Ask Toi: A man I’ve been dating for months has gone stale in communication, what should I do?

This sounds like he’s ghosting you. Ghosting is when someone you’re dating or dealing with no longer answers calls or text messages and is unavailable.

First of all, understand that some folks avoid difficult conversations. He is definitely not interested or has more on his plate and is unable to or doesn’t want to add you into the equation. There could be a thousand reasons why. It’s not your job to figure him out. Your job is to not take on his lack of communication as means of figuring out your worthiness of being in a relationship that meets your needs.

I can share that I’ve been ghosted in the past. However when I went back and thought about the surrounding signs that I paid no attention to it made sense. I had been ghosted by someone who didn’t have his stuff together. He didn’t have a place of his own. He was almost nomadic or basically going from one spot to another. So I didn’t fit the bill of fostering that situationship and was ghosted. It was cool while it lasted. I spent more time than I should have worrying about what I could have done for someone who wasn’t worthy of the amount of energy I gave. Don’t be Toi in her 20s. Be smarter than I was. Know your worth and add tax. Dating was hard in my 20s and it’s harder now!

This man may never reveal his why. You may have to gather yourself and move along. It’s hard! It sounds easier said than done but it’s definitely necessary. Chalk it up to dating in this world with inconsistent players.

Going forward pay attention to the signs. When something sounds off, acts off, or behaves off, it could very well be off. You would be better off without the headache.

If it’s that he isn’t being as consistent as he once was in terms of communication, Ask. It could be that he does have a legitimate reason. But don’t be fooled into I was bust explanation. Busy people still prioritize their wants.

Good luck!

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Meet India Green of Naturally Indy; Urban Glow Cosmetics

I had the elite pleasure of meeting this super star of self-care and natural care guru when my oldest had her pining ceremony for Girl Scouts. Her poise and beauty intrigued me and I knew I had to bring her to my ToiTime followers.  Urban Glow Cosmetics is a unisex handmade natural skin care to enhance that natural glow. So what does a college student, a budding entrepreneur, and altogether natural beauty have to teach us?

Let’s meet CEO and founder of Urban Glow Cosmetics, India and find out……

I wanted to know what made this Junior college student majoring in Media Studies and Production Major with a certificate in Event Leadership and entrepreneur want to make her start? Why natural care products?

I have always had a passion for natural products, since I went completely natural in regards to my hair. The more I learned about my hair’s health, I realized that your hair is a reflection of your overall health and using chemically based skin care has no benefits to your skin, hair or body! I want my hair and skin to reflect my lifestyle and I saw a hole in the market and decided that I would fill it. As many “natural” skincare companies as you may see, believe it or not some contain unnatural ingredients or are just too expensive. Urban Glow Cosmetics targets college students especially with our affordable products and are easily accessible. Outside of college campuses, we aim to restore self-care practices in the lives of both women and men. 

When I was in college especially one that didn’t cater to the needs of African-American students, the only real stores were on campus or our local Wal-mart.  Often times the disconnect on what we needed and what was available was slim pickings. I would find that often times as a student back in the early 2000 before I realized anything about natural hair care or skin products, students would just wait for a break or find a student on campus that would be kitchen chemists or hair dressers. I am glad that India realizes the market here for Temple students and beyond.

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I know with anything in life nothing comes easy.  I wanted to know one of the lessons that she has learned along the way trying to bridge this gap.

Patience is truly a virtue! There were times when I felt that I was moving too slow compared to others and their businesses and that caused me to fail on my first ever batch of masks. I rushed and didn’t use all the ingredients I knew I should have caused them all to mold over before I could even began selling. That taught me to not compare myself to others, but to use others’ success to motivate me! I learned to trust my own process. 

That’s a word. I know we all can take a lesson out of India’s book and apply that lesson across the board. Comparing yourself to someone else will always make you feel less adequate. Run your own race. Take pride in what you do. It will all come together in time. Easier to say and so much harder to do. So trust the process and keep the course.

