Women’s Month, Year of the Woman: Stephanie S!

Thank you to the wonderful women who answered the call to be interviewed. It takes a lot to open up about who you are.  You are who you are and this process can be a little intimidating.  Thank you to all of my volunteers.  As women we all have unique situations that vary but collectively we go through much of the same things.  Not just for this month or for the #METOO movement, let’s all bond as one.

Stephanie S., is a mother to two beautiful girls.  Her oldest is actually her niece that she has raised since she was 13 until the age of 18 and her youngest is her biological daughter, she’s 4-years-old.  She’s been with her husband for 16 years and they will be celebrating their 9th wedding anniversary on May 9th.  She’s one of a few in her family to graduate high school and college and have gone onto graduate school.  She still has 3 more classes to go before she graduates. She was laid off in 2015 and found two jobs the following year in 2016, but she’s only working at one of those jobs and couldn’t be more happier.  She is finally in a place that she enjoys where she is currently.
What she would tell her younger self:
The life ahead of you will not be easy, but keep faith in God and trust that He will not give you more than you can handle.  Also, you need to relax more, things will work themselves out in the end. 
Lessons for her daughters:
Nothing in life is truly free.  Be honest, be kind, and the world will be yours. 
Love: Don’t rush into it.  If you truly want to know if your partner is right for you, please don’t be afraid to bring them to meet your father or me. 
Career: don’t settle for comfort.  Find a career that you’re truly passionate about and makes you happy to go to everyday.  In the end, if there’s anything in all three that you feel uncomfortable with, let someone know.  Don’t be afraid to tell anyone.
Our future and where we want to be should be something that we attempt to work at all the time. Nothing is simply going to be handed to us.  I asked where Stephanie sees herself in 5 years:
In a better position at my job.  I love my place of employment, but would like to advance to higher position.
What are the things you have accomplished:
Well, when it comes to personal accomplishments, I’d say, participating in art shows.  I love art and to be able to participate in art shows has been such an honor and a joy to share my own work with others who love art just as much as I do. 
Another personal accomplishment is that I decided to go to grad school to get my Master’s degree.  I haven’t finished my grad schooling yet, but I will soon or at least hope to. 
Career accomplishments, I would say is jumping into a position that no one else wanted and ended up being the best person they had done the job.
I think we tend to hold certain people in high regards.  This #METOO movement has allowed some of the ones we hold high to be seen differently.  No matter who it is, if you have sexually assaulted, harassed or abused another woman regardless of which roles you may have played, how much money you have, even if you are someone’s boss, it’s not okay.
What are your thoughts on the #METOO movement:
To be honest, I didn’t want to believe that some of the things being said about celebrities like Bill Cosby were true, but when you have so many women coming forward, then there must be some truth to the allegations.  It’s great that more women are coming forward and ousting their tormentors/abusers.  Women shouldn’t be afraid to speak out.  Value your self-worth before you value where your career can take you.  I feel my youngest is too young to truly understand what the movement means so I’m unsure of how I plan on using the movement.  The closest thing I can think of to tell my daughter would be, “If you don’t like someone touching you or you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to tell anyone.”
What are the things that Stephanie is looking to accomplish or crush:
The major thing on my heart that I hope to crush is completing my graduate degree.  When I do go back to complete it, I will have to pay for my three classes and I just can’t afford to pay for them right now.  So as soon as I can afford it, then I will complete my degree. 
Lastly what does self-love look like to you:
Accepting myself for who I am.  I am a person who is shy, but is trying to be more vocal when I need to be.  When having a rough day, listening to music every chance I get.  When I’m home, I wait until my daughter is in to bed to sit at my desk and write in my bullet journal or plan things out in my other planners.  And as silly as it sounds, I like to straighten my hair sometimes because it makes me feel good about my looks.  I chose to give up drinking sodas in order to care about my health.  I was drinking sodas to keep my energy levels up especially when I was at work, but I realized that as long as I’m laughing and staying productive at work, my energy is generally high or at a normal level.  Plus, I don’t get headaches anymore.  In place of sodas, I’ve been drinking more water.  Still working on getting to bed at a normal hour, but I will get there in time. 
Stephanie thank you again for participating.  I am sending positive vibes that you will get the funding you need to complete your master’s degree.  Do NOT stop just because you have this hiccup in the road. I hope your daughters know just how smart, how beautiful, how strong you really are.  I hope through your example that others around you will know continue to have purpose and move towards that purpose daily.
Another note if you’re looking for a photographer in central Pennsylvania, take a look at her information:

