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Ask Yourself: Why Do I Care So Much?

In Shakespeare’s famous play, Hamlet, the main character himself (Prince Hamlet) opened one of his many soliloquies with the famous line, “To be, or not to be – that is the question.” Now Hamlet was talking about suicide in his monologue but never mind that. Instead, I want to stress the importance that asking yourself a single question can make.

In life, I wish I would’ve questioned myself more often. It would’ve kept me from a lot of unnecessary stuff like making poor decisions, buying things I didn’t really need, hanging with the wrong kind of people, telling the wrong people private information, staying in an unhealthy relationship too long and the list goes on.  Continue Reading

Lifestyle, The Jessica Diaries

The Jessica Diaries: Know Your Personnel (With Tips On How To Understand Vibes)

I’ll never forget talking with my pastor in his office one afternoon after we’d discussed the logistics of me designing a website for him. I’d asked him about his conversations with God and how to know as and when God is speaking to you. He left me with a very simple statement that I often refer back to and will remember for the rest of my life. He said:

“If God tells you once, he will tell you again.”

The way God responds is so amazing and one of the reasons why having a personal relationship with Him will supersede anything anyone could ever tell you to do. God’s way of speaking directly to us is also why I’m very cautious of people who always tell others what God told them about someone other than their own self. But that’s another conversation for another day.  Continue Reading

Contests & Giveaways, Lifestyle, Sponsored

GIVEAWAY: Music Festival Must-Haves (With Picks By Giuliana Rancic)

As a woman, my personal hygiene is at the top of my list of priorities. No matter where I’m going or who I’m with, I always want to look, feel and smell my best. As a blogger I get the opportunity to attend lots of fun events like awards shows, movie premieres and screenings and my favorite – music festivals and performances. Many times I wear loose fitting clothes so that I’m at a maximum level of comfort and using Cottonelle® with CleanRipple® Texture has helped me be at ease while out and about being fabulous and doing cool things.  Continue Reading

Lifestyle

How To Check-In On Your 2016 Goals

I can’t be the only person looking at the calendar like, “where has the year gone?” We’re well into the second half of the year and it’s time to check-in on those goals, resolutions and promises we made for ourselves at the beginning of the year.

Around the end of 2015 I remember sitting in a friend’s office and listening to him share all of the things he’d accomplished from his New Year goals list and I was quite impressed. He’d typed his goals on a Word document and kept them on his computer’s desktop to keep them on his mind throughout the year. I thought it was a wonderful idea and I decided to do the same.

I made a total of 13 goals, some of which I’ll share with you:

  • Successful natural hair tour in Spring 2016
  • Land another contract opportunity
  • Be a guest speaker at least three times
  • Host at least five events of my own
  • Sell at least 20 slots in my PR eCourse

So far out of the 13 goals I set, I’ve completed four of them. I think that’s pretty decent but I have a long way to go. I’m realizing that I wasn’t as specific as I needed to be with some goals because I used words like “successful” without actually defining what successful would look like in relation to that goal.

Where are you in terms of reaching the goals you set at the beginning of the year?

If you’re not sure whether or not you’re on the right track, here are a few ways that you can evaluate your progress.

Find your original list.

I know this seems like a no brainer, but you can’t truly check-in on your goals if you don’t have them right in front of you. Try your best to locate the piece of paper you wrote your goals on or the electronic version that you stored somewhere safe in your phone or on your computer.

Reflect on your activities so far.

What have you done this year? Did you do anything that can be easily marked off your list without a lot of thinking? Go ahead and check those off. One of my goals was to land another contract opportunity and I signed a contract with a new client in May. :) I’ve noticed that I’m very close to completing other goals because I’ve been putting in the work to get things done so by the end of the year I should be all set.

Re-evaluate your activities.

After you’ve reflected on your activities you should be able to determine what needs to change. Maybe you should stop procrastinating on something that seems daunting. For example, I wanted to sell at least 20 slots in my PR eCourse but I haven’t actually marketed the course or created a launch strategy to ensure that I’d get those students. Honestly I’d

Plan for the rest of the year and edit your goals.

Now that I realize that I don’t want to push a PR course but I do want an eCourse, I’m going to switch gears and focus more on what my audience wants and needs from me. Most people don’t want to do their own PR so they don’t need the course but many people do want to learn how to blog. So my focus is on making something for that community instead. There is no rule that you can’t edit your goals if you’ve noticed that they aren’t feasible or make sense anymore.

I hope this helps you get on track for the remainder of the year. I’d love to hear how you’re progressing so be sure to leave a comment below. You can also share this article with your friends and family to help them get on track as well.

Lifestyle

10 Years Later: Murrah High School Memories Still Dear To My Heart + Lots Of Photos

It has officially been 10 years since I graduated from Murrah High School. Who knew time would pass so quickly? I swear it feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in Mrs. Wyatt’s AP Computer Science class trying to figure out how to get invited on Facebook so I could start an account.

