Jumpstart Your Week With Action!

I know Monday’s can come with a bit of eek to them.  It represents the end of the leisurely weekend where brunch rules supreme and making time for the things you want to do becomes a priority (#WeekendGoals).  Now it is back to reality and time to prioritize all the things that need to happen to help you be successful throughout the week.  I want you to think about this quote. “You are always one decision away from a totally different life”.  The decisions you make, good or bad, big or small, can have a major impact on the direction your life takes.  I once made the small decision to go see my little sister dance in a recital and I met my husband.  I have a friend who was unhappy with her job but loved her career.  She made the decision to apply to three jobs in three weeks and she now has a signed offer at another company with better benefits and a better salary.  Since following through on a decision requires action you need to think about what actions you make today that will align with your money, career, or lifestyle goals for tomorrow.header-logo-2017

The Biggest Mistake Women Make During Career Introductions

As an avid reader of the Cosmo, I have been a fan of Joanna Coles, former Editor-In-Chief, since her early days of at the magazine.  She expanded the content to career advice, finances, and other less traditional “Cosmo” topics making it my all around go to along with Forbes and Inc.  That’s right, I am a Cosmo girl.  My fan girl experience, with regards to Joanna, went to a level 10 when she liked and retweeted something I wrote back in 2014  about rock star women in business.  I felt like that was a small example of how supportive she is of women and their careers.  She is one of my celebrity mentors (in my mind) that I actually have never met but learn so much from.2

Career Advice from Joanna Coles

While watching episode 1 of So Cosmo, Joanna imparted her wisdom on a group of unsuspecting millennials visiting the Cosmo office.  During an introduction exchange between Joanna and the group, one woman introduced herself  by her first name only.  Joanna explains, “First rule of Joanne Coles, women in particular should always say both names [when introducing their selves].  Women always go, hi, I’m Julie.  You have to go hi, I’m Julie Thompson.  Men never ever worry about doing that.”  She further goes on to explain her rationale behind the “first rule of Joanna Coles” to relationship expert, Matthew Hussey, who overheard the exchange between Coles and the millennials.  “It is very important.  It’s my signature thing. Cause you think of yourself as Matthew Hussey, but if you were a girl you would just think of yourself as Matthew.”


Hello, I am….

In that moment, I replayed several instances when I introduced myself to clients as simply Danielle when my male counterpart would introduce himself first name last name.  While doing a little research about introductions, I found that when people properly introduce themselves by first name last name, the other people is more likely to rememer you and your name.  Remember my whole, Hi nice to meet you, I forgot your name already phase??  Perhaps this would have helped everyone back then.  What I like about the “first rule of Joanna Coles”,  is the expression of assertiveness  and dominance in the first introduction.   It’s like “leaning in” before anyone has even had time to make any judgements, good, bad, or indifferent, and letting them know you are  a boss chick in the room.  If this is the first rule of Joanna Coles, I can’t wait to see what else I learn from my celebrity mentor.She Makes Cents Logo

3 Organic Products That Will Change Your Beauty Routine

I wanted to take a moment and share three game-changing organic products under the $15.00 price point.  Not only have I personally sampled each recommended product, they have now replaced other beauty staples in my daily routine.  While some organic products can be more expensive than their chemically treated counterparts, these are a splurge, if you can even call it that, that is worth the upgrade.  Be good to your body and it will be good to you!

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Charcoal Soap

I’ve been wanting to try charcoal soap for a while after hearing that it removes toxins, pulls all the gross stuff from your pores, and helps with skin issues like my eczema, which conventionally flares during the winter months.  While walking through Atlanta’s  Krog Street Market, I came across this lovely handmade soap shop called Mama Handmade Bath & Body that has since become one of my favorite places to explore there.  While playing with sample oils and inhaling the fabulous scents of the different types of soaps, I found several bars of raw handmade charcoal soap.  I purchased a bar for $8.00 so I could give it a try.  For almost 3 weeks, I have washed my face with this vegan soap and follow-up with the Cerve moisturizer every morning and night.   I knew that it was a naturally anti-fungal and antibacterial soap but was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was loaded with moisturizing oils like avocado, jojoba, and wheat germ.  My face is so clear and smooth and  I have gotten so many compliments on my skin (check out my IG for my Jan 19th selfie…no foundation at all with a little blush!!!) I love that I am not clogging my pores with unnecessary ingredients. 

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Organic Argan Oil

Argan oil, produced from the kernels of the Argan tree, is becoming very popular in the cosmetic world because of the restorative benefits for hair, skin, nails.  I hear it also does wonders for pregnant women with stretch marks.   I was asked to try out a sample of 100% pure Moroccan Argan oil from a brand called Actually Organic and I wanted to see what the hype was all about.

