Life

  • 7 Tips To Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

    Every year, millions of people start the year with New Year’s resolutions that are intended to make their life a little better. Many people, plan to work out more, save money, and overall just get our shit together for the new year. As usual, folks get off to a great start but after a few weeks, the desire to continue to stick your New Year’s resolutions begins to fade. Listen, I didn’t even keep my ClassPass past March, so there’s that. And as a result, lots of folks (myself included) lose confidence or become depressed for not accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions but it doesn’t have to end that way.

    To prevent that from happening here are seven tips that are going to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions:

    Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions mommyrandr

    Set Realistic Goals

    Having high expectations for yourself is good, provided you don’t go overboard. This is what many people are guilty of, myself included. We tell ourselves we’re gonna do a, b, c, x, y, and z, and ultimately ending up not accomplishing shit. Why? Cause we set our own selves up for failure by aiming too high for impossible goals. However, realistic goals are achievable. If we sit down and really think of realistic goals we know can reach it will make accomplishing them all the sweeter. The key is to start small and work our way up, one step at a time.

    Use The Buddy System

    Having someone or a group of people to hold you accountable will encourage you to keep your resolution going all year long. No matter your resolution have someone in your corner who you can count on to cheer your milestones and also call out your shit when you start fucking up. Remember, this is a two-way street you’re pushing each other to win. Now if you come to a situation where over time your buddy isn’t being positive and happy for the strides you’ve made then it’s time seek someone who is. No one wants or needs a Debbie downer or worse a hater in their corner.  

    Set Reminders

    We have a lot of things going on at once and trying to remember everything is damn near impossible. Thankfully, technology makes it easier to get daily reminders of the things we need to do. Now you won’t forget to follow through with your goals. And don’t be afraid to set follow up reminders especially if you know you’re the type to say, eh I’ll do that in the next 10 minutes. By the way, it’s me, I’m the type to say that, and you are too – set that extra reminder.

    Keep Track of Your Progress

    It really is motivating to see all the progress you’ve made so far, even if it’s only been a few weeks. It’s going to encourage you to continue on your path until you reach your goal. Remind yourself of all your hard work by posting your progress where you can see it. On your bathroom mirror, the fridge, in your journal, or on your phone. Every time you look at it it’s going to show you where you started and how far you’ve come since you began. It’s the ultimate motivational booster.

    Focus on the Positive

    Are you going to have setbacks on your way to achieving your goals? Yeah, everyone does. No one sets a goal and then poof in a blink of an eye they’ve achieved it. Nah. That shit takes blood, sweat, and tears which includes setbacks. But don’t focus on that. Learn from it yes, but don’t let it deter you from getting to the finish line. Focus on where you are and how much hard work it took for you to get there not the 2 steps back from a month ago. Let the positive lead you to where you wanna be.

    Keep Trying Don’t Give Up

    Okay, so you set a goal, and guess what? You’re starting to slack off, things aren’t going exactly as planned, or worse you failed. That’s fine, cause that’s life. But the thing you have to remember is don’t stop trying. If you got lazy shake that shit off and get your mind and body back in the game. If a door closes in the front go around the back to see if that door is open. Also, if you have to scrap and redo your plan in order for it to work better, do it. You fail? Alright. Be like Aaliyah and dust that shit off and try again. Do what you gotta do (legally) to reach your end goal.

    And most importantly…

    Don’t Doubt Yourself

    Never for a second doubt that you can’t do it, cause you can, and you WILL.

    No matter what your goal is, by following these simple tips will no doubt help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Do you have any tips of your own that have worked?
  • 10 Tips For Taking Care of Yourself This Summer as a Stay at Home Mom

    Taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home mom is just as important for yourself, as it is for your family. When you have a kid, your life may seem like it revolves around your child, and on some level, it does, especially during the summer months. Your schedule might be a little more hectic as you’re taking kids from one outdoor activity to another, or you start to go a little bonkers from staying indoors to beat the heat. And as a result, you may forget to take care of yourself.

    Here are some tips for taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home parent

    Be sure to give yourself 6-8 hours of sleep

    Real talk, your sleep is important. It’s recommended that you get between six and eight hours of sleep a night, but as a parent, you’ll be faced with times when you’ll get less. Much less. So what’s the key to getting a good night’s rest? The most important thing (and I swear by this) is you must have a solid bedtime routine.

    This routine is more than hopping into bed at the same time every night and pulling up the covers. I’m talking about the steps you take that will send a signal to your body that it’s bedtime. My routine lasts about an hour cause I like to take my time. By the time I”m finished and get into bed I’m asleep in less than ten minutes.

