Author Archives: Janay Lampkin

Cross Country Moves From a Pro

As someone that has moved every single year for the past 7 years, i’ve become quite the professional, to say the least – at least, I like to think so. However the past two years have been especially different. I’ve put this post off for over a year now because I wanted to “wait until I felt more settled.” So bear with me, here. This might get a little confusing.

3 Years of Moving in a Nutshell

For anyone that goes out of state for college, you can probably relate to apartment hopping every year to a newer and cuter apartment with lower rent. However post-college typically goes one of two ways for people. Some find a job in a new city and move away where they find home in a brand new city where they will stay in for a bit longer than the typical 12 month lease. Others move back home with family to save money (oh, how I wish i could go back and do this). Well for me, 2 years zipped by. I snagged a sweet position at a start up, met two incredible best friends (that I still IM all day long with) and made connections with people in the PR industry that i will always cherish. Once i hit the “2-3 years of experience mark” I finally decided it was the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a year near my family. Rather than moving a few miles away to a different apartment with a better balcony view or a backsplash I could just not live without, I decided to pack up my life in Phoenix and drive everything I owned in a U-Haul to San Francisco (with the help of my mother of course). 

For most this is an easy decision, all of the boxes are checked — I will get to live near my parents, brother, nieces, cousins and their precious babies and get a brand new job in a new city. What more could I need? Well for Type A, worry about every-little-change-or-possibility me; this was such a hard one. I was moving further away from my boyfriend (yes, the NFL is quite the long distance relationship advocate for those starting careers), away from all of my friends, and most importantly, I was leaving my safe zone.

Fast forward a year. I made wonderful new relationships, lived in a gorgeous apartment in Oakland, CA (that i spent entirely too much money on) and spent almost every other weekend with my family (when I wasn’t traveling back and forth to New England to see my boyfriend). After 3 long seasons of long distance, it was time to call the whole long distance thing quits. (FINALLY) My job agreed to allow me to work from the east coast, my lease was ending, and this time I packed up my belongings with a smile on my face. Typically change scared me, this time It just felt right. Here are my quick and dirty tips for moving A LOT, and staying sane.

Make lists, lots of lists

Like I mentioned many times before, I am a Leo to my core. Organization, plans, lists, and controlling the controllable are my forté. I LOVE the reminders and notes app on my iPhone. Regardless of which device I’m using the wonderful iCloud syncs everything for you, so whether you are running errands with your apple watch, or freelancing into the wee hours of the morning, I can always update and cross things off my never ending list.

Trim the fat

I don’t know about you, but as I get older I always find myself questioning “if i will need something in X years.” If you haven’t worn that chunky knit in over a year, let it go, sis. This goes for everything – shoes, accessories, handbags. Unless it’s an investment piece, it’s not worth the struggle. Whether you are shipping your belongings or checking bags, it’s better to only stick with the items you know you will need. All of the maybe’s aren’t worth the drama. Everything else can go in luggages or these storage containers. They stack, they are spacious, they are cheap.

Do as much as possible before hand

This goes for literally everything. Scheduling set up times with your utilities companies (no Wi-Fi is scary), shipping yourself items you don’t need during the move but don’t want to re-purchase (cleaning supplies, wall art, framed photos).

Think ahead about your pet

If you don’t have a pet, skip ahead. Emotional Support is real and I am so thankful my boyfriend encouraged me to take the steps in registering my bulldog as an ESAN. My therapist recommended traveling with my pet during my move to reduce anxiety. I don’t know about you, but the thought of my baby underneath the cargo of an airplane literally makes my stomach turn. Be sure to do your research and work with the airlines before hand, for obvious reasons there are a ton of steps to take when traveling with an ESAN but it can eliminate so many extra costs if you think ahead. My English Bulldog is a very happy and friendly pup and loves attention so I giving him a loooooong walk and Benedryl before the flight usually does the trick. Almost all airports (in the US) have a pet relief area which you can typically access through your airline app.

What has been your life saving tip while moving? How did you overcome long-distance in your relationship? Share your tips in the comments below!

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My Feminism is Black

It has taken me months to even articulate what this feels like.

November stung, more than I anticipated and yes, I cried like a baby when Donald Trump was announced the 45th President of the United States. I was scared, more angry then I am used to feeling and my anxiety draped over me like a heavy blanket as I had to muster up the courage to face reality.

Because after all. All of the odds are against me.

I am a WOMAN. A product of a BIRACIAL marriage – my father is BLACK and my mother is the daughter of a Filipino IMMIGRANT.

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I am fearful for black lives, muslim lives, women’s lives, LGBTQ lives. Some of my best friends make up these communities. Why don’t we matter?