I am still VERY new at business owning so I am still tackling my time management! Since I am the president of Campus Curlz Temple University chapter, an active member of the AmeriCorps Next Steps national  volunteering organization, and I work it has been difficult. I schedule days where I do specific tasks only and it definitely takes discipline. I have days scheduled where I only work on Urban Glow orders and other days where I only do Campus Curlz related work, volunteer, and so on. There have been plenty of times when I have been overwhelmed, but I know I have to just get better with discipline. I love all that I do, so I know I will make it work for me. My friends and family are very supportive of what I do so I can still bond with them while working on my brand. 

Having support as you complete  your goals is important. India’s schedule of being a student and a business owner seems overwhelming but what I do know is that when you are determined you can make anything work. So what’s stopping you?  Only you know the answers. Even in temporary failure as India had with her first set of masks, her ability to refocus instead of giving up is key.

Nothing worth having is going to just fall in your lap. Even if the idea does, it takes work to maintain. So I wanted to know from India, what sacrifices she has experienced this far in her own journey?

I have had to sacrifice a lot since launching Urban Glow Cosmetics, but one major sacrifice I’ve made thus far would be my “free time”. I have sat out on family events, social events, sleep, etc. just to make sure I am doing what is needed for Urban Glow Cosmetics. I used to feel upset about it, but the more time I spend working on my craft the less it feel like a sacrifice for me. 

 Could you make this type of sacrifice for your dream? Think about it. If you had to miss out on some events, or time with your family members, could you? I know I could and have in the past. Sometimes we have to let those around us know that we love them but this comes first. 

Everyone who reads ToiTime knows at this point how much I am a champion of self-care. It’s important to take time out for yourself while you serve or even times before you can serve someone else. With that in mind I wanted to know how does self-care coincide with Urban Glow Cosmetics?

Self-care is the basis of my business! Self-care is a term people think they know, but it consists of so much more! Urban Glow Cosmetics serves as the physical part of self-care, but I want to expand this and give people the opportunity to reclaim the word, understand what it means, and have them incorporate it into their everyday lifestyle naturally. 

As we are only a mere days into the New Year, what was the one thing that you felt you missed in 2018?

If i’m understanding the question correctly, one thing I feel like I missed out on was promoting myself at events. I was offered a spot at multiple vending events and I didn’t have confidence in myself at the time and I passed up those opportunities. 

We all have been there before. There is a time to say no. No when you feel like you are being pressed in the wrong direction. No when you feel like you are being used. However no can backfire. Thinking you haven’t done enough to be invited to the table can be just as damaging as being pressed too thin. If you are being brought to the table and its nothing that takes away from you in any way, consider your No to a Yes. You are just as worthy. IF you find that those at the table seem more polished, use it as a way to fine tune your skills sets. Ask questions of those seasoned. As a blogger I have had many times when I didn’t even attend. I was like I need more years under me. However after striking away fear, I found that I had just as much to offer as my fellow bloggers when attending. India get to the table, and smile with pride-you got it!

What does the future look for India and Urban Glow Cosmetics?

My plans and goals for Urban Glow Cosmetics is to develop into more than just a natural skin care company. I want to have several events, conferences, and retreats focusing on self-care, self-love, and the empowerment of women. My brand “Naturally Indy” will expand globally, so not only will I provide physical products but self-care goes deeper than the physical and I want to help women on their journeys mentally, emotionally, and physically through my events, conferences, retreats, etc. My ultimate end goal that will combine my field of study (Media Studies and Production) and my passion projects will be have my own TV Show that talks about numerous topics to help and motivate women. 

Girl you better say that! Speak it and work towards it, I know that this is just the beginning.

What is your message for women? For the Community? For Yourself?

“ It is okay to be selfish with you. It is important to take care of you. Be sure that you’re on the top of the list of people who you care for and take care of. “

To Myself: “ Stop waiting to turn into some perfect version of yourself and start enjoying being who you are in the present. Everything else will align.”

