So Why Donate to Charity?

We have all seen the commercials. The sad ones that feature starving children or neglected pets. We are familiar with the different organizations. Red Cross. The Humane Society. We know the feeling of watching these commercials and feeling horrible. And this is usually the time where we actually start to appreciate everything in our lives instead of complaining about not having enough.

Society has programmed us to being in the habit of giving around the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but what would happen if we started giving all the time instead of at certain times? And why do we have to wait until holidays to be generous? Doesn’t someone need our help all the times of the year?

I will admit. For awhile I didn’t appreciate how good my life was compared to other people. I have everything that I need and want and I’m never without anything. I have food on the table every night. I have clothes on my back and I have a place to stay. Like many people, I got caught up in materialistic things like wanting this thing or that thing that I forgot what would life be like if it was a struggle just to get a meal on the table. What would a life be like if I had to fight to survive on a daily basis because I didn’t have my basic needs.

I think people don’t realize the magnitude of how widespread poverty is and they believe that just because they don’t see homeless people on a daily basis means that poverty doesn’t exist. But that’s wrong. Poverty exists everywhere not just in places in far off countries. It can exist right in your own community. The kid that you see wearing ragged clothes or the person that eats like it’s their last meal is no joke. It’s a harsh reality.

So as I came to this realization, I realized that I needed to look at the bigger picture instead of thinking about myself all the time. And it’s okay to be a little selfish. I’m a huge fan of getting my wants, but you can’t be selfish all the time. That’s why I started to donate to charity as I reminder to myself that the world doesn’t revolve around me. I realized that some things are more important than buying the newest shoes or having the newest outfit, and once I realized these things are ultimately meaningless, I wanted to do something that was actually important. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that donating to charity isn’t important because it is. Helping someone who can’t afford to help themselves is probably one of the most meaningful things a person could do.

So for almost a year, I’ve been donating whatever I can. I used to think that I had to be a millionaire to donate to charity, but that’s not true at all. Anything is helpful. Whether you think it’s a small act or not, you’re saving someone’s life and that’s a big deal.

Starting last year, I chose to donate something once a month whether it’s donating money or clothes or supplies. This month I chose to donate some old clothes to my local salvation army, and last month I sent off a package of supplies to a children’s home. I find a way to give back to society and this has given me a sense of purpose and a sense of meaning that I didn’t have before.

You might ask yourself, why should I donate? Does the man that lost everything or the struggling woman down the street with ten kids really deserve my help? Well, I’ll ask you this, put yourself in their situation and ask yourself wouldn’t you like help if you suddenly was down on your luck? I think the answer is a no brainer.

People also doubt if when they do decide to donate, does it really help them? Yes, it does. You can’t think like that. It not only gets in the way of what you could be blessing another person with, but it gets in the way of the blessing that can happen to you from this. For me, donating to charity gave me a purpose when I needed one.

When I begin to doubt if my little donation helped anyone at all, I imagine myself in the other person’s shoes and realize that any little help means everything to a person in need. So I challenge you to try at least once to give ten dollars to an organization or to give away some old clothes or shoes to a local goodwill or a local salvation army. You’ll feel the sense of purpose and satisfaction that I feel when I donate and I promise you’re going to want to do it again.

Photo Image by Nathan Anderson


7 Horror Movies To Watch On Netflix…

Okay so we all have done it. We want to watch Netflix, but instead we spend hours flipping through the different movies trying to find the right one. And before we know it we’ve spent hours not watching a movie but instead looking for a movie. Even though Netflix has a large number of movies for selection, it takes awhile to find something that’s actually good. Since I’m a horror movie fan, I’ve sifted through plenty of the horror movies that are on Netflix. Below are some good ones that I’ve seen so far. Although all of the movies on my list are scary, they all are different in theme. So beware. They’re going to scare your pants off.