But then the Women’s March came. A march that I had mixed emotions about attending and/or supporting, initially. A march that would be looked at as just another “protest” in Oakland, California. While I am fully here for equal rights and pay for women, I am hurting for the 258 black lives that were taken in 2016 by police officers. I finally realized where I stand in this mess – I am a feminist because of my blackness.

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Saturday, January 21 2017. I woke up with a fire inside of me, and I am so thankful that I listened to it. I marched through Downtown Oakland with two women that inspire me most. Two women that have valued education, independence, and equality. My best friend’s mother (left) and my mother (right).

I held my mom’s hand with tears in my eyes, and got to experience a moment so special to me that I will never forget. The entire city of Oakland chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “Yes we can, Yes we will”, and our solidarity was louder than ever. For the first time, in a long time, I wasn’t scared.

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Saturday was magic. 

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And while I skimmed through jarring headlines just 24 hours later, January 21st will always be magic. I pray that we continue to stand together as allies, and that as a nation we always stand up for what is right as a human race.

Because after all, love is love is love is love.

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Lovely Links

links that are

1. Because everything deserves to be lovely, even your toilet paper holder. (Designlovefest.com)

2. Because everyone should be rocking these lip colors this month. (vogue.com)

3. Because, I’m nerdy and even smart people are misusing these phrases. (inc.com)

4. Because I will never get over ikea, and these are some pretty awesome pieces. (domainehome.com)

5. Because everyone can use a good contour tip every once in a while.  (byrdie.com)

Christmas in Hawaii

2014 was a very trying year for me. Despite the hardships this year, I am so incredibly blessed that I was fortunate enough to spend the last ten days of the year with my beautiful family in Hawaii.

My parents and I met in Honolulu to spend Christmas with my brother who now attends UH Manoa.  I was so blown away by how over due this family vacation was. Since my parents have joined the ’empty nesters’ club, we haven’t done much family bonding. We laughed until our stomachs hurt, spoiled each other with thoughtful gifts, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Where did you spend the holidays?

Weekends Are For Traveling

When life gets stressful and a little too pushy, take a mini-vacay.

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The month of November challenges me to stay mindful of everything I am thankful for.  This week I am thankful for the constant beauty surrounding me, my amazing friends and family, and God’s grace.

What are you thankful for?

Yes we can, Halloween edition.

Like every other fashion enthusiast on this planet, I love a good Halloween costume.  However, this year was a little tricky.  Drowning in work projects and busy schedules, I just couldn’t find the time to DIY my life away.  So after a few nights spent searching hashtags, my wardrobe and Pinterest, I came up with this.

Rosie the Riveter…. Beyonce style 😉

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You can never go wrong with an iconic costume idea.  And although, I didn’t have time to create a perfect backdrop – I took advantage of chalkboard paint.

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What were you for Halloween?

Monday Inspo

Whenever the weather begins to cool down, it’s so easy to start to get lost in our daily routines and a little less easy to stay on top of the little things that keep us going.  Since I find that motivation is the usually the root of my happiness, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite words of wisdom that keep me inspired and thankful.

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Everyone deserves to do at least one thing they love to do everyday.  Don’t hide behind responsibilities – You have as many hours in the day as Beyonce, girlfriend.

(via KWilentz)

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Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my work/ fitness/ busy schedule, that I forget to appreciate the littlest things – like how blessed I am to get to spend so much time with my best friend every single day (which also happens to be my boyfriend).  He is the world’s BEST eating partner, movie critic, comedian *sometimes*, and snuggler.

(Via Bustle Events)

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Leather is always a good idea.

Happy first day of Fall, fashionistas! Just like the rest of the women in this world, I am obviously obsessed with all things related to Fall – well except Pumpkin-spiced Lattes. I’ll stick with my zebra mocha, thanks though.  But otherwise yes, I DIE for the riding boots, chunky scarves, holiday food; but most of all the LEATHER! Since Arizona hasn’t quite received the Fall weather memo, yet – I have been forcing leather into my wardrobe every chance I get!

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Necklace: Top Shop |  Shoes: Top Shop | Dress: Brandy Melville | Jacket: Trouvé

This Trouvé gem appeared on the Nordstrom sale rack last Christmas.  (I must have done something right in this life to be so deserving). 

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Coming from a Neutrals-only-girl, this burgundy leather hits the spot.  It literally goes with EVERYTHING.  However, I’ve been on the lookout for a new leather jacket for over a month now! Here are a few I can’t stop day dreaming about…

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What is your favorite piece to wear in the Fall?