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Posted by & filed under Reviews.

A few months back, I purchased an Apple Watch. Since then, I’ve been able to learn how to use and I love it! I wear my watch almost every single day. During the Apple announcement last week, I noticed that the new series 1 and 2 watches have some slight updates. At this time, I’m sticking with my original!

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Here are a few pros and cons around the Apple Watch.

PROS

1. I love how the rose gold and lavender looks on my arm and paired with other bracelets and accessories. My wrist is on the smaller side, so it just works with the small faced 32mm Apple Watch.

2. Holds a charge for a little over a day. If I plug it in each night, I don’t have to worry about it running out during the day.

3. It reminds me to stand up throughout the day. For those of us with desk jobs, this reminder comes in handy. It makes me feel like my watch wants me to stay fit. We are on the same page!

4. It vibrates when I’m getting directions to help remind me of upcoming turns. I like how it does this so that as a subtle but effective push in the right direction.

5. Makes me look “tech savvy” – it’s definitely a great conversation starter. You see another person wearing one and instantly have an ice breaker. Or if I see someone wearing a different tech watch, we can compare specs. For me, this works mostly with guys. They get really excited to share stories about their watches.

6. I like being able to track my workouts and set fitness goals. It’s great at tracking steps throughout the day and it automatically updates myFitnessPal to adjust my calories for the day.

7. Find my iPhone button – I love this feature. I no longer have to text a friend from my computer or iPad to call me so that I can figure out where my phone went. With the press of a button, my phone bleeps and I can find it. Win all around for me.

8. Voice to text – this just makes life easier when replying to people on the go.

CONS

1. It doesn’t always pair with my iPhone. This isn’t automatic and I thought it would be without me having to do anything.

2. The watch face scratches easily. Mine has a couple of minor scrapes and scratches but nothing major.

3. It’s not waterproof. I’ve worn my watch to the beach and washed dishes without fear, but it’s not waterproof so whenever I have it on I always have to remember to be careful around water. I have never submerged it in water.

4. The charger – It’s different from the iPhone and iPad charger. So, if you forget it, it’s hard to find a replacement or backup on the go. I usually take mine with me if I have to travel overnight. Otherwise, the charge holds solid overnight while I sleep.

Posted by & filed under Fitness.

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve seen a few posts here and there hinting at the fact that I injured my knee. Today, I’ve decided to share a little bit more about the how.

The last week in April, I was having a super stressful day and decided that I should go for a run. This isn’t out of the blue for me, at the time I averaged between 4-8 miles per week and for that week in particular I had planned to start my Peachtree road race training. My training plan was printed and everything. I left my home and hit the sidewalk for a warm 4 mile run to Beyoncé. A mile out from my house, I felt a sharp pain in my knee. I was running pretty fast and afraid that if I put my knee down the pain would intensify. So, I caught myself with my hands and cell phone (smashed my protective glass cover case and scraped my case).

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Working out with my brace post injury.

My knee hurt, but the pain wasn’t unfamiliar. I injured my knee in high school trying to do an aerial at cheerleading practice. For those unfamiliar with an aerial: think a cartwheel with no hands. My knee was healthy enough to cheer three more years after that and carry me through countless training runs, 5ks, 10ks and half marathons. This injury was different though. I sat by a telephone pole and mentally convinced myself I was tough enough and no longer embarrassed about falling to walk the mile back home and rest my knee some fully intending to just carry on business as usual the next day.

 

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A side by side comparison of my knees on day 2. On the left is my swollen right knee.

My knee was swollen when I woke up. I couldn’t walk without pain. I worked from home and told myself it would be fine the next day. It wasn’t. One urgent care visit, one orthopedic visit, two braces and an MRI later: I found out I dislocated my patella (knee cap) and had some torn ligaments. The doctor said I was lucky to not need surgery. I felt incredibly blessed that the injury was not worse.

I had to admit to myself that this injury wasn’t one that I could just wait out in hopes that it would go away. It’s been a very humbling and revelatory experience that I plan to share more about. Most importantly, I had to slow down. While running and even power walking are both great stress relievers for me, they are not part of my current fitness routine. I’ve added in workouts like biking, and water aerobics, ice packs and stretching.

I don’t see running in my immediate future. I’m okay with that now, but it definitely took some time to get used to.

Have you ever dealt with an injury that made you change your workout routine?

Posted by & filed under Life & More.

Fall.thegreatdanaj

 

I can’t believe that it’s almost fall. Where has the year gone? My summer was relaxing and hot. Exactly what I wanted after my transition earlier this year. I am so excited for fall. Something about the season changing and looking forward has me feeling really good right now. Here are a few things that I want to do this fall:

It’s on my bucket list to go apple picking. I always think about it, but this year I’m actually going for it. I’ve been looking up farms and picking dates.

Fall foods. I’m excited to add acorn squash, apples, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, figs and winter squash to my weekly meal planning.

