3 Years of Blogging-The Background Tea

Happy Anniversary! I love this time of the year.  It’s like a birthday and Christmas wrapped into one.  On a blogiversary I usually rethink what I want to do.  I get a vision together and I work with it.  I also think about what has taken place in the year during this blog  year.

Image result for balloons and confetti gif

This has been an awesome year. Not just because today is such a high day either.  It is a good year because I took steps to make it great.  Nothing just happens. I had to put the work into my life in a lot of areas so I can attempt to live my best life daily.  With that in mind, I am super grateful for just life itself.  Now let me also say life hasn’t been a bowl of cherries.  So today I will spill the background tea.  A blog about yourself is super sticky.  You will get strangers who can resonate with your story.  You also get folks who know you, don’t like you and will stir the pot.  You will also get people who know of you, don’t know your full story and will contact you and say I had no idea you were dealing with whatever topic.  I put me out there because I can do it best and that comes with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Or the one thing I get is how do I know if I am putting too much of myself out. I know because I feel like I have to be 100% okay with what I put out and who that will affect. For the most part I only worry about my husband and kids.  This is why I limit what pictures I show of my kids.  I ask them for their permission too.  Respect towards them is important. My husband is my number one fan so his support is incredibly important to me.

What about backlash?

I do not change my blogs to prevent backlash.  This is because these are my stories, my experiences and most importantly my page.  I think it is clear that the human spirit will draw to those it needs to.  I don’t worry about backlash in the form of someone who I don’t or barely deal with having a “word” for me.  This is not a cocky attitude it’s just real. I have had family members say to me, you say this and that on your blog but then you are a different with me.  The reality with writing is you can focus your words to be nice or not-its called editing.   When I am talking I don’t have time to edit.  However whether or not I am qualified to speak on me and tell the good, bad and the ugly is not even up for discussion.  I like most people have a past. If I don’t vibe well with another person will not determine if I should shut down an entire blog.  I am not everyone’s cup of tea and I love my flavor so I will not water it down.  This is why self-care and self-love works.  I practice this daily so that while I give out I can keep my cup always full.

I am wrong, Admit it, Keep it Pushing

I can admit in my blogs when I am wrong. I do not attempt to paint a cookie cutter picture of my life. My life has ups and downs, fault, and failure like everyone reading this blog has.  I do NOT know of a person who doesn’t.  I talk about me because I can.  Do you know how many people in the last 3 years have reached out to me to say thank you. When I wrote about postpartum, do you think I am the only one who has gone through it? Absolutely not. I told on how I even got so bad I threatened to call the police on my fiance (now husband) because I was so far gone and couldn’t manage my emotions. I talked about the moments in motherhood where I feel like I am missing the mark and the frustration of managing my 3 kids with 3 different personalities and trying to figure out that balance.  I have talked about the times I personally wanted to give up on my marriage. I have talked about what its like as a woman in her skin to have those moments where you wake up and see your weight, your face, a mole, or whatever makes you feel less sexy, less confident and how to come out because I went through it and came out on the other side. I can’t tell you about things I haven’t experienced. That’s not real. I know me. I know what’s like to be deemed the perfect child but fail miserably in life.  It sucks. It hurts, but if I wait for approval from everyone I would still be failing.  Oh ps. to other bloggers, you know that folks gonna talk, I say talk on, because at the end of the day I give no front seats to my life to just anyone especially when it’s not earned.

Image result for youre wrong

Dust yourself Girl and Keep Writing

So for me these blogs are the essence of who I am. I make the mark, get knocked down, fall back a few spaces, dust myself off but in the end sink or swim, I’ll make it.  Everyone loves the underdog and I feel like the ones who wished that I would just plain old stop are up for one miserable ride.  I am Lord’s willing gonna stick this out and see what the end is going to be.  For those who I will make amends with because there have been some issues that have come out that I will conquer I will get there.  The others, no love lost, I have love but it’s from afar and I make zero apologies for it.