Around the same time the 1 oz bottle of  Argan oil arrived, I have weening myself off gel manicures and was suffering from soft and brittle nails that would break if you just looked at them.  I started moisturizing both my cuticles and my nails and guess what happened… my nails started to grow again. I could even look at them and they would not break.  I then started to use the oil to help heal dry eczema patches on my body and I have really enjoyed the results of smooth nourished skin in these dry winter months.  I originally thought that $12.00 a bottle was a little steep for a 1 oz bottle, but I quickly learned that a little product goes a long way.  This bottle will last me through the August, which is perfect considering Argan oil in its pure form has a 12-month shelf life.  I apply oil to my nails about once a week and I use the oil on my skin to heal specific problem areas like my elbows, inside of my ears (strange, I know), and the crease of my hands. ~ Thank you to the Actually Organic team for providing the She Makes Cents team with this product ~

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Organic Nail Polish Remover

I will be honest, I have had a sample bottle of organic nail polish remover from an old Birchbox for a few months now.  I was cleaning out the house in one of those Kondo Method type of purges when I decided that I would do one of two things with the stockpile of unopened beauty products- use it up or donate to a local women’s shelter.  My 4oz bottle of Soybean and Tea Tree Oil organic nail polish remover from Karma Naturals was on the chopping block because I have always used a standard nail polish remover.  Yes, traditional removers are full of all sorts of harsh chemicals but they always got the job done.  As it was going into the pile of products that would soon be donated, I decided to keep it to see how it removes pink nail polish from my toes.   Compared to traditional removers, it takes a little longer to remove nail polish but that was okay with me once I felt how moisturized my bare toenails were.  It was amazing!!!  I now even take my own bottle of organic remover with my when I go to the nail salon so that they don’t use the harsh remover that I was used to.  This is a vegan and cruelty-free product that has replaced my previous brand FOREVER.

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What The Navient Lawsuit Means for Student Loan Borrowers

The government or more specifically the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)  filed a lawsuit against Navient, the nation’s largest student loan service provider last week. Navient is the twin sister to the head of the student loan mafia, Sallie Mae, Inc. that services the loans of more than 12 million borrowers, including my own.  As a loan service provider, they manage borrowers’ accounts, process monthly payments, and communicate directly with borrowers.  The suit was filed on January 18th  with another following just days before the transition of presidential power.navient-lawsuit

According to the CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, “Navient chose to shortcut and deceive consumers to save on operating costs. Too many borrowers paid more for their loans because Navient illegally cheated them and today’s action seeks to hold them accountable.” Some of the most pressing allegations include failing to correctly apply or allocate borrower payments to their accounts, steering struggling borrowers toward paying more than they have to on loans, obscured information consumers needed to maintain their lower payments and deceived private student loan borrowers about requirements to release their co-signer from the loan.  

What That Means for You?

If this lawsuit is successful, consumers affected by Navient’s alleged misdoings may receive some monetary restitution.  Don’t get too excited yet.  This is not a class-action suit that you can sign up for.  According to ClassAction.org, “Attorneys usually find out those who were affected by looking at the defendant’s records in a phase of the litigation known as the discovery phase. People who could be covered by the suit are usually sent a notice or check in the mail. The agency that filed the lawsuit will also have information on their website about the suit and who can claim money in the event of a settlement”.

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MLK Quote to Inspire You to Keep Moving Forward Through Any Situation

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Sometimes unexpected things happen…2016 was proof of that.  The thing is, we cannot give anything the power to paralyze us in a state of anger, fear, grief, complacency, etc.  Today I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I like this quote because it represents that there will be things in life that will attempt to block your path to greatness.  Sometimes we can even block our own blessings.  If you can’t fly then don’t shrug your shoulders and throw in the towel.  It’s so much easier to give up after the first roadblock (See  “How To Come Back from A Setback”).  Lace up your favorite pair of sneakers and get to running, girlfriend.  You might not get to your greatness quickly, but as long as you keep moving forward you are taking the necessary moves to get you one step closer than you were when you realized that flying was not an option.

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How to Stay Motivated To Save Money


she makes cents money blogHappy Friday #SMCmoneytribe.  I am coming to you on week two of the She Makes Cents Money Challenge to talk about the subject of motivation.  I imagine most people join this challenge for one major reason; they want their future financial situation to be better than their current circumstances.  This can be with respect to a very specific goal, such as saving for vacation or it could simply be the catalyst to fostering better saving habits like starting an emergency fund.  Either way, you accepted the challenge and are in it to win it, so I ask you…what keeps you motivated?

How I Stay Motivated

It’s very strange to say, but I am just as motivated by not disappointing readers like you as I am to clear my now $18,025.00 balance on my student loans.  This goes back to the idea of the #SMCmoneytribe and the village of supportive accountability partners who know my goal and know my progress.  Should I miss a week, which has happened before…hey, I am human, I think about all the people whom I’m sharing this experience with and I do whatever it takes to catch up.  I tell people all the time, if you get off track, either catch up or start over but don’t give up.Quotes

Watching my balance go down is also a very gratifying feeling.  I know where I started, I know where I want to be, and I know that timeline I have given myself to accomplish my ultimate goal to be completely debt free, not including my mortgage, within the next 3 years.