Drinking great tea. I’m especially excited for warm green tea lattes with almond milk. I know this is not seasonal, but Starbucks just started offering almond milk as an option for drinks. I prefer almond over soy and coconut milk when I get my signature drink. Coconut and matcha don’t mix well in my opinion. Can’t wait to see how it tastes.

After 70 days of 90+ degree weather, I’m excited for the crisp, cool days of fall. I can’t wait to wear my flannel shirts again.

Try to make the most of the new season.

Happy fall y’all!

Posted by & filed under Events.

Last week, the night before the new Maxwell album came out I got a preview of blackSUMMERS’night his latest album in seven years. I’ve been a Maxwell fan since my cousin played Ascension for me when I was in fourth grade. It sounded so different and he looked like no one else out at the time. In adulthood, I’ve just started to really understand his love songs. What I really like about this album is that you can listen from start to finish and enjoy every single song. I can’t say that for many of the albums out these days. It’s consistent with his previous albums and I like that. Additionally, it’s an album that I wouldn’t mind gifting to others. I still buy albums and songs that I like. I go for the digital copies because my home computer doesn’t have a cd drive and because it’s instant, but I’m not against buying a cd for someone else. My dad is becoming more and more tech savvy. He’s discovering new artists on Vevo. He can’t remember his iTunes password so, the physical cd would make a great gift for him! I think he’d also enjoy this album.

 

DanaJ.MaxwellPreview

 

My favorite songs on the album:

Gods

The Fall
Of All Kind

 

Listen to this album when:

– Relaxing over a glass of wine

– Reading a good book

– Chilling by the pool and you want to turn down

– With your summer bae

– During your workout cool down and stretch

 

Have you heard the new Maxwell album? I recommend checking it out.

Posted by & filed under Life & More.

I have always wanted to work in marketing ever since I was younger. I found this great rhythm with working in social media. I knew that I didn’t want to leave this field. However, I just felt like I was living out the movie Groundhog Day with each new professional step. If you haven’t seen that movie before, there’s this guy named Phil Connors (Bill Murray) who lives the same day over and over again. No one knows he’s living out the same day over and over except for him. Which sucks. At first, he has fun with it but eventually he gets fed up. Maybe that’s what happened to me? I became frustrated for too many reasons to list. Then I became sad because things weren’t going my way. It was exhausting.

Then, I stopped trying to force things to happen and I just focused on trying to understand and improve what I could where I could until I learned what I needed to learn and could move on. I had this list of things I wanted in a new opportunity. I wanted to move out of managing the day to day logistics of social and transition into a more strategic role at a larger organization. In Groundhog Day, Phil ends the cycle of waking up everyday to the same day by making it the best day possible. Focusing on making the best of what was in front of him as opposed to anything else.

I’m happy to share that I have found that role and will be starting a new job on Monday! I was able to find a great opportunity focused on doing exactly what I want (strategy) and moving away from day to day social and community engagement. I’ll share more as I ease into the new role. For anyone out there going through something similar: stay encouraged. Find the best part about where you are and focus more on that than what you don’t have. Focus on what your heart desires and less on how disappointed you are. You’ll make it!

%22Keeping your eye on the future is essential for making the most of today.%22-2

Posted by & filed under Books.

LivingForwardBook.thegreatdanaj

I finished reading Living Forward!

I shared 3 of my favorite things about the book after I first started reading. Now that I’m finished, here are my thoughts on the entire book.

Let me preface this by saying, I’m a Michael Hyatt follower and have been for years. So, when I first started reading this book I kept thinking of how the advice sounded like something in one of his blogs or podcasts. I’m totally cool with that. I do think that sometimes we need to hear good advice multiple times before it really sinks in that: hey, I need to actually do this. That’s one thing that really stands out about this book, all of the people who endorse creating a life plan. They aren’t permanently drifting.

 

What is the drift?

 

Well, the drift is something that pulls us of the right course in life. I can speak closely to the concept because I just got out go the drift. It’s when you are living your life and suddenly realize: hey, I’m not doing the things I need to do in order to get where I need to go. Hence, the drift.

 

Like that song Waves says, Drifting Away….wave after wave.

 

It’s when you are doing things living your life but areas of your life are a bit stalled. It happens for so many reasons. Ignoring it doesn’t help, but acknowledging it is essential to helping get back on track! Before I read this chapter of the book, I didn’t really know how to define “the drift”. What I did recognize was the consequences of the drift. Staying off track for too long has detrimental impact on out lives.

 

My favorite thing about this book is it explores the positive and negative aspects of planning and building a future for the reader. That’s an area that needs constant refinement. With a guide like Living Forward, you can continue to create the most optimal future. Yeah, things happen along the way, but with the tips in this book some of the detours can be navigated better. Notice that I did not say you can avoid all of the bad things, but navigating them better is essential. If you are searching for something that can help you lay out a solid plan for planning out your future, check out Living Forward. It’s a quick and impactful read that will offer gems of wisdom over time.

Posted by & filed under Life & More.