#7: Honeymoon (2014)

A newlywed couple’s honeymoon is ruined by mysterious events taking place. Honeymoon is a slow paced movie that at first I wasn’t sure if it was going to be any good. When I started the movie, I found myself not quite knowing what I was watching, but then the longer I watched the movie, the more intense it got. The ending might be one of the most intense scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie, and by the end, you’ll realize that this movie is quite different from what you thought it was going to be.

#6: Contracted (2013)

After being sexually assaulted, a woman contracts a mysterious STD. Contracted is an indie film that I found on Netflix, and it is one of the most disturbing. I didn’t think this movie was going to be any good, but it was. The reason that this movie is so good is because it makes you paranoid. Contracted makes you wonder how safe you think you are. And what kind of diseases are out there that we haven’t discovered? Contracted is the most disturbing on the list and will definitely creep you out.

#5: The Sacrament (2013)

Journalists help their friend locate his sister in a mysterious religious community that turns out not to be what it seems. Cults have always fascinated me so I knew that I was going to like The Sacrament. I’ve seen many cult movies and not many have captured how truly terrifying they are. I’ve always wondered how people can be brainwashed and The Sacrament gives you an in-depth look at how these communities operate. Needless to say, there is no happy ending.

#4: Starry Eyes (2014)

An aspiring actress enters into a deadly agreement and discovers that her fame will come at a price. Starry Eyes was a movie that I thought would be like the other bad scary movies that Netflix has, but as I watched this movie, I found that I couldn’t look away no matter how many times I wanted to. This movie shows just how desperate people are for fame and the length they would go to get that fame. Which begs the question, how far are you willing to go for everyone to know your name?

#3: Kristy (2014)

A college girl stays on an empty campus during the Thanksgiving break and is terrorized by mysterious strangers. Kristy was such a good movie because it was relatable. Even though I’ve never stayed on a college campus during the breaks, it made me ask myself would I be scared to do it? And after watching this movie, yes I would. I would definitely advise going home for all the holidays.

#2: The Invitation (2016)

A dinner party goes horribly wrong as a man starts to believe that the hosts have sinister plans for their guests. I went into The Invitation not knowing what I was getting myself into. I figured that this movie was going to be a simple slasher film, but then the movie got more and more darker the longer I watched it. When you realize why the guests were invited, you will never attend another dinner party again.

#1: V/H/S Series (2012-2014)

A collection of VHS tapes features a series of found footage shorts that show horrific content. The V/H/S Series was a movie that I came across on Netflix and by far is the best original horror film I have seen in a long long time. The V/H/S Series is unique, scary, gross, and fun all at the same time. Each individual short can be a stand alone movie by itself which shows just how good these movies are. I really enjoy this trilogy as both a fan of horror as well as a lover of movies in general.

Photo Image by John Silliman


7 Quotes For The Day…

#7: “Be The Kind Of Person That You Want To Meet.”

#6: “Do What You Feel In Your Heart To Be Right For You’ll Be Criticized Anyway.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

#5: “You Need A Little Bit Of Insanity To Do Great Things.” -Henry Rollins

#4: “Don’t Ever Save Anything For a Special Occasion. Being Alive Is The Special Occasion.”

#3: “Don’t Wander Away From Yourself To Get Close To Someone Else.”

#2: “God Will Wreck Your Plans When He Sees That Your Plans Are About To Wreck You.”

#1: “You Were Born An Original. Don’t Die A Copy.” -John Mason

Photo Image by Annie Spratt

We Are Made Of Many Places…

I have always been interested in my ancestry. This is because I have always wanted to know what parts of the world my ancestors came from. Where did my family history begin? And who were these people?

There seems to be this idea floating around that we’re all separate. That the color of our skin classifies us in a box. But we are wrong. You can be the lightest skinned person on Earth and be just as closely linked to African heritage just as if you can be the darkest skinned person on Earth and have just as much European heritage as the white guy you see walking down the street. That’s because we’re all related. Our DNA is made up of more than just one place. We are all a combination of the world around us.

