#issa2monthrecap (months 7/8)

hey yall …. were a few days into July- well 8 days in …

here’s a catch up of the past two months (May and June) …….

yup! long post …. enjoy! thanks for following the blog…. and feel free to share it!


A while ago I posted what a day in my life is like and that post was so interesting to me because every day is so completely different.

Today is a work day. It’s my weekend since its Monday and I am off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays … I started the day with a run – 4.25KM and laundry (yeah i know #adulting) I am home working on my blog, while waiting for a package – hoping it arrives before I leave for work. I will leave for work about noon – and it takes about 30-35 minutes to get to work on the metro. I take two trains to work, one train has two stops – I transfer- and my second train has 5 stops. Then its a quick walk into the mall where my job is. My center is inside Hongkou Plaza Mall – its a language training center where kids come after school for English class. I have two classes today- finishing work at 8:30- then who knows???

    

 

 

 

 

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it was hot yall! and i went running early!

    

Nice Day ….it got warm quick!  7/08/18 Sanhe Garden


May 2018 Month 7

May was busy – but what month isn’t busy???

Highlights of this month

Friends Cafe – I love the show FRIENDS … so when I heard that there was a FRIENDS Cafe here I had to check it out. Super fun and small and the street that its on has a NY vibe. Fun!

Kick Ya Feet Up!

 

That Classic Purple Door

 

Disneyland twice! 

Of course I went to Disneyland… I went once with my friends daughter and another time for a work event.

Fun with Akiya
What Up Mickey

 

#BlackinChina #SistaFriends #AdventuresofKarlaandChristen

 

Say Cheese!

 

Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory- I think yes!
Disney Work Day!!! …. shoot! I had to go to Disneyland for work … tough life!

 

Disney VoluntEARS– Disney has opportunities to volunteer – if you choose- not mandatory with work- I volunteered at a local children’s hospital. We did simple coloring activities with the kids and just hung out. The kids couldn’t be out of their rooms long, but I was so glad to help!


June 2018 Month 8

Highlights of this month

Running Goal I set a goal to run 100KM in June and I SMASHED that goal. I ran/logged 141km/87.6 miles. I think I am still tired from this … and its July 8, 2018 … lol!

Image result for laughing gif kevin hart nah …i know im still tired!!!! so i am only doing 35 km this month along with some other workout routines….

    

Almost hit my year running goal and SMASHED my June goal!

Fake 5K – Yo! I was so hype that I could finally do a 5K. It was on a Saturday morning, at 8:30 and I dont go to work until 12:15 … I just knew I could run 5 kilometers in a hour or less – get home to shower and chanMge and get to work on time. Only the 5K didnt start at 8:30 it started when they wanted it to. None of the volunteers could tell me why it wasn’t starting on time- and the distance was only 3.2K when I got to the finish. Yall I was HOT! I was hoping to PR – so that didn’t happen and it started to rain during the run… but I did it and I got a medal and a certificate so theres that!!!

booo it rained on us … i was tired… and had to hurry to work after

Fellas– OMG! If you are ever in Shanghai you need to go to FELLAS.

My sisters friend was coming to Shanghai with her PhD cohort – and I was determined with my random schedule to meet up with them. They had a full – packed-tight schedule but we were able to meet up for dinner. It was fantastic. I had eggplant parmesan and calamari but the highlight was Malikah’s lamb! It was amazing! The view of The Bund/Pearl Tower and Shanghai Skyline was amazing.

We had good conversation with some ‘Shanghai’nese’ folks sitting next to us which I will share about in another post.

#blackgirlmagicinshanghai #blackinchina #fellas
this lamb tho
calamari!
i asked for ice and they gave me these fintstone looking ice cubes

 

my summer buddy- Anja!

Hiking – Went on a hike with a friend to Seshan National Forest – just off of Metro Line 9 here in Shanghai. The hike was a 5.2 on the tough meter if were measuring it 1-10 and 10 being super tough. It was nice to get outside of the city, away from all the people, and all the second hand smoke (smoking is serious here in China) and just enjoy!

Pictures from hiking …

my fitness buddy Nicole … she had the great idea to go hiking

over it…. over it…

 


Whew Yall … I am in my 9th month of living in Shanghai … and of course nothing is perfect or always sweet peach cobbler and red kool-aid (on the real some red kool aid sounds really good right now) but …. ya know … I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

Nope!

Not……

……A

Thing.