To my Community: “ Help each other! There are so many ways  to help your people, your friends, and your family. Do your part because support goes a long way!” 

india products

Men natural care products are for you too. Trust me skin of all kind can benefit from natural skin care products and is necessary for all. Also ladies, makeup can be that much more flawless when the skin underneath is just as “beat” without it. In 2019, do yourself a favor and treat your skin just as well as you do with the products that you put on top of it. With that in mind here’s how you can bring these affordable products to your home.  Also watch out for more, 2019 new products are dropping. Don’t miss out:

Urban Glow Cosmetics

If you will be in Philadelphia Pa area on February 2, 2019 join India and fellow other entrepreneurs at the Boss Babe Link Up. This event is a ticket paid event and will include food and a chance to be around other goal oriented women. You can find the information below:

Boss Babe Link Up

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And for those who claim they are too busy for self-care, lets end that talk in 2019. There are a thousand ways you can self-care.  For my busy on the go college students, moms, women and men who are always on the go get ahold of the masks as they are “to-go” sized and travel friendly. That means there is no reason you can’t afford them this year or grab and go either! Go and grab it and let’s flood this entrepreneur with love with our support as well as we can support her with our dollars too!

Follow India at her social media handles below:

Instagram

Campuscurlz Temple University

2019 Let’s Get It

So we all have goals. I believe in doing daily, weekly, monthly and of course yearly goals. I told you I am the type that carries around 2 planners. One for my life and family life and the other just for the blog. It’s important for me to write down my intentions and see my goals in front of me so that I can accomplish anything. So when the New Year comes along to me regardless if you believe in resolutions, goal setting is very much important.

So with that in mind as always I will do my yearly Vision Board. I love sitting down with my husband and kids and helping each other come up with their goals, supporting their goals, and really setting the ground work for our kids to understand that having a vision in life is important even at an early age. We sit down and have the Storr Family Vision Board party. I make it into an event. We have fun, we talk about what we think we want to do, and it’s another opportunity for my husband and I as a couple to set goals for the family, and as individuals. I would highly encourage you to do the same. I also take and set my vision board in my room so I can openly view it. It’s important to have it in my eye sight so I can work through the goals often. I also take a picture of it and set it as backdrop on my cell. This way since I am on it enough, I can continue to affirm my goals daily. I believe that there is at least one thing I can do everyday towards my goals and that is my mindset.

visionboard

Personal Goals

I used to think that having personal goals should be at the bottom of the list. To me that is not the way to go. Before I can help anyone else in their goals I need to be actively fulfilling my own. So here are my personal goals:

  • Take another solo trip
  • Connect with a Spiritual Mentor
  • Take at least 2 weekends even if it’s an overnight trip to self renew
  • Complete 5 races
  • Arrange a birthday brunch with my friends
  • Take at least 2 girls trips
  • Do at least 4 facials at a salon
  • Keep my self-care balanced
  • Continue my weight management balance
  • Celebrate each month with something I love to do for myself
  • Stack my savings
  • Stack my emergency fund
  • Attend more events
  • Tweak my friendships to be better, eliminate the relationships that no longer serve

Blog Goals

Here are my blogging goals for this year

  • Get a new Camera for blogging
  • Collaborations with brands (new ones already secured; details coming)
  • Come from behind the blog to be more interactive on my social media platforms
  • Use my own pictures and editorials for my blogs
  • Continue my branding expansion
  • Attend one blog retreat in another state or city
  • Increase my social media numbers on all platforms
  • Keep the consistency in blogs per week
  • Collaborate with 2 new bloggers

Mommy Goals

This I needed to make slighty different from my family goals. As a mom I noticed that any triggers I may have had and didn’t know through counseling has come up in how I parent. Thankfully I am doing the work to make sure that my kids are well-rounded and balanced. Growing up we spent more time worrying about being settled in church that all other areas were neglected. It’s the truth that you can’t just be spiritually minded and no earthly good.