Weekly Wrap Up: March 24, 2017

So I want to start doing a weekly wrap up with my readers.  I first want to say thank you for rocking out with me.  Some of you have been loyal since day one 2 years ago and some are brand new.  Even if you came to see what I am doing and have something to say about that, either way you are here.

With this new weekly wrap up I will attempt to wrap a few news stories as well as personal highs and lows that went down this week.


  1. Missing black girls in the DC area.  I have a 7-year-old and to know that these young girls are missing and not much coverage is being done to bring them or any lost child home is most disturbing.  I need our men to step up and assist our single mothers in DC and all over the world.  Men make such a vital part of our community especially in homes where no male is present.  So let’s say a prayer that these young ladies make it home safe and sound.
  2. Violence breaks out outside the UK Parliament-it is the sad day that we live in where these senseless acts of violence and terrorism takes place.  My prayers to those who were injured or lost their lives.
  3. The United States government as a whole.  It’s no secret that Trump is in office.  There are a lot of laws and a lot of back and forth taking place that affects and will affect of the everyday life.  My suggestion is that we need to all start pulling resources together.  We need to look out for one another.  I have been saying this since I started this blog, we need to take it back to the old land mark where we would watch over our elderly, feed the kids, and help the single moms and dads where we can.  A little can go a long way and not just around the holiday times either.  Step it up all year-long

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Personal Highs

  1. Lost 2 more pounds this week.  Even managed to almost loss my clothes on the treadmill.  Contemplating if I should buy smaller size clothes as I have gone down one and a half but I am attempting to wait it out.
  2. Made some time for myself and I have a few things for myself this weekend. I am on a mission to attempt to balance my life as much as possible to not give more than I need to in any one area and pour back into my own life like I pour out into others.
  3. Daughter’s report came home and we are loving her new confidence.  We are working with her on not just hearing what we say but applying.  We want her to be strong and confident and speak up for herself respectively.
  4. Concurred the water demon aka drinking water more.  I do not like water however its one of the best components to losing weight is increasing water.  I can actually drink it whether its flavored or not and that’s major progress.
  5. Keeping up with my new natural hair style.  I thought it would be harder especially with the fact that I work out at least 3 days a week but so far so good.  See my blog on my natural hair, Natural is not a phase

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Blogs for this week:

If you missed anything and you I hope you haven’t but if you did this is what we were talking about this week:

  1. Marriage and medical deal breakers.  We helped a married couple navigate should they leave their marriage over a medical problem.  You have to read my answer.  It’s not always a flat-out no.  Yes we have vows but sometimes……
  2. Rapper Future is not on my top list of greatest rappers.  I do not like this just learned how to read, cookie cutter, make money off of stupidity rap.
  3. Open marriage in the communication lane and taking trips without your mate
  4. Whether or not you should leave a significant other who refuses to wash.  The short answer is going to a yes…..
  5. We highlighted KJM a blogger that keeps it straight no chaser.  Let me say she gets the nitty and gritty of where I leave off.  I blog light but my mouth is just as sharp.  Don’t know who KJM is, catch up
  6. Spring must do

Personal Lows

So this has been a trying week for me in that I am still dealing with the aftermath of my kid’s school.  I really am trying to find the appropriate way to start communicating and liking it my kids teachers.  I believe in keeping decorum but the struggle is in having to save face after I am clear that personalities no longer mash well.  Parenting is not an easy road.  I as always taught to handle my business but I find that I am on a hi and bye level and I am not sure if that will be enough to salvage the broken relationship.  I do not play when it comes to my kids.  Once I see someone lie, discriminate, or even not give them the basic education they deserve my first step is to get through the year and think ahead on new schooling.  I know that sounds like running but it’s not.  I believe every child needs to have a good education. I believe they should be safe, and be in a welcoming environment. My kids do not go to school for free.  So once I start shelling out rent payments and car notes I expect a high level of expectation to be met period.  So I am still figuring things out and weighing out all options.  The trick is putting my issues to the side for the better of my children but not taking no junk from anyone regardless of title or position.