So last year I decided to take the Ancestry DNA kit. I always see the commercials on TV and I had been wanting to do it for awhile. When I finally got the money to do it, I was able to purchase the $99 kit (and yes it’s kind of expensive but it’s worth it). I was super excited when it came in the mail. I remember thinking about the results and wondering what the test was going to tell me. The Ancestry DNA kit is a saliva test, so after filling a tube with my spit, I sent the kit back in the mail and waited another six weeks for the email that was going to tell me that my results were in.

So where did my DNA come from? Before going into this I had already predicted that I was going to be mostly African but not all African. This is because some of my characteristics are questionable. When I was able to see my results, I was more surprised than I thought I was going to be. In honor of my one year anniversary of finding out about my DNA, I want to share with you my results in hopes of encouraging you to find out about your own ancestry.


African 86%

Out of 100% of my DNA, 86% of it is from Africa. Most of my African DNA comes from the Ivory Coast/Ghana region (30%) which isn’t a surprise since majority of the slaves that were taken from Africa were from the West Coast. Another big part of my DNA is from the Benin/Togo region. I hadn’t heard of this region before me finding out that it makes up 20% of my DNA. After this region is the Cameroon/Congo region (18%) and Nigeria (9%) which were regions that were recognizable to me. The last part of my African DNA is from Mali (5%), Senegal (3%), and North Africa (1%).

As far as what I want to do with this information, I think it would be cool to visit these places especially North Africa or Ghana. Although going to Africa has never been something that I thought about doing, I think it would be an amazing experience to see African culture firsthand, and I think it would be nice to be able to be around the people who are a part of my ancestry.

European 12%

Out of 100% of my DNA, 12% of it is from Europe. My European DNA is divided among Italy/Greece (2%), Finland/Northwest Russia (2%), Great Britain (2%), Scandinavia (2%), Iberian Peninsula (2%), Europe West (1%), and Europe East (1%).

It was interesting to find out that I had so many different European countries in my DNA. I would like to know how all these countries became a part of my ancestry, and even if the history of how they came to be a part of my DNA isn’t as great as what I would expect, European DNA is still a part of me and I would like to visit these places as well.

Asian 2%

Out of 100% of my DNA, 2% of it is from Asia. My Asian DNA came from Central Asia which according to Ancestry DNA is the area known as the Stan region. This part of my DNA was perhaps the most shocking because I would have never thought I would see Asian in my results. It made me wonder who in my family tree could have been from this region and how did they encounter my African or European ancestors.

Buying the Ancestry DNA kit was a great decision. It was an amazing experience to see where my DNA came from. Most people think that they are just made of one place, but in reality, we are made of many places. We are all connected in some way whether we would like to admit it or not. Your ancestry is about the people who came together to create your history so I encourage you to take the test so that you can have a clearer view of where this history came from.

Photo Image by Joao Silas


7 Most Scariest Movies Before 2000…

So like my previous post “7 Most Scariest Movies Since 2000”, this will follow the exact same standards. I judge these movies based on my experiences, and so this post is entirely opinion based. Feel free to comment if you agree or disagree with my list. Remember these movies are rated PG-13 and above so if you’re underage, then you may need parental guidance while watching these movies. You can even comment your own top seven scariest movies before 2000.

#7: Jaws (1975)

A great white shark wreaks havoc on a beach resort. The reason that Jaws made the list was because it was the first horror movie that I ever watched and when I look back on it, it really did freak me out. And the fact that I have a fear of the deep ocean has everything to do with this movie. This movie makes you question what lies beneath the ocean. We’ve only explored only a tiny portion of it so there is no telling what kind of monsters live in the deep. Besides, who isn’t afraid of a shark?

#6: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Teenagers are stalked and killed in their dreams by a serial killer. A Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic. Freddy Krueger is one of the most classic movie killers and one of the most scariest because he doesn’t kill his victims the usual way. He kills them in their dreams which is even scarier. You can’t fall asleep but falling asleep is something that you can’t help but do. Just imagine having to be sleep deprived to avoid a horrific death. Now if that isn’t scary I don’t know what is.