  • Balance the time I spend with my kids
  • Take them on more mommy and me time
  • Continue to work hard at my self-care as it reflects to my mothering
  • Develop each child with what they need over what I think they should have ie. love them with their love language
  • More patience-always need more of that
  • Be mindful of my words and how I relate to them
  • Give them the best parts of me
  • Cultivate each child’s dreams as a unit and separately

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Family Goals

  • Take more trips to the lake
  • Take at least one beach trip
  • Set up 2 family vacations
  • Continue to celebrate life freely
  • Continue to celebrate the little things
  • Continue our prayer sessions daily
  • Celebrate each other’s accomplishments
  • Continue keeping peach in our home
  • Eliminating wasteful spending as a unit

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Bae Goals

  • One getaway
  • Celebrate each other’s accomplishments
  • Find ways to love each other according to our love language
  • Monthly date nights
  • More check-ins and being intentional in listening to one another
  • Communicate effectively
  • Keep the focus on what’s important
  • Be a better partner not just a wife. My husband and I moved towards partnership and I found it’s been better for us. As a wife or husband you tend to work towards duties. Partnership moves past duties and making sure we give each partner what they need to be successful

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So as you can see because I am always writing my goals, it wasn’t hard for me to fine tune what I know I’m setting out to do. It’s important to me to be sure that I am always finding ways to be a better version of myself. As life happens, this list, will change. In order to live a life of purpose, I don’t have to stick to this list and bring in the guilt of changing my goals. I can use this as a guide and have fun doing them. I hope you change your perception of what goal setting is about. It’s all about fine tuning yourself and having something to work towards.

 

May your 2019 be all that you put the work into becoming!!

Christmas Self-Care

It’s Christmas! Time to break out the food and fun! For some the holidays don’t always represent love and harmony. This holiday often is the hardest for many reasons! With that in mind I’m giving you a few tips to survive it!

  • Have an exit plan- family is great until they’re not. Make sure you can leave and have a back up plan for self-care. Don’t stay anywhere that will send you into a tail spin!
  • Take things in strides. As much as you want to do more, eat more, drink more don’t over do it!
  • Have fun. Don’t make everything to be on such a schedule and don’t have a list of demands whether it be in the form of gifts or time that you feel others should spend. Allow those around you to be able to flow
  • Say no. You can’t be to everyone what everyone wants. Do what you can and leave the rest. Others around you will adjust
  • If you’re single around the holidays it’s hard. Acknowledge it but don’t let it overtake your thoughts. I told you about a friend who literally screamed on the phone out of her desire to be with someone. It’s a real overwhelming feeling but you can drive yourself crazy trying to be with someone.
  • Keep perspective. Know your reasons for the holidays and don’t get side tracked!
  • Love on others
  • Do for others
  • Don’t get into arguments or fights over the holidays. Walk away!

Whatever your plans are, have fun. May you have peace. Do what you need to do to ensure your own peace. Life is too short to be around folks that you regret or to not be around those you love due to misunderstandings. Work out what you can and make amends with whom you can. Find peace and pursue it! Don’t stay where you aren’t wanted. Don’t do anything that will make you complain. Do things because you truly want to! What would be the point of going around certain people only I spend hours talking about how bad it was if you knew it would be bad going in. You can be around people and do what’s best for you. This could mean go and leave at a designated time. This could mean not engaging in certain conversations. For those who have amazing family and friends that you have, be grateful! Enjoy it! Smile! Be present and not just bring presents!

Cherish the memories!

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday Motivation: Christmas Edition

As the holidays are exactly 8 days away one of the things that I have changed is not waiting until the last-minute for everything. I have a few things to do but I am not allowing any of it to get under my skin. For that I am grateful. I know the holidays aren’t about giving gifts or receiving gifts as much as it’s about be a blessing to those around me and spending time with my family and which is my personal choice to celebrate the birth of the Savior.

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Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

I am not allowing the hustle and bustle of the season to make me crazy.  I am not going to spend time getting into countless arguments over stuff that I know that I can’t change. I know I can manage my time. I know I can prepare things early enough to be sure that things are the way I want them.  I know that beyond preparing for the actual day of Christmas is about preparing for the kids to be on break. Finding them activities that can be done in and out of the house that won’t break my budget.  These are the things that I am allowing to motivate my week. I don’t want to be sitting around upset or making myself vulnerable to mindless arguments over who should be doing what and when.