How yall doing with your goals you set at the beginning of the year …. here are the goals I set and how I am doing with them … we are in the second 1/2 of the year … let’s crush our goals!

Here are the goals I posted/shared in January-

  1. Because of my work schedule it is hard to sign up athletic events like 5K/10K/Stair Climb type events I would do at home. I want to do 1 event this year. If I can work that in my schedule that would be great. (oh – Christmas week I did Jingle Bell Run 5K with coworkers- it was cold – I don’t like being cold) I did a 5K- well Fake 5K – but whatever in June! 
  1. Read 2 books for pleasure. Yo! I am on my 4th book. This is great. I will share what I have been reading soon. 
  2. Visit 4 new countries – I have my list ready so I can’t wait to share with you all as it happens about my adventures abroad. Thailand/Hong Kong/ South Korea… one more to go! 
  3. Pay down some US Debt – lets see how that goes! Yep I have done this 
  4. Play in a waterfall – I didn’t get to do this last year and I’m still mad about it!!! – so clearly some things carry over from 2017 and that’s okay I have been trying to do this for a long time … I have to do some research on waterfalls in China … I may have to make a weekend trip out of it. 
  5. BE!!! Just BE. Enjoy each day as it comes. Live. Love. Laugh. Smile. Live a life rooted and established in JOY! #EverdayJOY Yup! Everyday Joy is a thing! Its real Yall! 
    #ItMustBeTheMelanin

     

      

    exploring ancient water towns

     

    jump!

      

    Shopping

 


….. and im super excited about the fall ….

Image result for excited gif kevin hart

^my mood already^

i have friends from America coming to visit!!!


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE

Image result for quotes about life

 


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Black and Abroad: Jerome

I am so excited to share this interview with you all! Please enjoy getting to know my friend JEROME and learning a little about his experience being “BLACK AND ABROAD.”

 


Let’s do a quick introduction:
1. What’s your name, where are you from, and how long have you been in China?
My name is Jerome Moore. I am from Nashville, TN. I have been in China for six months now.
2. Are you single, married, have any children? I am single and have zero kids lol
3. What brought you to Asia- more specifically China?
I partnered with a California based company to lead their new educational and community development in Xiamen, China. I always been interested in the Chinese culture and history.
Now we have a little background information about you lets dig a little deeper!
Breaking and Crushing:
1. In your opinion – what do you think are some of the biggest stereotypes we (generally speaking – though I know you don’t speak for everyone) face as people of color living abroad – here in China? This is tough lol, I would say one of the stereotypes is people don’t associate blackness with America, so they assume I am from the continent of Africa or my parents. 
2. What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced living here? The biggest challenges I have faced would be the lack of food options lol and finding the best ways to inform my Chinese colleagues on how other parts of the world view China.  
3. How do you think we are crushing stereotypes- if we are at all? I think as Black individuals, who are doing great things abroad and helping people in different capacities, we are crushing stereotypes on a micro level through personal connections.  On a macro scale, I don’t think we are crushing anything due to the fact we consistently perpetuate the negative stereotypes that are pushed through mainstream media ( tv, movies, entertainment) which is the only connection other countries like China have a way of getting to know Black Americans.
4.  Knowing what you know now- about life in China and being here as long as you have been here, would you still have moved here knowing what you know now? Yeap, I would definitely move to Xiamen, China specifically and Hong Kong.

#LIC – Let’s talk a little about Life in China! There are definitely some positives about being here.

What are three things you like about living in China (if you can think of three). The culture, business opportunities, and cost of living

What do you do for fun with your free time? Go to the movies, link up with other black Americans and foreign peers, go to the beach, set new goals, talk to friends back home, workout, and work on this awesome series, “Black Americans Making Their Mark: Stories Abroad” lol.

Has it been hard for you to meet people and make friends here? No, it hasn’t. I have lived in two other countries before so adapting in easy at this point.

What do you do for work here in China? I partner/contract with an educational and community development center. I work with youth, adults, and local community business.

Food- Food makes the world go round!

  1. How has your food journey been here? It’s been ok, as a mentioned before I mostly cook. Chinese food has its pros and cons, but they do have some westernized non-fast food places to select from.
  2. Have you tried anything here that you love that you don’t have at home? No, I haven’t had anything that I just loved here lol. Everything has been “aite”
  3. Have you tried anything here that you absolutely hate and hope to never eat again? Most certainly lol. I don’t mind trying everything once though.
  4. How is shopping for food here for you? They have store called the METRO where I can buy most of the things I can find at home. I eat out maybe once a week no more than twice. I try to cook and save money.