    Another way that I make sure I’m well-rested is naps. Let’s face there are times you can get all the sleep in the world and still be tired during the day. I make no bones about my afternoon nap. It makes me feel refreshed. An hour to an hour and a half of sleep is a good way to make me feel like a new woman. So do yourself a favor and take yourself a nap whenever you can. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

    Make sure to eat and stay hydrated

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Your health is just as important as your child’s health. Making sure to eat three meals a day to keep your energy up so you can keep up with your kid(s). It’s really easy to skip a meal when times get hectic, trust me I have and there wasn’t a time where it worked out for me. Missing a meal left me with headaches, not feeling like myself, and just plain ole angry.

    I also know during the summer you might not want to cook cause the heat outside and the heat in the kitchen isn’t fun. But Good Housekeeping has 60 quick summer dinner recipes that will have you in and out of the kitchen.

    And while you’re in the kitchen, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. It’s summertime and you’re gonna be outside a lot more which means you need to prevent dehydration. How do you know you’re dehydrated? You’ll start to feel any number of things from thirst, headache, dizziness, and tiredness. You’ll also notice that your skin will feel super dry and your urine will be darker. To avoid this you should make sure you’re drinking at least eight or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

    Do an activity that would be considered good exercise

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Exercise can help keep you in shape. If you’re stuck at home, you can do simple things like floor exercises or walk around the neighborhood. This can be especially helpful if you cannot afford a gym membership right now.

    But just because you’re exercising at home that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are tons of fitness videos you can follow right in your livingroom like yoga, pilates or even kickboxing. You can even involve your children too which might even lead to a nap afterward – although I can’t make any promises.

    As an additional tip, with it being summertime be on the lookout for any local free outdoor classes you can attend. But if you can afford a gym membership check out Classpass. This is my personal favorite as it allows me to attend different fitness classes all over the city. It’s my go-to for everything from candlelight yoga, barre class or a relaxing steam. Oh, and please before you start any workout regiment make sure you have the proper running shoe and don’t forget an SPF moisturizer of 30 or greater while outdoors.

    Take a family staycation

    Everything isn’t about venturing off to faraway lands. You and your family can have blast together at a nearby hotel. Make lasting memories with a little weekend poolside fun and rediscovering your neighborhood. It’s a great way for everyone to have a little escape without the big-ticket travel price.

    Keep your skin clean

    During the summer months, it’s imperative that you keep your skin clean. Sweat and dirt will clog your pores and can cause skin irritations or in worse cases infection. So you have to make sure your skin is cleansed and moisturized daily, or even twice a day.

    Now the thing to remember with your shower is that you don’t want the water too hot. I love hot showers year-round they soothe my body and make me feel rejuvenated. However, while hot water opens your pores to help you clean your skin but if it’s too hot water it will dry out your skin and can aggravate existing skin issues.

    Make it a good mix of hot and cool water. Taking a cool shower also has its benefits like increasing blood circulation and can even promote weight loss as you burn calories as you try to keep warm in the shower.

    Plan and delegate tasks to not overwork yourself

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Feel frazzled and don’t know what day it is or can’t remember why you have a 9:30a appointment? Then it’s time to get yourself a planner. Mom brain is a serious thing. One minute you can remember your entire shopping list and the next minute you can’t remember where you left your coffee. This is why I suggest getting a planner. You don’t have to go crazy like some planner lovers unless you want to. It’s a fun hobby – but that’s another conversation. But you can get yourself a simple weekly planner to help you keep track of your appointments and other notes.

    Now that your day and week is planned out you can start to delegate other things around your home. It’s okay to want to be the super parent, but sometimes, a little help can reduce your stress, and also allow time for family fun. If you’re married or have a partner, get them involved if they aren’t already. Get them involved by bathing the kids or taking them to the park. If you have a child that is old enough assign them some chores.

    Remember, the key to running a household and raising children is to never overwork yourself.

    Log off the internet

    Social media can be addicting. It’s important for you to take breaks from time to time. Log off for a couple of hours, a day, a week, a month. It’ truly up to you. But the point is to reconnect with yourself, your family, those in your inner circle outside of Facebook. Also, while social media can be a fun place for laughs and memes it can also be very toxic, and that can lead you to feel sadness, frustration or even anger. It’s not healthy to have any of that in your life.