Be intentional about your thoughts this week. Your to do list will get done in tine. Do what you can and what can’t be done, don’t max out cards to do it. Don’t stress your life so that you are going more and more into debt and pain in the New Year. Do not do more for folks if it isn’t coming from a good place and a good heart. I have cut out a large amount of spending by focusing on the kids in my life. That doesn’t mean I didn’t get any adults but I definitely didn’t try to get all of the adults I know. Balance is my focus. My motivation is keeping the spirit of fun in my thought process. Playing with my children. Making time to watch movies with them. Making sure that I bake with them. Not worrying about material parts alone. Some people really lose it trying to keep up with the Jones’s.  Don’t let that be you. There are a million things to be celebrated. Families coming together that were torn apart, checking in on the elderly, seeing strangers smile who might have been so down that the holidays seem like a joy kill to them, serving the less fortunate, any and everything can be seen through different lenses. Do not loss that focus as you wrap gifts, prepare food, and set out outfits.

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Photo by Colin Schmitt on Pexels.com

This week, choose joy. Choose to see the good in this already evil world. Choose to be grateful for what you have and the little you may think you have may be someone else’s portion. Choose to be happy that you have the ability to make decisions that affect your life. Choose to smile more. Choose to be kind to others around you. Pay it forward. We need to hear more stories of others doing for those around them than taking. Let’s hear it this week for making sure you check in on others. There is a lot of pain that comes in with the  holidays too. As much as I love celebrating, I know that some folks are hurting. Some folks are experiencing high levels of pain, death, grieve, etc. My heart goes out to them. I have been praying for more people who are in these situations more and more as the holiday gets closer. Think of those people around you. Motivate your Monday and week to the things that matter that don’t have anything to do with price tags.

Keep your mind and heart clear. Sending you love as you go into the home stretch of this week!

Sunday Message: Stand in your Own Light

There’s so much expectations going on. I’m watching a lot of current events and hearing debates on all types of things. One thing to keep in mind is allowing people to find their way and stay in their own light. So many times we want to make others come you our points about everything. Let people do what feels right to them.

We don’t want people to be cookie cutter versions of everyone around us. Being unique and different is what makes us spark. Learning that you can be among others and be yourself is the only way for you to know and live in authenticity. So don’t worry if you’re ideas don’t match others. Make sure whatever you bring to the table is what you intended. It’s important for you to stand in truth. I’ve learned over the years how amazing life can be when you live on your terms while respecting others around you.

So as we enter this last week of Christmas and you begin to focus on your new goals for the New Year don’t forget to honor yourself. Don’t make your goals on what others think you should be. Don’t wait until the stroke of midnight to be motivated. Start working towards your goals now. Add a new goal each week or even each day. Your goals won’t just turn on January 1st. Your goals need to be turned on every time you wake up. What one or two things can you go to live in your truth and let your light shine?! Do them daily. If you honor yourself it will help you to honor others around you!

Stand in your light today!

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

I had the elite pleasure of taking the tour of the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market. This was my actual first time! Now like the Christmas Village, it’s an open air market. It features delicious foods from of course Philadelphia. It also features artisans, designers, crafters, with gifts under beautifully designed tents.

So as we began the tour the first stop was at Philly Sausage. It features two sausages the Italian Market and the Philly Sausage. Amazing doesn’t even describe the way my tastebuds felt. The cold began to be less frigid as soon as that warm sausage hit my tongue. They were excited to be out there and welcomed us with warm arms. Trust me we needed it!

The second stop was of course to the Beer Garden. Nothing warms me like alcohol. With three different flavors to choose from it’s a match made for everyone. I of course tried the Lemon Meringue IPA that had the highest alcohol content. Judge your mother it was cold. It’s super tasty! You definitely need to try it!

We enjoyed the Deck the Halls Light Show sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. An electrifying display of music, magic and lights all covering City Hall was an absolute delight! I loved the part when as we watched people didn’t just watch and filmed, they also sang along!

