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5 Things to do at home during the coronavirus outbreak

5 things to do at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sadly the coronavirus outbreak has caused millions to stay home, as schools are closed, and many work from home for the time being. Even though its a great thing to stay safe, lots of people struggle with ideas on how to spend the time indoors.

Here are 5 fun things to help you avoid boredom and maximize the time you have at home.

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1. Start a Short Project: Find a new podcast or YouTube channel and learn something new everyday. This may also be a great time to start a YouTube channel, blog or podcast yourself. If you already have a channel, go ahead and put out some new material.

2. Games: As you rush to the grocery stores to grab the last can of milk, bread and toilet paper (LOL), get some games as well. Growing up our favorite game was YAHTZEE. My dad showed us how to play the game and it was always exciting to get a full house (yahtzee reference). 

3. Movies: There are lots of amazing movies that you can watch to spend the time. If you want to try something new, try Nollywood movies. Amazon prime has an amazing collection of movies. Below is a link to a free 30-day trial for amazon prime!

4. Exercise: At the start of the year, many of us made new year resolutions to exercise and stay fit. With this coronavirus outbreak, DO NOT GO TO THE GYM. This is because the gym is a great place for infections to spread. Exercise outdoors, practicing safe social distancing.

activities during corona virus
Take long walks and exercise outside
activities during corona virus quarantine
Catchup with family and friends.

5. Calls: Now is the time to catch up with all your friends and family because chances are, they are home to!. Set up voice or video calls and share valuable tips with them on how you are staying safe during this time.

For up-to-date information on how to protect yourself during the coronavirus outbreak, visit the CDC website. What other fun activities are you currently enjoying with your friends and family during this coronavirus outbreak? Please share in the comment section below?

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Tales of an African Princess in America podcast (#TAPApodcast) was created to share the unique experiences of African immigrants abroad.

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Should you wear a face mask to protect yourself from the novel coronavirus? how do you safely wear a mask?  While on a shopping trip

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A Girl’s Dream

Growing up I always knew I was going to be in the sciences. My dad thought science was a good foundation for EVERYTHING. So off to secondary school I went taking classes like chemistry, biology, physics and further mathematics. School wasn’t too challenging for me, because I had good study habits, and always prioritized learning over everything else. 

Going into college I wondered what I was going to study. I had a close family friend “Enyinnaya” who was already in college and studying Microbiology. I admired him as a young girl would an older sibling, and I thought  to myself, “when I grow up I want to be just like him”.

So I enrolled to study Microbiology at Babcock University, Ogun State Nigeria. However, upon graduation, and completion of the One-year National Youth service Scheme (NYSC), I realized that I still did not really know what I wanted to do with this degree. 

You see at the time in Nigeria a Microbiology degree meant that you could either become a teacher or well a TEACHER.

Most of my colleagues had abandoned the sciences and had gone off to work in banks and other industries. At that time in Nigeria, the opportunities for science were quite limited. So I decided to look for jobs outside the sciences. I was desperate to start working and to make my own money.

I remember one day borrowing my older sister’s suit for a job interview I had in Ikeja Lagos, because I didn’t own one of my own. At this point I was interviewing to be a personal assistant to an administrator at that company. My family lived in Ogun state, and the journey to Lagos cost time and money!

When it was my turn to be interviewed, the interviewer told me that I was wasting my time applying for jobs like “these” he said. He told me that I  could become so much more, especially after studying at a prestigious university. He told me Microbiology was a great course, and never to abandon that.

 

Interviewer: Look at your suit; the salary you will make at this company will not be able to pay for another suit like this one…

The whole time I was thinking (just give me the job, this suit is borrowed!). 

You see I was just tired of staying at home, I really needed a JOB. ANY Job! Nothing I said that day could convince the man to give me the job. I remember thinking the long walk out of his office was a walk of shame.

