was as and when myself and David Banner got signed to Tommy Boy Records. We released our first record in April 1999 which was called Grey Skies. That was pretty much the first time we were introduced to the world and pretty much one of the first big hip hop records out of Mississippi at that time. And that was the starting point for my actual career. For several years before that we were recording music and trying to get into the business but ‘99 was the year it actually began for me.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What was it like working with David Banner? BF: At the time we were apart of a bigger group and the crew was comprised of MC’s from all over the country. People were from Mississippi, Chicago, Detroit, and all over. We all had a love for hip-hop. Banner and I just started working together aside from doing our own thing. David was more advanced at the time and when we got together we came up with the name Crooked Lettaz. He was instrumental in forming all of the music and we collaborated together. The creative process was done as a group and he was superbly talented in producing and when it came to creative content. It was a challenge working with him because we always pushed each other to do better. The creative process was also a competitive process and we would try to one-up each other and those challenges pushed us to the point where we were eventually able to get a record deal. Working with him was a really good experience because it pushed me to do the best I could possibly do and be the best MC and artist I could possibly be.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Tell me about Sipphop.com. BF: Sipphopp is not my project but I am a supporter of it. Sipphopp comes from the concept of uniting all artists in Mississippi under the Mississippi Banner, under the Mississippi flag. It serves as a site for artists to bring music, DJ’s and songwriters. They have a showcase every month, DJ battle, open mic and producer beat battle at Dreamz Jxn. All artists can come out and show their craft. The finals for the beat battle will actually be happening soon. Andy Wright is the creator of Sipphopp and what I do is as a supporter is I push the brand. I am a supporter of Sipphopp, and Mississippi hip-hop period, and have been for a long time. I’m trying to give Mississippi artists a platform to perform. Because growing up I didn’t have that platform.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Who else have you worked with? BF: I’ve worked with UGK and I’ve toured with Big K.R.I.T, Nappy Roots, and Bun B. I’ve done shows with everyone from Method Man to Wiz Khalifa. Its a long list, I’ve worked with a lot of people and done shows with a lot of people. I’m just blessed to continue doing what I’m doing. And I’m here in Jackson, Mississippi fighting the good fight. And I’m hear to prove to artists that you don’t have to move away from Jackson to be successful in the music business. You have to move around, you have to visit other places and network, but you don’t have to move from Jackson to be successful in this business. And I think that’s what a lot of artists think – that you have to go to Atlanta, L.A. or New York to get discovered and that’s not the case. There’s myself, David Banner, a lot of people who are from here and were discovered and have not left their roots and are still around here. Mississippi will have its day and I’m going to do my part to make sure that happens.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What does being a Mississippian mean to you? BF: Being a Mississippian to me means being a person that can make something out of absolutely nothing. We have the ability to make the best out of the worst situations. And that is because we have been born and bred into what people deem to be the worst. Mississippi has been last in everything and people don’t expect us to prosper or be successful at all. There are people who still think we have dirt and gravel roads, and the perception of Mississippi as a whole is just a backwards one. And we have had to take that burden and continue to move forward. And I’ve always said if you can make it in Mississippi you can make it anywhere. Being a Mississippian is to be resourceful, is to be resurgent and to be resilient. That’s what it means to be a Mississippian.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Who are some of your musical influences? BF: Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye. A lot of my influences are bold, soulful artists. I listen to a lot of soul music and a lot of rock music actually. I was actually a fan of rock music before I started rocking and getting involved in hip-hop. And I’m just a music lover period. But in hip-hop some of my influences have been Outkast, Goodie Mob, all artists out of Houston and people who preceded myself and Banner. More influences are UGK and Three 6 Mafia because of what they did for Memphis. They put Memphis on the map and were trailblazers. That’s the way I look at what Banner and I did as well. De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, those were all influences and it’s just a wide range of people that influence what I do now.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Any other talents or hobbies? BF: I’m a writer and an entrepreneur. I have my own media company where I do public relations and branding and social media marketing. I have a column that appears in the Clarion Ledger and my wife is also a writer and we’re about to start a blog project together. But I’ve always been a writer. I have a degree in Journalism from Jackson State University so my first love was always writing. When I got my first record deal I was actually working at the associate press in Atlanta. So journalism is my original trade, and writing is something I will always do and it’s kinda how I got into rapping because I like writing. I wouldn’t say its a hobby but another something that I do and will always be doing.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Any upcoming projects or events? BF: Yes, my first mixtape is out – The Reintroduction of Mr. Franklin. I will be releasing an EP in Spring 2014, which will be called My Strange Addiction and a full album at the end of 2014 called Tacos for Breakfast. I will be going on the road at the beginning of the year with Big Sant who is Big K.R.I.T.’s artist and is featured on his records, he drops his project later this month and when I drop my EP in January we’ll be hitting the road.
