Self-Care Commercial…

Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant…


One of the hardest lessons for me as an entrepreneur, was learning to pause. When we first started Donda’s House, I would literally work 12 – 16+ hour days for 7 days straight.

I caught colds. Had back problems. Always felt like things were out of control…

We just turned 3 on August 1st and I’m proud to say that in 2016 I’ve learned the value of breaks.

I structure my weeks now to where I have at least one-day where I don’t leave my home. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working, I just work from home. I’ll do conference calls, catch up on writing, and also do important things around the house like laundry.

I also try to reserve at least one day to a family day – usually Sundays, where I try not to do anything work related (or at least nothing heavy).

I’ve also learned to “stack” my meetings. If I book a meeting where I’m downtown, I try to book other meetings downtown the same day to maximize my time. I also reserve in-person meeting days to two days per week. For the summer, those have been my Tuesdays & Thursdays.

Finally, when I have a really big event or busy day, I try to be mindful of the schedule the day before and the day after. I’m proud to say that we’ve co-produced two festivals this summer (Teens in the Park – TIP Fest & Peace on the Beach) and we’re gearing up for AAHH! Fest!

Usually the day before and the day after, I try not to schedule too much to give myself time to prepare the day before, and to give myself time to rest & recoup the day after. Today was part work from home & part getting my mind (and gear) ready for tomorrow’s festival.

I talk alot about being a superhero! It’s important to realize that all superheroes know their limits!

Stuff To Check Out:

(1) My girl Dana Todd Pope has launched the cutest line of t-shirts, onesies, tote bags and more.


(2) Donda’s House had the opportunity to participate in ESPN’s “The Undefeated” Townhall Conversation on Chicago Violence. I’ll have a full-blog about this soon.


Caption: Jemele Hill did a phenomenal job hosting and moderating the conversation! Learn more about The Undefeated here.

(3) If you’re in Chicago, come through Peace on the Beach! Tomorrow from 4 pm – 8 pm, in Humboldt Park, 1440 N. Sacramento. Flyer & special Lyft Code below:

Thank you for reading my blog! It means the world to me!

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Who ARE You: FREE Personality Test!

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a tool, developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers to teach people how they perceive the world and how they make decisions. The theory was based on the work of Katherine in the early 1900s. According to the theory, there are 16 personality types.


Caption: Me Getting In Touch With My Inner Monster at Made in America 2015

MBTI is used by 89 of the Fortune 100 Companies and many universities use MBTI as a tool to guide students in career & professional development. In fact, if you’re currently enrolled in college your university may offer free MBTI testing & resources. When I attended DePaul, there were regular MBTI training sessions that the Career Center hosted. You may be able to access these services if you’re an alum, so feel free to reach out to your University! Your company may also have a free tool or resources connected to the MBTI.

I’m a huge fan of MBTI because I believe that it expresses your personality strengths, as well as things to watch out for. For example, I’m an INFJ:

  • Strengths: Creative, Inspiring & Convincing, & Decisive
  • Weaknesses: Sensitive, Perfectionistic (I really mean that when I talk about it in job interviews lol), and Can Burn Out Easily

It is important for me to note the red flags like being sensitive, so that I can mentally & emotionally prepare myself during situations where I am being critiqued or experiencing any type of emotional trigger(s).

I was blessed to sit down with a trained MBTI Expert who gave my husband and I the “official” assessment and then went over the results thoroughly.

For those of us who do not have the resources, here are two free online tests to get you started: (I took this test & it matched my INFJ results) (over 42 million tests taken, must be reliable?!)

If you’re interested in official (clears throat: PAID) resources, check out the Official Myers Briggs Website here. They do have excellent reading resources available!

You should end up with a 4 letter personality type (one of sixteen) like those indicated below by the MBTI Superhero Chart (for the Marvel Universe):1325marvelpersonalityprofiles-full_size

Learn more about your type here:


(2) (see the tabs at the top of the page)

(3) I’d also recommend entering your type and searching on Pinterest here.

My plan is to utilize MBTI in the on-boarding process for Donda’s House staff. I am a fan of any tool that makes it easier to communicate and collaborate. I hope this was helpful for you!

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Filed under Reflection, Work

Kerry Washington’s OPI Collection 

Kerry Washington has a beautiful line of nail polish colors with OPI coming out this Fall:

Check out swatches below:

I’m most excited about the browns, the olive green and the orange. 