Access to travel – A lot of people move abroad because of the access to travel to other countries. Let’s talk about this!

  1. China is huge!!! Have you been to any places in China? Are there any places in China you would like to visit? Yes, I have been to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Fuzhou. I want to visit Tibet Mongolia and Beijing or Shanghai, not both.
  2. Have you visited any nearby countries since you have been here? Where did you go?Haven’t had the chance to visit nearby countries yet but I am traveling to Italy this August.
  3. What cities/countries are on your list ??? Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, and Spain to name a few.

One Last thing-

If you could share one thing with everyone about life what would it be.

Do what makes you happy and if you aren’t doing that now develop an exit strategy from where you currently are, that will put you in the position to be happy.

Thanks so much for joining me on my blog! Many blessings.


…. a few pictures from Jerome’s travels…

 


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY!

I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*


Jerome is currently jammin to “Harder than Ever” – by Lil Baby

but….. his favorite artists are – –  Lil Boosie and Webbie.

 

…. a day in the life of kmg … (in shanghai)

Someone asked me … “What’s a day in your life like for you in China?” …. and honestly – every single day is an adventure… but here is a day in my life …


Today (well I guess yesterday because now its after midnight) ….

Yesterday, June 26, 2018…..

My weekends are Tuesdays and Wednesdays … I work regular weekends, Saturdays and Sundays. It’s my weekend … and …..

It’s hot…. Yeah …. I know I use to live in Texas – and Atlanta … but this Shanghai heat has me like ….

Image result for its hot gif

I started my day early… around 7 to get my AM run in thinking I would beat the heat … but the sun was shining and by the time I finished my run around 9:05 the heat was strong.

 

I finished my run and made a quick stop by my favorite store  …. 7-11 picked up a few snacks and headed home.

after my run .. 10.19k this morning

2 points and a Gold Star if you know where the shirt is from….

“KISS MY CONVERSE”!!!! Love that movie….

So now I know I need to run between 6AM-8AM to beat the heat or in the evenings when I am off of work and the sun is down.

Image result for running + gif this is probably how i look – i don’t care tho – as long as i finish … the race is given to the one who endures!!!!

Hair day! Washed hair and tightened my locs and watched LUKE CAGE … yeah! I’m finished with Season 2!!!! If you watched it what did you think?

Met a friend for lunch at: Midnight Burger. I have passed by this place many time just being out in these Shanghai streets and have been wanting to try it. If you are not a meat eater – they have a ‘SWEET POTATO QUNIOA BURGER’ that you may want to try! My food was great. I had the Midnight Burger and a side of truffle fries and my friend Courtney and I split an order of chicken wings.

 

Midnight Burger:

97 Xiangyang Bei Lu, near Xinle Lu/ 襄阳北路97号, 近新乐路/Open 11AM-Late

Nearest Metro – South Shaanxi Road-Metro Line 1- Exit 2 +/- 10 minute walk

or

Metro Line 7- Jingan Temple- Exit 8 – +/- Walk about 16 minutes-1.1km

the music was great … a strong mix of West Coast 2Pac with some East Coast Biggie and Puffy  … a little bit of others in between

 

 

because #HIPHOPisLife

 

sure … i guess thugs need hugs too … and they need them daily

Courtney and Karla

I took a long nap! Yessss. #napsarelife … literally – sleep is so important so when your body tells you “honey, i’m tired” – you go to sleep!

I went for a walk this evening once the sun set … really only because I wanted to get a drink from CoCo – a drink place across the street from my apt (yes there is lots next to my apart and across from my apartment). Since the sun is down — I just had a 6 hour nap — and I’m full of energy I walked around just enjoying the air and the night scenes for about an hour …

EVENING WALK = 5.49km – which makes a total of 15.68 km for the day!

Image result for black girl magic + gif
i totally feel like this … amazing and some #chocolategirlmagic

But …..

 

Every single day is different. Tomorrow will be totally different because I plan on checking out two parts of the city that I haven’t seen yet. Shanghai is HUGE! I want to explore and see as much of it as I can. No two work days are the same either…..

Having variety all the time is different from my life at home. My life in Dallas was great and I enjoyed it (and i do miss it), but it was also very routine. Pretty much the same thing happened every day at work, after work, and on the weekends. I would definitely keep my weekends fun and different, but living in a new city- and a new country – gives me so many options!

There is always something to do here. Always!


 

 

Image result for fun quotes

I feel like i am doing the impossible everyday!