    Now, what happens if you have a hard time logging off social media? Well, there are plenty of apps that will monitor your social media usage and set timeframes when you can and can’t use it. The apps work as long as you don’t go tinkering with the settings or uninstalling altogether. You have to want to take a step back.

    Take up a hobby

    Now that you’re spending less time on social media you now have time to take up a new hobby or revisit a hobby you used to indulge in. I would recommend taking up a hobby that you’ve never done before as a way of trying new experiences. You can either take a local class as a way to meet people in your area with the same interests as you or you can watch how-to’s on Youtube in the privacy of your own home.

    Take some you time once a week without the kids

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    You can’t always be cooped up in your house, and you can’t always have your children attached at the hip. Having your partner spend time alone with the kids or getting a babysitter will allow you to have a little bit of time to yourself. Even if it’s just an hour to yourself. As much as you may not think you need the alone time, trust me you do. The benefits of spending time alone will prevent burnout, stress, headaches, and losing patience just to name a few. You need time that is spent on you doing what you enjoying doing.

    Spend time with your partner

    For those in relationships spending time with your partner is crucial. Yes, I’m all about getting you time in but you also need to consider your partner and make some us time. I know you’ve had a long day of being with the kids and they’ve had a long day at the office. Both of you are tired. But as a couple, making time for one another is important. By fitting in a date night (it doesn’t have to be romantic, although it can be) you’re telling each other that you want to be together and are doing all you can to prevent the relationship from becoming strained over time.

    Do you have any tips for taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home mom?
  • Tips for Making and Building a Strong Support Network of Friends

    Support Network of Friends mommyrandr valerie pierre

    When it comes to life, having a strong support network of friends helps make everything a little easier to tolerate. Many people say you’re the company that you keep, but what if you’re struggling trying to find company. It ain’t easy to make friends as an adult. So that begs the question, how does build a network of friends to ensure you always have people surrounding you who care about your well being?!

    The easy and hard answer is, you gotta get your ass out there. Getting out there may sound easy but it’s definitely a struggle. But it doesn’t have to be. So how do you get out there? You can start small by attending meetups with other moms at your kid’s school or other local mom groups. Search for local events that speak to your spirit. There’s nothing wrong with going to an event alone as you never know who you’re gonna meet. If going out is too much you can join online Facebook groups. I’m a member of a number of local Brooklyn mom/women’s groups. You can also find virtual friends through activities clubs or groups which will ensure you’re meeting like-minded people who have a common interest with you.

    But before you get out there you need to do a few other things to make sure your support network of friends will be solid.

    Determine What You Need

    Before you even get out there you need to determine what you’ll need from your new group of friends. Perhaps you’re going through trauma, recovering from something major or just want to know you have people by your side no matter what life throws at you.

    Make time to develop your new friendships

    Now that you’ve met new people you need to make the time to develop these new relationships. No one likes or wants a friend who’s always missing in action, especially one they’ve just met. You have to show people you’re genuine and truly care about them. Make the time to send words of encouragement to start off the day, ask them how they’re doing or follow up on how a presentation or a meeting went. Showing people you actually care goes a very long way.

    Don’t force relationships

    No one wants to be in a forced friendship. If you don’t feel a connection with someone after hanging out a few times that’s okay. Remember, you’re not gonna mesh with everyone you meet. Don’t give up so easily. Keeping putting yourself out there cause remember the glue that holds solid friendships together is being into people who will be into you.

    Support Network of Friends mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Listen to your friends

    The relationships you’re trying to build aren’t one-sided. These people aren’t here just for you to dump your problems on. The key to stable long-lasting friendship is listening to others as they listen to you. Hear them in their time of need and share with them practical solutions to their problems. This is how relationships work.

    Reconnect with your current/old friends

    I know this is about making new friends but if you have friends whom you haven’t connected with in a long time reaching out to them is like starting all over again. Talk and be honest about what may have caused a breakdown in communication and try to work through it. Maybe you were a bad friend, and they didn’t know how to tell you or maybe they said something that offended you. Now is the time to air out your grievances and work towards a solution to try and mend the friendship, if it can be mended. It will be hard and it will feel awkward as hell but if the goal is to have your old friend back then it’s worth it.

    Bring your friends together

    Now that you’ve determined who will be a part of your strong support network of friends, it’s time to bring everyone together so that you all can meet each other. Hosting some sort of dinner or happy hour with this support network of friends will help build the bond between all of you so that you all can be a positive part of each other’s life.

