I Am Rhonda James

Lifestyle. Career. Finance

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I Stopped Eating Meat For One Month And This Happened

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

For my New Year's Resolution, I made the decision that I wanted to transition into a meat-free diet. I got to a place where I didn't enjoy how I felt after eating certain meals, and my body was telling me that it was time for a change.

Can't lie. The idea of giving up meat sounded absurd. I had been consuming meat my entire life. My thoughts were just like any other person that isn't familiar with a meat-free diet. What you do eat? How do you get protein? Are you only eating fruits and veggies? 

Well, I knew I couldn't just dive into this. I knew that I had my work cut out for me and I wanted to research as much as I possibly could about removing meat completely out of my diet. I constantly searched through Pinterest and Youtube for ideas, until I had a grasp on how I wanted to get started.

In November, I started off removing meat from my breakfast. That was easy. Then I started to remove meat from my lunch. By the time dinner came rolling around, I needed some form of meat. Chicken, shrimp, steak...something. But after a while, my body got used to not needing it for dinner time either. 

Came January 1st, I removed meat entirely and was ready to take this seriously. 

I feel amazing. It's only been one month and I am already beginning to see the benefits of adopting a meat-free diet. 

I Don't Feel Sluggish
Normally, after each meal I would feel extremely tired and drained. The only thing that could remedy this was to simply take a nap. I didn't even have the energy to walk off a meal. I just couldn't muster the strength. But now, I've noticed that although I am full I don't feel tired. If anything, I have a ton of energy. 

I Sleep Through The Night
I wouldn't say that I had bad insomnia. But, I used to have an issue with falling asleep at night and waking up much earlier than I needed to. Now that I haven't had meat, I fall asleep just fine and my alarm clock actually wakes me up. I wake up feeling well rested. 

I Know My Body
When you begin to put more good than bad things into your body (because let's be real, I still chow down on potato chips) your body can easily let you know when something doesn't agree with you. I went out to eat with a friend and I ordered a spinach and mozzarella quesadilla. Although it was tasty, my body knew within 30 minutes that it was too much for me to handle.

No More Postpartum Shedding
When I stopped breastfeeding my son, postpartum shedding hit me hard. My hair was coming out in clunks each time I washed it or combed it. It was so bad that I had balding and thinning around my edges. I wash my hair once a week, and by week three...I noticed that I didn't see clumps of my hair coming out. The shedding has decreased significantly.

Reduced Bloating
I'm not saying that I've lost a tremendous amount of weight within this month, but I have noticed that I am not as bloated. I'm not a dietician or scientist to entirely piece together how my not eating meat, but I'm pretty sure it's safe to say increasing my vegetable intake in place of meat has helped.

5 Life Skills Every Woman Should Have

Thursday, February 15, 2018

1. How to sew on a button 
I remember working for Ann Taylor Outlet store during college. One day we had a customer try on a pair of pants, and the button had popped off. My Store Manager said, "Oh man, a perfectly good pair of pants. Guess we should write a damage ticket for it." I grabbed those pair of pants, and I sewed the button back on. My Store Manager was so impressed that I fixed it, and even admitted that she didn't think to sew it back on. Although a small skill, one that came in handy at that moment.

2. How to prepare at least one signature dish
I'm not a top chef, but I do have a signature dish I can go to whenever I want to really impress some people. I make a pretty mean Garlic Lemon Alfredo. In fact, it was the first meal I prepared for my husband when we were just dating.

3. How to check your tire pressure and put air in it
I can admit that anything car related is beyond me. If ever I had an issue with my car my father or my hubby is the person I call to. But learning to do small things for yourself like check your tire pressure is handy. My husband explained to me what I should be looking for if ever my tires a little low on air. That way, I know what to do next time around.

4. How to properly send a professional email
This skill is pretty universal, but knowing how to properly send a professional email speaks volumes for the boss chick. It shows that you understand how to properly address someone. It shows that you understand how to communicate, and articulate what you need. It shows that you know how to get ish done.

5. How to manage your finances
Done are the days of depending on anyone to take care of your finances. Understanding where you stand financially is HUGE. Knowing how money moves in and out of your home is something you should definitely master. Create a budget that will keep you on track with your expenses. That way, you won't need to rely on anyone else to do it for you.

4 Steps To Prepare For Unexpected Expenses

Monday, February 12, 2018
A woman’s hand with a ring and a polished nail holding an iphone towards a laptop on a desk with a distant flash drive.