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This past weekend wasn’t a very good one for me.  I had a hard time coming out of a funk. No I am not super positive every moment.  I can go left real quick.  It is something that I am aware of and try to stay away from others and retreat if I need to.  My patience can become quick and the only ones I am not short with for the most part are the 3 that call me mom.  I am working on getting better on working through my triggers.  But hey I am human and I bounced back fine.

Emotional Taxes

So today was something like an epic fail of sorts emotionally.  I can’t put my finger on one event that set me off but once I was there, it was hard to retreat.  I have been writing in my journal for over a year straight.  I have been trying to pinpoint myself in regards to what sets me off.  I found its normally when I allow someone to take space in my emotional bank, interest goes up but I am the one left paying the taxes.

I had a conversation with my younger self in my mind.  I looked back at my former younger self and realized that the fearless me had really taken a seat to having to adult.  I honestly wish at times I could have listened to my parents when they told me to slow down and stop trying to be so “grown.”  Now at 35 almost 36 this year, I actually have to be adult. I have to care what people who matter think, be responsible, and balance all of the pulls that the many hats of my life need.  Today I honestly just wanted to take people and slap other people with them.  I know what you’re thinking, why in the world would I say that? The answer is those were the emotions I felt.  I really get irritated when I can’t just tell people what I want or need, and they get it.  The long answer is the world doesn’t revolve around me.  I have not yet mastered mind reading.  I haven’t made enough money to go to a secluded island but I am working on it.  Life happens.  People are wishy-washy.  I am temporal in how I feel from moment to moment.

Pushing Past Things or People

I was asking myself what tools do I already have that can make me legit happy.  True happiness.  I am talking about joy.  I am not talking about the fake smile you have to give a boss to keep the coins coming in.  I am not talking about the spirit of agreement you have to give a spouse just to keep the peace.  I am talking about the joy that when others irritate you beyond belief, you can keep on making moves.  This mentality is so important for the person who is super unhappy that they are taking life’s journey alone.  FYI, you can be married and alone so this supersedes marital status.  People and things don’t always change. You however have the opportunity to change your response.  You can mentally retreat.  You can take a mental break.  You don’t have to stop making moves to satisfy whomever your mind tells you that you need to make what you want to align with your desires.  YOU can still recover a bad attitude, a bad mental space, raggedy thinking, etc.

The tools that I have to make my personal life better is my smile.  If you allow things to take your smile often times that in itself is an outward manifestation that your inner peace wasn’t taken but you gave it away.  Now let’s not get it twisted, life is no fairy tale.  There are bad days, mean-spirited people, and just an overall irritation for us all.  Smiling is a manifestation that all is well, smiling is your way of showing you that you are still alive and well.  Others may benefit from our smile, but your smile was first made for you.  My mother in law used to tell me that I didn’t smile enough and that was true.  I didn’t realize the power of my smile to keep me grounded.

Asking others to do for you what you won’t for yourself

Irritation comes in the form when you find yourself self-dependent on others to do for you what you won’t do for yourself.  We all need others to be successful, but there is a fine line between having others to see you through and being paralyzed by others not coming along for the ride. I was paralyzed when I moved to Philadelphia years ago.  It was normal in the beginning.  Then it went left when I would sit in the house and wait for my fiancé to come home to take me to a location 10 minutes away and I had a car.  Did I go to the location and get lost? No.  Did I even get dressed like I wanted to be somewhere?  How long was I gonna sit and wait?  A year.  Sadly a year I sat miserable waiting day in and day out.  Then get mad because my fiancé was supposed to support my sit out.  Everyday a new argument.  Everyday just paralyzed.  After I got mad, cursed, cried and threw a tantrum I realized it was 10 minutes away.  If I wanted something it wasn’t fair for me to expect it while I sat and did nothing.  If I wouldn’t get up and do things how could I expect him to do I for me. What and who are you allowing to paralyze you?  Everybody isn’t required to be everything to you all the time.  Seriously stop taxing others for places in your emotions you should be fulfilling or places God wants space.