 

 

Summer Travels: 

Maybe Tokyo???!?!!?

Summer is busy with work and there is so much to see in China/Shanghai.

What do you have planned for your summer??? I would love to know! Respond in the comments.


 


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY!

I took a long nap! Yessss. #napsarelife … literally – sleep is so important so when your body tells you “honey, i’m tired” – you go to sleep!

I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*

Venturing Solo

believe: believe in the strength of you and that your wants and desires matter

hope: never stop hoping … hope is everything

do: do what you can to achieve that which is important to you

venture: life is a journey that is worth enjoying… travel and experience

solo: sometimes you have to go at it with just you and create memories that will last a life time

Image result for quotes on solo travel

 

hmmmmm?????? 

When someone ask you to write a post about a specific thing …. you find the time to share your thoughts on it.

I was asked to write a post about venturing solo … 

Here is what I think about venturing solo ….

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Do It!!!!!

 

If you are able.

If you are healthy.

If your finances will allow it.

If your life will allow it. Do it.

 

I can totally understand having reservations and being concerned with traveling solo. I remember taking my first solo domestic trip and I was a little nervous. I went from Dallas to New Orleans… That flight was less than 3 hours and the drive is somewhere between 8-10 (maybe a little less or more depending on how you drive). I was extremely nervous. I made sure multiple people had my flight information and hotel information. I was super cautious and anxious. Then something magical happened … probably because I’m a Black girl and we’re magical ya know … I just felt at peace while there.

What was unfortunate is that I was sick the entire time in NOLA but I enjoyed myself. I walked the French Quarters, ate yummy food, bought all the cookies at Loretta’s (if you havent been you need to go), and went to a concert. I was so happy that I made the decision to venture solo. I couldn’t find anyone who could travel at the same time as me, who wanted to attend the concert I was going to, so – I booked the flight and took the trip on my own.

It. Was. Great.

You always want to be safe. I am not going to encourage you to travel into war-torn countries that are in the middle of political unrest. That’s just not smart. Do your research about the place that you are traveling to and learn as much as you can before you go. If it is a new country learn some basics with the language and a little about the culture so that everything doesn’t take you by surprise. Exchange your money before you go at the bank – you can exchange in airports – higher fees – and you can often use ATMs in the country you’re traveling to, but there will be a cost to that, so if you have time add it to the to do list of things to get done before you leave. Even if you want to venture out solo to other parts of the state that you live in (if you’re in America reading this) do it. When I lived in Atlanta, I remember meeting people who had never been past Birmingham (yes – – its a different state but only about 2 hours away)… the world is big and becomes small at the same time. Life is an adventure…. so – – if you want to travel and you can … do it… life is a risk! Be a risk taker. 

Do not live in a world of

“What If’s”  …. nope.

Don’t do it. 

 

I want to share a story about a friend …. I hope she reads this because my conversation with her allowed many good things to happen … and she didn’t remain living in a world of “What If’s”.

I have this great friend … I’m gonna call her Jayne (Her name is not Jayne – nor does it start with a “J” but if she reads this she will know its about her) and Jayne wanted to make a big purchase. She wanted to buy a new car. And BABY- when I say Jayne wanted a new car- she didn’t want any car… we talking top of the line. Jayne could afford the car. Jayne works hard. Everyday. Jayne saves her money. Jayne plans and does her research.  -clearly we need to be like Jayne- and Jayne really wanted this car but Jayne can be practical at times and she knew that this car was a WANT and not a NEED. So she didn’t get it. The car she was currently driving was in good condition and was paid off – so there really was no need for a new car.

Yes no NEED for a new car but WANTS are okay. So we had a long conversation about living in a world of “What If’s” … she made it clear to me that all of her What If’s were very real and valid … (Facts – they are all real and valid – but I wasn’t having it)

WHAT IF I lose my job

WHAT IF I get sick

WHAT IF something happens in my home and we have a big expense for repairs

WHAT IF there is a medical emergency

WHAT IF

WHAT IF

WHAT IF

WHAT IF

WHAT IF

WHAT IF

yes …. WhAt If?????

… do you know we can make the list of WHAT IF’s continue on and on …. I gave my thoughts on her buying her car and not living in the land of WHAT IF … GET THE CAR ….