I went home that day feeling very deflated, the journey back home consisted of an okada ride (commercial motorcycle ride) to the bus park, and then boarding a 14-seater bus back to Ogun state. I sulked the whole way home. I did not tell anyone how the interview really went, but little did I know that my life would totally change that day.  

Few days later, I had recovered from the let-down from that interview, I was waking up at 2 am everyday (Monday – Friday) to study for the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) like my entire future depended on it.

When I had some time I would go online to look for schools that offered full scholarships, and look through the criteria for admission. I knew I wanted to study abroad, but I also knew my parents could not afford it,  so it was up to me to get a scholarship.

I did eventually get a FULL scholarship with a monthly stipend to study abroad, and eventually I earned a PhD in Microbiology and Microbial Genetics. Now I am doing things I never thought I could, Working on finding a cure to rare diseases and making amazing discoveries that positively impact patient care.

I AM MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

All this happened because several people encouraged me along the way as role models; my Dad, a family friend called Enyinnaya, my physics teacher in high school and finally a random interviewer at a small company in Ikeja Lagos, Nigeria. I know first hand the importance of role models, and to this day I still seek out mentors to help me navigate my career.

I am VERY passionate about the girl child mainly because from experience growing up as the 6th child in an all-female household, I often heard people advise my father to adopt a male child, one who would carry on his name. They would say things like “female children often would get married and end up in a man’s kitchen”. 

As a young child, this made me think that the ONLY way a woman could ever get to greatness had to be by marrying a successful man.

Now I know better. I know that you can make a difference regardless of your gender and background.

I started a podcast called “ The Tales of an African Princess in America”podcast (#TAPApodcast) to share my experience with people out there, especially young Africans girls worldwide.

On the Podcast I  advocate for education for the girl child, and talk about career options and topics in healthcare.  I also routinely invite professionals in various fields to enlighten my podcast listeners on several pertinent topics.

TAPApodcast is currently available on 13 different platforms (AnchorFM, Stitcher, GooglePlayMusic, Google Podcast,PlayerFM, Apple Podcasts(iTunes), RadioPublic, Castbox, Overcast, Breaker, TuneIn, Spotify, Podbean and PocketCast.) 

 

If you have a dream, go for it!  Do it scared, Do it tired, Do it discouraged, but DO IT anyway. You can achieve greatness regardless of your gender.  Take the first step today. Click the Player below to listen to the podcast episode on what my life was like 10 years ago.

Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/drozi/support

Do you have a story you would love to share on the podcast?  leave me a comment, or an email (talesbydrozi@gmail.com)  and I will reach out to you today.

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Gift Ideas For Valentine’s​ Day

‘It’s the official season to show love, and for many, it’s PANIC season. Feeling uninspired? Don’t know what to get for that special someone in your life? Not to worry I got you. Here are my top 5 ideas for Valentines day.

1. Gift of Time

Your time is the greatest gift you can give anyone this season. Spend time with the people you love. To be honest, I cannot remember all the gifts that I have received over the  years, but  definitely remember those who spent quality time with me.

Give your special someone a massage, spend the day with them, listen to them, BE PRESENT.

Speaking of time, a good watch is always a great idea. Smart watches are the way to go this season, or a Fitbit for your fitness enthusiast. If you love traditional looks, I also got you covered. Check out the products below.


2. Games

I love a good game to share with friends and family. The good thing about games is everyone has FUN (except the loser LOL). 

Valentine’s day doesn’t just have to be about you and yours, grab a good game to share with your friends too. 

3. Personalized Gifts

These are by far, my favorite types of gifts. They show that you put some thought and effort into choosing a gift. 

Couple Tip: Get a gift that has a his and her theme. I find that this adds a special touch.

4. Great Food

Everyone loves good food, I know I do. So treat your love to an unforgettable night of great food. Try a restaurant known for great good. Read reviews ahead of time, and call to make reservations. Good places fill up FAST. 

Pro Tip : look for a place with Great food, Good music/ambience and an amazing view (for some, it could be a home cooked meal, if you never eat in).