So you’re irritated. So you’re ready to go on a slap fest. You have had it with the world.  Get it out. Acknowledge it.  Don’t just sit and not take care of you.  Don’t sit there apologizing a thousand times, get up and change you.  Do you know that defeat is more in our minds before it comes out of our mouth or someone else’s? If whatever is going on makes you feel hopeless, miserable, defeated, sad, down, upset, etc. don’t stay there.  Don’t do a year like I did for something that only would have taken 10 minutes.  Don’t give your joy and dependability to something and someone who you are requiring more from that you are unwilling to give to yourself or of yourself.

When my marriage at one point had hit a rocky point I was told from a trusted older married woman to treat my husband the way I would treat him if he was everything I wanted.  Wait, you mean I had to actually align my actions in spite of him.  No ma’am.  I do not want to be nice. I do not want to play fair.  I do not want to be loving and look past fault.  I want to be Petty LaBelle.  I want to argue until I win and he is mad.  I however want all of that in return.  How dare I want what I wasn’t willing to put out?  How dare I just sit and cry and not take care of me?  How dare I wait for him to apologize? No. I want what I want.  I want him to treat me like a goddess while I am out giving miserable, unhappy, unfulfilled vibes.  I want him to want to come home to a hot plate and be glad I didn’t throw his food in the trash while I chew his head off about a cup.  Duh, these are desirable traits. How much more you?  You want the universe, God, and a fairy dust to give you a good job but won’t show up to the job you have on time.  Wait, you want a husband but you really just want to be able to get one before the rest of your girlfriends just to brag.  You haven’t or even willing to do what needs to be done. How about those emotional taxes?  You don’t want to pay them but you want someone else to take care of them, right?!  How does that work?  Let me know.  Take care of you and still get things done.  Take care of you while you are in the limbo of life.  It will be the difference between being sound and just appearing sound.

31 Days and Change is Coming!

Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news or good news depending on how you see it, but a new Year is coming soon.  I know everyone will wait until after Christmas to start their new me, new this and that but wouldn’t be nice to do things a different this year?

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Instead of waiting, actually put an action plan in place.  How many years have gone by and you say the generic I want to do (insert desire) but you say it but don’t make a sure plan to do it?  I am sure quite a few.  It’s time to change that mentality and actually make a real plan.  Get things in order.  Get your house which can be the place you lay your head as well as your personal house the place where your soul and heart dwells together too.

Either way its time to do and not just talk.  I am serious.  Anything worth having is worth some work.  I know we are used to instant.  We want an update, instant.  We want food, drive through-instant.  We want to shop-instant.  Now you can shop without even having to get out of your car to pick it up.  We are used to the right now.  Let’s take that same mentality and put some action behind it.  For my house we do a vision board party.  We go and get some supplies, use my old magazines and get it done.  Some people are visual like me and it helps to see what I need to do.  So for instance my house has their vision boards in their rooms.  So we look at it often and talk about what we can do to complete a certain goal.  We have completed quite a few individually and collectively.  Yes the kids have their own too.  Now for them it may seem more of an art project, but can you imagine them getting in their spirit now how to get a plan and work their plan? They are going to have the potential to be great in their own rights.  It’s never too early to get the little people thinking in the right direction.

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So what say you?  You spending time only getting things right for the holidays?  Your future can wait right?  Nope.  Get a jump-start now.  For instance the dreaded lose weight that people want to do yearly.  You only go hard for the first 2 weeks maybe month in January but that’s it.  Why not hang your ideal wish outfit at your eyesight.  Get a new gym bag and actually pack it.  Get you a new water bottle.  Get you some indoor videos or work out gear so that when it snows or rains you can still push.  Hope about use the holidays the time to get it.  Catch the sales.  Give others who ask your list and go from there.  Again you can work it if you are about a little action.  Get a new work lunch bag that you love. It will help you plan ahead so you can begin packing healthier snacks instead of change for the vending machine or not eating at all.  See how that works?