IF you have saved the money for this car you have definitely been thinking about this purchase. If your job (to the best of your knowledge) is not in any danger of being taken from you – go for it. Life is a gamble and nothing is guaranteed but, what I wanted to get across to her was … WHAT IF none of the WHAT IF’s on your list never happened and you never got your car that you wanted? That would be so unfortunate. It is more than okay to fulfill our WANTS… I think it’s pretty fantastic if our wants can be fulfilled. 

I encouraged her to go for the purchase …. you know what … she did it! She bought the car. And she loves the car… and she was able to gift the car she owned that was paid for to someone – look at that another blessing. She has greatly enjoyed her car. Her life hasn’t fallen apart. Her job is still safe. She has been healthy. None of things on her WHAT IF happened (could they happen? sure – did they – no).

She shared this conversation with someone very close to her -we shall call them Person C-  … and it was encouraging to Person C – Person C decided to not live in a world of WHAT IF’s and make a purchase that they wanted. I smiled as Jayne told me about Person C and their purchase.

You never know the impact your words are having on someone. I was honest and shared how I felt. Jayne didn’t have to listen to me. Nope. Jayne really wanted this car but seemed really nervous to make the purchase. I cant make guarantees but, I felt super confident with telling Jayne to go for it.

And just like with Jayne I share with you … GO FOR ADVENTURE…. venture out solo if you can. I PROMISE ….

You will not regret it …. if you do regret it I would love for you to share with me about it!


If I didn’t take the chance to venture solo you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now. I would never have considered blogging if it wasn’t for me coming to Shanghai to work for Disney English. I never would have come to Shanghai and had this experience of living abroad. If I didn’t venture solo I never would have came to Shanghai and I never (I’m pretty sure) would have made it to Thailand to have the experience of riding elephants and eating Thai food in Thailand. if I didn’t venture solo I never would have made it to Seoul, South Korea (for a great solo international trip – because I had to first venture solo to China). If I didn’t venture solo I never would have come to Shanghai, which means I wouldn’t have met the folks in the picture below.  …. and let me tell you … these #melanatedladies ARE PRETTY AFROTASTICALLY AMAZING.

I could keep going with the … If I didn’t venture solo list … so I will stop it there…

I am all for venturing solo and experiencing all that life has to offer! GO for it. 

Image may contain: 4 people, including Karla Marie, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

 


#blackgirlmagic #melanatedshanghaimoments #spreadthebagel

Location: Spread The Bagel

Nearest Metro: South Shaanxi Road – Exit 7- Lines 10/12

Address: 611 Nanchang Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China

#blackgirlconversations

…. so to the one who is wondering about venturing solo i say this…. go for all that life has to offer for you. Treat yourself to a great lunch with just you. Take your Kindle and read your book. Take your journal and write a couple of pages. OR just people watch. But learn to avoid the hustle and bustle of life and have a break from it all…. it will not be as bad as you think ….

Image result for quotes on solo travel

I have traveled to some pretty amazing places… one of my favorites being South Africa … and yeah … Cape of Good Hope left me absolutely speechless … but now I have so many stories to tell about the places i have been, the food i have tried, the planes i have been on, all of the airports that I have walked through, customs and immigration stories, language barriers and struggles, the people i have met, the laughs that i have had, the history i have encountered …

….the everything that is everything that I have done while traveling ….

and no one can take the everything that is everything that you have done while traveling away from you… not one person!

 

yup … do it…. go! venture out solo …. and tell me about it! Image result for she believed she could so she did


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY!

I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*

 

 

Paige always reminded me to live a life rooted in joy … so i challenge all of you to #choosejoy today … why choose joy? becauae #joychangeslives … it has changed my life – it will change yours – and its a ripple effect … lets all choose joy … i love my paige! shes the #ivorytomyebony

soooooooooooo i’m a runner

lets talk about kmg and running

never ever -eva – eva- eva …. in my wildest dreams did i think i would be a runner

but

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i am!!!

Image result for memes on running a mile

Someone asked me awhile ago how I got into run and pretty much “how do you do it?”

Running is different for everyone. There are tons of apps, blogs, articles, sites, fitness groups, social media groups, trainers, and physical running groups you could join to learn about running. Here is my journey with being a runner….

I remember when I couldn’t run a mile. It seems crazy now that there was a time that I couldn’t run a mile. and when i say i couldn’t run a mile i mean it. after 1/4 of a mile i was winded and didnt want to go on…. but i slowly worked my way from 1/4 of a mile to 1/2 a mile then from 1/2 a mile to 1 mile.

in the beginning of my running journey it took me about 22 minutes to complete my mile. i know. i know. thats a long time. i really wanted to improve that so my immediate goal was to get to 20 minutes. when i completed my mile in 20 minutes i felt so accomplished. i believe in setting smart and reasonable goals. even though i hit this goal of a mile in 20 minutes i knew that i could do better. so i told myself 16 minutes – cut 4 minutes off of my mile running time for my mile. i knew that this would not be easy but i would have to be consistent with going to the park – walking-jogging-and running to hit this goal.