 

5. Gift of "More Gifts"

I don’t know about you, but I REALLY love the idea of adding a gift card to whatever gift I give. This in my opinion is the gift of “choice”.  You give you loved one the gift to choose what they want.

Find out the favorite store of your loved one, and add a gift card to the mix. They will love that after they get to unwrap the awesome gifts you gave, they also get a little bonus of a gift card to their favorite store!

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, and to celebrate love, Ade and I share our love story on the latest episode of the podcast. Click on the podcast player below to listen to the latest episode on the podcast.

In the Spirit of Love and To celebrate the One-Year Anniversary of the #TAPApodcast, we will be giving away a free google home mini to one of our podcast listeners.

The winner will be announced on the next podcast episode on february 14, 2019

Click on this Link to participate and GOOD LUCK!!!

I know, I know, some people are looking for the lingerie and chocolate. Click on the button below to see more gift ideas from my Amazon influencer store. 

Full Disclosure: As an Amazon associate I earn form qualifying purchases

What are your favorite gift ideas for Valentines day? comment below.

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Episode 59: 10 Years Ago

The inspiration for this podcast episode and blog came from the facebook 10-year challenge. On the podcast today I shared a little of what life was like for me in 2009, and some of the changes and lessons I have learned since then.

In 2009 I had just finished a Voluntary one-year service to my country; Nigeria, where I was privileged to teach high school students Integrated science for a year. I also supervised polio immunizations in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State during that time. At the end of the one year service program, I returned home to my parents and had a hard time finding another job. So in 2009, I decided to go to graduate school.

Here are 5 lessons I have learned from the 10-year challenge

  1. Time is Precious

One key thing to remember is that time is the most precious gift that we have been given and that we can, in turn, give others. Spend time with the people you love, show up for their events; weddings, birthdays and celebrations ( if you are invited LOL).

Often people say they are too busy to be there for their friends and family. This sort of reasoning almost always leads to regret. Over the years, I have trouble remembering the specifics of all the gifts I have received, but I never forget who showed up when I needed them the most. SHOW UP!

Time is precious and expensive, so spend your time wisely.  
You cannot stop time, you cannot rewind time, and you cannot fast-forward time, so LIVE in the present.

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Have fun, let your hair down and don’t get too serious all the time. Invest your time in things that will make you proud in the future. Every day, do something to get you one step closer to your goals and dreams. ​MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT.

The best time to get started on a goal was yesterday, the next best time is NOW, so get your favorite planner/ stationary and start writing down your goals and action plans; turn those precious goals to reality.


2. Take care of your Body

Take good care of your body from the inside out. Eat good food, drink lots of water, exercise and recharge your mind and body. By all means lather on that sunscreen.


There are no readily available spare parts for your body so treat your body with the love and respect it deserves. Don’t skip that daily beauty routine and your future self will thank you for it. Don’t get carried away with every new beauty product that comes in the market. Choose non-toxic and gentle acting products.  I use Cetaphil and Cerave products for cleansing my face. They are incredibly gentle on the skin and very affordable.


Take good care of your Teeth. Your smile is one of the first introductions you can make. It tells a lot about your personal hygiene. So take care of your teeth. Invest in a good toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, mouthwash and please see a dentist. Below are the ​products I use to take care of my teeth daily. (Previously I had really sensitive teeth and Sensodyne toothpaste worked well for me). See a dentist, get your specific dental issues addressed.


There is absolutely no reason to walk around with bad breath and vegetables stuck in your teeth. personally, this is a MAJOR turn off for me. Maybe because I spent 5+ years of my life in a Ph.D. program investigating gum disease (LOL).

