Back At it Again

How are all of my wonderful and radiant socialites doing?! I miss you all! I know it’s been a while since I last posted on my blog (my time had been very limited leading up to graduation) and I kind of needed a break from my everyday routine. Mentally, physically and emotionally I felt the overwhelming necessity to recharge as well as re-center my life.  In doing so, it appeared as if life itself shifted— and as a result, my perspectives became clearer. Important takeaways I’d like to share from my semi- reality getaway are:

  1. Life is finite and precious

Naturally, we as humans have the tendency to take things for granted only to have a tragic event remind us that nothing is promised. Yes, we all hope and expect to live long, abundant lives and in this way of thinking, may lead one to procrastinate. Instead, approach life with a “being in the moment” attitude! We live in a social media/ technological era and the pressure to constantly be connected to a device can make a person lost in the sauce. Instead of spending mindless time scrolling down timelines, why not make the most of the timeline for your life. If it’s within reach, go for it. If it’s not quite within reach, GO FOR IT.

Invest in yourself; health, knowledge and wealth 🙂

  1. Value your network

Those that you keep close to you in your circle are SO important for several reasons. Of course different networks fulfill different purposes, but they all are nonetheless vital to your growth and success. They serve as supporters and resources in your aspirations that were built upon a common connecting factor. Challenge yourself and your network to expand not only in numbers but in experience and diversity too. Keep in mind that networks are meant to be beneficial and as you receive you also must give. Remain genuine and the meaningful relations will flourish.

  1. Fall in love with yourself

You should be head over heels, incessantly enamored with every little thing about you! Not in a narcissistic way at all but more so in a harmonious infatuation type of way. Love is such a beautiful thing to witness and when it’s within you; there is nothing that can stop you. You subsequently learn to put yourself first and become more confident (which is a sexy trait in my book).

Love is synonymous to happiness and we can never get enough of that. Be in a 100% committed relationship with you. From time to time, set dates with yourself and keep them. Trust me, love is powerful.

All in all, I encourage all of my readers to occasionally take the time to step back and reflect. Especially during times of anxiousness. Refocus if you need to and make the proper adjustments to avoid lackadaisical time spent.

Have reflections to share? Comment below!

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Experiencing Chicago

This past month I had the opportunity of visiting the notorious “Windy City”, or better known as, Chicago for the first time in part of my school’s Alternative Spring Break program. The purpose of these trips are to visit different communities within a city to promote various initiatives that counter the plagues of our inner city youth;  this year, Chicago’s initiative was combatting gun violence through creative expression and channeling energy to produce positive outputs into the world. These efforts focused on education, advocacy and the prevalent issue of deaths and homicides.

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Service There is a plethora of organizations in the Chicago area that are founded on giving back in some capacity. The city faces great strife and fortunately there are people who are devoted to restoring hope for the generations to come. The benefits of being a part or even witnessing the work done is realizing the impact you can make in someone’s life. In all honesty, it’s extremely humbling and an invaluable experience to cherish for a lifetime.  The main lesson I took take away is, not letting your circumstances define your divined outcomes.

I encourage all readers who are interested to learn more about KLEO, Cease Fire, Louder than a Bomb and Perspectives Charter School if you would like to be involved in community service.

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People Let me start off by saying, bless the hearts of the people in Chicago, because they are truly like angels walking here on Earth. Instantly, the groups of individuals and organizations, I had the pleasure of meeting and learning more about was amazing. You feel the sense of community and comradery regardless of the setting. Each person has a unique story to be told and the adversity that many of these Chicagoans had overcome is inspiring. In addition, there is so much potential and talent that these people possess that leave a reciprocal impression of being a better person after having met them.

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Downtown Whenever I go to a city, I always anticipate the moment when I’m able to view its skyline, and for Chicago, the sight was spectacular. The city’s architecture is really like no other. From a distance, the buildings appear to be modern yet futuristic at the same time—which is why I was so mesmerized. When I finally arrived in the downtown hub, there was an endless list of things to do, so I’m sharing some recommendations for your next visit,

  • Garrett’s Popcorn
  • The Skydeck Chicago
  • Magnificent Mile
  • Giodano’s Deep Dish Pizza (Perfect for all cheese lovers!)
  • Millennium Park/ Cloud Gate
  • Kuumba Lynx

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Needless to say, Chicago is a city of beauty and hope. While there may be many depictions, stereotypes or connotations of Chicago, very few encompass its totality. It’s a city to travel to, if at least several times in your life and experience for yourself- the impact the city leaves on you is priceless.