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Down In The DMs: 20 Ways To Be A Better Social Media Supporter


People stay in my inboxes (all 10 of them) with requests. My voicemails. My text messages and my DMs.

Requests to post flyers.

Requests for free tickets to concerts.

Requests to make a donation.

Requests to “pick my brain.”

Requests for free consultations.

And there was that one time that somebody requested some Size 10 Yeezys.

I utilize my personal social media platforms to promote causes outside of Donda’s House that I am passionate about and I even employ my hubby to use his massive personal platform to do the same.

Most of the time I oblige, because that’s just the kind of person that I am. Except in the case of the Yeezys, because it was a complete stranger, and hell, even I don’t have any. Plus the message totally creeped me out, but I digress.

I wrote a whole blog rant about reciprocity and transactional relationships here. This message isn’t targeted at any one specifically, it’s more of a PSA because this happens to me and other organizational leaders that I know all of the time.

Before you ask someone to post something, ask yourself if you’ve been “social media supportive (sms).” Have you shared the posts that they’ve asked to be shared? Have you liked posts they’ve posted? 

It doesn’t have to come down to a post-for-post or like-for-like with that individual person, but are you a social media team player, or do you “hog” your engagement?

As a nonprofit administrator/social entrepreneur, I am here to tell you that social media engagement is gold!

Although it only takes a second to “like” or to “share” someone’s post, it translates into so much value for us.

Engagement is converted into influence, and influence equals sponsorship support, it equals access to key influencers and brands and it equals a larger “megaphone” to amplify our events and ultimately our impact.

I’m theoretically petty, but I’m not petty in practice so here are some ways that you can be sms, so I don’t have to smdh:

(1) Like an organization or business page on Facebook.

(2) Follow an organization on Instagram and/or Twitter.

(3) On Facebook, “like” a post.

(4) On Facebook, “share” a post (especially if someone says “please share.”)

(5) On Facebook, click “interested” in an event, and if you’re planning to go click “going.”

(6) On Twitter, click “retweet.”

(7) If you see something that you like or have a positive experience with an organization or a business, leave a comment on their wall, or leave a positive review.

(8) Click “Follow” on LinkedIn.

(9) On Instagram click “like” and if you have a repost app, repost images or videos that you like.

(10) Subscribe to an organization’s or brand’s YOUTube page.

(11) Comments are like social media donations. Leave them! Even if it’s one word like “dope.”

(12) Tag or mention an organization in your post. This attracts other people to said organization.

(13) Help recruit! If you see something that applies to someone that you know TAG that person, so that you can connect them to the organization.

(14) Subscribe to the organization’s e-mail list.

(15) Share the donation link (If I see ONE MORE GoFundMe link…) When you share an organization’s link, it’s like a GoFundUs. It helps lots of people. Please share!

(16) When they ask a question, or ask for help even if you can’t personally help, please share the post or tweet. Someone in your network may be able to help or answer the question/call.

(17) If you do make a request, ask them if there is anything that you can share OR leave the door open for them to reach out in the future to ask you to share something.

(18) Orgs are always looking for funding. If you come across a grant or other funding opportunity, share it with the appropriate organization. When I come across funding opportunities I share it with other organizations.

(19) Sign-up to volunteer if you have the time. Even if it’s for one day or one project, orgs can always use an extra pair of hands.

(20) Donate. Every single dollar counts.

It is generally inappropriate to ask another nonprofit to use their platforms to post fundraisers unless requested, and it is definitely not in good taste when the organization currently has an active campaign (which for most nonprofits is all of the time).

Exhale. That felt good! Please reach out if you have any questions. You are officially qualified to be a Social Media Advocate/Supporter of the organizations, businesses and brands you like.😉


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Filed under Work

10 Ways to Steal Your Time Back

10 Ways to Steal Your Time Back

1. Wake up early or stay up late – if you have a big project to finish, consider waking up an hour early or staying up an hour later to finish it. 

2. Delegate to someone else – if you have a busy week at work, as your partner or your children to do some of the household things. 

3. Prepare the night before – pack your bags & pick out your clothes the night before. Plan your meals the night before. You will shave off some of  valuable time in the morning, leaving room for other things. 