Image result for im good gif

Distance is key

I have noticed the incredible amount of peace that has happened in my life. I try to keep my circles small. Even with distance I find that if something is stirring I don’t even answer it.  My family meaning my husband and kids schedules keep me on my toes.  I love it. I am venturing out, attending more conferences, so my life is going in a different directions these days.  It’s been a long time coming.  Like any woman I can be petty, but my life has evolved to the point where I keep it quiet, move in silence, and focus on the people who really matter.  I say this because if you stir some old mess, it usually stinks. I have had readers over the years say they keep putting themselves in situations and wonder why they aren’t getting different results. If you learn nothing more today, change how you move and who you are around. That in itself will change your life.  We have a zero drama policy in our home. We don’t even have conversations about much that includes drama especially around our kids. We won’t allow drama folks in there. Not one person who has visited us has been one to stir a pot and if they do, we have no issues with asking you to leave.  My husband and I started this a few years ago. I wrote about how I got into it with a person and it forever changed me for the better. I will not allow myself to get to the point where I am so mad, I need to curse folk out, go off, or check for gas in my car for a pull up.  Yes followers, I am human.  I post about change but there was a time when all of that negativity was in me.  I choose change. Distance allowed me time to cool off, work on me and make a decision if people need to be involved with me or not.  Some I am slowly working to get into the swing with some and others I haven’t written off I just chose to continue in quiet and distance.

Great Followers

I have had some amazing followers let me say.  You have been rocking out when I lose my blogging way which happens. I love what I do, but life throws a few curb balls.  Last year I had to refuel but I was never gonna give up. I had to find my own passion and it happens and writers block is real. I try not to pull too much from headlines unless I feel extremely passionate so this is why people ask me to recap a show and if I am not feeling it I just won’t.  I have been eliminating a lot of reality television by choice so if you see me recap a show its going to be because I really felt the topic was something I truly have knowledge of, it was something I had been through, etc

To my new followers, go through and spend some time on the page. There is a lot for all kinds of topics. There is something for everyone male and female.

Image result for cardi b foreva

Ask Toi

I love my Ask Toi questions. I answer these at toitimeblog@gmail.com and when I do I keep my follower’s identity closed. There is no reveals around here.  People have messy and crazy lives and revealing who they are would be completely wrong. So if you have a question, send them to the ToiTime email and I will try my best to answer them.  I always give a more detailed answer to my follower and a condensed version to my followers.  The reason is that some details would reveal and I am all for keeping Ask Toi as discreet as possible.

Image result for dust yourself off and try again gif

So I will continue in my blogging endeavors. I will continue to be transparent. I will continue to be who I am and make no apologies for who I am.  I will continue to push the envelope because I do that off-line as much as I do it online.  I try to match my social media life to of my real life. Too many fakes, but there is only one ToiTime.  I am unique, I am Latoi.  I love all of my ToiTime followers, so cheers to another year!  Never be afraid to take a chance on yourself.  NO ONE ELSE will, you can and should be able to depend on yourself.

Image result for another year

Advertisements

What are you Grateful for?

The only time we talk about gratefulness is around Thanksgiving.  You hear everyone repeat what they are grateful for.  If you come from a big family as I do, by the time Aunt Sally speaks her gratefulness you’re almost tapped out.  Do you know the power of speaking what you are grateful for out loud?  It refocuses what you have and less on what you don’t.  It will renew your mind to go after what you don’t have without negativity.  It will allow others around you to get good vibes as well.  When you see grateful people they seem to smile more. There lives may be in shambles but they know that trouble don’t last always.  They seem perkier.  They seem almost too unreal.  The reason they seem unreal is because the world is full of life suckers and negative vibes.  Choose to be the light in a dark world. Sometimes a simple smile can do it for someone. I watched my kids energy in a simple Snapchat video and it reminded me to slow down and relax.  Or when I see my daughter accomplish a goal she thought she couldn’t its gratefulness that makes me stop and reflect.  I look and see the Vegas devastation and some of the stories of heroism or the stories of how a man lost his wife but he was grateful for her smile everyday.  Can you say the same?  Will someone look back at the time you were here and say, they were genuine and loved life?  If not you can change it.  Life sucks no doubt, but if you change the lens you will be able to conquer anything thrown.

So I’ll start it out for you, what are you grateful for?

I am grateful:

  1. My life
  2. My health
  3. My husband
  4. My kids
  5. My job
  6. Good credit
  7. No debt
  8. Ability to love
  9. Ability to receive love
  10. This day
  11. My friends
  12. For my grandparents still being alive
  13. For my nieces
  14. My siblings and siblings in love
  15. My parents
  16. For working my marriage
  17. For good food in my home
  18. For the ability to have gas in my car
  19. For healing
  20. For a sound mind
  21. Loving love
  22. Being quirky
  23. For loving to celebrate daily days
  24. Being an organized person
  25. For being creative

The list can go on for pages and pages, what are you grateful for?  Speak it and sit back and enjoy the blessings that God gave you as you speak it and list it.  It changes you when you learn to live from a grateful heart.  Be grateful!

