Category: Uncategorized

5 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Twenties

  1. Manage Your Money Like a F*cking Grown Up by Sam Beckbessinger- I did a full review of this book on the blog but basically this is the financial education we all should have had but never did (seriously, what even is the point of our schooling system? Years of my life wasted!)
  2. Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht- I mentioned this book in an earlier article for college students however I’m currently re-reading it and yep, it is still relevant. If you haven’t read it as yet, definitely go pick up a copy ASAP. “Leave Your Mark” is basically like a mentorship in book-form.
  3. Welcome to the Real World by Lauren Berger- I have been a fan of Lauren Berger since her first book, “All Work, No Pay” and strongly believe she is the reason I got my first two internships. “Welcome to the Real World” teaches you everything you need to know to not screw up in your new job. While the first few chapters were not new to me since I have been in the working world for a while, the latter chapters were super-helpful.
  4. Screw It, Let’s Do It by Richard Branson- Okay so it has been a while since I last read this but it wins a place on my list because I remember being really awed by it (even if I don’t remember much. Perks of being a avid reader). Richard walks the reader through his story and the secrets to his success.
  5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki- An oldie but a goodie, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” tells the story of Robert as he grows up with his biological ‘poor’ father and his ‘rich’ dad (his best friend’s father). Both men have differing ideas of money which are explored in this book.

Have you read any of the above books? What did you think? I’d love to know below.

Tips for A Stress-Free Black Friday

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year (or atleast it is, to me). Black Friday is approaching and with all the deals popping up on my social media feeds, I’m pretty excited. Lots of retailers have extended their specials to week-long or even month-long. But with great promotions come great responsibility and it’s easy to get carried away. Here are a few tips to make your Black Friday shopping a bit easier.

Shopping bags
  1. Make a List- Take note of what you actually DO need/want for Black Friday to avoid accidental splurges on items you do not need. Yes, that big screen TV from Game is a necessity.
  2. Check your budget- Can you actually afford the items on your list? While sales are great, it defeats the purpose if you’re going to be paying off your credit card for months after Black Friday. Even if you did manage to get the new cellphone you were eyeing for months.
  3. Plan your method of attack- Will you be shopping in-store or online? Almost everyone is having online specials as well which means you don’t have to worry about queues or Covid. As someone who hates crowds, this is absolutely perfect. (Also if you ARE going in-store, make sure to wear comfortable shoes and carry a snack just in case you get hungry).
  4. Create accounts for online stores in advance- If you plan on shopping online, make sure that you already signed up for an account on those shopping platforms. Nothing is more annoying than signing up for an account ON Black Friday only to realise afterwards that the items you picked out are now sold. This sounds like a basic tip but sometimes people get excited and forget. It’s me. I am people. And while we are discussing accounts, make sure you are logged in before you start shopping.
  5. Start early- If you know that there is limited stock of the item you’re after or that the offer is for a certain amount of people, be sure to set an alarm so that you’re ready as soon as the sale starts. ‘Ready’ in this case means that you are logged in and ready to start shopping before midnight.

What items are you looking forward to purchasing for Black Friday? Do you have any other tips to make shopping easier? I’d love to know below.

Happy NaNoWriMo

So normally I get really excited for NaNoWriMo. A month dedicated to writing? No pressure? Yes please.

And I was excited way back when I was planning out my study schedule and pushing to finish before November began.

But now that it’s here I have a half-assed story concept, no plot outline and definitely no plan.

I’m still taking part because I feel like I should and at this stage it’s a tradition. If you can’t write a novel after the craziness of 2020 WHEN can you?

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? Let me know below.

I’m BACK!!!

I cannot believe it has been an entire month since I last posted. I’ve been busy with a Project Management module and now I can add Marketing Management and Digital Copywriting to my list of ever-growing certifications.

So while I didn’t really enjoy the studying this time (Covid=increased working hours+ less breaks+ less available study time), I was pretty sad when it ended. In fact it’s been two weeks and all I did was spring clean my room and watch two episodes of “Friends”. I’m pretty disappointed in myself but I figured after the year I had, I deserved a break.

I have scheduled a few book reviews and while I look for my next project, I’m going to focus on tackling that large bookshelf that somehow keeps growing. I swear I’m not buying books. I don’t know how they keep multiplying.

Release Blitz: Playing with Fire by L. J. Shen

“Clear off a top spot on your Best of 2020 list. 

Playing with Fire is coming in HOT!”

–Harloe Rae, USA Today bestselling author

Playing With Fire, an all-new intense and all consuming small town standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!

A broken boy on the path to destruction.

A scarred girl without direction.

A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain and sealed with a lie.

Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.

She is the strange girl from the food truck.

He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.

She is invisible to the world.

He is the town’s beloved bad boy.

She is a reject.

He is trouble.

When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending.

But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.

Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:

She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.

And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35scdah

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/PWFLJShen

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3bDlzRh

Add to PLAYING WITH FIRE to Goodreads – https://bit.ly/MDVljgr

About L.J. Shen

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries. 