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How about the new job plan?  Have you had someone take a fresh pair of eyes to your resume?  Have you printed new copies to go into your padfolio for the upcoming interviews you are going to score?  Have you gotten a new interview outfit and shoes?  Sales people. Use this time wisely.  Even if you hate the holidays you can still love these discounts.  Have you updated the many useful job search websites?  Have you gone to a few networking events that are held now during this holiday season?  No.  Then you have not exhausted all of your means.  Finding a new job is sometimes a full-time job.  You need to be spending your time working a new plan now and not wait until the influx of resumes start loading up on New Years day.  Will people hire during the holidays?  Not necessarily but they so start looking and putting their plans into place.

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This new way of thinking can be applied to all areas of your life.  So its time to get moving towards your new future.  It’s all in how you create it. One can’t simply pray without works.  What are you worth?  I hope you see the value in yourself so others can see the same thing.  Put your action to where you mouth is….

College Final Words

So when I graduated I was the happiest person in the world.  I thought about every stressful situation, every heartache, every defeat, every victory and it made me realize just how strong I was to get through it all.  I was happy to finally have my degree.  The very next semester I cried walking in a Walmart because there was no more school.  I know I am a rare person most folks would have rolled over and slept or even just went to work but I didn’t.  College had really been so much fun and a place for me to learn about myself.

I literally wouldn’t be the woman I am had I not gone through the experience.  It helped me to see others for who they really were too.  One of the biggest things I got from Penn State outside of the education was a lifetime supply of friends. College isn’t for everyone. I don’t look down on anyone who hasn’t gone. It seems like a party all the time but it’s not. It’s hard work.  There are many students who start out and don’t finish.  I would be lying if I told you that there were many days I wanted to quit.  I cried a lot.  I was stressed.  I had disappointing times.  End of the day it was something that I wanted so I fought and won.  If you want to take the journey into college whether that’s community classes, a big or small university or college it’s your choice to make.  Make sure to be clear what you want and if you decide to change your mind that’s fine too, but be sure and prepared to do the work to graduate.  To some college is just a piece of paper but I call it the proving grounds. If you are a graduate of higher education do NOT let anyone make you feel bad for attending.  You did the work and like me may even be a first generation college student. I had many people tell me how stuck up I was.  I had people say I thought I was too good.  I wasn’t.  I simply made my plan and with detours in the way made it happen.

To incoming freshman embrace this new life you are about to embark on.  It is the most challenging and most rewarding one yet.

My last key things to remember:

Breaks: It doesn’t matter if its Fall, Spring or Holiday breaks take them.  Try to spend time with family but also go on one trip with your new friends.  It is the time to have a blast so don’t waste it sitting on campus unless you are working getting your coins.

Meal Plans: I had one of the biggest meal plans but like most colleges they have places off campus where you can use them and of course they eat up your points.  Try to do this every now and again or prepare to eat Ramen noodles and spaghetti O’s.

Refunds: It seems like a big check in the beginning but once you account for all of your needs during the semester which will also include entertainment try to budget especially if you don’t have a job or work-study.

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Off Campus Apartments: Make sure you either have a reliable car or get familiar with the bus system in your town.  Make sure that you pick convenient living arrangements.

Roommates: Do not always choose your closest friends to live with.  I did and had no issues but just because you are friends does not mean you can live with one another. I have seen friendships end fast.  You do not know how another person lives.  I was a neat freak it drove my roommates crazy but we were able to live together.

Romance: If you read my college blogs you know that I ended up marrying my college sweetheart but not everyone ends up with that love story.  Make sure the one you decide to make public and date on campus is on the same page.  Dating should never interfere with your grades.  So if you are dating someone who is encouraging you to let your grades slack you already know what to do.  You both came to get an education so get it.  Be balanced.  Yo do not need  to be joined at the hip.  Separate us time, me time, friends time, school time, and maybe work time.  This is practice for when you get into the real world or get married its the same expectations.  If you were interested in certain activities continue them. Keep the campus folks out of your business.  Rumors spread faster on campuses so be aware of what you allow out.