Lazy Ass Friends

So let me make my disclaimer early.  This is not to be used to have a bunch of friends texting, emailing, or calling me to find out what they may or may not have done.  If it don’t apply let it fly.  But in general there is always a few friends you have to fall back from.  Like seriously do some matrix type stuff from.  They are always so super self-absorbed to give two damns about what is going on in your life but have the laundry list of things to tell you about theirs.  Some of these I like to call lazy asses.  I know this isn’t the language you are expected but let’s be real, we all know a few of them and to be honest there really isn’t a better way to describe.

Image result for good friends gif

Real friends bend over backwards for one another.  That means the tables don’t always tilt one way or another all the time.  Depending on the way life sets your or your friend’s life, things can go any way it needs to be.  These are friends who are tried and true.  The ones you don’t have to speak to for months and you can pick up as if nothing ever happened. Then insert the lazy ones.  You either hear from them all the time or never.  They haven’t proven to be anything but miserable people to begin with.  They don’t ever have nothing good going on in their lives.  You think my God you mean even if its been months nothing has gone your way?  Yes sadly some people draw the attraction of drama into their lives.  I used to be a lazy ass friend and a lazy ass period when it came to others so I know what I am talking about.  The issue isn’t being a lazy ass its in changing it.

Image result for good friends gif

How would you like to have someone flaked on your ALL the time?  To have someone always telling you how miserable they are as a person and you have to endure countless hours of foolishness?  Oh not so much.  This isn’t appealing.  It’s not what you signed up for?  Oh my bad.  Yes life sucks.  I too have been hit a few million times but to be honest no one wants to be the friend of a Debbie Downer.  It’s actually draining.  If they say to inspect the friends you have and that the company you keep speaks volumes, than we all need to do some self inspection.  You know why the memes friend goals is such a thing, it’s because we aren’t used to having dope friends around us.  I have a group of associates and these girls come together and keep each other in their lives.  They do holidays, they take trips, they talk to each other and generally like each other.  They are single, some married, some with kids, some with demanding careers, but no matter what they are there.  If you look at your friends and can’t say they are dope something is wrong with you. A lot of my friends don’t live in the same city.  We talk all the time.  We catch up.  We make time.  We send cards to each other to encourage each other.  We conference call and are active.  They traveled states to be with me and my husband when his mother passed. They made food.  They were there.

Family can’t be chosen.  I have tried but I keep coming up short in the prayer department to replace a few of them.  However with friendships it’s a personal choice.  You personally chose Debbie Downer to be someone you can confide in.  How does that work?  Debbie Downers usually won’t even have a compliment to give.  They tear themselves down so how much more you?  You say you are pregnant and they say good for you I wouldn’t want to have a child with your sorry husband.  You say you got a new job and they say well it’s not mine.  If you are a Debbie Downer please listen up there is hope but YOU have to want to change.  When someone is telling you of their accomplishments let them have their moments. Friends don’t try to steal the spotlight.  They let you have your own and truly celebrate YOU.  They don’t bring you down or try to compete.  A friend is a support system. If you can’t be relied on in good and bad times than do NOT be mad when you get cut off.  I have had to cut a few friends off.  They weren’t real friends or their time in my life had expired. Everyone isn’t meant a permanent ride in your life and it doesn’t matter that you have known them your whole life.

Image result for good friends gif

So the question becomes is your friend in a different season but overall is a good friend then a simple conversation and change can take place.  Good friends can admit where they are wrong and move forward.  You will know if friend is a bad friend because the second you talk to them, they will confrontational.  They will tell you if I am no good for you than bye. Really?  Yes.  This friend’s expiration date has already ran out.  The writing has been on the wall.  It’s time to clear out who you call friends this year.  You will find that negative energy costs too much to maintain anyway.  Get rid of it no matter what form it comes in.