Image result for memes on running a mile – facts – i always want an extra box of girl scout cookies! always

it wasnt long before i set another goal. my big goal for running a mile was to be able to run a mile in 12-13 minutes. since i started my running journey i have never focused fully on speed – but more on distance- even with a distance focus i wanted to pick up the pace to cover more ground – so that my distance numbers would increase. i can know run a mile in about 11-13 minutes- keeping a good steady pace.

i did several things to help with becoming a better runner.

-i joined BLACK GIRLS RUN — and became a #BGRChick  — this was a great decision for me because eventhough the majority of the ladies in the group were experienced runners no one slighted you because you didnt have as much experience as others – and you were encouraged to walk, jog, or run — just keep moving

-i pushed myself 

-in the beginning i would just use Pandora and find a station that I enjoyed to use during my workout. i would walk a song – then ‘jog’ or move faster to a song – then walk – then jog – etc … until the time i set for my workout was complete. soon i would walk-jog-jog-walk-jog-jog ….until i was able to jog/run consistently.

-i drank (and still do) lots of water

-i know we know this but we need water. we should drink lots of water. everyday. im not going to tell you how much water you should drink a day because we all come to our own conclusions with the exact amount – but you need to drink lots of water everyday. i push myself to drink about 1/2 a gallon a day (and it keeps me running to the bathroom a lot)

-realized how important sleep is

– you need to sleep

-i used the CouchTo5k App … 

– i highly reccomned this app if you are a new runner

-i downloaed an app where i could add my friends who run and we challenge ourselves each month and can track how we do with each month.

-i am currently using RUNTASTIC … Adidas also has a great running app and MAP MY RUN.


one of the biggest things that has made running enjoyable for me is doing it with my friends. Signing up for organized events is a great way to push yourself (hopefully) to train for the event to help you improve and become a better run. organized events are fun- and if you do them with friends- its even more fun… lots of them have metals you get when you cross the finish line and tshirts. my friend and i travel for races and make weekend vacations out of them. fun-fitness-friends all wrapped into one.

running has really changed my life! i remember one day the nurse telling me that i was pre-hypertensive… that shook me! i didnt know what to think or what to do. i only decided to get my blood pressure checked because it is a service that my church offers on 1st Sundays and there’s always a long wait to leave church (the real reason) so I figured it if i get my bp checked when im finished i wont have to wait in a long line in the church parking lot. i didnt think getting my bp checked would change my life. when she checked it her eyes got big and she seemed really concerned. so she said lets sit a moment, allow you to calm down, and check it again. well – we checked it again and it was very high. so high she recommended that i visit my doctor during the coming week. i immediately made an appointment and saw my doctor on Tuesday. i told her (my doctor) about my experience at church and when she checked my bp it was still high. it could have been high for any number of reasons (clearly im anxious and nervous) but we decided to take it very seriously. she told me to track it and get it checked throughout the week for the next two weeks. i made another appointment to come back and see my doctor in two weeks. my bp was still high as i checked it at the local pharmacy so my doctor prescribed medicine to help me regulate my bp.

i was extremely discouraged. 28- young and taking bp meds. the exact reason why my bp was high is still a mystery but we came up with a list of reasons that ‘could be’ …. after about 6 months of taking these pills my bp was normal but i just wasnt okay with taking meds forever to have a good bp reading. i made an appointment with my doctor and asked what could we do…. i made drastic changes to my diet and my fitness life…. i took a lot of things out of my diet – the biggest being salt and fast foods – and i started running …. this is when my running journey really started …

when talking with my doctor we … nope I came up with a plan for me to not have to stay on meds. it was my idea – i told her “i dont want to take this medicine anymore” and she responded “what are you going to do about it” to which i explained to her my plan of changing my diet, drinking more water, and working out more.

since then i have been consistent with running… some seasons better than others but i am definitely a runner now. i enjoy running – mostly because its free. whereas i am not against the gym and i appreciate them – especially during hot summer months and super cold winter days – i dont want to pay for the gym. i can run anywhere. when i travel i always try and get a run in. i can push myself- run alone- or run with friends … it works – for me… so i do it….

the thing about this fitness journey is you have to find what works for you! and keep at that thing.

oh …. i am no longer taking blood pressure medication so thats exciting. i still try and get it checked regularly and if it ever peaks a little too high its a reminder to focus on my health (food/water/sleep/fitness) and stay consistent.

