CHARLIE’S JAM OF THE WEEK: Santigold – Can’t Get Enough of Myself

Fun fact about me? I LOVE Santigold. She’s one of those artists I could listen to exclusively for days straight and never skip a song. Her music puts me in such a good mood!

Needless to say, I was so excited when she released this new single, “Can’t Get Enough of Myself”, a couple of weeks ago. It’s the first single to her upcoming album, 99 ¢ents. It comes out January 22!

7 Fool-Proof Ways to Set Good Vibes

good vibes

Fun fact about me: I have dealt with anxiety and depression for years. Aside from seeking professional help (as we all should for mental illnesses), I have developed several habits to make dealing with this easier for me.

One way I do this is by creating good vibes. This can go for both your workplace and living space — but especially your living space! This is likely the place you go to unwind, so you want it to be a very relaxing environment for you.

Here are some ways I create good vibes in my living space.

  1. Declutter and organize: A cleaned, organized environment will do wonders for your mood! When my place is a mess, I’m a mess. I find it hard to concentrate with a cluttered, messy environment. We all can be prone to having several little growing piles of laundry, papers, etc. Take the time to go through and get rid of those piles! Vacuum your floor. Make your bed. I promise you, it will make a huge difference!
  2. Good smells: For me, good smells equals good vibes. I love lighting incense and candles, but my new favorite for the past year has been my oil diffuser! You can get one for less than thirty bucks on Amazon and end up saving money in the long run. You can start out with one oil (that will last you forever) and gradually start adding oils to your collection. I recommend starting out with lavender oil, because not only does it smell good, but it’s great for helping you to relax and unwind.
  3. Relaxing music: Sometimes you have to take a look at the music you’re listening to. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good night of listening to The Weeknd or waking up to Kid Cudi, but let’s face it. Sometimes their music can be a little bit of a… downer. I like to put on some Lianne La Havas, Esperanza Spalding or Corrine Bailey Rae when I want to relax. I also LOVE to listening to Putumayo, which is compilations of international music. Type in Putumayo on Spotify and the international genres are endless!
  4. Have a nice drink: Yes, a lot of people love to unwind with a glass of wine, but I don’t just mean wine (lol). Relaxing with a nice cup of chamomile tea does wonders!! Sometimes even sipping a glass of lemon water feels so relaxing and refreshing.
  5. Take a bath: This goes without saying. We tend to lead such busy, fast-paced lifestyles, that we don’t stop to take baths very often. Baths can be very relaxing — and the fun part? You can take your music and relaxing drink to the bathtub with you. Also, that lavender oil serves multiple purposes because a few drops of that in your bath will work wonders!
  6. Read a book: When is the last time you finished a book? Again, we tend to be so busy that we don’t read as often as we should. Books are a great way to learn and also a great way to escape, go to another universe and explore our imaginations.
  7. Do something for YOU: How often do you do things for you? Once you’ve set those good vibes in your living space, it’s so relaxing to enjoy that peaceful environment and do something for yourself. For me, that may sometimes mean giving myself a mani/pedi. Other times, it could mean cooking a meal or painting on some canvas I got on sale at the local art store. Also, adult coloring books are trending right now! Pull out a coloring book and some crayons to relax and get out some creativity!

I am in my most peaceful state when I’ve cleaned my apartment, taken a nice bath and I’m relaxing with some soft music playing and incense burning. I honestly should take more time out to do these things and I think that you should too!

Try them out and tell me how they work for you! Do you already have ways that you create good vibes for yourself? Let me know how in the comments!

12 Lists: Best Workout Songs

I haven’t been working out nearly as much as I would like to. In fact, I’m not even going to lie. I haven’t been working out at all! Hey, we all fall down, but we get up.

Anyway, when I do work out, I love working out to fast-paced songs, usually hip-hop. Here are my favorite songs to jam out to at the gym.

1.) Know Yourself – Drake

2.) Slight Work – Wale & Big Sean

3.) Grown Woman – Beyoncé

4.) Blood on the Leaves – Kanye West

5.) Jump – Rihanna

6.) Fresh Out The Runway – Rihanna

7.) Tom Ford – Jay-Z

8.) Did It On ‘Em – Nicki Minaj

9.) 212 – Azealia Banks

10.) Ima Read – Zebra Katz & Njena Reddd Foxxx

What are your favorite songs to work out to? Let me know in the comments!