Image result for good friends gif

Cleaning Up

Now I know some people are either on team resolutions or they feel like it’s the dumbest thing ever to do.  With that being said, we still need to take the time to finish some loose ends.  If you are against resolutions that’s fine but to be truly successful you must have the mindset of making goals even if its daily and making it happen.  Nothing happens by accident.  Things that you want and need out of life do not simply just fall out of the sky. You have to work hard.  It has to be in your mind and heart and often times will need a little elbow grease to take off.

Image result for clean it up gif

We just celebrated and are still celebrating the holidays.  It’s also time to change focus. Yes the new year is coming, it comes the same time every year.  What I have been doing is tying up loose ends of 2016.  Making sure the things on my vision board that I actively been working towards achieving are all lined up.  Checking over the family goals and seeing what I can put in place NOW not waiting until January 1st.  Yes I know the new year is coming in a matter of days, but honestly the mindset for change has to be renewed daily.  There is at least one thing that can be done daily to reach your attended goal. No one is perfect so that means with goals there is going to be good and bad days.  The bad days aren’t the end all be all, failure is only when you don’t make any moves.

So what are you needing to clean up besides some holiday decorations?  I am focusing on paperwork.  I am a stickler for organization and to be honest its honestly just a down send when you have papers all over the place.  It’s not necessarily a trait that my husband and I share.  So often times it takes me going in and making sure things are very organized to get things done.  I plan on making sure I know where I stand in the most important areas of life.  Paper in the way is usually in the form of bills, or things for the kids.  So my plan is to reorganize it all so a plan can be in force.  You don’t know where to begin if you don’t know what is on the table to get done.

Image result for clean it up gif

Another area that I am always tweaking is relationships.  It  is so much harder to navigate holding onto dead relationships.  Regardless if its romantic or not, some things and people need to be let go.  If the relationship is making you negative, hurt, or angry re-evaluate the level by which you have placed the importance.  Sometimes we do things out of habit or comfort.  Sometimes it may take you being uncomfortable to make change.  When I was dating my husband in college he was my first.  You couldn’t tell me there wasn’t another man greater than him.  I wouldn’t have believed you.  It had nothing to do with sex.  I was totally infatuated with him.  I wasn’t willing to see what was out there.  The men that I dated after him became a comparison game.  It wasn’t until I decided to knock this behavior off.  How could I know for real if my ex-boyfriend was my dream guy if I wasn’t willing to take the breaks off and try.  So I did.  I can say that when my husband and I came back together this last time that it was because he was the ONE.  I had to venture out and do some self-love, travel, enjoy my days of being single.  I had to stop looking at being single as a death sentence.  I met some great men that have and will make great husbands but they weren’t the one for me.  Also dating even when you are wanting to settle down doesn’t have to be looking at everyone and evaluating when you will get proposed.  I was never that extreme but there are some that first dates turn into interviews for rings.  Stop. You put too much pressure and not able to find out all you need to know about a person. Do you know how many men are great for giving rings but it doesn’t mean they are the ones that make great husbands.

What about some of the bad habits.  If you picked one bad habit to stop, that in itself can cause great change.  We all know about the outward ones like bad eating habits, etc.  They are great ones to change but the ones like lying, talking about folks in the name of prayer for my church babies, or keep up drama.  These are the things that a lot harder to break especially if you have “always” indulged.  However these bad habits evoke the most change.  These changes help to place you in the right place in your life.  These are the ones that make the difference in your life.  Once you make several of these changes, it will bleed into other areas too.  It changes how you respond to others, it causes you to definitely be more calm, and it in general will be the stopping place for why some people can’t excel. Take more inventory to your inward person when you keep trying your hand at positivity and it seems to not work.

Image result for keep it positive gif

As we embark soon on 2017, began now to put an action plan in place for your goals.  Don’t just let this year come and go with the same excuses and lack of plan like in years past. Make the difference between a normal resolution and jump into life changes,

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?

Image result for new me gif

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.

Image result for vision board gif

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?

Image result for eating habits gif

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.

Image result for new job gif

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….

Running on Zero Energy

There are so many moment in life that you find yourself running on E.  You do all that you can do extend yourself to a million and one place and then you find out that you are just at a place where you think you can’t go anymore.  I remember many moments in my life where I have felt this.  At the birth of every one of my children when their dad had to go back to work and there was no more visits from others to help.  I felt that when I moved to Philadelphia broken and feeling alone.  I felt that when my husband and I was pulling the plug on our marriage.  I felt that way when I had interviewed and nothing seemed to pop.  I felt that when my previous daycare quit on us in the middle of the night because my kids got sick.