I’m glad that this week is over and done. The weather was so rainy and miserable. It’s great to see the sun again today. Here are a few of my favorites from the past couple of days.
Donuts!
I had the pleasure of tasting multiple donuts at Bon Glaze.
All the donuts.
Bon Glaze is a new donut shop in Brookhaven.  They have the cutest little shop next to a pediatric dentist, fitness center and private school. I’ll definitely be going back. Especially for date night.
Selfie with my favorite one, the Butterscotch Bacon!
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Movies
Thanks to Netflix I’ve been watching some great movies. I just saw Dope and over the last week I watched Brotherly Love. I highly recommend both of them. Great story, good looking casts and Brotherly Love had a great unexpected twist to the end.
BrotherlyLoveMoviePoster
At the theater, I checked out Deadpool and it was excellent. It was my very first Ryan Reynolds movie. I thought he was funny and the movie overall was one of the best Marvel movies that I’ve ever seen.
Favorite Quote
This is the quote that stands out most for me out of the book Living Forward. I plan to finish it up over the weekend.
quote.thegreatdanaj
Anything fun planned this weekend? I hope to get outside and enjoy the sun here in ATL.
Have a great one!

Posted by & filed under Books.

Happy Wednesday! I’ve been sticking to one of my resolutions for 2016 to read more books! If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I’ve been using the hashtag #danajreads to track the books and magazines that I’m reading.

A few weeks ago, I joined the Living Forward Launch Team!

livingforward.thegreatdanaj

 

That means, that I got an early copy of the new book by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy book called Living Forward A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want.  I’ve been following Michael Hyatt’s blog for years. Here’s my review of his last book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Of course, I’m thrilled to be part of the launch team, and after reading the first couple chapters of the book, I am positive that this book is right on time for where I am in my life. Here are three things you need to know about Living Forward from what I’ve read so far:

1. It’s an easy read: the authors use personal stories to emphasize the importance of creating a life plan.

2. It’s super short: the book totals a whopping 203 pages. That means it will be a quick but impactful read!

3. Rave reviews: Before the book even starts there are pages of reviews from fellow authors like Donald Miller, Shauna Niequist, executives like Dan Cathy and Martin Whalen. A total of 50+ people who believe in the power of a life plan.

I have downloaded the life plan worksheet for Evernote to get started drafting out my new and improved life plan. The great news is that if you pre-purchase a copy, there are great benefits. Here are all of the details about how to get the pre-order bonuses.

I plan to finish the book this weekend and will review it as well. Look out for that next week!

Posted by & filed under Life & More.

Hello Friday! It’s been an incredibly long week for me. But the weekend it’s a holiday weekend. Well, if you consider Valentine’s Day a holiday. Seriously though, it is also President’s Day weekend so yeah, two holidays ;).

Anyway, I thought that I would do a Friday Favorites with all of my favorite Valentine’s Day things. Take a look at what made the cut:

Music
I found out about this album called Hours Spent Loving You courtesy of Spotify. It’s easy listening electric type of R&B vibe. The project is a collaboration between SPZRKT and Sango and I love it. Great soundtrack to a Valentine’s Day get together.

I also made this Spotify themed Valentine’s playlist here.

Valentine’s Day Decor
I bought the cutest Valentine’s Day pillow and mug at Target! I want to get one or two items to decorate for each holiday. I can also use this love pillow with my Christmas pillows I found last holiday at Pottery Barn. And I love all mugs with or without a theme :).

 

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ValentinesMug.thegreatdanaj
Most Favorite Love Pin
Here’s my favorite Love quote from my Pinterest board.

Date Night Dress
I got this Maison Jules one here that is adorable and right on time for Valentine’s Day.
This Calvin Klein one is my most popular pin!

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

 

By now you’ve heard all about Formation. Don’t worry, this is not another think piece about the song. I’ve read my share of those. And trust me, I’m just as over them as the rest of the world.
I’m not going to analyze the dance moves, hairstyles or messages. I don’t want to talk about how Red Lobster dropped the ball on its response that took hours on a Saturday to the “shout out” within the lyrics. Personally and professionally speaking, I don’t think they should have responded at all. Perhaps the reluctance to do so was intentional. In fact, Red Lobster sales jumped 33% on the Sunday after the mention over the same Sunday last year.
What I do want to call attention to is the ending of the song where Beyonce (essentially) says who knew one woman would start all of this conversation. That’s a powerful line. See Beyonce hasn’t done an interview in forever. That’s not her strength. This song was her way of using her craft to respond to critics and frustrations with the world we live in as she sees it. I watched the video and felt something. While that something is not unique to only me, it isn’t the same something that every person got from watching. I understand and respect that. So now it’s started a fire. A fire in terms of conversation. If it takes a song with a video that has meaning behind it, some impactful lyrics mixed in with some nonsensical parts as well to do that then so be it. It’s got people offended, empowered, fearful and moved. It has people feeling something and talking about it.
Everyone is talking about Beyonce.
Beyonce. Super Bowl 50
{source: Instagram}
Everyone is talking about what Formation is and what’s she trying to say.
And that’s what she wanted. That’s what she said would happen.
Isn’t that the best type of response to marketing?