Laundry: Many students do not take laundry into account. Most campuses have machines that take cards, points or some type of monetary exchange.  Please consider the options. Mom and dad love you but no wants to see a semester worth of clothes coming home.






College, The One Time I Failed

So I have had straight A’s since the second grade.  Even the raggedy 5th grade teacher that I had that attempted to change my grades because I was just “going to have babies anyway,” couldn’t stop my drive.  I took and graduated from the International Baccalaureate program at my high school.  I was apart of the first class of graduates from the program.  I had been wined and dined by many colleges but I decided to go to Pennsylvania State University. I was offered a full scholarship and with other local scholarships my college was financially was looking great.

My first day on campus I was a nervous wreck.  I really enjoyed the happy environment that “happy valley” showed me.  I already knew a few people on campus and so for a freshman I was feeling myself. I felt like I had the social life down.  I didn’t but that’s how I felt.  So as time passed and we had that extended weekend to get settled, and meet new people it was time for classes to begin.  So I walked into my classes so ready to learn and meet new challenges.  However when I stepped into my math class it really made me rethink why I had come to college to begin with.  This teacher was from another planet.  He just went too fast and I couldn’t grasp the information.  He had to classes were like 50 minutes and he meant to “teach” you in that little bit of time.  At Penn State he might have taught 10 more classes that day the same way.  It really was a huge campus and we all had to have this class for our general education requirements.

I will call this math teacher Richard.  It’s no where what his actual name was but Richard will do.  Richard was a hard teacher.  He had been teaching for years but it was something about his teaching style initially that I didn’t like.  So I knew I was going to have to work harder in this one.  Math was never my favorite but I excelled in it before. As I knew I hadn’t gotten the first lesson, I just kept going  I of course got a little cocky.  Here I was a student who had competed with students all around the world and still found success so I didn’t study hard.  I did minimal work and then that first exam came, I failed it!  Not even like barely passed failed, nope like the type of fail where I’m sure the points I had gotten was for getting my name right.  I had never failed at anything and I didn’t tell anyone about it initially.

To some students it would be no big deal however for a student like me I was devastated.  I remember me not saying anything for the first day of receiving my grade.  I was shocked, afraid and in the back of my mind I kept thinking I was going to lose my scholarship.  I did the most hardest thing ever and that was call my parents.  I didn’t even speak.  My mom gave her normal what’s up buttercup line and I just started crying. She couldn’t even understand what I was saying. I could hear her mom voice about to go into extra because the way I cried you would have thought I was physcially hurt.  I hadn’t been on campus a month. Once I got settled and finally told her what happened she was like okay calm down. She told me to go and meet with the teacher during office hours and ask for extra help. She told me that college wasn’t high school.  She reminded me that I was on campus with a million other kids that are scholars in their own right and I was going to have to work smarter not harder.  My dad agreed and told me I would be alright.  He said go get yourself together and do what I had to do.  I did.

I met with the teacher and passed that class with an A.  Go figure.  I couldn’t rely on my smarts, I had to work.  I wasn’t the top of my class.  At Penn State I was one of…. I had to humble myself and learn the new way of learning.  I wasn’t in a small town with small classes of kids I had been in school with forever.  The main campus where I attended had thousands of undergrad and graduates.  So it helped me to fail that class.  I learned about all of the academic support that was available.  I learned to navigate better.  I was able to see my weakness for the first time.  That lesson has helped me in my personal life.  I’ve bad many trials in my life, but I am able to know that I can’t do it all.  There will be times where I will need help and it’s okay to speak up.  If you are in college, thinking about college, or a freshman please learn to utilize all academic support.  They come in handy for many classes.  They can help with papers, etc.  They are an endless wealth of assistance but you have to be willing to go to them.  It worked out in the end for my good.  I may have had more challenging classes since then but I didn’t fail in more exams becasue I learned how to get it together.