Yes, I’m that old.

I recently drove past my old high school and gazing at the parking lot that I couldn’t wait to claim my space in at the start of senior year tugged on every emotional being in my body. I longed to go back and relive some of the moments I experienced there.

Since there’s no such thing as time traveling, I figured I’d share with you some of the fondest memories I gained during my four years at Murrah High.

The first day of high school and Amerie’s “Why Don’t We Fall In Love” blasting on the radio

I had a friend named Deadre and her older sister April was a senior so she took us and our friend Kayla to school on our first day as high schoolers in her little blue Corolla…because we were too cool to ride the bus. Duh! I had on a pair of Ralph Lauren flared jeans without pockets on the butt (had to accentuate the booty on the first day) and a striped tank that my 8th grade boyfriend had bought me for our middle school graduation. I had on some cheap Payless thong sandals with a kitten heel on them and a middle part with my hair down in layers. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t fine! Buck teeth and all! To this day whenever I hear that song, especially the remix that includes Ludacris, I instantly relive that moment.

“Have a faaaannnnntastic day.”

Just about every day of my entire high school career began with our assistant principal telling us to have a fantastic day over the intercom. We used to make fun of him as and when he first started it but over time it became something we looked forward to. As an aduItI can really appreciate his enthusiasm and how positive he was, even if only for the morning announcements. Because now as an aduItwith responsibilities, bills and other stuff going on, some mornings when I wake up I’d love to hear that type of encouragement to start my day.

jessica simien murrah high school 2006 parking lot

Claiming spaces in the student parking lot

Painting a parking space at the start of senior year was like a Murrah rite of passage. I was gifted with my first car during my sophomore year of high school so I had to park on the side of street and wait for my day to get into the coveted lot. Now that I think about it, we were a pretty blessed set of kids. We had the nicest cars of our time back then and if you parked in a spot that didn’t have your name on it…be prepared to get checked for it. I actually never claimed a spot, I decided to go with a step on the walkway into the school. You know…I wanted people to see my name when they walked into school for the day because I was extra and popular and all of that. LOL

jessica simien homecoming queen murrah high school

Being crowned the 2005-2006 Homecoming Queen

My PR prowess kicked in when I was able to snag enough votes from the entire school population to win Homecoming Queen. It was my second time on the homecoming court and since I was finally eligible for it, I was determined to win the crown. I was one of a few (if not the only) nominee that took my campaign a step further from just making poster board signs. I worked part time at a law firm and I created flyers with my senior portraits and name on them and printed about a hundred to pass around the school. I also targeted the 9th graders who took the majority of their classes in a separate building away from the seniors. Win!

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Me and my high school sweetheart passing notes literally all day, every day of the week for years

If he and I weren’t friends there is no way I’d include him in this but I’d be lying if I said my high school sweetheart wasn’t a huge memory from high school. We were literally joined at the hip and passed notes back and forth class after class, day after day during my 10th, 11th and 12th grade years of school. We still have all of our original letters too! Well I got the ones I wrote from him back around this time last year to do a content analysis of them 😩 (blame it on doctoral school) and let’s just say we were way too serious to be teenagers.

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M-U-S-T-A-N-G! Mustangs! Mustangs!

Our mascot was a Mustang and our school colors were silver and navy. There wasn’t an event, football game or basketball game that would end without someone starting the most LIT chant ever.

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Getting kicked out of the basketball game for taunting the opposing team

Our home basketball games were like the NBA Finals. We had some very exciting games and because I was dating a player and a few of my friends were too, we had a presence at every single game. Actually, our classes were really tight knit so we all attended the games in support anyway. During one particular game we got a little carried away and ended up being kicked out of the game for taunting the opposing team and cursing during our little chants. LOL

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Senior Picnic

We loaded school buses thinking we would be traveling a long distance when in actuality they took us right around the damn corner to a park/lake and left us there for the day LOL. We made the most out of our trip with music, water guns, a Soul Train line, dancing circle and plenty of food. I think this day was an emotional one for me because it had finally registered that for many of us, it would be the last time we would ever get to hang out all at once. Life would change forever after we boarded the bus and finished preparing to graduate. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.

Loving the entire Class of 2006

Last but not least, my most fond memory has to be all of the random laughs and experiences with my entire class. While we came from all backgrounds, races and ethnicities we were friends if nothing else. Our class was/is full of brilliant and I mean brilliant individuals. We have entrepreneurs, doctors, dentists, educators, attorneys, moms, dads, wives, husbands, creative thinkers and ambitious people that we can call classmates and lifelong friends. I couldn’t have chosen a better class to be part of.

Now that I’m officially in my feelings…especially because of the photos…I’m gonna end this here LOL.

Share your fondest high school memories in the comment section below!