3.  Travel 

One of the great ways to improve your self is to travel. See the world and experience different cultures. I Know for many, this may seem unattainable, Yes, not everyone gets the chance to travel to different countries and experience different cultures, but on the pages of a book, you sure CAN! Just read BOOKS!  A lot of incredibly amazing people have traveled and seen the world and documented their experiences on the pages of these amazing books, all you have to do is open the pages of the books. Challenge yourself to see life through the eyes of another. Question your beliefs and get grounded in your truth. The way to do this is by seeking knowledge, read more books, be inquisitive.

One of the easy ways​ I read more is by getting audio versions of my favorite books so that I can listen to the books during my daily commute or whenever I find the time. I use Audible! click on the link below to get started with Audible and get 2 free audiobooks

I also download my favorite books on my mobile devices using kindle and viola! never a boring day. Click on the link below to download the Kindle app and get your first month for free.

4. Do Not Worry

Looking back at 2009, everything I  worried about was resolved, if I didn’t get what I wanted, I definitely got a solution that I needed. I know life is difficult, but try not to worry and fret over things you cannot control. Instead, focus on working towards your goals. Always do your best! Things will work out. Doing your best doesn’t mean working yourself to near exhaustion, NO. It means seeking out information first hand from the source, burning the midnight oil, and asking for help when you need it. No man is an Island, find good mentors. Good things will come.

5. Moisturize

Moisturize Moisturize Moisturize. Your skin will thank you in the future for moisturizing. Remember to choose a moisturizer that has sunscreen to protect your precious skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. Please forget about bleaching your skin and treat your skin with love and care. EVERY SKIN COLOR IS BEAUTIFUL, INCLUDING YOURS DEAR SISTER. In 2019, LOVE THYSELF!

10 years from now, when you look back at your pictures from 2019, you want be proud of the man/woman in that picture.

Get a good body lotion and moisturize. Below are some good body moisturizers.
 

Wash your face before bed and remove ALL traces makeup before bed (if you use makeup).

(Full Disclosure as an Amazon​ associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

The 10-year challenge is a great opportunity to look back in gratitude for how far you have come. Give yourself a pat on the back. You are doing good. Progress may be slow, but you are progressing and succeeding​. You definitely are not where you used to be. Celebrate that. Finally, Never compare your journey with that of another.

Click on the player below to listen to the Full episode on the podcast; Episode 59: 10 years Ago!

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Episode 58: Eat with Your HANDS!

Episode 58: Eat with Your HANDS!

A common new year resolution that most people have is to stay fit, stay healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Sadly few truly know how to go about it and often give up on these goals few days into the year.

On this UNIQUE Episode, I interview a Registered Dietician Ms. Abigail Clarke who encourages us to EAT WITH OUR HANDS, as a way to manage weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle in 2019.

Ms. Abigail Clarke is a Registered Dietician, and currently a Ph.D. student in Nutrition at Loma Linda University California.

It isn’t what you may be thinking. I am not directly asking you to start eating with your bare hands, but to consider using your hands as portion control for your meals.

Why?

The hands are proportional to the body, they are readily accessible for measuring food portions because you always carry them with you!

 

Ms. Abigail Clarke

I am going to show you in the following images below a few pointers on how your hands can serve as a guide for portion control. I also recommend Amazon products that will help with meal prep moving forward (Full disclosure: As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases). One effective way that I control what I eat during the day is by packing my own meals.

A portion of chicken, fish, beef or other protein is the size and width of your palm. Vegetables in yhr palm of your hands

starchy carbohydrates like pasta, pototoes, and rice are the size of your fists. One palm full of nuts, a serving of fat including oil or butter is half a thumb.

Find out the benefits oif eating with your hands by clicking on the player below to listen to Epiosde 58: Eat with your HANDS!

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Episode 57: The Youngest Child Syndrome

I am the youngest in a family of 8. An ALL-female household with the exception of my Father. Being the youngest means different things, but I can tell you that I love to have a great time, and play is forever at the top of the list.

I’m all grown, I now have my own family, a career, and BILLS. I still get called the “baby of the house” and in so many ways I think I’ve outgrown the name.