We all have these moments.  These are the moments when we have to allow people and things to breath life onto us.  I have been at a coffee shop with tears in my eyes and had a barista write me a note. I have had a person just send me a text message reminding me that they care and are there for me.  These are moments when even if life is kicking your butt to the point where you are looking excited to give up, it brings you back to yourself.  I think we all play a part in that.  Today I made sure that the lady in front of me in the line who was short in change that since I had it put it in for her.  She left and when she came back I had already taken care of it. I didn’t make a church announcement in the store, just simply gave it and walked away. She found me a few hours later and gave me this big hug.  It was the type of hug I needed.  I really miss home sometimes especially in the Fall because its one of my favorite seasons its all about comfort.  She had no idea that I have been up long hours with my husband who is helping his mother who is very sick keep his hopes up.  She had no idea that I had been so exhausted beyond belief.  Her hug felt like my mom or my grandma.  Her hug felt like a second of refugee.  It gave me incredible energy. It gave me hope.  She wanted to give me the change and I refused.  I told her the hug was what I needed.

Image result for hug gif

I do belief that with all that is going on in the world, random acts of kindness help to renew the spirit. I don’t do them only around the holidays but all year long.  They help to build the person who is receiving as well as the one who gives it.  We need more people to give a few hugs, a kind smile, pay for a coffee or two.  They are small gestures that sometimes define someone else’s next step.  I read how a woman who was battling anorexia had a barista write the word smile.  She had a feeding tube in her and it made her not end her life that night.  Its called little whispers of love.  Sometimes when life is heavy we need them to touch us.  I remind my husband of this every time. There has been times as a family when the struggle has been real.  Then a little reminder comes or something works out that we had nothing to do with and it renews my faith.

Image result for love sign gif

What are you giving?  Keep in mind when you put negative energy you get it back.  The same works for positivity.  It’s not about being happy and jolly all the time.  It’s about looking for the good and allowing the good to help push you to your destiny.  The hug I received didn’t cause my husband’s mother to get an instant healing. But it renewed my mind so that I can go home and do whatever is needed to ease his load.  It made me have a second wind to deal with my kids and find a way to enjoy my evening.  It made me a little less home sick until I can get a hug from my parents on Friday.  It gave me a boost and it was what I needed.

 

 

Work Outs in the Fall. Getting my McFluffy Tight….

There is something amazing that happens in the Fall, that’s good crisp air.  Although it doesn’t work in favor of my kids with their asthma it does wonders for me.  That morning air is a good time to get out of bed and get a good work out in.

Image result for over eating gif

Now my job is doing a step challenge and I am on a team of 3 other individuals.  We have increased our walking.  We don’t take elevators and we take walk breaks.  I also have been hitting the gym strong almost daily.  My rest day is Friday.  I am more motivated to make moves than ever before and instead of saying I want to do, I am simply doing.  I am making better food choices.  I sort of have to so I can indulge every now and again in some of Fall’s comfort food.

Image result for over eating gif

I would say because a lot of people are more focused in this month with back to school and other projects, it would be a good time to form a group.  You need a group or even just a partner to hold you accountable for your workouts.  It always helps to have someone else along the journey with you.  If you can’t that’s understandable but start making small changes. Trust me I became more aware of what I was eating when I wrote it down.  I am not on a diet.  I have never dieted a day in my life.  I don’t knock others for it but it’s just not my thing.  I am making better snack choices, increase water, etc.  I just can’t do the whole count calorie thing.  I will look at one snack and compare for my consumption but often times I elect for some form of veggie or fruit substitution.

Image result for over eating gif

Keep in mind with the Fall that means again that you have approximately 3 months to complete those goals of fitness that you made almost 9 months ago.  The year is almost done.  You have to get it together and especially now because as more and more times past, we are getting ready to go into Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and then wham right into the New Year.  I don’t know about you but that’s candy, potato salad, ham, turkey and a lot of cakes that are about to be made and ate.  With that in mind I have to literally step my game up.  I do not want to be extra fluffy come holiday picture time.  I refuse to be.  Now I may still have a few places that still won’t be in formation but I definitely will be a sleeker version than I was last year during the holidays.  So no mcfluffy this year, I got to be mchealthy.

So step it up and get on team healthy!!