Image result for memes on running a mile

^the real reason i run^


so this post didnt have much to do with china/shanghai but some folks have asked me about running and how i do it. its not for everyone but i enjoy it. for me a playlist is everything … good music – good weather and hit the pavement …

if you can run while people are talking play a TEDTalk or a podcast or even an audio book – there are ways to make it enjoyable.

since ive been here in China I have been running a lot … mostly alone because schedules are crazy with friends but every once in awhile i find someone i can run with and thats nice

I love this picture!!!! I did a 5K while in Seoul — but life is also about balance so I also went to Krispy Kreme and tried some yummy snacks in the night market

#yolo #liveyourbestlifeeverday #smile #karlagirljoy

 

also as we talk about running- i set a goal to run 650km this year … i am currently 54% of the way there with 351 KM logged… just 299km to go!!!! (Yall know we used a different metric system here …

650KM = 403 miles 

299KM = 185.7

351 KM = 218.1

 

Make it a great week everyone! Month 8 blog post coming soon ….

 


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY!

I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*

 

Spotlight: TLL Brand

Happy May- Happy Spring. While I am still sharing about my experiences in Shanghai and life abroad I want to highlight some of my favorite small businesses from home. They may be helpful for you one day. Enjoy.


The beauty and power of social media is that I feel like I know Tasha, but we have never met in person. I am in an educator group on Facebook and someone posted their “Last Day Of School” shirt- I loved it and wanted the exact same shirt. Tasha made it for me and I had it the day before the last day of school. She’s quick, does great quality work, will get your order to you on time, and if there is an issue with shipping- that is not her fault, she still finds a way to make it up to you. I am so glad that we “met” online and that we are still connected even while I am in Shanghai.

Tasha has made many items for me…. and her work is stunning. Just look below at PROM 2018! If you ever need something- she is the person to go to. I love supporting small business and she will always be on my list!


I am so excited to share with you my friend Tasha Love and her business, TLL Brand. TLL Brand – officially began April 28, 2017, though Tasha Love has been doing her thing with a needle and thread for a long time. It was in Spring of 2017 that she was able to go full time with her business and since then, business has been great. TLL Brand is more than just shirts, and dresses – it is dreams turned to reality. Tasha gives life to her clients desires, and the outcome is always nothing- short- of amazing.


TLL BRAND – PROM 2018

….just stunning and gorgeous all around!


Image may contain: 8 people, including Karla Marie, people smiling
all #TLLBRAND creations 
Image may contain: Karla Marie, shoes and outdoor
just a #dopegirl – #lvinginshanghaibywayofoakcliffaftercalifornia

 

 

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, child, outdoor and water

Instagram: @tllbrand
Facebook: @tllbrand
If you get a chance please check out TLL Brand’s website follow on IG/FB!

I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY!

I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*

Black and Abroad: Sidney

I am so excited to share this interview with you all! Please enjoy getting to know my friend Sidney and learning a little about her experience being “BLACK AND ABROAD.”


Let’s do a quick introduction:
1. What’s your name, where are you from, and how long have you been in China?
Sidney Covington, Chicago area, I have been in China for 8 months
2. Are you single, married, have any children?
I am single
3. What brought you to Asia- more specifically China?
I am graduate student at New York University, and I was supposed to spend my two years in New York. However, in May I received an email from my school saying there were openings for the Shanghai program, where I would spend my first in shanghai and my second year in New York. I replied to the email within 15 minutes and started looking for apartments in Shanghai.
Now we have a little background information about you lets dig a little deeper!
Breaking and Crushing:
1. In your opinion – what do you think are some of the biggest stereotypes we (generally speaking – though I know you don’t speak for everyone) face as people of color living abroad – here in China?
  1. They think I am from Africa. I am not saying my ancestor are not, but I grew up in states and I am very much so an American, culturally.
  2. They think I am rich because I am a foreigner.
2. What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced living here?
  1. Having someone making monkey noises at me.
  2. Having people touch me and my hair without my permission
  3. My students wanting to touch my hair, after I have told them no
  4. The language barrier is a huge challenge. Mandarin is not an easy language for me to pick up.
  5. The racism here. I know some people will disagree with me on this. However, anything that upholds white supremacy or feels their race is superior to another, is racism. That’s something you can’t argue, and it’s very prevalent in China. They literally have signs requesting only white people.
  6. Going to an attraction and being treated like the attraction. It makes it really hard for me to enjoy myself and marvel at the scenery.
3. How do you think we are crushing stereotypes- if we are at all?
  1. I do not know if we are crushing stereotypes. Their opinions are formed from western entertainment, and most of western entertainment has not shifted from displaying black people in stereotypical way.
 