Different people have unique ideas of how birth order plays a role in shaping one’s behavior. Below are a few ideas that people have

Growing up, being the youngest surely did have its perks, I mean I was constantly called “baby of the house” I mean come ON!

By the time I was born my parents had become masters at parenting. Having had other kids they knew what issues to raise an alarm over and what issues to let slide. I would often hear my older sis sisters say ” Ozi you are getting away with this or that…” but in my opinion, it really wasn’t that I was getting away with anything,I believe my parents were now more discerning about what the REAL issues were (LOL don’t quote me)

As the youngest, I was born into a level of normalcy. My parents already had their careers figured out and didn’t have to juggle that with raising a child, in many ways, I think it made the home environment more stable.

I also had a lot of caregivers, that in itself IS a Privilege. My sisters and parents were already there to guide and direct.

Growing up I noticed that every-time my dad ate, he would set aside a portion of his food for me, usually a piece of meat of fish. I started looking forward to this and would always check to see if he left me something. In so many ways that would make me feel super special.

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Now I wasn’t spoiled or any of that. For instance, We were given monthly allowances by age, which meant that I always got the least, but I never felt bad about it, to be honest, I never even spent the money. I had minimal needs.

Age was a BIG deal for a long time. I was considered too young to be involved in certain conversations or too young to go to certain places for the LONGEST time. But fast-forward to right now, and EVERYONE thinks I’m the cool one to tell EVERYTHING. So I often get too much information, but that’s what family is about no? Oh, how the tables turn.

Once I was born into a family of caregivers, who took care of my every need, but I can tell you that I’ve had to babysit my nieces and nephews too. All 12 of them, and counting… talk about paid in full and running over, oh how the tables turn.

I was handed down EVERYTHING! As the youngest of 6 girls, I really did need to have a great sense of humor because hand-me-downs were the order of the day. This I actually loved, and to this day, my sisters still hand me down clothes and what not, and I kinda love it

Many say that being the youngest child means that you are carefree and calm even in seemingly difficult situations. I think that if you have so many siblings, you probably have seen difficult situations play out before, and you know that no matter what comes your way it’s gonna be ok. Things always get worked out.

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Personally, I believe that there are other factors that play a role in shaping one’s behavior and not just birth order. Things like style of parenting, gender, age, and the role a child plays in the family.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that the sound of my mother’s voice is still one of the best sounds I’ll ever hear. If that makes me the baby, then I’m FOREVER the baby.

Are you the first child, the middle child, youngest child or the only child, and how has that affected your behavior?

Click on the player below to listen to the full episode.

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The Reason Why I Cut My Hair