4. Organize your things – so much time can be wasted when you have to look for things. Your keys, your charger, your phone. I have a “command center” in my entryway where we drop all of our keys whenever we walk in the door. 

5. Make a list – if you are feeling overwhelmed, stop everything & make a list. It’s a quick & easy intervention to get caught up. 

6. Take a walk – sometimes your brain & your spirit need time with nature. A walk helps you take your mind off the stress & it releases valuable oxytocin – the feel good hormone. 

7. Turn off the notifications on your phone. – this changed my life. Notifications on your phone can interrupt the flow of your work. They are like a ringing doorbell for your brain. Instead, I only check email at key moments of my day. I do receive text notifications for emergency or urgent messages. Everyone in my life knows to text or call me if something requires my immediate response. 

8. Ask for help. – never feel like you have to keep it all together. Speak to your colleagues, friends & family to share how they can help. Also, don’t be afraid to outsource (hire) help. 

9. Divide & conquer. Next year will be my 7th wedding anniversary!!! My husband & I have mastered this. From household chores to business affairs, we work together to get things done. If one person cooks, the other cleans. I do the laundry. He handles the trash, the litter box & the yard. It’s a perfect system. 

10. Eat a good meal. Sometimes when things are stressful, you just need to slow Time down. Go out for lunch. Go grab a cup of coffee. Eat a savory snack. Your body will Thank you.

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Filed under Inspiration, Planner/Organizer, Uncategorized

Assumptions Short-Circuit Your Blessings!

I have a new work project that requires me to interact with lots of different brands. Brands of all sizes… some that are households names, some that have a small but powerful following & some that are just getting started.


In our personal and our professional lives, we make a lot of assumptions. We assume we know:

  • What people think about us and our brands…
  • What people have the capacity to do (or not to do)…
  • Why people respond to our inquiries (or why they don’t)…
  • Who a brand’s target audience is (or is not)…

Assumptions are dangerous, because they can literally short circuit a blessing that is en route. Assumptions are based on our insecurities and experiences and can totally be off base. When I find myself making an assumption about a brand, I immediately check myself with the phrase “We can ask, and the worst thing they can tell us is no.”

I also go into meetings with at least three pre-conceived ideas that are win-win for both myself & my potential partner. These pre-conceived ideas are rooted in research. I spend a lot of time looking at what the brand has done in the past, and use that as either a template for my ideas, or a bridge to my idea. Often, I am able to walk away with a commitment on at least one of my ideas.

Sometimes people pitch things and it doesn’t align or fit. If you’ve spent all of your time and energy developing this idea, that your potential partner is not interested in, it’s easier for the brand or the partner to say they are not interested and walk away from the deal. After the introductions and you have the opportunity to share more information about your brand and what you do, and they do the same, it also doesn’t help to ask, “Based on what you know about my company, are there any projects you’d like to collaborate on?” Most organizations always have something coming up that they’ll share.

The biggest thing is not to be afraid to ask! Remember that while you can ask for money, there are more valuable ways that you can collaborate and if you’re able to develop a connection besides strictly transactional (one where you’re strictly doing a service and getting paid for that service, or you receive a donation in the case of a nonprofit), you can create a long-term partnership that is beneficial for both brands. Also, be open to whatever they may be interested in doing, even if it wasn’t something you initially thought about.

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Filed under Work

Fresh Pressed Chicago

I just got back from a brunch created by my friends Hannah & Daris Jasper called “Fresh Pressed Chicago.” The goal of the brunch is to connect people throughout the city doing great work, as well as to expose people to underutilized spaces and areas of the city. 

During the brunch, which had lots of amazing food (guests are invited to bring something), guests stand up to press fresh juice, and share personal or professional good news. 
I am so thankful for people like Daris and Hannah, who see an issue or problem and then implement a solution. I am grateful for the new friends I made and the good food that I ate! Cheers to all of the people in the world doing good things to make our communities a better place.

Today’s brunch was held at the South Shore Beach on the Southside of Chicago! (Not too far from the future home of President Obama’s Library which will be built in Jackson Park). The photos were taken on my phone:

Here is a little footage of the festivities: 

Can’t wait for next month’s brunch! It’s always a good day to celebrate the good things happening in our lives and in our community!

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Filed under Inspiration, Uncategorized