When I had credit card debt, I would allocate the weekly deposits from this challenge along with a monthly set payment of $300.00 to pay off my balance quickly.  Once I eliminated that debt, I set aside that $300.00 + the weekly deposits from this challenge to make quarterly lump sum payments towards my student loan principal.  This, my friends is what you call snowballing your debt.  I know how I excited I get to see my balance on the student loans go down at the slow pace it is currently moving since so much of the payment goes towards interest and not the principal.  The idea that my balance is about to make a major decrease by attacking the principal head on is the fuel I need to keep me motivated toward my larger goal of debt-free living.

Week 2 Update | She Makes Cents Money Challenge

For week two, I decided to cross off $25.00 on my bingo money card.  Since the Mr. and I are joining forces this year, that gives us a joint year-to-date (YTD) total of $145.00.

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What’s Your Motivation To Save? Please share below

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{2017 Word of the Year} How One Word Will Guide My Entire Year

fb-qotd-templateI pose this question every year and 2017 is no different.  What one word reflects your vision for 2017?  So many of you submitted thoughtful responses via the SMC Facebook group and Instagram such as “gentleness”, “perseverance”, “do”,  and “focus”.  I even had one response that was in line with my word of the year…INTENTION from the Instagram handle @yourlifefinance.  By definition, intention is a determination to act in a certain way.  I chose “intention” to reflect my vision for 2017 because it adds purpose to all thoughts, words, and actions.  To be honest, I have found that haphazard thoughts, words, and actions tend to get me into trouble.  Toward the end of the year, I started asking God to guide my words so that I speak with intention and not for the sake of attention.  This past year was my year of BRAVERY and even though it started out shaky, I ended the year with one of my bravest moves yet (post to come later on that one…).  intention-adds-purpose-to-all-thoughts-words-and-actionsFour years ago was my year of BALANCE, 2014 was my year of FOCUS, 2015 was my year of PASSION, 2016 was my year of BRAVERY, and I welcome my year of INTENTION.  I am working very hard to make sure that my words and actions are in line with the following criteria:  Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it truthful?  As each year passes,  I take a moment and reflect on why I chose my earlier words, where I was in my personal development for that to be a necessary focus, and how I  incorporated the meaning of  those words in my life.  

What’s Your Word for 2017 and why did you pick it? Share Below!

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SMC Book Club: The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

Let’s be real.  The title of the shemakescents.com January book selection got your attention, didn’t it?  Well, it certainly caught mine when I first heard about Sara Knight’s latest book, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.  Reason number one is well….obvious, but the second reason…I literally laughed out loud that the title is the play on the uber popular book by Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Apparently we as a people are in serious need of a life changing magical moment.january-book-selection

Here is the Overview:

Are you stressed out, overbooked, and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? It’s time to stop giving a f*ck.

This brilliant, hilarious, and practical parody of Marie Kondo’s bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt–and give your f*cks instead to people and things that make you happy.

The easy-to-use, two-step NotSorry Method for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f*ck about: 

  • Family Drama
  • Having a “bikini body”
  • Iceland
  • Co-workers’ opinions, pets, and children
  • And other bullsh*t!

And it will free you to spend your time, energy, and money on the things that really matter. So what are you waiting for? Stop giving a f*ck and start living your best life today!

How Our Book Club Works

We gave our Instagram followers a sneak peek of the book selection and the buzz was great.  The funny thing is… a preacher friend of mine recommended this book and told me that it was a good read (crazy huh?).  Click here to order the e-book version (for less than the price of a bad of chips) and here to order the hardcover version.  We are starting on January 1st and checking in back here on shemakescents.com on Saturday January 14th to discuss the first half of the book.  If you are in Atlanta, stay tuned for the book club meet up.  Info will be posted on our Facebook page, as host a Wine & Read. Event  Get your book, get cozy, and let’s get our read on in 2017!

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Don’t Let Fear Be A Roadblock To Success

Inspirational Quotes

This is the season when people reflect on the past year and pledge to “do better” in year ahead. I  promised myself that I would “be brave” in 2016 so much so that I selected it as my personal word of the year. The thing is, I spent a great deal of the year doing what I have always done and was perplexed as to why things were not progressing as quickly as I would have liked. Why is this situation still a situation? In a moment of clarity, I was standing in a mirror of self-reflection realizing that I have made decisions in the areas of my career, finances, and relationships based primarily out of fear. This is why I selected brave as the word of the year in the first place; to push myself out of my comfort zone and accept new challenges. Nothing in my life or yours will ever change if we continue to do what we have always done. As Walt Disney says, “ We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.  The opportunity for something new is knocking, are you ready to open the door?

What Does “Being Brave” Mean to You?

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{Monday Motivation} You Will Never View Mondays The Same After Seeing This!

I posted this on the shemakescents Instagram and Facebook pages last week and the response was great!!  Sometimes the best motivation one can receive comes from within and often it is as simple as a change of perspective.  Glass half empty or glass half full… either way it is a glass of water and it is your own formed perspective that shapes it as positive or negative thing.  Have a great week and Happy Monday!Monday Motivation