#5: Candyman (1992)

A graduate student encounters the legend of “Candyman” who appears whenever you look in the mirror and call his name five times. Candyman is a movie that brings back childhood memories of being scared in the bathroom. Who hasn’t been just a little hesitant of trying this little trick? Candyman makes you wonder whether urban legends have any truth to them, and it makes you reconsider saying his name for the fifth time.

#4: The Shining (1980)

A writer takes a job as a winter caretaker at a haunted hotel. The Shining is a movie based on the book by Stephen King. I’ve read some of Stephen’s King’s books so I know first hand that they’re scary so it was no doubt that this movie adaptation wasn’t going to be the same. The Shining will not only scare you but it will creep you out. Especially the images of the twins. Yes, the twins will definitely creep you out.

#3: Cujo (1983)

A rabid dog terrorizes a woman and her son who are trapped in a car. The reason Cujo is scary because it could happen in real life. Aren’t we all scared of vicious dogs? Although dogs are man’s best friend, sometimes best friends can turn on you and when they do…it can be one of the most terrifying moments of your life. Cujo does something that most other movies can’t do, and that’s instill real fear in us.

#2: The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Three student filmmakers disappear after filming a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend. The Blair Witch Project is one of the earliest found footage movies. Found footage movies are the ones like Paranormal Activity. The Blair Witch Project is scary because of both the urban legend and the found footage style. The found footage style of the movie is what makes the fear seem real, and the ending will leave you with nightmares.

#1: The Exorcist (1973)

When a young girl is possessed, two priests must save her life through an exorcism. The Exorcist makes number one on my list because it terrified me. After watching this movie, I felt like I had just experienced something extraordinary which is something not a lot of movies have done for me. The image of the possessed girl is horrifying, and throughout the movie you will feel as if you’re watching something that you shouldn’t be watching which is the best part. The Exorcist will make you pray that nothing like that will ever happen to you or someone close to you. Unlike the other movies on this list, The Exorcist is not a movie for the faint of heart.


Photo Image by Jeremy Yap


7 Things Girlfriends Need From Their Boyfriends…

I haven’t been in many relationships so I’m no pro, but I do know that in every relationship that I’ve had (even with potential baes) I’ve learned something new. I learn more about myself than I do about the other person. So I began to figure out what I wanted in a partner and what I didn’t want and I learned that it’s okay to have standards. Having standards becomes a problem only if you aren’t living up to your own potential.

When guys say that girls are difficult to understand (mostly because it’s true), they have to realize that it’s not that hard to please us. A guy doesn’t have to be super rich, but there are certain basic things that every girl needs from her partner. Below is my list of things that girlfriends need from their boyfriends. Take a look and maybe you might reconsider what you thought your girlfriend needed all along.

#1: She wants you to be respectful.

Girlfriends need their guys to be respectful and by respectful I mean nice. Yes, bad boys are extremely addictive, but good guys are the ones who win at life. Be a gentlemen. Open doors for her. Listen to her. Treat her like a princess. Being respectful comes down to not doing or saying anything to your girlfriend that you wouldn’t do or say to your mother. Also, remember that your girlfriend is someone’s daughter, wouldn’t you want your daughter to be treated like the queen that she is?

#2: She wants you to be loyal.

Girlfriends need to know whether their boyfriends are for them or not. That means that she should not have to work to gain your loyalty. As a part of your commitment to her your loyalty should come with that. And yes talk exclusively only to her. Not to other girls. No more hanging out with girls who have had feelings for you or have feelings for you at the moment. Prove to your girl that you have self-control by not letting your eyes wander.

#3: She wants you to be trustworthy.

Girlfriends need to know that they can trust their boyfriends. With anything and around anyone. She shouldn’t have to worry  if you’re still communicating with exes or even old flames. Your girlfriend needs to know that she can trust your word. Don’t drop plans and don’t back out on commitments. Stand by her and support her.

#4: She wants you to be secure.