Let's be honest with ourselves. The unexpected happens and as always, it can happen at the worst time.Your car breaks down. A pipe bursts under your kitchen sink. The refrigerator stops working. A government shutdown is issued.

Or, you have those yearly expenses that seem to creep up on you every year. Christmas, taxes, and birthdays. It feels like it's out of your control and is the pure definition of unexpected. So what do you do?

Well, you prepare for the unexpected.

It's kind of challenging to prepare for unexpected expenses when you don't know what those expenses may include. But doing the following beforehand will surely give you a leg up for when it happens.

Identify Those Unexpected Expenses
As I mentioned above, sometimes those yearly expenses creeps up on you. Before you know it, it's time to buy Christmas presents again. Do yourself a favor and stash a little aside each month for it. That way, when that time comes around again you aren't struggling to maneuver this expense around your regular bills.

Emergency Fund
Have an emergency fund handy. You never know when your tire may blowout on you and you need to buy a new tire. Or, when you'll need to hire a plumber. Having a separate stash already saved for those specific emergencies will alleviate the stress of trying to take care of it all at the last minute.

Move Funds Around
So maybe you planned to spend the money you had on a new pair of shoes. Well, for an unexpected expense you may have to give that up. Move some of your funds around to accommodate this need. It may not be fun to do, but at least you have the money available and on hand.

Credit Cards
I'm not pretty big on piling up credit to cards, but if an expenses hits you and there's no way of paying for it, use your credit card. It is smart to have in "in case of emergency" credit card that you use rarely. Just remember to pay that balance back.

How To Disagree With Your Boss and Not Get Fired

Let's face it, you're bound to disagree with a colleague at some point in your career. You won't always agree with the choices and decisions in the workplace. But when that person is your boss, it can get a bit tricky. How do you disagree with your boss without being condescending, disrespectful, and getting fired? Well, there's definitely a way.

The first thing to point out is that there's nothing wrong with having a disagreement with your boss. Just because they are your boss, it doesn't mean that they have the right answers to everything. That's why they have a team. You may not know it, but bosses rely on their team to keep them in check. They need you to let them know if something doesn't make sense or if they are overlooking a key ingredient that you have more insight to.

Your boss will appreciate knowing that you aren't a "Yes" person, and that you're capable of professionally vocalizing your opinion.

So how do you disagree with your boss and not get fired? 

Schedule a Meeting
Blurting out in front of several others that you don't agree with your boss' decision is a huge no no. Take a moment to schedule a meeting where you can speak directly with your supervisor.

Start Positive
It may not be wise to go straight in blabbing off the negatives. Start on a positive note. Take time to point out the positives before immediately diving into what you feel is wrong. Once you've describe the positives, you can smoothly segue into how whatever you're disagreeing on could be an issue.

Ask Questions
Maybe you disagree because there are some components that weren't made very clear. But by asking questions, it shows that you truly care and take a genuine interest in wanting to understand. This may help ease your discomfort and you may no longer disagree.

Explain Why You Disagree
You can't disagree without having hard reasoning for why. Provide a clear explanation for why you disagree. Be careful, however, that you aren't speaking down to your supervisor. Remove your personal feelings from the situation, and provide evidence that your disagreeing is coming from a good place.

Provide Alternatives
Naturally, if you're going to disagree you will need to provide an alternative action. There's nothing worse than telling your boss you disagree and having nothing in response when asked, "So what do you think we should do instead?" Be prepared and have a follow up to this question.

Respect The Final Call
At the end of the day, it's your boss. So all final decisions are left to them. Whatever the decision may be, whether you agree or not, you have to respect it. Feel pleased to know that you at least stated your concerns and presented them professionally. In the future, it may leave your supervisor to feel comfortable with seeking your advice on a tough call.

How To Get Over An Argument With Your Partner

Thursday, February 8, 2018

You and your partner are going to get into arguments. There. I said it. There really isn't any way around that fact. It is very rare for two individuals to come together and not disagree on something at some point of their joint lives. But the biggest hurdle, is learning how to get over whatever you're arguing about.

I confess. I have had my moments where I held onto an argument for far longer than I should have. I would walk around thinking I'm teaching my husband a lesson because he got the silent treatment. In the end, it caused much more frustration stomping around all angry days later than necessary.