Treat Yourself:Chocolate Espresso Mousse Shots

Chocolate-Espresso Mousse Shots

 

Ingredients

2 tsp instant espresso
1 Tbsp hot water
1 package(s) fat-free sugar-free instant chocolate pudding and pie filling mix (1.4 oz)
1 1/2 cup(s) fat free skim milk
1 1/2 cup(s) fat free whipped topping, divided
16 item(s) chocolate wafer(s), lightly broken

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine espresso and water until dissolved; let cool to room temperature.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together pudding mix and skim milk until well-combined; whisk in espresso mixture and then fold in 1/2 cup whipped topping.
  3. Line up 16 shot glasses and spoon 1 tablespoon pudding in each one; top each with 1 1/2 teaspoons cookie pieces, 1 1/2 tablespoons pudding and 1 more teaspoon cookie pieces.
  4. Garnish each with 1 tablespoon whipped topping before serving. Yields 1 shot glass per serving.

Notes

If desired, only use 1 cup skim milk and add half a cup Irish Crème liquor when you add in the espresso mixture. Garnish with chocolate-covered coffee beans

Bon Apetite!

 

Lazy Sunday Jams

Here are some songs to add to your collection for the ultimate Sunday playlist with endless vibes.

  1. Corinne Bailey Rae – Put Your Records On
  2. Sam Smith- Latch ( Acoustic version)
  3. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Jamming
  4.  Weezer- Island in the Sun
  5. MAGIC!- Rude
  6. Santana, Michelle Branch- The Game of Love
  7. Major Lazer ft. Amber of Dirty Projectors- Get Free
  8. Goapele- Closer
  9. Coldplay- The Scientist
  10. How To Dress Well- & It Was U
  11. Kilter, Youth- Hold Me

#NationalSiblingsDay Celeb Moments

An undefinable bond filled with kinship along with memories and friendship that will last a lifetime. Here’s a list of Socialite’s favorite celebrity siblings.

 

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James and Dave Franco

Beyonce and Solange

Venus and Serena Williams

 

Tia, Taj and Tamera Mowry

 

Siva and Kumar

Hilary and Haylie

 

 

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Jonas Bros

Sasha and Malia Obama

Keenan, Shawn, Marlon and Damon Wayans

Paris and Nicky Hilton

How do you plan on spending National Siblings Day today? Feel free to comment below.

 

Body Massages and What to Expect

Massage

Ladies love to rave about indulging themselves in a nice deep tissue massage but how many ever act on it? I decided to finally walk the talk and pamper myself for a moment because why? – I deserved it. Here are some things to know if you plan on getting a massage for the first time!

 

Book an appointment: Some salons are generous enough to let patrons walk right in but for planning purposes, it’s always better to book in advance. This way you can take advantage of any deals going on at the moment but most importantly your able to secure your own spot.

Dress Code/ Attire: Wear something you feel comfortable in when going but it essentially doesn’t matter since you’ll be stripping down anyway. Depending on where you go, there may be additional under garments and a robe provided but don’t count on it (With a reserving a spot, you can also find this out too).

One Hour Minimum: Time goes by incredibly fast when getting a massage and you’ll most likely not want it to end. I recommend nothing less than an hour because if you plan to spoil yourself it’s by law to not sell yourself short. One hour is ample time to thoroughly work out all the knots and tension built up in the body muscles while relaxing yourself in such a peaceful environment.

 Speak up: Each masseuse operates differently and since it’s a service, please make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. With that being said, if you feel like the masseuse is or is not applying enough pressure, communicate that. They look for feedback and are there to please you.

Some will even allow you to play music from your own devices so have a nice soothing playlist ready.

Brace Yourself: The massage should have your body feeling as light as a feather. However,  from the different techniques, you may either squirm; become ticklish, sore or all of the above. Be aware of your reflexes and this is also a topic to be talked about beforehand.

If hot stones are used, a masseuse will ask what levels of heat you can withstand.

 

Enjoy the ambience and leave your worries behind. You’ll be so glad you finally treated yourself!

 

Transforming Our World

UNSustainableDevelopmentGoals_Brand-01The Millennium Development Goals were first created by the United Nations in the year of 2000 and adopted a framework to help combat the most problematic international issues our world envisioned to overcome. Comprised of eight initiatives that relate to aspects heavily effecting under-developed countries, targets were expected to be met by 2015. However as the year approached, global results had fallen short but the momentum lives on through the revision and new aphorism, “The Future We Want”. Today the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) launched by the United Nations has devised a more concise set of universal goals that can be achieved by the year 2030. The overarching message of this establishment is to reform the world we live to achieve sustainable development in all dimensions for our world.

It began in September 2000, when 189 member countries of the United Nations convened to adopt the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) committing themselves to eradicating world challenges and achieving human development by 2015. It is arguably the strongest statement yet of the international commitment to end global strife. Acknowledging the multidimensional problems with specific objectives the list created is as follows:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development[1]

Through statistics, rates, facts and figures the nations set targets and believed that all goals could be achieved in 2015. The mission was and still remains to ensure a sustainable environment for this world and to make freedom accessible to all. The beginning supporters that made the largest contributions are accredited to key international agencies such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), leading to the emergence of the community, governments and citizens taking action and being involved with the “global partnership for development” goal.