    I hope these tips will ensure that you have a strong support network of friends to be there, by your side through the ups and downs in life.
  • Bah Humbug: I Hate Christmas. Here Are 10 Reasons Why

    i hate christmas valerie pierre mommyrandr

    I’ma just come right out the gate and say it, I hate Christmas. Did you gasp? Most people gasp at the disbelief that there’s someone who openly admits their disdain for the holiday season. I can’t tell you why or when my hatred for Christmas started, but what I do know is, the closer November and December get the more aggravated I become as I consider them the worst months of the year.

    Why do I hate Christmas so much? Well, I’m so glad you asked.

    Christmas people

    You know who these people are. They’re the ones who start the Christmas countdown in June and go on incessantly about their love of the holiday season. And for this reason, I avoid these people like the fucking plague since I’m trying to enjoy summer, fall, daylight savings, Halloween and most importantly Thanksgiving.

    And what I wanna know is, you know Santa isn’t real so what the fuck are you so excited about?

    Black Friday

    There’s nothing more hypocritical than people giving thanks for the shit they have on Thursday and before the turkey digests, they’re at the mall Thursday night/Friday morning fighting someone over a fucking big-screen television. That’s not how any of this works but commercialism says otherwise and people fall for it every year.

    And answer me honestly, do you really need all that shit you elbowing people over?

    Christmas music

    I’m trying to figure out why people get all excited over holiday music. It’s literally the same 7 fucking songs sung in different tones. They all say the same shit – Santa on a sleigh, Jack Frost, and a mistletoe. The worst are the radio stations that play non-stop holiday music. Ughhh, all I want for Christmas is your regular musical rotation.

    I’m looking at you Lite FM.

    Christmas bells

    Nothing rolls my eyes harder than hearing holiday bells. They’re annoying and it seems like there’s a person on every corner ringing one.

    Christmas shopping

    I hate Christmas shopping for people, which is why I give out gift cards. I don’t know what you like and since I don’t here’s some cash, treat yoself. After all, it makes better sense for you to get your own gift rather than me give you some shit you can’t use, which you’ll probably end up regifting anyway. And let’s not talk about those who say, “money isn’t a gift.” Um, the fuck it ain’t?! But since you feel that way, I’ll keep my money in my pocket.

    Spending obscene amounts of money

    Speaking of gifts, why do people feel the need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on presents? Don’t get me wrong, pricey gifts here and there are great, especially if its something someone really wanted. But random expensive gifts for everyone? Every year? Nah son, chill. The expectation to get that $300 fantasy gift that person will use once over the $40 practical one they’ll use every day is real. There’s no reason why folks are po broke from buying gifts. I’m shopping what I can afford, and for immediate family only.

    Crowds and tourists

    People flock to NYC during the holiday season like they’ve never seen damn Christmas decorations before. It’s just a tree with lights and garland. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Relax. The influx of tourists also makes traveling around the city unbearable. Thankfully, I live in Brooklyn so it’s not so bad in certain spots. But I won’t go into Manhattan until after everyone’s said Happy New Year and goes home.

    Spending time with people you can’t stand

    Just because it’s Christmas that shouldn’t mean that I have to look at your mug across the dinner table. I mean, if I didn’t like you Jan 1st – Dec 24th why would I want to spend time with you on Dec 25th? The answer is, I’m not. Which is why I don’t spend holiday time with my in-laws, but that’s another conversation for a different post.

    The “war” on Christmas people

    These are the people who wait on bated breath each year to see what kind of cup Starbucks puts out so they can boycott it. Why? Cause it ain’t Christmassy enough. Ma’am, it’s a damn cup. Stop it. Get some help. No one has ever or will ever stop you from saying Merry Christmas. There is NO war on Christmas.

    Romantic Christmas movies 

    All of these movies are the same, a big city girl who feels incomplete moves to small-town no man’s land meets a lumberjack (who may or may not be a secret millionaire, they fight then fall in love and live happily ever after. Give me a damn break. It’s the same plot for every movie yet people watch full of excitement like they don’t know what’s gonna happen.

    But all of that aside, there is a silverling to the holiday season, and that’s, the END of the holiday season.

     

    Oh please, don’t act like you’re not the least bit excited when the holiday season ends. I know you are cause I hear quite a few of y’all talking about happy you are for it to be over. It’s okay to admit it. Cause the truth is, it IS the best time of the year. Besides all your guests going home and your kids preoccupied with the new toys they got you also get, next year’s holiday shit for 75% off, plus those beauty gift sets and clothing for at least 50% off. It’s a gotdamn free-for-all, and I live for it!

    How many of you hate Christmas? I know I can’t be the only one out here.