Different people have different definitions of what “going natural” means to them, but for me, I made a conscious decision in the summer of 2016 to stop applying hair relaxers to my natural hair (Hair relaxers are chemicals that alter the hair texture). In my case, I applied hair relaxers to my curly/kinky hair to make it straight, and easy to handle. Quite frankly I was in the middle of writing my dissertation, and I did not want to be bothered by the stress of braiding my hair, so the BIG Chop was inevitable. I just really needed to reclaim control of my time. D59355FD-94DC-4F54-B325-D7F95A094D36.JPG In hindsight, what is it they say about women and a hair cut? It is said that “a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” – Coco Chanel I was about to conclude a crucial journey, one that culminated in a Ph.D., and I wanted ZERO distractions or extra stress (trust me, at this time my hair was one of my many stressors. I would drive 1.5 hrs ONE WAY, to get my hair braided), so I hit the reset button by chopping all of my hair off. But I didn’t just cut my hair, I decided to STOP using hair relaxers on my hair. Now bear in mind that I had been doing this every 3 months since 1993! 23 years of perming my hair, and then I woke up one morning and decided I had had enough. As a scientist, I often read lots of research papers to stay informed about the latest happenings in different fields. One day I stumbled upon a paper published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, that linked hair relaxers to the occurrence of fibroids amongst Black women. Black women are 2 or 3 times more likely to get uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during your childbearing years) than any other race. In this study data collected on 23,000 pre-menopausal Black American women between 1997 and 2009 showed that there is an association between African-Americans girls who use straightening and relaxer hair oils and the onset of their menstrual cycle. This is earlier than other racial groups including African Caribbean, Hispanic, and White women. The study raised the hypothesis that hair relaxer use increased the risk of Uterine Fibroids through lesions on the scalp by a burn from hair relaxers. This NEW information, coupled with years of pain, and burns from the application of hair relaxers made me decide that ENOUGH was ENOUGH. Processed with VSCO with oak3 preset It took me a while to learn how to properly care for my natural hair, I cannot tell you how many youtube videos I watched, or how many friends I listened to, telling me what worked for them, and how much money it cost me trying out those products. While there is ALWAYS room for growth, I have come to the conclusion that my hair requires 3 things Good Hair Products I quickly learned that words like “sulfate” in shampoos meant dryer hair (which I didn’t want) and that a good conditioner would make my hair nice and easy to manage. I learned the importance of a good spray bottle, a silk pillowcase, and coconut oil. Tender Loving Care (TLC) My natural hair like every important thing in my life required TLC! I learned the benefits of finger detangling, deep conditioning and caring for my hair myself. Patience I’ve learned that when it comes to natural hair, a great deal of patience is required. Whether in detangling, maintaining length, or even during wash days. You just CANNOT rush the process. In the past, I had applied relaxers to my hair to make it smooth and silky, and easy to manage. I had to unlearn all of that. I had to realize that thick and super curly was just as easy to manage, I just needed to learn how to go about it. Daily Routine I usually have my hair in braids throughout the week. This is my signature look, and if you walked into my job in the middle of the week, you would usually find my hair styled this way.
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My Signature Look

Because I exercise a lot, I like to wash my hair every 2 – 3 days. I do not shampoo my hair frequently, instead, I use the “As I am” conditioner to co-wash and lock moisture in my hair. “Co-washing” simply means washing the hair using only a conditioner. Many shampoos contain sulfates- chemicals that strip the hair of moisture and natural oils, leaving the hair dry and prone to breakage. So I only shampoo once in 3 weeks or monthly. To maintain my natural curls, I use a leave-in conditioner and curl defining spray, and seal that in with hair serum. See the links below to see my favorite curl defining hairsprays. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Biweekly, I deep condition, wash and retwist my hair myself. This is usually a whole day affair, So before I start this process I make sure I settle all other areas that need my attention (I am newlywed *wink*). I would typically do this on a Sunday. I love the Etae line of hair products, so far, out of all the products I have used, this has worked wonders for me.
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My Natural Hair Without Extensions

I also love Shea moisture products too. During my wash days, I deep condition using the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein-Strong Treatment and place a shower cap on it. If I do not have all day, I use the hair bonnet and hair dryer to apply heat to the hair.

Lessons from My Natural Hair

a) No Comparisons I NEVER compare my hair journey with ANYONE else. I have thick and super curly hair. My hair is unique to me, and I love it. It makes no sense to compare my hair length or growth rate with anyone else. We all have a different genetic makeup, and what is truly important is the health of one’s hair and not the length. Just as I do not compare my hair with anyone else, I also do not judge people for their decisions. I know people who still use hair relaxers. It’s a choice, and we all have the freedom to make decisions. b) Beauty Redefined Most importantly I learned that my natural hair is Gorgeous! I do not have to put on a weave or hair extensions to feel or look beautiful. My mane has indeed become my crown like it was always made to be. This was by far the most difficult lesson to learn because I love to change my hairstyle often. I really LOVE to. I had to learn different ways to style my natural hair. I still have bad hair days, I mean just last Saturday I didn’t know how to style it, because the volume had gotten a little crazy, but all in all, it’s been a great journey. You may sometimes see me wear a wig or weave in a photo shoot because I sometimes want to spot different looks without going through the hassle of dying my hair, but after the shoot, the wig comes off and I return to my signature look. Click on the player below to listen to the podcast episode on my Natural hair. Ladies, think about the times when you had to cut your hair, what was the motivating factor, was there a major life decision coming up? leave me a comment below, I’ll love to know Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/drozi/support
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Episode 55: The Power of a Smile

I haven’t always been big on smiles. Growing up, I was always the one to be reminded to “smile” in family photos, and even then I would forcefully stretch my lips till they hurt.