Charlie’s Web Finds!

Happy Sunday!

I’ve decided to add a segment to the blog where I share interesting things that I’ve found around the web. That way, we have cool things to check out on relaxing Sundays, and I can show love to my favorite websites!

Vegetable “Pasta” with Chili, Parm & Basil – So Delushious

Transitioning into being a Healthy Vegetarian – Food Heaven Show

Fall DIY || Mango & Vanilla Black Currant Hair & Skin Butter  – Hey Fran Hey

Practical Chakra Balancing – The Hoodwitch

8 Better-For-You Products You Can Find at Target (Under $15) – mindbodygreen

Five Ways to Grocery Shop On A Budget

five ways to grocery shop on a budget

Grocery shopping isn’t cheap, especially when you’re trying to eat clean and stick to your budget. It can be overwhelming and seem difficult to find affordable options. Here are a few tips for keeping both your pockets and your tummy full.

  • Evaluate your kitchen: Before you make your grocery list, do an evaluation of your kitchen. I always try to make meals out of what I already have on hand. For instance, if I have an extra can of pureed tomatoes from a chili I made last week, I begin to think of what I can make to go with that — such as a baked pasta dish or a tomato based soup! If I have wraps left in the fridge from burritos I made last week, I may decide to get something to compliment those wraps so that I can finish them off this week.
  • Meal planning: Once you’ve evaluated your kitchen and you have some ideas about what you can make with what you already have, what can you make ahead of time to compliment those things? I love to prepare as much of my food for the week as I can ahead of time. That way, I’m not sneaking off to the café for lunch and I can buy things in bulk and save even more money. For instance, I currently have a plethora of rice in my cabinet. So I may buy a bag of beans and cook that in bulk and have rice and beans for lunch next week! Meal planning can be a bit monotonous, but it saves a lot of money.
  • Create and stick to your grocery list: Now that you know what meals you’re going to have for the week, based on what you already have in the kitchen, it’s time to go to the grocery store and fill in the missing pieces of your meal puzzles. The catch? Sticking to the list! Once you get in the grocery store, things catch your eye and you start to add things in the cart that you wouldn’t have even though about until you saw them. Big no-no! Be strong! Stick to your list and your wallet will thank you!
  • Don’t go to the grocery store hungry: Have a light snack before you go to the grocery store. Eyes-bigger-than-belly syndrome is real and everything looks appetizing when you’re hungry. The next thing you know, you’re tossing all of these things in your cart and of course you’ve gotta throw something in the cart that you can “eat real quick” before you start putting the groceries away because you’re so hungry.
  • Buy less “convenience” foods: Pre-prepared foods are more expensive in the long run. It’s cheaper to buy the necessities to make these items yourself and save money. For example, a 16 ounce can of beans is $1. That’s enough for about two meals for me. On the other hand, I can buy a bag of dry beans for $2-$3 dollars and have enough beans to eat beans every day for a week and a half! It takes more time to soak the beans and cook them myself, but they taste better and are way more affordable. Another example is granola bars. You can make a basic granola bar with a oatmeal, raisins, honey and maybe some nuts. For the cost of a box or two of granola bars, you can buy the supplies to make your own and have enough granola bars for the month!

I’m always looking for ways to save money on groceries and still maintain a fairly healthy diet and this is what works for me the best. What are your favorite ways to save money at the grocery store? Share your thoughts in the comments!

12 Lists: Best Parts of Fall

best parts about fall

I’m continuing the 12 lists challenge! It’s a challenge I found at Chez Gillian through Mini Penny where a topic is given every month of the year and you make a list to go with that topic. I haven’t been on top of things, so I’m playing catch up and doing the lists weekly, instead of monthly.

Also, because I’m playing catch up, this list will be for fall instead of spring! Here’s my list of the best parts of fall!

  • Hot cider
  • Apple flavored everything!
  • Baked goods
  • Pumpkins
  • Holiday season
  • Nice weather
  • Colorful leaves

Feel free to share your favorite things about fall in the comments! Also, what is your favorite season? :)

Everything About Oil Pulling For Beginners

oil pulling for beginners

If you’re not familiar with oil pulling, it involves swishing an oil around in your mouth for up to twenty minutes in the morning. Sounds gross — but hear me out.