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J. Shen

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2OhSvp1

Twitter: http://bit.ly/36ELHZc

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2oMbFsu

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2AIOiTo

Stay up to date with L.J. Shen by signing up for her mailing list:

http://bit.ly/36MnmAQ

Website: http://www.authorljshen.com/

Handbag Essentials for the Coronavirus Pandemic

I used to hate leaving home. In fact I still do but the fact that I can barely go out to the mall without fear of bringing home the virus, makes me equal parts excited and exhausted. Excited because YAY I AM LEAVING THE HOUSE. Exhausted because leaving the house means packing a million different things in order for me to feel safe.

Here are my handbag essentials for the Coronavirus pandemic:

  1. Hand sanitizer: This one is obvious. I like to take my own sanitizer because sometimes malls and stores have the icky one that goes on all thick and goopy. No, just no. This also came in handy for the one time I went in to a store and there was no one there to sanitize me because the guard was too busy flirting with the cosmetics lady. Three days later, another branch of the store had to close because one of their staff tested positive for the Covid virus. You can never be too safe.
  2. Disinfectant wipes: I like to use these to wipe down my handbag and anything else like the car door handle. These wipes are a lifesaver if you came across the type of store that takes down peoples details and has everyone using the same pen.
  3. Backup mask: I rarely use my mask until I am in the car. Sometimes I find out that the mask I picked is too big or just doesn’t fit right. I carry a back-up mask just in case.
  4. Wallet with driver’s license, bank cards and enough cash if needed to tip guards: I prefer using cards so I don’t have to touch cash. However I remember way back before we had so many positive cases in South Africa (I think it was March), there was a female car guard who helped me with my trolley but refused to touch the packets. She explained that she had heard what was going on and would not touch my groceries. I packed the car, thanked her but made sure to tip her. I don’t know exactly how much a car guard takes home but it made me sad that she was probably losing her livelihood already due to the beginning of the virus.

What are your handbag must-haves? Is there something that I am missing? I’d love to know below.

Fiction Friday: Bookworm Buys

I have not spent as much time reading as I should. However the one bookish thing I do whenever I am not reading is scouring the internet and bookstores for great deals (both bookish and not bookish).

So I thought why not create a section here where I can share some of the deals I’ve found. Maybe someone would find something that interests them.

  1. Reader’s Warehouse has a special where you can buy two boxsets and get 25% off
  2. “Midnight Sun” by Stephanie Meyer is out! Bargain Books Umhlanga has it for R295. I went in-store to check it out and the book is HUGE! It actually looks bigger than “Breaking Dawn.”
  3. If you’re fine with venturing out in public, CNA is having a R20 sale. On some stores this applies to their cute stationary as well so definitely stock up if this applies to your nearest store.
  4. Not technically a sale but a bookish deal that you should not miss. “Awkward in Print” by Rachel Rhodes is $3.44 on Amazon.com

PSA: Check in on Your Loved Ones

lady in window

So in South Africa, we have been in Lockdown for about 4 months. While most of the city and businesses have opened, we are still technically not allowed to visit or spend time with family members.

Now I don’t know you or what your own rules are regarding the pandemic but here in South Africa, most people are breaking the rules.

If you are one of them or even if you aren’t, make sure that you are taking the time to keep in contact with your loved ones especially if they live alone.

While we have been assisting with doing shopping for both of my grans, once the spread increased, we stopped all contact so it’s been about a month or two since I’ve seen either of them.

Whether it’s a phone call, video call or a Whatsapp message, make sure you are checking on your family and making sure that they are okay during this trying time.

Life in the Time of Corona

My alarm goes off at 5:20AM. I ignore it and drift back to a half-asleep state. It doesn’t matter if I’m late. There’s no traffic. My mother wakes me up at 5:30AM and this time I finally get out of bed.

I stumble to the bathroom with my eyes half-closed and pick up my toothbrush. I brush my teeth with one hand and with the other I check the news sites for anything related to Covid-19.

This is an everyday routine. This is our new normal. When we went back to work three weeks ago, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to adjust after more than a month at home but surprisingly it took me a short while to accept our new world.

I leave home at 6:50AM, careful to ensure that I have a freshly washed mask. Our company provided us with three black ones but I have been starting a collection of infinitely more colourful options.

Once I get to work, it’s time for our temperature check. The drive to work is only twenty minutes but I make sure to arrive early just for the temperature check. The lines can get long and I hate waiting even with social distancing.

The lady checked my temperature, has me sign attendance and then sanitizes my hands. I still have to go in the building and press the button for the lift which still creeps me out. The lift reeks of disinfectant but all the same, I am careful not to touch any part of it.

When I get to my desk, it is either already cleaned or in the process of being cleaned. Desks are cleaned daily and the entire office has a night cleaning with extra strong chemicals (allegedly. I’ve obviously never seen these people but I feel pretty good about our cleaning routine).

I sit down at my desk and use the sanitizer given to us by management to clean my hands again after using the lifts. I start up my pc and make small talk with the staff.

We are all spaced apart on the floor and if anyone is approaching you for conversation, masks are required.

There is a limit on the number of staff allowed in areas such as the kitchen and seating areas (the same goes for stores).

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there’s a pandemic going around. We have adjusted to the rules pretty well.

Life has been going on as normal. Sure you can’t see friends and family nor can you touch them.

But you can go to work, go to the store and almost live your life as normal.

It makes me wonder was I wrong in freaking out when this all started? It has been 3 months since we were first hit with the virus. Our numbers are 20 000+ confirmed cases and 300+ deaths. All things considered it seems like South Africa is handling the virus relatively okay.

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