The fourth stop of the night was at Popcorn Obsessions. 80, yes that’s right 80 flavors of out of this world flavors. I highly recommend the mint chocolate, peppermint stick, and the chocolate cookie dough. They were sweet perfection. This goes outside of the normal flavors you would find at a local spot. They have sweet to savory flavors! You will not leave disappointed

So by this point I’m happily jittery as we took a walk to the Winter Garden sponsored by TD Bank. This garden has seating for those who want to enjoy their beer. Speaking of beer, at Dilworth the new treat this year is not being restricted to drink only in the garden. You can drink your beer while you walk and shop. The only place you can’t is within City Hall.

I absolutely loved the Winter Garden. It’s visually stunning, plenty of seats to enjoy your drinks, and the reindeer grass displays were super cute.

Now one of the highlights was stopping at Lokal Artisan Foods for the French Toast Bites. Now I know everyone loves French toast however if my French toast ain’t crunchy I don’t like it. This French Toast changed my perspective. It was deep-fried and the owner, Charisse McGill made my French toast bites with love. Have you ever met someone who just had that IT quality?! She’s it. She’s personable, passionate, and makes French toast tell a pancake to get down!! I was impressed and I look forward to seeing more in the future from the whole company. PS she quit her job 3 weeks ago and went from punching a clock to walking in her destiny. I can’t wait to watch her story unfold.

One of the jewels of the night was Gourmet Creations. These spreads which we tried on pretzels can be used on various foods. I tried just about all of them and the highlights for me was the chocolate raspberry and the Cheddar Ale.

On our next stop we made our way to Cynful Bliss. This is a mobile alcohol and non alcohol infused desserts. Now yes I love my “adult juice,” but this was more than that. The passion that was shown through the product is a hit for the holidays and beyond. I had “Greed.” It was peach cobbler and peach brandy. What I loved is anyone who makes desserts with alcohol knows alcohol will burn off during the process. However they add more than enough to have a shot in a glass with premium alcohol. I’ll be ordering some for the family. Who doesn’t like desserts? This was the perfect combination. You can have your cake and drink it too!!

Who doesn’t love cannolis? I know I love them. We had to include the stop to the Cannoli Cafe. Fresh and sweet. I loved it.

Nothing says the holidays like cookies. Our stop at Picket Fence Confections was a pure delight. Homemade and beautifully decorated they were a sweet treat. Kera puts her heart into her creations. These cookies are fresh and amazing. I had the apple cinnamon oatmeal cookie and it was the perfect mesh of perfectly paired ingredients as well as it was one is the softest cookies I’ve had in a long time.

After all of that eating it was time to take a ride on the Carousel. As cold as it was and as much as we thought we would be too cold to enjoy it, our inner kid came out immediately as soon as the ride started. How could it not?! Everyone loves the fun and excitement of a carousel ride. Grown folks riding around, smiling, and laughing made us forget for seconds that we were in under 40 degrees.

So off to Penn Potato Fries. Amazing chicken and fries. It was well worth the wait. They didn’t just have it pre made. It was made while we waited. We were able to talk, ask questions, and dance along to Christmas music but once I ate the fries and chicken immediately I knew that this was a stop we couldn’t have had passed up.

Since the Holiday Market has something for everyone I was even able to stop at Piggy Back Treats to grab a treat for my furry brother Sammy. These are human grade treats for dogs and cats. Definitely don’t forget the pets in your life. These treats can be delivered locally and mailed. Get your orders in soon to guarantee before Christmas.

Now to end the night well at least food wise we stopped at Woops. Woops is the macaroon of macaroons. All kinds of flavors to choose from and I highly recommend the mint chocolate. The only issue is which ones to choose from.

One of the last highlights outside of the Rothman Orthopedics Cabin is of course the Ice Rink. Everyone of all ages enjoying a night of skating, smiles and some of the best Christmas music!!!

So if you love food, you’re covered. If you love beautiful one of a kind gifts, you’re covered. If you want to gather your friends and family for a good time for the Light Show or Ice Skating, you are covered. What’s not covered is getting all of this for too much longer. Be sure to get out and leave the hustle of the holidays and make time for fun!!

With all of the holiday options you got to make sure you don’t miss any of it. Stop by the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market!!