Resources that Can Help Improve Your Life

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As the dust of the New Year begins to settle, some of our resolutions and our resolve to keep them might not be as strong as they were on January 1st. You might even be one of those people who dislikes the idea of resolutions and didn't make a big deal about it in the first place. 

Regardless of your relationship with resolutions, we can all agree that it's good to be improving on oneself and one's life. It's overwhelming, however, to try to do an overhaul of your life all at once. Additionally, the first steps you need to take in order to achieve said goal(s) can be murky or unclear. This list includes resources that give guidance on where to start on whatever "journey" you feel like you need to be on right now. We hope this is the type of list that you can come back to in the middle of the year when you feel like you're in a bit of a funk.  

Physical Wellbeing:

  • The Golden Rx 
    • Nayamka Roberts-Smith is a licensed esthetician who provides different online skin consultations and has an online nutrition counselling that's coming soon
  • Black Girls RUN! 
    • Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks-Rocha's platform provides a community and support system for those wanting to focus on their fitness and health
  • Get Fit With Massi 
    • Masiel Encarnación, a personal trainer and Zumba© Instructor, offers online one on one personal training as well as a clean eating guide

 Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing:

Finances and Career:

Movies We're Looking Forward to in 2018

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The 2018 award season kicked off this past weekend with the Golden Globes. It provided a number of memorable moments we detailed on our Twitter (here), and we are looking forward to the other films Hollywood will release this year. These are the top 10 movies, we are most excited about. 

*click the titles of the films to watch the trailers on YouTube


1. Proud Mary (Jan. 12):

In this action flick, Taraji P. Henson plays a hit woman named Mary, and based on the trailer we can expect Henson to be a complete and total badass with tons of guns and disguises. This is sure to be an entertaining and fun experience. We're so happy that Taraji gets to play such a different character from what mainstream audiences knows her for. 


2. Black Panther (Feb. 12):

#BlackPantherSoLit started trending almost two years before the movie was set to release and now its release date is almost a month away (you can purchase your tickets already!); the excitement is palpable. We're thrilled to see this Black Marvel superhero come to life on the big screen with an ensemble cast that we know must have amazing brunch dates regularly. 

3. Annihilation (Feb. 23):

Annihilation is a sci-fi horror that seems equal parts creepy and captivating. The film, that has a  ensemble cast that includes Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez, follows a group of women who embark on a secret and dangerous journey into a world where everything doesn't operate like it does in the real world. It's based on a 2014 novel by Jeff VanderMeer with the same title.

4. A Wrinkle in Time (March 09):

Ava DuVernay started this year by revealing to us that she directed Jay Z's "Feud" music video and the quality of it was undeniable so we are even more excited to see what she has done with her adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's novel, A Wrinkle in Time. It's a fantasy story that follows a girl whose scientist father goes missing and it is up to her to go up against fantastical forces in order to save him. We're pleased to see Gugu Mbatha-Raw again on our screens and we're similarly excited to see what new comer, Storm Reid, can do!

5. Gringo (March 09):

David Oyelowo plays an interesting role in Gringo that looks hilarious and a great departure from the serious roles we've seen him in. It's always great to see the range of actors and marvel at their talent. It seems the film will serve us a level of humour and absurdity that hasn't been hot since The Hangover franchise died a mediocre death. 

6. Rampage (April 20):

This is the type of blockbuster film that we've come to expect from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It seems part King Kong, part Planet of the Apes. That is, it follows Johnson's character who has taken care of this gorilla since it was young but when a genetic experiment goes wrong, the once loveable gorilla turns him into a  giant on a mission for global destruction. We have no doubt that we'll be shoving popcorn in our mouths while experiencing great explosion and fight sequences. 

7. Ocean's Eight (June 8):

Heist films are one of our favourite genres and we're thrilled that this old franchise is being revived with a star studded all female cast. Each of the characters have special skills that make them necessary and important for the con they plan to execute. With comedic actors like Mindy Kaling and Sandra Bullock we expect  humour but we also anticipate a freshness to the franchise with the inclusion of a star like Rihanna. We're crossing our fingers that the (undeserved) backlash that the Ghostbusters reboot received won't touch this film. 

8. The Incredibles 2 (June 15)

The Incredibles first came out in 2004! We don't even care what the film is about we just appreciate that Disney Pixar is putting an end to our long wait. 



9. Aquaman (Dec. 21):

Justice League didn't do as well as everyone had hoped but we're still holding out hope for Aquaman to help the DCU flourish the way the MCU has (look at the excitement surrounding Avengers: Infinity War). Jason Momoa is brining a new coolness to the Aquaman character, and the film is being directed by James Wan of  Furious 7 and The Conjuring  fame and we hope that the success Wan has brought to his previous films will be the case for this film as well. 

