Tag Archives: Life

My First Time…at Xoticy

On July 16 around 3 pm, my cherry was popped. No, not that one; I’m still holding out. The popped cherry was me FINALLY attending one of Monica Wilson’s Xoticy classes. Well…more like 3 back to back classes.

I was first introduced to Xoticy in early 2015 through an Instagram post by Jessica of J’Samone’s Stiletto Dance Experience. Of course I had to go check out the Xoticy IG page…followed by the YouTube channel. I can’t tell you which video made me want to try it out, but as a woman who likes being barefoot equally as she likes her high heels, I was down.

Fast forward to July 2016, I’d been on the fence about attending because I was supposed to leave for a work trip the Sunday after, but once my trip was pushed back, I registered and decided to go big or go home by signing up for all three classes. Even though I’ve been in and out of heels dance classes over the past year, I was nervous. You’d think I’d be less nervous as I’m barefoot with or without socks when I’m not at work, but I had butterflies. Although I’d mentioned the class, I didn’t invite my girls to come along because I felt it was something I needed to experience at least once by myself so that I could see behind the insecurities and get in my sexy.


Monica broke the ice at the start of class. I thought she was taller than she actually is, but because her hair is the definition of hair growth goals and her personality is larger than life – full of truth, realness, and a passion for empowering women to do sexy their way – you really couldn’t tell…unless you asked to take a photo with her and stood 6 feet tall.

Each class had different choreography with the first two classes being completely new dances. In class one, I was still kind of shy and nervous about really putting all my personality into it. By class two and three, I couldn’t care less because I was there for me. It wasn’t about learning moves I could do to dance for a guy. It wasn’t an experience I signed up for just to talk about it on social media. It was about me continuing the journey of discovering and defining my sexy. It’s easy to get caught up in the game of what do you need to change about yourself to be sexy – lose weight, straighten your kinky and coily hair, keep your face beat – but if you’re doing it to get someone’s attention – your motives are wrong. Throughout the classes, Monica would consistently remind us to throw out what we think is sexy, forget about the inner Beyonce and just do you. That was needed and appreciated. My alter ego Ari Bamboo had the time of her life Saturday and I recommend other women check out her tour or classes in Atlanta if you’re interested.

Save Dat Money

Lil’ Dicky’s “Save Dat Money” is my adulting theme song. After living in Dallas nearly 3 years with family, I found my own apartment which I’ve been in since August. Although I paid rent while living with my cousins, more bills are added to the equation when you live on your own. And when you know what you like and it’s a nonnegotiable, sometimes you have to pay more. That being said, I moved into a new apartment complex and I’m the first person to live in my little haven. It took me a while to get into the groove of accepting how much money comes out of my account for the roof over my head, but I finally hopped on board with a couple of ways I can save money on necessities and those moments in times I want to treat myself.

Ibotta is an app that allows you to get paid for in-store shopping. It’s inclusive of grocery shopping as well as clothing and other dry goods. Vicky Logan the YouTuber was the first person I heard speak about it and considering how much I spend on food a month, signing up was a no brainer. Regardless of the amount of your first rebate, you get another $10 for using the app within the first month of signing up. Also, manufacturer coupons can be used in addition to your Ibotta rebate. Won’t He do it? If you decide to download the app, please be sure to use this referral code: pemuxik

Ebates is the program that I wish I would’ve signed up for earlier in life because I am always online shopping. You can get a percentage back while shopping online with lots of well known online retailers – including Groupon! I’ve seen as much as 12% cash back during their double % time periods, so if you’re a shopaholic, you may as well get paid. What I like to do is go use RetailMeNot for coupon codes and the Ebates browser extension so that way I save even more. If you spend up to $25 within the first month or two months of signing up, you get a $10 gift card of your choice. Oh, and if you’re forgetful like me at times and think you’ll forget to sign into Ebates before making a purchase, you can add an extension to your web browser so it recognizes when you’re shopping online. Click here to sign up.

I hope exposing you to these apps and subscriptions will bless your wallet. There’s so many more if you do the research, but I wanted to share my newest finds. Save dat money, y’all!

3 Career Lessons from Being Mary Jane

As winter draws near, my favorite television shows are ending for the season. Empire’s finale was Wednesday and tonight season 3 for Being Mary Jane will come to an end. Between the coming to Jesus moment in Greg’s office a couple of weeks ago and last week’s call out by the students paired with Loretta Devine’s advice, here are a few takeaways for the young professional.

Recognize who your advocates are
When you want to move to the next level, you cannot do it on your own. You need a support system – a squad. Look to people who have been in the industry longer than you have. What can you learn from them? If internal promotion opportunities come up at your job, is there anyone who can put in a good word for you?

To be early is to be on time
Transparent moment: this is a current struggle. At some point during my adult life, I became complacent. However, it’s a bad habit I’m working to break. In my role, I’m expected to keep my team running smoothly and minimize the chaos. If my team starts sliding into my Outlook inbox at 9 am or was up until midnight sending requests my way, I owe it to myself and team to get in a little early, read through the emails, and plan out the day before it starts to effectively get things done.

Always be prepared
Someone once said, “If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready” and that is true. Use the end of each day or first minutes of each morning to prepare for the work day ahead. Do your research. If you’re leading meetings or presentations, get the decks out at least an hour ahead so you can start on time. Even if there’s a casual dress code, your outfits should be put together as if your clients or CEO will walk by your desk. Develop a toolbox of alternative plans of action to pull from for last minute requests and fire drill moments by looking at past experiences and executions.

I’ve said it before: how you end this year will set the tone for how you start 2016. I’m determined to apply the above in preparation for the new year as well as the bonus point of not tearing down to build. Mary Jane Paul may not always have it together (see her love life) but her fictional career pushes me to pursue my non-fictional career goals.

Abs and Barres


My 25th year of life was a decline in working out to say the least. I didn’t run much and actually reneged on running my first marathon. Even when purchasing Groupons and specials for Bikram yoga, the only yoga I practice, I didn’t go the entire month. All of that laziest resulted in me gaining a good 20 pounds, 12 of which I still have to lose before I am back to my normal weight. The goal is to lose 22 pounds, but first, let me lose these last 12.

On Saturday, I attended my first barre class at The Barre Code. In addition to running track, I was also a dancer and cheerleader as a child, and after hearing great things about barre classes, I thought I’d give it a try. Plus, Facebook grabbed my attention with an ad that said that 11/21 was the day the studio closest to me would offer free classes to the public.

As I write this, I am sore. My abs is where I feel it most, but it is a full body workout. I attended the Barre Code Basics class, which would be considered strength training. Despite knowing that I need to incorporate strength training in my routine rather than just running, it’s difficult for me to stay motivated to lift weights. However, the Barre Code class incorporated exercises that involved utilizing your own body weight as well as the barre and between the instructor and other students, I kept going.

Here’s a short breakdown of what Barre Code included in just 50 minutes: warm up, ab & core work, lower body, and arms. From various exercises on the floor to using the barre as a dancer would to work the hips, buns, and thighs (which are a blessing and a curse to me), we kept our body guessing throughout the class. Also, there are modifications for a good amount of the exercises, so you can tailor the workout to your current abilities.

After surviving my first class and feeling the fruits of my workout the day after, I plan to attend more classes. I want to run a marathon in 2016, so I could see this being a cross training workout if I don’t feel up to yoga. If you have a barre studio in your area, check it out. As I continue my fit thick journey, I’ll keep y’all posted as to what’s working for me.