4.  Knowing what you know now- about life in China and being here as long as you have been here, would you still have moved here knowing what you know now? 
  1. I would still have moved here. I would never want to eliminate this experience from my life. It has been both a positive and a negative experience for me. However, I am grateful I was able to have this experience.

#LIC – Let’s talk a little about Life in China! There are definitely some positives about being here.

What are three things you like about living in China (if you can think of three).

  1. The black community here. The community here is very supportive and helpful. We have some of the most insightful and eye-opening conversations.
  2. My Chinese family
  3. My yoga class made a huge impact on improving my quality of life in Shanghai. I never felt out of place or unwelcomed. They encouraged me to push myself even when I did not feel like it haha.

What do you do for fun with your free time? 

  1. Yoga, dance, eat, go to afro events, go to other events in Shanghai, and travel.

Has it been hard for you to meet people and make friends here? 

  1. It has not been difficult for me to meet new people and make friends in China.

What do you do for work here in China?

  1. I am a student and I have an internship working as a school social worker.

Food- Food makes the world go round!

  1. How has your food journey been here? My food journey here has been interesting. Chinese people eat a lot of pork, and I don’t eat beef or pork. However, if you’re trying local dishes or hanging out with a Chinese family. It’s almost impossible not to eat pork. I spent the weekend at my Chinese family’s house and didn’t want to complicate things and ate what they served me. The transition has been slightly difficult.
  2. Have you tried anything here that you love that you don’t have at home? I like the Chinese pancakes, those are my favorites. I really enjoy malatang, shucai boazes, and a couple of other dishes that are authentic to China. American Chinese food is not real Chinese food.
  3. Have you tried anything here that you absolutely hate and hope to never eat again?Of course! Black stinky tofu is nasty! I do not like it at all. I think I have had other dishes I do not like but I can’t remember the names of the food.
  4. How is shopping for food here for you? Do you spend a lot buying food or eating out?I hate grocery shopping in China. The layout of their grocery stores confuses and I prefer to order out because it’s not that expensive. Especially if you use one of the local Chinese ordering apps.

Access to travel – A lot of people move abroad because of the access to travel to other countries. Let’s talk about this!

  1. China is huge!!! Have you been to any places in China? Are there any places in China you would like to visit? Of course, I have traveled China. I went to Lishui,   Hongzhou, Yellow Mountain, Shaoxing, and a couple of other places.
  2. Have you visited any nearby countries since you have been here? Where did you go?I have traveled to Mongolia, Philippines, and Vietnam. I missed a trip to South Korea, unfortunately Over the Christmas break, I went home and to Aruba.
  3. What cities/countries are on your list ???I am going back to Taiwan at the end of this month. My goal is to see Green island and orchid island. I am also traveling to Singapore and spending the month of June in India. I wish I had traveled more in China. The country is huge and there were so many more sites I would have loved to see.

One Last thing-

If you could share one thing with everyone about life what would it be.

If you wait on other people, it will never happen.

Thanks so much for joining me on my blog! Many blessings.


Here are a few pictures from Sidney’s time in China! Thanks for Sharing Sidney.

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Sidney was a sweet reminder of how temporary the expat life is. Some people come to China and love it and stay. Some stay for their allotted time and leave. Some people come and go and live here off and on for years while going back home to America or other countries. I met Sidney shortly after arriving here and it was sistership (sister-friendship) at first sight. We both have degrees in Social Work and are passionate about making a real change and impact within our communities. We also both jumped into the Black Shanghai-China life quickly and became very connected – community is super important for both of us….. Sidney your smile definitely lights up a room and I love how you love to have a good time. You will surely be missed here in Shanghai – but I am so excited for all that is to come in your future Sidney. NYU is lucky to have you. Change the world with all your #melaninmagic  …. super bummed you’re not here with me … can’t wait to travel more and see you soon!

#blackgirlmelaninmagic  ….see you soon sis!

I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY!

I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*