Ask Toi: Is It Okay to decline my husband’s boss dinner invitation?

On the surface I would say no.  If you’re husband is trying to make a good impression and you and him was invited to a dinner unless you have prior plans you should be there.  There’s an unspoken rule as a wife for you to support your husband’s endeavors.  Things happen that make it difficult for you to be that supportive wife at times but put your game face on.  If you’re finding it hard to be there because you’re feeling uncomfortable for any reason discuss this with your husband about a  compromise but don’t compromise on your attendance.  You need to make sure you are there to let your husband see your support.

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Ask Toi: Is It Okay to Accept an Invitation for a Date via Text?

Well this could get sticky.  In these times, more and more people are moving away from talking on the phone.  Even if you accept the invitation via text you must attempt to confirm it via the phone in the form of a phone call.  You don’t want to start out anything with the premise that texting will be acceptable forms of communication alone.  It’s okay to use technology to assist in the dating process but remember that human interaction with a little face to face and talk time will be what you want more of to establish a future with anyone.  Good luck!!

Mandeecee and Yandy Wedding

So yes I turned into the wedding of VH1 Love and Hip Hop.  I wanted to see it just as much as the rest of the people who watch the series.  If you haven’t watched it don’t continue reading.  I’ll highlight the points that jumped for me.

If you have watched the Love and Hip Hop or at least read my last blog on the show you know that Mandeecee has accepted a deal for his involvement in drug trafficking.  It’s not clear how much time he will get but as it stands he could get at least a minimal of 10 years. 

The couple who have allowed cameras into their relationship, is not shy to highlight the ends and outs of Mandeecee’s issues with the court of law.  These issues are almost like the elephant in the room as Yandy has been torn to pieces for her decision to stand by her man. 

During the wedding special they showed the couple during the various parts of the wedding process.  They addressed both parties on their thoughts if they should have put the wedding to the side to focus on his legal battle.  Both have come to the  conclusion to allow it rest and make their union official.

I honestly for one think they highlighted them both in such a classy way regardless of how you feel about them tying the knot or not.  VH1 allowed us into their personal lives, thoughts, and preparations like no other wedding special has done in the past. 

I would be lying if I didn’t say I shed a tear or two.  I love weddings.  However unless you just really can’t stand the brand, VH1 definitely made it clear that they showed the love between the two.  I definitely believe that Yandy is a strong woman and I’ve never been in her situation, but one thing you can’t deny is that love is love.

They didn’t cut any expense when it came to the wedding.  From flowers, to the rings they made sure they had the prince and princess wedding the couple wanted.  The most special moment for me is when Yandy was walked down the aisle by her dad.  Yandy’s father had to have his leg amputated due to blood clot issues.  He was proud to give her away.

I was shocked in how much Yandy held it together.  Even though it was a star studded event with K Michelle singing the wedding party down the aisle, the couple looked like the only ones in the room were the two of them. 

The one thing the minister stated when Yandy made her way down the aisle is that we all want to be loved.  Although your love story doesn’t have to be like theirs, people want to feel loved and have love returned to them.  I’ve said it before that some will do whatever for it and that I don’t condone but I do think we should all experience love at least once in our lives.

The other thing I appreciated about the minister is him stating that marriage is work.  I think we spend so much time looking at the moments in marriage when things don’t feel right on getting a new mate.  I read a quote that said if we spent time treating our mates like we would treat the one we think we need, we would all be better people and a better couple.

Yandy and Mandeecee spoke their own vows.  The part that touched me was Yandy stating she would never judge him even if the world judged him.  Think about that for one moment.  That’s what love unconditional is supposed to be about.  Loving someone fully without them having to earn it on credit, loving someone regardless of what they do-true love. 

Congratulations to the beautiful couple. I pray a lifetime of happiness and whatever their future holds, I pray that they will be in each other’s corners.  Marriage is work and no matter where their journey takes them, that they will remember their vows and lean on one another in the good and the bad times.

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Memorial Day Fun

So Memorial Day is coming upon us in a matter of days.  Memorial Day is the day we remember the fallen who served in the armed forces.  For me as military brat, it’s a day where I’ve always remember the reason behind the day.

It’s also the official kick off to the summer holidays.  Usually pools are open and if you haven’t gotten your grills ready, it’s not a better time to do so.  While you are enjoying the day, don’t forget about the numerous men and women who are out keeping America safe.  No matter what you feel about war itself, there are people willing to lay their lives down so you can enjoy your day off. Take a moment to remember them.  I think about my dad who will be experiencing his 3rd deployment in 6 years.  Makes me proud to know that even after all this time he’s willing to keep his and your family safe.