As you set your goals for the New Year, I want to encourage you to do 3 little things every day that will help you make meaningful connections this year, and take your networking game to a new level.

  1. Smile

Smiling is one of the easiest things you can do this year that will help you establish a real and lasting connection with people. Did you know that it takes as little as 7 seconds to make a first impression? Why not do it with a smile? In a world where there are so many reasons not to smile; BILLS, disappointments, sorrow, pain, and responsibilities, for some, smiling may seem so difficult.

Personally, I wear my emotions on my face, so it’s so easy to tell exactly how I feel by merely observing my endless facial expressions.

Even while walking on the street, strangers have told me to “smile”. (To be honest, I find this really annoying)

One of the things I learned how to do last year was to smile more. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve had a lot of practice, oftentimes by modeling different smiles in front of a friend and asking her which smile she liked the best, or by using good old mirrors!

I often chuckle now when people say that I’m friendly. It hasn’t always been this way. I’ve had practice and smiling is the easiest way to break the ice.

P.S I still find it difficult to smile when I’m hungry.

 

Benefits of Smiling

  • It shows  compassion and care
  • Calms fears
  • Instils confidence
  • Brings hope and lifts the spirits
  • Puts a smile on someone else’s face too

Did you know that everytime you smile the brain receives a signal to release the happy hormone “endorphin” which in turn can be effective in calming and relieving stress, thereby creating a positive feedback loop of continued happiness?

Here’s your first assignment this year, Try smiling at the next person you see and watch what happens!

I took the picture below on the same day, which picture do you think looks more welcoming? Which picture says I’m open for conversation and ready to network?

“If someone is missing a smile, give them one of yours”

– Dolly Parton

2. Be Present and Maintain Eye Contact

Another easy thing you can do differently this year is to be 100% present in conversations and maintain eye contact during conversations. Lots of things compete for our attention these days, but to make a real connection with people, you want to put away distractions i.e. your best friend: THE CELLPHONE, and make a genuine connection.

Research shows that the mere presence of one’s own smartphone reduces available cognitive capacity.

Maintaining eye contact in a conversation makes you come across as confident, reliable, sociable, warm and honest.

I’m not saying keep gazing into people’s eyes non-stop. However, make an effort to focus when you connect with people this year.

“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

If you only have a minute to make a genuine connection with someone every day, make them feel like they are the most important person in the room for that minute, and they will long to be around you all the time.

I personally love the 10-4 Rule. When I am about 10 ft away from a person I make a conscious effort to smile, and then when I get within 4 ft of them I then say hello! It shows people that you are warm and open to having a conversation.

3. Address People By Their Names

One last thing you can do this year to make meaningful connections and be warmer and welcoming this year is simply to address people by their names.

A powerful way to connect with a person is to address them by name. It not only shows you value them but makes them feel important as well. Personally, it’s a turn off when people forget my name or call me the wrong name, and then proceed to ask me personal questions.

I know some people are genuinely forgetful, but you can improve on this skill by asking for a brief history behind the name or the meaning of the name when you first meet a person, and by using their names throughout the conversation. (I find that this is most helpful with non-English names)

You will be amazed at how many conversations I’ve started this way! People love to talk about their experiences. It not only makes them feel special, but it also helps me remember their names.

Always ask people how they will like to be addressed before you get comfortable calling them their first names. I find that in the African setting people love to be addressed by their titles. LOL.