As we can see, even the aid of the monumental institutions is not substantial requires more action.

Global Progression

 Observers and those of the kind openly share their criticism in the United Nations’ ability to accomplish these goals. Despite the analytical reports computed, some may claim that the goals set forth are unrealistic and not obtainable. Fortunately there are organizations, companies, foundations and more that believe this can be a reality and they do so by holding one another accountable. Prior to the established Sustainable Development Goals, world achievements include reducing the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 per day by 600 million, the world poverty rate dropping from 47% to 24% in spite of the growing world population, today at 7.3 billion, over the past 10 years over 43 million children worldwide were enrolled in primary education, 117 countries have passed laws regarding wage equality, five in nine developing regions have reduced the under-five mortality rate by 50%, maternal mortality has decreased by 47% , since 2009, more than 1.4 million people have received HIV/AIDS antiretroviral treatment and 1,800 people have gained access to basic sanitation[2].

 

Some results are more impressive than others and the issues are over time diminishing. The global progression is promising and there are ways for each person on this earth to make a difference and play a larger role. With the increasing traction of this world’s current status, the cooperation from all entities is growing in significance. Donations, volunteering, education are all acts that people have and can take part in.

 

What’s Occurring Present Day

 

From the most recent conference, Rio+20 outlined 17 redefined goals that give more clarity and affirmation in closing the worldly gaps. These goals are built on the foundation and “unfinished business” of the Millennium Development Goals and respond to the new assessment of this world. Today these goals integrate the economic, social and environmental aspects and recognize the interlinkages in achieving sustainable development in all its dimensions[3]. Here is the proposed list:

  1. End poverty in all forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

 

This past March, these 17 goals were proposed with 169 proposed targets and indicators to show compliance that can be met by 2030. As aforementioned, SDSN has compacted these goals into 10 more concise, pragmatic universal goals.

  1. End extreme poverty in all its forms
  2. Achieve development within planetary boundaries
  3. Ensure effective learning for all children and for youth for their lives and livelihoods
  4. Achieve gender equality, social inclusion and human rights for all
  5. Achieve health and wellbeing at all ages
  6. Improve agricultural systems and raise rural productivity
  7. Empower inclusive, productive and resilient cities
  8. Curb human-induced climate change and ensure sustainable energy
  9. Secure ecosystem services and biodiversity and ensure good management of water and other natural resources
  10. Transform Governance for Sustainable Development

 

The goals are devised to orient the world in a more realistic sustainable way of life for all generations to follow. These can be considered the secular Ten Commandments that all nations must strive to live by, and it is possible. Focusing on the dimensions to alleviate populations and lead them to holistic freedom in a sense is the vision we intend to see made. Essentially, the world collectively wants everyone to be able to live in a state of health and wealth, an environment that should be available to all. This world is only growing and it is our responsibility as citizens to take care of it and be socially and economically conscious. The new sets of Sustainable Development Goals are tangible and able to be measured from various proxies and serve as a guide for this world to live better.

 

#MakeaChange #FutureGoals #SocialiteSpeaking

[1] Todaro, Michael P., and Michael P. Todaro. Economic Development. New York: Longman, 1994. Print.

[2] “End Poverty 2015.” End Poverty 2015. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2015.

[3] “Proposal for Sustainable Development Goals .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.” Proposal for Sustainable Development Goals .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2015

Earth’s Condition

The condition of our environment is becoming a pressing issue that world leaders are starting to address. We share planet Earth and as global citizens it is our duty to protect, nurture and sustain it for future generations. It seems more and more of our population makes less of an effort to contribute to keeping our earth clean. This planet does not belong to one individual but for the masses in our ecosystem that live today, came before and will come after.

As a regular human being the steps that everyone can incorporate into their daily lives are simple.

Recycling- The average human generates 4.3 pounds of trash per day ( According to Duke University’s study for Center of Sustainability). There are only so many landfills created on this earth that are designated to storing the trash. Now think of the difference you can make if the trash made could be reused for another product to be consumed. Many institutions, businesses and establishments now provide waste bins that allow people to recycle. Separating the materials used may not be an initial reaction when on the go, but consider the long term affects if you mindlessly continue to throw your trash in the same landfill as opposed to making a contribution to reducing the trash and using it for sustainability. * Littering is a part of this too and has an even worse effect on the other species we share the earth with. Simply put, keep our Earth clean.

Carbon Footprints- Climate change has been a factor for decades and is also an issue to seriously be aware of. Glaciers are disseminating and the species who live in these parts of the world are losing a home. Animals are becoming cannibals and going after their own kind due to limited resources. It’s terrible to witness and it’s only getting worse. Please be advised, the following video may be graphic to some audiences.

 

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This is the destruction we’re causing to our Earth. It’s time to wake up and be aware of the choices we’re making and the effects they have. #MakeaChange