Since the day is about fun for so many always remember to stay safe.  Hospitals are always on high alert between fights that break out to alcohol poisoning to firework accidents, stay safe.

Here are my suggestions for a fun, money-saving holiday:

1. Cookouts can be expensive.  Get family to contribute.  There’s no reason for you to supply all the food and drinks.

2. Can’t make it out to the pool, don’t fret try some old school water balloon fights.  You can make it fun by having women vs. men, kids vs. parents, siblings vs. parents

3. Break out the sidewalk chalk.  Yes replace the electronics for some outside fun

4.  Board games can be a serious situation depending on where you go.  Provide summer like prizes to bring out the competitive nature in your crowd

5.  Ice cream party.  Yes maybe wait for the sun to go down and grab your favorite toppings and have fun making your sloppy Icecream Sundae.  Even have someone judge the most creative.

6. Make some awesome Memorial Day treats.  Yes get creative from cakes to jello molds the options are endless.

7. Don’t want to be home there are many fairs, etc that you and your family can attend

8. Traveling – keep your apps a blazing with money-saving tips and coupons to help make your trip not blow your summer budget

9. Single and hate these coupled up holidays.  Find an activity you can go to alone that will have you interact with others.  Try something you wouldn’t normally do.  Remember men haven’t started falling out the sky, get to where you can look your best, smile and have fun.  Take a girlfriend along as well

10. Go to the movies.  It’s as big thing for families to start the summer block buster movie circuit

11. Just want some down time, grab some wine early and have you a great time enjoying you time-catch up on your favorite books or magazines

You have many options. The most important thing is to be safe have fun and thank the men and women of the armed forces for all they do.  Remember there are some men and women who are away from their families so holidays like this only serve as another reminder of the loneliness they have been experiencing for some time.  If you know of a family experiencing this, reach out to them.

I’ll be using the hashtag #thankstoallwhoserve all day on my Facebook, twitter, and instagram pages. Share some of your gratitude and pictures of how you celebrated.  I’ll post some of them on the page!!

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Quiet Please

If you’re like me, than you are experiencing a lot of changes.  In the middle of change you have to learn to quiet yourself and figure out what you want to do in each situation.

Friends and family are great resources but if you rely on them solely you will find that the decisions you are making aren’t genuine.  You have to make all choices that fit your life and your goals.  Listen people mean well, but a lot of things that you are going through is a heart issue. 

We don’t always tell both sides of the story.  We tell the part where our emotions were affected by what happened.  We talk to others and they give us advice for what we tell them. Meanwhile when you’re alone and quiet, you have another agenda that contrary to what you originally told.  Your heart knows where you are but we don’t always follow it. 

Quiet yourself and really think about what it is that you want to do.  Many people have heavy issues that they are dealing with.  Some things that will literally change how they and their families will interact.  You must give priority to these things and not rush anything on a temporary feeling. 

You have a lot on your plate.  You know how I know because if you pay attention to the things around you, people are looking for answers in so many conventional and unconventional places.  When you find yourself seeking answers you have to be clear within yourself to stay on task.

Understand that during this time you will be tested from the very thing that you’re asking for help with.  All of a sudden friends are keeping it 100.  All of a sudden folks have visions for your life that never spoke up before. All of a sudden as soon as one suggestion is made you run towards it.  No.  Please stop before you make gut decisions. 

If you’re life is busy as mine you may feel as if moments of clarity don’t come easy.  However when you’re serious about making something good from your life it’s the most simplest moments that will open itself to you.  Please don’t look back at whatever decision you have to make with regrets.  Don’t let someone else’s vision be your vision.  Have your own vision, get quiet, and weigh it all. When it’s good for you it will come with peace.  Peace doesn’t mean it won’t come with tears, or be easy, but peace that’s priceless.  Get quiet please!!

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Celebrate You!

Do you know often we flood ourselves with negative images?  We are literally bombarded every singe day.  Yes, your hang ups, mistakes, failures will be there but there are times when you should celebrate the good as well.

So many people have so much negative doubt about what they can do, where they are going how they plan on achieving their goals.  Listen even if you’re a negative Nancy (no offense to anyone named Nancy) you can be positive every once in awhile.