When you hold onto an argument, you're letting the issue fester. It grows, and it begins to spiral into something new that wasn't there to begin with. So here's what you should try:

Give Each Other Space
Take a breather. Give one another a few minutes to collect yourself and try again. Sometimes it helps to calm yourself down before diving into an argument hot. Once you've calmed down, you find that you're able to hear your parner better and understand their perspective.

Hold Hands
I know this one sounds weird, but it works. The idea of touching your partner when you're angry may sound as if you're adding fuel to the fire, but making yourself see past the argument to hold hands forces you to calm yourself down.

Take Turns
When you argue, you tend to talk over one another. In the end, neither of you are hearing what the other is saying. Take turns speaking. That gives you the opportunity to clear the air, explain your side of the situation without any interruptions or yelling.

This can be a hard one. It's hard to apologize if you don't see where you contributed to the argument. But either way, you hurt your partner and that's something to be apologetic about. Be the bigger person and accept that you played a role into the disagreement as well and apologize.

Once you've apologized, forgive your partner. Agree that you are able to accept that there was a misunderstanding and that you're ready to move past it. This is a joint effort and both of you has to agree that all is forgiven once you've understood what created the argument from the beginning.

How To Get Over An Argument With Your Partner

13 Signs You're Doing Much Better Than You Think

Monday, February 5, 2018

I know. Sometimes life hits you HARD. It feels like one thing happens after the other. It feels like you're constantly being knocked down. It feels like there is just no way to get back up. But I promise...you are doing better than you think.

We've all been there. We've all hit our rut at some point in time, and it was nearly impossible to see the sun shining through the cloudy skies. But for 2018, I've been learning to be more appreciative of the little things that reminds me I'm in way better position than it appears.

You woke up this morning

You have a job

You have a car

You have at least one good friend

You ate something today

You have a roof over your head

Someone loves you

You love someone too

You paid your bills this month

You have at least five outfits in your closet

You're healthy

You have time to enjoy a hobby

You can make decisions for yourself

Can you say that any of these apply to you? Trust me...you're doing pretty good.

Why Working Customer Service Sets You Apart

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sometimes, working in customer service tends to get a bad rep. All people can think about is the simple fact that the primary role of your job is to serve others. All they see are the angry, rude, and irate customers. All they see are the hard to please and the "I would like to speak to your manager" customers. But I have worked in customer service for a very large portion of my working career, and I can tell you that working in a field that is customer driven isn't all bad.

My first job was a cashier at Publix. I've worked several retail clothing stores. I've worked in call centers, and even my current full time role is at a museum. I have had my fair share of customers, and I can admit that some can be like mentioned above. I would be lying if I said that working customer service is always a breeze.

But truth is, being able to say that you have customer service skills or that you've worked in a role that is customer facing really sets you apart. Here's why:

Customers aren't always easy to deal with.

Sometimes you get those customers that feel "the customer is always right." Sometimes you get those customers that have no clue what they want or how you can help them. Sometimes you get those customers that seem impossible to make happy.

But working in this field shows that you have the patience needed to oversee the behavior of that customer and still serve. Not everyone possesses this quality. It takes a lot out to get a verbal beating from someone that you're simply trying to help.

In my early 20's, I used to work for a call center that serviced self-publishing books. I once had a customer that was so angry that her published book didn't turn out as she felt it should have. Of course, she calls into our call center demanding that the problem be fixed. The issue was not on our end. It was an error that the customer misentered. But despite who's at fault, it was very hard for me to calm this customer down so that I could help her.

Well, needless to say she lit into my ass. I was called everything in the book except a child of God. And despite how badly I wanted to curse her back out, I had to find an alternative way to deescalate the situation. No. I wasn't able to refund her purchase on the several books she had already ordered. But, I was able to cut a deal for her next order to correct it.

Customers need someone that can explain things to them clearly.

Nine times out of ten if you're in a position that's customer focused, your role requires a fair amount of product knowledge. Any customer should be able to come to you seeking answers with expectations that you can deliver. Even if you don't know the answer personally, you know where to get it. 

Learning the ins and outs to obtain the appropriate product knowledge shows that you're not only able to retain a ton of information, but you're able to provide answers that is relevant to their needs.

Happy Customers Always Return

Providing exceptional service means that happy customers will always come back. While I worked in retail clothing stores, I always had customers seek me out specifically because they knew I provided the service they needed and wanted. Although it may seem small, this resonates with supervisers. To see that you're able to make such a huge impact means that not only will customers return, but business will steadily grow with you on their team.