Girlfriends want to know that you have a plan for the future. Even though she doesn’t need you to have everything figured out, she needs to know that you have goals in life and that you want to be someone instead of lying on the couch all day. She needs to see that you have the ability to financially support both of you if things develop into something more long term.

#5: She wants to know that you think she’s beautiful.

Every girl wants to know that she’s beautiful, valuable, and worthy. Some guys just don’t understand how important a simple “you look good today” can be. And I’m not just talking about beauty in the sense that you think she’s pretty to look at. I’m talking about her soul as well. Let her know how much you value her. How much you appreciate her. Compliment her. Encourage her. When you cherish your girlfriend, you make her feel special and you make her feel beautiful.

#6: She wants you to be honest.

Girlfriends want their boyfriends to be honest in their feelings, their expectations, and their boundaries. If a relationship is going to work, then both partners need to have clear communication with one another. Girlfriends need for you to be honest about everything no matter how difficult the issue may be. She wants to have honest conversations, and she needs you to be clear in your intentions.

#7: She wants you to be intimate with her.

And I’m not talking about the obvious intimacy. I’m talking about the heart. She wants to connect with you and know what you’re thinking. She wants to know your fears, your dreams, and your aspirations. Your girlfriend wants to feel close to you and not just in a physical way. I know it can be hard for guys to talk about their feelings and open up, but just know that it’s important to your girlfriend for you to have heart to heart moments.

In saying all of this, your girlfriend needs you to be real. She wants the real you that is at the core of your being, and there are certain things that she needs from you that can’t be bought with money. Remember when you’re giving your girlfriend all of these things do it out of love for her not because anyone is forcing you to.

Photo Image by Scott Webb

7 Must Have Items For Your Closet…

There are certain items of clothing that every woman should have in her closet. Even though the list below consist of basic items, there is the ability to mix and match for various styles. I know it feels like sometimes you have to have a packed closet filled with designer brands to keep up with the world, but you don’t. All you really need is basic items. Below are seven must have items for your closet. So take a look at my list and make sure your wardrobe has these seven things.

#1: Little Black Dress

The little black dress, or LBD, is a must have for every woman. For impromptu dates whether formal or informal, a little black dress goes a long way. Choose a classic black dress that fits perfectly for your body and you can never go wrong.

#2: Denim Jacket

A denim jacket is my go to look. The reason that a denim jacket is a must have is because denim pairs nice with everything. Whether its printed or non-printed, a denim jacket makes any outfit look casual and stylish. Find a classic denim jacket that fits your style to pair with all of your outfits.

#3: Cardigans

Light-weight cardigans are for those breezy not too cold days. They keep you warm by not being as overbearing as a gigantic winter coat. Cardigans pair perfectly with any blouse, tank top, t-shirt, or dress.

#4: White Blouses

White Blouses go with anything. They can be dressed up with slacks or khakis or dressed down with jeans. It also provides you the opportunity to wear any color accessories like bold earrings or necklaces.

#5: Jeans

A nice pair of jeans goes a long way. Jeans come in a variety of styles and colors, but a nice pair of dark wash skinny jeans has more benefits than the others. Jeans can be worn for a casual look with a t-shirt or a dressy look with a blouse, Also, jeans can be paired with any types of shoes from boots to sandals.

#6: Tank Tops

Tank tops are extremely versatile and can be dressed up or down. They can either be paired with a nice blazer for formal events or just worn plain. Tanks tops can either be worn in the hot summer days or even in the cool breezy fall days with a cardigan.

#7: Classic Skirts

Skirts come in a variety of colors, styles, and lengths such as pencil skirts, a-line skirts, or minis. You can match skirts with heels, boots, sneakers, or even flats. Pair your skirts with cardigans or jackets or printed tops or monochromatic schemes. Either way, skirts are definitely versatile enough to match any style.

My Favorite Stores: Forever 21, H&M, Charlotte Russe, Old Navy

Photo Image by Shanna Camilleri