Listening to music today a messge came through to celebrate oneself and I thought how many people are missing that message today?  It’s Monday and as we all try to go into work and school mode, we are sometimes too busy to look at the good because we are super stuck on what we don’t have.

Think about it you’re not in the same place you were last week or even last year.  You have made changes that I’m sure we’re hard but you made it through.  Think about the hang ups you had and how with or without help you were able to make a plan and accomplish the impossible.

We look at the mirror so many times nit picking at our appearances, how often do you look in the mirror and say you really like yourself.  How often do you affirm yourself and the beauty you bring to the world?  This is a selfie generation, but how often have you looked at yourself with no filter and really loved what you saw?

Take the time to celebrate you.  You already know what you’re up against.  You already know the list of the things you don’t have.  Unless with work they won’t change.  You got to be content with the progress and make a plan to only be happier, better, stronger. Take the time to really love yourself.  Remember you can’t love someone else until you love you. 

Today you are more than enough, tell yourself that everyday.

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Blogger Confessions: You are all you got!!

Let me tell you, when you step out on anything you WILL be tested.  My mom gave me that advice the second I told her I wanted to start blogging.  Listen ask any of my educators, blogging isn’t something that is far fetched.  When you love what you do its never a chore.  I don’t sit around thinking of topics.  I speak from my heart, my life, and my experiences.

As a blogger I find peace.  I journal on my own really personal issues but trust me this is peace.  However sometimes life imitates art.  I had a discussion with a friend the other day that has come to bite me in the butt.  Like I said my mom told me that blogging would keep me on my toes as well as hold me accountable. 

I blog about anything from how we look when we walk out the door to handling relationships on all levels.  I love feeling like I’m helping folks in my own way.  Also I have a lot of friends who come to me for advice it was just a natural fit.  However in this journey in life, I find myself in sticky situations that I have to lean on myself for advice.

Never give what you aren’t willing to chew.  If I say be patient and work out relationship you can best believe I’m doing the same.  So as I said I was talking to a friend about getting to the point where she no longer is moved by the other person in her life who seems to be the type who doesn’t support her.  Than smack, not the same issue but the same principle hit me.

Let me tell you this, I struggle with communication like badly.  But at this point in my life instead of shutting down, I’m being as proactive as I can to be present and work things out.  However my timing is usually off key. So if you’re like me you get a lot of frustration from others.  You probably get a lot of grunts and stares.  However let me just say keep on going.

I’m a firm believer that even if I fall daily and most likely I do, it’s better to put my best foot forward than to stand in silence.  Now let me just say that won’t magically fix your issues with others.  It’s not supposed to.  It will show your try.  Guess what, your try isn’t going to be good enough in all situations.  Be confident in yourself to acknowledge it and know that some folks are just seasonal. 

I was always taught that your gift will make room for itself and I’m a walking billboard.  I have people in my intimate circle who see my struggles and see the times I’ve fallen.  Until I’m dead and gone you will always see me dust myself and press on.  It’s at this moment when the blogger has to share this with you.  You are your own enemy and you are you’re own motivator.  No one will support you like you. 

I was reading an article today and realized in my past I’ve been one who needed attention from others in the form of approval. If this is your way of navigating through life you will find many miserable days.  You do NOT need another person’s approval.  If someone is not paying attention do not do another mental back flip to get them to give you their love.  Stop!  Don’t pass GO and do NOT collect 200!! 

You are literally enough and if you find things won’t work it will hurt like hell but you owe it to yourself to be happy and to live without brakes.  Please just stop.  I know what it’s like going the distance to find that your very makeup of who you are wouldn’t have been enough to begin with.  Liberate yourself.  I’ve been there and it’s the worst place.  I sat today and thought many times from a little girl up to this very moment I cried.  I thought about the moments a mean word about my looks, my dreams, and how and what I’ve offered to people was stepped on. 

My dad said something to me a couple of months ago that stuck with me.  I won’t go into it in detail but he wanted me to know that I could stand in a group or alone but I had more than enough tenacity to really make a difference.  He told me you will know if you are in the right crowd cause it won’t be a job. 

Please I encourage you to learn to spend the moments alone and work yourself over.  Be authentic with yourself and be honest with yourself.  I’m not talking about that you’re fat, you’re ugly talk.  I’m talking that honest talk that you see where you are, who you are around and what you want and align yourself.  You won’t have to shake folks off, circumstances will do it for you.  Allow it! 

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