When I first became obsessed with trying all things “healthy”, I saw a video on Hey Fran Hey’s Youtube channel on Youtube, and of course, I immediately had to try it. Now mind you, I don’t think I had ever even heard of coconut oil at this point in my life. I grew up on vegetable oil and canola oil — maybe some olive oil (for religious purposes), but I digress.

So I go around town on the HUNT for coconut oil and I finally confided in a sale associate and it’s like he could read my mind! He immediately went, “Are you going to use it for oil pulling?” Next, he goes, “I LOVE oil pulling! But when you quit — and you will quit… you will always go back.” I gave him the mean side eye.


I had already committed to oil pulling before I had even tried it. What made him so sure I would quit? Well, I stuck with oil pulling for twenty minutes DAILY for about two weeks and… I fell off the wagon.


However, I always return to oil pulling. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to it and he was right, I wasn’t going to keep up swishing my mouth with oil for twenty minutes every morning, but I do commit to doing it at least three times a week and I’ll tell you why, but first, here’s what oil pulling is all about, according to WebMD:

“This oral therapy is a type of Ayurvedic medicine [a traditional Indian system] that dates back 3,000 years,” says Jessica T. Emery, DMD, owner of Sugar Fix Dental Loft in Chicago. “It involves swishing approximately 1 tablespoon of oil — typically coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil — in your mouth for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out.

Unlike some so-called natural home remedies, it’s not a practice that’s based on pseudo-science. Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath. How? “Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell,” Emery says. “Cells are covered with a lipid, or fatty, membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil, a fat, they naturally adhere to each other.”

I personally prefer coconut oil, but I use sesame oil sometimes to switch things up. Some things you want to keep in mind while oil pulling:

  • DO NOT swallow! Seriously! The oil is pulling bacteria from your mouth. You don’t want to be swallowing it!
  • Don’t spit it in the sink. It’s best to spit it into a trashcan so that you’re not oiling and clogging up your pipes.
  • It’s best to oil pull in the morning. That’s when our mouths are the most filled with bacteria. There’a reason “morning breath” is a thing. ;)
  • Ease into it! When I first started, I was attempting to do it for twenty minutes a day and my jaws were getting tired and I was holding a napkin to my lips to make sure oil wasn’t constantly seeping out. Start out at maybe five minutes a day and work your way up to twenty minutes.
  • Be sure to actually work it around your mouth! It’ll feel very instinctive to just hold it in your mouth., but oil pulling is most effective when you’re swishing and really working it to “pull” the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Don’t feel obligated to do it absolutely every day. Of course, oil pulling every single day would be nice, but don’t feel pressured to. In the beginning, as sort of a detox, it is awesome to oil pull every day for a couple of weeks, especially since you may not be doing it for the full twenty minutes. Then, once you become an oil pulling warrior, you can scale back to 3-4 times a week.



1.) Oil pulling is ADDICTING.

I’m not kidding. After just the first few times, you seriously notice the difference in the way your mouth feels. Oil pulling makes my teeth feel like I just hopped right out of the dentist’s chair. In fact, the last time I had my teeth cleaned, I didn’t even have that fresh, professionally cleaned feeling because that’s how my teeth feel EVERY DAY. I’ve never licked my teeth the way I do now that I oil pull. They’re always so smooth!

2.) It’s not as time consuming as you may think.

I know, you read about swishing an oil around in your mouth for twenty minutes a day and immediately get turned off. It doesn’t sound like the most tasty experience in the world, and then it’s like, “On top of rinsing my mouth with a disgusting oil, you expect me to do it for twenty minutes?” Yup! It’s super easy when you multitask while oil pulling! Many mornings, I oil pull while I take a shower and by the time I get out of the shower, it’s time to spit it out and brush my teeth! Also, if you like to catch up on social media when you get up in the morning, it’s a breeze to oil pull while catching up on your social media feeds.

3.) The benefits!
It helps to pull toxins out of your body, as well as help with teeth whitening, asthma, acne and more! Whenever I’m congested, I make sure to oil pull and it clears it right up. In fact, I can feel the mucus loosening up while I’m oil pulling and I usually blow my nose right after I spit the oil out. If you’re a skeptic on all of the benefits of oil pulling, the smooth, shiny feeling of your teeth alone will keep you coming back.

Oil pulling is seriously something I rave about to everyone willing to listen. Have you tried oil pulling? How do you feel about it? What’s your favorite oil to pull with? Let me know in the comments and don’t hesitate to ask questions!