In summary, smile more this year, be present in conversations, maintain eye contact, and address people by their names.

These 3 little things will help you connect better with people this year and improve your networking game.

Click on the player below to listen to the full podcast episode on “The Power of a Smile”.

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“Fur” Your Information

First, let me start by saying ” Never say Never”. Fur coats and accessories were definitely fashion items I thought I would never be interested in. I never really saw any styles that I appreciated until now. This Christmas, I decided to try incorporating fur items into my outfits and boy have I been missing out. I started with a Gray Faux Fur collar warmer scarf wrap and paired that with my Miss Sixty winter coat for added warmth. Oh Boy! This Fur collar felt so cozy around the neck. I decided to go for Faux Fur to save money. I got so many compliments on the Faux Fur collar Wrap that the next day I ordered a different color (Camel) from Amazon

I love to shop from Amazon, primarily for the two-day shipping. I really love the idea that when I purchase items online I do not have to wait a long time to receive the items. It also comes in handy for last minute shopping if I do not care to go to an actual brick and mortar store.
I will include links to the items below so you can help yourself to ALL the juicy items I got from Amazon.
Anyways so back to the fur accessories, I tried out. Find the link to the Faux Fur Collar below.

I have to warn you though, this fur business is pretty addictive, so start with items that are practical for you, before you invest in a mighty big fur coat, try small and practical items and see how it fits. I paired the lovely fur shoulder shawl with a white dress and a designer belt. While you might not have $ to purchase a Gucci belt, click on the amazon links below for alternative non-branded options.

I wore a white dress, and my favorite Jessica Simpson Vindie Pumps in Silver and Black (I love these pumps so much, I also purchased them in gold- Don’t judge) LOL.
I really hope that you get inspired by the way i have worn Fur accessories this season, inspired enough to try it out.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I am really excited to know if you love fur fashion and how you wear your favorite fur accessories. Please leave a comment below.

Downside
Last time I wore fur and visited a friend’s house, their Dog wouldn’t stop barking!!! Any ideas why? It was Faux Fur! LOL

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Life Lessons From My Glasses

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You Look So Much Better When You Smile!

It’s been 18 years since my first pair of glasses! On this episode, I share the life lessons I have learned along the way about social acceptance and staying true to myself.

Below are some simple tips on how to keep your eyes healthy.

✅  Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam: A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect some common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration which often have no warning signs in their early stages

✅  Know your family’s eye health history: Some eye diseases are inherited

✅  Eat right to protect your sight: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy, as well as eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna

✅  Be cool and wear your shades: When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation

✅  Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma

✅  Wear protective eyewear: such as safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards when playing sports or doing activities around the home.

✅  Quit smoking or never start: Smoking is linked to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness

✅  Give your eyes a rest: If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.

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Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly

✅  Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly: To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate

✅ Wear Computer Glasses if you spend long hours staring at a computer screen to protect your eyes from blue light: There are three concerning threats from blue light: Damage to Vision, Loss of Sleep and Glare. The primary sources of harmful indoor blue light are the TVs, smartphones, tablets, and computers we use every day. here’s a link to some eyewear that can protect your eyes from the harmful effect of blue light. (Use VLKDROZI to get 30% off any eyewear from the store for blue light protective glasses featured below)“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”.

 

✅  Practice workplace eye safety: When protective eyewear is required as a part of your job, make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times and encourage your coworkers to do the same *Adapted from National Eye Institute (NEI)

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Giveaway Time!!!

HERE’S THE FUN PART!!!! GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

DO YOU LOVE EYEWEAR? I have partnered with Vanlinker USA to bring you so many gifts this season! WE are giving away 3 pairs of Eyeglasses to 3 lucky winners!!!! To Enter Click on this Link and follow the rules!!! Good Luck!

To listen to the full podcast episode on Life Lessons from my glasses

Amazing featured photo by @adephotog

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