To catch up with Mr. Franklin, follow him on Twitter @Kamikaze601 or Instagram @MrFranklin601. You can also interact with him on Facebook by clicking here.
This interview was a part of our annual Mississippi Month feature. Like what you read? Share it using the hashtag #JSMississippiMonth!
Has your bad word life been all tricks and no treats? Here are several tips and aphrodisiacs to enjoy the treats as well.
The secret to increasing your bad word drive is something we all know and love, food. That’s right, getting your grub on is the best kept secret to a great bad word-life. While many foods like diary products and processed baked goods are actually libido killers, others like pomegranates and tomatoes aren’t. This guide isn’t an excuse to have a cheat day. Staying fit helps you to not only feel better about your self but aerobic workouts increases the blood flow to bad word organs.
You may enjoy sipping champagne, but bubbly drinks is also a bad word-drive killer. But what’s a romantic evening without something to sip? Drinking red wine in moderation is said to have some health benefits. Not only can one glass a day prevent chances of heart disease but it can heighten your libido and improve stability. In a red wine study, red wine drinkers were reported to have a strong desire for bad wordual intercourse and a heightened degree of vaginal lubrication. Researchers believed this to be cause by blood flow, and women who drink red wine may have a stronger bad wordual appetite being that red is the color bad wordual attraction.
When thinking of other foods that boost your libido remember anything red is good. And while diary products are good in calcium, they are bad for your bad word drive.
Watermelon is said to have Viagra-like effects on blood vessels that quickly boost the libido. At your next stop at Smoothie King try out a watermelon smoothie, and you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. Check out a few other foods that also increase your libido below:
Homesickness happens to any and everyone away from home for a certain amount time. Rather new or old places, being somewhere unfamiliar by yourself can be a challenge. In an article by Derrick Ho, homesickness is defined as not an illness and not necessarily about home. “You’re not missing home, you’re missing a normal routine that is associated with home.” Also homesickness is common in people both young or old, whether you’re attending camp for the first time, moving into a new place, or you’re beginning college, here are five ways to cope with homesickness.
You’re not the only one feeling this way. It’s okay to feel a little sad, but know you’re not by yourself as and when dealing with this fear. Homesickness is not a disease or illness, its an emotion that goes as easy as it comes.
2. Keep a Positive Attitude
Keep a positive attitude. Homesickness is an emotion that can lead to depression and extreme sadness if you let it. Feeling lonely or other negative feelings will only make it worst. If trouble happens when adjusting try speaking with a counselor or connecting with others who’ve been through the exact same thing.
“My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships.” – Jada Pinkett Smith
Being away from home is the perfect time to build a stronger relationship with your family. You’re no longer around them or your friends from home every day and you see them lesser than you please.
Decorating can help you make your dorm room, camp room and new home, your home away from home. Filling the space with family pictures, trinkets, blankets, and other items can make your new space more comfortable. Having familiar items around can also ease your homesickness. Family and holiday photos can help you look forward to upcoming visits home.
5. Try New Things
Explore your hobbies and try new things. When you open your mind to new things numerous opportunities will come your way. Like meeting new people, making new friends, and discovering hidden talents. It also takes your mind off of home and connects you to your new surrounding making you comfortable in your new space.