Music Monday: Tommy Genesis

There was no way I was going to have a blog without a music feature! Every week, I will be sharing music. Sometimes it will be new or my current obsessions and sometimes it will be “throwbacks”.

This week, I’m sharing Tommy Genesis, because I’ve been absolutely obsessed with her. Here is one of my favorite jams from her called “Hair Like Water”, featuring Abra. Learn more about her here!

Cheap & Easy Ways To Start Eating Clean

eat clean

According to Fitness Magazine, eating clean means:

At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.

I began eating clean with a 30-day “no eating out challenge”. In that month, I had to cook every meal at home and I started learning how to make well balanced meals at home and developed some good habits.

For me, eating clean means minimizing dairy, swapping out white rice for brown rice, switching white breads and pastas out for whole wheat and fitting in as many vegetables and lean proteins as possible. This is something I’m still working on, but here are ways that I’ve found to make clean eating easy and more affordable.

Only shop the outsides of the store: Most things on the shelves around the insides of the store are processed. That’s where you find your sugary boxes of cereal and bags of potato chips. Around the outside of the store, you things like produce, almond milk and frozen broccoli. Of course there are some exceptions here. You’ll find staples like beans, brown rice and steel cut oatmeal on the shelves inside the store and you’ll find frozen pizza nuggets and pizza in the freezers around the outside of the store — but for the most part, this rule of thumb works for me.

Kicking out white: Try using honey instead of sugar or lemon instead of salt. Replace white bread and pasta with whole wheat and give brown rice a chance.

Stay prepared: At my most disciplined, I would take Sundays to prepare my meals for the week so that everything was ready when I got hungry and I wouldn’t resort to hunger impulses like running to the local fast food place because I’d get food quicker. I’d reward myself by cooking my meals “to order” on the weekends. So I’d still eat healthy on the weekend, but I wasn’t eating the same, strategically planned out meals like I was doing during the weekday. It’s especially important to carry snacks around, so that when those hunger cravings hit you, you have a home made granola bar in your bag that you can grab, rather than a bag of chips from the closet convenience store.

Get used to eating a lot of the same thing: This works for me. Buying in bulk is cheaper and cooking food in bulk ahead of time, rather than making a meal every time you get hungry makes it easier to stay on track. For instance, I’ll make a huge pot of soup or bake a huge pan of pasta on a Sunday. I will make that meal my lunch everyday until it’s gone. Say I decide that I’m going to eat chili for lunch this week. A bag of beans, a couple of cans of tomato sauce and a few peppers will probably cost me less than ten dollars to eat lunch for the entire week! That’s the amount that one meal would cost at a local restaurant. I’ve saved money and it’s already made ahead of time. The downside is that that’s my lunch for the rest of the week.

Stick to your shopping list: Always create a shopping list, rather than shopping on impulse and stick to it. This way, you aren’t just dropping things in your cart as you see them. You stick to your budget and don’t overspend. Also, make sure these lists make sense to what you already have in the house. Already have a jar of tomato sauce in your cabinet? Buy some pasta and frozen spinach and turn that into a meal for a couple of days! Try to have a light meal before going to the grocery store so you don’t get “eyes bigger than belly” syndrome and buy everything that looks appetizing to you.

Don’t keep unhealthy snacks in the house: It’s much easier to forego a bag of potato chips that you have to go out to the store and get, than a bag that’s already conveniently sitting in your cabinet. Rather than have my favorite snacks sitting around in my house, if I want them, I have to actually bake those cookies myself, or get off of my couch and pick up a pint of ice cream. I usually end up just eating the healthy alternative that’s already in my house.

TREAT YOSELF: Most importantly, never deprive yourself or you’ll feel like you’re on a diet and want to rebel. When I’m craving a couple of slices from the local pizzeria or a huge order of nachos from Taco Bell that I’ll regret eating shortly after, I go ahead and get it. Having a few “cheat meals” here and there isn’t detrimental. Just get back on the right track once you’ve treated yourself. It’s better to do that than to deprive and eat every pizza slice in sight once you finally allow yourself to have pizza or rebel against yourself for being so “healthy” and eating every single thing you’ve been craving that you can get your hands on.

These are things that I’ve found to work for me in my journey to save money and time eating clean. What are some ways that you maintain a clean eating lifestyle? Share in the comments! :)