10. Mary Poppins Returns (Dec. 25):

*deep inhale* 

Mary Poppins Returns will be a lovely way to close out the year and the only thing that will make it more splendid is if  Julie Andrews makes a cameo in the film, but we are hopeful that Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda will do this classic musical justice. 

New Year's Eve Activity Ideas


I love New Years Eve because not only is it officially the last day of the year and I can celebrate what I hope will be "my year" but it also brings an end to those awkward days between December 25th and January 1st. That is, everyone is working at half productivity and efficiency simply waiting for the espresso boost the 1st will bring. And like any New Year Optimist™, I like to celebrate this transition but I don't necessarily feel like wearing a glittery dress and being in a club for the whole night. Therefore, I've created this list of five New Year's Eve activities that will feel festive and where a sparkly dress is completely optional. 


1. Baking cookies:

Nothing smells better than fresh baked goods. So why not pick a cookie or cake recipe, perhaps something from Jocelyn Delk Adams' cookbook, Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memoriesand spend your New Year's Eve baking it. You can appreciate the fruits of your labor while catching some fireworks near you.  

2. movie night:

There are currently some great movies out (I've seen positive reviews about The Shape of Water and Jumanji). Catching a late screening of an enjoyable film with a bag of buttery popcorn and a fizzy drink could be a satisfying and low key way to celebrate the end of the year.

3. intentions and relaxation:

You can ring in the new year in by taking time to set your goals/resolutions/intentions for the upcoming year. An entire spa night can  accompany this reflective time where you can restore yourself physically  as well as mentally before the hectic pace of life resumes. Browse the health and beauty section of our business directory to find some spa suitable products. 

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
— Maya Angelou

4. a dance party while cleaning up:

Throw out the old and celebrate the new by cleaning your space because you don't need to be holding onto items that bring back bad memories or simply don't add to your life. Cleaning isn't exactly the most fun activity, but music always makes the dullest chores worthwhile (I'm looking at you 30 minute workouts) and so do podcasts (my favourite at the moment is Myleik Teele's podcast). So pick your favourite playlist and get to organizing and clearing out the rooms that need the most attention. 

5. a chill dinner party: 

Inviting people to your place and making it a potluck can produce a cozy night with those you care about most. It's an alternative that will have you well feed, comfortable, and skipping long restroom lines and diluted drinks at the bar.

What to Do When You're Not The One Cooking Christmas Dinner

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1. Get dressed up (strategically):

It feels great to get all dressed up, but on Christmas day I don't need to worry if cranberry sauce will destroy a nice outfit or if I need to unbutton my pants after a second helping. Instead, I find putting on comfortable but stylish lounge wear is a nice alternative. Also, attempting to replicate a Jackie Aina makeup look always helps me feel absolutely amazing.  

2. Put the Christmas music on and absorb the cheer:

Is it really Christmas if there isn't some tunes to go along? Some of my favourites include:

Also,  Tidal  has a Christmas playlist that was created by Andra Day, and you'll enjoy it if you're into soul. 

Also, Tidal has a Christmas playlist that was created by Andra Day, and you'll enjoy it if you're into soul. 

  • O Holy Night by Mariah Carey 
  • White Christmas by Kelly Clarkson 
  • The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
  • This Christmas by Donny Hathaway 
  • Rudy, the Big Booty Reindeer by Big Freedia (feat. Ms. Tee) 




3. Be helpful (Yes, despite the meme I've included below):

                  Me walking past the kitchen when I could obviously help 

                  Me walking past the kitchen when I could obviously help 

I do the dishes every hour and tidy up behind the cook(s) so that by the end of the night the pile won't be so overwhelming and sit there till New Years Eve.

4. Send your Christmas texts/messages:

The best thing to do is spend 10 minutes constructing short personalized Merry Christmas messages (nobody likes obvious mass group texts) for the people who mean something to you like your friendly coworkers, your cousins across the country, or your friends. 

5. Create a hot chocolate buffet:

I didn't come up with idea. I found it on the Family Education website and thought it was such brilliant and charming idea that would impress guests, and it doesn't require any real cooking skills to execute. 

 buffet stations:

  • dry ingredients:
    •  hot chocolate powder(s)
    • spices (nutmag, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, etc.)
  •  wet ingredients: 
    •  milk (coconut, regular, almond, etc.)
    •  egg nog
    •  baileys (for the adults who drink)
    • coffee 
  • toppings:
    • caramel and chocolate sauce
    • whipped cream
    • crushed candy canes
    • marshmallows
    • different kinds of chocolate to grate