How to Start a Gratitude Journal and Embrace It + Giveaway

I’ve always been a journal-er. I remember as a child, I used to write down my inner most thoughts in my journal or diary. I stopped journaling for a while, and started focusing on my blog. However, last year I … Continue reading

How can I help children get excited to read?

Imagine sitting in a classroom as a child, and your teachers tells you that it’s time for independent reading. You choose a book, but it takes you a little while longer because the type of book you are looking for … Continue reading

Crystal Day: 5 Lessons Learned from Putting Me First

Feet (1)For the last five days, I’ve been on vacation at work. It wasn’t because I was going away to Miami or Las Vegas to celebrate my birthday. I was on vacation for one person – ME. Somewhere between my promotion and events, I forgot about me. I remember during one of my first trainings at work, one of the presenters spoke to us about work and life balance. She told us to make sure we incorporate mental wellness days into our schedule before we plan anything else. I honestly thought I had it all under control. I could take time whenever I need to do so. I have my written planner plus my Google calendar to correspond with my other meetings, trainings, and whatever else filled up my schedule.

However, one day it all went crashing head first. I was overwhelmed and in tears because I piled up my plate. I wasn’t writing. I didn’t cook dinner. I didn’t clean my place. I didn’t spend a lot of time doing devotion. I wasn’t in the mood to socialize with my friends or sorority sisters. I didn’t do anything that I really wanted to do. I lost Crystal. I was literally piled up with papers and curriculum with a jungle of an office. Then, I remembered what the presenter said – schedule time for you off!

Fresh New Hair Color

Fresh New Hair Color

I did it! I pulled out my calendar and designated Crystal Days. Honestly, the last few days was amazing! I was adventurous, and colored my hair for the first time. I attended this amazing workshop for Christian women. It was such a blessing because one of the presenters spoke about putting too much on your plate, and leaving little time to pray or maintain your relationship with God. The entire workshop resonated with me. I (tried) not to call the office or respond to e-mails at work. I cooked an amazing meal for dinner. I watched Netflix, and chilled with my hun.

For the last four days, I learned a lot about myself. I wanted to share with you all my five lessons that I’ve learned from putting me first.

Lesson 1: Unplug ItDSC T13
I learned that social media, e-mails, and technology can be a distraction. I used it some days, but there were times when I unplugged it. As I shared earlier, I tried not to call the office. It took a while. I kept telling myself that I’m on vacation, and regardless of the need or e-mail – I can respond to it when I get back to work on Wednesday. Don’t be afraid to unplug your technology.

Lesson 2: Pamper Yourself
C58“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary,” Mandy Hale said.
I started incorporating this regimen a while ago, but I went all out during Crystal Days. I got my hair and nails done. Pampering yourself doesn’t require a lot of money if you do it wisely. I went to the hair school, and my cousin did my hair. Therefore, if my funds are tight, but I need to pamper myself. You can do it for little to no money.

Lesson 3: Staycations are the Best Vacations
Love Selfcare Createherstock 7My sister asked me if I was going to down to visit everyone during my vacation. I quickly responded, “No.” It was nothing against them, but I didn’t want to travel. My plan for Crystal Days were to stay put in my staycation. I ate all of the finest meals and relaxed. I’ve heard great things about staycations, but this was a first. I feel so refreshed and energized from it.

Lesson 4: Make a Grateful List12791041_10100754787696656_5746089355736055779_n
Last year, I started a grateful journal. After these last few days, I realized that I needed to pick it back up. A grateful journal is an opportunity to not only list what you are appreciative of, but also to reflect on the things you are most thankful for in life.

Tweet This: Oftentimes, we tend to forget about the list of “gratefuls” during our busy days. It’s important to sit back, reflect, and be thankful!

Lesson 5: Schedule Time for You
The most important lesson learned is to make sure you take time for you. I’ve already planned out the next set of Crystal Days. If you schedule the time in advance, then it’s easier to commit to those days. I am making it a commitment to Crystal to set time aside to re-group and unwind.

Love in the Now: 10 Things I Love Right Now

Hey Ya’ll,

It’s truly been a while since I’ve blogged. I created my personal Blog Planner of Awesomeness to help me stay focused and on target for Being Starkey. However, things happened that prevented my success for February. It’s truly okay because they are all a part of my Write Block Wednesday prompt of the 10 Things I Love Right Now.

  1. God
    I am working to improve my spiritual relationship with God. I’m participating in a spiritual boot camp. The leader LaKia Barr gave the participants some awesome tasks including creating a spiritual vision board. I consider myself to be a pro-vision boarder, but I really thought and examined my relationship with God when I created it. The boot camp has definitely helped me to see clearer and love God even more than I already do.
  2. Me
    One of my goals on my vision board is to put me first. I can honestly say that I’ve been doing that. I started budgeting to get my hair and nails done at least once a month. I am making more time for Crystal versus everyone else. I love the woman that I am.
  3. Magic Lessons
    Elizabeth Gilbert is completely awesome! I read Big Magic, and I was absolutely inspired to go and be creative. I was researching different podcasts and stumbled upon it. I love every episode of it. When I just need an extra boost, I tune it to an older episode and get energized.
  4. Daily Navigation
    At the beginning of the month, I shared a part of the first chapter of my book. I received great feedback. I love it when my readers actually enjoy what I wrote. My goal is to finish Daily Navigation within the next month. I love every part of it, and I can’t wait to see the finished product.
  5. My Career
    This past year, I’ve worked so hard to prove my spot in the big world of CES. I love my career especially program development and finding/exposing the youth in the program to new opportunities. Today, I conducted a training for a school enrichment program for a group of teachers. They loved it, and in turn so did I.
  6. Sewing
    For Christmas, I decided to make some DIY easy throw pillow projects for some people. I absolutely love sewing. It helps me to relax. This simple hobby is slowly becoming a potential monetary opportunity. I am currently addicted to going into craft or fabric stores looking for new ideas and fabric styles. Stay tuned for more information on Sew Starkey.
  7. Grad School, well sort of
    Yes, I’m back in grad school. It took a long time to find the best program that was best suited for my purpose. I love attending class and interacting with my classmates.
  8. Winter TV Lineup
    Baby Daddy. Blackish. Here We Go Again. Born Again Virgin. I’m excited! I love watching great sitcoms.
  9. Girls Scout Cookies
    Two Words: Thin Mints
  10. TWH
    He’s complete awesomeness! ❤ ❤ ❤

5 Simple Ways to Thank Your Mentor

January marks the 15th year of National Mentoring Month. According to National Mentoring Month, “Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects for your people, that ultimately strengthens our community.” I can attest to this. I’ve been mentored … Continue reading

Mentoring Quotes to Move You

Oprah Winfrey said it best.
“For everyone of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out,” she said.
Let’s think about it. Do you remember the first person who pushed you just a little harder? You didn’t want to do it. You kicked. You screamed. Even though, your initial response was the same result. And then, you tried it. You gave that extra leap and everything changed.
That’s what it feels like to have a mentor. You will be pushed. You will be skeptical of the suggestions, but they will move you in the right direction.
January is National Mentoring Month, which is honestly one of my favorite months. I work for a youth development organization. The organization offers many unofficial mentoring opportunities to the youth and people in the community. In commemoration of this month, I compiled a list of ten mentoring quotes to move you.

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
– Isaac Newton

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
– Phil Collins

“The mediocre leader tells.  The good leader explains.  The superior leader demonstrates.  The great leader inspires.”
– Gary Patton

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou

“What I need is someone who will make me do what I can.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you get, give, if you learn, teach.”
– Maya Angelou

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”
– Booker T. Washington

“You can only mentor somebody if they want to be.”
– Phil Ramone

“What you want in a mentor is someone who truly cares for you and who will look after your interests and not just their own. When you do come across the right person to mentor you, start by showing them that the time they spend with you is worthwhile.”
– Vivek Wadhwa

Are you moved? I hope so. Are you interested in serving as a mentor? I have the solution for you. It’s the 5 Tips to Being a Great Mentor.

The Do’s & Don’ts to Creating a Vision Board

Last week, I hosted a vision board party, and invited a few of my friends. I’ve created vision boards on and off for a few years. Are you familiar with a vision board? Yes, then you are in great shape. … Continue reading

Lessons Learned | Magic Happens when Girls Write In

  Have you ever attended an event, and left it saying, “Dang, I actually learned something!” If you haven’t had that pleasure, then you my dear are missing something serious. It was magical! Last Friday, I attended Conversationalist & Blogger … Continue reading